MRS. L. H. SIGOURNEY;
ILLUSTRATED WITH STEEL ENGRAVINGS.
PHILLIPS, SAMPSON & CO.,
110 Washington Street.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1847, by
PHILLIPS & SAMPSON,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the District of
Kindred Hearts, Mrs. Hemans, . 19
The Dial of Flowers, Mrs. Hemans, . 20
Love's First Dream, Eliza Cook, . . 21
The Father, Mrs. Sigourney, 5
Legend of Oxford, Mrs. Sigourney, 23
Hymn of Nature, Mrs. Hemans, . 85
The Lost Star, . . . Miss London, . 86
Hermitage on the Sea-shore, .... Mrs. Hemans, . 8 17
A Flower in a Letter, Miss Barrett. . . 89
The Pilgrim's Rest, Mrs. Ellis, ... 93
The Family Portraits, Mrs. Sigourney, 97
An Hour of Romance, Mrs. Hemans, . 143
God is Love, ^ . . . Mrs. EHis, . . .144
The Forgotten One, Miss Landon, . 146
Summer Woods. Mary Hewitt, . 150
Hallowed be Thy Name, . Eliza Cook, . . 152
Low she lies, who blest our eyes, . . Mrs. Norton, . . 153
Oriana, Mrs. Sigourney, 155
Prayer, Eliza Cook, . . 199
Evening Prayer at a Girl's School, . Mrs. Hemans, . 201
Disenchantment, Miss Landon, . 203
The Crusader's Return, Mrs. Hemans, . 204
I miss thee, Mother, Eliza Cook, . . 207
The Parting of Summer, Mrs. Hemans, . 209
The Intemperate, Mrs. Sigourney, 211
The Indisn Girl, Miss Landon, . 235
Grief, Miss Barrett, . . 239
Substitution, Miss Barrett, . . 240
Comfort Miss Banett, . . 241
Work, Miss Barrett, . . 242
The Boon of Memory, Mrs. Hemans, .243
Song for the New Year, Eliza Cook, . . 245
The Patriarch, Mrs. Sigourney, 247
BY L. H. SI&OURNET.
1 Yes, 1 am he, who look'd and saw decay
Steal o'er the lov'd of earth, the ador'd too much.-
It ia a fearful thing, to love what Death may touch."
I WAS in the full tide of a laborious and absorb-
ing profession, of one which imposes on intellect
an unsparing discipline, but ultimately opens the
avenues to wealth and fame. I pursued it, as one
determined on distinction, as one convinced that
mind may assume a degree of omnipotence over
matter and circumstance, and popular opinion. Am-
bition's promptings were strong within me, nor was
its career unprosperous. I had no reason to com-
plain that its promises were deceptive, or its harvest
Yet as my path was among the competitions ancl
asperities of men, a character combining strong ele-
ments might have been in danger of becoming in-
durated, had it not been softened and refined by the
domestic charities. Conjugal love, early fixing on
an object most amiable and beautiful, was as a foun-
tain of living water, springing up to allay thirst,
and to renovate weariness. I was anxious that my
home should be the centre of intellectual and polish-
ed society, where the buddings of thought should
6 THE FATHER.
expand unchilled, and those social feelings which
are the life-blood of existence, flow forth, unfettered
by heartless ceremony. And it was so.
But my present purpose is to delineate a single,
and simple principle of our nature, the most deep-
rooted and holy, t he love of a father for a daugh-
ter. My province has led me to analyze mankind ; and
in doing this, I have sometimes thrown their affec-
tions into the crucible. And the one of which I
speak, has come forth most pure, most free from
drossy admixture. Even the earth that combines
with it, is not like other earth. It is what the foot
of a seraph might rest upon, and contract no pollu-
tion. With the love of our sons, ambition mixes its
spirit, till it becomes a fiery essence. We anticipate
great things for them, we covet honors, we goad
them on in the race of glory ; if they are victors,
we too proudly exult, if vanquished, we are pros-
trate and in bitterness. Perhaps we detect in them
the same latent perverseness, with which we have
waged warfare in our own "breasts, or some imbecility
of purpose with which we have no affinity ; and then,
from the very nature of our love, an impatience is
generated, which they have no power to soothe, or
we to control. A father loves. his son, as he loves
himself, and in all selfishness, there is a bias to dis-
order and pain. But his love for his daughter is
different and more disinterested ; possibly he believes
that it is called forth by a being of a higher and
better order. It is based on the integral and immu-
THE FATHER. /
table principles of his nature. It recognizes the sex
in hearts, and from the very gentleness and mystery
of womanhood, takes that coloring and zest which
romance gathers from remote antiquity. It draws
nutriment from circumstances which he may not
fully comprehend, from the power which she posses-
ses to awaken his sympathies, to soften his irrita-
bility, to sublimate his aspirations ; while the sup-
port and protection which she claims in return, ele-
vate him with a consciousness of assimilation to the
ministry of those benevolent and powerful spirits,
who eyer " bear us up in their hands, lest we dash
our foot against a stone."
I should delight longer to dwell on this develop-
ment of ah ction, for who can have known it more
perfectly in its length and breadth, in its depth and
height ? I had a daughter, beautiful in infancy, to
whom every year added some new charm to awaken
admiration, or to rivet love. To me, it was of no
slight import, that she resembled her mother, and
that in grace and accomplishment, she early surpass-
ed her cotemporaries. I was desirous that her mind
should be worthy of the splendid temple allotted
for its habitation. I decided to render it familiar
with the whole circle of the arts and sciences. I
was not satisfied with the commendation of her
teachers. I determined to take my seat in the sacred
pavilion of intellect, and superintend what entered
there. But how should one buried beneath the pon-
derous tomes and Sysiphean toils of jurisprudence,
8 THE FATHER.
gain freedom, or undivided thought, for such minute
supervision? A father's love can conquer, if it
cannot create. I deprived myself of sleep : I sat till
Jhe day dawned, gathering materials for the lectures
that I gave her. I explored the annals of architec-
ture and sculpture, the recesses of literature and
poetry, the labyrinthine and colossal treasure-houses
of history, 1 entered the ancient catacombs of the
illustrious dead, traversed the regions of the dim and
shadowy past, with no coward step, ransacked
earth and heaven, to add one gem to her casket.
At stated periods, I required her to condense, to
illustrate, to combine, what I had brought her. I'
listened, with wonder, to her intuitive elr quence : I
gazed with intense delight upon the int. ilect that I
thus embellished, upon the Corinthian capital that
I had erected and adorned. Not a single acanthus-
leaf started forth, but I cherished and fostered it with
the dews of a father's blessing.
Yet while the outpoured riches of a masculine un-
derstanding were thus incorporating themselves with
her softer structure, I should not have been content,
unless she had also borne the palm of female grace
and loveliness. Was it therefore nothing to me, that
she evinced in her bloom of youth, a dignity sur-
passing her sex, that in symmetry she restored the
image of the Medicean Venus, that amid the circles
of rank and fashion, she was the model the cyp"
sure ? Still was she saved from that vanity which
M ould have been the destroyer of all these charms,
THE FATHER. 9
by the hallowed prevalence of her filial piety. It
was for my sake, that she strove to render herself
the most graceful among women, for my sake, that
she rejoiced in the effect of her attainments. Her
gentle and just nature felt that the " husbandman who
had labored, should be first partaker of the fruits."
Returning from those scenes of splendor, where she
was the object of every eye, the theme of every
tongue, when the youthful bosom might be forgiven
for inflation from the clouds of incense that had
breathed upon it, to the inquiry of her mother, if
she had been happy, the tender and sweet reply
was, "Yes, because I saw that my dear father
Sometimes, I was conscious of gathering rough-
ness from the continual conflict with passion and
prejudice, and that the fine edge of the feelings could
not ever be utterly proof against the corrosions of
such an atmosphere. Then I sought my home, and
called my bird of song, and listened to the warbling
of her high, heaven-toned voice. The melody of
that music fell upon my soul, like oil upon the trou-
bled billows, and all was tranquil. I wondered
where my perturbations had fled, but still more,
that I had ever indulged them. Sometimes, the tur-
moil and fluctuation of the world, threw a shade of
dejection over me : then it was her pride to smooth
my brow, and to restore its smile. Once, a sor-
row of no common order had fallen upon me ; il
rankled in my breast, like a dagger's point; I came
10 THE FATHER.
to my house, but I shunned all its inmates. I threw
myself down, in solitude, that I might wrestle alone
with my fate, and subdue it ; a light footstep ap-
proached, but I heeded it not. A form of beauty
was on the sofa, by my side, but I regarded it not.
Then my hand was softly clasped, breathed upon,
pressed to ruby lips. It was enough. I took my
daughter in my arms, and my sorrow vanished.
Had she essayed the hackneyed expressions of sym-
pathy, or even the usual epithets of endearment, 1
might have desired her to leave my presence. Had
she uttered only a single word, it would have been
i.oo much, so wounded was my spirit within me.
But the deed, the very poetry of tenderness, breath-
ing, not speaking, melted " the winter of my dis-
content." Ever was she endued with that most
exquisite of woman's perfections, a knowledge both
when to be silent, and where to speak, and so to
speak, that the frosts might dissolve from around
'he heart she loved, and its discords be tuned to
Thus was she my comforter, and in every hour
of our intercourse, was my devotion to her happi-
ness richly repaid. Was it strange that I should
gaze on the work of my own hands with ineffable
delight? At twilight I quickened my homeward
step, with the thought of that countenance, which
was both my evening and morning star ; as the bird
nerves her wearied wing, when she hears from the
still -distant forest, the chirpings of her own nest.
THE FATHER. 11
I sat in the house of God, in the silence of sab-
bath meditation, and tears of thrilling exultation
moistened my eyes. I gazed upon my glorious
creature, in the stainless blossom of unfolding youth,
and my whole soul overflowed with a father's pride.
I said, What more can man desire ? I challenged
the whole earth to add another drop to my cup
of felicity. Did I forget to give glory to the Al-
mighty, that his decree even then went forth, to smite
down my idol ?
I came from engrossing toil, and found her rest-
less, with strange fire upon her cheek. Fever had
Iain rankling in her veins, and they had concealed
it from me. I raved. I filled my house with phy-
sicians. I charged them wildly to restore her to
health and to me. It was in vain. I saw that God
claimed her. His will was written upon her brow.
The paleness and damps of the tomb settled upon
I knelt by the bed of death, and gave her back to
her Creator. Amid the tears and groans of mourn-
ers, I lifted up a firm voice. A fearful courage en-
tered into me. I seemed to rush even upon the
buckler of the Eternal. I likened myself unto him
who, on Mount Moria, " stretched forth his hand, and
took the knife to slay his son." The whole energy
of my nature armed itself for the awful conflict. 1
gloried in my strength to suffer. With terrible sub-
limity, I stood forth, as the High Priest of my smit-
ten and astonished household. I gave the lamb in
Ixi THE FATHER.
sacrifice, with an unshrinking hand, though it was
my own heart's blood, that steeped, and streamed
over the altar.
It was over. She had gone. She stayed not
for my embraces. She was permitted to give me
no parting-token. The mind that I had adored,
shrouded itself and fled. I knew that the seal upon
those eyes must not be broken, till the trump of the
Three days and nights, I sat by the dead. Beauty
lingered there, in deep, and solemn, and sacred re-
pose. I laid my head upon her pillow. I pressed
my lips to hers, and their ice entered into my soul.
I spoke to her of the angels, her companions. 1
talked long to the beautiful spirit, and methought, it
answered me. Then I listened breathlessly, but
" there was no voice, nor any that regarded." Arid
still, I wept not.
The fatal day came, in which even that clay was
to be no longer mine. The funeral knell, with its
heavy, yet suppressed summons, came over me like
the dividing of soul and body. There was a flood of
weeping, when that form, once so replete with every
youthful charm, so instinct with the joyous move-
ment of the mysterious principle of life, was borne
in marble stillness from its paternal halls. The eye
of the mother that bore her, of the friend that had
but casually beheld her, even of the poor menial
that waited upon her, knew the luxury of tears.
All were wet with that balm of sorrow, to overflow-
ing all save mine.
THE FATHER. 13
The open grave had a revolting aspect. 1 could
not bear that the form which I had worshipped, should
be left to its cold and hideous guardianship. At the
hollow sound of the first falling clod, I would fain
have leaped into the pit, and demanded her. But 1
ruled myself. I committed her to the frozen earth,
without a tear. There was a tremendous majesty
in such grief. I was a wonder to myself.
I returned to my desolated abode. The silence
that reigned there was appalling. My spirit sank
beneath it, as a stone goes down into the depths of
ocean, bearing the everlasting burden of its fathom-
less tide. I sought the room where I had last seen
her, arrayed in the vestments of the tomb. There
lay the books which we had read together. Their
pages bore the marks of her pencil. I covered my
eyes from them, and turned away. I bowed down
to inhale the fragrance of her flowers, and felt that
they had no right to bloom so fair, when she, their
culturer and their queen, was blighted. I pressed
my fingers upon the keys of her piano, and started
back at the mournful sound they made. I wander-
ed to her own apartment. I threw myself on the
couch where from infancy she had slumbered. I
trusted to have wept there. But my grief was too
mighty, to be thus unchained. It disdained the relief
of tears. I seemed to rush as upon a drawn sword,
and still it refused to pierce me.
Yet all this was when no eye saw me. In the
presence of others, I was like Mount Atlas, bearing
unmoved the stormy heavens upon his shoulders.
14 THE FATHER.
I went forth, amid the jarring competitions and
perpetual strifes of men. I adjusted their opposing
interests, while I despised them and their concerns.
I unravelled their perplexities. I penetrated their
subterfuges. I exposed their duplicity. I cut the
Gordian knots of their self-conceit. I made the
" crooked straight, and the rough places plain,"
with an energy that amazed them and myself. It
was like that of a spirit, which has nothing to do
with the flesh. I suffered the tumult of my soul to
breathe itself out in bursts of stormy declamation.
I exerted the strength of a giant, when it was not
required. I scorned to balance power with necessi-
ty. The calculations of prudence, and the devices
of cunning, seemed equally pitiful, and despicable.
I put forth the same effort to crush an emmet, as to
uproot the oak of a thousand centuries. It was suf-
ficient for me always to triumph. While men mar-
velled at the zeal with which I served them, I was
loathing them in my heart. I was sick of their chi-
canery, and their Sabbathless rush after empty
honors and perishable dross. The whole world
seemed to me, " less than nothing, and vanity."
Still, I was sensible of neither toil, nor fatigue, nor
physical exhaustion. I was like one, who in his
troubled dream of midnight, treads on air, and finds
t strangely sustaining him.
But every night, I went to my daughter's grave.
I laid me down there, in unutterable bitterness. While
the stars looked coldly on me, I spoke to her fondly
THE FATHER. 15
and earnestly, as one who could not be denied. I
said, " Angel ! who art mine no longer, listen to
me. Thou, who art raised above all tears, cause
one tear to moisten my burning brow. Give it to
me, as a token that thou hearest me, that thou hast
not forgotten me." And the blasts of Winter, through
the leafless boughs, mocking replied, " Give it to
me, Give it to me." But I wept not. Ten days
and nights passed over me, and still I wept not.
My brain was heated to agony. The visual
nerves were scorched and withered. My heart was
parched and arid, as the Libyan desert. Then I
knew that the throne of Grief was in the heart :
that though her sceptre may reach the remotest nerve,
and touch the minutest cell where the brain slum-
bers, and perplex every ethereal ambassador from
spirit to sense, yet the pavilion where her darkest
dregs are wrung out, the laboratory where her con-
suming fires are compounded, is the heart, the
I have implied that my intellect faltered. Yet
every morning I went to the scene of my labors. I
put my shoulder to the wheel, caring not though it
crushed me. I looked at men fixedly and haughtily
with my red eye-balls. But I spoke no word to
betray the flame feeding at my vitals. The heart-
strings shrivelled and broke before it, yet the martyr
dom was in silence.
Again, Night drew her sable curtain, and I sought
my daughter's grave. Methought, its turf-covering
16 THE FATHER.
was discomposed, and some half-rooted shrubs thai
shuddered and drooped when placed in that drear
assemblage of the dead, had been trampled and bro-
ken. A horrible suspicion took possession of my
mind. I rushed to the house of the sexton. " Has
any one troubled my daughter's grave ?" Alarmed
at my vehemence, he remained speechless and irre-
" Tell me," I exclaimed, in a voice of terror,
" who has disturbed my daughter's grave." He
evaded my adjuration, and murmured something
about an injunction to secrecy. With the grasp of
a maniac, I bore him to an inner apartment, and
bade him satisfy my question. Trembling at my
violence, he confessed that the grave had been watch-
ed for ten nights.
" Who has watched my daughter's grave ?" Re-
luctantly he gave me the names of those friends,
names forever graven upon my soul.
And so, for those ten long, wintry nights, so
dreary and interminable, which I had cast away
amid the tossings of profitless, delirious, despairing
sorrow, they had been watching, that the repose of
that unsullied clay might remain unbroken.
A new tide of emotion was awakened. I threw
myself down, as powerless as the weaned infant
Torrents of tears flowed. The tenderness of man
wrought what the severity of Heaven had failed to
produce. It was not the earthquake, nor the thun-
der, nor the tempest, that subdued me. It was the
THE FATHER. 17
still, small voice. I wept until the fountains of tears
failed. The relief of that hour of weeping, can never
be shadowed forth in language. The prison-house
of passionate agony was unlocked. I said to God that
he was merciful, and I loved him because my angel
lived in his presence. Since then, it would seem,
that my heart has been made better. Its aspirations
are upward, whither she has ascended, and as I tread
the devious path of my pilgrimage, both the sunbeam
and the thorn point me as a suppliant to the Re-
deemer of Man, that I may be at last fitted to dwell
with her for ever.
OH ! ask not, hope thou not too much
Of sympathy below ;
Few are the hearts whence one same touch
Bids the sweet fountains flow :
Few and by still conflicting powers
Forbidden here to meet
Such ties would make this life of ours
Too fair for aught so fleet.
It may be that thy brother's eye
Sees not as thine, which turns
In such deep reverence to the sky,
Where the rich sunset burns :
It may be, that the breath of spring,
Born amidst violets lone,
A rapture o'er thy soul can bring
A dream, to his unknown.
The tune that speaks of other
A sorrowful delight !
The melody of distant chimes,
The sound of waves by night,
The wind that, with so many a tone,
Some chord within can thrill
These may have language all thine own,
To him a mystery still.
Yet scorn thou not, for this, the true
And steadfast love of years ;
THE DIAL OF FLOWERS.
The kindly, that from childhood grew
The faithful to thy tears !
If there be one that o'er the dead
Hath in thy grief borne part,
And watched through sickness by thy
Call his a kindred heart !
But for those bonds all perfect made,
Wherein bright spirits blend,
Like sister flowers of one sweet shade
With the same breeze that bend,
For that full bliss of thought allied,
Never to mortals given
Oh ! lay thy lovely dreams aside,
Or lift them unto Heaven.
THE DIAL OF FLOWERS.*
'T WAS a lovely thought to mark the hours,
As they floated in light away,
By the opening and the folding flowers,
That laugh to the summer's day.
Thus had each moment its own rich hue,
And its graceful cup and bell,
In whose colored vase might sleep the dew,
Like a pearl in an ocean-shell.
To such sweet signs might the tune have flowed
In a golden current on,
*Thls dial was, I believe, formed by Linnaeus, and marked the houn
by the opening and closing, at regular intervals, of the towers arranged
LOVE'S FIRST DREAM. 21
Ere from the garden, man's first abode,
The glorious guests were gone.
So might the days have been brightly told
Those days of song and dreams
When shepherds gathered their flocks of old
By the blue Arcadian streams.
So in those isles of delight, that rest
Far off in a breezeless main,
Which many a bark with a weary quest,
Has sought, but still in vain.
Yet is not life, in its real flight,
Marked thus even thus on earth,
By the closing of one hope's delight,
And another's gentle birth?
Oh ! let us live, so that flower by flower,
Shutting in turn, may leave
A lingerer still for the sunset hour,
A charm for the shaded eve.
LOVE'S FIRST DREAM.
BRIGHT is the froth of an eastern wave,
As it plays in the sun's last glow ;
Pure is the pearl in its crystal bed,
Gemming the worlds below ;
Warm is the heart that mingles its blood
In the red tide of glory's stream ;
But more flashingly bright, more pure, more warm.
Is love's first dream !
22 LOVE'S FIRST DREAM.
Hope paints the vision, with hues of her own,
In all the colors of spring ;
While the young lip breathes, like a dewy rose
Fanned by the fire-fly's wing.
'T is a fairy scene, where the fond soul roves,
Exulting in passion's warm beam ;
Ah ! sad 't is to think we should wake with a chill,
From love's first dream !
But it fades like the rainbow's brilliant arch,
Scattered by clouds and wind ;
Leaving the spirit, unrobed of light,
In darkness and tears behind.
When mortals look back on the heartfelt woes
They have met with in life's rough stream,
That sigh will be deepest which memory gives
To love's first dream !
LEGEND OF OXFORD.
" Our fathers found bleak heath and desert moor,
Wild woodland, and savannahs wide and waste,
Rude country of rude dwellers."
POSSIBLY it may be unknown, except to a few
antiquarians, that the beautiful town of Oxford, in
Massachusetts, was originally a colony of French
Protestants. They first taught its forests the sound
of the woodman's axe, and extended to its roving
and red-browed sons, the hand of amity.
Wherever the Huguenot character mingled in the
political formation of this Western World, its infu-
sion was bland, and salutary. Industry, patience,
cheerful endurance of evil, ardent social affections,
and a piety firm but not austere, were its distinctive
features. In their gentle community, Age did not
lay aside its sympathies with Youth, or feel exiled
from its sweet companionship. The white hair of
wisdom gave no death-signal to cheerfulness. The
grandsire, with his snowy temples, was still the fa-
vorite and delighted associate of his blooming de-
scendants. The religion from whose root such fruits
sprang, made it no part of its theory to dismiss the
smile, or call in moroseness as an adjunct, or robe
24 LEGEND OF OXFORD.
the Sabbath in sable, as if the Creator had marked
that consecrated day by a frown on his works, in-
stead of pronouncing them " very good." Still the
elements of their piety, combined without sternness
or ostentation, an inflexible adherence to duty, and
a spirit, " faithful unto death, for conscience sake."
The loss of half a million of such inhabitants to
France, was a consequence of the persecutions of
Louis XIV. His long-cherished intolerance took the
form of madness, in the revocation of the Edict of
Nantz. The expulsion of multitudes of his most
unoffending and loyal subjects, justified the strong
metaphor of Queen Christina, " France is a dis-
eased man, submitting to the amputation of his limbs,
to cure what a gentle regimen might conquer."
The sufferings of the Protestants from the mis-
guided zeal of their monarch, have left deep traces
on the annals of History. Their worship of God
obstructed, their churches demolished, their Pastors
silenced, imprisoned, or led to martyrdom, an inso-
lent soldiery made the inmates of their peaceful
homes, licensed to every outrage by a commission
to convert the heretics, and finally their children
torn from them, and committed to the tutelage and
discipline of monks, prepared them for the fatal cli-
max, the abolition of that Edict of Henry of Na-
varre, which, a century before, had guarantied the
safety of their ancestors. The repeal of this royal
act of protection, in December, 1685, removed the
list barrier between them and the raging flood which
LEGEND OF OXFORD. 25
threatened to overwhelm them. Every hour they
expected a repetition of the horrors of St. Bartholo-
Flight from the beloved land of their birth, seem-
ed the only alternative. Even to this painful resort,
obstacles were opposed by the despot, who forgot that
one requisition of a king was to be the father of his
people. Soldiers were stationed to intercept their
progress, and prevent their embarkation. They
were driven literally, to take shelter in " dens, and
caves of the earth." Fathers were forced to immure
their. families in damp and pestilental caverns, whence
they issued, the very shadows of themselves. Deli-
cate females, whom the winds had never roughly
visited, wandered, half-clad, amid the chills of win-
ter, or implored at the peasant's hut a temporary
refuge. Mothers, in the recesses of dreary forests,
hushed their wailing infants, lest their cries of mise-
ry should guide the search of some brutal captor.
The sea-ports were thronged with fugitives, in
every guise and garb of wretchedness. Rochelle
for weeks overflowed with the exiles of Languedoc
and Roussillon, of Gascoigne and Dauphine. There
might be seen the aged, with hurrying, tottering
steps, the matron, matured in the lap of indulgence,
with crowds of wandering- and miserable babes.
They came under covert of midnight, or drenched
by the storm : neither fatigue, nor menace, deterred
them. " Let us go," they exclaimed, with frantic
gestures. " We leave to you our pleasant homes and
26 LEGEND OF OXFORD.
our vineyards. Let us go, with our wives and oui
little ones ; we know not whither, But in God's
name, let us go." The cry of Israel, in the house
of Egyptian bondage, seemed to re-echo through
th'i beautiful vales of France : though no majestic
prophet adjured the ruthless tyrant, in the name of
the Lord, " Let my people go, that they may
Hundreds of thousands conquered every obstacle,
and effected their escape. Favor in foreign lands
was extended to them, and that pity w'as shown by
strangers, which their own kindred and king de-
Our New World profited by this prodigality of
the Old. Those whom she cast out as " despised,
broken vessels, in whom there was no pleasure,"
added, cement, and symmetry and strength to our
magnificent temple of freedom. Their descendants,
scattered and incorporated widely among the people
of these United States, still bear the mantle of an-
cestral virtue. It would seem that they inherit some
share in the blessing of their fathers, who going forth,
like the Patriarch, " not knowing whither they went,
found their faith accounted as righteousness."
It was in the depth of the winter of 1686, that a
ship tossed by contending storms, and repeatedly
repulsed from the bleak New-England coast, was
seen slowly entering the harbor of Boston. It was
thronged with Huguenot families, who, haggard from
the sufferings of their protracted voyage, were eager
to obtain refuse and repose.
LEGEND OF OXFORD, 27
Scarcely more than three-score years had elapsed
since the footsteps of the Pilgrim-Fathers first ex-
plored the dreary rocks and trackless wilds of Ply
mouth. Persecution for righteousness' sake, the
abandonment of their own loved land, their perils
on the ocean, and in the wilderness, those toils, pri-
vations and hardships, with which they gladly pur-
chased " freedom to worship God," were still within
the memory of the living. The echo of those hymns
of " lofty cheer, with which they shook the depths
of the desert gloom," was still treasured in the bo-
soms, and swelled in the domestic sanctuary, of
their descendants. A class of sympathies was there*-
fore in active exercise, which insured the welcome
of the tempest-tost aliens. The few hoary-headeti
pilgrims who survived, could not fail to regard with
peculiar emotion, those spirits with, whom their own'
had strong affinity.
This colony of Huguenots was attended by their
Pastor, the Reverend Pierre Daille, a descendant of
the learned John Daille, distinguished as an author,
and especially by the work, entitled " An Apology
for the Reformed Churches." Father Daille, as he
was styled by his flock, more from the filial love
they bore him, than from any seniority of age, was
a man of exquisite sensibility, tempered by the meek-
ness of the Gospel which he preached, and whose
pure precepts he consistently exemplified. His de-
portment evinced that true politeness which springs
from regard for the feelings of others, and a bene-
28 LEGEND OF OXFORD.
nevolent desire to add to their happiness. Hence he
invariably conciliated those with whom he associated,
and the use he made of the influence thus acquired,
was to call forth the better feelings of their nature,
to elevate their standard of principle or practice,
and to recommend the religion of Jesus his Master.
Among those who gave to him, and his people, the
warm welcome of the Western World, it was not
surprising that he should discover a delightful reci-
procity in Elliot, the venerable apostle of the Indians.
Laying aside the classical superiority which he at-
tained at the University of Cambridge, in his native
land, he had been the patient translator of the Scrip-
tures, into the barbarous dialect of the sons of the
forest. There was in his demeanor, that perfect
gentleness, and self-renunciation, which inspires even
the savage breast with love. Though at this time
82 years of age, he still continued his mission of
mercy to those destitute beings, often partaking of
their coarse fare, and stretching himself, at night,
upon the cold, earthern floors of their miserable
habitations. But amid the self-denying calmness
of his deportment, those who looked deeply into his
eye, might discern some cast of that quiet and deter-
mined courage, which had so often quetled the fiercest
chieftains, and ruled those paroxysms of anger which
threatened his death, by the unmoved reply, " I am
about God's work : he will take care of me."
At one of his early interviews with Father Daille,
he introduced a red-browed man, on whose arm he
LEGEND OF OXFORD. 29
leaned : " I present to you," said he, " my brother
of the forest, and my son in the faith." This was
Hiacomes, his first Indian convert to the Gospel,
whom he had himself ordained as Pastor over a na-
tive church in Martha's Vineyard, and whose exam-
ple and ministrations justified that high confidence.
He was a man of commanding presence, grave,
slow of speech, and so erect and vigorous, that it
was difficult to believe thatt almost fourscore winters
had passed over him. With them also came the
Reverend John Mayhew, whose lofty forehead, and
intellectual features, were lighted up with an undy-
ing benevolence for the poor aborigines ; the accom-
plished Dudley, recently appointed to the office of
Governor, and pleased, perhaps proud, of that " brief
authority ;" Michael Wigglesvvorth, the allegorical
poet, with the most unpoetical name ; and Increase
Mather, the stately President of Harvard College,
conscious of the dignity that he sustained, and full
of power to sustain it nobly. His voice, which in
the fervid denunciations of pulpit eloquence, was
said to have the force of thunder, adapted itself me-
lodiously to the tones of conversation, and the ex-
pressions of friendship. He was sometimes accom-
panied by his son, the future author of the " Mag-
nalia Christi Americana," then a young man of 23,
in whose intelligent countenance and restless glance
might be traced that love of knowledge which neu-
tralizes the toil of the severest study, that latent
superstition which was to spring up as an earnest
30 LEGEND OF OXFORD.
advocate of the diabolical delusions at Salem, and
that deep-rooted benevolence which adopted even in
boyhood, the motto, " never to be in company with
any person, without endeavoring to do him some
good." The acquaintance and friendship of such
men, and others, whom our limits will not allow
us to mention, breathed with soothing and strength-
ening influence over the hearts of the exiles from
Boston, at the period of which we speak, exhibit-
ed none of the rudiments of its present magnificence.
Its population of between 3 and 4,000, were princi-
pally intent on the necessary means of subsistence.
No lofty spires pointed in their glory of architecture
to Him, whose pavilion is above the cloud, and whose
dwelling is in the humblest heart. No liberally en-
dowed institutions, no mansions of surpassing splen-
dor, then evinced that like ancient Tyre, her " mer-
chants were princes, and her traffickers the honorable
of the earth." Yet even then, in the intellectual
cast of her sons, in her deep and sober reverence for
knowledge, in her establishment of an University
almost coeval with the first breath of her own po-
litical existence, might be seen those elements of
thought and action, which have since made her to
America, what Athens was to Greece. The hospi-
tality with which she still detains the step of the
traveller, and quickens his admiration of her beauti-
ful localities, was at this early period in vigorous
exercise. It had somewhat of that added fervor,
LEGEND OF OXFORD. 31
which a rude, primeval state of society induces,
where community of danger inspires strong fellow-
feelings, and simplicity of life banishes the ceremony
that chills the heart, and the luxury that renders it
During the winter that the Huguenots thus enjoy-
ed shelter and sympathy from their new-found
brethren, preparations were in progress for their
obtaining a more permanent home. These negotia-
tions eventually terminated in the purchase of a
tract of land, in the county of Worcester, about
thirty miles from Boston, recommended both by
native fertility, and beauty of situation. The stream,
whose line of crystal variegates with its graceful
windings those vales of verdure, received from the
emigrants the name of French River ; but why
they gave their new residence the appellation of
Oxford, in preference to one fraught with the mel-
lifluent tones and romantic recollections of their own
delightful land, history does not inform us. Perhaps
at the moment of baptizing this lodge in the wilder-
ness, their torn hearts wished to lave in the waters
of Lethe, the hand that had wounded them. Per-
haps they deemed it wise, to stifle emotions, which
were too tender and torturing for their peace. Or
perhaps, some claim of unrecorded gratitude prompt-
ed the name of their adoption. Suffice it to say,
that Oxford, or, as some traditions assert, New-Ox-
ford, was the nomenclature of their infant settlement.
At the earliest indications of the broken sway of
32 LEGEND OF OXFORD.
winter the more hardy of the colonists, went to take
possession of the territory, and to erect temporary
habitations for their families. Spring had some-
what advanced, ere the more delicate part of the
community followed. The young turf was spring-
ing, and the silver leaf of the willow had hung out
On the hardships and privations appointed them,
they entered with a patience and cheerfulness which
nothing could subdue. They rejoiced to find a
'temple where God might be worshipped, free from
the tyranny of man, though that temple was amid
forests, which the step of civilization had never
explored. Those who had been nurtured amid the
genial breathing of a luxuriant clime, who had im-
bibed the fragrance of the vine-flower in their infant
slumbers, went forth to daily labor, amid tangled
thickets, where the panther and wolf howled, and
nightly returned to their rude cabins, with a smile
of gratitude, "an everlasting hymn within their
Among the early cares of the colonists, was the
erection of a fort, as a place of refuge, in case of
an attack from the native dwellers of the forest.
They found themselves borderers upon the territory
of a powerful tribe, and stories of the cruelty of
Indian warfare, which had occupied a prominent
place among the winter evening tales of fheir friends
in Boston, had made deep impression upon the minds
of an imaginative people. Political motives, there
LEGEND OF OXFORD. 33
fore, as well as their own peaceful and pitying dis-
positions, led them, while they stood prepared for
evil, to make every effort to soothe and conciliate
their savage neighbors. They extended to them,
at every opportunity, the simple rites of hospitality,
and their bland and gentle manners apparently won
the friendship of those proud, yet susceptible abo-
In the lapse of a year after the arrival of the
Huguenots, their settlement began to assume the
features of regularity. Its simple abodes equalled
the number of families, and an air of neatness and
even pf comfort, pervaded them. Each dwelling
had a small spot, allotted to horticulture, from whose
broken surface, newly exposed to the free action of
the sun, the seeds of France might be seen timidly
emerging, and striving to become naturalized in a
foreign soil. In a large field, held as common
property, the maize had already appeared in straight
and stately ranks, its intervals enlivened by the va-
ried hues of the bright bean-blossom. Lycurgus
might here have seen illustrated his favorite plan
of the Laconian brotherhood, where without conten-
tion, each should give his labor to the earth, and
without jealousy apportion its treasures. The natives,
seeking for game in the neighboring thickets, fre-
quently paused to regard the movements of the new
settlers. But it did not escape their observation,
that the simple expressions of amity with which
their arrival had been welcomed, soon subsided into
34 LEGEND OF OXFORD.
a reserved deportment, varied occasionally by marks
of stupid wondar, or decided aversion. At length
the son of the forest utterly avoided the habitations
of his white neighbors, where he had sometimes
accepted a shelter for the night, or a covert from the
storm. Still he might be seen with a dejected brow,
lingering near theL* cultivated fields, and regarding
their more skilful operations of agriculture, with an
ill-defined emotion. This was by some explained
as the result of envy, by others of hatred, infused
by the powaws, who continually impressed the idea
that these pale intruders would eventually root the
red man out of his father's land. Yet these symp-
toms of disaffection, however variously interpreted,
were ominous ; and the resolution was unanimous,
to preserve the most conciliatory deportment, yet to
take every precaution for safety, and not to go un-
armed even to daily labor. Thus the musket was
the companion of the implements of rural toil, as
in the days of Nehemiah the restorers of Jerusalem
wrought " every man with one hand upon the wall,
and with the other held his spear, having his sword
girded by his side."
It was after sunset on a summer's day in 1687,
as the colonists were returning from the field, that
a party of natives was observed to approach, appa-
rently with an intention of cutting off their commu-
nication with their abodes. Continuing to reject
every attempt at parley, and bearing on their dark
brows the sullen purpose of vengeance, they passed
LEGEND OF OXFORD. 35
slowly onward in an oblique direction, as if to obtain
possession of the rising grounds in the neighbor-
hood of the fort. A momentary council was held
among the emigrants, who were compelled to per-
ceive that their destruction was meditated. Conscious
that they embodied the effective strength of the colony,
and that on their present decision its existence de-
pended, they were anxious to avoid rashness, and
yet not to testify such regard for their personal
safety, as might give to the watchful foe, an appear-
ance of timidity. They observed that they were
greatly outnumbered, but that only a few of their
enemies were provided with fire-arms, the remainder
carrying bows and tomahawks. Three muskets
were immediately fired in rapid succession, accord-
ing to a previous agreement, as a signal for the fe-
males and children to take refuge in the fort, if
their husbands and fathers should be attacked at a
distance from home. Then forming ifrto a solid body,
they marched onward with a firm step, having their
pieces loaded, but not deeming it expedient to hazard
the first assault. Each silently revolved the deso-
lation that would ensue, upon their fall, to the infant
settlement, the peaceful fire-side, and those dearer
Yet with unshrinking bravery they approached
their terrible opponents, and in silent aspirations in-
voked that Being, with whom it is " nothing to save,
whether by many, or by them who have no help."
The shifting lines of the enemy became stationary,
36 LEGEND OF OXFORD
having gained the brow of an acclivity, where wcro
several large trees, behind which they could be shel-
tered, according to their mode of warfare. Many
of the warriors were already stationed behind these
fortifications, while the remainder intercepted the
path along which the Huguenots were advancing
toward their homes. This post, though chosen by
these sons of nature without knowledge of tactics,
was highly advantageous. Their fire in front, upon
those who ascended the hill, would be greatly an-
noying ; on the right, their marksmen sheltered by
trees might take deadly aim with little danger of
retaliation, while on the left, a thick forest, obstruct-
ed by underwood, promised to baffle the flight of
fugitives. In the rear, at the distance of half a mile,
lay the fort, where they might, after vanquishing
their protectors, wreak on the helpless ones the ven-
geance of extermination. Already they viewed the
objects of their hatred as within their grasp, and a
murmur of savage joy ran through their ranks, pre-
paratory to the yell of battle. They silently singled
out their victims for the triumph and for the stake,
and deemed the blood of their invaders would be a
just and grateful offering to the spirits of their
fathers, angry, even amid fields of light, that their
sons could tamely resign their heritage. The Chris-
tians had begun to ascend the hill. They were within
thirty paces of those who sought their destruction.
Yet they paused, ere the fatal conflict should send
into eternity they knew not how many souls. Every
LEGEND OF OXFORD. 37
head was uncovered, and every knee bont to the
earth. In one deep, solemn response, their mingled
voices broke forth, " Deliver us, O Jehovah ! from
the hand of the unrighteous, and cruel man : for
thou art our hope, O God i thou art our trust from
our youth." They rose and advanced, with souls
prepared either for victory or death. But the perilous
enterprise was arrested by a mysterious form, rushing
from the dark forest on the left of their path. He
seemed of more than mortal height, and his flowing
robes were girt about his loins, with a broad blood-
red cincture. On his head was a resemblance of
the ancient helmet, surmounted with lofty and sable
plumes. In his right hand a sword flashed with in-
effable brightness, and his left bore a blazing torch,
which illumined his pale countenance, yet faded
beneath the lightning of his awful eye. He exclaim-
ed, as he approached the little flock of Christians,
" The sword of the Lord and of Gideon !"
Pointing onward with his dazzling blade, they
followed him mechanically, as if the shade of Conde
or Coligny had arisen from the grave to lead them
10 victory. The Indians stood as if transfixed with
horror, until this mysterious being confronted them
face to face.
There was a pause of fearful silence, and then he
uttered, in a tone which seemed to shake the hills, a
few terrible words in an unknown tongue. But they
were intelligible to the enemy, who were in an in-
stant overwhelmed with astonishment and fear. At
38 LEGEWU or OXFORD.
the charmed words, as if spell-bound, the bow, stretch-
ed to its utmost tension, dropt the trembling arrow,
and the uplifted tomahawk sank from the hand of
the nerveless warrior. The whole body of savages
turned in flight. Still a voice of thunder arrested
their breathless speed.
" Stay ! Hear what the Great Spirit saith. If
ye lift your hand against one of these my servants,
if ye hurt a hair of the head of any belonging unto
them, your flesh shall be given as meat to the beasts
of the earth, and to the fowls of heaven, and your
souls shall never enter the abodes of your fathers.
Remember, and begone !"
Scarcely was the permission accorded, ere the
surrounding hills were covered with the flying fugi-
tives. Their native agility, quickened by terror,
regarded no obstacle of rock, thicket, or stream.
The majestic being reared high his flaming torch, and
beheld their departure. Not one turned to look back,
so deep was their dread of that fearful countenance,
and tremendous tone. Bending his piercing glance
upon those whom he had rescued, he read the most
intense traces of gratitude, astonishment, and awe,
and heard the repeated yet half-suppressed inquiry.
" Who is our deliverer?"
A voice of majesty answered :
" I am the pillar of cloud, and the pillar of flame,
sent before you in this wilderness, by the Eternal.
Gaze not thus, attempt not to pursue my path, lest,
\ike the wretches who prest upon the base of Sinai,
LEGEND OF OXFORD. 39
when Jehovah honored it, ye perish amid blackness,
and darkness, and tempest. Veil your eyes, and
bow your faces in the dust, while I pass on my
They obeyed, and from a greater distance, the
same deep tone was heard to command
" When you reach your homes, and find those
eyes tearful with joy, which might have been closed
in blood, give glory to the God of Israel."
When the ransomed band raised their heads from
the earth, some thought that they saw the firma-
ment glowing as with a path of living flame. But
others said it was the ray of the full moon, which
lifting from the horizon her broad disk of pale gold,
tinged the mountain-tops and forests with the same
hue, then gradually faded into silver, as a bride
covers her heightened complexion with a snowy veil.
The extreme excitement of this sudden danger and
unaccountable deliverance, did not permit the colo-
nists to discover, until their arrival at their habita-
tions, that one of their number was missing. Then,
the wife of Laurens, holding her babe in her arms,
was seen vainly inquiring for her husband.
They explored the paths which had been traversed,
they returned to the field where they had labored.
But no trace was to be found, save his cartridge-box,
lying near the spot where he had toiled. It was
then evident that he had not been with thtm in their
scene of peril, and dismay marked every counte-
nance. Conjecture was busy in her darkest forma
40 LEGEND OF OXFORD.
among tender and apprehensive spirits, while the
effective strength of the colony gathered in consult-
ation. The boldest proposed immediate pursuit, and
reclaiming the captive by force of arms, during the
season of consternation which then prevailed among
the Indians. The more cautious suggested the dan-
ger of invading their territory with such inferiority
of numbers, as might involve not only their own
destruction, but the extinction of the colony. The
result of their council, was to send an embassy to
Boston, requesting the Governor to demand of the
Indian king their captive brother, or to grant them
military aid in effecting his rescue.
A day of intense anxiety was endured in that lit-
tle settlement. But on the ensuing morning, ere the
sun had dispersed the cloud of vapor that encom-
passed the valley, a shout of joy burst wildly from
many voices. The lost brother had been discovered
hasting toward his home. Only a short interval
transpired, ere he was surrounded by a throng of
kindred and friends, welcoming him with wondering
rapture, and demanding his adventures. His heart
was full, and his lip trembled as he spoke.
" When we departed from the field, after our last
day's labor, I had not proceeded far in your compa-
ny, before I discovered that my cartridge-box was
left behind. Without mentioning the circumstance,
I ran to fetch it, expecting to rejoin you, ere I should
be missed. As I leaped the inclo'sure, I received a
blow on the head from an Indian, who was lurking
LEGEND OF OXFORD. 41
there. When I had partially recovered my senses,
1 endeavored to arise, but found myself in the power
of four natives, who had deprived me of my weapons.
With threatening gestures, they hurried me onward.
A great part of the night we travelled, through al-
most impenetrable woods. Then they halted, and
a fire was kindled. They kindly offered me a por-
tion of the rude viands on which they fed. Then
they lay down to sleep, after pinioning me securely,
and appointing a sentinel, with a loaded musket.
Soon they fell into slumber ; but for me, though sore-
ly wearied, there was no forgetfulness. The flame,
sometimes blazing high, then suddenly declining,
cast a wavering light upon the grim faces and dis-
hevelled locks of those whose captive I was, whose
victim I might soon be. Their athletic limbs, stretch-
ed supinely, gave evidence of great strength, while
their dark, red brows, distorted in dreams, seemed
as if the Spirit of Evil had visibly set his seal there.
When, sickening at the scene, I looked upward, there
was the full, cloudless moon, gilding the crest of the
wide forest, and gliding down its deep arches, to visit
the earth, like the eye of Heaven, beholding a world
of sin, itself continuing pure.
But I could not raise my thoughts in the sublime
offices of devotion. They hovered wildly around
this beloved spot, and her who, I knew, was sleep-
less for my sake. I remembered you all, my friends,
and fancied that I heard your voices, and saw your
search for the lost one. Then it seemed as if an
42 LEGEND OF OXFORD.
unearthly might inspired me, and I believed that I
could destroy my foes, and pass through their blood
to my home, and to you. Then, attempting to start
up, my pinioned limbs painfully admonished me, and
I grieve to say, that the prayer with which I strove
to solace myself, was more in bitterness, than in
Suddenly, the trampling of many feet destroyed
my reverie. A body of Indians approached, hastily
and in disorder. They conversed eagerly with my
captors, in their own language. I imagined, by their
wild gestures, that they were detailing some warlike
expedition, and a horrible suspicion took hold of me.
I feared that they had fallen like wolves upon our
peaceful fold, and shuddered lest I might discover on
their raiment, stains of the blood that was most dear
to me. At every change of attitude, my straining
eyes followed with terror, lest they should display
some fair-haired scalp. From their impassioned ac-
tion, I could gain nothing, save broken delineations
of some conflict, in which the madness of astonish-
A prey to the most afflicting suspense, I was hur-
ried onward to the residence of their king. It was
surrounded by a number of dwellings, constructed
in their arbor-like manner and thatched with mat-
There I saw, in the midst of a few warriors, the
king of the Nipmucks and Narragansetts. He was
tall, with a coronet of white feathers on his head.
LEGEND OP OXFORD. 43
and a grave and noble countenance. He was in
conversation with an aged man, whose eye was
fixed and severe. This was the ancient prophet,
greatly reverenced by the surrounding tribes. After
the large party of Indians had related their story
with strong gesticulation, my captors led me for-
ward, and the king regarded me with a penetrating
"Hast thou shed the blood of Indians?" he in-
quired. I answered in the negative, and added that
we were a peaceful people, considering all men as
our brethren. He stood for some time in silence,
gravely scrutinizing me. Then he addressed the
prophet, still speaking in English.
" Seest thou cause, why this prisoner should not
be set at liberty?"
" Seest thou cause /" exclaimed the old man
indignantly, and extending his hand in rhetorical
action. " The cause is on the sky. It hath told thee
in thunder, that wherever the foot of the pale race
comes, the red man must perish. The cause is
written on the earth, in the blood of our warriors.
It is upon the air, in the red blaze of our wigwams.
And thou art a king of the Narragansetts, and
dost ask of me if there is any cause why a white
man should die ?"
" Think not that I forget the slaughter of my peo-
ple," said the king : " But they were the hands of
Englishmen, that dropped with their blood. What
have this man, or his brethren, done ? They are of
44 LEGEND OP OXFORD.
another race. They came not hither to waste us.
They only mark furrows upon the green earth, and
the corn rises. I myself have been in their dwell-
ings, but not as a king. I went thither as the fox,
and they were before me like doves, without guile.
I was weary, and they spread for me a bed. They
believed that I slumbered. But my eye, like the
eagle's, was upon all their ways. They spake no
evil of Indians. No in their prayers they asked
good things for us, of their Great Spirit. There is
no bitterness in their hearts, towards red men. Son
of Wisdom, why should we lift our hand against the
" Thou art deceived, son of Philip !" answered
the Prophet. " They are moles, mining around thine
habitation. Their path is in silence and in darkness,
and thy heart is simple as the babe. Ere thou art
aware, thou shalt struggle like the fish in the net,
and who can deliver thee? The crested snake
cometh forth boldly, and the poisonous adder work-
eth her way beneath the matted grass. Are they
not both the offspring of the deadly serpent ? This
man, and his brethren, and they who have long
slaughtered us, are all of one race. They are but
the white foam of that ocean, which the Great Spirit
hath troubled in his wrath. Art thou the son of
Philip, standing still, till its billows sweep thee,
and thy nation, away ? That lion-hearted monarch
was not so. Rivers of blood flowed before him in
battle. Even now, his soul is angry at the sight of
LEGEND OF OXFORD. 4O
white men. Last night, in visions, it stood beside
me. Its brow was like thine, O king, but frowns
of vengeance made it terrible. His eye was dark
like thine, but the lightning of the brave made its
glance awful. His voice was hoarse and hollow,
as if it rose from the sepulchre. Ice entered into
my blood, as its tones smote my ear. ' I cannot
rest,' it said. ' White men multiply, and become
as the stars of heaven. My people fade away like
the mist, when the sun ariscth. On their own land,
they have become strangers. My son hideth, with
the remnant of his tribe, in the borders of another
nation. They call him King, Why doth he not
dare to set his feet, where his father's throne stood 1
I see cities there, and temples to a God whom our
fathers knew not. Our canoes ride no longer on
the tides of the Narragansett. Proud sails are there,
whiter than the curl of its waters. Doth the son
of Philip sleep? Tell him, if he be a king, to write
it in blood, on the grave where my bones moulder.
Tell him, if he be my son, to sheath his spear in the
breast of every white man, till the soul of his father
is satisfied.' The spirit vanished, and the blackness
of midnight glowed like a gush of blood. I have
spoken its message unto thee, king of a perishing
race. Yonder is a victim, provided by the Great
Spirit. Bid it soothe the sorrowing shade of thy
The forest echoed to the furious voice of the in-
censed prophet. The king covered his face with
46 LEGEND OF OXFORD.
his hands. Then pointing mournfully toward me,
he said, " Take him, and do with him what ye will.
It is not the king, but the prophet, that demandeth
I would have spoken, but he walked hastily away.
The old man gazed after him with a reproachful eye,
and then spoke rapidly to the people, in their own
language, giving, as I supposed, directions for my
death. I observed him closely, to discover whether
argument or supplication might be hazarded. But
in his stern, stony features, there dwelt no touch of
human sympathy. The victim might as well have
hoped to propitiate the Druid, whose pitiless hand
grasped the sacrificial blade. I suffered them to lead
me away, in silence.
They conducted me to a level spot, from whence
the trees had been partially cleared, as if by fire. I
believed this to be the place of execution. They
desired me to sit, and the women and children flock-
ed around me. Yet I saw not upon their brows
aught of hatred or exultation. Some were strongly
marked with pity. Even the little ones regarded
me with melancholy attention. Towards noon, a
plentiful repast was brought me. It would seem
that they had put in requisition all their culinary
skill, to furnish my last feast on earth. Fish, birds,
and the flesh of the deer, with cakes baked in the
ashes, and parched corn, varied the banquet. They
spread it before me, and retired to some distance,
taught by Nature the simple politeness of not dis-
LEGEND OF OXFORD. 47
turbing the stranger. Returning, they brought water
for my hands and face, and the children, venturing
nearer, decked my hair with wild flowers. I felt
that they were adorning the victim for the altar, yet
I could not but look on them with kindness, for their
guileless manners and simple ceremonies served to
soothe apprehension, though they might not nourish
hope. The men consulted in groups. Probably,
the arrangements for my martyrdom occupied
them. Yet they displayed neither the impatience
to hasten it, nor the savage triumph, that I had
been taught to expect from descriptions of similar
At the decline of day, they stripped a small tree
of its boughs, and cut off its trunk at the distance
of six or seven feet from the earth. As the shades
of evening deepened, they kindled a large fire,
around which they began to dance, with dissonant
music, and violent gesticulation. Becoming excited
almost to madness, they approached and bound me
to the tree.
Hitherto, I had but imperfectly realized my doom.
Illusions of escape and of deliverance had been flit-
ting through my imagination. Even when the
branches were heaped around that were to consume
me, I could not dismiss these illusions. They put
fire to the encircling fuel. It was green, and the
thick smoke almost suffocated me. Horrible visions
swam before my eyes. Unutterable thoughts rush-
ed through my brain. My soul could not bid adieu
LEGEND OF OXFORD.
to the objects of its love. It was tossed upon a sea
of wild emotion, like a reeling bark before the tem-
pest. I strove to recall the instructions of my revered
pastor, but Memory was a wreck, amid the billows
Before me was a steep hill, interspersed with rocks
and thickets. There my eyes fixed, until every
bush seemed to cluster with fiery faces. At length,
on the summit of that precipice, where dark clouds
rested, a light shone, above the brightness of the
moon. A form, of more than mortal height, came
gliding thence, in a path of living flame. In its
right hand glittered the semblance of a sword, and
on its left came forth fire, which seemed to kindle
the firmament. I thought I beheld the King of Ter-
rors. I wished that I could welcome his approach.
The fearful form came nearer. It stood before
me. Awful tones, in an unknown tongue, proceeded
from its lips. At their sound, my foes shrieked
and fled. Like the host of Israel, at the terrible
voice from the flames of Sinai, they could not endure
that " those words should be spoken to them a second
I was writhing before the scorching flame. A
hand of power loosened my bonds. " Follow me,"
said a tremendous voice ; " but gaze not on me, lest
thou perish." I obeyed, and shading my eyes with
my hand, walked in the path of light, that gleamed
before me. I trembled, lest I might accidentally
look upon one, whom " no man can see and live."
LEGEND OF OXFORD.
It seemed that the way was long, but my mind
was in that state when the unities of time and space
are annihilated. I thought that the drapery of a
diseased intellect enveloped me, or that I had already
passed the gulf of death, and was gliding through
the region of disembodied spirits. But still before
me moved, in mysterious majesty, that " pillar of
cloud, and pillar of flame." At length, we stood
upon the banks of a river, which I recollected to
have crossed soon after my capture. The difficulty
which we had encountered in fording it, was the
first circumstance that perfectly restored my senses
from their stupor, after the stroke that prostrated me.
"Pass through the stream," said the same- tre-
mendous voice. I shuddered at its tone. " Pass
through the stream. If its waters oppose thee, ask
aid of Him who taught the wavering disciple to
walk upon the sea. When thou readiest the shore,
kneel, and pay thy vows to Jehovah."
I plunged into the swollen waters. Thrice, their
current thwarted me. Once, I found myself beyond
my depth, and exhaustion came over me. I spake
to my Redeemer. Still the pure ray of that mys-
terious light gleamed around me, till I gained the
opposing shore in safety. There I knelt, in obedi-
ence to the command of my deliverer. . My heart
was full of unutterable aspirations. When they
ceased, I arose, but there was no longer any bright-
ness in my path. I saw that the night had fled, and
the gray dawn trembled in the east.
50 LEGEND OF OXFORD.
As I drew near these beloved abodes, the appre-
hensions which had distressed me, at the return and
mysterious recital of the Indian warriors, again re-
sumed their sway. How shall I describe the rapture,
with which the light of morning gave to my view,
the smoke curling in peaceful volumes above these
trees ! I seemed to surmount the space that divided
me from you, as the swift-winged bird cleaves the
air. Methought I could pour out existence to
Him who had preserved it, in one unending hymn
Friends, ask me neither for explanation nor com-
ment. I have given you the truth, as it dwells in
my soul. Bewildered, I scarcely know what to say,
save that I stand here among you, look on faces
that are dear, and know that God, by some myste-
rious messenger, hath snatched me from destruction."
As he ceased, his friends thronged around him,
with the most affectionate congratulations. Little
children, who had often wept during the narrative,
pressed near, that they might lay their hand upon
one, who had witnessed such marvellous things.
The pastor came forward into the centre of the
circle, as a father enters among his children. Laying
his hand solemnly on the head of Laurens, he said,
" This, my son, was dead and is alive again, was
lost and is found." They understood his inference
unspoken, and kneeling upon the green turf, joined
the holy man, in fervent thanksgiving to their
LEGEND OF OXFORD. 51
To this scene of pious gratitude, succeeded a re-
cital of the danger and preservation of the colony,
to which the rescued brother listened with intense
interest and deep astonishment. Features of simi-
larity were recognized in the mysterious being who
had effected this double deliverance, though a highly
excited imagination had, in the case of Laurens, in-
vested him with more of supernatural influence.
Those events long supplied the colony with a sub-
ject for the hour of twilight musing and midnight
vigil, a theme for the wonder of childhood, the ter-
ror of superstition, the conjecture and speculation
of all. But the lapse of years drew the curtain
from this mystery, by revealing the history of the
After the restoration of Charles the Second to the
throne of England, and his execution of several of
the judges by whom his father had been condsmned,
most of the others fled to foreign climes. Three
of them sought refuge on the shores of New-Eng-
land. Massachusetts and Connecticut alternately
afforded them protection. A cave in the neighbor-
hood of New-Haven was frequently their abode, find
their piety and dignity of manner propitiated the
favor and respect of the people.
When it was understood in Great Britain, that the
Colonels Whalley, Dixwell, and Goffe, had escaped
to New-England, they were demanded by the king.
But the colonists continued to shelter them. The
Governor of Connecticut, and the settlement of New-
52 LEGEND OF OXFORD.
Haven, particularly incurred the displeasure of the
cabinet of James II., by their persevering republican-
ism, and incipient spirit of independence.
In 1687, Sir Edmund Andrus, a sycophant of the
House of Stuart, in its vacillating and vindictive
policy, entered New-England, with the authority
and disposition of a petty tyrant. Arriving at Hart-
ford, he demanded the Charter of Connecticut. Sud-
denly, in the room where the consultation was held,
the lights were extinguished, and the important
parchment disappeared. A bold and cautious hand
deposited it in the hollow heait of an oak, which
henceforward acquired imperishable fame, and still
flourishes in vigorous and green old age.
Sir Edmund Andrus, proceeding to New-Haven
fixed his suspicious eye on a stranger whom he ac-
cidentally encountered, and pronounced to be one
of the regicides in disguise. He instituted a strict
search for the man, but both vigilance, and bribe,
proved ineffectual. This was indeed Col. Dixwell,
who, with his associates, had been " hunted as a par-
tridge on the mountains." Having for a long pre-
vious period been unmolested, he occasionally ven-
tured to walk in the streets, and even to attend pub-
lic worship. Reading in the eagle glance of the
haughty minion, that he was singled out for immo-
lation, he instantly withdrew, and was long invisible
to his most faithful adherents. Sometimes caverns
afforded him refuge ; at others, he threw himself
on the good faith of strangers, and found conceal-
LEGEND OF OXFORD. 53
ment. It was asserted that a cave in the vicinity
of Oxford was among his favorite retreats, and
the date of the events which we have just record-
ed, corresponds with this period of his flight and
Being a man of native address, and military en-
terprise, he had previously mingled, though unknown,
in scenes of conflict with the aborigines. Their
traits of character had interested him as a study,
and having become acquainted with some words of
their language, it was said that he made use of them,
together with a wild and imposing suit of apparel,
a blazing torch, and a sword which had served in
the wars of Cromwell, to accomplish such results
as those which we have related. It was also said
that Father Daille had visited him in his subterra-
nean retreat, and been intrusted confidentially with
his agency in these occurrences, and with other parts
of his history. Be that as it may, Col. Dixwell, who
was a man of superior talents, and religious sensi-
bility, and, as the quaint writers of that age assert,
" possessed of manifest great education," took plea-
sure in evincing, as far as his precarious situa-
tion admitted, his grateful sympathies in the wel-
fare of a people who had saved him from the scaf-
The settlement at Oxford continued gradually and
steadily to attain prosperity. An air of neatness
and comfort pervaded its rustic dwellings. In the
vicinity of many of them, the vines of France
64 LEGEND OF OXFORD.
were seen reaching forth their young tendrils, and
striving to sustain existence with the smiles of a less
genial sun. The pastor, who had led his flock into
foreign folds, shared in all their concerns with a sym-
pathy and zeal that knew no declension. In their
secular affairs he aided with his advice, in their sick-
nesses he sat by their bed, combining the skill of the
temporal healer with the higher offices of the spirit-
ual physician. Piety was not worn by him, only
as a sabbath garb. Every day he wrapped its man-
tle around his spirit. It attended him in his domes-
tic duties, in all his companionship with men. It was
like an undying lamp, of the mildest radiance, ever
beaming on his path, and enlightening the steps of
others. No one could be long in his presence, with-
out perceiving that his heart was above. Yet this
was not evinced by moroseness, or contempt of
earthly cares, or sternness towards weaker spirits,
but by a gentle and powerful influence, which ele-
vated the thoughts and affections of those around.
In his visits to his people, the unrestrained flow of
discourse prompted every heart to pour itself out to
him. Little children gathered near him, and learn-
ed to associate the name of their Redeemer with the
sacred lips that told them of his love. Amid the
unchecked pleasure of this parochial intercourse, the
simple raising of his benign eye to Heaven, was
understood by his confiding and affectionate peo-
ple, as a signal for the spirit to commune with
its Father, if it were only through the aspiration of
LEGEND OF OXFORD. 55
In his partner, he found a congenial mind, and a
helper in every toil. Though her education and
manners might have qualified her to move in courts,
she found no greater delight than in zealously aid-
ing her husband in his responsible duties, particular-
ly in the instruction of the children of the commu-
nity, and the comfort of disease and affliction. Ac-
customed to the pursuits and accomplishments of
refined society, the only recreation in which she now
indulged herself, was the culture of a few flowers ;
and one of the highest gratifications which they fur-
nished her, was sometimes to lay them, in all their
beauty and breathing fragrance, upon the pillow of
the sick. The same benevolence induced her to turn
her knowledge of the physiology of plants to practical
use. A part of her garden was devoted to the rear-
ing of medicinal herbs, and her skill in their applica-
tion enabled her often to alleviate physical suffering.
Yet no diseases of a serious nature had hitherto appear-
ed among them, notwithstanding the influence of a
comparatively severe climate, might have been ex-
pected to put in requisition the more efficient aids
of medicdl science. But their state of society for-
cibly illustrated, how industry, moderated desires,
and habitual cheerfulness, promote health of body, as
well as health of mind.
Somewhat more than three years had elapsed,
since the establishment of the colony. The autumn
of 1690 was advancing towards its close. Copse
and forest exhibited those varied and opposing hues,
56 LEGEND OF OXFORD.
which array in such surprising beauty and brilliance,
the foliage of New-England. The harvest was com-
pleted, and every family was in preparation for the
claims of a cold and dreary season. Children might
still be seen, bearing toward their habitations, bas-
kets of those nuts, which were to vary the banquet
of their winter evenings. The elastic atmosphere
gave vigor to their spirits, and their little voices
clamored joyously and incessantly. It was pleasant
to see their healthful and innocent faces, like bright
flowers amid those wilds, so lately tenanted by the
copper-colored Indian, and the sable bear.
Among these happy groups, were the beautiful
children of St. Maur ; Antoine, a boy of eight, and
Elise, four years younger. They were peculiarly
dear to their father, from the circumstance of his
having the sole charge of them. Their mother,
whose delicate frame had been exhausted by the
hardships of persecution, died during her voyage to
America. The passage had been rude and boister-
ous, and the fearful tempests which marked their
approach to a wintry coast, annihilated that feeble
hope of her recovery, which affection had cherished.
During a violent storm, while the ship tossed as if
the deep were about to engulf her, that pale mother
sat the whole night, with her infant on her bosom.
She was not willing to transfer it to other arms.
Her eyes were fixed upon it : their long and tender
glance seemed to say, " It is the last time." When
the morning dawned, she kissed the baby, and laid
LEGEND OF OXFORD. 57
it in her husband's bosom. Antoine remembered as
long as he lived, that she clasped her cold hands
upon his little head, and said faintly, " The cup
that my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?"
and that in a few moments she was stretched out,
motionless, and dead.
It was not wonderful that St. Maur should regard
these motherless ones, the companions of his exile,
with extreme tenderness, that he should desire to
watch over them every moment. With his permis-
sion to join their companions, in nut-gathering, he
mingled an injunction to return home before sunset.
Delighted with their enlivening occupation, they saw
with regret the sun declining toward the west, but,
obedient to their father's command, took leave of
their companions, and departed from the forest. On
their homeward path, they discovered profuse clus-
ters of the purple forest-grape, and entered a rocky
recess to gather the additional treasure. Suddenly,
they were seized by two Indians. Antoine strug-
gled violently, and every feature was convulsed with
anger. His little sister stretched out her hands, to
him for protection, but in vain. When the first tu-
mult of surprise had subsided, the keen eye of the
boy took note of every angle in the path, every brook
that they forded, every hill that was ascended, deter-
mining, if possible, to effect an escape. He was
grieved that darkness so soon prevented his observa-
tion of the country.
The night was considerably advanced, ere thf
58 LEGEND OF OXFORD
Indians halted. They kindled a fire, and offeied
the children some of the food which they carried
with them. The heart of Antoine swelled high,
and he refused to partake. But the little girl took
some parched corn, and sat on the knee of the rude
Indian. He smiled, when he saw her eat the kernels,
and look up in his face with a trusting, reproachless
eye. Then they lay down to sleep, each with a cap-
tive in his arms.
Antoine wisely restrained his impatience, and re-
mained perfectly still, until the grasp that confined
him relaxed, and deeper breathing denoted slumber.
Then, scarcely daring to breathe, he crept away
from the side of his captor. Softly rising on his
feet, he looked on the sleeping group. Nothing was
heard, save the crackling of the fire, which blazed
up high and bright in the forest, and the distant growl-
ing and moaning of a bear, as if bereaved of her
cubs. The heart of a child at the lone hour of mid-
night, who had never before been separated from the
side of a parent, might well shudder at a scene so
awful. But new and strange courage enkindled, when
he recollected that he was the sole protector of his little
sister, and that their father was now miserable for
The innocent child lay sleeping upon the damp
ground, her head resting upon the shoulder of the
dark, red man. She seemed like a rosebud broken
from its stalk, and dropped in some dismal vault,
where the slimy snake gliding from its nest, enfolds
LEGEND OF OXFORD. 5
it in a venomous coil. Her tiny hand, pure as wax,
lay among the long, black locks of the Indian, and
her ruby lips were slightly parted by her soft and
Her brother, brushing away the thick, dark curls
that clustered around his forehead, bent over her.
He wished to snatch her from durance, and bear her
to her home. He espied a tomahawk, and seized it.
Terrible designs took possession of his mind. He
believed that he coufd cleave the skull of the sleep-
ing Indians. At that moment, his guard awoke.
What was his astonishment at beholding a child,
whom he had deemed incapable of meditating resist-
ance, armed with a deadly weapon, and his dark
eyes Jashing with all a warrior's spirit ! He could
not but gaze on him for a moment with admiration,
for the son of the forest respects valor in a foe, and
to the sight of the brave he was beautiful.
Disarming, and securely pinioning the infant war-
rior, he again stretched himself upon his bed of turf.
Antoine struggled vainly, and at length, overcome
with fatigue and sorrow, mourned himself into a
broken slumber. Yet in his dreams, he incessantly
started and complained, sometimes exclaiming, "Oh
my poor father," or, " See ! see ! they have mur-
dered the child."
When it was discovered in the colony, that the
children of St. Maur had not returned, alarm and
sympathy became general. Every spot was explor-
ed, where it was supposed possible that they might
60 LEGEND OF OXFORD.
have lingered, or wandered. Lights were seen, in
every direction, to glimmer and recede like the lamp
of the fire-fly ; and for hours, upland and valley re-
sounded with their names. But when their little
baskets were found overturned, and their contents
scattered in disorder, one terrible conclusion burst
upon every mind, that they must have been captur-
ed by Indians.
With the dawn of morning, the men of the colony
were assembled at the door of St. Maur. Many of
them bore arms, anxious to go immediately and de-
mand the lost. Their pastor was already there,
consulting with the agonized father. The gestures
of St. Maur were sfrong, and his voice fervent in
argument, but the countenance of the sacred teacher
was fixed, as one who prevails. At length, Father
Daille, advancing, said,
" It is decided that only St. Maur and myself, go,
and require our lost babes of the savage king. If
it be true, as we have supposed, that some germ of
goodness still dwells in the hearts of this fierce peo-
ple, they will listen to a sorrowing father, and a man
of God. Go to your homes, and pray, that we
may find favor in his sight. We give you thanks
for your sympathy, but resistance unto blood might
end in the destruction of our colony. It might fail
to restore the lambs who are lost : it might lay our
whole fold desolate. Return to your homes, my
children. Not by the sword, or the bow can ye
aid us, but by the uplifting of humble hearts and
LEGKND OF OXFORD. 61
The ambassadors to a savage monarch, pressed
the hands of their friends and departed. They met
an Indian pursuing the chase, who had occasionally
shared their hospitality, and consented to become
their guide. After travelling till the evening shades
approached, they encountered a number of warriors,
attended by one who seemed to exercise the func-
tions of Chief. His eyes were fixed on the earth,
like one addicted to melancholy thought, and as he
raised his brow, it exhibited deep furrows of age
and sorrow. His glance was unspeakably stern,
as if it suddenly met objects of disgust, or hatred.
" Our Prophet," said the guide, bending low in
reverence. " He understands your language. He
can interpret the will of the Great Spirit. Our people
Father Daille respectfully accosted him, " Pro-
phet of the Great Spirit, we come in peace. We
are told that thou revealest hidden things. Canst
thou tell us aught of two wandering babes ? When
last the sun sank behind the mountain, we gathered
our lambs into the fold, but these came not. If, in
thy visions, thou hast heard the cry of the lost, we
pray thee to guide a mourning father, where he may
once more shelter them in his arms."
The Prophet remained silent for several minutes,
haughtily surveying them. Then in a hoarse, hollow
tone, he replied
" What should the red man know of the offspring
of his enemies ? What ! but to appoint to the sword,
62 LEGEND OF OXFORD.
such as are for the sword, and to cast such as arc
for the burning, into the flame ?"
" Hath thy Great Spirit," said the Pastor, " any
delight in the blood of babes ? The God whom we
worship, saith from heaven, that ' He hath no pleasure
in the death of him that dieth.' "
" Go your way," said the hoary Prophet, " go
your way, and teach white men not to swear falsely,
and not to steal from the sons of the forest, the lands
that their fathers gave. Go, and when thou hast
taught them these things, tell me the words of thy
God, and I will hear thee. Since the eye of the pale
race first looked upon us, we have had no rest. We
ask only to hunt in our own woods, to guide the
canoe over our own waters, as we have done from
the beginning. But you breathe upon us with thun-
der-blasts, you pour poison into our veins, you pur-
sue us, till we have no place even to spread out our
blankets. We die. But we may not hide even in the
grave. From thence, ye cast out our bones. Ye
disturb the ashes of oar fathers. Why do ye tell
us that your God hath made us brethren ? Your
words and your ways war together. They are as
the flame and the waters. One riseth up to heaven,
and the other quencheth it."
The meek Christian answered, " All white men
obey not the truth. When they seek to do good,
evil overtakes them, and their hearts are weak. Is
it not so with some of our red brethren ? Yet we
despise not the words of thy Great Spirit, because
some of his followers are false."
LEGEND OF OXFORD. 63
While they were conversing, a man of a noble
countenance approached, who by his coronet of
feathers seemed to be the king, and St. Maur ad-
" King of the Red Men, thou seest a father in
pursuit of his babes. He trusts himself fearlessly
with you, for he has heard that your people will not
harm the stranger in distress. The king of our own
native land, who should have protected us, turned to
be our foe. We fled from our dear homes, and from
the graves of our fathers. The ocean- waves brought
us to this New World. We are a peaceful race,
pure from the blood of all men. We seek to take
the hand of our red brethren. Of my own kindred
none inhabit this wilderness, save two little buds
from a broken and buried stem. Last night, bitter
sadness was on my pillow, because I found them
not. If thou knowest, O king, where thy people
have concealed them, I pray thee to restore them to
my lonely arms. So shall the Great Spirit shed
pure dew upon thy tender plants, and lift up thy
heart when it weigheth heavily in thy bosom."
The Indian monarch bent on the speaker a scru-
tinizing glance, and inquired
" Knowest thou this brow 1 Look in my eyes,
and answer me, are they those of the stranger ?"
St. Maur, regarding him attentively, replied, " I
have no knowledge of thy countenance, save what
this hour bringeth me."
" Thus is it ever with the white man. He is
64 LEGEND OF OXFORD.
dim-eyed. He cannot see through the disguise of
garments. Where your ploughs wound the earth,
I have oft stood, watching your toil. There was no
coronet upon my brow. But I was a king, though
your people knew it not. I saw among them nei-
ther violence, nor pride. I went thither as an enemy,
but returned a friend. I said to my warriors, ' Do
these men no harm. They are not like the English.
They do not hate Indians.' The Prophet of our great
Spirit rebuked me. He brought me angry words
from the shade of my buried fathers.
" Again I sought the spot where thy brethren dwell.
Yes, I entered thy house. And thou knowest not
this brow ! I could read thine at midnight, though
but a single star trembled through the thick cloud.
My ear would remember thy voice, though the loud
storm was abroad with its thunders. I came to thy
home hungry. Thou gavest me bread. My head
was wet with the tempest. Thou badest me to lie
down beside thy hearth. Thy son, for whom thou
mournest, covered me with a blanket. I was heavy
in spirit, and thy little daughter whom thou seekest
sat on my knee, and smiled when I told her how
the beaver buildeth his house in the forest. My
heart was comforted. It said, she does not hate
Indians, for she looked on my face, as the lamb
turneth to the shepherd. Now, why dost thou fix
on me such a terrible eye? Thinkest thou that 1
could tear one hair from the head of thy babes 1
Thinkest thou that the red man forgetteth kindness ?
LEGEND OF OXFORD. 65
Thy children are sleeping in my tent. No hand
should ever have harmed them, and when I had but
one blanket, it should have been their bed. Yet I
will not hide them from thee. I know a father's
heart. Take thy babes, and return unto thy people."
He waved his hand, and two warriors ran toward
the royal tent. In a moment, Antoine and Elise
were in the arms of their father. The twilight of
the next day bore upward from the rejoicing colony,
a prayer for the heathen of the forest, and that hymn
of devout thanksgiving which mingles with the music
around the throne.
The bordering aborigines now desisted from inter-
ference with the settlement at Oxford. The offices
of hospitality were renewed, and it appeared that
quietness and confidence had been again restored.
Doubtless, the native urbanity of the manners of
France, pervaded, with a softening and conciliating
influence, even the savage breast.
An industrious and intellectual community, thus
suffered to be at rest, and expand itself, began to
examine its resources, and to balance them with its
wants. The elders, sensible of the value of educa-
tion, for Louis 14th, amid all his faults, had taught
his realm the reverence of Knowledge, dreaded lest
their descendants should forfeit that privilege, or,
relapsing into a rude state of society, forget to esti-
mate it. Therefore, they continually endeavored
to inspire the young with a reverence for letters.
The few books which they retained, in their sudden
66 LEGEND OF OXFORD.
flight from the kingdom, and the treasures of their
own cultivated minds, were held in faithful steward-
ship for the rising generation. The winter evening
fire-side was a perpetual school. Knowledge planted
by the hand of affection in the hallowed sanctuary
of home, is wont to take deeper root, than " seed
sown by the way-side." Parents, who write with
their own pencils, lines of heaven upon the fresh
tablet of their children's souls, who trust not to the
hand of hirelings, their first, holiest, most indelible
impressions, will usually find less than others to blot
out, when the scroll is finished, and to mourn for
when they read it in eternity.
In the establishment of a system of education,
the pastor was a guide, an adjunct, and a counsellor.
The instruction of youth, he had ever considered as
one of the most sacred departments of his office.
Since their removal to this new land, he felt it as
involving peculiarly the felicity and even safety of
his people. Apart therefore from the religious in
struction which he delighted lo impart, he statedly
convened the youth for examination in the various
departments of science, and by brief and lucid lectures
imparted explanation, heightened curiosity, and en-
couraged perseverance. Ambition was thus strongly
excited, and the processes of agricultural labor were
lightened and elevated by intellectual discussions.
He had the satisfaction of seeing his beloved charge
initiated into the rudiments of that general know-
ledge which gives liberality to thought, and also of
LEGEND OF OXFORD. ' 7
perceiving the unbounded influence he was thus
obtaining-over their opinions and affections.
Madame Daille extended the same benevolent care
to the young females. Thrice a week, she assem-
bled them around her. The studies which had been
assigned to them, and their different grades of profi-
ciency, then passed under her strict observation ; and
with a union of tact and tenderness, she often closed
these interviews with some historical fact, or concise
story, illustrating a moral principle, reproving the
errors that she discovered, or enforcing the precepts
of piety. To gain her approbation, was deemed a
sufficient reward for every effort, and her frown was
deprecated like the rebuke of conscience. It was
.impossible that an intercourse of this nature should
subsist, without visible benefit from her superior
intelligence and accomplishments ; and it was
remarked that these young Huguenot females
evinced a courtesy of manner, and correctness of
style, which are usually acquired only among the
more polished classes. Yet she was far from so
refining the minds of her pupils as to induce dislike
to those domestic duties which devolve upon their
sex. She was aware, that in an infant colony,
they were severe in their nature and of imperative
necessity. Her instructions required their faithful
and cheerful performance. Pointing to the fields of
flax, whose blossoms tinged with a fine blue, the fair
vale around them, she expatiated on the excellence of
those arts which could render that beautiful plant so
68 LEGEND OF OXFORD.
subservient to the comfort of those whom they loved.
Hence the distaff, the loom and the needle were
deemed the legitimate companions of the books that
gave knowledge, or of those domestic and social
enjoyments to which both industry and knowledge
To the energy which toil bestows and the con-
templative habits which seclusion induces, the
Huguenots added the softening influences of music.
Sometimes a provincial ballad, or a national air,
warbled by those who had learned them as cradle-
melodies in their own vine-clad realm, would touch
like the Ranz des V aches, the fountain of tears.
Yet it was seldom that they indulged in these ener-
vating recollections. Music of a sacred character,
was their choice. It might be called one of their
occupations. It entered into Education as a science.
It walked hand in hand with domestic toil. It min-
gled with the labors of the field. It sanctified the
bridal festivity, and blessed the cradle dream. It
aided the sick, to suffer and be still, and breathed
out its dirge-like consolation when the dying went
" downward to his dust." It was at every family
altar, morning and evening, when prayer unfolded
its wing, and in their rustic church it heightened the
thrill of devotion, and gladdened the holiness of the
It had been the ambition of Father Daille that his
whole congregation, from the infant to him of hoary
hairs, should be qualified to lift up in unison, the
LEGEND OF OXFORD. 69
high praise? of their God. And it was sweet to
hear those accordant voices swelling forth from their
temple in the wilderness, while the echo of the sur-
rounding woods prolonged the cadence, and fostered
the stranger melody.
Thus peaceful and happy were the colonists of
Oxford. Competence and health sprang up as the
fruits of industry, and the union of physical with
intellectual labor, was found to be neither impracti-
cable nor ungraceful. There came no vision of
wealth to inflate their imagination, no poison of am-
bition to corrode their hearts. They dwelt together
in guileless and trusting brotherhood, and the pastor
and Patriarch daily praised the Eternal Sire, that
one soul of harmony and love seemed infused into
all his children.
This was the aspect of the settlement, in the spring
of 1700. It is with sorrow that we darken this
scene of more than Arcadian felicity. It has been
mentioned that the greater part of the lands com-
prehended in the original purchase were held in
undivided, undisputed possession ; that the harvest
was apportioned without jealousy, and the herds
drew nutriment from a common pasture. Ten years
of peace and amicable intercourse with the abori-
gines had lulled their apprehensions, and with their
increase of prosperity and of numbers, came an
increasing demand for the means of subsistence.
It was therefore deemed expedient to reduce to cul-
tivation a large expanse of land, at some distance
70 LEGEND OF OXFORD.
from the field of 'their accustomed labpr. Thither,
one fine vernal morning, the whole effective strength
of the colony was gathered. Their toil on the hither-
to unbroken soil, was animated by a common inter-
est, and enlivened by conversation which partook
of fraternal sympathy. Father Daille, who, like
pastor Oberlin, took a personal interest in all that
regarded his people, reminded them that the ensuing
day was the fourteenth anniversary of their colonial
existence, and heightened their emotions of gratitude
by contrasting the comforts of their present sim-
plicity of life, with the sorrows, persecutions, and
fears from which they had escaped.
Suddenly, the report of muskets in the direction
of their distant homes, filled every heart with con-
sternation. Hastening toward their abodes, with
agonized speed, many a husband and father was
met by those dearest to him, communicating intelli-
gence, that the Indians had been among them.
As a fearful proof that their visit had not been in
friendship, the body of Jeanson, one of the most
esteemed of their number, lay weltering in blood,
upon the green turf that skirted his threshold. They
entered his house, and saw that the work of savage
vengeance was perfect. Not one had been spared.
The mother, with the infant that she would gladly
have died to shelter, lay a lifeless wreck, with its
mangled form clasped firmly in her arms. Two
other innocents whose heads had been dashed against
the hearth-stone, where they had been nurtured, left
LEGEND OP OXFORD. 71
the stains of their life-blood, to tell the story of the
extinction of a whole family.
The astonishment and grief of the colonists, i
would be in vain to describe. A part rushed in the
direction where the spoilers were said to have dis-
appeared, and the remainder considering this as the
prelude of a general attack, removed all the women
and children to the fort. At night they were joined
by their friends in arms, who had through the day
vainly sought to track, or to obtain information of
the murderers. But they had learned, in the course
of their pursuit, the alarming fact, that the king, the
tried and faithful friend of the colony was no more,
that he had been assassinated for his attachment
to the whites, by his own people, instigated by the in-
furiated prophet. Sentinels were placed, as the dark-
ness deepened, and the elders met in consultation.
It would seem that only three Indians had been
seen on this errand of death. They started from an
adjoining thicket, just as Jeanson, who had been
detained at home later than his associates, was de-
parting to join them. His destruction, and that of
his family, was the work of but a few moments, and
they disappeared, ere the distant protectors could be
summoned, or even the settlement generally alarmed.
" We will again pursue them, with the dawn of
morning," said Bethu, the nearest neighbor of the
dead. " We will press, with arms in our hands,
through the line of their fiercest warriors, and demand
hose blood-stained barbarians of their prophet
72 LEGEND OF OXFORD.
The shades of Conde and Coligni shall not reproach
us with suffering our brother to fall unavenged."
Boudineau spoke next, an elder whose hair was
silvered. " Their mode of warfare is as peculiar
as their habits of life. They avoid every encounter
of regular and open battle. Who can pursue them
into their wilds with effect, or even with rational
hope of return ? While we strive to carry retribu
tion into their miserable wigwams, will they not
suddenly fall upon the precious pledges we leave
behind, and extinguish our light for ever 1 Have we
any mode of defence, but perpetual vigilance, and
never losing sight of our habitations ?"
" Who," exclaimed Pintard, " can endure this spe-
cies of oppression, this spiritless submission to an abject
foe, this everlasting dying to avoid death ? If we are
to live the lives of cowards, it were better to do so
among civilized men, than to teach the free-born
spirits of France to shudder and watch the skulking
steps of savages, those links between animal nature
" Our fallen brother," said Sejournie, " could not
have awakened the personal hatred of the natives,
he who was even proverbially peaceful and amiable.
May we not therefore suppose that the situation of
his house being on the outskirts of the settlement,
induced the murderers to select it, as affording facili-
ties for their purpose, with the least danger of re-
taliation? Is it not also probable that the absence
of the men of the colony was known to them, and
LEGEND OF OXFORD. 73
that this determined their choice of time for the de-
predation ? If there was no individual enmity, this
fearful deed marks latent hostility to the whole, and
a hostility distinguished by that cunning which pre-
dominates in their character. May we not consider
this unprovoked act, as the beginning of a series of
the same complexion ? The murder of the pacific
king, and the predominance of the prophet's influ-
ence, give us fearful premonition of what we are to
" Let us," said Rollin, resign these lands, and
incorporate ourselves with some larger colony. Our
force is inadequate to cope with the tribes upon our
boundary. It is better to bear the charge of pusil-
lanimity, which this measure might involve, than to
have our blood wasted drop by drop, by a foe not
tangible, who springs like a lion from the thicket, or
breaks with his war-whoop upon the midnight dream,
or desolates the fire-side and the cradle, if the father
forsakes it but for a moment."
" We came to these wHds," said Boudoin, " to wor-
ship God freely, and to live in peace with man : yet
we still seem to be in warfare, or in dread of it, or
as a city besieged. While we thus stand in armor,
the toils by which we gain subsistence must lan-
guish or be laid aside. So, that the death which we
ward off by the sword, comes by famine. To a people
of peaceful creed, this military watchfulness, and
sleepless dread, and continual declension, rob fleeting
life of its value."
74 LEGEND OF OXFORD.
All expressed their opinions, as varying judgment
or different tides of emotion dictated, and then, ac-
cording to their patriarchal form of government, ap-
pealed to the pastor as umpire. He spoke deliber-
ately, as one who felt the importance of every
" We know that the tribes upon our borders are
formidable in their combination. Their king has,
under God, been the bond of peace between us and
them. That bond is severed for ever. We owe a
tear to his memory, for his friendship to white men
has cost him his life. The counsel of Moloch has
prevailed ; the fierce and vindictive prophet is stir-
ring up his people to the utter extermination of our
colony. The blood-hounds of savage war are doubt-
less to be let loose upon our peaceful settlement. The
disaster which has now convened us, in mournful
consultation, is, we have reason to believe, only the
precursor of the storm the first blast of the hurri-
cane. It would seem, therefore, the dictate of wis-
dom, if not of necessity, to return to that happy city
which first sheltered us, when as exiles we sought
this New World. We shall there find that safety,
which we must here purchase at the expense of blood
too precious ; perhaps, which we are even too few
in numbers to secure to the helpless ones, who have
trustingly followed us to this wilderness. We may
there, by other employments, as well as those of
agriculture, gain subsistence for those who depend
on us ; and these lands may eventually be disposed
LEGEND OF OXFORD. 75
of, to a colony of more effective strength, or one
that may more readily command the aid of the go-
vernment, in repelling aggressions of the aborigines.
Brethren, and sons, I have spoken my opinion. But
I am free to confess, that I have spoken it under the
pressure of emotion. I am this night as a father
bereaved of his children. My decision is made in
sorrow. Ye, whose hearts are less bowed down,
decide in this matter. Judge, and we will abide by
your decision, and may the spirit of unerring wisdom
preside hi your council."
He covered his face with his hands, and spoke no
more, till they ended their consultation. They pro-
tracted it, till the morning shone full and fair upon
the green hill, and the rough, gray stones of the fort
where they were assembled. After canvassing every
argument, and discussing every point of feeling, the
decision of the majority was in favor of immediate
removal. The opinion was unanimous, that in or-
der to avoid a recurrence of savage depredation, no
delay should take place, except for unavoidable pre-
paration and the obsequies of the departed.
The succeeding day drew near its close, when,
bearing the bodies of the slaughtered family, the
whole colony in solemn procession entered the hum-
ble building which had served for a church. When
the dead were stretched out, side by side, in that
sacred tenement, the wailing was deep and univer-
sal. The father smitten in full strength, the mo-
ther, with her youngest born strained to her bosom
76 LEGEND OF OXFORD.
in death's convulsive grasp, and two little mangled
forms, whose exceeding beauty was remembered by
all, lay in silent and awful repose.
The man of God waited until the first waves of
agony were broken. Furrows of painful thought
were upon his brow, but his bearing was like one
whose heart is in heaven. When there was silence,
he stretched forth his hand to the people.
" Ye know, that this is the fourteenth birth-day
of our village. We hoped to have celebrated it with
songs of festivity. Now, our melody is mingled
with the voices of those who weep. The sweet in-
cense that we would have offered at the altar, is
heavy with the odor of bitter herbs. Yet He who
hath caused mourning, is also the God of compas-
sion. He will not break the leaf driven before the
" Many thoughts press upon me to be spoken. But
ye cannot bear them now. Ye come as the Israel-
ites to their passover, with loins girded and staves
in your hands, as men in haste for a journey. But
go not forth despairing, though ye pass beneath the
cloud. Take the Ark of the Covenant upon your
shoulders. Let the wing of the cherubims oversha-
dow you. Arise and depart, for this is not your
" Scene of our Refuge ! when our own land cast
us out, thou little Zoar, where we prayed that we
might enter from the storm of the Lord, vales,
where the sounds of our industry have arisen, for-
LEGEND OF OXFORD. 77
ests, that have yielded to our strokes, homes of our
happiness, every year more dear, hallowed by the
interchange of joy, the voice of supplication, \ve
bid you all adieu ! Holy Church ! consecrated by
our united prayers, our sacred symphonies, out
hopes that rested not upon this earth, we bid thcc
farewell, in the name of the Lord. Wherever we
wander, though our tears should drop in the foun-
tains of strange waters, never will we forget thee,
our Zion in the wilderness. Lifeless remains of the
brave and the beautiful, the virtuous and the beloved,
severed branches crushed blossoms what shall
we say 1 Ah ! how often will our mourning hearts
recall your images, as they once were, as they now
are, stretched in ruins before us.
Souls of our departed friends ! if ye have attain-
ed that heaven where the storm beateth not, where
tears are wiped from all eyes for ever, if from that
clime of bliss, ye behold us compassed with infirm-
ity and woe, teach us how slight all the thorns, the
tempests of this pilgrimage, seem to you, now you
are at rest. My children, what awaits it where we
pitch our tents for the brief remnant of this shadowy
life ? what avails it, if the angel who removeth their
curtains in a moment, but find the spirit ready to meet
its God ?"
He ceased, and the services of devotion rose in
low and solemn response among the people. Parents
knelt among their children, and with one voice in-
voked and blessed the King of kings. The memory
78 LEGEND OF OXFORD.
of their sorrows and fears, for a season flee' eel away
on the soul's high aspiration, as the pure flame dis-
perseth the smoke with its heavenward spire. Hands
hardened with labor, and brows pale with watching,
the tender, tearful eyes of the mother and the babe,
were alike raised upward, while they gave thanks to
the Father of Mercies.
A pause of silence ensued, and every head was
bowed, while the unuttered individual orison as-
cended. They arose, and still the pause continued.
The people lingered for their wonted benediction.
" Part we hence," said the pastor, " part we hence,
without one sacred melody ? While the fountain of
breath is unsealed, shall it not give praise to the
He designated a plaintive anthem, from the se-
venth of Job. It burst forth harmoniously, but soon
the dirge-like tones became tremulous. After the
strain " Oh, remember that my life is wind," the
cadence was protracted, as if all melody had ceased.
Still faintly, the music revivified : " As the cloud
is consumed and vanisheth away, so he that goeth
down to the grave shall come up no more. He shall
return no more to his house, the places that have
known him shall know him no more."
The pastor listened as one who hears for the last
time, sounds most dear. But the thrilling strain with
which the anthem closes, commenced so feebly, as
to be scarce audible. It trembled, like the sighs of
a broken harp, it faltered, one or two quivering
LEGEND OF OXFORD. 79
voices prolonged it for a moment, it ceased, and
the wail of sorrow rose up in its stead. Music could
no longer contend against the tumultuous tide of
The man of God stood up, and blessed the people,
and led the way to the church-yard. There, upon
the fresh, vernal turf, each coffin was laid by its open
cell. Kneeling among the graves, he poured forth
fervent supplications, like the Prophet of Israel, lift-
ing his censer between the dead and the living. Tears
were upon all faces, as the bodies were deposited in
their narrow house. Children sobbed aloud, and
groans burst even from manly bosoms, as the earth,
falling upon the coffins, sent forth that hollow sound,
which he who hath paid the last duties to the be-
loved dead, hath felt in his inmost soul, but never
The patriarchal teacher spoke, and into every tone
his overflowing heart poured the feeling that it was
for the last time.
" Graves of our friends ! those that have been
long sealed, and those now enriched with new trea-
sure, we thought that our bones should here have
rested with you. Looking upon your turf-covering,
how often have we said, ' Here shall we also be ga-
thered unto our people !' Jehovah humbleth the fore-
sight of man. He may not even point out where his
bed shall be, when the wasted clay falleth like a fret-
" Graves of our friends ! We part from you to re-
80 LEGEND OF OXFORD.
turn no more. Our steps may no more wander amid
your sacred mounds, nor our tears nourish your
greenness. Keep what we have intrusted to you,
safe in your cold embrace, until summoned to re-
store it, by the voice of the archangel, and the trump
" My children ! what were man without the pro-
mise of the resurrection ? How could he endure,
when the grave whelms his joys, but for the sure
hope of eternal life ? How could he dare to lay
down in the dreary tomb, in all the misery and sin-
fulness of his nature, but for the merits of his Re-
deemer ? Ah ! what would be now our mourning,
if forced to ask in uncertainty and anguish, who will
roll us away the stone from the door of these sepul-
" Stricken and sorrowing flock, turn again unto the
Shepherd of your souls. He hath smitten, and he
alone can heal. He hath dispersed, but shall again
gather you into his fold. He hath troubled the wa-
ters that were at rest. But the angel of mercy still
waiteth there, the wounded spirits shall be made
They turned from the place of sepulchres, and the
next sun saw their simple habitations desolate. Not
a sound of rural labor was heard there. No child-
ren were seen searching for the violets which early
spring had awakened. Scarcely the striking of the
Arab tents, produces a more profound silence, or a
wider solitude. The sons of the forest roamed at
LEGEND OF OXFORD. 81
will among the tenantless dwellings, and the wild
fox found in their ruins a covert for her young.
Nothing now remains of the history of the Hu-
guenots, but a few statistical facts. The romance
of their legendary lore, terminated with the abdica-
tion of their colony. From the year 1700, they be-
came incorporated with the inhabitants of Boston.
Their habits conciliated respect and regard, and their
character is still maintained by their descendants.
In 1713, the lands which they had vacated were
occupied by a second colony, who still retained for
their settlement and for the river that environs it, the
names of their Huguenot baptism. The pastor Daille,
beloved almost to adoration by his flock, and revered
by all around for his example of amiable and con-
sistent piety, was taken to his reward, in the year
1715. His successor in the sacred office was the
Reverend Andrew de Mercier, author of the "Church
History of Geneva, with a political and geographical
account of that Republic." The church, which it
was the care of this religious people to erect soon
after their removal to Boston, was situated where the
present Universalist Church, in School-Street, now
stands, and is designated in the records of that date,
as the " French Protestant Church."
May I be forgiven for adding one more matter of
fact, as an additional witness to the integrity of my
Legend ? In the Granary Burying-Ground in Bos-
ton, two lowly graves still legibly bear the simple
inscription of the " Reverend Pierre Daille, and
82 LEGEND OF OXFORD.
Scyre, his wife." Yet it is amid the fair scenery
of Oxford, that we gather the strongest evidence of
the truth of this narration, and most visibly com-
mune with the images of a race, whose serene pa-
tience, and unwavering faith, render them models
of primitive devotion. There, a gray-haired man
has long pointed the traveller to a deep hollow in
the turf, and told him, " This is the spot where the
house of Jeanson stood, the French Protestant, who
with his whole family were here massacred by the
The most aged inhabitants of that pleasant region
assert, that within their remembrance, the empur-
pled hearth-stone, on which the heads of those beau-
tiful babes were dashed, was still seen, resisting with
its indelible record the action of the elements, long
after every other wreck of the dwelling had perish-
ed. But among the most striking vestiges of this
interesting people, are the ruins of the Fort con-
structed for their defence, and bearing the antiquity
of a century and a half. There, within a quadran-
gle of ninety feet, whence the stones have been prin-
cipally removed in the processes of agriculture, may
be still traced, the well v from whence they drew
water in their rude, foreign home. Asparagus, from
the original germs of France, annually lifts its bul-
bous head and its feathery banner, to attest the iden-
tity of its perished plants. Fruit-trees, said to be
descendants from their ancient nurseries, still flour-
ish, and are entwined by the coarse vines, and en-
LEGEND OF OXFORD. 83
livened by the deep blush of the indigenous rose
of our country, fondly striving to naturalize the
There are probably some, who will doubt the
truth of this narrative, and still more, who will turn
from the simple vestiges of its veracity with indiffer-
ence. But there are others of a different class, who
could not wander amid those disjointed stones, once
the rude barrier against the ruder savage, nor ex-
plore through matted grass the paths of those per-
secuted and peaceful emigrants, nor reclining be-
neath the shades so often hallowed by their prayers,
recall their firmness in danger, their chastened joy
in prosperity, their serene and saint-like patience,
in affliction, without feeling like the Law -giver of
Israel, constrained to " put their shoes from their
feet, because the ground on which they stand is
HYMN OF NATURE.
O ! BLEST art thou whose steps may rove
Through the green paths of vale and grove
Or, leaving all their charms below,
Climb the wild mountain's airy brow !
And gaze afar o'er cultur'd plains,
And cities with their stately fanes,
And forests, that beneath thee lie,
And ocean mingling with the sky.
For man can show thee nought so fair,
As Nature's varied marvels there ;
And if thy pure and artless breast
Can feel their grandeur, thou art blest !
For thee the stream in beauty flows,
For thee the gale of summer blows ;
And, in deep glen and wood-walk free,
Voices of joy still breathe for thee.
But happier far, if then thy soul
Can soar to Him who made the whole,
If to thine eye the simplest flower
Portray His bounty and His power :
If, in whate'er is bright or grand,
Thy mind can trace His viewless hand,
If Nature's music bid thee raise
Thy song of gratitude and praise ;
THE I-OST STAR.
If heaven and earth with beauty fraught,
Lead to His throne thy raptured thought ;
If there thou lovest His love to read ;
Then, wand'rer, thou art blest indeed !
THE LOST STAR.
A LIGHT is gone from yonder sky,
A star has left its sphere ;
The beautiful and do they die
In yon bright world as here?
Will that star leave a lonely place,
A darkness on the night?
No ; few will miss its lovely face,
And none think heaven less bright !
What wert thou star of? vanish 'd one,
What mystery was thine ?
Thy beauty from the east is gone :
What was thy sway and sign?
Wert thou the star of opening youth?
And is it then for thee,
Its frank glad thoughts, its stainless truth,
So early cease to be?
Of hope and was it to express
How soon hope sinks in shade ;
Or else of human loveliness,
In sign how it will fade ?
How was thy dying ? like the song,
In music to the last,
An echo flung the winds among,
And then forever past?
ITAGE ON THE SEA-SHORE. 87
Or didst thou sink as stars whose light
The fair moon renders vain ?
The rest shone forth the next dirk night,
Thou didst not shine again.
Didst thou fade gradual from the time
The first great curse was hurl'd,
Till lost in sorrow and in crime,
Star of our early world?
Forgotten and departed star !
A thousand glories shine
Round the blue midnight's regal car,
Who then remembers thine ?
Save when some mournful bard like me
Dreams over beauty gone,
And in the fate that waited thee,
Reads what will be his own.
HERMITAGE ON THE SEA-SHORE.
O WANDERER ! would thy heart forget
Each earthly passion and regret,
And would thy wearied spirit rise
'To commune with its' native skies :
Pause for a while, and deem it sweet
To linger in this calm retreat ;
And give thy cares, thy griefs, a short suspense,
Amidst wild scenes of lone magnificence.
Unmix'd with aught of meaner tone,
Here nature's voice is heard alone :
When the loud storm, in wrathful hour,
Is rushing on its wing of power,
88 HERMITAGE ON THE SEA-SHORE.
And spirits of the deep awake,
And surges foam, and billows break,
And rocks and ocean-caves around,
Reverberate each awful sound
That mighty voice, with all its dread control,
To loftiest thought shall wake thy thrilling souL
But when no more the sea-winds rave,
When peace is brooding on the wave,
And from earth, air, and ocean rise
No sounds but plaintive melodies ;
Sooth'd by their softly mingling swell,
As daylight bids the world farewell,
The rustling wood, the dying breeze,
The faint, low rippling of the seas,
A tender calm shall steal upon thy breast,
A gleam reflected from the reahxs of rest.
Is thine a heart the world hath stung,
Friends have deceived, neglect hath wrung?
Hast thou some grief that none may know,
Some lonely, secret, silent woe ?
Or have thy fond affections fled
From earth, to slumber with the dead?
Oh ! pause awhile the world disown,
And dwell with nature's self alone !
And though no more she bids arise
Thy soul's departed energies,
And though thy joy of life is o'er,
Beyond her magic to restore ;
Fet shall her spells o'er every passion steal,
And soothe the wounded heart they cannot heal
A FLOWER IN A LETTER. 89
A FLOWER IN A LETTER.
MY lonely chamber next the sea
Is full of many flowers set free
By summer's earliest duty ;
Dear friends upon the garden-walk
Might stop amid their fondest talk,
To pull the least in beauty.
A thousand flowers each seeming one
That learnt, by gazing on the sun,
To counterfeit his shining
Within whose leaves the holy dew
That falls from heaven, hath won anew
A glory ... in declining.
Red roses used to praises long,
Contented with the poet's song,
The nightingale's being over :
And lilies white, prepared to touch
The whitest thought, nor soil it much
Of dreamer turned to lover.
Deep violets you liken to
The kindest eyes that look on you,
Without a thought disloyal :
And cactuses, a queen might don.
If weary of her golden crown,
And still appear as royal !
Panises for ladies all ! I wia
That none who wear such brooches, miss
A jewel in the mirror :
A FLOWER IN A LETTER.
And tulips, children love to stretch
Their fingers down, to feel in each
Its beauty's secret nearer.
Love's language may be talked with these !
To work out choicest sentences
No blossoms can be meeter,
And, such being used in Eastern bowers,
Young maids may wonder if the flowers
Or meanings be the sweeter.
And such being strewn before a bride,
Her little foot may turn aside,
Their longer bloom decreeing !
Unless some voices whispered sound
Should make her gaze upon the ground
Too earnestly for seeing.
And such being scattered on a grave,
Whoever mourneth there may have
A type that seemeth worthy
Of a fair body hid below,
Which bloomed on earth a time ago,
Then perished as the earthy.
And such being wreathed for worldly feast,
Across the brimming cup some guest
Their rainbow colors viewing,
May feel them, with a silent start,
The covenant, his childish heart
With nature, made, renewing.
No flowers our gardened England hath,
To match with these, in bloom and breath,
Which from the world are hiding
A FLOWER IN A LETTER. 91
In sunny Devon moist with rills,
A nunnery of cloistered hills,
The elements presiding.
By Loddon's stream the flowers are fair
That meet one gifted lady's care
With prodigal rewarding ;
But Beauty is too used to run
To Mitford's bower to want the sun
To light her through the garden !
And here, all summers are comprised
The nightly frosts shrink exorcised
Before the priestly moonshine !
And every wind with stoled feet,
In wandering down the alleys sweet,.
Steps lightly on the sunshine ;
And (having promised Harpocrate
Among the nodding roses, that
No harm shall touch his daughters)
Gives quite away the noisy sound,
He dares not use upon such ground,
To ever-trickling waters.
Yet, sun and wind ! what can ye do,
But make the leaves more brightly show
In posies newly gathered?
I look away from all your best ;
To one poor flower unlike the rest,-
A little flower half-withered.
I do not think it ever was
A pretty flower, to make the grass
Look greener where it reddened :
92 A FLOWER IN A LETTER.
And now it seems ashamed to be
Alone in all this company,
Of aspect shrunk and saddened!
A chamber-window was the spot
It grew in, from a garden-pot,
Among the city shadows :
If any, tending it, might seem
To smile, 'twas only in a dream
Of nature in the meadows.
How coldly, on its head, did fall
The sunshine, from the city wall,
In pale refraction driven !
How sadly plashed upon its leaves
The raindrops, losing in the eaves
The first sweet news of Heaven !
And those who planted, gathered it
In gamesome or in loving fit,
And sent it as a token
Of what their city pleasures be,
For one, in Devon by the sea,
And garden-blooms, to look on.
But SHE, for whom the jest was meant,
With a grave passion innocent
Receiving what was given,
Oh ! if her face she turned then, . . .
Let none say 't was to gaze again
Upon the flowers of Devon !
Because, whatever virtue dwells
In genial skies warm oracles
For gardens brightly springing,
THE PILGRIM'S REST.
The flower which grew beneath your eyes,
Ah, sweetest friends, to mine supplies
A beauty worthier singing !
"THE PILGRIM'S REST."
PILGRIM, why thy course prolong?
Here are birds of ceaseless song,
Here are flowers of fadeless bloom,
Here are woods of deepest gloom,
Cooling waters for thy feet ;
Pilgrim, rest ; repose is sweet.
Tempt me not with thoughts of rest :
Woods in richest verdure dressed,
Scented flowers and murmuring streams,
Lull the soul to fruitless dreams.
I would seek some holy fane,
Pure and free from earthly stain.
Based upon the eternal rock,
Braving time and tempest's shock ;
Seest thou not yon temple gray ?
There thy weary steps may stay,
There thy lowly knees may bend,
There thy fervent tears descend.
Has that temple stood the storm?
Could no touch of time deform ?
Was the altar there so pure,
That its worship must endure ?
Whence those noble ruins then?
Why the wondering gaze of men ?
94 THE PILGRIM'S REST.
No. The Sibyl's power is gone ;
Hushed is each mysterious tone ;
Closed the eye, whose upward gaze
Read the length of human days ;
Blindly darkened to her own,
Shrine and goddess both are gone.
Onward, then, my feet must roam ;
Not for me the marble dome,
Not the sculptured column high,
Pointing to yon azure sky.
Let the Heathen worship there,
Not for me that place of prayer.
Pilgrim, enter. Awe profound
Waits thee on this hallowed ground.
Here no mouldering columns fall,
Here no ruin marks the wall ;
Marble pure, and gilding gay,
Woo thy sight, and win thy stay.
Here the priest, in sacred stole,
Welcomes every weary soul.
Here what suppliant knees are bending !
Here what holy incense lending
Perfume to the ambient air !
Ecstasy to praise and prayer !
Pilgrim, pause ; and view this pile :
Leave not yet the vaulted aisle :
See what sculptured forms are here !
See what gorgeous groups appear !
Tints that glow, and shapes that live,
All that art or power can give !
THE PILGRIM'S REST.
Hark, the solemn organ sounds !
How each echoing note rebounds !
Now along the arches high,
Far away it seems to die.
Now it thunders, deep and low,
Surely thou mayst worship now.
Tempt me not. The scene is fair,
Music floats upon the air,
Clouds of perfume round me roll ;
Thoughts of rapture fill my soul.
Tempt me not, I must away,
Here I may not dare not stay.
Here amazed entranced I stand,
Human power on every hand
Charms my senses meets my gaze,
Wraps me in a wildering maze.
But the place of prayer for me,
Purer still than this must be.
From the light of southern skies,
Where the stately columns rise
Wanderer from the valleys green,
Wherefore seek this wintry scene ?
Here no stranger steps may stay,
Turn thee, pilgrim haste away.
Here, what horrors meet thy sight !
Mountain- wastes, of trackless height ;
Where the eternal snows are sleeping,
Where the wolf his watch is keeping,
While in sunless depths below,
See the abodes of want and woe !
96 THE PILGRIM'S REST.
Here what comfort for thy soul !
Storm and tempest o'er thee roll,
Spectral forms around thee rise,
In thy pathway famine lies ;
All is darkness, doubt, and fear,
Man is scarce thy brother here.
Tempter cease. Thy words are vain.
'Tis no dream of worldly gain,
'Tis no hope in luxury dressed,
'T is no thought of earthly rest,
Earthly comfort, or repose,
Lures me to these Alpine snows.
I would seek, amid this wild,
Fervent faith's devoted child.
Holy light is on his brow,
From his lip are words that glow,
In his bosom depths of love
Filled from heaven's pure fount
I would follow, where his feet
Mountain-rocks and dangers meet.
I would join his simple band,
Linked together, heart and hand ;
There I fain would bend my knee,
? T is the place of prayer for me !
THE FAMILY PORTRAITS.
Blest be that art, which keeps the absent near,
The beautiful, unchang'd, from Time's rude theft
Guards the fresh tint of childhood's polish'd brow
And when Love yields its idol to the tomb,
Doth snatch a copy.
LOVE of Fame, has been called by philosophers,
the universal passion. The desire of adhering to
the memory of those we love, is an integral part of
our nature. We need not turn to the costly mauso-
leum, or the pyramid on the sands of Africa, to
prove this " longing after immortality." It is equal-
ly illustrated, though on an humbler scale, by the
boy, who climbs a tree, to carve his initials on its
trunk, the student, who defaces the college pre-
cincts with multiplications of his nomenclature, the
guest, who graves it upon the grotto of his host,
the traveller, who inscribes it in the Alpine Al-
Yet there is one modification of this sentiment, at
which I have ever marvelled, viz, the bequeathing
of our bodily presence to posterity, in a style calcu-
lated to disgust, or alarm them. When I have gazed
at Family Portraits, whose ugliness and quaintness
of costume, scarcely the deepest reverence for their
98 THE FAMILY PORTRAITS.
antiquity could tolerate, I have wondered at the am-
bition to be exhibited to one's unborn relatives, in a
deformity which nature never gave. It is but a
doubtful compliment to the master of an ancient
mansion, to be obliged to contemplate the founder
of his house, perhaps the architect of its fortunes,
expanded with angular joints, and an idiotic physi-
ognomy, over several square feet of canvas ; and
awkward flattery to a blooming belle, to be told that
the demure, ill-arrayed, and hideous beings, who
stare at her from their frames, as she hurries through
some unfrequented apartment, are her progenitors.
Yet there are remedies for such mortifications, a
refuge in garrets, a deposit among lumber, the
teeth of rats, the voracious perforation of worms.
So that those worthies, who in their prim and pro-
tracted sittings to the artist, trusted to have been ho-
nored as the Lares and Penates of their descendants
for ever, to have been produced as the Egyptian
brings forth his embalmed ancestor, to preside at the
banquet, and be the chief ornament of the festival,
may esteem themselves happy, should their effigies
escape utter annihilation.
Why I have been led to this train of moralizing,
the sequel of my sketch will unfold. The opening
of its simple drama is in Boston, about the year
1722. According to the most authentic statistics,
it then comprised a population not exceeding 10,000,
and sustained three weekly newspapers. The ex-
citing objects which now occupy the community,
THE FAMILY PORTRAITS. 9
canals, rail-roads, and the transmigrations of the
power of steam, had then no existence. Had any
speculator in the wildest excursion of his brain, ven-
tured to present such visions to the grave politicians
of that day, his reception would have been much
like that of Columbus, when before the University
of Salamanca, he broached his theory of an undis-
covered world, amid frowns and threats of the Inqui-
Still, there was at this period, no paucity of sub-
jects for conversation : and the most engrossing one,
was the contested system of Innoculation for the
Small Pox. Divines attacked it from the pulpit,
styling it, " an invasion of heaven's prerogative, a
most sinful lacking of faith, a high-handed doing of
evil, that good might come." Lady Mary Wortley
Montagu had first ventured to naturalize this Turk-
ish practice in the person of her only son ; and Dr.
Boylston, of Boston, who hazarded the experiment
upon his son and servants, with a happy, result, was
pronounced by an historian of the day, " the first
physician in the British dominions, that had dared
such a deed." Among the few firm advocates of
the system of innoculation, at this period, was Dr.
John Ranchon, a native of France. He had resided
a number of years in Boston, and being in posses-
sion of a competent estate, had withdrawn from the
labors of his profession. Still he could not but sur-
vey with deep anxiety the ravages of that terrible
disease, which during the year 1721, had swept
ICO THE FAMILY PORTRAITS.
nearly 800 persons from their comparatively sparse
But, de facto, our business is with this same Dr.
lianchon, and circumstances which transpired in his
family, more than with any dogmas he might adopt
respecting the science of Esculapius. The cause of
his emigration to this country, was the expected ven-
geance, consequent upon a clandestine marriage.
Louise Beauchamp, whom he loved, and whose rank
was higher than his own, had been immured by her
relations in a convent, to p^revent their anticipated
union. But her favorite brother, Edward Beauchamp,
favoring the pretensions of the lover, an elopement
ensued, and the parties immediately embarked for
this New World. The young and beautiful wife,
after the residence of a few years in Boston, gave
birth to an infant daughter, and died. The bereaved
husband, in devotion to this little orphan, and occa-
sional intercourse with the natives of his own coun-
try, passed most of his time, and gradually found
solace. A colony of Huguenots, who, after the re-
vocation of the Edict of Nantz, had formed a settle-
ment at Oxford in Massachusetts, and were driven
thence by an incursion of the Indians, had fixed
their permanent residence in Boston. Among these
he found kindred spirits, and extended to them every
office of kindness and hospitality.
At the period of which we now speak, the year
1722, he had arrived at his grand climacteric, with
robust health, and an unbroken constitution. He
THE FAMILY PORTRAITS. 101
possessed an irascible temper, and a decision of man-
ner approaching to sternness, yet modified by native
benevolence. Though somewhat unpopular, from
his strong prejudices and disregard of courtesy, he
was still treated with deference by some who respect-
ed his professional skill, and by more who rendered
homage to his wealth. Especially as it became
generally known, that he had an only daughter, fair,
and approaching woman's estate; the discerning
beaux were particularly assiduous in their attentions.
He was by no means indifferent to the flattery of
marked politeness, though his simplicity of heart
induced him to consider it as a spontaneous tribute
to his merits. Yet he could not avoid sometimes
remarking, in his curiously laconic style, to Beau-
champ, who continued a member of his household,
" These young fellows are better bred than their
fathers. The coming of so many French people
to live here, has been a great advantage, no doubt."
His brother, more a man of the world, and skil
ful in decyphering its motives, would reply
" Indeed, the young men of the city seem to bow
lower, as your daughter Mary rises higher. They
carefully proportion their attentions to her increasing
stature, and comfortable expectations. Ever since
her fourteenth birth-day, a rapid improvement in
their manners has been visible. Your cane cannot
drop in the market-place, but half-a-dozen white
hands with rings and ruffles, are thrust forth to seize
and restore the precious treasure to its venerable
102 THE FAMILY PORTRAITS.
owner. Ten years since, you might have fallen your-
self, without a single shrug of compassion from these
exquisites. Doubtless, my good brother, your fame
was never fully understood, until Mary became its
interpreter. Happy father ! whose beautiful daugh-
ter has no employment for her tongue, so agreeable
as to publish his excellencies."
But to Dr. Ranchon, who continued to view Mary
as scarcely emancipated from the nursery, and who
daily addressed her by his favorite appellation of
" baby," the hints of Beauchamp were altogether
unintelligible. He still persisted in the course which
he had originally adopted, of sending her to the
most expensive schools, asking her once a week
how her music and French came on, and praising
every flower or landscape which she produced, how-
ever carelessly executed. Within a year or two,
since her uncle had reminded him that she was as
tall as her mother, he had begun to inquire if she
knew what went to the composition of a pudding,
and whether she could " foot up an account neatly,
in pounds, shillings, and pence ?" This new class
of interrogatories he usually interlarded with
" Well ! well ! shan't marry, except to a genuine
Huguenot ! remember that !"
Then patting her cheeks, as the blood mantled
higher in them, would bid her be a " good baby."
This injunction respecting marriage, though it might
seem to be given in a trifling manner, was neverthe-
less decided. It was founded on the old gentleman's
THE FAMILY PORTRAITS. 103
national partialities, which were exceedingly strong,
and was understood by his family to rank among
those few positive commands of the Doctor's which
it was never safe to disobey.
Mary, from the blind indulgence which had almost
invariably entered into her education, would have
been in imminent danger, had it not been for a large
share of native good sense. This, however, was
inadequate effectually to control passions naturally
ardent, or to eradicate vanity which, had her look-
ing-glass been broken, would still have gathered nu-
triment from the flattery of her school-companions.
She possessed symmetry, though not delicacy of
form, a profusion of raven hair, a clear, brown com-
plexion, quickened by a bright bloom, and a dark,
piercing eye. The expression of her countenance,
varying as she spoke, would have rendered her pe-
culiarly interesting, had not her striking features
betrayed some consciousness of their own power, and
the curl of her rose-tinted lip betokened haughtiness.
Still, few could look upon Mary Ranchon in the
early blush of womanhood, without repeating the
glance ; though the more judicious were compelled to
temper their admiration with pity, for her early loss
of maternal culture. Her self-exultation was held
considerably in check, by the penetrating eye of her
uncle, whom she knew to be a better judge of
female elegance than her father, and whose keen
sarcasms she exceedingly dreaded.
Beauchamp, though not under the guidance of that
104 THE FAMILY PORTRAITS.
refinement which appreciates the unostentatious vir-
tue of the sex, if unadorned by wealth or beauty,
still possessed that acute perception of propriety,
courtesy, and accomplishment, which springs from
intercourse with the more elevated ranks of society,
and is sometimes rendered even more watchful by
an acquaintance with the abandoned. Love for his
niece prompted him to permit no error in manner,
no consciousness of beauty which might weaken its
effect, to pass without the lash of his saj-ire. Find-
ing herself the object of such close criticism, a sal-
utary restraint was laid upon a deportment which
would otherwise have been wholly without control ;
and while she shrank from the wit of Beauchamp,
she respected his judgment. She could not but per-
ceive that the partiality of her father often moved
him to countenance, or even to applaud in her, ac-
tions and expressions which conscience told her de-
served reproof. Sometimes when she quitted the
room covered with blushes of chagrin and anger,
because some questionable deed or opinion had been
placed in a strong light by her uncle's bold raillery,
the kind-hearted old gentleman would say
" Seems to me, Ned, you are rather too sharp with
the girl pretty clever body, after all."
" The misfortune is, my sapient Doctor, that she
is altogether too clever for thy straight-forward ho-
nesty. She compasseth thy path, and thou knowest
it not. Thy astronomy is baffled by the " chang-
ing Cynthia in the female heart." Thou wert never
THE FAMILY PORTRAITS. 105
expert in computing its phases. I assure thee, that
I only keep a brotherly watch over thy interests.
Why, baby Mary, as you call her, with her hot-
house politics, would bring a plant to perfection,
germ, flower, and fruit, while thou wert learnedly
puzzling over its botanical genus."
The truth was, that Mary had already permitted
herself to be addressed in the language of love. Its
foundation had been in a thoughtless emulation, a
proud determination not to be outdone, as many
young ladies at the boarding-school where she at-
tended as a day-scholar, were boasting of the gallant-
ries of their admirers. Yet as he who tampers with
flame is not always certain of being able to extin-
guish it, she found that what had begun in vanity,
threatened to end in pain. The man whose atten-
tions she encouraged, scarce knowing that she did
so, was her senior by more years than she had num-
bered, and no novice in the science of entrapping
the affections. She knew little respecting him, ex-
cept that he was called Patten, to which the title of
Captain was appended, that his exterior and style
of conversation were imposing, and that he was
extravagantly praised for elegance of dress and man-
ner, by her giddy associates. But she was also
apprized that he was a native of Ireland, and conse-
quently, without the line of her father's demarcation.
She continually promised herself that should the
affair take the form of serious declaration, to repulse
all proposals and be governed solely by filial duty.
106 THE FAMILY PORTRAITS.
But her hand was upon the mane of the lion, and
she knew it not. Her lover readily perceived that
she had too much feeling for a coquette, and decided
to protract his operations, until by inducing her to
accept, under the mask of friendship, those attentions
which belong to love, her generosity or her gratitude
should at length render her unable to repel his se-
His design was to possess himself of her fortune,
and he saw no practicable avenue to this point, but
through her affections. He therefore made his ap-
proaches with that combination of perfect respect
and tender observance, against which the heart of a
female is seldom proof. The prohibition of her fa-
ther, which had reached him by the voice of rumor,
rendered his visits at the house inadmissible. Hence
their interviews were limited to the school which
Mary attended, where they were imprudently con-
nived at by her governess. She feared even to accept
him as a companion in a walk or ride, lest Beau-
champ, who was a man of leisure, and continually
traversing the streets, should detect the acquaintance
Yet, though her lover was fully sensible of the ad
vantage which he had gained, in persuading her to
accept concealed attentions, she could not long per-
sist in such a course without self-reproach. She en-
dured the remorse of a generous mind, which, find-
ing itself involved in the mazes of duplicity, gradu-
ally loses the power of retracing its path. Some-
times she resolved to reveal the whole to her father
THE FAMILY PORTRAITS. 107
and throw herself upon his compassion : again she
saw her lover, and the resolution vanished before his
powers of fascination. With the simplicity of a
first-love, she began to regard his protestations as
truth, to believe that his felicity was indeed at her
disposal, and that her smile or frown was to be the
arbiter of his destiny. She became uneasy thus to
trifle with the 'happiness of one so perfectly subser-
vient to her wishes, and who constantly assured her
that he would rejoice to lay down life for her sake.
Should any grave female within the safe precincts
of single blessedness, condemn this credulity, as
peculiar weakness of mind, let her retrace the an-
nals of her own romantic days, and inquire if there
is no vestige of sympathy with Mary ; and though
she may not have partaken in her follies, let her ask
if she rose wholly superior to her delusions.
Captain Patten now supposed that he had gained
an eminence from whence the attack might be suc-
cessfully opened. He pressed for permission to soli-
cit her father to sanction his addresses. This was
what she could not grant, but ah ! the dismission
which she had always promised herself should meet
such a proposal, was withheld by the hesitancy of
her traitorous affections. Angry at her want of
decision, she yielded to all the miseries of mental
conflict, like the man who, half a convert to piety
and half the servant of sin, " resolves, and re-re-
solves, then dies the same." The tumult of her
spirits created a temporary indisposition, and she con-
108 THE FAMILY PORTRAITS,
fined herself to her chamber. Madelaine Dubelde,
a waiting-maid, who had attended her mother in her
removal from France, and since her death had gra-
dually elevated herself into the office of house-keep-
er, and humble companion to her young mistress,
endeavored to divert her chagrin by such conversa-
tion as would best have dissipated her own.
"Ah, Mademoiselle ! if you were but in Paris, with
that beautiful face, and that air so graceful, so de-
gagee, you would have no time for such terrible fits
of ennui. Why, you would be followed by more
adorers than could stand upon the common. Not
such dowdies as you see in this country, who dare
not look at or speak to a young lady, when they
meet her. Oh Mon Dieu ! I had rather have a lodge
in the crookedest part of the Rue St. Denis, than
the grandest house in the whole of this mean village
of Boston. I certainly have seen nothing fit to eat
or drink, since I came to this vile America. I am
sure I should never have become such a perfect rack-
a-bone, if any thing could have been found here, which
a lady ought to eat. Why, dear Mademoiselle, if we
were only in France, you would have been present-
ed at court by your mother's relations, long before
this, and think what a stir you would have made
among the princes of the blood ! Now here you sit
moping, day after day, like a creature shut up in a
pound. T am absolutely afraid you will lose your
senses, and I cannot see you suffering as you do,
without thinking of some beautiful lines of a great
THE FAMILY PORTRAITS. 1Q9
French poet, about a rose fading in the wilderness.
Once I could say them all by heart, and sing them
too, but I have lost my memory, and my voice, and
every thing else, since I have been obliged to breathe
the dull, heavy air of Boston. Why, your father
invites nobody .o visit at the house, but a parcel of
half-starved Huguenots. I wonder which of them
he proposes shall swallow you alive. I hope I shall
not live to see the day. Your mother would have
looked a deal higher for you. She was the right
sort, you may depend. But she grew melancholy
after coming to this land of wild beasts, and was not
the shadow of her former self. You can judge a
little by Beauchamp, how she once looked. He has
not the air of these yankee bodies."
" Did my mother resemble Beauchamp ?" inquired
Mary, yawning, and desirous to turn the channel of
discourse from herself.
" Something between Monsieur Beauchamp and
yourself," replied the waiting^maid, " would be more
as she was in the height of her beauty. She was
like Venus, in that picture in your uncle's cham-
ber, where Paris (I believe it was he who built
the city of Paris,) is choosing between three god-
" Why did not my father have her portrait taken ?"
" He did, several years before your birth. I always
told him that nobody but one of the court painters
from France was fit to do it. But he must needs
patronize the jackasses of this country. So there the
HO THE FAMILY PORTRAITS.
poor lady sat face to face with one of them, to please
her husband, day after day, till she was ready to
faint with disgust. But when it was done, O Lord '
the thoughts of it drive me mad. It was so bolt
upright, so stiff, staring, and with such an abomina-
bly silly expression, so entirely out of character,
holding in one hand a huge bunch of pinks and
marigolds, and in the other, a book, looking vastly
like a bible, which was quite as much out of charac-
ter too, for she had too much good sense to put her
eyes out, with poring over dull, godly books.
" When Beauchamp saw the production, he told
the painter to take it with him to the devil ; but your
father thought it had better be hung up a while for
the colors to mellow. At last it proved rather too
bad even for him, though he did not say much about
it. One day, I smelt smoke, and an awful odour of
oil, and ran into the dining-room, screaming,
' Lord, Sir ! the house is on fire.' What do you
think I saw, but that vile picture, split all to pieces,
and laid on the fire, burning with a terrible flame,
and the old gentleman thrusting it in further with his
cane, never speaking a word, or so much as turning
his head towards me."
" How old was my mpther, when she left her
native country ?"
" Just your own age, my sweet Mademoiselle,
about sixteen. I never saw any mortal being so
resplendent as she was, the night of her escape from
the convent. Down she came by a ladder of ropes
THE FAMILY PORTRAITS. HI
from a high window, that would make your poor
weak head dizzy to look up at. Monsieur Beau-
champ held it firm, and carried her in his arms to
the carriage which waited in a dark thicket at the
end of the avenue. There was I in it, and your
father standing near, and the two postilions drove
like lightning till we readied the coast, where a priest
performed the ceremony, and we all embarked with-
out a moment's delay. When she was first brought
to the coach, she was as white as your robe, but as
soon as she found herself out of the clutches of the
nuns and their tribe, and safe with me, and her
lover, and her brother, she dazzled like a wreath of
rubies and diamonds. If she had not shown her
Beauchamp blood, and ran away just at that time,
she would have been moped to death in a convent,
just as you are likely to be in your own father's
This episode" touched a chord that vibrated pain-
fully, for Mary's lover at their last interview had
urged her to an elopement, and though she had re-
jected the proposal with spirit, it still remained as a
thorn in her memory, as a thing to which she ought
never to have listened.
" Dubelde," said she, " I wish for rest. You for-
get that your tongue has been in motion without
cessation, these two hours."
" Two hours ! Oh mon Dieu ! It is just five
minutes by my watch, since I came up from order-
ing Bridget about the ragout. The stupid wretch !
1J2 THE FAMILY PORTRAITS.
I dare say she'll spoil it. Not a soup have I seen
in this country, that would not turn the stomach of
a horse. Why, we had scarcely been here a month,
when I sent to the market for some frogs, thinking
to make a pasty myself, to tempt your mother's
palate, for she was even then beginning to pine away
with starvation. Would you believe it ! the beast
of a servant never returned till night, and then came
bringing a huge pot of vile, fat toads, for which he
said the market-man must have six livres, having
spent most of the day in hunting them. Your poor
mother was not the shadow of herself, for years
before you were born. And you are in the same
way, I perceive. All your charming naivete quite
gone. You cannot even bear a few minutes' discourse
with a friend. Ma foi ! But how can I wonder,
when I am so changed myself? My nerves have
been shattered by hearing of the horrid Indian sav-
ages of this country. And my eyes, it does not
become me, to be sure, to tell what was said of them
in France, but one might be apt to think that time
had changed them. No such thing, it's more sor-
row, and weeping after Paris. More than once,
when I have been walking on the Louvre, a great
Prince, brother to Louis the king, has bowed to me.
I suppose he mistook me for one of the Duchesses.
But you must not speak of that, Mademoiselle. Lord !
I dare say you did not so much as hear me, for you
are dying with sleep."
Mary was relieved by the absence of her waiting.
THE FAMILY PORTRAITS. 113
woman, who, like many other persons of a low mind,
thought to magnify her consequence by a strain of
discontentment, and expatiating on the superior ad-
vantages of a former situation. Dr. Ranchori received
immediate information from her, that her young
mistress was in a fixed consumption, and that no-
thing but a voyage to France could possibly restore
her. Credulous, and prone to agitation, where his
daughter was concerned, he ransacked his library
for authors who had written upon this disease, col-
lected his antiquated manuscripts to search for cases
within the range of his own practice, and turned the
whole current of his thoughts and conversation upon
the phthisis pulmonalis.
A few evenings after the communication of this
intelligence, as Dubelde was assisting her young
lady to retire, she began in a whimpering tone to
upbraid her want of confidence.
" Madelaine," she exclaimed, " what have I con-
cealed, which was proper for you to know ?"
" Alas ! every thing," replied the querulous dam-
sel. " Have I not carried you in these arms whole
years, and accompanied your mother in her flight
across the tossing ocean ? And now to be treated
like an underling. Ah, mon coeur ! She never
would have done so. Why, here is the story of
your love, and your marriage that is to be, all over
town, and I never to be told a breath of it."
"All over town ! Explain yourself," said Mary,
letting her long and beautiful hair fall uncurled over
]14 THE FAMILY PORTRAITS.
her shoulders, and seating herself in deep surprise
on the side of the bed, her night-robe flowing in loose
and graceful drapery around her.
" O, that air of astonishment is vastly becoming,"
replied Dubelde ; " only it brings rather too fine a
color over the brow, for a lady already so far gone
in a hectic. There was I, and your poor father,
fretting ourselves to death about asses' milk, and
how to make you put on flannel, and he was dis-
tracted to have a monstrous blister laid upon your
breast, though I told him he might as well undertake
to persuade you to have your head cut off. But after
all, it seems that you are likely to let the doctors
alone, and die a natural death at last, since all this
alarm is only an affair of the heart, as Monsieur
" My uncle ! What does he know of this strange
story of yours?" inquired Mary with evident alarm.
" Nothing that I know of," answered Dubelde,
" and he never would have heard it from me, had
you but seen fit to honor me with your secret. I
have had grander love-matters than yours, brought
me for advice, I assure you, young lady. I have had
experience enough too, in such sort of things myself,
(forcing a sigh) to be a counsellor. But courting
is nothing in this country to what it is in France."
" How did you obtain the information of which you
speak?" asked Mary.
" How did I obtain it? Oh, to be sure ! What
if I should take it into my head to be as close-mouth-
THE FAMILY PORTRAITS. H5
ed as other people ? Why, if I must tell, I obtained
it in the streets, where it is in every body's mouth
for aught I know. I saw the man with my own
eyes, Madam. He is a perfect Adonis. I had never
expected to see such grace and symmetry in this
land of savages. He is the very picture of the prince
who bowed to me on the Louvre, only he is rather
more em-bon-point, and his shoulders a trifle broader.
But such life and spirit, ma foi ! and such a fine
dress, a perfect courtier too, in speech and voice."
" Speech and voice ! Of whom are you under-
taking to prate ?"
" Why, of Captain Patten. Who did your lady-
ship suppose? I should not have mentioned his
voice, to be sure ; I only meant to have said, what it
would be if he had spoken, for high-bred gentlemen
always abound in fine words. I had been walking up
Winter-street, for a little airing, as you know I have
been moped to death in your chamber for more than
this whole week, and I saw him coming down the
mall. I could do no less than just stop to admire him,
for I thought he must be some foreign prince. Who
is that ? says I. Why, don't you know ? says they. It
is Captain Patten, Miss Mary Ranchon's admirer
You don't say so 1 says I. Oh, the wedding-dresses
are all made, says they, and she is going to settle
on him the whole of her mother's fortune, because
that is at her disposal. See, he wants to speak to
you, says they."
"Says who?" interrupted the young lady, in,
116 THE FAMILY PORTRAITS.
" Why, they that was with me, to be sure. Peo-
ple need not be so mighty inquisitive unless they
could contrive to show a little more frankness them-
selves. Well, as I was saying, I stopped one mo-
ment, and he came directly up. Such a bow I have
not seen, since I turned my back on dear Paris.
' Mademoiselle Madelaine Dubelde, I presume,' said
he Lord ! how should he know my name. I was
abashed at such politeness, and felt my cheeks red-
der than a piony. ' You are, I understand,' he went
on, ' a particular friend of that paragon of beauty
and loveliness, who holds my heart as the fowler
holds the pierced bird. Commend me most favor-
ably to her clemency, and say' "
" Dubelde," rejoined Mary, with all her father's
sternness, which she well knew how to assume,
" either speak the truth, or leave my presence."
The narrator, regarding her eye for a moment,
and perceiving that her tissue had been woven with
too little art, and that falsehood could not elude the
quick penetration of her mistress, laid aside the flip-
pancy which had hitherto marked her recital, and
" Since a slight embellishment so much offends
your delicate nerves, I will give you the plain fact. I
was accosted, as I came from the market, by a fine-
looking man, who, after mentioning his name, and
inquiring earnestly after your health, begged me to
deliver you this letter, and suddenly vanished among
THE FAMILY PORTRAITS. 117
" I shall not take the letter."
" As you please, Madam. I shall just lay it on
your dressing-table. It will do no harm there, I
trust. It is a mere complimentary note, I dare say,
and sealed just like the court billetdoux."
Mary desired to be left alone, and throwing her-
self upon her couch, ruminated painfully. She was
confounded at the rashness of Patten, in thus reveal-
ing himself to Dubelde, and felt there was great
hazard in trusting one so naturally indiscreet, and
whose confidence she had taken no care to propitiate.
Again she recalled the circumstances of her last
interview with her lover, and blamed herself as the
cause of his precipitation, by the anger which she
had testified at his solicitation to elopement, and by
her subsequent seclusion from him. Sometimes she
condemned herself for evincing too much spirit ; then
for not assuming enough to reject him utterly.
Still she was determined not to read his letter.
What could he possibly say in it, more than he had
said 1 A tumult of thought banished sleep until
midnight. She rose to extinguish the lamp which
beamed too strongly upon her eyes. The letter lay
near it upon her toilette. It was sealed with a head
of Venus. The writing was elegant. What harm
could arise from just looking at its contents ? Would
it not be wiser to read it, and then inclose it in a
note, commanding him to forget her? Perchance,
thus reasoned our mother, when beneath the fatal
tree in Paradise, " she plucked, she ate." The
118 THE FAMILY PORTRAITS.
maiden trimmed her decaying lamp. Twice she
took the letter, and twice restored it to its place, ere
she Nroke the seal. She perused it, and it fell to the
flooi Reclining her head upon her hand, while her
luxuriant tresses fell around her like a veil, she con-
templated its pages with an air of vacancy, and with
scarcely a connected thought, until advancing dawn
admonished her to retire. She rested her throbbing
temples upon the pillow, but no slumber visited her.
The bitterness of self-reproach, and the collision of
love with duty, rendered her an object of commiser-
ation. The letter contained ardent protestations of
attachment, deprecated the misery which the ru-
mor of her ill-health had caused him, conjured her
to suffer him to remove the veil which had so long
concealed his faithful love, and ventured to urge that
if her father should prove inexorable to his prayers,
she would not shrink from a step which many of the
most excellent of her sex had taken, nor condemn
to eternal despair, a heart devoted to but one object
with unalterable fidelity. Nothing was written
which had not been previously adduced, but the ar-
guments seemed lo gather strength by condensation.
An eye accustomed to the vernacular of love-epistles
would have discovered in this, more of studied ar-
rangement than of artless passion, with somewhat
of that style which betrays expectation 'of success
But to a novice, with an advocate in her own bosom,
the appeal, if not irresistible, was at least dangerous
It rendered the writer an object of more undivided
THE FAMILY PORTRAITS. 119
contemplation, and the lover who succeeds in mono-
polizing the thoughts of an innocent heart, is like
the conqueror who cuts off the channels of supply
from a besieged citadel. Madelaine found her young
lady in the morning, changed both in appearance
and manner, and with rapture listened to the request
not to divulge her secret.
"Never fear me, my sweet Mademoiselle," she
answered : " it is safe as in your double-locked cas-
ket. Now you will be well again, at least I must
tell my master so, for he is in such a panic, that he
will be sure to lay on a blister as big as a Parmesan
cheese before night. But, Lord ! how shockingly pale
you look ! Just touch a little of my rouge to your
heauliful cheeks. Mon Dieu ! how awfully obstinate
you are ! It won't hurt your complexion, you may
tell that by mine. It only keeps one from looking
like a downright fright. The finest complexions on
earth would be utterly ruined, by the vile easterly
winds that are for ever blowing here. I protest that
even mine is hardly fit to be seen now, though it
was so much admired in France. But, my lovely
creature, I am delighted that you have read that
charming letter;" bending towards it with intense
Mary, blushing at her faithlessness to her own
resolutions, snatched it from the carpet, and press-
ing it together, hid it in her bosom. This was the
most wretched day that she had ever passed. "Com-
pelled to counterfeit cheerfulness during the visits of
10 THE FAMILY PORTRAITS.
her father, in order to countenance the report of her
recovery, she reproached herself for duplicity, until
she loathed her very being. When she observed
his eyes resting upon her with affectionate solicitude,
she wished to throw herself at his feet, and acknow-
ledge that she was unworthy to be called his child.
Dreading the scrutiny of Beauchamp's glance, she
excused herself from his proffered visit, with the
promise of appearing below on the ensuing day.
The attentions of the waiting-maid were indefatiga-
ble, and her exultation as extreme, as if she had
again been promenading the Louvre, and receiving
a bow from some imagined Prince. Her extravagant
praises of Patten would have excited suspicion that
she was bribed to his interest, had the mind of her
mistress been sufficiently at case for clear investiga-
tion. So much had poor Mary sunk in her own
opinion, that not only was the impertinence of the
menial tolerated, but even her suggestions accom
panied with some degree of influence.
"Why, an elopement is no such terrible thing, my
adored lady. Your mother did it before you, and
your father, of all men, would have no right to com-
plain. A few words before the priest, a short jour-
ney, return home, with a shower of tears, would
appease the old gentleman, and then all set off toge-
ther somewhere, to France, I hope, Ah ! how de-
lightful. But suppose, Mademoiselle, you dismiss this
elegant lover, as your heart does not seem very sus-
ceptible, and so marry one of these starveling Hu-
THE FAMILY PORTRAITS. 121
guenots. Perhaps you would prefer one of that queer
sort of bodies. Well, there 's no accounting for
tastes, and every one has a right to choose their own
den, as the bears say, in the fable. You '11 be set to
work like an ox, and what good will your guitar or
your piano do ye, where no music but the whirling
of a spinning-wheel is desired or understood ? You
can do it, I suppose, if you prefer it, and so have
nothing fit to eat, or decent to wear, and pine away
and die, like your poor dear mother. But if you
can't quite bring your stomach to that, what 's to be
got by waiting ? How long will it be, before Beau-
champ will hear this news in the streets 1 And how
long, think ye, will he keep it from your father ? O,
mon Dieu ! what a terrible storm will be then. Much
worse, than if you had eloped and got back again,
for then he would have to make the best of what
could not be helped, and there would be only a show
of anger with a yearning heart underneath, and so
delighted would he be to see you, that he would soon
drop his frowning mask, and in one month's time,
I promise you, would be proud of such a son-in-
Mary did not admit the force of these arguments,
but she evidently listened to them, and on such a
point, " the woman who deliberates is lost." That
night, as she was about to retire, exhausted for want
of repose, but with little expectation of enjoying it,
she was startled at the sound of a violincello, direct,
ly under her window.
122 THE FAMILY PORTRAITS .
Alarmed lest the proximity of her uncle's cham-
ber should occasion her some embarrassing ques-
tions respecting the serenade, she bent from the
window, and seeing the form of Patten indistinctly
by the light of the moon, motioned with her hand
peremptorily for him to retire. Still the strain con-
tinued its impassioned melody. Bending lower from
the casement, she said in a tone scarcely audible,
" Go ! I command you."
He obeyed, but again from a great distance, she
caught the echo of a different lay, which was a fa-
vorite among her companions. Almost the words of
its chorus seemed to be articulated, so perfect was
the modulation :
" I go, proud heart ! Remember me,
Remember him, who dies for thee."
This occurrence effectually prevented her slum-
bers for another night, and she rose with disordered
nerves, and a tremulous anxiety of spirit. Hearing
that she was expected in the breakfast parlor, she
hastily arranged her dress, and required repeated
assurances from Dubelde, that Beauchamp could
possibly know nothing of her secret, ere she ven-
tured into his presence. He met her at the staircase,
and taking her hand, led her into the breakfast- room,
but forbore any except general inquiries about her
health, and regarded her with so little scrutiny, that
she felt at ease, and resumed something of her native
hilarity. Dr. Ranchon was so delighted at her re-
appearance, that he could scarcely take his repast,
THE FAMILY PORTRAITS. 123
for the number of greetings that he had to bestow,
mingled with occasional commendations of his own
medical acumen, and precise knowledge of her con-
stitution. After breakfast, at taking his cane for his
morning walk, he, recommended her to retire to her
room, and compose herself after this first exertion
of strength, and to take a wine-glass of the decoction
of valerian, with a little hartshorn to temper the
effect of the sedative. At his departure, Beauchamp
drew her into the recess of a window, under pretence
of showing her a new volume of colored prints. He
amused himself for some time in pointing out the
elegant execution of the landscapes, and the life and
prominence which characterized the figures. While
she was admiring the plumage of a bird, which she
did not perceive was the Hibernian thrush, he cover-
ed with her hand, all the letters of the name except
Hibernia, and said with marked expression, " As
you are doubtless better acquainted with the ornitho-
logy of that island, than your uncle, can you tell him
whether this ig one of the songsters which warble in
Then casting at her an oblique glance from be-
neath his long eye-lashes, while his fine eyes seem-
ed to say, that her soul was open before him, ne
" All birds understand not the word of command
from a fine lady, nor is the same one equally obe-
dient at all times, ma belle Marie."
Compassionating the extreme confusion with which
124 THE FAMILY PORTRAITS.
she was covered, he drew her to a seat by his side,
and attempted to turn her attention to other designs
of the artist. But complaining of an head-ache,
which she really had, she disengaged herself, and
hastened to her chamber. Rushing by Dubelde, she
covered her face with her hands, exclaiming
" He knows it ! he knows all ! Beauchamp has
discovered all ! I wish that I were hidden in the
" Ma foi !" shrieked the chamber-maid, " and if
that is indeed the case, you have no time to lose.
This night must you be on your way, or Patten is
lost for ever."
" This night !" said the infatuated girl, " seems to
be the only time, for I heard Beauchamp say that
he was to go to Milton-hill, on a party of plea-
sure, and not return until to-morrow. So that it
would not be in his power to discover any movement
here, and probably he will have no opportunity to
inform my father before he goes. Oh ! I would suf-
fer anything rather than encounter such another
harrowing, humiliating glance. That miserable
serenade has been the cause of all this."
Madelaine exclaiming with delight, " Now you
are yourself again, your mother's child," hasten-
ed to make necessary arrangements, acknowledging
that she had already held three assignations with
Patten on this subject. Mary permitted her to depart,
continually repeating to herself,
" It is impossible that I should be more wretched
THE FAMILY PORTRAITS. 125
than I now am," not knowing that there is no wretch-
edness like that which a woman suffers, who has
given her affections where they can never be return-
ed, trusted her earthly all to one frail bark, and
found the wreck total.
Most persons will condemn our heroine, for lis-
tening to the opinions, and employing the interven-
tion of so contemptible a woman as Dubelde. Let such
critics themselves beware of ihefrst step in a wrong
course ; for who can tell where the last may lead ?
Most of us, when disposed to candor, can recollect
passages in our own history, where the commenda-
tions of one whose judgment we might habitually
despise, if it happens to fall in with the current of
our partialities, has had some agency in determining
a doubtful and important choice. Dubelde was ab-
sent at intervals during most of the day. Toward
its close, she brought a letter from Patten, expressive
of the most extravagant gratitude.
" Every arrangement is made," said she. " AH
that you have to do, is precisely when the clock
strikes twelve, to come down, looking like a goddess
as you do now, all arrayed for a ride in this fine
moonlight. Your lover meets you at the door of the
little summer-parlor, opening into the garden, leads
you through that into the next avenue, where a post-
chaise waits, and a servant on horseback. Then you
drive to Providence, get the ceremony performed,
and take an excursion just where your ladyship
pleases, until you are ready to come back and be
126 THE FAMILY PORTRAITS.
pardoned. Oh ! how interesting you '11 look on your
knees, with the old gentleman a little stern at first,
because he '11 feel obliged to be so, though he '11 be
panting, at the bottom of his heart, to cry welcome.
Lord ! how much better is this, than one of the dull
weddings of this miserable country ! Why, a fune-
ral is nothing to them for sadness. There sit the
bride and bridegroom, as starched and stiff as buck-
ram, and a parcel of friends who came only to stare
at them, and eat vile cake, and drink muddy wine,
till they are all as dull as asses. The parson too
pipes up such a doleful exhortation about honoring
and obeying, and then the old women snuffle and
cry, because they know what it means, and the young
ones hide their faces behind their fans, because they
wish to know. Then they all creep in mournful pro-
cession, two and two, to congratulate the bride, with
such woe-begone faces, that she dreams of them in
her sleep, and screams out with the night-mare.
Mon Dieu ! I could not survive, through such a stu-
pid scene. How much better to have a little life,
and motion, and spirit, and joy ! And then to lay
your lover under such an obligation, when, in one of
these petrified marriages, ten to one but he '11 think
that he conferred one on you. But I 'm distracted
to run on so, when I 've all your wardrobe to put up
for your journey. Let me see : your crimson satin,
and your blue neglige, you '11 take by all means, and
you '11 need the pearl lutestring for a morning dress,
with shoes, and ear-rings, and ruffles, and so forth,
THE FAMILY PORTRAITS. 127
to match. Will you take your best brocade ? Lord !
who knows but you '11 be robbed by the Indians.
Here 's the beautiful new brown tabby, that suits
your shape so exactly. You '11 ride in this, I trust,
with the Brussels lace tucker"
" For heaven's sake," exclaimed Mary, " say no-
thing about clothes. I '11 go in the plainest dress I
have, and take one or two changes."
" Ma foi !" shrieked Madelaine, " you 've lost your
senses. But so does every body, who 's in love. 1
shall make bold to use my own judgment, and select
such things as are decent to wear. No good would
come from looking like a beggar, and disgracing your
lover at the very outset."
" Prevent my father from coming to my room,
this evening," said Mary. " I cannot endure to look
at him. Surely, surely, I am on a wrong course, or
it would not be so."
" Now you 're getting into the dumps again," re-
plied Dubelde. " Here, take your smelling-bottle, I
pray. Better do a thing gracefully, or not do it at all.
The old gentleman is safe enough. He 's got some
of the Huguenot bodies to une petite soupir with him,
and they 're telling old world stories with such eclat,
that they won't know what world they 're in, till the
dining-room clock strikes nine. Then they '11 be off
like the firing of a pistol, for they 're so superstitious
they durst not be out in the night. And your father
is always in such a hurry to get to bed, and Beau-
champ is out : what better could you possibly desire ?
128 THE FAMILY PORTRAITS.
Come, be gay : you '11 affright Patten with that pale,
Thus rattled on the interminable waiting-maid
and Mary, whose object was to banish thought, felt
even her impertinence preferable to silence. Pride,
and a sense of decorum, would but a few days since
have strongly revolted against submitting to the gui-
dance of a menial ; now the haughty spirit was pas-
sive both to arrangements and to opinions which it
despised. " Bound on a voyage of awful length,"
the unhappy victim prolonged every hindrance that
detained her on shore. The last hour of probation
seemed as a few minutes, yet was almost insupport-
able. She wished to fly from herself, to plunge in
the waters of Lethe, to obliterate all the past, to
forget even her own name and existence. There
was a settled misery in her countenance, which might
have awakened the obdurate to pity.
Thrice Madelaine repeated, " The clock has struck
twelve," ere she heeded it.
" You mistake," she replied, "it is scarcely past
eleven." Fain would she have added, " Ah ! 1
cannot go," but shame at exposing such indecision
to a servant, sealed her lips. At length she in-
" Does my father sleep ?"
" Lord bless me, my sweet Mademoiselle, are you
deaf, that you have not heard him snoring these three
hours, as steady as the fall of a mill-dam, and loud
as the screech of a trumpet t"
THE FAMILY PORTRAITS. 1L9
" And the servants ?"
" All in their lofts, like swallows. I gave them
a swig of double-distilled, and I dare say, there '11 be
no such thing as getting them up in the morning."
" And Beauchamp ?"
" Ma foi ! Have you forgot he does not return to
night ? This is your only time. Do you wish to wait
for his arrival, and so have your lover shot through
the heart, and be pointed at, and laughed at, all your
days ? Oh ! I know you 're not one of the sort, to
enlist and run away, at the first skirmish. Collect
your spirits, my princess. You are beautiful as the
moon, when she peeps from some silver cloud. You
have the very soul of the Beauchamps. You are
equal to what the poor spiritless creatures of this coun-
try would be frightened to think of, but what is as
common in France as a jewel in the head of a Duch-
ess. Remember your mother did it before you,
when she was just about your age. Think of the
delight and rapture of your lover. Do you know
it is believed that he is some foreign prince in dis-
guise? and no more a Captain than I am? I've no
doubt of it. I see a throne in his eye. Who knows
but you '11 yet hold the sceptre of Great Britain in
that lily hand."
Unconscious of a word that was uttered, Mary
suffered herself to be led down the staircase, while
Dubelde, amid all her fidgeting, and pride of direc-
tion, and fears lest they should not tread lightly,
could not avoid exclaiming with her native volatility,
ISO THE FAMILY PORTRAITS.
"Lord! I'm dead with the nose-itch." As they
reached the landing-place, they heard a gentle tap
at the glass door which led into the garden. It was
the black servant, come to see if all was ready, and
to convey the package to the carriage, which waited
at the avenue passing the foot of the garden. Me
was admitted, and Madelaine ran hastily to the cham-
ber of her mistress, for the clothes which had been
prepared. At her return, she saw him setting down
a champaign glass, which, having stood near a bot-
tle upon a table in the recess, he could not resist the
temptation of filling, and decanting through his lips.
The moment she observed him, forgetting her own
reiterated injunctions of breathless silence,, she
" Mon Dieu ! The black whale has swallowed all
my rings ! the ruby, the beautiful emerald, and
the turquoise that was given by, Oh, Lord ! and
the supeib hair-locket too! Did'nt that stick in
your throat, you insatiable hawk ?"
The bereaved waiting-woman had thrown her
jewelry, en passant, into this casual place of depo-
sit, that her hands might be more at liberty in pack-
ing for her mistress ; for, since the access of years
had rendered them somewhat more lean and skinny,
the ornaments of her buxom youth were in contin-
ual danger of escaping from her attenuated fingers,
when summoned to any active duty. Her distress
at the rifling of her most beloved treasures, quite
annihilated the unities of time and place, and her
THE FAMILY PORTRAITS. 13
first shnek was passionately loud. But she had
scarce a moment to compute the probabilities of the
extent of its echo, ere the door from the dining-room
burst open, and Dr. Ranchon appeared in his night-
dress, advancing a long, rusty rapier. Suddenly
awakened, and anticipating no enemy but thieves,
he armed himself with great dispatch, and stood
forth, a formidable antagonist, with great personal
strength, and equal courage. Great was his aston-
ishment to find his daughter arrayed as for an ex-
pedition, and fainting in the arms of Madelaine. The
negro, profiting by the moment of consternation,
dropped the package and vanished.
" What ! in God's name, is the meaning of all
this?" exclaimed the hoarse, harsh voice of the old
gentleman, raised to its upper tones.
" Oh ! take her in your arms, support her, my
dear master, till I run for some hartshorn, or she '11
die," screamed the waiting-maid, anxious to turn his
attention to an object that would disarm his rage,
and still more anxious to convey her own person out
of reach of the rapier. She soon saw him engaged
in loosing the ligatures of his daughter's dress, and
too much occupied with her situation, to inquire the
cause. Carefully measuring her distance, so as to
be out of the range of the weapon, she commenced
a plea of defence, forgetful of the impatience which,
a moment before, she had testified, to obtain some
remedy for her fainting lady,
" Oh ! that I had never seen this night," she cried
132 THE FAMILY PORTRAITS.
sobbing. Thousands of times have I tried to dis-
suade her from leaving her poor, dear father. Hours
without number, have I set before her the deadly
sin of an elopement."
" Who told you 't was such a deadly sin, you
meddling Jezebel ?" vociferated the father.
Dubelde perceiving that in her haste she had touch-
ed a key to which her master's feelings always an-
grily vibrated, cried in a whining tone,
" Oh no, my dear Sir ! not to elope with a pro-
per person, Sir, such as an honorable gentleman
from France ; that, would have been a glory to her,
as it was to her mother. But to run away with an
Irishman that nobody knows, that was the tiouble.
She was set enough in her way, God knows. She
takes it from the Beauchamps. She was angry
enough to have struck me, for saying so much in
your favor, Sir."
" So, you knew that my daughter was about mai -
rying an Irish devil, and never told me of it, you
infernal deceiver ! Get out of my house !" rising
with his unconscious burden, as if to force hor from
the door. But reminded of Mary's situation, by the
lifeless weight with which she hung upon his arm,
he changed his purpose, and exclaimed,
" Run ! fetch the hartshorn."
" Mademoiselle has some drops in her dressing-
case, your honor, which always do better for her
than hartshorn. I '11 bring them in one moment."
She disappeared on the staircase, muttering to
THE FAMILY PORTRAITS. 133
" I shan't break my neck with haste to accommo-
date him. Get out of his house! Indeed! A vile
wolf! This is what people of my talents get, by
demeaning themselves to such vipers !"
She lingered as long as was convenient to herself
but came down stairs with rapidity, saying
" I thought I should never have found the phial.
Things are hid in such strange places now-a-days."
But ere she arrived, she heard the old gentleman
speaking in a hurried but gentle tone to Mary, who
was slowly recovering from the air of the open
"There ! there ! look up again ! breathe better now,
baby 1 don't swoon again, as soon as you see me.
A'nt angry No, no shall marry who you please
did'nt mean you should marry a Frenchman
against your will. No, no. May have whoever
you wish, only let father know it. That 's all. A'nt
angry the least in the world, do speak one word,
This colloquy, or rather soliloquy, was terminated
by Beauchamp, who rushed in at the garden-door,
and as Mary feebly retired with Dubelde, still in -a
state of doubtful consciousness, he exclaimed
" Clumsily executed, by the gods ! This same
elopement is a true Irishman's bull. A carriage in
full view, beneath a full moon, scarcely a stone's
throw from the house, a tattling chamber-maid for
confidante and mistress of ceremonies, and a devil-
ish negro dispatched to receive the dulcinea. This
134 THE FAMILY PORTRAITS.
bog-trotter is either a fool, or desirous of being dis
" How did you know anything of this affair, bro-
ther ?" inquired the old gentleman.
" How do we know that our visage is furnished
with a nose, instead of horns ?" he replied. " Simply
by the use of the eyes. I am amazed that any one
could be in the house with that girl, and not perceive
her change of manner, her suppressed sigh, swal-
lowed in a smile, like the whale gorging the prophet,
and compelled to cast him forth again, her efforts to
appear unconstrained, and her inability to be so.
None but a doating father could be blind to all this
parapharnalia ; and none seeing it, and having been
once in Cupid's court, could doubt the author. My
eyes having opened the cause, my ears soon purvey-
ed sufficient testimony. What is committed as a
secret to school-girls is better published than if the
town-crier were employed. I have long had my eye
upon this jewel of a man, who imagined that he was
walking in darkness, and wasting at noon-day. Not
many days since, did I see this same Captain Patten
presenting a letter in the streets to the most discreet
and excellent Mademoiselle Dubelde."
" Captain Patten ! is that his name ? why did not
you inform me of all this, Beauchamp ?"
" Frankly, because it would have done no good.
You would only have fallen into a passion, and by
forbidding Mary to sec her lover, have blown up a
girlish fancy into an unconquerable flame. Were I
THE FAMILY PORTRAITS. 135
desirous of precipitating a marriage, 1 would hire
either the parents or some old maiden aunt to op-
pose it. The passions excited by such a collision,
are Hymen's engines. The young lady views her
lover as a martyr, mistakes her own obstinacy for
love, marries, and is undeceived. No, no, my
dear sir. I have too much attachment for the sole
offspring of my favorite sister, to hazard such a re-
sult. I preferred coming in with my countercheck
at the crisis, as the best method of discomfiting this
rascally Irishman, and of giving Marie, through the
mortification that must ensue, such a lesson upon
the misery of imprudence and duplicity, as will pro-
bably save you from their recurrence."
" But how did you discover the proceedings of to-
night ?" inquired Dr. Ranchon. " I thought you
were out of town."
" A mere bagatelle. 1 have not lost sight of your
mansion to-day. I was nearer to your daughter than
you, when the shriek of that abominable Madelaine
broke your trance. It was my intention to have re-
ceived the loving pair, when they should issue from
the woodbine porch, in whose purlieus I was very
fragrantly accommodated. Finding that an underplot
was accidentally got up in the house, I varied the
last act of the drama, and drawing my sword, pro-
ceeded to seek an interview with Honey, ere his ebon
emissary should return to report the misadventure.
He was quite comfortably watching his horses, muf-
fled in a cloak, and did not perceive me, until I was
136 THE FAMILY PORTRAITS.
within five paces, and called, 'Draw, rascal!' Having
some secret impression of his cowardice, I had so
placed myself with regard to the gate opening on the
avenue, that his retreat should not be that way.
Father Jupiter ! I had not anticipated that he was
so complete a dastard. I did look for two or three
passes at least. Yet nothing saw I, but a pair of
heels kicked up in flight. As he was about to leap
the wall, I overtook, and closed with him. But un-
fortunately entangling myself in the cloak which he
threw off, I lost my sword, and we should have had
nothing but a wrestling match, in which my jewel,
being the most powerful man, would probably have
had the advantage. This also he avoided, for giving
a leap over the high wall, he threw himself ' sheer
out of Eden.' Having regained my sword, I fol-
lowed, taking care to secure a pocket-book, which
in the scuffle had fallen from him. But finding it
was hopeless to pursue the bog-trotter, though I am
somewhat fleet at a race, I turned, and met his negro
servant driving off the chaise. I menaced the horses
with my sword, and ordered him to drive to the devil.
The rest you know, and now I have considerable
curiosity to see the contents of this fortune-hunter's
He produced a rather spacious red leather pocket-
book, in which were various receipts, papers, and
letters of little consequence. At length Beauchamp
discovered one in a female hand, -considerably mu-
tilated, though one page continued legible, and bore
a recent date.
THE FAMILY PORTRAITS. 13?
"Cork Marcli, 17th, 1734.
" Surprised will ye be, my loving husband, to
receive a letter from me in Cork ; but the last long
, winter was so tediously cold, and our cabin by the
pool of Ballyclacklin so shackling and bad, that my
brother was fain for me to be removing to Cork,
where he kindly gives me the use of one half of his
own house. I don't wish to be complaining too
much of hard times, but would be right glad to see
your sweet face again, or to receive any little mat-
ter you could send me, to help on with the children.
Dick has got to be a stout boy, and looks with his
eyes as you do, and little Biddy has learned from
him to say, ' Arrah ! when will that daddy of ours
be for coming bock agen ?' I had 'nt heard where
you was for a year, or thereabouts, till last week,
Mr. Patrick Thady O'Mulligan, of this place, re-
turned from Boston, in America, bringing news that
you was there. He says, he was a little bother'd
at first, and came nigh not knowing you, because
you had taken a new name ; something like Paten,
or Patin, and wore a marvellous rich dress of a reg-
iment officer. He says too, that at first you declared
it was not you, but he swore that he 'd know your
father's son all the world over, and then you told
him that it was you. Right glad was your loving
wife to hear that you was not drowned in the salt
Here the epistle was torn across. Beauchamp
had scarcely patience to complete its perusal.
138 THE FAMILY PORTRAITS.
" Oh !" he exclaimed, brandishing his sword, " that
the Powers above had suffered but three inches of
this blade to sound that wretch's heart !"
Dr. Ranchon traversed the room, raving in an
excess of passion. He clenched his hands, and ere
the reading was concluded, had vociferated more evil
wishes and epithets, than it would be either conve-
nient or fitting to repeat. Snatching the mutilated
letter, he exclaimed
" Let her see it ! Let her see it ! Show her what
an infernal gulf she sported near."
Then clasping Beauchamp in his arms, with a
violence that almost suffocated him, he said, half in
tears, " and you, you have saved us !" Beauchamp
placing his hand upon his brother's arm, as soon as
he could extricate himself from his powerful embrace
said, " Stay ! Enough has been done for safety.
There is yet sufficient time for suffering. She can-
not bear all at once. I should not be surprised,
were you to have occasion for all your professional
skill in her chamber, this fortnight. This revulsion
of feeling, call it what you will, vanity, lunacy, or
love, cannot be without physical sympathy. This
' last, unkindest cut of all,' must be softened to her,
as she can endure it. In the meantime send out of
your house that walking pestilence, in the shape of
a chamber-maid. A ship this week sails for France.
Furni*h part of" its freight with her carcase, and
give thanks as the Jews did, when they were clear
of the leprosy. If it sinks, so much the better.
THE FAMILY PORTRAITS. 139
Give her money enough to become a petty shop-
keeper in the Rue St. Denis, the height of her am-
bition, where she will soon complete the climax of
Dubelde was accordingly dismissed, the fortune-
hunter vanished, and the prophecy of Beauchamp,
respecting Mary, was but too literally fulfilled.
Long and severe sickness, with partial delirium,
were the consequences of her folly ; and though her
firmness of constitution eventually prevailed, yet
she came forth with wasted bloom, scarcely the
shadow of her former self. This protracted period
of reflection and remorse was salutary. The fabrics
of vanity wherein she had trusted, fell around her,
and her principles of action became reversed. With
subdued pride and renovated feelings, she strove to
atone for her faithlessness to her father, and her for-
getfulness of her God.
In due time, she admitted the addresses of a do
scendant of the Huguenots, one in character and ac-
complishments altogether worthy of her affections.
His elevated mind, and susceptible heart, induced
her to cherish for him that mixture of gratitude,
esteem and confidence, which if it pretend not to the
enthusiasm of a first love, is something in itself far
It is that state of feeling into which requited and
virtuous love eventually subsides; that pure and
self-devoted friendship which the author of the Spec-
tator has pronounced the "perfection of love"
140 THE FAMILY PORTRAITS.
Each revolving year continued to convince Mary of
what wayward and romantic youth are often scepti-
cal in believing, that the illusion of a first love, in
all its charm and enthusiasm, is but misery, if un-
sanctioned by duty, in comparison with that union
of hearts, which judgment approves, which piety
confirms, and whose crown is the smile and blessing
of a parent.
Perchance some of my readers, if haply any have
attended my lucubrations thus far, may marvel why
I have seen fit to entitle them family portraits. The
truth is, that two antiquated personages have for
several years been looking down upon me from their
ample frames, whenever I pass a particular part of
our mansion. One is a lady dressed in a brown silk,
with raven hair parted plainly upon her forehead, and
holding in her hand a snuff-box, with an aspect rather
grave than beautiful. The partner is a most portly
and respectable gentleman, with wig and ruffles,
pointing with a spy -glass to the distant Ocean, as if
in expectation of the arrival of some richly-laden
vessel. Both portraits are in far better taste than is
usual for those that bear the date of more than a
century : the hands in particular, which are allowed
to be some criterion of an artist's style, are elegant-
Having been divers times puzzled with inquiries
from visitants, respecting these venerable personages,
I set myself seriously to search our family records,
and you have seen the result, in the foregoing sheets.
THE FAMILY PORTRAITS. 141
I found that the grave lady who looks as if she might
have read daily lectures against coquetry and elope-
ment to her children, was no other than the once
celebrated Mary Ranchon, and that the gentleman
in such undivided proximity was that Huguenot
husband, who so greatly enhanced her happiness by
his love, and her respectability by his wisdom. Should
any person continue sceptical as to the truth of the
facts herein related, he may see, should he travel in
the land of steady habits, those same family portraits,
gratis, and be told the name of the husband of Mary
AN HOUR OF ROMANCE.
" I come
To this sweet place for quiet. Every tree
And bush, and fragrant flower, and hilly path,
And thymy mound that flings unto the winds
Its morning incense, is my friend." Barry Cornwall.
THERE were thick leaves above me and around,
And low sweet sighs like those of childhood's sleep,
Amidst their dimness, and a fitful sound
As of soft showers on water ; dark and deep
Lay the oak shadows o'er the turf, so still
They seemed but pictured glooms ; a hidden rill
Made music, such as haunts us in a dream,
Under the fern tufts ; and a tender gleam
Of soft green light, as by the glowworm shed,
Came pouring through the woven beech-boughs down,
And steeped the magic page wherein I read
Of royal chivalry and old renown,
A tale of Palestine.* Meanwhile the bee
Swept past me with a tone of summer hours,
A drowsy bugle, wafting thoughts of dowers,
Blue skies, and amber sunshine : brightly free,
On filmy wings, the purple dragon-fly
Shot glancing like a fairy javelin by ;
And a sweet voice of sorrow told the dell
Where sat the lone wood-pigeon :
* The Talisman Tales of the Crusader*.
144 GOD IS LOVE.
But ere long
All sense of these things faded, as the spell
Breathing from that high gorgeous tale grew strong
On my chained soul ; 'twas not the leaves I heard ;
A Syrian wind the lion-banner stirred,
Through its proud floating folds : 't was not the brook
Singing in secret through its glassy glen ;
A wild shrill trumpet of the Saracen
Pealed from the desert's lonely heart, and shook
The burning air. Like clouds when winds are high,
O'er glittering sands flew steeds of Araby,
And tents rose up, and sudden lance and spear
Flashed where a fountain's diamond wave lay clear,
Shadowed by graceful palm-trees. Then the shout
Of merry England's joy swelled freely out,
Sent through an eastern heaven, whose glorious hue
Made shields dark mirrors to its depths of blue ;
And harps were there I heard their sounding strings,
As the waste echoed to the mirth of kings.
The bright mask faded. Unto life's worn track,
What called me from its flood of glory back 1
A voice of happy childhood ! and they passed,
Banner, and harp, and Paynim's trumpet's blast;
Yet might I scarce bewail the splendors gone,
My heart so leaped to that sweet laughter's tone.
GOD IS LOVE.
SWEET the sound of Nature's voice,
Where the crystal waters flow
Swiftly down from distant hills,
Murmuring music as they flow.
GOD IS LOVE. 145
Sweet the breath of summer gale,
Sweet the fall of summer shower,
When the breeze of evening bears
Perfume from each dewy flower.
When, amid unfading 1 owers,
Ever blooming, ever gay !
Indian birds of golden wing
Sing their happy lives away ;
Sweet, where Eastern climes are bright,
Ere the day begins to fade,
There to watch the yellow light,
Glist'ning through the palm-tree's shade,
Sweet, beneath those cloudless skies,
Peace below, and light above,
There to wander forth, and feel
God is light, and God is love.
Sweet but, ah ! What temples there
Meet the inquiring wanderer's eye !
Are these Indian shrines as pure
As the breeze, the flowers, the sky?
In this soft sequestered spot,
All is lovely, all is bright ;
Woods adorned with deepest green,
Mountains bathed in liquid light ;
Well may such a scene inspire
Hopes, a grovelling world above ;
But within those temples fair
No one knows that God is love.
146 THE FORGOTTEN ONE.
Cruel thoughts, and guilty prayer
Treacherous schemes of v
Wake an echoing anthem-peal,
Kindle into kindred fire.
Where the car of triumph rolls,
See their hideous monster-god !
Mark their worship human blood,
Human tears bedew the sod.
Human misery swells the cry,
Vice and folly reign around ;
While unpitied victims fall
Crushed, and quivering on the ground.
Such their worshipj such their creed ;
Sons of darkness, poor, and blind !
Who shall wake their slumbering souls,
Who shall tell them God is kind?
Blessed dawn of happier day,
When these guilty rites shall cease !
Come, thou Dove with heavenly wing !
Hail, thou harbinger of peace !
Shadowing o'er that Eastern land,
Showering mercies from above ;
Come, and swell the tide of joy !
Come, and teach them GOD is Lov !
THE FORGOTTEN ONE.
No shadow rests upon the place
Where once thy footsteps roved ;
THE FORGOTTEN ONE. 147
Nor leaf, nor blossom, bear a trace
Of how thou wert beloved.
The very night dew disappears
Too soon, as if it spread its tears.
Thou art forgotten ! thou, whose feet
Were listened for like song !
They used to call thy voice so sweet ;
It did not haunt them long.
Thou, with thy fond and fairy mirth
How could they bear their lonely hearth*
There is no picture to recall
Thy glad and open brow ;
No profiled outline on the wall
Seems like thy shadow now ;
They have not even kept to wear
One ringlet of thy golden hair
When here we sheltered last, appears
But just like yesterday ;
It startles me to think that years
Since then are passed away.
The old oak tree that was our tent,
No leaf seems changed, no bough seems rent.
A shower in June a summer shower,
Drove us beneath the shade ;
A beautiful and greenwood bower
The spreading branches made,
The raindrops shine upon the bough
The passing rain but where art thou 1
148 THE FORGOTTEN ONE.
But I forget how many showers
Have washed this old oak tree,
The winter and the summer hours,
Since I stood here with thee :
And I forget how chance a thought
Thy memory to my heart has brought ,
I talk of friends who once have wept,
As if they still should weep ;
I speak of grief that long has slept,
As if it could not sleep ;
I mourn o'er cold forgetfulness,
Have I, myself, forgotten less?
I 've mingled with the young and fair,
Nor thought how there was laid
One fair and young as any there,
In silence and in shade.
How could I see a sweet mouth shine
With smiles, and not remember thine?
Ah ! it is well we can forget,
Or who could linger on
Beneath a sky whose stars are set,
On earth whose flowers are gone ?
For who could welcome loved ones near,
Thinking of those once far more dear,
Our early friends, those of our youth ?
We cannot feel again
The earnest love, the simple truth,
Which made us such friends then.
We grow suspicious, careless, cold ;
We love not as we loved of old.
THE FORGOTTEN ONE. 149
No more a sweet necessity,
Love must and will expand,
Loved and beloving we must be,
With open heart and hand,
Which only ask to trust and share
The deep affections which they bear.
Our love was of that early time ;
And now that it is past,
It breathes as of a purer clime
Than where my lot is cast.
My eyes fill with their sweetest tears
In thinking of those early years.
It shocked me first to see the sun
Shine gladly o'er thy tomb ;
To see the wild flowers o'er it run
In such luxuriant bloom.
Now I feel glad that they should keep
A bright sweet watch above thy sleep.
The heaven whence thy nature came
Only recalled its own ;
It is Hope that now .breathes thy name,
Though borrowing Memory's tone.
I feel this earth could never be
The native home of one like thee.
Farewell ! the early dews that fall
Upon thy grass- grown bed
Are like the thoughts that now recall
Thine image from the dead.
A blessing hallows thy dark cell
I will not stay to weep. Farewell !
160 SUMMER WOODS.
COME ye into the summer-woods ;
There entereth no annoy ;
All greenly wave the chestnut leaves,
And the earth is full of joy.
I cannot tell you half the sights
Of beauty you may see,
The bursts of golden sunshine,
And many a shady tree.
There, lightly swung, in bowery
The honey-suckles twine ;
There blooms the rose-red campion,
And the dark-blue columbine.
There grows the four-leaved plant " true lore,**
In some dusk woodland spot ;
There grows the enchanter's night-shade,
And the wood forget-me-not.
And many a merry bird is there,
Unscared by lawless men ;
The blue-winged jay, the wood-pecker,
And the golden-crested wren.
Come down and ye shall see them all,
The timid and the bold ;
For their sweet life of pleasantnew,
It is not to be told.
SUMMER WOODS.. 151
And for within that summer-wood,
Among the leaves so green,
There flows a little gurgling brook,
The brightest e'er was seen.
There come the little gentle birds,
Without a fear of ill,
Down to the murmuring water's edge,
And freely drink their fill !
And dash about and splash about,
The merry little things ;
And look askance with bright black eyes,
And flirt their dripping wings.
I 've seen the freakish squirrel drop
Down from their leafy tree,
The little squirrels with the old,
Great joy it was to me !
And down unto the running brook
I 've seen them nimbly go ;
And the bright water seemed to speak
A welcome kind and low.
The nodding plants they bowed their heads,
As if, in heartsome cheer,
They spake unto those little things,
" 'Tis merry living here !"
Oh, how my heart ran o'er with joy !
I saw that all was good,
And how we might glean up delight
All round us, if we would !
152 HALLOWED BE THY NAME.
And many a wood-mouse dwelleth there,
Beneath the old wood-shade,
And all day long has work to do,
Nor is, of aught, afraid.
The green shoots grow above their heads,
And roots so fresh and fine
Beneath their feet, nor is there strife
'Mong them for mine and thine.
There is enough for every one,
And they lovingly agree ;
We might learn a lesson, all of us,
Beneath the green-wood tree !
HALLOWED BE THY NAME.
LIST to the dreamy tone that dwells
In rippling wave or sighing tree ;
Go, hearken to the old church bells,
The whistling bird, the whizzing bee
Interpret right, and ye will find
'Tis " power and glory" they proclaim :
The chimes, the creatures, waters, wind,
All publish, " hallowed be thy name !"
The pilgrim journeys till he bleeds,
To gain the altar of his sires ;
The hermit pores above his beads,
With zeal that never wanes nor tires ;
But holiest rite or longest prayer
That soul can yield or wisdom frame,
What better import can it bear
Than, " FATHER ! hallowed be thy
LOW SHE LIES, WHO BLEST OUR EYES. 153
The savage kneeling to the sun,
To give his thanks or ask a boon ;
The raptures of the idiot one,
Who laughs to see the clear round moon ;
The saint well taught in Christian lore ;
The Moslem prostrate at his flame
All worship, wonder, and adore ;
All end in, " hallowed be thy name !"
Whate'er may be man's faith or creed,
Those precious words comprise it still :
We trace them on the bloomy mead,
We hear them in the flowing rill.
One chorus hails the Great Supreme ;
Each varied breathing tells the same.
The strains may differ ; but the theme
Is, " FATHER ! hallowed be thy
LOW SHE LIES, WHO BLEST OUR
Low SHE lies, who blest our eyes
Through many a sunny day :
She may not smile, she will not rise,
The life hath past away !
Yet there is a world of light beyond,
Where we neither die nor sleep ;
She is there, of whom our souls were fond,
Then wherefore do we weep ?
The heart is cold, whose thoughts were told
In each glance of her glad bright eye ;
And she lies pale, who was so bright
She scarce seemed made to die.
154 LOW SHE LIES, WHO BLEST OUR EYES.
Yet we know that her soul is happy now,
Where the saints their calm watch keep ;
That angels are crowning that fair young brow,
Then wherefore do we weep?
Her laughing voice made all rejoice,
Who caught the happy sound ;
There was a gladness in her very step,
As it lightly touched the ground.
The echoes of voice and step are gone,
There is silence still and deep ;
Set we know she sings by God's bright throne,
Then wherefore do we weep?
The cheek's pale tinge, the lid's dark fringe,
That lies like a shadow there,
Were beautiful in the eyes of all,
And her glossy golden hair !
But though that lid may never wake
From its dark and dreamless sleep,
She is gone where young hearts do not break,
Then wherefore do we weep ?
That world of light with joy is bright,
This is a world of woe :
Shall we grieve that her soul hath taken flight,
Because we dwell below?
We will bury her under the mossy sod,
And one long bright tress we '11 keep ;
We have only given her back to God,
Ah ! wherefore do we weep ?
* Where was she ? 'Mid the people of the wild,
By the red hunter's fire. An aged Chief,
Whose home look'd sad, for therein dwelt no child,
Had borne her in the stillness of her grief
To his lone cabin : and that gentle guide
By faith and sorrow rais'd and purified,
To the blest Cross her Indian fosterers led,
Until their prayers were one."
AMONG the customs which distinguished the na-
tives of our country, ere the originality of their char-
acter became prostrated, and its energies broken,
few were more unique and interesting, than the cere-
mony of adoption. This was the selection of an
individual to fill the place of some near relative re-
moved by death. It was more generally the resort
of families bereaved of a son, and the choice was
often from among prisoners taken in battle. It has
been known to snatch the victim from the stake, and
to encircle him with all the domestic charities. The
transferred, affection of parents was often, in such
cases, most ardent and enduring. Especially if any
resemblance existed between the buried and the
adopted object, mothers were prone to cherish an
idolatry of tenderness. Instances have been record-
ed in which the most ancient national animosities,
or deep-rooted personal hatred, have yielded to this
rite of adoption. It has even been extended to the
offspring of the whites, during periods of deadly war-
fare. When we consider the implacable temper of
our aborigines, and that it was an article of their
creed, never to suffer an injury to pass unavenged,
this custom of naturalizing a foe in their homes, and
in their hearts, strikes us as prominent, peculiar, and
worthy to be held in remembrance.
The tribe of Mohegans were formerly owners of
an ample territory in New-England, and were uni-
formly friendly to our ancestors. Their kings and
chieftains became allies of the colonies in their in-
fancy, and the bravery of their warriors aided in
their struggles with the surrounding tribes. Their
descendants have now become few in number, and
abject in mind. A circumscribed and inalienable
territory, in the south-eastern part of Connecticut,
furnishes subsistence to the remnant which has not
emigrated, or become incorporated with other na-
tions. Emphatically, their glory is departed, and of
their primeval energy and nobleness, no vestige sur-
vives. Yet slight kindlings of national pride con-
tinued at intervals to gleam faintly forth from be-
neath incumbent ruins, as embers, apparently long
quenched, will sometimes smoulder and sparkle amid
the ashes that cover them. One of the latest evi-
dences of this spirit, was the watchful affection with
which' they regarded their royal bury ing-place. No
vulgar dust was ever suffered to repose in the sepul
chre of their kings. No Cambrian point of genea-
logy was ever more vigilantly traced, no restriction
of the Salick Law more tenaciously guarded, than
was the farthest and slightest infusion of the blood
of Mohegan monarchy. Long after the royal line
became extinct, and they were decreed, like ancient
Israel, to dwell " without an ephod and without a ter-
aphim," they guarded with fierce and unslumbering
jealousy their Consecrated cemetery from profana-
Its monuments are still visible within the limits of
the city of Norwich, and sometimes strangers visit with
pitying interest, the lowly tombs of the monarchs
of the soil. The inhabitants of that beautiful city,
in whose vicinity the village of Mohegan is situated,
have ever extended their sympathies to their " poor
brethren within their gates." Still their Christian
benevolence strives to gather under its wings, the
perishing remnant of a once powerful race. Teach-
ers are among them, of those sciences which render
this life comfortable, and throw the light of hope on
the next. Their little children are taken by the hand,
and led to Jesus. The white spire of a simple
church, recently erected for their benefit, points to
that world where no heritage is alienated.
The period selected for this sketch, is soon after
the close of our War of Revolution. There then
existed in the little settlement of Mohegan, some in-
dividuals worthy of being rescued from oblivion.
A mong them was the Reverend Samson Occum, the
158 OKI AN A.
first native minister of that tribe, whose unostenta-
tious fortunes are interwoven with the ecclesiastical
history of that day. The benevolence of the Rev-
erend President Wheelock of Dartmouth College,
drew him from the vagrant habits of the Indian
hunter, and touched his mind with the love of letters
and of piety. Ten years before our Declaration of
Independence, he made a voyage to England, and
was received with the most kind and gratifying at-
tention. Among the treasured memorials of this
visit, were correspondences with some of the wise
and philanthropic of the mother-country, which he
faithfully maintained, and the gift of a library of con-
siderable value, which after his decease was pur-
chased by a clergyman in the vicinity. His discourses
in his native tongue often produced a strong impres-
sion on his hearers, and those in the English lan-
guage displayed an acquaintance with its idiom, and
a facility of rendering it a vehicle for strong and
original thought, highly creditable both to his talents
and their application. He possessed a decided taste for
poetry, especially that of a devotional cast ; and a
volume of this nature, which he selected and pub-
lished, evinces that he fervently appreciated the pa-
thetic and the powerful. His deportment was grave
and consistent, as became a teacher of divine things,
and his overflowing eyes, when he strove to allure
his people to the love of a Saviour, testified his own
warm religious sensibilities, and revealed the found-
ation of his happiness and hope.
The native, untaught eloquence of the tribe, had
also a representative. Robert Ashbow was collater-
ally of the rbyal line, and held in high reverence by
his people. His commanding stature and lofty brow
marked him as one of Nature's nobility. He was
respected by our ancestors, and when their govern-
ment became permanent, was permitted to represent
his people in their national council. Among their
senators, his words were few. But in his well-
weighed opinions, in his wary policy, they were ac-
customed to liken him to the wise and wily Ulysses.
They understood him not. His eloquence was like
a smothered flame, in their presence. It spoke not
even through the eye, which was ever downcast,
nor lighted the brow that bore a rooted sorrow.
It burst forth only in his native wilds, and among
his own people. There, like a torrent, it swept all
before it. It swayed their spirits, as the tempest
bends the lithe willow.
Though he keenly felt the broken and buried ma-
jesty of his nation, he cherished no vindictiveness
towards those who had caused it. He had a deep
reverence for knowledge and its possessors, which
neutralized this bitterness. Like the tamed lion, he
yielded to a force which he did not comprehend.
Though by nature reserved and dominant, he almost
crouchingly sought the society of educated white
men, for among them alone could his thirst of know-
ledge be satiated. He was an affecting instance of
savage pride, humbling itself before the might of cul.
tivated intellect. At times, his melancholy mood
predominated, and for days and nights he withdrew
to pathless forests, holding communication with none.
He might occasionally be discovered, amid the crags
of some scarcely accessible rock, with his head bow-
ed low in frowning and solitary contemplation, like
Marius amid the ruins of Carthage. There was
about him, the waywardness of genius, preying upon
itself, and the pride of a wounded spirit, which would
have grasped the hoof that trampled on it, and hurl-
ed the rider to the dust. Yet there was an innate
check in his own native nobleness, in his power of
appreciating superior mental excellence. Knowledge
had stood before him, in her majesty and mystery,
and the haughty orator of the forest was subdued
like an awe-struck child.
Arrowhamet, the warrior, or Zachary, as he was
generally called, by the name of his baptism, was
an interesting specimen of aboriginal character.
Stately, unbending, and of athletic strength, he
seemed to defy the ravages of time, though the re-
cord of his memory proved that he had passed the
prescribed limit of threescore years and ten. He had
been a soldier in the severe campaign that preceded
the defeat of Braddock in 1755, and had borne the
hardships and perils of the eight years' war of our
revolution, with an unshrinking valor. With the
taciturnity of his nation, he seldom spoke of the
exploits in which he had been engaged. Yet when
sometimes induced by urgency, to give a narrative
of the battles where he had fought, his flashing eye,
and form rising still more loftily, attested his warlike
His wife, Martha, who had, with him, embraced
the Christian religion, possessed that gentleness of
deportment, and sweetness of voice, by which the
females among our aborigines were often distinguish-
ed. His attachment to her was evinced by more
of courteousness than comported with their national
coldness of manner, and was reciprocated by a ten-
der and unvarying observance, which might have
adorned a more refined state of society. Their lit-
tle abode had an aspect of neatness and comfort,
beyond what was often attained by the supine habits
of their contemporaries. It was environed by a
tolerably well-cultivated garden, and sheltered by a
rude tenement ; in its rear, a cow quietly ruminated.
Other indications of care and judicious arrangement
might have marked it out as the dwelling of a white
man, rather than an Indian. A mysterious person-
age had been added to the family, which, within the
memory of the young, had comprised only Zachary
and Martha. Since this accession, many improve-
ments in their humble establishment had been visible.
Fragrant shrubs were taught to flourish, and flower-
ing vines trained against the window. Bee-hives,
clustering near, sent forth the cheerful hum of wing-
ed industry. Beds of aromatic herbs were reared
for the accommodation of their busy inmates, and
they might be seen settling upon them, with intense
162 OKI AN A.
delight, and pursuing their exquisite chemistry, be.
neath the earliest smile of morning. The baskets,
in whose construction Martha had been long accus-
tomed to employ her leisure, now displayed on their
smooth compartments the touches of a more delicate
pencil than the natives could boast, or perhaps ap-
The neighboring Indians had remarked, that this
guest of their friends was a female, and some of
them had testified surprise, and even disgust, that
she was of the race of the whites. It was also ob-
served that she seemed to be in ill-health, and sel-
dom quitted the dwelling ; but as she spoke mildly to
all its visitants, and treated their children with kind-
ess, they became conciliated and friendly. Any
inquiry respecting her, received only the laconic an-
swer, " She is our daughter." It was at once
perceived that their friends wished to make no dis-
closures. Their right to preserve secrecy was con-
ceded, and never more encroached upon.
The Indian yields such a point, with far more
grace than his Yankee neighbors. They, indeed,
admit, that a man's house is his castle, but deny his
right of excluding, by bolt or bar, their exploring,
unslumbering curiosity. The privilege of prying
into, questioning, and canvassing the concerns of
every household, and trying all men, and their mo-
tives, without a jury of peers, is their Magna Charta.
For this, they are ready to contend as manfully
as the barons before whom king John cowered at
% ORIANA. 16 j
Runimede. To the exercise of such a prerogative,
competent knowledge of the doings of every domi-
cile is requisite, and the power of making every body's
business their own. How much espionage, gossip-
ing, and travelling night and day, is essential to this
system of policy, let the inhabitants of almost any
of the New-England villages testify. In these re-
spects, the native Indian is surely a model of polite-
ness for them.
It has been remarked, that the guest of the aged
warrior and his wife, was in feeble health. Their
tender and unceasing cares, their expedients to
promote her comfort and alleviate her suffering, were
truly paternal. The hoary-headed man would go
forth as a hunter, or urge his boat into deep and dis-
tant waters, to obtain something that might tempt
her declining appetite. He would pass with the agile
step of youth, the several miles, that intervened be-
tween their settlement and the city, to procure for
her some of those tropical fruits which are so grate-
ful to the parched and febrile lip. Martha exerted
constantly, but almost in vain, her utmost skill in
the culinary art ; she brought statedly the draught
of new, warm milk, and added to her dessert the
purest honey. She explored the fields for the first
ripe strawberries, which she presented in little bas-
kets of fresh, green leaves, garnished with flowers.
She sat whole nights by the couch 6f the invalid, and
was near her side at every indication of pain, as the
nursing-mother watches the cradled infant. These
attentions were received with a grateful smile, or with
the softest voice of thanks ; but they availed little.
The lily grew paler on its stem, and seemed likely
to wither away in its unrevealed loveliness.
Advancing spring was now every day dispensing
some new gift to the earth. Her lavishness seemed
proportioned to the brevity of her stay, and each
hour exhibited some bright memorial of her parting
bounty. The two most delightful seasons of the year
lingered for a moment on each other's boundary.
They stood forth in their unadjusted claims to supe-
riority, scanned each other's drapery, dipped their
pencils in each other's dyes, and like rival goddesses
contended before the sons of men, for the palm of
beauty. The rude domain of the children of the
forest, put on its beautiful garments. They, whose
pretensions to equality were denied by their more
fortunate brethren, were not excluded by nature from
her smiles, or her exuberance. Through the rich
green velvet of their meadows, pure fountains look-
ed up with their crystalline eyes, wild flowers un-
folded their petals, and from every copse issued
strains of warbling melody, as if a voice of praise
perpetually repeated, " Thou makest the outgoings
of the morning and of the evening to rejoice."
The abode of Zachary and Martha felt the en-
livening influence of the season. Their fragrant
shrubbery exhaled a purer essence, a sweet-brier
near their door expanded its swelling buds, and the
woodbine protruded its young tendrils to reach the
window of the invalid. But within its walls, was
age that knew no spring, and youth fading like a
blighted flower ; night, that could know no dawning,
and morning that must never ascend to noon.
Day had closed over the inhabitants of that peace-
ful dwelling. The warrior and his companion were
seated in the room appropriated to their mysterious
guest. Languidly reclining, she watched the rising
of the full, unclouded moon, like one who loves its
beams, and in gazing, contemplates a returnless fare-
well. The bright profuse tresses of that beautiful
being, twining in braids around a head of perfect
symmetry, formed a strong contrast to the snowy
whiteness of her brow, and seemed to deepen the
tint of her soft, blue eye. But the paleness of her
cheek was now tinted with that ominous hectic flush
which Death kindles, as the signal of his approaching
victory. Sometimes, it lent to the eye, a ray of
such unearthly brightness, that the Indian mother
could not look on it, without a tear. She had recent-
ly remarked to her husband, that the form of the
uncomplaining victim was becoming daily more
emaciated, and her respiration more impeded and
The invalid gazed long on the moon, with a fere-
head resting on a hand of the purest whiteness, and
so attenuated, that it seemed to display the flexile
fingers of childhood. Turning her eyes from that
beautiful orb, she observed those of the aged pair
fixed upon her with intense earnestness. A long
pause ensued. Something that refused utterance
seemed to agitate her. Marking the emotion which
varied a countenance usually so serene and passion-
less, they forbore to interrupt her meditations. They
even dreaded to hear her speak, lest it might be of
separation. At length, a voice, tremulous and mu-
sical as the stricken harp, was heard to say,
" Father, I desire to partake of the holy commu-
nion. I have not enjoyed that privilege, since
leaving my native land, and my soul desires it."
" He who interprets to us Indians, the will of
God," said Zachary, " is now among our brethren,
the Oneidas. Three moons may pass, ere he again
" That may be too late, father," replied the same
tuneful, subdued tone. "Wilt thou seek for me some
The warrior signified his assent, and rising, took
from her hand a paper which she held to him.
" Some explanation of my history is necessary,
ere I could expect this favor. I have here written
it, for thou knowest that I cannot now speak many
words. I am weak, and must soon pass away."
Martha rose with that indefinable sensation which
prompts us to shrink from any subject that agonizes
our feelings. Throwing up the casement, through
which the balmy humid air of spring breathed, she
" See, Oriana, how thy woodbine grows ! Soon,
its young blossoms will lift their heads, and look at
thee through the window."
" Let it remind thee of me, kind mother. May its
fragrance be soothing to thee, as thy tenderness has
been, to my lone heart."
Again there was silence. And then the hoary
warrior, raising his head from his bosom, where it
had declined, spoke, in a voice which as he proceed-
ed, grew more audible and calm,
" Daughter, I understand thee. I am glad, that
thou hast spoken thy mind to us. Yet is my heart
now weak, as that of an infant, the heart that in
battle hath never trembled, or swerved. My daugh-
ter, Zachary could lie down in his own grave, and
not shudder. Yet his soul is soft, when he sees one
so young and fair, withering like the rose, which the
hidden worm eateth. He hath desired to look on
thy brow, during the short space that remaineth for
him on earth. Every night, he hath prayed to the
Eternal, that his ears might continue to hear the
music of thy voice. He wished to have something
to love, that should not be like himself, an old tree,
stripped of its branches, and mouldering at the root.
But he must humble his heart. Thou hast read to
him from the holy and blessed Book, that God giveth
grace unto the humble. He hath asked with tears,
in the silence of midnight, for that salvation through
Christ, of which thou hast told him. Yet, to whom
will he and Martha turn, when thou art no longer
here 1 Who will kindly lead their steps to the tree
of life ? Ask I what we shall do, as if we had yet
a hundred years to dwell below ? Soon shall we
sleep in the grave, to which thou art hastening."
" Whither I go, ye know," said the same sweet,
solemn voice, " and the way ye know. Trust in
Him, whom ye have believed. Like me, ye must
slumber in the dust ; His power shall raise us all,
at the last day. The Eternal, in whose sight, shades
of complexion and distinctions of rank are nothing,
He, who looketh only upon the heart, guide us where
we shall be sundered no more."
Laying her hand upon a small bible, which was
ever near her, Martha arose to bring the lamp,
that she might as usual read to them, before re-
" It is in vain, mother," she said, with a lamb-like
smile. I may not now say with thee, our evening
prayer. But let us lift up our hearts to Him who
heareth, when the weak lips can only utter sighs."
Then, as if regretting that they should separate
for the night, without mingling in devotion, she re-
peated with deep pathos, a few passages from the
" ' Let not your heart be troubled : ye believe in
God, believe also in me. In my father's house are
many mansions.' "
The warrior, rising to take his leave, laid his hand
gently upon her head, and pronounced his customa-
ry paternal benediction :
" The Great Spirit, who dwelleth where the Sun
hideth himself, and where the tempest is born, gird
thee with strength. He who maketh the earth green,
and the heart of man glad, smile on thee, and bless
OMAN A. 169
Martha remained, to render her usual attentions
to the sufferer. She dared not trust her voice be-
yond a whisper, lest it should wholly yield to her
emotions. Still, after her services were completed,
she lingered, unwilling to leave the object of her
" Mother," said a faint voice, " kind, tender mo-
ther, go to thy rest. Oriana hath now no pain.
Sleep will descend upon her. Stie feels that she
shall not leave thee this night. But soon she must
begin her journey to the land of souls. She hath
hope in her death, to pass from darkness to eternal
sunshine. Weep not, blessed mother. Lift thy
heart to the God of consolation. I believe that
whither I go, thou shall come also. I shall return
no more. Thou, and thy beloved, shall come unto
me. There will be scarcely time to mourn ; for, like
the gliding of a shadow, shall the parents follow the
child of their adoption."
A smile so celestial was on the brow of her who
spoke, that it would have cheered the heart of the
aged woman, but for the afflicting consciousness,
that she must soon behold it no more.
The ensuing day, the summoned clergyman
sought the settlement of the natives, and entered the
house of Zachary and Martha. He received their
respectful salutations with benignity, and seemed
struck with the exceeding beauty of the stranger-
guest. After a conversation, in which he was con-
vinced of her religious education, correct belief, and
happy spiritual state, he prepared to administer the
rite which she had desired. Beckoning to her side
the old warrior and his wife, she said,
" These are Christians. They were baptised,
many years since, by Mr. Occum, their absent min-
ister. I can bear witness, that they know and love
the truth. May they not join in this holy ordinance,
to the edification of their souls ?"
The clergyman, regarding them steadfastly, in-
" Are ye in perfect charity with all men ?"
Bowing himself down, the aged man replied, so-
" We are. The religion of Jesus Christ hath
taught even us, Indians, to forgive our enemies."
They kneeled around the bed. The stately war-
rior, whose terriples had been whitened by the snows
of time, and the storms of war, humbled himself as
the weaned child. The red-browed woman, whose
tears flowed incessantly, was not able to turn her
eyes from that fading flower, which she had shelter-
ed, and which she loved, as if it had sprung from
her own wild soil. But the beautiful being for whose
sake these sacred services were thus performed, was
calm and untroubled as the lake, on which nothing
save the beam of heaven hath ever shone. Raised
above earthly fears and hopes, she seemed to have
a foretaste of the consummation that awaited her.
The heart of the man of God was touched. His
voice faltered as he pronounced the closing bene-
diction, and a tear starting to his mild eye, attested
the accordance of his soul with the sympathies of the
A brief pause ensued. Each was fearful of inter-
rupting the meditations of the other. Like the guests
at some celestial banquet, earth, and the things of
earth, seemed emptiness to the sublimated spirit.
She dreads too suddenly to efface the brightness
which has gathered around her, and which like the
witness on the brow of Moses, descending from the
mount, proves communion with the Eternal.
To the inquiry of the departing clergyman, in
what way he might impart temporal comfort, or
whether the visits of a physician were not desirable,
" I have no want, but what these kind and watch-
ful beings tenderly supply. Their knowledge of
medicine is considerable, and they prepare with skill,
soothing and assuasive remedies, drawn .from that
earth, to whose bosom I am hastening. With the
nature of my disease, I am acquainted. I saw all
its variations in my mother, for whom every exer-
tion of professional skill was fruitless. I feel upon
my heart, a cold hand. Whither it is leading me, I
know. To you, Sir, I shall look for those spiritual
consolations, which are all that my brief earthly pil-
grimage covets. When my ear is closed to the sound
of other voices, speak to me of my Redeemer, and
the eye that is dim in death, shall once more bright-
en, to bless you."
1 72 ORIAPTA.
Zachary and Martha poured forth, with the elo-
quence of the heart, their thanks to the servant of
peace and consolation. Even the skirts of his gar-
ments were dear to them, since he had thus impart-
ed comfort to the object of their affections.
Exhausted in body, but confirmed in faith, Oriana
awaited her dissolution. Such was the wasting of
her frame, that she seemed like a light essence,
trembling, and ready to be exhaled. Every morn-
ing, she requested the casement to be raised, that the
fresh air might visit her. It came, loaded with the
perfume of those flowers, which she was to nurture
no more. But what was at first sought as a plea-
sure, became necessary to aid the struggles of labo-
rious respiration. The couch became her constant
refuge. The debility of that fearful disease, which,
delighting to feed on the most exquisite food, selects
for its victims the fair and excellent, increased to an
almost insupportable degree. A tranquil loveliness
sat upon her features, occasionally brightening into
joy, like one who felt that " redemption draweth
One night, sleep had not visited her eyes. When-
ever her senses inclined to its transient sway, the
spirit revolted against it as oppression, anticipating
the approaching delights of that region, where it
should slumber no more through fullness of bliss.
Calling to her bed-side, at the dawn of morning,
the aged warrior, for her mother had not quitted her
room for several nights, she said,
" Knowest thou, father, that I am now to leave
Fixing his keen glance on her for a moment, and
kneeling at her side, he answered,
" Daughter, I know it. Thy blue eye hath al-
ready the light of that sky, whither thou art ascend-
ing. Thy brow is bright with the smile of the angels
who wait for thee."
Martha covered her face with her hands and hid
it on the couch, fearful lest she might see the agony
of one so beloved. Yet she fixed on those pale* fea-
tures, one more long, tender, sorrowing gaze, as the
expiring voice uttered
" I go, where is no shade of complexion, no tear
of mourning. I go to my parents, who died in faith,
to my husband, whose hope was in his Redeemer.
I shall see thy daughter, and she will be my sister,
where all is love. Father! Mother! that God
whom you have learned to worship, whose spirit
dwells in your hearts, will guide you thither, also."
She paused, and gasped painfully for breath, as
if to add more. Then, extending to each a hand
cold as marble, she faintly whispered,
" I was a stranger, and ye took me in : sick, and
ye ministered unto me. And now, blessing you, I
go unto Him, who hath said, the merciful shall
obtain mercy.' He will remember your love to her
who had none to pity."
They felt that the chilling clasp of her fingers
relaxed. They saw that her lips moved inaudibly.
They knew, by the upraised glance of her glazed
eye, that she spoke to Him who was receiving her
to himself. A smile, not to be described, gleamed
like a ray of sunshine over her countenance. Bend-
ing over her pillow, they heard the words, "joy
unspeakable, and full of glory." Something more
was breathed inarticulately. But she closed not the
sentence : it was finished in Heaven !
Deep silence settled over the apartment of the
dead, save the sobs of the bereaved Martha, and at
long intervals a sigh, as if rending the breast of the
aged warrior. At length, he spoke with a tremulous
and broken tone,
" She was as the sun to our path. Hath she faded
behind the dark mountains ? No, she hath arisen
to brighter skies. Beams of her light will sometimes
visit and cheer us. Thou hast wept for two daugh-
ters, Martha. One, thou didst nurse upon thy breast.
But was she dearer than this ? Was not the child
of our adoption, near to thy heart, as she to whom
thou gavest life? Henceforth, we can be made child-
less no more. Let us dry up the fountain of our
tears, lest they displease the God to whom she hath
The day seemed of interminable length to the
afflicted pair. Long accustomed to measure time by
the varieties of solicitude, the loss of that sole object
of their care, gave the tardy hours an almost insup-
portable weight. Towards evening, the clergyman
who, since the administration of the communion to
OKI AN A. 175
Oriana, had repeatedly visited her, was seen to ap-
proach. Zachary hastened to meet him. The agi-
tation which had so long marked his countenance,
with anxiety for the sufferer, had passed away, arid
he resumed his native calmness and dignity of de-
meanor. His deportment seemed an illustration of
the words of the king of Israel, when his child was
" He is dead. Wherefore should I mourn ? Can
I bring him back again ? I shall go to him, but he
shall not return to me."
Bowing down to the man of God, he said,
rt She, whom thou seekest, is not here. She is
risen. She went her way, ere the sun looked upon
the morning. Come, see the place where she lay."
Departing from that distance of respect, bordering
upon awe, which he had hitherto testified to the guide
of Oriana, he took him by the hand, and led him to
her apartment, as if he felt that in the house of
death, all distinctions were levelled, all ranks made
equal. There lay the lifeless form, in unchanged
beauty. Profuse curls shaded with their rich and
glossy hue, the pure oval forehead, which bore no
furrow of care, nor trace of pain. It seemed as if
the exquisite symmetry of those chiselled features,
had never been perfectly revealed but by the hand
of death. The long, silken eye-lashes lay in pro-
found repose, and it was thrilling even to awe, to
gaze upon that surpassing loveliness, rendered more
sacred by having so peacefully past the last dread
176 OKI AN A.
" It is finished," said the divine, but no tear start-
ed to his placid eye. He believed, that if there is
joy in heaven among the angels, over one sinner
that repenteth, there should be, at least, resignation
on earth, when a saint is admitted to their glorious
company. He kneeled in prayer with the mourners,
and spoke kind words of comfort to them, as to his
brethren, and made arrangements with them, that
the remains of their beloved one might rest in con-
Three days elapsed, and the scene changed to the
burial-ground in Norwich, where a few forms, seen
indistinctly through drooping shades, were watching
the arrival of some funeral train.
Perhaps, amid that musing group, were some re-
cent mourners, who felt their wounds Heed afresh, at
the sight of an open grave. Some parent might be
there, lingering in agony over the newly-covered bed
of his child ; some daughter, kneeling to kiss the
green turf on the breast of her mother ; some lover,
passionately weeping over the ruins of the fondest
hope. How many varieties of grief had that nar-
row spot witnessed, since it cast its heavy mantle
over the head of its first tenant ! How many hearts
had there laid the cherished roses of their bower,
and passed the remainder of their withering pilgrim-
age beneath the cloud ! And with those mournful
recollections, did no pang of compunction mingle?
Can affection always say, when it lays its idol in the
tomb, that there is on Memory's tablet no trace that
she would fain expunge ? no act of tenderness un-
returned? no debt of gratitude uncancelled? no
kind word left unspoken? no heaven-prompted
intention unfulfilled ? Amid that pensive train, was
there no unhappy heart, where the thorn of con-
science must rankle, after the wound of God's visita-
tion had healed ?
Others too might have wandered there, from whose
bosoms the corrosion of sorrow had been easily ef-
faced, whose determination to " go down to the grave,
to the lost one, mourning," had yielded to the eager
pursuit of other pleasures, whose once desolated
shrine resounded with the worship of some new
image, proving that there is nothing unchangeable
in man, save his tendency to change.
Yet of whatever nature were the reflections of the
train that thus circled the " cold turf-altar of the
dead," they were interrupted by the approach of a
funeral procession. Next to the bier, walked those
whom the rite of adoption had made parents, the
settled grief of whose countenances seemed as if
deploring the loss of a first-born. Partaking in
their sorrow, and desirous of paying the last offices
of respect to the departed, almost the whole tribe
had gathered, walking two and two, with solemn and
dejected countenances. There was something un-
speakably affecting in the mourning of that heart-
broken race for the fallen stranger. Strangers
themselves, in the land that was once their own, their
humbled spirits seemed in unison with the sad scene,
and with the open grave. Indeed, every heart seem-
ed touched with peculiar sympathy, at this burial,
in foreign earth, of the lone, the young and the
"By strangers honor'd, and by strangers mourn'd."
At the close of the obsequies, the clergyman drew
near to the aged warrior. His few silver locks waved in
the light summer breeze, and his eyes, intently fixed
upon the new-covered grave, were red and tearless.
Roused by affectionate words-, he replied, but ab-
stractedly, and as speaking to himself, " She told
us of the resurrection, and of Him who is the truth
and the life." Martha, taking with reverence the
hand that was offered her, placed a small packet in
it, and said " She left this for you ; and she bless-
ed you, when the cold dew stood on her forehead,
After his return to his habitation, the clergyman'
perused with deep interest, the parting bequest of
" You have expressed a wish, my dear and reve-
rend benefactor, for a more minute detail of my his-
tory, than my weakness has permitted me orally to
impart. I will, therefore, recount with my pen some
of its particulars, to meet your eye when my own
shall be closed in dust. It will then be time to lift
the veil of mystery, when I can no longer be pained
by the curiosity of strangers, nor affected by their
" You, Sir, have without suspicion reposed confi-
OKI AN A. 17 J
dence in the imperfect narrative which has been in-
trusted to you. You have not, as the cold-hearted
multitude might have done, wounded with the cruel-
ty of distrust, a heart long sinking beneath the visi-
tation of God. You will not now believe, that a
spirit nurtured in the love of truth, could use subter-
fuge or guile, when on the threshold of His presence,
who ' hateth every false way.'
" I am a native of England, and of respectable,
though not wealthy parentage. Among my first,
and most agonizing remembrances, is the death of
my father. Our residence was in a neat and retired
cottage, where my mother solaced her early widow-
hood, by an entire devotion to my welfare. Her
education had been superior to what is usually found
among those of our rank, and she led me almost in
infancy to prize intellectual pleasures. I can scarce-
ly imagine a lot, more congenial with happiness than
our own. Our income was adequate to every want,
and that industry which preserved health, gave us
also the power of administering to the necessities
of others. When my daily tasks were accomplish-
ed, my recreations were to tend my flowers, to read,
converse, or walk with my mother, in the romantic
country that surrounded us, or to join my voice to
the birds that warbled near our habitation. To men-
tal cultivation, my affectionate parent added the
most assiduous religious instruction, and to the bless-
ing of the Holy Spirit on her guidance, do I impute
it, that the foundation of my faith was so strongly
laid, as not to fail me now, in my hour of trial.
"Forgive me, for lingering a little longer, around
this bower of my happiness. It was the Eden of
my existence. It was also the birth-place of my
love. Here the strongest ardor of a young and sus-
ceptible heart awoke, and was reciprocated. The
ruling sentiment of my nature, and one of its ear-
liest developments, was a desire for knowledge.
To this, our restricted resources interposed a bar-
rier. It was the only alloy of my felicity. How
could I therefore but highly appreciate the acquaint-
ance of a man of refined education, of splendid
talents, well balanced by correspondent attainments
and sublimated piety? He brought me books to
which I had no other means of access, and by his
eloquent explanations made the dim ages of remote
history, vivid and alluring. He took pleasure in
guiding my mind through the paths of science and
literature, with which his own was familiar, in in-
troducing it to unbounded regions of thought, and in
tracing its delighted astonishment, when new truths
burst upon it in beauty, and in power. To me, he
seemed as a benevolent and glorious spirit, striving
to elevate an inferior being to his own high intellec-
tual sphere. So strong and pervading was this en-
thusiasm, that I did not imagine that the youth and
grace of my instructor had any agency in creating
it. Love stole upon my simplicity in the guise of
wisdom, and I was his disciple while I believed my-
self only the worshipper of Minerva. It was also
evident, that he who had opened to my enraptured
view, the world of letters, loved the mind which he
had himself adorned ; like him, of ancient fable, who,
imparting fire from heaven to an inert mass, became
" Authorized by maternal sanction, in cherishing
this new affection, every day heightened its ardor,
and every night I thanked my father in heaven, with
exuberant gratitude, for the fullness of my joy. In
the enthusiasm of my attachment, I regretted that
the rank and fortune of my lover were so superior
to my own, and wished for the power of proving by
some severe sacrifice the disinterested spirit of my
" But clouds were impending over the brightened
scene. My mother's health declined. It was in vain
that she strove to conceal from me the symptoms
of that insidious and fatal disease which is now lead-
ing her daughter to the tomb. I watched in agony
the struggles of a pure spirit, disengaging itself
from clay. Even now, I think I hear her sweet,
broken voice, saying to me, ' I leave you, not to
the bitterness of orphanage, but to the protection of
one who loves, and is beloved by, the orphan's God.'
The stream of life flowed on so placidly, when about
to join the ocean of Eternity, that we dreaded, by
any turbid mixture of earth to disturb its purity, or
interrupt its repose. We therefore forbore to men-
tion to her the opposition to our union, which had
arisen on the part of his father, whose pride repelled
the thought of such alliance with a cottager. Find-
ing, in this case, a departure from the implicit obe
dience that he had heretofore received, he resorted
to threats, and to unkindness. His sudden death,
which took place just before that of my mother, con-
firmed the truth of his menaces, by disinheritance.
To me, this patrimonial exclusion scarcely bore a
feature of adversity ; since it permitted the proof
that mercenary motives had no agency in my love.
Even the intelligence at which I should once have
shuddered, that his only resource was to join *he
army under Lord Cornwallis, then in America, was
received with scarcely a pang ; for I felt that my oft-
repeated wish, to evince the strength of my affectkin
by the sacrifices it was capable of enduring, might
now be fulfilled.
" The holy service of the altar, my sainted mo-
ther's obsequies, and the farewell to our cottage, fol-
lowed each other in such rapid succession, that, lost
in a bewildering dream, I seemed incapable of fully
realizing either. Yet methought, our peaceful re-
treat had never worn so many charms, as at the
moment of quitting it for ever. Its roses and wood-
bines displayed all their freshness, breathed all their
fragrance. The surrounding lawn was like the
richest velvet, and the birds whom I had loved as
companions, poured from the verdant branches, mu-
sic too joyous for a parting strain. The records of
childhood's deep happiness were still vivid wherever
1 turned, for my seventeenth birth-day had scarcely
past. Every path, where a departed mother's step
had trod, every haunt which her taste had decor-
ated, every vine that her hand had trained, spoke
to me in the voice of deep, tender, lingering affec-
tion. Once, I should have exclaimed, with a burst
of bitter weeping, And must I leave thee, Pa-
radise T But I went without a tear. He, who was
all the world to me, was by my side. His arm sup-
ported me, and methought all paths were alike, and
every thorn pointless, to one thus sustained. Me-
thought, I could be a homeless wanderer over earth's
face, and murmur not.
" I will not detain you, reverend sir, with the de-
tails of our voyage, or the privations of a life spent
in camps. Like the servitude of the patriarch, whose
seven years were measured by love, they seemed to
me as nothing. Yet during the conflicts which oc-
curred in fields of blood, my wretchedness was in-
expressible. It was then that, imploring protection
for my husband, I first understood what is meant
by the ' agony of prayer.' He was ambitious to stand
foremost in the ranks of danger, and his valor gain-
ed him promotion. When called by his duty to posts
of peril, and I besought him to be careful of life,
for my sake, lie would reply with that firm piety
which ever characterized him ; ' Is not my protector
the God of battles ? is he not, also, the God of the
" But from the scenery of war, I have ever shrunk.
And now my trembling hand and fluttering heart
admonish me to be brief. Seldom has one who pos-
sessed such a native aversion to all the varieties of
strife, such an instinctive horror at the effusion of
blood, been appointed to share the fortunes of war.
During the investment of Yorktown, in the autumn
of 1781, my husband was almost constantly divided
from me, by the duties of his station. Even the
minutest scenes of that eventful period, are graven
on rny memory, as with the point of a diamond,
" The affairs of the English army, every day as-
sumed a more gloomy and ominous aspect. The
ships of France, anchored at the mouth of York
river, prevented our receiving supplies through that
channel, or aid from Sir Henry Clinton, who, in
New- York, anxiously awaited our destiny. Despair
sat on the countenance of Cornwallis ; and Tarleton,
who had hitherto poured his intrepid soul into the
enterprise, was suffering dejection from a painful
wound. The fortifications of the allied French and
Americans were every day brought nearer to us.
They spread themselves in the form of a crescent,
cutting off our communication with the adjacent
country. The last night of my residence in that
fatal spot, I was peculiarly distressed with fears for
my sole earthly stay. I ascended to the roof of the
house, to take an unbroken view of that glorious
firmament, which had so often led my soul from the
woes of earth, to contemplations of heaven. But the
thunder of a terrible cannonade riveted my attention
to terrestrial scenes. The whole peninsula seemed
to tremble, beneath the enginery of war. Bombs,
from the batteries of both armies, were continually
crossing each other's path. Like meteors, their
luminous trains traversed the skies, with awful sub-
limity. Sometimes, I heard a sound, as of the
hissing of a thousand serpents, when in their fall
they excavated the earth, and rent in atoms what-
ever opposed them. Once, I saw severed and man-
gled limbs from the British armaments thrown high
into the air, by their explosion. I fancied a groan
of agony in the voice that I loved, and listened till
sensation forsook me.
Suddenly a column of flame arose from the bo-
som of the river. It was of ineffable brightness.
Methought, even the waters fed it, and it spread
wider, and ascended higher and higher, as if doubt-
ful whether first to enfold the earth, or the heavens.
Two smaller furnaces burst forth near it, breathing,
like their terrible parent, intense fires, beautiful and
dreadful. I gazed, till the waters glowed in one daz-
zling expanse, and I knew not but the Almighty, in
wrath at the wickedness of man, was about to kindle
around him an ocean of flame, as he once whelmed
him with a deluge of waters.
" But nothing could hush the incessant roar of
those engines of death. I wondered if man would
continue to pursue his brother, with unrelenting ha-
tred, even to the conflagration of the day of doom ?
When the influence of an excited imagination had
subsided, I discovered that this splendid and awful
pageant was the burning of the Charon, one of our
lofty ships of war, with two smaller vessels, at an-
chor in the river, which had taken fire from the
" Chilled by the dampness of the night air, I de-
scended from my post of observation, and threw my-
self on my sleepless couch. My health had long suf-
fered for want of exercise in the open air, from which
I was precluded by the impossibility of having the
company and protection of my husband. At the
close of the ensuing day, he was dismissed for a
time from military duty, and entered his apartment,
It was on Sunday, October 14th, misery has
stamped the date indelibly on my soul. He proposed
a walk, to which I gladly assented, and mentioned
as the safest means of prolonging it to any consider-
able length, in streets thronged with soldiers, a wish
that I should array myself in a suit of his military
apparel. Yielding to his reasoning, I assumed this
disguise, and we pressed onward, admiring the au-
tumn scenery, which in the American climate is so
peculiarly brilliant. We indulged in discourse, which
selected from the past the most soothing recollec-
tions, and gilded the future with the illusions of hope.
We followed the course of the fortifications, until
unconsciously we had passed our last redoubt. Sud-
denly, we heard/ the trampling of many feet. The
uniform of the French and Americans was the next
moment visible through the trees that skirted our
path. My husband had scarcely time to draw his
sword, ere a volley of shot was poured upon us. A
ORIANA. - 187
bullet pierced his breast, and he fell lifeless by my
side. I fell with him, senseless as himself. I reco-
vered from my swoon, only to mourn that I sur-
vived, and to feel more than the bitterness of death.
" Sometimes I imagined that he returned the pres-
sure of my hand ; but it was only the trickling of
his blood through my own. Again, I fancied that
he sighed ; but it was the breath of the hollow wind
through the reeds where his head lay. I heard the
horrible uproar of the war, in the neighboring re-
doubts, the roar of cannon, the clash of arms,
the cry of the combatants. I knew that the enemy
were near. But I attempted not to fly. What had
I to lose ? What more remained to me ? That one
dead body, was my all the world. I fell upon it.
I supplicated to be made like unto it.
" A band of men rushed by, speaking in uncouth
tones. I knew that they were savages. Then I
wished to escape, to hide myself. Yet, but a moment
before, like him who despaired for his smitten gourd,
I had exclaimed, ' Take now away my life, I pray
thee ; for it is better for me to die than to live.' Sud-
denly they discovered, and made me their captive.
I expected to have been borne to the American camp.
But they continued to travel throughout the night.
From their conversation I learned that two redoubts
had been stormed by the French and Americans,
with desperate valor. This was the daring action,
in which La Fayette led on the Americans, and Do
Viomenil the French, and which preceded but four
138 OKI ANA.
days the surrender of Cornwallis. The party by
whom my husband had fallen, was the advance-guard,
under Colonel Hamilton, and I was the prisoner of
a small number of Indians, headed by a Delaware
chief.- It seemed that they were connected with
some embassy sent to discover the state of affairs at
Yorktown, and were not personally engaged in this
rencounter. Thus was I at the mercy of beings, at
whom I had ever shuddered as the most savage of
mankind. I followed them as we roam in some ter-
rible dream, when motion is without volition, and
consciousness is misery. Stupified with grief, my
mind was for many days inadequate to the full sense
of its wretchedness. My captors, so far from testi-
fying the brutality that I had feared, were attentive
to my wants, and, in some degree, studious of my
comfort. I exerted myself to endure hardship as
unshrinkingly as possible, dreading lest they should
suspect my disguise ; but they referred my compar-
ative weakness to the effects of a civilization which
they decried, and occasionally satirized the effemi-
nacy of British officers.
" When I began to arouse from the stupor which
the whelming torrent of my afflictions had caused,
a dreadful apprehension took possession of my mind.
I imagined that they were guarding my life with such
care, in order to make me the victim of their savage
torture. This terror obtained predominance over
my grief. When I lay down to sleep in the forests,
wrapped closely in my blanket, and surrounded by
those rugged and red-browed warriors, though
wearied to exhaustion with the travel of the day, no
slumber visited me. Plans of escape occupied every
night ; yet every day revealed their impracticability.
During this season of excitement, I was scarcely
sensible of fatigue. My strength more than equalled
the labor imposed ; so much is the mind able to rule
its terrestrial companion.
" I observed that my captors, in their journey,
avoided the more populous settlements, and seemed
to regard the whites either as intruders, or doubtful
friends. On their arrival at a large town in Penn-
sylvania, they directed me to pass through the sub-
urbs with a guard of four men, evidently fearing
that some facility of escape might be afforded, if I
attracted the notice of strangers. Those who enter-
ed the town, rejoined us with demonstrations of ex-
travagant joy, bringing news that the surrender of
Cornwallis had taken place on the 18th of October,
and that peace was confidently expected. Pressing
on with unusual rapidity, they prepared to pass the
night within the borders of an extensive forest. Here
they kindled a fire, and conversed long in their own
.anguage. Their gestures became violent, and their
eyes were often bent on me, with an expression of
" At length, louder words, as of conflict, arose
between the Mohegans and Delawares, of which the
company was composed. I believed that the strife
was respecting the question of torture, and that mv
100 OKI AN A.
hour had come. An aged warrior of the former tribe
sat solitary, and taking no part in the contest, but
observing its progress with extreme attention. He
avoided the spirituous liquors, with which the others
were becoming inflated, as if reserving himself for
action in some critical juncture. I thought that he
had heretofore regarded me with pitying eyes, and I
said mentally, Is it possible that heaven will raise me
up a friend, among savages ? I remembered that he
was called Arrowhamet, and was respected for
courage and wisdom. When the conflict grew vio-
lent, he arose and approached the Delaware chief-
tain. During their conversation, which was grave
and earnest, both parties preserved silence. When
they separated, the Delawares murmured hoarsely.
But their chief silenced them with the simple argu-
" ' Arrowhamet is old. He hath fought bravely.
His temples are white as the snows of the Allegha-
ny. Young men must submit to the warrior who
weareth the crown of time.'
" They commenced their war-dance, and in its
maddening excitement, and the fumes of intoxication,
merged the chagrin of their disappointment. It was
past midnight, ere they lay down to sleep. When
all around was silent, Arrowhamet spoke in a low
tone. He urged me to compose my mind, and be
at rest, assuring me that the danger was past. It
was impossible for me to find repose. 1 saw also
that my aged guardian slept not. His eyes were
OKI AN A. 191
raised upward, as if contemplating the Maker of that
majestic arch, where a few stars faintly beamed.
Can it be, said I silently, that an Indian thinks of
God ? Ah ! I knew not then, of what deep devotion
their souls were susceptible.
" Judge, with what fearful consternation, 1 was
startled from my reverie, by hearing Arrowhamet
pronounce the name of Oriana ! Breathless with
emotion, I was unable to reply, and he proceeded,
'"Wherefore fearest thou to sleep? Thou art
redeemed from death. No evil shall touch thee.
Believe what the old warrior hath spoken, and rest
" ' Why do you call me Oriana ?' I inquired, trem-
bling with astonishment.
" ' Didst thou think that the eye of Arrowhamet
was too dim to read thy brow ? his heart so old, as
to forget the hand that had given him bread V
" ' Ana I then known to your companions, also?'
" ' No thought save mine hath comprehended thee.
To all other eyes, thy disguise is truth. My breast
shall be as the bars of the grave to my secret.'
" How have you obtained this knowledge ? and
what words did you speak about my having given
you food ?'
" ' I knew that face,' he answered tenderly, when
the torches first gleamed upon it, amid the shouts
of war. It was deadly pale. But how could I for-
get the face of her, that had given me bread ? Thou
sayest, when have I fed thee ? So will the righteous
ask of their Lord, at the last day. Thou writest the
traces of thy bounty in the sand. But the famished
prisoner graveth them in the rock for ever. I was
with the men of Colonel Buford, on the waters of
the Santee river, when out of four hundred, scarcely
a fourth part escaped the sword of Tarleton. I saw
an hundred hands of brave men raised to implore
mercy. The next moment they were stricken off
by the sabres of the horsemen who trampled on their
bodies. But why tell I thee tales of blood, whose
heart is as tender as that of the weaned infant? I
have said, that a few were saved. With them, I
went into captivity. Some pined away, and died in
their sorrows. Seventeen mocns have since looked
upon their graves. Rememberest thou an old Indian,
who once leaned against a tree, near thy tent 1 He
eaned there, because he was weak, and his flesh
wasted by famine. He asked not for bread. Yet
ihou gavest it to him. And so, thou remember-
est him not ? Well ! Thou canst never forget
the youth who stood beside thee, in the door of thy
tent. His voice was like the flutes of his own coun-
try, when he said, Oriana. But how did I see him
next ? His beautiful forehead was cold, and his
noble breast red with his own blood. I saw thee,
also. Thou wert as one dead. But I could not be
mistaken in the hand that had given me bread. I
determined to take thee from my people, that I might
feed thee when thou didst hunger, and be thy staff
when thou wert weary. For this have I labored.
My desire is accomplished, and thou art safe from
" 'Was I then right, in supposing myself destined
to the torture ?'
" ' The chief had promised that this night, his peo-
ple should avenge on thee, their young men, who
had been slain in battle. The Delawares were bent
upon thy death. Their eyes were fierce, and their
brows wrathful, that I rescued thee. It was with
difficulty, that thou wert delivered. The Indian is
taught to submit to the hoary head. But they con-
tinually replied, ' Our mightiest have fallen before
the warriors of his country. Two sons of our Sa-
chem were cut in pieces by their swords. The blood
of the brave cries for vengeance. If it is not ap-
peased by the death of this man, ere the rising of
the dawn, will not their souls frown on us for
ever V "
" < But how were you able to overrule their pur-
pose ?' Hesitating for a moment, he replied,
" ' The natives of this country have a custom, of
which thou art ignorant. He who is deprived of a
near relative, in battle, or by disease, is permitted to
fill the void, from among the prisoners of war, or
the victims of torture. This is the rite of adoption.
It is held sacred among us all. It has given freedom
to the captive, when the flame was scorching his
vitals. Without the force of this claim, I could not
have saved thee. Long was the footstep of Death
nearer to thee than mine.'
" Pausing, he added, in a tone of great tender-
" ' I had once a daughter. An only one, as the
apple of mine eye. But she faded. She went down
to the grave, while she was blossoming into woman-
" There was long silence. Afterwards, I express-
ed my gratitude to my deliverer.
" ' Daughter, rest in peace. I watch over thee.
I have prayed the Great Spirit, that I may lead thee
in safety to my home, and put thy hand into the
hand of my wife. Knowest thou, why she will love
thee ? why the tears will cover her face, when she
looketh upon thee ? Because thou wilt remind her
of the plant whose growth she nursed, whose blast-
ing she bemoaned. Be not angry at what I say.
She had a dark brow, and her garb was like the
children of red men. Yet as she went down into
the dust, there was upon her lips a smile, and in her
eye, a gentleness even like thine.'
" He ceased, oppressed with emotion. He pressed
his hands to his forehead, and laid it upon the earth.
When he raised his head, I saw that his strained
eyes were bright and tearless.
" ' Acceptest thou my adoption ?' he asked. Wilt
thou bow thyself, for a time, to be called the daugh-
ter of old Arrowhamet? I have said, that it need
be but for a time. My home is near the shore of
the great waters. They shall bear thee to thy peo-
ple, when thy heart is sickened at the rude ways of
the sons of the forest.'
OKI AW A. 195
" I assured him of my acceptance, in such terms
as an outcast might be supposed to address to his
sole earthly benefactor. Apparently gratified, he
raised his lofty form erect, and stretching his right
hand toward heaven, ratified with great solemnity
the covenant of adoption.
" * Thou, whose way is upon the winds, through
the deep waters, within the dark cloud, Spirit
of Truth ! before whom the shades of our fathers
walk in fields of everlasting light, hear, confirm,
" He added a few words in his native language,
with the deep reverence of prayer, and then stretch-
ing himself on the ground, in the attitude of repose,
" ' It is enough. Go to thy rest, poor, tender, and
broken flower. I will pray thy God to protect thee.
Thy God is my God. Warriors call me Arrowha
met, but in my home of peace, my name is Zachary.
It was given me, when I bowed to the baptism of
Christians. Thou wilt no longer fear me, now that
thou knowest our God is the same.'
" Lost in wondering gratitude, I made my orison
with many tears, and sank into a more refreshing
slumber than had visited me since my captivity. I
awoke not, till the sun, like a globe of gold, was
burnishing the crowns of the kings of the forest.
" During the remainder of our journey, nothing
worthy of narration occurred. The supernatural
strength that had sustained me, gradually vanished,
and I was borne many days in a litter on the shoul-
ders of the natives. Soon the Delawares separated
from the Mohegans, to return to their own territory.
In passing through a populous town, I sold a valua-
ble watch and necklace, the gifts of my sainted hus-
band, in the early and cloudless days of our love.
Their avails, like the cruse of oil, of her whom the
prophet saved, have not yet failed. They will pro-
bably suffice for my interment.
" My reception from good Martha, was most sooth-
Ing to my lone heart. From that moment to this,
her maternal kindness has never slumbered. With
that tender care, so dear to the wounded, solitary
spirit, she has promoted my comfort, and mitigated
the pains of my disease.
" At my first admission to this humble abode, I
cherished the hope of returning to England. But to
what should I have returned ? Only to the graves
of my parents. With the disconsolate and eloquent
Logan, I might say, There runs not a drop of my
blood, in the veins of any living creature. Who is
there to mourn for Oriana ? Not one.' Throughout
the whole range of my native country, would there
have been a cottage to afford me shelter, or friends
to minister to me night and day, like these aged beings?
"But with whatever attractions the land where I
first drew breath, would sometimes gleam upon my
exiled eye, all hope of again beholding it has been
long extinguished. The disease, to which my early
youth evinced a predisposition, and which was pro-
bably inherited from both my parents, soon reveal-
ed itself. Its progress was gradual, but constantly
I have been conscious of its latent ravages. My re-
treat, which to most beholders might have seemed
as undesirable as obscure, so accorded with my sub-
dued feelings, that like the disciple upon the moun-
tain of mystery, I have often exclaimed, ' Master,
it is good to be here.'
" Here, I have learned to estimate a race, to which
the world has done immense injustice. Once, I had
stigmatized them as the slaves of barbarity. Yet
were they appointed to exhibit to my view, in com-
bination with strong intellect, capabilities of invinci-
ble attachment and deathless gratitude, which, how-
ever the civilized world may scorn in the, cabin of
the red man, she does not often find in the palaces
of kings. Here I have felt how vain is that estima-
tion in which we hold the shades of complexion and
gradations of rank how less than nothing, the tin-
sel of wealth, and the pageantry of pomp, when
' God taketh away the soul.'
" The pride, and earthly idolatry of my heart,
have been subdued by affliction ; and affliction, hav-
ing had her perfect work, has terminated in peace.
Often, during this process, have I been reminded of
that beautiful passage of Dumoulin, ' Jesus, in
going to Jerusalem, was Wont to go through Betha-
ny, which signifies, the house of grief :' so must we
expect to pass through tribulation, and through a vale
of tears, before we can enter upon the peace of the
" Still, I quit not this existence like the ascetic, for
whom it has had no charms. Its opening was gild-
ed with what the world acknowledges to be happi-
ness ; and its close with that joy to which she is a
stranger. For your instructions, your prayers, my
revered friend, receive the blessings of one, who
will henceforth have neither name nor memorial
among men. Your last kind office will be to lay her
wasted frame where saints slumber ; may she meet
you at their resurrection in light. Her parting re-
quest is, that you would remember with the benevo-
lence of your vocation, those who were to her, pa-
rents without the bonds of affinity, philanthropists
without hope of applause, and, though bearing the
lineaments of a proscribed and perishing race, will,
I trust, be admitted to a bright, inalienable inherit-
How purely true, how deeply warm,
The inly-breathed appeal may be,
Though adoration wears no form,
In upraised hand or bended knee.
One Spirit fills all boundless space,
No limit to the when or where ;
And little recks the time or place
That leads the soul to praise and prayer.
Father above, Almighty one,
Creator, is that worship vain
That hails each mountain as thy throne,
And finds a universal fane ?
When shining stars, or spangled sod,
Call forth devotion, who shall dare
To blame, or tell me that a GOD
"Will never deign to hear such prayer?
Oh, prayer is. good when many pour
Their voices in one solemn tone ;
Conning their sacred lessons o'er
Or yielding thanks for mercies shown.
'T is good to see the quiet train
Forget their worldly joy and care,
While loud response and choral strain'
Reecho in the house of prayer.
But often have I stood to mark
The setting sun and closing flower;
When silence and the gathering dark
Shed holy calmness o'er the hour.
Lone on the hills, my soul confessed
More rapt and burning homage there,
And served the Maker it addressed
With stronger zeal and closer prayer
When watching those we love and prize,
TiU all of life and hope be fled ;
When we have gazed on sightless eyes,
And gently stayed the falling head ;
Then what can sooth the stricken heart,
What solace overcome despair ;
What earthly breathing can impart
Such healing balm as lonely prayer?
When fears and perils thicken fast,
And many dangers gather round ;
When human aid is vain and past,
No mortal refuge to be found ;
Then can we firmly lean on heaven,
And gather strength to meet and bear ,
No matter where the storm has driven,
A saving anchor lives in prayer.
Ob, God ! how beautiful the thought,
How merciful the blessed decree,
That grace can e'er be found when sought,
And naught shut out the soul from Thee.
The cell may cramp, the fetters gall,
The flame may scorch, the rack may tea*
But torture-stake, or prison-wall,
Can be endured with faith and prayer.
EVENING PRATER. 201
In desert wilds, in midnight gloom ;
In grateful joy, in trying pain ;
JL laughing youth, or nigh the tomb ;
Oh when is prayer unheard or vain t
The Infinite, the King of kings,
Will never heed the when or wher6 ;
He '11 ne'er reject a heart that brings
The offering of fervent prayer.
EVENING PRAi ^R, AT A GIRLS' SCHOOL.
' Now ift thy youth, beseem of Him
Who giveth, upbraiding not;
That hia light in thy heart become not dim,
And his love be unforgot;
And thy God, in the darkest of days, will be
Greenness, and beauty, and strength to thee."
HUSH ! 't is a holy hour the quiet room
Seems like a temple, while yon soft lamp sheds
A faint and starry radiance, through the gloom
And the sw<?et stillness, down on fair young heads,
With all their clustering locks, untouched by care,
And bowed, as flowers are bowed with night, in prayer
Gaze on 'tis lovely ! Childhood's lip and cheek,
Mantling beneath its earnest brow of thought
Graze yet what seest thou in those fair, and meek,
And fragile things, as but for sunshine wrought?-
Thou seest what grief must nurture for the sky,
What death must fashion for eternity !
202 EVENING PRAYER.
! joyous creatures ! that will sink to rest,
Lightly, when those pure orisons are done,
As birds with slumber's honey-dew opprest,
'Midst the dim folded leaves, at set of sun
Lift up your hearts ! though yet no sorrow lies
Dark in the summer-heaven of those clear eyes.
Though fresh within your breasts the untroubled springs
Of hope make melody where'er ye tread,
And o'er your sleep bright shadows, from the wings
Of spirits visiting but youth, be spread ;
Yet in those flute-like voices, mingling low,
Is woman's tenderness how soon her woe !
Her lot is on you silent tears to weep,
And patient smiles to wear through suffering's hour,
And sumless riches, from affection's deep,
To pour on broken reeds a wasted shower !
And to make idols, and to find them clay,
And to bewail that worship therefore pray !
Her lot is on you to be found untired,
Watching the stars out by the bed of pain,
With a pale cheek, and yet a brow inspired,
And a true heart of hope, though hope be vain ;
Meekly to bear with wrong, to cheer decay,
And, oh ! to love through all things therefore pray!
And take the thought of this calm vesper time,
With its low murmuring sounds and silvery light,
On through the dark days fading from their prime,
As a sweet dew to keep your souls from blight !
Earth will forsake O ! happy to have given
The unbroken heart's first fragrance unto Heaven.
Do not ask me why I loved him.
Love's cause is to love unknown ;
Faithless as the past has proved him,
Once his heart appeared mine own.
Do not say he did not merit
All my fondness, all my truth ;
Those in whom love dwells inherit
Every dream that haunted youth.
He might not be all I dreamed him,
Noble, generous, gifted, true,
Not the less I fondly deemed him,
All those flattering visions drew.
All the hues of old romances
By his actual self grew dim ;
Bitterly I mock the fancies
That once found their life in him.
From the hour by him enchanted,
From the moment when we met,
Henceforth with one image haunted,
Life may never more forget.
All my nature changed his being
Seemed the only source of mine,
Fond heart, hadst thou no foreseeing
Thy sad future to divine?
Once, upon myself relying,
All I asked were words and thought ;
Many hearts to mine replying,
Owned the music that I brought.
Eager, spiritual, and lonely,
Visions filled the fairy hour,
Deep with love though love was only
Not a presence, but. a power.
But from that first hour I met thee,
All caught actual life from you,
Alas ! how can I forget thee,
Thou who madest the fancied true?
Once my wide world was ideal,
Fair it was ah ! very fair :
Wherefore hast thou made it real T
Wherefore is thy image there ?
Ah ! no more to me is given
Fancy's far and fairy birth ;
Chords upon my lute are riven,
Never more to sound on earth
Once, sweet music could it borrow
From a look, a word, a tone ;
I could paint another's sorrow
Now I think but of mine own.
Life's dark waves have lost the glitter
Which at morning-tide they wore,
And the well within is bitter ;
Naught its sweetness may restore :
For I know how vainly given
Life's most precious things may be,
Love that might have looked on heaven,
Even as it looked on thee.
Ah, farewell '.with that word dying,
Hope and love must perish too :
THE CRUSADER'S RETURN. 206
For thy sake themselves denying,
What is truth with thee untrue!
Farewell ! 'tis a dreary sentence;
Like the death-doom of the grave,
May it wake in thee repentance,
Stinging when too late to save !
THE CRUSADER'S RETURN.
' Alas ! the mother that him bare,
If she had been in presence there,
In hia wan cheeks and sunburnt hair
She had not known her child." Marmion.
REST, pilgrim, rest ! thou 'rt from the Syrian land,
Thou 'rt from the wild and wondrous east, I know
By the long-withered palm-branch in thy hand,
And by the darkness of thy sun-burnt brow.
Alas ! the bright, the beautiful, who part
So full of hope, for that far country's bourne !
Alas ! the weary and the changed in heart,
And dimmed in aspect, who like thee return !
Thou 'rt faint stay, rest thee from thy toils at last :
Through the high chestnuts lightly plays the breeze,
The stars gleam out, the Ave hour is past,
The sailor's hymn hath died along the seas.
Thou 'rt faint and worn nearest thou the fountain welling
By the gray pillars of yon ruined shrine?
Seest thou the dewy grapes before thee swelling?
He that hath left me trained that loaded vine !
206 THE CRUSADER'S RETURN.
He was a child when thus the bower he wove,
(Oh! hath a day fled since his childhood's time?)
That I might sit and hear the sound I love,
Beneath its shade the convent's vesper-chime.
And sit thou there ! for he was gentle ever,
With his glad voice he would have welcomed thee,
And brought fresh fruits to cool thy parched lips' fever-
There in his place thou 'rt resting where is he ?
If I could hear that laughing voice again,
But once again ! how oft it wanders by,
In the still hours, like some remembered strain,
Troubling the heart with its wild melody !
Thou hast seen much, tired pilgrim ! hast thou seen
In that far land, the chosen land of yore,
A youth my Guido with the fiery mien
And the dark eye of this Italian shore f
The dark, clear, lightning eye ! on heaven and earth
It smiled as if man were not dust it smiled !
The very air seemed kindling with his mirth,
And I my heart grew young before my child !
My blessed child ! I had but him yet he
Filled all my home even with overflowing joy,
Sweet laughter, and wild song, and footstep free
Where is he now? my pride, my flower, my boy !
His sunny childhood melted from my sight,
Like a spring dew-drop then his forehead wore
A prouder look his eye a keener light
I knew these woods might be his world no more !
He loved me but he left me ! thus they go
Whom we have reared, watched, blessed, too
I MISS THEE, MY MOTHER. 207
He heard the trumpet of the Red-Cross blow,
And bounded from me with his father's sword !
Thou weepest I tremble thou hast seen the slain
Pressing a bloody turf; the young and fair,
"With their pale beauty strewing o'er the plain
Where hosts have met speak ! answer ! was he there!
Oh ! hath his smile departed 1 Could the grave
Shut o'er those bursts of bright and tameless glee?
No ! I shall yet behold his dark locks wave
That look gives hope I knew it could not be !
Still weepest thou, wand'rer ? some fond mother's glance
O'er thee, too, brooded in thine early years
Thinkest thou of her, whose gentle eye, perchance,
Bathed all thy faded hair with parting tears?
Speak, for thy tears disturb me ! what art thou ?
Why dost thou hide thy face, yet weeping on?
Look up ! oh ! is it that wan cheek and brow !
Is it alas ! yet joy ! my son, my son !
I MISS THEE, MY MOTHER.
I MISS thee, my Mother ! Thy image is still
The deepest impressed on my heart,
And the tablet so faithful in death must be chill
Ere a line of that image depart.
Thou wert torn from my side when I treasured thee
When my reason could measure thy worth ;
When I knew but too well that the idol I 'd lost
Could be never replaced upon earth.
1 miss thee, my Mother, in circles of joy,
Where I 've mingled with rapturous zest ;
208 I MISS THEE, MY MOTHER.
For how slight is the touch that will serve to destroy
All the fairy web spun in my breast !
Some melody sweet may be floating around
'T is a ballad I learnt at thy knee ;
Some strain may be played, and I shrink from the
For my fingers oft woke it for thee.
I miss thee, my Mother ; when young health has fled,
And I sink in the languor of pain,
Where, where is the arm that once pillowed my head,
And the ear that once heard me complain 1
Other hands may support, gentle accents may fall
For the fond and the true are yet mine :
I 've a blessing for each ; I am grateful to all
But whose care can be soothing as thine ?
J miss thee, my Mother, in summer's fair day,
When I rest in the ivy-wreathed bower,
When I hang thy pet linnet's cage high on the spray,
Or gaze on thy Favorite flower.
There 's the bright gravel-path where I played by thy side
When time had scarce wrinkled thy brow,
Where I carefully led thee with worshipping pride
When thy scanty locks gathered the snow.
I miss thee, my Mother, in winter's long night:
I remember the tales thou wouldst tell
The romance of wild fancy, the legend of fright
Oh ! who could e'er tell them so well?
Thy corner is vacant ; thy chair is removed :
It was kind to take that from my eye :
Yet relics are round me the sacred and loved
To call up the pure sorrow-fed sigh.
THE PARTING OF SUMMER. 209
I miss thee, my Mother ! Oh, when do I not?
Though I know 't was the wisdom of Heaven
That the deepest shade fell on my sunniest spot,
And such tie of devotion was riven ;
For when thou wert with me my soul was below,
I was chained to the world I then trod ;
My affections, my thoughts, were all earth-bound ; but
They have followed thy spirit to God !
THE PARTING OF SUMMER.
THOU 'RT bearing hence thy roses,
Glad summer, fare thee well !
Thou 'rt singing thy last melodies
In every wood and dell.
But ere the golden sunset,
Of thy latest lingering day,
Oh ! tell me, o'er this chequered earth,
How hast thou passed away ?
Brightly, sweet Summer ! brightly
Thine hours have floated by,
To the joyous birds of the woodland boughs,
The rangers of the sky.
And brightly in the forests,
To the wild deer wandering free ;
And brightly 'midst the garden flowers
Is the happy murmuring bee :
But how to human bosoms,
With all their hopes and fears,
And thoughts that make them eagle-wing,
To pierce the unborn years ?
210 THE PARTING OF SUMMER.
Sweet Summer ! to the captive
Thou hast flown in burning dreams
Of the woods, with all their whispering leatW,
And the blue rejoicing streams ;
To the wasted and the weary,
On the bed of sickness bound,
In swift delirious fantasies,
That changed with every sound ;
To the sailor on the billows,
In longings wild and vain,
For the gushing founts and breezy hille,
And the homes of earth again !
And unto me, glad Summer !
How hast thou flown to me ?
My chainless footstep naught hath kept
From thy haunts of song and glee.
Thou hast flown in wayward visions,
In memories of the dead
In shadows from a troubled heart,
O'er thy sunny pathway shed :
In brief and sudden strivings
To fling a weight aside
'Midst these thy melodies have ceased,
And all thy roses died.
But oh ! thou gentle Summer !
If I greet thy flowers once more,
Bring me again the buoyancy
Wherewith my soul should soar !
Give me to hail thy sunshine,
With song and spirit free ;
Or in a purer air than this
May that next meeting be !
" Reserving woes for age, their prime they spend,
Then wretched, hopeless, in the evil days,
With sorrow to the verge of life they tend,
Griev'd with the present, of the past asham'd,
They live and are despised ; they die, nor more are nam'd
WHERE the lofty forests of Ohio, towering in un-
shorn majesty, cast a solemn shadow over the deep
verdure of beautiful and ample vales, a small fami-
ly of emigrants were seen pursuing their solitary
way. They travelled on foot, but not with the as-
pect of mendicants, though care and suffering were
variably depicted on their countenances. The man
walked first, apparently in an unkind, uncompromi-
sing mood. The woman carried in her arms an
infant, and aided the progi-ess of a feeble boy, who
seemed sinking with exhaustion. An eye accustom-
ed to scan the never-resting tide of emigration, might
discern that these pilgrims were inhabitants of the
Eastern States, probably retreating from some spe-
cies of adversity, to one of those imaginary El Do-
rados, among the shades of the far West, where it
is fabled that the evils of mortality have found no
James Harwood, the leader of that humble group,
212 THE INTEMPERATE.
who claimed from him the charities of husband and
of father, halted at the report of a musket, and while
he entered a thicket, to discover whence it proceeded,
the weary and sad-hearted mother sat down upon
the grass. Bitter were her reflections during that
interval of rest among the wilds of Ohio. The
pleasant New-England village from which she had
just emigrated, and the peaceful home of her birth,
rose up to her view where, but a few years before,
she had given her hand to one, whose unkindness
now strewed her path with thorns. By constant and
endearing attentions, he had won her youthful love,
and the two first years of their union promised hap-
piness. Both were industrious and affectionate, and
the smiles of their infant in his evening sports or
slumbers, more than repaid the labors of the day.
But a change became visible. The husband grew
inattentive to his business, and indifferent to his fire-
side. He permitted debts to accumulate, in spite of
the economy of his wife, and became morose and
offended at her remonstrances. She strove to hide,
even from her own heart, the vice that was gaining
the ascendency over him, and redoubled her exer-
tions to render his home agreeable. But too fre-
quently her efforts were of no avail, or contemptu-
ously rejected. The death of her beloved mother,
and the birth of a second infant, convinced her that
neither in sorrow nor in sickness could she expect
sympathy from him, to whom she had given her
heart, in the simple faith of confiding affection. They
THE INTEMPERATE. 213
became miserably poor, and the cause was evident
to every observer. In this distress, a letter was re-
ceived from a brother, who had been for several
years a resident in Ohio, mentioning that he was
induced to remove further westward, and offering
them the use of a tenement which his family would
leave vacant, and a small portion of cleared land,
until they might be able to become purchasers.
Poor Jane listened to this proposal with gratitude.
She thought she saw in it the salvation of her hus-
band. She believed that if he were divided from his
intemperate companions, he would return to his
early habits of industry and virtue. The trial of
leaving native and endeared scenes, from which she
would once have shrunk, seemed as nothing in com-
parison with the prospect of his reformation and
returning happiness. Yet, when all their few effects
were converted into the wagon and horse which
were to convey them to a far land, and the scant and
humble necessaries which were to sustain them on
their way thither ; when she took leave of her bro-
ther and sisters, with their households ; when she
shook hands with the friends whom she had loved
from her cradle, and remembered that it might be for
the last time ; and when the hills that encircled her
native village faded into the faint, blue outline of the
horizon, there came over her such a desolation of
spirit, such a foreboding of evil, as she had never
before experienced. She blamed herself for these
feelings, and repressed their indulgence.
214 THE INTEMPERATE.
The journey was slow and toilsome The autum-
nal rains and the state of the roads were against
them. The few utensils and comforts which they
carried with them, were gradually abstracted and
sold. The object of this traffic could not be doubt-
ed. The effects were but too visible in his conduct.
She reasoned she endeavored to persuade him to a
different course. But anger was the only result.
When he was not too far stupified to comprehend hor
remarks, his deportment was exceedingly overbearing
and arbitrary. He felt that she had no friend to
protect her from insolence, and was entirely in his
own power ; and she was compelled to realize that
it was a power without generosity, and that there is
no tyranny so perfect as that of a capricious and
As they approached the close of their distressing
journey, the roads became worse, and their horse
utterly failed. He had been but scantily provided
for, as the intemperance of his owner had taxed and
impoverished everything for his own 'support. Jane
wept as she looked upon the dying animal, and re-
membered his laborious and ill-repaid services.
The unfeeling exclamation with which her husband
abandoned him to his fate, fell painfully upon her
heart, adding another proof of the extinction of his
sensibilities, in the loss of that pitying kindness for
the animal creation, which exerrises a silent and sal-
utary guardianship over our higher and better sym-
pathies. They were n >\v :);; reaching within a short
THE INTEMPERATE. 2J5
distance of the termination of their journey, and their
directions had been very clear and precise. But his
mind became so bewildered and his heart so perverse,
that he persisted in choosing by-paths of underwood
and tangled weeds, under the pretence of seeking a
shorter route. This increased and prolonged their
(atigue; but no entreaty of his wearied wife was
regarded. Indeed, so exasperated was he at her ex-
postulations, that she sought safety in silence. The
little boy of four years old, whose constitution had
been feeble from his infancy, became so feverish and
distressed, as to be unable to proceed." The mother,
after in vain soliciting aid and compassion from her
husband, took him in her arms, while the youngest,
whom she had previously carried, and who was un-
able to walk, clung to her shoulders.* Thus burdened,
her progress was tedious and painful. Still she was
enabled to go on ; for the strength that nerves a
mother's frame, toiling for her sick child, is from
God. She even endeavored to press on more rapidly
than usual, fearing that if she fell behind, her hus-
band would tear the sufferer from her arms, in some
paroxysm of his savage intemperance.
Their road during the day, though approaching
the small settlement where they were to reside, lay
through a solitary part of the country. The chil-
dren were faint and hungry ; and as the exhausted
mother sat upon the grass, trying to nurse her infant,
she drew from her bosom the last piece of bread, and
held it to the parched lips of the feeble child. But
216 THE INTEMPERATE.
he turned away his head, and with a scarcely audi-
ble moan, asked for water. Feelingly might she
sympathize in the distress of the poor outcast from
the tent of Abraham, who laid her famishing son
among the shrubs, and sat down a good way off,
saying, " Ltt me not see the death of the child."
But this Christian mother was not in the desert, nor
in despair. She looked upward to Him who is the
refuge of the forsaken, and the comforter of those
whose spirits are cast down.
The sun was drawing towards the west, as the
voice of James Harwood was heard, issuing from
the forest, attended by another man with a gun, and
some birds at his girdle.
" Wife, will you get up now, and come along ?
We are not a mile from home. Here is John Wil-
liams, who went from our part of the country, and
says he is our next-door neighbor."
Jane received his hearty welcome with a thank-
ful spirit, and rose to accompany them. The kind
neighbor took the sick boy in his arms, saying,
" Harwood, take the baby from your wife ; we do
not let our women bear all the burdens, here in
James was ashamed to refuse, and reached his
hands towards the child. But, accustomed to his
neglect or unkindness, it hid its face, crying, in the
" You see how it is. She makes the children so
cross, that I never have any comfort of them. She
THE INTEMPERATE. 217
chooses to carry them herself, and always will have
her own way in everything."
"You have come to a new settled country, friends,"
said John Williams ; " but it'is a good country to get
a living in. Crops of corn and wheat are such as
you never saw in New-England. Our cattle live
in clover, and the cows give us cream instead of
milk. There is plenty of game to employ our lei-
sure, and venison and wild turkey do not come amiss
now and then on a farmer's table. Here is a short
cut I can show you, though there is a fence or two
to climb. James Harwood, I shall like well to talk
with you about old times and old friends down east.
But why don't you help your wife over the fence with
" So I would, but she is so sulky. She has not
spoke a word to me all day. I always say, let such
folks take care of themselves till their mad fit is
A cluster of log cabins now met their view through
an opening in the forest. They were pleasantly
situated in the midst of an area of cultivated land.
A fine river, surmounted by a rustic bridge of the
trunks of trees, cast a sparkling line through the
deep, unchanged autumnal verdure.
" Here we live," said their guide, " a hard-work-
ing, contented people. That is your house which has
no smoke curling up from the chimney. It may not
be quite so genteel as some you have left behind in
the old states, but it is about as good as any in the
218 THE INTEMPERATE.
neighborhood. I '11 go and call my wife to welcome
you ; right glad will she be to see you, for she sets
great store by folks from New-England."
The inside of a log cabin, to those not habituated
to it, presents but a cheerless aspect. The eye needs
time to accustom itself to the rude walls and floors,
the absence of glass windows, and doors loosely hung
upon leathern hinges. The exhausted woman en-
*ered, and sank down with her babe. There was
no chair to receive her. In the corner of the room
stood a rough board table, and a low frame resem-
bling a bedstead. Other furniture there was none.
Glad, kind voices of her own sex, recalled her from
her stupor. Three or four matrons, and several
blooming young faces, welcomed her with smiles.
The warmth of reception in a new colony, and the
substantial services by which it is manifested, putjio
shame the ceremonious and heartless professions,
which in a more artificial state of society are digni-
fied with the name of friendship.
As if by magic, what had seemed almost a prison,
assumed a different aspect, under the ministry of
active benevolence. A cheerful flame rose from the
ample fire-place; several chairs and a bench for
children appeared ; a bed with comfortable coverings
concealed the shapelessness of the bedstead, and
viands to which they had long been strangers were
heaped upon the board. An old lady held the sick
boy tenderly in her arms, who seemed to revive as
he saw his mother's face brighten ; and the infant,
THE INTEMPERATE. 219
after a draught of fresh milk, fell into a sweet and
profound slumber. One by one the neighbors de-
parted, that the wearied ones might have an oppor-
tunity of repose. John Williams, who was the last
to bid good-night, lingered a moment as he closed
the door, and said,
" Friend Harwood, here is a fine, gentle cow, feed-
ing at your door ; and for old acquaintance sake, you
and your family are welcome to the use of her for
the present, or until you can make out better."
When they were left alone, Jane poured out her
gratitude to her Almighty Protector in a flood of joy-
ful tears. Kindness to which she had recently been
a stranger, fell as balm of Gilead upon her wounded
" Husband," she exclaimed, in the fullness of her
heart, " we may yet be happy."
He answered not, and she perceived that he heard
not. He had thrown himself upon the bed, and in
a deep and stupid sleep was dispelling the fumes of
This new family of emigrants, though in the midst
of poverty, were sensible of a degree of satisfaction
to which they had long been strangers. The diffi-
culty of procuring ardent spirits in this small and
isolated community, promised to be the means of
establishing their peace. The mother busied herself
in making their humble tenement neat and comfort-
able, while her husband, as if ambitious to earn in a
new residence the reputation he had forfeited in the
220 THE INTEMPERATE.
old, labored diligently to assist his neighbors in ga-
thering of their harvest, receiving in payment such
articles as were needed for the subsistence of his
household. Jane continually gave thanks in her
prayers for this great blessing ; and the hope she per-
mitted herself to indulge of his permanent reforma-
tion, imparted unwonted cheerfulness to her brow
and demeanor. The invalid boy seemed also to
gather healing from his mother's smiles ; for so great
was her power over him, since sickness had render-
ed his dependence complete, that his comfort, and
even his countenance, were a faithful reflection of
her own. Perceiving the degree of her influence,
she endeavored to use it, as every religious parent
should, for his spiritual benefit. She supplicated that
the pencil which was to write upon his soul, might
be guided from above. She spoke to him in the ten-
derest manner of his Father in Heaven, and of His
will respecting little children. She pointed out his
goodness in the daily gifts that sustain life ; in the
glorious sun, as it came forth rejoicing in the east,
in the gently-falling rain, the frail plant, and the dews
that nourish it. She reasoned with him of the
changes of nature, till he loved even the storm, and
the lofty thunder, because they came from God.
She repeated to him passages of scripture, with which
her memory was stored ; and sang hymns, until she
perceived that if he was in pain, he complained not,
if he might but hear her voice. She made him ac-
quainted with the life' of the compassionate Redeem-
THE INTEMPERATE. 221
er, and how he called young children to his anns,
though the disciples forbade them. And it seemed
as if a voice from heaven urged her never to desist
from cherishing this tender and deep-rooted piety ,
because, like the flower of grass, he must soon fade
away. Yet, though it was evident that the seeds
of disease were in his system, his health at intervals
seemed to be improving, and the little household
partook, for a time, the blessings of tranquillity and
But let none flatter himself that the dominion of
vice is suddenly or easily broken. It may seem to
relax its grasp, and to slumber ; but the victim who
has long worn its chain, if he would utterly escape,
and triumph at last, must do so in the strength of
Omnipotence. This, James Harwood never sought.
He had begun to experience that prostration of spirits
which attends the abstraction of an habitual stimulant.
His resolution to recover his lost character was not
proof against this physical inconvenience. He de-
termined at all hazards to gratify his depraved appe-
tite. He laid his plans deliberately, and with the
pretext of making some arrangements about the
wagon, which had been left broken on the road, de-
parted from his home. His stay was protracted be-
yond the appointed limit, nd at his return, his sin
was written on his brow, in characters too strong to
be mistaken. That he had also brought with him
some hoard of intoxicating poison, to which to resort,
there remained no room to doubt. Day after day
22 THE INTEMPERATE.
did his shrinking household witness the alternations
of causeless anger and brutal tyranny. To lay waste
the comfort of his wife, seemed to be his prominent
object. By constant contradiction and misconstruc-
tion, he strove to distress her, and then visited her
sensibilities upon her as sins. Had she been more
obtuse by nature, or more indifferent to his welfare,
she might with greater ease have borne the cross.
But her youth was nurtured in tenderness, and edu-
cation had refined her susceptibilities, both of plea-
sure and pain. She could not forget the love he had
once manifested for her, nor prevent the chilling con-
trast from filling her with anguish. She could not
resign the hope that the being who had early evinced
correct feelings and noble principles of action, might
yet be won back to that virtue which had rendered
him worthy of her affections. Still, this hope defer-
red was sickness and sorrow to the heart. She found
the necessity of deriving consolation, and the power
of endurance, wholly from above. The tender in-
vitation by the mouth of a prophet, was as balm to
her wounded soul, "As a woman forsaken and
grieved in spirit, and as a wife of youth, when thou
wast refused, have I called thee, saith thy God."
So faithful was she in the discharge of the difficult
duties that devolved upon her so careful not to ir-
ritate her husband by reproach or gloom that to a
casual observer she might have appeared to be con-
firming the doctrine of the ancient philosopher, that
happiness is in exact proportion to virtue. Had he
THE INTEMPERATE. 223
asserted, that virtue is the source of all that happi-
ness which depends upon ourselves, none could have
controverted his position. But, to a woman, a wife,
a mother, how small is the portion of independent
happiness ! She has woven the tendrils of her soul
around many props. Each revolving year renders
their support more necessary. They cannot waver,
or warp, or break, but she must tremble and bleed.
There was one modification of her husband's per-
secutions which the fullest measure of her piety could
not enable her to bear unmoved. This was unkind-
ness to her feeble and suffering boy. It was at first
commenced as the surest mode of distressing her. It
opened a direct avenue to her heart-strings. What
began in perverseness seemed to end in hatred, as
evil habits sometimes create perverted principles.
The wasted and wild-eyed invalid shrank from his
father's glance and footstep, as from the approach
of a foe. More than once had he taken him from
the little bed which maternal care had provided for
him, and forced him to go forth in the cold of the
"I mean to harden him," said he. "All the
neighbors know that you make such a fool of him
that he will never be able to get a living. For my
part, I wish I had never been called to the trial of
supporting a useless boy, who pretends to be sick
only that he may be coaxed by a silly mother."
On such occasions, it was in vain that the mother
attempted to protect her child. She might neither
S24 THE INTEMPERATE.
shelter him in her bosom, nor control the frantic vio-
lence of the father. Harshness, and the agitation
of fear, deepened a disease which might else have
yielded. The timid boy, in terror of his natural
protector, withered away like a blighted flower. It
was of no avail that friends remonstrated with the
unfeeling parent, or that hoary-headed men warned
him solemnly of his sins. Intemperance had destroy,
ed his respect for man, and his fear of God.
Spring at length emerged from the shades of that
heavy and bitter winter. But its smile brought no
gladness to the declining child. Consumption fed
upon his vitals, and his nights were restless and full
" Mother, I wish I could smell the violets that grew
upon the green bank by our old, dear home."
" It is too early for violets, my child. But the grass
; s beautifully green around us, and the birds sing
sweetly, as if their hearts were full of praise."^
" In my dreams last night, I saw the clear waters
of the brook that ran by the bottom of my little garden.
I wish I could taste them once more. And I heard
such music, too, as used to come from that white
church among the trees, where every Sunday the
happy people meet to worship God."
The mother saw that the hectic fever had been
long increasing, and knew there was such an un-
earthly brightness in his eye, that she feared his in-
tellect wandered. She seated herself on his low bed,
THE INTEMPERATE. 225
and bent over him to soothe and compose him. He
lay silent for some time.
" Do you think my father will come?"
Dreading the agonizing agitation which, in his
paroxysms of coughing and pain, he evinced at the
sound of his father's well-known footstep, she an-
" I think not, love. You had better try to sleep."
" Mother, I wish he would come. I do not feel
afraid now. Perhaps he would let me lay my cheek
to his once more, as he used to do when I was a babe
in my grandmother's arms. I should be glad to say
good bye to him, before I go to my Saviour."
Gazing intently in his face, she saw the work of
the destroyer, in lines too plain to be mistaken.
" My son my dear son say, Lord Jesus receive
" Mother," he replied, with a sweet smile upon his
ghastly features, " he is ready. I desire to go to him.
Hold the baby to me, that I may kiss her. That is
all. Now sing to me, and, oh ! wrap me close in
your arms, for I shiver with cold."
He clung with a death grasp, to that bosom which
had long been his sole earthly refuge.
" Sing louder, dear mother, a little louder. I
cannot hear you."
A tremulous tone, as of a broken harp, rose above
her grief, to comfort the dying child. One sigh of
icy breath was upon her cheek, as she joined it to his
one shudder and all was over. She held the
226 THE INTEMPERATE.
body long in her arms, as if fondly hoping to warm
and revivify it with her breath. Then she stretched
it upon its bed, and kneeling beside it, hid her face
in that grief which none but mothers feel. It was a
deep and sacred solitude, along with the dead. No-
thing save the soft breathing of the sleeping babe fell
upon that solemn pause. Then the silence was bro-
ken by a wail of piercing sorrow. It ceased, and a
voice arose, a voice of supplication for strength to
endure, as " seeing Him who is invisible." Faith
closed what was begun in weakness. It became a
prayer of thanksgiving to Him who had released the
dove-like spirit from the prison-house of pain, that
it might taste the peace and mingle in the melody of
She arose from the orison, and bent calmly over
her dead. The thin, placid features wore a smile,
as when he had spoken of Jesus. She composed
the shining locks around the pure forehead, and gazed
long on what was to her so beautiful. Tears had
vanished from her eyes, and in their stead was an
expression almost sublime, as of one who had given
an angel back to God.
The father entered carelessly. She pointed to the
pallid, immovable brow. " See, he suffers no long-
er." He drew near, and looked on the dead with sur-
prise and sadness. A few natural tears forced their
way, and fell on the face of the first-born, who was
once his pride. The memories of that moment were
bitter. He spoke tenderly to the emaciated mother
THE INTEMPERATE. 22 /
and she, who a short time before was raised above
the sway of grief, wept like an infant as those few
affectionate tones touched the sealed fountains of
Neighbors and friends visited them, desirous to
console their sorrow, and attended them when they
committed the body to the earth. There was a shady
and secluded spot, which they had consecrated by the
burial of their few dead. Thither that whole little
colony were gathered, and, seated on the fresh
springing grass, listened to the holy, healing words
of the inspired volume. It was read by the oldest
man in the colony, who had himself often mourned.
As he bent reverently over the sacred page, there
was that on his brow which seemed to say, " This
has been my comfort in my affliction." Silver hairs
thinly covered his temples, and his low voice was
modulated by feeling, as he read of the frailty of man,
withering like the flower of grass, before it groweth
up ; and of His majesty in whose sight " a thousand
years are as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch
in the night." He selected from the words of that
compassionate One, who " gathereth the lambs with
his arm, and carrieth them in his bosom," who,
pointing out as an example the humility of little chil-
dren, said, " Except ye become as one of these, ye
cannot enter the kingdom of heaven," and who call-
eth all the weary and heavy-laden to come unto him,
that he may give them rest. The scene called forth
sympathy, even from manly bosoms. The mother,
228 THE INTEMPERATE.
worn with watching and weariness, bowed her head
down to the clay that concealed her child. And it
was observed with gratitude by that friendly group,
that the husband supported her in his arms, and min-
gled his tears with hers.
He returned from this funeral in much mental dis-
tress. His sins were brought to remembrance, and
reflection was misery. For many nights, sleep was
disturbed by visions of his neglected boy. Some-
times he imagined that he heard him coughing from
his low bed, and felt constrained to go to him, in a
strange disposition of kindness, but his limbs were
unable to obey the dictates of his will. Then he
would see him pointing with a thin dead hand, to the
dark grave, or beckoning him to follow to the unseen
world. Conscience haunted him with terrors, and
many prayers from pious hearts arose, that he might
now be led to repentance. The venerable man who
had read the bible at the burial of his boy, counselled
and entreated him, with the earnestness of a father,
to yield to the warning voice from above, and to
" break off his sins by righteousness, and his iniqui-
ties by turning unto the Lord."
There was a change in his habits and conversa-
tion, and his friends trusted it would be permanent.
She who, above all others, was interested in the re-
sult, spared no exertion to win him back to the way
of truth, and to soothe his heart into peace with it.
self, and obedience to his Maker. Yet was she doom-
ed to witness the full force of grief and of remorso
THE INTEMPERATE. 229
upon intemperance, only to see them utterly over-
thrown at last. The reviving virtue, with whose
indications she had solaced herself, and even given
thanks that her beloved son had not died in vain,
was transient as the morning dew. Habits of indus-
try, which had begun to spring up, proved themselves
to be without root. The dead, and his cruelty to the
dead, were alike forgotten. Disaffection to the chas-
tened being, who against hope still hoped for his sal-
vation, resumed its dominion. The friends who had
alternately reproved and encouraged him, were con-
vinced that their efforts had been of no avail, Intem-
perance, " like the strong man armed," took posses-
sion of a soul that lifted no cry for aid to the Holy
Spirit, and girded on no weapon to resist the de-
Summer passed away, and the anniversary of their
arrival at the colony returned. It was to Jane Har-
wood a period of sad arid solemn retrospection. The
joys of early days, and the sorrows of maturity,
passed in review before her, and while she wept, she
questioned her heart, what had'been its gain from a
father's discipline, or whether it had sustained that
greatest of all losses the loss of its afflictions.
She was alone at this season of self-communion.
The absences of her husband had become more fre-
quent and protracted. A storm, which feelingly
reminded her of those which had often beat upon
them when homeless and weary travellers, had been
raging for nearly two days. To this cause she
230 THE INTEMPERATE.
imputed the unusually long stay of her husband.
Through the third night of his absence she lay sleep-
less, listening for his steps. Sometimes she fancied
she heard shouts of laughter, for the mood in which
he returned from his revels was various. But it was
only the shriek of the tempest. Then she thought
some ebullition of his frenzied anger rang in her
ears. It was the roar of the hoarse wind through
the forest. All night long she listened to these sounds,
and hushed and sang to her affrighted babe. Un-
refreshed she arose and resumed her morning la-
Suddenly her eye was attracted by a group of
neighbors, coming up slowly from the river. A
dark and terrible foreboding oppressed her. She has-
tened out to meet them. Coming towards her house
was a female friend, agitated and tearful, who pass-
ing her arm around her, would have spoken.
".Oh, you come to bring me evil tidings ! I pray
you let me know the worst."
The object was indeed to prepare her mind for a
fearful calamity. The body of her husband had been
found drowned, as was supposed, during the dark-
ness of the preceding night, in attempting to cross
the bridge of logs, which had been partially broken
by the swollen waters. Utter prostration of spirit
came over the desolate mourner. Her energies were
broken and her heart withered. She had sustained
the privations of poverty and emigration, and the
burdens of unceasing labor and unrequited care, with-
THE INTEMPERATE. 231
out murmuring. She had lain her first-born in the
grave with resignation, for faith had heard her Sa-
viour saying, " Suffer the little child to come unto
me." She had seen him, in whom her heart's young
affections were garnered up, become a " persecutor
and injurious," a prey to vice the most disgusting
and destructive. Yet she had borne up under all.
One hope remained with her as an " anchor of the
soul," the hope that he might yet repent and be
reclaimed. She had persevered in her complicated
and self-denying duties with that charity which
" beareth all things, believeth all things, endureth
But now, he had died in his sin. The deadly
leprosy which had stolen over his heart, could no
more be " purged by sacrifice or offering for ever."
She knew not that a single prayer for mercy had
preceded the soul on its passage to the High Judge's
bar. There were bitter dregs in this grief, which she
had never before wrung out.
Again the sad-hearted community assembled in
their humble cemetery. A funeral in an infant col-
ony awakens sympathies of an almost exclusive char-
acter. It is as if a large family suffered. One is
smitten down whom every eye knew, every voice
saluted. To bear along the corpse of the strong
man, through the fields which he had sown, and to
cover motionless in the grave that arm which trusted
to have reaped the ripening harvest, awakens a thrill
deep and startling in the breast of those who wrought
232 THE INTEMPERATE.
by his side during the burden and heat of the day.
To lay the mother on her pillow of clay, whose last
struggle with life was, perchance, to resign the hope
of one more brief visit to the land of her fathers,
whose heart's last pulsation might have been a pray-
er that her children should return and grow up
within the shadow of the school-house and the church
of God, is a grief in which none save emigrants
may participate. To consign to their narrow, note-
less abode, both young and old, the infant and him
of hoary hairs, without the solemn knell, the sable
train, the hallowed voice of the man of God, giving
back, in the name of his fellow-Christians, the most
precious roses of their pilgrim path, and speaking
with divine authority of Him who is the " resurrec-
tion and the life," adds desolation to that weeping
with which man goeth downward to his dust.
But with heaviness of an unspoken and peculiar
nature was this victim of vice borne from the home
that he troubled, and laid by the side of his son to
whose tender years he had been an unnatural ene-
my. There was sorrow among all who stood around
his grave, and it bore features of that sorrow which
is without hope.
The widowed mourner was not able to raise her
head from the bed, when the bloated remains of her
unfortunate husband were committed to the earth.
Long and severe sickness ensued, and in her conva-
lescence a letter was received from her brother, in-
viting her and her child to an asylum under his roof
THE INTEMPERATE. 233
and appointing a period to come and conduct them
on their homeward journey.
With her little daughter, the sole remnant of her
wrecked heart's wealth, she returned to her kindred.
It was with emotions of deep and painful gratitude
that she bade farewell to the inhabitants of that in-
fant settlement, whose kindness through all her ad-
versities had never failed. And when they remem-
bered the example of uniform patience and piety
which she had exhibited, and the saint-like manner
in which she had sustained her burdens, and cherish-
ed their sympathies, they felt as if a tutelary spirit
had departed from among them.
In the home of her brother, she educated her
daughter in industry, and that contentment which
virtue teaches. Restored to those friends with whom
the morning of life had passed, she shared with hum-
ble cheerfulness the comforts that earth had yet in
store for her ; but in the cherished sadness of her
perpetual widowhood, in the bursting sighs of her
nightly orison, might be traced a sacred and deep-
rooted sorrow the memory of her erring husband,
and the miseries of unreclaimed intemperance.
THE INDIAN GIRL.
SHE sat alone beside her hearth
For many nights alone ;
She slept not on the pleasant coach
Where fragrant herbs were strown.
At first she bound her raven hair
With feather and with shell ;
But then she hoped ; at length, like night,
Around her neck it fell.
They saw her wandering 'mid the wood*,
Lone, with the cheerless dawn,
And then they said, " Can this be her
We called < The Startled Fawn!' "
Her heart was in her large sad eyes,
Half sunshine and half shade ;
And love, as love first springs to life,
Of everything afraid.
The red leaf far more heavily
Fell down to autumn earth,
Than her light feet, which seemed to
To music and to mirth.
With the light feet of early youth,
What hopes and joys depart !
Ah ! nothing like the heavy step
Betrays the heavy heart.
236 THE INDIAN GIRL.
It is a usual history
That Indian girl could tell,
Fate sets apart one common doom
For all who love too well.
The proud the shy the sensitive,
" Life has not many such ;
They dearly buy their happiness,
By feeling it too much.
A stranger to her forest home,
That fair young stranger came ;
They raised for him the funeral song
For him the funeral flame.
Love sprang from pity, and her arms
Around his arms she threw ;
She told her father, " If he dies,
Your daughter dieth too."
For her sweet sake they set him free
He lingered at her side ;
And many a native song yet tells
Of that pale stranger's bride.
Two years have passed how much two years
Have taken in their flight !
They 've taken from the lip its smile,
And from the eye its light.
Poor child ! she was a child in years
So timid and so young ;
With what a fond and earnest faith
To desperate hope she clung ! i
THE INDIAN GIRL. 237
His eyes grew cold his voice grew strange
They only grew more dear.
She served him meekly, anxiously,
With love half faith, half fear.
And can a fond and faithful heart
Be worthless in those eyes
For which it beats 1 Ah ! woe to those
Who such a heart despise.
Poor child ! what lonely days she passed,
With nothing to recall
But bitter taunts, and careless words,
And looks more cold than all.
Alas ! for love, that sits at home,
Forsaken, and yet fond ;
The grief that sits beside the hearth,
Life has no grief beyond.
He left her, but she followed him
She thought he could not bear
When she had left her home for him
To look on her despair.
Adown the strange and mighty stream
She took her lonely way !
The stars at night her pilots were,
As was the sun by day.
Yet mournfully how mournfully !
The Indian looked behind,
When the last sound of voice or steo
Died on the midnight wind.
238 THE INDIAN GIRL.
Yet still adown the gloomy stream
She plied her weary oar ;
Her husband he had left their home,
And it was home no more.
She found him but she found in v
He spurned her from his side ;
He said, her brow was all too dark,
For her to be his bride.
She grasped his hands, her own were cold,
And silent turned away,
As she had not a tear to shed,
And not a word to say.
And pale as death she reached her boat,
And guided it along ;
With broken voice she strove to raise
A melancholy song.
None watched the lonely Indian girl,
She passed unmarked of all,
Until they saw her slight canoe
Approach the mighty Fall ! *
Upright, within that slender boat,
They saw the pale girl stand,
Her dark hair streaming far behind
Upraised her desperate hand.
The air is filled with shriek and shout
They call, but call in vain ;
The boat amid the waters dashed
'T was never seen again.
I TELI. you, hopeless grief is passionless
That only men incredulous of despair,
Half-taught in anguish, through the midnight air,
Beat upward to God's throne in loud access
Of shrieking and reproach. Full desertness
In souls, as countries, lieth silent-bare
Under the blenching, vertical eye-glare
Of the absolute heavens. Deep-hearted man, express
Grief for thy dead in silence like to death ;
Most like a monumental statue set
In everlasting watch and moveless woe,
Till itself crumble to the dust beneath !
Touch it ! the marble eyelids are not wet
If it could weep, it could arise and go.
WHEN some beloved voice, that was to you
Both sound and sweetness, faileth suddenly,
And silence, against which you dare not cry,
Aches round you like a strong disease and new
What hope ? what help 1 what music will undo
That silence to your sense ? Not friendship's sigh
Not reason's subtle count ! Not melody
Of viols, nor of pipes that Faunus blew
Not songs of poets, nor of nightingales,
Whose hearts leap upward through the cyprnss trees
To the clear moon ; nor yet the spheric laws
Self-chanted, nor the angels' sweet All hails,
Met in the smile of God. Nay, none of these.
Speak THOU, availing Christ ! and fill this pause.
SPEAK low to me, my Saviour, low and swee
From out the hallelujahs, sweet and low,
Lest I should fear and fall, and miss thee so
Who art not missed by any that entreat.
Speak to me as to Mary at thy feet
And if no precious gums my hands bestow, .
Let my tears drop like amber, while I go
In reach of thy divinest voice complete
In humanest affection thus, in sooth,
To lose the sense of losing ! As a child,
Whose song-bird seeks the wood for evermore,
Is sung to in its stead by mother's mouth ;
Till, sinking on her breast, love-reconciled,
He sleeps the faster that he wept before
WHAT are we set on earth for? Say, to toil
Nor seek to leave thy tending of the vines,
For all the heat o' the day, till it declines,
And Death's mild curfew shall from work assoil.
God did anoint thee with his odorous oil,
To wrestle, not to reign ; and He assigns
All thy tears over, like pure crystallines,
For younger fellow- workers of the soil
To wear for amulets. So others shall
Take patience, labor, to their heart and hands,
From thy hands, and thy heart, and thy brave cheer,
And God's grace fructify through thee to all.
The least flower, with a brimming cup, may stand,
And share its dew-drop with another near.
THE BOON OF MEMORY. 243
THE BOON OF MEMORY.
" Many things answered me." Manfred.
I GO, I go ! and must mine image fade
From the green spots wherein my childhood played,
By my own streams ?
Must my life part from each familiar place,
As a bird's song, that leaves the woods no trace
Of its lone themes?
Will the friend pass my dwelling, and forget
The welcomes there, the hours when we have met
In grief or glee ?
All the sweet counsel, the communion high,
The kindly words of trust, in days gone by,
Poured full and free?
A boon, a talisman, O Memory ! give,
To shrine my name in hearts where I would live
For evermore ?
Bid the wind spealc of me where I have dwelt,
Bid the stream's voice, of all my soul hath felt,
A thought restore !
In the rich rose, whose bloom I loved so well,
In the dim brooding violet of the dell,
Set deep that thought !
And let the sunset's melancholy glow,
And let the Spring's first whisper, faint and low,
With me be fraught!
244 THE BOON OF MEMORY.
And Memory answered me : " Wild wish and vain !
I have no hues the loveliest to detain
In the heart's core.
The place they held in bosoms all their own,
Soon with new shadows filled, new flowers o'ergrown,
Is theirs no more."
Hast thou such power, Love? And Love replied,
" It is not mine ! Pour out thy soul's full tide
Of hope and trust,
Prayer, tear, devotedness, that boon to gain
'Tis but to write with the heart's fiery rain,
Wild words on dust !"
Song, is the gift with thee! I ask a lay,
Soft, fervent, deep, that will not pass away
From the still breast ;
Filled with a tone oh ! not for deathless fame,
But a sweet haunting murmur of my name,
Where it would rest.
And Song made answer " It is not in me,
Though called immortal ; though my gifts may be
All but divine.
A place of lonely brightness I can give :
A changeless one, where thou with Love wouldst live
This is not mine!"
Death, Death ! wilt thou the restless wish fulfill?
And Death the Strong One, spoke : " I can but still
Each vain regret.
What if forgotten ? All thy soul would crave,
Thou too, within the mantle of the grave,
Wilt soon forget."
SONG FOR THE NEW YEAR. 246
Then did my heart in lone faint sadness die,
A.S from all nature's voices one reply,
But one was given.
" Earth has no heart, fond dreamer ! with a tone
To send thee back the spirit of thine own
Seek it in Heaven."
SONG FOR THE NEW YEAR.
OLD Time has turned another page
Of eternity and truth ;
He reads with a warning voice to age,
And whispers a lesson to youth.
A year has fled o'er heart and head
Since last the yule log burnt ;
And we have a task to closely ask,
What the bosom and brain have learnt ?
Oh ! let us hope that our sands have run
With wisdom's precious grains ;
Oh ! may we find that our hands have done
Some work of glorious pains.
Then a welcome and cheer to the merry new year,
While the holly gleams above us ;
With a pardon for the foes who hate,
And a prayer for those who love us.
We may have seen some loved ones pass
To the land of hallowed rest ;
We may miss the glow of an honest brow
And the warmth of a friendly breast :
But if we nursed them while on earth,
With hearts all true and kind,
246 SONG FOR THE NEW YEAR.
Will their spirits blame the sinless mirth
Of those true hearts left behind?
No, no ! it were not well or wise
To mourn with endless pain ;
There 's a better world beyond the skies,
Where the good shall meet again.
Then a welcome and cheer to the merry new year,
While the holly gleams above us ;
With a pardon for the foes who hate,
And a prayer for those who love us.
Have our days rolled on serenely free
From sorrow's dim alloy?
Do we still possess the gifts that bless
And fill our souls with joy?
Are the creatures dear still clinging near?
Do we hear loved voices come ?
Do we gaze on eyes whose glances shed
A halo round our home ?
Oh, if we do, let thanks be poured
To Him who hath spared and given,
And forget not o'er the festive board
The mercies held from heaven.
Then a welcome and cheer to the merry new yeai,
While the holly gleams above us ;
With a pardon for the foes who hate,
And a prayer for those who love us.
'Gently on him, had gentle Nature laid
The weight of years. All passions that disturb
Had past away."
SOON after my entrance upon clerical duties, in
the state of North-Carolina, I was informed of an
isolated settlement, at a considerable distance from
the place of my residence. Its original elements
were emigrants from New-England ; a father, and
his five sons, who, with their wives and little chil-
dren, had about thirty years before become sojourn-
ers in the heart of one of the deepest Carolinian
solitudes. They purchased a tract of wild, swamp-
encircled land. This they subjected to cultivation,
and by unremitting industry, rendered adequate to
their subsistence and comfort. The sons, and the
sons' sons, had in their turn become the fathers of
families ; so, that the population of this singular spot
comprised five generations. They were described
as constituting a peaceful and virtuous community,
with a government purely patriarchal. Secluded
from the privileges of public worship, it was said
that a sense of religion, influencing the heart and
conduct, had been preserved by statedly assembling
248 THE PATRIARCH.
on the sabbath, and reading the scriptures, with the
Liturgy of the Church of Englamd. The pious an-
cestor of the colony, whose years now surpassed
four-score, had, at their removal to this hermitage,
established his eldest son in the office of lay-reader.
This simple ministration, aided by holy example,
had so shared the blessing of heaven, that all the
members of this miniature commonwealth held fast
the faith and hope of the gospel.
I was desirous of visiting this peculiar people, and
of ascertaining whether such precious fruits might
derive nutriment from so simple a root. A journey
into that section of the country afforded me an op-
portunity. I resolved to be the witness of their Sun-
day devotions, and with the earliest dawn of that
consecrated day, I left the house of a friend, where
I had lodged, and who furnished the requisite direc-
tions for my solitary and circuitous route.
The brightness and heat of summer began to glow
oppressively, ere I turned from the haunts of men,
and plunged into the recesses of the forest. Tow-
ering amidst shades which almost excluded the light
of heaven, rose the majestic pines, the glory and the
wealth of North-Carolina. Some, like the palms,
those princes of the East, reared a proud column of
fifty feet, ere the branches shot forth their heaven-
ward cone. With their dark verdure, mingled the
pale and beautiful efflorescence of the wild poplar,
like the light interlacing of sculpture, in some an-
cient awe-inspiring temple, while thousands of birds
THE PATRIARCH. 249
from those dark cool arches, poured their anthems
of praise to the Divine Architect.
The sun was high in the heavens when I arrived
at the morass, the bulwark thrown by Nature around
this little city of the desert. Alighting, 1 led my
horse over the rude bridges of logs, which surmount-
ed the pools and ravines, until our footing rested
upon firm earth. Soon, an expanse of arable land
became visible, and wreaths of smoke came lightly
curling through the trees, as if to welcome the
stranger. Then, a cluster of cottages cheered the
eye. They were so contiguous, that the blast of a
horn, or even the call of a shrill voice, might con-
vene all their inhabitants. To the central and the
largest building, I directed my steps. Approaching
the open window, I heard a distinct manly voice,
pronouncing the solemn invocation, " By thine
agony, and bloody sweat, by thy cross and pas-
sion, by thy precious death and burial, by thy
glorious resurrection and ascension, and by the
coming of the Holy Ghost." The response arose,
fully and devoutly, in the deep accents of manhood,
and the softer tones of the mother and her children.
Standing motionless, that I might not disturb the
worshippers, I had a fair view of the lay-reader. He
was a man of six feet in height, muscular and well
proportioned, with a head beautifully symmetrical,
from whose crown time had begun to shred the lux-
uriance of its raven locks. Unconscious of the pre-
sence of a stranger, he supposed that no eye regard-
250 THE PATRIARCH.
ed him, save that of his God. Kneeling around him,
were his " brethren according to the flesh," a numer-
ous and attentive congregation. At his right hand
was the Patriarch tall, somewhat emaciated, yet
not bowed with years, his white hair combed smooth-
ly over his temples, and slightly curling on his neck.
Gathered near him, were his children, and his chil-
dren's children. His blood was in the veins of al-
most every worshipper. Mingling with forms that
evinced the ravages of time and toil, were the bright
locks of youth, and the rosy brow of childhood,
bowed low in supplication. Even the infant, with
hushed lip, regarded a scene where was no wander-
ing glance. Involuntarily, my heart said, " Shall
not this be a family in Heaven ?" In the closing
aspirations, " O Lamb of .God ! that takest away the
sins of the world, have mercy upon us !" the voice
of the Patriarch was heard, with strong and affect-
ing emphasis. After a pause of silent devotion, all
arose from their knees, and I entered the circle.
" I am a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I come to bless you in the name of the Lord."
The ancient Patriarch, grasping my hand, gazed
on me with intense earnestness. A welcome, such
as words have never uttered, was written on his
" Thirty-and-two years, has my dwelling been in
this forest. Hitherto, no man of God hath visited
us. Praised be his name, who hath put it into thy
heart, to seek out these few sheep in the wilderness.
THE PATRIARCH. 251
Secluded as we are, from the privilege of worship-
ping God in his temple, we thus assemble every Sab-
bath, to read his holy Book, and to pray unto him in
the words of our liturgy. Thus have we been pre-
served from ' forgetting the Lord who bought us,
and lightly esteeming the Rock of our Salvation.' "
The exercises of that day are indelibly engraven
on my memory. Are they not written in the record
of the Most High? Surely a blessing entered into
my own soul, as I beheld the faith, and strengthened
the hope of those true-hearted and devout disciples.
Like him, whose slumbers at Bethel were visited by
the white-winged company of heaven, I was con-
strained to say, " Surely the Lord is in this place,
and I knew it not."
At the request of the Patriarch, I administered the
ordinance of baptism. It was received with affecting
demonstrations of solemnity and gratitude. The
sacred services were protracted until the setting of the
sun. Still they seemed reluctant to depart. It was to
them a high and rare festival. When about to sepa-
rate, the venerable Patriarch introduced me to all his
posterity. Each seemed anxious to press my hand ;
and even the children expressed, by affectionate
glances, their reverence and love for him who min-
istered at the altar of God.
" The Almighty," said the ancient man, " hath
smiled on these ba'oes, born in the desert. I came
hither with my sons and their companions, and their
nlessed mother, who hath gone to rest. God hath
252 THE PATRIARCH.
given us families as a flock. We earn our bread
with toil and in patience. For the intervals of labor
we have a school, where our little ones gain the ru-
diments of knowledge. Our only books of instruc-
tion, are the bible and prayer-book."
At a signal they rose and sang, when about de-
parting to their separate abodes, " Glory to God in
the highest, and on earth, peace, and good will to-
wards men." Never, by the pomp of measured
melody, was my spirit so stirred within me, as when
that rustic, yet tuneful choir, surrounding the white-
haired father of them all, breathed out in their forest
sanctuary, " thou, that takest away the sins of the
world, have mercy upon us."
The following morning, I called on every family,
and was delighted with the domestic order, econo-
my, and concord, that prevailed. Careful improve-
ment of time, and moderated desires, seemed uni-
formly to produce among them, the fruits of a blame-
less life and conversation. They conducted me to
their school. Its teacher was a grand-daughter of
the lay-reader. She possessed a sweet countenance,
and gentle manners, and with characteristic simpli-
city, employed herself at the spinning-wheel, when
not absorbed in the labors of instruction. Most of
her pupils read intelligibly, and replied with readi-
ness to questions from Scripture History. Writing
and arithmetic were well exemplified by the elder
ones ; but those works of science, with which our
libraries are so lavishly supplied, had not found their
THE PATRIARCH. 253
way to this retreat. ' But among the learners was
visible, what does not always distinguish better en-
dowed seminaries ; docility, subordination, and pro-
found attention to every precept and illustration.
Habits of application and a desire for knowledge
were infused into all. So trained up were they in
industry, that even the boys, in the intervals of their
lessons, were busily engaged in the knitting of stock-
ings for winter. To the simple monitions which I
addressed to them, they reverently listened ; and ere
they received the parting blessing, rose, and repeat-
ed a few passages from the inspired volume, and
lifted up their accordant voices, chanting, " blessed
be the Lord God of Israel, for he hath visited and
redeemed his people."
Whatever I beheld in this singular spot, served to
awaken curiosity, or to interest feeling. All my
inquiries were satisfied with the utmost frankness.
Evidently, there was nothing which required conceal-
ment. The heartless theories of fashion, with their
subterfuges and vices, had not penetrated to this her-
metically sealed abode. The Patriarch, at his en-
trance upon his territory, had divided it into six equal
portions, reserving one for himself, and bestowing
another on each of his five sons. As the children
of the colony advanced to maturity, they, with
scarcely an exception, contracted marriages among
each other, striking root, like the branches of the
oanian, around their parent tree. The domicile of
every family was originally a rude cabin of logs,
254 THE PATRIARCH.
serving simply the purpose of shelter. In front of
this, a house of larger dimensions was commenced,
and so constructed, that the ancient abod^ might
become the kitchen, when the whole was completed.
To the occupation of building they attended as they
were able to command time and materials. " We
keep it," said one of the colonists, for " handy -work,
when there is no farming, or turpentine-gathering,
or tar-making." Several abodes were at that time,
in different stages of progress, marking the links of
gradation between the rude cottage, and what they
styled the " framed house." When finished, though
devoid of architectural elegance, they exhibited ca-
pabilities of comfort, equal to the sober expectations
of a primitive people. A field for corn, and a gar-
den abounding with vegetables, were appendages to
each habitation. Cows grazed quietly around, and
sheep dotted like snow-flakes, the distant green pas-
tures. The softer sex participated in the business
of horticulture, and when necessary, in the labors
of harvest, thus obtaining that vigor and muscular
energy which distinguish the peasantry of Europe,
from their effeminate sisters of the nobility and gen-
try. Each household produced or manufactured
within its own domain , most of the materials which
were essential to its comfort; and for such articles
as their plantations could not supply, or their inge-
nuity construct, the pitch-pine was their medium of
purchase. When the season arrived for collecting
its hidden treasures, an aperture was made in its
bark, and a box inserted, into wh-ch tlve turpentine
THE PATRIARCH. 255
continually oozed. Care was required to preserve
this orifice free from the induration of glutinous
matter. Thus, it must be frequently reopened, or
carried gradually upward on the trunk of the tree ,
sometimes, to such a height, that a small knife affix-
ed to the extremity of a long pole, is used for that
purpose. Large trees sustain several boxes at the
same time, though it is required that the continuity
of bark be preserved, or the tree, thus shedding its
life-blood at the will of man, must perish. Though
the laborers in this department are exceedingly in-
dustrious and vigilant, there will still be a consider-
able deposit adhering to the body of the tree. These
portions, called " turpentine facings," are carefully
separated, and laid in a cone-like form, until they
attain the size of a formidable mound. This is
covered with earth, and when the cool season com-
mences, is ignited ; and the liquid tar, flowing into
a reservoir prepared for it, readily obtains a market
among the dealers in naval stores.
Shall I be forgiven for such minuteness of detail ?
So strongly did this simple and interesting people
excite my affectionate solicitude, that not even their
slightest concerns seemed unworthy of attention,
By merchants of the distant town, who were in
habits of traffic with them, I was afterwards inform-
ed that they were distinguished for integrity and
uprightness, and that the simple affirmation of these
''Bible and Liturgy men," as they were styled, pos-
sessed the sacredness of an oath. The Jay-reader
remarked to me, that he had never known among
256 THE PATRIARCH.
his people, a single instance of either intemperance
" Our young men have no temptations, and the
old set an uniformly sober example. Still, I cannot
but think our freedom from vice is chiefly owing to
a sense of religious obligation, cherished by God's
blessing upon our humble worship."
" Are there no quarrels or strifes among you''"
" For what should we contend ? We have no
prospect of wealth, nor motive of ambition. We
are too busy to dispute about words. Are not these
the sources of most of the ' wars and fightings'
among mankind 1 Beside, we are all of one blood.
Seldom does any variance arise, which the force of
brotherhood may not quell. Strict obedience is
early taught in families. Children who learn tho-
roughly the Bible-lesson to obey and honor their
parents, are not apt to be contentious in society, or
irreverent to their Father in Heaven. Laws so
simple would be inefficient in a mixed and turbulent
community. Neither could they be effectual here,
without the aid of that gospel which speaketh peace
and prayer for His assistance, who " turneth the
hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just."
Is it surprising that I should take my leave, with
an overflowing heart, of the pious Patriarch and his
posterity? that I should earnestly desire another
opportunity of visiting their isolated domain ?
Soon after this period, a circumstance took place,
which they numbered among the most interesting
rras of their history. A small chapel was erected
THE PATRIARCH. 257
in the village nearest to their settlement. Though
at the distance of many miles, they anticipated its
completion with delight. At its consecration by the
late Bishop Ravenscroft, as many of the colonists as
found it possible to leave home, determined to be
present. Few of the younger ones had ever entered
a building set apart solely for the worship of God ;
and the days were anxiously counted, until they
should receive permission to tread his courts.
The appointed period arrived. Just before the
commencement of the sacred services of dedication,
a procession of singular aspect was seen to wind
along amid interposing shades. It consisted of per-
sons of both sexes, and of every age, clad in a pri-
mitive style, and advancing with solemn order. I
recognized my hermit friends, and hastened onward
to meet them. Scarcely could the ancient Jews, when
from distant regions they made pilgrimage to their
glorious hill of Zion, have testified more touching
emotion, than these guileless worshippers, in passing
the threshold of this humble temple to Jehovah.
When the sweet tones of a small organ, mingling
with the voices of a select choir, gave " glory to the
Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it was
in the beginning, is now,, and ever shall be, world
without end," the young children of the forest start-
ed from their seats in wondering joy, while the
changing color, or quivering lip of the elders, evin-
ced that the hallowed music awoke the cherished
echoes of memory.
258 THE PATRIARCH.
But with what breathless attention did they hang
on every word of Bishop Ravenscroft, as with his
own peculiar combination of zeal and tenderness, he
illustrated the inspired passage which he had chosen,
or with a sudden rush of strong and stormy eloquence
broke up the fountains of the soul ! Listening and
weeping, they gathered up the manna, which an
audience satiated with the bread of heaven, and pro-
digal of angels' food, might have suffered to perish.
With the hoary Patriarch, a throng of his descend-
ants, who had been duly prepared for that holy vow
and profession, knelt around the altar, in commem-
oration of their crucified Redeemer.
At the close of the communion service, when about
to depart to his home, the white-haired man drew
near to the Bishop. Gratitude for the high privileges
in which he had participated ; reverence for the fa-
ther in God, whom he had that day for the first time
beheld ; conviction that his aged eyes could but a
little longer look on the things of time ; conscious-
ness that he might scarcely expect again to stand
amid these his children, to " behold the fair beauty
of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple," over-
whelmed his spirit. Pressing the hand of the Bishop,
and raising his eyes heavenward, he said, " Lord !
now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for
mine eyes have seen thy salvation."
Bishop Ravenscroft fixed on him one of those
piercing glances which seemed to read the soul ; and
then tears, like large rain-drops stood upon his cheeks.
Recovering from his emotion, he pronounced, with
THE PATRIARCH. 259
affectionate dignity, the benediction, " the Lord bless
thee and keep thee ; the Lord make his face to shine
upon thee, and be gracious unto thee ; the Lord lift
up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace."
The Patriarch, bowing down a head, heavy with
the snows of more than fourscore winters, breathed
a thanksgiving to God, and turned homeward, follow-
ed by all his kindred. Summer had glided away ere
it was in my power again to visit the " lodge in the
wilderness." As I was taking in the autumn twilight
my lonely walk for meditation, a boy of rustic ap-
pearance, approaching with hasty steps, accosted me.
" Our white-haired father, the father of us all, lies
stretched upon his bed. He takes no bread or water,
and he asks for you. Man of God, will you come
to him ?"
Scarcely had I signified assent, ere he vanished.
With the light of the early morning, I commenced
my journey. Autumn had infused dullness into the
atmosphere, and somewhat of tender melancholy
into the heart. Nature seems to regard with sadness
the passing away of the glories of summer, and to
robe herself as if for humiliation.
As the sun increased in power, more of cheerful-
ness overspread the landscape. The pines were
busily disseminating their winged seeds. Like in-
sects, with a floating motion, they spread around for
miles. Large droves of swine made their repast
upon this half ethereal food. How mindful is Nature
of even her humblest pensioners !
As I approached the cluster of cottages, which
now assumed the appearance of a village, the eldest
260 THE PATRIARCH
son advanced to meet me. His head declined like
one struggling with a grief which he would fain sub-
due. Taking my hand in both of his, he raised it
to his lips. Neither of us spoke a word. It was
written clearly on his countenance, " Come quickly,
ere he die."
Together we entered the apartment of the good
Patriarch. One glance convinced me that he was
not long to be of our company. His posterity were
gathered around him in sorrow ;
" For drooping, sickening, dying, they began,
Whom they ador'd as God, to mourn as man."
He was fearfully emaciated, but as I spake of the
Saviour, who " went not up to joy, until he first suf-
fered pain," his brow again lighted with the calm-
ness of one, whose " way to eternal joy was to suf-
fer with Christ, whose door to eternal life gladly to
die with him."
Greatly comforted by prayer, he desired that the
holy communion might be once more administered
to him, and his children. There was a separation
around his bed. Those who had been accustomed
to partake with him, drew near, and knelt around
the dying. Fixing his eye on the others, he said,
with an energy of tone which we thought had for-
saken him, " Will ye thus be divided, at the last
day ?" A burst of wailing grief was the reply.
Never will that scene be effaced from my remem-
brance : the expressive features, and thrilling re-
sponses, of the Patriarch, into whose expiring body
the soul returned with power, that it might leave this
last testimony of faith and hope to those whom he
THE PATRIARCH. 261
loved, are among the unfading imagery of my exist-
ence. The spirit seemed to rekindle more and more,
in its last lingerings around the threshold of time. In
a tone, whose clearness and emphasis surprised us,
the departing saint breathed forth a blessing on those
who surrounded him, in the " name of that God,
whose peace passeth all understanding."
There was an interval, during which he seemed
to slumber. Whispers of hope were heard around
his couch, that he might wake and be refreshed. At
length, his eyes slowly unclosed. They were glazed
and deeply sunken in their sockets. Their glance was
long and kind upon those who hung over his pillow.
His lips moved, but not audibly. Bowing my ear more
closely, I found that he was speaking of Him who is
the " resurrection and the life." A slight shuddering
passed over his frame, and he was at rest, for ever.
A voice of weeping arose from among the children,
who had been summoned to the bed of death. Ere I had
attempted consolation, the lay- reader with an unfalter-
ing tone pronounced, " the Lord gave, and the Lord
hath taken away : blessed be the name of the Lord."
Deep silence ensued. It seemed as if every heart
was installing him who spake, in the place of the
father and the governor who had departed. It was
a spontaneous acknowledgment of the right of pri-
mogeniture, which no politician could condemn. He
stood among them, in the simple majesty of his birth-
right, a ruler and priest to guide his people in the
way everlasting. It was as if the mantle of an arisen
262 THE PATRIARCH.
my servant whom I have chosen." Every eye fixed
upon him its expression of fealty and love. Gra-
dually the families retired to their respective habita-
* tions. Each individual paused at the pillow of the
Patriarch, to take a silent farewell ; and some of the
little ones climbed up to kiss the marble face.
1 was left alone with the lay-reader, and with the
dead. The enthusiasm of the scene had fled, and
the feelings of a son triumphed. Past years rushed
like a tide over his memory. The distant, but un-
dimmed impressions of infancy and childhood, the
planting of that once wild waste, the changes of
those years which had sprinkled his temples with gray
hairs, all, with their sorrows and their joys, came
back, associated with the lifeless image of his belov-
ed sire. In the bitterness of bereavement, he cover-
ed his face, and wept. That iron frame which had
borne the hardening of more than half a century,
shook, like the breast of an infant, when it sobs
out its sorrows. I waited until the first shock of
grief had subsided. Then, passing my arm gently
within his, I repeated, " I heard a voice from heaven
saying, ' Write, from henceforth, blessed are the
dead, who die in the Lord.' " Instantly raising him-
self upright, he responded in a voice whose deep
inflictions sank into my soul, "Even so, saith the
spirit, for they rest from their labors, and their works
do follow them."
I remained to attend the funeral obsequies of the
Patriarch. In tne heart of their territory was a
shady dell, sacred to the dead. It was surrounded
by a neat inclosure, and planted with trees. The
THE PATRIARCH. 263
drooping branches of a willow, swept the grave of
the mother of the colony. Near her, slumbered her
youngest son. Several other mounds swelled around
them, most of which, by their small size, told of the
smitten flowers of infancy. To this goodly compa-
ny, we bore him, who had been revered as the father
and exemplar of all. With solemn steps, his de-
scendants, Jwo and two, followed the corpse. I
heard a convulsive and suppressed breathing, among
the more tender of the train ; but when the burial-
service commenced, all was hushed. And never
have I more fully realized its surpassing pathos and
power, than when from the centre of that deep soli-
tude, on the brink of that waiting grave, it poured
forth its consolation.
" Man, that is born of woman, hath but a short
time to live, and -is full of misery. He cometh up
and is cut down like a flower. He fleeth as it were a
shadow, and never continueth in one stay. In the
midst of life, we are in death. Of whom may we
seek succor but of thee, Oh Lord ! who for our sins
art justly displeased ? Yet, O Lord God most holy
O God most mighty, O holy and most merciful
Saviour, deliver us not into the bitter pains of eternal
death. Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts,
shut not thy most merciful ears to our prayers, but
spare us, O Lord most holy, O God most mighty,
O holy and merciful Saviour, suffer us not, at our
last hour, for any pains of death to fall from thee."
Circumstances compelled me to leave this mourn-
ing community immediately after committing tha
dust of their pious ancestor to the earth. They ac
264 THE PATRIARCH.
companied me to some distance on my journey, and
our parting was with mutual tears. Turning to
view them, as their forms mingled with the dark
green of the forest, I heard the faint echo of a clear
voice. It was the lay-reader, speaking of the hope
of the resurrection : " If we believe that Christ died
and rose again, even so them also, that sleep in
Jesus, will God bring with him."
Full of thought, I pursued my homeward way. I
inquired, is Devotion never encumbered, or impeded
by the splendor that surrounds her? Amid the
lofty cathedral, the throng of rich-stoled worship-
pers, the melody of the solemn organ, does that
incense never spend itself upon the earth, that should
rise to heaven ? On the very beauty and glory of
its ordinances, may not the spirit proudly rest, and
go more forth to the work of benevolence, nor spread
its wing at the call of faith ?
Yet surely, there is a reality in religion, though
man may foolishly cheat himself with the shadow.
Here I have beheld it in simplicity, disrobed of" all
pomp and circumstance," yet with power to soothe
the passions into harmony, to maintain the virtues
in daily and vigorous exercise, and to give victory
to the soul, when death vanquishes the body. So,
I took the lesson to my heart, and when it has lan-
guished or grown cold, I have warmed it by the re-
membrance of the ever-living faith, of those " few
sheep in the wilderness."
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