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the thumb and finger of the other were arched together significantly, and arrested half way to her nose.

But words soon came "Bless me, Mr. Greenleaf, I thought you might be sick! I rapped and rapped : and then, think-says-I, I'll jest look in, for maby you might be sufferin’'

The thumb and finger were here elevated to the right position, and relieved of their burden : the check apron followed, and duly removed from the lip whatever failed to be drawn up by the powerful nasal current.

The painter looked down from the ceiling. Raphael was no longer there, nor Titian; the glorious company had vanished. St. Peter's dome no longer rose in the distance; and instead of the warm tints of an Italian landscape, the clear, bright atmosphere of New-England encircled him. He looked around the room, and his pictures, Sybils, Madonnas, Nymphs, Graces, were all disenchanted; although far excelling in merit any of his previous productions, yet how far were they below his ideal ! He had descended from the clouds, and stood once more upon the earth, without being conscious of the agency that had transported him. During this process, which took somewhat longer than the time usually allotted for making a reply to a civil question, the good woman inwardly wondered whether he were not becoming demented. When, at last, he perceived his hostess, scarcely attempting to conceal her astonishment, he blushed, stammered, and was only relieved by her kindly garrulity.

Would he have a cup of tea, or a glass of wine?' 'Neither: he was quite well.'

After a period, mutual confidence was restored, and the landlady made a tour of the room, inquiring with a pleased curiosity concerning the pictures, which had been dashed off the last week as rapidly as though they had been so many tavern-signs. Greenleaf attempted to comply; but his explanations drew in so much of heathen mythology on the one hand, and of Catholic traditior. on the other, that between them both the good woman was completely confounded. It was the first time these classic stores had been opened to her, and her suspicions of the painter's sanity were by no means lulled as she listened to what seemed his improbable stories. But a bright idea struck her, and with the kindly instincts of her sex, she hastened to impart it.

• But if these picters, Mr. Greenleaf, are all for different folks, as you say, why upon airth did you paint 'em all so much alike? That gal now, (whose clothes you are going to paint bime-by, I hope,) is jest for all this world like Alice Lee; jest so pretty and kind o' modest-like. And then that other woman, with the bright ring over her head, jest like the bow to my old c'lash, she looks like her too, only older, and more sort o' stiddy-like. All on 'em look like her. Well, I have my 'spicions. You do'nt need no medicine: you ’ll tough it out, I dare say.'

The turban waved in the door-way a moment, like a yellow holly-hock in the breeze, and the painter was left alone.

Was the painter's mystery solved? Truly, there is more than one secret which is beyond the power of man to conceal effectually, at least from woman.

The world has neither nook nor corner where a man may bestow his thought, and say it is safe. The winds will whisper it; the

trees will refuse to be silent; echo will catch the name that fills his heart, while it yet struggles for utterance. But most of all

, if he be an artist, the works of his hand will betray him. He must follow the inner sense, for he cannot paint mechanically: every touch will be eloquent, so that those who run may

read. But Greenleaf had been occupied by influences, effects, and had not stopped to look back for their cause. He was rejoiced to be able to portray the fair shapes that once came only to mock him; and not being in the habit of any rigid introspection, he had not fathomed the obvious cause of his unwonted energy and enthusiasm. The truth was now brought to him through a homely medium, but it struck a responsive chord. So true is it, that a guess at a venture is often surer than the subtlest speculations of the metaphysician.

The next day Mr. Greenleaf took his accustomed walk, and, in returning at dusk, called upon his friend the school-master. His heart bounded as Alice arose to greet him; for his regard for her had gradually strengthened, until now it seemed to control every impulse of his being. Still he maintained a firm self-possession, and conversed with her father as us

usual, though it must be confessed that his eyes wandered occasionally. Their conversation turned upon the causes of failure and success in life. The painter listened to the acute reasoning and nice distinctions in which Mr. Lee's mind was so much at home, and as he heard, wondered why an intellect at once so subtle and so comprehensive, developed by the most intense study, and joined to a fair personal appearance, had remained in obscurity, to leave no impress of its power on the age. With as much art as his frank and ingenuous nature could command, the painter led the way to learn something of his friend's history. Mr. Lee seemed communicative, and related a few instances of his life, which we here condense, retaining the form of the first person.

'I have had just what advantages my own labor could procure for me. How well I have improved them, it matters not now at my time of life — only to remember! During the year or two preceding the outbreak of the colonies, I was a lawyer, and a hearty supporter of the people's cause. My practice was respectable, and increasing. To satisfy my restless temperament, I wrote frequently - habitually, I might say—and acquired, perhaps, some point and vigor in style. While in my chamber, committing to paper the thoughts that burned within me for utterance, it seemed to me that in the forum I might give at least as free an expression to my aspirations for freedom, and my hopes for the regeneration of the world. I felt an ardor that promised to overcome all difficulties. This inward glow I thought was the only thing requisite. It was a great mistake. Demosthenes had as fiery a soul, conceptions as glowing, and a chain of logic as perfect, in his own mind, when he was hissed from the Athenian stage, as when afterward he shook the throne of Macedon by his denunciations. Nothing but laborious practice enabled him to grasp, clothe and present his images, and to follow without interruption the course of his argument. I failed, as you might suppose. Men whose reasoning faculties I did not particularly envy, spoke almost nightly in Faneuil Hall

, and the applause of the multitude shook the walls at every period. My personal friends raised a feeble complimentary cheer once or twice, but it was evident that I had no hold upon the populace. Either my notions were too fine-drawn, or my manner failed to inspire enthusiasm. The inward fervor, and its outward sign, are not always correlative. While full of feeling, so as hardly to control my voice, men thought my manner cold. The sentiments which were received as tame truisms when I uttered them, though in a voice loud enough to be clearly heard, were greeted with tremendous shouts when repeated by some Boanerges. The groundlings, as well as some others who ought to know better, demand that a passion shall be torn to tatters; and he who fails to minister to such tastes must not hope to become a popular orator.'

“ You did not abandon the people's cause ?'

By no means. I resigned myself to what I supposed was my fate with a mute despair. My dreams were dispelled; but, concluding that if I could not talk, I might certainly fight, I entered the army as a private, and served four years in various capacities. That sword yonder has the names of a few engagements engraven on its battered blade. At last I received a severe flesh-wound, and retired from the service. This little hamlet caught my attention when a homeless wanderer, and any villager can tell you my brief history here.?

Greenleaf was silent and pensive, as though he had found a column with its sculptured capital prostrate in the woods. He looked down the darkening street

, while the school-master sat with a tear in his eye, and his arm around his only daughter. And as the fond father looked in her lustrous eyes, beaming on him with affection, his proud yet tremulous glance seemed to say, 'Here I am repaid for the forsaken world !'

As Greenleaf walked home, he could not conceal from himself the fact, that he loved the daughter of the school-master with his whole soul. But his lips at least had never betrayed his secret to her; their intercourse had been frank and unrestrained ; and he would not have wronged the trusting father by seeking to win the sole object of his affection, without his free consent. The painter had counted upon raising money by the sale of his pictures (when transferred from his paste-board sketches) in New-York and London, to enable him to proceed to Rome; but, if he now yielded to the current of his present impulses, that course was plainly impossible ; for he was poor, as the world rates poverty, and the school-master was far from being rich. It was the turning-point of his life. On the one hand was the goal of his ambition ; on the other, the object of his love; Italy and a hope for immortality, or a quiet home and a peerless wife. While occupied with his pictures, or while reading the triumphs of the great masters of his art, his soul was consumed with the desire to follow their brilliant career; and he seemed to spurn the time and the toil that must intervene between the new world and the classic ground whither his aspirations tended. But one glimpse of Alice Lee was sufficient to overset his ambition and its auxiliary philosophy; and, in room of his dreams of fame, came the vision of a fair rustic Eden, of which she was ever the enchanting Eve.

Weeks passed, and Greenleaf was still between contending influences; but such a strife could not be long protracted; circumstances soon compelled him to act, and to decide his destiny. Mrs. Harwood, the landlady, had always scorned the character of being a gossip; "She had no

tales to tell of her guests, not she; she had two daughters, likely gals, and she would n't like to hear them talked about.' Such common-places, with the air of mystery which some women like to affect, the significant nods, the manner which says so plainly, 'I could if I chose ; I know more than I care to tell :' all these were sufficient for a circle whose smallest actions were under a vigilant mutual inspection. The stranger's visits to the house of Mr. Lee were, as a matter of course, well known; and the mysterious airs of the landlady furnished a foundation for various edifying rumors. This idle gossip soon reached the painter through Zebulon, the landlord. His determination was speedily formed; he would go at once.

Other motives coïncided; for summer was now nearly spent, and there would not be more than time enough to prepare for the voyage; a matter of far greater consequence half a century ago, dear reader, than a trip in one of Collins's steam-ships at this day.

Wishing to give a few more touches to his sketch of the village, Greenleaf walked up the hill one afternoon, and approached his accustomed resting-place. But he was not alone. Alice had preceded him only by an hour, and was seated under an oak near by, reading. Their surprise was mutual as he approached. After a few words of conversation, he sat down to his task. Alice was seated a few feet behind him, upon the trunk of a fallen tree, so that she could look over his shoulder; and if he failed in making a correct transcript of the scene, it must be attributed to his bounding pulse and tense nerves

, rather than to any want of appreciation of the landscape. A hundred times a torrent of words was ready to escape from his lips; but he heroically resolved to conquer himself; and he continued to talk, as calmly, to outward appearance, as usual, although his whole soul was rent by the strife within. The sketch was finished; still he remained rooted to the spot; and, though hourly and momently dooming himself to exile, a joyous thrill ran through every fibre as the music of her voice fell


An eagle flew from a tree near by, and rose with a majestic sweep to the clear blue fields of the upper air. At the rushing sound of the broad wings, Alice rose and pointed to the receding form.

“Look, how he rises! Like the strong will of a great Soul soaring above difficulties, or like a genius to his native skies!'

These words would have inspired the unhappy painter with fresh courage, if they had been spoken by lips less fair; the hand, too, and extended arm, which pointed to the eagle

, were so exquisitely moulded, that the painter could not control his secret admiration. Catching her hand, that he might look upon its faultless proportions, he asked her, for a feint, if she had faith in palmistry! A laughing negative was the reply, and a whole row of pearls was displayed before the wavering questioner, now fast-losing his courage. After finishing his examination, he ran through the usual predictions of fortune-tellers, and, raising the hand to his lips, “ The witch's usual fee, Alice,' he said with a smile, while his heart seemed to rise in his throat. His resolution faltered : Italy was far, and fame was often but a delusive phantom; and here was the woman created and destined for him. Should he resign such a prize, or even a hope of winning it, for a mere dream? A moment more, and the painter had been lost. But he repressed his emotion with a mighty

his ear.

effort, and looked up to the skies for a moment of self-possession. The tide of passion subsided, and the full, strong current of his native energy rushed in. He lost not a moment, but arranged his port-folio, and descended the hill in advance of his companion.

Not daring to trust himself to another interview with Alice, Greenleaf thought it best to call at once and take leave of her father, before her return. The painter's hopes and desires were not unknown to Mr. Lee, but the latter was not aware that his young friend's departure was to be so speedy. In a few words, Greenleaf thanked him for his kindness, and spoke of the possibility of a future meeting with hope. The fervor of his manner was not lost upon Mr. Lee; but, if the father divined the secret cause, he kept his own counsel.

By the mail, whose weekly trip occurred the next day, George Greenleaf left Innisfield, with totally new aims, and with brighter hopes, but yet with memories whose mingled delight and sorrow only he could know. The necessary preparations were soon made, and he set sail for Italy, intending to be absent five years. With high hopes he set forth ; the world was all before him : the consciousness of undeveloped powers stimulated him; and of the many glorious visions of the future, surely, all could not prove delusive.

But his thoughts were by no means so buoyant, when adding five years to the age of Alice Lee. What events, natural and probable in themselves, but terrible and unnamable to him, might not occur from sixteen to twenty-one, the period of woman's freshest and most captivating charms ? What rustic beaux might not sut for the hand which his lips once pressed; the hand now, perhaps lost to him for ever! He could not pursue the thought farther; even at its first view, his spirits sank like the barometer before the storm. But the vessel heaved steadily on, and the intensity of the painter's feelings soon wore off. And whether, like most men, he gradually lost the memory of the beautiful maiden, the first sincere object of his love, so that her face became to him like a cloudy, indistinct daguerreotype, laid by in some forgotten crypt; or whether he ever after cherished her image, as the lake 'bears on its breast the pictured moon, pearled round with stars,' and trusted to his pure and loyal faith to preserve the power in his art which it had brought him — let the future say: if, perchance, I, or some other, shall trace his farther progress in life.

But unless some romancer, dear reader, shall enlighten you on this point, I fear greatly it will remain unwritten. History is not for such matters; it is occupied more profitably in detailing murders at wholesale. And though the wise man long ago said that “he who ruleth his own spirit is greater than he that taketh a city;' yet while successful besiegers, from Demetrius Poliorcetes down, have been honored with the historian's attention and the world's applause, the many heroes, victorious over themselves, are passed by unnoticed.

Was Alice's heart meanwhile untouched? I dare not, as a veracious chronicler of our little village, undertake to assert that it was not. Still

, if her bosom had throbbed with new and delightful emotions, she hardly knew why; and her maidenly peace, though at first disturbed by the sudden departure of her friend, soon recovered its wonted placidity.

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