Immagini della pagina

“How sweet,” thought I, “ could my apartment. I would fain have lingered, arms be her shelter from the coarse but Duty is an inexorable tyrant. wind! my heart her warmth in the June 12th.-A note from Mr. Irving gloomy chill!” I am usually king of to-day. He absolutely refuses his conmy impulse, but there are moments in sent to my engagement with his niece. life fraught with a significance so ap- I expected nothing else. There are two pealing that we are thrilled, possessed, kinds of separation : that of body and conquered. The soul neither thinks nor that of soul. The last, nothing on earth reasons; only lives, defies fate and cir

can bring about.

For the present, 1 cumstance, and quenches a lifetime thirst must feed on the fair promise of the in draughts of a joy that comes perhaps future. In that I have faith. In the but once this side of the grave. How meantime, till the blessed realization did it happen? I do not know. I only comes, work-work—work. know that I meant simply to wrap my coat about her; but the coat dropped Here the Journal ends. Herman Enrfrom my hand, for our eyes met in a thal received, very unexpectedly, June kindred glow, and the lips joined in 14th, a letter from Leipsic, offering him the first sacred wedlock of true mates the position of Kapel-Meister there. sanctioned at the Invisible Altar. A This compliment did not elate him in superb moment, that grasped in its the least, as he declared that it was due flight the bliss of angels! The storm, to the influence of a few musical friends which had been but the passage of abroad, and did not signify any recogwind-burthened clouds, died away as nition of merit from the Society who suddenly as it came, and we drifted presented the offer. He accepted it all calmly with the tide towards home. the same, however, as he recognized The house is closed now, and through fully the worth of such an opening for the window I catch only the heaving work. He sailed June 23d, with the murmur of the wind and waves. I do hungry eyes of a lover turned ever tonot woo sleep. Sleep is a thief, who wards the retreating shores. He writes would rob me of a consciousness which that he is working furiously, and that, I am loth to part with.

in spite of various thwarting influences, June 7th. This morning Estelle was he is well on the road to success. You occupied, and I wandered off alone into might meet him any day hurrying the still woods. To the musical artist through the crooked streets of the old all joys, all pangs, all hopes, all long- German city, his cap pulled, as usual, ings, form themselves into a harmonic over his brow, his keen eyes gleaming rhythm preciously significant to his own beneath. You would say, as you passintelligence. So my great happiness ed, “That man is bent on an important became a heavenly melody, to which errand.” You would not be mistaken. Nature was the orchestral accompani. On this side of the water, you might ment. Why is there a melancholy in also meet, any day, in the upper part all our deepest joys? Is it the cry of of this city, a young woman walking the immortal soul from out its finite towards Central Park with a rapid and hondage for the fuller liberty beyond ? elastic tread. She is also bent on an In the abandon of a sweet madness I important errand. Her pursuit is health. threw myself under a tree, plucked the She has a vivid bloom on her check tender leaves, pressed them to my burn- and a warm light in her eye, though ing lips, and for the first time since my her lover is more than three thousand carly boyhood shed a flood of delicious miles away. But her dearest hope is tears. The first tears of the lover! twin to his; so she loses neither flesh They alone can rival for sweetness and nor temper. It is reported in the circle melancholy the first tears of the artist. of admiring men and women, whom This afternoon I took the train for the this same young woman condescends to city; and behold me again in my lonely smile upon, that she is, both as vocalist

TOL, II.-11


and instrumentalist, the most intelligent nevertheless, decidedly startled within and the most impassioned interpreter the next year at her sudden departure of Schumann in this country. Others for Germany. She will leave her maiden assert that they can discover no charm name on these shores. Verily, that whatsoever in either herself or her mu- wave in her hair denotes obstinacy sical performances. All parties will be, and warmth."



TELL me, little trembling rose,
Thou whose sweet, coy crimson glows
Where her lilies, chaste and pale,
Mutely tell their pensive tale-
What your name, and whence you came ?
Whence your glory, or your shame?

Tell me, faint æolian moan,
Thou whose plaintive monotone,
Like the widowed dove's at night,
Chides a cheerful chirp's delight-
What your name, and whence your pain ?
Why that trouble in your strain ?
Tell me, brilliant, pure and clear,
Loth to leave thy purer sphere-
Some dumb sorrow's darkened plight
Broke in poetry and light-
What thy name, thy pleading charm ?
Who could do thee any harm ?

Blush am I; but by and by,
If I live, they'll call me Sigh.
I'm a sigh ; but if I grow,
Tear they'll name me, for my woe.
Call me Tear, dear, if I move
Thee to pity-if I prove
Wanton vanity above.
I was Blush once, I was Sigh ;
I'll be Memory by and by.
- But our sorrow's name is Love !


For two weeks we had been coasting and a crowd of boats with which the the Florida shore in the genial spring- water was covered. time. Whether the gentle wind filled As we neared the wharf, and before the sails, or our little yacht tossed aim- we made fast to it, a confused mass of lessly up and down on the transparent hunian beings of all ages and colors waters of the Gulf, we were always in crowded to the shore,—white soldiers, sight of the land, sometimes rising into long, cadaverous, and slim, with straight bluffs crowned, as our pilot said, with hair and an unmistakable Southern air groves of orange and lemon trees, and about them, but all clothed in the again low and covered with pines, but familiar uniform of the United States; always blue and pleasant. At length other soldiers of ebony black or chocowe entered the Caloosahatchie river, late color, stout, full-chested, and and began to approach Punta Rasa, our strong, weighing more than their white place of destination. Its appearance comrades, and capable of far more labor hardly fulfilled the expectations which at throwing up intrenchments or any we had formed. A point of land run- kind of fatigue duty; officers in full or ning out into the always pleasant and undress uniform; pale, sickly women, sunny waters of this region, low and wives, mothers, and friends of the firstalmost denuded of its larger vegetation, mentioned soldiers, with troops of towas its name imports, and its only sign headed children ; while raised upon the of civilization a huge barrack-like build- steps of the Parker House, too dignified ing raised with a kind of comically to be interested, and having no friends conceited air upon stilts, and bearing on board, but unable wholly to escape upon its front, in irregular and huge the contagious influence of those about letters of black paint, Parker House, them, sat a party of Indians in paint did not seem to promise much either of and gew-gaws, proud representatives of comfort or romance.

And yet, upon a

a proud race, the only quiet and unnearer approach, the scene lacked little moved spectators of the scene. Vociferof interest or variety. Scores of white ous greetings from friends on shore to tents gradually appeared, ranged on those on board, and as vociferous reeach side of the Parker House, which turns; eager inquiries for the mail, served as headquarters for the com- now many weeks over-due, in more manding officer, while in the early languages than one, and the loud orders morning - light dark bodies of men of the skipper, half-drowned by the could be seen drilling, some in com- prevailing noises, made a “very proper pact order and closed ranks, and others, confusion." further in the distance, scattered as I seated myself on the rail. We had skirmishers behind bush, or stump, or a little dog on board of a wonderful tree, a darkly-moving speck, or an fashion, short-legged, and with a long

a occasional reflection of the sun upon a body and most preposterous length of gleaming gun-barrel, alone betraying tail, with curl enough in it for two their existence. Islands, too, opened dogs, and as little like a poet's ideal as before us on the broad bosom of the dog-meat could be. Notwithstanding river, and on a sutler's schooner which his ridiculous appearance, which was a was anchored just off of the wharf, a standing joke, he had quite won my huge shark had recently been hooked, respect during the voyage by his digniwhich was darting hither and thither fied and quiet bearing. He was not illin the water, amid a scattering fire of natured, nor apparently insensible to pistol-shots from on board the schooner, friendship; but a respectful wag of the



tail was all the return he condescended ties of the position. It had been origito make after the most cordial ad- nally erected as a commissary store

Once or twice, wishing to house by General Harney during the know if his dignified reserve could not Indian wars, and since the rebellion be overcome by unusual demonstrations broke out some luckless wight stationed of regard, he walked quietly away, as thereabout, munching his pork and if he appreciated at their proper value hard-tack, had named it the Parker the hypocritical blandishments I used. House, in memory of better days. To-day he seemed like another dog ; I amused myself during the morning the body was still there, but it diverse in wandering about among the tents, spirit occupied it. Always something and observing the peculiarities and of a Pythagorean, I comprehended his I

habits of the men. Parts of three regicase at once. We had had but half a ments were stationed here. The 2d and dog with us on the voyage; his spirit 99th United States Colored Infantry, had been at Punta Rasa with his mas- and the 2d Florida Cavalry (loyal). ter, whom he soon recognized in one The first-named regiment was raised at of the officers on shore. Now he Washington, D. C., and officered with jumped and capered, barked vocifer- care. During the months the regiment ously, wagged not merely the superflu- was encamped at Arlington Heights, it ous length of his tail, but uncoiled it was visited by scores of officials and in a wonderful manner, so that it stood distinguished persons from our straight out from his body; threw him- and foreign countries, and had every self in every one's way, and conducted advantage of drill and criticism. Then generally in a manner so regardless of and subsequently it attained such prohis reputation, that I hardly knew him. ficiency and exactness, that perhaps not Jeff, our cook, was in perplexed and a regiment in the service, regular or ludicrous amazement. He had placed volunteer, surpassed it. With shining a pan of hot soup on some barrels near muskets, and white gloves, and glitterthe galley in a place of apparent safety, ing brasses, and a light, springy step and the dog, heretofore far the more which constant drill had made to superdignified of the two, plunged insanely sede the heavy plantation gait, they into it, scattering the contents into the looked the very beau ileal of black faces of several of us, and then jumped soldiery, and were, of course, properly overboard—not a minute too soon for puffed up with their own conceit. The his personal safety--swimming ashore 99th, on the contrary, had been raised and rubbing his greasy cont affection- in Louisiana as part of the corps d'afriately upon half a dozen new uniforms que. They were fine men physically, worn by his acquaintances. Jeff, whom and had seen much rough work, but I always thought entertained a kind of did not pretend to compete with the superstitious respect for the dog, never 2d in drill. They were fresh from the got over it. “De debbil's in dat ar Red River dam, which they had powerfice," he would say a dozen times a-day, fully contributed to raise. Being mostly and shake his gray head doubtfully. from the Creole parishes, they of course

On landing we were hospitably re- talked a patois very astonishing to their ceived at the Parker House-a huge, brethren from Virginia and Maryland. comfortless affair of one immense room, I shall not soon forget the amazement the several corners of which were occu- and disgust with which the men of the pied respectively by the post commis- 20, being informed at Key West of the sary, quartermaster, surgeon, and adju- arrival of another colored regiment tant, while a space had been hastily upon the island, attempted, without boarded up for the commanding officer success, to hold communication with and one or two other officials, to whom them. Surprise, mortification, and anthe preservation of dignity was ger were plainly to be seen among small affair ; in fact, one of the necessi- a party which I heard discussing


the arrival of the new-comers. “ Dese scouts in the army. They freely travfellows aren't smart, dey can't talk ersed at night the enemy's country; plain," was the common conclusion. were gone weeks, and safely returned Finally, an officer suggested they were with their families. Bitter experience Creoles. “Cre-owls !" said a smart ser- had made them familiar with every geant, the oracle of the group; cre- outlying track and swamp; had taught owls ! ah, I see,” tapping his forehead them their friends and their foes, and significantly, and looking for confirma- established in the country a sort of tion to the officer, who mischievously masonic brotherhood in danger. Some, nodded assent. “Dese niggers is stu- it is true, attached to neither side, and pid, I see.” That one mysterious word alternately deserting from each, intent was enough. No further explanations only on plunder and villany, were were wanted; a kind of contemptuous among the rarest scoundrels and cutpity took the place of any other feel. throats which unsettled and perilous ing; and not even the attractions of the times produce; but the greater number very superior drum-corps which the were stanch and true. new-comers brought with them, and to After dinner and a comfortable siesta, which the negro is very sensitive, nor we rode over the surrounding country, more or less intercourse for months, en- but not far, for the enemy were suptirely removed the feeling, until after posed to be in the immediate vicinity; the battle of the Natural Bridge, where returning in time for the dress-parade. the “cre-owls” were so stupid as not The splendid drill of the 2d attracted even to know enough to run, when a admiration, of course. The 99th also more cordial feeling was established. did well, but the glory of the occasion

The 2d Florida Cavalry differed was their drum-corps. Where they hardly more in color than in character picked it up I never knew, nor the from the others. Cavalry they were uniform in which it was dressed; but called, and as cavalry they were paid, from the bright-red mandils to the but they never were mounted, much to shining buckles of their shoes, all was their disgust. This was a regiment not perfection in dress, in step, and in exeto be lumped. Each man had a history cution. As one man they emerged on of his own, sometimes more startling the right of the line, marched slowly than fiction. In some the burning cot- down, and as slowly retraced their tage, the destruction of home and steps. Never were drums so sonorous, household goods, the exposure of wife and yet not a drummer's elbow moved ; and children to cold, penury, and star- the drumsticks seemed to grow from vation, if not a worse fate, filled the the palms of their hands, and vibrated background of a picture not colored by obedient to some unknown power, but imagination. Nearly all had been with marvellous precision and abandon. hunted, many by dogs. It's not a Every head was erect and every eye pleasant thing for a man to be hunted fixed, and as they marched they were as though human life was of no more enveloped in a whirlwind of sound. Erivalue than that of a fox or a wolf, and dently, in their estimation, the feature it leaves bitter thoughts behind. Fi- of the occasion was the drum-corps, nally, through many perils, after lying and the troops had been paraded as an for weeks in swamps and woods, they accessory but for their benefit, and as an had straggled one by one into the escort. And so indeed it seemed to Union lines. Happy were they who me; and as such I remember it, and carried no corroding recollections of shall always remember it. Among sudden death to friends, nor of fearful many that I have seen, there lingers in and bloody work to avenge them. Tall, my mind the recollection of but one thin, and loose-jointed were these men, drum-corps, and that was at Punta incapable of rigid discipline, and of all Rasa. ages; but the best shots, guides, and In the evening I strolled into the tent

« IndietroContinua »