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WORDS.* It was that delicious season of the the crystal water of its fountains. If year, when nature, having laid aside human happiness depended on the dethe mourning weeds which she bad licious balm that nature sheds from a worn for the sweet children that had southern sky, or the inexpressible perished on her bosom during the beauty with which she decks the bowinter, and having shed the soft spark- som of the earth in summer, or even ling tears, in which her deeper agony the consciousness that we can enjoy imperceptibly dissolves, looked smil- such blessings, without purchasing ingly in the face of her celestial bride- them at the bitter price of days and groom, and felt within her maternal nights of hopeless and depressing toil, breast the awakening of new life,

Flerida must have been most happy, “ April had wept itself to May," and But the melancholy that was depicted May, as if conscious of the sorrow she in her countenance, her languid gait had overcome, and that the malignant and dejected air, showed but too influence of her wintry enemy was clearly how little human happiness denow no more, dressed her countenance pends upon the accidental circumin perpetual smiles, and, with the stances of nature, or of fortune. Our happy feeling of security, danced on fair friends, with that quickness of the fresh grass, and beneath the half- perception, and that intuitive sagacity opened green buds of the reviving for which they are so celebrated, will trees. It was at such a time, and on at once surmise that the beautiful a bright golden morning worthy of the Flerida was in love; and as we cannot season, that the beautiful Flerida, bear to be upon any terms but those Duchess of Parma, accompanied by of the most complete confidence with the ladies of her court, strayed through our readers, we are bound to acknow. the delicious gardens that lay around ledge that they are perfectly correct. her palace, and which were divided Yes, indeed, Flerida was in love-desfrom the stately city, which she go. perately, hopelessly in love-wounded verned with such a gentle hand, by a in the midst of her very court by that smooth, transparent stream, spanned daring little democrat, who attacks by a marble bridge. So wonderfully peasants and princesses, duchesses and had nature and art combined their re- dairy-maids, with the same indifference, sources in the formation of these gar- and whose unceremonious visits to the dens, that they realised all that the palaces even of queens, under the chavisionary has dreamed, or the poet has racter of the boy_Cupid,” has so described. So regularly did the warm, often set Olympus in a roar. Woundwell-tended earth, and the sheltered ed Flerida was, beyound all question; trees put forth, in unfailing succes- but unfortunately the immortal arrow sions, their flowers and fruits all the that had pierced her breast was pluck. year round, that the place seemed the ed by the archer, either in his haste or habitation of Armida — while Diana in his indifference to human suffering, might have rested in its shady groves, from the wrong quiver. And here we and Venus bathed her ivory limbs in must be allowed to say a word to all

* 'El Secreto a Voces.” By CALDERON. VOL. XXXII.-NO. CLXXXVII.


the sculptors, painters, and poets, who enough to awaken in his heart the have either carved, coloured, or de- seeds of an undying attachment. Flescribed “the blind bow-boy" from the rida, without either refusing or acbeginning of the world to the present cepting his proposal, indeed without alhour, and to set them right upon a most thinking on the subject, nourish. matter of costume. They have all ed the secret passion which she felt for presented him to our eyes, such as we a gentleman of her court, named see him, “in old marbles ever beauti- Frederick, who discharged the duties ful,” with a single quiver hanging from of her secretary. The inequality of his winged shoulders. This, indeed, their position, the duty which she felt is the small, bright, ivory quiver, incumbent on her, of making her whence the diamond shafts of hope are marriage conduce to the power and taken, that are winged with success, prosperity of her people, but, above and bear their own healing balm upon all, the certainty which she felt that their points. But in truth, on the Frederick had placed his affections other shoulder he bears a second qui. upon some lady of his own rank, ver, larger and darker than the first, whose name she had not been able to which, though hitherto unnoticed by discover-all awakened within her those the eyes of men, can be borne testi- feelings of dejection and despair that mony to by their hearts, for in it are we have endeavoured to describe. the arrows of despair-sharp, enve- The name of this chosen mistress of nomed, and incurable--for which the Frederick's affections was Laura, the beart has no shield, and time itself has most beautiful of the ladies in atten. no antidote.

dance on Flerida, and in whom the That it was out of the latter quiver duchess reposed the greatest confithat the arrow which rankled in Fle- dence. The love of Frederick was rida's heart was taken, may be easily reciprocated by his mistress, but guessed from the circumstance of her owing to their being wholly depenbeing blind and insensible to the beau- dant on Flerida, and to the circumty that surrounded her, and to the in. stance of Laura's father, Arnesto, fluence of the delicious season that being anxious that his daughter should had returned to bless the earth. For wed Lisardo, her own cousin, they the first perceptible effect of the diffe- agreed to keep their affection secret rent arrows we have mentioned is felt from all but each other, at least for a in the change which the appearance of time. The day before that on which nature undergoes in the eyes of the our story opens, Henry, the Duke of sufferer. If the dart has proceeded Mantua, not being able to resist the from the white, joyous quiver, then curiosity which he felt of beholding suddenly the face of creation wears an the original of that beautiful portrait, expression of miraculous beauty; every which had so great an effect upon bis flower rivals the loveliness of the rose, heart, came to Parma, with letters as and every bird sings with the sweet- if from the duke, recommending him ness of the lark. The desert smiles to Flerida as a gentleman of his court, with sudden fertility, and the mono- who, on account of a ducl arising out tonous sea bears golden isles of pro- of a love affair, was obliged to absent mise on its barren waters. If, on the himself from Mantua for a few days. other hand, the cruel indifference of He took up his residence with Frelove has drawn the deadly shaft from derick, to whom alone he entrusted “the poisoned quiver," all nature seems his secret; and to whose inquisitive to share the wound--the fairest flowers valet, Fabio, he was an object of wither and fade away; the trees lose especial curiosity and speculation. their foliage, and the turf its verdant Flerida, lost in melancholy reverie, freshness; the song of the lark sounds strayed through her delicious garharsh, or is unnoticed; and the world dens, and was only wakened to conseems as bare and desolate as the heart, sciousness occasionally, by the approwhere no grain of hope may ever ripen priateness of some sentiment sung by again.

the chorus of musicians who attended Flerida had been just sought in mar- her, and by the sweet solitary voice riage by the Duke of Mantua. She of Flora, one of her own ladies. had never seen her suitor, neither had the duke ever beheld Flerida, except

Chorus of Musiciuns,

Ah! my heart, in love's sweet senson in the saint, dim shadow of her por

Thou hast reason for thy pain;

Reason for the gentle treason trait--which, however, was beautiful

That has lured the to love's chin;

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