[To “Voices from 19th-Century America”]

The Token, for 1836

The Token, edited by Samuel Goodrich, was one of many gift annuals available to early 19th-century readers. These lavishly bound, lushly illustrated collections of poetry and prose were intended as Christmas and New Year’s gifts—reminding us that in early 19th-century America, New Year’s was a gift-giving holiday. Gift books were published both for children and for adults, though the audiences often overlapped: some pieces by Goodrich appearing in The Token were reprinted in his works for children, including Robert Merry’s Museum. Goodrich saw in The Token a chance to promote American writers and engravers. He succeeded very well, especially with the writers, who included John Neal, Catharine Sedgwick, N. P. Willis, Lydia Sigourney, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Eliza Leslie, and—in retrospect, most significant—Nathaniel Hawthorne. The first volume of The Token appeared in 1827; the last was published in 1842. Almost always, it was a decorative volume, with a handsome binding, fulsome end papers, and contents that were—well—decorative. Scenic views and scenic ladies were staples in the poetry; the prose tended to be lightly humorous, slightly sensational, and delicately edifying. Most of what appeared in The Token was innocuous.

The volume for 1836 contains the usual mixture of sentiment and eccentricity, 360 pages wrapped in floral-patterned fabric end papers and tucked between richly tooled leather covers. The pages are gilded on all exposed sides, and the text is embellished by 12 engravings, snapshots of which are reproduced here. In keeping with the book’s intended purpose as a gift, a presentation plate is included at the front, and the list of engravings appears before the table of contents for the text—establishing for shoppers that there was a good number of illustrations for the money.

Lovely and gentle women abound. Hannah F. Gould provides an example of badassery, with one of her feminine ideals riding into battle beside her father and slaying an enemy prince. And Eliza Leslie’s Constance Allerton flouts the expectations of society by refusing to participate in the traditions of mourning. But the general model of womanhood is genteel and gentle and socially approved. Historical women—Beatrice Portinari, Arabella Johnson—are presented as examples of purity and deep piety. The heroine of Catharine Sedgwick’s “New Year’s Day” sets an unattainable standard for patience and helpfulness and patience and sweetness and patience and good works, as she gives perfect, handmade gifts to her family (just how does she manage to produce everything from a book of drawings for a child to copy, to “several pairs of fine woolen hose which she had knit [for her father] … in her intervals of leisure”?), persuades a businessman not to raise the rent on a poor woman’s home (in an early example of the hazards of gentrification, the woman’s business has increased the value of the property), hostesses a day-long party (with an unforeseeable number of guests), and deals sweetly (and patiently!) with her father’s refusal to let her see the man she loves.

Marriage is explored in several works: tenderly in Lydia Sigourney’s “The Bride,” humorously in John Neal’s “The Young Phrenologist,” financially in “Wealth and Fashion,” and bizarrely in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Wedding Knell.” Each, in its way, has something of interest to say about marriage and relationships. (Neal’s piece opens with a wonderful satire of the “terrible revelation” scene in sentimental stories.)

Hannah Gould’s “Blanche and Isabel” is a tropey European melodrama, complete with disguised princesses and brash young cavaliers (why are so many of them named “Pierre”?) posturing through thirty-three pages of exclamation marks; but most of the prose pieces have American themes. An action-filled section from James Fenimore Cooper’s The Pioneers accompanies an engraving. “New Year’s Day” is a (slightly melodramatic) look at New Years in New York. Eliza Leslie comments on the traditions of mourning, in “Constance Allerton,” as a grieving family overextends itself while trying to adhere to the expectations of society.

The Puritans make more than one appearance. William L. Stone’s “The Fair Pilgrim” mounts a Puritan wife high on a pedestal as she teaches Christianity to a friendly Native American (who helpfully perishes with his people of smallpox, a footnote tells us, thus allowing the English to strengthen their foothold on the continent) and dies gracefully and piously. Hawthorne’s Puritans are oppressive in “The May-Pole of Merry Mount,” obliterating a folk festival and hustling its celebrants down a narrower spiritual path.

Armchair travelers could take the scenic route through Grenville Mellen’s 28-page “Pilgrimage to the White Mountains.” Yearners after spiritual sustenance could look to “Life Beyond the Mountains.” Admirers of the republic’s democratic impulses—a theme which editor Samuel Goodrich explored often in his works for children—had their beliefs reinforced by “Wealth and Fashion,” a guilty pleasure of a story about love and money. Self-references abound: the first poem assures the lovely lady gracing the engraved title page that she will inspire browsers to buy the book; “Life Beyond the Mountains” wonders what spiritual matters have to do in The Token; in “The Minister’s Black Veil,” Hawthorne refers to an incident in “The Wedding Knell”—also in this volume.

Hawthorne has three pieces in this work, odd little gothic-drops in a bag of sentiment and morality mixed. Readers got expression and repression in “The May-Pole of Merry Mount,” the deathlessness of agony and of love in “The Wedding Knell,” and the complexity of guilt in “The Minister’s Black Veil.” Did fans of Neal, Sigourney, and Eliza Leslie enjoy these stories? It’s difficult to know. Did those pleased by Hawthorne’s contributions also appreciate the softer poetry and prose? It’s possible: 19th-century readers could be aesthetic and sentimental all in the same heartbeat.

Reviewers of the volume weren’t consistent in their views of the contents, describing the written portion as “an insipid sorting of trash” and as “of a higher order of merit than usually characterizes our annuals.” One reviewer trumpeted the discovery of an incident of plagiarism, claiming that “Life; its Seasons” bears too close a resemblance to a piece that had appeared in the Boston Pearl in 1834. The subject probably has been standard since writing was developed.

The entire volume is transcribed here, with spelling intact. (“Puritan” is capitalized in Hawthorne’s work, but not always in Stone’s. “Neice” appears to be an alternate spelling of “niece.”) Punctuation is its own world: use of single quotation marks to indicate dialog leads to two single quotation marks together (‘ ‘) when that dialog quotes dialog. But more perplexing are typographical errors. Punctuation may be missing or oddly spaced (“thee’ ll” in place of “thee ’ll”). The most offences appear in Eliza Leslie’s “Constance Allerton.” Unfortunately, scanning all the illustrations would damage the book, so while two were scanned, the other engravings are quick (and sometimes distorted) snapshots. Reviews are on a separate page.

The Token and Atlantic Souvenir, edited by Samuel Goodrich (Boston: Charles Bowen, 1836)

[presentation page]

presentation page
Drawn by G. L. Brown      Engraved by E. Gallaudet


The Panther Scene
Printed by G. L. Brown.      Engraved by J. Andrews.
The Panther Scene.
From The Pioneers.
Published by Charles Bowen.

[“fancy title page”:
engraved title page]


portrait of a girl
F. Alexander    Jno. Cheney


printed title page]




[copyright page]

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year eighteen hundred and thirty-five, by Charles Bowen, in the Clerk’s Office of the district Court of Massachusetts.

Samuel N. Dickinson, Printer,
52, Washington street.

[p. iii]


From the commencement of the Token in 1828, it has been the desire of the proprietors to render the work as little dependent, as possible, upon foreign art. The literary department has been sustained for nine years, by American writers; and in the other departments nothing has been borrowed from European artists, with the exception of designs for the engravings. A part of the prints have been unavoidably copied from the productions of foreign painters; yet a preference has always been given to the works of our own artists, and no volume has appeared, that was not embellished with several copies of American pictures.

The rapid advance that has recently been made here, in the various arts, particularly that of painting, together with the interest manifested by the community, in the productions of our countrymen, have induced the proprietor this year, to introduce no other engravings than those from original paintings or drawings by American artists. The present volume, therefore, is not only considerably enlarged, but it is wholly an American production. It is the first annual, and the only highly embellished book, issued from the American press, which could claim entire independence of foreign aid.

In accomplishing his design, the publisher has encountered difficulties, which the public can in part appreciate. Amid the multiplied productions of the pencil, there are very few suited to the purposes of an annual. Of the thousands of fine pictures painted every year in Europe, there are probably not a dozen that would prove decidedly popular in a work of this kind. In this country the artists being few, and restricting ourselves to the productions of American painters, it is plain that our choice is confined within very narrow limits. We have, in the present volume, used our best endeavors, yet as it must come into comparison with those of England, where selections may be made, alike from the numerous productions of living artists, and the exhaustless treasures of the past, accumulated

p. iv

in the halls, castles, palaces and galleries throughout Europe, it might be wise to bespeak some favor in behalf of our work on the ground of its American character. If we were driven to this plea, we hope it might not be without avail—and that if further apology were needed, it might be found in the difficulties which usually beset a first attempt. Should this attempt be approved by the public, it is our design to continue the work upon its present basis, and doubt not that with the advancing arts, we shall be able year by year, to make nearer and yet nearer approaches to perfection.

[p. v]


Presentation Plate, drawn by G. L. Brown, engraved by E. Gallaudet.

Fancy Title Page, painted by F. Alexander, engraved by John Cheney.

The Fair Pilgrim, painted by Geo. L. Brown, engraved by V. Balch … 33

The Panther Scene, painted by Geo. L. Brown, engraved by Joseph Andrews … 61

Dante’s Beatrice, painted by Washington Allston, engraved by John Cheney … 105

The Wreck at Sea, drawn by J. Birch, engraved by J. B. Neagle … 151

The Spirit of Poesy, painted by W. Croome, engraved by J. B. Neagle … 187

The Emigrant’s Adventure, painted by A. Fisher, engraved by Geo. B. Ellis … 229

I’ll think of that, painted by S. S. Osgood, engraved by E. Gallaudet … 277

The Pilot Boy, sketched by G. L. Brown, engraved by S. W. Cheney … 301

The Hunters of the Prairie, painted by J. Doughty, engraved by Geo. B. Ellis … 321

The Spy, painted by R. W. Wier, engraved by James Smillie … 357 [sic]

[p. vi blank]

[p. vii]


To *** … 9

New Year’s Day—By Miss Sedgwick … 11

Anna’s Picture—By Florence … 32

The Fair Pilgrim—By William L. Stone … 33

Spring—By J. G. Percival … 53

The Bride—By Mrs. Sigourney … 55

I will Forget Thee—By B. B. Thatcher … 57

To One I Love … 59

Perils on the Deep—By A. D. Woodbridge … 60

The Panther Scene—From the Pioneers [James Fenimore Cooper] … 61

The First Frost of Autumn—By S. G. Goodrich … 68

Wealth and Fashion … 71

Euthanasia—By C. C. … 104

Dante’s Beatrice—By the Author of ‘The Affianced One’ [Elizabeth M. Sewell] … 105

The Wedding Knell—By the Author of ‘Sights from a Steeple’ [Nathaniel Hawthorne] … 113

To a Lady—By R. … 124

Life beyond the Mountains … 125

The Magic Spinning Wheel—By J. K. Paulding … 129

The Wreck at Sea—By H. F. Gould … 151

To **** … 153

The Painter Boy … [Hannah F. Gould] 154

The Indian Weed Sprite [Samuel Griswold Goodrich] … 155

The Young Phrenologist—By John Neal … 156

Gratitude [Samuel Griswold Goodrich] … 170

The Young Mother—By Mrs. Sigourney … 171

Horrors of a Head Dress—By a Nervous Man … 172

The Lost Wager—By a Bachelor … 186

The Spirit of Poesy—By I. McLellan … 187

A Pilgrimage to the White Mountains—By Grenville Mellen … 190

The Wandering Pole—By H. F. Gould … 218

The Conquerors of Spain—By L. H. Sigourney … 221

p. viii

The Three Sceptres—By Mrs. S. J. Hale … 224

Youth Recalled—By J. G. Percival … 227

The Emigrant’s Adventure—By Mrs. S. J. Hale … 229

The Last of the Household—By Grenville Mellen … 234

Blanche and Isabel—By H. F. Gould … 237

The Muse and the Album—By J. L. Gray … 270

A Vision—By J. G. Percival … 276

I’ll think of that—By Grenville Mellen … 277

Life; its Seasons—By C. W. Everett … 281

The May Pole of Merry Mount—By the Author of ‘The Gentle Boy’ [Nathaniel Hawthorne] … 283

Early Days—By I. McLellan … 298

[The Fountain Eyes—By B. B. Thatcher … 300]

The Pilot Boy … 301

The Minister’s Black Veil—By the Author of ‘Sights from a Steeple’ [Nathaniel Hawthorne] … 302

I Love you, Flowers—By J. H. Mifflin … 320

Hunters of the Prairie [Samuel Griswold Goodrich] … 321

Constance Allerton—By Miss Leslie … 323

The Spy … 359

[p. 9]



TO **** ******


It is not for thine ample curls,

Where glowing sunset ever lingers—

It is not for the simple pearls,

Thou ’st placed there with thy rosy fingers—

It is not for thy banded hair—

Or snowy brow I ask thine aid—

These, these are gifts that thou mayst share,

With many a fair and favored maid.

No, Necromancer, not for these,

I seek to claim thy sense of duty—

The envied power, thou know’st to please,

Belongs to Truth, and not to Beauty:

For truth is like yon level lake,

That mirrors Heaven within its breast,

While yet the bordering features take

A holier aspect in their rest—

As if the rocks, and hills, and flowers,

Of earth were but a part of Heaven—

p. 10

And all aside from beauty, powers

Like these, to such as thou, are given.

For there is truth upon thy brow,

That mirrors forth a world of love,

Within a form of earth—so thou

Hast caught enchantment from above.

And prithee with thy wand attend—

Be thou the guardian of our book—

Go with thy semblance, and befriend

These pages ever with thy look.

’Twill turn aside the critic’s curses,

And change his gathered gall to honey—

Convert to gold our leaden verses,

And turn our rhymes to ready money.

So prithee go—for thy sweet sake,

The grisly bachelor will buy—

For thee my lady’s purse will quake,

And e’en the miser’s strings untie.

I’d rather have thee for a muse,

Than any gray old mountain maid—

I trust to thee, and those who choose,

May go to Helicon for aid.

[p. 11]



‘Say, to be just, and kind, and wise,

There solid, self-enjoyment lies.’

‘I wish I could find a solution for one mystery,’ said Mary Moore to her mother, as during the last your of the last night of 1834 they sat together, not over the inspiring embers of a nutwood fire, as in good old times, but within the circumambient atmosphere of a grate glowing with Schuylkill coals.

‘Is there but one mystery in life that puzzles you, Mary?’ asked her mother.

‘One more than all others, and that is, why Lizzy Percival is so tormented.’

‘Lizzy tormented? she seems to me the happiest girl of all our acquaintance.’

‘Mother! Did she not begin with the greatest of all earthly plagues—a step-mother?’

‘A step-mother, my dear child, is not of course a plague.’

‘But Lizzy’s was, you know, mother.’

‘A plague to herself, undoubtedly, but the greatest of all blessings to Lizzy.’

‘A blessing to Lizzy! what do you mean, mother?’

‘I mean that the trials of Lizzy’s childhood and youth developed and strengthened her virtue; Lizzy’s matchless sweetness of temper, was acquired, or at least

p. 12

perfected, by the continual discipline which it required to endure patiently the exactions and indolence of her step-mother. In short, Mary, Lizzy has been made far better by her relation with her step-mother. She has overcome evil, and not been overcome by it. I wish, my dear Mary, you could realize that it is not the circumstances in which we are placed, but the temper in which we meet them; the fruit we reap from them that make them either fortunate or unfortunate for us.’

‘Well, mother, I suppose if I were as old, and as wise, and above all, as good as you are, I should think as you do, but in the meantime, (an endless meantime!) I must account such a step-mother as Lizzy Percival’s the first and chiefest of all miseries. And then when it pleased kind Heaven to reward Lizzy’s virtue by the removal of this gracious lady, you know she left behind her half a dozen little pledges, to whom poor Lizzy has been obliged to devote and sacrifice herself.’

‘And this devotion and self-sacrifice has made her the exemplary and lovely creature she is. Her youth, instead of being wasted in frivolity has been most profitably employed. Duty is now happiness to her, and she is rewarded a thousand fold, for all her exertions by the improvement of her character, and the devoted love of her little brothers and sisters.’

‘Well, mother, you are very ingenious, but I think it will puzzle you to prove, that there is more profit than loss to Lizzy in being thwarted in her affections. Never was there a truer, deeper, or better merited love than Lizzy’s for Harry Stuart; never any thing more unreasonable, nor more obstinate than Mr. Percival’s opposition to their engagement, and if I were Lizzy—’ she hesitated, and her mother finished the sentence.

p. 13

‘You would take the matter into your own hands.’

‘I do not say that, but I certainly would not submit implicitly, as she does, toiling on and on for that regiment of children, and trying, while she is sacrificing her happiness to appear perfectly cheerful, and what provokes me more than all, being so the greater part of her time in spite of every thing.’

‘Ah! Mary, a kind disposition, a gentle temper, an approving conscience, and occupation for every moment of a most useful life, must make Lizzy happy, even though the current of true-love does not run smooth.’

‘But Lizzy does flag sometimes; I have seen her very sad.’

‘For any length of time?’

‘Oh, no! because she has always something or other to do.’

‘True, Mary, it is your idlers who make the most of misery, and create it when it is not ready made to their hands. Lizzy will finally have the reward of her virtue; her father will relent.’

‘Never—never, mother. You hope against hope. Mr. Percival is as proud and obstinate as all the Montagues and Capulets together. He is one of the infallibles. He prides himself on never changing a resolve, nor even an opinion; on never unsaying what he has once said, and you know he not only said, but swore, and that in Lizzy’s presence too, that she should never marry a son of Gilbert Stuart.’

‘Yes, I know. But continual dropping wears the rock, and the sun, if it were to shine long enough, would melt polar ice. Mr. Percival’s heart may be hardened by self-will, but he cannot forever resist the

p. 14

continued unintermitting influence of such goodness as Lizzy’s. He is not naturally hard hearted. His heart is soft enough, if you can penetrate the crust of pride that overlays it.’

‘Oh, mother, you mistake, it is all crust.’

‘No, Mary. The human heart is mingled of many elements, and not, as you young people think, formed of a single one, good or evil.’

The scene changes to Mr. Percival’s house. The clock is on the stroke of twelve. A lovely young creature, not looking the victim of sentiment, but with a clear, serene brow, her eye, not ‘blue and sunken,’ but full, bright and hazle, and lips and cheeks as glowing as Hebe’s, is busied with a single handmaid in preparing new year’s gifts for a bevy of children. Lizzy Percival’s maid Madeline, a German girl, had persuaded her young mistress to arrange the gifts after the fashion of her father-land, and accordingly a fine tree of respectable growth had been purchased in market, and though when it entered the house it looked much like the theatrical presentation of ‘Birnam woods coming to Dunsinane,’ the mistress and maid had contrived, with infinite ingenuity, to elude the eyes of the young Arguses, and to plant it in the library, which adjoined the drawing room, without its being seen by one of them.

Never did Christmas tree bear more multifarious fruit,—for St. Nicholas, that most benign of all the saints of the Calendar, had, through the hands of many a ministering priest and priestess, showered his gifts. The sturdiest branch drooped with its burden of books, chess-men, puzzles, &c., for Julius, a stripling of thirteen. Dolls,

p. 15

birds, beasts, and boxes were hung on the lesser limbs. A regiment of soldiers had alighted on one bough, and Noah’s ark was anchored to another, and to all the slender branches were attached cherries, plumbs, strawberries and peaches as tempting, and at least as sweet, as the fruits of paradise.

Nothing remained to be done, but to label each bough. Miss Percival was writing the names, and Madeline walking round and round the tree, her mind, as the smile on her lip, and the tear in her eye indicated, divided between the present pleasure and recollections of by-gone festivals in the land of her home,—when both were startled by the ringing of the door-bell.

‘It is very late,’ said Miss Percival, with a look at Madeline which expressed, it is very odd that any one should ring at this hour. ‘Close the blinds, Madeline,’ she added, for the first time observing they were open. The ring was repeated, and as at first, very gently.

‘Whoever it is, is afraid of being heard,’ said Madeline, ‘but,’ bristling up with a coward’s show of courage, ‘there ’s nothing to fear, Miss Lizzy,’ she added, ‘and if you ’ll just come with me into the entry, I ’ll find out before I open the door who it is.’

‘You hold the lamp, Madeline, and I will open the door,’ replied Lizzy, who had a good deal more moral courage than her domestic.

‘Oh, no! that would shame me too much, dear Miss Lizzy.’

‘But I am not afraid, Madeline;’ so giving Madeline the lamp, she sprang forward, and with her hand on the bolt, asked in a tone that might have converted an enemy into a friend, ‘who is there?’

p. 16

A voice, low, anxious, and thrilling, answered, ‘Lizzy!’

Now indeed her cheek paled, and her hand trembled, and Madeline, naturally inferring that these signals betokened fear, said, ‘Shall I scream to your father?’

‘Oh! no, no!; not for the world; stand back, wait one moment;’ and while she hesitated whether she might turn the bolt, an earnest, irresistible entreaty from without prevailed. ‘For Heaven’s sake open the door, Lizzy; I will not enter; I will not even speak to you.’ The bolt was turned, and Lizzy said with the frankness that characterized her, ‘if I might ask you in, you know I would, Harry.’ Stuart seized her hand, slipped into a note, and impressed with his lips the thanks that, true to the letter of his promise, he dared not speak, and then hastily retreated, and the door was reclosed.

‘It was Mr. Stuart, Madeline.’

‘Yes, Miss Lizzy, I saw it was; but I promise you I shall not tell.’

‘No, do not, Madeline, for I shall tell papa, who is the only person that has a right to know.’

‘You are quite different from other young ladies,’ said Madeline, with an expression of honest wonder. But not entirely different was Lizzy, for she forgot to finish the little that remained undone, and hastily dismissing Madeline, she hurried to her own apartment, and opened the twisted note Stuart had given her. It enveloped a ring, and contained the following in pencil: ‘Dearest Lizzy—I have been walking before your window for the last hour, watching your kind preparations for those who are every day blest with the brightest and softest of all lights—the light of your countenance.

p. 17

Your very happy face has made me sad; for my selfish thoughts tell me this happiness is quite independent of me. Shame—shame to me! There is my Lizzy, I have said, giving gifts, and receiving them, making others happy, and made happy herself, and bestowing no thought on me! I have wrapped up this little ring, on which is an enamelled forget-me-not, and bade it speak to your heart, the cravings of mine. Forget me not, dear Lizzy! The ring is indeed too true an emblem of the endless circle of my sorrows. No beam of light is there in the parting—none in the dawning year for me.’

Lizzy read and re-read the note—very like all lovers’ notes—but, as she thought, peculiar and most peculiarly heart-breaking. The ring she put on her finger, and went to bed, holding it in the palm of her other hand, and before morning she had dreamed out a very pretty romance with a right pleasant and fitting conclusion. The morning came, New Year’s morning with its early greetings, its pleasant bustle, its noisy joys, and to Lizzy its cares; for there is no play-day in the Calendar of an American mistress of a family, be she old or young. Lizzy the genius loci was the dispenser-general of the bounties of the season. The children waked her at dawn with their kisses and their cries of ‘Happy New Year, sister.’ The servants besieged her door with their earnest taps and their heart-felt good wishes, and each received a gift and a kind word to grace it.

After breakfast the library door was opened, and the land of promise revealed to the little expectants. Then what exclamations of surprise! what bursts of joy, and what a rush as each sprang forward to pluck his own fruit from the laden tree! Each we said, but little Ella,

p. 18

the youngling of the flock, clung to Lizzy and leading her to the extremity of the room uncovered a basket, containing various souvenirs, saying, ‘Papa said we might all div something to the one we loved best, and so we dived this to you, sister.’

And now in the happy group around the tree, was apparent the blossoming of that fruit which their sister had planted and nurtured in their hearts. ‘Thank you, sister,’ said Julius, taking from his branch a nice book, filled with copies for him to draw after; ‘how much pains you have taken to do this for me! how much time and trouble you have spent upon it; I hope I shall never feel tired of doing any thing for you![’]

‘O, sister Lizzy!’ exclaimed little Sue, ‘I did not know when I spilt all your beads that you was knitting this bag for me; but you was so good natured that I was as sorry as ever I could be!’

‘Sister, sister, did you paint these soldiers?’ cried Hal; ‘kiss me, you are the best sister that ever lived.’

‘O, Anne, your doll is dressed just like mine; sister has even worked their pocket handkerchiefs. But you have a paint-box, I ’m glad of that!’

‘And you have an embroidered apron, and I am glad of that! O papa! does not sister do every thing for us?’

‘She does, my dear children,’ said Mr. Percival, who, though not of the melting order, was affected even to tears by this little home scene. ‘Come here to me, Lizzy,’ he said, drawing her aside, and putting his arm around her, ‘tell me, dear good child, what shall I give you.’

Lizzy hid her blushing face for a moment on her father’s bosom, and then courageously drawing back her

p. 19

head and raising her hand and pointing to her ring, she replied, ‘give me leave, Sir, to wear this gift from Harry Stuart!’

Mr. Percival’s brow clouded. ‘How is this Lizzy? did I not long ago command you to dismiss him from your thoughts?’

‘Yes, papa, but I could not obey you.’

‘Nonsense, nonsense, Lizzy.’

‘I tried, Sir, indeed I did, but the more I tried the more I could not!’

‘And so by way of aiding your efforts you wish to keep this gewgaw with a forget-me-not engraven on it?’

‘With your leave, Sir, I would wear it. It will make no difference, papa. Harry has engraved the forget-me-not on my heart. There it is cut in, as the engravers say.’

Lizzy’s frankness and perseverance astonished her father, there was something kindred to his own spirit in it. He felt it to be so, and this it was perhaps, that mitigated his displeasure as he paced the room, his hands behind him, as was his wont, when perplexed.—‘I must not be fooled out of my resolution,’ he thought, ‘it was very presuming of Harry Stuart to give this ring to Lizzy when he knows my determination is invincible.’ He turned to claim the ring, when Madeline, who a few minutes before entered with a little paquet directed to him, caught his eye. He opened it, and found it contained a pair of slippers, Lizzy’s new year’s gift to him, beautifully wrought by her own hands. This was not all, there were several pairs of fine woolen hose which she had knit for him, in her intervals of leisure. They were just such as he liked,

p. 20

just such as he could not buy, just such as nobody but Lizzy could knit, at least so he thought, and thanking and kissing her, he said, ‘well, well, Lizzy, wear the ring to-day, and after that’—

‘I may still wear it, papa?’

‘I’ll consider of it my child.’

‘C’est le premier pas qui coûte,’ thought Lizzy, and with a light heart and joyous face, she bounded away to perform her next duty. Lizzy’s duties were so blended with pleasure, that she no more separated them, than the naked eye separates the twisted ray of light.

‘Come with me Madeline,’ she said. Madeline followed, marvelling at the young lady who, even in her love passages, dared to walk in light. These humbled persons are prompt to discern truth and rectitude, and to imbibe its influence from their superiors in station!

In a few minutes Lizzy and her maiden were on their way to the Sixth Avenue, where lived a certain widow Carey, who, with her four children, had long been blessed with Lizzy’s friendship. This young lady not contenting herself with setting down her father’s name as a subscriber to the Widow’s Society, literally and most religiously obeyed the command which recognises the first duty of the rich to the poor, and ‘visited the widow and the orphan,’ and not only lightened their burdens, but partook their happiness. The poor feel a sympathy in their joys more than the relief that is vouchsafed to their miseries, for that always reminds them of the superior condition of the bestower. Madeline carried on her arm a basket containing substantial gifts for the Careys, prepared by Lizzy’s own hands, and an abund-

p. 21

ance of toys for the children, contributed by the little Percivals from their last year’s stores.

The young Careys were all at the window, one head over another’s shoulder when Miss Percival appeared, and answered with smiles and nods to their out-break of clamorous joy and shouts of ‘I knew you would come Miss Lizzy.’ ‘I told mother you would come.’

‘And did I say she would not?’ said the mother, while her tears and smiles seemed contending which should most effectively express her gratitude.

Lizzy had no time to lose, and she hastily dispensed her gifts; one little urchin was taught to guide, by most mysterious magnetic attraction, a stately goose through such a pond as might be contained within the bounds of a wash-basin. His brother was shown how to set up a little village, a pretty mimicry of the building of Chicago, or any other of our wilderness towns that grow up like Jonah’s gourd, and the two little girls, miniature women, were seated at a stand to arrange their tea-set, and gossip with their pretty new-dressed dolls.

Lizzy, as she paused for a moment to look at them, was a fit personation of the saint of a child’s festival; she was not herself too far beyond the precincts of childhood to feel the glow of its pleasures, and they were now reflected in her sparkling eye and dimpled cheek. She looked to the good mother for her sympathy, but her back was turned, and she seemed in earnest conversation with Madeline, whose eyes, as she listened, were filled with tears. ‘Why, what is the matter, Mrs. Carey?’ asked Lizzy, advancing and laying her hand on Mrs. Carey’s shoulder.

‘Ah! Miss Lizzy, it’s being thankless to a gracious

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Providence to spake of trouble just now, and to you. These flannel petticoats and frocks,’ she took up the bundle Madeline had just put down, ‘will carry my children warm and dacent through the winter. God bless you, Miss Lizzy!’

‘But what is it troubles you, Mrs. Carey?’

‘There’s no use in clouding your sunshine, Miss Lizzy, this day above all other.’

‘But perhaps I can drive away the clouds, so tell me all, and quickly, because you know I must be at home and dressed before twelve o’clock.’

Mrs. Carey did not require urging, her heart was full, and there was a power in Lizzy’s touch that swelled the waters to overflowing. Her story was a very short one. When the collector had come for her rent the preceding evening, he had told her that she must give up the room she occupied at the close of the week, unless she could pay double the rent she now paid, as that had been offered by one of her neighbors. Mrs. Carey thought this a very hard case, as she had herself increased the value of the property by keeping thread, needles, and similar commodities to supply the neighbors, and gracing her window with candies that attracted customers from a school in the vicinity. She could afford, she said, to pay an advance, but double the rent, she could not, and where she should go, and how get bread for her children, she knew not, and now she cried so bitterly that the little objects of her motherly fears forsook their toys and gathered around her. Lizzy’s smiles, too, were changed to tears, but she soon cleared them away, for she was not a person to rest satisfied with pouring out a little bootless salt water.

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‘Who is your landlord, Mrs. Carey?’ she asked.

Mrs. Carey did not know his name, she knew only that he lived at a certain number which she mentioned, in Leonard Street.

‘I will stop there as I go down,’ said Lizzy, [‘]let Johnny put on his hat and coat and go with me, and if your landlord is not cross and crusty, and hard an cold as marble, I will send you back good news by Johnny.’

‘Hard and cold as marble his heart must be, Miss Lizzy, if you cannot soften it.’

Lizzy, after dismissing Madeline with domestic orders, rung at a door in Leonard Street, and no informing door-plate telling the proprietor’s name, she asked for the master of the house, and was ushered into the drawing-room, and received by an elderly gentleman, who laid aside the newspaper he was reading, and gave her a chair so courteously that she was emboldened to proceed at once to business. She told the name of the tenant in whose behalf she was speaking, and her distress at the communication she had received from his agent the preceding evening.

The gentleman said he knew nothing of the matter, that he confided the management of his rents to a trust-worthy person, who took good care of his concerns, and never abused his tenants.

Lizzy then, with a clearness and judiciousness that astonished her auditor, stated Mrs. Carey’s circumstances, and the seeming hardships of virtually ejecting her from a tenement of which she had enhanced the value by certain moral influences, for she was sure that it was Mrs. Carey’s good humor, kind tempered voice, and zeal in the service of her customers, that had attracted

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custom to her little shop, and made it observed and coveted by her neighbors. Having laid a firm foundation in reason (the best mode of addressing a sensible man) she proceeded to her superstructure. She described Mrs. Carey, she spoke with a tremulous voice of her past trials, of her persevering and as yet successful exertions to keep her little family independent of public charities; she described the children, dwelt on the industry of these busy little bees, and the plans and the hopes of the mother, till her auditor felt much like one, who from the shore, sees a little boat’s hardy company forcing their way against the current, and longs to put in his oar to help them.

‘She shan’t budge a foot my dear,’ said he, ‘not one foot;’ he rung the bell, wiped his eyes, cleared his voice and ordered his servant, who opened the door, to bring his writing desk. The writing desk was brought, and he wrote, signed and sealed a promise to the widow Carey, to retain her as a tenant on the terms on which she had hitherto rented his apartment, so long as she regularly paid her rent.

‘And now,’ said he, explaining the document, and giving it into Lizzy’s hands, ‘tell me my dear young lady who you are, that come forth on New Year’s morning on such an errand, when all the girls in the city are frizzing and rigging to receive their beaux. Will you tell me your name, my dear?’

‘Elizabeth Percival, Sir.’

‘Percival!—William Percival’s daughter—William Percival who lives at the corner of Broadway and —— Street.’

‘Yes Sir,’ she replied, smiling at the stranger’s earnestness.

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‘Extraordinary!—most extraordinary!’ he exclaimed, and added as if thinking aloud, ‘I can understand now—he should’—

‘Good morning, Sir,’ said Lizzy, ‘I wish you as happy a New Year as your kindness had made for others,’ and she was turning away with the suspicion that her host was under the influence of a sudden hallucination, when he seized her hand. ‘Stop my dear child,’ he said, ‘one moment—never mind, you may go now—I think—don’t promise—but I think I shall see you again to-day. It is good—did you not say so?—to make people happy on the New Year. Good bye, my dear child—God bless you.’

Lizzy gave the precious paper into Johnny’s hands, and carefully noting the number of the house, she hurried homeward, resolved, at the first convenient opportunity, to ascertain the name of its singular and interesting proprietor. There was something in his countenance that, together with his prompt and most kind answer to her petition, made a deep impression on her heart.

But she had no time now to speculate on her new acquaintance, it was not far from twelve o’clock, and that, as we all know, is the hour when the general rush of winter begins on New Year’s day.

Lizzy’s toilet was soon despatched. We wish all young ladies would, like her, take advantage of the period of freshness, bloom, roundness, and cheerfulness, and not waste time and art in vieing with (and only obscuring) the inimitable adornments of nature. Sure we are in all the visiting rounds of this great city, no lovelier group was seen, than that in Mr. Perci-

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val’s drawing-room, our friend Lizzy, the mother-sister, presiding over it.

From all that appeared to offer the customary salutations of the season, Lizzy’s thoughts often turned to him that did not come, that could not, must not, but she indulged a hope natural to the young and good (and therefore happy) that all would yet be well, and she met the greetings of the day with a face lighted with smiles, and a spirit of cheerfulness befitting them. Mr. Percival’s family being one of the oldest in the city, one of the most extended in its connections, and one of the few who have been residents here for several generations, their visiters were innumerable, and a continual stream poured in and poured out, emitting in its passage the stereotyped sayings of the season, such as

‘Many returns of this happy season to you Miss Percival—may you live a thousand years, and as much longer as you desire!’

‘A fine old custom this, Miss Percival, transmitted by our Dutch ancestors!’

This staple remark was made and often reiterated by some profane interloper who had not a drop of the good old Dutch blood running in his veins; alas for the fallen dynasty!

‘A custom peculiar to New York and Albany, they have tried to introduce it in our other cities, but it is impossible to transplant old usages, and make them thrive in a new soil.’

‘Charming custom!’ exclaims an elderly friend, kissing Lizzy’s offered cheek, and heartily smacking the children all round, ‘it gives us old fellows privileges.’

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‘Uncommonly fine day,’ Miss Percival, much pleasanter than last New Year’s, but not quite so pleasant as the year before.’

‘What a happy anniversary for the children! a lovely group here Miss Percival, and the prettiest table (looking at that on which the toys were spread) that I have yet seen.’

‘I guess why,’ replied little Sue, casting a side-long glance at the speaker through her dark eye-lashes—‘nobody but us has a sister Lizzy.’

‘Do you keep a list of your visiters, Miss Elizabeth.’

‘In my memory, Sir.’

‘Ah, you should not trust to that, you should have the documents to show. Mrs. M., last year, had two hundred on her list, and Mrs. H. one hundred and eighty, exclusing of married men!’ Lizzy was quite too young to make any sage reflections of the proteus shapes of vanity. She laughed and said she cared only for the names she could remember.

‘What a splendid set-out has Mrs. T.’ exclaimed an enthusiastic lover of the fine arts that minister to eating and drinking, ‘oysters, sandwiches, chocolate, coffee, wines and whiskey-punch.’

‘Whiskey-punch! I thought’ Lizzy ventured modestly to say, ‘was banished from all refined society.’

‘Shockingly vulgar to be sure—mais, chacun á son goût.’

‘Mrs. L. has a most refined entertainment, champagne and cakes, upon my word, nothing but champagne and cakes!’

‘Ah, but you should have seen the refreshment at the Miss C.’s, quite foreign and elegant, (this opinion

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judicially delivered by a youth who had been once over the ocean, on a six week’s agency to Birmingham,) soup, patées de fois gras, mareschino, &c. &c.’

‘Is my cousin well to-day?’ asked Lizzy, ‘I hear she does not receive her friends.’

‘ “Tie up the knocker, John, she said

Say to my friends, I’m sick, I’m dead.”

but, between ourselves, my dear Lizzy, the draperies to the drawing-room curtains are not completed—that’s all.’

While some practiced and ultra fashionable visiters were merely bowing in, and bowing out, some other young gentlemen more ambitious, or more gifted, or more at leisure than the rest, made flights into the region of original remark. One admired Miss Percival’s boquet, commented on the triumphs of man’s (especially that rare individual Florist Thorburn’s) art over the elements, and noted some very pretty analogies between the flowers and the children. Another lauded the weather, and said that nature had, last of all the publishers, come out with her annual, and the gentlemen had found it ‘a book of beauty.’

The morning wore on. Mr. Percival returned to his home, having made a few visits to old friends, and claiming as to the rest his age’s right of exemption. He sat down and pleased himself with observing his daughter’s graceful reception of her guests. Her cordiality to humble friends, her modest and quiet demeanor to the class technically ycleped beaux, and her respectful and even deferential manner (a grace, we are sorry to say, not universal among our young ladies) to her

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elders. In proportion as Mr. Percival’s heart overflowed with approbation and love for his daughter, he was restless and dejected. The ring had revealed her unchanged affection for Harry Stuart, and he began to perceive that there was a moral impossibility in her withdrawing that affection in compliance with his will. He felt too that his absolute will was no reason why she should. Harry Stuart, if man could, deserved her, and he was obliged in his secret heart to acknowledge himself the only obstacle to their happiness—happiness so rational! so well merited!

These were most uncomfortable reflections to a father essentially good hearted, though sometimes the slave (and victim as well as slave) of a violent temper. It was no wonder that he exclaimed in reply to a passing remark ‘that this was a charming anniversary, so many new friendships begun, so many old ones revived.’

‘Pshaw, Sir, that is mere talk, you may as well attempt to mend broken glass with patent cement, as broken friendships with a New Year’s visit.’

‘O! Percival, my dear friend,’ interposed a contemporary, ‘you are wrong. I have known at least half a dozen terrible breaches healed on New Year’s day. Depend on’t these eminences from which we can look forward and backward—these mile stones in life which mark our progress, are of essential service in our moral training. One does not like when he surveys his journey to its end to bear on with him the burden of an old enmity.’

‘It is a heavy burden,’ murmured Mr. Percival, in an under tone. Lizzy caught the words, and sighed as she made their just application.

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‘Mr. Percival,’ said a servant, ‘there ’s a gentleman wishes to speak with you in the library.’

‘Show him into the drawing-room.’

‘He says his business is private, Sir.’

‘This is no day for business of any sort,’ grumbled Mr. Percival, as he left the room, in no very auspicious humor for his visiter.

The morning verged to the dinner hour. Miss Percival’s last lagging visiters had come and gone, but not among them had appeared, as she had hoped from his intimation, the kind landlord who had so graciously granted her the boon she asked, and whose manner had excited her curiosity. ‘There was something in his face,’ she thought, ‘that impressed me like a familiar friend, and yet I am sure I never saw him before—heigho! this new yearing after all, is tedious when we see every body but the one we wish most to see—I wonder if papa will let me continue to wear this ring, if he should’—Her meditation, like many a one, more or less interesting, was broken off by the ringing of the dinner-bell. Her father did not answer to its call. The children forsook their toys and became clamorous. The bell was re-run. Still he came not. Lizzy sent a servant to enquire how much longer the dinner must wait. The servant returned with a face smiling all over and full of meaning, but what it meant Lizzy could not divine, and before he could deliver his answer, the library door was thrown open, and within, and standing beside her father, she saw the landlord her morning friend, and behind them Harry Stuart. All their eyes were directed towards her, and never did eyes of old or young look more kindly.

‘Come here, my dear child,’ said her father. Lizzy

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obeyed. ‘Keep your ring Lizzy, and give Harry Stuart your hand, as far as my leave goes, it’s his for life.’

‘What can this mean?’ thought Lizzy, confounded, and not restored to her senses by her lover seizing her hand and pressing it to his lips in the presence of a stranger. Her father interpreted and replied to the embarrassment and amazement expressed in her countenance.

‘This gentleman is Harry Stuart’s father, Lizzy! We were once friends, and are again, thank God. I have been a fool, and he has been —— foolish. Now look up boldly, my girl, and give him a kiss, and I’ll explain the whys and wherefores afterwards.’

The story afterwards most frankly told, was very like the stories of most quarrels among honest men. It had originated in mutual mistakes, and been aggravated and protracted by suspicion and pride, till the morning of the New Year, when conscience was awakened by the thrilling voice of that anniversary, and all the good feelings stirred by the charities of the season, and when Lizzy like a dove of peace was guided by Providence to the presence of Harry Stuart’ s father, and fairly made a perch on his heart. After a little reflection, he obeyed the impulse the sight of her sweet face, and the revelation of her character had given him, and availing himself of the privileges of the day, he sought an interview with Mr. Percival. Mutual explanations and mutual concessions followed, and when nothing more remained to be explained for forgiven, Harry Stuart was sent for, and Lizzy admitted to the library, and the day ended with the general acknowledgement that this was to these reconciled friends, and united lovers, the happiest of all happy New Years.

[p. 32]


’Tis but a pencil sketch, yet lovely still,

And true as lovely! The rich mouth is there,

The simple parting of the sun-brown hair,

The large and lustrous eyes, all eloquent,

With their unchildlike, earnest look of thought,

And the transparent fairness of the forehead!

It is all Anna, save the faint rose shade,

That trembles on her cheek, but, in her lips,

Deepens to crimson, and the tinge of gold,

Revelling like a sun beam ’mid her hair,

While in those eyes, which wear the self-same hue

Of glossy brown, it melts to tender smiles!

I would the picture could, those colors, wear;

For, in their contrast, half her beauty lies.

Her long, silk lashes, drooping on her cheek,

Their chesnut richness and the rose-tints warm,

Are brightened by each other’s loveliness.

I would this little sketch those colors wore;

But I’ve another portrait of the child,

Wrought by a hand more powerful and true,

A portrait, that will never fade, a hand,

Whose angel-skill is perfect and undying!

There the brown hair, on blue-veined temples, rests,

Just as it did on Anna’s; the sweet lips

Are as like hers, as hers are like a rosebud!

And the clear beaming eyes, the color wear,

With which her own are radiant. It is true;

For, long ago, before our darling left us,

Love drew her picture, in my ‘heart of hearts,’

And Memory preserves it beautiful!



The Fair Pilgrim
Painted by G. L. Brown.      V. Balch &c.
The Fair Pilgrim.
Published by Chas. Bowen

[p. 33]



‘Of those who soon died after their first arrival, not the least considerable was the Lady Arabella, who left an earthly paradise, in the family of an Earldom, to encounter the sorrows of a wilderness for the entertainments of a pure worship in the house of god; and then immediately left that wilderness for the heavenly paradise.’

Cotton Mather.

‘Verily the sweet Psalmist of Israel hath spoken truly: ‘He giveth snow like wool: He scattereth the hoar frost like ashes: He casteth forth his ice like morsels, and who can stand before his cold!’ But we know that our heavenly Father binds the sweet influences of Pleiades, and looses the bands of Orion, else wherewithal could the poor half-naked salvages [sic] abide such a raging of the elements as this!’

Such was the pious and humane ejaculation of a lady, in the winter of 1630-31, standing at the door of a rude quadrangular hut, or cabin, constructed of the rough and unhewn trunks of trees, intersecting and notched into each other at the corners, while the interstices between the logs were filled with moss within, and daubed with mirey clay without. This hut was the first habitation of a white man, erected upon thhe peninsula of Shawmut, as it was called by the natives, but which is now none other than the proud city of Boston, with its ‘gorgeous palaces and solemn temples.’

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The door of the rustic dwelling, was in keeping with its exterior; three small windows had been inserted in as many sides of the structure; while a coarse and awkward chimney of ragged stones, was built up against the wall of the fourth. But notwithstanding the unsightly appearance of the habitation, the cloudy volumes of smoke rolling up from the ample fire-place, and the manifest thickness of the walls, betokened comfort, if not luxury, within, although our fair adventurer was gazing upon a driving snow-storm at the door.

The lady was yet young, and had been beautiful. Nay, she was so still, both in form and countenance, though fragile, and but too evidently yielding to disease which was gradually imparting an unearthly hue, to what was once a brilliant complexion. Her attire was of the finest materials, but simple, and so far subdued as to show that she chose rather to follow fashion at a distance, than to be found foremost among its votaries. Her face, naturally pensive, was still farther chastened by the deep, and, perhaps, rather severe religious cast of the times; but her features were remarkably regular and fine, and as her large hazle [sic] eyes were lifted towards the angry elements raging tumultuously above, and the great Being beyond, whom she adored, clasping her hands to her swelling bosom, she presented a model for a statue of Devotion, which Praxiteles would have envied. Her hair was of a rich auburn, parted over a beautifully developed forehead—the temple of the mind;—and despite the canker of disease, and the lightness of her wasting form, there was grace and dignity in her appearance, and a countenance indicating a strong and contemplative mind, deep thought, and a heart

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susceptible of all the noble and endearing attributes of high souled, lovely woman.

The lodge at the portal of which she was standing, was situated at the south eastern base of a hill rising in three cones of unequal elevation, the highest being in the centre, and called by the first white settlers of Shawmut, the Tri-mountain. The storm raged wildly—the wind blowing with great fury over the bald peaks of the mountain; driving the snow aloft, and sweeping it onward towards the bay in voluminous wreaths and winding-sheets, broad and blinding as the clouds of sand raised by a Lybian whirlwind. Being thus sheltered by the mountain, however, the violence of the tempest passed over the lodge, while the snow fell in a more gentle shower, curling and playing gracefully about upon the eddying currents of air in its descent, in every fantastic form and variety of beauty.

While speaking after the manner related in the opening of our narrative, the lady was uttering but a part of her thoughts; for at the time, her husband was absent on some errand to one of the neighboring cottages; and as he had been gone longer than was expected, she felt some solicitude for his return. At the moment, however, he was approaching, but espying her at the door, he paused and for a short time seemed agitated with care and anxiety. At length—:

‘Thou art always the same, in storm or in sun-shine, my beloved—whether tossed upon the dark mountain-wave, or amid the trees of the howling wilderness, as they bend to and from, and break in the fierce tempest,’ spake the spouse of the fair one, as he suddenly placed himself by her side. ‘By why expose thyself to the

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stormy elements in this wise?’ he inquired, with affectionate anxiety.

‘I was but contemplating the power and goodness of that Being who rideth upon the wings of the wind, and maketh the clouds his pavilion—who layeth the beams of his chambers in the great waters, and who is even now speaking to us in the tempest,’ meekly rejoined the fair pilgrim. ‘How beautiful, too, is the driven snow, so pure and white, as it flies along the fields, or falls in the fleecy shower! I love to contemplate its whiteness and purity, as an emblem of freedom from guilt and corruption in another world.’

‘It is an emblem, too, of the justice and severity of God,’ rejoined the puritan. ‘Sometimes God makes it the instrument of his judgments—burying towns and armies in the midst of it, and hurling avalanches in his wrath upon the sinful children of men. Recollect that his servant Job spake of it in this sense, when he referred to the treasures of the snow and the hail, likening them to the day of battle and of war.’

‘But, my faithful spouse, it is an emblem moreover of his goodness and mercy, since he sendeth out his breath and melteth them, for the purpose of refreshing the earth, and rendering it fruitful withal, as the prophet Isaiah saith. How grateful, likewise, to the thirsty pilgrim, are the cold flowing waters proceeding from the snows of Lebanon! How delightful! How refreshing His goodness and grace!’

‘Yea, my beloved, but doth not the prophet Jeremiah ask—will a man leave pure waters, springing from a rock, for the melted snow of Lebanon, all mixed with mud? Will he not rather drink from a pure fountain, than from the troubled waters of an inundation?’

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‘Thou art right, my spouse, and it is befitting that we, who are the weaker vessels, should learn of our husbands at home,—albeit the same prophet in the Lamentations, speaketh of the holy sect of the Nazarines, as purer than snow, and whiter than milk. But I prithee it is getting cold, my wedded love;—I have taken care to have a cheerful fire blazing upon the hearth, to greet thy return.’

‘And verily my fair one, it is but a rough hearth, and a dreary habitation, for a delicate woman, as thou art.’

‘Pray name it not, my husband! Better is a dinner of herbs, and a house like this, with love and excellence like thine, and freedom to serve God after the dictates of our own conscience, than all the castles of England, with Laud in his papist surplice, lording it over our worship, and in secret alliance with the Scarlet Lady of the mystic Babylon!’

Saying which, the pilgrim pair entered their domicil, and shut the substantial door upon the raging tempest. But they were not left long by themselves; for with the descending grey of twilight, while yet the elements were in angry turmoil, they were honored by a visit from one of the neighboring forest-kings. As no hostilities had thus far taken place between the pale-faces and the Indians, visits from the latter were not unfrequent, or undesired. The colonists were yet but few in numbers. They had been amicably received, and had not then excited the jealousy of the aboriginals by their rapacity, or corrupted their morals and aroused their passions, by the introduction of the pernicious fire-waters, which have done a thousand fold more evil to man, than gunpower and the plague. When therefore the dusky form

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of the Chief strode into the apartment, they received him cordially, and without apprehension of harm.

This visiter was none other than Chickatabot, Sachem of Neponset, with whom the pilgrim couple had already, since their arrival, formed some little acquaintance. Though the pious Eliot,—the earliest, and by far the most successful apostle to the Indians,—had not yet arrived in the new world, still many of the wild men of the forests had already begun to inquire after the Englishman’s God; and some of them had even then died in the belief of a different and better heaven than the hunting-grounds of the Manitou. The Neponset Chief was of the inquiring number; and he had now come with a present of wampumpeague, to talk with the Yengese upon the subject. He was an intelligent Sachem, of a gentle disposition, and had cheerfully given his consent for the colonists to settle amongst his people, exerting also his influence with the surrounding Sagamores to the same effect.

It is in no wise essential to the progress of the present history, that the writer should report in detail the conversation between the tawny Chieftain, and the interesting pair to whom the reader has been introduced. The interview was cordial, and yet rather cold and formal on both sides. The gravity and unbending reserve of the Indian, were natural. That of the puritans, it may not be uncharitable to allow, as better comporting with the austerity of their religious faith,—was in some measure assumed,—since both had, in an eminent degree, enjoyed the advantages of social and intellectual cultivation among the nobility and gentry of Europe. And yet there was no hypocrisy in their demeanor. In honor of those whom he had come to

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visit, Chickatabot had arrayed himself in his best blanket, his richest wampum sash, (in which hung his glittering tomahawk,) and his bracelets, while a tuft of eagle’s plumes decorated the crown of his shorn but unpainted head.

Ever active in the discharge of duty, and feeling deeply for the souls of the poor heathens, the conversation soon assumed the cast which the Sagamore most desired; and the puritan couple exerted themselves earnestly to enlighten his dark understanding—especially in regard to the existence and character of God, and the necessity of faith and repentance to salvation. But the notions of Chickatabot were exceedingly vague and indefinite—and his mind as cloudy as the smoke which curled up from his own calumet. He could very well comprehend the idea of the Supreme Being—the Great Spirit, Manitou, and of the Evil Spirit, Hobomoc, as he was termed by the Indians. But the doctrines of the Trinity, of decrees, of original sin, and of total depravity, upon all of which the puritan insisted, were altogether beyond his comprehension—and yet although he could not understand the new religion, he was dissatisfied with his own. He distrusted the legends of his own people respecting the beautiful hunting-grounds, and the abundance of game in the other world, but knew not how to fix his mind upon a substitute, so complex as the Yengese system appeared from the explanations of his instructer;—and yet he believed that the good Indians would be taken care of by the manitou, while the bad would fare worse with Hobomoc.

In the course of the evening, Chickatabot related a long tradition of controversy which the Indians held

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once to have taken place between the Narragansetts and the Pequots, upon the question which was the best God, the Manitou of the former, or the Hobomoc of the latter. The conjurors, or medicine-men, in the service of the respective deities, plied their incantations with the utmost diligence and skill; and many were the miraculous feats performed by each of the divinities, according to the relation of the Sagamore;—but Sasasquit, the priest of the Narragansetts, finally prevailed, and proved to the Indians beyond doubt, that the Good Spirit would supply them with more fish, and clams, and game, and go out with them on the war-path to greater purpose, than Hobomoc. The tradition was not a little curious and interesting—reminding the listeners of the great contest between Elijah and the prophet of Baal. This contest, the chief said, took place a very long while ago—so long that they could not number the rings upon the oak, or the moons which had been born and died since its occurrence. When the Indians were created, Chickatabot said, none knew, but the Great Master of Breath himself. Their old men had informed them that they could not tell. They knew only that they were when they first knew they were; and they also knew that they lived, when they found themselves breathing. Farther than this they could not penetrate into the great mystery of the creation—and they held that it was of no use to inquire. But Chickatabot was desirous of learning something more. A strange and undefinable sensation had been awakened within his bosom; and although he had never told a lie, or taken a scalp unjustly, or shown himself a woman on the war-path, still he was longing for something—he knew not what.

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The faithful pilgrims saw clearly enough what was the matter; and they exerted themselves earnestly to enlighten his mind concerning the things that belonged to his peace—but in different ways. The husband, the sterner of the two, both from sex and habit, instead of a simple explanation of the doctrine of the atonement, and inculcating the necessity of obedience, of repentance and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, dwelt much upon the technicalities of his faith, after the straightest of his sect, enforcing the severe doctrines of Calvinism. Not remembering the admonition of the apostle—milk for babes, and meat for strong men—he reasoned upon the doctrines of predestination and free grace, and attempted to reconcile them. He spoke of everlasting justification, and urged the importance of an orthodox belief upon the question, which, in the process of conversion, came first, faith or repentance. In regard to the Deity, he chose to speak chiefly of his more awful attributes, as proclaimed from the burning Mount of Sinai, rather than to encourage his pupil by the more soothing invitations of mercy.

The lady, however, had time allowed, would have proved herself much the more successful missionary; for although she spoke in all instances with that degree of respect for her husband which prevailed in those days, yet a few words from her sweet lips, inculcating the plain and simple requirements of the Gospel, divested of the cumbrous phraseology of the theological school-men—such as repentance and faith—no matter which came first, so that they were sincere,—dwelling likewise upon the benevolence, the goodness, and the boundless compassion of God, seemed to go directly

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to his heart. Appeals of tenderness, the necessity of sorrow for sin, and the eloquent descriptions of the beneficent attributes of the Great Spirit, and the richness of his grace, which she poured forth in the fulness of her heart, almost melted the flinty savage, and sent thrills through his bosom, such as he had never felt before.

The Sagamore took his departure at an early hour,* and the pilgrims closed the evening with a prayer of deep devotion, and by singing the following version of an appropriate psalm by Sternhold and Hopkins:—

My shepherd is the living Lord,

Nothing therefore I need:

In pastures fayre, with waters calme,

He sets me forth to feede.

He did convert and glad my soule,

And brought my minde in frame,

To walke in pathes of righteousnesse,

For his most holy name.

Yea though I walke in vaile of deathe,

Yet will I fear none ill:

Thy rod, thy staffe dothe comfort mee,

And thou art with meet stille:

And in the presence of my foes,

My table thou shalt spread:

Thou shalt, O Lord, fill full my cup,

And eke annointe my head.

*The Sachem Chickatabot died shortly afterward, when so many thousands of his doomed race were swept away by the small pox—a pestilence which was subsequently regarded as a providential interposition in behalf of the infant settlements, inasmuch as the savages were so greatly weakened, as to be far less formidable in the subsequent hostilities.

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‘Verily, my Rebecca—for thou hast left thy country and kindred, even as Rebecca of old went from Mesopotamia into a far distant land, for her love of Isaac—it needeth the faith of Abraham, and the patience of Job, to reason with hope for these children of Azazel,’ said the puritan husband, as he laid his head upon the pillow.

‘But we must not put the hand to the plough and look back,’ replied the beloved companion of his bosom. ‘Out of small beginnings great things have been produced by His hand that made all things that are ordained withal; and it hath been remarked that as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled in these ends of the earth, shall yet shine to many generations; yea, and in some sort, perhaps, to the whole world,—albeit at the present time the darkness covereth the earth, and gross darkness the people.’

If the writer has been so fortunate as to secure the reader’s attention, and awaken his interest in behalf of the heroine of this narrative, some desire may perhaps by this time exist to know who she was. The student of the early annals of New England will remember, that in the year 1630, the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay, then yet residing in Great Britain, determined upon a more vigorous effort in the prosecution of the Colony; for which purpose, a fleet of fourteen sail of vessels was made ready, some of which were ships of war, and armed for defence against the Spaniards, with whom the parent country was not then at peace. The continued and severe oppression of the puritans, by the first of the Stuarts, aggravated under Charles I., by the vindictive proceedings of Archbishop Laud, had determined many gentlemen of rank and for-

p. 44

tune, to transfer themselves and families to the new world,—among whom were the Pelhams, the hambdens, Lords Say and Sele, and Brook, Sir Richard Saltonstall, and others, alike eminent for their piety, and their love of liberty—although they did not all carry their purpose of emigrating into effect. It was therefore resolved to send forth a large colony; and the fleet was filled with many hundreds of passengers, men, women, and children, from the belted knight, who had distinguished himself in arms, and ladies of quality and gentle blood, to the humble agriculturist and artizan, with their rustic dames. A new Governor and assistants were chosen—the former office being conferred upon John Winthrop, Esq.; a gentleman educated to the bar, and possessing ‘that wisdom and virtue, and those manifold accomplishments, that after-generations have reckoned him no less a glory than he was a patriot of the country.[’] Thomas Dudley, Esq., was selected as the Deputy Governor, who, and also the assistants, were all chosen not only with an eye to their capacities, but also from a regard to their high moral qualities.

All necessary preparations for their embarkation having been made, the adventurers partook of a farewell feast in London, which was attended by their immediate friends; and likewise by many of the champions of civil and religious liberty of their sect, who subsequently acted an important part, in the bloody drama of the revolution which brought King Charles to the block, and for which his own obstinacy, and the bigoted counsellors by whom he was surrounded, were even then preparing the public mind. By the accounts which have been preserved of this festival, it must have

p. 45

equalled in interest and solemnity the Jewish Passover.* It was indeed a passover, as deeply religious as the former, though yet unlike it. The name of the Jewish feast was derived from a more awful circumstance than attended the Exodus of the Puritnas; but the latter, like the former, were about to fly from their bondage, and pass over a broad and trackless ocean, the navigation of which was then far more formidable in anticipation than at present, from the comparative infrequency, and the imaginary terrors with which its passage was invested. The object, too, was the same: the unmolested worship of the only true God, and the planting of a new empire.

Having taken an affectionate leave, they published a parting address to their Christian friends of the established church, which they yet styled their ‘dear mother,’ notwithstanding the ‘deformities,’ from which they said they wished to see her ‘transformed,’ desiring ‘the remembrances of their prayers,’ and ‘wishing,’ (to quote their language,) ‘our own heads and hearts may be fountains of tears for your everlasting welfare, when we shall be in our poor cottages in the wilderness, overshadowed with the spirit of supplication, through the manifold necessities and tribulations, which may not altogether unexpectedly, nor, we hope, unprofitably befal us.’

*‘A heart of stone,’ says the venerable Cotton Mather, ‘must have dissolved into tears at this affectionate farewell, which the Governor and other eminent persons took of their friends, at a feast which the Governor made for them a little before their going off; however they were actuated by principles that could carry them through tears and oceans; yea, through oceans of tears.’

p. 46

The squadron sailed from Cowes; the flag-ship, the Arabella, having upwards of two hundred passengers on board, consisting of the elite of the expedition. Those were not the days in which the packets were weekly scudding across the ocean in trips of a fortnight’s duration, converting a voyage of three thousand miles into a mere pastime; and the fleet was nearly three months in making the harbor of Massachusetts Bay. The consequence of the length of the voyage, (which was moreoever very tempestuous,) and the great number of passengers, was much distressing sickness, by reason of which many vigorous constitutions were so greatly debilitated as to unfit them for the hardships they were destined to encounter in the new world, and bring them to early graves.

Among those who suffered most severely during the passage, was one lady of exalted rank, and in other respects worthy of particular note. Her person was fine, and her countenance comely; but what was of yet greater importance, the elegance of her manners, and the sweetness of her disposition, to which was added a decided superiority of intellect, at once commanded universal homage, and ensured the highest degree of respect. The lady possessing this rare combination of high qualities, together with every virtue that can adorn the character of the sex, was descended from the famous Renebald de Tankerville, one of the three sons of the Chamberlain of Normandy, who accompanied the Conqueror into England, and upon whom was bestowed the lordship of Clinton, in Oxfordshire. Being a brave and martial house, the family had subseuqently enjoyed high favors alike from the Plantagenets and the Tudors,

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from whom they received large possessions; and in the progress of centuries, their blood had been mingled in alliance with the Warwicks, and others of the ancient nobles; so that the line of her descent was as proud as the realm could boast. Her father was the Earl of Lincoln,* and the lady herself none other than Arabella Johnson,—the heroine of our present history; and in honor of whom the ship had been named in which she was a passenger.†

The lady Arabella had been united in marriage to Isaac Johnson, Esq. of Clipsham, who had been an overseer in the management of her father’s estates. The alliance was therefore below her rank; but Mr. Johnson was a gentleman of excellent qualities, well educated, and of high integrity and moral worth. The earl of Lincoln and family having embraced the faith of the puritans, no objections were interposed to the match, which was one of religious sympathy, as well as of mutual affection. Mr. Johnson and the Lady Arabella having determined to escape from the ecclesiastical tyranny of Laud, aided by the dreadful tribunal of the Star-Chamber, to the new world, he was chosen one of the assistants of Governor Winthrop, and was now on his way in the suite of that eminent friend of human

*From whom have descended the Pelham-Clintons, Dukes of Newcastle.

†There has been a dispute upon the question whether the name of this lady was not Arbella, instead of Arabella. Prince, in his Chronology, an old and rare work, writes it Arbella, and Brown’s Biographical Dictionary also writes it thus. But Wintrhop and Cotton Mather both wrote it Arabella; and so it stands in an old British Peerage which I have consulted. The weight of authority is in favor of the latter mode of spelling the name.

p. 48

liberty, to enter upon the duties of his station. Arriving, at length, though in pitiable plight, the new colonists first pitched their tents at Mishawam, (subsequently called charlestown,) but discovering the superior excellence of the water at Tri-mountain, they passed over thither, and the log cabin to which the reader has already been introduced, was that of Isaac Johnson—the founder of the city of Boston.

The Lady Arabella and her husband were justly the pride of the expedition, and were held in distinguished regard by the colonists. But their prospects on their arrival, were dark and gloomy. Death had made sad havoc among the little bands of settlers who had preceded them: those who had survived were in want: and they themselves were worn down by sickness and fatigue, and also short of supplies. But the lofty spirit of the Lady Arabella rose superior to every trial. Neither the perils of the tempest, nor the alarm of a Spanish man-of-war, which at one time was discovered bearing down upon them; nor the frowning hardships of the wilderness, could shake the high purpose of her soul, in this stern enterprise of duty. And in every trial of danger and of woe, she excelled even her husband in the calmness of her resolution, and the firmness and energy of her courage,—raising to heaven when others were appalled, the triumphant look of faith, unobstructed by a single cloud of doubt or fear.

But ‘whom the gods love, die young,’ is a heathen maxim, which may be well used without irreverence by a christian writer. Soon after the occurrences already narrated, Mr. Johnson, from the great confidence reposed in him, was elected a referee in the case of a dispute

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between Governor Endicott and two other settlers at Naumkeag,—Salem, as it was called by the whites. And it was there, in the new city of peace, that to the deep affliction of the colony, the Lady Arabella found an early grave. The sickness and discomforts of the voyage had so far enfeebled her delicate system, as to leave her a ready subject of disease. A severe cold was succeeded by that deadly American epidemic, the consumption, and the ‘worm’ soon began to ‘prey upon her damask cheek,’ while other symptoms but too clearly disclosed the fact that the disease had fastened upon her vitals. Her decline was rapid, accompanied with occasional paroxysms of severe bodily anguish; but all was borne without a murmur. The last sermon to which she listened was preached by Governor Endicott himself, who frequently officiated in the clerical capacity. On those occasions, he was arrayed in a semi-canonical costume, wearing a half cassoc, and a black velvet cap. His appearance was grave and imposing, and his discourses are reputed to have been eloquent and vigorous efforts of manly piety.

But the fatigue of attending a protracted exercise—for in those days a sermon was often three and four hours long—did her body no good, however much her soul may have been refreshed by the Governor’s excellent discourse; and the daily return of the hectic tinge upon her cheek now admonished her fond husband and anxious friends, that the time of her departure was nigh. Nor was she disquieted at the approach of the King of Terrors—a monarch, who, however inexorable, is, with all his power, terrorless to those who are clothed in Christian armor. Still, as is usual in cases of this

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disease, its characteristic deceitfulness, and daily alternations, frequently induced her friends to indulge expectations that she might even yet recover:—

——There was a brilliant flush

Of youth about her,—and her kindling eye

Poured such unearthly light, that hope would hang

Even on the archer’s arrow, while it dropp’d

Deep poison. Many a restless night she toiled

For that slight breath which held her from the tomb;

Still wasting like a snow-wreath, which the sun

Marks for his own, on some cool mountain’s breast,

Yet spares, and tinges long with rosy light.*

But it was vain. Mr. Johnson watched her with all possible tenderness and solicitude—during which period the severity of the puritan aspect forsook him, and his countenance assumed its primitive expression of affectionate sympathy. But however soothing were these attentions, they were of no farther avail, and the Lady Arabella sank so sweetly by degrees away, and there were such composure and beauty in her demeanor, such holiness and unction in her conversation, so much of heaven in her chastened, submissive countenance, and such an odour of sanctity, as it were, in the atmosphere she breathed, as to leave little room for sorrow.

Some hours before her purified spirit winged its flight, her mind began to wander, and from the broken fragments of her conversation, she seemed to be enraptured with visions of brightness and glory which words can but faintly describe. ‘Yes,’ she said with emphasis, ‘this wilderness shall bud and blossom like the rose.’

*Mrs. Sigourney.

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*  *  *  *   ‘Cities shall rise, and solemn temples,’  *  *   ‘Bathing in light,’  *  *

*  *  *   ‘What refreshing coolness—what fragrance.’ *  *   ‘How can we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land!’  *  *  *  *   ‘Look upon the glorious landscape, what brightness.’   *

*  *  *   ‘Those gardens, and groves, and brooks scattered over the plain, and those thousand castles and palaces glittering in the golden light,’ *

*  *  *   ‘And every tree bearing twelve kinds of fruit,’  *  *  *  *   ‘and every gate of one pearl,’  *  *  *  *   ‘washed by his own blood.’  *  *  *  *   ‘There! how sweetly they bend over their golden harps, and how lightly their seraph fingers touch the strings withal.’

*  *  *  *   ‘The song of Moses and the Lamb.’  *  *  *  *   ‘And is this death!’

*  *  *  *   ‘the melody of heaven!’ Thus she continued for a time in a trance, and then so calmly breathed her life away, closing her eyes as though composing herself to sleep, that a slight trembling of the lips only, yet seeming to smile, betrayed the instant of the soul’s departure.

Until this moment, Mr. Johnson had supported himself with wonderful fortitude; but when he saw she was dead, a consciousness of the magnitude of his loss seemed to flash upon his mind at once with tremendous force. His full heart burst, and the deep fountains of grief were broken up. She was mourned and wept by all; and although no monument marks the spot where she was interred, still, her memory, redolent of every

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virtue, is cherished with holy reverence, and will survive longer than ‘storied urn or animated bust.’*

The heart of her husband was smitten, and withered like grass. In the language of the Livy of New England, whom we have already quoted,—‘As for her husband,

——‘He try’d

To live without her, lik’d it not, and dy’d.’

‘His mourning for the death of his honorable consort, was too bitter to be extended a year. About a month after her death, his ensued, unto the extreme loss of the whole plantation.’ ‘He was a holy man, and wise,’ says Governor Winthrop, ‘and died in sweet peace, leaving some part of his substance to the colony.’ He was buried in his own lot, upon the spot now occupied by the old stone chapel, Boston. Afterward, as others died, the desire of one, and of another, to be interred near the bones of so just and holy a man—desire too reasonable and sacred for refusal—was the commencement of the present chapel burying ground, near the Tremont House. ‘The memory of the just is blessed.’

*Tradition, however, yet designates the spot where the lady Arabella was buried. According to the testimony of the late Dr. Holyoke, when at the age of 99, who long lived as a connecting link between the age of the Puritans and the present, her body was interred near the road leading from Salem to Beverly, about a mile from the bridge of the former place.

[p. 53]



Low breathed the western wind at close of day;

The bloomy shrubs were bent with heavy showers;

The clouds had hardly rolled their wreaths away;

They darkly hung, where high the mountain towers;

Through flowery vale, the dashing stream

Leaped sparklingly, in many a fall;

And evening’s rosy beam

Tinted the forest tall.

The loving birds were emulous in song;

The cattle lowed; on slope of sunny hill,

Sported the lambs, and wildly raced along

The turf, that bore its beaded treasure still;

And as they swept, a shower of light,

Flew round, like gems that deck the snow,

When morning glances bright

On hill and valley flow.

And gleaming o’er a wood-embosomed lake,

Floated mid dreamy haze, the golden ray;

The ripling [sic] wave, in many a yellow flake,

Curled round the dewy rock and slid away:

In rustic boat, his dipping oars

Attuned to song, the peasant boy,

Glided by happy shores,

He felt the season’s joy.

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By willowy isle, with silvery catkins bowed,

He skimmed the sheeted gold, and on my ear

Echoed his song, now sweetly low, now loud,

As when the patriot ode is swelling near.

From rock to rock the music rung;

By wooded hill it died along;

Light was the heart, that sung

That wild and woodland song

The buds are now unfolding,

And gaily swings the vine;

In woods the birds are holding

Their merry Valentine;

On hills, in meadow waking,

Peep out the blue eyed flowers,

And forest leaves are making

A shade for summer hours:

And why should not my heart be gay,

When all the world is now at play?

And every heart is beating,

Is beating full with love;

Advancing, now retreating,

How gently woos the dove;

On topmost bough high swinging—

Ah! there is none so gay,

So clear his voice is ringing,

As merry thrust to-day:

And I will merrily sing my song,

As o’er the lake I skim along.

[p. 55]



I came, but she was gone.

There lay her lute,

Just as she touch’d it last, at the soft hour

Of summer twilight, when the woodbine cups

Filling with deeper fragrance, fondly press’d

Thro’ the rais’d casement, uttering tender thanks

To her who train’d them. On her favorite seat

Still lay her work-box open, and the book

That last she read, and careless near its page

A note, whose cover her slight pen had trac’d

With lines unconscious, while her lover spake

That dialect, which brings forgetfulness

Of all beside. It was the pleasant home

Where from her childhood she had been the star

Of hope and joy.

I came, and she was gone.

But this I knew, for I remember’d well

Her parting look, when from the altar led,

With silvery veil, but slightly swept aside,

How the young rose leaf deepen’d on her cheek,

And on her brow a solemn beauty sat,

Like one who gives a priceless gift away.

And there was silence. Mid that stranger throng,

Even strangers, and the hard of heart, did draw

Their breath supprest, to see the mother’s lip

Turn ghastly pale, and the tall stately sire

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Bow with a secret sorrow, as he gave

His darling to an untried guardianship,

And to a far-off clime. Perchance his thought

Travers’d the moss-grown prairies, and the shores

Of the cold lakes,—or those o’erhanging cliffs

And mighty mountain tops, that rose to bar

Her log rear’d mansion from the anxious eye

Of kindred and of friend.

Even triflers felt

How strong and beautiful is woman’s love,—

That taking in its hand the joys of home,—

The tenderest melodies of tuneful years,—

Yea, and its own life also, lays them all

Meek and unblenching on a mortal’s breast,

Reserving nought, save that unspoken hope

Which hath its root in God.

Mock not with mirth

A scene like this,—ye laughter-loving ones,—

Hence with the hackney’d jest.—The dancer’s heel—

What doth it here?

Joy, serious and sublime,—

Such as doth nerve the energies of prayer,

Should swell the bosom, when a maiden’s hand

Fresh from its young flower-gathering girdeth on

That harness, which the minister of death

Alone unlooseth,—and whose power doth aid

Or mar the journey of the soul to Heaven.

[p. 57]



I will forget thee;—veteran soldiers said

Of the old Traitor of the Army, they

Would bury the one limb which the British bled

In battle for his country,—in the way

The brave are buried,—fitly,—and expose

The remnant of the faithless rascal for the crows.

And so shall I forget thee; that is, try

Most lustily to do so;—I will tell

Thy virtues o’er—ah, witch!—I can’t deny

Thou hast or hadst them; it were very well,—

Quite soothing,—could I make thee worse than sin

In ugliness, (thou darling,) both outside and in.

But since thou wilt not be so, e’en to please

Thy quondam crony, and I must confess,

Thy charms are multifold enough to tease

The life out from me,—and thy cunning face

Delightful,—and thy feet as much so,—and

No Indian ivory like thy dainty little hand;

Why then—I must forget thee. Once to night,

I’ll tell thy virtues o’er, and swell the dear

List fondly, and dwell on them with delight,

In dreams, as usual; and perchance a tear

Or so may soothe me when I wake to dim

Remembrance—as the warriors would have wept for him,

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The Scoundrel of the Story,—and pell-mell,

Poured a few vollies o’er the limb,—and told

The leg-end of his labors,—and a bell

Also;—then I will venture to be bold,

And take a last look at thee, (as a kind

Of corpse)—quite coldly,—and just kiss thee till I find

I can forget thee; and devote an hour

To walking in a grave-yard; and a line procure,

To extend the neck up neatly in a bower,

Where we as lovers loitered,—(but be sure

’T is found out in due season, to prevent,

In mercy to thy nerves, a horrid accident,)—

Tho’ not till I have sent thee a small note,

Three-cornered, in rose paper, with a seal

Significant, in doves and daggers, that I dote

In death upon thee; then I will appeal

To thy best feelings—(hast thou any better?)

And beg thee to inform me of my fate by letter:

And that will be the end on’t,—not of me,—

By no means,—but of it; by which I mean,

Merely, that having buried by the free

Flow of my passion, all the good, I ween,

There was about thee, and my honor showed

By strangling,—or almost,—(which is the better mode,)

I ’ll straightway marry thy rich rival, (hang her!)

And take medicine, and money, and go thin

To Italy, and so push on for Padang or

Smyrna, and return accomplished, and at Lynn

Open a shoe-store, dearest;—all to fret thee

With a fine frenzy of philosophy—and forget thee!

[p. 59]


The boat lay anchored to the shore,

And round it glanced the morning ray—

Soft ripples sung along the main—

And yet that boat would glide away—

But wind and chain, they gently bore

It light and floating back again.

The scene is changed—loud roars the wind,

The waves grow dark, and loudly dash

The tumbling billows to the strand—

But go, and by the lightning’s flash,

That tossing boat you ’ll safely find,

Tied to the fast and anchored land.

So let it be with one I love—

In hours of peace, like yonder boat,

The sunshine sparkling round—

Thy pleasures sweet as sounds that float

O’er rippling waters from above,

Or music in the sea shell found.

But when the hour is sad and dark,

And troubles like the sea waves roll,

And thick’ning horrors wildly start,

Like billows round the tossing soul—

Oh, as the anchor of that bark,

May faith secure thy gentle heart!

[p. 60]



Night, night upon the waters! O’er the deep,

The storm-cloud spreads his pinions, brooding low;

Yet even now the winds and waters sleep,

As gaining strength to do their work of woe,

Of wrath, and desolation. Hark! a low

Yet fearful murmur, comes upon the ear—

Ah! now those pinions rustle, and the flow

Of many waters, deep’ning still we hear!

Father! thou rul’st the storm, and shall we think of fear?

High, and still higher dash the angry waves,

’Gainst our devoted barque, whilst all the sky

Is black with darkness, and the tempest raves

Above, and all around us. Ah! how nigh

The light’ning’s flash, while thunders rolling by,

Proclaim with mighty grandeur, far and wide,

The majesty Divine of One on high,—

Who in this hour is still our guard and guide.

Father! we ’ll trust in thee, whatever may betide.

[p. 61]



The panther, now so rare in the settled parts of our country, was formerly very common, even in New England. It appears to be an inhabitant of both divisions of the continent. In South America it was called the American Lion, and here was usually denominated Painter, a corruption of Panther. Its proper title is the Cougar, under which name it figures in the show bills of the menageries. It is the fiercest of the cat tribe in North America, and is the hero of many an ancient tale of the hills, under the designation of Catamount. Even in the lowland villages of New England, his cries were often heard at night from some hoary forest, not fifty years ago, and those who are willing to listen to the legends of their grandmothers, can hear many a grisly story of his adventures, authenticated by the testimony of their own eyes and ears. Such tales we might tell, but as the artists have chosen to embellish our pages with an illustration of Mr. Cooper’s Panther Story, in the Pioneers, we think it better to give that story, instead of our own. It is probable our readers have all read it; but it is so full of interest, and displays so well the manners and habits of the animal, that whether our pages are designed to please or instruct, we cannot do better than wile our friends into another perusal of it.

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It will be recollected that Elizabeth and Louisa were rambling among the mountains, in the vicinity of which the chief scenes of the novel are laid. The story thus goes on:—

‘In this manner they proceeded along the margin of the precipice, catching occasional glimpses of the placid Otsego, or pausing to listen to the rattling of wheels and the sounds of hammers, that rose from the valley, to mingle the signs of men with the scenes of nature, when Elizabeth suddenly started, and exclaimed—

‘ “Listen! there are the cries of a child on this mountain! is there a clearing near us? or can some little one have strayed from its parents?”

‘ “Such things frequently happen,” returned Louisa. “Let us follow the sounds; it may be a wanderer, starving on the hill.”

‘Urged by this consideration, the females pursued the low, mournful sounds, that proceeded from the forest, with quick and impatient steps. More than once, the ardent Elizabeth was on the point of announcing that she saw the sufferer, when Louisa caught her by the arm, and pointing behind them, cried—

‘ “Look at the dog!”

‘Brave had been their companion, from the time the voice of his young mistress lured him from his kennel, to the present moment. His advanced age had long before deprived him of his activity; and when his companions stopped to view the scenery, or to add to their boquets, the mastiff would lay his huge frame on the ground, and await their movements, with his eyes closed, and a listlessness in his air that ill accorded with the character of a protector. But when, aroused by this cry from

p. 63

Louisa, Miss Temple turned, she saw the dog with his eyes keenly set on some distant object, his head bent near the ground, and his hair actually rising on his body, either through fright or anger. It was most probably the latter, for he was growling in a low key, and occasionally showing his teeth in a manner that would have terrified his mistress, had she not so well known his good qualities.

‘ “Brave!” she said, “be quiet, Brave! what do you see, fellow?”

‘At the sounds of her voice, the rage of the mastiff, instead of being at all diminished, was very sensibly increased. He stalked in front of the ladies, and seated himself at the feet of his mistress, growling louder than before, and occasionally giving vent to his ire by a short, surly barking.

‘ “What does he see?” said Elizabeth; “there must be some animal in sight.”

‘Hearing no answer from her companion, Miss Temple turned her head, and beheld Louisa, standing with her face whitened to the color of death, and her finger pointing upward, with a sort of flickering, convulsed motion. The quick eye of Elizabeth glanced in the direction indicated by her friend, where she saw the fierce front and glaring eyes of a female panther, fixed on them in horrid malignity, and threatening instant destruction.

‘ “Let us fly!” exclaimed Elizabeth, grasping the arm of Louisa, whose forms yielded like melting snow, and sunk lifeless to the earth.

‘There was not a single feeling in the temperament of Elizabeth Temple, that could prompt her to desert a

p. 64

companion in such an extremity; and she fell on her knees, by the side of the inanimate Louisa, tearing from the person of her friend, with an instinctive readiness, such parts of her dress as might obstruct her respiration, and encouraging their only safeguard, the dog, at the same time, by the sounds of her voice.

‘ “Courage, Brave,” she cried, her own tones beginning to tremble, “courage, courage, good Brave.”

‘A quarter-grown cub, that had hitherto been unseen, now appeared dropping from the branches of a sapling, that grew under the shade of the beech which held its dam. This ignorant, but vicious creature, approached near to the dog, imitating the actions and sounds of its parent, but exhibiting a strange mixture of the playfulness of a kitten with the ferocity of its race. Standing on its hind legs, it would rend the bark of a tree with its fore paws, and play all the antics of a cat for a moment; and then, by lashing itself with its tail, growling, and scratching the earth, it would attempt the manifestations of anger, that rendered its parent so terrific.

‘All this time Brave stood firm and undaunted, his short tail erect, his body drawn backward on its haunches, and his eyes following the movements of both dam and cub. At every gambol played by the latter, it approached nigher to the dog, the growling of the three becoming more horrid at each moment, until the younger beast overleaping its intended bound, fell directly before the mastiff. There was a moment of fearful cries and struggles, but they ended almost as soon as commenced, by the cub appearing in the air, hurled from the jaws of Brave, with a violence that sent it against a tree so forcibly, as to render it completely senseless

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‘Elizabeth witnessed the short struggle, and her blood was warming with the triumph of the dog, when she saw the form of the old panther in the air, springing twenty feet from the branch of the beech to the back of the mastiff. No words of ours can describe the fury of the conflict that followed. It was a confused struggle on the dried leaves, accompanied by loud and terrible cries, barks and growls. Miss Temple continued on her knees, bending over the form of Louisa, her eyes fixed on the animals, with an interest so horrid, and yet so intense, that she almost forgot her own stake in the result. So rapid and vigorous were the bounds of the inhabitant of the forest, that its active frame seemed constantly in the air, while the dog nobly faced his foe, at each successive leap. When the panther lighted on the shoulders of the mastiff, which was its constant aim, old Brave, though torn with her talons, and stained with his own blood, that already flowed from a dozen wounds, would shake off his furious foe, like a feather, and rearing on his hind legs, rush to the fray again, with his jaws distended, and a dauntless eye. But age and his pampered life, greatly disqualified the noble mastiff for such a struggle. In every thing but courage, he was only the vestige of what he had once been. A higher bound than ever, raised the wary and furious beast far beyond the reach of the dog, who was making a desperate, but fruitless dash at her, from which she alighted in a favorable position, on the back of her aged foe. For a single moment, only, could the panther remain there, the great strength of the dog returning with a convulsive effort. But Elizabeth saw, as Brave fastened his teeth in the side of his enemy, that the collar of brass around his

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neck, which had been glittering throughout the fray, was of the color of blood, and directly, that his frame was sinking to the earth, where it soon lay prostrate and helpless. Several mighty efforts of the wild-cat to extricate herself from the jaws of the dog, followed, but they were fruitless, until the mastiff turned on his back, his lips collapsed, and his teeth loosened; when the short convulsions and stillness that succeeded, announced the death of poor Brave.

‘Elizabeth now lay wholly at the mercy of the beast. There is said to be something in the front of the image of the Maker, that daunts the hearts of the inferior beings of his creation; and it would seem that some such power, in the present instance, suspended the threatened blow. The eyes of the monster and the kneeling maiden met, for an instant, when the former stooped to examine her fallen foe; next to scent her luckless cub. From the latter examination it turned, however, with its eyes apparently emitting flashes of fire, its tail lashing its sides furiously, and its claws projecting for inches from its broad feet.

‘Miss Temple did not, or could not move. Her hands were clasped in the attitude of prayer, but her eyes were still drawn to her terrible enemy; her cheeks were blanched to the whiteness of marble, and her lips were slightly separated with horror. The moment seemed now to have arrived for the fatal termination, and the beautiful figure of Elizabeth was bowing meekly to the stroke, when a rustling of leaves from behind seemed rather to mock the organs, than to meet her ears.

‘ “Hist! hist!” said a low voice; “stoop lower, gall, your bunnet hides the creater’s head.”

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‘It was rather the yielding of nature than a compliance with this unexpected order, that caused the head of our heroine to sink on her bosom; when she heard the report of the rifle, the whizzing of the bullet, and the enraged cries of the beast, who was rolling over on the earth, biting its own flesh, and tearing the twigs and branches within its reach. At the next instant the form of the Leather-stocking rushed by her, and he called aloud—

‘ “Come in, Hector, come in, you old fool; ’t is a hard-lived animal, and may jump ag’in.”

‘Natty maintained his position in front of the maidens, most fearlessly, notwithstanding the violent bounds and threatening aspect of the wounded panther, which gave several indications of returning strength and ferocity, until his rifle was again loaded, when he stepped up to the enraged animal, and, placing the muzzle close to its head, every spark of life was extinguished by the discharge.’

[p. 68]



At evening it rose in the hollow glade,

Where wild-flowers blushed mid silence and shade;

Where, hid from the gaze of the garish noon,

They were slily wooed by the quivering moon.

It rose, for the guardian zephyrs had flown,

And left the valley that night alone:

No sigh was borne from the leafy hill,

No murmur came from the lapsing rill;

The boughs of the willow in silence wept,

And the aspen leaves in that sabbath slept.

The valley dreamed, and the fairy lute

Of the whispering reed by the brook was mute.

The slender rush o’er the glassy rill,

Like a marble shaft, was erect and still,

And no airy sylph o’er the mirror wave,

A dimpling trace of its footstep gave.

The moon shone down, but the shadows deep

Of the pensile flowers, they were hushed in sleep.

The pulse was still in that vale of bloom,

And the Spirit rose from its marshy tomb.

It rose o’er the breast of a silver spring,

Where the mist at morn shook its snowy wing,

And robed like the dew, when it woos the flowers,

It stole away to their secret bowers.

With a lover’s sigh, and a zephyr’s breath,

It whispered bliss, but its work was death.

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It kissed the lip of a rose asleep,

And left it there on its stem to weep—

It froze the drop on a lily’s leaf,

And the shivering blossom was bowed in grief.

O’er the daisy it breathed, and the withered flower

Fell blackened and scathed in its lonely bower;

It stooped to the violets, blooming around,

And kissed the buds as they slept on the ground.

They slept, but no morrow could waken their bloom,

And shrouded by moonlight, they lay in their tomb.

The lover of pleasure no sigh bestows,

O’er the grave of his victim—the bourne of its woes.

The faded, forgotten, in ruin decay—

Their memories pass with their fragrance away—

And the frost Spirit went, like the lover light,

In search of fresh beauty and bloom that night.

Its wing was plumed by the moon’s cold ray,

And noiseless it flew o’er the hills away—

It flew, yet its dallying fingers played,

With a thrilling touch, through the maple’s shade;

It toyed with the leaves of the sturdy oak,

It sighed o’er the aspen, and whispering spoke

To the bending sumach, that stooped to throw

Its chequering shade o’er a brook below;

It kissed the leaves of the beech, and breathed

O’er the arching elm, with its ivy wreathed:

It climbed to the ash on the mountain’s height,

It flew to the meadow, and hovering light

O’er leafy forest and fragrant dell,

It bound them all in its silvery spell.

Each spreading bough heard the whispered bliss,

And gave its cheek to the gallant’s kiss—

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Tho’ giving, the leaves with resistance shook,

As if disdaining the joy they took.

Who dreamed that the morning’s light would speak,

And show that kiss on the blushing cheek?

For in silence the fairy work went through,

And no croning [sic] owl of the scandal knew—

No watch-dog broke from his slumbers light,

To tell the tale to the listening night.

But that which in secret is darkly done,

Is oft displayed by the morrow’s sun;

And thus the leaves in the light revealed,

With their glowing hues what the night concealed.

The sweet, frail flowers that once welcomed the morn,

Now drooped in their bowers, all shrivelled and lorn;

But the hardier trees shook their leaves in the blast,

To’ tell-tale colors were over them cast.

The maple blushed deep as a maiden’s cheek,

And the oak confessed what it would not speak.

The beech stood mute, but a purple hue

O’er its glossy robe was a witness true;

The elm and the ivy with varying dyes,

Protesting their innocence looked to the skies;

And the sumach roughed deeper, as stooping to look,

It glanced at the colors that flared in the brook.

The delicate aspen grew nervous and pale,

As the tittering forest seemed full of the tale;

And the lofty ash, tho’ it tossed up its bough,

With a puritan air on the mountain’s brow,

Bore a yellow tinge on its leafy fold,

And the hidden revel was gaily told!

[p. 71]


‘I muse the mystery was not made a science,

It is liberally profest! * * * *

This is the creature had the art born with her,

Toils not to learn it, but doth practise it

Out of most exquisite nature.’

Ben Johnson.

‘What a pity it is,’ said Caroline, throwing aside her book, ‘we are born under a republican government!’

‘Upon my word,’ said her brother Horace, ‘that is a patriotic observation for an American.’

‘O, I know,’ replied the sister, ‘that it is not a popular one; we must all join in the cry of liberty and equality, and bless our stars that we have neither Kings nor Emperors to rule over us, and that our first audible squeak was republican. If we don’t join in the shout, and hang our hats on hickory trees or liberty poles, we are considered unnatural monsters. For my part, I am tired of it, and I am determined to say what I think. I hate republicanism; I hate liberty and equality; and I don’t hesitate to declare, that I am for a monarchy. You may laugh, but I would say it at the stake.’

‘Bravo!’ exclaimed Horace; ‘why, you have almost run yourself out of breath, Cara, you deserve to be prime minister to the king.’

‘You mistake me,’ replied she, with dignity. ‘I have no wish to mingle in political broils, not even if I could be as renowned as Pitt or Fox; but I must say, I think our equality is odious. What do you think? To-day,

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the new chamber-maid put her head into the door, and said, “Caroline! your marm wants you.” ’

‘Excellent!’ said Horace, clapping his hands, and laughing; ‘I suppose, if ours were a monarchical government, she would have bent one knee to the ground, or saluted your little foot, before she spoke.’

‘No, Horace, you know there are no such forms as those, except in the papal dominions. I believe his holiness the Pope, requires such a ceremony.’

‘Perhaps you would like to be a Pope?’

‘No! I am no Roman Catholic.’

‘May I ask your highness, what you would like to be?’

‘I should like,’ said she, glancing at the glass, ‘I should like to be a Countess.’

‘You are moderate in your ambition; a Countess, now a days, is the fag end of nobility.’

‘O! but it sounds to delightfully …… The young Countess Caroline!’

‘If sound is all, you shall have that pleasure; we will call you the young Countess Caroline!’

‘That would be mere burlesque, Horace, and would make me ridiculous.’

‘True,’ replied Horace; ‘nothing can be more inconsistent for us than aiming at titles.’

‘For us, I grant you,’ replied Caroline; ‘but if they were hereditary, if we had been born to them, if they came to us through belted knights and high-born dames, then we might be proud to wear them. I never shall cease to regret that I was not born under a monarchy.’

‘You seem to forget,’ said Horace, ‘that all are not lords and ladies in the royal dominions. Suppose your

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first squeak, as you call it, should have been among the plebeians; suppose it should have been your lot to crouch and bend, or be trodden under foot by some titled personage, whom in your heart you despised; what then?’

‘You may easily suppose, that I did not mean to take those chances. No, I meant to be born among the higher ranks.’

‘Your own reason must tell you, that all cannot be born among the higher ranks, for then the lower ones would be wanting, which constitute the comparison. Now, Caroline, we come to the very point. Is it not better to be born under a government, in which there is neither extreme of high or low; where one man cannot be raised pre-eminently over another; and where our nobility consists of talent and virtue.’

‘That sounds very patriotic, brother,’ said Caroline, with a laugh; ‘but I am inclined to think, that wealth constitutes our nobility, and the right of abusing each other, our liberty.’

‘You are as fond of aphorisms as ever Lavater was,’ replied Horace, good-humoredly; ‘but they are not always true.’

‘I will just ask you,’ returned she, ‘if our rich men, who ride in their own carriages, who have fine houses, and who count by millions, are not our great men?’

‘They have all the greatness that money can buy; but this is a very limited one.’

‘In my opinion,’ said Caroline, ‘money is power.’

‘You mistake,’ returned Horace; ‘money may buy a temporary power, but talent is power itself; and when united to virtue, a God-like power, one before which the

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mere man of millions quails. No, give me talent, health, and unwavering principle, and I will not ask for wealth, but I will carve my own way; and depend upon it, wealth will be honorably mine.’

‘Well, Horace, I am sure I heartily wish you that possession of all together, talent, principle, and wealth. Really, without flattery, the two first you have; and the last, according to your own idea, will come when you beckon to it. Now I can tell you, that I feel as determined as you do, to “carve my own way.” I see you smile, but I have always believed we could accomplish what we steadily will. Depend upon it, the time is not distant, when you shall see me in possession of all the rank that any one can obtain in our plebeian country.’

Such were the sentiments of the brother and sister; both perhaps unusually endowed with talent. Horace had just received his diploma as attorney at law, Caroline had entered her eighteenth year, and was a belle in her own circle. There is many a young lady, who throws aside an English novel, with the same desire as our heroine had, of being a Duchess or a Countess, or perhaps a maid of honor; and at last centres her ambition in attaining what she considers the aristocracy of our country, wealth and fashion.

It is said, ‘education makes the character;’ and in support of this doctrine, that admirable line of the poet’s is again quoted for the five thousand and fiftieth time: ‘Just as the twig is bent, the tree ’s inclined.’ Mr. and Mrs. Warner had given birth to a forest of little twigs, and certainly had tried to bend them all one way, that is, to make them virtuous and contented. But, under

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the same gentle discipline, nothing could be more different than the dispositions of the two oldest girls, Caroline and Frances.

Mrs. Warner was a plain unassuming woman, with no higher ambition than her means afforded. Some sacrifices had been made, to send their eldest son, Horace, to college, with the belief, that, to give him a good education, was qualifying him to assist in the advancement of his brothers. He had as yet fully realized their expectations. He had not thought it necessary, while at college, to engage in any rebellion to prove his spirit and independence, but had trod the path of duty with undeviating step, had had one of the first parts awarded to him, and received an honorable degree, instead of being suspended or expelled. He had prosecuted his professional studies with diligence, and was now known as attorney at law.

Frances, or Fanny, as she was familiarly called, relieved her mother from many of her domestic cares; the other children were still too young to bear much part in the busy scenes of life.

Among Horace’s college friends, was a young man by the name of Benson. He had there been his chum, and was now his partner in business. They occupied the same office, and were bound together by the strongest ties of friendship. His association had hitherto been chiefly confined to the young men. In answer to Horace’s commendations of his friend, Caroline constantly replied, ‘he may be all you say, but nobody knows him, he is in no society.’ When she met him, however, at a splendid ball, given by one who stood first in his profession, her heart became a little softened towards him and in

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issuing invitations for a party, one was sent to Mr. Benson. To her astonishment, an answer was returned ‘declining the honor.’ ‘I am very glad,’ said Caroline, a little piqued, ‘it would have been an awkward thing; he does not visit in our circle.’

‘No,’ replied Horace, ‘he does not, at present, visit in any circle, he is devoted to business.’

‘How I detest a drone!’ said she, pettishly.

‘If you mean to apply that epithet to my friend, you are greatly mistaken.’

‘True, I ought to have said a drudge.’

Not long after, Caroline again met Benson in a circle which she considered fashionable. She had no longer any objection to admitting him to her society, and even exerted herself to appear amiable and charming.

‘You certainly did not overrate your friend,’ said she one day to her brother; ‘he is one of the most agreeable men I ever met with. I wish he was a more fashionable man.’

‘I don’t know what you mean,’ said Horace; ‘he certainly dresses remarkably well.’

‘His dress is well enough; I don’t mean that.’

‘His manners are easy, and those of a gentleman.’

‘Yes, all that is very well, but I mean, that I wish it was the fashion to invite and notice him.’

By degrees, Caroline ceased to cavil at Mr. Benson’s standing in society. She had talent enough to appreciate him, and all her powers of captivation were exerted to enslave him.

What does a man devoted to business know of female character! He was entirely satisfied that Miss Warner

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was ‘perfect and peerless, and made of every creature’s best.’ In a very few months he was completely in love, and at the end of another, had offered himself.

Caroline consulted her brother. His encomiums as usual were warm. ‘I know Benson perfectly,’ said he, ‘he is a man of honorable principle and first rate talent.’

‘Do you think he will ever be rich?’

‘I think he is too fine a fellow,’ said Horace, with feeling, ‘to be sacrificed to a woman whose first question is, “Will he ever be rich?” ’

‘Let us understand each other,’ said Caroline. ‘I like Benson. I even prefer him to any one I know. You say I am ambitious, I admit it is so; then my object must be to marry ambitiously. There is no sin in this; and I never will marry any an that is not distinguished, or able to make himself so. if Benson were rich, I should not hesitate; if I were sure he would be rich, I should hesitate no longer, because with wealth, he could command any rank in society.’

‘I do not enter into these cold calculations,’ returned Horace; ‘if ever I fall in love, it will be with a woman whose heart and not whose head is at work. However, you ask the question, and I will answer it. I do think that, in time, he will not only be rich, but be one of our most distinguished men.’

It is difficult to say how much this opinion influenced the young calculator, but her answer was by no means such as to throw Benson into despair. In a short time, he was the acknowledged lover of Caroline, with the full and free consent of her parents, the warm-hearted approbation of her brother, and the silent, though feeling acquiescence of her sister.

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Might it not seem that in such an union there were materials enough for happiness? But when is ambition satisfied! Benson was neither rich, nor a man of fashion; and after the first excitement of being engaged was over, Caroline grew listless and languid. Sometimes she was vexed that he did not devote his time to her, rather than to his profession; and sometimes she secretly murmured at her own rashness in forming an engagement upon such an uncertain basis, and was ready to mourn that beauty and talents like hers, should be doomed to such an unworthy lot. For a long time, Benson was too entirely shielded by the uprightness of his own mind to suspect the tumult of her thoughts. Gradually, however, unpleasant reflections forced themselves upon him; he even suspected there might be something a little worldly in her character; but if so, what a proof she had given him of her attachment! She had taken him without fortune, and was willing to wait till a competence could be acquired.

One year passed away, and the winter of the second arrived. Caroline’s discontent seemed to increase; she became even fretful at times, but there was a dignity and elevation in Benson’s character which always checked the first ebullitions of spleen, and he saw much less of it, than her own family. Horace became seriously alarmed; he feared that he might have made his friend’s, as well as his sister’s future misery, in promoting a match, that he began to think, was not suited to either. At this crisis, Caroline received an invitation to pass a few weeks with a relation at New York. Horace warmly seconded her wish to accept it, for he considered that her affection wanted such a test. A pleasant party of

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friends were going on, and the lovers parted with mutual protestations of fidelity.

A short residence with her cousins, the Ellisons, convinced her, they were among the êlite, and stood on the very pinnacle of fashion.

We trust our readers have already discovered that Caroline had a reflecting mind. She immediately began to investigate and analyze the causes of their exaltation. In the first place, it was not beauty; for Mrs. Ellison, without her French hat, blond veil, and diamond ear-rings, was almost plain. It certainly could not be high birth, for ‘her parents were nobody;’ the conclusion was obvious; it was her wealth, her elegant house, her stylish parties, and superb carriage. Here, then, she concluded she had found the primum mobile of American aristocracy, and with this conviction came all the horrors of her own lot; at the best, a competency with Benson!

One morning, Caroline went to an auction with Mrs. Ellison; fashionable ladies in New York, condescend to buy bargains, as well as in London. She was struck with the amount and magnitude of her purchases. ‘Have you no fear,’ said Caroline, as they were returning home, ‘that Mr. Ellison will think you extravagant?’

‘It is nothing to him,’ said the lady; ‘I buy all out of my own allowance.’

‘Is it possible,’ said Caroline, ‘that you have regular pin money?’

‘You may call it pin money, if you please,’ said Mrs. Ellison. ‘I have a stated sum for my own expenses; I should be perfectly wretched if I had to go to Mr. Ellison for every farthing I wanted to spend; never marry without such a stipulation.’ Caroline thought of

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Benson; the recollection of him came over her like an east wish, and she turned blue and cold.

At first, Caroline was noticed as Mrs. Ellison’s friend, but her beauty soon attracted observation, and she quickly caught whatever was stylish in those with whom she associated. People ceased to inquire whether she was ‘any body.’ Many a distinguished lady of fashion, whose name had hitherto met her ear in faint echoes, now left her card for Miss Warner, and solicited her company at her soirées. ‘O,’ thought Caroline, ‘if ever the time arrives when I can give soirées!’ and again the image of Benson came over her, and again she turned blue and cold. It may be easily supposed, under such circumstances, that she strove to banish him from her mind; she ceased to write home, and hardly deigned to answer the letters she received.

‘Miss Warner,’ said Mr. Ellison, one morning at the breakfast table, ‘I have a special embassy to you.’

‘What is it?’ she enquired.

‘I suppose you have discovered that you are quite the glass and mould of fashion.’

Mrs. Ellison colored, though her guest did not. ‘I would thank you for an egg,’ said she. Mr. Ellison handed his lady the egg, and then continued; ‘You may now, Miss Warner, certainly be styled the reigning belle.’

‘Which do you think the best way of eating eggs?’ enquired the fair mistress of the mansion; ‘for my part, notwithstanding Major Hamilton pronounces breaking them into a glass vulgar, I shall take the liberty;’ and she knocked it so violently with her spoon, that had she not been a lady, it might have appeared as if she were relieving some excess of feeling.

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‘Well, now for your embassy,’ said Caroline, with a bewitching smile.

‘Let us have it by all means,’ said Mrs. Ellison, with a forced laugh. ‘ “To the fairest of the fair,” I suppose.’

‘You appear a little discomposed, my dear,’ retorted Mr. Ellison.

‘I do detest flattery,’ replied the lady; she might have added, when it was not addressed to herself. Alas, how does the petty rivalship of beauty and fashion, degrade the character and ruffle the temper.

‘Nevertheless, I must accomplish my embassy,’ said Mr. Ellison, ‘if it does happen to be surcharged with flattery. Mr. Burrell called on me yesterday, and after the warmest encomiums on Miss Warner’s beauty, wit, and sweetness, asked me if she was disengaged. I told him I presumed so. Am I right?’ Caroline colored, but gave an assenting bow.

‘What was the meaning of that report I heard about your being engaged?’ asked Mrs. Ellison, as Caroline thought, very ill-naturedly.

‘I am not answerable for reports,’ replied she, blushing still deeper.

‘Never mind, Miss Warner,’ said the gentleman, ‘married ladies always think the right of flirtation belongs exclusively to themselves.’

‘Not exclusively,’ said the lady, ‘at least their amiable partners share in the right.’ The husband and wife looked any thing but amiable now; and Caroline, who was an apt disciple in such a school, sat wondering what would come next.

Mr. Ellison first broke the silence. ‘Mr. Burrell,’ said he, ‘requests permission to call on you this evening,

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and that you will have the goodness to see him alone. The truth is, he means to offer himself, and you must be prepared with an answer.’

‘Mr. Burrell!’ exclaimed she, with affected astonishment, ‘he is old enough to be my father!’

‘Your grandfather, I should think,’ said the gentleman.

‘No matter,’ said Mrs. Ellison; ‘he is as rich as Crœsus.’

‘Is he thought a man of fashion?’ asked Caroline.

‘Whoever becomes Mrs. Burrell,’ said Mr. Ellison, ‘will have the most splendid house, carriages, furniture, et cetera, in the city; she will have every thing but a young and agreeable husband.’

‘Is he thought liberal?’ said Caroline.

‘That is not his general character, but probably a young wife will make him so.’

Evening found Caroline equipped for the interview. Mr. Burrell came at the appointed hour. Notwithstanding his peruke, whiskers and teeth were of the best workmanship, the man of sixty stood revealed.

His manner of making love certainly did not disgrace his years, as it was quite in the old fashioned style; he called her ‘his lovely girl, his adorable charmer.’ She in return, was all artlessness, and acknowledged that he had interested her from the first moment of her introduction. She did not think it necessary to add, that she had previously heard of his overflowing coffers.

That evening would have decided the fate of Caroline, had she not determined to stipulate for pin money. Though titles could not be introduced into America, she saw no reason why this excellent English custom should not be adopted; she, therefore, after whispering the

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yielding state of her mind, begged him to wait for a more decisive answer, till she had written to her dear parents.

The next day the following letter was despatched to her brother:

‘Dear Horace,

‘Though you and I were born in the same era, there can be nothing more different than our vocations. You labor in yours, I in mine; we can be no judges of each other’s conduct, it behoves us then then to be mutually candid.

‘You got me into a scrape, now for heaven’s sake help me out of it. I do not accuse you of making the match between Benson and me, but certainly you were instrumental to it. Do you remember I prophesied that the time would arrive when you would see me possessing all the rank we could attain in the country? That time is near; there is no obstacle but Benson. You must break the matter to him as well as you can. Save his feelings, but be decisive, for I never will marry him. Another thing you must do, is to prepare my father and mother for a new match; and tell them that like a dutiful child, I am waiting for their consent. All this you can do much better than I can; I am sure you will do it well, but do manage it so that I may never set eyes on Benson again. I say nothing of Fanny, because I can manage her myself; I shall tell her I have acted from principle, and then the good child will say, “you have done perfectly right.”

‘After all, Horace, this is a troublesome world; my visit here has not been too pleasant. Mrs. Ellison hates me, because I am handsomer than she is, and because

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her caro sposo thinks so; but that is not the worst of it, I am over head and ears in —; but I forgot I was writing to you, Horace.

‘A letter will accompany this from Mr. Burrell, asking my parents’ consent. I have a secret for your ears only, he is two years older than his intended father-in-law. How ridiculous! I shall insist upon his kneeling and asking his papa’s and mama’s blessing. Do, dear Horace, write me immediately, and don’t be severe on the frailties of your poor sister.’

Caroline had intended to delay giving an answer to her lover, till she had secured the article of pin-money, but he was too ‘wary to be kept’ in suspense, and she soon found that now or never, was his motto. She therefore permitted him to announce the engagement. Many remarks were made upon her mercenary motives; and it was said to have excited even twelve days of wonder.

At length a letter arrived, and even Caroline’s nerves were a little agitated at the sight of her brother’s handwriting; she broke the seal and read:

‘My dear Caroline,

‘Your long silence had prepared us for some change in your feelings, but I had not anticipated such a total dereliction from just and upright principle. You beg me not to be severe, I feel no disposition to say any thing unkind. I am sick, sick at heart, to see one so young, made in God’s own image, so heartless. But I forgot my resolution, not to speak harshly; why should I? It is you who are the sufferer; it is you who are debarred from the highest and noblest privilege of our nature, a generous and disinterested attachment. If it were not

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too late, I might strive to touch your reason; but perhaps it is best that it should be as it is; virtue is formed by discipline, and He who knows our deficiencies can best tell what degree is necessary for us. All is arranged here; you can return when you please, without any fear of meeting Benson. Our parents feel great disappointment, but they do not perfectly mistake her character, but I leave you to find out its excellence, for, with the only trait you comprehend, gentleness, she unites high-souled resolution.

‘There is one sentence in your letter left unfinished, which fills me with apprehension. You say “I am over head and ears in —” and then break off, as if unwilling to proceed. You cannot mean over head and ears in love, for you are no hypocrite; can it be in debt? If you have thoughtlessly involved yourself in expense, do not let it have any influence in forming this connection. I promise you that you shall be extricated from all embarrassment, without its being known; I know that I have more than sufficient for the purpose. Write to me openly and fearlessly, it is not too late to retract.’

Such was the purport of the letter. Caroline shed a few natural tears as she folded it up.

Horace had discovered one part of the truth; she was in debt, far beyond her means to discharge. It was utterly impossible that she should dress in the style of Mrs. Ellison, with her limited means, without running in debt. There were bills at the dress-makers, milliners, and jewellers. Since her engagement, these were unimportant, they were all ready to wait till she returned Mrs. Burrell. Her lover wished to accompany

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her home, but some remains of feeling prevented her accepting his offer. She was received by her family with unchanged affection. It had been a general agreement, that Benson should not visit there till after Caroline’s marriage and departure. She was by that means saved from the mortification of meeting him.

When Horace first communicated to him the purport of Caroline’s letter, he received the intelligence with strong emotion; in a short time, however, he grew collected and calm.

‘There is more,’ said he, ‘to mortify my self-love in this affair, than my affection. I have felt almost from the first, that we were neither of us satisfied with each other. Often have I sought refuge with Frances, when wearied with the caprices of her sister, and I candidly acknowledge that I have sometimes wished my good genius had directed me to her in the first place.’

‘My dear fellow,’ said Horace, squeezing his hand, ‘let us drop this subject entirely, when Caroline goes to New York, you will visit us as usual.’

A new scene was now enacting in the quiet mansion of Mr. Warner. He had made his daughter a present sufficient to amply furnish her wardrobe; beyond that was not in his power. Her apartment was crowded with silks, satins, shawls and French flowers; not a chair nor a table but was loaded with articles of this nature. It was a season of triumph for Caroline; never before had she indulged the exuberance of her really elegant taste, not even on her late visit at New York, where her debts remained unpaid. Once or twice it occurred to her that she would reserve a few hundreds to discharge them;

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but when is vanity satisfied? there was still something more to purchase, and the whole was soon appropriated.

Frances looked on with a feeling of wonder and regret; there was much in the whole affair she could not comprehend. She felt impatient to behold the man who could rival Benson, and she once expressed the feeling to her sister. Caroline laughed scornfully; there was no hypocrisy in her character. Had this trait arisen from principle, it might have been a redeeming point; but it rather proceeded from want of feeling; she could not comprehend that what was immaterial to her, would shock others.

‘Do you really think, Fanny,’ said she, ‘that I am going to marry Burrell for his beauty or his talents? No, my sweet one, it is for his goods and chattels. How I wish he could be translated like Elijah, I am sure he is as venerable, and let his mantle of gold fall on me.’ It was a favorite source of drollery with Caroline to apply Scripture passages ludicrously. ‘But why do you look so serious? I verily believe you envy me my Methuselah.’

‘I do not at present envy you any thing you are to possess,’ said Frances, quietly; ‘of all misery, I can imagine, the greatest is giving the hand without the heart.’

‘There are many ideas,’ replied Caroline, ‘that read well in a novel, which are not fit for real life. Do you really think one half of the matches that take place are from affection? No, no, Fanny; once in a very, very great while, the heart and hand are joined together; but when they are, it is like the Siamese twins, a prodigy. Now a truce to sentiment, I want your opinion about

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these satins; which will look best with diamonds, the white or amber?’

‘White looks well with every thing. Are you going to purchase diamonds?’

‘I purchase diamonds! Why you dear innocent soul, my father’s whole income would not buy me a pair of diamond ear-rings. No, Burrell desired that he might furnish my bridal jewels; of course they will be diamonds. Mrs. Ellison’s are superb, but mine will undoubtedly be more so; Burrell’s income is much larger than Ellison’s. He has not made me a present worth speaking of, since we were engaged, and I have no doubt he means to put all his strength into my diamonds. I perceive you do not enter into my splendid prospects. I forgive you; it is human nature. Never mind, Fanny, when I get settled, I will send for you, and you will have much greater advantages for making a match than I had.’

‘I thank you, but I am sure diamonds would not add to my happiness.’

‘You think so now, because you know nothing of their importance in the world.’

‘I hope I never shall know.’

‘You are deceiving yourself, if you suppose all this indifference arises from principle. It is ignorance, pure ignorance.’

‘Then let me enjoy it,’ said Frances, smiling, ‘there are some subjects on which it is folly to be wise.’

‘You cannot expect me, however, to introduce you to the circle in which I shall move, without you are willing to conform to it.’

‘Caroline,’ said Frances, firmly, ‘you must not suppose because I have been silent, that I have not my own

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views and opinions of the plan you are pursuing. God only knows how it will terminate; but I would not exchange situations with you, for all this world can give. And now let us drop the subject.’

‘With all my heart, I am sure we shall never agree upon it. Have you seen Benson lately?’

‘Not since you returned.’

‘Did he take my dismissal of him much in dudgeon?’

‘He made an observation that perhaps you will not like to hear repeated.’

‘O yes, I shall, pray tell me what it was.’

‘He said, “that when we ceased to esteem, it was easy to cease to love.”’

‘Nonsense, that was all pique, but I really think, Fanny, you and he would make an excellent match. Perhaps, however, you would not choose to take up with my cast off garments.’

‘O,’ replied she, good humoredly, ‘you know I have always been accustomed to them.’

‘That is true, you took them as fast as I outgrew them; that was mamma’s economy; how odious all these details are. I do really think it had an effect on your character; wearing old clothes all your life!’

At length Mr. Burrell arrived; his equipage was splendid. He told Caroline, ‘her house wanted only its lovely mistress to render it complete.’ In the eyes of Horace and Frances, he was any thing but attractive; but the one most interested, seemed perfectly satisfied.

The wedding evening arrived, and still no jewels had been presented. Caroline arrayed herself in her bridal dress, and arranged her hair for the splendid tiara of diamonds, which was to far surpass Mrs. Ellison’s.

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Radiant in smiles, she descended to the parlor, to meet her lover tete-á-tete, before the hour appointed for the ceremony arrived. He was the most admiring, the most enraptured of men, and thanking his fair mistress for her attention to his request in permitting him to furnish her wedding jewels, placed a package in her hand. She only waited to express her thanks, and flew to her room to examine and adorn herself with her treasures. She found Frances quietly folding up her dresses and putting the apartment in order. ‘They have come! I have got them!’ she exclaimed, ‘give me a pair of scissors, a knife, any thing,’ and she began pulling upon the knot with her slender fingers, and white teeth. At length the package was unfastened, and the little red morocco case appeared before her; for a moment she hesitated, then hastily opened it! it fell from her hand, and she threw herself back, as if in the act of fainting. Frances flew to assist her. ‘Stand off!’ exclaimed Caroline, ‘I want breath.’ The struggle was for a moment doubtful, but happily a burst of tears relieved her. It was long and violent, but at length her words found utterance. ‘A wretch! a monster! an old super-annuated fool! it is not too late yet,’ and she began to tear off the orange blossoms from her glossy ringlets.

‘You are distracted,’ said her sister, ‘what does all this mean?’

‘Look,’ she exclaimed, spurning, with her white satin shoe, the case that lay on the carpet. Frances picked it up; it contained a pair of pearl ear-rings and a pin, neither remarkable for their richness or beauty.

‘They are very pretty,’ said Frances, ‘shall I put them into your ears?’ Another burst of tears followed.

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‘You will render yourself unfit to be seen; and what will Mr. Burrell think!’

‘I care not what he thinks.’ Violent passion soon relieves itself. Caroline began to reflect upon his house, his equipage, his fashion and wealth, and grew calmer; but with a tact for which she was remarkable, she determined to wear no ear-rings that evening. Composing her countenance, and again arranging her orange blossoms, she descended to the admiring bridegroom.

‘It is all in vain,’ said she, ‘to try, I cannot wear the ear-rings; I must have my ears prepared for them.’ Her flushed cheeks and swollen eyes bore testimony to the pain she had suffered in trying to force them through her ears. Her lover assured her she wanted no ornaments in his eyes, and that he had never fancied ear-rings.

‘There is a style of dress, however,’ said Caroline, ‘that is consistent with one’s rank in life. I hope I shall always dress in such a manner as to do you honor.’

‘Sweet creature,’ exclaimed the bridegroom, kissing her hand.

‘I have always thought,’ said Caroline, making a last effort to effect her purpose, ‘that a husband must save himself much trouble, by appropriating a sum to his wife’s dress. I am told that pin-money is coming quite into fashion.’

‘Indeed!’ exclaimed the bridegroom.

‘Don’t you agree with me?’ asked the fair bride.

‘Talk not of pin-money. Is not my heart, my hand, my fortune, at your disposal?’

Caroline turned away with disgust, and sad misgivings came over her. In one hour the ceremony had passed, and bridal visitors began to throng. Perhaps, among

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them all, there was not one less happy than the beautiful bride; the two great objects for which she had as yet been toiling were still unaccomplished, pin-money and diamonds.

The evening went off just as such evenings usually do. Caroline stood in the midst of her bridemaids, resplendent in external loveliness. The orange flowers, so lately torn with indignation from her hair, were carefully replaced, and trembled with every motion of her head; the veil de noce hung in graceful folds to the border of her white satin garment; all was in fine taste, all complete, except ear-rings, necklace, and bracelets; alas, these were wanting!

The next morning at ten, the equipage was at the door; the bride took leave of her family, and was handed into her carriage by the alert bridegroom; the coach with its four bays and out-rider, disappeared, like Cinderella’s equipage, and all at Mr. Warner’s returned to its usual state of domestic quiet.

It is said by some sensible person, that we become more acquainted with people in three days travel, than a year’s stationary residence.

The first day, the new married couple were very conversable. The bridegroom described his house and furniture, told how much he gave for every article, and they rolled smoothly on. The second day’s conversation flagged a little. Caroline began to complain of being ‘shut up,’ and how tedious it was to journey, and at last proposed letting down the green shades, which had been closed at the express desire of the gentleman, who was much troubled with an inflammation in his eyes. ‘Certainly, my love, if you desire it,’ said he, but without

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making any movement to assist her efforts. After some time she accomplished her purpose, let down the shade and the window, and, putting her head out, declared ‘it was delightful to breathe the fresh air.’ ‘O not the window, my love,’ said Mr. Burrell, gently drawing her towards him, and pulling it up. ‘I cannot permit you to endanger your precious health, the air is very cold; you don’t consider it is the third of November,’ and he wrapped his wadded silk coat round him. ‘I am not the least afraid of taking cold,’ said she, ‘I must have it down. I shall die to ride so shut up.’ ‘To be honest,’ replied he, ‘if you are not afraid, I am.’

‘O that is quite another affair,’ said Caroline; ‘vous êtes le maitre. I suppose I have nothing to do but obey.’

It seemed as if the bridegroom thought the same, for in a few moments he said ‘this light is insupportable,’ and he drew up the shade.

‘Good gracious!’ exclaimed the bride, ‘am I to ride all day to-day, shut up, as I was yesterday?’

‘Perhaps you will take a little nap, my love, I always sleep a great deal when I ride.’

‘I am not so fortunate,’ returned she.

‘Every thing depends upon the carriage in which you travel. I had this built on purpose for my comfort.’

‘So it seems,’ replied Caroline.

‘It is finished in the most thorough manner, it cost nearly three thousand dollars, my horses cost twenty-five hundred more; there is not, perhaps, a handsomer team in New York. You travelled in a very different style from this when you went on and returned last fall, and this spring.’

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‘Very different,’ said Caroline, and she thought of the gay and animated party in the stage-coach, and the pleasant variety on board the steam-boat; and, notwithstanding the style in which she was travelling, heartily wished she could exchange the mode.

‘Pray try to get a little nap, my love; nothing shortens the way like sleep,’ and the bridegroom drew from one of the pockets of the carriage, a travelling cap, took off his hat, put on the cap, and leant back. In a very short time, he gave evident signs of being asleep. Nothing could have been less interesting to a young bride, than her present contemplations. There is a relaxation of the muscles in sleep, by no means favorable to age; the falling under lip, the strongly marked lines of the countenance, the drooping corners of the mouth, the eminent risk of losing his balance, first on one side, then on the other; the danger, too, that Caroline’s French hat incurred, by his sudden inclinations towards her; all this was not calculated to improve the already ruffled temper of the young lady. At length her bonnet received so rude a shock, that she hastily moved to the front, and left him the sole possessor of the back seat.

‘And I am to pass my life with this being!’ thought she. ‘Where Benson in his place, how animated, how pleasant would be his conversation! After all there is nothing like mind; nothing, at least, but wealth and fashion. Thank heaven! I have secured these, and these will command every thing. Pray heaven this may be the last journey we shall take together.’

Uninteresting as was Burrell’s conversation, still it was less vexatious than her thoughts. Her own family circle, composed of beings so unlike the one before

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her, rose to her view; her brother Horace, so intellectual, so manly, and high-souled; Frances so gentle and disinterested, and Benson, who wanted nothing but rank, to make him peerless; Benson, who had loved her with such discriminating affection, who had appreciated the powers of her mind, powers that now were totally incomprehensible to the being who sat nodding and reeling opposite. It was insupportable, she could not endure it, and hastily again letting down the green shade and the window, she once more breathed the fresh air. The stone walls and leafless trees, were more agreeable to her sight, than her companion within, and resting her chin on the window, she gazed on every object, as the carriage rapidly passed, till a sudden jolt awoke her husband. He uttered an exclamation of astonishment. ‘The window down, the air blowing upon me, and I asleep!’

‘Upon my word,’ said Caroline, ‘I could endure my prison no longer, and I thought as you had accommodated yourself, I would take the same liberty.’

‘I probably shall have to thank you for an attack of the rheumatism, Mrs. Burrell,’ said the bridegroom, for the first time calling her by her new name.

‘And I have already to thank you for a fit of the head ache, Mr. Burrell,’ replied Caroline.

The air and light were again excluded, and the new married couple, who felt that they had mutual wrongs, did not attempt any conversation. Every little while, the gentleman rubbed the shoulder which had been exposed to the air, with an expression of pain, and the lady did not forget, occasionally, to press her hand to her forehead, and smell of her Cologne bottle.

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Such was the second day of the journey, and the third of the bridals! Of the following day, there is but little to recount; it was one of selfish accommodation on his side, of vexation and ennui on her’s. [sic]

Caroline was not ill-tempered, she was only heartless, and when they got into the carriage the fourth morning, an observation of his restored her animation and good humor.

‘To-night, my love,’ said he, ‘we shall spend in our own house; and I believe I may venture to say, that I have the handsomest house, the handsomest carriage, and the handsomest wife in the city. We shall have every body calling, you had better fix a day for the wedding visits, that they may be in style.’

‘O certainly; it will be my wish to do credit to your taste.’

‘That there is no doubt of.’

‘I hope you liked my wedding dress?’

‘Very much.’

‘It was very costly,’ said Caroline, assuming with her usual tact, his style of calculation. ‘I paid two dollars a yard for the satin, and seventy dollars for the blond veil.’

‘Every thing should be consistent,’ said he, ‘your dress, and my house.’

‘Yes,’ said Caroline, ‘I suppose—perhaps—you will choose I should wear diamonds.’

‘Certainly, if you have them.’

‘I have not,’ replied she; ‘my father could not afford to give them to me.’ The ice was broken, and she continued, ‘but you can, and of course, will.’

‘I prefer pearls,’ said he.

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‘Pearls are very well for half dress, but no lady of fortune or fashion, now a days, appears in full dress without diamonds. How beautiful Mrs. Ellison’s are!’

‘I never observed them.’

‘They are exquisite. I was one day praising them to Mr. Ellison, after I was engaged to you, and he said—but I won’t tell you, you will think me vain.’

‘O yes, do tell me, I insist upon it.’

‘Well, then, he said you had the handsomest house, the handsomest carriage, and would have the handsomest wife in the city, but his had the handsomest diamonds.’

‘Perhaps he will find he is mistaken,’ said Mr. Burrell, looking significantly.

When they entered New York, and the wheels of the carriage rattled over the pavements, Caroline forgot her tedious journey, her disgust at her companion, and her ennui. The house was as splendid as her husband had described it; it was furnished in the best taste, and adorned with beautiful specimens of statuary. Thus far, wealth possessed the power that she ascribed to it, and thus far she was satisfied.

‘Shall I fix on next Wednesday, my dear,’ said Caroline, ‘for the wedding visits?’

‘Next Wednesday? I see no objection.’

‘I hear Mrs. Ellison is determined, on that occasion, to eclipse every one.’

‘She shall not eclipse my wife,’ said Mr. Burrell, proudly.

‘Her diamonds will throw my pearl ear-rings and pin, quite into the shade.’

‘My wife shall wear diamonds more costly than Mr. Ellison’s,’ said the bridegroom, with dignity.

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The diamonds were purchased, they were larger, more costly, and more brilliant than Mrs. Ellison’s; and Caroline had obtained one of the objects for which she married.

There is no happiness without alloy. Caroline appeared in her drawing-room, ready for company; a tiara of diamonds sparkled on her brow, a string of them encircled her white neck and arms, and a dazzling cross hung upon her breast. Her husband met her as she approached him, reflecting a thousand colors from her brilliant ornaments.

‘How superb!’ he exclaimed. ‘I long to hear what Ellison will say to my diamonds.’

‘Yours!’ said Caroline; ‘I thought they were a present to me!’

‘You shall wear them, my love, but they cost a great many thousand dollars; they are property.’

‘After all, then,’ thought Caroline, ‘they are only lent to me!’

That evening was one of triumph; all the fashion and beauty of the city were congregated. Caroline saw her diamonds reflected from mirrors on every side, but still the thought obtruded, ‘they are not mine.’

Invitations poured in; she was the evening and morning star of fashion. ‘At length,’ she wrote to Horace, ‘I have accomplished my object; all the rank that one can obtain in this country, I possess; I hold in my hand the key-stone of the arch,—Wealth and Fashion.’

Caroline, however, had too much intellect to be long blind to the degree of estimation in which she was held. She soon perceived that her husband was laughed

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at, and that she was pitied rather than envied. It was true she had all the outward signs of homage, but every thing about her was mockery. There is no tyranny like that of the weak. Burrell regarded her only as an appendage to himself; she found him selfish, ostentatious and mean. In vain she strove to obtain the ultimatum of her desires, pin-money. Like herself, he considered wealth power, and not a particle would he trust out of his hands; this was a source of constant altercation.

After the novelty of showing a handsome wife was over, Burrell began to feel the want of his bachelor habits; he liked whist-clubs and supper- parties, better than soirées and pic-nics. The privation of his company was no annoyance to his wife; but when he no longer entered into her mode of visiting, or her amusements, he thought them unnecessary, and complained of so much useless expense. Every thing, in his view, was useless, except what contributed to his pleasure. Caroline had gone on accumulating debts without looking forward to any payment. Those incurred before her marriage were still unsettled; the same trades-people were happy to supply her to any amount; and as a request for money always produced a scene, she acquired the constant habit of running up bills.

Where now were her brilliant prospects? She was either alone, or in a crowded circle, or what was still worse, tete-à-tete with Burrell. Among all the circle of fashion, she possessed not one real friend. Mrs. Ellison was as heartless as Caroline, without her talents. Often her thoughts reverted to her own home, the abode of her childhood, and she felt that in the depths and fullness of domestic love, there was even more power than wealth

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can bestow. In one of those fits of musing, which occur to every rational mind, a letter was brought to Caroline; she opened it, and found it was from Horace, informing her ‘that the favorite wish of his heart was now accomplished; Benson was, after all that had passed, to become his brother, and that the day was appointed for the marriage to take place between him and Frances.’

‘My predictions,’ he added, ‘with regard to him are fast fulfilling; he is attaining eminence in his profession. I am commissioned by my parents as well as the parties, to request that you and Mr. Burrell will come on to the nuptials. They are to be private and without show, but it is pleasant for families to congregate on these occasions. You need have no apprehension about Benson; he views your former engagement with him much in the same light as you do, one most happily set aside.’ Caroline read the letter with a feeling of vexation. ‘It is only two years,’ said she, ‘since he professed to be attached to me; what inconsistent creatures men are; at least I have been uniform in my conduct.’

There was still, however, a pleasure in the idea of going in style to the humble nuptials of her sister. When Mr. Burrell entered, she informed him of the invitation.

‘Go, and welcome,’ said he, ‘but don’t ask me.’

‘Shall I travel with two horses or four?’ asked the lady.

‘O, four by all means; the stage coach is the best way of travelling.’

‘You surely do not mean to let your wife go in the public stage?’

‘Why not, it was the way in which you were accustomed to travel before we became acquainted.’

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‘Mr. Burrell,’ said the lady, ‘it would be disgraceful to you to suffer me to travel in that manner.’

‘Then stay at home; the carriage and horses, I suppose, you will allow are mine; I had the carriage built for my own convenience; I am going a journey [sic] next month, and shall want it. It is much better for you to go in the style of your family.’

‘This is intolerable,’ said Caroline, with a vehemence that sometimes overcame her usual tact; ‘to be the wife of a man that is worth millions, and derive no advantage from his wealth.’

‘Is it no advantage, madam, to live in a house like this? to visit in the first circles, and to wear diamonds when you please?’

‘None,’ said she, the truth forcing its way, ‘compared to what I relinquished.’

‘And pray, madam, what did you relinquish?’

‘What you, had you lavished upon me all the wealth, to which, as your wife, I am entitled, could never have procured me, self-approbation.’

We sometimes from habit, or want of thought, rely too much upon the obtuseness of minds that we estimate lowly. This was the case with Caroline. She in several instances had suffered her disgust or indignation to vent itself in words, of which she did not realize the strength. The undisciplined prepare scorpion whips for themselves. Her ill-disguised contempt and aversion first broke down the common barriers of forbearance, and when her husband became convinced that she had no affection for him, he heartily repaid her aversion. Scenes of accusation and retort followed. Burrell assured her she had full permission to return to her boasted home, and

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remain there as long as she pleased. Caroline replied, that it was the first wish of her heart, but as his wife, she was entitled to a suitable maintenance. It would be painful and useless to detail the low altercations that followed, before a paltry pittance was granted. It may easily be imagined in what manner they parted, and with what sensations she returned to her early home. In one sense she had accomplished all for which she had panted, wealth, fashion, and diamonds; and her present allowance she was at liberty to dignify by the name of pin-money.

The morning before her departure, she gave orders to a servant to desire her creditors to send in their bills to Mr. Burrell, the ensuing week. His rage may easily be imagined, when they poured in upon him; but after consulting gentlemen of the law, he concluded to pay them.

Caroline arrived in season to witness the nuptials of her sister. What a contrast to her own! For the first time, she felt, that if there is a paradise on earth, it is formed by mutual affection. How could she help comparing Benson, in all the grace of youthful intellect and manly beauty, to Burrell! The thought was agony, and unable to command her tears, she flew to her room. Horace followed her, and begged for admission.

‘My dear brother,’ said she, ‘I return to you an altered creature. I detest the very sound of wealth and fashion, and I perfectly despise my own folly in supposing there could be happiness in either. I only wish now to forget all that has passed, and I hope you will forget it too.’

‘No, Caroline, I cannot forget it, nor do I wish you to forget the past. If we rightly remember our errors,

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they become eventually sources of improvement. An author has observed, “that in every one’s life there have been thousands of feelings, each of which, if strongly seized upon, and made the subject of reflection, would have shown us what our character was, and what it was likely to become.” In the early aspirations of your mind, you may read your history thus far; do not, therefore, strive to banish wholesome reflection, but convert it to its best purposes, moral discipline.’

‘I am sure,’ said Caroline, ‘I have had enough of discipline since I married, and I don’t see that I am at all the better for it.’

‘There is no magical power in discipline that compels us to improve,’ said Horace, ‘but it is our own fault if we do not accept improvement from lessons of suffering and disappointment.’

‘I have learnt nothing by it,’ again repeated Caroline.

‘I think you have; you have learnt that wealth and fashion can, in themselves alone, confer no happiness; and that the only nobility in our land, worth possessing, is derived from talent and virtue.’

[p. 104]



Spirit all beautiful and blest!

Enfranchised from thy mortal clay,

Thou soarest to the realms of rest,

Where, joined to the planet thou lovest best,

Thy days in gladness glide away,

As calmly thou scannest, with purer eye,

Our lives below; and in the sky,

Thou mid the glorious choir art beaming

Like a noon-day sun; or treadest afar

On the track of each errant star.

There thou seest other mountains;

Other plains and shady groves;

Fresher flowers; and brightly streaming

Crystal tides from lovelier fountains;

And richer sunlight ever gleaming;

While, attuned to happier loves,

Music heavenly sweet is sung,

And o’er the scented breezes flung,

Tempering the elements on high,

With sounds of rare enchanting melody.

And always thus upon thy tomb,

Fresh chaplets will we strew:

Thither shall native offerings flow

In still reviving bloom:

Urned in our hearts will be thy memory;

Thy name upon our lips shall never die.

C. C.


Painted by W. Allston.      Engraved by J. Cheney.
Published by Charles Bowen.

Print at R. Andrews.

[p. 105]


A title to immortal fame is usually acquired by women at a dangerous expense. Their safest motto, is that assumed by Hortense Beauharnois; ‘Peu connue, peu troublée.’ No one can envy the undying name of the Helens and Cleopatras of ancient days, though their memory may be interwoven with the first of poems, or handed down to posterity in the dignified page of the historian, or in the majestic lines of the dramatist. The fame of more modern heroines, of Catharine of Russia, or of Mary Stuart, has usually been obtained by crime or by misfortune. Even she who ranks among the first of authors, did not attain that dangerous pre-eminence without abandoning many of the softer and more retiring graces of her sex, and without being exposed to much of the envy and detraction which celebrity seldom fails to ensure to its possessor. But if an immortal memory can ever be enviable, such, undoubtedly, is that of the wise and beautiful Beatrice Portinari. Her mortal career was short, and its incidents known to the world only in brief, bright glimpses. The most prying biographer has been unable to detract from her fame, or to discover any circumstance to her disadvantage, or even by a plain matter-of-fact narrative, to reduce her to an ordinary standard. She has not, like Madonna Laura, had an Abbé de Sade, to blot, with his inky pen, the bright hues of romance, and to assure us that the poet’s idol was a sober matron, with eleven children, and in fact, his own grandmother! Envy, stupidity, antiquarian research,

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have done their worst, but still the Beatrice of Dante remains blended with Divine Science, and still presents herself to our mental vision, shining on her Eternal throne, ‘in the third circle from the highest,’

——‘Her brow

A wreath reflecting of eternal beams.’

On the first day of May, in the year of our Lord twelve hundred and seventy-four, Folco Portinari, a wealthy and distinguished citizen of Florence, held a festival in his own house, according to the custom of the Florentine nobles of that period, who were in the habit of ushering in the balmy breezes, the blue skies, and the bright flowers, which the rosy-footed Italian spring carries in her train, with notes of melody and songs of gladness. All the friends and connections of the house of Portinari were bade to the feast, and among the former, the Alighieri family were invited to be present. Alighiero Alighieri brought with him his son Dante, then in the tenth year of his age.

Among the children assembled at this domestic feast, was a young daughter of the Portinaris, Beatrice, a child of eight years old, of exquisite beauty, singularly graceful, and with a seriousness and dignity of demeanor remarkable in one so young. This child struck upon the vivid imagination of the future poet, as a being elevated above mortality. From that hour, she became the heroine of his dreams, the dream of his waking hours. To her were directed his thoughts, his vows, his first verses. She did not, he says, appear like the child of a mortal, but of a God.

This youthful impression was no evanescent fancy. Her image seems to have been engraven on his heart in

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characters of fire. Henceforward his greatest pleasure, his only consolation, was to obtain a glimpse of her countenance, to watch her passing by, to catch the sound of her voice, to breathe the same air with her. We are told that nine years after their first interview, meeting her accidentally in the streets of Florence, dressed in a white robe and veil, she raised her eyes and gracefully saluted him. The enraptured poet returned home in an ecstasy of joy, to meditate alone upon his good fortune.

As he advanced in years, he concealed his passion with jealous care. In a cathedral, where the choir were singing the ‘Ave Maria, Gratia Pleni,’ Dante concealed himself in an obscure corner of the church, and fixed his eyes upon Beatrice; then, to avoid the raillery of his companions by whom he was observed, permitted them to believe that he was attracted by the charms of another Florentine beauty, who knelt near the true object of his adoration. He believed that when in company with Beatrice, he knew it by the beating of his heart, before he had seen her. At a nuptial feast, where, according to the Florentine custom, the friends of the bride had assembled to welcome her to her husband’s house, the poet suddenly grew pale, and was seized with a universal tremor, of which he could not divine the cause, but raising his eyes he beheld Beatrice, and was forced to leave the assembly, from the excess of his emotion.

He declares that by making her his constant standard of perfection, his ideas became elevated, his heart purified, his thoughts more sublime, more lofty, more inclined to virtue; that when he beheld her, he felt himself in charity with all mankind, and ready to forgive his

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greatest enemies. But let us give his own words: ‘When she passed along, every one ran to look at her; this gave me wonderful joy; and when she was near any one, so much awe filled his heart, that he did not dare to raise his eyes, nor to answer her salutation; and of this, many from experience will bear witness, to those who may not believe. She, crowned and clothed with humility, went on her way, nothing glorifying herself for what she saw and heard. Many, when she had passed, exclaimed, “That is no woman, it is the most beautiful of heaven’s angels;” and others said, “She is a miracle; blessed be the Lord for so wonderful a work!” ’ &c.

As for her personal appearance, he tells us that her hair was fair and curling, with a golden tinge, and that she wore it braided with pearls; that her forehead was spacious and noble, her mouth beautiful, with a gentle, affectionate expression, ‘full of love;’ her lips of delicate outline, her nose straight, her chin short and dimpled; her neck white and gracefully curved, and her demeanor noble, approaching to proud. The color of her eyes has been disputed. Some have supposed them to be azure; others of a deep blue, inclining to green, because Dante compares their lustre to that of the emerald; but the general opinion is, that the poet meant to represent them of a brown or hazel color. As Petrarch introduces Laura in a green vest, so Dante tells us that the habitual dress of Beatrice was pale crimson. When he meets her in paradise, she is clothed in color of living flame.

The father of Beatrice died, and she was plunged in the deepest affliction, which called forth all the poet’s sympathy. Shortly after, Dante himself fell grievously

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ill, and for some time remained in a state of debility which affected his intellect. While in this condition, he beheld a vision, in which the beautiful lady of his love, appeared dead, and surrounded by young girls who wandered about weeping and lamenting; the sun grew dark, the earth trembled, and a voice said, ‘Thy lady has left the world.’ Then, raising his tearful eyes to heaven, he saw a multitude of angels ascending, and above them was a cloud as white as snow, towards which they directed their hymns of praise. Then the pale face of the dead looked on him, and said, ‘I go to see the Origin of Peace.’ In despair, he cried, ‘Oh, gentle spirit, come to me. Be not cruel in death, thou so gentle in life, but tell me whither thou art gone.’ His delirium grew so alarming, that some who watched by him fled. When he recovered, he wrote a poetical account of this vision; but whether it was indeed sent him as a warning of the blow that was about to fall, who shall decide?

Beatrice died. Before time had cast its shadow over her beauty,

‘Or earth had profaned what was born for the skies,’

Beatrice died. Florence mourned the loss of her fairest daughter. Her lover was struck to the earth, and his life was long despaired of. When the first bittenress of grief was passed, his noble spirit awoke, and raised to her memory that immortal monument which will endure, till time itself shall be no more.

Dante himself expressly declares that love inspired his work. He gloried in that noble sentiment, which, purified of all earthly passion, disdained the narrow

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limits of time and space, and enabled him to raise his eyes with steadfast gaze to those brighter realms where her spirit had found a resting-place.

‘Count of me but as one

Who am the scribe of love; that when he breathes,

Take up my pen, and as he dictates, write.’

‘Would you,’ says Ginguene, ‘have a proof of the immensity of that love with which Dante burned for Beatrice? Read, and read over again, the Episode of Francesca. The profound philosopher, the imperturbable theologian, even the sublime poet, never could have reigned and invented this. Such a power was reserved for the lover of Beatrice.’ In ancient mythology, we read that when the father of gods and men took pity on favored mortals, he translated them to the skies, and placed them amongst the constellations, there to shine in undying brightness. But Dante has given to his Beatrice, an immortality more real, and which rests on a surer foundation than the fictitious fabric of Paganism.

His description of her approach in paradise is among the most brilliant passages of that stupendous poem. It is owing to her earnest prayer, that Virgil has guided him through his dark and terrible journey. As one led on by a magic standard, he has followed at the sound of her well loved name. Now through the eternal forests is seen a brilliant illumination, and amidst the light a heaven-born melody arises. The voices sing, ‘Come, spouse, from Libanus,’ while angelic hands scatter around showers of ‘unwith’ring lilies.’

‘I have beheld, ere now, at break of day,

The eastern clime all roseate, and the sky

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Oppos’d, one deep and beautiful serene,

And the sun’s face so shaded, and with mists

Attemper’d at his rising, that the eye

Long while endured the sight; thus in a cloud

Of flowers, that from those hands angelic rose,

And down, within and outside of the car

Fell showering, in white veil with olive wreathed,

A virgin in my view appeared, beneath

Green mantle, robed in hue of living flame:

And o’er my spirit, that in former days

Within her presence had abode so long,

No shudd’ring terror crept. Mine eyes no more

Had knowledge of her; yet there mov’d from her

A hidden virtue, at whose touch awak’d,

The power of ancient love was strong within me.’

Beatrice now becomes his guide; leading him on from circle to circle, and ever becoming more radiantly beautiful, as they ascend nearer the source of Eternal Light.

——‘Mine eyes did look

On beauty, such as I believe in sooth

Not merely to exceed our human, but,

That save its Maker, none can to the full

Enjoy it. * * * * * *

* * * * * * *

Not from that day when on this earth I first

Beheld her charms, up to that view of them,

Have I with song applausive ever ceas’d

To follow, but now follow them no more;

My course here bounded, as each artist’s is

When it doth touch the limit of his skill.’

At length they reach the eternal city where dwell ‘the saintly multitude.’

‘Faces had they of flame, and wings of gold.’

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Dante turns from the contemplation of their glory, to inquire further of these purified beings; but his conductress has vanished, and in her place, the venerable St. Bernard appears as his guide, and points out Beatrice in the third circle from the highest, on the throne where her merit had placed her.

‘Answering not, mine eyes I turn’d

And saw her, where aloof she sat, her brow

A wreath reflecting of eternal beams.

Not from the centre of the sea so far

Unto the region of the highest thunder,

As was my ken from her’s; and yet the form

Came through that medium down, unmix’d and pure.

“Oh lady! thou in whom my hopes have rest!

Who for my safety, hast not sccorn’d in hell

To leave the traces of thy footsteps mark’d!

For all mine eyes have seen, I, to thy pow’r

And goodness, virtue owe and grace. Of slave,

Thou hast to freedom brought me; and no means,

For my deliverance apt, hast left untried.

Thy liberal bounty still toward me keep,

That when my spirit, which thou madest whole,

Is loosen’d from this body, it may find

Favor with thee.” So I my suit preferr’d:

And she, so distant, as appear’d, look’d down,

And smil’d; then tow’rds the eternal fountain turn’d.’

An artist of our own day, has given to the world a beautiful representation of Beatrice, keeping faithfully to his poetical model. She, who has been thus portrayed on canvass, whom Canova has immortalized in marble, and Dante in poetry, has, in truth, acquired a fame which has never before nor since been granted to a daughter of earth. The hero of Macedon himself might have envied even a woman such an immortality.

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There is a certain church in the city of New York, which I have always regarded with peculiar interest, on account of a marriage there solemnized, under very singular circumstances, in my grandmother’s girlhood. That venerable lady chanced to be a spectator of the scene, and ever after made it her favorite narrative. Whether the edifice now standing on the same site be the identical one to which she referred, I am not antiquarian enough to know; nor would it be worth while to correct myself, perhaps, of an agreeable error, by reading the date of its erection on the tablet over the door. It is a stately church, surrounded by an inclosure of the loveliest green, within which appear urns, pillars, obelisks, and other forms of monumental marble, the tributes of private affection, or more splendid memorials of historic dust. With such a place, though the tumult of the city rolls beneath its tower, one would be willing to connect some legendary interest.

The marriage might be considered as the result of an early engagement, though there had been two intermediate weddings on the lady’s part, and forty years of celibacy on that of the gentleman. At sixty-five, Mr. Ellenwood was a shy, but not quite a secluded man; selfish, like all men who brood over their own hearts, yet manifesting, on rare occasions, a vein of generous sentiment; a scholar, throughout life, though always

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an indolent one, because his studies had no definite object, either of public advantage or personal ambition; a gentleman, high-bred and fastidiously delicate, yet sometimes requiring a considerable relaxation, in his behalf, of the common rules of society. In truth, there were so many anomalies in his character, and, though shrinking with diseased sensibility from public notice, it had been his fatality so often to become the topic of the day, by some wild eccentricity of conduct, that people searched his lineage for an hereditary taint of insanity. But there was no need of this. His caprices had their origin in a mind that lacked the support of an engrossing purpose, and in feelings that preyed upon themselves, for want of other food. If he were mad, it was the consequence, and not the cause, of an aimless and abortive life.

The widow was as complete a contrast to her third bridegroom, in every thing but age, as can well be conceived. Compelled to relinquish her first engagement, she had been united to a man of twice her own years, to whom she became an exemplary wife, and by whose death she was left in possession of a splendid fortune. A southern gentleman considerably younger than herself, succeeded to her hand, and carried her to Charleston, where, after many uncomfortable years, she found herself again a widow. It would have been singular, if any uncommon delicacy of feeling had survived through such a life as Mrs. Dabney’s; it could not but be crushed and killed by her early disappointment, the cold duty of her first marriage, the dislocation of the heart’s principles, consequent on a second union, and the unkindness of her southern husband, which had inevitably driven her

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to connect the idea of his death with that of her comfort. To be brief, she was that wisest, but unloveliest variety of woman, a philosopher, bearing troubles of the heart with equanimity, dispensing with all that should have been her happiness, and making the best of what remained. Sage in most matters, the widow was perhaps the more amiable, for the one frailty that made her ridiculous. Being childless, she could not remain beautiful by proxy, in the person of a daughter; she therefore refused to grow old and ugly, on any consideration; she struggled with time, and held fast her roses in spite of him, till the venerable thief appeared to have relinquished the spoil, as not worth the trouble of acquiring it.

The approaching marriage of this woman of the world, with such an unworldly man as Mr. Ellenwood, was announced soon after Mrs. Dabney’s return to her native city. Superficial observers, and deeper ones, seemed to concur, in supposing that the lady must have borne no inactive part, in arranging the affair; there were considerations of expediency, which she would be far more likely to appreciate than Mr. Ellenwood; and there was just the specious phantom of sentiment and romance, in this late union of two early lovers, which sometimes makes a fool of a woman, who has lost her true feelings among the accidents of life. All the wonder was, how the gentleman, with his lack of worldly wisdom, and agonizing consciousness of ridicule, could have been induced to take a measure, at once so prudent and so laughable. But while people talked, the wedding day arrived. The ceremony was to be solem-

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nized according to the Episcopalian forms, and in open church, with a degree of publicity that attracted many spectators, who occupied the front seats of the galleries, and the pews near the altar and along the broad aisle. It had been arranged, or possibly it was the custom of the day, that the parties should proceed separately to church. By some accident, the bridegroom was a little less punctual than the widow and her bridal attendants; with whose arrival, after this tedious, but necessary preface, the action of our tale may be said to commence.

The clumsy wheels of several old fashioned coaches were heard, and the gentlemen and ladies, composing the bridal party, came through the church door, with the sudden and gladsome effect of a burst of sunshine. The whole group, except the principal figure, was made up of youth and gaiety. As they streamed up the broad aisle, while the pews and pillars seemed to brighten on either side, their steps were as buoyant as if they mistook the church for a ball-room, and were ready to dance hand in hand to the altar. So brilliant was the spectacle, that few took notice of a singular phenomenon that had marked its entrance. At the moment when the bride’s foot touched the threshold, the bell swung heavily in the tower above her, and sent forth its deepest knell. The vibrations died away and returned, with prolonged solemnity, as she entered the body of the church.

‘Good heavens! what an omen,’ whispered a young lady to her love.

‘On my honor,’ replied the gentleman, ‘I believe the bell has the good taste to toll of its own accord. What

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has she to do with weddings? If you, dearest Julia, were approaching the altar, the bell would ring out its merriest peal. It has only a funeral knell for her.’

The bride, and most of her company, had been too much occupied with the bustle of entrance, to hear the first boding stroke of the bell, or at least to reflect on the singularity of such a welcome to the altar. They therefore continued to advance, with undiminished gaiety. The gorgeous dresses of the time, the crimson velvet coats, the gold-laced hats, the hoop-petticoats, the silk, satin, brocade and embroidery, the buckles, canes and swords, all displayed to the best advantage on persons suited to such finery, made the group appear more like a bright colored picture, than any thing real. But by what perversity of taste, had the artist represented his principal figure as so wrinkled and decayed, while yet he had decked her out in the brightest splendor of attire, as if the loveliest maiden had suddenly withered into age, and become a moral to the beautiful around her! On they went, however, and had glittered along about a third of the aisle, when another stroke of the bell seemed to fill the church with a visible gloom, dimming and obscuring the bright pageant, till it shone forth again as from a mist.

This time the party wavered, stopt, and huddled closer together, while a slight scream was heard from some of the ladies, and a confused whispering among the gentlemen. Thus tossing to and fro, they might have been fancifully compared to a splendid bunch of flowers, suddenly shaken by a puff of wind, which threatened to scatter the leaves of an old, brown, withered rose, on the same stalk with two dewy buds; such being the

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emblem of the widow between her fair young bridemaids. But her heroism was admirable. She had started with an irrepressible shudder, as if the stroke of the bell had fallen directly on her heart; then, recovering herself, while her attendants were yet in dismay, she took the lead, and paced calmly up the aisle. The bell continued to swing, stroke, and vibrate, with the same doleful regularity, as when a corpse is on its way to the tomb.

‘My young friends here have their nerves a little shaken,’ said the widow, with a smile, to the clergyman at the altar. ‘But so many weddings have been ushered in with the merriest peal of the bells, and yet turned out unhappily, that I shall hope for better fortune under such different auspices.’

‘Madam,’ answered the rector, in great perplexity, ‘this strange occurrence brings to my mind a marriage sermon of the famous Bishop Taylor, wherein he mingles so many thoughts of mortality and future woe, that, to speak somewhat after his own rich style, he seems to hang the bridal chamber in black, and cut the wedding garment out of a coffin pall. And it has been the custom of diverse nations to infuse something of sadness into their marriage ceremonies; so to keep death in mind, while contracting that engagement which is life’s chiefest business. Thus we may draw a sad but profitable moral from this funeral knell.’

But, though the clergyman might have given his moral even a keener point, he did not fail to despatch an attendant to inquire into the mystery, and stop those sounds, so dismally appropriate to such a marriage. A brief space elapsed, during which the silence was broken only by whispers, and a few suppressed titterings, among

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the wedding party and the spectators, who, after the first shock, were disposed to draw an ill natured merriment from the affair. The young have less charity for aged follies, than the old for those of youth. The widow’s glance was observed to wander, for an instant, towards a window of the church, as if searching for the time-worn marble that she had dedicated to her first husband; then her eyelids dropt over their faded orbs, and her thoughts were drawn irresistibly to another grave. Two buried men, with a voice at her ear and a cry afar off, were calling her to lie down beside them. Perhaps, with momentary truth of feeling, she thought how much happier had been her fate, if, after years of bliss, the bell were now tolling for her funeral, and she were followed to the grave by the old affection of her earliest lover, long her husband. But why had she returned to him, when their cold hearts shrank from each other’s embrace?

Still the death-bell tolled so mournfully, that the sunshine seemed to fade in the air. A whisper, communicated from those who stood nearest the windows, now spread through the church; a hearse, with a train of several coaches, was creeping along the street, conveying some dead man to the church-yard, while the bride awaited a living one at the altar. Immediately after, the footsteps of the bridegroom and his friends were heard at the door. The widow looked down the aisle, and clenched the arm of one of her bridemaids in her bony hand, with such unconscious violence, that the fair girl trembled.

‘You frighten me, my dear madam!’ cried she. ‘For heaven’s sake, what is the matter?’

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‘Nothing, my dear, nothing,’ said the widow; then, whispering close to her ear,—‘There is a foolish fancy, that I cannot get rid of. I am expecting my bridegroom to come into the church, with my two first husbands for groomsmen!’

‘Look, look!’ screamed the bridemaid. ‘What is here? The funeral!’

As she spoke, a dark procession paced into the church. First came an old man and woman, like chief mourners at a funeral, attired from head to foot in the deepest black, all but their pale features and hoary hair; he leaning on a staff, and supporting her decrepit form with his nerveless arm. Behind, appeared another, and another pair, as aged, as black, and mournful as the first. As they drew near, the widow recognized in every face some trait of former friends, long forgotten, but now returning, as if from their old graves, to warn her to prepare a shroud, or, with purpose almost as unwelcome, to exhibit their wrinkles and infirmity, and claim her as their companion by the tokens of her own decay. Many a merry night had she danced with them, in youth. And now, in joyless age, she felt that some withered partner should request her hand, and all unite in a dance of death, to the music of the funeral bell.

While these aged mourners were passing up the aisle, it was observed, that, from pew to pew, the spectators shuddered with irrepressible awe, as some object, hitherto concealed by the intervening figures, came full in sight. Many turned away their faces; others kept a fixed and rigid stare; and a young girl giggled hysterically, and fainted with the laughter on her lips. When the spectral procession approached the altar, each couple separated,

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and slowly diverged, till, in the centre, appeared a form, that had been worthily ushered in with all this gloomy pomp, the death-knell, and the funeral. It was the bridegroom in his shroud!

No garb but that of the grave could have befitted such a death-like aspect; the eyes, indeed, had the wild gleam of a sepulchral lamp; all else was fixed in the stern calmness which old men wear in the coffin. The corpse stood motionless, but addressed the widow in accents that seemed to melt into the clang of the bell, which fell heavily on the air while he spoke.

‘Come, my bride!’ said those pale lips, ‘The hearse is ready. The sexton stands waiting for us at the door of the tomb. Let us be married; and then to our coffins!’

How shall the widow’s horror be represented! It gave her the ghastliness of a dead man’s bride. Her youthful friends stood apart, shuddering at the mourners, the shrouded bridegroom, and herself; the whole scene expressed, by the strongest imagery, the vain struggle of the gilded vanities of this world, when opposed to age, infirmity, sorrow, and death. The awe-struck silence was first broken by the clergyman.

‘Mr[.] Ellenwood,’ said he, soothingly, yet with somewhat of authority, ‘you are not well. Your mind has been agitated by the unusual circumstances in which you are placed. The ceremony must be deferred. As an old friend, let me entreat you to return home.’

‘Home! yes; but not without my bride,’ answered he, in the same hollow accents. ‘You deem this mockery; perhaps madness. Had I bedizened my aged and broken frame with scarlet and embroidery—had I forced my withered lips to smile at my dead heart—that might

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have been mockery, or madness. But now, let young and old declare, which of us has come hither without a wedding garment, the bridegroom, or the bride!’

He stept forward at a ghostly pace, and stood beside the widow, contrasting the awful simplicity of his shroud with the glare and glitter in which she had arrayed herself for this unhappy scene. None, that beheld them, could deny the terrible strength of the moral which his disordered intellect had contrived to draw.

‘Cruel! cruel!’ groaned the heart-stricken bride.

‘Cruel?’ repeated he; then losing his death-like composure in a wild bitterness,—‘Heaven judge, which of us has been cruel to the other! In youth, you deprived me of my happiness, my hopes, my aims; you took away all the substance of my life, and made it a dream, without reality enough even to grieve at—with only a pervading gloom, through which I walked wearily, and cared not whither. But after forty years, when I have built my tomb, and would not give up the thought of resting there—no, not for such a life as we once pictured—you call me to the altar. At your summons I am here. But other husbands have enjoyed your youth, your beauty, your warmth of heart, and all that could be termed your life. What is there for me but your decay and death? And therefore I have bidden these funeral friends, and bespoken the sexton’s deepest knell, and am come, in my shroud, to wed you, as with a burial service, that we may join our hands at the door of the sepulchre, and enter it together.’

It was not frenzy; it was not merely the drunkenness of strong emotion, in a heart unused to it, that now wrought upon the bride. The stern lesson of the day

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had done its work; her worldliness was gone. She seized the bridegroom’s hand.

‘Yes!’ cried she. ‘Let us wed, even at the door of the sepulchre! My life is gone in vanity and emptiness. But at its close, there is one true feeling. It has made me what I was in youth; it makes me worthy of you. Time is no more for both of us. Let us wed for eternity!’

With a long and deep regard, the bridegroom looked into her eyes, while a tear was gathering in his own. How strange that gush of human feeling from the frozen bosom of a corpse! He wiped away the tear, even with his shroud.

‘Beloved of my youth,’ said he, ‘I have been wild. The despair of my whole lifetime had returned at once, and maddened me. Forgive; and be forgiven. Yes; it is evening with us now; and we have realized none of our morning dreams of happiness. But let us join our hands before the altar, as lovers, whom adverse circumstances have separated through life, yet who meet again as they are leaving it, and find their earthly affection changed into something holy as religion. And what is time, to the married of eternity?’

Amid the tears of many, and a swell of exalted sentiment, in those who felt aright, was solemnized the union of two immortal souls. The train of withered mourners, the hoary bridegroom in his shroud, the pale features of the aged bride, and the death-bell tolling through the whole, till its deep voice overpowered the marriage words, all marked the funeral of earthly hopes. But as the ceremony proceeded, the organ, as if stirred by the sympathies of this impressive scene, poured forth an anthem, first mingling with the dismal knell, then

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rising to a loftier strain, till the soul looked down upon its woe. And when the awful rite was finished, and with cold hand in cold hand, the Married of Eternity withdrew, the organ’s peal of solemn triumph drowned the Wedding Knell.



Thy silver clasp—with all its flowers

Destined to bloom a few bright hours,

And then to others give a place,

Of fresher hue and brighter grace—

That silver clasp, an emblem true,

Of one as fair, as false as you—

’T is thine—and thou wilt let it feel

Thy bosom’s beat. It will not steal,

From close communion with thy heart,

But lessons in its practised art:

For in thy bosom’s clasp to-day,

Love, friendship, bloom—to fade away.

To-morrow shows another flower

Clasped in thy memory—for an hour!

Another day, another bloom,

To fade and follow to the tomb.

So let it be—and take the clasp

Back to thy fickle bosom’s grasp—

Changling to all, it may be true,

To one so like itself—to you.


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Many works have been issued from the press with at least part of this title. Life in London: Life in France: Life in Italy: Life in the West, and Life in the Wilderness: but for our own title, Life beyond the Mountains, we clam the right of originality. Who has not asked himself this question, where is its? in what unexplored region?

The Indian exclaims, ‘Our father dwell beyond the mountains.’ The Christian says, ‘Faith looks over the icy mountains.’ The weary, care-worn pilgrim who has lengthened out his three-score and ten, and has seen friend after friend depart, fixes his languid eye on this untried region, this land of promise.

The mother, who has hardly beheld her infant cherub ere it has taken flight, or with a more heart-rending pang has given up one scarcely less innocent, though mature in virtue and loveliness, seeks her consolation in that life that is to restore her beloved ones to her embrace.

But what has this existence to do with an annual? What with the Token, that comes out with its gilded pages, its finished engravings, its love and minstrelsy blended with touches of moral truth? Have the bright eyes that gaze on that, aught in common with this far distant land? Have lips, on which linger the smiles of youth and hope, have creatures, redolent with life, aught to do with this shadowy existence? Yes, they are

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called; they must go with their plans unaccomplished, the bridal wreath unwove, and the flowers so joyously trodden under foot, scattered over the turf that covers them. Is there one human being, gifted with reason, that does not at times, inquire what is this hereafter which must inevitably come?

Does not the thought force its way in the wakeful stillness of the night? Comes it not in the beam of day, as we walk forth amidst hills and valleys? as we gaze on the mighty cataract or the peaceful lake? the oak that spreads its broad branches, the humble flower, not less skillful in workmanship, though more minute? From animal life to the half vegetating polypus, all connect the mind with the great Artificer, whose dwelling is beyond ‘the everlasting hills.’

Why then is this subject kept far out of sight? why is it deemed unfit for an annual? why is it mentioned to the ear of the young with diffidence, as if it were an omen of evil?

Have they enough of existence here? would they wish when they lay it down, to sleep in dust and oblivion? O, no! human nature shudders at the thought; the veriest wretch would compound for years of suffering, rather than give up one particle of life. Shall the young and innocent then call this an unwelcome subject? Even so, because there is a portal we must pass, from which we shrink. It is death: and we talk of death as if it were the termination of life, instead of the beginning.

‘In this misguiding world, they picture death

A fearful tyrant—O, believe it not,

It is an angel, beautiful as light,

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That watches o’er the sorrowing spirit here,

And when its weary pilgrimage is done,

Unbars the gates of everlasting life,

And vanishes forever.’

Many of our gloomy views we derive from false representations. Even the Psalmist, touched with instinctive horror, says, we walk through the dark valley of death; but by means of a clearer revelation, a new light has arisen: there is now, to the virtuous, no dark valley; when the last pang is over—the last swoon passed—then, and then only, life truly begins.

But there is one question that haunts the mind. If they yet live, why is there no one of all the lovely and beloved that comes to set us at rest, and tell us what is their existence. It were a sufficient reply, that God has willed it otherwise; but he has given us reasoning faculties, and it is our duty to use them, and to this inquiry there are many answers.

We know we cannot lay down life, till we have thrown aside this mortal coil; if spirits revisit earth, and who shall say that they do not? they have with us no mutual communication of sense: they may be round about us, but we must have material evidence or we cannot realize it. If they were permitted to return again with bodily organs, why should this change take place? why might not present existence be perpetual? The answer is apparent. Earth would no longer be able to sustain her inhabitants; one generation makes room for another: they come to claim their birthright, immortality, receive their passport, and pass on.

Let us ask ourselves in what does the fear of death consist: is it in the last mortal struggle? there is

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scarcely any one who has lived to the age of thirty, that has not suffered much more than death. Consciousness is often lost to the individual, long after the paroxysms continue, and how often the sleep of death is as tranquil as the sleep of childhood. Is it the doubt of a future existence? Let us not rest with these undefined doubts: let us hunt them from their lurking places: let us pursue them to their existence. If we believe that Christ has arisen, there can be no doubts: but let us also bring to our aid reason and natural evidence: let us draw proofs from the structure of our minds; while the animal nature reaches its perfection and decays, the mind is yet fresh and vigorous; let us draw proofs from the mental capacities so far beyond our present use of time and sense. These all speak of immortality, all point to our home, to Life beyond the Mountains!

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It is a generally received opinion among superficial people, that none of the little beings, who, in times long past, peopled the woods, the vales, and solitary glens, giving a romantic interest to inanimate scenes, and communicating a sort of invisible life to all nature, are now existing in the old world. The boasted discoveries of science, and the march of intellect, are supposed to have entirely banished these capricious sprites, and demolished all the airy creations of the imagination, which have given place to the equally fanciful theories of philosophy. But most especially is it denied that the fairies, elves, brownies, and others of the little caitiffs what whilome played such doughty pranks with rural swains and lovelorn lasses, exist, or ever did exist in this new world. Such a heresy has no foundation in nature or probability, since notwithstanding the signal exception of the mammoth, it is a received maxim among all philosophers, that no race of animals ever becomes extinct.

The fairies it is true have disappeared from the face of Europe, with the exception of the Hartz mountain, the Highlands of Scotland, and a few other chosen retreats, where they have sought refuge from the persecutions of science and philosophy. But this phenomenon is rationally accounted for, from the fact, which without doubt can be established by any one that chooses to take

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the trouble, that like the Puritans and Quakers, they emigrated to the New World, that they might with the more freedom enjoy the liberty of speech, and the privilege of practising their old accustomed gambols, in the boundless solitudes of nature. There can be no rational doubt that such was the case, and that there is not a sequestered nook, or rocky glen, or woody moonlight shade, or rural paradise upon the margin of the murmuring stream, but is peopled with these pigmy enchanters, who play their wanton pranks unseen and unsuspected. That they have hitherto, with now and then a rare exception, remained invisible, is without doubt owing to the wilful blindness of the present race of mankind, most especially the learned, who believe not their own eyes, unless they can account for what they see, by the application of some one of their boasted principles. They bow to the influence of the moon, because it saves them the trouble of losing their wits, in vainly attempting to solve the grand operations of nature, but they will not believe in the fairies, although founded on the experience of all past ages, and verified by evidence amply sufficient to sustain a hundred of their own theories. They maintain that the existence of such beings is an outrage on reason and common sense, although both reason and common sense, without doubt, existed from the first creation of man, and have always cherished this belief, until science and philosophy furnished them with new playthings for the imagination. But one fact is better than all the argument in the world, and I now proceed to set this vexed question at rest forever, by the following authentic relation, which is sworn to before Squire Littleboy of Old Bennington, in the state of

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Vermont, as is fully attested by the signature of the squire, and the mark of Orrin Neefus, the deponent. I shall give the story in my own language, as that of the squire, or whoever drew up the affidavit, is somewhat sophisticated, pledging myself that the facts are not altered, exaggerated or suppressed in any manner whatsoever.

There is not in the whole universe, old or new, a more beautiful valley than that of Williamston, in the county of Berkshire; which, by the way, ought to have belonged to New York instead of Old Massachusetts, if every tub stood on its own bottom. But this is neither here nor there; certain it is that a more charming summer region no where lies basking in the beams of the glorious sun, than that which is watered by the Hoosac and its crystal tributaries. It is environed by high mountains and shady hills, from which a hundred clear streams plunge down into the depths of the valley, forming the little river Hoosac, which alternately rushes, and sleeps its winding way, in curves more graceful than the boasted lines of beauty, until it is lost in its wanderings between groups of lofty mountains, that seem to lock their fingers together to forbid its escape and keep it there forever. In one place the traveller looks down from the summit of some towering hill, and sees it winding its way like a glittering serpent through the green luxury of the meadows; in another he descends to the very verge, and there, cooled by the shade of the lofty elms that shadow its waters, and soothed into a delicious reverie by their murmurs, he travels onward in the midst of the music and all the other harmonies of nature. In the distance he sees the fanes of the church

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and colleges of Williamston, with the little town perched on an eminence overlooking the river, and exhibiting that appearance of neat comfort for which all the villages of New England are so remarkable. The whole forms a succession of scenery associating all that is enchanting in nature, with much that is agreeable in the labors of man. Those who delight in the inimitable works of creation, would do well to visit this region, if it were only to detect the feebleness of this attempt to give a faint outline of its singular beauties.

Of all the tributaries of the Hoosac, the little stream, called Green River, is the most charming, and at the same time the most fortunate, since its beauties have been consecrated to posterity by the genius of Bryant. Other streams are composed of water, but this seems pure transparent air. Were it not for its motion and its murmurs, the stranger would scarcely be aware of its existence, as he travels the smooth road winding along its grassy border, under the far spreading branches of the imperial elms, that seem to delight in seeing themselves reflected in the pure mirror, which they repay by their cooling shade and grateful whispers. The little classic nymphs, who love to gambol in other streams, never seek the Green River, except in the obscurity of night, since such is its matchless transparency, that it would expose their graceful limbs and timid beauties to the prying eye of wanton fauns and satyrs, ever on the watch to practise mischief on these innocent maids. It is a favorite resort of the speckled trout, always delighting in the purest waters; but like many other famous streams, its renown in that respect is traditionary, inasmuch as very few are caught here at the present day, except by certain outlandish fellows, in

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old hats and rustic gear, who seem to be good for nothing else in this world. But while luxuriating in the recollection of these pleasant scenes, I am neglecting my tail, which will never be begun, and consequently never finished, if I stop to describe all the beauties of the valley of Williamston.

In the little village of Ashford, which lies basking along the bank of this delightful stream, right opposite a high peaked mountain, there dwelt, and still dwells a female, now a comely, middle aged matron, but once a rosy cheeked damsel, with full clear eyes the color of the firmament; a profusion of curling hair, that she could hardly keep from hiding her blue eyes and rosy cheeks; a most touching little round figure, well worthy of being looked at of a Sunday in church, and the best turned arm, and prettiest foot that ever manœuvred a spinning wheel, or trod the banks of Green River in search of blue violets. Her name was Ethelinde, and it was given to her by an aunt who had been reading the Recluse of the Lake, at that time just written by Mrs. Charlotte Smith, who had her nose put out of joint by the great Unknown, that every body knows killed all his predecessors stone dead with a single flourish of his pen.

Ethelinde being thus gifted with a romantic name, blue eyes, curly hair, a beautiful arm, a little foot, and a godmother who had read through six circulating libraries, was, as might be expected, very much spoiled in the bringing up. She was the belle of the village, and as fond of admiring herself as a peacock. She could not be persuaded to spin or do any household work, lest it should spoil her white hands; nor drive the cows to the field, or milk them for fear of soiling her fine calico frock,

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which she prized the more from its being the only one in the village. I know the good people of Ashford will deny this, and perhaps the whole of my story, but it is true for all that; and those who doubt it, may inquire of Old Squire Littleboy, who lies buried in the church-yard of Bennington, and who will convince any body but an unbelieving philosopher.

Nine tenths of the lads of the village were in love with Ethelinde. There was Orrin Neefus, the deponent, on whose veracity my story principally rests for the acceptation of posterity, and who was rarely expert in the art of teaching the young idea how to shoot; there was Timothy Bulwinkle, who made clocks that outdid time himself in running, being always beforehand with the old gentleman; there was Obadiah Hatwig, a most unaccountable hand at ram beavers, which he made to look just like any thing, as every body said; there was young Doctor Gookins, who once cured a man of an obstinate circumbendibus, as he called it, and which consisted in walking crooked, and frequently tumbling down. Some said it was a dizziness in the head, others a weakness of the legs, but the honest man himself always maintained it was the falling sickness. Be this as it may, Doctor Gookins cured him in a most miraculous manner, only by persuading the tavern keeper not to give him credit any more. I heartily recommend this nostrum of the doctor to all worthy practitioners, as next to infallible.

I should never have done, were I to record the names and avocations of all the village lads who thought all day and dreamed all night of Ethelinde Pangburn, whose mischievous influence well accorded with her name, for

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she inflicted burning pangs on all the unfortunate rustic Corydons, whom she treated with unrelenting cruelty, insomuch that Timothy Bulwinkle did incontinently leave the village of Ashford for some distant and unknown region, whence he never returned, so far as the deponent, Orrin Neefus, knoweth.

In the mean time Ethelinde became every day more vain and idle. She thought herself too good to work, too good for the poor lads of the village, and too good for any thing in this world but to read novels, and admire herself. Yet nature had made, or at least intended her, for an amiable, sensible, kind hearted girl, as ever saw herself in the transparent mirror of Green River. There being at that time not a single looking glass in the whole village of Ashford, she was accustomed to wander on the shady margin of the stream, admiring the figure of the graceful nymph reflected there, or seated under the spreading branches of some towering elm, gaze on her face in the waters, until, like Narcissus, she was almost ready to die of love. I dare say the good people of Ashford will deny this too, and try to persuade me that the deponent, Orrin Neefus, is mistaken in saying they had no looking glasses at the time. But I have enquired into this matter, and now assert, without fear of contradiction, that the first looking glass ever seen in that town, was a little oval one, worn at a spinning frolic, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and four, round the neck of a young damsel, as a locket, she not being acquainted with its proper uses. It was doubtless owing to this happy ignorance, that the females of Ashford were, and still are noted as the most industrious, unaffected, and clever in all New England, which is saying

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as much as can be truly said of any damsels in the world.

When Ethelinde was just going into her eighteenth year, there appeared, one Sabbath day, at the pretty little brick church that stands on the hill overlooking the village, a young stranger, who caused a great sensation among all the girls, and most especially in the bosom of our heroine. He was the only son of Deacon Allbeit, who for thirty years and more, had the entire management of the funds of the church, and was therefore, as might be expected, well to do in the world. Young Pliny, as he was called after the elder or younger of that name, I know not which, neither does the affidavit of Orrin Neefus explain the matter. Young Pliny had been sent to Boston to put the last finish to his manners and education, and after an absence of three or four years, returned with a new coat of the very first pretensions, which put all the honest swingtails of Ashford quite out of countenance. The next day master Tryon, the village tailor, had divers orders for a similar garment, of which he constructed several base imitations, that were all turned upon his hands. Whereupon he shut up his shop in despair, and departed, no one knew whither, leaving the Boston coat master of the field. But I am getting before my story, as it were.

All eyes were fixed on Pliny instead of the minister, who became somewhat wroth, and turning aside from the subject matter of his discourse, did declaim vehemently against the fantastic fopperies of the age, looking at Pliny all the time, as did the damsels of Ashford, most especially Ethelinde Pangburn. If Pliny had not been bred up in Boston, he would doubtless have been out of

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countenance at the bright eyes directed towards him from so many quarters; but as it was, he only pulled up his cravat, smoothed down his hair, and looked as innocent as a dove.

That night there was a prodigious deal of dreaming in the village of Ashford, but nobody dreamed to such purpose as Ethelinde. She dreamed that Pliny Allbeit had come sparking with her, and staid till the cock crowed three times, saying each time as plainly as a cock could speak, ‘It will do, it will do.’ The next day, or perhaps it might have been the next day but one, Pliny established himself in a beautiful little temple, with a portico in front, all painted white, which stood at the junction of three roads, and was reckoned a capital place for business. He put up his sign as attorney at law, and displayed such a library of law books, as might confound a whole village. Nor was he long without business. A comfortable gentleman, well to do in the world, who every body said wanted nothing but a wife, being afflicted with squinting, and accustomed to keep his eyes always fixed on the minister on Sabbath day, while he was preaching, unluckily seemed all the time gazing intently in the face of Miss Patience Peabody, who sat in the opposite ddirection. The young woman, and all her friends, naturally construed this into a promise of marriage, and accordingly, as is too much the custom in certain places, brought a suit against him for breaking it, and the heart of Miss Patience into the bargain. Pliny was retained as counsel for the disconsolate fair one, and having clearly demonstrated that looks were the proper language of love, and that eyes might convey promises as clearly as the tongue, the squinting

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gentleman was cast in swinging damages. This victory established his reputation forever; in a short time so many actions for brech of promise were brought against recreant swains, that a vast many of them fled the country outright, and this, as Orrin Neefus affirms in his affidavit, is one of the principal causes of the scarcity of husbands in this part of New England.

During this time Ethelinde had become acquainted with Pliny, who seemed rather inclined to spark it a little with her, but was doubtless on his guard for fear of being caught in a breach of promise. He had also other strong reasons against committing himself by any overt act, such as casting sheep’s eyes, sitting too close in a sleigh ride, and the like. He was in truth an honor to the deacon, his father, being a young man of great good sense, sterling integrity, excellent disposition, and extensive acquirements. He looked for something more than beauty and a romantic name in a wife, and often sighed to himself, for he did not dare to let her hear him, for fear of the catchpole Cupid, when he saw how vain and idle she was, and how she spent all her time in dressing and gadding about, while her mother was attending to household affairs. He could not deny in his heart that she was beautiful, nor that she seemed good tempered, at least she always appeared so when he saw her, which was not very often indeed, owing to the apprehensions to which I have alluded.

As to Ethelinde she certainly, at first, admired Pliny’s Boston coat, next his person, which was very handsome, and last of all she fell in love with the beauties of his mind, the very best excuse with which a damnsel can deceive herself. Whenever she walked out, if Pliny’s

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office happened to be on the side next her heart, she felt, as it were, forcibly pulled that way by some invisible influence, for which she could not account. But she always resisted the tempter, and prompted by that delicate apprehensive consciousness, always the inimate of a young female mind, made a point of never passing that way, unless certain that he was absent, when she consoled herself by reading his name on the sign. By degrees she left off walking about the village, to show herself, as she was wont to do, and remained all day in the house, every day except Sunday, when she went to church three times, and appeared as handsome and as devout as a little angel. She sometimes stole a glance at Pliny, but that discreet youth, kept his eyes fixed on the minister, remembering the awful judgment that had fallen on the squinting gentleman. This total neglect to bestow even one look, made Ethelinde so pale and melancholy, that every body said she was either in love, or going into a consumption.

It was now about the beginning of the charming month of June, that richly deserves the crown which the poets have wrongfully placed on the brow of that changeable, capricious goddess called rosy May. A calm, quiet, delicious twilight had succeeded a genial day, and Ethelinde stole forth from the house of her parents, to ramble and dream, to hope and to sigh, a solitary hour on the banks of the crystal Green River. Every object of sight, and every sound breathed nothing but repose, for there is a happy harmony between the calm serenity of a rural evening, and the buzzing of the insects, the matin chirpings of the birds, the tinkling and the lowing of the heerds, and their answering echoes in

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the solitudes of the hills, that altogether blend in one melodious concert, disposing the mind to luxurious repose and happy visions.

After rambling some distance, she seated herself on the projecting root of an old fantastic looking elm, half undermined by the never ceasing action of the waters, on whose bark of ages, were carved the initials of many a rustic swain and rural beauty, that now could boast of no other memorials. They had passed away like the crystal waters, welling at her feet, never to return. Among them she observed her own initials, repeated over and over again, sometimes in the shape of a heart, at others bound in a true lover’s knot.

‘Alas!’ said she, mournfully, and half unconscious that she spoke; ‘alas! to what purpose these empty memorials? He whom I most wish would carve my name on this old tree, thinks not of me!’

Then, bending over the transparent stream, she saw her face reflected in its crystal mirror, and it looked so beautiful that she could not help smiling, while, at the same instant, a tear from her eye dropped into the stream, which all at once ceased its quiet murmurs, and stopped its ever during current. Ethelinde sat gazing and wondering at this strange phenomenon, and was struck with terror at seeing a little figure of a woman, slowly rising from the bottom of the river, on the back of a beautiful speckled trout, that seemed delighted with his burthen, for his spots were brighter than burnished gold.

The little lady rose to the surface, and approaching the spot where Ethelinde sat in silent wonder mingled with fear, slid from the back of the beautiful fish, which, after waiting with quivering fin, as if to receive further

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orders, darted away and disappeared under the green shelter of the river’s margin. The figure approached nigher and nigher, and Ethelinde, though quaking with fear, could not help admiring the splendors of her dress. Her head was covered with an azure bubble, whose lustre far outshone the Persian diadem; from her tiny ears hung drops of crystaline water, more bright and active in their sparklings than the purest diamonds; around her neck and wrists she wore a coral necklace and bracelets, brighter and more transparent than rubies; her garment seemed as if it was woven of the quivering waters of the glittering stream, and hung around her with a careless gracefulness that baffled all the skill of art to equal; her ankles were cased in buskins of azure pearl, and as she rose from the bosom of the waters, the murmurs of the river arranged themselves in a strain of aerial harmony, more touchingly sweet, if possible, than the song of the sirens, or the chant of the seraphim.

‘Maiden!’ said she, in a sweet, low voice, ‘I have heard thee sigh, and seen thee weep. Whence came the tear that just nwo fell into the stream? Was its source in joy or in sorrow, in memory or anticipation, in hope or despair? If in joy, I would caution thee against its excesses; if in sorrow, against its indulgence; if in memory, I would bid thee bound forward into the regioon of anticipation; if in hope, I would desire thee to hope humbly; and if in despair, I would chide thee for distrusting the goodness of Providence. Tell me, and thou wilt not repent thy confidence.’

Ethelinde was silent, through wonder and dismay, and if it had not been so, she would have shrunk from confiding her secret to this mysterious being.

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‘What!’ returned the little tiny woman, in a tone of good humored banter, ‘Art thou ashamed to tell the source of thy grief? Well, no matter, I know thy secret. Thou art receiving one of the earliest lessons of youth; thou art fulfilling the destiny of woman, which is to love and to be disappointed, equally in the failure, as in the fruition of her wishes.’

The maiden of Ashford started and flushed, and hid her face in her hands, at being thus touched in the tender point of consciousness. But she neither acquiesced nor denied.

‘Listen to me,’ continued the mysterious visitor; ‘I am the Queen of the Fairies, that haunt this favorite region, and keep their revels along the banks of this beautiful stream. We are a tribe of Christian fairies, and though we sometimes tie up the grass across the path of some village swain, who has pryed into our nightly sports, and trip him on the nose, or indulge in little fits of wayward mischief, yet are we the friends of thy race, and most especially am I thine. In times long past, one day that I had indulged in the whim of changing myself into the form of the speckled monarch of the brook, thy father, then a lusty youth, happened to be strolling by with a fishing rod in his hand. He saw me, and being an expert angler, cast his bait so dexterously, that, following the instinct of the trout, whose form I had assumed, I darted at it, and was caught. I could have easily escaped by changing my shape, but the thought struck me that I would try the feelings of thy father. As I lay on the grass, I shed a flood of tears, which he observing, said to himself, “Poor fish! he seems to have feelings like myself, and

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to weep at the prospect of being forever separated from his kind.” So saying, he took me in his hand gently and dropped me into the stream again. I remembered that kindness. It was I that inclined the heart of the woman of his choice to love him in turn; I attended invisible at thy christening, and promised to myself that I would become thy guardian and protector. I know the secret wishes of thy soul, and will administer to thy innocent desires. Thou shalt be happy so soon as thou deservest happiness.’

The fairy then stamped her tiny, pearly coated foot upon the ground, and straightway arose from the spot a beautiful polished spinning wheel of beech wood, curiously turned and carved, accompanied by a distaff equally fair to behold.

‘Take these,’ said the queen of the fairies, ‘and hie thee home without delay. Whenever thou feelest thyself oppressed by the real or imaginary sorrows of the heart, seat thyself at this spinning wheel, and spin away thy grief. It is gifted with a magic power, which I have conferred upon it for thy sake, and thou wilt find it far more efficacious in soothing thy sufferings, than either idleness or empty visions. When thou hast spun all the flax that shall grow in thy father’s fields, in the harvest of the present year, come to this spot, and thou shalt find thy lost happiness. Adieu!’

Saying this, the little tiny woman placed her foot upon a bubble that was floating by, and gliding down the stream, disappeared in the twilight, amid a new strain of enchanting harmonies. The maiden sat for a while reflecting on the scene which had just passed, and doubting if all she had seen and heard was not a dream,

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until the sight of the wheel and the distaff admonished her of the reality. The sober twilight now gradually gave place to the melancholy evening; the stars began to twinkle, the dews to fall, and the thousand little minstrels of the night chirped and buzzed their joyous salutations. Ethelinde took up her wheel and her distaff, and slowly bent her footsteps towards home.

Great was the wonder of her parents, and many the questions of the villagers, concerning these mysterious presents; but Ethelinde only answered with a smile, as if in jest, that they were the gift of the fairies, and in a little while, the whole was forgotten in the occurrence of some new village wonder. In the man time the little belle of Ashford continued to wax more melancholy every day, having nothing to do but think of herself and her sorrows. Sometimes she thought of trying the virtues of the Spinning Wheel, but her long habits of idleness had made every species of employment irksome, and she always put it off to some other day.

The time for pulling the flax now came round, and when it was prepared for the wheel, she resolutely determined to commence the task set her by the Queen of the Fairies. Accordingly she brought her wheel and distaff, and, seating herself beside her mother, attempted to practise that most delicate of all the domestic arts. But she made sad work of it at first, sometimes breaking her thread, and at others entangling it in inextricable confusion. These little perplexities, however, contributed to draw her thoughts from their melancholy contemplations; and she was so tired when night came, that she slept till the sun rose above the high eastern mountain, without any interruption, except dreaming that the little fairy appeared, and smiled her approbation.

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She resumed her occupation the next day, and continued it day after day, until by degrees it came to be a pleasure rather than a toil; and it was not long before she obtained the prize from the society for the encouragement of domestic industry, for spinning, I know not how many hanks of yarn, from sun to sun. The humming of her wheel was a thousand times more musical than that of all others, and the faster it turned the more delightful was its harmony. By the time the spring came on, and the little birds began to sing among the opening buds of the willows and elms of Green River, Ethelinde had regained her health and spirits, so that the rose again bloomed on her cheek, and gaiety often laughed in her eyes.

In the mean time the reputation of Pliny was extending through all the country round, and such was the confidence of the people in his eloquence, that so they could get lawyer Allbeit on their side, they cared little whether they had justice or not. He was looked upon as a rising man, and as his father was now growing old, many talked of making him deacon in his place. He sometimes passed the home of Ethelinde, and when he saw her spinning, and heard her chnting some one of those old Doric ditties, which used to be sung by country maids and rural swains, when the heart was in the lay, he was sorely tempted to go in and have a little chat with her. But he said to himself, ‘It is one of her caprices. She makes a plaything of her fine new spinning wheel, and will soon be tired as the child of its rattle.’

But when he saw her day after day turning her wheel, and singing so blithely and sweetly; and above all when

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he heard of her having won the prize of industry, he began to feel himself drawn by an impulse as gentle, yet irresistible, as that of the bee to the flower, towards the young and blooming girl. He would often go in and pass an hour in pleasant talk, or stand at the open window discussing village topics, while Ethelinde looked up at him from behind the shelter of her labyrinth of chesnut curls. But Pliny was withal a prudent youth. He had made up his mind to marry and spend his future days in his native village, and wished for a companion, one who had something to recommend her, besides that seductive yet evanescent beauty, which so soon fades away like the flowers of the spring, leaving only its tell tale ruins behind. He guarded his actions, and most especially his looks. remembering always the catastrope of the squinting gentleman.

But the bud might as well be forbidden to expand to the luxurious temptings of the sunbeam, of a bright May morning, as for youth to strive against that mysterious sympathy which opens the heart to cherish those delightful dreams which the season and all nature inspire. Pliny every day became more sensible that the icy bonds of prudence were fast melting away before the warmth of awakened love, and had once or twice detected himself in the fact of indulging those speaking looks, which, according to his own argument, amounted to a promise of marriage. Then he would take the alarm, not because Ethelinde was without fortune, and belonged to a family which had never produced a deacon, but that he was fearful she was not yet cured of her idleness and vanity.

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Then would Ethelinde wonder, and regret, and sometimes resent these inconsistencies by cold indifference, or affected pertness. She was worried to the very soul, but the more she was worried, the faster she turned her wheel, and by the time that fickle May had surrendered her short lived empire to the sunny June, the crop of flax was spun, and she might expect the fruition of the fairy’s promise, for now the condition was fulfilled.

All nature was decked in its new attire of whispering leaves and coronets of flowers, when Ethelinde, at the close of the day in which she had spun her last distaff of flax, bent her steps towards the old elm on the banks of Green River, in the forlorn hope of meeting the Queen of the Fairies. She arrived on the spot at the same hour of the same day of the month, in which she had received the spinning wheel and the distaff, exactly a year before. The last ray of the setting sun still lingered alone on the high peak that saw the little Green River laving its foot, while all below lay sleeping in the repose of summer twilight. It was an hour in which nature appeals irrisistibly [sic] to the feelings and sympathies of all innocent, unadulterated minds, and awakens in such, nothing but the pure visions of a warm, yet chastened fancy.

The rambling maiden seated herself trembling and thrilling with alternate hopes and fears, the former of which gradually withered away, as time passed, and nof airy appeared. The little river murmured at her feet, the leaves above her head answered in whispered sighs to the breathing of the evening zephyrs, the solitary thrush, perched on the topmost branch of his wonted tree, was pouring out a mingled, various harmony, that

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might aptly pass for his hymn to parting day, and all nature invited to blissful thoughts, and happy musings. But still the fairy came not, and poor Ethelinde sat looking at herself in the glassy mirror of the stream, unconscious that she was gazing on a little angel.

From this painful state she was roused by the sound of footsteps approaching, and looking up beheld Pliny approaching with a slow pace, that marked a modest hesitation. Whether it was a blush or a smile, or both, that encouraged him, I cannot say, but certain it is, for it is so deposed in the affidavit of Orrin Neefus, that he did approach, and sit down beside Ethelinde on the same root, though there was so little room, that Pliny could feel the warm balmy breath of the young maiden, playing against his cheek, as she sometimes turned her face towards him, and such waqs its delicious fragrance, that the youth was at one time doubtful whether it was not the perfume of the flowers and odorous vines that luxuriate on the banks of Green River.

They began at first to talk as if the very deuce was in them, about matters and things in which they felt not the least concern; but soon this vivacity subsided into a dead and irksome silence. They looked at each other, I suppose, to see what was the matter; their eyes met, and their hearts communed together in blushes and smiles. Pliny—the wretch! I can hardly forgive him the atrocity—Pliny took her hand, and Ethelinde was so frightened she forgot to snatch it away. He began to talk on the most critical subjects, such as love in a cottage, domestic quiet, and domestic joys; and though my pen blushes while I write it, if I am not mistaken, he ventured to insinuate something about teaching the

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young idea how to shoot. The last that Orrin Neefus saw of them, he was pretty certain that Pliny was stealing a kiss from Ethelinde, and receiving proof positive that the balmy perfume which greeted his senses erewhile, exhaled not from the flowers and vines that grew on the banks of Green River.

At this moment the fairy appeared, decked and accompanied by the same delicious music as before, and addressed her god-daughter as follows, in her tiny sweet voice.

‘I have kept my promise, and the Spinning Wheel has fulfilled the oracle. Thou hast learned that there is no remedy for misery like industry, which is twice blessed, once in providing the means of happiness, and next in mitigating the sorrows of mankind. Now fare thee well; thou wilt never see me more, but thou wilt enjoy as much of happiness in this world, as is compatible with thy imperfect nature, so long, and no longer than thou shalt resist the allurements of vanity and the seductions of idleness. Preserve thy spinning wheel, for it is a talisman, which, so long as thou keepest it bright by use, shall protect thee from the besetting sins of womankind. Remember the past, and be wiser in the future. Farewell, once more, and for the last time. Yonder massy buildings, I foresee by my art, are intended for the accommodation of Science and Philosophy, and we must seek some new refuge from their persecutions, in the hidden recesses of the Monadnok, where we shall remain until another irruption of these Goths and vandals drives us, I know not whither. Adieu! Remember the Spinning Wheel!’

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The voice of the Fairy gradually became more and more plaintive as she concluded her last farewell, and a tear fell from her eye into the crystal river, which, if any mortal ever finds, will prove a treasure more priceless than the signet ring of king Solomon. Soft, plaintive, dying music, melting, as if gradually receding to a distance, mingled with the murmurs of the little river, which seemed to mourn the departure of the spriteful band that had so long danced on its borders, and laved in its crystal waters by the light of the stars. And further the deponent, Orrin Neefus, saith not.

‘And how the dickens,’ exlcaims some curious impertinent, ‘How the dickens did this deponent happen to know all about these matters, since it does not appear he had any agency in them?’ Well, my good woman, if you must know, Master Neefus was told the whole story by Mrs. Ethelinde Allbeit, a staid, sober, industrious, aye, and handsome matron as any in all New England, with some little feminine reservations especially connectd with the interview under the old elm on Green River. Master Neefus, though bound to secrecy, could not keep such a remarkable story to himself; and, finding its authenticity not a little doubted, in the spirit of knight errantry went and swore to it, like a true man, to show his faith in the veracity of his old sweetheart.


The Wreck at Sea
Drawn by J. Birch      Engraved by J. B. Neagle.
The Wreck at Sea.
Boston Published by Charles Bowen.

Print at D. Stephens.

[p. 151]



The struggle is over! The storm-cloud, at last,

Has emptied itself, and the fury is past!

The ship is a ruin! the mariners wait

Their summons to enter eternity’s gate.

The remnant of canvass that flaps in the wind,

Their signal of wo they may soon leave behind,

To give its last flutter above the wild surge,

As all it betokens, the deep shall immerge.

They see rising round them a chill, restless grave,

While death loudly calls them from out the hoarse wave!

‘Come to me! come! ye have no where to flee,

But down in the waters, for quiet with me!

My thin, winding arms, ever naked and cold,

Have nothing to warm them, but what they infold.

My being unlawful, I have to sustain,

By feeding on life that from others I drain.

The sweet buds of childhood, youth’s beautiful bloom,

And age’s ripe clusters, I pluck and consume!

I traverse the world by the light that I steel

Alone from the eyes that in darkness I seal!

‘In ocean’s black chambers, I welcome the forms

That pass to my kingdom, through shipwreck and storms.

The babe never prattles, nor climbs on the knee

Of him who is low in the cold, deep sea!

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The eye of his widow grows sunken and dim,

With looking, and waking, and weeping for him!

The parent’s fond heart slowly bleeds for the son,

Till I, for my throne, a new trophy have won!

Come! and the mourners away on the shore,

Shall never behold you, or hear of you more!’

Hush! hush! thou pale monarch! A voice from above!

It chides thee—its tones are of mercy and love!

Away! king of terrors! In silence retire!

Though high is thy throne, there is one that is higher!

The sinking have looked from the billows, that swell

Around them, to Him, who the surges can quell.

And, he, who before, has the tempest allayed,

And said to the mariner, ‘Be not afraid,’

Is now walking over the waters, to tread

Upon the white spray that is pluming thy head!

A sail! ho! a sail, in the moment of need!

On yonder mad breakers she ’s riding with speed.

A rescue! it comes in the light little boat,

That ’s lowered and manned o’er the perils to float.

While, life for the perishing, hope for despair,

And joy and reward for affection are there,

With rocking and tossing, as onward she steers,

And shooting, and plunging the wreck as she nears,

One moment! and then the last wave will be crossed!

Yet, all is too late, if that unit be lost!

The helper and helpless, while panting to meet,

Have sent forth their voices each other to greet,

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And when did those voices go out on the air,

An import so great, such an errand to bear?

Emotions too mighty for sound to convey,

Or, long for the spirit to feel in the clay—

A pulse never known in their bosoms before,

Is each proving now, at the dash of the oar.

And, sweet to their hearts will the memory be,

Of these clasping hands on the wild, deep sea!

TO ***** ********.

Fair daughter of the sunny-cinctured South!

Whose birth is written in thy form and face,

Thy walk of mingled stateliness and grace,

A radiant cheek, and finely-chiselled mouth—

Thou met’st me like a vision of the night;

We parted—I may never more behold thee,

To gaze into thy blue eye’s liquid light,

Or to unsay one half the lies I told thee.

Pass on, and be thy pathway ever bright,

With all that makes life dear to such as thou:

Friendship—unbroken faith—love’s deep delight—

And nought to pale thy cheek, or shade thy brow.

A stranger’s blessing! would that it might bring thee,

All joy that friend could wish, or poet sing thee.

[p. 154]


The Painter Boy walked on the pebbly strand;

He felt the sweet sea-breeze blow;

The waves came dashing on the passive land;

And the sails sped to and fro.

The Boy felt kindling in his youthful soul,

A new and a wild desire;

His eye grew fuller, at the ocean’s roll,

With the light of his spirit’s fire.

For what the mighty flood in a storm would be,

And the ship so fair and proud,

When struggling with the tempest, he longed to see,

Till it rent her sail and shroud.

Then, joyously, he cried, ‘I ’ve a thing to paint,

I never have had before.

But, every line and color will be too faint,

If laid on the peaceful shore!

‘I ’ll go away, away! on the rolling sea;

And will sketch the clouds that form!

The billows I will draw, as they ’re tossing me—

I ’ll paint a ship in a storm!’

And now, wafted off by his young spirit’s flame,

He ’s gone o’er the deep afar;

And, bright from the brow of the proud hill of flame,

Is the Painter Boy’s leading star!

[p. 155]


In the golden zones of the laughing earth,

In the land of zephyrs I have my birth;

Rolled up in the bud of the Indian weed,

Till spring unbinds the winter’s spell,

I live, and then with the lighting’s speed

I spring to life from my prison cell.

I spring to life, and the mustard flower

I woo perchance for an idle hour;

With a fairy wing to the far-off isles

Of pepper and spice unseen I speed,

And over them breathe, but my choicest smiles

I bring them back to my chosen weed—

I bring them back, and a hidden sprite

I leave to watch on each tiny mite—

And tho’ the winds may scatter the leaf,

And the shears of fate the threads may sever,

Yet snug in its shell, in frolic or grief,

The elves watch o’er them in faith forever.

And tho’ in dust this weed be ground,

An imp in each mite may still be found—

In the hidden folds of the ample quid,

In the bowl of the pipe ’mid smoke and fire,

The little elves they do as I bid,

And shedding their fragrance, at last expire.

[p. 156]



The mysterious veil has been lifted! There lie the blighted roses—there the bridal wreath—trampled and torn!

Afar and apart from all the rest of the world, the playfellows of her youth, the innocent, the childish, and the happy—the happy they know not why, and they care not wherefore, the childish who are innocent, and the innocent who are childish—sat a pale, dark eyed girl, with disordered hair, a night robe gathered up about her bosom, both elbows on the lid of an open secretary, over which trailed a magnificent shawl, and her slippered foot on a wreath of white roses—bridal roses—with a faint blush colored tinge at the core.

It was long after midnight; and the low harmonious wind stole through the chamber, toying with the snowy drapery of the large open window, as with a veil it would lift if it knew how, playing with the shadows of a night taper before a superb mirror, and filling the whole house with the sultry breath of orange flowers, lavishing their golden dust by star light upon the trembling air.

The stars faded; the warm passionate breathing of the orange blossoms died away, and the tears that gathered slowly underneath her white palms, fell drop after drop, like the dew from overcharged flowers, among a handful of scattered pearls, and the fragments of two or three torn ostrich feathers lying about over the floor, like a shower of mingled hail stones and half melted snow flakes.

p. 157

Not a murmur was to be heard from her pale parted lips; not so much as a hurried breath. Grief and consternation were there; unspeakable terror and blighted love; but no fierceness, no flashing of the eyes, no trembling of the mouth; nothing but resignation, piety, untold sorrow, and the dead apathy of a broken hearted girl, who has never been at a play, nor read a book to be ashamed of, and who has therefore no language wherewith to tell her sorrows, whatever they may be.

She was a wife; ‘wooed an’ married an’ aw,’ and her husband was a Phrenologist! Ay, a Phrenologist! and she, poor thing, never knew a word of it, till the secret broke suddenly from his lips, while he was asleep, the very night after her marriage. No wonder she was half frightened to death.

She had often read of such people, at the north; she had even heard it whispered about a month before, that a live Phrenologist had passed through New Orleans one morning before the people were up, on his way to the Columbia River, the South Pole, or the Upper Missouri, she could not for her life remember which. And now, only think of it!—that Edward, her own dear, dear Edward, whom she loved so passionately, so distractedly, that he should be a Phrenologist; and nothing but a Phrenologist after all! Oh it was too much—‘much too much.’

Her heart died away within her, on making the discovery. She tried to drown her thoughts in sleep; she tried to pray. But she could not; his very breathing disturbed her. He breathed like a Phrenologist! And so after considering the matter all over anew, weighing all the consequences, and imagining all sorts of excuses for one

p. 158

so young, so handsome, and so good natured—they are so easily led astray you know—she determined to slip away the moment he began to breathe naturally, and write a letter to her mother; to have one more look at her bridal paraphernalia, the roses, and the jewels, and the ostrich feathers, and then to be governed by circumstances.

Having made up her mind, she held her breath, till satisfied he was asleep, she then withdrew so quietly as not to disturb him, thrust her little naked feet into a pair of stray slippers, and stole off to another chamber, where she had hardly seated herself, and began at the very top of a page, ‘O my dear mother!’—when her tears blinded her, and she was obliged to stop. That beloved parent! Oh, what a blow it would be to her! And then, too, there was her father, her poor dear father! it would be the death of him! To have married at Phrenologist! to be the wife, the companion of a Phrenologist! Oh it was dreadful to think of!

Why it was only a few months before, but the other day, as it were, that she had seen it stated in a newspaper that Phrenology was Materialism! If so, she had married not only a Phrenologist but a Materialist. Merciful Heaven! that her own dear Edward, the hope of her young heart, the handsomest fellow in all New Orleans, and the best dancer, should be a Materialist! Only to think of it! But then what was a Materialist! And down she sat again, to write a long letter to her father, instead of her mother, beginning with, ‘Oh my poor father!’

At this moment while reaching forward to dip her pen for another paragraph, her finger happened to touch

p. 159

a small ivory knob, and a secret drawer flew open with a loud report. Up she jumped! and took one peep—just one peep—and what do you think she saw? Why, as true as you are sitting in that chair, it was full of little children’s heads, with the faces of old men about three quarters of an inch long! They were not exactly babies heads—they appeared very much like plaster of Paris—and yet she had her misgivings. Poor soul! how could she help it?

But her trials were not to end here. Having read the History of Blue Beard in the original, and Little Red Riding Hood in a capital translation, by a late President of the United States, whereby the dangers of unhallowed curiosity were painted to the life, with a view to Sabbath schools, and a new edition of Mother Goose, the unhappy wife lost no time in trying to restore the drawer to its original hiding place; but the more she tried, the further she appeared from her object—she pushed and panted, and panted and pushed—but all to no purpose. The drawer would not move; there it stuck; and there she was obliged to stand, with the five-and-forty little monsters all staring at her, as if they enjoyed her perplexity. Oh, what would become of her! Another effort—another! and her little finger touched another ivory knob, and another drawer started open! to the sound of low music, with a running accompaniment of bells, puppy dogs and pop guns; enough to alarm the whole neighborhood, she thought, as she ran off to a far corner of the chamber and stopped her ears, and stood crouching and trembling till the beat of her young heart grew audible, expecting every moment to see the door fly open, and the bridegroom of twenty-four hours pursuing

p. 160

her, in a flowered-calico-dressing-gown, with a night lamp in one hand, and a knife or a scull in the other. Poor thing! he had not slept so soundly for a twelve-month before.

At last the impertinent little hubbub died away; and after unstopping her ears, and looking well at the door, she ventured to steal towards the desk a tip-toe—determined to have one more peep if she died for it. One peep!—and a smothered scream!—and down she dropped into a chair, literally gasping for breath. Would you believe it! The very first thing she saw, was a miniature of herself, with the hair wiped off, and the bare ivory scull, written all over with unutterably strange characters. There was no bearing this. The beautiful hair she had been so proud of, and so celebrated for! the very hair he had fondled so affectionately, not a month before, interweaving white roses and pearls, and chains of gold, with every undulating mass, when all the time—oh the wretch!—could it be possible!—maybe he was only looking her head as a Phrenologist, all the time he sat there by the sofa pretending to play with her hair. It was only the very night before their marriage, her little sister, who had been left to take care of her, fast asleep on the other end of the sofa, and she herself pretending to be asleep, just to see what he would do. O, flesh and blood could n’t bear it! And so up she jumped, and tearing away the pearls, huge orient pearls, from a tiara of ostrich feathers, that she had worn the night before, and left upon that very sofa, she scattered them both far and wide over the floor; and then happening to look up and see the faded bridal wreath, now twenty-four hours old, which had been put aside so reverentially,

p. 161

by her dear Edward—wet as it was with tears and warm with kisses—she tore it away, flung it to the floor, and trampled on it! And then, dropping into a chair, and covering her face with her hands, the poor girl began to weep as if her heart would break; though without rocking to and fro, as they do in story books, or breathing hard, or stamping, or dashing away her tears with an imperial movement of the head, or sopping her face with a pocket handkerchief, as they do on the stage. No, there was nothing of this; no pettish upgathering of a shawl about her, no tearing of her dishevelled hair; but quietly and with a feeling of bitter self-reproach, there she sat in the solitude of her bridal chamber, literally bleeding at the heart. And what if her husband was a Materialist, or even a Phrenologist, was that a reason for tearing her bridal wreath, and trampling it under foot? She stooped with a feeling of shame and sorrow to save what there was left of it. Was that a reason for scattering a bandeau of pearls, that were worth five thousand dollars, every cent of it? and for spoiling four superb ostrich feathers? And here she stretched forth her hand to the magnificent shawl that hung over a chair, half covering the secretary and trailing along the floor, the only thing she had not dishonored, with a determination to be more wary for the future, Phrenologist or no Phrenologist.

But as her hand approached the shawl, it slipped away, and before she recovered from her astonishment, the shadow of a man started up at her elbow, and took the shape of her husband! Ay, and in that abominable flowered-calico-dressing-gown, too, just as she had been thinking of him, with a night lamp in one hand, and

p. 162

a—she never stopped to see what, in the other, as she flung away from him, shaking her fingers and crying ‘Don’t touch me! You’re a Phrenologist; you know you are!’ No wonder! they blushed and tingled as if she had been playing with a lighted thunderbolt.

‘Why, Nelly! what on earth is the matter with you! How long have you been here?’

‘And how long have you been here? I should like to know that before I answer you,’ said she, dropping into a chair all out of breath, and covering her face with her hands.

‘Ever since the running down of that alarm watch.’

‘What alarm watch, Edward?’

‘That;’ pointing to the open drawer.

‘That an alarm watch! why it sounded to me like a cannonade. You have no idea how it frightened me; if I hadn’t known what it was, or rather what had set it a-going, I should have thought the world was coming to an end—or somebody breaking into the house.’


‘Oh, but I have been so angry with you; do do n’t know.’


‘And now I am so ashamed of myself, you can’t think.’


Umph!—and is that all you have to say, when you find me sitting here at this time of night, all alone by myself, and sobbing as if my very heart would break?’

‘Yes, dear, for the present, umph! But answer me one question, will you?’

She bowed, without uncovering her face or looking up and a beautiful shoulder glimmered for a minute

p. 163

underneath a mass of wayward hair, that she disengaged in recovering her position.

‘You called me a Phrenologist, I believe.’

She bowed.

‘A Materialist?’

‘Oh Lud! then you were here all the time!’

‘A Yankee, perhaps?’

‘A Yankee!—Heaven forbid!’

‘Well, then, there ’s my hand; I forgive you.’

‘Why Ned!—what do you mean by that? I always had an idea that you were proud of being a Yankee.[’]

‘And so I am. God knows that I am! And that I have reason for it, my dear girl! my beloved wife! But you are of the South, and you have all the passionate feelings, and let me add, all the prejudices of the South toward Yankees.’

‘But we have never considered you as a Yankee, Edward—never entirely as a New Englander.’

‘And why not? I was born there, and brought up there, and I always have insisted, I do now insist, and I always shall insist on being so considered by every body, friend or foe.’

‘Then why should you care whether I called you a Yankee or not, when I believed myself alone?’

‘Because, dear, your southern prejudices are a part of yourself; and so long as you did not call me a Yankee, or a Down Easter, I know there was nothing unforgivable, said or meant. Are we friends now?’—stooping to kiss her, and pointing to the chamber door, with one hand, as he adjusted the stray mass of redundant hair with the other.

‘Lord! what a fumbler you are!’ disengaging herself, jumping up and running off toward another door. On

p. 164

the way, she trod upon the pearls, and stopped; and her eyes filled with tears! ‘Oh, Edward, Edward! can you forgive me!’ she cried. ‘You must have thought me possessed!’


‘I do wish you would leave off that nasty word; I hate it.’

‘Any thing, dear, if you will give up that word nasty.’

‘Will you though!’ jumping up and clapping her hands; ‘will you! “sartin true, black and blue;” there ’s a dear little husband!’


‘Will you give up Materialism?[’]

‘With all my heart.’

‘And Phrenology?’

‘And Phrenology? Why, yes, if you say so, after you know what Phrenology is.’

‘I know what it is now.’—humming the air, ‘Too late for my peace.’ ‘And I do n’t want to know any thing more.’

‘And what is it?’

‘What is what?’

‘Why Phrenology, to be sure; what is Phrenology?[’]

‘Why, Phrenology is Materialism,’ tapping the floor with her toe, and speaking with considerable emphasis.

‘Umph. And what is Materialism?’

‘Why,’ folding her arms, and stooping so as to hide her feet with her dress, for she caught the wandering of his eye, and began to think seriously of escape; ‘why, Materialism is Phrenology, to be sure; what else can it be?’

‘And who says so?’

‘The Christian Examiner.’

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‘Whew!—nay, nay, my dear girl, one word before we part, you to your chamber, I hope, and I to—where shall I betake myself?’

‘Where you please.’

‘Had n’t I better lie down here on the sofa?’

‘O, certainly! by all means!’ running off.

‘You ’ll be wandering this way in your sleep, maybe.’

‘Not while you are here, I promise you.’

‘Nay, nay; one word, I beseech you. Do you see this paper? I want you to read this, before you decide against Phrenology.’

‘I can’t read it; its [sic] all Hebrew to me; what ’s the meaning of all these figures? and all these words of four-and-twenty syllables a piece? I should really be glad to know.’

‘It is your Horoscope, my love.’


‘A Phrenological estimate of your character, before marriage. Do you know, my dear, that you are indebted to Phrenology for a husband?’

‘Really!’ dropping a profound courtesy; ‘and you mean that I shall now be indebted to a husband for Phrenology, hey?’

‘Pretty much. Now let me read it to you; and that you may see whether I read it fairly or not, suppose you look over me,’ drawing her to him.

‘Proceed—the stars are fading, the air blows cooler, and I begin to feel sleepy.’

He reads:




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‘Approbativeness indeed! I should like to know what that means!’

‘you ought to know, my dear. I means love of approbation. In women, or in men who resemble to women, it may become what is called—may I whisper it?—vanity.’

‘Umph! as you say, and that I have large?’



‘Destructiveness—very large,’ glancing at the torn ostrich feathers and scattered pearls.

‘Marvellousness—large; and—’

‘No, no; stop there, if you please; I do n’t see how that can be; I do n’t believe in ghosts.’

‘No, but you do in the Christian Examiner.’

‘Very true. Proceed.’

‘Self esteem—deficient.’

‘Deficient! why every body tells me I am the vainest creature alive!’

‘That may be, nevertheless; nay, for that very reason, with more self-esteem, or self-respect, you would be far less anxious about the opinion of others.’

‘Hope—moderate,’ laying his hand on hope.


‘Not full-ish, hay?’


‘Lord! how you do skip about! You ’ve been all over my head now three or four times! What is the meaning of Inhabitiveness?’

‘No wonder you ask! Had it been large, my love, you would n’t be here now.’

‘Where should I be, pray?’

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‘In your own room.’

‘Why Edward!’ jumping away, and trying to escape ‘what are you laughing at?’

‘At a little mistake of yours, my dear, that ’s all. But hear me through.’

‘Well! Proceed!’


‘Causality—full, quite full. Now, my dear, that character was drawn for you before marriage. All that I have seen of you, or heard of you, confirms it in every particular; and it is upon this I ground my hope—’

‘What hope, Edward?’

‘The hope of your turning out a reasonable woman after all, and perhaps a Phrenologist.’

‘Wretch! But what is meant by comparison?’

‘Comparison, my dear, is the distinguishing power of superior minds. It is that quality which detects differences, where the multitude see only resemblances, and resemblances where they see only differences.’

‘And that you say is large with me.’

‘No, my dear, not large, but fair.’

‘Well, if you are done with me now, I ’ll go to bed. But first, what is that great bump your hand is on now?’

‘Philoprogenitiveness, my dear.’



‘And what does all that mean?’

‘A love of children; the instinct of a—stop! stop! do n’t break your neck!—of a—of a mother for her offspring.’

‘Oh!—is that all?’

‘To be sure it is.’

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‘And how did you say it was with me?’

‘Large—very large!’

‘Well! of all the impudence I ever heard of! Give me that paper!’

‘For what purpose?’

‘That you ’ll see presently,’ trying to snatch it; ‘come, come, hand it here!’

‘No, my love; not till I know what you want it for. I would n’t have that paper destroyed for,’ flourishing it in the air, and speaking with decided emphasis; ‘for ever-so-much!’

‘Would n’t you, indeed! Nor I neither, let me tell you,’ imitating his flourish, and speaking with a still more decided emphasis; ‘no! not for a great deal more than ever-so-much! no, no, I want it for another purpose entirely.’

‘And for what purpose, dear?’

‘To read off your character from it. So! you begin to feel frightened, hey?’

‘Not much; only a leetle kind o’, as we say Down East. There![’] handing the paper, and stretching himself at his whole length on the sofa. ‘And I hope you begin to feel a leetle kind o’, too.’

‘Kind o’! kind o’ what?’

‘And now that you may have a good opportunity of seeing for yourself, and of satisfying yourself, allow me to—’ offering his head for her examination.

‘No, no, if you please, not so. I do n’t like that way of studying Phrenology. Come now, be quiet!’—beginning to read from the paper.

‘Audacity—unparalleled! And here lies the organ, you perceive,’ laying her hand on his mouth. ‘Pho!

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you ’re very much mistaken if you think I put it here to be kissed. Be quiet, I say!

‘Self-complacency—very large—prodigious! Be quiet, will ye!


‘Language—ditto! And here lies the organ, according to all the best authorities,’ covering his eyes with both her hands. ‘You know you never could be persuaded to talk French, nor any thing else with your lips, worth hearing.

‘Ambition—frightful, inordinate, unsupportable.

‘Captiousness—fair, what you call full-ish, may be?



‘Piety—so, so.

‘Fibativeness—umph! as you say. And all the rest of the developments in proportion! There!—there ’s a character for you! That was your horoscope as you call it, the first day I ever set eyes on you; and I must say,’ escaping to the door, and stopping there, and looking over her shoulder, and mimicing [sic] his manner, ‘I must say, I ’ve been nothing, I ’ve heard nothing, and I can imagine nothing since, to alter my opinion—ha! ha! ha!’

‘The baggage! Whew!—ew!—ew!—what a witch it is! But I must after her, and have an explanation with her, and put a stop to these tantrums.’

[p. 170]


TO ***** *******

Go gather ye grapes of the barren thorn—

Or flowers of the snow-wreath, though winter be rude—

But think not that love or friendship is born—

Or born but to perish—of gratitude.

The maiden may love though thou dost betray,

And banded thieves to each other be true—

But the heart will never its homage pay,

If homage, forsooth, may be claimed as due.

Thou wilt pay thy debt, be it silver and gold—

Thou wilt give, perchance, if thy gift be free—

But whispering pride to thy bosom told

Thee that gratitude is but slavery.

It told thee to cover with seemly word,

The secrets that deep in thy bosom play—

That love is free as the idle bird,

And will not be given old debts to pay.

It told thee that when the tempest is past,

The roof that sheltered is useful no more—

And he who befriended when sorrows came fast,

The storm being over—to vote him a bore.

[p. 171]



There lay upon its mother’s knee,

In love supremely blest,

An infant fair and full of glee,

Caressing and carest,—

While syren Hope, with gladness wild,

And eye cerulean blue,

Bent sweetly down to kiss the child,

And kiss’d the mother too.

Then Memory came, with serious mien,

And looking back the while,

Cast such a shadow o’er the scene,

As dimm’d affection’s smile,—

For still, to Fancy’s brightest hours,

She gave a hue of care,

And bitter odors ting’d the flowers,

That wreath’d her sunny hair.

But in the youthful mother’s soul,

Each cloud of gloom is brief,

Too pure her raptured feelings roll

To take the tint of grief,—

Firm Faith, around her idol boy,

A radiant mantle threw,

And claimed for him a higher joy,

Than Hope or Memory knew.

[p. 172]



I am exceedingly sensitive. There is a defect in the stringing of my nerves, and they are quite easily put out of tune. This is partly owing to the kindness of nature, and partly to the exertions of my grandmother; a very excellent old lady, who frequently took occasion to boast that she had been the making of me. I often pleased myself with a recollection of the time when she would prevail upon me, by the consideration of a sixpence lawful, to favor her tea-parties with my copy of Cooke as Richard, or a rehearsal of that portion of the speech of Ames, that begins with the favorite, ‘What is patriotism?’ And still more amusing is the recollection of the kind, affectionate way, in which she would keep me from school for fear of hurting my eyes, and exaggerate every cross look into a presage of sickness; encourage a head ache into a high fever, and flatter a cold into a consumption. She would keep me constantly by her side, that I might not suffer by the slightest exposure, and on one occasion actually went into hysterics at a dinner party, in consequence of my breaking a tooth with a nutshell.

This extreme sensitiveness, which nature and education had done their best to develope, has often placed me in situations of extreme awkwardness, and on one occasion reduced me to within an inch of my life. The adventure is an amusing one for me to look back upon,

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and if you will excuse the absurdity of a man’s being his own chronicle, you shall read a chapter of reminiscence.

It is more than probable, that, at some period of your life, you have been so unfortunate as to lodge in a country hotel. In the summer of eighteen hundred and twenty, business of a private nature called me to a town in the interior, with merely a dozen inhabitants, of any thing like tolerable civilization. The tavern keeper was the only true gentleman in the place. His heart was as open as noonday, and as true as steel; and his face as round and as burnished as the surface of one of his own ample coat buttons. I was struck with him at the moment he handed me from the stage coach, with ineffable courtesy, on the afternoon of my arrival.

The private business, referred to above, you will of course not be so uncivil as to inquire about. It may be that I was in love, and desirous of a stolen interview with some rural beauty, whose expectations were too large for a penniless attorney to ally himself to them without opposition. Perhaps I was in debt, and anxious to avoid the ‘Pour faire visite,’ of my garment cutters. Perhaps—but there are a thousand contingencies which might have led to such a step; and, if you are curious, i will leave you a choice from the thousand.

I was ushered by my attentive landlord into the best parlor of the hotel, and immediately furnished with a newspaper, which I had read about three weeks before, in the metropolis. Having nothing better to do, however, I re-perused it with as ready an acquiescence, as if it had been wet from the press. But a newspaper will not last one forever, and I began to cast about the apartment for further amusement. The room was

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arrayed like the best parlors of all our New England inns; and so ‘from one of them learn all;’ a passage whose Latin may be found in Virgil.

A huge pitcher decorated the fire place, which was crowded with the green and red berried produce of the asparagus plot. Fourteen little gilt frames over the mantelpiece, enclosed the profiles of the numerous progeny of mine host. They bore throughout a marked family likeness, and had probably been devised by the cunning of some itinerant portrait cutter, in part pay for a week’s entertainment.

On the opposite side of the room was suspended a more remarkable, and larger specimen of art, in the shape of a spacious ‘sampler,’ curiously wrought, with many[-]colored silks, on a striking ground of brownish yellow[.] It contained the letters of the alphabet, in a German text of most original construction, in which the respective members of this old and highly reputable family were placed in the most ludicrous and undignified attitudes. A third side of the room was occupied by a beautiful drawing, in India ink, of a tomb, with a woman and willow weeping over it, in affecting demonstrations of sorrow. The epitaph upon the monument was in poetry, and the handkerchief, which formed one of the most prominent portions of the piece, was supposed to be bathed in tears.

After exhausting these manifold sources of amusement, I strayed for a moment into an obscure corner of the bar room, where, myself unobserved, I might hear the destinies of the nation conclusively settled, by a body of hard-knotted politicians. I listened in silence to the sage saws and mellow maxims, of the orators and

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statesmen by whom I was surrounded. They all spoke lessons of wisdom, but the personage who exhibited the most oratorical action, and muscular vigor, was one whom I took to be the town blacksmith; or, to pay more regard to elegance and alliteration, the village Vulcan. He was tall, with a slight bend in his back, and with a face b rowned and blackened in the labors of the forge. The king’s English was entirely beaten out of shape by the sledge-hammer force of his expression, and his politics were as unfortunate as his grammar. He looked wise, however, with all his might, and, by an oracular elongation of countenance, had acquired among his compeers the credit of exceeding sagacity. He was heard with becoming deference, and his closing remarks elicited very boisterous applause. I took occasion to make an unobserved decampment, and was very shortly disposed to rest as comfortably as the nature of mine host’s accommodations would allow.

Lord Byron tells us that he woke up one morning and found himself famous. In a slighter degree, and in an humbler sphere, I now experienced a similar sensation. I was a mysterious stranger in an inquisitive village. Nobody knew whence I came, nor whither I was going. I felt it was my lot to be stared at, pointed at, whispered at, and wondered at, for a month to come. And this being the case, and there being also a necessity for telling it, you will excuse the excessive use of the personal pronoun in the present paragraph. For so modest a man as myself, it is certainly very egotistical.

Now it is well known, that nothing is done in one of our Yankee villages, which is not immediately carried from the centre to its remote extremities. Some of the towns in Massachusetts still contain descendants of the

p. 176

old ladies and gentlemen who were burned, hanged, and drowned so many years ago, for witches and wizards. If not, to what mysterious influence shall we attribute it, that Miss Smith, at three miles distance, is able to speculate upon the impropriety of Mrs. Wheeler’s having two fowls boiled for dinner, when one would be amply sufficient for herself and her little boy? Or how shall we account for the fact, that it is immediately and instinctively conveyed through the whole society, that the three Misses Shadow have given orders to their city milliner to provide them with new summer hats, of the latest fashion and most expensive materials? Why, of course, it is all witchcraft—and a witchcraft that fire cannot burn, nor water wash from us.

I seated myself at the breakfast table, preparing to rebut with all the skill in my power, the questioning and cross-examination to which I was confident of being subjected.

‘When did you leave Boston, Sir? plumply interrogated a gentlemanin horn-rimmed spectacles, with a sharp-cut nose, and a line lip, as he was diligently preparing a large piece of bread and butter.

‘I did not come from Boston, Sir.’

‘I beg pardon, Sir, but when I inquired of Colonel Savage, the stage driver, he told me you did. No offence, I hope; but if you did not come from Boston, pray where did you come from?’

‘Oh, no offence at all, I came from New York.’

‘But pray what conveyance did you come by? Did not you go to Boston first?’

‘No, Sir, I never was in Boston. I stopped within a mile of it a couple of months, but never could be induced to enter the metropolis at all.’

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‘No friends there, perhaps—or from motives of economy; very praiseworthy in a young man. Or perhaps you were sick?’

‘Perhaps I was.’

‘How long are going [sic] to remain in Cloudtown?’

‘I really cannot say, Sir. Perhaps till I die. I have been advised by my physician to reside here till my health is entirely reinstated. I have come here for the country air—and to avoid company’—bidding him good morning, and leaving him infinitely more anxious to ascertain whom I was, than ever.

‘Odd young man, that,’ whispered my friend in the spectacles, to a gentleman by his side, ‘evidently in a consumption.’

I had said enough. Fifteen minutes by the clock had hardly elapsed, before it was known in every hamlet, hut, and log-house, within a circle of two mile radius, that there was a very interesting young man in town, in the last stages of a consumption. He had consulted the most eminent physicians, had travelled, and tried all approved remedies, entirely without effect. He was unknown, and from all the circumstances of the case, it appeared that he wished to remain so. Then came up all the various speculations, that naturally arise upon so mysterious a topic. The three Misses Shadow were of unanimous opinion, that, if he did die, there were fifty as good to supply his place. Miss Belinda Blossom imagined that she perceived strong symptoms of a broken heart. Mr. Henry Hexagon, who had recently been to the city, and attended a public execution, when mention was made of ‘mystery’ in connection with the young man, alluding broadly to pirates in disguise, and suggest-

p. 178

ed the propriety of having the stranger carried before a justice of the peace.

To so humble an individual as myself, it was of course an agreeable novelty to be the object of an interest so general, and apparently sincere. To excite so much sympathy—to awaken so many tender emotions—to be overwhelmed by such a flood of pity! It was a new existence. It seemed as if I had been unsphered, and sent into another system. Never before did I understand the idea of killing with kindness. Alas! the knowledge was dearly purchased.

On returning to my chamber, after a short ramble on the first morning of my arrival, I was astonished to find the table covered with pots and packages. Without staying to examine sundry labels and letters, by which they were accompanied, my ‘first impressions’ completely misled me. I supposed at once, that my good landlord had determined to inflict a fellow-lodger on me; and that the anticipated partner of my bed and board, was the owner of all this trumpery. Calling to mine host, in a tone that he must have considered quite lusty for an invalid, I informed him that if all these notions were not instantly carried out by the door, I should throw him and them out of the window.

The broad visage of Boniface broadened, and deepened, and lengthened, in a most touching expression of horror. The accustomed smile fled from his lips, and he fell thunder-struck on his knees. He evidently imagined that I had gone mad. The muscles of my face relaxed into a universal laugh, and the echoes of my boisterous mirth rang from garret to cellar. My host was on his feet in a twinkling, rushed out of the door, and passing

p. 179

a billet of wood through the handle on the outside, held me a prisoner. At length his senses returned with sufficient vigor to enable him to listen to a parley. A truce was effected; explanations ensued. Boniface begged ten thousand pardons; he hoped I would not ruin his house, by repeating the story of his stupidity and rudeness. ‘I never have been half so mistaken, before, in all my life, ’Squire; but then I had heard how mighty sick you had been, and I did not know but you had got out of your head, like. Ha! ha! ha! It was funny, wasn’t it?’

I acquiesced in his notions of the extreme fun and humor of the scene, and we parted. Mine host returned to his bar, to retail a few glasses of that which in former days muddled the heads and weakened the feet of sage and simple, saint and sinner, the governor and the governed. Ever and anon, in the intervals of heart-gladdening, a burst of glee resounded from the merry group to whom he was acting as cup-bearer. It did not require much stretch of the imagination to paint myself as the object of mine host’s observations. The jests were all cracked at my expense; and every glass was sweetened with a lump of sympathy for the poor young man whose illness had turned his brain.

I dined that day in my own room. My walk had given me an appetite. If the fowl that my caterers placed before me escaped mastication, it was merely from respect to his age; if he was one week old, he had been crowing about the house ever since the beginning of the late war. He was indeed a veteran. I commenced immediate operations on the jams and jellies, which had been sent me by marriageable maids and sympathising

p. 180

spinsters. They vanished like dew before the sun; and if my watchful friends had possessed the least penetration, I should most certainly have eaten myself into a good character, ad a perfect sanity of mind and body. But my efforts were all in vain. The more I eat, the worse off was my reputation; for the only charitable inuendo [sic] respecting my appetite was, that the hunger of children and fools could never be satisfied. It was proof absolute of idiocy!

I was busy all the afternoon, writing one or two letters to my city correspondents. Tea time came, but with it brought no tea; unless a quantity of water, which had been steeped in some native odoriferous herbs, could be dignified with so inappropriate a title. The herbs had never seen China; neither hte country, nor the ware of that name. A huge bowl of milk was then brought me, together with a large apple pie, a plate of indefinite expansion loaded with apple sauce, sprinkled with damsons, immense loaves of white bread and brown bread, tongue, ham and eggs, et cetera, and an article which was individualised to me under the description of cider-cake. I thought of the years of plenty, and recognized the truth of that charitable lesson, which teaches how many may be fed from the superfluities of one man’s table. It was enough for all the paupers of a city; if I had put a tithe of it under my waistcoat, inquiring friends would have found me as grave a man as Mercutio, half an hour after his encounter with Tybalt.

Be that as it may, a very sufficient quantity of these interesting viands vanished before the magic of my touch. I was obliged to have recourse to this amuse-

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ment, to pass time, and kill the blues. I could not conveniently walk, because I disliked being the object of so much particular attention[.] I could not ride, because my host gave me to understand that his horse was in the plough, and he would not untackle him for any man. I could not sleep, because under the most atrocious combination of circumstances, I never sleep before midnight. Nothing was left me, but to sit at table, and imagine that I was eating the non-descripts before me, with a great deal of gusto.

In the midst of this fascinating indulgence, Beoniface bolted into my apartment, without the civility of a knock, or any other intimation of his approach. His manner was very much flustered. ‘Oh! ’Squire,’ he at length exclaimed, ‘ ’Squire—what name shall I say, Sir,’ for here his curiosity triumphed over his embarrassment, and he was determined, if possible, to extract my name from me, by this cork-screw like insinuation.

‘If you are particularly anxious for my name, perhaps you would like to know my addition, residence, history, descent, connections, and a thousand and one other circumstances, which are very much at your service. Please be seated.’

He arranged himself on a stool in my neighborhood, in a state of breathless expectation. ‘My name,’ I resumed, ‘is Hieronymus Flibbertigibbet; my occupation is that of hangman in ordinary to Uncle Sam, though my efforts in that business are rather matters of amusement than precise duty; I am descended in a direct line from Noah, as has been well ascertained, by the documents for many years in the possession of our family; when at home, I live chiefly’—

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Here we were interrupted by the entrance of a good rosy man, who was introduced to me as the pastor of the parish. He had heard of my arrival, and ill health, and had ventured to volunteer his ghostly assistance. His entrance cut short my explanations to the landlord, who respectfully retired on request, and obligingly put his ear to the door-crack, to enjoy the benefit of any further communicativeness. My Socrates read me an extempore sermon,l carefully collated from his discourses of the three preceding Sabbaths, and divided into fifteen heads. It treated at considerable length the chief points of controversial divinity, digressed into a short account of the prominent superstitions of different ages, alluded incidentally to the blessings of good health, and our aptness to forget in prosperity how much we were hourly enjoying. He then made a practical application of his abstract doctrine, to my individual case.

I bowed assent to all his propositions with due humility; and was determined to keep my temper, as long as he kept his seat. After concluding his discourse, hemming twelve times with a most becoming deliberation, he thought he had fairly entitled himself to all the benefits of an extra-judicial examination. He accordingly commenced a cautious and quiet course of interrogatories. I quizzed and evaded by turns, and his forcing pump answered very little real service. I have no doubt he was half convinced of my being curelessly crazed.

How long this conversation continued, I have not the least idea. I was next visited by the physician, sheriff, sexton, coroner, undertaker, and justice of the peace. My nerves, however, had been braced almost miraculously. The only similitude that occurred to me, was

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that of the prey scented from afar by the vultures; but i could hardly convince myself that all these visits were not intended in kindness, and in kindness I was bound to receive them. In spite of these reiterated provocations, I still remained master of my senses; my tone of mind was a little disordered, but I am confident of having remained in perfect sanity. The last drop, that overflows the cup, was in store for me.

I have merely alluded to the sympathy that my situation excited among the belles and beauties, to say nothing of the wives and widows, of Cloudtown. To one of this fair race I was obliged to yield, what their lords and masters could not extort from me; a fair and full exposure of my natural weakness. The lovely Wilhelmina effected a complete triumph over my sensitiveness; my nerves beat a retreat, and retired from the field in utter disorder; the imagined sickness, with which my advisers tormented me, became actual, and I returned to the city in a high fever, which confined me to my lodgings for five and twenty days. But I will not anticipate.

I cannot trust my pencil to a sketch of this most dainty and delicate Wilhelmina. There was that about her, which struck instantly to my heart. It was not the grace of her figure—for an artist would never have sculptured the Medicean Venus from a study of Miss Wilhelmina. It was not the beauty of her foot—nor the tapering of her ankle; for her ankle was a pedestal, and her foot was the understanding of an Amazon. It was not the flowing beauty of her locks—for though interested friends undoubtedly esteemed them auburn, they were pronounced by common observers a most

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absolute and uncompromising red. It was not the piercing loveliness of her eye—nor the archness of her lip—nor any other loveliness of any other feature. I have said that my heart was touched: but it was not with affection, nor love, nor tenderness—but rather with dismay and dread.

The South Carolina patriots were ready to ‘go their deaths’ for the sugar: I liked to have gone my death for a head dress! It was certainly an unique. Nothing of the kind is described in the Grecian histories, I am confident; and I doubt much if its like could be discovered in the mummied antiquities of Egypt. It was a head-piece for a lady of Brobdignag; and the tower-crown of the ancient goddess fades into insignificance by its side. No description could do it justice. Language fails: metaphor fails: poetry and painting would fail—to convey any adequate idea of it. The basis, or rather the nucleus, of the whole matter, was a strange comb, some twelve inches in height, about which her red locks were knotted and twisted in worse than Medusean involutions. Entwined with these was a net-work of flaming crimson, with black pendants reaching to her shoulders, terminating in two huge saffron tassels, which swung and flapped, not noiselessly, with every motion of her gigantic figure!

Here was a sight for a nervous man! I gazed on this apparition a few moments, with breathless astonishment. My limbs failed; my teeth chattered; the cup of misery was full; and this last drop had made it overflow. That night was a night of horror; the accumulation of terrors that had weighed on me during the day, sent me in sadness and sickness to unsatisfying slumbers. I was

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vexed and annoyed beyond measure, and the general apprehension of the whole village had confirmed me in a lingering fear that my system was shattered beyond my own knowledge, and that my days in the land were numbered.

I went to sleep in a raging fever: and during the whole of the night was haunted by the most distressing visions. That terrible head-dress was the beginning and end of them all! At one time it would assume the shape of an immense battlemented tower, from the top of which I was to be thrown for some imaginary crime. At another moment, it was a gulf of blackness and fire, by which I was to be instantly swallowed up. Now it was a sea of flame—now a volume of cloud—now a pillar of sulphur—menacing me with immediate and unavoidable death. Now it was an immense bird, with glaring crimson eyes, and tremendous yellow beak, flapping his coal-black wings, with a sound like the rush of a distant tempest. There was no end, in short, to the vagaries of my fevered mind; they drove me to a paroxysm of fear and horror: and left me in a state bordering on absolute insanity.

* * *

It is not necessary for me to journalize the weeks of sickness and suffering, that followed this eventful night. They left me with shattered nerves, and an unstrung frame. I have never recovered from their fatal consequences; I never expect to recover from them. I go about the world an altered and an unhappy man. I am the victim of a mono-mania. I shudder at the thought of any thing like my remembrance of Wilhelmina; and if I ever again meet with a piece of rurality rejoicing in

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such gaudy and lofty paraphernalia, my friends will have reason to be grateful for the establishment of Lunatic Asylums!



Forgive me, lady—pray, forgive me, lady,

Four of my precious stanzas lost and won!

How shall the fairly forfeit verse be paid ye—

Since its reluctant feet forget to run?

I cannot whisper, no! I cannot whisper

Of rosy cheek, bright locks, and cherry lips;

Words that might suit some quiet, blue-eyed lisper,

Whose heart has not yet known its first eclipse.

I cannot mention—no! I cannot mention

All that my fancy and my feeling tell—

Nor will I threaten it, as my intention,

To add a legend to a tree or well!

You’d not believe me—no, you’d not believe me—

The well is not yet dug, the tree not planted—

Which my poor ghost, though friends and hopes deceive me,

Shall ever be accused of having haunted!


The Spirit of Poesy
Painted by W. Croome.      Engraved by J. B. Neagle.
The Spirit of Poesy.
Boston Published by Charles Bowen.

Printed by D. Stevens.

[p. 187]




Spirit of Song! by rolling flood

Embosomed in the lonesome wood

I see thy mystic form;

Above thee the old oak uprears,

Which, for a hundred passing years

Hath braved the savage storm!

A beetling crag is made thy throne,

With vines and mosses overgrown,

And briar and tangled weed—

Fit haunt for thy poetic dream,

When, musing o’er some sombre theme,

Thou sit’st beneath the moonlight beam

On mournful thoughts to feed!


The moon is up—with silver light

Gemming the sable arch of night,

And making hill and valley bright

With its fantastic rays;

And brightly is its radiance cast

On the wild stream that hurries fast

Beneath thy thoughtful gaze.

Perchance the wheeling eddy’s gush,

The bubbling ripple’s mellow rush,

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Entrance thy list’ning ear;

And as the tumbling waters shoot

By grassy bank and mossy root,

Their voices well thy humor suit,

So sweetly sad and clear!


Lone spirit of poetic song!

The wild woods unto thee belong,

Deserts, and places where a throng

The stirring cities fill;

In mountain hoar and grotto dim,

In forests dark and caverns grim,

We feel thy presence still.

Thou fill’st the poet’s heart with fire,

And, lending him the tuneful lyre,

With dream of fame and high desire

Thou mak’st his bosom thrill!


By glassy lake and silent moor,

And by the far-extended shore,

Where the rough billows madly roar,

Lone Spirit—thou art found!

Sometimes, where sweeps the shell-strewn sand

That skirts as with a golden band

The grassy borders of the land,

Thy influence spreads around.

Sometimes upon the bare bleak rock,

Known only to the wild sea flock,

Thou lov’st to watch the mighty shock

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Of the tempestuous main,

Soothed by the angry-dashing wave

That ever o’er the seaman’s grave

Mutters a dreary strain!


Spirit of Song! thou lov’st to hie

To sylvan spots, where lowly lie

The ashes of the dead,

The noble dead—the bards of yore,

Who once the laurel chaplet wore,

Chanting high strains which evermore,

From heart to heart shall spread;

Loving, o’er Milton’s noble bust,

And mighty Shakspeare’s precious dust,

The sacred tear to shed!

[p. 190]



Days of excellent memory, and beautiful recollections! How ye flow back upon me, as I set down the name of these cool hills, that now loom on me daily, away there in the North, in their robes of white and gold! How many good things ye recall!—how many melancholy! Ten years—fourteen years! how have ye posted—and how reckless have ye been of all ye swept in your passage! Verily I could out on time;—and a prettier tirade never fell from the venomed pen of a bilious satirist, than could now most easily distil from this pictured quill of mine, at the mere suggestion of my back thoughts for a lustrum or two. But this is not the affair I am ambitious of. I want to tell a story—a plain, forward story, of a pilgrimage made in 1819 to those Monarch Mountains, by a band of Four of Us—each of whom may be described in this fashion.

The one we held as leader of the whole business, was ‘of age,’ certes, and five years better—a man of capital points for such service—inasmuch as he had seen and tried the whole route often before, and could therefore act as pioneer in all its hundred characters. He was of

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excellent body for travel—being Dutch built—free of dyspepsia—of red cheeks—thorough reading, and Roman principles. Politics have induced him to fall off a trifle in this latter quality in late days—but then, he was sound to the back bone. He was full of story—and in the noviciate of the legal profession. A single man, then—but now married, and the owner of boys; and to crown all human glory to which he may attain, a State Representative!—at this moment in the State House at Augusta.

Our second was one of those admirable fellows for such an undertaking as this, as you may fail to find, hunt you the land through for a whole season. He had an off-handism about him that was not to be discouraged by trifles—knew well all the mysteries of the larder—the virtues of good coffee, and had traveled in South America. He rode on horseback—bestriding the only steed, with a saddle on—of our concern; and had that instinctive sense of the comfort of an early look-out in these affairs, that he invariably cantered forward to the inn we were living on in anticipation, and was ever ready to welcome us at the door when we came up, with the assurance that dinner was smoking, or supper singing for us all, through the virtue of his excellent foresight. Such a man, you will see, was worth things incalculable on a jaunt which bade fair to jostle our stomachs materially, and put in perpetual contrast with the magnificent scenery of hill and dale, which our progress perpetually presented us, the simple but sensible views of homely but generous tables, flanked by a set of hungry fellows in rooms twelve feet square.

Our third was an artist—and a man of genius, in the

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best sense of the word. He even walked with his pencil—and his portfolio was a treasure. He even conversed in sketches—and made a picture out of every thing. His mind was beautiful—rich—abounding in those excellent things that set your wits astir, and your thoughts thrilling the more you kept company with it. He was to be the chronicler, in water-colors, of this expedition. He was to set us all down, in the house and by the way—the pilgrims of the scene, whenever nature or the mansion afforded enough of the picturesque to warrant a dipinto his India ink, or a resort to his crayon. He was a man of infinite humor, and a spirit as liberal as the ‘ambient air.’

The fourth was one of whom it beseemeth not me to speak, save sparingly, he being nearly related to the writer, and by some sworn to as the identical man. I have never thought it worth while to deny this, particularly, in past years—nor shall I, with much emphasis, when this journal becomes a matter of notoriety, and question is made at me about it, as was done at Sir Walter by his late gracious majesty. One thing I will venture to let out, however, about him—as he was, sure enough, something intimate with me. He was a quiet man, in his way—and loved his meals. He had some reputation among the females, for a wild one;—but it was only the natural overflow of a gay spirit and an active mind, that always delighted in beauty, whether it fell on him from the face of nature, or that of a lovely woman. But let him pass—for this time.

We sat [sic] out. It was as fine a morning in the middle of August, 1819, as could be written about—and our course was from the fair city of Portland, due west,

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under the variet conveyance of gig, wagon, and saddle horse. ‘O! think not that spirits are always as light’ as ours were on this starting; for were the thing possible, either they would wear out with the first day’s travel, or else the horses would, be the tourists who they may. But with good blood in our bodies, and wine unquestioned in the box—and over all, good health in abundance, backed with a determination to give it good service, the reader may judge how we sat off, and of all the accompaniments of our first stage.

Gorham was the first point where we drew rein. It is a pleasant village, ten miles or so from the coast, with its old gray tower of a church, and its belfry of no particular shape, crowning the academy that tops a neighboring hill, where, whilom, We the writer toiled up, a dreary winter, to conjugate Latin, and endure the noviciate of a Greek grammar. It looked just as it used to in the long passed days, when, under lean and dry preceptor, We held our joyless course, one day full of warm ambition, and the next coasting said hill on board laden like a railway car, with scores of rampant boys, ploughing the ice and snow, to the utter demolition of stone walls, and all careless passengers.

We had only time to sigh, but not to stop—and the small yellow vane of the ‘high school’—as it then was, indeed!—was soon glittering behind us, as we urged forward among the gently rising hills, and the cool trees. It would be unjust and unkind to the agricultural apple-raising spirit of the region, were we to pass in silence the bending orchard of a certain Reverend, who is accustomed to supply a wide market with sweetings as unexceptionable as his sermons, and whose fruit was

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now telling a fine story of the future, as we rode by his enclosure. What a contributor are you, thought I, to the happiness of your species! How much better were it that hundreds of your class drew their salary in this way, from the earth, instead of a divided, scattered, and snarling congregation! How much do you help make up the delightful sauce and mince-pie mysteries of Thanksgiving and Christmas! And how many thanks do you merit for the climax that has capped many a mid-winter gathering and sleigh ride, in the temptatious form of new cider!

The parsonage had sunk behind the thickening foliage that clustered on both sides of the romantic road, and we soon discovered Sebago Lake, glistening away through the openings that we now and then trotted across, as we left the village. This noble sheet of water lies embosomed in a beautiful country, and offers, in its finely indented shores, its varied fishing ground, and especially the dark rocks that hang over its depths, impressed with the rude sculpture of the early savages, much to delight the antiquarian and the pilgrim. As it was, we were compelled to rest content with stories of its beauty and its trout, which fell (we mean the stories) with an excellent grace from the lips of our director, he having often tried the hook there, as well as the dinner or supper, which it never failed to furnish to any one, who could boast a fair portion of Isaac Walton’s patience or philosophy.

Twilight was just fading into a blush, as we wound our lazy steeds and as lazy selves, up a gentle rising which was crowned by the rural home of one of our party, and where we were to bestow us for the night.

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Never did hospitable door open on more grateful wanderers, and never was more plentiful board spread, with all its accompanying hilarious faces, than this which sent up its smoke to greet us as we entered. That we did full justice to the liberal spirit which welcomed us here, no one will doubt, who has endured hot sun and dusty travel for hours without remedy or remission.

The next day found us early abroad, and our path began to partake somewhat of the wilder features of the country, through which it swept. The Saco river began to assume a breadth and importance which we had not before observed, and its banks wound amidst much that was picturesque and delightful. The mountain scenery began to heave up through the haze of the West, and stretch along the horizon like some broken or irregular rampart. A sudden approach to the river at one of the most elevated points, presented a fine prospect of a cascade. The fall of water was seventy feet—and its roar and brilliancy as it fell—there, in one of the deep solitudes of nature—could not but strike us all with admiration. But the cataract was soon thundering behind us, and as we were but loitering travelers, the sun was falling again as we commenced a long descent into the white village of Fryeburg. There was a band-box appearance about this little spot, something peculliar. Reposing at the foot of hills that slope towards it on all sides, with its long main street, offering a beautiful vista, and its modest spires and venerable trees, the place captivated us at once. Nor were we disappointed in ‘mine inn.’ A lowering sky and promise of a rainy morrow had made almost any thing that held forth a sign, acceptable, but when we saw that the house we aimed

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for was improved by a mother and divers daughters, to the excellent reputation of the country round, and that its neat exterior left little to fear on the score of Indian cakes and coffee, we drew up with perfect good nature, though heavy clouds were gathering over our heads, and a melancholy kind of wind was sweeping the long dim avenue through which we entered.

Rarely has night passed pleasanter than this. The tea-table was enlivened by excellent souchong, and still better story; queer experiences were recounted; and all sorts of anticipations declared, until we began to make it late with our gossipry, and to see the propriety of exploring our bed-chambers, mortifying as it was to quit girls quite up to us in hilarity, and far beyond us in tongue.

To the attic, however, we went, and thence to sleep, amid the music of as thoroughgoing a rain as ever drenched the hills. The morning found all the world in fog, but the spirits of our party as untouched by mist as possible. Every subject was discussed at the breakfast table as gravely as though we had indeed pretensions to philosophy, and every game tried, to digest it, that a large house and imaginations fertile in fun could easily render. But the storm-spirit had expended his wrath, as the day began to fall, and we again set forward in the yellow sunlight, while the river was roaring by our side, and the evergreen shaking its heavy rain-drops upon us as we glided through the continuous arches which it formed over our romantic and winding pathway. The air was perfectly still, and the deep and shadowy banks of the Saco were fully reflected in the just-tinged waters, as we approached the ford, where we were to cross, on

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our route towards the mountains. The scene here was singularly picturesque. We wanted something of cap and feather—or cloak and sash—a mustachio or a pistol, to give a little Salvator Rosa to it, instead of the unadventurous air which we imparted to the picture. A bridge had once been flung across the stream at this point, but a sudden swell of the waters had swept one half of it to destruction, leaving the remnant, a high and shattered ruin, hanging over the channel that now reflected its fragments. A small space of white sand marked the spot of approach for the traveller, and the frequent track of hoof and wheel to the water-course, and the trampled grass on either side, gave sufficient indication of the increasing numbers that sought this sublime and attractive region.

Without any more than the classical ado of Cæsar and Cassius, we ‘plunged in,’ and though the ‘torrent’ did not ‘roar,’ nor we find ourselves compelled to ‘buffet,’ still we had just enough employment of ‘lusty sinews’ to make it, a comfortably consequential crossing. On the whole it was one of the most delightful steps of the tour, partaking just enough of the adventurous, to suit the dashing character of our spirits.

It was not dark when we entered the secluded, hill-embosomed settlement, where we were to pass the night. The little romantic retreat of Conway we had left behind us, lingering there only long enough to exchange a low breathed word or two of knightly courtesy with wit and beauty, which, in the form of lovely woman, had made this mountain-shadowed village their home for a season. Never did that beauty appear so resistless amid the music

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and shade-lamps of the coteries at P., as it did there among the simplicities of nature.

We flung ourselves from horse and wagon at Hall’s. The notable Judge was then living, the wonder and curiosity of his region. As we dismounted at his quiet and grassy door, the old man was bowing and smiling, and his eye full of sport, and his cheek full of tobacco, and expressing his welcome in all the varied but homely honesty of his manner. He was decidedly of the old school. It spoke in his coat and inexpressibles; in his hair and his hat. Then his broad, mountain Yankee was inimitable. No one could stand before it, seasoned as it was with just that idee of self-importance, that made it notorious without being offensive. He received us heartily, and in proper time had us down to a table, whose viands were surpassed only by the colony of daughters he contrived to congregate about it. On all sides of us flashed their mirthful and beautiful faces, and on all sides went their pattering and Camilla-like feet, in the tireless services of the house. The whole establishment was in the way of rugged, honest hospitality. It was in a state of continual overflow at this season; and our own little band furnished but a trifle of the aggregate which it daily found it necessary to accommodate. As we sat before the hissing urn, flanked by milk bowls and whortleberry pies, the eye very naturally turned with something of an inquisitive glance towards the kitchen fire, which gleamed through the half-opened door, and round which were gathered the dusky forms of four or five Indian females. They were of the St. Francois tribe, passing up through the hills, on their way to Canada. They furnished a wild picture, sitting about the hearth,

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in that uncertain light, their long hair floating about their shoulders, and their basket-stuff scattered at their feet. As we passed through the room, I observed that they were preparing some rude repast in the corner, mingling the various articles of their meal with the reeking smoke of their pipes, and the peculiar guttural murmur of their monosyllable conversation. We left them that night to the floor and their blankets; and before we were astir the next morning, they were threading the hills towards the Notch of the White Mountains. But it is out of the question to dismiss our landlord in this summary way. He deserves something more. The country hereabouts had aforetime thought he deserved all the honor it could command; and so the district had trooped him off to Washington in the unsurpassable, the climacteric capacity of a representative of the people. How long he served, and how well, it would be needless for any book to tell, for his own tongue knew the story best, and certainly best it could relate it. The pride of this old service, and of the old recollection, was amusing dashed as it was with various curious anecdote in the broad language of the narrator, and sprinkled with a due accompaniment of tobacco-juice, ejected wherever it might happen, under the influence of a secret but apparently irresistible chuckle. Whether he had ever soiled the ermine, in this or any other way, we don’t pretend to say; but it is nevertheless true, that in addition to his honors at the capital, our quaint friend had in other years also sustained the dignity of judge. Indeed this title held by, while all others had deserted him; and as ‘the Court,’ we naturally addressed him, during our protracted sitting under the story-

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spinning spirit which seemed to have taken possession of the whole man. The night waned apace under our laugh and glee. Still the Judge held on. His tales were like an endless screw, or the Saco under the force of a freshet; and as there appeared to be no probability of the bottles being corked, while we sat to witness their pouring, we found it convenient to ask the road to our chambers, if we intended to resume the other in the morning. Still the tongue wagged; and even as we went straggling up the narrow stairs, bearing our lamps before our gaping visages, the Judge kept company, determined that nothing should remain half told, if he could help it. In short, the good old man could scarce refrain from seating himself quietly on an old trunk in the chamber, and discoursing the night out; and we found nothing would do, but to incontinently throw off our clothes, and thus bow the old chronicler from our presence. As it was, he was obliged to go in the midst of a parenthesis; but he saw there was no hope, and so retreated with his arm half lifted in the way of asseveration.

A sumptuous breakfast, spiced by the quiet drollery of ‘the Court,’ and the admirable attentions of his household, set us forward under excellent auspices. Every mile now increased the interest of the route, and ever hill assumed new character, grouped in as it was, to form a portion of the lifting and gathering panorama. We were now fast approaching the celebrated gorge, and ere noon found ourselves descending that wild ravine, at the foot of which stands the humble and rude residence of Crawford, the experienced guide of these overshadowing mountains.

A singular ocular deception urged itself upon our

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notice, as we began to approach the region where the two ranges of hills come into a more decided propinquity. Though it was certain we were on an ascent, continually, gradual, though not inconsiderable, still it was impossible to divest ourselves of the impression that we were descending, mile after mile; and to this conclusion, apparently, came our horses as well as ourselves; for they went on in an unquestionable trot over ground that otherwise had utterly forbidden anything beyond the gravest walk imaginable.

Crawford has no compeer. He stands alone; and we found him, in all the unapproachableness of his singularity. We defy Cruikshanks to hit him; and painting and poetry would despair, before such a subject. What we shall say, in downright prose, will be mere attempt. If you wish to unfold him, and his sons, go and hire him, or them, as guides; and let them act themselves out before you, on a pilgrimage to Mount Washington.

The old man received us with a wintry smile, (he never laughed, in the world!) and a sort of guttural welcome. We informed him of our wish to employ his services in the ascent, and he expressed himself ready, almost on the instant. There was little preparation for one of his mercury. He was ever in good guise enough for a start, for nature had given him a dress that was proof to all trials here among her fastnesses. Accordingly, having arranged the inner and outer man for the expedition, we sat forward with our iron-muscled conductor, along the winding, ascending pathway. The scene was full of sublimity. Often the mountain torrent crossed oru course, dashing from rock to rock, to lose itself in some ravine, whose depths the eye could not

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penetrate, and over which the pine sighed, as it had centuries before, to the passing Indian. Sometimes we came upon an opening, that disclosed to us, far up and away, the path of the avalanche, that had carried destruction to the land below, in some tempest of former years. It was in the early afternoon when we issued upon that green and beautiful spot, then occupied by the Willey family, since that time so suddenly and awfully destroyed. It was warm and still. The smoke curled peacefully up from the humble roof, and quiet and content abode there, in their most attractive garb. Nothing could present a stronger contrast than this spot, as it was then, itself offering to the eye every feature of loveliness and repose that could be desired, and overshadowed on every side by the gigantic ridges of the mountains, and the same ground, as it was when we stood upon it, after that terrible night when ruin went thundering through that valley. The spot is now sealed—stamped by desolation. There is no green grass there; there is no life. The low house still stands as it did, but it is silent. They who made its roof a place of welcome to the weary traveler, and conducted him about the various rugged recesses of its picturesque neighborhood, sleep the long sleep beneath the huge rocks that lie scattered about its deserted door. That door lies flung from its hinges; the walls are rent, and the fox looks out of the window. Who has not read the tale of that night of horror! And who, as he stands over that ruin, does not feel how blind is man, and how vain his calculations! That humble family heard the rush of the coming earth. They thought to escape, and fled, affrighted, through the darkness of midnight. They

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were crushed and buried in an instant. Had they remained still upon their pillows, they had lived to tell the tale.

It was about mid-afternoon when we arrived at the Notch. This spot concentrates much that is calculated to impress and astonish. At the time of this visit it was more completely in a state of nature than it is now, under the administration of that spirit of improvement, that is apt to make such sad work with the original handy-work of earth and water. The gap of the hills was then like some vast rent suddenly made in the deep set rock, by volcano or earthquake, shivering it into ten thousand jagged points, and leaving its black splinters shooting into the air, in every direction, like so many giant spears brought at once to rest from the tumult of chaos. By dint of good muscle, aided by a natural degree of tourist ambition, we made our way under a shelving cliff that hung over one side of this chasm, where it was said, some pretty specimens of amethyst and smoky quartz had from time to time been disintered. [sic] Our search was not altogether fruitless, though we made no fortunes; and as our bronze mountaineer summoned us, in tones that would admit of no question, to gather up our loins for instant march, we leapt into the road, and tightened our knapsacks for a fresh departure. Passing through the narrowest part of the gorge, and continuing about thirty rods beyond the point where the pathway opens again in its descent upon the western side of the range, we suddenly struck off upon the right, and plunged at once into the woods, over a causeway of loose logs, half buried in moss and leaves. It was now about six o’clock, and we commenced the arduous part

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of our expedition, under a good degree of shadow and a fast falling sun. Still it was extremely sultry, and toilsome enough, with underbrush, and perpendicular climbings, and pitches, to have extorted an emphatic sigh from John Bunyan’s Pilgrim. We were then in what was termed, par excellence, THE pathway. Yet it required a good eye to trace the track. It was not then bushed out; so that we were obliged to follow in the wake of our iron-handed guide, in perpetual possibility, to say the least, of losing all the comeliness we may have had, of face or figure. We were forced to bend ourselves to the struggle, and clear our way, for a weary distance, with the head bowed, and arms outstretched, to prevent the rebound of the close-knitted branches which each one found springing into place again, on the back of him who preceded him. Added to this difficulty of ascent, arising from the compact nature of the undergrowth, the spongy state of the ground was particularly trying to soles whose intimate contact had latterly been over frequent with silex and sandstone. Frequently we were compelled to swing ourselves up from one eminence to another, by the branches of some convenient trees, which our guttural guide resorted to, from time to time, more we believe to try us, than because they afforded the nearest approach to turnpike with which he was acquainted. However, it is a good saying and a true, that there is no hill without a top; and so we found it, after a toil of two miles or so, at an expense of much lung-material, and after heavy draughts on our good nature. It was just observable that day was putting on that russet dress, so becoming to her in autumn time, and so pleasant, withal, to us men of warm blood and fancy, as

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we mounted to a little clearing, which was occupied by a rude-fashioned camp, under which our guide gave us to understand we were to pas the night. This was very proper and agreeable intelligence; and with all the satisfaction of tired, delighted, and yet tormented pedestrians, we unbound, breathed long, and flung ourselves down beneath the protection of our mountain tent.

The idea of ‘camping out’ had not a little of aboriginal romance about it, certainly not unpleasing to men of just our mark and measure. We were inclined to magnify the thing sufficiently, no doubt, and set ourselves down as extremely brave, and of hardihood not to be contemned. We had been ‘raised,’ during many of our latter days, at least, in the city, and gone to bed beneath curtains; so that we considered ourselves now as much entitled to fame, as far as exposure to the rough and tough of life was concerned, as though we had written ourselves adventures with Columbus or Cortes, or had struggled the forest through with Master Boon, or had made ourselves hunters by tracking it, with bow and rifle, over hill and stream, even till it amounted to a circulation through the entire land.

Be these things, however, as they may, here we were, entered upon our business, emphatically, whether we had the muscle for it or not. That we were to try on the morrow.

Meanwhile, with all the alacrity of an ancient and honorable guide, and all the silence of a mole, the thin-legged captain of our party set himself about the divers preparations in such case made and provided. A fine fire, eight feet long by three deep, soon began to crackle and roar before the entrance of our encampment, and the

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shadows of night had gathered about us so materially, that the flashes it sent abroad, revealed a sufficient extent of ‘darkness visible,’ to answer for any reasonable representation of the regions of Dis. To arrange our rustic beds, was the work of a moment; and a smoking supper followed, as soon as the fire assumed the character of a conflagration. Sure we are that never did repast relish as did the coffee ‘slab and good,’ and the ‘Hart’s location’ nutcakes, beneath the birch roof of that mountain tent; and when the reader is informed that the voracious meal was seasoned with all of the touch and terrible as connected with bears and such hard cattle, that the story-telling fancy, or the story-forming experience of our long guide could furnish, he will be satisfied that we had a ‘night o’nt.’

The fire had sunk, and the stars were bright above us, when we addressed ourselves to our blankets and fir boughs. We cannot deny that we were inclined to sleep with one eye open, such a pestilent effect did our pioneer’s tales of all sorts of four-footed things, have upon our imagination. Once, indeed, during the night-watches, we did him the foul injustice of identifying him with a veritable bear, and our hand was on a hatchet that we had deposited within reach, and we had risen to our elbow in full, and, as will be allowed, honest determination of waging downright war with the beast, when a faint flash of the rekindling embers convinced us of our mistake, and disclosed our bronze veteran of six feet and some inches, prowling about on all fours in the attitude of one, stooped to blow up the dying coals. The deception was certainly startling, and the inward smile which we felt pass over us, as we relaxed our hold

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upon the tomahawk, and sunk back to catch another hour of repose, was, we thought, reflected in the quiet face of the guide, who seemed to be aware of our suspicions, and rogueishly inclined to keep them alive.

It was hardly day-break when we were roused to gird anew, if we wished to witness the sun’s first appearance over the mountain ranges. With renewed spirits, and a shout, we sprung to our feet, and in ten minutes had resumed our line of march through the Dœdalian forest. The ascent continued as difficult and spongy as before, and it was not until we had cleared the heavier growth of pine and fir, and issued into a sparser and shorter generation of trees, that we found any relaxation in our labors. At length we rose above the tangled wood, and emerged upon a hillock, covered with trees indeed, perfectly formed, but only a few inches in height, and every instant decreasing in length, so that in a few moments we found ourselves literally walking upon the top of a miniature forest. So rapidly were we now rising above vegetation, that even this dwarfish presentation of it was soon left behind, and nothing but the mountain cranberry offered itself, as the last substance which nature could support in these lofty regions of the air. The scene was not a little striking as we issued upon this cleared point of the mountain land, from the scattered woods below. The delicious cool atmosphere was just blushing into morning, and a few clouds swept over us, just catching the hues of day, as they drew their dim trains over the distant peaks, and gradually dissolved in the upper sky. A right reverend-looking owl sat in the most saturnine guise possible upon a little evergreen, as we came up, and after gazing at us for a moment with

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admirable stolidity, threw out his broad gray wings, and went flapping heavily down the hill side into the woods below. We took this for a good omen. There was something classic in the intimation; and we urged forward with all the new vigor that may be supposed from this decided conviction that Minerva was on our side. While we were yet canvassing where he would appear, over the ridge that shot away into the heavens above us, the sun came up in all his splendor beside a peak now bathed in one flood of golden light. But it was not permitted us to witness him save for a moment in this noble array. Our path was now more broken and various, and we had hardly attained one gray and ragged elevation, before we were compelled to plunge into a ravine to make our way to another. This movement naturally brought us into a new relative position, and presented the Lord of Day to us from a different point, with every successive ascent which we made. Accordingly, we performed so much of the zig-zag in this part of our pilgrimage, that we brought his brilliant highness fairly up from behind seven different peaks in the course of one morning; thus living a week of acknowledged sublimity and sunshine in the lapse of a single hour!

Mount Washington was now first discovered heaving up into the blue, above the dark belt of clouds that gathered about his base. We had risen into a region of grandeur; and this view of the monarch mountain on the east, with that of the highlands and peaks below us, over which we had toiled, and which now reposed in their silence, and darkness, and vastness, like some great Black Sea suddenly stayed as its waves were at the highest, together formed a panorama that is beyond

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description, and whose general effect is beyond belief. Upon one of these elevations, that presented this noble picture, and upon which the sun poured his morning lustre, we sat down to an ethereal breakfast. Hardly had we dipped into our viands before our sunshine was succeeded, in an instant, by a mist, thick as night, and driving about us with all the drenching rapidity of a north-east storm. This, to a party in thin dresses, and most unquestionable perspiration, was a matter of doubtful utility. There was but one way to meet the evil, that was to fly from it. We were therefore soon clear of our anchorage, and leaping from rock to rock into a valley where we hoped to find ourselves less exposed. A few steps disclosed to us the mystery of this sudden envelopment. We had breakfasted in a cloud. At this moment it was sweeping off into the air below us, and in course of a minute the very spot we had occupied in a fog so thick we could hardly discern each other through its veil, was again in clear sunlight, and the volumed vapor was wrapping other summits that lay in its watery path.

The winding course which we were compelled to pursue in our approach to the base of Mount Washington, led us through many wild and romantic passes of mingled beauty and sublimity. The most accomplished and fastidious brigant would not have sneered at the picturesque which many a point offered, or the dangerous, from which there was no escape. The irregular and indirect path, which was the only one, indeed, that offered, at that day, presented prospects to the rover in these upper regions, which the modern route of turnpike comfort deals nothing with. The spirit of reform has penetrated

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the fastnesses of the hills, and you may wend cosily to the mountain summit under the auspices of McAdam. This is no doubt an improvement to men, and women, too, of spirits too nerveless to go through a revolution, or feet too much tortured into Chinese dimensions. But there can be no question that much is lost to the truly adventurous heart, by this desertion of the track it was our fortune to follow. Much of the danger of the ascent has been avoided, it is true; but the thrilling interest that dwells in the most startling forms of rugged and gigantic scenery, has necessarily been in a great degree relinquished, by ascending on the western slope of the range.

We now found ourselves at the foot of Mount Washington. By good fortune,—(we once wrote it mishap, but it was before we lifted the trumpet for temperance,) by good fortune we proved the fragility of our last bottle, in descending the last rocky pass, by bringing it too forcibly in contact with a jutting fragment which we could’nt [sic] well avoid, so that now, here, at the base of the pinnacle pyramid of the hills, we were forced to celebrate our arrival and advance thus far, in the clear cool water that slept at our feet, and reflected, as a broad mirror, the whole of the iron-featured summit that rose above us.* Never was thirst quenched at a better fount, never were brows laved with a more grateful devotion to the element. A gentle breeze blew from the west, and the sky over us was of that deep, intense hue, peculiar to the higher state of the atmosphere. A bright sun was pouring upon the peak to which we now turned our

*This beautiful reservoir is called the Punch Bowl.

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invigorated steps, and upward we went, now with a leap and now a swing, according to the size of the rock over which we ascended.

The time consumed in this last stage was not long, and ere high noon we had reached the summit. We that write this same, are decidedly of opinion—we always maintained it, and mean to hold to it, because we believe it—that we were the first of the band—not even excepting our long-legged pioneer of Hart’s Location—the very first, that reached the top of the granite peak. This was something. It argued good muscle. We have proved the probability of that since, fully, by the degrees we have taken in gymnastics. However, there we were, and in a reasonably short time the party was full, and a chorus every way commensurate, was at once despatched into the clear blue sky. And we well shouted. There was never braver scene to shout over. We were above the world, emphatically; and softened as every feature of it was, as it reposed, outstretched, below us, we could not but conclude that after all the scandal which has been heaped upon it, it was quite a decent world, in the upshot, and a thing easy enough to rise superior to, if a man will only come to the trial. To be sure, it seemed to be rather a foolish affair to fight about, taken as a whole; but when you came to think of quarreling for acres and feet, it made you laugh incontinently, the very idea. As for man, he seemed so much the merest circumstance of creation—so perfectly unnoticeable among the mighter [sic] works of his Maker, that his struggle to become a president or a postmaster, looked really melancholy to us. Alas! the magnificence of ambition!

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Of course the drill and mallet were not long idle. The ‘natural longing after immortality’ led each one to do his best towards impressing his name upon granite in lines as deep if not as delicate as those of a master of the chisel; and for ourselves we can only say that we drove away so manfully, that we have strong faith in the lasting of our letters, though not so decided a one in their beauty. At length this praiseworthy duty was effected; a perfect mystery, from beginning to end, to the mind of our slab-sided guide, who saw no more glory attached to this particular elevation than what fairly belonged to vulgar ‘heights and distances;’ his white oak nature being as unetherealized in this connection, as was that of the tailor, who found nothing more immediately striking in the torrent of Niagara than the capital chance it offered to ‘sponge a coat!’

Many a rock on this apex is covered with this hasty sculpture. Sometimes the eye will fall on a lady’s name, for true it is that now and then her heroic spirit has led woman to scale this ‘heaven-kissing hill,’ though at the time we trod its summit, it was a point quite unattainable by the sex. At present we believe it is a common object with the ventursome [sic] sisterhood; and if the gentle creatures are only willing to incur the sad risque of an enlarged ankle, we see nothing to hinder their cappint this climax as easily as they do all others. How much more of glory in this than forever to ‘chronicle small beer.’ Let her wrestle her way up to Mount Washington, and after that, dedicate herself to a pair of spectacles, and woman is made a classic for all the future purposes of this world.

We cannot leave this subject of chiseling out immor-

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tality upon the mountain granite of Washington without relating a circumstance at which we were somewhat inclined to be merry. We refer to an expressive Latin inscription, done on copper, and nailed to the rock upon the summit. It was signed (per auctoritatem) by some three or four literary and learned gentlemen from the metropolis of Massachusetts, or thereabouts, wonderfully pregnant with the story of their toil, but every letter of it engraved, unquestionably, some weeks before, calmly and cooly, in Boston! This is what we call perspiration in perspective; or, to speak elegantly, sweating in futuro.

But the prospect! the prospect from this mountain tower. Towards the west it was boundless. It seemed as if the eye glanced over land and lake, till vision was lost in the horizon of the northern sea. On the east, the whole region reposed beneath a veil of white vapor, so still and outstretched, that it resembled a vast ocean, above which storm and wind had sunk to their everlasting rest. Far away, one or two solitary peaks lifted themselves from the silent mist, as towering islands from the calm deep; and off towards the south the black swells of the mountainous country lapped one upon the other, like the deep when its huge waves are heaved up and forward at night. Above us, the air was of singular transparency, and the blue sky seemed so near that we felt as though we were bathing our brows in its clearness. We trod the whole area in a few seconds, as the summit is about as pointed as a pyramid. Large masses of granite, lying about in every position, form the apex. There is nothing like a crater, nothing volcanic in the region.

We now stood, or rather lay, for we had flung ourselves

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on our back, to witness some straggling cloud as it wheeled above, and almost about us, six thousand three hundred feet above the level of the ocean. We were not then aware of the true elevation, for, as we observed before, he of Hart’s Location had no particular idea of these things; and there had been some question about the altitude, since the first surveys, by Dr. Cutter; but happening in Coos some years after this, we fell in with Captain Partridge, who was on his return from this pinnacle with a detachment of his soldier-students from his seminary in Norwich. This gentleman informed us that he had ascertained its height scientifically; and as the matter had been subjected to experiment, instruments, and figures, we were disposed to consider it as settled. We feel quite secure in setting it down as above.

Of one thing, however, we were quite sure, even then. It needed no arithmetic to convince us that we were well up in the world, and that it was absolutely necessary for us to get down. Accordingly we set about dismounting from our high horse. The descent to the pool at the base of Mount Washington, was effected at a sort of running leap, that afford so many stepping stones to the experienced jumper. Still the effort was more trying to the knees than the ascent; and as for the existence of thin soles, it became, in our own case, exceedingly questionable, by the time we arrived at the water. It was not a day of wisdom [w]ith us then, and we had dared the whole of this pilgrimage in a pair of good-society boots, that could hold no battle at all with the unpolished and unsparing roads with which they were under the necessity of communicating. Before we got to our

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encampment again, our feet were as fully developed as those of the St. Francois Indians we had met aforetime; for alas! stockings afforded no security when once the work of death began.

We issued again into the gorge of the mountains, as afternoon was sinking, and by six o’clock arrived at the residence of our guide. Here we cast our expedition-trappings from us, and gathered round a homely, but hearty and hospitable board. To be sure, the lately-killed fowl was about as tough as some of Crawford’s stories, and we should be sorry to believe that the consciences of the household were not clearer than its coffee; nevertheless, we found much to praise in the whole matter, and we said so, heartily, in our manner.

We woke next morning to a cool sky and a moderate bill. A sort of dry smile went over the bilious visage of our Mentor as we squared accounts upon his broad palm, and we parted with a quiet, guttural assurance on his part, that it would ever be his happiness, as it was his hobby, to ‘sarve’ in the like capacity with this he had just done with, and that if any one of us should find it ‘kinder hard to pull up yender’—pointing off towards the summit—‘he would make nothin, for an extra dollar, of taking him clean through on his shoulder.’ We have no doubt whatever, such clean muscle does he display, that the old fellow would fulfil his part of the contract to the letter, so the traveler would only be reasonably thin.

Once more we drove to the grassy and shadowed doorway of our friend, the tale-engendering judge. Again bright faces were about us, and again the odor of John-cakes and black tea. But it was not set down in the book that we should remain here. It was merely a

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momentary halting-place on our return pilgrimage. Even the McMillan pies of Conway, compounds of virtue unapproachable, could not retain us. We were bent on Fryburg. And at Fryburg we arrived in season sufficient to effect an excursion to the romantic ground of Lovell’s pond, before night closed about us. We approached the shore of the lake just at that hour of twilight, when all the poetry of the scene presented itself. The battle was all before us. The mound behind which the Indians couched at the fight; the dusky crag that hung gloomily over the still water; and the scattered trees from which many a curious traveler is said to have dug the immortalized bullets, were all here, before the eye, with their crowding and peculliar associations. It required no unnatural effort of imagination to bring the ghosts of the red warriors from their graves round about, and to see the stars ‘dim twinkle through their forms.’ It was a moment every way favorable for the resuscitation. A watery moon was peering through the white vapor already settling over wood and water, and faintly lighting up the black cliff about which so many legendary memories cluster. All we wanted was a rifle shot or a sounding bow, to perfect the illusion. But a strong stomach is as decided an enemy to the Ossian principle, as is dyspepsia itself; and the recollection of our having ordered a regal supper at the village, against our return, settled the question at once. At nine o’clock we found ourselves deep in the mysteries of Indian fire-cake and whortleberry pie.

It was at this place that one of our party had left his horse, on our upward journey, with instructions to the landlady to exercise the beast gently, but not abuse.

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We found, on examining into the history of the animal during our absence, that every thing had been done for his good condition. It appeared, however, by virtue of cross-interrogatories, which we managed quite professionally, that the girls had done their utmost under our license—they having absolutely tried the orthodoxy of the creature’s back to the full, by riding thribble thereon, to their heart’s content. We were too good-natured, however, or too knightly, to seek for damages, and left our excellent inn the next morning with all the suavity of well-entertained cavaliers.

How we progressed and prospered in our onward course again to the city of the sea, it may be weary to tell; and we forbear. Already have we kept the reader, we fear, too long in our train, and, with many thanks for his company, perhaps her company, we make our bow and farewell, just as we commend them to the ocean-view and salt breezes of Portland.

[p. 218]



A wanderer over a stranger land,

With a houseless head and an empty hand,

A brow of care, and a heart of grief,

He came to my door, and asked relief;

While, few and foreign, his accents fell

From a faltering tongue, his wants to tell.

The vesture, that mantled his wasted form,

Was little to shield it from cold or storm,

As, slowly t’ was borne by the halting limb,

The arm of the Russian had given to him,

When, deep in his forehead the scar was sunk

That showed where the lance at his veins had drunk.

And traced in his visage, I clearly viewed

The marks of a mind by woe subdued,—

A wounded spirit, compelled to bear

A weary burden of pain and care;

Though man, in his might, had striven, and failed

To conquer the soul that his power assailed.

I ’d learnt the story of Poland’s wrongs,

From writer and speaker, and minstrel songs,

When every breeze that had swelled a sail,

Had seemed to waft me the piteous tale,

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The mortal groan, or the final breath

Of those it had left on her fields of death.

I ’d heard of her matrons, who nobly sold

Their fine-wrought vessels of silver and gold—

Of her beautiful maidens, who robbed their hair

Of the costly gems, that were glittering there,

For brother, or lover, or son, to buy

The arms they had borne to the fight, to die!

Her fearless struggle, her hopeless fall,

Her exiled sons—I had heard of all;

But never had seen her fate before,

As pictured by him, who had reached my door;

His looks, like an orphan’s, so sadly said,

Of his own own dear country, “My mother is dead!”

And could America’s child behold

A sight like this, with a heart so cold,

It would not melt, and a balsam flow

In word and deed, till the stranger’s woe

Was softened, if pity and human skill

May reach the spirit’s deep-seated ill?

But still did I feel how poor and vain

Was human effort to lull the pain

Of him, whom the sleep of the grave alone

Could make to forget the joys he ’d known,

And lost forever; on time’s bleak shore,

To find home, kindred and friends no more!

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I knew, if backward his eye was cast,

What fearful visions before it passed;

If onward, how lonely, rude and drear

The path to the end of his journey here,

While Hope had naught to his breast to bring,

And Memory only applied her sting.

I almost prayed, as he turned away,

The friend of the friendless, to speed the day,

When he should be laid in his final rest—

To give, in his mansions among the blest,

A home to the great and suffering soul,

That spoke from the eye of the Wandering Pole.

[p. 221]



“There are still found in South America, some of the first Conquerors of the New World, who, at the commencement of the sixteenth century, in searching for the rich mines that had been described to them, took a long and circuitous route among the mountains of Peru, and perished by the cold, which at once petrified and preserved them.”

Why choose ye out such dizzy height

Amid yon drear domain,—

Your ice-bound cell forever white,—

Ye haughty men of Spain?

The condor on his mighty wing

Doth scale your cloud-wreath’d walls;

But to his scream their caverns ring,

As from the cliff he falls.

The poor Peruvian scans with dread

Your fix’d and stony eye;

The timid child averts his head,

And, shuddering, hurries by;—

They from the fathers of their land

Have heard your withering tale,

Nor spare to mock the tyrant band

Transform’d to statues pale.

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Ye came to grasp the Indian’s gold,—

Ye scorn’d his feathery dart;

But Andes rose, that monarch old,

And took his children’s part:

And with that strange, embalming art,

That ancient Egypt knew,

He threw his frost-chain o’er your heart,

As to his breast ye grew.

He chain’d you while strong manhood’s tide

Did through your bosoms roll;—

Upon your lip the curl of pride,

And avarice in your soul.

Strange slumber stole with mortal pang

Across the frozen plain,

And thunder-blasts your sentence rang—

Sleep—and ne’er wake again.’

Up rose the morn; the queen of night

Danc’d with the Protean tide,

And years fulfill’d their measur’d flight,

And ripening ages died;

Slow centuries ’neath oblivion’s flood

Sank like the tossing wave,

But changeless and transfix’d ye stood—

The dead without a grave.

The infant wrought its flowery span

On Love’s maternal breast,

And whiten’d to a hoary man,

And laid him down to rest;

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Race after race, with weary moan,

Went to their dreamless sleep,

While ye, upon your feet of stone,

Perpetual penance keep.

How little deemed ye, when ye hurl;d

Your challenge o’er the main,

And vow’d to teach a new-born world

The vassalage of Spain,

Thus, till the doomsday cry of pain

Doth rive your prison-rock,

To bear upon your brown, like Cain,

A mark that all might mock.

But long from high Castilian bowers

Look’d forth the inmates fair,

And gave the tardy midnight hours

To watching and despair;

Or started as some light guitar

Its breath of sweetness shed—

Yet lord and lover linger’d far,

Till life’s brief vision fled.

Their vaunted tournament is o’er,—

Their knightly lance in rest,—

Ambition’s fever burns no more

Within their conquering breast;

For high between the earth and skies,—

Check’d in their venturous path,—

A fearful monument they rise

Of Andes’ stormy wrath.

[p. 224]



‘Bring forth the sceptres of command!’—

That awful voice I heard—

‘And let the subject nations stand!’—

The waiting world appeared.

Then drew the sceptre-bearers nigh;

Old Asia, first, crept cowering by;

Then Europe, with her troubled eye,

Then young America;

Each placed her sceptre, passed, and then,

Unveiled before the sons of men,

A sword, a crosier, and a pen

Upon the altar lay.

Again the voice uprose, and loud

Like battle-cry it came,

And wildly, from that heaving crowd,

Echoed the shout—‘For Fame!’

Brother ’gainst brother fiercely stood,

The earth was graves, the seas were blood,—

Kingdoms were crushed, as wasting flood

Had swept o’er crumbling clay;

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Till ’mid the din a dove appeared!

The gentle tone of ‘peace’ was heard—

I looked, and with that blessed word

The sword had passed away.

Then like a storm of ashes hurled

From the volcano’s height,

A thick, dark cloud rolled o’er the world,

Blotting mind’s heavenly light;

And men sunk down in utter dread,

Mailed warriors weak as infant’s tread,

And monarchs, with uncovered head,

Stooped low the cowl before;

And superstition’s iron reign

Has scared the heart and shrunk the brain—

Ha!—thought’s strong grasp has rent the chain;—

The crosier’s sway is o’er!

Pure as the light on altar glows,

Lit up by prophet’s prayer,

A small, soft, steady light arose

On earth, on sea, on air;

It shines as shed from seraph’s wings,

Withering all vile, old, useless things—

Like scorched flax from the grasp of kings

The reins of empire sever;

It burns from craft his mask of night;

Intemperance blasts with perfect light,

And shows the Ethiop’s soul is white—

‘The pen—the pen forever!’

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Thus rang the voice;—its trumpet tone

Burst like a swelling river;

From land to land went sounding on

‘The pen—the pen forever!’

I saw earth’s joyous millions move,

Justice their shield, the banner love—

While freedom’s eagle, high above,

Soared with unslumbering eye;

Cool springs gushed forth ’mid arid sands,

Bright flowers sprung up in desert lands,

And bonds of peace, from angel hands,

Were linking earth and sky.

[p. 227]



In deepest shade, by fountain sparkling clear,

High o’er me darkly heaved the forest dome,

Sweet tones, long silent, melt upon my ear;

They soothe my spirit like the voice of home;

And blended with them, floats a beam of light,

Radiant, but gentle, through the shadowy night.

My heart, that sunk in dim oblivious dream,

Wakes at the tones, and feels its life again;

My downcast eye uprises to the beam;

Softly untwines my bosom’s heavy chain:

A stream of melody around me flows;

Anew the smothered fire of feeling glows.

The charm, long lost, is found; and gushing pours

From fancy’s heaven, its beauty, as a shower:

The mystic deep casts up its wondrous stores;

Mind stands in panoply of fullest power;

Heaving, with wakened purpose, swells the soul;

Its barriers fall; its gathered treasures roll.

Light covers all around—light from on high,

Soft as the last retiring tint of even,

Full as the glow that fills the morning sky,

Pure as the midmost blue of cloudless heaven:

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Like pillared bronze, the lofty trunks aspire,

And every leaf above is tipped with fire.

And round me still the magic music flows;

A thousand different tones dissolve in one:

Softer than ever gale of evening blows,

They blend in harmony’s enchanted zone:

With pictured web and golden fringe they bind,

For higher flights, the renovated mind.

I feel it round me twine—the band of power;

Youth beats in every vein; life bursts in bloom;

All seems, as when at twilight’s blissful hour,

Breathed from the flowery grove, the gale’s perfume;

The laugh, the shout, the dance, and then the strain

Of tenderest love, dissolved the heart again.

Ye greet me fair, ye years of hope and joy,

Ye days of trembling fears and ardent loves,

The reeling madness of the impassioned boy—

Through wizard wilds again my spirit roves,

And beauty, veiled in fancy’s heavenly hue,

Smiles and recedes before my longing view.

The light has fled; the tones that won my heart

Back to its early heaven, again are still:

A deeper darkness broods; with sudden start

Repelled, my life relapses from its thrill:

Heavier the shades descend, and on my ear

Only the bubbling fountain murmurs near.


The Emigrant's Adventure
Painted by A. Fisher.      Engraved by Geo. B. Ellis.
The Emigrant’s Adventure.
Boston Published by Charles Bowen.

Printed by D. Stevens.

[p. 229]



‘What a romantic spot for any one who admires sweet solitude!’ exclaimed Mrs. Hubbard, as the exploring party paused, and the ladies alighted to rest the weary horses.

‘Secluded but not solitary, madam,’ remarked captain Austin, leaning on his rifle and glancing his eye around with the air of a man who is confident in his own superior judgment. ‘We have no solitudes in America.’

‘Dear me! I thought most of this western country was called a solitude; and I am sure we have found it lonesome enough,’ said Miss Cunningham, sighing as she seated herself beneath the shade of a large tree.

‘What is a solitude?’ demanded the captain, very pompously.

‘That would be decided according to circumstances and tastes, I presume,’ replied Mr. Hubbard, smiling as he drew his young wife’s arm within his own. ‘Now while Mary and I are together we should never find a solitude.’

‘In my opinion, there are only two circumstances which can justify the term as applied to places,’ pursued the captain. ‘We may call it the solitude of nature, where we find no life, as in the deserts of Arabia; and where man has been and has passed away, it is rightly

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styled a human solitude:—such are the ruins of Petra, Palmyra, and Babylon.’

‘Then the mounds in our western country are solitudes, are they not?’ inquired Mrs. Hubbard.

‘No: because there is no proof that these were ever dwellings of the living,’ replied captain Austin. ‘I know some antiquarians pretend that they have found traces of fortifications, but I think these opinions erroneous. They were burial places. True, there must have been inhabitants in the vicinity, but they have left no trace of their existence, except their bones in these mounds. Nature, then, has completely triumphed over the works of man, if indeed he ever had subdued her domain, which I much doubt; and nature, as I before remarked, cannot be called solitary, while her empire is full of living things. In our pleasant land there is not a single desert solitude.’

‘You are still a true American, I see, notwithstanding your foreign travels,’ remarked Mr. Hubbard.

‘Did you think I could have less patriotism than an Icelander?’ demanded captain A—, warmly. ‘If an inhabitant of that country of frost and fire, can believe his lava-formed and snow-covered mountains is the pleasantest home on earth, shall I be insensible to the high privileges which my birthright as a free citizen of this mighty republic inspires? But one must go abroad to know how to prize our country. It is not so much its freedom as its security, which is the great privilege we enjoy.’

‘Why, there are no dangers to be encountered in Europe, that ever I heard of,’ remarked Miss Cunningham. ‘A great many gentlemen and ladies from the

p. 231

United States now make the tour of Europe, or visit France and England, at least, and I thought it was a most delightful journey.’

‘Yes, one may travel through those countries, if he had his passports; but in France he must submit to many scrutinizing and troublesome delays. Then there are beggars to annoy you, and thieves and highwaymen you must guard against, if you are so lucky as to escape them. In Italy and Austria you are under strict surveilance; police spies are constantly watching you, and an unguarded expression may subject you to arrest, or an order to quit the country. But these countries are an Utopia for travelers, compared with Asia and Africa. There men are robbers by profession; and, as if these were not scourge sufficient, the wild animals swarm there; ferocious beasts have the undisputed possession of a great part of those continents. Now it is a fact, which I could never make an European philosopher comprehend, that we have scarcely a single species of ferocious animals in all the vast forests of our country. A fierce bear is sometimes found in the vicinity of the Rocky mountains, but he rarely attacks our western hunters. I have traveled from Maine to Florida, I have visited every state and territory, except Oregon, and in all my wanderings I never met with an incident to alarm me, nor with any adventure which could be called dangerous.’

‘O, mercy! mercy!’ exclaimed Miss Cunningham, who, in elevating her face to listen to the eloquence of the captain, had unconsciously gazed into the tree top above her head—‘O, save me! save me!’ she shrieked, and sprang towards Mrs. Hubbard.

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The party, started by her screams, looked towards the tree, and there saw a panther evidently prepared to spring on the head of a victim. The horses saw the terrific animal and shook with fear; they were quite as much frightened as Miss Cunningham, though they could not express their terrors so readily.

Captain Austin might have been a little discomposed at this mal-apropos appearance of a ‘ferocious animal’ in an American forest, but he was not at all daunted. He raised his unerring rifle. The whole group were breathless with fear or surprise. The next moment the sharp sound of the rifle rang through the old woods, and awakened the deep echoes from the hill side, startling from its quiet haunt many a bird and squirrel, whose peace had never before been disturbed by such a noise in that quiet place.

‘There he is, there he is!’ shouted Mr. Hubbard, as the smoke from the rifle dispersed—‘there, he is falling. You have another charge, have you not? These creatures are hard to kill.’

While he spoke, the panther had fallen, struggling and shrieking, and lay wallowing in his gore on the ground. Captain Austin, to make sure of his work, placed the muzzle of his rifle, after reloading it, direct against the head of the animal and discharged it—he never moved afterwards.

‘You have found a ferocious animal at last, captain,’ said Mr. Hubbard, smiling.

‘Yes, and I can say as the gallant Perry said of the British fleet—I have met the enemy, and he is mine.’

‘But what becomes of your theory?’ said Mrs. Hubbard. ‘You will surely have to concede to the European

p. 233

philosophers that we have terrible and fierce animals in our country.’

‘By no means, madam; this is only an exception, which you know will prove the rule. At least, those philosophers ought to admit it, for they always sheltered themselves under the exceptions, whenever I contended that a republican government was the best, and most conducive to human happiness and improvement. Such a government, they would say, may be the best for your nation, but then your people are not like others. Freedom may be a blessing to the free, but cannot be conferred on the slave without proving a curse to society in general. Even your republican people make exceptions; you do not allow all to be free in your happy country. And this reproach,’ continued captain Austin, ‘which I never could deny or extenuate, was a most humbling circumstance to my pride, as an American. O, when will the blot of slavery be wiped from our national escutcheon?’

[p. 234]




She was the last—and as she sunk and faded,

Her mother by her pillow sat—in tears—

Weeping, as when the very heart is shaded

With clouds and gloom still deeper than our fears!

For she had seen her flowers

Struck, one by one—

Death lighted on her bowers

Mid storm and sun!


The young and beautiful!—whose life’s brief story

Was written as in marble, on her brow—

So all translucent, that a gathering glory

Would seem descending on its paleness now!

That more than mortal light

That steals o’er those,

For time and earth too bright—

Mark’d for repose!


The deep repose—the everlasting slumber,

That knows no breaking to the sounds of earth—

Stirr’d not by dreams of the sad days we number,

Ere the soul wakens to the heavenly birth!

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Already of that sleep

Her eye gave token—

What mother would not weep!

Her heart was broken.


She was the last!—once with the pure departed

She walk’d in gladness on her joyful way;

First in the train of those, the young high-hearted,

Who seem to tread unsentenced to decay—

On whom mortality

Places no seal,

Till they bow down to die—

Then silent steal


Out of the starry circle they had lighted—

The planets of the human pilgrimage—

Gaz’d on as beacons by hearts all benighted,

Through dim perusal of life’s dreariest page—

And fondly hop’d to be,

When woe came on,

A solace full and free

For glories gone!


She was the last!—the mother, now forsaken,

Had buried all her household—she had seen

The band, in their triumphant beauty taken,

While yet around their footsteps earth was green—

She walk’d among their graves

With tearless eye—

She saw that light which saves—

And paradise

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Broke on her vision, with bright faces bending

Forth from their radiant crowns—away—on high;

And sounds, as of vast melody, ascending

Through the unfathomed chambers of the sky—

She saw their angel brows—

She knelt—she wept—

As the music of their vows

Around her swept!


And now in solitude her voice was lifted

To Christ to take her to that better home;

Like the old fountain-rock, her spirit, rifted,

Water’d the desert she was doom’d to roam—

Bright morn and dewy eve

Beheld her there—

On the green turf—to grieve,

Alone in prayer!


It came at last!—the silver chord was broken,

And night around her pillow came like wings,

To lift her to that home, of which bright token

Had often flash’d upon her wanderings—

She bow’d in silence now—

The lone and tried—

A shadow cross’d her brow—

She bow’d—and died!

[p. 237]



William, a French nobleman, and a descendant of the house of Tancrède, had just entered his sixteenth year, when he inherited the kingdom of Sicily, founded by his ancestors.

Henri de Souabe, Emperor of Germany, and uncle to the new king, by a marriage with his aunt, coveting the possessions of his nephew, declared war against him; and, having conquered and taken him prisoner, he caused him to perish on the scaffold, in the Great Square of Palermo, before the eyes of his people.

Already rendered odious to the Scicilians [sic] by this barbarity, Henri, by new cruelties, daily increased their hatred for him, and their regrets for the milder government, which the French had taught them to cherish.

After the execution of William, the Chevalier de Toredo, one of the most zealous partizans of the young king, seeking a balm for the wound his loss had occasioned, from the calm of private life, withdrew to rural and retired ground, where, with his young and only daughter, he lived respected, and passed his days in peace.

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In the person of Blanche, for this was the name of the daughter, external beauty and attractions were united with great sprighliness of mind, depth of feeling, and an uncommon share of magnanimity.

Her father had not only trained her up in the love of virtue; but had also inspired her young heart with the highest respect and the warmest attachment for the House of Tancède, and the deepest hatred toward Henri and the Germans.

Blanche carried out these opposite sentiments even to fanaticism. She often questioned her father about the face, the form, the manner, the whole personal appearance and character of the unfortunate William; and her mind seemed restless till she obtained, in detail, the account of the fatal combat in which he had yielded, and of his early and violent death.

When listening to these recitals, she would sometimes groan aloud, to think that she could not, with the price of her own blood, restore him to lfie and the throne; and she was moved to tears.

One day, when the Chevalier had been some time from home, he returned, bringing with him a young female stranger, whom he introduced to his daughter by the name of Isabel. He then told Blanche that this young lady was to remain with them, and requested her to entertain her with great kindness, and to instruct the domestics to treat her with attention and respect.

Isabel, in the beauty of her person, and her whole manner, bore so strong a resemblance to Blanche, as to attract the notice of every eye. Their likeness was such that they might easily have passed for sisters. But Blanche needed not this relationship to inspire her

p. 239

with love for her new friend. From their first meeting, she felt a lively interest springing up in her warm heart towards her; and this was strengthened by her often surprising Isabel, weeping and sighing over a piece of writing, which she would conceal, and wipe away her tears, when she perceived any one approaching.

She wished to discover the cause of this secret sorrow; but, as Isabel seemed struggling to hide it from her observation, she forebore to question her, or even to allude to ther grief and disquietude, which could not be voluntarily confided to her. Yet in this discretion, which she imposed on herself, she only found a tormentor.

‘Who,’ she would often say to herself, ‘who is this mysterious Isabel, whom I have been instructed to treat with so much respect and attention, without seeking or wishing to know anything of her destiny? What can the writing be, that she weeps over so much/ And what mean those sighs that she heaves so freely, as soon as she thinks herself alone, and stifles, when any one comes near?’

Thoughts like these revolved continualy in the mind of Blanche. Now disturbed, and now wounded, to find that her tenderest solicitude, and all the warmth of her attachment did not win for her the confidence of friendship, she would sometimes resolve to give a gentle reproach to Isabel. But then, penetrated by the respect due to misfortune, she would subdue her feelings, and consider, that her most delicate part would be, to wait with patience for the avowal.

But this confession was not made. The secret was still withheld. Blanche now determined to effect her object, by adroitly drawing Isabel into a conversation

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that should imperceptily lead on to a confidence, which her high soul would not solicit; and thus, to come at the cause of her friend’s disquietude, without alarming her sensibility.

Already a few words—a few hints dropped by Isabel, and caught with eagerness by Blanche, had created suspicions in her mind which she promised herself soon to prove true. Tender and generous as she was, it was not to satisfy a vain curiosity, that she felt this burning desire to learn the secret of Isabel. She only wished by getting nearer, to find out what part of her heart she might touch and heal.

Isabel, on her side, sensible to all the kindness of Blanche, and fully appreciating her character, felt alike embarrassed. Her torn bosom, a prey to sorrows deep and sacred, could not but feel how sweet it would be to have some beloved and gentle hand placed upon its wound. She knew that those communications wherein the slightest complaint touches a chord of sympathy, and draws forth a soothing response, would soften her affliction and relieve her; yet she dared not to break silence.

The Chevalier de Toredo had so often repeated his cautions, assuring her that the most innocent word, or the least inadvertency in her action, might prove fatal to her, that, even in her conversations with Blanche, the fear of incurring a reproach from her benefactor restrained her, and kept back the secret ever ready to escape.

Frequently did she wish that Blanche would become more pressing, so as to furnish her an excuse, in her own eyes, at least, for some slight indiscretion that might lead to a disclosure. Such were her feelings, when Blanche one day proposed to her, a walk in the pleasant wood at a short distance from their dwelling.

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The two friends, now equally at loss how to commence and order their conversation, kept for some time a profound silence. At length a few vague remarks eased the way to greater freedom, and gave Blanche an opportunity to summon her fortitude, so as skilfully to direct the discourse to the fate of the young William.

Isabel turned pale at the mention of his name; and Blanche, perceiving it, felt convinced of the truth that she had already suspected. She pursued the subject, and, entering into the particulars of the history of William, painted with fire, his defeat, his captivity and his untimely death.

Isabel, whose trouble had been augmenting at every word, unable any longer to contain it, threw herself into the arms of Blanche. ‘To whom,’ cried she, ‘do you give these horrid pictures? Even to the sister of William!—to the last branch of an unfortunate family! I confide to you a secret on which my life depends! But my full heart feels the need of pouring itself into yours!’

Blanche fell at the feet of Isabel, calling her her sovereign, and vowing to her unlimited devotion. On receiving from her an order to rise, she obeyed, and sought to be informed of the events that had saved her from the persecutor of her family. Isabel pressed her hand tenderly, and promised to satisfy her.

The day was drawing to its close. Large trees overshadowed them with their branches—the place and the hour were suited to a sorrowful recital; and Isabel, seating Blanche beside her, thus began her narrative—

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‘I had hardly gained my fifteenth year, when Henri de Souabe, who had married my Mother’s sister, came, with no other rights than those of ambition, to attack my brother William on the throne of Sicily, his lawful inheritance. He was overpowered, taken and condemned to death.

‘At the approach of the German army, William had sent my Mother and me, to the house of my maternal grandfather, the Duke of Ferrara, for safety. When we learnt his danger, we flew to Rome, to plead with the Pope, for his intercession with Henri, in William’s behalf. But the perfidious pontiff, far from being touched with our affliction, delivered us up to the usurper, and we were thrown into a dungeon.

‘We could have borne this rigor without a murmur, would the loss of our liberty have saved our unhappy William. But hardly were we prisoners by order of Henri, when the guards came to drag us to the place of his execution, to witness the horrid spectacle! Terrible refinement of cruelty! Judge, what must have past [sic] in our hearts, when we saw this young Prince, so dear to us—this heir to the throne of our ancestors, appear on an infamous scaffold, there to suffer the death due only to a criminal! Think, what must have been his anguish, when, casting his eyes round for the last time on the things of this world, he beheld before him, his mother and his sister, who, with dishevelled hair, cords around their bowed necks, and their hands loaded with irons, were brought forth to serve as a trophy at his death!

‘Our streaming eyes met; and ceased not to confound their looks, till his head was dropped! At the fatal blow, we, too, fell, deprived for consciousness! When

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we awoke again to life, it was amid the gloomy horrors of our prison! On opening our eyes, the first sight that struck them, was the blood of our beloved William, with which we were covered! Mingling our tears with this precious blood, we fain would have gathered it all into our own hearts.

‘We expected soon to follow this innocent victim. But the excess of our sorrows touched the sympathy of the keeper of the tower where we were confined; and he proposed to us to fly, offering to do all in his power to aid our escape. We accepted; and he furnished us with suitable garments for a disguise, and some pieces of gold for our necessities.

‘As soon as night had fallen so as to favor our object, assisted by our kind liberator to pass without the prison, we availed ourselves of the shades, and fled under the protection of darkness, yet trembling at every step, lest the emissaries of Henri should surprise us, while we walked as fast as our strength would permit, till we were out of Palermo.

‘Our first aim was to gain the sea side, where we might throw ourselves into some vessel, that would convey us to the coast of the Duchy of Ferrara.

‘But, weariness at length compelling us to stop on the way, we presented ourselves with assumed names and a feigned story, at the house of a widow lady, Signora Maldini, who lived in the country, retired, and on a small annuity. Hardly had we began the fable we had imagined, when this benevolent woman received us hospitably within her dwelling, and offered every attention a kind heart could suggest. Believing, however, that we should be safer under the roof of a relation, we were preparing

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to depart, when information reached us, that the Duchy of Ferrara had been invaded, and was now in the possession of a neighboring Prince.

‘This intelligence, which cut off all our hopes of an asylum there, was too much for my poor mother. Overwhelmed with affliction, she fell suddenly ill. In vain was every filial care, and all the offices of friendship bestowed by the good Signora Maldini. The blow was given, and she expired beneath it!

‘Conceive of my despair! I had seen my father die in the fulness of his strength; my brother, by the hand of a licensed murderer! I had just learnt of the misfortunes of my excellent relation! And, when no one remained to me, but my mother, I received her last sigh!

‘Crushed by the weight of so many afflictions, I fixed a sad and steadfast gaze on the pale clay of my beloved parent, but I could not weep! even the relief of tears was denied me! They tore me from it, to perform the last melancholy duties paid by the living to the dead. A grave was prepared in the garden, where Signora maldini permitted me to rear a humble monument, to which I daily bore my tribute of affection and of sorrow.

‘Sorrow, alas! too just! Without kindred—without a country, I knew not to what court I might fly for refuge.

‘In Sicily and in Germany, reigned the destroyer of William! At Rome, the pontiff who had sold us, was seated! At Ferrara the enemy of my family held command! Proscribed by so many powers, from what Prince could I expect a welcome? Besides, how could my pained soul bear from court to court, the picture of

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my wretchedness, only to expose me to contempt, or the treachery of their sovereigns?

‘The generous Signora, viewing my helplessness, pressed me to fix myself with her; and I yielded to her solicitations. Her situation and expenses had nothing of show about them, to attract attention. Her dwelling was remote from Palermo—I there passed as her niece, and excited no suspicion. Then, the ashes of my mother slumbered there; and I preferred an asylum where I could feel that her shade was watching over my fate. Indeed, I lived peacefully in this retreat. The kindness of my amiable benefactress, my rural occupations, the view of true and pure pleasure, all conspired to bring seasons of sweet calm to my long agitated soul.

‘I passed three years in this quiet home, when my benefactress was seized with a fatal illness. It was one of rapid progress; and of which my redoubled attentions, could not stay the power, or check the haste. She sent for a friend, who came and united his efforts to mine, to save her. This friend was your father. When she had presented him to me, ‘I feel,’ said she, ‘my end drawing near; but I have thought of your fate when I shall be no more. I now give you into the hands of the most virtuous of men. He is warmly attached to your family; and you may dwell in his house without fear.’

‘To these melting words, the gentleman added the most affecting protestations, and I freely confided my fate to him. But, I could not bid adieu to my beloved friend, till I had remained to close her eyes. She breathed her last in my bosom, and I saw her dear

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remains safely laid at rest in the garden, by the side of my mother. When I had taken a sorrowful farewell of these sacred graves, I followed your father!

‘Such, Blanche, have been the losses I have sustained; and it belongs only to a friend like you, to console me under them!’

Blanche assured her that, if every testimony of a pure and warm attachment could give a charm to intimacy, she should find it in hers. ‘But,’ continued she, ‘I fear I shall never be able to dispel your sadness. It is indeed, but too just. Called as you are, by your birth, to the highest rank and honor, you must feel unhappy, and indignant, to be dragging out your days in humble obscurity, while a usurper is insolently seated on the throne of your fathers.’ ‘You mistake my dear Blanche!’ said Isabel, interrupting her, ‘the chimeras of ambition torment me not. Born in courts, I have seen power and sorrow by a near view, and closely allied; and I never turn up my eyes to that power which has escaped me. The picture I have seen of it should have satisfied me, concerning the possession of dominion that is but a pompous misfortune, were there no other reflection to give it additional horrors. But, it has cost the life of my dear William! and how could my thoughts pause on the throne, that is stained with the blood of a brother?

‘It occasions me no effort to conceal my claims. My native pride, and the dignity of my brith, first inspired me with the design of living in seclusion and unknown, when I accepted the invitation of my departed friend. And, now, I find that obscurity agrees best with my character. It has procured me tranquility of soul and

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real friends—treasures too precious for me to run the risk of losing them.’

‘Every word you utter,’ replied Blanche, ‘does but make me love you the more—yet, why dissemble? Whether it be ambition, or some other sentiment that afflicts you, you certainly suffer! I have surprised you in tears that you would fain have concealed! Does one weep when the soul is at peace? And then, that writing that you are ever reading’—Isabel interrupting her.—‘Cruel Blanche!’ said she, ‘must you wring from me my soul’s whole secret? Well! I will resist no longer. Look into my heart and read!

‘Few are the troubles that disturb it. Love, alone, fills—consumes it!’ She drew a deep sigh, and pausing a few moments to gather fortitude, thus went on:

‘About a year after my eyes took their last look at the face of my beloved mother, they beheld for the first time, the mortal who was to inspire me with the sweetest and the most cruel of sentiments.

‘It was one of the bright and balmy days, when the earth is clothed anew, by the return of the joyous Spring. I had been out among the thatched cabins around us, to carry some little gifts from Signora Maldini, to distribute them among the poor cottagers; and, having performed my errand, felt disposed to continue my ramble farther among the fields.

‘I know not whether it was because nature is more pleasing when we have done a good deed, or, that, there was an unusual splendor and richness in the scene around, but I yielded myself up to the admiration of its beauty; and, with unwonted tenderness of feeling, strayed over the grounds.

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‘As, thus musing, I went on, I was turning the corner of a wood, when—what was the sight that suddenly met my view?—a wounded hunter, bleeding and stretched upon the grass!

‘I ran to him, and, rending my veil in two, took one part to stanch the blood, and with the other bound up the wound. When his consciousness had gradually returned, I helped him to rise; and perceived, with a blush, that he was in the flower of youth, with mildness and beauty breathing over all his features. When he opened his eyes, and lifted them to me, I seemed to see celestial azure coming out of a cloud. His look, his blood, with which the turf was still reeking, his paleness from the loss of it, which rendered his face more touching, the weakness which added pliancy and grace to his motions—all conspired to send into my soul an uneasiness, to which I had till that moment been a stranger. I was about to depart, but, his words and voice withheld me.

‘ ‘Why would you fly me?’ said he. ‘Is it right to hide ourselves from the gratitude of the hearts we have made happy? Stay! What are you? if we were in the days of the Fables, I should believe you a nymph of the wood—a divinity come down from above to the relief of sinking humanity! But, be you goddess, or mortal, nothing can be sweeter than to have received your care, and felt those tender hands closing my wound!

‘ ‘Would you leave your work imperfect? You have driven death from me! Will you now forsake me, and leave me alone and langushing, in a place to which he may yet return and seize me? From the compassion of which I have already had such touching proofs, I dare

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to hope that you will yet deign to guide my steps to some cottage where I may obtain the help of which I stand so much in need.’

‘I answered him with a trembling voice—‘You are quite too feeble to support yourself in walking, even with assistance. Give me but a few moments—I will soon be back.’ I did not wait for a reply, but hastening away, was gone but a short time, when I returned with an escort, bringing with them a litter of reeds.

Pierre, for, so the young hunter called himself, was placed on the bed, and conveyed to the house of Signora Maldini, who came out to meet him; and offered him an asylum, which he gratefully accepted.

‘An apartment was prepared for him, furnished with every comfort his situation might require, and his wound taken care of with the peculiar grace, which that benevolent woman so well knew how to shed over all her deeds.

‘She went every morning with early inquiries after the state of the invalid’s health; but I never accompanied her. I had discovered that I loved Pierre, and this alone forbade me to manifest any forwardness, or solicitude about his welfare. I dared not to see him! I questione no one respecting the progress of his recovery; though I often detected myself with my steps on the way to his apartment, and whenever Signora Maldini spake of him I listened with greedy attention.

‘This lively interest alarmed me. I reflected, that the gratitude of Pierre was no proof that he loved me. I found too, that Signora Maldini never spake of his having mentioned me, or intimated a wish to see me, nor, that he had shown any surprise because I had not visited him.

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‘I also considered the barrier that my birth must interpose between us, even, if I possessed his love; as by this, I was forbidden to unite myself in marriage, to any but a Prince.

‘With thoughts like these, I gathered strength to combat my inclinations, and I might perhaps have gained the victory, had Pierre never again appeared to me.

‘When he was able to leave his room, he came below, and joined us in the parlor. I blushed, and then turned pale, as he entered the room. He drew towards me, and gave me a gentle reproach for my apparent indifference to his sufferings. I knew not how to answer. Happily he relieved my embarrassment, by dropping the conversation. His eyes alone spake to me; but when they met mine, they suddenly fell, and seemed only to turn on me again by an involuntary motion.

‘Day after day his manner was the same. His broken conversation, restrained looks, and every outward action bore testimony to some internal uneasiness—some secret cause of disquietude.

‘Uncertainty as to the true state of his feelings towards me, kept my thoughts ever restless and inquisitive to find out the cause of his restraint in my presence.

‘Did he fear that he might love? or, did he love me, and fear to confess it? These questions I wished to answer to myself; and I determined to observe him with a watchful eye.

‘I surprised him one day, fondly looking at, and kissing a miniature that was attached to a chain passing around his neck, and carried in his bosom. I had no doubt that this was the likeness of some lady, and felt convinced at once, that I had discovered the cause of his disquiet.

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‘Invoking all my fortitude and pride to aid me, I resolved to think no more of the man who seemed thus devoted to another; and even promised myself that I would never seek to ascertain whose picture this might be. Vain resolution! My passions, lighted up by its first research, had flamed to its height without my perceiving it.

‘I was devoured by jealousy and curiosity; and, assured that I possessed not the affections of Pierre, found myself the most wretched of women. His image was ever before me, regarding tenderly, and kissing the fatal miniature! If he stayed out of my presence, I thought it was the charm of this idol that detained him! If he retired, it was to contemplate it with freedom! I heeded not the tender looks he addressed to me—I thought only of the cruel ornament that he wore upon his heart; and often when conversing with him, I felt seized with a sudden desire to open his vest and snatch it away, that I might break it in pieces! But, accident at length ended my torments.

‘I was taking one of my solitary walks in the fields, pensive and deploring my unhappy fate, to be thus doomed to cherish a love without return, when a voice from the grove near me, suddenly touched my ear! I listened! It was Pierre! He was singing a plaintive air, and I heard these words:

‘Beloved grove, where oft I came,

To tell to thee, my secret grief,

And here to speak that hallowed name,

Elizabeth, to every leaf—

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‘I then believed that name alone

Upon my lips would ever dwell.

But, I another love must own—

My lips must utter, Isabel!

‘Dear picture of thy giver’s gace,

That I so long adored in thee,

Absolve a heart that bears the trace

Of other features dear to me!

‘When, of my lost Elizabeth,

Her people’s voice proclaimed aloud,

The hapless fate—the cruel death,

A life of faith, to thee I vowed.

‘Elizabeth, thy bleeding shade,

I see, as if it late had wept,

It frowns to find thy lover made

That vow to be no longer kept!

‘Yet, to have held that promise fast,

The eyes whose tears in torrents fell

When darkness over thine was cast,

Should never have looked on Isabel!

‘In memory thou shalt ever live!

I’ll seek thee there at sorrow’s shrine.

But, hence, to Isabel I give

The love that once was only thine!’

‘In my transport on hearing these words, I darted forward into the grove, to ascertain if it was indeed Pierre, who had pronounced them.

‘He perceived me; and, concealing the picture, asked in a tremulous voice, if I had heard all—‘all!’ I replied. ‘Well then, Isabel,’ said he, ‘what is to be my fate? I adore you! Can I hope that you return my love?[’]

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‘The picture, that I knew he had in his bosom, checked my confession. Before I made it, I wished to learn more about this Elizabeth, who, from the depth of the tomb was my rival, and I questioned Pierre.

‘ ‘You need not fear her,’ said he, ‘since death has borne her from me; and you bear so strong a likeness to her—It is Elizabeth de Tancrede.’

‘At this name, my senses seemed forsaking me—but, recovering myseelf, ‘Elizabeth de Tancrède!’ said I, ‘and what makes her so dear to you?’

‘ ‘I was to have been her husband,’ said he. ‘I am Pierre of Provence, son of the sovereign of that court.’ ‘You?’ said I, ‘Ah! proceed’—He obeyed, and, without suspicion of my birth, went on to tell me, that he had asked Elizabeth in marriage, and, that the court of Sicily, according to the royal custom, had sent him her picture. In this he said he had become so deeply enamored of the princess, that he was waiting with impatience the moment that should unite him to her, when he received the news of her death, and the account of her brother’s execution.

‘ ‘Overwhelmed with affliction at this intelligence,’ continued he, ‘I left my father’s court and traveled from country to country, in the hope of escaping from my love and my sorrow. But my love and my sorrow were everywhere present!

‘ ‘In one of my voyages, our ship was stranded on the coast of Sicily; and I was hospitably received into the castle of a nobleman whose grounds border on those of Signora Maldini. He was fond of the chase, and I joined him in it. Weary of existence, I courted peril by attacking the most ferocious animals. In such a state

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as this, I strayed away from the other hunters, in pursuit of a wild boar, whose tooth had given me the wound, from which I was bleeding, when I received your succor.

‘ ‘How was I bewildered, when, on opening and raising my eyes, they beheld in your face, the features of Elizabeth!

‘ ‘From that moment, the names of Isabel and Elizabeth have been confounded in my mind, and mingled on my lips. In vain did my kind friend at the castle invite me to return to him; and watch the progress of my recovery, till he thought I might be removed. I knew not what might be your sentiments towards me; but, a spell I could not break bound me to the house where I could be near you. Still, I had my scruples. I feared that in loving you, I was false to the memory of Elizabeth, and, I sometimes fancied her shade before me, frowning and reproaching me with my infidelity. But, you have triumphed over all—you I adore! Accept, then, the homage of a heart, which feels that you alone must hence have its devotion!

‘When he had ceased speaking, he looked to my eyes for his answer. I could not let him remain in error; and replied—

‘In me, behold Isabel no longer! I am that princess whom you mourned as in the tomb; and, who congratulates herself that she lives, since she has your love, and can repay you!

‘I then related to him my adventures. He listened, filled with astonishment, joy and love; and in the intoxication they produced, called me a thousand times, his friend—his companion, his bride! Touched by these endearing names, and happy at finding myself so

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near to him whom my family had chosen for my husband, my former misfortunes all disappeared; and it seemed as if that moment was the first of my existence. My soul surrendered itself to sentiments of the purest felicity.

‘Recovered from the transport of his surprise, Pierre proposed that I should accompany him to the house of his father, where he would marry me in presence of the court, and then take up arms, to place me on the throne of Sicily.

‘I answered, that, I was convinced of the sincerity and delicacy of his sentiments, still, I could not follow him, not being his wife, and having too much reason to fear, that his father would not consent to his union with a princess who was robbed of her possessions, and could bring him no other dowry than a war to sustain, and perils to encounter.

‘He gave me the strongest assurances, that I should be received by his family with all the interest and respect due to my misfortunes and my birth; but, as I objected still, he offered to have the marriage rites performed in the nearest church, in presence of Signora Maldini, before our departure.

‘Not to consent to this, I was obliged to summon all my fortitude. My heart rent itself to obey the dictate of honor. After manifesting to my generous lover how deeply I was affected, I represented to him that it would ill befit a high-souled girl to enter a family without being sure of their welcome—‘I understand!’ said he, ‘you yet doubt my father’s consent—I will fly to him for it, and hasten back to bring it! Will you then go with me?’

‘I told him, that as soon as he should bring me a certainty, I would joyfully follow him; and, satisfied with this, he made the preparations for his departure.

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‘When about to leave me, he put into my hand the verses that had drawn forth our mutual professions, and led me to the grave of my mother. There, he solemnly lifted up his voice and called her shade to witness the immortal love he bore me; and swore he would come and console her, by making me his wife and placing me on the throne of her fathers.

‘I needed not thesee protestations to convince me of his sincerity, nor to make me depend on the fulfilment of his promises. It seemed impossible that he could deceive me. This persuasion kept up my courage during the first part of his absence, and even gave to it a kind of mysterious charm.

‘I loved to visit the room he had occupied—the walks he had preferred, and the grove where he had received my confession.

‘To each of these dear confidants of his tenderness, I promised his return. Alas! I deceived them! I deceived myself! Since the fatal moment of our separation, I have had no word from him—no information of him!

‘What am I to think of this silence? My troubled soul is open to every cruel idea. Sometimes I paint him, on the seas—pursued by the tempest—struggling with the waves—stricken by the thunderbolt, and swallowed by the waters!

‘Then, I fancy him at his father’s court—surrounded with splenddor—receiving homage—immersed in pleasure—giving himself up to other love, and forgetting the sad Elizabeth! I knew not at which of these thoughts to stop; and all are alike tormenting.

‘Whether Pierre is dead, or has betrayed me, I have my whole life to weep for him—my whole llife, to suffer!

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Not, that I regret the throne on which he would have placed me, or the grandeur he would have restored to me! It is his hand—his love, of which I cannot bear the loss! I call him incessantly—I seek him everywhere—but I only find him in my heart!’

When Elizabeth had ceased speaking, Blanche endeavored to console her, by assuring her, that, by the impression her narrative had given her of the character of Pierre, she could not believe him false; and though he kept silence, it must be owing to some cause which rendered it impossible for him to break it.

She advised her to arm herself with fortitude—to expect every thing from time; and, to use the sweets of friendship as a balm for the pains of love.

The young friends, thus carried away by the charm of a first free outpouring of confidence, had let the hours fly over them unnoticed, and it was now late, and time for theem to return to their dwelling.

As they rose to depart, they expressed their satisfaction at the new tie they had just formed; and mutually promised to fulfil every duty it should impose, even to the last moment of life.

An opportunity to put the strength of these promises of friendship to the test, was not slow to offer itself.

Henri, seated on the throne of Sicily, of which he had robbed the lawful heir, reigned, a prey to all the fears that ever haunt the mind of an usurper. He knew the Sicilians murmured against his government, and regretted the House of Tancrède. It was in vain that he caused all who manifested their hatred to him, to be arrested and punished. His rigorous treatment only irritated the people, and caused new conspiracies.

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Just at this moment, the emissaries he had secretly scattered abroad, to watch for every thing that might concern the safety of his power, brought him information that the sister of William was living concealed in the house of the Chevalier de Toredo. They said they had had every assurance of this, and even a personal description of her.

The escape of Elizabeth had rendered him suspicious and uneasy; and, to remove all hope from those of his subjects who might think of opposing to him, a branch of the royal family, he had caused a rumor of her death to be spread throughout the kingdom.

The contradiction of this report was indifferent to him; but his safety required that he should have the person of the princess in his own keeping, as a protection against the hostile dispositions of the Sicilians.

He therefore, despatched a company of soldiers to the house of de Toredo, with an order to arrest Elizabeth, and a personal description of her was given them.

Before they reached his dwelling, the Chevalier was warned of their approach; but not in time to send Elizabeth away from the castle, which the soldiers soon surrounded on every side; and he had only a moment to hurry her into a vault, the passage to which was not easy to be discovered.

Hardly had he left her there, when the guards appeared, and in the name of Henri, summoned him to surrender into their hands, Elizabeth de Tancrède! Blanche being present, they took her to be the princess, and arrested her. The Chevalier told them she was his daughter; but they not believing him, and thinking he only used this as a subterfuge, threatened to set fire to

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the castle, if he did not own the truth. At this menace, both father and daughter trembled for the fate of Elizabeth. As the only means of saving her, the generous Blanche, happy to sacrifice herself for her friend, availed herself of the belief of the soldiers.

‘I must no longer try to deceive you!’ said she. ‘I am indeed, Elizabeth—my fate is in your hands!’

The Chevalier, sincerely attached to the House of Tancrède, and fearing to expose its last branch to be lost, had the courage to equal his daughter’s noble devotion, and did not contradict her.

The soldiers, satisfied that they had the princess now in their possession, conducted Blanche and the Chevalier to Palermo, where they were thrown into the same prison that had been occupied by William.

Elizabeth’s sorrow was overwhelming, when she learnt that her friends had been borne away and cast into prison on her account, and she severely repented having accepted the hospitality that had thus exposed her benefactors.

As she knew nothing of the generous falsehood practised by Blanche, she thought their arrest was solely on account of their having given her an asylum; and her mind was perplexed to know in what manner she might best serve them.

Her first impulse was, to go and deliver herself up to Henri, that she might procure their liberty by her own death. But then, she was not sure, by doing this, of gaining her object, and that, taking such a step, would not hasten their destruction; as, now, she supposed them only to be detained on suspicion of having secreted her, and her avowal would end all uncertainty in a hasty execution.

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In this embarrassment and indecision, she resolved on going to Palermo, and there, to learn from the passing rumors, what way would be the wisest for her to take to render herself serviceable to her friends, without exposing them. She accordingly took one servant from the castle, to accompany her, and set out for Palermo.

Hardly had she reached there, when she heard, that the sister of William was then in irons, and on the point of being condemned! At this information, the whole truth burst into her mind at once!

She flew to the palace of Henri; and in order to obtain a quick admittance to his presence, said to all who would have retarded her, that she had something of importance and intimately connected with his power to say to him. She stood before him. ‘Henri,’ said she, ‘you have been deceived! You thought you had in your hands Elizabeth de Tancrède! But you have only the daughter of the Chevalier de Toredo, who, wishing to serve her, has given herself up to die in her stead; by taking her name. You see in me alone, the last of that illustrious house! If the throne, of which you have robbed me, had been all in question between me and Blanche, I would gladly have resigned it to her. But it is the scaffold, to which, I come to assert my right! Restore, then, liberty to your magnanimous captive; and strike down your enemy! I await her pardon and my own death!’

Henri, was thunderstruck! He could conceive how one might contend for power; but not, for a right to die on the scaffold. Lost in astonishment, he wasunable to decide whether it was Blanche or Elizabeth who had committed the imposture. Yet, fearing some snare, he ordered his prisoner to be brought before him.

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His people hastened to obey him; but, what was their surprise, when, on entering the Tower where Blanche and her father had been confined, they discovered that both had disappeared!

In a transport of rage at this intelligence, Henri ordered Elizabeth to be kept under the strictest guard; and sent out soldiers in every direction to detect the fugitives. But their search was in vain. The chevalier and his daughter were already at Messina, with Soderini, their liberator!

This Sicilian lord, an inveterate enemy of the Germans, had long mediated their expulsion. In order to effect this he had combined with many of the citizens of Messina, whose birth, wealth, or talents promised to favor the enterprise. The hatred they entertained towards the Germans, had insured him a numerous party.

A skilful conspirator, in order to elude all suspicion, he went to Palermo, and presented himself at the court. Pleasing and attractive in his person and manners, he had by his seductive qualities, ingratiated himself with the sovereign, and secured his favor, at the moment when Blanche was brought to Palermo, under the name of Elizabeth de Tancrède.

Feeling how much this name would aid him in the accomplishment of his purpose, he won his way to her by bribery; and confiding to her his whole plan, proposed to her, to escape with him.

To this, Blanche listened and consented, without informing Soderini of the mistake he was under; and, he managed the flight so as to avoid detection, till they were safe in Messina.

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The conspirators, at the sight of her, whom they believed to be Elizabeth de Tancrède, felt that it was now the moment for them to break out into an open revolt. They proclaimed their intention aloud to the people, and distributed arms among them, till the soldiers of Henri arrived only in time to witness a general insurrection.

Every one knows how rapidly a flame thrown into a building, will spread to all the apartments, and reduce the whole edifice to a mass of ruins and ashes!

So quick was the spirit of the leaders in the rebellion, to pass into the bosoms of the inhabitants of Messina.

They rushed with fury on the citidel, which treason delivered up to them, and massacred the garrison. The other Germans were slain wherever they could be found—in the streets—in their houses—and in the temples. They were even pursued to the arms of the Sicilian women they had married!

Their children were not spared—the babe was sacrificed in the cradle, or torn from its mother’s breast to perish!

Amid this scene of carnage, the name of Elizabeth flew every way. She was proclaimed queen of Sicily! with the triumphant shouts of those who had armed themselves with fervor, to defend her.

Even Blanche herself put on armor, and wished to confront danger, to give an example of courage to the people so ready to die for her.

In these important movements, she had not forgotten Pierre, of whom Elizabeth had so often spoken. The court of Provence was held at Aix, and thither she despatched a secret envoy, to instruct the Prince of all

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that had happened, and to engage him to take arms and come forth in defence of his Elizabeth.

But Henri left her no time for the return of this messenger. As soon as he heard of the revolt at Messina, he advanced with rapid steps, and attended by a formidable army; sending before him a manifesto, in which he presented the new queen as not being Elizabeth de Tancrède, and declaring that this princess was still in his power, at Palermo.

The inhabitants of Messina, were still more exasperated by this, which, they only received as another artifice and a new insult.

Soderini, their General, felt that he must profit by the fury of this excitement; and, led out his followers to meet Henri. The recontre took place at some miles from Messina. The two armies fell upon each other with a desperate force; and victory seemed for some time floating between them.

Blanche, who fought as a heroine by the side of her father, wished to decide it by a great exploit.

In the enemy’s ranks, she saw the son of Henri, and urging on her courser, advanced toward him with her drawn sword. The prince let her approach, and aimed at her a forcible blow, which she parried; and returned one so well aimed, that he fell bleeding, from his horse; and expired.

This terrified the soldiers of Henri, and animated those of Blanche, with new courage to fight. They fell upon the Germans with such fury, that they gave ground and dispersed. In vain did Henri endeavor to rally them, to renew the combat. He was himself drawn in after them, in their flight; and he hastened back with the wreck of his army, to hide his shame in Palermo!

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It will be easily conceived that Blanche, was by this victory rendered dearer than ever to her soldiers. Young, beautiful and heroic, she became the idol of the army.

Meantime, the messenger whom she had despatched to Pierre, returned with his answer.

The Prince, never forgetful of Eloizabeth, explained his silence thus: A shipwreck had thrown him on the coast of Africa, where he had been taken, and held in slavery, without the means of writing, or of sending any word to his friends respecting his miserable state of bondage; of which, he promised to give Elizabeth the particulars when they should meet.

He said he had but just returned to his father’s dominions, through many perils, and with great sufferings; and that he was now happy to arm himself and come forth, in defence of her whose name he had often caused the echo of the desert to repeat, that he might hear it. He finished with these words:

‘My dear Elizabeth, my father consents to our union and approves of my enterprise. Already he has given orders from vessels to be filled with soldiers; and as soon as my forces are ready, I cross the sea, and descend to Messina, where I hope to avenge you, or, to die!’

On reading this, Blanche sent back a vessel, with a message to Pierre, requesting him to direct his fleet to Palermo, where she awaited him.

Indeed, she had taken advantage of the first moment of terror in the enemy’s army, to possess herself of several important places; meeting with little opposition and great acclamations; and, following on after the discomfited foe, had submitted all the towns on her way, and thus reached Palermo.

p. 265

Henri, who had there been preparing to avenge his defeat, now, with deep regret, found himself constrained to think only of defence.

Blanche, informed that Pierre, had, according to her request, just appeared before Palermo, and blocked up the port, gave orders for the attack. The city, pressed on, from the land and the sea, could make but a short resistance.

Henri, finding himself abandoned by his party, escaped with a small escort, while Blanche, after having stopped the carnage and proclaimed mercy, entered into the midst of a people intoxicated with joy to find themselves freed from the German yoke, and at liberty to obey the laws of a House they had so much regretted.

Pierre, meantime, having forced the port, leaped forth to the shore, elated with joy, pride, and love; and sought to find the object for whom he had conquered.

Being told that she was in the palace, he flew thither; and was introduced into the hall where Blanche awaited him alone.

He saw her; and, deceived by her resemblance to the princess, fell at her feet! But, who can long remain in a mistake respecting the beloved one? He looked with earnestness!—could not recognize Elizabeth!—and, sought his love in the object who bore her name! He knew not what to think. Had Elizabeth deceived him, in calling herself the sister of William? or, was the woman before him, trying to deceive him by calling herself Elizabeth?

Blanche, perceived his inquietude and wished not to prolong it. ‘Pierre,’ said she, ‘your heart does not deceive you! I am not your Elizabeth, though nature

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has ornamented me with her features! You deserve, by your constancy and your valor, to find her faithful! Henri has held her bound in irons—but, they are now broken, and you shall again see her!

‘Elizabeth,’ cried Pierre, ‘Ah! let her appear! If her love is reserved for me, it is a dowry worth all the diadems in the universe!’

‘Love and a diadem!’ replied Blanche. ‘She brings you both in this moment—she is queen of Sicily! I have conquered under her name, but to restore to her, her name and her inheritance. To-morrow I will assemble my nobles and reveal a secret, which is now known only to my father and to you.[’]

Surprise, admiration and the most melting emotions at once took possession of the soul of Pierre. He had no words that could witness to Blanche, the sentiments with which he was penetrated. He was lost in silence, which he first broke by giving a cry of anguish, at the return of the officer whom Blanche had sent to lead Elizabeth to her, on seeing him come without her; and learning that she was no longer in Palermo!

‘When I entered the prison,’ said the officer, ‘the keeper informed me that the king had sent the fair captive away, some days ago, from the city; and perhaps the monster has now sacrificed her to his hatred!’

At this intelligence, Pierre and Blanche were overwhelmed. Love and friendship groaned equally in these two feeling souls. Blanche caused the German prisoners to be questioned respecting the fate of Elizabeth. One of them answered, that Henri had removed her to a neighboring castle that was protected by a strong garrison.

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‘Soldier!’ cried Pierre, ‘guide me to that fort this moment! My own men of Provence are sufficient to render me master of it at once; and, who but the lover of Elizabeth should be her deliverer?’

Blanche, not wishing to deprive the prince of the happiness of saving Elizabeth, contented herself with supporting the Provenceals, by following them with a corps of Sicilians.

Pierre hastened the march, and in a few hours, arrived at the foot of the castle. He caused a ladder to be erected suddenly, against the wall, and, with an axe in his hand, was himself the first to ascend. A paper was thrown to him from the rampart, by which the governor informed him, that Elizabeth was about to perish; and if he did not desist and retire, the sword that was now already raised over her, should fall at once.

This menace only redoubled the ardor of Pierre. He approached the draw-bridge, and with blows from his axe struck off one of the chains that held it, and let it drop. Then, darting forward, followed by his men, he rushed into the interior of the fort, where he beheld a scaffold erected, and Elizabeth holding her head under the murderous sword. He sprang forward, disarmed the monster who held it; and with a bleeding arm, bore off the fainting Elizabeth.

What was the surprise of the princess, when, returning to lfie, and opening her beautiful eyes, she saw herself in the arms of that lover, whom she had so long mourned as dead, or faithless! It was not till she had recovered from a second swoon, that she could believe all was not an illusion. When she realized that this was indeed

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the voice, the face, the hand of him who had so long been lost, she yielded herself to the joy of so sweet a persuasion; and tasted the happiness of having found once more the prince whom she adored,a nd of owing her lfie to him; as well as that of learning that he had never ceased to love her.

She listened with avidity to the account of his misfortunes, his return to his home, of his coming forth on the information sent him by Blanche; and, blushing, received the assurance of obtaining the hand so dear to her.

But, in relating what had passed, Pierre reserved one surprise for her. In giving the account of Blanche’s courage and success, he had not spoken of her generous intention; and Elizabeth, altogether occupied with the love, the protestations and the constancy of the prince, directed not her thoughts to the throne that had been taken for her, till she had reached Palermo. Pierre then led her into the public square, where she beheld Blanche, surrounded with the nobles, the army, and the citizens. on seeing Elizabeth, Blanche advanced towards her; and taking the diadem from her own head cried aloud—‘people, Soldiers, behold your sovereign! I am but the daughter of de Toredo! I am her subject. I have dared to assume her name, to save her from death; but I restore it, from the moment when the scaffold became to her a throne. Elizabeth de Tancrede, [sic] ascend the throne of your fathers; and for your first homage, receive the submission of Blanche!’

The assembly broke forth into loud acclamations; while Elizabeth, melted by the affecting scene, refused to accept; and the Chevalier de Toredo, and the nobles

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bore her to the throne. Before she seated herself on it, she called her deliverer to her arms, and tenderly embraced her. This sight filled all hearts with emotions, and every eye with tears.

Elizabeth’s first care was to unite Blanche to Soderini, whom she raised to the rank of prime minister; to confer high honors and an office of dignity on the Chevalier de Toredo; and, to distribute benefits among all those who had fought for her.

When she had satisfied her feelings of gratitude, she thought of her own happiness; and, received Pierre as her husband. Their marriage took place, attended with great pomp and splendor at Palermo.

Elizabeth, when happy, forgot not her faithful Blanche. She made her her cousellor, and consulted her on the complaints of the unfortunate, and all desires of her people.

The Court of Elizabeth was the only one where Love, Friendship and Justice together met, and reigned.

[p. 270]



Dear Laura, I’ve had such a time—

I’ll strive to tell you all in rhyme.

But first, the piece you must excuse,

For I have quarreled with the muse.—

Up to Parnassus’s summit steep

I stole, and found her fast asleep!

Ere I came near, I heard her snoring,

But thought it was old Boreas roaring;

For in the caverns thereabout

He sometimes keeps his revel-rout.

I waked her softly, saying dear

L. H. has sent her Album here—

She wished that I a piece would write,

And so I will if you indite!

The vixen vexed because I woke her,

Was stiff as if she ’d eat the poker!

And Album’s all—such was her fury!

Condemned without a judge or jury—

Called them abominable things

With gaudy backs and gilded wings,

And painted doves more like the raven;

None such ere winged the azure heaven!

And vases, looking more like gluepots!

And then their cupids, O! their cupids,

The little thick-legged, funny creatures,

With snubby noses, vulgar features!

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Painted, no doubt by maid or wife,

Who ne’er saw cupid in her life!

Their verses—then her choler rose up,

And at the rhyme she turned her nose up!

Vowed they had heaped reproach upon her,

Covered her calling with dishonor;—

Attribute them to her, indeed!

She wrote them not, nor would she read.

You’d scarce believe me, I’m afraid,

If I should tell you all she said;

I tried to soothe,—said all was true,

Yet begged she’d write one verse for you.

Said I, you know the maid is fair,

And light and bright and debonair;

And then dear muse from me and you,

Why any thing almost will do—

Some wondrous tale of maiden bright

Who with her eye-beam slew a knight—

Or fairies, who by thousands dwell

Within the tiny heather-bell—

Or dewy morning’s rising ray—

Or twilight sinking soft away—

Or zephyr in the moonlight bowers,

Dancing all night with bright young flowers,

Who might have better slept you know

Than waste their midnight moments so—

Or maidens, whose black brilliant eyes,

Make hearts evaporate in sighs—

Or blue eyed beauty’s milder ray,

That melts them into tears away—

Or cavern deep or mountains high—

Or stars careering through the sky—

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Or Bachelor who dwells alone,

In some snug cottage of his own—

Or ancient maid who sighs to share,

His cottage home and cottage fare—

In short I offered every theme,

The waking thought; the midnight dream;

Religion! no I did not dare

To place in jest my finger there!

Down to the deeps where sea-nymphs dwell

I went in Fancy’s diving-bell—

Stepped in and spent a pleasant night

With Neptune and his Amphytrite,

A Grampus who was footman there

Politely helped me to a chair;

And dandy Dolphins, strange to utter,

Handed plumb-cake and bread and butter!

My entertainment there was splendid,

No doubt a ball had been intended,

For neptune asked, with bow advancing,

If I approved promiscuous dancing?

I answered as I think I ought,

Politely firm, that I did not.—

Nay, do not ask the bill of fare,

For all was costly, rich and rare;

Or if there was a single fault,

’T was this, their ice-cream tasted salt.

The kind old couple shewed me all

The wonders of their ocean hall;

Walked with me in the coral groves,

Where blushing mermaids tell their loves:

Showed me the rocks, where, buried deep,

Pearls in their oysters snugly sleep.

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I saw the Mother Carey’s* chicken

Quite tame around their barn-yard picking.

I longer might have staid below,

But if the truth you wish to know,

Just then within a cavern dark,

I saw or thought I saw, a shark!

And though the monstrous fish was sleeping,

And I was in his master’s keeping,

I never could endure to be

Found in suspicious company.

Besides I found the air exhausted!

And made the signal to be hoisted;

But though my wayward muse to please,

I ventured down beneath the seas,

When in distress I pulled the rope

The gipsy would not help me up.

Ah! those who know, alone can tell

The danger of a diving-bell!

Where Day and Spaulding, as you know,

Both died for love some years ago.

One was enamoured of a name,

And one loved wealth much more than fame—

And I, my dear, for love of you,

Might, if I liked, have perished too;

But knowing that old Hudibras,

A sound and sage logician was,

Who said that those who ran away,

Might live to fight another day,

Whilst those who die are interdicted,

I seized a rope and up I ‘streakt it,’

*A vulgar name for a species of the Stormy Petrel.

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That ’s a quotation from Jack Downing—

No matter, I escaped from drowning.

Alas! for when I had ascended,

I found that things were little mended;

For when I rose, as when I sank,

My muse sat silent, stubborn, blank;

And though before her, fair I laid

The charms of many an ocean maid,

And begged her just to write a sonnet,

Upon a modern mermaid’s bonnet,

A lovely thing of shells and coral,

And trimmed with leaves of deathless laurel,

From brow of drowned hero gathered,

Before one verdant leaf had withered;

And though I plainly showed to her,

’T was made by first rate milliner,

And worn by every green haired lass,

That carried comb and looking-glass,

Yet she cried, fie! and out upon it!

And scorned the belle and spurned the bonnet!

I next tried politics—the nation,

The rail-road cars, and gravitation—

Kitchens, and cabinets, and closets—

Bankers, and banks, and bank deposits;

But finding that she did not mind it,

I thought, perhaps, she had not dined yet!

I never ask of saint or sinner,

The smallest favor before dinner;

So hastening down the kitchen stairs

I got at edible affairs,

Roast beef, plumb pudding and puff paste,

With condiments to suit the taste;

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And knowing that old Scotia’s races

Stood always high in her good graces,

I asked her, feeling somewhat waggish,

If she was partial to a haggis?

But finding all my labors vain,

Sad, sighing, I came up again.

On earth no longer would I stay,

But went beyond the milky way—

And raved of comets in their courses,

Swifter, ’t is said, than Arab horses—

Feared that the moon to earth might fall,

Compelled by force centripetal;

For sages say that every year,

’T is coming nearer and more near.

Mechanic powers I brought to view,

The axle, lever, pulley, screw—

I spoke of pyramids and kings,

Egyptian mummies and such things—

Of Lafayette and Washington,

The brilliant star, the glorious sun—

Brought forth the microscope and prism,

And cavilled at materialism,

And doing all that I was able,

In labor indefatigable—

At length I cried, if all things fail,

Let ’s write a sonnet to a whale!

Indignant then she turned her shoulder,

And spread her wings—’t were vain to hold her,

But turning in her rapid flight,

She bade me once for all—good night!

Now should my verse seem somewhat lame,

Say, dearest L—, who’s most to blame?—

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I subjects brought, she none would choose—

I am not guilty, but the Muse1

And now the reason all may know,

Most Album rhymes are but so—so—

And even Souvenirs, ’t is said,

Have verses she has never read!

This for myself I’ll say, that once

Alone, she ’ll lead me such a dance,

No Album’s page I’ll strive to fill,

Beneath her frown, against her will—

Who can succeed in tale or fable,

If she remain inexorable?



‘Whence dost thou come to me,

Sweetest of visions!

Filling my slumbers with holiest joy?’

‘Kindly I bring to thee

Feelings of childhood,

That in thy dreams, thou be happy awhile.’

‘Why dost thou steal from me

Ever, as slumber

Flies, and reality chills me again?’

‘Life thou must struggle through:

Strive—and in slumber,

Sweetly again I will steal to thy soul!’


I'll Think of That
Painted by S. S. Osgood.      Engraved by J. Gallaudet.
I’ll Think of That.
Published by Chas. Bowen.

Print at R. Andrews.

[p. 277]



‘I’ll think of that’—now if you look

On that sculptur’d gaze—sad, some, but steady,

You’ll hold, that in spite of her book,

She has thought it all over already!

Think of that’—think of what? you reply—

Some thing, or some body—which is it?

Proposition, or man?—I defy

Definition, Sam, out of that eye,

You’ve fashion’d so fairly to quiz it!

Then why not have told us the book, too,

Absorbing full half her round table,

For the dull to have something to look to,

Who to solve the case else are unable?

Of one thing I’m certain, however,

Let her reason or ‘think’ as she will, Sam,

She’s a very nice girl, and a clever,

Her heart has been balderdash’d never,

But holds its own empirage still, Sam—

For, as for the matter, just now,

That brings to her chin her fore-finger,

You have only to glance at the brow,

And the thing’s understood well enow—

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On queries ’twere idle to linger:

Aside from that look, rather starey,

I’m sure ’tis no matter of love,

But something more mental and darey,

For you see she has flung down her glove!

Yes—yes—Sam, you sure should have told us,

Or, at least—’twas so easy! have hinted,

For some of us stupid beholders,

Whether this was hand-writing or printed;

For whether octavo, or letter,

Is some, after all, of a question—

And the way had most certain been better

For me—made of nerves—and a fretter,

Had your brush, Sam, but dash’d a suggestion.

Now I, for my soul, would’nt swear—

Stop—stop now—dont [sic] hold me a scoffer,

Whether what her left hand is one, there,

Contains some new song or an offer!

It may be—or may not—a volume,

That puzzles your beautiful fairy,

But then you can’t trace out a column,

Tho’ the whole looks as big, Sam, and solemn

As Noah’s unreduced Dictionary!

’Tis too thick for a letter—I’m sure!

Unless the steam suitor, or writer,

In love but a sad over-doer,

Intended to beat out or fright her!

As for what her eye tells you, why, Sam,

Her thinking, for all I descry,

Is of Salmagundi flim-flam,

Some receipt for a love that proves sham,

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Or for some intellectual pie!

So sure may it be, tho’ she’s looking

So all unallied to digestion,

That her mind has run riot on cooking,

Or some too terestrial question!

It may be on bonnets, or boas—

Perhaps a mere question of prices—

Some thought of—perhaps Hannah More’s,

Perhaps of some dish she adores,

Or the most classic way to make ices!

Then her chair, Sam,—no one can deny

That it looks philosophic and lazy,

Like the old pillow-backs you and I

Us’d to seek when our spirits were hazy.

It has a good grandmama air—

And, just made for post prandial sitting,

Seems a home against lfie’s wear and tear,

Where young ladies lounge to kill care,

And old ones to do up their knitting.

But then, as she sits, ’tis too set,

When you think of the cushions around her,

And I think, should you ask Gallaudet,

He will say ’twas just so that he found her

For, chisel you inside or out,

Engrave mind or matter, one wrangles,

Or at least is quite given to pout,

When he finds, if an angel about,

He must carve her all out at right angles!

But no matter, Sam—tho’ you sin do,

In giving no sort of assistance

As to this ‘think of that,’ yet your window

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Gives quite a desirable distance.

She has a good prospect of something,

Tree, mountain, and cloud, are before her!

And tho’, at the best, she’s a dumb thing,

I think I’d consent to adore her,

If for nothing else, Sam—for her forehead—

That mine of the Mind—[just see Gall—]

Whence the soul out like coal may be quarried—

Which, tho’ to believe in, is horrid,

Is better than no mind at all!

So—make what you will of the chair,

And your book, and so forth—verbum sat

Give me but that brow, and brown hair—

I’ll think, sir—I’ll still ‘THINK OF THAT!’

[p. 281]



Life hath its Spring-time! childhood’s morn,

When pure is young affection’s ray;

Gay are the flowers without a torn;

And bright the hues of opening day:

Wild music lingers in its bowers—

Grateful the fragrance of its flowers—

And all betokens bliss:

Hope weaves her wild, enchanting song,

And sings, at every path along,

That all shall be like this!

Time’s rapid footsteps never stay,—

Life’s golden Spring-time speeds away!

Life hath its Summer! ardent now

Is manhood’s toil, ambition’s sway;

Hope lighteth still the fevered brow,

And sweetly sings the coming day:

Fond are Affection’s whispers, bland,

And warm is Friendship’s proferred hand—

Summer’s horizon fair;

But ah! anon a cloud is seen,—

Dark and more dark its threat’ning mien,—

A tempest gathers there!

Sunlight and storm are o’er at last—

Life’s fitful Summer-time is past!

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Life hath its Autumn! where have fled

Those flattering promises of Spring?

Alas! like withered roses, dead,

Around no sweet perfume they fling:

Hope hath been false as she was fair—

The smile hath fled, and gathering care,

And woe around are cast:

Gloomy is life’s late lovely bower,

Here falls a leaf—there fades a flower—

And chill the dreary blast!

The showers of ruin fall around—

Life’s withered foliage strews the ground!

Life hath its Winter! snowy age,

When manhood’s noblest vigors fail;

Heavy becomes life’s checquered page,

Cold is the wintry, piercing gale:

The faltering step—the trembling limb,

The flagging pulse—the eye-ball dim—

Alike deliverance crave:

Fainter—yet fainter—hark! the breath!—

O haste thee tyrant, angel, Death!

Welcome the frightful grave!

’T is finished! Life’s short journey’s done,

The sun hath set—the Seasons run!

[p. 283]



There is an admirable foundation for a philosophic romance, in the curious history of the early settlement of Mount Wallaston, or Merry Mount. In the slight sketch here attempted, the facts, recorded on the grave pages of our New England annalists, have wrought themselves, almost spontaneously, into a sort of allegory. The masques, mummeries, and festive customs, described in the text, are in accordance with the manners of the age. Authority, on these points may be found in Strutt’s Book of English Sports and Pastimes.

Bright were the days at Merry Mount, when the May-Pole was the banner-staff of that gay colony! They who reared it, should their banner be triumphant, were to pour sun-shine over New England’s rugged hills, and scatter flower-seeds throughout the soil. Jollity and gloom were contending for an empire. Midsummer eve had come, bringing deep verdure to the forest, and roses in her lap, of a more vivid hue than the tender buds of Spring. But May, or her mirthful spirit, dwelt all the year round at Merry Mount, sporting, with the Summer months, and revelling with Autumn, and basking in the glow of Winter’s fireside. Through a world of toil and care, she flitted with a dreamlike smile, and came hither to find a home among the lightsome hearts of Merry Mount.

Never had the May-Pole been so gaily decked as at sunset on mid-summer eve. This venerated emblem

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was a pine tree, which had preserved the slender grace of youth, while it equalled the loftiest height of the old wood monarchs. From its top streamed a silken banner, colored like the rainbow. Down nearly to the ground, the pole was dressed with birchen boughs, and others of the liveliest green, and some with silvery leaves, fastened by ribbons that fluttered in fantastic knots of twenty different colors, but no sad ones. Garden flowers, and blossoms of the wilderness, laughed gladly forth amid the verdure, so fresh and dewy, that they must have grown by magic on that happy pine tree. Where this green and flowery splendor terminated, the shaft of the May-Pole was stained with the seven brilliant hues of the banner at its top. On the lowest green bough hung an abundant wreath of roses, some that had been gathered in the sunniest spots of the forest, and others, of still richer blush, which the colonists had reared from English seed. Oh, people of the Golden Age, the chief of your husbandry, was to raise flowers!

But what was the wild throng that stood hand in hand about the May-Pole? It could not be, that the Fauns and Nymphs, when driven from their classic groves and homes of ancient fable, had sought refuge, as all the persecuted did, in the fresh woods of the West. These were Gothic monsters, though perhaps of Grecian ancestry. On the shoulders of a comely youth, uprose the head and branching antlers of a stag; a second, human in all other points, had the grim visage of a wolf; a third, still with the trunk and limbs of a mortal man, showed the beard and horns of a venerable he-goat. There was the likeness of a bear erect, brute in all but his hind legs, which were adorned with pink silk stock-

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ings. And here again, almost as wondrous, stood a real bear of the dark forest, lending each of his fore paws to the grasp of a human hand, and as ready for the dance as any in that circle. This inferior nature rose half-way, to meet his companions as they stooped. Other faces wore the similitude of man or woman, but distorted or extravagant, with red noses pendulous before their mouths, which seemed of awful depth, and stretched from ear to ear in an eternal fit of laughter. Here might be seen the Salvage Man, well known in heraldry, hairy as a baboon, and girdled with green leaves. By his side, a nobler figure, but still a counterfeit, appeared an Indian hunter, with feathery crest and wampum belt. Many of this strange company wore fools-caps, and had little bells appended to their garments, tinkling with a silvery sound, responsive to the inaudible music of their gleesome spirits. Some youths and maidens were of soberer garb, yet well maintained their places in the irregular throng, by the expression of wild revelry upon their features. Such were the colonists of Merry Mount, as they stood in the broad smile of sunset, round their venerated May-Pole.

Had a wanderer, bewildered in the melancholy forest, heard their mirth, and stolen a half-affrighted glance, he might have fancied them the crew of Comus, some already transformed to brutes, some midway between man and beast, and the others rioting in the flow of tipsey jollity that foreran the change. But a band of Puritans, who watched the scene, invisible themselves, compared the masques to those devils and ruined souls, with whom their superstition people the black wilderness.

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Within the ring of monsters, appeared the two airiest forms, that had ever trodden on any more solid footing than a purple and golden cloud. One was a youth, in glistening apparel, with a scarf of the rainbow pattern crosswise on his breast. His right hand held a gilded staff, the ensign of high dignity among the revellous, and his left grasped the slender fingers of a fair maiden, not less gaily decorated than himself. Bright roses glowed in contrast with the dark and glossy curls of each, and were scattered round their feet, or had sprung up spontaneously there. Behind this lightsome couple, so close to the May-Pole that its boughs shaded his jovial face, stood the figure of an English priest, canonically dressed, yet decked with flowers, in Heathen fashion, and wearing a chaplet of the native vine leaves of his holy garb, he seemed the wildest monster there and the very Comus of the crew.

‘Votaries of the May-Pole,’ cried the flower-decked priest, ‘merrily, all day long, have the woods echoed to your mirth. But be this your merriest hour, my hearts! Lo, here stand the Lord and Lady of the May, whom I, a clerk of Oxford, and high priest of Merry Mount, am presently to join in holy matrimony. Up with your nimble spirits, ye morrice-dancers, green-men, and glee-maidens, bears and wolves, and horned gentlemen! Come; a chorus now, rich with the old mirth of Merry England, and the wilder glee of this fresh forest; and then a dance, to show the youthful pair what life is made of, and how airily they should go through it! All ye that love the May-Pole, lend your voices to the nuptial song of the Lord and Lady of the May!’

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This wedlock was more serious than most affairs of Merry Mount, where jest and delusion, trick and fantasy, kept up a continual carnival. The Lord and Lady of the May, though their titles must be laid down at sunset, were really and truly to be partners for the dance of life, beginning the measure that same bright eve. The wreath of roses, that hung from the lowest green bough of the May-Pole, had been twined for them, and would be thrown over both their heads, in symbol of their flowery union. When the priest had spoken, therefore, a riotous uproar burst from the rout of monstrous figures.

‘Begin you the stave, reverend Sir,’ cried they all; [‘]and never did the woods ring to such a merry peal, as we of the May-Pole shall send up!’

Immediately a prelude of pipe, cittern, and viol, touched with practised minstrelsy, began to play from a neighboring thicket, in such a mirthful cadence, that the boughs of the May-Pole quivered to the sound. But the May Lord, he of the gilded staff, chancing to look into his Lady’s eyes, was wonderstruck at the almost pensive glance that met his own.

‘Edith, sweet Lady of the May,’ whispered he, reproachfully, ‘is your wreath of roses a garland to hang above our graves, that you look so sad? Oh, Edith, this is our golden time! Tarnish it not by any pensive shadow of the mind; for it may be, that nothing of futurity will be brighter than the mere remembrance of what is now passing.’

‘That was the very thought that saddened me! How came it in your mind too?’ said Edith, in a still lower tone than he; for it was high treason to be sad at Merry

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Mount. ‘Therefore do I sigh amid this festive music. And besides, dear Edgar, I struggle as with a dream, and fancy that these shapes of our jovial friends are visionary, and their mirth unreal, and that we are not true Lord and Lady of the May. What is the mystery in my heart?’

Just then, as if a spell had loosened them, down came a little shower of withering rose leaves from the May-Pole. Alas, for the young lovers! No sooner had their hearts glowed with real passion, than they were sensible of something vague and unsubstantial in their former pleasures, and felt a dreary presentiment of inevitable change. From the moment that they truly loved, they had subjected themselves to earth’s doom of care, and sorrow, and troubled joy, and had no more a home at Merry Mount. That was Edith’s mystery. Now leave we the priest to marry them, and the masquers to sport round the May-Pole, till the last sunbeam be withdrawn from its summit, and the shadows of the forest mingle gloomily in the dance. Meanwhile, we may discover who these gay people were.

Two hundred years ago, and more, the old world and its inhabitants became mutually weary of each other. Men voyaged by thousands to the West; some to barter glass beads, and such like jewels, for the furs of the Indian hunter; some to conquer virgin empires; and one stern band to pray. But none of these motives had much weight with the colonists of Merry Mount. Their leaders were men who had sported so long with life, that when Thought and Wisdom came, even these unwelcome guests were led astray, by the crowd of vanities which they should have put to flight. Erring

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Thought and perverted Wisdom were made to put on masques, and play the fool. The men of whom we speak, after losing the heart’s fresh gaiety, imagined a wild philosophy of pleasure, and came hither to act out their latest day-dream. They gathered followers from all that giddy tribe, whose whole life is like the festal days of soberer men. In their train were minstrels, not unknown in London streets; wandering players, whose theatres had been the halls of noblemen; mummeries, rope-dancers, and mountebanks, who would long be missed at wakes, church-ales, and fairs; in a word, mirth-makers of every sort, such as abounded in that age, but now began to be discountenanced by the rapid growth of Puritanism. Light had their footsteps been on land, and as lightly they came across the sea. Many had been maddened by their previous troubles into a gay despair; others were as madly gay in the flush of youth, like the May Lord and his Lady; but whatever might be the quality of their mirth, old and young were gay at Merry Mount. The young deemed themselves happy. The elder spirits, if they knew that mirth was but the counterfeit of happiness, yet followed the false shadow wilfully, because at least her garments glittered brightest. Sworn triflers of a life-time, they would not venture among the sober truths of life, not even to be truly blest.

All the hereditary pastimes of Old England were transplanted hither. The King of Christmas was duly crowned, and the Lord of Misrule bore potent sway. On the eve of Saint John, they felled whole acres of the forest to make bonfires, and danced by the blaze all night, crowned with garlands, and throwing flowers into

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the flame. At harvest time, though their crop was of the smallest, they made an image with the sheaves of Indian corn, and wreathed it with autumnal garlands, and bore it home triumphantly. But what chiefly characterized the colonists of Merry Mount, was their veneration for the May-Pole. It has made their true history a poet’s tale. Spring decked the hallowed emblem with young blossoms and fresh green boughs; Summer brought roses of the deepest blush, and the perfected foliage of the forest; Autumn enriched it with that red and yellow gorgeousness, which converts each wild-wood leaf into a painted flower; and Winter silvered it with sleet, and hung it round with icicles, till it flashed in the cold sunshine, itself a frozen sunbeam. Thus each alternate season did homage to the May-Pole, and paid it a tribute of its own richest splendor. Its votaries danced round it, once, at least, in every month; sometimes they called it their religion, or their altar; but always, it was the banner-staff of Merry Mount.

Unfortunately, there were men in the new world, of a sterner faith than these May-Pole worshippers. Not far from Merry Mount was a settlement of Puritans, most dismal wretches, who said their prayers before daylight, and then wrought in the forest or the cornfield, till evening made it prayer time again. Their weapons were always at hand, to shoot down the straggling savage. When they met in conclave, it was never to keep up the old English mirth, but to hear sermons three hours long, or to proclaim bounties on the heads of wolves and the scalps of Indians. Their festivals were fast-days, and their chief pastime the singing of psalms. Woe to the youth or maiden, who did but dream

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of a dance! The selectman nodded to the constable; and there sat the light-heeled reprobate in the stocks; or if he danced, it was round the whipping-post, which might be termed the Puritan May-Pole.

A party of these grim Puritans, toiling through the difficult woods, each with a horse-load of iron armor to burthen his footsteps, would sometimes draw near the sunny precincts of Merry Mount. There were the silken colonists, sporting round their May-Pole; perhaps teaching a bear to dance, or striving to communicate their mirth to the grave Indian; or masquerading in the skins of deer and wolves, which they had hunted for that especial purpose. Often, the whole colony were playing at blindman’s buff, magistrates and all with their eyes bandaged, except a single scape-goat, whom the blinded sinners pursued by the tinkling of the bells at his garments. Once, it is said, they were seen following a flower-decked corpse, with merriment and festive music, to his grave. But did the dead man laugh? In their quietest times, they sang ballads and told tales, for the edification of their pious visiters; or perplexed them with juggling tricks; or grinned at them through horse-collars; and when sport itself grew wearisome, they made game of their own stupidity, and began an yawning match. At the very least of these enormities, the men of iron shook their heads and frowned so darkly, that the revellers looked up, imagining that a momentary cloud had overcast the sunshine, which was to be perpetual there. On the other hand, the Puritans affirmed, that, when a psalm was pealing from their place of worship, the echo, which the forest sent them back, seemed often the chorus of a jolly

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catch, closing with a roar of laughter. Who but the fiend, and his fond slaves, the crew of Merry Mount, had thus disturbed them! In due time, a feud arose, stern and bitter on one side, and as serious on the other as any thing could be, among such light spirits as had sworn allegiance to the May-Pole. The future complexion of New England was involved in this important quarrel. Should the grisly saints establish their jurisdiction over the gay sinners, then would their spirits darken all the clime and make it a land of clouded visages, of hard toil, of sermon and psalm, forever. But should the banner-staff of Merry Mount be fortunate, sunshine would break upon the hills, and flowers would beautify the forest, and late posterity do homage to the May-Pole!

After these authentic passages from history, we return to the nuptials of the Lord and Lady of the May. Alas! we have delayed too long, and must darken our tale too suddenly. As we glanced again at the May-Pole, a solitary sun-beam is fading from the summit, and leaves only a faint golden tinge, blended with the hues of the rain bow banner. Even that dim light is now withdrawn, relinquishing the whole domain of Merry Mount to the evening gloom, which has rushed so instantaneously from the black surrounding woods. But some of these black shadows have rushed forth in human shape.

Yes: with the setting sun, the last day of mirth had passed from Merry Mount. The ring of gay masquers was disordered and broken; the stag lowered his antlers in dismay; the wolf grew weaker than a lamb; the bells of the morrice dancers tinkled with tremulous affright. The Puritans had played a characteristic part

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in the May-Pole mummeries. Their darksome figures were intermixed with the wild shapes of their foes, and made the scene a picture of the moment, when waking thoughts start up amid the scattered fantasies of a dream. The leader of the hostile party stood in the centre of the circle, while the rout of monsters cowered around him, like evil spirits in the presence of a dread magician. No fantastic foolery could look him in the face. So stern was the energy of his aspect, that the whole man, visage, frame, and soul, seemed wrought of iron, gifted with life and thought, yet all of one substance with his head-piece and breast-plate. It was the Puritan of Puritans; it was Endicott himself!

‘Stand off, priest of Baal!’ said he, with a grim frown, and laying no reverent hand upon the surplice. ‘I know thee, Claxton!* Thou art the man, who couldst not abide the rule even of thine own corrupted church, and hast come hither to preach iniquity, and to give example of it in thy life. But now shall it be seen that the Lord hath sanctified this wilderness for his peculiar people. Woe unto them that would defile it! And first for this flower-decked abomination, the altar of thy worship!’

And with his keen sword, Endicott assaulted the hallowed May-Pole. Nor long did it resist his arm. It groaned with a dismal sound; it showered leaves and rose-buds upon the remorseless enthusiast; and finally, with all its green boughs, and ribbons, and flowers, sym-

* Did Governor Endicott speak less positively, we should suspect a mistake here. The Reverend Mr. Claxton, though an eccentric, is not known to have been an immoral man. We rather doubt his identity with the priest of Merry Mount.

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bolic of departed pleasures, down fell the banner-staff of Merry Mount. As it sank, tradition says, the evening sky grew darker, and the woods threw forth a more sombre shadow.

‘There,’ cried Endicott, looking triumphantly on his work, ‘there lies the only May-Pole in New-England! The thought is strong within me, that, by its fall, is shadowed forth the fate of light and idle mirth-makers, amongst us and our posterity. Amen, saith John Endicott!’

‘Amen!’ echoed his followers.

But the votaries of the May-Pole gave one groan for their idol. At the sound, the Puritan leader glanced at the crew of Comus, each a figure of broad mirth, yet, at this moment, strangely expressive of sorrow and dismay.

‘Valiant captain,’ quoth Peter Palfrey, the Ancient of the band, ‘what order shall be taken with the prisoners?’

‘I thought not to repent me of cutting down a May-Pole,’ replied Endicott, ‘yet now I could find in my heart to plant it again, and give each of these bestial pagans one other dance round their idol. It would have served rarely for a whipping-post!’

‘But there are pine trees enow,’ suggested the lieutenant.

‘True, good Ancient,’ said the leader. ‘Wherefore, bind the heathen crew, and bestow on them a small matter of stripes apiece, as earnest of our future justice. Set some of the rogues in the stocks to rest themselves, so soon as Providence shall bring us to one of our own well-ordered settlements, where such accommodations may be found. Further penalties, such as branding and cropping of ears, shall be thought of hereafter.’

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‘How many stripes for the priest?’ inquired Ancient Palfrey.

‘None as yet,’ answered Endicott, bending his iron frown upon the culprit. ‘It must be for the Great and General Court to determine, whether stripes and long imprisonment, and other grievous penalty, may atone for his transgressions. Let him look to himself! For such as violate our civil order, it may be permitted us to show mercy. But woe to the wretch that troubleth our religion!’

‘And this dancing bear,’ resumed the officer. ‘Must he share the stripes of his fellows?’

‘Shoot him through the head!’ said the energetic Puritan. ‘I suspect witchcraft in the beast.’

‘Here be a couple of shining ones,’ continued Peter Palfrey, pointing his weapon at the Lord and Lady of the May. ‘They seem to be of high station among these mis-doers. Methinks their dignity will not be fitted with less than a double share of stripes.’

Endicott rested on his sword, and closely surveyed the dress and aspect of the hapless pair. There they stood, pale, downcast, and apprehensive. Yet there was an air of mutual support, and of pure affection, seeking aid and giving it, that showed them to be man and wife, with the sanction of a priest upon their love. The youth, in the peril of the moment, had dropped his gilded staff, and thrown his arm about the Lady of the May, who leaned against his breast, too lightly to burthen him, but with weight enough to express that their destinies were linked together, for good or evil. They looked first at each other, and then into the grim captain’s face. There they stood, in the first hour of

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wedlock, while the idle pleasures, of which their companions were the emblems, had given place to the sternest cares of life, personified by the dark Puritans. But never had their youthful beauty seemed so pure and high, as when its glow was chastened by adversity.

‘Youth,’ said Endicott, ‘ye stand in an evil case, thou and thy maiden wife. Make ready presently; for I am minded that ye shall both have a token to remember your wedding-day!’

‘Stern man,’ exclaimed the May Lord, ‘how can I move thee? Were the means at hand, I would resist to the death. Being powerless, I entreat! Do with me as thou wilt; but let Edith go untouched!’

‘Not so,’ replied the unmitigable zealot. ‘We are not wont to show an idle courtesy to that sex, which requireth the stricter discipline. What sayest thou maid? Shall thy silken bridegroom suffer thy share of the penalty, besides his own?’

‘Be it death,’ said Edith, ‘and lay it all on me!’

Truly, as Endicott had said, the poor lovers stood in a woeful case. Their foes were triumphant, their friends captive and abased, their home desolate, the benighted wilderness around them, and a rigorous destiny, in the shape of the Puritan leader, their only guide. Yet the deepening twilight could not altogether conceal, that the iron man was softened; he smiled, at the fair spectacle of early love; he almost sighed, for the inevitable blight of early hopes.

‘The troubles of life have come hastily on this young couple,’ observed Endicott. ‘We will see how they comport themselves under their present trials, ere we burthen them with greater. If, among the spoil, there

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be any garments of a more decent fashion, let them be put upon this May Lord and his Lady, instead of their glistening vanities. Look to it, some of you.’

‘And shall not the youth’s hair be cut?’ asked Peter Palfrey, looking with abhorrence at the love-lock and long glossy curls of the young man.

‘Crop it forthwith, and that in the true pumpkin shell fashion,’ answered the captain. ‘Then bring them along with us, but more gently than their fellows. There be qualities in the youth, which may make him valiant to fight, and sober to toil, and pious to pray; and in the maiden, that may fit her to become a mother in our Israel, bringing up babes in better nurture than her own hath been. Nor think ye, young ones, that they are the happiest, even in our lifetime of a moment, who misspend it in dancing round a May-Pole!’

And Endicott, the severest Puritan of all who laid the rock-foundation of New England, lifted the wreath of roses from the ruin of the May-Pole, and threw it, with his own gauntleted hand, over the heads of the Lord and Lady of the May. It was a deed of prophecy. As the moral gloom of the world overpowers all systematic gaiety, even so was their home of wild mirth made desolate amid the sad forest. They returned to it no more. But, as their flowery garland was wreathed of the brightest roses that had grown there, so, in the tie that united them, were intertwined all the purest and best of their early joys. They went heavenward, supporting each other along the difficult path which it was their lot to tread, and never wasted one regretful thought on the vanities of Merry Mount.

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I remember, I remember

The sights and sounds of youth;

The blooming cheek, the beaming eye,

All innocence and truth;

The humble roof, all green with moss,

Where first I saw the light;

The village church, that lifted up

Its spire so high and bright;

The school-house at the green road-side;

The master, so severe!

The noisy bell, that far and wide

Rang out a peal so clear.

I remember, I remember

The happy morning sun;

The dewy gloom, that fell around

When day was past and done;

The twitter and the song of birds;

The cock-crow at the morn;

The low of the returning herds,

At sound of evening horn;

The joys of jocund harvest-day,

Amid the yellow grain;

And the mad frolics in the hay

Piled on the creaking wain.

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I remember, I remember

The angling at the brook;

The poring o’er the fairy tale

In childhood’s pictured book;

The frolics on the frozen pool,

And round the snow-built fort;

The sleigh-ride of the noisy school,

With all its giddy sport;

And the bright hopes, the childish fears,

That thrilled the wild school-boy—

And fill, in our maturer years,

The memory with joy.

[p. 300]



Those fountain eyes! those fountain eyes!

I see them in each dream

Of day’s delight, and every night

Renews their sad, sweet gleam;—

Fair stars are they for me that arise

In mournful beauty,—those fountain eyes!

Those fountain eyes!—I weep to look

Low in the dewy deeps,

Where midst the tears of other years,

The soul of sorrow sleeps,—

Yet all the light of thine early glee,

Were a far less lovely light to me.

Those fountain eyes!—then let them tell

Still, as they oft have told,

The tale of him, in his dwelling dim,

Whose noble heart is cold,

But whose worth, as a wave-flower, in the sheen

Of the fountain eyes floats freshly green.

O fountain eyes! love on, love on!—

And let not love be vain;—

The grave shall give thy lost, to live,

In a holier home, again;—

And oh! keep pure,—for him,—in the skies—

Dear lady, the light of the fountain eyes!

*In allusion to the complimentary comparison of a poetically disposed but cordial friend.


The Pilot's Boy
S. W. Cheney Sc

Printed by D. Stevens.

[p. 301]


Each day he wandered—’t was his wont—

With fearless foot along the shore,

And trod as lightly on the front

Of rocks, above the ocean’s roar—

The surges growling deep beneath—

As sea birds waiting for their prey—

And loved the tempest’s breath to breathe,

Dashed by the billows’ glitt’ring spray.

Where is he now, that playful boy,

The mother’s hope, the father’s pride?—

No more, alas! their source of joy,

He slumbers by the reckless tide.

At sunset, tho’ the storm was loud,

He came not home—he slept alone—

The curling billow for his shroud—

His bed, that night, the caverned stone.

They found him at the early dawn—

They wept—but tears could not avail—

Why should a mother weep and wail?

He loved the deep, and lightly wrought,

The Spirit sail was gently driven,

O’er that far shoreless sea of thought,

Which bears the spotless soul to heaven.

There on a boundless Deep, believe

Thy child at peace, all tempests o’er—

And let thy parent bosoms grieve—

For one so bright, so blest,—no more.

[p. 302]



The sexton stood in the porch of Milford meeting-house, pulling lustily at the bell-rope. The old people of the village came stooping along the street. Children, with bright faces, tript merrily beside their parents, or mimicked a graver gait, in the conscious dignity of their sunday clothes. Spruce bachelors looked sidelong at the pretty maidens, and fancied that the sabbath sunshine made them prettier than on week-days. When the throng had mostly streamed into the porch, the sexton began to toll the bell, keeping his eye on the Reverend Mr. Hooper’s door. The first glimpse of the clergyman’s figure was the signal for the bell to cease its summons.

‘But what has good Parson Hooper got upon his face?’ cried the sexton in astonishment.

All within hearing immediately turned about, and beheld the semblance of Mr. Hooper, pacing slowly his meditative way towards the meeting-house. With one

* Another clergyman in New-England, Mr. Joseph Moody, of York, Maine, who died about eighty years since, made himself remarkable by the same eccentricity that is here related of the Reverend Mr. Hooper. In his case, however, the symbol had a different import. In early life he had accidentally killed a beloved friend; and from that day till the hour of his own death, he hid his face from men.

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accord they started, expressing more wonder than if some strange minister were coming to dust the cushions of Mr. Hooper’s pulpit.

‘Are you sure it is our parson?’ inquired Goodman Gray of the sexton.

‘Of a certainty it is good Mr. Hooper,’ replied the sexton. ‘He was to have exchanged pulpits with Parson Shute of Westbury; but Parson Shute sent to excuse himself yesterday, being to preach a funeral sermon.’

The cause of so much amazement may appear sufficiently slight. Mr. Hooper, a gentlemanly person of about thirty, though still a bachelor, was dressed with due clerical neatness, as if a careful wife had starched his band, and brushed the weekly dust from his Sunday’s garb. There was but one thing remarkable in his appearance. Swathed about his forehead, and hanging down over his face, so low as to be shaken by his breath, Mr. Hooper had on a black veil. On a nearer view, it seemed to consist of two folds of crape, which entirely concealed his features, except the mouth and chin, but probably did not intercept his sight, farther than to give a darkened aspect to all living an inanimate things. With this gloomy shade before him, good Mrs. Hooper walked onward, at a slow and quiet pace, stooping somewhat and looking on the ground, as is customary with abstracted men, yet nodding kindly to those of his parishioners who still waited on the meeting-house steps. But so wonder-struck were they, that his greeting hardly met with a return.

‘I can’t really feel as if good Mr. Hooper’s face was behind that piece of crape,’ said the sexton.

‘I don’t like it,’ muttered an old woman, as she hob-

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bled into the meeting-house. ‘He has changed himself into something awful, only by hiding his face.’

‘Our parson has gone mad!’ cried Goodman Gray, following him across the threshold.

A rumor of some unaccountable phenomenon had preceded Mr. Hooper into the meeting-house, and set all the congregation astir. Few could refrain from twisting their heads towards the door; many stood upright, and turned directly about; while several little boys clambered upon the seats, and came down again with a terrible racket. There was a general bustle, a rustling of the women’s gowns and shuffling of the men’s feet, greatly at variance with that hushed repose which should attend the entrance of the minister. But Mr. Hooper appeared not to notice the perturbation of his people. He entered with an almost noiseless step, bent his head mildly to the pews on each side, and bowed as he passed his oldest parishioner, a white-haired great-grandsire, who occupied an arm-chair in the centre of the aisle. It was strange to observe, how slowly this venerable man became conscious of something singular in the appearance of his pastor. He seemed not fully to partake of the prevailing wonder, till Mr. Hooper had ascended the stairs, and showed himself in the pulpit, face to face with his congregation, except for the black veil. That mysterious emblem was never once withdrawn. It shook with his measured breath as he gave out the psalm; it threw its obscurity between him and the holy page, as he read the Scriptures; and while he prayed, the veil lay heavily on his uplifted countenance. Did he seek to hide it from the dread Being whom he was addressing?

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Such was the effect of this simple piece of crape, that more than one woman of delicate nerves was forced to leave the meeting-house. Yet perhaps the pale-faced congregation was almost as fearful a sight to the minister, as his black veil to them.

Mr. Hooper had the reputation of a good preacher, but not an energetic one: he strove to win his people heaven-ward, by mild persuasive influences, rather than to drive them thither, by the thunders of the Word. The sermon which he now delivered, was marked by the same characteristics of style and manner, as the general series of his pulpit oratory. But there was something, either in the sentiment of the discourse itself, or in the imagination of the auditors, which made it greatly the most powerful effort that they had ever heard from their pastor’s lips. It was tinged, rather more darkly than usual, with the gentle gloom of Mr. Hooper’s temperament. The subject had reference to secret sin, and those sad mysteries which we hide from our nearest and dearest, and would fain conceal from our own consciousness, even forgetting that the Omniscient can detect them. A subtle power was breathed into his words. Each member ogf the congregation, the most innocent girl, and the man of hardened breast, felt as if the preacher had crept upon them, behind his awful veil, and discovered their hoarded iniquity of deed or thought. Many spread their clasped hands on their bosoms. There was nothing terrible in what Mr. Hooper said; at least, no violence; and yet, with every tremor of his melancholy voice, the hearers quaked. An unsought pathos came hand in hand with awe. So sensible were the audience of some unwonted attribute in their minister, that they longed for a breath of wind to

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blow aside the veil, almost believing that a stranger’s visage would be discovered, though the form, gesture, and voice were those of Mr. Hooper.

At the close of the services, the people hurried out with indecorous confusion, eager to communicate their pent-up amazement, and conscious of lighter spirits, the moment they lost sight of the black veil. Some gathered in little circles, huddled closely together, with their mouths all whispering in the centre; some went homeward alone, wrapt in silent meditation; some talked loudly, and profaned the Sabbath-day with ostentatious laughter. A few shook their sagacious heads, intimating that they could penetrate the mystery; while one or two affirmed that there was no mystery at all, but only that Mr. Hooper’s eyes were so weakened by the midnight lamp, as to require a shade. After a brief interval, forth came good Mr. Hooper also, in the rear of his flock. Turning his veiled face from one group to another, he paid due reverence to the hoary heads, saluted the middle-aged with kind dignity, as their friend and spiritual guide, greeted the young with mingled authority and love, and laid his hands on the little children’s heads to bless them. Such was always his custom on the Sabbath-day. Strange and bewildered looks repaid him for his courtesy. None, as on former occasions, aspired to the honor of walking by their pastor’s side. Old Squire Saunders, doubtless by an accidental lapse of memory, neglected to invite Mr. Hooper to his table, where the good clergyman had been wont to bless the food, almost every Sunday since his settlement. He returned, therefore, to the parsonage, and, at the moment of closing the door, was observed to look back upon the people, all of whom had their eyes

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fixed upon the minister. A sad smile gleamed faintly from beneath the black veil, and flickered about his mouth, glimmering as he disappeared.

‘How strange,’ said a lady, ‘that a simple black veil, such as any woman might wear on her bonnet, should become such a terrible thing on Mr. Hooper’s face!’

‘Something must surely be amiss with Mr. Hooper’s intellects,’ observed her husband, the physician of the village. ‘But the strangest part of the affair is the effect of this vagary, even on a sober-minded man like myself. The black veil, though it covers only our pastor’s face, throws its influence over his whole person, and makes him ghost-like from head to foot. Do you not feel it so?’

‘Truly do I,’ replied the lady; ‘and I would not be alone with him for the world. I wonder he is not afraid to be alone with himself!’

‘Men sometimes are so,’ said her husband.

The afternoon service was attended with similar circumstances. At its conclusion, the bell tolled for the funeral of a young lady. The relatives and friends were assembled in the house, and the more distant acquaintances stood about the door, speaking of the good qualities of the deceased, when their talk was interrupted by the appearance of Mr. Hooper, still covered with his black veil. It was now an appropriate emblem. The clergyman stepped into the room where the corpse was laid, and bent over the coffin, to take a last farewell of his deceased parishioner. As he stooped, the veil hung straight down from his forehead, so that, if her eye-lids had not been closed for ever, the dead maiden might have seen his face. Could Mr. Hooper be fearful of her glance, that he so hastily caught back the black veil? A person, who

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watched the interview between the dead and living, scrupled not to affirm, that, at the instant when the clergyman’s features were disclosed, the corpse had slightly shuddered, rustling the shroud and muslin cap, though the countenance retained the composure of death. A superstitious old woman was the only witness of this prodigy. From the coffin, Mr. Hooper passed into the chamber of the mourners, and thence to the head of the staircase, to make the funeral prayer. It was a tender and heart-dissolving prayer, full of sorrow, yet so imbued with celestial hopes, that the music of a heavenly harp, swept by the fingers of the dead, seemed faintly to be heard among the saddest accents of the minister. The people trembled, though they but darkly understood him, when he prayed that they, and himself, and all of mortal race, might be ready, as he trusted this young maiden had been, for the dreadful hour that should snatch the veil from their faces. The bearers went heavily forth, and the mourners followed, saddening all the street, with the dead before them, and Mr. Hooper in his black veil behind.

‘Why do you look back?’ said one in the procession to his partner.

‘I had a fancy,’ replied she, ‘that the minister and the maiden’s spirit were walking hand in hand.’

‘And so had I, at the same moment,’ said the other.

That night, the handsomest couple in Milford village were to be joined in wedlock. Though reckoned a melancholy man, Mr. Hooper had a placid cheerfulness for such occasions, which often excited a sympathetic smile, where livelier merriment would have been thrown away. There was no quality of his disposition which

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made him more beloved than this. The company at the wedding awaited his arrival with impatience, trusting that the strange awe, which had gathered over him throughout the day, would now be dispelled. But such was not the result. When Mr. Hooper came, the first thing that their eyes rested on was the same horrible black veil, which had added deeper gloom to the funeral, and could portend nothing but evil to the wedding. Such was its immediate effect on the guests, that a cloud seemed to have rolled duskily from beneath the black crape, and dimmed the light of the candles. The bridal pair stood up before the minister. But the bride’s cold fingers quivered in the tremulous hand of the bridegroom, and her death-like paleness caused a whisper, that the maiden who had been buried a few hours before, was come from her grave to be married. If ever another wedding were so dismal, it was that famous one, where they tolled the wedding-knell. After performing the ceremony, Mr. Hooper raised a glass of wine to his lips, wishing happiness to the new-married couple, in a strain of mild pleasantry that ought to have brightened the features of the guests, like a cheerful gleam from the hearth. At that instant, catching a glimpse of his figure in the looking-glass, the black veil involved his own spirit in the horror with which it overwhelmed all others. His frame shuddered—his lips grew white—he spilt the untasted wine upon the carpet—and rushed forth into the darkness. For the Earth, too, had on her Black Veil.

The next day, the whole village of Milford talked of little else than Parson Hooper’s black veil. That, and the mystery concealed behind it, supplied a topic for

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discussion between acquaintances meeting in the street, and good women gossiping at their open windows. It was the first item of news that the tavern-keeper told to his guests. The children babbled of it on their way to school. One imitative little imp covered his face with an old black handkerchief, thereby so affrighting his playmate, that the panic seized himself, and he well nigh lost his wits by his own waggery.

It was remarkable, that, of all the busy-bodies and impertinent people in the parish, not one ventured to put the plain question to Mr. Hooper, wherefore he did this thing. Hitherto, whenever there appeared the slightest call for such interference, he had never lacked advisers, nor shown himself averse to be guided by their judgment. If he erred at all, it was by so painful a degree of self-distrust, that even the mildest censure would lead him to consider an indifferent action as a crime. Yet, though so well acquainted with this amiable weakness, no individual among his parishioners chose to make the black veil a subject of friendly remonstrance. There was a feeling of dread, neither plainly confessed nor carefully concealed, which caused each to shift the responsibility upon another, till at length it was found expedient to send a deputation of the church, in order to deal with Mr. Hooper about the mystery, before it should grow into a scandal. Never did an embassy so ill discharge its duties. The minister received them with friendly courtesy, but became silent, after they were seated, leaving to his visiters the whole burthen of introducing their important business. The topic, it might be supposed, was obvious enough. there was the black veil, swathed round Mr. Hooper’s forehead, and concealing every feature above his placid mouth, on

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which, at times, they could perceive the glimmering of a melancholy smile. But that piece of crape, to their imagination, seemed to hang down before his heart, the symbol of a fearful secret between him and them. Were the veil but cast aside, they might speak freely of it, but not till then. Thus they sat a considerable time, speechless, confused, and shrinking uneasily from Mr. Hooper’s eye, which they felt to be fixed upon them with an invisible glance. Finally, the deputies returned abashed to their constituents. pronouncing the matter too weighty to be handled, except by a council of the churches, if, indeed, it might not require a general synod.

But there was one person in the village, unappalled by the awe with which the black veil had impressed all beside herself. When the deputies returned without an explanation, or even venturing to demand one, she, with the calm energy of her character, determined to chase away the strange cloud that appeared to be settling round Mr. Hooper, every moment more darkly than before. As his plighted wife, it should be her privilege to know what the black veil concealed. At the minister’s first visit, therefore, she entered upon the subject, with a direct simplicity, which made the task easier both for him and her. After he had seated himself, she fixed her eyes steadfastly upon the veil, but could discern nothing of the dreadful gloom that had so overawed the multitude: it was but a double fold of crape, hanging down from his forehead to his mouth, and slightly stirring with his breath.

‘No,’ said she aloud, and smiling, ‘there is nothing terrible in this piece of crape, except that it hides a face which I am always glad to look upon. Come, good sir,

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let the sun shine from behind the cloud. First lay aside your black veil: then tell me why you put it on.’

Mr. Hooper’s smile glimmered faintly.

‘There is an hour to come,’ said he, ‘when all of us shall cast aside our veils. Take it not amiss, beloved friend, if I wear this piece of crape, till then.’

‘Your words are a mystery too,’ returned the young lady. ‘Take away the veil from them, at least.’

‘Elizabeth, I will,’ said he, ‘so far as my vow may suffer me. Know, then, this veil is a type and a symbol, and I am bound to wear it ever, both in light and darkness, in solitude and before the gaze of multitudes, and as with strangers, so with my familiar friends. No mortal eye will see it withdrawn. This dismal shade must separate me from the world: even you, Elizabeth, can never come behind it!’

‘What grievous affliction hath befallen you,’ she earnestly inquired, ‘that you should thus darken your eyes for ever?’

‘If it be a sign of mourning,’ replied Mr. Hooper, ‘I, perhaps, like most other mortals, have sorrows dark enough to be typified by a black veil.’

‘But what if the world will not believe that it is the type of an innocent sorrow?’ urged Elizabeth. ‘Beloved and respected as you are, there may be whispers, that you hide your face under the consciousness of secret sin. For the sake of your holy office, do away this scandal!’

The color rose into her cheeks, as she intimated the nature of the rumors that were already abroad in the village. But Mr. Hooper’s mildness did not forsake him. He even smiled again—that same sad smile, which always

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appeared like a faint glimmering of light, proceeding from the obscurity beneath the veil.

‘If I hide my face for sorrow, there is cause enough,’ he merely replied; ‘and if I cover it for secret sin, what mortal might not do the same?’

And with this gentle, but unconquerable obstinacy, did he resist all her entreaties. At length Elizabeth sat silent. For a few moments she appeared lost in thought, considering, probably, what new methods might be tried, to withdraw her lover from so dark a fantasy, which, if it had no other meaning, was perhaps a symptom of mental disease. Though of a firmer character than his own, the tears rolled down her cheeks. But, in an instant, as it were, a new feeling took the place of sorrow: her eyes were fixed insensibly on the black veil, when, like a sudden twilight in the air, its terrors fell around her. She arose, and stood trembling before him.

‘And do you feel it then at last?’ said he mournfully.

She made no reply, but covered her eyes with her hand, and turned to leave the room. He rushed forward and caught her arm.

‘Have patience with me, Elizabeth!’ cried he passionately. ‘Do not desert me, though this veil must be between us here on earth. Be mine, and hereafter there shall be no veil over my face, no darkness between our souls! It is but a mortal veil—it is not for eternity! Oh! you know not how lonely I am, and how frightened to be alone behind my black veil. Do not leave me in this miserable obscurity for ever!’

‘Lift the veil but once, and look me in the face,’ said she.

‘Never! It cannot be!’ replied Mr. Hooper.

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‘Then, farewell!’ said Elizabeth.

She withdrew her arm from his grasp, and slowly departed, pausing at the door, to give one long, shuddering gaze, that seemed almost to penetrate the mystery of the black veil. But, even amid his grief, Mr. Hooper smiled to think that only a material emblem had separated him from happiness, though the horrors which it shadowed forth, must be drawn darkly between the fondest of lovers.

From that time no attempts were made to remove Mr. Hooper’s black veil, or, by a direct appeal, to discover the secret which it was supposed to hide. By persons who claimed a superiority to popular prejudice, it was reckoned merely an eccentric whim, such as often mingles with the sober actions of men otherwise rational, and tinges them all with its own semblance of insanity. But with the multitude, good Mr. Hooper was irreparably a bug-bear. He could not walk the street with any peace of mind, so conscious was he that the gentle and timid would turn aside to avoid him, and that others would make it a point of hardihood to throw themselves in his way. The impertinence of the latter class compelled him to give up his customary walk, at sunset, to the burial ground; for when he leaned pensively over the gate, there would always be faces behind the grave-stones, peeping at his black veil. A fable went the rounds, that the stare of the dead people drove him thence. It grieved him, to the very depth of his kind heart, to observe how the children fled from his approach, breaking up their merriest sports, while his melancholy figure was yet afar off. Their instinctive dread caused him to feel, more strongly than aught else, that a preternatural horror was

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interwoven with the threads of the black crape. In truth, his own antipathy to the veil was known to be so great, that he never willingly passed before a mirror, nor stooped to drink at a still fountain, lest, in its peaceful bosom, he should be affrighted by himself. This was what gave plausibility to the whispers, that Mr. Hooper’s conscience tortured him for some great crime, too horrible to be entirely concealed, or otherwise than so obscurely intimated. Thus, from beneath the black veil, there rolled a cloud into the sunshine, an ambiguity of sin or sorrow, which enveloped the poor minister, so that love or sympathy could never reach him. It was said, that ghost and fiend consorted with him there. With self-shudderings and outward terrors, he walked continually in its shadow, groping darkly within his own soul, or gazing through a medium that saddened the whole world. Even the lawless wind, it was believed, respected his dreadful secret, and never blew aside the veil. But still good Mr. Hooper sadly smiled, at the pale visages of the worldly throng as he passed by.

Among all its bad influences, the black veil had the one desirable effect, of making its wearer a very efficient clergyman. By the aid of his mysterious emblem—for there was no other apparent cause—he became a man of artful power, over souls that were in agony for sin. His converts always regarded him with a dread peculiar to themselves, affirming, though but figuratively, that, before he brought them to celestial light, they had been with him behind the black veil. Its gloom, indeed, enabled him to sympathize with all dark affections. Dying sinners cried aloud for Mr. Hooper, and would not yield their breath till he appeared; though ever, as he stooped to

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whisper consolation, they shuddered at the veiled face so near their own. Such were the terrors of the black veil, even when death had bared his visage! Strangers came long distances to attend service at his church, with the mere idle purpose of gazing at his figure, because it was forbidden them to behold his face. But many were made to quake ere they departed! Once, during Governor Belcher’s administration, Mr. Hooper was appointed to preach the election sermon. Covered with his black veil, he stood before the chief magistrate, the council, and the representatives, and wrought so deep an impression, that the legislative measures of that year, were characterized by all the gloom and piety of our earliest ancestral sway.

In this manner Mr. Hooper spent a long life, irreproachable in outward act, yet shrouded in dismal suspicions; kind and loving, though unloved, and dimly feared; a man apart from men, shunned in their health and joy, but ever summoned to their aid in mortal anguish. As years wore on, shedding their snows above his sable veil, he acquired a name throughout the New-England churches, and they called him Father Hooper. Nearly all his parishioners, who were of mature age when he was settled, had been borne away by many a funeral: he had one congregation in the church, and a more crowded one in the church-yard; and having wrought so late into the evening, and done his work so well, it was now good Father Hooper’s turn to rest.

Several persons were visible by the shaded candle-light, in the death-chamber of the old clergyman. Natural connections he had none. But there was the decorously grave, though unmoved physician, seeking only to

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mitigate the last pangs of the patient whom he could not save. There were the deacons, and other eminently pious members of his church. There, also, was the Reverend Mr. Clark, of Westbury, a young and zealous divine, who had ridden in haste to pray by the bed-side of the expiring minister. There was the nurse, no hired handmaiden of death, but one whose calm affection had endured thus long, in secresy, in solitude, amid the chill of age, and would not perish, even at the dying hour. Who, but Elizabeth! And there lay the hoary head of good Father Hooper upon the death-pillow, with the black veil still swathed about his brow and reaching down over his face, so that each more difficult gasp of his faint breath caused it to stir. All through life that piece of crape had hung between him and the world: it had separated him from cheerful brotherhood and woman’s love, and kept him in that saddest of all prisons, his own heart; and still it lay upon his face, as if to deepen the gloom of his darksome chamber, and shade him from the sunshine of eternity.

For some time previous, his mind had been confused, wavering doubtfully between the past and the present, and hovering forward, as it were, at intervals, into the indistinctness of the world to come. There had been feverish turns, which tossed him from side to side, and wore away what little strength he had. But in his most convulsive struggles, and in the wildest vagaries of his intellect, when no other thought retained its sober influence, he still showed an awful solicitude lest the black veil should slip aside. Even if his bewildered soul could have forgotten, there was a faithful woman at his

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pillow, who, with averted eyes, would have covered that aged face, which she had last beheld in the comeliness of manhood. At length the death-stricken old man lay quietly in the torpor of mental and bodily exhaustion, with an imperceptible pulse, and breath that grew fainter and fainter, except when a long, deep, and irregular inspiration seemed to prelude the flight of his spirit.

The minister of Westbury approached the bedside.

‘Venerable Father Hooper,’ said he, ‘the moment of your release is at hand. Are you ready for the lifting of the veil, that shuts in time from eternity?’

Father Hooper at first replied merely by a feeble motion of his head; then, apprehensive, perhaps, that his meaning might be doubtful, he exerted himself to speak.

‘Yes,’ said he, in faint accents, ‘my soul hath a patient weariness until that veil be lifted.’

‘And is it fitting,’ resumed the Reverend Mr. Clark, ‘that a man so given to prayer, of such a blameless example, holy in deed and thought, so far as mortal judgment may pronounce; is it fitting that a father in the church should leave a shadow on his memory, that may seem to blacken a life so pure? I pray you, my venerable brother, let not this thing be! Suffer us to be gladdened by your triumphant aspect, as you go to your reward. Before the veil of eternity be lifted, let me cast aside this black veil from your face!’

And thus speaking, the Reverend Mr. Clark bent forward to reveal the mystery of so many years. But, exerting a sudden energy, that made all the beholders stand aghast, Father Hooper snatched both his hands

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from beneath the bed-clothes, and pressed them strongly on the black veil, resolute to struggle, if the minister of Westbury would contend with a dying man.

‘Never!’ cried the veiled clergyman. ‘On earth, never!’

‘Dark old man!’ exclaimed the affrighted minister, ‘with what horrible crime upon your soul are you now passing to the judgment?’

Father Hooper’s breath heaved; it rattled in his throat; but, with a mighty effort, grasping forward with his hands, he caught hold of life, and held it back till he should speak. He even raised himself in bed; and there he sat, shivering with the arms of death around him, while the black veil hung down, awful, at that last moment, in the gathered terrors of a life-time. And yet the faint, sad smile, so often there, now seemed to glimmer from its obscurity, and linger on Father Hooper’s lips.

‘Why do you tremble at me alone?’ cried he, turning his veiled face round the circle of pale spectators. ‘Tremble also at each other! Have men avoided me, and women shown no pity, and children screamed and fled, only for my black veil? What, but the mystery which it obscurely typifies, has made this piece of crape so awful? When the friend shows his inmost heart to his friend; the lover to his best-beloved; when man does not vainly shrink from the eye of his Creator, loathsomely treasuring up the secret of his sin; then deem me a monster, for the symbol beneath which I have lived, and die! I look around me, and, lo! on every visage a black veil!’

While his auditors shrank from one another, in mutual

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affright, Father Hooper fell back upon his pillow, a veiled corpse, with a faint smile lingering on the lips. Still veiled, they laid him in his coffin, and a veiled corpse they bore him to the grave. The grass of many years has sprung up and withered on that grave, the burial-stone is moss-grown, and good Mr. Hooper’s face is dust; but awful is the thought, that it mouldered beneath the black veil!



I love you, flowers—I love you, flowers,

You sweetly breathe to me,

The fragrance of deserted hours,

I never more may see.

I love you flowers—I love you flowers;

For, oh, my heart perceives

The color of its happiest hours,

Reflected on your leaves.

I love you, flowers—I love you flowers—

With you was shared her love,

Which far too fervent to be hours,

Has all returned above.

Your fragrance and your beauty give

Fit emblems of her bloom;

Alas! the moment that you live,

Is transient as her doom!


The Hunters of the Prairie
Printed by T. Doughty.      Engraved by Geo. B. Ellis.
The Hunters of the Prairie.

Printed by D. Stevens.

[p. 321]



The night had covered the earth with a thin robe of snow. As the morning dawned, we saw a deer straining across the prairie, as if urged by some imminent peril. He went at full bounds, and looked not behind. For a long time we watched his progress; and though he flew onward with great rapidity, such was the vast level over which he passed, that after awhile [sic] he seemed rather to creep than run. By degrees he dwindled in size, till he appeared but a speck. At length he reached the hills, which lay like a flight of steps at the foot of the Rocky Mountains; and as he ascended them, he seemed an insect crawling over a sheet of white paper.

Scarcely was he lost to view, when a pack of eight wolves of the prairie were seen on his track, speeding forward with that eagerness which characterizes the race. Two were in advance of the rest, with their noses near the ground; yet proceeding with a directness, expressive at once of assurance and determination. The rest followed, as if they placed implicit reliance upon their leaders. On they went; and long before they reached the mountains, they were lost to our view.

It was a scene that suggested a long train of musings. One might have fancied that peace would hold her reign over the solitude, as yet disturbed by no intrusive footsteps of man. Far away was the ocean; far away the busy

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marts along its border, whose bosoms, like the fretted sea, are agitated with the surges of contending billows. Before us was the spotless prairie, untouched and unsullied, pure with a mantle thrown over it from heaven. Yet here were things to remind us of scenes which are witnessed in human society. There was indeed no buying and selling; yet that poor animal fled like a creditor, and those blood-hounds of the forest pursued like greedy sheriffs. There was here no distinction of sects, no diversity of creeds; yet that pacific deer might seem a quaker of the forest, carrying his non-combative doctrines to the utmost extent. Poor fellow! both he, and William Penn, his great prototype, alike found that a peaceful life is not a sure protection against the malice of the world around.

Fancies like these crossed my mind, till other scenes suggested other thoughts, and the deer and the wolves were forgotten. As the sun was setting behind the mountains, however, my attention was suddenly attracted by the whistling of the deer, and the sharp cry of the wolves now close upon him. He had re-crossed the prairie, and sought for shelter in a little rocky mound, situated in the midst of the plain. In vain his endeavors to escape, for during the whole day his unwearied pursuers had maintained the chase. He was now worn and weary; and the sight of the wolves at his heels, with teeth laid bare, and eyes staring upon their prey, was sufficient only to produce a staggering gait, between a walk and a bound. Having crossed a little brook, he faltered as he ascended the bank; and one of the wolves springing upon him, fixed his fangs fatally in the back of his neck. *  *  *  *  *

[p. 323]



But I have that within which passeth show.—Shakspeare.

Mr. Allerton, a merchant of Philadelphia, had for some years been doing business to considerable advantage, when a sudden check was put to his prosperity by the unexpected failure of a house, for which he had enddorsed to a very large amount. There was no alternative but to surrender every thing to his creditors; and this he did literally and conscientiously. He brought down his mind to his circumstances; and as, at that juncture, the precarious state of the times did not authorize any hope of success if he re-commenced business (as he might have done) upon borrowed capital, he gladly availed himself of a vacant clerkship in one of the principal banks of the city.

His salary, however, would have been scarcely adequate to the support of his family, had he not added something to his little stipend, by employing his leisure hours in keeping the books of a merchant. He removed with his wife and children to a small house in a remote part of the city; and they would, with all his exertions, have

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been obliged to live in the constant exercise of the most painful economy, had it not been for the aid they derived from his sister Constance Allerton. Since the death of her parents, this young lady had resided at New Bedford, with her maternal aunt, Mrs. Ilford, a quakeress, who left her a legacy of ten thousand dollars.

After the demise of her aunt, Miss Allerton took lodgings at a private house in New Bedford; but on hearing of her brother’s misfortunes, she wrote to know if it would be agreeable to him and to his family, for her to remove to Philadelphia, and to live with them—supposing that the sum she would pay for her accommodation, might, in their present difficulties, prove a welcome addition to their income. This proposal was joyfully acceded to, as Constance was much beloved by every member of her brother’s family, and had kept up a continual interest with them by frequent letters, and by an annual visit of a few weeks to Philadelphia.

At this period, Constance Allerton had just completed her twenty-third year. She had a beautiful face, a fine and graceful figure, and a highly cultivated mind. With warm feelings and deep sensibility, she possessed much energy of character—a qualification which, when called forth by circumstances, is often found to be as useful in a woman as in a man. Affectionate, generous, and totally devoid of all selfish considerations, Constance had nothing so much at heart as the comfort and happiness of her brother’s family; and to become an inmate of their house was as gratifying to her as it was to them. She furnished her own apartment, and shared it with little Louisa, the youngest of her three nieces, a lovely child about ten years old. She insisted on paying the

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quarter bills of her nephew Frederick Allerton, and volunteered to complete the education of his sisters, who were delighted to receive their daily lessons from an instructress so kind, so sensible, and so competent. Exclusive of these arrangements, she bestowed on them many little presents, which were always well-timed and judiciously selected; though, to enable her to purchase these gifts, she was obliged, with her limited income of six hundred dollars, to deny herself many gratifications, and indeed conveniences, to which she had hitherto been accustomed, and the want of which she now passed over with a cheerfulness and delicacy, that was duly appreciated by the objects of her kindness.

In this manner the family had been living about a twelvemonth, when Mr. Allerton was suddenly attacked by a violent and dangerous illness, which was soon accompanied by delirium; and in a few days it brought him to the brink of the grave.

His disease baffled the skill of an excellent physician; and the unremitting cares of his wife and sister, could only effect a slight alleviation of his sufferings. He expired on the fifth day, without recovering his senses, and totally unconscious of the presence of the heart-struck mourners, that were weeping round his bed.

When Mr. Allerton’s last breath had departed, his wife was conveyed from the room in a fainting-fit. Constance endeavored to repress her own feelings, till she had rendered the necessary assistance to Mrs. Allerton, and till she had somewhat calmed the agony of the children. She then retired to her own apartment, and gave vent to a burst of grief, such as can only be felt by thos in whose minds and hearts there is a union

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of sense and sensibility. With the weak and frivolous, sorrow is rarely either acute or lasting.

The immortal soul of Mr. Allerton had departed from its earthly tenement, and it was now necessary to think of the painful details that belonged to the disposal of his inanimate corpse. As soon as Constance could command sufficient courage to allow her mind to dwell on this subject, he went down to send a servant for Mr. Denman (an old friend of the family), whom she knew Mrs. Allerton would wish to take charge of the funeral. At the foot of the stairs she met the physician, who, by her pale cheeks, and by the tears that streamed from her eyes at sight of him, saw that all was over. He pressed her hand in sympathy; and perceiving that she was unable to answer questions, he bowed and left the house.

In a short time Mr. Denman arrived; and Mrs. Allerton declaring herself incompetent to the task, Constance saw the gentleman, and requested him to make every necessary arrangement for a plain but respectable funeral.

At such times, how every little circumstance seems to add a new pang to the agonized feelings of the bereaved family. The closing of the window-shutters, the arrival of the woman whose gloomy business it is to prepare the corpse for interment, the undertaker coming to take measure for the coffin, the removal of the bedding on which the deceased has expired, the gliding step, the half-whispered directions—all these sad indications that death is in the house, fail not, however quietly and carefully managed, to reach the ears and hearts of the afflicted relatives, assisted by the intuitive knowledge of

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what is so well understood to be passing at these melancholy moments.

In the evening, after Louisa had cried herself to sleep, Constance repaired to the apartment of her sister-in-law, whom about an hour before she had left exhausted and passive. Mrs. Allerton was extended on the bed, pale and silent; her daughters Isabella and Helen were in tears beside her; and Frederick had retired to his room.

In the fauteuil, near the head of the bed, sat Mrs. Bladen, who, in the days of their prosperity, had been the next door neighbor of the Allerton family, and who still continued to favor them with frequent visits. She was one of those busy people, who seem almost to verify the justly-censured maxim of Rochefoucault, that ‘in the misfortunes of our best friends there is always something which is pleasing to us.’

True it was, that Mrs. Bladen being a woman of great leisure, and of a disposition extremely officious, devoted most of her time and attention to the concerns of others; and any circumstances that prevented her associates from acting immediately for themselves, of course threw open a wider field for her interference.

‘And now, my dear friends,’ said Mrs. Bladen, squeezing Mrs. Allerton’s hand, and looking at Constance, who seated herself in an opposite chair, ‘as the funeral is to take place on Thursday, you know there is no time to be lost. What have you fixed on respecting your mourning? I will cheerfully attend to it for you, and bespeak every thing necessary.’

At the words ‘funeral’ and ‘mourning,’ tears gushed again from the eyes of the distressed family; and neither

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Mrs. Allerton nor Constance could command themselves sufficiently to reply.

‘Come, my dear creatures,’ continued Mrs. Bladen, ‘you must really make an effort to compose yourselves. Just try to be calm for a few minutes, till we have settled this business. Tell me what I shall order for you. However, there is but one rule on these occasions—crape and bombazine, and every thing of the best. Nothing, you know, is more disreputable than mean mourning.’

‘I fear then,’ replied Mrs. Allerton, ‘that our mourning attire must be mean enough. The situation in which we are left, will not allow us to go to any unnecessary expense in that, or in any thing else. We had but little to live upon—we could lay by nothing. We have nothing before-hand: we did not—we could not apprehend that this dreadful event was so near. And you know that his salary—that Mr. Allerton’s salary, of course, expires with him.’

‘So I suppose[,] my dear friend,’ answered Mrs. Bladen; ‘but you know you must have mourning; and as the funeral takes place so soon, there will be little enough time to order it, and have it made.’

‘We will borrow dresses to wear at the—to wear on Thursday,’ said Mrs. Allerton.

‘And of whom will you borrow?’

‘I do not know. I have not yet thought.’

‘The Liscom family are in black,’ observed Isabella; ‘no doubt they would lend us dresses.’

‘Oh! none of their things will fit you at all,’ exclaimed Mrs. Bladen. ‘None of the Liscoms have the least resem-

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blance to any of you, either in height or figure. You would look perfectly ridiculous in their things.’

‘Then there are Mrs. Patterson and her daughters,’ said Helen.

‘The Pattersons,’ replied Mrs. Bladen, ‘are just going to leave off black; and nothing that they have looks either new or fresh. You know how soon black becomes rusty. You certainly would feel very much mortified, if you had to make a shabby appearance at Mr. Allerton’s funeral. Besides, nobody now wears borrowed mourning—it can always be detected in a moment. No—with a little exertion—and I repeat that I am willing to do all in my power—there is time enough to provide the whole family with genteel and proper mourning suits. And as you must get them at last, it is certainly much better to have them at first, so as to appear handsomely at the funeral.’

‘Oh!’ exclaimed Mrs. Allerton, sighing, ‘at such a time, what consequence can we possibly attach to our external appearance? How can we for a moment think of it?’

‘To be sure, my dear friend,’ said Mrs. Bladen, kissing her, ‘you have had a very severe loss—very severe indeed. It is really quite irreparable; and I can sincerely sympathize in your feelings. Certainly every body ought to feel on these occasions; but you know it is impossible to devote every moment between this and the funeral to tears and sobs. One cannot be crying all the time—nobody ever does. And, as to the mourning, that is, of course, indispensable, and a thing that must be.’

Mrs. Allerton wept bitterly. ‘Indeed! indeed!’ said she, ‘I cannot discuss it now.’

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‘And if it is not settled to night,’ resumed Mrs. Bladen, ‘there will be hardly time to-morrow to talk it over, and get the things, and send to the mantua-maker’s and milliner’s. You had better get it off your mind at once. Suppose you leave it entirely to me. I attended to all the mourning for the Liscoms, and the Weldons and the Nortons. It is a business I am quite used to. I pique myself on being rather clever at it.’

‘I will then trust to your judgment,’ replied Mrs. Allerton, anxious to get rid of the subject, and of the light frivolous prattle of her soi-disant dear friend. ‘Be kind enough to undertake it, and procure for us whatever you think suitable—only let it not be too expensive.’

‘As to that,’ answered Mrs. Bladen, ‘crape is crape, and bombazine is bombazine; and as every body likes to have these articles of good quality, nothing otherwise is now imported for mourning. With regard to Frederick’s black suit, Mr. Watson will send to take his measure, and there will be no further difficulty about it. Let me see—there must be bombazine for five dresses: that is, for yourself, three daughters, and Miss Allerton.’

‘Not for me,’ said Constance, taking her handkerchief from her eyes. ‘I shall not get a bombazine.’

‘My dear creature!’ cried Mrs. Bladen; ‘not get a bombazine! You astonish me! What else can you possibly have? Black gingham or black chintz is only fit for wrappers; and black silk is no mourning at all.’

‘I shall wear no mourning,’ replied Constance, with a deep sigh.

‘Not wear mourning!’ ejaculated Mrs. Bladen. ‘What, no mourning at all! Not wear mourning for your own brother! Now you do indeed surprise me.’

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Mrs. Allerton and her daughters were also surprised; and they withdrew their handkerchiefs from their eyes, and gazed on Constance, as if scarcely believing that they had understood her rightly.

‘I have considered it well,’ resumed Miss Allerton; ‘and I have come to a conclusion, to make no change in my dress. In short, to wear no mourning, even for my brother—well as I have loved him, and deeply as I feel his loss.’

‘This is very strange,’ said Mrs. Allerton. ‘Excuse me, Miss Constance,’ said Mrs. Bladen, ‘but have you no respect for his memory? He was certainly an excellent man.’

‘Respect for his memory!’ exclaimed Constance, bursting into tears. ‘Yes! I indeed respect his memory! And were he still living, there is nothing on earth I would not cheerfully do for him, if I thought it would contribute to his happiness or comfort. But he is now in a land where all the forms and ceremonies of this world are of no avail; and where every thing that speaks to the senses only, must appear like the mimic trappings of a theatre. With him all is now awful reality. To the decaying inhabitant of the narrow and gloomy grave, or to the disembodied spirit that has ascended to its Father in heaven, of what consequence is the color that distinguishes the dress of those whose mourning is deep in the heart! What to him is the livery that fashion has assigned to grief, when he knows how intense is the feeling itself, in the sorrowing bosoms of the family that loved him so well?’

‘All this is very true,’ remarked Mrs. Bladen; ‘but still, custom is every thing, or fashion, as you are pleased

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to call it. You know, you are not a quaker; and therefore I do not see how you can possibly venture to go without mourning on such an occasion as this. Surely you would not set the usages of the world at defiance.’

‘I would not,’ replied Constance, ‘in things of minor importance; but on this subject I believe I can be firm.’

‘Of course,’ said Mrs. Bladen, ‘you will not go to the funeral without mourning.’

‘I cannot go to the funeral at all,’ answered Constance.

‘Not go to the funeral!’ exclaimed Mrs. Allerton. ‘Dear Constance, you amaze me!’

‘I hope,’ observed Mrs. Bladen, looking very serious, ‘there can be no reason to doubt Miss Allerton’s affection for her brother?’

‘Oh! no! no! no!’ cried the two girls indignantly. ‘If you had only seen,’ said Isabella, ‘how she nursed my dear father in his illness—how she was with him day and night.’

‘And how much she always loved him,’ said Helen.

‘My dear kind sister,’ said Mrs. Allerton, taking the hand of Constance, ‘I hope I shall never again see you distressed by such an intimation.’

Mrs. Bladen reddened, looked down, and attentively examined the embroidered corners of her pocket handkerchief. There was a silence of a few moments; till Constance, making an effort to speak with composure, proceeded to explain herself.

‘My brother,’ said she, ‘has finished his mortal existence. No human power, no human love, can aid him or soothe him now; and we will endeavor to submit with resignation to the will of Omnipotence. I hope—I trust we shall be able to do so; but the shock is yet too recent,

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and we cannot at once subdue the feelings of nature. It is dreadful to see the lifeless remains of one we have long and dearly loved, removed from our sight for ever, and consigned to the darkness and loneliness of the grave. For my part, on this sad occasion, I feel an utter repugnance to the idea of becoming an object of curiosity to the spectators that gaze from the windows, and to the vulgar and noisy crowd that assembles about a burying-ground, when an interment is to take place. I cannot expose my tears, my deep affliction, to the comments of the multitude; and I cannot have my feelings outraged by, perhaps, overhearing their coarse remarks. I may be too fastidious—I may be wrong; but to be present at the funeral of my brother is an effort I cannot resolve to make. And, moreover—’

Here her voice for a few moments became inarticulate, and her sister and nieces sobbed audibly.

‘And then,’ she continued, ‘I cannot stand beside that open grave—I cannot see the coffin let down into it, and the earth thrown upon the lid till it is covered up for ever. I cannot—indeed I cannot. In the seclusion of my own apartment, I shall, of course, know that all this is going on, and I shall suffer most acutely; but there will be no strangers to witness my sufferings. It is a dreadful custom, that of females attending the funerals of their nearest relatives. I wish it were abolished throughout our country, as it is in many parts of Europe.’

‘But you know,’ said Mrs. Bladen, ‘that it is almost universal in Philadelphia; and, ‘When we are in Rome we must do as Rome does.’ Besides which, it is certainly our duty always to see our friends and relatives laid in the grave.’

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‘Not when we are assured,’ replied Constance, ‘that the melancholy office can be properly performed without our presence or assistance. Duty requires of us no sacrifice by which neither the living nor the dead can be benefited. But I have said enough; and I cannot be present at my brother’s funeral.’

She then rose and left the room, unable any longer to sustain a conversation so painful to her.

‘Well, I am really astonished!’ exclaimed Mrs. Bladen[.] ‘Not wear mourning for her brother! Not go to his funeral! However, I suppose she thinks she has a right to do as she pleases. But, she may depend on it, people will talk.’

Just then a servant came to inform Mrs. Bladen, that her husband was waiting for her in the parlor.

‘Well, my dear Mrs. Allerton,’ said she, as she rose to depart, ‘we have not yet settled about the mourning. Of course, you are not going to adopt Miss Constance’s strange whim of wearing none at all.’

‘What she has said on the subject appears to me very just,’ replied Mrs. Allerton.

‘Aunt Constance is always right,’ remarked one of the girls.

‘As to Miss Allerton,’ resumed Mrs. Bladen, ‘she is well known to be independent in every sense of the word; and therefore she may do as she pleases—though she may rest assured that people will talk.’

‘What people?’ asked Mrs. Allerton.

‘Every body—all the world.’

Mrs. Allerton thought how very circumscribed was the world in which she and her family had lived since the date of their fallen fortunes.

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‘It is well known,’ pursued Mrs. Bladen, ‘that Miss Constance is able to wear mourning if she chooses it. But you may rely on it, Mrs. Allerton, that if you and your children do not appear in black, people will be ill-natured enough to say that it is, because you cannot afford it. Excuse my plainness.’

‘They will say rightly then,’ replied Mrs. Allerton, with a sigh. [‘]We certainly cannot afford it.’

‘How you talk!’ said Mrs. Bladen. ‘Afford it or not, every body has to wear mourning, and every body does, from the highest down to the lowest. Even my washer-woman put all her family (that is, herself and her six children) into black when her husband died; notwithstanding that he was no great loss—for he was an idle, drunken Irishman, and beat them all round every day of his lfie. And my cook, a colored woman, whose grandfather died in the alms-house a few weeks ago, has as handsome a suit of mourning as any lady need desire to wear.’

‘May I request,’ said Mrs. Allerton, ‘that you will spare me on this subject to night. Indeed I can neither think nor talk about it.’

‘Well then,’ replied Mrs. Bladen, kissing her, ‘I will hope to find you better in the morning. I shall be with you immediately after breakfast.’

She then took her leave; and Constance, who had been weeping over the corpse of Mr. Allerton, now returned to the apartment of her sister-in-law.

Released from the importunities of Mrs. Bladen, our heroine now mildly and sensibly reasoned with the family on the great inconvenience, and, as she believed, the unnecessary expense of furnishing themselves with suits

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of mourning in their present circumstances. The season was late in the autumn, and they had recently supplied themselves with their winter outfit, all of which would now be rendered useless if black must be substituted. Her arguments had so much effect, that Mrs. Allerton, with the concurrence of her daughters, very nearly promised to give up all intentikon of making a general change in their dress. But they found it harder than they had supposed, to free themselves from the trammels of custom.

Mrs. Allerton and Constance passed a sleepless night, and the children ‘awoke to weep’ at an early hour in the morning. They all met in tears at the breakfast table. Little was eaten, and the table was scarcely cleared, when Mrs. Bladen came in, followed by two shop-boys, one carrying two rolls of bombazine, and the other two boxes of Italian crape. Constance had just left the room.

After the first salutations were over, Mrs. Bladen informed Mrs. Allerton that she had breakfasted an hour earler than usual, that she might allow herself more time to go out, and transact the business of the morning.

‘My dear friend,’ said she[,] ‘Mrs. Doubleprice has sent you, at my request, two pieces of bombazine, that you may choose for yourself.—One is more of a jet black than the other—but I think the blue black rather the finest. However, they are both of superb quality, and this season jet black is rather the most fashionable. I have been to Miss Facings the mantua-maker, who is famous for mourning. Bombazines, when made up by her, have an air and a style about them, such as you will never see if done by any one else. There is nothing more difficult than to make up mourning as it ought to be.—

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I have appointed Miss Facings to meet me here—I wonder she has not arrived—she can tell you how much is necessary for the four dresses. If Miss Allerton finally concludes to be like other people and put on black, I suppose she will attend to it herself. These very sensible young ladies are beyond my comprehension.’

‘I am sure,’ said Ellen, ‘no one is more easy to understand than my dear Aunt Constance.’

‘And here’ continued Mrs. Bladen, ‘is the double-width crape for the veils. As it is of very superior quality, you had best have it to trim the dresses, and for the neck handkerchiefs, and to border the black cloth shawls that you will have to get.’

We must remark to our readers that at the period of our story, it was customary to trim mourning dresses with a very broad fold of crape, reaching nearly from the feet to the knees.

Mrs. Allerton on hearing the prices of the crape and bombazine declared them too expensive.

‘But only look at this quality’ persisted Mrs. Bladen, ‘and you know the best things are always the cheapest in the end—and, as I told you, nobody now wears economical mourning.’

‘We had best wear none of any description,’ said Mrs. Allerton.

‘Ah!’ cried Mrs. Bladen, ‘I see that Miss Constance has been trying again to make a convert of you. Yet as you are not quakers, I know not how you will be able to shew your faces in the world, if you do not put on black. Excuse me, but innovations in established customs ought only to be attempted by people of note—by persons so far up in society that they may feel at liberty to do any out-of-the-way thing with impunity.’

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‘I wish, indeed,’ said Mrs. Allerton, ‘that some of these influential persons would be so public-spirited as to set the example of dispensing with all customs that bear hard on people in narrow circumstances.’

The mantua-maker now made her appearance, and Mrs. Bladen exclaimed, ‘Oh! Miss Facings, we have been waiting for you to tell us exactly how much of every thing we are to get.’

A long and earnest discussion now took place between Mrs. Bladen and the mantua-maker, respecting the quality and quantity of the bombazine and crape.

Miss Facings having calculated the number of yards, Mrs. Bladen enquired if there was no yard measure in the house. One was produced, and the measuring commenced forthwith; Mrs. Allerton having no longer energy to offer any further opposition. She sat with her handkerchief to her face, and her daughters wept also. Mrs. Bladen stepped up to her, and whispered ‘You are aware that it will not be necessary to pay the bills immediately.’

‘Ah!’ returned Mrs. Allerton, ‘I know not when they can be paid. But we will strain every nerve to do it as soon as possible. I cannot bear the idea of remaining in debt for this mourning.’

Their business being accomplished, the shop-boys departed, and Miss Facings made her preparations for cutting out the dresses, taking an opportunity of assuring the weeping girls that nothing was more becoming to the figure than black bombazine, and that every body looked their best in a new suit of mourning.

At this juncture, Constance returned to the room, and was extremely sorry to find that the fear of singularity, and the officious perseverance of Mrs. Bladen, had

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superseded the better sense of her sister-in-law. But as the evil was now past remedy, our heroine, according to her usual practice, refrained from any further animadversions on the subject.

Little Louisa was now brought in to be fitted: and when her frock was cut out, Constance offered to make it herself, on hearing Miss Facings declare that she would be obliged to keep her girls up all night to complete the dresses by the appointed time, as they had already more work in the house than they could possibly accomplish.

Mrs. Allerton expressed great unwillingness to allowing her sister-in-law to take the trouble of making Louisa’s dress. But Constance whispered to her that she had always found occupation to be one of the best medicines for an afflicted mind, and that it would in some degree prevent her thoughts from dwelling incessantly on the same melancholy subject. Taking Louisa with her, she retired to her own apartment, and the frock was completed by next day: though the overflowing eyes of poro Constance frequently obliged her to lay down her sewing. In reality, her chief motive in proposing to make the dress, was to save the expense of having it done by the mantua-maker.

Miss Facings took Mrs. Allerton’s gown home with her, saying she would send one of her girls for the two others; and Mrs. Bladen then began to plan the bonnets and shawls. She went off to a fashionable milliner, and engaged a mourning bonnet and four mourning caps for Mrs. Allerton, and a bonnet for each of her daughters. And she was going back and forwards nearly all day with specimens of black cloth for the shawls, black stockings, black gloves, &c.

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The girls, at their aunt’s suggestion, hemmed the crape veils, and on the following morning, she assisted them in making and trimming the shawls. Still, Constance was well convinced that the expense of the mourning (including the suit bespoken for Frederick) would be greater than they could possibly afford. The cost of the funeral she intended to defray from her own funds, and she took occasion to request Mr. Denman to have nothing about it that should be unnecessarily expensive.

The hour arrived when the sorrowing family of Mr. Allerton were to be parted forever from all that remained of the husband, the father, and the brother. They had taken the last look of his fixed and lifeless features, they had imprinted the last kiss on his cold and pallid lips; and from the chamber of death they had to adjourn to the incongruous task of attiring themselves in their mourning habits to appear at his funeral. How bitterly they wept as their friends assisted them in putting on their new dresses; and when they tied on their bonnets and their long veils, to follow to his grave the object of their fondest affection.

Constance, with an almost breaking heart sat in her chamber, and little Louisa hung crying on her shoulder, declaring that she could not see her dear father buried. But Mrs. Bladen came in, protesting that all the children must be present, and that people would talk if even the youngest child was to stay away. Mrs. Bladen then put on Louisa’s mourning dress almost by force. When this was done, the little girl threw her arms round the neck of her aunt and kissed her, saying with a burst of tears, ‘When I see you again, my dear, dear father will be covered up in his grave.’ Mrs. Bladen then led, or

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rather dragged the child to the room in which the family were assembled.

Constance threw herself on her bed in a paroxysm of grief. She heard the slow tread of the company as they came in, and she fancied that she could distinguish the sound of the lid as it was laid on the coffin, and the screws that closed it forever. She knew when it was carried down stairs, and she listened in sympathetic agony to the sobs of the family as they descended after it. She heard the shutting of the hearse-door, and the gloomy vehicle slowly rolling off to give place to the carriages of the mourners. She started up, and casting her eyes towards an opening in the window-curtain, she saw Mr. Denman supporting to the first coach the tottering steps of her half-fainting sister-in-law. She looked no longer, but sunk back on the bed and hid her face on the pillow. By all that she suffered when indulging her grief alone and in the retirement of her chamber, she felt how dreadful it would have been to her, had she accompanied the corpse of her brother to its final resting-place.

In about an hour the family returned, pale, exhausted, and worn out with the intensity of their feelings at the grave. And they could well have dispensed with the company of Mrs. Bladen who came home and passed the evening with them; as she foolishly said that people in affliction ought not to be left to themselves.

After some days, the violence of their grief settled into melancholy sadness: they ceased to speak of him whom they had loved and lost, and they felt as if they could never talk of him again.

The unfortunate family of Mr. Allerton now began

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to consider what they should do for their support. Constance was willing to share with them her little income even to the last farthing, but it was too small to enable them all to live on it with comfort. Great indeed are the sufferings, the unacknowledged and unimagined sufferings of that class who ‘cannot dig and to beg are ashamed’—whose children have been nursed in the lap of affluence, and who ‘every night have slept with soft content about their heads’—who still retain a vivid recollection of happier times, and who still feel that they themselves are the same, though all is changed around them.

Such was the condition of the Allerton family. ‘The world was all before them where to choose,’ and so low were now their finances, that it was necessary they should think and act promptly, and decide at once upon some plan for their subsistence. Constance proposed a school, but the house they now occupied was in too remove a place to expect any success. A lady had already attempted establishing a seminary in the immediate neighborhood, but it had proved an entire failure. Mrs. Allerton thought that in a better part of the town, and in a larger house, they might have a fair chance of encouragement. But they were now destitute of the means of defraying the expenses of a removal, and of purchasing such articles of furniture as would be indispensably necessary in a more commodious dwelling; particularly if fitted up as a school.

Frederick Allerton, who was twelve years old, had just completed his last quarter at the excellent academy in which he had been a pupil from early childhood, and it was now found necessary, after paying the bill, to take

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him away; as the present situation of the family did not seem to warrant them in continuing him there any longer. He was, however, very forward in all his acquirements, having an excellent capacity, and being extremely diligent. Still it was hard that so promising a boy should be obliged to stop short, when in a fair way of becoming an extraordinary proficient in the principal branches appertaining to what is considered an excellent education. Fortunately, however, a place was obtained for him in a highly respectable book-store.

There was now a general retrenchment in the expenditure of the Allerton family. One of their servants was discharged, as they could no longer afford to keep two—and they were obliged to endure many privations which were but ill compensated by the idea that they were wearing very genteel mourning. Again, as they had begun with black, it was necessary to go through with it. They could not wear their bombazines continually, and as black ginghams and chintzes are always spoiled by washing, it was thought better that their common dresses should be of Canton crape, an article that though very durable, is at first of no trifling cost.

In the mean time their only resource seemed to be that of literally supporting themselves by the work of their hands. Constance undertook the painful task of going round among their acquaintances, and announcing their readiness to undertake any sort of needle-work that was offered to them. Nobody had any work to put out just then. Some promised not to forget them when they had. Others said they were already suited with seamstresses. At this time the Ladies’ Depository was not in existence; that excellent establishment, where the feelings of the industrious indigent who have seen better days are so

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delicately spared by the secrecy with which its operations are conducted.

At length a piece of linen was sent to the Allerton family for the purpose of being made up by them into shirts. And so great was their joy at the prospect of getting a little money, that it almost absorbed the painful feelings with which for the first time they employed their needles in really working for their living.

They all sewed assiduously, little Louisa doing the easiest parts. The linen was soon made up, and they then obtained another piece, and afterwards some muslin-work. Constance, who was one of the most indefatigable of women, found time occasionally to copy music, and correct proof-sheets, and to do many other things by which she was able to add a little more to the general fund. For a short time, her not appearing in black excited much conversation among the acquaintances of the family: but these discussions soon subsided, and after a while nothing more was said or thought on the subject.

But to pay for the mourning of Mrs. Allerton and her children was a necessity that pressed heavily on them all, and they dreaded the sound of the door-bell lest it should be followed by the presentation of the bills. The bills came, and were found to be considerably larger than was anticipated. Yet they were paid in the course of the winter, though with much difficulty, and at the expense of much comfort. The unfortunate Allertons rose early and sat up late, kept scanty fires, and a very humble table, and rarely went out of the house, except to church, or to take a little air and exercise at the close of the afternoon.

Most of their friends dropped off, and the few that

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seemed disposed to continue their acquaintance with people whose extreme indigence was no secret, were so thoughtless as to make their visits in the morning, a time which is never convenient to families that cannot afford to be idle. Mrs. Bladen, who though frivolous and inconsiderate was really a good-natured woman, came frequently to see them; and another of their visitors was Mrs. Craycroft, whose chief incentive was curiosity to see how the Allertons were going on, and a love of dictation which induced her frequently to favor them with what she considered salutary counsel. Mrs. Craycroft was a hard, cold, heartless woman, who by dint of the closest economy had helped her husband to amass a large fortune, and they now had every sort of luxury at their command. The Craycrofts as well as the Bladens had formerly been neighbours of Mr. and Mrs. Allerton.

Mrs. Bladen and Mrs. Craycroft happened to meet one morning in Mrs. Allerton’s little sitting room. Mrs. Craycroft came in last, and Mrs. Bladen after stopping for a few minutes, pursued her discourse with her usual volubility. It was on the subject of Mrs. Allerton and her daughter getting new pelisses, or coats as they are more commonly called in Philadelphia.

‘I can assure you,’ said she [,] ‘now that the weather has become so cold, people talk about your going to church in those three-cornered cloth shawls, which you know are only single, and were merely intended for autumn and spring. They did very well when you first got them (for the weather was then mild) but the season is now too far advanced to wear shawls of any sort. You know every body gets their new coats by Christmas, and it is now after New-Year’s.’

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‘We would be very glad to have coats’, [sic] replied Mrs. Allerton, ‘but they are too expensive.’

‘Not so very,’ answered Mrs. Bladen. ‘To be sure, fine black cloth or cassimere is the most fashionable for mourning coats. But many very genteel people wear black levantine or black mode trimmed with crape. Handsome silk coats would scarcely cost above twenty or twenty-five dollars a-piece.’

‘We cannot afford them,’ said Mrs. Allerton. ‘We must only refrain from going out when the weather is very cold. I acknowledge that our shawls are not sufficiently warm.’

‘Did you not all get new olive-colored silk coats, just before Mr. Allerton died?’ enquired Mrs. Craycroft.

The abrupt mention of a name which they had long since found it almost impossible to utter, brought tears into the eyes of the whole family. There was a general silence, and Mrs. Bladen rose to depart, saying ‘I would recommend to you to get the coats as soon as possible, or the winter will be over without them. And I can assure you, as a friend, that people do make their remarks. I am going into Second street; shall I look among the best stores for some black levantine? or would you rather have mode? But I had best bring you patterns of both: and shall I call on Miss Facings and bespeak her to make the coats for you?’

‘We thank you much,’ replied Mrs. Allerton, ‘but we will not give you the trouble either to look for the silk, or to engage the mantua-maker. We must for this winter dispense with new coats.’

Mrs. Bladen then took her leave, saying ‘well, do as you please, but people think it very strange that you

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should still be wearing your shawls, now that the cold weather has set in.’

Constance was glad that Mrs. Bladen had not in this instance carried her point. But she grieved to think that her sister and nieces could not have the comfort of wearing their coats because the olive-colour did not comport with their mourning bonnets. For herself, as she had made no attempt at mourning, Constance had no scruple as to appearing in hers.

When Mrs. Bladen was gone, Mrs. Craycroft spoke again, and said, ‘I wonder how people can be so inconsiderate! But Mrs. Bladen never could see things in their proper light. She ought to be ashamed of giving you such advice. Now, I would recommend to you to have your olive silk coats ripped apart, and dyed black, and then you can make them up again yourselves. You know that if you were not in mourning, you might wear them as they are; but as you have begun with black, I suppose it would never do to be seen in coloured things also.’

‘I believe,’ replied Mrs. Allerton, ‘there is generally much trouble in getting articles dyed—at least in this city, and that they are frequently spoiled in the process.’

‘Your informants,’ said Mrs. Craycroft, ‘must have been unlucky in their dyers. I can recommend you to Mr. Copperas, who does things beautifully, so that they look quite as good as new. He dyes for Mrs. Narrowskirt and for Mrs. Dingy. I advise you by all means to send your coats to him. And no doubt you have many other things, now lying by as useless, that would be serviceable if dyed black.’

‘I believe I will take your advice,’ answered Mrs. Allerton.

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Mrs. Craycroft then proceeded, ‘Situated as you are Mrs. Allerton, I need not say how much it behooves you to economize in every thing you possibly can; now for instance, I would suggest to you all to drink rye coffee. And then as to tea, if you must have tea of an evening, I know a place where you can get it as low as half a dollar a pound—to be sure it is only Hyson Skin. In your family a pound of tea ought to go a great way, for now, of course, you do not make it strong. And then, I would advise you all to accustom yourselves to brown sugar in your tea; it is nothing when you are used to it. Of course you always take it in your coffee. And there is a baker not far off, that makes large loaves of rye and Indian mixed. You will find it much cheaper than wheat. Of course you are not so extravagant as to eat fresh bread. And as to butter, if you cannot dispense with it altogether, I would suggest that you should use the potted butter from the grocery stores. Some of it is excellent. I suppose, that of course, you have entirely given up all kinds of desserts, but if you should wish for any thing of the kind on Sundays, or after a cold dinner, you will find plain boiled rice sweetened with a very little molasses, almost as good as a pudding. No doubt the children will like it quite as well. You know, I suppose, that if you defer going to market ’till near twelve o’clock you will always get things much cheaper than if you go in the early part of the day; as towards noon the market people are impatient to get home, and in their hurry to be off, will sell for almost nothing whatever they may chance to have left. In buying wood, let me recommend to you always to get it as green as possible. To be sure green wood does not always make so good a fire as that which

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is dry, neither does it kindle so well; but then the slower it burns, the longer it lasts, and it is therefore the cheapest. And always get gum back-logs, for they scarcely burn at all. I see you still keep your black woman Lucy. Now you will find it much better to dismiss her, and take a bound girl about twelve or thirteen. Then you know you would have no wages to pay, and your daughters, of course, would not mind helping her with the work.’

During this harangue, the colour came into Mrs. Allerton’s face, and she was about to answer in a manner that shewed how acutely she was wounded by the unfeeling impertinence of the speaker: but glancing at Constance she saw something in her countenance that resembled a smile, and perceived that she seemed rather amused than angry. Therefore Mrs. Allerton suppressed her resentment, and made no reply.

When Mrs. Craycroft had departed, the mother and daughters warmly deprecated her rudeness and insolence; but Constance, being by nature very susceptible of the ridiculout, was much more inclined to laugh, and succeeded in inducing her sister and the girls to regard it in the same light that she did.

‘After all,’ said Mrs. Allerton, ‘I think we will take Mrs. Craycroft’s advice about the dying. The olive coats may thus be turned to very good account, and so may several other things that we cannot now make use of because of their colour. It is true that we can ill afford even the expenses of dying them, but still we are really very much in want of such coats as we can wear in mourning.’

Next day, the olive pelisses, which were very pretty, and extremely well made, were carefully ripped apart,

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and the silk was conveyed to the dyer’s, together with a small scarlet Canton crape shawl of Mrs. Allerton’s, which she thought would be convenient in cold weather to wear over her shoulders when at home. The material of the dismembered coats was rolled up in as small a compass as possible, wrapped in papers, and carried one afternoon by Isabella and Helen. Mr. Copperas informed them that he only dyed on Thursdays, and as this was Friday afternoon, they had come a day too late to have the things done that week. Therefore the articles could not be put into the dye before next Thursday, and then it would be another week before they could be dressed. Dressing, in the dyer’s phraseology, means stiffening and ironing; and very frequently ironing only.

This delay was extremely inconvenient, as Mrs. Allerton and her daughters were absolutely very much in need of the coats; yet there was no remedy but patience. At the appointed time, two of the girls went to bring home the silk, but were told by a small-featured, mild-spoken quaker woman, employed to attend the customers, that ‘the things were dyed but not yet dressed.’

‘Will they be finished by to-morrow afternoon?’ asked Isabella.

‘I rather think they will not.’

‘By Saturday then?’

‘It’ s likely they will.’

On Saturday the girls went again. Still, the articles, though dyed, were not yet dressed: but they were promised for Tuesday—if nothing happened to prevent.

Every few days, for near a fortnight, some of the Allerton family repaired to the dyer’s (and it was a

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very long walk) but without any success—the things, though always dyed, were never dressed. And when they expressed their disappointment, the quaker woman regularly told them, ‘thee knows I did not say positive—We should never be too certain of any thing.’

Finally, the silk was acknowledged to be dressed, and it was produced and paid for; but the crape shawl was missing. A search was made for it, but in vain; still the woman assured them that it could not be lost, as nothing ever was lost in James Copperas’ house, adding ‘I partly promise thee, that if I live, I will find it for thee by to-morrow.’

Next day, when she had done sewing, little Louisa went again for the shawl. The woman now confessed that she had not been able to find it, and said to Louisa ‘I think child I would not advise thee to trouble thyself to come after it again. It seems a pity to wear out thy shoes too much. One should not be too certain of anything in this life, and therefore I am not free to say that thy shawl is lost; but it seems to me likely that it will never be found.’

‘My mother will be sorry,’ said Louisa, ‘for she really wants the shawl, and will regret to lose it.’

The little girl then turned to depart, and had reached the front door when the woman called her back saying ‘But thee’ ll pay for the dying?’*

‘What!’ exclaimed Louisa, ‘after you have lost the shawl?’

‘But I can assure thee it was dyed,’ replied the woman, [‘]It actually was dyed, I can speak positive to that, and we cannot afford to lose the dying.’


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Louisa, child as she was, had acuteness enough to perceive the intended imposition, and without making an answer, she slipped out of the door: though the woman caught her by the skirt, and attempted to stop her, repeating, ‘But we can’ t afford to lose the dying.’

Louisa, however, disengaged herself from her grasp, and ran down the street, for some distance as fast as possible—afraid to look back lest the quaker woman should be coming after her for the money she had brought to pay for the shawl, and which she took care to hold tightly in her hand.

In attempting to make up the coats, it was found impossible to put the different pieces together to the same advantage as before. Also, the silk did not look well, being dyed of a dull brownish black, and stiffened to the consistence [sic] of paper. The skirts and sleeves had shrunk much in the dying, and the pieces that composed the bodies had been ravelled, frayed and pulled so crooked in dressing, that they had lost nearly all shape. It was impossible to make up the deficiencies by matching the silk with new, as none was to be found that bore sufficient resemblance to it. ‘Ah!’ thought Constance, ‘how well these coats looked when in their original state. The shade of olive was so beautiful, the silk so soft and glossy, and they fitted so perfectly well.’

When put together under all these disadvantages, the coats looked so badly that the girls were at first unwilling to wear them, except in extreme cold weather—particularly as in coming out of church they overheard whispers among the ladies in the crowd, of ‘That’ s a dyed silk,—‘Any one may see that those coats have been dyed.’

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They trimmed them with crape, in hopes of making them look better; but the crape wore out almost immediately, and in fact it had to be taken off before the final close of the cold weather.

Spring came at last, and the Allerton family having struggled through a melancholy and comfortless winter, had taken a larger house in a better part of the town, and made arrangements for commencing their school, in which Constance was to be chief-instructress. Isabella and Helen, whose ages were sixteen and fourteen, were to assist in teaching some branches, but to continue receiving lessons in others. Louisa was to be one of the pupils.

About a fortnight before their intended removal to their new residence, one afternoon when none of the family were at home, except Constance, she was surprised by the visit of a friend from New Bedford, a young gentleman who had been absent three years on a whaling voyage, in a ship in which he had the chief interest, his father being owner of several vessels in that line.

Edmund Lessingham was an admirer of ladies generally; but during his long voyage he found by his thinking incessantly of Constance, and not at all of any other female, that he was undoubtedly in love with her; a fact which he had not suspected till the last point of Massachusetts faded from his view. He resolved to improve his intimacy with our heroine, should he find her still at liberty, on his return to New Bedford; and if he perceived a probability of success, to make her at once an offer of his hand. When Lessingham came home, he was much disappointed to hear that Constance Allerton had been living for more than a twelvemonth in

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Philadelphia. However, he lost no time in coming on to see her.

When he was shown into the parlour, she was sitting with her head bent over her work. She started up on being accosted by his well-remembered voice. Not having heard of the death of her brother, and not seeing her in mourning, Edmund Lessingham was at a loss to account for the tears that filled her eyes, and for the emotion that suffocated her voice when she attempted to reply to his warm expressions of delight at seeing her again. He perceived that she was thinner and paler than when he had last seen her, and he feared that all was not right. She signed to him to sit down, and was endeavoring to compose herself, when Mrs. Craycroft was shewn into the room. That lady stared with surprise at seeing a very handsome young gentleman with Constance, who hastily wiped her eyes and introduced Mr. Lessingham.

Mrs. Craycroft took a seat, and producing two or three morning caps from her reticule, she said in her usual loud voice, ‘Miss Allerton I have brought these caps for you to alter—I wish you to do them immediately, that they may be washed next week. I find the borders rather too broad, and the head-pieces too large (though to be sure I did cut them out myself) so I want you to rip them apart, and make the head-pieces smaller, and the borders narrower, and then whip them and sew them on again. I was out the other day when you sent home my husband’s shirts with the bill, but when you have done the caps I will pay you for all together. What will you charge for making a dozen aprons of bird’s eye diaper for my little Anna. You must not ask much for I want them quite plain—mere bibs—they

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are always the best for babies. Unless you will do them very cheap, I may as well make them myself.’

The face of Lessingham became scarlet, and starting from his chair, he traversed the room in manifest perturbation; sympathizing with what he supposed to be the confusion and mortification of Constance, and regretting that the sex of Mrs. Craycroft prevented him from knocking her down.

Constance, however, rallied, replying with apparent composure to Mrs. Craycroft on the points in question, and calmly settling the bargain for the bird’s-eye aprons—she knew that it is only in the eyes of the vulgar-minded and the foolish, that a woman is degraded by exerting her ingenuity or her talents as a means of support.

‘Well,’ said Mrs. Craycroft, ‘you may send for the aprons to0-morrow, and I wish you to hurry with them as fast as you can—when I give out work I never like it to be kept long on hand. I will pay you for the other things when the aprons are done.’

Mrs. Craycroft then took her leave, and Constance turned to the window, to conceal from Lessingham the tears that in spite of her self-command were now stealing down her cheeks.

Lessingham hastily went up to her, and taking her hand, he said with much feeling, ‘dear Constance—Miss Allerton I mean—what has happened during my absence? Why do I see you thus? But I fear that I distress you by enquiring.—I perceive that you are not happy—that you have suffered much, and that your circumstances are changed. Can I do nothing to console you or to improve your situation? Let me at once have a right to do so—let me persuade you to unite your fate

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with mine, and put an end, I hope forever, to these unmerited, these intolerable humiliations.’

‘No, Mr. Lessingham,’ said Constance, deeply affected, ‘I will not take advantage of the generous impulse that has led you thus suddenly to make an offer, which perhaps, in a calmer moment, and on cooler consideration, you may think of with regret.’

‘Regret!’ exclaimed Lessingham, pressing her hand between both of his, and surveying her with a look of the fondest admiration, ‘dearest Constance, how little you know your own value—how little you suppose that during our long separation—’

Here he was interrupted in his impassioned address, by the entrance of Mrs. Allerton and her daughters. Constance hastily withdrew her hand and presented him as Mr. Lessingham, a friend of hers from New Bedford.

Being much agitated, she in a few minutes retired to compose herself in her own apartment. The girls soon after withdrew, and Lessingham, frankly informing Mrs. Allerton that he was much and seriously interested in her sister-in-law, begged to know some particulars of her present condition.

Mrs. Allerton, who felt it impossible to regard Mr. Lessingham as a stranger, gave him a brief outline of the circumstances of Constance’s residence with them, and spoke of her as the guardian angel of the family. ‘She is not only,’ said her sister-in-law[,] ‘one of the most amiable and affectionate, but also one of the most sensible and judicious of women. And never have we in any instance acted contrary to her advice, without eventually finding cause to regret that we did so.’ And Mrs. Allerton could not forbear casting her eyes over her mourning dress.

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Lessingham, though the praises of Constance were music in his ears, had tact enough to take his leave, fearing that his visit was interfering with the tea-hour of the family.

Next morning, the weather was so mild as to enable them to sit up stairs with their sewing; for latterly, the state of their fuel had not allowed them to keep fire except in the parlor and kitchen. Lessingham called and enquired for Constance. She came down, and saw him alone. He renewed, in explicit terms, the offer he had so abruptly made her on the preceding afternoon. Constance, whose heart had been with Lessingham during the whole of his long absence, had a severe struggle before she could bring herself to insist on their union being postponed for at least two years: during which time she wished, for the sake of the family, to remain with them, and get the school firmly established; her neices, [sic] meanwhile, completing their education, and acquiring under her guidance, a proficiency in the routine of teaching.

‘But surely,’ said Lessingham, ‘you understand that I wish you to make over to your sister-in-law the whole of your Aunt Ilford’s legacy. You shall bring me nothing but your invaluable self.’

Though grateful for the generosity and disinteredness of her lover, Constance knew that the interest of her ten thousand dollars was, of course, not sufficient to support Mrs. Allerton and her children without some other source of income; and she was convinced that they would never consent to become pensioners on Lessingham’s bounty, kind and liberal as he was. She therefore adhered to her determination of remaining

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with her sister and neices till she had seen them fairly afloat, and till she could leave them in a prosperous condition. And Lessingham was obliged to yield to her conviction that she was acting rightly, and to consent that the completion of his happiness should accordingly be deferred for two years.

He remained in Philadelphia till he had seen the Allerton family established in their new habitation, and he managed with much delicacy to aid them in the expenses of fitting it up.

The school was commenced with a much larger number of pupils than had been anticipated. It increased rapidly under the judicious superintendence of Constance: and in the course of two years she had rendered Isabella and Helen so capable of filling her place, that all the parents were perfectly satisfied to continue their children with them. At the end of that time, Lessingham (who, in the interval, had made frequent visits to Philadelphia) came to claim the promised hand of his Constance. They were married—she having first transferred the whole of her little property to her brother’s widow.

At the earnest desire of Lessingham, Mrs. Allerton consented that Louisa should live in future with her beloved aunt Constance; and consequently the little girl accompanied them to New Bedford.

Mrs. Allerton and her family went on and prospered—her son was every thing that a parent could wish—her children all married advantageously—and happily she has not yet had occasion to put in practice her resolution of never again wearing mourning: though principle, and not necessity is the motive which will henceforward deter her from complying with that custom.


The Spy
Painted by Robt. W. Weir.      Engraved by Jas. Smillie.
The Spy.
Boston Published by Chas. Bowen.

Printed by A. King.

[p. 359]


We know not that this picture can be better illustrated than by a brief description, and a briefer anecdote. It is a correct view from the top of the North Beacon, one of the loftiest eminences of the Hudson Highlands, about sixty miles from New York, and nearly opposite the town of Newburgh. It received its name from the circumstance of having been selected by our ancestors of the revolution, as a commanding point for the bonfires and beacon lights, which should indicate to the surrounding country the approach of an enemy—and serving as telegraphic communication of the incidents of the war.

Imagine yourself to be landed from the little ferry steamer that plies between Newburgh and Fishkill. Here you will take a horse, or, if less reflective, a carriage, and ride through a very pleasant patch of country, till you reach the foot of the North Beacon. Suppose it to be June, and imagine a beautiful description of all the proprieties of scenery, during this leafy month. Birds—breezes—wild-flowers—groves—and running streams—judiciously interspersed, will make up a very suitable lot of imagery, and help you very comfortably half way up the ascent. Here you will rest yourself at a log cottage, drink a cup of spring water, handed to you by a mountain nymph, and take a glance at the noble prospect below, around, and above you. Hitherto, you have travelled in a comparatively straight path; but the rest of your journey is something more crooked, and you make half a dozen turnings before you reach the summit. And here, what a magnificent panorama!

Scatter about a dozen pretty villages in all directions—before you let a broad river, covered with a thousand showy sails, roll on its majestic current—trace it back to the source where it lies like a mere thread of silver, and follow it in your mind’s eye to the spot where its accumulated waters pour into

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the vast ocean—but I am travelling from the record; where so much speaks to the eye, it is needless to trouble the imagination. You see before you an expanse, filled with all that is grand and lovely in nature—rich valleyes, fruitful plains, picturesque villas, gleaming from the groves and shrubberies that surround them, and the noble hills which lie scattered in all directions, and form a belted chain about the horizon.

Pine Orchard is famous for its sunrise aspect and scenery: but its gorgeousness wanes and fades when compared with the sunset splendor of Beacon Hill. ‘Here, before sunset,’ says a recent writer, ‘the whole plain is bathed in a flood of golden light. Some of the hills are in the deepest shadow; some in the full sunshine, while others are suffused with the darkest purple. Just as the disk of the fiery orb has sunk behind that chain of mountains in the west, their tops for half the circle of the horizon, are crowned with the most gorgeous border of purple and gold, gradually fading and melting away, as it steals upward into the pure azure of the midsummer sky. The broad river before us, which a moment ago dazzled the eye with its dancing sparkles of sunlight, now borrows an exquisite glow of subdued crimson shade from those vermeil clouds in the west, hanging like rich curtains over the landscape. Several of the hills around and near still catch the last rays of the sun upon their tops, and form a brilliant contrast to the dark picture underneath.’

Such is the spot chosen by Mr. Weir for the exercise of his pencil. The picture is an accurate view from the North Beacon; and yoou may be pleased to know how it received its name. While the artist was engaged with the painting, Mr. Cooper, the novelist, observed to him that it represented the Spy Ground—and that the road which passed over the mountain was the nearest communication between the Neutral Ground and the American Camp. The painter took the hint. Harvey Birch soon figured upon the canvass, and to prevent his being mistaken for an ordinary pedlar, as well as to convey an idea of the dangers to which he was exposed, two dragoons were immediately put upon the pursuit. Such is the plain story of the North Beacon and the Spy.

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