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Title: Lewie - Or, The Bended Twig
Author: Bradford, Sarah H. (Sarah Hopkins), 1818-
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Lewie - Or, The Bended Twig" ***

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[Illustration: BROOK FARM (Frontispiece)]



LEWIE;

OR,

THE BENDED TWIG.

BY COUSIN CICELY, AUTHOR OF THE "SILVER LAKE STORIES," ETC. ETC.

   "Train up this child for me, and I will give thee thy wages."

   "Mother! thy gentle hand hath mighty power,
   For thou alone may'st train, and guide, and mould,
   Plants that shall blossom with an odor sweet,
   Or like the cursed fig-tree, wither and become
   Vile cumberers of the ground."


AUBURN AND ROCHESTER: ALDEN & BEARDSLEY. 1856.



Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1853, by ALDEN
BEARDSLEY & CO. In the Clerk's Office for the Northern District of New
York.



Preface.


It seems to be thought that a preface or introduction of some sort is
absolutely necessary to a book; why, I do not know, unless it be that it
looks rather abrupt to begin one's story without a word as to the why or
wherefore of its being written. This in the present case can be said
very shortly.

The principal events in the following story, the loved and petted child
being, as it seemed, given back to life in answer to the mother's
importunate cry; the indulgence under which he grew up, and the fatal
consequences of that indulgence upon a temper such as his; are taken
from real life, and may be used as sad warnings to those who shrink from
the present trouble and pain, of rightly training the little ones God
has given them.

The story of the Governess is a true one in every particular; names only
being altered; I believe there are none remaining now whose feelings
will be pained by this sad history being made public, so far as this
little book may make it so, but there are one or two I know, and perhaps
more, now living, who will smile if the chapter entitled "Ruth Glenn"
meets their eyes, when they remember the disturbed nights years ago at a
certain city boarding school. If she to whom I have given this name
should ever see these pages, I hope she will forgive me for thus
"telling tales out of school," in consideration of the high station to
which by my single voice I have raised her, and the pleasant memory she
leaves behind.

Many other little scenes and incidents interwoven in, the story, are
from life.

And now I can only close my preface as I have closed the book, in the
earnest hope that it may have the effect of leading some mothers to
train rightly the little shoots springing up around the parent tree,
restraining their wandering inclinations, and teaching them ever to look
and grow towards Heaven.

THE AUTHOR.



Contents.

CHAPTER I.

LITTLE AGNES.

                                                                      Page
The cross baby brother--The patient sister--The novel-reading mamma--The
broken work-box--Undeserved punishment--The lock of papa's
hair--Old Mammy--The cold north room--"Never alone"--Aunt
Wharton--Lewie sick--A pleasant change for the little prisoner      11


CHAPTER II.

BROOK  FARM.

Bridget's rage--Mammy's story--The runaway match--The dead father--The
cheerful home at Brook Farm--Cousin Emily--The ice palace--Christmas
secrets--The mother's agony--Life from the dead      28


CHAPTER III.

CHRISTMAS  TIME.

Preparations for Christmas--The needle-book--Santa Claus himself expected
-Old Cousin Betty--Loads of presents--Christmas Eve--Appearance
of Santa Claus--"Who can he be?"--Cousin Tom--Poor Emily's
grief      58


CHAPTER IV.

COUSIN BETTY.

Cousin Betty--Absence of mind and body--A habit of dying--The shadow on
the wall--Cousin Betty's ride on Prancer--Training day--Cousin Betty a
captain of militia--Cousin Betty's stories       67


CHAPTER V.

HOME AGAIN.

Agnes and Mr. Wharton on their way to the Hemlocks--The novel-reading
mamma again--Lewie better--Agnes must stay--A lay sermon to Mrs.
Elwyn--The needle-case--The bitter disappointment       77


CHAPTER VI.

THE TABLEAUX.

Lewie roving the woods and fields again--Capricious and fretful
still--The birth-day party at Mr. Wharton's--Preparations for
tableaux--Another disappointment for Agnes--The sweetest tableaux of all
      89


CHAPTER VII.

THE GOVERNESS.

The lady who came for wool--The home in New-England--Midnight
studies--Miss Edwards engaged as governess--A universal genius--A letter
from the long-lost brother--The journey--The old Virginia church--The
ghost no ghost at all--The old log-house--Horrible murder!--of _pigs_
       98


CHAPTER VIII.

BITTER DISAPPOINTMENTS.

No news from Miss Edwards--The letter from the strange physician--The
manuscript--The brother found, and where--The engagement--Desertion--The
country house--The "crazy room"--The Eastern Asylum--Rest at last in the
quiet nook       127


CHAPTER IX.

EMILY'S TRIALS.

Lewie's education--Mr. Malcolm tutor at the Hemlocks--Frequent calls at
Brook Farm--Emily's sufferings--The disclosure--Strength for time of
trial       140


CHAPTER X.

THE TUTOR AND THE PUPIL.

Lewie's insubordination--Passion and tears--The mother's anxiety--Mr.
Malcolm's firmness--No dinner for Lewie--Sulking--Brought to terms at
last--The tutor dismissed       159


CHAPTER XI.

RUTH GLENN.

Leaving for boarding-school--Mrs. Arlington and her daughters--The third
story room--The new strange girl--Nocturnal disturbances--Ruth Glenn's
expostulations--Imminent danger--The physician consulted--Morning
walks--Sad partings       173


CHAPTER XII.

LEWIE AT SCHOOL.

The dictator in the play-ground--Strife and contention--The
tormentor--Lewie's mortification--The sore spot--The attack upon
Colton--The removal from school--Mrs. Elwyn's failing health--Agnes
summoned--A death bed--Changes proposed to Agnes--Her departure for
Wilston       196


CHAPTER XIII.

NEW SCENES FOR AGNES.

The two Miss Fairlands--The step-mother--Arrival at Wilston--Unpromising
pupils--Poor Tiney--Dreadful scene at the tea-table--Tiney's
suffering--The effect of music       212


 CHAPTER XIV.

THE SCHOOL IN THE WEST WING.

A hard task--The children's toilettes--Bible teachings--Practical
applications--Sunday at Mr. Fairland's--The children's singing--The
father's tears--A visit to Brook Farm--A visit from Lewie       223


CHAPTER XV.

THE STRANGERS IN THE ROOKERY.

An arrival--The Rookery--Mrs. Danby and Bella--A sudden accident--The
rescue--The strangers--An old friend--A row on the lake--Music on the
water--Shrieking in the house--A new method of laying spirits--Mortifying
disclosures by Frank             250


CHAPTER XVI.

DEATH AND THE FUGITIVE.

Music on the lawn--The midnight interview--The horrid truth
disclosed--Lewie a fugitive from justice--Jealousy of Calista and
Evelina--Poor Tiney's death bed--The search--The arrest       269


CHAPTER XVII.

THE JAIL.

Return to Brook Farm--The visit to the jail--The involuntary and the
voluntary prisoner--A talk about the future--Mr. Malcolm's visits--The
lawyer--The evening before the trial       284


CHAPTER XVIII.

THE TRIAL.

The Court-room--Mr. W.--The testimony--Speeches--Mr. G.'s
agitation--Charge to the jury       298


CHAPTER XIX.

THE SEALED PAPER.

A night of fearful suspense--The
verdict--Insensibility--Delirium--Meeting between the brother and
sister--Lewie's illness--Longings for freedom--A journey to the
capital--Ruth Glenn again--The governor--A sister's pleadings--Her
reward       310


CHAPTER XX.

TWICE FREE.

Freedom for the captive--Removal to Brook Farm--Decline--Changes of
temper and heart--A final release--The quiet nook--Resignation
--Cheerfulness--The unexpected visitor       328


CHAPTER XXI.

THE WINDING UP.

Repairs at the Rookery--Calista and Evelina on the _qui vive_--Mr.
Harrington and his bride--Another Christmas gathering--Farewell, and
kind wishes       331



I.

Little Agnes.

   "And she, not seven years old,
   A slighted child."--WORDSWORTH.


"What _is_ it Lewie wants? Does he want sister's pretty book?"

"No!" roared the cross baby boy, pointing with his finger to the
side-board.

"Well, see here, Lewie! here is a pretty ball; shall we roll it? There!
now roll it back to sister."

"No-o-o!" still screamed Master Lewie, the little finger still stretched
out towards something on the side-board which he seemed much to desire.

"Here is my lovely dolly, Lewie. If you will be very careful, I will let
you take her. See her beautiful eyes! Will Lewie make her open and shut
her eyes?"

"No-o-o-o!" again shouted the fretful child, and this time so loud as
effectually to arouse his youthful mamma, who was deep in an arm-chair,
and deeper still in the last fashionable novel.

"Agnes!" she exclaimed sharply, "cannot you let that child alone? I told
you to amuse him; and instead of doing so, you seem to delight in
teazing him and making him scream."

Again the little girl tried in various ways to amuse the wayward child.
He really was not well, and felt cross and irritable, and nothing that
his little sister could do to please him would succeed. With the utmost
patience and gentleness she labored to bring a smile to her little
brother's cheek, or at least so to win his attention as to keep him from
disturbing her mother. But the handkerchief rabbits, and the paper men
and women she could cut so beautifully, and which at times gave little
Lewie so much pleasure, were now all dashed impatiently aside. One by
one her little playthings were brought out, and placed before him, but
with no better success. Lewie had once seen the contents of a beautiful
work-box of his sister's, which stood in the centre of the side-board:
at this he pointed, and for this he screamed. Nothing else would please
him; at nothing else would he condescend to look.

"Oh, Lewie! darling Lewie! play with something else! Don't you know Aunt
Ellen gave sister that pretty work-box? and she said I must be so
careful of it, and Lewie would break all sister's pretty things."

Again Master Lewie had recourse to the strength of his lungs, which he
knew, by past experience, to be all-powerful in gaining whatever his
fancy might desire, and sent forth a roar so loud as once more to arouse
the attention of the novel-reading mamma; who, with a stamp of the foot,
and a threatening shake of the finger, gave the little girl to
understand that she must expect instant and severe punishment, if Lewie
was heard to scream again.

Still Lewie demanded the work-box, and nothing that the patient little
Agnes could do would divert his attention from it for a moment. The
little angry brow was contracted, and the mouth wide open for another
shriek, when little Agnes, with a sigh of despair, went to the
side-board, and, mounting on a chair, lifted down her much-valued and
carefully-preserved treasure, saying to herself:

"If Aunt Ellen only _knew_, I think she would not blame me!"

And now with a shout of delight the spoiled child seized on the pretty
work-box; and in another moment, winders, spools, scissors, thimble,
were scattered in sad confusion over the carpet. In vain did little
Agnes try, as she picked up one after the other of her pretty things, to
conceal them from the baby's sight; if one was gone, he knew it in a
moment, and worried till it was restored to him.

Finally, laying open the cover of the box, he began to pound with a
little hammer, which was lying near him, upon the looking-glass inside
of it; and, pleased with the noise it made, he struck harder and still
harder blows.

"No, no, Lewie! please don't! You will break sister's pretty
looking-glass. No! Lewie must not!" And Agnes held his little hand. At
this the passionate child threw himself back violently on the floor, and
screamed and shrieked in a paroxysm of rage; in the midst of which, the
threatened punishment came upon poor little Agnes, in the shape of a
sharp blow upon her cheek, from the soft, white hand of her mother, who
exclaimed:

"There! didn't I tell you so? It seems to be your greatest pleasure to
teaze and torment that poor baby; and you know he is sick, too. Now,
miss, the next time he screams, I shall take you to the north room, and
lock you up, and keep you there on bread and water all day!"

Agnes retreated to a corner, and wept silently, but very bitterly, not
so much from the pain of the blow, as from a sense of injustice and
harsh treatment at the hands of one who should have loved her; and the
mother returned to her novel, in which she was soon as deep as ever. At
the same moment, the looking-glass in the cover of the work-box flew
into fifty pieces, under the renewed blows of the hammer in Master
Lewie's hand.

The little conqueror now had free range among his sister's hitherto
carefully-guarded treasures; her bits of work, and little trinkets,
tokens of affection from her kind aunt and her young cousins at Brook
Farm, were ruthlessly torn in pieces, or broken and strewed over the
floor. Agnes sat in mute despair. She knew that as long as her mother
was absorbed in the novel, no sound would disturb her less powerful than
Lewie's screams, and that all else that might be going on in the room
would pass unnoticed by her. So, wiping her eyes, she sat still in the
corner, watching Lewie with silent anguish, as he revelled among her
precious things, as "happy as a king" in the work of destruction, and
only hoping that he might not discover one secret little spot in the
corner of the box where her dearest treasure was concealed.

But at length she started, and, with an exclamation of horror, and a
cry like that of pain, she sprang towards her little brother, and
violently wrenched something from his hand. And now the piercing shrieks
of the angry and astonished child filled the house, and brought even Old
Mammy to the room, to see what was the matter with the baby. Mammy
opened the door just in time to witness the severe punishment inflicted
upon little Agnes, and to receive an order to take that naughty girl to
the north room, and lock her in, and leave her there till farther
orders.

Agnes had not spoken before, when rebuked by her mother; but now,
raising her mild blue eyes, all dimmed by tears, to her mother's face,
she said:

"Oh, mamma! it was papa's hair!--it was that soft curl I cut from his
forehead, as he lay in his coffin, Lewie was going to tear the paper!"
But even this touching appeal, which should have found its way to the
young widow's heart, was unheeded by her--perhaps, in the storm of
passion, it was unheard; and Agnes was led away by Mammy to a cold,
unfurnished room, where she had been doomed to spend many an hour, when
_Lewie was cross_; while the fretful and half-sick child, now tired of
his last play-thing, was taken in his mother's arms, and rocked till he
fell into a slumber, undisturbed for perhaps an hour, except by a start,
when the tears from his mother's cheek fell on his--tears caused by the
_well-imagined_ sufferings of the heroine of her romance.

All the time Mammy was leading little Agnes through the wide hall, and
up the broad stairs and--along the upper hall to the door of the "North
Room," the good old woman was wiping her eyes with her apron, and trying
to choke down something in her throat which prevented her speaking the
words of comfort she wished to say to the sobbing child. When they
reached the door of the room in which little Agnes was to be a prisoner,
Mammy sat down, and taking the child in her lap she took off her own
warm shawl and pinned it carefully around her, and as she stooped to
kiss her, Agnes saw the tears upon her cheek.

"Why do you cry, Mammy?" she asked, "mamma has not scolded you to-day,
has she?"

"No, love."

"Are you crying then because you are so sorry for me?"

"That's it, my darling, I cannot bear to lock you up here alone for the
day and leave you so sorrowful, you that ought to be as blithe as the
birds in spring."

"Mammy, do you think I deserve this punishment?"

"No, sweet, if I must say the truth, I do not think you ever deserve any
punishment at all. But I must not say anything that's wrong to you,
about what your mamma chooses to do."

"Then, Mammy, don't you think I ought to be happier than if I had really
been naughty and was punished for it. Don't you remember Mammy the verse
you taught me from the Bible the last time Lewie was so fretful and
mamma sent you to lock me up here. I learned it afterwards from my
Bible: hear me say it:--"

'For what glory is it if when ye be buffeted for your faults ye take
it patiently; but if when ye do well and suffer for it, ye take it
patiently, this is acceptable with God.'

"Now, Mammy, I did try to be patient with Lewie, and I gave him
everything I had, but I could not let him destroy that lock of papa's
hair. I am afraid I was rough then, I hope I did not hurt his little
hand. Mammy, do you think mamma loves me _any_."

"How could anybody help loving you, my darling!"

"But, oh! Mammy, if I thought she would ever love me as she does Lewie!
She never kisses me, she never speaks kind to me. No, Mammy, I do not
think she loves me; but how strange it is for a mother not to love her
own little girl."

"Well, darling, we will talk no more of that, or we shall be saying
something naughty; we will both try and do our duty, and then God will
bless us, and whatever our troubles and trials may be, let us go to Him
with them all. Now, darling, I must leave you."

"Mammy, will you please bring me my Bible; and my little hymn-book? I
want to learn the"

   'I am never alone.'

"God is always by my side, isn't he Mammy?"

"Yes, love, and he says, 'I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.'"

When little Agnes was left alone in the great cold room, she walked up
and down the floor repeating to herself verses from her Bible and
hymn-book. Sometimes she stopped at the window and looked across the
country, towards a wooded hill, where just above the tops of the trees
she could see the chimneys of her uncle's house; and she thought how
happy her young cousins were in the love of their father and mother, and
she remembered how her own dear papa had loved her, and she thought of
the difference now; and the tears flowed afresh. Then she walked the
room again, repeating in a low voice to herself the words:

    "Never alone; though through deserts I roam
     Where footstep of man has ne'er printed the sand.
     Never alone; though the ocean's wild foam
     Rage between me and the loved ones on land.
     Though hearts that have cherished are laid 'neath the sod,
     Though hearts which should cherish are colder than stone,
     I still have thy love and thy friendship my God,
     Thou always art near me; I'm never alone."

Soon she grew tired of walking, and seating herself at the table, she
laid her head upon her crossed arms and was soon in a sweet slumber, and
far away in her dreams from the cold desolate north room, at "the
Hemlocks."

At the end of an hour the youthful widow was disturbed by the sound of
merry sleigh-bells, and she had only time to throw her novel hastily
aside, when the door opened and her sister-in-law, Mrs. Wharton,
entered, accompanied by two of her little girls, their bright faces
glowing with health and happiness.

"And how are the children?" Mrs. Wharton asked, after the first
salutations were over.

"Why, Lewie does not seem well, he has been complaining for a day or
two."

"And where is Agnes? We rode over to see if you let her go over and
pass the holidays with us."

"Why, to tell the truth, Agnes has been very naughty, and I have been
obliged to shut her up."

"Again!" exclaimed Mrs. Wharton, while glances of indignation shot from
the eyes of her two little girls. "Agnes naughty, and shut up again!
Why, Harriet, do you know she appears to me so perfectly gentle and
lovely, that I can hardly imagine her as doing anything wrong. Mr.
Wharton and I often speak of her as the most faultless child we have
ever met with."

"She is not so bad in other ways, but she does delight to tease Lewie,
and keep him screaming. Now, it has been one incessant scream from the
child all this morning, and Agnes _can_ amuse him very well when she
chooses."

"Judging from all her own pretty things scattered about the floor here,
I should think she had been doing her best to amuse him," said Mrs.
Wharton; "she has even taken down her beautiful work-box, of which she
has always been so careful. You may be sure it was a case of extremity,
which compelled her to do that."

"Why, what a sad litter they have made to be sure; I did not observe it
before. The fact is, Ellen, I have been exceedingly occupied this
morning, and did not know what the children were about, only that Agnes
kept Lewie screaming, and, at last, with the utmost rudeness, for that I
saw myself, she snatched something from his hand, and for that, I
punished her."

"Ah, yes, I see, Harriet," said Mrs. Wharton, glancing at the
yellow-covered publication on the table; "I see how it is, now; you have
been wholly absorbed in one of those wretched novels, and left little
Agnes to take care of a sick, cross baby. That child is very sick,
Harriet; do you see what a burning fever he has?"

"Ellen, do you think so?" said the mother hastily and in great
agitation. "Oh, Ellen, what shall I do; oh, what _shall_ I do! perhaps
my baby, my darling, is going to be very ill."

"Do not agitate yourself so, Harriet, I will send Matthew directly over
to the village for the doctor; but first, may I have Agnes?"

"Oh, do what you please with Agnes, only send the doctor to my baby;
call Mammy, she will bring Agnes, and do go, quick!"

The bell was rung, and Mammy was despatched to bring the little prisoner
down; she found her as we left her, sleeping with her head upon her
arms.

"Precious lamb!" said Mammy, "she has cried herself to sleep." Then,
kissing her, and rousing her gently, she told her that her aunt and
cousins had come to take her to Brook Farm.

Agnes was at first very happy at the idea of once more enjoying the
sunshine of her aunt's cheerful home, but, when she heard that Lewie was
sick, a cloud came over her face.

"Aunty," she whispered, "I think I had better not go, perhaps I can do
something for Lewie. I can _almost_ always amuse him."

"Lewie is too sick to be amused now, my dear, and you can do no good
here; besides, I want to get you away as quickly as possible, for I
think it may be the scarlet fever that Lewie has. Come, darling, we will
go."

Agnes drew her hand quietly from that of her aunt, and running back, she
stooped over her little brother as he lay in his mother's arms, and
kissed him; and then, standing a moment before her mother, she raised
her eyes to her face. But her mother's eyes, with a gaze of almost
despair, were fixed on her darling boy, and she did not seem to be aware
even of the presence of her little daughter.

A look of disappointment passed over the face of Agnes, as, without
intruding upon her mother by even a word of farewell, she turned, and
put her hand once more in that of her aunt. And now, as, comfortably
wrapped in buffalo skins, Mrs. Wharton and the little girls are flying
over the country roads, to the sound of the merry sleigh-bells, we will
relate a conversation which took place between Mammy and Bridget; and
by so doing, will give a little insight into the history of the young
widow, whom we have introduced to the reader.



II.

Brook Farm.

   "By the gathering round the winter hearth,
   When twilight called unto household mirth;
   By the fairy tale, or the legend old,
   In that ring of happy faces told;
   By the quiet hours when hearts unite
   In the parting prayer and the kind "good night",
   By the smiling eye and the loving tone,
   Over thy life has the spell been thrown."--SPELLS OF HOME.


When Mammy left little Agnes in the north room, and descended to the
kitchen, she found Bridget, who had already been made acquainted with,
passing events by Anne, the chambermaid, in a state of great wrath and
indignation. The china must have been strong that stood so bravely the
rough treatment it received that morning, and the tins kept up a
continued shriek of anguish as they were dashed against each other in
the sink; while every time Bridget set down her foot as she stamped
about the kitchen, it was done with an emphasis that made itself felt
throughout the whole house.

"And so ye've been locking up that swate crathur again, have ye, Mrs.
McCrae?" were the words with which, in no gentle tones, she assailed
Mammy as she entered the kitchen.

"I did as I was bid, Bridget," said Mammy, with a sigh.

"And indade it wouldn't be me would do as I was bid, if I was bid to do
the like o' that. I'd rather coot off my right hand than use it to turn
the kay on the darlint."

"I always mind my mistress, Bridget," said Mammy, "though it's often I'm
forced to pray for patience wi' her."

"And indade I don't ask for patience wid her at all, anny how," stormed
Bridget. "To think of sending the swate child, that never has anny but a
kind an' a pleasant word for _iverybody_, away to the cold room, just
because the brat she doats on chooses to _yowl_ in the fashion he did
the morn. I don't know, indade, what's the matther with the woman! I
think it's a quare thing, and an _on nattheral_ thing, _anny how_!"

"She's much to be blamed, no doubt, Bridget, and yet there's excuses to
be made for my mistress," said Mammy, mildly. "She's young yet in years,
no but twenty-two; and she's nothing but a child in her ways and her
knowledge. She never knew the blessing of a mither's care, puir thing;
and up to the very day she was married, her life was passed at one o'
them fashionable boarding-schules, where they teach them to play on
instruments, and to sing, and to dance, and to paint, and to talk some
unchristian tongue that's never going to do them no good for this life
nor the next. But they never give them so much as a hint that they've
got a soul to be saved, and they take no pains to fit them to be wives
and mothers. My mistress was but fifteen years old when she ran away
with Master Harry. Poor dear Master Harry! It was the only fulish thing
I ever knew him to do, was running away wi' that chit of a schule-girl.
He met her, I think, at a ball that was given at this schule, and Master
Harry was over head and ears in love in a minute; and after two or three
meetings and a few notes passing, they determined on this runnin' away
folly. I think it was them novels she was always readin' put it in her
head. It wouldn't do, you know, to be like other folks, but they must
have a little kind of a romance about it. Puir, fulish, young things!"

"You see, I was living with old Mr. Elwyn then," continued Mammy;
"indeed, I've been in the family ever since I came over from Scotland,
quite a lassie, thirty-one years ago come next April. I left them,
besure, when I married; but as my gude-man lived but two years, I was
soon back in my old home again. Old Mr. Elwyn, Master Harry's father,
had lost his property before this time; but his brother, 'Uncle Ben,' as
they called him, was very rich. They all lived together--'Uncle Ben,'
old Mr. Elwyn, Master Harry and Miss Ellen, that's Mrs. Wharton. Miss
Ellen was a few years older than Master Harry, and she was the
housekeeper. But Master Harry, bless you! was only twenty years old,
when he walked in one morning, and told his father he was married. I
never shall forget the time there was then! The old gentleman was
complaining, and had had a bad night, though Master Harry did not know
that. Well, the sudden shock threw him into an apoplectic fit; and two
days after, he had another, and died. Master Harry was almost distracted
then: he called himself his father's murderer; and, indeed, I think he
was never what you might call well from that time."

"But you never saw any one so angry as Mr. Benjamin Elwyn was. He had
always intended to make master Harry his heir, but his conduct in this
foolish affair enraged him so that he said he would leave him nothing.
At first the young folks lived with her father, but he soon died,
leaving his daughter a little property settled on herself. But it was
not enough to support them, and so Master Harry had to apply to old Mr.
Benjamin Elwyn again, and the old man gave him this place, and enough to
live on pretty comfortably here. He told Master Harry that perhaps
something might be made of his baby wife yet, if he brought her away
from the follies of the city, to a country place like this, and tried to
improve her mind; and so they have lived here ever since, till last
year, when poor master Harry died."

"And what do ye think is the raison that the misthress thrates little
Miss Agnes the way she does?"

"Well, I can hardly tell you, Bridget. In the first place, I have often
heard her say that she couldn't abide _girls_, and bating other reasons,
I think she would have been disappointed on her own account, you know,
to have the first child a girl. But, besides this, I have heard that Mr.
Benjamin Elwyn quite forgave Mr. Harry, and promised him that if his
oldest child was a boy, and he named it after him, he would leave him
the bulk of his property. I cannot tell you how bitterly disappointed
my young mistress was, when her first born proved to be a girl. She was
but sixteen years old then, you know, Bridget, and she acted like a
cross, spoiled baby. She cried herself into a fever, and she wouldn't
let the poor, helpless baby, come into her sight. I think she never
loved her; and from the time of Master Lewie's birth, she has seemed to
dislike her more and more."

"But how the father loved her, Mrs. McCrae!"

"Aye, indeed he did; he never could be easy a minute without her. It was
a sore day for my poor bairn, when it pleased God to take her father;
poor man! But He knows best, Bridget, and He orders all things right."

Here Mammy was summoned by the bell, and despatched to bring little
Agnes down; to accompany her aunt and cousins to their home.

As Agnes was riding along, seated so comfortably by the side of her kind
aunt, in the large covered sleigh, with the rosy, smiling faces of her
little cousins, Grace and Effie, opposite her, she could scarcely
believe that she was the same little girl, who, but an hour or two
before, was walking so sadly up and down the desolate North Room, and
trying to persuade herself that she was "not alone." Agnes was naturally
of a lively, cheerful disposition, and like any other little girl of six
years of age, she soon forgot past sorrow in present pleasure, though,
at times, the sudden remembrance of her dear little baby brother, lying
so ill at home, would cause a sigh to chase away the smile of pleasure
beaming on her lovely face.

It was but little more than two miles from "The Hemlocks," Mrs. Elwyn's
residence, to "Brook Farm," the home of the Wharton's, and, as Matthew
had received orders to drive very rapidly, it seemed to Agnes that her
ride was just begun, when they turned into the lane that led up to her
Uncle Wharton's house. And now the pillars of the piazza appear between
the trees, and now the breakfast room windows, and more bright young
faces are looking out, and little chubby hands are clapped together, as
the sleigh is discovered coming rapidly up the lane, and the cry
resounds through the house, "They've come! they've come! and Agnes is
with them!"

A bright, cheerful wood fire was burning in the pleasant, great
breakfast room, and the party who had just arrived were soon surrounded
by smiles of welcome, while busy little fingers were assisting them to
untie their bonnets, and unfasten their cloaks. In a few moments the
door opened, and a pale, but lovely looking girl, in deep mourning,
entered the room. She was a niece of Mr. Wharton's, and, having lately
been left an orphan, by the death of her mother, she had been brought by
her kind uncle, to his hospitable home, where she was received by all as
a member, henceforth, of their family.

"Well, aunty," said she, after stooping to kiss Agnes, "you are back
sooner than I expected."

"Yes, dear, I was obliged to hurry; little Lewie is very ill, I fear. By
the way, Harry, run and tell Matthew that just as soon as he is warm, he
must drive as fast as possible to the village, and ask Dr. Rodney to
get directly into the sleigh, to go to your Aunt Elwyn's; and tell him
to call for me, as he comes back."

"Why, mamma, are you going back there again?" asked Effie.

"Yes, love, I must go back, and remain with your Aunt Harriet to-day. I
only came home to make some arrangements for the family. I want your
papa to drive over for me to-night, after the little ones are all in
bed; and I desire the rest of you to keep out of my way till I have
changed my dress. I do not know yet what is the matter with Lewie. How
do you feel, Emily?"

"Much better, thank you, aunty; I am quite prepared to play lady of the
house in your absence."

"Well, do put aside those books, dear: your health is the most important
thing now. I wish I could leave you so busy with household concerns as
to give you not a moment's time for reading."

"Dear aunty, I do not think the books hurt me; and you certainly would
not have me grow up a dunce, would you?"

"No fear of that, dear; and I by no means wish you to give up your books
altogether, but only to lay them aside till you get a little color in
these pale cheeks. I shall lay my commands on your uncle not to give you
any more assistance in your studies till I give him permission."

"Well, I'll be very good, aunty, and I've promised the boys to take a
run with them over to the pond, and see them skate; and besides, we are
all invited to an entertainment in a certain snow palace, which is
nearly finished, and which I have promised to grace with my presence."

Just then two fine handsome boys, the pictures of health and good
nature, rushed in. These were Robert and Albert Wharton, home from
school for the Christmas holidays.

"Mother, what will you give us for our entertainment?" they cried.

"Have you a table and seats?" she asked.

"Yes, all made of snow," said Albert. "But don't let us tell her all
about it, Bob; I want to surprise her."

"I think your entertainment, to be in keeping with your furniture, ought
to be of snow and icicles," said Mrs. Wharton; "but, whatever it is, I
am sorry that I cannot visit your snow palace to-day."

"Oh! that's too bad, mother; it will spoil all our fun. But, say, will
you give us something to eat?"

"Yes; I leave Emily mistress of the keys for to-day, and you may call
upon her for pies, cake, or anything the store-room contains; only be a
little moderate, and don't leave us entirely destitute."

"It won't be half so pleasant without you, mother," said Robert; "but we
shall have quite as many as our palace can accommodate, if all these go.
Hallo! here's Agnes! Why, Aggy, how do you do? I didn't see you before."

At this moment the sleigh was seen coming up the lane, and Mrs. Wharton
hastened to get ready to accompany the doctor to the Hemlocks.

"I want to whisper to you, dear mother, one minute," said little Grace.

"What more Christmas secrets?" asked her mother.

A whispered consultation here took place, some request being urged with
great eagerness by Grace; and the pleasant "Yes, yes," from her mother,
made her bright eyes dance with joy.

As Mrs. Wharton was driving from the door, Albert called out:

"Mother, may the baby go with us?"

"Yes, if Kitty will wrap him up well," was the answer, and the sleigh
flew down the lane, and was soon out of sight.

Agnes was now hurried off by her young cousins to inspect the various
preparations for Christmas, and was made the repository of some most
important secrets, "of which she must not give a hint for the world."
She saw the purse Effie was knitting for Albert, and the guard-chain
Grace was weaving for Robert, and the mittens for Harry, and the socks
for the baby, and the pen-wiper for papa, and the iron-holder for mamma;
and then Effie took her aside alone, to show her something she was
making for Grace; and Grace took her aside alone, to show something she
had bought with "her own money" for Effie; and there was a beautiful
book for Cousin Emily. "And we cannot show you yet whether we have
anything for you, Agnes, because, you know, we always keep our secrets
till Christmas comes," they said.

"There comes papa from the mill," cried Effie, looking out of the
window; "let's run down and see him. How surprised he will be to find
mamma gone, and Agnes here!"

Mr. Wharton came in with his usual cheerful manner; and soon as he was
warming his feet by the fire, he had Agnes on one knee, and Harry on the
other, and the rest of the noisy little tribe round him, eagerly telling
the events of the day, and the pleasant anticipations for the afternoon.

"Oh, papa," said Effie, "I've got something I want to say to you, if
you would only come in the other room a few minutes, or if the children
would only be kind enough to go out of this room a little while."

"Won't it keep, Effie, till I warm my feet?" asked her father; "because,
if it will not, I suppose I must go now."

"Oh no, papa, I will wait patiently," said Effie.

In a few minutes her father said, "Now, Effie, for that important
secret;" and they went together into another room.

"This is what I wanted to say, papa," said Effie: "you know poor Agnes
never has any money of her own; and I know, when she sees us all giving
presents to each other, she will feel badly, if she cannot give
something too; and I want to know if you won't give her a little money,
and let her go to the village with us the next time we go, and get some
materials to make something out of?"

Mr. Wharton answered by putting his hand in his pocket, and giving Effie
some silver for Agnes, with which she went off perfectly happy.

And now little Grace put in her curly head, and said, "Effie, when you
are through with papa, I've got something to say to him too."

The sum and substance of Grace's communication was this: "she had seen
something at a store in the village, with which she was sure her mamma
would be perfectly charmed, but she hadn't _quite_ enough money to
purchase it; she only wanted _ten cents_ more." And she too went off
with a smiling face.

Emily now came in jingling her keys and called them all to dinner.

As soon as possible after dinner, the boys laden with a basket of good
things, which Emily had provided for them, started off for the snow
palace, one of them carrying the dinner-horn, which was used in the
summer, to call the men to the farm-house to their meals. When the
entertainment was ready the horn was to sound. In the meantime, the
children were sitting around the fire, waiting impatiently for the
signal, to call them to the palace of snow.

"Cousin Emily," said Agnes, for she too said "Cousin Emily," though
there was no relationship, in fact, between them, "Cousin Emily, I wish
I knew _what_ to read and study. I do want to know something, and I
don't know anything but my Bible, and my little book of hymns. Mammy
taught me to read, or I should'nt have known anything at all," she added
sadly.

"Well, Agnes," that is the best knowledge you could possibly have, said
Emily, "though I am far from thinking other studies unimportant; but, if
I can help you in any way, I will gladly lend you books, and tell you
how to study."

"Oh! will you, cousin Emily?" said Agnes, her face brightening; "how
happy I shall be! aunty has taught Effie and Grace, and they have
studied Geography and History, and they can cipher, and I don't know
anything at all about those things; why, even little Harry knows more
than I do."

"But you can beat us all in Bible knowledge, I know, Agnes," said Emily,
"and, in a very little time, you will catch up to the other children,
for aunty has little leisure time to devote to them. But there! I hear
the horn! call Kitty, to bring the baby, and we'll all start."

And now all warmly wrapped in cloaks and hoods, the little party left
the side piazza, and walked down towards the pond. The path was well
broken, as the boys travelled it so often, on their way to the pond and
the snow palace, and the little party went briskly on. Emily and Agnes
headed the procession, then came Effie and Grace, dragging a box-sled in
which the baby was comfortably stowed, and Kitty, the nurse, brought up
the rear, leading little Harry. The two boys met them at some distance
from the snow palace, and told them they must go through the labyrinth
before they could reach the place of entertainment.

The labyrinth was composed of paths, cut in the deep snow, winding in
and out, and circling about in all directions, till, at length, the
foremost of the party halted before the entrance to the snow palace. The
boys had, indeed, been industrious, and the new comers stared in
amazement, at the results of their labor. They found themselves, on
entering the palace, in a room high enough for the tallest of the party
to stand upright in, and of dimensions large enough to seat them all
comfortably around the square block of snow which formed the centre
table. The seats were of the same material, and were substantial enough,
while the extreme cold weather lasted. On the table was placed the
entertainment provided by Emily, to which the party did all possible
justice, considering that they had just risen from a plentiful dinner at
home. After the feast, Robert and Alfred entertained them with feats of
agility on the ice, dragging one or the other of the children after them
upon the sled, and when they returned home, even Emily's usually pale
cheeks were in a glow.

Towards evening Agnes began to be uneasy, and to watch at the window for
her aunt's return. "I will not see aunty, cousin Emily," she said, "but
I cannot go to bed till I hear how Lewie is to-night."

At length her uncle and aunt returned, and Agnes heard that her little
brother was very ill; but the doctor was of opinion that his disease was
a brain fever, and therefore there was no danger of contagion. Agnes
went to bed with a heavy heart, and cried herself to sleep.

The next morning, as soon as breakfast was over, Mrs. Wharton again
ordered the sleigh and drove to "the Hemlocks." She found Mrs. Elwyn in
a state bordering on distraction.

"Oh, Ellen," she said, "how I have wanted you! Lewie has had a night of
dreadful suffering, and now he is unconscious. He does not know me,
Ellen! He does not hear me when I call. I think he does not see. Oh,
Ellen, what would life be to me if I lose my darling. And now I want you
to _pray!_ You can pray, Ellen, and God answers your prayers. Pray for
the life of my child! Mammy prays, but she will only say, 'The will of
the Lord be done!'"

"And I can say no more, Ellen. I _do_ pray; I _have_ prayed, that your
darling boy's life may be spared, if it be the will of God, but more
than that I cannot say."

"And what if it be His will to take my darling from me, Ellen?"

"Then, Harriet, I hope you might learn to acquiesce without a murmur,
and to say from your heart, 'It is the Lord, let Him do what seemeth to
Him good.'"

"No, Ellen, never! I cannot contemplate the bare possibility of losing
my boy. If you will not pray as I wish, I will try to pray myself;" and
falling on her knees, she prayed for the life of her child. "Take
whatever else thou wilt, oh God," she cried, "but oh, spare me my
child."

"Harriet, this seems to me most horrible impiety," said Mrs. Wharton,
"to ask God to grant your desires, whether agreeable to His will, or
not; I should much fear if your request were granted, that it would only
be to show you, that you know not what is best for yourself, and for
those you love; and that you might some day wish you had left this
matter in the hands of God, even if it had been His will to take your
darling to Himself."

When Dr. Rodney came that morning, he found the child in a profound
slumber. "This," said he, "is, I think, the crisis of the disease; on no
account let him be disturbed; if he awakes conscious, he will in all
human probability recover."

And they watched him in breathless stillness, Mrs. Wharton on one side
of the cradle, and his mother on a low stool beside him, with her sad
gaze riveted on his little face, to catch his first waking glance, and
to see whether the eye then beamed with intelligence, or not.

Oh, who can imagine the agony, the terrible suspense of such watching,
but those who have sat as that poor mother did, over a loved one
hovering between life and death. And as Mrs. Wharton sat so silently
opposite her, her thoughts were sometimes raised in prayer for her poor
misguided sister; and sometimes she sat looking at her as a perfect
enigma; with a heart so capable of loving devotedly, and yet so steeled
against her own child, and so lovely and winning a little creature as
Agnes. It was a puzzle which she had often tried to solve, in vain.

After an hour more of deep slumber, Lewie started and awoke. For a
moment his glance rested with a bewildered expression upon his mother's
face; and then, stretching out his little hands, he said, "Mamma!" Mrs.
Wharton's attention was fixed upon the child; but when she turned to the
mother, she saw her, white as the snow, falling back upon the floor. The
revulsion of feeling was too much for her; she had fainted.

When Mrs. Wharton came home that night, she said, "Agnes, my love, your
little brother is better, and, with great care, he may now recover."

"Oh, aunty!" exclaimed Agnes, joyfully, "and when may I see him?"

"You must be content to remain with us without going home for some days
yet, dear; for the doctor says the most perfect quiet is necessary, and
you could not see Lewie if you were at home."

And now that the mind of little Agnes was comparatively free from
anxiety, she entered with great delight into the preparations going on
at Brook Farm for Christmas.



III.

Christmas Time.

       "In the sounding hall they wake
   The rural gambol."--THOMSON.


And now but a week was wanting to Christmas, and all was excitement and
bustle among the little folks at Brook Farm. Lewie was quite out of
danger, and Agnes was as happy and as busy as any of her little cousins.
The cutter was in constant demand; for when one was particularly
desirous to go over to the village on some secret expedition, that one
must go alone, or only with those who were in her secret. Many were the
mysterious brown-paper parcels which were smuggled into the house, and
hidden away under lock and key in various closets and drawers; and there
were sudden scramblings and hidings of half-finished articles, when
some member of the family who "was not to see" entered the room.

"Aunty," said Agnes one day, in a confidential tone, "I should like to
make a needle-book for mamma, like the one cousin Emily is making for
Effie. She says she will show me, and fix it for me, and I think I can
do it. Do you think mamma would like it?"

"Certainly, darling, I should think she would like it; I do not see how
any mamma could help being pleased with anything her little girl made
for her."

"But, aunty," said Agnes, as if speaking of a well-known and
acknowledged fact, "you know mamma doesn't love me much, and perhaps it
would trouble her."

The sad tone in which these words were said brought tears to the eyes of
Mrs. Wharton, but still she encouraged Agnes to go on with the
needle-book. It was not a very complicated affair, and Emily arranged
all the most difficult parts; but still it was a work of time, and one
requiring much patience and perseverance on the part of so young a
child as Agnes. However, it was at length completed on the day before
Christmas, and, when handed about for inspection, was much admired by
all her friends. Agnes was very happy, for on Christmas day her uncle
was to take her over home to see Lewie, who called for her constantly,
her aunt said. Mammy had walked over too, to see her little girl, and
she told her that "Lewie was greetin' for 'sister' from morn till
night."

The day before Christmas came, and with it the party at Brook Farm was
augmented by the arrival of Mrs. Ellison, a younger sister of Mr.
Wharton's, her husband and baby, a beautiful child of about a year old.
There was great joy at the arrival of "Aunt Fanny," who was very lively,
and always ready to enter with glee into the frolics and sports of the
children.

As they were sitting at the dinner table that day, Mr. Wharton said:

"I have received certain information that Santa Claus himself is to
visit us to-night, and bring his gifts in person. He desires me to
inform the children, that all packages to be entrusted to his care must
be handed into my study, labelled and directed, before six o'clock this
evening."

Many were the wonders and speculations as to the nature and appearance
of the expected Santa Claus; but they were suddenly interrupted by
Robert, who exclaimed:

"Why, who comes here up the lane? It's old cousin Betty, I do declare,
in her old green gig set on runners."

"I thought cousin Betty would hardly let Christmas go by without making
her appearance," said Mrs. Wharton; "I have thought two or three times
to-day that she might come along before night."

"Cousin Betty" was a distant relation of Mrs. Wharton's, a lonely old
body, who lodged with a relative in a village about ten miles distant
from Brook Farm. She was very eccentric--so much so, that she was by
some thought crazy; but Mrs. Wharton was of opinion that cousin Betty
had never possessed sufficient _mind_ to subject her to such a
calamity. She was more silly than crazy, very good-natured, very
inquisitive as to the affairs of others, and very communicative as to
her own.

In a few minutes cousin Betty had received a hearty welcome, and was
seated by the bright fire, asking and answering questions with the
utmost rapidity.

"I've been looking for you, cousin Betty," said Mrs. Wharton.

"Have! What made you?"

"Oh, I thought you could hardly let Christmas go by without coming to
see the fun."

"Did! Well, I never thought nothing about comin' till yesterday, when I
sat in my little room, and I got feelin' pretty dull; and thinks I to
myself, I'll just borrow Mr. White's old horse, and take my old gig, and
drive up to the farm, and see the folks."

"Cousin Betty, who do you think is coming to see us to-night?" asked
little Grace.

"I'm sure I can't tell, child. Who is it?"

"Why, Santa Claus himself, with all his presents around him."

"Is, hey?" said cousin Betty; "well, I shall be mighty glad to see him,
I can tell you; for, old as I am, I've never seen him yet."

"I'm so glad you've come, cousin Betty!" said Effie; "we want you to go
with us some day over to the farm-house, and tell us about our
great-grandfather, whose house stood where the farm-house stands now;
and how his house was burnt down by the Indians, and he was carried off.
Agnes wants to hear it so much."

"Does! Well, I will go over there, and tell you the story, some day. But
I can't walk over there while the weather is so cold; I should get the
rheumatiz."

"I'll drag you over on my sled, if that will do, cousin Betty," said
Robert.

The children laughed so heartily at the picture presented to their
imagination of little old cousin Betty riding on Robert's sled, that
Grace actually rolled out of her chair.

"Why wouldn't it do to tell the story here, Effie?" asked Agnes.

"Oh, because it is a great deal more interesting, told on the spot you
know. Cousin Betty has heard it all over and over again from grandmamma,
and she can point out, from one window of the farm-house, all the places
where all those dreadful things happened."

Some warm dinner was now brought in for cousin Betty, and the children
went off to tie up and label the gifts for Santa Claus.

"What shall we do with the presents we have for papa and mamma?" asked
Grace.

"Oh, we cannot hand those in to the study," said Effie; "we must
contrive some way to give them afterwards."

And now the children, one after the other, with their arms laden with
packages, were making their way to their father's study; Emily and
Agnes, too, had several contributions to make to the heap of bundles
which was piled up on the study table; and before six o'clock, Mr.
Wharton said he had taken in enough articles to stock a very
respectable country store. At six o'clock the study door was locked, and
there was no more admittance.

An hour or two after this, the whole family were assembled in the two
large parlors, which were brilliantly lighted for the occasion, and all
were on the tiptoe of expectation.

"I should like to know how he is coming," said Albert; "he'll be likely
to get well scorched, if he comes down either chimney."

At this moment there was a slight tap at one of the windows opening on
to the piazza, which Mr. Wharton immediately proceeded to open, and in
walked St. Nicholas.

He was a jolly, merry-looking, little old gentleman, with beard and
whiskers as white as snow, and enveloped in furs from head to foot.
Around his neck, around his waist, over his shoulders, down his back,
and even on the top of his head, were presents and toys of every
description. Behind him he dragged a beautiful sled, which was loaded
with some articles too bulky to be carried around his person. Every
pocket was full; and as he passed through the rooms, he threw sugar
plums and mottoes, nuts and raisins, on all sides, causing a great
scrambling and screaming and laughing among the children.

Then he began to disengage the presents, which were pinned about him,
and tied to the buttons of his coat; and as he did so, he looked at the
label, and threw it at the one for whom it was intended. It would be
hard for one who was not there to imagine the lively scene which was now
presented in the great parlors at Brook Farm; the presents flying round
in all directions; the children dodging, and diving, and catching, while
shouts and screams of laughter made the house ring.

"But who is he?--who can he be?" was the question which each asked of
the other a great many times during this merry scene. Mr. Wharton and
Mr. Ellison, "Aunt Fanny's" husband, were both in the room, and they
were sure there was no other gentleman in the house.

Just then Robert screamed, "Oh, I know now! It's cousin Tom! He throws
left-handed!" And now the effort was made to pull off the mask, but
Santa Claus avoided them with great dexterity, still continuing his
business of distributing the presents.

At the feet of Agnes he placed a work-box, much handsomer than that
which Lewie had destroyed; at Emily's, a writing-desk, and some valuable
books; and when his sled was emptied, he drew the sled, and left it with
little Harry, for whom it was intended.

"My goodness gracious!" said cousin Betty, as a beautiful muff "took her
in the head," as Albert said, and sadly disarranged the set of her odd
little turban.

"And now I believe old Santa Claus has finished his labors," said Mr.
Wharton.

"Oh no, not yet," cried Effie; "he must come with us for a new supply.
But I feel a little afraid of him yet. If I only could be sure it was
cousin Tom!"

"You need not doubt that, Effie," said Robert; "nobody else ever threw
like cousin Tom. I've seen him play snow-ball often enough."

And now Santa Claus was taken captive by the children, and in a few
minutes he re-appeared, laden with gifts, but this time for the older
members of the family; and the products of the children's industry made
quite a display, and much astonished those for whom they were intended,
the children having kept their secrets well.

And now, as the rooms were warm, old Santa Claus was quite willing to
get rid of his mask and his furs; and this done, he straightened up, and
cousin Tom stood revealed.

"And how did you come, and where have you been?" asked the children.

"Oh, I came this afternoon, and stopped at the farm house," answered
cousin Tom, or Mr. Thomas Wharton, for it is time he should be
introduced by his true name to the reader. "And after it was dusk I
slipped over here, and went round to uncle's study door while you were
at tea. I sent word by Aunt Fanny that you might expect Santa Claus
to-night."

And now began a game of romps, which lasted for an hour or more, and
then little bodies began to be stumbled over, and were found under
tables, and on sofas fast asleep, and were taken off to bed. Mrs.
Ellison's baby being roused by the noise, had awaked, and persisted in
keeping awake, and his mother came back to the parlor bringing him in
her arms, with his night-gown on, and his cheeks as red as roses.

"Isn't he a splendid fellow?" said she, holding him up before cousin
Tom.

"A very comfortable looking piece of flesh certainly," he answered; "but
then they are all alike. I think you might divide all babies into two
class, the fat and the lean; otherwise, there is no difference in them
that I can see."

"Pshaw, how ridiculously you talk; there is a great deal more difference
between two babies, than between you and all the other young dandies who
walk Broadway. They are all alike, the same cut of the coat and collar,
and whiskers; the same tie of the neck-cloth, and shape of the boot:
when you have seen one, you have seen all. But now just take a good look
at this magnificent baby, and confess; wouldn't you like to kiss him?"

"Excuse me, my dear aunty, but that is a thing I haven't been left to do
very often. I've no fancy for having my cheeks and whiskers converted
into spitoons. It is really astonishing now," continued cousin Tom,
"what fools such a brat as that will make of very sensible people."

"Are your allusions personal, sir?" asked Mrs. Ellison, laughing.

"No, not just now; but I was thinking of a man in our place, who used to
be really a _very_ sensible fellow; and though quite an old bachelor, he
was the life of every party he attended, and more of a favorite than
most of the young men. Well, when he was about fifty years old he got
married, and he's got a young one now about two years old. And what kind
of an exhibition do you suppose that man made of himself the other day.
Why, this refractory young individual couldn't be persuaded to walk
towards home in any other way, when they had him out for an airing, and
what does this old friend of mine do, but allow a handkerchief to be
pinned to his coat-tail, and go prancing along the street like a horse
for the spoiled brat to drive. The calf! I declare, before I'd make such
a fool of myself as that, I'd eat my head! What are you writing there,
uncle?"

"Only taking notes of these remarks, Tom," answered Mr. Wharton, "for
your benefit on some future occasion."

There was only one in that Christmas party who could not heartily join
in the glee; it was poor Emily, to whom this scene brought back so
vividly other holiday seasons passed with those who had "gone from earth
to return no more," that only by a strong effort could she prevent her
own sadness from casting a shade over the happiness of others; for they
all loved cousin Emily so dearly, that they could not be merry when she
was sad. Emily was usually so quiet, that in their noisy play they did
not miss her as she retired to the sofa and shaded her eyes with her
hand; but her kind uncle noticed her, and readily understood the reason
of her sadness. Taking a seat by her he put his arm around her, and took
her hand in his. This act of tenderness was too much for poor Emily's
already full heart, and laying her head on her uncle's shoulder, she
sobbed out her grief unchecked.



IV.

Cousin Betty.

   "Come, wilt thou see me ride!"--HENRY VIII.


Cousin Betty was a little bit of a woman, with a face as full of
wrinkles as a frozen apple, and a pair of the busiest and most twinkling
little black eyes you ever saw, a prominent and parrot like nose, with a
chin formed on the very same pattern, only that it turned up instead of
down, the two so very nearly meeting that the children said they had "to
turn their faces sideways to kiss her." She had some very unaccountable
ways too, which no one understood, and which she never made any attempt
to explain, perhaps because she did not understand them herself.

For instance, whenever meals were ready, and the family prepared to sit
down, though cousin Betty might have been hovering round for an hour or
two before, she was often missing at that very moment, and when a search
was instituted she was sometimes found taking a stroll in the garret
where she could have no possible business, and sometimes poking about in
the darkest corner of the dark cellar, without the slightest conceivable
object. If her thimble or spectacles were lost, she has often been known
to go to the pantry and lift up every tumbler and wine-glass on the
shelf, one after the other, and look under it as if she really expected
to find the missing article there; and to take off the cover of
vegetable dishes to look for her snuff-box, or open the door of the
stove, if her work-bag, or knitting were missing, apparently with the
confident expectation of finding them unharmed amidst the blazing fire.

Cousin Betty had a very uncomfortable fashion of _dying_ too, every
little while, which at first alarmed her friends so much that
restoratives were speedily procured; but as she never failed to come to
life again, they became, after a time, accustomed to the parting scene,
so that there was great danger that when she really did take her
departure, nobody would believe it.

"My dear," said she one night to Effie, "I feel very unwell; very
unwell, indeed; I think it's more'n likely I shan't last the night
through. I wish you wouldn't leave me alone this evening, and then if
I'm suddenly taken worse, you know you can call the family. I should
like to see them all before I go."

Effie promised she would not leave her, and bringing her book, she
seated herself by the stove in cousin Betty's room. In about a hour she
appeared in the parlor, her face purple with the effort to suppress the
inclination to laugh, and said, "Oh, do all of you please to come to
cousin Betty's room a few moments."

"What, is she dying?" they asked.

"Oh, no! but just come; very quietly; there's a sight for you to see."

Cousin Betty always tied a large handkerchief about her head when she
went to bed, and on the night in question, the two ends of the
handkerchief being tied in a knot stood up from her head like two
enormous ears. She was bolstered up by pillows, as she declared she
could not breathe in any other position, and at every breath she drew
she opened and shut her mouth with a sudden jerk. Effie had looked up
from her reading suddenly, and caught the reflection of cousin Betty's
profile, thrown by the light, greatly magnified upon the wall, and
stuffing her handkerchief in her mouth to prevent a sudden explosion of
laughter, by which cousin Betty might be awakened, she ran to call the
family. No pen-sketch but an actual profile would give the slightest
idea of the extraordinary and most ludicrous appearance of the image
thus thrown upon the wall; with the enormous ears standing up, and the
mouth and chin snapping together like the claws of a lobster. One by one
they rushed from the room, till at length a smothered cacchination from
one of the little ones awoke cousin Betty, who exclaimed:

"Who is sobbing there? My dear friends do not distress yourselves, I
find myself considerably more comfortable."

This "clapped the climax," and the room was unavoidably deserted for a
few minutes; but at length Effie found courage to return, and, by
placing the light in another position, was enabled to keep watch for the
remainder of the evening.

There were some very amusing stories told in the family of cousin
Betty's adventures, one of which I will relate here. She was at one time
making one of her long visits at Mr. Wharton's, when, getting out of
yarn, and not being willing to remain long idle, she began to worry
about some way to get over to the village. The horses were all out at
work upon the farm, except Old Prancer, a superannuated old horse, who
was never used except for Mrs. Wharton or the girls to drive; for,
whatever claims "Prancer" may once have had to his name, it had been a
misnomer for some years past, and no one suspected him of having a spark
of spirit.

When Mr. Wharton came in to dinner, and cousin Betty consulted him as
to the best means of getting over to the village, he told her that the
best thing he could do for her would be to put the side-saddle on to Old
Prancer, and let her ride over. To this cousin Betty consented, not
without a slight trepidation, for she had never been much of a
horse-woman, but still, as she had known Prancer for many years, and he
had always borne the character of a staid, steady-going animal, she
thought there could surely be no risk in trusting herself to him.

Soon after dinner, cousin Betty, with a very short and very scanty
skirt, was mounted on the back of Old Prancer. She felt quite timid at
first at finding herself upon so lofty an elevation, (for Prancer was an
immense animal;) but when she found how steadily and sedately he went
on, and that neither encouragement nor blows could induce him to break
into a trot, she lost all her fears, and began to enjoy her ride saving
that the pace was rather a slow one.

But just as cousin Betty began to ascend the hill leading into the
village, the sound of martial music burst upon her ear, and she
remembered hearing the children say that this was "general training
day." Cousin Betty did not know that Prancer had once belonged to a
militia officer; and if she had, it would have made no difference, as
all the fire of youth seemed to have died out with Prancer years ago.
But early associations are strong; and as the "horse scenteth the battle
afar off," so did Prancer prick up his ears and quicken his pace at the
spirit-stirring sounds of the fife and drum; and now he began to make an
awkward attempt to dance sideways upon the points of his hoofs; and as
he neared the brow of the hill, his excitement became more intense, and
his curveting and prancing more animated. Cousin Betty was almost
terrified to death. Throwing away her whip, and grasping the reins, she
endeavored to stop him; but he only held in his head, and danced
sideways up the street with more animation and spirit than ever. She
thought of throwing herself off, but the immense height rendered such a
feat utterly unsafe; she endeavored to rein the horse up to the
side-walk; but now he had caught sight of the motley array of trainers,
and of the gay horses and gayer uniforms of the officers, and,
regardless alike of bit and rein, he started off at full speed, to join
the long-forgotten but once familiar spectacle.

Cousin Betty had by this time dropped the reins, and was clinging with
both arms to Old Prancer's neck; and as he turned his face to the
company, and backed gallantly down the street, the sight was too
irresistibly ludicrous. Shouts and laughter, and expressions of
encouragement to poor cousin Betty, were heard on all sides; till at
length a militia officer, taking pity upon her helpless condition, led
the unwilling Prancer to the tavern, and assisted her to alight. Here
cousin Betty remained till sun-down, and all was quiet; and then,
requesting the tavern-keeper to lead the horse out of town while she
walked, she again, with much fear and trembling, mounted when beyond
the precincts of the village.

Prancer, however, walked slowly home, with his head drooping, as if
thoroughly mortified at the excesses into which he had been betrayed;
and cousin Betty, when she once got safely home, declared that she'd go
without yarn another time, if it was a whole year, before she would
mount such a "treacherous animal as that 'ere."

But, with all her oddities, cousin Betty was sometimes a very amusing
companion. She had many stories of her youth stowed away in her memory,
which, when wanted, could be found and brought to light much more
readily than the articles she was so constantly missing now; and though
these stories were not told in the purest English, they were none the
less interesting to the children for that.

There came, early in February, some pleasant, mild days, which soon made
a ruin of the boys' palace of snow; and though cousin Betty had been in
a dying state for an hour or two the night before, she was so far
revived that morning, that she was easily persuaded by the children to
go over with them to the farm-house, and tell them the story of their
great-grandfather, and his capture by the Indians; which same, though a
very interesting story to the children, might not be so to my readers;
and after changing my mind about it several times, I have concluded to
leave it out, as having nothing to do with the rest of my story.



V

Home Again.

   "Deal very, very gently with a young child's tender heart."


With a face beaming with joy, little Agnes took her place in the cutter
by her uncle on Christmas morning, and nodded good-bye to her cousins,
who were crowded at the window to see her off.

"Mind you come back to dinner!" screamed little Grace, knocking with her
knuckles on the window pane.

Agnes nodded again, and they were gone. Many a time during the short
ride did Agnes take out of her little muff the paper in which her
needle-case for her mother was rolled up, to see if it was all safe; and
she never let go for a moment of the basket in which were some toys for
Lewie, which she and her cousins had purchased at the village. As she
drove up the road from the gate to her mother's house, it seemed to her
so long since she had been away, that she expected to see great changes.
She had never been from home so long before, and a great deal had
happened in that fort night.

Mrs. Elwyn was reading again; indeed, she had resumed that very
yellow-covered book, the reading of which Lewie's sickness had
interrupted; so she had not much time for a greeting for Agnes, though
she did allow her to kiss her cheek, and of course laid aside her book,
out of compliment to Mr. Wharton. But little Lewie, who was sitting in
his cradle, surrounded by toys, was in perfect ecstasies at the return
of Agnes.

He stretched his little arms towards her; and as she sprang towards him,
and stooped to kiss him, he threw them around her neck, and clasped his
little hands together, as if determined never to let her go again.

"Sister come! sister come!" he exclaimed over and over again, with the
greatest glee; "sister stay with Lewie now."

"Sister will stay a little while," said Agnes, kissing over and over
again her beautiful little brother.

"No, sister _stay_!--sister shall not go!" said Lewie, in the best
manner in which he could express it; but exactly _how_, we must be
excused from making known to the reader, having a great horror of
_baby-talk_ in books.

"But I _must_ go, darling; all my things are at uncle's, and I want to
get some books cousin Emily is going to give me; but I will come back
very soon to stay with Lewie."

"No! sister _shall_ not go!" was still the cry; and Mrs. Elwyn settled
the matter by saying:

"Agnes, if Lewie wants you here so much, you may as well take off your
things; you cannot return to Brook Farm; besides, I want you to amuse
Lewie." Agnes thought of some of the consequences of her endeavors to
amuse Lewie, and sighed.

"If your mother insists upon your remaining, Agnes," said her uncle, "I
will bring over your things, and Emily shall come with me, to bring the
books, and tell you how to study."

"Oh, thank you, dear uncle!" said Agnes, her face brightening at once.

In the first scene in which our little hero is introduced to the reader,
he certainly does not appear to advantage, as few persons would in the
first stages of a fever. He was not always so hard to please, or so
recklessly destructive, as he was that day; and had an intimation ever
been conveyed to his mind, that it was a possible thing for any desire
of his to remain ungratified, he might have grown up less supremely
selfish than he did.

But the natural selfishness of his nature being constantly fed and
ministered to by his doating mother, led the little fellow to understand
very early that no wish of his was to be denied; and before he was two
years old, he fully understood the power he held in his hands.

He was a beautiful boy; "as handsome as a picture," as Mammy said; but,
for my part, I have seldom seen a picture of a child that could at all
compare with Lewie Elwyn, with his golden curls, and deep blue eyes, and
brilliant color. He was warm-hearted and affectionate, too, and might
have been moulded by the hand of love into a glorious character. But
selfishness is a deformity which early attention and care may remedy,
and the grace of God alone may completely subdue; but, if allowed to
take its own course, or worse, if encouraged and nurtured, it grows with
wonderful rapidity, and makes a horrid shape of what might be the
fairest.

Upon this text, or something very like it, Mr. Wharton spake to Mrs.
Elwyn, when Agnes had carried Lewie into the next room to spin his top
for him.

"Lewie is a most beautiful little fellow, certainly," said he; "but,
Harriet, take care; he is getting the upper hand of you already. It is
time already--indeed, it has long been time--to make him understand
that his will is to be _subservient_ to those who are older."

To which Mrs. Elwyn replied, "How absurd, Mr. Wharton, to talk of
governing a child like that!"

"There are other ways of governing, Harriet, besides the whip and the
lock and key, neither of which do I approve of, except in extreme cases.
Lewie could very easily be guided by the hand of love, and it rests with
you now to make of him almost what you choose. A mother's gentle hand
hath mighty power."

"Well, Mr. Wharton, to tell you the truth, nothing seems to me so absurd
as all these ideas of nursery education; and the people who write books
on the subject seem to think there is but one rule by which all children
are to be governed."

"I perfectly agree with you, Harriet, that it is very ridiculous to
suppose that one set of rules will answer for the education of all,
except, of course, so far as the Bible rule is the foundation for all
government. I think the methods adopted with children should be as
numerous and different as the children themselves, each one, by their
constitution and disposition, requiring different treatment; but still
there are some general rules, you must admit, which will serve for all.
One of these is a rule of very long standing; it is this--'Honor thy
father and thy mother;' and another--'Children, obey your parents in the
Lord.' Now, how can you expect your son, as he grows up, to honor,
respect, or obey you, if you take the trouble to teach him, every day
and hour, that _he_ is the master, and you only the slave of his will.
There is another saying in that same old book from which these rules are
drawn, which tells you that 'A child left to himself bringeth his mother
to shame.'"

Mrs. Elwyn, during this conversation, kept up a series of polite little
bows, but could not altogether conceal an expression of weariness, and
distaste at the turn the conversation had taken. She had a sincere
respect, however, for Mr. Wharton, who always exercised over her the
power which a strong mind exercises over a weak one, and she felt in
her heart that he was a real friend to her, and one who had the
interests of herself and her children at heart.

As Mr. Wharton rose to go she said, laughingly:

"I thank you for your kind advice with regard to Lewie, Mr. Wharton, but
in spite of it, I do not think I shall put him in a straight-jacket
before he is out of his frocks."

"No straight-jacket is needed, Harriet; you have often written in your
copy-book at school, I suppose, 'Just as the twig is bent the tree's
inclined.' You remember that strange apple-tree in my orchard, which the
children use for a seat, it rises about a foot from the ground, and then
turns and runs along for several feet horizontally, and then shoots up
again to the sky. When that was a twig, your thumb and finger could have
bent it straight; but now, what force could do it. If sufficient
strength could be applied it might be _broken_, but never bent again.
Excuse my plain speaking, Harriet, but I see before you so much
trouble, unless that little boy's strong will is controlled, that my
conscience would not let me rest, unless I spoke honestly to you what is
in my mind."

"I must say you are not a prophesier of '_smooth things_'" said Mrs.
Elwyn, "but still, I hope the dismal things you have hinted at may not
come to pass."

"I hope not too, Harriet," said Mr. Wharton, "but God has now mercifully
spared your little boy's life, and it rests with you whether he shall be
trained for His service or not."

Then calling for Agnes and Lewie, Mr. Wharton kissed them for good-bye,
telling Agnes that he would bring Emily over the next day.

Mrs. Elwyn looked infinitely relieved when Mr. Wharton drove off, and
returned to her novel with as much interest as ever, and in the very
exciting scene into which her heroine was now introduced, she soon
forgot the unpleasant nature of Mr. Wharton's "lecture," as she called
it.

Agnes was contriving in her mind all the morning, how she should
present the needle-case to her mother, and wondering how it would be
received. It was such a great affair to her, and had cost her so much
time and labor, that she was quite sure it must be an acceptable gift,
and yet natural timidity in approaching her mother, made her shrink from
presenting it, and every time she thought of it her heart beat in her
very throat.

At length the novel was finished and thrown aside, and Mrs. Elwyn sat
with her feet on the low fender gazing abstractedly into the fire. Now
was the time Agnes thought, and approaching her gently, she said:

"Mamma, here is a needle-case I made for you, all myself, for a
Christmas present."

The _words_ could not have been heard by Mrs. Elwyn, she only knew that
a voice _not_ Lewie's interrupted her in her reverie.

"Hush! hush! child," she said, waving her hand impatiently towards
Agnes, "be quiet! don't disturb me!"

Oh, what a grieved and disappointed little heart that, as Agnes turned
away with the tears in her eyes, and a lump in her throat.

The next voice that disturbed the young widow was one to which she
always gave attention:

"Mamma! mamma!" cried Lewie, pulling imperiously at her gown; "mamma!
sister feels sorry, speak to sister."

"What is it, dear?" his mother asked.

"Speak to sister! sister crying," said Lewie, pulling her with all the
strength of his little hands towards Agnes.

"What is the matter, Agnes? Why are you crying? What did you say to me a
few moments ago?" asked her mother.

Agnes tried to say "It is no matter, mamma," bet she sobbed so bitterly
that she could not form the words. But Lewie, who had seen and
understood the whole thing, pulled the needle-case from his sister's
hand, and gave his mother to understand that Agnes had made it for her,
and then he struck his little hand towards her and called her "naughty
mamma, to make sister cry!"

More to please Lewie than for any other reason, Mrs. Elwyn took the
needle-case, and said:

"Why Agnes, did you make this yourself, and for me? how pretty it is;
isn't it, Lewie? Now Agnes, you may fill it with needles for me."

Agnes wiped her eyes and began her task, but that painful lump would not
go away from her throat. Ah! if those kind words had only come at first!

How much suffering is caused to the hearts of little children by mere
thoughtlessness, sometimes in those even who love them; by a want of
sympathy in their little griefs and troubles, as great and all-important
to them, as are the troubles of "children of a larger growth," in their
own estimation.



VI.

The Tableaux.

   "A mournful thing is love which grows to one so mild as thou,
   With that bright restlessness of eye--that tameless fire of brow
   Mournful! but dearer far I call its mingled fear and pride,
   And the trouble of its happiness than aught on earth beside."

   --MRS. HEMANS.


Lewie recovered rapidly; and by the time that "the singing of birds had
come," the roses bloomed as brightly as ever in his cheeks; and, with
his hand in that of Agnes, he roamed about the woods and groves which
surrounded their home, gathering wild flowers, and watching with delight
the nimble squirrel and the brilliant wild birds, as they hopped from
limb to limb. The children were always happy together; Lewie was more
yielding and less passionate when with his gentle sister than at other
times; and it was only when again in the presence of his mother that
his wilful, fretful manner returned, and he was again capricious and
hard to please.

Thus, while he was still almost in his infancy, his mother began to reap
the fruit of her sowing; for, while to others he could be gentle and
pleasant, with her he was always fretful and capricious. Already her
wishes had no weight with him, if they ran counter to his own, and
commands she never ventured to lay upon him; already the little twig was
taking its own bent.

The birth-days were all rigidly kept in Mr. Wharton's family, and some
little pleasant entertainment provided on every such occasion. Thus,
while Mr. and Mrs. Wharton failed not to make every proper and serious
use of these way-marks on the journey of life, they loved to show their
children how pleasant to themselves was the remembrance of the day when
one more little bright face had come to cheer and brighten their earthly
pilgrimage. Miss Effie was the important character in commemoration of
whose "first appearance on any stage" a pleasant party had collected in
Mr. Wharton's parlor, one evening in May. Mrs. Elwyn and her children
were spending a few days at Brook Farm; and the family of Dr. Rodney,
and a few other little folks from the village, were invited, on Effie's
birth-day, to pass the afternoon and evening.

Great had been the preparations, for they were, for the first time, to
have an exhibition of the "tableaux vivants" in the evening. Mr. Wharton
had constructed a large frame, which, covered with gilt paper, and
having a black lace spread over it, made the illusion more perfect. Many
pretty scenes had been selected by cousin Emily, who was mistress of
ceremonies; and that no child's feelings might be hurt, a character was
assigned for each one, in one or other of the pictures. A temporary
curtain was hung across the room, which was to be drawn whenever the
pictures were ready for exhibition.

Agnes had been as busy as anybody in bringing down from a certain closet
devoted to that purpose old finery, and other things which belonged to
days long gone by, and her anticipations of pleasure for the evening
were raised to the highest pitch. But just when all were assembled in
the darkened parlor, the lights all being arranged behind the curtain so
as to fall upon the pictures, Master Lewie, who was up beyond his usual
bed time, and who was hardly old enough to take much interest in what
was going on, declared that he was sleepy, and would go to bed. Neither
Mammy nor Anne were with them at Brook Farm; and as Mrs. Elwyn seemed as
much interested as any one in seeing the tableaux, Agnes knew what the
result would be, if Lewie insisted upon going to bed; so she endeavored
to amuse him and keep him awake till she had seen at least one tableau.

"Oh, Lewie, wait _one_ moment!" said she; "Lewie will see a beautiful
picture."

"Lewie don't want to see pictures; Lewie wants to go to bed. Sister,
come! sing to Lewie."

"In one moment, then, little brother. Let Agnes see one picture. Won't
you let sister see _one_ picture?"

"No; Lewie must go to bed. Mamma, tell sister to come with Lewie."

The result was, of course, in accordance with Master Lewie's wishes, and
Agnes was directed to take him up to bed. "He will very soon be asleep,"
her mother added, "and then you can come down."

This Master Lewie heard, and it put quite a new idea into his head, it
never having occurred to him before that the person who sang him to
sleep left him alone, after her task was accomplished. That was a thing
he was not going to submit to, and he was so determined to watch Agnes,
lest she should slip away from him, that all sleep seemed to have
deserted his eyes, which were wider open, and more bright and wide
awake, than ever.

Agnes laid down beside him, and, patting him gently on the cheek, she
sang in a sleepy sort of way, hoping the tone of her voice would have a
somniferous effect.

"Sing louder!" shouted Master Lewie.

Agnes obeyed, and sang many nursery songs suggested by Master Lewie,
hoping, at the end of each one, that there would be some signs of
drowsiness manifested on the part of the little tyrant; but the moment
it was finished, brightly and quickly he would speak up:

"Sing that over again!--sing another!--sing 'Old Woman!'--sing 'Jack
Horner,'" &c., &c.

And Agnes' heart died within her as question upon question would follow
each other in quick succession, suggested by the lively imagination of
Master Lewie, as to the name and parentage of "the little boy who lived
by himself;" and the childless condition of the man whose "old wife
wasn't at home;" and where the dogs actually _did_ take the
"wheel-barrow, wife and all;" he feeling perfectly satisfied of the
accurate information of Agnes on all these important topics.

Several times the little bright eyes slowly closed, and Agnes thought he
was fairly conquered. Slowly drawing her arm from under his head, she
began cautiously to rise; but before she had stolen a foot from the bed,
he would start up and stare at her in amazement, exclaiming, "Where
going, sister?" and then he seemed to learn by experience, and to
determine that he wouldn't be "caught napping" again that evening.

In the meantime, the fun was going on below, and several beautiful
pictures had been exhibited and admired before Agnes was missed from the
darkened parlor. But now came the cry, "Agnes! Come, Agnes! Where's
Agnes? She is to be in this picture." To which Mrs. Elwyn replied, that
"Agnes was putting Lewie to sleep."

"And hasn't she been here at all, Aunt Harriet?"

"No," answered Mrs. Elwyn, "Lewie takes a long time to get to sleep
to-night."

"That is _too bad_, I declare!" said little Grace, her cheeks reddening
with vexation, "Agnes did want to see these pictures so; can't I go up
and see if Lewie is asleep, Aunt Harriet."

"Better not," said Mrs. Elwyn; "you may disturb him just as he is
dropping asleep, and then Agnes will have to stay much longer."

The exclamations of indignation were loud and furious from the whole
party of little folks, when it was found that Agnes had been all the
evening banished from the room, and they were ready to go up to Lewie's
room in a body and take possession of Agnes, and bring her down in
triumph. But Emily said, "stop children, and I will go."

Very quietly Emily stole into the room and up to the bedside. The
children were lying with their arms about each other, Agnes' little hand
was on her brother's cheek, and both were soundly sleeping. Emily
touched Agnes gently and whispered in her ear, but her slumber was so
very sound that she could not arouse her. "Better to let her sleep on
now," said Emily, "and if Agnes only knew it, she has helped to make the
prettiest tableaux we have had this evening."

Thus early was little Agnes learning to give up her own gratification
for the sake of others, while the strong will of her little brother was
strengthened by constant exercise and indulgence, for this was but one
of many instances daily occurring, in which Agnes was obliged to
relinquish her own pleasure in order to gratify the whims and caprices
of her little brother. Lewie had so often heard such expressions from
his mother, that almost as soon as he could speak a connected sentence,
he would say, "Lewie must have his own way; Lewie must not be crossed,"
and in this way did his mother prepare him for the jostling and
conflicts of life.



VII.

The Governess.

   "An ower true tale."


Mr. Wharton was one day writing in his study, for though a practical
farmer he devoted much of his time to literary pursuits,--when there was
a knock at his door, and on opening it he saw there a young woman of
delicate appearance, and of so much apparent refinement and cultivation,
that he was quite taken by surprise when she asked him the question, "if
he had any wool to be given out on shares?"

Mr. Wharton replied, that he had had so much trouble with those to whom
he had given out wool in that way, and had been so often cheated by
them, that he had said he would give out no more, but he believed he
must break through his rule for once, in her favor. She seemed very
grateful, and said she hoped he would have no reason to regret his
kindness in giving her employment. And so it proved; Miss Edwards, (for
that was her name,) gave such entire satisfaction as to her work, and
the share of it she returned, that Mr. Wharton kept her for some time in
constant employment. Every time she came, he was more and more pleased
with her gentle and unaffected manners, and with the style of her
conversation, which showed without the slightest appearance of effort, a
person of great intelligence and good breeding, while an air of subdued
melancholy excited an interest in her, which increased with every
interview.

"She is an unmistakable lady," said Mr. Wharton to his wife, "but how
she came to be living in the village, without friends, and as I believe
in circumstances of great necessity, I cannot imagine. There is a slight
reserve about her," he added, "which may be difficult to penetrate, but
if I mistake not, she is much in need of a friend, and I think she will
not long resist the voice of kindness."

Accordingly, the next time she called, Mr. Wharton, in his kind and
sympathising manner, led her to speak of her own peculiar circumstances;
and at length drew from her this much of her history: She was the
daughter of a plain New England farmer; had had a good common school
education; and was expected to devote the rest of her life to the making
of butter and cheese, and to the other occupations carried on in a
farmer's family. Everything that she could do to aid her father and
mother she was willing and ready to perform, but she sighed for
knowledge; she had learned enough to wish to know more, and she felt
that there was that in her, which properly cultivated, might fit her for
something higher than the making of butter and cheese. Thus, when the
day's labor was ended, and the old people, as was their custom, had
retired early to rest, their dutiful daughter, her work for the day well
done, sought with delight her little chamber, and her beloved books, in
whose companionship she passed the hours always till midnight, and
sometimes till she was startled by the

   "Cock's shrill clarion,"

and reminded that body and mind alike needed repose.

In her studies, and in the choice of her reading, she was guided by her
pastor; and a better guide, or one more willing to extend a helping hand
to the seeker for knowledge she could not have found. With such a
teacher, and with such an eager desire for improvement, she could not
fail to progress rapidly. On the death of her parents, both of whom she
followed to the grave in the course of one year, the kind pastor took
her to his own home; but not being willing to be even for a time a
burden to him, she immediately opened a small school in a village near
them. Now her kind pastor too was dead; and having heard that a teacher
was wanted in the village of Hillsdale, she had come there in hopes of
getting the situation. Here she was doomed to disappointment, the vacant
place having been supplied but a day or two before she reached the
village; and now, among entire strangers, heart-sick with
disappointment, and with no friend to turn to in her distress, she was
taken down with a fever. It was a kind-hearted woman, in whose house she
had rented a small room, and she nursed her as if she had been a
daughter, without hope of remuneration. As soon as she was sufficiently
recovered to think again of work, she began to inquire eagerly for
employment; and her landlady having directed her to Mr. Wharton, she had
taken that long walk from the village, while yet very feeble, which
resulted in the accomplishment of her wishes.

There had been a brother, she told Mr. Wharton, an only child besides
herself; but, as Mr. Wharton inferred from what she said, he was a wild,
unsteady youth, and he had wandered from his home some years before, and
gone far west towards the Mississippi. For some time they continued to
hear from him, but he had long since ceased to write. She feared that he
was dead; but sometimes she had a strong hope, which seemed like a
presentiment to her, that she should yet look upon his face on earth;
and in this hope, she continued still occasionally to direct letters to
the spot from which he had last written.

When Mr. Wharton had repeated to his wife the story of Miss Edwards, she
said immediately:

"Why, is she not just the person for a governess for our younger
children? No doubt, too, she might aid Emily in her studies, for the
child is too delicate to send away from home."

"Well thought of, my dear wife," said Mr. Wharton; "and if we could
persuade Harriet to let poor little Agnes join us, what a nice little
school we might have. It is strange the idea has not occurred to me
before, for I have thought, a great many times, what a pity it was that
such a woman as Miss Edwards should spend her life in spinning wool."

"When do you expect her again?" asked Mrs. Wharton.

"She will probably be here this afternoon."

"Let us save her the long walk, by driving over to see her this morning:
perhaps she can return with us." And in less than an hour, Mr. and Mrs.
Wharton were seated in the widow Crane's neat little parlor, in earnest
conversation with Miss Edwards.

I need not say that the offer made by Mr. and Mrs. Wharton was
unhesitatingly and gratefully accepted by Miss Edwards. Those only who
have felt as utterly forlorn and desolate as she had done for the last
few weeks, can understand with what joy she hailed the prospect of a
home among such kind and sympathizing hearts.

And a _home_ indeed she found. From the time she entered Mr. Wharton's
hospitable door, she was treated as companion, friend, and sister. No
more sad, lonely hours for her, so long as she remained under that roof.
There were plenty of happy, bright little faces around her; there were
kind words always sounding in her ear; there were opportunities enough
to be useful; there were rare and valuable books for her leisure hours.
With all these sources of enjoyment, could she fail to be happy?

And if Miss Edwards esteemed herself most fortunate in having found so
delightful a home, Mrs. Wharton was no less so in having secured her
invaluable services.

"How have I ever lived so long without Rhoda!" she often exclaimed; for
the new governess, by her own earnest request, soon lost the formal
title of Miss Edwards in the family, and was simply "Rhoda" with Mr. and
Mrs. Wharton, and "Miss Rhoda" with the children.

"I think there is nothing that she cannot do, and do well," she added.
"She is a most charming companion in the parlor, with a never-failing
fund of good humor and cheerfulness; a kind and patient, and in all
respects most admirable teacher, for the children; an unwearied nurse in
sickness; a complete cook, if for any reason her services are required
in the kitchen; and perfectly ready to turn her hand to anything that is
to be done."

"And now you have not mentioned the crowning excellence of her
character, my dear," said Mr. Wharton; "she is, I believe, a sincere and
earnest Christian; and, as you say, I think we are most fortunate in
having secured her as an inmate in our family, and a teacher for our
children."

Mr. Wharton, who had unbounded influence with Mrs. Elwyn, had no great
difficulty in persuading her to allow Agnes to become a member of his
family, that she might with his children enjoy the benefit of Miss
Edwards' instructions. Indeed, so long as Mrs. Elwyn had her darling
Lewie with her, it seemed almost a matter of indifference to her what
became of Agnes; and thus the neglect and unkindness of her mother were
overruled for good, and Agnes was placed in the hands of those who would
sow good seed in her young heart, while improving and cultivating her
mind. Happy would it have been for poor little Lewie, could he have been
taken from the indulgent arms of his weak and doating mother, and
placed under like healthy training, where his really fine qualities of
heart and mind might have been cultured, and he might early have been
taught to curb that hot and hasty temper, and to restrain those habits
of self-indulgence, which finally proved his ruin.

Miss Edwards remained six years in her happy home at Mr. Wharton's, and
had become as they all thought essential to their comfort and happiness,
when she one day received a letter, which agitated her exceedingly. She
was sitting at the dinner table, when the letters were brought from the
village. One was handed to her; she looked at the superscription, at the
post-mark, which was that of a town far to the south-west; her cheek
flushed, and with trembling fingers she broke the seal. She glanced at
the signature, and turned so pale they thought she would faint, but in a
moment she was relieved by a burst of tears.

Her long lost brother was alive! he wrote that he was married, and
settled in that far distant State. One of his sister's letters (for she
still continued from time to time to write to him) had lately reached
him, he said, and he wished her to come to him. Her mind was immediately
made up to go; she dearly loved her sweet pupils, and the kind friends
who had given her a home, and a place in their hearts, but the ties of
kindred were stronger than all other ties, and they drew her with
resistless force towards the home of her own and only brother.

There was something about the tone of this letter which Mrs. Wharton did
not like, and she had a foreboding that this journey would not be for
the happiness of her friend, and tried to dissuade her from undertaking
it. And in this she was entirely disinterested; for great as would be
the loss of this gifted young lady to her, Mrs. Wharton was not the one
to put a straw in her way, if she felt assured the journey would end
happily for her.

All that she said, however, was of no avail; it had been the hope of
Miss Edwards' life, once more to see this darling brother, and nothing
could deter her from making the attempt. Her preparations were made in
haste, and with many tears on her part, and on that of the kind friends
she was leaving, and amid loud sobs and lamentations from her dear
little scholars, they parted, never again to meet on earth. A tedious
and perilous journey she had, by river and land, but she seemed to bear
all the discomforts of the way with her own cheerful, happy spirit, and
the letters she wrote to her friends from different points on the
journey were exceedingly amusing and entertaining. One of them, and the
last she wrote before reaching her point of destination, I will
transcribe here in her own words:--

   "Springdale, Oct.--"

"My beloved pupils,--I am going, in this letter, to tell you a ghost
story, and a murder story, of both of which your humble servant was the
heroine. But before your little cheeks begin to grow white, and your
eyes to open in horror, let me tell you that the ghost was no ghost at
all, and in the murder scene, nobody's life was in danger, though both
matters at the time were very serious ones to me."

"I wrote you last from a little tavern in the northern part of Virginia,
while I was waiting for a conveyance to continue on my journey, the
stage passing over these unfrequented roads only twice a week. It has
always been my lot to have friends raised up for me when friends were
most needed; and while sitting in the little parlor of the tavern,
feeling very desolate, and very impatient, a gig drove up to the door,
from which an old clergyman alighted. He soon entered the parlor, and in
a few minutes we were engaged in a pleasant conversation, in the course
of which I mentioned the circumstances of my detention in that place,
and my extreme anxiety to progress in my journey."

"The old gentleman, it seems, had been on a three days' journey to a
ministers' meeting, and was now returning home, and as he was travelling
in the same direction in which I wished to go, he said it would give
him great pleasure if I would take a seat in his gig, in case my
heaviest trunks could be sent on by stage. This the good-natured
landlord very willingly consented to attend to. The trunks were to be
sent to the care of the old clergyman, who was to ship me for my
destined port, and send my trunks on after me."

"You may be sure I did not hesitate about accepting the old clergyman's
offer, for after jolting along with rough men, over rough roads, as I
had done for many days, I anticipated with much pleasure a ride of two
or three days in a gig, with the kind, pleasant old gentleman. And now
comes the ghost story."

"As we were riding along through this thinly settled part of Western
Virginia, I noticed occasionally large, dark, barn-like looking
buildings, with the wooden shutters tightly closed. After passing two or
three of these buildings, I at length asked my companion for what
purpose they were used."

"'Why, those,' said he, 'are our churches. I had forgotten how entirely
unacquainted you were with this part of the country, or I should have
pointed them out to you.'"

"'Is it possible,' I exclaimed, 'that you worship in those dreary,
dark-looking places! I must go inside of one of them on the first
opportunity.'"

"Soon after I spoke, as we were ascending a hill, some part of the
harness gave way, and we were obliged to alight from the gig, while the
old gentleman endeavored to repair the injury."

"'How long will it take you, sir,' said I, 'to set this matter right?'"

"'Oh, some time--perhaps a quarter of an hour,' he answered."

"'And cannot I help you?' I asked. 'I believe I can do almost anything I
undertake to do.'"

"'Oh, no, no,' he answered; 'you had better not undertake to mend a
harness, or you will be obliged, after this, to say that you have failed
in one thing; besides, I can do this very well alone.'"

"'I have a great mind to take hold and mend it, just to show you that my
boast was not an idle one,' said I; 'but if you are determined to scorn
my offered assistance, I will run back, and take a survey of the
interior of the old church we passed a few moments since.'"

"'You will not see much,' the old clergyman called out after me; 'for,
as you see, the wooden shutters are kept closed during the week, and it
is almost total darkness inside.'"

"However, on I ran down the hill, and was soon at the door of the old
barn-like building. The door was not fastened, and I opened it, and
entered the church. At first, the darkness seemed intense, broken only
by little streaks of sunlight which streamed in through the small,
crescent-shaped holes in the shutters; but at length my eye became
accustomed to the darkness, and I could begin to distinguish the rude
seats and aisles, and even to see, at the end of the church, an
elevation which I knew must be the pulpit. Determined to see all that
was to be seen, I made my way along the aisle, ascended the pulpit
stairs, and had just laid my hand on the door, when a tall, white figure
suddenly rose up in the pulpit, and laid a cold hand on mine. I believe
I shrieked; but I was filled with such an indescribable horror, that I
know not what I did, when a hollow voice said:"

"'Don't be afraid; I will not harm you.'"

"I snatched my hand from the cold grasp which held it, and fled from the
church. I remember nothing more, till I opened my eyes, and found the
old clergyman bathing my face with water. He had become alarmed at my
long absence, and, on coming back to seek me, had found me lying on my
face, on the grass, in front of the old church. We had been riding again
for some time, before I summoned resolution to tell the old gentleman
what I had seen in the church. He complimented me by saying, that though
his acquaintance with me had been short, he was much mistaken in me, if
I was a person to be deceived by the imagination; and he said he much
regretted that I had not mentioned the cause of my fright before we left
the old church, as it was always best to ascertain at once the true
nature of any such apparently frightful object."

"'We have no time to turn back now,' said he, 'as we have already lost
more than half an hour; but the next best thing we can do is to stop at
the first house we come to, and see if we can find out anything
concerning the apparition which appeared to you in the church.'"

"We soon stopped before the door of a small log house, and at our
summons a pleasant-looking woman appeared. To the inquiries of the old
clergyman as to the appearance by which I had been so much alarmed, she
replied:"

"'Oh, it's the crazy minister, sir. He used to preach in that old
church; but he's been crazy for a long time, and often he dresses
himself in a long white robe, and goes and sits in the pulpit of that
old church all day. He's very gentle, she added, turning to me, 'and
wouldn't hurt anybody for the world; but I don't wonder you got a good
fright.' So ends my ghost story; and now, if you are ready for more
horrors, I will tell you my other adventure."

"Our detention near the old church, and the state of the roads, rendered
heavy by late rains, made it impossible for us to reach the town at
which we had hoped to spend the night; and we had made up our minds that
we would stop at the first _promising_-looking establishment we should
see, when the coming up of a sudden storm left us no option, but made us
hail gladly the first human dwelling we came to, though that was but a
rough, rambling old hut, built of unhewn logs."

"There was only an old woman at home when we stopped at the door, and I
fancied she looked rather _too well pleased_ when we asked if she could
accommodate us for the night. I must confess to you, my dear children, I
felt rather nervous after the fright of that afternoon; I, who used to
boast that I was ignorant of the fact of possessing such a thing as
nerves; but I do think I must have been nervous, for very little things
troubled me that evening, and my imagination had never been so busy
before. In a very few moments, an old man, and three strapping,
rough-looking youths, entered, with their axes over their shoulders, and
dripping with rain; and now I began to imagine that I saw suspicious
glances passing between these young men, and I certainly heard a long
whispered conversation pass between two of them and the old woman in the
next room. I looked towards my old friend the clergyman; but he, good,
unsuspicious old soul, was nodding in his chair by the log fire. I grew
more and more uncomfortable, and heartily wished we had jogged on in the
pelting rain, rather than trust ourselves to such very questionable
hospitality. One thing I made up my mind to, which was this--that I
would not close my eyes to sleep that night, but would keep on the watch
for whatever might happen."

"The old woman gave us a very comfortable supper, and soon afterwards
she asked me if I would like to go to bed. Not liking to show any
distrust of my hosts, I assented with apparent readiness, and followed
the old woman into a hall, and up a rude ladder, which I should have
found it very difficult to mount had it not been for my early exercise
in this kind of gymnastics, when searching for hen's eggs in the barn,
at my New England home."

"At the head of the ladder was a small passageway, from which we entered
the room which was to be my sleeping apartment. Whether there had ever
been any door to this room or not I do not know; certain it is there was
no door now; the only other room I could perceive in the upper part of
the house, was a sort of a granary filled with bins to hold different
kinds of grain."

"'Is the old gentleman with whom I came, to sleep in this part of the
house?' I asked in as careless a tone as I could assume."

"'No, he sleeps in the loft of the other part where the boys sleep;'
answered the old woman, and then looking at me with a grin which I
thought gave her the appearance of an ugly old hag, she said, 'Why ye
ain't afeard on us, be ye?'"

"'I told her I had had quite a fright that day, and felt a little
nervous.'"

"'Well,' said she, 'ye can just go to sleep without any frights here. We
shan't do ye no harm, I reckon,' and she left me and descended the
ladder."

"Before going to bed I took my light, and stepping out softly I went to
reconnoitre the other room, the door of which we had passed on the way
to the room in which I was to spend the night: I was obliged to descend
two steps to enter this room, where I found nothing frightful to be
sure, there being only some old clothes hanging up, and the bins of
grain of which I have spoken before. I returned to my room, and with
great difficulty moved a rude chest of drawers, across the place where a
door should be, on this I placed my little trunk, and the only chair in
the room, an old shovel, and a broken pitcher, determined that if any
one did enter the room, it should not be without noise enough to give me
warning. Before this barricade I set my candle, hoping it might
continue to burn all night."

"I laid down without undressing, determined that I would only rest; I
would not even close my eyes to sleep. I had laid thus as I supposed an
hour, listening to the voices of the old people and their sons, as in
subdued tones they talked together below. At the end of that time the
door opened, and I heard stealthy steps ascending the ladder. My heart,
as the saying is, was in my throat, and I could hear its every throb.
The steps came nearer and nearer, and as the first foot-fall sounded on
the floor of the little passage, which led to my room, I shrieked, 'Who
is there? what do you want?'"

"'Bless your soul it's only me; you need not scream so,' said the old
woman. 'I'm only going to the bin for some corn-meal to make mush for
your breakfast.'"

"'I do believe the gal thinks we are going to murder her in her bed,' I
heard her say with a loud laugh as she descended the ladder; 'you ought
to see the _chist_, and the things she's got piled on top of it, all
standing in the door-way.'"

"At this the men's voices joined in the laugh, and they sounded horribly
to me. 'Yes,' I thought to myself, 'how easy it would be for them to
murder us in our beds, and there would be no one to tell the tale.' Soon
after this, in spite of my resolution to keep awake, sleep must have
overpowered me, for I was awakened by a tremendous crash, as if the
house was falling, and I opened my eyes to find myself in total
darkness, and to hear soft footsteps in my room."

"Oh, how I shrieked this time! I believe I cried 'help! help! murder!'
and I soon heard footsteps approaching, and saw a light gleaming up the
ladder way, and soon the old woman's night-cap appeared over the chest.
'What _is_ the matter now?' she cried with some impatience, 'you
certainly are the most _narvous_ lodger I've ever had yet.'"

"'Matter enough,' said I, 'there is some one in my room. Didn't you hear
that awful crash?'"

"'Pshaw! it's only our old black cat!' said the old woman; 'he always
comes up to this room to sleep, but we thought we had shut him out.'"

"'Can he climb the ladder?' I asked."

"'Just like a _human_,' said the old woman; and, pushing aside the
chest, she seized the cat, and raising the only window in the room,
threw him out."

"Again weariness overpowered me, and I slept; only to awake to new
horrors; for now I heard cautious footsteps and whispered voices, and
outside the grindstone was at work making something very sharp. Then the
door opened, and a smothered voice said, 'Mother, is the water hot?'"

"'Yes, bilin',' answered the old woman; 'are the knives sharp?'"

"'All ready,' answered the young man; 'where's father?'"

"'He's gone to the loft,' said the old woman; and then came some
whispered words, which I could not catch. You will most probably laugh
at me, but my mind was now so worked up by all the agitation I had
experienced, that I had not the smallest doubt that we were now to be
murdered, and that the dreadful work was already going on in the loft,
my kind old friend being the first victim. Still I thought I might be in
time to save him yet, and there might be a bare possibility of our
escape. Springing from my bed in great haste and agitation, I hurried on
my shawl, and cautiously descended the ladder; but my blood froze with
horror, as just then I heard a piercing shriek. In the passage below I
encountered the old woman; she had just come into the house, and had an
old shawl over her head, and a lantern in her hand, I thought she gave a
guilty start when she saw me, as she exclaimed:"

"'Why, bless me, gal! what are you down at this time in the morning
for?'"

"'What are _you_ all up so early in the morning for?' I asked, in a
voice which I meant should strike terror to her heart."

"'Why, my old man and the boys had determined to kill hogs this
morning,' she answered; 'but we tried to keep so quiet as not to
disturb ye. I was afeared, though, that the squealing of the hogs would
wake ye.'"

"The relief was so sudden, that I could hardly refrain from putting my
arms round the old woman's neck, and confessing all my unjust
suspicions, but the fear of hurting her feelings prevented. With a
tranquil mind I again climbed the ladder, and sought my humble bed, and
was soon in such a sound slumber, that even the squealing of the hogs,
in their dying agonies, failed to rouse me."

"Seen by the morning light, as we were seated around the breakfast
table, these midnight robbers and murderers of my fancy appeared a
family of honest, hardy New Englanders, who had bought a tract of land
in Western Virginia. They showed us, at a little distance, a clearing
where they were just erecting a larger and more comfortable log
dwelling; and the old woman assured us that if we would stop and visit
them, if we ever passed that way again, we should not have to climb a
ladder, for they were going to have a 'reg'lar stairway in t'other
house.'"

"When the time came for parting with our kind hosts, and we offered to
remunerate them for their trouble, they rejected the proffered money
almost with scorn."

"'No, no,' said the old man, 'we haven't got quite so low as that yet;
and I hope that I nor none of mine will ever come to taking pay for a
night's lodging from a traveller. We don't keep _tavern_ here.'"

"The old woman's parting advice to me was to try and 'git over my
_narvousness_; and she thought I hadn't better drink no more strong
green tea.'"

"'I think your tea _was_ strong last night, my friend,' said I; 'and
that, together with the sight of the ghost, of which I have been telling
you, made me very uneasy and restless.'"

"'Well,' said the old woman, 'I hope ye won't be so suspicious of us
next time ye come; for it's a _cartain_ fact, that we never murdered any
_human_ yet. We do kill _hogs_; that I won't deny.' And she laughed so
heartily, that I felt quite sure she had seen through all my fears and
suspicions of the night before. So ends the murder story."

"I wish you could have heard my old clergyman laugh, as I related to him
all the horrors of the night; and when I came to mistaking the last
squeal of a dying pig for his own death groan, I thought he would have
rolled out of the gig. That night, which was _last_ night, found us in
the old gentleman's hospitable home, where his kind lady gave me as
cordial a welcome as I could desire. Here I am still with these good
friends, only waiting for my trunks; and then, with God's blessing, two
days more will find me in the home of my own dear brother.--And here,
with many kind remembrances to the dear ones at Brook Farm, Miss
Edwards' letter closed."



VIII.

Bitter Disappointments.

       "Oh! art thou found?
   But yet to find thee thus!"

   VESPERS OF PALERMO.


It may be as well for us to continue the history of Miss Edwards here,
though its sad sequel was not known to the family of Mr. Wharton till a
long time after she had left them. The letter with which the preceding
chapter closes, was the last heard from her for many weeks. Various were
the surmises in the family as to the reasons for her unaccountable
silence, but at length they settled down in the belief that she must
have fallen a victim to some of the diseases of a new country; though
why they should not have received some tidings of her fate from her
brother, still remained a mystery.

At last, after many weeks, there came a letter from her, but it was
short, and sad, and unsatisfactory in all respects. She had had a
terrible disappointment she said, but her friends must have forbearance
with her, and excuse her from detailing the events of the past few
weeks. She was now at Springdale with her kind old friend, the
clergyman, and was just recovering from a long and tedious illness; she
hoped soon to be able to be at work again, and a little school was ready
for her, as soon as she should be sufficiently restored to take charge
of it. Not one word was said of her brother, or of her reasons for
returning to the home of the old clergyman.

"She is evidently very unhappy," said Mr. Wharton, "and perhaps her
funds are exhausted. She must return to us, and for this purpose I will
send her the means without delay."

But still Miss Edwards did not come, and her letters were few and far
between. At length there came one written in much better spirits, and in
her old cheerful style, in which she informed them that she was engaged
to be married to a young physician of that place. She seemed now very
happy, and full of bright anticipations, not the least cheering of
which, was the prospect of visiting her kind friends once more, when she
should travel to the east on her bridal tour. And this was the last
letter they ever received from Miss Edwards.

That same summer a package came to Mr. Wharton, directed in an unknown
hand, from a place, the name of which he had never heard before. It was
from a physician, and ran thus:

SIR,--I was called a few weeks since to attend a young lady, who was
lying dangerously ill, at the only tavern in our little village. I found
her raving in delirium, and your name, and the names of many whom I
suppose to be members of your family, were constantly mingled with her
ravings. She had stopped at the tavern the night before in the stage;
and when the other passengers went on was too ill to proceed with them.
I attended her constantly for a week or ten days, and at the end of that
time, I had the happiness to find that her fever had entirely left her,
and her mind was quite restored. She was, however, extremely weak, and
feeling assured, she said, that she should never be able to reach the
home of her kind friends, (mentioning the name of your family,) she
begged earnestly for writing materials, and though I remonstrated and
entreated, I found it impossible to prevent her writing. She said she
had a communication which it was due to you that she should make, and
she charged me over and over again, to remember your direction, and send
the package to you in case she did not leave that place alive. She was
busily engaged in writing one day, when the noise of wheels attracted
her to the window, which she reached in time to see a gentleman alight
from a chaise, who proceeded to hand out a lady. A person in the room
with her, saw her put her hands to her head, and then she rushed from
the back door of the house, and did not stop till she reached the woods.
When found she was a raving maniac, and is so still. We have been
obliged to place her in the county house, where she is confined in the
apartment devoted to Lunatics, and is as comfortable as she can be made
under the circumstances. The accompanying package I found just as she
left it, when she dropped her pen and hastened to the window, and I now
comply with her earnest request and enclose it to you.

   With respect, &c.

   JAMES MASTEN.

The manuscript, when opened, was found to be in Miss Edwards' well known
hand-writing, though the fingers that held the pen, had evidently
trembled from weakness and agitation. It was with the saddest emotions,
that those who had loved her so tenderly, read the following
communication:

"Painful and harrowing to my feelings as the task must be which I have
undertaken, I feel that it is due to my kind and ever sympathising
friends, to make them acquainted with the sad trials through which I
have passed, and the bitter disappointments I have met with. I have
tried to bear up with the spirit of a Christian, and to feel that these
trials are sent by One who orders all things in justice and
righteousness; I do submit; I am not inclined to murmur; I hope I am
resigned; but heart, and flesh, and mind, are weak, and these alas! are
all failing."

"With the fondest anticipations I reached the village, where I expected
to be received in the arms of my long lost brother. Oh, how my heart
bounded, as the prolonged sound of the stage-horn told me we were
approaching the end of my journey! and how my imagination pictured the
joyful meeting, the cordial welcome, the fond embrace once more of my
own loved kindred! I was much surprised that my brother was not at the
tavern to meet me, and more so when, on asking for his residence, the
landlord hesitated, as if perplexed."

"'Edwards! Edwards!' said he; 'there is but one person of that name that
I know of in all the village; but he can't be brother to such a lady as
you.'"

"'Perhaps you have not been here long,' I said."

"'O yes, ma'am, nearly fifteen years,' he answered."

"'And what is the name of this man of whom you speak?'"

"'Richard, I think; they always call him Dick Edwards about here,'
answered the landlord."

"I did not tell him that was my brother's name, but with a trembling
heart I asked him to point me to the house of this Richard Edwards of
whom he spoke."

"There was something of pity in the tone of the landlord's voice, as he
told me to turn down the second lane I should come to, and go on to the
last hut on the right hand. 'But I advise you not to go,' he continued,
'for I'm sure there must be some mistake.'"

I was too heart-sick to answer, but, taking my travelling-bag on my arm,
I followed the directions of the landlord, and picked my way as well as
I could through the mud of the miserable, filthy lane he had mentioned
to me, all the time saying to myself, 'It cannot be--there surely must
be some mistake,' and yet impelled irresistibly to go on.

"As I approached the door of the hut at which I knew I was to stop, I
heard the sound of singing and shouting; and as I came nearer, the words
of a low drinking chorus sounded on my ear. I paused before the door,
and a feeling of faintness came over me. I thought, 'I will turn back,
and give up the attempt. Better never to find my brother, than to find
him here, and thus.' But again something impelled me to tap at the door.
It would be such an inexpressible relief, I thought, to find myself
mistaken."

"It was some time before I could make myself heard above the noise of
drunken revelry which sounded within the hovel; but at length the door
was opened by a wretched, frightened-looking woman, and a scene of
indescribable misery was presented to my eyes. Around a table were
seated three or four brutish-looking men, with a jug and some glasses
before them. On the table was a pack of greasy-looking cards; but those
who surrounded the table were too far gone to play now; they could only
drink, and sing, and shout, and drink again; and one of them, in
attempting to rise from the table, fell, and lay in a state of utter
helplessness on the floor."

"The man of the house was not so far gone as the rest; and when he came
staggering forward, a few words sufficed to explain the reason of my
appearance."

"His answer seemed to seal my fate."

"'Ho! you're Rhoda, then! I wrote to you. I thought likely enough you'd
got some money. We're pretty hard up here.' This was said with a silly
laugh and hiccough, which filled me with an indescribable loathing."

"And was this miserable, bloated wretch my brother--that brother whom I
had so longed and prayed once more to see, of whom I had thought by day,
and dreamed by night, for so many long years! I turned to go without
another word, but fell at the door, and lay, I know not how long,
without sense or motion. When I revived, I found the woman (who, I
suppose, was my sister-in-law) bathing my face. I have a dim
recollection, too, of seeing some dirty, miserable-looking children, and
of being asked for _money_. I laid all that I had about me on the table,
and, while they were eagerly catching for it, I left the wretched place;
and grasping by the fence to steady my feeble footsteps, I made my way
back to the inn. I took the next stage, and then the boat, for the home
of my kind old friend at Springdale, and arrived there ill in body and
mind. From there I wrote you, when partially recovered. As soon as I was
able, I began my school, and before long became much interested in my
little scholars; and in the hospitable home of my kind old friends,
regained tranquillity of mind, and after a time even cheerfulness. But
other trials awaited me. My head is weary, and I must rest before I
relate to you the remainder of my melancholy story."

"There was a young physician in that place, who had recently come from
the East, and settled there. He was a man of agreeable person and
manners, of much general information, and of very winning address; at
least, so he seemed to me. He was entirely different from all whom I had
met in that new country, and was the only person, besides my old friend
the clergyman and his wife, with whom it was really pleasant to
converse; and I felt perfectly at ease in his society, having been
assured that he was engaged to a certain Miss G----, the daughter of a
merchant in the village. Though much surprised at this, she having
appeared to me but a mere flippant gossip, and he a man of refined and
cultivated intellect, still I had no reason to doubt it, and was
completely taken by surprise when, after an acquaintance of a few weeks,
he one day made an offer of his hand and heart to _me_. I told him what
I had heard of his engagement to another, but he assured me it was the
idlest village gossip. 'There was nowhere else to go,' he said, 'till I
came there, and so he had occasionally visited at Mr. G----'s, but
without the slightest intention of paying any serious attention to
either of his daughters, who were girls not at all to his taste.'"

"The idea of this gentleman appearing in the character of a lover of
_mine_ was so new to me that I was obliged to take time to accustom
myself to it, and to ascertain the nature of my own feelings, which I
soon found were such as to satisfy me that I should commit no perjury in
giving him my hand. I will not tell you how I loved him! I cannot write
about it now! But for a short time I was very, very happy, and even my
bitter disappointments were forgotten. But suddenly he ceased to visit
me. Day after day passed and he did not come; and yet I knew that he was
in the village. At length I could no longer conceal my distress from my
old friend; who, being very indignant at this treatment, called my
truant lover to account."

"My cheeks glow with indignation as I write it! A story had been
circulated, which was afterwards traced to the G---- 's, that I had left
a _husband_ in an Eastern State; and this man, without coming to me for
a word of explanation, believed the story and deserted me. I had no
friend of long enough standing there to contradict the report; I wrote
to you, Mr. Wharton, but the letter could never have reached you, for no
answer came; and this only confirmed the suspicions of those who had
heard this slanderous story. All but my kind hosts looked upon me with
suspicion; the object of the slander was accomplished; my former lover
resumed his visits at the house of Mr. G----, and his attentions to his
daughter. He was not worthy of a love like mine! Stranger as he had been
to me, could I have believed a tale like that of him, without making an
effort to investigate its truth, or giving him full opportunity to clear
himself from the imputation? That place could no longer be a home for
me. I left it, dear friends, and turned my face once more towards those
who had been for so many years tried and true to me. But strength
failed! I have been here I know not how many weeks, enduring torment of
mind and body. My hope of reaching you is dying out. I _have_ no hope
but in God; my friend and refuge in time of trouble! I have--'"

Here the writing ceased; and the next moment she had seen her faithless
lover hand his bride from the carriage, and reason fled from her poor
brain forever.

The day after this letter was received found Mr. Wharton on his way to
the West, to ascertain for himself the condition of Miss Edwards, and to
endeavor to devise some means for her comfort and restoration, if
possible. Has my reader ever visited a _county house_, and especially
the apartment devoted exclusively to Lunatics? If not, I will endeavor
to describe a few of the sights which met the eyes of Mr. Wharton, on
his sad visit to the county house, which then stood a few miles
from----. He proceeded thither in company with the physician who had
written to him, and sent him the package from Miss Edwards, and it was
with a heavy heart that he first saw the desolate brick building in
which she had been placed, and thought, "Is this the only asylum for one
so lovely and so gifted, and must she wear out her days in hopeless
madness here?" Making their way through the crowd of miserable,
hobbling, bandaged, blind and helpless creatures who were standing about
the yard and halls, Mr. Wharton and Dr. Masten, guided by the
superintendent of the county house, paused before the door of the "crazy
room." Sounds of many voices were already heard, in various tones,
singing and shouting, and preaching, and when the door was opened the
din was such that it was impossible for the gentlemen to hear each other
speak.

What a place, thought Mr. Wharton, for those who should be kept quiet
and tranquil, and who should have nothing about them but pleasant,
cheerful sights. What possible hope is there of the restoration of any
here!

About the large and not over clean room, were a number of _cages_, much
like those you now see placed around a menagerie tent, though not so
large or so comfortable as these cages of wild beasts. In each of these
cages was confined a human being, and these poor creatures stricken by
the hand of God, were in various stages of insanity, some wildly raving,
others more quiet, and others still in a state of helpless idiocy. One
poor creature had preached till her voice had sunk to a hoarse whisper,
and so she continued to preach, the keeper told them, day and night,
till utterly exhausted, when she would fall into a state of
insensibility, which could hardly be called _sleep_, but from which she
would arouse to preach again, day and night, till again exhausted.

A boy about sixteen years of age sat in one of the cages, with scarcely
a rag to cover him, idly pulling through his fingers a bit of cord. This
had been his employment for months, the keeper said. He was perfectly
quiet, except the cord was taken from him; but then he would be quite
frantic. The ends of his fingers were quite worn with drawing this cord
between them, and it was necessary to supply him constantly with a new
bit of cord. When asked why the boy remained nearly naked, the keeper
said, they had never been able to devise any means to keep clothing
upon him, or to find anything strong enough to resist the strength of
his hands; but if allowed to remain in a state almost of nudity, and to
have his bit of cord, he was perfectly quiet and contented.

These, and many more sad and horrible things, were seen and heard during
their visit; but Mr. Wharton's first object was to find her for whose
sake he had undertaken this long journey. He knew her immediately,
though her face was worn with trouble and sickness, and there was an
intense and unnatural brightness about her eye. Her beautiful hair was
unbound, and falling about her shoulders, as she sat in the farthest
corner of her cage, perfectly quiet, and entirely unoccupied.

"Rhoda!" said Mr. Wharton, gently. She started, and put back her thick
hair from her ear, at the sound of his familiar voice.

"Rhoda!" said he, "don't you remember me?"

She looked at him intently, and the expression of her eye began to
change.

"The children want to see you so much, Rhoda! Emily and Effie, and
Agnes and little Grace." He mentioned each name slowly and distinctly,
and then spoke of his wife and the other children, and mentioned scenes
and incidents connected with his home. Her eye still looked with an
earnest gaze into his; her brow contracted, as if she was trying to
recall some long forgotten thing; until at length, with the helplessness
of an infant, she stretched her arms towards Mr. Wharton, and exclaimed,
piteously:

"Oh, take me away!--take me to my home!"

"You shall go with me, Rhoda; I will not leave you here," said Mr.
Wharton; and beckoning to Dr. Masten, he left the room. As he reached
the door, he heard a cry of agony, and turning, he saw Miss Edwards at
the front of her cage, with both arms extended towards him through the
bars, and the most agonized, imploring expression upon her face.
Stepping back to her, he said:

"Rhoda, I _will not_ leave you. Be quiet, and I will come back very
soon to take you with me. Did I ever deceive you, Rhoda?"

"Oh!" said she, putting her hand to her head, "they have all deceived
me. Richard deceived me! _He_ deceived me!--oh, so cruelly! Who can I
trust? They all desert me. I am _all, all_ alone!" And she sat down; and
dropping her head upon her knees, she wept very bitterly.

When Mr. Wharton had again called the doctor from the room, he said to
him:

"Doctor, this does not seem to me such a hopeless case. How any sane
person could retain his senses in that awful scene, I cannot imagine; I
am sure I should soon go crazy myself. But could I once remove Miss
Edwards from these terrible associations, and place her in one of our
Eastern asylums, where she might have cheerful companionships, and
pleasant occupation for her mind and fingers, I doubt not she might be
completely restored."

The doctor thought it possible, but was not so sanguine on the subject
as Mr. Wharton, who, he said, had only seen the young lady in one of
her calmer moods. Still he by all means advised the trial. "We have no
hope of _cure_" said he, "in placing these lunatics in the County House;
the only object is to keep them from injuring themselves or others. They
are all of them from the families of the poor, who cannot afford to send
them to an Eastern asylum. This young lady was a stranger, and without
means, and so violent, at times, that restraint was absolutely
necessary; so that the only thing we could do with her was to place her
here till I could write to you."

"You did the very best that could be done under the circumstances, my
dear sir," answered Mr. Wharton; "but I sincerely hope the day is not
far distant when your State will possess a more comfortable home than
this for those afflicted as these poor creatures are. But I feel as if I
could not lose a moment in removing my young friend from this place; and
if you, doctor, will be so kind as to take the journey with me, and aid
me in the care of her, you shall be well rewarded for your loss of
time."

It was with no great difficulty that this undertaking was accomplished;
and in less than a fortnight from the time when Mr. Wharton found Miss
Edwards, caged like a wild beast in the County House at----, she was
placed at an asylum where every comfort surrounded her. It was not long
before she seemed quite at home amid these new scenes, and began to
interest herself in books and work; and though her mind never fully
regained its tone, she yet seemed tranquil and happy. But the scenes of
trial through which she had passed had done their work upon her
constitution, and she sank rapidly, until, in a little less than a year
from the time of her entering the asylum, Mr. Wharton was summoned to
her death-bed. He arrived but a short time before she breathed her last,
and had the satisfaction to find that she knew him, to hear from her own
lips the assurance that her faith in her Redeemer was firm and unshaken,
and to bear her last kind messages to all the dear ones at Brook Farm.
And then the poor sad heart was still--the mind was bright and clear
again--for the shattered strings were tuned anew in heaven.

In a quiet nook at Brook Farm, where the willow bends, and the brook
murmurs, is a spot marked out for a burying-place, and the first stone
planted there bears on it the name of "Rhoda Edwards."



IX.

Emily's Trials.

   "And dost thou ask what secret woe
   I bear, corroding joy and youth?
   And wilt thou vainly seek to know
   A pang, even thou must fail to soothe?"--BYRON.


In the meantime the education of Master Lewie was going on as best it
might, and in a manner most agreeable to that young gentleman's
inclinations. When he chose to do so, he studied, and then no child
could make more rapid advancement than he, but as he was brought up
without any habits of regular application, study soon became distasteful
to him, and at the first puzzling sentence he threw aside his books in
disgust, and started off for play. The only thing he really loved, was
music, and in his devotion to this delightful accomplishment he was
indefatigable, and his proficiency at that tender age was remarkable.

But being now nine or ten years old, his mother, urged to this course
by some pretty strong hints from Mr. Wharton, began to determine upon
some systematic plan of education for him. And, acting upon Mr.
Wharton's advice, she was so happy as to secure the services of Mr.
Malcolm, the young clergyman at the village, as a tutor for Lewie, upon
the condition on his part, that unlimited authority, in no case to be
interfered with, should be given to him in his government of the
hitherto untrained and petted child.

And so it was settled, that Mr. Malcolm should ride over from the
village every morning at a certain hour, and attend to the education of
little Lewie Elwyn. It was soon observed, that as the young clergyman
rode from the Hemlocks back to the village, it seemed a difficult matter
for him to pass Mr. Wharton's lane, but he often, and then oftener, and
at length every day, turned his horse's head up the lane, and stopped to
make a call. And the children (than whom there are no quicker observers
in matters of this kind) soon made up their minds that the object of
Mr. Malcolm's frequent and prolonged visits was sweet cousin Emily. And
they thought too, judging by the bright blush that came up in cousin
Emily's usually pale cheek when he was announced, and by the look of
interest with which she listened to his conversations with her uncle, or
replied to him when he addressed a remark to herself, that cousin Emily
was by no means indifferent to the young minister.

Having drawn their own conclusions from these premises, and watching
with much interest, as children always do the progress of a love affair,
they were surprised and disappointed when they found that as Mr.
Malcolm's attentions increased and became more pointed, cousin Emily
gradually withdrew from his society, and often declined altogether to
come into the sitting room when he was there. Yet they were certain she
liked him, for they often found her watching from her window his
retreating figure; and sometimes before she knew that she was observed,
she would be seen to wipe away the tears which were stealing unbidden
down her cheek.

At length, one day, the minister came, and as he walked up the steps of
the front piazza, those who caught sight of his face, saw that it was
pale and agitated, and that he looked as if important matters for him
were at stake. And he asked for Emily. There was no bright blush in her
cheek now as she descended the stairs; it was pale and cold as marble.
The interview was a long one, and when at length Mr. Malcolm mounted his
horse and rode slowly away, his face was as white as when he came, but
the look of suspense and expectation had passed away, and in its place
was that of settled and fixed despair. Emily went to her room, and to
her bed, which she did not leave for some days; when she again appeared
in the family she was calm and sweet as ever, but a shade more pensive.

And the young minister came no more. That was all.

He was sometimes seen in the distant road riding rapidly by, to or from
the Hemlocks, but though the horse from long custom, invariably turned
his head towards Mr. Wharton's lane, he was not permitted to follow his
inclinations, but was speedily hurried by.

And Emily grew paler and thinner day by day, and there was sometimes a
contraction about the brow which told of intense suffering; and
sometimes, early in the evening she would leave the parlor, and not
appear again for the remainder of the evening. On one of these occasions
Agnes followed her, as she had observed the deadly paleness of her
countenance, and feared she would faint before she reached her room. As
Emily ascended the stairs, Agnes thought she heard groans, as of one in
extreme pain. Emily closed her door and Agnes stood upon the outside;
and now the groans were plainly to be distinguished.

"Cousin Emily," Agnes called, "dear cousin Emily, may I come in?"

There was no answer, but those same deep groans and now and then a
plaintive moaning. Agnes opened the door gently, and saw Emily upon her
knees, and yet writhing as if in intense agony. She seemed to be trying
to pray, and Agnes caught the words, "Oh, for strength, for strength to
endure this agony, and not to murmur."

Putting her arm around her, Agnes said: "What is it, cousin Emily? Can
you not tell _me_?"

Emily started at finding that she was not alone, and then said:

"Help me to rise, Agnes, and hand me those drops. I am glad that it is
you: better you than any of the others. Fasten the door, Agnes."

Emily reclined upon the sofa, weak and exhausted, the cold beads of
perspiration standing on her brow. Agnes sat in silence beside her,
holding her thin white hands in hers. At length Emily said:

"Agnes, I try to be patient; I make an endeavor even to be cheerful; but
I am indeed a great sufferer, and the anguish I endure seems, at times,
more than mortal frame can bear. It is only by escaping to the solitude
of my own room, to endure the agony in secret, that I am enabled to
keep it to myself. I am obliged to practice evasion to escape aunty's
anxious interrogatories; for, in her present state of health, I would
not for the world cause her the anxiety and trouble which the knowledge
of my sufferings would bring upon her."

Then, with frequent pauses for rest, Emily told the weeping Agnes _all_.

"And now," said she, "dear Agnes, you are very young for scenes like
this; but I know that you possess uncommon nerve and courage. Can you,
do you think, sit by my side, and hold my hand through a painful
operation? I _can_ endure it alone, dear, and I intended to; but as
accident has revealed my sufferings to you, I feel that it would be a
comfort to me to have my hand in that of one I love at that time."

"I _think_ I can, cousin Emily. I believe I could do _anything_ for you,
dear cousin Emily."

"I do not want aunty and uncle to know of this till it is all over,
Agnes. They go to the Springs to-morrow, to remain some days, as you
know: and I have arranged with Dr. Rodney to come while they are gone,
and bring a surgeon from the city, and it will all be over before they
return."

"And is there no _danger_, cousin Emily?"

"Danger of what, dear?--of death? Oh yes; the chances are many against
me; and even if the operation is safely performed, it may not arrest the
disease. But to one who suffers the torture which it is the will of
Heaven that I should bear, speedy death would only be a happy release.
And yet, Agnes, do not misunderstand me; I would not for the world do
anything to shorten my life of suffering. Oh no! 'All the years of my
appointed time will I wait till my change come.' The course I am going
to pursue is advised by the physicians, and it may be the means of
restoration to health, at least for some years. Agnes, pray for me."

When Mrs. Wharton kissed Emily for good-bye, and told her to be a good
girl, and take care of her health, she little imagined the suffering
through which her gentle niece was to pass before they met again. No
one dreamed of it but Agnes.

The next day, in answer to a message from Emily, the physicians came.
They found her courageous and cheerful; for she was sustained by an arm
all-powerful. Strength was given to her for the day and the occasion; a
wonderful fortitude sustained her; and the precious promise was verified
to her--"When thou goest through the waters, I will be with thee."

And Agnes, who sat with one hand over her eyes, and the other clasping
that of Emily, knew only by a sudden and long-continued pressure of the
hand that the knife was doing its work. There was not a groan--only one
long-drawn sigh--and it was over; and the result was better than their
most sanguine hopes.

Mrs. Wharton returned, after an absence necessarily prolonged to some
weeks. She found Emily sitting on the sofa, looking much as she had done
when they parted; and it was not till long afterward that she discovered
what had been the cause of Emily's illness, and learned how much she
had endured. She understood many things now which had been mysteries to
her before, realizing, in some degree, the torment of mind and body
through which this gentle one had passed, and the reason of the bidding
down of the tenderest feelings of her heart.

Poor Emily! None but He who seeth in secret had known the agony which
wrung thy loving heart to its very depths, causing even the keen torture
of physical suffering to be at times forgotten. But He can, and He
_does_, give strength for the occasion, whatever it may be, and however
sore the trial; and leaning on His arm, His people pass securely through
fires of tribulation, which, in the prospect, would seem utterly
unendurable, and come out purified, even as gold from the furnace.



X.

The Tutor and the Pupil.

   "Untutor'd lad, thou art too malapert."--HENRY VI.


Mr. Wharton had endeavored to give Mr. Malcolm a correct understanding
of the nature of the case he was about to undertake, in becoming the
instructor of the spoiled and wayward Lewie. He told him of his natural
good qualities, never suffered to develop themselves, and of the many
evil ones, fostered and encouraged by the unwise indulgence of his fond
and foolish mother. And yet, when the young clergyman had fairly entered
upon his duties as tutor at the Hemlocks, he found, that "the half had
not been told him."

Lewie chafed and fretted under the slightest restraint, and had not the
remotest idea of doing anything that was not in all respects agreeable
to his own inclinations. The idea of compulsion was so new to him, that
he was overwhelmed with amazement one day, when his tutor (after trying
various means to induce him to learn a particular lesson) finally told
him that that lesson must be learned, and recited, before he could leave
the library. Master Lewie, fully determined in his own mind to ascertain
whose will was the strongest, and whose resolution would soonest give
out, now openly rebelled, and informed his master that "he would _not_
learn that lesson."

With his handsome face flushed with passion, he struggled from his
tutor, rushed to the door, and endeavored to open it; but Mr. Malcolm
was before-hand with him, and quietly turning the key in the lock, and
putting it in his pocket, he walked back to the table. The frantic boy
now endeavored to open the windows and spring out, but being foiled in
this attempt likewise, as they were securely fastened, he threw himself
upon the floor as he had been in the habit of doing when crossed, ever
since his baby-hood, and screamed with all the strength of baffled rage.

His anxious mother was at the door in an instant, demanding admittance.
Mr. Malcolm unfastened the door, stepped out to her in the hall, and
gave her a faithful account of her son's conduct during the morning.
"And now, Mrs. Elwyn," said he, "the promise was, that I was not to be
interfered with in my government of your son. As long as he hears your
voice at the door, and knows that he has your sympathy on his side, he
will continue obstinate and rebellious."

"But, Mr. Malcolm, excuse me, but you do not know how to manage him, you
should soothe and coax him; he will not be driven. Oh, I cannot bear to
hear him scream so," she exclaimed, as a louder roar from Lewie reached
her ears; "Oh, Mr. Malcolm, I must go to him."

"Not unless you desire, madam, that I should resign at once, and
forever, the charge of your son," said Mr. Malcolm, laying his hand upon
the lock to prevent her carrying her purpose into execution. "I have
spent this whole morning," he continued, "in expostulation and
persuasion, and in endeavoring, as I always do, to make the lessons
plain and interesting to my pupil; but Lewie is in one of his perverse
humors, and nothing but decision as unyielding as his own obstinacy,
will conquer him. If you will return to your own room and allow me the
sole management of him, I will remain here to-day till I have subdued
him, if the thing is possible."

"You will not use _severity_, Mr. Malcolm," said the weeping mother.

"Never in the way of corporeal punishment, madam. When I cannot govern a
pupil without having recourse to such means, I will abandon him. But I
must stipulate that untill Lewie submits, and learns that lesson, which
he could easily learn in a few minutes, if he chose, he goes without
food, and remains in the library with me. I am deeply interested in your
son, Mrs. Elwyn; he is a boy of fine talents, and of too many good
qualities of heart, to be allowed to go to destruction. I would save
him if I can, but he must be left to me. I have the hope of yet seeing
him a noble and useful character, but I must do it in my own way."

Mrs. Elwyn silently acquiesced, and withdrew to her own room very
wretched. If she had been willing to inflict upon herself one tithe of
the pain she suffered now, in controlling her son in his infancy, how
different he might have been, as he grew up towards manhood.

Mr. Malcolm returned to the library, and told Lewie that his mother had
decided to leave them settle this matter between themselves. He should
remain there, he said; he could employ himself very agreeably with the
books. Lewie might lie on the floor and scream, or get up and study; but
until that lesson was learned, he would not leave the library, or taste
a morsel of food.

The shrieks were now renewed in a louder and more agonized tone than
ever, and were plainly heard in Mrs. Elwyn's sitting-room, where, in a
state bordering on distraction, she was hurriedly pacing the floor, at
times almost determined to insist upon being admitted to the library,
that she might take her unhappy son to her arms, and dismiss his
inexorable tutor; and then deterred from this course by the promise she
had made, and the deep respect which she could not but feel for the
young minister. She could not but confess, too, in her inmost heart,
that this discipline was really for the good of her passionate boy,
though the means resorted to seemed to her severe. Of the two, she was
more wretched than Lewie, who really had no small sense of enjoyment, in
the consciousness of the pain and annoyance he was causing to others.

The screams now ceased, and the anxious mother really hoped that Lewie
was about to comply with his tutor's wishes, and that she should soon
clasp him to her breast, wipe away his tears, and soothe his troubled
heart. She was already, in her mind, planning some reward for him for
condescending at length to yield his stubborn will. But the quiet was
only in consequence of the utter exhaustion of Master Lewie's lungs, and
he took refuge in a dogged silence, still rolling on the floor. Mr.
Malcolm sat reading, as much at his ease, and apparently with as much
interest, as if he were the only occupant of the library.

At last the young rebel was made aware, by certain ringing sounds, and
divers savory odors, that the hour of dinner had arrived; and his
appetite being considerably sharpened by the excitement through which he
had passed, he began to entertain the suspicion that he had been rather
foolish in holding out so long in his obstinacy. He really wished that
he had learned the lesson, and was free for the afternoon; but how to
come down was the puzzle now. He determined to be as ugly about it as
possible, thinking that his tutor might be pretty weary by that time as
well as he, and might hail joyfully any tokens of submission.

So Master Lewie began to call out:

"I want my dinner!"

"What is that, Lewie?" said Mr. Malcolm, looking up quietly from his
book.

"I want my _dinner_, I tell you!" roared Lewie.

Pushing his book towards him, Mr. Malcolm said, in a quiet, determined
manner:

"You know the conditions, Lewie, on which you leave this room: they will
not change, if we remain here together till to-morrow morning. This
lesson must be learned and recited perfectly, before you taste any
food."

Lewie murmured that "there was one good thing--his teacher would have to
fast too."

"As for me, I never take but two meals a day," said Mr. Malcolm; "I can
wait till five o'clock very well for my dinner; and should I be very
hungry, your mother will doubtless give me something to eat."

Through most of the afternoon, Lewie sat scrawling figures with his
pencil on some paper which was lying near, and really beginning to
suffer from the "keen demands of appetite." After sitting thus an hour
or two, he suddenly said:

"Give me the book, then, if there is no other way! I can learn that
lesson in five minutes, if I have a mind."

"I know that, Lewie," said his tutor; "no one can learn quicker or
better than you, when you choose; but you cannot have this book till you
ask me for it in a different way."

It took another hour of sulking before Master Lewie's pride could be
sufficiently humbled to admit of his asking in a civil tone for the
book; but hunger, which has reduced the defenders of many a strong
fortress, at last brought even this obstinate young gentleman to terms.
The book was handed him, on being properly asked for, and in a very few
minutes the lesson was learned, and recited without a mistake. Lewie
evidently expected a vast amount of commendation from his teacher, but
he received nothing of the kind. Mr. Malcolm only endeavored to make him
understand how much trouble he might have saved himself by attention to
his studies in the morning, and then talked to him very seriously for
some moments upon the folly and wickedness of giving way to such a
furious temper, endeavoring to point out some of the results to which it
would be likely to lead him.

One would think that two or three such contests with his tutor, in each
of which he was finally obliged to yield, would have taught our little
hero _who_ was the master, and would have led him, by timely compliance,
to avoid the recurrence of such scenes. But no! he was so unaccustomed
to having his will thwarted in any particular, that it seemed almost an
impossibility for him to submit to have it crossed. The moment anything
occurred in opposition to his wishes, his strong will rose rebellious;
and having been accustomed to carry all before it, could only with the
utmost difficulty, and after a terrible struggle, be controlled.

His kind and judicious tutor, to whom the task of instructing so wayward
a youth was by no means a pleasant one, was urged to a continuance of
his labors only by a stern sense of duty; having at heart the best good
of his pupil, and humbly trusting that, with the blessing of God upon
his efforts, he might be able at length to teach him to exercise some
control over himself. This might possibly have been effected, perhaps,
but for the unwise indulgence and sympathy of his foolishly-fond
mother, who was ever at hand, when Mr. Malcolm left, to listen to her
son's tale of grievances, by which he sometimes succeeded in convincing
her that he was most unjustly and cruelly treated.

Lewie had become tired of the loneliness and quiet of his country home,
and wished to be among other boys, and particularly to go to the school
at which his cousins, the young Whartons, had been placed. They had
lately been home for a vacation, and he had heard much of the _fun_ they
enjoyed at school; in comparison with which, his quiet life with his
mother, and under the care of his tutor, seemed very tame and dull. He
now became more restive and impatient under control, and seemed
determined to weary out his kind tutor, in the hope that he would
voluntarily relinquish his charge. In the meantime, he continued to give
his mother no rest on the subject of Dr. Hamilton's school; and she,
poor woman, knew not what course to take, between her desire to please
her importunate son, and her dislike to offend Mr. Malcolm.

At last, however, as usual, Lewie conquered; and rushing out of one
door, as he saw Mr. Malcolm enter at the other, he left his mother to
inform the young minister that he was no longer to be tutor there. As
far as his own comfort was concerned, this dismissal was a great relief
to Mr. Malcolm; but, as he told Mrs. Elwyn, he feared that her troubles
would not be lessened, but rather increased, by sending Lewie to a
public school. He had never been much among other boys; and he would
find his own inclinations crossed many times a day, not only by
teachers, but by schoolmates, who would have no more idea of always
giving up their own will than Lewie himself had, and constant trouble
might be the result.

All this Mrs. Elwyn admitted; but what could she do? She was like a reed
in the wind before the might of Lewie's determination, and he knew it.
Ah! she was learning already that "A child left to himself bringeth his
mother to shame" and sorrow; and it was with the deepest mortification
that she was obliged to confess that she had suffered the golden hours
of infancy to slip by, without acquiring over her son's mind that
influence which every mother should and may possess. The opportunity,
alas! was now lost forever. Her son had neither respect for her
authority, or regard for her wishes.



XI.

Ruth Glen.

   "The more I looked, I wondered more--
   And while I scanned it o'er and o'er
   A moment gave me to espy
   A trouble in her strong black eye;
   A remnant of uneasy light,
   A flash of something over bright;
   Not long this mystery did detain
   My thoughts--she told in pensive strain
   That she had borne a heavy yoke,
   Been stricken by a two-fold stroke;
   Ill health of body; and had pined
   Beneath worse ailments of the mind."

   WORDSWORTH.


It had been determined ever since poor Miss Edwards left the Wharton's,
that the girls should be sent to the city, to boarding school, and it
was without much difficulty that Mr. Wharton succeeded in obtaining Mrs.
Elwyn's consent to his sending Agnes with them, that the cousins might
continue their education together. Indeed, as I have before intimated,
Mrs. Elwyn always listened, and answered with the utmost indifference,
when any plan respecting her daughter was proposed to her. She supposed,
rightly enough, that her own means might be required for the support of
herself and Lewie, (for she intended to close her house and accompany
Lewie to Stanwick,) and as Mr. Wharton seemed anxious to take the care
of Agnes from her hands, and she knew he could well afford to do so, she
made no objection whatever to the proposed plan. In short, Mr. and Mrs.
Wharton regarded this lovely girl, thus cast off and neglected by her
only natural protector, as their own, and cherished her accordingly.

Mrs. Wharton's health, which had delayed, for some months, the departure
of the girls for the city, now seemed fully re-established; Emily, also,
seemed better than she had done for years, and it was with light hearts,
and many pleasant anticipations, that the three cousins, under the care
of Mr. Wharton, started, for the first time, for school. At about the
same time, Lewie, accompanied by his mother, went to Stanwick, and
began his school life under the care of Dr. Hamilton.

The boarding-school at which Agnes and her cousins were placed, was
under the superintendence of Mrs. Arlington and her daughters, ladies
who had received a most thorough education in England, and who had long
kept an extensive and popular boarding-school there. The hope of passing
her declining days in the society of an only son, who had some years
before emigrated to America, induced Mrs. Arlington, accompanied by her
daughters, to follow him, and though it pleased Providence to remove
this idolized son and brother, by death, in a little more than a year
after their reunion in this country, the mother and daughters determined
to remain, and continue their vocation here, where they had very
flattering hopes of success.

Mr. and Mrs. Wharton had long known and esteemed these estimable ladies,
and though, in many respects, opposed to boarding-schools in general,
yet, as there seemed, at present, no other means for the girls to
acquire an education, but by sending them from home, they thought that a
more unexceptionable place could not be provided for them than Mrs.
Arlington's school.

Mrs. Arlington, though a woman of more than sixty years of age, still
possessed an erect and queen-like figure, a most dignified and stately
appearance, and a face of remarkable beauty. She commanded respect at
first sight, and there was no punishment greater for her pupils, than to
be reported to Mrs. Arlington, and to be obliged to meet her face to
face, to receive a reprimand. Her three daughters, Miss Susan, Miss
Sophie, and Miss Emma, taught in different departments of the school,
and were in every respect most admirably fitted for their different
stations. Miss Emma taught music; Miss Sophie, French and drawing; while
Mrs. Arlington and her eldest daughter attended solely to the more solid
branches of education.

It took some little time, of course, before our young friends felt at
home in so strange a place, and among so many new faces. But many of
the older scholars, who had been long in the school, were very kind in
coming forward to make their acquaintance, and endeavor to do away the
feeling of awkwardness, ever an attendant upon the introduction to
scenes so untried and new. Grace and Effie were very shy and silent at
first, but the peculiarly sweet and unaffected friendliness of Agnes'
manner, won every heart immediately. The younger scholars, especially,
seemed to love her the moment she spoke to them, and to feel as if in
her they should ever find a friend.

Agnes and her cousins were placed in a large room in the third story;
this room contained three beds, one of which was taken possession of by
Grace and Effie, another was occupied by two little girls, of the names
of Carrie and Ella Holt and Agnes was, for the present, alone. Mrs.
Wilkins, the housekeeper, informed her, however, that Mrs. Arlington
expected a new scholar soon, who was to be her bed-fellow. For some
reason or other, the new scholar did not arrive at the time expected,
and it was not till Agnes and her cousins had been some weeks at the
school, and had began to feel quite at home there, that they were made
aware, by the advent of an old hair trunk and a band-box, that the sixth
occupant of their room had arrived.

The new scholar's name was Ruth Glenn. She was a strange-looking girl;
very tall and thin, with a pale, greenish cast of complexion; coal-black
eyes, very much sunken in her head; hair as black as her eyes, and
colorless lips. When she smiled, which was very seldom, she displayed a
fine set of teeth, her only redeeming feature. Her manners were as
strange as her appearance. When she spoke, which was only when
absolutely necessary, or in reciting her lesson, there was a constant
nervous twitching about her bloodless lips; and she had a peculiar way
of pulling at her long, thin fingers, as if it was her full intention to
pull them off.

We cannot help being influenced by first impressions; and though Agnes
felt the sincerest pity for this strange, awkward, shy girl, and did
her best to make her feel at her ease, she could not but feel sorry that
she was to be her bed-fellow. Ruth Glenn sat by herself in the
school-room, always intently occupied with her book, having no
communication with her school-mates, and always seizing on the moment of
dismissal from the school-room to retire to her own apartment. And yet,
as far as the girls could judge, she was full of kindness and generosity
of feeling, evinced by many little quiet acts which one school-mate may
always find it in her power to do for another.

One night, the third or fourth after the arrival of Ruth Glenn at the
school, the girls sleeping in the room with her were suddenly aroused
from sleep by loud and piercing screams from little Carrie Holt. Agnes
sprang up, and was by her side in a moment. As she left her bed she
perceived that Miss Glenn was not there.

"What is the matter, Carrie? Why do you scream so, dear?" asked Agnes.

"Oh, Miss Elwyn!--that tall, white figure!--that tall, white figure! It
came and stood by me, and laid its cold white hand right on my face. It
was a ghost--I know it was--I saw it so plain in the moonlight. Oh,
don't leave me!--don't leave me, Miss Elwyn! It will come again!" And
the trembling child clung with both arms tightly around Agnes.

"I will not leave the room, Carrie," said Agnes; "but I must find out
what has frightened you so. There are no such things as ghosts, Carrie:
you have been dreaming."

"Oh no, Miss Elwyn, I did not dream that!" sobbed little Carrie; "I was
having a beautiful dream about ho-o-o-me and mother, when that cold hand
came on my cheek, and I opened my eyes, and saw that tall, white figure.
Oh, it had such great hollow eyes! I saw them so plain in the
moonlight!"

"Now lie down, dear little Carrie, till I find out what all this means,"
said Agnes. The weeping child obeyed, hugging up close to her little
sister for protection.

The light had been taken away at ten o'clock, as was the invariable
custom at Mrs. Arlington's; but Agnes opened both shutters, and admitted
the bright moonlight into the room, making every object to be discerned
almost as plainly as in the day-time. She then stepped to her own bed.
Miss Glenn certainly was not there. She went to the door of her room,
and found it locked on the inside, as she had left it when she went to
bed. Miss Glenn, then, must still be in the room. Agnes walked around
it, carefully examining every object: she then went into the closet, and
felt carefully all around the walls. She began to think there was
something very strange in all this; and the other girls, all of whom had
been wide awake ever since they were aroused by the screams of little
Carrie, were sitting up in their beds in a great state of agitation and
alarm.

"I will not stay in this room another night!" said little Carrie; "I
wish we dared to go down to Mrs. Arlington. Let's all go down together
to Miss Emma, and ask her to come up here."

"No, no; hush, children!" said Agnes. Then she called, as loudly as she
dared, without awaking those in the neighboring rooms:

"Miss Glenn! Miss Glenn! where are you?"

"Here I am! What do you want of me?" answered a smothered voice.

"Mercy on us!" shrieked Carrie and Ella in a breath, and springing with
one bound on to the floor--"mercy on us! she is under our bed!"

Agnes looked under the bed, and could just distinguish something white,
huddled up in one corner under the head of the bed.

"Miss Glenn! what do you mean?" exclaimed Agnes, in a tone of amazement.
"Are you trying to frighten these poor children? Come out here
directly."

With all Agnes' gentleness, she had sufficient spirit when roused, and
she was now really indignant at what she supposed was a cruel attempt to
frighten little Carrie and Ella. Ruth Glenn was three or four years
older than Agnes, but yet she submitted at once to the tone of authority
in which she was addressed, and came crawling out from under the bed.

"I think it's a little too bad," said the trembling little sisters,
crying and talking together; "it's real mean, to wake us up, and
frighten us so. I mean to tell Mrs. Arlington of you to-morrow, Miss
Glenn. I know our mother won't let us stay here to be frightened so!"

Ruth Glenn sat down on the edge of her own bed and said nothing, but
Agnes noticed that she shivered, as if with cold.

"Come, Miss Glenn, lie down," said Agnes, "and let us see if we can have
quiet for the rest of the night; we shall none of us be fit for study
to-morrow, I fear."

Ruth Glenn obeyed quietly, and was soon asleep, but the others had been
so agitated that it was a long time before their minds were sufficiently
calmed for repose. When startled by the rising bell, they got up tired
and unrefreshed, and with no very amiable feelings towards the author of
the disturbance in the night. Miss Glenn went about dressing as quietly
as usual, saying nothing to any one; till little Ella, who was a
spirited little thing, just as she was leaving the room, turned about
and said:

"Now, Miss Glenn! I am going right down to tell Mrs. Arlington about
you."

To the surprise of all, this cold silent girl sat down on the bed, and
wringing her hands, and rocking back and forth, and crying most
piteously, she begged little Ella not to tell of her.

"I will do anything I can for you, Ella," said she, "I will help you in
your lessons, whenever you want any help; only don't tell Mrs.
Arlington; she will send me away perhaps, and then what shall I do!" She
then implored Agnes to use her influence with the little girls, and her
cousins, to ensure their silence on the subject, promising not to
disturb them again, if she could help it.

"I don't know what I went to your bed for, Carrie," she said, "I did not
want to frighten you."

"Why did you act so strangely then, Miss Glenn?" asked Agnes, "were you
asleep?"

"I don't know; I cannot tell; don't ask me;" was all they could get from
Miss Glenn, who continued to weep and wring her hands.

Though apparently very poor, Miss Glenn possessed some few rare and
curious things, which she said her father, who had been a sea-captain,
had brought her from other countries, and by means of some of these, she
succeeded in securing the silence of the little girls. Grace and Effie
were easily induced by the remonstrances of Agnes, and partly by pity
for Miss Glenn's evident distress, to promise not to betray her. None of
the occupants of that room felt fit for study that day, except Miss
Glenn. She sat alone, as usual, and studied as perseveringly as ever.
This was only the beginning of a series of nocturnal performances,
continued almost every night, with every morning a repetition of the
same scene of begging and remonstrance with her room-mates, to persuade
them not to betray her to Mrs. Arlington. Sometimes, as Miss Glenn was
quietly leaving her bed, Agnes would wake and follow her, determined to
see what she would do, and to prevent, if possible, her waking the other
girls. At times she would seat herself upon a chest in one corner of the
room, and commence a conversation with some imaginary individual near
her; then she would move silently round the room, and sitting down in
some other part of it, would talk again, as if in conversation with some
lady next her. Then she would open the window very quietly, and look up,
and down, and around, talking all the time in a low tone, but in a much
more lively and animated manner than was usual with her in the day-time.
She would sometimes cross over to the bed where Grace and Effie Wharton
were sleeping, but just as she was about laying her hand on one of them,
Agnes would touch her, and ask her what she meant by wandering about so
night after night, and tell her to come directly back to bed.

"Oh," Miss Glenn would answer quietly, "I have only been talking to the
ladies, and holding a little conversation with the moon and stars--don't
mind me--go to bed--I will come."

But Agnes would answer resolutely,

"No, Miss Glenn, I will not leave you to frighten the girls again; you
must come back to bed with me, and let me hold your hand tightly in
mine." And Miss Glenn would obey immediately.

When the moon was shining brightly into the room, these performances of
Miss Glenn's were only annoying, but when the nights were very dark, and
nothing could be seen in the room, it was really horrible to hear this
strange girl chattering and mumbling, now in one corner, now in another,
sometimes in the closet, sometimes under the beds; and one night, in a
fearful thunder-storm, she seemed to be terribly excited, and when the
lightning flashed upon the walls, the shadow of her figure could be seen
strangely exaggerated, performing all manner of wild antics.

This conduct of Miss Glenn's puzzled Agnes exceedingly: she could not
decide in her own mind whether the girl was trying to frighten them,
whether she was asleep, or whether she had turns of derangement at
night. Neither of these suppositions seemed exactly to account for her
singular actions. Her evident, and, Agnes doubted not, real distress, at
the possibility of Mrs. Arlington being informed of her nocturnal
performances, and the sacrifices of every kind that she was willing to
make to ensure silence, convinced Agnes that it was not done merely to
alarm them; her vivid remembrance of all that she had said or done in
the night, and her answering questions, and coming to bed so readily
when addressed by Agnes, without any appearance of waking up, led her to
suppose it was not somnambulism; and as Miss Glenn never showed any sign
of wandering of mind in the day time, Agnes could not suppose it to be
derangement. Miss Glenn was a perfect enigma; night after night
disturbing her room-mates with her strange performances, and every
morning going over the same scene of earnest expostulation and entreaty,
accompanied by violent weeping, to induce them not to betray her to
Mrs. Arlington. Poor little Carrie and Ella kept the secret bravely,
though, on the night of the thunder-storm, they were so terrified by
Miss Glenn's conduct, that, wrapping themselves in the bed-blankets, and
persuading Agnes to lock the door after them, they went out, and sat
upon the stairs till morning. The very next day, two sisters who slept
in another room received tidings of the death of their mother, which
hurried them home; and as they were not to return that quarter, little
Carrie and Ella, with Agnes to intercede for them, requested to be
allowed to take their vacated place. Mrs. Arlington readily acquiesced,
as, she said, it would be much better to have four in each room.

Thus things went on, till, one night, Agnes was horror-stricken to find
that Miss Glenn was endeavoring to climb out of the window. As I have
said, they were in the third story of the building; and the distance to
the ground being very great, the unfortunate girl would inevitably have
been dashed to pieces upon the flag stones below, had not Agnes
suddenly caught her, and, with a strength that astonished herself,
succeeded in drawing her back into the room.

The terror and agitation into which Agnes was thrown by this
circumstance determined her to do something decisive the very next day;
she was now convinced that it was her duty, and resolved to do it, in
spite of Miss Glenn's tears and persuasions. She thought it right,
however, in the first place, to acquaint Miss Glenn with her
determination, and began by informing her, when they were alone the next
morning, of the imminent danger from which she had been so fortunate as
to save her in the night. Ruth Glenn seemed to remember it all, and
shuddered as she thought of it.

"Now, Ruth," said Agnes, "I really think we have all kept silence as
long as could be expected, or as it is _right_ that we should. You will
bear witness that we have endured very patiently all this nightly
disturbance. I have long been convinced, whatever may be the reason of
your conduct, that you have not the control of your own actions at
night; and I think we shall be very culpable if we conceal this matter
longer from Mrs. Arlington; for, as you must now be convinced, the
consequences may be fatal to yourself, or perhaps to others. You need
not fear that Mrs. Arlington will dismiss you, but I think she will
consult medical advice in your case, which most probably should have
been done long before this."

Ruth acknowledged the justice of all that Agnes said, and at length
consented that she should make Mrs. Arlington acquainted with all that
had transpired in their room. "But, oh, Agnes!" she said, "do persuade
her to let me remain, and finish my education. It has been my hope for
years, that I might be enabled to prepare myself to be a governess. My
father was lost at sea, and my poor mother died of a broken heart, and I
was left all alone to take care of myself at the age of fourteen. Since
then, I have sewed night and day, night and day, denying myself sleep,
and almost all the necessaries of life, in the hope of getting an
education. That hope, with all my unwearied industry, would never have
been fulfilled, had not a kind lady for whom I sewed offered to make up
the requisite sum; and now, if Mrs. Arlington sends me away, what will
become of me? The hope of my life will be disappointed."

"Well, I do not wish to discourage you, my dear Ruth, but you must see I
think that you are totally unfitted to have children under your care at
present."

"I suppose I am, Agnes, but I have been hoping that I should get over
this; it seems to grow worse and worse, however, and you may now do as
you choose. You have exercised great forbearance with me, dear Agnes.
You have been a true friend, and whatever may be the result, you may go
to Mrs. Arlington."

Mrs. Arlington was very kind, and only regretted that she had not before
been made acquainted with Ruth Glenn's singular conduct. She said she
did not doubt that it was entirely owing to her state of health, and her
sedentary manner of life for years past, and sent immediately for her
family physician, and made him acquainted with the case.

Agnes was sent for, and questioned as to Miss Glenn's actions and
appearance, when thus restless at night, and she as well as the
different teachers, were interrogated as to her habits in the day time.
The doctor thus learned that it was with the greatest difficulty that
Miss Glenn could be persuaded to take any exercise, and Agnes told him
what Ruth had related to her of her mode of life for the last few years.
The doctor thought it one of the most singular cases he ever met with,
and prescribed a strict course of medicine, diet and exercise, insisting
particularly upon the latter.

It was a hard thing to persuade Ruth to take her early morning walk, and
other exercise advised by the physician, and Mrs. Arlington was at
length obliged to tell her, that only upon condition of her obeying his
directions, could she consent to allow her to remain in the school.
This, together with the indefatigable endeavors of Agnes, prevailed
upon Ruth Glenn to take the accustomed walks, which Agnes with great
cunning contrived to lengthen every morning, until at length Ruth Glenn
would return with a slight tinge of color in her cheek, and an unusual
brightness about her eye. The result was very soon seen, in more quiet
nights in the third-story-room, and, before long, Ruth confessed that
she felt like another creature, and began to realize an enjoyment in
life, of which she had known nothing since her childhood.

Often, however, the old feeling of indolence returned, and it was very
amusing to Grace and Effie to hear poor Ruth beg and plead with Agnes to
be allowed to remain quiet "just one morning," and to see how vigorously
and perseveringly Agnes resisted her appeals, rousing her up and leading
her off, poor Ruth looking much like a martyr about to be dragged to the
stake.

Before Agnes and her cousins left Mrs. Arlington's school, Ruth Glenn
was so changed for the better, that she would not have been recognized
as the same pale, strange girl, who came there three years before. Her
spirits and appetite were good, and there was no longer any complaint of
disturbance at night by her room-mates.

It was a sad day in the school when Agnes and her cousins took their
final leave, but no one seemed so broken-hearted as poor Ruth Glenn.

"Oh, Agnes," said she, "who will be the friend to me that you have been?
Who will drag me out with such relentless cruelty?" and here she smiled
sadly through her tears, "through rain and sunshine, heat and cold; I am
afraid I shall be as bad as ever, for my walks will be so dull without
you."

But Agnes told her she hoped she had now received sufficient benefit
from her regular exercise, to be willing to make a little sacrifice, and
obtained from her a solemn promise that she would continue the course
they had so long pursued together.

Agnes had employed herself most perseveringly while at Mrs. Arlington's
school, in becoming thoroughly acquainted with various branches of
education and accomplishments, being fully determined in her own mind no
longer to be a burden to her uncle, but to use the means he was so
kindly putting into her hands, in enabling her to gain her own support
hereafter. But she had no sooner left the school than other duties
claimed her attention, as will presently be seen.



XII.

LEWIE AT SCHOOL.

"The child is father of the man."--WORDSWORTH.


Had our friend Lewie heard Mr. Malcolm's prediction relative to his
school experiences, he would have had reason to think him a true
prophet. He came into the school and the play-ground with the same ideas
which had been predominant with him ever since his baby-hood; and though
he did not, as then, continually say the _words,_ his actions proclaimed
as loudly, "Lewie must have his own way!--Lewie must not be crossed!" He
found his school companions not quite so complying as his indulgent
mother, and those over whom she had control; and before he had been long
in the school, he was known by the various names of "Dictator-General,"
"First Consul," "Great Mogul," &c., and with these epithets he was
greeted whenever he put on any of his dictatorial airs.

These constant insults and impertinences, as he called them, irritated
his ungoverned spirit, and in consequence many a school-mate measured
his length upon the ground in the most sudden manner, and innumerable
were the fights and "rows" which were the result. The presence of Lewie
seemed everywhere the signal of contention and strife, where all had
been heretofore, with very few exceptions, harmony and peace; and yet,
but for his hasty and impatient temper, Lewie might have been an
unparalleled favorite among his schoolmates. In the still summer
evenings, when he took his guitar, and sat upon the steps of the
portico, the boys would crowd around him, and listen in breathless
silence to his sweet music. As long as his own inclinations were not
crossed or interfered with, a more agreeable companion could not be
found. He had the frank, open manners, which are not seldom joined with
a quick temper, and in many things he showed a noble, generous
disposition; but as soon as the wishes of others in their sports and
recreations came in conflict with his own, his terrible passion was
roused at once, and carried all before it. Many were the complaints
which he carried to his mother of insult and ill-treatment; and before
he had been six months at Dr. Hamilton's school, he was urging her to
allow him to remove to another of which he had heard, and where he
fancied he should be more happy. Mrs. Elwyn's health was not as firm as
it once was; she was becoming weak and nervous, and dreaded change, and
endeavored to pacify her son, and to persuade him to remain at Dr.
Hamilton's school. No doubt he would have effected his object by
teazing, but it was accomplished in another way.

There are boys to be found in every large school who delight in playing
practical jokes, and in teazing and tormenting those who are susceptible
of annoyance in this way. There was a large, stout boy in Dr. Hamilton's
school, of the name of Colton, a great bully and teaze, whose delight
it seemed to be to torment and put into a passion one so fiery as our
little hero, feeling safe from the only kind of retaliation which could
injure him, as he was so much the stoutest and strongest of the two.
This boy soon found that there was one point upon which Lewie was
peculiarly sensitive, and the slightest allusion to which would call the
red blood to his face. This was the fact of his being accompanied by his
mother when he came to the school, and her having taken board in the
village, that she might be near him as long as he was there. Lewie had
remonstrated with his mother, when she proposed accompanying him, and
had urged her to accept his Uncle Wharton's invitation to make his house
her home. He was just at that age when boys love to appear independent
and manly, and able to take care of themselves; and he had hoped that he
should be allowed to go alone to school, as many of the other boys did,
or perhaps to accompany his uncle and cousins. But to be taken there
under the care of a _woman_, and to have her remain near him, as if
he could not take care of himself! Lewie thought this a most humiliating
state of things. But for once his mother was firm. It would be like
severing her heart-strings, to separate her from her darling son; and
wherever he went, she must go as long as she lived. This ingratitude on
the part of Lewie and evident desire to rid himself of her company,
after so many years spent in devotion to his slightest wishes, wore upon
her spirits, and was one cause, perhaps the principal one, of her
nervous depression, and consequent ill health.

As soon as Colton understood the state of Lewie's feelings on this
tender point, and noticed How his cheeks would flush with passion
whenever the subject was mentioned, he took advantage of it to harass
and enrage him, renewing the subject most unmercifully at every
convenient opportunity. Thus, whenever, in their sports, Lewie took upon
himself to dictate, in his authoritative way, Colton would ask the boys
if they were going to be governed by a baby who had not yet broken
loose from his mother's apron-strings; and when Lewie could no longer
restrain his passion, and began to show signs of becoming pugnacious,
Colton would advise him to "run to mother," to be petted and soothed.

For sometime prudence restrained Lewie from making an attack upon this
boy, so much larger and stronger than himself, for he was almost certain
that he would get the worst of it in an encounter with him. But one day
when Colton was more aggravating than ever, Lewie suddenly lost all
command of himself, and flew at him in a most fearful storm of rage, and
with all the might of his passion concentrated in one blow, he dashed
the great boy against a tree; and after he was down, and lying
insensible, with his head cut and bleeding, Lewie could scarcely be
restrained, by the united strength of those about him, from rushing upon
his senseless body, and by renewed blows continuing to injure him.

His rage was fearful to witness, and his companions stood aghast, for
they saw clearly that murder was in his heart, and that nothing but the
restraint they exercised upon him, prevented him from carrying his
horrible purpose into execution. Colton was borne to the house, and it
was long feared that he would never entirely recover from the effects of
the severe blow upon his head as he fell. Lewie seemed to feel nothing
like remorse; he had always hated Colton, and everything this boy had
done had tended to increase and aggravate his feelings of dislike; he
thought nothing in his frantic rage of the consequences to himself, but
would have rejoiced to see his tormentor dead at his feet.

This last affair decided Dr. Hamilton that it would not do to keep a boy
of such fierce, unrestrained temper, longer in the school. Lewie had all
this time been progressing rapidly in his studies; a fierce ambition
seemed to have seized upon, him, and he applied himself to his books as
if he had come to the determination that he would at least rise superior
to his school-mates, in his standing in the class, if they would not
acknowledge his superiority in anything else.

Dr. Hamilton called soon after Lewie's attack upon Colton, to see Mrs.
Elwyn, and while he spoke of Lewie as one on whom he could justly be
proud, as the best and most forward scholar in his classes, he said it
was impossible for him to allow him to remain; that the lives of his
other pupils were hardly to be considered safe with so passionate a
companion, and for the sake of the reputation of his school, he must ask
her to save him the necessity of a public dismissal of her son. Sad by
this time were the forebodings of Mrs. Elwyn, but they were useless; her
remonstrances with her self-willed son were vain. If Lewie was obliged
to submit to being accompanied by his mother wherever he went, he seemed
determined to show her, that her wishes had not the slightest power over
him. The sowing time had passed;--the reaping time had begun.

Lewie no longer urged and entreated, but merely expressed his
determination to go to the school to which he had so long been desirous
to remove, and his poor mother knowing that henceforth his will must be
hers, made her preparations for accompanying him.

Boys are the same everywhere; and unless all are willing in some degree
to relinquish their own gratification for the sake of others, there will
surely be trouble. So Lewie found at Stanwick; so at the next school,
and the next; for as he became dissatisfied with one and unpopular
there, he removed to another, his poor mother following his fortunes
everywhere. Many were the kind and remonstrating letters which Lewie
received during these three years of change, from his lovely sister, but
the affectionate advice contained in them as to an endeavor to gain
command over his temper, and in regard to his treatment of his mother,
seemed to have no permanent effect.

All this time, wherever he went, he ranked' among the highest as to his
scholarship, and at the age of sixteen he entered college at C----,
about ten or fifteen miles from Hillsdale. By the time they were fairly
established at C----, Mrs. Elwyn's health completely failed. Lewie's
time much taken up with his college duties, and even if it had not been,
he was not one to wait with patience upon the humors of a nervous and
fretful invalid; and the greater part of the time was spent by Mrs.
Elwyn in loneliness and repining.

And now her thoughts turned often, and rested almost fondly upon the
memory of her long neglected daughter. Oh! for such a kind and gentle
nurse and companion to be ever near her, to minister to her wants and
soothe her lonely hours. The more she thought of her, the more she
longed for her presence, and it was soon after Agnes left Mrs.
Arlington's and returned to Brook Farm, that she received with delight a
summons to come to her mother at C----. The idea that her mother really
_wished_ for her, and that she could be in any degree useful to her,
made her heart bound with joy; and then, too, the idea of being so near
her brother, to endeavor to exercise a restraining influence upon him,
was happiness in itself for Agnes.

She found her mother greatly changed: anxiety of mind and bodily
suffering had worn upon her, till her face, which might still have been
young and blooming, was faded and wrinkled. She was glad to see Agnes,
only because now she could be _useful_ to her; and Agnes often found her
whole stock of patience brought into requisition, in endeavoring to
gratify the changing whims and fancies of a nervous invalid. Lewie was
in ecstasies at his sister's arrival; for he did dearly love Agnes, and
he now passed all his leisure time at his mother's room. Agnes thought
him more gentle and tractable, and hoped that he really exercised some
control over his passionate temper; but it was only, for the time, the
want of provocation, and the restraining influence of his sister's
presence, which kept him from any serious out-break. The grace of God
alone could materially change Lewie Elwyn now.

Agnes remained many months in attendance upon her mother, who failed
very gradually. As she grew weaker, she became more exacting; and
though never betrayed into any expression of affection for Agnes, yet
she was not willing to have her out of her sight for a moment. The
consciousness of being useful to her mother, was sufficient reward for
sleepless nights and days of close confinement; and Agnes resisted all
Lewie's entreaties that she would leave the sick room for a while each
day, and take a stroll with him.

Had Lewie been inclined to dissipation, this would have been a dangerous
time for him; for his wonderful musical powers made him such a favorite,
that no gathering was thought complete without him. As long as Agnes was
at C----, he preferred spending his evenings with her to any party of
pleasure; and after he could no longer enjoy her society, and when he
began again to mingle in scenes of festivity, though sometimes betrayed
into excesses, he never was habitually dissipated.

Mrs. Elwyn lingered on, becoming weaker and weaker, until, after Agnes
had been with her about six months, she perceived that she was failing
more rapidly, and at length was informed by the physician, that her
mother could live but very few days longer. Agnes hastily summoned Mr.
and Mrs. Wharton, who arrived only in time to witness the death-bed
scene. Just before her death, Mrs. Elwyn seemed to awake to a sudden
realization of the great mistakes of her life with regard to her son and
daughter. She seemed to see now, as clearly as others had seen all
along, the evils of her own management, and to trace the unhappy results
to their proper source. It was sad to hear her, when all too late to
remedy these evils, lament over "a wasted life--a worse than wasted
life;" and so, with words of remorse upon her lips, she, who had had
such power for good in her hands, passed away from earth.

And Agnes returned to her uncle's house, leaving her brother at college.
As soon as she had taken a little time to recruit, and to consider, she
began to look about for a situation as governess, much against the
wishes of every member of her uncle's family, who would have considered
it a privilege to keep her always with them. About this time, a distant
relative of Mrs. Wharton's, a Mr. Fairland, in passing from his Western
home to the city, stopped to make them a visit. He was a plain,
kind-hearted man, and seemed to take a particular interest in Agnes,
with whose father and grandfather he had been intimately acquainted. Mr.
Fairland had made quite a fortune by successful speculation, in a large
Eastern city; but the extravagance of his wife and daughters, who were
not willing to be outdone in dress or establishment by any of their
neighbors, made such rapid inroads upon his newly-acquired wealth, that
Mr. Fairland soon became convinced that it was leaving him as rapidly as
it came. So he thought it the part of prudence to beat a retreat at
once; and, in spite of the tears and remonstrances of his wife and
eldest daughters, he removed the whole family to the beautiful village
of Wilston, near which place he owned some fine and flourishing mills.

It was while speaking of his new home, and its many beauties, at Mr.
Wharton's breakfast table, that Mr. Fairland mentioned the only
drawback to his happiness there, which, he said, was the want of the
advantages of education for his younger children, who were running wild
without any instruction, as their mother was unwilling to allow them to
attend the village school. He had long been looking, he said, for a
governess for them--one who would bring them up with right habits and
principles, at the same time that she was instructing their minds.

Agnes seized the first opportunity in which she could find Mr. Fairland
alone, to propose herself as governess to his children. This was more
than Mr. Fairland had dared to hope for, and her proposal was hailed by
him with gratitude and joy. He wished her to return immediately with
him; but Agnes had some preparations to make, and her uncle was not
willing to part with her quite yet: he promised, however, to bring her
himself in the course of a month. A serious illness, however, deranged
all Mr. Wharton's plans and as soon as he was able to travel, business
of the utmost importance called him to the city; so that Agnes, who
disliked to keep Mr. Fairland waiting for her any longer, wrote to him
when he might expect her, and, much against Mrs. Wharton's wishes, set
out alone in the stage for Wilston.



XIII.

NEW SCENES FOR AGNES.

   "The stranger's heart! oh, wound it not!
   A yearning anguish is its lot;
   In the green shadow of the tree,
   The stranger finds no rest with thee."


"And when may we expect to be favored with the presence of this paragon
of perfection, and embodiment of all wisdom, papa?" asked Miss Evelina
Fairland, with what was intended for the utmost girlish sprightliness of
manner; for, although it was only at breakfast, Miss Evelina never laid
aside her manner of extreme youth, as she thought it best to be
continually in practice.

Her father answered quietly, that he expected Miss Elwyn by the
afternoon stage.

"Is she one of these prim, _old-maidish_ governesses, like our poor old
Miss Pratt?" asked Miss Calista, a lady of something over thirty, and
rather the worse for twelve years' wear, in the way of balls and
parties, the theatre and the opera. Indeed, at the breakfast table, Miss
Calista looked considerably older than she really was, with her pale,
faded cheeks, and her hair "en papillottes;" but, in the afternoon, by
the use of a little artificial bloom, some cork-screw ringlets, and a
manner as gay and girlish as that of her sister, she appeared quite
another creature.

To Miss Calista's question Mr. Fairland, with an amused pucker about the
mouth, answered:

"Oh, I shall tell you nothing about her looks; you must wait and judge
for yourselves. There's one thing I will say, however. I suppose you
can't alter your looks, girls; but, as far as manners are concerned, I
wish very much that I could place my two eldest daughters under Miss
Elwyn's tuition."

"Perhaps she will condescend to take a class, twice or three times a
week, in 'manners for six-pence,'" said the sprightly Miss Evelina. "I
should like to see Calista and myself curtseying, and walking, and
leaving and entering a room, as we used to be obliged to do for old Miss
Pratt. Wouldn't you, Calista?"

"Let's see," said Mr. Fairland, whose reminiscences were not always of
the most agreeable nature to the young ladies--"let's see. How long is
it since you and C'listy _were_ under the care of Miss Pratt? I think it
must be nigh twenty years."

"Twenty years, papa!--absurd!" shrieked Miss Calista; "why, you must be
losing your memory!"

Now, if Mr. Fairland's daughters were touchy on the subject of their
_ages,_ their father was no less so on that of his _memory,_ as Miss
Calista well knew when she made the foregoing remark.

"Losing my memory indeed, Miss C'listy! My memory is as sound as ever;
and, to prove it to you, I will inform you, that I shall be sixty-four
years old this coming August; and by the same token, you are just
exactly half my age; and if you don't believe it, you may just take a
look at the family record, in the big Bible."

"C'listy's _scratched out her date,"_ said little Rosa, "and so has
Evelina."

"Hold your tongue, you impertinent little minx!" said Miss Calista; "I
really hope the prinky old governess who is coming will be able to whip
a little manners into you. I really wonder you can allow the children to
be so pert, mamma!"

The lady addressed as _"mamma"_ was the second wife of Mr. Fairland, a
rather handsome, but very languid lady of forty, who was sleepily
sipping her coffee during the foregoing conversation. Now, as Mrs.
Fairland did not look much older (perhaps not at all older, at the
breakfast table,) than the oldest of her step-daughters, the young
ladies quite prided themselves on so youthful a "mamma;" and when in
company, or at the various watering-places to which, in former tunes,
they had succeeded in dragging their parents, they hung round her, and
asked her permission to do this and that, with the most child-like
confidence in her judgment.

This was by no means relished by the step-mother, who had no fancy for
matronizing daughters so nearly her own age, and who wished no less
fervently than the young ladies themselves, that something in the shape
of a husband would appear to carry each of them off. She never failed
after such a display of filial affection on their part to explain to
those near her; that the young ladies were her _step-daughters;_ and to
mention how odd it sounded to her when she was first married, to hear
those great girls as tall as herself, call her "mamma."

It was a beautiful evening in the pleasant month of July, when Agnes
entered the lovely village of Wilston, and drove through its one long
street, to the spacious and rather showy dwelling of Mr. Fairland. Agnes
had heard much of the beauty of Wilston, but her heart was now so
oppressed with many agitating emotions, at the near prospect of the new
and strange scenes upon which she was about to enter in so new a
character, that not even the loveliness of the landscape, with its
variety of hill, and dale, and wood-land, on the one hand, and on the
other the peaceful lake tinged with crimson by the setting sun, had
power to win her attention.

Yet we need not fear for Agnes, that in thus appearing in the character
of a governess, she will lose aught of her gentle dignity, or quiet
self-possession. Agnes was a _lady_ in every sense of the term, and
place her where you would, or under whatever circumstances, she would
invest her occupation with a dignity all her own, and make it honorable;
winning from all around her an involuntary respect and homage. Though
ever kind and amiable, and ready to oblige, she will never _cringe_ to
those who, by the favors of fortune, are placed for the time in
circumstances more prosperous than her own. Tried, she may be by their
arrogance, and airs of assumed superiority; but with the inward
conviction which in spite of her modesty she must possess, that in all
that is of real and true worth she is far above them, she will toil on
undisturbed in her vocation, anxious only to fulfil her duty towards
God, and toward those whom He has placed under her influence; and to
acquit herself well of the high responsibility resting upon her.

Mr. Fairland met Agnes at the door, with his kind pleasant face, and
with both hands extended to give her a cordial welcome to his roof. Mrs.
Fairland rose languidly from her chair to receive the governess, and
gave her a ceremonious, and to Agnes a most chilling greeting. The young
ladies were out walking; but presently a troop of noisy children, who
from some part of the grounds where they were at play, had seen the
arrival of the stranger, came bursting rudely into the room. These, as
Agnes supposed, were her future pupils, and a most unpromising set they
at first sight appeared.

The eldest, "Tiney," was a heavy, dull looking girl of about ten years
of age. Her eyes had no more brightness or expression in them than two
balls of lead, and her flabby colorless cheeks hung down each side of
her mouth, giving that feature much the expression of a bull-dog, while
a sullen fierceness about her face, increased the resemblance to that
animal. Her teeth, utterly unacquainted with the action of a brush, were
prominent, so that her lip seldom covered them, and her uncombed hair
hung rough and shaggy around her unattractive face. Agnes at once
guessed that this poor child was deficient in intellect, and unamiable
in temper.

The next, _Rosa,_ was a wild, handsome little gipsey, with eyes as black
as jet, and as bright as diamonds, a brilliant color shining through her
sunburnt cheek, and with straight black hair, no better cared for than
her sister Tiney's.

The third little girl, _Jessie,_ was very fair, with beautiful deep blue
eyes, and golden curling hair; but the curls were all in tangles, for no
one took the trouble to keep them in order, except on great occasions,
when the poor child was put to the torture of having it brushed and
combed, and laid in ringlets, which for the time were the special pride
of her mother.

"You'll have enough to do, Miss Agnes, to tame all these rough
spirits," said Mr. Fairland, "they have been running wild ever since we
left the city, and a more rude and ungoverned set of little desperadoes,
it has never been your lot to meet with, I'll venture to say." And then
addressing them, he said, "come here, children, what do you stand there
gaping for, with your thumbs in your mouths, as if you had never seen
anybody before? Tiney! Rosa, you witch! Jess, my chicken! come up here
this minute, and speak to Miss Elwyn."

But Tiney only pouted her ugly mouth and scowled; and Rosa, making a
sudden dart for her mother's chair, retreated behind it, peering out her
black eyes occasionally, to take a look at the stranger; while Jessie
ran and sprang into her father's lap, hiding her little tangled head on
his shoulder. And now a whooping and shouting made known the approach of
Master Frank, the son and heir, a young individual of about four years
of age, who, nothing daunted by the stranger's appearance, made for his
father's chair, and proceeded to dislodge his sister Jessie from her
seat, and to establish himself in her place. Jessie screamed, and
scratched, and pulled in vain. Frank, though younger, was much the
strongest, and the fight ended by the sudden descent of Miss Jessie to
the floor, and the ascension of Master Frank into the vacated place.

"Be quiet now, will you, Frank, and speak to Miss Elwyn," said his
father.

"Hallo! is that Miss Elwyn?" exclaimed Master Frank, aloud; "why,
C'lista said she was old and ugly."

"Well, C'listy didn't know, did she?" said his father.

"And Ev'lina said she'd train us well, and whip us, and shut us up, and
be awful cross all the time. She doesn't look like that, does she,
papa?"

"No, she does not," said his father; "and I guess Evelina must have been
mistaken too."

Agnes was all this time looking at Frank, very much amused, and laughing
quietly at the description which had been given of her to the children.

"You think I do not look so very terrible, then, Master Frank," said
she; "do you think you will ever like me?"

"I don't know," said Master Frank, boldly; "if you don't make me _mind,_
I'll like you."

"But she _is_ going to make you mind, Master Frank," said his father;
"and, do you know, I have promised Miss Elwyn that she shall do just
what she pleases with you all, and nobody shall interfere."

"In _school hours,"_ said Agnes.

"Yes, in school hours, and out of school hours, except when their mother
or I are present: they are always to obey you, Miss Elwyn. I wish that
to be understood in the family. But, my dear," said he to his wife,
"perhaps Miss Elwyn would like to change her dress before tea."

Mrs. Fairland languidly directed Tiney to show Miss Elwyn to her room;
but the only notice taken of this command by Miss Tiney was a stupid,
sullen stare. Agnes had risen to leave the room; but perceiving that
Tiney did not stir, she turned, and putting out one hand toward Rosa,
said, in her own bright, winning way:

_"This_ little black-eyed girl will show me the way, I'm sure."

There was no resisting the gentle kindness of Agnes, and the confidence
of little Rosa was won immediately. Coming out from behind her mother's
chair, she put her hand in that of Agnes, and led her up stairs into a
large room, on the second floor, overlooking the beautiful lake.

"What a very pleasant room!" said Agnes. "Is this to be mine?"

"Yes," answered Rosa, who, having once found her tongue, showed that she
could make very rapid use of it when she chose--"and that bed is yours,
and that one is for me and Jessie."

'"Jessie and _me_,' you mean, Rosa, do you not?"

"I'm the _oldest_," answered Rosa.

"I know that, Rosa; but recollect, whenever you speak of any _one_, no
matter who, in connection with yourself always to mention the other
person first. Will you remember that?"

"Yes, I'll try," answered Rosa. She then proceeded to inform Agnes, that
her mamma had wished to give her a little room on the other side of the
hall, but papa said she should have this room, because it was so
pleasant, and he had heard her say that she was so fond of the water.

"That was very kind of your papa," said Agnes; "and where does Tiney
sleep?"

"Oh, Tiney sleeps with Susan, because she has fits, you know."

_"Who_ has?--Susan?" asked Agnes.

"No, Tiney has fits, and nobody likes to take care of her but papa and
Susan."

Agnes was disappointed to find that she was not to have a room to
herself. "I came here to instruct these children," said she to herself,
"not to act in the capacity of nursery-maid. However, I will bear it
patiently for the present; perhaps I shall gain an influence over them,
by having them so constantly with me, that I could not acquire in any
other way. There is so much to be corrected in their habits and
language, besides their being so woefully ignorant!"

Agnes continued talking pleasantly to little Rosa, while she was
dressing; and when they went down stairs, hand in hand, the very
pleasantest relations appeared to be established between them.

"What shall we call you?" asked Rosa.

"You may call me 'cousin Agnes,' if you choose," she answered, "and if
your papa and mamma are willing."

"Oh, I shall like that!" said Rosa.

Soon after Agnes and little Rosa re-entered the sitting-room, the Misses
Fairland returned from their walk. They were gayly and showily attired
in the very height of the fashion, and entered the door talking and
laughing very loudly; but when introduced to Miss Elwyn, they stopped
and opened their eyes in unaffected amazement. As Agnes rose with
graceful ease to meet them, looking so lovely in her deep mourning
dress, and with her rich waving chesnut hair, simply parted on her
forehead, and gathered in a knot behind, there was a most striking
contrast between her and the gaudily dressed, beflounced, and beflowered
ladies, who were fashionably and formally curtseying, and presenting her
the tips of their fingers.

Though younger by some years than the youngest of the Miss Fairlands,
there was a dignified self-possession about Agnes, which was quite
astonishing to them. Though rather of the _hoyden-ish_ class themselves,
they could not fail at once to recognize the air of refinement which
marks the true lady, and while intending by their own appearance to
over-awe the new governess, they were so completely taken by surprise by
her perfect ease and composure of manner, that they alone appeared stiff
and awkward, and she unembarrassed and easy.

And this was the prim old-maidish governess they had been expecting!
this fresh, blooming, lovely looking girl! It was by no means a pleasant
surprise to the Misses Fairland. However, she was nothing but a
_governess_ after all; and could easily be kept in the back ground; it
was to Be hoped she would know her place and keep it.

The Misses Fairland made the mistake very common with persons of weak
mind, and little cultivation at that, and instead of judging of others
by their intrinsic worth, character, or intellect, formed their estimate
only by the outward circumstances in which they found them. Had this
same Agnes Elwyn come to make a visit to her far away cousins, in her
own carriage, and surrounded by external marks of wealth, they would
have been ready to fall down and worship her; but coming as a
_governess,_ and by the _stage,_ what notice could she expect from the
Misses Fairland! These young ladies had so often been made wretched, by
intentional slights from those in whose sphere they had aspired to move,
that they did not doubt Agnes would be rendered equally uncomfortable by
their own neglect.

The tea-bell rang, and the Misses Fairland hastened to take off their
bonnets and soon re-appeared at the tea-table, where they took up the
entire conversation, telling of all they had heard and seen, in their
calls through the village. For like the ancient Athenians, these young
ladies literally "spent their time in nothing else, but to hear or to
tell of some new thing."

In the midst of the conversation there was a sudden bustle, and Tiney
rose hastily from the table. Her father immediately left his chair, and
went round to her place, and took her by the arm. There was a ghastly
and disturbed look about poor Tiney's face, and an expression of
terrible malignity about her eye, and as she passed the chairs of her
little sisters, one screamed loudly and then the other, and when she
came near Agnes, it was with great difficulty that she too could resist
the inclination to scream with the pain, caused by a terrible pinch from
the fingers of Tiney, which left its mark upon her arm for many days.

Mr. Fairland led the child from the room, and as the door closed after
them, Agnes heard a succession of the most piercing shrieks, as if all
the strength of the sufferer's lungs were expended upon each one.

"Oh, dear! Susan is out, and your father will need assistance," said
Mrs. Fairland; "but really, these scenes have such an effect upon my
nerves, that I find it necessary to avoid them altogether."

"And so do I," said Miss Calista, "indeed I always suffer with a severe
headache after them."

"And they are so utterly disagreeable to me, to to be more candid than
either of you," said Miss Evelina, "that I always keep as far out of the
way as possible."

"Can I be of any use?" asked Agnes, partly rising and looking towards
Mrs. Fairland. She would have followed poor Tiney and her father
immediately, but did not wish to appear to pry into that of which
nothing had been mentioned to her, and of which they might not like to
speak out of their own family.

"Oh, do go, Miss Elwyn, if you have the _nerve,"_ said Mrs. Fairland.

The reader knows enough of Agnes to feel assured that her _nerves_ were
never in the way, if opportunity offered to make herself useful to the
suffering; and the moment Mrs. Fairland answered her, she left the room,
and, guided by those still piercing shrieks, she passed through a long
hall, and entered a small bath-room, where she found Mr. Fairland
holding the struggling Tiney, who presented a shocking appearance. Her
face was now quite purple, and the white froth stood about her mouth;
and her father was holding both of her hands in one of his, to quiet her
frantic struggles.

"Oh, bless you, Miss Agnes!" said Mr. Fairland, as soon as she opened
the door; "set that water running immediately till it is quite hot, and
take off this poor child's stockings and shoes. You see I can do
nothing."

As quickly and as quietly as possible Agnes did as she was directed; and
then also, by Mr. Fairland's direction, took down a bottle of medicine,
always kept ready for this purpose in the bath-room, and dropped some of
it for him. In a few moments, the shrieks subsided to moans, as Tiney
lay with her head back on her father's shoulder.

"Poor child!" said Mr. Fairland, wiping her lips and forehead, "she is a
dreadful sufferer."

"Has she been so long?" asked Agnes.

"Ever since her third year," answered Mr. Fairland, "though, at first,
the attacks were comparatively slight; but of late years they have grown
more and more severe. Her intellect, as you perhaps have already
noticed, is much weakened by them, and her temper, naturally very sweet,
is at times almost fiendish. It seems to be her great desire, while
suffering so intensely, to injure all within her reach."

Agnes now understood the reason of the screams of the children, and also
of the pinch she had received as Tiney passed her chair. When poor
Tiney's moans had become more faint, Mr. Fairland said:

"Agnes, will you sing? Music seems to soothe her more than anything
else, after the extreme suffering is over."

Agnes sang, with her marvellously sweet voice, a simple air: presently
poor Tiney turned her head, and fixed her half-closed eyes on Agnes'
face. Then she said, from time to time, in a dreamy way,
"Pretty!--sweet! Sing more;" and then she lay perfectly quiet, and soon
fell into a gentle slumber. Often and often, after that, when poor Tiney
was seized with these excruciating attacks, as soon as the first intense
suffering was over, she would say, "Cousin Agnes, sing!" and, from the
time she heard the gentle tones of Agnes' voice, she would be quiet and
gentle as a lamb. The effect could be likened to nothing but the calming
of the evil spirit which possessed the monarch of Israel, by the tones
of the sweet harp of David.



XIV.

THE SCHOOL IN THE WEST WING.

   "Scatter diligently, in susceptible minds,
   The germs of the good and beautiful,
   They will develop there to trees, bud, bloom,
   And bear the golden fruit of paradise."


Agnes found it no easy task to bring into training minds so ignorant and
so utterly undisciplined as those of her little pupils. Left entirely to
themselves, as they had been for many months, with a mother too indolent
to trouble herself about any systematic plan of government, and a father
too easy and good-natured to carry out the many plans he was ever
forming for their "breaking in;" scolded and fretted at by their older
sisters, to whom they were perfect torments; by turns playing
harmoniously, and then quarrelling most vigorously,--they roamed the
house and grounds, doing mischief everywhere, and bringing wrath upon
their heads at every turn.

With a perfect horror of anything like _study_, they had expected with
great dread the arrival of a governess, as putting a final stop to all
their fun and freedom. This dread had been in nowise diminished by the
constant remarks of their older sisters upon governesses in the
abstract, and their own expected governess in particular. One evening
with Agnes served to dispel the horror, so far as she was concerned,
though the dread of books was still as great as ever. Before the evening
was over, Agnes had them all round her, as she sat on the sofa, telling
them beautiful stories, and asking them questions.

"Have you any pretty flowers in the woods about here?" she asked.

"Oh, lots!" answered Rosa; "yellow flowers, and blue flowers, and white
flowers."

"Then if you would like to learn something of Botany, so as to know the
names of all these beautiful flowers, we will take many pleasant
rambles in the woods, and gather the lovely wild flowers, and I will
teach you how to press them."

"But we haven't got any _Botany books_," said little Jessie.

"Oh, I think we shall not need any _books_, for all the Botany I shall
teach you, Jessie; and if we do, we will take the leaves of the flowers
for the leaves of the books, and the flowers themselves for the
pictures. Do you not think we can make beautiful books that way? Jessie,
can you read?"

"_I_ can!" said Rosa, while Jessie hung her curly head.

"And can you _write_, Rosa?"

"No. I can make straight marks," answered Rosa.

"And what can you do, Master Frank?"

"Oh, Frank doesn't know anything?" said Jessie. "He did know his ABC's
once, but he's forgot them all."

"Take care, Miss Jessie, that he does not read before you," said Agnes.
"Your papa says we are to take the west wing for our school-room; you
must show me where it is, and after a day or to get in order, and to
make each other's acquaintance, we will begin school in earnest."

The next morning Agnes took the toilettes of her two little room-mates
under her care, and when they appeared at the breakfast-table, the rest
of the family hardly knew them, they looked so tidy and sweet. And poor
Tiney, who gazed with astonishment at her two little sisters, made her
appearance at Agnes' door soon after breakfast, to ask "if she wouldn't
make _her_ look nice too."

Agnes found so little to sympathise with, and took so little pleasure in
the society of the ladies of the Fairland family, that she longed for
her school to begin, that she might have useful occupation for her
thoughts and time. On the appointed morning therefore, she was well
pleased to meet her little pupils in the pleasant little room in the
"west wing," and to begin in earnest her labors as a teacher. Such a
pile of soiled, well-thumbed, and dogs-eared books, as the children
produced, Agnes had never seen together, and on opening them she found
that the young Fairland's had been exercising their taste for the fine
arts, by daubing all the pictures from a six-penny paint-box.

"Now, my dear children," said she, "the first thing we shall do every
morning, will be to read in the Bible; but I do not see any Bible or
Testament among your books; I suppose you each own one, do you not?"

If Agnes had been a little longer in the family of Mr. Fairland, perhaps
she would not have asked this question; for she soon found that she had
come into a family of as complete heathens, as she would have found if
she had gone to be governess among the Hindoos. There was a "family
Bible" in the house to be sure, but the only use to which it had ever
been applied, was that of registering the births of the family, and the
testimony it bore proved so exceedingly disagreeable to the Misses
Fairland, that as Rosa has informed us, they took the liberty one day of
erasing it.

Agnes told the children to ask their papa if they might each have a
Bible of their own, to which he consented, and when the Bibles were
brought home, the exclamations of derision from the Misses Fairland,
were loud and long.

"A missionary in disguise!" they exclaimed; "a saint in the form of a
governess; come to convert us all, and the first thing is an importation
of Bibles!" and many were the sneering and sarcastic remarks and
allusions which came to the ears of Agnes, but she kept on her way quiet
and undisturbed. Agnes was perfectly astonished to find how utterly
unacquainted these children were with the contents of the Bible. It was
all new to them; and after she had read to them every morning, she would
gather them around her, and tell them in simple language the sweet
stories from the Bible, while they listened, the younger ones with their
bright, wide-open eyes fixed upon her face, as if they could not lose a
word; and even poor Tiney loved to lay her head in Agnes' lap, and hear
of Him who ever sympathised with the sick and suffering.

It was very strange, and very interesting to Agnes, to hear the remarks
these children made, and the many questions they would ask on subjects
so new to them; and as they had not yet learned to look at the character
of God, as revealed in his Son, with the reverence which better
instructed children feel, they often spoke of Him as they would of any
good man of whom they might hear, and in a way which would seem too
irreverential, were I to tell you all they said.

Once when Agnes had been telling them of some of the miracles of our
Saviour, in curing the sick, and giving sight to the blind, and hearing
to the deaf, Rosa with her bright black eyes fixed intently on her face,
said with the utmost earnestness:

"Why, He was real _good_, wasn't He?"

"Yes," said Agnes, "always good and kind, and always ready to help the
sick and suffering."

"He could cure _anybody_, couldn't He?" continued Rosa.

"Yes; He was _all-powerful_," answered Agnes.

"Could He cure Tiney?" asked Jessie.

"Yes; if Tiney had lived when Christ was on earth, or if He was here
now, He could say the word, and make her well."

And then they asked, "Where is He now?" and "How can we talk to Him
now?" and "Why will He not cure Tiney now?" And Agnes tried, in the most
simple manner, to teach them the nature of the prayer of faith.

Once, when she was talking to them of our Saviour's meekness under
injuries, and telling them of His bitter sufferings, and the kindness of
His feelings towards His persecutors, the large tears rolled down their
cheeks, and Rosa made a practical application of the lesson at once, by
saying:

"The next time Tiney pinches me, cousin Agnes, I don't mean to slap her
back again."

"Nor I either," said Jessie.

And Tiney whispered, "I will _try_ and not hurt them next time."

Frank, who had been choking down something in his throat, as he sat in
his chair, said, in an unsteady voice:

"_Is it all _true_?"

"Every word of it, Franky," said Agnes.

"I've got something in my eye," said Frank, rubbing both eyes very hard
with the back of his hands; and then throwing himself on the settee, he
cried bitterly for a long time.

Agnes taught them many pretty hymns; and as they all had good voices,
and loved music dearly, they were never so happy as in singing, morning
and evening, these sweet hymns with Agnes. Even poor Tiney, who was
passionately fond of music, readily caught the tunes, though it was
almost impossible to teach her the words.

The very first Sunday that Agnes passed under the roof of Mr. Fairland,
was enough to convince her that the Sabbath day with them was passed
much like all other days. She was shocked to see novels, and other light
and trashy works, in the Lands of the Misses Fairland on this holy day,
and to hear them _howling_ snatches of opera tunes, as they ran up and
down the stairs. These young ladies sometimes went to church in the
morning, to be sure, especially if they had lately received new bonnets
from the city, which they wished to display for the envy or admiration
of their neighbors. Mrs. Fairland was too indolent to take the trouble,
even if she possessed the inclination, to appear at church; and Mr.
Fairland looked upon this seventh day of the week literally as a day of
rest, in which to recruit the exhausted energies of the body, in
preparation for the labors of another week. The day was passed by him in
looking over the newspapers, or sleeping in his large chair, with his
red silk handkerchief over his head; and towards evening, he usually
took a stroll over to his mills, or around his grounds, to mark out what
was necessary to be done on the coming week.

Agnes felt the importance of exerting in this ungodly family a strictly
religious influence; but, except with her own little pupils, she did not
attempt, at first, to do so in any other way than by her own quiet,
consistent example. Mr. Fairland was much surprised when Agnes requested
permission to take the children to church with her he readily granted
it, however, as he invariably did the wishes of Agnes; and from that
time, Mr. Fairland's pew had at least four or five occupants, on the
morning and evening of the Sabbath day. Though not required by her
engagement to do so, Agnes kept the children with her on Sunday, reading
to them, singing with them, or telling them beautiful Bible stories; and
those pleasant Sabbaths spent with her they never forgot, nor did they
ever lay aside the habits they acquired under her care.

"What a pleasant day Sunday is!" exclaimed little Rosa; "I never knew it
was such a pleasant day before."

"It's cousin Agnes makes it so pleasant," said blue-eyed Jessie.

"It is because you spend it as God directs, that it is a pleasant day to
you, dear children," said Agnes; "and I wish you to remember that it
will always be a happy day, if you spend it in His service, 'from the
beginning unto the end thereof.'"

Even if I were sufficiently acquainted with them to detail all the
plans of Agnes for the education and improvement in manners and habits
of her rude and ignorant little pupils, I should not do so here. They
required peculiar training and an unfailing stock of patience, and it
was long before any very perceptible change was wrought in their almost
confirmed habits of carelessness, or any improvement in their rude and
unformed manners; but at length a material change was apparent, and even
the Misses Fairland could not keep their eyes closed to the visible
improvement of the children. They were all much more gentle and quiet;
and even poor Tiney softened much, under Agnes' gentle influence, and
the light of intelligence began to beam in her heretofore dull eye. For
the first time in her life, she was gaining useful ideas; and the
consciousness that she was learning something as well as her sisters,
seemed to make her happier and more kindly in her feelings.

It was not long before the door would open gently, as the sound of their
evening hymn was heard, and Mr. Fairland, who was extravagantly fond of
sweet and simple music, would steal into the room, and seat himself in
the corner. And when he heard the voices of his children singing the
praises of God, and saw his poor Tiney, hitherto so neglected, joining
with eager interest in the singing, the tears would glisten in his eye,
and roll unbidden down his cheek. Then he began to find his way to the
school-room on Sunday evenings, and Agnes always took the opportunity on
such occasions, to question the children on the elements of religious
truth, that their young voices might be the means of instructing their
father, who was more ignorant even than they, on these all-important
subjects. At these times he never said one word, but when he left the
room, it was often wiping the tears first, from one cheek and then from
the other, and the heavy tread of his feet could be heard far into the
night, as he walked the whole length of the two large parlors, with his
hands behind him, and his head bent down. Before Agnes had been six
months in the family, the good people sitting in the church at Wilston,
one Sunday, opened their eyes with astonishment, to see Mr. Fairland
walk into church and take his seat in a pew; and still more were they
amazed, to see him do the same thing in the afternoon. It was a surprise
to Agnes too; for though she had not failed to notice an unusual
solemnity about Mr. Fairland, yet no word on the subject of his duty in
this matter had ever passed between them.

Thus in the strict and conscientious performance of her daily duties,
passed the summer with Agnes, with one delightful break, of a
fortnight's vacation, spent with the dear loving friends at Brook Farm,
where she saw much of her dear brother Lewie, who rode over every
evening and passed the night, returning to his college duties early in
the morning. The quick eye of a sister's love soon detected that all was
not right with Lewie. He was as affectionate as ever, and if possible
handsomer; but the faults of his childhood had grown with his growth and
strengthened with his strength; his temper seemed more hasty and
impetuous than ever, and there was a dashing recklessness about him
which gave his sister many a heart-ache; and she had painful, though
undefined fears for the future, for her rash and hot-headed brother.

Her kind friends at Brook Farm, who fancied from some things they drew
from Agnes, that her home at the Fairlands' was not in all respects a
happy one, urged her most earnestly not to return there, but without
success. Agnes was convinced that there the path of duty lay, at least
for the present, and nothing could make her swerve from it.

"Remember then, my sweet niece," said her uncle, as he kissed her at
parting, "this is your home, whenever, for any reason, you will make us
so happy as to return to it."

The winter passed by very quietly to Agnes, in her accustomed round of
duties; indeed she was happier than she had yet found herself under Mr.
Fairland's roof, in consequence of the absence of the two young ladies,
who having by some means or other succeeded in securing an invitation
out of some acquaintances in the city, to make them a short visit,
inflicted themselves upon them for the whole winter, and did not return
to Wilston till the spring was far advanced. Their hosts, in order to
rid themselves of such persevering and long-abiding guests, began to
make their preparations long before the usual time for closing their
house and going to the country, and the Misses Fairland, invulnerable as
they proved all winter to anything like a _hint_, were obliged to take
this intended removal of their friends as a "notice to quit," which they
accordingly did.

One bright spot to Agnes this winter, was a visit of a week from Lewie,
who took his vacation at the time of the holidays to run up and see his
sister.

He had his guitar with him, and his voice, which had gained much in
depth and richness, was indescribably sweet. It seemed as if Mr.
Fairland never would tire of hearing the brother and sister sing
together. His mills and everything else were forgotten, while he sat
silently in his great chair with his eyes closed, listening hour after
hour to the blended harmony of their charming voices.

That happy week was soon over, and the brother and sister parted. The
next time Agnes heard the sound of her brother's guitar, under what
different circumstances did its tones strike upon her ear!



XV.

The Strangers in the Rookery.

   "If thou sleep alone in Urrard,
   Perchance in midnight gloom
   Thou'lt hear behind the wainscot
   Sounds in that haunted room,
   It is a thought of horror,
   I would not sleep alone
   In the haunted room of Urrard,
   Where evil deeds are done."

   --UNKNOWN.


"What do you think, Calista? What _do_ you think?" exclaimed Miss
Evelina Fairland, one day soon after their return from the city,
bursting in, in a great state of excitement. "Two of the _handsomest_
men have come to the village, one of them is a Mr. Harrington; isn't it
a lovely name? and he has purchased "_the Rookery_" do you believe! some
say that he is a young man, others that he is a widower. They have come
down to hunt and fish, and he was mightily taken with "the Rookery,"
and in spite of ghosts and goblins he has actually bought it;" and here
Miss Evelina paused to take breath.

"The Rookery" was a large old mansion which had once been a very
handsome dwelling. It stood quite alone on a rising ground a little out
of the village, and was surrounded with an extensive lawn, which on one
side sloped down the lake, over which were scattered magnificent elms;
and there was only one thing that prevented "the Rookery" from being the
most delightful residence in the country. This was the well-attested
fact that the house was haunted; and though at different times, those
who were above being influenced by these idle fears, had fitted up the
place and endeavored to live there, yet there could be no comfort in so
large a house without servants, and not one could be found to remain in
it more than one night. Servants were brought from a distance, but they
soon heard in the village the story of the lady who died so mysteriously
in that house twenty years before, and how she _walked_ every night,
and then of course they heard sounds, and saw sights; and they too,
forthwith took their departure.

So the old house was quite falling into decay when these two brave men
came down and took possession of it; and fitting up comfortably two or
three of the most tenantable rooms, they there kept bachelors' hall,
unterrified and undisturbed, at least by _spirits_. A few days after the
announcement of the arrival of the strangers in the village, a widow
lady of the name of Danby came to make a visit to the Fairland's. She
had with her a little girl, her only child, a wilful, spoiled little
thing, who took her own course in everything, utterly regardless of the
wishes or commands of others. In the afternoon, as Agnes was preparing
to start with her little pupils for their accustomed walk, Mrs. Danby
said:

"Bella wishes to accompany you, Miss Elwyn, but you must take good care
of her."

"I will do my best, Mrs. Danby," said Agnes, "but one thing I shall
insist upon, and that is, that Bella shall obey me as my own little
scholars do."

Miss Bella was not at all pleased with the idea of obeying any one, and
so she was continually showing off her independent airs as they walked,
hiding behind trees, describing eccentric circles around the rest of the
party, or darting off in tangents. At length she became so troublesome,
that Agnes determined to shorten their walk, and turned to retrace their
steps; at this Miss Bella was highly indignant, and declared "that she
would not go back, she would go on, down there by the water."

They were at this time near an open space, which reached to the water,
at the end of which was a dock, for the convenience of those who wished
to go out upon the lake in boats. Agnes endeavored to detain the wilful
child, but she suddenly pulled away from her, and started like the wind
for the dock. Agnes called, and the children screamed, in vain; faster
and faster ran the little witch, still looking behind every moment to
see if she was pursued, till at length she tripped over a log, and fell
far out into the water. Agnes clasped her hands in speechless terror,
while the cries of the children were loud and agonizing. Just then a
boat in which were two gentlemen rounded a point of land near them, and
made rapidly for the struggling child, who in another moment was lifted
into the boat, and handed up to the arms of Agnes.

Agnes was too much agitated to take particular notice of these
strangers, but taking off her shawl she wrapped the dripping child in
it, while one of her preservers carried her into a cottage near by,
Agnes and the still weeping children following. When the child was
placed in the kind woman's bed, and little Rosa was sent home to ask
Susan for some clothes to put on her, with special directions not to
alarm Mrs. Danby, Agnes returned to the sitting-room of the cottage, to
thank the strangers who had so opportunely come to their assistance,
when what was her astonishment to find that one of them was her old
friend, Tom Wharton.

"And you knew I was in town, Mr. Wharton, and have been here three or
four days without coming to see me," said she.

"Oh! you know I don't do things just like other people," answered Tom;
"and to tell the truth, though I have no fear of ghosts and hobgoblins,
I have not yet had the courage to face two famous man-hunters, who I
hear reside under the same roof with you, Agnes. But it is time I should
introduce you to my friend Mr. Harrington, the present proprietor of
"the Rookery," together with all the spirits, black and white, red and
grey, who are the inhabitants thereof."

Agnes was glad to meet Mr. Harrington, of whom she had often heard her
uncle speak in terms of great admiration, as an accomplished gentleman
and a Christian; and one who used the large property he had inherited in
deeds of benevolence and usefulness. They had been for some time in
conversation about the friends at Brook Farm, from whom the two
gentlemen had lately parted, when little Rosa returned.

Rosa found that her older sisters and Mrs. Danby had gone out for a
walk; so it was a very easy matter to get some dry clothes for Bella,
and bring her safe home before her mother heard of the accident. What
was the surprise of the Misses Fairland, as, in coming down the street,
they saw Agnes returning, accompanied by one of the handsome strangers
whose acquaintance they had been "dying" to make; while the other
followed, carrying little Bella Danby in his arms. A few words sufficed
to tell the story of the accident, and to introduce the strangers, who,
with the utmost cordiality, were urged to come in; an invitation which
was unhesitatingly accepted by Mr. Harrington, and rather reluctantly by
Mr. Tom Wharton. Mrs. Danby, pale and agitated, took her little darling
in her arms, and hurried to her own room, there to administer certain
restoratives, and, much against the young lady's will, to place her
again in bed.

Mr. Harrington, having now gained the _entrée_ to Mr. Fairland's house,
seemed inclined to be a frequent visitor, much to the gratification of
the ladies Calista and Evelina, who laid siege to him right and left. If
my reader possessed the key to Mr. Harrington's real object in coming to
Wilston, perhaps he would be as much amused as the gentleman himself at
the efforts, so exceedingly apparent, to gain for one of them possession
of his hand and fortune; for that Mr. Harrington was wealthy, they were
well assured. They each kept out a _hook_, too, for Mr. Tom Wharton, in
case the other was successful in taking the more valuable prey; but the
bait was by no means tempting to Mr. Tom, who darted off, leaving his
friend, unsupported and alone, to resist the attacks of these practised,
but hitherto unsuccessful anglers.

"Well, Harrington," said Mr. Tom Wharton to his friend one day, "since
your object in bringing me down here with you is accomplished, I must
now leave you to your fate. What that may be, in the midst of attacks
from spirits by night, and from more substantial persecutors by day, I
cannot divine; but if there is anything left of you, I shall hope to
see you in the city before long, and to hear the account you have to
give of yourself."

"I thank you for your services thus far, my dear friend," said Mr.
Harrington; "still, I think it would be the part of disinterested
friendship to stay and help me a little longer."

"I can't--I can't stand it, Harrington. _You_ may be able to bear it
better; but I'm not used to this sort of thing, and I don't know how to
get along with it at all. Your case is a hard one, I acknowledge, my
friend; but having some business of my own to attend to, I must leave
you to fight out your own battles." And Mr. Tom Wharton, resolutely
closed his ears to his friend's appeals, and took his departure.

A beautiful little boat which Mr. Harrington had ordered from the city
having arrived, he called, one afternoon, at Mr. Fairland's, to ask the
ladies if they would take a sail with him upon the lake. Most eagerly
the Misses Fairland consented, and were leaving the room to prepare to
go, when Mr. Harrington turned to Agnes, who happened to be in the
room, and said:

"May I not hope for the pleasure of Miss Elwyn's company too?" Upon
which Miss Evelina, with a childishly-confidential air, raised herself
on tiptoe, and whispered in his ear:

"It is not _at all_ necessary to ask her: we never feel obliged to, I
assure you. She is only _governess to the children_."

But Mr. Harrington renewed his invitation, which Agnes had respectfully
declined, when Mr. Fairland entered the room, and Mr. Harrington
appealed to him.

"Go? Certainly Agnes must go; she has never been on the lake in a
sail-boat, and I have often heard her say she would delight to go. Come,
Agnes! put on your things without a word, and go along."

Thus urged, Agnes consented to go, though she felt a little
uncomfortable at the silent displeasure of the Misses Fairland. There
was a pleasant breeze, and the little boat flew like a bird over the
dancing waves. Agnes, a devoted admirer of nature, was in an ecstasy
which she could not conceal, as one beautiful view succeeded another
during their sail up the lake; but the other ladies were so much
occupied in trying the effect of _art_, that they had no eye for the
beauties of _nature_. The breeze soon died away, leaving them far from
home, and Mr. Harrington was obliged to take to his oars; and long
before the village was in sight, the gentle moon had begun her walk
through "golden gates," throwing across the water a brilliant column of
light, sparkling and dancing in glorious beauty on the gentle ripples of
the lake.

"Now is the time for music," said Mr. Harrington; "for truly

   'Music sounds the sweetest
   Over the rippling waves.'"

But for once the Misses Fairland were obliged to relinquish the
opportunity of charming by their united voices; the only music in which
they were practised, and which they thought worth listening to, being of
the flourishing, trilling, running, quavering, shrieking kind; and this
they could not attempt without their "notes" and the "instrument." Mr.
Harrington then proposed to Agnes to sing some sweet old-fashioned airs;
and laying down his oars, he took a seat beside her, and joined his rich
tenor to the strangely-melodious tones of her voice; and as the harmony
floated over the water, it seemed almost like the music of heaven. This
was a state of things by no means agreeable to the two neglected ladies
in the other end of the boat, and Miss Calista began to be afraid of the
night air, and Miss Evelina was taken with a hacking cough; so that Mr.
Harrington was obliged to resume his oars, and row them rapidly to the
village.

Mr. Harrington consented to moor his boat, and accompany the ladies up
to the house to tea. Anxious to try the effect of their own
accomplishments, the Misses Fairland, soon after tea, led the
conversation to the subject of music, and were easily persuaded to
attempt, with the "notes" and "instrument," some of their favorite
songs. And now began a flourishing and screaming unparalleled in the
annals of music. Miss Calista screamed, "I love only thee!" and then
Miss Evelina shrieked, "I love only thee!" and then Miss Calista trilled
it--and Miss Evelina howled it--and Miss Calista quavered it--and Miss
Evelina ran it--and then one of them started on it, and the other ran
and caught up with her--and then one burred for some time on
thee-e-e-e-e, while the other ran up and down, still asserting as
rapidly as possible, and insisting boldly, and stoutly asseverating, "I
love only thee!"--and then, with a combined shriek, they made known the
fact once more and finally, and then the ears of their hearers were
allowed to rest.

"Now, girls, if you have done with that clatter," said Mr. Fairland, "I
want Agnes to sing for _me_ one of those sweet old Scotch songs; it will
be quite refreshing after all this screeching."

"Oh!" said Miss Calista, rising from the instrument, and casting up her
eyes at Mr. Harrington, "my dear old papa has the _oddest,
old-fashioned_ taste!"

But as soon as Agnes began to sing, it seemed as if Mr. Harrington's
taste was quite as "odd" and "old-fashioned" as that of the "dear old
papa" himself; for he was guilty of the impropriety of not hearing what
Miss Evelina was saying to him, and soon rose and took his stand by the
piano, where he showed very plainly that he had no ear for any other
sound than that of Agnes' voice.

Agnes went to bed with some very pleasant thoughts that night; for,
though tongues may be silent, _eyes_ can tell their story very soon; and
it _is_ a pleasant thing to find one's self an object of interest to
some noble heart; and particularly grateful was it to Agnes, in her
present lonely, toiling life. And she needed all the inward peace and
comfort she possessed, to enable her to bear the increased ill-nature of
Mrs. Fairland and her daughters; for the "mamma" was no less displeased
than the young ladies themselves at the prospect of the failure of one
of their cherished plans.

And now, when Mr. Harrington called, there was generally some excuse
contrived for sending Agnes from the room, and for keeping her busy in
some other part of the house; and though Agnes was indignant at this
evident desire to get her out of the way, by putting upon her labor
which they had no right to require of her, yet, at the time, and in Mr.
Harrington's presence, she would not contest the point, but quietly left
the room. This never happened, however, when Mr. Fairland was present,
as the good man, if he had fully seen through all the plans of his wife
and daughters, could not have discomfited them more surely than he
always contrived to do.

In the meantime, the ladies Calista and Evelina never for a moment
relaxed their efforts, or ceased to practise their arts, upon the
wealthy and agreeable stranger.

"How _charming_ your place must her Mr. Harrington!" said Miss Evelina
one evening; "I do delight in these old haunted mansions; there is
something so delightfully romantic about them."

"And have you really heard any of these strange noises at night?" asked
Miss Calista.

"Noises?--enough of them," he answered; "I have sometimes been so
disturbed, that I could not sleep at all."

"And what _did_ you do?" asked the young ladies in a breath, their eyes
dilating with horror.

"Why, in the first place," said Mr. Harrington, "I bought a _terrier_,
and in the next a large _rat-trap_; and by means of both, I succeed in
laying several of the spirits every night, and have strong hopes that,
before long, perfect quiet will be restored to the haunted mansion."

Then calling Jessie, who was in the room, to his side, Mr. Harrington
took her in his lap, and said:

"You remind me very much of a little blue-eyed, flaxen-haired girl I
have in the city."

"Why, have you a little girl?" Mr. Harrington, asked the young ladies.

"Yes, two of them," he answered.

"Oh, how I _doat_ on children!" exclaimed Miss Calista.

"Cousin Agnes, what is the meaning of _doat_?" screamed Master Frank,
running up to Agnes, who just then entered the room.

"What is it to _doat_ on any one?"

"It is to love them very dearly;" answered Agnes quietly.

"Ho! C'listy says she _doats_ on children--she doats on us, don't she
Rosa?" and Master Frank laughed such a laugh of derision, that Mr.
Harrington was obliged to say something very funny to little Jessie, who
was still sitting on his knee, in order to have an excuse for laughing
too.

Miss Calista fairly trembled with concealed rage, and soon succeeded in
having Master Frank sent off to bed. Indeed, Frank was the cause of so
much mortification to Miss Calista, that she would gladly have banished
him too from the parlor, but he was lawless, and no one in the house
could do anything with him but Agnes.

Mr. Harrington was very fond of children, and often had long
conversations with little Frank, whose bold, independent manners seemed
to please him much. One evening when he was talking to him, Frank said:

"Mr. Harrington I'm saving up my money to buy a boat just like yours."

"You are, hey, Frank? and how much have you got towards it?" asked Mr.
Harrington.

"Oh! I've got two sixpences, and a shilling, and three pennies;" said
Frank. "I keep all my money in a china-box, one of C'listy's boxes she
used to keep her red paint in; _this_, you know!" touching each cheek
with his finger.

This was too much for Miss Calista; she rushed from the room, and vented
her indignation in a burst of angry tears, and the next time she met
Master Frank, she gave him a slap upon his cheek, which made it a deeper
crimson than the application of her own paint would have done. All these
slights and mortifications were revenged upon poor Agnes, who would
gladly have left a place where she was so thoroughly uncomfortable; but
the thought of the children, to whom she had become attached, and who
seemed now to be rewarding her pains and trouble by their rapid
improvement, deterred her from taking a step which should separate her
from them forever. Poor Tiney too, who seemed rapidly failing under the
power of disease, and who clung to her so fondly, how could she leave
her?



XVI.

Death and the Fugitive.

   "She came with smiles the hour of pain to cheer,
   Apart she sighed; alone, she shed the tear,
   Then, as if breaking from a cloud she gave
   Fresh light, and gilt the prospect of the grave."

   --CRABBE.


One summer night, Agnes, who had been up till very late, soothing and
quieting poor Tiney, and had at last succeeded in singing her to sleep,
left her in Susan's care, and returned to her own room. It was a lovely,
warm, moonlight evening, and Agnes stood by her raised window, watching
the shadows of the tall trees which were thrown with such vivid
distinctness across the gravel walks and the closely trimmed lawn, and
thinking of a pleasant walk she had taken that day, and of some one who
joined her, (as was by no means unusual,) on her return from the woods
with the younger children.

Suddenly her reverie was broken by the sound of a few chords struck very
lightly and softly upon a guitar. The sound came from the clump of
trees, the shadows of which Agnes had just been admiring; and she
supposed they were the prelude to a serenade. Her heart whispered to her
who the musician might be, for though she had never heard him, with whom
her thoughts had been busy, touch the guitar, yet with his ardent love
for music, she did not doubt that he might if he chose, accompany his
rich voice upon so simple an instrument.

But now the blood which had crimsoned her cheek flowed back tumultuously
to her heart, as she heard a voice she could not mistake, humming very
softly the notes of a sad and touching air, which she and Lewie had
often sung together. This plaintive singer could be no other than her
brother. But why here, at night, and in this clandestine manner,
evidently trying to win her attention, without arousing that of others?
The house seemed quiet: and Agnes, throwing a shawl about her, quickly
descended the stairs, and, quietly opening a side door, crossed the
lawn, and in another moment stood beside her brother, under the shade of
the tall old elms.

"Lewie! is it indeed you?"

He made no answer, he said not one word, but, drawing Agnes to a seat
under one of the trees, he seated himself beside her, and laying his
head upon her shoulder, he was quiet for a few moments; and then Agnes
felt his frame tremble with sudden emotion, and heard a deep sob.

"Lewie! my brother! do speak to me! What is it? Do not keep me in
suspense! What dreadful thing has happened?"

"Agnes," said he, with a sudden and forced calmness, the words coming
slowly from between his white, stiffened lips--"Agnes, it is--_murder_!"

Agnes did not scream--she did not faint--forgetfulness for a moment
would have been a relief. In a flash she had comprehended it all.

"Lewie," said she, "is there blood upon this hand?"

"Agnes, it is true; your brother is a murderer! No less a murderer,
because the blow was struck in the heat of sudden passion, and when the
brain was inflamed with wine; and no less a murderer, because it was
repented of the moment given, and before the fatal consequences were
suspected. My sister, I am a fugitive and a wanderer, hunted by the
officers of justice, and doomed to the prison or the gallows."

It seemed to Agnes like a fearful dream! It was too dreadful to be true!
The thought crossed her mind, perhaps it _is_ a dream; she had had
dreams as vivid, and had awakened with such a blessed feeling of relief.
But no! she clasped Lewie's cold hand in hers, and felt assured it was
all reality. For a few moments she could only bury her face in her
hands, and rock to and fro and groan. She was aroused from this state of
agonized feeling by Lewie, who said:

"And now, what shall I do, Agnes? I have come all this way on foot, and
at night, to see you once more, and to ask you what I should do? Oh that
I had been more willing to follow your gentle guidance before, sweet
sister!--but I have followed nothing but the dictates of my own
ungoverned passions. Shall I try to escape, or shall I give myself up
for trial? On my word, Agnes, I am not a murderer by intention. I was
excited; something was said which tried my quick temper; I answered with
a burst of sudden passion; more taunting words followed; and, quicker
than the lightning's flash, I had dealt the blow which laid my
class-mate dead at my feet I was sobered in one moment; and oh, Agnes!
what, _what_ would I not have given to restore my murdered friend to
life!--not for my own sake; for I never thought of myself till urged by
my terror-stricken companions to fly. Then I thought of my own safety;
and, my darling sister, I thought of you, and determined that you should
hear of your brother's disgrace and crime from no lips but his own. I
have been hanging about here all day, but could not see you; and
finding no other way to call your attention, I borrowed this guitar at
the tavern, and have been watching from these trees, till I saw a white
form at a window, which I knew was yours. Now, Agnes, what shall I do?"

"Oh, Lewie, what can I say but _fly_, and save yourself from an
ignominious fate! It may not be right counsel; but how can a sister
advise otherwise? My poor, poor brother!" And Agnes was relieved by a
passionate burst of tears. And now came the time for parting. He must
go, for they would be likely to seek him in the home of his only
sister,--he must go quickly and quietly;--and, with a few hurried words,
in which his sister commended him to God, and entreated him to go to
_Him_ for pardon and peace, and with one last fond embrace, they parted.
Agnes returned to the house with feeble, staggering steps, stricken to
the very heart.

No sleep visited the eyes of Agnes that night; and when she appeared in
the breakfast room the following morning, her pale and haggard
countenance showed marks of extreme suffering, which should have been
respected even by the Misses Fairland. But no! their quick ears had also
caught the tones of the guitar, and rushing to a window on that side of
the house, in the expectation of a serenade, they had seen Agnes as she
crossed the lawn, and returned again to the house. Here was food for
conjecture, and jealousy for the suspicious ladies, and they had long
been awaiting the arrival of Agnes in the breakfast room, hoping to have
the mystery cleared up.

"May we be informed, Miss Elwyn," began Miss Calista, "how long you have
been in the habit of receiving signals from lovers, and stealing out at
night to give them clandestine meetings in the grove?"

A bright blush suffused the cheek of Agnes, which died away immediately,
leaving it of an ashy paleness, as she said:

"I have met no lover in the grove, Calista, at least not what _you_ mean
by a lover," she added, thinking this might be an evasion, for did not
her brother love her dearly?

"Not what _I_ call a lover," said Miss Calista; "a very nice
distinction! then you do not deny that you met what _you_ call a lover
in the grove. Indeed you need trouble yourself to make no denial, for
Evelina and I both watched you."

Agnes rose from the table, and all who were gathered around it were
amazed at the unusual vehemence of her manner, as with an expression of
intense wretchedness upon her face, she exclaimed:

"Oh! _do, do_ let me alone! do leave me in quiet; for I am very, very
unhappy!"

And hastily, and with great agitation, Agnes left the room.

Mr. Fairland, who was so much interested in a paragraph in the paper,
which appeared to shock him exceedingly, that he had not heard the
ill-natured remarks of his daughters, looked up just as Agnes rose from
the table, and heard her agonized address.

With more sternness than usual, he asked his daughters what they had
been saying to Agnes, and on hearing their account of the conversation,
he exclaimed:

"Poor Agnes! you will see in this paper girls something that will shock
you, and will perhaps inspire you with a little sympathy for one whom it
seems to be your delight to torment. You may perhaps now guess who it
was that Agnes met in the grove last night."

The Misses Fairland were really shocked to read the account of the
murder, and to read the name of Lewis Elwyn as the murderer; and
something like remorse for a moment visited their minds, that they had
added to the sufferings of the already burdened heart of Agnes.

"Poor fellow! poor young man!" exclaimed Mr. Fairland; "such a handsome
fellow as he was, and such a sweet singer too! this seems to have been
done in a sudden passion; and not without provocation too. But it is an
awful thing! Poor Agnes! she must not attempt to teach the children
while she is so distressed; and I do desire girls, that you will have
the _decency_, if you have not the _feeling_, to leave her entirely
undisturbed."

Days passed on and nothing was heard of the fugitive. Oh, what days of
restless and painful suspense to Agnes! Had she not had constant and
unusual occupation for her time, it seemed to her that she could not
keep her reason. But poor Tiney had grown suddenly and alarmingly worse,
and the physician said a very days at most would terminate her
sufferings. With all the distressing thoughts which crowded upon her,
Agnes remained by the bed-side of the little sufferer, endeavoring to
soothe and cheer her descent to the dark valley.

Mrs. Fairland, who though indolent and indifferent in many things with
regard to her children, was not altogether without natural affection,
passed much of her time, during the last two or three days of Tiney's
life, in her room, sitting quietly near the head of the bed. Mr.
Fairland, who seemed more overcome even than Agnes expected, hardly ever
left the bed-side. The older sisters looked in occasionally for a few
moments, but their "nerves" (always ready as an excuse with people
destitute of feeling) would not allow their staying for more than five
minutes at a time, in the room of the sick child. The younger children
wandered restlessly about the house, their little hearts oppressed by
the first approach of death among their number; sometimes coming in
quietly to look at the dying sister, and then wandering off again.

"Cousin Agnes, _must_ I _die_?" asked Tiney, the day before her death,
as Agnes and her father and mother were sitting near her.

"You are not afraid to die, dear Tiney, are you?" asked Agnes in reply.

"No, I shall love to die, because you told me I would never be sick any
more; but I feel a _little_ afraid to go to Heaven."

"Afraid to go to Heaven, dear Tiney! And why should you be afraid to go
there?" asked Agnes, in astonishment; for she had, oftener than ever, of
late, talked to the failing child of the glories of heaven, and did not
doubt that, even with her poor weak mind, she had so trusted by faith
in the merits of an all-sufficient Redeemer, that through those merits
her spirit would be welcomed to that blissful abode.

"I was thinking," answered Tiney, "that I don't _know anybody_, there;
not a single soul; and I feel so shy with strangers. Will they love me
there, cousin Agnes, as you and papa do?"

Agnes could not repress the tears at this question, so natural, perhaps,
to a simple child, and yet one which she had never thought of as likely
to occur to one before. But she talked to Tiney so soothingly and
sweetly of Him who loved little children when on earth, and who was
watching for her now, and would send some lovely angel to bear her to
His breast, that poor Tiney lost her fears, and longed for the hour of
her release. And it came the next morning. Just as the glorious sun was
rising over the lake, the spirit of poor little suffering Tiney left its
earthly dwelling, and began its long and never-ending day of happiness.

Oh! what a brilliant light shone for once in those dark gray eyes, as
Tiney raised them, with a look of wonder and astonishment and joy, as if
she saw far, far beyond the limits which bounded her mortal sight!--and
as, with an enraptured expression, she murmured something about "that
lovely music," the light faded from the still wide open and glassy eye;
and Agnes, passing her hand gently over the lids, said, "Mr. Fairland,
she is gone!" and the first thought of her sad heart was, "Oh that I too
were at rest!" But she checked it in one moment, when she remembered
that there were duties and conflicts and trials before her yet; and she
determined she would go forward, in the Divine strength, into the
furnace which she must needs go through, in order to be refined and
purified.

Once, during Tiney's last sickness, a messenger called for Agnes, and
put a note and a little bouquet of green-house flowers into her hand. At
first, Agnes hoped that the note might contain tidings of her brother;
but though disappointed in this respect, the contents of the note were
soothing and grateful to her troubled heart. The words were simply
these:

"Is there _anything_ I can do for you? And if you need a friend, will
you call upon me?" The note was signed "C.H."

At first Agnes merely said, in a despairing tone, "Oh no! nothing can be
done;" and then, feeling that a different answer should be sent to a
message so kind, she tore off a bit of the paper, and wrote upon it:

"Nothing can be done for me now. Believe me, I will not hesitate to call
upon you, when you can do me any good."

The day after Tiney's death, officers came to search Mr. Fairland's
house for the fugitive, having traced him to Wilston. Every corner of
the house was searched, and even the chamber of death was not spared.
The search, of course, was unsuccessful; but, the day after poor Tiney's
funeral, came tidings to Agnes of the arrest of her brother. He was
taken at last, and safely lodged in the jail at Hillsdale, where he was
to await his trial.

And now Agnes, whose office ever seemed of necessity to be that of
consoler and comforter, must leave her little charge, and go to be near
her brother. It was a bitter parting; it seemed as if the children could
not let her go; and the scene recalled so vividly to Agnes the parting
with Miss Edwards at Brook Farm, that the recollection made her, if
possible, still more sad, as she thought the resemblance might be
carried out even to the end, and the close of this earthly scene to her
might be as melancholy as was that of her beloved teacher.

She promised Mr. Fairland that, as soon as she could attend to it, she
would ascertain if there were vacancies in Mrs. Arlington's school for
Rosa and Jessie, and also if Mr. Malcolm would consent to take charge of
Frank's education; and, accompanied by Mr. Fairland, she left Wilston,
as she supposed, forever.



XVII.

The Jail.

   "I may not go, I may not go,
   Where the sweet-breathing spring-winds blow;
   Nor where the silver clouds go by,
   Across the holy, deep blue sky;
   Nor where the sunshine, warm and bright
   Comes down, like a still shower of light;
     I must stay here
     In prison drear;
   Oh! heavy life, wear on, wear on,
   Would God that thou wert gone."

   --FANNY KEMBLE.


They reached Brook Farm late in the evening, and here the greeting,
though not as noisy and joyous, was warmer, and if possible more
affectionate than ever. They all loved Lewie in spite of his many
faults, and their sympathy was most sincere and hearfelt for Agnes, who
was very dear to them all. As soon as Agnes could speak to Mr. Wharton
alone, she said:

"Uncle, have you seen him?"

"Every day, dear Agnes, and have been with him some hours each day."

"And how does he feel, dear Uncle?"

"Relieved, I think, on the whole; that the suspense is over thus far. He
says he would not live over again the last three weeks for worlds. Many
and many a time he had almost resolved to return and give himself up for
trial; but the thought of you, Agnes, prevented. He said that you must
be a sharer in all his trouble and disgrace, and if he could spare your
distress and suffering, by escaping from the country, he meant to try
and do it, and then he would soon be forgotten, except by the few who
cared for him."

"And how does he feel about the--the result, uncle?"

"Hopeful, I think; he seems to think it cannot be brought in murder,
when murder was so far from his intention."

"And what do _you_ think, uncle?"

"I am inclined to think with Lewie, dear; there is always a leaning
towards mercy, and your brother has counsel, the very best in the
State."

"Oh, uncle, how very kind! how can we ever repay you for your kindness?"

"No thanks to me in this matter, Agnes; Mr. W---- has been retained by
one who does not wish his name known; one who would be glad, I fancy, to
have a nearer right to stand by you through these coming scenes, but who
will not trouble you with these matters at present."

A bright blush came up in Agnes' cheek, and as suddenly died away as she
said:

"One question more, uncle; when will it take place--the trial, I mean?"

"It will probably come on in November," her uncle answered.

"Two long months of imprisonment for my poor brother!" said Agnes.

"But remember, Agnes, those two months will be diligently employed by
his counsel in preparing his defence."

"And by those on the other side, in making strong their cause against
him, uncle. My poor dear Lewie! how I long to see him; and yet how I
dread the first meeting, oh! if that were only over!"

The next morning, immediately after breakfast, Mr. Wharton and Agnes
drove over to Hillsdale. Agnes shuddered, and turned pale, as they drew
near the gloomy jail with its iron-barred windows, and closing her eyes
she silently prayed for strength and calmness for the meeting with her
brother. Mr. Wharton conducted her to the door of the room in which her
brother was confined, and left her there, as he knew they would both
prefer that their first meeting should be without witnesses. In one
respect Agnes was agreeably disappointed; she had expected to find her
brother in a close, dark dungeon; and was much surprised to find herself
in a pleasant, light room, with table, books, writing materials, and
everything very comfortable about him; the only things there to remind
her that she was in a prison, being the locked door, and the grated
window.

Agnes had been preparing herself ever since she first received the
tidings of her brother's arrest, for this meeting; and she went through
it with a calmness and composure which astonished herself. But poor
Lewie was completely overcome. He knew his sister would come to him; but
he had not expected her so soon, and the first intimation he had of her
arrival, was the sight of her upon the threshold of his door.

"Poor Agnes! poor dear sister!" said he, as soon as he could speak;
"what have I ever been from my childhood up, but a source of trouble and
distress to you. You were punished for my ungoverned temper all through
your childhood; you are suffering for it now; you will have to suffer
for it more, till your bloom is all gone, and you are worn to a
skeleton. If I had dared, Agnes--if I had dared, I should have put an
end to this mortal existence; and thus I should have saved you all this
coming disgrace and misery. But I had not the courage to lay violent
hands upon myself, and go, a deliberate suicide, into the presence of
my Maker. I have tried all other means; I have gone through exposure and
fatigue, which at any other time I know would have killed me; I have
laid out all night in the rain; _I_, who used to be so susceptible to
cold, but nothing seemed to hurt me. I have been reserved for other and
more terrible things. And you, Agnes, who are always kind, and
forbearing, and self-sacrificing, it seems to be your fate ever to
suffer and endure for others. Oh, my sister, you deserve a happier lot!"

"Don't talk so, dear Lewie!" said Agnes; "you have given me very many
happy hours, and all the little troubles of 'long, long ago' are
forgotten. And now, what greater pleasure can I have than that of
sitting with you here, working and reading, and trying to wile away the
tedious hours of your captivity?"

"Agnes! this must not be! I cannot allow it. It will brighten the whole
day for me, if you will come and spend an hour or two with me every
morning; but I cannot consent that you shall be immured for the whole
day in the walls of this gloomy prison-house."

"But what can you do, Lewie? I am going to be obstinate for once, and
take my own course. Uncle will drive me over every morning, and come for
me at night; and I am going to enjoy a pleasure long denied me, of
spending every day with my darling brother."

"Oh, Agnes! this is too, too much!"

"Not too much at all, Lewie. Do you think I could be happy anywhere else
than with you? What should I do at uncle's but roam the house, restless
and impatient, every moment I am absent from you? And the nights will
seem so long, because they separate me from you!"

"Oh! how utterly undeserving!--how _utterly undeserving_ such love and
devotion!" said Lewie, pacing up and down the room. "Sweet
sister!--dearest Agnes!--now has my prison lost all its gloom; and were
it not for the future, I might be happier here than when out in the
world; for temptation here is far from me, and only good influences
surround me."

"And what of the future, dear?"

"Of my trial, Agnes? Well, I hardly know what to say. My friends and
lawyers try to keep up my spirits, and mention to me many hopeful
things; and, for the time, I too feel encouraged. But I can think of
many things that a skilful lawyer can bring up against me, and which
would weigh very heavily. I am trying to think of the _worst_ as a
_probability_; so that if it comes, I shall not be overwhelmed."

"Oh!" said Agnes, shuddering, and covering her eyes, as if to shut out
some horrid spectacle, "it cannot be! I cannot bring myself to
contemplate it for a moment!"

"And yet it _may be_, Agnes! or they may spare my life, and doom me to
wear out long years of imprisonment, and then send me out into the world
a blighted and ruined man! That is the best I can hope for; and but for
the disgrace which would come upon me, I should say the sudden end is
better."

"And what of the future _after that_, Lewie? for that, after all, is the
great concern."

"The _eternal future_ you mean, Agnes. Ah! my sister, the prospect there
is darker and more dreary still. I know enough of religion to feel
assured that my short life has not been spent in the way to prepare me
for a future of happiness; and I am not yet so hardened as to pretend
not to dread a future of misery."

"God grant such may not be your fate, dear brother. Whether life be long
or short, happy or sorrowful, our future depends upon heart-felt
repentance here, and faith in the 'sinner's Friend.' You have now time
for quiet and reflection. Oh! improve it dear Lewie, in so humbling
yourself before Him whom you have offended, and in so seeking for
pardon, that He will bless you and grant you peace."

"I see, Agnes," said her brother, with a sad smile, "you want me to
follow in the footsteps of all other offenders and criminals, who,
after doing all the mischief possible, and living for their own selfish
gratification while abroad in the world, spend the time of their
imprisonment in acts of penitence and devotion, and go out of the world,
as they all invariably do, in the full odor of sanctity, in peace with
God, and in charity with men."

"Is my advice to you in any way different, my dear brother, from what it
was when you were free and unrestrained? Indeed, so much did I dread the
effect of your undisciplined temper, and so assured did I feel that for
you the grace of God was peculiarly necessary, that I have feared I
sometimes made my presence unwelcome by my constant warnings and
admonitions."

"Never, Agnes--never, dearest sister! I always thanked you from my
inmost heart for your kind, loving, tender counsel; and though
apparently I turned it off lightly and carelessly, yet it often sank
deep in my heart; and when parted from you, I often thought what a
miserable wretch I was not to give better heed to it."

"Yet, Lewie dear, I will not deny that I think the need more urgent
than ever for repentance and pardon now. I do not wish to harrow up your
feelings, dear brother; but, oh! it is an awful thing to send a
fellow-creature into eternity!"

"And do you think that thought ever for a moment leaves me, Agnes?
Indeed, I think that while I have been skulking and hiding, hunted and
pursued from one place to another, and since I have been shut up in
these walls, every harrowing thought that could possibly be brought
before my mind, has been dwelt upon till it seemed sometimes as if I
should go mad. I have mourned for Cranston as if I had no hand in his
death; I have thought of him in all his hope and promise; I have thought
of his poor mother and sisters, till the tears have rained from my
cheeks; and I believe I have been sincere in my feeling, that if by
suffering an ignominious death, I could restore my murdered friend to
life, I should be _glad_ to be the sacrifice. And then when I thought of
_myself_ as the cause of all this suffering, it seemed as if it ought
not to be a matter of wonder or complaint if the verdict should be,
that such a wretch should cumber the earth no longer. And yet, Agnes, in
the eye of Him who looketh only on the heart, I believe I was as much a
murderer when I struck down my school-mate in the play-ground as now.
For in the height of my passion then, I think I should have been glad to
have killed him. But the thought of _murder_ did not enter my heart when
I struck poor Cranston; it was a sort of instinctive movement; the work
of a moment; and had not the murderous weapon been in my hand, the
effects of the blow would have been but slight."

Many such conversations as these passed between the young prisoner and
his sister, during those two months preceding the trial--every day of
which, except during church hours on Sunday, Agnes passed with him from
morning till night, almost as much a prisoner as he, except that hers
was not compulsory. This time was faithfully improved by Agnes, in
endeavoring to lead her brother to right views upon the subject of his
own condition in the sight of a Holy God. He was very gentle and
teachable now, and before the day of trial came, Agnes hoped that her
brother was a true penitent, though his own hopes of pardon were faint
and flickering.

Mr. Malcolm too, often visited young Elwyn, in whom he was most deeply
interested; and his gentle teachings and fervent prayers were eagerly
listened to by the youthful prisoner. Mr. W----, his counsel, came
often, also, but in his endeavors to keep up the spirits of Lewie and
his sister, his manner was so trifling and flippant that it grated on
their feelings painfully. He was working as laboriously it seemed, as
the enormous fee promised him would warrant, leaving no stone unturned
which would throw some favorable light on young Elwyn's case. Thus days
and weeks passed on, and in the midst of increasing agitation and
excitement, the day of trial came.

When the brother and sister parted the evening before the trial, Agnes
once more renewed the entreaties she had so often made that Lewie would
allow her to remain by his side during the painful events of the coming
day. But his refusal was firm and unyielding.

"No, no, dear sister, pray do not urge it," said he. "I know I shall be
too much agitated as it is; I do not believe I can go through it with
even an appearance of calmness alone; and how much more difficult it
would be for me with you by my side. I know I could not bear it. No!
Agnes, remain in the village if you prefer it, but do not let me see
your dear face again till my fate is decided. Let us pray once more
together, sweet sister--let us pray for mercy from God and man." And
when they arose from their knees they took their sad farewell, and Agnes
accompanied her uncle to the house of her kind friend, Dr. Rodney, where
she was to remain till the trial was over.



XVIII.

The Trial.

   "The morn lowered darkly; but the sun hath now,
   With fierce and angry splendor, through the clouds
   Burst forth, as if impatient to behold
   This our high triumph. Lead the prisoner in."

   --VESPERS OF PALERMO.


To say that, long before the hour fixed for the trial, the court room
was crowded to its utmost capacity with eager and expectant faces, would
be to repeat what has been written and said of every trial, the events
of which have been chronicled; but it would be no less true for that.
And when the young prisoner was brought into the room, his handsome face
pale from agitation and recent confinement, and with an expression of
intense anxiety in his eye, all not before deeply interested for the
friends of the unfortunate Cranston were moved to pity, and strongly
prepossessed in his favor.

Mr. W----, the counsel for the prisoner, was an able and eloquent
lawyer. He was a small, slight man, with a high, bald forehead; and a
pair of very bright, black, restless eyes. His manner was naturally
quick and lively; but he well knew how to touch the tender strings, and
make them give forth a tone in unison with his own, or with that which
he had adopted for his own to suit the occasion. He had an appearance,
too, of being assured of the justice of his cause, and perfectly
confident of success, which was encouraging to the prisoner and his
friends.

After the necessary preliminaries and statements had been gone through
with, the witnesses against the prisoner and in his favor were called,
who testified to the fact of the murder, and to the prisoner's natural
quickness of temper, inducing fits of sudden passion, which, even in
childhood, seemed at times hardly to leave him the mastery of himself.
Friends, school-mates, college-mates, in turn gave their testimony to
the prisoner's kindness of heart, which would not suffer him to harbor
resentment; and yet many instances were mentioned of fierce and terrible
passion, utterly heedless of results for the moment, and yet passing
away quick as the lightning's flash.

It was shown that he had no ill-will to young Cranston; on the contrary,
they were generally friendly and affectionate; that they had been so
throughout the evening on which the fatal deed was done. It was at a
supper table, when all were excited by wine; and Cranston, who was fond
of a joke, and rather given to teazing, and being less guarded than
usual, introduced some subject exceedingly unpleasant to young Elwyn.
The quick temper of the latter was aroused at once, and he gave a hasty
and angry reply. The raillery was pushed still farther; and before those
about him had time to interfere, the fatal blow was struck in frantic
passion.

"And is this no palliating circumstance," said Mr. W----, "that God has
given to this young man a naturally fierce and hasty temper, which
could not brook that which might be borne more patiently by those whose
blood flows more coldly and sluggishly? Is there no difference to be
made in our judgment of men, because of the different tempers and
dispositions with which they were born? Of course there is!--_of course_
there is! It has been clearly shown that there was no malice
aforethought in this case; the injury was not brooded over in silence,
and the plan matured in cold blood to murder a class-mate and friend.
No! on the moment of provocation the blow was struck, with but the
single idea of giving vent to the passion which was bursting his breast.
And those who witnessed his deep remorse and agony of mind, when he
discovered the fatal effects of his passion, as, all regardless of his
own safety, he endeavored to restore his expiring friend to life, have
assured me, that though they were witnesses of the whole scene, they
felt for _him_ only the deepest commiseration."

And here Mr. W---- paused and wiped his eyes repeatedly, and the sobs
of the young prisoner were heard all over the court room.

"There was one," Mr. W---- continued, "of whom he wished to speak, and
whom, on some accounts, he would have been glad to bring before the jury
to-day. But he would not outrage the feelings of his young friend by
urging him to consent to the entreaties of his lovely sister, that she
might be permitted to sit by his side in that prisoner's seat to-day.
She is his only sister; he her only brother; and they are orphans."
(Here there was a faltering of the voice, a pause, which was very
effective; and after apparently a great effort, Mr. W---- went on.)

"She has sat beside him hour after hour, and day after day, in yonder
dreary jail, endeavoring to make the weary hours of solitude and
captivity less irksome, and lead the prisoner's heart away from earthly
trouble to heavenly comfort. Her hope in the jury of to-day is strong.
She believes they will not doom her young and only brother to an
ignominious death, and a dishonored grave; she even hopes that they
will not consign him to long years of weary imprisonment; she feels that
he is changed; that he no longer trusts to his own strength to overcome
his naturally strong and violent passions; but that his trust is in the
arm of the Lord his God, who 'turneth the hearts of men as the rivers of
water are turned.'"

"May He dispose the hearts of these twelve men, on whom the fate of this
youth now hangs, so that they shall show, that like Himself they are
_lovers of mercy_."

And Mr. W---- sat down and covered his face with his handkerchief. The
hope and expectation of acquittal now were very strong.

And now slowly rose the counsel for the prosecution. Mr. G---- was a
tall thin man, of a grave and stern expression of countenance; his hair
was of an iron-gray, and his piercing gray eye shone from under his
shaggy eye-brows like a spark of fire. It was the only thing that looked
like _life_ about him; and when he first rose he began to speak in a
slow, distinct, unimpassioned manner, and without the least attempt at
eloquence.

"He _had_ intended," he said, "to call a few more witnesses, but he
found it was utterly unnecessary; those already called had said all he
cared to hear; indeed, he had been much surprised to hear testimony on
the side of the prisoner which he should have thought by right his own.
No one attempts to deny the fact of the killing, and that the deed was
done by the hand of the prisoner. The question for us to decide is, was
it murder? was it man-slaughter? or was it _nothing at all_? for to that
point my learned adversary evidently wishes to conduct us."

"The young man it appears, by the testimony of friends and school-mates,
has always been of a peculiarly quick and fiery temper; so much so it
seems, that a playful allusion, or what is commonly called a _teazing_
expression, could not be indulged in at his expense but his companion
was instantly felled to the ground. And was _he_ the one to arm himself
with bowie-knife or revolver? Should one who was perfectly conscious
that he had not the slightest control over his temper, keep about him a
murderous weapon ready to do its deed of death upon any friend who might
unwittingly, in an hour of revelry, touch upon some sore spot?"

"As soon would I approach a keg of gun-powder with a lighted candle in
my hand, as have aught to do with one so fiery and so armed for
destruction. It has been said that it is the custom for young men in
some of our colleges to go thus armed; the more need of signal vengeance
upon the work of death they do. Gentlemen of the jury, if this practice
is not loudly rebuked we shall have work of this kind accumulating
rapidly on our hands."

"'It was done in the heat of frenzied passion, and so the prisoner must
go unpunished.' My learned friend argued not so, when he appeared in
this place against the murder Wiley; poor, ignorant, and half-witted;
who with his eyes starting from his head with starvation, entered a
farmer's house, and in the extremity of his suffering demanded bread.
And on being told by the woman of the house to take himself off to the
nearest tavern and get bread, caught up a carving knife and stabbed her
to the heart, seized a piece of bread, and fled from the house. He had a
fiendish temper too; it was rendered fiercer by starvation; and when
asked why he did the dreadful deed, he said he never could have dragged
himself on three miles to the nearest tavern, and he had no money to buy
bread when he got there. He must die anyway, and it might as well be on
the gallows as by the road-side."

"He, poor fellow, had no friends; he had been brought up in vice and
misery; he had no gentle sister to lead him in the paths of virtue, a
kind word was never spoken to him; a crust of bread was denied him when
he was starving; and above all, he had no wealthy friend to pay an
enormous counsel fee, and my learned opponent standing where he did just
now, called loudly on the jury and said, 'away with such a fellow from
the earth!'"

"Do not think me blood-thirsty or unfeeling. The innocent sufferer in
this case, the sister of this unfortunate young man, has my deepest
sympathy and commiseration, as she has that of this audience and the
jury. But could those here present have gone with me"--(here the speaker
paused, too agitated to proceed)--"to yonder desolated home; had they
seen a mother, lately widowed, and four young sisters, around the bier
where lay the remains of the murdered son and brother--their only hope
next to God--he for whom they were all toiling early and late, that,
when his education was completed, he in turn might work for them,--had
they heard that mother's cry for strength, now that her last earthly
prop was thus rudely snatched away, they would have found food for pity
there. I tell you, my friends, I pray that I may never be called upon to
witness such a scene again!"

Wiping his cheeks repeatedly, Mr. G----resumed:

"These tears surprise me; for I am not used to the 'melting mood,' and I
cannot afford to weep as readily as my learned opponent, who will count
his pile of bank notes for every tear he sheds, and think those tears
well expended. I speak for an outraged community; my sympathies are with
the poor--with the widow and the fatherless--with those whose only son
and brother has been cut off in his hope and promise, and consigned to
an early grave."

"Shall these things take place unnoticed and unpunished?--and for a
light and hasty word, shall our young men of promise be cut down in the
midst of their days, and the act go unrebuked of justice? I look not so
much at this individual case as to the general good. Were I to look only
on the prisoner, I too might yield to feeling, and forget justice. But
feeling must not rule here: in the court room, justice alone should have
sway; and I call upon the jury to decide as impartially in this case as
if the poorest and most neglected wretch, brought up in vice and
wretchedness, sat there, instead of the handsome and interesting
prisoner; and I call upon the jury to show that, though in private life
they may be 'lovers of mercy,' yet, where the general good is so deeply
involved, they are determined to 'deal justly' with the prisoner."

The judge then gave his charge to the jury, which was thought to lean
rather to the side of the prisoner, though he agreed with Mr. G----,
that some sharp rebuke should be given to the practice, so common among
the young men in some of our colleges, of carrying about with them
offensive weapons.

The prisoner was led back to the jail; the jury retired; and it being
now evening, the court room was deserted.



XIX.

The Sealed Paper.

   "Sister, thy brother is won by thee."--MRS. HEMANS.


The verdict would not be made known till the next morning. Oh! what a
night of mental torture was that to the devoted sister of the prisoner!
The terrible suspense left it out of her power to remain quiet for a
moment, but she restlessly paced the room, watching for the dawn of day,
and yet dreading the signs of its approach. Her aunt, who remained with
her during that anxious night, endeavored as well as she could to soothe
and calm her excited feelings; but how little there was to be said; she
could only point her to the Christian's never-failing trust and
confidence; and it was only by constant supplications for strength from
on high, as she walked the room, that Agnes was enabled to retain the
slightest appearance of composure, or, as it seemed to her, to keep her
brain from bursting.

The longest night will have an end, and morning at length dawned on the
weary eyes of the watchers. The family rose and breakfasted early, for
an intense excitement reigned throughout the house. Agnes begged to be
allowed to remain in her own room; and though, in compliance with the
entreaties of her friends, she endeavored to eat, she could not swallow
a morsel. Mr. Wharton came early; and soon after breakfast, he and Dr.
Rodney went out. At nine o'clock the court were to assemble, to hear the
verdict; and from that moment, Agnes seated herself at the window, with
her hands pressed on her aching forehead, and her eyes straining to
catch the first glimpse of them as they returned.

She sat thus for an hour or more at the window, and at the end of that
time the crowds began to pass the house, and she soon caught sight of
Dr. Rodney and her uncle. They did not hasten as if they had joyful
news to tell, and as Agnes in her agitation rose as they approached the
gate, and watched their faces as they came up the gravel walk, she saw
there enough to tell her the whole story; and pressing both hands upon
her heart she sat down again, for she had no longer strength to stand.
In a few moments she heard her uncle's step coming slowly towards her
room. As the door opened very gently she did not raise her head; it had
fallen upon her breast, and she was asking for strength to bear what she
knew was coming. When at length she looked towards her uncle she saw him
standing with his hand still on the lock, and gazing at her intently.
His face was of an ashy paleness, and he seemed irresolute whether to
approach her or to leave the room.

"Uncle," gasped Agnes, "do not speak now; there is no need; I see it
all," and slowly she fell to the floor and forgot her bitter sorrow in
long insensibility. When she recovered it was nearly mid-day, and only
her aunt was sitting by her bedside.

"Aunty," said she, as if bewildered, "what time is it?" Her aunt told
her the time.

"And is it possible," said Agnes, "that I have slept so late?" and then
pressing her hands to her head, she said:

"Who said '_condemned_' and '_sentenced_?'"

"No one has said those words to you, dear Agnes," said Mrs. Wharton.

"But oh, aunty!" she exclaimed, seizing Mrs. Wharton's hand, "it is
_true_, is it not? Yes, I know it is. My poor young brother! And here I
have been wasting the time when he wants me so much. I must get up this
moment and go to him."

Her aunt endeavored to persuade her to remain quiet, telling her that
Mr. Malcolm was with Lewie, and that he was not left alone for a moment.
Agnes insisted, however, upon rising, but on making the attempt her head
became dizzy and she sank back again upon her pillow; and this was the
beginning of a brain fever, which kept her confined to her bed in
unconscious delirium for more than three weeks. In her delirium she
seemed to go back to the days of her childhood, and live them over
again with all the trouble they caused her young heart. Sometimes she
fancied herself a lonely prisoner again in the cold north room, and
sometimes pleading with her little brother, and begging him to "be a
good boy, and to try and not be so cross." At one time Dr. Rodney had
little hope of her life, and after that he feared permanent loss of
reason, but in both fears he was disappointed. Agnes recovered at
length, and with her mind as clear as ever.

During the days when she was convalescing, but still too weak to leave
her bed, her impatience to get to her brother was so great, that the
doctor feared it would retard her recovery. It could not be concealed
from her that Lewie was ill, and the consciousness that she was so
necessary to him, made it the more difficult for Agnes to exercise that
patience and calmness which were requisite to ensure a return of her
strength. Lewie had taken to his bed, immediately after his return to
the jail, on the morning of the sentence, and had not left it since. He
seemed fast sinking into a decline, and much of the good doctor's time
was taken up in ministering at the bed-side of the brother and sister.

At length Agnes was so much better that the doctor consented to her
paying her brother a visit. She found him in the condemned cell, but no
manacles were necessary to fetter his limbs, for a chain stronger than
iron bolts confined him to his bed, and that strong chain was perfect
weakness. Though his cell was darker and more dungeon-like, yet through
the kindness of friends the sick young prisoner was made as comfortable
as possible. By a very strong effort Agnes so far commanded herself as
to retain an appearance of outward composure, during that first meeting
after so long and so eventful a separation; and now began again the
daily ministrations of Agnes at the bed-side of her brother, for in
consideration of his feeble condition his sister was permitted to remain
with him constantly.

Lewie knew that he was failing; "I think," said he to Agnes, "that God
will call for my spirit before the time comes for man to set it free.
But oh! Agnes, if I could once more look upon the green earth, and the
blue sky, and breathe the pure fresh air; and die _free_."

It was after longings for freedom like these, that when Agnes returned
to Dr. Rodney's one evening, (for ever since the trial, at the earnest
request of the kind doctor and his wife, she had made their house her
home except when with her brother,) she found her cousin Grace, who
often came over to pass the night with her, waiting her arrival with
tidings in her face.

"Agnes," said she, "I have heard something to-day which may possibly
cast a ray of hope on Lewie's case yet."

"What can it be, dear Grace?" asked Agnes.

"Who do you think the new Governor's wife is, Agnes?"

"I am sure I cannot imagine."

"Do you remember that strange girl, Ruth Glenn?"

"Certainly."

"Well, it is she. Only think how strange! I have no idea how much
influence she has with the Governor; but unless she has changed
wonderfully in her feelings, she would do anything in the world to serve
you, Agnes, as she ought."

"Oh, blessings on you, Grace! I will go; there _may_ be hope in it; and
if poor Lewie could only die free; for die he must, the doctor assures
me--perhaps before the flowers bloom."

"Father will go with you, Agnes. I have been talking with him about it."

"Oh, how very, very kind you all are to us!" said Agnes. "Then, no time
must be lost, Grace; and if uncle will go with me, we will start as
early as possible in the morning."

Agnes rose early the next morning, with something like a faint tinge of
color in her cheek, lent to it by the excitement of hope; and after
visiting her brother, to give some explanation of the cause of her
absence, she took her seat in the carriage by her uncle, for they must
ride some miles in order to reach the cars.

They reached the Capitol that afternoon; and Agnes, who felt that she
had very little time to spare, left the hotel a few moments after their
arrival in the city, and, leaning on her uncle's arm, sought the
Governor's house. Agnes felt her heart die within her as she ascended
the broad flight of marble steps. Years had passed, and many changes had
taken place since she had met Ruth Glenn. Would she find her again in
the Governor's lady?

Mrs. F---- was at home, and Mr. Wharton left Agnes at the door, thinking
that, on all accounts, the interview had better be private. "He should
return for her in an hour or two," he said, "when he intended to call
upon the Governor, who had once been a class-mate and intimate friend."

Having merely sent word by the servant that an old friend wished to see
Mrs. F----, Agnes was shown into a large and elegantly-furnished parlor,
to await her coming. In a few moments, she heard a light step
descending the stairs, and the rustling of a silk dress, and the
Governor's lady entered the room.

Could it be possible that this blooming, elegant, graceful woman was the
pale, nervous Ruth Glenn, whom Agnes had befriended at Mrs. Arlington's
school? To account for this extraordinary change, we must go back a few
years, which we can fortunately do in a few moments, and give a glance
at Ruth Glenn's history.

She had left school almost immediately after Agnes and her cousins,
having been recommended by Mrs. Arlington to a lady who was looking for
a governess to her children. Here she became acquainted with a lawyer
who visited frequently at the house; a middle-aged man, and a widower,
who was just then looking out for some one to take care of himself and
his establishment. By one of those unaccountable whims which men
sometimes take, this man (who, from his position and wealth, might have
won the hand of almost any accomplished and dashing young lady of his
acquaintance,) was attracted towards the plain, silent governess, and
he very soon, to the astonishment of all, made proposals to her, which
were accepted.

Soon after their marriage, business made it necessary for Mr. F---- to
go to Europe, and Ruth accompanied him. A sea voyage and two years'
travel abroad entirely restored her health, and with it came, what her
husband had never looked for--_beauty_; while the many opportunities for
improvement and cultivation which she enjoyed, and the good society into
which she was thrown, worked a like marvellous change in her manners.
All her nervous diffidence banished, and in its place she had acquired a
dignified self-possession and grace of manner, which fitted her well for
the station of influence she was to occupy. Soon after her return, her
husband was elected Governor; and the city was already ringing with
praises of the loveliness and affability of the new Governor's wife.

No wonder, then, that as Agnes rose to meet her they stood looking at
each other in silence for a moment; Agnes vainly endeavoring to discover
a trace of Ruth Glenn in the easy and elegant woman before her, and Mrs.
F---- trying to divine who this guest who had called herself an old
friend might be.

For sickness and sorrow had changed Agnes too. Her bright bloom was all
gone; her charming animation of manner had given place to a settled
sadness; and though still most lovely, as she stood in her deep mourning
dress, she was but a wreck of the Agnes Elwyn of former years.

But when after a moment Agnes said, "Ruth, do you not know me?"

The scream of delight with which Ruth opened her arms, and clasped her
to her breast, crying out, "_Agnes Elwyn!_--my dear, dear Agnes!"
convinced her that in heart at least her old school-mate was unchanged.
Ruth immediately took Agnes to her own room, that they might be
undisturbed, for she guessed at once her purpose in coming; and then
Agnes opened to her her burdened heart; relating all her brother's
history; telling her of his naturally strong passions, and saying all
that was necessary to say, in justice to her brother, of the injudicious
training he had received; at the same time treating her mother's memory
with all possible delicacy and respect.

"And now, dear Ruth," she said, "I do not come to ask that my young
brother shall be permitted to walk forth to do like evil again;--there
would be no danger of that, even if he were not greatly changed, as I
solemnly believe he is, in heart and temper; for his doom is sealed;
consumption is wasting his frame;--we only ask that we may carry him
forth to die and be buried among his kindred. Oh! how he pines for the
free air and the blue sky, and longs to die elsewhere than in a
condemned cell! If I might be permitted to remove him to my uncle's kind
home, where he could have comforts and friends about him, I could close
his eyes, it seems to me, with thankfulness, for I do believe that the
Christian's hope is his."

Ruth's sympathizing tears had been flowing down her cheeks, as, with
her hand clasping that of Agnes, she had listened to her sad story. She
now rose, and said she would go to her husband, who was slightly
indisposed, and confined to his room, and prepare him to see Agnes. "And
do, Agnes, talk to him just as you have done to me," she said. "He is
called a stern man; but he has tender feelings, I can assure you, if the
right chord is only touched."

Ruth was gone a long time, and Agnes walked the floor of her room in a
state of suspense and agitation only equalled by that of the night after
the trial. At length Ruth returned: she looked sad and troubled.

"Agnes," said she, "you must see my husband yourself, and say to him all
you have said to me. He is deeply grateful for all you have done for me,
and would do anything in the world for you except what he thinks, or
what he seems to think, would be yielding to the call of feeling at the
expense of justice. He says his predecessor has been much censured for
so often granting pardons to criminals, especially to any who had
influential friends; and I fear that, in avoiding his errors, he will go
to the opposite extreme. He remembers your brother's case well, and
says, that though it could not be called _deliberate_ murder, still it
was murder; and he agrees with the lawyer, Mr. G----, that some signal
reproof should be given to this practice among the young men of carrying
about them offensive weapons. This is all he said; but he has consented
to see you, and is expecting you. I shall leave you alone with him; and
oh! Agnes, do speak as eloquently as you did to me. I know he cannot
resist it."

The Governor, a tall, fine-looking man, was wrapped in his
dressing-gown, and seated in his easy chair. He rose to receive Agnes,
gave her a cordial welcome as a friend to his wife, and bade her take a
seat beside him; but there was something in his look which said, that he
did not mean to be convinced against his better judgment by two women.

Agnes was at first too much agitated to speak; but the Governor kindly
re-assured her, by asking her some questions about her brother's case,
and soon she thought of nothing but him; her courage all revived; and
with an eloquence the more effective from being all unstudied, she told
her brother's story to the Governor. "He is so young," said she, "only
eighteen years old; and yet he must die. But, oh! sir, if you would but
save him from being dragged in his weakness to a death of shame, or from
lingering out his few remaining days in that close, dark cell; oh! if he
might only die free!"

"Ruth tells me," said the Governor, quietly, "that your uncle, Mr.
Wharton, is with you. Is it William Wharton, of C---- County?"

Agnes answered in the affirmative.

"Once a very good friend of mine," said he; "but it is many years since
we have met. Where is he?"

"He came to the door with me," answered Agnes, "and will return for me
soon. He hoped to have the pleasure of seeing you, sir."

"I will see him when he comes," said the Governor. "Go you back to Ruth,
my dear young lady. I will think of all you have said."

When Mr. Wharton called, he was admitted to the Governor; and the two
former friends, after a cordial greeting, were closeted together for a
long time. He confirmed all that Agnes said of her brother, and assured
the Governor that it was the opinion of physicians that he could not
recover, and might not last a month. He spoke long and feelingly of the
devotion of Agnes to her brother, in attendance upon whom, in his
loneliness and imprisonment, she had worn out health and strength.

The eyes of the Governor now glistened with emotion as he said, "Well,
well, I hope I shall not be doing wrong. At what time do you leave in
the morning, Mr. Wharton?"

"In the very first train. Agnes cannot be longer from her brother's
bedside."

"Can you bring her here for one moment before you leave?"

"Certainly."

"Well, then, tell her to lie down to-night, and sleep in peace; and may
Heaven bless a sister so devoted, and a friend so true."

The Governor was not so well when Mr. Wharton and Agnes called the next
morning; but Ruth. appeared, her face radiant with joy, and, throwing
her arms around Agnes' neck, she put into her hand a _sealed paper_.



XX.

Twice Free.

   "Oh liberty!

   Thou choicest gift of Heaven, and wanting which
   Life is as nothing."--KNOWLES.


Oh! the sunshine, and the glad earth, and the singing of the birds of
early spring, to the prisoner, sick, and worn, and weary! How the feeble
pulse already begins to throb with pleasure, and life which had seemed
so valueless before, looks lovely and much to be desired now.

The official announcement of the pardon reached Hillsdale almost as soon
as Agnes herself, and the friends of the young prisoner lost no time in
removing him as gently and as comfortably as possible, to his uncle's
kind home at Brook Farm. Here nothing was left undone by his devoted
friends to soothe his declining days; and with a heart overflowing with
gratitude and love, Lewie sank quietly towards the grave.

He was very gentle now, and the change in him was so great, that his
sister doubted not that repentance and faith had done their work. His
own doubts and fears were many, though sometimes a glimmering of hope
would beam through the clouds which seemed to have gathered about him.
One day, after a long conversation with Agnes upon the love and mercy of
God, he said:

"Well Agnes, it may be, there is hope for me too; I know He is
all-powerful and all-merciful; why, as you say, should not his mercy
extend even to me?"

"He is _able_ and _willing_ to save unto the uttermost," said Agnes.

"Unto--the--uttermost! Unto--the--uttermost!" repeated the sick youth
slowly; then looking up with his beautiful eye beaming with
expression;--

"Yes, Agnes," said he, "I will trust him!"

Day by day he grew weaker, and at times his sufferings were intense;
but such a wonderful patience and calmness possessed him, and he seemed
so to forget self in his thought for others, that Mrs. Wharton said, in
speaking of him:

"I never so fully realized the import of the words '_a new creature_.'
Who would think that this could be our impetuous, thoughtless Lewie, of
former times."

"You must make some allowance for the languor of sickness, my dear,"
said Mr. Wharton, who of course did not see so much of the invalid as
those who had the immediate charge of him.

"Weakness, I grant, would make him less impetuous and violent," answered
his wife, "but would it make him patient, and docile, and considerate,
if there were not some radical change in his feelings and temper?"

During the last few days of his life, and when the flickering flame was
hourly expected to die out, his uncle saw more of him, and he, too,
became convinced of the change in Lewie, and was certain that for him
to die would be gam. And at last, with words of prayer upon his lips and
a whisper of his sister's name, he sank away as gently as an infant
drops asleep.

"How like he looks," said old Mammy, with the tears streaming down her
withered cheeks, "how like he looks, with the bonny curls lying round
his forehead, to what he did the day he lay like death at the Hemlock's,
when he was only two years old."

Mrs. Wharton's mind immediately reverted to the scene, and to that young
mother's prayer of agony, "Oh, for his life! his life!" and as she
thought over the events of that short life of sin and sorrow, she said
within herself, "Oh! who can tell what to choose for his portion! Thou
Lord, who knowest the end from the beginning, choose Thou our changes
for us, and help us in the darkest hour to say, 'Thy will be done.'"

And in the quiet spot where the willow bends, and the brook murmurs, by
the side of his mother, and near the grave of Rhoda Edwards, rest the
remains of _Lewie_.

It is strange how much a human heart may suffer and yet beat on and
regain tranquillity, and even cheerfulness at last. It is a most
merciful provision of Providence, that our griefs do not always press
upon us as heavily as they do at first, else how could the burden of
this life of change and sorrow be borne. But the loved ones are not
forgotten when the tear is dried and the smile returns to the cheek;
they are remembered, but with less of sadness and gloom in the
remembrance; and at length, if we can think of them as happy, it is only
a pleasure to recall them to mind.

So Agnes found it, as after a few months of rest and quiet in her
uncle's happy home, the gloom of her sorrow began to fade away, the
color returned to her cheek, and she began to be like the Agnes of
former times. And now that health and energy had returned, she began to
long for employment again, and though she knew it would cost a great
struggle to leave her dear friends at Brook Farm, she began to urge them
all to be on the watch for a situation for her as governess or teacher.

At length, one day, some months after her brother's death, Mr. Wharton
entered the room where she was sitting, and said:

"Agnes, there is a gentleman down stairs, who would like to engage you
to superintend the education of his children."

If Agnes had looked closely at her uncle's face, she would have observed
a very peculiar expression there; but only laying aside her work, she
said:

"Please say to him, uncle, that I will come down in one moment."

With a quiet step and an unpalpitating heart, Agnes opened the parlor
door, and found herself alone with--Mr. Harrington!

And here we will end our short chapter, though enough was said that
morning to make it a very long one, as it certainly was an eventful one
in the history of Agnes.



XXI

The Winding Up or the Turning Point, whichever the Reader likes Best.

   "Still at thy father's board
   There is kept a place for thee
   And by thy smile restored,
   Joy round the hearth shall be."--MRS. HEMANS.

   "He will not blush that has a father's heart,
   To take in childish plays a childish part,
   But bends his sturdy back to any toy
   That youth takes pleasure in, to please his boy."--Cowper


"What do you think, Calista?--what _do_ you think?" asked Miss Evelina
Fairland of her sister, about two years after she had asked these same
questions before. "There are masons, and carpenters, and painters, and
paperers, and gardeners, at work at the old Rookery; a perfect army of
laborers have been sent down from the city. What can it mean?"

"I cannot imagine, I am sure," answered Miss Calista, "unless Mr.
Harrington is really going to settle down, and look out for a wife at
last." And Miss Calista looked in the glass over her sister's shoulder,
and both faces looked more faded and considerably older than when we saw
them last.

"Do you know," said Miss Evelina, "that I really believe Agnes Elwyn
thought the man was in love with _her_?"

"Absurd!" exclaimed Miss Calista. "Besides, if he ever had entertained
such a thought, he would not, of course, think of anything of the kind
since that affair of her brother's. Such a disgrace, you know!"

The appearance of the old Rookery changed so rapidly, that it seemed
almost as if the fairies had been at work; and in a few weeks, glimpses
of a fair and elegant mansion, with its pretty piazzas and porticos,
could be seen between the noble oaks which surrounded the mansion. And
now Miss Calista and Evelina, who kept themselves informed of all that
was going on at the Rookery, reported that "the _most magnificent_
furniture" had come, and the curtains and pictures were being hung, and
it was certain that the owner of the place would be there soon.

At length a travelling carriage, in which was seated Mr. Harrington,
with a lady by his side, and two little girls in front, was seen by
these indefatigable ladies to drive rapidly through the street, and out
towards the Rookery. The lady was in mourning, and her veil was down.
Who could she be?

And now it was rumored in the village that Mr. Harrington was actually
married; and whenever he met any of his old acquaintances, he invited
them with great cordiality to call to see his wife. The Misses Fairland
determined not to be outdone by any, and, the more effectually to
conceal their own disappointment, were among the first to call.

Who can conceive of their astonishment and mortification, when they
found that the mistress of the Rookery was no other than the former
governess, Agnes Elwyn! Agnes received them with the utmost kindness;
begged them to ask their father, whom she remembered with much
affection, to come very soon to see her; was much pleased to hear how
happy Rosa and Jessie were at Mrs. Arlington's; and brought them tidings
of Frank, who was under Mr. Malcolm's care.

"And where is that delightful gentleman who was with Mr. Harrington,
when he was here two summers since--Mr. Wharton I think his name was?"
asked Miss Evelina.

"Mr. Tom Wharton? Oh, he will be here in a few days. He has purchased
the place next to us, and is about to build there. I suppose, as it is
no longer a secret, I may tell you that he is soon to be married to my
cousin, Effie Wharton. They will remain with us most of the time till
their house is finished."

The countenances of the visitors fell on hearing this, and they soon
rose and took leave.

And now we know not better how to wind up or _run down_ our story, than
to pass over two or three years and introduce our reader to another
Christmas party at Mr. Wharton's, for it still is the custom, for all
the scattered members of the family to gather in the paternal mansion to
spend the Christmas holidays.

Mr. and Mrs. Wharton appear as a fine-looking middle-aged couple, on
whom the years sit lightly, for their lives have been happy and useful
ones, and there is no such preservative of fresh and youthful looks, as
a contented mind and an untroubled conscience. The two older sons are
married. Robert is settled as a clergyman in a western village, and
Albert as a merchant in the city; these with their wives, most charming
women both, are there.

Mr. Malcolm, who wondered more and more that he ever had the presumption
to suppose that such a woman as Emily Wharton could fancy him, at last
so recovered from his disappointment as again to entertain thoughts of
matrimony; and he and our friend Grace have been married about six
months, and are nicely settled in their own pretty house at Hillsdale,
where Mr. Malcolm is still the loved and honored pastor. Cousin Emily,
calm and tranquil as ever to all outward appearance, aided in the
preparations and appeared at the wedding, and it was no cause of
wonderment to any, that she was confined to her bed the next day with
one of her nervous headaches, for great excitement and fatigue were
always too much for cousin Emily.

Mr. Tom Wharton and Effie are at home too, the former no whit more
sedate, in consequence of the added dignities of husband and father
which attach to him.

And our own dear Agnes is there too, with her husband, her two little
step-daughters, and her own little boy, a noble, handsome little fellow,
but with some traits of character which occasionally cause a pang to
cross the heart of his mother; they remind her so of the childhood of
one whose sun went down so early and so sadly. But we hope much that
proper training, with the divine blessing, will so mould and guide this
tender plant, that it will grow up to be an ornament and a blessing to
all around, Agnes makes just such a step-mother as we should expect,
and her dear little girls feel that in her they have indeed found a
mother.

But long after all the rest of the large party have been seated at the
dinner-table, there remains a vacant seat, and here at last slowly comes
the expected occupant.

What, cousin Betty! alive yet? Yes, and "alive like to be," till she has
finished her century. She retains many of her old, strange habits, but
has long since given up _dying_, as others begin to expect such an event
to happen in the ordinary course of nature; indeed, it rather hurts
cousin Betty's feelings to be spoken of as a very aged person, or as one
whose time on earth is probably short. She is laying her plans for the
future as busily as any one, and it may be that her old wrinkled face
will be seen in its accustomed haunts long after some of the blooming
ones around that board are mouldering in the grave.

Old Mammy too, whose home has been with Agnes ever since her marriage,
has come back to her old home for the Christmas holidays. But Mammy is
a good deal broken, and nothing is required of her by her kind mistress,
except such little offices as it is a pleasure to her to perform.

Cousin Emily, the "old maid cousin," as she calls herself, is in great
demand; indeed, as she says, she is a perfect "bone of contention," and
in order to keep peace with all, she has had to divide the year into
four parts, and give three months to each of those who have the
strongest claim upon her time. It is always a season of rejoicing when
cousin Emily arrives, with her ever cheerful face, her entertaining
conversation for the older ones, and her fund of stories and anecdotes
for the children.

After dinner came an old-fashioned Christmas frolic, and the older ones
were children again, and the children as wild and noisy as they chose to
be. Mr. Wharton on entering the room suddenly, saw his nephew, Mr. Tom,
going around the room on all fours, as a horse, driven by his only son
and heir, Master Tom, junior.

"Tom," said Mr. Wharton suddenly, "how do you prefer calf's head?"

"What do you mean by that, uncle?" said Mr. Tom, pausing a moment and
looking up.

"I took some notes of a certain conversation which took place some years
ago," said his uncle, "in which a certain young gentleman called a
certain old gentleman _a calf_, because he made such a fool of himself
as to be a horse for his little son to drive; and this young gentleman
said he would sooner eat his head, than make such an exhibition of
himself."

"Well, circumstances do alter cases, don't they, uncle?" said Mr. Tom,
beginning to prance about again under the renewed blows of the whip in
Master Tom junior's hand.

Mrs. Arlington and her daughters still keep their school, which is as
popular and flourishing as ever. Rosa and Jessie Fairland are still
under their care, and it is a great pleasure to Agnes to see what fine,
agreeable girls they are growing up to be. They retain a warm affection
for Agnes and pass many a pleasant day at the Rookery, when they are at
home for a vacation. Frank is still under Mr. Malcolm's care, and a
member of his family, Mr. Malcolm finds him a much more tractable pupil
than one we know of, to whom he tried to do his duty many years ago. And
we must not close without saying a word of the kind, true-hearted, Ruth
Glenn. Governor F----, at the close of his term of office was
re-elected, and when at last he left the city and returned to his
country home, it was with the deep regrets of all the many friends which
his residence in the capitol had not failed to create for himself, and
his amiable wife. As she passed within a few miles of Wilston, Mrs.
F---- turned out of her way to stop and pay Agnes a short visit, and she
found again the bright and cheerful Agnes of former times; and many a
pleasant hour the friends enjoyed together, in talking over the days and
_nights_ at Mrs. Arlington's school, for even out of the latter they
could now draw some amusing recollections.

Miss Calista and Miss Evelina are still on the "look out." The wife of
the clergyman at Wilston, having died about a year since, Miss Calista,
ever ready to take advantage of any _opening_, began immediately to
attend church very regularly, and with a vary sanctimonious and
attentive air. It remains to be seen whether anything comes of it.

And now our task is done. If the sad story of the short life of poor
Lewie, will be the means of leading any mother to use more carefully and
more conscientiously, the power which she _alone_ possesses now, of
training aright the little plants in her nursery, so that they may grow
up fair and flourishing, and bear good fruit; and in time repay her care
by the fragrance and beauty and comfort which they shower about her
declining days, it will be enough. And may each little plant, so
trained, bloom evermore in the paradise of God.


THE END.

Every one is Enraptured with the Book--Every one will Read it!

SIX THOUSAND PUBLISHED IN THIRTY DAYS!

UPS AND DOWNS,

Or Silver Lake Sketches.

BY COUSIN CICELY, Author of Lewie or the Bended Twig

_One Elegant 12mo. Vol., with Ten Illustrations by Coffin, and engraved

by the best artists. Cloth, gilt_, $1.25.

ALDEN & BEARDSLEY, Auburn and Rochester, N.Y., Publishers


_The Critics give it Unqualified Commendation_.

Cousin Cicely's "Lewie, or the Bended Twig," published and widely read
not long ago, was a volume to sharpen the reader's appetite for "more of
the same sort." ***** 'Ups and Downs' is a cluster of sketches and
incidents in real life, narrated with a grace of thought and flow of
expression rarely to be met. The sketches well entitle the volume to its
name, for they are pictures of many sides of life--some grave, some gay,
some cheering and some sad, pervaded by a genial spirit and developing
good morals.

Either of the fifteen sketches will amply repay the purchaser of the
volume, and unless our judgment is false, _after a careful reading_,
"Ups and Downs" will make an impression beyond "the pleasant effect to
while away a few unoccupied moments." The Publishers have given Cousin
Cicely's gems a setting worthy of their brilliancy. The ten
illustrations are capital in design and execution, and it strikes us as
remarkable how such a volume can be profitably got up at the price for
which it is sold. The secret must lie in large circulation--which "Ups
and Downs" is certain to secure.--N.Y. _Evening Mirror_.

_Who is Cousin Cicely_?--We begin to think Cousin Cicely is _somebody_,
and feel disposed to ask, who is she? We several months ago noticed her
"Lewie" in this journal. It is a story with a fine moral, beautiful and
touching in its development. It has already quietly made its way to a
circulation of _twelve thousand_, "without beating a drum or crying
oysters." Pretty good evidence that there is something in it. Our
readers have already had a taste of "_Ups and Downs_," for we find among
its contents a story entitled "_Miss Todd, M.D., or a Disease of the
Heart_," which was published in this journal a few months ago We venture
to say that _no one_ who read has forgotten it, and those who remember
it will be glad to know where they can find plenty more of the "same
sort."--_U.S. Journal_.

* * * Sketches of life as it is, and of some things as they should be;
all drawn with a light pencil, and abounding with touches of real
genius, Cousin Cicely has improved her former good reputation in our
opinion, by this effort.--_The Wesleyan_.





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