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saloon at the side of the bar. There which the croupier stands, a large vessel were a dozen such in the outskirts of with a slender neck before him, susthe town, Charley said, varying in pended on two uprights, so that he can character from respectable to rowdy, turn it over. At each revolution one ball supported mainly by Germans and comes outof the neck, marked with a numSwedes, but much frequented by all ber, which he calls out. Cards are disnations.

tributed to the players, on each of which From the beer garden we proceeded are printed several rows of numbers, to the principal gambling house, in the each row containing an equal number of middle of the town, through dark rough compartments. The player who has the streets, where huge stores and shanties number called out by the croupier, acalternated. Charley entertained us with knowledges it, and marks it off on his anecdotes of the ventures in cattle, card, and the first player who fills up minerals, and more questionable specu one of his rows sweeps the board. The lations, by which the owners of the stake is the same for every player, but former editices had made their pile. I otherwise unlimited. After our lesson must own to considerable disappoint we loitered for some time in hopes of ment in this Western experience. The seeing a table formed, but the players house which we entered was a roomy dropped in so slowly that we dingy place, with a long bar on the obliged to leave before the game had ground floor, at which we drank sherry begun. On our way back to the Chamcobblers, savouring strongly of corn paign, our guide argued the question of whiskey, at the expense of our guide, the advantage of kino to the town. He who insisted on franking us everywhere. was decidedly in favour of it, on the Then we adjourned to the first floor, a ground that it was the means of retainlarge room, badly lighted, with a long ing in Sioux city considerable sums table at one end, and smaller ones which would otherwise pass through to scattered about. At one of the latter the east. As it was, United States' officers sat a party playing at poker, but as stationed to the west, and prosperous quiet as an afternoon whist party at the farmers, flocked in to Sioux city, and Athenæum or Travellers'. If the players found so many facilities for getting rid had bowie knives down their backs, and of superfluous dollars that they had little revolvers in their pockets, no external inducement to press through to the older sign or gesture betrayed the fact; and settlements. neither amongst the poker players, nor at We found a snug party on board when the bar, could I detect any specimen of we got back, enjoying the potentate's the border ruffian, or digger—not even hospitality, discoursing on the present a man who would pass muster as prospects of their town and neighbournessee's pardner.” Kino had not begun hood, and of the former wild times when yet, and we must have gone away dis- Judge Lynch had borne sway. A ghastly appointed but for the courtesy of the story of one of the last summary execumanager of the place, an intimate of tions must suffice as a specimen. A Charley's, who volunteered to show us notorious and desperate character had the game. He was a well-dressed, well been taken red-handed, who confessed spoken German, perfectly self-possessed, to several murders, and any number of and without a trace, so far as I could minor offences, such as horse-stealing. see, of any lurking doubt as to his occu When led out to be hung, with his arms pation. Certainly, for the croupier, kino pinioned to his sides, so that he could is the gambling game which must sit only just reach his mouth to remove least heavily on the conscience. The the cigar he was smoking with perfect table does not stake against the players, coolness, he was asked whether he had but simply takes a percentage on each any last wishes--if anything could be pool. It is also, apparently, a perfectly done for him? He replied that the only fair game for the players. These sit thing they could do for him was to take round the long table, at the centre of off his boots. This was accordingly done,

66 Ten

and having finished his cigar, be said: “ Thar, my old mother always told me I should die in my boots, and I wanted to show the old gal that she lied ;” and so went to his account. It was getting towards midnight, an unusually late hour for the West, before our last guest took his leave, and we turned in.

Charley could not have spent much time in bed after he left us, for, true to a voluntary promise on his part, just as our engine was getting up steam at day light, a boy came running down the line with a damp sheet of the Sioux City Times from the printing-press. The following paragraph occupied a prominent place in the first page :

Distinguished Arrival.— Yesterday afternoon there arrived by special train a party consisting of the president, vicepresident, and New York manager of one of our largest Western lines; also of three English gentlemen who are on a mingled tour of pleasure and observation in our country. Several prominent citizens visited the distinguished excursionists last evening. The president and his associates are apparently pleased with the country between here and Fort Dodge, and speak unreservedly of future business and greatness that is prospectfully in store for us. The party leave (sic) at an early hour this A.m. for Council Bluffs and Omaha.” T. HUGHES.

SWEET SEVENTEEN.

I KNEW a maid ; her form and face

Were lily-slender, lily-fair;
Hers was a wild unconscious grace,

A ruddy-golden crown of hair.
Thro' those child-eyes unchecked, unshamed,

The happy thoughts transparent flew;
Yet some pathetic touch had tamed

To gentler grey their Irish blue.
So from her oak a Dryad leant

To look with wondering glance and gay
Where Jove, uncrowned and kingly, went

With Maia down the woodland way.
Their glory lit the amorous air,

The golden touched the Olympian head,
But Zephyr o'er Cyllene bare

That secret the immortals said.
The nymph they saw not, passing nigh;

She melted in her leafy screen;
But from the boughs that seemed to sigh

dewdrop trembled on the green.
That nymph the oak for aye must hold;

The girl has life and hope, and she
Shall hear one day the secret told,

And roam herself in Arcady.
I see her still; her cheeks aglow,

Her gaze upon the future bent-
As one who through the world will go

Beloved, bewitching, innocent.

385

ALFRED DE MUSSET.1

He was

On the 25th of September, in the year que l'on quitte avec les habits de deuil. 1827, in a dismal French chateau, the J'aime mieux que mes os soient jetés au gloom of which was increased by the vent: toutes ces larmes feintes ou trop presence of death—forlorn and haggard, promptement taries ne sont qu'une aflistless and desponding, a young man of freuse dérision.” He was disgusted and seventeen sat writing to a friend.

weary ; he thought life was worth noThis young man, whose letter was thing, and that he would gladly get out the expression of piercing and bitter of it if there were not the process of thought, had just achieved the high- dying to go through, and the idea of est honours attainable at the Collége the subsequent ceremonials of ostensible d'Henri Quatre, and was supposed to affliction among his relations to confront. have a brilliant future opening before The companion of his gloom was an him. It was the poet Alfred de Mus uncle who was remarkable for his good set. His intellect was prematurely common sense, for his erudition, and developed. It was easy to him to take for his general respectability. He could the front place; he was already acknow not be expected to form the faintest idea ledged as a genius, and his published of his nephew's mental attributes : he poetry had made a sensation.

wondered at his tastes, while he was miserable—not with the sharp affliction gratified by his success.

He was conof one who has lost what is dear to him, tinually extinguishing his fires with but with an oppressed sense of the wet blankets. When the young Alfred narrow limits of humanity, of the pain- talked with enthusiasm of a drama ful details attending the end of life, of which had struck his imagination, or of the pitiful conventions of mourning, a verse which rang in his ear, he would and of the want of a real passionate reply—“Est-ce que tu n'aimes pas emotion,

mieux lire tout cela dans quelque bon He had been summoned from his Col historien ? C'est toujours plus vrai et lege in the hour of success, with a festive plus exact.”—The poet felt himself anholiday in view, to the old chateau, other Hamlet with another Polonius, where his grandmother had died sud and longed for sympathetic intercourse denly. A fortnight before he had left with Hamlet's creator. her in health, and chatting, in her easy “Je donnerais vingt-cinq francs pour chair, with her French vivacity. Now avoir une pièce de Shakespeare ici en a heap of earth covered her remains, and anglais." the contrast struck him with dismay. It was not to be had. The desire for With the instinct of the poet, which the unattainable was the poet's habit assimilates all the phases of human of mind. If he could have called up experience, he saw himself dead and Shakespeare from the dead, he would shrouded. His spirit rose against the probably have turned away from him assumed grief, the tragic mask which he after the first greeting; or if his favourite saw put on before him. “Voilà," he tragedy in English had suddenly tumwrote, “le sort qui m'attend, qui nous bled down from a bookshelf close at attend tous ! Je ne veux point de ces hand, he would most likely have flung regrets de commande, de cette douleur it from him after the first hasty rush

through its leaves. He had nothing i “Euvres Posthumes.” Paris, 1867. that he cared to read, he thought he No. 149.-TOL. XXV.

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should like to write, but the thought The regret which is felt in the consoon wearied him.

templation of a bright genius degraded, “Je me sens par moments une envie leads us sometimes to wonder sadly de prendre la plume et de salir une ou whether a mother, strong enough to deux feuilles de papier, mais la première understand and tender enough to perdifficulté me rebute et un souverain suade such a nature, would have a verted dégoût me fait étendre les bras et fermer his fate, or whether, if he had met with les yeux.

a true friend capable of exercising a Other fancies came across him. maternal influence, of appreciating the

“ J'ai besoin de voir une femme, j'ai impulses of his genius and forgiving besoin d'aimer : j'aimerais ma cousine, its eccentricities, he might not have requi est vieille et laide, si elle n'était pas linquished much evil, and have assimiéconome et pédante.”

lated much good, calmed and sustained The misery of Alfred de Musset's life by such a sympathy; but there is an was not wholly due to its outward circum- obvious reply to the suggestion. The stances, but to the peculiarities of his poet was not prompted to seek an affectemperament and to his wayward dispo- tion of this nature, and the fatal passion sition. He was not a hard, evil-minded which dominated his life was taken to man like Lord Byron, nor a wild theorist his heart with a distinct foreshadowing like Shelley; he knew how to love of what its consequences might be : he virtue and to hate iniquity, but he did was very young, only twenty-three, but not know how to conquer an impulse or he went to the banquet with the warnto subdue a passion. He gave way to ing of poison in its fruits. Rapture and himself. After the wrong, came the agony, convulsion and swoon, seemed repentance. He was unable to bear the the necessity of his life ; and if the suffering of that state, and flew to ab- Cleopatra who enslaved him had not sinthe and dissipation to get rid of it. existed, some other shining and evil

He alternated between sublime aspi- star would still have risen to shape his ration and disappointment, disgust and destiny. His intellectual force was not debauch ; and, starting in life with every equal to his creative genius. His commaterial advantage-good family, good positions were sudden impulses which prospects, and brilliant genius-he died forced themselves upon him, and he a premature old man, broken down and wrote some of his most beautiful poems miserable, at the age of forty-seven. in fits of anguish; his work was followed The indications of such a development by long periods of prostration. He was are strongly marked in the letter from incapable of a sustained effort ; but he which we have quoted. At the early was not easily satisfied with what he age of seventeen the characteristics of the did, and reconsidered and finished his poet show themselves as he writes to his pieces with so much care, that they intimate friend : the unsatisfied desire are justly esteemed as models of workand the fine perception, the despondency, manship. The dialogue of his comedies the satire, the weakness, the despair. is brilliant, and so delicate and subtle in

"Tu es la seule chose," he says to his its play, so piercing in its satire, that it friend, “ qui me réveille de mon néant is a matter of high ambition to the et qui me reporte vers un idéal que j'ai artists of the Comédie Française to oublié par impuissance. Je n'ai plus le deliver it with perfect precision, and to courage de rien penser. Si je me trou give full value to every syllable. None vais dans ce moment-ci à Paris, j'étein- of De Musset's comedies are long, but all drais ce qui me reste d'un peu noble contain a great deal of matter; his wit dans le punch et la bière, et je me sen is less obvious and more keen than tirais soulagé. On endort bien un malade Molière's ; he has less fun and sharper avec de l'opium ; quoiqu'on sache que satire; he does not hit so hard, but he le sommeil lui doive être mortel. J'en wounds more deeply. His types of agirais de même avec mon âme."

character are original ; his perceptions

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of the ridiculous are exquisite, and the of an hour she reappeared in a dressingsense of beauty is never absent from his gown and night-cap, with a handkerstyle, even in his lightest touches. In chief over her ears, looking, according all his prose there is poetry. To the to Alfred de Musset, as beautiful as an student he is known as a poet; to the angel (but the angels are not handsome world at large, through the medium of if Rachel was a type of them), and the stage, as a dramatist.

carrying a dish which contained three Among his Euvres Posthumes, which beefsteaks, the cooking of which she had make a small volume, there is a dra- personally superintended. She set down matic fragment, called “Faustine," of this dish in the middle of the table, great force and interest.

The scene

said, “ Régalez-vous !” and returned to is laid at Venice, and the Venetian the kitchen, whence she again emerged atmosphere surrounds the reader. The with a soup-tureen full of hot soup, and passion is worked up to a high a saucepan full of spinach. This conpitch, when the drama suddenly stops. stituted the supper.

There were no The same volume contains a complete plates and spoons ;

the bonne comedy, called “L'Ane et le Ruisseau, having taken away the keys. Rachel which is clever and graceful, and

graceful, and opened the sideboard, and there finding some poems and letters, from the a salad-bowl with a salad in it ready earliest of which we have already dressed, she took the wooden spoon

that quoted. The letters are distinguished stood in the midst, and began to eat apart by grace and ease of language; they are from the rest. “Oh, dear!” said her sometimes epigrammatic, and sometimes mother, who was hungry, “I know, my playful ; they are never artificial; they child, that there are some pewter plates are generally sad. The most humorous in the kitchen !” Upon which Rachel among them describes a singular supper again disappeared, and returned with at the house of the famous Mdlle. Rachel, the pewter plates, which she distributed a description which the poet valued, and to her guests. which he requested his correspondent “My dear,” said her mother, “these to keep, in order that the record of so beefsteaks are overdone." strange an evening should some day be They are," replied Rachel. “In made known. The entertainment took the days when I kept house for you

I place after a representation of " Tan used to cook better; so you see I have crède,” in the fifth act of which Rachel lost one talent to gain another. But, had obtained showers of tears from her Sarah,” she continued, addressing her audience, and had herself wept with such sister, “what is the matter—you are strong emotion as to make her doubt not eating?" whether she could continue her per Sarah replied, “I don't choose to eat formance. Afterwards, as she walked off pewter plates." down the arcades of the Palais Royal, “That, Í presume," replied Rachel, with a company of artists, actresses, and “ is because I have bought out of my singers, she fell in with the young poet, savings a dozen silver plates. Soon you and invited him to join them. They will require one servant in front of your all adjourned to her house, where her chair and another behind it." Then, mother and sister were established; and addressing Alfred de Musset, she said, they looked forward to a festive supper. “Just fancy-when I was acting at But Rachel discovered that she had left the Théâtre Molière, I possessed only her bracelets and rings at the theatre ; two pair of stockings, and every mornshe sent her maid-servant, whom she ingcalled her bonne, to fetch them. This Now Sarah interrupted her, and bebonne being absent, there was no ser gan to chatter German to put an end to vant left to prepare the supper. But her sister's confessions; but Rachel went presently Rachel left the room to change on resolutely “No German here! I her dress, and in the space of a quarter am not ashamed of what I say. I

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