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was at her father's side, saying in tender tones, “Dear Papa, you are weary ; let me read your letters for you.
“You may, my darling, for I am indeed weary and depressed tonight; I have been dwelling much in the past to-day.”
Taking up the letters, Elise turned them over carefully, and selecting two with foreign post-mark, exclaimed excitedly, “Oh, Papa, two from abroad!"
“Indeed, child? Read them.”
Elise broke the seal of the first letter, and as she read the first line in it, the sheet dropped from her hand and she could for the instant only say, “Dear Papa, brother Hampden!”
“What, child! What! Speak! What of my lost boy?" and the old man reached forth his hand to pick up the letter.
In an instant Elise recovered her self-possession, seeing urgent need that she should now be m; and picking up the letter, she read it aloud, and then the other from Captain Harvie Gwynn. The first, from Hampden Sparks, told his wonderful story and conveyed the joyful intelligence that he was now safe with his friend Captain Gwynn in London, where he should remain until joined by his father, mother and sister, whom he urged to be present when he should take possession of the ancestral estates. Captain Gwynn's letter was kind and genial, calling up many happy scenes in Mr. Sparks's early life, and concluded by pressing his old friend to lose no time in making preparations to join his son in the fatherland.
There was joy in that house such as the old patriarch Jacob experienced when the glad tidings reached him that Joseph still lived ; and when the first shock of joy was over, the old people seemed to have renewed their youth and entered with much alacrity upon the work of preparation for their journey. Just three weeks before they had determined to leave Savannah' there was a sudden arrival which was destined to change the plans of somebody and add a fourth to the party going abroad.
It was near sunset, and Elise was quite ready to descend from her chamber to the library. She was only sitting by the window a moment listening to her canary and listlessly plucking a few buds and geranium leaves from her flowers, and it may be, thinking of one far off in Virginia ; suddenly her attention was arrested by the soft sound of wheels in the sandy street below, and looking, she saw a coach stop at the door and some one get out. She looked quickly, even nervously, and a blush came to her cheeks. “Could it be?" Her heart answered “Yes," for just then she had no words, and with quick step she ran down the hall, and before she could check her speed was caught in the strong, loving arms of Ronald Irving. Ronald had suddenly concluded to finish his law course abroad, having reached a point in the university course which would enable him to follow up successfully new advantages elsewhere. His delight at finding that Elise and her parents were even then preparing for a foreign trip will be imagined, and his first successful pleading resulted in a wedding-scene before their departure from Savannah. The bride and groom walked down the crowded aisle to the rich tones of the organ pealing the wedding-march, and received the congratulations that were offered on every hand. Never had a more brilliant wedding taken place in the city. The Sparks family had many warm friends who, sympathising with them in all their years of trial, now heartily rejoiced at the many blessings that had suddenly clustered around the bright young bride and dear old people.
“Wonders will never cease!” was Mrs. Grimcheek's first exclamation as Archie Clevis, in excited manner and with voice even more cracked than ever, told her “the new master has come to life at last, and we are to have another Hampden Sparks at the old place.”
“I don't like the idea, Archie; he's 'Merican, I believe."
“Yes, but his father was born in yonder wing room, and he is a colonel in Her Majesty's service, and that's 'nough for me, Mrs. Grimcheek I shall clean things up, put the lawn in order, set the carpenters to work, and drill the tenants so as to give the new master a reception worthy of the mighty 'casion.
Certainly, Archie, we must do all that is befitting ; but it seems very strange to me to have new people in the 'ouse, and our dear old master's things all ransacked, when they have been kept with the dust all on 'em just as he left everything years and years agone. These 'Mericans are meddlesome kind of people, ain't they, Archie?"
“Not more than most of people who inherits property they didn't work for, Mrs. Grimcheek, so we mustn't judge of them until they come.”
The work of preparation went forward, and the din of saw and hammer waked the echoes in the old place, causing a ceaseless grumble on the part of Mrs. Grimcheek, who vowed that she should
never, no never, have any more peace !” But as the calın follows the storm, so peace came, when all was in readiness, and the tenantry marshalled by Archie Clevis in the very old coat he had worn at Badajoz, opened ranks on each side of the park.gate, and doffing their hats, gave three cheers for Colonel Hampden Sparks, the new master of Mallow Marsh.
The grand old hall was ablaze with a flood of light, bringing out the ancestral pictures on the walls and making them look like visitants from the ages past. The old friends of Colonel Hampden Sparks, Sr., many of them even recollecting the long-absent Roscoe Sparks, and others, desirous of meeting with the successor to a name so honored and loved in their memories, in obedience to a general invitation had gathered there. Ronald Irving and his beautiful bride became the central figures in all the scene. The young belles and beaux of Warwickshire, amazed at the grace and dignity of their demeanor under such flattering circumstances, and attracted by the unrestrained charm of manner about them, seemed never weary of paying them courteous attention. That night as Ronald bade Mrs. Sparks goodnight, the dear old lady whispered tenderly in his ear, “God has rewarded you, my son; I thank him that I have now two loving sons to cheer my old age."
And now, dear reader, we must leave not only this happy scene but all others connected with our story. Some of our travellers have ended their travelling days; others of them, like "stage walkers" in a play, serving their purpose, have gone their ways: we will see them no more. To all we bid adieu, and record the Story of Nine Travellers " as ended.
Love Is Enough; or, The Freeing of Pharamond. A Morality. By
William Morris. Boston: Roberts Brothers.
civilisation. And it holds this place, he asserts, because it best expresses “the morbid, restless character of the age — its over-refined, excessive sensibility, and vague boundless aspiration.” If his judgment be well-founded, and it seems to us in accord with the facts, he might have fortified it by another reason. The present age is pre-eminently scientific and analytic — it brings the scales of the chemist and the microscope of the physiologist to the examination of everything. It is uneasily suspicious of interest in anything that may not be established by demonstration, and no longer finds recreation in misty ideal pleasances hovering between truth and fiction. The romancer can no more delight with a wild tale of adventure in far Cathay, or "incredible things about Thule": his hearers are critically familiar with the topography and customs of the one, and demand that the other shall first be shown them on the map. The painter must study from nature ; and even in painting an Armida's garden, woe to him if he gives an asphodel a petal more than botany allows, or is not accurately geological in the stratification and cleavage of his rocks.
But in music we have an art that refuses to be brought under the yoke: a paradise into which whoso enters leaves the iron rule of law behind. For the purely technic laws of counterpoint have nothing to do with the æsthetic freedom of music. It alone of all the arts is privileged to render no reason; and is the appeal of one absolute free-will to another. When enthralled by the power of music, we are raised to a region of pure pleasure, independent of experience or intelligence. The cosmos without addresses the cosmos within ; but in a symphony of Beethoven abyss calls to abyss. Those “ formless dreams, objectless, limitless desires, the grandiose and dolorous mazes” through which we are borne, have no cause and no result; they belong not to any world in which we have been or. shall be ; they lie in a region outside of space, time and actual existence.
“What does that prove?" asked the mathematician, after hearing a masterpiece of Mozart; and such is the necessary attitude of science. Science does its utmost in its prescribed domain : Helmholtz can tell us why the tones of a violin have a different quality from those of a flute; but who will explain to us why raising the third in a chord by a single semitone changes our mood from causeless dejection to causeless triumph? Science is impotent before the mystery —
“ That out of three sounds we make, not a fourth sound, but a star." It is precisely because science is pressing upon us so tyrannously that we are driven to reaction against it; that we delight to escape from her orderly palace of truth into the lovely wilderness of the impossible; that bending under the load of what is, we fly to what is not and cannot be. And this is music.
Hence has come a certain division, not very clearly defined as yet, and yet perceptible, in an art which occupies a middle position between science and music — between knowing and feeling. Science deals with pure knowledge without emotion ; music with pure emotion without knowledge ; but poetry deals with emotion founded on knowledge (knowledge of the human heart, of the aspects of nature, etc.), and therefore is in part scientific, in part musical.
Now with the widening of the domain of science until it has invaded our very dreams, and the corresponding contraction of the region of the unknown till Romance has hardly any longer a standing-ground, there has come to be a sundering of the ground allotted to poetry. On the one side we find poets aiming at definiteness and precision, at truth to nature, to whom every poem is a problem worked out :given such a nature in such a situation, and he would act thus; such and no other were my feelings at such a moment, and for this reason; the scene which I beheld looked precisely so, as nearly as I can describe it, and called forth such thoughts in my mind; etc. This is the scientific side.
On the other side we are beginning to see the movement of a reaction from this, and a tendency toward the musical side in the writings of several recent poets. They are characterised, so far as the form is concerned, by exquisite melody and variety of rhythm, by delicate choice and arrangement of harmonious words, and by the use of all the musical artifices, such as alliteration, assonances, the refrain, novelty and complexity of rhyme compelling attention to the versification, by what Prof. Sylvester terms "the phonetic syzygy," or carrying-through of the sound, and many other devices to give the utmost possible musical effect to the verses considered merely as successions of sound. All this was done ages ago in the the tongue of Southern Germany, but never until now in English; nor would it, until now, have been possible in English.
We find again a certain vagueness about this poetry, as if the poet were aiming rather to convey a feeling than a thought. Words are employed in unusual senses, and with obscure or ambiguous construction. A passage will impress us with the sense of beauty and sweetness, and when we come to analyse it we can not be sure that we exactly seize the meaning — and yet the charm remains. The logical critic of course pounces on such verse, re-arranges it in prose, and then challenges mankind, the author included, to say precisely what it means. May this not be something like the “What does it prove?” of the mathematician? If we have emotions, deep and strong, which can not be defined or explained, may not these too be the subject of poetry, not to define, but to express? And how can they be expressed save by words soft, evanescent, indefinite like themselves? Is not the painter, who only deals with material nature, allowed to paint objects dim with twilight, wrapt in mist, vanishing in haze, melting in light, not because under those circumstances are their forms most clearly made out, but because he saw them so ?
We do not mean that Love is Enough is by any means an extreme or typical example of Poetry of this sort. But it lies altogether in the region of the impossible and irrational ; it is intentionally vague and indefinite in many parts; it is constructed with consummate skill in the melodious use of language and structure of verse; and its beauty and sweetness are extreme. It is music as much as poetry.
The very form of the poem places it at once in the region of the undefined. It is called “A Morality," a name anciently given to dramatic productions intended to delight or edify, but not founded, as were the “Mysteries,” on a religious subject. The Mayor and burgesses of a nameless town cause it to be presented by a group of strolling players before a newly-wedded Emperor and Empress. The townsfolk who are assembled to see the show are represented by Giles and Joan, a rustic bride and groom, who in rhymed octosyllabic verse express their admiration of the pomp that attends the Imperial pair, and their sympathy with them as lovers, also with the playerking and player-maiden, who are again a pair of lovers. The Émperor and Empress, while waiting, speak tenderly to each other in rhymed ten-syllable verse, and the Mayor bespeaks their favor for the play in unrhymed alliterative lines.
The action is preceded by a sung chorus, like an orchestral overture, which again falls in at the close of each act, with what we may call the key-note of feeling; and each act is introduced by a prologue spoken by Love, dressed in various guise, now as a king, now as an image-maker, etc. The overture, or choral part, is in a measure closely resembling that used in the play, but rhymed, softened into lyrical sweetness, and changing the form of the stanza each time. We will give the first of these choral parts in full:
LOVE IS ENOUGH: Have no thought for to-morrow
If ye lie down this even in rest from your pain,
For as it was once so it shall be again.
Ye shall cry out for death as ye stretch forth in vain
Cry out to deaf ears that would hear if they could,
Your hearts make all plain in the best wise they would,
And the world ye thought waning is glorious and good.
The plains are not empty of song and of deed;
The wind is not helpless for any man's need,
O surely this morning all sorrow is hidden,
All battle is hushed for this even at least;
To the fivwers and the singing and the joy of your feast,
Where silent ye sit midst the world's tale increased.
For your tale makes the dreaming whereby yet they live :
The dreams of the night with the kisses they give,