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Page) the engagement and rivals are warned off."
" I fear no rivals."
"Do you not ? Bold man! I suppose
you will write to Lilian ?"
" Do so, and constantly.
By-the-way, Mrs. Ashleigh, before she went, asked me to send her back Lady
Haughton's letter of invitation. What for? to show to you ?"
" Very likely. Have you the
letter still? May I see it ?"
" Not just at present. When
Lilian or Mrs. Ashleigh write to you, come and tell me how they like their
visit, and what other guests form the party."
Therewith she turned away and
conversed apart with the traveler.
Her words disquieted me, and I
felt that they were meant to do so. Wherefore, I could not guess. But there is
no language on earth which has more words with a double meaning than that spoken
by the clever woman, who is never so guarded as when she appears to be frank.
As I walked home thoughtfully I
was accosted by a young man, the son of one of the wealthiest merchants in the
town. I had attended him with success, some months before, in a rheumatic fever
; he and his family were much attached to me.
"Ah, my dear Fenwick, I am so
glad to see you ; I owe you an obligation of which you are not aware—an
exceedingly pleasant traveling companion. I came with him to-day from London,
where I have been sight-seeing and holiday-making for the last fortnight."
" I suppose you mean that you
kindly bring me a patient?"
"No, only an admirer. I was
staying at Fenton's Hotel. It so happened one day that I had left in the
coffee-room your last work on the Vital Principle, which, by-the-by, the
bookseller assured me was selling immensely among readers as non-professional as
myself. Coming into the coffee-room again I found a gentleman reading it. I
claimed it politely ; he as politely tendered his excuse for taking it. We made
acquaintance on the spot. The next day we were intimate. He expressed great
interest and curiosity about your theory and your experiments. I told him I knew
you. You may guess if I described you as less clever in your practice than you
are in your writings. And, in short, he came with me to L-, partly to see our
flourishing town, principally on my promise to introduce him to you. My mother,
you know, has what she calls a dejeuner to-morrow ; dejeuner and dance. You will
be there ?"
" Thank you for reminding me of
her invitation. I will avail myself of it if I can. Your new friend will be
present? Who and what is he ? A medical student ?"
" No, a mere gentleman at ease ;
but seems to have a good deal of general information. Very young ; apparently
very rich ; wonderfully good-looking. I am sure you will like him ; every body
"It is quite enough to prepare me
to like him, that he is a friend of yours." And so we shook hands and parted.
IT was late in the afternoon of
the following day before I was able to join the party assembled at the
merchant's house ; it was a villa about two miles out of the town, pleasantly
situated, amidst flower-gardens celebrated in the neighborhood for their beauty.
The breakfast had been long over ; the company was scattered over the lawn ;
some formed into a dance on the smooth lawn ; some seated under shady awnings ;
others gliding amidst parterres, in which all the glow of color took a glory yet
more vivid under the flush of a brilliant sunshine, and the ripple of a soft
western breeze. Music, loud and lively, mingled with the laughter of happy
children, who formed much the larger number of the party.
Standing at the entrance of an
arched trellis, that led from the hardier flowers of the lawn to a rare
collection of tropical plants under a lofty glass dome (connecting, as it were,
the familiar vegetation of the North with that of the remotest East), was a form
that instantaneously caught and fixed my gaze. The entrance of the arcade was
covered with parasite creepers in prodigal luxuriance, of variegated gorgeous
tints—scarlet, golden, purple—and the form, an idealized picture of man's youth
fresh from the hand of Nature, stood literally in a frame of blooms. Never have
I seen human face so radiant as that young man's.
There was in the aspect an
indescribable something that literally dazzled. As one continued to gaze, it was
with surprise one was forced to acknowledge that in the features themselves
there was no faultless regularity; nor was the young man's stature
imposing—about the middle height. But the effect of the whole was not less
transcendent. Large eyes, unspeakably lustrous ; a most harmonious coloring ; an
expression of contagious animation and joyousness; and the form itself so
critically fine that the welded strength of its sinews was best shown in the
lightness and grace of its movements.
He was resting one hand
carelessly on the golden locks of a child that had nestled itself against his
knees, and was looking up in his face in that silent loving wonder with which
children regard something too strangely beautiful for noisy admiration ; he
himself was conversing with the host, an old gray-haired, gouty man, propped on
his crutch-stick, and listening with a look of mournful envy. To the wealth of
the old man all the flowers in that garden owed their renewed delight in the
summer air and sun. Oh that his wealth could renew to himself one hour of the
youth that stood beside
him, lord, indeed, of Creation ;
its splendor woven into his crown of beauty, its enjoyments subject to his
sceptre of hope and gladness !
I was startled by the hearty
voice of the merchant's son : " All, my dear Fenwick, I was afraid you would not
come—you are late. There is the new friend of whom I spoke to you last night ;
let me now make you acquainted with him." He drew my arm in his and led me up to
the young man, where he stood under the arching flowers, and whom he then
introduced to me by the name of Margrave.
Nothing could be more frankly
cordial than Mr. Margrave's manner. In a few minutes I found myself conversing
with him with familiar ease, as if we had been reared in the same home, and
sported together in the same play-ground. His vein of talk was peculiar, off
hand, careless, shifting from topic to topic, with a bright rapidity.
He said that he liked the place ;
proposed to stay in it some weeks ; asked my address, which I gave to him ;
promised to call soon at an early hour, while my time was yet free from
professional visits. I endeavored, when I went away, to analyze to myself the
fascination which this young stranger so notably exercised over all who
approached him; and it seemed to me, ever seeking to find material causes for
all moral effects, that it arose from the contagious vitality of that rarest of
all rare gifts in highly civilized circles—perfect health ; that health which is
in itself the most exquisite luxury, which, finding happiness in the mere sense
of existence, diffuses round it, like an atmosphere, the harmless hilarity of
its bright animal being. Health, to the utmost perfection, is seldom known after
childhood ; health to the utmost can not be enjoyed by those who overwork the
brain, or admit the sure wear and tear of the passions. The creature I had just
seen gave me the notion of youth in the golden age of the poets—the youth of the
careless Arcadian, before nymph or shepherdess had vexed his heart with a sigh.
BEAT ! BEAT ! DRUMS !
BY WALT WHITMAN.
BEAT ! beat ! drums!—Blow !
bugles ! blow !
Through the windows—through
doors—burst like a force of armed men,
Into the solemn church, and
scatter the congregation; Into the school where the scholar is studying;
Leave not the bridegroom quiet—no
happiness must he have now with his bride;
Nor the peaceful farmer any peace
plowing his field or gathering his grain ;
So fierce you whirr and pound,
you drums—so shrill you bugles blow.
Beat ! beat ! drums ! Blow !
bugles ! blow !
Over the traffic of cities—over
the rumble of wheels in the streets;
Are beds prepared for sleepers at
night in the houses? No sleepers must sleep in those beds;
No bargainers' bargains by day—no
brokers or speculators. Would they continue ?
Would the talkers be talking?
would the singer attempt to sing?
Would the lawyer rise in the
court to state his case before the judge?
Then rattle quicker, heavier
drums-and bugles wilder blow.
Beat ! beat! drums ! Blow !
Make no parley—stop for no
Mind not the timid—mind not the
weeper or prayer; Mind not the old man beseeching the young man;
Let not the child's voice be
heard, nor the mother's entreaties. Recruit! recruit!
Make the very trestles shake
under the dead, where they lie in their shrouds awaiting the hearses.
So strong you thump, O terrible
drums—so loud you bugles blow.
page 619 we publish, from a
sketch by Mr. A. R. Barton, a View of
FORT PORTER, showing a part of Lake Erie
on the left, Niagara River, and the Canada shore. The following description of
the work we condense from a Buffalo paper :
About the year 1839 surveys were
begun for barracks and defensive works at this point.
In 1839, by order of
Chief-Engineer Colonel J. G. Totten, now Brevet Brigadier-General and Colonel of
Engineers, propositions for the purchase of the property upon which the fort is
constructed were published, and in the following year the site was finally
located, the contracts for the work issued, and the work began in 1841.
The work, in the Government
catalogue, is set down as a block-house., or redoubt, and occupied three years
in construction, being finished in 1844. The original plans intended the
construction of a fortification on the south side of the creek, and the
Government now owns some thirty-five acres of land, near the pier, for the
purpose. The fort is formed by a glacis and breast-work, the latter 300 feet in
diameter, in which is the ditch, counter-scarp, and block-house.
The exterior battery is arranged
with traverse circles and pintle blocks complete for 28 guns, and the terra
plane upon the block-house is similarly arranged for four barbette guns. The
armament has a sweep of fire of about 110 degrees.
The block-house is situated in a
square excavation, or ditch as it is technically styled in fortification, and is
62 feet square and about 70 feet in height. It is bomb-proof, with one tier of
casemates over the kitchens and barracks, above which is an earth-work many feet
in depth, with one stratum of 1000 barrels of asphaltum and mineral tar, and a
breast-work, about five feet high, on to the terra plane, to protect the guns
worked there. The height of the external breast-work from pintle block to crest
of glacis is five feet nine inches. The distance from the outer work of the
block-house to the crest of the glacis is 84 feet, with a plane inside of the
breast-work and extending to the crest of the counter-scarp, about 30 feet in
The armament of the fort includes
two kinds of gun-carriages, one for the embrasures, which are intended to
receive a part of the carriages when traversed. These are upon the land side
only. The others differ only in that there are no embrasures in the wall of the
breast-work. The total armament of the fort consists of 28 guns for the exterior
works, and four barbette guns. The latter are intended to be of the largest
The number of men required for an
actual garrison is only 300, although about 1000 men could be employed within
the breast-works for defense. At present the fort is without any armament,
though there are a number of guns belonging to the Naval Department stored on
the grounds. These guns were placed there about ten years ago. They number
twenty 32-pounders, and ten 64-pound Columbiads,,
for either shot or shell. There
is also stored at the fort 143 64-pound shells, 100 64-pound solid shot, and
2473 32-pound solid shot.
Fort Porter is now one of the
recruiting stations in the northern part of the State. Some 700 men are encamped
there, mostly of the 2d Buffalo regiment.
SHOCKING OCCURRENCE AT
WE illustrate on
page 612 one of
the most shocking occurrences we ever heard of—the burning of several ballet
girls at the Continental Theatre, in Walnut Street, Philadelphia. The Herald
correspondent thus tells the story :
PHILADELPHIA, September 15, 1861.
An unfortunate accident occurred at the Continental Theatre, in Walnut Street,
on Saturday night, by which the building was for a time imperiled, and a number
of dancing girls so badly burned that some have since died. The theatre had been
leased by William Wheatley, an old Philadelphia actor, whose long association
with John Drew and J. S. Clarke, at the Arch Street Theatre, made him known
among the profession throughout the country. Being succeeded in the management
of the Arch by Mrs. Drew, Wheatley leased and refitted the "Continental"
(formerly General Welch's National Circus), and produced the " Tempest" on
Monday night in splendid style. Randall, formerly of Covent Garden, London,
prepared the machinery, and an immense ballet corps was engaged to represent the
abode of Ariel and other show-scenes.
On Saturday night more than
fifteen hundred people were present. The first act had gone forward
uninterruptedly, and the dancers were busily preparing in the dressing-room to
appear in the ballet at the opening of act second. Prospero (Wheatley) was about
retiring from the stage, when the audience perceived several men, apparently
stage carpenters, running backward and forward in their shirt-sleeves. Directly
those adjacent to the stage saw a young lady, all on fire, run hurriedly to the
side scenes, and at the same time a succession of piercing screams from
imperceptible localities disturbed the repose of the audience, and brought half
the people to their feet. The cry of " fire" was started from the galleries, and
the flitting lights and confusion upon the stage left no doubt that some awful
actuality was transpiring. Manager Wheatley directed the people to be quieted
while he retired to learn the extent of the accident.
It appears that Miss Cecilia
Gale, one of four talented and handsome sisters, was about robing herself in
ballet costume. She stood upon a settee to reach her dress, and somehow flirted
it into a jet of gas, when it was instantly ignited. Before the young lady could
recover from her fright her clothing was all ablaze, and her sisters and several
of the ballet girls from an adjoining dressing-room, rushing up to assist her,
were in turn set on fire. About a dozen of these helpless girls were thus
burning at once, and the fire ran over their gauze and among their
under-clothes, making fast to the close leggins or "tights," and literally
burning to the bone. Their screams were thrilling, and no scene of horrors that
the stage ever witnessed may be compared to the terrible picture behind the
scenes, where the fire from the burning dresses blazed up to the ceiling, and
singed the lashes and hair of the affrighted women.
Miss Cecilia Gale, writhing and
still in flames, darted down the stairs as stated, and was caught by Mr. Bayard,
a stage carpenter, who at once tore up the sea cloth, a sheet of canvas used to
make waves, and wrapped it around her. He was much burned while doing this. The
young lady was removed to the hospital soon afterward.
Several girls leaped into the
street through the second story windows.
The scene in the rear of the
theatre, on Samson Street, was most piteous and agonizing in its character.
Half-dressed ballet girls ran up and down, and poor women, whose daughters took
part in the processions and show-scenes, were screaming their names amidst
confused sobbing, execration, and fear. Carriages and cabs were driven up and
down, and as each sufferer was placed upon the cushions and taken away, the
crowd pressed up and touched her sores. A number of petty taverns on Samson
Street were thrown open to the sufferers, and a few were so badly burned that
they have not since been removed. There was a great deal of delay before help
could be obtained; but after a time physicians and lotions were summoned. Some
of the burned were taken to the Pennsylvania Hospital, and others to their homes
in remote parts of the town.
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