Imágenes de páginas

When Walter Scott drew near his end, he said to his son-in-law, Lockhart, as if it were the chief lesson of his accumulated experience, “Be a good man, my dear.' Nothing else seemed important then. Charity, patience, love,- these he saw, in the dawn of heavenly light, to be the only true possessions, the sole real successes. And who of all men that ever lived has done more to make men good than Charles Dickens ? and what praise so pure as that simple truth spoken by his open grave?..

“ Even at the very moment that the cunning hand was suddenly stilled forever, how many thousands of readers in England and America, as they finished the beautiful tenth chapter of · Edwin Drood, were declaring that Dickens was never so delightful as in his latest work!

“And so our friend - the friend of all honest men and women stumbling and struggling in the great battle — sudenly ceases from among us, - how much happier for him, and for all of us, than the sad decline of the good Sir Walter, whose powers were slowly extinguished, star by star, before the eyes of all men, who therefore could not hear of the end but with a tear of relief! Now we can perceive how prophetic was the feeling of sadness with which we watched Dickens withdrawing from the platform at his last reading in Steinway Hall. All the evening, as he said, the shadow of one word had impended over us. He had not faltered for a moment; but, strangely, even Pickwick did not seem gay. The

feeling of deep and inexpressible affection for the man who had so nobly made his talent ten talents, and who, evidently ill, was now passing from our sight forever, overpowered all other emotion. The vast audience stood cheering and tearful, as, gravely bowing, and refusing all assistance, as if in that final moment he wished to confront us alone, the master lingered and lingered, and slowly retired. In that moment, after the long misunderstanding of years between him and this country, and after his wholly manly and generous speech at the press dinner, our hearts clasped his, as he and Mark Lemon grasped hands over the grave of Thackeray; and henceforward, and for all the future, there was to be nothing in American hearts but boundless love and gratitude for Charles Dickens.”

“ The Overland Monthly” contained a poetic tribute of rare beauty, entitled


6 Above the pines the moon was slowly drifting ;
The river


The dim Sierras, far beyond, uplifting

Their minarets of snow.

“ The roaring camp-fire with rude humor painted

The ruddy tints of health
On haggard face and form, that drooped and fainted

In the fierce race for wealth,

« Till one arose, and from his pack's scant treasure

A hoarded volume drew; And cards were dropped from hands of listless leisure

To hear the tale anew.

“ And then, while round them shadows gathered faster,

And as the firelight fell,
He read aloud the book wherein the master

Had writ of Little Nell.

“ Perhaps 'twas boyish fancy, for the reader

Was youngest of them all;
But, as he read, from clustering pine and cedar

A silence seemed to fall.

The fir-trees, gathering closer in the shadows,

Listened in every spray ; While the whole camp, with Nell, on English meadows

Wandered, and lost their way.

“ And so in mountain solitudes o’ertaken,

As by some spell divine, Their cares dropped from them like the needles shaken

From out the gusty pine.

" Lost is that camp, and wasted all its fire ;

And he who wrought that spell –
Ah, towering pine and stately Kentish spire !

Ye have one tale to tell.

“ Lost is that camp; but let its fragrant story

Blend with the breath that thrills,
With hop-vines' incense, all the pensive glory

That fills the Kentish hills.

“ And on that grave where English oak and holly

And laurel-wreaths intwine,
Deem it not all a too presumptuous folly,

of Western pine.”



Sympathy for the Poor. - Love for the Young.– The Golden Rule.

“Rugged strength and radiant beauty,

These were one in Nature's plan:
Humble toil and heavenward duty,
These will form the perfect man."


“Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." - ROM. xiii, 10.


AMES T. FIELDS bears testimony to the

unvarying kindness and sympathy, both of heart and manner, which were characteristic of Charles Dickens, and says,

[ocr errors]

“ It was his mission to make people happy. Words of good cheer were native to his lips; and he was always doing what he could to lighten the lot of all who came into his beautiful presence.

His talk was simple, natural, and direct, never dropping into circumlocution nor elocution.

“Now that he has gone, whoever has known him in

« AnteriorContinuar »