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FALVEY MEMORIAL LIBRARY
FALVEY MEMORIAL LIBRARY
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Dime Novel and Popular Literature
The Portland Transcript
Dime Novel and Popular Literature
The Portland Transcript
The Portland transcript, v. XVIII, no. 12, July 1, 1854.
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The Portland transcript, v. XVIII, no. 12, July 1, 1854.
18 October 2019
Portland [Me.] : Gould & Elwell
Dime Novels and Popular Literature
The Three wives.
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Disclaimer of Endorsement
| ip } BY GOULD ‘WELL, Office 80 Middle, near Corner of Exchange St. AN INDEPENDENT FAMILY JOURNAL OF LITERATURE, NEWS, &C. PORTLAND, ME., SATURDAY, JULY 1, 1854. VOLUME XVIII. ‘ TERMS: $150 PER YE. One Dollar fo: AR. x Eight Months, in advance. NUMBER 12. — Qoctry, PATIENCE TAUGHT BY NATURE. A PERFECT SONNET. BY MRS. ELIZABETA BARRETT BROWNING. “Oh dreary life!” we ery, 0 dreary life!” And still the generations of the birds Sing through our sighing, and the flocks and herds Serenely live while we are keeping strife With Heaven’s true purpose in us, as @ knifo Against which we may struggle. Ocean girds Unslacken’d the dry land: savannah-ewards In their old glory! 0 thou God of old! Grant me some smaller grace than comes to these ;— But 60 much patience, as a blade of grass Grows by contented through the heat and cold. Select Cale. THE THREE WIVES. From tine immemorial, the grent propor- tion of novels, tales and plays consists of a graphic account of the doubts, dangers, tri- als, sighs and disappointments encountered by two unfortunate beings wha are destined for each other by Providence, bat who find great difficulty in attaining to the bliss de- signed fur them. At the Jost page, the va. rious obstacles having been encountered and overcome, the happy pair are “joined in the holy bonds of matrimony.” Like the faith- ful nuraery maid, who never allowed her jong stories to retard the’ retiring hour, but always ended, “and they were married,” al- though she had but just commenced her re- cital, so the greater proportion of our books terminate in the same way, and no one thinks of taking a peep into the dim vista beyond. Contrary to the usuel course of things, this story commences where mest stories end... Soif it should be found unus- ually destitute of interest, it may in a meas- ure be ascribed to this cause. John Smith—perhaps, to muke the tale « attractive it should have Adolphus Alpbon- so Symthe;-but there are advantages in writing as well as speaking short names— Jokn Smith had heard much of the folly of ~ allowing himself to be entangled by the fas- Cinations of a city belle; had seen a strik- ing instance of this folly in the disorderly household of a city friend; and had read, in a country newspaper, the exrthly blessed- nese of having at the head of an establish- ment a person who was well skilled in do- mestic affairs John meditated and reasoned—became suddenly aware of the necessity of paying avisit to his uncle Abraham, up in the Green Mountains, and with his brain full of his own new schemes, took the cars for Ver- mont. . Although no one was informed of the ob- ject of this sudden movement, the result was speedily known, for it was not loug before a Mrs. John Sunith was presiding at the elegant mansion that had been for some time awaiting a mistress. And ocow let not the reader fancy any long train of circum- stances preceding this marriuge—any unex- pected mectings, remarkable rescues, or quardian’s interference, to add to the dater- est of the proceeding. Mr. Swith, from the window of his uncle Abraham’s dwell- ing, had cast admiring glances upon a dam- sel making bread; xt the door of her-own house he had encountered her w ith a brouin; and when, upon ao eventful Monday, he found ber in the morning at the washing-tub, and in the evening mending stockings, his heart was gone irrecoverably, a sacrifice to his theory. “What a housekeeper such a wife must be! What a contrast her bright eyes and rosy cheeks presented to the pale, languid maidens he so often met at home.— Tlappy John Smith! The sighing swains about you will die of envy at your prospects, and hopelessness at their own! stalled in her new domain, that her husband found he had made a mistake; bis convic- tions and reasonings, althotigh so delightful in theory, left 4 strange sad void in practice, and the lady who shone. with such resplen- deut grandeur in a country farm house was fast becoming anonen‘ity. Placed by circumstances in a position that required but little of the exercise of her peculiar talent, she was ill at ease in any place; her tastes were not adapted to the seenes uround her, and she was so ignorant of the punctilios of ceremony, etiquette and fashion, that her poor spouse was kept in a sual round of vexation and mortificn- tion, “Although he was ulways sure of « well-couked dinner and an orderly house, he was alsy equally sure of Mrs, Smith's be- trayivg her peculiar interest in these mat- ters before his literary friends, If the con- affairs iu France, Mrs. Smith uever could imagine why there wasa preference given to French cooks, Did the greut West en- gage their attention, she was loud in. ber encemiums upon “Western bacon.” At one time her husband found ber-reading in- tently, with a book in each hand, and flat- tered himself here were some signs of a lit- erary taste, Tis hopes, however, were dashed to the ground ashe saw they were lie and Catherine Beecher. Too late did Mr. Smith learn the sad les- son that domestic accomplishments are not the only ones requisite in a life's compan- ion. “Thank fortune, Lam notin Joba's place,” said Mr. Charles Smith, a younger brother, as he emerged one day from the house, having listeued for the last two hours to a descriptiun of the best method of pre- serving sweetmeats, and the cpmparative merits of pine-applejelly and peach marma- lade. “As well marry one’s cook at once; Tshall not be caught in thattrap;” and so he bent his steps to the mansion of a lady asignorant of domestic affaira as he could desire, but who rejoiced in accomplishments heaped upon accomplishments—superficial, ly, it must be owned, since one cannot excel in everything when everything is to be ae- uired, Nevertheless, she could preside gracefully over the drawing room, quote from Shakspeare, Byron, and Longfellow, and if not particularly blessed with heart, was elegant, fashionable and attractive. — Preliminaries were soon settled, and “they were marrieds” Mr. Charles Smith installed the lady of his adoration in her ap- propriate sphere as his wife, with no draw- back to his bappiness, save the pity he felt for John, who must be so inuch chagrined at the contrast between the new sisters.— But a shadow fell upon the glory of his pride when he found that the idol be bad secured for himself was only secking the applause of other worshippers. Every word and action was directed to fascinate some new cower, while sympathy, kindness, and the delicate attentions he had fondly hoped he sbould receive at her hand were quite beneath her notice. When Mr. Charles Smith returned from his office, oppressed with cares, with a wea- ry heart and aching bead,there was no grate- ful welcome, no gentle touch upon his burn- ing brow, but he was told to call a servant, if he required attention, or politely remnind- ed that the drawing-room was no place for invalids.” Poor Charles Smith! even your brother John is iu a more desirable situa- tion; fur Doruthy, in spite of her devotion tober culinaty affairs, has a kind heart and atender one.. What if she dues persist in preparing “nostrums” and covling drinks ‘herself, she is devoted and attentive until they prove efficacious. Mrs. Charles Smith was an indefatigable performer upon the pianoforte, harp and guitar, The din of operas, sonatas and polkas was continually falling upon the un- practised car of her husband ; yet if he ev- ee" Tt was not long after Mra. Smith was in- ' er ventured to call for some simple air, some rstrain redolen€ of the fragrance of “olden time,” she was shocked at his anti- quated taste, refused to play any thing so en- tirely obsolete,and continued her “Brilliante Valse,” with its fifteen pages of variativps. In the household matters of the elegant Mrv, Smith, disorder, extravagance and con- fusion reigned supreme. Should she stoop from her refinement and elevated sphere to preside over such menial drudgery? Even if she did, what would it avail? since she had neither skill por judgment to direct. Wishes accomplished do not always prove the most fortunate things fur us, and Mr. Charles Stith repented at his leisure of bis folly in asking but. one requisite in a wile, uamely, ignorance of household affairs—a mere parlor oruament.. Such pieces of statuary should be procured at the sculp- tor’s; they will neither weary by their pet- vereation chanced to turn upon the state of| lance, nor lose their charms in old age. One brother yet reniained, but he had openly resolved never to engage in the imat- rimouial scheme, The sad fate of the elder members of the family had so shaken his faith in this ancient institution, that, he felt his ouly safety retained in keeping out of it. “However,” said Frank Smith to himself’ —tor visions of a pleasant home and loving wife presiding there would at times eteal over bin—“if Iam ever married it shall the fascinating “receipt bouks” of Miss Les-| be to one who has not a‘taste for music,’ and who has no suspicion that there is such a word in the English Inguage as—couke- ry.” With this safeguard, this test by which all fair and trusting damsels were to be tried, Mr. Frank Swith went out into the world. At one time he came very near being ensnared by the bright eyes and rosy lips of @ lady be met at the house of a friend ; she was iuteresting and agreeable, never making any allusion to the forbidden subjects ; but alackaday ! one pleasaut morn- ing,as she was tripping gracefully befure him, she suddenly turned iato a music store, and he bade her adieu forever. Things sometines happen at very differ- eut times, aud in very different places, from the arrangements wé bad made inour own minds, and sv it chanced to Mr. Frank Smith. One bright sunny day he had ocea- sion to take a short trip ou business, while thoughts of matrimony were the last things to oceupy his mind. Earnestly meditating upon Lis various schemes, and revolving their chances of success, his eye happene to fall upon an invalid who was walking the deck of the steamer, but listening attentive ly tua fuir girl beside him, whom Mr. Suith at once determined tu be his sister, from the amuarked resemblance between them. Mr. Suwith cousidered himself very accurate in ‘erming opinions of people, aud indeed he wasso; he could readily distinguish the well-bred, courteous gentleman from ove who only assumed this appearance; dis- guises were with him only a wore striking attraction to disclose the concealment, and he was not long in deciding that the invalid and his sister belonged to our “best suciety” Fortune favored Mr. Smith that day jg fur, soon after, hearing the geutleman express a wish fur a buok that he had seca noticed, he was able to oiler it for bis perusal ; and the gratitude of the lady, expressed less in words than looks, sent a thrill to bis half. seured heart. “She could never be like my pastry-cook sister Dorothy ; neither is there any danger of ber being cold and unsympa- thizing, when she is so untiring in her. at- tentiuns to that pour brother. If I. were quite sure that she did not worship Alboni and Sontag, warbling the sungs of the. an- gelic Jenny, Lshould be tempted to—" What the temptation was, or whether those facts were ascertained, remained a mystery ; but before the boat had deposited its precious frieght, Mr. Smith had made great progress in his acquaintance, ascer- tained the residence of the travellers, and gained permission to call upon them. Intermediate scenes are better imagined than described; so the reader is invited to tuke a peep at the household arrangements of Mr. Frank Smith, who ia just entering his dwelling on his return fru the bridal tour. © The furniture bas arrived duri the absence of the happy pair; but i agine the consternation of Mr. Suith, when after glancing upon mirrors, solas and.tables, his eye fale upon a splendid piano, “What does this mean?” exid the horror-stricken man; “surely, Mary, you do not play?” Mary repressed a simile as she said, “You know it is so pleasant to have au instrument for our friends, even it Ido not use it myself; ? which restored him at once to his former equauimity. Frank Swith had found, in the gentle Mary, what his heart had been long seching —a friend, a companion, a wile,in the truest sense of the word, Sufficiently similar in their tustes to enjoy the same beautiful things, they were also eufficiently unlike to prevent a monotonous, commouplace life. There were no regrets iu Frank's iniud that his gentle, unpretending wife could not daz- zle and outshine the butterflies at a soiree, or compete with her cook in the humbler duties of home life. “I would-willingly suffer a few poor dinners for the words of tenderness aud soul-speaking glances that have never yet fallen reproachfully upou me.” Ab! Mr. Smith, you are growing too romantic. Day dreams are sonietines dis- pelled. A brilliant throng had gathered in the mansion of Mra. Charles Smith, nominally for the purpose of welcowing the new sis- ter, but io reality to shuw to the “dear five hundred friends” who were gazing on her with curious eyes, her inferiority. | When the lady of the house moved song her guests with such attractive dignity, here bestowing a patronizing glance, and there scattering her sallies of wit and pleasantry, a casual observer might have thought she cast our quict Mary entirely into the shade; and when the wusical perforinances com- menced, is it possible that Frauk Smith bad no half formed wish that his chosen one wight gather around ber the “listening crowd ?°—so natural is the desire in the human beart to have the objects of our af fection appreciated by others. _A polite, but unmeaning solicitation was extended to the new bride, to give the cum pany soug simple air upon the piano; but instead of the expected refusal, she seated herself at once at the proscribed instru- ment, aud executed one af Beethoven's wiost difficult sonatas. The uudience were charwed iuto silence, fur hers was po com- mou touch; but it would be difficult to tell whether prideor astonishuyent predominated in the mind of the delighted husband. Cer- tainly he was not as amuch grieved as he once supposed he should bave been, at this discovery. Mrs. Charles Sinith was vexed with envy aud disuppointueut; Mrs Doro- thy was discovered asleep in a rocking chair.” The hours were gliding ewiftly away, and the unpretending Mary had al- ready created quite a sensation; but her amiable sister-in-law was determined to out- shine ber yet, although thus far she had found herself eclipsed. At length she drew her into a group where an animated discus: sion was going on upon a certain subject, and the views of a distisguished German writer upon it, “I would give twenty guin- eas,” suid the gentleman, “if I had hi works here, there is a passage relating to this very point which would settle the mat- ter at ouce, but I can only partly quote it.” “Allow me to repeat it for you,” said Mra, Frauk Smith, “I have lately been reading the beok to my brother, and have the sen- tence still in ny memory, as we devyted some time to the subject.” Her husband listened with admiration and surprise; what- ever gifts sho might develop, he had never dreamed of her reading German. Ter sia- ter-in-law, chagrined at her own ignorance, thusiastic in her praives of “brother John’s fore alluded, except “Koowl edge of household duties was 80 desirable— acconiplishments were of 80 little value un- less n wife interested herself in useful mat- ters;” one would have supposed Mee. Charles Swith was eepecially skillful in this branch of education; but it was only aid hoping to impress some une of her guests with asense of the deficiency sof her new’ sister; she was nut willing the star of the evening should vanish from their eight un- til she had thrown some cloud over its lus- tre; and this wax the last recort of her fruitful imagination. Frank heard her re- marks, but he was uot disturbed; bouse- keepers aud cooks ‘could be obtained for money, but the wealth of the Indies could not gain a treasure like the light of her lure ing eye, or the munic of a voice whose sweet- est notes were fur him. Weeks rolled on. New discoveries are yet in store for thee, Frank. Can it be that the gentle one at thy side will lose thy affec- sion, wean trom thee the love that has gilded thy pathway thus far, and turn into sorrow and disappuintwent thy pride and adwira- tion? We trust not. The breakfast hour has not yet arrived, but Frauk Suith sits by his cheerful fire, reading the last number of “Putnam's” which Mary bas placed in his hand. Find- ing him too deeply absorbed in his pamphlet to be very entertaining, we will fullow the young housekeeper itu her new duwaia. ” The night beture, Bridget, der chief de- pendence in the cooking establishment, had been taken suddenly ill ; and, ad wisfortunes never come single, the black-eyed Nora had taken a sudden departure. It was too late to eupply their places, and so Mra. Frank Smith prepared the coffee aud warm cakes herself, cunscious, wll the While, of her bus- band’s horror of ‘domestic women,”— When the happy pair were seated at table, Mr. Smith could uot help commeading the apimated look and “bealthful glow” which the exercise, of which he little dreamed, had given bis wife. Thea fullowed com- mendations of the repast. “Such delicious coffee as Bridget makes! I must surely raise her wages,” cjaculated Mey Smith, while the culor heightened in the cheeks of Mary as she replied, “I am glad you are 80 well satisfied with Bridget’s couking.” The brewkfast having been finished, Frauk bent bis steps to bis office, aud his lady tried tu devise the best meaos for meeting the emergencies of the occasion. Biddy was in a state that proised speedy recovery, although not able to discharge her ordinary duties; Norah's place wae to be supplied, and 60 Mrs. Swith quietly and systematicully attended to the household duties herself. We peed not follow ber through the routine of the day. Mr. Smith appareutly noticed no chauge; the justice which be did to his dinner wust have beer from an increaved amount of exercise; and that evening, while his wife was reading aloud from a favorite author, he mentally t wife whofenuld apprecinte such things, he had one whose soul was above domestic af- eg irs. . ‘The next morning was an eventful one in ‘sank Smith's calendar. He went to bis busiuess as usual, but some little act of forgetfulness sent him home unexpectedly ; and lo! what a sight met his view! Mrs. Smith, with a neat little cap and apron, was sweeping the parlors, with as much interest, apparently, as she would “swept the strings of her guitar,” humuming, merrily as a bird, the old tune, “Buy a broom.” Poor Prank threw himself upon an ottoman that stood in his way, and tried to smile, but it was a very woebegoue smile, Le was astonished and he was vexed; he had boasted eo many times of his ability to detect aknowledge of “household drudgery,” and the unmistakable turned away, and soon began to be very en- signs it always left in its possessor, aud 0 “thanked his stars’ that whilehe had a ’