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John Elbert Stout.

The Amaranth, or, Token of remembrance : a Christmas and New Year's gift for . online

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PUBLISHED BY LEAVITT & ALLEN.



ESTATE OF

JOSEPH H. CENTER,

JULY 1,4, 1903.






CONTENTS.



10 JCLIEF, 9

EDUCATED WOMEN, 11

FAITH'S VIGIL, ....... . • S7

THE MANGLING KOOM, . 29

THE WISH, 49

FOREST OF AKDEN, 51

THE JEWELLER'S DAUGHTER, 53

STANZAS, 95

THE VOYAGE OF THE FANCIES 97

OLIVIA, . . ' 100

THE STORY OF ANGELIQUE 102

THE WAYSIDE BROOK, 129

TO THE FRIEND OF MY HEART, . . . . . .131

A STROLL BY THE RIVER AMSTEL, 134

OLD CHRISTMAS, 148

CLOUD MUSINGS, 158

1* . (6)



6 CONTENTS.

DAY, . 157

LEICESTER ABBEY, 160

MRS. SMITH AND HER CODSIN FANNY, . .162

SCANDAL IN FAIRYLAND, . . .... 173

LIFE'S KOH-I-NOOR, 175

MR. JOHN CAMPBELL'S MISTAKES, 178

SONNET, 197

MIRANDA, 198

KAflE YALE'S MARRIAGE, 200

FAITH, . QIC

AN HOUR IN A DAGUERRIAN GALLEBY, . . . .211

CHRISTMAS THOUGHTS, 226

LOOK BEFORE THEE, . .928

THE IMAGE OF LOVE IN CLAY, 230

DESPAIR NOT, . . 960

TO MY BELOVED, . ....... «61

SOUTHAMPTON, 263

THE FATAL CORRESPONDENCE, . . . . . 265

SONNET, ...... 279

FAR FROM THE HUM OF MEN, 2*0



THE AMARANTH



■*wNA^v-^^W\>NA/s**-»^



TO JULIET.

jSy;EET lady, look not thus again ;

Thc^e bright, deluding smiles recall ;
A maid remembered now with pain.

Who was my love, my life, my all.

G, whUe this heart bewildered took
Sweet poison from her thrilling eye,

Thus would she smile, and lisp, and look
And I would hear, and gaze, and sigh.

Yes, I did love her — wildly love ;

She was her sex's best deceiver ;
And oft she swore she'd never rove ;

And I was destined to believe her.

(9)



10 TO JULIET.

Then, lady, do not wear the smile "

Of one whose smile could thus betray ;

Alas ! I think the lovely wile

Again could steal my heart away.

For, when those spells that charmed my mind
On lips so pure as thine I see,

I fear the heart which she resigned
Will err again and fly to thee.



EDUCATED WOMEN.



BY MRS ABDY.



Let not mj readers be alarmed at the title of my
paper. I am not going to advocate the claims of lady
colleges, on the one hand, or cookery schools, on the
other. I hold that education to be the best which not
only fits a woman for the station which she is hkely to
fill in the world, but which so strengthens her character
that, should fortune see fit to elevate her to a higher or
depress her to a lower station, she would still be able to
act in becoming accordance with its duties. Illustration
is often better than precept : I will therefore give a
short sketch of three married women of my acquaint-
ance who, in my opinion, admirably exemplify the effects
of a judicious education ; but, lest my readers should
surmise that I am about to inflict upon them the delin-
eation of paragons of perfection, I will tell them before-
hand that each of these exemplary persons possesses
one fault, which I am about to point out, with the hope

(11)



12 EDUCATED WOMEN.

that, in their case as well as in that of many others, it
may be not only confessed, but amended.

Lady Corwyn was the daughter of a quiet widow
with a moderate income, who was prevented, partly by
iU health and partly by an indolent disposition, from
introducing her daughter into general society. Sir
James Corwyn, however, a baronet with a fine country
seat and fifteen thousand a year, obtained an introduc-
tion to the secluded fair one at the house of one of her
relations, and a marriage took place. Twenty years
have elapsed since that event. Lady Corwyn is now
eight and thirty; and her country neighbors and her
London associates, her husband's friends, nay, even her
husband's family, those chartered critics of a wife's
sayings and doings, unite in praising the uniform pro-
priety of her conduct — propriety which does not array
itself in buckram, but which is evinced by the exquisite
good taste and ease with which every relaxation of life
is enjoyed, every social and domestic duty performed.
Sir James Corwyn and his family pass the spring in
London ; it is his wish that his wife should mingle with
the gay world ; and she does so cheerfuUy and wiUingly
She is no flirt ; yet men love to congregate around her
and to Hsten to her animated, sparkling anecdotes. She
is no flatterer ; yet women consult her in their millinery
dilemmas and girls eagerly seek her as a chaperon.



£L>UCATI£D WOMEN. 13

Eight months of the year, however, she passes at her
husband's country seat ; here she is the kind benefactress
of the poor and the wise and prudent manager of her
household. She keeps up an extensive circle of visiting
acquaintance ; but, as her habits ai-e very active, she
finds time for many other pursuits, fi*om the cultivation
of her mind to that of her flower garden, from playing
chess and singing duets with her husband to directing
the studies and shaiing the pastimes of her children.
She has a son, nineteen years of age, who is already
distinguished by his talent and excellence, and two
daughters, of fifteen and sixteen, who have not yet
" come out." When they do so it is predicted that they
will meet with excellent opportunities of marrying.
Girls brought up under the inspection of such a mother
may be safely trusted to make admirable wives.

Mrs. Stafford is about nine and twenty ; ten years ago
she married a verv rich merchant ; her tastes and habits
were expensive ; she enjoyed her splendid dresses and
elegant carriages. These inclinations, however, qualified
her but the more for the station she was called upon to
fill. Stafford valued wealth not for its own sake, but
for the sake of the luxuries that it procured ; and a wife
incapable of spending money would have been in his
opinion quite unworthy of possessing it. Yet Mrs.
Staffoid was no frivolous, thoughtless worldUng; two

2



14 EDUCATED WOMEN.

points she strenuously urged on her husband — to gire
liberally in charity from his abundance, and to abstain
from all speculative attempts to increase the fortune
which was already more than sufficient for every rea-
sonable want and wish. Staffi)rd was quite willing to
oblige his wife in the first particular. So long as she
did not require him to devote his time and thoughts to
the service of his distressed fellow-creatures she might
command checks on his banker for their use ; but the
second part of her counsel was more difficult to follow.
Stafford entered into a tempting speculation ; it failed,
embarrassments ensued, and, although he was enabled
to pay every body, he was reduced to the very unpleas-
ant necessity of — so runs the mercantile phrase —
" beginning hfe again." To " begin Ih^e again " is the
frequent aspiration of poets ; but it is very seldom de-
siderated by merchants, still less by merchants' wives.
Stafford felt the shock even more for his dear, indulged,
pampered wife than he did for himself; but he was
speedily comforted and encouraged by the mingled spirit
and sweetness with which she accommodated herself to
her new situation. She j)arted with her jewels, locked
up ter finery, and looked far prettier in a muslin dress
and straw bonnet than she had ever done in the most
elaborate Paris fashions. She managed her little house-
hold £0 well that it did not bear the appearance of



EDUCATED WOMEN. 15

having cost her any trouble to manage ; neither did she
make a point of abjuring recreations and amusements.
The well-chosen books arrayed in splendid bindings had
passed into other hands ; but cheap literature and a
subscription to a neighboring circulating library supplied
the deficiency. Balls and banquets were henceforth to
be unknown to her husband and herself; but the lecture
room, the concert room, and the social meeting at a
friend's house remained open to them. Carriages and
horses were extinct ; but IMrs. Stafford's step was more
Hght and the roses bloomed more freshly in her cheeks
since she had been what her commiserating friends de-
nominated "reduced to walkino;." No one said of Mrs
Stafford that she bore her altered circumstances well,
for she did not seem to consider them as troubles ; she
was just as smiling, happy, and pleasant as when en-
cumbered with a large house, a colony of servants, and
an income to match. She will not long, however, con-
tinue to live in a confined manner ; for I have just heard
of the death of a relation of Stafford's, who cut him out
of his will for marrying a fine lady, and put him in
again when his reverse of fortune discovered to his
friends that a fine lady may be a very earnest, simple,
loving woman. I beheve the money that Stafford will
inherit amounts to a laroje sum ; but no matter : I have
60 firm a trust in the consistency of ^Iis. Stafford that



16 EDUCATED WOMEN.

I should not fear for her even if it were discovered thai
her husband possessed a vested right in the largest gold
field in Austraha.

My third paragon, Mrs. Rushton, is the wife of a
country clergyman ; she is four and twenty years old
and much handsomer than my other two favorites — in
fact, she is a decided beauty ; and when, at the age of
eighteen, she was well introduced into the gay world by
an aunt, and known to be the independent possessor of
ten thousand pounds, no one can be surprised that her
conquests were many and extensive ; she was the belle
of the ball room, the goddess of tableaux vivans, the
heroine of acted charades ; verses were written to her,
sketches were made of her, and hearts and hands —
some of them very desirable ones — were proffered
to her acceptance. Her aunt was never easy but in
society, and certainly she rejoiced in a most complaisant
niece ; the young beauty was never tired, never low
spirited, never pale, never sleepy, never troubled with
the headache For three years she remained in a con-
stant vortex of amusement and dissipation, till at length
she made choice of one of her suitors ; and to the as-
tonishment of every body he proved to be a quiet coun-
try clergyman residing in a distant village on a small
living. Poor man ! I wonder that he ever found cour-
age to propose to her. How di^-ided he must have



EDUCATED WOMEN. 17

been between fear of being refused and fear of gaining
a very unsuitable wife for himself if he should be ac-
cepted ! Her aunt vehemently opposed her marriage ;
but, as she was of age, it was impossible to prevent it ;
and, as the income which her lover derived from his
living was somewhat more than she herself drew from
her ten thousand pounds, all threats held out of ultimate
starvation were of course to be regarded in a metaphor-
ical point of view. The beautiful bride entered on the
duties of a clergyman's wife not only with cheerfulness,
but with a tact and activity which surprised every one.
I could quite conceive that her fine sense and fine prin-
ciples would enable her to "quit the flaunting town"
without regret when she had once made up her mind to
do so. I could also well understand that, loving as she
did deeply and truly, the affection of one fond, faithful
heart would far outweigh all the triumphs and flatteries
of society ; but I cannot even now quite comprehend
how she became at once as if by intuition so versed in
her new pursuits that any body might suppose she had
been teachinsr schools and visitin;]^ cottagers all her life.
Mrs. Ru.shton has refused all offers from her husband to
take her occasionally to London or to a watering-place ;
the little village where her home is fixed may occupy a
very insignificant position in the map of England, but

to her it is a scene of perfect and unvarying happiness

9 »



18 EDUCATED WOMEN.

and the veriest dowdy who ever vegetated in seslusion
from childhood to womanhood could not make a more
quiet, contented, unassuming wife for a country pastor
than does the darling of society, the flattered ball-room
beauty.

The three ladies whose characters I have endeavored
to sketch are of different ages and move in different
circles. They do not know each other — nay, as far as
I am aware, they have never even heard of each other ;
and yet they each have precisely the same fault in pre-
cisely the same degree. But before I mention it I
must trespass on the patience of my readers for a shoi-t
time while I delineate to them yet one other person.

There is a neat, trim row of houses in Brompton,
bearing that peculiar air which denotes that they are let
out in lodgings. In one of them the parlor and bed
room on the ground floor are occupied by an elderly
lady named Allen ; she is thoroughly the gentlewoman
in manner and appearance ; and the beautiful drawings
and tasteful pieces of needlework which form the prin-
cipal ornament of her little parlor have owed their ex-
istence to her own skilful and active hand. I cannot
say that I consider JNIrs. Allen a very happy person ; it
is far from being my habit to estimate felicity in refer-
ence to pounds, shillings, and pence ; but a certain
roominess of income — to use the expression of an old*



EDUCATED WOMEN. 19

fashioned friend of mine — is, in my opinion, quite ne
cessary for comfort ; and this it is not Mrs. Allen's lol
to enjoy. Her table, dress, and apartments, although
managed with the strictest economy, merge nearly the
whole of her moderate life annuity ; and she has nothing
to spare from it for the httle indulgences of life. She
is of a social temper and has great powers of conversa-
tion ; but she pays and receives very few visits. She
has outlived her relations; some of her friends have
forgotten her, others live at a distance from her ; and
she cannot make new acquaintance, since visiting is
expensive even when carried on in the most moderate
way. Mrs. Allen loves the country; and she is fre-
quently haunted with images of breezy hills, flowery
valleys, and umbrageous woods ; but she rents her little
lodging by the year for the sake of economy, and she
cannot afford an excursion from thence ; so she reads
Our Village and Summer Time in the Country, fills her
pretty painted flower jars with moss roses purchased
from street venders, and tries to forget that there was
once a time when she enjoyed " free Nature's grace "
without restriction. iRIrs. Allen has another di-awback
upon happiness; her health is failing; she can only
walk to a very short distance from home, and carriage
hire is out of the question. She has lately suffered
under a severe attack of illness; and her landlady



20 EDUCATED WOMEN.

earnestly persuaded her to have recourse to medical
assistance. She resolutely refused ; and the landlady
expatiated long and fluently to her next " caller in" on
Mrs. Allen's " unaccountable dislike to doctors." But
Mrs. Allen has no dislike to doctors ; she only dislikes
the expense of them.

When I have said that I do not consider Mrs. Allen
happy, let me not be understood to infer that she ever
complains of her lot in life. No ; on the contrary, she
often expresses her gratitude to Providence that she
has been able by her unassisted efforts to accumulate a
suflBcient sum to place her in independence for the rest
of her days, giving her sufficient to satisfy the wants of
nature and allowing her abundant leisure to prepare her
mind for a future world.

Mrs. Allen's story is very short and very common-
place. Higlily educated and slenderly dowered, she
became the wife of a man of reputed wealth ; she en-
joyed every luxury for several years, when the sudden
death of her husband discovered that his affairs were in
so involved a state that nothing could be saved from
the wreck of them for the use of his widow.

Mrs. Allen now deemed it advisable to avail herself
of her talents and accomplishments as a means of sup-
port, and became a governess. Perhaps few govern-
esses had ever less to complain of than she had ; her



EDUCATED WOMEN. 21

superior abilities insured her a good salary, and she
was extremely fortunate in entering families who treat-
ed her with kindness and consideration ; while her pu-
pils, generally speaking, were amiable and intelligent
and did credit to the excellent instructions which they
received from her. Thirty years did Mrs. AUen pursue
this way of life, regularly laying by as much of her
yearly stipend as she could consistently save after mak-
ing the appearance expected from a weU-salaried gov-
erness. At the conclusion of that period, when her
health and spirits both gave symptoms of failing, she
was truly grateful to find that it was in her power to
purchase a small life annuity which, managed with fru-
gality, would procure her the means of living without
future labor. Mrs. Allen had not very frequently
changed her situations ; but of course in thirty years
occasional transits were unavoidable; and among her
pupils at different periods were numbered the three
ladies whom I have described as doing so much honor
to the education bestowed on them. Lady Corwyn,
Mrs. Stafford, and Mrs, Eushton were each under her
care for some years. Now have I come to the moral
for which I have been endeavoring to prepare my
readers. Why has IMrs. Allen so completely passed
from the remembrance of the pupils who owe so much



22 EDUCATED WOMEN.

to lier ? Why do they not feel that it is equally a du^y
and a pleasure to keep up frequent intercourse with
her, to invite her to their houses, and to introduce her
to the husbands who have such cause to be thankful to
her for having trained up for them such admirable
wives ? What would Lady Corwyn have been if left
to the sole direction of a sickly, indolent mother ? ]Mrs.
Stafford, as an orphan under the care of a stately guai*-
dian with a silly wife, would have had still fewer ad-
vantages of moral training ; and IVIrs. Rushton, if her
worldly, trifling aunt had been her sole preceptress,
would probably have never been any thing but worldly
and trifling herself. Were you to talk to these ladies
on the subject of their education, I am persuaded that
not one of them would deny that they were under the
greatest obhgations to Mrs. Allen ; were you to tell
them that she was suffering from poverty, they would
assist her readily and abundantly ; were you to apprise
them that she was a candidate for admission into any
charitable institution, they would write letters, pay
morning visits, work for a fancy fair, or adopt any other
mode which might be suggested to them as being most
likely to be beneficial to her. Why, then, do they not
seek her as a companion and guest ? How many com-
forts and indulgences might they be the means of be-



EDUCATED WOMEN. 23

Stowing upon her, without causing any humiliation to
her independent spiiit ! How many happy hours might
she enjoy in the beautiful pai'k and pleasure grounds of
Lady Corwyn ! How might IMrs. Stafford have made
her the occasional sharer of her prosperity, and have
been rewarded by finding in her one of her few firm,
unshrinking friends in the season of adversity ! How
might Mrs. Rushton delight to welcome to her peaceful
retirement the governess who implanted in her mind the
excellent principles which qualified her to enjoy and to
adorn it I I have frequently heard married women
describe the pleasure they feel in renewing their ac-
quaintance with those whom they have known in early
girlhood, because they could retrace with them innu-
merable Httle incidents, scenes, and dialogues interesting
to themselves, although dull and trivial to an indifferent
person. Surely none can be so well quahfied to share
in such pleasant reminiscences as the governess, who
was not only an occasional visitor, but the actual inmate
of the house of her young charge during the dehghtful
season of life's fresh spring. And yet, among the most
amiable of women, how constantly do we see that the
governess is suffered to pass into entire obHvion from
the time she ceases to reside with them ! Possibly in
some cases a few letters may be exchanged; but the



24 EDUCATED WOMEN.

languid correspondence soon comes to a close; her
nam-s is never mentioned, and her very existence is
forgotten.

Is not this wrong, unfeeling, ungrateful f Yes ; the
right word has come forth at last — I will not gloss it
over.

Ingratitude is the one fault of my three fair friends,
and of many other equally esteemed members of socie-
ty. It is a harsh word ; it is a heavy accusation ; there
are few, even among the most humble minded, who
could be induced to plead guilty to it. And yet what is
the definition of higratitude ? Is it not the want of a
due sense of the benefits that we have received from
others ? And how great are the benefits that a pupil
receives from a thoroughly conscientious governess, who
is not content with imparting showy accomplishments
nor even solid mformation to her, but who carefully
guards her young mind from evil, and instils into it the
great truths of religion ! Gratitude should be shown
through life to such a preceptress ; and the expression
of it ought to be considered as an enjoyment and a priv-
ilege. Her married pupils, in particular, should dehght
to welcome her to their domestic fireside, to make her
intimately acquainted with 'the failings and the excel-
leoces of their children, and to listen with pleasure



EDUCATED AYOMEN. 25

while she recounts to those children anecdotes of the
youthful days of their dear mother. Is there any rea-
son why such an intercourse should not be of frequent
occurrence, with mutual comfort and advantage to each
pai'ty ? No ; it is not even attempted to give any rea-
son why it should not be so. Such an intimacy is never
sought for because it is never thought of; and I am
inclined to beheve that want of thought more than want
of real principle and kindness is the source of the error
that I deplore. But the governess has deep feelings,
warm sympathies, strong affections ; the nature of her
emplojTuent in life has alienated her from the society
of her own family ; she has given all her earnest inter-
est to strangers ; she has sat with them by the winter
hearth, joined them in the summer walk, heard their
troubles, shared their joys, partaken their prayers. She
has won their friendly confidence ; is it to be withdrawn
from her the moment she quits them ? She has quali-
fied them to bless and be blessed in their progress
through life ; is she to be deprived of the gratification
of seeing how it has pleased Providence to prosper the
good seed which she has sown? No — no; let her
lonely home be gladdened, let her sinking heart be
cheered, by the renewal of ties so long dissevered ; let
her hear the sound of well-known voices, and gaze on

3



26 EDUCATED WOMEN.

the smile of familiar faces ; let the husbands of her
pupUs delight to honor her, and their young children
welcome her with caresses ; and then, and not till then,
shall I say that the blot on our national character is
removed, and that England has reason to be proud of
lier " educated women,**



FAITH'S VIGIL.



BY CHARLES H. HITCHINGS.



It is said that the spirits who haunt lakes and streams very fre-
quently entice children away with them, and bring them back, after
a lapse of years, not as they were when stolen, but always more
beautiful and with rich and valuable gifts. The following song was
suggested by this legend.

MOTHER, ask me now no more
Why night by night I stray

To where the darkling waters bore
My brother dear away.

1 know that, free from guilt and pain,

He sleeps beneath the river ;
But we shall see him once again
More beautiful than ever.

I know the spirits pure and mild
That peer with angel faces

(27)



28 faith's vigil.

To lure away the little child
To holier, happier places ;

And these my brother dear have ta*en
Adown the darkling river ;

But we shall see him once again
More beautiful than ever.

We shall not see him, as of old,

A weakUng human creature,
But gifted with a crown of gold —

A high, angehc nature.
Then say not that my watch is vain


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Online LibraryJohn Elbert StoutThe Amaranth, or, Token of remembrance : a Christmas and New Year's gift for . → online text (page 1 of 14)