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Spare him, for the love of that God you worship ! Spare him ! " 

Lionel Lincoln, page 122. 






First let me talk with this philosopher 



Urtv. Library, UCSartaCwz 1995 









An unbroken intimacy of four-and-twenty years may justify the pre*?nt 
use of your name. A man of readier wit than myself might, on such 
a subject, find an opportunity of saying something clever, concerning 'he 
exalted services of your father. No weak testimony of mine, however, 
can add to a fame that belongs already to posterity : and one like myself, 
who has so long known the merits, and has so often experienced the 
friendship of the son, can find even better reasons for offering these 
Legends to your notice. 

Very truly and constantly, 




THE manner in which the author became possessed of 
the private incidents, the characters, and the descriptions, 
contained in these tales, will, most probably, ever remain 
a secret between himself and his publisher. That the 
leading events are true, he presumes it is unnecessary to 
assert ; for should inherent testimony, to prove that im- 
portant point, be wanting, he is conscious that no anony- 
mous declaration can establish its credibility. 

But while he shrinks from directly yielding his authori- 
ties, the author has no hesitation in furnishing all the nega- 
:ive testimony in his power. 

In the first place, then, he solemnly declares, that no 
unknown man, nor w r oman, has ever died in his vicinity, 
of whose effects he has become the possessor, by either fair 
means or foul. No dark-looking stranger, of a morbid 
temperament, and of inflexible silence, has ever transmitted 
to him a single page of illegible manuscript. Nor has any 
landlord furnished him with materials to be worked up into 
a book, in order that the profits might go to discharge the 
arrearages of a certain consumptive lodger, who made his 
exit so unceremoniously as to leave the last item in his ac- 
count, his funeral charges. 

He is indebted to no garrulous tale-teller for beguiling 
the long winter evenings ; in ghosts he has no faith ; he 
never had a vision in his life ; and he sleeps too soundly 
to dream. 

He is constrained to add, that in no "puff," "squib," 
" notice," " article," nor " review," whether in daily, weekly, 
monthly, or quarterly publication, has he been able to find 
a single hint that his humble powers could improve. 
No one regrets this fatality more than himself ; for these 
writers generally bring such a weight of imagination to 
their several tasks, that, properly improved, might secure 
the immortality of any book, by rendering it unintelligible. 


He boldly asserts that he has derived no information from 
any of the learned societies and without fear of contra- 
diction ; for why should one so obscure be the exclusive 
object of their favors ! 

Notwithstanding he occasionally is seen in that erudite 
and abstemious association, the " Bread -and - Cheese 
Lunch," where he is elbowed by lawyers, doctors, jurists, 
poets, painters, editors, congressmen, and authors of every 
shade and qualification, whether metaphysical, scientific, or 
imaginative, he avers, that he esteems the lore which is 
there culled, as far too sacred to be used in any work less 
dignified than actual history. 

Of the colleges it is necessary to speak with reverence ; 
though truth possesses claims even superior to gratitude. 
He shall dispose of them by simply saying, that they are 
entirely innocent of all his blunders ; the little they be- 
stowed having long since been forgotten. 

He has stolen no images from the deep, natural poetry 
of Bryant ! no pungency from the wit of Halleck ; no fe- 
licity of expression from the richness of Percival ; no satire 
from the caustic pen of Paulding; no periods nor humor 
from Irving ; nor any high finish from the attainments ex- 
hibited by Verplanck. 

At the "soirees" and " coteries des bas bleus " he did 
think he had obtained a prize, in the dandies of literature, 
who haunt them. But experiment and analysis detected 
his error ; as they proved these worthies unfit for any bet- 
ter purpose than that which their own instinct had already 

He has made no impious attempt to rob Joe Miller of 
his jokes ; the sentimentalists of their pathos ; nor the 
newspaper Homers of their lofty inspirations. 

His presumption has not even imagined the vivacity of 
the, eastern states ; he has not analyzed the homogeneous 
character of the middle ; and he has left the south in the 
undisturbed possession of all their saturnine wit. 

In short he has pilfered from no black-letter book, nor 
any six-penny pamphlet; his grandmother unnaturally re- 
fused her assistance to his labors; and, to speak affirmative- 
ly, for once, he wishes to live in peace, and hopes to die in 
the fear of God. 


IN this tale there are one or two slight anachronisms: 
which, if unnoticed, might, with literal readers, draw some 
unpleasant imputations on its veracity They relate rather 
to persons than to things. As they are believed to be 
quite in character, connected with circumstances much 
more probable than facts, and to possess all the harmony 
of poetic coloring, the author is utterly unable to discover 
the reason why they are not true. 

He leaves the knotty point to the instinctive sagacity of 
the critics. 

The matter of this "Legend " may be pretty equally di- 
vided into that which is publicly, and that which is pri- 
vately certain. For the authorities of the latter, the 
author refers to the foregoing preface ; but he cannot dis- 
pose of the sources whence he has derived the former, 
with so little ceremony. 

The good people of Boston are aware of the creditable 
appearance they make in the early annals of the confeder- 
ation, and they neglect no commendable means to per- 
petuate the glories of their ancestors. In consequence, 
the inquiry after historical facts, is answered, there, by an 
exhibition of local publications, that no other town in the 
Union can equal. Of these means the author has endeav- 
ored to avail himself ; collating with care, and selecting, 
as he trusts, with some of that knowledge of men and 
things which is necessary to present a faithful picture. 

Wherever he may have failed, he has done it honestly. 

Fie will not take leave of the " cradle of liberty," with- 
out expressing his thanks for the facilities which have been 
so freely accorded to his undertaking. If he has not been 
visited by aerial beings, and those fair visions that poets 
best love to create, he is certain he will not be miscon- 
ceived when he says, that he has been honored by the notice 
of some resembling those, who first inspired their fancies. 




"My weary soul they seem to soothe, 
And, redolent of joy and youth, 
To breathe a second spring." GRAY. 

No American can be ignorant of the principal events 
that induced the Parliament of Great Britain, in 1774, to 
lay those impolitic restrictions on the port of Boston, 
which so effectually destroyed the trade of the chief town 
in her western colonies. Nor should it be unknown to 
any American, how nobly, and with what devotedness to 
the great principles of the controversy, the inhabitants of 
the adjacent town of Salem refused to profit by the situa- 
tion of their neighbors and fellow-subjects. In consequence 
of these impolitic measures of the English government, 
and of the laudable unanimity among the capitalists of the 
times, it became a rare sight to see the canvas of any 
other vessels than such as wore the pennants of the king, 
whitening the forsaken waters of Massachusetts Bay. 

Toward the decline of a day in April, 1775, however, 
the eyes of hundreds had been fastened on a distant sail, 
which was seen rising from the bosom of the waves, mak- 
ing her way along the forbidden track, nnd steering directly 
for the mouth of the proscribed haven. With that deep 
solicitude in passing events which marked the period, a 
large group of spectators was collected on Beacon Hill, 
spreading from its conical summit far down the eastern 
declivity, all gazing intently on the object of their com- 
mon interest. In so large an assemblage, however, there 


were those who were excited by very different feelings, 
and indulging in wishes directly opposite to each other. 
While the decent, grave, but wary citizen was endeavor- 
ing to conceal the bitterness of the sensations which 
soured his mind, under the appearance of a cold indif- 
ference, a few gay young men, who mingled in the throng, 
bearing about their persons the trappings of their martial 
profession, were loud in their exultations, and hearty in 
their congratulations on the prospect of hearing from their 
distant homes and absent friends. But the long, loud rolls 
of the drums, ascending on the evening air, from the ad- 
jacent common, soon called these idle spectators, in a body, 
from the spot, when the hill was left to the quiet posses- 
sion of those who claimed the strongest right to its enjoy- 
ment. It was not, however, a period for open and unre- 
served communications. Long before the mists of evening 
had succeeded the shadows thrown from the setting sun, 
the hill was entirely deserted ; the remainder of the spec- 
tators having descended from the eminence, and held their 
several courses, singly, silent, and thoughtful, toward the 
rows of dusky roofs that covered the lowland, along the 
eastern side of the peninsula. Notwithstanding this ap- 
pearance of apathy, rumor, which, in times of great ex- 
citement, ever finds means to convey its whisperings, when 
it dare not bruit its information aloud, was busy in circu- 
lating the unwelcome intelligence, that the stranger was 
the first of a fleet, bringing stores and reinforcements to 
an army already too numerous, and too confident of its 
power, to respect the law. No tumult or noise succeeded 
this unpleasant annunciation, but the doors of the houses 
were sullenly closed, and the windows darkened, as if the 
people intended to express their dissatisfaction, alone, by 
these silent testimonials of their disgust. 

In the meantime the ship had gained the rocky entrance 
to the harbor, where, deserted by the breeze, and met by an 
adverse tide, she lay inactive, as if conscious of the unwel- 
come reception she must receive. The fears of the inhab- 
itants of Boston had, however, exaggerated the danger ; for 
the vessel, instead of exhibiting the confused and disor- 
derly throng of licentious soldiery, which would have 
crowded a transport, was but thinly peopled, and her or- 
derly decks were cleared of every incumbrance that could 
interfere with the comfort of those she did contain. There 
was an appearance, in the arrangements of her external 
accommodations, which would have indicated to an ob- 


servant eye, that she carried those who claimed the rank, 
or possessed the means, of making others contribute 
largely to their comforts. The few seamen who navigated 
the ship lay extended on different portions of the vessel, 
watching the lazy sails as they flapped against the masts, 
or indolently bending their looks on the placid waters of 
the bay ; while several menials, in livery, crowded around 
a young man who was putting his eager inquiries to the 
pilot, that had just boarded the vessel off the Graves. The 
dress of this youth was studiously neat,' and from the ex- 
cessive pains bestowed on its adjustment, it was obviously 
deemed, by its wearer, to be in the height of the prevail- 
ing customs. From the place where this inquisitive party 
stood, nigh the main-mast, a wide sweep of the quarter- 
deck was untenanted ; but nearer to the spot where the 
listless seaman hung icily over the tiller of the ship, stood 
a being of altogether different mould and fashion. He was 
a man who would have seemed in the very extremity of 
age, had not his quick, vigorous steps, and the glowing, 
rapid glances from his eyes, as he occasionally paced the 
deck, appeared to deny the usual indications of many years. 
His form was bowed, and attenuated nearly to emaciation. 
His hair, which fluttered a little wildly around his temples, 
was thin, and silvered to the whiteness of at least eighty 
winters. Deep furrows, like the lines of great age and 
long endured cares united, wrinkled his hollow cheeks, and 
rendered the bold haughty outline of his prominent feat- 
ures still more remarkable. He was clad in a simple and 
somewhat tarnished suit of modest gray, which bore about 
it the ill-concealed marks of long and neglected use. When- 
ever he turned his piercing look from the shores, he moved 
swiftly along the deserted quarter-deck, and seemed en- 
tirely engrossed with the force of his own thoughts, his 
lips moving rapidly, though no sounds were heard to issue 
from a mouth that was habitually silent. He was under 
the influence of one of those sudden impulses, in which the 
body, apparently, sympathized so keenly with the restless 
activity of the mind", when a young man ascended from the 
cabin and took his stand among the interested and excited 
gazers at the land, on the upper deck. The age of this 
gentleman might have been five and twenty. He wore a 
military cloak, thrown carelessly across his form, which, 
in addition to such parts of his dress as were visible 
through its open folds, sufficiently announced that his pro- 
fession was that of arms. There was an air of ease 


high fashion gleaming about his person, though his speak- 
ing countenance, at times, seemed melancholy, if not sad. 
On gaining the deck, this young officer, encountering the 
eyes of the aged and restless being who trod its planks, 
bowed courteously before he turned away to the view, and 
in his turn became deeply absorbed in studying its fading 

The rounded heights of Dorchester were radiant with 
the rays of the luminary that had just sunk behind their 
crest, and streaks of paler light were playing along the 
waters, and gilding the green summits of the islands which 
clustered across the mouth of the estuary. Far in the dis- 
tance were to be seen the tall spires of the churches, rising 
out of the deep shadows of the town, with their vanes glit- 
tering in the sunbeams, while a few rays of strong light 
were dancing about the black beacon, which reared itself 
high above the conical peak, that took its name from the 
circumstance of supporting this instrument of alarms. 
Several large vessels were anchored among the islands and 
before the town, their dark hulls, at each moment, becom- 
ing less distinct through the haze of evening, while the 
summits of their long lines of masts were yet glowing with 
the marks of day. From each of these sullen ships, from 
the low fortification which rose above a small island deep 
in the bay, and from various elevations in the town itself, 
the broad, silky folds of the flag of England were yet wav- 
ing in the currents of the passing air. The young man 
was suddenly aroused from gazing at this scene, by the 
quick reports of the evening guns, and while his eyes were 
yet tracing the descent of the proud symbols of the British 
power from their respective places of display, he felt his 
arm convulsively pressed by the hand of his aged fellow- 

" Will the day ever arrive," said a low, hollow voice at 
his elbow, "when those flags shall be lowered, never to rise 
again in this hemisphere ! " 

The young soldier turned his quick eyes to the counte- 
nance of the speaker, but bent them instantly in embarrass- 
ment on the deck, to avoid the keen, searching glance he 
encountered in the looks of the other. A long, and, on the 
part of the young man, a painful silence succeeded this 
remark. At length the youth, pointing to the land, said 

" Tell me, you who are of Boston, and must have 
known it so long, the names of all these beautiful places J 


" And are you not of Boston, too ? " asked his old com- 

" Certainly by birth, but an Englishman by habit and 

" Accursed be the habits, and neglected the education, 
which would teach a child to forget its parentage ! " mut- 
tered the old man, turning suddenly, and walking away 
so rapidly as to be soon lost in the forward parts of the 

For several minutes longer the youth stood absorbed in 
his own musings, when, as if recollecting his previous pur- 
poses, he called aloud " Meriton ! " 

At the sounds of his voice the curious group around the 
pilot instantly separated, and the highly ornamented youth, 
before mentioned, approached the officer, with a manner 
in which pert familiarity and fearful respect were pecu- 
liarly blended. Without regarding the air of the other, 
however, or indeed without even favoring him with a 
glance, the young soldier continued 

" I desired you to detain the boat which boarded us, in 
order to convey me to the town, Mr. Meriton ; see if it be 
in readiness." 

The valet flew to execute this commission, and in an in- 
stant returned with a reply in the affirmative. 

" But, sir," he continued, " you will never think of going 
in that boat, I feel very much assured, sir." 

" Your assurance, Mr. Meriton, is not the least of your 
recommendations ; why should I not?" 

" That disagreeable old stranger has taken possession of 
it, with his mean, filthy bundle of rags ; and " 

''And what? you must name a greater evil, to detain 
me here, than mentioning the fact that the only gentle- 
man in the ship is to be my companion." 

" Lord, sir!" said Meriton, glancing his eye upward in 
amazement ; " but, sir, surely you know best as to gentil- 
ity of behavior but as to gentility of dress " 

" Enough of this," interrupted his master, a little an- 

frily ; " the company is such as I am content with ; if you 
nd it unequal to your deserts, you have my permission 
to remain in the ship until the morning the presence of 
a coxcomb is by no means necessary to my comfort for 
one night." 

Without regarding the mortification of his disconcerted 
valet, the young man passed along the deck to the place 
where the boat was in waiting. By the general movement 


among the indolent menials, and the profound respect 
with which he was attended by the master of the ship to 
the gangway, it was sufficiently apparent, that, notwith- 
standing his youth, it was this gentleman whose presence 
had exacted those arrangements in the ship, which have 
been mentioned. While all around him, however, were 
busy in facilitating the entrance of the officer into the 
boat, the aged stranger occupied its principal seat, with 
an air of deep abstraction, if not of cool indifference. A 
hint from the pliant Meriton, who had ventured to follow 
his master, that it would be more agreeable if he would 
relinquish his place, was disregarded, and the youth took 
a seat by the side of the old man, with a simplicity of man- 
ner that his valet inwardly pronounced abundantly de- 
grading. As if this humiliation were not sufficient, the 
young man, perceiving that a general pause had succeeded 
his own entrance, turned to his companion, and courteously 
inquired if he were ready to proceed. A silent wave of 
the hand was the reply, when the boat shot away from the 
vessel, leaving the ship steering for an anchorage in Nan- 

The measured dash of the oars was uninterrupted by 
any voice, while, stemming the tide, they pulled labori- 
ously up among the islands ; but by the time they had 
reached the castle, the twilight had melted into the softer 
beams from a young moon, and the surrounding objects 
becoming more distinct, the stranger commenced talking 
with that quick and startling vehemence whicli seemed his 
natural manner. He spoke of the localities, with the ve- 
hemence and fondness of an enthusiast, and with the 
familiarity of one who had long known their beauties. 
His rapid utterance, however, ceased as they approached 
the naked wharves, and he sunk back gloomily in the 
boat, as if unwilling to trust his voice on the subject of 
his country's wrongs. Thus left to his own thoughts, the 
youth gazed, with eager interest, at the long ranges of 
buildings, which were now clearly visible to the eye, 
though with softer colors and more gloomy shadows. A 
few neglected and dismantled ships were lying at different 
points ; but the hum of business, the forests of masts, and 
the rattling of wheels, which at that early hour should 
have distinguished the great mart of the colonies, were 
wanting. In their places were to be heard, at intervals, 
the sudden bursts of distant, martial music, the riotous 
merriment of the soldiery who frequented the taverns at 


the water's edge, or the sullen challenges of the sentinels 
from the vessels of war, as they vexed the progress of the 
few boats, which the inhabitants still used in their ordi- 
nary pursuits. 

" Here indeed is a change ! " the young officer exclaimed, 
as they glided swiftly along this desolate scene ; " even my 
recollections, young and fading as they are, recall the dif- 
ference !" 

The stranger made no reply, but a smile of singular 
meaning gleamed across his \van features, imparting, by 
the moonlight, to their remarkable expression, a character 
of additional wildness. The officer was again silent, nor 
did either speak until the boat, having shot by the end of 
the long wharf, across whose naked boundaries a sentinel 
was pacing his measured path, inclined more to the shore, 
and soon reached the place of its destination. 

Whatever might have been the respective feelings of the 
two passengers, at having thus reached in safety the object 
of their tiresome and protracted voyage, they were not ex- 
pressed in language. The old man bared his silver locks, 
and, concealing his face with his hat, stood as if in deep 
mental thanksgiving at the termination of his toil, while 
his more youthful companion trod* the wharf on which 
they landed with the air of a man whose emotions were 
too engrossing for the ordinary use of words. 

" Here we must part, sir," the officer at length said ; 
" but I trust the acquaintance, which has been thus acci- 
dentally formed between us, is not to be forgotten now 
there is an end to our common privations." 

" It is not in the power of a man whose days, like mine, 
are numbered," returned the stranger, " to mock the liber- 
ality of his God, by any vain promises that must depend 
on time for their fulfilment. I am one, young gentleman, 
who has returned from a sad, sad pilgrimage, in the other 
hemisphere, to lay his bones in this, his native land ; but 
should many hours be granted me, you will hear further of 
the man whom your courtesy and kindness have so greatly 

The officer was sensibly affected by the softened but 
solemn manner of his companion, and pressed his wasted 
hand fervently as he answered 

" Do ; I ask it as a singular favor ; I know not why, but 
you have obtained a command of my feelings that no other 
being ever yet possessed and yet 'tis a mystery, 'tis like 
a dream ! I feel that I not only venerate, but love you ! " 


The old man stepped back, and held the youth at the 
length of his arm for a moment, while he fastened on him 
a look of glowing interest, and then, raising his hand 
slowly, he pointed impressively upward, and said 

" 'Tis from heaven, and for God's own purposes smother 
not the sentiment, boy, but cherish it in your heart's core ! " 

The reply of the youth was interrupted by sudden and 
violent shrieks, that burst rudely on the stillness of the 
place, chilling the very blood of those who heard them, 
with their piteousness. The quick and severe blows of a 
lash were blended with the exclamations of the sufferer, 
and rude oaths, with hoarse execrations, from various 
voices, were united in the uproar, which appeared to be at 
no great distance. By a common impulse, the whole party 
broke away from the spot, and moved rapidly up the wharf 
in the direction of the sounds. As they approached the 
buildings, a group was seen collected around the man, 
who thus broke the charm of evening by his cries, inter- 
rupting his wailings with their ribaldry, and encouraging 
his tormentors to proceed. 

"Mercy, mercy, for -'the sake of the blessed God, have 
mercy, and don't kill Job!" again shrieked the sufferer ; 
" Job will run your a-'r'nds ! Job is half-witted ! Mercy on 
poor Job ! Oh ! you make his flesh creep ! " 

" I'll cut the heart from the mutinous knave," interrupted 
a hoarse, angry voice, "to refuse to drink the health of his 
majesty ! " 

"Job does wish him good health Job loves the king 
only Job don't love rum." 

The officer had approached so nigh as to perceive that 
the whole scene was one of disorder and abuse, and push- 
ing aside the crowd of excited and deriding soldiers, who 
composed the throng, he broke at once into the centre of 
the circle. 


"They'll have me whipped for speaking true ; 
Thoul't have me whipped for lying ; 
And sometimes I'm whipped for holding my peace. 
I had rather be any kind of a thing 
Than a fool." Lear. 

" WHAT means this outcry ? " demanded the young man, 
arresting the arm of an infuriated soldier, who was inflicting 
the blows ; " by what authority is this man thus abused ? " 


" By what authority dare you lay hands on a British 
grenadier ? " cried the fellow, turning in his fury, and rais- 
ing his lash against the supposed townsman. But when, 
as the officer stepped aside to avoid the threatened indig- 
nity, the light of the moon fell full upon his glittering 
dress, through the opening folds of his cloak, the arm of 
the brutal soldier was held suspended in air, with the sur- 
prise of the discovery. 

"Answer, I bid you," continued the young officer, his 
frame shaking with passion ; "why is this man tormented, 
and of what regiment are ye ? " 

"We belong to the grenadiers of the brave 47th, your 
honor," returned one of the bystanders, in a humble, dep- 
recating tone, " and we was just polishing this 'ere natural, 
because as he refuses to drink the health of his majesty." 

" He's a scornful sinner, that don't fear his Maker," cried 
the man in duress, eagerly bending his face, down which 
big tears were rolling, towards his protector. "Job loves 
the king, but Job don't love rum ! " 

The officer turned away from the cruel spectacle, as he 
bid the men untie the prisoner. Knives and fingers were 
instantly put in requisition, and the man was liberated, 
and suffered to resume his clothes. During this operation, 
the tumult and bustle, which had so recently distinguished 
the riotous scene, were succeeded by a stillness that ren- 
dered the hard breathing of the sufferer painfully audible. 

" Now sirs, you heroes of the 47th ! " said the young 
man, when the victim of their rage was again clad, " know 
you this button ? " The soldier, to whom this question 
was more particularly addressed, gazed at the extended 
arm, and, to his vast discomfiture, he beheld the magical 
number of his own regiment reposing on the well-known 
white facings that decorated the rich scarlet of the vest- 
ment. No one presumed to answer this appeal, and after 
an impressive silence of a few moments, he continued 

"Ye are noble 'supporters of the well-earned fame ol 
* Wolfe's own ! ' fit successors to the gallant men who con- 
quered under the walls of Quebec ! away with ye ; to- 
morrow it shall be looked to." 

" I hope your honor will remember he refused his maj- 
esty's health. I'm sure, sir, that if Colonel Nesbitt was 
here himself " 

" Dog ! do you dare to hesitate ! go, while you have per- 
mission to depart." 

The disconcerted soldierv, whose turbulence had thus 


vanished, as if by enchantment, before the frown of theii 
superior, slunk away in a body, a few of the older men 
whispering to their comrades the name of the officer, wha 
had thus unexpectedly appeared in the midst of them. 
The angry eye of the young soldier followed their retiring 
forms, while a man of them was visible ; after which, turn- 
ing to an elderly citizen, who, supported on a crutch, had 
been a spectator of the scene, he asked 

"Know you the cause of the cruel treatment this poor 
man has received ? or what in any manner has led to the 
violence ? " 

"The boy is weak," returned the cripple; "quite an 
innocent, who knows but little good, but does no harm. 
The soldiers have been carousing in yonder dram-shop, 
and they often get the poor lad in with them, and sport 
with his infirmity. If these sorts of doings an't checked, I 
fear much trouble will grow out of them ! Hard laws from 
t'other side of the water, and tarring and feathering on 
this, with gentlemen like Colonel Nesbitt at their head, 
will " 

" It is wisest for us, my friend, to pursue this subject no 
further," interrupted the officer. "I belong myself to 
'Wolfe's own,' and will endeavor to see justice done in the 
matter ; as you will credit when I tell you that I am a 
Boston boy. But, though a native, a long absence has 
obliterated the marks of the town from my memory ; and I 
aTh at a loss to thread these crooked streets. Know you 
the dwelling of Mrs. Lechmere ?" 

" The house is well known to all in Boston," returned 
the cripple, in a voice sensibly altered by the information 
that he was speaking to a townsman. " Job, here, does 
but little else than run of errands, and he will show you the 
way out of gratitude ; won't you, Job ?" 

The idiot, for the vacant eye and unmeaning boyish 
countenance of the young man who had just been liber- 
ated but too plainly indicated that he was to be included 
in that miserable class of human beings, answered with a 
caution and reluctance that were a little remarkable, con- 
sidering the recent circumstances. 

" Ma'am Lechmere's ! Oh ! yes, Job knows the way, 
and could go there blindfolded, if if " 

"If what, you simpleton ! " exclaimed the zealous 

"Why, if 'twas daylight." 

" Blindfolded, and daylight ! do but hear the silly child 1 


Come, Job, you must take this gentleman to Tremont 
Street, without further words. Tis but just sundown, 
boy, and you can go there and be home and in your bed 
before the Old South strikes eight ! " 

" Yes ; that all depends on which way you go," returned 
the reluctant changeling. "Now, I know, neighbor Hop- 
per, you couldn't go to Ma'am Lechmere's in an hour, if 
you went along Lynn Street, and so along Prince Street, 
and back through Snow-Hill ; and especially if you should 
stop any time to look at the graves on Copp's." 

" Pshaw! the fool is in one of his sulks now, with his 
Copp's-Hill, and the graves!" interrupted the cripple, 
whose heart had warmed to his youthful townsman, and 
who would have volunteered to show the way himself, 
had his infirmities permitted the exertion. . " The gentle- 
man must call the grenadiers back, to bring the child to 

" 'Tis quite unnecessary to be harsh with the unfortu- 
nate lad," said the young soldier ; " my recollections will 
probably aid me as I advance ; and should they not, I can 
inquire of any passenger I meet." 

" If Boston was what Boston has been, you might ask 
such a question of a civil inhabitant, at any corner," said 
the cripple ; "but it's rare to see many of our people in 
the streets at this hour, since the massacre. Besides, it is 
Saturday night, you know ; a fit time for these rioters to 
choose for their revelries! For that matter, the soldiers 
have grown more insolent than ever, since they have met 
that disappointment about the cannon down at Salem ; 
but I needn't tell such as you what the soldiers are when 
they get a little savage." 

"I know my comrades but indifferently well, if their 
conduct to-night be any specimen of their ordinary de- 
meanor, sir," returned the officer ; " but follow, Meriton ; 
I apprehend no great difficulty in our path." 

The pliant valet lifted the cloak-bag he carried, from the 
ground, and they were about to proceed, when the nat- 
ural edged himself in a sidelong, slovenly manner, nigher 
to the gentleman, and looked earnestly up in his face for 
a moment, where he seemed to be gathering confidence to 
say " Job will show the officer Ma'am Lechmere's, if the 
officer won't let the grannies catch Job afore he gets off .the 
North End ag'in." 

" Ah ! " said the young man, laughing, ''there is some- 
thing of the cunning of a fool in that arrangement. Well, 


I accept the conditions ; but beware how you take me to 
contemplate the graves by moonlight, or I shall deliver 
you not only to the grannies, but to the light infantry, 
artillery, and all." 

With this good-natured threat, the officer followed his 
nimble conductor, after taking a friendly leave of the 
obliging cripple, who continued his admonitions to the 
natural, not to wander from the direct route, while the 
sounds of his voice were audible to the retiring party. 
The progress of his guide was so rapid as to require the 
young officer to confine his survey of the narrow and 
crooked streets through which they passed, to extremely 
hasty and imperfect glances. No very minute observa- 
tion, however, was necessary to perceive that he was led 
along one of the most filthy and inferior sections of the 
town ; and where, notwithstanding his efforts, he found it 
impossible to recall a single feature of his native place to 
his remembrance. The complaints of Meriton, who fol- 
lowed close at the heels of his master, were loud and fre- 
quent, until the gentleman, a little doubting the sincerity 
of his intractable conductor, exclaimed 

" Have you nothing better than this to show a townsman, 
who has been absent seventeen years, on his return ? Pray 
let us go through some better streets than this, if any there 
are in Boston which can be called better." 

The lad stopped short, and looked up in the face of the 
speaker, for an instant, with an air of undisguised amaze- 
ment, and then, without replying, he changed the direction 
of his route, and after one or two more deviations in his 
path, suddenly turning again, he glided up an alley, so 
narrow that the passenger might touch the buildings on 
either side of him. The officer hesitated an instant to 
enter this dark and crooked passage, but perceiving that 
his guide was already hid by a bend in the houses, he 
quickened his steps, and immediately regained the ground 
he had lost. They soon emerged from the obscurity of the 
place, and issued on a street of greater width. 

" There ! " said Job, triumphantly, when they had effect- 
ed this gloomy passage, " does the king live in so crooked 
and narrow a street as that ? " 

" His majesty must yield the point in your favor," re* 
turned the officer. 

" Ma'am Lechmere is a grand lady ! " continued the lad, 
seemingly following the current of his own fanciful con- 
ceits, "and she wouldn'c live in that alley for the world, 


though it is narrow, like the road to heaven, as old Nab 
says ; I suppose they call it after the Methodies for that 

" I have heard the road you mention termed narrow, cer- 
tainly, but it is also called strait" returned the officer, a 
little amused with the humor of the lad ; "but forward, the 
time is slipping away, and we loiter." 

Again Job turned, and moving onward, he led the way, 
with swift steps, along another narrow and crooked path, 
\vhich, however, better deserved the name of a street, under 
the projecting stories of the wooden buildings, which lined 
its sides. After following the irregular windings of their 
route for some distance, they entered a triangular area, of 
a few rods in extent, where Job, disregarding the use of 
the narrow walk, advanced directly into the centre of the 
open space. Here he stopped once more, and, turning his 
vacant face with an air of much seriousness, towards a 
building which composed one side of the triangle, he said, 
with a voice that expressed his own deep admiration 

>* There that's the ' Old North ! ' did you ever see such 
a meetin'us' afore ? does the king worship God in such a 
temple ?" 

The officer did not chide the idle liberties of the fool, for 
in the antiquated and quaint architecture of the wooden 
edifice he recognized one of those early efforts of the 
simple, puritan builders, whose rude tastes have been 
transmitted to their posterity with so many, deviations in 
the style of the same school, but so little of improvement. 
Blended with these considerations, were the dawnings of 
revived recollections ; and he smiled, as he recalled the 
time when he also used to look up at the building with 
feelings somewhat allied to the profound admiration of the 
idiot. Job watched his countenance narrowly, and easily 
mistaking its expression, he extended his arm toward one 
of the narrowest of the avenues that entered the area, where 
stood a few houses of more than common pretension. 

"And there ag'in!" he continued, "there's palaces for 
you ! stingy Tommy lived in the one with the pile-axters, 
and the flowers hanging to their tops ; and see the crowns 
on them too ! stingy Tommy loved crowns, they say ; but 
Province'us' wasn't good enough for him, and he lived 
here now they say he lives in one of the king's cup- 
boards ! " 

" And who was stingy Tommy ? and what right had he 
to dwell in Province-House, if he would ?" 


" What right has any governor to live in Province'us' i 
because it's the king's! though the people paid for it." 

" Pray, sir, excuse me," said Meriton, from behind, " but 
do the Americans usually call all their governors stingy 
Tommies ? " 

The officer turned his head, at this vapid question, from 
his valet, and perceived that he had been accompanied 
thus far by the aged stranger, who stood at lib elbow, lean- 
ing on his staff, studying with close attention the late 
dwelling of Hutchinson, while the light of the moon fell, 
unobstructed, on the deep lines of his haggard face. Dur- 
ing the first surprise of this discovery, he forgot to reply, 
and Job took the vindication of his language into his own 

"To be sure they do they call people by their right 
names," he said. " Insygn Peck is called Insygn Peck ; 
and you call Deacon Winslow anything but Deacon Win- 
slow, and see what a look he'll give you ! and I am Job 
Pray, so called ; and why shouldn't a governor be called 
stingy Tommy, if he is a stingy Tommy ?" 

" Be careful how you speak lightly of the king's repre- 
sentative," said the young officer, raising his light cane 
with the affectation of correcting the changeling. " For- 
get you that I am a soldier ? " 

The idiot shrunk back a little, timidly, and then leering 
from under his sunken brow, he answered 

" I heard you say you were a Boston boy ! " 

The gentleman was about to make a playful reply, when 
the aged stranger passed quickly before him, and took his 
stand at the side of the lad, with a manner so remarkable 
for its earnestness, that it entirely changed the current of 
his thoughts. 

" The young man knows the ties of blood and country," 
the stranger muttered, " and I honor him ! " 

It might have been the sudden recollection of the dan- 
ger of those allusions, which the officer so well understood, 
and to which his accidental association with the singular 
being who uttered them had begun to familiarize his ear, 
that induced the youth to resume his walk, silently, and in 
deep thought, along the street. By this movement, he es- 
caped observing the cordial grasp of the hand which the 
old stranger bestowed on the idiot, while he muttered a few 
more terms of commendation. Job soon took his station 
in front, and the whole party moved on again, though with 
less rapid strides. As the lad advanced deeper into the 


town, he evidently wavered once or twice in his choice of 
streets, and the officer began to suspect, that the change- 
ling contemplated one of his wild circuits, to avoid the 
direct route to a house that-he manifestly approached with 
great reluctance. Once or twice the young soldier looked 
about him, intending to inquire the direction, of the first 
passenger he might see ; but the quiet of deep night already 
pervaded the place, and not an individual, but those who 
accompanied him, appeared in the long ranges of streets 
they had passed. The air of the guide was becoming so 
dogged, and hestitating, that his follower had just deter- 
mined to make an application at one of the doors, when 
they emerged from a dark, dirty, and gloomy street on an 
open space, of much greater extent than the one they had 
so recently left. Passing under the walls of a blackened 
dwelling, Job led the way to the centre of a swinging 
bridge, which was thrown across an inlet from the harbor, 
that extended a short distance, into the area, forming a 
shallow dock. Here he took his stand, and allowed the 
view of the surrounding objects to work its own effect on 
those he had conducted thither. The square was com- 
posed of rows of low, gloomy, and irregular houses, most 
of which had the appearance of being but little used. 
Stretching from the end of the basin, and a little on one 
side, a long, narrow edifice, ornamented with pilasters, 
perforated with arched windows, and surmounted by a 
humble cupola, reared its walls of brick, under the light of 
the moon. The story which held the rows of silent, glis- 
tening windows, was supported on abutments and arches 
of the same material, through the narrow vistas of which 
were to be seen the shambles of the common market-place. 
Heavy cornices of stone were laid above and beneath the 
pilasters, and something more than the unskilful architect- 
ure of the dwelling houses they had passed, was affected 
throughout the whole structure. While the officer gazed 
at this scene, the idiot watched his countenance with a 
keenness exceeding his usual observation, until, impatient 
at hearing no words of pleasure or of recognition, he ex- 

" If you don't know Funnel Hall, you are no Boston 
boy ! " 

" But I do know Faneuil Hall, and I am a Boston boy," 
returned the amused gentleman ; " the place begins to 
freshen on my memory, and I now recall the scenes of my 


"This, then," said the aged stranger, "is the spot where 
liberty has found so many bold advocates ! " 

" It would do the king's heart good to hear the people 
talk in old Funnel, sometimes," said Job. " I was on the 
cornishes, and looked into the winders, the last town- 
meetin'-da', and if there was soldiers on the Common, there 
was them in the hall that didn't care for them ! " 

" All this is very amusing, no doubt," said the officer, 
gravely, " but it does not advance me a foot on my way to 
Mrs. Lechmere's." 

"It is also instructing," exclaimed the stranger; "go 
on, child ; I love to hear his simple feelings thus expressed ; 
they indicate the state of the public mind." 

" Why," said Job, " they were plain spoken, that's all ; 
and it would be better for the king to come over, and hear 
them it would pull down his pride, and make him pity 
the people, and then he wouldn't think of shutting up Bos- 
ton harbor. Suppose he should stop the water from com- 
ing in by the Narrows, why, we should get it by Broad 
Sound ! and if it didn't come by Broad Sound it would by 
Nantasket ! He needn't "think that the Boston folks are 
so dumb as to be cheated out of God's water by acts of 
Parliament, while old Funnel stands in the Dock Square ! " 
Sirrah!" exclaimed the officer, a little angrily, "we 
have already loitered until the clocks are striking eight. ' 

The idiot lost his animation, and lowered in his looks 
again, as he answered 

" Well, I told neighbor Hopper there was more ways to 
Ma'am Lechmere's than straight forward ! but everybody 
knows Job's business better than Job himself ! now you 
make me forget the road ; let us go in and ask old Nab ; 
she knows the way too well ! " 

" Old Nab ! you wilful dolt ! who is Nab, and what have 
I to do with any but yourself ? " 

" Everybody in Boston knows Abigail Pray." 

" What of her ? " asked the startling voice of the stranger ; 
" what of Abigail Pray, boy ; is she not honest ? " 

"Yes, as poverty can make her," returned the natural, 
gloomily ; " now the king has said there shall be no goods 
but tea sent to Boston, and the people won't have the 
bohea, it's easy living rent-free. Nab keeps her huckster- 
stuff in the old ware'us', and a good place it is too Job 
and his mother have each a room to sleep in, and they say 
the king and queen haven't more ! " 

While he was speaking, the eyes of his listeners were 


drawn by his gestures toward the singular edifice to which 
he alluded. Like most of the others adjacent to the 
square, it was low, old, dirty, and dark. Its shape was 
triangular, a street bounding it on each side, and its ex- 
tremities were flanked by as many low hexagonal towers, 
which terminated, like the main building itself, in high 
pointed roofs, tiled, and capped with rude ornaments. 
Long ranges of small windows were to be seen in the dusky 
walls, through one of which the light of a solitary candle 
was glimmering, the only indication of the presence of life 
about the silent and gloomy building. 

" Nab knows Ma'am Lechmere better than Job," con- 
tinued the idiot, after a moment's pause, "and she will 
know whether Ma'am Lechmere will have Job whipped 
for bringing company on Saturday night ; though they say 
she's so full of scoff ery as to talk, drink tea, and laugh on 
that night, just the same as any other time." 

" I will pledge myself to her courteous treatment," the 
officer replied, beginning to be weary of the fool's delay. 

" Let us see this Abigail Pray," cried the aged stranger, 
suddenly seizing Job by the arm, and leading him, with a 
sort of irresistible power, toward the walls of the building, 
through one of the low doors of which they immediately 

Thus left on the bridge, with his valet, the young officer 
hesitated a single instant how to act ; but yielding to the 
secret and powerful interest, which the stranger had suc- 
ceeded in throwing around all his movements and opinions, 
he bade Meriton await his return, and followed his guide 
and the old man into the cheerless habitation of the former. 
On passing the outer door, he found himself in a spacious, 
but rude apartment, which, from its appearance, as well as 
from the few articles of heavy but valueless merchandise it 
now contained, would seem to have been used once as a 
storehouse. The light drew his steps toward a room in one 
of the towers, where, as he approached its open door, he 
heard the loud, sharp tones of a woman's voice, exclaim- 

"Where have you been, graceless, this Saturday night! 
tagging at the heels of the soldiers, or gazing at the men- 
of-war, with their ungodly fashions of music and revelry 
at such a time, I dare to say ! and you knew that a ship 
was in the bay, and that Madam Lechmere had desired me 
to send her the first notice of its arrival. Here have I been 
waiting for you to go up toTremont Street since sundown, 


with the news, and you are out of call you, that know so 
well who it is she expects ! " 

" Don't be cross to Job, mother, for the grannies have 
been cutting his back with cords, till the blood runs ! 
Ma'am Lechmere ! I do believe, mother, that Ma'am Lech- 
mere has moved ; for I've been trying to find her house this 
hour, because there's a gentleman who landed from the 
ship wanted Job to show him the way." 

" What means the ignorant boy ! " exclaimed his mother. 
^ " He alludes to me," said the officer, entering the apart- 
ment ; " I am the person, if any, expected by Mrs. Lech- 
mere, and have just landed from the Avon, of Bristol ; but 
your son has led me a circuitous path, indeed ; at one time 
he spoke of visiting the graves on Copp's Hill." 

" Excuse the ignorant and witless child, sir," exclaimed 
the matron, eyeing the young man keenly through her 
spectacles ; " he knows the way as well as to his own bed, but 
he is wilful at times. This will be a joyful night in Tremont 
Street ! So handsome, and so stately too"! Excuse me, 
young gentleman," she added, raising the candle to his 
features with an evident unconsciousness of the act -" he 
has the sweet smile of the mother, and the terrible eye 
of his father ! God forgive us all 'our sins, and make us 
happier in another world than in this place of evil and 
wickedness ! " As she muttered the latter words, the 
woman set aside her candle with an air of singular agita- 
tion. Each syllable, notwithstanding her secret intention, 
was heard by the officer, across whose countenance there 
passed a sudden gloom that doubled its sad expression. 
He, however, said 

"You know me, and my family, then ?" 

"I was at your birth, young gentleman, and a joyful 
birth it was ! but Madam Lechmere waits for the news, 
and my unfortunate child shall speedily conduct you to her 
door ; she will tell you all that it is proper to know. Job, 
you Job, where are you getting to, in that corner ! take 
your hat, and show the gentleman to Tremont Street di- 
rectly , you know, my son, you love to go to Madam 
Lechmere's ! " 

"Job would never go, if Job could help it," muttered 
the sullen boy; "and if Nab had never gone, 'twould have 
been better for her soul." 

" Do you dare, disrespectful viper ! " exclaimed the angry 
quean, seizing, in the violence of her fury, the tongs, and 
threatening the head of her stubborn child. 


" Woman, peace!" said a voice behind. 

The dangerous weapon fell from the nerveless hand of 
the vixen, and the hues of her yellow and withered coun- 
tenance changed to the whiteness of death. She stood 
motionless, for near a minute, as if riveted to the spot by 
a superhuman power, before she succeeded in muttering, 
" who speaks to me ? " 

" It is I," returned the stranger, advancing from the 
shadow of the door into the dim light of the candle ; "a 
man who has numbered ages, and who knows, that as God 
loves him, so is he bound to love the children of his loins." 

The rigid limbs of the woman lost their stability, in a 
tremor that shook every fibre in her body ; she sunk in her 
chair, and her eyes rolled from the face of one visitor to that 
of the other, while her unsuccessful efforts to utter, denoted 
that she had temporarily lost the command of speech. 
Job stole to the side of the stranger, in this short interval, 
and looking up in his face piteously, he said 

" Don't hurt old Nab read that good saying to her out 
of the Bible, and she'll never strike Job with the tongs 
ag'in ; will you, mother ? See her cup, where she hid it 
under the towel, when you came in ! Ma'am Lechmere 
gives her the p'ison tea to drink, and then Nab is never so 
good to Job, as Job would be to mother, if mother was 
half-witted, and Job was old Nab." 

The stranger considered the moving countenance of the 
boy, while he pleaded thus earnestly in behalf of his mother, 
with marked attention, and when he had done, he stroked 
the head of the natural compassionately, and said 

" Poor, imbecile child ! God has denied the most pre- 
cious of his gifts, and yet his spirit hovers around thee ; 
for thou canst distinguish between austerity and kindness, 
and thou hast learnt to know good from evil. Young man, 
see you no moral in this dispensation ? nothing which says 
that Providence bestows no gift in vain ; while it points to 
the difference between the duty that is fostered by indul- 
gence, and that which is extorted by power ? " 

The officer avoided the ardent looks of the stranger, and 
after an embarrassing pause of a moment, he expressed 
his readiness, to the reviving woman, to depart on his way. 
The- matron, w r hose eye had never ceased to dwell on the 
features of the old man, since her faculties were restored, 
arose slowly, and in a feeble voice directed her son to 
show the road to Tremont Street. She had acquired, by 
long practice a manner that never failed to control, when 


pies ! " muttered the officer to himself. " Here then is 
half .a guinea, if you like gold better." 

The natural continued kicking a stone about with his 
toes, without taking his hands from the pockets where he 
wore them ordinarily, with a sort of idle air, as he peered 
from under his slouched hat at this renewed offer, an- 

" You wouldn't let the grannies whip Job, and Job 
won't take your money." 

"Well, boy, there is more of gratitude in that than y 
.wiser man would always feel ! Come, Meriton, I shall 
meet the poor fellow again, arid will not forget this. I 
commission you to see the lad better dressed, in the be- 
ginning of the week." 

" Lord, sir," said the valet, " if it is your pleasure, 
most certainly; but I declare I don't know in what style 
I should dress such a figure and countenance, to make 
anything of them ! " 

"Sir, sir," cried the lad, running a few steps after the 
officer, who had already proceeded, "if you won't let the 
grannies beat Job any more, Job will always show you the 
way through Boston ; and run your a'r'nds too ! " 

" Poor -fellow ! well, I promise that you shall not be 
again abused by any of the soldiery. Good night, my hon- 
est friend let me see you again." 

The idiot appeared satisfied with this assurance, for he 
immediately turned, and gliding along the street with a 
sort of shuffling gait, he soon disappeared round the first 
corner. In the meantime the young officer advanced to 
the entrance which led into the court-yard of Mrs. Lech- 
mere's dwelling. The house was of bricks, and of an ex- 
terior altogether more pretending than most of those in 
the lower parts of the town. It was heavily ornamented, 
in wood, according to the taste of a somewhat earlier day, 
and presented a front of seven windows in its two upper 
stories, those at the extremes being much narrower than 
the others. The lower floor had the same arrangement, 
with the exception of the principal door. 

Strong lights were shining in many parts of the house, 
which gave it, in comparison with the gloomy and dark- 
ened edifices in its vicinity, an air of peculiar gayety and 
life. The rap of the gentleman was answered instantly 
by an old black, dressed in a becoming, and what, for the 
colonies, was a rich livery. The inquiry for Mrs. Lech- 
mere was successful, and the youth was conducted through 


a hall 6f some dimensions, into an apartment which 
opened from one of its sides. This room would be consid- 
ered, at the present day, as much too small to contain the 
fashion of a country town ; but what importance it wanted 
in size, was amply compensated for in the richness and 
labor of its decorations. The walls were divided into 
compartments, by raised panel-work, beautifully painted 
with imaginary landscapes and ruins. The glittering, var- 
nished surfaces of these pictures were burdened with armo- 
rial bearings, \vhich were intended to illustrate the alli- 
ances of the family. Beneath the surbase were smaller 
divisions of panels, painted with various architectural de- 
vices ; and above it rose, between the compartments, fluted 
pilasters of wood with gilded capitals. A heavy wooden, 
and highly ornamented cornice, stretched above the whole, 
furnishing an appropriate outline to the walls. The use 
of carpets was, at that time, but little known in the colo- 
nies, though the wealth and station of Mrs. Lechmere would 
probably have introduced the luxury, had not her age, 
and the nature of the building, tempted her to adhere to 
ancient custom. The floor, which shone equally with the 
furniture, was tessellated with small alternate squares of 
red-cedar and pine, and in the centre were the " saliant 
Lions " of Lechmere, attempted by the blazonry of the join- 
er. On either side of the ponderous and labored mantel, 
were arched compartments, of plainer work, denoting use, 
the sliding panels of one of which, being raised, displayed 
a buffet, groaning with massive plate. The furniture was old, 
rich, and heavy, but in perfect preservation. In the midst 
of this scene of colonial splendor, which was rendered as 
impressive as possible by the presence of numerous waxen 
lights, a lady, far in the decline of life, sat, in formal pro- 
priety, on a small settee. The officer had thrown his cloak 
into the hands of Meriton, in the hall, and as he advanced 
up the apartment, his form appeared in the gay dress of 
a soldier, giving to its ease and fine proportions the addi- 
tional charm of military garnish. The hard, severe eye of 
the lady, sensibly softened with pleased surprise, as it 
dwelt on his person for an instant after she arose to re- 
ceive her guest ; but the momentary silence was first 
broken by the youth, who said 

" I have entered unannounced, for my impatience has 
exceeded my breeding, madam, while each step I have 
taken in this house recalls the days of my boyhood, and of 
my former freedom within its walls." 


"My cousin Lincoln!" interrupted the lady, who was 
Mrs. Lechmere ; "that dark eye, that smile, nay, your 
very step, announces you ! I must have forgotten my poor 
brother, and one also who is still so dear to us, not to have 
known you a true Lincoln ! " 

There was a distance in the manner of both, at meeting, 
which might easily have been imparted by the precise for= 
mula of the provincial school, of which the lady was so 
distinguished a member, but which was not sufficient to 
explain the sad expression that suddenly and. powerfully 
blended with the young man's smile, as she spoke. The 
change, however, was but momentary, and he answered 
courteously to her assurances of recognition 

" I have long been taught to expect a second home in 
Tremont Street, and I find, by your flattering remem- 
brance of myself and parents, dear madam, that my expec- 
tations are justified." 

The lady was sensibly pleased at this remark, and she suf- 
fered a smile to unbend her rigid brow, as she answered 

"A home, certainly, though it be not such an one as the 
heir of the wealthy house of Lincoln may have been ac- 
customed to dwell in. It would be strange, indeed, could 
any, allied to that honorable family, forget to entertain its 
representative with due respect." 

The youth seemed conscious that quite as much had now 
been said as the occasion required, and he raised his head 
from bowing respectfully on her hand, with the intention 
of changing the subject to one less personal, when his eye 
caught a glimpse of the figure of another, and more youth- 
ful female, who had been concealed, hitherto, by the 
drapery of a window-curtain. Advancing to this young 
lady, he said, with a quickness that rather betrayed his 
willingness to suspend further compliment 

"And here I see one also, to whom I have the honor of 
being related ; Miss Dynevor ? " 

" Though it be not my grand-child," said Mrs. Lech- 
mere, "it is one who claims an equal affinity to you, Major 
Lincoln ; it is Agnes Danforth, the daughter of my late 

" 'Twas my eyes then, and not my feelings, that were mis- 
taken," returned the young soldier ; " I hope this lady will 
admit my claim to call her cousin ? " 

A simple inclination of the body was the only answer he 
received, though she did not decline the hand which he 
offered with his salutations. After a few more of the usual 


expressions of pleasure, and the ordinary inquiries that 
succeed such meetings, the party became seated, and a 
more regular discourse followed. 

tl I am pleased to find you remember us, then, cousin 
Lionel," said Mrs. Lechmere ; "we have so little in this re- 
mote province that will compare with the mother country, 
I had feared no vestiges of the place of your birth could 
remain on your mind." 

" I find the town greatly altered, it is true, but there are 
many places in it which I still remember, though certainly 
their splendor is a little diminished, in my eyes, by absence 
and a familiarity with other scenes." 

" Doubtless, an acquaintance with the British court will 
have no tendency to exalt our humble customs in your 
imagination ; neither do we possess many buildings to at- 
tract the notice of a travelled stranger. There is a tradi- 
tion in our family, that your seat in Devonshire is as large 
as any dozen edifices in Boston, public or private ; nay, we 
are proud of saying, that the king himself is lodged as well 
as the head of the Lincoln family, only when at his castle 
of Windsor ! " 

" Ravenscliffe is certainly a place of some magnitude," 
returned the young man, carelessly, " though you will re- 
member his Majesty affects but little state at Kew. I have, 
however, spent so little of my time in the country, that I 
hardly know its conveniences or its extent." 

The old lady bowed with that sort of complacency, which 
the dwellers in the colonies were apt to betray, whenever 
an allusion was made to the acknowledged importance of 
their connections in that country, toward which they all 
looked as to the fountain of honor ; and then, as quickly 
as if the change in her ideas was but a natural transition 
in the subject, she observed 

" Surely Cecil cannot know of the arrival of our kins- 
man ! she is not apt to be so remiss in paying attention to 
our guests ! " 

" She does me the more honor, that she considers me a rel- 
ative, and one w r ho requires no formality in his reception." 

" You are but cousins twice removed," returned the old 
lady, a little gravely; "and there is surely no affinity in 
that degree which can justify any forgetfulness of the usual 
courtesies. You see, cousin Lionel, how much we value 
the consanguinity, when it is a subject of pride to the most 
remote branches of the family ! " 

" I am but little of a genealogist, madam ; though,, if I 



retain a true impression of what I have heard, Miss Dy 
nevor is of too good blood, in the direct line, to value the 
collateral drops of an intermarriage." 

" Pardon me, Major Lincoln ; her father, Colonel Dy- 
nevor, was certainly an Englishman of an ancient and hon- 
orable name, but no family in the realm need scorn an al- 
liance with our own. I say our own, cousin Lionel, for I 
would never have you forget that I am a Lincoln, and was 
the sister of your grandfather." 

A little surprised at the seeming contradiction in the 
language of the good lady, the young man bowed his head 
to the compliment, and cast his eyes at his younger com- 
panion with a sort of longing to change the discourse, by 
addressing the reserved young woman nigh him, that was 
very excusable in one of his sex and years. He had not 
time, however, to make more than one or two common- 
place remarks, and receive their answers, before Mrs. Lech- 
mere said, with some exhibition of staid displeasure against 
her grandchild 

" Go, Agnes, and acquaint your cousin of this happy 
event. She has been sensibly alive to your safety, during 
the whole time consumed by your voyage. We have had 
the prayers of the Church, for a ' person gone to sea,' read 
each Sunday, since the receipt of your letters announcing 
your intention to embark ; and I have been exceedingly 
pleased to observe the deep interest with which Cecil 
joined in our petitions." 

Lionel mumbled a few words of thanks, and leaning 
back in his chair, threw his eyes upward, but whether in 
pious gratitude or not, we conceive it is not our province 
to determine. During the delivery of Mrs. Lechmere's 
last speech, and the expressive pantomime that succeeded 
it, Agnes Danforth rose and left the room. The door had 
been some little time closed before the silence was again 
broken; during which Mrs. Lechmere evidently essayed in 
vain, once or twice, to speak. Her color, pale and immov- 
able as usually seemed her withered look, changed in its ( 
shades, and her lip trembled involuntarily. She, however, 
soon found her utterance, though the first tones of her 
voice were choked and husky. 

" I may have appeared remiss, cousin Lionel, "she said, 
" but there are subjects that can be discussed with pro- 
priety only between the nearest relatives. Sir Lionel 
you left him in as good a state of bodily health, I hope, as 
his mental iimess will allow ? " 


"It is so represented to me." 

" You have seen him lately ?" 

" Not in fifteen years ; my presence was said to increase 
his disorder, and the physicians forbade any more inter- 
views. He continues at the private establishment near 
town, and, as the lucid intervals are thought to increase, 
both in frequency and duration, I often indulge in the 
pleasing hope of being restored again to my father. The 
belief is justified by his years, which, you know, are yet 
under fifty." 

A long, and apparently a painful silence, succeeded this 
interesting communication ; at length the lady said, with a 
tremor in her voice, for which the young man almost rev- 
erenced her, as it so plainly bespoke her interest in her 
nephew, as well as the goodness of her heart 

" I will thank you for a glass of that water in the buffet. 
Pardon me, cousin Lionel, but this melancholy subject 
always overcomes me. I will retire a few moments, with 
your indulgence, and hasten the appearance of my grand- 
child. I pine that you may meet." 

Her absence, just at that moment, was too agreeable to 
the feelings of Lionel, for him to gainsay her intention ; 
though, instead of following Agnes Danforth, who had pre- 
ceded her on the same duty, the tottering steps of Mrs. 
Lechmere conducted her to a door, which communicated 
with her own apartment. For several minutes the young man 
trampled on the " saliant lions " of Lechmere, with a rapid- 
ity that seemed to emulate their own mimic speed, as he 
paced to and fro across the narrow apartment, his eye 
glancing vacantly along the labored wainscots, embracing 
the argent, azure and purpure fields of the different es- 
cutcheons, as heedlessly as if they were not charged with 
the distinguishing symbols of so many honorable names. 
This mental abstraction was, however, shortly dissipated 
by the sudden appearance of one, who had glided into the 
room, and advanced to its centre, before he became con- 
scious of her presence. A light, rounded, and exquisitely 
proportioned female form, accompanied by a youthful and 
expressive countenance, with an air in which womanly 
grace blended so nicely with feminine delicacy as to cause 
each motion and gesture to command respect, at the same 
time that it was singularly insinuating, was an object to 
suspend, even at a first glance, provided that glance were 
by surprise, the steps of a more absent and less courteous 
youth than the one we have attempted to describe. Major 


Lincoln knew that this young lady could be no other than 
Cecil Dynevor, the daughter of a British officer, long since 
deceased, by the only child of Mrs. Lechmere, who was 
also in her grave ; and, consequently, that she was one to 
whom he was so well known by character, and so nearly 
allied by blood, as to render it an easy task for a man ac- 
customed to the world, as he had been, to remove any little 
embarrassments, which might have beset a less practised 
youth, by acting as his own usher. This he certainly at- 
tempted, and at first with a freedom which his affinity, and 
the circumstances, would seem to allow, though it was 
chastened by easy politeness. But the restraint visible in 
the manner of the lady was so marked, that, by the time 
his salutations were ended, and he had handed her to a 
seat, the young man felt as much embarrassment as if he 
had found himself alone, for the first time, with the woman 
w r hom he had been pining, for months, to favor with a very 
particular communication. Whether it is that nature has 
provided the other sex with a tact for these occasions, or 
that the young lady became sensible that her deportment 
was not altogether such as was worthy either of herself, or 
the guest of her grandmother, she was certainly the first 
to relieve the slight awkwardness that was but too apparent 
in the commencement of the interview. 

" My grandmother has long been expecting this pleas- 
ure, Major Lincoln," she said, "and your arrival has been 
at a most auspicious moment. The state of the country 
grows each day so very alarming, that I have indeed long 
urged her to visit our relatives in England, until the dis- 
putes shall have terminated." 

The tones of an extremely soft and melodious voice, and 
a pronunciation quite as exact as if the speaker had ac- 
quired the sounds in the English court, and which was en- 
tirely free from the slight vernacular peculiarity, which 
had offended his ear, in the few words that fell from Agnes 
Danforth, certainly aided a native attraction of manner, 
which it seemed impossible for the young latly to cast en- 
tirely aside. 

" You, who are so much of an English woman, would 
find great pleasure in the exchange," he answered, " and 
if half what I have heard from a fellow passenger, of the 
state of the country, be true, I shall be foremost in second- 
ing your request. Both Ravenscliffe and the house in 
Soho would be greatly at the service of Mrs. Lechmere." 

" It was my wish that she would accept the pressing ir* 


vitations of my father's relative, Lord Cardonnel, who has 
long urged me to pass a few years in his own family. A 
separation would be painful to us both, but should my 
grandmother, in such an event, determine to take her res- 
idence in the dwellings of her ancestors, I could not be 
censured for adopting a resolution to abide under the roofs 
of mine." 

The piercing eye of Major Lincoln fell full upon her 
own, as she delivered this intention, and as it dropped on 
the floor, the slight smile that played round his lip, was 
produced by the passing thought, that the provincial 
beauty had inherited so much of her grandmother's pride 
of genealogy, as to be willing to impress on his mind, that 
the niece of a viscount was superior to the heir of a baro- 
netcy. But the quick, burning flush, that instantly passed 
across the features of Cecil Dynevor, might have taught 
him, that she was acting under the impulse of much deeper 
feelings than such an unworthy purpose would indicate. 
The effect, however, was such as to make the young man 
glad to see Mrs. Lechmere re-enter the room, leaning on 
the arm of her niece. 

" I perceive, my cousin Lionel," said the lady, as she 
moved with a feeble step toward the settee, " that you and 
Cecil have found each other out, without the necessity of 
any other introduction than the affinity between you. I 
surely do not mean the affinity of blood altogether, you 
know, for that cannot be said to amount to anything ; but 
I believe there exist certain features of the mind that are 
transmitted through families quite as distinctly as any 
which belong to the countenance." 

"Could I flatter myself with possessing the slightest 
resemblance to Miss Dynevor, in either of those particu- 
lars, I should be doubly proud of the connection," returned 
Lionel, while he assisted the good lady to a seat, with a 
coolness that sufficiently denoted how little he cared about 
the matter. 

" But I am not disposed to have my right to claim near 
kindred with cousin Lionel at all disputed," cried the 
young lady, with sudden animation. "It has pleased our 
forefathers to order such 

"Nay. nay, my child," interrupted her grandmother, 
"you forget that the term of cousin can only be used in 
cases of near consanguinity, and where familiar situations 
will excuse it. But Major Lincoln knows, that we in the 
colonies are apt to make the most of the language, and 


count our cousins almost as far as if we were members of 
the Scottish clans. Speaking of the clans reminds me of 
the rebellion of '45. It is not thought in England, that 
our infatuated colonists will ever be so foolhardy as to 
assume their arms in earnest." 

" There are various opinions on that subject," said Lionel. 
" Most military men scout the idea ; though I find, occa- 
sionally, an officer, that has served on this continent, who 
thinks not only that the appeal will be made, but that the 
struggle will be bloody." 

" Why should they not ! " said Agnes Danforth, abruptly; 
"they are men, and the English are no more ! " 

Lionel turned his looks, in a little surprise, on the 
speaker, to whose countenance an almost imperceptible 
cast in one eye imparted a look of arch good-nature, that 
her manner would seem to contradict, and smiled as he 
repeated her words 

" Why should they not, indeed ! I know no other rea- 
sons than that it would be both a mad and an unlawful act. 
I can assure you that I am not one of those who affect to 
undervalue my own countrymen ; for you will remember 
that I too am an American." 

"I have heard it said that such of our volunteers as 
wear uniforms at all," said Agnes, " appear in blue, and 
not in scarlet." 

" 'Tis his Majesty's pleasure that his 47th foot should 
wear this gaudy color," returned the young man, laughing; 
" though, for myself, I am quite willing to resign it to the 
use of you ladies, and to adopt another, could it well be." 

"It might be done, sir." 

" In what manner ? " 

" By resigning your commission with it." 

Mrs. Lechmere had evidently permitted her niece to pro- 
ceed thus far, without interruption, to serve some purpose 
of her own ; but perceiving that her guest by no means 
exhibited the air of pique, which the British officers were 
so often weak enough to betray, when the women took 
into their hands the defence of their country's honor, she 
rang the bell, as she observed 

" Bold language, Major Lincoln ! bold language for a 
young lady under twenty. But Miss Danforth is privileged 
to speak her mind freely, for some of her father's family 
are but too deeply implicated in the unlawful proceedings 
of these evil times. We have kept Cecil, however, more 
to her allegiance." 


"And yet even Cecil has been known to refuse the favor 
of her countenance to the entertainments given by the 
British officers ! " said Agnes, a little piquantly. 

" And would you have Cecil Dynevor frequent balls and 
entertainments unaccompanied by a proper chaperon," re- 
turned Mrs. Lechmere ; "or is it expected that, at seventy, 
I can venture in public to maintain the credit of our family ? 
But we keep Major Lincoln from his refreshments with 
our idle disputes. Cato, we wait your movements." 

Mrs. Lechmere delivered her concluding intimation to 
the black in attendance, with an air that partook some- 
what of mystery. The old domestic, who, probably from 
long practice, understood, more by the expression of her 
eye than by any words she had uttered, the wishes of his 
mistress, proceeded to close the outer shutters of the win- 
dows, and to draw the curtains with the most exact care. 
When this duty was performed, he raised a small oval table 
from its regular position among the flowing folds of the 
drapery that shrouded the deep apertures for light, % and 
placed it in front of Miss Dynevor. A salver of massive 
silver, containing an equipage of the finest Dresden fol- 
lowed, and in a few minutes a hissing urn of the same 
precious metal garnished the polished surface of the ma- 
hogany. During these arrangements, Mrs. Lechmere and 
her guest maintained a general discourse, touching chiefly 
on the welfare and condition of certain individuals of their 
alliance, in England. Notwithstanding the demand thus 
made on his attention, Lionel was able to discover a cer- 
tain appearance of mystery and caution in each movement 
of the black, as he proceeded leisurely in his duty. Miss 
Dynevor permitted the disposition of the tea-table to be 
made before her, passively, and her cousin, Agnes Dan- 
forth, threw herself back on one of the settees, with a look 
that indicated cool displeasure. When the usual compound 
was made in two little fluted cups, over whose pure white 
a few red and green sprigs were sparingly scattered, the 
black presented one containing the grateful beverage to 
his mistress, and the other to the stranger. 

" Pardon me, Miss Danforth," said Lionel, recollecting 
himself after he had accepted the offering ; " I have suf- 
fered my sea-breeding to obtain the advantage." 

" Enjoy your error, sir, if you can find any gratification 
in the indulgence," returned the young lady. 

" But I should enjoy it the more, could I see you par 
ticipating in the luxury." 


" You have termed the idle indulgence well ; 'tis nothing 
but a luxury, and such a one as can be easily dispensed 
with ; I thank you, sir, I do not drink tea." 

" Surely no lady can forswear her bohea ! be persuaded. 1 

" I know not how the subtle poison may operate on youf 
English ladies, Major Lincoln, but it is no difficult matter 
for an American girl to decline the use of a detestable herb, 
which is one, among many others, of the causes that is likely 
to involve her country and kindred in danger and strife." 

The young man, who had really intended no more than 
the common civilities due from his sex to the other, bowed 
in silence, though, as he turned from her, he could not 
forbear looking toward the table to see whether the prin- 
ciples of the other young American were quite as rigid. 
Cecil sat bending over the salver, playing idly with a curi- 
ously wrought spoon, made to represent a sprig of the 
plant, whose fragrance had been thus put in requisition 
to contribute to his indulgence, while the steam from the 
chiryi vessel before her was wreathing in a faint mist 
around her polished brow. 

"You at least, Miss Dynevor," said Lionel, " appear to 
have no dislike to the herb, you breathe its vapor so freely." 

Cecil cast a glance at him, which changed the demure 
and somewhat proud composure of her countenance into 
a look of sudden, joyous humor, that was infinitely more 
natural, as she answered laughingly 

" I own a woman's weakness. I must believe it was tea 
that tempted our common mother in Paradise J " 

" It would show that the cunning of the serpent has 
been transmitted to a later day, could that be proved," said 
Agnes, " though the instrument of temptation has lost 
some of its virtue." 

" How know you that ? " said Lionel, anxious to pursue 
the trifling, in order to remove the evident distance which 
had existed between them ; " had Eve shut her ears as 
rigidly as you close your mouth against the offering, we 
might yet nave enjoyed the first gift to our parents." 

" Oh, sir, 'tis no such stranger to me as you may imagine 
from the indifference I have assumed on the present occa- 
sion ; as Job Pray says, Boston harbor is nothing but a 
1 big teapot ! ' " 

" You know Job Pray, then, Miss Danforth ! " said 
Lionel, not a little amused by her spirit. 

" Certainly ; Boston is so small, and Job so useful, that 
everybody knows the simpleton." 


" He belongs to a distinguished family, then, for I have 
his own assurance that everybody knows his perturbed 
mother, Abigail." 

" You ! " exclaimed Cecil, again, in that sweet, natural voice 
that had before startled her auditor ; " what can you know 
of poor Job, and his almost equally unfortunate mother ! " 

" Now, young ladies, I have you in my snares ! " cried 
Lionel ; " you may possibly resist the steams of tea, but 
what woman can withstand the impulse of her curiosity ! 
Not to be too cruel with my fair kinswomen on so short 
an acquaintance, however, I will go so far as to acknowl- 
edge that I have already had an interview with Mrs. Pray." 

The reply which Agnes was about to deliver was inter- 
rupted by a slight crash, and on turning they beheld the 
fragments of a piece of the splendid set of Dresden, lying 
at the feet of Mrs. Lechmere. 

" My dear grand-mamma is ill ! " cried Cecil, springing 
to the assistance of the old lady. " Hasten, Cato Major 
Lincoln, you are more active for heaven's sake a glass of 
water Agnes, your salts." 

The amiable anxiety of her grandchild was not, how- 
ever, so necessary as first appearances w r ould have indi- 
cated, and Mrs. Lechmere gently put aside the salts, 
though she did not decline the glass which Lionel offered 
for the second time in so short a period. 

" I fear you will mistake me for a sad invalid, cousin 
Lionel," said the old lady, when she had become a little 
composed ; " but I believe it is this very tea, of which so 
much has been said, and which I drink to excess, from 
pure loyalty, that unsettles my nerves I must refrain, like 
the girls, though from a very different motive. We are a 
people of early hours, Major Lincoln, but you are at home 
here, and will pursue your pleasure ; I must, however, 
claim an indulgence for threescore-and-ten, and be per- 
mitted to wish you a good rest after your voyage. Cato 
has his orders to contribute all he can to your comfort." 

Leaning on her two assistants, the old lady withdrew, 
leaving Lionel to the full possession of the apartment. As 
the hour was getting late, and from the compliments they 
had exchanged, he did not expect the return of the younger 
ladies, he called for a candle, and was shown to his own 
room. As soon as the few indispensables, which rendered 
a valet necessary to a gentleman of that period, were ob- 
served, he dismissed Meriton, and throwing himself in the 
bed, courted the sweets of the pillow. 


" You have termed the idle indulgence well ; 'tis nothing 
but a luxury, and such a one as can be easily dispensed 
with ; I thank you, sir, I do not drink tea." 

" Surely no lady can forswear her bohea ! be persuaded. 1 

" I know not how the subtle poison may operate on your 
English ladies, Major Lincoln, but it is no difficult matter 
for an American girl to decline the use of a detestable herb, 
which is one, among many others, of the causes that is likely 
to involve her country and kindred in danger and strife." 

The young man, who had really intended no more than 
the common civilities due from his sex to the other, bowed 
in silence, though, as he turned from her, he could not 
forbear looking toward the table to see whether the prin- 
ciples of the other young American were quite as rigid. 
Cecil sat bending over the salver, playing idly with a curi- 
ously wrought spoon, made to represent a sprig of the 
plant, whose fragrance had been thus put in requisition 
to contribute to his indulgence, while the steam from the 
chir^a vessel before her was wreathing in a faint mist 
around her polished brow. 

"You at least, Miss Dynevor," said Lionel, " appear to 
have no dislike to the herb, you breathe its vapor so freely." 

Cecil cast a glance at him, which changed the demure 
and somewhat proud composure of her countenance into 
a look of sudden, joyous humor, that was infinitely more 
natural, as she answered laughingly 

" I own a woman's weakness. I must believe it was tea 
that tempted our common mother in Paradise J " 

" It would show that the cunning of the serpent has 
been transmitted to a later day, could that be proved," said 
Agnes, "though the instrument of temptation has lost 
some of its virtue." 

" How know you that ?" said Lionel, anxious to pursue 
the trifling, in order to remove the evident distance which 
had existed between them ; " had Eve shut her ears as 
rigidly as you close your mouth against the offering, we 
might yet nave enjoyed the first gift to our parents." 

"Oh, sir, 'tis no such stranger to me as you may imagine 
from the indifference I have assumed on the present occa- 
sion ; as Job Pray says, Boston harbor is nothing but a 
* big teapot ! ' ' 

" You know Job Pray, then, Miss Danforth ! " said 
Lionel, not a little amused by her spirit. 

" Certainly ; Boston is so small, and Job so useful, that 
everybody knows the simpleton." 



" He belongs to a distinguished family, then, for I have 
his own assurance that everybody knows his perturbed 
mother, Abigail." 

" You ! " exclaimed Cecil, again, in that sweet, natural voice 
that had before startled her auditor ; " what can you know 
of poor Job, and his almost equally unfortunate mother ! " 

" Now, young ladies, I have you in my snares ! " cried 
Lionel; "you may possibly resist the steams of tea, but 
what woman can withstand the impulse of her curiosity ! 
Not to be too cruel with my fair kinswomen on so short 
an acquaintance, however, I will go so far as to acknowl- 
edge that I have already had an interview with Mrs. Pray." 

The reply which Agnes was about to deliver was inter- 
rupted by a slight crash, and on turning they beheld the 
fragments of a piece of the splendid set of Dresden, lying 
at the feet of Mrs. Lechmere. 

" My dear grand-mamma is ill ! " cried Cecil, springing 
to the assistance of the old lady. " Hasten, Cato Major 
Lincoln, you are more active for heaven's sake a glass of 
water Agnes, your salts." 

The amiable anxiety of her grandchild was not, how- 
ever, so necessary as first appearances would have indi- 
cated, and Mrs. Lechmere gently put aside the salts, 
though she did not decline the glass which Lionel offered 
for the second time in so short a period. 

" I fear you will mistake me for a sad invalid, cousin 
Lionel," said the old lady, when she had become a little 
composed ; " but I believe it is this very tea, of which so 
much has been said, and which I drink to excess, from 
pure loyalty, that unsettles my nerves I must refrain, like 
the girls, though from a very different motive. We are a 
people of early hours, Major Lincoln, but you are at home 
here, and will pursue your pleasure ; I must, however, 
claim an indulgence for threescore-and-ten, and be per- 
mitted to wish you a good rest after your voyage. Cato 
has his orders to contribute all he can to your comfort." 

Leaning on her two assistants, the old lady withdrew, 
leaving Lionel to the full possession of the apartment. As 
the hour was getting late, and from the compliments they 
had exchanged, he did not expect the return of the younger 
ladies, he called for a candle, and was shown to his own 
room. As soon as the few indispensables, which rendered 
a valet necessary to a gentleman of that period, were ob- 
served, he dismissed Meriton, and throwing himself in the 
bed, courted the sweets of the pillow. 


Many incidents, however, had occurred during the day, 
that induced a train of thoughts, which for a long time 
prevented his attaining the natural rest he sought. After 
indulging in long and uneasy reflections on certain events, 
too closely connected with his personal feelings to be 
lightly remembered, the young man began to muse on his 
reception, and on the individuals who had been, as it were, 
for the first time, introduced to him. 

It was quite apparent, that both Mrs. Lechmere and her 
granddaughter were acting their several parts, though 
whether in concert or not, remained to be discovered. But 
in Agnes Danforth, with all his subtlety, he could perceive 
nothing but the plain and direct, though a little blunt, pe- 
culiarities of her nature and education. Like most very 
young men, who had just been made acquainted with two 
youthful females, both of them much superior to the gen- 
erality of their sex in personal charms, he fell asleep 
musing on their characters. Nor, considering the circum- 
stances, will it be at all surprising, when we add that, be- 
fore morning, he was dreaming of the Avon, of Bristol, on 
board which stout vessel he even thought that he was dis- 
cussing a chowder on the Banks of Newfoundland, which 
had been unaccountably prepared by the fair hands of 
Miss Danforth, 'and which was strangely flavored with tea; 
while the Hebe-looking countenance of Cecil Dynevor was 
laughing at his perplexities with undisguised good-humor, 
and with all the vivacity of girlish merriment. 


"A good portly man, i' faith, and a corpulent." 

King Henrv IV, 

THE sun was just stirring the heavy bank of fog, which 
had rested on the waters during the night, as Lionel toiled 
his way up the side of Beacon-Hill, anxious to catch a 
glimpse of his native scenery while it was yet glowing with 
the first touch of day. The islands raised their green heads 
above the mist, and the wide amphitheatre of hills that en- 
circled the bay was still visible, though the vapor was 
creeping in places along the valleys now concealing the 
entrance to some beautiful glen, and now wreathing itself 
fantastically around a tall spire that told the site of a sub- 
urban village. Though the people of the town were 
awake and up, yet the sacred character of the day, and the 


state of the times, contributed to suppress those sounds 
which usually distinguish populous places. The cool nights 
and warm days of April had generated a fog more than 
usually dense, which was deserting its watery bed, and 
stealing insidiously along the land, to unite with the vapors 
of the rivers and brooks, spreading a wider curtain before 
the placid view. As Lionel stood on the brow of the plat- 
form that crowned the eminence, the glimpses of houses 
and hills, of towers and ships, of places known and places 
forgotten, passed before his vision, through the openings 
in the mist, like phantoms of the imagination. The whole 
scene, animated and in motion, as it seemed by its changes, 
appeared to his excited feelings like a fanciful panorama, 
exhibited for his eye alone, when his enjoyment was inter- 
rupted by a voice apparently at no great distance. It was 
a man singing to a common English air fragments of some 
ballad, w r ith a peculiarly vile nasal cadency. Through the 
frequent pauses, he was enabled to comprehend a few 
words, which, by their recurrence, were evidently intended 
for a chorus to the rest of the production. The reader 
will understand the character of the whole from these 
lines, which ran as follows : 

And they that would be free, 

Out they go ; 

While the slaves, as you may see, 
Stay, to drink their p'ison tea, 

Down below ! 

Lionel, after listening to this expressive ditty for a 
moment, followed the direction of the sounds until he en- 
countered Job Pray, who was seated on one of the flights 
of steps, which aided the ascent to the platform, cracking 
a few walnuts on the boards, while he employed those in- 
tervals, when his mouth could find no better employment, 
in uttering the above-mentioned strains. 

" How now, Master Pray ; do you come here to sing 
your orisons to the goddess of liberty on a Sunday morn- 
ing," cried Lionel ; " or are you the town lark, and for 
want of wings, take to this height to obtain an altitude for 
your melody ?" 

"There's no harm in singing psalm tunes or continental 
songs any day in the week," said the lad, without raising 
his eyes from his occupation. " Job don't know what a 
lark is, but if it belongs to the town, the soldiers are so 
thick, they can't keep it on the comfmon." 


"And what objection can you have to the soldiers 
sessing a corner of your common ? " 

" They starve the cows, and then they won't give milk ; 
grass is sweet to beasts in the spring of the year." 

" But, my life for it, the soldiers don't eat the grass; 
your brindles and your blacks, your reds and your whites, 
may have the first offering of the spring as usual." 

" But Boston cows don't love grass that British soldiers 
have trampled on," said the sullen lad. 

" This is, indeed, carrying notions of liberty to refine- 
ment ! " exclaimed Lionel, laughing. 

Job shook his head threateningly, as he looked up and 
said, " Don't you let Ralph hear you say anything ag'in 
liberty ! " 

" Ralph ! who is he, lad ? your genius ! where do you 
keep the invisible, that there is danger of his overhearing 
what I say ? " 

" He's up there in the fog," said Job, pointing signifi- 
cantly toward the foot of the beacon, which a dense volume 
of vapor was enwrapping, probably attracted up the tall 
post that supported the grate. 

Lionel gazed at the smoky column for a moment, \vhen 
the mists began to dissolve, and amid their evolutions he 
beheld the dim figure of his aged fellow passenger. The 
old man was still clad in his simple, tarnished vestments of 
gray, which harmonized so singularly with the mists as to 
impart a look almost ethereal to his wasted form. As the 
medium through which he was seen became less cloudy, 
his features grew visible, and Lionel could distinguish the 
uneasy, rapid glances of his eyes, which seemed to roam 
over the distant objects with an earnestness that appeared 
to mock the misty veil that was floating before so much of 
the view. While Lionel stood fixed to the spot, gazing at 
this irregular being with that secret awe which the other 
had succeeded in inspiring, the old man waved his hand 
impatiently, as if he would cast aside his shroud. At that 
instant a bright sunbeam darted into the vapor, illuminat- 
ing his person, and melting the mist into thin air. The 
anxious, haggard, and severe expression of his countenance 
changed at the touch of the ray, and he smiled with a soft- 
ness and attraction that thrilled the nerves of the other, as 
he called aloud to the sensitive young soldier 

" Come hither, Lionel Lincoln, to the foot of this beacon, 
where you may gather warnings, which, if properly heeded, 
will guide you through many and great dangers unharmed." 


" I am glad you have spoken," said Lionel, advancing to 
his side ; "you appeared like a being of another world, 
wrapped in that mantle of fog, and I felt tempted to kneel, 
and ask a benediction," 

" And am I not a being of another world ! most of my 
interests are already in the grave, and I tarry here only for 
a space, because there is a great work to be done, which 
cannot be performed without me. My view of the world 
of spirits, young man, is much clearer and more distinct 
than yours of this variable scene at your feet. There is no 
mist to obstruct the eye, nor any doubts as to the colors 
it presents." 

"You are happy, sir, in the extremity of your age, to be 
so assured. But I fear your sudden determination last 
night subjected you to inconvenience in the tenement of 
this changeling." 

" The boy is a good boy," said the old man, stroking the 
head of the natural complacently; "we understand each 
other, Major Lincoln, and that shortens introductions, and 
renders communion easy." 

"That you feel alike on one subject, I have already dis- 
covered ; but there I should think the resemblance and 
the intelligence must end." 

"The propensities of the mind in its infancy and in its 
maturity, are but a span apart," said the stranger ; " the 
amount of human knowledge is but to know how much we 
are under the dominion of our passions ; and he who has 
learned by experience how to smother the volcano, and he 
who never felt its fires, are surely fit associates." 

Lionel bowed in silence to an opinion so humbling to 
the other, and, after a pause of a moment, adverted to their 

" The sun begins to make himself felt, and when he has 
driven away these ragged remnants of the fog, we shall see 
those places each of us have frequented in his day." 

" Shall we find them as we left them, think you ? or will 
you see the stranger in possession of the haunts of your 
infancy ? " 

" Not the stranger, certainly, for we are the subjects of 
one king ; children who own a common parent." 

" I will not reply that he has proved himself an un- 
natural father," said the old man, calmly; "the gentleman 
who now fills the British throne is less to be censured than 
his advisers, for the oppression of his reign " 

" Sir," interrupted Lionel, " if such allusions are made to 


the person of my sovereign, we must separate ; for it ill 
becomes a British officer to hear his master mentioned 
with levity." 

" Levity ! " repeated the other slowly. " It is a fault in 
deed to accompany gray locks and wasted limbs ! but your 
jealous watchfulness betrays you into error. I have 
breathed in the atmosphere of kings, young man, and know 
how to separate the individual and his purpose from the 
policy of his government. ' Tis the latter that will sever 
this great empire, and deprive the third George of what 
has so often and so well been termed ' the brightest jewel 
in his crown.' " 

" I must leave you, sir," said Lionel ; " the opinions you 
so freely expressed during our passage, were on principles 
which I can hardly call opposed to our own constitution, 
and might be heard, not only without offence, but fre- 
quently with admiration ; but this language approaches to 
treason ! " 

" Go, then," returned the unmoved stranger ; " descend 
to yon degraded common, and bid your mercenaries seize 
me ' twill be only the blood of an old man, but ' twill help 
to fatten the land ; or send your merciless grenadiers to 
torment their victim before the axe shall do its work ; a 
man who has lived so long, can surely spare- a little of his 
time to the tormentors ! " 

" I could have thought, sir, that you might spare such a 
reproach to me," said Lionel. 

" I do spare it, and I do more ; I forget my years, and 
solicit forgiveness. But had you known slavery, as I have 
done, in its worst of forms, you would know how to prize 
the inestimable blessing of freedom." 

" Have you ever known slavery, in your travels, more 
closely than in what you deem the violations of principle ? " 

" Have I not ? " said the stranger, smiling bitterly ; " I 
have known it as man should never know it ; in act and 
will. I have lived days, months, and even years, to hear 
others coldly declare my wants ; to see others dole out 
their meagre pittances .to my necessities, and to hear others 
assume the right, to express the sufferings, and to control the 
enjoyments of sensibilities that God had given to me only ! " 

" To endure such thraldom, you must have fallen into 
the power of the infidel barbarians ! " 

" Ay ! boy, I thank you for the words ; they were indeed 
most worthy of the epithets ! infidels that denied the pre* 
cepts of our blessed Redeemer ; and barbarians that treated 


one having a soul, and possessing reason like themselves, 
as a beast of the field." 

" Why didn't you come to Boston, Ralph, and tell that 
to the people in Funnel-Hall ? " exclaimed Job ; " ther'd 
ha' been a stir about it ! " 

" Child, I did come to Boston, again and again, in 
thought ; and the appeals that I made to my townsmen 
would have moved the very roof of old Faneuil, could they 
have been uttered within her walls. But ' twas in vain ! 
they had the power, and like demons or rather like misera- 
ble men they abused it." 

Lionel, sensibly touched, was about to reply in a suit- 
able manner, when he heard a voice calling his own name 
aloud, as if the speaker were ascending the opposite ac- 
clivity of the hill. The instant the sounds reached his 
ears, the old man rose from his seat, on the foundation of 
the beacon, and gliding over the brow of the platform, fol- 
lowed by Job, they descended into a volume of mist that was 
still clinging to the side of the hill, with amazing swiftness. 

" Why, Leo ! thou lion in name, and deer in activity I " 
exclaimed the intruder, as he surmounted the steep as- 
cent, " what can have brought you up into the clouds so 
early ! whew a man needs a New-Market training to scale 
such a precipice. But, Leo, my dear fellow, I rejoice to 
see you we knew you were expected in the first ship, and 
as I was coming from morning parade^ I met a couple of 
grooms in the ' Lincoln green,' you know, leading each a 
blooded charger faith, one of them would have been quite 
convenient to climb this accursed hill on whew and 
whew-w, again well, I knew the liveries at a glance ; as 
to the horses, I hope to be better acquainted with them 
hereafter. * Pray, sir,' said I, to one of the liveried scoun- 
drels, * whom do you serve ? ' ' Major Lincoln, of Ravens- 
cliffe, sir,' said he, with a look as impudent as if he could 
have said, like you and I, * His sacred majesty, the king.' 
That's the answer of the servants of your ten thousand a 
year men ! Now, if my fool had been asked such a ques- 
tion, his answer would have been, craven dog as he is, 
* Captain Polwarth, of the 47th ;' leaving the inquirer, though 
it should even be some curious maiden who had taken a 
fancy to the tout ensemble of my outline, in utter ignorance 
that there is such a place in the world as Polwarth-Hall ! '* 

During this voluble speech, which was interrupted by 
sundry efforts to regain the breath lost in the ascent, 
Lionel shook his friend cordially by the hand, antl at 


tempted to express his own pleasure at the meeting. The? 
failure of wind, however, which was a sort of besetting sin 
with Captain Polwarth, had now compelled him to pause, 
and gave time to Lionel to reply. 

" This hill is the last place where I should have expected 
to meet you," he said. " I took it for granted you would 
not be stirring until nine or ten at least, when it was my 
intention to inquire you out, and to give you a call before 
I paid my respects to the commander-in-chief." 

" Ah ! you may thank his excellency, the * Hon. Thomas 
Gage, governor and commander-in-chief in and over the 
Province of Massachusetts Bay, and vice-admiral of the 
same,' as he styles himself in his proclamations, for this 
especial favor ; though, between ourselves, Leo, he is 
about as much governor over the Province as he is o\vner 
of those hunters you have just landed." 

" But why am I to thank him for this interview ?" 

" Why ! look about you, and tell me what you behold 
nothing but fog nay, I see there is a steeple, and yonder is 
the smoking sea, and here are the chimneys of Hancock's 
house beneath us, smoking too, as if their rebellious mas- 
ter were at home, arid preparing his feed ! but everything 
in sight is essentially smoky, and there is a natural aver- 
sion, in us epicures, to smoke. Nature' dictates that a 
man who has as much to do in a day, in carrying himself 
about, as your humble servant, should not cut his rest too 
abruptly in the morning. But the honorable Thomas, 
governor and vice-admiral, etc., has ordered us under arms 
with the sun, officers as well as men ! " 

" Surely that is no great hardship to a soldier," returned 
Lionel ; " and moreover, it seems to agree with you mar- 
vellously ! Now I look again, Polwarth, I am amazed ! 
Surely you are not in a light-infantry jacket ! " 

" Certes what is there in that so wonderful ? " returned 
the other, with great gravity. " Don't I become the dress, 
or is it the dress which does not adorn me, that you look 
ready to die with mirth ? Laugh it out, Leo. I am used 
to it these three days but what is there, after all, so re- 
markable in Peter Polwarth's commanding a company of 
light infantry ? Am I not just five feet, six and one-eighth 
of an inch ? the precise height ! " 

;i You appear to have been so accurate in your longitu- 
dinal admeasurement, that you must carry one of Harrison's 
timepieces in your pocket ; did it ever suggest itself to you 
to use the quadrant also ? " 


" For my latitude ! I understand you, Leo ; because I am 
shaped a little like mother earth, does it argue that I cannot 
command a light-infantry company ? " 

" Ay, even as Joshua commanded the sun. But the stop- 
ping oi the planet itself, is not a greater miracle in my 
eyes, than to see you in that attire." 

"Well, then, the mystery shall be explained ; but first let 
us be seated on this beacon," said Captain Polvvarth, estab- 
lishing himself with great method in the place so lately 
occupied by the attenuated form of the stranger ; " a true 
soldier husbands his resources for a time of need ; that word, 
husbands, brings me at once to the point I am in love." 

" That is surprising ! " 

" But what is much more so, I would fain be married." 

" It must be a woman of no mean endowments that 
could excite such desires in Captain Polwarth, of the 47th, 
and of Polwarth-Hall ! " 

"She is a wo man of great qualifications, Major Lincoln," 
said the lover, with a sudden gravity that indicated his 
gayety of manner was not entirely natural. " In figure she 
may be said to be done to a turn. When she is grave, she 
walks with the stateliness of a show beef ; when she runs, 
'tis with the activity of a turkey ; and when at rest, I can 
only compare her to a dish of venison, savory, delicate, 
and what one can never get enough of." 

" You have, to adopt your own metaphors, given such a 
* rare ' sketch of her person, I am ' burning ' to hear some- 
thing of her mental qualifications." 

" My metaphors are not poetical, perhaps, but they are 
the first that offer themselves to my mind, and they are 
natural. Her accomplishments exceed her native gifts 
greatly. In the first place, she is witty ; in the second, 
she is as impertinent as the devil ; and in the third, as 
inveterate a little traitor to King George as there is in all 

" These are strange recommendations to your favor ! " 

" The most infallible of all recommendations. They are 
piquant, like savory sauces, which excite the appetite, and 
season the dish. Now her treason (for it amounts to that 
in fact) is like olives, and gives a gusto to the generous 
port of my loyalty. Her impertinence is oil to the cold 
salad of my modesty, and her acid wit mingles with the 
sweetness of my temperament, in that sort of pleasant com* 
bination, with which sweet and sour blend in sherbet." 

" It would be idle for me to gainsay the charms of such 


a woman," returned Lionel, a good deal amused with th 
droll mixture of seriousness and humor in the other's 
manner ; " now for her connection with the light-infantry 
she is not of the light corps of her own sex, Polwarth ? " 

"Pardon me, Major Lincoln ; I cannot joke on this sub- 
ject. Miss Danforth is of one of the best families in 

" Danforth ! not Agnes, surely ! " 

" The very same!" exclaimed Polwarth, in surprise; 
"what do you know of her ? " 

"Only that she is a sort of cousin of my own, and that 
we are inmates of the same house. We bear equal affinity 
to Mrs. Lechmere, and the good lady has insisted that I 
shall make my home in Tremont Street." 

" I rejoice to hear it ! At all events, our intimacy may 
now be improved to some better purpose than eating and 
drinking. But to the point there were certain damnable 
innuendoes getting into circulation, concerning my pro- 
portions, which I considered it prudent to look down at 

" In order to do which, you had only to look thinner." 

" And do I not, in this appropriate dress ? To be per- 
fectly serious with you, Leo, for to you I can freely un- 
burden myself, you know what a set we are in the 47th: 
let them once fasten an opprobrious term, or a nickname, 
on you, and you take it to the grave, be it ever so burden- 

"There is a way, certainly, to check ungentleman-like 
liberties," said Lionel, gravely. 

" Poh ! poh ! a man wouldn't wish to fight about a pound 
more or a pound less of fat ! still the name is a great deal, 
and first impressions are everything. Now, whoever thinks 
of Grand Cairo, as a village ; of the Grand Turk and Great 
Mogul, as little boys ; or, who would believe, by hearsay, 
that Captain Polwarth, of the light infantry, could weigh 
one hundred and eighty ! " 

"Add twenty to it." 

" Not a pound more, as I am a sinner. I was weighed 
in the presence of the whole mess no later than last week, 
since when I have rather lost than gained an ounce, fo/ 
this early rising is no friend to a thriving condition. 
'Twas in my nightgown, you'll remember, Leo, for we, 
who tally so often, can't afford to throw in boots, and 
buckles, and all those sorts of things, like your feather* 


" But I marvel how Nesbitt was induced to consent to 
the appointment," said Lionel ; " he loves a little dis- 

" I am your man for that," interrupted the captain ; "we 
are embodied you know, and I make more display, if that 
be what you require, than any captain in the corps. But 
I will whisper a secret in your ear. There has been a nasty 
business here, lately, in which the 47th has gained no new 
laurels a matter of tarring and feathering, about an old 
rusty musket." 

"I have heard something of the affair already," returned 
Lionel, " and was grieved to find the men justifying some 
of their own brutal conduct last night, by the example of 
their commander." 

" Mum 'tis a delicate matter well, that tar has brought 
the colonel into particularly bad odor in Boston, especially 
among the women, in whose good graces we are all of us 
lower than I have ever known scarlet coats to stand be- 
fore. Why, Leo, the Mohairs are altogether the better 
men, here ! But there is not an officer in the whole army 
who has made more friends in the place than your humble 
servant. I have availed myself of my popularity, which 
just now is no trifling thing, and partly by promises, and 
partly by secret interest, I have the company ; to which, 
you know, my rank in the regiment gives me an undoubted 

" A perfectly satisfactory explanation ; a most com- 
mendable ambition on your part, and a certain symptom 
that the peace is not to be disturbed ; for Gage would never 
permit such an arrangement, had he any active operations 
in his eye." 

"Why, there I think you are more than half right ; these 
Yankees have been talking, and resolving, and approbating 
their resolves, as they call it, these ten years past ; and 
what does it all amount to ? To be sure, things grow 
worse and worse every day but Jonathan is an enigma 
to me. Now you know, w r hen we were in the cavalry 
together God forgive me the suicide I committed in ex- 
changing into the foot, which I never should have done, 
could I have found in all England such a thing as an easy 
goer, or a safe leaper but then, if the commons took 
offence at a new tax, or a stagnation in business, why, they 
got together in mobs, and burnt a house or two, frightened 
a magistrate, and perhaps hustled a constable ; then in we 
came at a hand gallop, you know, flourished our sword% 


and scattered the ragged devils to the four winds ; when 
the courts did the rest, leaving us a cheap victory at the 
expense of a little wind, which was amply compensated by 
an increased appetite for dinner. But here it is altogether 
a different sort of thing." 

"And what are the most alarming symptoms, just now, 
in the colonies?" asked Major Lincoln, with a sensible 
interest in the subject. 

"They refuse their natural aliment to uphold what they 
call their principles; the women abjure tea, and the men 
abandon their fisheries ! There has been hardly such a 
thing as even a wild-duck brought into the market this 
spring, in consequence of the Port-Bill, and yet they grow 
more stubborn every day. If it should come to blows, 
however, thank God we are strong enough to open a pas- 
sage for ourselves to any part of the continent where pro- 
visions may be plentier ; and I hear more troops are already 
on the way." 

" If it should come to blows, which heaven forbid/' said 
Major Lincoln, "we shall be besieged where we now are." 

" Besieged ! " exclaimed Polwarth, in evident alarm ; " if 
I thought there was the least prospect of such a calamity, 
I would sell out to-morrow. It is bad enough now ; our 
mess-table is never decently covered, but' if there should 
come a siege, 'twould be absolute starvation. No, no, Leo, 
their minute men, and their long-tailed rabble, would 
hardly think of besieging four thousand British soldiers 
with a fleet to back them. Four thousand ! if the regi- 
ments I hear named are actually on the way, there will be 
eight thousand of us as good men as ever wore " 

"Light-infantry jackets," interrupted Lionel. " But 
the regiments are certainly coming ; Clinton, Burgoyne, 
and Howe, had an audience to take leave on the same day 
with myself. The service is exceedingly popular with the 
king, and our reception, of course, was most gracious ; 
though I thought the eye of royalty looked on me as if it 
remembered one or two of my juvenile votes in the house, 
on the subject of these unhappy dissensions." 

"You voted against the Port-Bill," said Polwarth, "out 
of regard to me ? " 

"No ; there I joined the ministry. The conduct of the 
people of Boston had provoked the measure, and there 
were hardly two minds in Parliament on that question." 

"Ah ! Major Lincoln, you are a happy man," said the 
captain; "a seat in Parliament at five-and-twenty ! { 


must think that I should prefer just such an occupation to 
all others the very name is taking ; a seat ! you have two 
members for your borough who fills the second now?" 

" Say nothing on that subject, I entreat you," whispered 
Lionel, pressing the arm of the other, as he rose ; " 'tis 
not filled by him who should occupy it, as you know. 
Shall we descend to the common ? there are many friends 
that I could wish to see before the bell calls us to church." 

" Yes ; this is a church-going, or, rather, meeting-going 
place ; for most of the good people forswear the use of 
the word church, as we abjure the supremacy of the pope," 
returned Polwarth, following in his companion's foot- 
steps ; " I never think of attending any of their schism- 
shops, for I would any day rather stand sentinel over a 
baggage-wagon than stand up to hear one of their pray- 
ers. I can do very well at the King's Chapel, as they call 
it ; for when I am once comfortably fixed on my knees, 
I make out as well as my lord archbishop of Canterbury ; 
though it has always been matter of surprise to me, how 
any man can find breath to go through their work of a 

They descended the hill, as Lionel replied, and their 
forms were soon blended with those of twenty others, who 
wore scarlet coats, on the common. 


"For us, and for our tragedy, 
Here stooping to your clemency, 
We beg your hearing patiently." Hamlet. 

WE must, now, carry the reader back a century, in order 
to clear our tale of every appearance of ambiguity. Regi- 
nald Lincoln was a cadet of an extremely ancient and 
wealthy family, whose possessions were suffered to con- 
tinue as appendages to a baronetcy, throughout all the 
changes which marked the eventful periods of the com 
monwealth, and the usurpation of Cromwell. He had 
himself, however, inherited little more than a morbid 
sensibility, which, even in that age, appeared to be a sort 
of heirloom to his family. While still a young man, he 
had married a woman to whom he was much attached, 
who died in giving birth to her first child. The grief of 
the husband took a direction toward religion ; but un- 


happily, instead of deriving from his researches that 
healing consolation, with which our faith abounds, his 
mind became soured by the prevalent, but discordant 
views of the attributes of the Deity ; and the result of 
his conversion was, to leave him an ascetic puritan, and 
an obstinate predestinarian. That such a man, finding 
but little to connect him with his native country, should 
revolt at the impure practices of the court of Charles, 
is not surprising ; and, accordingly, though not a,t all 
implicated in the guilt of the regicides, he departed for 
the religious province of Massachusetts-Bay, in the first 
years of the reign of that merry prince. 

It was not difficult for a man of the rank and reputed 
sanctity of Reginald Lincoln, to obtain both honorable and 
lucrative employments in the plantations ; and, after the 
first glow of his awakened ardor in behalf of spiritual mat- 
ters had a little abated, he failed not to improve a due por- 
tion of his time by a commendable attention to temporal 
things. To the day of his death, however, he continued a 
gloomy, austere, and bigoted religionist, seemingly too re- 
gardless of the vanities of this world to permit his pure 
imagination to mingle with its dross, even while he sub- 
mitted to discharge its visible duties. Notwithstanding 
this elevation of mind, his son, at the decease of his father, 
found himself in the possession of many goodly effects ; 
which were, questionless, the accumulations of a neglected 
use during the days of his sublimated progenitor. 

Young Lionel so far followed in the steps of his worthy 
parent, as to continue gathering honors and riches into 
his lap ; though, owing to an early disappointment, and the 
inheritance of the "heirloom" already mentioned, it was 
late in life before he found a partner to share his happi- 
ness. Contrary to all the usual calculations that are made 
on the choice of a man of self-denial, he was then united 
to a youthful and gay Episcopalian, who had little, beside 
her exquisite beauty and good blood, to recommend her. 
By this lady he had four children, three sons and a daugh- 
ter, when he also was laid in the vault, by the side of his 
deceased parent. The eldest of these sons was yet a boy 
when he was called to the mother-country, to inherit the 
estates and honors of his family. The second, named Reg- 
inald, who was bred to arms, married, had a son, and lost 
his life in the wilds where he was required to serve, before 
he was five-and-twenty. The third was the grandfather of 
Agnes Danforth ; and the daughter was Mrs. Lechmere. 


The family of Lincoln, considering the shortness of 
their marriages, had been extremely prolific while in the 
colonies, according to that wise allotment of Providence, 
which ever seems to regulate the functions of our nature 
by our wants ; but the instant it was reconveyed to the 
populous island of Britain, it entirely lost its reputation 
for fruitfulness. Sir Lionel lived to a good age, married, 
but died childless ; notwithstanding, when his body lay in 
state, it was under a splendid roof, and in halls so ca- 
pacious that they would have afforded comfortable shelter 
to the whole family of Priam. 

By this fatality, it became necessary to cross the Atlan- 
tic once more, to find an heir to the wide domains of Rav- 
enscliffe, and to one of the oldest baronetcies in the king- 

We have planted and reared this genealogical tree to but 
little purpose, if it be necessary to tell the reader that the 
individual, who had now become the head of his race, was 
the orphan son of the deceased officer. He was married, 
and the father of one blooming boy, when this elevation, 
which was not unlooked for, occurred. Leaving his wife 
and child behind him, Sir Lionel immediately proceeded 
to England, to assert his rights and secure his possessions. 
As he was the nephew and acknowledged heir of the late in- 
cumbent, he met with no opposition to the more important 
parts of his claims. Across the character and fortunes of 
this gentleman, however, a dark cloud had early passed, 
which prevented the common eye from reading the events 
of his life, like those of other men, in its open and intelli- 
gible movements. After his accession to fortune and rank, 
but little was known of him, even by his earliest and most 
intimate associates. It was rumored, it is true, that he 
had been detained in England, for two years, by a vexa- 
tious contention for a petty appendage to his large estates, 
a controversy which was, however, known to have been de- 
cided in his favor, before he was recalled to Boston by the 
sudden death of his wife. This calamity befell him during 
the period when the war of '56 was raging in its greatest 
violence : a time when the energies of the colonies were 
directed to the assistance of the mother-country, who, ac- 
cording to the language of the day, was zealously endeav- 
oring to defeat the ambitious views of the French, in this 
hemisphere ; or, what amounted to the same thing in effect, 
in struggling to advance her own. 

It was an interesting period, when the mild and peaceful 


colonists were seen to shake off their habits of forbearance, 
and to enter into the strife with an alacrity and spirit that 
soon emulated the utmost daring of their more practised 
confederates. To the amazement of all who knew his 
fortunes, Sir Lionel Lincoln was seen to embark in many 
of the most desperate adventures that distinguished the 
war, with a hardihood that rather sought death than 
courted honor. He had been, like his father, trained to 
arms, but the regiment in which he held the commission 
of lieutenant colonel, was serving his master in the most 
eastern of his dominions, while the uneasy soldier was thus 
rushing from point to point, hazarding his life, and more 
than once shedding his blood, in the enterprises that sig- 
nalized his war in his most \vestern. 

This dangerous career, however, was at length suddenly 
and mysteriously checked. By the influence of some pow- 
erful agency that was never explained, the baron was in- 
duced to take his son, and embark once more for the land 
of their fathers, from which the former had never been 
known to return. For many years, all those inquiries 
which the laudable curiosity of the townsmen and towns- 
women of Mrs. Lechmere, prompted them to make, con- 
cerning the fate of her nephew, (and we leave each of 
our readers to determine their numbers,) were answered by 
that lady with the most courteous reserve ; and sometimes 
with such exhibitions of emotion, as we have already at- 
tempted to describe in her first interview with his son. 
But constant dropping will wear away a stone. At first 
there were rumors that the baronet had committed treason, 
and had been compelled to exchange Ravenscliffe for a less 
comfortable dwelling irj, the Tower of London. This report 
was succeeded by that of an unfortunate private marriage 
with one of the princesses of the house of Brunswick ; but 
a reference to the calendars of the day showed, that there 
was no lady of a suitable age disengaged ; and this amour, 
so creditable to the provinces, was necessarily abandoned. 
Finally, the assertion was made, with much more of the 
confidence of truth, that the unhappy Sir Lionel was the 
tenant of a private mad-house. 

The instant this rumor was circulated, a film fell from 
every eye, and none were so blind as not to have seen in- 
dications of insanity in the baronet long before ; and not 
a few were enabled to trace his legitimate right to lunacy 
through the hereditary bias of his race. To account for 
its sudden exhibition, was a more difficult task and exer* 


cised the ingenuity of an exceedingly ingenious people, 
for a long period. 

The more sentimental part of the community, such as the 
maidens and bachelors, and those votaries of Hymen who 
had twice and thrice proved the solacing power of the 
god, did not fail to ascribe the misfortune of the baronet 
to the unhappy loss of his wife * a lady to whom he was 
known to be most passionately attached. A few, the relics 
of the good old school, under whose intellectual sway the 
incarnate persons of so many godless dealers in necro- 
mancy had been made to expiate for their abominations, 
pointed to the calamity as a merited punishment on the 
backslidings of a family that had once known the true 
faith ; while the third, and by no means a small class, 
composed of those worthies who braved the elements in 
King Street, in quest of filthy lucre, did not hesitate to say, 
that the sudden acquisition of vast wealth had driven many 
a better man mad. But the time was approaching, when 
the apparently irresistible propensity to speculate on the 
fortunes of a fellow-creature was made to yield to more 
important considerations. The hour soon arrived when the 
merchant forgot his momentary interests to look keenly 
into the distant effects that were to succeed the move- 
ments of the day ; which taught the fanatic the wholesome 
lesson, that Providence smiled most beneficently on those 
who most merited, by their own efforts, its favors ; and 
which even purged the breast of the sentimentalist of its 
sickly tenant, to be succeeded by the healthy and enno- 
bling passion of love of country.- 

It was about this period that the contest for principle 
between the Parliament of Great Britain, and the colonies 
of North America, commenced, that in time led to those 
important results which have established a new era in 
political liberty, as well as a mighty empire. A brief glance 
at the nature of this controversy may assist in rendering 
many of the allusions in this legend more intelligible to 
some of its readers. 

The increasing wealth of the provinces had attracted the 
notice of the English ministry so early as the year 1763. 
In that year the first effort to raise a revenue which was to 
meet the exigenices of the empire, was attempted by the 
passage of a law to impose a duty on certain stamped 
paper, which was made necessary to give validity to con- 
tracts. This method of raising a revenue was not new 
in itself, nor was the imposition heavy in amount. But 


the Americans, not less sagacious than wary, perceived 
at a glance the importance of the principles involved in 
the admission of a right as belonging to any body to 
lay taxes, in which they were not represented. The ques- 
tion was not without its difficulties, but the direct and 
plain argument was clearly on the side of the colonists. 
Aware of the force of their reasons, arid perhaps a little 
conscious of the strength of their numbers, they approach- 
ed the subject with a spirit which betokened this con- 
sciousness, but with a coolness that denoted the firmness 
of their purpose. After a struggle of nearly two years, 
during which the law was rendered completely profitless 
by the unanimity among the people, as well as by a 
species of good-humored violence that rendered it exceed- 
ingly inconvenient, and perhaps a little dangerous, to the 
servants of the crown to exercise their obnoxious functions, 
the ministry abandoned the measure. But, at the same 
time that the law was repealed, the Parliament maintained 
its right to bind the colonies in all cases whatsoever, by 
recording a resolution to that effect in its journals. 

That an empire, whose several parts were separated by 
oceans, and whose interests were so often conflicting, 
should become unwieldy, and fall, in time, by its own 
weight, was an event that all wise men must have ex- 
pected to arrive. But, that the Americans did not con- 
template such a division at that early day, may be fairly 
inferred, if there were no other testimony in the matter, 
by the quiet and submission that pervaded the colonies 
the instant that the repeal of the stamp act was known. 
Had any desire for premature independence existed, 
the Parliament had unwisely furnished abundant fuel 
to feed the flame, in the very resolution already men- 
tioned. But, satisfied with the solid advantages they had 
secured, peaceful in their habits, and loyal in their feel- 
ings, the colonists laughed at the empty dignity of their 
self-constituted rulers, while they congratulated each other 
on their own more substantial success. If the besotted 
servants of the King had learned wisdom by the past, the 
storm would have blown over, and another age would 
have witnessed the events which we are about to relate. 
Things were hardly suffered, however, to return to their 
old channels again, before the ministry attempted to re- 
vive their claims by new impositions. The design to raise 
a revenue had been defeated in the case of the stamp act, 
by the refusal of the colonists to use the paper; but in 


the present instance, expedients were adopted, which, it 
was thought, would be more effective as in the case of 
tea, where the duty was paid by the East-India Company 
in the first instance, and the exaction was to be made on 
the Americans, through their appetites. These new inno- 
vations on their rights were met by the colonists with the 
same promptitude, but with much more of seriousness 
than in the former instances. All the provinces south of 
the Great Lakes, acted in concert on this occasion ; and 
preparations were made to render not only their remon- 
strances and petitions more impressive by a unity of ac- 
tion, but their more serious struggles also, should an ap- 
peal to force become necessary. The tea was stored or 
sent back to England, in most cases, though in the town 
of Boston, a concurrence of circumstances led to the vio- 
lent measure, on the part of the people, of throwing a 
large quantity of the offensive article into the sea. To 
punish this act, which took place in the early part of 1774, 
the port of Boston was closed, and different laws were 
enacted in Parliament, which were intended to bring the 
people back to a sense of their dependence on the British 

Although the complaints of the colonists were hushed 
during the short interval that had succeeded the suspen- 
sion of the efforts of the ministry to tax them, the feelings 
of alienation which were engendered by the attempt, had 
not time to be lost before the obnoxious subject was re- 
vived in its new shape. From 1763 to the period of our 
tale, all the younger part of the population of the prov- 
inces had grown into manhood, but they were no longer 
imbued with that profound respect for the mother-coun- 
try which had been transmitted from their ancestors, or 
with that deep loyalty to the crow r n that usually charac- 
terizes a people who view the pageant of royalty through 
the medium of distance. Still, those who guided the feel- 
ings, and controlled the judgments of the Americans, were 
averse to a dismemberment of the empire, a measure 
which they continued to believe both impolitic and un- 

In the meantime, though equally reluctant to shed 
blood, the adverse parties prepared for that final struggle, 
which seemed to be unavoidably approaching. The situa- 
tion of the colonies was now so peculiar, that it may be 
doubted whether history furnishes a precise parallel. 
Their fealty to the prince was everywhere acknowledged, 


while the laws -which emanated from his counsellors were 
sullenly disregarded and set at naught. Each province 
possessed its distinct government, and in most of them the 
political influence of the crown was direct and great ; but 
the time had arrived when it was superseded by a moral 
feeling that defied the machinations and intrigues of the 
ministry. Such of the provincial legislatures as possessed 
a majority of the " Sons of Liberty," as they who resisted 
the unconstitutional attempts of the ministry were termed, 
elected delegates to meet in a general congress to consult 
on the ways and means of effecting the common objects. 
In one or two provinces, where the inequality of repre- 
sentation afforded a different result, the people supplied 
the deficiencies by acting in their original capacity. This 
body, meeting, unlike conspirators, with the fearless con- 
fidence of integrity, and acting under the excitement of a 
revolution in sentiment, possessed an influence, which at 
a later day, has been denied to their more legally con' 
stituted successors. Their recommendations possessed all 
the validity of laws, without incurring their odium. 
While, as the organ of their fellow-subjects, they still con- 
tinued to petition and remonstrate, they did not forget to 
oppose, by such means as were then thought expedient, 
the oppressive measures of the ministry. 

An association was recommended to the people, for 
those purposes that are amply expressed in the three 
divisions which were significantly given to the subjects, in 
calling them by the several names of " non-importation," 
"non-exportation," and "non-consumption" resolutions. 
These negative expedients were all that was constitution- 
ally in their power, and, throughout the whole contro- 
versy, there had been a guarded care not to exceed the 
limits which the laws had affixed to the rights of the sub- 
ject. Though no overt act of resistance was committed, 
they did not, however, neglect such means as were attain- 
able to be prepared for the last evil, whenever it should 
arrive.' In this manner a feeling of resentment and dis- 
affection was daily increasing throughout the provinces, 
while in Massachusetts Bay, the more immediate scene of 
our story, the disorder in the body politic seemed to be 
inevitably gathering to its head. 

The great principles of the controversy had been blend- 
ed, in different places, with various causes of local com- 
plaint, and in none more than in the town of Boston. 
The inhabitants of this place had been distinguished foi 


an early, open, and fearless resistance to the ministry. An 
armed force had long been thought necessary to intimi' 
date this spirit, to effect which the troops were drawn 
from different parts of the provinces, and concentrated in 
this devoted town. Early in 1774, a military man was 
placed in the executive chair of the province, and an atti- 
tude of more determination was assumed by the govern- 
ment. One of the first acts of this gentleman, who held 
the high station of lieutenant general, and who com- 
manded all the forces of the king in America, was to dis- 
solve the colonial assembly. About the same time a new 
charter was sent from England, and a material change 
was contemplated in the polity of the colonial govern- 
ment. From this moment the power of the king, though 
it was not denied, became suspended in the province. A 
provincial congress was elected, and assembled within 
seven leagues of the capital, where they continued, from 
time to time, to adopt such measures as the exigencies of 
the times were thought to render necessary. Men were 
enrolled, disciplined, and armed, as well as the imperfect 
means of the colony would allow. These troops, who 
were no more than the elite of the inhabitants, had little 
else to recommend them besides their spirit, and their 
manual dexterity with fire-arms. From the expected 
nature of their service, they were not unaptly termed 
" minute-men." The munitions of war were seized, and 
hoarded with a care and diligence that showed the char- 
acter of the impending conflict. 

On the other hand, General Gage adopted a similar 
course of preparation and prevention, by fortifying himself 
in the strong hold which he possessed, and by anticipating 
the intentions of the colonists, in their attempts to form 
magazines, whenever it was in his power. He had an easy 
task in the former, both from the natural situation of the 
place he occupied, and the species of force he commanded. 

Surrounded by broad and chiefly by deep waters, except 
at one extremely narrow point, and possessing its triple 
hills, which are not commanded by any adjacent eminen- 
ces, the peninsula of Boston could, with a competent gar- 
rison, easily be made impregnable, especially when aided 
by a superior fleet. The works erected by the English 
general were, however, by no means of magnitude ; for it 
was well known that the whole park of the colonists could 
not exceed some half dozen pieces of field artillery, with a 
small battering train that must be entirely composed of 


old and cumbrous ship guns. Consequently, when Lionel 
arrived in Boston, he found a few batteries thrown up on 
the eminences, some of which were intended as much to 
control the town as to repel an enemy from without, while 
lines were drawn across the neck which communicated 
with the main. The garrison consisted of something less 
than live thousand men, besides which there was a fluctu- 
ating force of seamen and marines, as the vessels of war 
arrived and departed. 

All this time, there was no other interruption to the in- 
tercourse between the town and the country, than such as 
unavoidably succeeded the stagnation of trade, and the dis- 
trust engendered by the aspect of affairs. Though num- 
berless families had deserted their homes, many known 
whigs continued to dwell in their habitations, where their 
ears were deafened by the sounds of the British drums, and 
where their spirits were but too often galled by the sneers 
of the officers on the uncouth military preparations of 
their countrymen. Indeed, an impression had spread fur- 
ther than among the idle and thoughtless youths of the 
army, that the colonists were but little gifted with martial 
qualities ; and many of their best friends in Europe were 
in dread, lest an appeal to force should put the contested 
points forever at rest, by proving the incompetency of the 
Americans to maintain them to the last extremity. 

In this manner, both parties stood at bay ; the people 
living in perfect order and quiet, without the administra- 
tion of law, sullen, vigilant, and, through their leaders, 
secretly alert ; and the army, gay, haughty, and careless 
of the consequences, though far from being oppressive or 
insolent, until after the defeat of one or two abortive ex- 
cursions into the country in quest of arms. Each hour, 
however, was rapidly adding to the disaffection on one 
side, and to the contempt and resentment on the other, 
through numberless public and private causes, that belong 
rather to history than to a legend like this. All extraordi- 
nary occupations were suspended, and men awaited the 
course of things in anxious expectation. It was known 
that the Parliament, instead of retracing their political 
errors, had imposed new restraints, and, as has been men- 
tioned, it was also rumored that regiments and fleets were 
on their way to enforce them. 

How long a country could exist in such a primeval con- 
dition remained to be seen, though it was difficult to say 
when or how it was to terminate. The people of the land 


appeared to slumber ; but, like vigilant and wary soldiers, 
they might be said to sleep on their arms ; while the 
troops assumed, each day, more of that fearful prepara- 
tion which gives, even to the trained warrior, a more 
martial aspect though both parties still continued to 
manifest a becoming reluctance to shed blood. 


"Would he were fatter : but I fear him not : 
Seldom he smiles ; and smiles in such a sort, 
As if he mocked himself, and scorned his spirit 
That could be moved to smile at any thing." 

Julius Ccesar. 

IN the course of the succeeding week, Lionel acquired 
a knowledge of many minor circumstances relating to the 
condition of the colonies, which may be easily imagined 
as incidental to the times, but which' \vould greatly exceed 
our limits to relate. He was received by his brethren 
in arms, with that sort of cordiality that a rich, high- 
spirited, and free, if not a jovial comrade, was certain of 
meeting among men who lived chiefly for pleasure and 
appearance. Certain indications of more than usually im- 
portant movements were discovered among the troops, the 
first day of the week, and his own condition in the army 
was in some measure affected by the changes. Instead of 
joining his particular regiment, he was ordered to hold 
himself in readiness to take a command in the light corps, 
which had begun its drill for the service that was peculiar 
to such troops. As it was well known that Boston was 
Major Lionel's place of nativity, the commander-in-chief, 
with the indulgence and kindness of his character, granted 
to him, however, a short respite from duty, in order that 
he might indulge in the feelings natural to his situation. 
It was soon generally understood, that Major Lincoln, 
though intending to serve with the army in America, 
should the sad alternative of an appeal to arms become 
necessary, had permission to amuse himself in such a 
manner as he saw fit, for two months from the date of his 
arrival. Those who affected to be more wise than com- 
mon, saw, or thought they saw, in this arrangement, a deep 
laid plan on the part of Gage, to use the influence and 


address of the young provincial among his connections 
and natural friends, to draw them back to those senti- 
ments of loyalty which it was feared so many among them 
had forgotten to entertain. But it was the characteristic 
of the times to attach importance to trifling incidents, and 
to suspect a concealed policy in movements which ema- 
nated only in inclination. 

There was nothing, however, in the deportment, or man- 
ner of life adopted by Lionel, to justify any of these con- 
jectures. He continued to dwell in the house of Mrs. 
Lechmere, in person, though, unwilling to burden the hos- 
pitality of his aunt too heavily, he had taken lodgings in a 
dwelling at no great distance, where his servants resided, 
and where it was generally understood, that his visits of 
ceremony and friendship were to be received. Captain 
Polwarth did not fail to complain loudly of this arrange- 
ment, as paralyzing at once all the advantages he had an- 
ticipated from enjoying the entre to the dwelling of his 
mistress, in the right of his friend. But as the establish- 
ment of Lionel was supported with much of that liberality 
which was becoming in a youth of his large fortune, the 
exuberant light-infantry officer found many sources of con- 
solation in the change, which could not have existed, had 
the staid Mrs. Lechmere presided over the domestic de- 
partment. Lionel and Polwarth had been boys together 
at the same school, members of the same college at Oxford, 
and subsequently, for many years, comrades in the same 
corps. Though, perhaps, no two men in their regiment 
were more essentially different in mental as well as physical 
constitution, yet. by that unaccountable caprice, which 
causes us to like our opposites, it is certain that no two 
gentlemen in the service were known to be on better terms, 
or to maintain a more close and unreserved intimacy. It 
is unnecessary to dilate here on this singular friendship : 
it occurs every day, between men still more discordant, the 
result of accident and habit, and is often, as in the present 
instance, cemented by unconquerable good-nature in one 
of the parties. For this latter qualification Captain Pol- 
warth was eminent, if for no other. It contributed quite 
as much as his science in the art of living to the thriving 
condition of the corporeal moiety of the man, and it ren- 
dered a communion with the less material part at all times 
inoffensive, if not agreeable. 

On the present occasion, the captain took charge of the 
internal economy of Lionel's lodgings, with a zeal which 


he did not even pretend was disinterested. By the rules 
of the regiment he was compelled to live nominally with 
the mess, where he found his talents and his wishes fet- 
tered by divers indispensable regulations, and economical 
practices, that could not be easily overleaped ; but with 
Lionel, just such an opportunity offered for establishing 
rules of his own, and disregarding expenditure, as he had 
been long pining for in secret. Though the poor of the 
town were, in the absence of employment, necessarily sup- 
ported by large contributions of money, clothing, and food, 
which were transmitted to their aid from the furthermost 
parts of the colonies, the markets were not yet wanting in 
all the necessaries of life, to those who enjoyed the means 
of purchasing. With this disposition of things, therefore, 
he became w r ell content, and within the first fortnight after 
the arrival of Lionel, it became known to the mess that 
Captain Polvvarth took his dinners regularly with his old 
friend, Major Lincoln ; though in truth the latter was en- 
joying, more than half the time, the hospitality of the 
respective tables of the officers of the staff. 

In the meantime Lionel cultivated his acquaintance in 
Tremont Street, where he still slept, with an interest and 
assiduity that the awkwardness of his first interview would 
not have taught us to expect. With Mrs. Lechmere, it is 
true, he made but little progress in intimacy ; for, equally 
formal, though polite, she was at all times enshrouded in a 
cloud of artificial, but cold management, that gave him 
little opportunity, had he possessed the desire, to break 
through the reserve of her calculating temperament. With 
his more youthful kinswomen, the case was, however, in a 
very few days, entirely reversed. Agnes Danforth, who 
had nothing to conceal, began insensibly to yield to the 
manliness and grace of his manner, and before the end of 
the first week, she maintained the rights of the colonists, 
laughed at the follies of the officers, and then acknowledged 
her own prejudices, with a familiarity and good-humor 
that soon made her, in her turn, a favorite with her Eng- 
lish cousin, as she termed Lionel. But he found the 
demeanor of Cecil Dynevor much more embarrassing, if 
not inexplicable. For days she would be distant, silent, 
and haughty, and then again, as it were by sudden im- 
pulses, she became easy and natural ; her whole soul 
beaming in her speaking eyes, or her innocent and merry 
humor breaking through the bounds of her restraint, and 
rendering not only herself, but all around her, happy and 


delighted. Full many an hour did Lionel ponder on this 
unaccountable difference in the manner of this young lady, 
at different moments. There was a secret excitement in 
the very caprices of her humors, that had a piquant in- 
terest in his eyes, and which, aided by her exquisite form 
and intelligent face, gradually induced him to become a 
more close observer of their waywardness, and consequently 
a more assiduous attendant on her movements. In con- 
sequence of this assiduity, the manner of Cecil grew, al- 
most imperceptibly, less variable, and more uniformly 
fascinating, while Lionel, by some unaccountable over- 
sight, soon forgot to note its changes, or even to miss the 

In a mixed society, where pleasure, company, and a 
multitude of objects, conspired to distract the attention, 
such alterations would be the result of an intercourse for 
months, if they ever occurred ; but in a town like Boston, 
from which most of those with whom Cecil had once 
mingled were already fled, and where, consequently, those 
who remained behind lived chiefly for themselves and by 
themselves, it was no more than the obvious effect of very 
apparent causes. In this manner something like good- 
will, if not a deeper interest in each other was happily 
effected within that memorable fortnight/which was teem- 
ing with events vastly more important in their results than 
any that can appertain to the fortunes of a single family. 

The winter of 1774-5 had been as remarkable for its 
mildness, as the spring was cold and lingering. Like every 
season in our changeable climate, however, the chilling 
days of March and April were intermingled with some, 
when a genial sun recalled the ideas of summer, which, in 
their turn, were succeeded by others, when the torrents of 
cold rain, that drove before the easterly gales, would seem 
to repel every advance toward a milder temperature. 
Many of those stormy days occurred in the middle of April, 
and during their continuance Lionel was necessarily com- 
pelled to keep himself housed. 

He had retired from the parlor of Mrs. Lechmere, one 
evening when the rain was beating against the windows of 
the house, in nearly horizontal lines, to complete some 
letters which, before dining, he had commenced to the 
agent of his family, in England. On entering his own 
apartment, he was startled to find the room, which he had 
left vacant, and which he expected to find in the same 
state, occupied in a manner that he could not anticipate. 


The light of a strong wood fire was blazing on the hearth^ 
and throwing about, in playful changes, the flickering 
shadows of the furniture, and magnifying each object into 
some strange and fantastical figure. As he stepped with- 
in the door, his eye fell upon one of these shadows, which 
extended along the wall, and, bending against the ceiling, 
exhibited the gigantic but certain outlines of the human 
form. Recollecting that he had left his letters open, and 
a little distrusting the discretion of Meriton, Lionel ad- 
vanced lightly, for a few feet, so far as to be able to look 
round the drapery of his bed, and, to his amazement, per- 
ceived that the intruder was not his valet, but the aged 
stranger. The old man sat holding in his hand the open 
letter which Lionel had been writing, and continued so 
deeply absorbed in its contents, that the footsteps of the 
other were still disregarded. A large, coarse overcoat, 
dripping with water, concealed most of his person, though 
the white hairs that strayed about his face, and the deep lines 
of his remarkable countenance, could not be mistaken. 

" I was ignorant of this unexpected visit," said Lionel, 
advancing quickly into the centre of the room, " or I should 
not have been so tardy in returning to my apartment, 
where, sir, I fear you must have found your time irksome, 
with nothing but that scrawl to amuse you." 

The old man dropped the paper from before his features, 
and betrayed, by the action, the large drops that followed 
each other down his hollow cheeks, until they fell even to 
the floor. The haughty and displeased look disappeared 
from the countenance of Lionel at this sight, and he was 
on the point of speaking in a more conciliating manner, 
when the stranger, whose eye had not quailed before the 
angry frown it encountered, anticipated his intention. 

"I comprehend you, Major Lincoln," he said, calmly ; 
" but there can exist justifiable reasons for a greater 
breach of faith than this, of which you accuse me. : Acci- 
dent, and not intention, has put me in possession, here, of 
your most secret thoughts on a subject that has deep in- 
terest for me. You have urged me often, during our voy- 
age, to make you acquainted with all that you most desire 
to know ; to which request, as you may remember, I have 
ever been silent." 

" You have said, sir, that you are master of a secret in 
which my feelings, I will acknowledge, are deeply inter- 
ested, and I have urged you to remove my doubts by de* 
claring the truth ; but I do not perceive " 


" How a desire to possess my secret gives me a claim to 
inquire into yours, you would say," interrupted the 
stranger ; " nor does it. But an interest in your affairs, 
that you cannot yet understand, and which is vouched for 
by these scalding tears, the first that have fallen in years 
from a fountain that I had thought dried, should, and 
must, satisfy you." 

" It does," said Lionel, deeply affected by the melan- 
choly tones of his voice, " it does, it does, and I will listen 
to no further explanation on the unpleasant*subject. You 
see nothing there, I am sure, of which a son can have rea- 
son to be ashamed." 

" I see much here, Lionel Lincoln, of which a father 
would have reason to be proud," returned the old man. 
" It was the filial love which you have displayed in this pa- 
per, which has drawn these drops from my eyes ; for he 
who has lived as I have done, beyond the age of man, with- 
out knowing the love that the parent feels for its offspring, 
or which the child bears to the author of its being, must 
have outlived his natural sympathies, not to be conscious 
of his misfortune, when chance makes him sensible of af- 
fections like these." 

" You have never been a father, then?" said Lionel, draw- 
ing a chair nigh to his aged companion, and seating himself 
with an air of powerful interest, that he could not control. 

" Have I not told you that I am alone ?" returned the 
old man, with a solemn manner. After an impressive 
pause, he continued, though his tones were husky and low 
" I have been both husband and parent, in my day, but 
' tis so long since, that no selfish tie remains to bind me to 
earth. Old age is the neighbor of death, and the chill of 
the grave is to be found in its warmest breathings." 

"Say not so," interrupted Lionel, "for you do injustice 
to your own warm nature you forget your zeal in behalf 
of what you deem these oppressed colonies." 

"'Tis no more than the flickering of the dying lamp, 
which flares and dazzles most when its source of heat is 
nighest to extinction. But though I may not infuse into 
your bosom a warmth that I do not possess myself, I can 
point out the dangers with which life abounds, and serve 
as a beacon, when no longer useful as a pilot. It is for 
such a purpose, Major Lincoln, that I have braved the 
tempest of to-night." 

" Has anything occurred, which, by rendering danger 
pressing, can make such an exposure necessary ?" 


" Look at me," said the old man, earnestly " I have seen 
most of this flourishing country a wilderness; my recol- 
lection goes back into those periods when the savage, and 
the beast of the forest, contended with our fathers for 
much of that soil which now supports its hundreds of 
thousands in plenty ; and my time is to be numbered; not 
by years, but by ages. For such a being, think you there 
can yet be many months, or weeks, or even days, in store ? " 

Lionel dropped his eyes, in embarrassment, to the floor, 
as he answered 

" You cannot have very many years, surely, to hope 
for ; but with the activity and temperance you possess, 
days and months confine you, I trust, in limits much too 

" What ! " exclaimed the other, stretching forth a color- 
less hand, in which even the prominent veins partook in 
the appearance of a general decay of nature ; " with these 
wasted limbs, these gray hairs, and this sunken and sepul- 
chral cheek, would you talk to me of years ! to me, who 
have not the effrontery to petition for even minutes, were 
they worth the praver so long alreadv has been my pro% 
bation ! " 

" It is certainly time to think of the change, when it ap- 
proaches so very near." 

" Well, then, Lionel Lincoln, old, feeble, and on the 
threshold of eternity as I stand, yet am I not nearer to my 
grave than that country, to which you have pledged your 
blood, is to a mighty convulsion, which will shake her in- 
stitutions to their foundations." 

" I cannot admit the signs of the times to be quite so 
portentous as your fears would make them," said Lionel, 
smiling a little proudly. " Though the worst that is appre- 
hended should arrive, England will feel the shock but as 
the earth bears an eruption of one of its volcanoes ! But 
\ve talk in idle figures, sir : know you anything to justify 
the apprehension of immediate danger ? " 

The face of the stranger lighted with a sudden and start- 
ling gleam of intelligence, and a sarcastic smile passed 
across his wan features, as he answered slowly 

" They only have cause to fear who will be the losers 
by the change ! A youth who casts off the trammels of 
his guardians is not apt to doubt his ability to govern 
himself. England has held- these colonies so long in lead- 
ing-strings, that she forgets her offspring is able to go 


" Now, sir, you exceed even the wild projects of the most 
daring among those who call themselves the * Sons of 
Liberty ' as if liberty existed in any place more favored 
or more nurtured than under the blessed constitution of 
England! The utmost required is what they term a redress 
of grievances, many of which, I must think, exist only in 

" Was a stone ever known to roll upward ? Let there be 
but one drop of American blood spilt in anger, and its stain 
will become indelible." 

" Unhappily, the experiment has been already tried ; and 
yet years have rolled by, while England keeps her footing 
and authority good." 

" Her authority ! " repeated the old man ; " see you not, 
Major Lincoln, in the forbearance of this people, when they 
felt themselves in the wrong, the existence of the very prin- 
ciples that will render them invincible and unyielding when 
right ? But we waste our time I came to conduct you to 
a place where, with your own ears, and with your own 
eyes, you may hear and see a little of that spirit which per- 
vades the land You will follow ? " 

" Not surely in such a tempest ! " 

" This tempest is but a trifle to that which is about to 
break upon you, unless you retrace your steps ; but follow, 
I repeat ; if a man of my years disregards the night, ought 
an English soldier to hesitate ?" 

The pride of Lionel was touched ; and remembering an 
engagement he had previously made with his aged friend 
to accompany him to a scene like this, he made such 
changes in his dress as would serve to conceal his profes- 
sion, threw on a large cloak to protect his person, and was 
about to lead the way himself, when he was aroused by the 
voice of the other. 

" You mistake the route," he said , " this is to be a se- 
cret, and I hope a profitable visit none must know of 
your presence ; and if you are a worthy son of your honor- 
able father, I need hardly add that my faith is pledged for 
your discretion." 

" The pledge will be respected, sir," said Lionel, haugh- 
tily ; " but in order to see what you wish, we are not to re- 
main here ?" 

" Follow, then, and be silent," said the old man, turning 
and opening the doors which led into a little apartment 
lighted by one of those smaller windows, already mentioned 
iii describing the exterior of the building. The passage 


was dark and narrow ; but, observing the warnings of his 
companion, Lionel succeeded in descending, in safety, a 
flight of steps which formed a private communication 
between the offices of the dwelling and its upper apart- 
ments. They paused an instant at the bottom of the 
stairs, where the youth expressed his amazement that 
a stranger should be so much more familiar with the 
building than he who had for so many days made it his 

" Have I not often told you," returned the old man, with 
a severity in his voice which was even apparent in its sup- 
pressed tones, " that I have known Boston for near a'hun- 
dred years ! How many edifices like this does it contain, 
that I should not have noted its erection ! But follow in 
silence, and be prudent." 

He now opened a door which conducted them through 
one end of the building, into the courtyard in which it was 
situated. As they emerged into the open air, Lionel per- 
ceived the figure of a man, crouching under the walls, as 
if seeking a shelter from the driving rain. The moment 
they appeared, this person arose, and followed as they 
moved toward the street. 

"Are we not watched ? " said Lionel, stopping to face the 
unknown ; "whom have we skulking in our footsteps ?" 

" Tis the boy," said the old man, for whom we must 
adopt the name of Ralph, which it would appear was the 
usual term used by Job when addressing his mother's guest 
" 'tis the boy, and he can do us no harm. God has 
granted to him a knowledge between much of what is good, 
and that which is evil, though the mind of the child is, at 
times, sadly weakened by his bodily ailings. His heart, 
however, is with his country, at a moment when she needs 
all hearts to maintain her rights." 

The young British officer bowed his head to meet the 
tempest, and smiled scornfully within the folds of his cloak, 
which he drew more closely around his form, as they met 
the gale in the open streets of the town. They had passed 
swiftly through many narrow and crooked ways, before 
another word was uttered between the adventurers. Lio- 
nel mused on the singular and indefinable interest that he 
took in the movements of his companion, which could 
draw him at a time like this from the shelter of Mrs. Lech- 
mere's roof, to wander he knew not whither, and on an er- 
rand which might even be dangerous to his person. Still 
he followed, unhesitatingly ; for with these passing thoughts 


was blended the recollection of the many recent and in- 
teresting communications he had held with the old man 
during their long and close association in the ship ; nor 
was he wanting in a natural interest for all that involved 
the safety and happiness of the place of his birth. He kept 
the form of his aged guide in his eye, as the other moved 
before him, careless of the tempest which beat on his with- 
ered frame, and he heard the heavy footsteps of Job in his 
rear, who had closed so near his own person as to share, in 
some measure, in the shelter of his ample cloak. But no 
other living being seemed to have ventured abroad ; and 
even the few sentinels they passed, instead of pacing in 
front of those doors which it was their duty to guard, were 
concealed behind the angles of walls, or sought shelter 
under the projections of some favoring roof. At moments 
the wind rushed into the narrow avenues of the streets, 
along which it swept, with a noise not unlike the hollow 
roaring of the sea, and with a violence which was nearly 
irresistible. At such times Lionel was compelled to pause, 
and even frequently to recede a little from his path, while 
his guide, supported by his high purpose, and but little 
obstructed by his garments, seemed, to the bewildered im- 
agination of his follower, to glide through the night with 
a facility that was supernatural. At length the old man, 
who had got some distance ahead of his followers, sudden- 
ly paused, and allowed Lionel to approach to his side. The 
latter observed with surprise, that he had stopped before 
the root and stump of a tree, which had once grown on the 
borders of the street, and which appeared to have been re- 
cently felled. 

"'Do you see this remnant of the elm ? " said Ralph, when 
the others had stopped also ; " their axes have succeeded 
in destroying the mother-plant, but her scions are flourish- 
ing throughout the continent ! " 

" I do not comprehend you ! " returned Lionel ; " I see 
here nothing but the stump of some tree ; surely the min- 
isters of the king are not answerable that it stands no 
longer ? " 

"The ministers of the king are answerable to their mas- 
ter, that it has ever become what it is but speak to the 
boy at your side ; he will tell you of its virtues." 

Lionel turned towards Job, and perceived by the ob- 
scure light of the moon, to his surprise, that the changeling 
stood .with his head bared to the storm, regarding the 
root with an extraordinary degree of reverence. 


" This is all a mystery to me ! " he said ; " what do you 
know about this stump to stand in awe of, boy ? " 

" Tis the root of ' Liberty-tree,' " said Job, " and 'tis 
wicked to pass it without making your manners ! " 

" And what has this tree done for liberty, that it has 
merited so much respect ? " 

"What! why, did you ever see a tree afore this that 
could write and give notices of town-meetin'-da's, or that 
could tell the people what the king meant to do with the 
tea and his stamps !" 

" And could this marvellous tree work such miracles?" 

"To be sure it could, and it did too you let stingy Tom- 
my think to get above the people with any of his cunning 
over night, and you might come here next morning, and 
read a warning on the bark of this tree, that would tell all 
about it, and how to put down his deviltries, written out 
fair, in a hand as good as Master Lovell himself could put 
on paper, the best day of his grand scholarship." 

" And who put the paper there ? " 

" Who ! " exclaimed Job, a little positively ; " why, Lib- 
erty came in the night, and pasted it up herself. When 
Nab cotildn't get a house to live in, Job used to sleep 
under the tree, sometimes ; and many a night has he 
seen Liberty, with his own eyes, come and put up the 

"And was it a woman ?" 

" Do you think Liberty was such a fool as to come every 
time in woman's clothes, to be followed by the rake-helly 
soldiers about the streets!" said Job, with great contempt 
in his manner. " Sometimes she did, though, and some- 
times she didn't ; just as it happened. And Job was in the 
tree when old Noll had to give up his ungodly stamps ; 
though he didn't do it till the ' Sons of Liberty ' had 
chucked his stamp-shop in the dock, and hung him and 
Lord Boot together, on the branches of the old Elm ! " 

" Hung ! " said Lionel, unconsciously drawing back from 
the spot. " Was it ever a gallows ? " 

" Yes, for iffigies," said Job, laughing ; " I wish you 
could have been here to see how the^old boot, with Satan 
sticking out on't, whirled about when they swung it off ! 
They give the old boy a big shoe to put his cloven huff in ! " 

Lionel, who was familiar with the peculiar sound that 
his townsmen gave to the letter , now comprehended the 
allusion to the Earl of Bute, and, beginning to understand 
more clearly the nature of the transactions, and the uses 


to which that memorable tree had been applied, he ex - 
pressed his desire to proceed. 

The old man had suffered Job to make his own explana* 
tions, though not without a curious interest in the effect 
they would produce on Lionel ; but the instant the request 
was made to advance, he turned, and once more led the 
way. Their course was now directed more toward the 
wharves ; nor was it long before their conductor turned 
into a narrow court, and entered a house of rather mean 
appearance, without even observing the formality of an- 
nouncing his visit by the ordinary summons of rapping a2 
its door. A long, narrow, and dimly-lighted passage con-, 
ducted them to a spacious apartment far in the court, 
which appeared to have been fitted as a place for the re- 
ception of large assemblages of people. In this room 
were collected at least a hundred men, seemingly intent on 
some object of more than usual interest, by the gravity and 
seriousness of demeanor apparent in every countenance. 

As it was Sunday, the first impression of Lionel, on en- 
tering the room, was that his old friend, who often be- 
trayed a keen sensibility on subjects of religion, had 
brought him there with a design to listen to some'favorite 
exhorter of his own peculiar tenets, and as a tacit reproach 
for a neglect of the usual ordinances of that holy day, of 
which the conscience of the young mpn suddenly accused 
him, on finding himself unexpectedly mingled in such a 
throng. But after he had forced his person among a 
dense body of men, who stood at the lower end of the 
apartment, and became a silent observer of the scene, he 
was soon made to perceive his error. The weather had in- 
duced all present to appear in sucli garments as were best 
adapted to protect them from its fury ; and their exteriors 
were rough, and perhaps a little forbidding ; but there was 
a composure and decency in the air common to the whole 
assembly, which denoted that they were men who pos- 
sessed, in a high degree, the commanding quality of self- 
respect. A very few minutes sufficed to teach Lionel that 
he was in the midst of a meeting collected to discuss ques- 
tions connected with the political movements of the times, 
though he felt himself a little at a loss to discover the pre- 
cise results it was intended to produce. To every ques- 
tion there were one or two speakers, men who expressed 
their ideas in a familiar manner, and with the peculiar 
tones and pronunciation of the province, that left no room 
to believe them to be orators of a higher character than 


the mechanics and tradesmen of the town. Most, if not all 
of them, wore an air of deliberation and coldness that 
would have rendered their sincerity in the cause they had 
apparently espoused a little equivocal, but for occasional 
expressions of coarse, and sometimes biting, invective that 
they expended on the ministers of the crown, and for the 
perfect and firm unanimity that was manifested, as each 
expression of the common feeling was taken, after the 
manner of deliberative bodies, Certain resolutions, in 
which the most respectful remonstrances were singularly 
blended with the boldest assertions of constitutional prin- 
ciples, were read and passed without a dissenting voice, 
though with a calmness that indicated no very strong ex- 
citement. Lionel was peculiarly struck with the language 
of these written opinions, which were expressed with a 
purity, and sometimes with an elegance of style, which 
plainly showed that the acquaintance of the sober artisan 
with the instrument through whose periods he was blun- 
dering was quite recent, and far from being very intimate. 
The eyes of the young soldier wandered from face to face, 
with a strong desire to detect the secret movers of the 
scene he was witnessing ; nor was he long without select- 
ing one individual as an object peculiarly deserving of his 
suspicions. It was a man apparently but just entering into 
middle age, of an appearance, both in person and in such 
parts of his dress as escaped from beneath his overcoat, 
that denoted him to be of a class altogether superior to 
the mass of the assembly. A deep but manly respect was 
evidently paid to this gentleman by those who stood near- 
est to his person ; and once or twice there were close and 
earnest communications passing between him and the 
more ostensible leaders of the meeting, which roused the 
suspicions of Lionel in the manner related. Notwith- 
standing the secret dislike that the English officer sud- 
denly conceived against a man that he fancied w r as thus 
abusing his powers, by urging others to acts of insubor- 
dination, he could not conceal from himself the favorable 
impression made by the open, fearless, and engaging 
countenance of the stranger. Lionel was so situated as to 
be able to keep his person, which was partly concealed by 
the taller forms that surrounded him, in constant view ; 
nor was it long before his earnest and curious gaze caught 
the attention of the other. Glances of marked meaning 
were exchanged between them during the remainder of 
the evening, until the chairman announced that the ob 


jects of the convocation were accomplished, and dissolved 
the meeting. 

Lionel raised himself from his reclining attitude against 
the wall, and submitted to be carried by the current of 
human bodies into the dark passage, through which he 
had entered the room. Here he lingered a moment, with 
a view to recover his lost companion, and with a secret 
wish to scan more narrowly the proceedings of the man, 
whose air and manner had so long chained his attention. 
The crowd had sensibly diminished before he was aware 
that few remained beside himself, nor would he then have 
discovered that he was likely to become an object of sus- 
picion to those few, had not a voice at his elbow recalled 
his recollection. 

" Does Major Lincoln meet his countrymen to-night as 
one who sympathizes in their wrongs, or as the favored 
and prosperous officer of the crown ?" asked the very man 
for whose person he had so long been looking in vain. 

" Is sympathy with the oppressed incompatible with 
loyalty to my prince ?" demanded Lionel. 

"That it is not," said the stranger, in a friendly accent, 
" is apparent from the conduct of many gallant English- 
men among us, who espouse our cause. but we claim 
Major Lincoln as a countryman." 

" Perhaps, sir, it would be indiscreet just now to disavow 
that title, let my dispositions be as they may," returned 
Lionel, smiling a little haughtily ; " this may not be as se- 
cure a spot in which to avow one's sentiments, as the town 
common, or the palace of St. James." 

** Had the king been present to-night, Major Lincoln, 
would he have heard a single sentence opposed to that 
constitution, which has declared him a member too sacred 
to be offended ? " 

"Whatever may have been the legality of your senti- 
ments, sir, they surely have not been expressed in lan- 
guage altogether fit for a royal ear." 

" It may not have been adulation, or even flattery, but 
it is truth a quality no less sacred than the rights of 

"This is neither a place nor an occasion, sir," said the 
young soldier, quickly, " to discuss the rights of our com- 
mon master ; but if, as from your manner and your lan- 
guage I think not improbable, we should meet hereafter 
in a higher sphere, you will not find me at a loss to vindi- 
cate his claims." 


The stranger smiled with meaning, and as he bowed be- 
fore he fell back and was lost in the darkness of the pas- 
sage, he replied 

" Our fathers have often met in such society, I believe ; 
God forbid that their sons should ever encounter in a less 
friendly manner." 

Lionel, now finding himself alone, groped his way into 
the street, where he perceived Ralph and the changeling 
in waiting for his appearance. Without demanding the 
cause of the other's delay, the old man proceeded by the 
side of his companions, with the same indifference to the 
tempest as before, toward the residence of Mrs. Lechmere. 

"You have now had some evidence of the spirit that 
pervades this people," said Ralph, after a few moments of 
silence ; " think you still there is no danger that the vol- 
cano will explode ? " 

" Surely everything I have heard and seen to-night con- 
firms such an opinion." returned Lionel. " Men on the 
threshold of rebellion seldom reason so closely, and with 
such moderation. Why, the very fuel for the combustion, 
the rabble themselves, discuss their constitutional princi- 
ples, and keep under the mantle of law, as though they 
were a club of learned Templars." 

" Think you that the fire will burn less steadily, because 
what you call the fuel has been prepared by the seasoning 
of time ? " returned Ralph. " But this comes from send- 
ing a youth into a foreign land for his education ! The 
boy rates his sober and earnest countrymen on a level with 
the peasants of Europe." 

So much Lionel was able to comprehend ; but notwith- 
standing the old man muttered vehemently to himself for 
some time longer, it was in a tone too indistinct for his ear 
to understand his meaning. When they arrived in a 
part of the town, with which Lionel was familiar, his aged 
guide ppinted out his way, and took his leave, saying 

" I see that nothing but the last, and dreadful argument 
of force, will convince you of the purpose of the Ameri- 
cans to resist their oppressors. God avert the evil hour! 
but when it shall come, as come it must, you will learn 
your error, young man, and, I trust, will not disregard the 
natural ties of country and kindred." 

Lionel would have spoken in reply, but the rapid steps 
of Ralph rendered his wishes vain ; for, before he had time 
for utterance, his emaciated form was seen gliding, like an 
immaterial being, through the sheets of driving rain, 


was soon lost to the eye, as it vanished in the dim shaded 
of night, followed by the more substantial frame of tha 


" Sergeant, you shall. Thus are poor servitors 
When others sleep upon their quiet beds, 
Constrained to watch in darkness, rain and cold." 

King Henry VI. 

Two or three days of fine, balmy, spring weather suc- 
ceeded to the storm, during which Lionel saw no more of 
his aged fellow- voyager. Job, however, attached himself 
to the British soldier with a confiding helplessness that 
touched the heart of his young protector, who gathered 
from the circumstances a just opinion of the nature of the 
abuses that the unfortunate changeling was frequently 
compelled to endure from the brutal soldiery. Meriton 
performed the functions of master of the wardrobe to the 
lad, by Lionel's express commands, with evident disgust, 
but with manifest advantage to the external appearance, 
if with no very sensible evidence of additional comfort to 
his charge. During this short period, the slight impres- 
sion made on Lionel by the scene related in the preced- 
ing chapter, faded before the cheerful changes of the sea- 
son, and the increasing interest which he felt in the society 
of his youthful kinswomen. Polwarth relieved him from 
all cares of a domestic nature, and the peculiar shade of 
sadness, which at times had been so very perceptible in 
his countenance, was changed to a look of a more bright- 
ening and cheerful character. Polwarth and Lionel had 
found an officer, who had formerly served in the same regi- 
ment with them in the British Islands, in command of a 
company of grenadiers, which formed part of the garrison 
of Boston. This gentleman, an Irishman, of the name of 
M'Fuse, was qualified to do great honor to the culinary 
skill of the officer of light-infantry, by virtue of a keen 
natural gusto for whatever possessed the inherent proper- 
ties of a savory taste, though utterly destitute of any of 
that remarkable scientific knowledge, which might be said 
to distinguish the other in the art. He was, in consequence 
of this double claim on the notice of Lionel, a frequent 
guest at the nightly banquets prepared by Polwarth. Ac- 


cordingly, we find him, on the evening of the third day in 
the week, seated with his two friends, around a board 
plentifully garnished by the care of that gentleman, on the 
preparations for which more than usual skill had been ex- 
erted, if the repeated declarations of the disciple of Helio- 
gabalus, to that effect, were entitled to any ordinary credit. 

" In short, Major Lincoln," said Polwarth, in continuance 
of his favorite theme, while seated before the table, "a 
man may live any where, provided he possesses food in 
England, or out of England, it matters not. Raiment may 
be necessary to appearance, but food is the only indispens- 
able that nature has imposed on the animal world, and, in 
my opinion, there is a sort of obligation on every man to 
be satisfied, who has wherewithal to appease the cravings 
of his appetite. Captain M'Fuse, I will thank you to cut 
that sirloin with the grain." 

" What matters it, Polly," said the captain of grenadiers^ 
with a slight Irish accent, and with the humor of his 
countrymen strongly depicted in his fine, open, manly 
features, <; which way a bit of meat is divided, so there be 
enough to allay the cravings of the appetite, you will re- 
member ! " 

" It is a collateral assistance to nature that should never 
be neglected," returned Polwarth, whose gravity and se- 
riousness at his banquets were not easily disturbed ; " it 
facilitates mastication and aids digestion, two considera- 
tions of great importance to military men, sir, who have 
frequently such little time for the former, and no rest after 
their meals to complete the latter." 

" He reasons like an army contractor, who wishes to 
make one ration do the work of two, when transportation 
is high," said M'Fuse, wnnking to Lionel. "According to 
your principles, then, Polly, a potato is your true cam- 
paigner, for that is a cr'ature you may cut any way with- 
out disturbing the grain, provided the article be a little 

" Pardon me, Captain M'Fuse," said Polwarth, " a potato 
should be broken, and not cut at all there is no vegetable 
more used, and less understood than the potato." 

"And is it you, Pater Polwarth, of Nesbitt's light-infan* 
try," interrupted the grenadier, laying down his knife and 
fork with an air of infinite humor, "that will tell Dennis 
M'Fuse how to carve a potato ! I will yield to the right of 
an Englishman over the chivalry of an ox, your sirloins, 
and your lady-rumps, if you please, but in my own country, 


one end of every farm is a bog, and the other a potato-field 
'tis an Irishman's patrimony that you are making so 
free with, sir ! " 

" The possession of a thing, and the knowledge how to 
use it, are two very different properties " 

" Give me the property of possession, then," again in- 
terrupted the ardent grenadier, " especially when a morsel 
of the green island is in dispute ; and trust an old soldier 
of the Royal Irish to carve his own enjoyments. Now I'll 
wager a month's pay, and that to me is as much as if the 
major should say, Done for a thousand, that you can't tell 
how many dishes can be made, and are made every day in 
Ireland, out of so simple a thing as a potato." 

" You roast and boil ; and use them in stuffing tame 
birds, sometimes, and " 

"All old woman's cookery!" interrupted M'Fuse, with 
an affectation of great contempt in his manner. " Now, 
sir, we have them with butter, and without butter that 
counts two ; then we have the fruit p'aled ; and " 

" Impaled," said Lionel, laughing. u I believe this nice 
controversy must be referred to Job, who is amusing him- 
self in the corner there, I see, with the very subject of the 
dispute transfixed on his fork in the latter condition." 

" Or suppose, rather," said M'Fuse, "as'it is a matter to 
exercise the judgment of Solomon, we make a potato 
umpire of master Seth Sage, yonder, who should have 
some of the wisdom of the royal Jew, by the sagacity of 
his countenance as well as of his name." 

" Don't you call Seth r'yal," said Job, suspending his 
occupation on the vegetable. "The king is r'yal and 
fla'nty, but neighbor Sage lets Job come in and eat, like 
a Christian." 

" That lad there is not altogether without reason, Major 
Lincoln," said Polwarth ; " on the contrary, he discovers 
an instinctive knowledge of good from evil, by favoring us 
with his company at the hour of meals." 

" The poor fellow finds but little at home to tempt him 
to remain there, I fear," said Lionel ; " and as he was one 
of the first acquaintances I made on returning to my native 
land, I have desired Mr. Sage to admit him at all proper 
hours ; and especially, Polwarth, at those times when he 
can have an opportunity of doing homage to your skill." 

" I am glad to see him," said Polwarth ; " for I love an 
uninstructed palate, as much as I admire naivete in a 
woman. Be so good as to favor me with a cut from tha 


breast of that wild goose, M'Fuse not quite so far for- 
ward, if you please ; your migratory birds are apt to be 
tough about the wing but simplicity in eating is, after all, 
the great secret of life ; that and a sufficiency of food." 

"You may be right this time," replied the grenadier, 
laughing ; " for this fellow made one of the flankers of the 
flock, and did double duty in wheeling, I believe, or I have 
got him against the grain too ! But, Polly, you have not 
told us how you improve in your light infantry exercises 
of late." 

By this time Polwarth had made such progress in the 
essential part of his meal as to have recovered in some 
measure his usual tone of good-nature, and he answered 
with less gravity 

" If Gage does not work a reformation in our habits, he 
will fag us all to death. I suppose you know, Leo, that 
all the flank companies are relieved from the guards to 
learn a new species of exercise. They call it relieving us, 
but the only relief I find in the matter, is when we lie down 
to fire there is a luxurious moment or two then, I must 
confess ! " 

" I have known the fact, any time these ten days, by 
your meanings," returned Lionel ; " but what do you argue 
from this particular exercise, Captain M'Fuse? Does Gage 
contemplate more than the customary drills ? " 

" You question me now, sir, on a matter in which I am 
uninstructed," said the grenadier ; " I am a soldier, and 
obey my orders, without pretending to inquire into their 
objects or merits ; all I know is, that both grenadiers and 
light-infantry are taken from the guards ; and that we 
travel over a good deal of solid earth each day, in the way 
of marching and counter-marching, to the manifest discom- 
fiture and reduction of Polly, there, who loses flesh as fast 
as he gains ground." 

" Do you think so, Mac ?" cried the delighted captain of 
light-infantry ; " then I have not all the detestable motion 
in vain. They have given us little Harry Skip as a drill 
officer, who, I believe, has the most restless foot of any 
man in his Majesty's service. Do you join with me in 
opinion, master Sage? you seem to meditate on the sub- 
ject as if it had some secret charm." 

The individual to whom Polwarth addressed this ques- 
tion, and who has been already named, was standing with 
a plate in his hand, in an attitude that bespoke close atten- 
tion, with a sudden and deep interest in the discourse, 


though his eyes were bent on the floo^r, and his face was 
averted as if, while listening earnestly, he had a particular 
desire to be unnoticed. He was the owner of the house 
in which Lionel had taken his quarters. His family had 
been some time before removed into the country, under 
the pretence of his inability to maintain them in a place 
destitute of business and resources, like Boston ; but he 
remained himself, for the double purpose of protecting 
his property and serving his guests. This man partook, 
in no small degree, of the qualities, both of person and 
mind, which distinguish a large class among his country- 
men. In the former, he was rather over than under the 
middle stature ; was thin, angular, and awkward, but pos- 
sessing an unusual proportion of sinew and bone. His 
eyes were small, black, and scintillating, and it was not easy 
to fancy that the intelligence they manifested was un- 
mingled with a large proportion of shrewd cunning. The 
rest of his countenance was meagre, sallow, and rigidly 
demure. Thus called upon, on a sudden, by Polwarth for 
an opinion, Seth answered, with the cautious reserve with 
which he invariably delivered himself 

" The adjutant is an uneasy man ; but that, I suppose, 
is so much the better for a light-infantry officer. Captain 
Polwarth must find it considerable jading to keep the step, 
now the general has ordered these new doings with the 

"And what may be your opinion of these doings, as you 
call them, Mr. Sage?" asked M'Fuse ; "you, who are a 
man of observation, should understand your countrymen ; 
will they fight ? " 

"A rat will fight if the cats pen him," said Seth, without 
raising his eyes from his occupation. 

" But do the Americans conceive themselves to be 
penned ?" 

"Why, that is pretty much as people think, captain ; the 
country was in great touse about the stamps and the tea, 
but I always said such folks as didn't give their notes-of- 
hand, and had no great relish for anything more than 
country food, wouldn't find themselves cramped by the 
laws, after all." 

" Then you see no great oppression in being asked to 
pay your bit of a tax, master Sage," cried the grenadier, 
"to maintain such a worthy fellow as myself in a decent 
equipage to fight your battles." 

"Why, as to that, captain, I suppose we can do pretty 


much the whole of our own fighting, when occasion calls ; 
though I don't think there is much stomach for such do- 
ings among the people, without need." 

" But what do you think the * Committee of Safety/ and 
your * Sons of Liberty,' as they call themselves, really 
mean, by their parades of i minute-men,' their gathering 
of provisions, carrying off the cannon, and such other 
formidable and appalling preparations ha ! honest Seth ? 
do they think to frighten British soldiers with the roll of a 
drum, or are they amusing themselves, like boys in the 
holidays, with playing war ? " 

" I should conclude," said Seth, with undisturbed gravity 
and caution, "that the people are pretty much engaged, 
and in earnest." 

"To do what?" demanded the Irishman; "to forge 
their own chains, that we may fetter them in truth ? " 

"Why, seeing that they have burnt the stamps, and 
thrown the tea into the harbor," returned Seth, "and, 
since that, have taken the management into their own 
hands, I should rather conclude that they have pretty 
much determined to do what they think best." 

Lionel and Polwarth laughed aloud, and the former ob- 

" You appear not to come to conclusions with our host, 
Captain M'Fuse, notwithstanding so much is determined. 
Is it well understood, Mr. Sage, that large reinforcements 
are coming to the colonies, and to Boston in particular ? " 

" Why, yes," returned Seth ; "it seems to be pretty gen- 
erally contemplated on." 

"And what is the result of these contemplations?" 

Seth paused a moment, as if uncertain whether he was 
master of the other's meaning, before he replied 

"Why, as the country is considerably engaged in the 
business, there are some who think, if the ministers don't 
open the port, that it will be done without much further 
words by the people." 

" Do you know," said Lionel, gravely, " that such an at- 
tempt would lead directly to a civil war ? " 

" I suppose it is safe to calculate that such doings 
would bring on disturbances," returned his phlegmatic 

"And you speak of it, sir, as a thing not to be depre- 
cated, or averted by every possible means in the power of 
the nation ! " 

" If the port is opened, and the right to tax given up," 


said Seth, calmly, " I can find a man in Boston, who'll en- 
gage to let them draw all the blood that will be spilt, from 
his own veins, for nothing." 

" And who may that redoubtable individual be, Master 
Sage ? " cried M'Fuse ; " your own plethoric person ? How 
now, Doyle, to what am I indebted for the honor of this 
visit ? " 

This sudden question was put by the captain of grena- 
diers to the orderly of his own company, who at that in- 
stant filled the door of the apartment with his huge frame, 
in the attitude of military respect, as if about to address his 

"Orders have come down, sir, to parade the men at 
half an hour after tattoo, and to be in readiness for active 

The three gentlemen rose together from their chairs at 
this intelligence, while M'Fuse exclaimed "A night 
march ! Pooh ! We are to be sent back to garrison-duty I 
suppose ; the companies in the line grow sleepy, and wish 
a relief Gage might have taken a more suitable time, 
than to put gentlemen on their march so soon after such 
a feast as this of yours, Polly." 

" There is some deeper meaning to so extraordinary an 
order," interrupted Lionel; "there goes the tap of the 
tattoo, this instant ! Are no other troops but your com- 
pany ordered to parade ?" 

" The whole battalion is under the same orders, your 
honor, and so is the battalion of light-infantry ; I was 
commanded to report it so to Captain Polwarth, if I saw 

"This bears some meaning, gentlemen," said Lionel, 
" and it is necessary to be looked to. If either corps leaves 
the town to-night, I will march with it as a volunteer ; for 
it is my business, just now, to examine into the state of 
the country." 

"That we shall march to-night, is sure, your honor," 
added the sergeant, with the confidence of an old soldier ; 
"but how far, or on what road, is known only to the offi- 
cers of the staff ; though the men think we are to go out 
by the colleges." 

"And what has put so learned an opinion in their silly 
heads ? " demanded his captain. 

" One of the men who has been on leave, has jnst got in, 
and reports that a squad of gentlemen from the army 
dined near them, your honor, and that as night set in they 


mounted and began to patrol the roads in that direction. 
He was met and questioned by four of them as he crossed 
the flats." 

"All this confirms my conjectures," cried Lionel 
" there is a man who might now prove of important ser- 
vice Job where is the simpleton, Meriton?" 

" He was called out, sir, a minute since, and has left the 

" Then send in Mr. Sage," continued the young man, 
musing as he spoke. A moment after it was reported to 
him that Seth had strangely disappeared also. 

" Curiosity has led him to the barracks," said Lionel, 
" where duty calls you, gentlemen. I will despatch a little 
business, and join you there in an hour; you cannot inarch 
short of that time." 

The bustle of a general departure succeeded. Lionel 
threw his cloak into the arms of Meriton, to whom he 
delivered his orders, took his arms, and, making his 
apologies to his guests, he left the house with the manner 
of one who saw a pressing necessity to be prompt. M'Fuse 
proceeded to equip himself with the deliberation of a sol- 
dier who was too much practised to be easily disconcerted. 
Notwithstanding his great deliberation, the delay of Pol- 
warth, however, eventually vanquished the patience of the 
grenadier, who exclaimed, on hearing the other repeat, for 
the fourth time, an order concerning the preservation of 
certain viands, to which he appeared to cling in spirit, 
after a carnal separation was directed by fortune. 

" Poh ! poh ! man," exclaimed the Irishman, " why will 
you bother yourself on the eve of a march, with such 
epicurean propensities ! It's the soldier who should show 
your hermits and anchorites an example of mortification ; 
besides, Polly, this affectation of care and provision is the 
less excusable in yourself, you, who have been well aware 
that we were to march on a secret expedition this very 
night on which you seem so much troubled." 

" I ! " exclaimed Polwarth ; "as I hope to eat another 
meal, I am as ignorant as the meanest corporal in the 
army of the whole transaction why do you suspect other* 


" Trifles tell the old campaigner when and where the 
blow is to be struck," returned M'Fuse, coolly drawing his 
military overcoat tighter to his large frame ; " have I not, 
with my own eyes, seen you, within the hour, provision a 
certain captain of light-infantry after a very heavy fashion t 


Damn it, man, do you think I have served these five-and- 
twenty years, and do not know that when a garrison begins 
to fill its granaries, it expects a siege ? " 

" I have paid no more than a suitable compliment to the 
entertainment of Major Lincoln," returned Polwarth ; "but 
so far from having had any very extraordinary appetite, I 
have not found myself in a condition to do all the justice 
I could wish to several of the dishes. Mr. Meriton, I will 
thank you to have the remainder of that bird sent down to 
the barracks, where my man will receive it ; and, as it may 
be a long march, and a hungry one, add the tongue, and a 
fowl, and some of the ragout ; we can warm it up at any 
farm-house we'll take the piece of beef, Mac Leo has a 
particular taste for a cold cut ; and you might put up the 
ham, also ; it will keep better than anything else, if we 
should be out long and and I believe that will do, 

" I am as much rejoiced to hear it as I should be to haar 
a proclamation of war read at Charing-Cross," cried M'Fuse 
"you should have been a commissary, Polly nature 
meant you for an army sutler ! " 

"Laugh as you will, Mac," returned the good-humored 
Polwarth ; " I shall hear your thanks when we halt for 
breakfast ; but I attend you now." 

As they left the house, he continued, " I hope Gage 
means no more than to push us a little in advance with a 
view to protect the foragers and the supplies of the army 
such a situation w r ould have very pretty advantages ; 
for a system might be established that would give the mess 
of the light corps the choice of the whole market." 

" Tis a mighty preparation about some old iron gun, 
which would cost a man his life to put a match to," re- 
turned M'Fuse, cavalierly; " for my part, Captain Pol- 
warth, if we are to fight these colonists at all, I would do 
the thing like a man, and allow the lads to gather together 
a suitable arsenal, that when we come to blows, it may be 
a military affair as it now stands, I should be ashamed, as 
I am a soldier and an Irishman, to bid my fellows pull a 
trigger, or make a charge, on a set of peasants, whose fire- 
arms look more like rusty water-pipes than muskets, and 
who have half a dozen cannon with touch-holes that a man 
may put his head in, with muzzles just large enough to 
throw marbles." 

<k I don't know, Mac," said Polwarth, while they dili- 
gently pursued their way toward the quarters of their 


men ; " even a marble may destroy a man's appetite for 
his dinner ; and the countrymen possess a great advantage 
over us in commanding the supplies the difference in 
equipments would not more than balance the odds." 

" I wish to disturb no gentleman's opinion on matters of 
military discretion, Captain Polwarth," said the grenadier, 
with an air of high martial pride ; " but I take it there ex- 
ists a material difference between a soldier and a butcher, 
though killing be a business common to both I repeat, 
sir, I hope that this secret expedition is for a more worthy 
object than to deprive those poor devils, with whom we 
are about to fight, of the means of making a good battle ; 
and I add, sir, that such is sound military doctrine, without 
regarding who may choose to controvert it." 

" Your sentiments are generous and manly, Mac ; but, 
after all, there is both a physical and moral obligation on 
every man to eat ; and if starvation be the consequence of 
permitting your enemies to bear arms, it becomes a solemn 
duty to deprive them of their weapons no no I will 
support Gage in such a measure, at present, as highly mil- 

"And he is much obliged to you, sir, for your support," 
returned the other " I apprehend, Captain Polwarth, 
whenever the Lieutenant-General Gage finds it necessary 
to lean on any one for extraordinary assistance, he will re- 
member that there is a regiment called the Royal Irish in 
the country, and that he is not entirely ignorant of the 
qualities of the people of his own nation. You have done 
well, Captain Polwarth, to choose the light-infantry ser- 
vice they are a set of foragers, and can help themselves , 
but the grenadiers, thank God, love to encounter men, and 
not cattle, in the field." 

How long the good-nature of Polwarth would have en- 
dured the increasing taunts of the Irishman, who was ex- 
asperating himself, gradually, by his own arguments, there 
is no possibility of determining; for their arrival at. the 
Darracks put an end to the controversy and to the feelings 
it was beginning to engender. 



" Preserve thy sighs, unthrifty girl ! 

To purify the air ; 

Thy tears to thread, instead of pearl, 
On bracelets of thy hair." DAVENANT. 

LIONEL might have blushed to acknowledge the secret 
and inexplicable influence which his unknown and myste- 
rious friend, Ralph, had obtained over his feelings, but 
which induced him, on leaving his own quarters thus 
hastily, to take his way into the lower parts of the town, in 
quest of the residence of Abigail Pray. He had not vis- 
ited the sombre tenement of this woman since the night of 
his arrival, but its proximity to the well-known town-hall, 
as well as the quaint architecture of the building itself, had 
frequently brought its exterior^under his observation, in 
the course of his rambles through the place of his nativity. 
A guide being, consequently, unnecessary, he took the 
most direct and frequented route to the dock square. 
When Lionel issued into the street, he found a deep dark- 
ness already enveloping the peninsula of Boston, as if nat- 
ure had lent herself to the secret designs of the British 
commandant. The fine strain of a shrill fife was playing 
among the naked hills of the place, accompanied by the oc- 
casional and measured taps of the sullen drum ; and, at 
moments, the full, rich notes of the horns would rise from 
the common, and, borne on the night-air, sweep along the 
narrow streets, causing the nerves of the excited young 
soldier to thrill with a stern pleasure, as he stepped proudly 
along. The practised ear, however, detected no other 
sounds in the music than the usual nightly signal of rest ; 
and when the last melting strains of the horns seemed to 
be lost in the clouds, a stillness fell upon the town, like 
the* deep and slumbering quiet of midnight. He paused a 
moment before the gates of Province-House, and, after 
examining, with an attentive eye, the windows of the build- 
ing, he spoke to the grenadier, who had stopped in his 
short walk, to note the curious stranger. 

"You should have company within, sentinel," he said, 
"by the brilliant light from those windows." 

The rattling of Lionel's side-arms, as he pointed with his 
hand in the direction of the illuminated apartment, taught 


the soldier that he was addressed by his superior, and he 
answered respectfully 

" It does not become one such as I to pretend to know 
much of what his betters do, your honor ; but I stood be- 
fore the quarters of General Wolfe the very night we went 
up to the Plains of Abram ; and I think an old soldier can 
tell when a movement is at hand, without asking his su- 
periors any impertinent questions." 

" I suppose, from your remark, the general holds a coun- 
cil to-night?" said Lionel. 

" No one has gone in, sir, since I have been posted," re- 
turned the sentinel, "but the lieutenant-colonel of the loth, 
that great Northumbrian lord, and the old major of ma- 
rines ; a great war-dog is that old man, your honor, and it 
is not often he comes to Province-House for nothing." 

"A good-night to you, my old comrade," said Lionel, 
walking away ; " 'tis probably some consultation concern- 
ing the new exercises that you practise." 

The grenadier shook his head, as if unconcerned, and 
resumed his march with his customary steadiness. A very 
few minutes now brought Lionel before the low door of 
Abigail Pray, where he again stopped, struck with the 
contrast between the gloomy, dark, and unguarded thresh- 
old over which he was about to pass, and the gay portal 
he had just left. Urged, however, by his feelings, the 
young man paused but a moment before he tapped lightly 
for admission. After repeating his summons, and hearing 
no reply, he lifted the latch, and entered the building with- 
out further ceremony. The large and vacant apartment, 
in which he found himself, was silent and dreary as the 
still streets he had quitted. Groping his way toward the 
little room in the tower, where he had met the mother of 
Job, as before related, Lionel found that apartment also 
tenantless, and dark. He was turning, in disappointment 
to quit the place, when a feeble ray fell from the loft of the 
building, and settled on the foot of a rude ladder which 
formed the means of communication with its upper apart- 
ments. Hesitating a single moment now to decide, he then 
yielded to his anxiety, and ascended to the floor above, 
with steps as light as extreme caution could render them. 
Like the basement, the building was subdivided here, into 
a large, open ware-room, and a small, rudely-finished 
apartment in each of its towers. Following the rays from 
a candle, he stood on the threshold of one of these little 
rooms, in which he found the individual of whom he was 


in quest. The old man was seated on the only broken 
chair which the loft contained, and before him, on the 
simple bundle of straw which would seem, by the garments 
thrown loosely over the pile, to be intended as his place 
of rest, lay a large map, spread for inspection, which his 
glazed and sunken eyes appeared to be intently engaged 
in marking. Lionel hesitated again, while he regarded the 
white hairs which fell across the temples of the stranger, 
as he bowed his head in his employment, imparting a wild 
and melancholy expression to his remarkable countenance, 
and seeming to hallow their possessor by the air of great 
age and attendant care that they imparted. 

" I have come to seek you," the young man at length 
said, "since you no longer deem me worthy of your 

"You come too late," returned Ralph, without betraying 
the least emotion at the suddenness of the interruption, or 
even raising his eyes from the map he studied so intently; 
" too late at least to avert calamity, if not to learn wisdom 
from its lessons." 

"You know, then, of the secret movements of the 
night ? " 

"Old age, like mine, seldom sleeps," returned Ralph, 
looking for the first time at his visitor ; " for the eternal 
night of death promises a speedy repose. I, too, served an 
apprenticeship in my youth to your trade of blood." 

" Your watchfulness and experience have then detected 
the signs of preparation in the garrison ? Have they also 
discovered the objects, and probable consequences of the 
enterprise ? " 

" Both ; Gage weakly thinks to crush the germ of liberty, 
which has already quickened in the land, by lopping its 
feeble branches, when it is rooted in the hearts of the 
people. He thinks that bold thoughts can be humbled by 
the destruction of magazines." 

" It is then only a measure of precaution that he is 
about to take ? " 

The old man shook his head mournfully as he an- 

" It will prove a measure of blood." 

"I intend to accompany the detachment into the coun- 
try," said Lionel "it will probably take post at some 
little distance in the interior, and it will afford me a fit- 
ting opportunity to make those inquiries which you know 
are so near my heart, and in which you have promised to 


ass ist it is to consult on the means, that I have now 
sought you." 

The countenance of the stranger seemed to lose its 
character of melancholy reflection, as Lionel spoke, and 
his eyes moved, vacant and unmeaning, over the naked 
rafters above him, passing in their wanderings across the 
surface of the unheeded map again, until they fell full upon 
the face of the astonished youth, where they remained 
settled for more than a minute, fixed in the glazed, riveted 
look of death. The lips of Lionel had already opened in 
anxious inquiry, when the expression of life shot again 
into the features of Ralph, with the suddenness, and with 
an appearance of the physical reality with which light 
flashes from the sun when emerging from a cloud. 

" You are ill ! " Lionel exclaimed. 

" Leave me," said the old man, " leave me." 

" Surely not at such a moment, and alone." 

"I bid you leave me we 'Shall meet, as you desire, in 
the country." 

" You would then have me accompany the troops, and 
expect your coming ?" 

" Both." 

" Pardon me," said Lionel, dropping his eyes in embar- 
rassment, and speaking with hesitation, " but your present 
abode, and the appearance of your attire, is an evidence 
that old age has come upon you when you are not alto- 
gether prepared to meet its sufferings." 

" You would offer me money ? " 

" By accepting it, I shall become the obliged party.'' 

" When my wants exceed my means, young man, your 
offer shall be remembered. Go, now ; there is no time for 

" But I would not leave you alone ; the woman, the 
termagant, is better than none ! " 

"She is absent." 

" And the boy the changeling has the feelings of hu- 
manity, and would aid you in an extremity." 

" He is better employed than in propping the steps of a 
useless old man. Go, then, I entreat I command, sir, 
that you leave me." 

The firm, if not haughty manner, in which the other 
repeated his desire, taught Lionel that he had nothing 
more to expect at present, and he obeyed reluctantly, by 
slowly leaving the apartment ; and as soon as he had de- 
scended the ladder, he began to retrace his steps toward 


his own quarters. In crossing the light drawbridge 
thrown over the narrow dock, already mentioned, his con- 
templations were first disturbed by the sounds of voices, 
at no great distance, apparently conversing in tones that 
were not intended to be heard by every ear. It was a 
moment when each unusual incident was likely to induce 
inquiry, and Lionel stopped to examine two men, who, at 
a little distance, held their secret and suppressed commu- 
nications. He had, however, paused but an instant, when 
the whisperers separated ; one walking leisurely up the 
centre of the square, entering under one of the arches of 
the market-place, and the other coming directly across the 
bridge on which he himself was standing. 

" What, Job, do I find you here, whispering and plotting 
in the Dock-square ! " exclaimed Lionel ; " what secrets 
can you have, that require the cover of night ? " 

"Job lives there, in the old ware'us'," said the lad sullen- 
ly "Nab has plenty of house-room, now the king won't 
let the people bring in their goods." 

" But whither are you going ? into the water ? surely the 
road to your bed cannot be through the town dock." 

" Nab wants fish to eat, as well as a ruff to keep off the 
rain," said Job, dropping lightly from the bridge into a 
small canoe, which was fastened to one of its posts, " and 
now the king has closed the harbor, the fish have to come 
up in the dark ; for come they will ; Boston fish an't to be 
shut out by acts of Parliament ! " 

" Poor lad ! " exclaimed Lionel, " return to your home 
and your bed ; here is money to buy food for your mother, 
if she suffers you will draw a shot from some of the sen- 
tinels by going about the harbor thus at night." 

"Job can see a ship farther than a ship can see Job," 
returned the other ; " and if they should kill Job, they 
needn't think to shoot a Boston boy without some stir." 

Further dialogue was precluded ; the canoe gliding 
along the outer dock into the harbor, with a stillness and 
swiftness that showed the idiot was not ignorant of the 
business which he had undertaken. Lionel resumed his 
walk, and was passing the head of the square, when he 
encountered, face to face, under the light of a lamp, the 
man whose figure he had seen but a minute before to issue 
from beneath the town-hall. A mutual desire to ascertain 
the identity of each other drew them together. 

"We meet again, Major Lincoln!" said the interesting 
stranger Lionel remembered to have seen at the political 



meeting. " Our interviews appear ordained to occur in 
secret places." 

" And Job Pray would seem to be the presiding spirit," 
returned the young soldier. " You parted from him but 
now ? " 

" I trust, sir," said the stranger gravely, " that this is not 
a land, nor have we fallen on times, when and where an 
honest man dare not say that he has spoken to whom he 

" Certainly, sir, it is not for rne to prohibit the inter- 
course," returned Lionel. "You spoke of our fathers; 
mine is well known to you, it would seem, though to me 
you are a stranger." 

"And may be so yet a little longer," said the other, 
" though I think the time is at hand when men will be 
known in their true characters ; until then, Major Lincoln, 
I bid you adieu." 

Without waiting for any reply, the stranger took a dif- 
ferent direction from that which Lionel was pursuing, and 
walked away with the swiftness of one who was pressed 
with urgent business. Lionel soon ascended into the up- 
per part of the town, with the intention of going into Tre- 
mont Street, to communicate his design to accompany the 
expedition. It was now apparent to the young man, that 
a rumor of the contemplated movement of the troops was 
spreading secretly, but swiftly, among the people. He 
passed several groups of earnest and excited townsmen, 
conferring together at the corners of the streets, from some 
of whom he overheard the startling intelligence that the 
neck, the only approach to the place by land, was closed 
by a line of sentinels ; and that guard-boats from the ves- 
sels of war were encircling the peninsula in a manner to 
intercept the communication with the adjacent country. 
Still no indications of a military alarm could be discovered, 
though, at times, a stifled hum, like the notes of busy 
preparation, was borne along by the damp breezes of the 
night, and mingled with those sounds of a spring evening, 
which increased as he approached the skirts of the dwell- 
ings. In Tremont Street Lionel found no appearance of 
that excitement, which was spreading so rapidly in the old 
and lower parts of the town. He passed into his own room 
without meeting any of the family, and having completed 
his brief arrangements, he was descending to inquire for 
his kinswoman, when the voice of Mrs. Lechmere, proceed- 
ing from a small apartment, appropriated to her own use, 


arrested his steps. Anxious to take leave in person, ho 
approached the half-open door, and would have asked per- 
mission to enter, had not his eye rested on the person of 
Abigail Pray, who was in earnest conference with the mis- 
tress of the mansion. 

" A man aged, and poor, say you ? " observed Mrs. Lech 
mere, at that instant. 

"And one that seems to know all," interrupted Abigail, 
glancing her eyes about with the expression of supersti- 
tious terror. 

"All !" echoed Mrs. Lechmere, her lip trembling more 
with apprehension than age ; " and he arrived with Majoi 
Lincoln, say you ? " 

" In the same ship ; and it seems that heaven has or- 
dained that he shall dwell with me in my poverty, as a 
punishment for my great sins ! " 

" But why do you tolerate his presence, if it be irksome," 
said Mrs. Lechmere; "you are at least the mistress of 
your own dwelling." 

" It has pleased God that my home shall be the home of 
any who are so miserable as to need one. He has the same 
right to live in the warehouse that I have." 

" You have the rights of a woman, and of first posses- 
sion," said Mrs. Lechmere, with that unyielding severity of 
manner, that Lionel had often observed before ; " I would 
turn him into the street, like a dog." 

" Into the street ! " repeated Abigail, again looking 
about her in secret terror ; " speak lower, Madam Lech- 
mere, for the love of heaven I dare not even look at him 
he reminds me of all I have ever known, and of all the 
evil I have ever done, by his scorching eye and yet I 
cannot tell why and then Job worships him as a god, and 
if I should offend him, he could easily worm from the 
child all that you and I wish so much 

"How!" exclaimed Mrs. Lechmere, in a voice husky 
with horror, " have you been so base as to make a confi- 
dant of that fool ? " 

"That fool is the child of my bosom," said Abigail, rais- 
ing her hands, as if imploring pardon for the indiscre* 
tion. " Ah ! Madam Lechmere, you, who are rich, and 
great, and happy, and have such a sweet and sensible 
grandchild, cannot kriow how to love one like Job ; but 
when the heart is loaded and heavy, it throws its burden on 
any that will bear it ; and Job is my child, though he is bul 
little better than an idiot ! " 


It was by no trifling exertion of his breeding that Lionel 
was enabled to profit by the inability of Mrs. Lechmere to 
reply, and to turn away from the spot, and cease to listen 
to a conversation that was not intended for his ear. He 
reached the parlor, and threw himself on one of its settees, 
before he was conscious that he was no longer alone or un- 

"What! Major Lincoln returned from his revels thus 
early, and armed like a bandit, to his teeth ! " exclaimed 
the playful voice of Cecil Dynevor, who, unheeded, was in 
possession of the opposite seat, when he entered the room. 

Lionel started, and rubbed his forehead, like a man 
awaking from a dream, as he answered 

" Yes, a bandit, or any other opprobrious name you 
please ; I deserve them all." 

"Surely," said Cecil, turning pale, "none other dare 
use such language of Major Lincoln, and he does it un- 
justly ! " 

" What foolish nonsense have I uttered, Miss Dynevor ?" 
cried Lionel, recovering his recollection ; <l I was lost in 
thought, and heard your language without comprehending 
its meaning." 

" Still you are armed ; a sword is not a usual instrument 
at your side, and now you bear even pistols ! " 

"Yes," returned the young soldier, laying aside his dan- 
gerous implements ; "yes, I am about to march as a volun- 
teer, with a party that go into the country to-night, and I 
take these because I would affect something very warlike, 
though you well know how peaceably I am disposed." 

" March into the country and in the dead of night ! " 
said Cecil, catching her breath, and turning pale "And 
does Lionel Lincoln volunteer on such a duty ? " 

" I volunteer to perform no other duty than to be a wit- 
ness of whatever may occur you are not more ignorant 
yourself of the nature of the expedition than I am at this 

"Then remain where you are," said Cecil firmly, "and 
enlist not in an enterprise that may be unholy in its pur- 
poses and disgraceful in its results." 

" Of the former I am innocent, whatever they may be, 
nor will they be affected by my presence or absence. 
There is little danger of disgrace in accompanying the 
grenadiers and light-infantry of this army, Miss Dynevor, 
though it should be against treble their numbers of chosesi 


" Then it would seem," said Agnes Danforth, speaking 
as she entered the room, " that our friend Mercury, that 
feather of a man, Captain Polwarth, is to be one of these 
night depredators ! heaven shield the hen-roosts ! " 

" You have then heard the intelligence, Agnes ? " 

" I have heard that men are arming, and that boats are 
rowing round the town in all directions, and that it is for- 
bidden to enter or quit Boston, as we were wont to do, Ce- 
cil, at such hours, and in such fashion as suited us plain 
Americans," said Agnes, endeavoring to conceal her deep 
vexation in affected irony " God only can tell in what all 
these oppressive measures will end." 

" If you go only as a curious spectator of the depreda- 
tions of the troops," continued Cecil, " are you not wrong 
to lend them even the sanction of your name ? " 

" I have yet to learn that there will be depredations." 

" You forget, Cecil," interrupted Agnes Danforth, scorn- 
fully, "that Major Lincoln did not arrive until after the 
renowned march from Roxbury to Dorchester ! Then the 
troops gathered their laurels under the face of the sun ; 
but it is easy to conceive how much more glorious their 
achievements will become when darkness shall conceal 
their blushes ! " 

The blood rushed across the fine features of Lionel, but 
he laughed as he arose to depart, saying 

" You compel me to beat the retreat, my spirited coz. 
If I have my usual fortune in this forage, your larder, 
however, shall be the better for it. I kiss my hand to you, 
for it would be necessary to lay aside the scarlet, to dare 
to approach with a more peaceable offering. But here I 
may make an approach to something like amity." 

He took the hand of Cecil, who frankly met his offer, 
and insensibly suffered herself to be led to the door of the 
building while he continued speaking. 

" I would, Lincoln, that you were not to go," she said, 
when they stopped on the threshold " it is not required 
of you as a soldier ; and as a man your own feelings should 
teach you to be tender of your countrymen." 

" It is as a man that I go, Cecil," he answered ; " I have 
motives that you cannot suspect." 

"And is your absence to be long ?" 

" If not for days, my object will be unaccomplished '/ 
but he added, pressing her hand gently, "you cannot 
doubt my willingness to return when occasion may offer." 

"Go, then," said Cecil, hastily, and perhaps uncon- 


sciously extricating herself "go, if you have secret rea- 
sons for your conduct ; but remember that the acts of 
every officer of your rank are keenly noted." 

" Do you then distrust me, Cecil ? " 

"No no I distrust no one, Major Lincoln go go 
and and we shall see you, Lionel, the instant you 

He had not time to reply, for she glided into the build- 
ing so rapidly as to give the young man an opportunity 
only to observe, that, instead of rejoining her cousin, her 
light form passed up the great stairs with the swiftness 
<ind grace of a fairy. 


" Hang out our banners on the outward walls ; 
The cry is still, They come.' 1 ' 1 Macbeth. 

LIONEL had walked from the dwelling of Mrs. Lechmere 
to the foot of Beacon Hill, and had even toiled up some 
part of the steep ascent, before he recollected why he was 
thus wandering by himself at that unusual hour. Hearing, 
however, no sounds that denoted an immediate movement 
of the troops, he then yielded, unconsciously, to the nature 
of his sensations, which just at that moment rendered his 
feelings jealous of communication with others, and con- 
tinued to ascend until he gained the summit of the emi- 
nence. From this elevated stand he paused to contem- 
plate the scene which lay in the obscurity of night at his 
feet, while his thoughts returned from the flattering antici- 
pations in which he had been indulging, to consider the 
more pressing business of the hour. There arose from the 
town itself a distant buzzing, like the hum of suppressed 
agitation, and lights were seen to glide along the streets, 
or flit across the windows, in a manner which denoted that 
a knowledge of the expedition had become general within 
its dwellings. Lionel turned his head toward the common, 
and listened long and anxiously, but in vain, to detect a 
single sound that could betray any unusual stir among the 
soldiery. Toward the interior, the darkness of night had 
fallen heavily, dimming the amphitheatre of hills that en- 
circled the place, and enshrouding the vales and lowlands 
between them and the water with an impenetrable veil of 



gloom. There were moments, indeed, when he imagined 
he overheard some indications among the people of the 
opposite shore, that, they were apprised of the impending 
descent ; but on listening more attentively, the utmost of 
which his ear could assure him, was the faint lowing of 
cattle from the meadows, or the plash of oars from a line 
'of boats, which, by stretching far along the shores, told 
both the nature and tjie extent of the watchfulness that 
was deemed necessary for the occasion. 

While Lionel stood thus, on the margin of the little plat- 
form of earth, that had been formed by levelling the apex 
of the natural cone, musing on the probable results of the 
measure his superiors had been resolving to undertake, a 
dim light shed itself along the grass, and glancing upward, 
danced upon the beacon with strong and playful rays. 

" Scoundrel ! " exclaimed a man, springing from his 
place of concealment at the foot of the post, and encoun- 
tering him face to face, " do you dare to fire the beacon ? " 

"I would answer, by asking how you dare to apply so 
rude an epithet to me, did -I not see the cause of your 
error," said Lionel. "The. light is from yonder moon, 
which is just emerging from the ocean." 

" Ah ! I see my error," returned his rough assailant. 
" By heavens, I would have sworn at first, 'twas the bea- 

" You must then believe in the traditional witchcraft of 
this country ; for nothing short of necromancy could have 
enabled me to light those combustibles at this distance." 

" I don't know ; '.tis a strange people we have got 
amongst they stole the cannon from the gun-house here, 
a short time since, when I would have said the thing was 
impossible. It was before your arrival, sir ; for I now be- 
lieve I address myself to Major Lincoln, of the 47th." 

"You are nearer the truth, this time, than in your first 
conjecture as to my character," said Lionel ; " but have I 
met one of the gentlemen of our mess ? " 

The stranger now explained that he was a subaltern in a 
different regiment, but that he well knew the person of the 
other. He added that he had been ordered to watch on 
the hill to prevent any of the inhabitants lighting the 
beacon, or making any other signal which might convey 
into the country a knowledge of the contemplated inroad. 

" This matter wears a more serious aspect than I had 
supposed," returned Lionel, when the young man had 
ended his apologies and explanation ; " the commander-in- 


chief must intend more than we are aware of, by employ- 
ing officers in this manner, to do the duties of privates." 

""We poor subs know but little, and care less what he 
means," cried the ensign ; " though I will acknowledge, 
that I can see no sufficient reason why British troops 
should put on coats of darkness to march against a parcel 
of guessing, canting countrymen, who would run at the 
sight of their uniforms under a bright sun. Had I my 
will, the tar above us, there, should blaze a mile high, to 
bring down the heroes from the Connecticut river ; the 
dogs would cow before two full companies of the grena- 
diers ha ! listen, sir ; there they go, now, the pride of our 
army ! I know them by their heavy tread." 

Lionel did listen attentively, and plainly distinguished 
the measured step of a body of disciplined men, moving 
rapidly across the common, as if marching toward the 
water-side. Hastily bidding his companion good-night, 
he threw himself over the brow of the hill, and tak- 
ing the direction of the sounds, he arrived at the shore 
at the same instant with the troops. Two dark masses 
of human bodies were halted in order, and as Lionel 
skirted the columns, his experienced eye judged that 
the force collected before him could be but t little short of 
a thousand men. A group of officers was clustered on the 
beach, and he approached it, rightly supposing that it was 
gathered about the leader of the party. This officer proved 
to be the lieutenant-colonel of the loth, who was in close 
conversation with the old major of marines, alluded to by 
the sentinel who stood before the gates of Province-House. 
To the former of these the young soldier addressed him- 
self, demanding leave to accompany the detachment as a 
volunteer. After a few words of explanation, his request 
was granted, though each forbore to touch in the slightest 
manner on the secret objects of the expedition. 

Lionel now found his groom, who had followed the 
troops with his master's horses, and, after giving his orders 
to the man, he proceeded in quest of his friend Polwarth, 
whom he soon discovered, posted in all the stiffness of 
military exactness, at the head of the leading platoon of 
the column of light-infantry. As it was apparent, both 
from the position they occupied, as well as by the boats 
that had been collected at the point, that the detachment 
was not to leave the peninsula by its ordinary channel of 
communication with the country, there remained no alter- 
native but to await patiently the order to embark. The 


delay was but short, and, as the most perfect ordef 
was observed, the troops were soon seated, and the boats 
pulled heavily from the land, just as the rays of the moon, 
which had been some time playing among the hills, and 
gilding the spires of the town, diffused themselves softly 
over the bay, and lighted the busy scene, with an effect 
not unlike the sudden rising of the curtain at the opening 
of some interesting drama. Polwarth had established him 
self by the side of Lionel, much to the ease of his limbs, 
and as they moved slowly into the light, all those misgiv- 
ings which had so naturally accompanied his musings on 
the difficulties of a partisan irruption, vanished before the 
loveliness of the time, and possibly before the quietude of 
the action. 

" There are moments when I could fancy the life of a 
sailor," he said, leaning indolently back, and playing with 
one hand in the water. "This pulling about in boats is 
easy work, and must be capital assistance for a heavy di- 
gestion, inasmuch as it furnishes air with as little violent 
exercise as maybe. Your marine should lead a merry life 
of it ! " 

"They are said to murmur at the clashing of their duties 
with those of .the sea-officers," said Lionel ; "and I have 
often heard them complain of a want of room to make use 
of their legs." 

" Humph ! " ejaculated Polwarth ; " the leg is a part of 
a man for which I see less actual* necessity than for any 
other portion of his frame. I often think there has been a 
sad mistake in the formation of the animal ; as, for instance, 
one can be a very good waterman, as you see, without legs 
a good fiddler, a first-rate tailor, a lawyer, a doctor, a 
parson, a very tolerable cook, and in short, anything but 
a dancing master. I see no use in a leg unless it be to 
have the gout at any rate, a leg of twelve inches is as good 
as one a mile long, and the saving might be appropriated 
to the nobler parts of the animal ; such as the brain and 
the stomach." 

"You forget the officer of light-infantry," said Lionel, 

"You might give him a couple of inches more ; though, 
as everything in this wicked world is excellent only by 
comparison, it would amount to the same thing, and on 
my system a man would be just as fit for the light- 
infantry without, as with legs ; and he would get rid of a 
good deal of troublesome manoeuvring, especially of this 


new exercise. It would then become a delightful service, 
Leo ; for it may be said to monopolize all the poetry of 
military life, as you may see. Neither the imagination 
nor the body can require more than we enjoy at this mo- 
ment, and of what use, I would ask, are our legs ? if any- 
thing, they are incumbrances in this boat. Here we have 
a soft moon, and softer seats smooth water, and a stimu- 
lating air on one side a fine country, which, though but 
faintly seen, is known to be fertile and rich to abundance ; 
and on the other a picturesque town, stored with the con- 
diments of every climate even those rascally privates look 
mellowed by the moon-beams, with their scarlet coats and 
glittering arms ! Did you meet Miss Danforth in your 
visit to Tremont Street, Major Lincoln ? " 

" That pleasure was not denied me." 

" Knew she of these martial proceedings ?" 

" There was something exceedingly belligerent in her 

" Spoke she of the light-infantry, or of any who serve in 
the light corps ? " 

"Your name was certainly mentioned," returned Lio- 
nel, a little dryly "she intimated that the hen-roosts were 
in danger." 

" Ah ! she is a girl of a million ! her very acids are 
sweet ! the spices were not forgotten when the dough of 
her composition was mixed ; would that she were here 
five minutes of moonshine to a man in love is worth a 
whole summer of a broiling sun 'twould be a master- 
stroke to entice her- into one of our picturesque marches ; 
your partisan is the man to take everything by surprise 
women and fortifications ! Where now are your compa- 
nies of the lines ; your artillery and dragoons ; your engi- 
neers and staff! night-capped and snoring to a man, while 
we enjoy here the very dessert of existence I wish I could 
hear a nightingale ! " 

"You have a solitary whip-poor-will whistling his notes, 
as if in lamentation at our approach." 

" Too dolorous, and by far too monotonous ; 'tis like eat- 
ing pig for a month. But why are our fifes asleep ? " 

" The precautions of a whole day should hardly be de- 
feated by the tell-tale notes of our music," said Lionel ; 
" your spirits get the better of your discretion. I should 
think the prospect of a fatiguing march would have low- 
ered your vein." 

"A fico for fatigue!" exclaimed Polwarth "we only 


go out to take a position at the colleges to cover our sup. 
plies -we are for school, Leo only fancy the knapsacks 
of the men to be satchels, humor my folly, and you may 
believe yourself once more a boy." 

The spirits of Polvvarth had indeed undergone a sudden 
change, when he found the sad anticipations which crossed 
his mind on first hearing of a night inroad, so agreeably 
disappointed by the comfortable situation he occupied ; 
and he continued conversing in the manner described, un- 
til the boats reached an unfrequented point that projected 
a little way into that part of the bay, which washed the 
western side of the peninsula of Boston. Here the troops 
landed, and were again formed with all possible despatch. 
The company of Polwarth was posted, as before, at the 
head of the column of light-infantry ; and an officer of the 
staff riding a short distance in front, it was directed to fol- 
low his movements. Lionel ordered his groom to take the 
route of the troops with the horses, and placing himself 
once more by the side of the captain, they proceeded at 
the appointed signal. 

" Now for the shades of old Harvard ! " said Polwarth, 
pointing toward the humble buildings of the university ; 
"you shall feast this night on reason, while I w T ill make a 
mote sub ha ! what can that blind quarter-master mean 
by taking this direction ! Does he not see that the mead- 
ows are half covered with water ! " 

" Move on, move on with the light-infantry," cried the 
stern voice of the jold major of marines, who rode but a 
short distance in their rear. " Do you falter at the sight 
of water !." 

"We are not wharf-rats," said Polwarth. 

Lionel seized him by the arm, and before the discon- 
certed captain had time to recollect himself, he was borne 
through a wide pool of stagnant water, mid-leg deep. 

" Do not let your romance cost your commission," said 
the major, as Polwarth floundered out of his difficulties ; 
" here is an incident at once for your private narrative of 
the campaign." 

" Ah ! Leo," said the captain, with a sort of comical sor- 
row, " I fear we are not to court the muses by this hal- 
lowed moon to-night ! " 

" You can assure yourself of that, by observing that we 
Jeave the academical roofs on our left our leaders take 
the highway." 

They had by this time extricated themselves from the 


meadows, and were moving on a road which led into the 

" You had better order up your groom, and mount, Major 
Lincoln," said Polwarth, sullenly; "a man need husband 
his strength, I see." 

" 'Twould be folly now ; I am wet, and must walk for 

With the departure of Polwarth's spirits the conversa- 
ti(5n began to flag, and the gentlemen continued their 
march with only such occasional communications as arose 
from the passing incidents of their situation. It very soon 
became apparent, both by the direction given to the col- 
umns, as well as by the hurried steps of their guide, that 
the march was to be forced, as well as of some length. 
But as 'the air was getting cool, even Polwarth was not re- 
luctant to warm his chilled blood by more than ordinary 
exertion. The columns opened for the sake of ease, and 
each man was permitted to consult his own convenience, 
provided lie preserved his appointed situation, and kept 
even pace with his comrades. In this manner the detach- 
ment advanced swiftly, a general silence pervading the 
whole, as the spirits of ihe men settled into that deep 
sobriety which denotes much earnestness of purpose. At 
first, the whole country appeared buried in a general 
sleep ; but as they proceeded, the barking of the dogs, and 
the tread of the soldiery, drew the inhabitants of the farm- 
houses to their windows, who gazed in mute wonder at the 
passing spectacle, across which the mellow light of the 
moon cast a glow of brilliancy. Lionel had turned his 
head from studying the surprise depicted in the faces of 
the members of one of these disturbed families, when the 
deep tones of a distant church-bell came sweeping down 
the valley in which they marched, ringing peal on peal, in 
the quick, spirit-stirring sounds of an alarm. The men 
raised their heads in wondering attention, as they ad- 
vanced ; but it was not long before the reports of fire- 
arms were heard echoing among the hills, and bell began 
to answer bell in every direction, until the sounds blended 
with the murmurs of the night air, or were lost in distance. 
The whole country was now filled with every organ of 
sound that the means of the people furnished, or their in- 
genuity could devise, to call the population to arms. Fires 
blazed along the heights, the bellowing of the conchs and 
horns mingled with the rattling of the muskets and the 
varied tones of the bells, while the swift clattering of 


horses' hoofs began to be heard, as if their riders were 
dashing furiously along the flanks of the party. 

"Push on, gentlemen, push on," shouted the old veteran 
of marines, amid the din. " The Yankees have awoke, ana 
are stirring we have yet a long road to journey push on, 
light-infantry, the grenadiers are on your heels ! " 

The advance quickened their steps, and the whole body 
pushed for their unknown object with as much rapidity as 
the steadiness of military array would admit. In this 
manner the detachment continued to proceed for some 
hours, without halting, and Lionel imagined that they had 
advanced several leagues into the country. The sounds of 
the alarm had now passed away, having swept far inland, 
until the faintest evidence of its existence was lost to the 
ear, though the noise of horsemen, riding furiously along 
the by-ways, yet denoted that men were still hurrying past 
them, to the scene of the expected strife. As the deceitful 
light of the moon was blending with the truer colors of 
the day, the welcome sound of " Halt ! " was passed from 
the rear up to the head of the column of light-infantry. 

" Halt ! " repeated Polwarth, with instinctive readiness, 
and with a voice that sent *the order through the whole 
length of the extended line ; ''halt, and let the rear close. 
If my judgment in walking be worth so much as an an- 
chovy, they are some miles behind us by this time ! A 
man needs to have crossed his race with the blood of Fly- 
ing Childers for this sort of work ! The next command 
should be to break our fastsTom, you brought the trifles 
I sent you from Major Lincoln's quarters ?" 

"Yes, sir," returned his man ; " they are on the major's 
horses, in the rear, as 

" The major's horses in the rear, you ass, when food is 
in such request in the front ! I wonder, Leo, if a mouth- 
ful couldn't be picked up in yon farm-house ? " 

" Pick yourself off that stone, and make the men dress ; 
here is Pitcairn closing to the front with the whole bat- 

Lionel had hardly spoken before an order was passed to 
the light-infantry to look to their arms, and for the grena- 
diers to prime and load. The presence of the veteran who 
rode in front of the column, and the hurry of the moment, 
suppressed the complaints of Polwarth, who was in truth 
an excellent officer, as it respected what he himself termed 
the " quiescent details of service." Three or four com- 
panies of the light-corps were detached from the main 


body, and formed in the open marching order of their ex- 
ercise, when the old marine, placing himself at their head, 
gave forth the order to advance again at a quick step. 
The road now led into a vale, and at some distance a small 
hamlet of houses was dimly seen through the morning 
haze, clustered around one of the humble, but decent tem- 
ples, so common in Massachusetts. The halt, and the 
brief preparations that Succeeded, had excited a powerful 
interest in the whole of the detachment, who pushed 
earnestly forward, keeping on the heels of the charger of 
their veteran leader, as he passed over the ground at a 
small trot. The air partook of the scent of morning, and 
the eye was enabled to dwell distinctly on surrounding 
objects, quickening, aided by the excitement of the action, 
the blood of the men who had been toiling throughout the 
night in uncertain obscurity along an unknown, and, ap- 
parently, interminable road. Their object now seemed be- 
fore them and attainable, and they pressed forward to 
achieve it in animated but silent earnestness. The plain 
architecture of the church and of its humble companions 
had just become distinct, when three or four armed horse- 
men were seen attempting to anticipate their arrival, by 
crossing the head of the column from a by-path. 

" Come in," cried an officer of the staff in front, " come 
in, or quit the place." 

The men turned and rode briskly off, one of their party 
flashing his piece in a vain attempt to give the alarm. A low 
mandate was now passed through the ranks to push on, 
and in a few moments they entered on a full view of the 
hamlet, the church, and the little green on which it stood. 
Tlfe forms of men were seen moving swiftly across the lat- 
ter, as a roll of a drum broke from the spot ; and there 
were glimpses of a small body of countrymen, drawn up in 
the affectation of military parade. 

" Push on, light-infantry ! " cried their leader, spurring 
his horse, and advancing with the staff at so brisk a trot, 
as to disappear round an angle of the church. 

Lionel pressed forward with a beating heart, for a crowd 
of horrors rushed across his imagination at the moment, 
when the stern voice of the major of marines was again 
heard shouting 

" Disperse, ye rebels, disperse ! throw down your arms 
and disperse !'" 

These memorable words were instantly fallowed by the 
reports of pistols, and the fatal mandate of " Fire !" when 


a loud shout arose from the whole body of the soldiery, 
who rushed upon the open green, and threw in a close 
discharge on all before them. 

" Great God ! " exclaimed Lionel, " what is it ye do ? ye 
fire at unoffending men ! is there no law but force ! beat 
up their pieces, Polwarth stop their fire." 

" Halt ! " cried Polwarth, brandishing his sword fiercely 
among his men, " come to an order, or I'll fell ye to the 

But the excitement which had been gathering to a head 
for so many hours, and the animosity which had so long 
been growing between the troops and the people, were not 
to be repressed at a word. It was only when Pitcairn 
himself rode in among the soldiers, and, aided by his offi- 
cers, beat down their arms, that the uproar was gradually 
quelled, and something like order was again restored. 
Before this was effected, however, a few scattering shot 
were thrown back from their flying adversaries, though 
without material injury to the British. 

When the firing had ceased, officers and men stood gaz- 
ing at each other for a few moments, as if even they could 
foresee some of the mighty events which were to follow the 
deeds of that hour. The smoke slowly arose, like a lifted 
veil, from the green, and, mingling witli the fogs of morn- 
ing, drove heavily across the country, as if to communicate 
the fatal intelligence that the final appeal to arms had 
been made. Every eye was bent inquiringly on the fatal 
green, and Lionel beheld, with a feeling allied to anguish, 
a few men at a distance, writhing and struggling in their 
wounds, while some five or six bodies lay stretched upon 
the grass in the appalling quiet of death. Sickening at 
the sight, he turned, and walked away by himself, while 
the remainder of the troops, alarmed by the reports of the 
arms, were eagerly pressing up from the rear to join their 
comrades. Unwittingly he approached the church, nor 
did he awake from the deep abstraction into which he had 
fallen, until he was aroused by the extraordinary spectacle 
of Job Pray, issuing from the edifice with an air in which 
menace was singularly blended with resentment and fear. 
The changeling pointed earnestly to the body of a man, 
who, having been wounded, had crept for refuge near 
to the door of the temple, in which he had so often 
worshipped that Being to whom he had been thus hur- 
riedly sent to render his last and great account, and said 


" You have killed one of God's creatures ; and he'll re- 
member it ! " 

" I would it were one only," said Lionel ; " but they are 
many, and none can tell where the carnage is to cease." 

"Do you think," said Job, looking furtively around to 
assure himself that no other overheard him, "that the 
King can kill men in the B ry colony as he can in London ? 
They'll take this up in old Funnel and 'twill ring again, 
from the North End to the Neck." 

"What can they do, boy, after all," said Lionel, forget- 
ting at the moment that he whom he addressed had been 
denied the reason of his kind 1 "the power of Britain is 
too mighty for these scattered and unprepared colonies to 
cope with, and prudence would tell the people to desist 
from resistance while yet they may." 

" Does the king believe there is more prudence in 
London than there is in Boston ? " returned the simpleton ; 
" he needn't think, because the people were quiet at the 
massacre, there'll be no stir about this you have killed 
one of GocUs creatures," added the fad, " and he'll remem- 
ber it!" 

"How came you here, sirrah?" demanded Lionel, sud- 
denly recollecting himself ; "did you not tell me that you 
were going out to fish for your mother? " 

" And if I did," returned the other, sullenly, " an't there 
fish in the ponds as well as in the bay, and can't Nab have 
a fresh taste ? Job don't know there is any act of Parlia- 
ment ag'in taking brook trout." 

" Fellow, you are attempting to deceive me ! Some one 
is practising on your ignorance, and, knowing you to be a 
fool, is employing you on errands that may one day cost 
your life." 

"The king can't send Job on aYnds," said the lad, 
proudly; "for there is no law for it, and Job won't 


"Your knowledge will undo you, simpleton who should 
teach you these niceties of the law ? " 

"Why, do you think the Boston people so dumb as not 
to know the law ?" asked Job, with unfeigned astonish- 
ment "and Ralph, too he knows as much law as the 
king he told me it was ag'in all law to shoot at the minute- 
men unless they fired first, because the colony has a right 
to train whenever it pleases." 

"Ralph!" said Lionel, eagerly "can Ralph be with 
you, then ! 'tis impossible ; I left him ill, and at home 


neither would he mingle in such a business as this, at his 

" I expect Ralph has seen bigger armies than the light- 
infantry, and grannies, and all the soldiers left in town put 
together," said Job, evasively. 

Lionel was far too generous to practise on the simplicity 
of his companion, with a view to extract any secret which 
might endanger his liberty, but he felt a deep concern in 
the welfare of a young man, who had been thrown in his 
way in the manner already related. He therefore pursued 
the subject, with the double design to advise Job against 
any dangerous connections, and to relieve his-own anxiety 
on the subject of the aged stranger. But to all his inter- 
rogatories the lad answered guardedly, and with a discre- 
tion which denoted that he possessed no small share of 
cunning, though a higher order of intellect had been 
denied him. 

" I repeat to you," said Lionel, losing his patience, " that 
it is important for me to meet the man you call. Ralph in 
the country, and I wish to know if he is to be seen near 

"Ralph scorns a lie," returned Job "go where he 
promised to meet you, and see if he don't come." 

" But no place was named and this unhappy event may 
embarrass him, or frighten him 

" Frighten him ! " repeated Job, shaking his head with 
solemn earnestness ; "you can't frighten Ralph ! " 

" His daring may prove his misfortune. Boy, I ask you 
for the last time whether the old man " 

Perceiving Job to shrink back timidly, and lower in his 
looks, Lionel paused, and casting a glance behind him, 
beheld the captain of grenadiers standing with folded 
arms, silently contemplating the body of the American. 

" Will you have the goodness to explain to me, Major 
Lincoln," said the captain, when he perceived himself ob- 
served, " why this man lies here dead ? " 

"You see the wound in his breast?" 

"It is a palpable and baistly truth, that he has been 
shot but why, or with what design ? " 

" I must leave that question to be answered by our su- 
periors, Captain M'Fuse," returned Lionel. "It is, how- 
ever, rumored that the expedition is out to seize certain 
magazines of provisions and arms, which the colonists have 
been collecting, it is feared, with hostile intentions." 

" I had my own sagacious thoughts that we were bent 


on some such glorious errand ! " said M 'Fuse, with strong 
contempt expressed in his hard features. "Tell me, Major 
Lincoln you are certainly but a young soldier, though, 
being of the staff, you should know does Gage think we 
can have a war with the arms and ammunition all on one 
side ? We have had a long p'ace, Major Lincoln, and now, 
when there is a small prospect of some of the peculiarities 
of our profession arising, we are commanded to do the 
very thing which is most likely to def'ate the object of 

" I do not know that I rightly understand you, sir," 
said Lionel ; " there can be but little glory gained by 
such troops as we possess, in a contest with the unarmed 
and undisciplined inhabitants of any country." 

"Exactly my maining, sir; it is quite obvious that we 
understand each other thoroughly, without a world of cir- 
cumlocution. The lads are doing very well at present, 
and if left to themselves a few months longer, it may be- 
come a creditable affair. You know, as well as I do, Major 
Lincoln, that time is necessary to make a soldier, and if 
they are hurried into the business, you might as well be 
chasing a mob up Ludgate hill, for the honor you will 
gain. A discrate officer would nurse this little matter, in- 
stead of resorting to such precipitation. To my id'a'a's, 
sir, the man before us has been butchered, and not slain 
in honorable battle ! " 

" There is much reason to fear that others may use the 
same term in speaking of the affair," returned Lionel ; 
" God knows how much cause we may have to lament 
the death of the poor man ! " 

" On that topic, the man may be said to have gone 
through a business that was to be done, and is not to be 
done over again," said the captain, very coolly, "and 
therefore his death can be no very great calamity to him- 
self, whatever it may be to us. If these minute-men 
and, as they stand but a minute, they 'arn their name 
like worthy fellows if these minute-men, sir, stood in 
your way, you should have whipped them from the green 
with your ramrods." 

" Here is one who may tell you that they are not to be 
treated like children either," said Lionel, turning to the 
place which had been so recently occupied by Job Pray, 
but which, to his surprise, he now found vacant. While 
he was yet looking around him, wondering whither the lad 
could so suddenly have withdrawn, the drums beat the 


signal to form, and a general bustle among the soldiery 
showed them to be on the eve of further movements. The 
two gentlemen instantly rejoined their companions, walk- 
ing thoughtfully towards the troops, though influenced 
by such totally different views of the recent transactions. 

During the short halt of the advance, the whole detach- 
ment was again united, and a hasty meal had been taken. 
The astonishment which succeeded the rencontre, had 
given place, among the officers, to a military pride, capa- 
ble of sustaining them in much more arduous circum- 
stances. Even the ardent looks of professional excitement 
were to be seen in most of their countenances, as with glit- 
tering arms, waving banners, and timing their march to the 
enlivening music of their band, they wheeled from the 
fatal spot, and advanced again, with proud and measured 
steps, along the highway. If such was the result of the 
first encounter on the lofty and tempered spirits of the 
gentlemen of the detachment, its effect on the common 
hirelings in the ranks, was still more palpable and revolt- 
ing. Their coarse jests, and taunting looks, as they moved 
by the despised victims of their disciplined skill, together 
with the fierce and boastful expression of brutal triumph, 
which so many among them betrayed, exhibited the infalli- 
ble evidence, that, having tasted of blood, they were now 
ready, like tigers, to feed on it till they were glutted. 


" There was mounting 'mong Graemes of the Netherby clan ; 
Fosters, Fenwicks, and Musgraves, th.ey rode and they ran ; 
There was racing, and chasing, on Cannobie Lea." Marmion. 

THE pomp of military parade, with which the troops 
marched from the village of Lexington, as the little ham- 
let was called, where the foregoing events occurred, soon 
settled again into the sober and business-like air of men 
earnestly bent on the achievement of their object. It was 
no longer a secret that they were to proceed two leagues 
further into the interior, to destroy the stores already men- 
tioned, and which were now known to be collected at Con- 
cord, the town where the Congress of Provincial Delegates, 
who were substituted by the colonists for the ancient legis- 
latures of the province, held their meetings. As the march 


could not now be concealed, it became necessaiy to resort 
to expedition, in order to insure its successful termination. 
The veteran officer of marines, so often mentioned, resumed 
his post in front, and at the head of the same companies 
of the light corps, which he had before led, pushed in ad- 
vance of the heavier column of the grenadiers. Polwarth, 
by this arrangement, perceived himself again included 
among those on whose swiftness of foot so much depended. 
When Lionel rejoined his friend, he found him at the head 
of his men, marching with so grave an air as at once in- 
duced the major to give him credit for regrets much more 
commendable than such as were connected with his physi- 
cal distress. The files were once more opened for room, 
as well as for air, which was becoming necessary, as a hot 
sun began to dissipate the mists of the morning, and shed 
that enervating influence on the men, so 4 peculiar to the 
first warmth of an American spring. 

" This has been a hasty business altogether, Major Lin- 
coln," said Polwarth, as Lionel took his wonted station at 
the side of the other, and dropped mechanically into the 
regular step of the party "I know not that it is quite as 
lawful to knock a man in the head as a bullock." 

" You then agree with me in thinking our attack hasty, 
if not cruel ? " 

" Hasty! most unequivocally. Haste may be called the 
distinctive property of the expedition ; and whatever de- 
stroys the appetite of an honest man, may be set down as 
cruel. I have not been able to swallow a mouthful of 
breakfast, Leo. A man must have the cravings of a hyena, 
and the stomach of an ostrich, to eat and digest with such 
work as this of ours before his eyes." 

"And yet the men regard their acts with triumph ! " 

"The dogs are drilled into it. But you saw how sober 
the Provincials looked in the matter ; we must endeavor to 
soothe their feelings in the best manner we can." 

" Will they not despise our consolation and apologies, 
and look rather to themselves for redress and vengeance ?" 

Polwarth smiled contemptuously, and there was an air of 
pride about him that gave an appearance of elasticity even 
to his heavy tread, as he answered 

"The thing is a bad thing, Major Lincoln, and, if you 
will, a wicked thing but take the assurance of a man who 
knows the country well, there will be no attempts at ven- 
geance ; and as for redress, in a military way, the thing 
is impossible," 


" I have dwelt two years, Major Lincoln, in the very 
heart of the country," said Polwarth, without turning his 
eyes from the steady gaze he maintained on the long 
road which lay before him, "even three hundred miles 
beyond the inhabited districts ; and I should know the 
character of the nation, as well as its resources. In respect 
to the latter, there is no esculent thing within its borders, 
from a humming-bird to a buffalo, or from an artichoke to 
a watermelon, that I have not, on some occasion or other, 
had tossed up, in a certain way therefore, I can speak with 
confidence, and do not hesitate to say, that the colonists will 
never fight ; nor if they had the disposition, do they pos- 
sess the means to maintain a war." 

" Perhaps, sir," returned Lionel sharply, "you have con- 
sulted the animals of the country too closely to be ac- 
quainted with its spirits ? " 

" The relation between them is intimate tell me what 
food a man diets on, and I will furnish you with his char- 
acter. 'Tis morally impossible that a people who eat their 
pudding before the meats, after the fashion of these col- 
onists, can ever make good soldiers, because the appe- 
tite is appeased before the introduction of the succulent 
nutriment of the flesh, into " 

" Enough ! spare me the remainder," interrupted Lionel 
" too much has been said already to prove the inferiority 
of the American to the European animal, and your reason- 
ing is conclusive." 

" Parliament must do something for the families of the 

" Parliament ! " echoed Lionel, with bitter emphasis ; 
"yes, we shall be called on to pass resolutions to commend 
the decision of the general, and the courage of the troops ; 
and then, after we have added every possible insult to the 
injury, under the conviction of our imaginary supremacy, 
we may hear of some paltry sum to the widows and or- 
phans cited as an evidence of the unbounded generosity of 
the nation ! " 

" The feeding of six or seven broods of young Yankees 
is no such trifle, Major Lincoln," returned Polwarth ; "and 
there I trust the unhappy affair will end. We are now 
marching on Concord, a place with a most auspicious 
name, where we shall find repose under its shadow, as well 
as the food of this home-made parliament, which they have 
gotten together. These considerations alone support me 
under the fatigue of this direful trot with which old Pit- 


cairn goes over the ground does the man think he is hunt- 
ing with a pack of beagles at his heels ! " 

The opinion expressed by his companion, concerning the 
martial propensities of the Americans, was one too com- 
mon among the troops to excite any surprise in Lionel ; 
but, disgusted with the illiberality of the sentiment, and 
secretly offended at the supercilious manner with which 
the other expressed these injurious opinions of his country- 
men, iie continued his route in silence, while Polwarth 
speedily lost his loquacious propensity in a sense of the 
fatigue that assailed every muscle and joint in his body. 

That severe training of the corps, concerning which the 
captain vented such frequent complaints, now stood the 
advance in good service. It was apparent that the whole 
country was in a state of high alarm, and small bodies of 
armed men were occasionally seen on the heights that 
flanked their route, though no attempts were made to re- 
venge the deaths of those who fell at Lexington. The 
march of the troops was accelerated rather with a belief 
that the colonists might remove, or otherwise secrete the 
stores, than from any apprehension that they would dare to 
oppose the progress of the chosen troops of the army. The 
slight resistance of the Americans in the rencontre of that 
morning, was already a jest among the soldiers, who sneer- 
ingly remarked that the term of " minute-men " was de- 
servedly applied to warriors who had proved themselves 
so dexterous at flight. In short, every opprobrious and 
disrespectful epithet, that contempt and ignorance could 
invent, were freely lavished on the forbearing mildness of 
the suffering colonists. In tin's temper the troops reached 
a point whence the modest spire and roofs of Concord be- 
came visible. A small body of the colonists retired through 
the place as the English advanced, and the detachment en- 
tered the town without the least resistance, and with the 
appearance of conquerors. Lionel was not long in discov- 
ering from such of the inhabitants as remained, that, not- 
withstanding their approach had been known for some 
time, the events of that -morning were yet a secret from 
the people of the village. Detachments from the light 
corps were immediately sent in various directions ; some 
to search for the ammunition and provisions, and some to 
guard the approaches to the place. One, in particular, 
followed the retreating footsteps of the Americans, and 
took post at a bridge, at some little distance,: which cut off 
the communication with the country to the northward. 


In the meantime, the work of destruction was com- 
menced in the town chiefly under the superintendence of 
the veteran officer of the marines. The few male inhabi- 
tants who remained in their dwellings, were of necessity 
peaceable, though Lionel could read, in their flushed 
cheeks and gleaming eyes, the secret indignation of men, 
who, accustomed to the protection of the law, now found 
themselves subjected to the insults and wanton abuses of 
a military inroad. Every door was flung open, and no 
place was held sacred from the rude scrutiny of the licen- 
tious soldiery. Taunts and execrations soon mingled with 
the seeming moderation with which the search had com- 
menced, and loud exultation was betrayed, even among 
the officers, as the scanty provisions of the colonists were 
gradually brought to light. It was not a moment to re- 
spect private rights, and the freedom and ribaldry of the 
nen were on the point of becoming something more seri- 
ous, when the report of fire-arms was heard suddenly to 
issue from the post held by the light-infantry, at the bridge. 
A few scattering shot were succeeded by a volley, which 
was answered by another, with the quickness of lightning, 
and then the air became filled with the incessant rattling 
of a sharp conflict. Every arm was suspended, and each 
tongue became mute with astonishment, and the men 
abandoned their occupations as these unexpected sounds 
of war broke on their cars. The chiefs of the party were 
seen in consultation, and horsemen rode furiously into 
the place, to communicate the nature of this new con- 
flict. The rank of Major Lincoln soon obtained for him a 
knowledge that it was thought impolitic to communicate 
to the whole detachment. Notwithstanding it was appar- 
ent that they who brought the intelligence were anxious 
to give it the most favorable aspect, he soon discovered 
that the same body of Americans, which had retired at 
their approach, having attempted to return to their homes 
in the town, had been fired on at the bridge, and in the 
skirmish which succeeded, the troops had been compelled 
to give way with loss. The effect of this prompt and 
spirited conduct on the part of the provincials produced a 
sudden alteration, not only in the aspect, but also in the 
proceedings of the troops. The detachments were recalled, 
and the drums beat to arms, and, for the first time, both 
officers and men seemed to recollect that they had six 
leagues to march through a country that hardly contained 
a friend. Still few or no enemies were .visible, with the 


exception of those men of Concord, who had already drawn 
blood freely from- the invaders of their domestic sanctu- 
aries. The dead, and all the common wounded, were left 
where they had fallen, and it was thought an unfavorable 
omen among the observant of the detachment, that a 
wounded young subaltern, of rank and fortune, was also 
abandoned to the mercy of the exasperated Americans. 
The privates caught the infection from their officers, and 
Lionel saw, that in place of the, high and insulting confi- 
dence, with which the troops had w r heeled into the streets 
of Concord, that they left them, when the order was given 
to march, with faces bent anxiously on the surrounding 
heights, and with looks that bespoke a consciousness of 
the dangers that w r ere likely to beset the long road which 
lay before them. 

Their apprehensions were not groundless. The troops 
had Irardly commenced their march before a volley was 
fired upon them from the protection of a barn, and as they 
advanced, volley succeeded volley, and musket answered 
musket from behind every cover that offered to their as- 
sailants. At first these desultory and feeble attacks were 
but little regarded ; a brisk charge, and a smart fire of a 
few moments never failed to disperse their enemies, when 
the troops again proceeded for a short distance unmo- 
lested. But the alarm of the preceding night had gathered 
the people over an immense extent of country ; and, hav- 
ing waited for information, those nearest to the scene of 
action were already pressing forward to the assistance of 
their friends. There was but little order, and no concert 
among the Americans ; but each party, as it arrived, 
pushed into the fray, hanging on the skirts of their ene- 
mies, or making spirited, though ineffectual efforts to stop 
their progress. While the men from the towns behind 
them pressed upon their rear, the population in their 
front accumulated in bodies, like a rolling ball of snow, 
and before half the distance between Concord and Lex- 
ington was accomplished, Lionel perceived that the safety 
of their boasted power was in extreme jeopardy. During 
the first hour of these attacks, while they were yet distant, 
desultory and feeble, the young soldier had marched by the 
side of M'Fuse, who shook his head disdainfully whenever 
a shot whistled near him, and did not fail to comment freely 
on the folly of commencing a war thus prematurely, which, 
if properly nursed, might, to use his own words, " be in 
time brought to something pretty and interesting." 


"You perceive, Major Lincoln," he added, "that these 
provincials have got the first elements of the art, for the 
rascals fire with exceeding accuracy, when the distance is 
considered ; and six months or a year of close drilling 
would make them good for something in a regular charge. 
They have got a smart crack to their p'aces, and a pretty 
whiz to their lead already ; if they could but learn to de- 
liver their fire in platoons, the lads might make some im- 
pression on the light-infantry even now ; and in a year or 
two, sir, they would not be unworthy of the favors of the 

Lionel listened to this, and much other similar discourse, 
with a vacant ear ; but as the combat thickened, the blood 
of the young man began to course more swiftly through 
his veins ; and at length, excited by the noise and the dan- 
ger which was pressing more closely around them, he 
mounted, and, riding to the commander of the detach- 
ment, tendered his assistance as a volunteer aid, .having, 
lost every other sensation in youthful blood, and the pride 
of arms. He was immediately charged with orders for the 
advance, and driving his spurs into his steed, he dashed 
through the scattered line of fighting and jaded troops, 
and galloped to its head. Here he found several com- 
panies, diligently employed in clearing the way for their 
comrades, as new foes appeared at every few rods that 
they advanced. Even as Lionel approached, a heavy sheet 
of fire flashed from a close barn-yard, full in the faces of 
the leading files, sending the swift engines of death into 
the very centre of the party. 

" Wheel a company of the light-infantry, Captain Pol- 
warth," cried the old major of marines, who battled 
stoutly in the van, " and drive the skulking scoundrels 
from their ambush." 

" Oh ! by the sweets of ease, and the hopes of a halt ! 
but here is another tribe of these white savages ! " re- 
sponded the unfortunate captain " Look out, my brave 
men ! blaze away over the walls on your left give no 
quarter to the annoying rascals get the first shot give 
them a foot of your steel." 

While venting such terrible denunciations and com- 
mands, which were drawn from the peaceable captain by 
the force of circumstances, Lionel beheld his friend dis- 
appear amid the buildings of the farm-yard in a cloud ot 
smoke, followed by his troops. In a few minutes after- 
wards, as the line toiled its way up the hill on which this 


scene occurred, Polwarth reappeared, issuing from the 
fray with his face blackened and grimed with powder, 
while a sheet of flame arose from -the spot, which soon laid 
the devoted buildings of the unfortunate husbandman in 

" Ha ! Major Lincoln," he cried, as he approached the 
other, "do you call these light-infantry movements! to me 
they are the torments of the damned ! Go, you who have 
influence, and, what is better, a horse, go to Smith, and 
tell him if he will call a halt, I will engage, with my single 
company, to seat ourselves in any field he may select, and 
keep these blood-suckers at bay for an hour, while the 
detachment can rest and satisfy their hunger trusting that 
he will then allow time for his defenders to perform the 
same necessary operations. A night-march, no breakfast 
a burning sun mile after mile no halt, and nothing 
but fire fire 'tis opposed to every principle in physics, 
and even to the anatomy of man, to think he can endure it !" 

Lionel endeavored to encourage his friend to new exer- 
tions, and, turning away from their leader, spoke cheer- 
ingly, and with a martial tone, to his troops. The men 
cheered as they passed, and dashed forward to new en- 
counters ; the Americans yielding sullenly, but necessarily, 
to the constant charges of the bayonet, to which the regu- 
lars resorted to dislodge them. As the advance moved on 
again, Lionel turned to contemplate the scene in the rear. 
They had now been marching and fighting for two hours, 
with little or no cessation ; and it was but too evident that 
the force of the assailants was increasing, both in numbers 
and in daring, at each step they took. On either side of 
the highway, along the skirts of every wood or orchard, in 
the open fields, and from every house, barn, or cover in 
sight, the flash of fire-arms was to be seen, while the shouts 
of the English grew, at each instant, feebler and less in- 
spiriting. Heavy clouds of smoke rose above the valley, 
into which he looked, and mingled with the dust of the 
march, drawing an impenetrable veil before the view ; but 
as the wind, at moments, shoved it aside, he caught 
glimpses of the worried and faltering platoons of the party, 
sometimes breasting and repulsing an attack with spirit, 
and at others shrinking from the contest, with an ill-con- 
cealed desire to urge their retreat to the verge of an 
absolute flight. Young as he was, Major Lincoln knew 
enough of his profession to understand that nothing but 
the want of conceit, and of a unity of command among the 


Americans, saved the detachment from total destruction. 
The attacks were growing extremely spirited, and not un- 
frequently close and bloody, though the discipline of the 
troops enabled them still to bear up against this desultory 
and divided warfare, when Lionel heard, with a pleasure he 
could not conceal, the loud shouts that arose from the van, 
as the cheering intelligence was proclaimed through the 
ranks, that the cloud of dust in their front was raised by a 
chosen brigade of their comrades, which had come most 
timely to their succor, with the heir of Northumberland at 
its head. The Americans gave way as the two detach- 
ments joined, and the artillery of the succors opened upon 
their flying parties, giving a few minutes of stolen rest to 
those who needed it so much. Polwarth threw himself 
flat on the earth, as Lionel dismounted at his side, and his 
example was followed by the whole party, who lay panting, 
under the heat and fatigue, like worried deer, that had 
succeeded in throwing the hounds from their scent 

" As I am a gentleman of simple habits, and a man in- 
nocent of all this bloodshed, Major Lincoln," said the cap- 
tain, " I pronounce this march to be a most unjust draft on 
the resources of human nature. I have journeyed at least 
five leagues between this spot and that, place of discord 
that they falsely call Concord, within two hours, amidst 
dust, smoke, groans, and other infernal cries, that would 
cause the best trained racer in England to bolt ; and 
breathing an air, all the time, that would boil an egg in 
two minutes and a quarter, if fairly exposed to it." 

" You overrate the distance 'tis but two leagues by the 
stones *-" 

" Stones !" interrupted Polwarth " I scorn their lies 
I have a leg here that is a better index for miles, feet, or 
even inches, than was ever chiselled in stone." 

" We must not contest this idle point," returned Lionel, 
" for I see the troops are about to dine ; and we have need 
of every moment to reach Boston before the night closes 
around us." 

" Eat ! Boston ! night ! " slowly repeated Polwarth, rais- 
ing himself on one arm, and staring wildly about him. 
" Surely no man among us is so mad as to talk of moving 
from this spot short of a week it would take half that 
time to receive the internal refreshment necessary to our 
systems, and the remainder to restore us healthy appe 

" Suth, however, are the orders of the Earl Percy, from 


whom I learn that the whole country is rising in our 

" Ay, but they are fellows who slept peacefully in their 
beds the past night ; and I dare say that every dog among 
them ate his half-pound of pork, together with additions 
suitable for a breakfast, before he crossed his threshold 
this morning. But with us the case is different. It is in- 
cumbent on two thousand British troops to move with de- 
liberation, if it should be only for the credit of his 
majesty's arms. No, no the gallant Percy too highly 
respects his princely lineage and name, to assume the ap- 
pearance of flight before a mob of base-born hinds ! " 

The intelligence of Lionel was nevertheless true ; for, 
after a short halt, allowing barely time enough to the 
troops to eat a hasty meal, the drums again beat the signal 
to march, and Polwarth, as well as many hundred others, 
was reluctantly compelled to resume his feet, under the 
penalty of being abandoned to the fury of the exasperated 
Americans. While the troops were in a state of rest, the 
field-pieces of the reinforcement kept their foes at a dis- 
tance ; but the instant the guns were limbered, and tiie 
files had once more opened for room, the attacks were re- 
newed from every quarter, with redoubled fury. The ex- 
cesses of the troops,, who had begun to vent their anger by 
plundering and firing the dwellings that they passed, 
added to the bitterness of the attacks ; and the march had 
not been renewed many minutes, before a fiercer conflict 
raged along its skirts than had been before witnessed on 
that day. 

" Would to God that the great Northumbrian would 
form us in order of battle, and make a fair field with the 
Yankees," groaned Polwarth, as he toiled his way once 
more with the advance " half an hour would settle the 
matter, and a man would then possess the gratification of 
seeing himself a victor, or at least of knowing that he was 
comfortably and quietly dead." 

" Few of us would ever arrive in the morning, if we left 
the Americans a night to gather in ; and a halt of an hour 
would lose us the advantages of the whole march," re- 
turned Lionel. "Cheer up, my old comrade, and you will 
establish your reputation for activity forever here comes 
a party of the provincials over the crest of the hill to keep 
you in employment." 

Polwarth cast a look of despair at Lionel, as he muttered 
in reply . 


" Employment ! God knows that there has not been a 
single muscle, sinew, or joint, in my body in a state of 
wholesome rest for four-and-tvventy hours ! " Then turn- 
ing to his men, he cried, with tones so cheerful and ani- 
mated, that they seemed to proceed from a final and closing 
exertion, as he led them gallantly into the approaching 
fray "Scatter the dogs, my brave friends away with 
them like gnats, like mosquitoes, like leeches, as they are 
give it them lead and steel by handfuls " 

"On push on with the advance!" shouted the old 
major of marines, who observed the leading platoons to 

The voice of Polwarth was once more heard in the din, 
and their irregular assailants sullenly yielded before the 

"On on with the advance ! " cried fifty voices out of a 
cloud of smoke and dust that was moving up the hill, on 
whose side this encounter occurred. 

In this manner the war continued to roll slowly onward, 
following the weary and heavy footsteps of the soldiery, 
who had now toiled for many miles, surrounded by the din 
of battle, and leaving in their path the bloody impressions 
of their footsteps. Lionel was enabled to trace their route, 
far towards the north, by the bright red spots, which lay 
scattered in alarming numbers along the highway, and in 
the fields, through which the troops occasionally moved. 
He even found time, in the intervals of rest, to note the 
difference in the characters of the combatants. Whenever 
the ground or the circumstances admitted of a regular at- 
tack, the dying confidence of the troops would seem re- 
stored ; and they moved up to the charge with the bold 
carriage which high discipline inspires, rending the air 
with shouts, while their enemies melted before their power 
in sullen silence, never ceasing to use their weapons, how- 
ever, with an expertness that rendered them doubly dan- 
gerous. The direction of the columns frequently brought 
(he troops over ground that had been sharply contested in 
front, and the victims of these short struggles came under 
the eyes of the detachment. It was necessary to turn a 
deaf ear to the cries and prayers of many wounded soldiers, 
who, with horror and abject fear written on every feature 
of their countenances, were the helpless witnesses of the 
retreating files of their comrades. On the other hand, the 
American lay in his blood, regarding the passing detach- 
ment with a stern and indignant eye, that appeared to 


look far beyond his individual suffering. Over one body, 
Lionel pulled the reins of his horse, and he paused a mo- 
ment to consider the spectacle. It was the lifeless form of 
a man, whose white locks, hollow cheeks, and emaciated 
frame, denoted that the bullet which had stricken him to 
the earth had- anticipated the irresistible decrees of time 
but a very few days. He had fallen on his back, and his 
glazed eye expressed, even in death, the honest resentment 
he had felt while living : and hjs palsied hand continued 
to grasp the fire-lock, old and time-worn, like its owner, 
with which he had taken the field in behalf of his country. 

" Where can a contest end which calls such champions 
to its aid ! " exclaimed Lionel, observing that the shadow 
of another spectator fell across the wan features of the 
dead "who can tell where this torrent of blood can be 
stayed, or how many are to be its victims ! " 

Receiving no answer, he raised his eyes, and discovered 
that he had unwittingly put this searching question to the 
very man whose rashness had precipitated the war. It 
was the major of marines, who sat looking at the sight, for 
a minute, with an eye as vacant as the one' that seemed to 
throw back his wild gaze, and then, rousing from his 
trance, he buried his rowejs in- the flanks of his horse, and 
disappeared in the smoke that enveloped a body of the 
grenadiers, waving his sword on high, and shouting 

" On push on with the advance ! " 

Major Lincoln slowly followed, musing on the scene he 
had witnessed, when, to his surprise, he encountered Pol- 
warth, seated on a rock by the roadside, looking with a 
listless and dull eye at the retreating columns. Checking 
his charger, he inquired of his friend if he were hurt. 

" Only melted," returned the captain ; " I have outdone 
the speed of man this day, Major Lincoln, and can do no 
more. If you see any of my friends in dear England, tell 
them that I met my fate as a soldier should, stationary ; 
though I am actually melting away in rivulets, like the 
snows of April." 

"Good God ! you will not remain here to be slain by 
the provincials, by whom you see we are completely en- 
veloped ?" 

"I am preparing a speech for the first Yankee who may 
approach. If he be a true man, he will melt into tears at 
my sufferings this day if a savage, my heirs will be spared 
the charges of my funeral." 

Lionel would have continued his remonstrances, but a 


fierce encounter between a flanking party of the troops and 
a body of Americans, drove the former close upon him ; 
and, leaping the wall, he rallied his comrades, and turned 
the tide of battle in their favor. He was drawn far from 
the spot by the vicissitudes of the combat, and there was a 
moment, while passing from one body of the troops to an- 
other, that he found himself unexpectedly alone, in a most 
dangerous vicinity to a small wood. The hurried call of 
" Pick off that officer ! " first aroused him to his extreme 
danger, and he had mechanically bowed himself on the 
neck of his charger, in expectation of the fatal messengers, 
when a voice was heard among the Americans, crying, in 
tones that caused every nerve in his body to thrill 

" Spare him ! for the love of that God you \vorship, 
spare him ! " 

The overwhelming sensations of the moment prevented 
flight, and the young man beheld Ralph, running with 
frantic gestures, along the skirts of the cover, beating up 
the fire-arms of twenty Americans, and repeating his cries 
in a voice that did not seem to belong to a human being 
then, in the confusion which whirled through his brain, 
Lionel thought himself a prisoner, as a man, armed with a 
long rifle, glided from the wood, and laid his hand on the 
rein of his bridle, saying earnestly 

" 'Tis a bloody day, and God will remember it ; but if 
Major Lincoln will ride straight down the hill, the people 
won't fire for fear of hitting Job- and when Job fires, he'll 
shoot that granny who's getting over the wall, and there'll 
never be a stir about it in Funnel-Hall." 

Lionel wheeled away quicker than thought, and as his 
charger took long and desperate leaps down the slight 
declivity, he heard the shouts of the Americans behind 
him, the crack of Job's rifle, and the whizzing of the bul- 
let which the changeling sent, as he had promised, in a 
direction to do him no harm. On gaining a place of com- 
parative safety, he found Pitcairn in the act of abandoning 
his bleeding horse, the close and bitter attacks of the 
provincials rendering it no longer safe for an officer to be 
seen. riding on the flanks of the detachment. Lionel, 
though he valued his steed highly, had also received so 
many intimations of the dangerous notice he had attracted, 
that he was soon obliged to follow this example ; and he 
saw, with deep regret, the noble animal scouring across 
the fields with a loose rein, snorting and snuffing the 
tainted air. Fie now joined a party of the combatants on 


foot, and continued to animate them to new exertions 
during the remainder of the tedious way. 

From the moment the spires of Boston met the view of 
the troops, the struggle became intensely interesting. New 
vigor was imparted to their weary frames by the cheering 
sight, and, assuming once more the air of hi^h martial 
training, they bore up against the assaults of their enemies 
with renewed spirit. On the other hand, the Americans 
seemed aware that the moments of vengeance were passing 
swiftly away, and boys, and gray-headed men, the wounded 
and the active, crowded around their invaders, as if eager 
to obtain a parting blow. Even the peaceful ministers of 
God were known to take the field on that memorable oc- 
casion, and, mingling with their parishioners, to brave 
every danger in a cause which they believed in consonance 
with their holy calling. The sun was sinking over the land, 
and the situation of the detachment had become nearly 
desperate, when Percy abandoned the idea of reaching the 
Neck, across which he had proudly marched that morning 
from Boston, and strained every nerve to get the remain- 
der of his command within the peninsula of Charlestown. 
The crests and the sides of the heights were alive with 
men, and as the shades of evening closed about the com- 
batants, the bosoms of the Americans beat high with hope, 
while they witnessed the faltering steps and slackened fire 
of the troops. But high discipline finally so far prevailed 
as to snatch the English from the very grasp of destruction, 
and enabled them to gain the narrow entrance to the de- 
sired shelter, just as night had come apparently to seal 
their doom. 

Lionel stood leaning against a fence, as this fine body 
of men, which a few hours before had thought themselves 
equal to a march through the colonies, defiled slowly and 
heavily by him, dragging their weary and exhausted limbs 
up the toilsome ascent of Bunker-Hill. The haughty eyes 
of most of the officers were bent to the earth in shame ; 
and the common herd, even in that place of security, cast 
many an anxious glance behind them, to assure themselves 
that the despised inhabitants of the province were no 
longer pressing on their footsteps. Platoon after platoon 
passed, each man compelled to depend on his own wearied 
limbs for support, until Lionel at last saw a solitary horse- 
man slowly ascending among the crowd. To his utter 
amazement and great joy, as this officer approached, he 
beheld Polwarth, mounted on his own steed, riding toward 


him, with a face of the utmost complacency and composure. 
The dress of the captain was torfi fn many places, and the 
housings of the saddle were cut into ribbons, while here 
and there a spot of clotted blood, on the sides of the beast, 
served to announce the particular notice the rider had re- 
ceived fram the Americans. The truth was soon extorted 
from the honest soldier. The love of life had returned with 
the sight of the abandoned charger. He acknowledged it 
had cost him his watch to have the beast caught ; but, once 
established in the saddle, no danger, nor any remonstrances, 
could induce him. to relinquish a seat which he found so 
consoling after all the fatigue and motion of that evil day, 
in which he had been compelled to share in the calamities 
of those who fought on the side of the crown, in the mem- 
orable battle of Lexington. 


L Is it not lawful, an' please your majesty, 
To tell how many is killed ?" King Henry K 

WHILE a strong party of the royal troops took post on 
the height which commanded the approach to their posi- 
tion, the remainder penetrated deeper into the peninsula, 
or were transported by the boats of the fleet to the town 
of Boston. Lionel and Polwarth passed the strait with 
the first division of the wounded, the former having no 
duty to detain him any longer with the detachment, and 
the latter stoutly maintaining that his corporeal sufferings 
gave him an undoubted claim to include his case among 
the casualties of the day. Perhaps no officer in the army 
of the king felt less chagrin at the result of this inroad 
than Major Lincoln ; for, notwithstanding his attachment 
to his prince, and adopted country, he w r as keenly sensitive 
on the subject of the reputation of his real countryman ; 
a sentiment that is honorable to our nature, and which 
never deserts any that do not become disloyal to its purest 
and noblest impulses. Even while he regretted the price 
at which his comrades had been taught to appreciate the 
characters of those whose long and mild forbearance had 
been misconstrued into pusillanimity, he rejoiced that the 
eyes of the more aged w r ould now be opened to the truth, 
and that the mouths of the young and thoughtless were 


to be for ever closed in shame. Although the actual losses 
of the two detachments were probably concealed from 
motives of policy, it was early acknowledged to amount to 
about one-sixth of the whole number employed. 

On the wharf Lionel and Polwarth separated ; the latter 
agreeing to repair speedily to the private quarters of his 
friend, where he promised himself a solace for the com- 
pulsory abstinence and privations of his long march, and 
the former taking his way toward Tremont Street, with a 
view to allay the uneasiness which the secret and flattering 
whisperings of hope taught him to believe his fair young 
kinswomen would feel in his behalf. "At every corner he 
encountered groups of earnest townsmen, listening with 
greedy ears to the particulars of the contest, a few walking 
away dejected at the spirit exhibited by that country they 
had vilified to its oppressors ; but most of them regarding 
the passing form of one whose disordered dress announced 
his participation in the affair, with glances of stern satis- 
faction. As Lionel tapped at the door of Mrs. Lechmere, 
he forgot his fatigue ; and when it opened, and he beheld 
Cecil standing in the hall, with every lineament of her fine 
countenance expressing the power of her emotions, he no 
longer remembered those trying dangers he had so lately 

" Lionel ! " exclaimed the young lady, clasping her hands 
with joy "himself, and unhurt!" 'The blood rushed 
from her heart across her face to her forehead, and bury- 
ing her shame in her hands, she burst into a flood of tears, 
and fled his presence. 

Agnes Danforth received him with undisguised pleasure, 
nor would she indulge in a single question to appease her 
burning curiosity, until thoroughly assured of his perfect 
safety. Then, indeed, she remarked, with a smile of tri- 
umph seated on her arch features 

"Your march has been well attended, Major Lincoln; 
from the upper windows I have seen some of the honors 
which the good people of Massachusetts have paid to their 

"On my soul, if it were not for the dreadful conse- 
quences which must follow, I rejoice, as well as yourself, 
in the events of the day," said Lincoln ; " for a people are 
never certain of their rights until they are respected." 

" Tell me, then, all, cousin Lincoln, that I may know 
how to boast of my parentage." 

The young man gave her a short, but distinct and impar- 


tial, account of all that had occurred, to which his fair 
listener attended with undisguised interest. 

" Now, then," she exclaimed, as he ended, "there is an 
end forever of those biting taunts that have so long insult- 
ed our ears ! But you know," she added, with a slight 
blush, and a smile most comically arch, '*! had a double 
stake in the fortunes of the day my country and my true 
love ! " 

" Oh ! be at ease ; your worshipper has returned, whole 
in body, and suffering in mind only through your cruelty 
he performed the route with wonderful address, and 
really showed himself a soldier in danger." 

"Nay, Major Lincoln," returned Agnes, still blushing, 
though she laughed ; " you do not mean to insinuate that 
Peter Polwarth has walked forty miles between the rising 
and setting of the sun ? " 

" Between two sunsets he has done the deed, if you 
except a trifling promenade a cheval, on my own steed, whom 
Jonathan compelled me to abandon, and of whom he took, 
and maintained the possession, too, in spite of dangers of 
every kind." 

" Really," exclaimed the wilful girl, clasping her hands 
in affected astonishment, though Lionel thought he could 
read inward satisfaction at his intelligence "the prodigies 
of the man exceed belief ! one wants the faith of father 
Abraham to credit such marvels ! though, after the repulse 
of two thousand British soldiers by a body of husbandmen, 
I am prepared for an exceeding use of my credulity." 

"The moment is then auspicious for my friend," whis- 
pered Lionel, rising to follow the flitting form of Cecil 
Dynevor, which he saw gliding into the opposite room, as 
Polwarth himself entered the apartment. " Credulity is 
said to be the great weakness of your sex, and I must 
leave you a moment exposed to the failing, and that too, 
in the dangerous company of the subject of our dis- 

" Now would you give half your hopes of promotion, 
and all your hopes of a war, Captain Polwarth, to know in 
w r hat manner your character has been treated in your ab- 
sence ! " cried Agnes, blushing slightly. " I shall not, how- 
ever, satisfy the cravings of your curiosity, but let it serve 
as a stimulant to better deeds than have employed you 
since we met last." 

"I trust Lincoln has done justice to my service," re- 
turned the good-humored captain, "and that he has not 


neglected to mention the manner in which I rescued his 
steed from the rebels." 

"The what, sir?" interrupted Agnes, with a frown 
" how did you style the good -people of Massachusetts 
Bay ? " 

"I should have said the excited dwellers in the land, I 
believe. Ah ! Miss Agnes, I have suffered this day as man 
never suffered before ; and all on your behalf 

"On my behalf! Your words require explanation, 
tain Polwarth." 

"Tis impossible," returned the captain "there are 
feelings and actions connected with the heart that will 
admit of no explanation. All I know is, that I have suf- 
fered unutterably on your account to-day ; and what is 
unutterable, is in a great degree inexplicable." 

" I shall set this down for what I understand occurs reg- 
ularjy in a certain description of tete-a-tetes the expres- 
sion of an unutterable thing! Surely, Major Lincoln had 
some reason to believe he left me at the mercy of my cre- 

" You slander your own character, fair Agnes," said Pol- 
warth, endeavoring to look piteously ; "you are neither 
merciful nor credulous, or you would long since have be- 
lieved my tale, and taken pity on my misery." 

" Is not sympathy a sort a kind in short, is not sym- 
pathy a dreadful symptom in a certain disease?" asked 
Agnes, resting her eyes on the floor, and affecting a girlish 

" Who can gainsay it ! " cried the captain ; "'tis the in- 
fallible way for a young lady to discover the bent of her 
inclinations. Thousands have lived in ignorance 01 their 
own affections until their sympathies have been awakened. 
But what means the question, my fair tormentor ? May I 
dare to flatter myself that you at length feel for my pains ! " 

" 1 am sadly afraid 'tis but too true, Polwarth," returned 
Agnes, shaking her head, and continuing to look exceed- 
ingly grave. 

Polwarth moved, with something like animation again, 
nigherto the amused 'girl ; and attempted to take her hand, 
as he said 

" You restore me to life with your sweet acknowledg- 
ments I have lived for six months like a dog under your 
frowns, but one kind word acts like a healing balm, and 
restores me to myself again ! " 

" Then my sympathy is evaporated ! " returned Agnes. 


" Throughout this long and anxious day have I fancied 
myself older than my good, staid, great-aunt ; and when- 
ever certain thoughts have crossed my mind, I have even 
imagined a thousand of the ailings of age had encircled 
me rheumatisms, gouts, asthmas, and numberless other 
aches and pains, exceedingly unbecoming to a young lady 
of nineteen. But you have enlightened me, and given 
vast relief to my apprehensions, by explaining it to be no 
more than sympathy. You see, Polwarth, what a wife you 
will obtain, should I ever, in a weak moment, accept you ; 
for I have already sustained one half your burthens ! " 

" A man is not made to be in constant motion, like the 
pendulum of that clock, Miss Danforth, and yet feel no 
fatigue," said Polwarth, more vexed than he would permit 
himself to betray ; "yet I flatter myself there is no officer 
in the light-infantry you understand me to say the light- 
infantry who has passed over more ground, within fojjr- 
and-twenty hours, than the man who hastens, notwithstand- 
ing his exploits, to throw himself at your feet, even before 
he thinks of his ordinary rest." 

" Captain Polwarth," said Agnes, rising, " for the com- 
pliment, if compliment it be, I thank you ; but," she added, 
losing her affected gravity in a strong natural feeling that 
shone in her dark eye, and illuminated the whole of her 
fine countenance, as she laid her hand impressively on her 
heart " the man who will supplant the feelings which 
nature has impressed here, must not come to my feet, as 
you call it, from a field of battle, where he has been con- 
tending with my kinsmen, and helping to enslave my 
country. You will excuse me, sir, but as Major Lincoln is 
at home here, permit me, for a few minutes, to leave you 
to his hospitality." 

She withdrew as Lionel re-entered, passing him on the 

" I would rather be a leader in a stage-coach, or a run- 
ning footman, than in love ! " cried Polwarth " 'tis a dog's 
life, Leo, and this girl treats me like a cart-horse ! But 
what an eye she has ! I could have lighted my segar by 
it my heart is a heap of cinders. Why, Leo, what aileth 
thee ? throughout the whole of this damnable day, I have 
not before seen thee bear such a troubled look ! " 

"Let us withdraw to my private quarters," muttered 
the young man, whose aspect and air expressed the marks 
of extreme disturbance " 'tis time to repair the disasters 
of our march." 


"All that has been already looked to," said Polwarth, 
rising and limping, with sundry grimaces, in the best man- 
ner he was able, in a vain effort to equal the rapid strides 
of his companion. " My first business on leaving you was 
to borrow a conveyance of a friend, in which I rode to 
your place ; and my next was to write to little Jimmy 
Craig, to offer an exchange of my company for his for 
from this hour henceforth I denounce all light-infantry 
movements, and shall take the first opportunity to get 
back again into the dragoons ; as soon as I have effected 
which, Major Lincoln, I propose to treat with you for the 
purchase of that horse. After that duty was performed 
for, if self-preservation be commendable, it became a duty 
I made out a bill of fare for Meriton, in order that noth- 
ing might be forgotten ; after which, like yourself, Lionel, 
I hastened to the feet of my mistress Ah ! Major Lincoln, 
you are a happy man ; for you there is no reception but 
smiles and charms so 

" Talk not to me, sir, of smiles," interrupted Lionel, im- 
patiently, " nor of the charms of woman. The}'- are all 
alike, capricious and unaccountable." 

" Bless me ! " exclaimed Polwarth, staring about him in 
wonder ; "there is then favor for none, in this place, who 
battle for the king ! There is a strange connection be- 
tween Cupid and Mars, love and war ; for here did I, after 
fighting all day like a Saracen, a Turk, Jenghis Khan, or, 
in short, anything but a good Christian, come with full in- 
tent to make a serious offer of my hand, commission, and 
of Polwarth Hall, to that treasonable vixen, when she re- 
pulses me with a frown and a sarcasm as biting as the sal- 
utation of a hungry man. But what an eye the girl has, 
and what a bloom, when she is a little more seasoned than 
common ! Then you, too, Lionel, have been treated like 
a dog ! " 

"Like a fool, as I am," said Lionel, pacing haughtily 
over the ground at a rate that soon threw his companion 
too far in the rear to admit of further discourse until they 
reached the place of their destination. Here, to the no 
small surprise of both gentlemen, they found a company 
collected that neither was prepared to meet. At a side- 
table sat M'Fuse, discussing, with singular relish, some of 
the cold viands of the previous night's repast, and washing 
down his morsels with deep potations of the best wine of 
his host. In one corner of the room Seth Sage was posted, 
with the appearance of a man in duress, his hands being 



tied before him, from which depended a long cord, that 
might, on emergency, be made to serve the purpose of a 
halter. Opposite to the prisoner, for such in truth he 
was, stood Job, imitating the example of the captain of 
grenadiers, who now and then tossed some fragment of 
his meal into the hat of the simpleton. Meriton and sev- 
eral of the menials of the establishment were in waiting. 

" What have we here ? " cried Lionel, regarding the 
scene with a curious eye. " Of what offence has Mr. Sage 
been guilty, that he bears those bonds ?" 

" Of the small crimes of tr'ason and homicide," returned 
M'Fuse, "if shooting at a man, with a hearty mind o kill 
him, can make a murder." 

"It can't," said Seth, raising his eyes from the floor, 
where he had hitherto kept them in demure silerice ; "a 
man must kill with wicked intent to commit murder " 

" Hear to the blackguard, detailing the law r as if he were 
my lord chief justice of the King's Bench!" interrupted 
the grenadier ; "and what was your own wicked intention, 
ye skulking vagabond, but to kill me ! I'll have you tried 
and hung for the same act." 

" It's ag'in reason to believe that any jury will convict 
one man for the murder of another that an't dead," said 
Seth "there's no jury to be found in the Bay colony, to 
do it." 

" Bay colony, ye murdering thief and rebel ! " cried the 
captain ; " I'll have ye transported to England ; ye shall 
be both transported and hung. By the Lord, I'll carry ye 
back to Ireland with me, and I'll hang ye up in the Green 
Island itself, and bury ye, in the heart of winter, in a 
bog " 

" But what is the offence," demanded Lionel, " that calls 
forth these severe threats ?" 

" The scoundrel has been out 


" Ay, out ! Damn it, sir, has not the whole country been 
like so many bees in search of a hive ? Is your memory so 
short that ye forget already, Major Lincoln, the tramp the 
blackguards have given you over hill and dale, through 
thick and thin ?" 

"And was Mr. Sage, then, found among our enemies 
to-day ? " 

" Didn't I see him pull trigger on my own stature three 
times within as many minutes?" returned the angry cap- 
tain ; " and didn't he break the handle of my sword ? and 


have not I a bit of lead he calls a buck-shot in my shoulder 
as a present from the thief?" 

" It's ag'in all law to call a man a thief," said Job, "un- 
less you can prove it upon him ; but it an't ag'in law to go 
in and out of Boston as often as you choose." 

" Do you hear the rascals ! They know every angle of 
the law as well or better than I do myself, who am the son 
of a Cork counsellor. I dare to say you were among them 
too, and that, ye deserve the gallows as well as your com- 
mendable companion there." 

" How is this ! " said Lionel, turning quickly away from 
Job, with a view to prevent a reply that might endanger 
the safety of the changeling ; " did you not only mingle in 
this rebellion, Mr. Sage, but also attempt the life of a 
gentleman who may be said, almost, to be an inmate of 
your own house ? " 

"I conclude," returned Seth, "it's best net to talk too 
much, seeing that no one can foretell what may happen." 

" Hear to the cunning reprobate ! He has not the grace 
to acknowledge his own sins, like an honest man," inter- 
rupted M'Fuse ; " but I can save him that small trouble 
I got tired, you "must know, Major Lincoln, of being shot 
at like noxious vermin, from morning till night, without 
making some return to the compliments of those gentle- 
men who are out on the hills ; and I took advantage of a 
turn, ye see, to double on a party of the uncivilized de- 
mons. This lad, here, got three good pulls at me before 
we closed and made an end of them with the steel, all but 
this fellow, who, having a becoming look for a gallows, I 
brought him in, as you see, for an exchange, intending to 
hang him the first favorable opportunity." 

" If this be true, we must give him into the hands of the 
proper authorities," said Lionel, smiling at the confused 
account of the angry captain =" for it remains to be seen 
yet what course will be adopted with the prisoners in this 
singular contest." 

" I should think nothing of the matter," returned M 'Fuse, 
" if the reprobate had not tr'ated me like a beast of the 
field, with his buck-shot, and taking his aim each time, as 
though I had been a mad dog. Ye villain, do you call 
yourself a man, and aim at a fellow-creature as you would 
at a brute ? " 

"Why/' said Seth, sullenly, "when a man has pretty 
much made up his mind to fight, I conclude it's best to 
take aim, in order to save ammunition and time.'* 


" You acknowledge the charge, then ? " demanded Lionel, 

" As the major is a moderate man, and will hear to 
reason, I will talk the matter over with him rationally," 
said Seth, disposing himself to speak more to the purpose. 
"You see, I had a small call to Concurd early this morn- 
ing " 

" Concord ! " exclaimed Lionel. 

" Yes, Concurd," returned Seth, laying great stress on 
the first syllable, and speaking with an air of extreme in- 
nocence "it lies here-away, say twenty or one-and-twenty 
miles " 

" Damn your Concords and your miles too," cried Pol- 
warth ; " is there a man in the army who can forget the 
deceitful place ? Go on with your defence, without talk- 
ing to us of the distance, who have measured the road by 

" The captain is hasty and rash ! " said the deliberate 
prisoner " but being there, I went out of the town with 
some company that I happened in with ; and after a time 
we concluded to return and so, as we came to a bridge 
about a mile beyond the place, we received considerable 
rough treatment from some of the king's troops, who were 
standing there " 

"What did they?" 

"They fired at us, and killed two of our company, be- 
sides other threatening doings. There were some among 
us that took the matter up in considerable earnest, and 
there was a sharp toss about it for a few minutes ; though 
finally the law prevailed." 

"The law!" 

" Certain 'tis ag'in all law, I believe the major will own, 
to shoot peaceable men on the public highway ! " 

" Proceed with your tale in your own way." 

" That is pretty much the whole of it," said Seth, warily. 
" The people rather took that, and some other things that 
happened at Lexington, to heart, and I suppose the major 
knows the rest." 

" But what has all this to do with your attempt to mur- 
der me, you hypocrite ? " demanded M'Fuse " confess the 
whole, ye thief, that I may hang you with an aisy con- 

"Enough," said Lionel; "the man has acknowledged 
sufficient already to justify us in transferring him to the 
custody of others let him betaken to the main guard, and 
delivered as a prisoner of this day." 


" I hope the major will look to the things," said Seth, 
who instantly prepared to depart, but stopped on the 
threshold to speak " I shall hold him accountable for 

"Your property shall be protected, and I hope your life 
may not be in jeopardy," returned Lionel, waving his hand 
for those who guarded him to proceed. Seth turned, and 
left his own dwelling with the same quiet air which had 
distinguished him throughout the day ; though there were 
occasional flashes from his quick, dark eyes, that looked 
like the glimmerings of a fading fire. Notwithstanding 
the threatening denunciation he had encountered, he left 
the house with a perfect conviction, that if his case were 
to be tried by those principles of justice which every man 
in the colony so well understood, it would be found that 
both he and his fellows had kept thoroughly on the windy 
side of the law. 

During this singular and characteristic discourse, PoL 
warth, with the solitary exception we have recorded, had 
employed his time in forwarding the preparations for the 

As Seth and his train disappeared, Lionel cast a furtive 
look at Job, who was a quiet, and apparently an undis- 
turbed, spectator of the scene, and then turned his atten- 
tion suddenly to his guests, as if fearful the folly of the 
changeling might betray his agency also in the deeds of the 
day. The simplicity of the lad, however, defeated the kind 
intentions of the major, for he immediately observed, with- 
out the least indication of fear 

" The king can't hang Seth Sage for firing back, when 
the rake-helly soldiers began first." 

" Perhaps you were out 'too, master Solomon," cried 
M'Fuse, " amusing yourself at Concord, with a small party 
of select friends ? " 

" Job didn't go any further than Lexington," returned 
the lad, " and he hasn't got any friend, except old Nab.' : 

" The devil has possessed the minds of the people ! " 
continued the grenadier " lawyers and doctors praists 
and sinners old and young big and little, beset us in 
our march, and here is a fool to be added to the number ! 
I dare say that fellow, now, has attempted murder in his 
day too." 

"Job scorns such wickedness," returned the unmoved 
simpleton ; "he only shot one granny, and hit an officer in 
the arm." 


" D'ye hear that, Major Lincoln ?" cried M'Fuse, jump- 
ing from the seat which, notwithstanding the bitterness of 
his language, he had hitherto perseveringly maintained ; 
" d'ye hear that shell of a man, that effigy, boasting of hav- 
ing killed a grenadier ! " 

" Hold ! " interrupted Lionel, arresting his excited com- 
panion by the arm u remember we are soldiers, and that 
the boy is not a responsible being. No tribunal would ever 
sentence such an unfortunate creature to a gibbet ; and in 
general he is as harmless as a babe " 

"The devil burn such babes a pretty fellow is he to kill 
a man of six feet ! and with a ducking gun, I'll engage. I'll 
not hang the rascal, Major Lincoln, since it is your particu- 
lar wish I'll only have him buried alive." 

Job continued perfectly unmoved in his chair ; and the 
captain, ashamed of his resentment against such uncon- 
scious imbecility, was soon persuaded to abandon his in- 
tentions of revenge, though he continued muttering his 
threats against the provincials, and his denunciations 
against such "an unmanly spacies of warfare," until the 
much-needed repast was ended. 

Polwarth, having restored the equilibrium of his system 
by a hearty meal, hobbled to his bed, and M'Fuse, without 
any ceremony, took possession of another of the apart- 
ments in the tenement of Mr. Sage. The servants with- 
drew to their own entertainment ; and Lionel, who had 
been sitting for the last half-hour in melancholy silence, 
now unexpectedly found himself alone with the change- 
ling. Job had waited for this moment with exceeding 
patience, but when the door closed on Meriton, who was 
the last to retire, he made a movement that indicated some 
communication of more than usual importance, and suc- 
ceeded in attracting the attention of his companion. 

" Foolish boy ! " exclaimed Lionel, as he met the un- 
meaning eye of 'the other, " did I not warn you that wicked 
men might endanger your life ! How was it that I saw you 
in arms to-day against the troops ? " 

" How came the troops in arms ag'in Job ?" returned the 
changeling " they needn't think to wheel about the Bay 
province, clashing their godless drums and trumpets, burn- 
ing housen, and shooting people, and find no stir about it ! " 

" Do you know that your life has been twice forfeited 
within twelve hours, by your own confession ; once for 
murder, and again for treason against your king ? You have 
acknowledged killing a man !" 


"Yes," said the lad, with undisturbed simplicity, "Job 
shot the granny ; but he didn't let the people kill Major 

" True, true," said Lionel, hastily " I owe my life to 
you, and that debt shall be cancelled at every hazard. But 
why have you put yourself into the hands of your enemies 
so thoughtlessly? what brings you here to-night?" 

" Ralph told me to come ; and if Ralph told Job to go 
into the king's parlor, he would go." 

" Ralph ! " exclaimed Lionel, stopping in his hurried 
walk across the room, " and where is he ? " 

" In the old ware-'us'; and he has sent me to tell you to 
come to him ; and what Ralph says must be done." 

" He here too ! is the man crazed ? would not his fears 
teach him " 

" Fears ! " interrupted Job, with singular disdain " you 
can't frighten Ralph ! The grannies couldn't frighten him, 
nor the light-infantry couldn't hit him, though he eat 
nothing but their smoke the whole day Ralph's a proper 
warrior !" 

" And he waits me, you say, in the tenement of your 
mother ?" 

" Job don't know what tenement means, but he's in the 
old ware-'us'." 

"Come, then," said Lionel, taking his hat, " let us go to 
him I must save him from the effects of his own rashness, 
though it cost my commission ! " 

He left the room while speaking, and the simpleton fol- 
lowed close at his heels, well content with having executed 
his mission without encountering any greater difficulties. 


" This play is the image of a murder done in Vienna ; 
Gonzago is the duke's name ; his wife, Baptista : 
You shall see, anon ; 'tis a knavish piece of work." 


THE agitation and deep excitement produced by the 
events of the day had not yet subsided in the town, when 
Lionel found himself again in its narrow streets. Men 
passed swiftly by him, as if bent on some unusual and 
earnest business ; and more than once the young soldier 


detected the triumphant smiles of the women, as they 
looked curiously out on the scene, from their half-open 
windows, and their eyes detected the professional trap- 
pings of his dress. Strong bodies of the troops were 
marching in different directions, and in a manner which 
denoted that the guards were strengthening, while the few 
solitary officers he met watched his approaching figure 
with cautious jealousy, as if they apprehended a danger- 
ous enemy in every form they encountered. 

The gates of Province-House were open, and, as usual, 
guarded by armed men. As Lionel passed leisurely along, 
he perceived that the grenadier to whom he had spoken 
on the preceding evening, again held his watch before the 
portal of the governor. 

" Your experience did not deceive you, my old comrade," 
said Lionel, lingering a moment to address him " we 
have had a warm day." 

"So it is reported in the barracks, your honor," re- 
turned the soldier "our company was not ordered out, 
and we are to stand double duty. 'l hope to God the next 

time there is anything to do, the grenadiers of the th 

may not be left behind it would have been for the credit 
of the army had they been in the field to-day." 

" Why do you think so, my veteran ? The men who 
were out are thought to have behaved well ; but it was im- 
possible to make head against a multitude in arms." 

" It is not my place, your honor, to say, this man did 
well, and that man behaved amiss," returned the proud old 
soldier ; "but when I hear of two thousand British troops 
turning their backs, or quickening their march, before all 
the rabble this country can muster, I want the flank com- 
panies of the th to be at hand, if it should be only that 

I may say I have witnessed the disgraceful sight with my 
own eyes." 

" There is no disgrace where there is no misconduct," 
said Lionel. 

" There must have been misconduct somewhere, your 
honor, or such a thing could not have happened consider, 
your honor, the very flower of the army ! Something must 
have been wrong ; and although I could see the latter part 
of the business from the hills, I can hardly believe it to be 
true." As he concluded, he shook his head, and continued 
his steady pace along his allotted ground, as if unwilling 
to pursue the humiliating subject any further. Lionel 
passed slowly on, musing on that deep-rooted prejudice, 


which had even taught this humble menial of the crown 
to regard with contempt a whole nation, because they were 
believed to be dependents. 

The Dock Square was stiller than usual, and the sounds 
of revelry, which it was usual to hear at that hour from the 
adjacent drinking-houses, were no longer audible. The 
moon had not yet risen, and Lionel passed under the o^irk 
arches of the market with a quick step, as he now remem- 
bered that one in whom he felt so deep an interest awaited 
his appearance. Job, who had followed in silence, glided 
by him on the drawbridge, and stood holding the door of 
the old building in his hand, when he reached its thresh- 
old. Lionel found the large space in the centre of the 
warehouse, as usual, dark and empty, though the dim light 
of a candle glimmered through the fissures in a partition, 
which separated an apartment, in one of the little towers 
that was occupied by Abigail Pray, from the ruder parts 
of the edifice. Low voices were also heard issuing from 
this room, and Major Lincoln, supposing he should find 
the old man and the mother of Job in conference together, 
turned to request the lad would precede him, and announce 
his name. But the changeling had also detected the whis- 
pering sounds, arid it would seem with a more cunning ear, 
for he turned and darted through the door of the building 
with a velocity that did not abate until Lionel, who watched 
his movements with amazement, saw his shuffling figure 
disappear among the shambles of the market-place. Thus 
deserted by his guide, Lionel groped his way toward the 
place where he believed he should find the door which led 
into the tower. The light deceived him ; for, as he ap- 
proached it, his eye glanced through one of the crevices of 
the wall, and he again became an unintentional witness of 
another of those interviews, which evinced the singular 
and mysterious affinity between the fortunes of the affluent 
and respected Mrs. Lechmere and the miserable tenant of 
the warehouse. Until that moment, the hurry of events, 
and the crowd of reflections, which had rushed over the 
mind of the young man, throughout the busy time of the 
last twenty-four hours, had prevented his recalling the hid- 
den meaning of the singular discourse of which he had al- 
ready been an auditor. But now, when he found his aunt 
led into these haunts of beggary, by a feeling he was not 
weak enough to attribute to her charity, he stood rooted 
to the spot by a curiosity, which, at the same time that he 
found it irresistible, he was willing to excuse, under a 


strong impression that these private communications were 
in some way connected with himself. 

Mrs. Lechmere had evidently muffled her person in a 
manner that was intended to conceal this mysterious visit 
from any casual observer of her movements ; but the 
hoops of her large calash were now so far raised as to 
admit a distinct view of her withered features, and of the 
hard eye which shot forth its selfish, worldly glances, from 
amid the surrounding decay of nature. She was seated, 
both in indulgence to her infirmities, and from that as- 
sumption of superiority she never neglected in the pres- 
ence of her inferiors, while her companion stood before 
her, in an attitude that partook more of restraint than of 

"Your weakness, foolish woman," said Mrs. Lechmere, 
in those stern, repulsive tones she so well knew how to 
use, when she wished to intimidate, "will yet prove your 
ruin. You owe it to respect for yourself, to your character, 
and even to your safety, that you should exhibit more firm- 
ness, and show yourself above this weak and idle super- 

"My ruin ! and my character !" returned Abigail, look- 
ing about her with a haggard eye and a- trembling lip ; 
" what is ruin, Madam Lechmere, if this poverty be not 
called so ? or what loss of character can bring upon me 
more biting scorn than I am now ordained to suffer for 
my sins ? " 

" Perhaps," said Mrs. Lechmere, endeavoring to affect 
a kinder tone, though dislike was still too evident in her 
manner, " in the hurry of my grandnephew's reception, I 
have forgotten my usual liberality." 

The woman took the piece of silver which Mrs. Lecfi- 
mere slowly placed in her hand, and held it in her open 
palm for several moments, regarding it with a vacant look,, 
which the other mistook for dissatisfaction. 

" The troubles, and the decreasing value of property, 
have sensibly affected my income," continued the richly 
clad and luxurious Mrs. Lechmere ; " but if that should 
be too little for your immediate wants, I will add to it 
another crown," 

" 'Twill do 'twill do," said Abigail, clenching her hand 
over the money, with a grasp that was convulsive " yes, 
yes. 'twill do. Oh ! Madam Lechmere, humbling and 
sinful as that wicked paision is, would to God that no 
motive worse than avarice had proved my ruin ! " 


Lionel thought his aunt cast an uneasy and embarrassed 
glance at her companion, which he construed into an 
expression that betrayed there were secrets even between 
these strange confidants ; but the momentary surprise 
exhibited in her features soon gave place to her habitual 
look of guarded and severe formality ; and she replied, 
with an air of coldness, as if she would repulse any ap- 
proach to an acknowledgment of their common trans- 

" The woman talks like one who is beside herself ! Of 
what crime has she been guilty, but such as those "to which 
our nature is liable ! " 

"True, true," said Abigail Pray, with a half-stifled, hys- 
terical laugh "'tis our guilty, guilty nature, as you say. 
But I grow nervous, I believe, as I grow old and feeble, 
Madam Lechmere ; and I often forget myself. The sight 
of the grave, so very near, is apt to bring thoughts of re- 
pentance to such as are more hardened even than I." 

" Foolish girl ! " said Mrs. Lechmere, endeavoring to 
screen her pallid features, by drawing down her calash, 
with a hand that trembled more with terror than with age ; 
" why should you speak thus freely of death, who are but 
a child ? " 

Lionel heard the faltering, husky tones of his aunt, as 
they appeared to die in her throat, but nothing more was 
distinctly audible, until, after a long pause, she raised her 
face, and looked about her again with her severe, unbend- 
ing eye, and continued 

" Enough of this folly, Abigail Pray I have come to 
learn more of your strange inmate " 

"Oh! 'tis not enough, Madam Lechmere," interrupted 
the conscience-stricken woman ; " we have so little time 
left us for penitence and prayer, that there never can be 
enough, I fear, to answer our mighty transgressions. Let 
us speak of the grave, Madam Lechmere, while we can yet 
do it on this side of eternity." 

" Ay ! speak of the grave, while out of its damp clois- 
ters ; 'tis the home of the aged," said a third voice, whose 
hollow tones might well have issued from some tomb, 
"and I am here to join in the wholesome theme." 

" Who who in the name of God, who art thou ? " ex- 
claimed Mrs. Lechmere, forgetting her infirmities, and her 
secret compunctions, in new emotions, and rising involun- 
tarily from her seat; "tell me, I conjure thee, who art 


" One, aged like thyself, Priscilla Lech mere, and stand- 
nig on the threshold of that final home of which you would 
discourse. Speak on, then, ye widowed women ; for if 
ever ye have done aught that calls for forgiveness, 'tis in 
the grave ye shall find the heavenly gift of mercy offered 
to your unworthiness." 

By changing the position of his body a little, Lionel was 
now enabled to command a view of the whole apartment. 
In the doorway stood Ralph, immovable in his attitude, 
with one hand raised high toward heaven, and the other 
pointing impressively downward, as if about to lay bare 
the secrets of that tomb, of which his wasted limbs, and 
faded lineaments, marked him as a fit tenant, while his 
searching eyeballs glared about him, from the face of one 
to the other, with that look of quickness and penetration, 
that Abigail Pray had so well described as "scorching." 
Within a few feet of the old man, Mrs. Lechmere remained 
standing, rigid and motionless as marble, her calash fallen 
back, and her death-like features exposed, with horror and 
astonishment rooted in every muscle, as, with open mouth, 
and eyes riveted on the intruder, she gazed as steadily as 
if placed in that posture by the chisel of the statuary. Abi- 
gail shaded her eyes with her hand, and buried her face in 
the folds of her garments, while strong convulsive shud- 
derings ran througli her frame, and betrayed the extent of 
the emotions she endeavored to conceal. Amazed at what 
he had witnessed, and concerned for the apparent insensi- 
bility of his aunt, whose great age rendered such scenes 
dangerous, Lionel was about to rush into the apartment, 
when Mrs. Lechmere so far recovered her faculties as to 
speak, and the young man lost every consideration in a 
burning curiosity, which was powerfully justified by his 

" Who is it that calls me by the name of Priscilla ? " said 
Mrs. Lechmere ; "none now live who can claim to be so 

"Priscilla, Priscilla," repeated the old man, looking 
about him, as if he would require the presence of another ; 
" it is a soft and pleasant sound to my ears, and there is 
one that owns it besides thee, as thou knowest." 

" She is dead ; years have gone by since I saw her in her 
coffin ; and I would forget her, and all like her, who have 
proved unworthy of my blood." 

" She is not dead ! " shouted the old man, in a voice 
that rung through the naked rafters of the edifice like th 


unearthly tones of some spirit of the air ; "she lives she 
lives ay ! she yet lives ! " 

" Lives ! " repeated Mrs. Lechmere, recoiling a step be- 
fore the forward movement of the other ; " why am I so 
weak as to listen I'tis impossible." 

" Lives ! " exclaimed Abigail Pray, clasping her hands 
with agony. " Oh ! would to God she did live ! but did I 
not see her a bloated, disfigured corpse ? did I not with 
these very hands place the grave-clothes about her once 
lovely frame ? Oh ! no she is dead dead and I am 
a ' ; 

" Tis some madman that asserts these idle tales," ex- 
claimed Mrs. Lechmere, with a quickness that interrupted 
the criminal epithet the other was about to apply to her- 
self. ''The unfortunate girl is long since dead, as we 
know ; why should we reason with a maniac ? " 

" Maniac ! " repeated Ralph, with an expression of the 
most taunting irony ; ".no no no such a one there is, 
as you and I well know, but 'tis not I who am mad thou 
art rather crazed thyself, woman ; thou hast made one 
maniac already, wouldst thou make another ?" 

" I ! " said Mrs. Lechmere, without quailing before the 
ardent look she encountered "that God who bestows 
reason, recalls his gift at will ; 'tis not I who exercise such 

" How sayest thou, Priscilla Lechmere ?" cried Ralph, 
stepping with an inaudible tread so nigh as to grasp, un- 
perceived, her motionless arm with his own wasted fingers; 
"yes I will call thee Priscilla, little as thou deservest 
such a holy name dost thou deny the power to craze 
where, then, is the head of thy boasted race ? the proud 
baronet of Devonshire, the wealthy, and respected, and 
once happy companion of princes thy nephew, Lionel 
Lincoln? Is he in the halls of his fathers ? leading the 
armies of his king ? ruling and protecting his household ? 
or is he the tenant of a gloomy cell ? thou knowest he 
is thou knowest he is and, woman, thy vile machina- 
tions have placed him there ! " 

" Who is it that dare thus speak to me ? " demanded 
Mrs. Lechmere, rallying her faculties with a mighty effort, 
to look down this charge "if my unhappy nephew is in- 
deed known to thee, thy own knowledge will refute this 
base accusation " 

" Known to me ! I would ask what is hid from me ? I 
have looked at thee, and observed thy conduct, woman, for 


the life of man ; and nothing that thou hast done is hid 
from me I tell thee, I know all. Of this sinful woman 
here, also, I know all have I not told thee, Abigail Pray, 
of thy most secret transgressions ? " 

" Oh ! yes yes ; he is indeed acquainted with what I 
had thought was now concealed from every eye but that 
of God ! " cried Abigail, with superstitious terror. 

" Nor of thee am I ignorant, thou miserable widow of 
John Lechmere ; and of Priscilla, too, do I not know 
all ? " 

" All ! " again exclaimed Abigail 

" All ! " repeated Mrs. Lechmere, in a voice barely audi- 
ble ; when she sunk back in her chair, in a state of total 
insensibility. The breathless interest he felt in all that 
had passed, could detain Lionel no longer from rushing to 
the assistance of his aunt. Abigail Pray, who, it would 
seem, had been, in some measure accustomed to such scenes 
with her lodger, retained, however, sufficient self-command 
to anticipate his motions ; and, when he had gained the 
door, he found her already supporting, and making the 
usual applications to Mrs. Lechmere. It became neces- 
sary to divest the sufferer of part of her attire, and Abigail, 
assuring Lionel of her perfect competency to act by her- 
self, requested him to withdraw, not only on that account, 
but because-she felt assured that nothing could prove more 
dangerous to her reviving patient, than his unexpected 
presence. After lingering a moment, until he witnessed 
the signs of returning life, Lionel complied with the ear- 
nest entreaties of the woman ; and, leaving the room, he 
groped his way to the foot of the ladder, with a determina- 
tion to ascend to the apartment of Ralph, in order to de- 
mand at once an explanation of what he had just seen and 
heard. He -found the old man seated in his little tower, 
his hand shading his eyes from the feeble light of the 
miserable candle, and his head drooping upon his bosom, 
like one in pensive musing. Lionel approached him, with- 
out appearing to attract his attention, and was compelled 
to speak, in order to announce his presence. 

"I have received' your summons, by Job," he said, "and 
have obeyed it." 

" Tis well," returned Ralph. 

" Perhaps I should add, that I have been an astonished 
witness of your interview with Mrs. Lechmere, and have 
heard the bold and unaccountable language you have seen 
proper to use to that lady." 


The old man now raised his head, and Lionel saw the 
bright rays from his eyes quicken, as he answered 

" You then heard the truth, and witnessed its effects on a 
guilty conscience." 

" I also heard what you call the truth, in connection, as 
you know, with the names most dear to me." 

"Art certain of it, boy.?" returned Ralph, looking the 
other steadily in the face ; " has no other become dearer 
to you, of late, than the authors of your being ? speak, 
and remember that you answer one of no common knowl- 

" What mean you, sir ? is it in nature to love any as we 
do a parent ? " 

" Away with this childish simplicity," continued the 
other, sternly ; " the grandchild of that wretched woman 
below do you not love her, and can I put trust in thee ?" 

" What trust is there incompatible with affection for a 
being so pure as Cecil Dynevor ? " 

" Ay," murmured the old man in an undertone, " her 
mother was pure, and why may not the child be worthy of 
its parentage ?" He paused, and a long, and, on the part 
of Lionel, a painful and embarrassing silence succeeded, 
which was at length broken by Ralph, who said, abruptly 
"you were in the field to-day, Major Lincoln." 

"Of that you must be certain, as I owe my life to your 
kind interposition. But why have you braved the danger 
of an arrest, by trusting your person in the power of the 
troops ? Your presence and activity among the Americans 
must be known to many in the army besides myself." 

"And would they think of searching for their enemies 
within the streets of Boston, when the hills without are 
filling with armed men ? My residence in this building is 
known only to the woman below, who dare not betray me, 
her worthy son, and to you. My movements are secret 
and sudden, when men least expect them. Danger cannot 
touch such as I." 

"But," said Lionel, hesitating with embarrassment, 
"ought I to conceal the presence of one whom I know to 
be inimical to my king?" 

" Lionel Lincoln, you overrate your courage," inter- 
rupted Ralph, smiling in scorn "you dare not shed the 
blood of him who has spared your own ; but enough of 
this we understand each other, and one old as I ghoul^ 
be a stranger to fear ?" 

"No, no," said a low, solemn voice, from a dark corner 


of the apartment, where Job had stolen unseen, and was 
now nestled in security "you can't frighten Ralph!" 

" The boy is a worthy boy, and he knows good from evil ; 
what more is necessary to man in this wicked world ? " 
muttered Ralph, in those quick and indistinct tones that 
characterized his manner. 

"Whence came you, fellow, and why did you abandon 
me so abruptly?" demanded Lionel. 

"Job has just been into the market, to see if he couldn't 
find something that might be good for Nab," returned the 

" Think not to impose on me with this nonsense ! Is 
food to be purchased at any hour of the night, though you 
had the means ? " 

" Now that is convincing the king's officers don't know 
every thing," said the simpleton, laughing within him- 
self " here's as good a pound bill, old tenor, as was 
ever granted by the Bay colony ; and meat's no such rarity, 
that a man, who has a pound bill, old tenor, in his pocket, 
can't go under old Funnel when he pleases, for all their 
acts of Parliament." 

"You have plundered the dead!" cried Lionel, observ- 
ing that Job exhibited in his hand several pieces of silver, 
besides the note he had mentioned. 

" Don't call Job a thief ! " said the lad, with a threatening 
air ; " there's law in the Bay yet, though the people don't 
use it ; and right will be done to all, when the time comes. 
Job shot a granny, but he's no thief." 

"You were then paid for your secret errand, last night, 
foolish boy ; and have been tempted to run into danger by 
money. Let it be the last time in future, when you want, 
come to me for assistance." 

"Job won't go of a'r'nds for the king, if he'd give him 
his golden crown, with all its di'monds and flauntiness, un- 
less Job pleases, for there's no law for it." 

Lionel, with a view to appease the irritated lad, now 
made a few kind and conciliating remarks, but the change- 
ling did not deign to reply, falling back in his corner in a 
sullen manner, as if he would repair the fatigue of the day 
by a few moments of sleep. In the meantime, Ralph had 
sunk into a profound reverie, when the young soldier re- 
membered that the hour was late, and he had yet obtained 
no explanation of the mysterious charges. He therefore 
alluded to the subject in a manner which he thought best 
adapted to obtain the desired intelligence. The instant 


Lionel mentioned the agitation of his aunt, his companion 
raised his head again, and a smile like that of fierce ex- 
ultation lighted the wan face of the old man, who an- 
swered, pointing with an emphatic gesture to his own 

" 'Twas here, boy, 'twas here nothing short of the pow- 
er of conscience, and a knowledge like that of mine, could 
strike that woman speechless in the presence of anything 

" But what is this extraordinary knowledge ? I am in 
some degree the natural protector of Mrs. Lechmere ; and, 
independent of my individual interest in your secret, have 
a right, in her behalf, to require an explanation of such 
serious allegations." 

"In her behalf!" repeated Ralph. "Wait, impetuous 
young man, until she bids you push the inquiry it shall 
then be answered, in a voice of thunder." 

" If not in justice to my aged aunt, at least remember 
your repeated promises to unfold that sad tale of my own 
domestic sorrows, of which you claim to be the master." 

" Ay, of that, and much more, am I in possession," re- 
turned the old man, smiling, as if conscious of his knowl- 
edge and power ; " if you doubt it, descend and ask the 
miserable tenant of this warehouse or the guilty widow 
of John Lechmere." 

" Nay, I doubt nothing but my own patience ; the mo- 
ments fly swiftly, and I have yet to learn ail I wish to 

"This is neither the time, nor is it the place, where you 
are to hear the tale," returned Ralph ; " I have already said 
that we shall meet beyond the colleges for that purpose." 

" But after the events of this day, who can tell when it 
will be in the power of an officer of the crown to visit the 
colleges in safety ? " 

" What ! " cried the old man, laughing aloud, in the bit- 
terness of his scorn, " has the boy found the strength and 
the will of the despised colonists so soon ! But I pledge 
to thee my word,, that thou shalt yet see the place, and in 
safety. Yes, yes, Priscilla Lechmere, thy hour is at hand, 
and thy doom is sealed forever ! " 

Lionel again mentioned his aunt, and alluded to the ne* 
cessity of his soon rejoining her, as he already heard foot- 
steps below, which indicated that preparations were mak- 
ing for her departure. But his petitions and remonstrances 
were now totally unheeded; his aged companion was pacing 



swiftly up and down his small apartment, muttering inco 
herent sentences, in which the name of Priscilla was alone 
audible, and his countenance betraying the inward work- 
ings of absorbing and fierce passions. In a few moments 
more, the shrill voice of Abigail was heard calling upon 
her son, in a manner which plainly denoted her knowledge 
that the changeling was concealed somewhere about the 
building. Job heard her calls repeated, until the tones of 
her voice became angry and threatening, when he stole 
slowly from his corner, and moved toward the ladder, with 
a sunken brow and lingering steps. Lionel now knew not 
how to act. His aunt was still ignorant of his presence, 
and he thought if Abigail Pray had wished him to appear, 
he would in some manner be soon included in the sum- 
mons. He had also his own secret reasons for wishing his 
visits to Ralph unknown. Accordingly, he determined to 
watch the movements below, under the favor of the dark- 
ness, and to be governed entirely by circumstances. He 
took no leave of his companion on departing, for long use 
had so far accustomed him to the eccentric manner of the 
old man, that he well knew any attempt to divert his at- 
tention from his burning thoughts, would be futile at a 
.moment of such intense excitement. 

From the head of the ladder, where Lionel took his 
stand, he saw Mrs. Lechmere, preceded by Job with a 
lantern, walking, with a firmer step than he could have 
hoped for, toward the door, and he overheard Abigail 
cautioning her wilful son to light her visitor to a neigh- 
boring corner, where it appeared a conveyance was in 
waiting. On the threshold, his aunt turned, and, the light 
from the candle of Abigail falling on her features, Lionel 
caught a full view of her cold, hard eye, which had regained 
all its worldly expression, though softened a little by a 
deeper shade of thought than usual. 

" Let the scene of to-night be forgotten, my good 
Abigail," she said. " Your lodger is a nameless being, 
who has gleaned some idle tale, and wishes to practise on 
our credulity to enrich himself. I will consider more of 
it ; but on no account do you hold any further communion 
with him I must remove you, my trusty woman ; this 
habitation" is unworthy of you, and of your dutiful son, 
too I must see you better lodged, my good Abigail, in- 
deed I must." 

Lionel could distinguish the slight shudder that passed 
through the frame of her companion, as she alluded to 


the doubtful character of Ralph ; but, without answering, 
Abigail held the door open for the departure of her guest. 
The instant Mrs. Lechmere disappeared, Lionel glided 
down the ladder, and stood before the astonished woman. 

"When I tell you I have heard all that passed to-night," 
he abruptly said, " you will see the folly of any further 
attempt at concealment I now demand so much of your 
secret as affects the happiness of me or mine." 

" No no not of me, Major Lincoln," said the terrified 
female " not. of me, for the love of God, not of me I 
have sworn to keep it, and one oath ' Her emotions 
choked her, and her voice became indistinct. 

Lionel regretted his vehemence, and, ashamed to ex- 
tort a confession from a woman, he attempted to pacify 
her feelings, promising to require no further communica- 
tion at that time. 

"Go go" she said, motioning him to depart, "and I 
shall be well again leave me, and then I shall be alone 
with that terrible old man, and my God ! " 

Perceiving her earnestness, he reluctantly complied, and, 
meeting Job on the threshold, he ceased to feel any further 
uneasiness for her safety. 

During his rapid walk to Tremont Street, Major Lincoln 
thought intently on all he had heard and witnessed. He 
remembered the communications by which Ralph had 
attained such a powerful interest in his feelings, and he 
fancied he could discover a pledge of the truth of the old 
man's knowledge in the guilt betrayed by the manner of 
his aunt. From Mrs. Lechmere his thoughts recurred to 
her lovely grandchild, and for a moment he was perplexed, 
by endeavoring to explain her contradictory deportment 
toward himself ; at one time she was warm, frank, and 
even affectionate ; and at another, as in the short and pri- 
vate interview 7 of that very evening, cold, constrained, and 
repulsive. Then, again, he recollected the object which 
had chiefly induced him to follow his regiment to his 
native country ; and the recollection was attended by that 
shade of dejection which such reflections never failed to 
cast across his intelligent features. On reaching the 
house, he ascertained the safe return of Mrs. Lechmere, 
who had already retired to her room, attended by her 
lovely relatives. Lionel immediately followed their ex- 
ample ; and as the excitement of that memorable and busy 
day subsided, it was succeeded by a deep sleep, and fell on 
his senses like the forgetfulness of the dead, 



"Now let it work : Mischief, thou art afoot : 
Take thou what course thou wilt ! " SHAKESPEARE. 

THE alarm of the inroad passed swiftly by the low shores 
of the Atlantic, and was heard echoing among the rugged 
mountains west of tjie rivers, as if borne along on a whirl- 
wind. The male population, between the rolling waters 
of Massachusetts Bay and the limpid stream of the Con- 
necticut, rose as one man ; and as the cry of blood was 
sounded far inland, the hills and valleys, the highways and 
footpaths, were seen covered with bands of armed husband- 
men, pressing eagerly toward the scene of the war. Within 
eight- and-forty hours after the fatal meeting at Lexington, 
it was calculated that more than a hundred thousand men 
were in arms ; and near one-fourth of that number was 
gathered before the peninsulas of Boston and Charlestown. 
They who were precluded by distance, and a want of mili- 
tary provisions, to support such a concourse, from partici- 
pating in the more immediate contest, lay by in expecta- 
tion of the arrival of that moment when their zeal might 
also be put to severer trials. In short, the sullen quietude, 
in which the colonies had been slumbering for a year, was 
suddenly and rudely broken by the events of that day ; 
and the patriotic among the people rose with such a cry of 
indignation on their lips, that the disaffected, who were no 
insignificant class in the more southern provinces, were 
compelled to silence, until the first burst of revolutionary 
excitement had an opportunity to subside, under the never- 
failing influence of time and suffering. 

Gage, secure in his positions, and supported by a con- 
stantly increasing power, as well as the presence of a for- 
midable fleet, looked on the gathering storm with a steady 
eye, and with that calmness which distinguished the mild 
benevolence of his private character. Though the attitude 
and the intentions of the Americans could no longer be 
mistaken, he listened with reluctant ears to the revengeful 
advice of his counsellors, and rather strove to appease the 
tumult, than to attempt crushing it by a force, which, 
though a month before it had been thought equal to the 
united power of the peaceful colonists, he now prudently 
deemed no more than competent to protect itself within its 


watery boundaries. Proclamations were, however, ful- 
minated against the rebels ; and such other measures as 
were thought indispensable to assert the dignity and au- 
thority of the crown, were promptly adopted. Of course, 
these harmless denunciations were disregarded, and all his' 
exhortations to return to an allegiance, which the people 
still denied had ever been impaired, were lost amid the 
din of arms, and the popular cries of the time. These ap- 
peals of the British general, as well as sundry others, made 
by the royal governors, who yet held their rule throughout 
all the provinces, except the one in which the scene of our 
tale is laid, were answered by the people in humble, but 
manly petitions to the throne for justice ; and in loud re- 
monstrances to the Parliament, requiring to be restored to 
the possession of those rights and immunities, which'should 
be secured to all who enjoyed the protection of their com- 
mon constitution. Still the power and prerogatives of 
the prince were deeply respected, and were alluded to in 
all public documents, with the veneration which was 
thought due to the sacredness of his character and station. 
But that biting, though grave sarcasm, which the colonists 
knew so well how to use, was freely expended on his 
ministers, who were accused of devising the measures so 
destructive to the peace of the empire. In this manner 
passed some weeks after the series of skirmishes which 
were called the battle of Lexington, from the circum- 
stance of commencing at the hamlet of that name, both 
parties continuing to prepare for a mightier exhibition of 
their power and daring. 

Lionel had by no means been an unconcerned spectator 
of these preparations. The morning after the return of 
the detachment, he applied for a command equal to his 
just expectations. But while he was complimented on the 
spirit and loyalty he had manifested on the late occasion, 
it was intimated to the young man that he might be of 
more service to the cause of his prince by devoting his 
time to the cultivation of his interest among those power- 
ful colonists with whom his family was allied by blood, or 
connected by long and close intimacies. It was even sub- 
mitted to his own judgment whether it would not be well, 
at some auspicious moment, to trust his person without 
the defences of the army, in the prosecution of this com- 
mendable design. There was so much that was flattering 
to the self-love, and soothing to the pride of the young 
soldier, artfully mingled with these ambiguous proposals, 


that he became content to await the course of events, having, 
however, secured a promise of obtaining a suitable military 
command in the case of further hostilities. That such an 
event was at hand, could not well be concealed from one 
much less observing than Major Lincoln. 

Gage had already abandoned his temporary position in 
Charlestown, for the sake of procuring additional security 
by concentrating his force. From the hills of the penin- 
sula of Boston, it was apparent that the colonists were fast 
assuming the front of men who were resolved to beleaguer 
the army of the king. Many of the opposite heights were 
already crowned with hastily-formed works of earth, and a 
formidable body of these unpractised warriors had set 
themselves boldly down before the entrance to the isth- 
mus, cutting off all communication with the adjacent 
country, and occupying the little village of Roxbury, di- 
rectly before the muzzles of the British guns, with a hardi- 
ness that would not have disgraced men much longer tried 
in the field, and more inured to its dangers. 

The surprise created in the army by these appearances of 
skill and spirit among the hitherto despised Americans, in 
some measure ceased when the rumor spread itself in their 
camp that many gentlemen of the provinces, who had served 
with credit in the forces of the crown, at former periods, were 
mingled with the people in stations of responsibility and 
command. Among others Lionel heard the names of Ward 
and Thomas ; men of liberal attainments, and of some ex- 
perience in arms. Both were regularly commissioned by 
the congress of the colony as leaders of their forces ; and 
under their orders were numerous regiments duly organ- 
ized ; possessing all the necessary qualifications of soldiers, 
excepting the two indispensable requisites of discipline 
and arms. Lionel heard the name of Warren mentioned 
oftener than any other in the circles of Province-House, 
and with the sort of bitterness, which, even while it be- 
spoke their animosity, betrayed the respect of his ene- 
mies. This gentleman, who until the last moment, had 
braved the presence of the royal troops, and fearlessly ad- 
vocated his principles, while encircled with their bayo- 
nets, was now known to have suddenly disappeared from 
among them, abandoning home, property, and a lucrative 
profession ; and by sharing in the closing scenes of the 
day of Lexington, to have fairly cast his fortunes on the 
struggle. But the name which in secret possessed the 
greatest charm for the ear of the young British soldier, 


was that of Putnam, a yeoman of the neighboring colony 
of Connecticut, who, as the uproar of the alarm whirled 
by him, literally deserted his plough, and mounting a beast 
from its team, made an early halt, after a forced march of 
a hundred miles, in the foremost ranks of his countrymen. 
While the name of this sturdy American was passing in 
whispers among the veterans who crowded the levees of 
Gage, a flood of melancholy and tender recollections 
flashed through the brain of the young man. He remem- 
bered the frequent and interesting communications which, 
in his boyhood, he had held with his own father, before 
the dark shade had passed across the reason of Sir Lionel, 
and, in every tale of murderous combats ^with the savage 
tenants of the wilds, in each scene of danger and of daring 
that had distinguished the romantic warfare of the wilder- 
ness, and even in strange and fearful encounters with the 
beasts of the forest, the name of this man was blended 
with a species of chivalrous fame that is seldom obtained 
in an enlightened age, and never undeservedly. The great 
wealth of the family of Lincoln, and the high expectations 
of its heir, had obtained for the latter a military rank 
which at that period was rarely enjoyed by any but such 
as had bought the distinction by long and arduous ser- 
vices. Consequently, many of his . equals had shared in 
those trials of his father, in which the * Lion heart ' of 
America had been so conspicuous for his deeds. By these 
grave veterans, who should know him best, the name o* 
Putnam was always mentioned with strong and romantic 
affection ; and when the notable scheme of detaching him, 
by the promise of office and wealth, from the cause of the 
colonists was proposed by the cringing counsellors who 
surrounded the commander-in-chief, it was listened to with 
a contemptuous incredulity by the former' associates of the 
old partisan, that the result of the plan fully justified. 
Similar inducements were offered to others among the 
Americans, whose talents were thought worthy of pur- 
chase ; but so deep root had the principles of the day taken, 
that not a man was found to listen to the proposition. 

While these subtle experiments were adopted in the 
room of more energetic measures, troops continued to ar- 
rive from England, and, before the end of May, many lead- 
ers of renown appeared in the councils of Gage, who now 
possessed a disposable force of not less than eight thou- 
sand bayonets. -With the appearance of these reinforce- 
ments, the fallen pride of the army began to revive, and 


the spirits of the haughty young men, who had so recently 
left the gay parades of their boasted island, were chafed 
by the reflection that such an army should be cooped 
within the narrow limits of the peninsula by a band of 
half-armed husbandmen, destitute alike of the knowledge 
of war, and of most of its munitions. This feeling was 
increased by the taunts of the Americans themselves, who 
now turned the tables on their adversaries, applying, 
among other sneers, the term of " elbow-room" freely to 
Burgoyne, one of those chieftains of the royal army, who 
had boasted unwittingly of the intention of himself and 
his compeers to widen the limits of the army immediately 
on their arrival at the scene of the contest. The aspect of 
things within trie British camp began to indicate, how- 
ever, that their leaders were serious in the intention to 
extend their possessions, and all eyes were again turned 
to the heights of Charlestown, the spot most likely to be 
first occupied. 

No military positions could be more happily situated, as 
respects locality, to support each other, and to extend and 
weaken the lines of their enemies, than the two opposite 
peninsulas so often mentioned. The distance between 
them was but six hundred yards, and the deep and navi- 
gable waters, by which they were nearly surrounded, ren- 
dered it easy for the royal general to command, at any 
time, the assistance of the heaviest vessels of the fleet, in 
defending either place. With these advantages before them, 
the army gladly heard those orders issued, which, it was 
well understood, indicated an approaching movement to 
the opposite shores. 

It was now eight weeks since the commencement of hos- 
tilities, and the war had been confined to the preparations 
detailed, with the exception of one or two sharp skir- 
mishes on the islands of the harbor, between the foragers 
of the army, and small parties of the Americans,- in which 
the latter well maintained their newly acquired reputation 
for spirit. 

With the arrival of the regiments from England gayety 
had once more visited the town, though such of the inhab- 
itants as were compelled to remain against their inclina- 
tions, continued to maintain that cold reserve, in their de- 
portment, which effectually repelled all the efforts of the 
officers to include them in the wanton festivities of the 
time. There were a few, however, among the colonists, 
who had been bribed, by offices and emoluments, to desert 


the good cause of the land ; and 'as some of these had al- 
ready been rewarded by offices which gave them access to 
the ear of the royal governor, he was thought to be unduly 
and unhappily influenced by the pernicious counsels with 
which they poisoned his mind, and prepared him for acts 
of injustice and harshness, that both his unbiassed feelings 
and ordinary opinions would have condemned. A few 
days succeeding the affair of Lexington, a meeting of the 
inhabitants had been convened, and a solemn compact 
was made between them and the governor, that such as 
chose to deliver up their arms might leave the place, while 
the remainder were promised a suitable protection in their 
own dwellings. The arms were delivered, but that part of 
the conditions which related to the removal of the inhabi- 
tants was violated under slight and insufficient pretexts. 
This, and various other causes incidental to military rule, 
imbittered.the feelings of the people, and furnished new 
causes of complaint ; while, on the other hand, hatred was 
rapidly usurping the place of contempt, in the breasts of 
those who had been compelled to change their sentiments 
with respect to a people that they could never love. In 
this manner, resentment and distrust existed, with all the 
violence of personality, within the place itself, affording 
an additional reason to the troops for wishing to extend 
their limits. Notwithstanding these inauspicious omens 
of the character of the contest, the native kindness of 
Gage, and perhaps a desire to rescue a few of his own men 
from the hands of the colonists, induced him to consent to 
an exchange of the prisoners made in the inroad ; thus es- 
tablishing, in the outset, a precedent to distinguish the 
controversy from an ordinary rebellion against the loyal 
authority of the sovereign. A meeting was held, for this 
purpose, in the village of Charlestown, at that time unoc- 
cupied by either army. At the head of the American dep- 
utation appeared Warren, and the old partisan of the 
wilderness already mentioned, who, by a 'happy, though 
not uncommon constitution of temperament, w r as as for- 
ward in deeds of charity as in those of daring. At this in- 
terview, several of the veterans of the royal army were 
present, having passed the strait to hold a last, friendly 
converse with their ancient comrade, who received them 
with the frankness of a soldier, while he rejected their 
subtle endeavors to entice him from the banners under 
which he had enlisted, with a sturdiness as unpretending 
as it was inflexible. 


While these events were occurring at the great scene 
of the contest, the hum of preparation was to be heard 
throughout the whole of the wide extent of the colonies. 
In various places slight acts of hostility were committed, 
the Americans no longer waiting for the British to be the 
aggressors, and everywhere such military stores as could 
be reached, were seized, peaceably or by violence, as the 
case required. The concentration of most of the troops 
in Boston, had, however, left the other colonies compara- 
tively but little to achieve, though, while they still rested, 
nominally, under the dominion of the crown, they neglected 
no means within their power to assert their rights in the 
last extremity. 

At Philadelphia " the Congress of the Delegates from 
the United Colonies," the body that controlled the great 
movements of a people, who now first began to act as a 
distinct nation, issued their manifestoes, 'supporting, in a 
masterly manner, their principles, and proceeded to organ- 
ize an army that should be as competent to maintain them 
as circumstances would allow. Gentlemen who had been 
trained to arms in the service of the king, were invited to 
resort to their banners, and the remainder of the vacancies 
were filled by the names of the youthful, the bold, and 
adventurous, who were willing to risk their lives in a cause 
where even success promised so little personal advantage. 
At the head of this list of untrained warriors, the congress 
placed one of their own body, a man already distinguished 
for his services in the field, and who has since bequeathed 
to his country the glory of an untarnished name. 


c< Thou shalt meet me at Philippi. " Julius Ctzsar. 

DURING this period of feverish excitement, while the 
appearance and privations of war existed with so little of 
its danger or its action, Lionel had not altogether forgotten 
his personal feelings, in the powerful interest created by the 
state of public affairs. Early on the morning succeeding 
the night of the scene between Mrs. Lechmere and the in- 
mates of the warehouse, he had repaired again to the spot, 
to relieve the intense anxiety of his mind, by seeking a 
complete explanation of all those mysteries, which had 


been the principal ligament that bound him to a man, little 
known, except for his singularities. 

The effects of the preceding day's battle were already 
visible in the market-place, where, as Lionel passed, he 
saw few or none of the countrymen, who usually crowded 
the square at that hour. In fact, the windows of the shops, 
were opened with caution, and men looked out upon the 
face of the sun, as if doubting of its appearance and 
warmth, as in seasons of ordinary quiet ; jealousy and dis- 
trust having completely usurped the place of security 
within the streets of the town. Notwithstanding the hour, 
few were in their beds, and those who appeared betrayed 
by their looks that they had passed the night in watchful- 
ness. Among this number was Abigail Pray, who re- 
ceived her guest in her little tower, surrounded by every- 
thing as he had seen it on the past evening, nothing al- 
tered, except her own dark eye, which at times looked like 
a gem of price set in her squalid features, but which now 
appeared haggard and sunken, participating, more marked- 
ly than common, in the general air of misery that pervad- 
ed the woman. 

" I have intruded at a somewhat unusual hour, Mrs. 
Pray,", said Lionel, as he entered; "but business of the 
last moment requires that I should see your lodger 1 
suppose he is above ; it will be well to announce my 

Abigail shook her head with an air of solemn meaning, 
as she answered in a subdued voice, " He is gone !" 

" Gone ! " exclaimed Lionel "whither, and when ? " 

" The people seem visited by the wrath of God, sir ; * 
returned the woman " old and young, the sick and well, 
are crazy about the shedding of blood : and it's beyond 
the might of man to say where the torrent will be stayed !" 

"But what has this to do with Ralph? where is he? 
Woman, you are not playing me false ? " 

" I ! heaven forbid that I should ever be false again ! 
and to you least of all God's creatures ! No, no, Major 
Lincoln ; the wonderful man, who seems to have lived so 
long that he can even read our secret thoughts, as I had 
supposed man could never read them, has left me, and I 
know not whether he will ever return." 

" Ever ! you have not driven him by violence from 
under your miserable roof ? " 

<{ My roof is like that of the fowls of the air 'tis the 
roof of any who are so unfortunate as to need it. There is 


no spot on earth, Major Lincoln, that I can call mine--, 
but one day there will be one yes, yes, there will be a 
narrow house provided for us all ; and God grant that 
mine may be as quiet as the coffin is said to be ! I lie not, 
Major Lincoln no, this time I am innocent of deceit 
Ralph and Job have gone together, but whither, I know 
not, unless it be to join the people without the town they 
left me as the moon rose, and he gave me a parting and a 
warning voice, that will ring in my ears until they are 
deafened by the damps of the grave ! " 

" Gone to join the Americans, and with Job ! " returned 
Lionel, musing, and without attending to the closing 
words of Abigail. "Your boy will purchase peril with 
this madness, Mrs. Pray, and should be looked to." 

" Job is not one of God's accountables, nor is he to be 
treated like other children," returned the woman. " Ah ! 
Major Lincoln, a healthier, and a stouter, and a finer boy 
was not to be seen in the Bay province, till the child had 
reached his fifth year ! then, then it was that the judgment 
of heaven fell on mother and son sickness made him 
what you see, a being with the form, but without the 
reason of man, and I have grown the wretch I am. But it 
has all been foretold, and warnings enough have I had of 
it all ! for is it not said, that He ' will visit the sins of the 
fathers upon the children until the third and fourth gen- 
eration ? ' Thank God, my sorrows and sins will end 
with Job, for there never can be a third to suffer ! " 

" If," said Lionel, "there be any sin which lies heavy at 
your heart, every consideration, whether of justice or re- 
pentance, should induce you to confess your errors to 
those whose happiness may be affected by the knowledge, 
if any such there be." 

The anxious eye of the woman raised itself to meet the 
look of the young man ; but, quailing before the piercing 
gaze it encountered, she quickly turned it upon the litter 
and confusion of her disordered apartment. Lionel waited 
some time for a reply, but finding that she remained ob- 
stinately silent, he continued 

" From what has already passed, you must be conscious 
that I have good reason to believe, that my feelings are 
deeply concerned in your secret ; make, then, your confes- 
sion of the guilt which seems to bear you down so heavily ; 
and in return for the confidence, I promise you my forgive* 
ness and protection." 

As Lionel pressed thus directly the point so near his 


heart, the woman shrunk away from her situation near 
him, and her countenance lost, as he proceeded, its remark- 
able expression of compunction, in a forced look of deep 
surprise, that showed she was no novice in dissimulation, 
whatever might be the occasional warnings of her con- 

" Guilt ! " she repeated, in a slow and tremulous voice ; 
" we are all guilty, and would be lost creatures, but for the 
blood of the Mediator." 

l< Most true ; but you have spoken of crimes that infringe 
the laws of man, as well as those of God." 

" I ! Major Lincoln I a disorderly law-breaker ? " ex- 
claimed Abigail, affecting to busy herself in arranging her 
apartment " it is not such as I, that have leisure or cour- 
age to break the laws ! Major Lincoln is trying a poor lone 
woman, to make his jokes with the gentlemen of his mess 
this evening 'tis certain we all of us have our burdens of 
guilt to answer for surely Major Lincoln couldn't have 
heard minister Hunt preach his sermon, the last Sabbath, 
on the sins of the town ! " 

Lionel colored highly at the artful imputation of the 
woman, that he was practising on her sex and unprotected 
situation ; and, greatly provoked, in secret, at her duplicity, 
he became more guarded in his language, endeavoring to 
lead her on, by kindness and soothing, to the desired com- 
munications. But all his ingenuity was met by more than 
equal abilities on the part of Abigail, from whom he 
only obtained expressions of surprise, that he could have 
mistaken her language for more than the usual acknowl- 
edgment of errors, that are admitted to be common to our 
lost nature. In this particular, the woman was in no re- 
spect singular ; the greater number of those, who are 
loudest in their confessions and denunciations on the aban- 
doned nature of our hearts, commonly resenting, in the 
deepest manner, the imputation of individual offences. 
The more earnest and pressing his inquiries became, the 
more wary she grew, until, disgusted with her pertinacity, 
and secretly suspecting her of foul play with her lodger, he 
left the house in anger, determining to keep a close eye on 
her movements, and, at a suitable moment, to strike such 
a blow as should bring her not only to confession, but to 

Under the influence of this momentary resentment, and 
unable to avoid harboring the most unpleasant suspicions 
of his aunt, the young man determined, that very morning 


to withdraw himself entirely, as a guest, from her dwelling. 
Mrs. Lechmere, who, if she knew at all that Lionel had 
been a witness of her intercourse with Ralph, must have 
received the intelligence from Abigail, received him, at 
breakfast, with a manner that betrayed no such conscious- 
ness. She listened to his excuses for removing, with evi- 
dent concern ; and more than once, as Lionel spoke of the 
probable nature of his future life, now that hostilities had 
commenced the additional trouble his presence would 
occasion to one of her habits and years of his great con- 
cern in her behalf and, in short, of all that he could de- 
vise in the way of apology for the step, he saw her eyes 
turned anxiously on Cecil with an expression which, at 
another time, might have led him to distrust the motives 
of her hospitality. The young lady, herself, however, evi- 
dently heard the proposal with great satisfaction, and, 
when her grandmother appealed to her opinion, whether 
he had urged a single good reason for the measure, she an- 
swered with a vivacity that had been a stranger to her man- 
ner of late 

"Certainly, my dear grandmamma the best of all 
reasons his inclinations. Major Lincoln tires of us, and 
of our humdrum habits, and and in my eyes, true polite- 
ness requires, that we should suffer him to leave us for his 
barracks, without a word of remonstrance." 

" My motive must be greatly mistaken, if a desire to 
leave you 

" Oh ! sir, the explanation is not required. You have 
urged so many reasons, cousin Lionel, that the true and 
moving motive is yet kept behind the curtain. It must, 
and can be no other than ennui." 

"Then I will remain," said Lionel; u for anything is 
better than to be suspected of insensibility." 

Cecil looked both gratified and disappointed she played 
with her spoon a moment in embarrassment, bit her beau- 
tiful lip with vexation, and then said, in a more friendly 

" I must then exonerate you from the imputation. Go 
to your own quarters, if it be agreeable, and we will be- 
lieve your incomprehensible reasons for the change 
besides, as a kinsman, we shall see you every day, you 

Lionel had now no longer any excuse for not abiding 
by his avowed determination ; and, notwithstanding Mrs. 
Lechmere parted from her interesting nephew with an 


exhibition of reluctance that was in singular contrast with 
fcer usually cold and formal manner, the desired removal 
was made* in the course of that very morning. 

When this change was accomplished, week after week 
slipped by, in the manner related in the preceding chapter, 
during which the reinforcements continued to arrive, and 
general after general appeared in the place to support the 
unenterprising Gage in the con'duct of the w r ar. The timid 
amongst the colonists were appalled as they heard the long 
list of proud and boasted names recounted. There was 
Howe, a man sprung from a noble race, long known for 
their deeds in arms, and whose chief had already shed his 
blood on the soil of America Clinton, another cadet of an 
illustrious house, better known for his personal intrepidity 
and domestic kindness, than for the rough qualities of the 
warrior and the elegant and accomplished Burgoyne, who 
had already purchased a name in the fields of Portugal and 
Germany, which he was destined soon to lose in the wilds 
of America. In addition to these might be mentioned 
Pigot, Grant, Robertson, and the heir of Northumberland, 
each of whom led a brigade in the cause of his prince ; be- 
sides a host of men of lesser note, who had passed their 
youth in arms, and were now about to bring their experi- 
ence to the field, in opposition to the untrained husband- 
men of the plains of New England. As if this list were 
not sufficient to overwhelm their inexperienced adversaries, 
the pride of arms had gathered many of the young among 
the noble and chivalric in the British empire, to the point 
on which all eyes were turned ; amongst whom the one who 
afterward added the fairest wreath to the laurels of his an- 
cestors, was the joint heir of Hastings and Moira, the gal- 
lant, but, as yet, untried boy of Rawdon. Amongst such 
companions, many of whom had been his associates in Eng- 
land, the hours of Lionel passed swiftly by, leaving him 
but little leisure to meditate on those causes which had 
brought him also to the scene of contention. 

One warm evening, toward the middle of June, Lionel 
became a witness of the following scene, through the open 
doors which communicated between his private apartment 
and the room which Pplwarth had dedicated to what he 
called " the knowing mess." M'Fuse was seated at a table, 
with a ludicrous air of magisterial authority, while Pol- 
warth held a station at his side, which appeared to partake 
of the double duties of a judge ancTa scribe. Before this 
formidable tribunal Seth Sage was arraigned, as it would 


seem, to answer for certain offences alleged to have been 
committed in the field of battle. Ignorant that his land* 
lord had not received the benefit of the late exchange, and 
curious to know what all the suppressed roguery he could 
detect in the demure countenances of his friends might 
signify, Lionel dropped his pen, and listened to the suc- 
ceeding dialogue. 

"Now answer to your offences, thou silly fellow, with a 
wise name," M'Fuse commenced, in a voice that did not 
fail, by its harsh cadences, to create some of that awe, which, 
by the expression of the speaker's eye, it would seem he 
labored to produce " speak out with the freedom of a 
man, and the compunctions of a Christian, if you have 
them. Why should I not send you at once to Ireland, 
that ye may get your deserts on three pieces of timber, 
the one being laid cross-wise for the sake of conA^eni- 
ence ? 'If you have a contrary reason, bestow it without 
delay, for the love you bear your own angular daiformi- 

The wags did not altogether fail in their object, Seth be- 
traying a good deal more uneasiness than it was usual for 
the man to exhibit even in situations of uncommon peril. 
After clearing his throat, and looking about him, to gather 
from the eyes of the spectators w T hich way their sympathies 
inclined, he answered with a very commendable fortitude 

"Because it's ag'in all law." 

" Have done with your interminable perplexities of the 
law," cried M'Fuse, "and do not bother honest gentle- 
men with its knavery, as if they were no more than so 
many proctors in big wigs ! 'tis the gospel you should be 
thinking of, you godless reprobate, on account of that 
final end you will yet make, one day, in a most indecent 

"To your purpose, Mac," interrupted Polwarth, who 
perceived that the erratic feelings of his friend were begin- 
ning already to lead him from the desired point ; " or I will 
propound the matter myself, in a style that would do credit 
to a mandamus counsellor." 

" The mandamuses are all ag'in the charter, and the law 
too," continued Seth, whose courage increased as the dia- 
logue bore more directly upon his political principles 
"and to my mind it's quite convincing, that if ministers 
calculate largely on upholding them, there will be great 
disturbances, if not a proper fight in the land ; for the 
whole country is -in a blaze ! " 


" Disturbances, thou immovable iniquity ! thou quiet 
assassin!" roared M'Fuse ; "do ye not call a light of a 
day a disturbance ? or do ye tarm skulking behind fences, 
and laying the muzzle of a musket on the head of Job 
Pray, and the breech on a mullein-stalk, while ye draw upon 
a fellow-creature, a commendable method of fighting? 
Now answer me to the truth, and disdain all lying, as ye 
would 'ating anything but cod on a Saturday, who were 
the two men that fired into my very countenance, from the 
unfortunate situation among the mulleins that I have de- 
tailed to you ? " 

"Pardon me, Captain M'Fuse," said Polwarth, "if I say 
that your zeal and indignation run ahead of your discre- 
tion. If we alarm the prisoner in this manner, we may 
defeat the ends of justice. Besides, sir, there is a reflec- 
tion contained in your language, to which I must dissent. 
A real dumb is not to be despised, especially when served 
up in wrapper, and between two coarser fish, to preserve 
the steam I have had my private meditations on the sub- 
ject of getting up a Saturday's club, in order to enjoy the 
bounty of tiie Bay, and for improving the cookery of the 
cod ! " * 

''And let me tell you, Captain Polwarth," returned the 
grenadier, cocking his eye fiercely at the other, " that your 
epicurean propensities lead you to the verge of cannibal- 
ism ; for sure it may be called that, when you speak of 
'ating, while the life of a fellow-cr'ature is under a discus- 
sion for its termination " 

" I conclude," interrupted Seth, who was greatly averse 
to all quarrelling, and who thought he saw the symptoms 
of a breach between his judges, "the captain wishes to 
know who the two men were that fired on him a short 
time before he got the hit in the shoulder?" 

" A short time, ye marvellous hypocrite ! 'twas as quick 
as pop and slap could make it." 

" Perhaps there might be some mistake, for a great many 
of the troops were much disguised 

" Do ye insinuate that I got drunk before the enemies of 

* NOTE. It may be a fit matter of inquiry for the antiquarian, to 
learn whether the captain ever put his project in execution ; and, if so, 
whether he has not the merit of founding that famous association, which, 
to this hour, maintains the Catholic custom of the east, by feasting on the 
last day of the week on the staple of New England ; and which is -said to 
assemble regularly, with much good-fellowship, around more good wine 
than is ever encountered at any other board in the known world. 


my king?" roared the grenadier " Harkye, Master Sage; 
I ask you in a genteel way, who the two men were that 
fired on me, in the manner detailed ; and remember that a 
man may tire of putting questions which are never an- 

"Why," returned Seth, who, however expert at prevari- 
cation, eschewed, with religious horror, a direct lie " I 
pretty much conclude that they the captain is sure the 
place he means was just beyond Menotomy ?" 

" As sure as men can be," said Polwarth, "who possess 
the use of their eyes." 

"Then Captain Polwarth can give testimony to the 
fact ?" 

"I believe Major Lincoln's horse carries a small bit of 
your lead to this moment, Master Sage." 

Seth yielded to this accumulation of evidence against 
him ; and knowing, moreover, that the grenadier had liter- 
ally made him a prisoner in the fact of renewing his fire, 
he sagaciously determined to make a merit of necessity, 
and candidly to acknowledge his agency in inflicting the 
wounds. The utmost, however, that his cautious habits 
would permit him to say, was 

" Seeing there can't well be any mistake, I seem to think 
the two men were chiefly Job and I." 

" Chaifly, you lath of uncertainty ! " exclaimed M'Fuse ; 
"if there was any chaif in that cowardly assassination of 
wounding a Christian, and of also hurting a horse which, 
though nothing but a dumb baste, has better blood than 
runs in your own beggarly veins 'twas your own ugly 
proportions. But I rejoice that you have come to the con- 
fessional ! I can now see you hung with felicity if you 
have anything to say, urge it at once, why I should not 
embark you for Ireland by the first vessel, in a letter to 
my lord-lieutenant, with a request that he'll give you an 
early procession, and a dacent funeral." 

Seth belonged to a class of his countrymen, amongst 
whom, while there was a superabundance of ingenuity, 
there was literally no joke. Deceived by the appearance 
of anger, which had in reality blended with the assumed 
manner of the grenadier, as he dwelt upon the irritating 
subject of his own injuries, the belief of the prisoner in 
the sacred protection of the laws became much shaken, 
and he began to reflect very seriously on the insecurity of 
the times, as well as on the despotic nature of the military 
power. The little humor he had inherited from his puritan 


ancestors, was, though exceedingly quaint, altogether after 
a different fashion from the off-hand, blundering wit of the 
Irishman ; and that manner which he did not possess, he 
could not entirely comprehend, so that, as far as a very 
visible alarm furthered the views of the two conspirators, 
they were quite successful. Polwarth now took pity on 
his evident embarrassment, and observed, with a careless 

" Perhaps I can make a proposal, by which Mr. Sage 
may redeem his neck from the halter, and at the same time 
essentially serve an old friend." 

" Hear ye that, thou confounder of men and bastes ! " 
cried M'Fuse "down on your knees, and thank Mr. 
Paiter Polwarth for the charity of his insinuation." 

Seth was not displeased to hear such amicable inten- 
tions announced ; but, habitually cautious in all bargain- 
ing, he suppressed the exhibition of his satisfaction, and 
said, with an air of deliberation that would have done 
credit to the keenest trader in King Street that " he should 
like to hear the terms of the agreement, before he gave 
his conclusion." 

" They are simply these," returned Polwarth "you shall 
receive your passports and freedom to-night, on condition 
that you sign this bond, whereby you will become obliged 
to supply our mess, as usual, during the time the place is 
invested, w r ith certain articles of food and nourishment, 
as herein set forth, and according to the prices mentioned, 
which the veriest Jew in Duke's Place would pronounce 
to be liberal. Here ; take the instrument, and 'read, and 
mark,' in order that we may * inwardly digest.' " 

Seth took the paper, and gave it that manner of investi- 
gation that he was wont to bestow on everything which 
affected his pecuniary interests. He objected to the price 
of every article, all of which were altered in compliance 
with his obstinate resistance ; and he moreover insisted, 
that a clause should be inserted to exonerate him from the 
penalty, provided the intercourse should be prohibited by 
the authorities of the colony ; after which he continued 

"If the captain will agree to take charge of the things, 
and become liable, I will conclude to make the trade." 

" Here is a fellow who wants boot in a bargain for his 
life ! " cried the grenadier; "but we will humor his covet- 
ous inclinations, Polly, and take charge of the chattels. 
Captain Polwarth and myself pledge our words to their 
safe-keeping. Let me run my eyes over the articles," con- 


tinued the grenadier, looking very gravely at the several 
covenants of the bond "faith, Paiter, you have bargained 
for a goodly larder ! Baif, mutton, pigs, turnips, pota- 
toes, melons, and other fruits there's a blunder, now, that 
would keep an English mess on a grin for a month, if an 
Irishman had made it ! as if a melon was a fruit, and a po- 
tato was not ! The devil a word do I see that you have 
said about a mouthful, except aitables, either ! Here, fel- 
low, clap your learning to it, and I'll warrant you we yet 
get a meal out of it, in some manner or other." 

" Wouldn't it be as well to put the last agreement in the 
writings, too," said Seth, " in case of accidents ? " 

" Hear how a knave halters himself ! " cried M'Fuse ; 
" he has the individual honor of two captains of foot, and 
is willing to exchange it- for their joint bond ! The request 
is too raisonable to be denied, Polly, and we should be 
guilty of pecuniary suicide to reject it ; so place a small 
article at the bottom, explanatory of the mistake the gen- 
tleman has fallen into." 

Polwarth did not hesitate to comply, and in a very few 
minutes everything was arranged to the perfect satisfaction 
of the parties ; the two soldiers felicitating themselves on 
the success of a scheme which seemed to avert the prin- 
cipal evils of the leaguer from their own mess ; and Seth 
finding no difficulty in complying with an agreement, 
which was likely to prove so profitable, however much he 
doubted its validity in a court of justice. The prisoner was 
now declared at liberty, and was advised to make his way 
out of the place, with as little noise as possible, and under 
favor of the pass he held. Seth gave the bond a last and 
most attentive perusal, and then departed, well contented 
to abide by its conditions, and not a little pleased to escape 
from the grenadier, the expression of whose half-comic, 
half-serious eye, occasioned him more perplexity than any 
other subject which had ever before occupied his astute- 
ness. After the disappearance of the prisoner, the two 
worthies repaired to their nightly banquet, laughing heart- 
ily at the success of their notable invention. 

Lionel suffered Seth to pass from the room, without 
speaking ; but, as the man left his own abode with a lin- 
gering and doubtful step, the young soldier followed him 
into the street, without communicating to any one that he 
had witnessed what had passed, with the laudable intention 
of adding his own personal pledge for the security of the 
household goods in question. He, however, found it no 


easy achievement to equal the speed of a man, who had 
just escaped from a long confinement, and who now ap- 
peared inclined to indulge his limbs freely in the pleasure 
of an unlimited exercise. The velocity of Seth continued 
unabated, until he had conducted Lionel far into the lower 
parts of the town, where the latter perceived him to en- 
counter a man, with whom he turned suddenly under an 
arch which led into a dark and narrow court. Lionel in- 
stantly increased his speed, and as he entered beneath the 
passage, he caught a glimpse of the lank figure of the ob- 
ject of his pursuit, gliding through the opposite entrance 
to the court, and, at the same moment, he encountered the 
man who had apparently induced the deviation in his 
route. As Lionel stepped a little on one side, the light of 
a lamp fell full on the form of the other, and he recognized 
the person of the active leader of the caucus, (as the 
political meeting he had attended was called,) though so 
disguised and muffled, that, but for the accidental opening 
of the folds of his cloak, the unknown might have passed 
his nearest friend without discovery. 

"We meet again !" exclaimed Lionel, in the quickness 
of surprise ; " though it would seem that the sun is never 
to shine on our interviews." 

The stranger started, and betrayed an evident wish to 
continue his walk, as though the other had mistaken his 
person ; then, as if suddenly recollecting himself, he turned 
and approached Lionel, with easy dignity, and answered 

"The third time is said to contain the charm ! I am 
happy to find that I meet Major Lincoln unharmed, after 
the dangers he so lately encountered." 

" The dangers have probably been exaggerated by those 
who wish ill to the cause of our master," returned Lionel, 

There was a calm, but proud smile on the face of the 
stranger, as he replied 

" I shall not dispute the information of one who bore so 
conspicuous a part in the deeds of that day still you will 
remember, though the inarch to Lexington was, like our 
o\vn accidental rencontres, in the dark, that a bright sun 
shone upon the retreat, and nothing has been hid." 

" Nothing need be concealed," replied Lionel, nettled 
by the proud composure of the other u unless, indeed, 
the man I address is afraid to walk the streets of Boston 
in open day." 

" The man you address, Major Lincoln," said the stran- 


ger, advancing in his warmth a step nearer to Lionel, 
" has dared to walk the streets of Boston both by day and 
by night, when the bullies of him you call your master 
have strutted their hour in the security of peace ; and, now 
a nation is up to humble their pretensions, shall he shrink 
from treading his native soil when he will ? " 

"This is bold language from an enemy within a British 
camp ! Ask yourself what course my duty requires of 

"That is a question which lies between Major Lincoln 
and his conscience," returned the stranger "though," he 
added, after a momentary pause, and in a milder tone, as 
if he recollected the danger of his situation " the gentle- 
men of his name and lineage were not apt to be informers, 
when they dwelt in the land of their birth." 

" Neither is their descendant But let this be the last of 
our interviews, until we can meet as friends, or, as enemies 
should, where we may discuss these topics at the points of 
our weapons." 

" Amen," said the stranger, seizing the hand of the 
young man, and pressing it with the warmth of a generous 
emulation "that hour may not be far distant, and may 
God smile only on the just cause." 

Without uttering more, he drew the folds of his dress 
more closely around his form, and walked so swiftly away 
that Lionel, had he possessed the inclination, could not 
have found an opportunity to arrest his progress. As all 
expectation of overtaking Seth was now lost, the young 
soldier returned slowly and thoughtfully towards his quar- 

The two or three succeeding days were distinguished by 
an appearance of more than usual preparation among the 
troops, and it became known that officers of rank had 
closely reconnoitred the grounds of the opposite penin- 
sula. Lionel patiently awaited the progress of events ; 
but as the probability of active service increased, his 
wishes to make another effort to probe the secret of the 
tenant of the warehouse revived, and he took his way 
towards the Dock-Square, with that object, on the night of 
the fourth day from the preceding interview with the 
stranger. It was long after the tattoo had laid the town 
in that deep quiet, which follows the bustle of a garrison ; 
and, as he passed along he saw none but the sentinels pac- 
ing their short limits, or an occasional officer, returning at 
that late hour from his revels or his duty. The windows 


of the warehouse were dark, find its inhabitants, if any it 
had, were wrapped in deep sleep. Restless, and excited, 
Lionel pursued his walk through the narrow and gloomy 
streets of the North-End, until he unexpectedly found' 
himself issuing upon the open space that is tenanted by 
the dead, on Copp's-Hill. On this eminence the English 
general had caused a battery of heavy cannon to be raised 
and Lionel, unwilling to encounter the challenge of the 
sentinels, inclining a little to one side, proceeded to tht, 
brow of the hill, and, seating himself on a stone, began to 
muse deeply on his own fortunes, and the situation of the 

The night was obscure, but the thin vapors which ap- 
peared to overhang the place opened at times, when a 
faint star-light fell from the heavens, and rendered the 
black hulls of the vessels of war, that lay moored before 
the town, and the faint outlines of the opposite shores, dimly 
visible. The stillness of midnight rested on the scene, and 
when the loud calls of " all's well" ascended from the ships 
and batteries, the momentary cry was succeeded by a quiet 
as deep as if the universe slumbered under this assurance of 
safety. At such an instant, when even the light breathings 
of the night air were audible, the sound of rippling waters, 
like that occasioned by raising a paddle with extreme cau- 
tion, was borne to the car of the young soldier. He lis- 
tened intently, and then, bending his eyes in the direction 
of the faint sounds, he saw a small canoe gliding along the 
surface of the water, and soon shoot upon the gravelly 
shore,^ at the foot of the hill, with a motion so easy and uni- 
form as scarcely to curl a wave on the land. Curious to 
know who could be moving about the harbor at this hour, 
in such a secret manner, Lionel was in the act of rising to 
descend, when he saw the dim figure of a man land from 
the boat, and climb the hill, directly in a line with his own 
position. Suppressing even the sounds of his breath, and 
drawing his body back within the deep shadow cast from 
a point of the hill, a little above him, Lionel waited until 
the figure had approached within ten feet of him, when it 
stopped, and appeared, like himself, to be endeavoring to 
suppress all other sounds and feelings in the absorbing act 
of deep attention. The young soldier loosened his sword 
in its sheath, before he said 

"We have chosen a private spot, and a secret hour, sir, 
for our meditations ! " 

Had the figure possessed the impalpable nature of an 


immaterial being, it could not have received this remark, 
so startling from its suddenness, with greater apathy than 
did the man to whom it was addressed. He turned slowly 
toward the speaker, and seemed to look at him earnestly, 
before he answered, in a low, menacing voice 

"There's a granny on the hill, with a gun andbaggonet, 
walking among the cannon, and if he hears people talking 
down here, he'll make them prisoners, though one of them 
should be Major Lincoln." 

" Ha ! Job," said Lionel " and is it you I meet prowling 
about like a thief at night! on what errand of mischief 
have you been sent this time ? " 

" If Job's a thief for coming to see the graves on 
Copp's," returned the lad sullenly, " there's two of them." 

" Well answered, boy ! " said Lionel, with a smile ; " but 
I repeat, on. what errand have you returned to the town at 
this unseasonable and suspicious hour ? " 

" Job loves to come up among the graves, before the 
cocks crow ; they say the dead walk when living men sleep." 

" And would you hold communion with the dead, then ? '' 

" ' Tis sinful to ask them many questions, and such as 
you do put should be made in the Holy Name," returned 
the lad, in a tone so solemn, that, connected with the place 
and the scene, it caused the blood of Lionel to thrill 
" but Job loves to be near them, to use him to the damps, 
ag'in the time he shall be called to walk himself in a sheet 
at midnight." 

" Hush ! " said Lionel " what noise is that ? " 

Job stood a moment, listening as intently as his, com- 
panion, before he answered 

" There's no noise but the moaning of the wind in the 
bay, or the sea tumbling on the beaches of the islands." 

" ' Tis neither," said Lionel ; " I heard the low hum of a 
hundred voices, or my ears have played me falsely." 

"May be the spirits speak to each other," said the lad 
"they say their voices are like the rushing winds." 

Lionel passed his hand across his brow, and endeavored 
to recover the tone of his mind, which had been strangely 
disordered by the solemn manner of his companion, and 
walked slowly from the spot, closely attended by the silent 
changeling. He did not stop until he had reached the in- 
ner angle of the wall that enclosed the field of the dead, 
when he paused, and, leaning on the fence, again listened 

" Boy, I know not how your silly conversation may have 


warped my brain," he said, " but there are surely strange 
and unearthly sounds lingering about this place, to-night J 
By heavens ! there is another rush of voices, as if the air 
above the water were filled with living beings ; and then, 
again, I think I hear a noise as if heavy weights were fall- 
ing to the earth !" 

"Ay," said Job, " 'tis the clods on the coffins, the dead 
are going into their graves ag'in, and 'tis time that we 
should leave them their own grounds." 

Lionel hesitated no longer, but he rather ran than walked 
from the spot, with a secret horror that, at another mo- 
ment, he would have blushed to acknowledge ; nor did he 
perceive that he was still attended by Job, until he had de- 
scended some distance down Lynn Street. Here he was ad- 
dressed by his companion, in his usually quiet and un- 
meaning tones 

" There's the house that the governor built, who went 
down into the sea for money! " he said " he was a poor 
boy once, like Job, and now they say his grandson is a 
great lord, and the king knighted the grand'ther too. It's 
pretty much the same thing whether a man gets his money 
out of the sea or out of the earth ; the king will make him 
a lord for it." 

"You hold the favors of royalty cheap, fellow," re- 
turned Lionel, glancing his eye carelessly at the " Phipps' 
House," as he passed " you forget that I am to be some 
day one of your despised knights ! " 

" I know it," said Job ; " and you come from America 
too it seems to me that all the poor boys go from Amer- 
ica to the king to be great lords, and all the sons of the 
great lords come to America to be made poor boys Nab 
says Job is the son of a great lord too ! " 

" Then Nab is as great a fool as her child," said Lionel ; 
" but, boy, I would see your mother in the morning, and 
I expect you to let me know at what hour I may visit 

Job did not answer, and Lionel, on turning his head, 
perceived that he was suddenly deserted by the change- 
ling, who was already gliding back towards his favorite 
haunt among the graves. Vexed at the wild humors of 
the lad, Lionel hastened to his quarters, and threw himself 
in his bed, though he heard the loud cries of " all's well," 
again and again, before the strange fantasies, which con- 
tinued to cross his mind, would permit him to obtain the 
rest he sought. 



" We are finer gentlemen, no doubt, than the plain farmers we are about 
to encounter. Our hats carry a smarter cock, our swords hang more grace- 
fully by our sides, and we make an easier figure in a ballroom ; but let it 
be remembered, that the most finished macaroni amongst us, would pass 
for an arrant clown at Pekin." Letter from a Veteran Officer, &c. 

WHEN the heavy sleep of morning fell upon his senses, 
visions of the past and future mingled with wild confusion 
in the dreams of the youthful soldier. The form of his 
father stood before him, as he had known it in his child- 
hood, fair in the proportions and vigor of manhood, re- 
garding him witli those eyes of benignant, but melancholy 
affection, which characterized their expression after he 
had become the sole joy of his widowed parent. While his 
heart was warming at the sight, the figure melted away, 
and was succeeded by fantastic phantoms, which appeared 
to dance among the graves on Copp's, led along in those 
gambols, which partook of the ghastly horrors of the 
dead, by Job Pray, who glided among the tombs like a 
being of another world. Sudden and loud thunder then 
burst upon them, and the shadows fled into their secret 
places, from whence he could see, ever and anon, some 
glassy eyes and spectral faces, peering out upon him, as if 
conscious of the power they possessed to chill the blood 
of the living. His visions now became painfully distinct, 
and his sleep was oppressed with their vividness, when 
his senses burst their unnatural bonds, and he awoke. 
The air of morning was breathing through his open cur- 
tains, and the light of day had already shed itself upon the 
dusky roofs of the town. Lionel arose from his bed, and 
had paced his chamber several times, in a vain effort to 
shake off the images that had haunted his slumbers, when 
the sounds which broke upon the stillness of the air, be- 
came too plain to be longer mistaken by a practised ear. 

" Ha ! " he muttered to himself, " I have been dreaming 
but by halves these are the sounds of no fancied tempest, 
but cannon, speaking most plainly to the soldier ! " 

He opened his window, and looked out upon the sur- 
rounding scene. The roar of artillery was now quick and 
heavy, and Lionel bent his eyes about him to discover the 
cause of this unusual occurrence. It had been the policy 
of Gage to await the arrival of his reinforcements, before 


he struck a blow, which was intended to be decisive ; and 
the Americans were well known to be too scantily sup- 
plied with the munitions of war, to waste a single charge 
of powder in any of the vain attacks of modern sieges. A 
knowledge of these facts gave an additional interest to the 
curiosity with which Major Lincoln endeavored to pene- 
trate the mystery of so singular a disturbance. Window 
after window in the adjacent buildings soon exhibited, like 
his own, its wondering and alarmed spectator. Here and 
there a half-dressed-soldier, or a busy townsman, was seen 
hurrying along the silent streets, with steps that denoted 
the eagerness of his curiosity. Women began to rush 
wildly from their dwellings, and then, as the sounds broke 
on their ears with ten-fold heaviness in the open air, they 
shrunk back into their habitations in pallid dismay. Lionel 
called to three or four of the men, as they hurried by ; but, 
turning their eyes wildly towards his window, they passed 
on without answering, as if the emergency were too press- 
ing to admit of speech. Finding his repeated inquiries 
fruitless, he hastily dressed himself, and descended to the 
street. As he left his own door, a half-clad artillerist 
hurried past him, adjusting his garments with one hand, 
and bearing in the other some of the lesser implements of 
the particular corps in which he served. 

" What means the firing, sergeant," demanded Lionel, 
" and whither do you hasten with those fuses ? " 

" The rebels, your honor, the rebels ! " returned the sol- 
dier, looking back to speak, without ceasing his speed ; 
" and I go to my guns ! " 

"The rebels !" repeated Lionel "what can we have to 
fear from a mob of countrymen, in such a position that 
fellow has slept from his post, and apprehensions for him- 
self mingle with this zeal for his king ! " 

The towns-people now began to pour from their dwell- 
ings in scores ; and Lionel imitated their example, and 
took his course towards the adjacent height. of Beacon- 
Hill. He toiled his way up the steep ascent, in company 
with twenty more, without exchanging a syllable with men 
who appeared as much astonished as himself at this early 
interruption of their slumbers, and in a few minutes he 
stood on the little grassy platform, surrounded by a hundred 
interested gazers. The sun had just lifted the thin veil of 
mist from the bosom of the waters, and the eye was per- 
mitted to range over a wide field beneath the light vapor. 
Several vessels were moored in the channels of the Charles 


and Mystic, to cover the northern approaches to the 
place ; and as he beheld the column of white smoke that 
was wreathing about the masts of a frigate among them, 
Lionel was no longer at a loss to comprehend whence 
the firing proceeded. While he was yet gazing, uncertain 
of the reasons which demanded this show of war, immense 
fields of smoke burst from the side of a ship of the line, 
who also opened her deep-mouthed cannon, and presently 
her example was followed by several floating batteries, 
and lighter vessels, until the wide amphitheatre of hills 
that encircled Boston, was filled with the echoes of a hun- 
dred pieces of artillery. 

"What can it mean, sir ? " exclaimed a young officer of 
his own regiment, addressing Major Lincoln " the sailors 
are in downright earnest, and they scale their guns with 
shot, I know, by the rattling of the reports ! " 

" I can boast of a vision no better than your own," re- 
turned Lionel; "for no enemy can I see. As the guns 
seem pointed at the opposite peninsula, it is probable a 
party of the Americans are attempting to destroy the grass 
which lies newly mown in the meadows." . 

The young officer was in the act of assenting to this con- 
jecture, when a voice was heard above their heads, shout- 

" There goes a gun from Copp's ! They needn't think 
to frighten the people with their rake-helly noises ; let them 
blaze away till the dead get out of their graves the Bay- 
men will keep the hill ! " 

Every eye was immediately turned upward, and the 
wondering and amused spectators discovered Job Pray, 
seated in the grate of the beacon, his countenance, usually 
so vacant, gleaming with exultation, while he continued 
waving his hat high in air, as gun after gun was added to 
the uproar of the cannonade. 

" How now, fellow ! " exclaimed Lionel : "what see you t 
and where are the Bay-men of whom you speak ? " 

"Where ?" returned the simpleton, clapping his hands 
with childish delight "why, where they came at dark mid- 
night, and where they'll stand at open noonday ! The 
Bay-men can look into the windows of old Funnel at last, 
and now let the reg'lars come on, and they'll teach the god- 
less murderers the law '. " 

Lionel, a little irritated with the bold language of Job, 
called to him in an angry voice- 

" Come down from that perch, fellow, and explain your- 


self, or this grenadier shall lift you from your seat, and 
transfer you to the post for a little of that wholesome cor- 
rection which you need." 

" You promised that the grannies should never flog Job 
ag'in," said the changeling, crouching down in th,e grate, 
whence he looked out at his threatened chastiser with a 
lowering and sullen eye " and Job agreed to run your 
a'r'nds, and not take any of the king's crow r ns in pay." 

"Come down, then, this instant, and I will remember 
the compact." 

Comforted by this assurance, which was made in a more 
friendly tone, Job threw himself carelessly from his iron 
seat, and clinging to the post, he slid swiftly to the earth, 
where Major Lincoln immediately arrested him by the arm, 
and demanded 

"Where are those Day-men, I once more ask ? " 

"There !" repeated Job, pointing over the low roofs of 
the town, in the direction of the opposite peninsula. " They 
dug their cellar on Breed's, and now they are fixing the 
underpinnin', and next you'll see what a raising they'll in- 
vite the people to ! " 

The instant the spot was named, all those eyes which 
had hitherto gazed at the vessels themselves, instead of 
searching for the object of their hostility, were turned on 
the green eminence which rose a little to the right of the 
village of Charlestown, and every doubt \vas at once re- 
moved by the discovery. The high, conical summit of 
Bunker Hill lay naked, and unoccupied, as on the preced- 
ing day ; but on the extremity of a more humble ridge, 
which extended within a short distance of the water, a low 
bank of earth had been thrown up, for purposes which no 
military eye could mistake. This redoubt, small and in- 
artificial as it was, commanded by its position the whole of 
the inner harbor of Boston, and even endangered, in some 
measure, the occupants of the town itself. It was the sud- 
den appearance of this magical mound, as the mists of the 
morning had dispersed, which roused the slumbering sea- 
men ; and it had already become the target of all the guns 
of the shipping in the bay. Amazement at the temerity 
of their countrymen held the townsmen silent, while Major 
Lincoln, and the few officers who stood nigh him, saw, at 
a glance, that this step on the part of their adversaries 
would bring the affairs of the leaguer to an instant crisis. 
In vain they turned their wondering looks on the neigh- 
boring eminence, and around the different points of the 


peninsula, in quest of those places of support, with which 
soldiers generally entrench their defences. The husband- 
men opposed to them had seized upon the point best cal- 
culated to annoy their foes, without regard to the conse- 
quences ; and in a few short hours, favored by the mantle 
of night, had thrown up their work with a dexterity that 
was only exceeded by their boldness. The truth flashed 
across the brain of Major Lincoln with his first glance, 
and he felt his cheeks glow as he remembered the low 
and indistinct murmurs, which the night air had wafted to 
his ears, and tho'se inexplicable fancies, which had even 
continued to haunt him till dispersed by truth and the light 
of day. Motioning to Job to follow, he left the hill with 
a hurried step, and when they gained the Common, he 
turned, and said, sternly, to his companion 

"Fellow, you have been privy to this midnight work ! " 

"Job has enough to do in the day, without laboring in 
the night, when none but the dead are out of their places 
of rest," returned the lad, with a look of mental imbe- 
cility, which immediately disarmed the resentment of the 

Lionel smiled as he again remembered his own weak- 
ness, and repeated to himself 

"The dead ! ay, these are the works of the living ; and 
bold men are they who have dared to do the deed. But 
tell me, Job, for 'tis in vain to attempt deceiving me any 
longer what number of Americans did you leave on the 
hill, when you crossed the Charles to visit the graves on 
Copp's, the past night?" 

" Both hills were crowded," returned the other 
" Breed's with the people, and Copp's with the ghosts 
Job believes the dead rose to see their children digging so 
nigh them ! " 

" Tis probable," said Lionel, who believed it wisest to 
humor the wild conceits of the lad, in order to disarm his 
cunning; "but, though the dead are invisible, the living 
may be counted." 

" Job did count five hundred men, marching over the 
nose of Bunker, by starlight, with their picks and spades ; 
and then he stopped, for he forgot whether seven or eight 
hundred came next." 

"And after you had ceased to count, did many others 
pass ? " 

" The Bay colony isn't so poorly off for men, that it can't 
muster a thousand at a raising." 


" But you had a master workman on -the occasion ; was 
it the wolf-hunter of Connecticut?" 

" There is no occasion to go from the province to find a 
workman to lay out a cellar ! Dickey Gridley is a Boston 
boy ! " 

"Ah! he is the chief! we can have nothing to fear then, 
since the Connecticut woodsman is not at their head ! " 

" Do you think old Prescott, of Pepperel, will quit the 
hill while he has a kernel of powder to burn ? no, no, 
Major Lincoln, Ralph himself an't a stouter warrior ; and 
you can't frighten Ralph ! " 

" But if they fire their cannon often, their small stock of 
ammunition will be soon consumed, and then they must 
unavoidably run." 

Job laughed tauntingly, and with an appearance of high 
scorn, before he answered 

' Yes, if the Bay-men were as dumb as the king's troops, 
and used such big guns! but the cannon of the colony 
want but little brimstone, and there's but few of them. 
Let the rake-heliies go up to Breed's ; the people will 
teach them the law!" 

Lionel had now obtained all he expected to learn from 
the simpleton, concerning the force and condition of the 
Americans ; and as the moments w r ere too precious to be 
wasted in vain discourse, he bid the lad repair to his quar- 
ters that night, and left him. On entering his own lodgings, 
Major Lincoln shut himself up in his private apartment, and 
passed several hours in writing, and examining important 
papers. One letter, in particular, was written, read, torn, 
and re-written, five or six times, until at length he placed 
his seal, and directed the important paper with a sort of 
carelessness that denoted his patience was exhausted by 
repeated trials. These documents were entrusted to Mer- 
iton, with orders to deliver them to their several addresses, 
unless countermanded before the following day ; and the 
young man hastily swallowed a late and light breakfast. 
While shut up in his closet, Lionel had several times 
thrown aside his pen to listen, as the hum of the place 
penetrated to his retirement, and announced the excite- 
ment and bustle which pervaded the streets of the town. 
Having at length completed the task he had assigned 
himself, he caught up his hat, and took his way, with hasty 
steps, into the centre of the place. 

Cannon were rattling over the rough pavements, fol- 
lowed by ammunition wagons, and officers and men of the 


artillery were seen in swift pursuit of their pieces. Aides- 
de-camp were riding furiously through the streets, charged 
with important messages ; and here and there an officer 
might be seen issuing from his quarters, with a counte- 
nance in which manly pride struggled powerfully with 
inward dejection, as he caught the last glance of anguish, 
which followed his retiring form, from eyes that had been 
used to meet his own with looks of confidence and love. 
There was, however, but little time to dwell on these flit- 
ting glimpses of domestic woe, amid the general bustle and 
glitter of the scene. Now and then the strains of martial 
music broke up through the windings of the crooked 
avenues, and detachments of the troops wheeled by, on 
their way to the appointed place of embarkation. While 
Lionel stood a moment at the corner of a street, admiring 
the firm movement of a body of grenadiers, his eye fell on 
the powerful frame and rigid features of M'Fuse, marching 
at the head of his company with that gravity which re- 
garded the accuracy of the step amongst the important 
incidents of life. At a short distance from him was Job 
Pray, timing his paces to the tread of the soldiers, and 
regarding the gallant show with stupid admiration, while 
his ear unconsciously drank the inspiriting music of their 
band. As this fine body of men passed on, it was imme- 
diately succeeded by a battalion, in which Lionel instantly 
recognized the facings of his own regiment. The warm- 
hearted Polwarth led its forward files, and, waving his 
hand, he cried 

" God bless you, Leo, God bless you we shall make 
a fair stand up fight of this ; there is an end of all stag- 

The notes of the horns rose above his voice, and Lionel 
could do no more than return his cordial salute ; when, re- 
called to his purpose by the sight of his comrades, he 
turned and pursued his way to the quarters of the com- 

The gate of Province-House was thronged with military 
men ; some waiting for admittance, and others entering 
and departing with the air of those who were charged with 
the execution of matters of the deepest moment. The 
name of Major Lincoln was hardly announced before an 
aid appeared to conduct him into the presence of the gov- 
ernor, with a politeness and haste that several gentlemen, 
who had been in waiting for hours, deemed in a trifling 
degree unjust. 



Lionel, however, having little to do with murmurs which 
he did not hear, followed his conductor, and was immedi- 
ately ushered into the apartment, where a council of war 
had just closed its deliberations. On the threshold of its 
door he was compelled to give way to an officer, who was 
departing in haste, and whose powerful frame seemed bent 
a little in the intensity of thought, as his dark, military 
countenance lighted for an instant with the salutation he 
returned to the low bow of the young soldier. Around 
this chief a group of younger men immediately clustered, 
and as they departed in company, Lionel was enabled to 
gather from their conversation, that they took their way 
for the field of battle. The room was filled with officers 
of high rank ; though here and there was to be seen a 
man in civil attire, whose disappointed and bitter looks 
announced him to be one of those mandamus counsellors, 
whose evil advice had hastened the mischief their wisdom 
could never repair. From out a small circle of these 
mortified civilians, the unpretending person of Gage ad- 
vanced to meet Lionel, forming a marked contrast, by the 
simplicity of his dress, to the military splendor that was 
glittering around him. 

" In what can I oblige Major Lincoln ? " he said, tak- 
mg the young man by the hand cordially, is if glad to be 
rid of the troublesome counsellors he had so unceremoni- 
ously quitted. 

"' Wolfe's own ' has just passed me on its way to the 
boats, and I have ventured to intrude on your excellency 
to inquire if it were not time its major had resumed his 

A shade of thought was seated for a moment on the 
placid features of the general, and he then answered with 
a friendly smile 

"'Twill be no more than an affair of out-posts, and must 
be quickly ended. But should I grant the request of every 
brave young man whose spirit is up to-day, it might cost 
liis majesty's service the life of some officer that would 
make the purchase of the pile of earth too dear." 

" But may. I not be permitted to say, that the family of 
Lincoln is of the province, and its example should not be 
.ost on such an occasion ? " 

"The loyalty of the colonies is too well represented here 
10 need the sacrifice," said Gage glancing his eyes care- 
lessly at the expecting group behind him. " My council 
have decided on the officers to be employed, and I regret 


that Major Lincoln's name was omitted, since I know it 
will give him pain ; but valuable lives are not to be lightly 
and unnecessarily exposed." 

Lionel bowed in submission ; and, after communicating 
the little he had gathered from Job Pray, he turned away, 
and found himself near another officer of high rank, who 
smiled as he observed his disappointed countenance, and, 
taking him by the arm, led him from the room, with a free- 
dom suited to his fine figure and easy air. 

" Then, like myself, Lincoln, you are not to battle for 
the king to-day," he said, on gaining the ante-chamber. 
" Howe has the luck of the occasion, if there can be luck in 
so vulgar an affair. But allons ; accompany me to Copp's. 
as a spectator, since they deny us parts in the drama ; and 
perhaps we may pick up materials for a pasquinade, though 
not for an epic." 

" Pardon me, General Burgoyne," said Lionel, " if I view 
the matter with more serious eyes than yourself." 

" Ah ! I had forgot that you were a follower of Percy in 
the hunt of Lexington!" interrupted the other; "we 
will call it a tragedy, then, if it better suits your humor. 
For myself, Lincoln, I weary of these crooked streets and 
gloomy houses, and, having some taste for the poetry of 
nature, would have long since looked out upon the deserted 
fields of these husbandmen, had the authority, as well as 
the inclination, rested with me. But Clinton is joining us ; 
he, too, is for Copp's, where we can all take a lesson in 
arms, by studying the manner in which Howe wields his 

A soldier of middle age now joined them, whose stout 
frame, while it wanted the grace and ease of the gentleman 
who still held Lionel by the arm, bore a martial character 
to which the look of the quiet and domestic Gage was a 
stranger ; and, followed by their several attendants, the 
whole party immediately left the Government-house to 
take their destined position on the eminence so often men- 

As they entered the street, Burgoyne relinquished the 
arm of his companion, and moved with becoming dignity 
by the side of his brother general. Lionel gladly availed 
himself of this alteration, to withdraw a little from the 
group, whose steps he followed at such a distance as per- 
mitted him to observe those exhibitions of feeling, on the 
part of the inhabitants, which the pride of the others in- 
duced them to overlook. Pallid and anxious female faces 


were gleaming out upon them from every window, while 
the roofs of the houses, and the steeples of the churches^ 
were beginning to throng with more daring, and equally 
interested spectators. The drums no longer rolled along 
the narrow streets, though occasionally, the shrill strain of 
a fife was heard from the water, announcing the movements 
of the troops to the opposite peninsula. Over all was heard 
the incessant roaring of the artillery, which, untired, had 
not ceased to rumble in the air since the appearance of 
light, until the ear, accustomed to its presence, had learnt 
to distinguish the lesser sounds we have recorded. 

As the party descended into the lower passages of the 
town, it appeared deserted by everything having life ; the 
open windows and neglected' doors betraying the urgency 
of the feelings, which had called the population to situa- 
tions more favorable for observing the approaching con- 
test. This appearance of intense curiosity excited the sym- 
pathies of even the old and practised soldiers ; and, quick- 
ening their paces, the whole soon rose from among the 
gloomy edifices to the open and unobstructed view from 
the hill. 

The whole scene now lay before them. Nearly in their 
front was the village of Charlestown, with its deserted 
streets, and silent roofs, looking like a place of the dead ; 
or, if the signs of life were visible within its open avenues, 
'twas merely some figure moving swiftly in the solitude, 
like one who hastened to quit the devoted spot. On the 
opposite point of the southeastern face of the peninsula, 
and at the distance of a thousand yards, the ground was 
already covered by masses of human beings, in scarlet, 
with their arms glittering in a noonday sun. Between the 
two, though in the more immediate vicinity of the silent 
town, the rounded ridge, already described, rose abruptly 
from a flat that was bounded by the water, until, having 
attained an elevation of some fifty or sixty feet, it swelled 
gradually to the little crest, where was planted the humble 
object that had occasioned all this commotion. The mead- 
ows, on the right, were still peaceful and smiling, as in the 
most quiet days of the province, though the excited fancy 
of Lionel imagined that a sullen stillness lingered about, 
the neglected kilns in their front, and over the whole land- 
scape, that was in gloomy consonance with the approach- 
ing scene. Far on the left, across the waters of the Charles, 
the American camp had poured forth its thousands to the 
hills ; and the whole population of the country, for many 


miles inland, had gathered to a point, to witness a struggle 
charged with the fate of their nation. Beacon Hill rose 
from out the appalling silence of the town of Boston, like 
a pyramid of living faces, with every eye fixed on the fatal 
point ; and men hung along the yards of the shipping, or 
were suspended on cornices, cupolas, and steeples, in 
thoughtless security, while every other sense was lost in 
the absorbing interest of the sight. The vessels of war 
had hauled deep into the rivers, or, more properly, those 
narrow arms of the sea which formed the peninsula, and 
sent their iron missiles, with unwearied industry, across the 
low passage, which alone opened the means of communi- 
cation between the self-devoted yeomen on the hill, and 
their distant countrymen. While battalion landed after bat- 
talion on the point, cannon-balls from the battery of Copp's, 
and the vessels of war, were glancing -up the natural glacis 
that surrounded the redoubt, burying themselves in its 
earthen parapet, or plunging with violence into the de- 
serted sides of the loftier height which lay a few hundred 
yards in its rear ; and the black and smoking bombs, ap- 
peared to hover above the spot, as if pausing to select the 
places in which to plant their deadly combustibles. 

Notwithstanding these appalling preparations, and cease- 
less annoyances, throughout that long and anxious morn- 
ing, the stout husbandmen on the hill had never ceased 
their steady efforts to maintain, to the uttermost extremity, 
the post they had so daringly assumed. In vain the Eng- 
lish exhausted every means to disturb their stubborn foes ; 
the pick, the shovel, and the spade continued to perform 
their offices ; and mound rose after mound, amidst the din 
and danger of the 'cannonade, steadily, and as well as if 
the fanciful conceits of Job Pray embraced their real ob- 
jects, and the laborers were employed in the peaceful pur- 
suits of their ordinary lives. This firmness, however, was 
not like the proud front, which high training can impart 
to the most common mind ; for, ignorant of the glare of 
military show ; in the simple and rude vestments of their 
calling ; armed with such weapons as they had seized from 
the hooks above their own mantels ; and without even a 
banner to wave its cheering folds above their heads, they 
stood, sustained only by the righteousness of their cause, 
and those deep moral principles which they had received 
from their fathers, and which they intended this day should 
show were to be transmitted untarnished to their children. 
It was afterward known, that they endured their labors 


and their dangers even in want of that sustenance, which 
is so essential to support animal spirits in moments of calm- 
ness and ease ; while their enemies, on the point, awaiting 
the arrival of their latest bands, were securely devouring 
a meal, which to hundreds amongst them proved to be 
their last. The fatal instant now seemed approaching. A 
general movement was seen among the battalions of the 
British, who began to spread along the shore, under cover 
of the brow of the hill the lingering boats having arrived 
with the rear of their detachments and officers hurried 
from regiment to regiment with the final mandates of their 
chief. At this moment a body of Americans appeared on 
the crown of Bunker Hill, and descending swiftly by the 
road, disappeared in the meadows to the left of their own 
redoubt. This band was followed by others, who, like 
themselves, had broken through the dangers of the narrow 
pass, by braving the fire of the shipping, and who also 
hurried to join their comrades on the low land. The Brit- 
ish general determined at once to anticipate the arrival of 
further reinforcements, and gave forth the long-expected 
order to prepare for the attack. 


" Th' imperious Briton, on the well-fought ground, 
No cause for joy, or wanton triumph found ; 
But saw, with grief, their dreams of conquest vain, 
Felt the deep wounds, and mourn' d their vet'rans slain." 


THE Americans had made a show, in the course of that 
fearful morning, of returning the fire of their enemies, by 
throwing a few shot from their light field-pieces, as if in 
mockery of the tremendous cannonade which they sus- 
tained. But as the moment of severest trial approached, 
the same awful stillness, which had settled upon the de- 
serted streets of Charlestown, hovered around the redoubt. 
On the meadows, to its left, the recently arrived bands 
hastily threw the rails of two fences into one, and, cover- 
ing the whole with the mown grass that surrounded them, 
they posted themselves along the frail defence, which an- 
swered no better purpose than to conceal their weakness 
from their adversaries. Behind this characteristic rampart, 
several bodies of husbandmen, from the neighboring prov- 


inces of New Hampshire and Connecticut, lay on their 
arms, in sullen expectation. Their line extended from the 
shore to the base of the ridge, where it terminated several 
hundred feet behind the works ; leaving a wide opening in 
a diagonal direction, between the fence and an earthen 
breastwork, which ran a short distance down the declivity 
of the hill, from the northeastern angle of the redoubt. A 
few hundred yards in the rear of this rude disposition, 
the naked crest of Bu\ker Hill rose unoccupied and un- 
defended ; and the streams of the Charles and Mystic, 
sweeping around its base, approached so near each other 
as to blend the sounds of their rippling. It was across this 
low and narrow isthmus, that the royal frigates poured a 
stream of fire, that never ceased, while around it hovered 
the numerous parties of the undisciplined Americans, hesi- 
tating to attempt the dangerous passage. 

In this manner Gage had, in a great degree, surrounded 
the devoted peninsula with his power ; and the bold men, 
who had so daringly planted themselves under the muzzles 
of his cannon, were left, as already stated, unsupported, 
without nourishment, and with weapons from their own 
gun-hooks, singly to maintain the honor of their nation. 
Including men of all ages and conditions, there might have 
been two thousand of them ; but, as the day advanced, 
small bodies of their countrymen, taking counsel of their 
feelings, and animated by the example of the old partisan 
of the woods, who crossed and recrossed the neck, loudly 
scoffing at the danger, broke through the fire of the ship- 
ping in time to join in the closing and bloody business of 
the hour. 

On the other hand, Howe led more than an equal num- 
ber of the chosen troops of his prince ; and as boats con- 
tinued to ply between the two peninsulas throughout the 
afternoon, the relative disparity continued undiminished 
to the end of the struggle. It was at this point in our nar- 
rative that, deeming himself sufficiently strong to force 
the defences of his despised foes, the arrangements im- 
mediately preparatory to such an undertaking were made 
in full view of the excited spectators. Notwithstanding the 
security with which the English general marshalled his 
warriors, he felt that the approaching contest would be 
a battle of no common incidents. The eyes of tens of 
thousands were fastened on his movements, and the oc- 
casion demanded the richest display of the pageantry of 


The troops formed with beautiful accuracy, and the col- 
umns moved steadily along the shore, and took their as- 
signed stations under cover of the brow of the eminence. 
Their force was in some measure divided ; one moiety at- 
tempting the toilsome ascent of the hill, and the other 
moving along the beach, or in the orchards of the more 
level ground, toward the husbandmen on the meadows. 
The latter soon disappeared behind some fruit-trees and 
the brickkilns just mentioned. The advance of the royal 
columns up the ascent was slow and measured, giving time 
to their field-guns to add their efforts to the uproar of the 
cannonade, which broke out with new fury as the bat- 
talions prepared to march. When each column arrived at 
the allotted point, it spread the gallant array of its glitter- 
ing warriors under a bright sun. 

" It is a glorious spectacle," murmured the graceful 
chieftain by the side of Lionel, keenly alive to all the 
poetry of his alluring profession ; "how exceeding soldier- 
like ! and with what accuracy his * first-arm ascends the 
hill,' toward his enemy ! " 

The intensity of his feelings prevented Major Lincoln 
from replying, and the other soon forgot that he had 
spoken, in the overwhelming anxiety of the moment. The 
advance of the British line, so beautiful and slow, resembled 
rather the ordered steadiness of a drill, than an approach 
to a deadly struggle. Their standards fluttered proudly 
above them ; and there were moments when the wild music 
of their bands was heard rising on the air, and tempering 
the ruder sounds of the artillery. The young and thought- 
less in their ranks turned their faces backward, and smiled 
exultingly, as they beheld steeples, roofs, masts, and heights, 
teeming with their thousands of eyes, bent on the show of 
their bright array. As the British lines moved in open 
view of the little redoubt, and began slowly to gather 
around its different faces, gun after gun became silent, and 
the curious artillerist, or tired seaman, lay extended on his 
heated piece, gazing in mute wonder at the spectacle. 
There was just then a minute when the roar of the can- 
nonade seemed passing away like the rumbling of distant 

" They will not fight, Lincoln," said the animated leader 
at the side of Lionel " the military front of Howe has 
chilled the hearts of the knaves, and our victory will be 
bloodless ! " 

"We shall see, sir we shall see !" 


These words were barely uttered, when platoon after 
platoon, among the British, delivered its fire, the blaze of 
musketry flashing swiftly around the brow of the hill, and 
was immediately followed by heavy volleys that ascended 
from the orchard. Still no answering sound was heard 
from the Americans, and the royal troops were soon lost 
to. the eye, as they slowly marched into the white cloud 
which their own fire had alone created. 

" They are cowed, by heavens the dogs are cowed ! " 
once more cried the gay companion of Lionel, "and Howe 
is within two hundred feet of them, unharmed ! " 

At that instant a sheet of flame glanced through the 
smoke, like lightning playing in a cloud, while at one 
report a thousand muskets were added to the uproar. It 
was not altogether fancy which led Lionel to imagine that 
he saw the smoky canopy of the hill to wave, as if the 
trained warriors it enveloped faltered before this close and 
appalling discharge ; but, in another instant, the stimulat- 
ing war-cry, and the loud shouts of the combatants were 
borne across the strait to his ears, even amid the horrid din 
of the combat. Ten breathless minutes flew by like a 
moment of time, and the bewildered spectators on Copp's 
were still gazing intently on the scene, when a voice was 
raised among them, shouting 

"Hurrah! let the rake-hellies go up to Breed's ; the 
people will teach 'em the law ! " 

" Throw the rebel scoundrel from the hill ! Blow him 
from the muzzle of a gun ! " cried twenty soldiers in a 

" Hold ! " exclaimed Lionel " 'tis a simpleton, an idiot, 
a fool ! " 

But the angry and savage murmurs as quickly subsided, 
and were lost in other feelings, as the bright red lines of 
the royal troops were seen issuing from the smoke, waving 
and recoiling before the still vivid fire of their enemies. 

"Ha!" said Burgoyne "'tis some feint to draw the 
rebels from their hold ! " 

" 'Tis a palpable and disgraceful retreat ! " muttered the 
stern warrior nigh him, whose truer eye detected at a 
glance the discomfiture of the assailants. " Tis another 
base retreat before the rebels ! " 

" Hurrah ! " shouted the reckless changeling again ; 
" there come the reg'lars out of the orchard too ! see th 
grannies skulking behind the kilns ! Let them go on to 
Breed's ; the people will teach 'em the law ! " 


No cry of vengeance preceded the act this time, but 
fifty of the soldiery rushed, as by a common impulse, on 
their prey. Lionel had not time to utter a word of re- 
monstrance, before Job appeared in the air, borne on the 
uplifted arms of a dozen men, and at the next instant 
he was seen rolling down the steep declivity, with a 
velocity that carried him to the water's edge. Springing 
to his feet, the undaunted changeling once more waved 
his hat in triumph, and shouted forth again his offensive 
challenge. Then turning, he launched his canoe from its 
hiding place among the adjacent lumber, amid a shower 
of stones, and glided across the strait ; his little bark es- 
caping unnoticed in the crowd of boats that were rowing 
in all directions. But his progress was watched by the 
uneasy eye of Lionel, who saw him land and disappear, 
with hasty steps, in the silent streets of the town. 

While this trifling by-play was enacting, the great drama 
of the day was not at a stand. The smoky veil, which 
clung around the brow of the eminence, was lifted by the 
air, and sailed heavily away to the southwest, leaving the 
scene of the bloody struggle again open to the view. 
Lionel witnessed the grave and meaning glances which 
the two lieutenants of the king exchanged as they simul- 
taneously turned their glasses from the fatal spot, and, 
taking the one proffered by Burgoyne, he read their ex- 
planation in the numbers of the dead that lay profusely 
scattered in front of the redoubt. At this instant, an offi- 
cer from the field held an earnest communication with the 
two leaders ; when, having delivered his orders, he hast- 
ened back to his boat, like one who felt himself employed 
in matters of life and death. 

" It shall be done, sir," repeated Clinton, as the other 
departed, his honest brow sternly knit under high martial 
excitement. " The artillery have their orders, and the 
work will be accomplished without delay." 

" This, Major Lincoln ! " cried his more sophisticated 
companion, "this is one of the trying duties of the sol- 
dier ! To fight, to bleed, or even to die, for his prince, is 
his happy privilege ; but it is sometimes his unfortunate 
lot to become the instrument of vengeance." 

Lionel waited but a moment for an explanation the 
flaming balls were soon seen taking their wide circuit in 
the air, and carrying their desolation among the close and 
inflammable roofs of the opposite town. In a very few 
minutes, a dense, black smoke arose from the deserted 


buildings, and forked flames played actively along the 
heated shingles, as though rioting in their unmolested 
possession of the place. He regarded the gathering de- 
struction in painful silence ; and, on bending his looks 
toward his companions, he fancied, notwithstanding the 
language of the other, that he read the deepest regret in 
the averted eye of him who had so unhesitatingly uttered 
the fatal mandate to destroy. 

In scenes like these we are attempting to describe, hours 
appear to be minutes, and time flies as imperceptibly as 
life slides from beneath the feet of age. The disordered 
ranks of the British had been arrested at the base of the 
hill, and were again forming under the eyes of their lead- 
ers, with admirable discipline, and extraordinary care. 
Fresh battalions, from Boston, marched with high military 
pride into the line, and everything betokened that a sec- 
ond assault was at hand. When the moment of stupid 
amazement, which succeeded the retreat of the royal 
troops, had passed, the troops and batteries poured out 
their wrath with tenfold fury on their enemies. Shot were 
incessantly glancing up the gentle acclivity, madly plough- 
ing across its grassy surface, while black 'and threatening 
shells appeared to hover above the work, like the monsters 
of the air, about to stoop upon their prey. 

Still all lay quiet and immovable within the low mounds 
of earth, as if none there had a stake in the issue of the 
bloody day. For a few moments only the tall figure of an 
aged man was seen slowly moving along the summit of 
the rampart, calmly regarding the dispositions of the Eng- 
lish general in the more distant part of his line, and after 
exchanging a few words w T ith a gentleman, who joined him 
in his dangerous lookout, they disappeared together behind 
the grassy banks. Lionel soon detected the name of 
Prescott, of Pepperell, passing through the crowd in low 
murmurs, and his glass did not deceive him when he 
thought, in the smaller of the two, he had himself descried 
the graceful person of the unknown leader of the "cau- 

All eyes were now watching the advance of the battal- 
ions, which once more drew nigh the point of contest. The 
heads of the columns were already in view of their ene- 
mies when a man was seen sw r iftly ascending the hill from 
the burning town : he paused amid the peril, on the nat- 
ural glacis, and swung his hat triumphantly, and Lionel 
even fancied he heard the exulting cry, as he recognized 


the ungainly form of the simpleton, before it plunged into 
the work. 

The right of the British once more disappeared in the 
orchard, and the columns in front of the redoubt again 
opened with all the imposing exactness of their high dis- 
cipline. Their arms were already glittering in a line with 
the green faces of the mound, and Lionel heard the 
experienced warrior at his side murmuring to him- 

" Let him hold his fire, and he will go in at the point of 
the bayonet ! " 

But the trial was too great for even the practised cour- 
age of the royal troops. Volley succeeded volley, and in 
a few moments they had again curtained their ranks be- 
hind the misty screen produced by their own fire. Then 
came the terrible flash from the redoubt, and the eddying 
volumes from the adverse hosts rolled into one cloud en- 
veloping the combatants in its folds, as ij: to conceal their 
bloody work from the spectators. Twenty times, in the short 
space of as many minutes, Major Lincoln fancied he heard 
the incessant roll of American musketry die aw r ay before 
the heavy and regular volleys of the troops ; and then he 
thought the sounds of the latter grew more faint, and were 
given at longer intervals. 

The result, however, was soon known. The heavy bank 
of smoke, which now even clung along the ground, was 
broken in fifty places ; and the disordered masses of the 
British were seen driven before their deliberate foes, in 
wild confusion. The flashing swords of the officers in vain 
attempted to arrest the torrent, nor did the flight cease, 
with many of the regiments, until they had even reached 
their boats. At this moment a hum was heard in Boston, 
like the sudden rush of wind, and men gazed in each 
other's faces with undisguised amazement. Here and there 
a low sound of exultation escaped some unguarded lip, and 
many an eye gleamed with a triumph that could no long- 
er be suppressed. Until this moment the feelings of Lionel 
had vacillated between the pride of country and his mili- 
tary spirit ; but, losing all other feelings in the latter sensa- 
tion, he now looked fiercely about him as if he would seek 
the man who dare exult in the repulse of his comrades. 
The poetic chieftain was still at his side, biting his nether 
lip in vexation ; but his more tried companion had sud- 
denly disappeared. Another quick glance fell upon his 
missing form in the act of entering a boat at the foot of 


the hill. Quicker than thought, Lionel was on the shore, 
crying, as he flew to the water's edge 

" Hold ! for God's sake, hold ! remember the 47th is in 
the field, and that I am its major ! " 

" Receive him," said Clinton, with that grim satisfaction 
with which men acknowledge a valued friend in moments 
of great trial ; " and then row for your lives, or, what is of 
more value, for the honor of the British name." 

The brain of Lionel whirled as the boat shot along its 
watery bed, but before it had gained the middle of the 
stream he had time to consider the whole of the appalling 
scene. The fire had spread from house to house, and the 
whole village of Charlestown, with its four hundred build- 
ings, was just bursting into flames. The air seemed filled 
with whistling balls, as they hurtled above his head, and 
the black sides of the vessels of war were vomiting their 
sheets of flame with unwearied industry. Amid this tu- 
mult, the English general and his companions sprung to 
land. The former rushed into the disordered ranks, and 
by his presence and voice recalled the men of one regiment 
to their duty. But long and loud appeals to their spirit 
and their ancient fame were necessary to restore a moiety 
of their former confidence to men who had been thus 
rudely repulsed, and who now looked along their thinned 
and exhausted ranks, missing, in many instances, more 
than half the well-known countenances of their fellows. 
In the midst of the faltering troops stood their stern and 
unbending chief ; but of all those gay and gallant youths, 
who followed in his train as he had departed from Prov- 
ince-House that morning, not one remained, but in his 
blood. He alone seemed undisturbed in that disordered 
crowd ; and his mandates went forth as usual, calm and 
determined. At length the panic, in some degree, subsid- 
ed, and order was once more restored as the high-spirited 
and mortified gentlemen of the detachment regained their 
lost authority. 

The leaders consulted together, apart, and the disposi- 
tions were immediately renewed for the assault. Military 
show was no longer affected, but the soldiers laid down all 
the useless implements of their trade, and many even cast 
aside their outer garments, tinder the warmth of a broil- 
ing sun, added to the heat of the conflagration, which be- 
gan to diffuse itself along the extremity of the peninsula. 
Fresh companies were placed in the columns, and most of 
the troops were withdrawn from the meadows, leaving 


merely a few skirmishers to amuse the Americans who lay 
behind the fence. When each disposition was completed, 
the final signal was given to advance. 

Lionel had taken post in his regiment, but marching on 
the skirt of the column, he commanded a view of most of 
the scene of battle. In his front moved a battalion, re- 
duced to a handful of men in the previous assaults. Behind 
these came a party of the marine guards, from the shipping, 
led by their own veteran major ; and next followed the de- 
jected Nesbitt and his corps, amongst whom Lionel looked 
in vain for the features of the good-natured Polwarth. 
Similar columns marched on their right and left, encirc- 
]ing three sides of the redoubt by their battalions. 

A few minutes brought him in full view of that humble 
and unfinished mound of earth, for the possession of 
which so much blood had that day been spilt in vain. It 
lay, as before, still as if none breathed within its bosom, 
though a terrific row of dark tubes were arrayed along its 
top, following the movements of the approaching columns, 
as the eyes of the imaginary charmers of our own wilder- 
ness are said to watch their victims. As the uproar of the 
artillery again grew fainter, the crash of falling streets, and 
the appalling sounds of the conflagration, on their left, be- 
came more audible. Immense volumes of black smoke 
issued from the smouldering ruins, and, bellying outward, 
fold beyond fold, it overhung the work in a hideous cloud, 
casting its gloomy shadow across the place of blood. 

A strong column was now seen ascending, as if from 
out the burning town, and the advance of the whole be- 
came quick and spirited. A low call ran through the pla- 
toons to note the naked weapons of their adversaries, and 
it was followed by the cry of "To the bayonet! to the 
bayonet ! " 

" Hurrah ! for the Royal Irish ! " shouted M'Fuse, at the 
head of the dark column from the conflagration. 

" Hurrah !" echoed a well-known voice from the silent 
mound. " Let them come on to Breed's ; the people will 
teach 'em the law ! " 

Men think at such moments with the rapidity of light- 
ning, and Lionel had even fancied his comrades in posses- 
sion of the work, when the terrible stream of fire flashed 
in the faces of the men in front. 

" Push on with the th," cried the veteran major of 

marines " push on, or the i8th will get the honor of the 
day ! " 


"We cannot," murmured the soldiers of the th; 

" their fire is too heavy ! " 

" Then break, and let the marines pass through you !" 

The feeble battalion melted away, and the warriors of 
the deep, trained to conflicts of hand to hand, sprang for- 
ward, with a loud shout, in their places. The Americans, 
exhausted of their ammunition, now sunk sullenly back, a 
few hurling stones at their foes, in desperate indignation. 
The cannon of the British had been brought to enfilade 
their short breastwork, which was no longer tenable ; and 
as the columns approached closer to the low rampart, it 
became a mutual protection to the adverse parties. 

" Hurrah ! for the Royal Irish ! " again shouted M'Fuse, 
rushing up the trifling ascent, which was but of little more 
than his own height. 

" Hurrah !" repeated Pitcairn, waving his sword on an- 
other angle of the work " the day's our own ! " 

One more sheet of flame issued out of the bosom of the 
work, and all those brave men, who had emulated the ex- 
amples of their officers, were swept away, as though a 
whirlwind had passed along. The grenadier gave his war- 
cry once more, before he pitched headlong among his ene- 
mies ; while Pitcairn fell back into the arms of his own child. 
The cry of " Forward, 47th," rung through their ranks, and 
in their turn this veteran battalion gallantly mounted the 
ramparts. In the shallow ditch Lionel passed the expiring 
marine, and caught the dying and despairing look from 
liis eyes, and in another instant he found himself in the 
presence of his foes. As company followed company into 
the defenceless redoubt, the Americans sullenly retired by 
its rear, keeping the bayonets of the soldiers at bay with 
clubbed muskets and sinewy arms. When the whole issued 
upon the open ground, the husbandmen received a close 
and fatal fire from the battalions, which were now gather- 
ing around them on three sides. A scene of wild and sav- 
age confusion then succeeded to the order of the fight, 
and many fatal blows were given and taken, the melee 
rendering the use of fire-arms nearly impossible for several 

Lionel continued in advance, pressing on the footsteps 
of the retiring foe, stepping over many a lifeless body in 
his difficult progress. Notwithstanding the hurry, and 
vast disorder of the fray, his eye fell on the form of the 
graceful stranger, stretched lifeless on the parched grass, 
which had greedily drank his blood. Amid the ferocious 


cries, and fiercer passions of the moment, the young man 
paused, and glanced his eyes around him, with an expres- 
sion that said he thought the work of death should cease. 
At this instant the trappings of his attire caught the 
glaring eyeballs of a dying yeoman, who exerted his 
wasting strength to sacrifice one more worthy victim to 
the manes of his countrymen. The whole of the tumultu- 
ous scene vanished from the senses of Lionel at the flash 
of the musket of this man, and he sunk beneath the feet 
of the combatants, insensible of further triumph, and of 
every danger. 

The fall of a single officer, in such a contest, was a cir- 
cumstance not to be regarded ; and regiments passed over 
him, without a single man stooping to inquire into his 
fate. When the Americans had disengaged themselves from 
the troops, they descended into the little hollow between 
the two hills, swiftly, and like a disordered crowd, bearing 
off most of their wounded, and leaving but few prisoners 
in the hands of their foes. The formation of the ground 
favored their retreat, as hundreds of bullets whistled harm- 
lessly above their heads ; and by the time they gained the 
acclivity of Bunker, distance was added to their security. 
Finding the field lost, the men at the fence broke away in 
a body from their position, and abandoned the meadows ; 
the whole moving in confused masses behind the crest of 
the adjacent height. The shouting soldiery followed in 
their footsteps, pouring in fruitless and distant volleys ; 
but on the summit of Bunker their tired platoons were 
halted, and they beheld the throng move fearlessly through 
the tremendous fire that enfiladed the low pass, as little 
injured as though most of them bore charmed lives. 

The day was now drawing to a close. With the disap- 
pearance of their enemies, the ships a*nd batteries ceased 
their cannonade ; and presently not a musket was heard 
in that place, where so fierce a contest had so long raged. 
The troops commenced fortifying the outward eminence, 
on which they rested, in order to maintain their barren 
Conquest ; and nothing further remained for the achieve- 
ment of the royal lieutenants, but to go and mourn ovel 
their victory. 



" She speaks, yet she says nothing ; what of that? 
Her eye discourses I will answer it." Romeo. 

ALTHOUGH the battle of Bunker Hill was fought whiie 
the grass yet lay on the meadows, the heats of summer had 
been followed by the nipping frosts of November; the leaf 
had fallen in its hour, and the tempests and biting colds 
of February had succeeded, before Major Lincoln left that 
couch where he had been laid, when carried, in total help- 
lessness, from the fatal heights of the peninsula. Through- 
out the whole of that long period, the hidden bullet had 
defied the utmost skill of the British surgeons ; nor could 
all their science and experience embolden them to risk 
cutting certain arteries and tendons in the body of the heir 
of Lincoln, which were thought to obstruct the passage to 
that obstinate lead, which, all agreed, alone impeded the 
recovery of the unfortunate sufferer. This indecision was 
one of the penalties that poor Lionel paid for his great- 
ness ; for had it been Meriton who lingered, instead of his 
master, it is quite probable the case would have been de- 
termined at a much earlier hour. At length, a young and 
enterprising leech, with the world before him, arrived from 
Europe, who, possessing greater skill or more effrontery 
(the effects are sometimes the same) than his fellows, did 
not hesitate to decide at once on the expediency of an 
operation. The medical staff of the army sneered at this 
bold innovator, and at first were content with such silent 
testimonials of their contempt. But when the friends of 
the patient, listening, as usual, to the whisperings of hope, 
consented that the confident man of probes should use his 
instruments, the voices of his contemporaries became not 
only loud, but clamorous. There was a day or two when 
even the watch-worn and jaded subalterns of the army for- 
got the dangers and hardships of the siege, to attend with 
demure aud instructed countenances to the unintelligible 
jargon of the " Medici " of their camp ; and men grew pale, 
as they listened, who had never been known to exhibit any 
symptoms of the disgraceful passion before their more 
acknowledged enemies. But when it became known that 
the ball was safely extracted, and the patient was pro- 
nounced convalescent, a calm succeeded, that was much 


more portentous to the human race than the preceding 
tempest ; and in a short time the daring practitioner was 
universally acknowledged to be the founder of a new 
theory. The degrees of M.D. were showered upon his 
honored head from half the learned bodies in Christendom, 
while many of his enthusiastic admirers and imitators be- 
came justly entitled to the use of the same magical sym- 
bols, as annexments to their patronymics, with the addition 
of the first letter in the alphabet. The ancient reasoning 
was altered to suit the modern facts, and before the war 
was ended, some thousands of the servants of the crown, 
arid not a few of the patriotic colonists, were thought to 
have died, scientifically, under the favor of this important 

We might devote a chapter to the minute promulgation 
of such an event, had not more recent philosophers long 
since upset the practice, (in which case the theory seems 
to fall, as a matter of course,) by a renewal of those bold 
adventures, which teach us, occasionally, something new 
in the anatomy of man ; as in the science of geography, 
sealers of New England have been able to discover Terra 
Australis, where Cook saw nothing but water ; or Parry 
finds veins and arteries in that part of the American con- 
tinent, which had so long been thought to consist of 
worthless cartilage. 

Whatever may have been the effects of the operation 
on the surgical science, it was healthful, in the first de- 
gree, to its subject. For seven weary months Lionel 
lay in a state in which he might be said to exist, instead 
of live, but little conscious of surrounding occurrences; 
and, happily for himself, nearly insensible to pain and 
anxiety. At moments the flame of life would apparently 
glimmer like the dying lamp, and then both the fears and 
hopes of his attendants were disappointed, as the patient 
dropped again into that state of apathy in which so much 
of his time was wasted. From an erroneous opinion of his 
master's sufferings, Meriton had been induced to make a 
free use of soporifics, and no small portion of Lionel's in- 
sensibility was produced by an excessive use of that laud- 
anum, for which he was indebted to the mistaken humanity 
of his valet. At the moment of the operation, the advent- 
urous surgeon had availed himself of the same stupefy- 
ing drug, and many days of dull, heavy, and alarming 
apathy succeeded, before his system, finding itself relieved 
from its unnatural inmate, resumed its healthful func- 


tions, and began to renew its powers. By a singular good 
fortune his leech was too much occupied by his own novel 
honors, to follow up his success, secundem artem, as a 
great general pushes a victory to the utmost ; and that 
matchless doctor, Nature, was permitted to complete the 

When the effects of the anodynes had subsided, the pa- 
tient found himself entirely free from uneasiness, and 
dropped into a sweet and refreshing sleep, that lasted for 
many hours without interruption. He awoke a new man ; 
with his body renovated, his head clear/ and his recollec- 
tions, though a little confused and wandering, certainly 
better than they had been since the moment when he fell 
in the melee on Breed's. This restoration to all the nobler 
properties of life occurred about the tenth hour of the 
day ; and as Lionel opened his eyes, with understanding 
in their expression, they fell upon the cheerfulness which 
a bright sun, assisted by the dazzling light of the masses 
of snow without, had lent to every object in his apartment. 
The curtains of the windows had been opened, and every 
article of the furniture was arranged with a neatness that 
manifested the studied care which presided over his illness. 
In one corner, it is true, Meriton had established himself 
in an easy-chair, with an arrangement of attitude which 
spoke more in favor of his consideration for the valet than 
the master, while he was comforting his faculties for a 
night of watchfulness, by the sweet, because stolen, slum- 
bers of the morning. 

A flood of recollections broke into the mind of Lionel 
together, and it was some little time before he could so far 
separate the true from the imaginary, as to attain a toler- 
ably clear comprehension of what had occurred in the little 
age he had been dozing. Raising himself on one elbow, 
without difficulty, he passed his hand once or twice slow- 
ly over his face, and then trusted his voice in a summons 
to his man. Meriton started at the well-known sounds, 
and after diligently rubbing his eyes, like one who awakes 
by surprise, he arose and gave the customary reply. 

" How now, Meriton ! " exclaimed Major Lincoln ; "you 
sleep as sound as a recruit on post, and 1 suppose you 
have been stationed like one, with twice-told orders to be 

The valet stood with open mouth, as if ready to devour 
his master's words with more senses than one, and then, as 
Lionel concluded, passed his hands in quick succession 


over his eyes as before, with a very different object, ere he 

" Thank God, sir, thank God ! you look like yourself 
once more, and we shall live again as we used to. Yes, 
yes, sir you'll do now you'll do this time. That's a mir- 
acle of a man, is the great Lon'non surgeon ! and now we 
shall go back to Soho, and live like civilizers. Thank God, 
sir, thank God ! you smile again, and I hope if anything 
should go wrong you'll soon be able to give me one of 
those awful looks that I am so used to, and which makes 
mv heart jump into my mouth, when I know I've been for- 
getful ! " 

The poor fellow, in whom long service had created a 
deep attachment to his master, which had been greatly in- 
creased by the solicitude of a nurse, was compelled to 
cease his unconnected expressions of joy, while he actu- 
ally wept. Lionel was too much affected by this evidence 
of feeling to continue the dialogue, for several minutes ; 
during which time he employed himself in putting on part 
of his attire, assisted by the gulping valet, when, drawing 
his robe-de-chambre around his person, he leaned on the 
shoulder of his man, and took the seat which the other had 
so recently quitted. 

" Well, well, Meriton, that will do," said Lionel, giving a 
deep hem, as though his breathing was obstructed ; " that 
will do, silly fellow ; I trust I shall live to give you many 
a frown, and some few guineas, yet. I have been shot, I 
know " 

"Shot, sir!" interrupted the valet "you have been 
downright and unlawfully murdered ! you were first shot, 
and then baggoneted, and after that a troop of horse rode 
over you. I had it from one of the Royal Irish, who lay 
by your side the whole time, and who now lives to tell of 
it a good honest fellow is Terence, and if such a thing 
was possible that your honor was poor enough to need a 
pension, he would cheerfully swear to your hurts at the 
King's Bench, or War-office ; Bridewell, or St. James', it's 
all one to the like of him." 

" I dare say, I dare say," said Lionel, smiling, though he 
mechanically passed his hand over his body, as his valet 
spoke of the bayonet "but the poor fellow must have 
transferred some of his own wounds to my person I own 
the bullet, but object to the cavalry and the steel." 

" No y sir, /own the bullet, and it shall be buried with 
me in my dressing-box, at the head of my grave," said 


Meriton, exhibiting the flattened bit of lead, exultingly, 
in the palm of his hand " it has been in my pocket these 
thirteen days, after tormenting your honor for six long 
months, hid in the what d'ye call 'em muscles, away be- 
hind the thingumy artery. But snug as it was, we got it 
out ! He is a miracle is the great Lon'non surgeon ! " 

Lionel reached over to his purse, which Meriton had 
placed regularly on the table, each morning, in order to 
remove it again at night, and, dropping several guineas in 
the hand of his valet, said 

" So much lead must need some gold to sweeten it. Put 
up the unseemly thing, and never let me see it again ! " 

Meriton coolly took the opposing metals, and after 
glancing his eyes at the guineas, with a readiness that em- 
braced their amount in a single look, he dropped them 
carelessly into one pocket, while he restored the lead to 
the other with an exceeding attention to its preservation. 
He then turned his hand to the customary duties of his 

" I remember well to have been in a light on the heights 
of Charlestown, even to the instant when I got my hurt," 
continued his master " and I even recollect many things 
that have occurred since ; a period which appears like a 
whole life to me. But after all, Meriton, I believe my 
ideas have not been remarkable for their clearness." 

" Lord, sir, you have talked to me, and scolded me, and 
praised me, a hundred and a hundred times over again ; 
but you have never scolded as sharp like as you can, nor 
have you ever spoken and looked as bright as you do this 
morning ! " 

" I am in the house of Mrs. Lechmere," again continued 
Lionel, examining the room "I know this apartment, and 
those private doors too well to be mistaken." 

"To be sure you are, sir; Madam Lechmere had you 
brought here from the field to her own house, and one of 
the best it is in Boston, too : and I expect that madam 
would somehow lose her title to it, if anything serious 
should happen to us ! " 

u Such as a bayonet, or a troop of horse ! but why do 
you fancy any such thing ? " 

" Because, sir, w r hen madam comes here of an afternoon, 
which she did daily, before she sickened, I heard her very 
often say to herself, if you should be so unfortunate as to 
die, there would be an end to all her hopes of her house." 

"Then it is Mrs. Lechmere who visits me daily," said 


Lionel, thoughtfully ; " I have recollections of a female 
form hovering around my bed, though I had supposed it 
more youthful and active than that of my aunt." 

" And you are quite right, sir you have had such a 
nurse the whole time as is seldom to be met with. For 
making a posset or a gruel, I'll match her with the oldest 
woman in the wards of Guy's ; and, to my taste, the best 
barkeeper at the Lon'non is a fool to her at a negus." 

" These are high accomplishments, indeed ! and who 
may be their mistress ? " 

" Miss Agnus, sir ; a rare good nurse is Miss Agnus 
Danforth ! though in point of regard to the troops, I 
shouldn't presume to call her at all distinguishable." 

"Miss Danforth," repeated Lionel, dropping his expect- 
ing eyes, in disappointment, from the face of Meriton to 
the floor " I hope she has not sustained all this trouble 
on my account alone. There are women enough in the 
establishment one would think such offices might be borne 
by the domestics in short, Meriton, was she without an 
assistant in all these little kindnesses ? " 

" / helped her, you know, sir, all I could ; though my 
neguses never touch the right spot, like Miss Agnus's." 

" One would think, by your account, that I have done 
little else than guzzle port wine for six months," said 
Lionel, pettishly. 

"Lord, sir, you wouldn't drink a thimbleful from a 
glass, often ; which I always took for a bad symptom ; for 
I'm certain 'twas no fault of the liquor, if it wasn't drunk." 

"Well, enough of your favorite beverage ! I sicken at 
the name already but, Meriton, have not others of my 
friends called to inquire after my fate ?" 

" Certainly, sir the commander-in-chief sends an aid or 
a servant every day ; and Lord Percy left his card more 

" Poh ! these are calls of courtesy ; but I have relatives 
in Boston Miss Dynevor, has she left the town ?" 

" No, sir," said the valet, very coolly resuming the duty 
of arranging the vials on the night-table ; " she is not 
much of a moving body, is that Miss Cecil." 

" She is not ill, I trust ?" demanded Lionel. 

" Lord, it goes through me, part joy and part fear, to 
hear you speak again so quick and brisk, sir ! No, she 
isn't downright ailing, but she hasn't the life and knowl- 
edge of things, as her cousin, Miss Agnus." 

" Why do you think so, fellow ? " 


" Because, sir, she is mopy, and don't turn her hand to 
any of the light lady's work'in the family. I have seen her 
sit in that very chair, where you are now, sir, for hours to- 
gether, without moving; unless it was some nervous start 
when you groaned, or breathed a little upward through 
your honor's nose I have taken it into my consideration, 
sir, that she poetizes ; at all events, she likes what I calls 
quietude ! " 

" Indeed ! " said Lionel, pursuing the conversation with 
an interest that would have struck a more observant man 
as remarkable "what reason have you for suspecting 
Miss Dynevor of manufacturing rhymes ?" 

" Because, sir, she has often a bit of paper in her hand ; 
and I have seen her read the same thing over and over 
again, till I'm sure she must know it by heart ; which your 
poetize rs always do with what they writes." 

" Perhaps it was a letter ?" cried Lionel, with a quick- 
ness that caused Meriton to drop a vial he was dusting, at 
the expense of its contents. 

" Bless me, master Lionel, how strong, and like old 
times you speak ! " 

" I believe I am amazed to find you know so much of 
the divine art, Meriton." 

" Practice makes perfect, you know, sir," said the 
simpering valet "I can't say I ever did much in that 
way, though I wrote some verses on a pet pig, as died 
down at Ravenscliffe, the last time we was there ; and I 
got considerable eclaw for a few lines on a vase which 
lady Bab's woman broke one day, in a scuffle when the 
foolish creature said as I wanted to kiss her ; though all 
that knows me, knows that I needn't break vases to get 
kisses from the like of her ! " 

"Very well," said Lionel; "some day, when I am 
stronger, I may like to be indulged with a perusal go 
now, Meriton, to the larder, and look about you ; I feel the 
symptoms x of returning health grow strong upon me." 

The gratified valet instantly departed, leaving his master 
to the musings of his own busy fancy/ 

Several minutes passed away before the young man 
raised his head from the hand that supported it, and then 
it was only done when he thought he heard a light foot- 
step near him. His ear had not deceived him, for Cecil 
Dynevor herself stood within a few feet of the chair, which 
concealed, in a great measure, his person from her view. 
It was apparent, by her attitude and her tread, that she 


expected to find ths sick where she had seen him last, and 
where, for so many dreary months, his listless form had 
been stretched in apathy. Lionel followed her graceful 
movements with his eyes, and as the airy band of her 
morning cap waved aside at her own breathing, he dis- 
covered the unnatural paleness that was seated on her 
speaking features. But when "she drew the folds of the 
bed-curtains, and missed the invalid, thought is not quicker 
than the motion with which she turned her light person 
towards the chair. Here she encountered the eyes of the 
young man, beaming on her with delight, and expressing 
all that animation and intelligence, to which they had so 
long been strangers. Yielding to the surprise and the 
gush of her feelings, Cecil flew to his feet, and clasping 
one of his extended hands in both her own, she cried 

" Lionel, dear Lionel, you are better ! God be praised, 
you look well again ! " 

Lionel gently extricated his hand from the warm and 
unguarded pressure of her soft fingers, and drew forth a 
paper which she had unconsciously committed to his keep- 

"This, dearest Cecil," he whispered to the blushing 
maiden, " this is my own letter, written when I knew my 
life to be at imminent hazard, and speaking the purest 
thoughts of my heart tell me, then, it has not been thus 
kept for nothing ? " 

Cecil dropped her face between her hands for a moment, 
in burning shame, and then, as all the emotions of the mo- 
ment crowded around her heart, she yielded to them as a 
woman, and burst into a paroxysm of tears. It is needless 
to dwell on those consoling and seducing speeches of the 
young man, which soon succeeded in luring his companion 
not only from her sobs, but even from her confusion, and 
permitted her to raise her beautiful countenance to his 
ardent gaze, bright and confiding as his fondest wishes 
could have made it. 

The letter of Lionel was too direct, not to save her 
pride, and it had been too often perused for a single sen- 
tence to be soon forgotten. Besides, Cecil had watched 
over his couch too fondly and too long, to indulge in any 
of those little coquetries which are sometimes met with in 
similar scenes. She said all that an affectionate, generous, 
and modest female would say on such an occasion ; and, it 
is certain, that, well as Lionel looked on waking, the little 
she uttered had the effect to improve his appearance tenfold. 


" And you received my letter on the morning after the 
battle ?" said Lionel, leaning fondly over her, as she still, 
unconsciously, kneeled by his side. 

" Yes yes it was your order that it should be sent to 
me only in case of your death ; but for more than a month 
you were numbered as among the dead by us all. Oh ! 
what a month was that ! " 

" Tis past, my sweet friend, and, God be praised, I may 
now look forward to health and happiness." 

" God be praised, indeed," murmured Cecil, the tears 
again rushing to her eyes " I would not live that month 
over again, Lionel, for all that this world can offer ! " 

" Dearest Cecil," he replied, " I can only repay this 
kindness and suffering on my account, by shielding you 
from the rude contact of the world, even as your father 
would protect you, were he again in being." 

She looked up in his face with all the .soul of a woman's 
confidence beaming in her eyes, as she answered 

" You will, Lincoln, I know you will you have sworn 
it, and I should be a wretch to doubt you." 

He drew her unresisting form into his .arms, and folded 
her to his bosom. In another moment a noise, like one 
ascending the stairs, was heard through the open door of 
the room, when all the feelings of her sex rushed to the 
breast of Cecil. She sprung on her feet, and, hardly al- 
lowing time to the delighted Lionel to note the burning 
tints that suffused her whole face, she darted from the room 
with the rapidity and lightness of an antelope. 


"Dead, fora ducat, dead." Hamlet. 

WHILE Lionel was in the confusion of feeling produced 
by the foregoing scene, the intruder, after a prelude of 
singularly heavy and loud steps, on the floor, as if some 
one approached on crutches, entered by a door opposite to 
the one through which Cecil had so suddenly vanished. 
At the next moment the convalescent was saluted by the 
full, cheerful voice of his visitor 

" God bless you, Leo, and bless the whole of us, for we 
need it," cried Polwarth, eagerly advancing to grasp the 
extended hands of his friend. " Meriton has told me that 


you have got the true mark of health a good appetite 
at last. I should have broken my neck in hurrying up to 
wish you joy on the moment, but I just stepped into the 
kitchen, without Mrs. Lechmere's leave, to show her cook 
how to broil the steak they are warming through for you 
a capital thing after a long nap, and full of nutriment 
God bless you, my dear Leo ; the look of your bright eye 
is as stimulating to my spirits as a West-India pepper is to 
the stomach." 

Polwarth ceased shaking the hands of his reanimated 
friend, as with a husky voice he concluded, and turning 
aside under the pretence of reaching a chair, he dashed his 
hand before his eyes, gave aloud hem, and took his seat in 
silence. During the performance of this evolution, Lionel 
had leisure to observe the altered person of the captain. 
His form, though still rotund, and even corpulent, was 
much reduced in dimensions, while, in the place of one of 
those lower members, with which nature furnishes the 
human race, he had been compelled to substitute a leg of 
wood, somewhat inartificially made, and roughly shod with 
iron. This last sad alteration, in particular, attracted the 
look of Major Lincoln, who continued to gaze at it with 
glistening eyes, for some time after the other had estab- 
lished himself, to his entire satisfaction, in one of the 
cushioned seats of the apartment. 

" I see my frame-work has caught your eye, Leo," said 
Polwarth, raising the wooden substitute with an air of 
affected indifference, and tapping it lightly with his cane. 
" 'Tis not as gracefully cut, perhaps, as if it had been 
turned from the hand of master Phidias ; but in a place 
like Boston, it is an invaluable member, inasmuch as it 
knows neither hunger nor cold ! " 

"The Americans, then, press the town," said Lionel, 
glad to turn the subject, " and maintain the siege with 
vigor ? " 

" They have kept us in horrible bodily terror, ever since 
the shallow waters toward the main-land have been frozen, 
and opened a path directly into the heart of the place. 
Their Virginian generalissimo, Washington, appeared a 
short time after the affair over on the other peninsula (a 
cursed business that, Leo ! ), and with him came all the 
trimmings of a large army. Since that time they have 
worn a more military front, though little else has been 
done, excepting an occasional skirmish, but cooping us 
up, like so many uneasy pigeons, in our rage." 


''And Gage chafes not at the confinement?" 

" Gage ! we sent him off like the soups, months ago. 
No, no the moment the ministry discovered that we had 
come to our forks, in good earnest, they chose black Billy 
to preside : and now we stand at bay with the rebels, who 
have already learnt that our leader is not a child at the 
grand entertainment of war." 

" Yes, seconded by such men as Clinton and Burgoyne, 
and supported by the flower of our troops, the position 
can be easily maintained." 

" No position can be easily maintained, Major Lincoln," 
said Polwarth, promptly, " in the face of starvation, both 
internal and external." 

" And is the case so desperate ? " 

" Of that you shall judge yourself, my friend. When 
Parliament shut the port of Boston, the colonies were 
filled with grumblers ; and now we have opened it, and 
would be glad to see their supplies, the devil a craft enters 
the harbor willingly. Ah ! Meriton, you have the steak, I 
see ; put it here, where your master can have it at his 
elbow, and bring another plate I breakfasted but indiffer- 
ently well this morning. So we are thrown completely on 
our own resources. But the rebels do not let us enjoy 
even them in peace. This thing is done to a turn how 
charmingly the blood follows the knife ! They have gone 
so far as to equip privateers, who cut off our necessaries, 
and he is a lucky man who can get a meal like the one 
before us." 

" I had not thought the power of the Americans could 
have forced matters to such a pass." 

"What I have mentioned, though of vital importance, is 
not half. If a man is happy enough to obtain the materi- 
als for a good dish you should have rubbed an onion 
over these plates, Mr. Meriton he don't know where he is 
to find fuel to cook it withal." 

" Looking at the comforts with which I am surrounded, 
my good friend, I cannot but fancy your imagination 
heightens the distress." 

" Fancy no such silly thing ; for when you get abroad, 
you will find it but too exact. In the article of food, if we 
are not reduced, like the men of Jerusalem, to eating one 
another, we are, half the time, rather worse off, being en- 
tirely destitute of wholesome nutriment. Let but an 
unlucky log float by the town, among the ice, and go forth 
and witness the struggling and skirmishing between the 


Yankees and our frozen fingers for its possession, and you 
will become a believer ! 'Twill be lucky if the water-soaked 
relic of some wharf should escape without a cannonade ! 
I don't tell you these things as a grumbler, Leo ; for, thank 
God, I have only half as many toes as other men, to keep 
warmth in ; and as for eating, a little will suffice for me, 
now my corporeal establishment is so sadly reduced." 

Lionel paused in melancholy, as his friend attempted to 
jest at his misfortune, and then, by a very natural transi- 
tion, for a young man in his situation, he proudly ex- 

" But we gained the day, Polvvarth ! and drove the rebels 
from their entrenchments, like chaff before a whirlwind ! " 

" Humph ! " ejaculated the captain, laying his wooden 
leg carefully over its more valuable fellow, and regarding 
it ruefully, while he spoke " had we made a suitable use 
of the bounties of nature, and turned their position, instead 
of running into the jaws of the beast, many might have 
left the field better supplied with appurtenances than are 
some among us at present. But dark William loves a 
brush, they say, and he enjoyed it, on that occasion, to his 
heart's content." 

" He must be grateful to Clinton for his timely pres- 
ence ! " 

" Does the devil delight in martyrdom ? The presence 
of a thousand rebels w^ould have been more welcome, even 
at that moment ; nor has he smiled once on his good- 
natured assistant, since he thrust himself, in that unwel- 
come manner, between him and his enemy. We had enough 
to think of, with our dead and wounded, and in maintain- 
ing our conquest, or something more than black looks and 
unkind eyes would have followed the deed." 

" I fear to inquire into the fortunes of the field, so many 
names of worth must be numbered in the loss." 

" Twelve or fifteen hundred men are not to be knocked 
on the head out of such an army, and all the clever fellows 
escape. Gage, I know r , calls the loss something like eleven 
hundred ; but, after vaporing so much about the Yankees, 
their prowess is not to be acknowledged in its bloom at 
once. A man seldom goes on one leg, but he halts a little 
at first, as I can say from experience put down thirteen, 
Leo, as a medium, and you'll not miscalculate largely- 
yes, indeed, there were some brave young men amongst 
them ! those rascally light-footed gentry, that I gave up so 
opportunely, were finely peppered and there were the 


Fusileers had hardly men enough left to saddle their 
goat ! " * 

" And the marines ! they must have suffered heavily ; I 
saw Pitcairn fall before me ; " said Lionel, speaking with 
hesitation " I greatly fear our old comrade, the grenadier, 
did not escape with better fortune." 

" Mac ! " exclaimed Polwarth, casting a furtive glance at 
his companion. " Ay, Mac was not as lucky in that busi- 
ness as he was in Germany he-em Mac had an obsti- 
nate way with him, Leo, a damn'd obstinate fellow in all 
military matters ; but as generous a heart, and as free in 
sharing a mess-bill as any man in his majesty's service ! I 
crossed the river in the same boat with him, and he enter- 
tained us with his queer thoughts on the art of war. Ac- 
cording to Mac's notions of things, the grenadiers were 
to do all the fighting a damn'd odd way with him had 
Mac ! " 

" There are few of us without peculiarities, and I could 
wish that none of them were more offensive than the tri- 
fling prejudices of poor Dennis M'Fuse." 

" Yes, yes," added Polwarth, hemming violently, as if de- 
termined to clear his throat at every hazard ; " he was a 
little opinionated in trifles, such as a knowledge of war, 
and matters of discipline ; but in all important things as 
tractable as a child. He loved his joke, but it was impossi- 
ble to have a less difficult or a more unpretending palate 
in one's mess! The greatest evil I can wish him is breath 
in his body, to live and enjoy, in these hard times, when 
things become excellent by comparison, the sagacious 
provision which his own ingenuity contrived to secure 
out of the cupidity of our ancient landlord, Mister Seth 

" Then that notable scheme did not entirely fall to the 
ground," said Lionel, with a feverish desire to change the 
subject once more. " I had thought the Americans were 
too vigilant to admit the intercourse." 

" Seth has been too sagacious to permit them to obstruct 
it. The prices acted like a soporific on his conscience, 
and by using your name, I believe, he has found some 
friend of sufficient importance amongst the rebels to pro- 
tect him in his trade. His supplies make their appearance 

* This regiment, in consequence of some tradition, kept a goat, with 
gilded horns, as a memorial. Once a year it celebrated a festival, in which 
the bearded quadruped acted a conspicuous part. In the battle of Bun- 
ker Hill, the corps was distinguished alike for ite courage and its losses 


twice a week as regularly as the meats follow the soups in 
a well-ordered banquet." 

" You then can communicate with the country, and the 
country with the town ! Although Washington may wink 
at the proceeding, I should fear the scowl of Howe." 

" Why, in order to prevent suspicions of unfair practices, 
and at the same time to serve the cause of humanity, so 
the explanation reads, you know, our sapient host has seen 
fit to employ a fool as his agent in the intercourse a fel- 
low, as you may remember, of some notoriety ; a certain 
simpleton, who calls himself Job Pray," 

Lionel continued silent for many moments, during which 
time his recollections began to revive, and his thoughts 
glanced over the scenes that occurred in the first months 
of his residence in Boston. It is quite possible that a pain- 
ful, though still general and indefinite feeling mingled 
with his musings ; for he evidently strove to expel some 
such unwelcome intruder, as he resumed the discourse 
with a strong appearance of forced gayety. 

" Ay, ay, I well remember poor Job a fellow once 
seen and known, not easily to be forgotten. He used, "of 
old, to attach himself greatly to my person, but I suppose, 
like the rest of the world, I am neglected when in retire- 

"You do the lad injustice ; he not only makes frequent 
inquiries, after his slovenly manner I acknowledge, con- 
cerning your condition, but sometimes he seems better in- 
formed in the matter than myself, and can requite my fre- 
quent answers to his questions, by imparting, instead of 
receiving, intelligence of your improvement ; more es- 
pecially since the ball has been extracted." 

" That should be very singular, too," said Lionel, with a 
still more thoughtful brow. 

" Not so very remarkable, Leo, as one would at first im- 
agine," interrupted his companion " the lad is not want- 
ing in sagacity, as he manifested by his choice of dishes at 
our old mess-table. Ah ! Leo, Leo, we may see many a 
discriminating palate, but where shall we go to find an- 
other such a friend ! one who could eat and joke drink 
and quarrel with a man, in a breath, like poor Dennis, who 
is gone from among us forever ! There was a piquancy 
about poor Mac, that acted on the dulness of life like con- 
diments on the natural appetite ! " 

Meriton, who was diligently brushing his master's coat, 
an office that he performed daily, though the garment had 


not been worn in so long a period, stole a glance at the 
averted eye of the major, and understanding its expression 
to indicate a determined silence, he ventured to maintain 
the discourse in his own unworthy person. 

"Yes, sir, a nice gentleman was Captain M'Fuse, and 
one as fought as stoutly for the king as any gentleman in 
the army, all agrees. It was a thousand pities such a fine 
figure of a man hadn't a better idea of dress ; it isn't all, 
sir, as is gifted in that way ! But every body says he's a 
detrimental loss, though there's some officers in town, who 
consider so little how to wear their ornaments, that if they 
were to be shot, I am sure no one would miss them." 

"Ah ! Meriton," cried the full-hearted Polwarth, "I see 
you are a youth of more observation than I had suspected ! 
Mac had all the seeds of a man in him, though some of 
them might not have come to maturity. There was a flavor 
in his humor, that served as a relish to every conversation 
in which he mingled. Did you serve the poor fellow up 
in handsome style, Meriton, for his last worldly exhibi- 
tion ? " 

"Yes, indeed, sir, we gave him as ornamental a funeral 
as can be seen out of Lon'non. Besides the Royal Irish, 
all the grenadiers was out ; that is, all as wasn't hurt, 
which was near half of them. As I knowed the regard 
Master Lionel had for the captain, I dressed him with my 
own hands I trimmed his whiskers, sir, and altered his 
hair more in front, and seeing that his honor was getting 
a little gray, T threw on a sprinkling of powder, and as 
handsome a corpse was Captain M'Fuse as any gentleman 
in the army, let the other be who he may ! " 

The eyes of Polwarth twinkled, and he blew his nose 
with a noise not unlike the sound of a clarion, ere he re- 

" Yes, yes, time and hardships had given a touch of frost 
to the head of the poor fellow ; but it is a consolation to 
know that he died like a soldier, and not by the hands of 
that vulgar butcher, Nature ; and that, being dead, he was 
removed according to his deserts ! " 

" Indeed, sir," said Meriton, with a solemnity worthy of 
the occasion, "we gave him a great procession a great 
deal can be made out of his majesty's uniform, on such 
festivities, and it had a wonderful look about it ! Did you 
speak, sir ?" 

"Yes " added Lionel, impatiently ; " remove the cloth 
and go inquire if there be letters for me." 


The valet submissively obeyed, and after a short pause 
the dialogue was resumed by the gentlemen on subjects of 
a less painful nature. 

As Pohvarth was exceedingly communicative, Lionel 
soon obtained a very general, and, to do the captain suit- 
able justice, an extremely impartial account of the situation 
of the hostile forces, as well as of all the leading events 
that had transpired since the day of Breed's. Once or 
twice the invalid ventured an allusion to the spirit of the 
rebels, and to the unexpected energy they had discovered ; 
but Polwarth heard them all in silence, answering only by 
a melancholy smile, and, in the last instance, by a signifi- 
cant gesture toward his unnatural supporter. Of course, 
after this touching acknowledgment of his former error, 
his friend waived the subject for others less personal. 

He learned that the royal general maintained his hardly- 
earned conquest on the opposite peninsula, where he was 
as effectually beleaguered, however, as in the town of 
Boston itself. In the meantime, while the war was con- 
ducted in earnest at the point where it commenced, hos- 
tilities had broken out in every one of those colonies, south 
of the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes, where the pres- 
ence of the royal troops invited an appeal to force. At 
first, while the colonists acted under the impulses of the 
high enthusiasm of a sudden rising, they had been every- 
where successful. A general army had been organized, as 
already related, and divisions w r ere employed at different 
points to eifect those conquests, which, in that early state 
of the struggle, were thought to be important to the main 
result. But the effects of their imperfect means and di- 
vided power were already becoming visible. After a series 
of minor victories, Montgomery had fallen in a most des- 
perate but unsuccessful attempt to carry the impregnable 
fortress of Quebec ; and ceasing to be the assailants, the 
Americans were gradually compelled to collect their re- 
sources to meet that mighty effort of the crown, which was 
known to be not far distant. As thousands of their fellow- 
subjects in the mother country manifested a strong repug- 
nance to the war, the ministry so far submitted to the 
influence of that free spirit, which first took deep root in 
Britain, as to turn their eyes to those states of Europe, 
who made a trade in human life, in quest of mercenaries to 
quell the temper of the colonists. In consequence, the 
fears of the timid among the Americans were excited by 
rumors of the vast hordes of Russians and Germans, who 


were to be poured into their country, with the fell intent 
to make them slaves. Perhaps no step of their enemies 
had a greater tendency to render them odious in the eyes of 
the Americans, than this measure of introducing foreigners 
to decide a quarrel purely domestic. So long as none but 
men who had been educated in those acknowledged prin- 
ciples of justice and law, known to both people, w r ere 
admitted to the contest, there \vere visible points, common 
to each, which might render the struggle less fierce, and in 
time lead to a permanent reconciliation. But they reasoned 
not inaptly, when they asserted, that in a contest rendered 
triumphant by slaves, nothing but abject submission could 
ensue to the conquered. It was like throwing away the 
scabbard, and, by abandoning reason, submitting the result 
to the sword alone. In addition to the estrangement these 
measures were gradually increasing between the people of 
the mother-country and the colonies, must be added the 
change it produced among the latter in their habits of 
regarding the person of their prince. 

During the whole of the angry discussion, and the 
recriminations, which preceded the drawing of blood, the 
colonists had admitted, to the fullest extent, not only in 
their language, but in their feelings, that fiction of the 
British law, which says "the king can do no wrong." 
Throughout the wide extent of an empire, on which the 
sun was never known to set, the English monarch could 
boast of no subjects more devoted to his family and person 
than the men who now stood in arms against what they 
honestly believed to be the unconstitutional encroach- 
ments of his power. Hitherto the whole weight of their 
resentment had justly fallen on the advisers of the prince, 
who himself was thought to be ignorant, as he was prob- 
ably innocent, of the abuses so generally practised in his 
name. But as the contest thickened, the natural feelings 
of the man were thought to savor of the political acts he 
was required to sanction with his name. It was soon 
whispered, among those who had the best means of in- 
telligence, that the feelings of the sovereign \vere deeply 
interested in the maintenance of what he deemed his pre- 
rogative, and the ascendancy of that body of the repre- 
sentatives of his empire, which he met in person and 
influenced by his presence. Ere long this opinion was 
rumored abroad, and as the minds of men began to loosen 
from their ancient attachments and prejudices, they con- 
founded, by a, very natural feeling, the head with the mem- 


bers ; forgetting that " Liberty and Equality" formed no 
part of the trade of princes. The name of the monarch 
was daily falling into disrepute ; and as the colonial writers 
ventured to allude more freely to his person and power, 
the glimmerings of that light were seen, which was a pre- 
cursor of the rise of "the stars of the west" among the 
national symbols of the earth. Until then, few had thought, 
and none had ventured to speak openly, of independence, 
though events had been silently preparing the colonists for 
such a final measure. 

Allegiance to the prince was the last and only tie to be 
severed ; for the colonies already governed themselves in 
all matters, whether of internal or foreign policy, as effect- 
ually as any people could, whose right to do so was not 
generally acknowledged. But as the honest nature of 
George III. admitted of no disguise, mutual disgust and 
alienation were the natural consequences of the reaction 
of sentiment between the prince and his western people.* 

All this, and much more of minute detail, was hastily 
commented on by Polwarth, who possessed, in the midst 
of his epicurean propensities, sterling good sense, and 
great integrity of intention. Lionel was chiefly a listener, 
nor did he cease the greedy and interesting employment 
until warned by his weakness, and the stroke of a neigh- 
boring clock, that he was trespassing too far on prudence. 
His friend then assisted the exhausted invalid to his bed, 
and after giving him a world of good advice, together with 
a warm pressure of the hand, he stumped his way out of 
the room, with a noise that brought, at every tread, an 
echo from the heart of Major Lincoln. 


"God never meant that man should scale the heavens 
By strides of human wisdom." COWPER. 

A VERY few days of gentle exercise in the bracing air of 
the season, were sufficient to restore the strength of the in- 
valid, whose wounds had healed while he lay slumbering 
under the influence of. the anodynes prescribed by his 

* NOTE. The prejudices of the King of England were unavoidable in 
his insulated situation, but his virtues and integrity were exclusively the 
property of the man. His speech to our first minister after the peace can- 
not be too otten recorded. "I was the last man in my kingdom to 
acknowledge your independence, and I shall be the last to violate it." 

I A 


leech. Polwarth, in consideration of the dilapidated state 
of his own limbs, together with the debility of Lionel, had 
so far braved the ridicule of the army, as to set up one of 
th6se comfortable and easy conveyances, which, in the 
good old times of colonial humility, were known by the 
quaint and unpretending title of tom-pungs. To equip 
this establishment, he had been compelled to impress one 
of the fine hunters of his friend. The animal had been 
taught, by virtue of much training from his groom, aided 
a little, perhaps, by the low state of the garners of the 
place, to amble through the snow as quietly as if he were 
conscious of the altered condition of his master's health. 
In this safe vehicle the two gentlemen might be seen daily, 
gliding along the upper streets of the town, and moving 
through the winding paths of the common, receiving the 
congratulations of their friends ; or, in their turn, visiting 
others, who, like themselves, had been wounded in the 
murderous battle of the preceding summer, but who, less 
fortunate than they, w r ere still compelled to submit to the 
lingering confinement of their quarters. 

It was not difficult to persuade Cecil and Agnes to join 
in many of their short excursions, though no temptation 
could induce the latter to still the frown that habitually set- 
tled on her beautiful brow, whenever chance or intention 
brought them in contact with any of the gentlemen of the 
army. Miss Dynevor was, however, much more conciliat- 
ing in her deportment, and even, at times, so gracious as 
to incur the private reproaches of her friend. 

" Surely, Cecil, you forget how much our poor country- 
men are suffering in their miserable lodgings without the 
town, or you would be less prodigal of your condescen- 
sion to these butterflies of the army," cried Agnes, pet- 
tishly, while they were uncloaking after one of these rides, 
during which the latter thought her cousin had lost sight 
of that tacit compact, by which most of the women of the 
colonies deemed themselves bound to exhibit their fem- 
inine resentments to their invaders. "Were a chief from 
our own army presented to you, he could not have been 
received in a sweeter manner than you bestowed your 
smile to-day on that Sir Digby Dent ! " 

" I can say nothing in favor of its sweetness, my acid 
cousin, but that Sir Digby Dent is a gentleman 

" A gentleman ! yes so is every Englishman who wears 
a scarlet coat, and knows how to play off his airs in the 
colonies ! " 


"And as I hope I have some claims to be called a lady," 
continued Cecil, quietly, " I do not know why, in the little 
intercourse \ve have, I should be rude to him." 

"Cecil Dynevor !" exclaimed Agnes, with a sparkling 
eye, and with a woman's intuitive perception of the other's 
motives, "all Englishmen are not Lionel Lincolns." 

"Nor is Major Lincoln an Englishman," returned Cecil, 
laughing, while she blushed ; " though I have reason to 
think that Captain Polwarth may be." 

" Silly, child, silly ; the poor man has paid the penalty 
of his offence, and is to be regarded w r ith pity." 

" Have a care, my coz. Pity is one of a large connec- 
tion of gentle feelings ; when you once admit the first-born, 
you may leave open your doors to the whole family." 

" Now that is exactly the point in question, Cecil be- 
cause you esteem Major Lincoln, you are willing to ad- 
mire Howe and all his myrmidons ; but I can pity, and 
still be firm." 

" Le bon temps viendra ! " 

" Never," interrupted Agnes, with a warmth that pre- 
vented her perceiving how much she admitted " never, at 
least under the guise of a scarlet coat." 

Cecil smiled, but having completed her toilet, she with- 
drew without making any reply. 

Such little discussions, enlivened more or less by the 
peculiar spirit of Agnes, were of frequent occurrence, 
though the eye of her cousin became daily more thought- 
ful, and the indifference with which she listened was more 
apparent in each succeeding dialogue. 

In the meantime, the affairs of the siege, though con- 
ducted with extreme caution, amounted only to a vigilant 

The Americans lay by thousands in the surrounding 
villages, or were hutted in strong bands nigh the batteries 
which commanded the approaches to the place. Notwith- 
standing their means had been greatly increased by the 
capture of several vessels, loaded with warlike stores, as 
well as by the reduction of two important fortresses to- 
ward the Canadian frontiers, they were still too scanty to 
admit of that wasteful expenditure, which is the usual ac- 
companiment of war. In addition to their necessities, as 
a reason for forbearance, might also be mentioned the 
feelings of the colonists, who were anxious, in mercy to 
themselves, to regain their town as little injured as possible. 
On the other hand, the impression made by the battle of 


Bunker Hill was still so vivid as to curb the enterprise oi 
the royal commanders, and Washington had been permit- 
ted to hold their powerful forces in check, by an untrained 
and half-armed multitude, that was, at times, absolutely 
destitute of the means of maintaining even a momentary 

As, however, a show of hostilities was maintained, the 
reports of cannon were frequently heard, and there were 
days when skirmishes between the advance parties of the 
two hosts brought on more heavy firings, which continued 
for longer periods. The ears of the ladies had long been 
accustomed to these rude sounds, and as the trifling loss 
which followed was altogether confined to the outworks, 
they were listened to with but little or no terror. 

In this mariner a fortnight flew swiftly away, without an 
incident to be related. One fine morning, at the end of 
that period, Polwarth drove into the little court-yard of 
Mrs. Lechmere's residence, with all those knowing flour- 
ishes he could command, and which, in the year 1775, were 
thought to indicate the greatest familiarity with the prop- 
erties of atom-pung. In another minute his wooden mem- 
ber was heard in the passage, timing his steps, as he ap- 
proached the room where the rest of the party were waiting 
his appearance. The two cousins stood wrapped in furs, 
with their smiling faces blooming beneath double rows of 
lace to soften the pictures, while Major Lincoln was in the 
act of taking his cloak from Meriton, as the door opened 
for the admission of the captain. 

"What, already dished!" exclaimed the good-natured 
Polwarth, glancing his eyes from one to the other "so 
much the better ; punctuality is the true leaven of life a 
good watch is as necessary to the guest as the host, and to 
the host as his cook. Miss Agnes, you are amazingly mur- 
derous to-day ! If Howe expects his subalterns to do their 
duty, he should not suffer you to go at large in his camp." 

The fine eye of Miss Danforth sparkled as he proceeded, 
but happening to fall on his mutilated person, its expres- 
sion softened, and she was content with answering with a 

" Let your general look to himself ; I seldom go abroad 
but to espy his weakness ! " 

The captain gave an expressive shrug of his shoulder, 
and turning aside to his friend, said in an undertone 

"You see how it is, Major Lincoln ; ever since I have 
been compelled to serve myself up, like a turkey from 


yesterday's dinner, with a single leg, I have not been able 
to get a sharp reply from the young woman she has grown 
an even-tempered, tasteless morsel ! and I am like a two- 
prong fork ; only fit for carving! well, I care not how soon 
they cut me up entirely, since she has lost her piquancy 
but shall we to the church ? " 

Lionel looked a little embarrassed, and fingered a paper 
he held in his hand, for a moment, before he handed it to 
the other for his perusal. 

"What have we here?" continued Polwarth " * Two 
officers, wounded in the late battle, desire to return thanks 
for their recovery ' hum hum hum two ? yourself, 
and who is the other ? " 

" I had hoped it would be my old companion and school- 
fellow ? " 

" Ha! what, me!" exclaimed the captain, unconsciously 
elevating his wooden leg, and examining it with a rueful 
eye " umph ! Leo, do you think a man has a particular 
reason to be grateful for the loss of a leg ? " 

" It might have been worse 

" I don't know," interrupted Polwarth, a little obsti- 
nately "there would have been more symmetry in it, if it 
had been both." 

" You forget your mother," continued Lionel, as though 
the other had not spoken ; " I am very sure it will give 
her heart-felt pleasure." 

Polwarth gave a loud hem, rubbed his hand over his face 
once or twice, gave another furtive glance at his solitary 
limb, and then answered with a little tremor in his voice 

" Yes, yes I believe you are quite right a mother can 
love her child, though he should be chopped into mince- 
meat ! The sex get that generous feeling after they are 
turned of forty it's your young woman that is particular 
about proportions and correspondents." 

" You consent, then, that Meriton shall hand in the re- 
quest, as it reads ? " 

Polwarth hesitated a single instant longer, and then, as 
he remembered his distant mother, (for Lionel had touched 
the right chord,) his heart melted within him. 

" Certainly, certainly it might have been worse as it 
was with poor Dennis ay, let it pass for two ; it shall go 
hard, but I find a knee to bend on the occasion. Per- 
haps, Leo, when a certain young lady sees I can have a 
' Te Deum ' for my adventure she may cease to think me 
such an object of pity as at present." 


Lionel bowed in silence, and the captain, turning to 
Agnes, conducted her to the sleigh with a particularly 
lofty air, that he intended should indicate his perfect su- 
periority to the casualties of war. Cecil took the arm of 
Major Lincoln, and the whole party were soon seated in 
the vehicle that was in waiting. 

Until this day, which was the second Sunday since his 
reappearance, and the first on which the weather permitted 
him to go abroad, Lionel had no opportunity to observe 
the altered population of the town. The inhabitants had 
gradually left the place, some clandestinely, and others 
under favor of passes from the royal general, until those 
who remained were actually outnumbered by the army 
and its dependents. As the party approached the " King's 
Chapel," the street was crowded by military men, col- 
lected in groups, who indulged in thoughtless merriment, 
reckless of the wounds their light conversation inflicted on 
the few townsmen, who might be seen moving towards 
the church, with deportments suited to the solemnity of 
their purpose, and countenances severely chastened by a 
remembrance of the day, and its serious duties. Indeed, 
so completely had Boston lost that distinctive appearance 
of sobriety, which had ever been the care and pride of its 
people, in the levity of a garrison, that even the immediate 
precincts of the temple were not protected from the passing 
jest or rude mirth of the gay and unreflecting, at an hour 
when a quiet was wont to settle on the whole province, as 
deep as if Nature had ceased her ordinary functions to 
unite in the worship of man. Lionel observed the change 
with mortification, nor did it escape his uneasy glances, 
that his two female companions concealed their faces in 
their muffs, as if to exclude a view that brought still more 
painful recollections to minds early trained in the reflecting 
habits of the country. 

When the sleigh drew up before the edifice, a dozen 
hands were extended to assist the ladies in their short but 
difficult passage into the heavy portico. Agnes coldly 
bowed her acknowledgments, observing, with an extremely 
equivocal smile, to one of the most assiduous of the young 

" We, who are accustomed to the climate, find no diffi- 
culty in walking on ice, though to you foreigners it may 
seem so hazardous." She then bowed, and walked gravely 
into the bosom of the church, without deigning to bestow 
another glance to her right hand or her left. 


The manner of Cecil, though more chastened and femi- 
nine, and consequently more impressive, was equally re- 
served. Like her cousin, she proceeded directly to her 
pew, repulsing the attempts of those who wished to detain 
her a moment in idle discourse, by a lady-like propriety 
that checked the advance of all who approached her. In 
consequence of the rapid movement of their companions, 
Lionel and Polwarth were left among the crowd of officers 
who thronged the entrance of the church. The former 
moved up within the colonnade, and passed from group to 
group, answering and making the customary inquiries of 
men engaged in the business of war. Here, three or four 
veterans were clustered about one of those heavy columns, 
that were arranged in formidable show on three faces of 
the building, discussing, with becoming gravity, the politi- 
cal signs of the times, or the military condition of their 
respective corps. There, three or four unfledged boys, 
tricked in all the vain emblems of their profession, im- 
peded the entrance of the few women who appeared under 
the pretence of admiration for the sex, while they secretly 
dwelt on the glitter of their own ornaments. Scattered 
along the whole extent of the entrance were other little 
knots ; some listening to the idle tale of a professed jester, 
some abusing the land in which it was their fate to serve, 
and others recounting the marvels they had witnessed in 
distant climes, and in scenes of peril which beggared their 
utmost powers of description. 

Among such a collection it was not difficult, however, to 
find a few whose views were more elevated, and whose de- 
portment might be termed less offensive, either to breeding 
or principles. With one of the gentlemen of the latter 
class Lionel was held for some time in discourse, in a dis- 
tant part of the portico. At length the sounds of the 
organ were heard issuing from the church, and the gay 
parties began to separate, like men suddenly reminded why 
they were collected in that unusual place. The companion 
of Major Lincoln had left him, and he was himself follow- 
ing along the colonnade, which was now but thinly peo- 
pled, when his ear was saluted by a low voice, singing in 
a sort of nasal chant at his very elbow 

" Woe unto you, Pharisees ! for ye love the uppermost 
seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the market!" 

Though Lionel had not heard the voice since the echoing 
cry had issued out of the fatal redoubt, he knew its first 
tones on the instant. Turning at this singular denuncia- 


tion, he beheld Job Pray, erect and immovable as a statue, 
in one of the niches, in front of the building, whence he 
gave forth his warning voice, like some oracle speaking to 
its devotees. 

" Fellow, will no peril teach you wisdom ! " demanded 
Lionel " how dare you brave our resentment so wan- 
tonly ?" 

But his questions were unheeded. The young man, 
whose features looked pale and emaciated, as if he had en- 
dured recent bodily disease, whose eye was glazed and 
vacant, and whose whole appearance was more squalid and 
miserable than usual, appeared perfectly indifferent to all 
around him. Without even altering the riveted gaze of 
his unmeaning eye, he continued 

" Woe unto you ! for ye neither go in yourselves ; neither 
suffer ye them that are entering to go in ! " 

"Art deaf, fool!" demanded Lionel. 

In an instant the eye of the other was turned on his in- 
terrogator, and Major Lincoln felt a thrill pass through 
him, when he met the wild gleam of intelligence that 
lighted the countenance of the changeling, as he continued, 
in the same ominous tones 

" Whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in 
danger of the council ; but whosoever shall say, Thou 
fool, is in danger of hell-fire." 

For a moment Lionel stood as if spellbound, by the 
manner of Job, while he uttered this dreadful anathema. 
But the instant the secret influence ceased, he tapped the 
lad lightly with his cane, and bid him descend from the 

" Job's a prophet," returned the other, dishonoring his 
declaration at the same time, by losing the singular air of 
momentary intelligence, in his usual appearance of mental 
imbecility "it's wicked to strike a prophet. The Jews 
stoned the prophets, and beat them too." 

" Do then as I bid you would you stay here to be beaten 
by the soldiers ? Go now, away ; after service come to me, 
and I will furnish you with a better coat than the garment 
your wear." 

" Did you never read the good book," said Job, " where 
it tells how you mus'n't take heed for food nor raiment ? 
Nab says when Job dies he'll go to heaven, for he gets 
nothing to wear, and but little to eat. Kings wear their 
di'mond crowns and golden flauntiness ; and kings always 
go to the dark place." 


The lad suddenly ceased, and crouching into the very 
bottom of his niche, he began to play with his fingers, like 
an infant amused with the power of exercising its own 
members. At the same moment Lionel turned from him, 
attracted by the rattling of side-arms, and the tread of 
many feet behind him. A large party of officers, belong- 
ing to the staff of the army, had paused to listen to what 
was passing. Amongst them Lionel recognized, at the 
first glance, two of the chieftains, who, a little in advance 
of their attendants, were keenly eying the singular being 
that was squatted in the niche. Notwithstanding his sur- 
prise, Major Lincoln detected the scowl that impended 
over the dark brow of the commander-in-chief, while he 
bowed low, in deference to his rank. 

'Who is this fellow, that dare condemn the mighty of 
the earth to such sweeping perdition?" demanded Howe 
"his own sovereign amongst the number ! " 

" Tis an unfortunate being, wanting in intellect, with 
whom accident has made me acquainted," returned Major 
Lincoln ; "who hardly knows what lie utters, and least of 
all in whose presence he has been speaking." 

" It is to such idle opinions, which are conceived by the 
designing, and circulated by the ignorant, that we may 
ascribe the wavering allegiance of the colonies," said the 
British general. " I hope you can answer for the loyalty 
of your singular acquaintance, Major Lincoln ?" 

Lionel was about to reply, with some little spirit, when 
the companion of the frowning chief suddenly exclaimed 

" By the feats of the feathered Hermes, but this is the 
identical Merry Andrew who took the flying leap from 
Copp's, of which I have already spoken to you. Am I in 
error, Lincoln ? Is not this the shouting philosopher, 
whose feelings were so elevated on the day of Breed's, 
that he could not refrain from flying, but who, less fort- 
unate than Icarus, made his descent on terra firma ?" 

" I believe your memory is faithful, sir," said Lionel, 
answering the smile of the other "the lad is often brought 
to trouble by his simplicity." 

Burgoyne gave a gentle impulse to the arm he held, as 
if he thought the wretched being before them unworthy of 
further consideration ; though secretly with a view to pre- 
vent an impolitic exhibition of the well-known propensity 
of his senior to push his notions of military ascendancy to 
the extreme. Perceiving by the still darkening look of 
the other, that he hesitated, his ready lieutenant observed 


" Poor fellow ! his treason was doubly punished, by a flight 
of some fifty feet down the declivity of Copp's, and the mor- 
tification of witnessing the glorious triumph of his majesty's 
troops. To such a wretch we may well afford forgiveness." 

Howe insensibly yielded to the continued pressure of 
the other, and his hard features even relaxed into a scowl- 
ing smile, as he said, while turning away 

" Look to your acquaintance, Major Lincoln, or, bad as 
his present condition seems, he may make it worse. Such 
language cannot be tolerated in a place besieged. That is 
the word, I believe the rebels call their mob a besieging 
army, do they not?" 

" They do gather round our winter-quarters, and claim 
some such distinction " 

" It must be acknowledged they did well on Breed's too ! 
The shabby rascals fought like true men." 

" Desperately, and with some discretion," answered Bur- 
goyne ; " but it was their fortune to meet those who fought 
better, and with greater skill shall we enter ?" 

The frown was now entirely chased from the brow of the 
chief, who said complacently 

" Come, gentlemen, we are tardy ; unless more indus- 
trious, we shall not be in season to pray for the king, much 
less ourselves." 

The whole party advanced a step, when a bustle in the 
rear announced the approach of another officer of high 
rank, and the second in command entered into the colon- 
nade, followed also by the gentlemen of his family. The 
instant he appeared, the self-contented look vanished from 
the features of Howe, who returned his salute with cold 
civility, and immediately entered the church. The quick- 
witted Burgoyne again interposed, and as he made way in 
his turn, he found means to whisper into the ear of Clin- 
ton some well-imagined allusion to the events of that very 
field which had given birtli to the heart-burnings between 
his brother generals, and had caused the feelings of Howe 
to be estranged from the man to whose assistance he owed 
so much. Clinton yielded to the subtle influence of the 
flattery, and followed his commander into the house of 
God, with a bland contentment that he probably mistook 
for a feeling much better suited for the place and the oc- 
casion. As the whole group of spectators, consisting of 
aids, secretaries, and idlers, without, immediately imitated 
the example of the generals, Lionel found himself alone 
with the changeling. 


From the moment that Job discovered the vicinity of 
the English leader, to that of his disappearance, the lad re- 
mained literally immovable. His eye was fastened on va- 
cancy, his jaw had fallen in a manner to give a look of ut- 
ter mental alienation to his countenance ; and, in short, he 
exhibited the degraded lineaments and figure of a man, 
without his animation or intelligence. But as the last foot- 
steps of the retiring party became inaudible, the fear, 
which had put to flight the feeble intellects of the simple- 
ton, slowly left him, and raising his face, he said, in a low, 
growling voice 

" Let him go out to Prospect ; the people will teach him 
the law ! " 

" Perverse and obstinate simpleton ! " cried Lionel, 
dragging him* without further ceremony, from the niche 
" will you persevere in that foolish cry until you are 
whipped from regiment to regiment for your pains ! " 

"You promised Job the grannies shouldn't beat him any 
more, and Job promised to run your ar'n'ds." 

" Ay ! but unless you learn to keep silence, boy, I shall 
forget my promise, and give you up to the anger of all the 
grannies in town." 

"Well," said Job, brightening in his look, like a fool in 
his exultation, " they are half of them dead, at any rate ; Job 
heard the biggest man among 'em roar like a ravenous 
lion, * hurrah for the Royal Irish,' but he never spoke ag'in ; 
though there w r asn't any better rest for Job's gun than a 
dead man's shoulder ! " 

"Wretch ! " cried Lionel, recoiling from him in horror, 
" are your hands then stained with the blood of M'Fuse !" 

"Job didn't touch him with his hands," returned the 
undisturbed simpleton "for he died like a dog, where he 
fell ! " 

Lionel stood a moment in utter confusion of thought ; 
but hearing the infallible evidence of the near approach of 
Polwarth in his tread, he said, in a hurried manner, and in 
a voice half choked by his emotions 

" Go, fellow, go to Mrs. Lech mere's, as I bid you tell 
tell Meriton to look to my fire." 

The lad made a motion towards obeying, but checking 
himself, he looked up into the face of the other with a pit- 
eous and suffering look, and said 

" See, Job's numb with cold ! Nab and* Job can't get 
wood now ; the king keeps men to fight for it let Job 
warm his flesh a little ; his body is cold as the dead ! " 


Touched to the heart by the request, and the helpless 
aspect of the lad, Lionel made a silent signal of assent, and 
turned quickly to meet his friend. It was not necessary 
for Polwarth to speak, in order to apprise Major Lincoln 
that he had overheard part of the dialogue between him 
and Job. His countenance and attitude sufficiently be- 
trayed his knowledge, as well as the effect it had produced 
on his feelings. He kept his eyes on the form of the sim- 
pleton, as the lad shuffled his way along the icy street, with 
an expression that could not easily be mistaken. 

" Did I not hear the name of poor Dennis ? " at length 
he asked. 

" 'Twas some of the idle boastings of the fool. But why 
are you not in the pew ? " 

" The fellow is a protege of yours, Major'Lincoln ; but 
you may carry forbearance too far," returned Polwarth, 
gravely. " I come for you, at the request of a pair of 
beautiful eyes, that have inquired of each one that has en^ 
tered the church, this half hour, where and why Majoi 
Lincoln has tarried." 

Lionel bowed his thanks, and affected to laugh at the 
humor of his friend, while they proceeded together to the 
pew of Mrs. Lechmere without further delay. 

The painful reflections excited by this interview with 
Job, gradually vanished from the mind of Lionel, as he 
yielded to the influence of the solemn service of the church. 
He heard the difficult and suppressed breathing of the fair 
being who kneeled by his side, while the minister read 
those thanksgivings which personally concerned himself, 
and no little of earthly gratitude mingled with the loftier 
aspirations of the youth, as he listened He caught the 
timid glance of the soft eye from behind the folds oi Cecil's 
veil, as they rose, and he took his seat as happy as an ar- 
dent young man might well be fancied, under the con- 
sciousness of possessing the best affections of a female so 
youthful, so lovely, and so pure. 

Perhaps the service was not altogether so consoling to 
the feelings of Polwarth. As he recovered his solitary foot 
again, with some little difficulty, he cast a very equivocal 
glance at his dismembered person, hemmed aloud, and fin- 
ished with a rattling of his wooden leg about the pew, that 
attracted the eyes of the whole congregation, as if he in- 
tended the ears of all present should bear testimony in 
whose behalf their owners had uttered their extraordinary 


The officiating minister was far too discreet to vex the 
attention of his superiors with any prolix and unwelcome 
exhibitions of the Christian's duty. The impressive de- 
livery of his text required one minute. Four were con- 
sumed in the exordium. The argument was ingeniously 
condensed into ten more ; and the peroration of his essay 
was happily concluded in four minutes and a half ; leaving 
him the satisfaction of knowing, as he was assured by fifty 
watches, and twice that number of contented faces, that 
ne had accomplished his task by half a minute within the 
orthodox period. 

For this exactitude he doubtless had his reward. Among 
other testimonials in his favor, when Polwarth shook his 
hand to thank him for his kind offices in his own behalf, 
he found room for a high compliment to the discourse, 
concluding by assuring the flattered divine, "that, in ad- 
dition to its other great merits, it was done in beautiful 
time ! " 


"Away ; let naught to love displeasing, 
My Winifreda, move your care : 
Let naught delay the heavenly blessing, 
Nor squeamish pride, nor gloomy fear." Anonymous. 

IT was perhaps fortunate for the tranquillity of all con- 
cerned, that, during this period of their opening confi- 
dence, the person of Mrs. Lechmere came not between the 
bright image of purity and happiness that Cecil presented 
in each lineament and action, and the eyes of her lover. 
The singular, and somewhat contradictory interests that 
lady had so often betrayed in the movements of her young 
kinsman, were no longer visible to awaken his slumbering 
suspicions. Even those inexplicable scenes, in which his 
aunt had so strangely been an actor, were forgotten in the 
engrossing feelings of the hour ; or, if remembered at all, 
were only suffered to dim the pleasing pictures of his 
imagination, as an airy cloud throws its passing shadows 
across some cheerful and lovely landscape. In addition to 
those very natural auxiliaries, love and hope, the cause of 
Mrs. Lechmere had found a very powerful assistant, in the 
bosom of Lionel, through an accident which had confined 
her, for a long period, not only to her apartment, but to 
her bed. 


On that day, when the critical operation was performed 
on the person of Major Lincoln, his aunt was known to 
have awaited the result in intense anxiety. As soon as the 
favorable termination, was reported to her, she hastened 
toward his room with an unguarded eagerness, \vhich, 
added to the general infirmities of her years, had nearly 
cost the price of her life. Her foot became entangled in 
her train, in ascending the stairs, but disregarding the' 
warning cry of Agnes Danforth, with that sort of reckless 
vehemence that sometimes broke through the formal de- 
corum of her manners, she sustained, in consequence, a fall 
that might well have proved fatal to a much younger woman. 
The injury she received was severe and internal ; and the 
inflammation, though not high, was sufficiently protracted 
to arouse the apprehensions of her attendants. The symp- 
toms were, however, now abating, and her recovery no 
longer a matter of question. 

As Lionel heard this from the lips of Cecil, the reader 
will not imagine the effect produced by the interest his 
aunt took in his welfare was at all lessened by the source 
whence he derived his knowledge. Notwithstanding Cecil 
dwelt on such a particular evidence of Mrs. Lechmere's 
attachment to her nephew with much earnestness, it had 
not escaped Major Lincoln, that her name was but seldom 
introduced in their frequent conversations, and never, on 
the part of his companion, without a guarded delicacy that 
appeared sensitive in the extreme. As their confidence, 
however, increased with their hourly communications, he 
began gently to lift the veil which female reserve had 
drawn before her inmost feelings, and to read a heart 
whose purity and truth w r ould have repaid a more difficult 

When the party returned from the church, Cecil and 
Agnes immediately hastened to the apartment of the in- 
valid, leaving Lionel in possession of the little wainscoted 
parlor by himself ; Polwarth having proceeded to his own 
quarters, with the assistance of the hunter. The young 
man passed a few minutes in pacing the room, musing 
deeply on the scene he had witnessed before the church ; 
now and then casting a vacant look on the fanciful orna- 
ments of the walls, among which the armorial bearings of 
his own name were so frequent, and in such honorable sit- 
uations. At length he heard that light footstep approach, 
whose sound had now become too well known to be mis- 
taken, and in another instant he was joined by Miss Dynevor. 


" Mrs. Lechmere ! " he said, leading her to a settee, and 
placing himself by her side ; " you found her better, I 
trust ? " 

" So well, that she intends adventuring, this morning, 
an interview with your own formidable self. Indeed, 
Lionel, you have every reason to be grateful for the deep 
interest my grandmother takes in your welfare ! Ill as 
she has been, her inquiries in your behalf were ceaseless ; 
and I have known her refuse to answer any questions 
about her own critical condition until her physician had 
relieved her anxiety concerning yours." 

As Cecil spoke, the tears rushed into her eyes, and her 
bloom deepened with the strength of her feelings. 

''It is to you, then, that much of my gratitude is due," 
returned Lionel ; " for, by permitting me to blend my lot 
with yours, I find new value in her eyes. Have you ac- 
quainted Mrs. Lechmere with the full extent of my pre- 
sumption ? She knows of our engagement ? " 

" Could I do otherwise ? while your life was in peril, I 
confined the knowledge of my interest in your situation 
to my own breast ; but when we were nattered with the 
hopes of a recovery, I placed your letter in the hands of my 
natural adviser, and have the consolation of knowing, that 
she approves of my what shall I call it, Lionel ? would 
not folly be the better word ? " 

" Call it what you will, so you do not disavow it. I have 
hitherto forborne inquiring into the views of Mrs. Lech- 
mere, in tenderness to her situation ; but I may flatter my- 
self, Cecil, that she will not reject me ? " 

For a single instant the blood rushed tumultuously over 
the fine countenance of Miss Dynevor, suffusing even her 
temples and forehead with its healthful bloom ; but, as she 
cast a reproachful glance at her lover, it deserted even her 
cheeks, while she answered calmly, though with a slight 
exhibition of displeasure in her air 

"It may have been the misfortune of my grandmother 
to view the head of her own family with too partial eyes ; 
but, if it be so, her reward should not be distrust. The 
weakness is, I dare say, very natural, though not less a 

For the first time, Lionel fully comprehended the cause 
of that variable manner with which Cecil had received his 
attentions, until interest in his person had stilled her sensi- 
tive feelings. Without, however, betraying the least con- 
sciousness of his intelligence, he answered 



" Gratitude does not deserve so forbidding a name as 
distrust ; nor will vanity permit me to call partiality in my 
favor a weakness." 

" The word is a good and a safe term, as applied to pool 
human nature," said Cecil, smiling once more with all her 
native sweetness, " and you may possibly overlook it, 
when you recollect that our foibles are sometimes heredi- 

" I pardon your unkind suspicion for that gentle ac- 
knowledgment. But I may now, without hesitation, apply 
to your grandmother for her consent to our immediate 
union ?" 

" You would not have your epithalamium sung, when, 
at the next moment, you may be required to listen to the 
dirge of some friend ! " 

" The very reason you urge against our marriage, induces 
me to press it, Cecil. As the season advances, this play of 
war must end. Howe will either break out of his bounds, 
and drive the Americans from the hills, or seek some 
other point for more active warfare. In either case you 
would be left in a distracted and divided country, at an age 
too tender for your own safety, rather the guardian than 
the ward of your helpless parent. Surely, Cecil, you would 
not hesitate to accept of my protection at such a crisis, I 
had almost dared to say, in tenderness to yourself, as well 
as to my feelings ! " 

" Say on," she answered ; " I admire your ingenuity, if 
not your argument. In the first place, however, I do not 
believe your general can drive the Americans from their 
posts so easily ; for, by a very simple process in figures, 
that even I understand, you may find, if one hill costs so 
many hundred men, that the purchase of the whole would 
be too dear nay, Lionel, do not look so grave, I implore 
you ! Surely, surely, you do not think I would speak idly 
of a battle that had nearly cost your life, and and my 

" Say on," said Lionel, instantly dismissing the momen- 
tary cloud from his brow, and smiling fondly in her anxious 
face ; " I admire your casuistry, and worship your feeling ; 
but can, also, deny your argument." 

Reassured by his voice and manner, after a moment of 
extreme agitation, she continued, in the same playful 
tones as before 

" But we will suppose all the hills won, and the Ameri- 
can chief, Washington, who, though nothing but a rebel, 


is a very respectable one, driven into the country with his 
army at his heels ; I trust it is to be done without the as- 
sistance of the women! Or, should Howe remove his 
force, as you intimate, will he not leave the town behind 
him? In either case, I should remain quietly where I am ; 
safe in a British garrison, or safer among my countrymen." 

" Cecil, you are alike ignorant of the dangers and of the 
rude lawlessness of war ! Though Howe should abandon 
the place, 'twould be only for a time ; believe me, the 
ministry will never yield the possession of a town like 
this, which has so long dared their power, to men in arms 
against their lawful prince." 

" You have strangely forgotten the last six months, Lio- 
nel, or you would not accuse me of ignorance of the mis- 
ery that war can inflict." 

" A thousand thanks for the kind admission, dearest 
Cecil, as well as for the hint," said the young man, shift- 
ing the ground of his argument with the consistency, as 
well as the readiness, of a lover ; " you have owned your 
sentiments to me, and would not refuse to avow them 
again ?" 

"Not one whose self-esteem will induce him to forget 
the weakness ; but, perhaps, I might hesitate to do such a 
gilly thing before the world." 

" I will then put it to your heart," he continued, with- 
out regarding the smiling coquetry she had affected. 
" Believing the best, you will admit that another battle 
would be no strange occurrence ? " 

She raised her anxious looks to his face, but remained 

" We both kno\v, at least I know, from sad experience, 
that I am far from being invulnerable. Now answer me, 
Cecil, not as a female, struggling to support the false 
pride of her sex, but as a woman, generous and full of 
heart, like yourself, were the events of the iast six 
months to recur, whether would you live them over affi- 
anced in secret, or as an acknowledged wife, who might 
not blush to show her tenderness to the world ? " 

It was not until the large drops, that glistened at his 
words upon the dark lashes of Miss Dynevor, were shaken 
from the tremulous fringes that concealed her eyes, that 
she looked up, blushing, into his face, and said 

" Do you not then think that I endured enough, as one 
who felt herself betrothed ; but that closer ties were neces- 
sary to fill the measure of my suffering?" 




" I cannot even thank you as I would for those flatteiing 
tears, until my question is plainly answered." 

" Is this altogether generous, Lincoln ?" 

' Perhaps not in appearance, but sincerely so in truth. 
By heaven, Cecil, I would shelter and protect you from a 
ntde contact with the world, even as I seek my own hap- 
piness !" 

Miss Dynevor was not only confused, but distressed; 
she however said, in a low voice 

" You forget, Major Lincoln, that I have one to consult, 
without whose approbation I can promise nothing." 

" Will you, then, refer the question to her wisdom ? 
Should Mrs. Lechmere approve of our immediate union, 
may I say to her, that you authorize me to ask it ?" 

Cecil said nothing ; but smiling through her tears, she 
permitted Lionel to take her hand in a manner that a 
much less sanguine man would have found no difficulty in 
construing into an assent. 

" Corne then," he cried, "let us hasten to the apartment 
of Mrs. Lechmere ; did you not say she expected me ? " She 
suffered him to draw her arm through his own, and lead 
her from the room. Notwithstanding the buoyant hopes 
with which Lionel conducted his companion through the 
passages of the house, he did not approach the chamber 
of Mrs. Lechmere without some inward repugnance. It 
was not possible to forget entirely all that had so recently 
passed, or to still, effectually, those dark suspicions which 
had been once awakened within his bosom. His purpose, 
however, bore him onward, and a glance at the trembling 
being, who now absolutely leaned on him for support, 
drove every consideration, in which she did not form a 
most prominent part, from his mind. 

The enfeebled appearance of the invalid, with a sudden 
recollection that she had sustained so much, in conse- 
quence of her anxiety in his own behalf, so far aided the 
cause of his aunt, that the young man not only met her 
with cordiality, but with a feeling akin to gratitude. 

The indisposition of Mrs. Lechmere had now continued 
for several weeks, and her features, aged and sunken as 
they were by the general decay of nature, afforded strong 
additional testimony of the seventy of her recent illness. 
Her face, besides being paler and more emaciated than 
usual, had caught that anxious expression, which great 
and protracted bodily ailing is apt to leave on the human 
countenance. Her brow was, however, smooth and satis 


fied, unless at moments, when a slight and involuntary play 
of the muscles betrayed that fleeting pains continued, at 
short intervals, to remind her of her illness. She received 
her visitors with a smile that was softer and more concili- 
ating than usual, and which the pallid and careworn ap- 
pearance of her features rendered deeply impressive. 

" It is kind, cousin Lionel," she said, extending her 
withered hand to her young kinsman, "in the sick to come 
thus to visit the well. For after so long apprehending the 
worst on your account, I cannot consent that my trifling 
injury should be mentioned before your more serious 

"Would, madam, that you had as happily recovered 
from their effects as myself," returned Lionel, taking her 
hand, and pressing it with great sincerity. " I shall never 
forget that you owe your illness to anxiety for me." 

" Let it pass, sir ; it is natural that we should feel strong- 
ly in behalf of those we love. I have lived to see you well 
again, and, God willing, I shall live to see this wicked re- 
bellion crushed." She paused ; and smiling, for a mo- 
ment, on the young pair who had approached her couch, 
she continued, "Cecil has told me all, Major Lincoln." 

" No, not all, dear madam," interrupted Lionel ; " I 
have something yet to add ; and in the commencement, I 
will own that I depend altogether on your pity and judg- 
ment to support my pretensions." 

"Pretensions is an injudicious word, cousin Lionel; 
where there is an equality of birth, education, and virtues, 
and, I may say, considering the difference in the sexes, of 
fortune too, it may amount to claims ; but pretensions is 
an expression too ambiguous. Cecil, my child, go to my 
library ; in the small, secret drawer of my escritoire, you 
will find a paper bearing your name ; read it, my love, and 
then bring it hither." 

She motioned to Lionel to be seated, and when the door 
had closed on the retiring form of Cecil, she resumed the 

" As we are about to speak of business, the confused 
girl may as well be relieved, Major Lincoln. What is this 
particular favor that I shall be required to yield ? " 

" Like any other sturdy mendicant, who may have 
already partaken largely of your bounty, I come to beg 
the immediate gift of the last and greatest boon you can 

"My grandchild. There is no necessity for useless re- 


serves between us, cousin Lionel, for you will remembei 
that I too am a Lincoln. Let us then speak freely, like 
two friends, who have met to determine on a matter equal- 
ly near to the heart of each." 

" Such is my earnest wish, madam. I have been urging 
on Miss Dynevor the peril of the times, and the critical 
situation of the country, in both of which I have found 
the strongest reasons for our immediate union." 

"And Cecil " 

" Has been like herself; kind, but dutiful. She refers 
me entirely to your decision, by which alone she consents 
to be guided." 

Mrs. Lechmere made no immediate reply, but her features 
powerfully betrayed the inward workings of her mind. It 
certainly was not displeasure that caused her to hesitate, 
her hollow eye lighting with a gleam of satisfaction that 
could not be mistaken ; neither was it uncertainty, for her 
whole countenance seemed to express rather the uncon- 
trollable agitation, which might accompany the sudden ac- 
complishment of long-desired ends, than any doubt as to 
their prudence. Gradually her agitation subsided ; and as 
her feelings became more natural, her hard eyes filled with 
tears, and when she spoke, there was a softness mingled 
with the tremor of her voice, that Lionel had never before 

"She is a good and a dutiful child, my own, my obedi- 
ent Cecil ! She will bring you no wealth, Major Lincoln, 
that will be esteemed among your hoards, nor any proud 
title to add to the lustre of your honorable name ; but she 
will bring you what is good, if not better nay, I am sure 
it must be better a pure and virtuous heart, that knows 
no guile ! " 

" A thousand and a thousand times more estimable in 
my eyes, my worthy aunt ! " cried Lionel, melting before 
the touch of nature, which had so effectually softened the 
harsh feelings of Mrs. Lechmere ; "let her come to my 
arms penniless, and without a name ; she will be no less 
my wife, no less her own invaluable self." 

" I spoke only by comparison, Major Lincoln, the child 
of Colonel Dynevor, and the granddaughter of the Lord 
Viscount Cardonnell, can have no cause to blush for her 
lineage ; neither will the descendant of John Lechmere be 
a dowerless bride ! When Cecil shall become Lady Lin- 
coln, she need never wish to conceal the escutcheon of her 
own ancestors under the bloody hand of her husband's." 

22 9 

" May heaven long avert the hour when either of us may 
be required to use the symbol !" exclaimed Lionel. 

" Did I not understand aright ! was not your request for 
an -instant marriage ? " 

"Never less in error, my dear madam ; but you surely 
do not forget that one lives so mutually dear to us, who 
has every reason to hope for many years of life ; and I 
trust, too, of happiness and reason ! " 

Mrs. Lechmere looked wildly at her nephew, and then 
passed her hand slowly before her eyes, from whence she 
did not withdraw them until an universal shudder had 
shaken the whole of her enfeebled frame. 

" You are right, my young cousin," she said, smiling 
faintly " I believe my bodily weakness has impaired my 
memory. I was indeed dreaming of days long since past ! 
You stood before me in the image of your desolate father, 
while Cecil bore that of her mother ; my own long-lost, but 
wilful Agnes! Oh! she was my child! my child! and 
God has forgotten her faults in mercy to a mother's 
prayers ! " 

Lionel recoiled a step before the wild energy of the in- 
valid's manner, in speechless amazement. A flush had 
passed into her pallid cheeks, and as she concluded, she 
clasped her hands before her, and sunk on the pillows 
which supported her back. Large insulated tears fell from 
her eyes, and, slowly moving over her wasted cheeks, 
dropped singly upon the counterpane. Lionel laid his 
hand upon the night-bell, but an expressive gesture from 
his aunt prevented his ringing. 

" I am well again," she said "hand me the restorative 
by your side." 

Mrs. Lechmere drank freely from the glass, and in an- 
other minute her agitation subsided, her features settling 
into their rigid composure and her eye resuming its hard 
expression, as though nothing had occurred to disturb her 
usual cold and worldly look. 

"You see how much better youth can endure the ravages 
of disease than age, by my present weakness, Major Lin- 
coln," she continued ; " let us return to other and more 
agreeable subjects you have not only my consent, but my 
wish, that you should wed my grandchild. It is a happi- 
ness that I have rather hoped for, than dared to expect, 
and I will freely add, 'tis a consummation of my wishes 
that will render the evening of my days not only happy, 
but blessed ! " 


"Then, clearest madam, why should it be delayed? no 
one can say what a day may bring forth, at such a time as 
this, and the moment of bustle and action is not the hour 
to register the marriage vows." 

After musing a moment, Mrs. Lechmere replied 

" We have a good and holy custom in this religious prov- 
ince, of choosing the day which the Lord has set apart 
for his own exclusive worship, as that on which to enter 
into the honorable state of matrimony. Choose, then, be- 
tween this or the next Sabbath for your nuptials." 

Whatever might be the ardor of the young man, he was 
a little surprised at the shortness of the former period ; but 
the pride of his sex would not admit of any hesitation. 

"Let it be this day, if Miss Dynevor can be brought 
freely to consent." 

" Here then she comes, to tell you that, at my request, 
she does. Cecil, my ow r n s\veet child, I have promised 
Major Lincoln that you will become his wife this day." 

Miss Dynevor, who had advanced into the centre of the 
room, before she heard the purport of this speech, stopped 
short, and stood like a beautiful statue, expressing aston- 
ishment and dismay. Her color went and came with alarm- 
ing quickness, and the paper fell from her trembling hands 
to her feet, which appeared riveted to the floor. 

" To-day ! " she repeated, in a voice barely audible " did 
you say to-day, my grandmother ? " 

" Even to-day, my child." 

"Why this reluctance, this alarm, Cecil?" said Lionel, 
approaching, and leading her gently to a seat. " You 
know the peril of the times you have condescended to 
own your sentiments consider ; the winter is breaking, 
and the first thaw can lead to events which may entirely 
alter our situation." 

" All these may have weight in your eyes, Major Lin- 
coln," interrupted Mrs. Lechmere, in a voice whose marked 
solemnity drew the attention of her hearers ; " but I have 
other and deeper motives. Have I not already proved the 
dangers and the evils of delay ? Ye are young, and ye are 
virtuous ; why should ye not be happy ? Cecil, if you love 
and revere me, as I think you do, you will become his wife 
this day." 

" Let me have time to think, dearest grandmother. The 
tie is so new and so solemn ! Major Lincoln, dear Lionel, 
you are not wont to be ungenerous ; I throw myself on 
your kindness ! " 


Lionel did not speak, and Mrs. Lechmere calmly an- 

"-'Tis not at his, but my request, that you will comply." 

Miss Dynevor rose from her seat by the side of Lionel, 
with an air of offended delicacy, and said, with a mournful 
smile, to her lover 

" Illness has rendered my good mother timid and weak 
will you excuse my desire to be alone with her ? " 

" I leave you, Cecil," he said, "but if you ascribe my si- 
lence to any other motive than tenderness to your feelings, 
you are unjust both to yourself and me." 

She expressed her gratitude only in her looks, and he 
immediately withdrew, to await the result of their conver- 
sation in his own apartment. The half hour that Lionel 
passed in his chamber seemed half a year : but at the 
expiration of that short period of time, Meriton came to 
announce that Mrs. Lechmere desired his presence again 
in her room. 

The first glance of her eye assured Major Lincoln that 
his cause had triumphed. His aunt had sunk back on her 
pillows, with her countenance set in a calculating and rigid 
expression, which indicated a satisfaction so selfish that it 
almost induced the young man to regret she had not failed. 
But when his eyes met the tearful and timid glances of the 
blushing Cecil, he felt that, provided she could be his with- 
out violence to her feelings, he cared but little at whose 
instigation she had consented. 

" If I am to read my fate by your goodness, I know I 
may hope," he said, advancing to her side " if in my own 
deserts, I am left to despair." 

"Perhaps 'twas foolish, Lincoln," she said, smiling 
through her tears, and frankly placing her hand in his, 
" to hesitate about a few days, when I feel ready to devote 
rny life to your happiness. It is the wish of my grand- 
mother that I place myself under your protection." 

" Then this evening unites us forever?" 

" There is no obligation on your gallantry, that it should 
positively take place this very evening, if any, or the least 
difficulties present." 

" But none do, nor can," interrupted Lionel. " Happily 
the marriage forms of the colony are simple, and we enjoy 
the consent of all who have any right to interfere." 

" Go, then, my children, and complete your brief ar- 
rangements," said Mrs. Lechmere; "'tis a solemn knot 
that ye tie ! it must, it will be happy ! " 


Lionel pressed the hand of his intended bride, and with, 
drew ; and Cecil, throwing herself into the arms of her 
grandmother, gave vent to her feelings in a burst of tears. 
Mrs. Lechmere did not repulse her child ; on the contrary, 
she pressed her once or twice to her heart ; but still an ob- 
servant spectator might have seen that her looks betrayed 
more of worldly pride than of those natural emotions which 
such a scene ought to have excited. 


" Come, friar Francis, be brief ; only to the plain form of marriage." 

MucJi Ado about Nothing. 

MAJOR LINCOLN had justly said, the laws regulating man 
riages in the Massachusetts, which were adapted teethe in- 
fant state of the country, threw but few impediments in the 
way of the indissoluble connection. Cecil had, however, 
been educated in the bosom of the English Church, and 
she clung to its forms and ceremonies with an affection 
that may easily be accounted for in their solemnity and 
beauty. Notwithstanding the colonists often chose the 
weekly festival for their bridals, the rage of reform had ex- 
cluded the altar from most of their temples, and it was not 
usual with them to celebrate their nuptials in the places of 
public worship. But there appeared so much of unreason- 
able haste, and so little of due preparation, in her own 
case, that Miss Dynevor, anxious to give all solemnity to 
an act, to whose importance she was sensibly alive, ex- 
pressed her desire to pronounce her vows at that altar 
where she had so long been used to worship, and under 
that roof where she had already, since the rising of the 
sun, poured out the thanksgivings of her pure spirit in 
behalf of the man who was so soon to become her husband. 

As Mrs. Lechmere had declared, that the agitation of 
the day, and her feeble condition, must unavoidably pre- 
vent her witnessing the ceremony, there existed no suffi- 
cient reason for not indulging the request of her grand- 
child, notwithstanding it was not in strict accordance 
with the customs of the place. But being married at 
the altar, and being married in public, were not similar 
duties ; and in order to effect the one, and avoid the 
other, it was necessary to postpone the ceremony until a 
late hour, arid to clothe the whole in a cloak of mystery, 


that the otherwise unembarrassed state of the parties would 
not have required. 

Miss Dynevor made no other confidant than her cousin. 
Her feelings being altogether elevated above the ordinarily 
idle considerations, which are induced by time and prepa- 
rations on such an occasion, her brief arrangements were 
soon ended, and she awaited the appointed moment without 
alarm, if not without emotion. 

Lionel had much more to perform. He knew that the 
least intimation of such a scene would collect a curious 
and a disagreeable crowd around and in the church, and he 
therefore determined that his plans should be arranged in 
silence, and managed secretly. In order to prevent a 
surprise, Meriton was sent to the clergyman, requesting 
him to appoint an hour in the evening when he could 
give an interview to Major Lincoln. He was answered, 
that at any moment after nine o'clock Dr. Liturgy would 
be released from the duties of the day, and in readiness 
to receive him. There was no alternative ; and ten was 
the time mentioned to Cecil when she was requested to 
meet him before the altar. Major Lincoln distrusted a 
little the discretion of Polwarth, and he contented himself 
with merely telling his friend that he was to be married 
that evening, and that he must be careful to repair to 
Tremont Street in order to give away the bride ; appoint- 
ing an hour sufficiently early for all the subsequent move- 
ments. His groom and his valet had their respective and 
separate orders, and, long before the important moment, he 
had everything arranged, as he believed, beyond the possi- 
bility of a disappointment. 

Perhaps there was something a little romantic, if not 
diseased, in the mind of Lionel, that caused him to derive 
a secret pleasure from the hidden movements he contem- 
plated. He was certainly not entirely free from a touch 
of that melancholy and morbid humor, which has been 
mentioned as the characteristic of his race, nor did he al- 
ways feel the" less happy because he was a little miserable. 
However, either by his activity of intellect, or that excel- 
lent training in life he had undergone, by being required 
to act early for himself, he had so far succeeded in quell- 
ing the evil spirit within him, as to render its influence 
quite imperceptible to others, and nearly so to himself. 
It had, in fine, left him what we have endeavored to rep- 
resent him in these pages, not a man without faults, but 
certainly one of many high and generous virtues. 


As the day drew to a close, the small family party in 
Tremont Street collected in their usual manner to partake 
of the evening repast, which was common throughout the 
colonies at that period. Cecil was pale, and at times a 
slight tremor was perceptible in the little hand which did 
the offices of the table ; but there was a forced calmness 
seated in her humid eyes, that betokened the resolution 
she had summoned to her assistance, in order to comply 
with the wishes of her grandmother. Agnes Danforth was 
silent and observant, though an occasional look, of more 
than usual meaning, betrayed what she thought of the 
mystery and suddenness of the approaching nuptials. It 
would seem, however, that the importance of the step she 
was about to take, had served to raise the bride above the 
little affectations of her sex ; for she spoke of the prepara- 
tions like one who owned her interest in their completion, 
and who even dreaded that something might yet occur to 
mar them. 

" If I were superstitious, and had faith in omens, Lin- 
coln," she said, u the hour, and the weather might well in- 
timidate me from taking this step. See, the wind already 
blows across the endless wastes of the ocean, and the snow 
is driving through the streets in whirlwinds ! " 

" It is not yet too late to countermand my orders, Cecil," 
he said, regarding her anxiously ; " I have made all my 
movements so like a great commander, that it is as easy to 
retrograde, as to advance." 

"Would you then retreat before one so little formidable 
as I ? " she returned, smiling. 

" You surely understand me as wishing only to change 
the place of our marriage. I dread exposing you and our 
kind cousin to the tempest, which, as you say, after sweep- 
ing over the ocean so long, appears rejoiced to find land 
on which to expend its fury." 

" I have not misconstrued your meaning, Lionel, nor 
must you be mistaken in mine. I will become your wife 
to-night, and cheerfully too ; for what reason can I have to 
doubt you now, more than formerly ! But my vows must 
be offered at the altar." 

Agnes, perceiving that her cousin spoke with a sup- 
pressed emotion that made utterance difficult, gayly inter- 
rupted her 

" And as for the snow, you know little of Boston girls, 
if you think an icicle has any terrors for them. I vow, 
Cecil, I do think you and I have been guilty, when chil- 


dren, of coasting in a hand-sled, down the side of Beacon, 
in a worse flurry than this." 

''We were guilty of many mad and silly things at ten, 
that might not grace twenty, Agnes." 

" Lord, how like a matron she speaks already !" inter- 
rupted the other, throwing up her eyes and clasping her 
hands in affected admiration ; " nothing short of the church 
will satisfy so discreet a dame, Major Lincoln ! so dismiss 
your cares on her account, and begin to enumerate the 
cloaks and overcoats necessary to your own preservation." 

Lionel made a lively reply, when a dialogue of some' 
spirit ensued between him and Agnes, to which even Cecil 
listened with a beguiled ear. When the evening had ad- 
vanced, Polwarth made his appearance, suitably attired, 
and with a face that was sufficiently knowing and impor- 
tant for the occasion. The presence of the captain re- 
minded Lionel of the lateness of the hour, and, without 
delay, he hastened to communicate his plans to his friend. 

At a few minutes before ten, Polwarth was to accompany 
the ladies in a covered sleigh to the chapel, which was not 
a stone's throw from their residence, where the bridegroom 
was to be in readiness to receive them, with the divine. 
Referring the captain to Meriton for further instructions, 
and without waiting to hear the other express his amaze- 
ment at the singularity of the plan, Major Lincoln said a 
few words of tender encouragement to Cecil, looked at his 
watch, and throwing his cloak around him, took his hat, 
and departed. 

We shall leave Polwarth endeavoring to extract the 
meaning of all these mysterious movements from the wil- 
ful and amused Agnes, (Cecil having retired also,) and ac- 
company the bridegroom in his progress towards the resi- 
dence of the divine. 

Major Lincoln found the streets entirely deserted. The 
night was not dark, for a full moon was wading among the 
volumes of clouds, which drove before the tempest in dark 
and threatening masses, that contrasted singularly and 
wildly to the light covering of the hills and buildings of 
the town. Occasionally the gusts of the wind would lift 
eddying wreaths of fine snow from some roof, and whole 
squares were wrapped in mist as the frozen vapor whistled 
by. At times, the gale howled among the chimneys and 
turrets, in a steady, sullen roaring ; and there were again 
moments when the element appeared hushed, as if its fury 
were expended, and winter, having worked its might, was 


yielding to the steady, but insensible advances of spring. 
There was something in the season and the hour peculiarly 
in consonance with the excited temperament of the young 
bridegroom. Even the solitude of the streets, and the 
hollow rushing of the winds, the fleeting and dim light of 
the moon, which afforded passing glimpses of surrounding 
objects, and then was hid behind a dark veil of shifting 
vapor, contributed to his pleasure. He made his way 
through the snow, with that species of stern joy, to which 
all are indebted, at times, for moments of wild and pleas- 
ing self-abandonment. His thoughts vacillated between 
the purpose of the hour, and the unlooked-for coincidence 
of circumstances that had clothed it in a dress of such ro- 
mantic mystery. Once or twice a painful and dark thought, 
connected with the secret of Mrs. Lechmere's life, found 
its way among his more pleasing visions, but it was quickly 
chased from his mind by the image of her who awaited his 
movements in such confiding faith, and with such secure 
and dependent affection. 

As the residence of Dr. Liturgy was on the North -End, 
\vhich was then one of the fashionable quarters of the town, 
the distance required that Lionel should be diligent, in 
order to be punctual to his appointment. Young, active, 
and full of hope, he passed along the unequal pavements 
with great rapidity, and had the satisfaction of perceiving 
by his watch, when admitted to the presence of the clergy- 
man, that his speed had even outstripped the proverbial 
fleetness of time itself. 

The reverend gentleman was in his study, consoling 
himself for the arduous duties of the day, with the com- 
forts of a large easy-chair, a warm fire, and a pitcher filled 
with a mixture of cider and ginger, together with other 
articles that w r ould have done credit to the knowledge of 
Polwarth in spices. His full and decorous wig was re- 
placed by a velvet cap, his shoes were unbuckled, and his 
heels released from confinement. In short, all his arrange- 
ments were those of a man who having endured a day of 
labor, was resolved to prove the enjoyments of an evening 
of rest. His pipe, though filled, and on the 4ittle table by 
his side, was not lighted, in compliment to the guest he 
expected at that hour. As he was slightly acquainted with 
Major Lincoln, no introduction was necessary, and the two 
gentlemen were soon seated, the one endeavoring to over- 
come the embarrassment he felt on revealing his singular 
errand, and the other waiting, in no little curiosity, to 


learn the reason why a member of Parliament, and the 
heir of ten thousand a year, should come abroad on such 
an unpropitious night. 

At length Lionel succeeded in making the astonished 
priest understand his wishes, and paused to hear the ex- 
pected approbation of his proposal. 

Dr. Liturgy had listened with the most profound atten- 
tion, as if to catch some clew to explain the mystery of the 
extraordinary proceeding, and when the young man con- 
cluded, he unconsciously lighted his pipe, and began to 
throw out large clouds of smoke, like a man who felt there 
was a design to abridge his pleasures, and who was conse- 
quently determined to make the most of his time. 

" Married ! To be married in church ! and after the night 
lecture! "he muttered in a low voice between his long- 
drawn puffs "'tis my duty certainly Major Lincoln 
to marry my parishioners 

" In the present instance, as I know my request to be ir- 
regular, sir," interrupted the impatient Lionel," I will make 
it your interest also." While speaking, he took a well- 
filled purse from his pocket, and, with an air of much deli- 
cacy, laid a small pile of gold by the side of the silver 
spectacle-case of the divine, as if to show him the difference 
in the value of the two metals. 

Dr. Liturgy bowed his acknowledgments, and insensi- 
bly changed the stream of smoke to the opposite corner 
of his mouth, so as to leave the view of the glittering boon 
unobstructed. At the same-time he raised the heel of one 
shoe, and threw an anxious glance at the curtained win- 
dow, to inquire into the state of the weather. 

" Could not the ceremony be performed at the house of 
Mrs. Lechmere?"he asked ; " Miss Dynevor is a tender 
child, and I fear the cold air of the chapel might do her no 
service ! " 

" It is her wish to go to the altar, and you are sensible 
it is not my part to question her decision in such a matter." 

" Tis a pious inclination ; though I trust she knows the 
distinction between the spiritual and the temporal church. 
The laws of the colonies are too loose on the subject of 
marriages, Major Lincoln ; culpably and dangerously 
loose ! " 

" But as it is not in our power to alter, my good sir. 
will you permit me to profit by them, imperfect as they 
are ? " 

" Undeniably it is part of my office to christen, to marry, 


and to bury ; a duty which, I often say, covers the begin- 
ning, the middle, and the end of existence. But permit 
me to help you to a little of my beverage, Major Lincoln 
we call it ' Samson,' in Boston ; you will find the ' Dan- 
ite ' a warm companion for a February night in this cli- 

" The mixture is not inaptly named, sir," said Lionel, 
after wetting his lips," if strength be the quality most con- 
sidered ! " 

" Ah ! you have him from the lap of a Delilah, but it is 
unbecoming in one of my cloth to meddle with aught of 
the harlot." 

He laughed at his own wit, and made a more spirituous 
than spiritual addition to his own glass, while he con' 

" We divide it into ' Samson with his hair off,' and ' Sam- 
son \vith his hair on ;' and I believe myself the most ortho- 
dox in preferring the man of strength, in his native come- 
liness. I pledge you, Major Lincoln ; may the middle of 
your days be as happy as the charming young lady you 
are about to espouse may well render them ; and your end, 
sir, that of a good churchman, and a faithful subject." 

Lionel, who considered this compliment as an indication 
of his success, now rose, and said a few words on the sub- 
ject of their meeting in the chapel. The divine, who mani- 
festly possessed no great relish for the duty, made sundry 
slight objections to the whole proceeding, w T hich were, how- 
ever, soon overcome by the arguments of the bridegroom. 
At length, every difficulty w r as happily adjusted, save one, 
and that the epicurean doctor stoutly declared to be a 
serious objection to acting in the matter. The church fires 
were suffered to go down, and his sexton had been taken 
from the chapel, that very evening, with every symptom on 
him of the terrible pestilence which then raged in the 
place, adding, by its danger, to the horrors and privations 
of the siege. 

"A clear case of the small-pox, I do assure you, Major 
Lincoln," he continued, " and contracted, without doubt, 
from some emissaries sent into the town for that purpose, 
by the wicked devices of the rebels." 

" I have heard that each party accuses the other of re- 
sorting to these unjustifiable means of annoyance," returned 
Lionel ; " but, as I know our own leader to be above such 
baseness, I will not suspect any other man of it without 


'* Too charitable by half, sir much too charitable ! But 
let the disease come whence it will, I fear my sexton will 
prove its victim." 

" I will take the charge on myself of having the fires re- 
newed," said Lionel ; " the embers must yet be in the 
stoves, and we have still an hour of time before us." 

As the clergyman was much too conscientious to retain 
possession of the gold without fully entitling himself to 
the ownership, he had long before determined to comply, 
notwithstanding the secret yearnings of his flesh. Their 
plans were now soon arranged, and Lionel, after receiving 
the key of the chapel, took his leave for a time. 

When Major Lincoln found himself in the street again, 
he walked for some distance in the direction of the chapel, 
anxiously looking along the deserted way, in order to dis- 
cover an unemployed soldier who might serve to perform 
the menial offices of the absent sexton. He proceeded for 
some distance without success ; for every thing human 
seemed housed, even the number of lights in the windows 
beginning to decrease in a manner which denoted that the 
usual hour of rest had arrived. He had paused in the en- 
trance of the Dock Square, uncertain where to apply for an 
assistant, when he caught a glimpse of the figure of a man, 
crouching under the walls of the old turreted warehouse, 
so often mentioned. Without hesitating an instant, he 
approached the spot, from which the figure neither moved, 
nor did it indeed betray any other evidence of a conscious- 
ness of his proximity. Notwithstanding the dimness of 
the moon, there was light enough to detect the extreme 
misery of the object before him. His tattered and thin 
attire sufficiently bespoke the motive of the stranger for 
seeking a shelter from the cutting winds behind an angle 
of the wall, while his physical wants were betrayed by the 
eager manner in which he gnawed at a bone that might 
well have been rejected from the mess of the meanest pri- 
vate, notwithstanding the extreme scarcity that prevailed 
in the garrison. Lionel forgot for a moment his present 
object, at this exhibition of" human suffering, and with a 
kind voice he addressed the wretched being. 

" You have a cold spot to eat your supper in, my friend," 
he said ; "and it would seem, too, but a scanty meal." 

Without ceasing to masticate his miserable nutriment, 
or even raising his eyes, the other said, in a growling 

" The kine could shut up the harbor, and keep out the 


ships ; but he hasn't the might to drive cold weather from 
Boston, in the month of March ! " 

" As I live, Job Pray ! Come with me, boy, and I will 
give you a better meal, and a warmer place to enjoy it in 
but first tell me ; can you procure a lantern and a light 
from your mother ? " 

" You can't go in the ware'us' to-night," returned the 
lad positively. 

" Is there no place at hand, then, where such things 
might be purchased ? " 

" They keep them there," said Job, pointing sullenly to 
a low building on the opposite side of the square, through 
one of the windows of which a faint light was glimmering. 

"Then take this money, and go buy them for me, with- 
out delay." 

Job hesitated with ill-concealed reluctance. 

" Go, fellow, I have instant need of them, and you can 
keep the change for your reward." 

The young man no longer betrayed any indisposition to 
go, but answered with great promptitude, for one of his 
imbecile mind 

" Job will go, if you will let him buy Nab some meat 
with the change ? " 

"Certainly, buy what you will with it ; and further- 
more, I promise you, that neither your mother nor your- 
self shall want again for food or clothing." 

"Job's a-hungry," said the simpleton; "but they say 
hunger don't come as craving upon a young stomach as 
upon an old one. Do you think the king knows what it is 
to be a-cold and hungry ? " 

"I know not, boy but I know full well that if one suf- 
fering like you were before him, his heart would yearn to re- 
lieve him. Go, go, and buy yourself food too, if they have it." 

In a very few minutes Lionel saw the simpleton issuing 
from the house to which he had run at his bidding, with 
the desired lantern. 

" Did you get any food ? " said Lionel, motioning to Job 
to precede him with the light " I trust you did not en- 
tirely forget yourself in your haste to serve me." 

"Job hopes he didn't catch the pestilence," returned the 
lad, eating at the same time voraciously of a small roll of 

" Catch what ? what is it you hope you did not catch ?" 

-'The pestilence they are full of the foul disorder in 
>}puse : " 


' Do you mean the small-pox, boy ? " 

" Yes ; some call it small-pox, and some call it the foul 
disorder, and some other the pestilence. The king can 
keep out the trade, but he can't keep out the cold and the 
pestilence from Boston but when the people get the town 
back, they'll know what to do with it they'll send it all to 
tiie pest-housen !" 

" I hope I have not exposed you unwittingly to danger, 
Job it would have been better had I gone myself ; for I 
was inoculated for the terrible disease in my infancy." 

Job, who, in expressing his sense of the danger, had ex- 
hausted the stores of his feeble mind on the subject, made 
no reply, but continued walking through the square, until 
they reached its termination, when he turned, and inquired 
which way he was to go. 

"To the church," said Lionel, "and swiftly, lad." 

As they entered Cornhill, they encountered the fury of 
the wind, when Major Lincoln, bowing his head, and gath- 
ering his cloak about him, followed the light which flitted 
along the pavement in his front. Shut out in a manner 
from the world by this covering, his thoughts returned to 
their former channel, and in a few moments he forgot 
where he was, or whom lie was following. He was soon 
awakened from his abstraction by perceiving that it was 
necessary for him to ascend a few steps, when, supposing 
he had reached the place of destination, he raised his 
head, and unthinkingly followed his conductor into the 
tower of a large edifice. Immediately perceiving his mis- 
take, by the difference of the architecture from that of the 
King's Chapel, he reproved the lad for his folly, and de- 
manded why he had brought him thither. 

"This is what you call a church," said Job, "though I 
call it a meetin'us'. It's no wonder you don't know it 
for what the people built for a temple, the king has turned 
into a stable ! " 

"A stable!" exclaimed Lionel. Perceiving a strong 
smell of horses in the place, he advanced and threw open 
the inner door, when, to his amazement, he perceived that 
He 'stood in an area fitted for the exercises of the cavalry. 
There was no mistaking the place, nor its uses. The naked 
galleries, and many of the original ornaments, were stand- 
ing ; but the accommodations below were destroyed, and 
in their places the floor had been covered with earth, for 
horses and their riders to practise in the cavesson. The 
abominations of the place even* now offended his senses, as 


he stood on that spot where he remembered so often ta 
have seen the grave and pious colonists assemble in crowds 
to worship. Seizing the lantern from Job, he hurried out 
of the building, with a disgust that even the unobservant 
simpleton had no difficulty in discovering. On reaching 
the street, his eyes fell upon the lights, and on the silent 
dignity of the Province House, and he was compelled to 
recollect, that this wanton violation of the feelings of the 
colonists had been practised directly under the windows of 
the royal governor. 

" Fools, fools !" he muttered, bitterly ; " when ye should 
have struck like men, ye have trifled as children ; and ye 
have forgotten your manhood, and even your God, to in- 
dulge your besotted spleen ! " 

"And now these very horses are starving for want of 
hay, as a judgment upon them!" said Job, who shuffled 
his way industriously at the other's side. " They had bet- 
ter have gone to meetin' themselves, and heard the ex- 
pounding, than to set dumb beasts a rioting in a place that 
the Lord used to visit so often ! " 

" Tell me, boy, of what other act of folly. and madness 
has the army been guilty ? " 

"What! hav'n't you heard of the Old North ? They've 
made oven-wood of the grandest temple in the Bay ! If 
they dared, they'd lay their ungodly hands on old Funnel 
itself ! " 

Lionel made no reply. He had heard that the distresses 
of the garrison, heightened as they were by the ceaseless 
activity of the Americans, had compelled them to convert 
many houses, as well as the church in question, into fuel. 
But he saw in the act nothing more than the usual recourse 
of a common military exigency. It was free from that 
reckless contempt of a people's feelings, which was exhib- 
ited in the prostitution of the ancient walls of the sister 
edifice, which was known throughout New England with 
a species of veneration, as the "Old South." He con- 
tinued his way gloomily along the silent streets, until he 
reached the more favored temple, in which the ritual oi 
the English Church was observed, and whose roof was ren- 
dered doubly sacred, in the eyes of the garrison, by the 
accidental circumstance of bearing the title of their earthly 



"Thou art too like the spirit of Banquo ; down ! " Macbeth. 

MAJOR LINCOLN found the King's Chapel differing in 
every particular from the venerable, but prostituted build- 
ing he had just quitted. As he entered, the light of 
his lantern played over the rich scarlet covering of man) 
a pew, and glanced upon the glittering ornaments of the~ 
polished organ, which now slumbered in as chilled a 
silence as the dead, which lay in such multitudes within 
and without the massive walls. The labored columns, 
with their slender shafts and fretted capitals, threw shape- 
less shadows across the dim background, peopling the 
galleries and ceiling with imaginary phantoms of thin air. 
As this slight delusion passed away, he became sensible of 
the change in the temperature. The warmth was not yet 
dissipated which had been maintained during the different 
services of the day ; for, notwithstanding the wants of the 
town and garrison, the favored temple, where the repre- 
sentative of the sovereign was wont to worship, knew not 
the ordinary privations of the place. Job was directed to 
supply the dying embers of the stoves with fresh fuel, and 
as the simpleton well knew where to find the stores of the 
church, his office was performed with an alacrity that was 
not a little increased by his own sufferings. 

When the bustle of preparation had subsided, Lionel 
drew a chair from the chancel, while Job crouched by the 
side of the quivering iron he had heated, in that attitude 
he was wont to assume, and which so touchingly expressed 
the secret consciousness he felt of his own inferiority. As 
the grateful warmth diffused itself over the half-naked frame 
of the simpleton, his head sunk upon his bosom, and he 
was fast falling into a slumber, like a worried hound that 
had at length found ease and shelter. A more active 
mind would have wished to learn the reasons that could 
induce his companion to seek such an asylum at that un- 
seasonable hour. But Job was a stranger to curiosity; 
nor did the occasional glimmerings of his mind often ex- 
tend beyond those holy precepts which had been taught 
him with such care, before disease had sapped his facul- 
ties, or those popular principles of the time, that formed 


so essential a portion of the thoughts of every New England 

Not so with Major Lincoln. His watch told him that 
many weary minutes must elapse before he could expect 
to receive his bride ; and he disposed himself to wait, with 
as much patience as comported with five-and-twenty and 
the circumstances. In a short time the stillness of the 
chapel was restored, interrupted only by the passing gusts 
of the wind without, and the dull roaring of the furnace,, 
by whose side Job slumbered in a state of happy oblivion. 

Lionel endeavored to still his truant thoughts, and bring 
them in training for the solemn ceremony in which he 
was soon to be an actor. Finding the task too difficult, 
he arose, and approaching a window, looked out upon the 
solitude, and the whirlwinds of snow that drifted through 
the streets, eagerly listening for those sounds of approach 
which his reason told him he ought not yet to expect. 
Again he seated himself, and turned his eyes inquir- 
ingly about him, with a sort of inward apprehension that 
some one lay concealed in the surrounding gloom, with a 
secret design to mar his approaching happiness. There 
was so much of wild and feverish romance in the inci- 
dents of the day, that he found it difficult, at moments, to 
credit their reality, and had recourse to hasty glances at 
the altar, his attire, and even his insensible companion, to 
remove the delusion from his mind. Again he looked up- 
ward at the unsteady and huge shadows which wavered 
along the ceiling of the walls, and his former apprehen- 
sions of some hidden evil \vere revived with a vividness 
that amounted nearly to a presentiment. So uneasy did 
he become at length, under this impression, that he walked 
along the distant aisles, scrupulously looking into the dark 
pews, and throwing a scrutinizing glance behind each 
column, and was rewarded for his trouble by hearing the 
hollow echo of his own footsteps. 

' In returning from this round, he approached the stove, 
and yielded to a strong desire of listening to the voice of 
even Job, in a moment of such morbid excitement. Touch- 
ing the simpleton lightly with his foot, the other awoke 
with that readiness \vhich denoted the sudden and dis- 
turbed nature of his ordinary rest. 

"You are unusually dull to-night, Job," said Lionel, en* 
deavoring to hush his uneasiness in affected pleasantry 
"or you would inquire the reason why I pay my visit to 
the church at this extraordinary hour." 


" Boston folks love their meetin'us's," returned the ob- 
tuse simpleton. 

'"Ay! but they love their beds, too, fellow; and one 
half of them are now enjoying what you seem to covet so 

" Job loves to eat, and to be warm ! " 

"And to sleep too, if one may judge by your drowsi- 

" Yes, sleep is sweet ; Job don't feel a-hungered when 
he's sleeping." 

Lionel remained silent, for several moments, under a 
keen perception of the suffering exhibited in the touching 
helplessness, which marked the manner of the other, be- 
fore he continued 

" But I expect to be joined soon by the clergyman, and 
some ladies, and Captain Polwarth." 

"Job likes Captain Polwarth he keeps a grand sight of 
provisions ! " 

" Enough of this ! can you think of nothing but your 
stomach, boy ? " 

"God made hunger," said Job gloomily, "and he made 
food too ; but the king keeps it all for his rake-hellies ! " 

" Well, listen, and be attentive to what I tell you. One 
of the ladies who will come here is Miss Dynevor ; you 
know Miss Dynevor, Job? the beautiful Miss Dynevor!" 

The charms of Cecil had not, however, made their wonted 
impression on the dull eye of the idiot, who still regarded 
the speaker with his customary air of apathy. 

" Surely, Job, you know Miss Dynevor !" repeated Li- 
onel, with an irritability that, at any other time, he would 
have been the first to smile at " she has often given you 
money and clothes." 

" Yes ; Ma'am Lechmere is her grandam ! " 

This was certainly one of the least recommendations his 
mistress possessed, in the eyes of Lionel, who paused a 
moment, with inward vexation, before he added 

" Let who will be her relatives, she is this night to be- 
come my wife. You will remain and witness the ceremony, 
and then you will extinguish the lights, and return the key 
of the church to Dr. Liturgy. In the morning come to me 
for your reward." 

The changeling arose, with an air of singular importance, 
and answered 

" To be sure. Major Lincoln is to be married, and he 
asks Job to the wedding! Now Nab may preach her 


sarmons about pride and flaunty feelings as much as sh<! 
will ; but blood is blood, and flesh is flesh, for all her say- 
ings ! " 

Struck by the expression of wild meaning that gleamed 
in the eyes of the simpleton, Major Lincoln demanded an 
explanation of his ambiguous language. But ere Job had 
leisure to reply, though his vacant look again denoted that 
his thoughts were already contracting themselves within 
their usually narrow limits, a sudden noise drew the atten- 
tion of both to the entrance of the chapel. The door 
opened the next instant, and the figure of the divine, pow- 
dered with drifted snow, and encased in various defences 
against the cold, was seen, moving with a becoming gravi- 
ty, through the principal aisle. Lionel hastened to receive 
him, and to conduct him to the seat he had just occupied 

When Dr. Liturgy had uncloaked, and appeared in his 
robes of office, the benevolence of his smile, and the whole 
expression of his countenance, denoted that he was satis- 
fied with the condition in which he found the preparations. 

''There is no reason why a church should not be as 
comfortable as a man's library, Major Lincoln," he said, 
hitching his seat a little nearer to the stove. " It is a puri- 
tanical and a dissenting idea, that religion has anything 
forbidding or gloomy in its nature ; and wherefore should 
we assemble amid pains and inconvenience to discharge 
its sacred offices." 

" Quite true, sir," returned Lionel, looking anxiously 
through one of the windows "I have not yet heard the 
hour of ten strike, though my watch tells me it is time ! " 

" The weather renders the public clocks very irregular. 
There are so many unavoidable evils to which flesh is heir, 
that we should endeavor to be happy on all occasions 
indeed it is a duty " 

*' It's not in the natur of sin to make fallen man happy," 
said a low, growling voice from behind the stove. 

" Ha ! what ! did you speak, Major Lincoln a very 
singular sentiment for a bridegroom ! " muttered the divine. 

" 'Tis that weak young man, whom I have brought hither 
to assist me with the fires, repeating some of the lore of 
his mother ; nothing else, sir." 

By this time Dr. Liturgy had caught a glimpse of the 
crouching Job, and comprehending the interruption, he 
fell back in his chair, smiling superciliously, as he con 


" I know the lad, sir ; I should know him. He is learned 
in the texts, and somewhat given to disputation in matters 
of religion. Tis a pity the little intellect he has had not 
been better managed in his infancy ; but they have helped 
to crush his feeble mind with their subtilties. We I 
mean we of the established church often style him the 
Boston Calvin ha, ha, ha ! Old Cotton was not his equal 
in subtilty ! But speaking of the establishment, do you 
not fancy that one of the consequences of this rebellion 
will be to extend its benefits to the colonies, and that we 
may look forward to the period when the true Church shall 
possess its inheritance in these religious provinces ?" 

"Oh, most certainly! " said Lionel, again walking anx- 
iously to the window ; "would to God they had come ! " 

The divine, with whom weddings were matters of too 
frequent occurrence to awaken his sympathies, understood 
the impatient bridegroom literally, and replied, accord- 

" I am glad to hear you say it, Major Lincoln, and I 
hope, when the act of amnesty shall be passed, to find your 
vote on the side of such a condition." 

At this instant Lionel caught a glimpse of the well-known 
sleigh, moving slowly along the deserted street, and, utter- 
ing a cry of pleasure, he rushed to the door to receive his 
bride. Dr. Liturgy finished his sentence to himself, and, 
rising from his comfortable position, he took the light, 
and entered the chancel. The disposition of the candles 
having been previously made, when they were lighted, his 
book opened, his robes adjusted, and his features settled 
into a suitable degree of solemnity, he stood, waiting with 
becoming dignity the approach of those over whom he 
was to pronounce the nuptial benediction. Job placed 
himself within the shadows of the building, and stood re- 
garding the attitude and imposing aspect of the priest, 
with a species of childish awe. 

Then came a group, emerging from the obscurity of the 
distant part of the church, and moving slowly toward the 
altar. Cecil was in front, leaning on that arm which 
Lionel had given her, as much for support, as through 
courtesy. She had removed her outer and warmer gar- 
ments in the vestibule of the sacred edifice, and now ap- 
peared, attired in a manner as well suited to the sudden- 
ness and privacy, as to the importance, of the- ceremony. 
A mantle of satin, trimmed with delicate furs, fell carelessly 
from her shoulders, partly concealing by its folds the ex- 


quisite proportions of her slender form. Beneath was a 
vestment of the same rich material, cut, after the fashions 
of that period, in a manner to give the exact outlines of 
the bust. Across the stomacher were deep rows of fine 
lace, and wide borders of the same valuable texture fol- 
lowed the retiring edges of her robe, leaving the costly 
dress within partly exposed to the eye. But the beauty 
and simplicity of her attire (it was simple for that day) 
was lost, or, rather, it served to adorn, unnoticed, the 
melancholy beauty of her countenance. 

As they approached the expecting priest, Cecil threw, 
by a gentle movement, her mantle on the rails of the 
chancel, and accompanied Lionel, with a firmer tread than 
before, to the foot of the altar. Her cheeks were pale ; 
but it was rather with a compelled resolution than dread, 
while her eyes were full of tenderness and thought. Of 
the two devotees of Hymen, she exhibited, if not the most 
composure, certainly the most singleness of purpose, and 
intentness on the duty before them ; for while the looks 
of Lionel were stealing uneasily about the building, as if 
he expected some hidden object to start up out of the 
darkness, hers were riveted on the priest in sweet and 
earnest attention. 

They paused in their allotted places ; and after a mo- 
ment was allowed for Agnes and Polwarth, who alone fol- 
lowed, to enter the chancel, the low but deep tones of the 
minister were heard in the solemn stillness of the place. 

Dr. Liturgy had borrowed a suitable degree of inspira- 
tion from the dreariness of the hour, and the solitude of 
the building where he was required to discharge his sacred 
functions. As he delivered the opening exhortation of 
the service, he made long and frequent pauses between 
the members of the sentences, giving to each injunction a 
distinct and impressive emphasis. But when he came to 
those closing words 

" If any man can show just cause why they may not be. 
/awfully joined together, let him now speak, or else, hereafter^ 
forever hold his peace" 

He lifted his voice, and raised his eyes to the more dis- 
tant parts of the chapel, as though he addressed a multi- 
tude in the gloom. The faces of all present involuntarily 
followed the direction of his gaze, and a moment of deep 
expectation, which can only be explained by the singu- 
larly wild character of the scene, succeeded the reverbera- 
tion of his tones. At that moment, when each had" taken 


breath, and all were again turning to the altar, a huge 
shadow rose upon the gallery, and extended itself along 
the ceiling, until its gigantic proportions were seen hover- 
ing, like an evil spectre, nearly above them. 

The clergyman suspended the half-uttered sentence. 
Cecil grasped the arm of Lionel convulsively, while a 
shudder passed through her frame that seemed about to 
shake it to dissolution. 

The shadowy image then slowly withdrew, not without, 
however, throwing out a fantastic gesture, with an arm 
which stretched itself across the vaulted roof, and down 
the walls, as if about to clutch its victims beneath. 

' ' If any man can show just cause why they may not b& 
lawfully joined together, let him now speak, or else, hereafter, 
forever hold his peace" repeated the priest aloud, as if he 
would summon the universe at the challenge. 

Again the shadow rose, presenting this time the strong 
and huge lineaments of a human face, which it was not 
difficult, at such a moment, to fancy possessed even ex- 
pression and life. Its strongly-marked features seemed to 
work with powerful emotion, and the lips moved as if the 
airy being was speaking to unearthly ears. Next came 
two arms, raised above the gazing group, with clasped 
hands, as in the act of benediction, after which the whole 
vanished, leaving the ceiling in its own dull white, and the 
building still as the graves which surrounded it. 

Once more the excited minister uttered the summons ; 
and again every eye was drawn, by a secret impulse, to a 
spot which seemed to possess the form, without the sub- 
stance, of a human being. But the shadow was seen no 
more. After waiting several moments in vain, Dr. Liturgy 
proceeded, with a voice in which a growing tremor was 
very perceptible ; but no further interruption was experi- 
enced to the end of the service. 

Cecil pronounced her vows, and plighted her troth, in 
tones of holy emotion ; while Lionel, who was prepared 
for some strange calamity, w r ent through the service to 
the end, with a forced calmness. They were married; and 
when the blessing was uttered, not a sound nor a whisper 
was heard in the party. Silently they all turned away 
from the spot, and prepared to leave the place. Cecil 
stood passively, and permitted Lionel to wrap her form in 
the folds of her mantle with tender care ; and when she 
would have smiled her thanks for the attention, she merely 
raised her anxious eyes to the ceiling, with an expression 


that could not be mistaken. Even Polwarth was mute; 
and Agnes forgot to offer those congratulations and good 
wishes, with which her heart had so recently been swelling. 
The clergyman muttered a few words of caution to Job 
concerning the candles and the fire, and hurried after the 
retiring party with a quickness of step that he was willing 
to ascribe to the lateness of the hour, and with a total dis- 
regard to the safety of the edifice ; leaving the chapel to 
the possession of the ill-gifted, but undisturbed son of 
Abigail Pray. 


" Forbear to judge, for we are sinners all ; 
Close up his eyes, and draw the curtain close ; 
And let us all to meditation." King Henry VI, 

THE bridal party entered their little vehicle silent and 
thoughtful ; the voice of Polwarth being alone audible, as 
he gave a few low and hurried orders to the groom who 
was in waiting. Dr. Liturgy approached for a moment, 
and made his compliments, when the sleigh darted away 
from the door of the building, as swiftly as if the horse 
that drew it partook of the secret uneasiness of those it 
held. The movements of the divine, though less rapid, 
were equally diligent, and in less than a minute the winds 
whistled, and clouds of snow were driven through a street, 
which everything possessing life appeared once more to 
have abandoned. 

The instant Polwarth had discharged his load at the 
door of Mrs. Lechmere, he muttered something of " hap- 
piness and to-morrow," which his friend did not under- 
stand, and dashed through the gate of the court-yard, at 
the same mad rate that he had driven from the church. On 
entering the house, Agnes repaired to the room of her 
aunt, to report that the marriage knot was tied, while Lio- 
nel led his silent bride into the empty parlor. 

Cecil stood, fixed and motionless as a statue, while her 
husband removed her cloak and mantle ; her cheeks pale, 
her eyes riveted on the floor, and her whole attitude and 
manner exhibiting the intensity of thought, which had 
been created by the scene in which she had just been an 
actor. When he had relieved her light form from the load 
of garments in which it had been enveloped by his care, 


he impelled her gently to a seat by his side, on the settee, 
and, for the first time since she had uttered the final vow 
at the altar, she spoke 

"Was it a fearful omen ?" she whispered, as he folded 
her to his heart, " or was it no more than a horrid fancy ? " 

" 'Twas nothing, love 'twas a shadow that of Job Pray, 
who was with me to light the fires." 

" No no no," said Cecil, speaking with the rapidity 
of high excitement, and in tones that gathered strength as 
she proceeded " Those were never the unmeaning feat- 
ures of the miserable simpleton! Know you, Lincoln, that 
in the haughty, the terrific outlines of those dreadful line- 
aments on the wall, I fancied a resemblance to the profile 
of our great uncle, your father's predecessor in the title 
Dark Sir Lionel, as he was called." 

" It was easy to fancy anything, at such a time, and un- 
der such circumstances. Do not cloud the happiness of 
our bridal by these gloomy fancies." 

" Am I gloomy or superstitious by habit, Lionel ? " she 
asked, \vith a deprecating tenderness in her voice, that 
touched his inmost heart " But it came at such a mo- 
ment, and in such a shape, that I should be more than 
woman not to tremble at its terrible import ! " 

"What is it you dread, Cecil? Are we not married; 
lawfully, solemnly united?" The bride shuddered; but 
perceiving her unwilling, or unable to answer, he con- 
tinued " beyond the power of man to sever ; and with 
the consent, nay, by the earnest wish, the command, of 
the only being who can have a right to express a wish, or 
have an opinion on the subject ?" 

" I believe that is, I think, it is all as you say, Lionel," 
returned Cecil, still looking about her with a vacant and 
distressed air, that curdled his blood ; " yes yes, we are 
certainly married ; and oh ! how ardently do I implore 
Him who sees and governs all things, that our union may 
be blessed ! but 

" But what, Cecil ? will you let a thing of naught a 
shadow affect you in this manner?" 

" Twas a shadow, as you say, Lincoln ; but where was 
the substance ?" 

" Cecil, my sensible, my good, my pious Cecil, why do 
your faculties slumber in this unaccountable apathy ? Ask 
your own excellent reason : can there be a shade where 
nothing obstructs the light ? " 

" I know not. I cannot reason I have not reason. All 


tilings are possible to Him, whose will is law, and whose 
slightest wisli shakes the universe. There was a shadow 
a dark, a speaking, and a terrible shadow ; but who can 
say, where was the reality ?" 

" I had almost answered, with the phantom, only in 
your own sensitive imagination, love. But arouse your 
slumbering powers, Cecil, and reflect how possible it was 
for some curious idler of the garrison to have watched my 
movements, and to have secreted himself in the chapel ; 
perhaps from wanton mischief perhaps without motive of 
any kind." 

" He then chose an awful moment in \vhich to act his 
gambols! " 

" It may have been one whose knowledge was just equal 
to giving a theatrical effect to his silly deception. But are 
\ve to be cheated of our happiness by such weak devices ; 
or to be miserable because Boston contains a fool ? " 

" I may be weak, and silly, and even impious in this 
terror, Lincoln," she said, turning her softened looks upon 
his anxious face, and attempting to smile ; " but it is assail- 
ing a woman in a point where she is most sensitive. You 
know that I have no reserve with you, now. Marriage 
with us is the tie that ' that binds all charities in one,' and 
at the moment when the heart is full of its own security, 
is it not dreadful to have such mysterious presages, be 
they true, or be they false, answering to the awful appeal 
of the church ! " 

" Nor is the tie less binding, less important, or less dear, 
my own Cecil, to us. Believe me, whatever the pride of 
manhood may say of high destinies, and glorious deeds, 
the same affections are deeply seated in our nature, and 
must be soothed by those we love, and not by those who 
contribute to our vanity. Why then permit this chill to 
blight your best affections in their budding?" 

There was so much that was soothing to the anxiety of 
a bride, in his sentiments, and so much of tender interest 
in his manner, that he at length succeeded, in a great de- 
gree, in luring Cecil from her feverish apprehensions. As 
he spoke, a mantling bloom diffused itself over her cold 
and pallid cheeks, and when he had done, her eyes lighted 
with the glow of a woman's confidence, and were turned 
on his own in bright, but blushing pleasure. She repeated 
his word "chill," with an emphasis and a smile that could 
not be misconstrued, and in a few minutes he entirely 
succeeded in quelling the uneasy presentiments that had 


gained a momentary ascendency over her clear and excel- 
lent faculties. 

But notwithstanding Major Lincoln reasoned so well, 
and with so much success, against the infirmity of his bride, 
he was by no means equal to maintain as just an argument 
with himself. The morbid sensibility of his mind had been 
awakened in a most alarming manner by the occurrences 
of the evening, though his warm interest in the happiness 
of Cecil had enabled him to smother them, so long as he 
witnessed the extent and nature of her apprehensions. 
But, exactly in the proportion as he persuaded her into 
forgetfulness of the past, his recollections became more 
vivid and keen ; and notwithstanding his art, he might not 
have been able to conceal the workings of his troubled 
thoughts from his companion, had not Agnes appeared, 
and announced the desire of Mrs. Lechmere to receive the 
bride and bridegroom in her sick chamber. 

" Corne, Lincoln," said his lovely companion, rising at 
the summons, "we have been selfish in forgetting how 
strongly my grandmother sympathizes in our good or evil 
fortunes. We should have discharged this duty without 
waiting to be reminded of it." 

Without making any other reply than a fond pressure of 
the hand he held, Lionel drew her arm through his own, 
and followed Agnes into the little hall which conducted to 
the upper part of the dwelling. 

"You know the way, Major Lincoln," said Miss Dan- 
fortli ; " and should you not, my lady bride can show you. 
I must go and cast a worldly eye on the little banquet I 
have ordered, but which I fear will be labor thrown away, 
since Captain Polwarth has disdained to exhibit his prow- 
ess at the board. Truly, Major Lincoln, I marvel that a 
man of so much substance as your friend, should be 
frightened from his stomach by a shadow!" 

Cecil even laughed, and in those sweet feminine tones 
that are infectious, at the humor of her cousin ; but the 
dark and anxious expression that gathered round the brow 
of her husband as suddenly checked her mirth. 

" Let us ascend, Lincoln," she said, instantly, "and leave 
mad Agnes to her household cares, and her folly." 

"Ay, go," cried the other, turning away toward the 
supper-room" eating and drinking is not ethereal enough 
for your elevated happiness ; would I had a repast worthy 
of such sentimental enjoyment ! Let me see dew drops 
and lovers' tears, in equal quantities, sweetened by Cupid's 


smiles, with a dish of sighs, drawn by moonlight, for pi. 
quancy, as Polwarth would say, would flavor a bowl ta 
tlicir tastes. The dew drops might be difficult to procure, 
at tliis inclement season, and in such a night ; but if 
sighs and tears would serve alone, poor Boston is just now 
rich enough in materials ! " 

Lionel, and his half-blushing, half-smiling companion, 
heard the dying sounds of her voice, as she entered the 
distant apartment, expressing, by its tones, the mingled 
pleasantry and spleen of its mistress, and in the next 
instant they forgot both Agnes and her humor, as they 
found themselves in the presence of Mrs. Lechmere. 

The first glance of his eye at their expecting relative, 
brought a painful throb to the heart of Major Lincoln. 
Mrs. Lechmere had caused herself to be raised in her bed, 
in which she was seated nearly upright, supported by pil- 
lows. Her wrinkled and emaciated cheeks were flushed 
with an unnatural color, that contrasted too violently with 
the marks which age and strong passions had impressed, 
with their indelible fingers, on the surrounding wreck of 
those haughty features, which had once been distinguished 
for great, if not attractive beauty. Her hard eyes had lost 
their ordinary expression of worldly care, in a brightness 
which caused them rather to glare, than beam, with flashes 
of unbridled satisfaction that could no longer be repressed. 
In short, her whole appearance brought a startling con- 
viction to the mind of the young man, that whatever might 
have been the ardor of his own feelings in espousing her 
grand-child, he had at length realized the fondest desires 
of a being so worldly, so designing, and, as he was now 
made keenly to remember, of one also, who, he had much 
reason to apprehend, was so guilty. The invalid did not 
seem to think a concealment of her exultation any longer 
necessary; for, stretching out her arms, she called to her 
child, in a voice raised above its natural tones, and which 
was dissonant and harsh from a sort of unholy triumph 

"Come to my arms, my pride, my hope, my dutiful, my 
deserving daughter ! Come and receive a parent's bless- 
ing ; that blessing which you so much deserve !" 

Even Cecil, warm and consoling as was the language of 
her grandmother, hesitated an instant at the unnatural 
voice in which the summons was uttered, and advanced to 
meet her embrace with a manner less warm than was usual 
to her own ardent and unsuspecting nature. This secret 
restraint existed, however, but for a moment ; for when 


she felt the encircling arms of Mrs. Lechmere pressing 
her warmly to her aged bosom, she looked up into the face 
of her grandmother, as if to thank her for so much affec- 
tion, by her own guileless smiles and tears. 

" Here, then, Major Lincoln, you possess my greatest, 
I had almost said my only treasure ! " added Mrs. Lech- 
mere " she is a good, a gentle, and dutiful child ; and 
heaven will bless her for it, as I do." Leaning forward, 
she continued in a less excited voice " Kiss me, my Cecil, 
my bride, my Lady Lincoln ! for by that loved title I may 
now call you, as yours, in the course of nature, it soon will 

Cecil, greatly shocked at the unguarded exultation of 
her grandmother, gently withdrew herself from her arms, 
and with eyes bent to the floor in shame, and burning 
cheeks, she willingly moved aside to allow Lionel to ap- 
proach, and receive his share of the congratulations. He 
stooped to bestow the cold and reluctant kiss, which the 
offered cheek of Mrs. Lechmere invited, and muttered a 
few incoherent words concerning his present happiness, 
and the obligation she had conferred. Notwithstanding 
the high and disgusting triumph which had broken through 
the usually cold and cautious manner of the invalid, a 
powerful and unbidden touch of nature mingled in her ad- 
dress to the bridegroom. The fiery and unnatural glow of 
her eyes even softened with a tear, as she spoke 

"Lionel, my nephew, my son," she said "I have en- 
deavored to receive you in a manner worthy of the head of 
an ancient and honorable name ; but were you a sovereign 
prince, I have now done my last and best in your favor. 
Cherish her love her be more than husband be all ot 
kin to the precious child, for she merits all ! Now is my 
latest wish fulfilled ! Now may I prepare myself for the 
last great change, in the quiet of a long and tranquil 
evening to the weary and troublesome day of life ! " 

" Woman ! " said a tremulous voice in the background-- 
" thou deceivest thyself ! " 

"Who," exclaimed Mrs. Lechmere, raising her body 
with a convulsive start, as if about to leap from the bed 
" who is it speaks ? " 

"'Tis I," returned the well-remembered tones of Ralph, 
as he advanced from the door to the foot of her couch 
" 'tis I, Priscilla Lechmere ; one who knows thy merits and 
thy doom ! " 

The appalled woman fell back on her pillows, gasping 


for breath, the flush of her cheeks giving place to theii 
former signs of age and disease, and her eye losing its high 
exultation in the glazed look of sudden terror. It would 
seem, however, that a single moment of reflection was suf- 
ficient to restore her spirit, and with it all her deep resent- 
ments. She motioned the intruder away, by a violent 
gesture of the hand, and after an effort to command her 
utterance, she said, in a voice rendered doubly strong by 
overwhelming passion 

"Why am I braved, at such a moment, in the privacy 
of my sick chamber? Have that madman, or impostor, 
whichever he may be, removed from my presence ! " 

She uttered her request to deadened ears. Lionel neither 
moved nor answered. His whole attention was given to 
Ralph, across whose hollow features a smile of calm in- 
difference passed, which denoted how little he regarded 
the threatened violence. Even Cecil, who clung to the 
arm of Lionel, with all a woman's dependence on him she 
loved, was unnoticed by the latter, in the absorbing inter- 
est he took in the sudden re-appearance of one whose sin- 
gular and mysterious character had long since raised such 
hopes and fears in his own bosom. 

" Your doors will shortly be opened to all who may 
choose to visit here," the old man coldly answered; "why 
should I be driven from a dwelling where heartless crowds 
shall so soon enter and depart at will ! Am I not old 
enough ; or do I not bear enough of the aspect of the 
grave, to become your companion ? Priscilla Lechmere, 
you have lived till the bloom of your cheeks has given 
place to the color of the dead ; your dimples have become 
furrowed and wrinkled lines ; and the beams of your once 
bright eye have altered to the dull look of care but you 
have not yet lived for repentance." 

" What manner of language is this ? " cried his wonder- 
ing listener, inwardly shrinking before his steady, but 
glowing look. " Why am I singled from the world for this 
persecution ? are my sins past bearing ; or am I alone to 
be reminded that sooner or later age and death will come ? 
I have long known the infirmities of life, and may truly 
say, that I am prepared for their final consequences." 

" Tis well," returned the unmoved and apparently im- 
movable intruder " take, then, and read the solemn decree 
of thy God ; and may He grant thee firmness to justify so 
much confidence." 

As he spoke, he extended, in his withered hand, an open 


letter toward Mrs. Lechmere, which the quick glance of 
Lionel told him bore his own name in the superscription. 
Notwithstanding the gross invasion of his rights, the young 
man was passive under the detection of this second and 
gross interference of the other in his most secret matters, 
watching with eager interest the effect the strange com- 
munication would produce on his aunt. 

Mrs. Lechmere took the letter from the stranger with a 
sort of charmed submission, which denoted how completely 
his solemn manner had bent her to his will. The instant 
her look fell on the contents, it became fixed and wild. 
The note was, however, short, and the scrutiny was soon 
ended. Still she grasped it with an extended arm, though 
the vacant expression of her countenance betrayed that it 
was held before an insensible eye. A moment of silent 
and breathless wonder followed. It was succeeded by a 
shudder which passed through the whole frame .of the in- 
valid, her limbs shaking violently, until the rattling of the 
folds of the paper was audible in the most distant corner 
of the apartment. 

"This bears my name," cried Lionel, shocked at her 
emotions, and taking the paper from her unresisting hand, 
" and should first have met my eye." 

" Aloud aloud, dear Lionel," said a faint but earnest 
whisper at his elbow ; "aloud, I implore you, aloud ! " 

It was not, perhaps, so much in compliance with this 
affecting appeal, in which the whole soul of Cecil seemed 
wrapped, as by yielding to the overwhelming flow of that 
excitement to which he had been aroused, that Major Lin- 
coln was led to conform to her request. In a voice ren- 
dered desperately calm by his emotions, he uttered the fatal 
contents of the note, in tones so distinct, that they sounded 
to his wife, in the stillness of the place, like the prophetic 
warnings of one from the dead. 

" The state of the town has prevented that close atten- 
tion to the case of Mrs. Lechmere, which her injuries ren- 
dered necessary. An inward mortification has taken place, 
and her present ease is only the forerunner of her death. I 
feel it my duty to say, that though she may live many 
hours, it is not improbable that she will die to-night." 

To this short, but terrible annunciation, was placed the 
well-known signature of the attending physician. Here 
was a sudden change, indeed ! All had thought that the 
disease had given way, when it seemed it had been prey- 
ing insidiously on the vitals of the sick. Dropping the 



note, Lionel exclaimed aloud, in the suddenness of his sur- 

"Die to-night! This is an unexpected summons, in- 
deed ! " 

The miserable woman, after the first nerveless moment 
of her dismay, turned her looks anxiously from face to face, 
and listened intently to the words of the note, as they fell 
from the lips of Lionel, like one eager to detect the glim- 
merings of hope in the alarmed expression of their coun- 
tenances. But the language of her physician was too 
plain, direct, and positive, to be misunderstood or per- 
verted. Its very coldness gave it a terrific character of 

" Do you then credit it ? " she asked in a voice whose 
husky tones betrayed but too plainly her abject unwilling- 
ness to be assured. " You ! Lionel Lincoln, whom I had 
thought my friend." 

Lionel turned away silently from the sad spectacle of hel 
misery ; but Cecil dropped on her knees at the bed-side, 
and clasping her hands, she elevated them, looking like a 
beautiful picture of pious hope, as she murmured 

" He is no friend, dearest grandmother, who would lay 
flattery to a parting soul ! But there is a better and a safer 
dependence than all this world can offer ! " 

"And you, too!" cried the devoted woman, rousing 
herself with a strength and energy that would seem to put 
the professional knowledge of her medical attendant at 
defiance " do you also abandon me ? you, whom I have 
watched in infancy, nursed in suifering, fondled in hap- 
piness, ay ! and reared in virtue yes, that I can say 
boldly in the face of the universe ! you, whom I have 
brought to this honorable marriage ; would you repay me 
for all, by black ingratitude ? " 

" My grandmother ! my grandmother ! talk not thus 
cruelly to your child ! But lean on the Rock of Ages for 
support, even as I have leaned on thee ! " 

" Away away weak, foolish child ! Excess of happi- 
ness has maddened thee ! Come hither, my son ; let us 
speak of Ravenscliffe, the proud seat of our ancestors ; and 
of those days we are yet to pass under its hospitable roofs. 
The silly girl thou hast wived would wish to frighten me ! " 

Lionel shuddered with inward horror while he listened 
to the forced and broken intonations of her voice, as she 
thus uttered the lingering wishes of her nature. He turned 
again from the view, and, for a moment, buried his face in 


his hands, as if to exclude the world and its wickedness, to- 
gether, from his sight. 

" My grandmother, look not so wildly at us ! " continued 
the gasping Cecil " you may have yet hours, nay, days, 
before you." She paused an instant to follow the unsettled 
and hopeless gaze of an eye that gleamed despairingly on 
the objects of the room, and then, with a meek depend- 
ence on her own purity, dropping her face between her 
hands, she cried aloud in her agony 

" My mother's mother ! would that I could die for thee !" 

" Die ! " echoed the same dissonant voice as before, from 
a throat that already began to rattle with the hastened ap- 
proaches of death " who would die amid the festivities of 
a bridal ! Away leave me. To thy closet, and thy knees, 
if thou wilt but leave rne." 

She watched, with bitter resentment, the retiring form 
of Cecil, who obeyed with the charitable and pious inten- 
tion of complying literally with her grandmother's order, 
before she added 

" The girl is not equal to the task I had set her ! All of 
my race have been weak, but I my daughter my hus- 
band's niece " 

" What of that niece ? " said the startling voice of Ralph, 
interrupting the diseased wanderings of her mind " that 
wife of thy nephew the mother of this youth ? Speak, 
woman, while time and reason are granted thee." 

Lionel now advanced to her bed-side, under an impulse 
that he could no longer subdue, and addressed her sol- 

" If thou knowest aught of the dreadful calamity that 
has befallen my family," he said, " or in any manner hast 
been accessory to its cause, disburden thy soul, and die in 
peace. Sister of my grandfather ! nay, more, mother of 
my wife ! I conjure thee, speak what of my injured 
mother? " 

' "Sister of thy grandfather mother of thy wife," re- 
peated Mrs. Lechmere, slowly, and in a manner that suf- 
ficiently indicated the unsettled state of her thoughts 
41 Yes, both are true !" 

" Speak to me, then, of my mother, if you acknowledge 
the ties of blood tell me of her dark fate ! " 

" She is in her grave dead rotten yes yes her 
boasted beauty has been fed upon by beastly worms ! 
What more would ye have, mad boy ? Would'st wish to see 
her bones in their winding-sheet?" 


" The truth ! " cried Ralph ; " declare the truth, and thy 
own wicked agency in the deed ! " 

."Who speaks ?" repeated Mrs. Lechmere, dropping her 
voice from its notes of high excitement again, to the 
tremulous cadency of debility and age, and looking about 
her at the same time, as if a sudden remembrance had 
crossed her brain ; " surely I heard sounds I should 
know ! " 

" Here ; look on me fix thy wandering eye, if it yet 
has power to see, on me," cried Ralph, aloud, as though 
he would command her attention at every hazard "'tis 
I that speak to thee, Priscilla Lechmere. " 

"What wouldst thou have ? My daughter? She is in 
her grave ! Her child ? She is wedded to another. Thou 
art too late ! Thou art too late ! Would to God thou hadst 
asked her of me in season " 

" The truth the truth the truth ! " continued the old 
man, in a voice that rung through the apartment in wild 
and startling echoes "the holy andundefiled truth ! Give 
us that, and naught else." 

This singular and solemn appeal awakened the latest 
energies of the despairing woman, whose inmost soul ap- 
peared to recoil before his cries. She made an effort to 
raise herself once more, and exclaimed 

"Who says that I am dying? I am but seventy! and 
'tis only yesterday I was a child a pure, an uncontaminat- 
ed child ! He lies he lies ! I have no mortification I 
am strong, and have years to live and repent in." 

In the pauses of her utterance, the voice of the old man 
was still heard shouting 

"The truth the truth the holy, undefiled truth!" 

" Let me rise and look upon the sun," continued the 
dying woman. " Where are ye all ? Cecil, Lionel my 
children, do ye desert me now ? Why do ye darken the 
room ? Give me light more light ! -more light ! for the 
sake of all in heaven and earth, abandon me not Jto this* 
black and terrific darkness ! " 

Her aspect had become so hideously despairing, that the 
voice of even Ralph was stilled, and she continued unin- 
terruptedly to shriek out the ravings of her soul. 

"Why talk to such as I of death ! My time has been 
too short ! give me days give me hours give me mo- 
ments ! Cecil, Agnes Abigail ; where are ye ? help me, 
or I fall ! " 

She raised herself, by a desperate effort, from the pil- 


lows, and clutched wildly at the empty air. Meeting the 
extended hand of Lionel, she caught it with a dying 
grasp, gave a ghastly smile, under the false security it im- 
parted, and falling backward again, her mortal part settled, 
with a universal shudder, into a state of eternal rest. 

As the horrid exclamations of the deceased ended, so 
deep a stillness succeeded in the apartment, that the pass- 
ing gusts of the gale were heard sighing among the roofs 
of the town, and might easily be mistaken, at such a mo- 
ment, for the moanings of unembodied spirits over so ac- 
cursed an end. 


"I wonder, sir, since wives are monstrous to you, 
And that you fly them, as you swear them, lordship, 
Yet, you desire to marry." All's Well That Ends Well. 

CECIL had left the room of her grandmother, with the 
consciousness of sustaining a load of anguish, to which her 
young experience had hitherto left her a stranger. On 
her knees, and in the privacy of her closet, she poured out 
the aspirations of her pure spirit, in fervent petitions to 
that power, which she, who most needed its support, had 
so long braved by the mockery of respect, and the seemli- 
ness of devotion. With her soul elevated by its recent 
communion with her God, and her feelings soothed even to 
calmness by the sacred glow that was shed around them, 
the youthful bride at length prepared to resume her post 
at the bedside of her aged relative. 

In passing from her own room to that of Mrs. Lechmere, 
she heard the busy voice of Agnes below, together with 
the sounds of the preparations that were making to grace 
her own hasty bridal, and for a moment she paused to 
assure herself that all which had so recently passed, was 
more than the workings of a disturbed fancy. She gazed 
at the unusual, though modest ornaments of her attire ; 
shuddered as she remembered the awful omen of the 
shadow ; and then came to the dreadful reality with an 
overwhelming conviction of its truth. After laying her 
hand on the door, she paused, with secret terror, to catch 
the sounds that might issue from the chamber of the sick. 
After listening a moment, the bustle below was hushed, 
and she, too, heard the whistling of the wind, as its echoes 


died away among the chimneys and angles of the building. 
Encouraged by the death-like stillness of those within her 
grandmother's room, Cecil now opened the door, under 
the pleasing impression that she should find the resignation 
of a Christian, where she had so lately witnessed the in- 
cipient ravings of despair. Her entrance was timid ; for 
she dreaded to meet the hollow, but glaring eye of the 
nameless being who had borne the message of the physi- 
cian, and of whose mien and language she retained a con- 
fused but fearful recollection. Her hesitation and her 
fears were, however, alike vain ; for the room was silent 
and tenantless. Casting one wondering look around, in 
quest of the form most dear to her, Cecil advanced with a 
light step to the bed, and raising the coverlet, discovered 
the fatal truth at a glance. 

The lineaments of Mrs. Lechmere had already stiffened, 
and assumed that cadaverous and ghastly expression, 
which marks the touch of death. The parting soul had 
left the impression of its agony on her features, exhibiting 
the wreck of those passions which caused her, even in 
death, to look backward on that world she was leaving for- 
ever, instead of forward to the unknown existence, toward 
which she was hurried. Perhaps the suddenness, and the 
very weight of the shock, sustained the cheerless bride in 
that moment of trial. She neither spoke nor moved for 
more than a minute ; but remained with her eyes riveted 
on the desolation of that countenance she had revered from 
her infancy, with a species of holy awe that was not en- 
tirely free from horror. Then came the recollection of 
the portentous omens of her wedding, and with it a dread 
that the heaviest of her misfortunes were yet in reserve. 
She dropped the covering on the pallid features of the 
dead, and quitted the apartment with a hurried step. The 
room of Lionel was on the same floor with that which she 
had just left, and before she had time for reflection, her 
hand was on its lock. Her brain was bewildered with the 
rush of circumstances. For a single instant she paused 
with maiden bashfulness, even recoiling in sensitive shame 
from the act she was about to commit, when all her fears, 
mingled with glimmerings of the truth, flashed again 
across her mind, and she burst into the room, uttering the 
name of him she sought, aloud. 

The brands of a fallen fire had been carefully raked 
together, and were burning with a feeble and wavering 
flame. The room seemed filled with a cold air, which, as 


she encountered it, chilled the delicate person of Cecil ; 
and flickering shadows were playing on the walls, with 
the uncertain movements imparted by the unsteady light. 
But, like the apartment of the dead, the room was still 
and empty. Perceiving that the door of the little dressing- 
room was open, she rushed to its threshold, and the 
mystery of the cold air, and the wavering fire, was ex- 
plained, when she felt the gusts of wind rush by her from 
the open door at the foot of the narrow stairs. If Cecil 
had ever been required to explain the feelings which in- 
duced her to descend, or the manner in which it was ef- 
fected, she would have been unable to comply ; for, quick 
as thought, she stood on the threshold of the outer door, 
nearly unconscious of her situation. 

The moon was still wading among the driving clouds, 
shedding just light enough to make the spectator sensible 
of the stillness of the camp and town. The easterly wind 
yet howled along the streets, occasionally lifting whirlwinds 
of snow, and wrapping whole squares in its dim wreaths. 
But neither man nor beast was visible amid the dreariness. 

The bewildered bride shrunk from the dismal view, 
with a keen perception of its wild consonance with the 
death of her grandmother. In another moment she was 
again in the room above, each part of which was examined 
with maddening anxiety for the person of her husband. 
But her powers, excited and unnatural as they had become, 
could support her no longer. She was forced' to yield to 
the impression that Lionel had deserted her in the most 
trying moment, and it was not strange that she coupled 
the sinister omens of the night with his mysterious ab- 
sence. The heart-stricken girl clasped her hands in 
anguish, and shrieking the name of her cousin, sunk on 
the floor in total insensibility. 

Agnes was busily and happily employed with her do* 
mestics, in preparing such a display of the wealth of the 
Lechmeres as should not disgrace her cousin in the eyes 
of her more wealthy lord and master. The piercing cry, 
however, notwithstanding the bustle of hurrying servants, 
and the clatter of knives and plates, penetrated to the 
supper-room, stilling each movement, and blanching 
every cheek. 

" 'Tis my name ! " said Agnes ; " who is it calls ?" 

"If it was possible'' returned Meriton, with a suitable 
emphasis, " that Master Lionel's bride could scream so, I 
should say it was my lady's voice ! " 


" 'Tis Cecil 'tis Cecil ! " cried Agnes, darting from the 
room ; " O, I feared I feared these hasty nuptials ! " 

There was a general rush of the menials into the cham- 
bers, when the fatal truth became immediately known to 
the whole family. The lifeless clay of Mrs. Lechmere was 
discovered in its ghastly deformity, and, to all but Agnes, 
it aiforded a sufficient solution of the situation of the 

More than an hour passed before the utmost care of her 
attendants succeeded in restoring Cecil to a state in which 
questions might avail anything. Then her cousin took ad- 
vantage of the temporary absence of her women, to men- 
tion the name of her husband. Cecil heard her with sudden 
joy ; but looking about the room wildly, as if seeking him 
with her eyes, she pressed her hands upon her heart, and 
fell backward in that state of insensibility, from which she 
had just been roused. No part of this expressive evidence 
of her grief was lost on the other, who left the room the 
instant her care had succeeded in bringing the sufferer 
once more to her recollection. 

Agnes Dan forth had never regarded her aunt with that 
confiding veneration and love which purified the affections 
of the granddaughter of the deceased. She had alw r ays 
possessed her more immediate relatives, from whom she 
derived her feelings and opinions, nor was she wanting in 
sufficient discernment to distinguish the cold and selfish 
traits that had so particularly marked the character of Mrs. 
Lechmere. She had, therefore, consented to mortify her 
own spirit, and submit to the privations and dangers of the 
siege, entirely from a disinterested attachment to her 
cousin, who, without her presence, would have found her 
solitude and situation irksome. 

In consequence of this disposition of her mind, Agnes 
was more shocked than distressed by the unexpected death 
that had occurred. Perhaps, if her anxiety had been less 
roused in behalf of Cecil, she might have retired to weep 
over the departure of one she had known so long, and of 
one, also, that, in the sincerity of her heart, she believed 
so little prepared for the mighty change. As it was, how- 
ever, she took her way calmly to the parlor, where she 
summoned Meriton to her presence. 

When the valet made his entrance, she assumed the ap* 
pearance of a composure that was far from her feelings, 
and desired him to seek his master, with a request that he 
would give Miss Danforth a short interview, without de- 


lay. During the time Meriton was absent on this errand, 
Agnes endeavored to collect her thoughts for any emer- 

Minute passed after minute, however, and the valet did 
not return. She arose, and stepping lightly to the door, 
listened, and thought she heard his footsteps moving 
about in the more distant parts of the building, with a 
quickness that proved he conducted the search in good 
faith. At length she heard them nigher, and it was soon 
certain he was on his return. Agnes seated herself, as be- 
fore, and with an air that seemed as if she expected to re- 
ceive the master instead of the man. Meriton, however, 
returned alone. 

" Major Lincoln," she said, " you desired him to meet me 
here ? " 

The whole countenance of Meriton expressed his amaze- 
ment, as he answered 

"Lord ! Miss Agnus, Master Lionel has gone out! gone 
out on such a night ! and what is more remarkable, he 
has gone out without his mourning ; though the dead of his 
own blood and connections lies unburied in the house ! " 

Agnes preserved her composure, and gladly led the 
valet on in the path his thoughts had taken, in order to 
come at the truth, without betraying her own apprehen- 

" How know you, Mr. Meriton, that your master has 
been so far forgetful of appearances ? " 

" As certain, ma'am, as I know that he wore his parade 
uniform this evening when he left the house the first time ; 
though little did I dream his honor was going to get mar- 
ried ! If he hasn't gone out in the same dress, where is 
it ? Besides, ma'am, his last mourning is under lock, and 
here is the key in my pocket." 

" "Pis singular he should choose such an hour, as well as 
the time of his marriage, to absent himself! " 

Meriton had long learned to identify all his interests 
with those of his master, and he colored highly under the 
oblique imputation that he thought was no less cast on 
Lionel's gallantry, than on his sense of propriety in general. 

"Why, Miss Agnus, you will please remember, ma'am, '' 
he answered, " as this wedding hasn't been at all like an 
English wedding nor can I say that it is altogether usual 
to die in England as suddenly as Ma'am Lechmere has 
been pleased " 

" Perhaps," interrupted Agnes, " some accident may 


have happened to him. Surely no man of common hu 
inanity would willingly be away at such a moment ! " 

The feelings of Meriton now took another direction, and 
he unhesitatingly adopted the worst apprehensions of the 
young lady. 

Agnes leaned her forehead on her hand, for a minute, in 
deep reflection, before she spoke again, then, raising her 
eyes to the valet, she said 

"Mr. Meriton, know you where Captain Pohvarth 
sleeps ? " 

" Certainly, ma'am ! He's a gentleman as always sleeps 
in his own bed, unless the king's service calls him else- 
where. A considerate gentleman is Captain Polwarth, 
ma'am, in respect of himself ! " 

Miss Danforth bit her lip, and her playful eye lighted 
for an instant, with a ray that banished its look of sadness ; 
but in another moment her features became demure, if not 
melancholy, and she continued 

" I believe, then 'tis awkward and distressing, too, but 
nothing better can be done." 

" Did you please to give me any orders, 'Miss Agnus ?" 

"Yes, Meriton ; you will go to the lodgings of Captain 
Polwarth, and tell him Mrs. Lincoln desires his immediate 
presence here, in Tremont Street." 

" My lady ! " repeated the amazed valet " why, Miss 
Agnus, the women says as my lady is unconscionable, and 
does not know what is doing, or who speaks to her! A 
mournful wedding, ma'am, for the heir of our house ! " 

"Then tell him," said Agnes, as she arose to leave the 
room, " that Miss Danforth would be glad to see him." 

Meriton waited no longer than was necessary to mutter 
his approbation of this alteration in the message, when he 
left the house, with a pace that was a good deal quickened 
by his growing fears on the subject of his master's safety. 
Notwithstanding his apprehensions, the valet was by no 
means insensible to the severity of the climate he was in, 
nor to the peculiar qualities of that night, in which he was 
so unexpectedly thrust abroad to encounter its fury. He 
soon succeeded, however, in making his way to the quar- 
ters of Polwarth, in the midst of the driving snow, and in 
defiance of the cold that chilled his very bones. Happily 
for the patience of the worthy valet, Shearflint, the semi- 
military attendant of the captain, was yet up, having just 
discharged his nightly duties about the person of his 
master, who had not deemed it prudent to seek his pillow 


without proving the consolations of the trencher. The 
door was opened at the first tap of Meriton, and when the 
other had expressed his surprise, by the usual exclamations, 
the two attendants adjourned to the sitting-room, where 
the embers of a good wood fire were yet shedding a grate- 
ful heat in the apartment. 

" What a shocking country is this America for cold, Mr. 
Shearflint ! " said Meriton, kicking the brands together 
with his boot, and rubbing his hands over the coals " I 
doesn't think as our English cold is at all like it. It's a 
stronger and a better cold is ours, but it doesn't cut one 
like dull razors, as this here of America." 

Shearflint, who fancied himself particularly liberal, and 
ever made it a point to show his magnanimity to his ene- 
mies, never speaking of the colonists without a sort of 
protecting air, that he intended should reflect largely on 
his own candor, briskly replied 

" This is a new country, Mr. Meriton, and one shouldn't 
be over-nice. When one goes abroad, one must learn to 
put up with difficulties ; especially in the colonies, where 
it can't be expected all things should be as comfortable as 
we has 'em at 'ome." 

" Well, now, I call myself a little particular in respect of 
weather," returned Meriton, " as and going. But give me 
England for climate, if for nothing else. The water comes 
down in that blessed country in good, honest drops, and not 
in little frozen bits, which prick one's face like so many 
fine needles ! " 

" You do look, Mr. Meriton, a little as if you had been 
shaking your master's powder-puff about your own ears. 
But I was just finishing the heel-tap of the captain's hot 
toddy ; perhaps if you was to taste it, 'twould help to thaw 
out the idears." 

" God bless me ! Shearflint," said Meriton, relinquishing 
his grasp of the tankard, to take breath after a most vigor- 
ous draught " do you always stuff his night-cap so thick ?" 

" No no the captain can tell a mixture by his nose, 
and it doesn't do to make partial alterations in his glass," 
returned Shearflint, giving the tankard a circular motion 
to stir its contents, while he spoke, and swallowing the 
trifle that remained, apparently at a gulp ; " then as I 
thinks it a pity that anything should be wasted in these 
distressing times, I generally drinks what's left, after add- 
ing sum'at to the water, just to mellow it down. But what 
brings you abroad such a foul night, Mr. Meriton ? ' 


" Sure enough, my idears wanted thawing, as you insti. 
gated, Shearflint ! Here have I been sent on a message oi 
life and death, and I was forgetting my errand like a raw 
boy just hired from the country ! " 

" Something is stirring, then ! " said the other, offering a 
chair, which his companion received without any words, 
while Polwarth's man took another, with equal composure. 
" I thought as much, from the captain's hungry appear- 
ance, when he came home to-night, after dressing himself 
with so much care, to take his supper in Tremont Street." 

" Something has been stirring indeed ! For one thing, 
it is certain, Master Lionel was married to-night, in the 
King's Chapel ! " 

" Married ! " echoed the other " well, thank heaven, no 
such unavoidables has befallen us, though we have been 
amputrated. I couldn't live with a married gentleman, no- 
how, Mr. Meriton. A master in breeches is enough for 
me, without one in petticoats to set him on ! " 

" That depends altogether on people's conditions, Shear- 
flint," returned Meriton, with a sort of condescending air 
of condolence, as though he pitied the other's poverty. 
"It would be great folly for a captain of foot, that is noth- 
ing but a captain of foot, to unite in Hymen. But, as we 
say at Ravenscliffe and Soho, Cupid will listen to the siyths 
of the heir of a Devonshire baronet, with fifteen thousand 
a year." 

" I never heard any one say it was more than ten," in- 
terrupted the other, with a strong taint of ill-humor in his 

" Not more than ten ! I can count ten myself, and I am 
sure there must be some that I doesn't know of." 

"Well, if it be twenty," cried Shearflint, rising and kick- 
ing the brands among the ashes, in a manner to destroy 
all the cheerfulness of the little fire that remained, " it 
won't help you to do your errand. You should remember 
that us servants of poor captains have nobody to help us 
with our work, and want our natural rest. What's your 
pleasure, Mr. Meriton?" 

" To see your master, Mister Shearflint." 

" That's impossibility ! he's under five blankets, and f 
wouldn't lift the thinnest of them for a month's wages." 

" Then I shall do it for you, because speak to him I must. 
Is he in this room ? " 

" Ay, you'll find him somewhere there, among the bed* 
clothes " returned Shearflint, throwing open the door of ar 


adjoining apartment, secretly hoping Meriton would get 
his head broken for his trouble, as he removed himself out 
of harm's way, by returning to the fire-place. 

Meriton was compelled to give the captain several rough 
shakes before he succeeded in rousing him, in the least, 
from his deep slumbers. Then, indeed, he overheard the 
sleeper muttering 

"A damn'd foolish business, that had we made proper 
use of our limbs, we might have kept them. You take 
this man to be your husband better for worse richer 
or poorer ha ! who are you rolling, dog ? have you no 
regard to digestion, to shake a man in this manner, just 
after eating ! " 

" It's I, sir Meriton." 

" And what the devil do you mean by this liberty, Mr. 
I, or Meriton, or whatever you call yourself ? " 

" I am sent for you in a great hurry, sir awful things 
have happened to-night up in Tremont 

" Happened ! " repeated Polwarth, who by this time 
was thoroughly awake " I know, fellow, that your master 
is married I gave the bride away myself. I suppose 
nothing else, that is particularly extraordinary, has hap- 

" Oh ! Lord, yes, sir my lady is in fainting fits, and 
Master Lionel has gone, God knows whither, and Madam 
Lechmere is dead ! " 

Meriton had not concluded, before Polwarth sprang 
from his bed in the best manner he was able, and began to 
dress himself, by a sort of instinct, though without any 
definite object. By the unfortunate arrangement of Meri- 
ton's intelligence, he supposed the death of Mrs. Lechmere 
to be in consequence of some strange and mysterious sep- 
aration of the bride from her husband, and his busy 
thoughts did not fail to recall the singular interruption of 
the nuptials, so often mentioned. 

"And Miss Danforth ! " he asked "how does she bear 

" Like a woman, as she is, and a true lady. It is no 
small thing as puts Miss Agnus beside herself, sir!" 

" No, that it is not ! she is much more apt to drive others 

" 'Twas she, sir, as sent me to desire you to come up to 
Tremont Street, without any delay." 

" The devil it was ! Hand me that boot, my good fel- 
low. One boot, thank God, is sooner put on than two ! 


The vest and stock next. You, Shearflint ! where have you 
got to, sirrah ! Bring me my leg, this instant" 

As soon as his own man heard this order, he made his 
appearance ; and as he was much more conversant with 
the mystery of his master's toilet than Meriton, the cap- 
tain was soon equipped for his sudden expedition. 

During the time he was dressing, he continued to put 
hasty questions to Meriton, concerning the cause of the 
disturbance in Tremont Street, the answers to which only 
served to throw him more upon the ocean of uncertainty 
than ever. The instant he was clad, he wrapped himself 
in his cloak, and, taking the arm of the valet, he essayed 
to find his way through the tempest to the spot w r here he 
was told Agnes Danforth awaited his appearance, with a 
chivalry that, in another age, and under different circum- 
stances, would have made him a hero. 


" Proud lineage ! now how little thou appearest ! " BLAIR. 

NOTWITHSTANDING the unusual alacrity with which Pol* 
warth obeyed the unexpected summons of the capricious 
being whose favor he had so long courted, with so little 
apparent success, he lingered in his steps as he approached 
near enough to the house in Tremont Street, to witness the 
glancing lights which flitted before the windows. On the 
threshold he stopped, and listened to the opening and 
shutting of doors, and all those marked, and yet stifled 
sounds, which are w r ont to succeed a visit of the grim 
monarch to the dwellings of the sick. His rap was un- 
answered, and he was compelled to order Meriton to show 
him into the little parlor where he had so often been a 
guest, under more propitious circumstances. Here he 
found Agnes, awaiting his appearance with a gravity, if 
not sadness of demeanor, that instantly put to flight cer- 
tain complimentary effusions, with which the captain had 
determined to open the interview, in order to follow up, in 
the true temper of a soldier, the small advantage he con- 
ceived he had obtained in the good opinion of his mistress. 
Altering the exulting expression of his features with his 
first glance at the countenance of Miss Danforth, Pohvartr- 


paid his compliments in a manner better suited to the state 
of the family, and desired to know, if in any manner he 
could contribute to their comfort or relief. 

" Death has been among us, Captain Polwarth," said 
Agnes, " and his visit has, indeed, been sudden and unex- 
pected. To add to our embarrassment, Major Lincoln is 
missing ! " 

As she concluded, Agnes fastened her eyes on the face 
of the other, as though she would require an explanation 
of the unaccountable absence of the bridegroom. 

" Lionel Lincoln is not a man to fly because death ap- 
proaches," returned the captain, musing ; " and less should 
I suspect him of deserting, in her distress, one like the 
lovely creature he has married. Perhaps he has gone in 
quest of medical aid ?" 

" It cannot be. I have gathered from the broken sen- 
tences of Cecil, that he, and some third person to me un- 
known, were last with my aunt, and must have been present 
at her death ; for the face was covered. I found the bride 
in the room which Lionel has lately occupied the doors 
open, and with indications that he and his unknown com- 
panion had left the house by the private stairs, which com- 
municate with the western door. As my cousin speaks 
but little, all other clew to the movements of her husband 
is lost, unless this ornament, which I found glittering 
among the embers of the fire, may serve for such a pur- 
pose. It is, I believe, a soldier's gorget." 

" It is, indeed ; and it would seem the wearer has been 
in some jeopardy, by this bullet-hole through its centre. 
By heavens ! 'tis that of M'Fuse ! Here is the i8th en- 
graved ; and I know these little marks which the poor fel- 
low was accustomed to make on it at every battle ; for he 
never failed to wear the baw r ble. The last was the saddest 
record of them all ! " 

"In what manner, then, could it be conveyed into the 
apartment of Major Lincoln ? Is it possible that " 

" In what manner, truly ! " interrupted Polwarth, rising 
in his agitation, and beginning to pace the room, in the 
b^st manner his mutilated condition would allow " Poor 
Djnnis ! that I should find such a relic of thy end at last ! 
You did not know Dennis, I believe. He was a man, fair 
Agnes, every way adapted by nature for a soldier. His 
was the form of Hercules ! the heart of a lion, and the di- 
gestion of an ostrich ! But he could not master this cruel 
lead ! He is dead, poor fellow, he is dead ! " 


" Still you find no clew in the gorget by which to trace 
the living ? " demanded Agnes. 

" Ha ! " exclaimed Polwarth, starting " I think I begin 
to see into the mystery ! The fellow who could slay the 
man with whom he had eaten and drunk, might easily rob 
the dead ! You found the gorget near the fire of Major 
Lincoln's room, say you, fair Agnes ? " 

" In the embers, as if cast there for concealment, or 
dropped in some sudden strait." 

u I have it I have it ! " returned Polwarth, striking his 
hands together, and speaking through his teeth " 'twas 
that dog who murdered him, and justice shall now take its 
swing fool or no fool, he shall be hung up like jerked 
beef, to dry in the winds of heaven ! " 

" Of whom speak you, Polwarth, with that threatening 
air?" inquired Agnes, in a soothing voice, of which, like 
the rest of her sex, she well knew not only the power, but 
when to exercise it. 

" Of a canting, hypocritical miscreant, who is called Job 
Pray a fellow with no more conscience than brains, nor 
any more brains than honesty. An ungainly villain, who 
will eat of your table to-day, and put the same knife that 
administered to his hunger to your throat to-morrow ! It 
was such a dog that butchered the glory of Erin ! " 

" It must have been in open battle, then," said Agnes, 
' for though wanting in reason, Job has been reared in the 
knowledge of good and evil. The child must be strongly 
stamped with the wrath of God, indeed, for whom some 
effort is not made by a Boston mother, to recover his part 
in the great atonement ! " 

" He, then, is an exception ; for surely no Christian will 
join you in the great natural pursuit of eating at one mo- 
ment, and turn his fangs on a comrade at the next." 

" But what has all this to do with the absent bride- 
groom ? " 

" It proves that Job Pray has been in his room since the 
fire was replenished, or some other than you would have 
found the gorget." 

" It proves a singular association, truly, between Major 
Lincoln and the simpleton," said Agnes, musing ; " but 
still it throws no light on his disappearance. Twas an 
old man that my cousin mentioned in her unconnected 
sentences ! " 

" My life on it, fair Agnes, that if Major Lincoln has left 
the house mysteriously to-night, it is under the guidance 


of that wretch ! I have known them together in council 
more than once, before this." 

" Then, if he be weak enough to forsake such a woman 
as my cousin, at the instigation of a fool, he is unworthy of 
another thought ! " 

Agnes colored as she spoke, and turned the conversa- 
tion with a manner that denoted how deeply she resented 
the slight to Cecil. 

The peculiar situation of the town, and the absence of 
all her own male relatives, soon induced Miss Danforth to 
listen to the reiterated offers of service from the captain, 
and finally to accept them. Their conference was long 
and confidential ; nor did Polwarth retire until his foot- 
steps were assisted by the dull light of the approaching 
day. When he left the house to return to his own quar- 
ters, no tidings had been heard of Lionel, whose inten- 
tional absence was now so certain, that the captain pro- 
ceeded to give his orders for the funeral of the deceased, 
without any further delay. He had canvassed with Agnes 
the propriety of every arrangement so fully, that he was at 
no loss how to conduct himself. It had been determined 
between them that the state of the siege, as well as certain 
indications of movements which were already making in 
the garrison, rendered it inexpedient to delay the obse- 
quies a moment longer than was required by the unavoid- 
able preparations. 

Accordingly, the Lechmere vault, in the church-yard of 
the " King's Chapel," was directed to be opened, and the 
vain trappings, in which the dead are usually enshrouded, 
were provided. The same clergyman, who had so4ately 
pronounced the nuptial benediction over the child, was 
now required to perform the last melancholy offices of the 
Church over the parent, and the invitations to the few 
friends of the family who remained in the place were duly 
issued in suitable form. 

By the time the sun had fallen near the amphitheatre of 
hills, along whose crests were, here and there, to be seen 
the works of the indefatigable men who held the place in 
leaguer, the brief preparations for the interment of the de- 
ceased were completed. The prophetical words of Ralph 
were now fulfilled, and, according to the custom of the 
province, the doors of one of its proudest dwellings were 
thrown open for all those who chose to enter and depart 
at will. The funeral train, though respectable, was far 
from extending to that display of solemn countenances 

2 74 LI ONEL LINC OLA r . 

which Boston, in its peace and pride, would not have 
failed to exhibit on any similar occasion. A few of the 
oldest and most respected of the inhabitants, who were 
distantly connected by blood or alliances with the deceased, 
attended ; but there had been nothing in the cold and 
selfish character of Mrs. Lechmere to gather the poor and 
dependent in sorrowing groups around her funeral rites. 
The passage of the body, from its late dwelling to the 
tomb, was quiet, decent, and impressive, but entirely with- 
out any demonstrations of grief. Cecil had burie'd her- 
self and her sorrows, together, in the privacy of her own 
room, and none of the more distant relatives who had col- 
lected, male or female, appeared to find it at all difficult to 
restrain their feelings within the bounds of the most rigid 

Dr. Liturgy received the body, as usual, on the threshold 
of the sacred edifice, and the same solemn and affecting 
language was uttered over the dead, as if she had departed 
soothed by the most cheerful visions of an assured faith. 
As the service proceeded, the citizens clustered about the 
coffin, in deep attention, in admiration of the unwonted 
tremor and solemnity that had crept into the voice of the 

Among this little collection of the inhabitants of the col- 
ony, were interspersed a few men in the military dress, 
who, having known the family of the deceased in more 
settled times, had not forgotten to pay the last tribute to 
the memory of one of its dead. 

When the short service was ended, the body was raised 
on the shoulders of the attendants, and borne into the 
yard, to its place of final rest. At such a funeral, where 
few mourned, and none wept, no unnecessary delay would 
be made in disposing of the melancholy relics of mortality. 
In a very few moments, the narrow tenement, which con- 
tained the festering remains of one who had so lately har- 
bored such floods of human passion, was lowered from the 
light of day, and the body was left to moulder by the side 
of those, which had gone before to the darkness of the 
tomb. Perhaps, of all who witnessed the descent of the 
coffin, Polwarth alone, through that chain of sympathies 
which bound him to the caprice of Agnes, felt any emotion 
at all in consonance with the solemn scene. The obsequies 
of the dead were, like the living character of the woman, 
cold, formal, and artificial. The sexton and his assistants 
had hardly commenced replacing the stone which covered 


the entrance of the vault, when a knot of elderly men set 
the example of desertion, by moving away in a body from 
the spot. As they picked their footsteps among the graves, 
and over the frozen ground of the church-yard, they dis- 
coursed idly together, of the fortunes and age of the wo- 
man of whom they had now taken their leave forever. 
The curse of selfishness appeared even to have fallen on 
the warning, which so sudden an end should have given to 
those who forgot they tottered on the brink of the grave. 
They spoke of the deceased as of one who had failed to 
awaken the charities of our nature, and though several 
ventured their conjectures as to the manner in which she 
had disposed of her worldly possessions, not one remem- 
bered to lament that she had continued no longer to enjoy 
them. From this theme they soon wandered to themselves, 
and the whole party quitted the church-yard, joking each 
other on the inroads of time, each man attempting to ape 
the elastic tread of youth, in order not only to conceal from 
his companions the ravages of age, but with a vain desire 
to extend the artifice so far, if possible, as to deceive him- 

When the seniors of the party withdrew, the remainder 
of the spectators did not hesitate to follow ; and in a few 
minutes Polwarth found himself standing before the vault, 
with only two others of all those who had attended the 
body. The captain, who had been at no little expense of 
time and trouble to maintain the decencies which became 
a near friend of the family of the deceased, stood a minute 
longer, to permit these lingering followers to retire also, 
before he turned his own back on the place of the dead. 
But perceiving they both maintained their posts, in silent 
attention, he raised his eyes, more curiously, to examine 
who these loiterers might be. 

The one nearest to himself was a man whose dress and 
air bespoke him to be of no very exalted rank in life, while 
the other was a woman of even an inferior condition, if an 
opinion might be formed from the squalid misery that was 
exhibited in her attire. A little fatigued with the arduous 
labors of the day, and of the duties of the unusual office 
he had assumed, the worthy captain touched his hat with 
studied decorum, and said 

" I thank you, good people, for this mark of respect to 
the memory of my deceased friend ; but as we have per- 
formed all that can now be done in her behalf, we wiJl 


Apparently encouraged by the easy and courteous 
manner of Polwarth, the man approached still nigher, 
and, after bowing with much respect, ventured to 

" They tell me 'tis the funeral of Madam Lechmere that 
I have witnessed ? " 

" They tell you true, sir," returned the captain, begin- 
ning slowly to pick his way toward the gate; "of Mrs. 
Priscilla, the relict of Mr. John Lechmere a lady of a 
creditable descent, and I think it will not be denied that 
she has had honorable interment." 

" If it be the lady I suppose," continued the stranger, 
"she is of an honorable descent indeed. Her maiden 
name was Lincoln, and she is aunt to the great Devonshire 
baronet of that family." 

" How ! know you the Lincolns ?" exclaimed Polwarth, 
stopping short, and turning to examine the other with a 
stricter eye. Perceiving, however, that the stranger was 
a man of harsh and peculiarly forbidding features, in the 
vulgar dress already mentioned, he muttered " you may 
have heard of them, friend, but I should doubt whether 
your intimacy could amount to such wholesome familiari- 
ties as eating and drinking." 

"Stronger intimacies than that, sir, are sometimes 
brought about between men who were born to very differ- 
ent fortunes," returned the stranger, with a peculiarly sar- 
castic and ambiguous smile, which meant more than met 
the eye " but all who know the Lincolns, sir, will allow 
their claims to distinction. If this lady was one of them, 
she had reason to be proud of her blood." 

" Ay, you are not tainted, I see, with these revolutionary 
notions, my friend," returned. Polwarth ; "she was also 
connected with a very good sort of a family in this colony, 
called the Danforths you know the Danforths ?" 

" Not at all, sir, I 

" Not know the Danforths ! " exclaimed Polwarth, once 
more stopping to bestow a freer scrutiny on his compan- 
ion. After a short pause, however, he nodded his head, 
in approbation of his own conclusions, and added " No, 
no I am wrong I see you could not have known much 
of the Danforths ! " 

The stranger appeared quite willing to overlook the 
cavalier treatment he received, for he continued to attend 
the difficult footsteps of the maimed soldier, with the same 
respectful deference as before. 


" I have no knowledge of the Danforths, it is true," he 
answered ; " but I may boast of some intimacy with the 
family of Lincoln." 

" Would to God, then," cried Pohvarth, in a sort of so- 
liloquy, which escaped him in the fulness of his heart, 
" you could tell us what has become of its heir ! " 

The stranger stopped short in his turn, and exclaimed 

" Is he not serving with the army of the king, against 
this rebellion ? Is he not here ? " 

" He is here, or he is there, or he is anywhere ; I tell 
you he is lost." 

" He is lost ! " echoed the other. 

" Lost ! " repeated an humble female voice, at the very 
elbow of the captain. 

This singular repetition of his own language aroused 
Polwarth from the abstraction into which he had suffered 
himself to fall. In his course from the vault to the church- 
yard gate, he had unconsciously approached the woman 
before mentioned, and when he turned at the sound of her 
voice, his eyes fell full upon her anxious countenance. 
The very first glance was enough to tell the observant cap- 
tain that, in the midst of her poverty'and rags, he saw the 
broken remains of great female beauty. Her dark and in- 
telligent eyes, set as they were in a sallow and sunken 
countenance, still retained much of the brightness, if not of 
the softness and peace of youth. The contour of her face 
was also striking, though she might be said to resemble 
one whose loveliness had long since departed with her in- 
nocence. But the gallantry of Polwarth was proof even 
against the unequivocal signs of misery, if not of guilt, 
which were so easily to be traced in her appearance ; and 
he too much respected even the remnants of female charms 
which were yet visible amid such a mass of unseemliness, 
to regard them with an unfriendly eye. Apparently en- 
couraged by the kind look of the captain, the woman ven- 
tured to add 

" Did I hear aright, sir ? said you that Major Lincoln 
was lost ? " 

" I am afraid, good woman," returned the captain, 
leaning on the iron-shod stick with which he was wont to 
protect his footsteps along the icy streets of Boston 
" that this siege has, in your case, proved unusually severe. 
If I am not mistaken in a matter in which I profess to know 
much, nature is not supported as nature should be. You 
would ask for fuod ; and God forbid that I should deny a 


fellow-creature a morsel of that which constitutes both the 
seed and the fruits of life. Here is money." 

The muscles of the attenuated countenance of the wom- 
an worked with a sudden convulsive motion, and, for a 
moment, she glanced her eyes wistfully toward his silver, 
but a slight flush passing quickly over her pallid features, 
she answered 

"Whatever may be my wants and my suffering, I thank 
my God that he has not levelled me with the beggar of the 
streets. Before that evil day shall come, may I find a 
place among these frozen hillocks where we stand. But 
I beg pardon, sir ; I thought I heard you speak of Major 

" I did and what of him ? I said he was lost ; and it is 
true, if that be lost which cannot be found." 

"And did Madam Lechmere take her leave before he 
was missing ?" asked the woman advancing a step nearer 
to Polwarth, in her intense anxiety to be answered. 

"Do you think, good woman, that a gentleman of Major 
Lincoln's notion of things, would disappear after the de- 
cease of his relative, and leave a comparative stranger to 
fill the office of principal mourner." 

"The Lord forgive us all our sins and wickedness!" 
muttered the woman, drawing the shreds of her tattered 
cloak about her shivering form, and hastening silently 
away into the depths of the grave-yard. Polwarth re- 
garded her unceremonious departure for a moment, in 
surprise, and then, turning to his remaining companion, 
he remarked 

" That woman is unsettled in her reason, for the want of 
wholesome nutriment. It is just as impossible to retain 
the powers of the mind, and neglect the stomach, as it is to 
expect a truant boy will make a learned man." By this 
time the worthy captain had forgotten whom it was he ad- 
dressed, and he continued, in his usual philosophic strain, 
"Children are sent to school to learn all useful inventions 
but that of eating ; for to eat that is, to eat with judg- 
ment, is as much of an invention as any other discovery. 
Every mouthful a man swallows has to undergo four im- 
portant operations, each of which may be called a crisis in 
the human constitution." 

" Suffer me to help you over this grave," said the other, 
officiously offering his assistance. 

" I thank you, sir, I thank you 'tis a sad commentary 
on my words ! " returned the captain with a melancholy 


smile. "The time has been when I served in the light 
corps, but your rnen in unequal quantities are good for 
little else but garrisons ! As I was saying, there is first, 
the selection ; second, mastication ; third, deglutition ; and 
lastly, the digestion." 

" Quite true, sir," said the stranger, a little abruptly : 
" thin diet and light meals are best for the brain." 

" Thin diet and light meals, sir, are good for nothing but 
to rear dwarfs and idiots ! " returned the captain with some 
heat. " I repeat to you, sir " 

He was interrupted by the stranger, who suddenly 
smothered a dissertation on the connection between the 
material and immaterial, by asking 

" If the heir of such a family be lost, is there none to see 
that he is found again ?" 

Polwarth, finding himself thus checked in the very 
opening of his theme, stopped again, and stared the other 
full in the face for a moment, without making any reply. 
His kind feeling, however, got the better of his displeasure, 
and yielding to the interest he felt in the fate of Lionel, he 

" I would go all lengths, and incur every hazard to do 
him service ! " 

" Then, sir, accident has brought those together who 
are willing to engage in the same undertaking ! I, too, 
will do my utmost to discover him ! I have heard he has 
friends in this province. Has he no connection to whom 
we may apply for intelligence ?" 

" None nearer than a wife." 

'"A wife !" repeated the other in surprise " is he then 
married ? " 

A long pause ensued, during which the stranger mused 
deeply, and Polwarth bestowed a still more searching scru- 
tiny than ever on his companion. It would appear that 
the result was not satisfactory to the captain ; for, shak- 
ing his head, in no very equivocal manner, he resumed the 
task of picking his way among the graves, toward the gate, 
with renewed diligence. He was in the act of seating him- 
self in the pung, when the stranger again stood at his el- 
bow, and said 

" II I knew where to find his wife, I would offer my ser- 
vices to the lady." 

Polwarth pointed to the building of which Cecil was now 
the mistress, and answered, somewhat superciliously as he 
drove away 


" She is there, my good friend, but your application will 
be useless ! " 

The stranger received the direction in an understanding 
manner, and smiled with satisfied confidence, while he took 
the opposite route from that by which the busy equipage 
of the captain had already disappeared. 


" Up Fish street ! down Saint Magnus' corner ! 
Kill and knock down ! Throw them into the Thames I- 
What noise is this I hear ? Dare any be so bold to sound 
Retreat or parley, when I command them kill?" 

King Henry IV. 

IT was rarely, indeed, that the equal-minded Polwarth 
undertook an adventure with so fell an intent as was the 
disposition with which he directed the head of the hunter 
to be turned toward the Dock square. He had long known 
the residence of Job Pray, and often, in passing from his 
lodgings, near the common, into the more fashionable quar- 
ter of the town, the good-natured epicure had turned his 
head to bestow a nod and a smile on the unsophisticated ad- 
mirer of his skill in the culinary art. But now, as the pung 
whirled out of Corn hill into the well-known area, his eye 
fell on the low and gloomy walls of the warehouse, with a 
far less amicable design. 

From the time he was apprised of the disappearance of 
his friend, the captain had been industriously ruminating 
on the subject, in a vain wish to discover any probable 
reason that might induce a bridegroom to adopt so hasty, 
and, apparently, so unjustifiable a step, as the desertion 
of his bride, and that, too, under circumstances of such 
peculiar distress. But the more he reasoned, the more he 
found himself involved in the labyrinth of perplexity, un- 
til he was glad to seize on the slightest clew which offered, 
to lead him from his obscurity. It has already been seen 
in what manner he received the intelligence conveyed 
through the gorget of M'Fuse, and it now remains for us 
to show with what commendable ingenuity he improved 
the hint. 

It had always been a matter of surprise to Polwarth, 
that a man like Lionel should tolerate so much of the 
society of the simpleton, nor had it escaped his observa- 


tion, that the communications between the two were a 
little concealed under a shade of mystery. He had over- 
heard the foolish boast of the lad, the preceding day, rel- 
ative to the death of M'Fuse ; and the battered ornament, 
in conjunction with the place where it was found, which 
accorded so well with his grovelling habits, had tended to 
confirm its truth. The love of Polwarth for the grenadier 
w r as second only to his attachment for his earlier friend. 
The one had avowedly fallen, and he soon began to sus- 
pect that the other had been strangely inveigled from his 
duty by the agency of this ill-gifted changeling. To con- 
ceive an opinion, and to become confirmed in its justice, 
were results generally produced by the same operation of 
the mind, with this disciple of animal philosophy. While 
he stood near the tomb of the Lechmeres, in the impor- 
tant character of chief mourner, he had diligently revolved 
in his mind the brief arguments which he found necessary 
to this conclusion. The arrangement of his ideas might 
boast of the terseness of a syllogism. His proposition and 
inference were something' as follows : Job murdered 
M'Fuse ; some great evil has occurred to Lionel ; and 
therefore Job has been its author. 

It is true, there was a good deal of intermediate argu- 
ment to support this deduction, at which the captain cast 
an extremely cursory glance, but which the reader may 
easily conceive, if at ail gifted in the way of imagination. 
It would require no undue belief of the connection be- 
tween very natural effects and their causes, to show that 
Polwarth was not entirely unreasonable in suspecting 
the agency of the simpleton, nor in harboring the 
deep and bitter resentment that so much mischief, even 
though it were sustained from the hands of a fool, 
was likely to awaken. Be that as it may, by the time the 
pung had reached the point already mentioned, its rapid 
motion, which accelerated the ordinary quiet circulation of 
his blood, together with the scene through which he had 
just passed, and the recollections which had been crowd- 
ing on his mind, conspired to wind up his resolution to a 
very obstinate pitch of determination. Of all his schemes, 
embracing, as they did, compulsion, confession, and pun- 
ishment, Job Pray was, of course, destined to be both the 
subject and the victim. 

The shadows of evening were already thrown upon the 
town, and the cold had long before driven the few dealers 
in meats and vegetables, who continued to find daily em- 


ployment around the ill-furnished shambles, to their sev- 
eral homes. In their stead there was only to be seen a 
meagre and impoverished follower of the camp, stealing 
along the shadows of the building, with her half-famished 
child, as they searched among the offals of the market for 
some neglected morsel, to eke out the scanty meal of the 
night. But while the common mart presented this ap- 
pearance of dulness and want, the lower part of the square 
exhibited a very different aspect. 

The warehouse was surrounded by a body of men in 
uniform, whose disorderly and rapid movements proclaimed 
at once, to the experienced eye of the captain, that they 
were engaged in a scene of lawless violence. Some were 
rushing furiously into the building, armed with such weap- 
ons as the streets first offered to their hands, while others 
returned, filling the air with their threats and outcries. A 
constant current of eager soldiers was setting out of the 
dark passages in the neighborhood toward the place, and 
every window of the building was crowded with excited 
witnesses, who clung to the walls, apparently animating 
those within by their cheers and applause. 

When Polwarth bade Shearfiint pull the reins, he caught 
the quick, half-formed sentences that burst from the riot- 
ers, and even before he was able, in the duskiness of the 
evening, to discover the facings of their uniform, his ear 
detected the well-known dialect of the Royal Irish. The 
whole truth now broke upon him at once, and throwing his 
obese person from the sleigh, in the best manner he was 
able, he hobbled into the throng, with a singular compound 
of feeling, which owed its birth to the opposing impulses 
of a thirst for vengeance, and the lingering influence of 
his natural kindness. Better men than the captain have, 
however, lost sight of their humanity, under those fierce 
sympathies that are awakened in moments of tumult and 
violence. By the time he had forced his person into the 
large, dark apartment that formed the main building, he 
had, in a great degree, suffered himself to be worked into 
a sternness of purpose, which comported very ill with his 
intelligence and rank. He even listened, with unaccount- 
able pleasure, to the threats and denunciations which filled 
the building ; until he foresaw, from their savage nature, 
there was great danger that one half of his object, the dis- 
covery of Lionel, was likely to be frustrated by their ful- 
filment. Animated anew by this impression, he threw the 
rioters from him with prodigious energy, and succeeded 


in gaining a position where he might become a more effi- 
cient actor in the fray. 

There was still light enough to discover Job Pray placed 
in the centre of the warehouse, on his miserable bed, in an 
attitude between lying and sitting. While his bodily con- 
dition seemed to require the former position, his fears had 
induced him to attempt the latter. The large, red blotches 
which covered his unmeaning countenance, and his flushed 
eye-balls, too plainly announced that the unfortunate young 
man, in addition to having become the object of the wrath 
of a lawless mob, was a prey to the ravages of that foul 
disorder which had long before lighted on the town. 
Around this squalid subject of poverty and disease, a few 
of the hardiest of the rioters, chiefly the surviving grena- 
diers of the i8th, had gathered ; while the less excited, or 
more timid among them, practised their means of annoy- 
ance at a greater distance from the malign atmosphere of 
the distemper. The bruised and bloody person of the 
simpleton manifested how much he had already suffered 
from the hands of his tormentors, who happily possessed 
no very fatal weapons, or the scene would have been much 
earlier terminated. Notwithstanding his great bodily de- 
bility, and the pressing dangers that beset him on every 
side, Job continued to face his assailants, with a sort of 
stupid endurance of the pains they inflicted. 

At the sight of this revolting spectacle, the heart of Pol- 
warth began greatly to relent, and he endeavored to make 
himself heard, in the clamor of fifty voices. But his pres- 
ence was unheeded, for his remonstrances were uttered to 
ignorant men, wildly bent on vengeance. 

" Pul the baist from his rags ! " cried one " 'tis no a hu- 
man man, but a divil's imp, in the shape of a fellow cratur ! " 

" For such as him to murder the flower of the British 
army ! " said another " his small-pox is nothing but a 
foul invintion of the ould one, to save him from his dai- 
sarrevings ! " 

" Would any but a divil invent such a disorder at all ? " 
interrupted a third, who, even in his anger, could not for- 
get his humor. " Have a care, b'ys, he may give it to the 
whole family the naat'ral way, to save the charges of the 
inoculation ! " 

" Have done wid ye'r foolery, Terence," returned the 
first ; " would ye trifle about death, and his unrevenged ? 
Put a coal into his filth, b'ys, and burren it and him in the 
same bonfire ! " 


" A coal ! a coal ! a brand for the divil's burning !" ech- 
oed twenty soldiers, eagerly listening, in the madness of 
their fury, to the barbarous advice. 

Polvvarth again exerted himself, though unsuccessfully, 
to be heard ; nor was it until a dozen voices proclaimed, 
in disappointment, that the house contained neither fire 
nor fuel, that the sudden commotion in the least sub- 

" Out of the way ! out of the way wid ye ! " roared one 
of gigantic mould, whose heavy nature had, like an over- 
charged volcano, been slowly wrought up to the eve of a 
fearful eruption " Here is fire to destroy a salamander ! Be 
he divil or be he saint, he has great need of his prayers !" 

As he spoke, the fellow levelled a musket, and another in- 
stant would have decided the fate of Job, who cowered be- 
fore the danger with instinctive dread, had not Polwarth 
beat up the piece with his cane, and interposed his body 
between them. 

"Hold your fire, brave grenadier," he said, warily adopt- 
ing a middle course between the language of authority and 
that of counsel. " This is hasty and unsoldier-like. I knew, 
and loved your late commander well ; let us obtain the con- 
fessions of the lad before we proceed to punishment there 
may be others more guilty than he." 

The men regarded the unexpected intruder with such 
furious aspects as augured ill of their deference for his ad- 
vice and station. " Blood for blood ! " passed from mouth 
to mouth, in low, sullen mutterings ; and the short pause 
which had succeeded his appearance was already broken 
by still less equivocal marks of hostility, when, happily for 
Polwarth, he was recognized, through the twilight, by a 
veteran of the grenadiers, as one of the former intimates 
of M'Fuse. The instant the soldier communicated this 
discovery to his fellows, the growing uproar again sub- 
sided, and the captain was relieved from no small bodily 
terror, by hearing his own name passing among them, 
coupled with such amicable .additions as, "xhVould fri'nd !" 
"an offisher of the light troops!" "he that the ribbils 
massacred of a leg ! " &c. As soon as this explanation was 
generally imderstood, his ears were greeted with a burst 
from every mouth, of 

" Hurrah ! for Captain Pollywarreth ! His fri'nd ! the 
brave Captain Pollywarreth !" 

Pleased with his success, and secretly gratified by the 
commendations that were now freely lavished on himself, 


with characteristic liberality, the mediator improved the 
slight advantage he had obtained, by again addressing 

"I thank you for your good opinion, my friends;" he 
added, "and must acknowledge it is entirely mutual. I 
love the Royal Irish, on account of one that I well knew, 
and greatly esteemed, and who, I fear, was murdered in 
defiance of all the rules of war." 

" Hear ye that, Dennis murdered ! " 

" Blood for blood ! " muttered three or four surly voices 
at once. 

" Let us be deliberate, that we may be just, and just that 
our vengeance may be awful," Polwarth quickly answered, 
fearful that if the torrent once more broke loose, it would 
exceed his powers to stay it. "A true soldier always 
awaits his orders ; and what regiment in the army can 
boast of its discipline, if it be not the i8th! Form your- 
selves in a circle around your prisoner, and listen, while I 
extract the truth from him. After that, should he prove 
guilty, I will consign him to your tenderest mercy." 

The rioters, who only saw, in the delay, a more methodi- 
cal execution of their own violent purpose, received the 
proposition with another shout, and the name of Polwarth, 
pronounced in all the varieties of their barbarous idioms, 
rung loudly through the naked rafters of the building, 
while they disposed themselves to comply. 

The captain, with a wish to gain time to command his 
thoughts, required that a light should be struck, in order, 
as he said, to study the workings of the countenance of 
the accused. As the night had now gathered about them 
in good earnest, the demand was too reasonable for ob- 
jection, and with the same headlong eagerness that they 
had manifested a few minutes before, to shed the blood of 
Job, they turned their attention, with thoughtless versatil- 
ity, to effect this harmless object. A brand had been 
brought, for a very different end, when the plan of burn- 
ing was proposed, and it had been cast aside again with 
the change of purpose. A few of its sparks were now col- 
lected, and some bundles of oakum, which lay in a corner 
of the warehouse, were fired, and carefully fed in such a 
manner as to shed a strong light through every cranny of 
the gloomy edifice. 

By the aid of this fitful glare, the captain succeeded 
once more in marshalling the rioters in such a manner that 
no covert injury could be offered to Job. The whole affair 


now assumed, in some measure, the character of a regular 
investigation. The curiosity of the men without overcame 
their fears of infection, and they crowded into the place, 
in earnest attention, until, in a very few moments, no 
other sound was audible but the difficult and oppressed 
respiration of their victim. When all the other noises had 
ceased, and Polwarth perceived by the eager and savage 
countenances, athwart which the bright glare of the burn- 
ing hemp was gleaming, that delay might yet be danger- 
ous, he proceeded at once in his inquiries, 

" You may see, Job Pray, by the manner in which you 
are surrounded," he said, "that judgment has at length 
overtaken you, and that your only hope for mercy lies in 
your truth. Answer, then, to such questions as I shall put, 
and keep the fear of God before your eyes." 

The captain paused to allow this exhortation to produce 
its desired effect. But Job, perceiving that his late tor- 
mentors were quiet, and to all appearance bent on no im- 
mediate mischief, sunk his head languidly upon his blank- 
ets, where he lay in silence, watching, with rolling and 
anxious eyes, the smallest movements of his enemies. 
Polwarth soon yielded to the impatience of his listeners, 
and continued 

" You are acquainted with Major Lincoln ? " 

" Major Lincoln ! " grumbled three or four of the gren- 
adiers "is it of him that we want to hear?" 

" One moment, my worthy iSths; I shall come at the 
whole truth the sooner, by taking this indirect course." 

" Hurrah ! for Captain Pollywarreth ! " shouted the riot- 
ers " him that the ribbils massacred of a leg ! " 

" Thank you thank you, my considerate friends an- 
swer, fellow, without prevarication ; you dare not deny to 
me your knowledge of Major Lincoln ?" 

After a momentary pause, a low voice was heard mut- 
tering among the blankets r 

" Job knows all the Boston people ; and Major Lincoln 
is a Boston boy." 

" But with Major Lincoln you had a more particular 
acquaintance. Restrain your impatience, men ; these ques- 
tions lead directly to the facts you wish to know." The 
rioters, who were profoundly ignorant of what sort of facts 
they were to be made acquainted with by this examination, 
looked at each other in uneasy doubt, but soon settled 
down again into their former deep silence. " You know 
him better than any other gentleman of the army ? " 


" He promised Job to keep off the grannies, and Job 
agreed to run his ar'n'ds." 

" Such an arrangement betrays a greater intimacy than 
is usual between a wise man and a fool ! If you are then 
so close in league with him, I demand what has become of 
your associate ? " 

The young man made no reply. 

" You are thought to know the reasons why he has left 
his friends," returned Polvvarth, " and I now demand that 
you declare them." 

" Declare ! " repeated the simpleton, in his most unmean- 
ing and helpless manner " Job was never good at his 

" Nay, then, if you are obstinate, and will not answer, I 
must withdraw, and permit these brave grenadiers to work 
their will on you." 

This threat served to induce Job to raise his head, and 
assume that attitude and look of instinctive watchfulness 
that he had so recently abandoned. A slight movement of 
the crowd followed, and the terrible words of " Blood for 
blood! " again passed among them in sullen murmurs. The 
helpless youth, whom we have been obliged to call an 
idiot, for want of a better term, and because his mental 
imbecility removed him without the pale of legal respon- 
sibility, now stared wildly about him, with an increasing 
expression of reason, that might be ascribed to the force 
of that inward fire which preyed upon his vitals, and which 
seemed to purify the spirit in proportion as it consumed 
the material dross of his existence. 

" It's ag'in the laws of the Bay, to beat and torment a 
fellow-creature," he said, with a solemn earnestness in his 
voice, that would have melted hearts of ordinary softness ; 
"and, what is more, it's ag'in His holy book ! If you hadn't 
made oven-wood of the Old North, and a horse-stable of 
the Old South, you might have gone to hear such expound- 
ing as would have made the hair rise on your wicked 
heads ! " 

The cries of " Have done wid his foolery ! " " The imp 
is playing his games on us ! " " As if his wooden mockery 
was a church at all fit for a ra'al Christian ! " were heard 
on every side, and they were succeeded by the often re- 
peated and appalling threat of " Blood for blood ! " 

" Fall back, men, fall back ! " cried Polwarth, flourishing 
his walking-stick in such a manner as effectually to en- 
force his orders ; " wait for his confession before you judge. 


Fellow, this is the last and trying appeal to your truth 
your life most probably depends on the answer. You 
are known to have been in arms against the crown. Nay, 
I myself saw you in the field on that day when the troops 
a-a-a countermarched from Lexington.; since when you 
are known to have joined the rebels while the army went 
out to storm the intrenchment on the heights of Charles- 
town." At this point in the recapitulation of the offences 
of Job, the captain was suddenly appalled by a glimpse at 
the dark and threatening looks that encircled him, and he 
concluded with a laudable readiness " on that glorious 
day when his majesty's troops scattered your provincial 
rabble like so many sheep driven from their pastures by 
dogs ! " 

The humane ingenuity of Polwarth was rewarded by a 
burst of loud and savage laughter. Encouraged by this 
evidence of his power over his auditors, the worthy captain 
proceeded with an increased confidence in his own elo- 

" On that glorious day," he continued, gradually warm- 
ing with his subject, k< many a gallant gentleman, and hun- 
dreds of fearless privates, met their fate. Some fell in 
open and manly fight, and according to the chances of 
regular warfare. Some he-e-m some have been muti- 
lated ; and will carry the marks of their glory with them to 
the grave." His voice grew a little thick and husky as he 
proceeded ; but, shaking off his weakness, he ended with 
an energy that he intended should curdle the heart of the 
prisoner, " while, fellow, some have been murdered ! " 

" Blood for blood ! " was heard again passing its fearful 
round. Without attempting any longer to repress the rising 
spirit of the rioters, Polwarth continued his interrogatories, 
entirely led away by the strength of his own feelings on 
this sensitive subject. 

" Remember you such a man as Dennis M'Fuse ? " he 
demanded in a voice of. thunder ; "he that was treacher- 
ously slain in your inmost trenches, after the day was w T on ! 
Answer me, knave, were you not among the rabble, and 
did not your own vile hand the bloody deed ? " 

A few words were heard from Job, in a low, muttering 
tone, of which only " the rake-hellies," and "the people 
will teach 'em the law ! " were sufficiently distinct to be 

" Murder him ! part him sowl from body ! " exclaimed 
the fiercest of the grenadiers. 


" Hold ! " cried Polwarth ; " but one moment more I 
would relieve my mind from the debt I owe his memory. 
Speak, fellow ; what know you of the death of the com- 
mander of these brave grenadiers ?" 

Job, who had listened to his words attentively, though 
liis uneasy eyes still continued to watch the slightest move- 
ments of his foes, now* turned to the speaker with a look 
of foolish triumph, and answered 

"The i8th came up the hill, shouting like roaring lions ! 
but the Royal Irish had a death-howl, that evening, over 
their tallest man ! " 

Polwarth trembled with the violence of the passions 
that beset him ; but, while with one hand he motioned to 
the men to keep back, with the other he produced the bat- 
tered gorget from his pocket, and held it before the eyes 
of the simpleton. 

" Know you this ?" he demanded ; " who sent the bullet 
through this fatal hole ? " 

Job took the ornament, and for a moment regarded it 
with an unconscious look. But his countenance gradually 
lighting with a ray of unusual meaning, he laughed in 
scornful exultation, as he answered 

" Though Job is a fool, he can shoot ! " 

Polwarth started back aghast, while the fierce resent- 
ments of his ruden listeners broke through all restraint. 
They raised a loud and savage shout, as one man, filling 
the building with hoarse execrations and cries for ven- 
geance. Twenty expedients to destroy their captive were 
named in a breath, and with all the characteristic vehe- 
mence of their nation. Most of them would have been ir- 
regularly adopted, had not the man who attended the 
burning hemp caught up a bundle of the flaming com- 
bustible, and shouted aloud 

" Smodder him in the fiery flames ! he's an imp of dark- 
ness ; burren him, in his rags, from before the face of 
man !" 

The barbarous proposition \vas received with a sort of 
frenzied joy, and in another moment a dozen handfuls of 
the oakum were impending above the devoted head of the 
helpless lad. Job made a feeble attempt to avert the 
dreadful fate that threatened him, but he could offer no 
other resistance than his own weakened arm, and the ab- 
ject meanings of his impotent mind. He was enveloped in 
a cloud of black smoke, through which the forked flames 
had already begun to play, when a woman burst into the 



throng, casting the fiery combustibles from her, on either 
side, as she advanced, with a strength that seemed super- 
natural. When she had reached the bed, she tore aside the 
smoking pile with hands that disregarded the heat, and 
placed herself before the victim, like a fierce lioness, at 
bay, in defence of her whelps. In this attitude she stood 
an instant, regarding the rioters with a breast that heaved 
with passions too strong for utterance, when she found her 
tongue, and vented her emotions with all the fearlessness 
of a woman's indignation. 

" Ye monsters in the shape of men, what is't ye do ! " she 
exclaimed, in a voice that rose above the tumult, and had 
the effect to hush every mouth. " Have ye bodies without 
hearts ! the forms without the bowels of the creatures of 
God ! Who made you judges and punishers of sins ! Is 
there a father among you, let him come and view the an- 
guish of a dying child ! Is there a son, let him draw near, 
and look upon a mother's sorrow ! Oh ! ye savages, worse 
than the beasts of the howling wilderness, who have mercy 
on their kinds, what is't ye do what is't ye do ! " 

The air of maternal intrepidity with which this burst 
from the heart was uttered, could not fail to awe the worst 
passions of the rioters, who gazed on each other in stupid 
wonder, as if uncertain how to act. The hushed and mo- 
mentary stillness was, however, soon broken once more by 
the low, murmuring threat of " Blood for blood ! " 

" Cowards ! dastards ! soldiers in name, and demons in 
your deeds ! " continued the undaunted Abigail " come 
ye here to taste of human blood ! Go away with you to 
the hills ! and face the men of the Bay, who stand ready to 
meet you with arms in their hands, and come not hither to 
bruise the broken reed ! Poor, suffering, and stricken as 
he is, by a hand far mightier than yours, my child will 
meet you there, to your shame, in the cause of his country, 
and the law ! " 

This taunt was too bitter for the unnurtured tempers to 
which she appealed, and the dying spark of their resent- 
ment was at once kindled into a blaze by the galling gibe. 

The rioters were again in motion, and the cry of " Burn 
the hag and the imp together ! " was fiercely raised, when 
a man of a stout, muscular frame forced his way into the 
centre of the crowd, making room for the passage of a 
female, whose gait and attire, though her person was con- 
cealed by her mantle, announced her to be of a rank alto- 
gether superior to the usual guests of the warehouse. The 

L10XKL LI \COL.V. 29* 

unexpected appearance, and lofty, though gentle bearing 
of this unlooked-for visitor, served to quell the rising up- 
roar, which was immediately succeeded by so deep a 
silence, that a whisper could have been heard in that 
throng, which so lately resounded with violent tumult and 
barbarous execrations. 


"Ay, sir, you shall find me reasonable ; if it be so, I shall do that that 
is reason." Slender. 

DURING the close of the foregoing scene, Polwarth was 
in a bewildered state, that rendered him utterly incapable 
of exertion, either to prevent or to assist the evil inten- 
tions of the soldiery. His discretion and all his better 
feelings were certainly on the side of humanity, but the 
idle vaunt of the simpleton had stirred anew the natural 
thirst for vengeance. He recognized at the first glance, 
in the wan, but speaking lineaments of the mother of Job, 
those faded remnants of beauty that he had traced, so 
lately, in the squalid female attendant who was seen linger- 
ing near the grave of Mrs. Lechmere. As she rushed be- 
fore the men, with all the fearlessness of a mother who 
stood in defence of her child, the brightness of her dark 
eyes, aided as they were by the strong glare from the scat- 
tered balls of fire, and the intense expression of maternal 
horror that shone in every feature of her countenance, had 
imparted to her appearance a dignity and interest that 
greatly served to quell the unusual and dangerous passions 
that beset him. He was on the point of aiding her appeal 
by his authority and advice, when the second interruption 
to the brutal purpose of the men occurred, as just related. 
The effect of this strange appearance, in such a place, and 
at such a time, w r as not less instant on the captain than on 
the vulgar throng who surrounded him. He remained a 
silent and an attentive spectator. 

The first sensation of the lady in finding herself in the 
centre of such a confused and unexpected throng, was un- 
equivocally that of an alarmed and shrinking delicacy ; 
but, forgetting her womanish apprehensions in the next 
moment, she collected the powers of her mind, like one 
sustained by high and laudable intentions, and, dropping 


the silken folds of her calash, exhibited the pale, but love- 
ly countenance of Cecil to the view of the wondering 
bystanders. After a moment of profound silence, she 

"I know not why I find this fierce collection of faces 
around the sick-bed of that unfortunate young man," she 
said ; " but if it be with evil purpose, I charge you to re- 
lent, as you love the honor of your gallant profession, or 
fear the power of your leaders. I boast myself a soldier's 
wife, and promise you, in the name of one who has the ear 
of Howe, pardon for what is past, or punishment for your 
violence, as you conduct yourselves." 

The rude listeners stared at each other in irresolute hesi- 
tation, seeming already to waver in their purpose, when the 
old grenadier, whose fierceness had so nearly cost Job his 
life, gruffly replied 

" If you're an officer's lady, madam, you'll be knowing 
how to feel for the fri'nds of him that's dead and gone. [ 
put it to the face of your ladyship's reason, if it's not too 
much for men to bear, and they such men. as the iSths, 
to hear a fool boasting on the highways and through the 
streets of the town, that he has been the death of the like 
of Captain M'Fuse, of the grenadiers of that same radg'- 
ment ! " 

" I believe I understand you, friend," returned Cecil, 
"for I have heard it whispered that the young man 
was believed to aid the Americans on the bloody day to 
which you allude but if it is not lawful to kill in battle, 
what are you, whose whole trade is war ? " 

She was interrupted by half a dozen eager, though re- 
spectful voices, muttering, in the incoherent and vehement 
manner of their country, " It's all a difference, my lady ! " 
" Fair fighting isn't foul fighting, and foul fighting is 
murder ! " with many other similar half-formed and equal- 
ly intelligible remonstrances. When this burst was ended, 
the same grenadier, who had before spoken, took on him- 
self the office of explaining. 

" If your ladyship spoke never a word again, ye've said 
the truth this time," he answered, " though it isn't exactly 
the truth at all. When a man is kill't in the fair war, it's a 
godsend ; and no true Irishman will gainsay the same ; but 
skulking behind a dead body, arid taking aim into the 
f'atures of a fellow-crature, is what we complain of against 
the bloody-minded rascal. Besides, wasn't the day won 1 * 
and even his death couldn't give them the victory ! " 

LIOXT.L I.f.YCOL.Y. 293 

" I know not all these nice distinctioHs in your dreadful 
calling, friend," Cecil replied, " but I have heard that many 
fell after the troops mounted the works." 

" That did they ; sure your ladyship is knowing all about 
it ! and it's the more need that some should be punished 
for the murders ! It's hard to tell when we've got the day 
with men who make a fight of it after they are fairly 
baitin ! " 

"That others suffered under similar circumstances," con- 
tinued Cecil, with a quivering lip, and a tremulous motion 
of her eyelids, " I well know ; but had never supposed it 
more than the usual fortune of every war. But even if 
this youth has erred look at him ! is he an object for 
the resentment of men who pride themselves on meeting 
their enemies on equal terms ! He has long been visited 
by a blow from a hand far mightier than yours, and even 
now is laboring, in addition to all other misfortunes, under 
that dangerous distemper whose violence seldom spares 
those it seizes. Nay, you, in the blindness of your anger, 
expose yourselves to its attacks ; and when you think only 
of revenge, may become its victims ! " 

The crowd insensibly fell back as she spoke, and a large 
circle was left around the bed of Job, while many in the 
rear stole silently from the building, with a haste that be- 
trayed how completely apprehension had got the better of 
their more evil passions. Cecil paused but an instant, and 
pursued her advantage. 

" Go," she said ; " leave this dangerous vicinity. I have 
business with this young man, touching the interests, if 
not the life, of one dear, deservedly dear, to the whole 
army, and would be left alone with him and his mother. 
Here is money retire to your own quarters, and endeavor 
to avert the danger you have so wantonly braved, by care 
and regimen. Go ; all shall be forgotten and pardoned." 

The reluctant grenadier took her gold, and, perceiving 
that he was already deserted by most of his companions, 
lie made an awkward obeisance to the fair being before 
him, and withdrew, not without, however, casting many a 
savage and sullen glance at the miserable wretch who had 
been thus singularly rescued from his vengeance. Not a 
soldier now remained in the building ; and the noisy and 
rapid utterance of the retiring party, as each vehemently 
recounted his deeds, soon became inaudible in the dis- 

Cecil then turned to those who remained, and cast a 


rapid glance at each individual of the party. The instant 
she encountered the wondering look of Polwarth, the blood 
mantled her pale features once more, and her eyes fell, for 
an instant, in embarrassment, to the floor. 

" I trust we have been drawn here for a similar purpose, 
Captain Polwarth," she said, when the slight confusion 
had passed away " the welfare of a common friend ?" 

"You have not done me injustice," he replied. "When 
the sad office, which your fair cousin charged me with, 
was ended, I hastened hither to follow a clew which, I have 
reason to believe, will conduct us to " 

" What we most desire to find," said Cecil, involuntarily 
glancing her anxious eyes towards the other spectators. 
" But our first duty is humanity. Cannot this miserable 
young man be reconveyed to his own apartment, and have 
his hurts examined ?" 

" It may be done now, or after our examination," re- 
turned the captain, with a cool indifference that caused 
Cecil to look up at him in surprise. Perceiving the un- 
favorable impression his apathy had produced, Polwarth 
turned carelessly to a couple of men who were still curi- 
ous lookers-on, at the outer door of the building, and 
called to them " Here, Shearflint, Meriton, remove the 
fellow into yonder room." 

The servants in waiting, who had been hitherto wonder- 
ing witnesses of all that passed, received this mandate with 
strong disgust. Meriton was loud in his murmurs, and 
approached the verge of disobedience, before he consented 
to touch such an object of squalid misery. As Cecil, how- 
ever, enforced the order by her wishes, the disagreeable 
duty was performed, and Job replaced on his pallet in the 
tower, from which he had been rudely dragged an hour 
before by the soldiers. 

At the moment when all danger of further violence dis- 
appeared, Abigail had sunk on some of the lumber of the 
apartment, where she remained during the removal of her 
child, in a sort of stupid apathy. When, however, she 
perceived that they were now surrounded by those who 
were bent on deeds of mercy rather than of anger, she 
slowly followed into the little room, and became an anxious 
observer of the succeeding events. 

Polwarth seemed satisfied with what had been done for 
Job, and now stood aloof, in sullen attendance on the 
pleasure of Cecil. The latter, who had directed every 
movement with female tenderness and care, bade the ser< 


vants retire into the outer room, and wait her orders. 
When Abigail, therefore, took her place, in silence, near 
the bed of her child, there remained present, besides her- 
self and the sick, only Cecil, the captain, and the unknown 
man, who had apparently led the former to the warehouse. 
In addition to the expiring flames of the oakum, the feeble 
light of a candle was shed through the room, merely ren- 
dering the gloomy misery of its tenants more striking. 

Notwithstanding the high but calm resolution which 
Cecil had displayed in the foregoing scene with the rioters, 
and w r hich still manifested itself in the earnest brightness 
of her intelligent eye, she appeared willing to profit by the 
duskiness of the apartment, to conceal her expressive 
features from the gaze of even the forlorn female. She 
placed herself in one of the shadows of the room, and 
partly raised the calash, by a graceful movement of one of 
her hands, while she addressed the simpleton. 

"Though I have not come hither with any intent to 
punish, nor in any manner to intimidate you with threats, 
Job Pray," she said, with an earnestness that rendered 
the soft tones of her voice doubly impressive "yet have 
I come to question you on matters that it would be wrong, 
as well as cruel in you, to misrepresent, or in any manner 
to (conceal 

"You have little cause to fear that anything but the 
truth will be uttered by my child," interrupted Abigail. 
" The same power that destroyed his reason has dealt ten- 
derly with his heart the boy knows no guile would to 
God the same could be said of the sinful woman who bore 
him ! " 

" I hope the character you give your son will be sup- 
ported by his conduct," replied Cecil; "with this assur- 
ance of his integrity, I will directly question him. But 
that you may see I take no idle liberty with the young man, 
let me explain my motives ! " She hesitated a moment, 
and averted her face unconsciously, as she continued " I 
should think, Abigail Pray, that my person must be known 
to you ? " 

" It is it is," returned the impatient woman, who ap- 
peared to feel the feminine and polished elegance of the 
other a reproach to her own misery "you are the happy 
and wealthy heiress of her whom I have seen this day laid 
in her vault. The grave will open for all alike! the rich 
and the poor, the happy as well as the wretched! Yes 
yes, I know you! you are the bride of a rich man's son!" 


Cecil shook back the dark tresses that had fallen about 
her countenance, and raised her face, tinged with its 
richest bloom, as she answered, with an air of matronly 

" If you then know of my marriage, you will at once 
perceive that I have the interest of a wife in Major Lincoln 
i I would wish to learn his movements of your son." 

"Of my boy! of Job ! from the poor despised child of 
poverty and disease, would you learn tidings of your hus- 
band ? no no, young lady, you mock us; he is not 
worthy to be in the secrets of one so great and happy ! " 

" Yet am I deceived if he is not ! Has there not been 
one called Ralph, a frequent inmate of your dwelling dur- 
ing the past year ; and has he not been concealed here 
within a very few hours ? " 

Abigail started at this question, though she did not 
hesitate to answer without prevarication 

" It is true. If I am to be punished for harboring a being 
that comes I know whence, and goes I know w r hither, who 
can read the heart, and knows what man, by his own limited 
powers, could never know, I must submit. He was here 
yesterday ; he may be here again to-night ; for he comes 
and goes at will. Your generals and army may interfere, 
but such as I dare not forbid it ! " 

" Who accompanied him when he departed last ? " asked 
Cecil, in a voice so low, that, but for the profound stillness 
of the place, it would have been inaudible. . 

" My child my weak, unmeaning, miserable child ! " 
said Abigail, with a reckless promptitude that seemed to 
court any termination to her misery, however sudden or ad- 
verse. " If it be treasonable to follow in the footsteps of 
that nameless man, Job has much to answer for ! " 

" You mistake my purpose good, rather than evil, will 
attend your answers, should they be found true." 

" True ! " repeated the woman, ceasing the rocking 
motion of her body, and looking proudly up into the 
anxious face of Cecil "but you are great and powerful, 
and are privileged to open the wounds of the unhappy ! " 

" If I have said anything to hurt the feelings of a child, 
I shall deeply regret the words," said Cecil, with gentle 
fervor " I would rather be your friend than your oppress- 
or, as you will learn when occasion offers." 

"No no you can never be a friend to me! " exclaimed 
the woman, shuddering ; u the wife of Major Lincoln ought 
never to serve the interests of Abigail Pray ! " 


The simpleton, who had apparently lain in dull indiffer- 
ence to what was passing, raised himself now from among 
his rags, and said, with foolish pride 

"Major Lincoln's lady has come to see Job, because Job 
is a gentleman's son ! " 

" You are the child of sin and misery ! " groaned Abi- 
gail, burying her head in her cloak " would that you had 
never seen the light of day ! " 

" Tell me, then, Job, whether Major Lincoln himself 
has paid you this compliment, as well as I," said Cecil, 
without regarding the conduct of the mother "when did 
you see him last ? " 

" Perhaps I can put these questions in a more intelligi- 
ble manner," said the stranger, with a meaning glance of 
his eye towards Cecil, that she appeared instantly to com- 
prehend. He turned then to Job, whose countenance he 
studied closely, for several moments, before he continued 
" Boston must be a fine place for parades and shows, 
young man ; do you ever go to see the soldiers exer- 
cise ?" 

" Job always keeps time in the marchings," returned 
the simpleton ; " 'tis a grand sight to see the grannies 
treading it off to the awful sound of drums and trump- 
ets ! " 

" And Ralph," said the other, soothingly " does he 
march in their company too ?" 

" Ralph ! he's a great warrior ! he teaches the people 
their trainings, out on the hills Job sees him there every 
time he goes for the major's provisions." 

"This requires some explanation," said the stranger. 

"Tis easily obtained," returned the observant Polwarth. 
"The young man has been the bearer of certain articles, 
periodically, from the country into the town, during the 
last six months, under the favor of a flag." 

The man mused a moment before he pursued the sub- 

" When were you last among the rebels, Job," he at 
length asked. 

"You had best not call the people rebels," muttered the 
young man, sullenly, "for they won't put up with bitter 
names ! " 

" I was wrong, indeed," said the stranger. "But when 
went you last for provisions ?" 

" Job got in last Sabba'day morning ; and that's only 
yesterday ! " 


" How happened it, fellow, that you did not bring the 
articles to me ?" demanded Polwarth, with a good deal of 
impatient heat. 

" He has unquestionably a sufficient reason for the ap- 
parent neglect," said the cautious and soothing stranger. 
"You brought them here, I suppose, for some good 
reason ? " 

" Ay ! to feed his own gluttony ! " muttered the irri- 
tated captain. 

The mother of the young man clasped her hands to- 
gether convulsively, and made an effort to rise and speak ; 
but she sunk again into her humble posture, as if choked 
by emotions that were too strong for utterance. 

This short, but impressive pantomime was unnoticed by 
the stranger, who continued his inquiries in the same cool 
and easy manner as before. 

" Are they yet here ?" he asked. 

" Certain," said the unsuspecting simpleton ; " Job has 
hid them till Major Lincoln comes back. Both Ralph and 
Major Lincoln forgot to tell Job what to do with the pro- 

"In that case I am surprised you did not pursue them 
with your load." 

" Everybody thinks Job's a fool," muttered the young 
man ; " but he knows too much to be lugging provisions 
out ag'in among the people. Why!" he continued, rais- 
ing himself, and speaking, with a bright glare dancing 
across his eyes, that betrayed how much he prized the en- 
vied advantage " the Bay-men came down with cart- 
loads of things to eat while the town is filled with 
hunger! " 

" True. I had forgotten they were gone out among the 
Americans of course they went under the flag that you 
bore in ? " 

"Job didn't bring any flag insygns carry the flags ! He 
brought a turkey, a grand ham, and a little sa'ce there 
wasn't any flag among them." 

At the sound of these eatables, the captain pricked up 
his ears, and he probably would have again violated the 
rigid rules of decorum had not the stranger continued his 

" I see the truth of all you say, my sensible fellow," he 
observed. " It was easy for Ralph and Major Lincoln to 
go out by means of the same privilege that you used to 
enter ? " 


"To be sure," muttered Job, who, tired of the questions, 
had already dropped his head again among his blankets 
" Ralph knows the way he's Boston born ! " 

The stranger turned to the attentive bride, and bowed, 
as if he were satisfied with the result of his examination. 
Cecil understood the expression of his countenance, and 
made a movement towards the place where Abigail Pray 
was seated on a chest, betraying, by the renewed rocking 
of her body, and the low groans that from time to time 
escaped her, the agony of mind she endured. 

" My first care," she said, speaking to the mother of Job, 
" shall be to provide for your wants ; after which I may 
profit by what we have now gathered from your son." 

" Care not for me and mine ! " returned Abigail, in a 
tone of bitter resignation. " The last blow is struck, and it 
behooves such as we to bow our heads to it in submission. 
Riches and plenty could not save your grandmother from 
the tomb, and perhaps Death may take pity, ere long, on 
me. What do I say, sinner that I am ! can I never bring 
my rebellious heart to wait his time ! " 

Shocked at the miserable despair that the other exhib- 
ited, and suddenly recollecting the similar evidences of a 
guilty life that the end of Mrs. Lechmere had revealed, 
Cecil continued silent, in sensitive distress. After a mo- 
ment, to collect her thoughts, she said, with the meekness 
of a Christian, united to the soothing gentleness of her sex 

" We are surely permitted to administer to our earthly 
wants, whatever may have been our transgressions. At a 
proper time I will not be denied in my wish to serve you. 
Let us now go," she added, addressing her unknown com- 
panion. Then, observing Polwarth making an indication 
to advance to her assistance, she gently motioned him back, 
and anticipated his offer, by saying, "I thank you, sir 
but I have Meriton, and this worthy man, besides my own 
maid without I will not further interfere with your par- 
ticular objects." 

As she spoke, she bestowed a melancholy, though sweet 
smile on the captain, and left the tower and the building, 
before he could presume to dispute her pleasure. Not- 
withstanding Cecil and her companion had obtained from 
Job all that he could expect, or in fact had desired to 
know, Polwarth lingered in the room, making those prep- 
arations that should indicate an intention to depart. He 
found, at length, that his presence was entirely disregarded 
by both mother and child. The one was still sitting, with 


her head bowed to her bosom, abandoned to her own sor- 
rows, while the other had sunk into his customary dull 
lethargy, giving no other signs of life than by his labored 
and audible breathing. The captain, fora moment, looked 
upon the misery of the apartment, which wore a still more 
dreary aspect under the dull light of the paltry candle, as 
well as at the disease and suffering which were too plainly 
exhibited in the persons of its abject tenants ; but the 
glance at neither served to turn him from his purpose. 
Temptation had beset the humble follower of Epicurus, 
in a form that never failed to subdue his most philosophic 
resolutions ; and, in this instance, it prevailed once more 
over his humanity. Approaching the pallet of the simple- 
ton, he spoke to him in a sharp voice, saying 

" You must reveal to me what you have done with the 
provisions with which Mr. Seth Sage has intrusted you, 
young man I cannot overlook so gross a violation of 
duty, in a matter of such singular importance. Unless 
you wish to have the grannies of the i8th back upon you, 
speak at once, and speak truly." 

Job continued obstinately silent, but Abigail raised her 
head, and answered for her child 

" He has never failed to carry the things to the quar- 
ters of the major, whenever he got back. No, no if my 
boy was so graceless as to steal, it would not be him that 
he would rob ! " 

" I hope so I hope so, good woman ; but this is a sort 
of temptation to which men yield easily in times of scarc- 
ity," returned the impatient captain, who probably felt 
some inward tokens of his own frailty in such matters. 
" If they had been delivered, would not I have been con- 
sulted concerning their disposition ! The young man ac- 
knowledges that he quitted the American camp yesterday 
at an early hour." 

" No, no," said Job ; " Ralph made him .come away on 
Saturda'-night. He left the people without his dinner! " 

"And repaid his loss by eating the stores ! Is this your 
honesty, fellow ?" 

" Ralph was in such a hurry that he wouldn't stop to 
eat. Ralph's a proper warrior, but he doesn't seem to 
know how sweet it is to eat ! " 

" Glutton ! gormandizer ! thou ostrich of a man ! " ex- 
claimed the angry Polwarth " is it not enough that you 
have robbed me of my own, but you must make me more 
conscious of rny loss by thy silly prating ! ' 


3 or 

" If you really suspect my child of doing wrong to his 
employers," said Abigail, '-you know neither his temper 
nor his breeding, I will answer for him, and with bitter- 
ness of heart do I say it, that nothing in the shape of food 
has entered his mouth for many long and weary hours. 
Hear you not his piteous longings for nourishment ? 
God, who knows all hearts, will hear and believe his 
cry ! " 

" What say you, woman ? " cried Polwarth, aghast with 
horror, " not eaten, did you say ? Why hast thou not, un- 
natural mother, provided for his wants ? why has he not 
shared in your meals ?" 

Abigail looked up into his face with eyes that gleamed 
with hopeless want, as she answered 

" Would I willingly see the child of my body perish of 
hunger ? The last crumb he had was all that was left me, 
and that came from the hands of one, who, in better jus- 
tice, should have sent me poison ! " 

" Nab don't know of the bone that Job found before 
the barracks," said the young man, feebly ; " I wonder if 
the king knows how sweet bones are ?" 

" And the provisions, the stores ! " cried Polwarth, 
nearly choking " foolish boy, what hast thou done with 
the provisions ? " 

"Job knew the grannies couldn't find them under that 
oakum." said the simpleton, raising himself to point out 
their place of concealment, with silly exultation "when 
Major Lincoln comes back, may be he'll give Nab and Job 
the bones to pick !" 

Polwarth was no sooner made acquainted with the situ- 
ation of the precious stores, than he tore them from their 
concealment, with the violence of a maniac. As he sepa- 
rated the articles with an unsteady hand, he rather panted 
than breathed ; and during the short operation, every feat- 
ure in his honest face was working with extraordinary 
emotion. Now and then he muttered in an undertone 
" No food!" "Suffering of inanition!" or some such 
expressive exclamation, that sufficiently explained the cur- 
rent of his thoughts. When all was fairly exposed, he 
shouted, in a tremendous voice 

" Shearflint ! thou rascal ! Shearflint where have you 
hidden yourself ? " 

The reluctant menial knew how dangerous it was to hes- 
itate, answering a summons uttered in such a voice, and 
while his master was yet repeating his cries, he appeared 


at the door of the little apartment, with a face expressive 
of the deepest attention. 

" Light up the fire, thou prince of idlers ! " Polwarth con- 
tinued in the same high strain ; " here is food, and there 
is hunger ! God be praised that I am the man who is per- 
mitted to bring the two acquainted ! Here, throw on oakum 
light up, light up ! " 

As these rapid orders were accompanied by a corre- 
sponding earnestness of action, the servant, who knew his 
master's humor, sat himself most diligently at work to 
comply. A pile of the tarred combustible was placed on 
the dreary and empty hearth, and by a touch of the can- 
dle, it was lighted into a blaze. As the roar of the chim- 
ney and the bright glare were heard and seen, the mother 
and child both turned their longing eyes toward the busy 
actors in the scene. Polwarth threw aside his cane, and 
commenced slicing the ham with a dexterity that denoted 
great practice, as well as an eagerness that renewed the 
credit of his disgraced humility. 

" Bring wood hand down that apology for a gridiron 
make coals, make coals at once, rascal," he said, at short 
intervals " God forgive me, that I should ever have medi- 
tated evil to one suffering under the heaviest of curses ! 
D'ye hear, thou Shearflint ! bring more wood ; I shall be 
ready for the fire in a minute." 

" 'Tis impossible, sir," said the worried domestic ; " I 
have brought the smallest chip there is to be found 
wood is too precious in Boston to be lying in the streets." 

" Where do you keep your fuel, woman ? " demanded 
the captain, unconscious that he addressed her in the same 
rough strain that he used to his menial " I am ready to 
put down." 

" You see it all ! you see it all ! " said Abigail, in the sub- 
missive tones of a stricken conscience ; " the judgment of 
God has not fallen on me singly ! " 

" No wood ! no provisions ! "exclaimed Polwarth, speak- 
ing with difficulty then, dashing his hand across his eyes, 
he continued to his man, in a voice whose hoarseness he 
intended should conceal his emotion " thou villain, Shear- 
flint, come hither unstrap my leg." 

The servant looked at him in wonder, but an impatient 
gesture hastened his compliance. 

" Split it into ten thousand fragments ; 'tis seasoned and 
ready for the fire. The best of them, they of flesh I 
mean, are but useless encumbrances, after all ! A cook 


wants hands, eyes, nose, and palate, but I see no use for a 

While he was speaking, the philosophic captain seated 
himself on the hearth with great indifference, and, by the 
aid of Shearflint, the culinary process was soon in a state of 

" There are people," resumed the diligent Polwarth, who 
did not neglect his avocation while speaking, " that eat 
but twice a day ; and some who eat but once ; though I 
never knew any man thrive who did not supply nature in 
four substantial and regular meals. These sieges are 
damnable visitations on humanity, and there should be 
plans invented to conduct a war without them. The mo- 
ment you begin to starve a soldier, he grows tame and 
melancholy : feed him, and defy the devil ! How is it, 
my worthy fellow ? do you like your ham running or 
dry ? " 

The savory smell of the meat had caused the suffering 
invalid to raise his feverish body, and he sat watching, with 
greedy looks, every movement of his unexpected benefac- 
tor. His parched lips were already working with impa- 
tience, and every glance of his glassy eye betrayed the ab- 
solute dominion of physical want over his feeble mind. To 
this question he made the simple and touching reply of 

"Job isn't particular in his eating." 

" Neither am I," returned the methodical gourmand, re- 
turning a piece of the meat to the fire, that Job had al- 
ready devoured in imagination "one would like to get it 
up well, notwithstanding the hurry. A single turn more, 
and it will be fit for the mouth of a prince. Bring hither 
that trencher, Shearflint it is idle to be particular about 
crockery in so pressing a case. Greasy scoundrel, would 
you dish a ham in its gravy ! What a nosegay it is after 
all! Come hither; help me to the bed." 

" May the Lord, who sees and notes each kind thought 
of his creatures, bless and reward you for this care of my 
forlorn boy ! " exclaimed Abigail, in the fulness of her 
heart ; " but will it be prudent to give such strong nour- 
ishment to one in a burning fever ?" 

"What else would you give, woman? I doubt not he 
owes his disease to his wants. An empty stomach is like 
an empty pocket, a place for the devil to play his gambols 
in. 'Tis your small doctor who prates of a meagre regi- 
men. Hunger is a distemper of itself, and no reasonable 
man who is above listening to quackery, will believe it can 


be a remedy. Food is the prop of life and eating, like a 
crutch to a maimed man. Shearflint, examine the ashes 
for the irons of my supporter, and then dish a bit of the 
meat for the poor woman. Eat away, my charming boy, 
eat away ! " he continued, rubbing his hands in honest de- 
light, to see the avidity with which the famishing Job re- 
ceived his boon. " The second pleasure in life is to see a 
hungry man enjoy his meal ; the first being more deeply 
seated in human nature. This ham has the true Virginia 
flavor ! Have you such a thing as a spare trencher, Shear- 
flint ? It is so near the usual hour, I may as well sup. \t 
is rare, indeed, that a man enjoys two such luxuries at 
once ! " 

The tongue of Polwarth ceased the instant Shearflint 
administered to his wants ; the warehouse into which he 
had so lately entered with such fell intent, exhibiting the 
strange spectacle of the captain, sharing, with social com- 
munion, in the humble repasts of its hunted and miserable 


" Sir Thurio, give us leave, I pray, awhile ; 
We have some secrets to confer about." 

Two Gentlemen of Verona. 

DURING the preceding exhibition of riot and degrada- 
tion, in the Dock Square, a very different state of things 
existed beneath the roof of a proud edifice that stood in an 
adjacent street. As was usual at that hour of the night, 
the windows of Province- House were brilliant with lights 
as if in mockery of the naked dreariness of the neighbor- 
ing church ; and every approach to that privileged resi- 
dence of the representative of royalty, was closely guarded 
by the vigilance of armed men. Into this favored dwell- 
ing it now becomes necessary to remove the scene, in order 
to pursue the thread of our unpretending narrative. 

Domestics, in rich military liveries, might be seen glid- 
ing from room to room, in the hurry of a banquet some 
bearing vessels of the most generous wines into the apart- 
ment where Howe entertained the leaders of the royal 
army, and others returning with the remnants of a feast, 
which, though sumptuously served, having felt the scarcity 
of the times, had offered more to the eyes than to the a,p- 


petites of the guests. Idlers, in the loose undress of their 
martial profession, loitered through the halls ; and many a 
wistful glance, or lingering look, followed the odorous 
scents, as humbler menials received the viands to transport 
them into the more secret recesses of the building. Not- 
withstanding the life and activity which prevailed, every 
movement was conducted in silence and regularity, the 
whole of the lively scene affording a happy illustration of 
the virtues and harmony of order. 

Within the walls of that apartment, to which every eye 
seemed directed as to a common centre, in anticipation of 
the slightest wish of those who revelled there, all was 
bright and cheerful. The hearth knew no want of fuel ; 
the coarser workmanship of the floor was hid beneath rich 
and ample carpets, while the windows were nearly lost 
within the sweeping folds of curtains of figured damask. 
Everything wore an air of exquisite comfort, blended with 
a species of careless elegance. Even the most minute 
article of the furniture had been transported from that dis- 
tant country, which was then thought to monopolize all the 
cunning arts of handicraft, to administer to the pleasures 
of those, who, however careless of themselves in moments 
of trial, courted the most luxurious indulgences in their 
hours of ease. 

Along the centre of this gay apartment was spread the 
hospitable board of the entertainer. It was surrounded 
by men in the trappings of high military rank, though 
here and there might be seen a guest, whose plainer attire 
and dejected countenance betrayed the presence of one or 
two of those misjudging colonists, whose confidence in the 
resistless power of the crown began already to waver. The 
lieutenant of the king held his wonted place at the banquet, 
his dark visage expressing all the heartiness of a soldier's 
welcome, while he pointed out this or that favorite amongst 
an abundant collection of wines, that included the choicest 
liquors of Europe. 

" For those who share the mess of a British general, you 
have encountered rude fare to-day, gentlemen," he cried ; 
" though, after all, 'tis such as a British soldier knows how 
to fatten on, in the service of his master Fill, gentlemen ; 
fill in loyal bumpers ; for we have neglected our alle- 

Each glass now stood sparkling and overcharged with 
wine, when, after a short and solemn pause, the host pro- 
nounced aloud the magical words "The King." Every 


voice echoed the name, after which there literally sue- 
ceeded a breathless pause ; when an old man, in the uni- 
form of an officer of the fleet, first proving his loyalty by 
flourishing on high his inverted glass, added, with hearty 

" God bless him ! " 

" God bless him ! " repeated the graceful leader, who 
has already been more than once named in these pages ; 
'and grant him a long and glorious reign! and, should 
there be no treason in the wish, in death, a grave like 
yourself, worthy admiral * Sepulcrum sine sordibus ex- 
true.' " 

" Like me ! " echoed the blunt seaman, whose learning 
\vas somewhat impaired by hard and long service " I am, 
it is true, none of your cabin-window gentry ; but his 
majesty might stoop lower than by favoring a faithful ser- 
vant, like me, with his gracious presence." 

" Your pardon, sir ; I should have included, * permissum 
arbitrio.' " 

The equivoque had barely excited a smile, when the se- 
date countenance of the commander-in-chief indicated that 
the subject was too serious for a jest. Nor did the naval 
chieftain appear to relish the unknown tongue ; for, quite 
as much, if not a little more, offended with the liberty 
taken with his own name, than with the privileged person 
of the sovereign, he somewhat smartly retorted 

" Permitted or not permitted, I command the fleet of his 
majesty in these waters, and it shall be noted as a cheerful 
day in our log-books, when you gentlemen of the army 
dismiss us to our duty again, on the high-seas. A sailor 
will grow as tired of doing nothing, as ever a soldier did 
of work, and I like * elbow-room,' even in my coffin 
ha, ha, ha what d'ye think of that, master wit ? ha, ha, 
ha, what d'ye say to that ? " 

" Quite fair, well deserved, and cuttingly severe, ad- 
miral," returned the undisturbed soldier, smiling with per- 
fect self-possession, as he sipped his wine. " But as you 
find confinement and leisure, so irksome, I will presume to 
advise your seizing some of these impudent Yankees, who 
look into the port so often, not only robbing us of our 
stores, but offending so many loyal eyes with their traitor- 
ous presence." 

*' I command a parley to be beaten," interrupted the 
commander-in-chief, " and a truce to further hostilities. 
Where all have done their duty, and have done it so wel\ 


even wit must respect their conduct. Let me advise you to 
sound the contents of that dusky-looking bottle, Mr. 
Graves ; I think you will approve the situation as an an- 
chorage for the night." 

The honest old seaman instantly drowned his displeas- 
ure in a glass of the generous liquor, and, smacking his 
lips after the potations, for he repeated the first on the 
moment, he exclaimed 

"Ah ! you are too stationary, by half, to stir up the soul 
of your liquors. Wine should never slumber on its lees 
until it has been well rolled in the trough of a sea for a 
few months ; then, indeed, you may set it asleep, and your- 
self by the side of it, if you like a cat's nap." 

"As orthodox a direction for the ripening of wine as was 
ever given by a bishop to his butler !" exclaimed his ad- 
versary. Another significant glance from his dark-looking 
superior again checked his wilful playfulness, when Howe 
profited by the silence, to say with the frank air of a lib- 
eral host 

" As motion is, just now, denied us, the only means I 
can devise, to prevent my wine from slumbering on its 
lees, is to drink it." 

" Besides which, we are threatened with a visit from Mr. 
Washington, and his thirsty followers, who may save us all 
trouble in the matter, unless we prove industrious. In such 
a dilemma, Mr. Graves will not hesitate to pledge me in a 
glass, though it should be only to disappoint the rebels ! " 
added Burgoyne, making a graceful inclination to the half- 
offended seaman. 

" Ay, ay, I would do much more disagreeable things to 
cheat the rascals of their plunder," returned the mollified 
admiral, good-naturedly nodding his head before he swal- 
lowed his bumper. " If there be any real danger of the 
loss of such liquid amber as this, 'twould be as well to send 
it along-side my ship, and I will hoist it in, and find it a 
berth, though it shares my own cot. I believe I command 
a fortress which neither Yankee, Frenchman, nor Don, 
would like to besiege, unless at a respectful distance." 

The officers around him looked exceedingly grave, ex- 
changing glances of great meaning, though all continued 
silent, as if the common subject of their meditations was 
too delicate to be loudly uttered in such a presence. At 
length the second in command, who still felt the coldness 
of his superior, and who had, hitherto, said nothing during 
the idle dialogue, ventured a remark, with the gravity 


and distance of a man who was not certain of his wel- 

" Our enemies grow bold as the season advances," he 
said, "and it is past a doubt that they will find us employ- 
ment in the coming summer. It cannot be denied but they 
conduct themselves with great steadiness in all their bat- 
teries, especially in this last, at the water-side ; nor am I 
without apprehension that they will yet get upon the isl- 
ands, and render the situation of the shipping hazard- 

" Get upon the islands ! drive the fleet from their anch- 
ors ! " exclaimed the veteran sailor, in undisguised amaze- 
ment. " I shall account it a happy day for England, when 
Washington and his rabble trust themselves within reach 
of our shot ! " 

" God grant us a chance at the rascals with the bayonet 
in the open field," cried Howe, "and an end of these win- 
ter quarters ! I say winter quarters, for I trust no gentle- 
man can consider this army as besieged by a mob of armed 
peasants ! We hold the town, and they the country ; but 
when the proper time shall come well, sir, your pleasure," 
he continued, interrupting himself to speak to an upper 
servant at his elbow. 

The man, who had stood for more than a minute, in an 
attitude of respectful attention, anxious to catch the eye 
of his master, muttered his message in a low and hurried 
voice, as if unwilling to be heard by others, and at the 
same time conscious of the impropriety of whispering. 
Most of those around him turned their heads in polite in- 
difference ; but the old sailor, who sat too near to be totally 
deaf, had caught the words, " a lady," which was quite 
enough to provoke all his merriment, after such a free in- 
dulgence of the bottle. Striking his hand smartly on the 
table, he exclaimed, with a freedom that no other present 
could have presumed to use 

" A sail ! a sail ! by George, a sail ! under what colors, 
friend ? king's or rebels' ? Here has been a blunder, with 
a vengeance ! The cook has certainly been too late, or 
the lady is too early ! ha, ha, ha Oh ! you are wicked, 
free livers in the army ! " 

The tough old tar enjoyed his joke exceedingly, chuck- 
ling with inward delight at his discovery. He was, how- 
ever, alone in his merriment, none of the soldiers venturing 
to understand his allusions, any further than by exchanging 
a few stolen looks of unusual archness. Hcwe bit his lips, 


with obvious vexation, and sternly ordered the man to re- 
peat his errand in a voice that was more audible. 

"A lady," said the trembling menial, "wishes to see 
your excellency, and she waits your pleasure, sir, in the 

"Among his books, too!" shouted the admiral "that 
would have better become you, my joking friend ! I say, 
young man, is the girl young and handsome ?" 

" By the lightness of her step, sir, I should think her 
young ; but her face was concealed under a hood." 

" Ay ! ay ! the jade comes hooded into the house of the 
king ! Damn me, Howe, but modesty is getting to be a 
rare virtue amongst you gentlemen on shore ! " 

"'Tis a plain case against you, sir, for even the servant, 
as you find, has detected that she is light of carriage," said 
the smiling Burgoyne, making half a motion toward ris- 
ing. " It is probably some applicant for relief, or for per- 
mission to depart the place. Suffer me to see her, and 
spare yourself the pain of a refusal." 

" Not at all," said Howe, gaining his feet with an alacrity 
that anticipated the more deliberate movement of the other 
" I should be unworthy of the trust I hold, could I not 
lend an occasional ear to a petition. Gentlemen, as there 
is a lady in the case, I presume to trespass on your indul- 
gence. Admiral, I commend you to my butler, who is a 
worthy fellow, and can give you all the cruises of the bot- 
tle before you, since it left the island of Madeira." 

He inclined his head to his guests, and passed from the 
room with a hurried step, that did not altogether consult 
appearances. As he proceeded through the hall, his ears 
were saluted by another burst from the hearty old seaman, 
who, however, enjoyed his humor alone, the rest of the 
party immediately turning to other subjects, with well-bred 
dulness. On entering the room already mentioned, Howe 
found himself in the presence of the female, who, notwith- 
standing their apparent indifference, was at that very mo- 
ment occupying the thoughts, and exercising the ingenuity 
of every man he had left behind him. Advancing at once 
to the centre of the apartment, with the ease and freedom 
of a soldier who felt himself without a superior, he asked, 
with a politeness somewhat equivocal 

" Why am I favored with this visit ? and why has a lady, 
whose appearance shows she might command friends at 
any time, assumed this personal trouble ? " 

" Because I am a supplicant for a favor that might be 


denied to one who petitioned coldly," returned a soft, 
tremulous voice, deep within the covering of a silken ca- 
lash. " As time is wanting to observe the usual forms of 
applications, I have presumed to come in person, to pre- 
vent delay." 

"And surely, one like you can have little reason to 
dread a repulse," said Howe, with an attempt at gallantry, 
that would have better become the man who had offered 
to be his substitute. While speaking, he advanced a step 
nigher to the lady, and, pointing to her hood, he contin- 
ued " Would it not be wise to aid your request with a 
view of a countenance that I am certain can speak better 
than any words ? whom have I the honor to receive, and 
what may be the nature of her business ?" 

"A wife, who seeks her husband," returned the female, 
dropping the folds of her calash, and exposing to his 
steady eyes the commanding loveliness of the chaste coun- 
tenance of Cecil. The sudden annunciation of her char- 
acter was forced from the lips of the unclaimed bride, by 
the freedom of a gaze to which she was unused ; but the 
instant she had spoken, her eyes fell on the floor in em- 
barrassment, and she stood deeply blushing at the strength 
of her own language, though preserving all the apparent 
composure and dignity of female pride. The English gen- 
eral regarded her beauty for a moment, with a pleased, 
though doubting eye, before he continued 

" Is he whom you seek within or without the town ? " 

" I much fear without ! " 

" And you would follow him into the camp of the rebels ? 
This is a case that may require some deliberation. I feel 
assured I entertain a lady of great beauty ; might I, in ad- 
dition, know how to address her ? " 

" For my name I can have no reason to blush," said Ce- 
cil, proudly "'tis noble in the land of our common ances- 
tors, and may have reached the ears of Mr. Howe I am 
the child of the late Colonel Dynevor ! " 

"The niece of Lord Cardonnel ! " exclaimed her auditor, 
in amazement, instantly losing the equivocal freedom of 
his manner in an air of deep respect " I have long known 
that Boston contained such a lady ; nor do I forget that 
she is accused of concealing herself from the attentions of 
the army, like one of the most obdurate of our foes atten- 
tions which every man in the garrison would be happy to 
show her, from myself down to the lowest ensign. Do me 
the honor to be seated ! " 


Cecil bowed her acknowledgments, but continued stand- 

" I have neither time nor spirits to defend myself from 
such an imputation," she answered "though, should my 
own name prove no passport to your favor, I must claim 
it in behalf of him I seek." 

" Should he be the veriest rebel in the train of Washing 
ton, he has great reason to be proud of his fortune ! " 

"So far from ranking among the enemies of the king, 
he has already been lavish of his blood in behalf of the 
crown," returned Cecil, unconsciously raising the calash 
again, with maiden bashfulness, as she felt the moment 
\vas approaching when she must'declare the name of the 
man, whose influence over her feelings she had already 

" And he is called?" 

The answer was given to this direct question in a low 
but distinct voice. Howe started when he heard the well- 
known name of an officer of so much consideration, though 
a meaning smile lighted his dark features, as he repeated 
her words in surprise 

"Major Lincoln! his refusal to return to Europe, in 
search of health, is then satisfactorily explained. Without 
the town did yu say ! there must be some error." 

" I fear it is too true! " 

The harsh features of the leader contracted again into 
their sternest look, and it was apparent how much he was 
disturbed by the intelligence. 

" This is presuming too far on his privilege," he mut- 
tered in an undertone. "Left the place say you, without 
my knowledge and approbation, young lady ?" 

" But on no unworthy errand ! " cried the almost breath- 
less Cecil, instantly losing sight of herself in her anxi- 
ety for Lionel " private sorrows have driven him to 
an act, that, at another time, he would be the first to con- 
demn, as a soldier." 

Howe maintained a cool, but threatening silence, that 
was far more appalling than any w r ords could be. The 
alarmed wife gazed at his lowering face for a minute, as 
if to penetrate his secret thoughts ; then yielding, with the 
sensitiveness of a woman, to her worst apprehensions, she 

" Oh ! you would not avail yourself of this confession to 
do him harm ! Has he not bled for you ? lingered for 
months on the verge of the grave, in defence of your 


cause ? and will you now doubt him ? Nay, sir, though 
chance and years may have subjected him, for a time, to 
your control, he is every way your equal, and will con- 
front each charge before his royal master, let who may 
bring them against his spotless name ! " 

" 'Twill be necessary," the other coldly replied. 

" Nay, hearken not to my weak, unmeaning words," 
continued Cecil, wringing her hands in doubting distress; 
"I know not what I say. He has your permission to hold 
intercourse with the country weekly ?" 

" For the purpose of obtaining the supplies necessary to 
his past condition." 

"And may he not have gone on such an errand, and 
under favor of the flag you yourself have cheerfully ac- 
corded ?" 

" In such a case would I not have been spared the pain 
of this interview ? " 

Cecil paused a moment, and seemed collecting her scat- 
tered faculties, and preparing her mind for some serious 
purpose. After a little time, she attempted a painful 
smile, saying, more calmly 

" I had presumed too far on military indulgence, and 
was even weak enough to believe the request would be 
granted to my name and situation." 

"No name, no situation, no circumstances, can ever 
render " 

" Speak not the cruel words, lest they once more drive 
me from my recollection," interrupted Cecil. " First hear 
me, sir listen to a wife and a daughter, and you will re- 
call the cruel sentence." 

Without waiting for a reply, she advanced with a firm 
and proud step to the door of the room, passing her aston- 
ished companion with an eye and a face beaming with the 
fulness of her object. In the outer passage she beckoned 
from among the loiterers in the hall, to the stranger who 
had accompanied her in the visit to the warehouse, and 
when he had approached, and entered the room, the door 
once more closed, leaving the spectators without wondering 
whence such a vision of purity could have made its way 
within the sullied walls of Province-House. 

Many long and impatient minutes were passed by the 
guests in the banqueting-room, during the continuance of 
this mysterious interview. The jests of the admiral began 
to flag, just as his companions were inclined to think they 
were most merited, and the conversation assumed that 


broken and disjointed character which betrays the wander- 
ing of the speakers' thoughts. 

At length a bell rang, and orders came from the com- 
mander-in-chief, .to clear the hall of its curious idlers. 
When none were left but the regular domestics of the 
family, Howe appeared, supporting Cecil, closely hooded, 
to the conveyance that awaited her presence at the gate. 
The air of their master communicated a deep respect to 
the manners of the observant menials, who crowded about 
their persons, to aid the departure, with officious zeal. 
The amazed sentinels dropped their arms, with the usual 
regularity, to their chieftain, as he passed to the outer 
portal in honor of his unknown companion, and eyes met 
the expressive glances of eyes, as all who witnessed the 
termination of this visit sought, in the countenances of 
those around them, some solution of its object. 

When Howe resumed his seat at the table, another 
attempt was made by the admiral to renew the subject ; 
but it was received with an air so cold, and a look so point- 
edly severe, that even the careless son of the ocean forgot 
his humor under the impression of so dark a frown. 


"Nor martial shout, nor minstrel tone, 
Announced their march " SCOTT. 

CECIL suffered the night to advance a little, before she 
left Tremont Street, to profit by the permission to leave 
the place, her communication had obtained from the Eng- 
lish general. It was, however, far from late when she took 
leave of Agnes, and commenced her expedition, still 
attended bv Meriton and the unknown man, with whom 
she has already, more than once, made her appearance in 
our pages. At the lower part of the town she left her 
vehicle, and pursuing the route of several devious and 
retired streets, soon reached the margin of the water. The 
wharves were deserted and still. Indicating the course by 
her own light and hurried footsteps, to her companions, 
the youthful bride moved unhesitatingly along the rough 
planks, until her progress was checked by a large basin, 
between two of the ordinary wooden piers which line 
the shores of the place. Here she paused for a moment, 


in doubt, as if fearful there had been some mistake, when 
the figure of a boy was seen advancing out of the shadows 
of a neighboring store-house. 

" I fear you have lost your way," he said, when within a 
few feet of her, where he stood, apparently examining the 
party with rigid scrutiny. ''May I venture to ask whom 
or what you seek ? " 

" One who is sent hither on private duty, by orders from 
the commander-in-chief." 

" I see but two," returned the lad, hesitating "where is 
the third?" 

" He lingers in the distance," said Cecil, pointing to 
Meriton, whose footsteps were much more guarded than 
those of his mistress. "Three is our number, and we are 
all present." 

" I beg a thousand pardons," returned the youth, drop- 
ping the folds of a sailor's overcoat, under which he had 
concealed the distinguishing marks of a naval dress, and 
raising his hat at the same moment, with great respect ; 
"my orders were to use the utmost precaution, ma'am, for, 
as you hear, the rebels sleep but little to-night ! " 

"'Tis a dreadful scene I leave, truly, sir," returned Cecil, 
" and the sooner it will suit your convenience to transport 
us from it, the greater will be the obligation you are about 
to confer." 

The youth once more bowed, in submission to her wishes, 
and requested the whole party to follow whither he should 
lead. A very few moments brought them to a pair of water- 
stairs, where, under cover of the duskiness thrown upon 
the basin from the wharf, a boat lay concealed, in perfect 
readiness to receive them. 

" Be stirring, boys ! " cried the youth, in a tone of au- 
thority ; " ship your oars as silently as if stealing away 
from an enemy. Have the goodness, ma'am, to enter, and 
you shall have a quick and safe landing on the other shore, 
whatever may be the reception of the rebels." 

Cecil and her two attendants complied without delay, 
when the boat glided into the stream with a velocity that 
promised a speedy verification of the wordsof the midship- 
man. The most profound stillness- reigned among these 
nocturnal adventurers, and by the time they had rowed a 
short distance, the bride began to lose an immediate con- 
sciousness of her situation in contemplation of the scene. 

The evening was already milder, and by one of those 
sudden changes, peculiar to the climate, it was rapidly be- 

Z70AYJY. I.f.VCOLA' 315 

coming even bland and pleasant. The light of a clear 
moon fell upon the town and harbor, rendering the objects 
of both visible, in mellowed softness. The huge black 
hulls of the vessels of war rested sullenly on the waters, like 
slumbering leviathans, without even a sail or a passing 
boat, except their own, to enliven the view in the direction 
of the port. On the other hand, the hills of the town rose, 
in beautiful relief, against the clear sky, with here and 
there a roof or a steeple reflecting the pale light of the 
moon. The bosom of the place was as quiet as if its inhabi- 
tants were buried in midnight sleep ; but behind the hills, 
in a circuit extending from the works on the heights of 
Charlestown, to the neck, which lay in open view of the 
boat, there existed all the evidences of furious warfare. 
During the few preceding nights, the Americans had been 
more than commonly diligent in the use of their annoy- 
ances, but now they appeared to expend their utmost en- 
ergies upon their enemies. Still they spared the town, di- 
recting the weight of their fire at the different batteries 
which protected the approaches to the place, as already 
described, along the western borders of the peninsula. 

The ears of Cecil had long been accustomed to the up- 
roar of arms, but this was the first occasion in which she 
was ever a witness of the mingled beauties and terrors of a 
cannonade at night. Suffering the calash to fall, she shook 
back the dark tresses from her face, and, leaning over the 
sides of the little vessel, listened to the bursts of the artil- 
lery, and gazed on the sudden flashes of vivid light that 
mocked the dimmer illumination of the planet, with an ab- 
sorbed attention that momentarily lured her into forget- 
fulness. The men pulled their light boat with muffled 
oars, and so still was its progress, that there were instants 
when even the shot might be heard rattling among the 
ruins they had made. 

" It's amazement to me, madam," said Meriton, "that so 
many British generals, and brave gentleman as there is in 
Boston, should stay in such a little spot to be shot at by a 
parcel of countrymen, when there is Lon'non, as still and 
as safe, at this blessed moment, as a parish church-yard at 
midnight ! " 

Cecil raised her eyes at this interruption, and perceived 
the youth gazing at her countenance in undisguised admi- 
ration of its beauty. Blushing, and once more concealing 
her features beneath her calash, she turned away from the 
view of the conflict, in silence. 


" The rebels are free with their gunpowder to-night ! " 
said the midshipman. " Some of their cruisers have picked 
up another of our store-ships, I fancy, or Mr. Washington 
would not make such a noisy time of it, when all honest 
people should be thinking of their sleep. Don't you be- 
lieve, ma'am, if the admiral would warp three or four of 
our heaviest ships up into the channel, back of the town, 
it would be a short method of lowering th,e conceit of these 
Yankees ? " 

" Really, sir, I am so little acquainted with military mat- 
ters," returned Cecil, suffering her anxious features to re- 
lax into a smile, "that my opinion, should I venture to 
give one, would be utterly worthless." 

"Why, young gentleman," said Meriton, "the rebels 
drove a galley out of the river, a night or two ago, as 1 
can testify myself, having stood behind a large brick 
store, where I saw the whole affair, most beautifully con- 
ducted ! " 

" A very fit place for one like you, no doubt, sir," re- 
turned the midshipman, without attempting to conceal his 
disgust at so impertinent an interruption "do you know 
what a galley is, ma'am ? nothing but a small vessel cut 
down, with a few heavy guns, I do assure you. It would 
be a very different affair with a frigate or a two-decker ! 
Do but observe what a charming thing our ship is, ma'am 
I am sure so beautiful a lady must know how to admire 
a handsome ship ! she lies hereaway, nearly in a range 
with the second island." 

To please the earnest youth Cecil bent her head toward 
the quarter he wished, and murmured a few words in ap- 
probation of his taste. But the impatient boy had nar- 
rowly watched the direction of her eyes, and she was 
interrupted by his exclaiming, in manifest disappoint- 

"What! that shapeless hulk, just above the castle! she 
is an old Dutch prize, en flute, ay, older than my grand- 
mother, good old soul ; and it wouldn't matter the value of 
a piece of junk, into which end you stepped her bowsprit ! 
One of my school-fellows, Jack Willoughby, is a reefer on 
board her ; and he says that they can just get six knots 
out of her, on her course in smooth water with a fresh 
breeze, allowing seven knot for leeway ! Jack means to 
get rid of her the moment he can catch the admiral run- 
ning large ; for the Graveses live near the Willoughbys in 
town, and he knows all the soundings about the old man's 


humor. No, no, ma'am ; Jack would give every shot in 
his lockers to swing a hammock between two of the beams 
of our ship. Do excuse me, one moment ;" presuming 
to take one of the hands of Cecil, though with sufficient 
delicacy, as he pointed out his favorite vessel " There, 
ma'am, now you have her ! she that's so taut-rigged, with 
a flying-jib-boom, and all her top-gallant-yards stopped to 
her lower rigging we send them down every night at gun- 
fire, and cross them again next morning as regularly as 
the bell strikes eight. Isn't she a sweet thing, ma'am ? for 
I see she has caught your eye at last, and I am sure you 
can't wish to look at any other ship in port." 

Cecil could not refuse her commendations to this elo- 
quent appeal, though at the next moment she would have 
been utterly at a loss to distinguish the much-admired 
frigate from the despised store-ship. 

" Ay, ay, madam, I knew you would like her when you 
once got a fair glimpse at her proportions," continued the 
delighted boy ; " though she is not half so beautiful on her 
broadside, as when you can catch her lasking, especially 
on her larboard bow. Pull, long and strong, men, and 
with a light touch of the water these Yankees have ears 
as long as borricoes, and we are getting in with the land. 
This set-down at Dorchester's neck will give you a long 
walk, ma'am, to Cambridge, but there was no possibility 
of touching the rebels anywhere else to-night, or, as you 
see, we should have gone right into the face of their 

" Is it not a little remarkable," said Cecil, willing to pay 
the solicitude of the boy to amuse her, by some reply, 
" that the colonists, while they invest the town so closely 
on the north and west, should utterly neglect to assail it 
on the south ? for I believe they have never occupied the 
hills in Dorchester at all ; and yet it is one of the points 
nearest to Boston." 

"It is no mystery at all ! " returned the boy, shaking his 
head with all the sagacity of a veteran " it would bring 
another Bunker Hill about their ears ; for you see it is the 
same thing at this end of the place that Charlestown neck is 
at the other ! a light touch, men, a light touch ! " he con- 
tinued, dropping his voice, as they approached the shore ; 
" besides, ma'am, a fort on that hill could throw its shot 
directly on our decks, a thing the old man would never 
submit to ; and that would either bring on a regular ham- 
mering match, or a general clearing out of the fleet ; and 


then what would become of the army ? No, no the Yan- 
kees wouldn't risk driving the codfish out of their bay, to 
try such an experiment ! Lay on your oars, boys, while I 
take a squint along this shore, to see if there are any Jona- 
thans cooling themselves near the beach, by moonlight." 

The obedient seamen rested from their labors, while 
their youthful officer stood up in the boat, and directed a 
small night-glass over the intended place of landing. The 
examination proved entirely satisfactory, and in a low, 
cautious voice, he ordered the men to pull into a place 
where the shadow of the hills might render the landing 
still less likely to be observed. 

From this moment the most profound silence was ob- 
served, the boat advancing swiftly, though under perfect 
command, to the desired spot, where it was soon heard 
grazing upon the bottom, as it gradually lost its motion, 
and finally became stationary. Cecil was instantly assisted 
to the land whither she was followed by the midshipman, 
who jumped upon the shore with great indifference, and 
approached the passenger, from whom he was now about 
to part. 

" I only hope that those you next fall in with may know 
how to treat you as well as those you leave," said the boy, 
approaching, and offering his hand, with the frankness of 
an older seaman, to Cecil "God bless you, my dear 
ma'am ; I have two little sisters at home, nearly as hand- 
some as yourself ; and I never see a woman in want of as- 
sistance, but I think of the poor girls I've left in old Eng- 
land God bless you, once more I hope when we meet 
again, you will take a nearer view of the " 

"You are not likely to part so soon as you imagine," 
exclaimed a man, springing on his feet, from his place of 
concealment behind a rock, and advancing rapidly on the 
party " offer the least resistance, and you are all dead." 

" Shove off, men, shove off, and don't mind me ! " cried 
the youth, with admirable presence of mind " For God's 
sake, save the boat, if you die for it ! " 

The seamen obeyed with practised alacrity, when the 
boy darted after them with the lightness of his years, and, 
making a desperate leap, caught the gunwale of the barge, 
into which he was instantly drawn by the sailors. A dozen 
armed men had by this time reached the edge of the water, 
and as many muskets were pointed at the retreating party, 
when he who had first spoken, cried 

" Not a trigger ! the boy has escaped us, and he de- 


serves his fortune ! Let us secure those who remain , but 
if a single gun be fired, it will only draw the attention of 
the fleet and castle." 

His companions, who had acted with the hesitation of 
men that were not assured the course they took was cor- 
rect, willingly dropped the muzzles of their pieces, and in 
another instant the boat was ploughing its way toward 
the much-admired frigate, at a distance which would prob- 
ably have rendered their fire quite harmless. Cecil had 
hardly breathed during the short period of uncertainty ; 
but when the sudden danger was passed, she prepared her- 
self to receive their captors with the perfect confidence 
which an American woman seldom fails to feel in the mild- 
ness and reason of her countrymen. The whole party, who 
now approached her, were dressed in the ordinary habili- 
ments of husbandmen, mingled, in a slight degree, with the 
more martial accoutrements of soldiers. They were armed 
with muskets only, which they wielded like men acquainted 
with all the uses of the weapon, at the same time that they 
were unaccustomed to the mere manual of the troops. 

Every fibre of the body of Meriton, however, shook with 
fear, as he found this unexpected guard encircling their 
little party, nor did the unknown man who had accom- 
panied them appear entirely free from apprehension. The 
bride still maintained her self-possession, supported either 
by her purpose, or her greater familiarity with the charac- 
ter of the people into whose hands she had fallen. 

When the whole party were posted within a few feet of 
them, they dropped the butts of their muskets on the 
ground, and stood patient listeners to the ensuing exam* 
ination. The leader of the party, who was only distin- 
guished from his companions by a green cockade in his hat, 
which Cecil had heard was the symbol of a subaltern offi- 
cer among the American troops, addressed her in a calm, 
but steady tone 

" It is unpleasant to question a woman," he said, " and 
especially one of your appearance ; but duty requires it 
of me. What brings you to this unfrequented point, in 
the boat of a king's ship, and at this unusual hour of the 
night ?" 

" I come with no intent to conceal my visit from any 
eyes," returned Cecil ; " for my first wish is to be con- 
ducted to some officer of rank, to whom I will explain my 
object. There are many that I should know, who will not 
hesitate to believe my words." 


"We none of us profess to doubt your truth ; we only 
act with caution, because it is required by circumstances. 
Cannot the explanation be made to me ? for I dislike 
the duty that causes trouble to a female." 

" 'Tis impossible ! " said Cecil, involuntarily shrinking 
within the folds of her mantle. 

"You came at a most unfortunate moment," said the 
other, musing ; "and I fear you will pass an uneasy night, 
in consequence. By your tongue, I think you are an 
American ? " 

" I was born among those roofs, which you may see on 
the opposite peninsula." 

"Then we are of the same town," returned the officer, 
stepping back in a vain attempt to get a glimpse of those 
features which were concealed beneath the hood. He made 
no attempt, however, to remove the silk ; nor did he in the 
slightest manner convey any wish of a nature that might 
be supposed to wound the delicacy of her sex ; but finding 
himself unsuccessful, he turned away, as he added " and 
I grow tired of remaining where I can see the smoke of 
my own chimneys, at the same time I know that strangers 
are seated around the hearths below ! " 

" None wish more fervently than I, that the moment had 
arrived when each might enjoy his own, in peace and quiet 

" Let the Parliament repeal their laws, and the king re- 
call his troops," said one of the men, "and there will be an 
end of the struggle at once. We don't fight because we love 
to shed blood ! " 

" He would do both, friend, if the counsel of one so in- 
significant as I could find weight in his royal mind." 

" I believe there is not much difference between a royal 
mind and that of any other man, when the devil gets hold 
of it ! " bluntly exclaimed another of the party. " I've a 
notion the imp is as mischievous with a king as with a cob' 
bier ! " 

" Whatever I may think of the conduct of his ministers," 
said Cecil, coldly," 'tis unpleasant to me to discuss the per- 
sonal qualities of my sovereign." 

" Why, I meant no oifence ; though when the truth is 
uppermost in a man's thoughts, he is apt to let it out," re- 
turned the soldier. After this uncouth apology, he con- 
tinued silent, turning away like one who felt dissatisfied 
with himself for what he had done. 

In the meantime the leader had been consulting with 


one or two of his men aside. He now advanced again, and 
delivered the result of their united wisdom. 

"Under all circumstances, I have concluded," he said, 
speaking in the first person, in deference to his rank, 
though in fact he had consented to change his own opinion 
at the instigation of his advisers, " to refer you for infor- 
mation to the nearest general officer, under the care of 
these two men, who will show you the way. They both 
know the country, and there is not the least danger of their 
mistaking the road." 

Cecil bo\ved in entire submission to this characteristic 
intimation of his pleasure, and declared her anxiety to pro- 
ceed. The officer held another short consultation with 
the two guides which soon terminated by his issuing orders 
to the rest of the detachment to prepare to depart. Before 
they separated, one of the guides, or, more properly, 
guards, approached Meriton, and said, with a deliberation 
that might easily be mistaken for doubt 

" As we shall be only two to two, friend, will it not be as 
well to see what you have got secreted about your person, 
as it may prevent any hard words or difficulties hereafter ? 
You will see the reason of the thing, I trust, and make no 

" Not at all, sir, not at all ! " returned the trembling 
valet, producing his purse, without a moment's hesitation ; 
" it is not heavy, but what there is in it, is of the best 
English gold ; which I expect is much regarded among 
you who see nothing but rebel paper ! " 

" Much as we set store by it, we do not choose to rob 
for it," returned the soldier, with cool contempt. " I wish 
to look for weapons, and not for money." 

" But, sir, as I unluckily have no weapons, had you not 
better take my money ? there are ten good guineas, I do 
assure you ; and not a light one among them all, 'pon 
honor ! besides several pieces of silver." 

"Come, Allen," said the other soldier, laughing, "it's no 
great matter whether that gentleman has arms or not, I 
believe. His comrade, here, who seems to know rather bet- 
ter what he is about, has none, at any rate ; and for one of 
two men, I am willing to trust the other." 

" I do assure you," said Cecil, " that our intentions are 
peaceable, and that your charge will prove in no manner 

The men listened to the earnest tones of her sweet voice 
with much deference, and in a few moments the two parties 


separated, to proceed on their several ways. While the 
main body of the soldiers ascended the hill, the guides of 
Cecil took a direction which led them around its base. 
Their route lay toward the low neck, which connected the 
heights with the adjacent country, and their progress was 
both diligent and rapid. Cecil was often consulted as to 
her ability to endure the fatigue, and repeated offers were 
made to accommodate their speed to her wishes. In every 
other respect she was totally disregarded by the guides, 
who, however, paid much closer attention to her compan- 
ions, each soldier attaching himself to one of her follow- 
ers, whom he constantly regarded with a watchful and 
wary eye. 

" You seem cold, friend," said Allen to Meriton, " though 
I should call the night quite pleasant for the first week in 
March ! " 

" Indeed I'm starved to the bones !" returned the valet, 
with a shivering that would seem to verify his assertion 
" It's a very chilly climate is this of America, especially 
of nights ! I never really felt such a remarkable damp- 
ness about the throat before, within memory, I do assure 

" Here is another handkerchief," said the soldier, throw- 
ing him a common 'kerchief from his pocket "wrap it 
round your neck, for it gives me an ague to hear your 
teeth knocking one another about so." 

"I thank you, sir, a thousand times," said Meriton, pro- 
ducing his purse, again, with an instinctive readiness 
"what may be the price?" 

The man pricked up his ears, and dropping his musket 
from the guarded position in which he had hitherto car- 
ried it, he drew closer to the side of his prisoner, in a very 
companionable way, as he replied 

" I did not calculate on selling the article ; but if you 
have need of it, I wouldn't wish to be hard." 

"Shall I give you one guinea, or two, Mr. Rebel?" 
asked Meriton, whose faculties were utterly confounded 
by his terror. 

"My name is Allen, friend, and we like civil language 
in the Bay," said the soldier. " Two guineas for a pocket 
handkerchief ! I couldn't think of imposing on any man 
so much ! " 

" What shall it be then, half a guinea, or four half-crown 
pieces ?" 

" I didn't at all calculate to part with the handkerchief 


when I left home it's quite new, as you can see by hold- 
ing it up, in this manner, to the moon besides, you know, 
now there is no trade, these things come very high. Well, 
if you are disposed to buy, I don't wish to crowd ; you may 
take it, finally, for the two crowns." 

Meriton dropped the money into his hands, without 
hesitation, and the soldier pocketed the price, perfectly 
satisfied with his bargain and himself, since he had sold 
his goods at a clear profit of about three hundred per cent. 
He soon took occasion to whisper to his comrade, that in 
his opinion " he had made a good trade ; " and laying 
their heads together, they determined that the bargain 
was by no means a bad wind-fall. On the other hand, 
Meriton, who knew the difference in value between cotton 
and silk quite as well as his American protectors, was 
equally well satisfied with the arrangement ; though his 
contentment was derived from a very different manner of 
reasoning. From early habit, he had long been taught to 
believe, that every civility, like patriotism in the opinion 
of Sir Robert Walpole, had its price ; and his fears had 
rendered him somewhat careless about the amount of the 
purchase-money. He now considered himself as having a 
clear claim on the protection of his guard, and his appre- 
hensions gradually subsided into security under the sooth- 
ing impression. 

By the time this satisfactory bargain was concluded, 
and eacli party was lawfully put in possession of his own, 
they had reached the low land already mentioned as the 
" neck." Suddenly the guard stopped, and bending for- 
ward, in the attitude of deep attention, they seemed to 
listen, intently, to some faint and distant sounds, that 
were, for moments, audible in the intervals of the can- 

" They are coming," said one to the other ; " shall we 
go on, or wait until they've passed ? " 

The question was answered in a whisper, and, after a 
short consultation, they determined to proceed. 

The attention of Cecil had been attracted by this con- 
ference, and the few words which had escaped her guides ; 
and, for the first time, she harbored some little dread as 
to her final destination. Full of the importance of her 
errand, the bride now devoted every faculty to detect the 
least circumstance that might have a tendency to defeat 
it. She trod so lightly on the faded herbage as to render 
her own footsteps inaudible, and more than once she was 


about to request the others to imitate her example, thai 
no danger might approach them unexpectedly. At length 
her doubts were relieved, though her wonder was increased, 
by distinctly hearing the lumbering sounds of wheels on 
the frozen earth, as if innumerable groaning vehicles were 
advancing with slow and measured progress. In another 
instant her eyes assisted the organs of hearing, and by the 
aid of the moon her doubts, if not her apprehensions, were 
entirely removed. 

Her guards now determined on a change of purpose, and 
withdrew with their prisoners within the shadow of an 
apple tree that stood on the low land, but a few paces 
from the line of the route evidently taken by the approach- 
ing vehicles. In this position they remained for several 
minutes, attentive observers of what was passing around 

" Our men have woke up the British by their fire," said 
one of the guards ; " and all their eyes are turned to the 
batteries ! " 

" Yes, it's very well as it is," returned his comrade ; "but 
if the old brass congress mortar hadn't gi'n way yesterday, 
there would be a different sort of roaring. Did you ever 
see the old congress ? " 

" I can't say I ever saw the cannon itself, but I have 
seen the bombs fifty times ; and pokerish-looking things 
they be, especially in a dark night but hush, here they 

A large body of men now approached, and moved swiftly 
past them, in deepest silence, defiling at the foot of the 
hills, and marching toward the shores of the peninsula. 
The whole of this party was attired and accoutred much 
in the fashion of those who had received Cecil. One or 
two who were mounted, and in more martial trappings, an- 
nounced the presence of some officers of higher rank. At 
the very heels of this detachment of soldiers, came a great 
number of carts, which took the route that led directly up 
to the neighboring heights. After these came another, 
and more numerous body of troops, who followed the 
teams, the whole moving in the profoundest stillness, and 
with the diligence of men who were engaged in the most 
important undertaking. In the rear of the whole, another 
collection of carts appeared, groaning under the weight of 
large bundles of hay, and other military preparations of 
defence. Before this latter division left the low land, im- 
mense numbers of the closely-packed bundles were turn* 


bled to the ground, and arranged, with a quickness almost 
magical, in such a manner as to form a light breast-work 
across the low ground, which would otherwise have been 
completely exposed to be swept by the shot of the royal 
batteries ; a situation of things that was believed to have 
led to the catastrophe of Breed's, the preceding summer. 

Among the last of those who crossed the neck, was an 
officer on horseback, whose eye was attracted by the group 
who stood as idle spectators under the tree. Pointing out 
the latter object to those around him, he rode nigher to 
the party, and leaned forward in his saddle to examine 
their persons 

" How's this ? " he exclaimed " a woman and two men 
under the charge of sentinels ! Have we then more spies 
among us ? cut away the tree, men ; we have need of it, 
and let in the light of the moon upon them ! " 

The order was hardly given before it was executed, and 
the tree fell with a despatch that, to any but an American, 
would appear incredible. Cecil stepped aside from the 
impending branches, and by moving into the light, be- 
trayed the appearance of a gentlewoman by her mien and 

" Here must be some mistake ! " continued the officer 
"why is the lady thus guarded ? " 

One of the soldiers, in a few words, explained the nat- 
ure of her arrest, and in return received directions, anew, 
how to proceed. The mounted officer now put spurs into 
his horse, and galloped away, in eager pursuit of more 
pressing duties, though he still looked behind him, so long 
as the deceptive light enabled him to distinguish either 
form or features. 

" 'Tis advisable to go on the heights," said the soldier, 
"where we may find the commanding general." 

" Anywhere," returned Cecil, confused with the activity 
and bustle that had passed before her eyes, "or anything, 
to be relieved from this distressing delay." 

In a very few moments they reached the summit of the 
nearest of the two hills, where they paused just without 
the busy circle of men who labored there, while ooe of the 
soldiers went in quest of the officer in command. From 
the point where she now stood, Cecil had an open view of 
the port, the town, and most of the adjacent country. The 
vessels still reposed heavily on the waters, and she fancied 
that the youthful midshipman was already nestling safe in 
his own hammock, on board the frigate, whose tall and 


tapering spars rose against the sky in such beautiful and 
symmetrical lines. No evidences of alarm were manifested 
in the town ; but, on the contrary, the lights were gradually 
disappearing, notwithstanding the heavy cannonade which 
still roared along the western side of the peninsula ; and 
it was probable that Howe, and his unmoved companions, 
yet continued their revels, with the same security in which 
they had been left two short hours before. While, with 
the exception of the batteries, everything in the distance 
was still, and apparently slumbering, the near view was 
one of life and activity. Mounds of earth were already 
rising on the crest of the hill ; laborers were filling barrels 
with earth and sand ; fascines were tumbling about from 
place to place, as they were wanted ; and yet the stillness 
was only interrupted by the unremitting strokes of the 
pick, the low and earnest hum of voices, or the crashing 
of branches, as the pride of the neighboring orchards came 
crushing to the earth. The novelty of the scene beguiled 
Cecil of her anxiety, and many minutes passed unheeded 
by. Fifty times parties, or individuals amongst the labor- 
ers, approaching near her person, paused to gaze a mo- 
ment at the speaking and sweet features that the placid 
light of the moon rendered even more than usually soft, 
and then pushed on in silence, endeavoring to repair, by 
renewed diligence, the transient forgetfulness of their ur- 
gent duties. At length the man returned, and announced 
the approach of the general who commanded on the hill. 
The latter was a soldier of middle age, of calm and col- 
lected deportment, roughly attired for the occasion, and 
bearing no other symbol of his rank than the distinctive 
crimson cockade, in one of the large military hats of the 

" You find us in the midst of our labors," he pleasantly 
observed, as he approached ; "and will overlook the delay 
I have given you. It is reported you left the town this 
evening ?" 

" Within the hour." 

" And Howe dreams he of the manner in which we are 
likely to amuse him in the morning?" 

" It would be affectation in one like me," said Cecil^ 
modestly, " to decline answering questions concerning the 
views of the royal general ; but still you will pardon me if 
I say, that in my present situation, I could wish to be 
spared the pain of even confessing my ignorance." 

" I acknowledge my error," the officer unhesitatingly 


answered. After a short pause, in which he seemed to 
muse, he continued " this is no ordinary night, young 
lady, and it becomes my duty to refer you to the general 
commanding this wing of the army. He possibly may 
think it necessary to communicate your detention to the 
commander-in -chief." 

" It is he I seek, sir, and would most wish to meet." 
He bowed, and, giving his orders to a subaltern in a low 
voice, walked away, and was soon lost in the busy crowd 
that came and went in constant employment, around the 
summit of the hill. Cecil lingered a single moment after 
her new conductor had declared his readiness to proceed, 
to cast another glance at the calm splendor of the sea 
and bay ; the distant and smoky roofs of the town ; the 
dim objects that moved about the adjacent eminence, 
equally and similarly employed with those around her ; 
and then raising her calash, and tightening the folds of her 
mantle, she descended the hill with the light and elastic 
sfeps of youth. 


, " The rebel vales, the rebel dales, 

With rebel trees surrounded, 
The distant woods, the hills and floods, 

With rebel echoes sounded." The Battle of the Kegs. 

THE enormous white cockade that covered nearly one 
side of the little hat of her present conductor, was the 
only symbol that told Cecil she was now committed to the 
care of one who held the rank of captain, among those 
who battled for the rights of the colonies. No other part 
of his attire was military, though a cut-and-thrust was 
buckled to his form, which, from its silver guard, and for- 
midable dimensions, had probably been borne by some of 
his ancestors, in the former wars of the colonies. The dis- 
position of its present wearer was, however, far from that 
belligerent nature that his weapon might be thought to 
indicate, for he tendered the nicest care and assiduity to 
the movements of his prisoner. 

At the foot of the hill, a wagon, returning from the field, 
was put in requisition by this semi-military gallant ; and, 
after a little suitable preparation, Cecil found herself 
seated on a rude bench by his side, in the vehicle ; while 


her own attendants, and the two private men, occupied its 
bottom in still more social affinity. At first their progress 
was slow and difficult, return carts, literally by hundreds, 
impeding the way ; but when they had once passed the 
heavy-footed beasts who drew them, they proceeded in the 
direction of Roxbury, with greater rapidity. During the 
first mile, while they \vere extricating themselves from the 
apparently interminable line of carts, the officer directed 
his whole attention to this important and difficult ma- 
noeuvre ; but when their uneasy vessel might be said to be 
fairly sailing before the wind, he did not choose to neglect 
those services, which, from time immemorial, beautiful 
women in distress have had a right to claim of men in his 

" Now do not spare the whip," he said to the driver, at 
the moment of their deliverance ; " but push on, for the 
credit of horse-flesh, and to the disgrace of all horned 
cattle. This near beast of yours should be a tory, by 
his gait and his reluctance to pull in the traces for the 
common good treat him as such, friend, and, in turn, 
you shall receive the treatment of a sound whig, when 
we make a halt. You have spent the winter in Bos- 
ton, madam ? " 

Cecil bent her head in silent assent. 

" The royal army will, doubtless, make a better figure in 
the eyes of a lady, than the troops of the colonies ; though 
there are some among us who are thought not wholly 
wanting in military knowledge, and the certain air of a sol- 
dier," he continued ; extricating the silver-headed legacy 
of his grandfather from its concealment under a fold of his 
companion's mantle "you have balls and entertainments 
without number, I fancy, ma'am, from the gentlemen in 
the king's service." 

" I believe that few hearts are to be found amongst the 
females in Boston, so light as to mingle in their amuse- 
ments ! " 

" God bless them for it ! " exclaimed her escort ; " I am 
sure every shot we throw into the town is like drawing 
blood from our own veins. I suppose the king's officers 
don't hold the colonists so cheap, since the small affair on 
Charlestown Neck, as they did formerly?" 

"None who had any interest at stake, in the events 
of that fatal day, will easily for.get the impression it has 
made ! " 

The young American was too much struck by the melan- 


choly pathos in the voice of Cecil, not to fancy he had, in 
his own honest triumph, unwittingly probed a wound 
which time had not yet healed. They rode many minutes, 
after this unsuccessful effort on his part to converse, in 
profound silence; nor did he again speak until the tramp- 
ling of horses' hoofs was borne along by the evening air, 
unaccompanied by the lumbering sounds of wheels. At the 
next turn of the road they met a small cavalcade of offi- 
cers, riding at a rapid rate in the direction of the place 
they had so recently quitted. The leader of this party 
drew up when he saw the wagon, which was also stopped 
in deference to his obvious wish to speak with them. 

There was something in the haughty, and yet easy air 
of the gentleman who addressed her companion, that in- 
duced Cecil to attend to his remarks with more than the 
interest that is usually excited by the commonplace dia- 
logues of the road. His dress was neither civil, norwholly 
military, though his bearing had much of a soldier's man- 
ner. As he drew up, three or four dogs fawned upon him, 
or passed with indulged impunity between the legs of his 
high-blooded charger, apparently indifferent to the im- 
patient repulses that were freely bestowed on their trouble- 
some familiarities. 

" High discipline, by ! " exclaimed this singular 

specimen of the colonial chieftains. " I dare presume, 
gentlemen, you are from the heights of Dorchester ; and 
having walked the whole distance thither from camp, are 
disposed to try the virtues of a four-wheeled conveyance 
over the same ground, in a retreat ! " 

The young man rose in his place, and lifted his hat, with 
marked respect, as he answered 

" We are returning from the hills, sir, it is true ; but we 
must see our enemy before we retreat ! " 

" A white cockade ! As you hold such rank, sir, I pre- 
sume you have authority for your movements ? Down, 
Juno down, slut." 

" This lady was landed an hour since on the Point, from 
the town, by a boat from a king's ship, sir ; and I am or- 
dered to see her in safety to the general of the right wing." 

" A lady ! " repeated the other, with singular emphasis, 
slowly passing his hand over his remarkably aquiline and 
prominent features, "if there be a lady in the case, ease 
must be indulged. Will you down, Juno!" Turning his 
head a little aside, to his nearest aid, he added, in a voice 
that was suppressed only by the action " Some trull of 



Howe's sent out as the newest specimen of loyal modesty! 
In such a case, sir, you are quite right to use horses. I 
only marvel that you did not take six instead of two. But 
how come we on in the trenches ? Down, you hussy, 
down ! Thou shouldst go to court, Juno, and fawn upon 
his majesty's ministers, where thy sycophancy might pur- 
chase thee a riband ! How come we on in the trenches ? " 

" We have broken ground, sir, and as the eyes of the 
royal troops are drawn upon the batteries, we shall make 
a work of it before the day shows them our occupation." 

"Ah ! we are certainly good at digging, if at no other 
part of our exercises ! Miss Juno, thou puttest thy pre- 
cious life in jeopardy ! you will ? then take thy fate ! " 
As he spoke, the impatient chief drew a pistol from his 
holster, and snapped it twice at the head of the dog, that 
still fawned upon him in unwitting fondness. Angry with 
himself, his weapon, and the animal at the same moment, 
he turned to his attendants, and added, with bitter delib- 
eration " Gentlemen, if one of you will exterminate that 
quadruped, I promise him an honorable place in my first 
despatches to Congress, for the service ! " 

A groom in attendance whistled to the spaniel, and 
probably saved the life of the disgraced favorite. 

The officer now addressed himself to the party he had 
detained, with a collected and dignified air, that showed he 
had recovered his self-possession, by saying 

" I beg pardon, sir, for this trouble let me not prevent 
you from proceeding ; there may be serious work on the 
heights before morning, and you will doubtless wish to be 
there." He bowed with perfect ease and politeness, and 
the two parties were slowly passing each other, when, as if 
repenting of his condescension, he turned himself in his 
saddle, adding, with those sarcastic tones so peculiarly his 
own " Captain, I beseech thee have an especial care of 
the lady!" 

With these words in his mouth, he clapped spurs to his 
horse, and galloped onward, followed by all his train, at 
the same impetuous rate. 

Cecil had heard each syllable that fell from the lips of 
both in this short dialogue, and she felt a chill of disap- 
pointment gathering about her heart, as it proceeded. 
When they had parted, drawing a long, tremulous breath, 
she asked, in tones that betrayed all her feelings 

"And is this Washington ?" 

" That! " exclaimed her companion "No, no, madam, he 


is a very different sort of man ! That is the great English 
officer, whom congress has made a general in our army. He 
is thought to be as great in the field, as he is uncouth in 
the drawing room yes, I will acknowledge that much in 
his favor, though I never know how to understand him ; 
he is proud so supercilious and yet, he is a great friend 
of liberty !" 

Cecil permitted the officer to reconcile the seeming con 
tradictions in the character of his superior, in his own way, 
feeling perfectly relieved, when she understood it was not 
the man who could have any influence on her own destiny. 
The driver now appeared anxious to recover the lost time, 
and he urged his horses over the ground with increased 
rapidity. The remainder of their short drive to the vicin- 
ity of Roxbury, passed in silence. As the cannonading 
was still maintained with equal warmth by both parties, it 
was hazarding too much to place themselves in the line of 
the enemy's fire. The young man, therefore, after find- 
ing a secure spot among the uneven ground of the vicin- 
ity, where he might leave his charge in safety, proceeded 
by himself to the point where he had reason to believe he 
should find the officer he was ordered to seek. During his 
short absence, Cecil remained in the wagon, an appalled 
listener, and a partial spectator of the neighboring con- 

The Americans had burst their only mortar of size, the 
preceding night ; but they applied their cannon with un- 
wearied diligence, not only in the face of the British 
entrenchments, but on the low land, across the estuary of 
the Charles ; and still farther to the north, in front of the 
position which their enemies held on the well-known 
heights of Charlestown. In retaliation for this attack, the 
batteries along the western side of the town were in a 
constant blaze of fire, while those of the eastern contin- 
ued to slumber, in total unconsciousness of the coming 

When the officer returned, he reported that his search 
had been successful, and that he had been commanded to 
conduct his charge into the presence of the American 
commander-in-chief. This new arrangement imposed the 
necessity of driving a few miles farther ; and as the youth 
began to regard his new duty with some impatience, he 
was in no humor for delay. The route was circuitous and 
safe ; the roads good ; and the driver diligent. In conse- 
quence, within the hour they passed the river, and Cecil 


found herself, after so long an absence, once more ar> 
preaching the ancient provincial seat of learning. 

The little village, though in the hands of friends, exhib- 
ited the infallible evidences of the presence of an irregular 
arrhy. The buildings of the University were filled with 
troops, and the doors of the different inns were thronged 
with noisy soldiers, who were assembled for the insepa- 
rable purposes of revelry and folly. The officer drove to 
one of the most private of these haunts of the unthinking 
and idle, and declared his intentions to deposit his charge 
under its roof, until he could learn the pleasure of the 
American leader. Cecil heard his arrangements with little 
satisfaction ; but, yielding to the necessity of the case, 
when the vehicle had stopped, she alighted, without re- 
monstrance. With her two attendants in her train, and 
preceded by the officer, she passed through the noisy 
crowd, not only without insult, but without molestation. 
The different declaimers in the throng, and there were 
many, even lowered 'their clamorous voices as she ap- 
proached, the men giving way, in deference for her sex ; 
and she entered the building without hearing but one re- 
mark applied to herself, though a low and curious buzz of 
voices followed her footsteps to its very threshold. That 
solitary remark was a sudden exclamation, in admiration 
of the grace of her movements ; and, singular as it may 
seem, her companion thought it necessary to apologize for 
its rudeness, by whispering that it proceeded from the 
lips of " one of the southern riflemen; a corps as dis- 
tinguished for its skill and bravery, as for its want of 

The inside of this inn presented a very different aspect 
from its exterior. The decent tradesman who kept it had 
so far yielded to the emergency of the times, and perhaps, 
also, to a certain propensity towards gain, as temporarily 
to adopt the profession he followed ; but by a sort of im- 
plied compact with the crowd without, while he adminis- 
tered to their appetite for liquor, he preserved most of the 
privacy of his domestic arrangements. He had, however, 
been compelled to relinquish one apartment entirely to 
the service of the public, into which Cecil and her com- 
panions were shown, as a matter of course, without the 
smallest apology for its condition. 

There might have been a dozen people in the common 
room ; some of whom were quietly seated before its large 
fire, among whom were one or two females ; some walk- 


ing, and others distributed on chairs, as accident or incli- 
nation had placed them. A slight movement was made at 
the entrance of Cecil, but it soon subsided ; though he* 
rich mantle of fine cloth, and silken calash, did not fail to 
draw the eyes of the women upon her, with a ruder gaze 
than she had yet encountered from the other sex during 
the hazardous adventures of the night. She took an 
offered 'seat near the bright and cheerful blaze on the 
hearth, which imparted all the light the room contained, 
and disposed herself to wait in patience the return of her 
conductor, who immediately took his departure for the 
neighboring quarters of the American chief. 

" Tis an awful time for women bodies to journey in ! " 
said a middle-aged woman near her, who was busily en- 
gaged in knitting, though she also bore the marks of a 
traveller in her dress " I'm sure if I had thought there'd 
ha' been such contentions, I would never have crossed the 
Connecticut ; though I have an only child in camp ! " 

" To a mother, the distress must be great, indeed," said 
Cecil, " when she hears the report of a contest in which 
she knows her children are engaged." 

" Yes, Royal is engaged as a six-months'-man, and he is 
partly agreed to stay till the king's troops conclude to 
give up the town." 

" It seems to me," said a grave-looking yeoman, who oc- 
cupied the opposite corner of the fireplace, "your child 
has an unfitting name for one who fights against the 
crown ! " 

"Ah, he was so called before the king wore his Scottish 
Boot ! and what has once been solemnly named, in holy 
baptism, is not to be changed with the shift of the times ! 
They were twins, and I called one Prince and the other 
Royal ; for they were born the day his present majesty came 
to man's estate. That, you know, was before his heart had 
changed, and when the people of the Bay loved him little 
less than they did their own flesh and blood." 

"Why, Goody," said the yeoman, smiling good-humor- 
edly, and rising to offer her a pinch of his real Scotch, in 
token of amity, while he made so free with her domestic 
matters " you had then an heir to the throne in your own 
family ! The Prince Royal, they say, comes next to the 
king ; and by your tell, one of them, at least, is a worthy 
fellow, who is not likely to sell his heritage for a mess of 
pottage ! If I understand you, Royal is here in service?" 

" He's at this blessed moment in one of the battering' 


rams in front of Boston Neck," returned the woman ; " and 
the Lord, he knows, 'tis an awful calling, to be beating 
down the houses of people of the same religion and blood 
with ourselves ! but so it must be, to prevail over the 
wicked designs of such as would live in pomp and idleness, 
by the sweat and labor of their fellow-creatures." 

The honest yeoman, who was somewhat more familiar 
with the terms of modern warfare than the woman, smiled 
at her mistake, while he pursued the conversation with a 
peculiar gravity, which rendered his humor doubly droll. 

" Tis to be hoped the boy will not weary at the weapon 
before the morning cometh. But why does Prince linger 
behind, in such a moment ? Tarries he with his father, on 
the homestead, in safety, being the younger born ? " 

"No, no," said the woman, shaking her head, in sorrow, 
" he dwells, I trust, with our common Father, in heaven ! 
Neither are you right in calling him the home-child. He 
was my first-born, and a comely youth he grew to be ! 
When the cry that the reg'lars were out at Lexington, to 
kill and destroy, passed through the country, he shouldered 
his musket, and came down with the people, to know the 
reason the land was stained with American blood. He was 
young, and full of ambition to be foremost among them 
who were willing to fight for their birthrights ; and the 
last I ever heard of him was in the midst of the king's 
troops on Breed's. No, no ; his body never came off the 
hill ! The neighbors sent me up the clothes he left in 
camp, and 'tis one of his socks that I'm now footing for his 

The woman delivered this simple explanation with per- 
fect calmness ; though, as she advanced in the subject, large 
tears started from her eyes, and, following each other down 
her cheeks, fell unheeded upon the humble garment of her 
dead son. 

"This is the way our bravest striplings are cut off, fight- 
ing with the scum ( of Europe ! " exclaimed the yeoman, with 
a warmth that showed how powerfully his feelings were 
touched " I hope the boy who lives may find occasion to 
revenge his brother's death." 

" God forbid ! God forbid ! " exclaimed the weeping 
mother " revenge is an evil passion ; and least of all would 
I wish a child of mine to go into the field of blood with so 
foul a breast. God has given us this land to dwell in, and 
to rear up temples and worshippers of his holy name ; and 
in giving it, he bestowed the right to defend it against all 


earthly oppression. If 'twas right for Prince to come, 
'twas right for Royal to follow ! " 

" I believe I am reproved in justice," returned the man, 
looking around at the spectators with an eye that no longer 
teemed with a hidden meaning " God bless you, my good 
woman, and deliver you, with your remaining boy, and all 
of us, from the scourge which has been inflicted on the 
country for our sins. I go west, into the mountains, with 
the sun ; and if I can carry any word of comfort from you 
to the good man at home, it will not be a hill or two that 
shall hinder it." 

" The same thanks to you for the offer, as if you did it, 
friend ; my man would be right glad to see you at his set- 
tlement ; out I sicken already with the noises and awful 
sights of warfare, and shall not tarry long after my-son 
comes forth from the battle. I shall go down to Cragie's- 
house in the morning, and look upon the blessed man 
whom the people have chosen from among themselves as 
a leader, and hurry back again ; for I plainly see that this 
is not an abiding place for such as I ! " 

" You will then have to follow him into the line of dan- 
ger ; for I saw him, within the hour, riding, with all his 
followers, toward the water-side ; and I doubt not that this 
unusual waste of ammunition is intended for more than we 
of little wit can guess." 

" Of whom speak you ?" Cecil involuntarily asked. 

" Of whom should he speak, but of Washington ? " re- 
turned a deep, low voice at her elbow, whose remarkable 
sounds instantly recalled the tones of the aged messenger 
of death, who had appeared at the bed-side of her grand- 
mother. Cecil started from her chair, and recoiled several 
paces from the person of Ralph, who stood regarding her 
with a steady and searching look, heedless of the observa- 
tion they attracted, as well as of the number and quality 
of the spectators. 

"We are not strangers, young lady," continued the old 
man ; " and you will excuse me, if I add, that the face of 
an acquaintance must be grateful-to one of your gentle 
sex, in a place so unsettled and disorderly as this." 

"An acquaintance !" repeated the unprotected bride. 

" I said an acquaintance ; we know each other, surely," 
returned Ralph, with marked emphasis ; " you will be- 
lieve me when I add, that I have seen the two men in the 
guard-room, which is at hand." 

Cecil cast a furtive glance behind her, and, with some 


alarm, perceived that she was separated from Meriton and 
the stranger. Before time was allowed for recollection, 
the old man approached her with a courtly breeding, that 
was rendered more striking by the coarseness as well as 
negligence of his attire. 

"This is not a place for the niece of an English peer/' 
he said ; " but I have long been at home in this warlike 
village, and will conduct you to another residence, more 
suited to your sex and condition." 

For an instant Cecil hesitated ; but observing the won- 
dering- faces about her, and the intense curiosity with 
which all in the room suspended their several pursuits, to 
listen to each syllable, she timidly accepted his offered 
hand, suffering him to lead her, not only from the room, 
but the house, in profound silence. The door through 
which they left the building was opposite to that by which 
she had entered ; and when they found themselves in the 
open air, it was in a different street, and a short distance 
removed from the crowd of revellers already mentioned. 

" I have left two attendants behind me," she said, " with- 
out whom 'tis impossible to proceed." 

"As they are watched by armed men, you have no 
choice but to share their confinement, or to submit to 
the temporary separation," returned the other, calmly. 
" Should his keepers discover the character of him who 
led you hither, his fate would be certain ! " 

" His character ! " repeated Cecil, again shrinking from 
the touch of the old man. 

" Surely my words are plain ! I said his character. Is 
he not the deadly, obstinate enemy of liberty ? And think 
you these countrymen of ours so dull as to suffer one like 
him to go at large in their very camp ! No, no," he mut- 
tered with a low, but exulting laugh ; " like a fool has he 
tempted his fate, and like a dog shall he meet it ! Let us 
proceed ; the house is but a step from this, and you may 
summon him to your presence if you will." 

Cecil was rather impelled by her companion, than in- 
duced to proceed, when, as he had said, they soon stopped 
before the door of an humble and retired building. An 
armed man paced along its front, while the lengthened 
shadow of another sentinel in the rear was every half-min- 
ute thrown far into the street, in confirmation of the watch- 
fulness that was kept over those who dwelt within. 

" Proceed," said Ralph, throwing open the outer door, 
without hesitation. Cecil complied, but started at en< 


countering another man, trailing a musket, as he paced to 
and fro in the narrow passage that received her. Between 
this sentinel and Ralph, there seemed to exist a good un- 
derstanding, for the latter addressed him with perfect free- 

" Has no order been yet received from Washington ? " 
he asked. 

" None ; and I rather conclude, by the delay, that noth- 
ing very favorable is to be expected." 

The old man muttered to himself, but passed on, and, 
throwing open another door, said 

" Enter." 

Again Cecil complied, the door closing on her at the 
instant ; but before she had time to express either her 
wonder or her alarm, she was folded in the arms of her 


"Is she aCapulet? 
O dear account ! my life is my foe's debt." Romeo. 

" AH ! Lincoln ! Lincoln ! " cried the weeping bride, 
gently extricating herself from the long embrace of Lionel, 
" at what a moment did you desert me ! " 

"And how have I been punished, love ! a night of 
frenzy, and a morrow of useless regrets ! How early 
have I been made to feel the strength of those ties which 
unite us ; unless, indeed, my own folly may have already 
severed them forever ! " 

" Truant ! I know you ! and shall hereafter weave a web, 
with woman's art, to keep you in my toils ! If you love 
me, Lionel, as I would fain believe, let all the past be for- 
gotten. I ask I wish, no explanation. You have been 
deceived, and that repentant eye assures me of your re- 
turning reason. Let us now speak only of yourself. Why 
do I find you thus guarded, more like a criminal than an 
officer of the crown ? " 

"They have, indeed, bestowed especial watchfulness on 
my safety ! " 

" How came you in their power ? and why do they abuse 
their advantage ? " 

" 'Tis easily explained. Presuming on the tempestuous- 
ness of the night what a bridal was ours, Cecil ! " 



" 'Twas terrible ! " she answered, shuddering ; then, with 
a bright and instant smile, as if sedulous to chase every 
appearance of distrust or care from her countenance, she 
continued " but I have no longer faith in omens, Lincoln ! 
or, if one has been given, is not the awful fulfilment already 
come ? I know not how you value the benedictions of a 
parting soul, Lionel, but to me there is holy consolation in 
knowing that my dying parent left her blessing on our 
sudden union ! " 

Disregarding the hand, which, with gentle earnestness, 
she had laid upon his shoulder, he walked gloomily away, 
into a distant corner of the apartment. 

" Cecil, I do love you, as you would fain believe," he 
said, "and I listen readily to your wish to bury the past 
in oblivion. But I leave my tale unfinished. You know 
the night was such that none would choose, uselessly, to 
brave its fury I attempted to profit by the storm, and 
availing myself of a flag, which is regularly granted to the 
simpleton, Job Pray, I left the town. Impatient do I say 
impatient? borne along rather by a tempest of passions 
that mocked the feebler elements, we ventured too much 
^-Cecil, I was not alone ! " 

" I know it I know it/' she said, hurriedly, though 
speaking barely above her breath "you ventured too 
much " 

" And encountered a: piquet that would not mistake a 
royal officer for an impoverished, though privileged idiot. 
In our anxiety we overlooked believe me, dearest Cecil, 
that if you knew all the scene I had witnessed the mo- 
tives which urged they, at least would justify this strange 
and seeming desertion." 

" Did I doubt it, would I forget my condition, my recent 
loss, and my sex, to follow in the footsteps of one unworthy 
of my solicitude ! " returned the bride, coloring as much 
with innate modesty, as with the power of her emotions. 
"Think not I come with girlish weakness, to reproach you 
with any fancied wrongs t I am your wife, Major Lin- 
coln ; and as such would I serve you, at a moment when I 
know all the tenderness of the tie will most be needed. 
At the altar, and in the presence of my God, have I ac- 
knowledged the sacred duty ; and shall I hesitate to dis> 
charge it because the eyes of man are on me ! " 

" I shall go mad ! I shall go mad ! " cried Lionel, in 
ungovernable mental anguish, as he paced the floor, in vi- 
olent disorder. " There are moments when I think that 


the curse, which destroyed the father, has already lighted 
on the son ! " 

" Lionel ! " said the soft, soothing voice of his compan- 
ion, at his elbow, " is this to render me more happy ? 
the welcome you bestow on the confiding girl, who has 
committed her happiness to your keeping ? I see you re- 
lent, and will be more just to us both ; more dutiful to 
your God ! Now let us speak of your confinement. Surely, 
you are not suspected of any criminal designs in this rash 
visit to the camp of the Americans ! 'Twere easy to con- 
vince their leaders that you are innocent of so base a pur- 
pose ! " 

"'Tis difficult to evade the vigilance of those who strug- 
gle for liberty ! "-returned the low, calm voice of Ralph, 
who stood before them, unexpectedly. " Major Lincoln 
has too long listened to the councils of tyrants and slaves, 
and forgotten the land of his birth. If he would be safe, 
let him retract the error, while yet he may, with honor." 

" Honor !" repeated Lionel, with unconcealed disdain 
again pacing the room with swift and uneasy steps, with- 
out deigning any other notice of the unwelcome intruder. 
Cecil bowed her head, and, sinking in a chair, concealed 
her face in her small muff, as if to exclude some horrid 
and fearful sight from her view. 

The momentary silence was broken by the sound of foot- 
steps and of voices in the passage, and at the next instant, 
the door of the room opening, Meriton was seen on its 
threshold. His appearance roused Cecil, who, springing 
on her feet, beckoned him away, with a sort of frenzied 
earnestness, exclaiming 

" Not here ! not here ! for the love of heaven, not here ! " 

The valet hesitated, but, catching a glimpse of his mas^ 
ter, his attachment got the ascendency of his respect 

" God be praised for this blessed sight, Master Lionel ! " 
he cried " 'tis the happiest hour I have seen since I lost 
the look at the shores of old England ! If 'twas only at 
Ravenscliffe, or in Soho, I should be the most contented 
fool in the three kingdoms ! Ah, Master Lionel, let us get 
out of this province, into the country, where there is no 
rebels ; or anything worse than King, Lords, and Com- 
mons ! " 

" Enough now ; for this time, worthy Meriton, enough !" 
interrupted Cecil, breathing with difficulty, in her eager- 
ness to be heard. " Go return to the inn the colleges 
anywhere do but go ! " 


" Don't send a loyal subject, ma'am, again among th 
rebels, I desire to entreat of you. Such awful blasphemies, 
sir, as I heard while I was there ! They spoke of his sa- 
cred majesty just as freely, sir, as if he had been a gentle- 
man like yourself. Joyful was the news of my release ! " 

" And had it been a guard-room on the opposite shore," 
said Ralph, " the liberties they used with your earthly 
monarch would have been as freely taken with the King 
of kings ! " 

"You shall remain, then," said Cecil, probably mistak- 
ing the look of high disdain which Mcriton bestowed on 
his aged fellow-voyager, for one of a very different mean- 
ing " but not here. You have other apartments, Major 
Lincoln ; let my attendants be received , there you surely 
would not admit the menials to our interview ! " 

" Why this sudden terror, love ? Here, if not happy, 
you at least are safe. Go, Meriton, into the adjoining 
room ; if wanted, there is admission through this door of 

The valet murmured some half-uttered sentences, of 
which only the emphatic word " genteel " was audible ; 
while the direction of his discontented eye sufficiently be- 
trayed that Ralph was the subject of his meditations. The 
old man followed his footsteps, and the door of the passage 
soon closed on both, leaving Cecil standing, like a beauti- 
ful statue, in an attitude of absorbed thought. When the 
noise of her attendants, as they quietly entered the adjoin- 
ing room, was heard, she breathed again, with a tremulous 
sigh, that seemed to raise a weight of apprehension from 
her heart. 

"Fear not for rne, Cecil, and least of all for yourself," 
said Lionel, drawing her to his bosom with fond solicitude 
" my headlong rashness, or rather that fatal bane to the 
happiness of my house, the distempered feeling which you 
must have often seen and deplored, has indeed led me in- 
to a seeming danger. But I have a reason for my conduct, 
which, avowed, shall lull the suspicions of even our ene- 
mies to sleep." 

" I have no suspicions no knowledge of any imper 
fections no regrets, Lionel ; nothing but the most ar 
dent wishes for your peace of mind ; and, if I might ex- 
plain ! yes, now is a time Lionel, kind, but truant Lio- 
nel " 

Her words were interrupted by Ralph, who appeared 
again in the room, with that noiseless step, which, in con- 


junction with his great age and attenuated frame, some- 
times gave to his movements and aspect the character of 
a being superior to the attributes of humanity. On his 
arm he bore an overcoat and a hat, both of which Cecil 
recognized, at a glance, ,as the property of the unknown 
man who had attended her person throughout all the vicis- 
situdes of that eventful night. 

" See ! " said Ralph, exhibiting his spoils with a ghastly, 
but meaning smile, " see in how many forms Liberty ap- 
pears to aid her votaries ! Here is the guise in which she 
will now be courted ! Wear them, young man, and be 
free ! " 

" Believe him not listen not," whispered Cecil, while 
she shrunk from his approach in undisguised terror 
"nay, do listen, but act with caution!" 

" Dost thou delay to receive the blessed boon of freedom, 
when offered ? " demanded Ralph ; " wouldst thou remain, 
and brave the angry justice of the American chief, and 
make thy wife, of a day, a widow for an age ? " 

"In what manner am I to profit by this dress ?" said 
Lionel. " To submit to the degradation of a disguise, suc- 
cess should be certain." 

" Turn thy haughty eyes, young man, on the picture of 
innocence, and terror at thy side. For the sake of her 
whose fate is wrapped in thine, if not for your own, 
consult thy safety, and fly another minute may be too 

" Oh ! hesitate not a moment longer, Lincoln," cried 
Cecil, with a change of purpose as sudden as the impulse 
was powerful " fly, leave me ; my sex and station will 
be " 

"Never," said Lionel, casting the garment from him, 
in cool disdain. " Once, when Death was busy, did I 
abandon thee ; but, ere I do it again, his blow must fall on 
me ! " 

" I will follow I will rejoin you." 

" You shall not part," said Ralph, once more raising the 
rejected coat, and lending his aid to envelop the form of 
Lionel, who stood passive under the united efforts of his 
bride and her aged assistant. "Remain here," the latter 
added, when their brief task was ended, " and await the 
summons to freedom. And thou, sweet flower of innocence 
and love, follow, and share in the honor of liberating him 
who has enslaved thee !" 

Cecil blushed with virgin shame, at the strength of his 


expressions, but bowed her head in silent acquiescence ta 
his will. Proceeding to the door, he beckoned her to ap- 
proach, indicating, by an expressive gesture to Lionel, that 
he was to remain stationary. When Cecil had complied, 
and they were in the narrow passage of the building, Ralph, 
instead of betraying any apprehension of the sentinel who 
paced its length, fearlessly approached, and addressed him 
with the confidence of a known friend 

''See!" he said, removing the calash from before the 
pale features of his companion, " how terror for the fate 
of her husband has caused the good child to weep ! She 
quits him now, friend, with one of her attendants, while 
the other tarries to administer to his master's wants. Look 
at her ; is't not a sweet, though mourning partner, to smooth 
the path of a soldier's life ! " 

The man seemed awkwardly sensible of the unusual 
charms that Ralph so unceremoniously exhibited to his 
view ; and while he stood in admiring embarrassment, 
ashamed to gaze, and yet unwilling to retire, Cecil traced 
the light footsteps of the old man, entering the room oc- 
cupied by Meriton and the stranger. She was still in the 
act of veiling her features from the eyes of the sentinel, 
when Ralph reappeared, attended by a figure muffled in 
the well-known overcoat. Notwithstanding the flopped 
hat, and studied concealment of his gait, the keen eyes of 
the wife penetrated the disguise of her husband ; and recol- 
lecting, at the same instant, the door of communication 
between the two apartments, the whole artifice was at once 
revealed. With trembling eagerness she glided past the 
sentinel, and pressed to the side of Lionel, with a de- 
pendence that might have betrayed the deception to one 
more accustomed to the forms of life than was the honest 
countryman who had so recently thrown aside the flail to 
carry a musket. 

Ralph allowed the sentinel no time to deliberate ; but 
waving his hand in token of adieu, he led the way into the 
street, with his accustomed activity. Here they found 
themselves in the presence of the other soldier, who moved 
to and fro, along the allotted ground in front of the build- 
ing, rendering the watchfulness, by which they were en- 
vironed, doubly embarrassing. Following the example of 
their aged conductor, Lionel and his trembling companion 
walked with apparent indifference towards this man, who, 
as it proved, was better deserving of his trust than his fel- 
low within doors. Dropping his musket across their path, 


in a manner which announced an intention to inquire into 
their movements, before he suffered them to proceed, he 
roughly demanded 

" How's this, old gentleman ? you come out of the prison- 
ers' rooms by squads ! one, two, three ; our English gallant 
might be among you, and there would still be two left ! 
Come, come, old father, render some account of yourself, 
and of your command. For, to be plain with you, there 
are those who think you are no better than a spy of Howe's, 
notwithstanding you are left to run up and down the camp, 
as you please. In plain Yankee dialect, and that's intelli- 
gible English, you have been caught in bad company of 
late, and there has been hard talk about shutting you up, 
as well as your comrade ! " 

" Hear ye that ? " said Ralph, calmly smiling, and ad- 
dressing himself to his companions, instead of the man 
whose interrogatories he was expected to answer " think 
you the hirelings of the crown are thus alert ? Would not 
the slaves be sleeping the moment the eyes of their tyrants 
are turned on their own lawless pleasures ? Thus it is with 
Liberty ! The sacred spirit hallows its meanest votaries, and 
elevates the private to all the virtues of the proudest cap- 
tain ! " 

" Come, come," returned the flattered sentinel, throwing 
his musket back to his shoulder again, " I believe a man 
gains nothing by battling you with words ! I should have 
spent a year or two inside yonder colleges to dive at all 
your meaning. Though I can guess you are more than half 
right in one thing ;, for if a poor fellow, who loves his 
country, and the good cause, finds it so hard to keep his 
eyes open on post, what must it be to a half-starved devil 
on sixpence a-day ! Go along, go along, old father ; there 
is one less of you than went in, and if there was anything 
wrong, the man in the house should know it ! ' 

As he concluded, the sentinel continued his walk, hum- 
ming averse of Yankee-doodle, in excellent favor with him- 
self and all mankind, with the sweeping exception of his 
country's enemies. To say that this was not the first in- 
stance of well-meaning integrity being cajoled by the jar- 
gon of liberty, might be an assertion too hazardous ; but 
that it has not been the last, we conscientiously believe, 
though no immediate example may present itself to quote 
in support of such heretical credulity. 

Ralph appeared, however, perfectly innocent of intend- 
ing to utter more than the spirit of the times justified ,' 


for, when left to his own pleasure, he pursued his way, 
muttering rapidly to himself, and with an earnestness that 
attested his sincerity. When they had turned a corner, at 
a little distance from any pressing danger, he relaxed in 
his movements, and, suffering his eager companions to ap- 
proach, he stole to the side of Lionel, and, clenching his 
hand fiercely, he whispered, in a voice half choked by in- 
ward exultation 

" I have him now ; he is no longer dangerous ! Ay ay 
I have him closely watched by the vigilance of three in- 
corruptible patriots ! " 

" Of whom speak you ? " demanded Lionel " what is his 
offence, and where is your captive ?" 

" A dog ! a man in form, but a tiger in heart ! Ay ! but I 
have him ! " the old man continued, with a hollow laugh, 
that seemed to heave up from his inmost soul " a dog ; 
a veritable dog ! I have him, and God grant that he may 
drink of the cup of slavery to its dregs ! " 

"Old man," said Lionel, firmly, "that I have followed 
you thus far on no unworthy errand, you best may testify 
I have forgotten the oath which, at the altar, I had sworn 
to, to cherish this sweet and spotless being at my side, 
at your instigation, aided by the maddening circumstan- 
ces of a moment ; but the delusion has already passed 
away ! Here we part forever, unless your solemn and often- 
repeated promises are, on the instant, redeemed." 

The high exultation, which had so lately rendered the 
emaciated countenance of Ralph hideously ghastly, disap- 
peared like a passing shadow ; and he listened to the 
words of Lionel with calm and settled attention. But when 
he would have answered, he was interrupted by Cecil, who 
uttered, in a voice nearly suppressed by her fears 

" Oh ! delay not a moment ! Let us proceed anywhere, 
or anyhow ! even 'now the pursuers may be on our track. 
I am strong, dearest Lionel, and will follow to the ends of 
the earth, so you but lead ! " 

" Lionel Lincoln, I have not deceived thee ! " said the 
old man, solemnly. "Providence has already led us on our 
way, and a few minutes will bring us to our goal suffer, 
then, that gentle trembler to return into the village, and 
follow ! " 

"Not an inch!" returned Lionel, pressing Cecil still 
closer to his side " here we part, or your promises are 

" Nay, go with him go," again whispered the being who 


clung to him in trembling dependence. "This very con- 
troversy may prove your ruin did I not say I would ac- 
company you, Lincoln ? " 

"Lead on, then," said her husband, motioning Ralph to 
proceed " once again will I confide in you ; but use the 
trust with discretion, for my guardian spirit is at hand ; 
and remember, thou no longer leadest a lunatic !" 

The moon fell upon the wan features of the old man, 
and exhibited their contented smile, as he silently turned 
away, and resumed his progress with his wonted rapid and 
noiseless tread. Their route still lay towards the skirts of 
the village. While the building;s of the University were 
yet in the near view, and the loud laugh of the idlers 
about the inn, with the frequent challenges of the senti- 
nels, were still distinctly audible, their conductor bent his 
way beneath the walls of a church, that rose in solemn 
solitude in the deceptive light of the evening. Pointing 
upward at its somewhat unusual, because regular architec- 
ture, Ralph muttered, as he passed 

"Here, at least, God possesses his own, without insult ! " 

Lionel and Cecil slightly glanced their eyes at the silent 
walls, and followed into a small enclosure, through a gap 
in its humble and dilapidated fence. Here the former 
again paused and spoke 

"I will go no further," he said, unconsciously strength- 
ening the declaration by placing his foot firmly on the 
frozen earth, in an attitude of resistance " 'tis time to 
cease thinking of self, and to listen to the weakness of her 
whom I support !" 

"Think not of me, dearest Lincoln " 

Cecil was interrupted by the voice of the old man, who, 
raising his hat, and baring his gray locks to the mild rays 
of the planet, answered with tremulous emotion 

1 'Thy task is already ended ! Thou hast reached the 
spot, where moulder the bones of one who long supported 
thee. Unthinking boy, that sacrilegious foot treads on thy 
mother's grave !" 



" Oh, age has weary days, 

And nights o' sleepless pain ! 
Thou golden time o' youthful prime, 
Why com'st thou not again ? " BURNS. 

THE stillness that succeeded this unexpected annuncia- 
tion was like the cold silence of those who slumbered on 
every side of them. Lionel recoiled a pace, in horror; 
then, imitating the action of the old man, he uncovered his 
head, in pious reverence of the parent, whose form floated 
dimly in his imagination, like the earliest recollections of 
infancy, or the imperfect fancies of some dream. When 
time was given for these sudden emotions to subside, he 
turned to Ralph, and said 

" And was it here that you would bring me, to listen to 
the sorrows of my family ? " 

An expression of piteous anguish crossed the features of 
the other, as he answered, in a voice which was subdued to 

" Even here here in the presence of thy mother's grave, 
shalt thou hear the tale ! " 

" Then let it be here ! " said Lionel, whose eye was al- 
ready kindling with a wild and disordered meaning, that 
curdled the blood of the anxious Cecil, who watched its 
expression with a woman's solicitude. " Here, on this 
hallowed spot, will I. listen, and swear the vengeance that 
is due, if all thy previous intimations should be just 

"No, no, no listen not tarry "not!" said Cecil, cling- 
ing to his side in undisguised alarm " Lincoln, you are 
not equal to the scene ! " 

" I am equal to anything, in such a cause." 

" Nay, Lionel, you overrate your powers ! Think only 
of your safety, now ; at another, and happier moment you 
shall know all yes I Cecil thy bride, thy wife, prom- 
ise that all shall be revealed " 

" Thou ! " 

" It is the descendant of the widow of John Lechmere 
who speaks, and thy ears will not refuse the sounds," said 
Ralph, with a smile that acted like a taunt on the awakened 
impulses of the young man. " Go thou art fitter for a 
bridal than a church-yard ! " 


U I have told you that I am equal to anything," sternly 
answered Lionel ; " here will I sit, on this humble tablet, 
to hear all that you can utter, though the rebel legions en- 
circle me to my death ! " 

" What ! dar'st brave the averted eye of one so dear to 
thy heart ? " 

"All, or anything," exclaimed the excited youth, "with 
so pious an object." 

" Bravely answered ! and thy reward is nigh nay, look 
not on the siren, or thou wilt relent." 

" My wife ! " said Lionel, extending his hand, kindly, 
towards the shrinking form of Cecil. 

"Thy mother!" interrupted Ralph, pointing with his 
emaciated hand to the cold residence of the dead. 

Lionel sunk on the dilapidated gravestone to which he 
had just alluded, and gathering his coat about him, he 
rested an arm upon his knee, while its hand supported his 
quivering chin, as if he were desperately bent on his 
gloomy purpose. The old man smiled with his usual 
ghastly expression, as he witnessed this proof of his suc- 
cess, and he took a similar seat on the opposite -side of the 
grave, which seemed the focus of their common interest. 
Here he dropped his face between his hands, and appeared 
to muse, like one who was collecting his thoughts for the 
coming emergency. During this short and impressive 
pause, Lionel felt the trembling form of Cecil drawing to 
his side ; and before his aged companion spoke, her un- 
veiled and pallid countenance was once more watching the 
changes of his own features, in submissive, but anxious at- 

"Thou knowest already, Lionel Lincoln," commenced 
Ralph, slowly raising his body to an upright attitude, " how, 
in past ages, thy family sought these colonies, to find re- 
ligious quiet, and the peace of the just. And thou also 
knowest, for often did we beguile the long watches of 
the night in discoursing of these things, while the never- 
tiring ocean was rolling its waters unheeded around, how 
Death came into its elder branch, which still dwelt amid 
the luxury and corruption of the English court, and left 
thy father the heir of all its riches and honors." 

" How much of this is unknown to the meanest gossip 
in the province of Massachusetts Bay ? " interrupted the 
impatient Lionel. 

" But they do not know, that, for years before this ac- 
cumulation of fortune actually occurred, it was deemed to 


be inevitable by the decrees of Providence ; they do not 
know how much more value the orphan son of the unpro- 
vided soldier found in the eyes of those even of his own 
blood, by the expectation ; nor do they know how the 
worldly-minded Priscilla Lechmere, thy father's aunt, would 
have compassed heaven and earth, to have seen that wealth, 
and those honors, to which it was her greatest boast to 
claim alliance, descend in the line of her own body." 

" But 'twas impossible ! She was of the female branch ; 
neither had she a son ! " 

" Nothing seems impossible to those on whose peace of 
mind the worm of ambition feeds thou knowest well she 
left a grandchild ; had not that child a mother ? " 

Lionel felt a painful conviction of the connection, as the 
trembling object of these remarks sunk her head in shame 
and sorrow on his bosom, keenly alive to the justice of the 
character drawn of her deceased relative, by the mysterious 
being who had just spoken. . 

" God forbid, that I, a Christian, and a gentleman," con- 
tinued the old man, a little proudly, " should utter a 
syllable to" taint the spotless name of one so free from 
blemish as she of whom I speak. The sweet child who 
clings to thee, in dread, Lionel, was not more pure and 
innocent than she who bore her. And long before ambi- 
tion had wove its toils for the miserable Priscilla, the heart 
of her daughter was the property of the gallant and honor- 
able Englishman, to whom in later years she was wedded." 

As Cecil heard this soothing commendation of her more 
immediate parents, she again raised her face into the light 
of the moon, and remained, where she was already kneel- 
ing, at the side of Lionel, no longer an uneasy, but a deeply 
interested listener to what followed. 

" As the wishes of my unhappy aunt were not realized/' 
said Major Lincoln, "in what manner could they affect the 
fortunes of my father?" 

"Thou hear. In the same dwelling lived another, 
even fairer, and, to the eye, as pure as the daughter of 
Priscilla. She was the relative, the god-child, and the 
ward of that miserable woman. The beauty, and seeming 
virtues of this apparent angel in human form, caught the 
young eye of thy father, and, in defiance of arts and 
schemes, before the long-expected title and fortune came, 
they were wedded, and thou wert born, Lionel, to render 
the boon of Fate doubly welcome." 

" And then " 


" And then thy father hastened to the land of his ances- 
tors, to claim his own, and to prepare the way for the 
reception of yourself, and his beloved Priscilla for then 
there were two Priscillas ; and now both sleep with the 
dead ! All having life and nature can claim the quiet of 
the grave, but I," continued the old man, glancing his hol- 
low eye upward, with a look of hopeless misery, " I, who 
have seen ages pass since the blood of youth has been 
chilled, and generation after generation swept away, must 
stilJ linger in the haunts of men ! but 'tis to aid in the 
great work which commences here, but which shall not end 
until a continent be regenerate." 

Lionel suffered a minute to pass without a question, in 
deference to this burst of feeling ; but soon, making an 
impatient movement, it drew the eyes of Ralph once more 
upon him, and the old man continued 

" Month after month, for two long and tedious years, did 
thy father linger in England, struggling for his own. At 
length he prevailed. He then hastened hither ; but there 
was no wife no fond and loving Priscilla, like that ten- 
der flower that reposes in thy bosom, to welcome his re- 

" I know it," said Lionel, nearly choked by his pious 
recollections " she was dead." 

" She was more," returned Ralph, in a voice so deep, 
that it sounded like one speaking from the grave " she 
was dishonored ! " 

" Tis false ! " 

" 'Tis true ; true as that holy gospel which comes to 
men through the inspired ministers of God ! " 

"'Tis false," repeated Lionel fiercely "blacker than 
the darkest thoughts of the foul spirit of evil ! " 

" I say, rash boy, 'tis true ! She died in giving birth to 
the fruits of her infamy. When Priscilla Lecbmere met 
thy heart-stricken parent with the damning tale, he read 
in'her exulting eye the treason of her mind, and, like thee, 
he dared to call heaven to witness, that thy mother was 
defamed. But there was one known to him, under cir- 
cumstances that forbade the thoughts of deceit, who swore 
ay, took the blessed name of Him, who reads all hearts, 
for warranty of her truth ! and she confirmed it." 

" The infamous seducer ! " said Lionel, hoarsely, his 
body turning unconsciously away from Cecil " does he 
yet live ? Give him to my vengeance, old man, and I will 
yet bless you for your accursed history ! " 


" Lionel, Lionel," said the soothing voice of his bride, 
" do you credit him ? " 

" Credit him ! " said Ralph, with a horrid, inward laugh, 
as if he would deride the idea of incredulity; "all this 
must he believe, and more ! Once again, weak girl, did 
thy grandmother throw out her lures for the wealthy bar- 
onet, and when he would not become her son, then did she 
league with the spirits of hell to compass his ruin. Re- 
venge took place of ambition, and thy husband's father 
was the victim ! " 

" Say on ! " cried Lionel, nearly ceasing to breathe in 
the intensity of his interest. 

11 The blow had cut him to the heart ; and, for a time, 
his reason was crushed beneath its weight. Yet 'twas but 
for an hour, compared to the eternity a man is doomed to 
live ! They profited by the temporary derangement, and 
when his wandering faculties were lulled to quiet, he 
found himself the tenant of a mad-house, where, for twenty 
long years, was he herded with the defaced images of his 
Maker, by the arts of the base widow of John Lechmere." 

" Can this be true ! Can this be true ! " cried Lionel, 
clasping his hands wildly, and springing to his feet, with 
a violence that cast the tender form that still clung to him, 
aside, like a worthless toy " Can this be proved ? Flow 
knowest thou these facts ? " 

The calm, but melancholy smile that was wont to light 
the wan features of the old man, when he alluded to his 
own existence, was once more visible, as he answered 

" There is but little hid from the knowledge acquired 
by length of days ; besides, have I not secret means of in- 
telligence that are unknown to tliee ? Remember what, 
in our frequent interviews, I have revealed ; recall the 
death-bed scene of Priscilla Lechmere, and ask thyself if 
there be not truth in thy aged friend ?" 

" Give me all ! hold not back a tittle of thy accursed 
tale give me all or take back each syllable thou hast 

" Thou shalt have all thou askest, Lionel Lincoln, and 
more," returned Ralph, throwing into his manner and 
voice its utmost powers of solemnity and persuasion 
"provided thou wilt swear eternal hatred to that country 
and those laws, by which an innocent and unoffending 
man can be levelled with the beasts of the field, and be 
made to rave even at his Makter, in the bitterness of his 


" More than that ten thousand times more than that, 
will I swear I will league with this rebellion 

" Lionel, Lionel what is't you do ? " interrupted the 
heart-stricken Cecil. 

But her voice was stilled by loud and busy cries, which 
broke out of the village, above the hum of revelry, and 
were instantly succeeded by the trampling of footsteps, as 
men rushed over the frozen ground, apparently by hun- 
dreds, and with headlong rapidity. Ralph, who was not 
less quick to hear these sounds than the timid bride, glided 
from the grave, and approached the high-way, whither he 
was slowly followed by his companions ; Lionel utterly 
indifferent whither he proceeded, and Cecil trembling in 
every limb with terror for the safety of him, who so little 
regarded his own danger. 

" They are abroad, and think to find an enemy," said the 
old man, raising his hand with a gesture to command at- 
tention ; " but he has sworn to join their standards, and 
gladly will they receive any of his name and family ! " 

" No, no he has pledged himself to no dishonor," cried 
Cecil. " Fly, Lincoln, while you are free, and leave me to 
meet the pursuers they will respect my weakness." 

Fortunately, the allusion to herself awakened Lionel 
from the dull forgetf ulness, into which his faculties had 
fallen. Encircling her slight figure with his arm, he 
turned swiftly from the spot, saying, as he urged her for- 

" Old man, when this precious charge is in safety, thy 
truth or falsehood shall be proved." 

But Ralph, whose unencumbered person, and iron frame, 
which seemed to mock the ravages of time, gave a vast 
superiority over the impeded progress of the other, moved 
swiftly ahead, waving his hand on high, as if to indicate 
his intention to join in the flight, while he led the way 
into the fields adjacent to the church-yard they had quitted. 

The noise of the pursuers soon became more distinct, 
and, in the intervals of the distant cannonade, the cries and 
directions of those who conducted the chase were distinctly 
audible. Notwithstanding the vigorous arm of her sup- 
porter, Cecil was soon sensible that her delicate frame was 
unequal to continue the exertions necessary to ensure their 
safety. They had entered another road, which lay at no 
great distance from the first, when she paused, and re- 
luctantly declared her inability to proceed. 

" Then, here will we await our captors," said Lionel, with 


forced composure " let the rebels beware how they abuse 
their slight advantage ! " 

The words were scarcely uttered, when a cart, drawn by 
a double team, turned an angle in the highway, near them, 
and its driver appeared within a few feet of the spot where 
they stood. He was a man far advanced in years, but still 
wielded his long goad with a dexterity, which had been 
imparted by the practice of more than half a century. The 
sight of this man, alone, and removed from immediate aid, 
suggested a desperate thought of self-preservation to Lio- 
nel. Quitting the side of his exhausted companion, he ad- 
vanced upon him with an air so fierce, that it might have 
created alarm in one who had the smallest reason to ap- 
prehend any danger. 

"Whither go you with that cart?" sternly demanded 
the young man, on the instant. 

"To the Point," was the ready answer. " Yes, yes old 
and young big and little men and cre'turs four-wheels 
and two-wheels everything goes to the Point to-night, 
as you can guess, fri'nd ! Why," he continued, dropping 
one end of his goad on the ground, and supporting him- 
self by grasping it with both his hands "I was eighty- 
three the fourteenth of the last March, and I hope, God 
willing, that when the next birth-day comes, there won't be 
a red coat left in the town of Boston. To my notion, fri'nd, 
they have held the place long enough, and it's time to 
quit. My boys are in the camp, soldiering a turn the old 
woman has been as busy as a bee, sin' sun-down, helping 
me to load up what you see, and I am carrying it over to 
Dorchester, and not a farthing shall it ever cost the con- 
gress ! " 

" And you are going to Dorchester Neck with your bun- 
dles of hay ! " said Lionel, eying both him and his pass- 
ing team, in hesitation whether to attempt violence on one 
so infirm and helpless. 

" Anan ! you must speak up, soldier-fashion, as you did 
at first, for I am a little deaf," returned the carter. "Yes, 
yes, they spared me in the press, for they said I had done 
enough ; but I say a man has never done enough for his 
own country, when anything is left to be done. I'm told 
they are carrying over fashines, as they call 'em, and 
pressed-hay, for their forts. As hay is more in my fashion 
than any other fashion, I've bundled up a stout pile on't 
here ; and if that won't do, why, let Washington come ; he 
is welcome to the barn, stacks and all . ( " 


" While you are so liberal to the congress, can you help 
a female in distress, who would wish to go in the direction 
of your route, but is too feeble to walk ?" 

"With all my heart," said the other, turning round in 
quest of her whom he was desired to assist " I hope she 
is handy; for the night wears on,. and I shouldn't like to 
have the English send a bullet at our people on Dorches- 
ter hills, before my hay gets there to help stop it." 

"She shall not detain you an instant," said Lionel, 
springing to the place where Cecil stood, partly concealed 
by the fence, and supporting her to the side of the rude 
vehicle "you shall be amply rewarded for this service." 

" Reward ! Perhaps she is the wife or daughter of a sol- 
dier, in which case she should be drawn in her coach and 
four, instead of a cart and double team." 

" Yes, yes you are right, she is both the wife of one, 
and the daughter of another soldier." 

"Ay ! God bless her! I warrant me old Put was more 
than half right, when he said the women would stop the 
two ridgements, that the proud parliamenter boasted could 
inarch through the colonies, from Hampshire to Georgi'. 
Well, fri'nds, are ye situated ? " 

" Perfectly," said Lionel, who had been preparing seats 
for himself and Cecil among the bundles of hay, and as- 
sisting his companion into her place during the dialogue 
" we will detain you no longer." 

The carter, who was no less than the owner of a hun- 
dred acres of good land in the vicinity, signified his readi- 
ness ; and sweeping through the air with his goad, he 
brought his cattle to the proper direction, and slowly 
moved on. During this hurried scene, Ralph had con- 
tinued hid by the shadows of the fence. When the cart 
proceeded, he waved his hand, and gliding across the road, 
was soon lost to the eye in the misty distance, with which 
his gray apparel blended, like a spectre vanishing in air. 

In the meantime the pursuers had not been idle. Voices 
were heard in different directions, and dim forms were to 
be seen rushing through the fields, by the aid of the de- 
ceptive light of the moon. To add to the embarrassment 
of their situation, Lionel found, when too late, that the 
route to Dorchester lay directly through the village of 
Cambridge. When he perceived they were approaching 
the streets, he would have left the cart, had not the exper- 
iment been too dangerous, in the midst of the disturbed 
soldiery, who now flew by on every side of them. In such 


a strait, his safest course was to continue motionless and 
silent, secreting his own form and that of Cecil, as much 
as possible, among the bundles of hay. Contrary to all 
the just expectations, which the impatient patriotism of 
the old yeoman had excited, instead of driving steadily 
through the place, he turned his cattle a little from the 
direct route, and stopped in front of the very inn, where 
Cecil had so lately been conducted by her guide from the 

Here the same noisy and thoughtless revelry existed as 
before. The arrival of such an equipage at once drew a 
crowd to the spot, and the uneasy pair on the top of the 
load became unwilling listeners to the conversation. 

" What, old one, hard at it for congress ! " cried a man, 
approaching with a mug in his hand ; " come, wet your 
throat, my venerable father of Liberty, for you are too old 
to be a son ! " 

"Yes, yes," answered the exulting farmer, " I am father 
and son, too ! I have four boys in camp, and seven grand- 
'uns, in the bargain ; and that would be eleven good triggers 
in one family, if five good muskets had so many locks 
but the youngest men have got a ducking-gun, and a 
double-barrel atvveen them, howsomever ; and Aaron, the 
boy, carries as good a horse-pistol, I calculate, as any there 
is going in the Bay ! But what an uneasy time you have 
on't to-night ! There's more powder wasted mocking thun- 
der, than would fight old Bunker over again, at 'white o' 
the eye ' distance ! " 

" Tis the way of war, old man ; and we want to keep the 
reg'lars from looking at Dorchester." 

" If they did, they couldn't see far to-night. But, now, 
do tell me ; I am an old man, and have a grain of cur'osity 
in the flesh ; my woman says that Howe casts out his car 
casses at you ; which I hold to be an irreligious deception.' 9 

" As true as the gospel." 

"Well, there is no calculating on the wastefulness of an 
ungodly spirit ! " said the worthy yeoman, shaking his head 
" I could believe any wickedness of him but that ! As 
cre'turs must be getting scarce in the town, I conclude he 
makes use of his own slain ! " 

" Certain," answered the soldier, winking at his com- 
panions " Breed's Hill has kept him in ammunition all 

" Tis awful, awful ! to see a fellow-cre'tur flying through 
the air, after the spirit has departed to judgment ! War is 


a dreadful calling ; but, then, what is a man without lib- 
erty ! " 

" Hark ye, old gentleman, talking of flying, have you 
seen anything of two men and a woman, flying up the 
road as you came in ? " 

" Anan ! I'm a little hard o' hearing women, too ! do 
they shoot their Jezebels into our camp ? There is no 
wickedness the king's ministers w r on't attempt to circum- 
vent our weak naturs ! " 

"Did you see two men and a woman, running away as 
you came down the road ?" bawled the fellow in his ear. 

"Two! did you say two?" asked the yeoman, turning 
his head a little on one side, in an attitude of sagacious 

"Yes, two men." 

"No, I didn't see two. Running out of town, did you say ?" 

" Ay, running, as if the devil was after them." 

" No ; I didn't see two ; nor anybody running away 
it's a sartain sign of guilt to run away is there any re- 
ward offered?" said the old man, suddenly interrupting 
himself, and again communing with his own thoughts. 

" Not yet they've just escaped." 

"The surest way to catch a thief is to offer a smart re- 
ward no I didn't see two men you are sartain there 
was two ? " 

" Push on with that cart ! drive on, drive on," cried a 
mounted officer of the quartermaster's department, who 
came scouring through the street, at that moment, awak- 
ening all the slumbering ideas of haste, which the old 
farmer had suffered to lie dormant so long. Once more 
flourishing his goad, he put his team in motion, wishing 
the revellers good-night as he proceeded. It was, how- 
ever, long after he left the village, and crossed the Charles, 
before he ceased to make frequent and sudden halts in the 
highway, as if doubtful whether to continue his route, or 
to return.. At length he stopped the cart, and clambering 
up on the hay, he took a seat, where with one eye he could 
regulate his cattle, and with the other examine his com- 
panions. This investigation continued another hour, 
neither party uttering a syllable, when the teamster ap- 
peared satisfied that his suspicions \vere unjust, and aban- 
doned them. Perhaps the difficulties of the road assisted 
in dissipating his doubts ; for, as they proceeded, return 
carts were met, at every few rods, rendering his undivided 
uttention to his own team indispensable. 


Lionel, whose gloomy thoughts had been chased from 
his mind by the constant excitement of the foregoing 
scenes, now felt relieved from any immediate apprehen- 
sions. He whispered his soothing hopes of a final escape 
to Cecil, and folding her in his coat, to shield her from the 
night air, he was pleased to find, ere long, by her gentle 
breathing, that, overcome by fatigue, she was slumbering 
in forgetfulness on his bosom. 

Midnight had long passed when they came in sight of 
the eminences beyond Dorchester Neck. Cecil had awoke, 
and Lionel was already devising some plausible excuse for 
quitting the cart, without reviving the suspicions of the 
teamster. At length a favorable spot occurred, where they 
were alone, and the formation of the ground was adapted 
to such a purpose. Lionel was on the point of speaking, 
when the cattle stopped, and Ralph suddenly appeared in 
the highway, at their heads. 

"Make room, fri'nd, for the oxen," said the farmer 
"dumb beasts won't pass in the face of man." 

" Alight," said Ralph, seconding his words with a wide 
sweep of his arm toward the fields. 

Lionel quickly obeyed, and, by the time the driver had 
descended also, the whole party stood together in the road. 

" You have conferred a greater obligation than you are 
aware of," said Lionel to the driver. " Here are five 

" For what ? for riding on a load of hay a few miles ? 
no, no kindness is no such boughten article in the Bay, 
that a man need pay for it ! But, fri'nd, money seems 
plenty with you, for these difficult days ! " 

" Then thanks, a thousand times I can stay to offer you 
no more." 

He was yet speaking, when, obedient to an impatient 
gesture from Ralph, he lifted Cecil over the fence, and 
in a moment they disappeared from the eyes of the aston- 
ished farmer. 

" Halloo, fri'nd ! " cried the worthy advocate for his 
country, running after them as fast as old age would allow 
" were there three of you, when I took ye up ? " 

The fugitives heard the call of the simple and garrulous 
old man, but, as will easily be imagined, did not deem it 
prudent to stop and discuss the point in question between 
them. Before they had gone far, the furious cry of " Take 
care of that team ! " with the rattling of wheels, announced 
that their pursuer was recalled to his duty, by an arrival 


of empty wagons ; and, before the distance rendered sounds 
unintelligible, they heard the noisy explanation, which 
their late companion was giving to the others, of the whole 
transaction. They were not, however, pursued ; the team- 
sters having more pressing objects in view than the detec- 
tion of thieves, or even of pocketing a reward. 

Ralph led his companions, after a brief explanation, by a 
long and circuitous path, to the shores of the bay. Here 
they found, hid in the rushes of a shallow inlet, a small 
boat, that Lionel recognized as the little vessel in which 
Job Pray was wont to pursue his usual avocation of a fish- 
erman. Entering it without delay, he seized the oars, and, 
aided by a flowing tide, he industriously urged it toward 
the distant spires of Boston. 

The parting shades of the night were yet struggling with 
the advance of day, when a powerful flash of light illumi- 
nated the hazy horizon, and the roar of cannon, which had 
ceased toward morning, was again heard. But this time 
the sounds came from the water, and a cloud rose above 
the smoking harbor, announcing that the ships were again 
enlisted in the contest. This sudden cannonade induced 
Lionel to steer his boat between the islands ; for the cas- 
tle and southern batteries of the town were all soon united 
in pouring out their vengeance on the laborers, who still 
occupied the heights of Dorchester. As the little vessel 
glided by a tall frigate, Cecil saw the boy, who had been 
her first escort in the wanderings of the preceding night, 
standing on its taffrail, rubbing his eyes with wonder, and 
staring at those hills, whose possession he had prophesied 
would lead to such bloody results. In short, while he la- 
bored at the oars, Lionel witnessed the opening scene of 
Breed's acted anew, as battery after battery, and ship af- 
ter ship, brought their guns to bear on the hardy country- 
men, who had once more hastened a crisis by their daring 
enterprise. Their boat passed unheeded, in the excite- 
ment and bustle of the moment, and the mists of the morn- 
ing had not yet dissipated, when it shot by the wharves of 
Boston, and, turning into the narrow entrance of the Town 
dock, it touched the land, near the warehouse, where it had 
so often been moored, in more peaceable times, by its 
pie master. 



" Now cracks a noble heart ; good night, 
Sweet prince." SHAKESPEARE. 

LIONEL assisted Cecil to ascend the difficult water-stairs, 
and, still attended by their aged companion, they soon 
stood on the drawbridge that connected the piers which 
formed the mouth of the narrow basin. 

" Here we again part," he said, addressing himself to 
Ralph ; "at another opportunity let us resume your mel- 
ancholy tale." 

" None so fitting as the present : the time, the place, 
and the state of the town, are all favorable." 

Lionel cast his eyes around on the dull misery which 
pervaded the neglected area. A few half-dressed soldiers 
and alarmed townsmen were seen, by the gray light of the 
morning, rushing across the square towards the point 
whence the sounds of cannon proceeded. In the hurry 
of the moment, their own arrival was not noted. 

" The place the time ! " he slowly repeated. 

" Ay, both. At what moment can the friend of liberty 
pass more unheeded amongst these miscreant hirelings 
than now, when fear has broken their slumbers ! Yon is 
the place," he said, pointing to the warehouse, "where all 
that I have uttered will find its confirmation." 

Major Lincoln communed momentarily with his 
thoughts. It is probable, that, in the rapid glances of 
his mind, he traced the mysterious connection between 
the abject tenant of the adjacent building, and the de- 
ceased grandmother of his bride, whose active agency in 
producing the calamities of his family had now been 
openly acknowledged. It was soon apparent, that he 
wavered in his purpose ; nor was he slow to declare it. 

" I will attend you," he said ; " for who can say what 
the hardihood of the rebels may next attempt ; and future 
occasions may be wanting. I will first see this gentle 
charge of mine " 

" Lincoln, I cannot must not leave you," interrupted 
Cecil, with earnest fervor " go, listen, and learn all ; 
surely there can be nothing that a wife may not know ! " 

Without waiting for further objection, Ralph made a 
hurried gesture of compliance, and, turning, he led the 
way, with his usual swift footsteps, into the low and dark 


tenement of Abigail Pray. The commotion of the town 
had not yet reached the despised and neglected building, 
which was even more than ordinarily gloomy and still. 
As they picked their way, however, among the scattered 
hemp, across the scene of the preceding night's riot, a 
few stifled groans proceeded from one of the towers, and 
directed them where to seek its abused and suffering in- 
mates. On opening the door of this little apartment, not 
only Lionel and Cecil paused, but even the immovable 
old man appeared to hesitate, in wonder. 

The heart-stricken mother of the simpleton was seated 
on her humble stool, busied in repairing some mean and 
worthless garments which had, seemingly, been exposed 
to the wasteful carelessness of her reckless child. But 
while her fingers performed their functions with mechani- 
cal skill, her contracted brow, working muscles, and hard, 
dry eyes, betrayed the force of the mental suffering that 
she struggled to conceal. Job still lay stretched on his 
abject pallet, though his breathing was louder and more 
labored than when we last left him, while his sunken 
features indicated the slow, but encroaching advances of 
the disease. Polvvarth was seated at his side, holding a 
pulse, with an air of medical deliberation ; and attempt- 
ing, every few moments, to confirm his hopes or fears, as 
each preponderated in turn, by examining the glazed eyes 
of the subject of his care. 

Upon a party thus occupied, and with feelings so much 
engrossed, even the sudden entrance of the intruders was 
not likely to make any very sensible impression. The 
languid and unmeaning look of Job wandered momentarily 
towards the door, and then became again fixed on vacancy. 
A gleam of joy shot into the honest visage of the captain, 
when he first beheld Lionel, accompanied by Cecil, but 
it was instantly chased away by the settled meaning of 
care, which had gotten the mastery of his usually con- 
tented expression. The greatest alteration was produced 
in the aspect of the woman, who bowed her head to her 
bosom, with a universal shudder of her frame, as Ralph 
stood unexpectedly before her. But from her, also, the 
sudden emotion passed speedily away, her hands resuming 
their humble occupation, with the same mechanical and 
involuntary movements, as before. 

''Explain this scene of silent sorrow !" said Lionel to 
his friend " how came you in this haunt of wretchedness ? 
and who has harmed the lad ? " 


"Your question conveys its own answer. Major Lincoln," 
returned Polwarth, with a manner so deliberate, that he 
refused to raise his steady look from the face of the suf- 
ferer " I am here, because they are wretched ! " 

" The motive is commendable ! but what aileth the 
youth ? " 

" The functions of nature seem suspended by some re- 
markable calamity ! I found him suffering from inanition, 
ajid notwithstanding I applied as hearty and nutritious a 
meal as the strongest man in the garrison could require, 
the symptoms, as you see, are strangely threatening ! " 

" He has taken the contagion of the town, and you 
have fed him, when his fever was at the highest ! " 

" Is small-pox to be considered more than a symptom, 
when a man has the damnable disease of starvation ! go to 
go to, Leo ; you read the Latin poets so much at the 
schools, that no leisure is left to bestow on the philosophy 
of nature. There is an inward monitor, that teaches every 
child the remedy for hunger." 

Lionel felt no disposition to contend with his friend on 
a point \vhere the other's opinions were so dogmatical, but, 
turning to the woman, he said 

" The experience of a professional nurse should have 
taught you, at least, more care." 

" Can experience steel a mother to the yearnings of her 
offspring for food ? " returned the forlorn Abigail " no, 
no the ear cannot be deaf to such a moaning, and wisdom 
is as folly when the heart bleeds." 

"Lincoln, you chide unkindly/' said Cecil "let us 
rather attempt to avert the danger, than quarrel with its 

" It is too late it is too late," returned the disconsolate 
mother ; " his hours are already numbered, and death is on 
him. I can now only pray that God will lighten his curse 
and suffer the parting spirit to know his Almighty power." 

" Throw aside these worthless rags," said Cecil, gently 
attempting to take the clothes, " nor fatigue yourself 
longer, at such a sacred moment with unnecessary la- 

" Young lady, you little know a mother's longings ; may 
you never know her sorrows ! I have been doing for the 
child these seven-and-twenty years ; rob me not of the 
pleasure, now that so little remains to be done." 

" Is he then so old ! " exclaimed Lionel, in surprise. 

" Old as he is, 'tis young for a child to die ! He wants 


the look of reason ; heaven in its mercy grant that he may 
be found to have a face of innocence ! " 

Hitherto Ralph had remained where he first stood, as U 
riveted to the floor, with his eyes fastened on the counte- 
nance of the sufferer. He now turned to Lionel, and, 
in a voice rendered even plaintive by his deep emotion, 
he asked the simple question 

''Will he die?" 

"I fear it that look is not easily to be mistaken." 

With a step so light that it was inaudible, the old man 
moved to the bed, and seated himself on the side, opposite 
to Polwarth. Without regarding the wondering look of 
the captain, he waved his hand on high, as if to exhort to 
silence, and then, gazing on the features of the sick, with 
melancholy interest, he said 

" Here, then, is death again ! None are so young as to 
be unheeded ; 'tis only the old that cannot die. Tell me, 
Job, what seest them in the visions of thy mind the un- 
known places of the damned, or the brightness of such as 
stand in the presence of their God ? " 

At the well-known sound of his voice, the glazed eye of 
the simpleton lighted with a ray of reason, and was turned 
toward the speaker, once more, teeming with a look of 
meek assurance. The rattling in his throat, for a moment, 
increased, and then ceased entirely ; when a voice so deep, 
that it appeared to issue from the depths of his chest, was 
heard saying 

" The Lord won't harm him who never harm'd the 
creatures of the Lord ! " 

" Emperors and kings, yea, the great of the earth, might 
envy thee thy lot, thou unknown child of wretchedness ! " 
returned Ralph. "Not yet thirty years of probation, and 
already thou throwest aside the clay ! Like thee did I 
grow to manhood, and learn how hard it is to live ; but 
like thee I cannot die ! Tell me, boy, dost thou enjoy 
the freedom of the spirit, or hast thou still pain and pleas- 
ure in the flesh ? Dost see beyond the tomb, and trace 
thy route through the pathless air, or is all yet hid in the 
darkness of the grave ? " 

" Job is going where the Lord has hid his reason," an- 
swered the same hollow voice as before ; " his prayers 
won't be foolish any longer." 

" Pray, then, for one aged and forlorn ; who has borne 
the burden of life till Death has forgotten him, and who 
wearies of the things of earth, where all is treachery ar j 


sin. But stay ; depart not till thy spirit can bear the 
signs of repentance from yon sinful woman into the re- 
gions of day." 

Abigail groaned aloud ; her hands again refused theii 
occupation, and her head once more sunk on her bosom 
in abject misery. From this posture of self-abasement and 
grief, the woman raised herself to her feet, and, putting 
aside the careless tresses of dark hair, which, though here 
and there streaked with gray, retained much of their 
youthful gloss, she looked about her with a face so hag- 
gard, and eyes so full of meaning, that common attention 
was instantly attracted to her movements. 

" The time has come, and neither fear nor shame shall 
longer tie my tongue," she said. " The hand of Providence 
is too manifest in this assemblage around the death-bed of 
that boy, to be unheeded. Major Lincoln, in that stricken 
and helpless child, you see one who shares your blood, 
though he has ever been a stranger to your happiness. Job 
is your brother ! " 

" Grief has maddened her ! " exclaimed the anxious 
Cecil "she knows not what she utters." 

" Tis true ! " said the calm tones of Ralph. 

" Listen," continued Abigail ; " a terrible witness, sent 
hither by heaven, speaks to attest I tell no lie. The secret 
of my transgression is known to him, when I had thought 
it buried in the affection of one only who owed me every- 

" Woman ! " said Lionel, " in attempting to deceive me, 
you deceive yourself. Though a voice from heaven should 
declare the truth of thy damnable tale, still would I deny 
that foul object being the child of my beauteous mother." 

" Foul and wretched as you see him, he is the offspring 
of one not less fair, though far less fortunate, than thy own 
boasted parent, proud child of prosperity ! Call on heaven 
as thou wilt, with that blasphemous tongue, he is no less 
thy brother, and the elder born." 

" Tis true 'tis true 'tis most solemnly a truth ! " re- 
peated the unmoved and aged stranger. 

" It cannot be ! " cried Cecil " Lincoln, credit them 
not ; they contradict themselves." 

" Out of thy own mouth will I find reasons to convince 
you," said Abigail. " Hast thou not owned the influence 
of the son at the altar ? Why should one, vain, ignorant, 
and young as I was, be insensible to the seductions of the 
father ! " 


"The child is, then, thine!" exclaimed Lionel, once 
more breathing with freedom " proceed with thy tale ; 
you confide it to friends!" 

" Yes yes," cried Abigail, clasping her hands, and speak- 
ing with bitter emphasis ; " you have all the consolation 
of proving the difference between the guilt of woman and 
that of man ! Major Lincoln, accursed and polluted as 
you see me, thy own mother was not more innocent nor 
fair, when my youthful beauty caught thy father's eye. He 
was great and powerful, and I unknown and frail yon 
miserable proof of our transgression did not appear, until 
he had met your happier mother ! " 

"Can this be so?" 

"The holy Gospels are not more true!" murmured 

" And my father ! did he could he desert thee in thy 
need ? " 

" Shame came when virtue and pride had been long for- 
gotten. I was a dependent of his own proud race, and op- 
portunities were not wanting to mark his wandering looks 
and growing love for the chaste Priscilla. He never knew 
my state. While I was stricken to the earth by the fruits 
of guilt, he proved how easy it is for us to forget, in the 
days of prosperity, the companions of our shame. At 
length, you were born ; and, unknown to him, I received 
his new-born heir from the hands of his jealous aunt. 
What accursed thoughts beset me at that bitter moment ! 
But, praised be God in heaven, they passed away, and I 
was spared the sin of murder ! " 


" Even of murder. You know not the desperate thoughts 
the wretched harbor for relief ! But opportunity was not 
long wanting, and I enjoyed the momentary, hellish 
pleasure of revenge. Your father went in quest of his 
rights, and disease attacked his beloved wife. Yes, foul 
and unseemly as is my wretched child, the beauty of thy 
mother was changed to a look still more hideous ! Such as 
Job now seems, was the injured woman on her death-bed. I 
feel all thy justice, Lord of power, and bow before thy will !" 

" Injured woman ! " repeated Lionel, " say on, and I will 
bless thee ! " 

Abigail gave a groan, so deep and hollow, that, for a 
moment, the listeners believed it was the parting struggle 
of the spirit of her son, and she sunk, helplessly, into hel 
seat, again concealing her features in her dress. 


" Injured woman ! " slowly repeated Ralph, with tha 
most taunting contempt in his accents "what punish- 
ment does not a wanton merit ? " 

" Ay, injured ! " cried the awakened son " my life on it, 
thy tale, at least, is false." 

The old man was silent, but his lips moved rapidly, as if 
he muttered an incredulous reply to himself, while a scorn- 
ful smile cast its bright and peculiar meaning across the 
wasted lineaments of his face. 

" I know not what you may have heard from others," 
continued Abigail, speaking so low that her words were 
nearly lost in the difficult and measured breathing of Job 
" but I call heaven to witness, that you, now, shall hear no 
lie. The laws of the province commanded that the victims 
of the foul distemper should be kept apart, and your 
mother was placed at the mercy of myself, and one other, 
who loved her still less than I." 

" Just Providence ! you did no violence ? " 

" The disease spared us such a crime. She died in her 
new deformity, while I remained a looker-on, if not in the 
beauty of my innocence, still free from the withering 
touch of scorn and want. Yes, I found a sinful, but flatter- 
ing consolation in that thought ! Vain, weak, and foolish 
as I had been, never did I regard my own fresh beauty 
with half the inward pleasure that I looked upon the foul- 
ness of my rival Your aunt, too she was not without the 
instigations of the worker of mischief." 

" "Speak only of my mother," interrupted the impatient 
Lionel " of my aunt I already know the whole." 

" Unmoved and calculating as she was, how little did she 
understand good from evil ! She even thought to crack 
the heart-strings, and render whole, by her weak inven- 
tions, that which the power of God could only create. 
The gentle spirit of thy mother had hardly departed, be- 
fore a vile plot was hatched to destroy the purity of her 
fame. Blinded fools that we were ! She thought to lead 
by her soothing arts, aided by his wounded affections, the 
husband to the feet of her own daughter, the innocent 
mother of her who stands beside thee ; and I was so vain 
as to hope, that, in time, justice and my boy might plead 
with the father and seducer, and raise me to the envied 
station of her whom I hated." 

" And this foul calumny you repeated, with all its basest 
coloring, to my abused father ?" 

" We did we did ; yes, God, he knows we did ! and when 


he hesitated to believe, I took the holy Evangelists as wit- 
nesses of my truth ! " 

"And he," said Lionel, nearly choked by his emotions 
" he believed it ! " 

"When he heard the solemn oath of one, whose whole 
guilt, he thought, lay in her weakness to himself, he did. 
As we listened to his terrible denunciations, and saw the 
frown which darkened his manly beauty, we both thought 
we had succeeded. But how little did we know the differ- 
ence between rooted passion and passing inclination ! The 
heart we thought to alienate from its dead partner, we 
destroyed ; and the reason we conspired to deceive, was 
maddened ! " 

When her voice ceased, so profound a silence reigned in 
the place, that the roar of the distant cannonade sounded 
close at hand, and even the low murmurs of the excited 
town swept by, like the whisperings of the wind. Job sud- 
denly ceased to breathe, as though his spirit had only lin- 
gered to hear the confession of his mother, and Polwarth 
dropped the arm of the dead simpleton, unconscious of 
the interest he had so lately taken in his fate. In the midst 
of this death-like stillness, the old man stole from the side 
of the body, and stood before the self-condemned Abigail, 
whose form was writhing under her mental anguish. 
Crouching more like a tiger than a man, he sprang upon 
her, with a cry so sudden, so wild, and so horrid, that it 
caused all within its hearing to shudder with instant dread. 

" Beldame ! " he shouted, " I have thee now ! Bring 
hither the book ! the blessed, holy word of God ! Let her 
swear, let her swear ! Let her damn her perjured soul, in 
impious oaths " 

" Monster ! release the woman ! " cried Lionel, advancing 
to the assistance of the struggling penitent ; " thou, too, 
hoary-headed wretch, hast deceived me ! " 

"Lincoln! Lincoln!" shrieked Cecil, " stay that unnat- 
ural hand ! you raise it on thy father ! " 

Lionel staggered back to the wall, where he stood mo- 
tionless, and gasping for breath. Left to work his own 
frantic will, the maniac would speedily have terminated 
the sorrows of the wretched woman, had not the door been 
burst open with a crash, and the stranger, who was left, by 
the cunning of the madman, in the custody of the Ameri- 
cans, rushed to the rescue. 

" I know your yell, my gentle baronet ! " cried the 
aroused keeper, for such in truth he was, " and I have a 


mark for your malice, which would have gladly had me 
hung ! But I have not followed you from kingdom to 
kingdom from Europe to America, to be cheated by a 
lunatic ! " 

It was apparent, by the lowering look of the fellow, ho\V 
deeply he resented the danger he had just escaped, as he 
sprang forward to -seize his prisoner. Ralph abandoned 
his hold the instant this hated object appeared, and he 
darted upon the breast of the other with the undaunted 
fury that a lion, at bay, would turn upon its foe. The 
struggle was fierce and obstinate. Hoarse oaths, and the 
most savage execrations burst from the incensed keeper, 
and were blended with the wildest ravings of madness from 
Ralph. The excited powers of the maniac at length pre- 
vailed, and his antagonist fell under their irresistible im- 
pulse. Quicker than thought, Ralph was seen hovering 
on the chest of his victim, while he grasped his throat with 
fingers of iron. 

" Vengeance is holy ! " cried the maniac, bursting into 
a shout of horrid laughter, at his triumph, arid shaking his 
gray locks till they flowed in wild confusion around his 
glowing eye-balls ; " Urim and Thummin are the words of 
glory ! Liberty is the shout ! Die, damned dog-! die like 
the fiends in darkness, and leave freedom to the air ! " 

By a mighty effort the gasping man released his throat 
a little from the gripe that nearly throttled him, and cried, 
with difficulty 

"For the love of heavenly justice, come to my aid I- 
will you see a man thus murdered ? " 

But he addressed himself to the sympathies of the lis- 
teners in vain. The females had hid their faces, in nat- 
ural horror ; the maimed Pohvarth was yet without his 
artificial limb ; and Lionel still looked upon the savage 
fray with a vacant eye. At this moment of despair, the 
hand of the keeper was seen plunging with violence into 
the side of Ralph, who sprang upon his feet at the third 
blow, laughing immoderately, but with sounds so wild and 
deep that they seemed to shake his inmost soul. His an- 
tagonist profited by the occasion, and darted from the 
room with the headlong precipitation of guilt. 

The countenance of the maniac, as he now stood, strug- 
gling between life and death, changed with each fleeting 
impulse. The blood flowed freely from the wounds in hi? 
side, and, as the fatal tide ebbed away, a ray of passing 
reason lighted his pallid and ghastly features. His inwarc. 


laugh entirely ceased. The glaring eyeballs became sta- 
tionary ; and his look, gradually softening, settled on the 
appalled pair, who took the deepest interest in his wel- 
fare. A calm and decent expression possessed those linea- 
ments, which had just exhibited the deepest marks of the 
wrath of God. His lips moved in a vain effort to speak ; 
and, stretching forth his arms in the attitude of benedic- 
tion, like the mysterious shadow of the chapel, he fell 
backward on the body of the lifeless and long-neglected 
Job, himself perfectly dead. 


*' I saw an aged man upon his bier, 

His hair was thin and white, and on his brow 
A record of the cares of many a year ; 
Cares that were ended and forgotten now. 
And there was sadness round, and faces bow'd, 
And woman's tears fell fast, and children wail'd aloud." 


As the day advanced, the garrison of Boston was put in 
motion. The same bustle, the same activity, the same 
gallant bearing in some, and dread reluctance in others, 
were exhibited as on the morning of the fight of the pre- 
ceding summer. The haughty temper of the royal com- 
mander could ill brook the bold enterprise of the colo- 
nists ; and, at an early hour, orders were issued to prepare 
to dislodge them. Every gun that could be brought to 
bear upon the hills, was employed to molest the Ameri- 
cans, who calmly continued their labors, while' shot were 
whistling around them on every side. Towards evening 
a large force was embarked and conveyed to the castle. 
Washington appeared on the heights, in person, and every 
military evidence of the intention of a resolute attack on 
one part, and of a stout resistance on the other, became 

But the fatal experience of Breed's had taught a lesson 
that was still remembered. The same leaders were to be 
the principal actors in the coming scene, and it was neces- 
sary to use the remnants of many of the very regiments 
which had bled so freely on the former occasion. The 
half-trained husbandmen of the colonies were no longer 
despised ; and the bold operations of the past winter had 


taught the English generals that, as subordination increased 
among their foes, their movements were conducted with 
a more vigorous direction of their numbers. The day was 
accordingly wasted in preparations. Thousands of men 
slept on their arms that night, in either army, in the ex- 
pectation of rising, on the following morning, to be led 
to the field of slaughter. 

It is not improbable from the tardiness of their move- 
ments, that a large majority of the royal forces did not re- 
gret the providential interposition, which certainly saved 
them torrents of blood, and not improbably the ignominy 
of a defeat. One of the sudden tempests of the climate arose 
in the darkness, driving before it men and beasts, to seek 
protection, in their imbecility, from the more powerful 
warring of the elements. The golden moments were 
lost ; and, after enduring so many privations, and expend- 
ing so many lives, in vain, Howe sullenly commenced his 
arrangements to abandon a town, on which the English 
ministry had, for years, lavished their indignation, with all 
the acrimony, and, as it now seemed, with the impotency 
of a blind revenge. 

To carry into effect this sudden and necessary determi- 
nation, was not the work of an hour. As it was the de- 
sire of the Americans, however, to receive their town back 
again as little injured as possible, they forbore to push the 
advantage they possessed, by occupying those heights, 
which, in a great measure, commanded the anchorage, as 
well as a new and vulnerable face of the defences of the 
king's army. While the semblance of hostilities was main- 
tained by an irregular and impotent cannonade, conducted 
with so little spirit as to wear the appearance of being in- 
tended only to amuse, one side was diligently occupied in 
preparing to depart, and the other was passively awaiting 
the moment when they might peaceably repossess their 
own. It is unnecessary to remind the reader, that the en- 
tire command of the sea, by the British, would have ren- 
dered any serious attempt to arrest their movements, per- 
fectly futile. 

In this manner a week was passed, after the tempest had 
abated the place exhibiting, throughout this period, alj 
the hurry and bustle, the joy and distress, that such an un- 
looked-for event was likely to create. 

Towards the close of one of those busy and stirring 
days, a short funeral train was seen issuing from a build- 
ing, which had long been known as the residence of one 


of the proudest families in the province. Above the outer 
door of the mansion was suspended a gloomy hatchment, 
charged with the "courant" deer of Lincoln, encircled by 
the usual mementos of mortality, and bearing the rare 
symbol of the " bloody-hand." -This emblem of heraldic 
prief, which was never adopted in the provinces, except 
at the death of one of high importance, a custom that has 
long since disappeared with the usages of the monarchy, 
had caught the eyes of a few idle boys, who alone were suf- 
ficiently unoccupied, at that pressing moment, to note 
its exhibition. With the addition of these truant urchins 
the melancholy procession took its way toward the neigh- 
boring church-yard of the King's Chapel. 

The large bier was covered by a pall so ample, that it swept 
the stones of the threshold, while entering into the body 
of the church. Here it was met by the divine we have had 
occasion to mention more than once, who gazed, with a 
look of strange interest, at the solitary and youthful 
mourner, that closely followed in his dark weeds. The 
ceremony, however, proceeded with the usual solemnity, 
and the attendants slowly moved deeper into the sacred 
edifice. Next to the young man, came the well-known 
persons of the British commander-in-chief, and of his quick- 
witted and favorite lieutenant. Between them walked an 
officer of inferior rank, who, notwithstanding his maimed 
condition, had been able, by the deliberation of the march, 
to beguile the ears of his companions, to the very moment 
of meeting the clergyman, with some tale of no little in- 
terest, and great apparent mystery. The remainder of the 
train, which consisted only of the family of the two gen- 
erals, and a few menials, came last, if we except the idlers, 
who stole curiously in their footsteps. 

When the service was ended, the same private commu- 
nication was resumed between the two chieftains and their 
companion, and continued until they arrived at the open 
vault, in a distant corner of the enclosure. Here the low 
conversation ended ; and the eye of Howe, which had 
hitherto been riveted in deep attention on the speaker, 
began to wander in the direction of the dangerous hills 
occupied by his enemies. The interruption seemed to 
have broken the charm of the secret conversation ; and the 
anxious countenances of both the leaders betrayed how 
soon their thoughts had wandered from a tale of great 
private distress to their own heavier cares and duties. 

The bier was placed before the opening, and the assist- 


ants of the sexton advanced to perform their office. 
When the pall was removed, to the evident amazement of 
most of the spectators, two coffins were exposed to view. 
One was clothed in black velvet, studded with silver nails, 
and ornamented after the richest fashions of human pride, 
while the other lay in the simple nakedness of the clouded 
wood. On the breast of the first rose a heavy silver plate, 
bearing a long inscription, and decorated with the usual 
devices of heraldry ; and on the latter were simply carved 
on the lid the two initial letters J. P. 

The impatient looks of the English generals intimated 
to Dr. Liturgy the value of every moment, and in less 
time than we consume in relating it, the bodies of the 
high-descended man of wealth, and of his nameless com- 
panion, were lowered into the vault, and left to decay, in 
silent contact, with that of the woman who, in life, had 
been so severe a scourge to both. After a hesitation of a 
single moment, in deference to the young mourner, the. 
gentlemen present, perceiving that he manifested a wish 
to remain, quitted the place in a body, with the exception 
of the maimed officer, already mentioned, whom the reader 
has at once recognized to be Polwarth. When the men 
had replaced the stone above the mouth of the vault, se- 
curing it by a stout bar of iron, and a heavy lock, they de- 
livered the key to the principal actor in the scene. He 
received it in silence, and, dropping gold into their hands, 
motioned to them to depart. 

In another instant, a careless observer would have 
thought, that Lionel and his friend were the only living 
possessors of the church-yard. But under the adjoining 
wall, partly hid from observation by the numerous head- 
stones, was the form of a woman, bowed to the earth, while 
her figure was concealed by the cloak she had gathered 
shapelessly about her. As soon as the gentlemen per- 
ceived they were alone, they slowly advanced to the side 
of this desolate being. 

Their approaching footsteps were not unheeded, though, 
instead of facing those who so evidently wished to address 
her, she turned to the wall, and began to trace, with un- 
conscious fingers, the letters of a tablet in slate, which was 
let into the brickwork, to mark the position of the tomb 
of the Lechmeres. 

"We can do no more, 1 ' said the young mourner ''all 
now rest with a mightier hand than any of earth." 

The squalid limb, that was thrust from beneath the red 


garment, trembled, but it still continued its unmeaning 

" Sir Lionel Lincoln speaks to you," said Polwarth, on 
whose arm the youthful baronet leaned. 

" Who ! " shrieked Abigail Pray, casting aside her cover* 
ing, and baring those sunken features, on which misery 
had made terrible additional inroads, within a few days 
" I had forgotten I had forgotten ! the son succeeds the 
father ; but the mother must follow her child to the grave ! " 

" He is honorably interred with those of his blood, and 
by the side of one who loved his simple integrity ! " 

" Yes, he is better lodged in death than he was in life ! 
Thank God ! he can never know cold nor hunger more ! " 

" You will find that I have made a provision for your 
future comfort ; and I trust that the close of your life will 
be happier than its prime." 

" I am alone," said the woman, hoarsely. '* The old will 
avoid me, and the young will look upon me in scorn ! Per- 
jury and revenge lie heavy on my soul ! " 

The young baronet was silent, but Polwarth assumed 
the right to reply 

" I will not pretend to assert," said the worthy captain, 
"that these are not both wicked companions ; but I have 
no doubt you will find, somewhere in the Bible, a suitable 
consolation for each particular offence. Let me recom- 
mend to you a hearty diet, and I'll answer for an easy con- 
science. I never knew the prescription fail. Look about 
you in the world does your well-fed villain feel remorse ! 
No ; it's only when his stomach is empty, that he begins 
to think of his errors ! I would also suggest the expedi- 
ency of commencing soon, with something substantial, as 
you show altogether too much bone, at present, for a 
thriving condition. I would not wish to say anything dis- 
tressing, but we both of us may remember a case where 
the nourishment came too late." 

" Yes, yes, it came too late ! " murmured the conscience- 
stricken woman "all comes too late ! even the penitence, 
I fear ! " 

" Say not so," observed Lionel ; "you do outrage to the 
promises of One who never spoke false." 

Abigail stole a fearful glance at him, which expressed 
all the secret terror of her soul, as she half whispered 

" Who witnessed the end of Madam Lechmere ! did her 
spirit pass in peace ? " 

Sir Lionel again remained profoundly silent. 


"I thought it," she continued "'tis not a sin to be for- 
gotten on a death-bed ! To plot ^vil, and call on God, 
aloud, to look upon it ! Ay! and to madden a brain, and 
strip a soul like his to nakedness ! Go," she added, beck- 
oning them away with earnestness "ye are young and 
happy ; why should ye linger near the grave ! Leave me, 
that I may pray among the tombs ! If anything can smooth 
the bitter moment, it is prayer." 

Lionel dropped the key he held in his hand at her feet, 
and said, before he left her 

" Yon vault is closed forever, unless, at your request, it 
should be opened, at some future time, to place you by the 
side of your son. The children of those who built it are 
already gathered there, with the exception of two, who go 
to the other hemisphere to leave their bones. Take it, and 
may Heaven forgive you, as I do." 

He let fall a heavy purse by the side of the key, and, 
without uttering more, he again took the arm of Polwarth, 
and together they left the place. 

As they turned through the gate-way, 'into the street, 
each stole a glance at the distant woman. She had risen 
to her knees ; her hands had grasped a head-stone, and her 
face was bowed nearly to the earth, while, by the writhing 
of her form, and the humility of her attitude, it was appar- 
ent that her spirit struggled powerfully with the Lord for 

Three days afterwards the Americans entered, triumph- 
antly, on the retiring footsteps of the royal army. The 
first among them, who hastened to visit the graves of their 
fathers, found the body of a woman, who had, seemingly, 
died under the severity of the season. She had unlocked 
the vault, in a vain effort to reach her child, and there her 
strength had failed her. Her limbs were decently stretched 
on the faded grass, while her features were composed, ex- 
hibiting in death the bland traces of that remarkable beauty 
which had distinguished and betrayed her youth. The 
gold still lay neglected, where it had fallen. 

The amazed townsmen avoided this spectacle with hor- 
ror, rushing into other places to gaze at the changes and 
the destruction of their beloved birthplace. But a follower 
of the royal army, who had lingered to plunder, and who 
had witnessed the interview between the officers and Abi 
gail, shortly succeeded them. He lifted the flag, and, low 
ering the body, closed the vault ; then hurling away the 
key, he seized the money, and departed. 


The slate has long since mouldered from the wall ; the 
sod has covered the stone, and few are left who can desig- 
nate the spot where the proud families of Lech mere and 
Lincoln were wont to inter their dead. 

Sir Lionel and Polvvarth proceeded, in the deepest 
silence, to the Long-wharf, where a boat received them. 
They were rowed to the much admired frigate, that was 
standing off-and-on, under easy sail, waiting their arrival. 
On her decks they met Agnes Danforth, with her eyes 
softened by tears, though a rich flush mantled on her 
cheeks, at witnessing the compelled departure of those in- 
vaders she had never loved. 

" I have only remained to give you a parting kiss, cousin 
Lionel," said the frank girl, affectionately saluting him, 
" and now shall take my leave, without repeating those 
wishes that you know are so often conveyed in my pray- 

" You will then leave us ? " said the young baronet, smil- 
ing for the first time in many a day. " You know that this 
cruelty " 

He was interrupted by a loud hem from Polwarth, who 
advanced, and, taking the hand of the lady, repeated his 
wish to retain it forever, for at least the fiftieth time. She 
heard him, in silence, and with much apparent respect, 
though an arch smile stole upon her gravity, before he 
had ended. She then thanked him with suitable grace, 
and gave a final and decided refusal. The captain sustained 
the repulse like one who had seen much similar service, 
and politely lent his assistance to help the obdurate girl 
into her boat. Here she was received by a young man, 
who was apparelled like an American officer. Sir Lionel 
thought the bloom on her cheek deepened, as her compan- 
ion assiduously drew a cloak around her form to protect 
her from the chill of the water. Instead of returning to 
the town, the boat, which bore a flag, pulled directly for 
the shore occupied by the Americans. The "following 
week, Agnes was united to this gentleman, in the bosom 
of her own family. They soon after took quiet possession 
of the house in Tremont Street, and of all the large real 
estate left by Mrs. Lechmere, which had been previously 
bestowed on her, by Cecil, as a dowry. 

As soon as his passengers appeared, the captain of the 
frigate communicated with his admiral, by signal, and re- 
ceived, in return, the expected order to proceed in the 
execution of his trust. In a few minutes the swift vessel 


was gliding by the heights of Dorchester, training het 
guns on the adverse hills, and hurriedly spreading her 
canvas as she passed. The Americans, however, looked 
on in sullen silence, and she was suffered to gain the open 
ocean, unmolested, when she made the best of her way to 
England, with the important intelligence of the intended 

She was speedily followed by the fleet, since which pe- 
riod, the long-oppressed and devoted town of Boston has 
never been visited by an armed enemy. 

During their passage to England, sufficient time was al- 
lowed Lionel and his gentle companion, to reflect on all 
that had occurred. Together, and in the fullest confidence, 
they traced the wanderings of intellect which had so close- 
ly and mysteriously connected the deranged father with 
his impotent child ; and, as they reasoned, by descending 
to the secret springs of his disordered impulses, they were 
easily enabled to divest the incidents we have endeavored 
to relate of all their obscurity and doubt. . 

The keeper, who had been sent in quest of the fugitive 
madman, never returned to his native land. No offers 
of forgiveness could induce the unwilling agent in the 
death of the baronet to trust his person, again, within the 
influence of the British laws. Perhaps he was conscious 
of a motive, that none but an inward monitor might de- 
tect. Lionel, tired at length with importuning without 
success, commissioned the husband of Agnes to place 
him in a situation, where, by industry, his future comfort 
was amply secured. 

Polwarth died quite lately. Notwithstanding his maimed 
limb, he contrived, by the assistance of his friend, to as- 
cend the ladder of promotion, by regular gradations, near-; 
ly to its summit. At the close of his long life, he wrote 
Gen., Bart., and M. P. after his name. When England 
was threatened with the French invasion, the garrison he 
commanded was distinguished for being better provisioned 
than any other in the realm, and no doubt it would have 
made a resistance equal to its resources. In Parliament, 
where he sat for one of the Lincoln boroughs, he was 
chiefly distinguished for the patience with which he lis- 
tened to the debates, and for the remarkable cordiality of 
the "ay" that he pronounced on every vote for supplies. 
To the day of his death, he was a strenuous advocate for 
the virtues of a rich diet, in all cases of physical suffer- 
ing, " especially," as he would add, with an obstinacy that 


fed itself, "in instances of debility from febrile symp- 

Within a year of their arrival, the uncle of Cecil died, 
having shortly before followed an only son to the grave. 
By this unlooked-for event, Lady Lincoln became the 
possessor of his large estates, as well as of an ancient bar- 
ony, that descended to the heirs general. From this time 
until the eruption of the French revolution, Sir Lionel 
Lincoln, and Lady Cardonnell, as Cecil was now styled, 
lived together in sweetest concord ; the gentle influence of 
her affection moulding and bending the feverish tempera- 
ment of her husband, at will. The heirloom of the fami- 
ly, that distempered feeling so often mentioned, was for- 
gotten, in the even tenor of their happiness. When the 
heaviest pressure on the British constitution was appre- 
hended, and it became the policy of the minister to enlist 
the wealth and talent of his nation in its support, by prop- 
ping the existing administration, the rich baronet received 
a peerage in his own person. Before the end of the cen- 
tury, he was further advanced to a dormant earldom, that 
had, in former ages, been one of the honors of an elder 
branch of his family. 

Of all the principal actors in the foregoing tale, not one 
is now living. Even the roses of Cecil and Agnes have 
long since ceased to bloom, and Death has gathered them 
in peace and innocence, with all that had gone before. The 
historical facts of our legend are beginning to be obscured 
by time ; and it is more than probable, that the prosperous 
and affluent English peer, who now enjoys the honors of 
the house of Lincoln, never knew the secret history of his 
family while it sojourned in. a remote province of the Brit- 
ish empire. 


rt," T ?J e Ir ^ dia " lad / ose deliberately to his feet, and stood before them in 
tne sullen dignity of a captured warrior." 

The Wept of Wish-ton- Wish, page 54. 






But she is dead to him, to all 

Her lute hangs silent on the wall 

And on the stairs, and at the door 

Her fairy step is heard no more." ROGERS 

THE REV. J. R. C., 



THE kind and disinterested manner in which you have furnished the 
materials of the following tale, merits a public acknowledgment. As your 
reluctance to appear before the world, however, imposes a restraint, you 
must receive such evidence of gratitude as your own prohibition will allow. 

Notwithstanding there are so many striking and deeply interesting events 
in the early history of those from whom you derive your being, yet are there 
hundreds of other families in this country, whose traditions, though less 
accurately and minutely preserved than the little narrative you have sub- 
mitted to my inspection, would supply the materials of many moving tales. 
You have every reason to exult in your descent, for, surely, if any man 
may claim to be a citizen and a proprietor in the Union, it is one, that, 
like yourself, can point to a line of ancestors, whose origin is lost in the 
obscurity of time. You are truly an American. In your eyes, we of a 
brief century or two must appear as little more than denizens quite re- 
cently admitted to the privilege of a residence. That you may continue 
to enjoy peace and happiness, in that land where your fathers so long 
flourished, is the sincere wish of your obliged friend. 


AT this distant period, when Indian traditions are lis- 
tened to with the interest that we lend to the events of a 
dark age, it is not easy to convey a vivid image of the 
dangers and privations that our ancestors encountered, in 
preparing the land we enjoy for its present state of secu- 
rity and abundance. It is the humble object of the tale 
that will be found in the succeeding pages, to perpetuate 
the recollection of some of the practices and events pe- 
culiar to the early days of our history. 

The general character of the warfare pursued by the 
natives is too w 7 ell known to require any preliminary obser- 
vations ; but it may be advisable to direct the attention of 
the reader, for a few moments, to those leading circum- 
stances in the history of the times, that may have some 
connection with the principal business of the legend. 

The territory which now composes the three states of 
Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, is said, by 
the best-informed of our annalists, to have been formerly 
occupied by four great nations of Indians, who were, as 
usual, subdivided into numberless dependent tribes. Of 
these people, the Massachusetts possessed a large portion 
of the land which now composes the state of that name ; 
the Wampanoags dwelt in what was once the Colony of 
Plymouth, and in the northern districts of the Providence 
Plantations ; the Narragansetts held the well-known islands 
of the beautiful bay which receives its name from their 
nation, and the more southern counties of the Plantations; 
while the Pequots, or, as it is ordinarily written and pro- 
nounced, the Pequods, were masters of a broad region 
that lay along the western boundaries of the three other 

There is great obscurity thrown around the polity of the 
Indians who usually occupied the country lying near the 


The Europeans, accustomed to despotic governments, 
very naturally supposed that the chiefs, found in posses- 
sion of power, were monarchs to whom authority had been 
transmitted in virtue of their birthrights. They conse- 
quently gave them the name of kings. 

How far this opinion of the governments of the aborig- 
ines was true remains a question, though there is certainly 
reason to think it less erroneous in respect to the tribes of 
the Atlantic states, than to those who have since been 
found further west, where it is sufficiently known that 
institutions exist which approach much nearer to republics 
than to monarchies. It may, however, have readily hap- 
pened that the son, profiting by the advantages of his 
situation, often succeeded to the authority of the father, 
by the aid of influence, when the established regulations 
of the tribe acknowledged no hereditary claim. Let the 
principle of the descent of power be what it would, it is 
certain the experience of our ancestors proves, that, in 
very many instances, the child was seen to occupy the 
station formerly filled by the father ; and that in most of 
those situations of emergency, in which a people so vio- 
lent were often placed, the authority he exercised was as 
summary as it was general. The appellation of Uncas 
came, like those of the Caesars and Pharaohs, to be a sort 
of synonyme for chief with the Mohegans, a tribe of the 
Pequods, among whom several warriors of this name were 
known to govern in due succession. The renowned Met- 
acom, or, as he is better known to the whites, King Philip, 
was certainly the son of Massasoit, the Sachem of the 
Wampanoags that the emigrants found in authority when 
they landed on the rock of Plymouth. Miantonimoh, the 
daring but hapless rival of that Uncas who ruled the whole 
of the Pequod nation, was succeeded in authority among 
the Narragan setts, by his not less heroic and enterprising 
son, Conanchet ; and, even at a much later day, we find 
instances of this transmission of power, which furnish 
strong reasons for believing that the order of succession 
was in the direct line of blood. 

The early annals of our history are not wanting in touch' 
ing and noble examples of savage heroism. Virginia has 
its legend of the powerful Powhatan and his magnanimous 
daughter, the ill-requited Pocahontas ; and the chronicles 
of New England are filled with the bold designs and dar- 
ing enterprises of Miantonimoh, of Metacom, and of Con- 
anchet. All the last-named warriors proved themselves 


worthy of better fates, dying in a cause and in a manner 
that, had it been their fortune to have lived in a more ad 
vanced state of society, would have enrolled their names 
among the worthies of the age. 

The first serious war to which the settlers of New Eng- 
land were exposed, was the struggle with the Pequods. 
This people were subdued after a fierce conflict ; and 
from being enemies, all who were not either slain or sent 
into distant slavery, were glad to become the auxiliaries 
of their conquerors. This contest occurred within less 
than twenty years after the Puritans had sought refuge in 

There is reason to believe that Metacom foresaw the 
fate of his own people, in the humbled fortune of the Pe- 
quods. Though his father had been the earliest and con- 
stant friend of the whites, it is probable that the Purjtans 
owed some portion of this amity to a dire necessity. We 
are told that a terrible malady had raged among the Wam- 
panoags but a short time before the arrival of the emi- 
grants, and that their numbers had been fearfully reduced 
by its ravages. Some authors have hinted at the proba- 
bility of this disease having been the yellow fever, whose 
visitations are known to be at uncertain, and, apparently, 
at very distant intervals. Whatever might have been the 
cause of this destruction of his people, Massasoit' is be- 
lieved to have been induced, by the consequences, to cul- 
tivate the alliance of a nation who could protect him 
against the attacks of his ancient and less afflicted foes. 
But the son appears to have viewed the increasing influ- 
ence of the whites with eyes more jealous than those of 
the father. He passed the morning of his life in maturing 
his great plan for the destruction of the strange race, and 
his later years were spent in abortive attempts to put this 
bold design in execution. His restless activity in plotting 
the confederation against the English, his fierce and ruth- 
less manner of waging the war, his defeat, and his death, 
are too well known to require repetition. 

There is also a wild and romantic interest thrown about 
the obscure history of a Frenchman of that period. This 
man is said to have been an officer of rank in the service 
of his king, and to have belonged to the privileged class 
which then monopolized all the dignities and emoluments 
of the kingdom of France. The traditions, and even the 
written annals of the first century of our possession of 
America, connect the Baron de la Castine with the Jesuits, 


who were thought to entertain views of converting the 
savages to Christianity, not unmingled with the desire of 
establishing a more temporal dominion over their minds. 
It is, however, difficult to say whether taste, or religion, 
or policy, or necessity, induced this nobleman to quit the 
saloons of Paris for the wilds of the Penobscot. It is 
merely known that he passed the greater part of his life 
on that river, in a rude fortress that was then called a 
palace ; that he had many wives, a numerous progeny, and 
that he possessed a great influence over most of the tribes 
that dwelt in his vicinity. He is also believed to have 
been the instrument of furnishing the savages who were 
hostile to the English, with ammunition, and with weapons 
of a more deadly character than those used in their earlier 
wars. In whatever degree he may have participated in 
the plan to exterminate the Puritans, death prevented him 
from assisting in the final effort of Metacom. 

The Narragansetts are often mentioned in these pages. 
A few years before the period at which the tale commences, 
Miantonimoh had waged a ruthless war against Uncas, 
the Pequod or Mohegan chief. Fortune favored the latter, 
who, probably assisted by his civilized allies, not only 
overthrew the bands of the other, but succeeded in capt- 
uring the person of his enemy. The chief of the Nar- 
ragansetts lost his life, through the agency of the whites, 
on the place that is now known by the appellation of " the 
Sachem's .plain." 

It remains only to throw a little light on the leading in- 
cidents of the war of King Philip. The first blow was 
struck in June, 1675, rather more than half a century after 
the English first landed in New England, and just a 
century before blood was drawn in the contest which sepa- 
rated the colonies from the mother country. The scene was 
a settlement near the celebrated Mount Hope, in Rhode 
Island, where Metacom and his father had both long held 
their councils. From this point, bloodshed and massacre 
extended along the whole frontier of New England. Bodies 
of horse and foot were enrolled to meet the foe, and towns 
were burnt, and lives were taken by both parties, with 
little, and often with no respect for age, condition or sex. 

In no struggle with the native owners of the soil was the 
growing power of the whites placed in so great jeopardy, 
as in this celebrated contest with King Philip. The vener- 
able historian of Connecticut estimates the loss of lives at 
nearly one-tenth of the whole number of the fighting men, 


and the destruction of houses and other edifices to have 
been in an equal proportion. One family in every eleven, 
throughout all New England, was burnt out. As the col- 
onists nearest the sea were exempt from the danger, an 
idea may be formed, from this calculation, of the risk and 
sufferings of those who dwelt in more exposed situations. 
The Indians did not escape without retaliation. The prin- 
cipal nations, already mentioned, were so much reduced as 
never afterward to offer any serious resistance to the. 
whites, who have since converted the whole of their an- 
cient hunting grounds into the abodes of civilized man. 
Metacom, Miantonimoh, and Conanchet, with their war- 
riors, have become the heroes of song and legend, while 
the descendants of those who laid waste their dominions, 
and destroyed their race, are yielding a tardy tribute to 
the high daring and savage grandeur of their characters. 



" I may disjoin my hand, but not my faith." SHAKESPEARE. 

THE incidents of this tale must be sought in a remote 
period of the annals of America. A colony of self-devoted 
and pious refugees from religious persecution had landed 
on the rock of Plymouth, less than half a century before 
the time at which the narrative commences ; and they, and 
their descendants, had already transformed many a broad 
waste of wilderness into smiling fields and cheerful vil- 
lages. The labors of the emigrants had been chiefly 
limited to the country on the coast, which, by its proxim- 
ity to the waters that rolled between them and Europe, 
afforded a semblance of a connection with the land of their 
forefathers and the distant abodes of civilization. But en- 
terprise, and a desire to search for still more fertile 
domains, together with the temptation offered by the vast 
and unknown regions that lay along their western and 
northern borders, had induced many bold adventurers to 
penetrate more deeply into the forests. The precise spot 
to which we desire to transport the imagination of the 
reader, was one of these establishments of what may, not 
inaptly, be called the forlorn-hope in the march of civili- 
zation through the country. 

So little was then known of the great outlines of the 
American continent, that, when the Lords Say and Seal, 
and Brooke, connected with a few associates, obtained a 
grant of the territory which now composes the state of 
Connecticut, the King of England affixed his name to a 
patent which constituted them proprietors of a country 
that should extend from the shores of the Atlantic to 
those of the South Sea. Notwithstanding the apparent 


hopelessness of ever subduing, or of even occupying a 
territory like this, emigrants from the mother colony of 
Massachusetts were found ready to commence the Hercu- 
lean labor within fifteen years from the day -when they 
had first put foot upon the well-known rock itself. The 
fort of Say-Brooke, the towns of Windsor, Hartford, and 
New Haven, soon sprang into existence, and from that 
period to this, the little community which then had birth 
has been steadily, calmly, and prosperously advancing in 
its career, a model of order and reason, and the hive from 
whicli swarms of industrious, hardy, and enlightened yeo- 
men have since spread themselves over a surface so vast as 
to create an impression that they still aspire to the posses- 
sion of the immense regions included in their original 

Among the religionists whom disgust of persecution had 
early driven into the voluntary exile of the colonies, was 
more than a usual proportion of men of character and 
education. The reckless and the gay younger sons, soldiers 
unemployed, and students from the Inns of Court, early 
sought advancement and adventure in the more southern 
provinces, where slaves offered immunity from labor, and 
where war, with a bolder and more stirring policy, oftener 
gave rise to scenes of excitement, and of course, to the 
exercise of the faculties best suited to their habits and dis- 
positions. The .more grave, and the religiously-disposed, 
found refuge in the colonies of New England. Thither a 
multitude of private gentlemen transferred their fortunes 
and their families, imparting a character of intelligence 
and a moral elevation to the country, which it has nobly 
sustained to the present hour. 

The nature of the civil wars in England had enlisted 
many men of deep and sincere piety into the profession of 
arms. Some of them had retired to the colonies before the 
troubles of the mother country reached their crisis, and 
others continued to arrive, throughout the whole period of 
their existence, until the Restoration ; when crowds of those 
who had been disaffected to the house of Stuart sought the 
security of these distant possessions. 

A stern, fanatical soldier, of the name of Heathcote, had 
been among the first of his class to throw aside the sword 
for the implements of industry peculiar to the advance- 
ment of a newly-established country. How far the in- 
fluence of a young wife may have affected his decision, it 
is not germane to our present object to consider ; though 


the records, from which the matter we are about to relate 
is gleaned, give reason to suspect that he thought his 
domestic harmony would not be less secure in the wilds 
of the new world, than among the companions with whom 
his earlier associations would naturally have brought him 
in communion. 

Like himself, his consort was born of one of those fami- 
lies, which, taking their rise in the franklins of the times 
of the Edwards and the Henrys, had become possessors 
of hereditary landed estates, that, by their gradually- 
increasing value, had elevated them to the station of small 
country gentlemen. In most other nations of Europe, 
they would have been rated in the class of \\\Q petite noblesse. 
But the domestic happiness of Capt. Heathcote was 
doomed to receive a fatal blow from a quarter. where cir- 
cumstances had given him but little reason to apprehend 
danger. The very day he landed in the long-wished-for 
asylum, his wife made him the father of a noble boy, a gift 
that she bestowed at the melancholy price of her own ex- 
istence. Twenty years the senior of the woman who had 
followed his fortunes to these distant regions, the retfred 
warrior had always considered it to be perfectly and abso- 
lutely within the order of things, that he himself was to be 
the first to pay the debt of nature. While the visions 
which Captain Heathcote entertained of a future world 
were sufficiently vivid and distinct, there is reason to think 
they were seen through a tolerable long vista of quiet and 
comfortable enjoyment in this. Though the calamity cast 
an additional aspect of seriousness over a character that 
was already more than chastened by the subtleties of sec- 
tarian doctrines, he was not of a nature to be unmanned 
by any vicissitude of human fortune. He lived on, useful 
and unbending in his habits, a pillar of strength in the way 
of wisdom and courage to the immediate neighborhood 
among whom he resided, but reluctant from temper, and 
from a disposition which had been shadowed by withered 
happiness, to enact .that part in the public affairs of the 
little state, to which his comparative wealth and previous 
habits might well have entitled him to aspire. He gave 
his son such an education as his own resources and those 
of the infant colony of Massachusetts afforded, and, by a 
sort of delusive piety, into whose merits we have no desire 
to look, he thought he had also furnished a commendable 
evidence of his own desperate resignation to the will of 
Providence, in causing him to be' publicly christened by 


the name of Content. His own baptismal appellation was 
Mark ; as indeed had been that of most of his ancestors, 
for two or three centuries. When the world was a little 
uppermost in his thoughts, as sometimes happens with the 
most humbled spirits, he had even been heard to speak 
of a Sir Mark of his family, who had ridden a knight in 
the train of one of the more warlike kings of his native 

There is some ground for believing that the great parent 
of evil early looked with a malignant eye on the example 
of peacefulness, and of unbending morality, that the colo- 
nists of New England were setting to the rest of Christen- 
dom. At any rate, come from what quarter they might, 
schisms and doctrinal contentions arose among the emi- 
grants themselves ; and men, who together had deserted 
the firesides of their forefathers in quest of religious peace, 
were ere long seen separating their fortunes, in order that 
each might enjoy, unmolested, those peculiar shades of 
faith, which all had the presumption, no less than the 
folly, to believe were necessary to propitiate the omnipo- 
tent and merciful father of the universe. If our task were 
one of theology, a wholesome moral on the vanity, no less 
than on the absurdity of the race, might be here intro- 
duced to some advantage. 

When Mark Heathcote announced to the community, in 
which he had now sojourned more than twenty years, that 
he intended for a second time to establish his altars in the 
wilderness, in the hope, that he. and his household might 
worship God as to them seemed most right, the intelligence 
was received with a feeling allied to awe. Doctrine and 
zeal were momentarily forgotten, in the respect and attach 
ment which had been unconsciously created by the united 
influence of the stern severity of his air, and of the unde- 
niable virtues of his practice. The elders of the settlement 
communed with him freely and in charity ; but the voice 
of conciliation and alliance came too late. He listened to 
the reasonings of the ministers, who w.ere assembled from 
all the adjoining parishes, in sullen respect : and he joined 
in the petitions for light and instruction that were offered 
up on the occasion, with the deep reverence with which he 
ever drew near to the footstool of the Almighty ; but he 
did both in a temper, into which too much positiveness of 
spiritual pride had entered, to open his heart to that sym- 
pathy and charity, which, as they are the characteristics of 
our mild and forbearing doctrines, should be the study of 


those who profess to follow their precepts. All that was 
seemly, and all that was usual, were done ; but the purpose 
of the stubborn sectarian remained unchanged. His final 
decision is worthy of being recorded. 

" My youth w r as wasted in ungodliness and ignorance," 
he said, " but in my manhood have I known the Lord. 
Near two-score years have I toiled for the truth, and all. 
that weary time have I passed in trimming my lamps, lest, 
like the foolish virgins, I should be caught unprepared ; 
and now, when my loins are girded and my race is nearly 
run, shall I become a backslider and falsifier of the word ? 
Much have I endured, as you know, in quitting the earthly 
mansions of my fathers, and in encountering the dangers 
of sea and land for the faith ; and, rather than let go its 
hold, will I once more cheerfully devote to the howling 
wilderness, ease, offspring, and, should it be the will of 
Providence, life itself ! " 

The day of parting was one of unfeigned and general 
sorrow. Notwithstanding the austeTity of the old man's 
character, and the nearly -unbending severity of his brow, 
the milk of human kindness had often been seen distilling 
from his stern nature in acts that did not admit of misin- 
terpretation. There was scarcely a young beginner in the 
laborious and ill-requited husbandry of t^e township he 
inhabited, a district at no time considered either profitable 
or fertile, who could not recall some secret and kind aid 
which had flowed from a hand that, to the world, seemed 
clenched in cautious and reserved frugality ; nor did any 
of the faithful of his vicinity cast their fortunes together in 
wedlock, without receiving from him evidence of an inter- 
est in their worldly happiness, that was far more substan- 
tial than words. 

On the morning when the vehicles, groaning with the 
household goods of Mark Heathcote, were seen quitting his 
door, and taking the road which led to the seaside, not a 
human being of sufficient age, within many miles of his 
residence, was absent from the interesting spectacle. The 
leave-taking, as usual on all serious occasions, was pre- 
ceded by a hymn and prayer, and then the sternly-minded 
adventurer embraced his neighbors, with a mien, in which 
a subdued exterior struggled fearfully and strangely with 
emotions that more than once threatened to break through 
even the formidable barriers of his acquired manner. The 
inhabitants of every bunding on the road were in the open 
air, to receive and to return the parting benediction. More 


than once, they who guided his teams were commanded tci 
halt, and all near, possessing human aspirations and human 
responsibility, were collected to offer petitions in favor of 
him who departed and of those who remained. The re- 
quests for mortal privileges were somewhat light and hasty, 
but the askings in behalf of intellectual and spiritual light 
were long, fervent, and oft-repeated, In this characteris- 
tic manner did one of the first of the emigrants to the new 
world make his second removal into scenes of renewed 
bodily suffering, privation and danger. 

Neither person nor property was transferred from place 
to place, in this country, at the middle of the seventeenth 
century, with the dispatch and with the facilities of the 
present time. The roads were necessarily few and short, 
and communication by water was irregular, tardy, and far 
from commodious. A wide barrier of forest lying between 
that portion of Massachusetts Bay from which* Mark 
Heathcote emigrated, and the spot, near the Connecticut 
River, to which it wa's his intention to proceed, he was in- 
duced to adopt the latter mode of conveyance. But a long 
delay intervened between the time when he commenced 
his short journey to the coast, and the hour when he was 
finally enabled to embark. During this detention he and 
his household ojourned among the godly-minded of the 
narrow peninsula, where there already existed the germ of 
a flourishing town, and where the spires of a noble and 
picturesque city now elevate themselves above so many 
thousand roofs. 

The son did not leave the colony of his birth and the 
haunts of his youth, with the same unwavering obedience 
to the call of duty as the father. There was a fair, a 
youthful, and a gentle being in the recently-established 
town of Boston, of an age, station, opinions, fortunes, 
and, what was of still greater importance, of sympathies 
suited to his own. Her form had long mingled with those 
holy images, which his stern instruction taught him to 
keep most familiarly before the mirror of his thoughts. 
It is not surprising, then, that the youth hailed the delay 
as propitious to his wishes, or that he turned it to the ac- 
count which the promptings of a pure affection so natu- 
rally suggested. He was united to the gentle Ruth Hard- 
ing only a week before the father sailed on his second 

It is not our intention to dwell on the incidents of the 
voyage. Though the genius of an extraordinary man had 


discovered the world which was now beginning to fill with 
civilized men, navigation at that day was not brilliant in 
accomplishments. A passage among the shoals of Nan- 
tucket must have been one of actual danger, no less than 
of terror ; and the ascent Of the Connecticut itself was an 
exploit worthy of being mentioned. In due time the ad- 
venturers arrived at the English fort of Hartford, where 
they tarried for the season, in order to obtain rest and 
spiritual comfort. But the peculiarity of doctrine, on 
which Mark Heathcote laid so much stress, was one that 
rendered it advisable for him to retire still further from the 
haunts of men. Accompanied by a few followers, he pro- 
ceeded on an exploring expedition, and the end of the 
summer found him once more established on an estate 
that he had acquired by the usual simple forms practised 
in the colonies, and at the trifling cost for which extensive 
districts were then set apart as the property of individuals. 

The love of the things of this life, while it certainly ex- 
isted, was far from being predominant in the affections of 
the Puritan. He was frugal from habit and principle, more 
than from an undue longing after worldly wealth. He 
contented himself, therefore, with acquiring an estate that 
should be valuable, rather from its quality and beauty, 
than from its extent. Many such places offered them- 
selves, between the settlements of Weathersfield and Hart- 
ford and that imaginary line which separated the posses- 
sions of the colony he had quitted, from those of the one 
he joined. He made his location, as it is termed in the 
language of the country, near the northern boundary of 
the latter. This spot, by the aid of an expenditure that 
might have been considered lavish for the country and the 
age ; of some lingering of taste, which even the self-deny- 
ing and subdued habits of his later life had not entirely 
extinguished ; and of great natural beauty in the distribu- 
tion of land, water, and wood, the emigrant contrived to 
convert into an abode that was not more desirable for its 
retirement from the temptations of the world, than for its 
rural loveliness. 

After this memorable act of conscientious self-devotion, 
years passed away in quiet, amid a species of negative 
prosperity. Rumors from the old world reached the ears 
of the tenants of this secluded settlement, months after the 
events to which they referred were elsewhere forgotten, and 
tumults and wars in the sister colonies came to their knowl- 
edge only at distant and tardy intervals. In the mean- 


time, the limits of the colonial establishments were gradu 
ally extending themselves, and valleys were beginning to be 
cleared nearer and nearer to their own. Old age had now 
begun to make some visible impression on the iron frame 
of the captain ; and the fresh color of youth and health, 
with which his son had entered the forest, was giving way 
to the brown covering produced by exposure and toil. We 
say of toil, for, independently of the habits and opinions of 
the country, which strongly reprobated idleness, even in 
those most gifted by fortune, the daily difficulties of their 
situation, the chase, and the long and intricate passages 
that the veteran himself was compelled to adventure in the 
surrounding forest, partook largely of the nature of the 
term we have used. Ruth continued blooming and youth- 
ful, though maternal anxiety was soon added to her other 
causes of care. Still, for a long season, naught occurred to 
excite extraordinary regrets for the step they had taken, or 
to create particular uneasiness in behalf of the future. The 
borderers, for such by their frontier position they had in 
truth become, heard the strange and awful tidings of the 
dethronement of one king, of the interregnum, as a reign 
of more than usual vigor and prosperity is called, and of 
the restoration of the son of him who is strangely enough 
termed a martyr. To all these eventful and unwonted 
chances in the fortunes of kings, Mark Heathcote listened 
with deep and reverential submission to the will of Him in 
whose eyes crowns and sceptres are merely the more costly 
bawbles of the world. Like most of his contemporaries, who 
had sought shelter in the western continent, his political 
opinions, if not absolutely republican, had a leaning to 
liberty that was strongly in opposition to the doctrine of 
the divine rights of the monarch, while he had been too far 
removed from the stirring passions which had gradually 
excited those nearer to the throne, to lose their respect for 
its sanctity, and to sully its brightness with blood. When 
the transient and straggling visitors that, at long intervals, 
visited his settlement, spoke of the Protector, who for so 
many years ruled England with an iron hand, the eyes of 
the old man would gleam with sudden and singular interest ; 
and once, when commenting after evening prayer on the 
vanity and the vicissitudes of this life, he acknowledged 
that the extraordinary individual, who was, in substance if 
not in name, seated on the throne of the Plantagenets, had 
been the boon companion and ungodly associate of many 
of his youthful hours. Then would follow a long, whole- 


some, extemporaneous homily on the idleness of setting the 
affections on the things of life, and a half-suppressed, but 
still intelligible commendation of the wiser course which 
had led him to raise his own tabernacle in the wilderness, 
instead of weakening the chances of eternal glory by striv- 
ing too much for the possession of the treacherous vanities 
of the world. 

But even the gentle and ordinarily little observant Ruth 
might trace the kindling of the eye, the knitting of the 
brow, and the flushings of his pale and furrowed cheek, as 
the murderous conflicts of the civil wars became the themes 
of the ancient soldier's discourse. There were moments 
when religious submission, and we had almost said relig- 
ious precepts, were partially forgotten, as he explained to 
his attentive son and listening grandchild, the nature of 
the onset, or the quality and dignity of the retreat. At 
such times, his still nervous hand w r ould even wield the 
blade, in order to instruct the latter in its uses, and many 
a long winter evening was passed in thus indirectly teach- 
ing an art that was so much at variance with the mandates 
of his divine master. The chastened soldier, however, 
never forgot to close his instruction with a petition extra- 
ordinary, in the customary prayer, that no descendant of 
his should ever take life from a being unprepared to die, 
except in justifiable defence of his faith, his person, or his 
lawful rights. It must be admitted, that a liberal con- 
struction of the reserved privileges would leave sufficient 
matter to exercise the subtlety of one subject to any extra- 
ordinary propensity to arms. 

Few opportunities were, however, offered, in their re- 
mote situation and with their peaceful habits, for the 
practice of a theory that had been taught in so many les- 
sons. Indian alarms, as they were termed, t were not un- 
frequent, but, as yet, they had never produced more than 
terror in the bosoms of the gentle Ruth and her young 
offspring. It is true, they had heard of travellers massa- 
cred, and of families separated by captivity, but, either by 
a happy fortune, or by more than ordinary prudence in 
the settlers who were established along that immediate 
frontier, the knife and the tomahawk had as yet been spar- 
ingly used in the colony of Connecticut. A threatening 
and dangerous struggle with the Dutch, in the adjoining 
province of New-Netherlands, had been averted by the 
foresight and moderation of the rulers of the new planta- 
tions ; and though a warlike and powerful native chief 


kept the neighboring colonies of Massachusetts and Rhode 
Island in a state of constant watchfulness, from the cause 
just mentioned the apprehension of danger was greatly 
weakened in the breasts of those so remote as the individ- 
uals who composed the family of our emigrant. 

In this quiet manner did years glide by, the surround- 
ing wilderness slowly retreating from t'he habitations of 
the Heathcotes, until they found themselves in possession 
of as many of the comforts of life as their utter seclusion 
from the rest of the world could give them reason to ex- 

With this preliminary explanation we shall refer the 
reader to the succeeding narrative for a more minute, and 
we hope for a more interesting account of the incidents 
of a legend that may prove too homely for the tastes of 
those whose imaginations seek the excitement of scenes 
more stirring, or of a condition of life less natural. 


" Sir, I do know you ; 
And dare, upon the warrant of my art, 
Commend a dear thing to you." King Lear. 

AT the precise time when the action of our piece com- 
mences, a fine and fruitful season was drawing to a close. 
The harvests of hay and of the smaller corns had long 
been over, and the younger Heathcote, with his laborers, 
had passed a day in depriving the luxuriant maize of its 
tops, in order to secure the nutritious blades for fodder, 
and to admit, the sun and air to harden a grain, that is 
almost considered the staple production of the region he 
inhabited. The veteran Mark had ridden among the work- 
men during their light toil, as well to enjoy a sight which 
promised abundance to his flocks and herds, as to throw 
in, on occasion, some wholesome spiritual precept, in 
which doctrinal subtlety was far more prominent than the 
rules of practice. The hirelings of his son, for he had long 
since yielded the management of the estate to Content, 
were, without an exception, young men born in the coun- 
try, and long use and much training had accustomed them 
to a blending of religious exercises with most of the em- 
ployments of life. They listened, therefore, with respect, 


nor did an impious smile or an impatient glance escape 
the lightest-minded of their number during his exhorta- 
tions, though the homilies of the old man were neither 
very brief, nor particularly original. But devotion to the 
one great cause of their existence, austere habits, and un- 
relaxed industry in keeping alive a flame of zeal that had 
been kindled in the other hemisphere, to burn longest and 
brightest in this, had interwoven the practice mentioned 
with most of the opinions and pleasures of these meta- 
physical, though simple-minded people. The toil went 
on none the less cheerily for the extraordinary accompa- 
niment, and Content himself, by a certain glimmering of 
superstition, which appears to be the concomitant of ex- 
cessive religious zeal, was fain to think that the sun shone 
more* brightly en their labors, and that the earth gave 
forth more of its fruits while these holy sentiments were 
flowing from the lips of a father whom he piously loved 
and deeply reverenced. 

But when the sun, usually at that season, in the climate 
of Connecticut, a bright unshrouded orb, fell towards the 
tree-tops w T hich bounded the western horizon, the old man 
began to grow weary with his own well-doing. He there- 
fore finished his discourse with a wholesome admonition 
to the youths to complete their tasks before they quitted 
the field ; and, turning the head of his horse, he rode 
slowly, and with a musing air, toward the dwellings. It 
is probable that for some time the thoughts of Mark were 
occupied with the intellectual matter he had just been 
handling with so much power ; but when his little nag 
stopped of itself on a small eminence, which the crooked 
cow-path he was following crossed, his mind yielded to the 
impression of more worldly and more sensible objects. As 
the scene that drew his contemplations from so many ab- 
stract theories to the realities of life was peculiar to the 
country, and is more or less connected with the subject of 
our tale, we shall endeavor briefly to describe it. 

A small tributary of the Connecticut divided the view 
into two nearly equal parts. The fertile flats that ex- 
tended on each of its banks for more than a mile, had been 
early stripped of their burden of forest, and they now lay 
in placid meadows, or in fields from which the grain of the 
season had lately disappeared, and over which the plough 
had already left the marks of recent tillage. The whole 
of the plain, which ascended gently from the rivulet to* 
ward the forest, was subdivided into inclosures by number- 


less fences, constructed in the rude but substantial manner 
of the country. Rails, in which lightness and economy 
of wood had been but little consulted, lying in zigzag 
lines, like the approaches which the besieger makes in his 
cautious advance to the hostile fortress, were piled on each 
other, until barriers seven or eight feet in height were in- 
terposed to the inroads of vicious cattle. In one spot, a 
large square vacancy had been cut into the forest, and 
though numberless stumps of trees darkened its surface, 
as indeed they did many of the fields on the flats them- 
selves, bright, green grain was sprouting forth luxuriantly 
from the rich ^ud virgin soil. High against the side of an 
adjacent hill, that might aspire to be called a low rocky 
mountain, a similar invasion had been made on the domain 
of the trees ; but caprice or convenience had induced an 
abandonment of the clearing, after it had ill requited the 
toil of felling the timber* by a single crop. In this spot, 
straggling, girdled, and consequently dead trees, piles of 
logs, and black and charred stumps were seen, deforming 
the beauty of a field that would otherwise have been strik- 
ing from its deep setting in the woods. Much of the sur- 
face of this opening, too, was now concealed by bushes, of 
what is termed the second growth, though here and there 
places appeared in which the luxuriant white clover, nat- 
ural to the country, had followed the close grazing of the 
flocks. The eyes of Mark were bent inquiringly on this 
clearing, which by an air line might have been half a mile 
from the place where his horse had stopped, for the sounds 
of a dozen differently toned cow-bells were brought on the 
still air of the evening to his ears, from among its bushes. 
The evidences of civilization were the least equivocal, 
however, on and around a natural elevation in the land, 
which arose so suddenly on the very bank of the stream as 
to give to it the appearance of a work of art. Whether 
these mounds once existed everywhere on the face of the 
earth, and have disappeared before long tillage and labor, 
we shall not presume to conjecture ; but we have reason to 
think that they occur much more frequently in certain parts 
of our own country than in any other familiarly known to 
ordinary travellers, unless, perhaps, it may be in some of 
the valleys of Switzerland. The practised veteran had 
chosen the summit of this flattened cone for the establish- 
ment of that species of military defence which the situa- 
tion of the country, and the character of the enemy he had 
to guard against, rendered advisable, as well as customary. 


The dwelling was of wood, and constructed of the ordi- 
nary frame-work, with its thin covering of boards. It 
was long, low, and irregular, bearing marks of having been 
reared at different periods, as the wants of an increasing 
family had required additional accommodation. It stood 
near the verge of the natural declivity, and on that side of 
the hill where its base was washed by the rivulet, a rude 
piazza stretching along the whole of its front, -and over- 
hanging the stream. Several large, irregular, and clumsy 
chimneys rose out of different parts of the roofs, another 
proof that comfort rather than taste had been consulted in 
the disposition of the buildings. There were also two or 
three detached offices on the summit of the hill, placed 
near the dwellings, and at points most convenient for their 
several uses. A stranger might have remarked that they 
were so disposed as to form, as far as they went, the differ- 
ent sides of a hollow square. Notwithstanding the great 
length of the principal building, and the disposition of the 
more minute and detached parts, this desirable formation 
would not, however, have been obtained, if it were not 
that two rows of rude constructions in logs, from which 
the bark had not even been stripped, served to eke out 
the parts that had been deficient. These primeval edifices 
were used to contain various domestic articles, no less than 
provisions ; they also furnished numerous lodging- rooms 
for the laborers and the inferior dependents of the farm. 
By the aid of a few strong and high gates of hewn timber 
those parts of the building which had not been made to 
unite in the original construction, were sufficiently con- 
nected to oppose so many barriers against admission into 
the inner court. 

But the building which was most conspicuous by its 
position, no less than by the singularity of its construction, 
stood on alow, artificial mound, in the centre of the quad- 
rangle. It was high, hexagonal in shape, and crowned 
with a roof that came to a point, and from whose peak rose 
a, towering flagstaff. The foundation was of stone ; but, at 
the height of a man above the earth, the sides were made 
of massive, squared logs, firmly united by an ingenious 
combination of their ends, as well as by perpendicular 
supporters pinned closely into their sides. In this citadel, 
or block-house, as from its materials it was technically 
called, there were two different tiers of long, narrow loop- 
holes, but no regular windows. The rays of the setting 
sun, however, glittering on one or two small openings in 


the roof, in which glass had been set, furnished evidence 
that the summit of the building was sometimes used fol 
other purposes than those of defence. 

About half-way up the sides of the eminence on which 
the building stood, was an unbroken line of high palisa- 
cloes, made of the bodies of young trees, firmly knitted to- 
gether by braces and horizontal pieces of timber, and evi- 
dently kept in a state of jealous and complete repair. The 
air of the whole of this frontier fortress was neat and com- 
fortable, and, considering that the use of artillery was 
unknown to those forests, not unmilitary. 

At no great distance from the base of the hill, stood the 
barns and the stables. They were surrounded by a vast 
range of rude but warm sheds, beneath which sheep and 
horned cattle were usually sheltered from the storms of 
the rigorous winters of the climate. The surfaces of the 
meadows immediately around the out-buildings, were of a 
smoother and richer sward than those in the distance, and 
the fences were on a far more artificial, and perhaps dur- 
able, though scarcely on a more serviceable plan. A large 
orchard of some ten or fifteen years' growth, too, added 
greatly to the air of improvement, which put this smiling 
valley in such strong and pleasing contrast to the endless 
and nearly untenanted woods by which it was environed. 

Of the interminable forest, it is not necessary to speak. 
With the solitary exception on the mountain-side, and of 
here and there a windrow, along which the trees had been 
uprooted by the furious blasts which sometimes sweep off 
acres of our trees in a minute, the eye could find no other 
object to study in the vast setting of this quiet rural pict- 
ure but the seemingly endless maze of wilderness. The 
broken surface of the land, however, limited the view to a 
horizon of no great extent, though the art of man could 
scarcely devise colors so vivid or so gay as those which 
were afforded by the brilliant hues of the foliage. The 
keen, biting frosts, known at the close of a New England 
autumn, had already touched the broad and fringed leaves 
of the maples, and the sudden and secret process had been 
wrought upon all the other varieties of the forest, produc- 
ing that magical effect which can be nowhere seen except in 
regions in which nature is so bountiful and luxuriant in 
summer, and so sudden and so stern in the change of the 

Over this picture of prosperity and peace, the eye of old 
Mark Heathcote wandered with a keen degree of worldly 


prudence. The melancholy sounds of the various toned 
bells, ringing hollow and plaintively among the arches of 
the woods, gave him reason to believe that the herds of the 
family were returning voluntarily from their unlimited 
forest pasturage. His grandson, a fine, spirited boy of 
some fourteen years, was approaching through the fields. 
The youngster drove before him a small flock, which do- 
mestic necessity compelled the family to keep at great 
occasional loss, and a heavy expense of time and trouble; 
both of which could alone protect them from the ravages 
of the beasts of prey. A species of half-witted serving-lad, 
whom charity had induced the old man to harbor among 
his dependents, was seen issuing from the woods, nearly 
in a line with the neglected clearing on the mountain-side. 
The latter advanced, shouting and urging before him a 
drove of colts, as shaggy, as wayward, and nearly as un- 
tamed as himself. 

" How now, weak one," said the Puritan, with a severe eye, 
as the two lads approached him with their several charges 
from different directions, and nearly at the same in- 
stant ; " how now, sirrah ! dost worry the cattle in this gait 
when the eyes of the prudent are turned from thee ? Do 
as thou wouldst be done by, is a just and healthful ad- 
monition, that the learned and the simple, the weak and 
the strong of mind, should alike recall to their thoughts 
and their practice. I do not know that an over-driven colt 
will be at all more apt to make a gentle and useful beast 
in its prime, than one treated with kindness and care." 

" I believe the evil one has got into all the kine, no less 
than into the foals," sullenly returned the lad ; " I've 
called to them in anger, and I've spoken to them as if they 
had been my natural kin, and yet neither fair word nor 
foul tongue will bring them to hearken to advice. There 
is something frightful in the woods this very sundown, 
master ; or colts that I have driven the summer through, 
would not be apt to give this unfair treatment to one they 
ought to know to be their friend." 

"Thy sheep are counted, Mark ?" resumed the grand- 
father, turning toward his descendant with a less austere, 
but always an authoritative brow ; " thy mother hath need 
of every fleece to provide covering for thee and others 
like thee ; thou knowest, child, that the creatures are few, 
and our winters weary and cold." 

" My mother's loom shall never be idle from carelessness 
of mine," returned the confident boy ; " but counting 


wishing cannot make seven-and-thirty fleeces, where ther 
are only six-and-thirty backs to carry them. I have been 
an hour among the briers and bushes of the hill logging, 
looking for the lost wether, and yet neither lock, hoof, 
hide, nor horn, is there to say what hath befallen the ani- 
mal. " 

"Thou hast lost a sheep! this carelessness will cause thy 
mother to grieve." 

" Grandfather, I have been no idler. Since the last 
hunt, the flock hath been allowed to browse the woods ; for 
no man, in all that week, saw wolf, panther, or bear, 
though the country was up, from the great river to the 
outer settlements of the colony. The biggest four-footed 
animal that lost its hide in the muster was a thin-ribbed 
deer ; and the stoutest battle given, was between wild 
Whittal Ring, here, and a woodchuck that kept him at 
arm's-length for the better part of an afternoon." 

" The tale may be true, but it neither finds that which is 
lost, nor completeth the number of thy .mother's flock. 
Hast thou ridden carefully throughout the clearing? It is 
not long since I saw the animal grazing in that quarter. 
What hast thou twisting in thy fingers, in that wasteful 
and unthankful manner, Whittal?" 

"What would make a winter blanket, if there was 
enough of it ! wool ! and wool, too, that came from the 
thigh of old Straight-Horns ; else have I forgotten a leg 
that gives the longest and coarsest hair at the shearing." 

"that truly seemeth a lock from the animal that is 
wanting," exclaimed the other boy. "There is no other 
creature in the flock with fleece so coarse and shaggy. 
Where found you the handful, Whittal Ring?" 

" Growing on the branch of a thorn. Queer fruit 
this, masters, to be seen where young plums ought to 
ripen !" 

" Go, go," interrupted the old man ; " thou idlest, and 
misspendest the time in vain talk. Go, fold thy flock, 
Mark ; and do thou, weak one, house thy charge with less 
uproar than is wont. We should remember that the voice 
is given to man, firstly, that he may improve the blessing 
in thanksgivings and petitions ; secondly, to communicate 
such gifts as may be imparted to himself, and which it is 
his bounden duty to attempt to impart to others ; and 
then, thirdly, to declare his natural wants and inclina*. 

With this admonition, which probably proceeded from 3 


secret consciousness in the Puritan that he had permitted 
a momentary cloud of selfishness to obscure the brightness 
of his faith, the party separated. The grandson and the 
hireling took their several ways to the folds, while old 
Mark himself slowly continued his course toward the 
dwellings. It was near enough to the hours of darkness 
to render the preparations we have mentioned prudent 
still, no urgency called for particular haste, in the return 
of the veteran to the shelter and protection of his own 
comfortable and secure abode. . He therefore loitered 
along the path, occasionally stopping to look into the 
prospects of the young crops that were beginning to 
spring up in readiness for the coming year, and at times 
bending his gaze around the whole of his limited hori- 
zon, like one who had the habit of exceeding and unre- 
mitted care. 

One of these numerous pauses promised to be much 
longer than usual. Instead of keeping his understanding 
eye on the grain, the look of the old man appeared fast 
ened, as by a charm, on some distant and obscure object. 
Doubt and uncertainty, for many minutes, seemed to 
mingle in his gaze. But all hesitation had apparently 
disappeared, as his lips severed, and he Spoke, perhap's 
unconsciously to himself, aloud. 

" It is no deception," were the low words, "but a living 
and an accountable creature of the Lord's. Many a day 
has passed since such a sight hath been witnessed in this 
vale ; but my eye greatly deceives me, or yonder cometh 
one ready to ask for hospitality, and, peradventure, for 
Christian and brotherly communion." 

The sight of the aged emigrant had not deceived him. 
One, who appeared a wayworn and weary traveller, had 
indeed ridden out of the forest, at a point where a path, 
that was easier to be traced by the blazed trees that lay 
along its route than by any marks on the earth itself, is- 
sued into the cleared land. The progress of the stranger 
had at first been so wary and slow, as to bear the manner 
of exceeding and mysterious caution. The blind road, 
along which he must have ridden not only far but hard, 
or night had certainly overtaken him in the woods, led to 
one of the distant settlements that lay near to the fertile 
banks of the Connecticut. Few ever followed its wind- 
ings but they who had especial affairs, or extraordinary 
communion in the way of religious friendships, with the 
proprietors of the Wish-Ton-Wish, as, in commemoration 


of the first bird that had been seen by the emigrants, tha 
valley of the Heathcotes was called. 

Once fairly in view, any doubt or apprehension that the 
stranger might at first have entertained, disappeared. He 
rode boldly and steadily forward, until he drew a rein that 
his impoverished and weary beast gladly obeyed within a 
few feet of the proprietor of the valley, whose gaze had 
never ceased to watch his movements, from the instant 
when the other first came within view. Before speaking, 
the stranger, a man whose head was getting gray, appar- 
ently as much with hardship as with time, and one whose 
great weight would have proved a grievous burden, in a 
long ride, to even a better-conditioned beast than the ill- 
favored provincial hack he had ridden, dismounted, and 
threw the bridle loose upon the drooping neck of the 
animal. The latter, without a moment's delay, and with a 
greediness that denoted long abstinence, profited by its 
liberty, to crop the herbage where it 4 stood. 

" I cannot be mistaken, when I suppose that I have at 
length reached the valley of the Wish-Ton-Wish," the visit- 
or said, touching a soiled and slouched beaver that more 
than half concealed his features. The question was put in 
an English that bespoke a descent from those who dwell in 
the midland counties of the mother country, rather than in 
that intonation which is still to be traced, equally in the 
western portions of England and in the eastern states of 
the Union. Notwithstanding the purity of his accent, 
there was enough in the form of his speech to denote a 
severe compliance with the fashion of the religionists of 
the times. He used that measured and methodical tone, 
which was, singularly enough, believed to distinguish an 
entire absence of affectation in language. 

" Thou hast reached the dwelling of him them seekest ; 
one who is a submissive sojourner in the wilderness of the 
world, and an humble servitor in the outer temple." 

" This then is Mark Heathcote ! " repeated the stranger 
in tones of interest, regarding the other with a look of 
long, and, possibly, of suspicious investigation. 

<k Such is the name I bear. A fitting confidence in Him 
who knows so well how to change the wilds into the haunts 
of men, and much suffering, have made me the master of 
what thou seest. Whether thou comest to tarry a night, a 
week, a month, or even for a still longer season, as a brother 
in care, and I doubt not one who striveth for the right, J 
bid thee welcome." 


The stranger thanked his host by a slow inclination of 
ihe head ; but the gaze, which began to partake a little of 
the look of recognition, was still too earnest and engross- 
ing to admit of verbal reply. On the other hand, though 
the old man had scanned the broad and rusty beaver, the 
coarse and well-worn doublet, the heavy boots, and, in 
short, the whole attire of his visitor, m which he saw no 
vain conformity to idle fashions to condemn, it was evident 
that personal recollection had not the smallest influence in 
quickening his hospitality. 

"Thou hast arrived happily," continued the Puritan ; 
" had night overtaken thee in the forest, unless much prac- 
tised in the shifts of our young woodsmen, hunger, frost, 
and a supperless bed of "brush, would have given thee 
motive to think more of the body than is either profitable 
or seemly." 

The stranger might possibly have known the embarrass- 
ment of these several hardships; for the quick and uncon- 
scious glance he threw over his soiled dress should have 
betrayed some familiarity, already, with the privations to 
which his host alluded. As neither of them, however, 
seemed disposed to waste further time on matters of such 
light moment, the traveller put an arm through the bridle 
of his horse, and, in obedience to an invitation from the 
owner of the dwelling, they took their way toward the 
fortified edifice on the natural mound. 

The task of furnishing litter and provender to the jaded 
beast was performed by Whittal Ring, under the inspection, 
and at times under the instructions, of its owner and his 
host, both of whom appeared to take a kind and commend- 
able interest in the comfort of a faithful hack, that had 
evidently suffered long and much in the service of its 
master. When this duty was discharged, the old man and 
his unknown guest entered the house together; the frank 
and unpretending hospitality of a country like that they 
were in, rendering suspicion or hesitation qualities that 
were unknown to the reception of a man of^arhite blood; 
more especially if he spoke the language of the island, 
which was then first sending out its' swarms to subdue and 
possess so large a portion of a continent that nearly divides 
the earth in moieties. 



' ' This is most strange ; your father's in some passion 
That works him strongly." Tempest. 

A FEW hours made a great change in the occupations of 
the different members of our simple and secluded family. 
The kine had yielded their nightly tribute ; the oxen had 
been released from the yoke, and were now secure beneath 
their sheds ; the sheep were in their folds, safe from the 
assaults of the prowling wolf ; and care had been taken to 
see that everything possessing life was gathered within the 
particular defences that were provided for its security and 
comfort. But while all this caution was used in behalf of 
living things, the utmost indifference prevailed on the sub- 
ject of that species of movable property which elsew r here 
would have been guarded with at least an equal jealousy. 
The homely fabrics of the looms of Ruth lay on their 
bleaching-ground, to drink in the night-dew ; and ploughs, 
harrows, carts, saddles, and other similar articles, were left 
in situations so exposed as to prove that the hand of man 
had occupations so numerous and so urgent as to render it 
inconvenient to bestow labor where it was not considered 
absolutely necessary. 

Content himself was the last to quit the fields and the 
out-buildings. When he reached the postern in the palisa- 
does, he stopped to call to those above him, in order to 
learn if any yet lingered without the wooden barriers. The 
answer being in the negative, he entered, and drawing-to 
the small but heavy gate, he secured it with bar, bolt, and 
lock, carefully and jealously,- with his own hand. As this 
was no more than a nightly and necessary precaution, the 
affairs of the family received no interruption. The meal of 
the hour was soon ended ; and conversation, with those light 
toils which re peculiar to the long evenings of the fall and 
winter in families on the frontier, succeeded as fitting em- 
ployments to close the business of a laborious and well 
spent day. 

Notwithstanding the entire simplicity which marked the 
opinions and usages of the colonists at that period, and the 
great equality of condition which even to this hour distin- 
guishes the particular community of which we write, choice 
and inclination drew some natural distinctions in the ordi- 


nary intercourse of the inmates of the Her-.thcote family. 
A fire so bright and cheerful blazed on an enormous hearth 
in a sort of upper kitchen, as to render candles or torches 
unnecessary. Around it were seated six or seven hardy 
and athletic young men, some drawing coarse tools care- 
fully through the curvatures of ox-bows, others scraping 
down the helves of axes, or perhaps fashioning sticks of 
birch into homely but convenient brooms. A demure, 
side-looking young woman kept her great wheel in motion, 
while one or two others were passing from room to room, 
with the notable and stirring industry of handmaidens 
busied in the more* familiar cares of the household. A door 
communicated with an inner and superior apartment. Here 
was a smaller but an equally cheerful fire, a floor which 
had recently been swept, while that without had been 
freshly sprinkled with river sand ; candles of tallow, on a 
table of cherry-wood from the neighboring forest ; walls 
that were w r ainscoted in the black oak of the country, and 
a few other articles of a fashion so antique, and of orna- 
ments so ingenious and rich, as to announce that they had 
been transported from beyond sea. Above the mantle 
were suspended the armorial bearings of the Heathcotes 
and the Hardings, elaborately emblazoned in tent-stitch. 

The principal personages of the family were seated 
around the latter hearth, while a straggler from the other 
room of more than usual curiosity had placed himself among 
them, marking the distinction in ranks, or rather in situa- 
tion, merely by the extraordinary care which he took that 
none of the scrapings should litter the spotless oaken floor. 

Until this period of the evening, the duties of hospitality 
and the observances of religion had prevented familiar dis- 
course. But the offices of the housewife were now ended 
for the night, the handmaidens had all retired to their 
wheels, and, as the bustle of a busy and more stirring do- 
mestic industry ceased, the cold and self-restrained silence 
which had hitherto only been broken by distant and brief 
observations of courtesy, or by some wholesome allusion 
to the lost and probationary condition of man, seemed to 
invite an intercourse of a more general character. 

" You entered my clearing by the southern path," com- 
menced Mark Heathcote, addressing himself to his guest 
with sufficient courtesy, "and needs must bring tidings 
from the towns on. the river side. Has aught been done 
by our councillors at home, in the matter that pertainetb 
so closely to the well-being Of this colony ?" 


u You would have me say whether he that now sitteth 
on the throne of England hath listened to the petitions of 
his people in this province, and hath granted them protec- 
tion against the abuses which might so readily flow out of 
his own ill-advised will, or out of the violence and injus- 
tice of his successors ? " 

"We will render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, 
and speak reverently of men having authority. I would 
fain know whether the agent sent by our people hath 
gained the ears of those who counsel the prince, and ob- 
tained that which he sought ? " 

" He hath done more," returned the* stranger, with sin- 
gular asperity ; " he hath even gained the ear of the Lord's 

" Then is Charles of better mind and of stronger justice 
than report hath spoken. We were told that light manners 
and unprofitable companions had led him to think more of 
the vanities of the world and less of the wants of those over 
whom he hath been called by Providence, to rule, than is 
meet for one that sitteth on a high place. I rejoice that 
the arguments of the man we sent have prevailed over 
more evil promptings, and that peace and freedom of con- 
science are likely to be the fruits of the undertaking. In 
what manner hath he seen fit to order the future govern- 
ment of this people ? " 

** Much as it hath ever stood by their own ordinances. 
Winthrop hath returned, and is the bearer of a Royal 
Charter which granteth all the rights long claimed and 
practised. None now dwell under the Crown of Britain 
with fewer offensive demands on their consciences, or with 
lighter calls on their political duties, than the men of Con-, 

" It is fitting that thanks should be rendered therefor 
where thanks are most due," said the Puritan, folding his 
hands on his bosom, and sitting for a moment with closed 
eyes, like one who communed with an unseen being. " Is 
it known by what mariner of argunjent the Lord moved 
the heart of the Prince to hearken to our wants ; or was it 
an open and manifest token of his power ? " 

" I think it must needs have been the latter," rejoined 
the visitor, with a manner that grew still more caustic and 
emphatic. "The bawble, that was the visible agent, could 
not have weighed greatly with one so proudly seated be- 
fore the eyes of men." 

Until this point in the. discourse, Content and Ruth, 


with their offspring, and two or three other individuals 
who composed the audience, had listened with the demure 
gravity which characterized the manners of the country. 
The language, united with the ill-concealed sarcasm con- 
veyed by the countenance, no less than the emphasis of 
the speaker, caused them now to raise their eyes, as by a 
common impulse. The word " bawble " was audibly and 
curiously repeated. But the look of cold irony had already 
passed from the features of the stranger, and it had given 
place to a stern and fixed austerity that imparted a char- 
acter of grimness to his hard and sunburnt visage. Still 
he betrayed no disposition to shrink from the subject ; but, 
after regarding his auditors with a glance in w 7 hich pride 
and suspicion were strongly blended, he resumed the dis- 

"It is known," he added, " that the grandfather of him 
the good people of these settlements have commissioned 
to bear their wants over sea, lived in the favor of the man 
who last sat upon the throne of England ; and a rumor 
goeth forth, that the Stuart, in a moment of princely con- 
descension, once decked the finger of his subject with a 
ring wrought in a curious fashion. It was a token of the 
love which a monarch may bear a man." 

" Such gifts are beacons of friendship, but may not be 
used as gay and sinful ornaments," observed Mark, while 
the other paused like one who wished none of the bitter- 
ness of his allusions to be lost. 

"It matters not whether the bawble lay in the coffers of 
the Winthrops, or has long been glittering before the 
eyes of the faithful, in the Bay, since it hath finally proved 
to be a jewel of price," continued the stranger. " It is 
said in secret that this ring hath returned to the finger of 
a Stuart, and it is openly proclaimed that Connecticut hath 
a Charter ! " 

Content and his wife regarded each other in melancholy 
amazement. Such an evidence of wanton levity and of 
unworthiness of motive, in one who was intrusted with the 
gift of earthly government, pained their simple and up- 
right minds, while old Mark, of still more decided and ex- 
aggerated ideas of spiritual perfection, distinctly groaned 
aloud. The stranger took a sensible pleasure in this testi- 
mony of their abhorrence of so gross and so unworthy .a 
venality, though he saw no occasion to heighten its effect 
by further speech. When his host stood erect, and in a 
voice that was accustomed to obedience called on his fain- 


ily to join, in behalf of the reckless ruler of the land of 
their fathers, in a petition to Him who alone could soften 
the hearts of princes, he also arose from his seat. But 
even in this act of devotion, the stranger bore the air of 
one who wished to do pleasure to his entertainers, rather 
than to obtain that which was asked. 

The prayer, though short, was pointed, fervent, and suf- 
ficiently personal. The wheels in the outer room ceased 
their hum, and a general movement denoted that all there 
had arisen to join in the office ; while one or two of their 
number, impelled by deeper piety or stronger interest, drew 
near to the open door between the rooms, in order to lis- 
ten. % With this singular but characteristic interruption, 
that particular branch of the discourse, which had given 
rise to it, altogether ceased. 

"And 'have we reason to dread a rising of the savages 
on the borders ? " asked Content, when he found that the 
moved spirit of his father was not yet sufficiently calmed 
to return to the examination of temporal things; "one 
who brought wares from the towns below, a few months 
since, recited reasons to fear a movement among the red 

The subject had not sufficient interest to open the ears 
of the stranger. He was deaf, or he chose to affect deaf- 
ness, to the interrogatory. Laying his two large and weath- 
er-worn, though still muscular hands, on a visage that was 
much darkened by exposure, he appeared to shut out the 
objects of the world, while he communed deeply, and, as 
would seem by a slight tremor, that shook even his power- 
ful frame, terribly, with his own thoughts. 

" We have many to whom our hearts strongly cling, to 
heighten the smallest symptom of alarm from that quarter," 
added the tender and anxious mother, her eye glancing at 
the uplifted countenances of two little girls, who, busied 
with their light needle-work, sat on stools at her feet. 
" But I rejoice to see that one, who hath journeyed from 
parts where the minds of the savages must be better under- 
stood, hath not feared to do it unarmed." 

The traveller slowly uncovered his features, and the 
glance that his eye shot over the face of the last speaker was 
not without a gentle and interested expression. Instantly 
recovering his composure, he arose, and, turning to the 
double leathern sack, which had been borne on the crup- 
per of his nag, and which now lay at no great distance 
from his seat, he drew a pair of horseman's pistols from 


two well contrived pockets in its sides, and laid them de- 
liberately on the table. 

" Though little disposed to seek an encounter with any 
bearing the image of man," he said, "I have not neglected 
the usual precautions of those who enter the wilderness. 
Here are weapons that, in steady hands, might easily take 
life, or, at need, preserve it." 

The young Mark drew near with boyish curiosity, and 
while one finger ventured to touch a lock, as he stole a 
conscious glance of wrong-doing towards his mother, he 
said, with as much of contempt in his air as the schooling 
of his manners would allow 

"An Indian arrow would make a surer aim than a bore 
as short as this ! When the trainer from the Hartford town 
struck the wild-cat on the hill clearing, he sent the bullet 
from a five-foot barrel ; besides,' this short-sighted gun 
would be a dull weapon in a hug against the keen-edged 
knife that the wicked Wampanoag is known to carry." 

" Boy, thy years are few, and thy boldness of speech 
marvellous," sternly interrupted his parent in the second 

The stranger manifested no displeasure at the confident 
language of the lad. Encouraging him with a look, which 
plainly proclaimed that martial qualities in no degree les- 
sened the stripling in his favor, he observed that 

" The youth who is not afraid to think of the fight, or to 
reason on its chances, will lead to a manhood of spirit and 
independence. A hundred thousand striplings like this 
might have spared Winthrop his jewel, and the Stuart the 
shame of yielding to so vain and so trivial a bribe. But 
thou mayst also see, child, that had we come to the death- 
hug, the wicked Wampanoag might have found a blade as 
keen as his own." 

The stranger, while speaking, loosened a few strings of 
his doublet, and thrust a hand into his bosom. The action 
enabled more than one eye to catch a momentary glimpse 
of a weapon of the same description, but of a size much 
smaller than those he had already so freely exhibited. As 
he immediately withdrew the member, and again closed 
the garment with studied care, no one presumed to advert 
to the circumstance, but all turned their attention to the 
long sharp hunting knife that he deposited by the side of 
the pistols, as he concluded. Mark ventured to open its 
blade, but he turned away with sudden consciousness, 
when he found that a few fibres of coarse, shaggy wool, 


that were drawn from the loosened joint, adhered to his 

" Straight-Horns has been against a bush sharper than 
the thorn ! " exclaimed Whittal Ring, who had been at 
hand, and who watched with childish admiration the small- 
cst proceedings of the different individuals. " A steel for 
the back of the blade, a few dried leaves and broken sticks, 
with uch a carver, would soon make roast and broiled of 
the old bell-wether himself. I know that the hair of all my 
colts is sorrel, and I counted five at sundown, which is just 
as many as went loping through the underbrush when I 
loosened them from the hopples in the morning ; but six- 
and-thirty backs can never carry seven-and-thirty growjng 
ileeces of unsheared wool. Master knows that, for he is a 
scholar and can count a hundred ! " 

The allusion to the fate of the lost sheep was so plain, as 
to admit of no interpretation of the meaning of the witless 
speaker. Animals of that class were of the last importance 
to the comforts of the settlers, and there was not probably 
one within hearing of Whittal Ring that was at all igno- 
rant of the import of his words. Indeed, the loud chuckle 
and the open and deriding manner with which the lad him- 
self held above his head the hairy fibres that he had 
snatched from young Mark, allowed of no concealment had 
it been desirable. 

u This feeble-gifted youth would hint that thy knife hath 
proved its edge on a wether that is missing from our 
flock, since the animals went on their mountain range in 
the morning," said the host, calmly ; though even he bent 
his eye to the floor, as he waited for an answer to a remark, 
direct as the one his sense of justice, and his indomitable 
love of right, had prompted. 

The stranger demanded, in a voice that lost none of its 
depth or firmness, " Is hunger a crime, that they who dwell so 
far from the haunts of selfishness visit it with their anger?" 

" The foot of Christian man never approached the gates 
of Wish-Ton-Wish to be turned away in uncharitableness, 
but that which is freely given should not be taken in licen- 
tiousness. From off the hill where my flock is wont to 
graze it is easy, through many an opening of the forest, to 
see these roofs ; and it would have been better that the 
body should languish, than that a grievous sin should be 
placed on that immortal spirit which is already too deeply 
laden, unless thou art far more happy -than others of the 
fallen race of Adam." 


" Mark Heathcote," said the accused, and ever with an 
unwavering tone, "look further at those weapons, which, 
if a guilty man, I have weakly placed within thy power. 
Thou wilt find more there to wonder at than a few strag- 
gling hairs that the spinner would cast from her as too 
coarse for service." 

" It is long since I found pleasure in handling the weap- 
ons of strife ; may it be longer to the time when they shall 
be needed in this abode of peace. These are instruments 
of death, resembling those used in my youth, by cavaliers 
that rode in the levies of the first Charles and of his pu- 
sillanimous father. There was worldly pride and great 
vanity, with much and damning ungodliness in the wars 
that I have seen, my children ; and yet the carnal man 
found pleasure in the stirrings of those graceless days! 
Come hither, younker ; thou hast often sought to know 
the manner in which the horsemen are wont to lead into 
the combat, when the broad-mouthed artillery and patter- 
ing leaden hail have cleared a passage for the struggle of 
horse to horse, and man to man. Much of the justifica- 
tion of these combats must depend on the inward spirit, 
and on the temper of him that striketh at the life of a 
fellow-sinner ; but righteous Joshua, it is known, contended 
with the heathen throughout a supernatural day ; and, 
therefore, always humbly confiding that our cause is just, 
I will open to thy young mind the uses of a weapon that 
hath never before been seen in these forests." 

" I have hefted many a heavier piece than this," said 
young Mark, frowning equally with the exertion and with 
the instigations of his aspiring spirit, as he held out the 
ponderous weapon in a single hand ; "we have guns that 
might tame a wolf with greater certainty than any barrel 
of a bore less than my own height. T^ell me, grand'ther ; 
at what distance do the mounted warriors you so often 
name take their sight ? " 

But the power of speech appeared suddenly to have 
deserted the aged veteran. He had interrupted his own 
discourse, and now, instead of answering the interrogatory 
of the boy, his eye wandered slowly and with a look of 
painful doubt from the weapon, that he still held before 
him, to the countenance of the stranger. The latter con- 
tinued erect, like one courting a strict and meaning exam- 
ination of his person. This dumb-show could not fail to 
attract the observation of Content. Rising from his seat, 
with that quiet but authoritative manner which is still seen 


in the domestic government of the people of the region 
where he dwelt, he beckoned to all present to quit the 
apartment. Ruth and her daughters, the hirelings, the ill- 
gifted Whittal, and even the reluctant Mark, preceded him 
to the door, which he closed with respectful care ; and then 
the whole of the wondering party mingled with those of 
the outer room, leaving the one they had quitted to the 
sole possession of the aged chief of the settlement, and to 
his still unknown and mysterious guest. 

Many anxious, and to those who were excluded, seem- 
ingly interminable minutes passed, and the secret interview 
appeared to draw no nearer its close. That deep reverence 
which the years, paternity, and character of the grandfather 
had inspired, prevented all from approaching the quarter 
of the apartment nearest the room they had left ; but a 
silence, still as the grave, did all that silence could do to 
enlighten their minds in a matter of so much general in- 
terest. The deep, smothered sentences of the speakers 
were often heard, cacli dwelling with steadiness and pro- 
priety on his particular theme, but no sound that conveyed 
meaning to the minds of those without passed the envious 
walls. At length, the voice of old Mark became more 
than usually audible ; and then Content arose, with a ges- 
ture to those around him to imitate his example. The 
young men threw aside the subjects of their light employ- 
ments, the maidens left the wheels which had not been 
turned for many minutes, and the^ whole party disposed 
themselves in the decent and simple attitude of prayer. 
For the third time that evening was the voice of the Puri- 
tan-heard, pouring out his spirit in a communion with that 
Being on whom it was his practice to repose all his worldly 
cares. But though long accustomed to all the peculiar 
forms of utterance, by which their father ordinarily ex^ 
pressed his pious emotions, neither Content nor his atten- 
tive partner was enabled to decide on the nature of the 
feeling that was now uppermost. At times it appeared to 
be the language of thanksgiving, and at others it assumed 
more of the imploring sounds of deprecation and petition ; 
in short, it was so varied, and, though tranquil, so equivo- 
cal, if such a term may be applied to so serious a subject, 
as completely to baffle every conjecture. 

Long and weary minutes passed after the voice had en- 
tirely ceased, and yet no summons was given to the expect- 
ing family, nor did any .sound proceed from the inner room 
which the respectful son was emboldened ta.construe into 


evidence that he might presume to enter. At length ap- 
prehension began to mingle with conjectures, and then the 
husband and wife communed apart, in whispers. The 
misgivings and doubt of the former soon manifested them- 
selves in still more apparent forms. He arose, and was 
seen pacing the wide apartment, gradually approaching 
nearer to the partition which separated the two rooms, 
evidently prepared to retire beyond the limits of hearing, 
the moment he should detect any proofs that his uneasi- 
ness was without a sufficient cause. Stili no sound pro- 
ceeded from the inner room. The breathless silence which 
had so shortly before reigned where lie was, appeared to 
be' suddenly transferred to the spot in which he was vainly 
endeavoring to detect the smallest proof of human exist- 
ence. Again he returned to Ruth, and again they con- 
sulted in low voices, as to the step that filial duty seemed 
to require at their hands. 

" We were not bidden to withdraw," said his gentle com- 
panion ; " why not rejoin our parent, now that time has 
been given to understand the subject which so evidently 
disturbed his rnind ? " 

Content, at length, yielded to this opinion. With that 
cautious discretion which distinguishes his people, he mo- 
tioned to the family to follow, in order that no unnecessary 
exclusion should give rise to conjectures or excite sus- 
picions, of which, after all, the circumstances might prove 
no justification. Notwithstanding the subdued manners 
of the age and country, curiosity, and perhaps a better 
feeling, had become so intense, as to cause all present to 
obey this silent mandate, by moving as swiftly towards the 
open door as a never-yielding decency of demeanor would 

Old Mark Heathcote occupied the chair in which he had 
been left, vith that calm and unbending gravity of eye and 
features whr h were then thought indispensable to a fitting 
sobriety of spirit. But the stranger had disappeared. 
There were two or three outlets by which the room, and 
even the house might be quitted, without the knowledge 
of those who had so long waited for admission ; and the 
first impression led the family to expect the reappearance 
of the absent man through one of these exterior passages. 
Content, however, read in the expression of his father's eye 
that the moment of confidence, if it were ever to arrive, 
had not yet come ; and so admirable and perfect was the 
domestic discipline of this family, that the questions which 


the son did not see fit to propound, no one of inferior con- 
dition, or lesser age, might presume to agitate. With the 
person of the stranger, every evidence of his recent visit 
had also vanished. 

Mark missed the weapon that had excited his admira- 
tion ; Whittal looked in vain for the hunting-knife, which 
had betrayed the fate of the wether ; Mrs. Heathcote saw 
by a hasty glance of the eye, that the leathern sacks, which 
she had borne in mind ought to be transferred to the sleep- 
ing apartment of their guest, were gone ; and a mild and 
playful image of herself, who bore her name no less than 
most of those features which had rendered her own youth 
more than usually attractive, sought without success, a 
massive silver spur, of curious and antique workmanship, 
which she had been permitted to handle until the moment 
when the family had been commanded to withdraw. 

The night had now worn later than the hour at which it 
was usual for people of habits so simple to be out of their 
beds. The grandfather lighted a taper, and, .after bestowing 
the usual blessing on those around him, with an air as calm 
as if nothing had occurred, he prepared to retire into his own 
room. And yet, matter of interest seemed to linger on his 
mind. Even on the threshold of the door, he turned, and, for 
an instant, all expected some explanation of a circumstance 
which began to wear no little of the aspect of an exciting 
and painful mystery. But their hopes were raised only to 
be disappointed. 

" My thoughts have not kept the passage of the time," 
he said. " In what hour of the night are we, my son ?" 

He was told that it was already past the usual moment 
of sleep. 

" No matter ; that which Providence hath bestowed for 
our comfort and support should not be lightly and un- 
thankfully disregarded. Take thou the beast I am wont to 
ride, thyself, Content, and follow the path which leadeth 
to the mountain clearing ; bring away that which shall 
meet thine eye, near the first turning of the route towards 
the river towns. We have got into the last quarter of the 
year, and in order that our industry may not flag, and that 
all may be stirring with the sun, let the remainder of the 
household seek their rest." 

Content saw, by the manner of his father, that no de- 
parture from the strict letter of these instructions was ad- 
missible. He closed the door after his retiring form, and 
then, by a quiet gesture of authority, indicated to his de 

THE WEPT OF jrY5//-rav- jr/s//. 41 

pendents that they were expected to withdraw. The 
maidens of Ruth led the children to their chambers, and in 
a few more minutes none remained in the outer apartment, 
already so often named, but the obedient son, with his 
anxious and affectionate consort. 

" I will be thy companion, husband," Ruth half-whisper- 
ingly commenced, so soon as the little domestic prepara- 
tions for leaving the fires and securing the doors were 
ended. " I like not that thou should'st go into the forest 
alone, at so late an hour of the night." 

" One will be with me, there, who never deserteth those 
who rely on his protection. Besides, my Ruth, what is 
there to apprehend in a wilderness like this ? The beasts 
have been lately hunted from the hills, and excepting those 
who dwell under our own roof, there is not one within a 
long day's ride." 

" We know not ! Where is the stranger that came within 
our doors as the sun was setting ? " 

" As thou sayest, we know not. My father is not minded 
to open his lips on the subject of this traveller, and surely 
we are not now to learn the lessons of obedience and self- 

" It would, notwithstanding, be a great easing to the 
spirit to hear at least the name of him who hath eaten of 
our bread, and joined in our family worship, though he 
were immediately to pass away forever from before the 

" That may he have done, already ! " returned the less 
curious and more self-restrained husband. " My father 
wills not that we inquire." 

" And yet there can be little sin in knowing the condi- 
tion of one whose fortunes and movements can excite 
neither our envy nor our strife. I would that we had tar- 
ried for a closer mingling in the prayers ; it was not seemly 
to desert a guest, who, it would appear, had need of an 
especial up-offering in his behalf." 

" Our spirits joined in the asking, though our ears were 
shut to the matter of his wants. But it will be needful that 
I should be afoot with the young men, in the morning, and 
a mile of measurement would not reach to the turning, in 
the path to the river towns. Go with me to the postern, 
and look to the fastenings ; I will not keep thee long on 
thy watch." 

Content and his wife now quitted the dwelling, by the 
only door that was left unbarred. Lighted by a moon that 


was full, tiiougn clouded, they passed a gateway between 
two of the outer buildings, and descended to the palisadoes. 
The bars and bolts of the little postern were removed, and 
in a few minutes, the former, mounted on the back of his 
father's own horse, was galloping briskly along the path 
which led into the part of the forest he was directed to 

While the husband was thus proceeding, in obedience to 
orders that he never hesitated to obey, his faithful wife 
withdrew within the shelter of the wooden defences. More 
in compliance with a precaution that was become habitual, 
than from any present causes of suspicion, she dre'v a single 
bolt and remained at the postern, anxiously awaiting the 
result of a movement that was as unaccountable as i\. 


" I' the name of something holy, sir, why stand you 
In this strange stare ? " Tempest. 

As a girl, Ruth Harding had been one of the mildest and 
gentlest of the human race. Though new impulses had 
been given to her naturally kind affections by the attach- 
ments of a wife and mother, her dispositions suffered no 
change by marriage. Obedient, disinterested, and devoted 
to those she loved, as her parents had known her, so, by the 
experience of many years, had she proved to Content. In 
the midst of the utmost equanimity of temper and of de- 
portment, her watchful solicitude in behalf of the few who 
formed the limited circle of her existence, never slumbered. 
It dwelt unpretendingly but active in her gentle bosom, 
like a great and moving principle of life. Though circum- 
stances had placed her on a remote and exposed frontier, 
where time had not been given for the several customary 
divisions of employments, she was unchanged in habits, in 
feelings, and in character. The affluence of her husband 
had elevated her above the necessity of burdensome toil ; 
and, while she had encountered the dangers of the wilder- 
ness, and neglected none of the duties of her active station, 
she had escaped most of those injurious consequences which 
are a little apt to impair the peculiar loveliness of women. 
Notwithstanding the exposure of a border life, she remained 
feminine, attractive, and singularly youthful. 


The reader will readily imagine the state of mind with 
which such a being watched the distant form of a husband, 
engaged in a duty like that we have described. Notwith- 
standing the influence of long habit, the forest was rarely 
approached after night-fall by the boldest woodsman, with- 
out some secret consciousness that he encountered a posi- 
tive danger. It was the hour when its roaming and hungry 
tenants were known to be most in motion ; and the rustling 
of a leaf or the snapping of a dried twig beneath the light 
tread of the smallest animal, was apt to conjure up images 
of the voracious and fire-eyed panther, or perhaps of a 
lurking biped, which, though more artful, was known to be 
scarcely less savage. It is true, that hundreds experienced 
the uneasiness of such sensations who were never fated to 
undergo the realities of the fearful pictures. Still facts 
were not wanting to supply sufficient motive for a grave 
and reasonable apprehension. 

Histories of combats with beasts of prey, and of massa- 
cres by roving and lawless Indians, were the moving 
legends of the border. Thrones might be subverted and 
kingdoms lost and won in distant Europe, and less would 
be said of the events by those who dwelt in these woods, 
than of one scene of peculiar and striking forest incident 
that called for the exercise of the stout courage and keen 
intelligence of a settler. Such a tale passed from mouth 
to mouth with the eagerness of powerful personal interest, 
and many were already transmitted from parent to child, 
in the form of tradition, until, as in more artificial com- 
munities graver-improbabilities creep into the doubtful 
pages of history, exaggeration became too closely blended 
with truth ever again to be separated. 

Under the influence of these feelings, and perhaps 
prompted by his never-failing discretion, Content had 
thrown a well-tried piece over his shoulder ; and when he 
rose the ascent on which his father had met the stranger, 
Ruth caught a glimpse of his form, bending on the neck 
of his horse; and gliding through the misty light of the 
hour, resembling one of those fancied images of wayward 
and hard-riding sprites, of which the tales of the eastern 
continent are so fond of speaking. 

Then followed anxious moments, during which neither 
sight nor hearing could in the least aid the conjectures of 
the attentive wife. She listened without breathing, and 
once or twice she thought the blows of hoofs falling on the 
earth harder and quicker than common, might be distin- 


guished ; but it was only as Content mounted the sudden 
ascent of the hill-side that he was again seen, for a brief 
instant, while dashing swiftly into the cover of the woods. 

Though Ruth had been familiar with the cares of the 
frontier, perhaps she had never known a moment more in- 
tensely painful than that when the form of her husband 
became blended with the dark trunks of the trees. The 
time was to her impatience longer than usual, and under 
the excitement of a feverish inquietude that had no definite 
object, she removed the single bolt that held the postern 
closed, and passed entirely without the stockade. To her 
oppressed senses the palisadoes appeared to place limits to 
her vision. Still weary minute passed after minute, with- 
out bringing relief. During these anxious moments she 
became more than usually conscious of the insulated situ- 
ation in which he and all who were dearest to her heart 
were placed. The feelings of a wife prevailed. Quitting 
the side of the acclivity, she began to walk slowly along 
the path her husband had taken, until apprehension insen- 
sibly urged her into a quicker movement. She had paused 
only when she stood nearly in the centre of the clearing, 
on the eminence where her father had halted that evening 
to contemplate the growing improvement of his estate. 

Here her steps were suddenly arrested, for she thought 
a form was issuing from the forest, at that interesting spot 
which her eye had never ceased to watch. It proved to be 
no more than the passing shadow of a cloud, denser than 
common, which threw the body of its darkness on the 
trees and a portion of its outline on the-ground near the 
margin of the wood. Just at this instant the recollection 
that she had incautiously left the postern open, flashed 
upon her mind, and, with feelings divided between hus- 
band and children, she commenced her return, in order to 
repair a neglect, to which habit, no less than prudence, 
imparted a high degree of culpability. The eyes of the 
mother, for the feelings of that sacred character were now 
powerfully uppermost, were fastened on the ground, as 
she eagerly picked her way along the uneven surface ; and 
so engrossed was her mind by the omission of duty, with 
which she was severely reproaching herself, that, they 
drank in objects without conveying distinct or intelligible 
images to her brain. 

Notwithstanding the one engrossing thought of the mo- 
ment, something met her eye that caused even the vacant 
organ to recoil, and every fibre in her frame to tremble 


with terror. There was a moment in which delirium near- 
ly heightened terror to madness. Reflection came only 
when Ruth had reached the distance of many feet from 
the spot where this startling object had half unconsciously 
crossed her vision. Then for a single and a fearful instant 
she paused, like one who debated on the course she ought 
to follow. Maternal love prevailed, and the deer of her 
own woods scarcely bounds with great agility than the 
mother of the sleeping and defenceless family now fled to- 
ward the dwellings. Panting and breathless she gained 
the postern, w T hich was closed with hands that performed 
office more by instinct than in obedience to thought, and 
doubly and trebly barred. 

For the first time in some minuses Ruth now breathed 
distinctly and without pain. She strove to rally her 
thoughts, in order to deliberate on the course that pru- 
dence and her duty to Content, who was still exposed to 
the danger she had herself escaped, prescribed. Her first 
impulse w r as to give the established signal that was to re- 
call the laborers from the field, or to awake the sleepers, 
in the event of an alarm ; but better reflection told her that 
such a step might prove fatal to him who balanced in her 
affections against the rest of the world. The struggle in 
her mind only ended as she clearly and unequivocally 
caught a view of her husband, issuing from the forest at 
the very point where he had entered. The return path, un- 
fortunately, led directly past the spot where such sudden 
terror had seized her mind. She would have given worlds 
to have known how to apprise him of a danger with which 
her own imagination was full, without communicating the 
warning to other and terrible ears. The night was still, 
and though the distance was considerable, it was not so 
great as to render the chances of success desperate. Scarce- 
ly knowing what she did, and yet preserving, by a sort 
of instinctive prudence, the caution which constant expos- 
ure weaves into all our habits, the trembling woman made 
the effort. 

" Husband ! husband ! " she cried, commencing plaintive- 
ly, but her voice rising with the energy of excitement. 
" Husband, ride swiftly ; our little Ruth lieth in the agony. 
For her life and thine, ride at thy horse's speed. Seek not 
the stables, but come with all haste to the postern, it shall 
be open to thee." 

This was certainly a fearful summons for a father's ear, 
and there is little doubt that, had the feeble powers of 


Ruth succeeded in conveying the words as far as she had 
wished, they would have produced the desired effect But 
in vain did she call ; her weak tones, though raised on the 
notes of keenest apprehension, could not force their wa} 
across so wide a space. And yet had she reason to think' 
they were not entirely lost, for once her husband paused 
and seemed to listen, and once he quickened the pace of 
his horse ; though neither of these proofs of intelligence 
Was followed by any further sign of his having understood 
the alarm. 

Content was now upon the hillock itself. If Ruth 
breathed at all during its passage, it was more impercep- 
tible than the gentlest respiration of the sleeping infant. 
But when she saw him trotting with unconscious security 
along the path on the side next the dwellings, her impa- 
tience broke through all restraint, and throwing open the 
postern, she renewed her cries, in a voice that was no 
longer useless. The clattering of the unshodden hoof 
was again rapid, and in another minute her husband gal- 
loped unharmed to her side. 

" Enter !" said the nearly dizzy wife, seizing the bridle, 
and leading the horse within the palisadoes. " Enter, 
husband, for the love of all that is thine; enter, and be 

" What meaneth this terror, Ruth ? " demanded Content, 
in as much displeasure, perhaps, as he could manifest to 
one so gentle, for a weakness betrayed in his own be- 
half, "is thy confidence in Him whose eye never closeth, 
and who equally watcheth the life of man and that of the 
falling sparrow, lost ? " 

Ruth was deaf. With hurried hands she drew the fasten- 
ings, let fall the bars, and turned a key which forced a 
triple-bolted lock to perform its office. Not till then did 
she feel either safe herself, or at liberty to render thanks 
for the safety of him, over whose danger she had so lately 
watched in agony. 

"Why this care? Hast forgotten that the horse will 
suffer hunger, at this distance from the rack and manger ? " 

" Better that he starve than hair of thine should come 
to harm." 

" Nay, nay, Ruth ; dost not remember that the beast is 
the favorite of my father, who will ill brook his passing a 
night within the palisadoes? " 

" Husband, you err ; there is me in the fields." 

" Is there place where One is not ?" 


" But I have seen creature of mortal birth, and creature, 
too, that hath no claim on thee or thine, and who tres- 
passeth on our peace, no less than on our natural rights, 
to be where he lurketh." 

" Go to ; thou art not used to be so late from thy pillow, 
my poor Ruth ; sleep hath come over thee, whilst standing 
on thy watch. Some cloud hath left its shadow on the 
fields, or, truly, it may be that the hunt did not drive the 
beasts as far from the clearing as we had thought. Come ; 
since thou wilt cling to my side, lay hand on the bridle of 
the horse, while I ease him of his burden." 

As Content coolly proceeded to the task he had men- 
tioned, the thoughts of his wife were momentarily diverted 
from their other sources of uneasiness, by the object which 
lay on the crupper of the nag, and which, until now, had 
entirely escaped her observation. 

"Here is, indeed, the animal this day missing from our 
flock !" she exclaimed, as the carcass of a sheep fell heavily 
on the ground. 

" Aye ; and killed with exceeding judgment, if not aptly 
dressed to our hands. Mutton will not be wanting for the 
husking-feast, and the stalled creature whose days were 
counted may live another season." 

" And where didst find the slaughtered beast ? " 

" On the limb of a growing hickory. Eben Dudley, 
with all his sleight in butchering, and in setting forth the 
excellence of his meats, could not have left an animal 
hanging from the branch of a sapling with greater knowl- 
edge of his craft. Thou seest, but a single meal is miss- 
ing from the carcass, and that thy fleece is unharmed." 

" This is not the work of a Pequod ! " exclaimed Ruth, 
surprised at her own discovery; "the red men do their 
mischief with less care." 

" Nor has the tooth of wolf opened the veins of poor 
Straight-Horns. Here has been judgment in the slaugh- 
tering, as well as prudence in the consumption of the food. 
The hand that cut so lightly had intention of a second 
visit." * 

"And our father bid thee seek the creature where it was 
found ! Husband, I fear some heavy judgment for the sins 
of the parents is likely to befall the children." 

"The babes are quietly in their slumbers, and, thus far, 
little wrong hath been done us. I'll cast the haltei from 
the stalled animal ere I sleep, and Straight-Horns shall con- 
tent us for the husking. We may have mutton less savory 


for this evil chance, but the number of thy flock will be 

" And where is he who hath mingled in our prayers, and 
hath eaten of our bread ; he who counselled so long in se- 
cret with our father, and who hath now vanished from 
among us like a vision ?" 

"That indeed is a question not readily to be answered," 
returned Content, who had hitherto maintained a cheerful 
air, in order to appease what he was fain to believe a cause- 
less terror in the bosom of his partner, but who was in- 
duced by this question to drop his head like one that sought 
reasons within the repository of his own thoughts. " It 
mattereth not, Ruth Heathcote ; the ordering of the affair 
is in the hands of a man of many years and great experi- 
ence ; should his aged wisdom fail, do we not know that 
one even wiser than he hath us in his keeping ? I will re- 
turn the beast to his rack, and when we shall have jointly 
asked favor of eyes that never sleep, we will go in confi- 
dence to our rest." 

" Husband, thou quittest not the palisadoes again this 
night," said Ruth, arresting the hand that had already 
drawn a bolt, ere she spoke. " I have a warning of evil." 

" I would the stranger had found some other shelter in 
which to pass his short resting season. That he hath made 
free with -my flock, and that he hath administered to his 
hunger at some cost, when a single asking would have 
made him welcome to the best that the owner of the Wish- 
Ton-Wish can command, are truths that may not be de- 
nied. Still is he mortal man, as a goodly appetite hath 
proven, even should our belief in Providence so far waver 
as to harbor doubts of its unwillingness to suffer beings of 
injustice to wander in our forms and substance. I tell 
thee, Ruth, that the nag will be needed for to-morrow's 
service, and that our father will give but ill thanks should 
we leave it to make a bed on this cold hill-side. Go to 
thy rest and to thy prayers, trembler ; I will close the 
postern with all care. Fear not ; the stranger is of human 
wants, and his agency to do evil must needs be limited by 
human power." 

" I fear none of white blood, nor of Christian parentage ; 
the murderous heathen is in our fields." 

"Thou, dreamest, Ruth!" 

" 'Tis not a dream. I have seen the glowing eyeballs of 
a savage. Sleep was little like to come over me when set 
upon a watch like this. I thought me that the errand was 


of unknown character, and that our father was exceedingly 
aged, and that perchance his senses might be duped, and 
how an obedient son ought not to be exposed. Thou know- 
est, Heathcote, that I could not look upon the danger of - 
my children's father with indifference, and I followed to 
the nut-tree hillock." 

"To the nut-tree. It was not prudent in thee but the 
postern ? " 

" It was open ; for were the key turned, who was there 
to admit us quickly had haste been needed?" returned 
Ruth, momentarily averting her face to conceal the flush 
excited by conscious delinquency. " Though I failed in 
caution, 'twas for thy safety, Heathcote. But on that hil- 
lock, and in the hollow left by a fallen tree, lies concealed 
a heathen ! " 

" I passed the nut-wood in going to the shambles of our 
strange butcher, and I drew the rein to give breath to the 
nag near it, as we returned with the burden. It cannot 
be ; some creature of the forest hath alarmed thee." 

" Aye ! creature, formed, fashioned, gifted like ourselves, 
in all but color of the skin and blessing of the faith." 

"This is strange delusion! If there were enemy at 
hand, would men subtle as those you fear suffer the master 
of the dwelling, and truly I may say it without vain-glory, 
one as likely as another to struggle stoutly for his own, to 
escape, when an ill-timed visit to the woods had delivered 
him unresisting into their hands ? Go,