Ah! it was a frail paper bark, freighted with the noblest, purest aspirations that ever possessed a woman's soul, launched upon the tempestuous sea of popular favor, with ambition at the helm, hope for a compass, and the gaunt spectre of failure grinning in the shrouds. Would it successfully weather the gales of malice, envy, and detraction?
Would it battle valiantly and triumphantly with the piratical hordes of
critics who prowl hungrily along the track over which it must sail?
Would it become a melancholy wreck on the mighty ocean of literature, or
would it proudly ride at anchor in the harbor of immortality, with her
name floating for ever at the masthead?
It was an experiment that had stranded the hopes of hundreds
and of thousands; and the pinched, starved features of Chatterton, and
the white, pleading face of Keats, stabbed to death by reviewers'
poisoned pens, rose like friendly phantoms and whispered sepulchral
But to-day the world wore only rosy garments, unspotted by
shadows, and the silvery voice of youthful enthusiasm sung only of
victory and spoils, as hope gayly struck the cymbals and fingered the