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HOW A FORTUNE-TELLER'S PREDICTION CAME TO PASS.

BY GEORGE J. 0. ALLMANN.

Say from whence
You owe this strange intelligence; or why
In these romantic woods you stop our way
With such prophetic greeting? Speak! I charge you."

Macbeth occasionalized.

I was born a subject to the Lord of Cockaigne. mortals, or paint images of beauty to the waking Let me assure those of my readers who are not wondering eyes of the Poet. versed in the genealogical tree of that redoubted Oh! who would not leave the murky density, chieftain, that he is in nowise related to the the dismal gloom of a city, for the free air of the Laird o’ Cockpen, although it is true they hills, or the perfumed breath of the meadows :possess a certain affinity to each other, which in who would not flee from the ever-busy hum of other cases might become individuality; for I the toiling, moiling populace, and in the quiet am constrained to own, that the “ white feather” | retirement of some rural village, and in the appears to have been worn in the bonnets of pleasant society of a few selected friends, pass both with the same degree of prominence; and through the Journey of Life with no anxious which said “ white feather” would tremble wishes to which vaulting ambition is prone; with wildly at the blast of a clarion, and be en- none of the immoderate desires of worldly pastirely annihilated by the report of a cannon. It sions ? How well I understood, and how keenly is generally believed that the Lord of Cockaigne I felt, the truth of the Bard's words :reigns over only the eastern division of our Metropolis ; but this opinion is founded in “God made the country-man the town!" error, for though his western empire is, in comparison with the eastern, of small extent, yet it Such, or something like, were the result of my is beyond dispute that a great number of sub- meditations as I sat in my humble sitting-room, jects own his sway in that hemisphere—I was on the second floor of a house situated in one of one of his western subjects.

the streets branching out of what used to be one And yet, dear reader, spite of my cockney of the great western thoroughfares of London. serfdom, I am passionately fond of the country; It was on a fine morning in the summer of the the very name brings with it the indistinct year that is now with the phantoms of a thousand murmur of soft-breathing winds and calm- others. The warm sunshine played, with dazzling flowing waters. The country-where Nature brilliance, on the windows of the opposite houses ; seems to build her home amid the retreat of all and yet it was with a melancholy satisfaction that is blooming and beautiful—where the song that I beheld the glorious beams dimmed by the of birds awakes her to brightness, and freshness, grosser atmosphere of London. It was yet early, and fragrance ; and the last dying voice of the and I had drawn my escritoire to the open nightbird soothes her into the slumber which is window, and was busily pondering on the subject as peaceful as that of an infant—where the which I proposed should be the theme for my next star-eyed flowers burst into a life of quiet joy, article in the magazine. I had silently inand yield up with their last sigh their gratitude voked the muses, but no immediate inspiration to their benefactress that they have lived so from the Castalian spring seemed to flow. long-where the crystal stream glides on, singing thought how terrible his fate who is condemned to itself “My life's a dream of gladness !"--where to "spur his jaded Pegasus” to procure for the virid trees wave to and fro, and ever, through himself the commonest necessaries of life

. Not that

, where the Morning springs forth in her glorious gentle reader; for the truth was, I had a certain attire, and shakes froin her coronet of gems the small income that some of my good-natured dazzling radiance of a thousand hues—where friends called an independence (alas ! the while); the majestic Sun shines forth, to make the world and which would just keep me from the brink of appear but a dark obscurity, while his sovereign absolute starvation. I gazed down into the street beams illumine the heavens—where the twilight below, and my eyes unconsciously fell on the grey of eve deepens gradually and imperceptibly, figure of one of those favoured scions of the and the thick-coming shadows fall on the ground, mobility yclept a butcher-boy. How hearty and till, in the arms of night, Nature contemplates red he looked! With what a thorough-hearted the starry host who watch over the sleep of gusto he whistled! I could almost hear him

How a Fortune-Teller's Prediction Came to Pass.

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where I sat. He was evidently on good terms " And yet, Harry, you are one whom the with himself, for his feet kept beating time to world -ay, and the press too - calls a rising actor, the air that fell from his mouth-organ;" and who exhibits daily growing evidences of talent; certainly on good terins with the maid who ap- who only requires confidence and maturity, to peared to his summons, to judge by his wink withstand all rivalry.” and the few words he occasionally addressed to "They are too good, for never had a press her, and the pretty pout which afterwards trans- and a public need to be more indulgent than formed itself into a smile, with which she met to me. ` And never were,” he added, growing his pseudo attempt at gallantry. Who would visibly affected while he spoke,

a press and not be a butcher-boy? thought I. Would it a public so ready to hail any young Author not be far better to be galloping about all day or Actor, and to award him their smiles and on that iron-limbed, strong-winded pony, than favour, than in this same age in which we to be “cabinn'd, cribb’d, confin'd” the live- now live. I have reason to say so; and my long day in a dull room, with no one to whom · stage fright' is gradually disappearing, and soon to utter our thoughts! Man was born a talka- will, I hope, “ leave not a wrack behind !"" tive animal. The vox loquendi is an inherent " It is to be hoped, Harry, that your fame will part of our organization, and it is the great be more enduring." stimulant to sociality—the great basis of civili- “ Pooh! Fame, the jilt, will never smile on zation. Ah! the butcher-boy has “mounted his me!" steed,” and wended his way with a speed far “You are not wont to be desponding." greater than the chivalric Manchegan on his “But, my dear Francis Fortescue, esquire, you renowned Rosinante could have hoped to attain, are wont to be discerning, and not used to even had they both striven, heart and soul, to lavish too much praise on me, or I should say reach the Fair One of Toboso. I paced my that little chamber for a few minutes, but could not “You expect that Fame has frowned an concentrate my thoughts into the desired channel; ominous denial of her favours on you alone.” so I took up one of the volumes with which my “Oh, good my Lord! No more," replied table was stored. It was a volume of plays. Harry, with a stage strut and action : I mechanically opened it, and began reading aloud, adding gesticulation to my utterance

. I prithee learn to curb that tongue of thine, for of a truth I thought myself no contemptible

Whose honey-words so tickle on my ears master of declamation-Constance's charming

That by my faith they'll captivate my heart,

And make me vain of speech.'" lines, in the second act of the “ Provost of Bruges," one of my most favourite of modern “No fear of that, Harry," interrupted I; "you dramatic writings :

have too much sense not to discern honest praise “ There is a sadness of no kin to sorrow,

from false-lipped flattery." And such alone is mine. Is it not sad,

“Nay, no more an thou lovest me!' And And yet how sweet, to sit in some close nook

let me unburden myself of a message, without And hear the big rain patter on the trees ?

which, notwithstanding I am charged, I do not Or listlessly in some cool dell's recess

wish to go off.To mark the babbling of the tiny brook ?

“Ha! ha! Report it, then,” cried I. Or from the casement, watch the fading day “My sister-(I coloured deeply, and quite Tinge, with its changeful pencil, the grey clouds ? sufficiently to betray myself to even a careless When, if by chance we sigh, 'tis but to ease observer)-has made up a party, composed of The heart o'erburden'd with its sweet sensations."

some brothers and sisters of our gentle craft

authors, poor wretches ! and actors, poor devils ! I had ended this speech, with a dramatic force

- and they have determined to have a day's and intensity that I fattered myself would have pleasure for once in their lives, the remembrance brought down repeated bursts of applause had

even of which shall cast a sunny halo over many I been before an audience of the “ discriminating a happy memory of it. The gist of the matter public,” and on the proud area of old Drury, is that these merry elves' of London have rewhen a boisterous laugh outside bespoke that solved upon a day in the woods; and in order my rhapsody had been overheard. The door to gratify their wish, have procured carriages quickly opened, however, and one of my-nay, and servants; and having victualled their inmy most particular friend, Harry Brooke, entered. sides-of the carriages I inean-in due time to “ Bravo! bravo !” cried he. · Spoken with

supply their own, they have commissioned me to all the dignity and pathos of Moschus--with all bring you, nolens volens, with me to be of the the eloquence and fire of Automedon! What a strange thing it is, my dear fellow,” he con- beautiful scenery of nature.”

party. They know how ardently you admire the tinued, "that I, who in the solitude of my own

“Who are meant by 'they?” ” chamber fancy that I give due expression to an

Why-a-a-a-my sister, if you must author's lines, yet when I am before the lights- know the truth. And, 'in fact, from her alone My very blood seems turned to milk,'

emanates this invitation.

“ Your sister?” I echoed, with a sigh. and one would think I was an aspen, or had “ Aye! and you will not, of course, be so uncaught the ague from off some American swamp, gallant as to refuse a lady's challenge!" so grievously do I tremble."

My heart is indeed a prompter to her wish.”

6

like a peony:

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You can have her all to yourself!" to be banished from our presence. To a list“Can I?” replied I, laconically, and blushing ener, our conversation might not have been

edifying, it is true ; but it had that rare virtue, “Yes, I have arranged it all! Viviana and truthfulness and sincerity. We were all mutu, yourself will occupy two seats of one of the ally attached to each other, and this fact added carriages; Katharine Darcy and myself will be more than its own joy. your vis-à-vis. Quite a family party, eh, Frank ?” “How lovely the day is !” esclaimed Kate

“Quite!” responded I, stammering out the Darcy, with one of her brightest of smiles; word, which choked me through excess of “how gloriously the sunlight rests on that dark pleasure.

grove of elms yonder! Oh, give me the glowing * And then the feast of reason, and the flow radiance of a summer's day before every other of soul, you know, and the thousand minor en- scene in nature.” joyments which we shall possess.".

“ Give me,” returned Viviana, in the low Pooh! pooh! The feast of love, and the voice with which she ever uttered her thoughts, flow of affection, I suppose you mean, Harry; “ give me that short space betwixt the evening as if you, with Katharine Darcy by your side, and the decided fall of night, to gaze upon the could be content with aught save simpering and moonlight sleeping on the bank; to sit there, sighing like a dying goose.” “ Remember the words of our immortal bard,

“ And let the sounds of music Frank :

Creep in our ears-soft stillness and the night

Become the touches of sweet harmony." • He jests at scars who never felt a wound.'

“ You are so romantic, Viviana," interrupted But my sister Viviana will soon tame you Kate; “ but alas ! I was born for the glaring down from your soaring propensities, even if day, and the hum of the waking world, and can she has not done so already; for when you are compare myself only to the butterfly, that loses in her presence, you are so silent and abstracted all its beauty in the sable darkness; but you are that no one would know the voluble Frank like the-the-" Fortescue of his bachelor friends. Ha! ha! le “ The what?” asked I. bon temps viendra.

“ The-the glowworm, I was about to say," “ Let it come tout d'un temps," replied I; responded she; “ for in the night-time its bright “ but whither does your so-hastily-arranged jewel dazzles everywhere-so like to the light it party intend to go?- what romantic wood do they emits is the poetry of Viviana's mind reflected in purpose visiting ?”

the density of night.” The ancient, time-honoured forests of Nor

That is a very poor simile, Kate," exclaimed wood and Penge."

Harry, “ for the glowworm is but a dullard “ Ha! ha! ha! is not this somewhat tinged thing during the day; and you surely would with the spirit of cockneyism?" exclaimed I.

not compare it in that respect to my sister." “ Perhaps it is; but you know we are all of Assuredly not-I was foolish to think of us of that doubtful spirit'; so allons, thou seeker apostrophising so ridiculously.”. after the Beautiful !".

Nay, Kate," returned Viviana, “ if that be We accordingly took our way to Brooke's all the head and front of your offending,' it is house, before which three or four carriages were easily forgiven. You cannot shame me out of drawn up. On ascending to the withdrawing; my passion for the stilly hour. Do not the room, we found the whole party assembled, and words of the Swan of Avon inspire us with a earnestly awaiting our arrival.' It consisted of feeling of quiet joy and sublime rapture when some ten or dozen persons-equally apportioned he singsas to sexes, and all of them connected with Literature or the Stage.

Look how the floor of heaven “Ah, Mr. Fortescue !” exclaimed Viviana,

Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold;

There's not the smallest orb that thou behold'st we are glad to see you."

But in his motion like an angel sings, And why not call me Frank, as usual ?” I

Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubims; questioned in a low tone.

Such harmony is in immortal souls. Well, I will if you wish it."

But whilst this muddy vesture of decay “ By your doing so, you give me a tacit per- Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it." mission to call you Viviana," I murmured; at the same time adjusting her slight écharpe to her

The unaffected yet thrilling manner with satisfaction.

which Viviana repeated the lines, conquered The bright sun shone on few happier mor

Kate and Harry (who of course espoused her tals than the merry party who now set out side) into submission to her greater eloquence, for our day's jaunt. As Harry had arranged, though it was evidently sadly against their will, so did one of the carriages contain the three but they owned their defeat nevertheless; and persons he had named and myself. The light- words that fell from the lips of Harry; and if I

I think my ear caught the last few whispered heartedness of both Kate Darcy and Harry reflected itself on Viviana, who was naturally of a

did not hear wrongly, I fancied they were the more pensive and thoughtful disposition than end of the couplet her brother; and we laughed, and talked, and “ A man convinced against his will jested, till the World and Time and Care seemed

Is of the same opinion still.”

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How a Fortune-Teller's Prediction Came to Pass.

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However, by this time we had arrived at the out- ; has not, in reading some thrilling legend, conskirts of the wood, and the carriages stopped. jured up in imagination precisely the kind of We lield a short council of ways and means, and group that met our view? the swarthy, manly unanimously agreed that the carriages should go forms, yet sinister expression, of the men-the slowly up the hill, while we, in parties of three old haggard faces of the elder, and the emor four, should brave the intricacies of the forest, browned ruddy hue of the younger women, with keeping, however, so near to the road, that we their piercing black eyes, and red cloaks, the could easily meet together again, and so join the handkerchief tied closely round the head, in lieu carriages. It is scarcely worth while to record our of bonnet—the sun-burnt children, whose faces ramble, except to say that the leafy canopy over were all too unmistakeably stamped with the us compensated us by its luxuriance and beauti- peculiarity which denotes those of the wandering ful tracery for the loss of the blue of heaven, tribes of Egypt-the Race that is Outcast of which at times was completely hidden by the the World. They were several in number, and thickly-clustered branches. One little circum- two or three separated from the group, and apstance, however, will always dwell in the me- proached our party, with the common cry of mory of all. On a sudden, Kate Darcy slipped Tell your fortune, gentlemen! only cross my away from the side of her engagée, and conceal- hand with a small sixpence.”—“ Bonny lady! ing herself behind a tree, so that not the slightest pretty lady! let me tell you your sweetheart's flutter of her dress could be perceived, she raised name.” One, seemingly more old and infirm her full, round, and liquid voice in the charming than the others, but who, I discovered, spite of air of Arne's, “ Where the bee sucks.” Never the hood that was drawn almost entirely over her was the effect of time and situation so exquisitely face, possessed the most brilliant and flashing felt. The rich burst of melody that rose, as eyes imaginable, approached Viviana and myfrom an unseen spirit, spell-bound us, the ma- self. jestic trees that waved around—the velvet moss “Let me tell you your fortune, pretty lady," on which our feet trod—the beautiful vista which she said, addressing the former. the eye in vain sought to penetrate—all added an Viviana shook her head decidedly. irrepressible charm that was experienced with “Let me look at your hand, good gentleman," delight long after the voice of the singer had the gipsy crone continued, turning to me as if died away, and she had returned laughingly and she would not be denied. “I can read the joyously to us. Poor Harry looked as if mar- stars! and can tell ye your fortune blithelytyrdom would at that moment have been wel- only cross my hand with a silver half-crown, comed with rapture; and I could see the silent and you shall have half-a-dozen wives, and all big tear fall slowly down his cheek, though he as beautiful as the moon.” brushed it hastily away when he perceived he was “Pshaw!" I cried, annoyed at her pertinacity. observed. But the enchanting moment was “I can tell you your fortune, if you wish to over : it had passed away, as do all our world know it; for if you do not leave this mode of hopes--all our world-joys.

life, you will find yourself somewhat higher in in due time we met, according to a pre- the world than you bargained for--do you comconcerted signal, and selecting a charming spot prehend me?” added I, pointing significantly to adapted to the purpose, enjoyed our déjeuner à the branch of a neighbouring tree. la fourchette " under the greenwood tree;" but “ Those who look high,” responded the I am sure that the relation of this repast will woman with peculiar emphasis,

“ mount high ; prove more than uninteresting to my readers, so but those who only love the ground, never rise I will spare them the infliction. After we had above it." concluded, we agreed to stroll quietly back in I felt an indescribable thrill at the gipsy's company to the place whence we had started. words, for they so intimately applied to my own We had not, however, proceeded far, before a ambitious hopes in literature. cry was raised that Kate and Harry were no- “ But you really must hear your fortune, Mr. where to be seen. After debating on the pro- Fortescue,” cried several voices.

“ You really priety of returning or separating, in order to must-you do not know what may be in store discover the fugitives, we decided to banish our for you!" alarm, for that they would be sure to join us at Aye but I do," replied I; "a tissue of wild the appointed destination. So that we were improbability and untruth, without a particle of soon moving forward, laughing like “ merrie sense orelves” who have escaped the surveillance of Now do,” exclaimed they; and I perforce Oberon, and his grand vizier, Puck.

complied with their persuasions; and after Oh!” suddenly cried one of the gentler having deposited in the palm of the fortunesex, foremost in advance of us, with a slight | teller the necessary donation in the shape of a

We had alighted most unexpectedly half-crown, I held out my hand for her inspecupon the very scene we had long wished to be- tion. After perusing, or pretending to peruse it hold-a gipsy encampment. So many times earnestly for some seconds, she raised her forethat we had heard and read of the peculiarities finger, as if to command attention, and then, of a scene like the present, still the surprise, with an impressiveness that I could scarcely added to the novelty of actually beholding it, have conceived, and at any other time would gave it an additional interest. Who has not, have taken some shame to myself for yielding to, however, seen pourtrayed on the canvass—who she uttered

scream.

FRIEND

WILL

“ Your DEAREST

PROVE , arteries in the anguish of its parting. It was FOR A TIME YOUR DIREST ENEMY; BUT IT terrible indeed the emotion l experienced at that REMAINS WITH YOURSELF ALONE WHETHER bitter momenı; all the proud hopes I had THAT EVENT WILL LEAD YOU TO DISTINC- nursed, all the soaring aspirations I had TION."

nourished, were overthrown-crushed in the Although I for the moment experienced a flight of a poor minute. A film gathered over strange sensation while she thus spoke, I as- my eyes, and I should have wept had not the sumed a careless air, and endeavouring to make aridity of my eyeballs denied even that comfort. light of her words by turning them to ridícule, My fáte was sealed. I bent over the book, and I succeeded, to all appearance, in making the how long a space intervened I know not, for it rest forget the circumstance, more especially as was as if I had tasted of the Stygian waters; we immediately took our departure. We soon but at last I felt a hand placed on my shoulder, regained our accustomed hilarity; and by the and looking up beheld Kate Darcy, seeking, by, time we arrived at the appointed spot for meet- the mute inquiry of her face, an explanation. I ing, and where we found Kate and Harry pointed out the fatal paragraph that destroyed all already waiting for us, I had nearly forgotten iny hopes-it seemed to stand out of the page the mysterious words of the gipsy: Kate and in letters of fire. Harry were laughing merrily; and when they Do you not know by whom this was written, perceived us, a fresh burst welcomed our arrival. Mr, Fortescue?” However, we were gallant enough to pass it un- “How is it possible, my dear Miss Darcy, noticed, as neither Kate nor her admirer seemed that I could ?” willing to enlighten us as to its cause.

Are you not aware that it was written byWe proceeded homewards in the same order, bybut with much less expedition than we had " By whom?" I breathlessly inquired. come; and, as had previously been arranged, the By Viviana Brooke,” returned she. carriages set us down at Brooke's house, where * By Viviana?” I exclaimed, wildly. “Oh, we were all to concentrate our talents for the po! no! it cannot be--it is impossible! Tell evening. Ah! I remember it well-it was the me I have not heard ariglit; tell me I am evening of a day dearly known to all editors, frantic-a dolt-a dishonoured reptile: anything authors, publishers, and printers, and denomi- but this. Speak! Oh, Heaven! it is true, nated in the parlance of the craft,“ magazine then?” day.” The truth is I was awaiting anxiously A sudden movement at the door attracted our that day--for I had published a little volume attention, and Viviana herself entered. I rushed (no matter what were its title and contents, or its towards her. subject, for it is now in the toinb of all the “ Ah, speak to me!” I uttered in my despair ; Capulets, where it deserves to be), which I at "tell me that you did not write this criticism on that time thought a decidedly clever book of its my work, which has blasted my every hope, genre. I was, of course, naturally desirous of which has laid my energies powerless in the dust, reading the judgments that would be passed and say—say that it is not so, Viviana !” upon it--eager to know them, yet half afraid to “ It was written by me, Francis," she replied. realize my wish, lest I should fall from the I looked at her for a few moments with a fixed dazzling height to which my own conceit had and despairing glance, and in a deathlike silence, raised me, or, Icarus-like, meet the fate that that shook the hearts of each. attends all who soar above their strength.

" It is over,” I said, in a voice that was robbed When the ladies retired to the boudoir of of all power; “it is over! All that has passed Viviana for the necessary toilette attentions, we of between us is a blank. Thou in whom I the masculine gender did the same in Harry's centered every darling wish of my heart-who chambre à coucher. My own renovations to my wast the star that should have guided me to appearance were soon completed, for I was in eminence-whose form alone served to support haste to proceed to the drawing-room, where I me amid many weary hours of intense study; knew I should find all the new magazines and thou for whom only I nursed my daring reviews. I entered it, and there, as I expected, thoughts --for whom only I strove to win the lay a pile of them. With a palpitating heart world's esteem; thou who wast bound up in my -(I can now confess it) I passed each one, until I very existence-without whom life, with all its held in my hand the Review, the autocrat bloom, with all its flowers, were indeed a desert; of all; the good opinion of which was held as thou whom I had fondly, blindly dared to believe the summum maximum of a young author's am- didst possess a heart that beat truly, while the bition. I eagerly looked at the index, and lo! lip breathed kindly, to my love: and to deceive as I had fondly expected, there was the title of me thus! Viviana, we part for ever!" my book at full length. (I should have premised “Stay,” entreated Viviana, with streaming that it was published by me with merely a eyes; “let the explanationsignature.) I do not remember how I cut the “No; I will not hear it! As well might you leaves open, but I all too well recollect the utter it to the winds as to the wrecked bark of agony I suffered after I had read the first few my affection. I am changed - terribly changed lines. I could feel my cheek blanch; a strange in the last few moments! I feel as if a shadow sickness crept over me, as if my heart had been had fallen over me--a shadow which shuts me rent asunder, and the blood had forsaken my out from joy and happiness for evermore. Fare

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