The development of the maiden is like the opening of some lovely flower-bud. As life unfolds, the tender smile and blush of childhood mingle with the grace of maidenly repose; the upturned, radiant eye gathers new depths of thought and emotion; the delicate features, the wavy, pliant form, begin to reveal their wealth of grace and beauty.
Sometimes, the overstimulated bud is forced into intense and unnatural life and bloom. Sometimes, the development is slow and almost imperceptible. Fed gently by the light and dews of heaven, the flower, at length, circles forth in perfected beauty. Here, the airy grace and playfulness of a Rosalind, or the purity and goodness of a Desdemona is developed; there, the intense, passionate nature of a Juliet, or the rich intellect and lofty elegance of a Portia.
But, how brief is that bright period of transition! Scarcely can the artist catch the beautiful creation and transfer it to the canvas, ere it has changed, or faded.
“How small a part of time
That are so wondrous sweet and fair!”
Adele Dubois had just reached this period of life. Her form was ripening into a noble and statuesque symmetry; the light in her eyes shot forth from darkening depths; a faint bloom was creeping into her cheek; a soft smile was wreathing those lips, wrought by nature, into a somewhat haughty curve; the frank, careless, yet imperious manner was chastening into a calmer grace; a transforming glory shone around her, making her one of those visions that sometimes waylay and haunt a man’s life forever.
Her physical and intellectual growth were symmetrical. Her mind was quick, penetrative, and in constant exercise. Truthful and upright, her soul shone through her form and features, as a clear flame, placed within a transparent vase, brings out the adornments of flower, leaf, and gem, with which it is enriched.
In a brown stone house, in the city of P., State of ——, there hangs in one of the chambers a picture of Adele, representing her as she was at this period of her life. It is full of beauty and elegance. Sun-painting was an art unknown in the days when it was executed. But the modern photographist could hardly have produced a picture so exquisitely truthful as well as lovely.
THE DEER HUNT.
Early in the morning, John Lansdowne, having donned his hunting suit and taken a hasty breakfast, seized his rifle and joined Micah, already waiting for him on the lawn in front of the house.
He was equipped in a tunic-like shirt of dressed buckskin, with leggings and moccasins of the same material, each curiously embroidered and fringed. The suit was a present from his mother,—procured by her from Canada. His head was surmounted by a blue military cap and his belt adorned with powder pouch and hunting-knife. Micah with a heavy blanket coat of a dingy, brown color, leggings of embroidered buckskin, skull cap of gray fox skin, and Indian moccasins; wore at his belt a butcher knife in a scabbard, a tomahawk, otter-skin pouch, containing bullets and other necessaries for such an expedition.