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leet begin to move in unison with the lively tune, as if she were loath that music should be wasted without a dance.
But where would Annie find a partner? Some have the gcut in their toes, or the rheumatism in their joints; some are stiff with age; some feeble with disease; some are so lean that their hones would rattle, and others of such ponderous size that their agility would crack the flagstones; but many, many have leaden feet, because their hearts are far heavier than lead. It is a sarl thougint that I have chanced upon. What a company of dancers should we be! For I, too, am a gentleman of sober footsteps, and therefore, little Annie, let us walk sedately on.
Oh, my stars! Is this a toyshop, or is it fairy-land? For here are gilded chariots, in which the king and the queen of the fairies might ride side by side, while their courtiers, on these small horses, should gallop in triumphal procession before and behind the royal pair. ... Betwixt the king and the queen should sit my little Annie, the prettiest fairy of them all. Here we may review a whole army of horse and foot, in red and blue uniforms, with drums, fifes, trumpets, and all kinds of noiseless music; they have halted on the shelf of this window, after their weary march from Liliput. But what cares Annie for soldiers ?
Here we see something to remind us of the town-crier, and his ding-dong bell! Look! look at that great cloth spread out in the air, pictured all over with wild beasts, as if they had met together to choose a king, according to their custom in the days of Æsop. But they are choosing neither a king nor a president; else we should hear a most horrible snarling!
As we enter among them, the great elephant makes us a bow, in the best style of elephantine courtesy, bending lowly down his mountain bulk, with trunk abased, and leg thrust out behind. Annie returns the salute, much to the gratification of the ele. phant, who is certainly the best-bred monster in the caravan. The lion and the lioness are busy with two beef-bones. The royal tiger, the beautiful, the untamable, keeps pacing his narrow cage with a haughty step, unmindful of the spectators, or recalling the tierce deeds of his former life, when he was wont to leap forth spon such inferior animals, from the jungles of Bengal.
Here we see the very same wolf-do not go near him, Annie!-the selfsame wolf that devoured little Red Riding Hood, and her grandmother. In the next cage, a hyena from Egypt, who has doubtless howled around the pyramids, and a black bear from our own forests, are fellow-prisoners, and most excellent friends. Are there any two living creatures who have so few sympathies that they cannot possibly be friends ?
But, oh, those unsentimental monkeys! the ugly, grinning, aping, chattering, ill-natured, mischievous, and queer little brutes. Annie does not love the monkeys. Their ugliness shocks her pure, instinctive delicacy of taste, and makes her mind unquiet, because it bears a wild and dark resemblance to humanity.
But here is a little pony, just big enough for Annie to ride, and round and round he gallops in a circle, keeping time with his trampling hoofs to a band of music. And here—with a laced coat and a cocked hat, and a riding-whip in his hand-here comes a little gentleman, small enough to be king of the fairies, and ugly enough to be king of the gnomes, and takes a flying leap into the saddle. Merrily, merrily plays the music, and merrily gallops the pony, and merrily rides the little old gentleman Come, Annie, intc he street again; perchance we may see mon keys on horseback there!
Strayed from her home, a LITTLE GIRL, of five years old, in a blue silk frock and white pantalets, with brown curling hair and hazel eyes. Whoever will bring her back to her afflicted mother—"
Stop, stop, town-crier! The lost is found. O, mny pretty Annie, we forgot to tell your mother of our ramble, and she is in despair, and has sent the town-crier to bellow up and down the streets, affrighting old and young, for the loss of the little girl who has not once let go my hand! Well, let us hasten homeward; and as we go, forget not to thank Heaven, my Annie, that, after wandering a little way into the world, you may return at the first summons, with an untainted and unwearied heart, and be a happy hild again.
Hawthorne's next publication was The Journal of an Afri. ran Cruiser, a work prepared from the MS. of his friend and college companion, Horatio Bridge, of the United States Navy. About this time our author took up his residence in Concord, occupying the Old Manse, wherein he indited two volumes of characteristic and charming stories, which he called Mosses from an Old Manse.
"In description, narration, allegory, humor, reason, fancy, fubtilty, inventiveness, they exceed the best productions of Addison, but they want Addison's sensuous contentment and sweet and kindly spirit.”*/ As an example of this fancy and subtilty, and perhaps allegory too, we subjoin an extract from
In the latter part of the last century there lived a man of science, an eminent proficient in every branch of natural philosophy, who not long before our story opens had made experience of a spiritual affinity more attractive than any chemical one. He had left his laboratory to the care of an assistant, cleared his fine countenance from the furnace smoke, washed the stain of acids from his fingers, and persuaded a beautiful woman to become his wife.
One day, very soon after their marriage, Aylmer sat gazing at his wife with a trouble in his countenance that grew stronger until he spoke.
“Georgiana,” said he, “has it never occurred to you that the mark upon your cheek might be removed ?”
“No, indeed,” said she, smiling; but perceiving the seriousness of his manners, she blushed deeply. “To tell you the truth, it has been so often called a charm that I was simple enough to imagine it might be so.”
' Ah, upon another face perhaps it might,” replied her husband; "but never on yours. No, dearest Georgiana, you came so nearly perfect from the hand of Nature that this slightest possible defect, which we hesitate whether to term a defect or a beauty, shocks me as being the visible mark of earthly imperfec tion."
* Atlantic Monthly, 1860.
Shocks you, my husband !” cried Georgiana, deeply hurt; ai first reddening with momentary anger, but then bursting into tears. “Then why did you take me from my mother's side ? You cannot love what shocks you!”
To explain this conversation, it must be mentioned that in the centre of Georgiana's left cheek there was a singular mark, deeply interwoven, as it were, with the texture and substance of her face. Its shape bore not a little similarity to the human hand, though of the smallest pygmy-size.
[NOTE.—As a consequence of the foregoing conversation there followed an agreement between husband and wife for removing the birthmark. After several fruitless efforts upon Aylmer's part to concoct a chemical potent enough for the purpose, he at length obtains it and applies it, with what result the following passage will show.]
The sound of her husband's footsteps aroused her. He bore a crystal goblet containing a liquor colorless as water, but bright enough to be the draught of immortality.
“The concoction of the draught has been perfect,” said he, in answer to Georgiana's look. “Unless all my science have deceived me, it cannot fail.”
“Save on your account, my dearest Aylmer," observed his wife, "I might wish to put off this birthmark of mortality by relinquishing mortality itself in preference to any other mode. Life is but a sad possession to those who have obtained precisely the degree of moral advancement at which I stand. Were I weaker and blinder, it might be happiness. Were I stronger, it might be endured hopefully. But, being what I find myself, methinks I am of all mortals the most fit to die.”
“You are fit for heaven without tasting death !" replied her husband. “But why do we speak of dying? The draught cannot fail. Behold its effects upon this plant.”
On the window seat there stood a geranium diseased with yel. low blotches which had overspread all its leaves. Aylmer poured a small quantity of the liquid upon the soil in wnich it grew. In a little time, when the roots of the plant had taken up the moisture, the unsightly blotches began to be extinguished in a living verdure. “There needed no proof,” said Georgiana, quietly.
Give me the goblet. I joyfully stake all upon your word.”
Drink, then, thou lofty creature !” exclaimed Aylmer, with
fervid admiration. “There is no taint of imperfection on thy spirit. Thy sensible frame, too, shall soon be all perfect.'
She quafted the liquid and returned the goblet to his hand.
“It is grateful,” said she, with a placid smile. “Methinks it is like water from a heavenly fountain; for it contains I know not what of unobtrusive fragrance and deliciousness. It allays a feverish thirst that had parched me for many days. Now, dearest, let me sleep. My earthly senses are closing over my spirit like the leaves around the heart of a rose at sunset.”
She spoke the last words with a gentle reluctance, as if it required almost more energy than she could command to pronounce the faint and lingering syllables. Scarcely had they loitered through her lips, ere she was lost in slumber. Aylmer sat by her side, watching her aspect with emotions proper to a man the whole value of whose existence was involved in the process now to be tested.
Not the minutest symptom escaped him. A heightened flush of the cheek, a slight irregularity of the breath, a quiver of the eyelid, a hardly perceptible tremor through the frame, such were the details which, as the moments passed, he wrote down in his folio volume. Intense thought had set its stamp upon every previous page of that volume; but the thoughts of years were all concentrated upon the last.
While thus employed, he failed not to gaze often at the fatal hand, and not without a shudder. Yet once, by a strange and unaccountable impulse, he pressed it with his lips. His spirit recoiled, however, in the very act; and Georgiana, out of the midst of her deep sleep, moved uneasily and murmured as if in remonstrance.
Again Aylmer resumed his watch. Nor was it without avail. The crimson hand, which at first had been strongly visible upon the marble paleness of Georgiana's cheek, now grew more faintly outlined. She remained not less pale than ever; but the birthmark, with every breath that came and went, lost somewhat of itö former distinctness. Its presence had been awful; its departuro was more awful still. Watch the stain of the rainbow fading out of the sky, and you will know how that mysterious symbol passed away.
“By Heaven! it is well nigh gone!” said Aylmer to himself in almost irrepressible ecstasy. “I can scarcely trace it now. Success! success! And now it is like the faintest rose color.