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tions: What was my age? what animal I loved best? and what was my favorite flower?' I shall never forget the impression conveyed by that deep voice as she spoke, in low, whispering words, rapid and monotonous, the decrees of fate which stood revealed in the painted pictures she fingered with such marvelous dexterity. Spare me, gentle reader, the task of unveiling here what that wondrous sibyl did then and there unfold touching my future destinies; it can but little boot thee. Yet it was a cunning web, woven by no unskillful brain, no hesitating tongue-the usual checkered ways of light and shadow. Much has already come to pass."
When she first became sick I was away at school. They sent for me, and I arrived just in time to see her die. When I went into the room where she was, she raised herself in bed, and put her arms about me. Gradually her embrace became relaxed, and some one whispered in my ear, "Come away, Nat." I disengaged myself from her arms, and as I did so, she sank slowly back upon the pillows. I heard my father sob, and then there ensued a painful stillness. I looked into my mother's face, and I saw that her eyes were glassy, and a tear rested upon each cheek. She was dead.
We shall not trouble the reader with any more about Mademoiselle le Normand. He has now got a tolerably full sketch of this famous devineresse, whose boast it was that emperors and empresses, kings, queens, and high-born nobles, had stood trembling before her, and had listened with believing awe to her Delphic revelations. She ever professed to place implicit faith in her own power of reading the decrees of fate, and may really, as Scott describes Meg Merrilies to have done, have come in the end to impose upon herself; but the contrary is more probable. The writer quoted spoke to her of the grand jeu, the cards for which "were ragged and worn by frequent use, until some of the figures were well-nigh oblit-flower-vase used to stand; but the beds erated. She told me with much mild- looked as though they were not to be slept ness, and with a degree of conviction upon, and the chairs seemed to stand so which, if not real, was certainly admirably stiff and formally, that I would rather have counterfeited—that this was the pack put myself to any inconvenience than from which was drawn the measure of have moved one of them out of its place. men's lives; but added, it was a fearful I was half afraid of—I knew not what; and search-that she never pressed it, but the felt really glad when I was once covered 'consultants' were ever eager to solve head and ears in one of the dreary-looking that one dread problem, either for them- beds. The moon shone in at the window, selves or for others near and dear. She and silvered the tops of the cedar-trees said she advised me not to try; they had outside. I soon fell asleep. already been shaken but a short time since, and told me that the extra charge was fifty francs."
That night I slept in the room that used to be Nettie's and mine. How changed it was in appearance. It looked as though no one had slept there for years. The same beds were there, the same chairs and carpet, and the same little table where the
Out on the bluff there was an old, rough seat-a plank between two of the cedartrees. While Nettie lived, mother used to take us out there in the evenings, and I remember how we all admired the long line of shimmering moonlight upon the river, and mother told us that some one had called it "the angels' pathway." I did not exactly understand what was meant by heaven and angels then; but when I had become a little older I did, and I thought that the man who called that moonlight on the water "the angels' pathway," must
Yes! the "francs" were the true grand jeu to Mademoiselle le Normand. If we visit Paris soon, we shall certainly call on her successor, Mademoiselle Lacombe; and one of our foremost queries shall be, "What is to become of the nephew of his uncle?" This query we shall put, because, if ever the destiny of a man hung in the scales, it is the destiny of Louis Napoleon Bonaparte.
[For the National Magazine.] READING FOR THE YOUNG.
ANOTHER LEAF FROM MY LIFE.
IX years had passed since Nettie died, graves were in the garden, and iŋ the new one lay my mother. How well I remember with what a feeling of loneliness I turned away from the spot while the earth was being thrown into this new addition to our garden graveyard.
into the garden, there was her grave with the same violets growing upon it that I had planted there. If I clambered down the path among the rocks to the river's edge, I passed half-a-dozen nooks where we once stored pebbles and shells. One of these nooks Nettie used to call "our house." It was a large rugged cleft in the solid rock. She took great pains to make it pretty. She swept it, and planted moss in the cracks of the rock, where it took root and grew. And what a treasure of curiously-shaped pebbles and variegated shells were piled up in the corners and arranged upon the ledges. But now, it was dusty and dirty. Weeds and bushes were growing where formerly dainty rock-moss grew, and when I entered it a bird flew out. It was a small dark gray bird, and one of the kind which I knew built their nests against the bluffs. I looked up to the rugged Gothic arched ceiling, and there, sure enough, was the gray bird's nest. 0, thought I," our house" has a tender tenant still. If I went around to the north side of the old house, and looked up at the peak of the gable where the bird-box was nailed, I thought the same bluebirds were there that had occupied it half-a-dozen years before. Their songs, it seemed, had become a trifle less sweet than they formerly had been, and I wondered if it was because they were getting old, or because Nettie was not there to hear them. I have always thought that the birds sang infinitely sweeter in my fourth and fifth spring-time than they have ever done since. Why is it? Is it because children love bird-music more than men do? Is it because there is more of nature in a child than in a man? I cannot account for it, but birds and children seem to understand each other.
have been a boy once, and have had a sister like Nettie, and a mother like mine.
When, on the night after my mother's death, I had fallen asleep, I dreamed that I was sitting upon the old bench under the cedar-trees; but Nettie and mother were not with me. The moon was shining, and "the angels' pathway" was glistening upon the bosom of the river for miles in length. I thought that I was thinking of the evenings which Nettie, and mother, and I, spent there years ago. It seemed a great many years ago. I could just remember it. And then I wondered if mother and Nettie were together, and if they saw me sitting there alone. I was sure that they had become angels-might they not walk upon that golden pathway? I'll wait and see, thought I in my dream. I did wait; and I gazed more steadily along the line of light. Presently I saw figures moving a long way off upon the water, and they seemed to come toward me. They glided along, not as though they walked, but as though they flew. Nearer and nearer they came, and I recognized them. They were Nettie and my mother. They held out their arms to me; I sprang to meet them-I awoke. The moon had gone down, and all was dark. A wind had sprung up, and the old cedars were moaning a mournful song. It seemed a funeral song. I fell asleep again, and slept until the bright sun was shining in at the window around me. The next afternoon they buried my mother in the garden beside Nettie.
That evening, when it began to grow dark, and when nearly all the strange people had left the house, I went out and sat upon the porch. I watched the stars as they came out one by one, and the moon as it rose up from behind the trees. And then I looked down into the garden, and there I could see Nettie's tombstone. I could not see the small white hand that was carved upon it, but I knew that it was there, and that it was pointing upward still-upward still!
Poor Nettie! while I remained at home nearly all my thoughts were of her. There was so much to remind me of her! If I went up stairs to my room, there everything was almost as it was when we occupied it. If I went out upon the bluff, I remembered how we used to sit there Nettie telling me pleasant childhood stories, and I listening to her. If I went VOL. II, No. 5.—GG
A week after mother's death, my father told me that I must return to school; so I paid the last tribute of tears to the graves in the garden, once more visited
our house," but went slyly this time, and just peeped in, so that I might not scare its occupant, took another look at the bluebirds, bid a tearful good-by to my father, and started.
I leaned back in the carriage, and cried heartily.
"Come, Natty, cheer up," said the man who was driving," there's nothing in the old house now that you need tare for."
"I know it," said I, "but there's so many things about it that I do care for." Why, lad, I think it's the most out-ofthe-way, tumble-down old place I ever saw. I can't see what you can like about it."
"There's the garden, Tom, with mother's and Nettie's graves. They're enough themselves to make me like it. Besides, Tom, it's home."
heard the boys, who were all seated at the table, whisper one to another, "Simpson's mother's dead ;" and one big tall boy, who had always been my beau-ideal, said, "Poor fellow!" It seemed like true pity, and, coming just at the time it did, I thanked him for it fervently in my heart. After supper I stole out into the play-ground. It was already dark. The stars were out, and the moon was up. I turned my face upward, and the stars seemed to be in the same places above me that they were when I looked at them from the porch at home. I thought it singular then, that, though I had moved a distance of thirty miles, the same stars were above me. My thoughts were drawn up among those stars, and higher still-up to heaven; drawn up in such a way as only a boy's thoughts can be drawn there, without one single doubt to retard them in their flight, or call them back to earth.
"It's a very lonely home, Natty." "It's because it's lonely, that I like it as I do."
We were ascending a hill, from the top of which I knew that I could see the old home for the last time on our journey. We reached the top. I turned, and the tears again filled my eyes as I saw the house with its high-pointed gables standing boldly out from the silvery background formed by the river. As we went on, the hill-top came up like a wall between home and me, and grew higher and higher, until the tallest chimney sunk behind it. As the sun was setting, we drove up to turned, and a boy of about my own size the little white gate in front of the Pacademy. Mr. B―, the principal, came out in his long gown, and, as he welcomed me back, I thought his pressure of my hand was one of sympathy, and I felt that I feared him less than I had formerly done, but that I respected him more.
A hand was laid upon my shoulder. I
and years was standing at my side. He was deformed; but, beneath his protruding breast, beat a kind and gentle heart. He put his hand in mine, and we walked to a favorite bench that stood beneath some trees, and sat down. We put our arms about each other, and, for some moments, neither of us spoke. The longer we sat there the more he seemed like a brother. At length he said,
"Nat, my mother is dead too."
Tom and the horse and carriage were now all that was left me of home. shook Tom's hand, and he said-as every one says to a boy when they leave him at school-" Natty, be a good boy." The horse, I thought, looked a dumb farewell as Tom took the lines and drove toward the village to put up for the night. The very rattle of the carriage over the stones seemed like a sound of home.
I drew my arm closer about him, and thought that he was still more like a brother, but could not speak.
"And my father, he is dead too," continued he.
"Charley," said I," I pity you; you need Mr. B took me by the hand and my pity more than I need yours. Was led me into the house.
your mother good ?"
"I think she was. It is a long while since she died, and I can just remember her. I saw her die, and she was not afraid. That's why I think she was good." "Did you ever have a sister, Charley?" "Yes."
He took my cap off my head and laid it gently, I thought, upon the table. There was a band of crape around it. And then Mrs. B- came in, and, as she stooped down and kissed me, she did so with such an air of kindness, that I really thought her cap was not half so stiff as it used to be, and that the spectacles on her nose gave her a dignified, matronly, instead of an owlish look. I used to think, and so did all the boys, that she looked very much like an owl. Afterward, that kind kiss caused me to stand up in her favor, no matter what the other boys said against her. As we went into the supper-room, I
"Is she dead ?"
"No; she's living, and so good and pretty."
“Ah, my sister's dead.”
"Poor Nat, I pity you more than ever. I would rather die myself than have my sister die." "Charley," said I, " do you ever pray? y?" "I used to, long ago."
"So did I. Suppose we commence again."
We knelt down upon the grass beside the bench, and prayed in whispers. They were boyish prayers, but they came from the heart. Our sentences were probably not well-jointed, and the words not elegant; but we meant what we said.
When we looked up, the old teacher was leaning over us, and I saw him brush a tear from his eyes. When he bade us good night at the school-room door, his
THE TWO DUELISTS.
VERY instructive biography, abounding, amid much valuable matter of a religious nature, in interesting anecdotes of departed men and things, has recently been published. We allude to the life of Robert Haldane, of Airthrey, and James Alexander Haldane, his brother-individuals who are honorably distinguished for their efforts at the beginning of this century to revive evangelical religion when at a very low ebb in Scotland. work is one of great and permanent interest. From amid many passages we select the following, which describes Mr. James Haldane as a duelist, and shows him afterward, when under the transforming influence of the grace of God, as a reprover of the practice to which through false shame he had himself formerly yielded.
"The ship was crowded with passengers; among these there was a cavalry officer, who was returning home-a notorious shot, a successful duelist, and much of a bully. It afterward appeared that he had been forced to leave the king's service, in consequence of his quarrelsome temper and aptitude for such brawls. In the course of the voyage he made himself very disagreeable, and was rather an object of dread. On one occasion some high words occurred between him and Mr. James Haldane, arising out of a proposal to make the latter a party to a paltry trick, designed to provoke an irritable invalid as he lay in his cot with his door open, and was, in fact, actually dying. Mr. J. Haldane's indignant refusal issued in this captain's taking an opportunity deliberately and publicly to insult him at the mess-table, when, in return for a somewhat contemptuous retort, the aggressor threw a glass of wine in Mr. Haldane's face. He little knew the spirit which he evoked. To rise from his seat and dash at the head of the assailant a heavy ship's tumbler was the work of an instant. Providentially the missile was pitched too high, pulverized against the beam of the cabin, and descended in a liquid shower upon the offending dragoon. A challenge ensued, and Mr. J. Haldane consulted with a friend as to the pro
priety of accepting it. That the challenger was under a cloud with his own regiment was certain, although the particulars were unknown, and it was decided that it was optional to accept or decline the cartel. But, as the matter was then doubtful, it was ruled that, in obedience to the code of honor, it was safer to give the captain the benefit of the doubt; and he was himself the more clear on the point, as the reputation of the challenger as a shot might propably be regarded as having influenced a refusal.
"The preliminaries being arranged, it was agreed that they should meet at the Cape of Good Hope; but the captain of the ship, suspecting mischief, refused leave to land. The meeting was accordingly postponed till they arrived at St. Helena, when they all went ashore, unobserved, very early in the morning. The night before, James Haldane made his will, wrote a letter of farewell to his brother in the event of his death, and then went to bed, and
slept so soundly that he did not awake till he was called. It happened that, owing to the apprehension of being observed and detained, the duelists had only one case of pistols, which belonged to Mr. Haldane's second, a naval officer of some distinction, afterward better known, during the war, as Admiral Donald Campbell, who commanded the Portuguese fleet, and also enjoyed a pension for services rendered to Lord St. Vincent and Lord Nelson. The two antagonists were placed at twelve paces distant, and were to fire together by signal. Before the pistol was given into Mr. Haldane's hand, his second, in a low tone, repeated what he had before told him, that this was a case in which he must have no scruple about shooting his challenger; that it was not a common duel, but a case of self-preservation, and that one or the other must fall. The signal was given, and, as Mr. J. Haldane raised his pistol, with strange inconsistency he breathed the secret prayer"Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit;" thus verifying the observation of Tertullian, that in moments of imminent danger men involuntarily call upon God, acknowledging his presence and his providence, even when they seem practically to forget his existence and trample on his laws. With this prayer in his heart, and, as Admiral Campbell testified, with his eye fixed on his antagonist, without a symptom of trepidation, he calmly drew the trigger, when his pistol burst, the contents flying upward, and a fragment of the barrel inflicting a wound on his face. The other pistol missed fire, and the challenger immediately intimated, through his second, that he was so well satisfied with the honorable conduct of Mr. ne, that he was willing the affair should terminate. This message was accepted as sufficient. Bowing to each other, they parted with civility, but, as might be anticipated, without reconciliation. To such matters he scarcely ever alluded, but the facts were known to his brother, and by him repeated not long before his death."
A great change, however, passed over Mr. Haldane-that which Scripture has declared to be necessary for all who would enter the kingdom of heaven.
regenerated by the Holy Spirit.
and after some altercation pronounced him 'a
"Early in the spring of 1804, Mr. James Haldane preached a remarkable sermon on the death of Thomas Pitt, second Baron Camelford, who was mortally wounded in a duel by Captain Best, and died in great agony four days afterward. This fatal catastrophe had produced an extraordinary public sensation, more especially following as it did on another duel, in which Colonel Montgomery, not many months before, had fallen by the hand of Captain Macnamara, in a wretched quarrel about their dogs. These events were calculated to arouse attention to the miserable fruits of the world's code of honor, in submission to which a young nobleman, at the age of twenty-nine, nephew to the great Earl of Chatham, and cousin to the prime minister, had forfeited his own life, extinguished a peerage, and sacrificed a great fortune, which chiefly fell to his sister, the wife of the celebrated Lord Grenville. Lord Camelford was not one of the common run of fashionable men, liv-fired together, and Lord Camelford fell, to all ing upon town. He had fine natural talents. appearance dead. In an instant he recovered His illustrious uncle had bestowed much pains the shock, so far as to exclaim, 'I am killed, on his education, and addressed to him a series but I acquit Best; I alone am to blame.' Capof letters with a view to his improvement, which tain Best and his second instantly rode off; have been since published. He had been pas- and Lord Camelford's friend, on pretense of sionately fond of science, and in many subjects going for a surgeon, did the same as soon as a connected with literature was no mean proficient. countryman came up, who found his lordship But in those unhappy days, when dueling was lying on his back, in the lower part of a field reckoned a mark of spirit, he had acquired in overflowed with water. His lordship was unthe navy, and in the world of fashion, the repu- willing to be moved; but was at last placed in tation of a first-rate shot. He had provoked a chair and conveyed to Little Holland-house, and been concerned in many duels; and on one where he lingered in great pain till the followoccasion, where the death of a superior officer ing Saturday, and then died. The ball had in the West Indies had left some doubt as to the penetrated his right breast, passing through seniority of the next in succession, he brought the lungs, and lodging in the backbone. He the matter to an issue by giving certain orders sent for his solicitor, and made a codicil to his to his rival, a Lieutenant Peterson, on disobe- will, in which he stated, that although most dience of which he shot him dead on the sea- people desire that their remains might be conbeach, although at the head of an armed boat's veyed to their native land to be interred, 'I crew, ready to uphold their commander. For wish my body to be removed, as soon as may this rash act he was tried by a court-martial; be convenient, to a country far distant, to a but being found in the right as to his seniority, spot not near the haunts of men, but where the and consequent title to give the order, he was surrounding scenery may smile upon my rehonorably acquitted. mains.' The place he chose was on the bor ders of the Lake of St. Lemprierre, in the Canton of Berne, where three trees stood on a particular spot. The center tree he desired to be taken up, and his body being there deposited, to be replanted. He added, 'Let no monument or stone be placed on my grave.' At the foot of this tree, his lordship said he had passed many hours, meditating on the mutability of human affairs. He left £1,000 as a compensation to the proprietors."
"The notoriety thus acquired was not diminished by the fact that he had returned Mr. Horne Tooke to Parliament for his pocket borough, and threatened to substitute his own black servant in case of his nominee being declared by the House of Commons disqualified as a clergyman. Lord Camelford and Mr. Best were both in the navy, and intimate friends; but they had at the time a bet of £200 depending, as to which was the better shot. The meeting took place through the instigation of an abandoned woman, then under the protection of Lord Camelford, who falsely accused her former protector, Mr. Best, of having spoken disrespectfully of his lordship. This greatly incensed the irascible peer, who went up to Mr. Best at the Prince of Wales Hotel, in Conduit-street, where they usually dined,
A pamphlet having been published by a clergyman, giving a very unscriptural view of Lord Camelford's character, Mr. Haldane felt it his duty to expose its pernicious statements from his pulpit.