• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Willard Lawson
 The French emigrants
 The angel's pilgrimage
 Lilias Fane
 The unuseful
 Nora Maylie
 Born to wear a coronet
 Dora'
 Two nights in the "Nieuw Neder...
 Lucy Dutton
 Mystery
 The priest's soliloquy
 Aunt Alice
 My first grief
 The mignionette
 Ministering angels
 The rain a thought-maker
 Genius
 Back Cover
 Spine






Title: Tales for all seasons
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00001869/00001
 Material Information
Title: Tales for all seasons by Fanny Forester, (Mrs. E.C. Judson)
Physical Description: 222 p., <1> leaf of plates : col. ill. ; 17 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Judson, Emily C ( Emily Chubbuck ), 1817-1854
Nelson, Thomas, 1822-1892 ( Publisher )
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Place of Publication: London ;
Edinburgh
Publication Date: 1851
 Subjects
Subject: Short stories, English   ( lcsh )
Young women -- Conduct of life -- Fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Fiction   ( lcsh )
Embossed cloth bindings (Binding) -- 1851   ( rbbin )
Bldn -- 1851
Genre: Embossed cloth bindings (Binding)   ( rbbin )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Scotland -- Edinburgh
 Notes
General Note: Short stories.
Funding: Brittle Books Program
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00001869
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002229827
oclc - 45625126
notis - ALH0167
 Related Items
Other version: Alternate version (PALMM)
PALMM Version

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Frontispiece
        Frontispiece
    Title Page
        Title Page 1
        Title Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents 1
        Table of Contents 2
    Willard Lawson
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
    The French emigrants
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
    The angel's pilgrimage
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
    Lilias Fane
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
    The unuseful
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
    Nora Maylie
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
    Born to wear a coronet
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
    Dora'
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
    Two nights in the "Nieuw Nederlandts"
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
    Lucy Dutton
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
    Mystery
        Page 187
        Page 188
    The priest's soliloquy
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
    Aunt Alice
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
    My first grief
        Page 197
        Page 198
    The mignionette
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
    Ministering angels
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
    The rain a thought-maker
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
    Genius
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
    Spine
        Spine
Full Text












































A r













,rr
4 V.


















altse for all Seauiis.






BY


FANNY FORESTER,

(MRS. E. C. JUDSON.)









All seasons have their voices; joyous then
When Spring is vocal with the amorous birds,
And Summer too, when flowers are in the full;
When Autumn gives the treasures they had told;
While round the Winter's hearth, the sum of all
Fills the long evening with remembered joys.









LONDON:
THOMAS NELSON PATERNOSTER ROW;
AND EDINBURGH.

IIDCCCLT.


I I -



















CONTENTS.




FAOG
Willard Lawson-
Chap. I. Leaving Home, 1
... II. A Stranger, . . 22
... III. The Orator, . 34
The French Emigrants, 38
The Angel's Pilgrimage, .. .............. 48
Lilias Fane . 74
The Unuseful, . 98
Nora Maylie, . . ll
Born to wear a Coronet, . 136
Dora', . . 151
Two Nights in the "Nieuw Nederlandts," 162
Lucy Dutton, . 178
Mystery, . . 187
The Priest's Soliloquy (an Extract), . . 189
Aunt Alice, . 193
My First Grief (an Extract), . 197

The Mignionette (a Fable), . . 199
Ministering Angels, . . 203
The Rain a Thoughtmaker, . . 206
Genius, .. 217













TALES FOR ALL SEASONS.

BY

FANNY FORESTER.



WILL RD LAWSON.

CHAPTER I.-LEAVING HOME.

"( You will be sorry for it, Willard."
Sorry II tell you, Sophy, I have been in leading
strings long enough; and I will go where I can, now
and then, do as I choose !"
You will be back in less than three days.
< No, not in less than three years. Come, tell me
what I shall bring you from over the seas; they have all
sorts of gimcracks in the Indies, and maybe I shall go
to China, or-"
Or take a peep into Symm's hole, or a ride on the
roc's back. Bring me a pair of slippers from Lilliput."
I will bring you a pair so small that you cannot
wear them, if that is what you like; and a rare India
shawl, to beat cousin Meg's."






WILLARD LAWSON.


"( I hope you will get your purse well replenished; I
daresay you will find them in N- ."
N---- ?"
Don't speak so contemptuously of our mammoth
city, Will; there will be a little fading out of those hand-
some curls, I dare say, before you will see a larger."
I tell you, Sophy, I am going to sea. What part
of the world I may visit, I don't know; but it will be
many a long year before you will see me again."
Nonsense, Will, think of scrambling up ropes and
perching in the air like a monkey I You have always
had a taste that way, I know, but try it in a gale, and
you would soon come to the conclusion that you had a
little too much of it. Come, this freak of yours is all
nonsense; be obedient, and father will be kind to you,
but you know it was wrong for you to go- "
I know it was not wrong, Sophy, and I am glad I
went. I should like to know what right anybody has to
hinder me from speaking to a school-fellow now and then,
or even from shaking my toe in a dance, if I choose.
Wondrous good some people are, indeed! I wish they
would tell me how much worse dancing is than anger;
and did n't you see how pale he turned ? James turned
pale too, for I believe he thought I would get knocked
own. I almost wish he had done it."
"Willard!"
He drives me to it, Sophy."
If you go away with these bad feelings, I am afraid
you never will come back again."
Maybe-but-yes, I shall-of course I shall. I






WILLARD LAWSON.


shall want to see you, and-and all. Oh, I shall come
back sometime."
I am afraid not, Willard."
The observation seemed to induce a new train of
thought, for the boy's excited countenance assumed an
unusual soberness; a tear crept to his eye and twinkled
on the upraised lash, but he brushed it hastily away, and
with a "never fear for that, Sophy," sprang to the door,
as though afraid to trust his voice with another word.
The sister waited awhile for his return, thinking that he
would at least bid her a good night; but when she per-
ceived that he was not coming, she began to persuade
herself that he was ashamed of his folly, and would be in
better temper in the morning, or that her father would
abate some of his sternness; at any rate, somehow, the
difficulty would be settled, as others had been before; and
so she went to sleep. These troubles were nothing
new to her. Mr Lawson was a noble-minded, upright
man, who exercised a kind of patriarchal sway, not only
in his family, but over the whole neighbourhood. He
was a good father and a kind neighbour in the main, but
stern and self-willed; all suavity and gentleness when
obeyed, but woe to the luckless one who dared to oppose
his plans or wishes 1 To such, if the truth must be owned,
Mr Lawson was a tyrant. He had managed, how-
ever, without unpleasant bickerings, to bring up his fa-
mily in the strictest integrity; and they were now about
him, doing honour to his gray hairs. They had yielded
to him; he had led them wisely, and now they honoured
him with all their hearts. Sons and sons-in-law looked
up to him with reverence; all but a bold, daring boy,


11






12 WILLARD -LAWS01m

his youngest child, the handsomest Rl the bravest, but,
alas! so full of faults 1 Willard had ;talnuts, but he did
not like the trouble of cultivating them; like many an-
other, he was so well satisfied with hi natural acuteness,
that he could see no necessity for bestowing labour ori
the mental soil. Mistaken Willird! Mistaken thou-
sands He was spirited as a young colt that spurns the
bit, and grew restive under his father's control before he
had reached a dozen of summers. Now he had grown
into a tall stripling, and considered himself very nearly
a man, and was he to be led about like a baby ? I think
-I do not know-but I really think that if Mr Law-
son had not been quite so authoritative and unbending,
his son Willard would have been more manageable; but
yet I must admit that he never required anything of
him which was not right. _Then Willard was frank and
joyous, with a heart full of generous sentiments and brim-
ming over with sympathy and kindness; and it must be
owned that there was something which shut down over
his spirit like a lid whenever he entered his father's house.
He had felt it when a little boy playing in the sunshine
on the lawn; and used to think, when called in at evens
ing, of the atmosphere of a damp, dark cellar in the
spring-time; but the uncomfortable feeling had increased
as he grew older, and now Willard Lawson did not love
his home. It was a rare good place for his intellect, but
there was no room there for his heart to expand. All
were kind-his sister Sophia especially so, but it was a
kindness which was always smooth, and even, and cold;
no bubbling, no sudden gushes, like the spring which
lares the travel-stained wanderer from the way-side, or




i
Ji L ARD LAWSON 13

t fountain leapitp at the kiss of the bues and
t glance of the n-light; but a quiet, calm, lifeless
so kindness, t seemed to lack that universal in-
sp n--love. So he went away from home for society,
n awys selecting the best, for how could the boy
knorow to choose rightly? He found more sympathy
without doors than within; and so Willard Lawson,
young as he was, had set both feet resolutely in a most
dangerous path. Beware, Willard I Nay, but he will
not beware; he has "been in leading strings long
enough," and he has resolved on emancipation.
How much Willard Lawson slept that night I will not
attempt to say; how many misgivings visited his heart in
the lone darkness, or how much dearer his home became
as he thought upon the words of his sister,--" If you
leave us with these bad feelings, I am afraid you never
will come back again." The thoughts and emotions
were his own, his own to brood over, his own to bury;
forget he probably never would. Morning dawned at
last, and by the first faint glimmer Willard rose and
dressed himself. He then walked about the little room,
as though taking a farewell of every article of furniture,
and looked from the window, and walked again, till a
tear, actually a big round tear, rolled from his eyes like
a red-hot bullet, and dropped upon his hand. He was
alone now, and so it was no shame to weep; and Willard
did not even put a hand to his eyes while the liquid sor-
row rained down over his cheeks in torrents. Poor boy I
It is a pitiful thing to forsake the roof which sheltered
us in our helplessness; where the only real love the wide
earth knows beamed on our infant eyes; where tender-





WILLARD LAWSON.


ness and purity and truth bud and blossom in the sun.
shine of kindness and the dew of innocence; the dear
hallowed hearth-stone, circled round with sacred affections,
-pitiful to leave it, and for what ? Thank God for the
gilded veil behind which the Protean future is allowed
to conceal her features I Who would look into the
book of fate and read at a glance his own destiny?
Willard Lawson had no very bright hopes this morn-
ing; for the false star glittering but yesterday before his
eyes, had set in darkness, been extinguished in tears. He
had laughed and sported in that room; he had slept there
while angels guarded him; he had lisped his first prayers
there, and there too had he almost forgotten the duty.
He was still but a boy, and yet he was very much changed;
and he thought upon this change with sadness. What an
innocent little fellow he was when he went to sleep hug-
ging his first top to his bosom, and thinking what a dear
good papa his was to bring such an invaluable present
from the town! And how often, in his childish reverence,
had he thought of that same father, and wondered if his
heavenly Father could be any better or any wiser I And
how disobedient he had been of late, and self-willed, and
disrespectful; in actions rather than words, and in thoughts
more than either. Dost thou relent, Willard ? Is there
Snot a softening in thy heart ? Are not thy lips moving to
the words, I will arise and go unto my father?" Ah I
stay thee, rash youth! Gently, gently! There is a balm
in penitential tears! I already see the rainbow arching
thy heart. It is a precious moment, Willard; beware!
Nay, all is lost I That movement below, followed by the
whistle of Bluff Bill, the man-of-all-work, has sent other






WILLARD LAWSON.


thoughts into the head of the stripling, and the scale is
turned. The tears are brushed away, and in quiet, but
hurriedly, the room is left without a tenant.
Willard stood in the yard, beneath the dear old trees
where he had sported in childhood. The large, long-
limbed butter-nut had never seemed so beautiful as now,
since the day when, an urchin in petticoats, he had
scrambled up its jagged trunk to get a peep into the
snug little home of Madam Redbreast, and came down
again amid huzzas and chidings; and as for the elm trees,
he had pruned them himself many a time, and he had
watched them year after year, till he knew the position
of every graceful branch against the sky, as he knew the
places of the children at his father's table. There was a
locust precisely his own age, and the circumstance had
been so often mentioned, that he felt as though somehow
that tree belonged to him-was linked to his life-was
a part of himself, which he ought to carry away, or rather
which he ought to stay and cherish. He cast a glance
around to see that no one was near; and then he threw
his arms about the dear old tree, and pressed his lips to
the rough, dew-spangled bark, as though it had been a
living object of love. This done, he looked back upon
the house hurriedly, and passed on. In the stable stood
gay Larry, the fine young saddle-horse, which turned at
the sound of his voice, and laid his finely arched neck over
his shoulder, with all the affection of a child; and he
patted the animal and passed his hand over his smooth
glossy skin, and then buried his face in the flowing mane
and wept unrestrainedly. Poor Willard I Larry was an
old playmate, and that Larry loved him was clear, for to


15






WILLARD LAWSON.


no other one was he so gentle and obedient. Oh, if
Larry could but go with him I Our hearts warm toward
thee, dear Willard, more than they did a half-hour since,
when the careless whistle of Bill awakened thee to all thy
stubbornness; for there is that in thy spirit which the
angels know to be priceless. Thou art even as mettle-
some as thy pet Larry; but thou art good and noble, too,
for thou lovest the poor dumb animals which look up to
thee for care and protection, even as thou shouldst look
to heaven. Mayst thou never lose the manly softness,
young Willard I The lad found as he passed on that he
had bestowed more love on Lawson farm than he had
imagined. The cows-one in particular, which had al-
ways been called his-looked into his face with a kind of
pleading mournfulness-a sad, beseeching expression,
*hat seemed to him made up of love and censure; and
ien they came lowing after him, as though they would
yet entreat his return. Even the fowls gathered about
his feet familiarly, and raised a chorus of sounds which it
was not difficult for him to interpret. Sir Chaunticlere"
shook his long parti-coloured plumes ominously, and sent
out a shrill, high-ringing warning; the hens, cackling,
flocked before him, like a swarm of butterflies in August;
and a dove flew from its perch to his shoulder, and then
nestled in his bosom, looking up to him, with its warm,
melting eyes swimming in love as his were in tears. There
is yet time to retract, Willard. Take back those dan-
gerous steps, and no one will know they have been
trodden. No, this is not among things possible to the
boy. The parting is taking the very life from the inner-
most core of his heart, tearing away the threads which





WILLARD LAWSON.


invisible fingers have been braiding within, ever since his
baby foot tottered on the threshold of being: but who
ever suspected Willard Lawson of wavering or fickleness ?
Why, we might as soon expect his father himself to change
his mind and reverse a decision I Willard, boy as he is,
will never hesitate and falter after he has resolved; but
it is no part of his philosophy to dispense with feeling.
Perhaps-I am not sure how strong the sense of right may
be in his bosom-but, perhaps, if he were thoroughly con-
vinced that he was taking a wrong step, one which he
would regret in all after life, he might yet be induced to
go back and nestle again, more lovingly than.ever, among
the dear old associations which are clustering around him,
striving to entangle for good his erring feet. But Willard
with his bold, free spirit swelling in his bosom, will never
stay with Larry and the other dumb things that love him,
at what his boyish inexperience deems a sacrifice of his
yet unbearded manliness.
Willard passed from the barn-yard without venturing
to look upon the garden patch, for he had had chiding
enough without listening to the gentle murmurs of the
green things that the morning breeze was dallying with;
and leaping the stile, he took his way across a rich field
of clover, which the little spirits of the night and the
messenger sun-rays had decked out in matchless diadems.
Sometimes a little shet of gossamer, fastened to shafts of
emerald, gleamed with all the colours of the rainbow, here
and there breaking from its fastenings, as highly gifted
spirits sometimes sink beneath the weight of their own
wealth. Spires of grass bent beneath clusters of the same
jewels; and the fragrant clover-heads and nodding but-
B


17






WILLARD LAWSON.


ter-cups flashed and sparkled like the coronet of a duch-
ess. Birds, sweet, glad little creatures, with wings and
voices but too familiar, carolled from the tree-tops, or
wheeled and careered in mid-air, mad with exultant hap
piness, (blessed spirits of the air!) and the bee, in his
glossy black coat, with more gold than even a gay cour-
tier of the olden time would have cared to deck his man
tie with, sped beneath the soft clouds like an arrow, and
plunged headlong among the luxuriant sweets of the fra-
grant clover blossoms. How all these glad things con.
trasted with the heavy spirit of the young wanderer I A
stream went dancing and bubbling by, right merrily; and
close beside the rustic bridge was a deep place, where he
had;angled for trout for many a summer. Willard glanced
at it and seemed inclined to stop, then passed on-re-
turned again, and kneeling down, bent his head far over
and peered earnestly down into the water. A fin swept
by, with a thin layer of silver over it; and he caught a
glimpse of a mottled back, crimson and amber, and a
pale, soft azure in a setting of gray. Another followed,
and then came a troop of little silver things, hurrying
after each other, as though on their way to a fairy wed-
ding, scarce rippling the water as they went. Willard
caught by a branch of the birch tree that grew there
when he first opened his eyes on the landscape, and swung
himself to the bank. His seat waras soft as the richest
carpet, woven of glossy brown and gold; and as he again
bent over the stream, he scooped up handfuls of the cold
water and dashed them over his burning face, jewelling
his wavy hair and the luxurious bank together. Along
the borders of the stream grew clumps of willows, their


18






WILLARD LAWSON.


narrow leaves trembling on the breath of the morning,
and now and then a wild elm, shagged with green away
down to the earth, or a round-topped maple, or a silver-
coated beech; and at their roots sprang troops of flow-
ers, bending their blue and crimson cups to the water,
while in the spots of light breaking through their branches
swarmed clans of bright-hued insects, dipping their gay
wings in the liquid gold of morning, and warming their
bloodless limbs at the heart of nature. It was beautiful,
and Willard had often thought so; but now his heart
yearned toward the familiar scene, and he would have
taken the whole to his bosom and folded his arms about
it, as tenderly.s a mother clasps the child she dotes upon.
Again the tears rushed to his eyes, and again he dashed
the cool water upon his "oe; and, without turning for
another glance, hurried on. "The sheep were speckling
the green of the neighboring pastures, and the horses
were bounding and tossing their manes in play, or quietly
cropping the grass at their feet; but Willard had grown
wiser, and did not trust himself among them. He sprang
over the fence and proceeded resolutely along the road-
side. But his trials were not yet over. With a cry of
joy, that seemed almost human, a dog rushed over the
banks among the thorny bushes, scattering down a shower
of rain-drops, bounded over the fence, and leaped, qui-
vering all over with gladness, to the shoulders of his
young master.
Good dog I good Rover I" exclaimed the boy, in a
husky, broken voice, patting the head and smoothing the
neck of his favourite. Good fellow I I did not want to
scold you, and so-Bill should have known better than


19






WILLARD LAWSON.


to set you free. But I must take nothing, not even my
own dog, from the farm. Go back, Rover, go back I"
The dog seemed to understand the words, though they
were spoken low and sorrowfully, and without a gesture,
and he looked up with his large meek eyes into the boy's
face-oh, so pleadingly Poor Willard's heart had been
swelling until his bosom seemed hardly large enough to
contain it, but this last appeal was too much; and, with
uncontrollable sobbings, he threw himself upon the neck
of his dumb favourite, and clung to him as though he had
no other associate or friend on earth. And he had no
other now. Poor Willard I For awhile the wanderer
sobbed on in utter abandonment ; the dog now thrusting
his nose into his bosom, now licking his hands and face,
and striving by such mute eloquence to win him from his
grief, whatever might have occasioned it. At last the
youth mastered the emotion, and with trembling lip and
swimming eye, stood again upon his feet.
Go home, Rover-go Go, Rover I Rascal! down!
down! go home !"
The dog, at the first command, given falteringly, had
sprung again to his master's shoulders, wagging his tail,
as though to congratulate him on his restored calmness.
But at the last words, spoken authoritatively, he crouched
at his feet, whining piteously, and looking up to his face
with the most beseeching fondness. If the eyes be the
mirror of the soul, what a soul some brute animals must
have I Willard turned his head from their chiding, ap-
pealing gaze, and choked down the heart that was spring-
ing to his throat, while, in a louder and still more com-


20





WILLARD LAWSON.


manding tone, he exclaimed, pointing with his finger and
stamping with his foot, Back, Rover I Go home 1"
The dog only lowered his head quite to the dust, and
whined more piteously than before. Perhaps Willard
was afraid to trust his voice again, but he certainly was
resolved on making the animal obey him. Taking a knife
from his pocket, he proceeded, not very deliberately, to
a tree which drooped its heavy branches over the stone
wall by the wayside. The dog did not move, but his
large, pitiful eyes followed his young master to the tree,
and watched him with a look of meek sorrow while he
cut a limb from it and hastily trimmed away the leaves.
But-as he returned! Willard was within a yard of his
mutely eloquent friend, when the dog seemed of a sudden
to comprehend his intent; and with a sharp, piercing
cry, made up of more emotions than often swell in a
human bosom-a cry of intense, heart-crushing anguish-
he leaped the fence and bounded away. Willard watched
him ; not with tears now, for there was something horri-
fying in what he had done, but with a kind of awe-
stricken fear, until he reached the little bridge which had
been thrown over the creek in the pasture. Here the
dog for the first time relaxed his speed, turned about, and
stretching his neck, ominously, in the direction in which
Willard stood, sent forth a long, dismal howl. Howl
after howl-howl after howl-prolonged-terrible And
the boy, putting his fingers to his ears, ran with all his
speed, till he had left the hill between himself and his
home. Pause once more, and bethink thee, Willard!
Perchance, that far-off howl, dying now in the distance,
is warning thee of coming evil. Pause and think!


21






WILLARD LAWSON.


As Willard hurried on, though he passed familiar farm-
houses, bidding adieu to the scenes of boyhood, perhaps
for ever, a change gradually came over him; for the
clear, fresh air of morning brushed his cheek and cooled
his forehead, giving courage to his heart; and the brisk
motion quickened his blood and took some of the pain
from his pulse-throbs. By degrees his thoughts passed
over from the things he was leaving, to the future; and
he went on, whistling "A life on the ocean-wave," and
carelessly switching the thistles and May-blossoms with
the stick which he had cut for Rover.


CHAPTER II.-A STRANGER.

WILLARD had been wandering by the wharf all day,
passing from one vessel to another, talking with seamen
and laying plans for the future with apparent boldness;
but, spite of all this, there was a desolate feeling at his
heart, which was fast writing itself in unboyish characters
of thought upon his face. He still had with him the
stick which he brought from Lawson farm; and carried
suspended from it a small bundle of things which he had
taken the forethought to tie up in a pocket handkerchief
on the morning he left home. This, with a very scanty
purse, was all he had on earth; neither money, nor goods,
nor friends. But he possessed that which was worse for
him, unguided as he was, than his wants -a bold, im-
pulsive nature, self-confidence, and an undoubting trust
in. others, warmth and energy and gaiety, and a desire
to see everything and test everything; while, just at this
moment, when he most needed it, a hinge was loosened


22





WILLARD LAWSON.


m his strong heart. He wandered alone to a back street,
dark, narrow and filthy, for he was taking his first lesson
in economy, and seated himself on a bench at the door
of an alehouse. Strange beings were passing by. The
drunkard and the pauper, the undisguised miserable and
the degraded mirthful in their misery, the needy beggar
and the beggar by profession; all went trooping on;
varied only now and then by a face which had some
tokens of decency in it, to break up the disgusting mo-
notony. After awhile men began to gather in the ale-
house, for night came creeping on. And such men!
Willard had never dreamed of their like before. There
were oaths and blasphemies, and brutal jests and coarse
loud peals of laughter, and wrangling, with now and then
an expostulation that had but little gentleness about it ;
and as Willard listened, he moved uneasily on his bench
and looked about him with some anxiety, for his pros-
pects for the night were anything but agreeable. But
should he be coward enough to change his quarters ?
Willard was but a boy, and boys have some super-
refined notions of courage. He stretched himself upon
the bench, placing his little bundle under his head. He
had not been in this position long when his attention was
attracted by another new-comer. The stranger was tall
and broad-shouldered-magnificently made; and as he
stept into the light beyond the doorway, Willard raised
his head and looked after him admiringly. Was it some
brigand chief, some proud and powerful sea-robber, or
could it be a mere common man like the others there,
smoking and drinking and swearing ? He could not be
a good man, for Willard knew that this was no place for


23






WILLARD LAWSON.


the good. And yet he did not look like one given to
vicious habits or evil passions. His rich, wavy hair was
slightly grizzled, but it had evidently been touched by
no pencil more objectionable than Time carries; his com-
plexion was pale and delicate, quite unlike that of a sea-
robber; and his soft blue eye was full of mildness and
love. lie wore a stiff, military-looking coat, buttoned
closely to the chin, displaying his strong muscular pro-
portions to the best advantage, and carried in his hand
a heavy walking-stick, headed with silver. Willard could
not discover in what the stranger's peculiarity either of
dress or manner consisted, and yet there was a pecu-
liarity which attracted the attention of all the bar-room
loungers. He spoke a word or two to those nearest him
on entering, in a voice of singular richness and energy;
and then drawing back a little from the company, placed
himself upon a settle, just inside the door. He was evi-
dently a stranger to the rest of the company as to Wil-
lard; and although he seemed disinclined to join in their
mirth, his eye wandered from one to another with an in-
terested kind of curiosity, which puzzled our young friend
not a little. Was there any affinity existing between the
spirit of the stranger and a scene like this ? There was
a nobleness in his countenance and a majesty in his air,
which belonged to no common person-an arch-angel
fallen, perhaps, for, if not fallen, why should he be there
among the vicious and degraded ? Willard watched him
wonderingly, and as he watched, the heads within began
to dance together, the night-lamps joined them, and
finally the stars, and at last the boy's dull eyes closed
entirely, and his chin rested upon his shirt-collar. Wil-


24






WILLARD LAWSOQ.


lard was tired and sleepy that night. How long he gave
himself up to the dream-spirits he did not know; but
when he awoke, a voice of singular kindness, close to his
ear, remarked, You have slept soundly, my son."
I have had an unusual pillow," returned Willard,
smiling, and raising his head from the shoulder where it
had rested, I trust I may not have hugged it too long
for its owner's convenience."
1 That is its owner's care. It was presented unasked,
and might have been reclaimed at any moment. But,
surely," added the stranger, in a lower tone, you are
not in the habit of resorting to such a place as this ?"
I might return the compliment," answered Willard,
laughing, "for I take your remark as something of a
compliment; I wondered myself to sleep upon the sub-
ject."
And what did you decide ?"
L Nothing."
I have met with better success in my study. You are
a stranger."
Not quite a companion for men like those ?-thank
you."
You are far from home, for the first time ?"
"The first time," returned Willard, with a sigh.
"' You have not always been happy in that home ?"
There 's no great skill in that--who has ?"
"You left it in anger."
"Go on, wizard."
You know you have taken a false step, and feel much
regret; but you are too proud to return."


25






WILLARD LAWSON.


No, no, I am not sorry I have done it. I am not
sorry-I would n't go back for the world !"
Rover misses you."
Willard started, and turned slightly pale.
"And your sister Sophy- "
Ha I believe you are the deuce, man."
"Not quite, my son; your guess has even less courtesy
in it than mine, when I dub you runaway."
Who and what are you that you should know so
much of me-know the names of Sophy and Rover ?"
I can tell you more-you have a desire to go to sea."
Right, but you must have dealings with his black
majesty."
And more." Here the stranger took the youth's
hand affectionately in his, and looked into his face with
solemn earnestness. "I can tell you more, my son; and
I am no magician to discover it. I see it written upon
your forehead; I see it beaming in your eye. God has
done that for you which may make you among men like
yonder star among these feeble lamp-lights. He has
gifted you with a quick, powerful intellect, and a warm,
earnest heart; but that power may be degraded and
spend itself on trifles; that warmth may be perverted.
The gallant craft you are about to launch upon the broad
ocean of the world, (pardon me, my son,) with tender
sails and warped rudder, is a thing too noble to subject
to such a risk. If you were an older sailor you would
make better preparations for your voyage. No, I am
laying no unusual weakness to your charge. I see the
fire in your eye; I read strength of purpose on that bold


26





WILLARD LAWSON.


brow, and I know what a strong will may enable you to
do. But beware, my son I as noble vessels as yours
have been wrecked; as strong minds have yielded the
jewel of intellect integrity, unswerving principle;
hearts as true as yours have blackened under the finger
of pollution. What talisman have you to bear you
safely through ? There was a time, I think-there must
have been a time when you prayed,' lead us not into
temptation;' and now you are voluntarily walking in the
way of it. Do I not tell you truth, my son ? "
What am I to do ?" asked Willard, with a quiver-
ing lip.
First sit down and tell me all your troubles and
your plans."
You seem to be pretty well informed on that subject
already."
I never saw you, nor heard of you till this evening."
How, then, do you know so much about me?"
Your face is just now strangely full of thought-
you look innocent-you are respectably clad-you carry
a bundle on your walking-stick-you are in a place given
up to the vicious-you go to sleep unsuspectingly where
any but a stranger would feel pretty sure of having his
pocket picked-you murmur names in your sleep-your
speech on awaking is intelligent; am I a wizard ?"
You are observing."
I came here to observe; and shall be but too happy
if I can be of service to you."
I thank you, but I believe my path is pretty plain
before me. I have had conversation with a shipmaster
to-day, and have very nearly enlisted as a sailor. You


27






WILLARD LAWSON.


are very kind ; but, notwithstanding your warning, I have
a fancy that he who cannot preserve purity of mind and
morals on the water, would scarce do it on the land."
Very true, my son. Is it your intention to go out
as a common sailor ? "
Yes, I begin at the bottom of the hill. I have no
friends to help me to a better berth."
Your associates then must necessarily be men who,
if not vicious, are ignorant-you will have no change of
companionship, nothing to elevate your thoughts and
feelings-all a dark, degraded level about you, and you
must be more than human not to sink to it. You are
young, too, and do not yet understand your capabilities,
because you have not tested them. You should be tho-
roughly educated "
I do not like study, sir."
Scarce an excuse for a man, my son. If the bird
should chance not to like the air, we might give it to
some little girl to enslave, or if the fish should find the
water disagreeable, we should scarce take the trouble to
reason with it-let the foolish thing die ; but the immor-
tal mind is not a bird or a fish, to be granted its whim
and perish. The question is not what you fancy, but
what you need. Nothing worth having flies to you and
alights upon your hand; you must seek, dig, dig, dig, and
the hid treasure,' when found, will be worth a thousand
worlds to you. There is something glorious, too, in the
labour. You commence in this world a process which is
to be carried on hereafter under the eyes of angels--
which is to make the bliss of eternity. Think of the great,
undying, God-like mind within you, lying all uncultivated,


28






WILLARD LAWSON.


its capacities undeveloped, its powers unimproved, its af-
finity to the Deity unrecognised-benefiting no one, in-
fluencing no one, lost like rubbish among the things that
perish-a chasm in the great intellectual unity, a monster
of ingratitude to the God who endowed it, and a curse to
itself. You cannot walk through the world as the fool
walks, and be happy; for there is that within you which
demands your life-long care, and if you neglect it-listen
to me, my son, believe me, for I have seen more years
and more men than you have, and I have made natures
like yours my study-if you neglect it, you may almost as
well turn at once to yonder bar and find your associates
there. You cannot satisfy the yearning of the deathless
spirit for the food it covets, with husks; it will not be
toyed with; and when, starved, enslaved, trampled on,
its sharp cry comes to your ear, you will drown it as-
those men drown it. Look I that one with the scar across
the brow, and the frightful scowl had-has no common
mind-you will discover it for yourself if you watch his
actions and his words. On the table yonder, degrading
himself lower than any mountebank, is one made to love
beauty and harmony-a poet by nature, a harlequin by
prostitution."
You seem to know them well," remarked Willard,
throwing a scrutinizing glance on his monitor.
As I know you; I have never met them before."
I had been looking at them before you came m, and
I thought them either fools or madmen; there seems to
be no reason either in their actions or words.'
~ They are both; but not half as mad as you are now
to run voluntarily into the same danger."


29






WILLARD LAWSON.


Willard drew himself up. I have reason to be highly
flattered, sir, with your opinion of my strength of charac-
ter and purity of principle."
The stranger laid his hand soothingly on the shoulders
of the half-angry youth, which lowered beneath its mag-
netic touch, until he stood smiling beside him as before.
" Have you more than human strength, my son? There
is an angel hovering over your heart I know ; but is there
one standing at its door with a flaming sword to keep out
evil ? Is it chained fast that it cannot go into error ? Are
you stronger than the Son of the Morning, and purer
than he, that you cannot fall ? Does none of the original
sin of our ruined natures cleave to you, and have you
added nothing thereto ? A Redeemer died for you ; but
did he make it impossible for you to sin ? or was it not
this same Holy One who said, Watch and pray, lest you
enter into temptation?' Think of the indignant exclama-
tion of one as pure-hearted and unsuspecting as you are:
'What! dost thou think thy servant a dog that he should
do this great thing ?' And what things did he not do?
What crime too black for him afterwards ? There was a
time, I doubt not, when yonder harlequin would have
been indignant had his present degradation but been
hinted at. But listen to him now. That was a beautiful
sentiment to drop from such lips-but how distorted-
and finished with an oath-hear him. There was a time
when he was innocent and self-confident, and I am sure
not many years ago. Wait me here while I recall those
days. If I can but lay my finger on the right chord, I
may produce a vibration which will call up some well-nigh
forgotten strain of better days, and do him good."


80






WILLARD LAWSON.


The stranger stepped to the table, where a light-haired,
fair-faced, lithe young man was dancing and singing
songs, and performing various feats of buffoonery for the
amusement of the boisterous company about him."
Henry Crayton, I believe I"
"AhI 'what's in a name?' 'Avoid ye! get thee
behind me !' Do you squinny at me ?'
'When the wine-cup is smiling before us,
And we pledge round to hearts that are true, boys, true,
Remember your part's to encore us;
So here 's for a hulabuloo-loo, loo, loo,
So here 's for-here 's for-'

Where are your voices, boys? Oh, there is the big
shadow yet-out with it, man !"
I have a message for you."
Then deliver thyself, an' thou art not breathless with
the weighty matter, my little foot-page. Speak on;
these are all our right loyal subjects, and we have no
secrets from their ears."
I had better wait your leisure," replied the stranger,
turning away.
Leisure I here's for you, then. I come-I come I"
and, plunging from the table, young Crayton alighted on
his hands, turned a somerset, cleared himself of the ap-
plauding crowd, and joined the tall stranger on the
portico.
"Perhaps I should apologize for interrupting your
agreeable amusement," Willard heard his new friend re-
mark.
Agreeable! Well, there is laughing and the hours
go by-yes, it is agreeable. You had an errand ? "


31






WILLARD LAWSON.


"My message was a petition."
You had better have presented it then while I was
on my throne. Ha, ha 1"
It is a solemn one."
Well, speak, though I have no liking for solemn
things," answered the half-sobered youth.

'Let's laugh and be merry,
For old Charon's ferry,
It -

I beg your pardon, speak on."
An angel once dwelt in your heart, and he would
fain come back again. Innocence is the lost one's name
-oh, take her to your bosom, and with her she will
bring a sister-Peace." Willard did not hear the re-
ply, but he thought it was a scoff, and he wondered if it
were possible for him ever to become so degraded. The
two men still pursued their walk up and down the portico,
their voices gradually growing lower and more earnest,
till not a single word could be distinguished. At last
they parted. The younger walked away in the darkness,
and the stranger monitor returned to the waiting Willard.
"Poor fellow! He is very miserable, for he is as
sensitive concerning his degradation as though it were not
his own work. He was not sorry to find sympathy and
encouragement, and I have left him with an arrow in his
heart which he may turn to balm. Heaven help him !
He has promised to come to me in the morning for em-
ployment. If he should, I will do the best I can for
him, and I think some friends that I have in town would
second my endeavours."


82






WILLARD LAWSON.


Do you believe that he will keep his promise ?"
It is doubtful. He might reform, but it is hard to
retread steps of darkness and bitterness ; better commence
aright, my son."
Willard wished himself at home again, and almost
thought that he would submit to his father's control,
(tyranny he named it,) in order to avoid the fearful
hazard of his present position.
I would commence aright," he began, falteringly, I
would commence aright-but-I cannot go back to
Lawson farm. There is no one to guide me here, no one
to advise me; what shall I do ?"
And why not go back, my son?"
I am not happy there-I cannot be. If there were
any one to talk to me as you do, to awaken me to a
consciousness of my own powers, and teach me to culti-
vate and improve them, I might find pleasure in that;
but I shall go away and forget what you have told me,
and I cannot do right when I am unhappy. No, I never
will go back to Lawson farm."
Go with me then, will you not?"
Where ?"
To-to complete your education, to fit yourself for
usefulness in the sphere which to-day you may choose ;
to-morrow will be lost to you. Go with me, my son,
and you never will regret this most important decision of
your life."
How can I go ? I am but one remove from beg-
gary, though I decline the profession in favour of the
'bounding billow.' Here is my wardrobe in this pocket-
handkerchief, and here my purse-just ten shillings
C


33






WILLARD LAWSON.


in it-a weighty capital with my expectations! I have
nothing else in the wide world."
You have a strong hand and a strong intellect. Im-
prove well what you have, and I will make the rest easy
for you."
Who then are you?"
The stranger pulled a card from his pocket, and put
it in the hand of the youth, who stepped nearer the
light to read it. In a moment he returned, his eye
moist and his voice tremulous.
I have heard of you. You have been very kind to
reason so with my waywardness, and I commit myself,
without question, to your guidance; for your voice has
reached to my inmost spirit, and roused aspirations which
might have slumbered for ever."
You will go with me, then ?"
SI will. I dare not refuse. It almost seems to me
that you have been sent here, in this hour of danger, by
my dead mother."
"1 Perhaps; the spirits that have gone home before do
watch over us, my son."



CHAPTER III.-THE ORATOR.

AN immense concourse of the proudest intellects our
country can boast, had assembled at ---- There
was a hush like the pulseless silence of the tomb; for
the inspiration of a mighty spirit had passed over them ;
and each rapt listener suspended his breathing, lest even
that should drown some tone replete with the eloquence


34






WILLARD LAWSON.


of the mighty indwelling spirit. The voice of the speaker
was one well known in the council-hall, one to which
senators had listened with reverence, one which wisdom
honoured and philanthropy had cause to bless. And he
now spoke eloquently and feelingly upon a subject, which
it was evident interested him beyond measure-the dis-
persion of the clouds from the intellectual horizon of the
human race; and the full, steady light, flooding every-
thing in its way, which was spreading itself from zenith
to nadir. He spoke of the might of mind even in its
clay prison; of the man of the wise thought beside the
man of the strong arm; of the little voice which comes
up from the lone philosopher's cell to shake the broad
earth with its thunders; and of the foolish one, who goes
out among his fellows, never knowing nor making it
known that he carries more than the wealth of an empire
in his bosom. He went back to the earth's midnight,
and plunged into the closet of the alchymist and the cell
of the monk, where genius wrestled with superstition, in
the dense darkness, and where knowledge long hid her
mourning head; and he brought up from each a libation
to pour upon the altar of intellectual democracy. He
pointed to the lone stars that formerly glittered, wonders
to gaze at, in the wide heaven of literary fame; and then
he suddenly unrolled a new firmament, all spangled over
with orbs full of brilliancy and beauty, but so lost in the
universal light as to be scarce discoverable. And with
what heartfelt eloquence he hailed the glorious morning!
Ah! he must have been standing beneath a sun of his
own, to be so enraptured with the spirit-warming efful-
gence; for there are those who even now see nothing


35





WILLARD LAWSON.


but feeble rush-lights, glimmering in the darkness ; who
long for the olden time, when but one star blazed aloft to
light a century, and after its exit the world slumbered on,
till another came, darting its wild coruscations athwart the
gloom with startling fitfulness. He was not a mere ora-
tor; he was an artist, a Pygmalion, and his creations
breathed-glowed-burned; his Promethean hand had
stolen the sacred fire, and he scattered it with a wild pro-
fusion, which left a spark on every heart-not to kindle
passion, but to burn away the dross, and leave the god-
like spirit unalloyed, in unshackled freedom. He ceased,
and that vast concourse arose and walked away in sub-
dued silence. Each mind, however deeply buried in fri-
volities, flung open its portals to thought, and thought is
the angel which, once admitted, rectifies and renovates
the whole inner being.
Among those who listened to the thrilling eloquence
of the gifted orator was a noble-browed, mild-eyed old
man, with locks of snow, and a face whose expression
combined benevolence with native dignity. His broad
chest heaved with emotion while he listened; and, when
the eyes of others kindled with enthusiasm, his closed
over with the warm tears which gushed up from a foun-
tain stirred in his bosom only; for he knew that from a
little seed which he once held between his own fingers,
sprang all those sentiments so fraught with life, so redo-
lent with wisdom and purity. In a few minutes they had
grasped hands-the noble old man, and the son of his
better nature. They met not with outward caressings,
but with a close clasping of the spirit which is sometimes
granted on this side of bliss, and a more than womanly


386







WILLARD LAWSON. 37

gush of tenderness quivering in either voice; for it is a
gross wisdom which claims not love for its twin.
Go on, Willard Lawson I gather thy jewels about thee,
as thou art gathering them now; make thine own setting
one of unsurpassed glory; for soon a brow thou lovest
will turn from earth to be adorned in heaven; and on
that noble brow the jewel of thine own bright spirit will
glitter.















THE FRENCH EMIGRANTS.

SEE, mother, see! we are coming nearer and nearer
every moment. It is a beautiful town-so bright and
cheerful! and everything looks so fresh about it I Oh!
it does one's heart good to see the land again. And that
is Fort James, perched on that high point, and looking
down as though it were the guardian of the waters. We
shall be very happy happ ere, in this charming home !-You
look sad, mother."
So spake a slight, dark-haired stripling, with the warm
hue of a southern sun upon his cheek; as, leaning over
the vessel's side, while she rode proudly into the harbour
of New York, he fixed his glowing eye upon the long
hoped-for asylum of the new world. The young queen
of western commerce was indeed bright that morning;
with the pretty fort for a crown, and skirts sweeping back
into the green shadow, all jewelled over with happy
hearth-stones. Indeed, never was town more finely
spread out for a sea-view; and the yellow Holland brick,
of which many of the buildings were constructed, and the
mingled red and black tiles which covered the roofs of
more, with the glow of the sunlight upon them, made it
as gay as a sachem's bride. The broad banner waved
and flaunted cheerily from the top of the tall flag-staff,






THE FINCH EMIGRANTS.


seeming to promise protection to the stranger and the
defenceless; and as the ship glided majestically over the
just rippling waters, long and loud were the cheers that
arose from the multitude collected on the shore; and the
formal salutation from the fort met with a ready response
from the hearty crew. All now was confusion on board
-a glad, joyous confusion; pleased exclamations fell
from one lip, only to be snatched up and echoed by ano-
ther; and handkerchiefs fluttered in the air, in reply to
like signals from waiting friends on the land.
You look sad, mother," repeated the boy, lowering
his voice, till its soft tones contrasted strangely with the
universal gaiety, and turning upon her a glance of ten-
derly respectful inquiry.
If I felt so, I should be ungrateful, my son. God
has guided us" from a land of persecution to the garden
which he has planted for his oppressed. But you spoke
of home, Francois, and I thought of our vine-covered
hills, and of the sunny valley, on the banks of the Loire,
where I have left sleeping all but you."
"D Do not think of it again, my mother."
The woman pressed her hand for a moment against her
forehead, as though stifling, meanwhile, some deep emo-
tion; then said, in a different tone, If we only had that
lost casket, Frangois The Captain has not always been
kind to us, and I dread meeting him now-he has almost
seemed to doubt the truth of our story. Heaven help
us I but it will be a long time before we can pay this
passage money !"
Never fear for that, mother; money comes almost
by the asking, they say, here, and I shall soon be a man,






THE FRENCH EMIGRANTS.


now. I will build you a little cabin under the shelter of
the trees. The men have told me just how it is done,
and I long to be at work this very moment. I will build
you a nice cabin, and I will kill game which you shall
cook for us two, and we will sit down at evening, just as
we used to sit in our pretty cottage in France before that
horrible persecution, and you shall Don't look so
troubled, mother; you are thinking of this ugly affair of
the money, now. I can trade in furs, and-do I hardly
know what, but just what the other settlers do to get
rich in a day. You must remember that I am not a
little boy, now, but can take care of myself, and you too;
and they tell me that the term Huguenot is an honour-
able one here. Oh we shall be very happy think you
not so, mother ?"
"Anywhere with thee, my noble boy!" returned the
matron, gazing fondly upon the eloquent young face
turned so earnestly to hers. "With freedom to worship
God as he has bidden, and with thee, my last earthly
hope and trust, beside me, what more could I ask or de-
sire ?"
The ship had anchored in the bay, and hurriedly the
qea-wearied passengers were landing. Many citizens
had come on board; and on the shore, friend grasped
the hand of friend, with such cordial words of greeting
as the first heart-bound carried to the lip. Among all
glad ones, none were gladder than the enthusiastic French
lad. With bared head, and joy-flashing eye, he stood
beside his mother watching the happy throng, as though
in their happiness he could forget his own exile. But
that was not the source of his animation. He was


40






THlE FRENCH EMIGRANTS.


looking to the future-his young spirit buoyed up by
hopes as yet unintelligible to himself, but brighter for the
very veil which covered them; and his heart beating
with the tenderness which was all centered on one human
being-his widowed, and, but for him, childless mother.
Stand here a moment, and I will see where we can
be set ashore. I am longing to plant my foot on that
spot of green." So saying, the youth mingled in the
crowd, and the widow turned her eyes from the view of
her new home, to follow, with the fond pride of a mother,
his graceful figure as it moved, all unlike the others,
about the deck. In a few moments he returned, the
masses of raven hair, which had been flung back to allow
the fragrant land-breezes to play upon his temples, half-
shading his pale cheek, and his white lip quivering with
agitation,
SFrancois! what is it, my son? speak '
Oh! it is too much-too much I I shall die here,
so near the land I and the boy, forgetting his boast of
manhood, leaned over the railing and wept passionately.
The mother placed her hand soothingly upon his glossy
curls, which shook as though the throbbing heart below
had been in them; and waited patiently his explanation.
We must stay here, mother-and I cannot live in
this horrid ship another night, I am sure I cannot."
We have spent many happy nights and days in it,
my son," returned the widow, softly; but why must we
stay now? Who detains us ? "
We cannot land till the ship charges are paid-so
they have told me; and that will be never-never."
A look of troubled surprise spread itself over the


41





THE FRENCH EMIGRANTS.


widow's countenance; but still her spirit was in subjec-
tion to the careful tenderness of the mother. I am
sorry for your sake, Francois; but cheer up, my son It
will do them no good to detain us here, and they will let
us go in the morning-I am sure they will."
"If they would set me on the land, I would work like
a galley-slave, but they should receive the uttermost far-
thing."
"We will tell them so-we will tell them so. Cheer
up, Francois, and let us look upon the city again. It is
but a little while till morning."
Francois seemed to make an effort for his mother's
sake, and raised his head; but how changed was the ex-
pression of those two faces, as they again turned towards
the land!
Only a few feet from the exiles had stood, for the last
ten minutes, a person who regarded them closely, though
by them entirely unnoticed. His mild blue eyes, and fair,
good-humoured face, bespoke him a Hollander ; and the
massive silver buckles at his knees and on his shoes, pro-
claimed him an individual of some consequence, which
was farther confirmed by the deferential manner of those
around him. A close observer would have detected a
strange mixture of the child and the man in that face.
The eye was soft and gentle as a woman's, while the
mouth evinced a singular degree of firmness and decision;
and, though the very spirit of benevolence rested on the
retreating forehead, with its crown of half-silvered hair,
the bold determination with which the broad nostril was
now and then expanded, contradicted the bare supposi-
tion of weakness. His attention had been attracted by


42






THE FRENCH EMIGRANTS.


the interesting foreigners; he had seen the boy bound,
like a freed deer, from the side of his mother, and return
drooping and dispirited; and he had seen that mother
stifling some deep emotion for the sake of her boy. It
was evident that he did not understand their language,
for he watched them as though studying out the cause of
their sorrow, until they turned away their faces; and
then, with a look of sympathy, he left them, probably
believing them to be of the number who had crossed the
ocean in search of friends, to find them only in their
graves.
Two days passed, and still the lone Huguenot strangers
were prisoners in the ship, in sight of the green earth and
of cheerful firesides.
"This," exclaimed the widow, as she crouched in the
cabin, desolate and heart-sick, this is worse than all
the rest-not for me-I could bear it-I could bear any
thing alone; but my poor, poor boy !"
She was roused by a slow, dragging step, so unlike the
elastic spring of her idol, that, but for its lightness, she
would not have recognized it.
Mother, it is decided-I have just learned our fate;"
and the fragile boy sunk, like a crushed blossom, at her
feet.
The widow tried to assume a tone of encouragement.
What is it, Francois ? any thing is better than this close
ship, with the green earth and shady trees so near us. I
cannot bear to see you droop and pine, my love-if they
would but give you back the strength and pride this sor-
row has stolen-if I could but see your bright head erect
again"-






THE FRENCH EMIGRANTS.


It never can be, mother ; better that we both were
dead--dead in our graves in France Oh I why did we
ever come away? There they would give us nothing
worse than a dungeon or a coffin ; here they will not let
us so hide ourselves-will not let us die. What think
you, mother ?" and now, the boy, dashing the hair back
from his forehead, changed his mournful tone to one of
mad energy. "In an hour or two, we are to be exposed
in their market-place, in the open street--sold like their
Holland plough-horses and Utrecht heifers"-
The widow's life might have gone out from her, in that
one wild scream of heart-piercing agony. She was pre-
pared for toil-for suffering in almost every shape. She
could have borne even slavery, herself; but her boy, her
proud, high-hearted boy I the beautiful blossom that
God had given to bless her bereavement! the bird, that,
if but an autumn breeze shook the roof-tree rudely, had
nestled in her bosom for protection !-her frail, but
noble boy, so delicate, so gentle to her, yet so spirited !
--should he, too, be crushed beneath a foot triple-shod
with iron ? Should his fair, polished limbs, through
which she had so often traced the flow of the red life-
current, which her lip had touched, and her loving eye
admired, canker beneath the heavy chain of a life-lasting
bondage? Should that eagle eye grow cold in child-
hood ? that bright lip forget its smile ? that free, glad-
some heart become the grave of all its freshly budding
wealth of feeling ? Was there no appeal ? Could she not
find, in the crowd which thronged that busy city, a single
human heart which she could excite to something like
sympathy? that would be content to crush her to the


44






THE FRENCH EMIGRANTS.


earth, wring her spirit till every cord should snap asun-
der, and save her boy ? Alas I what could be done by
a stranger, a lone, feeble woman, confined to her prison
in the ship ? If she could be led forth to the haunts of
men, and they would listen, those who could understand
her language were fugitives like herself, and probably
nearly as helpless. So the miserable Frenchwoman
crouched upon the low settle in entire helplessness, and
moaned as though her spirit would have passed on each
breath. Minute after minute, minute after minute of
slowly moving time went by; and still the sobbing boy
rested his forehead upon his mother's knees; and still
the mother clasped her hands, and moaned on.
There was a quick, heavy tread upon the cabin stairs;
but neither looked up. It came nearer, and paused be-
side them; but the woe-laden exiles moved not; they
had no ear for anything but their own misery.
I have good news for you, madam," commenced a
somewhat harsh voice, hesitatingly, good news- do
you hear me ? can you listen ?"
The widow raised an alarmed eye to the face of the
speaker, and clung, with a desperate grasp, to her son.
The boy's apprehension was quicker. Good news!
What ? In God's name, do not mock us !"
I am sent by one, who cannot speak our language,
to say -"
The man paused a moment to note the effect of his
words.
Speak on !" exclaimed Franoois; you torture us."
To say that your ship charges are paid; and you
are free, free to go wherever you list."


45






THE FRENCH EMIGRANTS.


The widow stared in eager doubt, her hand still grasp-
ing firmly the arm of her boy. But Francois! the droop-
ing blossom of the moment previous! How the eloquent
blood came rushing to his cheek, and how his dark eye
flashed with awakened hope Not a single exclamation
broke from his lip; but he stood like a proud young
eagle pluming his wings for flight.
It was several minutes before the exiles were prepared
to listen to an explanation of their good fortune. When
they did, they were told simply that a benevolent mer-
chant, endeared to the common people of New York for
his many virtues, had seen them on the day of their
arrival, and had found his sympathies deeply enlisted by
their evident disappointment, and the sorrow it occa-
sioned. Afterwards, he lost sight of them until the de-
cision of the tribunal, which would have made them
slaves; when, finding his influence insufficient to prevent
the disgraceful proceedings, he had stepped in with his
purse, and discharged the debt.
You are now free to go wherever you like," conti-
nued the good natured interpreter; but you are in-
vited to the house of your benefactor, where you will find
friends, and a home until you choose to leave it."
God bless the noble merchant I I will be his slave
for ever I" exclaimed Francois, his heart swelling with
enthusiastic gratitude.
The widow's lips moved, and warm tears, for the first
time, gushed from her eyes, and rained down over her
face; but her voice was too much broken by emotion to
convey the sentiment she would have uttered.
By the dock stood (his heart in his face and that all


46





THE FRENCH EMIGRANTS.


sunshine) a blue-eyed, bright-haired youth, with the
merchant's own forehead, and a lip of lighter and more
graceful mould. The young Hollander was scarce infe-
rior in beauty, as he waited there to perform his most
grateful task, to Francois himself. The merchant had
been too modest to appear as a benefactor in the public
street, well known as he was, and he had sent his son to
bring home the strangers. A snug little waggon, such
as was commonly used by the better sort of Hollanders,
awaited them, and they were soon seated and proceeding
on their way. As they neared the market-place, and the
merchant's son caught a glimpse of the crowd assembled
(some, uninformed of what had occurred, to witness the
sale of the helpless strangers, and some to report and
expatiate upon the generous deed of their townsman), he
instantly gave the reins to his horses, and turned his head
in an opposite direction. There was at first a slight
movement in the crowd, face after face turning toward
the street. Then came a low murmur, swelling gradually
higher and higher, till at last it burst into a mighty and
universal shout, "LONG LIVE THE NOBLE LEISLER!
" LEISLER FOR EVER !" LEISLER FOR EVER I"


47















THE ANGEL'S PILGRIMAGE.


"Disciple. When the soul sinks to earth and its wings fal
away, how may they be restored again ?
Zoroaster. By sprinkling them with the Waters of Life.
Disciple. But where are those waters to be found ?
Zoroaster. In the Garden of God."

I HAD been poring over some of the half beautiful, half
ridiculous fictions of the Oriental theologians, startled
every now and then to find a real diamond gleaming up
from the mystic rubbish of darkened genius, and sad.
dened by learning how very near the truth some few had
groped, while they had gone down to the grave without
having discovered one ray of its pure light.
Gray shadows were falling upon Strawberry Hill, when
I closed the book and leaned from the window, thinking,
as I marked a dark-eyed girl of some five summers cross-
ing the log bridge, how would the mighty Zoroaster have
been rejoiced to receive the key to truth now in the
keeping of even that little child. The shadows length-
ened and grew dimmer as I watched, the twilight deep-
ened, and my thoughts took on the same mistiness; the
Persian allegories, the Rabbinical fictions, and the sublime
doctrines of the Chaldeans became strangely mi 0fiin






THE ANGEL'S PILGRIMAGE.


my dreaminess ; and hill, stream, and meadow faded from
my closing eyes, as a new scene opened upon them. I
was at once transported to one of the innermost recesses
of a solemn and hoary forest, which I believed had slum-
bered for centuries among its own undisturbed shadows,
untrodden by the foot of man. But even as I stood
wondering in the midst of this magnificent loneliness, I
heard a voice in plaintive sadness exclaim, How long!
how long and I at once recognized the presence of one
of those fallen angels described by the Rabbins. lie had
stood upon the heights of heaven, when earth was a
gloomy mass of darkness; he had seen the Spirit of
God move upon the face of the waters;" and he had
joined the music of the stars, when this beautiful globe
sprung to life and light. He had nestled in the trees of
Eden, and dipped his wing in the waters of the Euphrates;
but he had sinned, alas I and those beautiful wings had
fallen away. And when I saw a frail fragile creature by
his side, that I knew had trod the earth for centuries,
though there was less than the weight of twenty summers
on her clear brow, I read his sin and its punishment.
For her sake his wings had fallen, and with her he must
wander a pilgrim upon the earth, until the end of time.
For years and years they had made their home among
men-for years and years listened to the melodies of the
rich voiced bul-bul as he warbled from the rose-trees of
voluptuous Cashmere; drunk the perfume ftro Persian
groves, and wandered in the romantic valleys of the Nile ;
but though they grewnot weary of beauty, there was that
in the hearts of men and in their acts which made them
sad. So the angel and his bride wandered away to dark-






THE ANGEL'S PILGRIMAGE.


er, sterner regions. They climbed the icy peaks of the
rugged Altai, slept beneath the hardy evergreen of Sibe-
ria, and braved, hand in hand, the winds which howled
along the dreary plains of Kamschatka. And still they
wandered on, till Zillah and her angel were the first
to leave their footprints on the soil of the New World.
They had since seen nation after nation grow up and
wither; they had seen gay cities built, and again brave
old trees growing over them; change, change came
everywhere, but not to them. At last, another race had
claimed the soil and by might possessed it. The hearts
of the angel and his bride sickened at wrong and car-
nage ; and it was then that they plunged into the heart
of the wilderness, and made them a home in its solitary
depths.
An hour-glass had just been turned, and the angel
bent thoughtfully over it, watching the glittering sands
as they dropt, one by one, into the empty glass below.
Beside him reclined, like Eve in the original Eden, a
beautiful woman. A heavy grape-vine overshadowed
her; and underneath, and by her side, bloomed gorgeous
flowers of every hue, all matted into the luxurious green.
The hand of improvement had not yet wrested from the
wilderness its treasures. Her soul-full eye, with even
more of tenderness than thought in it, rested lovingly
upon the angel.
That we should measure hours, my Zillah," he said
at length, like children of a broken day I we whose
seconds are marked to us by the seasons, and whose
minutes are centuries !"
And is there no change yet upon the dial-plate ?"


50






THE ANGEL'S PILGRIMAGE.


None. When I spent a thousand years and all my
skill upon this dial, I little thought that cycle after cycle
would pass-cycle after cycle-years wither and go to
their graves, and young years spring up bearing with
them new germs of life, and still not a shadow come to
tell us that the evening of our long, long day was nearer
than at its morning."
And the other signs, in the heavens and on the earth,
and among men. Are there no way-marks yet discover-
able ? nothing to say how long ere this sweet, sad jour-
ney will be ended, and my angel shall have the wings
again, which he lost for me ?"
Yes, it is a sweet journey, Zillah; though so-so
long! There was unfathomable mercy in the punish-
ment awarded me, in that thou wert left; and cheerfully
we will bide our time."
Long and wistfully had the fallen angel watched for
some sign of the earth's dissolution; but yet his only
remark was, We will bide our time." He had looked
for the stars to pale; but still they burned on with the
same unchanging radiance as when first the band of se-
raphim went forth to light their fires; he had watched
cloud after cloud thickening and dissolving in the hea-
vens, almost expecting to see in their endless transforma-
tion a form which he yet believed he should recognize,
step from their soft folds. But there had been no change
in these, save as they obeyed the bidding of the wind,
since from the walls of the upper Paradise he looked down
on their first fresh loveliness. There had been no sign
in heaven, and none, none on earth. What mark of age
was there in the strong-limbed giants of the wood, that






THE ANGEL'S PILGRIMAGE.


stood cloud-capt around his bower in the wilderness?
Life, life was everywhere. Everything, even death it-
self, teemed with it; for, if but a flower closed its young
eye, and turned earthward withering, flowers innumerable
sprang up where it stood; and so the mighty destroyer
became the parent of beauty and bloom. The earth had
never reeled nor paused for a single moment in its bright
circuit among the stars; but on, on, beautifully and
quietly she moved, like a bird from Paradise flown by the
hand of the Eternal. The angel had watched her in his
unvarying round, and though his eye had become dimmed
by the atmosphere of earth, he could yet see deep into
the mysteries above him. He knew much, very much of
the heaven-lore which God has written on the stars; but
yet the weakness of his vision was painful to him. and he
longed for the day when his mind could span the universe
as at its creation. He knew where the pelican brooded
on her rocky desert nest, and saw in the red blood drunk
by her children from her willing breast but another type
of that which has its types everywhere. He had followed
the eagle in the eye of the sun, and knew the language
of his scream, the thought which prompted every move-
ment of his strong pinion, and the dreams that hovered
over him in the cloud-capt couch he had builded on the
crag. He had seen the wing of the bird grow heavy be-
neath the weight of centuries; and when at last it drooped
and faltered, he knew the secret which cost the adventu-
rous Spaniard a life-the fountain where it went to lave
and grow young again. He had bent his ear to the flower
and listened to its whisperings; the foot-falls of the even-
ing dew were familiar to him; and not a drop of water


52






THE ANGEL'S PILGRIMAGE.


had a tinkle, not a leaf a murmur, and not a bird a song,
the language of which he had not interpreted to his still
youthful bride, the gentle Zillah. But the flower whis-
pered of Life; the dew brought a life-draught in every
tiny globule; and the gushing water, and the fresh-lipped
leaves, and the mellow-throated birds, and the wander-
ing breeze, all joined in a chorus which brought sadness
to the spirit of the angel. It was all LIFE! LIFE! but
it was that life which bears somewhere in it the seeds of
dissolution; not a blossom from the tree guarded by the
flaming sword of cherubim.
Are there no way-marks?" repeated Zillah. It
is long since we grew sick of the glitter and falsehood
about us, and so turned to the delicious stillness of this
quiet wilderness-very long, my angel. Let us go back
again. Perhaps we may find a faint shadowing of what
we seek in the actions of men-in their virtue, their wis-
dom, or possibly their vices. It may be that His handi-
work shall never fail; that the earth and the heavens are
immutable; and that we are to be free when my poor
fallen brethren have received back upon their bosoms the
marred image which he first left there, or when their con-
tinued sins have worn away its slightest traces. It may
be that by wisdom they will gain a spirit-mastery, and
so drop the cumbering clay and its defilements together,
and then thou mayst return to thy home and take thy
Zillah with thee. Let us go. forth and look upon the
work of mortals, and see if they are not writing their own
destiny with their own hands."
The angel was persuaded, and hand in hand the twain
went forth upon their pilgrimage.





THE ANGEL'S PILGRIMAGE.


The vision changed, and I again met the wanderers in
a great city. A noisy rabble filled the streets, and the
hoarse laugh and ribald jest passed freely as they hurried
on. Zillah shrank from their infectious touch, and as she
did so, I heard the angel whisper, It could not have
been worse in the ancient cities which HE destroyed by
fire." But every minute the crowd became more dense,
and as the multitude pressed in one direction, the pilgrims
turned their heads and suffered themselves to be borne
onward by it. It stopped beneath a scaffold, and the two
strange spectators cast upon each other inquiring glances.
It is some merry-making for the rude populace," at
last the angel remarked, and lo I yonder comes the
harlequin."
Then he mimics woe," said Zillah, for he seems in
an agony of suffering."
In an agony of suffering indeed was the wretched cri-
minal, as he crawled rather than walked across the scaf-
fold, wringing his hands and uttering low, half-stifled sobs
which could not be mistaken.
It is no jest," said the angel, and yet these men
come as merrily as to a nuptial banquet. Can it be that
these poor creatures of a day find food for mirth in a bro-
ther's suffering ? "
See! What are they doing with him ?" exclaimed
Zillah in alarm.
The arms were pinioned,, the cap was drawn upon the
head, and the executioner proceeded to adjust the cord.
It-it is a scene unfit for us!" said the angel shud-
dering, and averting his eyes with horror.
A minute after there was a movement in the crowd






THE ANGEL'S PILGRIMAGE.


which made a sound like the sullen murmur of the sea;
and the laugh and the jest went round as before, while
the soul of a man, a brother, was passing, with all the
blackness of its fearful guilt upon it, into the fathomless
future, and the presence of the Judge. Poor Zillah
trembled like the lightly poised hare-bell in a storm;
there was a startled glance in her soft eye, her cheek be-
came blanched, and her tongue faltered as she exclaimed,
What can it mean ? Have they taken away his life,
the little span which, notwithstanding its briefness, men
love better than their souls ? "
Ay, my Zillah-his life I The frail bark has been
cut from its moorings to drift away upon the unknown
ocean, by hands which even to-morrow will strive to cling
to this cold shore and strive in vain. But this is not a
fitting scene for thine eyes to look upon, my bright bird
of the sunshine,-nor mine-nor mine!" he added in a
low murmur. Ohl for my lost, earth-bartered
wings!"
Bartered for me," returned Zillah, in a tone no loud-
er than her breath, but fraught with an exquisitely sad
melody.
The angel answered only with a look, but it brought a
tint to her cheek and a beautiful light to her eye.
And this is murder," she continued, after a moment's
pause.
1" No; not murder, but the terrible punishment of a
terrible crime. When thy race, my poor Zillah, lost
every trace of the image they first bore, and turned
against each other, like the wolves and tigers of the wil-





THE ANGEL'S PILGRIMAGE.


derness, the GREAT ONE passed a decree that blood alone
should wash away the stain of human blood; and this
man's hand was red with that which had flowed in the
veins of his brother."
Ah! the multitude should have veiled themselves in
sackcloth, and sprinkled the gray ashes upon the floors
of their dwellings," said Zillah, her lip growing still paler
and quivering with horror. The entire people should
have thronged the altar. Mourn, mourn, ye proud na-
tion I It is the son of your bosom whose baseness has
required this terrible deed at your hands; and He alone
who rideth upon the wings of the wind,' whose pavi-
lion is in the secret place,' knows how far the infection
has spread. Alas! my race my poor, degraded, ruined
race!"
This sad spectacle must needs beget sad feelings,"
returned the angel, and yet the thoughtless crowd
make merry as at a bridal; and those who come not
here to regale their eyes with the sufferings of a brother,
pass carelessly on, chaffer in the market-place, pore over
the page, obey the beck of pleasure, and forget that an-
other black, black seal is added to the degradation of
man. Ah, my Zillah, the end is afar off. I catch no
glimpse of the living waters; my sight grows dim in this
darkness, and my foot is heavy, very heavy."
Look exclaimed Zillah, "' the dead man is lowered
to his coffin, and they all throng to look at him; see how
they jostle each other I"
Ay; and still they laugh and jest! The red drop
ip at the heart of every one of them; and they are now


56






THE ANGEL'S PILGRIMAGE.


gorging the fiendish principle with blood which they dare
not shed. Let us hence."
It was with difficulty that the angel and his compa-
nion extricated themselves from the brutal multitude-
men who, seeming to snuff blood afar off, flock to see the
spark of life extinguished on the heart's altar, and can
be kept back only by high prison walls or the glitter of
the bayonet. But at length they were free, and hastily
did they move away from the scene of retribution and
cruelty.
Alas! for thy lost wings, my angel," sighed Zillah,
when the frightful din had died away upon the ear.
" C The Waters of Life are not here," was the sorrow-
ful reply, L not here in the midst of cruelty and blood;
the heart of man is no better than at the beginning,
and-it is no worse. The doom is not yet written, the
book of good and evil is not yet sealed-how long! how
long !"
Another crowd now obstructed the way, swarming to
an immense edifice, some eager, some careless-trades-
men talking of the common business of the day, lawyers
mooting dubious points in wrangling tones, though usually
with courteous words, boys with shrill voices hawking
their various wares, and the rabble, as ever, jesting, laugh-
ing, and jostling. Among the crowd were two persons
discussing the execution of that morning.
They hurry the poor wretch into eternity unpre-
pared, as though he were a dog or an ox! It is barba-
rous !" said one.
A relic of the dark ages," observed his companion;
"' necessary in the infancy of time, when men were like


57





THE ANGEL'S PILGRIMAGE.


the beasts of the field, and could be restrained only by
the strong arm; but that philanthropic and enlightened
statesmen of the nineteenth century"-
His voice was lost to the ear of the angel, who had
pressed on eagerly to catch the sound; for after what he
had beheld that morning, the knowledge that the whole
human race was not intent on blood was grateful to him.
Those men have pity-let us follow them," he said
to Zillah.
But they pity only the red hand," was the reply;
they said nothing of the bloody shroud, and the deso-
late hearth-stone."
The two pilgrims pressed forward and entered at the
door of a spacious apartment which was crowded to over-
flowing. A row of venerable persons occupied cushioned
seats raised on a kind of dais at the extremity of a large
room. On one side of these sat twelve men in busy con-
ference, and on the other, a goodly number lolled over
tables covered with green baize cloth, some yawning, and
others biting the ends of their feather pens, or fastening
and unfastening them behind their ears. Two dark fices
glowered on each other immediately below the cushioned
seats; and lower still, in a small square box, a person
leaned forward, balancing on his elbows, and now prying
into one face, and now another, with eyes which the
angel trembled but to look upon. At last the twelve men
rose, and a silence as of death brooded over that vast
multitude. A question was asked by a mild gray-haired
man from the dais, and a deep, heavy voice resounded
throughout the hall of justice, NOT GUILTY." The
crowd caught the sound, and peal on peal arose the






THE ANGEL'S PILGRIMAGE.


deafening plaudits, the arched roof ringing back the
sound, pausing to catch it again, and then replying, as
though it had been a living voice answering from above.
This is a proud triumph," said a voice beside the
pilgrims.
'" An innocent man, victim to some accident or slander-
ous tongue, doubtless," returned the angel.
No, no; a greater scoundrel never trod the soil
never."
But he is innocent of this crime."
He is guilty-stranger, guilty; everything has con-
spired to prove it, and not a man in this room but is
morally convinced of the fact."
How, then, has he escaped ?"
"By the help of yon lawyer's quibbles."
"A partaker of his crimes, I suppose," remarked the
angel.
"He a partaker of his crimes I he, the most honourable
lawyer in the nation!"
I am a stranger," remarked the angel, apologeti-
cally ; and I would fain know why this honourable man
soils his soul for the sake of the guilty, and why you and
all this multitude rejoice to see crime go out from your
midst free to gather about itself still more filth and black-
ness."
We rejoice in the exercise of mercy," returned the
stranger.

"'Shall man then dare to shiver
The mystic golden bowl ?
Send back unto its Giver
The God-born deathless soul?






filE ANGEL'S PILGRIMAGE.


Shall he the frail spark smother,
All earth cannot re-light ?
His weak, sin-heavy brother
Cast from his holier right ?'

No, no I we are enlightened people, and the law of
blood is distasteful to us."
"t Is then the law abolished among you ?" inquired the
angel, somewhat anxiously.
"Not abolished; there are wolves and tigers still in
the land, and they cry for vengeance in the name of the
God of mercy.

"'Ay, from earth the blood-stained banish,
Snatch away his little time ?
'Tis noble sure to punish
By copying the crime I
Heap the sods upon his breast,
Crush him down in all his sin !-

"Woe, woe to such a bloodthirsty spirit! Thank
God, however, that the murderous iron rule is gradually
yielding to the voice of mercy, and the law of love is pre-
vailing. God is love.'"
God is just!" echoed the angel, as he turned to de-
part.
They disobey the express command of the Almighty,
given before the framing of the nations," said Zillah,
and bring an attribute of his own holy character as an
excuse."
Their justice is cruel and heartless," answered the
angel, and their mercy is weak and wicked. Love and
justice wait hand in hand before the Great White Throne ;


60






THE ANGEL'S PILGRIMAGE.


but these men cannot link them together, for their eyes
are darkened, and heavy clouds are gathered about their
souls. We need not search further, Zillah."
Nay, a little longer-a little longer," pleaded the
soft voice; perchance they have a treasure, a talisman,
a seed of good which we have not yet discovered. I feel
that this distorted law of love has grown out of a holy
principle which may even now be swelling and bursting
from the rubbish. I will follow thee no longer, my
angel, for my heart is sick and my foot weary; but tread
thou these fearful paths, search thou for the hidden foun-
tain, and when thou hast gained a sprinkling of its waters,
fly to me and tell me time has ended. It is here, it is
somewhere here. I feel its life-giving presence."
For many days and nights the angel wandered in dark
dens of wickedness, his purer nature quivering and
shrinking at the sounds of blasphemy. His foot followed
in the track of the crouching, prowling assassin; his ear
listened to the voice of the midnight robber; the thief
brushed him as he crossed his path, and the vile, the
polluted of every grade, passed before his eyes like so many
demons of the pit. The air grew heavy with sin, and
clogged his breath ; his frame drooped, for there was a
weight upon it far heavier than fatigue could cast; even
the rays of the sun struggled and grew ghastly in such
pollution, and the stars seemed red and bleed.
Then he turned to brighter scenes, scenes on which
the sun dared shine, not indeed in his first purity, clear
and soft like the light of Paradise, but with a wild bril-
liance, which, while it dazzled the eyes, and withered the
young plants that the dews neglected to visit, bore yet a






THE ANGEL'S PILGRIMAGE.


fair promise of seed-time and harvest, day and night, to
the hearts of men.
But even here was the villain's heart mantled in hy-
pocrisy; here prowled the disguised wolf; here towered
the beauitful marble above reeking bones and the foul
mould of Death. In this brave light Revenge stalked up
and down, an honourable and an honoured guest. Here
Avarice spread a yellow crust upon the heart, which
burned in, and seared, and grew thicker, and gnawed at
every chord that might have sounded a tuneful cadence,
still increased in thickness till there was no power to
resist it from within; and then from the fearful gan-
grene sprang a brood of crimes, all veiled indeed, all
proper and legal, which made the angel recoil as from the
less refined but scarce blacker ones that swarmed the
dens he had left. Here too lurked fair Envy smiling and
flattering, until she could place her foot upon the victim's
head, and then down I crush crush 1-no pity, no re-
morse. Nay; why should mortal head dare rise higher
than hers I Among flowers of the richest fragrance and
brightest hue coiled Scandal; and when her serpent hiss
rose upon the air, the flowers drooped, and their per-
fume was mingled with her noisome breath.
It is all in vain-all in vain I" sighed the angel, as
he returned again to his companion. The heart of
man remainthe same as when this now degraded hand
wielded the sword which guarded the gate of Eden;
dark thoughts, violent passions, wicked imaginings, all
lurk within him, all are fostered and cherished in his
bosom. And yet, my Zillah, there is something, or the
foreshadowing of something-a veiled star, a pale light


62






THE ANGEL'S PILGRIMAGE.


fringing the cloud, a low murmur as from the concealed
fountain, a breath of pure air ever and anon stirring the
seared leaves, and passing over the pulses of my soul.
There is something, Zillah, which had well nigh made me
hear the rustle of my own wings, and fixed my eyes on
Paradise. I cannot tell what it is, but I feel it-I feel
it."
Even so do I," returned the fair Zillah; "and for
that was it that I chose this spot. I have builded me
an altar, and here, my angel, have I worshipped while
thou has been seeking."
I have sought in vain-all in vain," returned the
angel mournfully; Oh I when will the end be ?"
And then shall the end come!' answered a deep
melodious voice, which made Zillah start, and the angel
open his large, mild, mournful eyes in wonder.
The figure that stood beside them might have risen from
the shivering piles of withered leaves which the wantoning
night-wind had thrown up in heaps along the plain; or
shaped itself from the mist that dangled in long gray
wreaths from the tops of chimneys, hovered in great sha-
dowy wings around silent windows, or rolled up, fold on
fold, like an ominous curtain from the reeking earth. It
was that of a man, but not such as walk the world in mo-
dern times. His beard was parted upon the lip, and
descended, a mass of waving silver, to the girdle; and
long floating locks, like the snow in whiteness, shaded his
scarce wrinkled brow, beneath which looked out a pair of
eyes as soft, mild, blue and dewy, as the sky of a summer
evening. The angel felt his heart irresistibly drawn
back to the time when he was sinless, for there was some-





THE ANGEL'S PILGRIMAGE.


thing pure and spirit-like upon the face of the stranger,
which, though it lacked the loftiness of a brother angel,
was yet so beautiful, so meek, and so full of love, that the
highest seraph would scarce have lost by the exchange.
He was evidently old, very old; but it was such age as
the father of our race might have exhibited, when eight
centuries had passed over him and left him still unscathed.
His voice was deep, strong, and mellifluous; his eye un-
dimmed; his cheek full, though lacking somewhat the
roundness of youth; his lip ruddy, his frame muscular
and erect, and his foot firm. Still he was old-that
could not be doubted; but Time had never touched him
with palsied finger; no blight had reached sinew, or brain,
or heart, and every year that had passed over him had
brought new strength and vigour.
And then shall the end come!'" he repeated in
fervid tones; while a deep enthusiasm kindled in every
feature a voiceless eloquence.
When, father ? inquired the angel reverently.
When the commandment shall have been obeyed,-
when the work is accomplished"-
What commandment? what work? Are we to
search? to dig ? If thou knowest where this fountain
flows, tell me, oh, tell me! I will climb the most inac-
cessible rock, I will penetrate the cave where sleeps the
deadliest miasma, with my single hand I will open a
passage to the core of the earth-only tell me where to
seek, and I will ask no more."
The stranger fixed a wondering and yet benign glance
upon the perturbed countenance of the angel. And
dost thou not know ?"


64





THE ANGEL'S PILGRIMAGE.


No, no; but tell me, and I will bless thee for ever !"
"L Nay, bless Him-Him! Surely thou hast heard of
the Glorious Ransom ?"
I have heard," whispered the angel, in deep awe,
" but it was THERE ; and even our harps and voices were
silent. I dare not speak of that where the air is so heavy
with the weight of earth's defilements. And it can never
come to me."
To thee I there is not a human being"-
Nay, nay, old man; thou dost not understand thine
own words. But tell me of the end. I see something
upon thy forehead unlike the brand of thy miserable race,
and I think the golden secret lies in thy bosom. I would
fain know when this weary pilgrimage will be finished."
The venerable ancient fixed his penetrating eye for a
moment on his companion, whispering to himself, And
he too! it cannot be 1 I thought myself alone !" and
then, evidently puzzled, though more than pleased to
recite a story in which his whole soul was interested, he
commenced-
Eighteen hundred years ago Rome was at the height
of her glory. All the principal nations of the earth owned
her sway and gloried in their bondage. The redder
forms of tyranny had departed. The brow of Octavius
Augustus was mild beneath his crown ; while under the
patronage of the wise Mecenas, and by the taper of Gre-
cian genius, the loftiest forms of art were born and flou-
rished. The voice of eloquence sounded in the forum ;
the flowers of poesy budded and blossomed in palace and
in cot; life sprang from the silent marble; the canvass
glowed, and Philosophy linked arms with Pleasure, and
E





rHE ANGEL'S PILGRIMAGE.


wandered about her sacred groves, or dallied in her luxu-
rious gardens. But HE was not a Roman. On her proud
brow the Queen of the Nations wore the half-crushed
chaplet of Grecian liberty; a beautiful wreath dropping
with the matchless perfume which still lingers around her
broken columns and crumbling arches, around the spiri-
tual ideal breathing in the creations of her artists, and
around the graves of her philosophers, her poets, and her
statesmen. But HE was not of Greece. In one proud
hand Rome held a jewel unequalled in gorgeousness, a
golden lotus gathered from the banks of the Nile, and
now crimsoned by the blood of the beautiful and perfi-
dious Cleopatra ; and in the other she clasped a rude but
strong and valuable chain, whose rough links bore the
names of Gaul, Germany, and Switzerland. But HE came
from none of these.
The mistress of the world felt quivering beneath her
sandalled foot, and pressed more closely as it quivered, a
strange nation, with strange laws, strange customs, and a
strange religion; despised alike by the Roman, the Greek,
and the Egyptian; small in territory, divided within itself,
weak in arms, and learned but in its own laws. This was
the once favoured nation of the Jews. Jerusalem, fallen,
degraded, enslaved, still bore some traces of ancient
splendour. There stood the Holy Temple, though dese-
crated by Mammon ; the children of the prophets still
gathered in their synagogues; and the proud Pharisee
swept in his fringed garinents from the council-chamber
to the altar, lounged on rich cushions, and quaffed the
blood of the grape from goblets of massive gold and richly
chased silver. But HE claimed not his home in Jerusalem.


66





THE ANGELS PILGRIMAGE.


In Galilee, m despised, contemned Galilee, and not its
fairest city-not Capernaum, not Cana-but in poor,
mean, hated, contemptible Nazareth-there sprang the
Fountain of life ; there, from that dark, unknown corner,
from that smallest, most degraded city of the most de-
graded quarter of the earth, HE, the Mighty One, the
King of Glory, walked forth, and named himself the Son
of Man, the Saviour of a fallen, helpless, miserable race."
I know Him-I know Him," murmured the angel,
bending his knee and shading his brow with his hand.
1" Go on," he added after a moment's pause; go on;
tell me more; it cannot reach me, but-my poor Zillah !
-tell me all."
"L He sought meanness of origin and poverty, not be-
cause there was virtue in these, but for the sake of the
lowly poor," continued the stranger, his cheek glowing
and his eye lighting excitement of his theme. "His
mother was the betrothed bride of a poor carpenter; his
cradle was in a stable-His, the sovereign Prince of the
Universe! But a choir of angels came to rouse the earth
to sing his welcome; a new star was set upon the brow
of night, and in its light the magii of the East, the philo-
sophers of the Persian court, bent in worship to the clay-
shrined God; and a haughty monarch so trembled in
his kingly purple, when he heard of the obscure infant,
that hundreds of tiny graves were opened, each stained
by the blood of the helpless and moistened by a mother's
tears."
"Go on! go on! whispered the angel.
The humble Nazarene put on the tasselled robe of a
teacher; but he turned not to the palace for his disciples,


67





THE ANGEL 8 PILGRIMAGE.


nor lingered he by the proud door of the Sanhedrim. He
wandered by the lone Galilean lake; he sought those
places where men never look for honour, calling the un-
lettered and the lowly to his side; the ignorant fisherman
from his nets, and the despised publican from his scrip:
and yet this obscure man, with these humble followers,
stirred at once proud, pompous Jewry to her centre.
He toiled and suffered, toiled and suffered, and wept,
and then he died, as none but malefactors ever died
before."
The old man paused in his story, as though too much
agitated to proceed; while the angel echoed in mingled
awe and surprise, He died I He could not die 1"
He-he was borne to his sepulchre," continued the
meek ancient; but the grave could not hold the Son of
God. He died for us, he rose for us, and he waits us at
the right hand of his Father."
There was a long, unbroken, almost breathless silence,
-Zillah bending forward in meek awe, her brow pressed
to the altar, the face of the angel buried reverentially in
his folded arms, and the patriarch standing with upraised
eye and clasped hands, his face glowing with love and
rapture.
And the ransomed-when will He call them home ?"
at last the angel inquired.
They drop into the grave at morning, in the blaze
of day, and at midnight; every:jlr, every moment-
even now, while we speak, some freed spirit is passing,
and there are snowy wings that hover at the portal of
death to bear it away to Paradise."
But when will He call all ? when will the end be? "
inquired the angel, with tremulous eagerness.


68





THE ANGEL'S PILGRIMAGE.


"Thou wouldst know when will arise the cry of the
angel, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters
of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.'
But futurity has the secret hidden deep in the folds of
her misty robes, and neither man nor angel may rob her
of the treasure. Yet, my son, I can give thee the key,
and if"-
"Quick I quick!"
"He told us--He-He taught." The old man
paused, composed his features, and resumed: To those
disciples called from the wayside, from the boat of the
fisherman and lowly roof of the labourer, rude, unlettered,
and of no repute among men, whose hands had never
touched the soft palm of the Pharisee, and whose voices
had learned to tremble and falter in such an august pre-
sence-to these lowest of the sons of this world, He con-
fided the wealth of heaven, such rare jewels of truth as
never before glittered beneath the stars; and these
humble, unknown men He commissioned to bear their
treasures to all the nations of the earth. At Jerusalem
they began, and tower and temple trembled to their deep
foundations. Thence they scattered their living pearls
over hill and vale, far and wide, wherever the foot of
man had trodden or lay the stain of sin.
Even Grecian philosophy bent her polished ear when
a follower of the Crucified stood in one of the proudest
courts of Athens, and Epicurean and Stoic were alike
confounded by the simple but sublime eloquence of truth.
Rome, too, proud Rome acknowledged the still small
voice which had stolen up from far Nazareth ; but when she
strove to honour it with purple and crimson, the voice died


69





THE ANGEL'S PILGRIMAGE.


among the caves and dens of the wilderness; the jewel
receded from her grasp while she placed its blazing
semblance on her forehead; and all Europe bowed the
knee to the falsehood. But while in the name of the
crucified Nazarene, who trod the earth in sadness and
dishonour, the princes of the earth drew the lance, and
knight and noble paved the way to his own emolument;
while war and carnage ran riot throughout Christendom,
and Jew and Saracen were taught to despise the religion
which turned men into beasts of prey and deformed the
face of creation; from distant caves and lowly valleys the
meek voice of prayer still arose, and still the casket of
the jewels of truth was the human heart. Through the
red blood flowing at the mandate of Egyptian priest and
Roman pontiff; through the crevices of the rocks of
Switzerland, the hidden nooks environing the valley of
Piedmont, the republican plains of Germany, and the
wild, picturesque mountains of Scotland; through wrong
without ruth, through the dungeon and the rack, through
bloody knife and blazing faggot, these jewels of truth,
these Waters of Life, have been borne "-
"And now! where are they now? interrupted the
angel, with almost vehement earnestness.
"Dost thou see yon church-spire, piercing the gray
mist, and glittering in the one pale ray which the moon
sheds from her veiled throne ? Go thither and love, and
raise thy wings heavenward. Or here," lifting the folds
of his robe and disclosing a small volume; here the
Waters spring; here the Tree of Life flourishes. Search I
thou wilt find its blossoms on every page."
Not for me! Alas not or me 1" murmured the


70





THE ANGELS PILGRIMAGE.


angel; while Zillah, raising her forehead from the altar
where it had rested, and extending her hands, eagerly
exclaimed, "For mel for me! to fit me for the day
when thy wings, my angel, shall be full of glory that we
may mount together to the throne of the Eternal. But,
father, I would fain know when that may be. We are
to tread the earth until that hour."
"And I," returned the ancient, "have the same pil-
grimage before me."
"But when, oh when shall it be accomplished? "
"Not until every altar like this thou hast reared shall
be cast down."
Zillah raised a startled eye to the face of the patriarch,
and cast herself precipitately before the altar.
What! have I not told thee that the Great Sacrifice
has been offered, and may not my testimony be believed ?
Did I not stand beside the cross, and, while bidden to
tarry till a second coming, see the sinless victim bleed?
What wouldst thou more? Canst thou not make the
sacrifice thine own ? Faith and love alone are required of
thee-wilt thou not believe ? "
Zillah remained still meekly bending before the altar,
but her thoughts had risen far above it. The light of
truth was slowly breaking over her countenance, illumi-
nating each feature with a deep, subdued enthusiasm,
till the frail, beautiful daughter of earth seemed to bear
more traces of heaven than the exiled angel.
Every false altar must be cast down," continued the
ancient; the commandment must be obeyed; the
Fountain of Life must gush forth in the midst of every
people; the jewels of truth, borne through suffering and


71





THE ANGEL'S PILGRIMAGE.


blood till nearly half the world acknowledges their beauty,
must be scattered freely over every portion of the globe,
and far above the standards of the nations must float the
banner of the Crucified-He that was God, was man,
and is the God of glory henceforth and for ever. The
mighty work intrusted to us at that holy parting moment
must be accomplished, 'and then shall the end come.' "
"I too will go forth upon this holy mission," said
Zillah, bowing her head meekly; "perchance my weak
hand may be blest, since to all that share in the salvation
has the sweet work been intrusted."
"And I cannot loiter here," returned the angel,
though I have forfeited my right to be in any way a
ministering spirit to the race. Go thou, my Zillah, and
I will hover in thy footsteps, I will nurse the flowers thou
lovest, and scatter their perfume in thy pathway. When
evil is near, I will shield thy loved head. I will watch by
thy side during the remainder of this fearful night; and
when the morning at last dawns, thou shalt know its ap-
proach by the ray which falls upon thy angel's renovated
pinions. To the work, my Zillah; it is one which will
ennoble even thee."
The mild old man smiled; and I almost fancied that I
saw something stirring at the side of the angel, as though
every fresh consecration of ransomed mortal brought
nearer the hour of triumph; and then the entire vision
vanished.
I was leaning from my window as an hour previous;
but the little girl stood no longer upon the bridge, and
Strawberry Hill and the hoary qld trees above it were
slumbering in soft summer shadows. The moon, now a


72





THE ANGEL'S PILGRIMAGE.


soft silver crescent, had climbed far up her azure path-
way, and lay a sweet smile upon the face of the sky, and
the earth was smiling back a beautiful response in every
dew-drop. For a moment I thought the creatures of my
drama were about me, but in the next I knew that Zillah
and her angel were born of the wildest fiction; and that
the ashes of the beloved disciple, if not mingled with the
farthest elements, still slept at Ephesus. But much, very
much, had mingled in my thoughts in which dreaming
had no part. And as I carefully separated the threads
of fiction that had entangled themselves in the richer woof
of truth, I longed to exclaim, in the words of my fabulous
Zillah, "I too will go forth upon this holy mission 1"


4. '4
** "t


73














LILIAS FANE.

ABOUT five miles from Alderbrook there is a handsome
red school-house, with a portico in front, shaded by an
immense butternut; white window-shutters to keep out
rogues at night, but of no use at all during the day; and
a handsome cupola, in which is a bell of sufficient power
to be heard, particularly on still days, all over the dis-
trict. This specimen of architecture, being intended to
serve the double purpose of church and school-house, is
the pride of the little community; and, indeed, it well
may be, for there is not its equal in the whole country
round. When the school-house was first built, the neigh-
bours all resolved to support a "first-rate school ;" and
for many years they employed teachers who came well re-
commended, and claimed a large salary. Squire Mason
said no pains were spared,-everything was done that
man could do; yet, somehow, no teacher seemed to give
general satisfaction; and so many left, either in indigna-
tion or disgrace, that "' the Mason school" gained the re-
putation of being the most ungovernable in the county.
If truth must be told, this was not without reason; for
people who build new school-houses must, of course, listen
to new doctrines, and most of the families in the Mason
.district" had imbibed somewhat extensively the notions





LILIAS FANE.


prevalent among reformers of the present day, who think
that Solomon was only joking when he recommended the
rod. At last, after some renegade youngsters had sum-
marily dismissed, with a broken head, a dark, square-
shouldered, piratical looking man, who, in a fit of despe-
ration, had been chosen for his enormous strength, people
became quite discouraged, and the principal meiv of the
district, old farmer Westborn, Mr Martin, and Squire
Mason, called a meeting to discuss affairs. Some pro-
posed whipping all the boys round, and commencing a
new school; others thought it best to shut up the house
entirely, and set the young rebels to cutting wood; while
lfMr Martin was of opinion that if some of the "worst
ones could be kept at home, there would be no diffi-
culty with the rest. Upon this hint others spake; and
the meeting at last decided on obtaining a female teacher
to take charge of the little ones, the t big boys being
entirely voted out. Squire Mason himself had a son who
was considered a "rollicking blade," up to all sorts of
mischief; and of the half-dozen shock-headed Westborns,
there was not one that had failed to give the former mas-
ter blow for blow. Affairs were, however, now to assume
a calmer aspect; and the meeting proceeded forthwith
to appoint a school-committee, consisting of Mr Martin,
who had no children of his own, and was consequently ex-
pected to take a great interest in those of his neighbours;
Mr Fielding, a quiet bachelor of thirty-five or thereabout;
and one or two others, who were selected for the sake of
making the numbers strong, and not for anything that they
were expected to do. The principal duty of the acting
part of the committee was to obtain a teacher; but they
**
"9
!


75





LILIAS FANE.


were also to manage all other affairs thereunto pertain-
ing.
Luckily a lady had been recommended to Mr Martin,
during the preceding autumn, as a perfect prodigy; and,
as our school-committee men were quiet sort of people,
who did not like to make unnecessary trouble, a letter,
superscribed Miss Lilias Fane," was thrown into the
post-office box, which, in due time, brought as favourable
an answer as could be desired.
It was a cold stormy morning in December, when the
public stage-coach set down the new school-mistress at
the door of Mr Martin's house. A bundle of cloaks and
blankets rolled from the opened door into the hands of
the good deacon, who was obliged to support, indeed
almost to carry, an invisible form into the house, where
his good dame stood ready to divest it of all unneces-
sary incumbrances. At first, a large blanket was re-
moved, then muff and cloak, and yet shawl, hood, and
veil remained; and Mrs Martin could not help con-
jecturing how precious must be the nut which was
blessed with so much shell. The task of untying strings
and removing pins being accomplished, a volume of flaxen
ringlets descended over a pair of tiny white shoulders,
and a soft blue eye stole timidly from its silken ambush
up to the face of Mrs Martin ; but meeting no sympathy
there, it retreated behind the drooping lid; and little
Miss Fane, blushing up to the pretty flaxen waves that just
shaded her forehead, smiled, and curtsied, and then
crouched by the blazing fire like a petted kitten. Mrs
Martin retreated involuntarily; and Mr Martin parted his
lips, drew up his eye-brows, and shrugged his shoulders,


76





LILIAS FANE.


between astonishment and contempt. What I that child
assume the duties and responsibilities of a school-teacher,
and, above all, in such a school I Why, Susan Harman
could put her out of the door with one hand, and the
very littlest boy overmaster her. There sat the new
schoolmistress, and there stood the deacon and his dame,
gazing at her, perfectly speechless, when Mr Fielding
drove up to the door; it being considered his especial
duty to introduce new teachers, and particularly lady
teachers, to the school-house. Now the bachelor had
some very fine notions of tall, elegant figures, and digni-
fied manners; indeed, he had a rule for everything, step-
ping, looking, and even thinking; and consequently, he
was taken quite by surprise when his eye first lighted on
the unpretending little schoolmistress. Her figure was
slight, and exceedingly fragile, and her face the very per-
fection of infantile sweetness. This was all that Mr
Fielding had an opportunity to observe, as she stood before
him in graceful confusion, replying to his very formal
salutation, and answering his still more formal questions
about the weather, the state of the roads, and the time
of her arrival. The bachelor, however, was confident
that Miss Fane was a very incompetent school-teacher ;
and Miss Fane was quite as confident that the bachelor
was a very incompetent beau. First, he gave her what
the little lady considered an impertinent stare, as a
school-committee-man has a right to do; then he made
a great many commonplace remarks, as a- man that
wishes to appear very dignified will do; and then he
desired to see Mr Martin in private, as a man when he
wishes to let you know that he is about to discuss your


77








character should do. Poor Lilias Fane with all her
simplicity she was not deficient in discernment, and she
felt piqued at the manners of the people, particularly Mr
Fielding, whose real superiority she instantly detected,
despite of the clumsy awkwardness behind which he
managed to hide himself. So, tossing back her sunny
curls, and calling for hood and shawl, in spite of all Mrs
Martin's entreaties to the contrary, she was half-way to
the school-house before the gentlemen decided that they
could do nothing less than give her a trial. It was
with the utmost surprise that the bachelor heard of the
flight of his bonny bird; for he was the greatest man in
the district, and every one was but too much delighted
to gain his notice. He owned a fine cottage close by
the Maple Grove, with beautiful grounds about it, and
every elegance that wealth could command and taste dic-
tate within; and there he resided, with his mother and
a little nephew, in very enviable quiet. It was evident
that his knowledge of the world was thorough, and he
had probably, at some period of his life, taken a part in
its tumult; but the retirement of private life best suited
him, and he had for several years buried the most per-
fect specimen of a gentleman of the old school extant
among the rural luxuries of Grove Cottage. Here, how-
ever, none of the punctilios, on which he set so high a
value, were omitted, for he was too thoroughly a gentle-
man to throw aside the character when behind the scenes;
and all honoured him for his strict integrity, as well as
intellectual superiority. Mr Fielding had not a particle
of misanthropy in his composition; so, notwithstanding a
secret touch of exclusive feeling, arising probably from a


78


LILIAS FANE.





LILIAS FANE.


consciousness of possessing but little in common with
those around him, he mingled with the people of the
neighbourhood as though nothing but a certain degree of
coldness and personal dignity prevented him from being
on a perfect equality with them; and he exhibited so
much real interest in all that concerned their welfare,
that he possessed their entire confidence.
When Mr Fielding learned that the little lady had
gone away alone, he looked surprised; but recollecting
how bashful she had appeared when standing in his august
presence, he at once saw the matter in a more pleasing
light; so, calling on Mr Martin to bestow his burly cor-
pus in the seat intended for pretty Lilias Fane, the two
committee-men proceeded leisurely toward the school-
house.
In the meantime poor Lilias was trudging through the
snow, her nether lip pouting after the most approved
style of angry beauties, and her little heart throbbing with
a variety of contending emotions, none of which were ac-
tually pleasurable, except the one excited by a little pile
of silver which she saw in prospect-the fruit of her own
labour. At thought of this, she brushed away the tear
that sparkled on her lashes, and, drawing up her slight
figure with an air of determination, stepped boldly and
decidedly into the portico, and placed her hand on the
latch of the door. This done, she paused; the little
heart, but a moment before so resolute, fluttered tumul-
tuously; the head drooped, the eyes brimmed over, and
the fingers extended so firmly, now quivered with agita-
tion. Poor Lilias Fane! what would she not have given


79





LILIA8 FANE.


to feel her mother's arms about her, and weep on her
sympathizing bosom ?
Farmer Westborn, and Squire Mason, and the rest of
the school-meeting men, were in earnest when they decid-
ed that the big boys should not be allowed to attend
school; but they had been in earnest a great many times
before; so the boys knew perfectly well what it meant,
and were now on hand, preparing for the reception of the
new teacher. Little did poor Lilias Fane imagine what
stout hearts awaited her entrance, or her courage would
not have been prompt to return; but the thought of
home, her widowed mother, and helpless little brothers
and sisters, in connection with the all-important salary,
nerved her up. Again she erected her head and wiped
away the tears; then, throwing open the door, she walk-
ed quietly and firmly into the room. What a spectacle!
children of all sizes, from the little aproned chap, hardly
yet from the cradle, up to the height of the new school-
mistress, and youths towering far above her, in almost the
pride of manhood, turned their faces toward the door,
and stood gaping in silent astonishment. There were
Susan Harman, and Sally Jones, and Nabby Woods, all
older than the schoolmistress, and several others who
were larger ; and at the extremity of the room stood Al-
fred Mason, a man in size if not in form, surrounded by
the six shock-headed Westborns, Bill Blount, Philip Clute,
and Nehemiah Strong, all school rowdies of the first wa-
ter. Well might they stare, for such a vision never met
their eyes before; and well might bright Lilias smile at
the looks of wonder that greeted her at every turn. A
smile, if it is a perfectly natural one, full of mirthfulness,


80





LILA8 FANE.


and slightly spiced with mischief, is the best of all pass-
ports to a young heart; and not a face was there in the
whole room but caught the infection, and answered with
a bashful grin the twinkle of the little maiden's eye and
the curl of her lip. Oh sadly did naughty Lilias com-
promise the dignity of the schoolmistress; but what she
lost in one respect was more than made up in another.
Nabby Woods went about brushing the slippery dried
peas from the floor, lest the smiling fairy of a new school-
dame should be made their victim, as had been duly
planned for a week beforehand; and Philip Clute, first
glancing at Alfred Mason for approbation, stepped awk-
wardly forward and put a whole chair in the place of the
broken one that had been stationed before the desk for the
benefit of the new teacher ; thus making himself the first
to receive her cheerful salutation. Philip had never been
known to shrink before birchin rod or cherry ferule; but
Lilias Fane, with her merry blue eye and face full of kind-
ness and gentleness, half-hidden in the mirthful dimples
which played over it-sweet Lilias Fane was a different
thing. She could not be looked upon with indifference,
and poor Philip twisted himself into as many shapes as a
cloud-wreath in a tempest, or a captured eel, and turned
as red as the blood-beets in his father's cellar. On pass-
ed the bright-faced Lilias around the room, nodding to
one, smiting to another, and addressing some cheerful
remark to those who seemed a little afraid of her, until
she reached the group over which the redoubtable Mason
presided. By this time she had gained all hearts; for
hadn't she said we, when talking to the big girls," as
though she didn't feel herself a bit above them ? and


81





LILIAS FANE.


hadn't she patted the heads of the younger ones with
her pretty little hand, in a way which proved beyond the
possibility of a doubt that she was a decided enemy to
hairpulling? Alfred Mason had seen it all; and to prove
to the new schoolmistress that he was a little superior to
the Westborns & Co., he advanced three steps and made
a bow as much like Mr Fielding's as he could. This
done, he passed his fingers through his shining black hair,
twitched his shirt-collar, and elevated head and shoulders
after a very manly fashion, as though silently resolving
not to be afraid of anything this side of fairy land, though
appearing in the shape of a Titania herself. But be-
witching, roguish, naughty Miss Fane did bewilder him
notwithstanding ; for having always considered himself a
rascally scape-grace of a boy, bound to do as much mis-.
chief as he could, he suddenly found himself transformed
into a man; and a beautiful creature, with a child's
blushes and a woman's smiles, asking him questions in
the most respectful tone, hoping that she should be se..
conded by the young gentlemen before her in all her
efforts, and insinuating, very gracefully and very sweetly,
how much she relied upon them for success in her present
undertaking. The smile, the tone of voice, the manner,
combined with the flattering address, were perfectly ir-
resistible ; and Alfred Mason, after perpetrating another
bow, addressed a few whispered words to his companions,
and walked away to a seat. His example was immediate-
ly followed by the whole school, and Miss Fane was left
standing in the midst of subjects as loyal as any sovereign
would care to reign over. At this agreeable crisis the
door opened, and it may well be believed that in every


82





LILIAS FANE.


dimple of Lilias Fane's young face lurked a roguish smile,
as her eye lighted on Mr Fielding and Mr Martin.
The bachelor observed it, and he was "the least bit in the
world" disconcerted, while Mr Martin raised his eye-brows
and shrugged his shoulders more emphatically than ever,
but not contemptuously. If the two committee-men
had been astonished before, they were doubly so now;
and it was with a much more respectful air than he had
at first assumed, that Mr Fielding saluted the little lady,
and apologized for his previous neglect.
You have undertaken a very heavy task, Miss
Fane," he remarked, in a tone which, from the proxi-
mity of the audience on the seats, was necessarily low,
and thus seemingly confidential.
Thoughtless Lilias I she shook her head and smiled.
"It is a dreadful responsible station," chimed in Mr
Martin.
A shade of seriousness flitted over the face of Lilias,
and then she smiled again.
Our school is considered a very difficult one," ob-
served the bachelor.
I apprehend no difficulty at all," Lilias replied, in a
tone of gaiety.
"But, Miss Fane," persisted Mr Martin, it is my
duty to undeceive you as to the character of our school."
Still the little lady smiled confidently.
"Very difficult to manage, I can assure you," added
the bachelor.
Lilias glanced around the room with a triumphant,
incredulous air, as much as to say, It seems to me just
the easiest thing in the world," (the saucy little gipsy!)


83





LILIES FANE.


--but she did not say it. Her only reply was to beg
the privilege of consulting two such able advisers, should
she chance to meet with unexpected difficulties. Mr
Martin received the compliment graciously, not probably
observing a touch of sarcasm, more discoverable in the
dancing blue eye than in the voice; but Mr Fielding
looked displeased, bowed stiffly, and, after a few formal
words, took his leave, followed by Mr Martin.
I shouldn't wonder," remarked the latter, after they
were a little way off,-" I shouldn't wonder if this little
Miss Fane made a pretty good teacher after all. It's
wonderful that the children should be so orderly this
morning."
Mr Fielding gave his head a twitch, something be-
tween a shake and a nod, and looked knowing. It was
evident that he could say a great deal if he chose. This
non-committal movement is Wisdom's favourite cloak; and
so much in vogue is it, that it sometimes even passes
current when the cloaked is missing.
For that day at least Lilias Fane was happy. She
smiled and was smiled upon. And she began to think it
was just the pleasantest thing in the world to be the pre-
siding genius of such a place, exercising uncontrolled
power, dispensing smiles and sunshine at will, beloved
and loving. But her day of darkness was to come.
Scarce a week had passed before there were indications
of a revolt among some of her subjects; and she was
alarmed to find that there were difficulties which a smile
and a loving word could not heal. At home, her dear
delightful home, she had been taught to believe them a
universal balm- oil for the wildest wave, a hush for the


84





LILIAS FANE.


deadliest tempest. But yet, never was schoolmistress
idolized like darling Lilias Fane. Even the hearts of the
Westborns began to melt beneath the glances of her
beaming eye, and Alfred Mason was her never-failing
friend and champion. Poor Alf Mason I Sad was the
reputation he bore in the district; and nobody would
believe he was in earnest when he behaved properly; but
he was in reality more given to mirth than malice, fonder
of fun than real mischief-and he could see no fun at all
in annoying sweet Miss Fane. But she was annoyed
nevertheless, not so much by her pupils, as by remarks
which were constantly reaching her concerning her youth,
inexperience, and consequent inefficiency. It was said
that see was a child among the children; and so she was,
but how could she help it-the bright pet Lilias! Scarce
sixteen summers had burnished her fair locks, and her
heart was full of childish impulses. It was said that
she had no dignity of manner, and stood among her pu-
pils as one of them-faults which she was but too con-
scious of possessing. As well might you look for dignity
in a humming-bird or a fawn, as in Lilias Fane-the
darling! She loved her pupils dearly, and could not
but betray her interest. She had too many sympathies
in common with them to stand aloof in joy or sorrow;
and in the loved and the loving, were merged the teacher
and the taught. It was even said that her voice had
been known to mingle in the merry shout that sometimes
arose from the school-room; and there must have been
some truth in the report ; for her pupils could not have
had the heart to laugh when she was serious. In truth,
Lilias Fane was a strange teacher; though she may have


85





LILAS FANE.


taught the lore most needed-those heart-lessons, richer
than all the theories of all the schools united. In her
other lessons she was capricious. She taught what she
loved, and that she made her pupils love; but what was
dry and difficult she passed over, as in studying she had
been allowed to do by her too indulgent governess. Yet
she was unwearied in her efforts, and never thought of
self when the good of her pupils was concerned; and so,
despite the faults in her system of education, her school
made rapid improvement. But no degree of improve-
ment was sufficient to satisfy those who detected these
faults; and soon the war of words ran high for and
against the poor schoolmistress, whose only offences were
too much beauty, too immature youth, and a too kind
heart. These things could not occur without Miss Fane's
knowledge ; for her young friends, in their mistaken zeal,
repeated every word to her, and she (poor simple-hearted
child ) was undignified to listen to their representations,
and receive their expressions of sympathy. They were
all the friends she had. Thus passed one-third of Lilias
Fane's term of service in alternate storm and sunshine,
till at last farmer Westborn took a decided step; and,
in spite of young shock-heads' remonstrances, removed all
of his six children from school. Sad was the face poor
Lilias Fane exhibited on this occasion; and all of her
flock were sad from sympathy. Looks, some of sorrow,
and some of indignation, were exchanged among the
elder pupils; and the younger ones gazed in silent won-
der on the flushed face and tearful eye of her who, never-
theless, would now and then give them a smile, from sheer
habit. At last the day ended, and sad, and low, and


86





LILIAS FANE.


kinder even than usual, were the good-nights of the
sympathizing group, as, one by one, they disappeared
through the door, till the poor little school-mistress was
left alone; and then she covered her face with her hands
and wept.
I wouldn't mind it, Miss Fane," said a timid but
sympathizing voice close by her ear.
How can I help it, Alfred?" asked weeping Lilias,
without raising her head; "Mr Westborn must have a
sad opinion of me, or he never -"
Mr Westborn is a fool I the meanest man -"
Alfred !"
You don't know him, Miss Fane, or you would say
so too. But don't cry any more-don't; come over and
see Mary-you have true friends, Miss Fane-you-
they -" and here Alfred stopped short; for, although
particularly anxious to console Miss Fane, he seemed to
be suffering under a most painful embarrassment. The
gentle, indeed touching tone of voice was not lost on poor
Lilias; although there seemed to be some reason why she
should not listen to it; for she raised her head, and, with
more calmness than she could have been expected to com-
mand, replied, You are very kind, Alfred, and I thank
you, but -"
I understand you, Miss Fane," interrupted the
youth, somewhat proudly; kindness should not be too
obtrusive."
No, Alfred, you mistake me. I prize the sympathy
of my friends but too highly; and it is gratifying to know
that all my pupils, if no others, are of the number."


87





ILIAS FANE.


Yes, they all are-yet-Miss-Miss Fane -" and
Alfred stammered on, more embarrassed than ever.
I can assure them that their kindness will be remem-
bered most gratefully, and their friendship warmly re-
turned," added Miss Fane, with a gentle dignity, which
prevented familiarity, while it soothed.
Alfred Mason stood for a few moments irresolute, and
Lilias resumed. To you, in particular, Alfred, am I
deeply indebted. You have defended me in my absence;
assisted me in school, both by your example and counsel;
and have performed the thousand little services which
have contributed thus far to make my time here among
strangers pass so agreeably. I shall never forget you,
kind, generous friend that you are And Mary, too-
my own brother and sister could not have watched more
carefully over my comfort and happiness. I have much
to say to you of this, but not now. To-night I have sub-
jects of thought less pleasant, and must be alone."
I shouldn't like to trouble you, Miss Fane, but I
came to tell you there is to be a school-meeting to-night.
Oh, how I wish I were a man I in influence, I mean; for
I know that I have a man's soul, a-"
What is the school-meeting for, Alfred?"
Oh, Mr Fielding-cross old bachelor !-but I won't
tell you anything about it-it's too provoking!"
"I shouldn't expect any good from Mr Fielding,"
said Lilias, with an unusual degree of acrimony. Why
so exceedingly indignant at him, when, if he had not
sympathized, he surely had done thee no injury, gentle
Lilias ?
He! no danger of his doing good anywhere-though


88





LILIAS FANE.


he says he 'pities the young lady'-pities But who do
you think he wants to get in your place ?"
Lilias stood aghast, for in all her troubles the thought
of losing her situation had not occurred to her; and now
they had actually planned her removal, and were about
appointing a successor. "Who, Alfred?" she gasped,
tremblingly.
Would you believe it, Miss Fane--that ugly, cross,
vinegar-faced Miss Digby-it is too bad I At any rate,
they will rue the day they get her here. What is the
matter, Miss Fane? you are as pale as death."
Nothing-go now, Alfred-you shall tell me more
to-morrow."
Well might young Lilias Fane turn pale, poor child,
at this intelligence; for at that very moment she held
her mother's last letter in her bosom; and in that letter
had the fond, hoping mother rejoiced over the bright
prospects of her darling, called her the guardian angel of
the family, and hoped that through her efforts comfort
might again be restored to their little home. And now
to be obliged to return in disgrace, disappoint the expec-
tations of that doting parent, and become a burden where
she should be a helper, was too much-more than she
could bear. Alfred obeyed her, and retired in sorrowful
silence; and poor Lilias, pressing one small hand upon
her aching head, paced the floor in a bitterness of spirit
that she had never felt before. We may be angels while
love makes an Eden for us; but when we go out among
the thorns, we find another spirit rising up, and learn,
alas I that we are not yet all meekness and purity. The
disheartening lesson was embittering still more the spirit


89





LILIAS FANE.


of Lilias, as she paced up and down her deserted room.
But why should Mr Fielding be so unkind? how had
she offended him? These questions puzzled her most
painfully; and then, heavily and hopelessly, came thoughts
of the future. What should she do ? She was sure of
the sympathy of good-natured Mary Mason; but such a
friend was scarce sufficient for the exigency. There was
no one to advise her ; no one who, acquainted with all the
circumstances of the case, could say what was for the
best; no one even who could be made to comprehend her
feelings. And she longed to pour out all her troubles in
some friendly bosom. Once the thought of Alfred Ma-
son crossed her mind, but she only muttered, blushing
even there, kind, silly boy I" and again recurred to the
one grand question-what should she do ? In the midst
of these reflections, a footstep sounded on the threshold,
and before she had time to wonder who was there, Mr
Fielding stood before her. The surprise seemed mutual;
but Lilias, probably from her sense of injury, was the first
to recover her presence of mind. She crushed a whole
shower of bright crystals that were in the act of descend-
ing, elevated her head, and with a slight courtesy, was
proceeding to adjust her cloak, when Mr Fielding ap-
proached her.
Excuse me, Miss Fane, for this intrusion; I did not
expect to find you here; but since I have, perhaps you
will favour me with a few moments' conversation ?"
With pleasure, sir, in a proper place," said Lilias,
keeping down her anger with a strong effort. I pre-
sume Mr Martin will be happy to see you ?"


90





LILIAS FANE.


It is you that I wish to see, Miss Fane, and for that
I shall have no good opportunity at Mr Martin's."
Your communication must be of consequence," said
Lilias, endeavouring to assume an air of carelessness.
You are right-it is of some consequence to you,
and so, of course, to your friends."
"Among which, I am well aware, that I have not the
honour to reckon Mr Fielding," said Lilias, provoked
beyond endurance, by this seeming duplicity. The bache-
lor was evidently the most imperturbable of mortals.
The little maiden's eye flashed, and her cheeks were crim-
son with indignation; but not a muscle of his face moved;
he neither looked confused nor angry, but in his usual
tone replied, I will not contend with you upon that
point, Miss Fane; for mere professions are empty things.
However, it is my wish to act the part of a friend by you
now."
You will have an opportunity to exhibit your friend-
ship in the school-meeting this evening," said Lilias, with
a curling lip; and, if I am rightly informed, it is your
intention to do so."
Strange to say, Mr Fielding was not yet demolished,
but with increasing sang froid he replied, if you had
received less information from injudicious persons, it
might have been better for you, and most assuredly would
have saved you much unhappiness."
The little lady trotted her foot in vexation, for she
knew his remark to be true; meantime, muttering some-
thing about even injudicious friends being preferable to
the most punctilious enemies.


91





LILIAS FANE


"There I beg leave to dissent," said Mr Fielding,
with perfect coolness; "honourable enemies-"
"Excuse me, sir," interrupted Lilias, losing all
patience. I am not in a mood for discussion to-night,
and you-it is almost time for the school-meeting."
The school-meeting has been deferred."
"' Deferred!" Miss Fane's young face brightened like
the sky with an April sun-flash; for what might not a
little more time do for her ? and she extended her hand
involuntarily, while a "forgive me" hovered on her smile-
wreathed lips.
It will not take place till next week; and in the mean
time," continued Mr Fielding, hesitatingly, "it would-if
I might-if you would but have confidence in my motives,
Miss Fane, I would venture a piece of advice."
"To which I am bound to listen," said Lilias, gaily,
and turning upon the adviser a face radiant with hap-
piness; for the week's respite had quite restored her
fallen spirits.
"Bound?"
From choice, I mean," said Lilias, with a smileIh
made the bachelor quite forget that she had been angry.
"' Then I will talk freely as to a friend-a sister," and
Mr Fielding spoke in a low tone, and hurried his words,
as though the ice might be beginning to thaw. "Your
position must be a very painful one. You have, I know,
gained all hearts, but the judgments of many are against
you, and the prejudices of more. You have many pro-
fessed friends, and they do indeed feel kindly toward you;
but each has some petty interest to serve, some feeling of


92





LILIAS FANE.


rivalry to gratify, and there is not one among them in
whom you can place implicit confidence."
"I know it! I have felt it all, only too deeply, too
bitterly; but what can I do ? Oh, if my mother could
be here!" and, overcome by the sudden revulsion of
feeling, Lilias burst into tears.
Then go to her, Miss Fane-go to-morrow-her dis-
interestedness you cannot doubt."
Nor is there room for doubt in the case of another
person," retorted Lilias, in a tone of bitterness. "You
have at least the merit of dealing openly, Mr Fielding."
You distrust me without cause, Miss Fane," said the
bachelor, warmly; it is to save you pain that I recom-
mend this course; and it was in the hope of inducing you
to withdraw, that I persuaded them to defer the meeting.
We have coarse natures here, and you must not come in
contact with them. Allow me to advise you, and do not
enter your school again."
Poor Lilias Fane I the net was about her, and flutter
as she would, she could not get free. Then they in-
tend to dismiss me ?" she asked, despondingly.
"If you give them the opportunity, I fear they will."
"What have I done, Mr Fielding, to deserve this ?"
"Every thing that is good and praiseworthy; but a
district school is not the place for one like you. A school-
teacher must not be too sensitive-she must know how
to endure, to return buffetings."
Oh, Mr Fielding, I am sure it is not necessary for a
school-teacher to be bad or heartless. I know what un-
fits me for the place-I have too little character-too


93





LILIAS FANE.


little self-dependence ;-but I should improve-I am sure
I should. I cannot leave my school until I am obliged
to leave it; as perhaps even you will do me the justice
to believe, I would have undertaken it only from neces-
sity. Even a week is of importance to me."
I have not felt at liberty to inquire your motive, Miss
Fane, but I have felt assured that it was no unworthy
one, and your partial failure is attended with no disgrace.
Indeed," and there was so much sincerity in Mr Fielding's
words, that he did not think how warmly he was praising,
1 I have watched your patience, your industry, your gen-
tleness and sweetness, with admiration; and it is to the
very qualities, most admirable, that your want of success
may be traced."
And so I must go !" exclaimed Lilias, with a fresh
gush of feeling. My poor, poor mother I Indeed, Mr
Fielding-but you must be my friend, and I will do as
you bid me, for there is nobody in the world to say just
what I ought to do."
The bachelor was almost as much agitated as poor
Lilias Fane. Fresh interest seemed to be gathering
around the little schoolmistress, and yet he had too much
delicacy to press inquiries, which at any other time would
seem impertinent. There was, however, a better under-
standing between the school-committee-man and the lady-
teacher; and so another half-hour was passed in conver-
sation without a single angry word, after which, the two
emerged from the school-house together, and taking a
seat in the gig, proceeded toward Mr Martin's.
That night bright young Lilias Fane, for almost the
first time in her life, went to her pillow with an aching


94





LILIAS FANE.


heart, though caused by a seeming trifle in comparison
with her other sources of sorrow. Nurtured in the lap
of luxury, made beggars by the death of a husband and
father, who was an object of almost idolatry to a loving,
helpless group; visited by disappointment, neglect, and
sickness, the little family had struggled on and been
happy. They had stemmed the torrent together. But
Mrs Fane's exertions were wasting life. Lilias was the
eldest child, and her only dependence. What could the
delicate, fragile, young girl do to be useful ? Plain sewing
yielded but slight recompense to fingers too little accus-
tomed to its mysteries, and, in the retirement which Mrs
Fane had chosen, ornamental needle-work found no mar-
ket. True, Lilias knew something of drawing and music;
but she had never thought of either as a profession, and
she felt conscious that her knowledge of both was too
superficial to turn to account. Little did Mrs Fane or
Lilias know of a district school, particularly in the win-
ter; but they knew that teaching was considered a re-
spectable employment;. so the trial was made, and bitter
to Lilias was the result.
The next morning the children assembled at the
school-house as usual, but they were soon dispersed by
the sad intelligence that Miss Fane had been called sud-
denly home; which information caused quite a sensation
throughout the district. Alfred Mason kicked over the
breakfast table when he heard the news, declared that
it was Mr Fielding's work, and he ought to be hanged,
and chopped wood furiously all the rest of the day.
Some people thought it quite strange that Miss Fane
did not go home in the stage-coach, as she came, and


95








there was some little gossiping on the subject; but Mrs
Martin said Mr Fielding had convinced her that his gig,
with the soft cushions, was much more comfortable, and
warm, and safe, and had talked so much of the incon-
veniences of stage-coach travelling, that the good dame
declared she should "be afeared of the ugly things all the
days of her life."
In the mean time, the lady and gentleman were pur-
suing their way very sociably, if not very happily; and
Lilias found, to her infinite astonishment, that Mr
Fielding, when he threw off the school-committee-man,
and had no unpleasant point to gain (such as telling
a lady she is mistaken in her vocation), could be vastly
agreeable. He even went so far as to draw a picture
of her successor, the vinegar-faced Miss Digby, at which
Lilias laughed so heartily that she could not help won-
dering the next moment what had become of her sad-
ness. Looking for sadness or any other unwelcome
visitor videe the old adage), is the very way to bring it
to your presence; and so Mr Fielding felt himself called
upon to play the agreeable to an unusual extent; and
Lilias wondered how she could be so happy, until she was
obliged to explain the cause of her misery, just for the
sake of refreshing her memory. And then Mr Fielding
was sad too-oh, so sad I And then he said something
in a very low tone-doubtless to let her know how much
he pitied her; but it must have been awkwardly done,
for Lilias blushed a great deal more than when she was
angry with him. Mr Fielding blushed too, and both
looked as though they were quite ready to quarrel again.
What a lucky circumstance that they did not arrive at


96


LILIA8 FANE.





IJLIAS FANE.


this crisis before, for now Lilias exclaimed joyously, "Oh,
we are home 1" and the gig drew up before Mrs Fane's
door.
It would be impossible to say whether Mrs Fane felt
more gladness or surprise at the sight of Lilias; and the
little ones gathered around her, all clamorous," not
" for bread," but kisses.
Mr Fielding glanced from the noisy, happy group to
the pale, thin face of the mother, and then around upon
the scanty furniture; and, callous old bachelor as he was,
he felt his heart swelling in his throat, and the moisture
in his eye made him ashamed of himself.
Mr Fielding did not return home that day, for his
horse had lost a shoe, which it was necessary should be
replaced; and the next day there came a snow-storm,
which only a madman would brave; then the third day,
I do not quite know what detained him, but it must have
been something of importance, as he was the last man in
the world to exchange the comforts of home for the in-
conveniences of a village hotel, without sufficient reason.
On the fourth day, however, toward night, he was so for-
tunate as to undertake his homeward journey; but, before
this, he was closeted a long time with the again radiant
Lilias, and afterward with her mother; and he finally
quitted them, with a face so brimming over with happiness,
as to show-perhaps-how glad he was to get away!
Early the ensuing spring, the cottage down by the
MVaple Grove had a new mistress ; and another, close by,
was purchased and fitted up tastefully for a pale, sweet
widow and her bright-eyed children; the eldest of whom,
Alfred Mason declares a vast deal prettier than her sister
Lilias,


97















THE UNUSEFUL.

MAN is a born equestrian; and from the time when
mother Eve fixed her anxious heart on improving her
condition, and crushed a world at a single bound, to this
present writing, he has never lacked a hobby whereon to
exercise to his heart's content. And it is no tame, gentle
exercise; for, whatever the hobby may be, and whether
well-mounted or otherwise, he not only rides tantivy, but
hesitates not to "' run through a troop and leap over a
wall." We have innumerable hobbies now-a-days; and
many of them (to our credit be it said) are of an excel-
lent character. But, poor things they are ridden down
most savagely.
You may have seen, among these poor, jaded, spavined,
wind-galled, would-be-racers of beasts of burden, a huge
mammoth, with a back like a continent, and legs like
those of Mark Antony in Cleopatra's dream. This is a
universal hobby that men have named USEFULNESS ; and
such strong claims has it to the suffrages of all but the
butterflies, that whoever eschews the wing of the idler,
must needs accept a seat. There is no medium, no spot
of terra firma on which we may stand and labour in quiet,
sober earnest; one must either flutter in the air a giddy
thing, or gallop away almost as madly on the back of





THE UNUSEFUL.


this irresistible hobby. But we do, verily, constitute a
goodly array; and so uncompromisingly do we ride down
everything that is elegant and beautiful, and indolently
lovely, that we are even in danger of doubting the wis-
dom of the Deity in placing those soft, sun-draped, luxu-
riously lazy clouds in the summer heavens; in scattering
the idle, balm-breathing flowers so profusely by the way-
side; and in sending out the play-loving zephyrs to dally
through the live-long day with every bud that has a lip
to kiss, and every light-poised leaf that palpitates at its
sly whispers, like a lady's boddice at the first word that
takes its course from the tip of a lover's tongue into her
heart. Yet our hobby is a most noble beast originally.
What a great pity that it should be made so stupidly un-
gainly by its mad riders I A finer animal never lost its
attractiveness by man's re-moulding; and while most of
us jolt along upon the back of our spoiled hobby, we
leave its spirit to the quiet, unassuming ones who close
one hand to the labours of the other. What can be more
beautiful than USEFULNESS-the great object of our
present existence? What more repulsive than the de-
formed images to which each, according to his particular
fancy, gives the name ? So many a person, giving up the
world to the ultraists, who are sent to occupy one of the
human extremes," preserves the spirit in its purity, and
is most unusefully useful.
Of a character somewhat resembling this was my
friend Nora Maylie; though I think that in its formation
nature had more to do than principle. To estimate
things properly and reasonably, requires both maturity of
judgment and independence of thought.


99






THE UNUSEFUL.


Nora Maylie must have been born under an unpro-
mising star, for in infancy she was fair, fat, and good-
natured ; without any of that unwelcome vivacity, so il-
lustrative of perpetual motion; but with a very knowing
look upon her baby features, that told you, at once, the
repose of her manner sprang not from a lack of good
sense; at least enough of it to place her on a par with
other babies. This sensible look was Nora's curse, for
it gave her a preeminence over her sisters; and in pro-
portion to her height was the number of stones cast at
her. It was at once decided that she was born to a high
destiny ; and so she waddled off to school as soon as her
chubby little feet would bear her weight. But physi-
ognomical promises are deceitful. Nora was not a par-
ticularly playful child, and very far from being mischiev-
ous; but yet, all through two golden summers of her
school-life, she took her daily course from a to zed, with-
out once dreaming but her whole duty consisted in echo-
ing back, with her own pretty lisp, each letter as it was
pronounced for her.
Nora Maylie was the youngest of five daughters, all
professional women, and notedly, eminently useful. I
will not say that Rachel, the eldest, could make a nice
dish of tea, or prepare a delicious jelly for a fevered lip;
but she could make dresses superbly. She was perfect
in her art. Not that she was obliged to make dresses-
by no means I Old farmer Maylie had enough in scrip
and granary for his family, with now and then a bit to
keep the poor around him from a surfeit of want ; but
that made no difference. Mrs Maylie hated not idleness
merely, but a tendency to dwell on the minutiae of life,


100






THE UNUSEFUL.


101


in preference to taking that decided stand indicative of a
woman of character. She was herself a notable house-
wife; and she had always privately regretted that she
could boast no higher excellence. She would have liked
well to figure more largely than was now in her power;
for, on account of the exclusively domestic character of
her education, the office of directress in a sewing society
was the highest that she had ever been able to assume.
She was a sensible woman, however, and not only wisely
kept her chagrin to herself, but when she saw that Ma-
tilda, her second daughter, evinced a fondness for such
vain pursuits as dressing dolls, and painting paper flowers
with sorrel-leaves and Indian strawberries, she at once
decided that the child had a great genius in the millinery
line. Susan and Mary had a predilection for intellectu-
ality, and took to books as readily and naturally as ducks
take to the genial pool while yet in pen-feathers ; and so,
of course, they must be teachers-school-teachers-the
most useful of all the multitudes of useful people the
world contains. But little Nora (Mrs Maylie's diminutive
for Eleanora), as I have said, was an anomaly. At four,
she took patch-work to school; but poor Nora I She
couldn't see into the philosophy of over-and-over seams.
She would rather spread the pretty calicoes on her knee,
and admire their bright colouring, or twist them up into
dolls with paper heads, and closely-pined drapery. Then
she was particularly given to losing thimbles, and knotting
thread; and her needle, however clumsy, was always
bent or broken at the point-the legitimate result of her
devotion to badly cracked hickory nuts. And then such
stitches Why the little girls laughed till the tears came






THE UNUSEFUL.


into their eyes from very merriment at the sight; but
when they saw the big drops standing in hers, they all
patted her velvet cheeks lovingly, and smoothed her hang-
ing hair; and if they found her inconsolable, made a
chair with their crossed hands and bore her away in
triumph to the play-ground. In their wise, confidential
talks, they used to say that Nora Maylie was just the
dearest little creature in the world, but it was a great
pity she could not sew. As some compensation for my
little friend's deficiencies, I should like to be able to say
that she was a good scholar; but no assertion could have
less truth in it--she was just no scholar at all. And yet
I am not certain but a careful observer of human nature,
even though less shrewd than the worldly-minded mother,
might have detected, in this very backwardness, this re-
fusal to trammel the mind with that which seemed in no
wise calculated to enrich it, the germ of a higher order
of intellect than common minds appreciate. As it was,
however, there was no one near to raise the one fold of
ignorance from the beautifying soul beneath; and so Nora
was judged by her non-attainments. How heartily she
hated the monotonous a, b, c, and the smart, flippant
a b ab, e b eb, i b ib, that made her companions' tongues
resemble so many mill-clappers. When, by dint of con-
stant dinging, she could make out the words of a few easy
sentences, such as "no-man-may-put-off-the-
law-of-God," she still evinced the same dead level of
intellect, and hated her books, and hated (as poor Mrs
Maylie often despairingly observed) everything that was
useful. But Nora did not hate to follow her mother
through the routine of her day's labour; to run for the


102




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