Gambar halaman

O! sweet, delighting prospects round!
The happy spirit, now

In the voyage of the past' receives
Hope's love-wreath on the brow.
The eye, the mouth, the cheek and heart'
Will 'scape the rocks of fear,

And, smiling through each vital part,
Crown the Evening of the Year.'


Two brothers, Barons Van Wromb, had both formed an attachment to a distinguished young lady of Wrthr, without a knowledge of each other's passion. It was equally strong in both, for in both it was a first passion. Unconscious of their mutual danger, each gave full rein to his affection, neither being aware of the dreadful truth, that he had a beloved brother for his rival. They made an early declaration of their love, and had even proceeded to make further arrangements, before an unexpected occurrence brought the secret to light.

The attachment of both had reached its highest pitch-that state of elevation, both of the heart and imagination, which has produced so many fatal consequences, and which renders even an idea of the sacrifice of the object of affection almost impossible. The lady, deeply sensible of their painful situation, hesitated how to decide: rather than inflict the agony of disappointed passion, and disturb the fraternal harmony subsisting between them, she generously referred the whole affair to themselves.

At length, having achieved an heroic conquest in this doubtful struggle between duty and passion, a conquest so easily decided upon by philosophical and moral writers in their closets, and so seldom practised in real life, the elder addressed his younger brother as follows:

"I am aware of your affection, strong as my own, alas! for the same lady of our love. I shall observe nothing in regard to priority of age. I wish you to remain here, while I go upon my travels, and do my utmost to forget her. Should I succeed, brother, she will then become thine; and may heaven prosper your love! Should I, however, not succeed in

[ocr errors]

my object, I doubt not you will act as I have done, and try what absence will effect."

His brother assented; and, bidding farewell, the elder instantly left Germany for Holland; but the image of the beloved girl followed him every where. Banished from the paradise of his love-from the only happy and delightful scenes which he had once sought with her to which his fancy always recurred, and in which he seemed only to breathe and live, the unhappy young man, like a plant torn from its native soil, from the warmer breezes and more invigorating beams of its eastern clime, pined and sickened in the new atmosphere to which he was confined.

He reached Amsterdam, but in despair; a violent fever attacked him, and he was pronounced in danger of his life. Still the picture of his lost love haunted his delirious dreams; the only chance he had of recovery was in the possession of the lovely original itself. The physicians despaired of his recovery, until, upon its being mentioned that he might live to behold her once more, from that moment he was gradually restored to health. Like a walking skeleton, the picture of utter wretchedness, he again appeared in his native place. He tottered across the threshold of his unforgotten girl, and again pressed his brother's hand: "You, see, brother, I am returned. Alas! what my heart foreboded has come to pass; yet, as heaven is my judge, I could do no more!"

He sunk almost lifeless in the poor girl's arms.

The younger brother now became no less determined to try the effect of absence, and was ready prepared within a few weeks for his tour.

"Brother," said he, " you bore your grief as far as Holland: I will endeavour to banish myself yet farther.-Do not, however, lead her to the altar until you hear from me.I will write. Our fraternal regard will admit of no stronger bond our word is enough. Should I be more fortunate than you, in God's name, let her be thine! and may he for ever bless your union! should I, however, return, then heaven alone may decide between us two. Farewell! but keep this sealed packet-open it not, until I be far away-I am going to Batavia." With these words he sprang into the chaise.

Half distracted, the two beings he had left gazed after him, and were little more to be envied than the banished man; for L. 29. 1.


he had surpassed his brother, whom he had left, in greatness of soul. With equal power did love for the woman whom he had recovered, and regret for the brother whom he had lost, appear to strive for mastery in his breast. The noise of the carriage, as it died away in the distance, seemed to cleave his heart in twain. He recovered, however, with the utmost care and attention. The young lady-but no ;—that will be best shown by the result.

The sealed packet was opened: it contained a full and particular description of the whole of his German possessions, which he made over to his brother, in case he found himself happy in Batavia. This heroic conqueror of himself shortly afterwards set sail in company with some Dutch merchants, and arrived in safety in Batavia. In the course of a few months afterwards, his brother received from him the following lines:

'Here, where I perpetually return thanks to the Almighty Giver of all good-here I have found a new country--a new home; and call to mind, with all the stern pleasure of a martyr, our long and unbroken fraternal love. Fresh scenes, and fate itself, seem to have widened the current of my feelings; God hath granted me strength-yes, strength to offer up the highest sacrifice to our friendship!-thine is-alas !here falls a tear-but it is the last!-I have triumphed-thine let her be! Brother, I did not wish to take her when thou wert from us, because I feared she might not be happy in my arms. But, should she ever have blessed me with the thought that we should indeed have been happy together, then, brother, I would impress it upon your soul. Do not forget how dearly she must be won by you, and always treat the dear angel with the same kindness and tenderness with which you now think of her. Treat her as the fondest, last, best legacy, of a dear departed brother, whom thy arms will never more embrace. Do not write to me when you are celebrating your nuptials. My wounds are yet open, and bleeding afresh. Write to me only when you are happy. My act in this will be surety for me, I trust that God will not desert me in the world whither I have transferred myself."

After the receipt of this letter, the elder brother married the lady, and enjoyed one happy year of wedded love. The lady, at the end of that period, died; and, in dying, she first en

trusted to her husband the unhappy secret of her bosom-that she had loved his absent brother best.

Both these brothers are yet alive; the elder, who is again married, resides upon his estates in Germany; the younger one remains at Batavia, where he is distinguished as a fortunate and very eminent character. He is said to have made a vow never to marry, and, hitherto, he has religiously kept it.

[blocks in formation]

Go! litil bill, go forth and hie thee fast.

Recommend me, and excuse me as you can.-Chaucer.


We take no note of time, but from its loss;
To give it then a tongue, is wise in man
As if an angel spoke.-Young.

My dear and gentle young lady, wilt thou suffer a simple toned Humming Bird' to rest on thy fair finger? wilt thou give ear to the inspirations of its throbbing and affectionate heart? Thou art too susceptible of tender emotions thyself not to accept them as being intended for thine honor and edification. Thou hast read there is a time for all things.'— Might not this be time for admonition, instruction, and profit? Youth is on the forelock of time-O! mayest thou never lose it! As I value the length of my little feathery existence, so I would remind thee of the comparison: thine is but as a span, a shuttle, shade, or sunbeam, bright, perhaps, but receding; dark, perhaps, but heavy. Hast thou not seen bunches of flowers, wild and exotic, strewn in tears on the angelic corpse of an infant in its white coffin and shroud? Hast thou not heard the bell invite the parents of that silent, yet speaking, body in death, to the low realm of the worm, and the house appointed for all living?' Its time is past, and the spirit enters her new created glory. Art thou spared? since thine interest is involved in the course, it is precious and incumbent; for every pulse thou beatest, leaves the number less.' The extreme value, then, of thy tender structure, which, it is

[ocr errors]

strange, 'that a harp of thousand strings should keep in tune so long,' as it frequently doth even to a hundred years, is an inducement why I should advise thee to set a right estimate on its duration. Past time cannot be recalled, for life is time. Canst thou say to the grave, give up thy dead ?'—No.Time passes over the cypress and the yew, takes off the blossoms and the berry, leaving the fragments of its power in every spot. Hast thou enjoyed thy little share?-hath it been used as a treasure? or, hath the spendthrift run through all its golden moments, and left none to depend on but those in expectancy, which may never come? Trust not to the future but with faith that virtue and just appropriation of thine opportunities will realise thy deserts. Let the present be thine immediate consideration: thou wilt first do this most effectually by Early Rising. Dost thou start?-is thy pillow so dear? As the body and mind are equally interested in this habit, do not fear but thou wilt soon be convinced of the pleasing utility which the proposition incorporates. Here thou mayest take a morning retrospect, prepare an useful precept, and go in the right way. Writers of all ages have recommended early rising,- Franklin, Watts, Westley, Barbauld, Aikin, Brunton, Hamilton, and, indeed, very many great and happy persons have been, and now are, distinguished for the correct and perfect knowledge of Time. Out of twenty-four hours, how many are slept, trifled, or wasted away! To be an Early Riser, thou must retire early to rest : for this, as thou art a flower and star in beauty's hemisphere, thou needest but take a hint from thy garden, and the fall of day; for the sun, naturally speaking, is an early riser, and goeth early to rest. Presuming thou art acquiescing in the views of a poor Humming Bird, thou best knowest what art thy relative duties. In thy station, of whatever class, let it be remarkable for a proper and pleasing performance; first, for example to others; secondly, for mutual interest and participation; and, thirdly, for thy personal value.-' 'Tis a simple tree that falleth with one stroke.' Thou dost not, perhaps, imagine the good thine example may work in thine own sphere, and that of thy neighbours, even to the national welfare: it is like the light, which, after dawning in the young horizon, 'shineth more and more into perfect day.' By thine accustomed use of time, others seeing thy doings will incline to the

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »