Author: Sue Petigru Bowen
Release Date: November 30, 2005 [eBook #17191]
Character set encoding: ISO-646-us (us-ASCII)
***Start of the project gutenberg EBOOK the actress in high life***
E-text prepared by Mark Meiss from page images and corrected digital text generously provided by the Wright American Fiction Project (http://www.letrs.indiana.edu/web/w/wright2/) of the Library Electronic Text Service of Indiana University
Note: Images of the original pages are available
through the Wright
American Fiction Project
of the Library Electronic Text Service of Indiana University.
THE ACTRESS IN HIGH LIFE:
An Episode in Winter Quarters.
(Sue Petigru Bowen)
“Grim-Visag’d War hath smooth’d
his wrinkled front;
And now, instead of mounting barbed steeds,
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
He capers nimbly in a lady’s chamber,
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.”
Derby & Jackson.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1860, in the Clerk’s office of the District Court of South Carolina. C.A. Alvord, Printer, New York.
THE ACTRESS IN HIGH LIFE;
AN EPISODE IN WINTER QUARTERS.
I was a traveler, then, upon the
I saw the hare that raced about with joy,
I heard the woods and distant waters roar,
Or heard them not, as happy as a boy;
The pleasant season did my heart employ.
My old remembrances went from me wholly,
And all the ways of men so vain and melancholy.
Gentle Reader: Wherever you may be, in bodily presence, when you cast your eyes on this page, let it for a few hours transport your complying spirit to a remote region and a bygone day. We may alter names without injury to our story; but every real character, or event, has its own time, place, and accidents; to tear it from them is like transplanting a tree from its native spot; it must be trimmed and pruned, and robbed of its due proportions and its natural grace.
Here, then, on this lovely day, near the end of the year 1812, you are in Alemtejo—the largest, poorest, and, in every sense, worst peopled province of Portugal. As its name implies, you are, as to Lisbon, beyond the Tagus. Hasten eastward over this sandy, arid plain, covered with a forest of stunted sea-pines, through whose tops the west wind glides with monotonous and melancholy moans, fit music for the wilderness around you. Nor need you loiter