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

The Token, for 1832

The Token, edited by Samuel Griswold 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 1828; 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 1832 is 392 pages of sentiment and art. The pages are gilded on all exposed sides, and the text is embellished by sixteen steel engravings, with snapshots of fifteen 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.

Goodrich was interested in promoting American writers and American art; and in this volume most of the subjects are American. New England’s harsh winters are good for humankind (“New England Climate”). Timothy Flint coaxes a little satire out of the apparent differences between Southerners and New Englanders (“Nimrod Buckskin, Esq.”), and Thomas Gray, jr, details the misadventures of a slightly provincial and extremely shy American introducing himself to Parisians (“The Bashful Man”). Nathaniel Hawthorne excoriates Puritans (“The Gentle Boy”) and uses American history as the backdrop for stories about guilt (“Roger Malvin’s Burial”) and hubris (“My Kinsman, Major Molineux”); “The Wives of the Dead” takes place in a Massachusetts sea port. Hawthorne’s often-weird stories are here joined by the equally weird “David Whicher”—attributed to John Neal—in which a nonviolent man finds himself considering violent revenge against four young Native American men. James Hall’s “My Cousin Lucy” gives later readers a look at how teachers lived in small communities, and “My Wife’s Novel” is a satire on the vagaries of early American publishing.

Generic religion is woven through the volume, with bible incidents described (“The Fall of the Temple”; “Opening of the Sixth Seal”) and a number of pieces touching on religious concepts (“The Theology of Nature”; “The South Georgian Lark”; “Lesbia”). As usual, death is a major theme. John Pierpont praises garden cemeteries (“The Garden of Graves”); Lydia Sigourney addresses a dead soldier, his widow, and his child (“The Dead Soldier”); Hawthorne explores the workings of grief (“The Wives of the Dead”). Poems hint at the peace and glory to be encountered in the afterlife (“To a Violet”; “The Minstrel”). Those in the temple pulled down by Samson die in detail (“The Fall of the Temple”).

Beautiful women, loving women, and talented women abound. A mother is the world of her blind daughter (“The Blind Girl”). Wives mourn their husbands (“The Dead Soldier”; “The Wives of the Dead”). Love and faithful lovers are extolled. Literary women are contrasted by Catherine Maria Sedgwick (“A Sketch of a Blue Stocking”), and a female novelist unwittingly bankrupts her family (“My Wife’s Novel”). A Southerner scornful of female education realizes its worth (“Nimrod Buckskin, Esq.”).

Villains in the pieces include Native Americans. The Battle of Pequawket provides the impetus of “Roger Malvin’s Burial.” David Whicher matches wits with four Native American men who have just killed his family. And the Inuit exist in a “stupor” because they live in a place of constant winter (“New England Climate”). Puritans fare not much better, executing Quakers and treating their children as outcasts (“The Gentle Boy”).

A minor theme in this volume of The Token is publishing. As usual, the book itself is the subject of a piece (“The Token”); its publication is treated as a sort of natural phenomenon signaling the end of the year in “New England Climate” and “The Garden of Graves.” Lucinda Azureton writes for the amusingly titled Anodyne (“My Wife’s Novel”), but her journey through the bowels of publishing may have been the exaggerated but familiar experience of other failed novelists of the time.

The entire volume is transcribed here, with spelling intact. Careful readers will notice the lack of hyphens in spelled-out numbers (for example, “fiftyfive” in place of “fifty-five”), which appears to be standard for the time. Images of the pages on which works by Hawthorne and Sedgwick appear are linked from the page numbers. Unfortunately, scanning all the illustrations would damage the book, so engravings are quick (and sometimes distorted) snapshots. The presentation plate and “The Equinoctial Storm” are missing in my copy, so images from Sabin Americana, 1500-1926, are included here. Reviews are on a separate page.

The Token, edited by Samuel Griswold Goodrich (Boston: Gray & Bowen, 1831)

[presentation page]

a stone urn with ivy stands atop a wall with a large blank space
[Transcriber’s note: Missing in my copy; the image is from the digitized database, “Sabin Americana, 1500-1926”]


an elderly white man accompanies a young white couple on a rocky shore during a storm
[Transcriber’s note: Missing in my copy; the image is from the digitized database, “Sabin Americana, 1500-1926”]

[engraved title page]

a young woman carves an initial into the trunk of a tree, in a version of The Souvenir, by Jean-Honore Fragonard; the image is seen through an elaborate window with Token 1832 carved beneath
Engraved by E. Gallaudet.
TOKEN 1832.

[title page]


—airy messengers have sought

These rosy realms of Fancy through,

And fairest fruits and flowers have brought,

To form an amulet for you.

And Friendship’s hand, and Love’s soft fingers,

Of these have wreathed a mystic Token;

And oh! the chain that round it lingers,

While life remains, be that unbroken.


[copyright page]

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year eighteen hundred and thirtyone, by Samuel G. Goodrich, in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.


[p. 1]


We need say but little for this, the fifth volume of the Token, as most of the improvements we have made in the work, are of an obvious character. These relate rather to the department of the Publishers, than to that of the Editor, and as they have been made at great expense, it is hoped they may receive due consideration from the public.

The volume is altogether more splendid than either of its predecessors, and contains twenty engravings, seventeen of which are on steel. These are all executed by our own artists, and several of them may challenge comparison with the best of the English. It will not be invidious, among so many that are excellent, to notice one, as probably superior to any engraving, hitherto produced by an American artist. This is entitled Lesbia; and was executed in London, by our young countryman, J. Cheney.

But while we thus speak of the mechanical departments of the work, we must do justice to our literary friends, who have this year laid us under peculiar obligations. They have enabled us to furnish a greater variety, as well as many more pages, than heretofore, and we trust that our readers, be they grave or gay, sad or sentimental, will each find something to suit his humor.

On the whole, we offer the book with some confidence, that it may meet a favorable reception, and that the continued encouragement of the public may strengthen us in our endeavors, each year, to surpass what we have done before.

Boston, October 1, 1831.

[p. 2]


1. Presentation, drawn by G. Harvey, and engraved by A. Hartwell. [from the copy in Sabin]

2. Fancy Title Page, the ornamental part drawn by G. Harvey, Figure and Landscape drawn by E. Gallaudet, all engraved by E. Gallaudet [central image is a version of “The Souvenir,” by Jean-Honore Fragonard]

3. Vignette, drawn and engraved, after a sketch by Stothard, by G. L. Brown … 5

4. Will he bite? painted by Fisher, engraved by E. Gallaudet … 7

5. The Fairy Isle, painted by Danby, engraved by G. G. Ellis … 19

6. The Equinoctial Storm, drawn by Roqueplan, engraved by Hatch and Smillie [from the copy in Sabin] … 37

7. Lesbia, painted by Reynolds, engraved by J. Cheney … 63

8. Young Artist, drawn by Cristall, engraved by J. J. Pease … 83

9. The Toilet, engraved by G. B. Ellis … 117

10. The Dead Soldier, painted by Wright, engraved by S. W. Cheney … 121

11. Apprehension, Drawn by Deveria, engraved by J. H. Hills … 153

12. Invisible Serenader, engraved by S. W. Cheney … 189

13. The Freshet, painted by Fisher, engraved by G. W. Hatch … 241

14. An Escape, painted by Fisher, engraved by Annin and Smith … 275

15. Carnival at Potosi, painted by W. Hornaby, engraved by J. B. Neagle … 315

16. Peasant Boy, drawn by Cristall, engraved by O. Pelton … 333

17. Byron, at the age of Nineteen, drawn by Sanders, engraved by J. H. Hills … 347

18. The Lute, engraved by O. Pelton … 373

19. The Opening of the Sixth Seal, painted by Danby, engraved by Illman and Pilbrow … 391

20. Vignette, drawn by G. L. Brown, after Northcote, engraved by A. Bowen … 392

[p. 3]



To ....... [Samuel Griswold Goodrich] … 5

Will he bite? [Samuel Griswold Goodrich] … 7

What is Life? … 8

The Theology of Nature—By Orville Dewey … 9

The Surf Sprite—By S. G. Goodrich … 19

The Indian Summer [Henry Wadsworth Longfellow] … 24

The Dying Storm—By H. F. G. … 36

The Equinoctial Storm … 37

The Dreams of Hope—By B. B. Thatcher … 39

My Cousin Lucy—By James Hall … 41

To a Lady on her Marriage [Samuel Griswold Goodrich] … 61

The Blind Girl to her Mother [Samuel Griswold Goodrich] … 62

Lesbia—By H. F. G. [Hannah F. Gould] … 63

Scenes in a Spanish Pueblo, A Sketch—By the Author of ‘A Year in Spain’ [Alexander Slidell Mackenzie] … 64

Stanzas—By Grenville Mellen … 67

Frost—By H. F. Gould [Hannah F. Gould] … 69

The Waterfowl—By J. H. Miflin … 70

Autumn—By A. A. Locke … 71

The Wives of the Dead [Nathaniel Hawthorne] … 74

The Young Artist—By H. F. Gould [Hannah F. Gould] … 83

The Meteor [Hannah F. Gould] … 85

Weep not for the Dead—By S. G. Goodrich … 86

Returning a Stolen Ring—By Charles Sherry [John O. Sargent] … 87

My Kinsman, Major Molineux—By the Author of ‘[S]ights from a Steeple’ [Nathaniel Hawthorne] … 89

Love and Care … 116

The Toilet—By Grenville Mellen … 117

The Dead Soldier—By Mrs Sigourney [Lydia Sigourney] … 121

New England Climate … 123

p. iv

The South Georgian Lark—By Mrs Sigourney [Lydia Sigourney] … 133

Touch Thy Harp—By Louisa P. Smith … 135

Fountain of Forgetfulness … 137

Philosophy—By Charles Sherry [John O. Sargent] … 138

The Bashful Man—By the Author of ‘The Vestal; or, a Tale of Pompeii’ [Thomas Gray] … 144

Apprehension—By H. F. Gould [Hannah F. Gould] … 153

The Winter Leaf—By Charles West Thomson … 154

The Fall of the Temple—By Thomas Gray, Jun. … 156

Roger Malvin’s Burial [Nathaniel Hawthorne] … 161

Legend of the Lake—By Grenville Mellen … 189

The Frozen Dove [Hannah F. Gould] … 192

The Gentle Boy [Nathaniel Hawthorne] … 193

The Freshet—By V. V. Ellis [John O. Sargent] … 241

The Minstrel—By Willis G. Clark … 243

The Valley of Vision … 246

Song of the Revolution—By Thomas Gray, Jun. … 247

Nimrod Buckskin, Esq.—By T. Flint [Timothy Flint] … 249

An Escape—From a Traveller’s Sketch Book … 275

Bloody Brook—By J. I. M’Lellan … 277

La Doncella—From the Spanish [Henry Wadsworth Longfellow] … 280

My Wife’s Novel … 281

The Carnival at Potosi … 315

Falls of the Niagara—By F. W. P. Greenwood … 317

To a Violet—By Charles Wadsworth … 332

Peasant Boy—By B. B. T. [B. B. Thatcher] … 333

A Sketch of a Blue-Stocking—By Miss Sedgwick [Catherine Maria Sedgwick] … 334

Byron, at the age of nineteen [John O. Sargent] … 347

Ruins [John O. Sargent] … 348

David Whicher—A North American Story … [John Neal] 349

The Lute [B. B. Thatcher] … 373

The Garden of Graves [John Pierpont] … 374

The Sixth Seal [Thomas Gray, jr] … 391

[p. 5]


a cherub wearing a mask startles three other cherubs

TO .......

Yes, lady! all you say is true—

The book is rather grave than glad;

Yet if you read, perchance your view

Will meet some merry with the sad.

But be it grave, or be it gay,

I prithee let it by thee dwell,

And pardon if my idle lay

Should whisper what I might not tell.

In days of yore, ere Lowell rose,

When cotton cloth was very dear,

The people lived, as each one knows,

In other guise than we do here.

p. 6

Then all were young, and mid soft bowers

They spent life’s sportive holiday;

Like very brothers loved the flowers,

The light companions of their play.

No jarring factories shook the ear,

No whizzing steam went roaring by;

But all was peace, and not a tear

E’er soiled the cheek or dimmed the eye.

Well, ONE among this happy race

Was better known than all the rest;

More wit he had, perchance more grace,

And was, by all the world, caressed.

’T is said he now is rich and old,

Though flirting at each gay cotillion,

And all the ladies, I am told,

Still love him for his half a million.

But quite unlike the one in vogue,

My Cupid was a hearty boy;

And though the maidens called him rogue,

They pressed him with more fervent joy.

They knew he wore a cruel bow,

That sent its arrows to the heart;

Yet still they loved the urchin so,

That each forgave the transient smart.

So Cupid played his merry part,

And grew at length a famous quiz,

But by and by they knew his art,

And so he masqued his roguish phiz.

With stealing step and greybeard look,

He sought the playmates of the flowers[.]

They stared at first, but when they took

The cunning joke, they laughed for hours.

So afterwards, whene’er to view

The visage came, they did not fear it,

For well those little people knew,

That Love was ever lurking near it.



a small white child points out a tame squirrel to a woman
Painted by A. Fisher.      Engraved by E. Gallaudet.

[p. 7]


No, boy, not one so innocent as thou,

With such youth and gentleness on his brow.

He will not harm thy little hand,

Or shrink from the touch of one so bland.

He sees in thy full and speaking eye,

Only the hues of the bending sky—

He marks in thy cheek but the wild flower’s glow,

He hears in thy voice but the glad rill’s flow.

He sees in thy step but the joyous bound

Of the mountain lamb on the slopes around.

He will not bite, for thine image brings

But semblances of familiar things—

Things that he loves in the breezy wood,

In the leafy dell, and the shouting flood.

It was deeply told, when in youth he swung

Aloft on an oak where the loud winds sung,

It was told by a whispering voice to his heart,

From a look like thine that he need not start.

’T was the wily eye, and the stealing tread,

And the knowing brow, he was taught to dread.

But thou were safe as a mountain flower,

Where the sliding snake and gaunt wolf cower—

Aye, and the proud may learn from the lay,

That Innocence hath a surer shield than they.


[p. 8]


What is life? Saith the sage, we are born but to die;

We live for a summer, but cannot tell why;

And the strong and the feeble, the plain and the fair,

All go in the winter we cannot tell where.

What is life? Saith the preacher, we live and we die,

Permitted to flutter, but hardly to fly;

And hereafter we live, as in this world we do

Either false and deceitful, or faithful and true.

What is life? Saith the lover, a season of bliss,

And all bliss and all life is compressed in a kiss;

To live, is to love—to be scorned, is to die—

I revive with a kiss, and expire in a sigh.

What is life? Saith the soldier, ’t is glory, my son,

The forts that are stormed, and the fields that are won;

’T is thunder and pillage, ’t is glory and strife,

With a sprinkling of beauty—and this, this is life.

What is life? Saith the miser, ’t is twenty per cent.;

’T is a mortgage foreclosed; it is premium and rent;

While his heir will asseverate, ‘Powder my wig!

’T is to dress, and to drink, and drive fast in a gig.’

What is life? Saith my dame, to be seen and admired;

To be envied, and loved, and genteely attired;

To be toasted as belle, to be honored as wife;

This, this is the end and enjoyment of life.

What is life? Saith the statesman, political rank.

Saith the merchant, oh no, it is credit in bank.

Saith the lawyer, ’t is weight with the jury and judge;

And I say, with honest old Burchill, ’t is—fudge!

[p. 9]



The turf shall be my fragrant shrine;

My temple’s dome, that arch of thine;

My censer’s breath, the mountain airs;

And silent thoughts, my only prayers.

It is a bountiful creation. It is rich and full and overflowing, with the beneficence of its Maker. Less than all its plenitude and beauty might have sufficed for our wants; but less would not suffice to set forth his inexpressible goodness. When he had founded the earth, and established the mountains, and set up the great frame of nature, and implanted the germ of every useful production, it might have been enough for the necessities of man, but it was not enough for the generous kindness of his Maker; and he came forth again: he came forth with an added work, and scattered, from an unsparing hand, the bounties and delights of every clime and season. Variety and exuberance poured their stores into the lap of nature, and it was full. The earth opened its fertile bosom, and sent forth its flowers and fruits to gratify the taste; the world rung with the voice of melody to regale the ear; and hues of light were spread over the verdant earth, and the glowing clouds of eventide, and the glorious expanse of heaven, to delight the eye of man. And upon this theatre,

p. 10

overspread with more than the magnificence of eastern palaces, and beneath the shining canopy of heaven, there went forth life, buoyant and strung and gifted, to enjoy it to the full; life with its untiring and matchless energies; life with its light sportings of pleasure, and its secret workings of delight; life, not bare and barren, an abstract existence, but clothed with senses, endowed with sensibility, connected by magic ties of association with the objects around it; touched with rapture at the visions that pass before it, and kindling with irrepressible aspirations after brighter visions yet to be revealed; life, full as nature is, of heavenly gifts; full of glorious capacities, of dear affections, and unbounded hopes, and thus tending, with manifest direction, to a higher and a more enduring state of beings.

But let us descend to a humbler theatre of existence, yet equally filled with proofs of the divine goodness. When we go abroad from our dwelling, in one of the bright days of summer, what a scene is presented before us! This, too, is filled with life, infinitely diversified, changing, active, intense life and pleasure. It is, I repeat, a crowded scene. It seems as if it were designed, that everything which could live, should have its happy hours of being. The spot that will not admit one kind of existence, is supplied with another. In every possible variety of situation, from the spire of grass to the lofty tree, from the plain to the mountain-top, on the hill-side and in the deep forest, in the flashing waters and the buoyant air, there are abodes, numberless, various, vast, minute, for every living thing. The very rocks are penetrated by eager claimants for their appointed spaces;

p. 11

the steep and barren precipices give sure footing to the wild goat; the dark caverns echo to the footsteps of living creatures.

Descend we to a still minuter survey, aided by the microscope, and what do we find? Every clod of earth, every drop of water, every morsel of delicious fruit, is animated life. It were scarcely a stretch of imagination to conceive it may yet be proved, that the very sunbeams have life. Let not this discovery of modern philosophy, so full of the wonders of divine beneficence, disgust us. Well, indeed, that ‘man has not a microscopic eye;’ and for a plainer reason than that no-reason, that ‘man is not a fly.’ Well is it, and an added proof of goodness, that the impressions of sense are an overmatch for the teachings of philosophy. But let it not offend us, that the air we breathe, and the dust we tread upon, teem with active and glad existence.

It is a bountiful creation; and bounty demands acknowledgment; but its very silence, as to all demands upon our gratitude, seems to me more affecting, than any articulate voice of exhortation. If ‘cloven tongues of fire’ sat upon every bush and forest bough; if audible voices were borne upon every breeze, saying, ‘Give thanks! give thanks!’ however startling at first, it would not be so powerful, so eloquent, as the deep and unobtrusive silence of nature. The revolving seasons encircle us with their blessings; the fruits of the earth successively and silently spring from its bosom, and silently moulder back again to prepare for new supplies; day and night return; the ‘soft stealing hours’ roll one; mighty changes and revolutions are passing in the

p. 12

abysses of the earth and the throned heights of the firmament; mighty worlds and systems are borne with speed almost like that of light, through the infinitude of space; but all is order, harmony, silence. What histories could they relate of infinite goodness; but they proclaim it not! What calls to grateful devotion are there in earth and heaven; but they speak not! No messenger stands upon the watch-towers of the creation, on hill or mountain, saying, like the Moslem priests from the minarets of their temples, ‘To prayer! to prayer!’ I am sometimes tempted to wish there were, or to wonder there are not. But so it is; there is no audible voice nor speech.

And for this cause, and for other causes, how many of Heaven’s blessings escape our notice. In how many ways is the hand of Heaven stretched out to us, and yet is unseen; in how many places does it secretly deposit its benefactions! It is as if a friend had come with soft and gentle steps to the dwelling of our want, or to the abode of our sickness, had laid down his gift, and silently turned away. And during half of our lives, the night draws her veil of darkness over the mysterious paths of Heaven’s care; and yet those paths are filled with ministering angels that wait about our defenceless pillow, and keep their watch by the couch of our repose. Yes, in night and darkness and untrodden solitudes, what histories of God’s mercy are recorded! But they are not written in human language; they are not proclaimed by mortal tongue. The dews of heavenly beneficence silently descend; its ocean rolls in its dark caverns; the

p. 13

recesses of the wilderness are thronged with insects and beasts and birds, that utter no sound in the ear of man.

Full of bounty as this work of God is; silent and touching as are its appeals to gratitude, it is yet more; it is a joyous creation; and thus bears another indication of the character of its Author.

Our ideas of religion are apt to be too constrained, and, not to say too solemn, yet too exclusively of that character. Frail and sinful s we are, it is not strange that this should be the tendency of our minds, and especially so, if our minds are not familiar with this great theme. But the theology of nature teaches us a different lesson; teaches us, as the Holy Word also teaches us, to worship God, ‘with joyfulness and gladness of heart.’ The lesson is written with sunbeams upon the ever fair and youthful brow of nature. A dull and slavish piety is at war with the creation. The bright skies, the free and flowing streams, the chainless winds, the waving forests, teach us not so; and every being of nature’s ten thousand rejoicing tribes, calls us to a glad communion with it. If, indeed, the world with its tenants were smitten with universal sadness; or even if the earth were filled with dull, heavy, formal creatures, I might be obliged to think differently. but what is the fact? Is it a solemn creation that I see around me? Is it not rather, I repeat, a joyous creation? Does it not ring from side to side with notes of joy? It is not the moaning owl from her blighted tree that I commonly hear; but the glad song of the birds of day. I look abroad through the glades and forests, too, and I see not demure creatures, stalking forth in staid and dull

p. 14

formality; but the prancing steed in the valley, the bounding goat upon the hills, the sportive flocks in the pasture. All about me is activity; yes, and the activity of pleasure. Swift wings fan the air around me; quick steps hurry by in their gambols; and the whole wide firmament sends forth from its viewless strings, the music of a rejoicing creation. Heaven and earth are filled, I had almost said, with a visible joy. It seems as if the Spirit that is abroad in the universe were scarcely veiled from our eyes; as if we almost saw it through its robe of light; saw an expression, more intense than any countenance can give, in the serene heavens; as if we felt a presence, nearer than that of any friend, in the beauty and fragrance and breath of summer. And the heavens—is it an illusion to think so? the heavens grow brighter, and the earth more beautiful, as we gaze upon them with the eye of devout joy and thanksgiving.

But let us take a minuter survey, and we shall find that the creation is not only filled with blessings and joys, but filled, too, with indications of the most tender and considerate care. The topics that illustrate this may be familiar, but they can never grow old or dull.

When we look abroad upon the universe, we observe, as has been said, that every portion of it, however large, or however minute, is the dwelling-place of animated life. Creatures of every rank, from the soaring eagle to the feeble insect, from the mighty elephant to the creeping reptile; creatures of every size and form and mode of existence, crowd all the regions, the spaces, the habitations of earth, of ocean, and the air. Now, there is for each one of these a path in which to go, an

p. 15

element to live in, a food somewhere deposited to sustain it; but how does each one, without delay, without uncertainty, without mistake, find its proper sphere and provision? Man, with all his knowledge, could never discover it. Yet there is not a way so dark, there is not a mode of action or habit so strange or curious, there is not a provision so hidden, but the mole, the insect, the creature that lives but for an hour, goes straight to its destined end, as if the clearest reason inspired it; as if the experience of ages guided it; as if the light of heaven shone upon its unknown way. And heaven’s light does shine upon its way; and a hand of more than parental care leadeth it. A mighty Intelligence, diffused everywhere, through every clod of earth, through every tract of the inhabited waters, through every region of the populous air; a mighty Intelligence there is, like a sunbeam, guiding the children of instinct, in the darkness and in the light, in the obscure and the clear, in the height and in the depth, and abroad in every unknown and, by man, untrodden path of the living universe. A mighty Intelligence there is, but gracious and kind, present with every being, providing for every occasion, helping the feeble, and directing the strong, opening the storehouse of nature, and pointing each one to his abode, his safeguard, and his supply.

But, not only in every sphere and element of nature, does every tribe of the animal creation need an appropriate sustenance, and a peculiar set of habits, but each one needs a different covering, suited to the mode and place of its existence. With man, to provide this clothing is the work of contrivance and art; manufactories are

p. 16

established at immense cost, and every year adds to the list of new inventions and new fabrics; a fair portion of all the industry in the world is employed in these labors. But while man, because he is endowed with skill to manufacture his own apparel, and in order that he may live in all climates, and possess the world for his inheritance, is left to provide for himself, as his exigences require, observe how admirably nature has taken care for all its irrational children. ‘They toil not; they spin not;’ and yet man, in all the pride of regal pomp, in all the splendor of opulence, in all the multiplicity of his inventions, is not arrayed like one of these; and is obliged, for his goodliest adorning and attire, for his down and his furs, for his ermine and his waving plumes, to resort to the humble creature that prowls in the wilderness, or makes his habitation among the rude and unsightly rocks, or steals forth from the ices of the Pole. Wherever these tenants of nature wander, on the mountains that are covered with eternal snow, or beneath the blazing firmament of the Zone; whether they cut the liquid stream, or try the courses of heaven; whether they walk forth in their might and shake the earth with their footsteps, or creep among the silent reeds and by the still water-courses; whether they paw with the war-horse in the valley, or weave their gossamer web that is shaken in the breeze; behold, each one hath his appropriate vesture, such as all human art could not form, and cannot imitate. Let this art be tasked to the utmost, and it cannot weave their gossamer web that is shaken in the breeze; behold, each one hath his appropriate vesture, such as all human art could not form, and cannot imitate. Let this art be tasked to the utmost, and it cannot weave the fine fabric that clothes the back of the spider, and which, we may add, under the magnifying glass is more beautiful

p. 17

than all that the richest dyes can stamp upon our most exquisitely-wrought fabrics; let this art be tasked to the utmost, and it cannot make a feather; it cannot, in its choicest soil and climate, cause anything to grow like the furs that are nourished amidst the frozen latitudes of the North; it cannot form such a coat of mail, as guards the leviathan of the deep.

And why, let it be asked, is all this, and from whence does it proceed? Why does that which in animals of the warm latitudes is a thin covering of hair, in the cold regions f the earth thicken to a warm clothing of fur; and why does this, in the severest seasons, become longer and warmer to meet the exigency?—a rule so invariable that the dealers in fur depend upon it with perfect confidence. Could the sending of an additional garment by a kind parent, to a child, destitute and exposed, more strikingly indicate a considerate and tender care? And why, also, do the scales of the fish, so perfectly adapted to his element, become in the bird, the most delicate and buoyant plumage?—a clothing so fit and beautiful, that nothing more appropriate could be given to creatures that dwell in the air, and sing among the branches. It is unlike the fur of animals, which it most resembles, in being cooler, as well as that it is fitted for flight; and yet when the sun has withdrawn his power, and the chilling shades come on, it is capable of being gathered and wrapped more closely for a mantle in the night season. Here is united in one dress, lightness as well as beauty, strength and buoyancy, adaptation for every climate and element, apparel for the day, and clothing for the night.

p. 18

Well did the sacred Teacher, so remarkable for his frequent allusions to nature, say, ‘Consider the ravens; behold the fowls of the air; look abroad upon the wonders of the creation; consider these things, O man! and be wise, be faithful, and confiding.’

Confide in God. Trust in a Being, whose inspection and care nothing can escape; whose goodness created wants but to supply them; whose bounty hath no law but that of infinite diffusion. Believe, that He who heareth the young ravens when they cry, will hear the voice of thy prayer. Believe, that he who hath a providence over the limbs and senses, even the weakest and lowest of them, hath a providence over the mind. Believe, that he who guideth the way of instinct; who guideth the flight of the bird in his migration from clime to clime, will guide the soul in its untried and unknown way. ‘There is a Power,’ says a poet of our own, in an admired passage;—

‘There is a power, whose care

Teaches thy way along that pathless coast,—

The desert and illimitable air,—

Lone wandering, but not lost.’

And how reasonable, as well as beautiful, is the inference!

‘He, who, from zone to zone,

Guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight,

In the long way that I must tread alone,

Will guide my steps aright.’


a small island in a lake; fairies fly or float by
Painted by F. Danby ARA.      Engraved by Geo. B. Ellis.

[p. 19]




In the far off sea there is many a sprite,

Who rests by day, but awakes at night.

In hidden caves where monsters creep,

When the sun is high, these spectres sleep.

From the glance of noon, they shrink with dread,

And hide mid the bones of the ghastly dead.

Where the surf is hushed, and the light is dull,

In the hollow tube and the whitened skull,

They crouch in fear or in whispers wail,

For the lingering night, and the coming gale.

But at eventide, when the shore is dim,

And bubbling wreaths with the billows swim,

They rise on the wing of the freshened breeze,

And flit with the wind o’er the rolling seas.

At summer eve, as I sat on the cliff,

I marked a shape like a dusky skiff,

That skimmed the brine, toward the rocky shore—

I heard a voice in the surge’s roar—

I saw a form in the flashing spray,

And white arms beckoned me away.


Away o’er the tide we went together,

Through shade and mist and stormy weather.

p. 20

Away, away, o’er the lonely water,

On wings of thought like shadows we flew,

Nor paused mid scenes of wreck and slaughter,

That came from the blackened waves to view.

The staggering ship to the gale we left,

The drifting corse and the vacant boat,

The ghastly swimmer all hope bereft—

We left them there on the sea to float!

Through mist and shade and stormy weather,

That night we went to the icy Pole,

And there on the rocks we stood together,

And saw the ocean before us roll.

No moon shone down on the hermit sea,

No cheering beacon illumed the shore,

No ship on the water, no light on the lea,

No sound in the ear but the billow’s roar.

But the wave was bright, as if lit with pearls,

And fearful things on its bosom payed;

Huge crakens circled in foamy whirls,

As if the deep for their sport was made,

Or mighty whales through the crystal dashed,

And upward sent the far glittering spray,

Till the darkened sky with the radiance flashed,

And pictured in glory the wild array.


Hast thou seen the deep in the moonlight beam,

Its wave like a maiden’s bosom swelling?

Hast thou seen the stars in the water’s gleam,

As if its depths were their holy dwelling?

p. 21

We met more beautiful scenes that night,

As we slid along in our spirit-car,

For we crossed the South Sea, and, ere the light,

We doubled Cape Horn on a shooting star.

In our way we stooped, o’er a moonlit isle,

Which the fairies had built in the lonely sea,

And the surf spirit’s brow was bent with a smile,

As we gazed through the mist on their revelry.

The ripples that swept to the pebbly shore,

O’er shells of purple in wantonness played,

And the whispering zephyrs sweet odors bore,

From roses that bloomed amid silence and shade.

In winding grottos, with gems all bright,

Soft music trembled from harps unseen,

And fair forms glided on wings of light,

Mid forests of fragrance, and vallies of green.

There were voices of gladness the heart to beguile,

And glances of beauty too fond to be true—

For the surf sprite shrieked, and the Fairy Isle,

By the breath of the tempest was swept from our view.

Then the howling gale o’er the billows rushed,

And trampled the sea in its march of wrath;

From stooping clouds the red lightnings gushed,

And thunders moved in their blazing path.

’T was a fearful night, but my shadowy guide

Had a voice of glee as we rode on the gale,

For we saw afar a ship on the tide,

With a bounding course and a fearless sail.

In darkness it came, like a storm-sent bird,

But another ship it met on the wave—

p. 22

A shock—a shout—but no more we heard,

For they both went down to their ocean grave!

We paused on the misty wing of the storm,

As a ruddy flash lit the face of the deep,

And far in its bosom full many a form

Was swinging down to its silent sleep.

Another flash! and they seemed to rest,

In scattered groups, on the floor of the tide—

The lover and loved, they were breast to breast,

The mother and babe, they were side by side.

The leaping waves clapped their hands in joy,

And gleams of gold with the waters flowed,

But the peace of the sleepers knew no alloy,

For all was hushed in their lone abode.


On, on, like midnight visions, we passed,

The storm above, and the surge below,

And shrieking forms swept by on the blast,

Like demons speeding on errands of woe.

My spirit sank, for aloft in the cloud,

A star-set flag on the whirlwind flew,

And I knew that the billow must be the shroud

Of the noble ship and her gallant crew.

Her side was striped with a belt of white,

And twenty guns from each battery frowned,

But the lightning came in a sheet of flame,

And the towering sails in its folds were wound.

Vain, vain was the shout, that in battle rout,

Had run as a knell in the ear of the foe,

p. 23

For the bursting deck was heaved from the wreck,

And the sky was bathed in the awful glow!

The ocean shook to its oozy bed,

As the swelling sound to the canopy went,

And a thousand fires like meteors shed

Their light on the tossing element.

A moment they gleamed, then sank in the foam,

And darkness swept over the gorgeous glare—

They lighted the mariners down to their home,

And left them all sleeping in stillness there!


The storm is hushed, and my vision is o’er,

The surf sprite changed to a foamy wreath,

The night is deepened along the shore,

And I thread my way o’er the dusky heath.

But often again I shall go to that cliff,

And seek for her form on the flashing tide,

For I know she will come in her airy skiff,

And over the sea we shall swiftly ride.

[p. 24]


Farewell!—as soon as I am dead,

Come all, and watch one night about my hearse;

Bring each a mournful story and a tear,

To offer at it, when I go to earth.

With flattering ivy clasp my coffin round;

Write on my brow my fortune.

The Maid’s Tragedy.

In the melancholy month of October, when the variegated tints of the autumnal landscape begin to fade away into the pale and sickly hue of death, a few soft, delicious days, called the Indian Summer, steal in \upon the close of the year, and, like a second spring, breathe a balm round the departing season, and light up with a smile the pallid features of the dying year. They resemble those calm and lucid intervals, which sometimes precede the last hour of slow decline; mantling the cheek with the glow of health; breathing tranquillity around the drooping heart; and, though seeming to indicate, that the fountains of life are springing out afresh, are but the sad and sure precursors of dissolution; the last earthly sabbath

Of a spirit who longs for a purer day,

And is ready to wing her flight away.

I was once making a tour, at this season of the year, in the interior of New England. The rays of the setting sun glanced from the windows and shingle roofs of the little farmhouses scattered over the landscape; and the

p. 25

soft hues of declining day were gradually spreading over the scene. The harvest had already been gathered in; and I could hear the indistinct sound of the flail from the distant threshing floor. Now and then a white cloud floated before the sun, and its long shadow swept across the stubble field and climbed the neighboring hill. The tap of a solitary woodpecker echoed from the orchard; and at intervals a hollow gust passed like a voice amid the trees, scattering the colored leaves, and shaking down the ruddy apples.

As I rode slowly along, I approached a neat farmhouse, that stood upon the slope of a gentle hill. There was an air of plenty about it, that bespoke it the residence of one of the better class of farmers. Beyond it, the spire of a village church rose from a clump of trees; and to the westward lay a long cultivated valley, with a rivulet winding like a strip of silver through it, and bounded on the opposite side by a chain of high, rugged mountains.

A number of horses stood tied to a rail in front of the house, and there was a crowd of peasants in their best attire at the doors and windows. I saw at once, by the sadness of every countenance, and the half-audible tones of voice in which they addressed each other, that they were assembled to perform the last pious duties of the living to the dead. Some poor child of dust was to be consigned to its long home. I alighted, and entered the house. I feared that I might be an intruder upon that scene of grief; but a feeling of painful and melancholy curiosity prompted me on. The house was filled with country people from the neighboring villages, seated around with that silent decorum, which in the country

p. 26

is always observed on such occasions. I passed through the crowd to the chamber, in which, according to the custom of New England, the body of the deceased was laid out in all the appalling habiliments of the grave. The coffin was placed upon a table in the middle of the room. Several of the villagers were gazing upon the corpse, and as they turned away, speaking to each other in whispers of the ravages of death, I drew near, and looked for a moment upon those sad remains of humanity. The countenance was calm and beautiful, and the pallid lips apart, as if the last sigh had just left them. On the coffin-plate I read the name and age of the deceased. She had been cut off in the bloom of life.

As I gazed upon the features of death before me, my heart rebuked me. There was something cold and heartless, in thus gazing idly upon the relics of one whom I had not known in life; and I turned away with an emotion of more than sorrow. I look upon the last remains of a friend, as something that death has hallowed. The dust of one, whom I had loved in life, should be loved in death. I should feel, that I were doing violence to the tender sympathies of affection, in thus exposing the relics of a friend to the idle curiosity of the world; for the world could never feel the emotion that harrowed up my soul, nor taste the bitterness, with which my heart was running over.

At length the village clergyman arrived, and the funeral procession moved towards the church. The mother of the deceased followed the bier, supported by the clergyman, who tried in vain to administer consolation to a broken heart. She gave way to the

p. 27

violence of her grief, and wept aloud. Beside her walked a young man, who seemed to struggle with his sorrow, and strove to hide from the world what was passing in his bosom.

The church stood upon the outskirts of the village, and a few old trees threw their soft, religious shade around its portals. The tower was old and dilapidated; and the occasional toll of its bell, as it swung solemnly along the landscape, deepened the soft melancholy of the scene.

I followed the funeral train at a distance, and entered the church. The bier was placed at the head of the principal aisle, and after a moment’s pause, the clergyman arose, and commenced the funeral service with prayer. It was simple and impressive; and, as the good man prayed, his countenance glowed with pure and fervent piety. He said there was a rest for the people of God, where all tears should be wiped from their eyes, and where there should be no more sorrow nor care. A hymn was then sung, appropriate to the occasion. It was one from the writings of Dr Watts, beginning,

Unveil thy bosom, faithful tomb;

Take this new treasure to thy trust,

And give these sacred relics room

To slumber in the silent dust.

No pain, no grief, no anxious fear,

Invade thy bounds; no mortal woes

Can reach the peaceful sleeper here,

While angels watch its soft repose.

p. 28

The pauses were interrupted by the sobs of the mother; it was touching in the extreme. When it ceased, the aged pastor again arose and addressed his simple audience. Several times his voice faltered with emotion. The deceased had been a favorite disciple since her residence in the village, and he had watched over her slow decay with all the tender solicitude of a father. As he spoke of her gentle nature; of her patience in sickness; of her unrepining approach to the grave; of the bitterness of death; and of the darkness and silence of the narrow house, the younger part of the audience were moved to tears. Most of them had known her in life, and could repeat some little history of her kindness and benevolence. She had visited the cottages of the poor; she had soothed the couch of pain; she had wiped away the mourner’s tears!

When the funeral service was finished, the procession again formed, and moved towards the graveyard. It was a sunny spot, upon a gentle hill, where one solitary beech-tree threw its shade upon a few mouldering tombstones. They were the last mementos [sic] of the early settlers and patriarchs of the neighborhood, and were overgrown with grass and branches of the wild rose. Beside them there was an open grave. The bier was placed upon its brink, and the coffin slowly and carefully let down into it. The mother came to take her last farewell. It was a scene of heart-rending grief. She paused, and gazed wistfully into the grave; her heart was buried there. At length she tore herself away in agony; and, as she passed from the spot, I could read in

p. 29

her countenance, that the strongest tie, which held her to the world, had given way.

The rest of the procession passed in order by the grave, and each cast into it some slight token of affection, a sprig of rosemary, or some other sweet-scented herb. I watched the mournful procession returning along the dusty road, and, when it finally disappeared behind the woodland, I found myself alone in the graveyard. I sat down upon a moss-grown stone, and fell into a train of melancholy thoughts. The gray of twilight overshadowed the scene. The wind rushed by in hollow gusts, sighed in the long grass of the grave, and swept the rustling leaves in eddies around me. Side by side, beneath me, slept the hoary head of age, and the blighted heart of youth; mortality, which had long since mouldered back to dust, and that from which the spirit had just departed. I scraped away the moss and grass from the tombstone, on which I sat, and endeavored to decipher the inscription. The name was entirely blotted out, and the rude ornaments were mouldering away. Beside it was the grave that had just closed over its tenant. What a theme for meditation! The grave that had been closed for years; and that upon which the mark of the spade was still visible! One whose very name was forgotten, and whose last earthly record had crumbled and wasted away; and one over whom the grass had not yet grown, nor the shadows of night descended!

When I returned to the village, I learned the history of the deceased. It was simple, but to me it was affecting. The mother had been left a widow with

p. 30

two children, a son and a daughter. The son had been too soon exposed to the temptations of the world; had become dissolute, and was carried away by the frenzy of intemperance. This almost broke her heart, but it could not alienate her affection. There is something so patient and so enduring in the love of a mother! it is so kind to us; so consoling; so forgiving! the world deceives us, but that deceives us not; friends forsake us, but that forsakes us not; we may wound it, we may abandon it, we may forget it; but it will never wound, nor abandon, nor forget us!

The daughter was delicate and feeble. She sickened in her mother’s arms, and fell into a slow decline. Her brother’s ingratitude had stricken her too. Those who have watched the progress of slow and wasting decline, may recollect how fondly the sufferer will cling to some favorite wish, whose gratification she thinks may strengthen her wasted frame, and which, though we are persuaded it will be useless to grant, we feel it cruelty to deny. With this hope, she had longed for the calm retirement of the country, and had come with her mother into the bosom of these solitudes, to breathe their pure, exhilarating air, and to forget, in the calm of rural life, the cares that seemed to hurry on the progress of the disease. There is a quiet charm in rural occupations, which soothes and tranquillizes the soul; and the invalid, that is heartsick with the noise of the city, retires to the shades of country life, finds the hope of existence renewed, and something taken away from the bitterness of death. When the poor girl saw her young friends around her in the bloom of health and the hilarity of

p. 31

youth, and she alone drooping and sickly, she felt that it was hard to die. But in the shades of the country, the gaiety of the world was forgotten. No earthly desire intruded to overshadow the soft serenity of her soul; and, when the last hope of life forsook her, a voice seemed to whisper, that in the sleep of death no cares intruded, and that they were blessed who died in the Lord.

The summer passed away in rural occupations, and the simple pastimes of country life. She was regular in her devotions at the village church on Sundays, and after the service, would visit the cottages of the poor with her mother, or stroll along the woodland, and listen to the song of the birds, and the melancholy ripple of the brook. At such times she would speak touchingly of her own fate, and look up with tears into her mother’s face. Then her thoughts would wander back to earlier days—to her young companions—to her brother. When she spoke of him, she wept as though her heart would break. They were nearly of the same age, had been educated together, and had loved each other with all the tenderness of brotherly love. There was something terrible in the idea that he had forgotten her, just as she was dropping into the grave. But there are sometimes alienations of the heart, which even the dark anticipations fo death cannot change.

At length the autumn came, that sober season, whose very beauty reminds us of dissolution and decay. The summer birds had flown, the leaf changed its hue, and the wind rustled mournfully amid the trees. As the season advanced, the health of the invalid gradually

p. 32

declined. The lamp of life was nearly exhausted. Her rambles became confined to a little garden, where she would sometimes stroll out of a morning to gather flowers for her window. The fresh morning air seemed to revive her; but, towards the close of day, the hectic would flush her cheek, and but too plainly indicate that there was no longer any hope of life.

The mother watched her dying child with an anguish, that none but a mother’s heart can feel. She would sit, and gaze wistfully upon her, as she slept, and pour out her soul in prayer, that this last solace of her declining years might yet be spared her. But the days of her child were numbered. She had become calm and resigned, and her soul seemed to be springing up to a pure and heavenly joy. Religion had irradiated the gloom of the sick chamber, and brightened the pathway of the tomb. Death had no longer a sting; nor the grave a victory.

The soft, delightful days of the Indian Summer succeeded, smiling on the year’s decline. The poor sick girl was too weak to leave her chamber; but she would sit for hours together at the open window, and enjoy the calm of the autumnal landscape. One evening she was thus seated, watching the setting sun, as it sank slowly behind the blue hills, dying in crimson the clouds of the western sky, and tinging the air with soft, purple light. Her feelings had taken a calm from the quiet of the scene; and she thought how sweet it were that life should close, like the close of an autumn day, and the clouds of death catch the radiance of a glorious and eternal morning.

p. 33

A little bird, that had been the companion of her sickness, was fluttering in its cage beside her, and singing with a merry heart from its wicker prison. She listened a moment to its song, with a feeling of tenderness, and sighed. ‘Thou hast cheered my sick chamber with thy cheerful voice,’ said she, ‘and hast shared with me my long captivity. I shall soon be free, and I will not leave thee here a prisoner.’ As she spoke she opened the door of the cage; the bird darted forth from the window, balanced itself a moment on its wings, as if to say farewell, and then rose up into the sky with a song of delight.

As she watched her little favorite floating upwards in the soft evening air, and growing smaller and smaller, until it diminished to a little speck in the blue heaven, her attention was arrested by the sound of a horse’s hoofs. A moment after, the rider dismounted at the door. When she beheld him, her cheek became suddenly flushed, and then turned deadly pale again. She started up, and rushed towards the door, but her strength failed her; she faltered, and sunk into her mother’s arms in a swoon. Almost at the same moment the door opened, and her brother entered the room.

The ties of nature had been loosened, but were too strong to be broken. The rebukes of conscience had risen above the song of the revel, and the maddening glee of drunkenness. Haunted by fearful phantoms, and full of mental terrors, he had hurried away from the scenes of debauch, hoping to atone for his errors, by future care and solicitude. His mother embraced

p. 34

him with all the tender yearnings of a mother’s heart. Sorrow had chastened every reproachful feeling; silenced every sentiment of reproof. She had already forgotten all past unkindness.

In the mean time, the poor invalid was carried to bed insensible; and an hour passed before signs of returning life appeared. A small taper threw its pale and tremulous rays round the chamber, and her brother sat by her bed-side, silently and anxiously watching her cold, inanimate features. At length a slight color flushed her cheek; her lips moved, as if she were endeavoring to articulate something; then she sighed deeply, and languidly opened her eyes, as if awakening from a deep sleep. Her mother was bending over her; she threw her arms about her neck and kissed her. ‘Mother,’ said she, in a soft and almost inaudible voice, ‘I have had such a dream!—I thought that George had come back again; and that we were happy; and that I should not die—not yet! But no, it was not a dream,’ continued she, raising her head from the pillow, and gazing wistfully about the room. ‘He has come back again; and we are happy; and, oh! other, must I die!’ Here she fell back upon her pillow, and, covering her face with both hands, burst into tears.

Her brother, who sat by the bed-side hidden by the curtain, could no longer withstand the violence of his emotions. He caught her in his arms, and kissed her tears away. She unclosed her eyes, smiled, and faintly articulated ‘dear George;’ the rest died upon her lips. It was nature’s last effort. She turned her eyes from

p. 35

him to her mother; then back; then to her mother again; her lips moved; an ashy hue spread over her countenance; and she expired with a sigh.

Such was the history of the deceased, as I gathered it from one of the villagers. I continued my journey the next morning, and passed by the graveyard. The sun shone softly upon it, and the dew glistened upon the turf. It seemed to me an image of the morning of that eternal day, when this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and this mortal shall put on immortality.


[p. 36]


I am feeble, pale, and weary,

And my wings are nearly furled;

I have caused a scene so dreary

That I long to quit the world.

With bitterness I ’m thinking

On the evil I have done,

And to my caverns sinking

From the coming of the sun!

The heart of man will sicken

In that pure and holy light,

When he sees his hopes are stricken

With an everlasting blight.

For, widely, in my madness,

Have I poured abroad my wrath;

And, changing joy to sadness,

Scattered ruins on my path!

Earth shuddered at my motion,

And my power in silence owns;

But the deep and troubled ocean

O’er my deeds of horror moans.

I have sunk the brightest treasure;

I ’ve destroyed the fairest form;

I have sadly filled my measure,

And am now a dying storm!

H. F. G.

[p. 37]


The description of the storm, and the perils of Sir Arthur Wardour and his daughter, in the ‘Antiquary,’ has been always deemed one of the finest passages in Scott’s Novels. In presenting our readers with an engraving, illustrative of the most interesting part of this scene, we cannot do better than quote the particular words to which the picture refers.

‘It was indeed a dreadful evening. The howling of the storm mingled with the shrieks of the sea-fowl, and sounded like the dirge of the three devoted beings, who, pent between two of the most magnificent, yet most dreadful objects of nature—a raging tide and an insurmountable precipice—toiled along their painful and dangerous path, often lashed by the spray of some giant billow, which threw itself higher on the beach than those which had preceded it. Each minute did their enemy gain ground perceptibly upon them. Still, however, loth to relinquish the last hopes of life, they bent their eyes on the black rock pointed out by Ochiltree. It was yet distinctly visible among the breakers, and continued to be so, until they came to a turn in the precarious path where an intervening projection of rock hid it from their sight. Deprived of the view of the beacon on which they had relied, here then they experienced the double agony of terror and suspense. They struggled forward however; but, when they arrived at the point from which they ought to have seen the crag,

p. 38

it was no longer visible. The signal of safety was lost among a thousand white breakers, which, dashing upon the point of the promontory, rose in prodigious sheets of snowy foam as high as the mast of a first-rate man-of-war, against the dark brow of the precipice.

The countenance of the old man fell. Isabella gave a faint shriek, and, “God have mercy upon us!” which her guide solemnly uttered, was piteously echoed by Sir Arthur—“My child! my child!—to die such a death!”—

“My father! my dear father!” his daughter exclaimed, clinging to him, “and you too, who have lost your own life in endeavoring to save ours!”—

“That ’s not worth the counting,” said the old man. “I hae lived to be weary o’ life; and here or yonder—at the back o’ a dyke, in a wreath o’ snaw, or in the wame o’ a wave, what signifies how the auld gaberlunzie dies!”

“Good man,” said Sir Arthur, “can you think of nothing?—of no help?—I ’ll make you rich—I ’ll give you a farm—I ’ll—[”]

“Our riches will be soon equal,” said the beggar, looking out upon the strife of the waters—“they are sae already; for I hae nae land, and you would give your fair bounds and barony for a square yard of rock that would be dry for twal hours.”

While they exchanged these words, they paused upon the highest ledge of rock to which they could attain. Here then they were to await the sure though slow progress of the raging element[.]’

[p. 39]



Far out upon the desert sea,

When winds and surges roar,

And many a deep cloud veils the sky

And the dim ocean o’er;

Sweet is the weary wanderer’s sleep,

Long tossed upon that main,

Who, morn and eve, hath watched and wept

For his native land in vain.

What, then, though the proud ship tremble

With the proud waves’ angry dash;

And aloft on the rocking foam-crests,

Fiercely the storm-fires flash!

For gloriously, oh! gloriously,

Of his own old mountain-shore

He dreams; and the airs of his childhood

Breathe round him as of yore.

So slumbereth on, mid wind and wave,

In sorrow and in strife,

The immortal pilgrim spirit

On the weary sea of life.

Hopes! burning hopes! these are its dreams,

These are its rich repose;

p. 40

Come they alone at midnight hour,

Or at dusky even-close?

Come they alone to him that sleeps

On the ocean’s rolling foam?

Or to those who wait to welcome him

Again to his dear home?

Oh no! oh no! visions arise,

Even now, of the bright clime,

Where never sounds an echo

Of the dashing surge of time:

Far off, far off, amid the gloom

Over that strand divine,

I see the star of Bethlehem

Like a mariner’s beacon shine:

I feel the balm of odors sweet

Breathing from that dim shore,

While thoughts of Heaven, like birds from land,

Fly forth, unseen before.

I hear with my spirit’s ear the gush

Of the rills of holy ground;

And low love-tones of angels

From the starry skies around:—

In vain! in vain!—when shall my bark

E’er cross this stormy sea!

When, when shall hopes that pass not by,

Come out, O God, from thee!

[p. 41]



It has been well said, that the memory never loses an impression, that has once been made upon it. The lines may be obscured for a time, as an inscription is defaced by rust, but they are never obliterated; they may be buried under a crowd of other recollections, but there are times when these roll away, as the mist rises from the valley, and the whole picture stands disclosed, in its original integrity. Impressions made in childhood are the most vivid; years may pass, and other remembrances be gathered in, but those that lie deepest are longest retained, and most fondly cherished. Other events touch the heart and pass off, without leaving a trace, but these strike in, engraft themselves, and become a part of our nature. Such, at least, has been my experience. I have lived a busy, and I trust not an useless life; I have seen much of the world, my feelings and passions have been excited, and my attention powerfully fixed, by events of deep interest; but none stand recorded in the same bold, indelible characters which mark some of the remembrances of my childhood.

Not far from my father’s residence, there was a school house. It was a small log building, such as we often see in new countries, and stood in a grove, on an eminence near the road. Whether chance, or taste, or convenience, dictated the choice of the spot, I cannot tell; but it

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always struck me as being not only well adapted to the purpose, to which it was appropriated, but remarkably picturesque. The grove contained not more than an acre or two of ground, but the trees were large spreading oaks, that I have seldom seen surpassed in size or beauty; for every observer of nature will agree with me, that trees, even of the same species, differ in appearance as widely as human beings. In every grove, the vegetation has some distinguishing characteristic, just as all the inhabitants of a village have some trait in common. The trees are stinted, or luxuriant, spreading or tall, majestic or beautiful; or else they are vulgar, common-place trees, as devoid of interest, as the unmeaning people whom we meet with every day. I never see a great oak standing by the road side, without observing its peculiarities. Some are round and portly, some tall and spindling; some aspire, and others grovel; one has a gracefully rounded outline, and another a rugged, irregular shape. Here you may behold one waving its head with a courtly bend, and there you may see another tossing its great arms up and down like some angular, long limbed, gigantic booby. Trees, too, have their diseases, their accidents, and their adventures. They are torn by the wind, shattered by the lightning, and nipped by the frost; and while some of them have in their youth the aspect of sallow and dyspeptic invalids, others flourish in a green old age; and whether standing singly in the field, or crowded together in the forest, whether embraced by ivy, clothed with moss, or hung with misletoe, [sic] they always attract attention, by the peculiarities which they derive from these, and other incidents.

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Our schoolhouse oaks were of the majestic kind. They had braved the elements for at least a century, and seemed to be still in the vigor of life. Their great, dark trunks were covered with moss, and their immense branches interlocking far above the ground, shadowed it with a canopy, that not a sunbeam could penetrate. The soil was trodden hard and smooth by the school-boys, and covered with a short greensward, over which the wind swept so freely, as to carry away all the fallen leaves.

Here we played, and wrestled, and ran races; here, in hot weather, the master, forsaking the schoolhouse, disposed his noisy pupils in groups among the trees; here the rustic orator harrangued his patriotic fellow-citizens on the anniversary of Independence; and here the itinerant preacher addressed the neighbors on the Sabbath. On occasions like the latter, our grove became as gay as a parterre. The bonnets, and ribbons, and calicoes, were as numerous, and many colored, as the flowers of the field. The farmers and their families generally came to the preaching on horseback; and it was a fortunate animal that bore a lighter burthen than two adults, and a brace of children. The young women rode behind their brothers or sweethearts, or in default of such attendants, mounted sociably in pairs, the best rider taking the saddle and holding the reins, as smart girls are always willing enough to do. It was a goodly sight to see the horses hitched to the trees in every direction, shewing off their sleek hides, and well-combed manes to the best advantage, and decked with new saddles and gaudy saddle-cloths, and fine riding skirts,

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that were never exposed to the weather or the eye, except on Sundays and holidays. Then the people, before the sermon began, sitting in groups, or strolling in little companies, looked so gay and so happy, that Sunday seemed to be to them, not merely a day of rest, but of thanksgiving and enjoyment. When they collected round the preacher, sitting silent and motionless, with their heads uncovered, and thrown back in devout attention, the scene acquired a graver and deeper interest. I have never witnessed that spectacle on a calm, sunny day, without a sensation of thrilling pleasure; and often as I have seen it, the impression that it made continued ever fresh and beautiful. There was a mingled cheerfulness and solemnity in this sight, that attached itself to the spot, and I have afterwards felt in the midst of my studies or sports on school-days, a soothing calmness creeping over me, a feeling that the place was hallowed, like that which we experience when strolling in a grave-yard, or lingering in the aisle of a church.

My memory clings to this spot, as the scene of the most vivid pains and pleasures of my childhood. I pass over the detail of all the sufferings that I endured from the brutality of ignorant and tyrannical teachers; perhaps I was more sensitive than other children; but be that as it may, it is certain, that although I was fond of learning, and docile in my disposition, I imbibed, very early in life, a cordial hatred for the whole race of schoolmasters. But I loved my books, and my companions; I loved to play at ball, and run races; and I loved the schoolhouse grove, with its tall oaks and verdant lawn. I used to

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linger on a neighboring hill, to look on that graceful swell, and those fine trees, and to wonder why I thought the landscape so attractive. Those who recollect their sensations on first entering a theatre, or reading a novel, can form some idea of my feelings. That first play, and first novel, remain through life impressed upon the imagination, as standards with which all similar objects are compared; and it was thus, that the most interesting spot that attracted my young fancy, became to me the beau ideal of rural and romantic beauty.

There was another charm connected with this spot, the secret of which I will now disclose to the reader, although for many years I hardly dared acknowledge it to myself. My cousin Lucy was my school companion, and I never think of that green hill, without seeing her slender form, gliding among its shades, with the same calm blue eye, and meek countenance, and soft smile, that she wore when we were children. I hardly know why I loved Lucy better than any body else, for she was several years my senior, and never was my playfellow. I romped and laughed with the other girls, and played them all sorts of tricks; but I never hid her bonnet, or pinned her sleeve to that of her next neighbor. From her childhood she was sedate and womanly; her deportment was always delicate and dignified; there was a something about her that repelled familiarity, while the winning softness of her manners invited love and respect. When I came near to Lucy, I was no longer a wild, mischievous boy, but was elevated into a better and more rational being, by the desire that I felt to please and serve her.

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We had a succession of schoolmasters, the most of whom were illiterate men, who remained with us but a few months. At last there came one of higher pretensions than the rest. He strolled into the neighborhood on foot, and so great was his modesty, that it was some time before any body discovered his acquirements, or suspected the object of his visit. At length he proposed, with some diffidence, to fill the vacant situation of teacher, and, having produced his credentials, was readily admitted to that thankless office. He was altogether a different man from any of his predecessors. His temper was even, his heart kind, his manners easy, and he had the rare talent of commanding respect, and communicating knowledge, without the appearance of an effort. He was as bashful as a girl, and as artless a being as ever lived. Every body liked him; his good sense, his cheerfulness, his inoffensive manners, and industrious habits, made him the favorite of young and old.

It was customary in those days, for the schoolmaster to board with his patrons, each one entertaining him for a week at a time, in rotation; an arrangement which, while it divided the burthen of his subsistence equally, enabled the whole neighborhood to become personally acquainted with the pedagogue. When the latter happened to be a dull, prosing dog, scantily supplied with good manners and good fellowship, the week of his reception wore heavily away, the table was less plentifully spread than usual, and the whiskey jug was sure to have suffered some disaster on the day previous

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to his arrival. The head of the family indulged himself on such occasions, in liberal remarks upon the idleness and effeminacy of learning, and the good wife by frequent allusions to the scarcity of provisions, and the high price of schooling, gave the unfortunate teacher to understand that he was considered as a mere incubus upon the body politic, a Mr Nobody, who was only tolerated, and fed, and allowed to sit in the chimney corner, for the purpose of keeping the children out of mischief. But if the schoolmaster was a pleasant fellow, one who read the newspapers, and played the fiddle, and told a good story, the week of his visitation brought holiday times, and high doings, to the farmer’s hospitable fireside. Then the good man heard the news, the girls heard the violin, and the mistress of the house found a patient auditor to the recital of all the misadventures which had befallen the family, within the scope of her memory. Then the boys wore their holiday clothes every day, the hospitable board groaned under a load of good things, and the cheerful family enjoyed seven long days of good humor and good eating.

Of all schoolmasters, Mr Alexis, the gentleman above alluded to, was the most popular one that ever darkened the door of a farm house. In his time, the ‘schoolmaster’s week,’ was a week of festival. He not only read the news, and played the fiddle, but could sing a good song, and recite the veracious biography of a hundred real ghosts. He could explain all the hard words in the Testament, all the outlandish names in the newspapers, and all the strange hieroglyphics which are mischievously set down in the almanac, to puzzle the brains of simple

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country folks. Then he was affable, and talkative; with all this he was good humored, and, what perhaps was more effective than all the rest, he was good looking. With such qualifications, he was always a welcome visiter, and I can well remember the stir that his coming occasioned in my father’s house. On the preceding Saturday, there was a universal scrubbing; the floors, the windows, the chairs, the pewter plates, the milk pails, and the children, were all scrubbed. The dimity curtains that lay snugly packed away in the great press, sprinkled with lavender and rose leaves, were now brought forth, and hung over the parlor windows; and the snow white counterpanes, that were kept for great occasions, were ostentatiously spread upon the beds. The yard was swept, and the great weeds that had been suffered to grow unmolested, were plucked up; and the whole messuage, out houses, tenements, and appurtenances, made to look as fine and as smart, as the nature of the case would admit. Then such baking, and brewing, and cooking! The great oven teemed with huge loaves, and rich pastry; yielding forth from its vast mouth, puddings, and pies, and tarts enough to have foundered a whole board of aldermen. The fatted calf was killed, the brightest ornaments of the pig-sty and poultry yard were devoted to the knife, and the best blood of the farm was freely spilled to furnish forth delicate viands, with which to pamper the appetite of that important and popular character, the schoolmaster.

I am often singular in my opinions; for I do not consider myself bound to believe anything, merely because every body else believes it. As to the schoolmaster, I

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disliked him from the very first; and when everybody else praised him, I was silent. I had an inherent antipathy against al pedagogues. I viewed them as our natural enemies, a race created to scourge and terrify children; and for the person in question, I entertained a special and particular aversion. This was the more singular, as I was by nature confiding and placable, and never indulged a malignant feeling towards any other human being. He treated me with kindness, instructed me with unwearied patience, and I verily believe would have found the road to my heart, had I not suspected, that he was searching out the way that led to my cousin Lucy’s. I was always jealous of her, because the disparity of our ages placed her at a distance which almost extinguished hope, and because she always treated me as a boy and a relation, and either never did, or never would see, that I cherished feelings towards her, infinitely more tender than any that the mere ties of consanguinity could have awakened. A boy in love becomes cunning beyond his years. Unable to enter the lists as a candidate, and obliged to look on in silence, he becomes the secret and vigilant enemy of his unconscious rival. I was continually watching the schoolmaster and my cousin Lucy; and not a glance, nor a blush, nor a touch of the hand escaped my jealous eye. An indifferent observer would have seen nothing in their intercourse to excite the slightest suspicion; an enamored boy, who had loved devotedly from the first dawn of intelligence, read volumes of meaning in every act and look. The conduct of both of them was perfectly delicate and unexceptionable. There was not the least approach to gallantry on

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his part; not an inviting, or an encouraging glance, on hers; but I could mark the softened tone of his voice, and the involuntary reverence of his manner, when he addressed her. I could detect the brightening of his eye when she spoke, and the courteous bow with which he replied to any question from her, so different from the common-place civility with which he treated his other female pupils. He often walked home with her, but never without other company, for she was always surrounded by children, one or two of whom she held by the hand, as if to prevent the possibility of a tète-a-tète. Perhaps she never had a thought that there was any particular meaning in his attentions; but there is an instinct in female delicacy, and although it might never have occurred to Lucy, that her teacher had opportunities beyond other men, which required that she should place a careful watch over her affections, nature regulated her conduct. I was often with them; they conversed without constraint, and never spoke of love, or courtship, or marriage. But he pointed out to her the finest traits of the landscape, gathered for her the choicest flowers, and discoursed of poetry; sometimes reciting the most beautiful passages, in so eloquent a tone, that I could have knocked him down, and was ready to quarrel with Lucy, for the apparent interest with which she listened. Often did I wish that he was a thousand miles off, or that I was a schoolmaster.

It would be too tedious to set down all the mischievous pranks that I played our teacher, in revenge for his supposed attachment to my cousin. Though fond of learning, I obstinately persisted in a resolution to owe

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nothing to his teaching; and more than once disgraced him and myself, by wilful blunders, at our public examinations. I incited the biggest boys into conspiracies against his peace and dignity. Once when he was going to a tea-party at my uncle’s, a little better dressed than usual, a troop of us scampered past him as he was crossing a miry brook, and pretending not to observe him, splashed a shower of mud and water over his only holiday suit. We sent him one day into a large company with a grotesque figure chalked on his back; and on another occasion, scorched off his eyebrows by exploding gunpowder under his nose, while he was intently engaged in working a problem in Algebra. None of these persecutions ever ruffled his temper; and when my mother, who could not believe that the fault was mine, reproached him with the slowness of my progress, he mildly told her that the greatest geniuses were often dull boys at school, and that I would no doubt make a shining man.

At length the term of the schoolmaster’s engagement expired, and my heart bounded with joy, when I heard that he was going to quit the country. I was at my uncle’s on the morning of his departure, when he called to take leave of the family. Lucy was in the garden, and Alexis went there to look for her. Young as I was, I could readily comprehend that a latent passion would be most apt to betray itself in a parting interview, and that of all places in the world, a garden is the fittest to excite tender thoughts in the bosom of young lovers. In a moment, a thousand thoughts flashed through my mind—in another moment, love and jealousy prompted

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me to observe a meeting which my foreboding heart told me would be fraught with more than usual interest. It was a mean act, but jealousy is always mean. I was to young, too much in love, and too angry, to reflect; and if I had reflected, who could have thought it improper to witness anything which could possibly take place between two such perfect beings, as my cousin Lucy and the schoolmaster?

I crept secretly to the garden, and from the covert of a thick hedge, saw Alexis approach my cousin. He took her hand, and told her that he had come to bid her farewell; that he had bade adieu to all his other friends, and had deferred calling upon her until the last, because to part with her was more painful than all the rest. There was a touching softness in his voice, and a corresponding melancholy clouded his features. ‘What a canting rascal,’ said I to myself; ‘I ’m afraid Lucy will never be able to stand it.’

He then dropped her hand, and began to pluck twigs from a peach tree, while Lucy was industriously engaged in demolishing a great rose. At last he said, ‘There is one subject—’ Lucy stooped down and began to pull the weeds from a tulip bed. The schoolmaster stopped, and looked embarrassed.

‘Silly fellow!’ said I exultingly, ‘why does he not kneel down, and lay his hand upon his heart?’ I took courage when I saw his trepidation, believing that he would never be able to tell his love, or that Lucy would discard so clumsy a lover.

‘Miss Lucy—’ said the schoolmaster.

‘Sir!’ said Miss Lucy.

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‘What a canting villain!’ said I.

Mr Alexis looked round, as if fearful of observation.

‘He looks as if he were stealing,’ said I; ‘and well he may, the vile pedagogue!’

Alexis sighed, threw down his eyes, and resumed, ‘There is one subject, Miss Lucy, upon which I have long wished—’ He looked up, but Lucy was several paces off, twining the delicate vines of a honey-suckle through the lattices of the summer-house.

‘She will never have him!’ said I, in an ecstacy; ‘I know she would never have a whining, canting, pitiful schoolmaster!’

Alexis followed Lucy to the summer-house, and remarked that ‘the honey-suckles were very fragrant.’

‘Very!’ said my cousin.

‘He has dropped the subject,’ thought I; ‘dear Lucy! how well she managed him! Ah! these schoolmasters know not how to make love; if I were there I could show him how~’ I breathed freely, and thought it was all over.

Alexis stood by the side of Lucy; he leaned towards her, and spoke in a low voice. What he said I know not, but the words were potent, for Lucy turned her head from him, and I saw that her face was covered with blushes, redder than the coral flowers that hung around her.

I thought she was angry. ‘If he has dared to insult my cousin,’ said I, ‘how proudly will I avenge her quarrel!’ I looked again, and could scarcely believe my eyes! Lucy’s head was reclining upon the shoulder of Alexis, and one arm was thrown gently around her! I thought their lips met!

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I could stay no longer. I fled from the hateful scene, burning with rage and jealousy, and deeply mortified at my own meanness, in having become the voluntary and secret witness of that which should have been sacred from every eye.

In a few days after this occurrence, I left my native country. I had long been destined for the sea, and having now received a midshipman’s warrant in the navy, set out for the sea board. After I had bid adieu to all my other friends, I went to take leave of Lucy; for I, too, felt that this was the most painful of my separations; the parting with her, seemed like breaking the last and tenderest tie that bound me to the land of my birth. She had always treated me with the affection of a sister, and never did her manner seem so tender as at this moment. When I left her father’s house, she followed me across the little lawn before the door, and as I threw the reins over my horse’s neck, and lingered to repeat my adieu, she put a paper into my hand. Her eyes were filled with tears, and my own were not dry.

I was some miles on my way from home, before my emotion subsided sufficiently to permit me to read Lucy’s note. In this she disclosed to me her engagement with Alexis; she said it had been approved by her parents, and that their marriage would take place, whenever he should be established in a profession, for which he was preparing himself. She spoke of the fair prospects that smiled before her, in an union with one so amiable and highly gifted. She said, that she made this disclosure, because I was her nearest and dearest relative, after her parents, and was on the eve of so long an absence, that

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the separation seemed to be almost final. More she said, which I need not repeat; it was all kind and sisterly, and I vowed that I would always love my cousin Lucy, whether she married the schoolmaster or not.

Her note had one good effect, which harsher measures would have failed to produce. Her generous confidence subdued me; and as I reflected upon it, in my cooler moments, I determined to smother my ill-fated passion, and to love Lucy only in manner and form as her cousin lawfully might. I resolved, moreover, to forego all my vengeance against Alexis, and to think of him with kindness.

In a few days I embarked. We had a brilliant cruise. The war with Great Britain was just declared, and the ocean swarmed with our enemies. We were frequently engaged, and generally successful. The novelty and excitement of this life, soon caused a wonderful revolution in my feelings. I was no longer a romantic boy, brooding over a hopeless passion, with the single object of my adoration continually before my eyes. My heart had set up other idols; it had now ample sea-room, and, like our gallant vessel, rode gaily over the sparkling ocean of life. I learned to think of Lucy as the destined bride of another; yet I thought of her as a lively and a hallowed being, and sometimes pronounced her name with the reverence with which a devout Catholic utters that of his tutelary saint. Often when our ship lay becalmed, when the clear moonlight was spread over the ocean, when the waves were at rest, and everything was still, I would lie for hours upon the deck, thinking of the schoolhouse, and its beautiful grove, and my fair cousin. Then I

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would think of the honors that awaited me—of the time when I should be numbered among the heroes of my country; and would sigh to reflect, that the lovely flower which so proudly I would have twined among my laurels, would be blushing unseen in the lowly cottage of a country schoolmaster.

During my first cruise, which lasted nearly two years, I was so fortunate as to distinguish myself on several occasions. But I panted for higher honors; and on our return to port, finding a fine frigate on the point of sailing, I solicited permission to join her, and being considered as an efficient officer, my request was granted, and I sailed on another cruise, without setting my foot on shore. This act of devotedness to my profession, raised me in the eyes of my commander, who afforded me every opportunity of acquiring distinction. I now rose rapidly. When at sea, I was engaged in every hazardous enterprise, and when in foreign ports, my superior introduced me into the best society. Among the exotic beauties whom I beheld, I saw none so beautiful as Lucy, but many who were more polished; perhaps my taste became vitiated, for although I still cherished the memory of her unpretending graces, I learned to admire the more dazzling charms of others, and to indulge the thought that I might at some future day adore another in her stead.

After a long cruise, in which many dangerous exploits were attempted, and some of them brilliantly accomplished, we were homeward bound, when we fell in with a fine frigate of the enemy. Both ships were soon cleared for action, and after a bloody engagement, we succeeded in capturing our foe. I was now acting as a lieutenant,

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and having the good fortune to be stationed on the spar deck, immediately under the eye of my commander, received his compliments for my conduct.

We came into port triumphantly. Public honors of the highest character were awarded to us. Dinners and balls were given, and the whole population of a great city vied in the expression of their patriotic gratitude; while the newspapers throughout the whole continent were filled with our praises. I was promoted to a lieutenancy, and had the gratification of seeing my name emblazoned in the public prints, with those of my distinguished superiors. In these proud moments I did not forget my fair cousin; entirely as I had resigned her, and cordially as I wished her happiness, I sighed to think of her obscure and lonely fate. With a partner so bright, so gentle, and so dear, to share my laurels, I should have been supremely happy; and I could not but marvel at the capricious decree of fortune, which had doomed one, who might have shone as the bride of a naval hero, to drag out her existence, in the vulgar lot of wife to a country pedagogue.

I had written to my parents on my arrival; but a round of entertainments, given in honor of our victory, prevented me from visiting them. One evening, as I strolled through the streets with a friend, we passed a spacious church, into which crowds of fashionable people were hurrying with apparent eagerness.

‘Let us go in here,’ said my companion, ‘and hear the fashionable preacher, one who has turned the heads of the whole town, and is more talked of than Commodore Perry or General Scott. He is a new man, who has

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eclipsed all his contemporaries by his eloquence, while his learning and modesty win universal esteem.’

We entered the church, and I looked round upon the novel exhibition, as upon some fairy scene. It was long since I had sat in the bosom of a worshipping congregation; and how different was this from the rustic assemblage that I had been accustomed to see, gathered in pious silence under the schoolhouse oaks! Here was a splendid edifice, ornamented with gilding, decorated with rich hangings, and lighted with brilliant chandeliers, whose intense effulgence, awakened in my unpractised heart a thrilling sensation of excitement. But the audience, how gay, how gorgeous, how beautiful! Those to whom such scenes are familiar, can form but a faint idea of the impression made by a fair and fashionable crowd, upon the mind of one accustomed only to rustic assemblages, or to the hardy multitudes who fill the camp, or crowd the quarterdeck. Here were gems, and plumes, and silks, and glowing cheeks, and sparkling eyes; but there was also a simple elegance in the attire, a sedateness in the demeanor, and above all a devout humility reigning throughout this rich scene, that added to it a solemn grandeur, which exceeds my powers of description. My heart was elevated as I gazed on that rich, and silent, and motionless scene; and I felt how the omnipotent influence of religion can quell the happy, and soothe the wretched, and win the gay, and calm down all the tumultuous passions of human nature, as oil poured upon the waves reduces them to a placid surface.

At length the preacher arose, and every eye was turned towards him. I looked up, and what was my surprise at

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beholding Alexis! I could not be mistaken, for there he stood in the same simple attire, with the same humble aspect, and the same benignant smile, that were so familiarly impressed upon my recollection. His manner had all its former mildness, and his voice its accustomed melody; there was only a little more of fulness [sic] and compass in the one, and a slight tinge of self-confidence added to the other. His sermon was eloquent and able; the language was rich, classical, and simple; the manner of its delivery calm and unassuming. His voice was never strained, and seldom elevated above its ordinary pitch; it swelled and softened upon the ear, without the slightest effort on the part of the speaker, without the least violence to the sense of the hearer. There was no labor of the body; the arm was never extended, the hand only was raised occasionally from the cushion. The whole manner of the speaker was mild and persuasive; his argument was acute, close, and powerful, without any attempt to adorn it with the graces of composition, or to win applause by the arts of oratory; yet such was the effect produced by the delicate choice of harmonious words, their symmetrical arrangement, and chaste delivery, together with the apostolic earnestness, and air of pious conviction that breathed throughout, that all felt and acknowledged, that the speaker had opened a rich vein of genuine eloquence.

The deep silence that prevailed during the sermon, and the subdued murmur of applause that ran in whispers through the congregation, when the service was over, attested the powerful effect of the discourse. As the people dispersed, I endeavored to make my way to Mr

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Alexis, but the crowd was so great as to prevent me from reaching the pulpit, until he had disappeared; and as it was late, I returned to my lodgings, determined to seek him on the following day. I now saw that Lucy was not wedded to obscurity and indigence; and gave her full credit of having discovered a man of genius and feeling, in the despised schoolmaster, who had been so long the object of my contempt and aversion. I took shame to myself for having presumed to institute comparisons between Alexis and myself; and felt humble in acknowledging that my ephemeral honors would be soon forgotten, while his useful career and splendid powers, would sustain for him a brilliant reputation during his existence, and earn a name, which his countrymen would cherish with gratitude, when he should be no ore. One thing flattered my pride and consoled my prejudices; I learned that Mr Alexis had long since abandoned his former vocation, and that my cousin had not, after all, married a schoolmaster.

On the following morning, early, Mr Alexis anticipated my visit, by calling to see me. We met cordially; and on the day after, were jogging sociably together towards my native place. I found Lucy a proud and happy wife. They had built a neat cottage on the schoolhouse hill, in the midst of that beautiful grove, which they carefully preserved in memory of former days; and I now found that I had not been singular in my admiration of its sylvan graces. The schoolhouse had been removed; and a large plain meetinghouse, on a neighboring eminence, is occupied by a numerous congregation, under the ministry of Alexis. Loved and honored by his former pupils, the

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worthy pastor is surrounded by those, who look up to him with gratitude as the teacher of their youth, and with reverence as the guide of their maturity; while the happy Lucy, in the society of her early friends and chosen partner, enjoys the sweetest fruits of innocence and virtue. Here they live in contentment and honor; and when I witnessed their placid lives, their pious labors, their active benevolence, and simple virtues, I scarcely knew which to love and admire most, my fair and gentle cousin Lucy, or my ancient rival, but now my very reverend and much honored cousin, ‘the schoolmaster.’



Farewell! thy last adieu is ta’en,

And thou goest forth on the trustless sea;

And fear thee not, for the crystal main

And the placid sky seem bent for thee.

There ’s many a prayer and many a sigh

On the gentle breeze that sweeps thee o’er;

Yet fear thee not, for Heaven is nigh

To the trembling wave, as the anchored shore.

[p. 62]



Mother, they say the stars are bright,

And the broad Heavens are blue—

I dream of them by day and night,

And think them all like you.

I cannot touch the distant skies,

The stars ne’er speak to me—

Yet their sweet images arise,

And blend with thoughts of thee.

I know not why, but oft I dream,

Of the far land of bliss;

And when I hear thy voice, I deem,

That Heaven is like to this.

When my sad heart to thine is pressed,

My follies all forgiven,

Sweet pleasure warms my beating breast,

And this I say is Heaven.

O mother, will the God above,

Forgive my faults like thee?

Will he bestow such care and love

On a blind thing like me?

Dear mother, leave me not alone!

Go with me, when I die—

Lead thy blind daughter to the throne,

And stay in yonder sky.

L. S. … t


a young white woman sits pensively
Sir J. Reynolds Pinxt.      J. Cheney Sc.
Published by Gray Bowen, Boston.

McKinzie. Prt

[p. 63]


The very morn I saw him gird

That faithless armor on,

A parting gift, he brought the bird,

And even this is gone!

In glittering mail I see him stand,

With high and waving crest;

The warbler flitting from his hand,

To light upon my breast!

But vainly shone that treacherous shield,

The spirit’s wing to bind!

It mounted from the battle-field,

And left the clay behind!

And then, of every hope bereft,

My bird, I found in thee

A charm, as if thy master left

A talisman to me.

And sweetly hast thou proved thy power;

For, by thine artless lay,

The heavy foot of many an hour

Has past unmarked away.

Alas! the joys of earthly love,

So sparkling, yet so brief—

That thus its tender gift must prove

Another name for grief!

H. F. G.

[p. 64]



Campillo, at which we arrived after midnight, is a pleasant little village. It is built on a plain; its streets are regular and well paved; its houses in good repair and neatly white-washed, each with its stone seat at the door, and grated cage projecting from the window, and garnished with shrubs and flowers—the scene of many an amorous parley and midnight interview. Everything in Campillo, to the village church and village posada, bespoke a pervading spirit of order and cleanliness. The little room, into which I had been installed, partook largely of these qualities. It looked upon the principal square of the village. Opposite, stood the church with its gothic tower, surmounted by the simple emblem of our faith. Upon each side of it, the fingers of a clock kept pace with the march of time, and a hoarse old bell, which had perhaps filled the same office since the conquest, uttered forth the passing hours. On another side of the square was the house of the Ayuntamiento, which contained the offices of the local authorities and of the police; while opposite was a guard-room, in which were a few half-fed soldiers, shabbily accoutred in dirty belts and rusty muskets. In the middle of the square was a plain granite fountain, surrounded by a curb which formed a basin for watering the cattle.

p. 65

For want of better occupation, I passed a good part of the day in gazing out of my window upon the moving scene below. Sometimes a stable-boy would bring a train of jaded mules to the fountain, give them water, and wash their backs where they had been galled by the packsaddle. Next would come a party of countrymen, leading a string of mules heavily laden, each with his fowlingpiece slung securely beside him. These would pause a moment, refresh their cattle at the fountain, and then pass on and leave the arena solitary; until some new Sancho came ambling across the square, sitting upon the end of a mouse-colored ass, which he would guide at pleasure by means of a staff, touching the animal first on one side of the neck, then on the other. He, too, would pause at the fountain, renew his journey, and then have a contest with the animal about stopping at the open door of the posada, disappearing at length in a rage, and at a full gallop. This, in the middle of the square—the sides were more exclusively occupied by the worthies of Campillo. In the guard-house, the soldiers were sleeping away the heat of the day upon wooden shelves in the interior, while the one on post sat under the shade of the portico, with his musket leaning against the wall beside him, occupied in cutting up tobacco upon a board to make paper cigars. Immediately under my window was a group of the village notables, seated upon the stone bench that ran along the whole front of the building, or gathered round the more important personages of the circle. I gave each of them his character, and guessed at the import of his discourse.

p. 66

That well-fed royalist, with silver shoe and knee buckles, and the red cockade in his hat, is doubtless the Alcalde of Campillo. He is declaiming upon the late successes of the insurgent royalists in Portugal; and, of those two who listen to him, and seem to catch the words that fall from his lips, the one is our own innkeeper, paying his court to the powers that be, and the other, with the thin legs and long nose, who is followed by a half-starved dog, equally miserable with his master, is certainly the village doctor—the Sangrado of Campillo. He is evidently looked on contemptuously by the rest of the assembly, who are aware of his ignorance, and know that he owes his situation and the right to kill or cure the good people of Campillo, rather to two ounces of gold opportunely administered to the Alcalde, than to any acquaintance with the healing art. The thickset man, with scowling look and bushy whiskers, who is fingering the hilt of his sabre, is the commandant of the royalist volunteers. He has become terrible to the negros, who will even tell you that he is no better than he should be; that he began the world upon the Robin Hood system, and passed thence to the command of a royalist guerilla. But who is that tall, sharp-featured man, walking across the Plaza, with the village curate on one side, and a capuchin on the other? That must be the intendant of police, who has just received intelligence of some pretended revolutionary plot, and who will soon go with a force in search of persons and papers.

[p. 67]



And in thy silence was his sentence.—Prometheus.

There stand forever! God will bear thee up,

While lesser things of earth shall pass away;

So sure is Mercy still to crown the cup,

The bitterest cup, of human destiny!

Joy! that a flame in noble hearts is left,

To light your shadowed path, ye stricken and bereft!

Holy retreat of the unspotted soul!

That hearest not the World’s loud tongue proclaim

Its tale of nothing o’er the madd’ning bowl,

Where Pride and Genius sink to Guilt and Shame—

Thou shalt survive, a glory to mankind,

When we shall make our graves, nor leave a name behind.

There is no noise of mirth, within thy halls,

Though the full flood of Life is rolling there.

A thousand tongues—but still no echo falls—

A thousand prayers—but still no sound of prayer!

A thousand spirits there may melt to song,

Though ’tis the heart’s deep music, silent, but how strong!

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There is no sound of mourning in thy halls,

Though Sorrow there oft lift her tearful eye;

But living Stillness moves along thy walls,

Where ears are sentenced for eternity!

Oppressive Silence! where one feels alone,

As if all souls from their mortality had flown.

God has sealed up all lips—all lips are still—

Has closed all ears, till sound itself is o’er;

And now no discord wakes a warring will,

Or waves unholy break on Passion’s shore.

Peace is the watchword on this hallowed ground—

Religion speaks in silent eloquence around!

O God! thy dispensations none can tell,

Or human frailty dream how dark may be

Thy visitations on us—for the spell

That can unveil the Future, bides with Thee,

In thy blue home, Thou unapproached and high—

One, and alone, in thy unchanging majesty!

Yet these shall turn impassioned to the sky,

In deep, though voiceless praise around thy throne,

That they can grasp creation with the eye,

And read the lines that teach them ’t is thine own!

Well may ye glory in so proud a shrine,

Whose virtue almost makes humanity divine!

[p. 69]



The Frost looked forth, one still, clear night,

And he said, ‘Now I shall be out of sight,

So through the valley and over the height,

In silence, I ’ll take my way;

I will not go on like that blustering train,

The wind and the snow—the hail and the rain,

Who make so much bustle and noise in vain,

But I ’ll be as busy as they!’

Then he went to the mountain, and powdered its crest,

He climbed up the trees, and their boughs he dressed

With diamonds and pearls, and over the breast

Of the quivering lake, he spread

A coat of mail, that it need not fear

The downward point of many a spear,

That he hung on its margin, far and near,

Where a rock could rear its head.

He went to the windows of those who slept,

And over each pane like a fairy crept,

Wherever he breathed, wherever he stepped,

By the light of the moon, were seen

Most beautiful things. There were flowers and trees,

There were bevies of birds, and swarms of bees—

There were cities, thrones, temples and towers! and these

All pictured in silver sheen!

[p. 70]

But he did one thing that was hardly fair;

He went to the cupboard, and finding there,

That all had forgotten for him to prepare,

‘Now, just to set them a thinking,

I ’ll bite this basket of fruit,’ said he;

‘This bloated pitcher I ’ll burst in three!

And the glass of water they ’ve left for me,

Shall “tchick,” to tell them I ’m drinking!’



I saw on the breast of a beautiful river,

That reflected the green of the hill—

While scarce to the sunbeam it gave a slight quiver,

For the breath of the morning was still—

A bird, with a breast, than the drifted snow whiter,

Serenely and silently guide;

And give to the waters an image still brighter—

Seeming Peace upon Pleasure’s fair tide.

Still on, like the Solitude’s spirit, it glided,

Till a stranger intruding too near,

Uprising, its wings the light ether divided,

Far away from all shadow of fear!

Oh, happy the soul that reposes so lightly,

On the bosom of temporal things;

At danger’s approach, it can soar away brightly,

Above on etherial [sic] wings.

[p. 71]



The summer days are over,

Have past away and gone,

And tranquilly and soberly

The autumn hurries on;

And twilight, with her silent step,

And with her matron hue,

Comes quicker o’er the mountain’s brow

Than she was wont to do.

The rivulets in solitude

Of desolation glide,

For gone are all the merry birds

That sported on the tide;

And forest pines are shedding

Their honors on the ground,

And gloomily the zephyr breathes

Their requiem profound.

Her dew drops evening gathers,

To gild the morning hours,—

But dew drops fall on withered leaves,

And moisten dying flowers,—

For the rose has lost its fragrance,

The hyacinth its smell,

And all the pretty violets

Have withered in the dell.

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The daisies, artless smiling,

My wanderings find no more;

The king-cups, that came after them—

Their golden reign is o’er.

And clover, with its ruddy bloom,

That opens where they fell,

Ere many fading mornings

Shall meet its grave as well.

Light winds, that fanned the bosom,

By sultry noon inflamed,

Have fled on startled pinions,

Like doves but newly tamed;—

For the summer days are over,

Have past away and gone,

And darkly through the frosty sky,

Brown autumn hastens on.

But the months we used to love so,

Shall come to us again,

With constant cheer of fragrance,

And rare delights of rain;

And sunshine at our waking,

Be still found smiling by,

With all the earnest beauty

Of some beloved eye.

Young leaves shall flutter softly,

As if each tried its wing,

News of the snow-drop’s parting lips,

The wild bee’s trumpet bring—

p. 73

And fields, and woods, and waters,

Joy in the blue-bird’s notes,

As on the south wind wildly

His fluty music floats.

Along the hazel pathways

The traveller will meet,

Loose hair, and laughing faces,

And morn-elastic feet;

Now for the bird uplooking,

With hand-o’ershaded eye,

Now seeking flowers—I sought them

Some twenty summers by!

Alas! alas! reflection,

When thou dost interfere,

Though all is gay, what shadows

Thy musings gather here;

To think of spring-tides coming

That I am not to see!

To think a weed will shortly bloom

From dust that I shall be!

[p. 74
p. 74]


The following story, the simple and domestic incidents of which may be deemed scarcely worth relating, after such a lapse of time, awakened some degree of interest, a hundred years ago, in a principal seaport of the Bay Province. The rainy twilight of an autumn day; a parlor on the second floor of a small house, plainly furnished, as beseemed the middling circumstances of its inhabitants, yet decorated with little curiosities from beyond the sea, and a few delicate specimens of Indian manufacture,—these are the only particulars to be premised in regard to scene and season. Two young and comely women sat together by the fireside, nursing their mutual and peculiar sorrows. They were the recent brides of two brothers, a sailor and a landsman, and two successive days had brought tidings of the death of each, by the chances of Canadian warfare, and the tempestuous Atlantic. The universal sympathy excited by this bereavement, drew numerous condoling guests to the habitation of the widowed sisters. Several, among whom was the minister, had remained till the verge of evening; when one by one, whispering many comfortable passages of Scripture, that were answered by more abundant tears, they took their leave and departed to their own happier homes. The mourners, though not insensible to the kindness of their friends, had yearned to be left alone. United, as they had been, by the relationship of the living, and now more closely so by

p. 75

that of the dead, each felt as if whatever consolation her grief admitted, were to be found in the bosom of the other. They joined their hearts, and wept together silently. But after an hour of such indulgence, one of the sisters, all of whose emotions were influenced by her mild, quiet, yet not feeble character, began to recollect the precepts of resignation and endurance, with piety had taught her, when she did not think to need them. Her misfortune, besides, as earliest known, should earliest cease to interfere with her regular course of duties; accordingly, having placed the table before the fire, and arranged a frugal meal, she took the hand of her companion.

‘Come, dearest sister; you have eaten not a morsel to day,’ she said, ‘Arise I pray you, and let us ask a blessing on that which is provided for us.’

Her sister-in-law was of a lively and irritable temperament, and the first pangs of her sorrow had been expressed by shrieks and passionate lamentation. She now shrunk from Mary’s words, like a wounded sufferer from a hand that revives the throb.

‘There is no blessing left for me, neither will I ask it,’ cried Margaret, with a fresh burst of tears. ‘Would it were His will that I might never taste food more.’

Yet she trembled at these rebellious expressions, almost as soon as they were uttered, and, by degrees, Mary succeeded in bringing her sister’s mind nearer to the situation of her own. Time went on, and their usual hour of repose arrived. The brothers and their brides, entering the married state with no more than the slender means which then sanctioned such a step, had confederated themselves in one household, with equal rights to

p. 76

the parlor, and claiming exclusive privileges in two sleeping rooms contiguous to it. Thither the widowed ones retired, after heaping ashes upon the dying embers of their fire, and placing a lighted lamp upon the hearth. The doors of both chambers were left open, so that a part of the interior of each, and the beds with their unclosed curtains, were reciprocally visible. Sleep did not steal upon the sisters at one and the same time. Mary experienced the effect often consequent upon grief quietly borne, and soon sunk into temporary forgetfulness, while Margaret became more disturbed and feverish, in proportion as the night advanced with its deepest and stillest hours. She lay listening to the drops of rain, that came down in monotonous succession, unswayed by a breath of wind; and nervous impulse continually caused her to lift her head from the pillow, and gaze into Mary’s chamber and the intermediate apartment. The cold light of the lamp threw the shadows of the furniture up against the wall, stamping them immoveably there, except when they were shaken by a sudden flicker of the flame. Two vacant arm-chairs were in their old positions on opposite sides of the hearth, where the brothers had been wont to sit in young and laughing dignity, as heads of families; two humbler seats were near them, the true thrones of that little empire, where Mary and herself had exercised in love, a power that love had won. The cheerful radiance of the fire had shone upon the happy circle, and the dead glimmer of the lamp might have befitted their reunion now. While Margaret groaned in bitterness, she heard a knock at the street-door.

p. 77

‘How would my heart have leapt at that sound but yesterday!’ thought she, remembering the anxiety with which she had long awaited tidings from her husband. ‘I care not for it now; let them begone, for I will not arise.’

But even while a sort of childish fretfulness made her thus resolve, she was breathing hurriedly, and straining her ears to catch a repetition of the summons. It is difficult to be convinced of the death of one whom we have deemed another self. The knocking was now renewed in slow and regular strokes, apparently given with the soft end of a doubled fist, and was accompanied by words, faintly heard through several thicknesses of wall. Margaret looked to her sister’s chamber, and beheld her still lying in the depths of sleep. She arose, placed her foot upon the floor, and slightly arrayed herself, trembling between fear and eagerness as she did so.

‘Heaven help me!’ sighed she. ‘I have nothing left to fear, and methinks I am ten times more a coward than ever.’

Seizing the lamp from the hearth, she hastened to the window that overlooked the street-door. It was a lattice, turning upon hinges; and having thrown it back, she stretched her head a little way into the moist atmosphere. A lantern was reddening the front of the house, and melting its light in the neighboring puddles, while a deluge of darkness overwhelmed every other object. As the window grated on its hinges, a man in a broad brimmed hat and blanket-coat, stepped from under the shelter of the projecting story, and looked upward to discover whom his application had aroused. Margaret knew him as a friendly innkeeper of the town.

p. 78

‘What would you have, goodman Parker?’ cried the widow.

‘Lack-a-day, is it you, mistress Margaret?’ replied the innkeeper. ‘I was afraid it might be your sister Mary; for I hate to see a young woman in trouble, when I have n’t a word of comfort to whisper her.’

‘For Heaven’s sake, what news do you bring?’ screamed Margaret.

‘Why, there has been an express through the town within this half hour,’ said goodman Parker, ‘travelling from the eastern jurisdiction with letters from the governor and council. He tarried at my house to refresh himself with a drop and a morsel, and I asked him what tidings on the frontiers. He tells me we had the better in the skirmish you wot of, and that thirteen men reported slain, are well and sound, and your husband among them. Besides, he is appointed of the escort to bring the captivated Frenchers and Indians home to the province jail. I judged you would n’t mind being broke of your rest, and so I stept over to tell you. Good night.’

So saying, the honest man departed; and his lantern gleamed along the street, bringing to view indistinct shapes of things, and the fragments of a world, like order glimmering through chaos, or memory roaming over the past. But Margaret staid not to watch these picturesque effects. Joy flashed into her heart, and lighted it up at once, and breathless, and with winged steps, she flew to the bedside of her sister. She paused, however, at the door of the chamber, while a thought of pain broke in upon her.

p. 79

‘Poor Mary!’ said she to herself. ‘Shall I waken her, to feel her sorrow sharpened by my happiness? No; I will keep it within my own bosom till the morrow.’

She approached the bed to discover if Mary’s sleep were peaceful. Her face was turned partly inward to the pillow, and had been hidden there to weep; but a look of motionless contentment was now visible upon it, as if her heart, like a deep lake, had grown calm because its dead had sunk down so far within. Happy is it, and strange, that the lighter sorrows are those from which dreams are chiefly fabricated. Margaret shrunk from disturbing her sister-in-law, and felt as if her own better fortune, had rendered her involuntarily unfaithful, and as if altered and diminished affection must be the consequence of the disclosure she had to make. With a sudden step, she turned away. But joy could not long be repressed, even by circumstances that would have excited heavy grief at another moment. Her mind was thronged with delightful thoughts, till sleep stole on and transformed them to visions, more delightful and more wild, like the breath of winter, (but what a cold comparison!) working fantastic tracery upon a window.

When the night was far advanced, Mary awoke with a sudden start. A vivid dream had latterly involved her in its unreal life, of which, however, she could only remember that it had been broken in upon at the most interesting point. For a little time, slumber hung about her like a morning mist, hindering her from perceiving the distinct outline of her situation. She listened with imperfect consciousness to two or three volleys of a rapid and eager knocking; and first she deemed the noise a

p. 80

matter of course, like the breath she drew; next, it appeared a thing in which she had no concern; and lastly, she became aware that it was a summons necessary to be obeyed. At the same moment, the pang of recollection darted into her mind; the pall of sleep was thrown back from the face of grief; the dim light of the chamber, and the objects therein revealed, had retained all her suspended ideas, and restored them as soon as she unclosed her eyes. Again, there was a quick peal upon the street-door. Fearing that her sister would also be disturbed, Mary wrapped herself in a cloak and hood, took the lamp from the hearth, and hastened to the window. By some accident, it had been left unhasped, and yielded easily to her hand.

‘Who ’s there?’ asked Mary, trembling as she looked forth.

The storm was over, and the moon was up; it shone upon broken clouds above, and below upon houses black with moisture, and upon little lakes of the fallen rain, curling into silver beneath the quick enchantment of a breeze. A young man in a sailor’s dress, wet as if he had come out of the depths of the sea, stood alone under the window. Mary recognised him as one whose livelihood was gained by short voyages along the coast; nor did she forget, that, previous to her marriage, he had been an unsuccessful wooer of her own.

‘What do you seek here, Stephen?’ said she.

‘Cheer up, Mary, for I seek to comfort you,’ answered the rejected lover. ‘You must know I got home not ten minutes ago, and the first thing my good mother told me was the news about your husband. So, without saying

p. 81

a word to the old woman, I clapt on my hat, and ran out of the house. I could n’t have slept a wink before speaking to you, Mary, for the sake of old times.’

‘Stephen, I thought better of you!’ exclaimed the widow, with gushing tears, and preparing to close the lattice; for she was no whit inclined to imitate the first wife of Zadig.

‘But stop, and hear my story out,’ cried the young sailor. ‘I tell you we spoke a brig yesterday afternoon, bound in from Old England. And who do you think I saw standing on deck, well and hearty, only a bit thinner than he was five months ago?’

Mary leaned from the window, but could not speak.

‘Why, it was your husband himself,’ continued the generous seaman. ‘He and three others saved themselves on a spar, when the Blessing turned bottom upwards. The brig will beat into the bay by daylight, with this wind, and you ’ll see him here tomorrow. There ’s the comfort I bring you, Mary, and so good night.’

He hurried away, while Mary watched him with a doubt of waking reality, that seemed stronger or weaker as he alternately entered the shade of the houses, or emerged into the broad streaks of moonlight. Gradually, however, a blessed flood of conviction swelled into her heart, in strength enough to overwhelm her, had its increase been more abrupt. Her first impulse was to rouse her sister-in-law, and communicate the new-born gladness. She opened the chamber-door, which had been closed in the course of the night, though not latched, advanced to the bedside, and was about to lay her hand upon the slumberer’s shoulder. But then she remembered

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that Margaret would awake to thoughts of death and woe, rendered not the less bitter by their contrast with her own felicity. She suffered the rays of the lamp to fall upon the unconscious form of the bereaved one. Margaret lay in unquiet sleep, and the drapery was displaced around her; her young cheek was rosy-tinted, and her lips half opened in a vivid smile; an expression of joy, debarred its passage by her sealed eyelids, struggled forth like incense from the whole countenance.

‘My poor sister! you will waken too soon from that happy dream,’ thought Mary.

Before retiring, she set down the lamp and endeavored to arrange the bed-clothes, so that the chill air might not do harm to the feverish slumberer. But her hand trembled against Margaret’s neck, a tear also fell upon her cheek, and she suddenly awoke.

F ......


a white boy wearing a laurel pauses for inspiration as he draws, while a white girl looks over his shoulder
Drawn by Cassaert.      Engraved by J. J. Pease.
Published by Gray Bowen, Boston.

Mc.Kinzie Pr.

[p. 83]



Ay! young dreamer, this is the hour

For the tablet to change at the pencil’s power!

When the soul is pure, and warm and new,

And thinks that the world, like itself, is true—

When the sky is cloudless, the eye is bright,

And gives to its object its own clear light;

This is the time, while the heart is single,

For the painter’s touch—for the hues to mingle!

Now will the tints of light and shade

On the delicate sketch be laid,

To stand indelibly all between

Life’s gay morn and its closing scene!

Honors may bloom on thy future way,

And the rays of glory around thee play;

But Fame’s best laurels are never to be

So dear as thy Sister’s wreath, to thee!

They will not set on the cloudless brow,

And the silken curl, as we see them now!

Fame will her envied crown prepare

For the whitening lock and the brow of care!

Its clustering leaves will not be lit

By the smile of a child who has braided it!

As thy native castle, sublimely grand,

A beautiful structure, thou may’st stand,

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High and unmoved in the tempest’s strife,

By the bolt and the blast of the storms of life.

But, should it be thus, there ’s coming a day

When strength will fail, and the house decay,

When the light that will gild its crumbling towers

Must be left by the sun of thy childish hours!

Then, may their memory, like the vine,

Mantling, over the ruins, twine;

And, trailing a living vesture, climb,

To cover the damps and the tooth of time;

And curtain with verdure the mouldering walls

Which shall not decay till the fabric falls!

Sister, gather the buds of spring,

And treasure them up as they ’re opening,

All dewy and fresh, from the frost and blight,

For a lowering day, and a starless night;

And they will be bright in thy bosom still,

When all without may be dark and chill!

Another will seek to be crowned by thee,

Lord of thy heart and thy destiny;

And thou may’s bestow in thy riper years,

Laurels to water with daily tears!

Then, will memory love to come

Through mist and shade, to thine early home,

Within the halo that paleless beams

Around the scene of thine infant dreams.

Again thou wilt playfully sit and look

On the artless sketch of thy brother’s book,

And own no moment of earthly bliss

So pure, so holy and calm as this!

[p. 85]

Children, time is a fleeting day—

The brighter its joys, the sooner away!

Look to the mansion, and seek the crown

That shall not decay when the sun goes down!


Ye who look with wondering eye,

Tell me what in me ye find,

As I shoot across the sky,

But an emblem of your kind!

Darting from my hidden source,

I behold no resting place,

But must ever urge my course

Onward, till I end my race!

While I keep my native height,

I appear to all below

Radiant with celestial light,

That is brightening as I go!

When I lose my hold on heaven,

Down to shadowy earth I tend,

From my pure companions driven,

And in darkness I must end!

[p. 86]



Weep not for him, who hath laid his head

On a pillow of earth, in the cypress gloom,

For the sweetest dews that the night winds shed,

Descend on the couch where the wild flowers bloom.

Weep not for him, though the wintry sleet

Throw its glittering folds on his manly breast—

That spotless robe is a covering meet,

For the shrouded soul in its home of rest.

Weep not for him, though the heart is still,

And the soul-lit eye like a lamp grown dim—

Through the noble pulse, like an icy rill,

By the frost is chained—O weep not for him!

The diamond gathers its purest ray,

In the hidden grot, where no sun is known,

And the sweetest voices of music play,

In the trembling ear of Silence alone.

And there in the frown of that starless tomb,

A lovelier light breaks in on the eye,

And wind-harps sweep through the sullen doom,

And call the sleeper away to the sky!

[p. 87]



Well, lady, take again the ring,

To deck that lily hand of thine,

And with it take the offering,

I lay on beauty’s golden shrine.

With every joy and pleasure gay,

May all thine hours roll swift along,

And life in beauty glide away,

Like the rich cadence of a song.

May friendship shed its gentle rays

To make the path before thee bright,

And love serenely gild thy days,

With a more deep and brilliant light.

And in that future happy time,

Thine earlier friends perchance forgot,

Say, wilt thou read this careless rhyme,

And him who wrote, remember not?

Remember not! and can it be

That joyous memories ever die?

That all my heart can feel for thee

Is but a lightly whispered sigh?

p. 88

Ay! it is written on our lot,

That lot so varied, dark and strange,

To meet, to pass and be forgot,

In painful and perpetual change.

But dash this idle gloom away,

And be again the gay and free;

Thou must not, to thy dying day,

Forget this stolen ring and me!

p. 89]



After the kings of Great Britain had assumed the right of appointing the colonial governors, the measures of the latter seldom met with the ready and general approbation, which had been paid to those of their predecessors, under the original charters. The people looked with most jealous scrutiny to the exercise of power, which did not emanate from themselves, and they usually rewarded the rulers with slender gratitude, for the compliances, by which, in softening their instructions from beyond the sea, they had incurred the reprehension of those who gave them. The annals of Massachusetts Bay will inform us, that of six governors, in the space of about forty years from the surrender of the old charter, under James II., two were imprisoned by a popular insurrection; a third, as Hutchinson inclines to believe, was driven from the province by the whizzing of a musket ball; a fourth, in the opinion of the same historian, was hastened to his grave by continual bickerings with the house of representatives; and the remaining two, as well as their successors, till the Revolution, were favored with few and brief intervals of peaceful sway. The inferior members of the court party, in times of high political excitement, led scarcely a more desirable life. These remarks may serve as preface to the following

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adventures, which chanced upon a summer night, not far from a hundred years ago. The reader, in order to avoid a long and dry detail of colonial affairs, is requested to dispense with an account of the train of circumstances, that had caused much temporary inflammation of the popular mind.

It was near nine o’clock of a moonlight evening, when a boat crossed the ferry with a single passenger, who had obtained his conveyance, at that unusual hour, by the promise of an extra fare. While he stood on the landing-place, searching in either pocket for the means of fulfilling his agreement, the ferryman lifted a lantern, by the aid of which, and the newly risen moon, he took a very accurate survey of the stranger’s figure. He was a youth of barely eighteen years, evidently country-bred, and now, as it should seem, upon his first visit to town. He was clad in a coarse grey coat, well worn, but in excellent repair; his under garments were durably constructed of leather, and sat tight to a pair of serviceable and well-shaped limbs; his stockings of blue yarn, were the incontrovertible handiwork of a mother or a sister; and on his head was a three-cornered hat, which in its better days had perhaps sheltered the graver brow of the lad’s father. Under his left arm was a heavy cudgel, formed of an oak sapling, and retaining a part of the hardened root; and his equipment was completed by a wallet, no so abundantly stocked as to incommode the vigorous shoulders on which it hung. Brown, curly hair, well-shaped features, and bright, cheerful eyes, were nature’s gifts, and worth all that art could have done for his adornment.

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The youth, one of whose names was Robin, finally drew from his pocket the half of a little province-bill of five shillings, which in the depreciation of that sort of currency, did but satisfy the ferryman’s demand, with the surplus of a sexangular piece of parchment valued at three pence. He then walked forward into the town, with as light a step, as if his day’s journey had not already exceeded thirty miles, and with as eager an eye, as if he were entering London city, instead of the little metropolis of a New England colony. Before Robin had proceeded far, however, it occurred to him, that he knew not whither to direct his steps; so he paused, and looked up and down the narrow street, scrutinizing the small and mean wooden buildings, that were scattered on either side.

‘This low hovel cannot be my kinsman’s dwelling, thought he, ‘nor yonder old house, where the moonlight enters at the broken casement; and truly I see none hereabouts that might be worthy of him. It would have been wise to inquire my way of the ferryman, and doubtless he would have gone with me, and earned a shilling from the Major for his pains. But the next man I meet will do as well.’

He resumed his walk, and was glad to perceive that the street now became wider, and the houses more respectable in their appearance. He soon discerned a figure moving on moderately in advance, and hastened his steps to overtake it. As Robin drew nigh, he saw that the passenger was a man in years, with a full periwig of grey hair, a wide-skirted coat of dark cloth, and silk stockings rolled about his knees. He carried a

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long and polished cane, which he struck down perpendicularly before him, at every step; and at regular intervals he uttered two successive hems, of a peculiarly solemn and sepulchral intonation. Having made these observations, Robin laid hold of the skirt of the old man’s coat, just when the light from the open door and windows of a barber’s shop, fell upon both their figures.

‘Good evening to you, honored Sir,’ said he, making a low bow, and still retaining his hold of the skirt. ‘I pray you to tell me whereabouts is the dwelling of my kinsman, Major Molineux?’

The youth’s question was uttered very loudly; and one of the barbers, whose razor was descending on a well-soaped chin, and another who was dressing a Ramillies wig, left their occupations, and came to the door. The citizen, in the meantime, turned a long favored countenance upon Robin, and answered him in a tone of excessive anger and annoyance. His two sepulchral hems, however, broke into the very centre of his rebuke, with most singular effect, like a thought of the cold grave obtruding among wrathful passions.

‘Let go my garment, fellow! I tell you. I know not the man you speak of. What! I have authority, I have—hem, hem—authority; and if this be the respect you show your betters, your feet shall be brought acquainted with the stocks, by daylight, tomorrow morning!’

Robin released the old man’s skirt, and hastened away, pursued by an ill-mannered roar of laughter from the barber’s shop. He was at first considerably surprised by the result of his question, but, being a shrewd youth, soon thought himself able to account for the mystery.

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‘This is some country representative,’ was his conclusion, ‘who has never seen the inside of my kinsman’s door, and lacks the breeding to answer a stranger civilly. The man is old, or verily— I might be tempted to turn back and smite him on the nose. Ah, Robin, Robin! even the barber’s boys laugh at you, for choosing such a guide! You will be wiser in time, friend Robin.’

He now became entangled in a succession of crooked and narrow streets, which crossed each other, and meandered at no great distance from the water-side. The smell of tar was obvious to his nostrils, the masts of vessels pierced the moonlight above the tops of the buildings, and the numerous signs, which Robin paused to read, informed him that he was near the centre of business. But the streets were empty, the shops were closed, and lights were visible only in the second stories of a few dwelling-houses. At length, on the corner of a narrow land, through which he was passing, he beheld the broad countenance of a British hero swinging before the door of and inn, whence proceeded the voices of many guests. The casement of one of the lower windows was thrown back, and a very thin curtain permitted Robin to distinguish a party at supper, round a well-furnished table. The fragrance of the good cheer steamed forth into the outer air, and the youth could not fail to recollect, that the last remnant of his travelling stock of provision had yielded to his morning appetite, and that noon had found, and left him, dinnerless.

‘Oh, that a parchment three-penny might give me a right to sit down at yonder table,’ said Robin, with a sigh. ‘But the Major will make me welcome to the best

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of his victuals; so I will even step boldly in, and inquire my way to his dwelling.’

He entered the tavern, and was guided by the murmur of voices, and fumes of tobacco, to the public room. It was a long and low apartment, with oaken walls, grown dark in the continual smoke, and a floor, which was thickly sanded, but of no immaculate purity. A number of persons, the larger part of whom appeared to be mariners, or in some way connected with the sea, occupied the wooden benches, or leather-bottomed chairs, conversing on various matters, and occasionally lending their attention to some topic of general interest. Three or four little groups were draining as many bowls of punch, which the great West India trade had long since made a familiar drink in the colony. Others, who had the aspect of men who lived by regular and laborious handicraft, preferred the insulated bliss of an unshared potation, and became more taciturn under its influence. Nearly all, in short, evinced a predilection for the Good Creature in some of its various shapes, for this is a vice, to which, as the Fast-day sermons of a hundred years ago will testify, we have a long hereditary claim. The only guests to whom Robin’s sympathies inclined him, were two or three sheepish countrymen, who were using the inn somewhat after the fashion of a Turkish Caravansary; they had gotten themselves into the darkest corner of the room, and, heedless of the Nicotian atmosphere, were supping on the bread of their own ovens, and the bacon cured in their own chimney-smoke. But though Robin felt a sort of brotherhood with these strangers, his eyes were attracted from them, to a person who stood

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near the door, holding whispered conversation with a group of ill-dressed associates. His features were separately striking almost to grotesqueness, and the whole face left a deep impression in the memory. The forehead bulged out into a double prominence, with a vale between; the nose came boldly forth in an irregular curve, and its bridge was of more than a finger’s breadth; the eyebrows were deep and shaggy, and the eyes glowed beneath them like fire in a cave.

While Robin deliberated of whom to inquire respecting his kinsman’s dwelling, he was accosted by the innkeeper, a little man in a stained white apron, who had come to pay his professional welcome to the stranger. Being in the second generation from a French protestant, he seemed to have inherited the courtesy of his parent nation; but no variety of circumstance was ever known to change his voice from the one shrill note in which he now addressed Robin.

‘From the country, I presume, Sir?’ said he, with a profound bow. ‘Beg to congratulate you on your arrival, and trust you intend a long stay with us. Fine town here, Sir, beautiful buildings, and much that may interest a stranger. May I hope for the honor of your commands in respect to supper?’

‘The man sees a family likeness! the rogue has guessed that I am related to the Major!’ thought Robin, who had hitherto experienced little superfluous civility.

All eyes were now turned on the country lad, standing at the door, in his worn three-cornered hat, grey coat, leather breeches, and blue yarn stockings, leaning on an oaken cudgel, and bearing a wallet on his back.

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Robin replied to the courteous innkeeper, with such an assumption of consequence, as befitted the Major’s relative.

‘My honest friend,’ he said, ‘I shall make it a point to patronise your house on some occasion, when—’here he could not help lowering his voice‘I may have more than a parchment three-pence in my pocket. My present business,’ continued he, speaking with lofty confidence, ‘is merely to inquire the way to the dwelling of my kinsman, Major Molineux.’

There was a sudden and general movement in the room, which Robin interpreted as expressing the eagerness of each individual to become his guide. But the innkeeper turned his eyes to a written paper on the wall, which he read, or seemed to read, with occasional recurrences to the young man’s figure.

‘What have we here?’ said he, braking his speech into little dry fragments. “Left the house of the subscriber, bounden servant, Hezekiah Mudge—had on when he went away, grey coat, leather breeches, master’s third best hat. One pound currency reward to whoever shall lodge him in any jail in the province” ‘Better trudge, boy, better trudge.’

Robin had began [sic] to draw his hand towards the lighter end of the oak cudgel, but a strange hostility in every countenance, induced him to relinquish his purpose of breaking the courteous innkeeper’s head. As he turned to leave the room, he encountered a sneering glance from the bold-featured personage whom he had before noticed; and no sooner was he beyond the door, than he heard a general laugh, in which the innkeeper’s voice

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might be distinguished, like the dropping of small stones into a kettle.

‘Now is it not strange,’ thought Robin, with his usual shrewdness, ‘is it not strange, that the confession of an empty pocket, should outweigh the name of my kinsman, Major Molineux? Oh, if I had one of these grinning rascals in the woods, where I and my oak sapling grew up together, I would teach him that my arm is heavy, though my purse be light!’

On turning the corner of the narrow lane, Robin found himself in a spacious street, with an unbroken line of lofty houses on each side, and a steepled building at the upper end, whence the ringing of a bell announced the hour of nine. The light of the moon, and the lamps from numerous shop windows, discovered people promenading on the pavement, and amongst them, Robin hoped to recognise his hitherto inscrutable relative. The result of his former inquiries made him unwilling to hazard another, in a scene of such publicity, and he determined to walk slowly and silently up the street, thrusting his face close to that of every elderly gentleman, in search of the Major’s lineaments. In his progress, Robin encountered many gay and gallant figures. Embroidered garments, of showy colors, enormous periwigs, gold-laced hats, and silver hilted swords, glided past him and dazzled his optics. Travelled youths, imitators of the European fine gentlemen of the period, trod jauntily along, half-dancing to the fashionable tunes which they hummed, and making poor Robin ashamed of his quiet and natural gait. At length, after many pauses to examine the gorgeous display of goods in the shop windows, and

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after suffering some rebukes for the impertinence of his scrutiny into people’s faces, the Major’s kinsman found himself near the steepled building, still unsuccessful in his search. As yet, however, he had seen only one side of the thronged street; so Robin crossed, and continued the same sort of inquisition down the opposite pavement, with stronger hopes than the philosopher seeking an honest man, but with no better fortune. He had arrived about midway towards the lower end, from which his course began, when he overheard the approach of some one, who struck down a cane on the flag-stones at every step, uttering, at regular intervals, two sepulchral hems.

‘Mercy on us!’ quoth Robin, recognising the sound.

Turning a corner, which chanced to be close at his right hand, he hastened to pursue his researches, in some other part of the town. His patience was now wearing low, and he seemed to feel more fatigue from his rambles since he crossed the ferry, than from his journey of several days on the other side. Hunger also pleaded loudly within him, and Robin began to balance the propriety of demanding, violently and with lifted cudgel, the necessary guidance from the first solitary passenger, whom he should meet. While a resolution to this effect was gaining strength, he entered a street of mean appearance, on either side of which, a row of ill-built houses was straggling towards the harbor. The moonlight fell upon no passenger along the whole extent, but in the third domicile which Robin passed, there was a half-opened door, and his keen glance detected a woman’s garment within.

‘My luck may be better here,’ said he to himself.

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Accordingly, he approached the door, and beheld it shut closer as he did so; yet an open space remained, sufficing for the fair occupant to observe the stranger, without a corresponding display on her part. All that Robin could discern was a strip of scarlet petticoat, and the occasional sparkle of an eye, as if the moonbeams were trembling on some bright thing.

‘Pretty mistress,’—for I may call her so with a good conscience, though the shrewd youth, since I know nothing to the contrary—‘my sweet pretty mistress, will you be kind enough to tell me whereabouts I must seek the dwelling of my kinsman, Major Molineux?’

Robin’s voice was plaintive and winning, and the female, seeing nothing to be shunned in the handsome country youth, thrust open the door, and came forth into the moonlight. She was a dainty little figure, with a white neck, round arms, and a slender waist, at the extremity of which her scarlet petticoat jutted out over a hoop, as if she were standing in a balloon. Moreover, her face was oval and pretty, her hair dark beneath the little cap, and her bright eyes possessed a sly freedom, which triumphed over those of Robin.

‘Major Molineux dwells here,’ said this fair woman.

Now her voice was the sweetest Robin had heard that night, the airy counterpart of a stream of melted silver; yet he could not help doubting whether that sweet voice spoke gospel truth. He looked up and down the mean street, and then surveyed the house before which they stood. It was a small, dark edifice of two stories, the second of which projected over the lower floor; and the front apartment had the aspect of a shop for petty commodities.

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‘Now truly I am in luck,’ replied Robin, cunningly, ‘and so indeed is my kinsman, the Major, in having so pretty a housekeeper. But I prithee trouble him to step to the door; I will deliver him a message from his friends in the country, and then go back to my lodgings at the inn.’

‘Nay, the Major has been a-bed this hour or more,’ said the lady of the scarlet petticoat; ‘and it would be to little purpose to disturb him to night, seeing his evening draught was of the strongest. But he is a kind-hearted man, and it would be as much as my life ’s worth, to let a kinsman of his turn away from the door. You are the good old gentleman’s very picture, and I could swear that was his rainy-weather hat. Also, he has garments very much resembling those leather— But come in, I pray, for I bid you hearty welcome in his name.’

So saying, the fair and hospitable dame took our hero by the hand; and though the touch was light, and the force was gentleness, and though Robin read in her eyes what he did not hear in her words, yet the slender waisted woman, in the scarlet petticoat, proved stronger than the athletic country youth. She had drawn his half-willing footsteps nearly to the threshold, when the opening of a door in the neighborhood, startled the Major’s housekeeper, and, leaving the Major’s kinsman, she vanished speedily into her own domicile. A heavy yawn preceded the appearance of a man, who, like the Moonshine of Pyramus and Thisbe, carried a lantern, needlessly aiding his sister luminary in the heavens. As he walked sleepily up the street, he turned his broad,

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dull face on Robin, and displayed a long staff, spiked at the end.

‘Home, vagabond, home!’ said the watchman, in accents that seemed to fall asleep as soon as they were uttered. ‘home, or we ’ll set you in the stocks by peep \of day!’

‘This is the second hint of the kind,’ thought Robin. ‘I wish they would end my difficulties, by setting me there to-night.’

Nevertheless, the youth felt an instinctive antipathy towards the guardian of midnight order, which at first prevented him from asking his usual question. But just when the man was about to vanish behind the corner, Robin resolved not to lose the opportunity, and shouted lustily after him—

‘I say, friend! will you guide me to the house of my kinsman, Major Molineux?’

The watchman made no reply, but turned the corner and was gone; yet Robin seemed to hear the sound of drowsy laughter stealing along the solitary street. At that moment, also, a pleasant titter saluted him from the open window above his head; he looked up, and caught the sparkle of a saucy eye; a round arm beckoned to him, and next he heard light footsteps descending the staircase within. But Robin, being of the household of a New England clergyman, was a good youth, as well as a shrewd one; so he resisted temptation, and fled away.

He now roamed desperately, and at random, through the town, almost ready to believe that a spell was on him, like that, by which a wizard of his country, had

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once kept three pursuers wandering, a whole winter night, within twenty paces of the cottage which they sought. The streets lay before him, strange and desolate, and the lights were extinguished in almost every house. Twice, however, little parties of men, among whom Robin distinguished individuals in outlandish attire, came hurrying along, but though on both occasions they paused to address him, such intercourse did not at all enlighten his perplexity. They did but utter a few words in some language of which Robin knew nothing, and perceiving his inability to answer, bestowed a curse upon him in plain English, and hastened away. Finally, the lad determined to knock at the door of every mansion that might appear worthy to be occupied by his kinsman, trusting that perseverance would overcome the fatality which had hitherto thwarted him. Firm in this resolve, he was passing beneath the walls of a church, which formed the corner of two streets, when, as he turned into the shade of its steeple, he encountered a bulky stranger, muffled in a cloak. The man was proceeding with the speed of earnest business, but Robin planted himself full before him, holding the oak cudgel with both hands across his body, as a bar to further passage.

‘Halt, honest man, and answer me a question,’ said he, very resolutely. ‘Tell me, this instant, whereabouts is the dwelling of my kinsman, Major Molineux?’

‘Keep your tongue between your teeth, fool, and let me pass,’ said a deep, gruff voice, which Robin partly remembered. ‘Let me pass, I say or I ’ll strike you to the earth!’

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‘No, no, neighbor!’ cried Robin, flourishing his cudgel, and then thrusting its larger end close to the man’s muffled face. ‘No, no, I ’m not the fool you take me for, nor do you pass, till I have an answer to my question. Whereabouts is the dwelling of my kinsman, Major Molineux?’

The stranger, instead of attempting to force his passage, stept back into the moonlight, unmuffled his own face and stared full into that of Robin.

‘Watch here an hour, and Major Molineux will pass by,’ said he.

Robin gazed with dismay and astonishment, on the unprecedented physiognomy of the speaker. The forehead with his double prominence, the broad-hooked nose, the shaggy eyebrows, and fiery eyes, were those which he had noticed at the inn, but the man’s complexion had undergone a singular, or more properly, a two-fold change. One side of the face blazed of an intense red, while the other was black as midnight, the division line being in the broad bridge of the nose; and a mouth, which seemed to extend from ear to ear, was black or red, in contrast to the color of the cheek. The effect was as if two individual devils, a fiend of fire and a fiend of darkness, had united themselves to form this infernal visage. The stranger grinned in Robin’s face, muffled his party-colored features, and was out of sight in a moment.

‘Strange things we travellers see!’ ejaculated Robin.

He seated himself, however, upon the steps of the church-door, resolving to wait the appointed time for his kinsman’s appearance. A few moments were consumed

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in philosophical speculations, upon the species of the genus homo, who had just left him, but having settled this point shrewdly, rationally, and satisfactorily, he was compelled to look elsewhere for amusement. And first he threw his eyes along the street; it was of more respectable appearance than most of those into which he had wandered, and the moon, ‘creating, like the imaginative power, a beautiful strangeness in familiar objects,’ gave something of romance to a scene, that might not have possessed it in the light of day. The irregular, and often quaint architecture of the houses, some of whose roofs were broken into numerous little peaks; while others ascended, steep and narrow, into a single point; and others again were square; the pure milk-white of some of their complexions, the aged darkness of others, and the thousand sparklings, reflected from bright substances in the plastered walls of many; these matters engaged Robin’s attention for awhile, and then began to grow wearisome. Next he endeavored to define the forms of distant objects, starting away with almost ghostly indistinctness, just as his eye appeared to grasp them; and finally he took a minute survey of an edifice, which stood on the opposite side of the street, directly in front of the church-door, where he was stationed. It was a large square mansion, distinguished from its neighbors by a balcony, which rested on tall pillars, and by an elaborate gothic window, communicating therewith.

‘Perhaps this is the very house I have been seeking,’ thought Robin.

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Then he strove to speed away the time, by listening to a murmur, which swept continually along the street, yet was scarcely audible, except to an unaccustomed ear like his; it was a low, dull, dreamy sound, compounded of many noises, each of which was at too great a distance to be separately heard. Robin marvelled at this snore of a sleeping town, and marvelled more, whenever its continuity was broken, by now and then a distant shout, apparently loud where it originated. But altogether it was a sleep-inspiring sound, and to shake off its drowsy influence, Robin arose, and climbed a window-frame, that he might view the interior of the church. There the moonbeams came trembling in, and fell down upon the deserted pews, and extended along the quiet aisles. A fainter, yet more awful radiance, was hovering round the pulpit, and one solitary ray had dared to rest upon the opened page of the great bible. Had Nature, in that deep hour, become a worshipper in the house, which man had builded? Or was that heavenly light the visible sanctity of the place, visible because no earthly and impure feet were within the walls? The scene made Robin’s heart shiver with a sensation of loneliness, stronger than he had ever felt in the remotest depths of his native woods; so he turned away, and sat down again before the door. There were graves around the church, and now an uneasy thought obtruded into Robin’s breast. What if the object of his search, which had been so often and so strangely thwarted, were all the time mouldering in his shroud? What if his kinsman should glide through yonder gate, and nod and smile to him in passing dimly by?

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‘Oh, that any breathing thing were here with me!’ said Robin.

Recalling his thoughts from this uncomfortable track, he sent them over forest, hill, and stream, and attempted to imagine how that evening of ambiguity and weariness, had been spent by his father’s household. He pictured them assembled at the door, beneath the tree, the great old tree, which had been spared for its huge twisted trunk, and venerable shade, when a thousand leafy brethren fell. There, at the going down of the summer sun, it was his father’s custom to perform domestic worship, that the neighbors might come and join with him like brothers of the family, and that the wayfaring man might pause to drink at that fountain, and keep his heart pure by freshening the memory of home. Robin distinguished the seat of every individual of the little audience; he saw the good man in the midst, holding the scriptures in the golden light that shone from the western clouds; he beheld him close the book, and all rise up to pray. He heard the old thanksgivings for daily mercies, the old supplications for their continuance, to which he had so often listened in weariness, but which were now among his dear remembrances. He perceived the slight inequality of his father’s voice when he came to speak of the Absent One; he noted how his mother turned her face to the broad and knotted trunk, how his elder brother scorned, because the beard was rough upon his upper lip, to permit his features to be moved; how his younger sister drew down a low hanging branch before her eyes; and how the little one of all, whose sports had hitherto broken the decorum of the scene,

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understood the prayer for her playmate, and burst into clamorous grief. Then he saw them go in at the door; and when Robin would have entered also, the latch tinkled into its place, and he was excluded from his home.

‘Am I here, or there?’ cried Robin, starting; for all at once, when his thoughts had become visible and audible in a dream, the long, wide, solitary street shone out before him.

He aroused himself, and endeavored to fix his attention steadily upon the large edifice which he had surveyed before. But still his mind kept vibrating between fancy and reality; by turns, the pillars of the balcony lengthened into the tall, bare stems of pines, dwindled down to human figures, settled again in their true shape and size, and then commenced a new succession of changes. For a single moment, when he deemed himself awake, he could have sworn that a visage, one which he seemed to remember, yet could not absolutely name as his kinsman’s, was looking towards him from the Gothic window. A deeper sleep wrestled with, and nearly overcame him, but fled at the sound of footsteps along the opposite pavement. Robin rubbed his eyes, discerned a man passing at the foot of the balcony, and addressed him in a loud, peevish, and lamentable cry.

‘Halloo, friend! must I wait here all night for my kinsman, Major Molineux?’

The sleeping echoes woke, and answered the voice; and the passenger, barely able to discern a figure sitting in the oblique shade of the steeple, traversed the street to obtain a nearer view. He was himself a gentleman

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in his prime, of open, intelligent, cheerful, and altogether prepossessing countenance. Perceiving a country youth, apparently homeless and without friends, he accosted him in a tone of real kindness, which had become strange to Robin’s ears.

‘Well, my good lad, why are you sitting here?’ inquired he. ‘Can I be of service to you in any way?’

‘I am afraid not, Sir,’ replied Robin, despondingly; ‘yet I shall take it kindly, if you ’ll answer me a single question. I ’ve been searching half the night for one Major Molineux; now, Sir, is there really such a person in these parts, or am I dreaming?’

‘Major Molineux! The name is not altogether strange to me,’ said the gentleman, smiling. ‘Have you any objection to telling me the nature of your business with him?’

Then Robin briefly related that his father was a clergyman, settled on a small salary, at a long distance back in the country, and that he and Major Molineux were brothers’ children. The Major, having inherited riches, and acquired civil and military rank, had visited his cousin in great pomp a year or two before; had manifested much interest in Robin and an elder brother, and, being childless himself, had thrown out hints respecting the future establishment of one of them in life. The elder brother was destined to succeed to the farm, which his father cultivated, in the interval of sacred duties; it was therefore determined that Robin should profit by his kinsman’s generous intentions, especially as he had seemed to be rather the favorite, and was thought to possess other necessary endowments.

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‘For I have the name of being a shrewd youth,’ observed Robin, in this part of his story.

‘I doubt not you deserve it,’ replied his new friend, good naturedly; ‘but pray proceed.’

‘Well, Sir, being nearly eighteen years old, and well grown, as you see,’ continued Robin, raising himself to his full height, ‘I thought it high time to begin the world. So my mother and sister put me in handsome trim, and my father gave me half the remnant of his last year’s salary, and five days ago I started for this place, to pay the Major a visit. But would you believe it, Sir? I crossed the ferry a little after dusk, and have yet found nobody that would show me the way to his dwelling; only an hour or two since, I was told to wait here, and Major Molineux would pass by.’

‘Can you describe the man who told you this?’ inquired the gentleman.

‘Oh, he was a very ill-favored fellow, Sir,’ replied Robin, ‘with two great bumps on his forehead, a hook nose, fiery eyes, and, what struck me as the strangest, his face was of two different colors. Do you happen to know such a man, Sir?’

‘Not intimately,’ answered the stranger, ‘but I chanced to meet him a little time previous to your stopping me. I believe you may trust his word, and that the Major will very shortly pass through this street. In the mean time, as I have a singular curiosity to witness your meeting, I will sit down here upon the steps, and bear you company.’

He seated himself accordingly, and soon engaged his companion in animated discourse. It was but of brief

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continuance, however, for a noise of shouting, which had long been remotely audible, drew so much nearer, that Robin inquired its cause.

‘What may be the meaning of this uproar?’ asked he. ‘Truly, if your town be always as noisy, I shall find little sleep, while I am an inhabitant.’

‘Why, indeed, friend Robin, there do appear to be three or four riotous fellows abroad to-night,’ replied the gentleman. ‘You must not expect all the stillness of your native woods, here in our streets. But the watch will shortly be at the heels of these lads, and—’

‘Aye, and set them in the stocks by peep of day,’ interrupted Robin, recollecting his own encounter with the drowsy lantern-bearer. ‘But, dear Sir, if I may trust my ears, an army of watchmen would never make head against such a multitude of rioters. There were at least a thousand voices went to make up that one shout.’

‘May not one man have several voices, Robin, as well as two complexions?’ said his friend.

‘Perhaps a man may; but heaven forbid that a woman should!’ responded the shrewd youth, thinking of the seductive tones of the Major’s housekeeper.

The sounds of a trumpet in some neighboring street, now became so evident and continual, that Robin’s curiosity was strongly excited. In addition to the shouts, he heard frequent bursts from many instruments of discord, and a wild and confused laughter filled up the intervals. Robin rose from the steps, and looked wistfully towards a point, whither several people seemed to be hastening.

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‘Surely some prodigious merrymaking is going on,’ exclaimed he. ‘I have laughed very little since I left home, Sir, and should be sorry to lose an opportunity. Shall we just step round the corner by that darkish house, and take our share of the fun?’

‘Sit down again, sit down, good Robin,’ replied the gentleman, laying his hand on the skirt of the grey coat. ‘You forget that we must wait here for your kinsman; and there is reason to believe that he will pass by, in the course of a very few moments.’

The near approach of the uproar had now disturbed the neighborhood; windows flew open on all sides; and many heads, in the attire of the pillow, and confused by sleep suddenly broken, were protruded to the gaze of whoever had leisure to observe them. Eager voices hailed each other from house to house, all demanding the explanation, which not a soul could give. Half-dressed men hurried towards the unknown commotion, stumbling as they went over the stone steps, that thrust themselves into the narrow foot-walk. The shouts, the laughter, and the tuneless bray, the antipodes of music, came onward with increasing din, till scattered individuals, and then denser bodies, began to appear round a corner, at the distance of a hundred yards.

‘Will you recognise your kinsman, Robin, if he passes in this crowd?’ inquired the gentleman.

‘Indeed, I can ’t warrant it, Sir; but I ’ll take my stand here, and keep a bright look out,’ answered Robin, descending to the outer edge of the pavement.

A mighty stream of people now emptied into the street, and came rolling slowly towards the church. A single

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horseman wheeled the corner in the midst of them, and close behind him came a band of fearful wind-instruments, sending forth a fresher discord, now that no intervening buildings keep it from the ear. Then a redder light disturbed the moonbeams, and a dense multitude of torches shone along the street, concealing by their glare whatever object they illuminated. The single horseman, clad in a military dress, and bearing a drawn sword, rode onward as the leader, and, by his fierce and variegated countenance, appeared like war personified; the red of one cheek was an emblem of fire and sword; the blackness of the other betokened the mourning which attends them. In his train, were wild figures in the Indian dress, and many fantastic shapes without a model, giving the whole march a visionary air, as if a dream had broken forth from some feverish brain, and were sweeping visibly through the midnight streets. A mass of people, inactive, except as applauding spectators, hemmed the procession in, and several women ran along the sidewalks, piercing the confusion of heavier sounds, with their shrill voices of mirth or terror.

‘The double-faced fellow has his eye upon me,’ muttered Robin, with an indefinite but uncomfortable idea, that he was himself to bear a part in the pageantry.

The leader turned himself in the saddle, and fixed his glance full upon the country youth, as the steed went slowly by. When Robin had freed his eyes from those fiery ones, the musicians were passing before him, and the torches were close at hand; but the unsteady brightness of the latter formed a veil which he could not penetrate. The rattling of wheels over the stones

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sometimes found its way to his ear, and confused traces of a human form appeared at intervals, and then melted into the vivid light. A moment more, and the leader thundered a command to halt; the trumpets vomited a horrid breath, and held their peace; the shouts and laughter of the people died away, and there remained only an universal hum, nearly allied to silence. Right before Robin’s eyes was an uncovered cart. There the torches blazed the brightest, there the moon shone out like day, and there, in tar-and-feathery dignity, sate his kinsman, Major Molineux!

He was an elderly man, of large and majestic person, and strong, square features, betokening a steady soul; but steady as it was, his enemies had found the means to shake it. His face was pale as death, and far more ghastly; the broad forehead was contracted in his agony, so that the eyebrows formed one dark grey line; his eyes were red and wild, and the foam hung white upon his quivering lip. His whole frame was agitated by a quick, and continual tremor, which his pride strove to quell, even in those circumstances of overwhelming humiliation. But perhaps the bitterest pang of all was when his eyes met those of Robin; for he evidently knew him on the instant, as the youth stood witnessing the foul disgrace of a head that had grown grey in honor. They stared at each other in silence, and Robin’s knees shook, and his hair bristled, with a mixture of pity and terror. Soon, however, a bewildering excitement began to seize upon his mind; the preceding adventures of the night, the unexpected appearance of the crowd, the torches, the confused din, and the hush that followed, the

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spectre of his kinsman reviled by that great multitude, all this, and more than all, a perception of tremendous ridicule in the whole scene, affected him with a sort of mental inebriety. At that moment a voice of sluggish merriment saluted Robin’s ears; he turned instinctively, and just behind the corner of the church stood the lantern-bearer, rubbing his eyes, and drowsily enjoying the lad’s amazement. Then he heard a peal of laughter like the ringing of silvery bells; a woman twitched his arm, a saucy eye met his, and he saw the lady of the scarlet petticoat. A sharp, dry cachinnation appealed to his memory, and, standing on tiptoe in the crowd, with his white apron over his head, he beheld the courteous little innkeeper. And lastly, there sailed over the heads of the multitude a great, broad laugh, broken in the midst by two deep sepulchral hems; thus—

‘Haw, haw, haw—hem, hem—haw, haw, haw, haw!’

The sound proceeded from the balcony of the opposite edifice, and thither Robin turned his eyes. In front of the Gothic window stood the old citizen, wrapped in a wide gown, his grey periwig exchanged for a nightcap, which was thrust back from his forehead, and his silk stockings hanging down about his legs. He supported himself on his polished cane in a fit of convulsive merriment, which manifested itself on his solemn old features, like a funny inscription on a tomb-stone. Then Robin seemed to hear the voices of the barbers; of the guests of the inn; and of all who had made sport of him that night. The contagion was spreading among the multitude, when, all at once, it seized upon Robin, and he sent forth a shout of laughter that echoed through

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the street; every man shook his sides, every man emptied his lungs, but Robin’s shout was the loudest there. The cloud-spirits peeped from their silvery islands, as the congregated mirth went roaring up the sky! The Man in the Moon heard the far bellow; ‘Oho,’ quoth he, ‘the old Earth is frolicsome to-night!’

When there was a momentary calm in that tempestuous sea of sound, the leader gave the sign, and the procession resumed its march. On they went, like fiends that throng in mockery round some dead potentate, mighty no more, but majestic still in his agony. On they went, in counterfeited pomp, in senseless uproar, in frenzied merriment, trampling all on an old man’s heart. On swept the tumult, and left a silent street behind.

* * * * *

‘Well, Robin, are you dreaming?’ inquired the gentleman, laying his hand on the youth’s shoulder.

Robin started, and withdrew his arm from the stone post, to which he had instinctively clung, while the living stream rolled by him. His cheek was somewhat pale, and his eye not quite so lively as in the earlier part of the evening.

‘Will you be kind enough to show me the way to the Ferry?’ said he, after a moment’s pause.

‘You have then adopted a new subject of inquiry?’ observed his companion, with a smile.

‘Why, yes, Sir,’ replied Robin, rather dryly. ‘Thanks to you, and to my other friends, I have at last met my kinsman, and he will scarce desire to see my face again. I begin to grow weary of a town life, Sir. Will you show me the way to the Ferry?’

p. 116]

‘No, my good friend Robin, not to-night, at least,’ said the gentleman. ‘Some few days hence, if you continue to wish it, I will speed you on your journey. Or, if you prefer to remain with us, perhaps, as you are a shrewd youth, you may rise in the world, without the help of your kinsman, Major Molineux.’


Once, in the plain of Arcady,

When Love the Hermit dwelt alone,

So modest then and shy was he,

That he was but to shepherds known.

The swains, to keep him long below,

Caused him to wed the maiden Care,

For though his home was Heaven, you know,

His bride, he could not carry there.

It was a grave and solemn house,

The like is still on earth, I ween,

Yet though he had so sad a spouse,

Love, without Care, was seldom seen.

Thus lived this sad, ill-mated pair,

Till Care died crazed and broken hearted;

Though of the learned, some declare

That Love and Care were never parted.



a white woman combs her long dark hair
Engraved by G. B. Ellis.
Published by Gray Bowen, Boston.

[p. 117]



My hair—my hair—how long it is!

It beats my cousin Bella’s—

Indeed it is as massy, quite,

As Walter Scott’s Fenella’s!

It hangs about me like the night—

So says my poet Percy,

Who vows that in the summer hours

To meet me is a mercy!

For then it seems like shade at noon!

But just to prove his folly,

He adds, when clustering in the moon,

It gives him melancholy!

But ah! the most amusing is

To hear the speculations

About my poor abundant head,

From near and dear relations.

My mother says my hair is grand,

And thinks I ought to sell it;

And Pa, who dotes on clearing land,

He wonders I do n’t fell it!

My sickly cousin—when in puff—

Declares it looks so topsy,

’T will generate—that ’s plain enough—

A true cephalic dropsy;

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While my sea-uncle, somewhat bald,

Insists the thing is dreadful,

And deems I should be overhauled

For carrying such a headful!

My hair—my hair—how black it is!

’T were treason to be shaven;

I like these dark romantic dyes—

My bird of all ’s, the raven!

And then to bind on Parian brows—

For Frank admits they ’re snowy,

That young and classic Colonel vows

’T is something passing showy.

There ’s Julia with her auburn wealth,

But then she ’s but a blonde,

And carries such unheard of health,

She ’s nothing with the monde!

Yet if, alas! as some declare,

Such soft blue beauties only

Hold tempers radiant as their hair,

How rayless I, and lonely!

My hair—my hair—how clustering!

And then ’t is all my own—

’T will twine, all other to eclipse,

Just dew it with Cologne.

But then ’t is doubtful whether curls

Are on the whole imperial,

And smooth black locks, too, wanting pearls,

Are far too ministerial.

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Alas! this trouble with our hair,

Though men admire and bless it,

Who dreams of half the long despair

It sometimes is to dress it!

Ah! if our Hectors only knew

’T would be a sorry story,

To tell what trials we go through,

Each morning with our ‘glory!’

My hair—my hair—well, Amy, try

And put it up in masses,

Just here, to shadow in my eye,

And gently dim the lashes;

And weave a bud in, here and there,

To form a coronal,

For I must do some new despair

This evening at the ball.

I wish I had one diamond now,

To bury in my curls,

For Percy says to night will show

A host of starry girls.

And once, when wantoning away,

This cloudy hair of mind,

I heard him to his cousin say

A gem would look divine.

He thought upon such lifting forms

To be without was wrong—

’T would flash so like a star through storms,

My Egypt locks among!

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There! let it rest—the deed is done,

The clock the hour doth tell;

Now put that cameo bracelet on,

And call my cousin Bell.

And let it good or ill betide,

A blue I ’ve never been—

I ’ll show at least a head outside,

Let what will be within.


a young white woman weeps beside the body of a soldier while her baby looks out at us
J. Wright pinxt.      S. W. Cheney sculp.
Published by Gray Bowen, Boston.

[p. 121]



Soldier!—She ’s near thee now,

For whom thy latest prayer

Was but to gaze upon her brow,

And bless her faithful care;

The death-shot in thy breast;

The death-mist o’er thine eye,

For this, thy faultering [sic] footsteps prest

On, toward thy tent, to die.

She ’s kneeling at thy side,—

Her face of anguish, see!

How changed that bright and blooming bride

Who left her home for thee.

The battle-smoke curls high

Above yon reeking plain,

Thy comrades raise the victor-cry,

Wake, Soldier!—’tis in vain!

Mourn! mourn, thou desolate one,

No more thy path forlorn

Shall glow with earth’s refulgent sun,

It hath no second morn:

Go in thy deep despair

Down to thy husband’s tomb,

And lay thy young affections there,—

They know no second bloom.

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Babe! Sorrow hath no power

O’er innocence like thine,

And thou must gild her lonely bower,

A star from Mercy’s shrine.

Thy sweetly slumbering breath

That o’er her cheek shall stream,

Can chase the forms of war and death,

That haunt her nightly dream.

Still with thy cherub art

Her misery beguile,

And when the grief-pang rends her heart

Wear then thy father’s smile;

None else thy skill can share,

None else such balm bestow,

For thou canst bring a mother’s care

To heal a widow’s woe.

[p. 123]


I called the other evening to see one of my friends, who is just at that critical period of life, when a man is in great danger of being enrolled in the unhappy fraternity of confirmed old bachelors. I found him alone, melancholy, and but for the soothing influence of a cigar, he would have been ill-tempered. He made an effort to rouse himself, upon seeing me enter, and began to converse; but, Yankee-like, the subject he selected was the weather. It was unlucky, as the day had been dark and stormy, and had had its effect in producing the state of mind in which I found him. After some splenetic abuse of the weather, which I endeavored to qualify, we fell into the following discussion, which amused me, and gave him an opportunity of throwing off a little of the bilious humour, that had been accumulating upon him the whole day.

A. ‘Why, my dear friend, how is it possible you can talk in this manner? Did any body ever undertake before to palliate the atrocity of the climate of New England? I do not like to complain—Heaven knows I am no grumbler; but neither can I shut my eyes, nor deaden my nerves, so completely as not to perceive the dreadful character of the weather, to which we are exposed.’

B. ‘But, pray, what specific fault have you to find with it? A general attack can only be repelled by a general encomium, and I am not disposed to aggravate

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your ill humour by a counterblast of that kind. What is the first and worst fault?

A. ‘East winds.’

B. ‘What next?’

A. ‘East winds. But if you wish for a catalogue of all the ills, which flesh is heir to in this part of the world, from the influences of climate, you must prepare for a somewhat lengthy diatribe; for not a month passes over us without its appropriate misery, or, to speak more correctly, its accumulation of horrors. January, for instance, is very probably ushered in by a snow-storm, with a gale of wind from the Northeast, its usual accompaniment, and you are compelled, either prudently to forego the promised pleasure of a visit, where you were sure of seeing a fair face, and were hoping that your beautiful Token might be kindly received; or, if you venture desperately out, you arrive exhausted with plunging through snow-banks, and struggling against the wind; your dress, your hair (whiskers, if you have any,) wet and disordered, your temper in an alarming state of irritability, which shows itself in spite, and indeed in consequence, of the violent efforts you make to repress it in such presence, and you return with the additional pleasant association with snow-storms, that they have provoked you to do or say something, which has grievously affected your hopes. This might be more endurable, if you were able to efface the impression by some particularly agreeable attention, and more careful assiduity; but the cold you caught in your gallant expedition, confined you a month to the house, and the unwearied efforts of rivals are combined with the storm

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to destroy your future peace. For two or three weeks, the snow and the cold regularly increase; your nerves are getting somewhat inured to the trial, when all at once, there comes a hot breeze from the Gulf Stream, which deluges the streets with a liquifying mass, and opens every pore of your body to the impression of the charming Northwester, that is sure to arrive in about twelve hours direct from Lake Superior. Then follow the delight of colds, coughs, croup, &c. &c. None of your friends can speak without croaking, nor tell you of anything, but the interesting details of their own, and their children’s maladies. Can you deny a single feature of the picture? Is this anything more or worse than we have all experienced? Can you conceive of anything more horrible?’

B. ‘Oh! I deny nothing, but I will venture to question the justice of laying to the charge of the climate, the faults of temper, which may blight the hopes of an inhabitant of the most favored portion of the earth. If your beau had been exposed to no storm, and had been received with the brightest smiles, had tasted the best cookies, and sipped the most delicious parfait amour, it is by no means certain, that he would not have found something else, upon which to charge his ill-humour. But if a man’s mind be unclouded, what can contribute more to its vigorous and healthful action, than the clear, bracing air, and beautiful sky, of our January? And if there be snow on the ground, it only adds vivacity and exhilaration to the scene, which, without it, would be of a somewhat sombre aspect. One would think that the most hypochondriacal dyspeptic must be, in some slight

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degree, relieved from the weight of his demon, by a walk in the afternoon, where he could witness a sunset, such, as I will engage, cannot be surpassed for beauty out of New England, and a return by the softer light of the newly-risen moon. Is there anything more exquisite than the light of a winter evening, reflected from the pure and sparkling robe, with which Nature conceals the dull, faded garb, she must otherwise exhibit? As for colds and coughs, they are evils which are not confined to any particular temperature or season; and if we subtract those which are caused by known and undeniable carelessness of exposure, from the total amount, there will remain no more than enough to remind us of the instability of the blessing, which is so constant and interesting a subject of conversation.’

A. ‘You talk like a man, who knows nothing of dyspepsia. How I envy you the bliss fo your ignorance. If you had the slightest idea of the pangs of dyspeptic digestion, you would hardly expect the sufferer to put his foot upon snow, even with all the protection India rubber can afford, much less to experience anything like a sensation of romance, from the cold moonlight, or the colder air. The only poetical language he can apply to such an evening is that of Portia, in the Merchant of Venice;—“This night, methinks, is but the daylight sick.” I am willing to allow, that a young man, in the full vigor of health, may possibly feel something like pleasure in a sleighing frolic, though small thanks are due to the climate for that, except for producing one of the facilities of rapid motion; but neither he, nor any other being of human form and

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feelings, can anticipate, with any emotion but dread or horror, one of those long, cold, cheerless, black and wet, Northeasterly storms, with which our springs abound. Here I am upon strong ground; you cannot deny that our spring is shocking; indeed it may as well be conceded, that we have no spring; winter lingers in the lap of summer with us, and the only change is from cold to hot, and from hot to cold, as suddenly and capriciously, as the most coquetish of mistresses could fly from encouragement to distance, or from disdain to flattery. It is no small aggravation of our misery, that you cannot take up a descriptive author in any literature, ancient or modern, but you find him full of raptures and ecstasy about the season, which is really erased from our year. It is called, among other delightful epithets, the season of Love—but is it possible to imagine the tender passion developed or expressed in an April or May Northeaster? A fine sentimental occasion for a rural walk, or a declaration!’

B. ‘Upon my word, I did not know that you were so desperately romantic. And I must remind you, that the source of sentiment is not the weather, be it ever so fine, but a man’s own temperament and turn of mind. The most delicious weather will never make a matter of fact personage romantic, and the most disagreeable, can hardly expel the disposition from one, who is as deeply tinged with it, as you seem to be. But I never hear a man grumble about the alternate storms and sunshine of our springs, without wishing that he might receive a lesson in contentment, by a few months’ residence in a climate, where that vicissitude does not occur. Let him

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spend a spring in the North of Scotland, for instance, and he will think better, on his return, of the fine days he will find at home. Or let him pay a visit to Egypt, or Arabia, or Hindostan, and enjoy six months at a time of uninterrupted, brilliant sunshine, the same unchanged, blue sky; and if his eyes do not ache for a cloud, if he do not long for a New England storm, I will resign all pretensions to prophecy. You need not say, it is no relief to you to know that others suffer greater evils; it is not necessary to call either condition evil; I only ask your opinion of a climate entirely different, in the hope that you will prefer your own, after all.’

A. ‘Well, it is hardly worth while to reason with one, who is so sublimely philosophical as not to call storms evil. Is there anything, which you condescend to designate by that title? What think you of the scorching, withering heats of summer, succeeding, as they do, a Siberian winter? Is there anything uncomfortable to your equanimity in the sultry, damp heat of August? Are the parched ground and faded verdure of our rich soil, agreeable objects to your elevated vision? Are the tornadoes and lightning to be counted among the charms of our climate?’

B. ‘I do not contend that every sensation of our summer is delightful, but certainly, if any climate deserve the epithet, it is that of which we usually have a specimen in the month of June. The full, rich green of the trees and the hills; the transparent, calm, temperate atmosphere; the freshness of the air, which seems, as if new-made; the blue sky, contrasted here and there with a slowly moving, soft cloud, white as the

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light, form a combination of happy influences, which it would seem impossible to resist. A man must be the better, physically, morally, and intellectually, for such weather, or it is clearly his own fault and misfortune. This, too, is the season for the lovers of romance; it is only deferred a few weeks later, that it may be more perfect than in other climates. During several years, that I have passed in other countries, I have never seen anything to surpass, or even to rival, the June of New England. Not Italy herself can boast purer skies, or softer airs, and no where is the splendor of a sunset after a summer shower, so rich and magnificent as here. The freshness and elasticity of the atmosphere produce an invigorating and healthful effect, which combines with the beauty of everything around to cheer, to tranquilize, and elevate the mind.

‘Beautiful as is this season, it would pall upon our soon wearied senses, were it long continued; and we are therefore gently prepared for the more sober autumn, by the gradual fading of the summer tints of the fields and the sky. But this is only a change from one species of beauty to another. Our autumn has charms of a kind and degree, which hardly leave room for regret that the summer has passed. The coolness, so reviving after the continued heat of two or three months, the gorgeous hues of the changing woods, the animating influence of harvest; and last, not least, the cheerful, joyous, yet chastened patriarchal feast of New England, Thanksgiving; when young and old meet together, first in the house of God, and then around the social table; when separated friends and families are once more

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joined; when the gaiety of infancy, the vivacity of youth, the quiet cheerfulness of maturity, and the touching sympathy of old age, are so mingled and combined with the kind affections of all—these things render our autumn one of the most desired and favorite seasons of the year.’

A. ‘You indirectly confess a want of confidence in the position you endeavor to maintain, by strengthening it with considerations altogether extraneous. Thanksgiving does not belong to the climate; and besides, however agreeable a day it may be to you, my recollections are not of a nature to cause much sympathy with you. I remember well, I wish I could forget, how I used, when a boy, to stuff myself with plumb-pudding, trifle, and jelly; how stupid and sleepy I was in the afternoon and evening; how unwilling to go to bed, yet how utterly unable to keep myself awake. The miserable feelings of the next day are still fresh in my memory, as they have often been revived by what I have since suffered, from a more permanent evil than over-feeding. And now what pleasure can I take in the remembrance of a day, which serves only to remind me, that I am alone, without family, parent, or child? If I venture of a friend’s house, it is only to be stunned with the boisterous mirth of the children, or to be looked at with dislike for venturing to interrupt it.

‘But the character of the climate of this boasted season, is worthy of any language rather than that you apply to it. The beauty of decay, the charms of dampness and cold, are terms which I do not understand. Regret for the past, melancholy for the present, and gloomy anticipations

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for the coming season, are the true, genuine feelings which autumn is adapted to inspire. The grey sky, the leafless tree, the chilling blast, require the genius of optimism itself to convert them into beauties, and I envy the temperament which enables one to think of them with complacency. Upon a review of the whole year, looking fairly at the miseries I have hinted at, and adding to them the perpetual, sudden transitions, which take place at every season, the general unhealthiness and violence of the weather, you must confess, that our dear New England, however great may be her privileges in other respects, has nothing in her climate to reconcile one to a residence on her bleak, barren hills.’

B. ‘I had some hopes that I might satisfy you, that every part of our year has also its beauties and attractions. But if you can take only one view of the case, I must appeal from your present decision, to that which you will make, one year after Dr Halsted has cured your dyspepsia. By that time you may, perhaps, discover that I have asserted merely the truth; and you may also have found that our climate, so far from being unhealthy, is subject to no very serious epidemic, and with reasonable precaution and moderate exposure, a man may as probably enjoy health and prolonged life in New England, as in any inhabited part of the globe. The effect upon the character of the people, of the changes and variety of temperature we experience, is one of the advantages to be set off against your list of grievances. If the whole year were hot, as in more southern regions, the physical languor and inactivity it would cause would be as obvious, as it is in what are

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considered more luxurious climates. We should exhibit the same vivacity of temperament, and the same strong passions, as the inhabitants of the tropics. And if we were constantly exposed to the chilling influence of cold, the stupor of the Laplander and the Esquimaux would come over us. By the alternate recurrence of both, we are enabled to combine a certain degree of excitability with the forethought, and prudence, and sagacity, which are necessary to guard against the wants of winter. We are proverbially restless and enterprising, for which we may in some measure thank our changeful climate, and I should be much inclined to ascribe to the penetrating, vigorous quality of the atmosphere, some of the curiosity, quickness of apprehension, and acuteness, by which the Yankee may be detected, wherever he wanders. And, after all, I content, that as variety is one of the great charms of existence, it is a superiority, and not a defect, in our climate, that it is subject to so many and unexpected changes. I would not give up the alternation of heat and cold, storm and sunshine, for the perennial summer of the tropics, any more than I would exchange the hill and valley, the mountain and stream, which are so beautifully combined in many parts of the scenery of New England, for the pine plains of the South, or the illimitable prairie of the West. In short, I am willing to take the climate “for better for worse,” and most cordially to exclaim,

‘With all thy faults, I love thee still!” ’

[p. 133]



The Lark is the only land-bard found on the Island of Georgia, southeast of Cape Horn, the whole surface of which is constantly covered with snow and ice.—Malte Brun.

Lone minstrel of yon dreary isle

Which shares no genial ray,

Thou hast no discord in thy tone,

No winter in thy lay,

And sweetly doth thy warbled song

Flow from these sterile shores,

While the Atlantic’s billowy surge

In deafening thunder roars.

No kindred wing with thine is spread,

Those rugged cliffs to dare,

For e’en the undaunted Eagle shrinks

To build his eyrie there;

But thou, when stern and bitter blasts

Thy shivering bosom chill,

Up soaring in a flood of light,

Dost merge the pang of ill.

Thou, mid this prison-realm of ice

Thy callow young dost rear,

For well a parent’s heart may bide

Earth’s most inclement sphere,

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And when upon thy snow-wreathed nest

Thou hear’st their chirping strain,

Thou hast a wealth of love that makes

The tempest’s anger vain.

Man shall thy pupil be. Come near,

Thou of the lordly mind,

Whose will the untravelled universe,

In links of thought can bind,—

Yet still in solitude dost pine,

Mid desolation droop,

And shuddering at the frown of fate,

With sky-born pinion stoop:

Come! though Misfortune’s shaft severe

Each lingering hope destroys,

Till only some pale frost-flower stands

To mark thy buried joys,; [sic]

Come! though affliction’s wildest wrath

Thy secret soul hath stirred,

Still heavenward lift the lay of praise,

Like that blest Georgian bird.

[p. 135]



Touch thy harp! and wake once more

Strains that were so sweet of old,

Though their early hopes are o’er,

And their fallen shrine is cold,—

Cold—save where from memory falling,

Sparkle rays of other times,

Like the voice of kindred calling

One who faints in foreign climes.

Touch thy harp! and let its numbers

Tell of severed faith a tale,

Scenes for which time hath no slumbers,

For which memory hath no veil;

When the heart had fairy dreams,

And the world had fairy forms,

Youth still sheds its morning beams,

But the sky has known of storms.

Touch thy harp! there is a wreath

Woven at our parting hour,

Ivy twined with mountain heath

And the glorious passion flower;

Now it has nor breath nor bloom,

Time has left a withering stain,

But those strains of old resume,

And the flowers will bloom again.

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Touch thy harp! that brow has caught

One sweet look of other years,

One it wore ere sorrow sought,

And the cheek was stained with tears;

Deeper, holier springs of feeling

Since that hour have sparkled here,

Founts that waited grief’s unsealing,

Though, in joy, thou wert so dear!

Touch thy harp! there is a bower

By a bonny lowland lake,

Girt with many a forest flower,

Lovely for the loveliest’s sake;

There its sounds were wont to float

With the moonbeams o’er the hill,

Hushed is now each gentle note,

But the bower is blooming still.

Touch thy harp! the jewelled fingers

That along its chords now stray,

And the form that o’er it lingers

Decked in ‘Fashion’s fair array’—

These might tell a tale of gladness,

Save to one who knows thee well,

One who shared thy cup of sadness,

On whose path its mildew fell!

Touch thy harp! the wreath that trembles

In those curls of sunny brown,

Fair as fragile, it resembles

Hopes, whose setting sun went down

[p. 137]

Ere one leaf by time was shaken

From life’s green, unwithered bough,

Still their shrine is unforsaken,

Though those hopes are romance now.


Will you drink of this fountain and sorrow forget?

Has the past been so blest that you hesitate yet?

Can love when ’t is slighted still cherish a token,

Or hearts still forgive that unkindness has broken?

If you will not call woe and reproach on his name,

Forget him, for honor, for pride, and for shame;

And if passion resist every feeble endeavor,

Drink deep of the wave, and forget it forever.

I never will curse him, I never must bless,

Though if anger were greater, the grief would be less;

I have suffered—and much, ere I die, must bear yet;

But I cannot forgive, and I will not forget.

Man, crossed in affection, to pleasure may fly;

But woman, must cherish her wound till she die;—

She must smile in affliction, seem gay, yet repine,

Till her spirit is humbled and broken like mine.


[p. 138]



It was a fleeting passion, brief and vain,

As the mere shadow of an idle dream,

And bound me slightly, as a silken chain

Might bind the floating breeze or flowing stream;

It happened thus. I met her, called her dear,

And whispered loving nonsense in her ear.

It grew upon me, and in time I came

To think upon her often when away;

And yet more brightly burned the rising flame;

And while her image haunted me by day,

Oft to my nightly visions came the glance

That beamed so sweetly in the evening dance.

Thus it went on. It was no fault of mine,

That I should dearly love to sit and talk with her;

That in the moonlight or the bright star-shine,

I thought it very sweet indeed to walk with her;

And chat of half a million pretty things,

Which beauty’s presence to your tongue’s end brings.

I was not far from twenty, and the fairy,

Within some seven years, was about the same;

For the rhyme’s sake we ’ll call our beauty Mary,

Though I assure you that is not her name.

p. 139

Excuse my noting names and ages so,

But then I thought that you might like to know.

She loved me, often promised that her love

Should cling to me, while she should cling to life;

She called upon the burning stars above,

And whispered something of that sweet word, wife;

But what is endless love, except where cash is?

The fabled fruit of blooming, gilded ashes.

Do you like letter-reading? If you do,

I have some twenty dozen very pretty ones;

Gay, sober, rapturous, solemn, very true,

And very lying, stupid ones, and witty ones;

On gilt edged paper, blue perhaps, or pink,

And frequently in fancy colored ink.

And then the seals—a silver crescent moon,

With half a line of melting French or Latin;

The flower which has an eye as bright as noon,

And leaf as delicate as softest satin,

Called the Forget-me-not, but known as well

By twenty names I cannot stop to tell:

A leaf with half a dozen words, that mean

‘I only change in death;’ a gentle dove,

With an Italian motto. You have seen

Fifty such, if you ’ve ever been in love,

And had occasion to write billet-doux,

Or had them written in return to you.

p. 140

Do you like trinkets? I have chains and rings,

And ringlets of her own dark, glossy hair,

Lockets, and favors, and the little things,

That gentlemen in love are wont to wear;

Among the rest a pair of hearts—in token

Of her own faithlessness, one heart is broken!

Now who would think it? I am very quiet,

And not disposed to murmur at the sex,

And though I fancy, if disposed to try it,

I might tell tales that would be apt to vex

Some pert coquettes—yet, take them on the whole,

You very seldom find one with a soul.

It was a very charming autumn night,

When forest leaves had not yet changed their hue,

The many sentinel stars were shining bright

In the o’erarching sky’s unclouded blue;

And everything around us and above,

Breathed sweetest incense to our vows of love.

That autumn evening I remember yet,

It was so full of joy; and you may say,

That I had little reason to forget

Such an occasion to my dying day;

I parted from her at eleven or past,

And little thought that parting was our last.

I knew there was a rival in the case,

A very rich and very stupid fellow;

With bushy whiskers on an ugly face,

And a complexion not a little yellow;

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Six feet in height, and of a stately carriage,

And of an age to make a prudent marriage.

But that did not diminish my surprise,

When, on the very afternoon succeeding,

A black-sealed billet met my startled eyes,

Filled to the brim with entertaining reading;

It was, indeed, most singularly phrased,

And left me quite peculiarly amazed.

She was extremely sorry, on her soul,

Hoped I might still continue as a brother,

But circumstances, she could not control,

Forced her, alas! to marry with another;

And friends, regardless of her deep affection,

Had interfered to sever our connexion!

I am not of the family of Stoics,

And thought at first of nothing short of death;

And fell into the most insane heroics,

And raved till altogether out of breath;

Then took a little walk, to make my mind up

On some fit means my short career to wind up.

Philosophy, however, is the only

Balm for the evils of this changing life;

It soothes alike the married and the lonely,

Healing the ills of maiden or of wife;

Husbands and youthful bachelors may find, too,

A solace in it when they have a mind to.

p. 142

And so I called it one more bubble broken,

Another vision faded quite away,

Another trusted promise falsely broken,

Another star gone out, another ray

Of the proud sun extinguished, and so on,

Till all my words and similies were gone.

I left my lodgings in the morning stage,

And spent a few weeks in a southern city;

My mind returned to me before an age,

And some few faces once again seemed pretty;

I found some cheeks as delicate as roses,

Some cherry lips, bright eyes, and well cut noses.

And when again the city of my birth

Was gladdened with my presence, then again

The skies were blue and starry, and the earth

Covered with snow and frost-work; but the reign

Of love unchangeable, and burning passion,

Was soon forgotten in the rounds of fashion.

I often see her in the bright saloon,

And sometimes turn her in the gay cotillion;

But all in vain, for she must marry soon,

With her old, ugly, crabbed, half a million;

We meet like strangers, silent and unmoved,

Without a glance to tell that we have loved!

Mary! my love was centred all in thee;

With thought of thee my every hope was blended,

But, as the shadow flits along the sea,

My dream has vanished, and my vision ended;

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And when thy lover leads thee to the altar,

My cheek shall never blanch, nor my voice falter.

I hope that Heaven may crown thy life with joys;

I hope, sincerely as a friend or brother,

That many curly-headed girls and boys

May in due time appear to call thee mother;

I hope, besides, that all of them may be

More true in faith than thou hast been to me!

Farewell! my lip may wear a careless smile;

My words may breathe the very soul of lightness;

But the touched heart must deeply feel the while

That life has lost a portion of its brightness;

And woman’s love shall never be a chain

To bind me to its nothingness again!

[p. 144]



Let him who has never suffered from the horrors of bashfulness, pass by this article. He will find here nothing with which he can sympathise. But he who knows the exquisite misery of a temperament, whose very nature almost shuts him out from human sympathy, while it opens upon him the full sluices of laughter and ridicule, he only should read, for he only can understand, this chapter of my sufferings. It is but a specimen of my life. Ex uno disce omnes. To all others it will be only a sealed fountain; and, as they pass it by in the proud consciousness of the unspeakable blessing of impudence, let them thank heaven that its waters can never flow for them.

As my object is but to give a specimen of the numerous contre-temps that incessantly beset me, the moment I appear in ladies’ society, I shall merely speak of those that befel [sic] me at the only dinner in Paris, to which I was invited. Though laden with introductory letters, I never delivered another.

I pass by the various efforts I made, before I could muster sufficient resolution to deliver to Madame O., the one that procured for me, and a friend who came with me, the dinner in question. I pass by, too, my trepidation at the everlasting peal with which the bell

p. 145

responded to my timid touch. Scarcely could I distinguish the Parlez au Suisse, over the porter’s lodge, where probably Swiss never stood since its erection. I pass by, too, several minor blunders; such as asking the porter to direct us to ‘la chambre de Madame,’ meaning her drawing-room. Suffice it to say, that my less nervous companion, dictionary in hand, boldly led the way; that having traversed a goodly number of courts and stairs, we at length arrived safely at an ante-room, where stood a servant before a pair of folding doors, which he threw wide open, and announced us by a pair of names, that we should never have recognised as our own, had we met them elsewhere.

Already agitated, and perspiring with nervous trepidation, this ostentatious mode of entrance, so different from the republican simplicity to which I was accustomed, was a formidable trial to me. My cheeks tingled, my knees trembled, and my heart beat violently. I slunk silently behind my unabashed companion, and endeavored to gather sufficient courage, to conceal the tremor that shook me like an ague-fit. Madame O. rose to receive us; and, as we approached her, it became necessary that I should deploye from behind my friend. But in so doing, I did not notice a large pet dog, who, comfortably stretched on a red velvet cushion, lay napping beside his mistress, directly in my path. On I went, anxious only to get through the introductory ceremonies as soon as possible, and then to ensconce myself in some remote corner, where,

‘The world forgetting, by the world forgot,’

I might escape all notice or remark. But truly says

p. 146

the French proverb, ‘L’homme se propose, mais c’est le bon Dieu qui dispose;’ and every unfortunate were his dispositions for my intention. As I hastened on, all glowing with confusion, and quaking with fright, just as I began my bow, I stumbled over the detested pet, and was suddenly precipitated head foremost, like an ancient battering ram, into the lap of Miss P.; overturning episodically a countryman of my own, who was seated next her, balancing his chair on its two hind legs. To save himself, he instinctively grasped the back of her chair; and his weight at her rear, acting at the same moment that I was hurled at her in front, decided all hesitation, and over we all rolled together, the chairs uppermost. The vile cur, who had been at the bottom of the whole mischief, seized me by the leg, and, receiving a hearty kick in return, added his howling to the chorus of dismay that now filled the apartment. Happily, the female sufferer in this mélée engrossed all the sympathy and attention of the company; but I well knew, that in the short minute that had elapsed since I entered the apartment, I had made three mortal enemies, of a man, a dog, and a lady.

For my own part, as soon as I had extricated myself from the terrible crash, covered with confusion and shame, I retreated into the most obscure corner of the room, where I sought to hide myself and my overwhelming mortification, behind the guests who were lounging about there.

The call to dinner served as a relief to my embarrassment, for I hoped that that would engross every one’s attention, which now, I could not help feeling, must be

p. 147

occupied with my awkwardness. Following the company into the dining-room, I saw that each plate contained a card, on which was written the name of the guest who was to occupy the place thus designated. Every one seemed to find his own place by magic; but for me, four or five times did I make the circuit of the table, looking in vain for mine. Indeed, I know not but I might have continued running about unnoticed among the crowd of servants, all dinner-time, had not Madame O.’s eye at length detected me, as I circled round and round, with an hysterically increasing rapidity, my eyes dim with confusion, and a clammy perspiration bedewing every pore of my body; and I at length sunk into my seat, when found, fairly exhausted with mortification and shame. Here, again, I found myself embarrassed with my hat, which, having observed that all retained in their hands in the drawing-room, I still grasped with nervous pertinacity. This I at length disposed of, as I thought at the time, with wonderful ingenuity; for I hung it by the brim between my knees, spreading my handkerchief over its open cavity.

My seat was next to a young lady, whom of course I was expected to entertain. I entertain! Wofully, already, had I entertained the company but I found myself infinitely better adapted to entertain a company en masse, than singulatim.

The ordinary routine of a French dinner now commenced. Soup and bouillie, fish and fowl, and flesh; entremets and hors d ’œvres, while a regular series of servants appeared each instant at our elbows, inviting us to partake of a thousand different dishes, and as many

p. 148

different kinds of wine, all under strings of names which I no more understood, than I understood their composition, or than they did my gaucheries. Resolute to avoid all further opportunities for displaying my predominant trait, I sat in the most obstinate silence, saying ‘oui’ to everything that was offered me, and eating with most devoted application, till in an evil hour, my fair neighbor, weary of my taciturnity and her own, at length herself began a conversation, by inquiring how I was pleased with the opera. The question was put at an unlucky moment. I was just raising a large morsel of potato to my mouth; and in order to reply as quickly as possible, I hastily thrust it in, intending to swallow it as hastily. Heavens! It was hot as burning lava. What could I do? The lady’s eyes were fixed on me, waiting a reply to her question. But my mouth was in flames. In vain I rolled the burning morsel hither and thither, rocking my head from side to side, while my eyes, which involuntarily I had fixed on her, were straining from their sockets. She regarded my grimaces, of the cause of which I believe she was ignorant, with an expression of amazement and surprise, at which I can laugh now when I think of it.

‘Monsieur est malade?’ at length she gently, and in an anxious tone, inquired. I could bear no more. My mouth was flayed with the burning mass, and smarting with intolerable pain; so, quietly abandoning the point, I opened it to its utmost, and out dropped the infernal firebrand upon my plate. Not the slightest tendency to a smile, visibly ruffled the imperturbable politeness of the lady. She soothingly condoled with me on my

p. 149

misfortune, then gradually led the conversation to a variety of topics; till, exerting the magic influence that true politeness always exercises, I began to forget even my own blunders. Gradually, my cheeks burned less painfully, and I could even join in the conversation without the fear that every word I uttered shared the fate of every action I attempted. I even ventured to hope, nay, to congratulate myself, that the catalogue of my calamities was completed for the day.

‘Let no one call himself happy before death,’ said Solon; and he said wisely. The ides of March were not yet over. Before us stood a dish of cauliflower, nicely done in butter. This I naturally enough took for a custard-pudding, which it sufficiently resembled. Unfortunately, my vocabulary was not yet extensive enough to embrace all the technicalities of the table; and when my fair neighbor inquired if I were fond of chou-fleur, I verily took it to be the French for custard-pudding; and so high was my panegyric of it, that my plate was soon bountifully laden with it. Alas! one single mouthful was enough to dispel my illusion. Would to heaven that the chou-fleur had vanished along with it. But that remained bodily; and, as I gazed despondingly at the huge mass, that loomed up almost as large, and as burning, as Vesuvius, my heart died within me. Ashamed to confess my mistake, though I could almost as readily have swallowed an equal quantity of soft soap, I struggled manfully on against the diabolical compound. I endeavored to sap the mountainous heap at its base; and shutting my eyes and opening my mouth, to inhume as large masses as I

p. 150

could without stopping to taste it. But my stomach soon began, intelligibly enough, to intimate its intention to admit no more of this nauseous stranger beneath its roof, if not even of expelling that which had already gained unwelcome admittance.

The seriousness of the task I had undertaken, and the resolution necessary to execute it, had given an earnestness and rapidity to my exertions, which appetite would not have inspired; when my plate, having somehow got over the edge of the table, upon my leaning forward, tilted up, and down slid the disgusting mass into my lap. My handkerchief, unable to bear so weighty a load, bent under it in its turn; and a great proportion of it was thus safely deposited in my hat. The plate instantly righted itself, as I raised my person; and as I glanced my eye round the table, and saw that no one had noticed my disaster, I inwardly congratulated myself that the nauseous deception was so happily disposed of. Resolving not to be detected, I instantly rolled my handkerchief together with all its remaining contents, and whipped it into my pocket.

The dinner table was at length deserted for the drawing room, where coffee and liqueurs were served round. Meantime, I had sought out what I considered a safe hiding-place for my hat, beneath a chair in the dining room, for I dared not carry it longer in my hand; having first thrown a morsel of paper into the crown, to hide the cauliflower from view, should any one chance, in seeking for his own hat, to look into mine.

On my return to the drawing room, I chanced to be again seated by the lady, by whom I had sat at dinner.

p. 151

Our conversation was naturally resumed; and we were in the midst of an animated discussion, when a huge spider was seen running, like a race horse, up her arm.

‘Take it off—take it off!’ she ejaculated, in a terrified tone.

I was always afraid of spiders; so to avoid touching him with my hand, I caught my handkerchief from my pocket, and clapped it at once upon the miscreant, who was already mounting over her temple with rapid strides. Gracious Heaven! I had forgotten the cauliflower; which now plastered over her face like an emollient poultice, fairly killing the spider, and blinding an eye of the lady; while little streamlets of soft butter, glided gently down her beautiful neck and bosom.

‘Mon Dieu! mon Dieu!’ exclaimed the astonished fair.

‘Mon Dieu!’ was echoed from every mouth.

‘Have you cut your head?’ inquired one.

‘Non! non!—L ’araignée—l ’araignée. Monsieur vient d ’écraser l ’araignée.’

‘Quelle quantité d ’entrailles!’ ejaculated an astonished Frenchman, unconsciously, to himself.

Well might he be astonished. The spray of the execrable vegetable, had spattered her dress from head to foot. For myself, the moment the accident occurred, I had mechanically returned my handkerchief to my pocket; but its contents remained.

‘What a monster it must have been;’ observed a young lady, as she helped to relieve my victim from her cruel situation. ‘I declare I should think he had been living on cauliflower.

At that moment, I felt someone touch me; and turning, I saw my companion who had come with me.

p. 152

‘Look at your pantaloons,’ he whispered.

Already half dead with confusion at the disaster I had caused, I cast my eyes upon my once white dress, and saw at a glance the horrible extent of my dilemma. I had been sitting upon the fated pocket, and had crushed out the liquid butter, and the soft paste-like vegetable, which had daubed and dripped down them, till it seemed as if I were actually dissolving in my pantaloons.

Darting from the spot, I sprang to the place where I had left my hat; but before I could reach it, a sudden storm of wrath was heard at the door.

‘Sacr-r-r-e! béte! Sacr-r-re[!] Sacr-r-r-r-re!’ the r in the last syllable being made to roll like a watchman’s rattle, mingled with another epithet and name, that an angry Frenchman never spares, was heard rising like a fierce tempest without the door. Suddenly there was a pause—a gurgling sound, as of one swallowing involuntarily—and the storm of wrath again broke out with redoubled fury. I seized my hat, and opened the door, and the whole matter was at once explained. We had exchanged hats; and there he stood, the soft cauliflower gushing down his cheeks, blinding his eyes, filling his mouth, hair, mustachios, ears, and whiskers. Never shall I forget that spectacle. There he stood astride, like the colossus, and stooping gently forward, his eyes forcibly closed, his arms held drooping out from his body, and dripping cauliflower and butter at every pore.

I staid no longer; but, retaining his hat, I rushed from the house, jumped into a fiácre, and arrived safely at home; heartily resolving, that to my last hour, I would never again deliver a letter of introduction.


a white woman helps a white child sit on a large dog
Drawn by Deveria.      Engraved by J. H. Hills.
Published by Gray Bowen, Boston.

McKinzie Pr.

[p. 153]



‘Oh! sister, he is so swift and tall,

Though I want the ride, he will spoil it all,

For, when he sets out, he will let me fall,

And give me a bump, I know!

Mamma, what was it I heard you say

About the world’s hobbies, the other day,

How some would get on, and gallop away,

To end with an overthrow?’

‘I said, little prattler, the world was a race,

That many would mount with a smile on the face,

And ride to their ruin, or fall in disgrace:

That he who was deaf to fear,

And did not look out for a rein or a guide,

His courser might cast on the highway side,

In the mud, rocks, and brambles, to end his ride,

Perchance, with a sigh and a tear!’

‘Oh! sister, sister! I fear to try,

For Brutus’ back is so ’live and high!

It creeps at my touch—and he winks his eye—

I ’m sure he ’s going to jump!

Come! dear mother, tell us some more

About the world’s ride, as you did before,

Who helped it up—and all how it bore

The fall, and got over the bump!’

[p. 154]



Last leaf of the withered bough!

When autumn’s breath o’er all the rest has flown,

And left thee thus alone,

How drear thou look’st, fluttering so bleak and high

Beneath the winter sky!

Pray to the warring winds

To snatch thee quickly from the tall tree’s crest,

And lay thy form at rest

With thy sered fellows, who were lately seen

Drest in their robes of green.

Cry to the rain or snow,

To beat thee from the branch, where, last of all

Thy race designed to fall,

Thou hang’st, as when spring first thy beauty gave

In verdant pride to wave.

Oh! who would still remain

In power, in grandeur, riches, pomp, or pride,

When loved ones from his side,

Like the dry leaves on autumn’s fading tree,

Have dropt, as they from thee?

p. 155

‘Better be with the dead,’

Than live on glory’s pinnacle alone,

Or hold earth’s proudest throne

Unshared—with none to make the desert day

Glide blissfully away.

[p. 156]



’T was a festival in Gaza. Pealing out

From mid her countless multitudes, were heard

The shout of laughter, and the voice of mirth,

And sounds of revelry. Resounding there

From many a rosy bower, came up the sound

Of the voluptuous dance. The merry song

Mingled with notes of sackbut and of harp—

And fair-haired girls, with tresses wreathed with flowers,

Flitted like fairies through the festive bands—

And warriors, spearless, shieldless, trod the streets,

Whose helmet was a rosy coronal.

From all her thousand altars, there arose

The spicy breath of incense. There were seen,

Through her long streets and marble palaces,

From porphyry pillar, and from swelling dome,

Gay banners flouting at the noon-day sun,

As the light sea-breeze floated o’er her towers.

The hammer and the anvil ceased their clang.

The nut-brown peasant laid aside the spade,

And toil forgot its labor in its joy.

At times, in martial and exulting strains,

Filling the breathing spaces of their mirth,

The timbrel and the trumpet shook the air

With their triumphant notes. The sentinel

p. 157

At her recovered gates stood wondering,

As leaning on his spear, he mutely gazed

At the dense multitude’s continuous stream

That poured into the city, as ’t would leave

All Canaan’s far-stretched plains a solitude.

At every pause in that high revelry,

That stirred the lofty city, till it shook

Beneath a people’s triumph, hymns were heard

Echoed in every note, from every tongue—

In women’s shrill, and warrior’s deeper tones,

And children’s tiny voices—hymns of praise;

‘Praise to the mighty Dagon—praise to him

Who hath o’ercome the slayer of our hosts,

And hath delivered him a captive here,

To us his chosen people—praise to God’

The sultry noon was over. Men waxed warm

In the tumultuous banquet; and the bright

And sparkling wave that o’er the goblet brimmed,

Had done its faithful work; and proud hearts swelled

With more than wonted pride; and there were heard

Voices that called to ‘bring the captive forth,

Up to the temple of our nation’s god,

That he may make us sport’ At once the cry

Was caught and echoed by a thousand tongues

Through the wide city. ‘Bring the captive forth.’

The cry was answered. Then was seen the crowd

Hurrying towards the shrine. All Gaza’s sons,

Matrons, and girls, and shouting children—all,

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She held of gay, and brave, and beautiful,

Darkened the mighty temple’s crowded way.

He stood before the idol—but saw not

The burning diamond blaze that round him flashed,

The jasper pillars, nor the porphyry dome,

Nor that vast, countless, boundless, multitude.

Above—around—where’er the eye could reach—

Darkening the air, by thousands might be seen

Clusters of heads, eagerly hanging forth

From roof, and archway, cornice, door, and dome,

And children raised on stronger arms aloft,

To gaze upon the fallen conqueror.

Silent and patient that grief-stricken man

Stood, with his folded arms across his broad

And ample chest, beside the temple’s pillars.

His once proud head was bowed upon his breast,

And showed the shaven crown on which anew

His raven locks were springing. Thus he stood,

While the insulting Philistines reviled,

And ‘made them sport,’ to see such manliness

So bowed before their god.

But lo! a change—

Like lightning flashing through a stormy sky,

Kindles the strong man’s brow. Throughout the crowd

A breathing silence stole, as half in awe,

And half in mockery, they gazed upon him.

In wonder that vast multitude was dumb.

By its own awe its mockery was rebuked.

And now once more the hero stood erect—

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Proudly erect—and drew his huge form up,

And flung his brawny arms aloft to heaven,

And raised his sightless eyeballs to his God.

Then on that breathing silence stole a voice,

Deep as the earthquake’s; but so low, so calm,

Fearfully calm were those unearthly tones,

In almost whispering accents uttered forth,

Yet heard throughout the temple’s farthest verge,

That e’en by terror silence seemed rebuked.

‘Oh God! my God! remember me, I pray.

This once—only this once restore my strength,

And grand me vengeance on my enemies

For my lost sight—then let me die with them.’

Whence this wild burst of horror and despair?

What can have changed those shouts of mockery,

To frantic yells and shrieks of agony?

Lo! he hath bowed himself, and placed his neck

Between the pillars that support the house,

A shoulder to each pillar—it is he,

Who on those very shoulders heaved away,

As ’t were an infant’s plaything, the huge gate

Of the proud city—and the temple rocked

Hither and thither, swayed beneath the mass,

The living, ponderous mass that heaped it o’er.

The roof alone, pressed by the mighty weight

Of thrice a thousand men, now to and fro,

Reeled like a drunkard. Then there burst on high

The mingled din of shouts, and shrieks, and groans,

Women’s shrill screams, and childhood’s helpless cries,

And the young wailing infant’s feebler note,

p. 160

And manhood’s deep-toned curse, and frantic calls

of ‘mother,’ ‘sister,’ ‘wife;’ the crash and din

Of cracking timbers, and dense clouds of dust,

And hands that clasped in vain for hands they loved,

And grappled those they loved not, as they sunk

In the death gripe, [sic] clasped to their mortal foe.

Th’ affrighted child clung to its parent’s robes,

And, with a piteous cry of ‘mother,’ died.

The lover flung his arms around the waist

Of his loved mistress, and expired with her.

The mother grasped, in agony, the child

She bore in agony, and perished with it.

Some seized the battlements they once had thought

Firm as the mountains—and they fell with them;

And all sunk headlong with the sinking mass

Of broken beams, and tumbling pillars, down,

With crashing stones, upon the idol god,

The hero, and the idolatrous multitude,

And all were buried in one common grave.

A deep, black cloud of dust rolled o’er the spot,

Wrapping them in, as with a funeral pall.

’T is silent now in Gaza. Through her streets,

Hushed is the note of revelry, and dumb

All but the voice of woe. The dance hath ceased.

The pipe and harp are mute, where one short hour,

And all was life, and merriment, and joy.

The festive banners cease to flap the air.

Mourning and woe in Gaza! God hath gone

Into her homes, and places, and shrines,

And smit the idol, and the worshipper.

Dreadful art thou, oh God!

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One of the few incidents of Indian warfare, naturally susceptible of the moonlight of romance, was that expedition, undertaken, for the defence of the frontiers, in the year 1725, which resulted in the well-remembered ‘Lovell’s Fight.’ Imagination, by casting certain circumstances judiciously into the shade, may see much to admire in the heroism of a little band, who gave battle to twice their number in the heart of the enemy’s country. The open bravery displayed by both parties was in accordance with civilized ideas of valor, and chivalry itself might not blush to record the deeds of one or two individuals. The battle, though so fatal to those who fought, was not unfortunate in its consequences to the country; for it broke the strength of a tribe, and conduced to the peace which subsisted during several ensuing years. History and tradition are unusually minute in their memorials of this affair; and the captain of a scouting party of frontier-men has acquired as actual a military renown, as many a victorious leader of thousands. Some of the incidents contained in the following pages will be recognised, notwithstanding the substitution of fictitious names, by such as have heard, from old men’s lips, the fate of the few combatants who were in a condition to retreat, after ‘Lovell’s Fight.’

* * * * *

The early sunbeams hovered cheerfully upon the tree-tops, beneath which two weary and wounded men

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had stretched their limbs the night before. Their bed of withered oak leaves was strewn upon the small level space, at the foot of a rock, situated near the summit of one of the gentle swells, by which the face of the country is there diversified. The mass of granite, rearing its smooth, flat surface, fifteen or twenty feet above their heads, was not unlike a gigantic grave-stone, upon which the veins seemed to form an inscription in forgotten characters. On a tract of several acres around this rock, oaks and other hard-wood trees had supplied the place of the pines, which were the usual growth of the land; and a young and vigorous sapling stood close beside the travellers.

The severe wound of the elder man had probably deprived him of sleep; for, so soon as the first ray of sunshine rested on the top of the highest tree, he reared himself painfully from his recumbent posture, and sat erect. The deep lines of his countenance, and the scattered grey of his hair, marked him as past the middle age; but his muscular frame would, but for the effects of his wound, have been as capable of sustaining fatigue, as in the early vigor of life. Languor and exhaustion now sat upon his haggard features, and the despairing glance which he sent forward through the depths of the forest, proved his own conviction that his pilgrimage was at an end. He next turned his eyes to the companion, who reclined by his side. The youth, for he had scarcely attained the years of manhood, lay, with his head upon his arm, in the embrace of an unquiet sleep, which a thrill of pain from his wounds seemed each moment on the point of breaking. His right hand

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grasped a musket, and, to judge from the violent action of his features, his slumbers were bringing back a vision of the conflict, of which he was one of the few survivors. A shout,—deep and loud to his dreaming fancy,—found its way in an imperfect murmur to his lips, and, starting even at the slight sound of his own voice, he suddenly awoke. The first act of reviving recollection, was to make anxious inquiries respecting the condition of his wounded fellow traveller. The latter shook his head.

‘Reuben, my boy,’ said he, ‘this rock, beneath which we sit, will serve for an old hunter’s grave-stone. There is many and many a long mile of howling wilderness before us yet; nor would it avail me anything, if the smoke of my own chimney were but on the other side of that swell of land. The Indian bullet was deadlier than I thought.’

‘You are weary with our three days’ travel,’ replied the youth, ‘and a little longer rest will recruit you. Sit you here, while I search the woods for the herbs and roots, that must be our sustenance; and having eaten, you shall lean on me, and we will turn our faces homeward. I doubt not, that, with my help, you can attain to some one of the frontier garrisons.’

‘There is not two days’ life in me, Reuben,’ said the other, calmly, ‘and I will not longer burthen you with my useless body, when you can scarcely support your own. Your wounds are deep, and your strength is failing fast; yet, if you hasten onward alone, you may be preserved. For me there is no hope; and I will await death here.’

‘If it must be so, I will remain and watch by you,’ said Reuben, resolutely.

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‘No, my son, no,’ rejoined his companion. ‘Let the wish of a dying man have weight with you; give me one grasp of your hand, and get you hence. Think you that my last moments will be eased by the thought, that I leave you to die a more lingering death? I have loved you like a father, Reuben, and, at a time like this, I should have something of a father’s authority. I charge you to be gone, that I may die in peace.’

‘And because you have been a father to me, should I therefore leave you to perish, and to lie unburied in the wilderness?’ exclaimed the youth. ‘No; if your end be in truth approaching, I will watch by you, and receive your parting words. I will dig a grave here by the rock, in which, if my weakness overcome me, we will rest together; or, if Heaven gives me strength, I will seek my way home.’

‘In the cities, and wherever men dwell,’ replied the other, ‘they bury their dead in the earth; they hide them from the sight of the living; but here, where no step may pass, perhaps for a hundred years, wherefore should I not rest beneath the open sky, covered only by the oak-leaves, when the autumn winds shall strew them? And for a monument, here is this grey rock, on which my dying hand shall carve the name of Roger Malvin; and the traveller in days to come will know, that here sleeps a hunter and a warrior. Tarry not, then, for a folly like this, but hasten away, if not for your own sake, for hers who will else be desolate.’

Malvin spoke the last few words in a faultering [sic] voice, and their effect upon his companion was strongly visible. They reminded him that there were other, and less

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questionable duties, than that of sharing the fate of a man whom his death could not benefit. Nor can it be affirmed that no selfish feeling strove to enter Reuben’s heart, though the consciousness made him more earnestly resist his companion’s entreaties.

‘How terrible, to wait the slow approach of death, in this solitude!’ exclaimed he. ‘A brave man does not shrink in the battle, and, when friends stand round the bed, even women may die composedly; but here’—

‘I shall not shrink, even here, Reuben Bourne;’ interrupted Malvin, ‘I am a man of no weak heart; and, if I were, there is a surer support than that of earthly friends. You are young, and life is dear to you. Your last moments will need comfort far more than mine; and when you have laid me in the earth, and are alone, and night is settling on the forest, you will feel all the bitterness of the death that may now be escaped. But I will urge no selfish motive to your generous nature. Leave me for my sake; that, having said a prayer for your safety, I may have space to settle my account, undisturbed by worldly sorrows.’

‘And your daughter! How shall I dare to meet her eye?’ exclaimed Reuben. ‘She will ask the fate of her father, whose life I vowed to defend with my own. Must I tell her, that he travelled three days’ march with me from the field of battle, and that then I left him to perish in the wilderness? Were it not better to lie down and die by your side, than to return safe, and say this to Dorcas?’

‘Tell my daughter,’ said Roger Malvin, ‘that, though yourself sore wounded, and weak, and weary, you led

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my tottering footsteps many a mile, and left me only at my earnest entreaty, because I would not have your blood upon my soul. Tell her, that through pain and danger you were faithful, and that, if your life-blood could have saved me, it would have flowed to its last drop. And tell her, that you will be something dearer than a father, and that my blessing is with you both, and that my dying eyes can see a long and pleasant path, in which you will journey together.’

As Malvin spoke, he almost raised himself from the ground, and the energy of his concluding words seemed to fill the wild and lonely forest with a vision of happiness. But when he sank exhausted upon his bed of oak-leaves, the light, which had kindled in Reuben’s eye, was quenched. He felt as if it were both sin and folly to think of happiness at such a moment. His companion watched his changing countenance, and sought, with generous act, to wile him to his own good.

‘Perhaps I deceive myself in regard to the time I have to live,’ he resumed. ‘It may be, that, with speedy assistance, I might recover my wound. The foremost fugitives must, ere this, have carried tidings of our fatal battle to the frontiers, and parties will be out to succour those in like condition with ourselves. Should you meet one of these, and guide them hither, who can tell but that I may sit by my own fireside again?’

A mournful smile strayed across the features of the dying man, as he insinuated that unfounded hope; which, however, was not without its effect on Reuben. No merely selfish motive, nor even the desolate con-

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dition of Dorcas, could have induced him to desert his companion, at such a moment. But his wishes seized upon the thought, that Malvin’s life might be preserved, and his sanguine nature heightened, almost to certainty, the remote possibility of procuring human aid.

‘Surely there is reason, weighty reason, to hope that friends are not far distant;’ he said, half aloud. ‘There fled one coward, unwounded, in the beginning of the fight, and most probably he made good speed. Every true man on the frontier would shoulder his musket, at the news; and though no party may range so far into the woods as this, I shall perhaps encounter them in one day’s march. Counsel me faithfully,’ he added, turning to Malvin, in distrust of his own motives. ‘Were your situation mine, would you desert me while life remained?’

‘It is now twenty years,’ replied Roger Malvin, sighing, however, as he secretly acknowledged the wide dissimilarity between the two cases,—‘it is now twenty years, since I escaped, with one dear friend, from Indian captivity, near Montreal. We journeyed many days through the woods, till at length, overcome with hunger and weariness, my friend lay down, and besought me to leave him; for he knew, that, if I remained, we both must perish. And, with but little hope of obtaining succour, I heaped a pillow of dry leaves beneath his head, and hastened on.’

‘And did you return in time to save him?’ asked Reuben, hanging on Malvin’s words, as if they were to be prophetic of his own success.

‘I did,’ answered the other, ‘I came upon the camp of a hunting party, before sunset of the same day. I

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guided them to the spot where my comrade was expecting death; and he is now a hale and hearty man, upon his own farm, far within the frontiers, while I lie wounded here, in the depths of the wilderness.’

This example, powerful in effecting Reuben’s decision, was aided, unconsciously to himself, by the hidden strength of many another motive. Roger Malvin perceived that the victory was nearly won.

‘Now go, my son, and Heaven prosper you!’ he said. ‘Turn not back with our friends, when you meet them, lest your wounds and weariness overcome you; but send hitherward two or three, that may be spared, to search for me. And believe me, Reuben, my heart will be lighter with every step you take towards home.’ yet there was perhaps a change, both in his countenance and voice, as he spoke thus; for, after all, it was a ghastly fate, to be left expiring in the wilderness.

Reuben Bourne, but half convinced that he was acting rightly, at length raised himself from the ground, and prepared for his departure. And first, though contrary to Malvin’s wishes, he collected a stock of roots and herbs, which had been their only food during the last two days. This useless supply he placed within reach of the dying man, for whom, also, he swept together a fresh bed of dry oak-leaves. Then, climbing to the summit of the rock, which on one side was rough and broken, he bent the oak-sapling downwards, and bound his handkerchief to the topmost branch. This precaution was not unnecessary, to direct any who might come in search of Malvin; for every part of the rock, except its broad, smooth front, was concealed, at a little distance, by

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the dense undergrowth of the forest. The handkerchief had been the bandage of a wound upon Reuben’s arm; and, as he bound it to the tree, he vowed, by the blood that stained it, that he would return, either to save his companion’s life, or to lay his body in the grave. he then descended, and stood, with downcast eyes, to receive Roger Malvin’s parting words.

The experience of the latter suggested much and minute advice, respecting the youth’s journey through the trackless forest. Upon this subject he spoke with calm earnestness, as if he were sending Reuben to the battle or the chase, while he himself remained secure at home; and not as if the human countenance, that was about to leave him, were the last he would ever behold. But his firmness was shaken, before he concluded.

‘Carry my blessing to Dorcas, and say that my last prayer shall be for her and you. Bid her have no hard thoughts because you left me here’—Reuben’s heart smote him—‘for that your life would not have weighed with you, if its sacrifice could have done me good. She will marry you, after she has mourned a little while for her father; and Heaven grant you long and happy days! and may your children’s children stand round your death-bed! And, Reuben,’ added he, as the weakness of mortality made its way at last, ‘return, when your wounds are healed and your weariness refreshed, return to this wild rock, and lay my bones in the grave, and say a prayer over them.’

An almost superstitious regard, arising perhaps from the customs fo the Indians, whose war was with the dead, as well as the living, was paid by the frontier inhabitants

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to the rites of sepulture; and there are many instances of the sacrifice of life in the attempt to bury those who had fallen by the ‘sword of the wilderness.’ Reuben, therefore, felt the full importance of the promise, which he most solemnly made, to return, and perform Roger Malvin’s obsequies. It was remarkable, that the latter, speaking his whole heart in his parting words, no longer endeavored to persuade the youth, that even the speediest succour might avail to the preservation of his life. Reuben was internally convinced, that he should see Malvin’s living face no more. His generous nature would fain have delayed him, at whatever risk, till the dying scene were past; but the desire of existence, and the hope of happiness had strengthened in his heart, and he was unable to resist them.

‘It is enough,’ said Roger Malvin, having listened to Reuben’s promise. ‘Go, and God speed you!’

The youth pressed his hand in silence, turned, and was departing. His slow and faultering steps, however, had borne him but a little way, before Malvin’s voice recalled him.

‘Reuben, Reuben,’ said he, faintly; and Reuben returned and kentl down by the dying man.

‘Raise me, and let me lean against the rock,’ was his last request. ‘My face will be turned towards home, and I shall see you a moment longer, as you pass among the trees.’

Reuben, having made the desired alteration in his companion’s posture, again began his solitary pilgrimage. he walked more hastily at first, than was consistent with his strength; for a sort of guilty feeling, which

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sometimes torments men in their most justifiable acts, caused him to seek concealment from malvin’s eyes. But, after he had trodden far upon the rustling forest-leaves, he crept back, impelled by a wild and painful curiosity, and, sheltered by the earthy roots of an uptorn tree, gazed earnestly at the desolate man. The morning sun was unclouded, and the trees and shrubs imbibed the sweet air of the month of May; yet there seemed a gloom on Nature’s face, as if she sympathized with mortal pain and sorrow. Roger Malvin’s hands were uplifted in a fervent prayer, some of the words of which stole through the stillness of the woods, and entered Reuben’s heart, torturing it with an unutterable pang. They were the broken accents of a petition for his own happiness and that of Dorcas; and, as the youth listened, conscience, or something in its similitude, pleaded strongly with him to return, and lie down again by the rock. He felt how hard was the doom of the kind and generous being whom he had deserted in his extremity. Death would come, like the slow approach of a corpse, stealing gradually towards him through the forest, and showing its ghastly and motionless features from behind a nearer, and yet a nearer tree. But such must have been Reuben’s own fate, had he tarried another sunset; and who shall impute blame to him, if he shrank from so useless a sacrifice? As he gave a parting look, a breeze waved the little banner upon the sapling-oak, and reminded Reuben of his vow.

* * * * *

Many circumstances contributed to retard the wounded traveller, in his way to the frontiers. On the second day,

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the clouds, gathering densely over the sky, precluded the possibility of regulating his course by the position of the sun; and he knew not but that every effort of his almost exhausted strength, was removing him farther from the home he sought. His scanty sustenance was supplied by the berries, and other spontaneous products of the forest. Herds of deer, it is true, sometimes bounded past him, and partridges frequently whirred up before his footsteps; but his ammunition had been expended in the fight, and he had no means of slaying them. His wounds, irritated by the constant exertion in which lay the only hope of life, wore away his strength, and at intervals confused his reason. But, even in the wanderings of intellect, Reuben’s young heart clung strongly to existence, and it was only through absolute incapacity of motion, that he at last sank down beneath a tree, compelled there to await death. In this situation he was discovered by a party, who, upon the first intelligence of the fight, had been despatched to thee relief of the survivors. They conveyed him to the nearest settlement, which chanced to be that of his own residence.

Dorcas, in the simplicity of the olden time, watched by the bed-side of her wounded lover, and administered all those comforts, that are in the sole gift of woman’s heart and hand. During several days, Reuben’s recollection strayed drowsily among the perils and hardships through which he had passed, and he was incapable of returning definite answers to the inquiries, with which many were eager to harass him. No authentic particulars of the battle had yet been circulated; nor could mothers, wives,

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and children tell, whether their loved ones were detained by captivity, or by the stronger chain of death. Dorcas nourished her apprehensions in silence, till one afternoon, when Reuben awoke from an unquiet sleep, and seemed to recognise her, more perfectly than at any previous time. She saw that his intellect had become composed, and she could no longer restrain her filial anxiety.

‘My father, Reuben?’ she began; but the change in her lover’s countenance made her pause.

The youth shrank, as if with a bitter pain, and the blood gushed vividly into his wan and hollow cheeks. his first impulse was to cover his face; but, apparently with a desperate effort, he half raised himself, and spoke vehemently, defending himself against an imaginary accusation.

‘Your father was sore wounded in the battle, Dorcas, and he bade me not burthen myself with him, but only to lead him to the lake-side, that he might quench his thirst and die. But I would not desert the old man in his extremity, and, though bleeding myself, I supported him; I gave him half my strength, and led him away with me. For three days we journeyed on together, and your father was sustained beyond my hopes; but, awaking at sunrise on the fourth day, I found him faint and exhausted,—he was unable to proceed,—his life had ebbed away fast,—and’—

‘He died!’ exclaimed Dorcas, faintly.

Reuben felt it impossible to acknowledge, that his selfish love of life had hurried him away, before her father’s fate was decided; he spoke not; he only bowed his head; and, between shame and exhaustion, sank back

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and hid his face in the pillow. Dorcas wept, when her fears were thus confirmed; but the shock, as it had been long anticipated, was on that account the less violent.

‘You dug a grave for my poor father, in the wilderness, Reuben?’ was the question by which her filial piety manifested itself.

‘My hands were weak, but I did what I could,’ replied the youth in a smothered tone. ‘There stands a noble tomb-stone above his head, and I would to Heaven I slept as soundly as he!’

Dorcas, perceiving the wildness of his latter words, inquired no farther at that time; but her heart found ease in the thought, that Roger Malvin had not lacked such funeral rites as it was possible to bestow. The tale of Reuben’s courage and fidelity lost nothing, when she communicated it to her friends; and the poor youth, tottering from his sick chamber to breathe the sunny air, experienced from every tongue the miserable and humiliating torture of unmerited praise. Al acknowledged that he might worthily demand the hand of the fair maiden, to whose father he had been ‘faithful unto death;’ and, as my tale is not of love, it shall suffice to say, that, in the space of two years, Reuben became the husband of Dorcas Malvin. During the marriage ceremony, the bride was covered with blushes, but the bridegroom’s face was pale.

There was now in the breast of Reuben Bourne an incommunicable thought; something which he was to conceal most heedfully from her whom he most loved and trusted. He regretted, deeply and bitterly, the moral cowardice that had restrained his words, when he

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was about to disclose the truth to Dorcas; but pride, the fear of losing her affection, the dread of universal scorn, forbade him to rectify this falsehood. He felt, that, for leaving Roger Malvin, he deserved no censure. His presence, the gratuitous sacrifice of his own life, would have added only another, and a needless agony to the last moments of the dying man. But concealment had imparted to a justifiable act much of the secret effect of guilt; and Reuben, while reason told him that he had done right, experienced in no small degree, the mental horrors, which punish the perpetrator of undiscovered crime. By a certain association of ideas, he at times almost imagined himself a murderer. For years, also, a thought would occasionally recur, which, though he perceived all its folly and extravagance, he had not power to banish from his mind; it was a haunting and torturing fancy, that his father-in-law was yet sitting at the foot of the rock, on the withered forest-leaves, alive, and awaiting his pledged assistance. These mental deceptions, however, came and went, nor did he ever mistake them for realities; but in the calmest and clearest moods of his mind, he was conscious that he had a deep vow unredeemed, and that an unburied corpse was calling to him, out of the wilderness. Yet, such was the consequence of his prevarication, that he could not obey the call. It was now too late to require the assistance of Roger Malvin’s friends, in performing his long-deferred sepulture; and superstitious fears, of which none were more susceptible than the people of the outward settlements, forbade Reuben to go alone. Neither did he know where, in the pathless and illimitable

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forest, to seek that smooth and lettered rock, at the base of which the body lay; his remembrance of every portion of his travel thence was indistinct, and the latter part had left no impression upon his mind. There was, however, a continual impulse, a voice audible only to himself, commanding him to go forth and redeem his vow; and he had a strange impression, that, were he to make the trial, he would be led straight to Malvin’s bones. But, year after year, that summons, unheard but felt, was disobeyed. His one secret thought, became like a chain, binding down his spirit, and, like a serpent, gnawing into his heart; and he was transformed into a sad and downcast, yet irritable man.

In the course of a few years after their marriage, changes began to be visible in the external prosperity of Reuben and Dorcas. The only riches of the former had been his stout heart and strong arm; but the latter, her father’s sole heiress, had made her husband master of a farm, under older cultivation, larger, and better stocked than most of the frontier establishments. Reuben Bourne, however, was a neglectful husbandman; and while the lands of the other settlers became annually more fruitful, his deteriorated in the same proportion. The discouragements to agriculture were greatly lessened by the cessation of Indian war, during which men held the plough with one hand, and the musket in the other; and were fortunate if the products of their dangerous labor were not destroyed, either in the field or in the barn, by the savage enemy. But Reuben did not profit by the altered condition of the country; nor can it be denied, that his intervals of industrious attention to his

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affairs were but scantily rewarded with success. The irritability, by which he had recently become distinguished, was another cause of his declining prosperity, as it occasioned frequent quarrels, in his unavoidable intercourse with the neighboring settlers. The results of these were innumerable law-suits; for the people of New England, in the earliest stages and wildest circumstances of the country, adopted, whenever attainable, the legal mode of deciding their differences. To be brief, the world did not go well with Reuben Bourne, and, though not till many years after his marriage, he was finally a ruined man, with but one remaining expedient against the evil fate that had pursued him. He was to throw sunlight into some deep recess of the forest, and seek subsistence from the virgin bosom of the wilderness.

The only child of Reuben and Dorcas was a son, now arrived at the age of fifteen years, beautiful in youth, and giving promise of a glorious manhood. He was peculiarly qualified for, and already began to excel in, the wild accomplishments of frontier life. His foot was fleet, his aim true, his apprehension quick, his heart glad and high; and all, who anticipated the return of Indian war, spoke of Cyrus Bourne as a future leader in the land. The boy was loved by his father, with a deep and silent strength, as if whatever was good and happy in his own nature had been transferred to his child, carrying his affections with it. Even Dorcas, though loving and beloved, was far less dear to him; for Reuben’s secret thoughts and insulated emotions had gradually made him a selfish man; and he could no longer love deeply, except where he saw, or imagined,

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some reflection or likeness of his own mind. In Cyrus he recognised what he had himself been in other days; and at intervals he seemed to partake of the boy’s spirit, and to be revived with a fresh and happy life. Reuben was accompanied by his son in the expedition, for the purpose of selecting a tract of land, and felling and burning the timber, which necessarily preceded the removal of the household gods. Two months of autumn were thus occupied; after which Reuben Bourne and his young hunter returned, to spend their last winter in the settlements.

* * * * *

It was early in the month of May, that the little family snapped assunder [sic] whatever tendrils of affection had clung to inanimate objects, and bade farewell to the few, who, in the blight of fortune, called themselves their friends. The sadness of the parting moment had, to each of the pilgrims, its peculiar alleviations. Reuben, a moody man, and misanthropic because unhappy, strode onward, with his usual stern brow and downcast eye, feeling few regrets, and disdaining to acknowledge any. Dorcas, while she wept abundantly over the broken ties by which her simple and affectionate nature had bound itself to everything, felt that the inhabitants of her inmost heart moved on with her, and that all else would be supplied wherever she might go. And the boy dashed one tear-drop from his eye, and thought of the adventurous pleasures of the untrodden forest. Oh! who, in the enthusiasm of a day-dream, has not wished that he were a wanderer in the world of summer wilderness, with one fair and gentle being hanging

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lightly on his arm? In youth, his free and exulting step would know no barrier but the rolling ocean or the snow-topt mountains; calmer manhood would choose a home, where Nature had strewn a double wealth, in the vale of some transparent stream; and when hoary age, after long, long years of that pure life, stole on and found him there, it would find him the father of a race, the patriarch of a people, the founder of a mighty nation yet to be. When death, like the sweet sleep which we welcome after a day of happiness, came over him, his far descendants would mourn over the venerated dust. Enveloped by tradition in mysterious attributes, the men of future generations would call him godlike; and remote posterity would see him standing, dimly glorious, far up the valley of a hundred centuries!

The tangled and gloomy forest, through which the personages of my tale were wandering, differed widely from the dreamer’s Land of Fantasiē; yet there was something in their way of life that Nature asserted as her own; and the gnawing cares, which went with them from the world, were all that now obstructed their happiness. One stout and shaggy steed, the bearer of all their wealth, did not shrink from the added weight of Dorcas; although her hardy breeding sustained her, during the larger part of each day’s journey, by her husband’s side. Reuben and his son, their muskets on their shoulders, and their axes slung behind them, kept an unwearied pace, each watching with a hunter’s eye for the game that supplied their food. When hunger bade, they halted and prepared their meal on the bank of some unpolluted forest-brook, which, as they knelt

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down with thirsty lips to drink, murmured a sweet unwillingness, like a maiden, at love’s first kiss. They slept beneath a hut of branches, and awoke at peep of light, refreshed for the toils of another day. Dorcas and the boy went on joyously, and even Reuben’s spirit shone at intervals with an outward gladness; but inwardly there was a cold, cold sorrow, which he compared to the snow-drifts, lying deep in the glens and hollows of the rivulets, while the leaves were brightly green above.

Cyrus Bourne was sufficiently skilled in the travel of the woods, to observe, that his father did not adhere to the course they had pursued, in their expedition of the preceding autumn. They were now keeping farther to the north, striking out more directly from the settlements, and into a region, of which savage beasts and savage men were as yet the sole possessors. The boy sometimes hinted his opinions upon the subject, and Reuben listened attentively, and once or twice altered the direction of their march in accordance with his son’s counsel. But having so done, he seemed ill at ease. His quick and wandering glances were sent forward, apparently in search of enemies lurking behind teh tree-trunks; and seeing nothing there, he would cast his eyes backward, as if in fear of some pursuer. Cyrus, perceiving that his father gradually resumed the old direction, forbore to interfere; nor, though something began to weigh upon his heart, did his adventurous nature permit him to regret the increased length and the mystery of their way.

On the afternoon of the fifth day, they halted and made their simple encampment, nearly an hour before

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sunset. The face of the country, for the last few miles, had been diversified by swells of land, resembling huge waves of a petrified sea; and in one of the corresponding hollows, a wild and romantic spot, had the family reared their hut, and kindled their fire. There is something chilling, and yet heart-warming, in the thought of three, united by strong bands of love, and insulated from all that breathe beside. The dark and gloomy pines looked down upon them, and, as the wind swept through their tops, a pitying sound was heard in the forest; or did those old trees groan, in fear that men were come to lay the axe to their roots at last? Reuben and his son, while Dorcas made ready their meal, proposed to wander out in search of game, of which that day’s march had afforded no supply. The boy, promising not to quit the vicinity of the encampment, bounded off with a step as light and elastic as that of the deer he hoped to slay; while his father, feeling a transient happiness as he gazed after him, was about to pursue an opposite direction. Dorcas, in the meanwhile, had seated herself near their fire of fallen branches, upon the moss-grown and mouldering trunk of a tree, uprooted years before. Her employment, diversified by an occasional glance at the pot, now beginning to simmer over the blaze, was the perusal of the current year’s Massachusetts Almanac, which, with the exception of an old black-letter Bible, comprised all the literary wealth of the family. None pay a greater regard to arbitrary divisions of time, than those who are excluded from society; and Dorcas mentioned, as if the information were of importance, that it was now the twelfth of May. Her husband started.

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‘The twelfth of May! I should remember it well,’ muttered he, while many thoughts occasioned a momentary confusion in his mind. ‘Where am I? Whither am I wandering? Where did I leave him?’

Dorcas, too well accustomed to her husband’s wayward moods to note any peculiarity of demeanor, now laid aside the Almanac, and addressed him in that mournful tone, which the tender-hearted appropriate to griefs long cold and dead.

‘It was near this time of the month, eighteen years ago, that my poor father left this world for a better. He had a kind arm to hold his head, and a kind voice to cheer him, Reuben, in his last moments; and the thought of the faithful care you took of him, has comforted me, many a time since. Oh! death would have been awful to a solitary man, in a wild place like this!’

‘Pray Heaven, Dorcas,’ said Reuben, in a broken voice, ‘pray Heaven, that neither of us three die solitary, and lie unburied, in this howling wilderness!’ And he hastened away, leaving her to watch the fire, beneath the gloomy pines.

Reuben Bourne’s rapid pace gradually slackened, as the pang, unintentionally inflicted by the words of Dorcas, became less acute. Many strange reflections, however, thronged upon him; and, straying onward, rather like a sleep-walker than a hunter, it was attributable to no care of his own, that his devious course kept him in the vicinity of the encampment. His steps were imperceptibly led almost in a circle, nor did he observe that he was on the verge of a tract of land heavily timbered, but not with pine-trees. The place of the

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latter was here supplied by oaks, and other of the harder woods; and around their roots clustered a dense and bushy undergrowth, leaving, however, barren spaces between the trees, thick-strewn with withered leaves. Whenever the rustling of the branches, or the creaking of the trunks made a sound, as if the forest were waking from slumber, Reuben instinctively raised the musket that rested on his arm, and cast a quick, sharp glance on every side; but, convinced by a partial observation that no animal was near, he would again give himself up to his thoughts. He was musing on the strange influence, that had led him away from his premeditated course, and so far into the depths of the wilderness. Unable to penetrate to the secret place of his soul, where his motives lay hidden, he believed that a supernatural voice had called him onward, and that a supernatural power had obstructed his retreat. He trusted that it was Heaven’s intent to afford him an opportunity of expiating his sin; he hoped that he might find the bones, so long unburied; and that, having laid the earth over them, peace would throw its sunlight into the sepulchre of his heart. From these thoughts he was aroused by a rustling in the forest, at some distance from the spot to which he had wandered. Perceiving the motion of some object behind a thick veil of undergrowth, he fired, with the instinct of a hunter, and the aim of a practised marksman. A low moan, which told his success, and by which even animals can express their dying agony, was unheeded by Reuben Bourne. What were the recollections now breaking upon him?

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The thicket, into which Reuben had fired, was near the summit of a swell of land, and was clustered around the base of a rock, which, in the shape and smoothness of one of its surfaces, was not unlike a gigantic grave-stone. As if reflected in a mirror, its likeness was in Reuben’s memory. He even recognised the veins which seemed to form an inscription in forgotten characters; everything remained the same, except that a thick covert of bushes shrouded the lower part of the rock, and would have hidden Roger Malvin, had he still been sitting there. Yet, in the next moment, Reuben’s eye was caught by another change, that time had effected, since he last stood, where he was now standing again, behind the earthy roots of the uptorn tree. The sapling, to which he had bound the blood-stained cymbol [sic] of his vow, had increased and strengthened into an oak, far indeed from its maturity, but with no mean spread of shadowy branches. There was one singularity, observable in this tree, which made Reuben tremble. The middle and lower branches were in luxuriant life, and an excess of vegetation had fringed the trunk, almost to the ground; but a blight had apparently stricken the upper part of the oak, and the very topmost bough was withered, sapless, and utterly dead. Reuben remembered how the little banner had fluttered on that topmost bough, when it was green and lovely, eighteen years before. Whose guilt had blasted it?

* * * * *

Dorcas, after the departure of the two hunters, continued her preparations for their evening repast. Her sylvan table was the moss-covered trunk of a large fallen

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tree, on the broadest part of which she had spread a snow-white cloth, and arranged what were left of the bright pewter vessels, that had been her pride in the settlements. It had a strange aspect—that one little spot of homely comfort, in the desolate heart of Nature. The sunshine yet lingered upon the higher branches of the trees that grew on rising ground; but the shades of evening had deepened into the hollow, where the encampment was made; and the fire-light began to redden as it gleamed up the tall trunks of the pines, or hovered on the dense and obscure mass of foliage, that circled round the spot. The heart of Dorcas was not sad; for she felt that it was better to journey in the wilderness, with two whom she loved, than to be a lonely woman in a crowd that cared not for her. As she busied herself in arranging seats of mouldering wood, covered with leaves, for Reuben and her son, her voice danced through the gloomy forest, in the measure of a song that she had learned in youth. the rude melody, the production of a bard who won no name, was descriptive of a winter evening in a frontier-cottage, when, secured from savage inroad by the high-piled snow-drifts, the family rejoiced by their own fire-side. The whole song possessed that nameless charm, peculiar to unborrowed thought; but four continually-recurring lines shone out from the rest, like the blaze of the hearth whose joys they celebrated. Into them, working magic with a few simple words, the poet had instilled the very essence of domestic love and household happiness, and they were poetry and picture joined in one. As Dorcas sang, the walls of her forsaken home seemed to encircle

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her; she no longer saw the gloomy pines, nor heard the wind, which still, as she began each verse, sent a heavy breath through the branches, and died away in a hollow moan, from the burthen of the song. She was aroused by the report of a gun, in the vicinity of the encampment; and either the sudden sound, or her loneliness by the glowing fire, caused her to tremble violently. The next moment, she laughed in the pride of a mother’s heart.

‘My beautiful young hunter! my boy has slain a deer!’ she exclaimed, recollecting that, in the direction whence the shot proceeded, Cyrus had gone to the chase.

She waited a reasonable time, to hear her son’s light step bounding over the rustling leaves, to tell of his success. But he did not immediately appear, and she sent her cheerful voice among the trees, in search of him.

‘Cyrus! Cyrus!’

His coming was still delayed, and she determined, as the report of the gun had apparently been very near, to seek for him in person. Her assistance, also, might be necessary in bringing home the venison, which she flattered herself he had obtained. She therefore set forward, directing her steps by the long-past sound, and singing as she went, in order that the boy might be aware of her approach, and run to meet her. From behind the trunk of every tree, and from every hiding place in the thick foliage of the undergrowth, she hoped to discover the countenance of her son, laughing with the sportive mischief that is born of affection. The sun was now beneath the horizon, and the light that came down among the trees was sufficiently dim to create

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many illusions in her expecting fancy. Several times she seemed indistinctly to see his face gazing out from among the leaves; and once she imagined that he stood beckoning to her, at the base of a craggy rock. Keeping her eyes on this object, however, it proved to be no more than the trunk of an oak, fringed to the very ground with little branches, one of which, thrust out farther than the rest, was shaken by the breeze. Making her way round the foot of the rock, she suddenly found herself close to her husband, who had approached in another direction. Leaning upon the butt of his gun, the muzzle of which rested upon the withered leaves, he was apparently absorbed in the contemplation of some object at his feet.

‘How is this, Reuben? Have you slain the deer, and fallen asleep over him?’ exclaimed Dorcas, laughing cheerfully, on her first slight observation of his posture and appearance.

He stirred not, neither did he turn his eyes towards her; and a cold, shuddering fear, indefinite in its source and object, began to creep into her blood. She now perceived that her husband’s face was ghastly pale, and his features were rigid, as if incapable of assuming any other expression than the strong despair which had hardened upon them. He gave not the slightest evidence that he was aware of her approach.

‘For the love of Heaven, Reuben, speak to me!’ cried Dorcas, and the strange sound of her own voice affrighted her even more than the dead silence.

Her husband started, stared into her face; drew her to the front of the rock, and pointed with his finger.

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Oh! there lay the boy, asleep, but dreamless, upon the fallen forest-leaves! his cheek rested upon his arm, his curled locks were thrown back from his brow, his limbs were slightly relaxed. Had a sudden weariness overcome the youthful hunter? Would his mother’s voice arouse him? She knew that it was death.

‘This broad rock is the grave-stone of your near kindred, Dorcas,’ said her husband. ‘Your tears will fall at once over your father and your son.’

She heard him not. With one wild shriek, that seemed to force its way from the sufferer’s inmost soul, she sank insensible by the side of her dead boy. At that moment, the withered topmost bough of the oak loosened itself, in the stilly air, and fell in soft, light fragments upon the rock, upon the leaves, upon Reuben, upon his wife and child, and upon Roger Malvin’s bones. Then Reuben’s heart was stricken, and the tears gushed out like water from a rock. The vow that the wounded youth had made, the blighted man had come to redeem. His sin was expiated, the curse was gone from him; and, in the hour, when he had shed blood dearer to him than his own, a prayer, the first for years, went up to Heaven from the lips of Reuben Bourne.


a young white woman on a balcony looks down into a moonlit lake
J. M. Wright, del.      S. W. Cheney, sculp.
Published by Gray Bowen, Boston.

D. Russell, Prt

[p. 189]



No sleep to eyes that watch the moon,

Rejoicing at her cloudless noon;

No sleep, when every pulse is heard,

And the heart flutters like a bird

That pants to be uncaged and fly

Through the free chambers of the sky;

No sleep, when first to startled maid

The empire of her love ’s betrayed.

She grew within her father’s walls,

The life and music of his halls;

Of beauty so untouched and bright,

That as you gazed, the thought of blight

Would gather on you like a cloud,

And the oft tale,—‘It bloomed and bowed,’

Would fix itself to that lone flower

With saddening and prophetic power.

She had been loved, and loved. She gave

Her spirit to a keeper brave,

Who with a pilgrim ardor swore

Faith to the treasure that he bore;

And though with look and taunt of ire

Barred from his maiden by her sire,

He hovered mid the mount and lake

His worship-song each night to wake.

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Ah! Love has lore beyond a book!

The pregnant language of a look

Sweeps swifter than the eagle’s wing,

Where lip can vow or harp can ring;

On music glides through prison bars,

And to his service bows the stars;

And now behold his victim there,

Dim leaning through the midnight air.

She listens, till her form is bent

Over the answering firmament,

Uplooking from the blackened water

Into the eye of that pale daughter.

A sound is on the lake; but still,

As tears of joy fast-coming fill

Her glorious vision, every sense

Is slaved to silence, deep, intense.

The music ceases, and a skiff

Is parting from the shadowy cliff;

It nears, till ’neath her balcony

Her lover meets the maiden’s eye!

And then with front erect, and hair

Flung backward in the moonlight glare,

She waves him welcome through the night,

Yet shrinks before the streaming light!

And why delay the tale? ’T is told

In that of each heart-huntsman bold,

Who lures the maid to hold less dear

Her hearth-stone than her cavalier;

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To trust the love that worships yet,

Though danger round its path be set;

The love that dares and perils all

To snatch the idol from its thrall.

She ’s won! Their eyes, their lips, have met;

Yet may not Love his task forget;

Strong arm and manly chest are there;

Then stay not for the hurried prayer!

In sea-cloak wrapped the maiden lies,

And o’er the lake the frail bark flies;

A new delight the oarsman thrills;

She shoots the shadow of the hills!

Then he outspoke. ‘Now thou art mine,

Fast farewell to yon rocky shrine,

Where, dearest, I have vowed to thee,

By stars, and moon, and minstrelsy;

But soon, God willing, better band

Shall bind me, in a foreign land;’

She spoke not, but she veiled her brow

On him who was her castle now.

Yet sudden, as they leapt to ground,

Once she gazed backward and around:

‘My father! and alas!’ she cried,

‘What token shall my fate betide?’

Her lover, ere the sound was o’er,

[C]ast to the wave his flute and oar;

[‘]These point the way, as oft I ’ve sung!’

Then forth in flight their chargers sprung.

[p. 192]


Away, from the path! silly dove,

Where the foot that may carelessly tread

Will crush thee! What! dost thou not move?

Alas! thou art stiffened and dead!

Allured by the brightness of day,

To sink mid the shadows of night,

Too far from the cote didst thou stray,

And sadly hast ended thy flight!

For, thus, with the snow at thy breast,

With thy wings folded close to thy side,

And crouched in the semblance of rest,

Alone, of the cold thou hast died!

Poor bird! thou hast pictured the fate

Of many in life’s sunny day,

Who, trusting, have found but too late,

How fortune can smile to betray.

How oft, for illusions that shine

In a cold and pitiless world,

Bewildered and palsied, like thine,

Has the wing of the spirit been furled!

The heart the most tender and light,

In its warmth to the earth has been thrown,

With the chills of adversity’s night,

to suffer and perish alone!

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In the course of the year 1656, several of the people called Quakers, led, as they professed, by the inward movement of the spirit, made their appearance in New England. Their reputation, as holders of mystic and pernicious principles, having spread before them, the Puritans early endeavored to banish, and to prevent the further intrusion of the rising sect. But the measures by which it was intended to purge the land of heresy, though more than sufficiently vigorous, were entirely unsuccessful. The Quakers, esteeming persecution as a divine call to the post of danger, laid claim to a holy courage, unknown to the Puritans themselves, who had shunned the cross,, by providing for the peaceable exercise of their religion in a distant wilderness. Though it was the singular fact, that every nation of the earth rejected the wandering enthusiasts who practised peace towards all men, the place of greatest uneasiness and peril, and therefore in their eyes the most eligible, was the province of Massachusetts Bay. the fines, imprisonments, and stripes, liberally distributed by our pious forefathers; the popular antipathy, so strong that it endured nearly a hundred years after actual persecution had ceased, were attractions as powerful for the Quakers, as peace, honor, and reward, would have been for the worldly-minded. Every European vessel brought new cargoes of the sect, eager to testify against the oppression which they hoped to share; and, when ship-masters

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were restrained by heavy fines from affording them passage, they made long and circuitous journies through the Indian country, and appeared in the province as if conveyed by a supernatural power. Their enthusiasm, heightened almost to madness by the treatment which they received, produced actions contrary to the rules of decency, as well as of rational religion, and presented a singular contrast to the calm and staid deportment of their sectual successors of the present day. The command of the spirit, inaudible except to the soul, and not to be controverted on grounds of human wisdom, was made a plea for most indecorous exhibitions, which, abstractly considered, well deserved the moderate chastisement of the rod. These extravagances, and the persecution which was at once their cause and consequence, continued to increase, till, in the year 1659, the government of Massachusetts Bay indulged two members of the Quaker sect with the crown of martyrdom.

That those who were active in, or consenting to, this measure, made themselves responsible for innocent blood, is not to be denied: yet the extenuating circumstances of their conduct are more numerous than can generally be pleaded by persecutors. The inhabitants of New England were a people, whose original bond of union was their peculiar religious principles. For the peaceful exercise of their own mode of worship, an object, the very reverse of universal liberty of conscience, they had hewn themselves a home in the wilderness; they had made vast sacrifices of whatever is dear to man; they had exposed themselves to the peril of death, and to a life which rendered the accomplishment of that peril

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almost a blessing. They had found no city of refuge prepared for them, but, with Heaven’s assistance, they had created one; and it would be hard to say whether justice did not authorize their determination, to guard its gate against all who were destitute of the prescribed title to admittance. The principle of their foundation was such, that to destroy the unity of religion, might have been to subvert the government, and break up the colony, especially at a period when the state of affairs in England had stopped the tide of emigration, and drawn back many of the pilgrims to their native homes. The magistrates of Massachusetts Bay were, moreover, most imperfectly informed respecting the real tenets and character of the Quaker sect. They had heard of them, from various parts of the earth, as opposers of every known opinion, and enemies of all established governments; they had beheld extravagances which seemed to justify these accusations; and the idea suggested by their own wisdom may be gathered fro the fact, that the persons of many individuals were searched, in the expectation of discovering witch-marks. But after all allowances, it is to be feared that the death of the Quakers was principally owing to the polemic fierceness, that distinct passion of human nature, which has so often produced frightful guilt in the most sincere and zealous advocates of virtue and religion. An indelible stain of blood is upon the hands of all who consented to this act, but a large share of the awful responsibility must rest upon the person then at the head of the government. He was a man of narrow mind and imperfect education, and his uncompromising

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bigotry was made hot and mischievous by violent and hasty passions; he exerted his influence indecorously and unjustifiably to compass the death of the enthusiasts; and his whole conduct, in respect to them, was marked by brutal cruelty. The Quakers, whose revengeful feelings were not less deep because they were inactive, remembered this man and his associates, in after times. The historian of the sect affirms that, by the wrath of Heaven, a blight fell upon the land in the vicinity of the ‘bloody town’ of Boston, so that no wheat would grow there; and he takes his stand, as it were, among the graves of the ancient persecutors, and triumphantly recounts the judgments that overtook him, in old age or at the parting hour. He tells us that they died suddenly, and violently, and in madness; but nothing can exceed the bitter mockery with which he records the loathsome disease, and ‘death by rottenness,’ of the fierce and cruel governor.

* * * * *

On the evening of the autumn day, that had witnessed the martyrdom of two men of the Quaker persuasion, a Puritan settler was returning from the metropolis to the neighboring country town in which he resided. The air was cool, the sky clear, and the lingering twilight was made brighter by the rays of a young moon, which had now nearly reached the verge of the horizon. The traveller, a man of middle age, wrapped in a grey frieze cloak, quickened his pace when he had reached the outskirts of the town, for a gloomy extent of nearly four miles lay between him and his house. The low, straw-thatched houses were scattered at considerable

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intervals along the road, and the country having been settled but about thirty years, the tracts of original forest still bore no small proportion to the cultivated ground. The autumn wind wandered among the branches, whirling away the leaves from all except the pine-trees, and moaning as if it lamented the desolation of which it was the instrument. The road had penetrated the mass of woods that lay nearest to the town, and was just emerging into a open space, when the traveller’s ears were saluted by a sound more mournful than even that of the wind. It was like the wailing of some one in distress, and it seemed to proceed from beneath a tall and lonely fir-tree, in the centre of a cleared, but unenclosed and uncultivated field. The Puritan could not but remember that this was the very spot, which had been made accursed a few hours before, by the execution of the Quakers, whose bodies had been thrown together into one hasty grave, beneath the tree on which they suffered. He struggled, however, against the superstitious fears which belonged to the age, and compelled himself to pause and listen.

‘The voice is most likely mortal, nor have I cause to tremble if it be otherwise,’ thought he, straining his eyes through the dim moonlight. ‘Methinks it is like the wailing of a child; some infant, it may be, which has strayed from its mother, and chanced upon this place of death. For the ease of mine own conscience, I must search this matter out.’

He therefore left the path, and continued somewhat fearfully across the field. Though now so desolate, its soil was pressed down and trampled by the thousand

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footsteps of those who had witnessed the spectacle of that day, all of whom had now retired, leaving the dead to their loneliness. The traveller at length reached the fir-tree, which from the middle upward was covered with living branches, although a scaffold had been erected beneath, and other preparations made for the work of death. Under this unhappy tree, which in after times was believed to drop poison with its dew, sat the one solitary mourner for innocent blood. It was a slender and light-clad little boy, who leaned his face upon a hillock of fresh-turned and half-frozen earth, and wailed bitterly, yet in a suppressed tone, as if his grief might receive the punishment of crime. The Puritan, whose approach had been unperceived, laid his hand upon the child’s shoulder, and addressed him compassionately.

‘You have chosen a dreary lodging, my poor boy, and no wonder that you weep,’ said he. ‘But dry your eyes, and tell me where your mother dwells. I promise you, if the journey be not too far, I will leave you in her arms to-night.’

The boy had hushed his wailing at once, and turned his face upward to the stranger. It was a pale, bright-eyed countenance, certainly not more than six years old, but sorrow, fear, and want, had destroyed much of its infantile expression. The Puritan, seeing the boy’s frightened gaze, and feeling that he trembled under his hand, endeavored to reassure him.

‘Nay, if I intended to do you harm, little lad, the readiest way were to leave you here. What! you do not fear to sit beneath the gallows on a new-made grave, and yet you tremble at a friend’s touch. Take heart,

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child, and tell me what is your name, and where is your home?’

‘Friend,’ replied the little boy, in a sweet, though faultering voice, ‘they call me Ilbrahim, and my home is here.’

The pale, spirited face, the eyes that seemed to mingle with the moonlight, the sweet, airy voice, and the outlandish name, almost made the Puritan believe, that the boy was in truth a being which had sprung up out of the grave on which he sat. But perceiving that the apparition stood the test of a short mental prayer, and remembering that the arm which he had touched was life-like, he adopted a more rational supposition. ‘The poor child is stricken in his intellect,’ thought he, ‘but verily his words are fearful, in a place like this.’ He then spoke soothingly, intending to humour the boy’s fantasy.

‘Your home will scarce be comfortable, Ilbrahim, this cold autumn night, and I fear you are ill provided with food. I am hastening to a warm supper and bed, and if you will go with me, you shall share them!’

‘I thank thee, friend, but though I be hungry and shivering with cold, thou wilt not give me food nor lodging,’ replied the boy, in the quiet tone which despair had taught him, even so young. ‘My father was of the people whom all men hate. They have laid him under this heap of earth, and here is my home’

The Puritan, who had laid hold of little Ilbrahim’s hand, relinquished it as if he were touching a loathsome reptile. But he possessed a compassionate heart, which not even religious prejudice could harden into stone.

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‘God forbid that I should leave this child to perish, though he comes of the accursed sect,’ said he to himself. ‘Do we not all spring from an evil root? Are we not all in darkness till the light doth shine upon us? He shall not perish, neither in body, nor, if prayer and instruction may avail for him, in soul.’ He then spoke aloud and kindly to Ilbrahim, who had again hid his face in the cold earth of the grave. ‘Was every door in the land shut against you, my child, that you have wandered to this unhallowed spot?’

‘They drove me forth from the prison when they took my father thence,’ said the boy, ‘and I stood afar off, watching the crowd of people, and when they were gone, I came hither, and found only this grave. I knew that my father was sleeping here, and I said, this shall be my home.’

‘No, child, no; not while I have a roof over my head, or a morsel to share with you!’ exclaimed the puritan, whose sympathies were now fully excited. ‘Rise up and come with me, and fear not any harm.’

The boy wept afresh, and clung to the heap of earth, as if the cold heart beneath it were warmer to him than any in a living breast. The traveller, however, continued to entreat him tenderly, and seeming to acquire some degree of confidence, he at length arose. But his slender limbs tottered with weakness, his little head grew dizzy, and he leaned against the tree of death for support.

‘My poor boy, are you so feeble?’ said the Puritan. ‘When did you taste food last?’

‘I ate of bread and water with my father in the prison,’ replied Ilbrahim, ‘but they brought him none neither

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yesterday nor to day, saying that he had eaten enough to bear him to his journey’s end. Trouble not thyself for my hunger, kind friend, for I have lacked food many times ere now.’

The traveller took the child in his arms and wrapped his cloak about him, while his heart stirred with shame and anger against the gratuitous cruelty of the instruments in this persecution. In the awakened warmth of his feelings, he resolved that, at whatever risk, he would not forsake the poor little defenceless being whom Heaven had confided to his care. With this determination, he left the accursed field, and resumed the homeward path from which the wailing of the boy had called him. The light and motionless burthen scarcely impeded his progress, and he soon beheld the fire-rays from the windows of the cottage which he, a native of a distant clime, had built in the western wilderness. It was surrounded by a considerable extent of cultivated ground, and the dwelling was situated in the nook of a wood-covered hill, whither it seemed to have crept for protection.

‘Look up, child,’ said the puritan to Ilbrahim, whose faint head had sunk upon his shoulder; ‘there is our home.’

At the word ‘home,’ a thrill passed through the child’s frame, but he continued silent. A few moments brought them to the cottage-door, at which the owner knocked; for at that early period, when savages were wandering everywhere among the settlers, bolt and bar were indispensable to the security of a dwelling. The summons was answered by a bond-servant, a

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coarse-clad and dull-featured piece of humanity, who, after ascertaining that his master was the applicant, undid the door, and held a flaring pine-knot torch to light him in. Farther back in the passage-way, the red blaze discovered a matronly woman, but no little crowd of children came bounding forth to greet their father’s return. As the Puritan entered, he thrust aside his cloak, and displayed Ilbrahim’s face to the female.

‘Dorothy, here is a little outcast whom Providence hath put into our hands,’ observed he. ‘Be kind to him, even as if he were of those dear ones who have departed from us.’

The wife’s eyes filled with tears; she inquired neither who little Ilbrahim was, nor whence he came, but kissed his cheek and led the way into the dwelling. The sitting-room, which was also the kitchen, was lighted by a cheerful fire upon the large stone-laid hearth, and a confused variety of objects shone out and disappeared in the unsteady blaze. There were the household articles, the many wooden trenchers, the one large pewter dish, and the copper kettle whose inner surface was glittering like gold. There were the lighter implements of husbandry, the spade, the sickle, and the scythe, all hanging by the door, and the axe before which a thousand trees had bowed themselves. On another part of the wall were the steel cap and iron breast-plate, the sword and the matchlock gun. There, in a corner, was a little chair, the memorial of a brood of children whose place by the fire-side was vacant forever. And there, on a table near the window, among all those tokens of labor, war, and mourning, was the Holy Bible, the book

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of life, an emblem of the blessed comforts which it offers, to those who can receive them, amidst the toil, the strife, and sorrow of this world. Dorothy hastened to bring the little chair from its corner; she placed it on the hearth, and, seating the poor orphan there, addressed him in words of tenderness, such as only a mother’s experience could have taught her. At length, when he had timidly begun to taste his warm bread and milk, she drew her husband apart.

‘What pale and bright-eyed little boy is this, Tobias?’ she inquired. ‘Is he one whom the wilderness folk have ravished from some christian mother?’

‘No, Dorothy, this poor child is no captive from the wilderness,’ he replied. ‘The heathen savage would have given him to eat of his scanty morsel, and to drink of his birchen cup; but christian men, alas! had cast him out to die.’

Then he told her how he had found him beneath the gallows, upon his father’s grave; and how his heart had prompted him, like the speaking of an inward voice, to take the little outcast home, and be kind unto him. He acknowledged his resolution to feed and clothe him, as if he were his own child, and to afford him the instruction which should counteract the pernicious errors hitherto instilled into his infant mind. Dorothy was gifted with even a quicker tenderness than her husband, and she approved of all his doings and intentions. She drew near to Ilbrahim, who, having finished his repast, sat with the tears hanging upon his long eye-lashes, but with a singular and unchildlike composure on his little face.

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‘Have you a mother, dear child?’ she inquired.

The tears burst forth from his full heart, as he attempted to reply; but Dorothy at length understood that he had a mother, who, like the rest of her sect, was a persecuted wanderer. She had been taken from the prison a short time before, carried into the uninhabited wilderness, and left to perish there by hunger or wild beasts. This was no uncommon method of disposing of the Quakers, and they were accustomed to boast, that the inhabitants of the desert were more hospitable to them than civilized man.

‘Fear not, little boy, you shall not need a mother, and a kind one,’ said Dorothy, when she had gathered this information. “Dry your tears, Ilbrahim, and be my child, as I will be your mother.’

The good woman prepared the little bed, from which her own children had successively been borne to another resting place. Before Ilbrahim would consent to occupy it, he knelt down, and as Dorothy listened to his simple and affecting prayer, she marvelled how the parents that had taught it to him could have been judged worthy of death. When the boy had fallen asleep, she bent over his pale and spiritual countenance, pressed a kiss upon his white brow, drew the bed-clothes up about his neck, and went away with a pensive gladness in her heart.

Tobias Pearson was not among the earliest emigrants from the old country. He had remained in England during the first years of the civil war, in which he had borne some share as a coronet of dragoons, under Cromwell. But when the ambitious designs of his leader began to develop themselves, he quitted the army

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of the parliament, and sought a refuge from the strife, which was no longer holy among the people of his persuasion, in the colony of Massachusetts. A more worldly consideration had perhaps an influence in drawing him thither; for New England offered advantages to men of unprosperous fortunes, as well as to dissatisfied religionists, and Pearson had hitherto found it difficult to provide for a wife and increasing family. To this supposed impurity of motive, the more bigoted Puritans were inclined to impute the removal by death of all the children, for whose earthly good the father had been over-thoughtful. They had left their native country blooming like roses, and like roses they had perished in a foreign soil. Those expounders of the ways of Providence, who had thus judged their brother, and attributed his domestic sorrows to his sin, were not more charitable when they saw him and Dorothy endeavoring to fill up the void in their hearts, by the adoption of an infant of the accursed sect. Nor did they fail to communicate their disapprobation to Tobias; but the latter, in reply, merely pointed at the little quiet, lovely boy, whose appearance and deportment were indeed as powerful arguments as could possibly have been adduced in his own favor. Even his beauty, however, and his winning manners, sometimes produced an effect ultimately unfavorable; for the bigots, when the outer surfaces of their iron hearts had been softened and again grew hard, affirmed that no merely natural cause could have so worked upon them. Their antipathy to the poor infant was also increased by the ill success of divers theological discussions, in which it was attempted to

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convince him of the errors of his sect. Ilbrahim, it is true, was not a skilful controversialist; but the feeling of his religion was strong as instinct in him, and he could neither be enticed nor driven from the faith which his father had died for. The odium of this stubbornness was shared in a great measure by the child’s protectors, insomuch that Tobias and Dorothy very shortly began to experience a most bitter species of persecution, in the cold regards of many a friend whom they had valued. The common people manifested their opinions more openly. Pearson was a man of some consideration, being a Representative to the General Court, and an approved Lieutenant in the train-bands, yet, with a week after his adoption of Ilbrahim, he had been both hissed and hooted. Once, also, when walking through a solitary piece of woods, he heard a loud voice from some invisible speaker; and it cried, ‘What shall be done to the backslider? Lo! the scourge is knotted for him, even the whip of nine cords, and every cord three knots!’ These insults irritated Pearson’s temper for the moment; they entered also into his heart, and became imperceptible but powerful workers toward an end, which his most secret thought had not yet whispered.

* * * * *

On the second sabbath after Ilbrahim became a member of their family, Pearson and his wife deemed it proper that he should appear with them at public worship. They had anticipated some opposition to this measure from the boy, but he prepared himself in silence, and at the appointed hour was clad in a new mourning suit which Dorothy had wrought for him. As the parish

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was then, and during many subsequent years, unprovided with a bell, the signal for the commencement of religious exercises was the beat of a drum; in connexion with which peculiarity it may be mentioned, that an apartment of the meetinghouse served the purposes of a powder-magazine and armory. At the first sound of that martial call to the place of holy and quiet thoughts, Tobias and Dorothy set forth, each holding a hand of little Ilbrahim, like two parents linked together by the infant of their love. On their path through the leafless woods, they were overtaken by many persons of their acquaintance, all of whom avoided them, and passed by on the other side; but a severer trial awaited their constancy when they had descended the hill, and drew near the pine-built and undecorated house of prayer. Around the door, from which the drummer still sent forth his thundering summons, was drawn up a formidable phalanx, including several of the oldest members of the congregation, many of the middle-aged, and nearly all the younger males. Pearson found it difficult to sustain their united and disapproving gaze, but Dorothy, whose mind was differently circumstanced, merely drew the boy closer to her, and faultered not in her approach. As they entered the door, they overheard the muttered sentiments of the assemblage, and when the reviling voices of the little children smote Ilbrahim’s ear, he wept.

The interior aspect of the meetinghouse was rude. The low ceiling, the unplastered walls, the naked wood-work, and the undraperied pulpit, offered nothing to excite the devotion, which, without such external aids, often remains latent in the heart. The floor of the

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building was occupied by rows of long, cushionless benches, supplying the place of pews, and the broad-aisle formed a sexual division, impassable except by children beneath a certain age. On one side of the house sat the women, generally in sad-colored most unfanciful apparel, although there were a few high head-dresses, on which the ‘Cobler of Agawam’ would have lavished his empty wit of words. There was no veil to be seen among them all, and it must be allowed that the November sun, shining brightly through the windows, fell upon many a demure but pretty set of features, which no barbarity of art could spoil. The masculine department of the house presented somewhat more variety than that of the women. Most of the men, it is true, were clad in black or dark-grey broadcloth, and all coincided in the short, ungraceful, and ear-displaying cut of their hair. But those who were in martial authority, having arrayed themselves in their embroidered buff-coats, contrasted strikingly with the remainder of the congregation, and attracted many youthful thoughts which should have been otherwise employed. Pearson and Dorothy separated at the door of the meetinghouse, and Ilbrahim, being within the years of infancy, was retained under the care of the latter. The wrinkled beldams involved themselves in their rusty cloaks as he passed by; even the mild-featured maidens seemed to dread contamination; and many a stern old man arose, and turned his repulsive and unheavenly countenance upon the gentle boy, as if the sanctuary were polluted by his presence. He was a sweet infant of the skies, that had strayed away from his home, and all the

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inhabitants of this miserable world closed up their impure hearts against him, drew back their earth-soiled garments from his touch, and said, ‘We are holier than thou.’

Ilbrahim, seated by the side of his adopted mother, and retaining fast hold of her hand, assumed a grave and decorous demeanor, such as might befit a person of matured taste and understanding, who should find himself in a temple dedicated to some worship which he did not recognise, but felt himself bound to respect. The exercises had not yet commenced, however, when the boy’s attention was arrested by an event, apparently of trifling interest. A woman, having her face muffled in a hood, and a cloak drawn completely about her form, advanced slowly up the broad-aisle and took place upon the foremost bench. Ilbrahim’s faint color varied, his nerves fluttered, he was unable to turn his eyes from the muffled female.

When the preliminary prayer and hymn were over, the minister arose, and having turned the hour-glass which stood by the great bible, commenced his discourse. He was now well-stricken in years, a man of pale, thin, yet not intellectual countenance, and his grey hairs were closely covered by a black velvet scull-cap. In his younger days he had practically learned the meaning of persecution, from Archbishop Laud, and he was not now disposed to forget the lesson against which he had murmured them. Introducing the often discussed subject of the Quakers, he gave a history of that sect, and a description of their tenets, in which error predominated, and prejudice distorted the aspect of what was true.

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He adverted to the recent measures in the province, and cautioned his hearers of weaker parts against calling in question the just severity, which God-fearing magistrates had at length been compelled to exercise. He spoke of the danger of pity, in some cases a commendable and christian virtue, but inapplicable to this pernicious sect. He observed that such was their devilish obstinacy in error, that even the little children, the sucking babes, were hardened and desperate heretics. He affirmed that no man, without Heaven’s especial warrant, should attempt their conversion, lest while he bent his hand to draw them from the slough, he should himself be precipitated into its lowest depths. Into this discourse was worked much learning, both sacred and profane, which, however, came forth not digested into its original elements, but in short quotations, as if the preacher were unable to amalgamate his own mind with that of the author. His own language was generally plain, even to affectation, but there were frequent specimens of a dull man’s efforts to be witty—little ripples fretting the surface of a stagnant pool.

The sands of the second hour were principally in the lower half of the glass, when the sermon concluded. An approving murmur followed, and the clergyman, having given out a hymn, took his seat with much self-congratulation, and endeavored to read the effect of his eloquence in the visages of the people. But while voices from all parts of the house were tuning themselves to sing, a scene occurred, which, though not very unusual at that period in the province, happened to be without precedent in this parish.

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The muffled female, who had hitherto sat motionless in the front rank of the audience, now arose, and with slow, stately, and unwavering step, ascended the pulpit stairs. The quaverings of incipient harmony were hushed, and the divine sat in speechless and almost terrified astonishment, while she undid the door, and stood up in the sacred desk from which his maledictions had just been thundered. Having thus usurped a station to which her sex can plead no title, she divested herself of the cloak and hood, and appeared in a most singular array. A shapeless robe of sackcloth was girded about her waist with a knotted cord; her raven hair fell down upon her shoulders, and its blackness was defiled by pale streaks of ashes, which she had strewn upon her head. Her eyebrows, dark and strongly defined, added to the deathly whiteness of a countenance which, emaciated with want, and wild with enthusiasm and strange sorrows, retained no trace of earlier beauty. This figure stood gazing earnestly on the audience, and there was no sound, nor any movement, except a faint shuddering which every man observed in his neighbor, but was scarcely conscious of in himself. At length, when her fit of inspiration came, she spoke, for the first few moments, in a low voice, and not invariably distinct utterance. Her discourse gave evidence of an imagination hopelessly entangled with her reason; it was a vague and incomprehensible rhapsody, which, however, seemed to spread its own atmosphere round the hearer’s soul, and to move his feelings by some influence unconnected with the words. As she proceeded, beautiful but shadowy images would sometimes be seen, like bright things

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moving in a turbid river; or a strong and singularly shaped idea leapt forth, and seized at once on the understanding or the heart. But the course of her unearthly eloquence soon led her to the persecutions of her sect, and from thence the step was short to her own peculiar sorrows. She was naturally a woman of mighty passions, and hatred and revenge now wrapped themselves in the garb of piety; the character of her speech was changed, her images became distinct though wild, and her denunciations had an almost hellish bitterness.

‘The Governor and his mighty men,’ she said, ‘have gathered together, taking counsel among themselves and saying, “What shall we do unto this people—even unto the people that have come into this land to put our iniquity to the blush?” And lo! the devil entereth into the council-chamber, like a lame man of low stature and gravely appareled, with a dark and twisted countenance, and a bright, downcast eye. And he standeth up among the rulers; yea, he goeth to and fro, whispering to each; and every man lends his ear, for his word is “slay, slay!” But I say unto ye, Woe to them that slay! Woe to them that shed the blood of saints! Woe to them that have slain the husband, and cast forth the child, the tender infant, to wander homeless, and hungry, and cold, till he die; and have saved the mother alive, in the cruelty of their tender mercies! Woe to them in their life-time, cursed are they in the delight and pleasure of their hearts! Woe to them in their death hour, whether it come swiftly with blood and violence, or after long and lingering pain! Woe, in the dark house, in the

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rottenness of the grave, when the children’s children shall revile the ashes of the father! Woe, woe, woe, at the judgment, when all the persecuted and all the slain in this bloody land, and the father, the mother, and the child, shall await them in a day that they cannot escape! Seed of the faith, seed of the faith, ye whose hearts are moving with a power that ye know not, arise, wash your hands of this innocent blood! Lift your voices, chosen ones, cry aloud, and call down a woe and a judgment with me!’

Having thus given vent to the flood of malignity which she mistook for inspiration, the speaker was silent. Her voice was succeeded by the hysteric shrieks of several women, but the feelings of the audience generally had not been drawn onward in the current with her own. They remained stupified, stranded as it were, in the midst of a torrent, which deafened them by its roaring, but might not move them by its violence. The clergyman, who could not hitherto have ejected the usurper of his pulpit otherwise than by bodily force, now addressed her in the tone of just indignation and legitimate authority.

‘Get you down, woman, from the holy place which you profane,’ he said. ‘Is it to the Lord’s house that you come to pour forth the foulness of your heart, and the inspiration of the devil? Get you down, and remember that the sentence of death is on you; yea, and shall be executed, were it but for this day’s work.’

‘I go, friend, I go, for the voice hath had its utterance,’ replied she, in a depressed and even mild tone. ‘I have done my mission unto thee and to thy people. Reward

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me with stripes, imprisonment, or death, as ye shall be permitted.’

The weakness of exhausted passion caused her steps to totter as she descended the pulpit stairs. The people, in the meanwhile, were stirring to and fro on the floor of the house, whispering among themselves, and glancing towards the intruder. Many of them now recognised her as the woman who had assaulted the Governor with frightful language, as he passed by the window of her prison; they knew, also, that she was adjudged to suffer death, and had been preserved only by an involuntary banishment into the wilderness. The new outrage, by which she had provoked her fate, seemed to render further lenity impossible; and a gentleman in military dress, with a stout man of inferior rank, drew towards the door of the meetinghouse, and awaited her approach. Scarcely did her feet press the floor, however, when an unexpected scene occurred. In that moment of her peril, when every eye frowned with death, a little timid boy pressed forth, and threw his arms round his mother.

‘I am here, mother, it is I, and I will go with thee to prison,’ he exclaimed.

She gazed at him with a doubtful and almost frightened expression, for she knew that the boy had been cast out to perish, and she had not hoped to see his face again. She feared, perhaps, that it was but one of the happy visions, with which her excited fancy had often deceived her, in the solitude of the desert, or in prison. But when she felt his hand warm within her own, and heard his little eloquence of childish love, she began to know that she was yet a mother.

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‘Blessed art thou, my son,’ she sobbed. ‘My heart was withered; yea, dead with thee and with thy father; and now it leaps as in the first moment when I pressed thee to my bosom.’

She knelt down, and embraced him again and again, while the joy that could find no words, expressed itself in broken accents, like the bubbles gushing up to vanish at the surface of a deep fountain. The sorrows of past years, and the darker peril that was nigh, cast not a shadow on the brightness of that fleeting moment. Soon, however, the spectators saw a change upon her face, as the consciousness of her sad estate returned, and grief supplied the fount of tears which joy had opened. By the words she uttered, it would seem that the indulgence of natural love had given her mind a momentary sense of its errors, and made her know how far she had strayed from duty, in following the dictates of a wild fanaticism.

‘In a doleful hour art thou returned to me, poor boy,’ she said, ‘for thy mother’s path has gone darkening onward, till now the end is death. Son, son, I have borne thee in my arms when my limbs were tottering, and I have fed thee with the food that I was fainting for; yet I have ill performed a mother’s part by thee in life, and now I leave thee no inheritance but woe and shame. Thou wilt go seeking through the world, and find all hearts closed against thee, and their sweet affections turned to bitterness for my sake. My child, my child, how many a pang awaits thy gentle spirit, and I the cause of all!’

She hid her face on Ilbrahim’s head, and her long, raven hair, discolored with the ashes of her mourning,

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fell down about him like a veil. A low and interrupted moan was the voice of her heart’s anguish, and it did not fail to move the sympathies of many who mistook their involuntary virtue for a sin. Sobs were audible in the female section of the house, and every man who was a father, drew his hand across his eyes. Tobias Pearson was agitated and uneasy, but a certain feeling like the consciousness of guilt oppressed him, so that he could not go forth and offer himself as the protector of the child. Dorothy, however, had watched her husband’s eye. Her mind was free from the influence that had begun to work on his, and she drew near the Quaker woman, and addressed her in the hearing of all the congregation.

‘Stranger, trust this boy to me, and I will be his mother,’ she said, taking Ilbrahim’s hand. ‘Providence has signally marked out my husband to protect him, and he has fed at our table and lodged under our roof, now many days, till our hearts have grown very strongly unto him. Leave the tender child with us, and be at ease concerning his welfare.’

The Quaker rose from the ground, but drew the boy closer to her, while she gazed earnestly in Dorothy’s face. Her mild, but saddened features, and neat, matronly attire, harmonized together, and were like a verse of fireside poetry. Her very aspect proved that she was blameless, so far as mortal could be so, in respect to God and man; while the enthusiast, in her robe of sackcloth and girdle of knotted cord, had as evidently violated the duties of the present life and the future, by fixing her attention wholly on the latter. The two females, as

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they held each a hand of Ilbrahim, formed a practical allegory; it was rational piety and unbridled fanaticism, contending for the empire of a young heart.

‘Thou art not of our people’ said the Quaker, mournfully.

‘No, we are not of your people,’ replied Dorothy, with mildness, ‘but we are Christians, looking upward to the same Heaven with you. Doubt not that your boy shall meet you there, if there be a blessing on our tender and prayerful guidance of him. Thither, I trust, my own children have gone before me, for I also have been a mother; I am no longer so,’ she added, in a faultering tone, ‘and your son will have all my care.’

‘But will ye lead him in the path which his parents have trodden?’ demanded the Quaker. ‘Can ye teach him the enlightened faith which his father has died for, and for which I, even I, am soon to become an unworthy martyr? The boy has been baptized in blood; will ye keep the mark fresh and ruddy upon his forehead?’

‘I will not deceive you,’ answered Dorothy. ‘If your child become our child, we must breed him up in the instruction which Heaven has imparted to us; we must pray for him the prayers of our own faith; we must do towards him according to the dictates of our own consciences, and not of your’s. Were we to act otherwise, we should abuse your trust, even in complying with your wishes.’

The mother looked down upon her boy with a troubled countenance, and then turned her eyes upward to heaven. She seemed to pray internally, and the contention of her soul was evident.

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‘Friend,’ she said at length to Dorothy, ‘I doubt not that my son shall receive all earthly tenderness at thy hands. Nay, I will believe that thy imperfect lights may guide him to a better world; for surely thou art on the path thither. But thou hast spoken of a husband. Doth he stand here among this multitude of people? Let him come forth; for I must know to whom I commit this most precious trust.’

She turned her face upon the male auditors, and after a momentary delay, Tobias Pearson came forth from among them. The Quaker saw the dress which marked his military rank, and shook her head; but then she noted the hesitating air, the eyes that struggled with her own, and were vanquished; the color that went and came, and could find no resting place. As she gazed, an unmirthful smile spread over her features, like sunshine that grows melancholy in some desolate spot. Her lips moved inaudibly, but at length she spake.

‘I hear it, I hear it. The voice speaketh within me and saith, “Leave thy child, Catharine, for his place is here, and go hence, for I have other work for thee. Break the bonds of natural affection, martyr thy love, and know that in all these things eternal wisdom hath its ends.” I go, friends, I go. Take ye my boy, my precious jewel. I go hence, trusting that all shall be well, and that even for his infant hands there is a labor in the vineyard.’

She knelt down and whispered to Ilbrahim, who at first struggled and clung to his mother, with sobs and tears, but remained passive when she had kissed his cheek and arisen from the ground. Having held her

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hands over his head in mental prayer, she was ready to depart.

‘Farewell, friends, in mine extremity,’ she said to Pearson and his wife; ‘the good deed ye have done me is a treasure laid up in heaven, to be returned a thousand fold hereafter. And farewell ye, mine enemies, to whom it is not permitted to harm so much as a hair of my head, nor to stay my footsteps even for a moment. The day is coming, when ye shall call upon me to witness for ye to this one sin committed, and I will rise up and answer.’

She turned her steps towards the door, and the men, who had stationed themselves to guard it, withdrew, and suffered her to pass. A general sentiment of pity overcame the virulence of religious hatred. Sanctified by her love, and her affliction, she went forth, and all the people gazed after her till she had journeyed up the hill, and was lost behind its brow. She went, the apostle of her own unquiet heart, to renew the wanderings of past years. For her voice had been already heard in many lands of Christendom; and she had pined in the cells of a Catholic Inquisition, before she felt the lash, and ate the bread, of the Puritans. Her mission had extended also to the followers of the Prophet, and from them she had received the courtesy and kindness, which all the contending sects of our purer religion united to deny her. Her husband and herself had resided many months in Turkey, where even the Sultan’s countenance was gracious to them; in that pagan land, too, was Ilbrahim’s birthplace, and his oriental name was a mark of gratitude for the good deeds of an unbeliever.

* * * * *

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When Pearson and his wife had thus acquired all the rights over Ilbrahim that could be delegated, their affection for him became, like the memory of their native land, or their mild sorrow for the dead, a piece of the immoveable furniture of their hearts. The boy, also, after a week or two of mental disquiet, began to gratify his protectors, by many inadvertent proofs that he considered them as parents, and their house as home. Before the winter snows were melted, the persecuted infant, the little wanderer from a remote and heathen country, seemed native in the New England cottage, and inseparable from the warmth and security of its hearth. Under the influence of kind treatment, and in the consciousness that he was loved, Ilbrahim’s demeanor lost a premature manliness, which had resulted from his earlier situation; he became more childlike, and his natural character displayed itself with freedom. It was in many respects a beautiful one, yet the disordered imaginations of both his father and mother had perhaps propagated a certain unhealthiness in the mind of the boy. In his general state, Ilbrahim would derive enjoyment from the most trifling events, and from every object about him; he seemed to discover precious views of happiness, by a faculty analogous to that of the witch-hazle, which points to hidden treasure where all is barren to the eye. His airy gaiety, coming to him from a thousand sources, communicated itself to the family, and Ilbrahim was like a domesticated sunbeam, brightening moody countenances, and chasing away the gloom from the dark corners of the cottage. On the other hand, as the susceptibility of pleasure is also that of pain, the

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exuberant cheerfulness of the boy’s prevailing temper sometimes yielded to moments of deep depression. His sorrows could not always be followed up to their original source, but most frequently they appeared to flow, though Ilbrahim was young to be sad for such a cause, from wounded love. The flightiness of his mirth rendered him often guilty of offences against the decorum of a Puritan household, and on these occasions he did not invariably escape rebuke. But the slightest word of real bitterness, which he was infallible in distinguishing from pretended anger, seemed to sink into his heart and poison all his enjoyments, till he became sensible that he was entirely forgiven. Of the malice, which generally accompanies a superfluity of sensitiveness, Ilbrahim was altogether destitute; when trodden upon, he would not turn; when wounded, he could but die. His mind was wanting in the stamina for self-support; it was a plant that would twine beautifully round something stronger than itself, but if repulsed, or torn away, it had no choice but to wither on the ground. Dorothy’s acuteness taught her that severity would crush the spirit of the child, and she nurtured him with the gentle care of one who handles a butterfly. Her husband manifested an equal affection, although it grew daily less productive of familiar caresses.

The feelings of the neighboring people, in regard to the Quaker infant and his protectors, had not undergone a favorable change, in spite of the momentary triumph which the desolate mother had obtained over their sympathies. The scorn and bitterness, of which he was

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the object, were very grievous to Ilbrahim, especially when any circumstances made him sensible that the children, his equals in age, partook of the enmity of their parents. His tender and social nature had already overflowed in attachments to everything about him, and still there was a reside of unappropriate love, which he yearned to bestow upon the little ones who were taught to hate him. As the warm days of spring came on, Ilbrahim was accustomed to remain for hours, silent and inactive, within hearing of the children’s voices at their play; yet, with his usual delicacy of feeling, he avoided their notice, and would flee and hide himself from the smallest individual among them. Chance, however, at length seemed to open a medium of communication between his heart and theirs; it was by means of a boy about two years older than Ilbrahim, who was injured by a fall from a tree in the vicinity of Pearson’s habitation. As the sufferer’s own home was at some distance, Dorothy willingly received him under her roof, and became his tender and careful nurse.

Ilbrahim was the unconscious possessor of much skill in physiognomy, and it would have deterred him, in other circumstances, from attempting to make a friend of this boy. The countenance of the latter immediately impressed a beholder disagreeably, but it required some examination to discover that the cause was a very sight distortion of the mouth, and the irregular, broken line, and near approach of the eye-brows. Analogous, perhaps, to these trifling deformities, was an almost imperceptible twist of every joint, and the uneven prominence of the breast; forming a body, regular in

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its general outline, but faulty in almost all its details. The disposition of the boy was sullen and reserved, and the village schoolmaster stigmatized him as obtuse in intellect; although, at a later period of life, he evinced ambition and very peculiar talents. But whatever might be his personal or moral irregularities, Ilbrahim’s heart seized upon, and clung to him, from the moment that he was brought wounded into the cottage; the child of persecution seemed to compare his own fate with that of the sufferer, and to feel that even different modes of misfortune had created a sort of relationship between them. Food, rest, and the fresh air, for which he languished, were neglected; he nestled continually by the bed-side of the little stranger, and, with a fond jealousy, endeavored to be the medium of all the cares that were bestowed upon him. As the boy became convalescent, Ilbrahim contrived games suitable to his situation, or amused him by a faculty which he had perhaps breathed in with the air of his barbaric birthplace. It was that of reciting imaginary adventures, on the spur of the moment, and apparently in inexhaustible succession. His tales were of course monstrous, disjointed, and without aim; but they were curious on account of a vein of human tenderness, which ran through them all, and was like a sweet, familiar face, encountered in the midst of wild and unearthly scenery. The auditor paid much attention to these romances, and sometimes interrupted them by brief remarks upon the incidents, displaying shrewdness above his years, mingled with a moral obliquity which grated very harshly against Ilbrahim’s instinctive recti-

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tude. Nothing, however, could arrest the progress of the latter’s affection, and there were many proofs that it met with a response from the dark and stubborn nature on which it was lavished. The boy’s parents at length removed him, to complete his cure under their own roof.

Ilbrahim did not visit his new friend after his departure; but he made anxious and continual inquiries respecting him, and informed himself of the day when he was to reappear among his playmates. On a pleasant summer afternoon, the children of the neighborhood had assembled in the little forest-crowned amphitheatre behind the meetinghouse, and the recovering invalid was there, leaning on a staff. The glee of a score of untainted bosoms was heard in light and airy voices, which danced among the trees like sunshine become audible; the grown men of this weary world, as they journeyed by the spot, marvelled why life, beginning in such brightness, should proceed in gloom; and their hearts, or their imaginations, answered them and said, that the bliss of childhood gushes from its innocence. But it happened that an unexpected addition was made to the heavenly little band. It was Ilbrahim, who came towards the children, with a look of sweet confidence on his fair and spiritual face, as if, having manifested his love to one of them, he had no longer to fear a repulse from their society. A hush came over their mirth, the moment they beheld him, and they stood whispering to each other while he drew nigh; but, all at once, the devil of their fathers entered into the unbreeched fanatics, and, sending up a fierce, shrill cry, they rushed upon the

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poor Quaker child. In an instant, he was the centre of a brood of baby-fiends, who lifted sticks against him, pelted him with stones, and displayed an instinct of destruction, far more loathsome than the blood-thirstiness of manhood. The invalid, in the meanwhile, stood apart from the tumult, crying out with a loud voice, ‘Fear not, Ilbrahim, come hither and take my hand;’ and his unhappy friend endeavored to obey him. Having watched the victim’s struggling approach, with a calm smile and unabashed eye, the foul-hearted little villain lifted his staff, and struck Ilbrahim on the mouth, so forcibly that the blood issued in a stream. The poor child’s arms had been raised to guard his head from the storm of blows; but now he dropped them at once, for he was stricken in a tender part. His persecutors beat him down, trampled upon him, dragged him by his long, fair locks, and Ilbrahim was on the point of becoming as veritable a martyr as ever entered bleeding into heaven. The uproar, however, attracted the notice of a few neighbors, who put themselves to the trouble of rescuing the little heretic, and of conveying him to Pearson’s door.

Ilbrahim’s bodily harm was severe, but long and careful nursing accomplished his recovery; the injury done to his sensitive spirit was more serious, though not so visible. Its signs were principally of a negative character, and to be discovered only by those who had previously known him. His gait was thenceforth slow, even, and unvaried by the sudden bursts of sprightlier motion, which had once corresponded to his overflowing gladness; his countenance was heavier, and its former

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play of expression, the dance of sunshine reflected from moving water, was destroyed by the cloud over his existence; his notice was attracted in a far less degree by passing events, and he appeared to find greater difficulty in comprehending what was new to him, than at a happier period. A stranger, founding his judgment upon these circumstances, would have said that the dulness of the child’s intellect widely contradicted the promise of his features; but the secret was in the direction of Ilbrahim’s thoughts, which were brooding within him when they should naturally have been wandering abroad. An attempt of Dorothy to revive his former sportiveness was the single occasion, on which his quiet demeanor yielded to a violent display of grief; he burst into passionate weeping, and ran and hid himself, for his heart had become so miserably sore, that even the hand of kindness tortured it like fire. Sometimes, at night and probably in his dreams, he was heard to cry, ‘Mother! Mother!’ as if her place, which a stranger had supplied while Ilbrahim was happy, admitted of no substitute in his extreme affliction. Perhaps, among the many life-weary wretches then upon the earth, there was not one who combined innocence and misery like this poor, broken-hearted infant, so soon the victim of his own heavenly nature.

While this melancholy change had taken place in Ilbrahim, one of an earlier origin and of different character had come to its perfection in his adopted father. The incident with which this tale commences found Pearson in a state of religious dulness, yet mentally disquieted, and longing for a more fervid faith

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than he possessed. The first effort of his kindness to Ilbrahim was to produce a softened feeling, an incipient love for the child’s whole sect; but joined to this, and resulting perhaps from self-suspicion, was a proud and ostentatious contempt of their tenets and practical extravagances. In the course of much thought, however, for the subject struggled irresistibly into his mind, the foolishness of the doctrine began to be less evident, and the points which had particularly offended his reason assumed another aspect, or vanished entirely away. The work within him appeared to go on even while he slept, and that which had been a doubt, when he laid down to rest, would often hold the place of a truth, confirmed by some forgotten demonstration, when he recalled his thoughts in the morning. But while he was thus becoming assimilated to the enthusiasts, his contempt, in nowise decreasing towards them, grew very fierce against himself; he imagined, also, that every face of his acquaintance wore a sneer, and that every word addressed to him was a gibe. At length, when the change in his belief was fully accomplished, the contest grew very terrible between the love of the world, in its thousand shapes, and the power which moved him to sacrifice all for the one pure faith; to quote his own words, subsequently uttered at a meeting of Friends, it was as if ‘Earth and Hell had garrisoned the fortress of his miserable soul, and Heaven came battering against it to storm the walls.’ Such was his state of warfare at the period of Ilbrahim’s misfortune; and the emotions consequent upon that event enlisted with the besieging army, and decided the victory.

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There was a triumphant shout within him, and from that moment all was peace. Dorothy had not been the subject of a similar process, for her reason was as clear as her heart was tender.

In the mean time neither the fierceness of the persecutors, nor the infatuation of their victims, had decreased. The dungeons were never empty; the streets of almost every village echoed daily with the lash; the life of a woman, whose mild and christian spirit no cruelty could embitter, had been sacrificed; and more innocent blood was yet to pollute the hands, that were so often raised in prayer. Early after the Restoration, the English Quakers represented to Charles II. that a ‘vein of blood was opened in his dominions;’ but though the displeasure of the voluptuous king was roused, his interference was not prompt. And now the tale must stride forward over many months, leaving Pearson to exult in the midst of ignominy and misfortune; his wife to a firm endurance of a thousand sorrows; poor Ilbrahim to pine and droop like a cankered rose-bud; his mother to wander on a mistaken errand, neglectful of the holiest trust which can be committed to a women.

* * * * *

A winter evening, a night of storm, had darkened over Pearson’s habitation, and there were no cheerful faces to drive the gloom from his broad hearth. The fire, it is true, sent forth a glowing heat and a ruddy light, and large logs, dripping with half-melted snow, lay ready to be cast upon the embers. But the apartment was saddened in its aspect by the absence of much of the homely wealth which had once adorned it; for the

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exaction of repeated fines, and his own neglect of temporal affairs, had greatly impoverished the owner. And with the furniture of peace, the implements of war had likewise disappeared; the sword was broken, the helm and cuirass were cast away forever; the soldier had done with battles, and might not lift so much as his naked hand to guard his head. But the Holy Book remained, and the table on which it rested was drawn before the fire, while two of the persecuted sect sought comfort from its pages. He who listened, while the other read, was the master of the house, now emaciated in form, and altered as to the expression and healthiness of his countenance; for his mind had dwelt too long among visionary thoughts, and his body had been worn by imprisonment and stripes. The hale and weather-beaten old man, who sat beside him, had sustained less injury from a far longer course of the same mode of life. His features were strong and well connected, and seemed to express firmness of purpose and sober understanding, although his actions had frequently been at variance with this last attribute. In person he was tall and dignified, and which alone would have made him hateful to the Puritans, his grey locks fell from beneath the broad-brimmed hat, and rested on his shoulders. As the old man read the sacred page, the snow drifted against the windows, or eddied in at the crevices of the door, while a blast kept laughing in the chimney, and the blaze leaped fiercely up to seek it. And sometimes, when the wind struck the hill at a certain angle, and swept down by the cottage across the wintry plain, its voice was the most doleful that can be conceived; it

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came as if the Past were speaking, as if the Dead had contributed each a whisper, as if the Desolation of Ages were breathed in that one lamenting sound.

The Quaker at length closed the book, retaining however his hand between the pages which he had been reading, while he looked steadfastly at Pearson. The attitude and features of the latter might have indicated the endurance of bodily pain; he leaned his forehead on his hands, his teeth were firmly closed, and his frame was tremulous at intervals with a nervous agitation.

‘Friend Tobias,’ inquired the old man, compassionately, ‘hast thou found no comfort in these many blessed passages of scripture?’

‘Thy voice has fallen on my ear like a sound afar off and indistinct,’ replied Pearson, without lifting his eyes. ‘Yea, and when I have hearkened carefully, the words seemed cold and lifeless, and intended for another and a lesser grief than mine. Remove the book,’ he added, in a tone of sullen bitterness. ‘I have no part in its consolations, and they do but fret my sorrow the more.’

‘Nay, feeble brother, be not as one who hath never known the light,’ said the elder Quaker, earnestly, but with mildness. ‘Art thou he that wouldst be content to give all, and endure all, for conscience sake; desiring even peculiar trials, that thy faith might be purified, and thy heart weaned from worldly desires? And wilt thou sink beneath an affliction which happens alike to them that have their portion here below, and to them that lay up treasure in heaven? Faint not, for thy burthen is yet light.’

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‘It is heavy! It is heavier than I can bear!’ exclaimed Pearson, with the impatience of a variable spirit. ‘From my youth upward I have been a man marked out for wrath; and year by year, yea, day after day, I have endured sorrows such as others know not in their life-time. And now I speak not of the love that has been turned to hatred, the honor to ignominy, the ease and plentifulness of all things to danger, want, and nakedness. All this I could have borne, and counted myself blessed. But when my heart was desolate with many losses, I fixed it upon the child of a stranger, and he became dearer to me than all my buried ones; and now he too must die, as if my love were poison. Verily, I am an accursed man, and I will lay me down in the dust, and lift up my head no more.’

‘Thou sinnest, brother, but it is not for me to rebuke thee; for I also have had my hours of darkness, wherein I have murmured against the cross,’ said the old Quaker. He continued, perhaps in the hope of distracting his companion’s thoughts from his own sorrows. ‘Even of late was the light obscured within me, when the men of blood had banished me on pain of death, and the constables led me onward from village to village, towards the wilderness. A strong and cruel hand was wielding the knotted cords; they sunk deep into the flesh, and thou might have tracked every reel and totter of my footsteps by the blood that followed. As we went on’—

‘Have I not borne all this; and have I murmured?’ interrupted Pearson, impatiently.

‘Nay, friend, but hear me,’ continued the other. ‘As we journeyed on, night darkened on our path, so that

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no man could see the rage of the persecutors, or the constancy of my endurance, though Heaven forbid that I should glory therein. The lights began to glimmer in the cottage windows, and I could discern the inmates as they gathered, in comfort and security, every man with his wife and children by their own evening hearth. At length we came to a tract of fertile land; in the dim light, the forest was not visible around it; and behold! there was a straw-thatched dwelling, which bore the very aspect of my home, far over the wild ocean, far in our own England. then came bitter thoughts upon me; yea, remembrances that were like death to my soul. The happiness of my early days was painted to me; the disquiet of my manhood, the altered faith of my declining years. I remembered how I had been moved to go forth a wanderer, when my daughter, the youngest, the dearest of my flock, lay on her dying bed, and’—

‘Couldst thou obey the command at such a moment?’ exclaimed Pearson, shuddering.

‘Yea, yea,’ replied the old man, hurriedly. ‘I was kneeling by her bed-side when the voice spoke loud within me; but immediately I rose, and took my staff, and gat me gone. Oh! that it were permitted me to forget her woful look, when I thus withdrew my arm, and left her journeying through the dark valley alone! for her soul was faint, and she had leaned upon my prayers. Now in that night of horror I was assailed by the thought that I had been an erring Christian, and a cruel parent; yea, even my daughter, with her pale, dying features, seemed to stand by me and whisper, “Father, you are deceived; go home and shelter your

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grey head.” Oh! thou, to whom I have looked in my farthest wanderings,’ continued the Quaker, raising his agitated eyes to heaven, ‘inflict not upon the bloodiest of our persecutors the unmitigated agony of my soul, when I believed that all I had done and suffered for Thee was at the instigation of a mocking fiend! But I yielded not; I knelt down and wrestled with the tempter, while the scourge bit more fiercely into the flesh. My prayer was heard, and I went on in peace and joy towards the wilderness.’

The old man, though his fanaticism had generally all the calmness of reason, was deeply moved while reciting this tale; and his unwonted emotion seemed to rebuke and keep down that of his companion. They sat in silence, with their faces to the fire, imaging, perhaps, in its red embers, new scenes of persecution yet to be encountered. The snow still drifted hard against the windows, and sometimes, as the blaze of the logs had gradually sunk, came down the spacious chimney and hissed upon the hearth. A cautious footstep might now and then be heard in a neighboring apartment, and the sound invariably drew the eyes of both Quakers to the door which led thither. When a fierce and riotous gust of wind had led his thoughts, by a natural association, to homeless travellers on such a night, Pearson resumed the conversation.

‘I have well nigh sunk under my own share of this trial,’ observed he, sighing heavily; ‘yet I would that it might be doubled to me, if so the child’s mother could be spared. Her wounds have been deep and many, but this will be the sorest of all.’

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‘Fear not for Catherine,’ replied the old Quaker; ‘for I know that valiant woman, and have seen how she can bear the cross. A mother’s heart, indeed, is strong in her, and may seem to contend mightily with her faith; but soon she will stand up and give thanks that her son has been thus early an accepted sacrifice. The boy hath done his work, and she will feel that he is taken hence in kindness both to him and her. Blessed, blessed are they, that with so little suffering can enter into peace!’

The fitful rush of the wind was now disturbed by a portentous sound; it was a quick and heavy knocking at the outer door. Pearson’s wan countenance grew paler, for many a visit of persecution had taught him what to dread; the old man, on the other hand, stood up erect, and his glance was firm as that of the tried soldier who awaits his enemy.

‘The men of blood have come to seek me,’ he observed, with calmness. ‘They have heard how I was moved to return from banishment; and now am I to be led to prison, and thence to death. It is an end I have long looked for. I will open unto them, lest they say, “Lo, he feareth!” ’

‘Nay, I will present myself before them,’ said Pearson, with recovered fortitude. ‘It may be that they seek me alone, and know not that thou abidest with me.’

‘Let us go boldly, both one and the other,’ rejoined his companion. ‘It is not fitting that thou or I should shrink.’

They therefore proceeded through the entry to the door, which they opened, bidding the applicant ‘Come

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in, in God’s name!’ A furious blast of wind drove the storm into their faces, and extinguished the lamp; they had barely time to discern a figure, so white from head to foot with the drifted snow that it seemed like Winter’s self, come in human shape to seek refuge from its own desolation.

‘Enter, friend, and do thy errand, be it what it may,’ said Pearson. ‘It must needs be pressing, since thou comest on such a bitter night.’

‘Peace be with this household,’ said the stranger, when they stood on the floor of the inner apartment.

Pearson started; the elder Quaker stirred the slumbering embers of the fire, till they sent up a clear and lofty blaze; it was a female voice that had spoken; it was a female form that shone out, cold and wintry, in that comfortable light.

‘Catherine, blessed woman,’ exclaimed the old man, ‘art thou come to this darkened land again! art thou come to bear a valiant testimony as in former years? The scourge hath not prevailed against thee, and from the dungeon hast thou come forth triumphant; but strengthen, strengthen now thy heart, Catherine, for Heaven will prove thee yet this once, ere thou go to thy reward.’

‘Rejoice, friends!’ she replied. ‘Thou who hast long been of our people, and thou whom a little child hath led to us, rejoice! Lo! I come, the messenger of glad tidings, for the day of persecution is overpast. The heart of the king, even Charles, hath been moved in gentleness towards us, and he hath sent forth his letters to stay the hands of the men of blood. A ship’s company

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of our friends hath arrived at yonder town, and I also sailed joyfully among them.’

As Catherine spoke, her eyes were roaming about the room, in search of him for whose sake security was dear to her. Pearson made a silent appeal to the old man, nor did the latter shrink from the painful task assigned him.

‘Sister, he began, in a softened yet perfectly calm tone, ‘thou tellest us of His love, manifested in temporal good; and now must we speak to thee of that self-same love, displayed in chastenings. Hitherto, Catherine, thou hast been as one journeying in a darksome and difficult path, and leading an infant by the hand; fain wouldst thou have looked heavenward continually, but still the cares of that little child have drawn thine eyes, and thy affections, to the earth. Favorite sister! go on rejoicing, for his tottering footsteps shall impede thine own no more.’

But the unhappy mother was not thus to be consoled; she shook like a leaf, she turned white as the very snow that hung drifted into her hair. The firm old man extended his hand and held her up, keeping his eye upon her’s, as if to repress any outbreak of passion.

‘I am a woman, I am but a woman; will He try me above my strength?’ said catherine, very quickly, and almost in a whisper. ‘I have been wounded sore; I have suffered much; many things in the body, many in the mind; crucified in myself, and in them that were dearest to me. Surely,’ added she with a long shudder, ‘He hath spared me in this one thing.’ She broke forth with sudden and irrepressible violence. ‘Tell me, man

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of cold heart, what has God done to me? Hath He cast me down never to rise again? Hath He crushed my very heart in his hand? And thou, to whom I committed my child, how hast thou fulfilled thy trust? Give me back the boy, well, sound, alive, alive; or earth and haven shall avenge me!’

The agonized shriek of Catherine was answered by the faint, the very faint voice of a child.

On this day it had become evident to Pearson, to his aged guest, and to Dorothy, that Ilbrahim’s brief and troubled pilgrimage drew near its close. The two former would willingly have remained by him, to make use of the prayers and pious discourses which they deemed appropriate to the time, and which, if they be impotent as to the departing traveller’s reception in the world whither he goes, may at least sustain him in bidding adieu to earth. But though Ilbrahim uttered no complaint, he was disturbed by the faces that looked upon him; so that Dorothy’s entreaties, and their own conviction that the child’s feet might tread heaven’s pavement and not soil it, had induced the two Quakers to remove. Ilbrahim then closed his eyes and grew calm, and, except for now and then, a kind and low word to his nurse, might have been thought to slumber. As night-fall came on, however, and the storm began to rise, something seemed to trouble the repose of the boy’s mind, and to render his sense of hearing active and acute. If a passing wind lingered to shake the casement, he strove to turn his head towards it; if the door jarred to and fro upon its hinges, he looked long and anxiously thitherward; if the heavy voice of the old man, as he read the scriptures,

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rose but a little higher, the child almost held his dying breath to listen; if a snow-drift swept by the cottage, with a sound like the trailing of a garment, Ilbrahim seemed to watch that some visitant should enter. But, after a little time, he relinquished whatever secret hope had agitated him, and, with one low, complaining whisper, turned his cheek upon the pillow. He then addressed Dorothy with his usual sweetness, and besought her to draw near him; she did so, and Ilbrahim took her hand in both of his, grasping it with a gentle pressure, as if to assure himself that he retained it. At intervals, and without disturbing the repose of his countenance, a very faint trembling passed over him from head to foot, as if a mild but somewhat cool wind had breathed upon him, and made him shiver. As the boy thus led her by the hand, in his quiet progress over the borders of eternity, Dorothy almost imagined that she could discern the near, though dim delightfulness, of the home he was about to reach; she would not have enticed the little wanderer back, though she bemoaned herself that she must leave him and return. But just when Ilbrahim’s feet were pressing on the soil of Paradise, he heard a voice behind him, and it recalled him a few, few paces of the weary path which he had travelled. As Dorothy looked upon his features, she perceived that their placid expression was again disturbed; her own thoughts had been so wrapt in him, that all sounds of the storm, and of human speech, were lost to her; but when Catherine’s shriek pierced through the room, the boy strove to raise himself.

‘Friend, she is come! Open unto her!’ cried he.

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In a moment, his mother was kneeling by the bed-side; she drew Ilbrahim to her bosom, and he nestled there, with no violence of joy, but contentedly as if he were hushing himself to sleep. He looked into her face, and reading its agony, said, with feeble earnestness;

‘Mourn not, dearest mother. I am happy now.’ And with these words, the gentle boy was dead.

* * * * *

The king’s mandate to stay in New England persecutors was effectual in preventing further martyrdoms; but the colonial authorities, trusting in the remoteness of their situation, and perhaps in the supposed instability of the royal government, shortly renewed their severities in all other respects. Catherine’s fanaticism had become wilder by the sundering of all human ties; and wherever a scourge was lifted, there was she to receive the blow; and whenever a dungeon was unbarred, thither she came, to cast herself upon the floor. But in process of time, a more christian spirit—a spirit of forbearance, though not of cordiality or approbation, began to pervade the land in regard to the persecuted sect. And then, when the rigid old Pilgrims eyed her rather in pity than in wrath; when the matrons fed her with the fragments of their children’s food, and offered her a lodging on a hard and lowly bed; when no little crowd of school-boys left their sports to cast stones after the roving enthusiast; then did Catherine return to Pearson’s dwelling, and made that her home. As if Ilbrahim’s sweetness yet lingered round his ashes; as if his gentle spirit came down from heaven to teach his parent a true religion, her fierce and vindictive nature was softened by

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the same griefs which had once irritated it. When the course of years had made the features of the unobtrusive mourner familiar in the settlement, she became a subject of not deep, but general interest; a being on whom the otherwise superfluous sympathies of all might be bestowed. Every one spoke of her with that degree of pity which it is pleasant to experience; every one was ready to do her the little kindnesses, which are not costly, yet manifest good will; and when at last she died, a long train of her once bitter persecutors followed her, with decent sadness and tears that were not painful, to her place by Ilbrahim’s green and sunken grave. My heart is glad of this triumph of our better nature; it gives me a kindlier feeling for the fathers of my native land; and with it I will close the tale.


a white man on a horse reaches for a white child and a dog about to float over a waterfall
Painted by A. Fisher.      Engraved by Geo. W. Hatch.

[p. 241]



Noon! and so fleecy cloud

Is drifting in the sky;

The breezes hardly whisper loud,

As they float idly by;

Silence broods upon the hills,

The changing forest fills,

And mingles with the flow of the soft-gliding rills.

Eve! and the arching skies,

In robes of glory drest,

Are gorgeous with the myriad dies

That stain the golden west;

Still the shifting purple gleams

Color the flowing streams;

The broad sea shines like fire beneath the sun’s red beams.

But not a single star

Rises to gem the night;

The pale moon from her cloud-veiled car,

Sheds not a beam of light;

Sweeping swiftly to the shore,

The sullen surges roar;

And the dark shades of storm are gathering more and more!

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The rising waters swell,

The rivers overflow,

The mountain streams, through field and fell,

In foaming torrents go;

And by the earliest ray,

That brings the golden day,

The sleeper’s humble home the waters sweep away.

‘Quick, quick, my boy, thy hand!’

The falls are yawning near;

But they will safely reach the land,

For the child knows not fear;

And the ever-living Power,

That bade the storm to lower,

Will shelter them and save at this most awful hour!

[p. 243]



So quick bright things come to confusion.


I knew him, when the morning sun

Of childhood laughed above his way;

When every scene he looked upon

Seemed decked for Pleasure’s gala-day;

There came no hovering cloud of care

To shroud his brow or veil his eye;

And incense blessed the cloudless air,

While Hope’s rich phantoms glittered by.

His was a heart, whose finest chord

Would thrill, like an Æolian lyre,

When southern winds at eve are poured,

Or sunset lifts its sky of fire;

And sweet affections, lingering there

Like living waters, freshly played;

And Fancy’s visions, new and fair,

Thronged bright where’er his footsteps strayed.

It was not long, ere on his brow

The shades of disappointment fell;

For the free spirit’s radiant glow

Bade his tumultuous heart farewell.

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A sickness o’er his bosom crept,

His early dreams unreal were;

And friends, once loved, around him slept

In many a noiseless sepulchre.

Then midst his heritage of grief

There came a fond, a gentle one,

Pure as the rose’s bursting leaf,

Ere the spring-gales its sweets have won;

A being, like to those that bow

In many a white-robed, praising throng,

Where crystal waves in music flow,

And hallowed skies are rich with song.

And while the stars begirt them round,

In Evening’s soft and holy hours,

He breathed his tale of love profound,

And heard, like birds in summer bowers,

His passion answered! pure as heaven,

Which bent at eve above their way,

Ere to the maiden’s eye was given

The film of darkness and decay.

Early she faded; Sickness came,

And o’er her eye of heavenly blue,

While her cheek flushed with fever’s flame,

The haze of wasting nature threw;

And with pale roses in the gold,

The clustering richness of her hair,

The pall caressed her in its fold;

On her wan lip, the worm was there!

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Then did the waste of life appear,

Unto the Minstrel’s vacant eye,

A thick and shadowed atmosphere,

Where buds are nurtured but to die:

The glow, the eloquence had gone

Which fired erewhile his glad harp-strings,

For Death had o’er his rapture thrown

The midnight of his cloudy wings!

And now he sleeps! That lofty soul

Hath passed unto another sphere,

Where Love is free from Death’s control,

To another land, where thoughts are calm,

Where hearts are light, and all is well;

Where the rich air is sweet with balm,

Like the gay flowers of Asphodel!

[p. 246]


There is a land that pleasant seems

Though few and faint the glimpses be;

It is the distant land of dreams,

Where love is blest, and fancy free.

The painter’s art, the poet’s theme,

The hero’s deed, the hermit’s prayer,

The maiden’s thought by bower and stream,

Are shadows dim of objects there.

There all who mourn, in bliss shall dwell,

And severed hearts gain shall blend,

In that high place from which we fell,

In that far home to which we tend.

Alas! alas! ’t is but in sleep

That long lost home we ever see;

We dream, but soon we wake and weep

In this cold place of misery.

Our better nature we repress,

When we forget the world unseen,

For this unquiet wilderness,

Where care and sorrow intervene.

Yet faith that rises most from sorrow,

As ivy best mid ruins grows,

Can of that world the pleasures borrow,

And taste in this its sweet repose.


[p. 247]



We meet but to part, love, we part but to meet,

When our foes shall be trodden like dust at our feet.

No fetters, no tyrants our souls shall enslave,

While the ocean shall roll, or the harvest shall wave.

We go, to return when the strife shall be done,

When the field shall be fought, and the battle be won;

When the sceptre is smitten, and broken the chain,

We come back in freedom, or come not again.

Yon red-robed battalions are plumed for the fray,

And their banners dance high o’er their martial array;

Tomorrow still redder in blood shall they lie,

On the spot where they stand, we will conquer or die.

Few, faithful, and fearless, we bend to the fight,

And England’s best legions shall quail at our might;

The rush of our foemen unshaken we stem;

As the rock meets the ocean wave, so meet we them.

Our’s are no hirelings trained to the fight,

With cymbal and clarion, all glittering and bright;

No prancing of chargers, no martial display,

No war-trump is heard from our silent array.

O’er the proud heads of free men our star-banner waves;

Men firm as their mountains, and still as their graves.

Tomorrow shall pour out their life-blood like rain;

We come back in triumph, or come not again.

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No fearing, no doubting, thy soldier shall know,

When here stands his country, and yonder her foe;

One look at the bright sun, one prayer to the sky,

One glance where our banner floats glorious on high;

Then on, as the young lion bounds on his prey;

Let the sword flash on high, fling the scabbard away;

Roll on like the thunderbolt over the plain;

We come back in glory, or come not again.

Sweep them off, as the storm sweeps the chaff on its breath,

When bows the red harvest whose reaper is Death!

Be strong as the earthquake, and swift as the wind;

Carry vengeance before us, and freedom behind;

We shed not vain tears when the warrior is low,

Be his soul to his God, so his breast ’s to the foe;

Our tears are the red drops, the life-blood that drain,

When we come back with vengeance, or come not again!

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I have not seen a fairer sample of the respectable and opulent western pioneers in the bygone days, than Nimrod Buckskin, Esq., of West Virginia. He lived, for, I regret to say, he lives no longer, on the main branch of the Kenhawa, not far below the point, where it pours its pure mountain-tribute upon the plain. Impetuous and wild in its foaming descent, an emblem of the inhabitants of the West, as soon as it rolls upon level and arable soil, it becomes calm. It winds through a grove of those gigantic and noble tulip-trees, that are the glory of the western forest, and emerges, from the dark green shade, or yellow sands and polished pebbles, into a wide and fertile alluvial tract, which constituted the estate of this gentleman. He was the fortunate heir, with this fine tract and fifty negroes, to a rich Saline, which, without parsimony or speculation, had enabled him to accumulate a hundred thousand dollars in ready money. Opulent, intelligent, high-minded, not wholly unlettered, though rustic from the circumstances of his life, he practised that simple and noble hospitality peculiar to the western country, of which the inhabitants of towns could form no adequate idea, but by inspection. His house was in the still favorite style of an ancient western man; an ample, double log house, not without its indications of the opulence and comfort of the owner.

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The perfect uniformity of the lines of logs, and the white parallels of plaster, showed the curious transition medium between a German stone house and a cabin. Around it the village of negro quarters, barns, horse-mill, spring-house, cribs, and shops, presented an unique aspect in the distance, not unlike a large community of beehives. The whole was shaded by noble forest-trees, which the owner had had the good taste to spare. Vigorous and thrifty orchards were spread beyond. Beside the barns ranged domestic animals and fowls, for number and variety, recalling the beautiful bible picture of the ancient man of Uz. I suspect man is a hunter by instinct. At least he seems always such, where circumstances allow him the pastime. No appetite fastens deeper upon the heart, and Mr Buckskin would tell you, with an indescribable enthusiasm, that no man ought to talk of high enjoyment, who had not hunted in the western forests, in the days of Daniel Boone. But bears grew scarce; even venison and turkeys were no longer obtained with sufficient ease and regularity, to furnish a constant supply of these forest dainties for his patriarchal table. The time was a kind of interregnum between hunting and municipal life.

A considerable village had grown up, at the distance of half a mile from this house. It was, what is called in the West, a country-seat, a place of some importance. The chief inn had the word ‘Hotel’ on a prodigious sign, which bore a most ferocious caricature of Washington. The arm chair of the ordinary of this establishment was regularly assigned to Squire Buckskin, by prescription; although the villagers were, for the most part, recent

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emigrants, half unconscious of the claims of an old residenter. Among these people, the most natural themes of interest were the arrival and departure of steamboats, and the internal improvements of turnpikes and canals. In these conversations, the Squire seldom bore any part; and a discussion of them generally brought over his countenance a kind of stern sadness. Some one of the company, who divined that an unpleasant string of comparison had been harped within him, and wished to gain his favorable ear, would digress from modern improvements to the bulletin of a night bear-hunt, in the times of the Indians and first settlers. They then had a story of Herculean and skin-clad men, in energetic phrase, in keeping with the scenes and incidents of the narrative. It presented ancient and boundless forests, as yet untouched by the axe, illumined by the blaze of the hunter’s fire, the chiming cry of the dogs, the hearty shouts of the hunters, the clang of the rifles, ringing through the night stillness, and the sullen bruin driven to his last retreat in the huge, hollow sycamore, followed by the elastic shout of triumph in surveying the dimensions of the fallen forest prowler. The countenance of Squire Buckskin would then lighten with a peculiar expression. The memory of joys that were past, was recalled. It was as the narrative of Austerlitz, told by a companion in arms to Napoleon, on the far rock of the seas.

‘Bears,’ or, as he called them, ‘bar,’ the patriarch would add, with a peculiar intonation of sadness, ‘are getting so scarce, that the pleasure of a night-hunt is dead out. The forests have become thin. Hunting-shirts are disappearing. Old times are gone. Keel-boats are

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going out of use, and it is no great matter that I am going with the rest. All I wish, is, that they, who live in the days of steamboats, extravagant fashions, and the everlasting grinding of politics, may be as honest and happy, as the true old west country Cohoes.’

Exposure, and the indulgence of a hunter’s appetite, at the age of seventyfive, brought on rheumatism, and general morbid derangement of the system. Mountain herbs, Indian doctors, sweating doctors, and quack patents, were all tried in succession; but all alike failed to remove the complaint. During his illness, an honored young Tuckahoe relative, a gem of the Virginia aristocracy of the first water, made him a visit from Norfolk, and furnished him an ample budget of the freshest modern news, and imbued him with the history of the last half century, brought down to the present time. Among other things, he vaunted the waters of Saratoga, and instanced many Southerners, who had been completely restored by them from complaints not unlike his. He earnestly recommended the experiment to him.

The old gentleman listened, without signs of visible impatience, to the fluent speech and modern phrases of his young friend. But internally he hated steamboats, unshaded turnpikes, and modern changes. He had a particular dislike, compounded of prejudice and dread, towards Yankees; about whose tin wares, wooden clocks, and ingenious knaveries, he told many pleasant second hand stories. He considered the whole generation instinctively inclined to cheat, even where honesty was most gainful, and least laborious. Not having been east of the mountains, since the glorious affair of Yorktown,

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in which he had borne an honorable part, his antipathy to Yankees, and his views of modern improvements, connected sufficiently revolting associations with such a journey. But circumstances gave to the words of his young friend oracular importance. Pain, too, has a tongue of strong persuasion, and he was discouraged at the thought of repeating former experiments, that had so entirely failed. Situated as he was, the expense of the journey need not be an element in settling the question. His loneliness, after the departure of his young friend, fixed his purpose. Having completed his preparations, he held a solemn conversation with his only son and child, in presence of two nieces, whom he had brought up, as children. ‘Nimrod,’ said he, ‘it is, perhaps, probable that I shall die on this journey. The world has not been overly happy to me since the death of your dear mother. Game, too, is getting scarce. Most of my old acquaintances in the low lands are gone; and, somehow, the ways of the times seem more calculated for the new comers, than for me. I shall leave you a fine estate, and a solemn charge to be faithful to these young girls. If I die away, I would rather my bones should not be left in the Yankee country. Let me be buried at the bend of the branch, where it looks out upon the mountains.’ Two trusty body servants attended him, and his carriage drove away for a steamboat at the Saline, in which he had engaged a passage to Pittsburg.

Though strongly imbued with prejudice, he was deficient neither in intelligence nor good feeling. As he experienced a new kind of exercise, and his thoughts were led out of their gloomy circle of habit, his health

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and spirits improved, and he became gradually reconciled to modern changes. He frankly admitted, that steamboats were better than keel-boats; Reeside’s carriages, than Kentucky wagons; and a good turnpike, than an Indian trail, or a forest quagmire. Still further onward, the civility of the attendants of the hotels astonished him, and gradually wore away his dislike to eastern people. Though the waters of Saratoga were of service to him, yet cotillions and concerts and the gaiety of the unthinking young, and the tawdry affectation of rich and ignorant parvenus, and the incessant noise and whirl of movement, neutralized their beneficial effect. His patience was exhausted in a fortnight, and he was already contemplating some change of place, when he met a west country acquaintance, who, like him, had been travelling for his health, and was now on his return from Nahant, immensely improved by sea-bathing. He spoke with enthusiasm of his trip. Some of Squire Buckskin’s prejudices resumed their ancient vigor. ‘I should like to try it,’ said he, ‘I have never seen the sea but once in my life, and it is one of the few spectacles that I can never forget. I am told that the summer air from the blue water is cool and refreshing; and this place is like a cobler’s [sic] room heated by a stove, and the everlasting din more annoying than that of spring black-birds. But then to get there, I must pass through the whole land of wooden clocks; confound the tin-peddling knaves!’ But dissatisfaction with the springs, uniting with the impulse of unquenched native ardor and curiosity, overcame even this obstacle; and he was whirled away through Albany, New Lebanon, the

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impressive scenery of the Green Mountains, so like the blue hills at the sources of the Kanhawa, and the neat, white villages beyond. He saw towns, spires, and rosy faces, in continual succession; and such was his impression from what he saw, and from his intercourse with the people, that here, in the very centre of Yankee land, his prejudices against them loosened their hold faster than ever.

He reached the beautiful peninsula, washed by the summer surge, in safety; and inhaled the health-giving breeze, charged with the elastic coolness of the immeasurable wave; and meditated on his far home, as the traces of the carriage wheels were pencilled on the polished strand, whence the tide had just ebbed. This retirement, change of diet, air, and sea-bathing, completely restored him; and he became almost a New Englander in his admiration of the climate and people. ‘If they have the cool sea,’ said he, ‘and sea fish, and handsomer and better taught children, we ought not, in pure envy, to calumniate them with clumsy falsehoods about their cheating; but be satisfied with our more fertile country, and train our children to equal quickness.’

On his return homeward, caught by a shower, as he was riding on horseback over the Berkshire mountains, he experienced a relapse of his rheumatism from sudden cold. The severity of the complaint brought him up, as it happened, in a quiet and neat inn, where he was attended with the most unwearied assiduity and consideration. Beside the general attendance of the inn, he had a particular nurse in Katharine Spooner, a charming girl, of the very best pattern of Yankee neatness, cleverness,

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and kindness of character. She not only nursed him, but read and sung to him, and cheered the loneliness of his confinement by her intelligent and lively conversation. Gratitude and an affectionate interest were awakened for her, not diminished by learning that she was an orphan, brought up by the landlord; that she had gained all her advantages at the common school of the village, and was entirely dependent on her own exertions. He was struck with astonishment. ‘Why,’ said he, ‘after all the expense and trouble of sending our daughters to fashionable schools in the Atlantic country we seldom see them return instructed as she is.’ So strong a liking did the old gentleman manifest for his favorite, that more than one of her young acquaintances, half in jest, half in earnest, bantered her on her chances of marrying the ancient and rich widower, and coming forth, after a short discipline of penance, a young widow with a fortune. Nor were there wanting envious minds, who seriously suspected her of such sordid views. But they as little divined the character of the west country man, as the pure kindness and the simple integrity of the high spirited girl. Good minds know each other by instinct. The frank manners, and the blunt honesty of her invalid charge, had won her kind feelings; and her display of intelligent and benevolent resources, to amuse and restore him, had gained his warm heart. It is true, these attributes were none the less effective, for being displayed in a buoyant and beautiful girl of seventeen. But no thoughts, beyond filial sanctity on the one part, and parental affection on the other, had been elicited between them.

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Squire Buckskin had regained his usual health, and had no longer even a pretext for delay. Having paid the landlord’s bill, with a handsome gratuity to the other attendants, he requested to speak with Katharine Spooner by herself. Almost affected to tears, he held out a fifty dollar note.

‘My pretty Yankee girl,’ said he, ‘I can never repay your kindness to me. If this’—

‘No, Sir,’ she answered promptly; ‘I am already paid for all I have done. I take no money for what I have not earned.’

He paused, in a slight revulsion of astonishment. ‘What! a Yankee, and act in this style? Fifty dollars would not go begging in some other parts of the country. You are above taking money, then? Perhaps you are right. God Almighty has given you, in your head, heart, and pretty face, what no money could buy you. I shall tell of this when I hear the Yankees traduced.’

Her cheek crimsoned, as she replied, ‘But I have no relatives here. I think I could keep a good school, and’—

‘I understand you; I will think of it, my dear girl,’ said he. ‘I hope you will hear from your old western friend, whom your nursing has restored; and, if we meet not again, may He be your recompense, who never permits virtue to go unrewarded.’ In the style of his country, he saluted her on her polished cheek, and turned away to conceal his tears.

The return of Squire Buckskin, to his estate, in good health, was an era of general gladness in the vicinity, as well as particular joy to his family. Like another

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Robinson Crusoe, he was continually reciting the incidents of his journey to Yankee land, mingling almost unconscious eulogy of the people and country with his descriptions. ‘He had seen,’ he said, ‘with his own eyes, the stupid misrepresentations of them so current in the west and south.’ He was particularly emphatic in his praise of New England schools, and the efficient training which the children acquired there. On an election eve, in which the candidate had been carried unanimously, he made a kind of harangue, and concluded by saying, ‘We must have a better female school in this village.’ The hearts of the people were warm, and in concert. They requested him to draw up a subscription list. He did so, and headed it with a hundred dollars, adding, that for the advantage of having his nieces instructed at home, he would board the mistress, beside his subscription. Five hundred dollars a year, for two years, were subscribed on the spot; and Squire Buckskin was elected committee man, with full power to offer the place to whom he chose. His feelings at once prompted him to write to Katharine Spooner. He offered her the place, and enclosed a hundred dollar note, to pay her travelling expenses, ‘which,’ he added, ‘she was not to consider a gift, but a kind of gratuity, along with her board, for which he should expect particular attention to his nieces, at home.’

After due reflection, Katharine determined to accept the proposition, which was, indeed, far beyond her highest expectations. Fitting herself out, with the neatness and taste indicative of her character, and taking a tender, filial leave of the protector of her early years,

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as well as a general farewell of her many friends, she was handed into the stage. A couple of well-dressed young gentlemen gave her place on the back seat, with that officious civility, which a pretty person, similarly invested, is sure to exact.

Katharine was not one of your over-delicate ladies, who either shrink from the observations of a male stranger, or obtrude themselves upon it, and who seem terrified at the thought of venturing a step, without reclining daintily on the arm of a protector. But purity of thought and character was written on every lineament of her countenance. A virtuous education had impressed, upon every step, visible propriety and self-respect. If her innocent loveliness sometimes attracted the gaze of lawless admiration, a second view repelled all thought of any improper advances to her acquaintance. She took the steamboat at Pittsburg, and once or twice a trader dandy, on his return from Philadelphia, ventured to survey her through his eye-glass. A calm look of easy and yet indignant defiance, at once settled the terms of relationship between them. Such is the ultimate triumph of the better kind of New England education, inspiring the most winning modesty, in the form of self-reliance and self-respect. A girl, who has it, will pass, unprotected and alone, without a stain of suspicion upon her, from Maine to the Sabine; and so would she. On all the long way from Berkshire to Kenhawa, she never failed receiving considerate civility, and respectful attention.

She arrived safely at her destination, and was welcomed by the elder Buckskin with fatherly kindness. Nimrod

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Buckskin, junior, looked in her glowing face, as she received his father’s salute, and never forgot the spectacle; being that he had never dreamed of such a Yankee before. As she passed by him to her seat, he bent his form of six feet and two inches with an odd kind of awkward respect. He felt that he had received a sure shaft, notwithstanding all his preconceived associations with tin-ware, and pit-coal Indigo. He was now turned of twentyone, and would have been a fine young man, if a higher education, and more enlarged acquaintance with society, had developed his native endowments. His first exclamation to a young friend, on returning from the interview, was, ‘Gemini! is this the daughter of a tin pedlar? To a dead certainly, she ’s the severest bird I ever saw.’

Behold her forthwith charged, at home in particular, with the two little favorite nieces, and bending her youthful beauty and gaiety to the stern requisitions upon patience, discretion, and the difficult task of governing, as she put on the thorny crown of a village school. The next process was to pass through the furnace of trial by the tongue. One critical mother, her children furnishing the allegations, espied one defect, and another an opposite and incompatible one; but, on the whole, she passed the first ordeal with uncommon good fortune, and there was a decided balance of estimation in her favor. However, some of the young ladies demurred, and entered certain pleas in abatement; after her first appearance in church, the gentlemen carried the vote for her by acclamation.

To settle her place in society was a matter of somewhat more pith and moment. Beside the family of Augustus

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Fillagree, Esq., almost a counterpoise in importance to that of Squire Buckskin, there were some five or six others, that, from comparative opulence, or other adventitious circumstances, constituted the aristocracy of that circle. The question of admitting the schoolmistress a formal member of this high society, was earnestly debated in private, and family by family. The point long hung in doubtful suspense, and was only settled, as the sage Panza arranged it for Don Quixote, by a palpable conviction, that wherever she was, would be the head. The aristocracy of nature carried it over that of prescription. The question was decided in her favor, and she became forthwith free of the high privileges and immunities of the social circle.

Anne Maria Theresa Fillagree, of Fillagree Grove, was only daughter of Augustus Fillagree, Esq.; between whom and Squire Buckskin there was a strong coincidence of condition. The former was a Tuckahoe. So had been the father of the latter. Both were unquestioned scions of Virginia aristocracy. The one had an only son, the other an only daughter, and both were widowers. In one essential respect they differed. The one was rich, far beyond his show and expenditure. The other had squandered a large patrimonial estate in the low country, with two hundred and fifty negroes, and was compelled to move west of the mountains, to this hereditary tract, with only thirty negroes, the wreck of his former means; where he sustained, as he might, the heart-wearing struggle between poverty and pride, former habits of lavish show, and present desperate expedients, to satisfy their craving. Still, his condition

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and pretensions placed him far above all other competition in that quarter, except with Squire Buckskin, and over him he had no slight advantage, in being a Tuckahoe, when the latter would claim only the honors of being a Cohoe.

Miss Anne, as she was called, we omit her remaining pastoral appellations, had been showily educated at Norfolk; danced, played the piano, and had even taken lessons on the harp; had attended lectures, and became possessed of some fifty technicals, and had been heard to say donnez moi du café at the breakfast table. She was tall, a good figure, a little sallow, listless in her manners, affecting a kind of yawning ennui; and, when she walked, a negro girl preceded, and another followed her, whose duty required, that each should draw off one of her stockings, when she retired to bed. She was, of course, the undisputed belle and fine lady of the country. Indifferent and listless as she seemed, she was awake to any infraction of her dignity, and exacted her tithe of homage to a tittle.

A kind of family compact between the widowed fathers, had destined her for Nimrod Buckskin, junior. Both the parties had so understood it, so long and so early, that the connexion had come to be contemplated by them with as much indifference, as though it had actually taken place half a dozen years. Although she had not a particle of predilection for anything appertaining to him but his negroes and wealth, yet her optics wanted not the keenness to discern the immense importance of these. Moreover, a certain spice of bitterness, it is presumed, a heritage from the first mother, arose in

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her bosom, in surveying the Yankee schoolmistress, blooming, buoyant, and erect, moving over the dewy sward in the conscious pride of usefulness, with her numerous fair-haired family skipping onwards, like spring lambs, towards the schoolhouse. A feverish presentiment of danger darted into her mind. A possession, which seemed valueless when there was no competitor, assumed in her eye a fearful importance, as soon as symptoms of contingent loss were descried in the distance.

Before the first quarter of Katharine’s services had expired, with an acuteness of tact in that line, as I think, appropriate to the better half of the species, Miss Anne understood precisely what the schoolmistress was; and, without appearing as the accredited source of the information, contrived, that everybody should know, that Katharine was a poor orphan, and that there would be no want of an efficient leader of an opposition to her. With intuitive sagacity, Katharine divined the current that would be likely to spring from this undertow. But, partly from the conviction, that the straight and upright course is the safest; partly from knowing, that little sympathy is won by complaining; and partly from the pride of conscious worth and integrity, she made no inquiries nor confidants, complained not, managed not; but left events to take the natural chances in favor of simple truth, in conflict with intrigue.

Whenever there was a walk or a party, a horse race or a meeting, young Buckskin continued to achieve his prescribed duty of beau to Miss Anne, dragged to it, to use his own words, like a dog in a string. Katharine, interdicted by her employment from many of these

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interviews, wisely evaded appearing at the remainder, whenever there was a decent pretext. Miss Anne keenly comprehended what a bitter infliction this was to her swain. As they took a morning ride, they often passed the fair young mistress, thoughtfully wending her way to her noisy domain. As their proud coursers pranced by her, ‘See,’ Miss Anne would pronounce, with a scornful toss of the head, ‘where Mr Buckskin’s thoughts are wandering! Strange, that the daughter of a strolling tin-pedlar, a mere Yankee rustic, should have so subdued the proud heart of a bear slayer, and heir expectant!’ On such occasions young Nimrod gnawed his whip-handle, but word spake not, precisely because the predicament was perplexing beyond his powers of dialogue. But as she proceeded, excited by temper beyond her purpose, to asperse Katharine’s character and motives, generosity and justice would have produced a recoil within him, if love had not. Such efforts reacted upon the agent far more than the object. All helped to fan the flame in the young hunter’s bosom, until the blind urchin hd done the work most effectually for the heir. Love, to him entirely a new disease, raged in his powerful frame, like a tropical epidemic; and most palpably did he manifest the spasms of this terrible malady.

His grand object now was to make known his deplorable case to the schoolmistress. Night and day was he vexing his brain to invent schemes and pretexts, that might bring on a private interview. His purpose was too palpable, not to be as fully comprehended by her as himself. But, although the house was large, a grove

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near at hand, a few inmates, except negro servants, to act as spies; and, although young Buckskin’s authority, over everything within and about the house, was next to despotic, she countervailed his project with such dexterous cleverness, as to defeat all his calculations, without any apparent effort to do so. When, as sometimes happened, they were casually cast together in the same circle, Miss Anne imperatively held her beau to close attendance by a kind of centripetal attraction, while the schoolmistress repelled him by managing firmness. The fierce and proud young heir felt like a caged lion; and it was no circumstance to soothe his agony, to see the loved young schoolmistress followed by the eyes and the homage of the finest young men present.

But Miss Anne began to perceive, with terror, that the stern and independent young hunter was in daily danger of bursting his manacles. She saw, that he had already forgotten, that she was an aristocrat, and heiress of thirty negroes; and her rival an orphan and a Yankee. She had a presentiment, that the crisis of her absolute abandonment could not be distant. The scale of pride sank, as that of real alarm arose; and she repaired to her father, with an ample and undisguised statement of the aspect of the emergency.

The intelligence fell upon her father like a thunder-stroke. He had never dreamed of the possibility, that the compact between him and his neighbor could fail. The consummation had been his anticipated resource for replenishing his purse. He perceived, in a moment, that it was a case that called for prompt action. He

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was forthwith closeted with the elder Buckskin, who trembled to be informed, what he had half conjectured before, that his son evidently slighted Miss Anne, and loved the schoolmistress, who was represented, as having brought about this issue by the customary management of the Yankees. Squire Fillagree adverted, with due solemnity, to the patrician taint that would be contracted by this misalliance. ‘Be true to your honor,’ said he, vehemently, ‘and your pledged word. drive away the girl. Inform your son, that he must marry my daughter at once, or never. You both know, that neither my daughter nor myself are to be trifled with.’

Squire Buckskin wrung his hands, in agony. ‘I am afraid you have laid out more work than I can accomplish. Both my son and your daughter have always had their will. If the son is like his father, you may as well turn over the Bald Mountain, as change his purposes. This all comes of letting young people have their own heads.’

After much discussion, complaint, and even menace, in which Buckskin indignantly repelled some of the charges against the schoolmistress, it was agreed to attempt the union by persuasion and gentle means. Buckskin could not deny, that his word was pledged, and that he had constantly regarded the union, as though it were already accomplished. He had never imagined, more than his unsuspecting neighbor, that obstacles, like the present, could arise. It was an astounding dilemma to prepare himself to remonstrate with that son, whom he had suffered to grow up as unyielding as a gnarled oak. Nevertheless, he promised

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his neighbor that he would attempt it, and he sent a servant to summon him, that morning, to prepare for a private conversation with him on particular business.

The son, though neither courtier nor jesuit, discerned how the land laid. True, he sincerely loved his father, but had never been taught to pay much attention to any other will than his own, even in indifferent things, much less, when his whole heart was involved in the issue. ‘Am I then a nose of wax?’ said he, to himself. ‘Is the only advantage of being rich, and an only child, to be transferred to a wife, like a sack of salt? I am strong, and can labor, thank God. I had rather marry the schoolmistress, and settle on Congress land, than Anne Fillagree, with three such estates as my father’s. He may make her his heiress, but never me her husband.’

I say not, whether Katharine had been most influenced to her studious avoidance of being alone with him, by a wish to escape the charge of design upon him, by her innate sense of right, or by a keen perception, that the surest mode of drawing such a spirit on, was to hold him back; or whether, as is more probable, she acted from some mixture of all these motives together. At any rate, young Buckskin had hitherto languished for privacy with her, to no purpose. The message in question immediately screwed his courage up to carrying his point at all risks. It is true, she had found means to inspire him, who feared nothing else, with a most reverend dread of her. The cold sweat started at the thought of compelling an interview, the circumstances

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of which he strove to premeditate, much as the victim on the scaffold looks up at the glittering axe, that hangs over his head.

The morning of the message was one of the brightest of Indian summer, which precede the final fall of the leaves. The echo of the baying dogs, apparently in pursuit of deer, was abroad in the mountains, on whose summits curled the morning mists, just illumined by the early sun. All the glad voices of animated nature came mingled upon the ear in sweet confusion. Even the little school girls bounded for pure gladness of heart. The young mistress had set forth on her daily promenade to her little kingdom, and her children were swinging their satchels a few rods in advance of her. ‘She shall not escape me this time,’ said Nimrod, in desperation, ‘unless she can outrun me;’ and he made towards her in a gait betwixt walking and running, but sufficiently indicating, that she could not avoid meeting him, just as she entered a thick grove on her way. His strange approach inclined her to turn around.

‘My mind is up to it, Miss Katharine,’ said he, in a husky tone of voice. ‘Nothing shall balk me. I hope you will not fly the track, for I have something very particular to say to you.’

Though actually terrified herself, she assumed a playful calmness, as she replied, ‘Mr Buckskin, these lands, I believe, belong to your father. You have, at least, an equal right to walk here with me. You seem to be flurried. If you have anything to say, I am ready to hear. Only use despatch, and avoid frightening the children.’

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Nimrod was at length in the position so earnestly desired, alone in the wood with her, and permitted to communicate what he had to say. But a sudden palsy seemed to have struck at once his faculties and his speech; and the more self-possessed Katharine felt divided between pity and laughter, as she witnessed his ludicrous torment. At length, sidling towards her, as she recoiled, he said, in the hesitating manner of a stammerer, and with a face alternately crimson and pale;—

‘A fine morning this, and the deer are down from the mountains.’

‘I am no hunter, Sir.’

‘Well, I admire a deer-hunt above everything.’

‘Very like. It does not follow that I should, though.’

‘But you might have the civility to seem to like it. I know nothing that you love, but what I will love too.’

‘You are exceedingly complaisant. You do not know, perhaps, that we cannot always love what we would.[’]

‘Yes, I do, with a vengeance; and that it is just as impossible not to love—you smile, as though you had no heart. You look, at this moment, just as Miss Anne calls you, proud and cruel.’

‘Does she charge me so?’

‘For the rest, I cannot say; but she is just in her charges so far. I am both proud and cruel.’

‘There ’s a woman for you! Miss Katharine. Whoever heard of accusing one’s-self? It is not true, begging your pardon, and I told Miss Anne so, when she said it;

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told her, that Heaven might as soon be proud and cruel as you. Then she went on to asperse you; and I told her, that the more she hated, the more I loved you. I told her, I would give all the deer in the mountains, all I expect beside in the world, and seven such lives as mine, if I could be sure that you returned my love.’

‘Indeed, Mr Buckskin, you have such strange ways of talking, here in the West, that I am not quite sure I understand you. Under correction, Mr Buckskin, in New England, we should call this sort of conversation mere folly.’

‘Miss Katharine, laugh at me, as you will; your eyes, after all, are not so cruel as your words. I love’—

‘Hush, Mr Buckskin. My children will hear. You forget your well known engagement with Miss Fillagree; your feelings are no concern of mine. Please to Terminate this conversation, and let me go on to my school.’

‘You cannot stop, or silence me, now. You may as well chain up the wind. By thunder! I will never marry Miss Anne, disinherited or not, that ’s flat.’

‘I am not your guardian, and have no power to compel you. But I always considered you a man of honor, and true to your engagement.’

‘Thank you a thousand times, for thinking so; and so I am. The person lives not, who can charge me, either by word, look, or action, with intentional deception. I never gave her any expectations that I would offer myself.’

‘I have never charged you with it. What is all this to me? Hush, I say; do n’t you see the children close at hand?’

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‘I am above fearing children, or anything else. I will never marry her. I love’—

‘Good morning, Mr Buckskin. To repay your declarations by equal frankness, be assured, I will never think, for a moment, of aiding a son in disobedience to his father.’

Saying this, she hurried into the school; and, while he stood in a kind of quandary as to what was to be done next, she gathered in her flock, shut the door, and locked it upon the inside. He surveyed the premises a moment, as a warrior does a besieged city, and then went off, soliloquizing, ‘that ’s a severe bird, any how. The daughter of a Yankee is up to anything;’ and he fell to abusing the country in all the vigor of vexation.

But while materials for thickening the plot were thus collecting, whether from the chagrin superinduced by the furious uproar of Squire Fillagree and daughter, or whether from listening to the earnest expostulations of his son, or from a return of his old complaint, can never be certainly known; but so it was, that at this juncture, Squire Buckskin fell dangerously sick. His deportment was devout and edifying. He absolved his son from all engagements made by him with Squire Fillagree. He seemed never so calm, as when Katharine Spooner was his nurse. Before he died, when they happened to be together beside his bed, he joined their hands, and bade them love, and be happy, when he should be no more. He died after a short illness.

Soon after the funeral, the young mourner waited on his neighbor Fillagree, peremptorily assuring him, that he had never, in any way, paid any serious court to his

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daughter, and adding, that he never should. Fillagree suppressed his rising rage, and urged that the reputation of his daughter was committed, that his own honor was bound to his father’s contract, and various other considerations, not forgetting the contamination of blood, and the selfish intrigue and management of the schoolmistress. Buckskin remained immoveable. High words then ensued, and Fillagree talked of settling the difficulty with rifles. But Buckskin continued cool and invincible. Seeing that nothing was gained in this way, Fillagree fell to cursing the whole generation of Yankees, man, woman, and child. The race were born with an instinctive appetite to cheat and deceive. They would always go to their point by a crooked way, if there were an alternative between a straight and crooked one He capped his climax of curses with a more vehement tirade against Katharine.

Buckskin coolly replied, that he was led to believe, that most of the stale calumnies against the Yankees had been invented in a state of mind not unlike his. As to what he had said of Katharine, had it been any other man, he would have given him the lie in his throat.

But to shorten my tale, the proud and pastoral Miss Fillagree, foreseeing the probable issue of her hopes with Mr Buckskin, had cast an anchor to the windward, in a private marriage with a Yankee steamboat captain, who had visited Mr Buckskin for a load of salt. Her father was more outrageous than ever; but, in the midst of his paroxysm, the wedded pair silently slipped off, and passed the honeymoon in a trip to New Orleans.

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Nimrod Buckskin, Esq. had now fewer obstacles in the way of private interviews with Miss Spooner. Not that she was too easy at driving the terms of the contract; not that she did not, as he complained, sometimes yankee him. But she was not cruel enough to break down the impetuous spirit of the young hunter, and the negotiation ended in marriage. The schoolmistress gave up her fifty scholars, and confined herself to this single, tall pupil, and a most docile subject he became; though he, his father before him, and the whole generation, had been noted for the most immoveable perseverance in their way. It was a proverb in the place, that a common fence might as well turn a deer, as anything, but his own will, a Buckskin. It now goes near to amuse the family dog under the table, to see his master sit down so gently, beside his beautiful bride, to dictionaries, grammars, a globe, and the like, speaking in a soft and subdued tone, as though he were a schoolboy. In less than six months after their marriage, Buckskin not only began to talk about literature, reviews, and the fine arts, but he actually perpetrated a blank verse sonnet to his wife’s curls.

The politics of the village and county are Yankee and Anti-Yankee. Buckskin leads the former, and Fillagree the latter; though he has a son-in-law of that people. But his interest clearly kicks the beam. Mr Buckskin has been the chief agent in building a handsome church and schoolhouse, and in establishing a village library. Under the new spirit, and the higher regulations that have arisen in the village, everything wears a new aspect. Mr Buckskin is the ostensible agent in these

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improvements. But an eye, that traces effects to their causes, sees all these happy results developing from the germ of a New England free school. Mrs Buckskin is, in fact, an admirable example of the good that may be done by a single person, uniting beauty, intelligence, opulence, and goodness.

Mr Buckskin sometimes colors a little, as an Anti-Yankee slyly insinuates the proverb, about the grey nag. But he replies by saying, that he is as wilful as ever; but that his wife has the secret of divining his thoughts, and is so invariably of his mind, that he can find no chance to contradict her, if he would.


a white man on a horse is alarmed by a tree falling behind them
Painted by A. Fisher.      Engraved by Annin Smith.
Published by Gray Bowen, Boston.

Mc.Kinzie Print.

[p. 275]



‘It was the afternoon of an autumn day, and my journey led me over a range of low, broken hills, that skirt the southern border of the Ohio, not far from its junction with the Mississippi. The path was narrow, and but little travelled, and wound with a devious course amid open prairies, knolls covered with dwarf trees, and glades of thick forest.

I had pursued my way for several hours, without seeing a human being, or observing a human habitation. But I did not regret their absence, for solitude often feeds the mind better than society. I left my horse to choose his way, and determine his pace; and, musing on things far or near, as they came pouring through my imagination, I proceeded on my journey.

It was at a late hour, and with a feeling of some surprise, that at length I observed a thundercloud spread over the western sky, and already shooting down its lightning upon the tops of the distant hills. Its grey masses were whirling in the heavens, as if agitated by the breath of a hurricane; and the mist that streamed downward from its lower edge, declared that it was full of rain. It was idle for me to turn back, with the expectation of finding any other shelter, than what the forest might afford; I therefore pushed on, in the hope

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of reaching some hut or house, before the tempest should burst upon me.

I had scarcely taken this resolution when a bolt of lightning fell upon a tall tree, at no great distance, at the same time ploughing a deep furrow in its trunk, and scattering the kindled fragments around in every direction. There was a momentary pause, and then a rush of wind that made the firmest oak of the forest tremble like a reed. This was succeeded by a second and third sweep of the gale, when a tall chestnut-tree, by the side of my path, was beset by the tempest. It wrestled with the wind for a moment like a giant, but suddenly it was torn from its place, and thrown over exactly in the direction where I chanced at the moment to be. I heard the sound, and saw the falling tree, and, believing that I must inevitably be crushed, felt that momentary stupor, which often attends the first discovery of instant peril. But the instinct of my horse was not thus paralyzed. He, too, saw the descending mass, and with a bound, placed himself and me out of danger. But the branches, as they fell, struck his back, and his tail had well night shared the fate of that which adorned Tam O’Shanter’s mare. This, however, was the only adventure we met with, for I soon arrived at a small inn, and there sheltered myself and horse from the torrent, which began shortly after to pour down from the cloud.’

[p. 277]



At the foot of Sugar Loaf Mountain, in the town of Deerfield, in Massachusetts, is Bloody Brook, the scene of a bloody Indian massacre. Near the spot where the bridge crosses the stream, a provincial officer, named Lothrop, together with a party of eighty soldiers, was ambushed by a tribe of eight or nine hundred Indians. The place was then a marshy piece of ground, and some traces of the road, which was formed of logs, are still to be seen running through the fields without crossing at the bridge. The soldiers halted at this spot, and were generally engaged in gathering grapes from the vines which ran upon the trees, when the Indians fired upon them. They were all cut off except some eight or ten men. The company consisted of young men from the principal families of the eastern towns.

Crystal fountain! lonely stream!

Glancing in the noon-day beam,

Running now with sudden leap,

Sluggish now, and half asleep;

Like an infant tired of play,

Dreaming in the summer ray;

Who would deem that human strife

Here had struck at human life!

And that carnage, bloody-red,

Here his crimson flag had spread!

Yet along thy margin green

Hath the step of slaughter been;

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And thy clear and crystal tide

Hath with human blood been dyed;

And the willow-tree, that laves

Ever in thy twinkling waves,

And the birch whose tassels dip,

Tasting of thy fragrant lip,

Have been stained with human blood,

In thy pure and dimpling flood.

Lovely streamlet! once the scene,

Where the Indian’s hate hath been!

Where the savage whoop was yelled,

And the passive victim felled;

Where the whistling arrow flew,

And the reeking hatchet slew!

Then the prayer was spoke in vain,

Then the blood was spilt like rain,

And thy silver current bore

Fearful stains of human gore!

But those scenes have passed away;

There hath dawned a brighter day.

Murder hath forever fled

From thy green and peaceful bed.

Now the cattle come to feed

Round thee, in the fertile mead;

Wading in thy running stream,

In the sultry autumn beam;

And the idle angler’s barge

Glides along thy grassy marge.

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And the careless bard, like me,

Comes to wander on with thee,

Bathing in thy gelid font,

Dreaming in thy shadiest haunt,

Loving o’er thy wave to pore,

Better than his musty love;

Or to pluck and eat the fruit,

Ripening at the old tree-root;

Or the large blue grapes that spread

Their ripe clusters overhead.

Here the village children play,

At the mellow close of day;

Here the reaper stops to drink

At thy honey-suckled brink;

And the bee flits idly by,

And the circling water-fly

Skims thy limpid pool in glee,

Happier than a prince might be;

And the bird upon the bough,

Sings a song as blithe as thou!

[p. 280]



Muy graciosa es la doncella,

Como es hermosa y bella.

She is a maid of artless grace,

Gentle of form, and fair of face.

Tell me, thou ancient mariner,

That sailest on the sea,

If ship, or sail, or evening star,

Be half so fair as she.

Tell me, thou knight, whom all equipped

In burnished arms I see,

If steed, or arms, or marshalled hosts,

Be half so fair as she.

Tell me, thou swain, that guard’st thy flock

Beneath the shadowy tree,

If flock, or vale, or mountain ridge,

Be half so fair as she.


[p. 281]


I was descending the Ohio, in a steamboat, in the month of May, 1830, when the waters were rather low for the season. Just before reaching Island Number Thirtyeight, better known as Blenherhassett’s Island, our boat struck a snag, which broke a hole in her bow, and threatened her total destruction. The newspapers have made us so familiar with incidents of this kind, that I shall not take up the time of the reader in describing the scene. The boat’s company and crew were of course thrown into considerable disorder, but we were near both to the bank of the river, and to the island, and no great alarm was felt after the first shock. Some of the passengers went in the boat to the Ohio side. I preferred being landed on the island, and exploring a spot, which the eloquence of Wirt, and the residence of Blenherhassett, have rendered classical. His tasteful mansion had been, some years before, wantonly destroyed by lawless vagrants, from pure love of mischief; and his grounds had relapsed into the wilderness, out of which he created them. After having gratified my curiosity in exploring these vestiges, I pursued my walk, without any definite occupation; but indulging, as I strolled along, the delightful consciousness of remoteness from the world and solitude. At length I perceived a plain, substantial house, such as is usually constructed by emigrants, bringing with them a little capital. Everything about it was plain, orderly, and comfortable in its

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appearance, and formed an agreeable contrast with the scene of cultivation returning to chaos, which I had just surveyed. I drew nearer the house, and perceived the master of it sitting under the portico, and beneath the shade of a noble oak-tree. He rose at my approach, and courteously bade me welcome. An arrival was too unusual an occurrence, in this retreat, not to excite immediate attention; and pretty soon the other members of the family were collected round us. They consisted of the wife of my host, and three or four good-looking children. In the lady’s countenance I soon traced a deeper expression, than is often met with in the faces of those, whom we encounter in the common walks of life. It was the emigrant’s look; not the beaming, energetic look of the emigrant in the morning of life, who goes forth, like the young Hercules, to subdue the hardships of the wilderness; but the look of one, who has sought and found in a new country, a refuge from the cares and vicissitudes, which have harassed existence in the old settlements. It was the look of anxiety relieved, and sorrow comforted. The curious student of human nature may see a great deal more, in that mingled expression, than in the aspect of any of the simpler moods of feeling, whether cheerful or sad.

The usual interchange of courtesies passed. Having spoken of my situation, and the probability that the boat would require a day or two to be repaired, I was kindly urged to be at home, with my new friends. This invitation I was well pleased to accept, for I had, from the first moment, felt rather an undefined interest in the family, in which I had accidentally become a visiter.

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After dinner my kind host, whose name was Azureton, proposed a walk upon the island, through the woods, which he had partly cleared up. Our familiarity increased, as we strolled along, conversing together. Acquaintance runs hastily through many degrees, in a situation like ours; and it was not long before I thought I could venture to ask Mr Azureton, to communicate to me those incidents in his history, which had brought him to the retirement in which I found him. After a moment’s pause, and looking round as if to be assured that we were not overheard, he said, in reply to my request, that he did not know but he might venture.

‘Your appearance and conversation, Sir,’ said he, ‘are those of a gentleman. You will perceive, when I relate my history to you, that I throw myself, in some measure, into your hands; but there is something in your aspect tells me I may do so with safety.’

Having assured him, that he might rely implicitly on my discretion, we seated ourselves on the trunk of a tree recently felled, in a position where we enjoyed a delightful view of the Ohio, winding away among its verdant hills. Rafts of timber from Olean, hundreds of miles up the Alleghany, were floating down to New Orleans; even there to be broken up, and distributed along the Mexican shore. Keel-boats, flats, arks, and steamboats, were following each other down the stream; and a tide of life seemed pouring forward, toward the western wilds, strong enough to animate their stillest recesses. Oh! the plans, the hopes, the recollections, the expectations; the affections vibrating between what was left behind, and what was looked forward to! But

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this is aside from our subject. Mr Azureton collected himself a moment, and then began;—

‘I was established in good business, in the profession of the law, not far from Boston. The destiny of man is contained in the short sentence of scripture; “It is not good for man to be alone.” I felt the truth of this doctrine; and in due time I looked round for a partner. I was fortunate enough to meet with a young lady, whose appearance, connexions, character, and age, were everything I could wish. She had received the education, usually obtained at the respectable boarding schools, in the part of the country where she was born. Her natural capacity was good. In early life, she had learned what is usually taught, at home by intelligent parents, and at the town schools; and at a later period, had completed her education at Mr Plainstyle’s Academy, in Enfield. There was nothing ambitious or eccentric in her character. She had witnessed, in her mother, the display of those solid qualities, which mark the frugal and exemplary housewife in New England. She was early taught, that it was the province of the mistress of a family, to look well to the ways of her household. My friends, on my engagement, congratulated me on the treasure I had found; and prophecied that I should be more than commonly happy, in the married state.

‘The temper and manners of my wife were everything I could wish. She was judicious, kind, and firm in her deportment toward the domestics (I wish that excellent word, “help,” which contains a whole volume of social philosophy, had not been blighted by the ridicule of English travellers, sneering at a state of society, of which

p. 285

they have not the faintest comprehension); attentive to the neighbors, affable to her inferiors, assiduous in the care of my friends who visited the house; in short, good humored and cheerful. Alas! that I had been content, with what Providence and a virtuous, unpretending education, had made her! But, I thank Heaven, we have outlived the sufferings, which my own false view of things brought upon us. Man is an imperfect being; we never know when to be content with our lot; we never are content. Fool that I was, I took it into my wise head, that my wife was too exclusively domestic in her character. I thought that it would improve her to read the new publications, the leading periodicals, and even the newspapers, in which she rarely went beyond the marriages and deaths. I wanted her to take a little interest in the question of the comparative merits of Locke and Reid, of Stewart and Brown. I heard, one evening, a very animated discussion of the subject of the classic and romantic schools of poetry, between a gentleman, just returned from Europe, and an accomplished lady; in which I thought the lady had the advantage. I could not, on my return home, help expressing to my spouse the wish, that she would make herself acquainted with the question between the classic and romantic schools.

‘In order that she might not neglect nor delay the cultivation of her mind, for want of the requisite means of pursuing it, I supplied myself, to the extent of my ability, with books. I subscribed for the Edinburgh, Quarterly, Westminster, and the North American Reviews (the American Quarterly, and the Southern,

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were not then published), besides taking the principal Magazines of both hemispheres. Whenever I came to town, I entered my name at the Athenæum, for the new books from England; and took home with me as many of the novelties, which I found on the counters of the booksellers, as I could afford. In writing, as I did occasionally myself, for the literary journals, I used to read my articles to my wife; and I must do her the credit to say, that she listened to them with invariable interest, and frequently expressed the opinion, that what I had read to her, was one of the cleverest things she ever heard. This showed me that her judgment was naturally sound. I cultivated the acquaintance of the literary men. I never failed to bring home to dinner, any of the distinguished literary characters of the day, who visited our village; although, to tell the truth, they were not always the liveliest company. I was very active in getting up a lyceum; and by way of setting a good example, and promoting the great end which I had secretly in view, I delivered the introductory lecture myself, and chose for the subject the Cultivation of Female Intellect.

‘It will easily be supposed, that I did not fail to give to the education of my children such a turn as would contribute to forward my purpose. The first plaything the little creatures had put into their hands was a book; and I did not scruple to furnish them with some of the less valuable volumes on my shelves, to build their baby houses with. For this purpose I let them freely have,—but the specification would be invidious; and, after all, but a feeble attempt to imitate the inimitable scene in

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Don Quixote. As soon as my children were old enough to read, a new story-book was the reward for every act of obedience; and when, on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons, the little things, oppressed with the burden of a vacant hour, would hang imploringly about me, and ask “what should they do?” the answer commonly was, “had you not better take a book, my child?” I made a pretty strong push to have our fourth daughter named Corinna, in honor of the greatest female authoress of the age; but her mother’s aunt Jerusha expressed a wish that her own name might be selected; and of course I yielded. My oldest girl having brought me home a very pretty exercise in composition, in the form of a tale, I gave her on the spot a quarter of a dollar, as a reward; and took down Lempriere’s biographical dictionary, and read her the notice of the illustrious Maria Schureman, “who not only excelled in music, painting, sculpture, and engraving, but in the knowledge of the Greek, Hebrew, Syriac, and Arabic, as well as the modern tongues.”

‘I was pleased to observe the success of my efforts. My wife gradually assumed the literary tone of the house. Breathing, as it were, a bookish atmosphere, she became fonder and fonder of reading. She did not neglect her household; but she insensibly sewed less, and read more. She listened evidently with greater satisfaction to the conversation of the literary men, whom I took every opportunity of bringing to the house. She frequently herself threw in a remark on the last new publication. Sometimes she adventured a verbal criticism on my own compositions, which I showed her in manuscript. To encourage her, I generally adopted her

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suggestions, though to tell the truth, I commonly thought it stood as well as it was. It was not very long, before she produced herself an article for one of the annuals. I own it took me by surprise; and I was at some loss, whether to advise its being sent for publication. It did not seem to me of a merit sufficiently decided to command brilliant success; nor had I as yet, in all my zeal to give my wife a literary taste, positively made up my mind, that I wished her to become a writer. I could not, however, well discourage her coup d’ essai; and I accordingly approved its publication. It was entitled the “Characteristics of Female Mind;” and, after all, made a very respectable appearance in print. Several of the newspapers awarded it the palm in the “Anodyne for 1824,” the annual in which it appeared. After this auspicious beginning, my wife made several similar attempts, more or less elaborate in the following years, and, upon the whole, with very considerable success. Her style gradually formed itself, and she attained no small proficiency in the art, which forms so important a part in the mystery of fine writing, that of expanding a leading thought through several pages, in order that the reader may fully comprehend it.

‘All at once, “a change came o’er the spirit of my” wife; a change, which baffled my penetration. She showed the same love of literature; the same fondness for books; and, though she continued the same excellent housewife she had ever been, she was more than ever economical of the odd intervals of time. She never wasted a moment; proposed no parties of pleasure; sat up late, and rose betimes. There was an expression of

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thought in her countenance, beyond its wonted serenity; an expression not only of intellectual action, but of moral purpose. All this seemed the stranger to me, because the season passed by, and my wife said nothing of a contribution to any of the annuals, which was hitherto about the only thing she had attempted, in the way of writing for the press.

“What will Mr Poppystalk say, my dear,” I observed to her one day, “if you send him nothing for this year’s Anodyne?”

“Do you think he will be greatly disappointed, my love?” was her answer. “Well, if he is disappointed, you shall not be,” she continued, with an air of mingled archness, and conscious purpose, which I could not fathom.

‘It is said that Dr Burney, the father of Madame d’Arblay, to prevent that lady, while still quite young, from reading novels, for which he thought she showed an undue fondness, locked her up in her chamber. At the end of three months, his dutiful daughter presented him with a copy of Evelina, which she had herself written, and procured to be printed, during her confinement. It was with something of the good doctor’s surprise on that occasion, that I received from my wife, at the end of about six months after the change in her manner which I have noticed, a clever-sized manuscript, which she handed me one morning, triumphantly, as a novel that she had been writing! It was entitled the “Pleasures of Sentiment.” The original misgiving, with which my wife’s first effort at composition affected me, returned on me with renewed force. I felt the magnitude of the

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undertaking; the uncertainty of success. I remembered Madame de Stael’s remark, in the preface to Delphine, on the small number of writers who had succeeded in the novel; which, when executed as it ought to be, I consider above a tragedy, and next to an epic poem. Common politeness, however dictated to me to suppress these feelings as much as possible. I took the manuscript from my wife’s hand with a look, in which I threw as much pleasure as I could; and which I own was a little checked by her saying, with a flush of eager resolution;—

“This, very evening, dear husband, I shall begin The Forlorn Wanderer; or, the Mysterious Orphan. I have already sketched the plan.”

“Shall we not rather, my dear,” said I, “devote the evening to reading this manuscript? You know I have never seen it before.” And to this Lucinda, for that was her name, readily assented.

‘On reading the “Pleasures of Sentiment,” I can with truth say, that I thought my wife had acquitted herself very tolerably. It was as good as I should have expected. The story was pretty ingeniously contrived, and well told; the language correct; the style a very decent imitation of my own; the moral unexceptionable. The great defect in the book, no doubt, was its want of interest. Candor obliges me to admit, that it was rather dull. I am not sure whether I should have read it, had it been written by any person but my wife. What the particularly difficulty about it was, I could not exactly make out. It seemed to be all first chapter. There was no getting interested in it. The reader went on, page

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after page, expecting to find something that would pique his curiosity; but there was nothing that had that effect. It was a kind of mental tread-mill, always stepping up, and even getting on in the story, but never rising into interest. You felt the disappointment which you do in going down stairs in the dark; when at the bottom of the staircase, you make a motion for another step, where there is no other. Still there seemed nothing in the world to object to the novel; and I saw, by numerous indications, that my wife had determined to have it printed. Her views were not confined even to the applause she expected to receive for it. She asked me, significantly, one day, whether I knew how many thousand pounds Sir Walter Scott received for one of the Waverly Novels?

“Three thousand,” I replied, “had been stated to be the amount.”

“Three thousand pounds it was, my dear,” she pursued; “fifteen thousand dollars, I believe, in our money. If the ‘Pleasures of Sentiment’ are only one tenth as successful, and that, I think,” said she, “is not a very extravagant calculation, we may promise ourselves fifteen hundred dollars from your wife’s novel. No bad thing that, dear husband, is it?”

A negotiation was soon entered into with Messrs Frisket and Narrowform, respectable publishers at Boston, to print my wife’s novel. The terms of the contract were such as we could not complain of, as they were designed to secure to us the entire profits of the work. Messrs Frisket and Narrowform were to do the printing at the usual prices; sell the books at a fair commission; and all the profits were to be ours. Nothing was said

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of making up any deficiency, should the sales not cover the expense, for, to tell the truth, that certainly never crossed my wife’s imagination; nor, I must own, mine. We neither of us were very conversant with the business of book-making, and our thoughts ran rather too much on Sir Walter’s three thousand pounds.

‘It would take too long to describe the state of my wife’s mind, and, I may as well confess it, of her husband’s, too, during the progress of the publication. The proof-sheets were sent us, by Frisket and Narrowform, for I was determined the work should be correct. I ordered it done on a seven dollar paper, and an English type, leaded, in order to make a fair, legible page, and such as could be read without pain, by aged people. In this way, the work was swelled to two sizeable volumes. We hesitated as to the number which should be struck off. My wife named five thousand copies; understanding that ten thousand copies of Ivanhoe had been sold the first day. But as Messrs Frisket and Narrowform stipulated for an advance, to pay for the seven dollar paper, and the sum required for this purpose was not small, we concluded to limit the first edition to twelve hundred. I reconciled my wife to this arrangement, by reminding her that we could make the second edition as large as we pleased, as there would be the profits of the first to go on with.

‘At length, on the first of November, 1825, my wife’s novel appeared. The newspapers of the day announced the publication of the “Pleasures of Sentiment, a novel, in two volumes, by Mrs Lucinda Azureton.” A couple of dozen copies were ordered home, handsomely bound, as

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presents, one of which was given to each member of the family, old and young; for my wife was resolved to make a holiday of it, and thought it hard, if each of her children could not have a coy of her first novel. My mind, I own, was not fully at ease about this expression, first. I knew “The Mysterious Orphan” was in progress; and Frisket and Narrowform had written me rather an obscure letter, speaking of the slowness, with which sales of all books were effected, and dropping a hint, that they should expect my note for the expenses of printing the “Pleasures of Sentiment,” a sum but little short of fifteen hundred dollars.

‘After the bustle produced in the family by this occurrence was a little over, we began to bestow some attention on the reception the novel met with in the world. I took the “Wachusett Universal Intelligencer,” which was the newspaper nearest our residence, but saw nothing in its columns relative to my wife’s novel. “These country papers,” my wife exclaimed, “really know nothing of what is going on in the world. Do, my dear, subscribe for the Boston Repository of Politics, Commerce, Literature, and the Fine Arts, that we may emerge a little into the light.[”] I accordingly remitted eight dollars by mail, for the Repository, for my wife was not content with anything less than the daily paper. “Now,” said she, “we shall know what they say in town of the “Pleasures of Sentiment.” [sic] Day after day the Repository came, but no notice of the novel. “It is provoking,” cried my wife, at the end of the week, “to see how these Boston editors are engrossed with

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politics, railroads, foreign news, and advertisements. Thank Heaven, the Reviews are devoted to literature.”

‘This consideration reconciled us to wait till the end of the quarter. Meantime a cop of the novel was sent to the editors of each of the Reviews. The first of January came, and my wife sent a man in the sleigh to town, to get the North American. The man froze his face in a northeast storm, and nearly perished in a snow-drift; but we got the book a fortnight before it would have reached us. My wife went out into the kitchen, and took it herself from Thomas, and ran over the table of contents. There was no review of the “Pleasures of Sentiment.” There was an undisguised air of discontent in the tone with which she hummed over the list of the articles. Hebrew Poetry, Origin of the French Language, American System, Hieroglyphics; “I must say, husband,” she exclaimed, “I think the North American is rather falling off. However,” added she, “there is the American Quarterly just started, quite able to take its place; do, husband, subscribe for the Quarterly.” I accordingly wrote on, and ordered the Quarterly. In about six weeks, the newspapers contained a notice, by anticipation, of the contents of the forthcoming number of the American Quarterly, and there was nothing on the “Pleasures of Sentiment” in the catalogue. “Husband,” said my wife to me, as she threw the paper down, “you did not subscribe for the Quarterly, the other day, did you? It is hardly worth while, I think. These Reviewers really seem to think the world cares for nothing but voyages and travels, political economy, and finance.”

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‘In a word, for some cause or other, not the least notice was taken of my wife’s novel, in any of the leading periodicals of the day, and we became at last weary of looking forward with expectation. At the end of four months, Messrs Frisket and Narrowform wrote to me, informing me that they had sold but three copies of the work, and that they could not wait any longer for the large sum they had expended in the publication, which, agreeably to the contract, they required me to reimburse them. I had to sell three shares in the Grand Crash Manufacturing Company, to meet this demand. The shares were seven hundred dollars at par. I had bought in at a moment of great activity in manufactures, and had got my shares of a friend, as a great favor, at a thousand dollars a piece. The stock happened to be down when I was obliged to sell, and I was glad to get five hundred dollars a piece for what had cost me a thousand. The publication of my wife’s novel, accordingly, stood me in about three thousand dollars.

‘It is a curious thing, how much our opinion even of ourselves depends on the opinions of others of us. I suppose when my wife first finished her novel, she felt herself but little, if anything, inferior to Scott or Cooper, Edgeworth or Sedgwick. But when she noticed the steady silence of the newspapers, the magazines, and the reviews, her opinion of the merits of her book was shaken. The tidings that but three copies had been sold in four months, confirmed the growing doubt of its merit; and when she learned, that, instead of the fifteen hundred dollars which we had promised ourselves, it bid fair to cause us a loss of twice that magnitude, and that I

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had been obliged to sell my shares in the Grand Crash Manufacturing Company to meet the publishers’ demand, her doubts changed to conviction, and her feelings for her own novel, from those of the fondest partiality, turned into a mingled sentiment of contempt and hatred. She could not bear to hear it named.

‘A short time after I had paid the bill of Frisket and Narrowform, and while my wife’s mind was thus embittered toward her first intellectual offspring, she took up the newspaper, and was casting her eye over the advertisement of one of the book auctions; and there, amidst a mass of the most melancholy trash ever swept from the shelves of a bookseller retiring from trade, was a copy of the “Pleasures of Sentiment;” one of the three, no doubt, which had been bought of the booksellers, and was already sent to auction. This incident affected her very unpleasantly.

‘Determined, however, not to yield too readily to what might, after all, be a caprice of the public taste, I wrote to Frisket and Narrowform, without the knowledge of my wife, directing them to send the books, on commission, to the booksellers in New England, in quantities proportioned to the size of the towns where they were established. In this way, they were scattered throughout the country, and I flattered myself the public attention would thereby be awakened to them. A week or two after this manœuvre, I received the account of Frisket and Narrowform, for the expense of forwarding the various boxes and parcels containing the work; the booksellers in the interior having required that it should be transmitted to them, free of expense. This bill

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amounted to eighythree dollars. It accidentally fell under my wife’s eye; she required an explanation of it, and I was obliged to give her one. I told her what I had done.

‘This incident quite overturned the little equanimity with which my wife regarded her novel. She had made up her own mind, that it was worthless; that it did not merit notice; that it deserved the obscurity to which it had sunk. In this view, the silence of the papers and reviews was rather grateful to her. It was less grating than their faint praise or severe censure. She had not asked herself what was to become of the copies of the work on hand; and, in fact, had studiously averted her thoughts from all consideration of the subject. When she found then, that, by my well-meant officiousness, it had been scattered through the country; that Mrs Azureton’s “Pleasures of Sentiment” was advertising in all the newspapers of New England, from the Ousatonic Emporium to the Passamaquoddy Central Enquirer, the cup of her affliction was full to overflowing, and she burst into tears. Her annoyance was not a little increased by reflecting, that I had paid eightythree dollars, in addition to my three thousand, for this judicious operation.

‘At the time of ordering the distribution of the work in the manner mentioned, Frisket and Narrowform wrote me, that one of the country traders had offered to purchase twentyfive copies outright, at a reduced price; and that they themselves could also dispose of fifty copies in town, if I would let them go quite cheap. I

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asked no questions about the price, but ordered them sold for the most they would bring. The country bookseller, as I afterwards learned, allowed four cents a volume for his twentyfive sets, and the fifty copies sold in town brought three dollars for the lot. These two sales, yielding but five dollars in the whole, were a source of great mischief to us. I had reason to rue the day when I gave my consent to them.

‘The country trader intended, it seems, to send them round the villages in Massachusetts, by a pedlar. Late in a warm afternoon in July, we saw a wayworn chapman, with a large box held by straps over his shoulders, staggering towards our door. He was evidently oppressed with the heat of the day and the burden he was carrying. He asked permission to deposit his load on the door-step, which was freely granted him, and a cup of beer was added, unasked, for his refreshment. The heart of the pedlar warmed at this kind treatment; and as my wife approached him herself, with the foaming glass in her hand, he told her, that though he could not reward her with silver or gold, he would give her a nice new book from his box. My wife replied, that “he was welcome to the beer; and that she could not think of robbing him of his book, but perhaps she would buy one.”

“Nay, no robbery,” rejoined the pedlar; “but take it in welcome, and thank you to boot, for lightening my burden. It costs but a shilling, and if Mr Scatterstuff, who employs me, is not satisfied, I will pay him for it myself; if it is only to say that I have sold one copy Here I have been dragging the box about, nine whole days in July, up and down Connecticut River, and not

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one copy have I been able to get rid of. Here, my lady,” said he, “take a copy, and much good may it do you.”

‘The family had by this time collected around the pedlar and his chest; we were all straining forward to behold its contents. He raised the cover; the chest was filled with the “Pleasures of Sentiment.” That moment, I must confess, was one of the most awkward in my life. But the mortifications, to which this unfortunate book was destined to reduce us, were not yet at an end.

‘My oldest boy had reached the age of eleven years. I am myself in favor of domestic education, and would prefer, that every night, my little flock should be safely folded beneath the paternal roof. There are, however, unquestionable advantages, incident to a removal from home; and the disposition of Gustavus (that was his name) seemed to me such, as would derive benefit from the rough and tumble of an academy, among boys of his own age. It was accordingly decided in family council, that he should be sent to the academy at Templeton, to prepare for college. Neighbor Edgebone, the butcher, was commissioned to purchase a trunk in the city for his clothes and books, and all preparations were made for his departure. My wife, as her parting injunction, cautioned him against reading novels; a miserable, unprofitable sort of books. At length the eve of his departure arrived, and Mrs Azureton engaged herself in the final preparations for his journey. For this purpose, she left the parlor to pack his trunk, in season for the morning stage. As his stock of clothes and books was small, this was a task soon to be performed; but my wife did not come back to the parlor. After waiting much longer

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than was necessary for the performance of this duty, my anxiety was awakened, and I could not avoid going to inquire into the cause of her prolonged absence. I hastened to the chamber, where I supposed her to be engaged in packing the trunk, and beheld her, to my great alarm and astonishment, stretched senseless on the floor, in front of the open trunk. I flew to her relief, equally shocked at the situation in which I found her, and at a loss to conceive the cause. I stooped to raise her, and in so doing cast my eyes accidentally upon the inside of the open trunk. The mystery was explained; the cause of my wife’s fainting was solved. The trunk-maker had lined the trunk with the sheets of the “Pleasures of Sentiment;” and was, in fact, the purchaser of the fifty copies which had been sold in a lot—sold to a trunk-maker for the lining of his trunks!

It was several days before my wife recovered her senses. She passed the time in a state intermediate between lethargy and delirium. She wandered in mind, and talked incoherently. She spoke of the trunk, in which the Italian bride had accidentally shut herself on her bridal night, and was not found till years after her mysterious disappearance. The trunk in the Mysteries of Udolpho seemed to be in her mind. She was pursued with the idea of trunks and linings; and at times would repeat, “The Pleasures,—ah! no, the Pains of Sentiment!” At length she recovered the exercise of her understanding, and talked calmly and rationally of the causes of her distress. She made no effort to palliate the cause nor the degree of her mortification. She traced it to its true and only source, the failure of the

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book; and declared, that if every copy of it could be annihilated, she could live in resignation and die in peace. But if her nerves were much longer to be exposed to these shocks, she felt an undoubted persuasion that her days were numbered. Nor did the thought alarm her, for she had rather die at once, than live at the mercy of the pedlars and trunk-makers.

‘I loved my wife tenderly; and on this occasion I felt the greater sympathy in her sufferings, for I regarded myself as, in no small degree, their unintentional cause. I had perseveringly formed her to the taste, in the gratification of which she was placed in her present distressing situation. I determined accordingly to leave no stone unturned for her relief. She had expressed her earnest conviction, that nothing but the utter suppression of her work would give her peace; and, thinking no sacrifice too great to effect this object, I determined to set about it. I felt the rather encouraged in this purpose, as the little demand there appeared to be for my wife’s novel led me to suppose the copies could all be bought up for a moderate sum.

‘I accordingly went to work in good earnest. I determined to take a journey myself, through the principal towns in New England; and where it was not convenient to go in person, I wrote to such friends as I could trust, to aid me in an operation of this delicate character. It will easily be understood, that, as well from tenderness to my wife’s feelings as my own, I proceeded about the business, with the greatest caution and prudence. My object was to buy up all the copies of the ‘Pleasures of Sentiment” and destroy them; but I wished, on every

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ground, that it should not be known that I was thus occupied. I commenced my operations with a bookseller, who had but three copies on hand. With the keen eye of the trade he perceived, that I had some particular motive, and was very desirous of possessing the book. I inquired the price; it was a dollar per volume. ‘Was not that dear?” I asked.

“Dear,” he exclaimed; “why, Sir, look at the type; the paper, seven dollars a ream, I have not a doubt. Besides, Sir, it is a production of Mrs Azureton, a lady of the highest literary eminence. It is her first work, but it is reported that she has another in preparation. You will find it for your convenience to take them as they come out.”

‘I was ready to execrate the man’s fluency; but I was too well able to bear witness to the truth of his statement, relative to the cost of the work, and I own I was flattered by his respectful allusion to my wife’s name. I took the three copies, on his abating two and a half per cent. for cash payment.

‘In this way I proceeded through the towns, while my friends and agents in all quarters, with the greatest secrecy and caution, were doing the same. We bought up the books wherever we found them. We were compelled from the first, almost always to pay the full retail price; but I comforted myself that the edition was small, and that there would before long be an end of it. I had a few more shares in the Grand Crash Manufacturing Company, and was quite willing to devote them to effecting an object, on which my wife’s peace of mind and even life seemed to depend. I was a

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little vexed, I must own, at what, however, was a natural consequence of the mode, in which I conducted the operation. The booksellers, finding themselves, and hearing from all quarters, that there was a sudden but general and steady demand for the “Pleasures of Sentiment,” raised the price, as by universal consent, to a dollar and a half, and at length two dollars a volume. This, of course, materially increased the expense of the suppression, and obliged me besides to sell my shares in the Plum Island and Squam Navigation Company. This was a stock, which, however promising, was difficult to turn into cash at par. In fact I sold at eightyseven per cent. discount, realizing but about thirteen dollars on a hundred of my stock. As, however, it had never given a dividend, and as assessments were pretty frequently called for, I did not much regret to part with it.

‘At length I succeeded in purchasing up the edition. With the exception of a few straggling copies I got them all into my possession. As it was my wife’s wish they should be destroyed, I would gladly have turned them to some economical account, and used them as fuel in the family; thus imitating the example of Omar, who heated the baths of his Saracen host for six months, with the parchments of the Alexandrian Library. I was desirous, however, of avoiding the publicity of any such proceeding, which could not but be known to my children, domestics, and neighbors; besides the harrassing of my wife’s feelings. I accordingly had them stowed away in the loft of a ruinous out-house, which stood isolated on my farm, resolving to watch the opportunity, when the wind blew in a direction

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opposite from the dwelling-house, and privately set fire to it myself. But it was in the book of fate, that these precautions should be unavailing.

‘Scarcely had I begun to rest from the labor of collecting the books, when I learned, to my consternation, that two booksellers at first without knowing each other’s project, but afterwards in rivalry, were actually employed in striking off two new editions of the “Pleasures of Sentiment.” They had witnessed a sudden and rapid demand for the work. It had been in request everywhere. The town and country seemed equally eager of it. Their own copies had been sold; the neighboring booksellers had witnessed the like surprising demand; not a copy was to be had; the price had risen; the edition was exhausted. The measures which I had taken to prevent my agency in the suppression from being traced, misled the booksellers, as to the cause of the rapid demand. They ascribed it to the popularity of the work, which went off more rapidly than anything since the last Waverly Novel. I had neglect to take out a copy right. I was not conversant with publishing books myself, and Frisket and Narrowform, doubtless foreseeing the reception the book was likely to meet, did not think it worth while to advise this precaution against a reprint. It was therefore out of my power to interfere and stop the booksellers, who were preparing again to inundate New England with my wife’s ill-starred novel. What were my feelings, on reading on one and the same day, in the Nushaun General Advertiser, and the Baker’s Island Hemisphere, that new and revised editions were

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preparing of “that admired and popular novel, the ‘Pleasures of Sentiment,’ by Mrs Azureton.” It was stated by one of these merciless creatures, that a large impression of the first edition had been taken off with unprecedent rapidity; and by the other, that it was understood to be the first of a series of productions, with which the fair and accomplished Authoress intended to favor the American public.

‘The conjuncture was full of embarrassment and difficulty. The idea of allowing the editions to proceed was a very painful one. I well knew that it would have no other effect, than to send my wife’s novel into every auction-room, pedlar’s cart, trunk-maker’s shop, and pastry cook’s kitchen, in New England. It would become dangerous for us to buy a pound of tea, for fear it should come home wrapped up in the sheets of this unlucky work; and the sight of a boy’s kite would carry terror to us, when we thought of the materials, out of which it would in great likelihood be constructed. In the bitterness of my spirit, I began a lecture, for the next Lyceum, in which I intended to investigate the truth of the tradition, that Dr. Faustus was helped to the invention of the art of printing by the devil. Something, however, was to be done; and I finally concluded that there was no possibility of averting the impending calamity, except by going to the booksellers, and frankly stating to them the manner in which the first edition had been taken up. I took with me an affidavit of Frisket and Narrowform, attesting the fact that three copies only had been sold in the regular course of trade, and seventyfive others disposed of as above mentioned.

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Fortified with this document, I called upon the booksellers; frankly made known to them the facts of the case; and urged the consequent inexpediency of their proceeding with their rival editions of a novel, of which it was not possible that a single copy would sell. They were at first struck with the reasonableness of my representation; but, so merciless a thing is self-interest, it pretty soon occurred to these cruel men, that the same motives, which had prompted me to suppress one edition, would lead me to buy up another; in short, that they had me in their power. They immediately began to hesitate, demur, to talk of their outlay. One had purchased a new font of type; another, seeing the beauty of the paper, on which the first edition was printed (confound it), had ordered from Mr Flimsyrag a seven dollar paper expressly for the work; and in short, their names had gone before the world pledged to the publication, and they scarce knew how to recede. At the same time, however, they said, they were willing to do everything that was right and proper.

‘I felt my case to be really a hard one. I was struggling more zealously to prevent my wife’s book from being printed, than ever the most self-satisfied author did to get a production before the public; and the more I exerted myself, the farther I seemed from the point. The emergency, however, was not to be trifled with. I knew well the publication of another edition of her novel would be the death of my wife. I had three shares left in the Grand Crash Manufacturing Company, and I asked the hard-hearted wretches, what they would take not to go on. After humming and

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ha-ing a reasonable time, they finally agreed to take five hundred dollars each, and give up the enterprise. I knew it was more money than the dogs ever made, in any year of their business; but I was glad to get out of their clutches, and closed the bargain. Grand Crash stock was rather lower than before; and my three shares brought me altogether just a thousand dollars. I divided it between them, and went off; not without being obliged to promise them (and I am not clear that they were not quizzing me, as they exacted my word to that effect), that if my wife published another novel, they should have the job. To make sure of their abandoning the undertaking, I obliged them to issue a joint notice in the newspapers, that “they had relinquished the project of their new editions of the ‘Pleasures of Sentiment.’ ”

This very notice, by which I thought to clinch the nail on their bargain, was but the occasion of driving me into new and unexpected trouble. I returned home, and having, as I thought, destroyed the hydra, I communicated the transaction, in all its stages, to my wife. She was gratified at my attention and zeal; but listened with a sort of incredulous melancholy, looking as if she feared, that the malice of Fortune was not yet appeased. Nor did the event disappoint her forebodings. A few weeks after my return, on opening the newspaper, I was struck with horror at the following advertisement, inserted in the most conspicuous manner, and ordered for epis1year;

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Messrs Silvertype, Vellumpage, Flauntwell, Fairtrash, and Brown, have the honor to announce to the friends of American literature in general, and more particularly to the admirers of female excellence, that they have made arrangements for the publication of a new uniform edition, in a continuous series, of the productions of the American Female Novelists. The work will be printed on a first-rate paper, with a new type cast expressly for this publication. It will be illustrated with engravings from drawings made for the purpose, by our most eminent artists. The series will commence with that highly popular work, the “Pleasures of Sentiment, by Mrs Lucinda Azureton.” The rapidity with which the first edition of this favorite production has been exhausted, and the simultaneous annunciation of rival editions, by two distinguished booksellers, who, from the difficulty of reconciling their conflicting claims, appear to have relinquished the enterprise, have decided Messrs Silvertype, Vellumpage, Flauntwell, Fairtrash, and Brown, to select this work for the first of their series. Not doubting its popularity, they have resolved to print a very large edition; and shall consequently have it in their power to put it at a price, which will enable every lover of female intellect to possess himself of this invaluable work. Messrs S., V., F., F., and B., solicit the early orders of their friends and the trade.

Note. The “Pleasures of Sentiment” will be preceded by a biographical account of the fair Authoress, accompanied with a critical essay on her genius and style.

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This portion of the enterprise will be conducted by Dr Worrywell, who will immediately proceed to the residence of Mrs Azureton, to ascertain from authentic sources the leading incidents of her life, and the circumstances connected with the origin and progress of her literary career. Messrs Silvertype, Vellumpage, Flauntwell, Fairtrash, and Brown, feel assured, that the result of his inquiries will present those encouragements and cheering examples to the ingenious fair of our country, which will prompt them in numbers to enter the noble career, which has conducted the fair Authoress of the “Pleasures of Sentiment” to the enviable reputation which she now enjoys.

‘Such was this terrific advertisement; and scarcely had I finished reading it, when the mail stage coach stopped at the door. A considerable bustle immediately arose. A short, corpulent gentleman, dressed in black, jumped out of the stage, and began, with great volubility, to give his orders about the baggage. Two large travelling trunks, a box apparently containing a portable desk, a cloak-bag, ivory-headed cane, umbrella, hat-case, a large shaggy dog, and a fiddle-case, were successively unladen from the vehicle, which immediately drove off, leaving this fearful deposit at my door. The bustling man in black approached, holding his card in his hand, which he thrust, with a self-satisfied air, into mine, and which announced him to be Dr Allbore Worrywell.

“The papers, I fancy, Sir,” said he, with a brazen self-complacency, “will have prepared you for this visit, and made known to you my errand. You see, from my

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baggage, that I have come resolved to take ample time to do full justice to the noble theme, which has been confided to me by Messrs Silvertype, Vellumpage, Flauntwell, Fairtrash, and Brown. Sir, your situation here is delightful; fine prospect, Sir, in the distance; woods in the back ground; spacious lawn; salubrious air; really, Mr Azureton, I should not be sorry to make a season’s job of it. But, sure enough,” continued the wretch, spying my man Arthur at a distance, “sure enough, John,” said he to Arthur, “you are coming to take in my little baggage. I had forgot my things were, all this time, in the road. Mr Azureton tell John what room to take my trunk to.”

‘The volubility, the attic impertinence, the unexampled audacity of the creature really petrified me. My faculties were for a moment suspended; and, when reason resumed her seat, the first thought that struck me was the effect which the Visigoth’s presence, or his avowed errand, would have on Mrs Azureton’s nerves. I was casting about in my mind, how I could get him off, or get my wife and myself out of his reach, when a shriek from the room, where I had left her, recalled me to myself. The newspaper, the fatal advertisement which it contained! My wife, while I was at the door, had taken it up; her eye had caught the withering proposals, and uttering one piercing shriek, she swooned. I hastened into the house; the proper restoratives were applied, but she returned to herself, only to fall into paroxysms of agitation and terror. For several days she continued in this state, the only alleviation of which was, that, by confining her to her chamber, it enabled

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me to keep Dr Worrywell away from her. I dropped several hints to him, that in the present state of Mrs Azureton’s health, it was inconvenient to entertain a visiter. The remorseless pedant affected to think I spoke only out of reluctance to detain him at my house at the sacrifice of his time; and he asseverated, that “rather than endanger Mrs Azureton’s health, by calling upon her prematurely for the mental effort, which he hoped eventually she would condescend to make, for the purpose of aiding him in his pleasing task, he would rather make an entire vacation of it, at my charming retreat; or, even,” added he, “commence the execution of another literary project, which I have in hand; the secret history of the Celestial Empire, comprehending personal anecdotes of the Sovereigns of China, from the Emperor Fo-hi to the present moment, a period of ten thousand years, in fortyfive volumes, folio.”

‘Seeing that there was no hope of getting rid of my tormentor, and well aware that the first flash upon my wife’s mind of his name and errand would be her instant death; persuaded, too, that even could I shake off this incubus, some other disaster connected with our standing trial would befal us, I made up my mind to emigrate to the Western Country. My wife, sunk into a state of stupor and inaction, was seldom in a condition to converse upon business. I acquainted her privately with my purpose. I spoke of her health as the motive, with a view to change of air, and alluded to the opening afforded the rising generation in the Western Country, as an inducement to take our children to that region. She languidly assented. I do not know whether she

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penetrated the real reasons that influenced me. I succeeded in disposing of my house, furniture, and land (at a great sacrifice I confess), to a friend, who agreed to take them of[f] my hands. I observed the profoundest secrecy, for I feared that if Dr Worrywell got wind of my project, he would fasten himself on me for the journey. I gradually packed up, and sent off to Providence, the few articles which I proposed to take with me. When I had made all my preparations, I took my wife and children with me to town, without giving the Doctor any reason to suspect that we proposed anything more than a day’s visit. I left him delving into the scandalous chronicle of the ninetyninth dynasty of the Ante-Tartarian Emperors of China. I had already made arrangements for disposing of my carriage in Boston; and had nothing to do but to take the stage to Providence, and thence, by the usual route, to the banks of the Ohio. Our journey was uncommonly prosperous; the steamboat, in which we took passage in the Sound, was run afoul of and sunk, but we escaped with our lives and baggage; and I had the good fortune to get two of my children down from the roof of a canal-boat, near Lockport, just as we grazed under a bridge, leaving an unlucky Frenchman, who did not understand the cry, behind us in the canal. On our way from Buffalo to Cleaveland, [sic] on an alarm of fire, a few persons jumped into the lake, on hearing the cry of gunpowder aboard; but, before I could get up the cabin stairs, I was assured by the Captain that the casks contained nothing but cut nails. This prevented my jumping overboard, but on reaching Cleaveland, I found they were filled with

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gunpowder, nevertheless. However, the fire was extinguished in season; which I may truly call fortunate.

‘On landing at Cleaveland, one of the first persons I saw, was the Editor of the “Cuyahoga Ararat; or, Indiscriminate Investigator.” He was an emigrant from the North, an old neighbor and acquaintance of mine. He had come down to the landing to collect news from the steamboat. Never shall I forget the terror, with which the sight of him at a distance inspired me. I saw, already in my mind’s eye, in the next number of the Ararat, the annunciation of my poor wife’s arrival, as the Authoress of the “Pleasures of Sentiment.” Happily, however, Lowercase (that was his name) did not recognise me. I saw by this indication, that time and care must have dealt roughly upon me. I was in truth sadly changed. Lowercase, as he passed me, looked hardly at me; but I put on a most unknowing air, and finally escaped him.

‘After this I began to breathe the free air of the West. I crossed the State of Ohio, without further molestation from editors, publishers, biographers, and advertisements. My wife gradually recovered her health and spirits. I confess that I felt no little satisfaction in hearing, by letter, from the friend who had purchased my house, of the astonishment and vexation of Dr Worrywell, on finding that I did not return. I had taken my measures so well, that my entire establishment was broken up and brought to a close, the day on which I left my house. Like a faithful captain of a shipwrecked vessel, I was the last to leave it; and yet Dr Worrywell did not suspect what was going on. The poor man was bewildered enough, when the hour of the evening repast came (the

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eating hours were all pretty closely watched by the Doctor), and no family nor preparations for supper appeared. A charitable cup of tea at a neighbor’s carried him through the evening; and early the next morning, my friend, who had purchased the house, arrived and took possession. Dr Worrywell, as soon as he learned from this gentleman the present state of things, inquired whether he or his lady had appeared before the world as an author; and volunteered his services for a biography of one or both of them. But there was a shade of significance, in the manner with which my friend flourished his horsewhip, and the Doctor thought it prudent to send word to the tavern, for the stage to call and take him up. The report which he carried back to Messrs Silvertype, Vellumpage, Flauntwell, Fairtrash, and Brown, probably induced those gentlemen to make such farther inquiries into the popularity of the “Pleasures of Sentiment,” as led them, as far as that work was concerned, to abandon their project.

‘Having reached the banks of the beautiful river, I took passage on board a boat, which was descending, resolved to be guided by my eye and my taste, in selecting a secluded spot upon its shores, or on one of its islands, for the place of my retreat. Accident led me to this quiet residence, where we have passed a couple of years, in retirement, tranquillity, and peace. My wife is fast recovering her cheerfulness, and divides with me the care of educating our children. The literary taste, which I took injudicious pains to strengthen in her, chastened of that extravagance to which I urged it, now performs its appropriate office; and furnishes resources


Spanish people dance in a hilly landscape
Drawn by W. Hornsby.      Engraved by J. B. Neagle.
Published by Gray and Bowen, Boston.

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for the amusement of herself and family. Books now entertain and instruct, without absorbing and engrossing us. Literature is the sauce and not the food of our mental system. The great active duties of life are our first care; and we read for relaxation, in the intervals of their performance. Thus occupied, contentment presides in our little circle; and so kindly has Time discharged his office as the great consoler, that we are able now to allude, without embarrassment or pain, to MY WIFES NOVEL.’


A recent traveller in Peru gives a lively account of the manner in which the last day of the Carnival is celebrated at Potosi. ‘Grandfathers and grandmothers,’ says he, ‘with one foot in the grave, withdraw it on this occasion for a last hop in the dancing ring of the younger generations. All seemed inspired with the innocent folly of childhood, and the whole population becomes blended in one family party of joy and jubilee!’

During the day, egg-shells filled with perfumed waters, showers of powdered starch, and bonbons, are thrown by the ladies and gentlemen at each other; and, as all jests are tolerated, no one can be offended even if he is drenched with cologne, or covered with flour. Dancing, singing, racing, screaming, and other manifestations of wild joy, fill up the early part of the day.

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Towards evening, the mirth, which for a time has subsided, is renewed. According to ancient custom, the people adorn themselves in all the finery they either possess or can borrow; they then proceed in promenade to the plain under the great mountain near the city, some to sit and converse, and some to dance, till sunset. The scene is curious and brilliant. The quantity of diamonds, pearls, and gold ornaments, displayed on the occasion is immense. Some of the ear-rings worn by the ladies are so ponderous, as to be supported by gold chains passing over the head. The dress of some of the females is remarkable. It consists of a full plaited petticoat, containing twelve or fourteen yards of rich velvet or satin, trimmed with ribbons of the most gaudy colors, and festoons of artificial flowers. A scarf is thrown over the shoulders, but in such a manner as to display the raven tresses that hang in plaits down the back; on the head, a narrow-brimmed black hat is sometimes worn. The whole produces a very striking, and not unpleasing effect.

Such is the exhibition on the plain, which is for the purpose of burying the festivities of the carnival. The guitars, fiddles, and pipes, are bound round with black crape; and when the use of these instruments is over, the emblems of mourning are deposited in the earth, and thus the ceremonies cease.

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The voice of the Lord is upon the waters; the voice of the glorious God; the Lord Thundereth over the great waters.

Psalm xxix. iii. Old Translation.

There is a power and beauty, I may say a divinity, in rushing waters, felt by all who acknowledge any sympathy with nature. The mountain stream, leaping from rock to rock, and winding, foaming, and glancing through its devious and stoney channels, arrests the eye of the most careless or business-bound traveller; sings to the heart and haunts the memory of the man of taste and imagination, and holds, as by some undefinable spell, the affections of those who inhabit its borders. waterfall, of even a few feet in height, will enliven the dullest scenery, and lend a charm to the loveliest; while a high and headlong cataract has always been ranked among the sublimest objects to be found in the compass of the globe.

It is no matter of surprise, therefore, that lovers of nature perform journeys of homage to that sovereign of cataracts, that monarch of all pouring floods, the Falls of Niagara. It is no matter of surprise, that, although situated in what might have been called, a few years ago, but cannot be now, the wilds of North America, five hundred miles from the Atlantic coast, travellers

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from all civilized parts of the world have encountered all the difficulties and fatigues of the path, to behold this prince of waterfalls amidst its ancient solitudes, and that, more recently, the broad highways to its dominions have been thronged. By universal consent it has long ago been proclaimed one of the wonders of the world. It is alone in its kind. Though a waterfall, it is not to be compared with other waterfalls. In its majesty, its supremacy, and its influence on the soul of man, its brotherhood is with the living ocean and the eternal hills.

I am humbly conscious that no words of mine can give an adequate description, or convey a satisfactory idea, of Niagara Falls. But having just returned from a visit to them,* with the impression which they made upon my mind fresh and deep, I may hope to impart at least a faint image of that impression to the minds of those who have not seen them, and retouch, perhaps, some fading traces in the minds of those who have. And if I can call the attention of any to this glorious object as a work of God, and an echo of the voice of God; if by anything which I may fitly say of it, I can quicken the devotion of one breast, I shall feel that I have fulfilled a sacred duty, and that I have not unworthily expressed my sense of obligation for having been permitted to behold it myself.

I will not begin my description with the cataract itself, but take you back to the great lake from which the Niagara flows, so that you may go down its banks

* The visit was made with some friends, i July, 1831.

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as I did, and approach the magnificent scene with a knowledge regularly and accumulatively gained of its principal accessories. For the river and the lake, nay, the whole superb chain of rivers and lakes, should be taken into view, when we would conceive as we ought of the falls of Niagara.

As we approach the town of Buffalo, which is situated near the eastern extremity of Lake Erie, that wide-spread sheet of water opens to the sight. If the traveller has never seen the ocean, he may here imagine that he sees it. If he has, he will say that it is a sea view which here lies before him. As he looks to the west, the horizon only bounds the liquid expanse; and it is not till he descends to the shore, and marks the peculiar, quiet, and exact level of the even and sleeping lake, that he will find anything to remind him that he is not on the coast of the salt and swelling sea. Four miles north from Buffalo we come to the village of Black Rock;* and it is here that the boundaries of the lake contract, and its waters begin to pour themselves out through the sluiceway of the Niagara river. The river is at this place about a quarter of a mile broad; and, as I gazed on its dark and deep and hurrying stream, I felt a sensation of interest stealing over me, similar to that which I have experienced in reading of the preparations of men for some momentous expedition. Opposite Black Rock, on the Canada side, is the village of Waterloo,

* According to Mr Featherstonhaugh, Editor of the Monthly American Journal of Geology and Natural Science, the ‘seams and patches of dark-colored chert, contained in the beds of carboniferous limestone,’ have furnished its name in this village.

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to which we were ferried over, and from which we commenced our ride down the river, which runs north into Lake Ontario. There is also a road on the American side, from Buffalo to the Falls, a distance, either way, of about fifteen miles.

From Waterloo we pass on by a level road, immediately on the western bank of the Niagara, and observe that the river continually becomes wider, till at length it divides into two streams which sweep round an island several miles in length. They then unite again, forming one stream as before, only that it is increased in breadth and swiftness. And now the interest thickens, and begins to grow intense. Hitherto we had been travelling on the side of a large river, it is true, but one not much distinguished otherwise, either by its motion, its shape, or the beauty of its borders. We are obliged to call on ourselves to consider where we are, and whither we are going; for Niagara itself seems unconscious of the grand associations with which it is freighted. It moves as if unmindful, or as not caring to put the traveller in mind, that its waters have come down through the whole length of Erie from the far away Huron, Michigan, Superior; that they are just about to rush over the wondrous precipice below, and then are to hasten forward into another majestic lake, and from it are to pass through the portals of a thousand islands, and the alternate rapids and lakes of a noble and romantic river, washing the feet of cities,* and so to flow on into the all-receiving sea. We are obliged to remember this, I say; for the unpretending waters, though pressing forward continually and

* Montreal and Quebec are both on the St Lawrence.

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intently, have thus far told us nothing, themselves, of their long pilgrimage behind, or the yet more eventful journey before them. But here, as they are meeting round Grand Island, they break their silence and speak, and the whole scene becomes full of spirit and meaning. Here, about three miles from the Falls, you see the white crested rapids tossing in the distance before you. Here, even in the most unfavorable state of the weather, you hear the voice of the cataract, pervading the air with its low, monotonous, continuous roar. And here you see a column of mist rising up, like a smoke in distantly burning woods, and designating the sublime scene over which it is immediately hanging. I know not that I was afterward more strongly affected, even by the Falls themselves, than I was by the sight of this ever changing and yet never absent guide, this cloudy pillar, this floating, evanescent, and yet eternal testimony, which pointed out to me the exact spot which had been for so many years as a shrine to thousands, which I had heard of and read of so long, and which I had myself so often visited, though not in person, yet with my reverential wishes, with my mind, and with my heart. Childhood came back to me, with its indistinct, but highly wrought and passionate images; maps were unrolled; books were opened; paintings were spread; measurements were recalled; all the efforts which the art of man had made, all the tributes which his spirit had offered, at the call of the great cataract; all these associations, with other dreamlike thoughts of the wilderness, the lake, and the stream, rose up unbidden and with power within me, as I steadfastly regarded that

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significant, far off mist, and knew that I, too, was soon to stand on the consecrated spot, and see, and feel.

A mile or two is soon passed, and now we turn a little from the road to the right, in order to have a near view of the rapids. These occupy the whole breadth of the river, from shore to shore, and extend half a mile back from the Falls, and are formed by the rush of the entire body of waters down a rough bed, the descent of which in the course of this half mile is fifty feet. Here all is tumult and impetuous haste. The view is something like that of the sea in a violent gale. Thousands of waves dash eagerly forward, and indicate the interruptions which they meet with from the hidden rocks, by ridges and streaks of foam. Terminating this angry picture, you distinguish the crescent rim of the British Fall, over which the torrent pours, and disappears. The wilderness and the solitude of the scene are strikingly impressive. Nothing that lives is to be seen in its whole extent. Nothing that values its life, ever dares venture it there. The waters refuse the burden of man, and of man’s works. Of this they give fair and audible warning, of which all take heed. They have one engrossing object before them, and they go to its accomplishment alone.

Returning to the road, we ride the last half mile, ascending gradually, till we come to the public house.* A footpath through the garden at the back of the house, and down a steep and thickly wooded bank, brings us upon Table Rock, a flat ledge of limestone, forming the

* Forsyth’s Hotel.

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brink of the precipice, the upper stratum of which is a jagged shelf, no more than about a foot in thickness, jutting out over the gulf below. Here the whole scene breaks upon us. Looking up the river, we face the grand crescent, called the British or Horseshoe Fall. Opposite to us is Goat Island, which divides the Falls, and lower down to the left, is the American Fall. And what is the first impression made upon the beholder? Decidedly, I should say, that of beauty; of sovereign, majestic beauty, it is true, but still that of beauty, soul-filling beauty, rather than of awful sublimity. Everything is on so large a scale; the height of the cataract is so much exceeded by its breadth,* and so much concealed by the volumes of mist which wrap and shroud its feet; you stand so directly on the same level with the falling waters; you see so large a portion of them at a considerable distance from you; and their roar comes up so moderated from the deep abyss, that the loveliness of the scene, at first sight, is permitted to take precedence of its grandeur. Its coloring alone is of the most exquisite kind. The deep sea-green of the centre of the crescent, where it is probable the greatest mass of water falls, lit up with successive flashes of foam, and contrasted with the rich, creamy whiteness of the two sides or wings of the same crescent; then the sober gray of the opposite precipice of Goat Island, crowned with the luxuriant foliage of its forest trees, and connected still further on with the pouring snows of the greater and less American Falls; the agitated and foamy surface of the waters at

* The height of the Horseshoe Fall is 150 feet; its breadth 2376 feet.

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the bottom of the Falls, followed by the darkness of their hue as they sweep along through the perpendicular gorge beyond; the mist, floating about, and veiling objects with a softening indistinctness; and the bright rainbow which is constant to the sun—altogether form a combination of color, changing too with every change of light, every variation of the wind, and every hour of the day, which the painter’s art cannot imitate, and which nature herself has perhaps only effected here.

And the motion of these Falls, how wonderfully fine it is! how graceful, how stately, how calm! There is nothing in it hurried or headlong, as you might have supposed. The eye is so long in measuring the vast, and yet unacknowledged height, that they seem to move over almost slowly; the central and most voluminous portion of the Horseshoe even goes down silently. The truth is, that pompous phrases cannot describe these Falls. Calm and deeply meaning words should alone be used in speaking of them. Anything like hyperbole would degrade them, if they could be degraded. But they cannot be. Neither the words nor the deeds of man degrade or disturb them. There they pour over, in their collected might and dignified flowing, steadily, constantly, as they always have been pouring since they came from the hollow of His hand, and you can add nothing to them, nor can you take anything from them.

As I rose, on the morning following my arrival, and went to the window for an early view, a singular fear came over me that the Falls might have passed away, though their sound was in my ears. It was, to be sure,

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rather the shadow of a fear than a fear, and reason dissipated it as soon as it was formed. But the bright things of earth are so apt to be fleeting, and we are so liable to lose what is valued as soon as it is bestowed, that I believe it was a perfectly natural feeling which suggested to me for an instant, that I had enjoyed quite as much of such a glorious exhibition as I deserved, and that I had no right to expect that it would continue, as long as I might be pleased to behold. But the Falls were there, with their full, regular, and beautiful flowing. The clouds of spray and mist were now dense and high, and completely concealed the opposite shores; but as the day advanced, and the beams of the sun increased in power, they were thinned and contracted. Presently a thunder shower rose up from the west, and passed directly over us; and soon another came, still heavier than the preceding. And now I was more impressed than ever with the peculiar motion of the Fall; not, however, because it experienced a change, but because it did not. The lightning gleamed, the thunder pealed, the rain fell in torrents; the storms were grand; but the Fall, if I may give its expression a language, did not heed them at all; the rapids above raged no more and no less than before, and the Fall poured on with the same quiet solemnity, with the same equable intentness, undisturbed by the lightning and rain, and listening not to the loud thunder.

About half a mile below the Horseshoe Fall, a commodious road has lately been cut in a slanting direction, down the side of the perpendicular cliff, and through the

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solid rock, to the river. here we find a regular ferry, and are conveyed in a small boat across the stream, which is now narrowed to a breadth of about twelve hundred feet, to the American side. The passage is perfectly safe, and, though short, delightful, as it affords a superb view of both the Falls above, and of the dark river below. The current is not very rapid, and near the American side actually sets up toward the Falls; by the help of which eddy the boat regains what it had lost in the middle of the stream. We land almost directly at the feet of the American Fall, and by walking a little way to the right, may place ourselves in its spray. Now look up, and the height will not disappoint you. Now attend to the voice of the cataract, and it will fill your soul with awe. It seems as if the ‘waters which are above the firmament’ were descending from the heights of heaven, and as if ‘the fountains of the great deep were broken up’ from below. The noise, which permits free conversation to those whoa re on the bank above, is here imperative and deafening. It resembles the perpetual rolling of near thunder, or the uninterrupted discharge of a battery of heavy ordnance, mingled with a strange crashing and breaking sound. This resemblance to the roar of artillery is heightened by the sight of the large bodies of spray, which are continually and with immense force exploded from the abyss. The impression of superior height is gained, not so much from the fact that the American Fall is actually ten or twelve feet higher than the British, as from your having a complete profile view of the one, from brink to base, which you cannot well obtain of the other.

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Flights of secure wooden steps bring us to the top of the bank,* where we again stand on a level with the descending Falls. We soon found that the greatest variety of interest was on this, the American side. The village of Manchester, is situated on the rapid, just above the Fall. A bridge is thrown boldly over the rushing and ‘arrowy’ rapid to a small Island, called Bath Island, where there are one or two dwellings and a paper-mill; and from this spot another bridge runs with equal boldness to Goat Island. The whole breadth of the space thus traversed is one thousand and seventy-two feet.

Goat Island is a paradise. I do not believe that there is a spot in the world, which, within the same space, comprises so much grandeur and beauty. It is but about a mile in circumference, and in that mile you have a forest of tall old trees, many of them draperied with climbing and cleaving ivy; a rich variety of wild shrubs and plants; several views of the rapids; an opportunity to pass without discomfort under the smaller American Fall, and the very finest view, I will venture to say, of the great Crescent, or Horseshoe Fall. Turn to the left, as you enter this Eden, and you come out into a cleared and open spot, on which you discern a log-hut,

* On this bank, near the ferry-house, there is a stone embedded in the ground, rudely carved on which, there has lately been discovered, by removing the moss which had grown over it, the following inscription;—I. V. 1747. This is by far the most ancient date to be found in the vicinity. I V., whoever he was, when he looked upon the Falls, must have been surrounded by a perfect wilderness. What poet will speak in his name, and describe his feelings, and record his thoughts, as he stood here alone with God?

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with vines round its door and windows, and a little garden in front of it, running down to the water’s edge; a flock of sheep feeding quietly, or reposing pleasantly, under scattered clumps of graceful trees; while, beyond this scene of rural repose, you see the whole field of the rapids, bearing down in full force upon this point of their division, as if determined to sweep it away. Or, turn to the right, and threading the shady forest, step aside to the margin of the smaller American Fall,* and bathe your hands, if you please, in its just leaping waters. Then, pursuing the circuit of the island, descend a spiral flight of stairs, and treading cautiously along a narrow footpath, cut horizontally in the side of the cliff, enter the magnificent hall formed by the falling flood, the bank of which you have just left, and command your nerves for a few moments, that, standing as you do about midway in the descent of the Fall, you may look up, eighty feet, to its arched and crystal roof, and down, eighty feet, on its terrible and misty and resounding floor. You will never forget that sight and sound.

Retrace your steps to the upper bank, and then, if your strength holds out, proceed a short way further to the enjoyment of a view, already referred to, which excells [sic] every other in this place of many wonders. It is obtained from a bridge or platform, which has recently been thrown out over some rocks,† and is carried to the

* This is separated from the greater Fall by a diminutive island, covered with trees, which tenaciously maintains its terrible position, in emulation, as it were, of Goat Island. This lesser Fall, small as it is, compared with the others, would of itself be worth a journey.

† These are called the Terrapin Rocks.

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very brink of the Horseshoe Fall, and even projects beyond it; so that the spectator, at the end of the platform, is actually suspended over it. And if he is alone, and gives way to his feelings, he must drop upon his knees, for the grandeur of the scene is overpowering. The soul is elevated, and at the same time subdued, as in an awful and heavenly presence. Deity is there. The brooding and commanding Spirit is there. ‘The Lord is upon many waters.’ The heights and the depths, the shadows and the sunlight, the foam, the mist, the rainbows, the gushing showers of diamonds, the beauty and the power and the majesty all around and beneath, environ the spirit with holiest influences, and without violence compel it to adore. ‘Deep calleth unto deep.’ The cataract, from its mysterious depths, calleth with its thunder, back to the deep lake, and up to the deep sky, and forward to the deep ocean, and far inward to the deep of man’s soul. And the answer of the lake, and the answer of the sky, and the answer of the ocean, are praise to the Maker, praise to Him who sitteth above the water-flood, praise to Almighty God! And where is the soul, which will not also hear that call, and answer it even with a clearer and louder answer, and cry, Praise to the Creator, praise to the infinite and holy and blessed God!

These Falls are not without their history; but, like their depths, it is enveloped with clouds. Geologists suppose, and with good apparent reason, that time was when the Niagara fell over the abrupt bank at Queenstown, between six and seven miles below the place of the present Falls, and that is has, in the lapse of

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unknown and uncalculable years, been wearing away the gulf in the intermediate distance, and toiling and travelling through the rock, back to its parent lake. The abrupt termination of the high bank and table land at Queenstown; the correspondence of the opposite cliffs to each other all the way up to the Falls; the masses of superincumbent limestone, which both the American and Canadian cataracts hurl, from time to time, into the boiling abyss,* all seem to favor this supposition. But when did the grand journey begin? When will it end? How vain to ask! How momentary human life appears, when we give our minds to such contemplations! Where was the cataract toiling in its way, when none but the awe-struck Indian came to bow before its sublimity? Where was it, when the moss-buried trunk, which now lies decaying by its borders, was a new sprung sapling, glittering with the spray-drops which fed its infant leaves? Where was it, before the form of a single red man glided through the forest? Where was it, when lofty trees stood by it in the intimate sympathy of centuries, which long since have been resolved into earth? Where was it when winds and clouds were its only visiters; and when the

* Within a few years, several pieces of the upper stratum have been thus thrown down. The waters, however, are now obliged to act upon a surface three times wider than that which formerly sustained them, and the limestone is becoming more and more compacted with the harder chert, as they approach Black Rock. Their retrocession must therefore be slow, beyond the power of computation. Beneath the limestone strata, there is a layer of loose shale, which is easily washed away, and which is always first hollowed out, before the limestone falls.

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sun and blue heaven by day, and the moon and stars by night, alone looked down and beheld it, the same as they do now? And is not science blind and foolish, when she does not learn to be humble? Is she not miserably blind and foolish, when, being in her elements and leading-strings, she lisps impiety, instead of prayer?

Four days flew by us, like the waters of the rapids, while we staid [sic] here, and then came our time for departure. As we rode down to Lake Ontario, on the bank of the river, and turned every moment to catch glimpses of the Falls, we were favored, when between two and three miles on our way, with a full view of the whole cataract, through an opening in the woods. We stopped and alighted, in order to enjoy the melancholy pleasure of contemplating it for the last time. It looked softer and gentler in the distance, and its sound came to the ear like a murmur. I had learned to regard it as a friend; and as I stood, I bade it, in my heart, farewell.

Farewell, beautiful, holy creation of God! Flow on, in the garment of glory which he has given thee, and fill other souls, as thou hast mine, with wonder and praise. Often will my spirit be with thee, waking, and in dreams. But soon I shall pass away, and thou wilt remain. Flow on, then, for others’ eyes, when mine are closed, and for others’ hearts, when mine is cold. Still call to the deeps of many generations. Still utter the instructions of the Creator to wayfaring spirits, till thou hast fulfilled thy work, and they have all returned, like wearied travellers, to their home.

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Awake, thou beauteous flower,

Morn’s softest winds are sighing;

And away from the hush of thy summer bower

The shadows of night are flying.

Wake, wake! earth’s brightest things

Come forth to whisper nigh thee,

and the wandering bee, on his fairy wings,

Is singing sweetly by thee.

Sleep, sleep again! bright flower,

The shades of eve are o’er thee,

And the bright free birds, to their lonely bower,

Have passed from the spot that bore thee.

Sleep, sleep; the things of night,

Fearful and sad are meeting,

And the Eden-gladness of day’s soft light

At the dusk of their wings is fleeting.

Sleep, sleep; from the star-lit chill,

The blighting dews are falling,

And the hooting owl from the distant hill,

With a withering voice is calling.

Sleep, sleep; thou beauteous flower;

Oh! that thy lot were mine—

Waking so joyous at morn’s sweet hour,

And sleeping at day’s decline—

Waking mid joy-beams bright

Over my life’s path creeping;

But in the darkness of sorrow’s night,

Like thee, sweet violet, sleeping.

Charles Wadsworth.


a barefoot white boy carries a shovel and a basket of potatoes
Drawn by Cristall.      Engraved by O. Pelton.
Published by Gray Bowen, Boston.

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Who is more blest than the peasant boy,

With his heart of truth and his looks of joy?

Who has a brighter eye than he,

A cheek so rosy, a footstep so free?

Who lies down with a brain or a breast

Fitter than his for his feverless rest?

He comes from the field where his father’s flock

Graze in the shadow of yonder rock;

They will wait for him; they know him of old,

In the summer’s shade and the winter’s fold;

Ah! many a day, each eve and morn,

Has he called them all with his hunting-horn.

’T is well, sweet child, that thou ne’er hast been

Farther than this, thine own green glen:

For more to thee is thine innocent heart,

Than the golden glare of the crowded mart;

Oh! less to thee than thy mother’s prayer,

Were the lore and love of the learned and fair.

Aye, rise with the lark, and lie down at night,

Ever as now, unto slumbers light

And dreams of peace; thou shalt have the love

Of many around thee and all above,

Though thine humble care, each eve and morn,

Be only the herd and the hunting-horn.

B. B. T.

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Mrs Laight, till the respectable age of fifty, devoted her time and talents to the ordinary occupations of those ladies of our country who are favored with a numerous progeny; that is, to minute care of her children, and thrifty management of her household concerns. She was the daughter of a President of one of our literary institutions, and had early imbibed a taste for literary pursuits, which was apparent in a slight tinge of pedantry, though she was prevented from indulging it by the pressure of domestic affairs. This taste revived with renewed force, when, by the death of her husband, and the control of an abundant income, she became mistress of her time and inclinations; and it received a fresh impetus from a visit to the place of her nativity, where, as she said, all her mental powers had been restored, by inhaling her native atmosphere, and reviving her intimacies with the literary associates of her youth. Among these, was a lady whom I shall take the liberty to call Mrs Rosewell. Her friendship was Mrs Laight’s highest ambition, and she returned to Lawrentum (the classic name she had recently bestowed on her place, situated in the centre of a compact village), flushed with the expectation of a visit from her distinguished friend. Nothing could have been much more appalling to the younger members of her family than the annunciation

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of the approaching honor—Mrs Laight’s daughters—she has half a dozen of them—are pretty, intelligent, sufficiently well instructed, and very charming girls, but they have not—not one of them (for their mother’s sake I grieve to say it), a literary bias; and the ardor with which her ruling passion had recently broken forth, had inspired them with a horror of blue stockingism. Frank Laight, their eldest brother, a spirited young man, just returned from a successful voyage to South America, foresaw that his glad holiday at home was to be overclouded. His younger brothers perceived that a universal gêne was expected; and their imaginations presented it in the form of the sacrifice of their fishing and sporting pleasures with Frank. Anne Milnor, a lovely girl, a guest at Lawrentum, who was secretly cherishing a well-requited tenderness for Frank, timidly shrunk from the observation of a learned lady, whose opinion, as she anticipated, would confirm that which she feared, with too much reason, Mrs Laight had already conceived against her. All were malecontents, [sic] but the most anxious among them, and with most reason, was Leonard Clay. Mrs Rosewell was the friend of Professor Lowe; he was to attend her to Lawrentum, and the Professor was an admirer of Sarah Laight, a dangerous rival to Leonard; for, in addition to qualities that commended him to a young lady’s favor, the Professor had Latin, Greek, science, and erudition, appliances and means to win the mother.

The mind of the majority at Lawrentum was unfavorable to poor Mrs Rosewell, but the majority did not rule there; and, happily for her, hospitality was the genius

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of the place, and the whole family were perfectly amiable and dutiful to their mother.

‘Heaven preserve us! Clay, are you reading a review?’ asked Frank Laight, who found his friend in his mother’s library, poring over a tri-monthly publication, with a most doleful aspect.

‘I am trying to read it; crawling through it. Your mother says we must be prepared with some topics suitable to this Mrs Rosewell, and she has set me down here to a rigmarole article, written by the lady herself.’

‘Pshaw! my dear fellow, you are irretrievably lost, if you undertake to meet these literary Amazons on their own ground. The only way to manage them is to talk them down on subjects they know nothing about. Take them out of books, Leonard, and they are as ignorant as you and I are in them. I ’ll lay a wager, I ’ll run this blue aground with rodomontade about my voyage, before she has been a day in the house; and do you rattle away on fishing and sporting. I ’ll answer for it; you ’ll tree her. Hang it! it is too absurd to be afraid of a woman, just because she happens to be a mannish writer of reviews.’—Frank was interrupted by his mother’s entrance. She requested the young men to leave the library, as she had scarcely time to put it in proper trim for Mrs Rosewell’s reception.

Frank and Leonard found the young ladies just going out to walk, and joined them. ‘Well, Anne,’ asked Frank of Miss Milnor, ‘have you prepared high converse for this benign cerulean?’

‘Not I—I shall not open my lips before her.’

‘You are right, Anne,’ replied Frank, and then added, in a low tone of earnest compliment, ‘modesty is the

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prettiest device in the world for the seal of a young lady’s lips—speaking of lips, girls,’ he continued, raising his voice, ‘what sort of a looking person do you take this Mrs Rosewell to be?’

‘Of course,’ replied Sarah Laight, ‘she has what is called an intellectual fine face.’

‘That is to say,’ retorted Frank, ‘rolling black eyes, or deep-set gray ones, a nose like the tower of Lebanon, and cheeks ploughed with lines of thought, and furrows of reflection; in short, a striking countenance. Thank Heaven, Leonard, we have bright, round, dimpled cheeks, to refresh and repose our eyes upon; but have a care, Sarah, do n’t you see that horse is frightened by your parasol? put it down, child!’ A horse and chaise were rapidly passing. Sarah attempted, as bidden, to lower the parasol, but the wind, which was blowing freshly, took it up, and carried it under the horse’s feet. He sheared, reared, and floundered, and would inevitably have overturned the chaise if Leonard Clay had not adroitly seized the bridle. He succeeded in holding the horse while a lady jumped from the chaise, and then springing in himself, he received the reins from the willing hands of the unskilled driver, and succeeded in subduing the terrified animal before such exclamations as, ‘Oh! Leonard, do n’t get into the chaise!’ ‘Leonard! Leonard!’ ‘Mr Clay!’ ‘Let Leonard alone; he can manage the horse.’ ‘Heavens! Sarah, how pale you are!’ Before such exclamations had well parted from the lips of his companions, another moment passing, and the young ladies’ eyes were asking ‘who this stranger could be,’ that had so suddenly descended among them?

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A lady she was, whose manner had that beautiful combination of grace, refinement, unaffectedness, and gentility, that is best described by the comprehensive word ladylike. Her countenance was bright, lovely, and still retained its symmetry and much of its early beauty, though the bloom and roundness of youth had long been gone. The stranger’s dress, a circumstance that first strikes a female eye, was arranged with taste, and just up to the suitable and becoming point of fashion, a very critical matter, one of the nicest of all the fine arts of women. ‘Who can she be?’ was plainly spoken by the glances of our young friends, and answered immediately by the lady’s companion, who, with a confession, that requires both courage and magnanimity, of his incompetency to manage his horse, alighted from the chaise, and was recognised by Sarah Laight as Professor Lowe. The lady, of course—the lady, who, at first sight, had captivated the bright eyes and warm hearts of the young people, was no other than the dreaded blue-stocking, the ‘benign cerulean,’ the veritable author, the perpetrator of full-sized volumes, and, as Frank Laight had called her, the writer of mannish reviews—our friend, Mrs Rosewell! For a moment her sunbeams broke through the clouds of prejudice, that had settled over the minds of the group, but they had been too long gathering to be so suddenly dispersed. Frank proposed to Miss Milnor to hasten home with him, to announce Mrs Rosewell’s arrival to his mother; and by this pretext, as he thought, and said, ‘got his neck out of the scrape for the present.’ He had, however, the grace to remark to Anne, the little resemblance Mrs

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Rosewell bore to the figure he had sketched, and to confess she had the sweetest blue eye he had ever seen, save one. Anne Milnor assented to his opinion, by putting in a blushing, smiling demurrer to the exception. Sarah Laight, never less propitious to the Professor than at this moment, when he had resigned the post of honor and of danger to Leonard Clay, clung to her sister’s arm; and Miss Laight, though on ordinary occasions a young lady of exemplary propriety, only replied in monosyllables to Mrs Rosewell’s efforts to sustain a conversation, so that she and the Professor were finally condemned to a stately walk, and a dull tête à tête, for a distance of half a mile to Lawrentum. Arrived there, the fervid and circumstanced reception of Mrs Laight was even more oppressive to her friend than the reserve of the young people. But Mrs Rosewell was a lady of resources, and she took refuge with the children. They had had their prejudices too, but the prejudices of childhood vanished before a genial influence, like the dews of a summer’s morning. In the first hour’s acquaintance, Mrs Rosewell had been conducted by the two little girls to the extremity of the garden, to try a new swing, hung for them by Leonard Clay. Hal had given her a ride on his new rocking-horse, and the little slattern, Bessie, had slung away from her mother’s reproving eye, and in the most confiding manner, thrust her foot into Mrs Rosewell’s lap to get her shoe tied! Dinner was soon announced, and, as philosophers, philanthropists, savans, and blue-stockings, at a dinner table, fall or rise to the level of ordinary mortals, the admiration and awe of mother and children were forgotten

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in the common courtesies of the table, and when the suspended conversation began to revive, it flowed on naturally, in spite of Mrs Laight’s efforts (to borrow her own ambitious phrase) to season it with Attic salt. Frank Laight found himself quite unexpectedly involved, and interested, too, in giving Mrs Rosewell a sketch of the modes of living among the South Americans, which somehow ended in Mrs Rosewell’s asking Leonard Clay if he liked macaroni? Clay never happened to have heard the name. Macaroni sounded Italian. He encountered Frank’s eyes; he fancied that his ever-ready smile was archly hovering on his lips; he was not yet disabused of the notion that an author must always talk of books; and, resolving not to be ashamed of his ignorance, he said, manfully, ‘I have never seen the work, Madam; I do not read Italian.’ Frank Rosewell shouted; Sarah blushed to her fingers ends, and poor Clay would have been thoroughly chagrined, if Mrs Rosewell had not graciously and gracefully assumed all the disgrace of the mistake to her blue-stocking reputation. Afterwards, when the parties came to understand one another better, Clay’s blunder was the occasion of many a merry allusion among them.

When they rose from the table, Mrs Laight conducted her friend to the library. Her children, as soon as they were left to the free interchange of their impressions of their dreaded visiter, exclaimed;—‘How unaffected she is!’ ‘How very agreeable!’ ‘I entirely forgot that she was anything uncommon!’ ‘Who would suspect she had ever published a book?’ ‘Or ever read one!’ These may sound like equivocal compliments, but so

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Mrs Rosewell did not esteem them; and any unpretending fellow-sufferer, who has been invested with the repulsive name of blue-stocking, would prefer them to fifty diplomas from as many learned societies.

Mrs Laight had put her library into complete order for her friend’s reception. Alas! what a labor lost it was! Books of scholastic divinity and philosophy, over which her father, the Doctor, had withered and dried away, body and spirit, for forty years, had been brought forth from the quiet oblivion which they had shared with their old proprietor, and were ostentatiously arranged on shelves where they bore the same relative interest to the fresh, tempting, unbound, and dog-eared volumes of modern writers, that mummies do to a beautiful piece of living and glowing humanity. ‘This apartment,’ said Mrs Laight, looking around her with a serene smile of enviable self-complacency, ‘this apartment is yours; your sanctum sanctorum; your imperium in imperio, as my dear father would have said. Here are books, a mine of wealth; and here, my dear,’ opening a writing-desk, ‘are materials for more books; pens in abundance; ink and folio paper. By the way, do tell me what was your last work?’

‘My last work; really; I do not remember!’ replied Mrs Rosewell, hesitating and half smiling.

‘Not remember! that ’s impossible!’

‘Pardon me; I do; my last work was cutting out some vests for my boys.’

The good lady looked crest-fallen, and replied so meekly, that Mrs Rosewell was conscience-stricken.

‘It is very natural, I know it is, my dear, that you should think my knowledge limited to such works as

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you have mentioned; but I assure you I have always had a literary taste, and if I had been a man I should have devoted myself to books; but women, at least most of us, are condemned to obscure, if not useless, lives.’

‘My good friend, you do your lot injustice; your life, according to Napoleon’s estimate in his celebrated reply to Madame de Stael, has been illustrious.’

‘How? what do you mean?’ asked Mrs Laight, eagerly, hoping for some new revelation on her past destiny.

‘Why, have you not given twelve children to the state?’ Poor Mrs Laight’s countenance fell; her friend proceeded; ‘I cannot think there is any great merit in number, but a mother, who has twelve such children as yours, may make a Cornelian boast of them, and ought to be hailed as a benefactress to her country.’

The mother (Mrs Laight was a true-hearted one), for a moment, prevailed over her ruling passion. ‘They are good children,’ she said, ‘all of them; kind, affectionate, and dutiful, and I ought to be satisfied with them; but it is a disappointment, that not one of them takes after me; that not one of them has the least literary turn. Sarah, indeed—Sarah has, I think, a latent talent. She writes a pretty letter; she has quite a knack at quotation, and, if she were to get into the right kind of society, her ambition might be roused. Once a reader, she might become a writer.’

‘Ah! these possibilities look well for my friend, the Professor.’

‘How?’ exclaimed Mrs Laight, and after turning the key of the door and drawing close to her friend, she added, ‘do you think the Professor is attached to Sarah?’

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‘Not precisely attached, but if he believed he might gain her affections, and your approbation, he would soon be irretrievably in love.’

‘My approbation!’ exclaimed the good lady, ‘he has it already; it is the very thing. To tell you the truth, I have long had a secret hope this might be. How delightful for us again to be connected with the college! You have my consent to give the Professor a hint that he will meet with no opposition.’

‘None from you, I perceive; but has he nothing to fear in another quarter? We have heard alarming rumors of an attachment between young Clay and Sarah, and I fancied I perceived some indications that confirmed them.’

‘Oh, that ’s nothing; a mere childish predilection, which has kept alive by Frank’s intimacy with Leonard; Sarah knows my opinion of Leonard.’

‘He is a very pleasing young man. Is there any objection to him?’

‘Very pleasing! You cannot think so. Recollect his blunder about the macaroni! a specimen of his ignorance, my dear. He has not one particle of erudition. He was, to be sure, a great favorite with my husband, because he was a lad of integrity, intelligent about affairs, and successful in managing his own. The young people like him because he is good humored and amiable. But he is no reader; and as to writing, I do not believe he ever wrote a paragraph for a newspaper—in short, my dear friend, he has nothing of what you and I should call mind.’

The scale by which Mrs Rosewell graduated mind was different from her friend’s. She thought it was

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best demonstrated by the wise and successful conduct of life; and conceiving a good opinion of Clay, and guessing truly at the real position of affairs, she placed the subject in the most favorable light to the mother, and so adroitly used her influence, that she obtained Mrs Laight’s acquiescence in the propriety of giving a hint to the Professor (whose affections were too precious to put to hazard), to make a timely retreat.

This subject dismissed, and by Mrs Laight, with a sigh of disappointment, she, after a misty preface, introduced another topic, still nearer to her heart. The preface I omit. The topic was a manuscript production, which no eye had yet seen, ‘on the intellectual faculties, comprising a view of their essence—modus operandi (a scrap of Latin from her father of blessed memory)—of their sublimity and beauty, and of their use to society in general.’

Mrs Rosewell’s heart sunk within her, as she read the ominous title, and promised her friend that she would examine the closely written pages to which it was prefixed, and would give her honest opinion as to their publication.

I promised my readers a sketch; and I do not mean to take them in for a story; a sketch of a blue-stocking, falsely so called, and I have merely given a few circumstances, to illustrate the common impressions against those who are unfairly branded with an odious name. They are shown off as lions by the little flutterers (willing to scorch their own wings in a blaze), when they would rather pass for a sheep, or any other ‘very gentle beast, and of a good conscience.’ I can at least answer for my friend, Mrs Rosewell. She has all the

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most lovely qualities of her sex. She has well done those humble duties that lie in the obscure recesses of domestic life. She has genius without eccentricity, knowledge without pedantry, and enthusiasm without extravagance. Her colloquial gifts are hardly surpassed, yet I never detected her in the vanity of talking to display them. Her manners are so gentle and feminine, that she seems rather to ask sufferance than to claim admiration. None are impassive to her influence. It resembles the fabled effect of the sun on Memnon’s statue, eliciting melody from the cold and silent. This is by no miracle, but by the steady application of her powers to their legitimate objects. She loves her fellow creatures, and takes a benevolent interest in whatever elevates or makes them happier. She looks on the bright side of characters, as well as of events. She finds good in everything. I have sometimes thought she gave undue encouragement to the vanity of others, but it must be confessed to be difficult to raise to a sudden elevation, without causing dizziness.

Mrs Rosewell is literary, and—a blue-stocking. I cannot deny it; if the most ardent devotion to knowledge and talent, even though they chance to be found in books; if a love of science; if an occasional communication to the public of the result of her studies and observations, constitutes a blue-stocking. But if being the most honored and beloved of wives; the most tender and capable of mothers; the most efficient and least bustling of housewives; the truest of friends, and the most attractive of women, can rescue her from this repulsive name, she deserves it no more than the veriest ignoramus in the

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land. If any doubt the truth of my portrait, I appeal to our friends of Lawrentum. In a visit of a month, she worked wonders there. She entered heartily into the views of the young people, and, what was more important, brought their mother to their point of sight. Sarah was permitted to plight her troth to Leonard Clay, and Frank, his to the pretty orphan, Anne Milnor, without one sigh from her mother over their unlettered destiny. She even confessed, that her girls had talents, though not a literary turn; and that her boys were clever, in their way, though they preferred fishing and sporting to books. She ceased to express her surprise (never I believe to feel it), that Mrs Rosewell loved better to ramble over the country, or romp with the children, than to immure herself in the library with the Doctor’s rare books. My friends’ greatest achievement, she deems it her chef d’œuvre, was inducing Mrs Laight to suppress her metaphysical essay, and that, too, without wounding her vanity, or materially abating her self-complacency. Mrs Rosewell’s conquest over the junior members of the family, if not as surprising, was as complete. The girls confided to her their most romantic sentiments. Leonard Clay secretly begged her to prescribe a course of reading to him, that would qualify him to elicit Sarah’s latent talents; and Frank was detected in purchasing the books she had published, to beguile the tediousness of his next voyage.

I have not ventured to grace my portrait with those minute touches that would have identified it, but I doubt not that its verisimilitude will be acknowledged by those who are familiar with any of the circles of the cultivated, useful, and happy women of our country.


a young Byron stands beside a small boat pulled ashore by a young man
Painted by G. Sanders.      Engraved by J. H. Hills.
at the Age of 19.
Published by Gray Bowen, Boston.

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Does it not break upon thee now,

The vision of thine after years,

and bid the youthful spirit bow,

With misery too deep for tears?

Is there no sign to mark thy doom;

No prophecy in sky or sea,

To paint the glory and the gloom,

The woe and bliss awaiting thee?

Thy many hours of deep unrest,

From wounded love and wounded pride;

Thy years, unblessing and unblest,

Unlifted mists and shadows hide.

Thou hast no vision of thy fame,

Like a bright star through darkness gleaming,

The glory of a deathless name,

With an unfading radiance beaming.

No! man may never idly gaze

On future time revealed to light,

And, kindly, all thy coming days

Are curtained with the clouds of night!

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The spirit of decay has breathed

Along these wasted walls,

And on their ruins heavily

Time’s sullen footstep falls;

Around the temple’s crumbling pride

The folding ivy twines,

And the grey moss has gathered o’er

Their desolated shrines.

Though in the former days of pride,

Music was in these bowers,

And the voice of song was loud and gay,

To hurry the fleeting hours,

The lyre is mute and song is still,

Above a buried race,

And the night winds solemn music make

Over their resting place.

The stars have worn their silver glow

From nature’s Eden prime,

The sun rolls on his mighty course,

As at the dawn of time;

Fixed in their everlasting strength

The rock-ribbed mountains stay,

And as it rolled in days of old,

So rolls the sea to day.

But man and all his pageantries,

And all his powers decay;

On human art and human wit

Is the doom to pass away.

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‘Sir,’ said a little man with spectacles, who had been reading a volume of poetry, through the nose, during a violent shower, ‘Sir, according to my view of the subject, the savages themselves are the real North Americans We are interlopers; they, the rightful owners of the land we occupy; and had they power to enforce their claim, what you call the law of nations would justify them in demanding pay, scot and lot, from all our twentyfour sovereignties, for every acre of soil we have intruded upon.’

I smiled, and was about to reply, but he neither saw nor heard me; and having fixed his deep-set eyes upon the furthermost wall, he pursued the subject, as if he were thinking aloud, afar and away from every earthly auditor, though a large number had gathered about him.

‘Vanishing away, Sir, tribe after tribe, without leaving a vestige that may be depended on, or a hope that may be trusted to; for they are not now as their brave fathers were, strong in barbarian virtue, steady in barbarian faith. Be it so! Let them disappear, nation by nation, like the hordes of Scythia! for have not we dominion over all this land, from the rising even to the going down of the sun? And what are they but the despised remnant of the earth, who hold it from the Sovereign of the

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Universe, only by that law which is not to be endured by a free people—the law of primogeniture.’

On hearing this delivered in a quiet, natural way though somewhat through the nose, like the poetry above-mentioned, I leaned forward, and under pretence of stirring the fire and adjusting a huge forestick, tried for a moment or more, to peep under the spectacles; firmly persuaded, in spite of the tone, that I should see the live coals of indignant sarcasm, or the half-smothered fierceness of a zealot glowing there, like the lustre that burns along the edge of a summer cloud, ready to burst upon you, if you but lift a finger toward it. And as for the eyes themselves, I expected to find them as black as—as—as—as black as death, and as still as the grave. But I was disappointed; there was no quivering lustre under the spectacles, no deep-seated glory; but the sober, mild, uplifted eyes were the most unpoetical you ever saw; large, grey, and clear, but wholly destitute of unearthly brightness. Of course, therefore, I sat him down for no hero, whatever else he might be.

‘They are on the march!’ continued he, crossing his legs over the mantle-piece, leaning his chair back as far as it would go, and fixing his eyes upon a blue spot in the paper. ‘They are on the march! with a tread that grows fainter and fainter every hour, to the burial-place of their fathers, the Sons of God! The shadow of another world is upon their path by night and by day. Before them are a thousand extinct races, Egypt and Assyria, the Pharaohs and the Incas; and a Sea without a shore!

I began to feel rather strangely here. Was the man reciting a Fourth-of-July speech, or going mad? I was

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about to ask, when his breathing grew louder, and he burst forth anew, in a sort of monotonous chant, which, in spite of the disagreeable tone of the speaker, the familiar manner of the rest, and all the oddity of association—for we were gathered round a huge fireplace, in the month of July—thrilled through and through me.

‘Shall it continue to be said forever, that they have no history?

A slap at one of his auditors, by the way.

‘Shall their virtues and their vices be perpetuated only by tradition? by tradition, too, among those, and the posterity of those, to whom the virtues of the red man are a reproach, and his vices the only justification they dare breathe aloud, even to their fellows, for their cruelty and their treachery toward him? Or shall we undertake, every man for himself, to gather up a few of the numberless relics that lie in our way, disfigured, though they are by the visitation of the elements, and half-buried with the hoar of ages, like the first-fruits of early power, and the imperishable records of ancient wisdom, wherewith all Europe, Asia, and Africa, are illuminated as with a sort of inward fire—a veiled and slumbering glory that brightens up with every wind that blows over it, and flashes forth anew, after every shower that falls upon it. Why refuse to bestow shape and perpetuity on all we see and hear, as we wander hither and thither among the prodigies of the past in the New World? loitering now in the bright solitudes of the South—a wilderness of magnolia and gigantic roses, where sky and earth are always in a glow, and where the human heart is a compound of both; now in the

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West, with her ten thousand villages bursting into life on every side of our pathway over her boundless territory, like the spontaneous growth of a new soil, wherever the fresh wind breathes upon it, or the warm, fruitful sun pours brightness into it; now in the North, where you may stand in everlasting shadow, and hear the solemn, steady, perpetual roar of the very pines, underneath whose branches, of dark unchangeable verdure, battles were fought, ages and ages ago, by armies so numerous that their bones have altered the very nature of the soil, and changed its undergrowth, for hundreds of acres in a place; and where, if a tree is uptorn by the wind, or stripped of its bark, or shivered by the lightning, enormous skeletons are found entangled in the roots, and strange weapons of death, half-buried in the imperishable core; now by the smooth, glittering sea-beach, where the tournaments of all Europe, in the proudest period of her chivalry, might have been held together, and where, if the bright land is broken up to the depth of a few feet only, by the prow of a shipwrecked vessel, or by the diligent searcher after buried wealth, lo! the stone-hatchet, the spear, the tomahawk, and the arrow-head, intermingled with heaps of large bones lying about in disorder.’

Here he stopped to draw breath, and I took advantage of it. ‘S’ il crache il est perdu!’ ‘Sir,’ said I, determined to draw him out, if I could, upon a subject which had possessed me for years, and which he appeared to be master of, ‘Sir, I agree with you. It is a duty we owe, not more to the red children of America than to our progenitors, the settlers of New Plymouth; and I for

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one will never let slip a good opportunity of doing justice to both.’

On hearing me say this with a show of considerable fervor, for I felt every word of it, the stranger wheeled his chair round, lifted his huge spectacles, and fixed his eyes upon me, as if he had been asleep, and was not even then altogether awake. After a minute or two, he turned away, adjusted his spectacles anew, wheeled back into his old position, without vouchsafing a single word in reply, and fell to counting the blue spots in the paper, while the steam rose on every side of him, like the vapor of a hot bath, from the drenched garments of the people he had been reading to.

I did not half like his behaviour, and yet there was an air of such unstudied simplicity, of sheer innocence about him, that I could not feel angry. After another long chant, or perhaps I had better say soliloquy; and no less than five dead sets at him, in the shape of apostophies and interjections, I nailed him at last, and he gave me a number of Indian stories, with a vividness, a faithfulness, and a solemnity, that I never saw equalled. They were all new, and one, the very last he favored me with, was of a nature so extraordinary, though well authenticated by tradition, that I have it before me now, almost in the very language of the narrator. Passing over the preliminary flourishes, beautiful enough in their way, but, according to my notion, of little worth in a story, I shall try to give it, as near as I can remember, after his own fashion, a part of it word for word.

‘Not long ago, Sir, I happened to be journeying through a part of Maine, always a frontier State, and for

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a long period ravaged by the fiercest, the most implacable, and the most crafty, perhaps, of all the Northern tribes. Go whither I would, Sir, the proof was before me, that the history of Indian warfare was yet to be written, and that for a biography of Indian character, materials might be found wherever they were looked for with a steady eye, or sought to be embodied for a good purpose, either in prose or poetry, either in painting or sculpture. I hold that we are under a great delusion, Sir; that we mistake the shadow for the reality, the ideal Indian that we meet with in story books, or on the stage, for the live Indian of the woods. But, Sir, altered and unworthy as the semi-barbarous native may be, if he were regarded for what he is, even he would be enough to spoil the Indian of the stage forever, and the Indian of the books would be ashamed to show his face before him. Are we able to endure the truth, or an approximation to the truth, however it may offend our preconceived notions? We have only to regard the North American savage that we see in print, as nothing more nor less than a monster—a melo-dramatic monster; and the South American savage, that we see hovering about the shores of the solitude like a beast of prey, and ready to betake himself thither for safety at the first whirr of an arrow, is nothing more than the shadow of the real savage within that solitude; the inoffensive type of what our fathers had to encounter when the New World was overrun with a magnificent growth of wild men, of a piece with the rivers and the mountains, the cataracts and the skies, they hold companionship with. It is but giving shape, color, and substance to that shadow, with

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a hand that never flinches, and a heart that never trembles; it is but endowing it with the faculty of speech; and lo! the live Indian of America standing up, face to face, with the men of a future age, and breathing as he breathed here two centuries ago!

‘Among the traditions I met with which may be depended on, was the following. There are those alive now, who remember the issue of the feud, though the commencement was nearly a century and a half ago. The description and behaviour of Whicher, as they call the name now, I have taken substantially from the mouth of a descendant by marriage, who was alive in the month of October last. I have been to the place where the transaction occurred, and examined all the approaches, only to be satisfied of the general truth of the story. You have heard of Merry-Meeting Bay, where the waters of the Kenebeck and Androscoggin rivers flow together about twenty miles from the sea? Near that place lived a man who got his living partly by making baskets, which are sought after even to this day for their extraordinary beauty and strength, and partly by digging clams. His name was Whicher, David Whicher, originally Wheatyear, Wheatear, or White-ear, perhaps, and thence corrupted into Whittier and Whicher. You smile at my going aside in this way to ascertain the orthography of a name; but, Sir, give me leave to say, that Whittier, or Whicher, or Wheatear, whatever may be the true orthography, was a man whose name it were disgraceful for history to spell wrong. But enough, Sir; he had gone out one summer afternoon into a solitary spot, where the land

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is scooped out as if to hold the delicious waters of the bay—I should like to go with you, Sir, and point out the very place for a landscape or a poem—and having felled a stout ash, was employed in splitting it up into basket-stuff with a beetle and wedge, when four Indians, who had been prowling about the neighborhood for several days, appeared suddenly before him, loaded with booty and scalps.

‘Contrary to the usage of the time, for nobody passed over the threshold of his own door without a loaded musket over his arm, and they who went up to the House of the Lord, went thither prepared for a siege, with a bag of bullets and a powder-horn slung at their side, Whicher had nothing wherewith to defend himself, except an axe.’

‘A formidable weapon, at all times, in the hand of a New Englander,’ said I.

‘Certainly,’ he replied, ‘against everything but numbers, tomahawks, and fire-arms. No people on earth manage the common axe with such amazing power and certainty as the New Englander; give him a few days the start, and he will clear you a passage for an army through the thickest of the wilderness, and keep ahead of it for miles and miles together.’

I stared at this; but the others assented, and he went on with his story. He was not a person to stop at trifles, I saw, where he had a good object in view.

‘Whicher was a small, quiet, inoffensive man; we might infer as much from his occupation, perhaps; for people of a robust and vigorous character would not be satisfied with making baskets, nor with digging clams at

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the halves, in that season of trouble and warfare. He was, moreover, a devout man, fearing God and working righteousness, and he could not be persuaded to put his trust in the arm of flesh. It was in vain that his neighbors remonstrated with him, saying that he tempted Providence, by such waywardness and obstinacy. It was in vain that his two children would cling to him and kiss him, and talk about their poor dead mother, and fall upon his neck and weep there, whenever they saw him ready to go forth, trusting only in the Lord; as if they expected never to see him again, though Judith, the daughter, was full of courage for herself, and only feared for Joshua, her little brother, when his father was away. It was in vain that a thousand well authenticated narratives reached him, about the behaviour of the Indians towards others of the weak, the inoffensive and the trusting, the aged and the sick, the mother and the child. Nothing could ever persuade him to fasten the door of his log hut, or to carry a gun with him into the wilderness. But one reply had he even for those who reminded him of the bear, the wolf, and the catamount. All his life long had he not gone to his daily work, trusting to his Father above, and why should he withdraw his confidence now—now, when he stood, perhaps, upon the threshold of the grave, with only a few years, perhaps only a few months, to live? He had been young, and was now old—old at least in bodily strength, if not in years; yet had he never seen the righteous man betrayed, nor the children of the righteous begging their bread. If they reminded him of the promise, that, to the faithful the heathen should be given for an

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inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for a heritage’—

I could not help wishing to know here, whether my friend with the spectacles intended to quote, or only to paraphrase, the Bible. Too near for one supposition—too far off for the other—I was about to ask which he intended; but his perfect seriousness, and calm, unpretending simplicity of manner, deterred me. Perhaps, thought I, he may mean to do neither; but being familiar with the beautiful language of scripture, he employs it in every such case, from mere habit, and without caring for the precise words.

‘If they reminded him of this and other like promises of the Book, he would smile, and say something about charity, and brotherly love, and the New Testament; as if brotherly love or charity had anything to do with the red heathen, or the New Testament with a North American savage. If they pressed him further, he would leave them, and go his way, perhaps, with a word or two of scripture, brief and to the purpose; at which, if they had no reply, they would go their way, also, wagging their heads and hoping he would not live to repent his lack of faith—his lack of faith in whom? Not in Jehovah, but in them, or at least in their interpretation of Jehovah.

‘The sudden appearance of the four savages would not have alarmed Whicher, for he was familiar with their habits, and he knew that the French, who were best acquainted with their character, never charged them with ingratitude or bad faith; and he believed that they who trusted to the red man fully and implicitly,

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having injured him not, were never betrayed; but their flashing eyes, their war-dress, their being of a strange tribe, though evidently French in their equipments; the positions they severally took at the same instant, so as to cut off all chance of escape, and give to the whole affair the look of a deliberate ambuscade; but above all, the bleeding scalps and trophies that encumbered them literally from head to foot; war-feathers of black and vermilion; large plates of ornamented silver and strips of scarlet cloth, mingling on the same breast with the long hair of woman flying loose at every motion of the body, and the bright locks of childhood; these things made him breathe as he had never breathed before. Still he was not much frightened; he never lost his perfect confidence in what he believed to be the language of scripture, and the meaning of scripture; though they drew nearer and nearer every moment, with the uplifted tomahawk and the glittering knife, and, more than all, with the anger of strange faces that he had never seen before, to make the approach of death terrible. He was a brave man, though averse to strife; kind-hearted and of gentle manners—facts to be gathered partly from his own narrative; and, though his heart quailed and shook, as he afterwards acknowledged, yet was he not more afraid of death even in the shape it then wore, than the bravest man ought to be; for if we were not afraid of death, where is the man who would live out half his days? I do not mean because life is not worth enjoying, for I hold the contrary, and have no good opinion of that man’s temper who prizes any gift of our Father

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above, so lightly as to deride it, or to complain of it; I mean because of the danger he would always be thrusting himself into; and where would be the merit of encountering personal danger for the safety of others, if we had no fear of death; and in short, Sir,—but let us return to our story.’

I bowed, and the rest of the company followed my example, as he proceeded.

‘There was no time for speech or preparation, hardly time for thought, perhaps, though sufficient for prayer—for simple, sincere, and affectionate prayer; and as he never had harmed a living creature wilfully, not even a North American savage, that prayer was none of the longest. Another moment; and he flung away the sharp axe, the only weapon, or substitute for a weapon, within his reach, dropped upon the tree, and sat there eyeing the uplifted hatchet of the foremost with a cheerful countenance, and parleying with what appeared to be immediate and certain death, as if he had no fear.

‘The savage stopped, looked at his companions, and then at Whicher, and was in the very act of grunting his approbation, when a shot was heard on the other side of the bay, followed by two or three more in quick succession; a fire flashed up from the farthest and highest hill, and then, just as the captive was beginning to feel the turf with his naked feet, and to look about him with a new hope, for he was very swift of foot, although wanting in bodily strength, a conch-shell was heard afar off—another and another; and the whole four turned upon him, so that he could not escape, and stood listening and holding their breath, and ready to

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strike, until the sounds of alarm died away into a stillness more awful than that of midnight in the depth of a northern winter; for the hot sunshine was over all the earth, and the green leaves and the slant shadows were motionless, and the blue waters of the bay like a steel mirror.

‘That danger passed, two of the four seated themselves upon the log with their prisoner, while a third went to work preparing wristlets of green withes for him; and the fourth, having rested his gun over two forked branches of the felled tree, so that the muzzle pointed directly at Whicher’s body, dropped himself cross-legged into the tall grass, and pulling forth a sort of skin pouch, began to eat his provender of samp. Two others followed his example, each with his right hand upon a trusty weapon, and his eye rivetted upon the prisoner. By and by the youngest of the four pulled forth a handfull of beach-nuts, [sic] and began peeling them, when Whicher, whose intimate knowledge of Indian character had been gathered, not by hearsay, nor by reading story-books, but by a long and familiar intercourse with live Indians, and by the interchange of that rough, old-fashioned, sincere hospitality, which puts a new relationship forever between mortal foes, who have eaten together, or tasted salt together, holding forth his hand with the air of one who had a right to what he asked, and who never dreamt of such a thing as a denial, demanded a share.’

‘Worthy of Benjamin Franklin himself,’ said I; ‘do you remember the story of the book he borrowed from a person greatly prejudiced against him—a rare and valuable book—one that another man could not have had

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the courage to ask for?—made him a friend for life, you know?’—

‘Do n’t interrupt me, I beg of you—you put me out; where was I? Oh—ah—“Ugh!” growled the young savage, after staring at the hand a minute or more, “Ugh!” and then he lugged out his pouch and passed it over to Whicher, who helped himself pretty freely, to the unspeakable amusement of the others, who, notwithstanding the fact recorded in all our poems, plays, novels, and histories, that North American Savages never laugh—laughed heartily. Encouraged by this, Whicher began to laugh with them; whereat they grew sulky and reserved, and held counsel with one another in dumb-show, while he kept on peeling and eating his beech-nuts, as if he were at home by his own fireside, and entertaining them, instead of they him.

‘Another grunt of decided approbation rewarded him for this, and set him at ease for the consequences of such familiarity as he had ventured upon, like a school-boy over-encouraged by the master’s laugh; and they were all in a fair way of getting on the best terms in the world with their prisoner; they had even gone so far as to joke with him by signs, and to allow him to joke with them for their awkwardness in preparing and weaving the wristlets. An idea struck him. And while showing them a better way, he proposed to try a pair on the hands of one of the party, while another, who limped, was to try a second pair on his companion, watching and imitating Whicher, step by step, in the process, and leaving the end of a withe hanging down, which only required a smart pull to tie the wrists together,

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beyond the power of mortal man to separate them without help. Amused at the situation of the youth, one of the party plucked at the end of the withe and made him a prisoner; and the next moment another was in the same situation, leaving Whicher but two of the whole four to contend with; one, who appeared to be incapable of running fast or far, and the other, who sat with his right hand resting upon the lock of his gun, ready with a touch to blow the prisoner through the body. Aware of his danger, if his object should be seen through by the savage on guard, Whicher was in no hurry to avail himself of the advantage, but remained where he was, without appearing to see the situation of the two prisoners, or to understand the cause of their loud laughing and vehement struggles, which only served to tighten the bandages that bound them; determined, however, the moment he had an opportunity, to dash the gun aside, or provoke a shot by surprise, and spring for the nearest part of the wood. But just when everything appeared to favor his plan, just when the youngest dare-devil of the four had come to Whicher to be liberated, and Whicher had contrived to withdraw his own body from the range of the pointed gun, the savage on guard stopped eating; and Whicher saw his lifted hand pause for a moment, and knowing that any delay would be fatal to him, he touched the lock of the withe, and away it flew with a spring that startled the savage, and fell at his feet, quivering and twisting like a wreath of live serpents. Here was a new subject of admiration, and the woods rung with the pow-wow that followed, as the whole party formed a circle round their

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prisoner, and screamed and kicked up their heels for joy. They had seen that mere strength was of no avail; that the wrists were so bound together, one lying across the other, that a hatchet could not be used at all, nor one of their two-edged knives, with safety; and yet, with a touch, a single touch on the right place, they saw the hand-cuff spring into the air of itself.

‘The result was, that they began to regard Whicher as the Virginia savages did Smith, when he obtained a stipulated ransom by depositing a bit of birch bark, with a few words written upon it, under a particular tree; and so far did he prevail upon their imperturbable and implacable nature, before the neatly-woven bandages were ready, that they entered into conversation with him, as well as they could, about the mysteries of basket-making. They were curious to understand the whole process; for the best of their work, even with the help of their brilliantly-dyed porcupine quills, and strips of deer-tendon, was altogether inferior to his; and they spent a long time examining the top of the basket in which he had brought his dinner, of rye-and-indian-bread, baked beans, and fat pork; wondering at the beauty and strength of the material, though Indians never wondered before—as we know by the story-books, and the story-tellers, of the nineteenth century. To conciliate them, for he had no other object in view, he proceeded to describe the whole process; from the felling, trimming, and splitting of the tree, to the coloring of the strips, an art which he had learnt of the natives, and the fastening of the work by weaving the strips hither and thither, into every possible variety of shape.

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‘While they were yet in conversation together, and he was congratulating himself on the favor he appeared to enjoy, happening to cast his eyes upon a war-trophy, still bleeding, that was buckled over the brawny chest of one whom he had not particularly observed before, he shuddered, and grew sick and faint; for he saw, or thought he saw, the blue beads of his youngest child, a boy of eighteen months, intertangled with hair and spotted with blood—the dark chestnut hair of his only daughter. Could he be mistaken? Was it for this that he had kept aloof, when all the land was mustering to war; he alone? withstood all entreaty, threats, prayer, and prophecy? Trumpets had been heard from the high sea; earthquakes had passed over the heritage of the Lord; fire had fallen from the skies at midnight, and still he would not believe, he could not believe, that butchering red men, was serving our Maker, loving our enemies, or doing as we would be done by.

‘For a moment, the convulsions of a father’s heart grew audible; a breath might have betrayed him to the hatchet or the knife; and the next, he would have sprung at the murderer’s throat and perished there, but for another idea, which suddenly took possession of him with appalling power. Could it be, that all his life long he had been shutting his eyes to the truth? Had he alone faltered where others marched steadily on? Had he indeed been tempting Providence? If so, and if his dear children had perished for their widowed father’s sake, what was he to do? Should he lie down where he was, at the foot of the Destroyer, and grovel there, and perish unresistingly? profiting nought by the

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terrible admonition just conveyed? Or should he awake from his fatal error even at this late hour, buckle a sword upon his thigh, teach his hands to war and his fingers to fight, and go forth the Avenger of Blood? One moment of hesitation followed. He had no proof yet; and if it were at his elbow, how was he to examine it, watched as he was, and girdled as he was, by the ministers of a violent death? A change of color might betray him, and then it would be too late for him to atone for the error of a long life. Time was wanted—opportunity; time for investigating the awful evidence before him; opportunity for escape, or how could he ever sit in judgment upon it worthily?

‘While steadying himself by a branch of the over-thrown tree, and contriving a plan of operations, he heard one of the four ask another some question—he knew not what; he only guessed at the object by the motion of the eyes that accompanied the inquiry, for they rested upon a little wedge that lay upon the grass. The other attempted to explain, but succeeded so ill, that both grew perplexed, and appealed in a way of their own to Whicher. A sudden light flashed through his ruptured and riven heart; a fierce, fervid hope, to which no language of earth could do justice; vague, to be sure, and shadowy, but ending in a tremendous consummation. Struggling with the mighty power that fevered and thrilled him, he took up the little wedge and tried, with a calm, clear voice, and a cheerful eye, to explain its uses. After a while they appeared to understand him, and then he proceeded further, and assured them, that, with two or three little pieces of

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iron, such as he pulled out of his pocket and showed them, and the beetle which lay there, the strongest and largest tree, even the tough sycamore, might be torn asunder as with the passage of a thunderbolt. To prove this,, he tore apart, from the top to the very bottom, a branch of the tree lying before them, into which he had previously inserted two or three wedges. The red men were amazed, but more at what they regarded as an exhibition of preternatural strength in the diminutive white man, a child in stature, than at all they were told about the virtues of the wedge. They saw the bark fly and the tree shiver, and heard it split with a loud noise when he struck it; lathe after lathe peeling off as with a touch; but the conclusion they drew, and they persisted in it until he offered to endow them all with like power, was this;—that the wedges he employed were magical weapons, and that the strength which tore asunder the fallen tree-branch, and stripped it into shavings for basket-work, lay in the man himself, and was by him communicated to the wedge. At length, having led them, step by step, to the point, he proposed that they should try to do with the body of the tree what they had seen him do with the branch—lay hold of it altogether, two on each side, and try to pull it apart, as he drove at the wedge. They consented and tried separately; first one, then two, and then the whole four, all pulling together, and all with both hands in the treacherous rift. Now was the time! Watching his opportunity, after he had worked out all the wedges but one, and forced that which was the largest into a favorable position for the blow, he swung his ponderous beetle in

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the air, crying out, as it descended with the full sweep of his extended arms, The sword of the Lord and of Gideon! The blow sounded afar off; the wedge flew; the tree sprang together with a loud report; and lo! the four savages, the unforgiving and the unsparing, the craftiest and fiercest of God’s creatures, were completely at the mercy of the poor basket-maker, who had trusted in the Lord; pinioned by their crushed hands, like the strong man of old who strove to tear asunder the gnarled oak, and perished for his presumption. One howl of agony and amazement! one brief, terrible cry, beginning like that of a she-bear, suddenly overwhelmed by the timber of the Iroquois trap, with all her cubs about her; but changing instantly, and dying away in a triumphant warwhoop, and all was still as death over the whole extent of that sunshiny solitude, with its clear, motionless water, and vast untroubled sky. Not a breath; not a murmur; and there stood the broken-hearted, childless, widowed man, his blood shivering in his arteries, and the very ground underneath his feet, and the tree-branches overhead, jarring as with the presence of a spirit at noonday.

‘And all their eyes were upon him—all, from the oldest to the youngest, in the frightful stillness that followed. Their calm severity, their terrible, though mute reproach, he could not endure. His heart misgave him. What proof had he—what proof? A new fear fell upon him now. He began to doubt whether he had not always been what he now was, a an-slayer by nature, waiting only for an opportunity; a disbeliever in God’s goodness, waiting only to be tempted. The look

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of their eyes grew insupportable to him, and he could have turned away, and fled for his life into the thickest of the wilderness, but for the fear of adding to his guilt, should they be devoured by the wild beasts, or perish by starvation where they sat, in their uncomplaining helplessness, with their bright weapons lying before them, and their strong hands prisoned forever in the tree.

‘Whicher was a man of few words to the very last; and, having subdued his inclination to fly, he went up to the Chief, and took into his hand the reeking trophy of death which clung to his breast; and he knew it; he could not be deceived. It was the long hair of his daughter Judith, her whose abundant and beautiful tresses had been the talk of all that knew her, and a joy to her father’s heart, betraying the wearer to death, perhaps, like the beautiful hair of Absalom. Having satisfied himself here, he went up to the next—and the next—and the next, without speaking a word; growing paler and paler at every step, and praying even to the last, that he should be suffered to spare one, at least one, the Benjamin of the whole, the youth who had given him to eat, as he would a brother. But no; the spoil was divided among the four, and so equally divided, that even the youngest carried a bloody trophy blazoned upon his chest—the scalp of a grey-headed man, yet reeking with the passage of the knife, and the torn locks of a child that he knew, not more by the color than by the inward trembling and yearning of a father’s heart, for those of his youngest born, the man-child of his maturity and strength. When he saw this, he turned away, blind and sick with unutterable horror and loathing,

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and staggered, he knew not whither, till his foot struck the handle of the axe which he had flung away. The touch electrified him; he thought of the Old Testament; of the Ancient of Days; of Abraham and of the animal that he saw, on lifting up his eyes, entangled in the thicket; and he persuaded himself that he had been called to the priesthood, with power to offer up victims, and that the axe had been thrown in his way to remind him of his duty. Grasping the axe, he marched up to the youngest of the four, who sat watching him with an eye that never faltered nor changed; he lifted it and swung it into the air, but his heart failed him; again he tried, and again his heart failed him; again he tried, and again his heart failed him; and he flung away the axe forever, and lifted up his voice and wept.

‘And the savages pitied him, and smiled upon him in their pity; and straightway their stern foreheads contracted with shame, and they appeared to reproach one another for being in the power of a man capable of tears or outcry.

“Monsters,” cried the bereaved father; “I would put ye all to death, even to the youngest born of his father’s house, whom I think I see there loaded with scalps and trophies, and among them that of Joshua, my youngest born, the pride of my strength, and the hope of my old age; but for his sake I forbear, and go my way, and leave you in peace.”

‘Here the red men looked at one another, and then at their crushed hands, and then at him, as if they understood every word he spoke, and smiled.

‘Astonished by their behaviour, and believing they did understand him, he proceeded. “If ye are innocent,

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God will be with you, even our God, and nothing shall harm you, or molest you, or make you afraid.” Another dark smile! “Surely,” thought he, “these men do understand our language!” But he continued; “And as for me, if there is a creature upon earth able to distinguish between you, so that I can separate the less guilty from the more guilty, him will I return to, and set free, or bury. Otherwise I hold on my way forever—hark! hark! the wolves are upon you! I see their still shadows afar off, projected along the clear water by the setting sun; I hear the mustering howl of pack after pack as they gather together in the deep of the wilderness, and yearn for their appointed prey! Lord God of the prophet, whom the she-bears avenged upon the babes that mocked him, saying, Go up thou bald head, go! Thy tender mercies are over all thy works!”

‘And so saying, he went away, and was gone a twelvemonth. And when he returned to weep there on the anniversary of his terrible bereavement, behold the four skeletons were sitting there in the very same posture, two on each side of the log, the flesh stripped from their bones by the wolves, and their eyes picked out by the birds, and still striving to tear the tree asunder.’

‘What on earth do you mean?’ cried I, starting up from my chair when my companion with the green spectacles had come to this part of the story, and looking about me with amazement.

‘Mean, Sir; I mean what I say.’

‘Did I understand you rightly—a twelvemonth afterwards—four skeletons, did you say?—still trying to tear asunder that log?

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‘Precisely. You see by that, Sir, what the North American Savage is capable of.’

‘Very true,’ responded one of the party, who had been a most attentive auditor, ‘very true; them are Injuns are tarnal tough, to be sure; take more killin, by George, than half a dozen wile-cats.’ ‘Jess so!’ cried another.

And here we parted; the story-teller wiping his spectacles and adjusting them to his forehead, as he slipped by me with the step of a shadow, and I wondering who the — he was. I have never found out to this day, though I believe in my heart he intended to hoax me.

Bowdoin College, June 1, 1831.


a white woman in 16th-century dress sits on a garden terrace and listens to a white man playing a lute
Painted by R. P. Bonington.      Engraved by O. Pelton.
Published by Gray Bowen, Boston.

[p. 373]


My twilight lute! my twilight lute!

You hear each silver tone,

Breathing among the tremulous leaves

Of all these woodlands lone,

As plainly as you ever heard

From mortal lips a living word.

And may not love, in burning souls

Of such a clime as this,

Utter with such a voice divine

Its sorrow and its bliss?

It fills the eye, the brow, the cheek;

Yet cannot, as it need not speak.

Ah no! It is a vestal fire,

In the veiled bosom fed,

Whose hallowed heat must only be

O’er its own worship shed:

Within, within, the spirit kneels,

Hushed with the rapture which it feels.

Ah no! it is enough to see,

In glorious eyes like thine,

O daughter of the vine-crowned land,

The fervid feeling shine:

She smiles—she sighs—I will not seek

For surer pledge—she need not speak.

B. B. T.

[p. 374]



At last, we are to have a place, in which, with our friends, we may be laid when we are dead, and upon which we can look with pleasure while we live. Sweet Auburn, a spot consecrated already in the hearts of many, by the associations and remembrances of early friendship, by the recollections of many a solitary walk, and many a day dream and revery, is to become a garden, sacred to sepulture and to botanical science. This is well; for thus we shall see, ‘beautifully mingled, life and death.’ Vegetable beauty and frailty and strength and grace, shall there be peculiarly emblematical and instructive. The rose shall hang its head and blush over the resting-place of modesty; the lily shall tell of the innocence that is buried beneath its tem; the oak shall shade the inflexible patriot’s grave; and the laurel shall dress the poet’s bed with its faded and cast-off leaves. The young widow will, with her own hands, plant a weeping-willow where she has herself bent in sorrow; the mother will scatter snow-drops upon the earth that covers her child, that was cut off in the first days of its opening spring; the lover carry the graceful myrtle that his mistress nursed while she lived, and bid it take root and watch her in his stead where now ‘she sleeps alone;’ the husband lead the grape-vine around and over the arbor that hides the mother of his children; while all the trees of the garden, that fade at the touch

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of the frost, shall remind the laborer and the mourner, alike, that all must die; and the cedars that even now, in dead winter, look green upon the sides of Sweet Auburn, shall stand up over the remains of the Christian preacher, ‘and intimate eternity to man.’

Here we may choose, while we yet live, the spot where our remains shall be laid: where they may be visited and wept over, if we are remembered and cared for when we are gone; or where they ay be left, at least without disturbance, if we are forgotten. According to our own preference, we ay mark, as the place of our rest, the spot where many trees throw a deep shade around us, or the green slope, on which the sun looks down all day long; or we may say that our grave shall be by the side of the spring, that breaks out all alive from the hill side. Our own hands may plant the tree that shall stretch its living limbs over our clay, and even strike its roots down into our clay, and feel itself nourished by its planter still.

Keen-eyed Science, and faithful, grief-stricken Affection, shall take each other by the hand, and daily and nightly shall walk around our graves, while, like our first parents in Eden, they ‘dress the garden and keep it.’ Wealth and classical taste will bring each its offering, to decorate the paradise of the sleepers. Monuments shall rise in all the variety of shape and color, to give their silent testimony in behalf of those who lie in deep silence beneath them. The dark shade of evergreens shall be enlivened by the white and slender obelisk, shooting up above their tops, to catch the light of the moon. The graceful shaft, the broad table, the minature [sic] temple, the stately mausoleum, and the simple and lowly

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headstone, shall stand, each in its place, to tell of those who have fallen; while they who have honored those fallen ones, or loved them, shall linger in the sacred enclosure, holding sad communion with the spirits of the departed, and, in the cold and quiet moonlight, seeming, themselves, like spirits sent down in love by the Father of Spirits to guard the repose of the grave.

I have said it is well that we are to have such a place near our city; yet not so near it that the city of the living shall ever encroach upon that of the dead. It is well that flowers should bloom over the beautiful that shall bloom no more, and give forth their fragrance over the remains of the good, like the odor of their own good name. It is well that the living and the dead should be bound more closely together than they have been among us, and more closely than they ever will be, so long as we make the tomb open its marble jaws, to swallow up that which we have once held in our arms, or pressed to our bosoms. It is well that we shall no longer be compelled to pile the dead upon the dead, till the fine dust of fathers and mothers is crushed by the accumulating clay of their own children. It is well that what belongs to each of us may be laid in the fresh earth again, when we can use it no longer. ‘The clods of the valley’—how much sweeter are they, over us, than an arch of brick or stone, within the ponderous walls of a church, where the places of our long sleep must remain forever, like the Mountains of Gilboa, having no dew, and no rain upon them! ‘The house appointed for all the living’ is a ‘dark and narrow house’ at best. How much more dark and narrow have we felt ourselves compelled to make it, I will not say by the superstitions, but by the usages of

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civil society! It is almost suffocating to us, while we live, to think of the prison house into which we are to be thrust when we are dead. It was not so with our Lord. Where he lay, ‘there was a garden, and in the garden a new sepulchre.’

It is well, if I may trust the feelings of my nature, it is well that it is now to be so with us. It is well in respect to its moral influences and uses. It is happy for us, if, while we live, we can disarm Death of any of his terrors; and this we do when we meditate till we can meditate pleasantly, upon the benevolent character of his offices, and when we associate his abode—the scene of his triumphs, the chambers where he displays his trophies—with objects that are themselves pleasant and attractive.

Can we not spare a few minutes to ‘think on these things?’ The year is closing in upon us; and the day is advancing towards us, when death and the grave will be felt to be things in which we are personally concerned. We would not unseasonably obtrude upon our readers a topic that is uncongenial to the object of our book, or to the feelings with which, at the falling away of the year, we put our ‘Token’ of friendly regards into the hands of those, upon whose heart we desire to leave a favorable impression, and whose good opinion we are anxious to secure. We know, indeed, that for the living to keep their eyes perpetually fixed upon the point towards which they are steadily advancing, to direct their every thought to the moment of death, or to the dwelling of the dead, is neither dictated by nature, nor enjoined by religion. It would draw off our attention

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too much from the objects more immediately around us, in which both nature and religious duty require us to take a deep interest. It would tend to sadden that part of our being which its Author has made cheerful, by throwing some of the shadows that settle upon the valley of death over the whole journey that leads us down to it; and, by unfitting us for the cheerful discharge of the active duties of life, it would leave us ill prepared for the hour that brings us to its close. But occasionally and seriously to cast our eyes forward to the point that we must reach, which cannot be very distant, and may be very near, is a duty which we owe to ourselves. To direct to that point the view of those who are travelling with us, at proper seasons and in a proper way, is a duty which we owe to them. The contemplation of Death need not be unpleasant to us. It need not shock us to take a view of his mansion. It is a mansion of peace, and its lord is the friend of the wretched. We may be made the better by becoming in a degree familiar with both.

And, in contemplating death, we would view it only in those aspects and offices in which nature and religion present it to us. We would put out of sight the picture, which Superstition and Fear have painted, of the Power before whom all the living must bow themselves down. We would suppress, so far as we may, the instinctive shrinking back of the soul from the presence of the monarch, who not only is silent himself, but makes all silent who come under his dominion. We would contemplate his features as God has formed them, and as the Son of God, in the light of his gospel, has given them to our view.

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In the first place, let us regard death as the condition—ought we to say the hard condition?—on which our life is given us. Shall we take the gift, and use it, and rejoice in it, and yet complain of one of its inseparable incidents? There is, indeed, in the breast of all the living, an inherent love of life, and an instinctive shrinking back from death, as among the greatest of evils. This natural dread of death the Author of our life has connected with our nature for wise and good ends. By it he would reconcile the wretched to the trials which he appoints for them in the world, and thus enable them to bear the evils that they feel, rather than encounter those which they fear. By it he would keep his children from rushing uncalled into his presence, leaving undone the work which he has given them to do. This salutary fear he stations, like a stern but trusty angel, at the gate of the grave, to keep those from hiding themselves in it, whom it is his will yet longer to employ in his service, or to make still more perfect by suffering. It is, therefore, a proof and a part of the goodness of God, to make death terrible to such as he would still subject to the labors and trials of life. But, the same goodness which is thus shown in making to be dreaded an event that is remote, is also shown in stripping off a part of its terrors, as it is seen to approach and to be inevitable. He has made the dread ‘ministers of his that do his pleasure’ to lose their terrors as they lose their distance; as the islander, walking along a hazy shore, seems a giant to the shipwrecked mariner, and yet, on a near approach, is found to be a man and a friend. In the morning, and even at the noon of life, when we look far onward, and, placing ourselves in imagination among those who

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are stricken in years, see our form bending under the weight of age, and our head covered with its snows, we feel a disposition to linger, not perhaps precisely where we stand, for we seldom look upon that as the happiest spot, but among the objects that we see somewhat in advance of us, yet not so far remote as the valley of years; for, over that, there hangs a chilling mist, and the frost is white upon it, while many a slope between it and us is pleasant, and invites us forward. And yet, when the evening of our day approaches, when Time is stealing his last steps upon us, when our heads are white indeed, and we come to stand, in truth, where we had seen ourselves standing in vision, we find less that is repulsive than we had expected in the society of the hoary king, less that is burdensome in the weight that he lays upon us, and more than we had expected that is kind and gentle in his touch. And if pain and grief come upon us in our way, hope is sent out with them, with the assurance that they are not to be with us long, and patience and faith, to disarm them of the keenest of their weapons. Shall the same God, then, who thus kindly removes its hideous mask from every minor terror, that he stations along our way, at the moment when we must encounter it, cease to be kind to us when we are called to encounter the king of terrors, whom he has stationed at our journey’s end?

In the second place, we may regard Death as a minister of the Most High, whose office it is to seal our character. The seal, set by this stern minister, is generally that of truth and equity. The tales of slander, and the allurements of temptation, that pursue innocence and worth and infirmity through life, are all arrested by the

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arm of Death. His cold, leaden shield is thrown over his victim, and every arm that is raised against him is withered, and every arrow that is thrown at him falls blunted into his grave. The virtues, which were proved by suffering and temptation in life, are to be submitted to no further proof. The passions, that might have overpowered him, are all checked in their career. The storms, which they raised in the bosom have all subsided, and the soul, that was tossed by their violence, has sunk to a calm; as the tempest from the mountains died away, and the heaving waters of the lake were smoothed, when he who triumphed over Death, said, ‘Peace! Be still!’

The good man, then, need not shrink from the hand that is to sign his passport to the haven of peace, and to fix upon that passport ‘the seal of the living God.’ Why should he, who has struggled long and strenuously to hold fast his integrity, murmur, when he feels that the struggle and the strife will soon be over, never to be renewed? Ought he not rather to welcome the pale herald, when he comes to award to him the prize of victory, and with cold fingers to bind a wreath upon his brow that shall never wither, and never be torn away!

We have already remarked of Death, that he is the friend of the wretched. The wretched themselves have in all ages so regarded him. In his arms many have voluntarily sought a refuge from the ills that they have felt or feared. ‘Why,’ says the suffering Job, ‘why died I not at my birth? Why did I not expire when I first saw the light? For then should I have lain down and been quiet; I should have slept, then, and been at rest, with kings and counsellors of the earth. There the wicked cease from troubling; there the weary

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are at rest; there the prisoners rest together; they hear not the voice of the oppressor. The small and the great are there; and the slave is free from his master.’ Here are the thoughts of the sufferer’s heart, brought out with all the power of poetry and truth. It is even so. Death lays his hand upon the burning brow, and it is cool. He touches the aching heart, and its pain is gone; and upon the whole frame that is racked with agony, he sprinkles his cold dew, and all is still.

What is there, then, unfriendly in the office of Death? To those whom he meets at the end of a long or a toilsome journey, we all agree that his is a ministry of kindness. And if we are not persuaded that it is such to all, the want of that persuasion may be owing to our want of knowledge. It may be that, were the curtain drawn aside which divides the future from the present, we should see the young and the happy arrested early in their progress to rescue them from the enemies that were lying in ambush for them, at the more advanced stages of their journey,—calamities that would overwhelm, or temptations that would corrupt them. How much better is it that their prayer, ‘Deliver us from evil,’ should be thus early answered, than that they should see an old age of sorrows or of sin.

We have indulged ourselves thus far in the contemplation of Death, in the hope that it might not be without its moral uses to familiarize ourselves with the true lineaments of that visage, which is seen with dismay, at last, by all those who will never contemplate them till the last; not forgetting, however, that, when speaking of ‘The Garden of Graves,’ our chief concern is with the dwellings of the dead.

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‘The house appointed for all the living;’ why should we retire when that is brought before us? Why shrink from the view of it?

There is much that is interesting—deeply interesting, in the spot where a great man, or a friend, has thrown off the last suit of his earthly apparel; as there is in that where we suppose that we shall throw off the last suit of our own. I say the last suit of our earthly vesture; for the grave receives but little of what has formed a part of us. By the laws of animal life we are continually changed, so far as we are ‘of the earth, earthy.’ In the bloom of youth, not an atom of the clay is left, that clothed the spirit in infancy. In the vigor of manhood, the habiliments of youth are gone; and no part of the dress of either infancy or youth, not a remnant of what was worn in the morning or at the noon of life, invests the man of grey hairs. So true is it, if the separation of the body and the soul is death, that we die daily. How fully did the author of Job understand this truth, and how deeply does he make his noble sufferer feel, and how beautifully express it! ‘Thou liftest me up to the wind; thou causest me to ride upon it, and thou dissolvest my substance!’ Yes; on every breeze that goes by me, a part of me rides away to join its kindred elements; and the substantial frame of the man of many days has been again and again dissolved; so that all that is laid in the grave at last, is but a crumbling relic of even the clay that has been his.

In the dress that our spirits now wear, we think little of the garments that we have, long since, given to the winds. A few years hence, we shall think as little of the mantle that now clothes us; and, when the last that

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is to be given us shall have been claimed by the grave, why should we regard that more than we now do those, of a finer texture and a richer dye, which are already cast off, and gone—we ask not whither?

By ourselves, then, after ‘this, our earthly house shall have been taken to pieces,’ the place where it shall have fallen, and its frame gone to decay, will probably be disregarded, if it is not even unknown. But with those who shall be left behind us, it will not be so. In the bosom of all the living, an interest in any place is awakened, the moment it is looked upon as the resting place of the dead. The folly of man, indeed—his vanity or his pride, has done much to destroy this interest, to silence all that is eloquent in the grave, and to neutralize all that savors of holiness in the air around it. The mausoleum and the pyramid may excite our admiration; but we look in vain for anything sacred in the feelings that they awaken. The cenotaph may bear its written testimony to the virtues of the dead; or its unwritten, to the pride of the living; but we approach the empty pageant without any emotion of reverence; for the place where it standeth is not holy ground. It has never been made holy by death. The natural feeling of awe, with which we stand at the door of ‘the narrow house,’ is lost, either when we know that the dead has never been there, or when, in the building of that house, there has been a departure from the severe simplicity of nature. Even the tomb is not so interesting as the grave. It savors of pride in those who can now be proud no longer; of distinction, where all are equal; of a feeling of eminence even under the hand of the great leveller of all our dust. And how useless to us are all the ensigns

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of magnificence that can be piled up above our bed! What though a sepulchral lamp throw its light up to the princely vaults under which my remains repose! They would rest as quietly were there no lamp there. The sleeping dust fears nothing. No dreams disturb it. It would not mark the neglect, should the sepulchral lamp be suffered to expire. It will not complain of the neglect, should it never be lighted again.

And why should my cold clay be imprisoned with so much care? Why thus immured, to keep it, as it would seem, from mingling with its kindred clay? When ‘that which warmed it once’ animates it no more, what is there in my dust, that it should be thus jealously guarded? Is it lovely now in the eyes of those who may have once loved me? Will my children, or the children of my children, visit my vaulted chamber? Thy may, indeed, summon the courage to descend into my still abode, and gaze by torch-light upon the black and mouldering visage, which, not their memory, but my escutcheon, not their love, but their pride, may tell them is the face of their father; and this may eloquently remind them how soon the builder of the house of death must take up his abode in it; how soon the dust that we have, must mingle with the dust that we are; but, still, there is a feeling of horror, in the atmosphere of the tomb, which chills all that is affectionate and tender in the emotions that lead them into it, and is anything but favorable to the moral uses to which the living may convert the dwellings of the dead; uses that will be secured by every daughter of affliction, of whom it may be said, as it was said of the sorrowing Mary, ‘She goeth unto the grave to weep there.’ Yes; though all whom I

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have loved or venerated sleep within its walls, I retreat from the tomb, the moment that I can do it without impiety, or even with decency. But I am differently affected when, with the rising sun, or by the light of the melancholy moon, I go alone to my mother’s grave. There I love to linger; and, while there, I hear the wind sigh over one who often sighed for me. I breathe an air refreshed by the grass that draws its strength from the bosom from which I drew mine; and, in the drops of dew that tremble upon it, I see the tears that so often bedewed her eyes as she breathed forth a prayer that her children might cherish her memory, and escape from the pollutions of the world.

Yes; to the lover of nature, in its simplicity, the grave is more interesting and more instructive than the tomb. It speaks in a voice as full of truth, and more full of tenderness, to those who visit it to indulge their griefs, or to hold spiritual converse with the sainted spirits that are gone. And if the spirit that, while on earth, was loved by us, does not, when it leaves the earth, lose all interest in its crumbling tenement, would it not rather see the child of earth clasped again to the sweet bosom of its mother, to be again incorporated with her substance, to assume again a form attractive and lovely, to become again the recipient of light, an object of admiration, and a conscious medium of enjoyment, than that it should lie and moulder away in darkness and silence—a cause of offence to strangers, and a source of terror to those whom it still love? Rather than see our own clay thus dwelling in coldness and solitude, neither receiving enjoyment nor imparting it, would not our spirits, purged from all vanity and pride, be pleased to know

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that it was starting forth again into life and loveliness; that it was moving again in the fair light of heaven, and bathed in its showers; that it was giving forth the perfume of the rose, or blushing with its great beauty; or, that, having clothed the oak with its robe of summer, it was throwing a broad shade over the home of our children; or that, having once more felt the frost of death, it was falling withered upon their graves.

The grave, when visited thoughtfully and alone, cannot but exert a favorable moral influence. It has already been remarked that it speaks in a voice full of tenderness and of truth. Its instructions reach not the ear, indeed, but they do reach the heart. By it, the departed friend is recalled in all but a visible presence, and by it, ‘he, being dead, yet speaketh.’ At such a time, how faithfully will the grave of your friend remind you of the pleasant moments when you were conversing with him in the living tones of affection and truth! when you were opening your hearts to each other, and becoming partakers, each of the other’s hopes and purposes and cares; when with a generous confidence those secret things were shown to one another, which were locked up in the heart from all the world beside! Will the grave of your friend allow you to forget his single-heartedness in serving you; his unsullied honor; his plighted faith; his readiness to expose himself to danger that he might save you from it; and the calmness with which, when he perceived that his hold on life was breaking away, he gave up life’s hopes, and, turning his eyes for the last time to the light, and looking up, for the last time, to the faces of those who loved him, he bade farewell to all, and gave up his spirit to the disposal

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of his God? Is all this forgotten, when you stand by his grave? Does not his very grave speak to you? Does it not bear its testimony to the value of youthful purity and truth, and of the power of an humble confidence in the Most High, to give dignity to the character of the young, and to disarm Death of the most dreadful of his weapons, even when he comes for his most dreadful work—to cut off life in the beauty of its morning? Does there not come up from his grave a voice, like that which comes down from the skies—a voice not meant for the ear, but addressed to the heart, and felt by the heart as the kindest and most serious tones of the living friend were never felt?

And the children of sorrow—they whose hands have prepared a resting place for their parents in the ‘Garden of Graves,’ shall go to that garden and find that their hearts are made better by offering there the sacrifice of filial piety, or by listening there to the rebuke which a guilty ear will hear coming forth from the dust. The leaf that rustles on his father’s grave shall tell the undutiful son of disquieted sleep beneath it. The gray hairs of his father went down to the grave, not in sorrow alone, but in shame. The follies of his son made them thus go down. Son of disobedience, that tall grass, sighing over thy father’s dust, whispers a rebuke to thee. It speaks of thy waywardness when a child; of thy want of filial reverence in maturer years; of thy contempt for a parent’s counsels; and of thy disregard of his feelings, his infirmities, and his prayers. It will be well for thee if the grave, by its rebuke, shall so chasten thee for thine iniquity, that thine own soul, when called away, may meet thy father and thy God in peace.

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How different is the language of thy father’s grave to thee, my brother. Does it not recall the many hours to thy remembrance, which were given to his service? Were not his thin locks decently composed, in death, by thine own hand? Did not his dim eye turn to thee in ‘the inevitable hour’ as to the pleasant light of the sun? Did he not, with his last grasp, take hold of thy hand, and did not his pressure of thy hand tell thee, when his tongue could not, that it was that which had upheld and comforted him in his decaying strength; and was it not his last prayer that thou mightest be blest in thine own children as he had been blest in his? He has gone to his rest and his reward. But his sepulchre is green, and at thy coming, though it gives him not to thy embrace, it restores him to thy grateful remembrance. His counsels are again addressed to thine ear. His upright life is still before thine eye. His devotion to thine own highest interests sinks down, with new weight, into the depths of thy heart. Thou catchest again the religious tones of his morning and evening prayer. They speak of peace to the venerated dead. They are full of hope and consolation to the living. They tell how ‘blessed are the dead that die in the Lord,’ how sweetly ‘they rest from their labors,’ and how happy it is for them that ‘their works do follow them.’

And thou, my sister, why dost thou go forth alone to visit thy mother’s grave? Will she recognise thy foot-fall at the door of her narrow house? Will she give thee a mother’s welcome, and a mother’s blessing? Her blessing shall indeed meet thee there, though not her welcome; for there shall gather round thee the sacred remembrances of her care and her love for thee;

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the remembrance of her gentle admonitions, her patience and faithfulness; of her spirit of forbearance and meekness under provocation, and of that ever wakeful principle of industry, neatness and order, which always made her home so pleasant to those whom she loved; and there shall visit thee, like one of the spirits of the blest, the thought of her own blessed spirit, as it rose in fervent prayers for the welfare and salvation of those who were given to her charge. She will speak to thee there, again, as she often spoke in life, of the hour that is coming, when thou, who didst once sleep upon her bosom, shalt sleep by her side, being gathered to the great congregation of the dead. She will speak to thee, from her grave, of the worth of innocence, of the importance of chastening the extravagance of thy young hopes, and of looking thoughtfully and seriously upon the world as a scene of trying duties and severe temptations, of the countless evils that join hand in hand and follow on in the train of a single folly, and of the momentous bearing of thy present course upon thy peace in this life, and upon thy condition when thy dust shall be mingling with hers. Then,

‘Let Vanity adorn the marble tomb

With trophies, rhymes, and scutcheons of renown,

In the deep dungeon of some gothic dome,

Where night and desolation ever frown.

Mine be the breezy hill that skirts the down,

Where a green grassy turf is all I crave,

With here and there a violet bestrown,

Fast by a brook, or fountain’s murmuring wave;

And many an evening sun, shine sweetly on my grave.’


death and destruction and fire and lightning blasting a landscape with people in ancient dress dying everywhere
Painted by C. F. Danby A. R. A.      Allman Pilbrow Sc.
Published by Gray Bowen, Boston.

[p. 391]



And I beheld when he opened the sixth seal.—Rev. vi. 12.

I stood above the mountains, and I saw

The unveiled features of Eternity.

Th’ affrighted earth did quake. The mountains reeled,

And heaved their deep foundations to the day.

The islands melted in the sea. The rocks

Toppled, and fell in fragments. Lightning shot

A fiery glare athwart the ruined world.

Chaos returned again. Th’ extinguished sun

Hung black and rayless in the midnight air.

The moon became as blood. And one by one,

The everlasting stars of heaven did fall,

Even as the fig-tree, shaken by the wind,

Drops her untimely fruit. All light was dead.

The heavens—th’ eternal heavens themselves, that stretched

Shroud-like above the earth, were rent in twain,

And vanished like a scroll together rolled.

And men did vainly strain their aching gaze

Into the lurid gulf, that mocked the space,

The yawning space of the departing sky.

The city was a desert. Men aghast

Fled from their rocking habitations, out

Into the fields, that gaped and swallowed them.

The prisoner spurned his earthquake-riven chain,

And flung in horror his freed arms to heaven.

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And men did cast themselves upon the earth,

And hid their faces; and they prayed—and died.

The living and the dead together lay;

The frantic mother, and the perished child.

And men did grovel in the parching dust,

Crawling like serpents o’er their kindred dead.

The crowned head, the lowly, and the proud,

The rich, the brave, the mighty, bond, and free,

Trembled and hid themselves, and shivering crept

Into the dens, and mountain-caves, and rocks;

And in their mortal horror, lifted up

On high their hollow voices, and they prayed,

‘Ye mountains fall on us—and ye, oh rocks!

Hide us—ay! crush us from the face of Him

Who sitteth on the throne, and from the Lamb.

For, lo! his day of vengeance is arrived,

And who can hope to stand?’

a naked cherub lies face down on a boulder
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