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Corse de Leon, Volume I (of 2) or, The Brigand; a Romance   By: (1801-1860)

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E text prepared by Barbara Tozier, Bill Tozier, Mary Meehan, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team (



The Brigand.

A Romance.



Author of "The Robber," "The Gentleman of the Old School," etc.

In Two Volumes.


New York: Published by Harper & Brothers, No. 82 Cliff Street. 1841.





There are a thousand small and apparently accidental circumstances, which, in our course through life, bring a temporary gloom upon us, render our expectations from the future fearful and cheerless, and diminish our confidence in all those things whereon man either rashly relies or builds his reasonable trusts. Strength, youth, wealth, power, the consciousness of rectitude, the providence of God: all these will occasionally lose their sustaining influence, even upon the most hopeful mind, from causes too slight to justify such an effect.

These accidental circumstances, these mental clouds, resemble much those other clouds which sometimes, at the close of a bright day, come over a landscape previously warm and shining, cast a gray shade over its rich hues, shut out the redoubled glory of the setting sun, and make gloom and shadow spread over the summer scene. Though nothing is changed but the light in which things dwell, though the colour of the tree and the form of the rock are the same, yet the brightness of the whole is departed, and the lustre gone out as if for ever.

There are times, however, when a gloom, which seems to have no counterpart in the physical world, comes over the mind; when all has gone fairly with us; when every object around is full of brightness and hope; when the horses of Fortune's car have never once even stumbled on the way; and not a sorrow rough enough to rub the down from the wing of a butterfly has fallen upon our hearts for years; and yet a deep and shadowy despondence steals over our spirits, as if the immortal within us were telling the mortal of anxieties, and griefs, and dangers approaching discovered by the fine sympathies of the higher part of our being with things undiscovered by the mere material creature.

Cares, sorrows, and perils, corporeal agony, and anguish of the heart, are often but as the fire which tempers the pure iron into the fine steel, at once proving and strengthening the spirit. The last grand lesson which leads generous youth to vigorous manhood, which confirms our powers, and gives the great man's mastery over Fate, is to endure; and I am inclined to believe that such sudden and unaccountable feelings of despondency I do not mean the ordinary fits of gloom that haunt a moody and a wayward spirit, but, on the contrary, the dark impression, the heavy shadow that once or twice, in the midst of a bright lifetime, comes irresistibly upon a gay or placid mind I am inclined to think, I say, that such despondence is only given to the highminded and the great: a prophetic voice, announcing, not to the ear, but to the heart, that the day of trial comes: the trumpet of Fate, calling on a champion, dauntless and strong, to rouse him to the battle, and arm his spirit for some awful strife.

The day had been as bright and beautiful as a summer day in the south of Europe can be, and yet it had spared the traveller and the labourer many of the inconveniences and discomforts which those beautiful days of the south sometimes bring along with them: for the year was yet young, and with all the brightness of youth it had all the tenderness too. There had been a fresh breeze in the sky during the hotter part of the day; and one would have felt that it blew from the cool tops of snowy mountains, even had one not seen, from time to time, some of the distant peaks of the high Alps towering white over the greener hills below.

There was also a world of streams, and rivulets, and cascades about, which gave additional freshness and life to the air that blew heavy with the perfume of the flowers upon the banks; and the high swelling of the mountains round still gave a pleasant shade to one side of the valley... Continue reading book >>

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