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Title: Home as Found
Author: Cooper, James Fenimore, 1789-1851
Language: English
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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 "Home as Found" ***

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Home as Found.

Sequel to "Homeward Bound."

By J. Fenimore Cooper.

Complete in one volume.

1871.



    "Thou art perfect."
                PR. HON



Preface



Those who have done us the favour to read "Homeward Bound" will at
once perceive that the incidents of this book commence at the point
where those of the work just mentioned ceased. We are fully aware of
the disadvantage of dividing the interest of a tale in this manner;
circumstances over which the writer had very little control. As any
one who may happen to take up this volume will very soon discover
that there is other matter which it is necessary to know it may be as
well to tell all such persons, in the commencement, therefore, that
their reading will be bootless, unless they have leisure to turn to
the pages of Homeward Bound for their cue.

We remember the despair with which that admirable observer of men,
Mr. Mathews the comedian, confessed the hopelessness of success, in
his endeavours to obtain a sufficiency of prominent and distinctive
features to compose an entertainment founded on American character.
The whole nation struck him as being destitute of salient points, and
as characterized by a respectable mediocrity, that, however useful it
might be in its way, was utterly without poetry, humour, or interest
to the observer. For one who dealt principally with the more
conspicuous absurdities of his fellow-creatures, Mr. Mathews was
certainly right; we also believe him to have been right in the main,
in the general tenor of his opinion; for this country, in its
ordinary aspects, probably presents as barren a field to the writer
of fiction, and to the dramatist, as any other on earth; we are not
certain that we might not say the most barren. We believe that no
attempt to delineate ordinary American life, either on the stage, or
in the pages of a novel, has been rewarded with success. Even those
works in which the desire to illustrate a principle has been the aim,
when the picture has been brought within this homely frame, have had
to contend with disadvantages that have been commonly found
insurmountable. The latter being the intention of this book, the task
has been undertaken with a perfect consciousness of all its
difficulties, and with scarcely a hope of success. It would be indeed
a desperate undertaking, to think of making anything interesting in
the way of a _Roman de Société_ in this country; still useful glances
may possibly be made even in that direction, and we trust that the
fidelity of one or two of our portraits will be recognized by the
looker-on, although they will very likely be denied by the sitters
themselves.

There seems to be a pervading principle in things, which gives an
accumulating energy to any active property that may happen to be in
the ascendant, at the time being.--Money produces money; knowledge is
the parent of knowledge; and ignorance fortifies ignorance.--In a
word, like begets like. The governing social evil of America is
provincialism; a misfortune that is perhaps inseparable from her
situation. Without a social capital, with twenty or more communities
divided by distance and political barriers, her people, who are
really more homogenous than any other of the same numbers in the
world perhaps, possess no standard for opinion, manners, social
maxims, or even language.

Every man, as a matter of course, refers to his own particular
experience, and praises or condemns agreeably to notions contracted
in the circle of his own habits, however narrow, provincial, or
erroneous they may happen to be. As a consequence, no useful stage
can exist; for the dramatist who should endeavour to delineate the
faults of society, would find a formidable party arrayed against him,
in a moment, with no party to defend. As another consequence, we see
individuals constantly assailed with a wolf-like ferocity, while
society is everywhere permitted to pass unscathed.

That the American nation is a great nation, in some particulars the
greatest the world ever saw, we hold to be true, and are as ready to
maintain as any one can be; but we are also equally ready to concede,
that it is very far behind most polished nations in various
essentials, and chiefly, that it is lamentably in arrears to its own
avowed principles. Perhaps this truth will be found to be the
predominant thought, throughout the pages of "Home As Found."

Home as Found.

Chapter I.

  "Good morrow, coz. Good morrow, sweet Hero."

  SHAKSPEARE.

When Mr. Effingham determined to return home, he sent orders to his
agent to prepare his town-house in New-York for his reception,
intending to pass a month or two in it, then to repair to Washington
for a few weeks, at the close of its season, and to visit his country
residence when the spring should fairly open. Accordingly, Eve now
found herself at the head of one of the largest establishments, in
the largest American town, within an hour after she had landed from
the ship. Fortunately for her, however, her father was too just to
consider a wife, or a daughter, a mere upper servant, and he rightly
judged that a liberal portion of his income should be assigned to the
procuring of that higher quality of domestic service, which can alone
relieve the mistress of a household from a burthen so heavy to be
borne. Unlike so many of those around him, who would spend on a
single pretending and comfortless entertainment, in which the
ostentatious folly of one contended with the ostentatious folly of
another a sum that, properly directed, would introduce order and
system into a family for a twelvemonth, by commanding the time and
knowledge of those whose study they had been, and who would be
willing to devote themselves to such objects, and then permit their
wives and daughters to return to the drudgery to which the sex seems
doomed in this country, he first bethought him of the wants of social
life before he aspired to its parade. A man of the world, Mr.
Effingham possessed the requisite knowledge, and a man of justice,
the requisite fairness, to permit those who depended on him so much
for their happiness, to share equitably in the good things that
Providence had so liberally bestowed on himself. In other words, he
made two people comfortable, by paying a generous price for a
housekeeper; his daughter, in the first place, by releasing her from
cares that, necessarily, formed no more a part of her duties than it
would be a part of her duty to sweep the pavement before the door;
and, in the next place, a very respectable woman who was glad to
obtain so good a home on so easy terms. To this simple and just
expedient, Eve was indebted for being at the head of one of the
quietest, most truly elegant, and best, ordered establishments in
America, with no other demands on her time than that which was
necessary to issue a few orders in the morning, and to examine a few
accounts once a week.

One of the first and the most acceptable of the visits that Eve
received, was from her cousin, Grace Van Cortlandt, who was in the
country at the moment of her arrival, but who hurried back to town to
meet her old school-fellow and kinswoman, the instant she heard of
her having landed. Eve Effingham and Grace Van Cortlandt were
sisters' children, and had been born within a month of each other. As
the latter was without father or mother, most of their time had been
passed together, until the former was taken abroad, when a separation
unavoidably ensued. Mr. Effingham ardently desired, and had actually
designed, to take his niece with him to Europe, but her paternal
grandfather, who was still living, objected his years and affection,
and the scheme was reluctantly abandoned. This grandfather was now
dead, and Grace had been left with a very ample fortune, almost
entirely the mistress of her own movements.

The moment of the meeting between these two warm-hearted and
sincerely attached young women, was one of great interest and anxiety
to both. They retained for each other the tenderest love, though the
years that had separated them had given rise to so many new
impressions and habits that they did not prepare themselves for the
interview without apprehension. This interview took place about a
week after Eve was established in Hudson Square, and at an hour
earlier than was usual for the reception of visits. Hearing a
carriage stop before the door, and the bell ring, our heroine stole a
glance from behind a curtain and recognized her cousin as she
alighted.

"_Qu'avez-vous, ma chere_?" demanded Mademoiselle Viefville,
observing that her _élève_ trembled and grew pale.

"It is my cousin, Miss Van Cortlandt--she whom I loved as a sister--
we now meet for the first time in so many years!"

"_Bien_--_c'est une très jolie jeune personne_!" returned the
governess, taking a glance from the spot Eve had just quitted. "_Sur
le rapport de la personne, ma chere, vous devriez être contente, au
moins_."

"If you will excuse me, Mademoiselle, I will go down alone--I think I
should prefer to meet Grace without witnesses in the first
interview."

"_Très volontiers. Elle est parente, et c'est bien naturel."_

Eve, on this expressed approbation, met her maid at the door, as she
came to announce that _Mademoiselle de Cortlandt_ was in the library,
and descended slowly to meet her. The library was lighted from above
by means of a small dome, and Grace had unconsciously placed herself
in the very position that a painter would have chosen, had she been
about to sit for her portrait. A strong, full, rich light fell
obliquely on her as Eve entered, displaying her fine person and
beautiful features to the very best advantage, and they were features
and a person that are not seen every day even in a country where
female beauty is so common. She was in a carriage dress, and her
toilette was rather more elaborate than Eve had been accustomed to
see, at that hour, but still Eve thought she had seldom seen a more
lovely young creature. Some such thoughts, also, passed through the
mind of Grace herself, who, though struck, with a woman's readiness
in such matters, with the severe simplicity of Eve's attire, as well
as with its entire elegance, was more struck with the charms of her
countenance and figure. There was, in truth, a strong resemblance
between them, though each was distinguished by an expression suited
to her character, and to the habits of her mind.

"Miss Effingham!" said Grace, advancing a step to meet the lady who
entered, while her voice was scarcely audible and her limbs trembled.

"Miss Van Cortlandt!" said Eve, in the same low, smothered tone.

This formality caused a chill in both, and each unconsciously stopped
and curtsied. Eve had been so much struck with the coldness of the
American manner, during the week she had been at home, and Grace was
so sensitive on the subject of the opinion of one who had seen so
much of Europe, that there was great danger, at that critical moment,
the meeting would terminate unpropitiously.

Thus far, however, all had been rigidly decorous, though the strong
feelings that were glowing in the bosoms of both, had been so
completely suppressed. But the smile, cold and embarrassed as it was,
that each gave as she curtsied, had the sweet character of her
childhood in it, and recalled to both the girlish and affectionate
intercourse of their younger days.

"Grace!" said Eve, eagerly, advancing a step or two impetuously, and
blushing like the dawn.

"Eve!"

Each opened her arms, and in a moment they were locked in a long and
fervent embrace. This was the commencement of their former intimacy,
and before night Grace was domesticated in her uncle's house. It is
true that Miss Effingham perceived certain peculiarities about Miss
Van Cortlandt, that she had rather were absent; and Miss Van
Cortlandt would have felt more at her ease, had Miss Effingham a
little less reserve of manner, on certain subjects that the latter
had been taught to think interdicted. Notwithstanding these slight
separating shades in character, however, the natural affection was
warm and sincere; and if Eve, according to Grace's notions, was a
little stately and formal, she was polished and courteous, and if
Grace, according to Eve's notions, was a little too easy and
unreserved, she was feminine and delicate.

We pass over the three or four days that succeeded, during which Eve
had got to understand something of her new position, and we will come
at once to a conversation between the cousins, that will serve to let
the reader more intimately into the opinions, habits and feelings of
both, as well as to open the real subject of our narrative. This
conversation took place in that very library which had witnessed
their first interview, soon after breakfast, and while the young
ladies were still alone.

"I suppose, Eve, you will have to visit the Green's.--They are
Hajjis, and were much in society last winter."

"Hajjis!--You surely do not mean, Grace, that they have been to
Mecca?"

"Not at all: only to Paris, my dear; that makes a Hajji in New-York."

"And does it entitle the pilgrim to wear the green turban?" asked
Eve, laughing.

"To wear any thing, Miss Effingham; green, blue, or yellow, and to
cause it to pass for elegance."

"And which is the favourite colour with the family you have
mentioned?"

"It ought to be the first, in compliment to the name, but, if truth
must be said, I think they betray an affection for all, with not a
few of the half-tints in addition."

"I am afraid they are too _prononcées_ for us, by this description. I
am no great admirer, Grace, of walking rainbows."

"_Too_ Green, you would have said, had you dared; but you are a Hajji
too, and even the Greens know that a Hajji never puns, unless,
indeed, it might be one from Philadelphia. But you will visit these
people?"

"Certainly, if they are in society and render it necessary by their
own civilities."

"They _are_ in society, in virtue of their rights as Hajjis; but, as
they passed three months at Paris, you probably know something of
them."

"They may not have been there at the same time with ourselves,"
returned Eve, quietly, "and Paris is a very large town. Hundreds of
people come and go, that one never hears of. I do not remember those
you have mentioned."

"I wish you may escape them, for, in my untravelled judgment, they
are anything but agreeable, notwithstanding all they have seen, or
pretend to have seen."

"It is very possible to have been all over christendom, and to remain
exceedingly disagreeable; besides one may see a great deal, and yet
see very little of a good quality."

A pause of two or three minutes followed, during which Eve read a
note, and her cousin played with the leaves of a book.

"I wish I knew your real opinion of us, Eve," the last suddenly
exclaimed. "Why not be frank with so near a relative; tell me
honestly, now--are you reconciled to your country?"

"You are the eleventh person who has asked me this question, which I
find very extraordinary, as I have never quarrelled with my country."

"Nay, I do not mean exactly that. I wish to hear how our society has
struck one who has been educated abroad."

"You wish, then, for opinions that can have no great value, since my
experience at home, extends only to a fortnight. But you have many
books on the country, and some written by very clever persons; why
not consult them?"

"Oh! you mean the travellers. None of them are worth a second
thought, and we hold them, one and all, in great contempt."

"Of that I can have no manner of doubt, as one and all, you are
constantly protesting it, in the highways and bye-ways. There is no
more certain sign of contempt, than to be incessantly dwelling on its
intensity!"

Grace had great quickness, as well as her cousin, and though provoked
at Eve's quiet hit, she had the good sense and the good nature to
laugh.

"Perhaps we do protest and disdain a little too strenuously for good
taste, if not to gain believers; but surely, Eve, you do not support
these travellers in all that they have written of us?"

"Not in half, I can assure you. My father and cousin Jack have
discussed them too often in my presence to leave me in ignorance of
the very many political blunders they have made in particular."

"Political blunders!--I know nothing of them, and had rather thought
them right, in most of what they said about our politics. But,
surely, neither your father nor Mr. John Effingham corroborates what
they say of our society!"

"I cannot answer for either, on that point."

"Speak then for yourself. Do _you_ think them right?"

"You should remember, Grace, that I have not yet seen any society in
New-York."

"No society, dear!--Why you were at the Henderson's, and the
Morgan's, and the Drewett's; three of the greatest _réunions_ that we
have had in two winters!"'

"I did not know that you meant those unpleasant crowds, by society."

"Unpleasant crowds! Why, child, that _is_ society, is it not?'

"Not what I have been taught to consider such; I rather think it
would be better to call it company."

"And is not this what is called society in Paris?"

"As far from it as possible; it may be an excrescence of society; one
of its forms; but, by no means, society itself. It would be as true
to call cards, which are sometimes introduced in the world, society,
as to call a ball given in two small and crowded rooms, society. They
are merely two of the modes in which idlers endeavour to vary their
amusements."

"But we have little else than these balls, the morning visits, and an
occasional evening, in which there is no dancing."

"I am sorry to hear it; for, in that case, you can have no society."

"And is it different at Paris--or Florence, or Rome?"

"Very. In Paris there are many houses open every evening to which one
can go, with little ceremony. Our sex appears in them, dressed
according to what a gentleman I overheard conversing at Mrs.
Henderson's would call their 'ulterior intentions,' for the night;
some attired in the simplest manner, others dressed for concerts, for
the opera, for court even; some on the way from a dinner, and others
going to a late ball. All this matter of course variety, adds to the
case and grace of the company, and coupled with perfect good manners,
a certain knowledge of passing events, pretty modes of expression, an
accurate and even utterance, the women usually find the means of
making themselves agreeable. Their sentiment is sometimes a little
heroic, but this one must overlook, and it is a taste, moreover, that
is falling into disuse, as people read better books."

"And you prefer this heartlessness, Eve, to the nature of your own
country!"

"I do not know that quiet, _retenue_, and a good tone, are a whit
more heartless than flirting, giggling and childishness. There may be
more nature in the latter, certainly, but it is scarcely as
agreeable, after one has fairly got rid of the nursery."

Grace looked vexed, but she loved her cousin too sincerely to be
angry, A secret suspicion that Eve was right, too, came in aid of her
affection, and while her little foot moved, she maintained her good-
nature, a task not always attainable for those who believe that their
own "superlatives" scarcely reach to other people's "positives." At
this critical moment, when there was so much danger of a jar in the
feelings of these two young females, the library door opened and
Pierre, Mr. Effingham's own man, announced--

"Monsieur Bragg."

"Monsieur who?" asked Eve, in surprise.

"Monsieur Bragg," returned Pierre, in French, "desires to see
Mademoiselle."

"You mean my father,--I know no such person."

"He inquired first for Monsieur, but understanding Monsieur was out,
he next asked to have the honour of seeing Mademoiselle."

"Is it what they call a _person_ in England, Pierre?"

Old Pierre smiled, as he answered--

"He has the air, Mademoiselle, though he esteems himself a
_personnage_, if I might take the liberty of judging."

"Ask him for his card,--there must be a mistake, I think."

While this short conversation took place, Grace Van Cortlandt was
sketching a cottage with a pen, without attending to a word that was
said. But, when Eve received the card from Pierre and read aloud,
with the tone of surprise that the name would be apt to excite in a
novice in the art of American nomenclature, the words "Aristabulus
Bragg," her cousin began to laugh.

"Who can this possibly be, Grace?--Did you ever hear of such a
person, and what right can he have to wish to see me?"

"Admit him, by all means; it is your father's land agent, and he may
wish to leave some message for my uncle. You will be obliged to make
his acquaintance, sooner or later, and it may as well be done now as
at another time."

"You have shown this gentleman into the front drawing-room, Pierre?"

"Oui, Mademoiselle."

"I will ring when you are wanted."

Pierre withdrew, and Eve opened her secretary, out of which she took
a small manuscript book, over the leaves of which she passed her
fingers rapidly.

"Here it is," she said, smiling, "Mr. Aristabulus Bragg, Attorney and
Counsellor at Law, and the agent of the Templeton estate." This
precious little work, you must understand, Grace, contains sketches
of the characters of such persons as I shall be the most likely to
see, by John Effingham, A.M. It is a sealed volume, of course, but
there can be no harm in reading the part that treats of our present
visiter, and, with your permission, we will have it in common.--'Mr.
Aristabulus Bragg was born in one of the western counties of
Massachusetts, and emigrated to New-York, after receiving his
education, at the mature age of nineteen; at twenty-one he was
admitted to the bar, and for the last seven years he has been a
successful practitioner in all the courts of Otsego, from the
justice's to the circuit. His talents are undeniable, as he commenced
his education at fourteen and terminated it at twenty-one, the law-
course included. This man is an epitome of all that is good and all
that is bad, in a very large class of his fellow citizens. He is
quick-witted, prompt in action, enterprising in all things in which
he has nothing to lose, but wary and cautious in all things in which
he has a real stake, and ready to turn not only his hand, but his
heart and his principles to any thing that offers an advantage. With
him, literally, "nothing is too high to be aspired to, nothing too
low to be done." He will run for Governor, or for town-clerk, just as
opportunities occur, is expert in all the _practices_ of his
profession, has had a quarter's dancing, with three years in the
classics, and turned his attention towards medicine and divinity,
before he finally settled down into the law. Such a compound of
shrewdness, impudence, common-sense, pretension, humility,
cleverness, vulgarity, kind-heartedness, duplicity, selfishness, law-
honesty, moral fraud and mother wit, mixed up with a smattering of
learning and much penetration in practical things, can hardly be
described, as any one of his prominent qualities is certain to be met
by another quite as obvious that is almost its converse. Mr. Bragg,
in short, is purely a creature of circumstances, his qualities
pointing him out for either a member of congress or a deputy sheriff,
offices that he is equally ready to fill. I have employed him to
watch over the estate of your father, in the absence of the latter,
on the principle that one practised in tricks is the best qualified
to detect and expose them, and with the certainty that no man will
trespass with impunity, so long as the courts continue to tax bills
of costs with their present liberality.' You appear to know the
gentleman, Grace; is this character of him faithful?"

"I know nothing of bills of costs and deputy sheriffs, but I do know
that Mr. Aristabulus Bragg is an amusing mixture of strut, humility,
roguery and cleverness. He is waiting all this time in the drawing-
room, and you had better see him, as he may, now, be almost
considered part of the family. You know he has been living in the
house at Templeton, ever since he was installed by Mr. John
Effingham. It was there I had the honour first to meet him,"

"First!--Surely you have never seen him any where else!"

"Your pardon, my dear. He never comes to town without honouring me
with a call. This is the price I pay for having had the honour of
being an inmate of the same house with him for a week."

Eve rang the bell, and Pierre made his appearance.

"Desire Mr. Bragg to walk into the library."

Grace looked demure while Pierre was gone to usher in their visiter,
and Eve was thinking of the medley of qualities John Effingham had
assembled in his description, as the door opened, and the subject of
her contemplation entered.

"_Monsieur Aristabule_" said Pierre, eyeing the card, but sticking at
the first name.

Mr. Aristabulus Bragg was advancing with an easy assurance to make
his bow to the ladies, when the more finished air and quiet dignity
of Miss Effingham, who was standing, so far disconcerted him, as
completely to upset his self-possession. As Grace had expressed it,
in consequence of having lived three years in the old residence at
Templeton, he had begun to consider himself a part of the family, and
at home he never spoke of the young lady without calling her "Eve,"
or "Eve Effingham." But he found it a very different thing to affect
familiarity among his associates, and to practise it in the very face
of its subject; and, although seldom at a loss for words of some sort
or another, he was now actually dumb-founded. Eve relieved his
awkwardness by directing Pierre, with her eye, to hand a chair, and
first speaking.

"I regret that my father is not in," she said, by way of turning the
visit from herself; "but he is to be expected every moment. Are you
lately from Templeton?"

Aristabulus drew his breath, and recovered enough of his ordinary
tone of manner to reply with a decent regard to his character for
self-command. The intimacy that he had intended to establish on the
spot, was temporarily defeated, it is true, and without his exactly
knowing how it had been effected; for it was merely the steadiness of
the young lady, blended as it was with a polished reserve, that had
thrown him to a distance he could not explain. He felt immediately,
and with taste that did his sagacity credit, that his footing in this
quarter was only to be obtained by unusually slow and cautious means.
Still, Mr. Bragg was a man of great decision, and, in his way, of
very far-sighted views; and, singular as it may seem, at that
unpropitious moment, he mentally determined that, at no very distant
day, he would make Miss Eve Effingham his wife.

"I hope Mr. Effingham enjoys good health," he said, with some such
caution as a rebuked school-girl enters on the recitation of her
task--"he enjoyed bad health I hear, (Mr. Aristabulus Bragg, though
so shrewd, was far from critical in his modes of speech) when he went
to Europe, and after travelling so far in such bad company, it would
be no more than fair that he should have a little respite as he
approaches home and old age."

Had Eve been told that the man who uttered this nice sentiment, and
that too in accents as uncouth and provincial as the thought was
finished and lucid, actually presumed to think of her as his bosom
companion, it is not easy to say which would have predominated in her
mind, mirth or resentment. But Mr. Bragg was not in the habit of
letting his secrets escape him prematurely, and certainly this was
one that none but a wizard could have discovered without the aid of a
direct oral or written communication.

"Are you lately from Templeton?" repeated Eve a little surprised that
the gentleman did not see fit to answer the question, which was the
only one that, as it seemed to her, could have a common interest with
them both.

"I left home the day before yesterday," Aristabulus now deigned to
reply.

"It is so long since I saw our beautiful mountains and I was then so
young, that I feel a great impatience to revisit them, though the
pleasure must be deferred until spring."

"I conclude they are the handsomest mountains in the known world,
Miss Effingham!"

"That is much more than I shall venture to claim for them; but,
according to my imperfect recollection, and, what I esteem of far
more importance, according to the united testimony of Mr. John
Effingham and my father, I think they must be very beautiful."

Aristabulus looked up, as if he had a facetious thing to say, and he
even ventured on a smile, while he made his answer.

"I hope Mr. John Effingham has prepared you for a great change in the
house?"

"We know that it has been repaired and altered under his directions.
That was done at my father's request."

"We consider it denationalized, Miss Effingham, there being nothing
like it, west of Albany at least."

"I should be sorry to find that my cousin has subjected us to this
imputation," said Eve smiling--perhaps a little equivocally; "the
architecture of America being generally so simple and pure. Mr.
Effingham laughs at his own improvements, however, in which, he says,
he has only carried out the plans of the original _artiste_, who
worked very much in what was called the composite order.

"You allude to Mr. Hiram Doolittle, a gentleman I never saw; though I
hear he has left behind him many traces of his progress in the newer
states. _Ex pede Herculem_, as we say, in the classics, Miss
Effingham I believe it is the general sentiment that Mr. Doolittle's
designs have been improved on, though most people think that the
Grecian or Roman architecture, which is so much in use in America,
would be more republican. But every body knows that Mr. John
Effingham is not much of a republican."

Eve did not choose to discuss her kinsman's opinions with Mr.
Aristabulus Bragg, and she quietly remarked that she "did not know
that the imitations of the ancient architecture, of which there are
so many in the country, were owing to attachment to republicanism."

"To what else can it be owing, Miss Eve?"

"Sure enough," said Grace Van Cortlandt; "it is unsuited to the
materials, the climate, and the uses; and some very powerful motive,
like that mentioned by Mr. Bragg, could alone overcome these
obstacles."

Aristabulus started from his seat, and making sundry apologies,
declared his previous unconsciousness that Miss Van Cortlandt was
present; all of which was true enough, as he had been so much
occupied mentally, with her cousin, as not to have observed her,
seated as she was partly behind a screen. Grace received the excuses
favourably, and the conversation was resumed.

"I am sorry that my cousin should offend the taste of the country,"
said Eve, "but as we are to live in the house, the punishment will
fall heaviest on the offenders."

"Do not mistake me, Miss Eve," returned Aristabulus, in a little
alarm, for he too well understood the influence and wealth of John
Effingham, not to wish to be on good terms with him; "do not mistake
me, I admire the house, and know it to be a perfect specimen of a
pure architecture in its way, but then public opinion is not yet
quite up to it. I see all its beauties, I would wish you to know, but
then there are many, a majority perhaps, who do not, and these
persons think they ought to be consulted about such matters."

"I believe Mr. John Effingham thinks less of his own work than you
seem to think of it yourself, sir, for I have frequently heard him
laugh at it, as a mere enlargement of the merits of the composite
order. He calls it a caprice, rather than a taste: nor do I see what
concern a majority, as you term them, can have with a house that does
not belong to them."

Aristabulus was surprised that any one could disregard a majority;
for, in this respect, he a good deal resembled Mr. Dodge, though
running a different career; and the look of surprise he gave was
natural and open.

"I do not mean that the public has a legal right to control the
tastes of the citizen," he said, "but in a _republican_ government,
you undoubtedly understand, Miss Eve, it _will_ rule in all things."

"I can understand that one would wish to see his neighbour use good
taste, as it helps to embellish a country; but the man who should
consult the whole neighbourhood before he built, would be very apt to
cause a complicated house to be erected, if he paid much respect to
the different opinions he received; or, what is quite as likely, apt
to have no house at all."

"I think you are mistaken, Miss Effingham, for the public sentiment,
just now, runs almost exclusively and popularly into the Grecian
school. We build little besides temples for our churches, our banks,
our taverns, our court-houses, and our dwellings. A friend of mine
has just built a brewery on the model of the Temple of the Winds."

"Had it been a mill, one might understand the conceit," said Eve, who
now began to perceive that her visiter had some latent humour, though
he produced it in a manner to induce one to think him any thing but a
droll. "The mountains must be doubly beautiful, if they are decorated
in the way you mention. I sincerely hope, Grace, that I shall find
the hills as pleasant as they now exist in my recollection!"

"Should they not prove to be quite as lovely as you imagine, Miss
Effingham," returned Aristabulus, who saw no impropriety in answering
a remark made to Miss Van Cortlandt, or any one else, "I hope you
will have the kindness to conceal the fact from the world."

"I am afraid that would exceed my power, the disappointment would be
so strong. May I ask why you show so much interest in my keeping so
cruel a mortification to myself?"

"Why, Miss Eve," said Aristabulus, looking grave, "I am afraid that
_our_ people would hardly bear the expression of such an opinion from
_you_"

"From _me!_--and why not from _me_, in particular?"

"Perhaps it is because they think you have travelled, and have seen
other countries."

"And is it only those who have _not_ travelled, and who have no means
of knowing the value of what they say, that are privileged to
criticise?"

"I cannot exactly explain my own meaning, perhaps, but I think Miss
Grace will understand me. Do you not agree with me, Miss Van
Cortlandt, in thinking it would be safer for one who never saw any
other mountains to complain of the tameness and monotony of our own,
than for one who had passed a whole life among the Andes and the
Alps?"

Eve smiled, for she saw that Mr. Bragg was capable of detecting and
laughing at provincial pride, even while he was so much under its
influence; and Grace coloured, for she had the consciousness of
having already betrayed some of this very silly sensitiveness, in her
intercourse with her cousin, in connexion with other subjects. A
reply was unnecessary, however, as the door just then opened, and
John Effingham made his appearance. The meeting between the two
gentlemen, for we suppose Aristabulus must be included in the
category by courtesy, if not of right, was more cordial than Eve had
expected to witness, for each really entertained a respect for the
other, in reference to a merit of a particular sort; Mr. Bragg
esteeming Mr. John Effingham as a wealthy and caustic cynic, and Mr.
John Effingham regarding Mr. Bragg much as the owner of a dwelling
regards a valuable house-dog. After a few moments of conversation,
the two withdrew together, and just as the ladies were about to
descend to the drawing-room, previously to dinner, Pierre announced
that a plate had been ordered for the land agent.

Chapter II.

  "I know that Deformed; he has been a vile thief this seven year he
  goes up and down like a gentleman."

  MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.

Eve, and her cousin, found Sir George Templemore and Captain Truck in
the drawing-room, the former having lingered in New-York, with a
desire to be near his friends, and the latter being on the point of
sailing for Europe, in his regular turn. To these must be added Mr.
Bragg and the ordinary inmates of the house, when the reader will get
a view of the whole party.

Aristabulus had never before sat down to as brilliant a table, and
for the first time in his life, he saw candles lighted at a dinner;
but he was not a man to be disconcerted at a novelty. Had he been a
European of the same origin and habits, awkwardness would have
betrayed him fifty times, before the dessert made its appearance;
but, being the man he was, one who overlooked a certain prurient
politeness that rather illustrated his deportment, might very well
have permitted him to pass among the _oi polloi_ of the world, were
it not for a peculiar management in the way of providing for himself.
It is true, he asked every one near him to eat of every thing he
could himself reach, and that he used his knife as a coal-heaver uses
a shovel; but the company he was in, though fastidious in its own
deportment, was altogether above the silver-forkisms, and this
portion of his demeanour, if it did not escape undetected, passed
away unnoticed. Not so, however, with the peculiarity already
mentioned as an exception. This touch of deportment, (or management,
perhaps, is the better word,) being characteristic of the man, it
deserves to be mentioned a little in detail.

The service at Mr. Effingham's table was made in the quiet, but
thorough manner that distinguishes a French dinner. Every dish was
removed, carved by the domestics, and handed in turn to each guest.
But there were a delay and a finish in this arrangement that
suited neither Aristabulus's go-a-head-ism, nor his organ of
acquisitiveness. Instead of waiting, therefore, for the more
graduated movements of the domestics, he began to take care of
himself, an office that he performed with a certain dexterity that he
had acquired by frequenting ordinaries--a school, by the way, in
which he had obtained most of his notions of the proprieties of the
table. One or two slices were obtained in the usual manner, or by
means of the regular service; and, then, like one who had laid the
foundation of a fortune, by some lucky windfall in the commencement
of his career, he began to make accessions, right and left, as
opportunity offered. Sundry _entremets_, or light dishes that had a
peculiarly tempting appearance, came first under his grasp. Of these
he soon accumulated all within his reach, by taxing his neighbours,
when he ventured to send his plate, here and there, or wherever he
saw a dish that promised to reward his trouble. By such means, which
were resorted to, however, with a quiet and unobtrusive assiduity
that escaped much observation, Mr. Bragg contrived to make his own
plate a sample epitome of the first course. It contained in the
centre, fish, beef, and ham; and around these staple articles, he had
arranged _croquettes, rognons, râgouts_, vegetables, and other light
things, until not only was the plate completely covered, but it was
actually covered in double and triple layers; mustard, cold butter,
salt, and even pepper, garnishing its edges. These different
accumulations were the work of time and address, and most of the
company had repeatedly changed their plates before Aristabulus had
eaten a mouthful, the soup excepted. The happy moment when his
ingenuity was to be rewarded, had now arrived, and the land agent was
about to commence the process of mastication, or of deglutition
rather, for he troubled himself very little with the first operation,
when the report of a cork drew his attention towards the chaimpaigne.
To Aristabulus this wine never came amiss, for, relishing its
piquancy, he had never gone far enough into the science of the table
to learn which were the proper moments for using it. As respected all
the others at table, this moment had in truth arrived, though, as
respected himself, he was no nearer to it, according to a regulated
taste, than when he first took his seat. Perceiving that Pierre was
serving it, however, he offered his own glass, and enjoyed a
delicious instant, as he swallowed a beverage that much surpassed any
thing he had ever known to issue out of the waxed and leaded nozles
that, pointed like so many enemies' batteries, loaded with headaches
and disordered stomachs, garnished sundry village bars of his
acquaintance.

Aristabulus finished his glass at a draught, and when he took breath,
he fairly smacked his lips. That was an unlucky instant, his plate,
burthened with all its treasures, being removed, at this unguarded
moment; the man who performed the unkind office, fancying that a
dislike to the dishes could alone have given rise to such an omnium-
gatherum.

It was necessary to commence _de novo_, but this could no longer be
done with the first course, which was removed, and Aristabulus set-
to, with zeal, forthwith, on the game. Necessity compelled him to
eat, as the different dishes were offered; and, such was his ordinary
assiduity with the knife and fork, that, at the end of the second
remove, he had actually disposed of more food than any other person
at table. He now began to converse, and we shall open the
conversation at the precise point in the dinner, when it was in the
power of Aristabulus to make one of the interlocutors.

Unlike Mr. Dodge, he had betrayed no peculiar interest in the
baronet, being a man too shrewd and worldly to set his heart on
trifles of any sort; and Mr. Bragg no more hesitated about replying
to Sir George Templemore, or Mr. Effingham, than he would have
hesitated about answering one of his own nearest associates. With him
age and experience formed no particular claims to be heard, and, as
to rank, it is true he had some vague ideas about there being such a
thing in the militia, but as it was unsalaried rank, he attached no
great importance to it. Sir George Templemore was inquiring
concerning the recording of deeds, a regulation that had recently
attracted attention in England; and one of Mr. Effingham's replies
contained some immaterial inaccuracy, which Aristabulus took occasion
to correct, as his first appearance in the general discourse.

"I ask pardon, sir," he concluded his explanations by saying, "but I
ought to know these little niceties, having served a short part of a
term as a county clerk, to fill a vacancy occasioned by a death."

"You mean, Mr. Bragg, that you were employed to _write_ in a county
clerk's office," observed John Effingham, who so much disliked
untruth, that he did not hesitate much about refuting it; or what he
now fancied to be an untruth.

"As county clerk, sir. Major Pippin died a year before his time was
out, and I got the appointment. As regular a county clerk, sir, as
there is in the fifty-six counties of New-York."

"When I had the honour to engage you as Mr. Effingham's agent, sir,"
returned the other, a little sternly, for he felt his own character
for veracity involved in that of the subject of his selection, "I
believe, indeed, that you were writing in the office, but I did not
understand it was as _the_ clerk."

"Very true, Mr. John," returned Aristabulus, without discovering the
least concern, "I was _then_ engaged by my successor as _a_ clerk;
but a few months earlier, I filled the office myself."

"Had you gone on, in the regular line of promotion, my dear sir,"
pithily inquired Captain Truck, "to what preferment would you have
risen by this time?"

"I believe I understand you, gentlemen," returned the unmoved
Aristabulus, who perceived a general smile. "I know that some people
are particular about keeping pretty much on the same level, as to
office: but I hold to no such doctrine. If one good thing cannot be
had, I do not see that it is a reason for rejecting another. I ran
that year for sheriff, and finding I was not strong enough to carry
the county, I accepted my successor's offer to write in the office,
until something better might turn up."

"You practised all this time, I believe, Mr. Bragg," observed John
Effingham.

"I did a little in that way, too, sir; or as much as I could. Law is
flat with us, of late, and many of the attorneys are turning their
attention to other callings."

"And pray, sir," asked Sir George, "what is the favourite pursuit
with most of them, just now?"

"Some our way have gone into the horse-line; but much the greater
portion are, just now, dealing in western cities.

"In western cities!" exclaimed the baronet, looking as if he
distrusted a mystification.

"In such articles, and in mill-seats, and rail-road lines, and other
expectations."

"Mr. Bragg means that they are buying and selling lands on which it
is hoped all these conveniences may exist, a century hence,"
explained John Effingham.

"The _hope_ is for next year, or next week, even, Mr. John," returned
Aristabulus, with a sly look, "though you may be very right as to the
_reality_. Great fortunes have been made on a capital of hopes,
lately, in this country."

"And have you been able, yourself, to resist these temptations?"
asked Mr. Effingham. "I feel doubly indebted to you, sir, that you
should have continued to devote your time to my interests, while so
many better things were offering."

"It was my duty, sir," said Aristabulus, bowing so much the lower,
from the consciousness that he had actually deserted his post for
some months, to embark in the western speculations that were then so
active in the country, "not to say my pleasure. There are many
profitable occupations in this country, Sir George, that have been
overlooked in the eagerness to embark in the town-trade--"

"Mr. Bragg does not mean trade in town, but trade in towns,"
explained John Effingham.

"Yes, sir, the traffic in cities. I never come this way, without
casting an eye about me, in order to see if there is any thing to be
done that is useful; and I confess that several available
opportunities have offered, if one had capital. Milk is a good
business."

"_Le lait!_" exclaimed Mademoiselle Viefville, involuntarily.

"Yes, ma'am, for ladies as well as gentlemen. Sweet potatoes I have
heard well spoken of, and peaches are really making some rich men's
fortunes."

"All of which are honester and better occupations than the traffic in
cities, that you have mentioned," quietly observed Mr. Effingham.

Aristabulus looked up in a little surprise, for with him every thing
was eligible that returned a good profit, and all things honest that
the law did not actually punish. Perceiving, however, that the
company was disposed to listen, and having, by this time, recovered
the lost ground, in the way of food, he cheerfully resumed his theme.

"Many families have left Otsego, this and the last summer, Mr.
Effingham, as emigrants for the west. The fever has spread far and
wide."

"The fever! Is _old_ Otsego," for so its inhabitants loved to call a
county of half a century's existence, it being venerable by
comparison, "is _old_ Otsego losing its well established character
for salubrity?"

"I do not allude to an animal fever, but to the western fever."

"_Ce pays de l'ouest, est-il bien malsain_?" whispered Mademoiselle
Viefville.

"_Apparemment, Mademoiselle, sur plusieurs rapports."_

"The western fever has seized old and young, and it has carried off
many active families from our part of the world," continued
Aristabulus, who did not understand the little aside just mentioned,
and who, of course, did not heed it; "most of the counties adjoining
our own have lost a considerable portion of their population."

"And they who have gone, do they belong to the permanent families, or
are they merely the floating inhabitants?" inquired Mr. Effingham.

"Most of them belong to the regular movers."

"Movers!" again exclaimed Sir George--"is there any material part of
your population who actually deserve this name?"

"As much so as the man who shoes a horse ought to be called a smith,
or the man who frames a house a carpenter," answered John Effingham.

"To be sure," continued Mr. Bragg, "we have a pretty considerable
leaven of them in our political dough, as well as in our active
business. I believe, Sir George, that in England, men are tolerably
stationary."

"We love to continue for generations on the same spot. We love the
tree that our forefathers planted, the roof that they built, the
fire-side by which they sat, the sods that cover their remains."

"Very poetical, and I dare say there are situations in life, in which
such feelings come in without much effort. It must be a great check
to business operations, however, in your part of the world, sir!"

"Business operations!--what is business, as you term it, sir, to the
affections, to the recollections of ancestry, and to the solemn
feelings connected with history and tradition?"

"Why, sir, in the way of history, one meets with but few incumbrances
in this country, but he may do very much as interest dictates, so far
as that is concerned, at least. A nation is much to be pitied that is
weighed down by the past, in this manner, since its industry and
enterprize are constantly impeded by obstacles that grow out of its
recollections. America may, indeed, be termed a happy and a free
country, Mr. John Effingham, in this, as well as in all other
things!"

Sir George Templemore was too well-bred to utter all he felt at that
moment, as it would unavoidably wound the feelings of his hosts, but
he was rewarded for his forbearance by intelligent smiles from Eve
and Grace, the latter of whom the young baronet fancied, just at that
moment, was quite as beautiful as her cousin, and if less finished in
manners, she had the most interesting _naiveté_.

"I have been told that most old nations have to struggle with
difficulties that we escape," returned John Effingham, "though I
confess this is a superiority on our part, that never before
presented itself to my mind."

"The political economists, and even the geographers have overlooked
it, but practical men see and feel its advantages, every hour in the
day. I have been told, Sir George Templemore, that in England, there
are difficulties in running highways and streets through homesteads
and dwellings; and that even a rail-road, or a canal, is obliged to
make a curve to avoid a church-yard or a tomb-stone?"

"I confess to the sin, sir."

"Our friend Mr. Bragg," put in John Effingham, "considers life as all
_means_ and no _end_."

"An end cannot be got at without the means, Mr. John Effingham, as I
trust you will, yourself, admit. I am for the end of the road, at
least, and must say that I rejoice in being a native of a country in
which as few impediments as possible exist to onward impulses. The
man who should resist an improvement, in our part of the country, on
account of his forefathers, would fare badly among his contemporaries."

"Will you permit me to ask, Mr. Bragg, if you feel no local
attachments yourself," enquired the baronet, throwing as much
delicacy into the tones of his voice, as a question that he felt
ought to be an insult to a man's heart, would allow--"if one tree is
not more pleasant than another; the house you were born in more
beautiful than a house into which you never entered; or the altar at
which you have long worshipped, more sacred than another at which you
never knelt?"

"Nothing gives me greater satisfaction than to answer the questions
of gentlemen that travel through our country," returned Aristabulus,
"for I think, in making nations acquainted with each other, we
encourage trade and render business more secure. To reply to your
inquiry, a human being is not a cat, to love a locality rather than
its own interests. I have found some trees much pleasanter than
others, and the pleasantest tree I can remember was one of my own,
out of which the sawyers made a thousand feet of clear stuff, to say
nothing of middlings. The house I was born in was pulled down,
shortly after my birth, as indeed has been its successor, so I can
tell you nothing on that head; and as for altars, there are none in
my persuasion."

"The church of Mr. Bragg has stripped itself as naked as he would
strip every thing else, if he could," said John Effingham. "I much
question if he ever knelt even; much less before an altar."

"We are of the standing order, certainly," returned Aristabulus,
glancing towards the ladies to discover how they took his wit, "and
Mr. John Effingham is as near right as a man need be, in a matter of
faith. In the way of houses, Mr. Effingham, I believe it is the
general opinion you might have done better with your own, than to
have repaired it. Had the materials been disposed of, they would have
sold well, and by running a street through the property, a pretty sum
might have been realized."

"In which case I should have been without a home, Mr. Bragg."

"It would have been no great matter to get another on cheaper land.
The old residence would have made a good factory, or an inn."

"Sir, I _am_ a cat, and like the places I have long frequented."

Aristabulus, though not easily daunted, was awed by Mr. Effingham's
manner, and Eve saw that her father's fine face had flushed. This
interruption, therefore, suddenly changed the discourse, which has
been recreated at some length, as likely to give the reader a better
insight into a character that will fill some space in our narrative,
than a more laboured description.

"I trust your owners, Captain Truck," said John Effingham, by way of
turning the conversation into another channel, "are fully satisfied
with the manner in which you saved their property from the hands of
the Arabs?"

"Men, when money is concerned, are more disposed to remember how it
was lost than how it was recovered, religion and trade being the two
poles, on such a point," returned the old seaman, with a serious
face. "On the whole, my dear sir, I have reason to be satisfied,
however; and so long as you, my passengers and my friends, are not
inclined to blame me, I shall feel as if I had done at least a part
of my duty."

Eve rose from table, went to a side-board and returned, when she
gracefully placed before the master of the Montauk a rich and
beautifully chased punch-bowl, in silver. Almost at the same moment,
Pierre offered a salver that contained a capital watch, a pair of
small silver tongs to hold a coal, and a deck trumpet, in solid
silver.

"These are so many faint testimonials of our feelings," said
Eve--"and you will do us the favour to retain them, as evidences of
the esteem created by skill, kindness, and courage."

"My dear young lady!" cried the old tar, touched to the soul by the
feeling with which Eve acquitted herself of this little duty, "my
dear young lady--well, God bless you--God bless you all--you too, Mr.
John Effingham, for that matter--and Sir George--that I should ever
have taken that runaway for a gentleman and a baronet--though I
suppose there are some silly baronets, as well as silly lords--retain
them?"--glancing furiously at Mr. Aristabulus Bragg, "may the Lord
forget me, in the heaviest hurricane, if I ever forget whence these
things came, and why they were given."

Here the worthy captain was obliged to swallow some wine, by way of
relieving his emotions, and Aristabulus, profiting by the
opportunity, coolly took the bowl, which, to use a word of his own,
he _hefted_ in his hand, with a view to form some tolerably accurate
notion of its intrinsic value. Captain Truck's eye caught the action,
and he reclaimed his property quite as unceremoniously as it had been
taken away, nothing but the presence of the ladies preventing an
outbreaking that would have amounted to a declaration of war.

"With your permission, sir," said the captain, drily, after he had
recovered the bowl, not only without the other's consent, but, in
some degree, against his will; "this bowl is as precious in my eyes
as if it were made of my father's bones."

"You may indeed think so," returned the land-agent, "for its cost
could not be less than a hundred dollars."

"Cost, sir!--But, my dear young lady, let us talk of the real value.
For what part of these things am I indebted to you?"

"The bowl is my offering," Eve answered, smilingly, though a tear
glistened in her eye, as she witnessed the strong unsophisticated
feeling of the old tar. "I thought it might serve sometimes to bring
me to your recollection, when it was well filled in honour of
'sweethearts and wives.'"

"It shall--it shall, by the Lord; and Mr. Saunders needs look to it,
if he do not keep this work as bright as a cruising frigate's bottom.
To whom do I owe the coal-tongs?"

"Those are from Mr. John Effingham, who insists that he will come
nearer to your heart than any of us, though the gift be of so little
cost."

"He does not know me, my dear young lady--nobody ever got as near my
heart as you; no, not even my own dear pious old mother. But I thank
Mr. John Effingham from my inmost spirit, and shall seldom smoke
without thinking of him. The watch I know is Mr. Effingham's, and I
ascribe the trumpet to Sir George."

The bows of the several gentlemen assured the captain he was right,
and he shook each of them cordially by the hand, protesting, in the
fulness of his heart, that nothing would give him greater pleasure
than to be able to go through the same perilous scenes as those from
which they had so lately escaped, in their good company again.

While this was going on, Aristabulus, notwithstanding the rebuke he
had received, contrived to get each article, in succession, into his
hands, and by dint of poising it on a finger, or by examining it, to
form some approximative notion of its inherent value. The watch he
actually opened, taking as good a survey of its works as the
circumstances of the case would very well allow.

"I respect these things, sir, more than you respect your father's
grave," said Captain Truck sternly, as he rescued the last article
from what he thought the impious grasp of Aristabulus again, "and cat
or no cat, they sink or swim with me for the remainder of the cruise.
If there is any virtue in a will, which I am sorry to say I hear
there is not any longer, they shall share my last bed with me, be it
ashore or be it afloat. My dear young lady, fancy all the rest, but
depend on it, punch will be sweeter than ever taken from this bowl,
and 'sweethearts and wives' will never be so honoured again."

"We are going to a ball this evening, at the house of one with whom I
am sufficiently intimate to take the liberty of introducing a
stranger, and I wish, gentlemen," said Mr. Effingham, bowing to
Aristabulus and the captain, by way of changing the conversation,
"you would do me the favour to be of our party."

Mr. Bragg acquiesced very cheerfully, and quite as a matter of
course; while Captain Truck, after protesting his unfitness for such
scenes, was finally prevailed on by John Effingham, to comply with
the request also. The ladies remained at table but a few minutes
longer, when they retired, Mr. Effingham having dropped into the old
custom of sitting at the bottle, until summoned to the drawing-room,
a usage that continues to exist in America, for a reason no better
than the fact that it continues to exist in England;--it being almost
certain that it will cease in New-York, the season after it is known
to have ceased in London.

Chapter III.

  "Thou art as wise as thou art beautiful!"

  SHAKSPEARE.

As Captain Truck asked permission to initiate the new coal-tongs by
lighting a cigar, Sir George Templemore contrived to ask Pierre, in
an aside, if the ladies would allow him to join them. The desired
consent having been obtained, the baronet quietly stole from table,
and was soon beyond the odours of the dining-room.

"You miss the censer and the frankincense," said Eve, laughing, as
Sir George entered the drawing-room; "but you will remember we have
no church establishment, and dare not take such liberties with the
ceremonials of the altar."

"That is a short-lived custom with us, I fancy, though far from an
unpleasant one. But you do me injustice in supposing I am merely
running away from the fumes of the dinner."

"No, no; we understand perfectly well that you have something to do
with the fumes of flattery, and we will at once fancy all has been
said that the occasion requires. Is not our honest old captain a
jewel in his way?"

"Upon my word, since you allow me to speak of your father's guests, I
do not think it possible to have brought together two men who are so
completely the opposites of each other, as Captain Truck and this Mr
Aristabulus Bragg. The latter is quite the most extraordinary person
in his way, it was ever my good fortune to meet with."

"You call him a _person_, while Pierre calls him a _personnage;_ I
fancy he considers it very much as a matter of accident, whether he
is to pass his days in the one character or in the other. Cousin Jack
assures me, that, while this man accepts almost any duty that he
chooses to assign him, he would not deem it at all a violation of the
_convenances_ to aim at the throne in the White House."

"Certainly with no hopes of ever attaining it!"

"One cannot answer for that. The man must undergo many essential
changes, and much radical improvement, before such a climax to his
fortunes can ever occur; but the instant you do away with the claims
of hereditary power, the door is opened to a new chapter of
accidents. Alexander of Russia styled himself _un heureux accident_;
and should it ever be our fortune to receive Mr. Bragg as President,
we shall only have to term him _un malheureux accident_. I believe
that will contain all the difference."

"Your republicanism is indomitable, Miss Effingham, and I shall
abandon the attempt to convert you to safer principles, more
especially as I find you supported by both the Mr. Effinghams, who,
while they condemn so much at home, seem singularly attached to their
own system at the bottom."

"They condemn, Sir George Templemore, because they know that
perfection is hopeless, and because they feel it to be unsafe and
unwise to eulogize defects, and they are attached, because near views
of other countries have convinced them that, comparatively at last,
bad as we are, we are still better than most of our neighbours."

"I can assure you," said Grace, "that many of the opinions of Mr John
Effingham, in particular, are not at all the opinions that are most
in vogue here; he rather censures what we like, and likes what we
censure. Even my dear uncle is thought to be a little heterodox on
such subjects."

"I can readily believe it," returned Eve, steadily. "These gentlemen,
having become familiar with better things, in the way of the tastes,
and of the purely agreeable, cannot discredit their own knowledge so
much as to extol that which their own experience tells them is
faulty, or condemn that which their own experience tells them is
relatively good. Now, Grace, if you will reflect a moment, you will
perceive that people necessarily like the best of their own tastes,
until they come to a knowledge of better; and that they as
necessarily quarrel with the unpleasant facts that surround them;
although these facts, as consequences of a political system, may be
much less painful than those of other systems of which they have no
knowledge. In the one case, they like their own best, simply because
it is their own best; and they dislike their own worst, because it is
their own worst. We cherish a taste, in the nature of things, without
entering into any comparisons, for when the means of comparison
offer, and we find improvements, it ceases to be a taste at all;
while to complain of any positive grievance, is the nature of man, I
fear!"

"I think a republic odious!"

"_Le republique est une horreur!_"

Grace thought a republic odious, without knowing any thing of any
other state of society, and because it contained odious things; and
Mademoiselle Viefville called a republic _une horreur_, because heads
fell and anarchy prevailed in her own country, during its early
struggles for liberty. Though Eve seldom spoke more sensibly, and
never more temperately, than while delivering the foregoing opinions,
Sir George Templemore doubted whether she had all that exquisite
_finesse_ and delicacy of features, that he had so much admired; and
when Grace burst out in the sudden and senseless exclamation we have
recorded, he turned towards her sweet and animated countenance,
which, for the moment, he fancied the loveliest of the two.

Eve Effingham had yet to learn that she had just entered into the
most intolerant society, meaning purely as society, and in connexion
with what are usually called liberal sentiments, in Christendom. We
do not mean by this, that it would be less safe to utter a generous
opinion in favour of human rights in America than in any other
country, for the laws and the institutions become active in this
respect, but simply, that the resistance of the more refined to the
encroachments of the unrefined, has brought about a state of
feeling--a feeling that is seldom just and never philosophical--which
has created a silent, but almost unanimous bias against the effects
of the institutions, in what is called the world. In Europe, one
rarely utters a sentiment of this nature, under circumstances in
which it is safe to do so at all, without finding a very general
sympathy in the auditors; but in the circle into which Eve had now
fallen, it was almost considered a violation of the proprieties. We
do not wish to be understood as saying more than we mean, however,
for we have no manner of doubt that a large portion of the
dissentients even, are so idly, and without reflection; or for the
very natural reasons already given by our heroine; but we do wish to
be understood as meaning that such is the outward appearance which
American society presents to every stranger, and to every native of
the country too, on his return from a residence among other people.
Of its taste, wisdom and safety we shall not now speak, but content
ourselves with merely saying that the effect of Grace's exclamation
on Eve was unpleasant, and that, unlike the baronet, she thought her
cousin was never less handsome than while her pretty face was covered
with the pettish frown it had assumed for the occasion.

Sir George Templemore had tact enough to perceive there had been a
slight jar in the feelings of these two young women, and he adroitly
changed the conversation. With Eve he had entire confidence on the
score of provincialisms, and, without exactly anticipating the part
Grace would be likely to take in such a discussion, he introduced the
subject of general society in New-York.

"I am desirous to know," he said, "if you have your sets, as we have
them in London and Paris. Whether you have your _Faubourg St.
Germain_ and your _Chaussée d'Antin;_ your Piccadilly, Grosvenor and
Russel Squares."

"I must refer you to Miss Van Cortlandt for an answer to that
question," said Eve.

Grace looked up blushing, for there were both novelty and excitement
in having an intelligent foreigner question her on such a subject.

"I do not know that I rightly understand the allusion," she said,
"although I am afraid Sir George Templemore means to ask if we have
distinctions in society?"

"And why _afraid_, Miss Van Cortlandt?"

"Because it strikes me such a question would imply a doubt of our
civilization."

"There are frequently distinctions made, when the differences are not
obvious," observed Eve. "Even London and Paris are not above the
imputation of this folly. Sir George Templemore, if I understand him,
wishes to know if we estimate gentility by streets, and quality by
squares."

"Not exactly that either, Miss Effingham--but, whether among those,
who may very well pass for gentlemen and ladies, you enter into the
minute distinctions that are elsewhere found. Whether you have your
exclusive, and your _élégants_ and _élegantes_; or whether you deem
all within the pale as on an equality."

"_Les femmes Americaines sont bien jolies!_" exclaimed Mademoiselle
Viefville.

"It is quite impossible that _coteries_ should not form in a town of
three hundred thousand souls."

"I do not mean exactly even that. Is there no distinction between
_coteries;_ is not one placed by opinion, by a silent consent, if not
by positive ordinances, above another?"

"Certainly, that to which Sir George Templemore alludes, is to be
found," said Grace, who gained courage to speak, as she found the
subject getting to be more clearly within her comprehension. "All the
old families, for instance, keep more together than the others;
though it is the subject of regret that they are not more particular
than they are."

"Old families!" exclaimed Sir George Templemore, with quite as much
stress as a well-bred man could very well lay on the words, in such
circumstances.

"Old families," repeated Eve, with all that emphasis which the
baronet himself had hesitated about giving. "As old, at least, as two
centuries can make them; and this, too, with origins beyond that
period, like those of the rest of the world. Indeed, the American has
a better gentility than common, as, besides his own, he may take root
in that of Europe."

"Do not misconceive me, Miss Effingham; I am fully aware that the
people of this country are exactly like the people of all other
civilized countries, in this respect; but my surprise is that, in a
republic, you should have such a term even as that of 'old
families.'"

"The surprise has arisen, I must be permitted to say, from not having
sufficiently reflected on the real state of the country. There are
two great causes of distinction every where, wealth and merit. Now,
if a race of Americans continue conspicuous in their own society,
through either or both of these causes, for a succession of
generations, why have they not the same claims to be considered
members of old families, as Europeans under the same circumstances? A
republican history is as much history as a monarchical history; and a
historical name in one, is quite as much entitled to consideration,
as a historical name in another. Nay, you admit this in your European
republics, while you wish to deny it in ours."

"I must insist on having proofs; if we permit these charges to be
brought against us without evidence, Mademoiselle Viefville, we shall
finally be defeated through our own neglect."

"_C'est une belle illustration, celle de l'antiquité_" observed the
governess, in a matter of course tone.

"If you insist on proof, what answer can you urge to the _Capponi_?
'_Sonnez vos trompettes, et je vais faire sonner mes cloches_,'--or
to the _Von Erlachs_, a family that has headed so many resistances to
oppression and invasion, for five centuries?"

"All this is very true," returned Sir George, "and yet I confess it
is not the way in which it is usual with us to consider American
society."

"A descent from Washington, with a character and a social position to
correspond, would not be absolutely vulgar, notwithstanding!"

"Nay, if you press me so hard, I must appeal to Miss Van Cortlandt
for succour."

"On this point you will find no support in that quarter. Miss Van
Cortlandt has an historical name herself, and will not forego an
honest pride, in order to relieve one of the hostile powers from a
dilemma."

"While I admit that time and merit must, in a certain sense, place
families in America in the same situation with families in Europe, I
cannot see that it is in conformity with your institutions to lay the
same stress on the circumstance."

"In that we are perfectly of a mind, as I think the American has much
the best reason to be proud of his family," said Eve, quietly.

"You delight in paradoxes, apparently, this evening, Miss Effingham,
for I now feel very certain you can hardly make out a plausible
defence of this new position."

"If I had my old ally, Mr. Powis, here," said Eve touching the fender
unconsciously with her little foot, and perceptibly losing the
animation and pleasantry of her voice, in tones that were gentler, if
not melancholy, "I should ask him to explain this matter to you, for
he was singularly ready in such replies. As he is absent, however, I
will attempt the duty myself. In Europe, office, power, and
consequently, consideration, are all hereditary; whereas, in this
country, they are not, but they depend on selection. Now, surely, one
has more reason to be proud of ancestors who have been chosen to fill
responsible stations, than of ancestors who have filled them through
the accidents, _heureux ou malkeureux_, of birth. The only difference
between England and America, as respects family, is that you add
positive rank to that to which we only give consideration. Sentiment
is at the bottom of our nobility, and the great seal at the bottom of
yours. And now, having established the fact that there are families
in America, let us return whence we started, and enquire how far they
have an influence in every-day society."

"To ascertain which, we must apply to Miss Van Cortlandt."

"Much less than they ought, if my opinion is to be taken," said
Grace, laughing, "for the great inroad of strangers has completely
deranged all the suitablenesses, in that respect."

"And yet, I dare say, these very strangers do good," rejoined Eve.
"Many of them must have been respectable in their native places, and
ought to be an acquisition to a society that, in its nature, must be,
Grace, _tant soit peu_, provincial."

"Oh!" cried Grace, "I can tolerate any thing but the Hajjis!"

"The what?" asked Sir George, eagerly--"will you suffer me to ask an
explanation, Miss Van Cortlandt."

"The Hajjis," repeated Grace laughing, though she blushed to the
eyes.

The baronet looked from one cousin to the other, and then turned an
inquiring glance on Mademoiselle Viefville. The latter gave a slight
shrug, and seemed to ask an explanation of the young lady's meaning
herself.

"A Hajji is one of a class, Sir George Templemore," Eve at length
said, "to which you and I have both the honour of belonging."

"No, not Sir George Templemore," interrupted Grace, with a
precipitation that she instantly regretted; "he is not an American."

"Then I, alone, of all present, have that honour. It means the
pilgrimage to Paris, instead of Mecca; and the Pilgrim must be an
American, instead of a Mahommedan."

"Nay, Eve, _you_ are not a Hajji, neither."

"Then there is some qualification with which I am not yet acquainted.
Will you relieve our doubts, Grace, and let us know the precise
character of the animal."

"_You_ stayed too long to be a Hajji--- one must get innoculated
merely; not take the disease and become cured, to be a true Hajji."

"I thank you, Miss Van Cortlandt, for this description," returned Eve
in her quiet way. "I hope, as I have gone through the malady, it has
not left me pitted."

"I should like to see one of these Hajjis," cried Sir George.--"Are
they of both sexes?"

Grace laughed and nodded her head.

"Will you point it out to me, should we be so fortunate as to
encounter one this evening?"

Again Grace laughed and nodded her head.

"I have been thinking, Grace," said Eve, after a short pause, "that
we may give Sir George Templemore a better idea of the sets about
which he is so curious, by doing what is no more than a duty of our
own, and by letting him profit by the opportunity. Mrs. Hawker
receives this evening without ceremony; we have not yet sent our
answer to Mrs. Jarvis, and might very well look in upon her for half
an hour, after which we shall be in very good season for Mrs.
Houston's ball."

"Surely, Eve, you would not wish to take Sir George Templemore to
such a house as that of Mrs. Jarvis!"

"_I_ do not wish to take Sir George Templemore any where, for your
Hajjis have opinions of their own on such subjects. But, as cousin
Jack will accompany us, _he_ may very well confer that important
favour. I dare say, Mrs. Jarvis will not look upon it as too great a
liberty."

"I will answer for it, that nothing Mr. John Effingham can do will be
thought _mal à propos_ by Mrs. Jared Jarvis. His position in society
is too well established, and hers is too equivocal, to leave any
doubt on that head."

"This, you perceive, settles the point of _côteries,_" said Eve to
the baronet. "Volumes might be written to establish principles; but
when one can do any thing he or she pleases, any where that he or she
likes, it is pretty safe to say that he or she is privileged."

"All very true, as to the fact, Miss Effingham; but I should like
exceedingly to know the reason."

"Half the time, such things are decided without a reason at all. You
are a little exacting in requiring a reason in New-York for that
which is done in London without even the pretence of such a thing. It
is sufficient that Mrs. Jarvis will be delighted to see you without
an invitation, and that Mrs. Houston would, at least, think it odd,
were you to take the same liberty with her."

"It follows," said Sir George, smiling, "that Mrs. Jarvis is much the
most hospitable person of the two."

"But, Eve, what shall be done with Captain Truck and Mr. Bragg?"
asked Grace. "We cannot take _them_ to Mrs. Hawker's!"

"Aristabulus would, indeed, be a little out of place in such a house,
but as for our excellent, brave, straight-forward, old captain, he is
worthy to go any where. I shall be delighted to present _him_ to Mrs.
Hawker, myself."

After a little consultation between the ladies, it was settled that
nothing should be said of the two first visits to Mr. Bragg, but that
Mr. Effingham should be requested to bring him to the ball, at the
proper hour, and that the rest of the party should go quietly off to
the other places, without mentioning their projects. As soon as this
was arranged the ladies retired to dress, Sir George Templemore
passing into the library to amuse himself with a book the while;
where, however, he was soon joined by John Effingham. Here the former
revived the conversation on distinctions in society, with the
confusion of thought that usually marks a European's notions of such
matters.

Chapter IV.

  "Ready." "And I." "And I." "Where shall we go?"

  MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S DREAM.

Grace Van Cortlant was the first to make her appearance after the
retreat from the drawing-room. It has often been said that, pretty as
the American females incontestably are, as a whole they appear better
in _demi-toilette,_ than when attired for a ball. With what would be
termed high dress in other parts of the world, they are little
acquainted; but reversing the rule of Europe, where the married
bestow the most care on their personal appearance, and the single are
taught to observe a rigid simplicity, Grace now seemed sufficiently
ornamented in the eyes of the fastidious baronet, while, at the same
time, he thought her less obnoxious to the criticism just mentioned,
than most of her young countrywomen, in general.

An _embonpoint_ that was just sufficient to distinguish her from most
of her companions, a fine colour, brilliant eyes, a sweet smile, rich
hair, and such feet and hands as Sir George Templemore had, somehow--
he scarcely knew how, himself--fancied could only belong to the
daughters of peers and princes, rendered Grace so strikingly
attractive this evening, that the young baronet began to think her
even handsomer than her cousin. There was also a charm in the
unsophisticated simplicity of Grace, that was particularly alluring
to a man educated amidst the coldness and mannerism of the higher
classes of England. In Grace, too, this simplicity was chastened by
perfect decorum and _retenue_ of deportment; the exuberance of the
new school of manners not having helped to impair the dignity of her
character, or to weaken the charm of diffidence. She was less
finished in her manners than Eve, certainly; a circumstance, perhaps,
that induced Sir George Templemore to fancy her a shade more simple,
but she was never unfeminine or unladylike; and the term vulgar, in
despite of all the capricious and arbitrary rules of fashion, under
no circumstances, could ever be applied to Grace Van Cortlandt. In
this respect, nature seemed to have aided her; for had not her
associations raised her above such an imputation, no one could
believe that she would be obnoxious to the charge, had her lot in
life been cast even many degrees lower than it actually was.

It is well known that, after a sufficient similarity has been created
by education to prevent any violent shocks to our habits or
principles, we most affect those whose characters and dispositions
the least resemble our own. This was probably one of the reasons why
Sir George Templemore, who, for some time, had been well assured of
the hopelessness of his suit with Eve, began to regard her scarcely
less lovely cousin, with an interest of a novel and lively nature.
Quick-sighted and deeply interested in Grace's happiness, Miss
Effingham had already detected this change in the young baronet's
inclinations, and though sincerely rejoiced on her own account, she
did not observe it without concern; for she understood better than
most of her countrywomen, the great hazards of destroying her peace
of mind, that are incurred by transplanting an American woman into
the more artificial circles of the old world.

"I shall rely on your kind offices, in particular, Miss Van
Cortlandt, to reconcile Mrs. Jarvis and Mrs. Hawker to the liberty I
am about to take," cried Sir George, as Grace burst upon them in the
library, in a blaze of beauty that, in her case, was aided by her
attire; "and cold-hearted and unchristian-like women they must be,
indeed, to resist such a mediator!"

Grace was unaccustomed to adulation of this sort; for though the
baronet spoke gaily, and like one half trifling, his look of
admiration was too honest to escape the intuitive perception of
woman. She blushed deeply, and then recovering herself instantly,
said with a _naiveté_ that had a thousand charms with her listener--

"I do not see why Miss Effingham and myself should hesitate about
introducing you at either place. Mrs. Hawker is a relative and an
intimate--an intimate of mine, at least--and as for poor Mrs. Jarvis,
she is the daughter of an old neighbour, and will be too glad to see
us, to raise objections. I fancy any one of a certain--" Grace
hesitated and laughed.

"Any one of a certain--?" said Sir George inquiringly.

"Any one from this house," resumed the young lady, correcting the
intended expression, "will be welcome in Spring street."

"Pure, native aristocracy!" exclaimed the baronet with an air of
affected triumph. "This you see, Mr. John Effingham, is in aid of my
argument."

"I am quite of your opinion," returned the gentleman addressed--"as
much native aristocracy as you please, but no hereditary."

The entrance of Eve and Mademoiselle Viefville interrupted this
pleasantry, and the carriages being just then announced, John
Effingham went in quest of Captain Truck, who was in the drawing-room
with Mr. Effingham and Aristabulus.

"I have left Ned to discuss trespass suits and leases with his land-
agent," said John Effingham, as he followed Eve to the street-door.
"By ten o'clock, they will have taxed a pretty bill of costs between
them!"

Mademoiselle Viefville followed John Effingham; Grace came next, and
Sir George Templemore and the Captain brought up the rear. Grace
wondered the young baronet did not offer her his arm, for she had
been accustomed to receive this attention from the other sex, in a
hundred situations in which it was rather an incumbrance than a
service; while on the other hand, Sir George himself would have
hesitated about offering such assistance, as an act of uncalled-for
familiarity.

Miss Van Cortlandt, being much in society, kept a chariot for her own
use, and the three ladies took their seats in it, while the gentlemen
took possession of Mr. Effingham's coach. The order was given to
drive to Spring street, and the whole party proceeded.

The acquaintance between the Effinghams and Mr. Jarvis had arisen
from the fact of their having been near, and, in a certain sense,
sociable neighbours in the country. Their town associations, however,
were as distinct as if they dwelt in different hemispheres, with the
exception of an occasional morning call, and, now and then, a family
dinner given by Mr. Effingham. Such had been the nature of the
intercourse previously to the family of the latter's having gone
abroad, and there were symptoms of its being renewed on the same
quiet and friendly footing as formerly. But no two beings could be
less alike, in certain essentials, than Mr. Jarvis and his wife. The
former was a plain pains-taking, sensible man of business, while the
latter had an itching desire to figure in the world of fashion. The
first was perfectly aware that Mr. Effingham, in education, habits,
associations and manners, was, at least, of a class entirely distinct
from his own; and without troubling himself to analyze causes, and
without a feeling of envy, or unkindness of any sort, while totally
exempt from any undue deference or unmanly cringing, he quietly
submitted to let things take their course. His wife expressed her
surprise that any one in New-York should presume to be _better_ than
themselves; and the remark gave rise to the following short
conversation, on the very morning of the day she gave the party, to
which we are now conducting the reader.

"How do you know, my dear, that any one does think himself our
_better_?" demanded the husband.

"Why do they not all visit us then!"

"Why do you not visit everybody yourself? A pretty household we
should have, if you did nothing but visit every one who lives even in
this street!"

"You surely would not have _me_ visiting the grocers' wives at the
corners, and all the other rubbish of the neighbourhood. What I mean
is that all the people of a certain sort ought to visit all the other
people of a certain sort, in the same town."

"You surely will make an exception, at least on account of numbers. I
saw number three thousand six hundred and fifty this very day on a
cart, and if the wives of all these carmen should visit one another,
each would have to make ten visits daily in order to get through with
the list in a twelvemonth."

"I have always bad luck in making you comprehend these things, Mr.
Jarvis."

"I am afraid, my dear, it is because you do not very clearly
comprehend them yourself. You first say that everybody ought to visit
everybody, and then you insist on it, _you_ will visit none but those
you think good enough to be visited by Mrs. Jared Jarvis."

"What I mean is, that no one in New-York has a right to think
himself, or herself, better than ourselves."

"Better?--In what sense better?"

"In such a sense as to induce them to think themselves too good to
visit us."

"That may be your opinion, my dear, but others may judge differently.
You clearly think yourself too good to visit Mrs. Onion, the grocer's
wife, who is a capital woman in her way; and how do we know that
certain people may not fancy we are not quite refined enough for
them? Refinement is a positive thing, Mrs. Jarvis, and one that has
much more influence on the pleasures of association than money. We
may want a hundred little perfections that escape our ignorance, and
which those who are trained to such matters deem essentials."

"I never met with a man of so little social spirit, Mr. Jarvis!
Really, you are quite unsuited to be a citizen of a republican
country."

"Republican!--I do not really see what republican has to do with the
question. In the first place, it is a droll word for _you_ to use in
this sense at least; for, taking your own meaning of the term, you
are as anti-republican as any woman I know. But a republic does not
necessarily infer equality of condition, or even equality of
rights,--it meaning merely the substitution of the right of the
commonwealth for the right of a prince. Had you said a democracy
there would have been some plausibility in using the word, though
even then its application would have been illogical. If I am a
freeman and a democrat, I hope I have the justice to allow others to
be just as free and democratic as I am myself."

"And who wishes the contrary?--all I ask is a claim to be considered
a fit associate for anybody in this country--in these United States
of America."

"I would quit these United States of America next week, if I thought
there existed any necessity for such an intolerable state of things."

"Mr. Jarvis!--and you, too, one of the Committee of Tammany Hall!"

"Yes, Mrs. Jarvis, and I one of the Committee of Tammany Hall! What,
do you think I want the three thousand six hundred and fifty carmen
running in and out of my house, with their tobacco saliva and pipes,
all day long?"

"Who is thinking of your carmen and grocers!--I speak now only of
genteel people."

"In other words, my dear, you are thinking only of those whom you
fancy to have the advantage of you, and keep those who think of you
in the same way, quite out of sight This is not my democracy and
freedom. I believe that it requires two people to make a bargain, and
although I may consent to dine with A----, if A---- will not consent
to dine with me, there is an end of the matter."

"Now, you have come to a case in point. You often dined with Mr.
Effingham before he went abroad, and yet you would never allow me to
ask Mr. Effingham to dine with us. That is what I call meanness."

"It might be so, indeed, if it were done to save my money. I dined
with Mr. Effingham because I like him; because he was an old
neighbour; because he asked me, and because I found a pleasure in the
quiet elegance of his table and society; and I did not ask him to
dine with me, because I was satisfied he would be better pleased with
such a tacit acknowledgement of his superiority in this respect, than
by any bustling and ungraceful efforts to pay him in kind. Edward
Effingham has dinners enough, without keeping a debtor and credit
account with his guests, which is rather too New-Yorkish, even for
me."

"Bustling and ungraceful!" repeated Mrs. Jarvis, bitterly; "I do not
know that you are at all more bustling and ungraceful than Mr.
Effingham himself."

"No, my dear, I am a quiet, unpretending man, like the great majority
of my countrymen, thank God."

"Then why talk of these sorts of differences in a country in which
the law establishes none?"

"For precisely the reason that I talk of the river at the foot of
this street, or because there is a river. A thing may exist without
there being a law for it. There is no law for building this house,
and yet it is built. There is no law for making Dr. Verse a better
preacher than Dr. Prolix, and yet he is a much better preacher;
neither is there any law for making Mr. Effingham a more finished
gentleman than I happen to be, and yet I am not fool enough to deny
the fact. In the way of making out a bill of parcels, I will not turn
my back to him, I can promise you."

"All this strikes me as being very spiritless, and as particularly
anti-republican," said Mrs. Jarvis, rising to quit the room; "and if
the Effinghams do not come this evening, I shall not enter their
house this winter. I am sure they have no right to pretend to be our
betters, and I feel no disposition to admit the impudent claim."

"Before you go, Jane, let me say a parting word," rejoined the
husband, looking for his hat, "which is just this. If you wish the
world to believe you the equal of any one, no matter whom, do not be
always talking about it, lest they see you distrust the fact
yourself. A positive thing will surely be seen, and they who have the
highest claims are the least disposed to be always pressing them on
the attention of the world. An outrage may certainly be done those
social rights which have been established by common consent, and then
it may be proper to resent it; but beware betraying a consciousness
of your own inferiority, by letting every one see you are jealous of
your station. 'Now, kiss me; here is the money to pay for your finery
this evening, and let me see you as happy to receive Mrs. Jewett from
Albion Place, as you would be to receive Mrs. Hawker herself."

"Mrs. Hawker!" cried the wife, with a toss of her head, "I would not
cross the street to invite Mrs. Hawker and all her clan." Which was
very true, as Mrs. Jarvis was thoroughly convinced the trouble would
be unavailing, the lady in question being as near the head of fashion
in New-York, as it was possible to be in a town that, in a moral
sense, resembles an encampment, quite as much as it resembles a
permanent and a long-existing capital.

Notwithstanding a great deal of management on the part of Mrs. Jarvis
to get showy personages to attend her entertainment, the simple
elegance of the two carriages that bore the Effingham party, threw
all the other equipages into the shade. The arrival, indeed, was
deemed a matter of so much moment, that intelligence was conveyed to
the lady, who was still at her post in the inner drawing-room, of the
arrival of a party altogether superior to any thing that had yet
appeared in her rooms. It is true, this was not expressed in words,
but it was made sufficiently obvious by the breathless haste and the
air of importance of Mrs. Jarvis' sister, who had received the news
from a servant, and who communicated it _propriâ personâ_ to the
mistress of the house.

The simple, useful, graceful, almost indispensable usage of
announcing at the door, indispensable to those who receive much, and
where there is the risk of meeting people known to us by name and not
in person, is but little practised in America. Mrs. Jarvis would have
shrunk from such an innovation, had she known that elsewhere the
custom prevailed, but she was in happy ignorance on this point, as on
many others that were more essential to the much-coveted social
_éclat_ at which she aimed. When Mademoiselle Viefville appeared,
therefore, walking unsupported, as if she were out of leading-
strings, followed by Eve and Grace and the gentlemen of their party,
she at first supposed there was some mistake, and that her visitors
had got into the wrong house; there being an opposition party in the
neighbourhood.

"What brazen people!" whispered Mrs. Abijah Gross, who having removed
from an interior New-England village, fully two years previously,
fancied herself _an fait_ of all the niceties of breeding and social
tact. "There are positively two young ladies actually walking about
without gentlemen!"

But it was not in the power of Mrs. Abijah Gross, with her audible
whisper and obvious sneer and laugh, to put down two such lovely
creatures as Eve and her cousin. The simple elegance of their attire,
the indescribable air of polish, particularly in the former, and the
surpassing beauty and modesty of mien of both, effectually silenced
criticism, after this solitary outbreaking of vulgarity. Mrs. Jarvis
recognized Eve and John Effingham, and her hurried compliments and
obvious delight proclaimed to all near her, the importance she
attached to their visit. Mademoiselle Viefville she had not
recollected in her present dress, and even she was covered with
expressions of delight and satisfaction.

"I wish particularly to present to you a friend that we all prize
exceedingly," said Eve, as soon as there was an opportunity of
speaking. "This is Captain Truck, the gentleman who commands the
Montauk, the ship of which you have heard so much. Ah! Mr. Jarvis,"
offering a hand to him with sincere cordiality, for Eve had known him
from childhood, and always sincerely respected him--"_you_ will
receive my friend with a cordial welcome, I am certain."

She then explained to Mr. Jarvis who the honest captain was, when the
former, first paying the proper respect to his other guests, led the
old sailor aside, and began an earnest conversation on the subject of
the recent passage.

John Effingham presented the baronet, whom Mrs. Jarvis, out of pure
ignorance of his rank in his own country, received with perfect
propriety and self-respect.

"We have very few people of note in town at present, I believe," said
Mrs. Jarvis to John Effingham. "A great traveller, a most interesting
man, is the only person of that sort I could obtain for this evening,
and I shall have great pleasure in introducing you. He is there in
that crowd, for he is in the greatest possible demand; he has seen so
much.--Mrs. Snow, with your permission--really the ladies are
thronging about him as if he were a Pawnee,--have the goodness to
step a little this way, Mr. Effingham--Miss Effingham--Mrs. Snow,
just touch his arm and let him know I wish to introduce a couple of
friends.--Mr. Dodge, Mr. John Effingham, Miss Effingham, Miss Van
Cortlandt. I hope you may succeed in getting him a little to
yourselves, ladies, for he can tell you all about Europe--saw the
king of France riding out to Nully, and has a prodigious knowledge of
things on the other side of the water."

It required a good deal of Eve's habitual self-command to prevent a
smile, but she had the tact and discretion to receive Steadfast as an
utter stranger. John Effingham bowed as haughtily as man can bow, and
then it was whispered that he and Mr. Dodge were rival travellers.
The distance of the former, coupled with an expression of countenance
that did not invite familiarity, drove nearly all the company over to
the side of Steadfast, who, it was soon settled, had seen much the
most of the world, understood society the best, and had moreover
travelled as far as Timbuctoo in Africa. The _clientèle_ of Mr. Dodge
increased rapidly, as these reports spread in the rooms, and those
who had not read the "delightful letters published in the Active
Inquirer," furiously envied those who had enjoyed that high
advantage.

"It is Mr. Dodge, the great traveller," said one young lady, who had
extricated herself from the crowd around the 'lion,' and taken a
station near Eve and Grace, and who, moreover, was a 'blue' in her
own set; "his beautiful and accurate descriptions have attracted
great attention in England, and it is said they have actually been
republished!"

"Have you read them, Miss Brackett?"

"Not the letters themselves, absolutely; but all the remarks on them
in the last week's Hebdomad. Most delightful letters, judging from
those remarks; full of nature and point, and singularly accurate in
all their facts. In this respect they are invaluable, travellers do
fall into such extraordinary errors!"

"I hope, ma'am," said John Effingham, gravely, "that the gentleman
has avoided the capital mistake of commenting on things that actually
exist. Comments on its facts are generally esteemed by the people of
a country, impertinent and unjust; and your true way to succeed, is
to treat as freely as possible its imaginary peculiarities."

Miss Brackett had nothing to answer to this observation, the Hebdomad
having, among its other profundities, never seen proper to touch on
the subject. She went on praising the "Letters," however, not one of
which had she read, or would she read; for this young lady had
contrived to gain a high reputation in her own _coterie_ for taste
and knowledge in books, by merely skimming the strictures of those
who do not even skim the works they pretend to analyze.

Eve had never before been in so close contact with so much flippant
ignorance, and she could not but wonder at seeing a man like her
kinsman overlooked, in order that a man like Mr. Dodge should be
preferred. All this gave John Effingham himself no concern, but
retiring a little from the crowd, he entered into a short
conversation with the young baronet.

"I should like to know your real opinions of this set," he said; "not
that I plead guilty to the childish sensibility that is so common in
all provincial circles to the judgments of strangers, but with a view
to aid you in forming a just estimate of the real state of the
country."

"As I know the precise connexion between you and our host, there can
be no objection to giving a perfectly frank reply. The women strike
me as being singularly delicate and pretty; well dressed, too, I
might add; but, while there is a great air of decency, there is very
little high finish; and what strikes me as being quite odd, under
such circumstances, scarcely any downright vulgarity, or coarseness."

"A Daniel come to judgment! One who had passed a life here, would not
have come so near the truth, simply because he would not have
observed peculiarities, that require the means of comparison to be
detected. You are a little too indulgent in saying there is no
downright vulgarity; for some there is; though surprisingly little
for the circumstances. But of the coarseness that would be so
prominent elsewhere, there is hardly any. True, so great is the
equality in all things, in this country, so direct the tendency to
this respectable mediocrity, that what you now see here, to-night,
may be seen in almost every village in the land, with a few
immaterial exceptions in the way of furniture and other city
appliances, and not much even in these."

"Certainly, as a mediocrity, this is respectable though a fastidious
taste might see a multitude of faults."

"I shall not say that the taste would be merely fastidious, for much
is wanting that would add to the grace and beauty of society, while
much that is wanting would be missed only by the over-sophisticated.
Those young-men, who are sniggering over some bad joke in the corner,
for instance, are positively vulgar, as is that young lady who is
indulging in practical coquetry; but, on the whole, there is little
of this; and, even our hostess, a silly woman, devoured with the
desire of being what neither her social position, education, habits
nor notions fit her to be, is less obtrusive, bustling, and
offensive, than a similar person, elsewhere."

"I am quite of your way of thinking, and intended to ask you to
account for it."

"The Americans are an imitative people of necessity, and they are apt
at this part of imitation, in particular. Then they are less
artificial in all their practices, than older and more sophisticated
nations; and this company has got that essential part of good
breeding, simplicity, as it were _per force_. A step higher in the
social scale, you will see less of it; for greater daring and bad
models lead to blunders in matters that require to be exceedingly
well done, if done at all. The faults here would be more apparent, by
an approach near enough to get into the tone of mind, the forms of
speech, and the attempts at wit."

"Which I think we shall escape to-night, as I see the ladies are
already making their apologies and taking leave. We must defer this
investigation to another time."

"It may be indefinitely postponed, as it would scarcely reward the
trouble of an inquiry."

The gentlemen now approached Mrs. Jarvis, paid their parting
compliments, hunted up Captain Truck, whom they tore by violence from
the good-natured hospitality of the master of the house, and then saw
the ladies into their carriage. As they drove off, the worthy mariner
protested that Mr. Jarvis was one of the honestest men he had ever
met, and announced that he intended giving him a dinner on board the
Montauk, the very next day.

The dwelling of Mrs. Hawker was in Hudson Square; or in a portion of
the city that the lovers of the grandiose are endeavouring to call
St. John's Park; for it is rather an amusing peculiarity among a
certain portion of the emigrants who have flocked into the Middle
States, within the last thirty years, that they are not satisfied
with permitting any family, or thing, to possess the name it
originally enjoyed, if there exists the least opportunity to change
it. There was but a carriage or two before the door, though the
strong lights in the house showed that company had collected.

"Mrs. Hawker is the widow and the daughter of men of long established
New-York families; she is childless, affluent, and universally
respected where known, for her breeding, benevolence, good sense, and
heart," said John Effingham, while the party was driving from one
house to the other. "Were you to go into most of the sets of this
town, and mention Mrs. Hawker's name, not one person in ten would
know there is such a being in their vicinity; the _pêle mêle_ of a
migratory population keeping persons of her character and condition
in life, quite out of view. The very persons who will prattle by the
hour, of the establishments of Mrs. Peleg Pond, and Mrs. Jonah Twist,
and Mrs. Abiram Wattles, people who first appeared on this island
five or six years since, and, who having accumulated what to them are
relatively large fortunes, have launched out into vulgar and
uninstructed finery, would look with surprise at hearing Mrs. Hawker
mentioned as one having any claims to social distinction. Her
historical names are overshadowed in their minds by the parochial
glories of certain local prodigies in the townships whence they
emigrated; her manners would puzzle the comprehension of people whose
imitation has not gone beyond the surface, and her polished and
simple mind would find little sympathy among a class who seldom rise
above a common-place sentiment without getting upon stilts."

"Mrs. Hawker, then, is a lady," observed Sir George Templemore.

"Mrs. Hawker is a lady, in every sense of the word; by position,
education, manners, association, mind, fortune and birth. I do not
know that we ever had more of her class than exist to-day, but
certainly we once had them more prominent in society."

"I suppose, sir," said Captain Truck, "that this Mrs. Hawker is of
what is called the old school?"

"Of a very ancient school, and one that is likely to continue, though
it may not be generally attended."

"I am afraid, Mr. John Effingham, that I shall be like a fish out of
water in such a house. I can get along very well with your Mrs.
Jarvis, and with the dear young lady in the other carriage; but the
sort of woman you have described, will be apt to jam a plain mariner
like myself. What in nature should I do, now, if she should ask me to
dance a minuet?"

"Dance it agreeably to the laws of nature," returned John Effingham,
as the carriages stopped.

A respectable, quiet, and an aged black admitted the party, though
even he did not announce the visiters, while he held the door of the
drawing-room open for them, with respectful attention. Mrs. Hawker
arose, and advanced to meet Eve and her companions, and though she
kissed the cousins affectionately, her reception of Mademoiselle
Viefville was so simply polite as to convince the latter she was
valued on account of her services. John Effingham, who was ten or
fifteen years the junior of the old lady, gallantly kissed her hand,
when he presented his two male companions. After paying the proper
attention to the greatest stranger, Mrs. Hawker turned to Captain
Truck and said--

"This, then, is the gentleman to whose skill and courage you all owe
so much--_we_ all owe so much, I might better have said--the
commander of the Montauk?"

"I have the honour of commanding that vessel, ma'am," returned
Captain Truck, who was singularly awed by the dignified simplicity of
his hostess, although her quiet, natural, and yet finished manner,
which extended even to the intonation of the voice, and the smallest
movement, were as unlike what he had expected as possible; "and with
such passengers as she had last voyage I can only say, it is a pity
that she is not better off for one to take care of her."

"Your passengers give a different account of the matter, but, in
order that I may judge impartially, do me the favour to take this
chair, and let me learn a few of the particulars from yourself."

Observing that Sir George Templemore had followed Eve to the other
side of the room, Mrs. Hawker now resumed her seat, and, without
neglecting any to attend to one in particular, or attending to one in
a way to make him feel oppressed, she contrived, in a few minutes, to
make the captain forget all about the minuet, and to feel much more
at his ease than would have been the case with Mrs. Jarvis, in a
month's intercourse.

In the mean time, Eve had crossed the room to join a lady whose smile
invited her to her side. This was a young, slightly framed female, of
a pleasing countenance, but who would not have been particularly
distinguished, in such a place, for personal charms. Still, her smile
was sweet, her eyes were soft, and the expression of her face was
what might almost be called illuminated As Sir George Templemore
followed her, Eve mentioned his name to her acquaintance, whom she
addressed as Mrs. Bloomfield.

"You are bent on perpetrating further gaiety to-night," said the
latter, glancing at the ball-dresses of the two cousins; "are you in
the colours of the Houston faction, or in those of the Peabody."

"Not in pea-green, certainly," returned Eve, laughing--"as you may
see; but in simple white."

"You intend then to be 'led a measure' at Mrs. Houston's. It were
more suitable than among the other faction."

"Is fashion, then, faction, in New-York?" inquired Sir George.

"Fractions would be a better word, perhaps. But we have parties in
almost every thing, in America; in politics, religion, temperance,
speculations, and taste; why not in fashion?"

"I fear we are not quite independent enough to form parties on such a
subject," said Eve.

"Perfectly well said, Miss Effingham; one must think a little
originally, let it be ever so falsely, in order to get up a fashion.
I fear we shall have to admit our insignificance on this point. You
are a late arrival, Sir George Templemore?"

"As lately as the commencement of this month; I had the honour of
being a fellow-passenger with Mr. Effingham and his family."

"In which voyage you suffered shipwreck, captivity, and famine, if
half we hear be true."

"Report has a little magnified our risks; we encountered some serious
dangers, but nothing amounting to the sufferings you have mentioned."

"Being a married woman, and having passed the crisis in which
deception is not practised, I expect to hear truth again," said Mrs.
Bloomfield, smiling. "I trust, however, you underwent enough to
qualify you all for heroes and heroines, and shall content myself
with knowing that you are here, safe and happy--if," she added,
looking inquiringly at Eve, "one who has been educated abroad _can_
be happy at home."

"One educated abroad _may_ be happy at home, though possibly not in
the modes most practised by the world," said Eve firmly.

"Without an opera, without a court, almost without society!"

"An opera would be desirable, I confess; of courts I know nothing,
unmarried females being cyphers in Europe; and I hope better things
than to think I shall be without society."

"Unmarried females are considered cyphers too, here, provided there
be enough of them with a good respectable digit at their head. I
assure you no one quarrels with the cyphers under such circumstances.
I think, Sir George Templemore, a town like this must be something of
a paradox to you."

"Might I venture to inquire the reason for this opinion!"

"Merely because it is neither one thing nor another. Not a capital,
nor yet merely a provincial place; with something more than commerce
in its bosom, and yet with that something hidden under a bushel. A
good deal more than Liverpool, and a good deal less than London.
Better even than Edinburgh, in many respects, and worse than Wapping,
in others."

"You have been abroad, Mrs. Bloomfield?"

"Not a foot out of my own country; scarcely a foot out of my own
state. I have been at Lake George, the Falls, and the Mountain House;
and, as one does not travel in a balloon, I saw some of the
intermediate places. As for all else, I am obliged to go by report."

"It is a pity Mrs. Bloomfield was not with us, this evening, at Mrs.
Jarvis's," said Eve, laughing. "She might then have increased her
knowledge, by listening to a few cantos from the epic of Mr. Dodge."

"I have glanced at some of that author's wisdom," returned Mrs.
Bloomfield, "but I soon found it was learning backwards. There is a
never-failing rule, by which it is easy to arrive at a traveller's
worth, in a negative sense, at least."

"That is a rule which may be worth knowing," said the baronet, "as it
would save much useless wear of the eyes."

"When one betrays a profound ignorance of his own country, it is a
fair presumption that he cannot be very acute in his observation of
strangers. Mr. Dodge is one of these writers, and a single letter
fully satisfied my curiosity. I fear, Miss Effingham, very inferior
wares, in the way of manners, have been lately imported, in large
quantities, into this country, as having the Tower mark on them."

Eve laughed, but declared that Sir George Templemore was better
qualified than herself to answer such a question.

"We are said to be a people of facts, rather than a people of
theories," continued Mrs. Bloomfield, without attending to the
reference of the young lady, "and any coin that offers passes, until
another that is better, arrives. It is a singular, but a very general
mistake, I believe, of the people of this country, in supposing that
they can exist under the present régime, when others would fail,
because their opinions keep even pace with, or precede the actual
condition of society; whereas, those who have thought and observed
most on such subjects, agree in thinking the very reverse to be the
case."

"This would be a curious condition for a government so purely
conventional," observed Sir George, with interest, "and it certainly
is entirely opposed to the state of things all over Europe."

"It is so, and yet there is no great mystery in it after all.
Accident has liberated us from trammels that still fetter you. We are
like a vehicle on the top of a hill, which, the moment it is pushed
beyond the point of resistance, rolls down of itself, without the aid
of horses. One may follow with the team, and hook on when it gets to
the bottom, but there is no such thing as keeping company with it
until it arrives there."

"You will allow, then, that there is a bottom?'

"There is a bottom to every thing--to good and bad; happiness and
misery; hope, fear, faith and charity; even to a woman's mind, which
I have sometimes fancied the most bottomless thing in nature. There
may, therefore, well be a bottom even to the institutions of
America."

Sir George listened with the interest with which an Englishman of his
class always endeavours to catch a concession that he fancies is
about to favour his own political predilections, and he felt
encouraged to push the subject further.

"And you think the political machine is rolling downwards towards
this bottom?" he said, with an interest in the answer that, living in
the quiet and forgetfulness of his own home, he would have laughed at
himself for entertaining. But our sensibilities become quickened by
collision, and opposition is known even to create love.

Mrs. Bloomfield was quick-witted, intelligent, cultivated and shrewd.
She saw the motive at a glance, and, notwithstanding she saw and felt
all its abuses, strongly attached to the governing principle of her
country's social organization, as is almost universally the case with
the strongest minds and most generous hearts of the nation, she was
not disposed to let a stranger carry away a false impression of her
sentiments on such a point.

"Did you ever study logic, Sir George Templemore?" she asked, archly.

"A little, though not enough I fear to influence my mode of
reasoning, or even to leave me familiar with the terms."

"Oh! I am not about to assail you with _sequiturs_ and _non
sequiturs_ dialectics and all the mysteries of _Denk-Lehre,_ but
simply to remind you there is such a thing as the bottom of a
subject. When I tell you we are flying towards the bottom of our
institutions, it is in the intellectual sense, and not, as you have
erroneously imagined, in an unintellectual sense. I mean that we are
getting to understand them, which, I fear, we did not absolutely do
at the commencement of the 'experiment.'"

"But I think you will admit, that as the civilization of the country
advances, some material changes must occur; your people cannot always
remain stationary; they must either go backwards or forward."

"Up or down, if you will allow me to correct your phraseology. The
civilization of the country, in one sense at least, is retrogressive,
and the people, as they cannot go 'up,' betray a disposition to go
'down.'"

"You deal in enigmas, and I am afraid to think I understand you."

"I mean, merely, that gallowses are fast disappearing, and that the
people--_le peuple_ you will understand--begin to accept money. In
both particulars, I think there is a sensible change for the worse,
within my own recollection."

Mrs. Bloomfield then changed her manner, and from using that light-
hearted gaiety with which she often rendered her conversation
_piquante_, and even occasionally brilliant, she became more grave
and explicit. The subject soon turned to that of punishments, and few
men could have reasoned more sensibly, justly or forcibly, on such a
subject, than this slight and fragile-looking young woman. Without
the least pedantry, with a beauty of language that the other sex
seldom attains, and with a delicacy of discrimination, and a
sentiment that were strictly feminine, she rendered a theme
interesting, that, however important in itself, is forbidding,
veiling all its odious and revolting features in the refinement and
finesse of her own polished mind.

Eve could have listened all night, and, at every syllable that fell
from the lips of her friend, she felt a glow of triumph; for she was
proud of letting an intelligent foreigner see that America did
contain women worthy to be ranked with the best of other countries, a
circumstance that they who merely frequented what is called the
world, she thought might be reasonably justified in distrusting. In
one respect, she even fancied Mrs. Bloomfield's knowledge and
cleverness superior to those which she had so often admired in her
own sex abroad. It was untrammelled, equally by the prejudices
incident to a factitious condition of society, or by their reaction;
two circumstances that often obscured the sense and candour of those
to whom she had so often listened with pleasure in other countries.
The singularly feminine tone, too, of all that Mrs. Bloomfield said
or thought, while it lacked nothing in strength, added to the charm
of her conversation, and increased the pleasure of those that
listened.

"Is the circle large to which Mrs. Hawker and her friends belong?"
asked Sir George, as he assisted Eve and Grace to cloak, when they
had taken leave. "A town which can boast of half-a-dozen such houses
need not accuse itself of wanting society."

"Ah! there is but one Mrs. Hawker in New-York," answered Grace, "and
not many Mrs. Bloomfields in the world. It would be too much to say,
we have even half-a-dozen such houses."

"Have you not been struck with the admirable tone of this drawing-
room," half whispered Eve. "It may want a little of that lofty ease
that one sees among the better portion of the old _Princesses et
Duchesses_, which is a relic of a school that, it is to be feared, is
going out; but in its place there is a winning nature, with as much
dignity as is necessary, and a truth that gives us confidence in the
sincerity of those around us."

"Upon my word, I think Mrs. Hawker quite fit for a Duchess."

"You mean a _Duchesse_" said Eve, "and yet she is without the manner
that we understand by such a word. Mrs. Hawker is a lady, and there
can be no higher term."

"She is a delightful old woman," cried John Effingham, "and if twenty
years younger and disposed to change her condition, I should really
be afraid to enter the house."

"My dear sir," put in the captain, "I will make her Mrs. Truck to-
morrow, and say nothing of years, if she could be content to take up
with such an offer. Why, sir, she is no woman, but a saint in
petticoats! I felt the whole time as if talking to my own mother, and
as for ships, she knows more about them than I do!"

The whole party laughed at the strength of the captain's admiration,
and getting into the carriages proceeded to the last of the houses
they intended visiting that night.

Chapter V.

  "So turns she every man the wrong side out; And never gives to
  truth and virtue, that Which simpleness and merit purchaseth."

  MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.

Mrs. Houston was what is termed a fashionable woman in New-York. She,
too, was of a family of local note, though of one much less elevated
in the olden time than that of Mrs. Hawker. Still her claims were
admitted by the most fastidious on such points, for a few do remain
who think descent indisputable to gentility; and as her means were
ample, and her tastes perhaps superior to those of most around her,
she kept what was thought a house of better tone than common, even in
the highest circle. Eve had but a slight acquaintance with her; but
in Grace's eyes, Mrs. Houston's was the place of all others that she
thought might make a favourable impression on her cousin. Her wish
that this should prove to be the case was so strong, that, as they
drove towards the door, she could not forbear from making an attempt
to prepare Eve for what she was to meet.

"Although Mrs. Houston has a very large house for New-York, and lives
in a uniform style, you are not to expect ante-chambers, and vast
suites of rooms, Eve," said Grace; "such as you have been accustomed
to see abroad."

"It is not necessary, my dear cousin, to enter a house of four or
five windows in front, to see it is not a house of twenty or thirty.
I should be very unreasonable to expect an Italian palazzo, or a
Parisian hotel, in this good town."

"We are not old enough for that yet, Eve; a hundred years hence,
Mademoiselle Viefville, such things may exist here."

"_Bien sûr. C'est naturel._"

"A hundred years hence, as the world tends, Grace, they are not
likely to exist any where, except as taverns, or hospitals, or
manufactories. But what have we to do, coz, with a century ahead of
us? young as we both are, we cannot hope to live that time."

Grace would have been puzzled to account satisfactorily to herself,
for the strong desire she felt that neither of her companions should
expect to see such a house as their senses so plainly told them did
not exist in the place; but her foot moved in the bottom of the
carriage, for she was not half satisfied with her cousin's answer.

"All I mean. Eve," she said, after a pause, "is, that one ought not
to expect in a town as new as this, the improvements that one sees in
an older state of society."

"And have Mademoiselle Viefville, or I, ever been so weak as to
suppose, that New-York is Paris, or Rome, or Vienna?"

Grace was still less satisfied, for, unknown to herself, she _had_
hoped that Mrs. Houston's ball might be quite equal to a ball in
either of those ancient capitals; and she was now vexed that her
cousin considered it so much a matter of course that it should not
be. But there was no time for explanations, as the carriage now
stopped.

The noise, confusion, calling out, swearing, and rude clamour before
the house of Mrs. Houston, said little for the out-door part of the
arrangements. Coachmen are nowhere a particularly silent and civil
class; but the uncouth European peasants, who have been preferred to
the honours of the whip in New-York, to the usual feelings of
competition and contention, added that particular feature of humility
which is known to distinguish "the beggar on horseback." The imposing
equipages of our party, however, had that effect on most of these
rude brawlers, which a display of wealth is known to produce on the
vulgar-minded; and the ladies got into the house, through a lane of
coachmen, by yielding a little to a _chevau de frise_ of whips,
without any serious calamity.

"One hardly knows which is the most terrific," said Eve,
involuntarily, as soon as the door closed on them--"the noise within,
or the noise without!"

This was spoken rapidly, and in French, to Mademoiselle Viefville,
but Grace heard and understood it, and for the first time in her
life, she perceived that Mrs. Houston's company was not composed of
nightingales. The surprise is that the discovery should have come so
late.

"I am delighted at having got into this house," said Sir George, who,
having thrown his cloak to his own servant, stood with the two other
gentlemen waiting the descent of the ladies from the upper room,
where the bad arrangements of the house compelled them to uncloak and
to put aside their shawls, "as I am told it is the best house in town
to see the other sex."

"To _hear them_, would be nearer the truth, perhaps," returned John
Effingham. "As for pretty women, one can hardly go amiss in New-York;
and your ears now tell you, that they do not come into the world to
be seen only."

The baronet smiled, but he was too well bred to contradict or to
assent. Mademoiselle Viefville, unconscious that she was violating
the proprieties, walked into the rooms by herself, as soon as she
descended, followed by Eve; but Grace shrank to the side of John
Effingham, whose arm she took as a step necessary even to decorum.

Mrs. Houston received her guests with ease and dignity. She was one
of those females that the American world calls gay; in other words,
she opened her own house to a very promiscuous society, ten or a
dozen times in a winter, and accepted the greater part of the
invitations she got to other people's. Still, in most other
countries, as a fashionable woman, she would have been esteemed a
model of devotion to the duties of a wife and a mother, for she paid
a personal attention to her household, and had actually taught all
her children the Lord's prayer, the creed, and the ten commandments.
She attended church twice every Sunday, and only staid at home from
the evening lectures, that the domestics might have the opportunity
of going (which, by the way, they never did) in her stead. Feminine,
well-mannered, rich, pretty, of a very positive social condition, and
naturally kind-hearted and disposed to sociability, Mrs. Houston,
supported by an indulgent husband, who so much loved to see people
with the appearance of happiness, that he was not particular as to
the means, had found no difficulty in rising to the pinnacle of
fashion, and of having her name in the mouths of all those who find
it necessary to talk of somebodies, in order that they may seem to be
somebodies themselves. All this contributed to Mrs. Houston's
happiness, or she fancied it did; and as every passion is known to
increase by indulgence, she had insensibly gone on in her much-envied
career until, as has just been said, she reached the summit.

"These rooms are very crowded," said Sir George, glancing his eyes
around two very pretty little narrow drawing-rooms, that were
beautifully, not to say richly, furnished; "one wonders that the same
contracted style of building should be so very general, in a town
that increases as rapidly as this, and where fashion has no fixed
abode, and land is so abundant."

"Mrs. Bloomfield would tell you," said Eve, "that these houses are
types of the social state of the country, in which no one is
permitted to occupy more than his share of ground."

"But there are reasonably large dwellings in the place. Mrs. Hawker
has a good house, and your father's for instance, would be thought
so, too, in London even; and yet I fancy you will agree with me in
thinking that a good room is almost unknown in New-York."

"I do agree with you, in this particular, certainly, for to meet with
a good room, one must go into the houses built thirty years ago. We
have inherited these snuggeries, however, England not having much to
boast of in the way of houses."

"In the way of town residences, I agree with you entirely, as a
whole, though we have some capital exceptions. Still, I do not think
we are quite as compact as this--do you not fancy the noise increased
in consequence of its being so confined?"

Eve laughed and shook her head quite positively.

"What would it be if fairly let out!" she said. "But we will not
waste the precious moments, but turn our eyes about us in quest of
the _belles_. Grace, you who are so much at home, must be our
cicerone, and tell us which are the idols we are to worship."

"_Dîtes moi premierement; que veut dire une belle à New-York?_"
demanded Mademoiselle Viefville. "_Apparemment, tout le monde est
joli._"

"A _belle_, Mademoiselle," returned John Effingham, "is not
necessarily beautiful, the qualifications for the character, being
various and a little contradictory. One may be a _belle_ by means of
money, a tongue, an eye, a foot, teeth, a laugh, or any other
separate feature, or grace; though no woman was ever yet a _belle_, I
believe, by means of the head, considered collectively. But why deal
in description, when the thing itself confronts us? The young lady
standing directly before us, is a _belle_ of the most approved stamp
and silvery tone. Is it not Miss Ring, Grace?"

The answer was in the affirmative, and the eyes of the whole party
turned towards the subject of this remark. The young lady in question
was about twenty, rather tall for an American woman, not
conspicuously handsome, but like most around her of delicate features
and frame, and with such a _physique_, as, under proper training,
would have rendered her the _beau idéal_ of feminine delicacy and
gentleness. She had natural spirit, likewise, as appeared in her
clear blue eye, and moreover she had the spirit to be a _belle_.

Around this young creature were clustered no less than five young
men, dressed in the height of the fashion, all of whom seemed to be
entranced with the words that fell from her lips, and each of whom
appeared anxious to say something clever in return. They all laughed,
the lady most, and sometimes all spoke at once. Notwithstanding these
outbreakings, Miss Ring did most of the talking, and once or twice,
as a young man would gape after a most exhilarating show of
merriment, and discover an inclination to retreat, she managed to
recall him to his allegiance, by some remark particularly pertinent
to himself, or his feelings.

"_Qui est cette dame?_" asked Mademoiselle Viefville, very much as
one would put a similar question, on seeing a man enter a church
during service with his hat on.

"_Elle est demoiselle_," returned Eve.

"_Quelle horreur!_"

"Nay, nay, Mademoiselle, I shall not allow you to set up France as
immaculate on this point, neither--" said John Effingham, looking at
the last speaker with an affected frown--"A young lady may have a
tongue, and she may even speak to a young gentleman, and not be
guilty of felony; although I will admit that five tongues are
unnecessary, and that five listeners are more than sufficient, for
the wisdom of twenty in petticoats."

"_C'est une horreur!_"

"I dare say Miss Ring would think it a greater horror to be obliged
to pass an evening in a row of girls, unspoken to, except to be asked
to dance, and admired only in the distance. But let us take seats on
that sofa, and then we may go beyond the pantomime, and become
partakers in the sentiment of the scene."

Grace and Eve were now led off to dance, and the others did as John
Effingham had suggested. In the eyes of the _belle_ and her admirers,
they who had passed thirty were of no account, and our listeners
succeeded in establishing themselves quietly within ear-shot--this
was almost at duelling distance, too,--without at all interrupting
the regular action of the piece. We extract a little of the dialogue,
by way of giving a more dramatic representation of the scene.

"Do you think the youngest Miss Danvers beautiful?" asked the
_belle_, while her eye wandered in quest of a sixth gentleman to
"entertain," as the phrase is. "In my opinion, she is absolutely the
prettiest female in Mrs. Houston's rooms this night."

The young men, one and all, protested against this judgment, and with
perfect truth, for Miss Ring was too original to point out charms
that every one could see.

"They say it will not be a match between her and Mr. Egbert, after
every body has supposed it settled so long. What is your opinion, Mr.
Edson?"

This timely question prevented Mr. Edson's retreat, for he had
actually got so far in this important evolution, as to have gaped and
turned his back. Recalled, as it were by the sound of the bugle, Mr.
Edson was compelled to say something, a sore affliction to him
always.

"Oh! I'm quite of your way of thinking; they have certainly courted
too long to think of marrying."

"I detest long courtships; they must be perfect antidotes to love;
are they not, Mr. Moreland?"

A truant glance of Mr. Moreland's eye was rebuked by this appeal, and
instead of looking for a place of refuge, he now merely looked
sheepish. He, however, entirely agreed with the young lady, as the
surer way of getting out of the difficulty.

"Pray, Mr. Summerfield, how do you like the last Hajji--Miss Eve
Effingham? To my notion, she is prettyish, though by no means as well
as her cousin, Miss Van Cortlandt, who is really rather good-
looking."

As Eve and Grace were the two most truly lovely young women in the
rooms, this opinion, as well as the loud tone in which it was given,
startled Mademoiselle Viefville quite as much as the subjects that
the belle had selected for discussion. She would have moved, as
listening to a conversation that was not meant for their ears; but
John Effingham quietly assured her that Miss Ring seldom spoke in
company without intending as many persons as possible to hear her.

"Miss Effingham is very plainly dressed for an only daughter"
continued the young lady, "though that lace of her cousin's is real
point! I'll engage it cost every cent of ten dollars a yard! They are
both engaged to be married, I hear."

"_Ciel!_" exclaimed Mademoiselle Viefville.

"Oh! That is nothing," observed John Effingham coolly. "Wait a
moment, and you'll hear that they have been privately married these
six months, if, indeed, you hear no more."

"Of course this is but an idle tale?" said Sir George Templemore with
a concern, which, in despite of his good breeding, compelled him to
put a question that, under other circumstances, would scarcely have
been permissible.

"As true as the gospel. But listen to the _bell_, it is _ringing_ for
the good of the whole parish."

"The affair between Miss Effingham and Mr. Morpeth, who knew her
abroad, I understand is entirely broken off; some say the father
objected to Mr. Morpeth's want of fortune; others that the lady was
fickle, while some accuse the gentleman of the same vice. Don't you
think it shocking to jilt, in either sex, Mr. Mosely?"

The _retiring_ Mr. Mosely was drawn again within the circle, and was
obliged to confess that he thought it was very shocking, in either
sex, to jilt.

"If I were a man," continued the _belle_, "I would never think of a
young woman who had once jilted a lover. To my mind, it bespeaks a
bad heart, and a woman with a bad heart cannot make a very amiable
wife."

"What an exceedingly clever creature she is," whispered Mr. Mosely to
Mr. Moreland, and he now made up his mind to remain and be
'entertained' some time longer.

"I think poor Mr. Morpeth greatly to be pitied; for no man would be
so silly as to be attentive seriously to a lady without
encouragement. Encouragement is the _ne plus ultra_ of courtship; are
you not of my opinion, Mr. Walworth?"

Mr. Walworth was number five of the entertainees, and he did
understand Latin, of which the young lady, though fond of using
scraps, knew literally nothing. He smiled an assent, therefore, and
the _belle_ felicitated herself in having 'entertained' _him_
effectually; nor was she mistaken.

"Indeed, they say Miss Effingham had several affairs of the heart,
while in Europe, but it seems she was unfortunate in them all."

"_Mais, ceci est trop fort! Je ne peux plus écouter._"

"My dear Mademoiselle, compose yourself. The crisis is not yet
arrived, by any means."

"I understand she still corresponds with a German Baron, and an
Italian Marquis, though both engagements are absolutely broken off.
Some people say she walks into company alone, unsupported by any
gentleman, by way of announcing a firm determination to remain single
for life."

A common exclamation from the young men proclaimed their
disapprobation; and that night three of them actually repeated the
thing, as a well established truth, and two of the three, failing of
something better to talk about, also announced that Eve was actually
engaged to be married.

"There is something excessively indelicate in a young lady's moving
about a room without having a gentleman's arm to lean on! I always
feel as if such a person was out of her place, and ought to be in the
kitchen."

"But, Miss Ring, what well-bred person does it?" sputtered Mr.
Moreland. "No one ever heard of such a thing in good society. 'Tis
quite shocking! Altogether unprecedented."

"It strikes me as being excessively coarse!"

"Oh! manifestly; quite rustic!" exclaimed Mr. Edson.

"What can possibly be more vulgar?" added Mr. Walworth.

"I never heard of such a thing among the right sort!" said Mr.
Mosely.

"A young lady who can be so brazen as to come into a room without a
gentleman's arm to lean on, is, in my judgment at least, but
indifferently educated, Hajji or no Hajji. Mr. Edson, have you ever
felt the tender passion? I know you have been desperately in love,
once, at least; do describe to me some of the symptoms, in order that
I may know when I am seriously attacked myself by the disease."

"_Mais, ceci est ridicule! L'enfant s'est sauvée du Charenton de New-
York._"

"From the nursery rather, Mademoiselle; you perceive she does not yet
know how to walk alone."

Mr. Edson now protested that he was too stupid to feel a passion as
intellectual as love, and that he was afraid he was destined by
nature to remain as insensible as a block.

"One never knows, Mr. Edson," said the young lady, encouragingly.
"Several of my acquaintances, who thought themselves quite safe, have
been seized suddenly, and, though none have actually died, more than
one has been roughly treated, I assure you."

Here the young men, one and all, protested that she was excessively
clever. Then succeeded a pause, for Miss Ring was inviting, with her
eyes, a number six to join the circle, her ambition being
dissatisfied with five entertainees, as she saw that Miss Trumpet, a
rival belle, had managed to get exactly that number, also, in the
other room. All the gentlemen availed themselves of the cessation in
wit to gape, and Mr. Edson took the occasion to remark to Mr.
Summerfield that he understood "lots had been sold in seven hundredth
street that morning, as high as two hundred dollars a lot."

The _quadrille_ now ended, and Eve returned towards her friends. As
she approached, the whole party compared her quiet, simple, feminine,
and yet dignified air, with the restless, beau-catching, and worldly
look of the belle, and wondered by what law of nature, or of fashion,
the one could possibly become the subject of the other's comments.
Eve never appeared better than that evening. Her dress had all the
accuracy and finish of a Parisian toilette, being equally removed
from exaggeration and neglect; and it was worn with the ease of one
accustomed to be elegantly attired, and yet never decked with finery.
Her step even was that of a lady, having neither the mincing tread of
a Paris grisette, a manner that sometimes ascends even to the
_bourgeoise_ the march of a cockneyess, nor the tiptoe swing of a
_belle_; but it was the natural though regulated step, of a trained
and delicate woman. Walk alone she could certainly, and always did,
except on those occasions of ceremony that demanded a partner. Her
countenance, across which an unworthy thought had never left a trace,
was an index, too, to the purity, high principles and womanly self-
respect that controlled all her acts, and, in these particulars was
the very reverse of the feverish, half-hoydenish half-affected
expression of that of Miss Ring.

"They may say what they please," muttered Captain Truck, who had been
a silent but wondering listener of all that passed; "she is worth as
many of them as could be stowed in the Montauk's lower hold."

Miss Ring perceiving Eve approach, was desirous of saying something
to her, for there was an _éclat_ about a Hajji, after all, that
rendered an acquaintance, or even an intimacy desirable, and she
smiled and curtsied. Eve returned the salutation, but as she did not
care to approach a group of six, of which no less than five were men,
she continued to move towards her own party. This reserve compelled
Miss Ring to advance a step or two, when Eve was obliged to stop
Curtsying to her partner, she thanked him for his attention,
relinquished his arm, and turned to meet the lady. At the same
instant the five 'entertainees' escaped in a body, equally rejoiced
at their release, and proud of their captivity.

"I have been dying to come and speak to you, Miss Effingham,"
commenced Miss Ring, "but these _five_ giants (she emphasized the
word we have put in italics) so beset me, that escape was quite
impossible. There ought to be a law that but one gentleman should
speak to a lady at a time."

"I thought there was such a law already;" said Eve, quietly.

"You mean in good breeding; but no one thinks of those antiquated
laws now-a-days. Are you beginning to be reconciled, a little, to
your own country?"

"It is not easy to effect a reconciliation where there has been no
misunderstanding. I hope I have never quarrelled with my country, or
my country with me."

"Oh! it is not exactly that I mean. Cannot one need a reconciliation
without a quarrel? What do you say to this, Mr. Edson?"

Miss Ring having detected some symptoms of desertion in the gentleman
addressed, had thrown in this question by way of recal; when turning
to note its effect, she perceived that all of her _clientelle_ had
escaped. A look of surprise and mortification and vexation it was not
in her power to suppress, and then came one of horror.

"How conspicuous we have made ourselves, and it is all my fault!" she
said, for the first time that evening permitting her voice to fall to
a becoming tone. 'Why, here we actually are, two ladies conversing
together, and no gentleman near us!"

"Is that being conspicuous?" asked Eve, with a simplicity that was
entirely natural.

"I am sure, Miss Effingham, one who has seen as much of society as
you, can scarcely ask that question seriously. I do not think I have
done so improper a thing, since I was fifteen; and, dear me! dear me!
how to escape is the question. You have permitted your partner to go,
and I do not see a gentleman of my acquaintance near us, to give me
his arm!"

"As your distress is occasioned by my company," said Eve, "it is
fortunately in my power to relieve it." Thus saying, she quietly
walked across the room, and took her seat next to Mademoiselle
Viefville.

Miss Ring held up her hands in amazement, and then fortunately
perceiving one of the truants gaping at no great distance, she
beckoned him to her side.

"Have the goodness to give me your arm, Mr. Summerfield," she said,
"I am dying to get out of this unpleasantly conspicuous situation;
but you are the first gentleman that has approached me this
twelvemonth. I would not for the world do so brazen a thing as Miss
Effingham has just achieved; would you believe it, she positively
went from this spot to her seat, quite alone!"

"The Hajjis are privileged."

"They make themselves so. But every body knows how bold and unwomanly
the French females are. One could wish, notwithstanding, that our own
people would not import their audacious usages into this country."

"It is a thousand pities that Mr. Clay, in his compromise, neglected
to make an exception against that article. A tariff on impudence
would not be at all sectional."

"It might interfere with the manufacture at home, notwithstanding,"
said John Effingham; for the lungs were strong, and the rooms of Mrs.
Houston so small, that little was said that evening, which was not
heard by any who chose to listen. But Miss Ring never listened, it
being no part of the vocation of a _belle_ to perform that inferior
office, and sustained by the protecting arm of Mr. Summerfield, she
advanced more boldly into the crowd, where she soon contrived to
catch another group of even six "entertainees." As for Mr.
Summerfield, he lived a twelvemonth on the reputation of the
exceedingly clever thing he had just uttered.

"There come Ned and Aristabulus," said John Effingham, as soon as the
tones of Miss Ring's voice were lost in the din of fifty others,
pitched to the same key. "_A present, Mademoiselle, je vais nous
venger_."

As John Effingham uttered this, he took Captain Truck by the arm, and
went to meet his cousin and the land agent. The latter he soon
separated from Mr. Effingham, and with this new recruit, he managed
to get so near to Miss Ring as to attract her attention. Although
fifty, John Effingham was known to be a bachelor, well connected, and
to have twenty thousand a year. In addition, he was well preserved
and singularly handsome, besides having an air that set all
pretending gentility at defiance. These were qualities that no
_belle_ despised, and ill-assorted matches were, moreover, just
coming into fashion in New-York. Miss Ring had an intuitive knowledge
that he wished to speak to her, and she was not slow in offering the
opportunity. The superior tone of John Effingham, his caustic wit and
knowledge of the world, dispersed the five _beaux_, incontinently;
these persons having a natural antipathy to every one of the
qualities named.

"I hope you will permit me to presume on an acquaintance that extends
back as far as your grandfather, Miss Ring," he said, "to present two
very intimate friends; Mr. Bragg and Mr. Truck; gentlemen who will
well reward the acquaintance."

The lady bowed graciously, for it was a matter of conscience with her
to receive every man with a smile. She was still too much in awe of
the master of ceremonies to open her batteries of attack, but John
Effingham soon relieved her, by affecting a desire to speak to
another lady. The _belle_ had now the two strangers to herself, and
having heard that the Effinghams had an Englishman of condition as a
companion, who was travelling under a false name, she fancied herself
very clever in detecting him at once in the person of Aristabulus;
while by the aid of a lively imagination, she thought Mr. Truck was
his travelling Mentor, and a divine of the church of England. The
incognito she was too well bred to hint at, though she wished both
the gentlemen to perceive that a _belle_ was not to be mystified in
this easy manner. Indeed, she was rather sensitive on the subject of
her readiness in recognizing a man of fashion under any
circumstances, and to let this be known was her very first object, as
soon as she was relieved from the presence of John Effingham.

"You must be struck with the unsophisticated nature and the extreme
simplicity of our society, Mr. Bragg," she said, looking at him
significantly; "we are very conscious it is not what it might be, but
do you not think it pretty well for beginners?"

Now, Mr. Bragg had an entire consciousness that he had never seen any
society that deserved the name before this very night, but he was
supported in giving his opinions by that secret sense of his
qualifications to fill any station, which formed so conspicuous a
trait in his character, and his answer was given with an _àplomb_
that would have added weight to the opinion of the veriest _élégant_
of the _Chaussée d'Antin._

"It is indeed a good deal unsophisticated," he said, "and so simple
that any body can understand it. I find but a single fault with this
entertainment, which is, in all else, the perfection of elegance in
my eyes, and that is, that there is too little room to swing the legs
in dancing."

"Indeed!--I did not expect that--is it not the best usage of Europe,
now, to bring a quadrille into the very minimum of space?"

"Quite the contrary, Miss. All good dancing requires evolutions. The
dancing Dervishes, for instance would occupy quite as much space as
both of these sets that are walking before us, and I believe it is
now generally admitted that all good dancing needs room for the
legs."

"We necessarily get a little behind the fashions, in this distant
country. Pray, sir, is it usual for ladies to walk alone in society?"

"Woman was not made to move through life alone, Miss," returned
Aristabulus with a sentimental glance of the eye, for he never let a
good opportunity for preferment slip through his fingers, and,
failing of Miss Effingham, or Miss Van Cortlandt, of whose estates
and connections he had some pretty accurate notions, it struck him
Miss Ring might, possibly, be a very eligible connection, as all was
grist that came to his mill; "this I believe, is an admitted truth."

"By life you mean matrimony, I suppose."

"Yes, Miss, a man always means matrimony, when he speaks to a young
lady."

This rather disconcerted Miss Ring, who picked her nosegay, for she
was not accustomed to hear gentlemen talk to ladies of matrimony, but
ladies to talk to gentlemen. Recovering her self-possession, however,
she said with a promptitude that, did the school to which she
belonged infinite credit,--

"You speak, sir, like one having experience."

"Certainly, Miss; I have been in love ever since I was ten years old;
I may say I was born in love, and hope to die in love."

This a little out-Heroded Herod, but the _belle_ was not a person to
be easily daunted on such a subject. She smiled graciously,
therefore, and continued the conversation with renewed spirit.

"You travelled gentleman get odd notions," she said, "and more
particularly on such subjects. I always feel afraid to discuss them
with foreigners, though with my own countrymen I have few reserves.
Pray, Mr. Truck, are you satisfied with America?--Do you find it the
country you expected to see?"

"Certainly, marm;" for so they pronounced this word in the river, and
the captain cherished his first impressions; "when we sailed from
Portsmouth. I expected that the first land we should make would be
the Highlands of Navesink; and, although a little disappointed, I
have had the satisfaction of laying eyes on it at last."

"Disappointment, I fear, is the usual fate of those who come from the
other side. Is this dwelling of Mrs. Houston's equal to the residence
of an English nobleman, Mr. Bragg?"

"Considerably better, Miss, especially in the way of republican
comfort."

Miss Ring, like all _belles_, detested the word republican, their
vocation being clearly to exclusion, and she pouted a little
affectedly.

"I should distrust the quality of such comfort, sir," she said, with
point; "but, are the rooms at all comparable with the rooms in Apsley
House, for instance?"

"My dear Miss, Apsley House is a toll-gate lodge, compared to this
mansion! I doubt if there be a dwelling in all England half as
magnificent--indeed, I cannot imagine any thing more brilliant and
rich."

Aristabulus was not a man to do things by halves, and it was a point
of honour with him to know something of every thing. It is true he no
more could tell where Apsley House is, or whether it was a tavern or
a gaol, than he knew half the other things on which he delivered
oracular opinions; but when it became necessary to speak, he was not
apt to balk conversation from any ignorance, real or affected. The
opinion he had just given, it is true, had a little surpassed Miss
Ring's hopes; for the next thing, in her ambition to being a _belle_,
and of "entertaining" gentlemen, was to fancy she was running her
brilliant career in an orbit of fashion that lay parallel to that of
the "nobility and gentry" of Great Britain.

"Well, this surpasses my hopes," she said, "although I was aware we
are nearly on a level with the more improved tastes of Europe: still,
I thought we were a little inferior to that part of the world, yet."

"Inferior, Miss! That is a word that should never pass your lips; you
are inferior to nothing, whether in Europe or America, Asia or
Africa."

As Miss Ring had been accustomed to do most of the flattering
herself, as behoveth a _belle_, she began to be disconcerted with the
directness of the compliments of Aristabulus, who was disposed to
'make hay while the sun shines;' and she turned, in a little
confusion, to the captain, by way of relief; we say confusion, for
the young lady, although so liable to be misunderstood, was not
actually impudent, but merely deceived in the relations of things;
or, in other words, by some confusion in usages, she had hitherto
permitted herself to do that in society, which female performers
sometimes do on the stage; enact the part of a man.

"You should tell Mr. Bragg, sir," she said, with an appealing look at
the captain, "that flattery is a dangerous vice, and one altogether
unsuited to a Christian."

"It is, indeed, marm, and one that I never indulge in. No one under
my orders, can accuse me of flattery."

By 'under orders,' Miss Ring understood curates and deacons; for she
was aware the church of England had clerical distinctions of this
sort, that are unknown in America.

"I hope, sir, you do not intend to quit this country without
favouring us with a discourse."

"Not I, marm--I am discoursing pretty much from morning till night,
when among my own people, though I own that this conversing rather
puts me out of my reckoning. Let me get my foot on the planks I love,
with an attentive audience, and a good cigar in my mouth, and I'll
hold forth with any bishop in the universe."

"A cigar!" exclaimed Miss Ring, in surprise. "Do gentlemen of your
profession use cigars when on duty!"

"Does a parson take his fees? Why, Miss, there is not a man among us,
who does not smoke from morning till night."

"Surely not on Sundays!"

"Two for one, on those days, more than on any other."

"And your people, sir, what do they do, all this time?'

"Why, marm, most of them chew; and those that don't, if they cannot
find a pipe, have a dull time of it. For my part, I shall hardly
relish the good place itself, if cigars are prohibited."

Miss Ring was surprised; but she had heard that the English clergy
were more free than our own, and then she had been accustomed to
think every thing English of the purest water. A little reflection
reconciled her to the innovation; and the next day, at a dinner
party, she was heard defending the usage as a practice that had a
precedent in the ancient incense of the altar. At the moment,
however, she was dying to impart her discoveries to others; and she
kindly proposed to the captain and Aristabulus to introduce them to
some of her acquaintances, as they must find it dull, being
strangers, to know no one. Introductions and cigars were the
captain's hobbies, and he accepted the offer with joy, Aristabulus
uniting cordially in the proposition, as, he fancied he had a right,
under the Constitution of the United States of America, to be
introduced to every human being with whom he came in contact.

It is scarcely necessary to say how much the party with whom the two
neophytes in fashion had come, enjoyed all this, though they
concealed their amusement under the calm exterior of people of the
world. From Mr. Effingham the mystification was carefully concealed
by his cousin, as the former would have felt it due to Mrs. Houston,
a well-meaning, but silly woman, to put an end to it. Eve and Grace
laughed, as merry girls would be apt to laugh, at such an occurrence,
and they danced the remainder of the evening with lighter hearts than
ever. At one, the company retired in the same informal manner, as
respects announcements and the calling of carriages, as that in which
they had entered; most to lay their drowsy heads on their pillows,
and Miss Ring to ponder over the superior manners of a polished young
Englishman, and to dream of the fragrance of a sermon that was
preserved in tobacco.

Chapter VI.

  "Marry, our play is the most lamentable Comedy, and most cruel
  death of Pyramus and Thisby."

  PETER QUINCE.

Our task in the way of describing town society will soon be ended.
The gentlemen of the Effingham family had been invited to meet Sir
George Templemore at one or two dinners, to which the latter had been
invited in consequence of his letters, most of which were connected
with his pecuniary arrangements. As one of these entertainments was
like all the rest of the same character, a very brief account of it
will suffice to let the reader into the secret of the excellence of
the genus.

A well-spread board, excellent viands, highly respectable cookery,
and delicious wines, were every where met. Two rows of men clad in
dark dresses, a solitary female at the head of the table, or, if
fortunate, with a supporter of the same sex near her, invariably
composed the _convives_. The exaggerations of a province were seen
ludicrously in one particular custom. The host, or perhaps it might
have been the hostess, had been told there should be a contrast
between the duller light of the reception-room, and the brilliancy of
the table, and John Effingham actually hit his legs against a stool,
in floundering through the obscurity of the first drawing-room he
entered on one of the occasions in question.

When seated at table, the first great duty of restauration performed,
the conversation turned on the prices of lots, speculations in towns,
or the currency. After this came the regular assay of wines, during
which it was easy to fancy the master of the house a dealer, for he
usually sat either sucking a syphon or flourishing a cork-screw. The
discourse would now have done credit to the annual meeting and dinner
of the German exporters, assembled at Rudesheim to bid for the
article.

Sir George was certainly on the point of forming a very erroneous
judgment concerning the country, when Mr. Effingham extricated him
from this set, and introduced him properly into his own. Here,
indeed, while there was much to strike a European as peculiar, and
even provincial, the young baronet fared much better. He met with the
same quality of table, relieved by an intelligence that was always
respectable, and a manliness of tone which, if not unmixed, had the
great merit of a simplicity and nature that are not always found in
more sophisticated circles. The occasional incongruities struck them
all, more than the positive general faults and Sir George Templemore
did justice to the truth, by admitting frankly, the danger he had
been in of forming a too hasty opinion.

All this time, which occupied a month, the young baronet got to be
more and more intimate in Hudson Square, Eve gradually becoming more
frank and unreserved with him, as she grew sensible that he had
abandoned his hopes of success with herself, and Grace gradually more
cautious and timid, as she became conscious of his power to please,
and the interest he took in herself.

It might have been three days after the ball at Mrs. Houston's that
most of the family was engaged to look in on a Mrs. Legend, a lady of
what was called a literary turn, Sir George having been asked to make
one of their party. Aristabulus was already returned to his duty in
the country, where we shall shortly have occasion to join him, but an
invitation had been sent to Mr. Truck, under the general, erroneous
impression of his real character.

Taste, whether in the arts, literature, or any thing else, is a
natural impulse, like love. It is true both may be cultivated and
heightened by circumstances, but the impulses must be voluntary, and
the flow of feeling, or of soul, as it has become a law to style it,
is not to be forced, or commanded to come and go at will. This is the
reason that all premeditated enjoyments connected with the intellect,
are apt to baffle expectations, and why academies, literary clubs,
coteries and dinners are commonly dull. It is true that a body of
clever people may be brought together, and, if left to their own
impulses, the characters of their mind will show themselves; wit will
flash, and thought will answer thought spontaneously; but every
effort to make the stupid agreeable, by giving a direction of a
pretending intellectual nature to their efforts, is only rendering
dullness more conspicuous by exhibiting it in contrast with what it
ought to be to be clever, as a bad picture is rendered the more
conspicuous by an elaborate and gorgeous frame.

The latter was the fate of most of Mrs. Legend's literary evenings,
at which it was thought an illustration to understand even one
foreign language. But, it was known that Eve was skilled in most of
the European tongues, and, the good lady, not feeling that such
accomplishments are chiefly useful as a means, looked about her in
order to collect a set, among whom our heroine might find some one
with whom to converse in each of her dialects. Little was said about
it, it is true, but great efforts were made to cause this evening to
be memorable in the annals of _conversazioni_.

In carrying out this scheme, nearly all the wits, writers, artists
and _literati_, as the most incorrigible members of the book clubs
were styled, in New-York, were pressingly invited to be present.
Aristabulus had contrived to earn such a reputation for the captain,
on the night of the ball, that he was universally called a man of
letters, and an article had actually appeared in one of the papers,
speaking of the literary merits of the "Hon. and Rev. Mr. Truck, a
gentleman travelling in our country, from whose liberality and just
views, an account of our society was to be expected, that should, at
last, do justice to our national character." With such expectations,
then, every true American and Americaness, was expected to be at his
or her post, for the solemn occasion. It was a rally of literature,
in defence of the institutions--no, not of the institutions, for they
were left to take care of themselves--but of the social character of
the community.

Alas! it is easier to feel high aspirations on such subjects, in a
provincial town, than to succeed; for merely calling a place an
Emporium, is very far from giving it the independence, high tone,
condensed intelligence and tastes of a capital. Poor Mrs. Legend,
desirous of having all the tongues duly represented, was obliged to
invite certain dealers in gin from Holland, a German linen merchant
from Saxony, an Italian _Cavaliero_, who amused himself in selling
beads, and a Spanish master, who was born in Portugal, all of whom
had just one requisite for conversation in their respective
languages, and no more. But such assemblies were convened in Paris,
and why not in New-York?

We shall not stop to dwell on the awful sensations with which Mrs.
Legend heard the first ring at her door, on the eventful night in
question. It was the precursor of the entrance of Miss Annual, as
regular a devotee of letters as ever conned a primer. The meeting was
sentimental and affectionate. Before either had time, however, to
disburthen her mind of one half of its prepared phrases, ring upon
ring proclaimed more company, and the rooms were soon as much
sprinkled with talent, as a modern novel with jests. Among those who
came first, appeared all the foreign corps, for the refreshments
entered as something into the account with them; every blue of the
place, whose social position in the least entitled her to be seen in
such a house, Mrs. Legend belonging quite positively to good society.

The scene that succeeded was very characteristic. A professed genius
does nothing like other people, except in cases that require a
display of talents. In all minor matters he, or she, is _sui
generis_; for sentiment is in constant ebullition in their souls;
this being what is meant by the flow of that part of the human
system.

We might here very well adopt the Homeric method, and call the roll
of heroes and heroines, in what the French would term a _catalogue
raisonnée_; but our limits compel us to be less ambitions, and to
adopt a simpler mode of communicating facts. Among the ladies who now
figured in the drawing-room of Mrs. Legend, besides Miss Annual, were
Miss Monthly, Mrs. Economy, S.R.P., Marion, Longinus, Julietta,
Herodotus, D.O.V.E., and Mrs. Demonstration; besides many others of
less note; together with at least a dozen female Hajjis, whose claims
to appear in such society were pretty much dependent on the fact,
that having seen pictures and statues abroad, they necessarily must
have the means of talking of them at home. The list of men was still
more formidable in numbers, if not in talents. At its head stood
Steadfast Dodge, Esquire, whose fame as a male Hajji had so far
swollen since Mrs Jarvis's _réunion_, that, for the first time in his
life, he now entered one of the better houses of his own country.
Then there were the authors of "Lapis Lazuli," "The Aunts," "The
Reformed," "The Conformed," "The Transformed," and "The Deformed;"
with the editors of "The Hebdomad," "The Night Cap," "The Chrysalis,"
"The Real Maggot," and "The Seek no Further;" as also, "Junius,"
"Junius Brutus," "Lucius Junius Brutus," "Captain Kant," "Florio,"
the 'Author of the History of Billy Linkum Tweedle', the celebrated
Pottawattamie Prophet, "Single Rhyme," a genius who had prudently
rested his fame in verse, on a couplet composed of one line; besides
divers _amateurs_ and _connoisseurs_, Hajjis, who _must_ be men of
talents, as they had acquired all they knew, very much as American
Eclipse gained his laurels on the turf; that is to say, by a free use
of the whip and spur.

As Mrs. Legend sailed about her rooms amid such a circle, her mind
expanded, her thoughts diffused themselves among her guests on the
principle of Animal Magnetism, and her heart was melting with the
tender sympathies of congenial tastes. She felt herself to be at the
head of American talents, and, in the secret recesses of her reason,
she determined that, did even the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah menace
her native town, as some evil disposed persons had dared to insinuate
might one day be the case, here was enough to save it from
destruction.

It was just as the mistress of the mansion had come to this consoling
conclusion, that the party from Hudson Square rang. As few of her
guests came in carriages, Mrs. Legend, who heard the rolling of
wheels, felt persuaded that the lion of the night was now indeed at
hand; and with a view to a proper reception, she requested the
company to divide itself into two lines, in order that he might
enter, as it were, between lanes of genius.

It may be necessary to explain, at this point of our narrative, that
John Effingham was perfectly aware of the error which existed in
relation to the real character of Captain Truck, wherein he thought
great injustice had been done the honest seaman; and, the old man
intending to sail for London next morning, had persuaded him to
accept this invitation, in order that the public mind might be
disabused in a matter of so much importance. With a view that this
might be done naturally and without fuss, however, he did not explain
the mistake to his nautical friend, believing it most probable that
this could be better done incidentally, as it were, in the course of
the evening; and feeling certain of the force of that wholesome
apothegm, which says that "truth is powerful and must prevail" "If
this be so," added John Effingham, in his explanations to Eve, "there
can be no place where the sacred quality will be so likely to assert
itself, as in a galaxy of geniuses, whose distinctive characteristic
is 'an intuitive perception of things in their real colours."

When the door of Mrs. Legend's drawing-room opened, in the usual
noiseless manner, Mademoiselle Viefville, who led the way, was
startled at finding herself in the precise situation of one who is
condemned to run the gauntlet. Fortunately, she caught a glimpse of
Mrs. Legend, posted at the other end of the proud array, inviting
her, with smiles, to approach. The invitation had been to a
"_literary fête_," and Mademoiselle Viefville was too much of a
Frenchwoman to be totally disconcerted at a little scenic effect on
the occasion of a _fête_ of any sort. Supposing she was now a witness
of an American ceremony for the first time, for the want of
_representation_ in the country had been rather a subject of
animadversion with her, she advanced steadily towards the mistress of
the house, bestowing smile for smile, this being a part of the
_programme_ at which a _Parisienne_ was not easily outdone. Eve
followed, as usual, _sola_; Grace came next; then Sir George; then
John Effingham; the captain bringing up the rear. There had been a
friendly contest, for the precedency, between the two last, each
desiring to yield it to the other on the score of merit; but the
captain prevailed, by declaring "that he was navigating an unknown
sea, and that he could do nothing wiser than to sail in the wake of
so good a pilot as Mr. John Effingham."

As Hajjis of approved experience, the persons who led the advance in
this little procession, were subjects of a proper attention and
respect; but as the admiration of mere vulgar travelling would in
itself be vulgar, care was taken to reserve the condensed feeling of
the company for the celebrated English writer and wit, who was known
to bring up the rear. This was not a common house, in which dollars
had place, or _belles_ rioted, but the temple of genius; and every
one felt an ardent desire to manifest a proper homage to the
abilities of the established foreign writer, that should be in exact
proportion to their indifference to the twenty thousand a year of
John Effingham, and to the nearly equal amount of Eve's expectations.

The personal appearance of the honest tar was well adapted to the
character he was thus called on so unexpectedly to support. His hair
had long been getting grey, but the intense anxiety of the chase, of
the wreck, and of his other recent adventures, had rapidly, but
effectually, increased this mark of time; and his head was now nearly
as white as snow. The hale, fresh, red of his features, which was in
truth the result of exposure, might very well pass for the tint of
port, and his tread, which had always a little of the quarterdeck
swing about it, might quite easily be mistaken by a tyro, for the
human frame staggering under a load of learning. Unfortunately for
those who dislike mystifications, the captain had consulted John
Effingham on the subject of the toilette, and that kind and indulgent
friend had suggested the propriety of appearing in black small-
clothes for the occasion, a costume that he often wore himself of an
evening. Reality, in this instance, then, did not disappoint
expectation, and the burst of applause with which the captain was
received, was accompanied by a general murmur in commendation of the
admirable manner in which he "looked the character."

"What a Byronic head," whispered the author of "The Transformed" to
D.O.V.E.; "and was there ever such a curl of the lip, before, to
mortal man!"

The truth is, the captain had thrust his tobacco into "an aside," as
a monkey is known to _empocher_ a spare nut, or a lump of sugar.

"Do you think him Byronic?--To my eye, the cast of his head is
Shaksperian, rather; though I confess there is a little of Milton
about the forehead!"

"Pray," said Miss Annual, to Lucius Junius Brutus, "which is commonly
thought to be the best of his works; that on a--a--a,--or that on e--
e--e?"

Now, so it happened, that not a soul in the room, but the lion
himself, had any idea what books he had written, and he knew only of
some fifteen or twenty log-books. It was generally understood, that
he was a great English writer, and this was more than sufficient.

"I believe the world generally prefers the a--a--a," said Lucius
Junius Brutus; "but the few give a decided preference to the e--e--
e----"

"Oh! out of all question preferable!" exclaimed half a dozen, in
hearing.

"With what a classical modesty he pays his compliments to Mrs.
Legend," observed "S. R. P."--"One can always tell a man of real
genius, by his _tenu_!"

"He is so English!" cried Florio. "Ah! _they_ are the only people,
after all!"

This Florio was one of those geniuses who sigh most for the things
that they least possess.

By this time Captain Truck had got through with listening to the
compliments of Mrs. Legend, when he, was seized upon by a circle of
rabid literati, who badgered him with questions concerning his
opinions, notions, inferences, experiences, associations, sensations,
sentiments and intentions, in a way that soon threw the old man into
a profuse perspiration. Fifty times did he wish, from the bottom of
his soul, that soul which the crowd around him fancied dwelt so nigh
in the clouds, that he was seated quietly by the side of Mrs. Hawker,
who, he mentally swore, was worth all the _literati_ in Christendom.
But fate had decreed otherwise, and we shall leave him to his
fortune, for a time, and return to our heroine and her party.

As soon as Mrs. Legend had got through with her introductory
compliments to the captain, she sought Eve and Grace, with a
consciousness that a few civilities were now their due.

"I fear, Miss Effingham, after the elaborate _soirées_ of the
literary circles in Paris, you will find our _réunions_ of the same
sort, a little dull; and yet I flatter myself with having assembled
most of the talents of New-York on this memorable occasion, to do
honour to your friend. Are you acquainted with many of the company?"

Now, Eve had never seen nor ever heard of a single being in the room,
with the exception of Mr. Dodge and her own party, before this night,
although most of them had been so laboriously employed in puffing
each other into celebrity, for many weary years; and, as for
elaborate _soirées_, she thought she had never seen one half as
elaborate as this of Mrs. Legend's. As it would not very well do,
however, to express all this in words, she civilly desired the lady
to point out to her some of the most distinguished of the company.

"With the greatest pleasure, Miss Effingham," Mrs. Legend taking
pride in dwelling on the merits of her guests.--"This heavy, grand-
looking personage, in whose air one sees refinement and modesty at a
glance, is Captain Kant, the editor of one of our most decidedly
pious newspapers. His mind is distinguished for its intuitive
perception of all that is delicate, reserved and finished in the
intellectual world, while, in opposition to this quality, which is
almost feminine, his character is just as remarkable for its
unflinching love of truth. He was never known to publish a falsehood,
and of his foreign correspondence, in particular, he is so
exceedingly careful, that he assures me he has every word of it
written under his own eye."

"On the subject of his religious scruples," added John Effingham, "he
is so fastidiously exact, that I hear he 'says grace' over every
thing that goes _from_ his press, and 'returns thanks' for every
thing that comes _to_ it."

"You know him, Mr. Effingham, by this remark? Is he not, truly, a man
of a vocation?"

"That, indeed, he is, ma'am. He may be succinctly said to have a
newspaper mind, as he reduces every thing in nature or art to news,
and commonly imparts to it so much of his own peculiar character,
that it loses all identity with the subjects to which it originally
belonged. One scarcely knows which to admire most about this man, the
atmospheric transparency of his motives, for he is so disinterested
as seldom even to think of paying for a dinner when travelling, and
yet so conscientious as always to say something obliging of the
tavern as soon as he gets home--his rigid regard to facts; or the
exquisite refinement and delicacy that he imparts to every thing he
touches. Over all this, too, he throws a beautiful halo of morality
and religion, never even prevaricating in the hottest discussion,
unless with the unction of a saint!"

"Do you happen to know Florio?" asked Mrs. Legend, a little
distrusting John Effingham's account of Captain Kant.

"If I do, it must indeed be by accident. What are his chief
characteristics, ma'am?"

"Sentiment, pathos, delicacy, and all in rhyme, too. You no doubt,
have heard of his triumph over Lord Byron, Miss Effingham?"

Eve was obliged to confess that it was new to her.

"Why, Byron wrote an ode to Greece, commencing with 'The Isles of
Greece! the Isles of Greece!' a very feeble line, as any one will
see, for it contained a useless and an unmeaning repetition."

"And you might add vulgar, too, Mrs. Legend," said John Effingham,
"since it made a palpable allusion to all those vulgar incidents that
associate themselves in the mind, with these said common-place isles.
The arts, philosophy, poetry, eloquence, and even old Homer, are
brought unpleasantly to one's recollection, by such an indiscreet
invocation."

"So Florio thought, and, by way of letting the world perceive the
essential difference between the base and the pure coin, _he_ wrote
an ode on England, which commenced as such an ode _should_!"

"Do you happen to recollect any of it, ma'am?"

"Only the first line, which I greatly regret, as the rhyme is
Florio's chief merit. But this line is, of itself, sufficient to
immortalize a man."

"Do not keep us in torment, dear Mrs. Legend, but let us have it, of
heaven's sake!"

"It began in this sublime strain, sir--'Beyond the wave!--Beyond the
wave!' Now, Miss Effingham, that is what _I_ call poetry!"

"And well you may, ma'am," returned the gentleman, who perceived Eve
could scarce refrain from breaking out in a very unsentimental
manner--"So much pathos."

"And so sententious and flowing!"

"Condensing a journey of three thousand miles, as it might be, into
three words, and a note of admiration. I trust it was printed with a
note of admiration, Mrs. Legend?"

"Yes, sir, with two--one behind each wave--and such waves, Mr.
Effingham!"

"Indeed, ma'am, you may say so. One really gets a grand idea of them,
England lying beyond each."

"So much expressed in so few syllables!"

"I think I see every shoal, current, ripple, rock, island, and whale,
between Sandy Hook and the Land's End."

"He hints at an epic."

"Pray God he may execute one. Let him make haste, too, or he may get
'behind the age,' 'behind the age.'"

Here the lady was called away to receive a guest.

"Cousin Jack!"

"Eve Effingham?"

"Do you not sometimes fear offending?"

"Not a woman who begins with expressing her admiration of such a
sublime thing as this. You are safe with such a person, any where
short of a tweak of the nose."

"_Mais, tout ceci est bien drôle!_"

"You never were more mistaken in your life, Mademoiselle; every body
here looks upon it as a matter of life and death."

The new guest was Mr. Pindar, one of those careless, unsentimental
fellows, that occasionally throw off an ode that passes through
Christendom, as dollars are known to pass from China to Norway, and
yet, who never fancied spectacles necessary to his appearance,
solemnity to his face, nor _soirées_ to his renown. After quitting
Mrs. Legend, he approached Eve, to whom he was slightly known, and
accosted her.

"This is the region of taste, Miss Effingham," he said, with a shrug
of the jaw, if such a member can shrug; "and I do not wonder at
finding you here."

He then chatted pleasantly a moment, with the party, and passed on,
giving an ominous gape, as he drew nearer to the _oi polloi_ of
literature. A moment after appeared Mr. Gray, a man who needed
nothing but taste in the public, and the encouragement that would
follow such a taste, to stand at, or certainty near, the head of the
poets of our own time. He, too, looked shily at the galaxy, and took
refuge in a corner. Mr. Pith followed; a man whose caustic wit needs
only a sphere for its exercise, manners to portray, and a society
with strong points about it to illustrate, in order to enrol his name
high on the catalogue of satirists. Another ring announced Mr. Fun, a
writer of exquisite humour, and of finished periods, but who, having
perpetrated a little too much sentiment, was instantly seized upon by
all the ultra ladies who were addicted to the same taste in that way,
in the room.

These persons came late, like those who had already been too often
dosed in the same way, to be impatient of repetitions. The three
first soon got together in a corner, and Eve fancied they were
laughing at the rest of the company; whereas, in fact, they were
merely laughing at a bad joke of their own; their quick perception of
the ludicrous having pointed out a hundred odd combinations and
absurdities, that would have escaped duller minds.

"Who, in the name of the twelve Caesars, has Mrs. Legend got to
lionize, yonder, with the white summit and the dark base?' asked the
writer of odes.

"Some English pamphleteer, by what I can learn," answered he of
satire; "some fellow who has achieved a pert review, or written a
Minerva Pressism, and who now flourishes like a bay tree among us. A
modern Horace, or a Juvenal on his travels."

"Fun is well badgered," observed Mr. Gray.--"Do you not see that Miss
Annual, Miss Monthly, and that young alphabet D.O.V.E., have got him
within the circle of their petticoats, where he will be martyred on a
sigh?"

"He casts tanging looks this way; he wishes you to go to his rescue,
Pith."

"I!--Let him take his fill of sentiment! I am no homoepathist in such
matters. Large doses in quick succession will soonest work a cure.
Here comes the lion and he breaks loose from his cage, like a beast
that has been poked up with sticks."

"Good evening, gentlemen," said Captain Truck, wiping his face
intensely, and who having made his escape from a throng of admirers,
took refuge in the first port that offered. "You seem to be enjoying
yourselves here in a rational and agreeable way. Quite cool and
refreshing in this corner."

"And yet we have no doubt that both our reason and our amusement will
receive a large increase from the addition of your society, sir,"
returned Mr. Pith.--"Do us the favour to take a seat, I beg of you,
and rest yourself."

"With all my heart, gentlemen; for, to own the truth, these ladies
make warm work about a stranger. I have just got out of what I call a
category."

"You appear to have escaped with life, sir," observed Pindar, taking
a cool survey of the other's person.

"Yes, thank God, I have done that, and it is pretty much all,"
answered the captain, wiping his face. "I served in the French war--
Truxtun's war, as we call it--and I had a touch with the English in
the privateer trade, between twelve and fifteen; and here, quite
lately, I was in an encounter with the savage Arabs down on the coast
of Africa; and I account them all as so much snow-balling, compared
with the yard-arm and yard-arm work of this very night. I wonder if
it is permitted to try a cigar at these conversation-onies,
gentlemen?"

"I believe it is, sir," returned Pindar, coolly. "Shall I help you to
a light?"

"Oh! Mr. Truck!" cried Mrs. Legend, following the chafed animal to
his corner, as one would pursue any other runaway, "instinct has
brought you into this good company. You are, now, in the very focus
of American talents."

"Having just escaped from the focus of American talons," whispered
Pith.

"I must be permitted to introduce you myself. Mr. Truck, Mr. Pindar--
Mr. Pith--- Mr. Gray--gentlemen, you must be so happy to be
acquainted, being, as it were, engaged in the same pursuits!"

The captain rose and shook each of the gentlemen cordially by the
hand, for he had, at least, the consolation of a great many
introductions that night. Mrs. Legend disappeared to say something to
some other prodigy.

"Happy to meet you, gentlemen," said the captain "In what trade do
you sail?"

"By whatever name we may call it," answered Mr. Pindar--"we can
scarcely be said to go before the wind."

"Not in the Injee business, then, or the monsoons would keep the
stun'sails set, at least."

"No, sir.--But yonder is Mr. Moccasin, who has lately set up,
_secundum artem_, in the Indian business, having written two novels
in that way already, and begun a third."

"Are you all regularly employed, gentlemen?"

"As regularly as inspiration points," said Mr. Pith. "Men of our
occupation must make fair weather of it, or we had better be doing
nothing."

"So I often tell my owners, but 'go ahead' is the order. When I was a
youngster, a ship remained in port for a fair wind; but, now, she
goes to work and makes one. The world seems to get young, as I get
old."

"This is a _rum litterateur_," Gray whispered to Pindar.

"It is an obvious mystification," was the answer; "poor Mrs. Legend
has picked up some straggling porpoise, and converted him, by a touch
of her magical wand, into a Boanerges of literature. The thing is as
clear as day, for the worthy fellow smells of tar and cigar smoke. I
perceive that Mr. Effingham is laughing out of the corner of his
eyes, and will step across the room, and get the truth, in a minute."

The rogue was as good as his word, and was soon back again, and
contrived to let his friends understand the real state of the case. A
knowledge of the captain's true character encouraged this trio in the
benevolent purpose of aiding the honest old seaman in his wish to
smoke, and Pith managed to give him a lighted paper, without becoming
an open accessary to the plot.

"Will you take a cigar yourself, sir," said the captain, offering his
box to Mr. Pindar.

"I thank you, Mr. Truck, I never smoke, but am a profound admirer of
the flavour. Let me entreat you to begin as soon as possible."

Thus encouraged, Captain Truck drew two or three whiffs, when the
rooms were immediately filled with the fragrance of a real Havana. At
the first discovery, the whole literary pack went off on the scent.
As for Mr. Fun, he managed to profit by the agitation that followed,
in order to escape to the three wags in the corner, who were enjoying
the scene, with the gravity of so many dervishes.

"As I live," cried Lucius Junius Brutus, "there is the author of a--
a--a--actually smoking a cigar!--How excessively _piquant!_"

"Do my eyes deceive me, or is not that the writer of e--e--e--
fumigating us all!" whispered Miss Annual.

"Nay, this cannot certainly be right," put in Florio, with a
dogmatical manner. "All the periodicals agree that smoking is
ungenteel in England."

"You never were more mistaken, dear Florio," replied D.O.V.E. in a
cooing tone. "The very last novel of society has a chapter in which
the hero and heroine smoke in the declaration scene."

"Do they, indeed!--That alters the case. Really, one would not wish
to get behind so great a nation, nor yet go much before it. Pray,
Captain Kant, what do your friends in Canada say; is, or is not
smoking permitted in good society there? the Canadians must, at
least, be ahead of us."

"Not at all, sir," returned the editor in his softest tones; "it is
revolutionary and jacobinical."

But the ladies prevailed, and, by a process that is rather peculiar
to what may be called a "credulous" state of society, they carried
the day. This process was simply to make one fiction authority for
another. The fact that smoking was now carried so far in England,
that the clergy actually used cigars in the pulpits, was affirmed on
the authority of Mr. Truck himself, and, coupled with his present
occupation, the point was deemed to be settled. Even Florio yielded,
and his plastic mind soon saw a thousand beauties in the usage, that
had hitherto escaped it. All the literati drew round the captain in a
circle, to enjoy the spectacle, though the honest old mariner
contrived to throw out such volumes of vapour as to keep them at a
safe distance. His four demure-looking neighbours got behind the
barrier of smoke, where they deemed themselves entrenched against the
assaults of sentimental petticoats, for a time, at least.

"Pray, Mr. Truck," inquired S.R.P., "is it commonly thought in the
English literary circles, that Byron was a developement of
Shakspeare, or Shakspeare a shadowing forth of Byron?"

"Both, marm," said the captain, with a coolness that would have done
credit to Aristabulus, for he had been fairly badgered into
impudence, profiting by the occasion to knock the ashes off his
cigar; "all incline to the first opinion, and most to the last."

"What finesse!" murmured one. "How delicate!" whispered a second. "A
dignified reserve!" ejaculated a third. "So English!" exclaimed
Florio.

"Do you think, Mr. Truck," asked D.O.V.E. "that the profane songs of
Little have more pathos than the sacred songs of Moore; or that the
sacred songs of Moore have more sentiment than the profane songs of
Little?"

"A good deal of both, marm, and something to spare. I think there is
little in one, and more in the other."

"Pray, sir," said J.R.P., "do you pronounce the name of Byron's lady-
love, Guy-kee-oh-_ly_, or, Gwy-ky-o-_lee_?"

"That depends on how the wind is. If on shore, I am apt to say 'oh-
lee;' and if off shore, 'oh-lie.'"

"That's capital!" cried Florio, in an extasy of admiration. "What man
in this country could have said as crack a thing as that?"

"Indeed it is very witty," added Miss Monthly--"what does it mean?"

"Mean! More than is seen or felt by common minds. Ah! the English are
truly a great nation!--How delightfully he smokes!"

"I think he is much the most interesting man we have had out here,"
observed Miss Annual, "since the last bust of Scott!"

"Ask him, dear D.O.V.E.," whispered Julietta, who was timid, from the
circumstance of never having published, "which he thinks the most
ecstatic feeling, hope or despair?"

The question was put by the more experienced lady, according to
request, though she first said, in a hurried tone, to her youthful
sister--"you can have felt but little, child, or you would know that
it is despair, as a matter of course."

The honest captain, however, did not treat the matter so lightly, for
he improved the opportunity to light a fresh cigar, throwing the
still smoking stump into Mrs. Legend's grate, through a lane of
literati, as he afterwards boasted, as coolly as he could have thrown
it overboard, under other circumstances. Luckily for his reputation
for sentiment, he mistook "ecstatic," a word he had never heard
before, for "erratic;" and recollecting sundry roving maniacs that he
had seen, he answered promptly--

"Despair, out and out."

"I knew it," said one.

"It's in nature," added a second.

"All can feel its truth," rejoined a third.

"This point may now be set down as established," cried Florio, "and I
hope no more will be said about it."

"This is encouragement to the searchers after truth," put in Captain
Kant.

"Pray, Hon. and Rev. Mr. Truck," asked Lucius Junius Brutus, at the
joint suggestion of Junius Brutus and Brutus, "does the Princess
Victoria smoke?"

"If she did not, sir, where would be the use in being a princess. I
suppose you know that all the tobacco seized in England, after a
deduction to informers, goes to the crown."

"I object to this usage," remarked Captain Kant, "as irreligious,
French, and tending to _sans-culotteism_. I am willing to admit of
this distinguished instance as an exception; but on all other
grounds, I shall maintain that it savours of infidelity to smoke. The
Prussian government, much the best of our times, never smokes."

"This man thinks he has a monopoly of the puffing, himself," Pindar
whispered into the captain's ear; "whiff away, my dear sir, and
you'll soon throw him into the shade."

The captain winked, drew out his box, lighted another cigar, and, by
way of reply to the envious remark, he put one in each corner of his
mouth, and soon had both in full blast, a state in which he kept them
for near a minute.

"This is the very picturesque of social enjoyment," exclaimed Florio,
holding up both hands in a glow of rapture. "It is absolutely
Homeric, in the way of usages! Ah! the English are a great nation!"

"I should like to know excessively if there was really such a person
as Baron Mun-chaw-sen?" said Julietta, gathering courage from the
success of her last question.

"There was, Miss," returned the captain, through his teeth, and
nodding his head in the affirmative. "A regular traveller, that; and
one who knew him well, swore to me that he hadn't related one half of
what befel him."

"How very delightful to learn this from the highest quarter!"
exclaimed Miss Monthly.

"Is Gatty (Goethe) really dead?" inquired Longinus, "or, is the
account we have had to that effect, merely a metaphysical apotheosis
of his mighty soul?"

"Dead, marm--stone dead--dead as a door-nail," returned the captain,
who saw a relief in killing as many as possible.

"You have been in France, Mr. Truck, beyond question?" observed
Lucius Junius Brutus, in the way one puts a question.

"France!--I was in France before I was ten years old. I know every
foot of the coast, from Havre de Grace to Marseilles."

"Will you then have the goodness to explain to us whether the soul of
Chat-_to_-bri-_ong_ is more expanded than his reason, or his reason
more expanded than his soul?"

Captain Truck had a very tolerable notion of Baron Munchausen and of
his particular merits; but Chateaubriant was a writer of whom he knew
nothing. After pondering a moment, and feeling persuaded that a
confession of ignorance might undo him; for the old man had got to be
influenced by the atmosphere of the place; he answered coolly--

"Oh! Chat-_to_-bri-_ong_, is it you mean?--As whole-souled a fellow
as I know. All soul, sir, and lots of reason, besides."

"How simple and unaffected!"

"Crack!" exclaimed Florio.

"A thorough Jacobin!" growled Captain Kant, who was always offended
when any one but himself took liberties with the truth.

Here the four wags in the corner observed that head went to head in
the crowd, and that the rear rank of the company began to disappear,
while Mrs. Legend was in evident distress. In a few minutes, all the
Romans were off; Florio soon after vanished, grating his teeth in a
poetical frenzy; and even Captain Kant, albeit so used to look truth
in the face, beat a retreat. The alphabet followed, and even the
Annual and the Monthly retired, with leave-takings so solemn and
precise, that poor Mrs. Legend was in total despair.

Eve, foreseeing something unpleasant, had gone away first, and, in a
few minutes, Mr. Dodge, who had been very active in the crowd,
whispering and gesticulating, made his bow also. The envy of this man
had, in fact, become so intolerable, that he had let the cat out of
the bag. No one now remained but the party entrenched behind the
smoke, and the mistress of the house. Pindar solemnly proposed to the
captain that they should go and enjoy an oyster-supper, in company;
and, the proposal being cordially accepted, they rose in a body, to
take leave.

"A most delightful evening, Mrs. Legend," said Pindar, with perfect
truth, "much the pleasantest I ever passed in a house, where one
passes so many that are agreeable."

"I cannot properly express my thanks for the obligation you have
conferred by making me acquainted with Mr. Truck," added Gray. "I
shall cultivate it as far as in my power, for a more capital fellow
never breathed."

"Really, Mrs. Legend, this has been a Byronic night!" observed Pith,
as he made his bow. "I shall long remember it, and I think it
deserves to be commemorated in verse"

Fun endeavoured to look sympathetic and sentimental, though the
spirit within could scarcely refrain from grinning in Mrs. Legend's
face. He stammered out a few compliments, however, and disappeared.

"Well, good night, marm," said Captain Truck, offering his hand
cordially. "This has been a pleasant evening, altogether, though it
was warm work at first. If you like ships, I should be glad to show
you the Montauk's cabins when we get back; and if you ever think of
Europe, let me recommend the London line as none of the worst. We'll
try to make you comfortable, and trust to me to choose a state-room,
a thing I am experienced in."

Not one of the wags laughed until they were fairly confronted with
the oysters. Then, indeed, they burst out into a general and long fit
of exuberant merriment, returning to it, between the courses from the
kitchen, like the _refrain_ of a song. Captain Truck, who was
uncommonly well satisfied with himself, did not understand the
meaning of all this boyishness, but he has often declared since, that
a heartier or a funnier set of fellows he never fell in with, than
his four companions proved to be that night.

As for the literary _soirée_, the most profound silence has been
maintained concerning it, neither of the wits there assembled having
seen fit to celebrate it in rhyme, and Florio having actually torn up
an impromptu for the occasion, that he had been all the previous day
writing.

Chapter VII.

  "There is a history in all men's lives, Figuring the nature of the
  times deceased, The which observed, a man may prophesy With a near
  aim, of the main chance of things, As yet not come to life."

  KING HENRY VI

The following morning the baronet breakfasted in Hudson Square. While
at table, little was said concerning the events of the past night,
though sundry smiles were exchanged, as eye met eye, and the
recollection of the mystification returned. Grace alone looked grave,
for she had been accustomed to consider Mrs. Legend a very
discriminating person, and she had even hoped that most of those who
usually figured in her rooms, were really the clever persons they
laid claim to be.

The morning was devoted to looking at the quarter of the town which
is devoted to business, a party having been made for that express
purpose under the auspices of John Effingham. As the weather was very
cold, although the distances were not great, the carriages were
ordered, and they all set off about noon.

Grace had given up expecting a look of admiration from Eve in behalf
of any of the lions of New-York, her cousin having found it necessary
to tell her, that, in a comparative sense at least, little was to be
said in behalf of these provincial wonders. Even Mademoiselle
Viefville, now that the freshness, of her feelings were abated, had
dropped quietly down into a natural way of speaking of these things;
and Grace, who was quick-witted, soon discovered that when she did
make any allusions to similar objects in Europe, it was always to
those that existed in some country town. A silent convention existed,
therefore, to speak no more on such subjects; or if any thing was
said, it arose incidentally and as inseparable from the regular
thread of the discourse.

When in Wall street, the carriages stopped and the gentlemen
alighted. The severity of the weather kept the ladies in the chariot,
where Grace endeavoured to explain things as well as she could to her
companions.

"What are all these people running after, so intently?" inquired
Mademoiselle Viefville, the conversation being in French, but which
we shall render freely into English, for the sake of the general
reader.

"Dollars, I believe, Mademoiselle; am I right, Grace?"

"I believe you are," returned Grace, laughing, "though I know little
more of this part of the town than yourself."

"_Quelle foule_! Is that building filled with dollars, into which the
gentlemen are now entering? Its steps are crowded."

"That is the _Bourse_, Mademoiselle, and it ought to be well lined,
by the manner in which some who frequent it live. Cousin Jack and Sir
George are going into the crowd, I see."

We will leave the ladies in their seats, a few minutes, and accompany
the gentlemen on their way into the Exchange.

"I shall now show you, Sir George Templemore," said John Effingham,
"what is peculiar to this country, and what, if properly improved, it
is truly worth a journey across the ocean to see. You have been at
the Royal Exchange in London, and at the _Bourse_ of Paris, but you
have never witnessed a scene like that which I am about to introduce
you to. In Paris, you have beheld the unpleasant spectacle of women
gambling publicly in the funds; but it was in driblets, compared to
what you will see here."

While speaking, John Effingham led the way upstairs into the office
of one of the most considerable auctioneers. The walls were lined
with maps, some representing houses, some lots, some streets, some
entire towns.

"This is the focus of what Aristabulus Bragg calls the town trade,"
said John Effingham, when fairly confronted with all these wonders.
"Here, then, you may suit yourself with any species of real estate
that heart can desire. If a villa is wanted, there are a dozen. Of
farms, a hundred are in market; that is merely half-a-dozen streets;
and here are towns, of dimensions and value to suit purchasers."

"Explain this; it exceeds comprehension."

"It is simply what it professes to be. Mr. Hammer, do us the favour
to step this way. Are you selling to-day?"

"Not much, sir. Only a hundred or two lots on this island, and some
six or eight farms, with one western village."

"Can you tell us the history of this particular piece of property,
Mr. Hammer?"

"With great pleasure, Mr. Effingham; we know you to have means, and
hope you may be induced to purchase. This was the farm of old Volkert
Van Brunt, five years since, off of which he and his family had made
a livelihood for more than a century, by selling milk. Two years
since, the sons sold it to Peter Feeler for a hundred an acre; or for
the total sum of five thousand dollars. The next spring Mr. Feeler
sold it to John Search, as keen a one as we have, for twenty-five
thousand. Search sold it, at private sale, to Nathan Rise for fifty
thousand, the next week, and Rise had parted with it, to a company,
before the purchase, for a hundred and twelve thousand cash. The map
ought to be taken down, for it is now eight months since we sold it
out in lots, at auction, for the gross sum of three hundred thousand
dollars. As we have received our commission, we look at that land as
out of the market, for a time."

"Have you other property, sir, that affords the same wonderful
history of a rapid advance in value?" asked the baronet.

"These walls are covered with maps of estates in the same
predicament. Some have risen two or three thousand per cent. within
five years, and some only a few hundred. There is no calculating in
the matter, for it is all fancy."

"And on what is this enormous increase in value founded?--Does the
town extend to these fields?"

"It goes much farther, sir; that is to say, on paper. In the way of
houses, it is still some miles short of them. A good deal depends on
what you _call_ a thing, in this market. Now, if old Volkert Van
Brunt's property had been still called a farm, it would have brought
a farm price; but, as soon as it was surveyed into lots and mapped--"

"Mapped!"

"Yes, sir; brought into visible lines, with feet and inches. As soon
as it was properly mapped, it rose to its just value. We have a good
deal of the bottom of the sea that brings fair prices in consequence
of being well mapped."

Here the gentlemen expressed their sense of the auctioneer's
politeness, and retired.

"We will now go into the sales-room," said John Effingham, "where you
shall judge of the spirit, or _energy_, as it is termed, which, at
this moment, actuates this great nation."

Descending, they entered a crowd, where scores were eagerly bidding
against each other, in the fearful delusion of growing rich by
pushing a fancied value to a point still higher. One was purchasing
ragged rocks, another the bottom of rivers, a third a bog, and all on
the credit of maps. Our two observers remained some time silent
spectators of the scene.

"When I first entered that room," said John Effingham, as they left
the place, "it appeared to me to be filled with maniacs. Now, that I
have been in it several times, the impression is not much altered."

"And all those persons are hazarding their means of subsistence on
the imaginary estimate mentioned by the auctioneer?"

"They are gambling as recklessly as he who places his substance on
the cast of the die. So completely has the mania seized every one,
that the obvious truth, a truth which is as apparent as any other law
of nature, that nothing can be sustained without a foundation, is
completely overlooked, and he who should now proclaim, in this
building, principles that bitter experience will cause every man to
feel, within the next few years, would be happy if he escaped being
stoned. I have witnessed many similar excesses in the way of
speculations; but never an instance as gross, as wide-spread, and as
alarming as this."

"You apprehend serious consequences, then, from the reaction?"

"In that particular, we are better off than older nations, the youth
and real stamina of the country averting much of the danger; but I
anticipate a terrible blow, and that the day is not remote when this
town will awake to a sense of its illusion. What you see here is but
a small part of the extravagance that exists, for it pervades the
whole community, in one shape or another. Extravagant issues of
paper-money, inconsiderate credits that commence in Europe; and
extend throughout the land, and false notions as to the value of
their possessions, in men who five years since had nothing, has
completely destroyed the usual balance of things, and money has got
to be so completely the end of life, that few think of it as a means.
The history of the world, probably, cannot furnish a parallel
instance, of an extensive country that is so absolutely under this
malign influence, as is the fact with our own at this present
instant. All principles are swallowed up in the absorbing desire for
gain; national honour, permanent security, the ordinary rules of
society, law, the constitution, and every thing that is usually so
dear to men, are forgotten, or are perverted, in order to sustain
this unnatural condition of things."

"This is not only extraordinary, but it is fearful!"

"It is both. The entire community is in the situation of a man who is
in the incipient stages of an exhilarating intoxication, and who
keeps pouring down glass after glass, in the idle notion that he is
merely sustaining nature in her ordinary functions. This wide-spread
infatuation extends from the coast to the extremest frontiers of the
west; for, while there is a justifiable foundation for a good deal of
this fancied prosperity, the true is so interwoven with the false,
that none but the most observant can draw the distinction, and, as
usual, the false predominates."

"By your account, sir, the tulip mania of Holland was trifling
compared to this?"

"That was the same in principle as our own, but insignificant in
extent. Could I lead you through these streets, and let you into the
secret of the interests, hopes, infatuations and follies that prevail
in the human breast, you, as a calm spectator, would be astonished at
the manner in which your own species can be deluded. But let us move,
and something may still occur to offer an example."

"Mr. Effingham--I beg pardon--Mr. Effingham," said a very
gentlemanly-looking merchant, who was walking about the hall of the
exchange, "what do you think now of our French quarrel?"

"I have told you, Mr. Bale, all I have to say on that subject. When
in France, I wrote you that it was not the intention of the French
government to comply with the treaty; you have since seen this
opinion justified in the result; you have the declaration of the
French minister of state, that, without an apology from this
government, the money will not be paid; and I have given it as my
opinion, that the vane on yonder steeple will not turn more readily
than all this policy will be abandoned, should any thing occur in
Europe to render it necessary, or could the French ministry believe
it possible for this country to fight for a principle. These are my
opinions, in all their phases, and you may compare them with facts
and judge for yourself."

"It is all General Jackson, sir--all that monster's doings. But for
his message, Mr. Effingham, we should have had the money long ago."

"But for his message, or some equally decided step, Mr. Bale, you
would never have it."

"Ah, my dear sir, I know your intentions, but I fear you are
prejudiced against that excellent man, the King of France! Prejudice,
Mr. Effingham, is a sad innovator on justice."

Here Mr. Bale shook his head, laughed, and disappeared in the crowd,
perfectly satisfied that John Effingham was a prejudiced man, and
that he, himself, was only liberal and just.

"Now, that is a man who wants for neither abilities nor honesty, and
yet he permits his interests, and the influence of this very
speculating mania, to overshadow all his sense of right, facts plain
as noon-day, and the only principles that can rule a country in
safety."

"He apprehends war, and has no desire to believe even facts, so long
as they serve to increase the danger."

"Precisely so; for even prudence gets to be a perverted quality, when
men are living under an infatuation like that which now exists. These
men live like the fool who says there is no death."

Here the gentlemen rejoined the ladies, and the carriages drove
through a succession of narrow and crooked streets, that were lined
with warehouses filled with the products of the civilized world.

"Very much of all this is a part of the same lamentable illusion,"
said John Effingham, as the carriages made their way slowly through
the encumbered streets. "The man who sells his inland lots at a
profit, secured by credit, fancies himself enriched, and he extends
his manner of living in proportion; the boy from the country becomes
a merchant, or what is here called a merchant, and obtains a credit
in Europe a hundred times exceeding his means, and caters to these
fancied wants; and thus is every avenue of society thronged with
adventurers, the ephemera of the same wide-spread spirit of reckless
folly. Millions in value pass out of these streets, that go to feed
the vanity of those who fancy themselves wealthy, because they hold
some ideal pledges for the payment of advances in price like those
mentioned by the auctioneer, and which have some such security for
the eventual payment, as one can find in _calling_ a thing, that is
really worth a dollar, worth a hundred."

"Are the effects of this state of things apparent in your ordinary
associations?"

"In every thing. The desire to grow suddenly rich has seized on all
classes. Even women and clergymen are infected, and we exist under
the active control of the most corrupting of all influences--'the
love of money.' I should despair of the country altogether, did I not
feel certain that the disease is too violent to last, and entertain a
hope that the season of calm reflection and of repentance, that is to
follow, will be in proportion to its causes."

After taking this view of the town, the party returned to Hudson
Square, where the baronet dined, it being his intention to go to
Washington on the following day. The leave-taking in the evening was
kind and friendly; Mr. Effingham, who had a sincere regard for his
late fellow-traveller, cordially inviting him to visit him in the
mountains in June.

As Sir George took his leave, the bells began to ring for a fire. In
New-York one gets so accustomed to these alarms, that near an hour
had passed before any of the Effingham family began to reflect on the
long continuance of the cries. A servant was then sent out to
ascertain the reason, and his report made the matter more serious
than usual.

We believe that, in the frequency of these calamities, the question
lies between Constantinople and New-York. It is a common occurrence
for twenty or thirty buildings to be burnt down, in the latter place,
and for the residents of the same ward to remain in ignorance of the
circumstance, until enlightened on the fact by the daily prints; the
constant repetition of the alarms hardening the ear and the feelings
against the appeal. A fire of greater extent than common, had
occurred only a night or two previously to this; and a rumour now
prevailed, that the severity of the weather, and the condition of the
hoses and engines, rendered the present danger double. On hearing
this intelligence, the Messrs. Effinghams wrapped themselves up in
their over-coats, and went together into the streets.

"This seems something more than usual, Ned," said John Effingham,
glancing his eye upward at the lurid vault, athwart which gleams of
fiery light began to shine; "the danger is not distant, and it seems
serious."

Following the direction of the current, they soon found the scene of
the conflagration, which was in the very heart of those masses of
warehouses, or stores, that John Effingham had commented on, so
lately. A short street of high buildings was already completely in
flames, and the danger of approaching the enemy, added to the frozen
condition of the apparatus, the exhaustion of the firemen from their
previous efforts, and the intense coldness of the night, conspired to
make the aspect of things in the highest degree alarming.

The firemen of New-York have that superiority over those of other
places, that the veteran soldier obtains over the recruit. But the
best troops can be appalled, and, on this memorable occasion, these
celebrated firemen, from a variety of causes, became for a time,
little more than passive spectators of the terrible scene.

There was an hour or two when all attempts at checking the
conflagration seemed really hopeless, and even the boldest and the
most persevering scarcely knew which way to turn, to be useful. A
failure of water, the numerous points that required resistance, the
conflagration extending in all directions from a common centre, by
means of numberless irregular and narrow streets, and the
impossibility of withstanding the intense heat, in the choked
passages, soon added despair to the other horrors of the scene.

They who stood the fiery masses, were freezing on one side with the
Greenland cold of the night, while their bodies were almost blistered
with the fierce flames on the other. There was something frightful in
this contest of the elements, nature appearing to condense the heat
within its narrowest possible limits, as if purposely to increase its
fierceness. The effects were awful; for entire buildings would seem
to dissolve at their touch, as the forked flames enveloped them in
sheets of fire.

Every one being afoot, within sound of the alarm, though all the more
vulgar cries had ceased, as men would deem it mockery to cry murder
in a battle, Sir George Templemore met his friends, on the margin of
this sea of fire. It was now drawing towards morning, and the
conflagration was at its height, having already laid waste a nucleus
of _blocks_, and it was extending by many lines, in every possible
direction.

"Here is a fearful admonition for those who set their hearts on
riches," observed Sir George Templemore, recalling the conversation
of the previous day. "What, indeed, are the designs of man, as
compared with the will of Providence!"

"I foresee that this is _le commencement de la fin_," returned John
Effingham. "The destruction is already so great, as to threaten to
bring down with it the usual safe-guards against such losses, and one
pin knocked out of so frail and delicate a fabric, the whole will
become loose, and fall to pieces."

"Will nothing be done to arrest the flames?"

"As men recover from the panic, their plans will improve and their
energies will revive. The wider streets are already reducing the fire
within more certain limits, and they speak of a favourable change of
wind. It is thought five hundred buildings have already been
consumed, in scarcely half a dozen hours."

That Exchange, which had so lately resembled a bustling temple of
Mammon, was already a dark and sheeted ruin, its marble walls being
cracked, defaced, tottering, or fallen. It lay on the confines of the
ruin, and our party was enabled to take their position near it, to
observe the scene. All in their immediate vicinity was assuming the
stillness of desolation, while the flushes of fierce light in the
distance marked the progress of the conflagration. Those who knew the
localities, now began to speak of the natural or accidental barriers,
such as the water, the slips, and the broader streets, as the only
probable means of arresting the destruction. The crackling of the
flames grew distant fast, and the cries of the firemen were now
scarcely audible.

At this period in the frightful scene, a party of seamen arrived,
bearing powder, in readiness to blow up various buildings, in the
streets that possessed of themselves, no sufficient barriers to the
advance of the flame. Led by their officers, these gallant fellows,
carrying in their arms the means of destruction, moved up steadily to
the verge of the torrents of fire, and planted their kegs; laying
their trains with the hardy indifference that practice can alone
create, and with an intelligence that did infinite credit to their
coolness. This deliberate courage was rewarded with complete success,
and house crumbled to pieces after house under the dull explosions,
happily without an accident.

From this time the flames became less ungovernable, though the day
dawned and advanced, and another night succeeded, before they could
be said to be got fairly under. Weeks, and even months passed,
however, ere the smouldering ruins ceased to send up smoke, the
fierce element continuing to burn, like a slumbering volcano, as it
might be in the bowels of the earth.

The day that succeeded this disaster, was memorable for the rebuke it
gave the rapacious longing for wealth. Men who had set their hearts
on gold, and who prided themselves on their possession, and on that
only, were made to feel its insanity; and they who had walked abroad
as gods, so lately, began to experience how utterly insignificant are
the merely rich, when stripped of their possessions. Eight hundred
buildings containing fabrics of every kind, and the raw material in
various forms, had been destroyed, as it were in the twinkling of an
eye.

A faint voice was heard from the pulpit, and there was a moment when
those who remembered a better state of things, began to fancy that
principles would once more assert their ascendency, and that the
community would, in a measure, be purified. But this expectation
ended in disappointment, the infatuation being too wide-spread and
corrupting, to be stopped by even this check, and the rebuke was
reserved for a form that seems to depend on a law of nature, that of
causing a vice to bring with it its own infallible punishment.

Chapter VIII.

  "First, tell me, have you ever been at Pisa."

  SHAKSPEARE.

The conflagration alluded to, rather than described, in the
proceeding chapter, threw a gloom over the gaieties of New-York, if
that ever could be properly called gay, which was little more than a
strife in prodigality and parade, and leaves us little more to say of
the events of the winter. Eve regretted very little the interruption
to scenes in which she had found no pleasure, however much she
lamented the cause; and she and Grace passed the remainder of the
season quietly, cultivating the friendship of such women as Mrs.
Hawker and Mrs. Bloomfield, and devoting hours to the improvement of
their minds and tastes, without ever again venturing however, within
the hallowed precincts of such rooms as those of Mrs. Legend.

One consequence of a state of rapacious infatuation, like that which
we have just related, is the intensity of selfishness which smothers
all recollection of the past, and all just anticipations of the
future, by condensing life, with its motives and enjoyments, into the
present moment. Captain Truck, therefore, was soon forgotten, and the
literati, as that worthy seaman had termed the associates of Mrs.
Legend, remained just as vapid, as conceited, as ignorant, as
imitative, as dependent, and as provincial as ever.

As the season advanced, our heroine began to look with longings
towards the country. The town life of an American offers little to
one accustomed to a town life in older and more permanently regulated
communities; and Eve was already heartily weary of crowded and noisy
balls, (for a few were still given;) _belles_, the struggles of an
uninstructed taste, and a representation in which extravagance was so
seldom relieved by the elegance and convenience of a condition of
society, in which more attention is paid to the fitness of things.

The American spring is the least pleasant of its four seasons, its
character being truly that of "winter lingering in the lap of May."
Mr. Effingham, who the reader will probably suspect, by this time, to
be a descendant of a family of the same name, that we have had
occasion to introduce into another work, had sent orders to have his
country residence prepared for the reception of our party; and it was
with a feeling of delight that Eve stepped on board a steam-boat to
escape from a town that, while it contains so much that is worthy of
any capital, contains so much more that is unfit for any place, in
order to breathe the pure air, and to enjoy the tranquil pleasare of
the country. Sir George Templemore had returned from his southern
journey, and made one of the party, by express arrangement.

"Now, Eve," said Grace Van Cortlandt, as the boat glided along the
wharves, "if it were any person but you, I should feel confident of
having something to show that _would_ extort admiration."

"You are safe enough, in that respect, for a more imposing object in
its way, than this very vessel, eye of mine, never beheld. It is
positively the only thing that deserves the name of magnificent I
have yet seen, since our return,--unless, indeed, it may be
magnificent projects."

"I am glad, dear coz, there is this one magnificent object, then, to
satisfy a taste so fastidious."

As Grace's little foot moved, and her voice betrayed vexation, the
whole party smiled; for the whole party, while it felt the justice of
Eve's observation, saw the real feeling that was at the bottom of her
cousin's remark. Sir George, however, though he could not conceal
from himself the truth of what had been said by the one party, and
the weakness betrayed by the other had too much sympathy for the
provincial patriotism of one so young and beautiful, not to come to
the rescue.

"You should remember, Miss Van Cortlandt," he said, "that Miss
Effingham has not had the advantage yet of seeing the Delaware,
Philadelphia, the noble bays of the south, nor so much that is to be
found out of the single town of New-York."

"Very true, and I hope yet to see her a sincere penitent for all her
unpatriotic admissions against her own country. _You_ have seen the
Capitol, Sir George Templemore; is it not, truly, one of the finest
edifices of the world?"

"You will except St. Peter's, surely, my child," observed Mr.
Effingham, smiling, for he saw that the baronet was embarrassed to
give a ready answer.

"And the Cathedral at Milan," said Eve, laughing.

"_Et le Louvre_!" cried Mademoiselle Viefville, who had some such
admiration for every thing Parisian, as Eve had for every thing
American.

"And, most especially, the north-east corner of the south-west end of
the north-west wing of Versailles," said John Effingham, in his usual
dry manner.

"I see you are all against me," Grace rejoined, "but I hope, one day,
to be able to ascertain for myself the comparative merits of things.
As nature makes rivers, I hope the Hudson, at least, will not be
found unworthy of your admiration, gentlemen and ladies."

"You are safe enough, there, Grace," observed Mr Effingham; "for few
rivers, perhaps no river, offers so great and so pleasing a variety,
in so short a distance, as this."

It was a lovely, bland morning, in the last week of May; and the
atmosphere was already getting the soft hues of summer, or assuming
the hazy and solemn calm that renders the season so quiet and soothing,
after the fiercer strife of the elements. Under such a sky, the
Palisadoes, in particular, appeared well; for, though wanting in the
terrific grandeur of an Alpine nature, and perhaps disproportioned
to the scenery they adorned, they were bold and peculiar.

The great velocity of the boat added to the charm of the passage, the
scene scarce finding time to pall on the eye; for, no sooner was one
object examined in its outlines, than it was succeeded by another.

"An extraordinary taste is afflicting this country, in the way of
architecture," said Mr. Effingham, as they stood gazing at the
eastern shore; "nothing but a Grecian temple being now deemed a
suitable residence for a man, in these classical times. Yonder is a
structure, for instance, of beautiful proportions, and, at this
distance, apparently of a precious material, and yet it seems better
suited to heathen worship than to domestic comfort."

"The malady has infected, the whole nation," returned his cousin,
"like the spirit of speculation. We are passing from one extreme to
the other, in this, as in other things. One such temple, well placed
in a wood, might be a pleasant object enough, but to see a river
lined with them, with children trundling hoops before their doors,
beef carried into their kitchens, and smoke issuing, moreover, from
those unclassical objects chimnies, is too much even of a high taste;
one might as well live in a fever. Mr. Aristabulus Bragg, who is a
wag in his way, informs me that there is one town in the interior
that has actually a market-house on the plan of the Parthenon!"

"_Il Cupo di Bove_ would be a more suitable model for such a
structure," said Eve, smiling. "But I think I have heard that the
classical taste of our architects is any thing but rigid."

"This _was_ the case, rather than _is_" returned John Effingham, "as
witness all these temples. The country has made a quick and a great
_pas, en avant_, in the way of the fine arts, and the fact shows what
might be done with so ready a people, under a suitable direction. The
stranger who comes among us is apt to hold the art of the nation
cheap, but, as all things are comparative, let him inquire into its
state ten years since, and look at it to-day. The fault just now, is
perhaps to consult the books too rigidly, and to trust too little to
invention; for no architecture, and especially no domestic
architecture, can ever be above serious reproach, until climate, the
uses of the edifice, and the situation, are respected as leading
considerations. Nothing can be uglier, _per se_, than a Swiss
cottage, or any thing more beautiful under its precise circumstances.
As regards these mushroom temples, which are the offspring of Mammon,
let them be dedicated to whom they may, I should exactly reverse the
opinion, and say, that while nothing can be much more beautiful, _per
se_, nothing can be in worse taste, than to put them where they are."

"We shall have an opportunity of seeing what Mr. John Effingham can
do in the way of architecture," said Grace, who loved to revenge some
of her fancied wrongs, by turning the tables on her assailant, "for I
understand he has been improving on the original labours of that
notorious Palladio, Master Hiram Doolittle!"

The whole party laughed, and every eye was turned on the gentleman
alluded to, expecting his answer.

"You will remember, good people," answered the accused by
implication, "that my plans were handed over to me from my great
predecessor, and that they were originally of the composite order.
If, therefore, the house should turn out to be a little complex and
mixed, you will do me the justice to remember this important fact. At
all events, I have consulted comfort; and that I would maintain, in
the face of Vitruvius himself, is a _sine quâ non_ in domestic
architecture."

"I took a run into Connecticut the other day," said Sir George
Templemore, "and, at a place called New Haven, I saw the commencement
of a taste that bids fair to make a most remarkable town. It is true,
you cannot expect structures of much pretension in the way of cost
and magnitude in this country, but, so far as fitness and forms are
concerned, if what I hear be true, and the next fifty years do as
much in proportion for that little city, as I understand has been
done in the last five, it will be altogether a wonder in its way.
There are some abortions, it is true, but there are also some little
jewels."

The baronet was rewarded for this opinion, by a smile from Grace, and
the conversation changed. As the boat approached the mountains, Eve
became excited, a very American state of the system by the way, and
Grace still more anxious.

"The view of that bluff is Italian;" said our heroine, pointing down
the river at a noble headland of rock, that loomed grandly in the
soft haze of the tranquil atmosphere. "One seldom sees a finer or a
softer outline on the shores of the Mediterranean itself."

"But the Highlands, Eve!" whispered the uneasy Grace. "We are
entering the mountains."

The river narrowed suddenly, and the scenery became bolder, but
neither Eve nor her father expressed the rapture that Grace expected.

"I must confess, Jack," said the mild, thoughtful Mr. Effingham,
"that these rocks strike my eyes as much less imposing than formerly.
The passage is fine, beyond question, but it is hardly grand
scenery."

"You never uttered a juster opinion, Ned, though after your eye loses
some of the forms of the Swiss and Italian lakes, and of the shores
of Italy, you will think better of these. The Highlands are
remarkable for their surprises, rather than for their grandeur, as we
shall presently see. As to the latter, it is an affair of feet and
inches, and is capable of arithmetical demonstration. We have often
been on lakes, beneath beetling cliffs of from three to six thousand
feet in height; whereas, here, the greatest elevation is materially
less than two. But, Sir George Templemore, and you, Miss Effingham,
do me the favour to combine your cunning, and tell me whence this
stream cometh, and whither we are to go?"

The boat had now approached a point where the river was narrowed to a
width not much exceeding a quarter of a mile, and in the direction in
which it was steering, the water seemed to become still more
contracted until they were lost in a sort of bay, that appeared to be
closed by high hills, through which, however, there were traces of
something like a passage.

"The land in that direction looks as if it had a ravine-like
entrance," said the baronet; "and yet it is scarcely possible that a
stream like this can flow there!"

"If the Hudson truly passes through those mountains," said Eve, "I
will concede all in its favour that you can ask, Grace."

"Where else can it pass?" demanded Grace, exultingly.

"Sure enough--I see no other place, and that seems insufficient."

The two strangers to the river now looked curiously around them, in
every direction. Behind them was a broad and lake-like basin, through
which they had just passed; on the left, a barrier of precipitous
hills, the elevation of which was scarcely less than a thousand feet;
on their right, a high but broken country, studded with villas, farm-
houses, and hamlets; and in their front the deep but equivocal bay
mentioned.

"I see no escape!" cried the baronet, gaily, "unless indeed, it be by
returning."

A sudden and broad sheer of the boat caused him to turn to the left,
and then they whirled round an angle of the precipice, and found
themselves in a reach of the river, between steep declivities,
running at right angles to their former course.

"This is one of the surprises of which I spoke," said John Effingham,
"and which render the highlands so _unique_; for, while the Rhine is
very sinuous, it has nothing like this."

The other travellers agreed in extolling this and many similar
features of the scenery, and Grace was delighted; for, warm-hearted,
affectionate, and true, Grace loved her country like a relative or a
friend, and took an honest pride in hearing its praises. The
patriotism of Eve, if a word of a meaning so lofty can be applied to
feelings of this nature, was more discriminating from necessity, her
tastes having been formed in a higher school, and her means of
comparison being so much more ample. At West Point they stopped for
the night, and here every body was in honest raptures; Grace, who had
often visited the place before, being actually the least so of the
whole party.

"Now, Eve, I know that you _do_ love your country," she said, as she
slipped an arm affectionately through that of her cousin. "This is
feeling and speaking like an American girl, and as Eve Effingham
should!"

Eve laughed, but she had discovered that the provincial feeling was
so strong in Grace, that its discussion would probably do no good.
She dwelt, therefore, with sincere eloquence on the beauties of the
place, and for the first time since they had met, her cousin felt as
if there was no longer any point of dissension between them.

The following morning was the first of June, and it was another of
those drowsy, dreamy days, that so much aid a landscape. The party
embarked in the first boat that came up, and as they entered Newburgh
bay, the triumph of the river was established. This is a spot, in
sooth, that has few equals in any region, though Eve still insisted
that the excellence of the view was in its softness rather than in
its grandeur. The country-houses, or boxes, for few could claim to be
much more, were neat, well placed, and exceedingly numerous. The
heights around the town of Newburgh, in particular, were fairly
dotted with them, though Mr. Effingham shook his head as he saw one
Grecian temple appear after another.

"As we recede from the influence of the vulgar architects," he said,
"we find imitation taking the place of instruction. Many of these
buildings are obviously disproportioned, and then, like vulgar
pretension of any sort, Grecian architecture produces less pleasure
than even Dutch."

"I am surprised at discovering how little of a Dutch character
remains in this state," said the baronet; "I can scarcely trace that
people in any thing, and yet, I believe, they had the moulding of
your society, having carried the colony through its infancy."

"When you know us better, you will be surprised at discovering how
little of any thing remains a dozen years," returned John Effingham.
"Our towns pass away in generations like their people, and even the
names of a place undergo periodical mutations, as well as every thing
else. It is getting to be a predominant feeling in the American
nature, I fear, to love change."

"But, cousin Jack, do you not overlook causes, in your censure. That
a nation advancing as fast as this in wealth and numbers, should
desire better structures than its fathers had either the means or the
taste to build, and that names should change with persons, are both
things quite in rule."

"All very true, though it does not account for the peculiarity I
mean. Take Templeton, for instance; this little place has not
essentially increased in numbers, within my memory, and yet fully
one-half its names are new. When he reaches his own home, your father
will not know even the names of one-half his neighbours. Not only
will he meet with new faces, but he will find new feelings, new
opinions in the place of traditions that he may love, an indifference
to every thing but the present moment, and even those who may have
better feelings, and a wish to cherish all that belongs to the holier
sentiments of man, afraid to utter them, lest they meet with no
sympathy."

"No cats, as Mr. Bragg would say."

"Jack is one who never paints _en beau_," said Mr. Effingham. "I
should be very sorry to believe that a dozen short years can have
made all these essential changes in my neighbourhood."

"A dozen years, Ned! You name an age. Speak of three or four, if you
wish to find any thing in America where you left it! The whole
country is in such a constant state of mutation, that I can only
liken it to that game of children, in which as one quits his corner,
another runs into it, and he that finds no corner to get into, is the
laughing-stock of the others. Fancy that dwelling the residence of
one man from childhood to old age; let him then quit it for a year or
two, and on his return he would find another in possession, who would
treat him as an impertinent intruder, because he had been absent two
years. An American 'always,' in the way of usages, extends no further
back than eighteen months. In short, every thing is condensed into
the present moment; and services, character, for evil as well as good
unhappily, and all other things, cease to have weight, except as they
influence the interests of the day."

"This is the colouring of a professed cynic," observed Mr. Effingham,
smiling.

"But the law, Mr. John Effingham," eagerly inquired the
baronet--"surely the law would not permit a stranger to intrude in
this manner on the rights of an owner."

"The law-_books_ would do him that friendly office, perhaps, but what
is a precept in the face of practices so ruthless. '_Les absents out
toujours tort_,' is a maxim of peculiar application in America."

"Property is as secure in this country as in any other, Sir George;
and you will make allowances for the humours of the present
annotator."

"Well, well, Ned; I hope you will find every thing _couleur de rose_,
as you appear to expect. You will get quiet possession of your house,
it is true, for I have put a Cerberus in it, that is quite equal to
his task, difficult as it may be, and who has quite as much relish
for a bill of costs, as any squatter can have for a trespass; but
without some such guardian of your rights, I would not answer for it,
that you would not be compelled to sleep in the highway."

"I trust Sir George Templemore knows how to make allowances for Mr.
John Effingham's pictures," cried Grace, unable to refrain from
expressing her discontent any longer.

A laugh succeeded, and the beauties of the river again attracted
their attention. As the boat continued to ascend, Mr. Effingham
triumphantly affirmed that the appearance of things more than
equalled his expectations, while both Eve and the baronet declared
that a succession of lovelier landscapes could hardly be presented to
the eye.

"Whited sepulchres!" muttered John Effingham--"all outside. Wait
until you get a view of the deformity within."

As the boat approached Albany, Eve expressed her satisfaction in
still stronger terms; and Grace was made perfectly happy, by hearing
her and Sir George declare that the place entirely exceeded their
expectations.

"I am glad to find, Eve, that you are so fast recovering your
American feelings," said her beautiful cousin, after one of those
expressions of agreeable disappointment, as they were seated at a
late dinner, in an inn. "You have at last found words to praise the
exterior of Albany; and I hope, by the time we return, you will be
disposed to see New-York with different eyes."

"I expected to see a capital in New-York, Grace, and in this I have
been grievously disappointed. Instead of finding the tastes, tone,
conveniences, architecture, streets, churches, shops, and society of
a capital, I found a huge expansion of common-place things, a
commercial town, and the most mixed and the least regulated society,
that I had ever met with. Expecting so much, where so little was
found, disappointment was natural. But in Albany, although a
political capital, I knew the nature of the government too well, to
expect more than a provincial town; and in this respect, I have found
one much above the level of similar places in other parts of the
world. I acknowledge that Albany has as much exceeded my expectations
in one sense, as New-York has fallen short of them in another."

"In this simple fact, Sir George Templemore," said Mr. Effingham,
"you may read the real condition of the country. In all that requires
something more than usual, a deficiency; in all that is deemed an
average, better than common. The tendency is to raise every thing
that is elsewhere degraded to a respectable height, when there
commences an attraction of gravitation that draws all towards the
centre; a little closer too than could be wished perhaps."

"Ay, ay, Ned; this is very pretty, with your attractions and
gravitations; but wait and judge for yourself of this average, of
which you now speak so complacently.

"Nay, John, I borrowed the image from you; if it be not accurate, I
shall hold you responsible for its defects."

"They tell me," said Eve, "that all American villages are the towns
in miniature; children dressed in hoops and wigs. Is this so, Grace?"

"A little; there is too much desire to imitate the towns, perhaps,
and possibly too little feeling for country life."

"This is a very natural consequence, after all, of people's living
entirely in such places," observed Sir George Templemore. "One sees
much of this on the continent of Europe, because the country
population is purely a country population; and less of it in England,
perhaps, because those who are at the head of society, consider town
and country as very distinct things."

"_La campagne est vraiment délicieuse en Amérique_," exclaimed
Mademoiselle Viefville, in whose eyes the whole country was little
more than _campagne_.

The next morning, our travellers proceeded by the way of Schenectady,
whence they ascended the beautiful valley of the Mohawk, by means of
a canal-boat, the cars that now rattle along its length not having
commenced their active flights, at that time. With the scenery, every
one was delighted; for while it differed essentially from that the
party had passed through the previous day, it was scarcely less
beautiful.

At a point where the necessary route diverged from the direction of
the canal, carriages of Mr. Effingham's were in readiness to receive
the travellers, and here they were also favoured by the presence of
Mr. Bragg, who fancied such an attention might be agreeable to the
young ladies, as well as to his employer.

Chapter IX.

  "Tell me, where is fancy bred--
  Or in the heart, or in the head?
  How begot, how nourished?"

  SONG IN SHAKSPEARE.

The travellers were several hours ascending into the mountains, by a
country road that could scarcely be surpassed by a French wheel-track
of the same sort, for Mademoiselle Viefville protested, twenty times
in the course of the morning, that it was a thousand pities Mr.
Effingham had not the privilege of the _corvée_, that he might cause
the approach to his _terres_ to be kept in better condition. At
length they reached the summit, a point where the waters began to
flow south, when the road became tolerably level. From this time
their progress became more rapid, and they continued to advance two
or three hours longer at a steady pace.

Aristabulus now informed his companions that, in obedience to
instructions from John Effingham, he had ordered the coachmen to take
a road that led a little from the direct line of their journey, and
that they had now been travelling for some time on the more ancient
route to Templeton.

"I was aware of this," said Mr. Effingham, "though ignorant of the
reason. We are on the great western turnpike."

"Certainly, sir, and all according to Mr. John's request. There would
have been a great saving in distance, and agreeably to my notion, in
horse-flesh, had we quietly gone down the banks of the lake."

"Jack will explain his own meaning," returned Mr. Effingham, "and he
has stopped the other carriage, and alighted with Sir George,--a
hint, I fancy, that we are to follow their example."

Sure enough, the second carriage was now stopped, and Sir George
hastened to open its door.

"Mr. John Effingham, who acts as cicerone," cried the baronet,
"insists that every one shall put _pied á terre_ at this precise
spot, keeping the important reason still a secret, in the recesses of
his own bosom."

The ladies complied, and the carriages were ordered to proceed with
the domestics, leaving the rest of the travellers by themselves,
apparently in the heart of a forest.

"It is to be hoped, Mademoiselle, there are no banditti in America,"
said Eve, as they looked around them at the novel situation in which
they were placed, apparently by a pure caprice of her cousin.

"_Ou des sauvages_," returned the governess, who, in spite of her
ordinary intelligence and great good sense, had several times that
day cast uneasy and stolen glances into the bits of dark wood they
had occasionally passed.

"I will ensure your purses and your scalps, _mesdames_," cried John
Effingham gaily, "on condition that you will follow me implicitly;
and by way of pledge for my faith, I solicit the honour of supporting
Mademoiselle Viefville on this unworthy arm."

The governess laughingly accepted the conditions, Eve took the arm of
her father, and Sir George offered his to Grace; Aristabulus, to his
surprise, being left to walk entirely alone. It struck him, however,
as so singularly improper that a young lady should be supported on
such an occasion by her own father, that he frankly and gallantly
proposed to Mr. Effingham to relieve him of his burthen, an offer
that was declined with quite as much distinctness as it was made.

"I suppose cousin Jack has a meaning to his melodrama," said Eve, as
they entered the forest, "and I dare say, dearest father, that you
are behind the scenes, though I perceive determined secrecy in your
face."

"John may have a cave to show us, or some tree of extraordinary
height; such things existing in the country."

"We are very confiding, Mademoiselle, for I detect treachery in every
face around us. Even Miss Van Cortlandt has the air of a conspirator,
and seems to be in league with something or somebody. Pray Heaven, it
be not with wolves."

"_Des loups_!" exclaimed Mademoiselle Viefville, stopping short, with
a mien so alarmed as to excite a general laugh--"_est ce qu'il y a
des loups et des sangliers dans cette forêt_?"

"No, Mademoiselle," returned her companion--"this is only barbarous
America, and not civilized France. Were we in _le departement de la
Seine_, we might apprehend some such dangers, but being merely in the
mountains of Otsego, we are reasonably safe."

"_Je l'espère_," murmured the governess, as she reluctantly and
distrustfully proceeded, glancing her eyes incessantly to the right
and left. The path now became steep and rather difficult; so much so,
indeed, as to indispose them all to conversation. It led beneath the
branches of lofty pines, though there existed, on every side of them,
proofs of the ravages man had committed in that noble forest. At
length they were compelled to stop for breath, after having ascended
considerably above the road they had left.

"I ought to have said that the spot where we entered on this path, is
memorable in the family history," observed John Effingham, to
Eve--"for it was the precise spot where one of our predecessors
lodged a shot in the shoulder of another."

"Then I know precisely where we are!" cried our heroine, "though I
cannot yet imagine why we are led into this forest, unless it be to
visit some spot hallowed by a deed of Natty Bumppo's!"

"Time will solve this mystery, as well as all others. Let us
proceed."

Again they ascended, and, after a few more minutes of trial, they
reached a sort of table-land, and drew near an opening in the trees,
where a small circle had evidently been cleared of its wood, though
it was quite small and untilled. Eve looked curiously about her, as
did all the others to whom the place was novel, and she was lost in
doubt.

"There seems to be a void beyond us," said the baronet--- "I rather
think Mr. John Effingham has led us to the verge of a view."

At this suggestion the party moved on in a body, and were well
rewarded for the toil of the ascent, by a _coup d'oeil_ that was
almost Swiss in character and beauty.

"Now do I know where we are," exclaimed Eve, clasping her hands in
rapture--"this is the 'Vision,' and yonder, indeed, is our blessed
home!"

The whole artifice of the surprise was exposed, and after the first
bursts of pleasure had subsided, all to whom the scene was novel
felt, that they would not have missed this _piquante_ introduction to
the valley of the Susquehannah, on any account. That the reader may
understand the cause of so much delight, and why John Effingham had
prepared this scene for his friends, we shall stop to give a short
description of the objects that first met the eyes of the travellers.

It is known that they were in a small open spot in a forest, and on
the verge of a precipitous mountain. The trees encircled them on
every side but one, and on that lay the panorama, although the tops
of tall pines, that grew in lines almost parallel to the declivity,
rose nearly to a level with the eye. Hundreds of feet beneath them,
directly in front, and stretching leagues to the right, was a lake
embedded in woods and hills. On the side next the travellers, a
fringe of forest broke the line of water; tree tops that intercepted
the view of the shores; and on the other, high broken hills, or low
mountains rather, that were covered with farms, beautifully relieved
by patches of wood, in a way to resemble the scenery of a vast park,
or a royal pleasure ground, limited the landscape. High valleys lay
among these uplands, and in every direction comfortable dwellings
dotted the fields. The contrast between the dark hues of the
evergreens, with which all the heights near the water were shaded,
was in soft contrast to the livelier green of the other foliage,
while the meadows and pastures were luxuriant with a verdure
unsurpassed by that of England. Bays and points added to the
exquisite outline of the glassy lake on this shore, while one of the
former withdrew towards the north-west, in a way to leave the eye
doubtful whether it was the termination of the transparent sheet or
not. Towards the south, bold, varied, but cultivated hills, also
bounded the view, all teeming with the fruits of human labour, and
yet all relieved by pieces of wood, in the way already mentioned, so
as to give the entire region the character of park scenery. A wide,
deep, even valley, commenced at the southern end of the lake, or
nearly opposite to the stand of our travellers, and stretched away
south, until concealed by a curvature in the ranges of the mountains.
Like all the mountain-tops, this valley was verdant, peopled, wooded
in places, though less abundantly than the hills, and teeming with
the signs of life. Roads wound through its peaceful retreats, and
might be traced working their way along the glens, and up the weary
ascents of the mountains, for miles, in every direction.

At the northern termination of this lovely valley, and immediately on
the margin of the lake, lay the village of Templeton, immediately
under the eyes of the party. The distance, in an air line, from their
stand to the centre of the dwellings, could not be much less than a
mile, but the air was so pure, and the day so calm, that it did not
seem so far. The children and even the dogs were seen running about
the streets, while the shrill cries of boys at their gambols,
ascended distinctly to the ear.

As this was the Templeton of the Pioneers, and the progress of
society during half a century is connected with the circumstance, we
shall give the reader a more accurate notion of its present state,
than can be obtained from incidental allusions. We undertake the
office more readily because this is not one of those places that
shoot up in a day, under the unnatural efforts of speculation, or
which, favoured by peculiar advantages in the way of trade, becomes a
precocious city, while the stumps still stand in its streets; but a
sober county town, that has advanced steadily, _pari passu_ with the
surrounding country, and offers a fair specimen of the more regular
advancement of the whole nation, in its progress towards
civilization.

The appearance of Templeton, as seen from the height where it is now
exhibited to the reader, was generally beautiful and map-like. There
might be a dozen streets, principally crossing each other at right-
angles, though sufficiently relieved from this precise delineation,
to prevent a starched formality. Perhaps the greater part of the
buildings were painted white, as is usual in the smaller American
towns; though a better taste was growing in the place, and many of
the dwellings had the graver and chaster hues of the grey stones of
which they were built. A general air of neatness and comfort pervaded
the place, it being as unlike a continental European town, south of
the Rhine, in this respect, as possible, if indeed we except the
picturesque bourgs of Switzerland. In England, Templeton would be
termed a small market-town, so far as size was concerned; in France,
a large _bourg_; while in America it was, in common parlance, and
legal appellation, styled a village.

Of the dwellings of the place, fully twenty were of a quality that
denoted ease in the condition of their occupants, and bespoke the
habits of those accustomed to live in a manner superior to the _oi
polloi_ of the human race. Of these, some six or eight had small
lawns, carriage sweeps, and the other similar appliances of houses
that were not deemed unworthy of the honour of bearing names of their
own. No less than five little steeples, towers, or belfries, for
neither word is exactly suitable to the architectural prodigies we
wish to describe, rose above the roofs, denoting the sites of the
same number of places of worship; an American village usually
exhibiting as many of these proofs of liberty of conscience--
_caprices of conscience_ would perhaps be a better term--as dollars
and cents will by any process render attainable. Several light
carriages, such as were suitable to a mountainous country, were
passing to and fro in the streets; and, here and there, a single-
horse vehicle was fastened before the door of a shop, or a lawyer's
office, denoting the presence of some customer, or client, from among
the adjacent hills.

Templeton was not sufficiently a thoroughfare to possess one of those
monstrosities, a modern American tavern, or a structure whose roof
should overtop that of all its neighbours. Still its inns were of
respectable size, well piazzaed, to use a word of our own invention,
and quite enough frequented.

Near the centre of the place, in grounds of rather limited extent,
still stood that model of the composite order, which owed its
existence to the combined knowledge and taste, in the remoter ages of
the region, of Mr. Richard Jones and Mr. Hiram Doolittle. We will not
say that it had been modernized, for the very reverse was the effect,
in appearance at least; but, it had since undergone material changes,
under the more instructed intelligence of John Effingham.

This building was so conspicuous by position and size, that as soon
as they had taken in glimpses of the entire landscape, which was not
done without constant murmurs of pleasure, every eye became fastened
on it, as the focus of interest. A long and common silence denoted
how general was this feeling, and the whole party took seats on
stumps and fallen trees before a syllable was uttered, after the
building had attracted their gaze. Aristabulus alone permitted his
look to wander, and he was curiously examining the countenance of Mr.
Effingham, near whom he sate, with a longing to discover whether the
expression was that of approbation, or of disapprobation, of the
fruits of his cousin's genius.

"Mr. John Effingham has considerably regenerated and revivified, not
to say transmogrified, the old dwelling," he said, cautiously using
terms that might have his own opinion of the changes doubtful. "The
work of his hand has excited some speculation, a good deal of
inquiry, and a little conversation, throughout the country. It has
almost produced an excitement!"

"As my house came to me from my father," said Mr. Effingham, across
whose mild and handsome face a smile was gradually stealing, "I knew
its history, and when called on for an explanation of its
singularities, could refer all to the composite order. But, you,
Jack, have supplanted all this, by a style of your own, for which I
shall be compelled to consult the authorities for explanations."

"Do you dislike my taste, Ned?--To my eye, now, the structure has no
bad appearance from this spot!"

"Fitness and comfort are indispensable requisites for domestic
architecture, to use your own argument. Are you quite sure that
yonder castellated roof, for instance, is quite suited to the deep
snows of these mountains?"

John Effingham whistled, and endeavoured to look unconcerned, for he
well knew that the very first winter had demonstrated the
unsuitableness of his plans for such a climate. He had actually felt
disposed to cause the whole to be altered privately, at his own
expense; but, besides feeling certain his cousin would resent a
liberty that inferred his indisposition to pay for his own buildings,
he had a reluctance to admit, in the face of the whole country, that
he had made so capital a mistake, in a branch of art in which he
prided himself rather more than common; almost as much as his
predecessor in the occupation, Mr. Richard Jones.

"If you are not pleased with your own dwelling, Ned," he answered,
"you can have, at least, the consolation of looking at some of your
neighbours' houses, and of perceiving that they are a great deal
worse off. Of all abortions of this sort, to my taste, a Grecian
abortion is the worst--mine is only Gothic, and that too, in a style
so modest, that I should think it might pass unmolested."

It was so unusual to see John Effingham on the defensive, that the
whole party smiled, while Aristabulus who stood in salutary fear of
his caustic tongue, both smiled and wondered.

"Nay, do not mistake me, John," returned the proprietor of the
edifice under discussion--"it is not your _taste_ that I call in
question, but your provision against the seasons. In the way of mere
outward show, I really think you deserve high praise, for you have
transformed a very ugly dwelling into one that is almost handsome, in
despite of proportions and the necessity of regulating the
alterations by prescribed limits. Still, I think, there is a little
of the composite left about even the exterior."

"I hope, cousin Jack, you have not innovated on the interior," cried
Eve; "for I think I shall remember that, and nothing is more pleasant
than the _cattism_ of seeing objects that you remember in childhood--
pleasant, I mean, to those whom the mania of mutation has not
affected."

"Do not be alarmed, Miss Effingham," replied her kinsman, with a
pettishness of manner that was altogether extraordinary, in a man
whose mien, in common, was so singularly composed and masculine; "you
will find all that you knew, when a kitten, in its proper place. I
could not rake together, again, the ashes of Queen Dido, which were
scattered to the four winds of Heaven, I fear; nor could I discover a
reasonably good bust of Homer; but respectable substitutes are
provided, and some of them have the great merit of puzzling all
beholders to tell to whom they belong, which I believe was the great
characteristic of most of Mr. Jones's invention."

"I am glad to see, cousin Jack, that you have, at least, managed to
give a very respectable 'cloud-colour' to the whole house."

"Ay, it lay between that and an invisible green," the gentleman
answered, losing his momentary spleen in his natural love of the
ludicrous--"but finding that the latter would be only too conspicuous
in the droughts that sometimes prevail in this climate, I settled
down into the yellowish drab, that is, indeed, not unlike some of the
richer volumes of the clouds."

"On the whole, I think you are fairly entitled, as Steadfast Dodge,
Esquire, would say, to 'the meed of our thanks.'"

"What a lovely spot!" exclaimed Mr. Effingham, who had already ceased
to think of his own dwelling, and whose eye was roaming over the soft
landscape, athwart which the lustre of a June noontide was throwing
its richest glories. "This is truly a place where one might fancy
repose and content were to be found for the evening of a troubled
life."

"Indeed, I have seldom looked upon a more bewitching scene," answered
the baronet. "The lakes of Cumberland will scarce compete with this!"

"Or that of Brienz, or Lungeren, or Nemi," said Eve, smiling in a way
that the other understood to be a hit at his nationality.

"_C'est charmant!_" murmured Mademoiselle Viefville. "_On pense à
l'éternité, dans une telle calme!_"

"The farm you can see lying near yonder wood, Mr. Effingham," coolly
observed Aristabulus, "sold last spring for thirty dollars the acre,
and was bought for twenty, the summer-before!"

"_Chacun à son gout!_" said Eve.

"And yet, I fear, this glorious scene is marred by the envy,
rapacity, uncharitableness, and all the other evil passions of man!"
continued the more philosophical Mr. Effingham. "Perhaps, it were
better as it was so lately, when it lay in the solitude and peace of
the wilderness, the resort of birds and beasts."

"Who prey on each other, dearest father, just as the worst of our own
species prey on their fellows."

"True, child--true. And yet, I never gaze on one of these scenes of
holy calm, without wishing that the great tabernacle of nature might
be tenanted only by those who have a feeling for its perfection."

"Do you see the lady," said Aristabulus, "that is just coming out on
the lawn, in front of the 'Wig-wam?'" for that was the name John
Effingham had seen fit to give the altered and amended abode. "Here,
Miss Effingham, more in a line with the top of the pine beneath us."

"I see the person you mean; she seems to be looking in this
direction."

"You are quite right, miss; she knows that we are to stop on the
Vision, and no doubt sees us. That lady is your father's cook, Miss
Effingham, and is thinking of the late breakfast that has been
ordered to be in readiness against our arrival."

Eve concealed her amusement, for, by this time, she had discovered
that Mr. Bragg had a way peculiar to himself, or at least to his
class, of using many of the commoner words of the English language.
It would perhaps be expecting too much of Sir George Templemore, not
to expect him to smile, on such an occasion.

"Ah!" exclaimed Aristabulus, pointing towards the lake, across which
several skiffs were stealing, some in one direction, and some in
another, "there is a boat out, that I think must contain the poet."

"Poet!" repeated John Effingham. "Have we reached that pass at
Templeton?"

"Lord, Mr. John Effingham, you must have very contracted notions of
the place, if you think a poet a great novelty in it. Why, sir, we
have caravans of wild beasts, nearly every summer!"

"This is, indeed, a step in advance, of which I was ignorant. Here
then, in a region, that so lately was tenanted by beasts of prey,
beasts are already brought as curiosities. You perceive the state of
the country in this fact, Sir George Templemore."

"I do indeed; but I should like to hear from Mr Bragg, what sort of
animals are in these caravans?"

"All sorts, from monkeys to elephants. The last had a rhinoceros."

"Rhinoceros!--Why there was but one, lately, in all Europe. Neither
the Zoological Gardens, nor the _Jardin des Plantes_, had a
rhinoceros! I never saw but one, and that was in a caravan at Rome,
that travelled between St. Petersburgh and Naples."

"Well, sir, we have rhinoceroses here;--and monkeys, and zebras, and
poets, and painters, and congressmen, and bishops, and governors, and
all other sorts of creatures."

"And who may the particular poet be, Mr. Bragg," Eve asked, "who
honours Templeton, with his presence just at this moment?"

"That is more than I can tell you, miss, for, though some eight or
ten of us have done little else than try to discover his name for the
last week, we have not got even as far as that one fact. He and the
gentleman who travels with him, are both uncommonly close on such
matters, though I think we have some as good catechisers in
Templeton, as can be found any where within fifty miles of us!"

"There is another gentleman with him--do you suspect them both of
being poets?"

"Oh, no, Miss, the other is the waiter of the poet; that we know, as
he serves him at dinner, and otherwise superintends his concerns;
such as brushing his clothes, and keeping his room in order."

"This is being in luck for a poet, for they are of a class that are a
little apt to neglect the decencies. May I ask why you suspect the
master of being a poet, if the man be so assiduous?"

"Why, what else can he be? In the first place, Miss Effingham, he has
no name."

"That is a reason in point," said John Effingham "very few poets
having names."

"Then he is out on the lake half his time, gazing up at the 'Silent
Pine,' or conversing with the 'Speaking Rocks,' or drinking at the
'Fairy Spring.'"

"All suspicious, certainly; especially the dialogue with the rocks;
though not absolutely conclusive."

"But, Mr. John Effingham, the man does not take his food like other
people. He rises early, and is out on the water, or up in the forest,
all the morning, and then returns to eat his breakfast in the middle
of the forenoon; he goes into the woods again, or on the lake, and
comes back to dinner, just as I take my tea."

"This settles the matter. Any man who presumes to do all this, Mr.
Bragg, deserves to be called by some harder name, even, than that of
a poet. Pray, sir, how long has this eccentric person been a resident
of Templeton?"

"Hist--there he is, as I am a sinner; and it was not he and the other
gentlemen that were in the boat."

The rebuked manner of Aristabulus, and the dropping of his voice,
induced the whole party to look in the direction of his eye, and,
sure enough, a gentleman approached them, in the dress a man of the
world is apt to assume in the country, an attire of itself that was
sufficient to attract comment in a place where the general desire was
to be as much like town as possible, though it was sufficiently neat
and simple. He came from the forest, along the table-land that
crowned the mountain for some distance, following one of the foot-
paths that the admirers of the beautiful landscape have made all over
that pleasant wood. As he came out into the cleared spot, seeing it
already in possession of a party, he bowed, and was passing on, with
a delicacy that Mr. Bragg would be apt to deem eccentric, when
suddenly stopping, he gave a look of intense and eager interest at
the whole party, smiled, advanced rapidly nearer, and discovered his
entire person.

"I ought not to be surprised," he said, as he advanced so near as to
render doubt any longer impossible, "for I knew you were expected,
and indeed waited for your arrival, and yet this meeting has been so
unexpected as to leave me scarcely in possession of my faculties."

It is needless to dwell upon the warmth and number of the greetings.
To the surprise of Mr. Bragg, his poet was not only known, but
evidently much esteemed by all the party, with the exception of Miss
Van Cortlandt, to whom he was cordially presented by the name of Mr.
Powis. Eve managed, by an effort of womanly pride, to suppress the
violence of her emotions, and the meeting passed off as one of mutual
surprise and pleasure, without any exhibition of unusual feeling to
attract comment.

"We ought to express our wonder at finding you here before us, my
dear young friend," said Mr. Effingham, still holding Paul's hand
affectionately between his own; "and, even now, that my own eyes
assure me of the fact, I can hardly believe you would arrive at New-
York, and quit it, without giving us the satisfaction of seeing you."

"In that, sir, you are not wrong; certainly nothing could have
deprived me of that pleasure, but the knowledge that it would not
have been agreeable to yourselves. My sudden appearance here,
however, will be without mystery, when I tell you that I returned
from England, by the way of Quebec, the Great Lakes, and the Falls,
having been induced by my friend Ducie to take that route, in
consequence of his ship's being sent to the St. Lawrence. A desire
for novelty, and particularly a desire to see the celebrated
cataract, which is almost _the_ lion of America, did the rest."

"We are glad to have you with us on any terms, and I take it as
particularly kind, that you did not pass my door. You have been here
some days?"

"Quite a week. On reaching Utica I diverged from the great route to
see this place, not anticipating the pleasure of meeting you here so
early; but hearing you were expected, I determined to remain, with a
hope, which I rejoice to find was not vain, that you would not be
sorry to see an old fellow-traveller again."

Mr. Effingham pressed his hands warmly again, before he relinquished
them; an assurance of welcome that Paul received with thrilling
satisfaction.

"I have been in Templeton almost long enough," the young man resumed,
laughing, "to set up as a candidate for the public favour, if I
rightly understand the claims of a denizen. By what I can gather from
casual remarks, the old proverb that 'the new broom sweeps clean'
applies with singular fidelity throughout all this region.

"Have you a copy of your last ode, or a spare epigram, in your
pocket?" inquired John Effingham.

Paul looked surprised, and Aristabulus, for a novelty, was a little
dashed. Paul looked surprised, as a matter of course, for, although
he had been a little annoyed by the curiosity that is apt to haunt a
village imagination, since his arrival in Templeton, he did not in
the least suspect that his love of a beautiful nature had been
imputed to devotion to the muses. Perceiving, however, by the smiles
of those around him, that there was more meant than was expressed, he
had the tact to permit the explanation to come from the person who
had put the question, if it were proper it should come at all.

"We will defer the great pleasure that is in reserve," continued John
Effingham, "to another time. At present, it strikes me that the lady
of the lawn is getting to be impatient, and the _déjeuner à la
fourchette_, that I have had the precaution to order, is probably
waiting our appearance. It must be eaten, though under the penalty of
being thought moon-struck rhymers by the whole State. Come, Ned; if
you are sufficiently satisfied with looking at the Wigwam in a
bird's-eye view, we will descend and put its beauties to the severer
test of a close examination."

This proposal was readily accepted, though all tore themselves from
that lovely spot with reluctance, and not until they had paused to
take another look.

"Fancy the shores of this lake lined with villas." said Eve, "church-
towers raising their dark heads among these hills; each mountain
crowned with a castle, or a crumbling ruin, and all the other
accessories of an old state of society, and what would then be the
charms of the view!"

"Less than they are to-day, Miss Effingham," said Paul Powis; "for
though poetry requires--you all smile, is it forbidden to touch on
such subjects?"

"Not at all, so it be done in wholesome rhymes," returned the
baronet. "You ought to know that you are expected even to speak in
doggerel."

Paul ceased, and the whole party walked away from the place, laughing
and light-hearted.

Chapter X.

  "It is the spot, I came to seek, My father's ancient burial place--

  "It is the spot--I know it well, Of which our old traditions tell."

  BRYANT.

From the day after their arrival in New-York, or that on which the
account of the arrests by the English cruiser had appeared in the
journals, little had been said by any of our party concerning Paul
Powis, or of the extraordinary manner in which he had left the
packet, at the very moment she was about to enter her haven. It is
true that Mr. Dodge, arrived at Dodgeopolis, had dilated on the
subject in his hebdomadal, with divers additions and conjectures of
his own, and this, too, in a way to attract, a good deal of attention
in the interior; but, it being a rule with those who are supposed to
dwell at the fountain of foreign intelligence, not to receive any
thing from those who ought not to be better informed than themselves,
the Effinghams and their friends had never heard of his account of
the matter.

While all thought the incident of the sudden return extraordinary, no
one felt disposed to judge the young man harshly. The gentlemen knew
that military censure, however unpleasant, did not always imply moral
unworthiness; and as for the ladies, they retained too lively a sense
of his skill and gallantry, to wish to imagine evil on grounds so
slight and vague. Still, it had been impossible altogether to prevent
the obtrusion of disagreeable surmises, and all now sincerely
rejoiced at seeing their late companion once more among them,
seemingly in a state of mind that announced neither guilt nor
degradation.

On quitting the mountain, Mr. Effingham, who had a tender regard for
Grace, offered her his arm as he would have given it to a second
daughter, leaving Eve to the care of John Effingham. Sir George
attended to Mademoiselle Viefville, and Paul walked by the side of
our heroine and her cousin, leaving Aristabulus to be what he himself
called a "miscellaneous companion;" or, in other words, to thrust
himself into either set, as inclination or accident might induce. Of
course the parties conversed as they walked, though those in advance
would occasionally pause to say a word to those in the rear; and, as
they descended, one or two changes occurred to which we may have
occasion to allude.

"I trust you have had pleasant passages," said John Effingham to
Paul, as soon as they were separated in the manner just mentioned.
"Three trips across the Atlantic in so short a time would be hard
duty to a landsman, though you, as a sailor, will probably think less
of it."

"In this respect I have been fortunate; the Foam, as we know from
experience, being a good traveller, and Ducie is altogether a fine
fellow and an agreeable messmate. You know I had him for a companion
both going and coming."

This was said naturally; and, while it explained so little directly,
it removed all unpleasant uncertainty, by assuring his listeners that
he had been on good terms at least, with the person who had seemed to
be his pursuer. John Effingham, too, well understood that no one
messed with the commander of a vessel of war, in his own ship, who
was, in any way, thought to be an unfit associate.

"You have made a material circuit to reach us, the distance by Quebec
being nearly a fourth more than the direct road."

"Ducie desired it so strongly, that I did not like to deny him.
Indeed, he made it a point, at first, to obtain permission to land me
at New-York, where he had found me, as he said; but to this I would
not listen, as I feared it might interfere with his promotion, of
which he stood so good a chance, in consequence of his success in the
affair of the money. By keeping constantly before the eyes of his
superiors, on duty of interest, I thought his success would be more
certain."

"And has his government thought his perseverance in the chase worthy
of such a reward?"

"Indeed it has. He is now a post, and all owing to his good luck and
judgment in that affair; though in his country, rank in private life
does no harm to one in public life."

Eve liked the emphasis that Paul laid on "his country," and she
thought the whole remark was made in a spirit that an Englishman
would not be apt to betray.

"Has it ever occurred to you," continued John Effingham, "that our
sudden and unexpected separation, has caused a grave neglect of duty
in me, if not in both of us?"

Paul looked surprised, and, by his manner, he demanded an
explanation.

"You may remember the sealed package of poor Mr. Monday, that we were
to open together on our arrival in New-York, and on the contents of
which, we were taught to believe depended the settling of some
important private rights. I gave that package to you, at the moment
it was received, and, in the hurry of leaving us, you overlooked the
circumstance."

"All very true, and to my shame I confess that, until this instant,
the affair has been quite forgotten by me. I had so much to occupy my
mind while in England, that it was not likely to be remembered, and
then the packet itself has scarce been in my possession since the day
I left you,"

"It is not lost, I trust!" said John Effingham quickly.

"Surely not--it is safe, beyond a question, in the writing-desk in
which I deposited it. But the moment we got to Portsmouth, Ducie and
myself proceeded to London together, and, as soon as he had got
through at the Admiralty, we went into Yorkshire, where we remained,
much occupied with private matters of great importance to us both,
while his ship was docked; and then it became necessary to make
sundry visits to our relations--"

"Relations!" repeated Eve involuntarily, though she did not cease to
reproach herself for the indiscretion, during the rest of the walk.

"Relations--" returned Paul, smiling. "Captain Ducie and myself are
cousins-german, and we made pilgrimages together, to sundry family
shrines. This duty occupied us until a few days before we sailed for
Quebec. On reaching our haven, I left the ship to visit the great
lakes and Niagara, leaving most of my effects with Ducie, who has
promised to bring them on with himself, when he followed on my track,
as he expected soon to do, on his way to the West Indies, where he is
to find a frigate. He owed me this attention, as he insisted, on
account of having induced me to go so far out of my way, with so much
luggage, to oblige him. The packet is, unluckily, left behind with
the other things."

"And do you expect Captain Ducie to arrive in this country soon?--The
affair of the packet ought not to be neglected much longer, for a
promise to a dying man is doubly binding, as it appeals to all our
generosity. Rather than neglect the matter much longer, I would
prefer sending a special messenger to Quebec."

"That will be quite unnecessary, as, indeed, it would be useless.
Ducie left Quebec yesterday, and has sent his and my effects direct
to New-York, under the care of his own steward. The writing-case,
containing other papers that are of interest to us both, he has
promised not to lose sight of, but it will accompany him on the same
tour, as that I have just made; for, he wishes to avail himself of
this opportunity to see Niagara and the lakes, also: he is now on my
track, and will notify me by letter of the day he will be in Utica,
in order that we may meet on the line of the canal, near this place,
and proceed to New-York, in company."

His companions listened to this brief statement with an intense
interest, with which the packet of poor Mr. Monday, however, had very
little connection. John Effingham called to his cousin, and, in a few
words, stated the circumstances as they had just been related to
himself, without adverting to the papers of Mr. Monday, which was an
affair that he had hitherto kept to himself.

"It will be no more than a return of civility, if we invite Captain
Ducie to diverge from his road, and pass a few days with us, in the
mountains," he added. "At what precise time do you expect him to
pass, Powis?"

"Within the fortnight. I feel certain he would be glad to pay his
respects to this party, for he often expressed his sincere regrets at
having been employed on a service that exposed the ladies to so much
peril and delay."

"Captain Ducie is a near kinsman of Mr. Powis, dear father," added
Eve, in a way to show her parent, that the invitation would be
agreeable to herself, for Mr. Effingham was so attentive to the
wishes of his daughter, as never to ask a guest to his house, that he
thought would prove disagreeable to its mistress.

"I shall do myself the pleasure to write to Captain Ducie, this
evening, urging him to honour us with his company," returned Mr.
Effingham. "We expect other friends in a few days, and I hope he will
not find his time heavy on his hands, while in exile among us. Mr.
Powis will enclose my note in one of his letters, and will, I trust,
second the request by his own solicitations."

Paul made his acknowledgments, and the whole party proceeded, though
the interruption caused such a change in the _figure_ of the
promenade, as to leave the young man the immediate escort of Eve. The
party, by this time, had not only reached the highway, but it had
again diverged from it, to follow the line of an old and abandoned
wheel-track, that descended the mountain, along the side of the
declivity, by a wilder and more perilous direction than suited a
modern enterprise; it having been one of those little calculated and
rude roads, that the first settlers of a country are apt to make,
before there are time and means to investigate and finish to
advantage. Although much more difficult and dangerous than its
successor, as a highway, this relic of the infant condition of the
country was by far the most retired and beautiful; and pedestrians
continued to use it, as a common foot-path to the Vision. The seasons
had narrowed its surface, and the second growth had nearly covered it
with their branches, shading it like an arbour; and Eve expressed her
delight with its wildness and boldness, mingled, as both were, with
so pleasant a seclusion, as they descended along a path as safe and
convenient as a French _allée_. Glimpses were constantly obtained of
the lake and the village, while they proceeded; and altogether, they
who were strangers to the scenery, were loud in its praises.

"Most persons, who see this valley for the first time," observed
Aristabulus, "find something to say in its favour; for my part, I
consider it as rather curious myself."

"Curious!" exclaimed Paul; "that gentleman is, at least, singular in
the choice of his expressions."

"You have met him before to-day," said Eve, laughing, for Eve was now
in a humour to laugh at trifles. "This we know, since he had prepared
us to meet a poet, where we only find an old friend."

"Only, Miss Effingham!--Do you estimate poets so high, and old
friends so low?"

"This extraordinary person, Mr. Aristabulus Bragg, really deranges
all one's notions and opinions in such a manner, as to destroy even
the usual signification of words, I believe. He seems so much in, and
yet so much out of his place; is both so _rusé_, and so unpractised;
so unfit for what he is, and so ready at every thing, that I scarcely
know how to apply terms in any matter with which he has the smallest
connection. I fear he has persecuted you since your arrival in
Templeton?"

"Not at all; I am so much acquainted with men of his cast, that I
have acquired a tact in managing them. Perceiving that he was
disposed to suspect me of a disposition to 'poetize the lake,' to use
his own term, I took care to drop a couple of lines, roughly written
off, like a hasty and imperfect effusion, where I felt sure he would
find them, and have been living for a whole week on the fame
thereof."

"You do indulge in such tastes, then?" said Eve smiling a little
saucily.

"I am as innocent of such an ambition, as of wishing to marry the
heiress of the British throne, which, I believe, just now, is the
goal of all the Icaruses of our own time. I am merely a rank
plagiarist--for the rhyme, on the fame of which I have rioted for a
glorious week, was two lines of Pope's, an author so effectually
forgotten in these palmy days of literature, in which all knowledge
seems so condensed into the productions of the last few years, that a
man might almost pass off an entire classic for his own, without the
fear of detection. It was merely the first couplet of the Essay on
Man, which, fortunately, having an allusion to the 'pride of Kings,'
would pass for original, as well as excellent, in nineteen villages
in twenty in America, in these piping times of ultra-republicanism.
No doubt Mr. Bragg thought a eulogy on the 'people' was to come next,
to be succeeded by a glorious picture of Templeton and its environs."

"I do not know that I ought to admit these hits at liberty from a
foreigner," said Eve, pretending to look graver than she felt; for
never before, in her life, had our heroine so strong a consciousness
of happiness, as she had experienced that very morning.

"Foreigner, Miss Effingham!--And why a foreigner?"

"Nay, you know your own pretended cosmopolitism; and ought not the
cousin of Captain Ducie to be an Englishman?"

"I shall not answer for the _ought_, the simple fact being a
sufficient reply to the question. The cousin of Captain Ducie is
_not_ an Englishman; nor, as I see you suspect, has he ever served a
day in the British navy, or in any other navy than that of his native
land."

"This is indeed taking us by surprise, and that most agreeably,"
returned Eve, looking up at him with undisguised pleasure, while a
bright glow crimsoned her face. "We could not but feel an interest in
one who had so effectually served us; and both my father and Mr. John
Effingham----"

"Cousin Jack--" interrupted the smiling Paul.

"Cousin Jack, then, if you dislike the formality I used; both my
father and cousin Jack examined the American navy registers for your
name, without success, as I understood, and the inference that
followed was fair enough, I believe you will admit."

"Had they looked at a register of a few years' date, they would have
met with better luck. I have quitted the service, and am a sailor
only in recollections. For the last few years, like yourselves, I
have been a traveller by land as well as by water."

Eve said no more, though every syllable that the young man uttered
was received by attentive ears, and retained with a scrupulous
fidelity of memory. They walked some distance in silence, until they
reached the grounds of a house that was beautifully placed on the
side of the mountain, near a lovely wood of pines. Crossing these
grounds, until they reached a terrace in front of the dwelling, the
village of Templeton lay directly in their front, perhaps a hundred
feet beneath them, and yet so near, as to render the minutest object
distinct. Here they all stopped to take a more distinct view of a
place that had so much interest with most of the party.

"I hope you are sufficiently acquainted with the localities to act as
cicerone," said Mr. Effingham to Paul. "In a visit of a week to this
village, you have scarcely overlooked the Wigwam."

"Perhaps I ought to hesitate, or rather ought to blush to own it,"
answered the young man, discharging the latter obligation by
colouring to his temples; "but curiosity has proved so much stronger
than manners, that I have been induced to trespass so far on the
politeness of this gentleman, as to gain an admission to your
dwelling, in and about which more of my time has been passed than has
probably proved agreeable to its inmates."

"I hope the gentleman will not speak of it," said Aristabulus. "In
this country, we live pretty much in common, and with me it is a
rule, when a gentleman drops in, whether stranger or neighbour, to
show him the civility to ask him to take off his hat."

"It appears to me," said Eve, willing to change the conversation,
"that Templeton has an unusual number of steeples; for what purpose
can so small a place possibly require so many buildings of that
nature?"

"All in behalf of orthodoxy, Miss Eve," returned Aristabulus, who
conceived himself to be the proper person to answer such
interrogatories. "There is a shade of opinion beneath every one of
those steeples."

"Do you mean, sir, that there are as many shades of faith in
Templeton, as I now see buildings that have the appearance of being
devoted to religious purposes?"

"Double the number, Miss, and some to spare, in the bargain; for you
see but five meeting-houses, and the county-buildings, and we reckon
seven regular hostile denominations in the village, besides the
diversities of sentiment on trifles. This edifice that you perceive
here, in a line with the chimneys of the first house, is New St.
Paul's, Mr. Grant's old church, as orthodox a house, in its way, as
there is in the diocese, as you may see by the windows. This is a
gaining concern, though there has been some falling off of late, in
consequence of the clergyman's having caught a bad cold, which has
made him a little hoarse; but I dare say he will get over it, and the
church ought not to be abandoned on that account, serious as the
matter undoubtedly is, for the moment. A few of us are determined to
back up New St. Paul's in this crisis, and I make it a point to go
there myself, quite half the time."

"I am glad we have so much of your company," said Mr. Effingham "for
that is our own church, and in it my daughter was baptized. But, do
you divide your religious opinions in halves, Mr. Bragg?"

"In as many parts, Mr. Effingham, as there are denominations in the
neighbourhood, giving a decided preference to New St. Paul's,
notwithstanding, under the peculiar circumstances, particularly to
the windows. The dark, gloomy-looking building, Miss, off in the
distance, yonder, is the Methodist affair, of which not much need be
said; Methodism flourishing but little among us since the
introduction of the New Lights, who have fairly managed to out-excite
them, on every plan they can invent. I believe, however, they stick
pretty much to the old doctrine, which, no doubt, is one great reason
of their present apathetic state; for the people do love novelties."

"Pray, sir, what building is this nearly in a line with New St.
Paul's, and which resembles it a little, in colour and form?"

"Windows excepted; it has two rows of regular square-topped windows,
Miss, as you may observe. That is the First Presbyterian, or the old
standard; a very good house, and a pretty good faith, too, as times
go. I make it a point to attend there, at least once every fortnight;
for change is agreeable to the nature of man. I will say, Miss, that
my preference, so far as I have any, however, is for New St. Paul's,
and I have experienced considerable regrets, that these Presbyterians
have gained a material advantage over us, in a very essential point,
lately."

"I am sorry to hear this, Mr. Bragg; for, being an Episcopalian
myself, and having great reliance on the antiquity and purity of my
church, I should be sorry to find it put in the wrong by any other."

"I fear we must give that point up, notwithstanding, for these
Presbyterians have entirely outwitted the church people in that
matter."

"And what is the point in which we have been so signally worsted?"

"Why, Miss, their new bell weighs quite a hundred more than that of
New St. Paul's, and has altogether the best sound. I know very well
that this advantage will not avail them any thing to boast of, in the
last great account; but it makes a surprising difference in the state
of probation. You see the yellowish looking building across the
valley, with a heavy wall around it, and a belfry? That, in its
regular character, is the county court-house, and gaol; but, in the
way of religion, it is used pretty much miscellaneously."

"Do you mean, really, sir, that divine service is ever actually
performed in it, or that persons of all denominations are
occasionally tried there?"

"It would be truer to say that all denominations occasionally try the
court-house," said Aristabulus, simpering; "for I believe it has been
used in this way by every shade of religion short of the Jews. The
Gothic tower in wood, is the building of the Universalists; and the
Grecian edifice, that is not yet painted, the Baptists. The Quakers,
I believe, worship chiefly at home, and the different shades of the
Presbyterians meet, in different rooms, in private houses, about the
place."

"Are there then shades of difference in the denominations, as well as
all these denominations?" asked Eve, in unfeigned surprise; "and
this, too, in a population so small?"

"This is a free county, Miss Eve, and freedom loves variety. 'Many
men, many minds.'"

"Quite true, sir," said Paul; "but here are many minds among few men.
Nor is this all; agreeably to your own account, some of these men do
not exactly know their own minds. But, can you explain to us what
essential points are involved in all these shades of opinion?"

"It would require a life, sir, to understand the half of them. Some
say that excitement is religion, and others, that it is contentment.
One set cries up practice, and another cries out against it. This man
maintains that he will be saved if he does good, and that man affirms
that if he only does good, he will be damned; a little evil is
necessary to salvation, with one shade of opinion, while another
thinks a man is never so near conversion as when he is deepest in
sin."

"Subdivision is the order of the day," added John Effingham; "every
county is to be subdivided that there may be more county towns, and
county offices; every religion decimated, that there may be a greater
variety and a better quality of saints."

Aristabulus nodded his head, and he would have winked, could he have
presumed to take such a liberty with a man he held as much in
habitual awe, as John Effingham.

"_Monsieur_," inquired Mademoiselle Viefville, "is there no _église_,
no _véritable église_, in Templeton?"

"Oh, yes, Madame, several," returned Aristabulus, who would as soon
think of admitting that he did not understand the meaning of
_véritable église_, as one of the sects he had been describing would
think of admitting that it was not infallible in its interpretation
of Christianity--"several; but they are not be seen from this
particular spot."

"How much more picturesque would it be, and even christian-like in
appearance, at least," said Paul, could these good people consent to
unite in worshipping God!--and how much does it bring into strong
relief, the feebleness and ignorance of man, when you see him
splitting hairs about doctrines, under which he has been told, in
terms as plain as language can make it, that he is simply required to
believe in the goodness and power of a Being whose nature and
agencies exceed his comprehension."

"All very true," cried John Effingham, "but what would become of
liberty of conscience in such a case? Most men, now-a-days,
understand by faith, a firm reliance on their own opinions!"

"In that case, too," put in Aristabulus, "we should want this
handsome display of churches to adorn our village. There is good
comes of it; for any man would be more likely to invest in a place
that has five churches, than in a place with but one. As it is,
Templeton has as beautiful a set of churches as any village I know."

"Say, rather, sir, a set of castors; for a stronger resemblance to
vinegar-cruets and mustard-pots, than is borne by these architectural
prodigies, eye never beheld."

"It is, nevertheless, a beautiful thing, to see the high pointed roof
of the house of God, crowning an assemblage of houses, as one finds
it in other countries," said Eve, "instead of a pile of tavern, as is
too much the case in this dear home of ours."

When this remark was uttered, they descended the step that led from
the terrace, and proceeded towards the village. On reaching the gate
of the Wigwam, the whole party stood confronted with that offspring
of John Effingham's taste; for so great had been his improvements on
the original production of Hiram Doolittle, that externally, at
least, that distinguished architect could no longer have recognized
the fruits of his own talents.

"This is carrying out to the full, John, the conceits of the
composite order," observed Mr. Effingham, drily.

"I shall be sorry, Ned, if you dislike your house, as it is amended
and corrected."

"Dear cousin Jack," cried Eve, "it is an odd jumble of the Grecian
and Gothic. One would like to know your authorities for such a
liberty."

"What do you think of the _façade_ of the cathedral of Milan, Miss,"
laying emphasis on the last words, in imitation of the manner of Mr.
Bragg. "Is it such a novelty to see the two styles blended; or is
architecture so pure in America, that you think I have committed the
unpardonable sin."

"Nay, nothing that is out of rule ought to strike one, in a country
where imitation governs in all things immaterial, and originality
unsettles all things sacred and dear."

"By way of punishment for that bold speech, I wish I had left the old
rookery in the state I found it, that its beauties might have greeted
your eyes, instead of this uncouth pile, which seems so much to
offend them. Mademoiselle Viefville, permit me to ask how you like
that house?"

"_Mais, c'est un petit chateau_"

"_Un château, Effinghamisé,_" said Eve, laughing.

"_Effinghamisé si vous voulez, ma chère; pourtant c'est un château_."

"The general opinion in this part of the country is," said
Aristabulus, "that Mr. John Effingham has altered the building on the
plan of some edifice of Europe, though I forget the name of the
particular temple; it is not, however, the Parthenon, nor the temple
of Minerva."

"I hope, at least," said Mr. Effingham, leading the way up a little
lawn, "it will not turn out to be the Temple of the Winds."

Chapter XI.

  "Nay, I'll come; if I lose a scruple of this sport, let me be oiled
  to death with melancholy."--SHAKSPEARE.

The progress of society in America, has been distinguished by several
peculiarities that do not so properly belong to the more regular and
methodical advances of civilization in other parts of the world. On
the one hand, the arts of life, like Minerva, who was struck out of
the intellectual being of her father at a blow, have started full-
grown into existence, as the legitimate inheritance of the colonists,
while, on the other, every thing tends towards settling down into a
medium, as regards quality, a consequence of the community-character
of the institutions. Every thing she had seen that day, had struck
Eve as partaking of this mixed nature, in which, while nothing was
vulgar, little even approached to that high standard, that her
European education had taught her to esteem perfect. In the Wigwam,
however, as her father's cousin had seen fit to name the family
dwelling, there was more of keeping, and a closer attention to the
many little things she had been accustomed to consider essential to
comfort and elegance, and she was better satisfied with her future
home, than with most she had seen since her return to America.

As we have described the interior of this house, in another work,
little remains to be said on the subject, at present; for, while John
Effingham had completely altered its external appearance, its
internal was not much changed. It is true, the cloud-coloured
covering had disappeared, as had that stoop also, the columns of
which were so nobly upheld by their super-structure; the former
having given place to a less obtrusive roof, that was regularly
embattled, and the latter having been swallowed up by a small
entrance tower, that the new architect had contrived to attach to the
building with quite as much advantage to it, in the way of comfort,
as in the way of appearance. In truth, the Wigwam had none of the
more familiar features of a modern American dwelling of its class.
There was not a column about it, whether Grecian, Roman, or Egyptian;
no Venetian blinds; no verandah or piazza; no outside paint, nor gay
blending of colours. On the contrary, it was a plain old structure,
built with great solidity, and of excellent materials, and in that
style of respectable dignity and propriety, that was perhaps a little
more peculiar to our fathers than it is peculiar to their successors,
our worthy selves. In addition to the entrance tower, or porch, on
its northern front, John Effingham had also placed a prettily devised
conceit on the southern, by means of which the abrupt transition from
an inner room to the open air was adroitly avoided. He had, moreover,
removed the "firstly" of the edifice, and supplied its place with a
more suitable addition that contained some of the offices, while it
did not disfigure the building, a rare circumstance in an
architectural after-thought.

Internally, the Wigwam had gradually been undergoing improvements,
ever since that period, which, in the way of the arts, if not in the
way of chronology, might be termed the dark ages of Otsego. The great
hall had long before lost its characteristic decoration of the
severed arm of Wolf, a Gothic paper that was better adapted to the
really respectable architecture of the room being its substitute; and
even the urn that was thought to contain the ashes of Queen Dido,
like the pitcher that goes often to the well, had been broken in a
war of extermination that had been carried on against the cobwebs by
a particularly notable housekeeper. Old Homer, too, had gone the way
of all baked clay. Shakspeare, himself, had dissolved into dust,
"leaving not a wreck behind;" and of Washington and Franklin, even,
indigenous as they were, there remained no vestiges. Instead of these
venerable memorials of the past, John Effingham, who retained a
pleasing recollection of their beauties as they had presented
themselves to his boyish eyes, had bought a few substitutes in a New-
York shop, and _a_ Shakspeare, and _a_ Milton, and _a_ Cæsar, and _a_
Dryden, and _a_ Locke, as the writers of heroic so beautifully
express it, were now seated in tranquil dignity on the old medallions
that had held their illustrious predecessors. Although time had, as
yet, done little for this new collection in the way of colour, dust
and neglect were already throwing around them the tint of antiquity.

"The lady," to use the language of Mr. Bragg, who did the cooking of
the Wigwam, having every thing in readiness, our party took their
seats at the breakfast table, which was spread in the great hall, as
soon as each had paid a little attention to the _toilette_. As the
service was neither very scientific, nor sufficiently peculiar,
either in the way of elegance or of its opposite quality, to be
worthy of notice, we shall pass it over in silence.

"One will not quite so much miss European architecture in this
house," said Eve, as she took her seat at table, glancing an eye at
the spacious and lofty room, in which they were assembled; "here is
at least size and its comforts, if not elegance."

"Had you lost all recollection of this building, my child?" inquired
her father, kindly; "I was in hopes you would feel some of the
happiness of returning home, when you again found yourself beneath
its roof!"

"I should greatly dislike to have all the antics I have been playing
in my own dressing-room exposed," returned Eve, rewarding the
parental solicitude of her father by a look of love, "though Grace,
between her laughing and her tears, has threatened me with such a
disgrace. Ann Sidley has also been weeping, and, as even Annette,
always courteous and considerate, has shed a few tears in the way of
sympathy, you ought not to imagine that I have been altogether so
stoical as not to betray some feeling, dear father. But the paroxysm
is past, and I am beginning to philosophize. I hope, cousin Jack, you
have not forgotten that the drawing-room is a lady's empire!"

"I have respected your rights, Miss Effingham, though, with a wish to
prevent any violence to your tastes, I have caused sundry
antediluvian paintings and engravings to be consigned to the--"

"Garret?" inquired Eve, so quickly as to interrupt the speaker.

"Fire," coolly returned her cousin. "The garret is now much too good
for them; that part of the house being converted into sleeping-rooms
for the maids. Mademoiselle Annette would go into hysterics, were she
to see the works of art, that satisfied the past generation of
masters in this country, in too close familiarity with her Louvre-
ized eyes."

"_Point du tout, monsieur_," said Mademoiselle Viefville, innocently;
"_Annette a du gout dans son metier sans doute_, but she is too well
bred to expect _impossibilités._ No doubt she would have conducted
herself with decorum."

Every body laughed, for much light-heartedness prevailed at that
board, and the conversation continued.

"I shall be satisfied if Annette escape convulsions," Eve added, "a
refined taste being her weakness; and, to be frank, what I recollect
of the works you mention, is not of the most flattering nature."

"And yet," observed Sir George, "nothing has surprised me more than
the respectable state of the arts of engraving and painting in this
country. It was unlooked for, and the pleasure has probably been in
proportion to the surprise."

"In that you are very right, Sir George Templemore," John Effingham
answered; "but the improvement is of very recent date. He who
remembers an American town half a century ago, will see a very
different thing in an American town of to-day; and this is equally
true of the arts you mention, with the essential difference that the
latter are taking a right direction under a proper instruction, while
the former are taking a wrong direction, under the influence of
money, that has no instruction. Had I left much of the old furniture,
or any of the old pictures in the Wigwam, we should have had the
bland features of Miss Effingham in frowns, instead of bewitching
smiles, at this very moment."

"And yet I have seen fine old furniture in this country, cousin
Jack."

"Very true; though not in this part of it. The means of conveyance
were wanting half a century since, and few people risk finery of any
sort on corduroys. This very house had some respectable old things,
that were brought here by dint of money, and they still remain; but
the eighteenth century in general, may be set down as a very dark
antiquity in all this region."

When the repast was over, Mr. Effingham led his guests and daughter
through the principal apartments, sometimes commending, and sometimes
laughing, at the conceits of his kinsman. The library was a good
sized room; good sized at least for a country in which domestic
architecture, as well as public architecture, is still in the
chrysalis state. Its walls were hung with an exceedingly pretty
gothic paper, in green, but over each window was a chasm in the upper
border; and as this border supplied the arches, the unity of the
entire design was broken in no less than four places, that being the
precise number of the windows. The defect soon attracted the eye of
Eve, and she was not slow in demanding an explanation.

"The deficiency is owing to an American accident," returned her
cousin; "one of those calamities of which you are fated to experience
many, as the mistress of an American household. No more of the border
was to be bought in the country, and this is a land of shops and not
of _fabricants_. At Paris, Mademoiselle, one would send to the paper-
maker for a supply; but, alas! he that has not enough of a thing with
us, is as badly off as if he had none. We are consumers, and not
producers of works of art. It is a long way to send to France for ten
or fifteen feet of paper hangings, and yet this must be done, or my
beautiful gothic arches will remain forever without their key-
stones!"

"One sees the inconvenience of this," observed Sir George--"we feel
it, even in England, in all that relates to imported things."

"And we, in nearly all things, but food."

"And does not this show that America can never become a manufacturing
country?" asked the baronet, with the interest an intelligent
Englishman ever feels in that all-absorbing question. "If you cannot
manufacture an article as simple as that of paper-hangings, would it
not be well to turn your attention, altogether, to agriculture?"

As the feeling of this interrogatory was much more apparent than its
logic, smiles passed from one to the other, though John Effingham,
who really had a regard for Sir George, was content to make an
evasive reply, a singular proof of amity, in a man of his caustic
temperament.

The survey of the house, on the whole, proved satisfactory to its
future mistress, who complained, however, that it was furnished too
much like a town residence.

"For," she added, "you will remember, cousin Jack, that our visits
here will be something like a _villeggiatura_."

"Yes, yes, my fair lady; it will not be long before your Parisian and
Roman tastes will be ready to pronounce the whole country a
_villeggiatura!_"

"This is the penalty, Eve, one pays for being a Hajji," observed
Grace, who had been closely watching the expression of the others'
countenances; for, agreeably to her view of things, the Wigwam wanted
nothing to render it a perfect abode. "The things that _we_ enjoy,
_you_ despise."

"That is an argument, my dear coz, that would apply equally well, as
a reason for preferring brown sugar to white."

"In coffee, certainly, Miss Eve," put in the attentive Aristabulus,
who having acquired this taste, in virtue of an economical mother,
really fancied it a pure one. "Every body, in these regions, prefers
the brown in coffee."

"_Oh, mon père et ma mère, comme je vous en veux,_" said Eve, without
attending to the nice distinctions of Mr. Bragg, which savoured a
little too much of the neophyte in cookery, to find favour in the
present company, "_comme je vous en veux_ for having neglected so
many beautiful sites, to place this building in the very spot it
occupies."

"In that respect, my child, we may rather be grateful at finding so
comfortable a house, at all. Compared with the civilization that then
surrounded it, this dwelling was a palace at the time of its
erection; bearing some such relation to the humbler structures around
it, as the _château_ bears to the cottage. Remember that brick had
never before been piled on brick, in the walls of a house, in all
this region, when the Wigwam was constructed. It is the Temple of
Neptune of Otsego, if not of all the surrounding counties."

Eve pressed to her lips the hand she was holding in both her own, and
they all passed out of the library into another room. As they came in
front of the hall windows, a party of apprentice-boys were seen
coolly making their arrangements to amuse themselves with a game of
ball, on the lawn directly in front of the house.

"Surely, Mr. Bragg," said the owner of the Wigwam, with more
displeasure in his voice than was usual for one of his regulated
mind, "you do not countenance this liberty?"

"Liberty, sir!--I am an advocate for liberty wherever I can find it.
Do you refer to the young men on the lawn, Mr. Effingham?"

"Certainly to them, sir; and permit me to say, I think they might
have chosen a more suitable spot for their sports. They are mistaking
_liberties_ for liberty I fear."

"Why, sir, I believe they have _always_ played ball in that precise
locality."

"_Always_!--I can assure you this is a great mistake. What private
family, placed as we are in the centre of a village, would allow of
an invasion of its privacy in this rude manner? Well may the house be
termed a Wigwam, if this whooping is to be tolerated before its
door."

"You forget, Ned," said John Effingham, with a sneer, "that an
American _always_ means just eighteen months. _Antiquity_ is reached
in five lustres, and the dark ages at the end of a human life. I dare
say these amiable young gentlemen, who enliven their sports with so
many agreeable oaths, would think you very unreasonable and
encroaching to presume to tell them they are unwelcome."

"To own the truth, Mr. John, it _would_ be downright unpopular."

"As I cannot permit the ears of the ladies to be offended with these
rude brawls, and shall never consent to have grounds that are so
limited, and which so properly belong to the very privacy of my
dwelling, invaded in this coarse manner, I beg, Mr. Bragg, that you
will, at once, desire these young men to pursue their sports
somewhere else."

Aristabulus received this commission with a very ill grace; for,
while his native sagacity told him that Mr. Effingham was right, he
too well knew the loose habits that had been rapidly increasing in
the country during the last ten years, not to foresee that the order
would do violence to all the apprentices' preconceived notions of
their immunities; for, as he had truly stated, things move at so
quick a pace in America, and popular feeling is so arbitrary, that a
custom of a twelve months' existence is deemed sacred, until the
public, itself, sees fit to alter it. He was reluctantly quitting the
party, on his unpleasant duty, when Mr. Effingham turned to a
servant, who belonged to the place, and bade him go to the village
barber, and desire him to come to the Wigwam to cut his hair; Pierre,
who usually performed that office for him, being busied in unpacking
trunks.

"Never mind, Tom," said Aristabulus obligingly, as he took up his
hat; "I am going into the street, and will give the message to Mr.
Lather."

"I cannot think, sir, of employing you on such a duty," hastily
interposed Mr. Effingham, who felt a gentleman's reluctance to impose
an unsuitable office on any of his dependants--"Tom, I am sure, will
do me the favour."

"Do not name it, my dear sir; nothing makes me happier than to do
these little errands, and, another time, you can do as much for me."

Aristabulus now went his way more cheerfully, for he determined to go
first to the barber, hoping that some expedient might suggest itself,
by means of which he could coax the apprentices from the lawn, and
thus escape the injury to his popularity, that he so much dreaded. It
is true, these apprentices were not voters, but then some of them
speedily would be, and all of them, moreover, had _tongues_, an
instrument Mr. Bragg held in quite as much awe as some men dread
salt-petre. In passing the ball-players, he called out in a wheedling
tone to their ringleader, a notorious street brawler--

"A fine time for sport, Dickey; don't you think there would be more
room in the broad street than on this crowded lawn, where you lose
your ball so often in the shrubbery?"

"This place will do, on a pinch," bawled Dickey--"though it might be
better. If it warn't for that plagued house, we couldn't ask for a
better ball-ground."

"I don't see," put in another, "what folks built a house just in that
spot for; it has spoilt the very best play-ground in the village."

"Some people have their notions as well as others," returned
Aristabulus; "but, gentlemen, if I were in your place, I would try
the street; I feel satisfied you would find it much the most
agreeable and convenient."

The apprentices thought differently, however, or they were indisposed
to the change; and so they recommenced their yells, their oaths, and
their game. In the mean while, the party in the house continued their
examination of John Effingham's improvements; and when this was
completed, they separated, each to his or her own room.

Aristabulus soon reappeared on the lawn; and, approaching the ball-
players, he began to execute his commission, as he conceived, in good
earnest. Instead of simply saying, however, that it was disagreeable
to the owner of the property to have such an invasion on his privacy,
and thus putting a stop to the intrusion for the future as well as at
the present moment, he believed some address necessary to attain the
desired end.

"Well, Dickey," he said, "there is no accounting for tastes; but, in
my opinion, the street would be a much better place to play ball in
than this lawn. I wonder gentlemen of your observation should be
satisfied with so cramped a play-ground!"

"I tell you, Squire Bragg, this will do," roared Dickey; "we are in a
hurry, and no way particular; the bosses will be after us in half an
hour. Heave away, Sam."

"There are so many fences hereabouts," continued Aristabulus, with an
air of indifference; "it's true the village trustees say there _shall
be no ball-playing in the street_, but I conclude you don't much mind
what _they_ think or threaten."

"Let them sue for that, if they like," bawled a particularly amiable
blackguard, called Peter, who struck his ball as he spoke, quite into
the principal street of the village. "Who's a trustee, that he should
tell gentlemen where they are to play ball!"

"Sure enough," said Aristabulus, "and, now, by following up that
blow, you can bring matters to an issue. I think the law very
oppressive, and you can never have so good an opportunity to bring
things to a crisis. Besides, it is very aristocratic to play ball
among roses and dahlias."

The bait took; for what apprentice--American apprentice, in
particular--can resist an opportunity of showing how much he
considers himself superior to the law? Then it had never struck any
of the party before, that it was vulgar and aristocratic to pursue
the sport among roses, and one or two of them actually complained
that they had pricked their fingers, in searching for the ball.

"I know Mr. Effingham will be very sorry to have you go," continued
Aristabulus, following up his advantage; "but gentlemen cannot always
forego their pleasures for other folks."

"Who's Mr. Effingham, I would like to know?" cried Joe Wart. "If he
wants people to play ball on his premises, let him cut down his
roses. Come, gentlemen, I conform to Squire Bragg, and invite you all
to follow me into the street."

As the lawn was now evacuated, _en masse_, Aristabulus proceeded with
alacrity to the house, and went into the library, where Mr. Effingham
was patiently waiting his return.

"I am happy to inform you, sir," commenced the ambassador, "that the
ball-players have adjourned; and as for Mr. Lather, he declines your
proposition."

"Declines my proposition!"

"Yes, sir; he dislikes to come; for he thinks it will be altogether a
poor operation. His notion is, that if it be worth his while to come
up to the Wigwam to cut your hair, it may be worth your while to go
down to the shop, to have it cut. Considering the matter in all its
bearings, therefore, he concludes he would rather not engage in the
transaction at all."

"I regret, sir, to have consented to your taking so disagreeable a
commission, and regret it the more, now I find that the barber is
disposed to be troublesome."

"Not at all, sir. Mr. Lather is a good man, in his way, and
particularly neighbourly. By the way, Mr. Effingham, he asked me to
propose to let him take down your garden fence, in order that he may
haul some manure on his potato patch, which wants it dreadfully, he
says."

"Certainly, sir. I cannot possibly object to his hauling his manure,
even through this house, should he wish it. He is so very valuable a
citizen, and one who knows his own business so well, that I am only
surprised at the moderation of his request."

Here Mr. Effingham rose, rang the bell for Pierre, and went to his
own room, doubting, in his own mind, from all that he had seen,
whether this was really the Templeton he had known in his youth, and
whether he was in his own house or not.

As for Aristabulus, who saw nothing out of rule, or contrary to his
own notions of propriety, in what had passed, he hurried off to tell
the barber, who was so ignorant of the first duty of his trade, that
he was at liberty to pull down Mr. Effingham's fence, in order to
manure his own potato patch.

Lest the reader should suppose we are drawing caricatures, instead of
representing an actual condition of society, it may be necessary to
explain that Mr. Bragg was a standing candidate for popular favour;
that, like Mr. Dodge, he considered every thing that presented itself
in the name of the public, as sacred and paramount, and that so
general and positive was his deference for majorities, that it was
the bias of his mind to think half-a-dozen always in the right, as
opposed to one, although that one, agreeably to the great decision of
the real majority of the entire community, had not only the law on
his side, but all the abstract merits of the disputed question. In
short, to such a pass of freedom had Mr. Bragg, in common with a
large class of his countrymen, carried his notions, that he had
really begun to imagine liberty was all means and no end.

Chapter XII.

  "In sooth, thou wast in very gracious fooling last night, when thou
  spokest of Pigrogromotus, of the Vapians passing the equinoctial of
  Queubus; 't was very good i' faith."--SIR ANDREW AGUE-CHEEK.

The progress of society, it has just been said, in what is termed a
"new country," is a little anomalous. At the commencement of a
settlement, there is much of that sort of kind feeling and mutual
interest, which men are apt to manifest towards each other, when they
are embarked in an enterprise of common hazards. The distance that is
unavoidably inseparable from education, habits and manners, is
lessened by mutual wants and mutual efforts; and the gentleman, even
while he may maintain his character and station, maintains them with
that species of good-fellowship and familiarity, that marks the
intercourse between the officer and the soldier, in an arduous
campaign. Men, and even women, break bread together, and otherwise
commingle, that, in different circumstances, would be strangers; the
hardy adventures and rough living of the forest, apparently lowering
the pretensions of the man of cultivation and mere mental resources,
to something very near the level of those of the man of physical
energy, and manual skill. In this rude intercourse, the parties meet,
as it might be, on a sort of neutral ground, one yielding some of his
superiority, and the other laying claims to an outward show of
equality, that he secretly knows, however, is the result of the
peculiar circumstances in which he is placed. In short, the state of
society is favourable to the claims of mere animal force, and
unfavourable to those of the higher qualities.

This period may be termed, perhaps, the happiest of the first century
of a settlement. The great cares of life are so engrossing and
serious, that small vexations are overlooked, and the petty
grievances that would make us seriously uncomfortable in a more
regular state of society, are taken as matters of course, or laughed
at as the regular and expected incidents of the day. Good-will
abounds; neighbour comes cheerfully to the aid of neighbour; and life
has much of the reckless gaiety, careless association, and buoyant
merriment of childhood. It is found that they who have passed through
this probation, usually look back to it with regret, and are fond of
dwelling on the rude scenes and ridiculous events that distinguish
the history of a new settlement, as the hunter is known to pine for
the forest.

To this period of fun, toil, neighbourly feeling and adventure,
succeeds another, in which society begins to marshal itself, and the
ordinary passions have sway. Now it is, that we see the struggles for
place, the heart-burnings and jealousies of contending families, and
the influence of mere money. Circumstances have probably established
the local superiority of a few beyond all question, and the
conditioese serves as a goal for the rest to aim at. The learned
professions, the ministry included, or what, by courtesy, are so
called, take precedence, as a matter of course, next to wealth,
however, when wealth is at all supported by appearances. Then
commence those gradations of social station, that set institutions at
defiance, and which as necessarily follow civilization, as tastes and
habits are a consequence of indulgence.

This is, perhaps, the least inviting condition of society that
belongs to any country that can claim to be free and removed from
barbarism. The tastes are too uncultivated to exercise any essential
influence; and when they do exist, it is usually with the pretension
and effort that so commonly accompany infant knowledge. The struggle
is only so much the more severe, in consequence of the late _pèle
mèle_, while men lay claim to a consideration that would seem beyond
their reach, in an older and more regulated community. It is during
this period that manners suffer the most, since they want the nature
and feeling of the first condition, while they are exposed to the
rudest assaults of the coarse-minded and vulgar; for, as men usually
defer to a superiority that is long established, there being a charm
about antiquity that is sometimes able to repress the passions, in
older communities the marshalling of time quietly regulates what is
here the subject of strife.

What has just been said, depends on a general and natural principle,
perhaps; but the state of society we are describing has some features
peculiar to itself. The civilization of America, even in its older
districts, which supply the emigrants to the newer regions, is
unequal; one state possessing a higher level than another. Coming as
it does, from different parts of this vast country, the population of
a new settlement, while it is singularly homogenous for the
circumstances, necessarily brings with it its local peculiarities. If
to these elements be added a sprinkling of Europeans of various
nations and conditions, the effects of the commingling, and the
temporary social struggles that follow, will occasion no surprise.

The third and last condition of society in a "new country," is that
in which the influence of the particular causes enumerated ceases,
and men and things come within the control of more general and
regular laws. The effect, of course, is to leave the community
possession of a civilization that conforms to that of the whole
region, be it higher or be it lower, and with the division into
castes that are more or less rigidly maintained, according to
circumstances.

The periods, as the astronomers call the time taken in a celestial
revolution, of the two first of these epochs in the history of a
settlement, depend very much on its advancement in wealth and in
numbers. In some places, the pastoral age, or that of good
fellowship, continues for a whole life, to the obvious retrogression
of the people, in most of the higher qualities, but to their manifest
advantage, however, in the pleasures of the time being; while, in
others, it passes away rapidly, like the buoyant animal joys, that
live their time, between fourteen and twenty.

The second period is usually of longer duration, the migratory habits
of the American people keeping society more unsettled than might
otherwise prove to be the case. It may be said never to cease
entirely until the great majority of the living generation are
natives of the region, knowing no other means of comparison than
those under which they have passed their days. Even when this is the
case, there is commonly so large an infusion of the birds of passage,
men who are adventurers in quest of advancement, and who live without
the charities of a neighbourhood, as they may be said almost to live
without a home, that there is to be found, for a long time, a middle
state of society, during which it may well be questioned whether a
community belongs to the second or to the third of the periods named.

Templeton was properly in this equivocal condition, for while the
third generation of the old settlers were in active life, so many
passers-by came and went, that the influence of the latter nearly
neutralized that of time and the natural order of things. Its
population was pretty equally divided between the descendants of the
earlier inhabitants, and those who flitted like swallows and other
migratory birds. All of those who had originally entered the region
in the pride of manhood, and had been active in converting the
wilderness into the abodes of civilized men, if they had not been
literally gathered to their fathers, in a physical sense had been
laid, the first of their several races, beneath those sods that were
to cover the heads of so many of their descendants. A few still
remained among those who entered the wilderness in young manhood, but
the events of the first period we have designated, and which we have
imperfectly recorded in another work, were already passing into
tradition. Among these original settlers some portion of the feeling
that had distinguished their earliest communion with their neighbours
yet continued, and one of their greatest delights was to talk of the
hardships and privations of their younger days, as the veteran loves
to discourse of his marches, battles, scars, and sieges. It would be
too much to say that these persons viewed the more ephemeral part of
the population with distrust, for their familiarity with changes
accustomed them to new faces; but they had a secret inclination for
each other, preferred those who could enter the most sincerely into
their own feelings, and naturally loved that communion best, where
they found the most sympathy. To this fragment of the community
belonged nearly all there was to be found of that sort of sentiment
which is connected with locality; adventure, with them, supplying the
place of time; while the natives of the spot, wanting in the
recollections that had so many charms for their fathers, were not yet
brought sufficiently within the influence of traditionary interest,
to feel that hallowed sentiment in its proper force. As opposed in
feeling to these relics of the olden time, were the birds of passage
so often named, a numerous and restless class, that, of themselves,
are almost sufficient to destroy whatever there is of poetry, or of
local attachment, in any region where they resort.

In Templeton and its adjacent district, however, the two hostile
influences might be said to be nearly equal, the descendants of the
fathers of the country beginning to make a manly stand against the
looser sentiment, or the want of sentiment, that so singularly
distinguishes the migratory bands. The first did begin to consider
the temple in which their fathers had worshipped more hallowed than
strange altars; the sods that covered their fathers' heads more
sacred than the clods that were upturned by the plough; and the
places of their childhood and childish sports dearer than the highway
trodden by a nameless multitude.

Such, then, were the elements of the society into which we have now
ushered the reader, and with which it will be our duty to make him
better acquainted, as we proceed in the regular narration of the
incidents of our tale.

The return of the Effinghams, after so long an absence, naturally
produced a sensation in so small a place, and visiters began to
appear in the Wigwam as soon as propriety would allow. Many false
rumours prevailed, quite as a matter of course; and Eve, it was
reported, was on the point of being married to no less than three of
the inmates of her father's house, within the first ten days, viz:
Sir George Templemore, Mr. Powis, and Mr. Bragg; the latter story
taking its rise in some precocious hopes that had escaped the
gentleman himself, in the "excitement" of helping to empty a bottle
of bad Breton wine, that was dignified with the name of champagne.
But these tales revived and died so often, in a state of society in
which matrimony is so general a topic with the young of the gentler
sex, that they brought with them their own refutation.

The third day, in particular, after the arrival of our party, was a
reception day at the Wigwam; the gentlemen and ladies making it a
point to be at home and disengaged, after twelve o'clock, in order to
do honour to their guests. One of the first who made his appearance
was a Mr. Howel, a bachelor of about the same age as Mr. Effingham,
and a man of easy fortune and quiet habits. Nature had done more
towards making Mr. Howel a gentleman, than either cultivation or
association; for he had passed his entire life, with very immaterial
exceptions, in the valley of Templeton, where, without being what
could be called a student, or a scholar, he had dreamed away his
existence in an indolent communication with the current literature of
the day. He was fond of reading, and being indisposed to contention,
or activity of any sort, his mind had admitted the impressions of
what he perused, as the stone receives a new form by the constant
fall of drops of water. Unfortunately for Mr. Howel, he understood no
language but his mother tongue; and, as all his reading was
necessarily confined to English books, he had gradually, and unknown
to himself, in his moral nature at least, got to be a mere reflection
of those opinions, prejudices, and principles, if such a word can
properly be used for such a state of the mind, that it had suited the
interests or passions of England to promulgate by means of the press.
A perfect _bonne foi_ prevailed in all his notions; and though a very
modest man by nature, so very certain was he that his authority was
always right, that he was a little apt to be dogmatical on such
points as he thought his authors appeared to think settled. Between
John Effingham and Mr. Howel, there were constant amicable skirmishes
in the way of discussion; for, while the latter was so dependent,
limited in knowledge by unavoidable circumstances, and disposed to an
innocent credulity, the first was original in his views, accustomed
to see and think for himself, and, moreover, a little apt to estimate
his own advantages at their full value.

"Here comes our good neighbour, and my old school-fellow, Tom Howel."
said Mr. Effingham, looking out at a window, and perceiving the
person mentioned crossing the little lawn in front of the house, by
following a winding foot-path--"as kind-hearted a man, Sir George
Templemore, as exists; one who is really American, for he has
scarcely quitted the county half-a-dozen times in his life, and one
of the honestest fellows of my acquaintance."

"Ay," put in John Effingham, "as real an American as any man can be,
who uses English spectacles for all he looks at, English opinions for
all he says, English prejudices for all he condemns, and an English
palate for all he tastes. American, quotha! The man is no more
American than the Times' newspaper, or Charing Cross! He actually
made a journey to New-York last war, to satisfy himself with his own
eyes that a Yankee frigate had really brought an Englishman into
port."

"His English predilections will be no fault in my eyes," said the
baronet, smiling--"and I dare say we shall be excellent friends."

"I am sure Mr. Howel is a very agreeable man," added Grace--"of all
in your Templeton _côterie_, he is my greatest favourite."

"Oh! I foresee a tender intimacy between Templemore and Howel,"
rejoined John Effingham; "and sundry wordy wars between the latter
and Miss Effingham."

"In this you do me injustice, cousin Jack. I remember Mr. Howel well,
and kindly; for he was ever wont to indulge my childish whims, when a
girl."

"The man is a second Burchell, and, I dare say never came to the
Wigwam when you were a child, without having his pockets stuffed with
cakes, or _bonbons_."

The meeting was cordial, Mr. Howel greeting the gentlemen like a warm
friend, and expressing great delight at the personal improvements
that had been made in Eve, between the ages of eight and twenty. John
Effingham was no more backward than the others, for he, too, liked
their simple-minded, kind-hearted, but credulous neighbour.

"You are welcome back--you are welcome back," added Mr. Howel,
blowing his nose, in order to conceal the tears that were gathering
in his eyes. "I did think of going to New-York to meet you, but the
distance at my time of life is very serious. Age, gentlemen, seems to
be a stranger to you."

"And yet we, who are both a few months older than yourself, Howel,"
returned Mr. Effingham, kindly, "have managed to overcome the
distance you have just mentioned, in order to come and see _you!_"

"Ay, you are great travellers, gentlemen, very great travellers, and
are accustomed to motion.--Been quite as far as Jerusalem, I hear!"

"Into its very gates, my good friend; and I wish, with all my heart,
we had had you in our company. Such a journey might cure you of the
home-malady."

"I am a fixture, and never expect to look upon the ocean, now. I did,
at one period of my life, fancy such an event might happen, but I
have finally abandoned all hope on that subject. Well, Miss Eve, of
all the countries in which you have dwelt, to which do you give the
preference?"

"I think Italy is the general favourite," Eve answered, with a
friendly smile; "although there are some agreeable things peculiar to
almost every country."

"Italy!--Well, that astonishes me a good deal! I never knew there was
any thing particularly interesting about Italy! I should have
expected _you_ to say, England."

"England is a fine country, too, certainly; but it wants many things
that Italy enjoys."

"Well, now, what?" said Mr. Howel, shifting his legs from one knee to
the other, in order to be more convenient to listen, or, if
necessary, to object. "What _can_ Italy possess, that England does
not enjoy in a still greater degree?"

"Its recollections, for one thing, and all that interest which time
and great events throw around a region."

"And is England wanting in recollections and great events? Are there
not the Conqueror? or, if you will, King Alfred? and Queen Elizabeth,
and Shakspeare--think of Shakspeare, young lady--and Sir Walter
Scott, and the Gun-Powder Plot; and Cromwell, Oliver Cromwell, my
dear Miss Eve; and Westminster Abbey, and London Bridge, and George
IV., the descendant of a line of real kings,--what, in the name of
Heaven, can Italy possess, to equal the interest one feels in such
things as these?'

"They are very interesting no doubt;" said Eve, endeavouring not to
smile--"but Italy has its relics of former ages too; you forget the
Cæsars."

"Very good sort of persons for barbarous times, I dare say, but what
can they be to the English monarchs? I would rather look upon a _bonâ
fide_ English king, than see all the Cæsars that ever lived. I never
can think any man a real king but the king of England!"

"Not King Solomon!" cried John Effingham.

"Oh! he was a Bible king, and one never thinks of them. Italy! well,
this I did not expect from your father's daughter! Your great-great-
great-grandfather must have been an Englishman born, Mr, Effingham?"

"I have reason to think he was, sir."

"And Milton, and Dryden, and Newton, and Locke! These are prodigious
names, and worth all the Cæsars put together. And Pope, too; what
have they got in Italy to compare to Pope?"

"They have at least _the_ Pope," said Eve, laughing.

"And, then, there are the Boar's Head in East-Cheap; and the Tower;
and Queen Anne, and all the wits of her reign; and--and--and Titus
Oates; and Bosworth field; and Smithfield, where the martyrs were
burned, and a thousand more spots and persons of intense interest in
Old England!"

"Quite true," said John Effingham, with an air of sympathy--"but,
Howel, you have forgotten Peeping Tom of Coventry, and the climate!"

"And Holyrood-House; and York-Minster; and St Paul's;" continued the
worthy Mr. Howel, too much bent on a catalogue of excellencies, that
to him were sacred, to heed the interruption, "and, above all,
Windsor Castle. What is there in the world to equal Windsor Castle as
a royal residence?"

Want of breath now gave Eve an opportunity to reply, and she seized
it with an eagerness that she was the first to laugh at herself,
afterwards.

"Caserta is no mean house, Mr. Howel; and, in my poor judgment, there
is more real magnificence in its great stair-case, than in all
Windsor Castle united, if you except the chapel."

"But, St. Paul's!"

"Why, St. Peter's may be set down, quite fairly, I think, for its
_pendant_ at least."

"True, the Catholics _do_ say so;" returned Mr. Howel, with the
deliberation one uses when he greatly distrusts his own concession;
"but I have always considered it one of their frauds. I don't think
there _can_ be any thing finer than St. Paul's. Then there are the
noble ruins of England! _They_, you must admit, are unrivalled."

"The Temple of Neptune, at Pæstum, is commonly thought an interesting
ruin, Mr. Howel."

"Yes, yes, for a _temple_, I dare say; though I do not remember to
have ever heard of it before. But no temple can ever compare to a
ruined _abbey_ /"

"Taste is an arbitrary thing, Tom Howel, as you and I know when as
boys we quarrelled about the beauty of our ponies," said Mr.
Effingham, willing to put an end to a discussion that he thought a
little premature, after so long an absence. "Here are two young
friends who shared the hazards of our late passage with us, and to
whom, in a great degree, we owe our present happy security, and I am
anxious to make you acquainted with them. This is our countryman, Mr.
Powis, and this is an English friend, who, I am certain, will be
happy to know so warm an admirer of his own country--Sir George
Templemore."

Mr. Howel had never before seen a titled Englishman, and he was taken
so much by surprise that he made his salutations rather awkwardly. As
both the young men, however, met him with the respectful ease that
denotes familiarity with the world, he soon recovered his self-
possession.

"I hope you have brought back with you a sound American heart, Miss
Eve," resumed the guest, as soon as this little interruption had
ceased. "We have had sundry rumours of French Marquisses, and German
Barons; but I have, all along, trusted too much to your patriotism to
believe you would marry a foreigner."

"I hope you except Englishmen," cried Sir George, gaily: "we are
almost the same people."

"I am proud to hear you say so, sir. Nothing flatters me more than to
be thought English; and I certainly should not have accused Miss
Effingham of a want of love of country, had----"

"She married half-a-dozen Englishmen," interrupted John Effingham,
who saw that the old theme was in danger of being revived. "But,
Howel, you have paid me no compliments on the changes in the house. I
hope they are to your taste."

"A little too French, Mr. John."

"French!--There is not a French feature in the whole animal. What has
put such a notion into your head?"

"It is the common opinion, and I confess I should like the building
better were it less continental."

"Why, my old friend, it is a nondescript--original--Effingham upon
Doolittle, if you will; and, as for models, it is rather more
_English_ than any thing else."

"Well, Mr. John, I am glad to hear this, for I do confess to a
disposition rather to like the house. I am dying to know, Miss Eve,
if you saw all our distinguished contemporaries when in
Europe?--_That_ to me, would be one of the greatest delights of
travelling!"

"To say that we saw them _all_, might be too much; though we
certainly did meet with many."

"Scott, of course."

"Sir Walter we had the pleasure of meeting, a few times, in London."

"And Southey, and Coleridge, and Wordsworth, and Moore, and Bulwer,
and D'Israeli, and Rogers, and Campbell, and the grave of Byron, and
Horace Smith, and Miss Landon, and Barry Cornwall, and--"

"_Cum multis aliis_" put in John Effingham, again, by way of
arresting the torrent of names. "Eve saw many of these, and, as Tubal
told Shylock, 'we often came where we did hear' of the rest. But you
say nothing, friend Tom, of Goethe, and Tieck, and Schlegel, and La
Martine, Chateaubriant, Hugo, Delavigne, Mickiewicz, Nota, Manzoni,
Niccolini, &c. &c. &c. &c. &c. &c."

Honest, well-meaning Mr. Howel, listened to the catalogue that the
other ran volubly over, in silent wonder; for, with the exception of
one or two of these distinguished men, he had never even heard of
them; and, in the simplicity of his heart, unconsciously to himself,
he had got to believe that there was no great personage still living,
of whom he did not know something.

"Ah, here comes young Wenham, by way of preserving the equilibrium,"
resumed John Effingham, looking out of a window--"I rather think you
must have forgotten him, Ned, though you remember his father, beyond
question."

Mr. Effingham and his cousin went out into the hall to receive the
new guest, with whom the latter had become acquainted while
superintending the repairs of the Wigwam.

Mr. Wenham was the son of a successful lawyer in the county, and,
being an only child, he had also succeeded to an easy independence.
His age, however, brought him rather into the generation to which Eve
belonged, than into that of the father; and, if Mr. Howel was a
reflection, or rather a continuation, of all the provincial notions
that America entertained of England forty years ago, Mr. Wenham might
almost be said to belong to the opposite school, and to be as ultra-
American, as his neighbour was ultra-British.--If there is _lajeune
France_, there is also _la jeune Amerique_, although the votaries of
the latter march with less hardy steps than the votaries of the
first. Mr. Wenham fancied himself a paragon of national independence,
and was constantly talking of American excellencies, though the
ancient impressions still lingered in his moral system, as men look
askance for the ghosts which frightened their childhood on crossing a
church-yard in the dark. John Effingham knew the _penchant_ of the
young man, and when he said that he came happily to preserve the
equilibrium, he alluded to this striking difference in the characters
of their two friends.

The introductions and salutations over, we shall resume the
conversation that succeeded in the drawing-room.

"You must be much gratified, Miss Effingham," observed Mr. Wenham,
who, like a true American, being a young man himself, supposed it _de
rigueur_ to address a young lady in preference to any other
present,--"with the great progress made by _our_ country since you
went abroad."

Eve simply answered that her extreme youth, when she left home, had
prevented her from retaining any precise notions on such subjects.

"I dare say it is all very true," she added, "but one, like myself,
who remembers only older countries, is, I think, a little more apt to
be struck with the deficiencies, than with what may, in truth, be
improvements, though they still fall short of excellence."

Mr. Wenham looked vexed, or indignant would be a better word, but he
succeeded in preserving his coolness--a thing that is not always easy
to one of provincial habits and provincial education, when he finds
his own _beau idéal_ lightly estimated by others.

"Miss Effingham must discover a thousand imperfections." said Mr.
Howel, "coming, as she does, directly from England. That music,
now,"--alluding to the sounds of a flute that were heard through the
open windows, coming from the adjacent village--"must be rude enough
to her ear, after the music of London."

"The _street_ music of London is certainly among the best, if not the
very best, in Europe," returned Eve, with a glance of the eye at the
baronet, that caused him to smile, "and I think this fairly belongs
to the class, being so freely given to the neighbourhood."

"Have you read the articles signed Minerva, in the Hebdomad, Miss
Effingham," inquired Mr. Wenham, who was determined to try the young
lady on a point of sentiment, having succeeded so ill in his first
attempt to interest her--"they are generally thought to be a great
acquisition to American literature."

"Well, Wenham, you are a fortunate man," interposed Mr. Howel, "if
you can find any literature in America, to add to, or to substract
from. Beyond almanacs, reports of cases badly got up, and newspaper
verses, I know nothing that deserves such a name."

"We may not print on as fine paper, Mr. Howel, or do up the books in
as handsome binding as other people," said Mr. Wenham, bridling and
looking grave, "but so far as sentiments are concerned, or sound
sense, American literature need turn its back on no literature of the
day."

"By the way, Mr. Effingham, you were in Russia; did you happen to see
the Emperor?"

"I had that pleasure, Mr. Howel."

"And is he really the monster we have been taught to believe him?".

"Monster!" exclaimed the upright Mr. Effingham, fairly recoiling a
step in surprise. "In what sense a monster, my worthy friend? surely
not in a physical?"

"I do not know that. I have somehow got the notion he is any thing
but handsome. A mean, butchering, bloody-minded looking little chap,
I'll engage."

"You are libelling one of the finest-looking men of the age."

"I think I would submit it to a jury. I cannot believe, after what I
have read of him in the English publications, that he is so very
handsome."

"But, my good neighbour, these English publications must be wrong;
prejudiced perhaps, or even malignant."

"Oh! I am not the man to be imposed on in that way. Besides, what
motive could an English writer have for belying an Emperor of
Russia?"

"Sure enough, what motive!" exclaimed John Effingham.--"You have your
answer, Ned!"

"But you will remember, Mr. Howel," Eve interposed, "that we have
_seen_ the Emperor Nicholas."

"I dare say, Miss Eve, that your gentle nature was disposed to judge
him as kindly as possible; and, then, I think most Americans, ever
since the treaty of Ghent, have been disposed to view all Russians
too favourably. No, no; I am satisfied with the account of the
English; they live much nearer to St. Petersburg than we do, and they
are more accustomed, too, to give accounts of such matters."

"But living nearer, Tom Howel," cried Mr. Effingham, with unusual
animation, "in such a case, is of no avail, unless one lives near
enough to see with his own eyes."

"Well--well--my good friend, we will talk of this another time. I
know your disposition to look at every body with lenient eyes. I will
now wish you all a good morning, and hope soon to see you again. Miss
Eve, I have one word to say, if you dare trust yourself with a youth
of fifty, for a minute, in the library."

Eve rose cheerfully, and led the way to the room her father's visiter
had named. When within it, Mr. Howel shut the door carefully, and
then with a sort of eager delight, he exclaimed--

"For heaven's sake, my dear young lady, tell me who are these two
strange gentlemen in the other room."

"Precisely the persons my father mentioned, Mr. Howel; Mr. Paul
Powis, and Sir George Templemore."

"Englishmen, of course!"

"Sir George Templemore is, of course, as you say, but we may boast of
Mr. Powis as a countryman."

"Sir George Templemore!--What a superb-looking young fellow!"

"Why, yes," returned Eve, laughing; "he, at least, you will admit is
a handsome man."

"He is wonderful!--The other, Mr.--a--a--a--I forget what you called
him--he is pretty well too; but this Sir George is a princely youth."

"I rather think a majority of observers would give the preference to
the appearance of Mr. Powis," said Eve, struggling to be steady, but
permitting a blush to heighten her colour, in despite of the effort.

"What could have induced him to come up among these mountains--an
English baronet!" resumed Mr. Howel, without thinking of Eve's
confusion. "Is he a real lord?"

"Only a little one, Mr. Howel. You heard what my father said of our
having been fellow-travellers."

"But what _does_ he think of us. I am dying to know what such a man
_really_ thinks of us?"

"It is not always easy to discover what such men _really_ think;
although I am inclined to believe that he is disposed to think rather
favourably of some of us."

"Ay, of you, and your father, and Mr. John. You have travelled, and
are more than half European; but what _can_ he think of those who
have never left America?"

"Even of some of those," returned Eve, smiling, "I suspect he thinks
partially."

"Well, I am glad of that. Do you happen to know his opinion of the
Emperor Nicholas?"

"Indeed. I do not remember to have heard him mention the Emperor's
name; nor do I think he has ever seen him."

"That is extraordinary! Such a man should have seen every thing, and
know every thing; but I'll engage, at the bottom, he does know all
about him. If you happen to have any old English newspapers, as
wrappers, or by any other accident, let me beg them of you. I care
not how old they are. An English journal fifty years old, is more
interesting than one of ours wet from the press."

Eve promised to send him a package, when they shook hands and parted.
As she was crossing the hall, to rejoin the party, John Effingham
stopped her.

"Has Howel made proposals?" the gentleman inquired, in an affected
whisper.

"None, cousin Jack, beyond an offer to read the old English
newspapers I can send him."

"Yes, yes, Tom Howel will swallow all the nonsense that is _timbré à
Londres_."

"I confess a good deal of surprise at finding a respectable and
intelligent man so weak-minded as to give credit to such authorities,
or to form his serious opinions on information derived from such
sources."

"You may be surprised, Eve, at hearing so frank avowals of the
weakness; but, as for the weakness itself, you are now in a country
for which England does all the thinking, except on subjects that
touch the current interests of the day."

"Nay, I will not believe this! If it were true, how came we
independent of her--where did we get spirit to war against her."

"The man who has attained his majority is independent of his father's
legal control, without being independent of the lessons he was taught
when a child. The soldier sometimes mutinies, and after the contest
is over, he is usually the most submissive man of the regiment."

"All this to me is very astonishing! I confess that a great deal has
struck me unpleasantly in this way, since our return; especially in
ordinary society; but I never could have supposed it had reached to
the pass in which I see it existing in our good neighbour Howel."

"You have witnessed one of the effects, in a matter of no great
moment to ourselves; but, as time and years afford the means of
observation and comparison, you will perceive the effects in matters
of the last moment, in a national point of view. It is in human
nature to undervalue the things with which we are familiar, and to
form false estimates of those which are remote, either by time, or by
distance. But, go into the drawing-room, and, in young Wenham, you
will find one who fancies himself a votary of a new school, although
his prejudices and mental dependence are scarcely less obvious than
those of poor Tom Howel."

The arrival of more company, among whom were several ladies,
compelled Eve to defer an examination of Mr. Wenham's peculiarities
to another opportunity. She found many of her own sex, whom she had
left children, grown into womanhood, and not a few of them at a
period of life when they should be cultivating their physical and
moral powers, already oppressed with the cares and feebleness that
weigh so heavily on the young American wife.

Chapter XIII.

  "Nay we must longer kneel; I am a suitor."

  QUEEN KATHERINE.

The Effinghams were soon regularly domesticated, and the usual
civilities had been exchanged. Many of their old friends resumed
their ancient intercourse, and some new acquaintances were made. The
few first visits were, as usual, rather labored and formal; but
things soon took their natural course, and, as the ease of country
life was the aim of the family, the temporary little bustle was
quickly forgotten.

The dressing-room of Eve overlooked the lake, and, about a week after
her arrival, she was seated in it enjoying that peculiarly lady-like
luxury, which is to be found in the process of having another gently
disposing of the hair. Annette wielded the comb, as usual, while Ann
Sidley, who was unconsciously jealous that any one should be employed
about her darling, even in this manner, though so long accustomed to
it, busied herself in preparing the different articles of attire that
she fancied her young mistress might be disposed to wear that
morning. Grace was also in the room, having escaped from the hands of
her own maid, in order to look into one of those books which
professed to give an account of the extraction and families of the
higher classes of Great Britain, a copy of which Eve happened to
possess, among a large collection of books, _Allmanachs de Gotha_,
Court Guides, and other similar works that she had found it
convenient to possess as a traveller.

"Ah! here it is," said Grace, in the eagerness of one who is suddenly
successful after a long and vexatious search.

"Here is what, coz?"

Grace coloured, and she could have bitten her tongue for its
indiscretion, but, too ingenuous to deceive, she reluctantly told the
truth.

"I was merely looking for the account of Sir George Templemore's
family; it is awkward to be domesticated with one, of whose family we
are utterly ignorant."

"Have you found the name?"

"Yes; I see he has two sisters, both of whom are married, and a
brother who is in the Guards. But--"

"But what, dear?"

"His title is not so _very_ old."

"The title of no Baronet _can_ be very old, the order having been
instituted in the reign of James I."

"I did not know that. His ancestor was created a baronet in 1701, I
see. Now, Eve--"

"Now, what, Grace?"

"We are both--" Grace would not confine the remark to herself--"we
are both of older families than this! You have even a much higher
English extraction; and I think I can claim for the Van Cortlandts
more antiquity than one that dates from 1701!"

"No one doubts it, Grace; but what do you wish me to understand by
this? Are we to insist on preceding Sir George, in going through a
door?"

Grace blushed to the eyes, and yet she laughed, involuntarily.

"What nonsense! No one thinks of such things in America."

"Except at Washington, where, I am told, 'Senators' ladies' do give
themselves airs. But you are quite right, Grace; women have no rank
in America, beyond their general social rank, as ladies or no ladies,
and we will not be the first to set an example of breaking the rule.
I am afraid our blood will pass for nothing, and that we must give
place to the baronet, unless, indeed, he recognizes the rights of the
sex."

"You know I mean nothing so silly. Sir George Templemore does not
seem to think of rank at all; even Mr. Powis treats him, in all
respects, as an equal, and Sir George seems to admit it to be right."

Eve's maid, at the moment, was twisting her hair, with the intention
to put it up; but the sudden manner in which her young mistress
turned to look at Grace, caused Annette to relinquish her grasp, and
the shoulders of the beautiful and blooming girl were instantly
covered with the luxuriant tresses.

"And why should _not_ Mr. Powis treat Sir George Templemore as one
every way his equal, Grace?" she asked, with an impetuosity unusual
in one so trained in the forms of the world.

"Why, Eve, one is a baronet, and the other is but a simple
gentleman."

Eve Effingham sat silent for quite a minute. Her little foot moved,
and she had been carefully taught, too, that a lady-like manner,
required that even this beautiful portion of the female frame should
be quiet and unobtrusive. But America did not contain two of the same
sex, years, and social condition, less alike in their opinions, or it
might be said their prejudices, than the two cousins. Grace Van
Cortlandt, of the best blood of her native land, had unconsciouslv
imbibed in childhood, the notions connected with hereditary rank,
through the traditions of colonial manners, by means of novels, by
hearing the vulgar reproached or condemned for their obtrusion and
ignorance, and too often justly reproached and condemned, and by the
aid of her imagination, which contributed to throw a gloss and
brilliancy over a state of things that singularly gains by distance.
On the other hand, with Eve, every thing connected with such subjects
was a matter of fact. She had been thrown early into the highest
associations of Europe; she had not only seen royalty on its days of
gala and representation, a mere raree-show that is addressed to the
senses, or purely an observance of forms that may possibly have their
meaning, but which can scarcely be said to have their reasons, but
she had lived long and intimately among the high-born and great, and
this, too, in so many different countries, as to have destroyed the
influence of the particular nation that has transmitted so many of
its notions to America as heir-looms. By close observation, she knew
that arbitrary and political distinctions made but little difference
between men of themselves; and so far from having become the dupe of
the glitter of life, by living so long within its immediate
influence, she had learned to discriminate between the false and the
real, and to perceive that which was truly respectable and useful,
and to know it from that which was merely arbitrary and selfish. Eve
actually fancied that the position of an American gentleman might
readily become, nay that it _ought_ to be the highest of all human
stations, short of that of sovereigns. Such a man had no social
superior, with the exception of those who actually ruled, in her
eyes, and this fact she conceived, rendered him more than noble, as
nobility is usually graduated. She had been accustomed to see her
father and John Effingham moving in the best circles of Europe,
respected for their information and independence, undistinguished by
their manners, admired for their personal appearance, manly,
courteous, and of noble bearing and principles, if not set apart from
the rest of mankind by an arbitrary rule connected with rank. Rich,
and possessing all the habits that properly mark refinement, of
gentle extraction, of liberal attainments, walking abroad in the
dignity of manhood, and with none between them and the Deity, Eve had
learned to regard the gentlemen of her race as the equals in station
of any of their European associates, and as the superiors of most, in
every thing that is essential to true distinction. With her, even
titular princes and dukes had no estimation, merely as princes and
dukes; and, as her quick mind glanced over the long catalogue of
artificial social gradations and she found Grace actually attaching
an importance to the equivocal and purely conventional condition of
an English baronet, a strong sense of the ludicrous connected itself
with the idea.

"A simple gentleman, Grace!" she repeated slowly after her cousin;
"and is not a simple gentleman, a simple _American_ gentleman, the
equal of any gentleman on earth--of a poor baronet, in particular?"

"Poor baronet, Eve!"

"Yes, dear, _poor_ baronet; I know fully the extent and meaning of
what I say. It is true, we do not know as much of Mr. Powis' family,"
and here Eve's colour heightened, though she made a mighty effort to
be steady and unmoved, "as we might; but we know he is an _American_;
that, at least, is something; and we see he is a gentleman; and what
American gentleman, a real American gentleman, _can_ be the inferior
of an English baronet? Would your uncle, think you; would cousin
Jack; proud, lofty-minded cousin Jack, think you, Grace, consent to
receive so paltry a distinction as a baronetcy, were our institutions
to be so far altered as to admit of such social classifications?"

"Why, what would they be, Eve, if not baronets?"

"Earls, Counts, Dukes, nay Princes! These are the designations of the
higher classes of Europe, and such titles, or those that are
equivalent, would belong to the higher classes here."

"I fancy that Sir George Templemore would not be persuaded to admit
all this!"

"If you had seen Miss Eve, surrounded and admired by princes, as I
have seen her, Miss Grace," said Ann Sidley, "you would not think any
simple Sir George half good enough for her."

"Our good Nanny means, _a_ Sir George," interrupted Eve, laughing,
"and not _the_ Sir George in question. But, seriously, dearest coz,
it depends more on ourselves, and less on others, in what light they
are to regard us, than is commonly supposed. Do you not suppose there
are families in America who, if disposed to raise any objections
beyond those that are purely personal, would object to baronets, and
the wearers of red ribands, as unfit matches for their daughters, on
the ground of rank? What an absurdity would it be, for _a_ Sir
George, or _the_ Sir George either, to object to a daughter of a
President of the United States for instance, on account of station;
and yet I'll answer for it, _you_ would think it no personal honour,
if Mr. Jackson had a son, that he should, propose to my dear father
for you. Let us respect ourselves properly, take care to be truly
ladies and gentlemen, and so far from titular rank's being necessary
to us, before a hundred lustres are past, we shall bring all such
distinctions into discredit, by showing that they are not necessary
to any one important interest, or to true happiness and
respectability any where."

"And do you not believe, Eve, that Sir George Templemore thinks of
the difference in station between us?"

"I cannot answer for that," said Eve, calmly. "The man is naturally
modest; and, it is possible, when he sees that we belong to the
highest social condition of a great country, he may regret that such
has not been his own good fortune in his native land; especially,
Grace, since he has known _you_."

Grace blushed, looked pleased, delighted even, and yet surprised. It
is unnecessary to explain the causes of the three first expressions
of her emotions; but the last may require a short examination.
Nothing but time and a change of circumstances, can ever raise a
province or a provincial town to the independent state of feeling
that so strikingly distinguishes a metropolitan country, or a
capital. It would be as rational to expect that the inhabitants of
the nursery should disregard the opinions of the drawing-room, as to
believe that the provincial should do all his own thinking. Political
dependency, moreover, is much more easily thrown aside than mental
dependency. It is not surprising, therefore, that Grace Van
Cortlandt, with her narrow associations, general notions of life,
origin, and provincial habits, should be the very opposite of Eve, in
all that relates to independence of thought, on subjects like those
that they were now discussing. Had Grace been a native of New
England, even, she would have been less influenced by the mere social
rank of the baronet than was actually the case; for, while the
population of that part of the Union feel more of the general
subserviency to Great Britain than the population of any other
portion of the republic, they probably feel less of it, in this
particular form, from the circumstance that their colonial habits
were less connected with the aristocratical usages of the mother
country. Grace was allied by blood, too, with the higher classes of
England, as, indeed, was the fact with most of the old families among
the New York gentry; and the traditions of her race came in aid of
the traditions of her colony, to continue the profound deference she
felt for an English title. Eve might have been equally subjected to
the same feelings, had she not been removed into another sphere at so
early a period of life, where she imbibed the notions already
mentioned--notions that were quite as effectually rooted in her moral
system, as those of Grace herself could be in her own.

"This is a strange way of viewing the rank of a baronet, Eve!" Grace
exclaimed, as soon as she had a little recovered from the confusion
caused by the personal allusion. "I greatly question if you can
induce Sir George Templemore to see his own position with your eyes."

"No, my dear; I think he will be much more likely to regard, not only
that, but most other things, with the eyes of another person. We will
now talk of more agreeable things, however; for I confess, when I do
dwell on titles, I have a taste for the more princely appellations;
and that a simple _chevalier_ can scarce excite a feeling that such
is the theme."

"Nay, Eve," interrupted Grace, with spirit, "an _English_ baronet
_is_ noble. Sir George Templemore assured me that, as lately as last
evening. The heralds, I believe, have quite recently established that
fact to their own satisfaction."

"I am glad of it, dear," returned Eve, with difficulty refraining
from gaping, "as it will be of great importance to them, in their own
eyes. At all events, I concede that Sir George Templemore, knight, or
baronet, big baron or little baron, is a noble fellow; and what more
can any reasonable person desire. Do you know, sweet coz, that the
Wigwam will be full to overflowing next week?--that it will be
necessary to light our council-fire, and to smoke the pipe of many
welcomes?"

"I have understood Mr. Powis, that his kinsman, Captain Ducie, will
arrive on Monday."

"And Mrs. Hawker will come on Tuesday, Mr. and Mrs. Bloomfield on
Wednesday, and honest, brave straight-forward, literati-hating
Captain Truck, on Thursday, at the latest. We shall be a large
country-circle, and I hear the gentlemen talking of the boats and
other amusements. But I believe my father has a consultation in the
library, at which he wishes us to be present; we will join him, if
you please."

As Eve's toilette was now completed, the two ladies rose, and
descended together to join the party below. Mr. Effingham was
standing at a table that was covered with maps, while two or three
respectable-looking men, master-mechanics, were at his side. The
manners of these men were quiet, civil, and respectful, having a
mixture of manly simplicity, with a proper deference for the years
and station of the master of the house; though all but one, wore
their hats. The one who formed the exception, had become refined by a
long intercourse with this particular family; and his acquired taste
had taught him that, respect for himself, as well as for decency,
rendered it necessary to observe the long-established rules of
decorum, in his intercourse with others. His companions, though
without a particle of coarseness, or any rudeness of intention, were
less decorous, simply from a loose habit, that is insensibly taking
the place of the ancient laws of propriety in such matters, and which
habit, it is to be feared, has a part of its origin in false and
impracticable political notions, that have been stimulated by the
arts of demagogues. Still, not one of the three hardworking, really
civil, and even humane men, who now stood covered in the library of
Mr. Effingham, was probably conscious of the impropriety of which he
was guilty, or was doing more than insensibly yielding to a vicious
and vulgar practice.

"I am glad you have come, my love," said Mr. Effingham, as his
daughter entered the room, "for I find I need support in maintaining
my own opinions here. John is obstinately silent; and, as for all
these other gentlemen, I fear they have decidedly taken sides against
me."

"You can usually count on my support, dearest father, feeble as it
may be. But what is the disputed point to-day?"

"There is a proposition to alter the interior of the church, and our
neighbour Gouge has brought the plans, on which, as he says, he has
lately altered several churches in the county. The idea is, to remove
the pews entirely, converting them into what are called 'slips,' to
lower the pulpit, and to raise the floor, amphitheatre fashion."

"Can there be a sufficient reason for this change?" demanded Eve,
with surprise. "Slips! The word has a vulgar sound even, and savours
of a useless innovation. I doubt its orthodoxy."

"It is very popular, Miss Eve," answered Aristabulus, advancing from
a window, where he had been whispering assent. "This fashion takes
universally and is getting to prevail in all denominations."

Eve turned involuntarily, and to her surprise she perceived that the
editor of the Active Inquirer was added to their party. The
salutations, on the part of the young lady, were distant and stately,
while Mr. Dodge, who had not been able to resist public opinion, and
had actually parted with his moustachios, simpered, and wished to
have it understood by the spectators, that he was on familiar terms
with all the family.

"It may be popular, Mr. Bragg," returned Eve, as soon as she rose
from her profound curtsey to Mr. Dodge; "but it can scarcely be said
to be seemly. This is, indeed, changing the order of things, by
elevating the sinner, and depressing the saint."

"You forget, Miss Eve, that under the old plan, the people could not
see; they were kept unnaturally down, if one can so express it, while
nobody had a good look-out but the parson and the singers in the
front row of the gallery. This was unjust."

"I do not conceive, sir, that a good look-out, as you term it, is at
all essential to devotion, or that one cannot as well listen to
instruction when beneath the teacher, as when above him."

"Pardon me, Miss;" Eve recoiled, as she always did, when Mr. Bragg
used this vulgar and contemptuous mode of address; "we put no body up
or down; all we aim it is a just equality--to place all, as near as
possible, on a level."

Eve gazed about her in wonder; and then she hesitated a moment, as if
distrusting her ears.

"Equality! Equality with what? Surely not with the ordained ministers
of the church, in the performance of their sacred duties! Surely not
with the Deity!"

"We do not look at it exactly in this light, ma'am. The people build
the church, _that_ you will allow, Miss Effingham; even _you_ will
allow _this_, Mr. Effingham."

Both the parties appealed to, bowed a simple assent to so plain a
proposition, but neither spoke.

"Well, the people building the church very naturally ask themselves
for what purpose it was built?"

"For the worship of God," returned Eve with a steady solemnity of
manner that a little abashed even the ordinarily indomitable and
self-composed Aristabulus.

"Yes, Miss; for the worship of God and the accommodation of the
public."

"Certainly," added Mr. Dodge; "for the public accommodation and for
public worship;" laying due emphasis on the adjectives.

"Father, you, at least, will never consent to this?"

"Not readily, my love. I confess it shocks all my notions of
propriety to see the sinner, even when he professes to be the most
humble and penitent, thrust himself up ostentatiously, as if filled
only with his own self-love and self-importance."

"You will allow, Mr. Effingham," rejoined Aristabulus, "that churches
are built to accommodate the public, as Mr. Dodge has so well
remarked."

"No, sir; they are built for the worship of God, as my daughter has
so well remarked."

"Yes, sir; that, too, I grant you"

"As secondary to the main object--the public convenience, Mr. Bragg
unquestionably means;" put in John Effingham, speaking for the first
time that morning on the subject.

Eve turned quickly, and looked towards her kinsman. He was standing
near the table, with folded arms, and his fine face expressing all
the sarcasm and contempt that a countenance so singularly calm and
gentleman-like, could betray.

"Cousin Jack," she said earnestly, "this ought not to be."

"Cousin Eve, nevertheless this will be."

"Surely not--surely not! Men can never so far forget appearances as
to convert the temple of God into a theatre, in which the convenience
of the spectators is the one great object to be kept in view!"

"_You_ have travelled, sir," said John Effingham, indicating by his
eye that he addressed Mr. Dodge, in particular, "and must have
entered places of worship in other parts of the world. Did not the
simple beauty of the manner in which all classes, the great and the
humble, the rich and the poor, kneel in a common humility before the
altar, strike you agreeably, on such occasions; in Catholic
countries, in particular?"

"Bless me! no, Mr. John Effingham. I was disgusted at the meanness of
their rites, and really shocked at the abject manner in which the
people knelt on the cold damp stones, as if they were no better than
beggars."

"And were they not beggars?" asked Eve, with almost a severity of
tone: "ought they not so to consider themselves, when petitioning for
mercy of the one great and omnipotent God?"

"Why, Miss Effingham, the people _will_ rule; and it is useless to
pretend to tell them that they shall not have the highest seats in
the church as well as in the state. Really, I can see no ground why a
parson should be raised above his parishioners. The new-order
churches consult the public convenience, and place every body on a
level, as it might be. Now, in old times, a family was buried in its
pew; it could neither see nor be seen; and I can remember the time
when I could just get a look of our clergyman's wig, for he was an
old-school man; and as for his fellow-creatures, one might as well be
praying in his own closet. I must say I am a supporter of liberty, if
it be only in pews."

"I am sorry, Mr. Dodge," answered Eve, mildly, "you did not extend
your travels into the countries of the Mussulmans, where most
Christian sects might get some useful notions concerning the part of
worship, at least, that is connected with appearances. There you
would have seen no seats, but sinners bowing down in a mass, on the
cold stones, and all thoughts of cushioned pews and drawing-room
conveniences unknown. We Protestants have improved on our Catholic
forefathers in this respect; and the innovation of which you now
speak, in my eyes is an irreverent, almost a sinful, invasion of the
proprieties of the temple."

"Ah, Miss Eve, this comes from substituting forms for the substance
of things," exclaimed the editor. "For my part, I can say, I was
truly shocked with the extravagancies I witnessed, in the way of
worship, in most of the countries I visited. Would you think it, Mr.
Bragg, rational beings, real _bonâ fide_ living men and women,
kneeling on the stone pavement, like so many camels in the Desert,"
Mr. Dodge loved to draw his images from the different parts of the
world he had seen, "ready to receive the burthens of their masters;
not a pew, not a cushion, not a single comfort that is suitable to a
free and intelligent being, but every thing conducted in the most
abject manner, as if accountable human souls were no better than so
many mutes in a Turkish palace."

"You ought to mention this in the Active Inquirer," said Aristabulus.

"All in good time, sir; I have many things in reserve, among which I
propose to give a few remarks, I dare say they will be very worthless
ones, on the impropriety of a rational being's ever kneeling. To my
notion, gentlemen and ladies, God never intended an American to
kneel."

The respectable mechanics who stood around the table did not
absolutely assent to this proposition, for one of them actually
remarked that "he saw no great harm in a man's kneeling to the
Deity;" but they evidently inclined to the opinion that the new-
school of pews was far better than the old.

"It always appears to me, Miss Effingham," said one, "that I hear and
understand the sermon better in one of the low pews, than in one of
the old high-backed things, that look so much like pounds."

"But can you withdraw into yourself better, sir? Can you more truly
devote all your thoughts, with a suitable singleness of heart, to the
worship of God?"

"You mean in the prayers, now, I rather conclude?"

"Certainly, sir, I mean in the prayers and the thanksgivings."

"Why, we leave them pretty much to the parson; though I will own it
is not quite as easy leaning on the edge of one of the new-school
pews as on one of the old. They are better for sitting, but not so
good for standing. But then the sitting posture at prayers is quite
coming into favour among our people, Miss Effingham, as well as among
yours. The sermon is the main chance, after all."

"Yes," observed Mr. Gouge, "give me good, strong preaching, any day,
in preference to good praying. A man may get along with second-rate
prayers, but he stands in need of first-rate preaching."

"These gentlemen consider religion a little like a cordial on a cold
day," observed John Effingham, "which is to be taken in sufficient
doses to make the blood circulate. They are not the men to be
_pounded_ in pews, like lost sheep, not they?"

"Mr. John will always have his say;" one remarked: and then Mr.
Effingham dismissed the party, by telling them he would think of the
matter.

When the mechanics were gone, the subject was discussed at some
length between those that remained--all the Effinghams agreeing that
they would oppose the innovation, as irreverent in appearance,
unsuited to the retirement and self-abasement that best comported
with prayer, and opposed to the delicacy of their own habits; while
Messrs. Bragg and Dodge contended to the last that such changes were
loudly called for by the popular sentiment--- that it was unsuited to
the dignity of a man to be 'pounded,' even in a church--and
virtually, that a good, 'stirring' sermon, as they called it, was of
far more account, in public worship, than all the prayers and praises
that could issue from the heart or throat.

Chapter XIV.

  "We'll follow Cade--we'll follow Cade."

  MOB.

"The views of this Mr. Bragg, and of our old fellow-traveller, Mr.
Dodge, appear to be peculiar on the subject of religious forms,"
observed Sir George Templemore, as he descended the little lawn
before the Wigwam, in company with the three ladies, Paul Powis, and
John Effingham, on their way to the lake. "I should think it would be
difficult to find another Christian, who objects to kneeling at
prayer."

"Therein you are mistaken, Templemore," answered Paul; "for this
country, to say nothing of one sect which holds it in utter
abomination, is filled with them. Our pious ancestors, like
neophytes, ran into extremes, on the subject of forms, as well as in
other matters. When you go to Philadelphia, Miss Effingham, you will
see an instance of a most ludicrous nature--ludicrous, if there were
not something painfully revolting mingled with it--of the manner in
which men can strain at a gnat and swallow a camel; and which, I am
sorry to say, is immediately connected with our own church."

It was music to Eve's ears, to hear Paul Powis speak of his pious
ancestors, as being American, and to find him so thoroughly
identifying himself with her own native land; for, while condemning
so many of its practices, and so much alive to its absurdities and
contradictions, our heroine had seen too much of other countries, not
to take an honest pride in the real excellencies of her own. There
was, also, a soothing pleasure in hearing him openly own that he
belonged to the same church as herself.

"And what is there ridiculous in Philadelphia, in particular, and in
connection with our own church?" she asked. "I am not so easily
disposed to find fault where the venerable church is concerned."

"You know that the Protestants, in their horror of idolatry,
discontinued, in a great degree, the use of the cross, as an outward
religious symbol; and that there was probably a time when there was
not a single cross to be seen in the whole of a country that was
settled by those who made a profession of love for Christ, and a
dependence on his expiation, the great business of their lives?"

"Certainly. We all know our predecessors were a little over-rigid and
scrupulous on all the points connected with outward appearances."

"They certainly contrived to render the religious rites as little
pleasing to the senses as possible, by aiming at a sublimation that
peculiarly favours spiritual pride and a pious conceit. I do not know
whether travelling has had the same effect on you, as it has produced
on me; but I find all my inherited antipathies to the mere visible
representation of the cross, superseded by a sort of solemn affection
for it, as a symbol, when it is plain, and unaccompanied by any of
those bloody and minute accessories that are so often seen around it
in Catholic countries. The German Protestants, who usually ornament
the altar with a cross, first cured me of the disrelish I imbibed, on
this subject, in childhood."

"We, also, I think, cousin John, were agreeably struck with the same
usage in Germany. From feeling a species of nervousness at the sight
of a cross, I came to love to see it; and I think you must have
undergone a similar change; for I have discovered no less than three
among the ornaments of the great window of the entrance tower, at the
Wigwam."

"You might have discovered one, also, in every door of the building,
whether great or small, young lady. Our pious ancestors, as Powis
calls them, much of whose piety, by the way, was any thing but
meliorated with spiritual humility or Christian charity, were such
ignoramuses as to set up crosses in every door they built, even while
they veiled their eyes in holy horror whenever the sacred symbol was
seen in a church."

"Every door!" exclaimed the Protestants of the party.

"Yes, literally every door, I might almost say certainly every
panelled door that was constructed twenty years since. I first
discovered the secret of our blunder, when visiting a castle in
France, that dated back from the time of the crusade. It was a
_château_ of the Montmorencies, that had passed into the hands of the
Condé family by marriage; and the courtly old domestic, who showed me
the curiosities, pointed out to me the stone _croix_ in the windows,
which has caused the latter to be called _croisées_, as a pious usage
of the crusaders. Turning to a door, I saw the same crosses in the
wooden stiles; and if you cast an eye on the first humble door that
you may pass in this village, you will detect the same symbol staring
you boldly in the face, in the very heart of a population that would
almost expire at the thoughts of placing such a sign of the beast on
their very thresholds."

The whole party expressed their surprise; but the first door they
passed corroborated this account, and proved the accuracy of John
Effingham's statements. Catholic zeal and ingenuity could not have
wrought more accurate symbols of this peculiar sign of the sect; and
yet, here they stood, staring every passenger in the face, as if
mocking the ignorant and exaggerated pretension which would lay undue
stress on the minor points of a religion, the essence of which was
faith and humility.

"And the Philadelphia church?" said Eve, quickly, so soon as her
curiosity was satisfied on the subject of the door; "I am now more
impatient than ever, to learn what silly blunder we have also
committed there."

"Impious would almost be a better term," Paul answered. "The only
church spire that existed for half a century, in that town, was
surmounted by a _mitre_, while the _cross_ was studiously rejected!"

A silence followed; for there is often more true argument in simply
presenting the facts of a case, than in all the rhetoric and logic
that could be urged, by way of auxiliaries. Every one saw the
egregious folly, not to say presumption, of the mistake; and at the
moment, every one wondered how a common-sense community could have
committed so indecent a blunder. We are mistaken. There was an
exception to the general feeling in the person of Sir George
Templemore. To his church-and-state notions, and anti-catholic
prejudices, which were quite as much political as religious, there
was every thing that was proper, and nothing that was wrong, in
rejecting a cross for a mitre.

"The church, no doubt, was Episcopal, Powis," he remarked, "and it
was not Roman. What better symbol than the mitre could be chosen?"

"Now I reflect, it is not so very strange," said Grace, eagerly, "for
you will remember, Mr. Effingham, that Protestants attach the idea of
idolatry to the cross, as it is used by Catholics."

"And of bishops, peers in parliament, church and state, to a mitre."

"Yes, but the church in question I have seen; and it was erected
before the war of the revolution. It was an English rather than an
American church."

"It was, indeed, an English church, rather than an American; and
Templemore is very right to defend it, mitre and all."

"I dare say, a bishop officiated at its altar?"

"I dare say--nay, I know, he did; and, I will add, he would rather
that the mitre were two hundred feet in the air, than down on his own
simple, white-haired, apostolical-looking head. But enough of
divinity for the morning; yonder is Tom with the boat, let us to our
oars."

The party were now on the little wharf that served as a village-
landing, and the boatman mentioned lay off, in waiting for the
arrival of his fare. Instead of using him, however, the man was
dismissed; the gentlemen preferring to handle the oars themselves.
Aquatic excursions were of constant occurrence in the warm months, on
that beautifully limpid sheet of water, and it was the practice to
dispense with the regular boatmen, whenever good oarsmen were to be
found among the company.

As soon as the light buoyant skiff was brought to the side of the
wharf, the whole party embarked; and Paul and the baronet taking the
oars, they soon urged the boat from the shore.

"The world is getting to be too confined for the adventurous spirit
of the age," said Sir George, as he and his companion pulled
leisurely along, taking the direction of the eastern shore, beneath
the forest-clad cliffs of which the ladies had expressed a wish to be
rowed; "here are Powis and myself actually rowing together on a
mountain lake of America, after having boated as companions on the
coast of Africa, and on the margin of the Great Desert. Polynesia,
and Terra Australis, may yet see us in company, as hardy cruisers."

"The spirit of the age is, indeed, working wonders in the way you
mean," said John Effingham. "Countries of which our fathers merely
read, are getting to be as familiar as our own homes to their sons;
and, with you, one can hardly foresee to what a pass of adventure the
generation or two that will follow us may not reach."

"_Vraiment, c'est fort extraordinaire de se trouver sur un lac
Americain_," exclaimed Mademoiselle Viefville.

"More extraordinary than to find one's self on a Swiss lake, think
you, my dear Mademoiselle Viefville?"

"_Non, non, mais tout aussi extraordinaire pour une Parisienne._"

"I am now about to introduce you, Mr. John Effingham and Miss Van
Cortlandt excepted," Eve continued, "to the wonders and curiosities
of this lake and region. There, near the small house that is erected
over a spring of delicious water, stood the hut of Natty Bumppo, once
known throughout all these mountains as a renowned hunter; a man who
had the simplicity of a woodsman, the heroism of a savage, the faith
of a Christian, and the feelings of a poet. A better than he, after
his fashion, seldom lived."

"We have all heard of him," said the baronet, looking round
curiously; "and must all feel an interest in what concerns so brave
and just a man. I would I could see his counterpart."

"Alas!" said John Effingham, "the days of the 'Leather-stockings'
have passed away. He preceded me in life, and I see few remains of
his character in a region where speculation is more rife than
moralizing, and emigrants are plentier than hunters. Natty probably
chose that spot for his hut on account of the vicinity of the spring:
is it not so. Miss Effingham?"

"He did; and yonder little fountain that you see gushing from the
thicket, and which comes glancing like diamonds into the lake, is
called the 'Fairy Spring,' by some flight of poetry that, like so
many of our feelings, must have been imported; for I see no
connection between the name and the character of the country, fairies
having never been known, even by tradition, in Otsego."

The boat now came under a shore where the trees fringed the very
water, frequently overhanging the element that mirrored their
fantastic forms. At this point, a light skiff was moving leisurely
along in their own direction, but a short distance in advance. On a
hint from John Effingham, a few vigorous strokes of the oars brought
the two boats near each other.

"This is the flag-ship," half whispered John Effingham, as they came
near the other skiff, "containing no less a man than the 'commodore.'
Formerly, the chief of the lake was an admiral, but that was in times
when, living nearer to the monarchy, we retained some of the European
terms; now, no man rises higher than a commodore in America, whether
it be on the ocean or on the Otsego, whatever may be his merits or
his services. A charming day, commodore; I rejoice to see you still
afloat, in your glory."

The commodore, a tail, thin, athletic man of seventy, with a white
head, and movements that were quick as those of a boy, had not
glanced aside at the approaching boat, until he was thus saluted in
the well-known voice of John Effingham. He then turned his head,
however, and scanning the whole party through his spectacles, he
smiled good-naturedly made a flourish with one hand, while he
continued paddling with the other, for he stood erect and straight in
the stern of his skiff, and answered heartily--

"A fine morning, Mr. John, and the right time of the moon for
boating. This is not a real scientific day for the fish, perhaps; but
I have just come out to see that all the points and bays are in their
right places."

"How is it, commodore, that the water near the village is less limpid
than common, and that even up here, we see so many specks floating on
its surface?"

"What a question for Mr. John Effingham to ask on his native water!
So much for travelling in far countries, where a man forgets quite as
much as he learns, I fear." Here the commodore turned entirely round,
and raising an open hand in an oratorical manner, he added,--"You
must know, ladies and gentlemen, that the lake is in blow."

"In blow, commodore! I did not know that the lake bore its blossoms."

"It does, sir, nevertheless. Ay, Mr. John, and its fruits, too; but
the last must be dug for, like potatoes. There have been no
miraculous draughts of the fishes, of late years, in the Otsego,
ladies and gentlemen; but it needs the scientific touch, and the
knowledge of baits, to get a fin of any of your true game above the
water, now-a-days. Well, I have had the head of the sogdollager
thrice in the open air, in my time; though I am told the admiral
actually got hold of him once with his hand."

"The sogdollager," said Eve, much amused with the singularities of
the man, whom she perfectly remembered to have been commander of the
lake, even in her own infancy; "we must be indebted to you for an
explanation of that term, as well as for the meaning of your allusion
to the head and the open air."

"A sogdollager, young lady, is the perfection of a thing. I know Mr.
Grant used to say there was no such word in the dictionary; but then
there are many words that ought to be in the dictionaries that have
been forgotten by the printers. In the way of salmon trout, the
sogdollager is their commodore. Now, ladies and gentlemen, I should
not like to tell you all I know about the patriarch of this lake, for
you would scarcely believe me; but if he would not weigh a hundred
when cleaned, there is not an ox in the county that will weigh a
pound when slaughtered."

"You say you had his head above water?" said John Effingham.

"Thrice, Mr. John. The first time was thirty years ago; and I confess
I lost him, on that occasion, by want of science; for the art is not
learned in a day, and I had then followed the business but ten years.
The second time was five years later: and I had then been fishing
expressly for the old gentleman, about a month. For near a minute, it
was a matter of dispute between us, whether he should come out of the
lake or I go into it; but I actually got his gills in plain sight.
That was a glorious haul! Washington did not feel better the night
Cornwallis surrendered, than I felt on that great occasion!"

"One never knows the feelings of another, it seems. I should have
thought disappointment at the loss would have been the prevailing
sentiment on that great occasion, as you so justly term it."

"So it would have been, Mr. John, with an unscientific fisherman; but
we experienced hands know better. Glory is to be measured by quality,
and not by quantity, ladies and gentlemen; and I look on it as a
greater feather in a man's cap, to see the sogdollager's head above
water, for half a minute, than to bring home a skiff filled with
pickerel. The last time I got a look at the old gentleman, I did not
try to get him into the boat, but we sat and conversed for near two
minutes; he in the water, and I in the skiff."

"Conversed!" exclaimed Eve, "and with a fish, too! What could the
animal have to say!"

"Why, young lady, a fish can talk as well as one of ourselves; the
only difficulty is to understand what he says. I have heard the old
settlers affirm, that the Leather-stocking used to talk for hours at
a time, with the animals of the forest."

"You knew the Leather-stocking, commodore?"

"No, young lady, I am sorry to say I never had the pleasure of
looking on him even. He _was_ a great man! They may talk of their
Jeffersons and Jacksons, but I set down Washington and Natty Bumppo
as the two only really great men of my time."

"What do you think of Bonaparte, commodore?" inquired Paul.

"Well, sir, Bonaparte had some strong points about him, I do really
believe. But he could have been nothing to the Leather-stocking, in
the woods! It's no great matter, young gentleman, to be a great man
among your inhabitants of cities--what I call umbrella people. Why,
Natty was almost as great with the spear as with the rifle; though I
never heard that he got a sight of the sogdollager."

"We shall meet again this summer, commodore," said John Effingham;
"the ladies wish to hear the echoes, and we must leave you."

"All very natural, Mr. John," returned the commodore, laughing, and
again flourishing his hand in his own peculiar manner. "The women all
love to hear the echoes, for they are not satisfied with what they
have once said, but they like to hear it over again. I never knew a
lady come on the Otsego, but one of the first things she did was to
get paddled to the Speaking Rocks, to have a chat with herself. They
come out in such numbers, sometimes, and then all talk at once, in a
way quite to confuse the echo. I suppose you have heard, young lady,
the opinion people have now got concerning these voices."

"I cannot say I have ever heard more than that they are some of the
most perfect echoes known;" answered Eve, turning her body, so as to
face the old man, as the skiff of the party passed that of the
veteran fisherman.

"Some people maintain that there is no echo at all, and that the
sounds we hear come from the spirit of the Leather-stocking, which
keeps about its old haunts, and repeats every thing we say, in
mockery of our invasion of the woods. I do not say this notion is
true, or that it is my own; but we all know that Natty _did_ dislike
to see a new settler arrive in the mountains, and that he loved a
tree as a muskrat loves water. They show a pine up here on the side
of the Vision, which he notched at every new-comer, until reaching
seventeen, his honest old heart could go no farther, and he gave the
matter up in despair."

"This is so poetical, commodore, it is a pity it cannot be true. I
like this explanation of the 'Speaking Rocks,' much better than that
implied by the name of 'Fairy Spring.'"

"You are quite right, young lady," called out the fisherman, as the
boats separated still farther; "there never was any fairy known in
Otsego; but the time has been when we could boast of a Natty Bumppo."

Here the commodore flourished his hand again, and Eve nodded her
adieus. The skiff of the party continued to pull slowly along the
fringed shore, occasionally sheering more into the lake, to avoid
some overhanging and nearly horizontal tree, and then returning so
closely to the land, as barely to clear the pebbles of the narrow
strand with the oar.

Eve thought she had never beheld a more wild or beautifully
variegated foliage, than that which the whole leafy mountainside
presented. More than half of the forest of tall, solemn pines, that
had veiled the earth when the country was first settled, had already
disappeared; but, agreeably to one of the mysterious laws by which
nature is governed, a rich second growth, that included nearly every
variety of American wood, had shot up in their places. The rich
Rembrandt-like hemlocks, in particular, were perfectly beautiful,
contrasting admirably with the livelier tints of the various
deciduous trees. Here and there, some flowering shrub rendered the
picture gay, while masses of the rich chestnut, in blossom, lay in
clouds of natural glory among the dark tops of the pines.

The gentlemen pulled the light skiff fully a mile under this
overhanging foliage, occasionally frightening some migratory bird
from a branch, or a water-fowl from the narrow strand. At length,
John Effingham desired them to cease rowing, and managing the skiff
for a minute or two with the paddle which he had used in steering, he
desired the whole party to look up, announcing to them that they were
beneath the 'Silent Pine.'

A common exclamation of pleasure succeeded the upward glance; for it
is seldom that a tree is seen to more advantage than that which
immediately attracted every eye. The pine stood on the bank, with its
roots embedded in the earth, a few feet higher than the level of the
lake, but in such a situation as to bring the distance above the
water into the apparent height of the tree. Like all of its kind that
grows in the dense forests of America, its increase, for a thousand
years, had been upward; and it now stood in solitary glory, a
memorial of what the mountains which were yet so rich in vegetation
had really been in their days of nature and pride. For near a hundred
feet above the eye, the even round trunk was branchless, and then
commenced the dark-green masses of foliage, which clung around the
stem like smoke ascending in wreaths. The tall column-like tree had
inclined to wards the light when struggling among its fellows, and it
now so far overhung the lake, that its summit may have been some ten
or fifteen feet without the base. A gentle, graceful curve added to
the effect of this variation from the perpendicular, and infused
enough of the fearful into the grand, to render the picture sublime.
Although there was not a breath of wind on the lake, the currents
were strong enough above the forest to move this lofty object, and it
was just possible to detect a slight, graceful yielding of the very
uppermost boughs to the passing air.

"This pine is ill-named," cried Sir George Templemore, "for it is the
most eloquent tree eye of mine has ever looked on!"

"It is, indeed, eloquent," answered Eve; "one hears it speak even now
of the fierce storms that have whistled round its tops--of the
seasons that have passed since it extricated that verdant cap from
the throng of sisters that grew beneath it, and of all that has
passed on the Otsego, when this limpid lake lay, like a gem embedded
in the forest. When the Conqueror first landed in England, this tree
stood on the spot where it now stands! Here, then, is at last, an
American antiquity!"

"A true and regulated taste, Miss Effingham," said Paul, "has pointed
out to you one of the real charms of the country. Were we to think
less of the artificial, and more of our natural excellencies, we
should render ourselves less liable to criticism."

Eve was never inattentive when Paul spoke; and her colour heightened,
as he paid this compliment to her taste, but still her soft blue eye
was riveted on the pine.

"Silent it may be, in one respect, but it is, indeed, all eloquence
in another," she resumed, with a fervour that was not lessened by
Paul's remark. "That crest of verdure, which resembles a plume of
feathers, speaks of a thousand things to the imagination."

"I have never known a person of any poetry, who came under this
tree," said John Effingham, "that did not fall into this very train
of thought. I once brought a man celebrated for his genius here, and,
after gazing for a minute or two at the high, green tuft that tops
the tree, he exclaimed, 'that mass of green waved there in the fierce
light when Columbus first ventured into the unknown sea.' It is,
indeed, eloquent; for it tells the same glowing tale to all who
approach it--a tale fraught with feeling and recollections."

"And yet its silence is, after all, its eloquence," added Paul; "and
the name is not so misplaced as one might at first think."

"It probably obtained its name from some fancied contrast to the
garrulous rocks that lie up yonder, half concealed by the forest. If
you will ply the oars, gentlemen, we will now hold a little communion
with the spirit of the Leather-stocking."

The young men complied; and in about five minutes, the skiff was off
in the lake, at the distance of fifty rods from the shore, where the
whole mountainside came at one glance into the view. Here they lay on
their oars, and John Effingham called out to the rocks a "good
morning," in a clear distinct voice. The mocking sounds were thrown
back again, with a closeness of resemblance that actually startled
the novice. Then followed other calls and other repetitions of the
echoes, which did not lose the minutest intonation of the voice.

"This actually surpasses the celebrated echoes of the Rhine," cried
the delighted Eve; "for, though those do give the strains of the
bugle so clearly, I do not think they answer to the voice with so
much fidelity."

"You are very right, Eve," replied her kinsman, "for I can recall no
place where so perfect and accurate an echo is to be heard as at
these speaking rocks. By increasing our distance to half a mile, and
using a bugle, as I well know, from actual experiment, we should get
back entire passages of an air. The interval between the sound and
the echo, too, would be distinct, and would give time for an
undivided attention. Whatever may be said of the 'pine,' these rocks
are most aptly named; and if the spirit of Leather-stocking has any
concern with the matter, he is a mocking spirit."

John Effingham now looked at his watch, and then he explained to the
party a pleasure he had in store for them. On a sort of small, public
promenade, that lay at the point where the river flowed out of the
lake, stood a rude shell of a building that was called the "gun-
house." Here, a speaking picture of the entire security of the
country, from foes within as well as from foes without, were kept two
or three pieces of field artillery, with doors so open that any one
might enter the building, and even use the guns at will, although
they properly belonged to the organized corps of the state.

One of these guns had been sent a short distance down the valley; and
John Effingham informed his companions that they might look
momentarily for its reports to arouse the echoes of the mountains. He
was still speaking when the gun was fired, its muzzle being turned
eastward. The sound first reached the side of the Vision, abreast of
the village, whence the reverberations reissued, and rolled along the
range, from cave to cave, and cliff to cliff, and wood to wood, until
they were lost, like distant thunder, two or three leagues to the
northward. The experiment was thrice repeated, and always with the
same magnificent effect, the western hills actually echoing the
echoes of the eastern mountains, like the dying strains of some
falling music.

"Such a locality would be a treasure in the vicinity of a melo-
dramatic theatre," said Paul, laughing, "for certainly, no artificial
thunder I have ever heard has equalled this. This sheet of water
might even receive a gondola."

"And yet, I fear one accustomed to the boundless horizon of the
ocean, might in time weary of it," answered John Effingham,
significantly.

Paul made no answer; and the party rowed away in silence.

"Yonder is the spot where we have so long been accustomed to resort
for Pic-Nics," said Eve, pointing out a lovely place, that was
beautifully shaded by old oaks, and on which stood a rude house that
was much dilapidated, and indeed injured, by the hands of man. John
Effingham smiled, as his cousin showed the place to her companions,
promising them an early and a nearer view of its beauties.

"By the way, Miss Effingham," he said, "I suppose you flatter
yourself with being the heiress of that desirable retreat?"

"It is very natural that, at some day, though I trust a very distant
one, I should succeed to that which belongs to my dear father."

"Both natural and legal, my fair cousin; but you are yet to learn
that there is a power that threatens to rise up and dispute your
claim."

"What power--human power, at least--can dispute the lawful claim of
an owner to his property? That Point has been ours ever since
civilized man has dwelt among these hills; who will presume to rob us
of it?"

"You will be much surprised to discover that there is such a power,
and that there is actually a disposition to exercise it. The public--
the all-powerful omnipotent, overruling, law-making, law-breaking
public--has a passing caprice to possess itself of your beloved
Point; and Ned Effingham must show unusual energy, or it will get
it?"

"Are you serious, cousin Jack?"

"As serious as the magnitude of the subject can render a responsible
being, as Mr. Dodge would say."

Eve said no more, but she looked vexed, and remained almost silent
until they landed, when she hastened to seek her father, with a view
to communicate what she had heard. Mr. Effingham listened to his
daughter, as he always did, with tender interest; and when she had
done, he kissed her glowing cheek, bidding her not to believe that
which she seemed so seriously to dread, possible.

"But, cousin John would not trifle with me on such a subject,
father," Eve continued; "he knows how much I prize all those little
heir-looms that are connected with the affections."

"We can inquire further into the affair, my child, if it be your
desire; ring for Pierre, if you please."

Pierre answered, and a message was sent to Mr. Bragg, requiring his
presence in the library.

Aristabulus appeared, by no means in the best humour, for he disliked
having been omitted in the late excursion on the lake, fancying that
he had a community-right to share in all his neighbour's amusements,
though he had sufficient self-command to conceal his feelings.

"I wish to know, sir," Mr. Effingham commenced, without introduction,
"whether there can be any mistake concerning the ownership of the
Fishing Point on the west side of the lake."

"Certainly not, sir; it belongs to the public."

Mr. Effingham's cheek glowed, and he looked astonished: but he
remained calm.

"The public! Do you gravely affirm, Mr. Bragg, that the public
pretends to claim that Point?"

"Claim, Mr. Effingham! as long as I have resided in this county, I
have never heard its right disputed."

"Your residence in this county, sir, is not of very ancient date, and
nothing is easier than that _you_ may be mistaken. I confess some
curiosity to know in what manner the public has acquired its title to
the spot. You are a lawyer, Mr. Bragg, and may give an intelligible
account of it."

"Why, sir, your father gave it to them in his lifetime. Every body,
in all this region, will tell you as much as this."

"Do you suppose, Mr. Bragg, there is any body in all this region who
will swear to the fact? Proof, you well know, is very requisite even
to obtain justice."

"I much question, sir, if there be any body in all this region that
will not swear to the fact. It is the common tradition of the whole
country; and, to be frank with you, sir, there is a little
displeasure, because Mr. John Effingham has talked of giving private
entertainments on the Point."

"This, then, only shows how idly and inconsiderately the traditions
of the country take their rise. But, as I wish to understand all the
points of the case, do me the favour to walk into the village, and
inquire of those whom you think the best informed in the matter, what
they know of the Point, in order that I may regulate my course
accordingly. Be particular, if you please, on the subject of title,
as one would not wish to move in the dark."

Aristabulus quitted the house immediately, and Eve, perceiving that
things were in the right train, left her father alone to meditate on
what had just passed. Mr. Effingham walked up and down his library
for some time, much disturbed, for the spot in question was
identified with all his early feelings and recollections; and if
there were a foot of land on earth, to which he was more attached
than to all others, next to his immediate residence, it was this.
Still, he could not conceal from himself, in despite of his
opposition to John Effingham's sarcasms, that his native country had
undergone many changes since he last resided in it, and that some of
these changes were quite sensibly for the worse. The spirit of
misrule was abroad, and the lawless and unprincipled held bold
language, when it suited their purpose to intimidate. As he ran over
in his mind, however, the facts of the case, and the nature of his
right, he smiled to think that any one should contest it, and sat
down to his writing, almost forgetting that there had been any
question at all on the unpleasant subject.

Aristabulus was absent for several hours, nor did he return until Mr.
Effingham was dressed for dinner, and alone in the library, again,
having absolutely lost all recollection of the commission he had
given his agent.

"It is as I told you, sir--the public insists that it owns the Point;
and I feel it my duty to say, Mr. Effingham, that the public is
determined to maintain its claim."

"Then, Mr. Bragg, it is proper I should tell the public that it is
_not_ the owner of the Point, but that _I_ am its owner, and that I
am determined to maintain _my_ claim."

"It is hard to kick against the pricks, Mr. Effingham."

"It is so, sir, as the public will discover, if it persevere in
invading a private right."

"Why, sir, some of those with whom I have conversed have gone so far
as to desire me to tell you--I trust my motive will not be
mistaken----"

"If you have any communication to make, Mr. Bragg, do it without
reserve. It is proper I should know the truth exactly."

"Well, then, sir, I am the bearer of something like a defiance; the
people wish you to know that they hold your right cheaply, and that
they laugh at it. Not to mince matters, they defy you."

"I thank you for this frankness, Mr. Bragg, and increases my respect
for your character. Affairs are now at such a pass, that it is
necessary to act. If you will amuse yourself with a book for a
moment, I shall have further occasion for your kindness."

Aristabulus did not read, for he was too much filled with wonder at
seeing a man so coolly set about contending with that awful public
which he himself as habitually deferred to, as any Asiatic slave
defers to his monarch. Indeed, nothing but his being sustained by
that omnipotent power, as he viewed the power of the public to be,
had emboldened him to speak so openly to his employer, for
Aristabulus felt a secret confidence that, right or wrong, it was
always safe in America to make the most fearless professions in
favour of the great body of the community. In the mean time, Mr.
Effingham wrote a simple advertisement, against trespassing on the
property in question, and handed it to the other, with a request that
he would have it inserted in the number of the village paper that was
to appear next morning. Mr. Bragg took the advertisement, and went to
execute the duty without comment.

The evening arrived before Mr. Effingham was again alone, when, being
by himself in the library once more, Mr. Bragg entered, full of his
subject. He was followed by John Effingham, who had gained an inkling
of what had passed.

"I regret to say, Mr. Effingham," Aristabulus commenced, "that your
advertisement has created one of the greatest excitements it has ever
been my ill-fortune to witness in Templeton."

"All of which ought to be very encouraging to us, Mr.. Bragg, as men
under excitement are usually wrong."

"Very true, sir, as regards individual excitement, but this is a
public excitement."

"I am not at all aware that the fact, in the least alters the case.
If one excited man is apt to do silly things, half a dozen backers
will be very likely to increase his folly."

Aristabulus listened with wonder, for excitement was one of the means
for effecting public objects, so much practised by men of his habits,
that it had never crossed his mind any single individual could be
indifferent to its effect. To own the truth, he had anticipated so
much unpopularity, from his unavoidable connexion with the affair, as
to have contributed himself in producing the excitement, with the
hope of "choking Mr. Effingham off," as he had elegantly expressed it
to one of his intimates, in the vernacular of the country.

"A public excitement is a powerful engine, Mr. Effingham!" he
exclaimed, in a sort of politico pious horror.

"I am fully aware, sir, that it may be even a fearfully powerful
engine. Excited men, acting in masses, compose what are called mobs,
and have committed a thousand excesses."

"Your advertisement is, to the last degree, disrelished; to be very
sincere, it is awfully unpopular!"

"I suppose it is always what you term an unpopular act, so far as the
individuals opposed are concerned, to resist aggression."

"But they call your advertisement aggression, sir."

"In that simple fact exist all the merits of the question. If I own
this property, the public, or that portion of it which is connected
with this affair, are aggressors; and so much more in the wrong that
they are many against one; if _they_ own the property, I am not only
wrong, but very indiscreet."

The calmness with which Mr. Effingham spoke had an effect on
Aristabulus, and, for a moment, he was staggered. It was only for a
moment, however, as the pains and penalties of unpopularity presented
themselves afresh to an imagination that had been so long accustomed
to study the popular caprice, that it had got to deem the public
favour the one great good of life.

"But _they_ say, _they_ own the Point, Mr. Effingham."

"And _I_ say, they do _not_ own the Point, Mr. Bragg; never _did_ own
it; and, with my consent, never _shall_ own it."

"This is purely a matter of fact," observed John Effingham, "and I
confess I am curious to know how or whence this potent public derives
its title. You are lawyer enough, Mr. Bragg, to know that the public
can hold property only by use, or by especial statute. Now, under
which title does this claim present itself."

"First, by use, sir, and then by especial gift."

"The use, you are aware, must be adverse, or as opposed to the title
of the other claimants. Now, I am a living witness that my late uncle
_permitted_ the public to use this Point, and that the public
accepted the conditions. Its use, therefore, has not been adverse,
or, at least, not for a time sufficient to make title. Every hour
that my cousin has _permitted_ the public to enjoy his property, adds
to his right, as well as to the obligation conferred on that public,
and increases the duty of the latter to cease intruding, whenever he
desires it. If there is an especial gift, as I understand you to say,
from my late uncle, there must also be a law to enable the public to
hold, or a trustee; which is the fact?"

"I admit, Mr. John Effingham, that I have seen neither deed nor law,
and I doubt if the latter exist. Still the public _must_ have some
claim, for it is impossible that every body should be mistaken."

"Nothing is easier, nor any thing more common, than for whole
communities to be mistaken, and more particularly when they commence
with excitement."

While his cousin was speaking, Mr. Effingham went to a secretary, and
taking out a large bundle of papers, he laid it down on the table,
unfolding several parchment deeds, to which massive seals, bearing
the arms of the late colony, as well as those of England, were
pendent.

"Here are my titles, sir," he said, addressing Aristabulus pointedly;
"if the public has a better, let it be produced, and I shall at once
submit to its claim."

"No one doubts that the King, through his authorized agent, the
Governor of the colony of New-York, granted this estate to your
predecessor, Mr. Effingham; or that it descended legally to your
immediate parent; but all contend that your parent gave this spot to
the public, as a spot of public resort."

"I am glad that the question is narrowed down within limits that are
so easily examined. What evidence is there of this intention, on the
part of my late father?"

"Common report; I have talked with twenty people in the village, and
they all agree that the 'Point' has been used by the public, as
public property, from time immemorial."

"Will you be so good, Mr. Bragg, as to name some of those who affirm
this."

Mr. Bragg complied, naming quite the number of persons he had
mentioned, with a readiness that proved he thought he was advancing
testimony of weight.

"Of all the names you have mentioned," returned Mr. Effingham, "I
never heard but three, and these are the names of mere boys. The
first dozen are certainly the names of persons who can know no more
of this village than they have gleaned in the last few years; and
several of them, I understand, have dwelt among us but a few weeks;
nay, days."

"Have I not told you, Ned," interrupted John Effingham, "that, an
American 'always' means eighteen months, and that 'time immemorial'
is only since the last general crisis in the money market!"

"The persons I have mentioned compose a part of the population, sir,"
added Mr. Bragg, "and, one and all, they are ready to swear that your
father, by some means or other, they are not very particular as to
minutiae, gave them the right to use this property."

"They are mistaken, and I should be sorry that any one among them
should swear to such a falsehood. But here are my titles--let them
show better, or, if they can, any, indeed."

"Perhaps your father abandoned the place to the public; this might
make a good claim."

"That he did not, I am a living proof to the contrary; he left it to
his heirs at his death, and I myself exercised full right of
ownership over it, until I went abroad. I did not travel with it in
my pocket, sir, it is true; but I left it to the protection of the
laws, which, I trust, are as available to the rich as to the poor,
although this is a free country."

"Well, sir, I suppose a jury must determine the point, as you seem
firm; though I warn you, Mr. Effingham, as one who knows his country,
that a verdict, in the face of a popular feeling, is rather a
hopeless matter. If they prove that your late father intended to
abandon or give this property to the public, your case will be lost."

Mr. Effingham looked among the papers a moment, and selecting one, he
handed it to Mr. Bragg, first pointing out to his notice a particular
paragraph.

"This, sir, is my late father's will," Mr. Effingham said mildly;
"and, in that particular clause, you will find that he makes a
special devise of this very 'Point,' leaving it to his heirs, in such
terms as to put any intention to give it to the public quite out of
the question. This, at least, is the latest evidence I, his only son,
executor, and heir possess of his final wishes; if that wondering and
time-immemorial public of which you speak, has a better, I wait with
patience that it may be produced."

The composed manner of Mr. Effingham had deceived Aristabulus, who
did not anticipate any proof so completely annihilating to the
pretensions of the public, as that he now held in his hand. It was a
simple, brief devise, disposing of the piece of property in question,
and left it without dispute, that Mr. Effingham had succeeded to all
the rights of his father, with no reservation or condition of any
sort.

"This is very extraordinary!" exclaimed Mr. Bragg, when he had read
the clause seven times, each perusal contributing to leave the case
still clearer in favour of his employer, the individual, and still
stronger against the hoped-for future employers, the people. "The
public ought to know of this bequest of the late Mr. Effingham."

"I think it ought, sir, before it pretended to deprive his child of
his property; or, rather, it ought to be certain, at least, that
there was no such devise."

"You will excuse me, Mr. Effingham, but I think it is incumbent on a
private citizen, in a case of this sort, when the public has taken up
a wrong notion, as I now admit is clearly the fact as regards the
Point, to enlighten it, and to inform it that it does not own the
spot."

"This has been done already, Mr. Bragg, in the advertisement you had
the goodness to carry to the printers, although I deny that there
exists any such obligation."

"But, sir, they object to the mode you have chosen to set them
right."

"The mode is usual, I believe in the case of trespasses."

"They expect something different, sir, in an affair in which the
public is--is--is--all--"

"Wrong," put in John Effingham, pointedly. "I have heard something of
this out of doors, Ned, and blame you for your moderation. Is it true
that you had told several of your neighbours that you have no wish to
prevent them from using the Point, but that your sole object is
merely to settle the question of right, and to prevent intrusions on
your family when it is enjoying its own place of retirement?"

"Certainly, John, my only wish is to preserve the property for those
to whom it is especially devised, to allow those who have the best,
nay, the only right to it, its undisturbed possession, occasionally,
and to prevent any more of that injury to the trees that has been
committed by some of those rude men, who always fancy themselves so
completely all the public, as to be masters, in their own particular
persons, whenever the public has any claim. I can have no wish to
deprive my neighbours of the innocent pleasure of visiting the Point,
though I am fully determined they shall not deprive me of my
property."

"You are far more indulgent than I should be, or perhaps, than you
will be yourself, when you read this."

As John Effingham spoke, he handed his kinsman a small handbill,
which purported to call a meeting for that night, of the inhabitants
of Templeton, to resist his arrogant claim to the disputed property.
This handbill had the usual marks of a feeble and vulgar malignancy
about it, affecting to call Mr. Effingham, "_one_ Mr. Effingham," and
it was anonymous.

"This is scarcely worth our attention, John," said Mr. Effingham,
mildly. "Meetings of this sort cannot decide a legal title, and no
man who respects himself will be the tool of so pitiful an attempt to
frighten a citizen from maintaining his rights."

"I agree with you, as respects the meeting, which has been conceived
in ignorance and low malice, and will probably end, as all such
efforts end, in ridicule. But----"

"Excuse me, Mr. John," interrupted Aristabulus, "there is an awful
excitement! Some have even spoken of Lynching!"

"Then," said Mr. Effingham, "it does, indeed, require that we should
be more firm. Do _you_, sir, know of any person who has dared to use
such a menace?"

Aristabulus quailed before the stern eye of Mr. Effingham, and he
regretted having communicated so much, though he had communicated
nothing but the truth. He stammered out an obscure and half-
intelligible explanation, and proposed to attend the meeting in
person, in order that he might be in the way of understanding the
subject, without falling into the danger of mistake. To this Mr.
Effingham assented, as he felt too indignant at this outrage on all
his rights, whether as a citizen or a man, to wish to pursue the
subject with his agent that night. Aristabulus departed, and John
Effingham remained closeted with his kinsman until the family
retired. During this long interview, the former communicated many
things to the latter, in relation to this very affair, of which the
owner of the property, until then, had been profoundly ignorant.

Chapter XV.

  "There shall be, in England, seven half-penny loaves sold for a
  penny, the three-hooped pot shall have ten hoops; and I will make
  it felony to drink small beer: all the realm shall be in common,
  and, in Cheapside shall my palfrey go to grass."--JACK CADE.

Though the affair of the Point continued to agitate the village of
Templeton next day, and for many days, it was little remembered in
the Wigwam. Confident of his right, Mr. Effingham, though naturally
indignant at the abuse of his long liberality, through which alone
the public had been permitted to frequent the place, and this too,
quite often, to his own discomfort and disappointment, had dismissed
the subject temporarily from his mind, and was already engaged in his
ordinary pursuits. Not so, however, with Mr. Bragg. Agreeably to
promise, he had attended the meeting; and now he seemed to regulate
all his movements by a sort of mysterious self-importance, as if the
repository of some secret of unusual consequence. No one regarded his
manner, however; for Aristabulus, and his secrets, and opinions, were
all of too little value, in the eyes of most of the party, to attract
peculiar attention. He found a sympathetic listener in Mr. Dodge,
happily; that person having been invited, through the courtesy of Mr.
Effingham, to pass the day with those in whose company, though very
unwillingly on the editor's part certainly, he had gone through so
many dangerous trials. These two then, soon became intimate, and to
have seen their shrugs, significant whisperings, and frequent
conferences in corners, one who did not know them, might have fancied
their shoulders burthened with the weight of the state.

But all this pantomime, which was intended to awaken curiosity, was
lost on the company in general. The ladies, attended by Paul and the
Baronet, proceeded into the forest on foot, for a morning's walk,
while the two Messrs. Effinghams continued to read the daily
journals, that were received from town each morning, with a most
provoking indifference. Neither Aristabulus, nor Mr. Dodge, could
resist any longer; and, after exhausting their ingenuity, in the vain
effort to induce one of the two gentlemen to question them in
relation to the meeting of the previous night, the desire to be doing
fairly overcame their affected mysteriousness, and a formal request
was made to Mr. Effingham to give them an audience in the library. As
the latter, who suspected the nature of the interview, requested his
kinsman to make one in it, the four were soon alone, in the apartment
so often named.

Even now, that his own request for the interview was granted,
Aristabulus hesitated about proceeding until a mild intimation from
Mr. Effingham that he was ready to hear his communication, told the
agent that it was too late to change his determination.

"I attended the meeting last night, Mr. Effingham," Aristabulus
commenced, "agreeably to our arrangement, and I feel the utmost
regret at being compelled to lay the result before a gentleman for
whom I entertain so profound a respect."

"There was then a meeting?" said Mr. Effingham, inclining his body
slightly, by way of acknowledgment for the other's compliment.

"There was, sir; and I think, Mr. Dodge, we may say an overflowing
one."

"The public was fairly represented," returned the editor, "as many as
fifty or sixty having been present."

"The public has a perfect right to meet, and to consult on its claims
to anything it may conceive itself entitled to enjoy," observed Mr.
Effingham; "I can have no possible objection to such a course, though
I think it would have consulted its own dignity more, had it insisted
on being convoked by more respectable persons than those who, I
understand, were foremost in this affair, and in terms better suited
to its own sense of propriety."

Aristabulus glanced at Mr. Dodge, and Mr. Dodge glanced back at Mr.
Bragg, for neither of these political mushrooms could conceive of the
dignity and fair-mindedness with which a gentleman could view an
affair of this nature.

"They passed a set of resolutions, Mr. Effingham;" Aristabulus
resumed, with the gravity with which he ever spoke of things of this
nature. "A set of resolutions, sir!"

"That was to be expected," returned his employer, smiling; "the
Americans are a set-of-resolutions-passing people. Three cannot get
together, without naming a chairman and secretary, and a resolution
is as much a consequence of such an 'organization,'--I believe that
is the approved word,--as an egg is the accompaniment of the cackling
of a hen."

"But, sir, you do not yet know the nature of those resolutions!"

"Very true, Mr. Bragg; that is a piece of knowledge I am to have the
pleasure of obtaining from you."

Again Aristabulus glanced at Steadfast, and Steadfast threw back the
look of surprise, for, to both it was matter of real astonishment
that any man should be so indifferent to the resolutions of a meeting
that had been regularly organized, with a chairman and secretary at
its head, and which so unequivocally professed to be the public.

"I am reluctant to discharge this duty, Mr. Effingham, but as you
insist on its performance it must be done. In the first place, they
resolved that your father meant to give them the Point."

"A decision that must clearly settle the matter, and which will
destroy all my father's own resolutions on the same subject. Did they
stop at the Point, Mr. Bragg or did they resolve that my father also
gave them his wife and children?"

"No, sir, nothing was said concerning the latter."

"I cannot properly express my gratitude for the forbearance, as they
had just as good a right to pass this resolution, as to pass the
other."

"The public's is an awful power, Mr. Effingham!"

"Indeed it is, sir, but fortunately, that of the republic is still
more awful, and I shall look to the latter for support, in this
'crisis'--that is the word, too, is it not, Mr. John Effingham?"

"If you mean a change of administration, the upsetting of a stage, or
the death of a cart-horse; they are all equally crisises, in the
American vocabulary."

"Well, Mr. Bragg, having resolved that it knew my late father's
intentions better than he knew them himself, as is apparent from the
mistake he made in his will, what next did the public dispose of, in
the plenitude of its power?"

"It resolved, sir, that it was your duty to carry out the intentions
of your father."

"In that, then, we are perfectly of a mind; as the public will most
probably discover, before we get through with this matter. This is
one of the most pious resolutions I ever knew the public to pass. Did
it proceed any farther?"

Mr. Bragg, notwithstanding the long-encouraged truckling to the sets
of men, whom he was accustomed to dignify with the name of the
public, had a profound deference or the principles, character, and
station of Mr. Effingham, that no sophistry, or self-encouragement in
the practices of social confusion, could overcome; and he paused
before he communicated the next resolution to his employers. But
perceiving that both the latter and his cousin were quietly waiting
to hear it, he was fain to overcome his scruples.

"They have openly libelled you, by passing resolutions declaring you
to be odious."

"That, indeed, is a strong measure, and, in the interest of good
manners and of good morals, it may call for a rebuke. No one can care
less than myself, Mr. Bragg, for the opinions of those who have
sufficiently demonstrated that their opinions are of no value, by the
heedless manner in which they have permitted themselves to fall into
this error; but it is proceeding too far, when a few members of the
community presume to take these liberties with a private individual,
and that, moreover, in a case affecting a pretended claim of their
own; and I desire you to tell those concerned, that if they dare to
publish their resolution declaring me to be odious, I will teach them
what they now do not appear to know, that we live in a country of
laws. I shall not prosecute them, but I shall indict them for the
offence, and I hope this is plainly expressed."

Aristabulus stood aghast! To indict the public was a step he had
never heard of before, and he began to perceive that the question
actually had two sides. Still, his awe of public meetings, and his
habitual regard for popularity, induced him not to give up the
matter, without another struggle.

"They have already ordered their proceedings to be published, Mr.
Effingham!" he said, as if such an order were not to be
countermanded.

"I fancy, sir, that when it comes to the issue, and the penalties of
a prosecution present themselves, their readers will begin to
recollect their individuality, and to think less of their public
character. They who hunt in droves, like wolves, are seldom very
valiant when singled out from their pack. The end will show."

"I heartily wish this unpleasant affair might be amicably settled,"
added Aristabulus.

"One might, indeed, fancy so," observed John Effingham, "since no one
likes to be persecuted."

"But, Mr. John, the public thinks _itself_ persecuted, in this
affair."

"The term, as applied to a body that not only makes, but which
executes, the law, is so palpably absurd, that I am surprised any man
can presume to use it. But, Mr. Bragg, you have seen documents that
cannot err, and know that the public has not the smallest right to
this bit of land."

"All very true, sir; but you will please to remember, that the people
do not know what I now know."

"And you will please to remember, sir, that when people choose to act
affirmatively, in so high-handed a manner as this, they are _bound_
to know what they are about. Ignorance in such a matter, is like the
drunkard's plea of intoxication; it merely makes the offence worse."

"Do you not think, Mr. John, that Mr. Effingham might have acquainted
these citizens with the real state of the case? Are the people so
very wrong that they have fallen into a mistake?"

"Since you ask this question plainly, Mr. Bragg, it shall be answered
with equal sincerity. Mr. Effingham is a man of mature years; the
known child, executor, and heir of one who, it is admitted all round,
was the master of the controverted property. Knowing his own
business, this Mr. Effingham, in sight of the grave of his fathers,
beneath the paternal roof, has the intolerable impudence--"

"Arrogance is the word, Jack," said Mr. Effingham, smiling.

"Aye, the intolerable arrogance to suppose that his own is his own;
and this he dares to affirm, without having had the politeness to
send his title-deeds, and private papers, round to those who have
been so short a time in the place, that they might well know every
thing that has occurred in it for the last half century. Oh thou
naughty, arrogant fellow, Ned!"

"Mr. John, you appear to forget that the public has more claims to be
treated with attention, than a single individual. If it has fallen
into error, it ought to be undeceived."

"No doubt, sir; and I advise Mr. Effingham to send you, his agent, to
every man, woman and child in the county, with the Patent of the
King, all the mesne conveyances and wills, in your pocket, in order
that you may read them at length to each individual, with a view that
every man, woman and child, may be satisfied that he or she is not
the owner of Edward Effingham's lands!"

"Nay, sir, a shorter process might be adopted."

"It might, indeed, sir, and such a process has been adopted by my
cousin, in giving the usual notice, in the newspaper, against
trespassing. But, Mr. Bragg, you must know that I took great pains,
three years since, when repairing this house, to correct the mistake
on this very point, into which I found that your immaculate public
had fallen, through its disposition to know more of other people's
affairs, than those concerned knew of themselves."

Aristabulus said no more, but gave the matter up in despair. On
quitting the house, he proceeded forthwith, to inform those most
interested of the determination of Mr. Effingham, not to be trampled
on by any pretended meeting of the public. Common sense, not to say
common honesty, began to resume its sway, and prudence put in its
plea, by way of applying the corrective. Both he and Mr. Dodge,
however, agreed that there was an unheard-of temerity in thus
resisting the people, and this too without a commensurate object, as
the pecuniary value of the disputed point was of no material
consequence to either party.

The reader is not, by any means, to suppose that Aristabulus Bragg
and Steadfast Dodge belonged to the same variety of the human
species, in consequence of their unity of sentiment in this affair,
and certain other general points of resemblance in their manner and
modes of thinking. As a matter of necessity each partook of those
features of caste, condition, origin, and association that
characterize their particular set; but when it came to the nicer
distinctions that mark true individuality, it would not have been
easy to find two men more essentially different in character. The
first was bold, morally and physically, aspiring, self-possessed,
shrewd, singularly adapted to succeed in his schemes where he knew
the parties, intelligent, after his tastes, and apt. Had it been his
fortune to be thrown earlier into a better sphere, the same natural
qualities that rendered him so expert in his present situation, would
have conduced to his improvement, and most probably would have formed
a gentleman, a scholar, and one who could have contributed largely to
the welfare and tastes of his fellow-creatures. That such was not his
fate, was more his misfortune than his fault, for his plastic
character had readily taken the impression of those things that from
propinquity alone, pressed hardest on it. On the other hand Steadfast
was a hypocrite by nature, cowardly, envious, and malignant; and
circumstances had only lent their aid to the natural tendencies of
his disposition. That two men so differently constituted at their
births, should meet, as it might be in a common centre, in so many of
their habits and opinions, was merely the result of accident and
education.

Among the other points of resemblance between these two persons, was
that fault of confounding the cause with the effects of the peculiar
institutions under which they had been educated and lived. Because
the law gave to the public, that authority which, under other
systems, is entrusted either to one, or to the few they believed the
public was invested with far more power than a right understanding of
their own principles would have shown. In a word, both these persons
made a mistake which is getting to be too common in America, that of
supposing the institutions of the country were all means and no end.
Under this erroneous impression they saw only the machinery of the
government, becoming entirely forgetful that the power which was
given to the people collectively, was only so given to secure to them
as perfect a liberty as possible, in their characters of individuals.
Neither had risen sufficiently above vulgar notions, to understand
that public opinion, in order to be omnipotent, or even formidable
beyond the inflictions of the moment, must be right; and that, if a
solitary man renders himself contemptible by taking up false notions
inconsiderately and unjustly, bodies of men, falling into the same
error, incur the same penalties, with the additional stigma of having
acted as cowards.

There was also another common mistake into which Messrs. Bragg and
Dodge had permitted themselves to fall, through the want of a proper
distinction between principles. Resisting the popular will, on the
part of an individual, they considered arrogance and aristocracy,
_per se_, without at all entering into the question of the right, or
the wrong. The people, rightly enough in the general signification of
the term, they deemed to be sovereign; and they belonged to a
numerous class, who view disobedience to the sovereign in a
democracy, although it be in his illegal caprices, very much as the
subject of a despot views disobedience to his prince.

It is scarcely necessary to say, that Mr. Effingham and his cousin
viewed these matters differently. Clear headed, just-minded, and
liberal in all his practices, the former, in particular, was greatly
pained by the recent occurrence; and he paced his library in silence,
for several minutes after Mr. Bragg and his companion had withdrawn,
really too much grieved to speak.

"This is, altogether, a most extraordinary procedure, John," he at
length observed, "and, it strikes me, that it is but an indifferent
reward for the liberality with which I have permitted others to use
my property, these thirty years; often, very often, as you well know,
to my own discomfort, and to that of my friends."

"I have told you, Ned, that you were not to expect the America on
your return, that you left behind you on your departure for Europe. I
insist that no country has so much altered for the worse, in so short
a time."

"That unequalled pecuniary prosperity should sensibly impair the
manners of what is termed the world, By introducing suddenly lame
bodies of uninstructed and untrained men and women into society, is a
natural consequence of obvious causes; that it should corrupt morals,
even, we have a right to expect, for we are taught to believe it the
most corrupting influence under which men can live; but, I confess, I
did not expect to see the day, when a body of strangers, birds of
passage, creatures of an hour, should assume a right to call on the
old and long-established inhabitants of a country, to prove their
claims to their possessions, and this, too, in an unusual and
unheard-of manner, under the penalty of being violently deprived of
them!"

"Long established!" repeated John Effingham, laughing; "what do you
term long established? Have you not been absent a dozen years, and do
not these people reduce everything to the level of their own habits.
I suppose, now, you fancy you can go to Rome or Jerusalem, or
Constantinople, and remain four or five lustres, and then come coolly
back to Templeton. and, on taking possession of this house again,
call yourself an old resident."

"I certainly do suppose I have that right. How many English,
Russians, and Germans, did we meet in Italy, the residents of years,
who still retained all their natural and local right and feelings!"

"Ay, that is in countries where society is permanent, and men get
accustomed to look on the same objects, hear the same names, and see
the same faces for their entire lives. I have had the curiosity to
inquire, and have ascertained that none of the old, permanent
families have been active in this affair of the Point, but that all
the clamour has been made by those you call the birds of passage. But
what of that? These people fancy everything reduced to the legal six
months required to vote; and that rotation in persons is as necessary
to republicanism as rotation in office."

"Is is not extraordinary that persons who can know so little on the
subject, should be thus indiscreet and positive?"

"It is not extraordinary in America. Look about you, Ned, and you
will see adventurers uppermost everywhere; in the government, in your
towns, in your villages, in the country, even. We are a nation of
changes. Much of this, I admit, is the fair consequence of legitimate
causes, as an immense region, in forest, cannot be peopled on any
other conditions. But this necessity has infected the entire national
character, and men get to be impatient of any sameness, even though
it be useful. Everything goes to confirm this feeling, instead of
opposing it. The constant recurrences of the elections accustom men
to changes in their public functionaries; the great increase in the
population brings new faces; and the sudden accumulations of property
place new men in conspicuous stations. The architecture of the
country is barely becoming sufficiently respectable to render it
desirable to preserve the buildings, without which we shall have no
monuments to revere. In short, everything contributes to produce such
a state of things, painful as it may be to all of any feeling, and
little to oppose it."

"You colour highly, Jack; and no picture loses in tints, in being
retouched by you."

"Look into the first paper that offers, and you will see the _young
men_ of the country hardily invited to meet by themselves, to consult
concerning public affairs, as if they were impatient of the counsels
and experience of their fathers. No country can prosper, where the
ordinary mode of transacting the business connected with the root of
the government, commences with this impiety."

"This is a disagreeable feature in the national character, certainly;
but we must remember the arts employed by the designing to practise
on the inexperienced."

"Had I a son, who presumed to denounce the wisdom and experience of
his father, in this disrespectful mariner, I would disinherit the
rascal!"

"Ah, Jack, bachelor's children are notoriously well educated, and
well mannered. We will hope, however, that time will bring its
changes also, and that one of them will be a greater constancy in
persons, things, and the affections."

"Time _will_ bring its changes, Ned; but all of them that are
connected with individual rights, as opposed to popular caprice, or
popular interests, are likely to be in the wrong direction."

"The tendency is certainly to substitute popularity for the right,
but we must take the good with the bad; Even you, Jack, would not
exchange this popular oppression for any other system under which you
have lived."

"I don't know that--I don't know that. Of all tyranny, a vulgar
tyranny is to me the most odious."

"You used to admire the English system, but I think observation has
lessened your particular admiration in that quarter;" said Mr.
Effingham, smiling in a way that his cousin perfectly understood.

"Harkee, Ned; we all take up false notions in youth, and this was one
of mine; but, of the two, I should prefer the cold, dogged domination
of English law, with its fruits, the heartlessness of a
sophistication without parallel, to being trampled on by every arrant
blackguard that may happen to traverse this valley, in his wanderings
after dollars. There is one thing you yourself must admit; the public
is a little too apt to neglect the duties it ought to discharge, and
to assume duties it has no right to fulfil."

This remark ended the discourse.

Chapter XVI.

  Her breast was a brave palace, a broad street, Where all heroic,
  ample thoughts did meet, Where nature such a tenement had ta'en,
  That other souls, to hers, dwelt in 'a lane.

  JOHN NORTON.

The village of Templeton, it has been already intimated, was a
miniature town. Although it contained within the circle of its
houses, half-a-dozen residences with grounds, and which were
dignified with names, as has been also said, it did not cover a
surface of more than a mile square; that disposition to
concentration, which is as peculiar to an American town, as the
disposition to diffusion is peculiar to the country population, and
which seems almost to prescribe that a private dwelling shall have
but three windows in front, and a _facade_ of twenty-five feet,
having presided at the birth of this spot, as well as at the birth of
so many of its predecessors and contemporaries. In one of its more
retired streets (for Templeton had its publicity and retirement, the
latter after a very village fashion, however,) dwelt a widow--
bewitched of small worldly means, five children, and of great
capacity for circulating intelligence. Mrs. Abbott, for so was this
demi-relict called, was just on the verge of what is termed the "good
society" of the village, the most uneasy of all positions for an
ambitious and _ci-devant_ pretty woman to be placed in. She had not
yet abandoned the hope of obtaining a divorce and its _suites_; was
singularly, nay, rabidly devout, if we may coin the adverb; in her
own eyes she was perfection, in those of her neighbours slightly
objectionable; and she was altogether a droll, and by no means an
unusual compound of piety, censoriousness, charity, proscription,
gossip, kindness, meddling, ill-nature, and decency.

The establishment of Mrs. Abbott, like her house, was necessarily
very small, and she kept no servant but a girl she called her help, a
very suitable appellation, by the way, as they did most of the work
of the _mènage_ in common. This girl, in addition to cooking and
washing, was the confidant of all her employer's wandering notions of
mankind in general, and of her neighbours in particular; as often,
helping her mistress in circulating her comments on the latter, as in
anything else.

Mrs. Abbott knew nothing of the Effinghams, except by a hearsay that
got its intelligence from her own school, being herself a late
arrival in the place. She had selected Templeton as a residence on
account of its cheapness, and, having neglected to comply with the
forms of the world, by hesitating about making the customary visit to
the Wigwam, she began to resent, in her spirit at least, Eve's
delicate forbearance from obtruding herself, where, agreeably to all
usage, she had a perfect right to suppose she was not desired. It was
in this spirit, then, that she sat, conversing with Jenny, as the
maid of all work was called, the morning after the conversation
related in the last chapter, in her snug little parlour, sometimes
plying her needle, and oftener thrusting her head out of a window
which commanded a view of the principal street of the place, in order
to see what her neighbours might be about.

"This is a most extraordinary course Mr. Effingham has taken
concerning the Point," said Mrs. Abbott, "and I _do_ hope the people
will bring him to his senses. Why, Jenny, the public has used that
place ever since I can remember, and I have now lived in Templeton
quite fifteen months.--What _can_ induce Mr. Howel to go so often to
that barber's shop, which stands directly opposite the parlour
windows of Mrs. Bennett--one would think the man was all beard."

"I suppose Mr. Howel gets shaved sometimes," said the logical Jenny.

"Not he; or if he does, no decent man would think of posting himself
before a lady's window to do such a thing.--Orlando Furioso," calling
to her eldest son, a boy of eleven, "run over to Mr. Jones's store,
and listen to what the people are talking about, and bring me back
the news, as soon as any thing worth hearing drops from any body; and
stop as you come back, my son, and borrow neighbour Brown's gridiron.
Jenny, it is most time to think of putting over the potatoes."

"Ma'--" cried Orlando Furioso, from the front door, Mrs. Abbott being
very rigid in requiring that all her children should call her 'ma','
being so much behind the age as actually not to know that 'mother'
had got to be much the genteeler term of the two; "Ma'," roared
Orlando Furioso, "suppose there is no news at Mr. Jones's store?"

"Then go to the nearest tavern; something must be stirring this fine
morning, and I'm dying to know what it can possibly be. Mind you
bring something besides the gridiron back with you. Hurry, or never
come home again as long as you live! As I was saying, Jenny, the
right of the public, which is our right, for we are a part of the
public, to this Point, is as clear as day, and I am only astonished
at the impudence of Mr. Effingham in pretending to deny it. I dare
say his French daughter has put him up to it. They say she is
monstrous arrogant!"

"Is Eve Effingham, French," said Jenny, studiously avoiding any of
the usual terms of civility and propriety, by way of showing her
breeding--"well, I had always thought her nothing but Templeton
born!"

"What signifies where a person was born? where they _live_, is the
essential thing; and Eve Effingham has lived so long in France, that
she speaks nothing but broken English; and Miss Debby told me last
week, that in drawing up a subscription paper for a new cushion to
the reading-desk of her people, she actually spelt 'charity'
'carrotty.'"

"Is that French, Miss Abbott?"

"I rather think it is, Jenny; the French are very niggardly, and give
their poor carrots to live on, and so they have adopted the word, I
suppose. You, Byansy-Alzumy-Ann, (Bianca-Alzuma-Ann!)"

"Marm!"

"Byansy-Alzumy-Ann! who taught you to call me marm! Is this the way
you have learned your catechism? Say, ma', this instant."

"Ma'."

"Take your bonnet, my child, and run down to Mrs. Wheaton's, and ask
her if any thing new has turned up about the Point, this morning;
and, do you hear, Byansy-Alzumy-Ann Abbott--how the child starts
away, as if she were sent on a matter of life and death!"

"Why, ma', I want to hear the news, too."

"Very likely, my dear, but, by stopping to get your errand, you may
learn more than by being in such a hurry. Stop in at Mrs. Green's,
and ask how the people liked the lecture of the strange parson, last
evening--and ask her if she can lend me a watering-pot, Now, run, and
be back as soon as possible. Never loiter when you carry news,
child."

"No one has a right to stop the man, I believe, Miss Abbott," put in
Jenny, very appositely.

"That, indeed, have they not, or else we could not calculate the
consequences. You may remember, Jenny, the pious, even, had to give
up that point, public convenience being; too strong for them. Roger-
Demetrius-Benjamin!"--calling to a second boy, two years younger than
his brother--"your eyes are better than mine--who are all those
people collected together in the street. Is not Mr. Howel among
them?"

"I do not know, ma'!" answered Roger-Demetrius-Benjamin, gaping.

"Then run, this minute, and see, and don't stop to look for your hat.
As you come back, step into the tailor's shop and ask if your new
jacket is most done, and what the news is? I rather think, Jenny, we
shall find out something worth hearing, in the course of the day. By
the way, they do say that Grace Van Cortlandt, Eve Effingham's
cousin, is under concern."

"Well, she is the last person I should think would be troubled about
any thing, for every body says she is so desperate rich she might eat
off of silver, if she liked; and she is sure of being married, some
time or other."

"That ought to lighten her concern, you think. Oh! it does my heart
good when I see any of those flaunty people right well exercised!
Nothing would make me happier than to see Eve Effingham groaning
fairly in the spirit! That would teach her to take away the people's
Points."

"But, Miss Abbott, then she would become almost as good a woman as
you are yourself,"

"I am a miserable, graceless, awfully wicked sinner! Twenty times a
day do I doubt whether I am actually converted or not. Sin has got
such a hold of my very heart-strings, that I sometimes think they
will crack before it lets go. Rinaldo-Rinaldini-Timothy, my child, do
you toddle across the way, and give my compliments to Mrs. Hulbert,
and inquire if it be true that young Dickson, the lawyer, is really
engaged to Aspasia Tubbs or not? and borrow a skimmer, or a tin pot,
or any thing you can carry, for we may want something of the sort in
the course of the day. I do believe, Jenny, that a worse creature
than myself is hardly to be found in Templeton."

"Why, Miss Abbott," returned Jenny, who had heard too much of this
self-abasement to be much alarmed at it, "this is giving almost as
bad an account of yourself, as I heard somebody, that I won't name,
give of you last week."

"And who is your somebody, I should like to know? I dare say, one no
better than a formalist, who thinks that reading prayers out of a
book, kneeling, bowing, and changing gowns, is religion! Thank
Heaven, I'm pretty indifferent to the opinions of such people.
Harkee, Jenny; if I thought I was no better than some persons I could
name, I'd give the point of salvation up, in despair!"

"Miss Abbott," roared a rugged, dirty-faced, bare-footed boy, who
entered without knocking, and stood in the middle of the room, with
his hat on, with a suddenness that denoted great readiness in
entering other people's possessions; "Miss Abbott, ma' wants to know
if you are likely to go from home this week?"

"Why, what in nature can she want to know that for, Ordeal Bumgrum?"
Mrs. Abbott pronounced this singular name, however, "Ordeel."

"Oh! she _warnts_ to know."

"So do I _warnt_ to know; and know I will. Run home this instant, and
ask your mother why she has sent you here with this message. Jenny, I
am much exercised to find out the reason Mrs. Bumgrum should have
sent Ordeal over with such a question."

"I did hear that Miss Bumgrum intended to make a journey herself, and
she may want your company."

"Here comes Ordeal back, and we shall soon be out of the clouds. What
a boy that is for errands. He is worth all my sons put together. You
never see him losing time by going round by the streets, but away he
goes over the garden fences like a cat, or he will whip through a
house, if standing in his way, as if he were its owner, should the
door happen to be open. Well, Ordeal?"

But Ordeal was out of breath, and although Jenny shook him, as if to
shake the news out of him, and Mrs. Abbott actually shook her fist,
in her impatience to be enlightened, nothing could induce the child
to speak, until he had recovered his wind.

"I believe he does it on purpose," said the provoked maid.

"It's just like him!" cried the mistress; "the very best news-carrier
in the village is actually spoilt because he is thick-winded."

"I wish folks wouldn't make their fences so high," Ordeal exclaimed,
the instant he found breath. "I can't see of what use it is to make a
fence people can't climb!"

"What does your mother say?" cried Jenny repeating her shake, _con
amore_.

"Ma, wants to know, Miss Abbott, if you don't intend to use it
yourself, if you will lend her your name for a few days, to go to
Utica with? She says folks don't treat her half as well when she is
called Bumgrum, as when she has another name, and she thinks she'd
like to try yours, this time."

"Is that all!--You needn't have been so hurried about such a trifle,
Ordeal. Give my compliments to your mother, and tell her she is quite
welcome to my name, and I hope it will be serviceable to her."

"She says she is willing to pay for the use of it, if you will tell
her what the damage will be."

"Oh! it's not worth while to speak of such a trifle I dare say she
will bring it back quite as good as when she took it away. I am no
such unneighbourly or aristocratical person as to wish to keep my
name all to myself. Tell your mother she is welcome to mine, and to
keep it as long as she likes, and not to say any thing about pay; I
may want to borrow hers, or something else, one of these days,
though, to say the truth, my neighbours _are_ apt to complain of me
as unfriendly and proud for not borrowing as much as a good neighbour
ought."

Ordeal departed, leaving Mrs. Abbot in some such condition as that of
the man who had no shadow. A rap at the door interrupted the further
discussion of the old subject, and Mr. Steadfast Dodge appeared in
answer to the permission to enter. Mr. Dodge and Mrs. Abbott were
congenial spirits, in the way of news, he living by it, and she
living on it.

"You are very welcome, Mr. Dodge," the mistress of the house
commenced; "I hear you passed the day, yesterday, up at the
Effinghamses."

"Why, yes, Mrs. Abbott, the Effinghams insisted on it, and I could
not well get over the sacrifice, after having been their shipmate so
long. Besides it is a little relief to talk French, when one has been
so long in the daily practice of it."

"I hear there is company at the house?"

"Two of our fellow-travellers, merely. An English baronet, and a
young man of whom less is known than one could wish. He is a
mysterious person, and I hate mystery, Mrs. Abbott."

"In that, then, Mr. Dodge, you and I are alike. I think every thing
should be known. Indeed, that is not a free country in which there
are any secrets. I keep nothing from my neighbours, and, to own the
truth, I do not like my neighbours to keep any thing from me."

"Then you'll hardly like the Effinghams, for I never yet met with a
more close-mouthed family. Although I was so long in the ship with
Miss Eve, I never heard her once speak of her want of appetite; of
sea-sickness, or of any thing relating to her ailings even: no? can
you imagine how close she is on the subject of the beaux; I do not
think I ever heard her use the word, or so much as allude to any walk
or ride she ever took with a single man. I set her down, Mrs. Abbott,
as unqualifiedly artful!"

"That you may with certainty, sir, for there is no more sure sign
that a young woman is all the while thinking of the beaux, than her
never mentioning them."

"That I believe to be human nature; no ingenuous person ever thinks
much of the particular subject of conversation. What is your opinion,
Mrs. Abbott, of the contemplated match at the Wigwam?"

"Match!" exclaimed Mrs. Abbott.--"What, already! It is the most
indecent thing I ever heard of! Why, Mr. Dodge, the family has not
been home a fortnight, and to think so soon of getting married! It is
quite as bad as a widower's marrying within the month."

Mrs. Abbott made a distinction, habitually, between the cases of
widowers and widows, as the first, she maintained, might get married
whenever they pleased, and the latter only when they got offers; and
she felt just that sort of horror of a man's thinking of marrying too
soon after the death of his wife, as might be expected in one who
actually thought of a second husband before the first was dead.

"Why, yes," returned Steadfast, "it is a little premature, perhaps,
though they have been long acquainted. Still, as you say, it would be
more decent to wait and see what may turn up in a country, that, to
them, may be said to be a foreign land."

"But, who are the parties, Mr. Dodge."

"Miss Eve Effingham, and Mr. John Effingham"

"Mr. John Effingham!" exclaimed the lady, who had lent her name to a
neighbour, aghast, for this was knocking one of her own day-dreams in
the head, "well this is too much! But he shall not marry her, sir;
the law will prevent it, and we live in a country of laws. A man
cannot marry his own niece."

"It is excessively improper, and ought to be put a stop to. And yet
these Effinghams do very much as they please."

"I am very sorry to hear that; they are extremely disagreeable," said
Mrs. Abbott, with a look of eager inquiry, as if afraid the answer
might be in the negative.

"As much so as possible; they have hardly a way that you would like,
my dear ma'am; and are as close-mouthed as if they were afraid of
committing themselves."

"Desperate bad news-carriers, I am told, Mr. Dodge. There is Dorindy
(Dorinda) Mudge, who was employed there by Eve and Grace one day; she
tells me she tried all she could to get them to talk, by speaking of
the most common things; things that one of my children knew all
about; such as the affairs of the neighbourhood, and how people are
getting on; and, though they would listen a little, and that is
something, I admit, not a syllable could she get in the way of
answer, or remark. She tells me that, several times, she had a mind
to quit, for it is monstrous unpleasant to associate with your
tongue-tied folks."

"I dare say Miss Effingham could throw out a hint now and then,
concerning the voyage and her late fellow-travellers," said
Steadfast, casting an uneasy glance at his companion.

"Not she. Dorindy maintains that it is impossible to get a sentiment
out of her concerning a single fellow-creature. When she talked of
the late unpleasant affair of poor neighbour Bronson's family--a
melancholy transaction that, Mr. Dodge, and I shouldn't wonder if it
went to nigh break Mrs. Bronson's heart--but when Dorindy mentioned
this, which is bad enough to stir the sensibility of a frog, neither
of my young ladies replied, or put a single question. In this respect
Grace is as bad as Eve, and Eve is as bad as Grace, they say. Instead
of so much as seeming to wish to know any more, what does my Miss Eve
do, but turn to some daubs of paintings, and point out to her cousin
what she was pleased to term peculiarities in Swiss usages. Then the
two hussies would talk of nature, 'our beautiful nature' Dorindy says
Eve had the impudence to call it, and, as if human nature and its
failings and backsliding wore not a fitter subject for a young
woman's discourse, than a silly conversation about lakes, and rocks,
and trees, and as if she _owned_ the nature about Templeton. It is my
opinion, Mr. Dodge, that downright ignorance is at the bottom of it
all, for Dorindy says that they actually know no more of the
intricacies of the neighbourhood than if they lived in Japan."

"All pride, Mrs. Abbott; rank pride. They feel themselves too great
to enter into the minutiae of common folks' concerns. I often tried
Miss Effingham coming from England; and things touching private
interests, that I know she did and must understand, she always
disdainfully refused to enter into. Oh! she is, a real Tartar, in her
way; and what she does not wish to do, you never can make her do!"

"Have you heard that Grace is under concern?"

"Not a breath of it; under whose preaching was she sitting, Mrs.
Abbott?"

"That is more than I can tell you; not under the church parson's,
I'll engage; no one ever heard of a real, active, regenerating, soul-
reviving, spirit-groaning and fruit-yielding conversion under _his_
ministry."

"No, there is very little unction in that persuasion generally. How
cold and apathetic they are, in these soul-stirring times! Not a
sinner has been writhing on _their_ floor, I'll engage, nor a wretch
transferred into a saint, in the twinkling of an eye, by _that_
parson. Well, _we_ have every reason to be grateful, Mrs. Abbott."

"That we have, for most glorious have been our privileges! To be sure
that is a sinful pride that can puff up a wretched, sinful being like
Eve Effingham to such a pass of conceit, as to induce her to think
she is raised above thinking of, and taking an interest in the
affairs of her neighbours. Now, for my part, conversion has so far
opened _my_ heart, that I do actually feel as if I wanted to know all
about the meanest creature in Templeton."

"That's the true spirit, Mrs. Abbott; stick to that, and your
redemption is secure. I only edit a newspaper, by way of showing an
interest in mankind."

"I hope, Mr. Dodge, the press does not mean to let this matter of the
Point sleep; the press is the true guardian of the public rights, and
I can tell you the whole community looks to it for support, in this
crisis."

"We shall not fail to do our duty," said Mr. Dodge, looking over his
shoulder, and speaking lower. "What! shall one insignificant
individual, who has not a single right above that of the meanest
citizen in the county, oppress this great and powerful community!
What if Mr. Effingham does own this point of land--"

"But he does _not_ own it," interrupted Mrs. Abbott. "Ever since I
have known Templeton, the public has owned it. The public, moreover,
says it owns it, and what the public says, in this happy country, is
law."

"But, allowing that the public does not own--"

"It _does_ own it, Mr. Dodge," the nameless repeated, positively.

"Well, ma'am, own or no own, this is not a country in which the press
ought to be silent, when a solitary individual undertakes to trample
on the public. Leave that matter to us, Mrs. Abbott; it is in good
hands, and shall be well taken care of."

"I'm piously glad of it!"

"I mention this to you, as to a friend," continued Mr. Dodge,
cautiously drawing from his pocket a manuscript, which he prepared to
read to his companion who sat with a devouring curiosity, ready to
listen.

The manuscript of Mr. Dodge contained a professed account of the
affair of the Point. It was written obscurely, and was not without
its contradictions, but the imagination of Mrs. Abbott supplied all
the vacuums, and reconciled all the contradictions. The article was
so liberal of its professions of contempt for Mr. Effingham, that
every rational man was compelled to wonder, why a quality, that is
usually so passive, should, in this particular instance, be aroused
to so sudden and violent activity. In the way of facts, not one was
faithfully stated; and there were several deliberate, unmitigated
falsehoods, which went essentially to colour the whole account.

"I think this will answer the purpose," said Steadfast, "and we have
taken means to see that it shall be well circulated."

"This will do them good," cried Mrs. Abbott; almost breathless with
delight. "I hope folks will believe it."

"No fear of that. If it were a party thing, now, one half would
believe it, as a matter of course, and the other half would not
believe it, as a matter of course; but, in a private matter, lord
bless you, ma'am, people are always ready to believe any thing that
will give them something to talk about."

Here the _tête à tête_ was interrupted by the return of Mrs. Abbott's
different messengers, all of whom, unlike the dove sent forth from
the ark, brought back something in the way of hopes. The Point was a
general theme, and, though the several accounts flatly contradicted
each other, Mrs. Abbott, in the general benevolence of her pious
heart, found the means to extract corroboration of her wishes from
each.

Mr. Dodge was as good as his word, and the account appeared. The
press throughout the country seized with avidity on any thing that
helped to fill its columns. No one appeared disposed to inquire into
the truth of the account, or after the character of the original
authority. It was in print, and that struck the great majority of the
editors and their readers, as a sufficient sanction. Few, indeed,
were they, who lived so much under a proper self-control, as to
hesitate; and this rank injustice was done a private citizen, as much
without moral restraint, as without remorse, by those, who, to take
their own accounts of the matter, were the regular and habitual
champions of human rights!

John Effingham pointed out this extraordinary scene of reckless
wrong, to his wondering cousin, with the cool sarcasm, with which he
was apt to assail the weaknesses and crimes of the country. His
firmness, united to that of his cousin, however, put a stop to the
publication of the resolutions of Aristabulus's meeting, and when a
sufficient time had elapsed to prove that these prurient denouncers
of their fellow-citizens had taken wit in their anger, he procured
them, and had them published himself, as the most effectual means of
exposing the real character of the senseless mob, that had thus
disgraced liberty, by assuming its professions and its usages.

To an observer of men, the end of this affair presented several
strong points for comment. As soon as the truth became generally
known, in reference to the real ownership, and the public came to
ascertain that instead of hitherto possessing a right, it had, in
fact been merely enjoying a favour, those who had commit ted
themselves by their arrogant assumptions of facts, and their indecent
outrages, fell back on their self-love, and began to find excuses for
their conduct in that of the other party. Mr. Effingham was loudly
condemned for not having done the very thing, he, in truth, had done,
viz: telling the public it did not own his property; and when this
was shown to be an absurdity, the complaint followed that what he had
done, had been done in precisely such a mode, although it was the
mode constantly used by every one else. From these vague and
indefinite accusations, those most implicated in the wrong, began to
deny all their own original assertions, by insisting that they had
known all along, that Mr. Effingham owned the property, but that they
did not choose he, or any other man, should presume to tell them what
they knew already. In short, the end of this affair exhibited human
nature in its usual aspects of prevarication, untruth, contradiction,
and inconsistency, notwithstanding the high profession of liberty
made by those implicated; and they who had been the most guilty of
wrong, were loudest in their complaints, as if they alone had
suffered.

"This is not exhibiting the country to us, certainly, after so long
an absence, in its best appearance," said Mr. Effingham, "I must
admit, John; but error belongs to all regions, and to all classes of
institutions."

"Ay, Ned, make the best of it, as usual; but, if you do not come
round to my way of thinking, before you are a twelvemonth older, I
shall renounce prophesying. I wish we could get at the bottom of Miss
Effingham's thoughts, on this occasion."

"Miss Effingham has been grieved, disappointed, nay, shocked," said
Eve, "but, still she will not despair of the republic. None of our
respectable neighbours, in the first place, have shared in this
transaction, and that is something; though I confess I feel some
surprise that any considerable portion of a community, that respects
itself, should quietly allow an ignorant fragment of its own numbers,
to misrepresent it so grossly, in an affair that so nearly touches
its own character for common sense and justice."

"You have yet to learn, Miss Effingham, that men can get to be so
saturated with liberty, that they become insensible to the nicer
feelings. The grossest enormities are constantly committed in this
good republic of ours, under the pretence of being done by the
public, and for the public. The public have got to bow to that
bugbear, quite as submissively as Gesler would have wished the Swiss
to bow to his own cap, as to the cap of Rodolph's substitute. Men
will have idols, and the Americans have merely set up themselves."

"And you, cousin Jack, you would be wretched were you doomed to live
under a system less free. I fear you have the affectation of
sometimes saying that which you do not exactly feel."

Chapter XVII.

  "Come, these are no times to think of dreams--
  We'll talk of dreams hereafter."

  SHAKSPEARE.

The day succeeding that in which the conversation just mentioned
occurred, was one of great expectation and delight in the Wigwam.
Mrs. Hawker and the Bloomfields were expected, and the morning passed
away rapidly, under the gay buoyancy of the feelings that usually
accompany such anticipations in a country-house. The travellers were
to leave town the previous evening, and, though the distance was near
two hundred and thirty miles, they were engaged to arrive by the
usual dinner hour. In speed, the Americans, so long as they follow
the great routes, are unsurpassed; and even Sir George Templemore,
coming, as he did, from a country of MacAdamized roads and excellent
posting, expressed his surprise, when given to understand that a
journey of this length, near a hundred miles of which were by land,
moreover, was to be performed in twenty-four hours, the stops
included.

"One particularly likes this rapid travelling," he remarked, "when it
is to bring us such friends as Mrs. Hawker."

"And Mrs. Bloomfield," added Eve, quickly. "I rest the credit of the
American females on Mrs. Bloomfield."

"More so, than on Mrs. Hawker, Miss Effingham."

"Not in all that is amiable, respectable, feminine, and lady-like;
but certainly more so, in the way of mind. I know, Sir George
Templemore, as a European, what your opinion is of our sex in this
country."

"Good heaven, my dear Miss Effingham!--My opinion of your sex, in
America! It is impossible for any one to entertain a higher opinion
of your country-women--as I hope to show--as, I trust, my respect and
admiration have always proved--nay, Powis, you, as an American, will
exonerate me from this want of taste--judgment--feeling--"

Paul laughed, but told the embarrassed and really distressed baronet,
that he should leave him in the very excellent hands into which he
had fallen.

"You see that bird, that is sailing so prettily above the roofs of
the village," said Eve, pointing with her parasol in the direction
she meant; for the three were walking together on the little lawn, in
waiting for the appearance of the expected guests; "and I dare say
you are ornithologist enough to tell its vulgar name."

"You are in the humour to be severe this morning--the bird is but a
common swallow."

"One of which will not make a summer, as every one knows. Our
cosmopolitism is already forgotten, and with it, I fear, our
frankness."

"Since Powis has hoisted his national colours, I do not feel as free
on such subjects as formerly," returned Sir George, smiling. "When I
thought I had a secret ally in him, I was not afraid to concede a
little in such things, but his avowal of his country has put me on my
guard. In no case, however, shall I admit my insensibility to the
qualities of your countrywomen. Powis, as a native, may take that
liberty; but, as for myself, I shall insist they are, at least, the
equals of any females I know."

"In _naiveté_, prettiness, delicacy of appearance, simplicity, and
sincerity--"

"In sincerity, think you, dear Miss Effingham?"

"In sincerity, above all things, dear Sir George Templemore.
Sincerity--nay, frankness is the last quality I should think of
denying them."

"But to return to Mrs. Bloomfield--she is clever, exceedingly clever,
I allow; in what is her cleverness to be distinguished from that of
one of her sex, on the other side of the ocean?"

"In nothing, perhaps, did there exist no differences in national
characteristics. Naples and New-York are in the same latitude, and
yet, I think you will agree with me, that there is little resemblance
in their populations."

"I confess I do not understand the allusion--are you quicker witted,
Powis?"

"I will not say that," answered Paul; "but I think I do comprehend
Miss Effingham's meaning. You have travelled enough to know, that, as
a rule, there is more aptitude in a southern, than in a northern
people. They receive impressions more readily, and are quicker in all
their perceptions."

"I believe this to be true; but, then, you will allow that they are
less constant, and have less perseverance?"

"In that we are agreed, Sir George Templemore," resumed Eve, "though
we might differ as to the cause. The inconstancy of which you speak,
is more connected with moral than physical causes, perhaps, and we,
of this region, might claim an exemption from some of them. But, Mrs.
Bloomfield is to be distinguished from her European rivals, by a
frame so singularly feminine as to appear fragile, a delicacy of
exterior, that, were it not for that illumined face of hers, might
indicate a general feebleness, a sensitiveness and quickness of
intellect that amount almost to inspiration; and yet all is balanced
by a practical common sense, that renders her as safe a counsellor as
she is a warm friend. This latter quality causes you sometimes to
doubt her genius, it is so very homely and available. Now it is in
this, that I think the American woman, when she does rise above
mediocrity, is particularly to be distinguished from the European.
The latter, as a genius, is almost always in the clouds, whereas,
Mrs. Bloomfield, in her highest flights, is either all heart, or all
good sense. The nation is practical, and the practical qualities get
to be imparted even to its highest order of talents."

"The English women are thought to be less excitable, and not so much
under the influence of sentimentalism, as some of their continental
neighbours."

"And very justly--but----"

"But, what, Miss Effingham--there is, in all this, a slight return to
the cosmopolitism, that reminds me of our days of peril and
adventure. Do not conceal a thought, if you wish to preserve that
character."

"Well, to be sincere, I shall say that your women live under a system
too sophisticated and factitious to give fair play to common sense,
at all times. What, for instance, can be the habitual notions of one,
who, professing the doctrines of Christianity, is accustomed to find
money placed so very much in the ascendant, as to see it daily
exacted in payment for the very first of the sacred offices of the
church? It would be as rational to contend that a mirror which had
been cracked into radii, by a bullet, like those we have so often
seen in Paris, would reflect faithfully, as to suppose a mind
familiarized to such abuses would be sensitive on practical and
common sense things."

"But, my dear Miss Effingham, this is all habit."

"I know it is all habit, Sir George Templemore, and a very bad habit
it is. Even your devoutest clergymen get so accustomed to it, as not
to see the capital mistake they make. I do not say it is absolutely
sinful, where there is no compulsion; but, I hope you agree with me,
Mr. Powis, when I say I think a clergyman ought to be so sensitive on
such a subject, as to refuse even the little offerings for baptisms,
that it is the practice of the wealthy of this country to make."

"I agree with you entirely, for it would denote a more just
perception of the nature of the office they are performing; and they
who wish to give can always make occasions."

"A hint might be taken from Franklin, who is said to have desired his
father to ask a blessing on the pork-barrel, by way of condensation,"
put in John Effingham, who joined them as he spoke, and who had heard
a part of the conversation. "In this instance an average might be
struck in the marriage fee, that should embrace all future baptisms.
But here comes neighbour Howel to favour us with his opinion. Do you
like the usages of the English church, as respects baptisms, Howel?"

"Excellent, the best in the world, John Effingham."

"Mr. Howel is so true an Englishman," said Eve, shaking hands
cordially with their well-meaning neighbour, "that he would give a
certificate in favour of polygamy, if it had a British origin."

"And is not this a more natural sentiment for an American than that
which distrusts so much, merely because it comes from the little
island?" asked Sir George, reproachfully.

"That is a question I shall leave Mr. Howel himself to answer."

"Why, Sir George," observed the gentleman alluded to, "I do not
attribute my respect for your country, in the least, to origin. I
endeavour to keep myself free from all sorts of prejudices. My
admiration of England arises from conviction, and I watch all her
movements with the utmost jealousy, in order to see if I cannot find
her tripping, though I feel bound to say I have never yet detected
her in a single error. What a very different picture, France--I hope
your governess is not within hearing, Miss Eve; it is not her fault;
she was born a French woman, and we would not wish to hurt her
feelings--but what a different picture France presents! I have
watched her narrowly too, these forty years, I may say, and I have
never yet found her right; and this, you must allow, is a great deal
to be said by one who is thoroughly impartial."

"This is a terrible picture, indeed, Howel, to come from an
unprejudiced man," said John Effingham; "and I make no doubt Sir
George Templemore will have a better opinion of himself for ever
after--he for a valiant lion, and you for a true prince. But yonder
is the 'exclusive extra,' which contains our party."

The elevated bit of lawn on which they were walking commanded a view
of the road that led into the village, and the travelling, vehicle
engaged by Mrs. Hawker and her friends, was now seen moving along it
at a rapid pace. Eve expressed her satisfaction, and then all resumed
their walk, as some minutes must still elapse previously to the
arrival.

"Exclusive extra!" repeated Sir George; "that is a peculiar phrase,
and one that denotes any thing but democracy."

"In any other part of the world a thing would be sufficiently marked,
by being 'extra,' but here it requires the addition of 'exclusive,'
in order to give it the 'tower stamp,'" said John Effingham, with a
curl of his handsome lip. "Any thing may be as exclusive as it
please, provided it bear the public impress. A stagecoach being
intended for every body, why, the more exclusive it is, the better.
The next thing we shall hear of will be exclusive steamboats,
exclusive railroads, and both for the uses of the exclusive people."

Sir George now seriously asked an explanation of the meaning of the
term, when Mr. Howel informed him that an 'extra' in America meant a
supernumerary coach, to carry any excess of the ordinary number of
passengers; whereas an 'exclusive extra' meant a coach expressly
engaged by a particular individual.

"The latter, then, is American posting," observed Sir George.

"You have got the best idea of it that can be given," said Paul. "It
is virtually posting with a coachman, instead of postillions, few
persons in this country, where so much of the greater distances is
done by steam, using their own travelling carriages. The American
'exclusive extra' is not only posting, but, in many of the older
parts of the country, it is posting of a very good quality."

"I dare say, now, this is all wrong, if we only knew it," said the
simple-minded Mr. Howel. "There is nothing exclusive in England, ha,
Sir George?"

Every body laughed except the person who put this question, but the
rattling of wheels and the tramping of horses on the village bridge,
announced the near approach of the travellers. By the time the party
had reached the great door in front of the house, the carriage was
already in the grounds, and at the next moment, Eve was in the arms
of Mrs. Bloomfield. It was apparent, at a glance, that more than the
expected number of guests was in the vehicle; and as its contents
were slowly discharged, the spectators stood around it, with
curiosity, to observe who would appear.

The first person that descended, after the exit of Mrs. Bloomfield,
was Captain Truck, who, however, instead of saluting his friends,
turned assiduously to the door he had just passed through, to assist
Mrs. Hawker to alight. Not until this office had been done, did he
even look for Eve; for, so profound was the worthy captain's
admiration and respect for this venerable lady, that she actually had
got to supplant our heroine, in some measure, in his heart. Mr.
Bloomfield appeared next, and an exclamation of surprise and pleasure
proceeded from both Paul and the baronet, as they caught a glimpse of
the face of the last of the travellers that got out.

"Ducie!" cried Sir George. "This is even better than we expected."

"Ducie!" added Paul, "you are several days before the expected time,
and in excellent company."

The explanation, however, was very simple Captain Ducie had found the
facilities for rapid motion much greater than he had expected, and he
reached Fort Plain, in the eastward cars, as the remainder of the
party arrived in the westward. Captain Truck-who had met Mrs.
Hawker's party in the river boat, had been intrusted with the duty of
making the arrangements, and recognizing Captain Ducie, to their
mutual surprise, while engaged in this employment, and ascertaining
his destination, the latter was very cordially received into the
"exclusive extra."

Mr. Effingham welcomed all his guests with the hospitality and
kindness for which he was distinguished. We are no great admirers of
the pretension to peculiar national virtues, having ascertained, to
our own satisfaction, by tolerably extensive observation, that the
moral difference between men is of no great amount; but we are almost
tempted to say, on this occasion, that Mr. Effingham received his
guests with American hospitality; for if there be one quality that
this people can claim to possess in a higher degree than that of most
other Christian nations, it is that of a simple, sincere, confiding
hospitality. For Mrs. Hawker, in common with all who knew her, the
owner of the Wigwam entertained a profound respect; and though his
less active mind did not take as much pleasure as that of his
daughter, in the almost intuitive intelligence of Mrs. Bloomfield, he
also felt for this lady a very friendly regard. It gave him pleasure
to see Eve surrounded by persons of her own sex, of so high a tone of
thought and breeding; a tone of thought and breeding, moreover, that
was as far removed as possible from anything strained or artificial:
and his welcomes were cordial in proportion. Mr. Bloomfield was a
quiet, sensible, gentleman-like man, whom his wife fervently loved,
without making any parade of her attachment and he was also one who
had the good sense to make himself agreeable wherever he went.
Captain Ducie, who, Englishman-like, had required some urging to be
induced to present himself before the precise hour named in his own
letter, and who had seriously contemplated passing several days in a
tavern, previously to showing himself at the Wigwam, was agreeably
disappointed at a reception, that would have been just as frank and
warm, had he come without any notice at all: for the Effinghams knew
that the usages which sophistication and a crowded population perhaps
render necessary in older countries, were not needed in their own;
and then the circumstance that their quondam pursuer was so near a
kinsman of Paul Powis', did not fail to act essentially in his
favour.

"We can offer but little, in these retired mountains, to interest a
traveller and a man of the world, Captain Ducie," said Mr. Effingham,
when he went to pay his compliments more particularly, after the
whole party was in the house; "but there is a common interest in our
past adventures to talk about, after all other topics fail. When, we
met on the ocean, and you deprived us so unexpectedly of our friend
Powis, we did not know that you had the better claim of affinity to
his company."

Captain Ducie coloured slightly, but he made his answer with a proper
degree of courtesy and gratitude.

"It is very true," he added, "Powis and myself are relatives, and I
shall place all my claims to your hospitality to his account; for I
feel that I have been the unwilling cause of too much suffering to
your party to bring with me any very pleasant recollections,
notwithstanding your kindness in including me as a friend in the
adventures of which you speak."

"Dangers that are happily past, seldom bring very unpleasant
recollections, more especially when they were connected with scenes
of excitement, I understand, sir, that the unhappy young man, who was
the principal cause of all that passed, anticipated the sentence of
the law, by destroying himself."

"He was his own executioner, and the victim of a silly weakness that,
I should think, your state of society was yet too young and simple to
encourage. The idle vanity of making an appearance, a vanity, by the
way, that seldom besets gentlemen, or the class to which it may be
thought more properly to belong, ruins hundreds of young men in
England, and this poor creature was of the number. I never was more
rejoiced than when he quitted my ship, for the sight of so much
weakness sickened one of human nature. Miserable as his fate proved
to be, and pitiable as his condition really was while in my charge,
his case has the alleviating circumstance with me, of having made me
acquainted with those whom it might not otherwise have been my good
fortune to meet!"

This civil speech was properly acknowledged, and Mr. Effingham
addressed himself to Captain Truck, to whom, in the hurry of the
moment, he had not yet said half that his feelings dictated.

"I am rejoiced to see you under my roof, my worthy friend," taking
the rough hand of the old seaman between his own whiter and more
delicate fingers, and shaking it with cordiality, "for this _is_
being under my roof, while those town residences have less the air of
domestication and familiarity. You will spend many of your holidays
here, I trust; and when we get a few years older, we will begin to
prattle about the marvels we have seen in company."

The eye of Captain Truck glistened, and, as he return ed the shake by
another of twice the energy, and the gentle pressure of Mr. Effingham
by a squeeze like that of a vice, he said in his honest off-hand
manner--

"The happiest hour I ever knew was that in which I discharged the
pilot, the first time out, as a ship-master; the next great event of
my life, in the way of happiness, was the moment I found myself on
the deck of the Montauk, after we had given those greasy Arabs a him
that their room was better than their company; and I really think
this very instant must be set down as the third. I never knew, my
dear sir, how much I truly loved you and your daughter, until both
were out of sight."

"That is so kind and gallant a speech, that it ought not to be lost
on the person most concerned. Eve, my love, our worthy friend has
just made a declaration which will be a novelty to you, who have not
been much in the way of listening to speeches of this nature."

Mr. Effingham then acquainted his daughter with what Captain Truck
had just said.

"This is certainly the first declaration of the sort I ever heard,
and with the simplicity of an unpractised young woman, I here avow
that the attachment is reciprocal," said the smiling Eve. "If there
is an indiscretion in this hasty acknowledgement, it must be ascribed
to surprise, and to the suddenness with which I have learned my
power, for your _parvenues_ are not always perfectly regulated."

"I hope Mamselle V.A.V. is well," returned the Captain, cordially
shaking the hand the young lady had given him, "and that she enjoys
herself to her liking in this outlandish country?"

"Mademoiselle Viefville will return you her thanks in person, at
dinner; and I believe she does not yet regret _la belle France_
unreasonably; as I regret it myself, in many particulars, it would be
unjust not to permit a native of the country some liberty in that
way."

"I perceive a strange face in the room--one of the family, my dear
young lady?"

"Not a relative, but a very old friend.--Shall I have the pleasure of
introducing you, Captain?"

"I hardly dared to ask it, for I know you must have been overworked
in this way, lately, but I confess I _should_ like an introduction; I
have neither introduced, nor been introduced since I left New-York,
with the exception of the case of Captain Ducie, whom I made properly
acquainted with Mrs. Hawker and her party as you may suppose. They
know each other regularly now, and you are saved the trouble of going
through the ceremony yourself."

"And how is it with you and the Bloomfields? Did Mrs. Hawker name you
to them properly?"

"That is the most extraordinary thing of the sort I ever knew! Not a
word was said in the way of introduction, and yet I slid into an
acquaintance with Mrs. Bloomfield so easily, that I could not tell
how it was done, if my life depended on it. But this very old friend
of yours, my dear young lady----"

"Captain Truck, Mr. Howel; Mr. Howel, Captain Truck;" said Eve,
imitating the most approved manner of the introductory spirit of the
day with admirable self-possession and gravity. "I am fortunate in
having it in my power to make two persons whom I so much esteem
acquainted."

"Captain Truck is the gentleman who commands the Montauk?" said Mr.
Howel, glancing at Eve, as much as to say, "am I right?"

"The very same, and the brave seaman to whom we are all indebted for
the happiness of standing here at this moment."

"You are to be envied, Captain Truck; of all the men in your calling,
you are exactly the one I should most wish to supplant. I understand
you actually go to England twice every year!"

"Three times, sir, when the winds permit. I have even seen the old
island four times, between January and January."

"What a pleasure! It must be the very acme of navigation to sail
between America and England!"

"It is not unpleasant, sir, from April to November, but the long
nights, thick weather, and heavy winds knock off a good deal of the
satisfaction for the rest of the year."

"But I speak of the country; of old England itself; not of the
passages."

"Well, England has what I call a pretty fair coast. It is high, and
great attention is paid to the lights; but of what account is either
coast or lights, if the weather is so thick, you cannot see the end
of your flying-jib-boom!"

"Mr. Howel alludes more particularly to the country, inland," said
Eve; "to the towns, the civilization and the other proofs of
cultivation and refinement. To the government, especially."

"In my judgment, sir, the government is much too particular about
tobacco, and some other trifling things I could name. Then it
restricts pennants to King's ships, whereas, to my notion, my dear
young lady, a New-York packet is as worthy of wearing a pennant as
any vessel that floats. I mean, of course, ships of the regular
European lines, and not the Southern traders."

"But these are merely spots on the sun, my good sir," returned Mr.
Howel; "putting a few such trifles out of the question, I think you
will allow that England is the most delightful country in the world?"

"To be frank with you, Mr. Howel, there is a good deal of hang-dog
weather, along in October, November and December. I have known March
any thing but agreeable, and then April is just like a young girl
with one of your melancholy novels, now smiling, and now blubbering."

"But the morals of the country, my dear sir; the moral features of
England must be a source of never-dying delight to a true
philanthropist," resumed Mr. Howel, as Eve, who perceived that the
discourse was likely to be long, went to join the ladies. "An
Englishman has most reason to be proud of the moral excellencies of
his country!"

"Why, to be frank with you, Mr. Howel, there are some of the moral
features of London, that are any thing but very beautiful. If you
could pass twenty-four hours in the neighbourhood of St. Catharine's,
would see sights that would throw Templeton into fits. The English
are a handsome people, I allow; but their morality is none of the
best-featured."

"Let us be seated, sir; I am afraid we are not exactly agreed on our
terms, and, in order that we may continue this subject, I beg you
will let me take a seat next you, at table."

To this Captain Truck very cheerfully assented, and then the two took
chairs, continuing the discourse very much in the blind and ambiguous
manner in which it had been commenced; the one party insisting on
seeing every thing through the medium of an imagination that had got
to be diseased on such subjects, or with a species of monomania;
while the other seemed obstinately determined to consider the entire
country as things had been presented to his limited and peculiar
experience, in the vicinity of the docks.

"We have had a very unexpected, and a very agreeable attendant in
Captain Truck," said Mrs Hawker, when Eve had placed herself by her
side, and respectfully taken one of her hands. "I really think if I
were to suffer shipwreck, or to run the hazard of captivity, I should
choose to have both occur in his good company."

"Mrs. Hawker makes so many conquests," observed Mrs. Bloomfield,
"that we are to think nothing of her success with this mer-man; but
what will you say, Miss Effingham, when you learn that I am also in
favour, in the same high quarter. I shall think the better of
masters, and boatswains, and Trinculos and Stephanos, as long as I
live, for this specimen of their craft."

"Not Trinculos and Stephanos, dear Mrs. Bloom field; for, _à l'
exception pres de_ Saturday-nights, and sweethearts and wives, a more
exemplary person in the way of libations does not exist than our
excellent Captain Truck. He is much too religious and moral for so
vulgar an excess as drinking."

"Religious!" exclaimed Mrs, Bloomfield, in sur prise. "This is a
merit to which I did not know he possessed the smallest claims. One
might imagine a little superstition, and some short-lived repentances
in gales of wind; but scarcely any thing as much like a trade wind,
as religion!"

"Then you do not know him; for a more sincerely devout man, though I
acknowledge it is after a fashion that is perhaps peculiar to the
ocean, is not often met with. At any rate, you found him attentive to
our sex?"

"The pink of politeness, and, not to embellish, there is a manly
deference about him, that is singularly agreeable to our frail
vanity. This comes of his packet-training, I suppose, and we may
thank you for some portion of his merit, His tongue never tires in
your praises, and did I not feel persuaded that your mind is made up
never to be the wife of any republican American, I should fear this
visit exceedingly. Notwithstanding the remark I made concerning my
being in favour, the affair lies between Mrs. Hawker and yourself. I
know it is not your habit to trifle even on that very popular subject
with young ladies, matrimony; but this case forms so complete an
exception to the vulgar passion, that I trust you will overlook the
indiscretion. Our _golden_ captain, for _copper_ he is not, protests
that Mrs. Hawker is the most delightful old lady he ever knew, and
that Miss Eve Effingham is the most delightful young lady he ever
knew. Here, then, each may see the ground she occupies, and play her
cards accordingly. I hope to be forgiven for touching on a subject so
delicate."

"In the first place," said Eve, smiling, "I should wish to hear Mrs.
Hawker's reply."

"I have no more to say, than to express my perfect gratitude,"
answered that lady, "to announce a determination not to change my
condition, on account of extreme youth, and a disposition to abandon
the field to my younger, if not fairer, rival."

"Well, then," resumed Eve, anxious to change the subject, for she saw
that Paul was approaching their group, "I believe it will be wisest
in me to suspend a decision, circumstances leaving so much at my
disposal. Time must show what that decision will be."

"Nay," said Mrs. Bloomfield, who saw no feeling involved in the
trifling, "this is unjustifiable coquetry, and I feel bound to
ascertain how the land lies. You will remember I am the Captain's
confidant, and you know the fearful responsibility of a friend in an
affair of this sort; that of a friend in the duello being
insignificant in comparison. That I may have testimony at need, Mr.
Powis shall be made acquainted with the leading facts. Captain Truck
is a devout admirer of this young lady, sir, and I am endeavouring to
discover whether he ought to hang himself on her father's lawn, this
evening, as soon as the moon rises, or live another week. In order to
do this, I shall pursue the categorical and inquisitorial method--and
so defend yourself Miss Effingham. Do you object to the country of
your admirer?"

Eve, though inwardly vexed at the turn this pleasantry had taken,
maintained a perfectly composed manner, for she knew that Mrs.
Bloomfield had too much feminine propriety to say any thing improper,
or any thing that might seriously embarrass her.

"It would, indeed, be extraordinary, should I object to a country
which is not only my own, but which has so long been that of my
ancestors," she answered steadily. "On this score, my knight has
nothing to fear."

"I rejoice to hear this," returned Mrs. Bloomfield, glancing her
eyes, unconsciously to herself, however, towards Sir George
Templemore, "and, Mr. Powis, you, who I believe are a European, will
learn humility in the avowal. Do you object to your swain that he is
a seaman?"

Eve blushed, notwithstanding a strong effort to appear composed, and,
for the first time since their acquaintance, she felt provoked with
Mrs. Bloomfield. She hesitated before she answered in the negative,
and this too in a way to give more meaning to her reply, although
nothing could be farther from her intentions.

"The happy man _may_ then be an American and a seaman! Here is great
encouragement. Do you object to sixty?"

"In any other man I should certainly consider it a blemish, as my own
dear father is but fifty."

Mrs. Bloomfield was struck with the tremor in the voice, and with the
air of embarrassment, in one who usually was so easy and collected;
and with feminine sensitiveness she adroitly abandoned the subject,
though she often recurred to this stifled emotion in the course of
the day, and from that moment she became a silent observer of Eve's
deportment with all her father's guests.

"This is hope enough for one day," she said, rising; "the profession
and the flag must counterbalance the years as best they may, and the
Truck lives another revolution of the sun! Mrs. Hawker, we shall be
late at dinner, I see by that clock, unless we retire soon."

Both the ladies now went to their rooms; Eve, who was already dressed
for dinner, remaining in the drawing-room. Paul still stood before
her, and, like herself, he seemed embarrassed.

"There are men who would be delighted to hear even the little that
has fallen from your lips in this trifling," he said, as soon as Mrs.
Bloomfield was out of hearing. "To be an American and a seaman, then,
are not serious defects in your eyes?"

"Am I to be made responsible for Mrs. Bloomfield's caprices and
pleasantries?"

"By no means; but I do think you hold yourself responsible for Miss
Effingham's truth and sincerity I can conceive of your silence, when
questioned too far, but scarcely of any direct declaration, that
shall not possess both these high qualities."

Eve looked up gratefully, for she saw that profound respect for her
character dictated the remark; but rising, she observed--

"This is making a little _badinage_ about our honest, lion-hearted,
old captain, a very serious affair. And now, to show you that I am
conscious of, and thankful for, your own compliment, I shall place
you on the footing of a friend to both the parties, and request you
will take Captain Truck into your especial care, while he remains
here. My father and cousin are both sincerely his friends, but their
habits are not so much those of their guests, as yours will probably
be; and to you, then, I commit him, with a request that he may miss
his ship and the ocean as little as possible."

"I would I knew how to take this charge, Miss Effingham!--To be a
seaman is not always a recommendation with the polished, intelligent,
and refined."

"But when one is polished, intelligent, and refined, to be a seaman
is to add one other particular and useful branch of knowledge to
those which are more familiar. I feel certain Captain Truck will be
in good hands, and now I will go and do my devoirs to my own especial
charges, the ladies."

Eve bowed as she passed the young man, and she left the room with as
much haste as at all became her. Paul stood motionless quite a minute
after she had vanished, nor did he awaken from his reverie, until
aroused by an appeal from Captain Truck, to sustain him, in some of
his matter-of-fact opinions concerning England, against the visionary
and bookish notions of Mr. Howel.

"Who is this Mr. Powis?" asked Mrs. Bloomfield of Eve, when the
latter appeared in her dressing-room, with an unusual impatience of
manner.

"You know, my dear Mrs. Bloomfield, that he was our fellow-passenger
in the Montauk, and that he was of infinite service to us, in
escaping from the Arabs."

"All this I know, certainly; but he is a European, is he not?"

Eve scarcely ever felt more embarrassed than in answering this simple
question.

"I believe not; at least, I think not; we thought so when we met him
in Europe, and even until quite lately; but he has avowed himself a
countryman of our own, since his arrival at Templeton."

"Has he been here long?"

"We found him in the village on reaching home. He was from Canada,
and has been in waiting for his cousin, Captain Ducie, who came with
you."

"His cousin!--He has English cousins, then! Mr. Ducie kept this to
himself, with true English reserve. Captain Truck whispered something
of the latter's having taken out one of his passengers, _the_ Mr.
Powis. the hero of the rocks, but I did not know of his having found
his way back to our--to his country. Is he as agreeable as Sir George
Templemore?"

"Nay, Mrs. Bloomfield, I must leave you to judge of that for
yourself. I think them both agreeable men; but there is so much
caprice in a woman's tastes, that I decline thinking for others."

"He is a seaman, I believe," observed Mrs. Bloomfield, with an
abstracted manner--"he _must_ have been, to have manoeuvred and
managed as I have been told he did. Powis--Powis--that is not one of
our names, neither--I should think he must be from the south."

Here Eve's habitual truth and dignity of mind did her good service,
and prevented any further betrayal of embarrassment.

"We do not know his family," she steadily answered. "That he is a
gentleman, we see; but of his origin and connections he never
speaks."

"His profession would have given him the notions of a gentleman, for
he was in the navy I have heard, although I had thought it the
British navy. I do not know of any Powises in Philadelphia, or
Baltimore, or Richmond, or Charleston; he must surely be from the
interior."

Eve could scarcely condemn her friend for a curiosity that had not a
little tormented herself, though she would gladly change the
discourse.

"Mr. Powis would be much gratified, did he know what a subject of
interest he has suddenly become with Mrs. Bloomfield," she said,
smiling.

"I confess it all; to be very sincere, I think him the most
distinguished young man, in air, appearance, and expression of
countenance, I ever saw. When this is coupled with what I have heard
of his gallantry and coolness, my dear, I should not be woman to feel
no interest in him. I would give the world to know of what State he
is a native, if native, in truth, he be."

"For that we have his own word. He was born in this country, and was
educated in our own marine."

"And yet from the little that fell from him, in our first short
conversation, he struck me as being educated above his profession."

"Mr. Powis has seen much as a traveller; when we met him in Europe,
it was in a circle particularly qualified to improve both his mind
and his manners."

"Europe! Your acquaintance did not then commence, like that with Sir
George Templemore, in the packet?"

"Our acquaintance with neither, commenced in the packet. My father
had often seen both these gentlemen, during our residences in
different parts of Europe."

"And your father's daughter?"

"My father's daughter, too," said Eve, laughing. "With Mr. Powis, in
particular, we were acquainted under circumstances that left a vivid
recollection of his manliness and professional skill. He was of
almost as much service to us on one of the Swiss lakes, as he has
subsequently been on the ocean."

All this was news to Mrs. Bloomfield, and she looked as if she
thought the intelligence interesting. At this moment the dinner-bell
rang, and all the ladies descended to the drawing-room. The gentlemen
were already assembled, and as Mr. Effingham led Mrs. Hawker to the
table, Mrs. Bloomfield gaily took Eve by the arm, protesting that she
felt herself privileged, the first day, to take a seat near the young
mistress of the Wigwam.

"Mr. Powis and Sir George Templemore will not quarrel about the
honour," she said, in a low voice, as they proceeded towards the
table.

"Indeed you are in error, Mrs. Bloomfield; Sir George Templemore is
much better pleased with being at liberty to sit next my cousin
Grace."

"Can this be so!" returned the other, looking intently at her young
friend.

"Indeed it is so, and I am very glad to be able to affirm it. How far
Miss Van Cortlandt is pleased that it is so, time must show: but the
baronet betrays every day, and all day, how much he is pleased with
her."

"He is then a man of less taste, and judgment, and intelligence, than
I had thought him."

"Nay, dearest Mrs. Bloomfield, this is not necessarily true; or, if
true, need it be so openly said?"

"_Se non e vero, e ben trovato_."

Chapter XVIII.

  "Thine for a space are they--
  Yet shalt thou yield thy treasures up at last;
  Thy gates shall yet give way,
  Thy bolts shall fall, inexorable Past."

  BRYANT

Captain Ducie had retired for the night, and was sitting reading,
when a low tap at the door roused him from a brown study. He gave the
necessary permission, and the door opened.

"I hope, Ducie, you have not forgotten the secretary I left among
your effects," said Paul entering the room, "and concerning which I
wrote you when you were still at Quebec."

Captain Ducie pointed to the case, which was standing among his other
luggage, on the floor of the room.

"Thank you for this care," said Paul, taking the secretary under his
arm, and retiring towards the door; "it contains papers of much
importance to myself, and some that I have reason to think are of
importance to others."

"Stop, Powis--a word before, you quit me. Is Templemore _de trop_?"

"Not at all; I have a sincere regard for Templemore, and should be
sorry to see him leave us."

"And yet I think it singular a man of his habits should be
rusticating among these hills, when I know that he is expected to
look at the Canadas, with a view to report their actual condition at
home."

"Is Sir George really entrusted with a commission of that sort?"
inquired Paul, with interest.

"Not with any positive commission, perhaps, for none was necessary.
Templemore is a rich fellow, and has no need of appointments; but, it
is hoped and understood, that he will look at the provinces, and
report their condition to the government, I dare say he will not be
impeached for his negligence, though it may occasion surprise."

"Good night, Ducie; Templemore prefers a wigwam to your walled
Quebec, and _natives_ to colonists, that's all."

In a minute, Paul was at the door of John Effingham's room, where he
again tapped, and was again told to enter.

"Ducie has not forgotten my request, and here is the secretary that
contains poor Mr. Monday's paper," he remarked, as he laid his load
on a toilet-table, speaking in a way to show that the visit was
expected. "We have, indeed, neglected this duty too long, and it is
to be hoped no injustice, or wrong to any, will be the consequence."

"Is that the package?" demanded John Effingham, extending a hand to
receive a bundle of papers that Paul had taken from the secretary.
"We will break the seals this moment, and ascertain what ought to be
done, before we sleep."

"These are papers of my own, and very precious are they," returned
the young man, regarding them a moment, with interest, before he laid
them on the toilet. "Here are the papers of Mr. Monday."

John Effingham received the package from his young friend, placed the
lights conveniently on the table, put on his spectacles, and invited
Paul to be seated. The gentlemen were placed opposite each other, the
duty of breaking the seals, and first casting an eye at the contents
of the different documents, devolving, as a matter of course, on the
senior of the two, who, in truth, had alone been entrusted with it.

"Here is something signed by poor Monday himself, in the way of a
general, certificate," observed John Effingham, who first read the
paper, and then handed it to Paul. It was, in form, an unsealed
letter; and it was addressed "to all whom it may concern." The
certificate itself was in the following words:

"I, John Monday, do declare and certify, that all the accompanying
letters and documents are genuine and authentic. Jane Dowse, to whom
and from whom, are so many letters, was my late mother, she having
intermarried with Peter Dowse, the man so often named, and who led
her into acts for which I know she has since been deeply repentant.
In committing these papers to me, my poor mother left me the sole
judge of the course I was to take, and I have put them in this form
in order that they may yet do good, should I be called suddenly away.
All depends on discovering who the person called Bright actually is,
for he was never known to my mother, by any other name. She knows him
to have been an Englishman, however, and thinks he was, or had been,
an upper servant in a gentleman's family. JOHN MONDAY."

This paper was dated several years back, a sign that the disposition
to do right had existed some time in Mr. Monday; and all the letters
and other papers had been carefully preserved. The latter also
appeared to be regularly numbered, a precaution that much aided the
investigations of the two gentlemen. The original letters spoke for
themselves, and the copies had been made in a clear, strong,
mercantile hand, and with the method of one accustomed to business.
In short, so far as the contents of the different papers would allow,
nothing was wanting to render the whole distinct and intelligible.

John Effingham read the paper No. 1, with deliberation, though not
aloud; and when he had done, he handed it to his young friend, coolly
remarking--

"That is the production of a deliberate villain."

Paul glanced his eye over the document, which was an original letter
signed, 'David Bright,' and addressed to 'Mrs. Jane Dowse,' It was
written with exceeding art, made many professions of friendship,
spoke of the writer's knowledge of the woman's friends in England,
and of her first husband in particular, and freely professed the
writer's desire to serve her, while it also contained several
ambiguous allusions to certain means of doing so, which should be
revealed whenever the person to whom the letter was addressed should
discover a willingness to embark in the undertaking. This letter was
dated Philadelphia, was addressed to one in New-York, and it was old.

"This is, indeed, a rare specimen of villany," said Paul, as he laid
down the paper, "and has been written in some such spirit as that
employed by the devil when he tempted our common mother. I think I
never read a better specimen of low, wily, cunning."

"And, judging by all that we already know, it would seem to have
succeeded. In this letter you will find the gentleman a little more
explicit; and but a little; though he is evidently encouraged by the
interest and curiosity betrayed by the woman in this copy of the
answer to his first epistle."

Paul read the letter just named, and then he laid it down to wait for
the next, which was still in the hands of his companion.

"This is likely to prove a history of unlawful love, and of its
miserable consequences," said John Effingham in his cool manner, as
he handed the answers to letter No. 1, and letter No. 2, to Paul.
"The world is full of such unfortunate adventures, and I should think
the parties English, by a hint or two you will find in this very
honest and conscientious communication. Strongly artificial, social
and political distinctions render expedients of this nature more
frequent, perhaps, in Great Britain, than in any other country. Youth
is the season of the passions, and many a man in the thoughtlessness
of that period lays the foundation of bitter regret in after life."

As John Effingham raised his eyes, in the act of extending his hand
towards his companion, he perceived that the fresh ruddy hue of his
embrowned cheek deepened, until the colour diffused itself over the
whole of his fine brow. At first an unpleasant suspicion flashed on
John Effingham, and he admitted it with regret, for Eve and her
future happiness had got to be closely associated, in his mind, with
the character and conduct of the young man; but when Paul took the
papers, steadily, and by an effort seemed to subdue all unpleasant
feelings, the calm dignity with which he read them completely effaced
the disagreeable distrust. It was then John Effingham remembered that
he had once believed Paul himself might be the fruits of the
heartless indiscretion he condemned. Commiseration and sympathy
instantly took the place of the first impression, and he was so much
absorbed with these feelings that he had not taken up the letter
which was to follow, when Paul laid down the paper he had last been
required to read.

"This does, indeed, sir, seem to foretell one of those painful
histories of unbridled passion, with the still more painful
consequences," said the young man with the steadiness of one who was
unconscious of having a personal connexion with any events of a
nature so unpleasant. "Let us examine farther."

John Effingham felt emboldened by these encouraging signs of
unconcern, and he read the succeeding letters aloud, so that they
learned their contents simultaneously. The next six or eight
communications betrayed nothing distinctly, beyond the fact that the
child which formed the subject of the whole correspondence, was to be
received by Peter Dowse and his wife, and to be retained as their own
offspring, for the consideration of a considerable sum, with an
additional engagement to pay an annuity. It appeared by these letters
also, that the child, which was hypocritically alluded to under the
name of the 'pet,' had been actually transferred to the keeping of
Jane Dowse, and that several years passed, after this arrangement,
before the correspondence terminated. Most of the later letters
referred to the payment of the annuity, although they all contained
cold inquiries after the 'pet,' and answers so vague and general, as
sufficiently to prove that the term was singularly misapplied. In the
whole, there were some thirty or forty letters, each of which had
been punctually answered, and their dates covered a space of near
twelve years. The perusal of all these papers consumed more than an
hour, and when John Effingham laid his spectacles on the table, the
village clock had struck the hour of midnight.

"As yet," he observed, "we have learned little more than the fact,
that a child was made to take a false character, without possessing
any other clue to the circumstances than is given in the names of the
parties, all of whom are evidently obscure, and one of the most
material of whom, we are plainly told, must have borne a fictitious
name. Even poor Monday, in possession of so much collateral testimony
that we want, could not have known what was the precise injustice
done, if any, or, certainly, with the intentions he manifests, he
would not have left that important particular in the dark."

"This is likely to prove a complicated affair," returned Paul, "and
it is not very clear that we can be of any immediate service. As you
are probably fatigued, we may without impropriety defer the further
examination to another time."

To this John Effingham assented, and Paul, during the short
conversation that followed, brought the secretary from the toilet to
the table, along with the bundle of important papers that belonged to
himself, to which he had alluded, and busied himself in replacing the
whole in the drawer from which they had been taken.

"All the formalities about the seals, that we observed when poor
Monday gave us the packet, would seem to be unnecessary," he
remarked, while thus occupied, "and it will probably be sufficient if
I leave the secretary in your room, and keep the keys myself."

"One never knows," returned John Effingham, with the greater caution
of experience and age. "We have not read all the papers, and there
are wax and lights before you; each has his watch and seal, and it
will be the work of a minute only, to replace every thing as we left
the package, originally. When this is done, you may leave the
secretary, or remove it, at your own pleasure."

"I will leave it; for, though it contains so much that I prize, and
which is really of great importance to myself, it contains nothing
for which I shall have immediate occasion."

"In that case, it were better that I place the package in which we
have a common interest in an _armoire_, or in my secretary, and that
you keep your precious effects more immediately under your own eye."

"It is immaterial, unless the case will inconvenience you, for I do
not know that I am not happier when it is out of my sight, so long as
I feel certain of its security, than when it is constantly before my
eyes."

Paul said this with a forced smile, and there was a sadness in his
countenance that excited the sympathy of his companion. The latter,
however, merely bowed his assent, and the papers were replaced, and
the secretary was locked and deposited in an _armoire_, in silence.
Paul was then about to wish the other good night, when John Effingham
seized his hand, and by a gentle effort induced him to resume his
seat. An embarrassing, but short pause succeeded, when the latter
spoke.

"We have suffered enough in company, and have seen each other in
situations of sufficient trial to be friends," he said. "I should
feel mortified, did I believe you could think me influenced by an
improper curiosity, in wishing to share more of your confidence than
you are perhaps willing to bestow; I trust you will attribute to its
right motive the liberty I am now taking. Age makes some difference
between us, and the sincere and strong interest I feel in your
welfare, ought to give me a small claim not to be treated as a total
stranger. So jealous and watchful has this interest been, I might
with great truth call it affection, that I have discovered you are
not situated exactly as other men in your condition of life are
situated, and feel persuaded that the sympathy, perhaps the advice,
of one so many years older than yourself, might be useful. You have
already said so much to me, on the subject of your personal
situation, that I almost feel a right to ask for more."

John Effingham uttered this in his mildest and most winning manner;
and few men could carry with them, on such an occasion, more of
persuasion in their voices and looks. Paul's features worked, and it
was evident to his companion that he was moved, while, at the same
time, he was not displeased.

"I am grateful, deeply grateful, sir, for this interest in my
happiness," Paul answered, "and if I knew the particular points on
which you feel any curiosity, there is nothing that I can desire to
conceal. Have the further kindness to question me, Mr. Effingham,
that I need not touch on things you do not care to hear."

"All that really concerns your welfare, would have interest with me.
You have been the agent of rescuing not only myself, but those whom I
most love, from a fate worse than death; and, a childless bachelor
myself, I have more than once thought of attempting to supply the
places of those natural friends that I fear you have lost. Your
parents--"

"Are both dead. I never knew either," said Paul, who spoke huskily,
"and will most cheerfully accept your generous offer, if you will
allow me to attach to it a single condition."

"Beggars must not be choosers," returned John Effingham, "and if you
will allow me to feel this interest in you, and occasionally to share
in the confidence of a father; I shall not insist on any unreasonable
terms. What is your condition?"

"That the word money may be struck out of our vocabulary, and that
you leave your will unaltered. Were the world to be examined, you
could not find a worthier or a lovelier heiress, than the one you
have already selected, and whom Providence itself has given you.
Compared with yourself, I am not rich, but I have a gentleman's
income, and as I shall probably never marry, it will suffice for all
my wants."

John Effingham was more pleased than he cared to express with this
frankness, and with the secret sympathy that had existed between
them; but he smiled at the injunction; for, with Eve's knowledge, and
her father's entire approbation, he had actually made a codicil to
his will, in which their young protector was left one half of his
large fortune.

"The will may remain untouched, if you desire it," he answered,
evasively, "and that condition is disposed of. I am glad to learn so
directly from yourself, what your manner of living and the reports of
others had prepared me to hear, that you are independent. This fact,
alone, will place us solely on our mutual esteem, and render the
friendship that I hope is now brought within a covenant, if not now
first established, more equal and frank. You have seen much of the
world, Powis, for your years and profession?"

"It is usual to think that men of my profession see much of the
world, as a consequence of their pursuits; though I agree with you,
sir, that this is seeing the world only in a very limited circle. It
is now several years since circumstances, I might almost say the
imperative order of one whom I was bound to obey, induced me to
resign, and since that time I have done little else but travel. Owing
to certain adventitious causes, I have enjoyed an access to European
society that few of our countrymen possess, and I hope the advantage
has not been entirely thrown away. It was as a traveller on the
continent of Europe, that I had the pleasure of first meeting with
Mr. and Miss Effingham. I was much abroad, even as a child, and owe
some little skill in foreign languages to that circumstance."

"So my cousin has informed me. You have set the question of country
at rest, by declaring that you are an American, and yet I find you
have English relatives. Captain Ducie, I believe, is a kinsman?"

"He is; we are sister's children, though our friendship has not
always been such as the connexion would infer. When Ducie and myself
met at sea, there was an awkwardness, if not a coolness, in the
interview, that, coupled with my sudden return to England, I fear did
not make the most favourable impression, on those who witnessed what
passed."

"We had confidence in your principles," said John Effingham, with a
frank simplicity, "and, though the first surmises were not pleasant,
perhaps, a little reflection told us that there was no just ground
for suspicion."

"Ducie is a fine, manly fellow, and has a seaman's generosity and
sincerity. I had last parted from him on the field, where we met as
enemies; and the circumstance rendered the unexpected meeting
awkward. Our wounds no longer smarted, it is true; but, perhaps, we
both felt shame and sorrow that they had ever been inflicted."

"It should be a very serious quarrel that could arm sister's children
against each other," said John Effingham, gravely.

"I admit as much. But, at that time, Captain Ducie was not disposed
to admit the consanguinity, and the offence grew out of an
intemperate resentment of some imputations on my birth; between two
military men, the issue could scarcely be avoided. Ducie challenged,
and I was not then in the humour to balk him. A couple of flesh-
wounds happily terminated the affair. But an interval of three years
had enabled my enemy to discover that he had not done me justice;
that I had been causelessly provoked to the quarrel, and that we
ought to be firm friends. The generous desire to make suitable
expiation, urged him to seize the first occasion of coming to America
that offered; and when ordered to chase the Montauk, by a telegraphic
communication from London, he was hourly expecting to sail for our
seas, where he wished to come, expressly that we might meet. You will
judge, therefore, how happy he was to find me unexpectedly in the
vessel that contained his principal object of pursuit, thus killing,
as it might be, two birds with one stone."

"And did he carry you away with him, with any such murderous
intention?" demanded John Effingham, smiling.

"By no means; nothing could be more amicable than Ducie and myself
got to be, when we had been a few hours together in his cabin. As
often happens, when there have been violent antipathies and
unreasonable prejudices, a nearer view of each other's character and
motives removed every obstacle; and long before we reached England,
two warmer friends could not be found, or a more frank intercourse
between relatives could not be desired. You are aware, sir, that our
English cousins do not often view their cis-atlantic relatives with
the most lenient eyes."

"This is but too true," said John Effingham proudly, though his lip
quivered as he spoke, "and it is, in a great measure, the fault of
that miserable mental bondage which has left this country, after
sixty years of nominal independence, so much at the mercy of a
hostile opinion. It is necessary that we respect ourselves in order
that others respect us."

"I agree with you, sir, entirely. In my case, however, previous
injustice disposed my relatives to receive me better, perhaps, than
might otherwise have been the case. I had little to ask in the way of
fortune, and feeling no disposition to raise a question that might
disturb the peerage of the Ducies, I became a favourite."

"A peerage!--Both your parents, then, were English?"

"Neither, I believe; but the connection between the two countries was
so close, that it can occasion no surprise a right of this nature
should have passed into the colonies. My mother's mother became the
heiress of one of those ancient baronies, that pass to the heirs-
general, and, in consequence of the deaths of two brothers, these
rights, which however were never actually possessed by any of the
previous generation, centered in my mother and my aunt. The former
being dead, as was contended, without issue--"

"You forget yourself!"

"Lawful issue," added Paul, reddening to the temples, "I should have
added--Mrs. Ducie, who was married to the younger son of an English
nobleman, claimed and obtained the rank. My pretension would have
left the peerage in abeyance, and I probably owe some little of the
opposition I found, to that circumstance. But, after Ducie's generous
conduct, I could not hesitate about joining in the application to the
crown that, by its decision, the abeyance might be determined in
favour of the person who was in possession; and Lady Dunluce is now
quietly confirmed in her claim."

"There are many young men in this country, who would cling to the
hopes of a British peerage with greater tenacity!"

"It is probable there are; but my self-denial is not of a very high
order, for; it could scarcely be expected the English ministers would
consent to give the rank to a foreigner who did not hesitate about
avowing his principles and national feelings. I shall not say I did
hot covet this peerage, for it would be supererogatory; but I am born
an American, and will die an American; and an American who swaggers
about such a claim, is like the daw among the peacocks. The less that
is said about it, the better."

"You are fortunate to have escaped the journals, which, most
probably, would have _begraced_ you, by elevating you at once to the
rank of a duke."

"Instead of which, I had no other station than that of a dog in the
manger. If it makes my aunt happy to be called Lady Dunluce, I am
sure she is welcome to the privilege; and when Ducie succeeds her, as
will one day be the case, an excellent fellow will be a peer of
England. _Voila tout_! You are the only countryman, sir, to whom I
have ever spoken of the circumstance, and with you I trust it will
remain a secret"

"What! am I precluded from mentioning the facts in my own family? I
am not the only sincere, the only warm friend, you have in this
house, Powis."

"In that respect, I leave you to act your pleasure, my dear sir. If
Mr. Effingham feel sufficient interest in my fortunes, to wish to
hear what I have told you, let there be no silly mysteries,--or--or
Mademoiselle Viefville--"

"Or Nanny Sidley, or Annette," interrupted John Effingham, with a
kind smile. "Well, trust to me for that; but, before we separate for
the night, I wish to ascertain beyond question one other fact,
although the circumstances you have stated scarce leave a doubt of
the reply."

"I understand you, sir, and did not intend to leave you in any
uncertainty on that important particular. If there can be a feeling,
more painful than all others, with a man of any pride, it is to
distrust the purity of his mother. Mine was beyond reproach, thank
God, and so it was most clearly established, or I could certainly
have had no legal claim to the peerage."

"Or your fortune--" added John Effingham, drawing a long breath, like
one suddenly relieved from an unpleasant suspicion.

"My fortune comes from neither parent, but from one of those generous
dispositions, or caprices, if you will, that sometimes induce men to
adopt those who are alien to their blood. My guardian adopted me,
took me abroad with him, placed me, quite young, in the navy, and
dying, he finally left me all he possessed As he was a bachelor, with
no near relative, and had been the artisan of his own fortune, I
could have no hesitation about accepting the gift he so liberally
bequeathed. It was coupled with the condition that I should retire
from the service, travel for five years, return home, and marry.
There is no silly-forfeiture exacted in either case, but such is the
general course solemnly advised by a man who showed himself my true
friend for so many years."

"I envy him the opportunity he enjoyed of serving you. I hope he
would have approved of your national pride, for I believe we must put
that at the bottom of your disinterestedness, in the affair of the
peerage."

"He would, indeed, although he never knew anything of the claim which
arose out of the death of the two lords who preceded my aunt, and who
were the brothers of my grandmother. My guardian was in all respects
a man, and, in nothing more, than in a manly national pride. While
abroad a decoration was offered him, and he declined it with the
character and dignity of one who felt that distinctions which his
country repudiated, every gentleman belonging to that country ought
to reject; and yet he did it with a respectful gratitude for the
compliment, that was due to the government from which the offer
came."

"I almost envy that man," said John Effingham, with warmth. "To have
appreciated you, Powis, was a mark of a high judgment; but it seems
he properly appreciated himself, his country, and human nature."

"And yet he was little appreciated in his turn. That man passed years
in one of our largest towns, of no more apparent account among its
population than any one of its commoner spirits, and of not half as
much as one of its bustling brokers, or jobbers."

"In that there is nothing surprising. The class of the chosen few is
too small every where, to be very numerous at any given point, in a
scattered population like that of America. The broker will as
naturally appreciate the broker, as the dog appreciates the dog, or
the wolf the wolf. Least of all is the manliness you have named,
likely to be valued among a people who have been put into men's
clothes before they are out of leading-strings. I am older than you,
my dear Paul," it was the first time John Effingham ever used so
familiar an appellation, and the young man thought it sounded
kindly--"I am older than you, my dear Paul, and will venture to tell
you an important fact that may hereafter lessen some of your own
mortifications. In most nations there is a high standard to which man
at least affects to look; and acts are extolled and seemingly
appreciated, for their naked merits. Little of this exists in
America, where no man is much praised for himself, but for the
purposes of party, or to feed national vanity. In the country in
which, of all others, political opinion ought to be the freest, it is
the most persecuted, and the community-character of the nation
induces every man to think he has a right of property in all its
fame. England exhibits a great deal of this weakness and injustice,
which, it is to be feared, is a vicious fruit of liberty; for it is
certain that the sacred nature of opinion is most appreciated in
those countries in which it has the least efficiency. We are
constantly deriding those governments which fetter opinion, and yet I
know of no nation in which the expression of opinion is so certain to
attract persecution and hostility as our own, though it may be, and
is, in one sense, free."

"This arises from its potency. Men quarrel about opinion here,
because opinion rules. It is but one mode of struggling for power.
But to return to my guardian; he was a man to think and act for
himself, and as far from the magazine and newspaper existence that
most Americans, in a moral sense, pass, as any man could be."

"It is indeed a newspaper and magazine existence," said John
Effingham, smiling at Paul's terms, "to know life only through such
mediums! It is as bad as the condition of those English who form
their notions of society from novels written by men and women who
have no access to it, and from the records of the court journal. I
thank you sincerely, Mr. Powis for this confidence, which has not
been idly solicited on my part, and which shall not be abused. At no
distant day we will break the seals again, and renew our
investigations into this affair of the unfortunate Monday, which is
not yet, certainly, very promising in the way of revelations."

The gentlemen shook hands cordially, and Paul, lighted by his
companion, withdrew. When the young man was at the door of his own
room, he turned, and saw John Effingham following him with his eye.
The latter then renewed the good night, with one of those winning
smiles that rendered his face so brilliantly handsome, and each
retired.

Chapter XIX.

  "Item, a capon, 2_s_. 2_d_. Item, sauce, 4_d_. Item, sack, two
   gallons, 5_s_. 8_d_. Item, bread, a half-penny."

  SHAKSPEARE.

The next day John Effingham made no allusion to the conversation of
the previous night, though the squeeze of the hand he gave Paul, when
they met, was an assurance that nothing was forgotten. As he had a
secret pleasure in obeying any injunction of Eve's, the young man
himself sought Captain Truck, even before they had breakfasted, and,
as he had made an acquaintance with 'the commodore,' on the lake,
previously to the arrival of the Effinghams, that worthy was
summoned, and regularly introduced to the honest ship-master. The
meeting between these two distinguished men was grave, ceremonious
and dignified, each probably feeling that he was temporarily the
guardian of a particular portion of an element that was equally dear
to both. After a few minutes passed, as it might be, in the
preliminary points of etiquette, a better feeling and more confidence
was established, and it was soon settled that they should fish in
company, the rest of the day; Paul promising to row the ladies out on
the lake, and to join them in the course of the afternoon.

As the party quitted the breakfast-table, Eve took an occasion to
thank the young man for his attention to their common friend, who, it
was reported, had taken his morning's repast at an early hour, and
was already on the lake, the day by this time having advanced within
two hours of noon.

"I have dared even to exceed your instructions, Miss Effingham," said
Paul, "for I have promised the Captain to endeavour to persuade you,
and as many of the ladies as possible, to trust yourselves to my
seamanship, and to submit to be rowed out to the spot where we shall
find him and his friend the commodore riding at anchor."

"An engagement that my influence shall be used to see fulfilled. Mrs.
Bloomfield has already expressed a desire to go on the Otsego-Water,
and I make no doubt I shall find other companions. Once more let me
thank you for this little attention, for I too well know your tastes,
not to understand that you might find a more agreeable ward."

"Upon my word, I feel a sincere regard for our old Captain, and could
often wish for no better companion. Were he, however, as disagreeable
as I find him, in truth, pleasant and frank, your wishes would
conceal all his faults."

"You have learned, Mr. Powis, that small attentions are as much
remembered as important services, and after having saved our lives,
wish to prove that you can discharge _les petits devoirs socials_, as
well as perform great deeds. I trust you will persuade Sir George
Templemore to be of our party, and at four we shall be ready to
accompany you; until then I am contracted to a gossip with Mrs.
Bloomfield in her dressing-room."

We shall now leave the party on the land, and follow those who have
already taken boat, or the fishermen. The beginning of the
intercourse between the salt-water navigator and his fresh-water
companion was again a little constrained and critical. Their
professional terms agreed as ill as possible, for when the Captain
used the expression 'ship the oars,' the commodore understood just
the reverse of what it had been intended to express; and, once, when
he told his companion to 'give way,' the latter took the hint so
literally as actually to cease rowing. All these professional
niceties induced the worthy ship-master to undervalue his companion,
who, in the main, was very skilful in his particular pursuit, though
it was a skill that he exerted after the fashions of his own lake,
and not after the fashions of the ocean. Owing to several contre-tems
of this nature, by the time they reached the fishing-ground the
Captain began to entertain a feeling for the commodore, that ill
comported with the deference due to his titular rank.

"I have come out with you, commodore," said Captain Truck, when they
had got to their station, and laying a peculiar emphasis on the
appellation he used, "in order to _enjoy_ myself, and you will confer
an especial favour on me by not using such phrases as 'cable-rope,'
'casting anchor,' and 'titivating.' As for the two first, no seaman
ever uses them; and I never heard suchna word on board a ship, as the
last, D----e, sir, if I believe it is to be found in the dictionary,
even."

"You amaze me, sir! 'Casting anchor,' and 'cable-rope' are both Bible
phrases, and they must be right."

"That follows by no means, commodore, as I have some reason to know;
for my father having been a parson, and I being a seaman, we may be
said to have the whole subject, as it were, in the family. St. Paul--
you have heard of such a man as St. Paul, commodore?--"

"I know him almost by heart, Captain Truck; but St. Peter and St.
Andrew were the men, most after my heart. Ours is an ancient calling,
sir, and in those two instances you see to what a fisherman can rise.
I do not remember to have ever heard of a sea-captain who was
converted into a saint."

"Ay, ay, there is always too much to do on board ship to have time to
be much more than a beginner in religion. There was my mate, v'y'ge
before last, Tom Leach, who is now master of a ship of his own, had
he been brought up to it properly, he would have made as
conscientious a parson as did his grandfather before him. Such a man
would have been a seaman, as well as a parson. I have little to say
against St. Peter or St. Andrew, but, in my judgment, they were none
the better saints for having been fishermen; and, if the truth were
known, I dare say they were at the bottom of introducing such
lubberly phrases into the Bible, as 'casting-anchor,' and 'cable-
rope."

"Pray, sir," asked the commodore, with dignity, "what are _you_ in
the practice of saying, when you speak of such matters; for, to be
frank with you, _we_ always use these terms on these lakes."

"Ay, ay, there is a fresh-water smell about them. We say 'anchor,' or
'let go the anchor,' or 'dropped the anchor,' or some such reasonable
expression, and not 'cast anchor,' as if a bit of iron, weighing two
or three tons, is to be jerked about like a stone big enough to kill
a bird with. As for the 'cable-rope,' as you call it, we say the
'cable,' or 'the chain,' or 'the ground tackle,' according to reason
and circumstances. You never hear a real 'salt' flourishing his
'cable-ropes,' and his 'casting-anchors,' which are altogether too
sentimental and particular for his manner of speaking. As for
'ropes,' I suppose you have not got to be a commodore, and need being
told how many there are in a ship."

"I do not pretend to have counted them, but I have seen a ship, sir,
and one under full sail, too, and I know there were as many ropes
about her as there are pines on the Vision."

"Are there more than seven of these trees on your mountain? for that
is just the number of ropes in a merchant-man; though a man-of-war's-
man counts one or two more."

"You astonish me, sir! But seven ropes in a ship?--I should have said
there are seven hundred!"

"I dare say, I dare say; that is just the way in which a landsman
pretends to criticise a vessel. As for the ropes, I will now give you
their names, and then you can lay athwart hawse of these canoe
gentry, by the hour, and teach them rigging and modesty, both at the
same time. In the first place," continued the captain, jerking at his
line, and then beginning to count on his fingers--"There is the 'man-
rope;' then come the 'bucket-rope,' the 'tiller-rope,' the 'bolt-
rope,' the 'foot-rope,' the 'top-rope,' and the 'limber-rope.' I have
followed the seas, now, more than half a century, and never yet heard
of a 'cable-rope,' from any one who could hand, reef, and steer."

"Well, sir, every man to his trade," said the commodore, who just
then pulled in a fine pickerel, which was the third he had taken,
while his companion rejoiced in no more than a few fruitless bites.
"You are more expert in ropes than in lines, it would seem. I shall
not deny your experience and knowledge; but in the way of fishing,
you will at least allow that the sea is no great school. I dare say,
now, if you were to hook the 'sogdollager,' we should have you
jumping into the lake to get rid of him. Quite probably, sir, you
never before heard of that celebrated fish?"

Notwithstanding the many excellent qualities of Captain Truck, he had
a weakness that is rather peculiar to a class of men, who, having
seen so much of this earth, are unwilling to admit they have not seen
it all. The little brush in which he was now engaged with the
commodore, he conceived due to his own dignity, and his motive was
duly to impress his companion with his superiority, which being
fairly admitted, he would have been ready enough to acknowledge that
the other understood pike-fishing much better than himself. But it
was quite too early in the discussion to make any such avowal, and
the supercilious remark of the commodore's putting him on his mettle,
he was ready to affirm that he had eaten 'sogdollagers' for
breakfast, a month at a time, had it been necessary.

"Pooh! pooh! man," returned the captain, with an air of cool
indifference, "you do not surely fancy that you have any thing in a
lake like this, that is not to be found in the ocean! If you were to
see a whale's flukes thrashing your puddle, every cruiser among you
would run for a port; and as for 'sogdollagers,' we think little of
them in salt-water; the flying-fish, or even the dry dolphin, being
much the best eating."

"Sir," said the commodore, with some heat, and a great deal of
emphasis, "there is but _one_ 'sogdollager' in the world, and he is
in this lake. No man has ever seen him, but my predecessor, the
'Admiral,' and myself."

"Bah!" ejaculated the captain, "they are as plenty as soft clams, in
the Mediterranean, and the Egyptians use them as a pan-fish. In the
East, they catch them to bait with, for hallibut, and other middling
sized creatures, that are particular about their diet. It is a good
fish, I own, as is seen in this very circumstance."

"Sir," repeated the commodore, flourishing his hand, and waxing warm
with earnestness, "there is but one 'sogdollager' in the universe,
and that is in Lake Otsego. A 'sogdollager' is a salmon trout, and
not a species; a sort of father to all the salmon trout in this part
of the world; a scaly patriarch."

"I make no doubt _your_ 'sogdollager' is scaly enough; but what is
the use in wasting words about such a trifle? A whale is the only
fish fit to occupy a gentleman's thoughts. As long as I have been at
sea, I have never witnessed the taking of more than three whales."

This allusion happily preserved the peace; for, if there were any
thing in the world for which the commodore entertained a profound,
but obscure reverence, it was for a whale. He even thought better of
a man for having actually seen one, gambolling in the freedom of the
ocean; and his mind became suddenly oppressed by the glory of a
mariner, who had passed his life among such gigantic animals. Shoving
back his cap, the old man gazed steadily at the captain a minute, and
all his displeasure about the 'sogdollagers' vanished, though, in his
inmost mind, he set down all that the other had told him on that
particular subject, as so many parts of a regular 'fish story.'

"Captain Truck," he said, with solemnity, "I acknowledge myself to be
but an ignorant and inexperienced man, one who has passed his life on
this lake, which, broad and beautiful as it is, must seem a pond in
the eyes of a seaman like yourself, who have passed your days on the
Atlantic----"

"Atlantic!" interrupted the captain contemptuously, "I should have
but a poor opinion of myself, had I seen nothing but the Atlantic!
Indeed, I never can believe I am at sea at all, on the Atlantic, the
passages between New-York and Portsmouth being little more than so
much canalling along a tow-path. If you wish to say any thing about
oceans, talk of the Pacific, or of the Great South Sea, where a man
may run a month with a fair wind, and hardly go from island to
island. Indeed, that is an ocean in which there is a manufactory of
islands, for they turn them off in lots to supply the market, and of
a size to suit customers."

"A manufactory of islands!" repeated the commodore, who began to
entertain an awe of his companion, that he never expected to feel for
any human being on Lake Otsego; "are you certain, sir, there is no
mistake in this?"

"None in the least; not only islands, but whole Archipelagos are made
annually, by the sea insects in that quarter of the world; but, then,
you are not to form your notions of an insect in such an ocean, by
the insects you see in such a bit of water as this."

"As big as our pickerel, or salmon trout, I dare say?" returned the
commodore, in the simplicity of his heart, for by this time his local
and exclusive conceit was thoroughly humbled, and he was almost ready
to believe any thing.

"I say nothing of their size, for it is to their numbers and industry
that I principally allude now. A solitary shark, I dare say, would
set your whole Lake in commotion?"

"I think we might manage a shark, sir. I once saw one of those
animals, and I do really believe the sogdollager would outweigh him.
I do think we might manage a shark, sir."

"Ay, you mean an in-shore, high-latitude fellow. But what would you
say to a shark as long as one of those pines on the mountain?"

"Such a monster would take in a man, whole?"

"A man! He would take in a platoon, Indian file I dare say one of
those pines, now, may be thirty or forty feet high!"

A gleam of intelligence and of exultation shot across the weather-
beaten face of the old fisherman, for he detected a weak spot in the
other's knowledge. The worthy Captain, with that species of
exclusiveness which accompanies excellence in any one thing, was
quite ignorant of most matters that pertain to the land. That there
should be a tree, so far inland, that was larger than his main-yard,
he did not think probable, although that yard itself was made of part
of a tree; and, in the laudable intention of duly impressing his
companion with the superiority of a real seaman over a mere fresh-
water navigator, he had inadvertently laid bare a weak spot in his
estimate of heights and distances, that the Commodore seized upon,
with some such avidity as the pike seizes the hook. This accidental
mistake alone saved the latter from an abject submission, for the
cool superiority of the Captain had so far deprived him of his
conceit, that he was almost ready to acknowledge himself no better
than a dog, when he caught a glimpse of light through this opening.

"There is not a pine, that can be called of age, on all the mountain,
which is not more than a hundred feet high, and many are nearer two,"
he cried in exultation, flourishing his hand. "The sea may have its
big monsters, Captain, but our hills have their big trees. Did you
ever see a shark of half that length?"

Now, Captain Truck was a man of truth, although so much given to
occasional humorous violations of its laws, and, withal, a little
disposed to dwell upon the marvels of the great deep, in the spirit
of exaggeration, and he could not, in conscience, affirm any thing so
extravagant as this. He was accordingly obliged to admit his mistake,
and from this moment, the conversation was carried on with a greater
regard to equality. They talked, as they fished, of politics,
religion, philosophy, human nature, the useful arts, abolition, and
most other subjects that would be likely to interest a couple of
Americans who had nothing to do but to twitch, from time to time, at
two lines dangling in the water. Although few people possess less of
the art of conversation than our own countrymen, no other nation
takes as wide a range in its discussions. He is but a very
indifferent American that does not know, or thinks he knows, a little
of every thing, and neither of our worthies was in the least backward
in supporting the claims of the national character in this respect.
This general discussion completely restored amity between the
parties; for, to confess the truth, our old friend the Captain was a
little rebuked about the affair of the tree. The only peculiarity
worthy of notice, that occurred in the course of their various
digressions, was the fact, that the commodore insensibly began to
style his companion "General;" the courtesy of the country in his
eyes, appearing to require that a man who has seen so much more than
himself, should, at least, enjoy a title equal to his own in rank,
and that of Admiral being proscribed by the sensitiveness of
republican principles. After fishing a few hours, the old laker
pulled the skiff up to the Point so often mentioned, where he Lighted
a fire on the grass, and prepared a dinner. When every thing was
ready, the two seated themselves, and began to enjoy the fruits of
their labours in a way that will be understood by all sportsmen.

"I have never thought of asking you, general," said the commodore, as
he began to masticate a perch, "whether you are an aristocrat or a
democrat. We have had the government pretty much upside-down, too,
this morning, but this question has escaped me."

"As we are here by ourselves under these venerable oaks, and talking
like two old messmates," returned the general, "I shall just own the
truth, and make no bones of it. I have been captain of my own ship so
long, that I have a most thorough contempt for all equality. It is a
vice that I deprecate, and, whatever may be the laws of this country,
I am of opinion, that equality is no where borne out by the Law of
Nations; which, after all, commodore, is the only true law for a
gentleman to live under."

"That is the law of the strongest, if I understand the matter,
general."

"Only reduced to rules. The Law of Nations, to own the truth to you,
is full of categories, and this will give an enterprising man an
opportunity to make use of his knowledge. Would you believe,
commodore, that there are countries, in which they lay taxes on
tobacco?"

"Taxes on tobacco! Sir, I never heard of such an act of oppression
under the forms of law! What has tobacco done, that any one should
think of taxing it?"

"I believe, commodore, that its greatest offence is being so general
a favourite. Taxation, I have found, differs from most other things,
generally attacking that which men most prize."

"This is quite new to me, general; a tax on tobacco. The law-makers
in those countries cannot chew. I drink to your good health, sir, and
to many happy returns of such banquets as this."

Here the commodore raised a large silver punch-bowl, which Pierre had
furnished, to his lips, and fastening his eyes on the boughs of a
knarled oak, he looked like a man who was taking an observation, for
near a minute. All this time, the captain regarded him with a
sympathetic pleasure, and when the bowl was free, he imitated the
example, levelling his own eye at a cloud, that seemed floating at an
angle of forty-five degrees above him, expressly for that purpose.

"There is a lazy cloud!" exclaimed the general, as he let go his hold
to catch breath; "I have been watching it some time, and it has not
moved an inch."

"Tobacco!" repeated the commodore, drawing a long breath, as if he
was just recovering the play of his lungs, "I should as soon think of
laying a tax on punch. The country that pursues such a policy must,
sooner or later, meet with a downfall. I never knew good come of
persecution."

"I find you are a sensible man, commodore, and regret I did not make
your acquaintance earlier in life. Have you yet made up your mind on
the subject of religious faith?"

"Why, my dear general, not to be nibbling like a sucker with a sore
mouth, with a person of your liberality, I shall give you a plain
history of my adventures, in the way of experiences, that you may
judge for yourself. I was born an Episcopalian, if one can say so,
but was converted to Presbyterianism at twenty. I stuck to this
denomination about five years, when I thought I would try the
Baptists, having got to be fond of the water, by this time. At
thirty-two I fished a while with the Methodists; since which
conversion, I have chosen to worship God pretty much by myself, out
here on the lake."

"Do you consider it any harm, to hook a fish of a Sunday?"

"No more than it is to eat a fish of a Sunday. I go altogether by
faith, in my religion, general, for they talked so much to me of the
uselessness of works, that I've got to be very unparticular as to
what I do. Your people who have been converted four or five times,
are like so many pickerel, which strike at every hook."

"This is very much my case. Now, on the river--of course you know
where the river is?"

"Certain," said the commodore; "it is at the foot of the lake."

"My dear commodore, when we say 'the river,' we always mean the
Connecticut; and I am surprised a man of your sagacity should require
to be told this. There are people on the river who contend that a
ship should heave-to of a Sunday. They did talk of getting up an
Anti-Sunday-Sailing-Society, but the ship-masters were too many for
them, since they threatened to start a society to put down the
growing of inyens, (the captain would sometimes use this
pronunciation) except of week-days. Well, I started in life, on the
platform tack, in the way of religion, and I believe I shall stand on
the same course till orders come to 'cast anchor,' as you call it.
With you, I hold out for faith, as the one thing needful. Pray, my
good friend, what are your real sentiments concerning 'Old Hickory.'

"Tough, sir;--Tough as a day in February on this lake. All fins, and
gills, and bones."

"That is the justest character I have yet heard of the old gentleman;
and then it says so much in a few words; no category about it. I hope
the punch is to your liking?"

On this hint the old fisherman raised the bowl a second time to his
lips, and renewed the agreeable duty of letting its contents flow
down his throat, in a pleasant stream. This time, he took aim at a
gull that was sailing over his head, only relinquishing the draught
as the bird settled into the water. The 'general' was more
particular; for selecting a stationary object, in the top of an oak,
that grew on the mountain near him, he studied it with an admirable
abstruseness of attention, until the last drop was drained. As soon
as this startling fact was mentioned, however, both the _convives_
set about repairing the accident, by squeezing lemons, sweetening
water, and mixing liquors, _secundem artem._ At the same time, each
lighted a cigar, and the conversation, for some time, was carried on
between their teeth.

"We have been so frank with each other to-day, my excellent
commodore," said Captain Truck, "that did I know your true sentiments
concerning Temperance Societies, I should look on your inmost soul as
a part of myself. By these free communications men get really to know
each other."

"If liquor is not made to be drunk, for what is it made? Any one may
see that this lake was made for skiffs and fishing; it has a length,
breadth, and depth suited to such purposes. Now, here is liquor
distilled, bottled, and corked, and I ask if all does not show that
it was made to be drunk. I dare say your temperance men are
ingenious, but let them answer that if they can."

"I wish, from my heart, my dear sir, we had known each other fifty
years since. That would have brought you acquainted with salt-water,
and left nothing to be desired in your character. We think alike, I
believe, in every thing but on the virtues of fresh-water. If these
temperance people had their way, we should all be turned into so many
Turks, who never taste wine, and yet marry a dozen wives."

"One of the great merits of fresh-water, general, is what I call its
mixable quality."

"There would be an end to Saturday nights, too, which are the
seamen's tea-parties."

"I question if many of them fish in the rain, from sunrise to
sunset."

"Or, stand their watches in wet pee-jackets, from sunset to sunrise.
Splicing the main brace at such times, is the very quintessence of
human enjoyments."

"If liquors were not made to be drunk," put in the commodore,
logically, "I would again ask for what are they made? Let the
temperance men get over that difficulty if they can."

"Commodore, I wish you twenty more good hearty years of fishing in
this lake, which grows, each instant, more beautiful in my eyes, as I
confess does the whole earth; and to show you that I say no more than
I think, I will clench it with a draught."

Captain Truck now brought his right eye to bear on the new moon,
which happened to be at a convenient height, closed the left one, and
continued in that attitude until the commodore began seriously to
think he was to get nothing besides, the lemon-seeds for his share.
This apprehension, however, could only arise from ignorance of his
companion's character, than whom a juster man, according to the
notions of ship-masters, did not live; and had one measured the punch
that was left in the bowl when this draught was ended, he would have
found that precisely one half of it was still untouched, to a
thimblefull. The commodore now had his turn; and before he got
through, the bottom of the vessel was as much uppermost as the butt
of a club bed firelock. When the honest fisherman took breath after
this exploit, and lowered his cup from the vault of heaven to the
surface of the earth, he caught a view of a boat crossing the lake,
coming from the Silent Pine, to that Point on which they were
enjoying so many agreeable hallucinations on the subject of
temperance.

"Yonder is the party from the Wigwam," he said, "and they will be
just in time to become converts to our opinions, if they have any
doubts on the subjects we have discussed. Shall we give up the ground
to them, by taking to the skiff, or do you feel disposed to face the
women?"

"Under ordinary circumstances, commodore, I should prefer your
society to all the petticoats in the State, but there are two ladies
in that party, either of whom I would marry, any day, at a minute's
warning."

"Sir," said the commodore with a tone of warning, "we, who have lived
bachelors so long, and are wedded to the water, ought never to speak
lightly on so grave a subject."

"Nor do I. Two women, one of whom is twenty, and the other seventy--
and hang me if I know which I prefer."

"You would soonest be rid of the last, my dear general, and my advice
is to take her."

"Old as she is, sir, a king would have to plead hard to get her
consent. We will make them some punch, that they may see we were
mindful of them in their absence."

To work these worthies now went in earnest, in order to anticipate
the arrival of the party, and as the different compounds were in the
course of mingling, the conversation did not flag. By this time both
the salt-water and the fresh-water sailor were in that condition when
men are apt to think aloud, and the commodore had lost all his awe of
his companion.

"My dear sir," said the former, "I am a thousand times sorry you came
from that river, for, to tell you my mind without any concealment, my
only objection to you is that you are not of the middle states. I
admit the good qualities of the Yankees, in a general way, and yet
they are the very worst neighbours that a man can have."

"This is a new character of them, commodore, as they generally pass
for the best, in their own eyes. I should like to hear you explain
your meaning."

"I call him a bad neighbour who never remains long enough in a place
to love any thing but himself. Now, sir, I have a feeling for every
pebble on the shore of this lake, a sympathy with every wave,"--here
the commodore began to twirl his hand about, with the fingers
standing apart, like so many spikes in a _che-vaux-de-frise_--"and
each hour, as I row across it, I find I like it better; and yet, sir,
would you believe me, I often go away of a morning to pass the day on
the water, and, on returning home at night, find half the houses
filled with new faces."

"What becomes of the old ones?" demanded Captain Truck; for this, it
struck him, was getting the better of him with his own weapons. "Do
you mean that the people come and go like the tides?"

"Exactly so, sir; just as it used to be with the herrings in the
Otsego, before the. Susquehannah was dammed, and is still, with the
swallows."

"Well, well, my good friend, take consolation. You'll meet all the
faces you ever saw here, one day in heaven."

"Never; not a man of them will stay there, if there be such a thing
as moving. Depend on it, sir," added the commodore, in the simplicity
of his heart, "heaven is no place for a Yankee, if he can get farther
west, by hook or by crook. They are all too uneasy for any steady
occupation. You, who are a navigator, must know something concerning
the stars; is there such a thing as another world, that lies west of
this?"

"That can hardly be, commodore, since the points of the compass only
refer to objects on this earth. You know, I suppose, that a man
starting from this spot, and travelling due west, would arrive, in
time, at this very point, coming in from the east; so that what is
west to us, in the heavens, on this side of the world, is east to
those on the other."

"This I confess I did not know, general. I have understood that what
is good in one man's eyes, will be bad in another's; but never before
have I heard that what is west to one man, lies east to another. I am
afraid, general, that there is a little of the sogdollager bait in
this?"

"Not enough, sir, to catch the merest fresh-water gudgeon that swims.
No, no; there is neither east nor west off the earth, nor any up and
down; and so we Yankees must try and content ourselves with heaven.
Now, commodore, hand me the bowl, and we will get it ready down to
the shore, and offer the ladies our homage. And so you have become a
laker in your religion, my dear commodore," continued the general,
between his teeth, while he smoked and squeezed a lemon at the same
time, "and do your worshipping on the water?"

"Altogether of late, and more especially since my dream."

"Dream! My dear sir, I should think you altogether too innocent a man
to dream."

"The best of us have our failings, general. I do sometimes dream, I
own, as well as the greatest sinner of them all."

"And of what did you dream--the sogdollager?"

"I dreamt of death."

"Of slipping the cable!" cried the general, looking up suddenly.
"Well, what was the drift?"

"Why, sir, having no wings, I went down below, and soon found myself
in the presence of the old gentleman himself."

"That was pleasant--had he a tail? I have always been curious to know
whether he really has a tail or not."

"I saw none, sir, but then we stood face to face, like gentlemen, and
I cannot describe what I did not see."

"Was he glad to see you, commodore?"

"Why, sir; he was civilly spoken, but his occupation prevented many
compliments."

"Occupation!"

"Certainly, sir; he was cutting out shoes, for his imps to travel
about in, in order to stir up mischief."

"And did he set you to work?--This is a sort of State-Prison affair,
after all!"

"No sir, he was too much of a gentleman to set me at making shoes as
soon as I arrived. He first inquired what part of the country I was
from, and when I told him, he was curious to know what most of the
people were about in our neighbourhood."

"You told him, of course, commodore?"

"Certainly, sir, I told him their chief occupation was quarrelling
about religion; making saints of them selves, and sinners of their
neighbours. 'Hollo!' says the Devil, calling out to one of his imps,
'boy, run and catch my horse--I must be off, and have a finger in
that pie. What denominations have you in that quarter, commodore? So
I told him, general, that we had Baptists, and Quakers, and
Universalists, and Episcopalians, and Presbyterians, old-lights, new-
lights, and blue-lights; and Methodists----. 'Stop,' said the Devil,
'that's enough; you imp, be nimble with that horse.--Let me see,
commodore, what, part of the country did you say you came from?' I
told him the name more distinctly this time----"

"The very spot?"

"Town and county."

"And what did the Devil say to that?"

"He called out to the imp, again--'Hollo, you boy, never mind that
horse; _these_ people will all be here before I can get there.'"

Here the commodore and the general began to laugh, until the arches
of the forest rang with their merriment. Three times they stopped,
and as often did they return to their glee, until, the punch being
ready, each took a fresh draught, in order to ascertain if it were
fit to be offered to the ladies.

Chapter XX.

  "O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?"

  ROMEO AND JULIET.

The usual effect of punch is to cause people to see double; but, on
this occasion, the mistake was the other way, for two boats had
touched the strand, instead of the one announced by the commodore,
and they brought with them the whole party from the Wigwam, Steadfast
and Aristabalus included. A domestic or two had also been brought to
prepare the customary repast.

Captain Truck was as good as his word, as respects the punch, and the
beverage was offered to each of the ladies in form, as soon as her
feet had touched the green sward which covers that beautiful spot.
Mrs. Hawker declined drinking, in a way to delight the gallant
seaman; for so completely had she got the better of all his habits
and prejudices, that every thing she did seemed right and gracious in
his eyes.

The party soon separated into groups, or pairs, some being seated on
the margin of the limpid water, enjoying the light cool airs, by
which it was fanned, others lay off in the boats fishing, while the
remainder plunged into the woods, that, in their native wildness,
bounded the little spot of verdure, which, canopied by old oaks,
formed the arena so lately in controversy. In this manner, an hour or
two soon slipped away, when a summons was given for all to assemble
around the viands.

The repast was laid on the grass, notwithstanding Aristabulus more
than hinted that the public, his beloved public, usually saw fit to
introduce rude tables for that purpose. The Messrs. Effinghams,
however, were not to be taught by a mere bird of passage, how a
rustic fête so peculiarly their own, ought to be conducted, and the
attendants were directed to spread the dishes on the turf. Around
this spot, rustic seats were _improvisés_, and the business of
_restauration_ proceeded. Of all there assembled, the Parisian
feelings of Mademoiselle Viefville were the most excited; for to her,
the scene was one of pure delights, with the noble panorama of
forest-clad mountains, the mirror-like lake, the overshadowing oaks,
and the tangled brakes of the adjoining woods.

"_Mais, vraiment ceci surpasse les Tuileries, même dans leur propre
genre_!" she exclaimed, with energy. "_On passer ait volontiers par
les dangers du désert pour y parvenir_."

Those who understood her, smiled at this characteristic remark, and
most felt disposed to join in the enthusiasm. Still, the manner in
which their companions expressed the happiness they felt, appeared
tame and unsatisfactory to Mr. Bragg and Mr. Dodge, these two persons
being accustomed to see the young of the two sexes indulge in broader
exhibitions of merry-making than those in which it comported with the
tastes and habits of the present party to indulge. In vain Mrs.
Hawker, in her quiet dignified way, enjoyed the ready wit and
masculine thoughts of Mrs. Bloom field, appearing to renew her youth;
or, Eve, with her sweet simplicity, and highly cultivated mind and
improved tastes, seemed like a highly-polished mirror, to throw back
the flashes of thought and memory, that so constantly gleamed before
both; it was all lost on these thoroughly matter-of-fact
utilitarians. Mr. Effingham, all courtesy and mild refinement, was
seldom happier; and John Effingham was never more pleasant, for he
had laid aside the severity of his character, to appear, what he
ought always to have been, a man in whom intelligence and quickness
of thought could be made to seem secondary to the gentler qualities.
The young men were not behind their companions, either, each, in his
particular way, appearing to advantage, gay, regulated, and full of a
humour that was rendered so much the more agreeable, by drawing its
images from a knowledge of the world, that was tempered by
observation and practice.

Poor Grace, alone, was the only one of the whole party, always
excepting Aristabulus and Steadfast, who, for those fleeting but gay
hours, was not thoroughly happy. For the first time in her life, she
felt her own deficiencies, that ready and available knowledge, so
exquisitely feminine in its nature and exhibition, which escaped Mrs.
Bloomfield and Eve, as it might be from its own excess; which the
former possessed almost, intuitively, a gift of Heaven, and which the
latter enjoyed, not only from the same source, but as a just
consequence of her long and steady self-denial, application, and a
proper appreciation of her duty to herself, was denied one who, in
ill-judged compliance with the customs of a society that has no other
apparent aim than the love of display, had precluded herself from
enjoyments that none but the intellectual can feel. Still Grace was
beautiful and attractive; and though she wondered where her cousin,
in general so simple and unpretending, had acquired all those stores
of thought, that, in the _abandon_ and freedom of such a fête,
escaped her in rich profusion, embellished with ready allusions and a
brilliant though chastened wit, her generous and affectionate heart
could permit her to wonder without envying. She perceived, for the
first time, on this occasion, that if Eve were indeed a Hajji, it was
not a Hajji of a common school; and, while her modesty and self-
abasement led her bitterly to regret the hours irretrievably wasted
in the frivolous levities so common to those of her sex with whom she
had been most accustomed to mingle, her sincere regret did not lessen
her admiration for one she began tenderly to love.

As for Messrs. Dodge and Bragg, they both determined, in their own
minds, that this was much the most stupid entertainment they had ever
seen on that spot, for it was entirely destitute of loud laughing,
noisy merriment, coarse witticisms, and practical jokes. To them it
appeared the height of arrogance, for any particular set of persons
to presume to come to a spot, rendered sacred by the public suffrage
in its favour, in order to indulge in these outlandish dog-in-the-
mangerisms.

Towards the close of this gay repast, and when the party were about
to yield their places to the attendants, who were ready to re-ship
the utensils, John Effingham observed--

"I trust, Mrs. Hawker, you have been-duly warned of the catastrophe-
character of this point, on which woman is said never to have been
wooed in vain. Here are Captain Truck and myself, ready at any moment
to use these carving knives, _faute des Bowies_, in order to show our
desperate devotion; and I deem it no more than prudent in you, not to
smile again this day, lest the cross-eyed readings of jealousy should
impute a wrong motive."

"Had the injunction been against laughing, sir, I might have
resisted, but smiles are far too feeble to express one's approbation,
on such a day as this; you may, therefore, trust to my discretion. Is
it then true, however, that Hymen haunts these shades?"

"A bachelor's history of the progress of love, may be, like the
education of his children, distrusted; but so sayeth tradition; and I
never put my foot in the place, without making fresh vows of
constancy to myself. After this announcement of the danger, dare you
accept an arm, for I perceive signs that life cannot be entirely
wasted in these pleasures, great as they may prove."

The whole party arose, and separating naturally, they strolled in
groups or pairs again, along the pebbly strand, or beneath the trees,
while the attendants made the preparations to depart. Accident, as
much as design, left Sir George and Grace alone, for neither
perceived the circumstance until they had both passed a little rise
in the formation of the ground, and were beyond the view of their
companions. The baronet was the first to perceive how much he had
been favoured by fortune, and his feelings were touched by the air of
gentle melancholy, that shaded the usually bright and brilliant
countenance of the beautiful girl.

"I should have thrice enjoyed this pleasant day," he said, with an
interest in his manner, that caused the heart of Grace to beat
quicker, "had I not seen that to you it has been less productive of
satisfaction, than to most of those around you. I fear you may not be
as well, as usual?"

"In health, never better, though not in spirits, perhaps."

"I could wish I had a right to inquire why you, who have so few
causes in general to be out of spirits, should have chosen a moment
so little in accordance with the common feeling."

"I have chosen no moment; the moment has chosen me, I fear. Not until
this day, Sir George Templemore, have I ever been truly sensible of
my great inferiority to my cousin, Eve."

"An inferiority that no one but yourself would observe or mention."

"No, I am neither vain enough, nor ignorant enough, to be the dupe of
this flattery," returned Grace, shaking her hands and head, while she
forced a smile; for even the delusions those we love pour into our
ears, are not without their charms. "When I first met my cousin,
after her return, my own imperfections rendered me blind to her
superiority; but she herself has gradually taught me to respect her
mind, her womanly character, her tact, her delicacy, principles,
breeding, every thing that can make a woman estimable, or worthy to
be loved! Oh! how have I wasted in childish amusements, and frivolous
vanities, the precious moments of that girlhood which can never be
recalled, and left myself scarcely worthy to be an associate of Eve
Effingham!"

The first feelings of Grace had so far gotten the control, that she
scarce knew what she said, or to whom she was speaking; she even
wrung her hands, in the momentary bitterness of her regrets, and in a
way to arouse all the sympathy of a lover.

"No one but yourself would say this, Miss Van Cortlandt, and least of
all your admirable cousin."

"She is, indeed, my admirable cousin! But what are _we_, in
comparison with such a woman. Simple and unaffected as a child, with
the intelligence of a scholar; with all the graces of a woman, she
has the learning and mind of a man. Mistress of so many
languages----"

"But you, too, speak several, my dear Miss Van Cortlandt."

"Yes," said Grace, bitterly, "I _speak_ them, as the parrot repeats
words that he does not understand. But Eve Effingham has used these
languages as means, and she does not tell you merely what such a
phrase or idiom signifies, but what the greatest writers have thought
and written."

"No one has a more profound respect for your cousin than myself, Miss
Van Cortlandt, but justice to you requires that I should say her
great superiority over yourself has escaped me."

"This may be true, Sir George Templemore, and for a long time it
escaped me too. I have only learned to prize her as she ought to be
prized by an intimate acquaintance; hour by hour, as it might be. But
even you must have observed how quick and intuitively my cousin and
Mrs. Bloomfield have understood each other to-day; how much extensive
reading, and, what polished tastes they have both shown, and all so
truly feminine! Mrs. Bloomfield is a remarkable woman, but she loves
these exhibitions, for she knows she excels in them. Not so with Eve
Effingham, who, while she so thoroughly enjoys every thing
intellectual, is content, always, to seem so simple. Now, it happens,
that the conversation turned once to-day on a subject that my cousin,
no later than yesterday, fully explained to me, at my own earnest
request; and I observed that, while she joined so naturally with Mrs.
Bloomfield in adding to our pleasure, she kept back half what she
knew, lest she might seem to surpass her friend. No--no--no--there is
not such another woman as Eve Effingham in this world!"

"So keen a perception of excellence in others, denotes an equal
excellence in yourself."

"I know my own great inferiority now, and no kindness of yours, Sir
George Templemore, can ever persuade me into a better opinion of
myself. Eve has travelled, seen much in Europe that does not exist
here, and, instead of passing her youth in girlish trifling, has
treated the minutes as if they were all precious, as she well knew
them to be."

"If Europe, then, does indeed possess these advantages, why not
yourself visit it, dearest Miss Van Cortlandt?"

"I--I a Hajji!" cried Grace with childish pleasure, though her colour
heightened, and, for a moment, Eve and her superiority was forgotten.

Certainly Sir George Templemore did not come out on the lake that day
with any expectation of offering his baronetcy, his fair estate, with
his hand, to this artless, half-educated, provincial, but beautiful
girl. For a long time he had been debating with himself the propriety
of such a step, and it is probable that, at some later period, he
would have sought an occasion, had not one now so opportunely
offered, notwithstanding all his doubts and reasonings with himself.
If the "woman who hesitates is lost," it is equally true that the man
who pretends to set up his reason alone against beauty, is certain to
find that sense is less powerful than the senses. Had Grace Van
Cortlandt been more sophisticated, less natural, her beauty might
have failed to make this conquest; but the baronet found a charm in
her _naiveté_, that was singularly winning to the feelings of a man
of the world. Eve had first attracted him by the same quality; the
early education of American females being less constrained and
artificial than that of the English; but in Eve he found a mental
training and acquisitions that left the quality less conspicuous,
perhaps, than in her scarcely less beautiful cousin; though, had Eve
met his admiration with any thing like sympathy, her power over him
would not have been easily weakened. As it was, Grace had been
gradually winding herself around his affections, and he now poured
out his love, in a language that her unpractised and already
favourably disposed feelings had no means of withstanding. A very few
minutes were allowed to them, before the summons to the boat; but
when this summons came, Grace rejoined the party, elevated in her own
good opinion, as happy as a cloudless future could make her and
without another thought of the immeasurable superiority of her
cousin.

By a singular coincidence, while the baronet and Grace were thus
engaged on one part of the shore, Eve was the subject of a similar
proffer of connecting herself for life, on another. She had left the
circle, attended by Paul, her father, and Aristabulus; but no sooner
had they reached the margin of the water, than the two former were
called away by Captain Truck, to settle some controverted point
between the latter and the commodore. By this unlooked-for desertion,
Eve found herself alone with Mr. Bragg.

"That was a funny and comprehensive remark Mr. John made about the
'Point,' Miss Eve," Aristabulus commenced, as soon as he found
himself in possession of the ground. "I should like to know if it be
really true that no woman was ever unsuccessfully wooed beneath these
oaks? If such be the case, we gentlemen ought to be cautious how we
come here."

Here Aristabulus simpered, and looked, if possible, more amiable than
ever; though the quiet composure and womanly dignity of Eve, who
respected herself too much, and too well knew what was due to her
sex, even to enter into, or, so far as it depended on her will, to
permit any of that common-place and vulgar trifling about love and
matrimony, which formed a never-failing theme between the youthful of
the two sexes, in Mr. Bragg's particular circle, sensibly curbed his
ambitious hopes. Still he thought he had made too good an opening,
not to pursue the subject.

"Mr. John Effingham sometimes indulges in pleasantries," Eve
answered, "that would lead one astray who might attempt to follow."

"Love _is_ a jack-o'-lantern," rejoined Aristabulus sentimentally.
"That I admit; and it is no wonder so many get swamped in following
his lights. Have you ever felt the tender passion, Miss Eve?"

Now, Aristabulus had heard this question put at the _soirée_ of Mrs.
Houston, more than once, and he believed himself to be in the most
polite road for a regular declaration. An ordinary woman, who felt
herself offended by this question, would, most probably, have stepped
back, and, raising her form to its utmost elevation, answered by an
emphatic "sir!" Not so with Eve. She felt the distance between Mr.
Bragg and herself to be so great, that by no probable means could he
even offend her by any assumption of equality. This distance was the
result of opinions, habits, and education, rather than of condition,
however; for, though Eve Effingham could become the wife of a
gentleman only, she was entirely superior to those prejudices of the
world that depend on purely factitious causes. Instead of discovering
surprise, indignation, or dramatic dignity, therefore, at this
extraordinary question, she barely permitted a smile to curl her
handsome mouth; and this so slightly, as to escape her companion's
eye.

"I believe we are to be favoured with as smooth water, in returning
to the village, as we had in the morning, while coming to this
place," she simply said. "You row sometimes, I think, Mr. Bragg?"

"Ah! Miss Eve, such another opportunity may never occur again, for
you foreign ladies are so difficult of access! Let me, then, seize
this happy moment, here, beneath the hymeneal oaks, to offer you this
faithful hand and this willing heart. Of fortune you will have enough
for both, and I say nothing about the miserable dross. Reflect, Miss
Eve, how happy we might be, protecting and soothing the old age of
your father, and in going down the hill of life in company; or, as
the song says, 'and hand in hand we'll go, and sleep the'gither at
the foot, John Anderson, my Joe.'"

"You draw very agreeable pictures, Mr Bragg, and with the touches of
a master!"

"However agreeable you find them, Miss Eve, they fall infinitely
short of the truth. The tie of wedlock, besides being the most
sacred, is also the dearest; and happy, indeed, are they who enter
into the solemn engagement with such cheerful prospects as ourselves.
Our ages are perfectly suitable, our disposition entirely consonant,
our habits so similar as to obviate all unpleasant changes, and our
fortunes precisely what they ought to be to render a marriage happy,
with confidence on one side, and gratitude on the other. As to the
day, Miss Eve, I could wish to leave you altogether the mistress of
that, and shall not be urgent."

Eve had often heard John Effingham comment on the cool impudence of a
particular portion of the American population, with great amusement
to herself; but never did she expect to be the subject of an attack
like this in her own person. By way of rendering the scene perfect,
Aristabulus had taken out his penknife, cut a twig from a bush, and
he now rendered himself doubly interesting by commencing the
favourite occupation of whittling. A cooler picture of passion could
not well have been drawn.

"You are bashfully silent, Miss Eve! I make all due allowances for
natural timidity, and shall say no more at present--though, as
silence universally 'gives consent--'" "If you please, sir,"
interrupted Eve, with a slight motion of her parasol, that implied a
check. "I presume our habits and opinions, notwithstanding you seem
to think them so consonant with each other, are sufficiently
different to cause you not to see the impropriety of one, who is
situated like yourself, abusing the confidence of a parent, by making
such a proposal to a daughter without her father's knowledge: and, on
that point, I shall say nothing. But as you have done me the honour
of making me a very unequivocal offer of your hand, I wish that the
answer may be as distinct as the proposal. I decline the advantage
and happiness of becoming your wife, sir----"

"Time flies, Miss Eve!"

"Time does fly, Mr. Bragg; and, if you remain much longer in the
employment of Mr. Effingham, you may lose an opportunity of advancing
your fortunes at the west, whither I understand it has long been your
intention to emigrate----"

"I will readily relinquish all my hopes at the west, for your sake."

"No, sir, I cannot be a party to such a sacrifice. I will not say
forget _me_, but forget your hopes here, and renew those you have so
unreflectingly abandoned beyond the Mississippi. I shall not
represent this conversation to Mr. Effingham in a manner to create
any unnecessary prejudices against you; and while I thank you, as
every woman should, for an offer that must infer some portion, at
least, of your good opinion, you will permit me again to wish you all
lawful success in your western enterprises."

Eve gave Mr. Bragg no farther opportunity to renew his suit; for, she
curtsied and left him, as she ceased speaking. Mr. Dodge, who had
been a distant observer of the interview, now hastened to join his
friend, curious to know the result, for it had been privately
arranged between these modest youths, that each should try his
fortune in turn, with the heiress, did she not accept the first
proposal. To the chagrin of Steadfast, and probably to the reader's
surprise, Aristabulus informed his friend that Eve's manner and
language had been full of encouragement.

"She thanked me for the offer, Mr. Dodge," he said, "and her wishes
for my future prosperity at the west, were warm and repeated. Eve
Effingham is, indeed, a charming creature!"

"At the west! Perhaps she meant differently from what you imagine. I
know her well; the girl is full of art."

"Art, sir! She spoke as plainly as woman could speak, and I repeat
that I feel considerably encouraged. It is something, to have had so
plain a conversation with Eve Effingham."

Mr. Dodge swallowed his discontent, and the whole party soon
embarked, to return to the village; the commodore and general taking
a boat by themselves, in order to bring their discussions on human
affairs in general, to a suitable close.

That night, Sir George Templemore, asked an interview with Mr.
Effingham, when the latter was alone in his library.

"I sincerely hope this request is not the forerunner of a departure,"
said the host kindly, as the young man entered, "in which case I
shall regard you as one unmindful of the hopes he has raised. You
stand pledged by implication, if not in words, to pass another month
with us."

"So far from entertaining an intention so faithless, my dear sir, I
am fearful that you may think I trespass too far on your
hospitality."

He then communicated his wish to be allowed to make Grace Van
Cortlandt his wife. Mr. Effingham heard him with a smile, that showed
he was not altogether unprepared for such a demand, and his eye
glistened as he squeezed the other's hand.

"Take her with all my heart, Sir George," he said, "but remember you
are transferring a tender plant into a strange soil. There are not
many of your countrymen to whom I would confide such a trust, for I
know the risk they run who make ill-assorted unions--"

"Ill-assorted unions, Mr. Effingham!"

"Yours will not be one, in the ordinary acceptation of the term, I
know; for in years, birth and fortune, you and my dear niece are as
much, on an equality as can be desired: but it is too often an ill-
assorted union for an American woman to become an English wife. So
much depends on the man, that with one in whom I have less confidence
than I have in you, I might justly hesitate. I shall take a
guardian's privilege, though Grace be her own mistress, and give you
one solemn piece of advice--always respect the country of the woman
you have thought worthy to bear your name."

"I hope always to respect every thing that is hers; but, why this
particular caution?--Miss Van Cortlandt is almost English in her
heart."

"An affectionate wife will take her bias in such matters, generally
from her husband. Your country will be her country, your God her God.
Still, Sir George Templemore, a woman of spirit and sentiment can
never wholly forget the land of her birth. You love us not in
England, and one who settles there will often have occasion to hear
gibes and sneers on the land from which she came--"

"Good God, Mr. Effingham, you do not think I shall take my wife into
society where--"

"Bear with a proser's doubts, Templemore. You will do all that is
well-intentioned and proper, I dare say, in the usual acceptation of
the words; but I wish you to do more; that which is wise. Grace has
now a sincere reverence and respect for England, feelings that in
many particulars are sustained by the facts, and will be permanent;
but, in some things, observation, as it usually happens with the
young and sanguine, will expose the mistakes into which she has been
led by enthusiasm and the imagination. As she knows other countries
better, she will come to regard her own with more favourable and
discriminating eyes, losing her sensitiveness on account of
peculiarities she now esteems, and taking new views of things.
Perhaps you will think me selfish, but I shall add, also, that if you
wish to cure your wife of any homesickness, the surest mode will be
to bring her back to her native land."

"Nay, my dear sir," said Sir George, laughing, "this is very much
like acknowledging its blemishes."

"I am aware it has that appearance, and yet the fact is otherwise.
The cure is as certain with the Englishman as with the American; and
with the German as with either. It depends on a general law which
causes us all to over-estimate by-gone pleasures and distant scenes,
and to undervalue those of the present moment. You know I have always
maintained there is no real philosopher short of fifty, nor any taste
worth possessing that is a dozen years old."

Here Mr. Effingham rang the bell, and desired Pierre to request Miss
Van Cortlandt to join him in the library. Grace entered blushing and
shy, but with a countenance beaming with inward peace. Her uncle
regarded her a moment intently, and a tear glistened in his eye,
again, as he tenderly kissed her burning cheek.

"God bless you, love," he said--"'tis a fearful change for your sex,
and yet you all enter into it radiant with hope, and noble in your
confidence. Take her, Templemore," giving her hand to the baronet,
"and deal kindly by her. You will not desert us entirely I trust I
shall see you both once more in the Wigwam before I die."

"Uncle--uncle--" burst from Grace, as, drowned in tears, she threw
herself into Mr. Effingham's arms; "I am an ungrateful girl, thus to
abandon all my natural friends. I have acted wrong----"

"Wrong, dearest Miss Van Cortlandt!"

"Selfishly, then, Sir George Templemore," the simple-hearted girl
ingenuously added, scarcely knowing how much her words implied--
"Perhaps this matter night be reconsidered."

"I am afraid little would be gained by that, my love," returned the
smiling uncle, wiping his eyes at the same instant. "The second
thoughts of ladies usually confirm the first, in such matters. God
bless you, Grace;--Templemore, may Heaven have you, too, in its holy
keeping. Remember what I have said, and to-morrow we will converse
further on the subject. Does Eve know of this, my niece?"

The colour went and came rapidly in Grace's cheek, and she looked to
the floor, abashed.

"We ought then to send for her," resumed Mr. Effingham, again
reaching towards the bell.

"Uncle--" and Grace hurriedly interposed, in time to save the string
from being pulled. "Could I keep such an important secret from my
dearest cousin!"

"I find that I am the last in the secret, as is generally the case
with old fellows, and I believe I am even now _de trop_."

Mr. Effingham kissed Grace again affectionately, and, although she
strenuously endeavoured to detain him, he left the room.

"We must follow," said Grace, hastily wiping her eyes, and rubbing
the traces of tears from her cheeks--"Excuse me, Sir George
Templemore; will you open----"

He did, though it was not the door, but his arms. Grace seemed like
one that was rendered giddy by standing on a precipice, but when she
fell, the young baronet was at hand to receive her. Instead of
quitting the library that instant, the bell had announced the
appearance of the supper-tray, before she remembered that she had so
earnestly intended to do so.

Chapter XXI.

  "This day, no man thinks He has business at his house."

  KING HENRY VIII.

The warm weather, which was always a little behind that of the lower
counties, had now set in among the mountains, and the season had
advanced into the first week in July. "Independence Day," as the
fourth of that month is termed by the Americans, arrived; and the
wits of Templeton were taxed, as usual, in order that the festival
might be celebrated with the customary intellectual and moral treat.
The morning commenced with a parade of the two or three uniformed
companies of the vicinity, much gingerbread and spruce-beer were
consumed in the streets, no light potations of whiskey were swallowed
in the groceries, and a great variety of drinks, some of which bore
very ambitious names, shared the same fate in the taverns.

Mademoiselle Viefville had been told that this was the great American
_fête_; the festival of the nation; and she appeared that morning in
gay ribands, and with her bright, animated face, covered with smiles
for the occasion. To her surprise, however, no one seemed to respond
to her feelings; and as the party rose from the breakfast-table, she
took an opportunity to ask an explanation of Eve, in a little
'aside.'

"_Est-ce que je me suis trompée, ma chere_?" demanded the lively
Frenchwoman. "Is not this _la célébration de votre indépendance_?"

"You are not mistaken, my dear Mademoiselle Viefville, and great
preparations are made to do it honour. I understand there is to be a
military parade, an oration, a dinner, and fire-works."

"_Monsieur votre père----?_"

"_Monsieur mon père_ is not much given to rejoicings, and he takes
this annual joy, much as a valetudinarian takes his morning draught."

"_Et Monsieur Jean Effingham----?_"

"Is always a philosopher; you are to expect no antics from him."

"_Mais ces jeunes gens, Monsieur Bragg, Monsieur Dodge, et Monsieur
Powis, même!_"

"_Se réjouissent en Américains._ I presume you are aware that Mr.
Powis has declared himself to be an American?"

Mademoiselle Viefville looked towards the streets, along which divers
tall, sombre-looking countrymen, with faces more lugubrious than
those of the mutes of a funeral, were sauntering, with a desperate
air of enjoyment; and she shrugged her shoulders, as she muttered to
herself, "_que ces Americains sont drôles!_"

At a later hour, however, Eve surprised her father, and indeed most
of the Americans of the party, by proposing that the ladies should
walk out into the street, and witness the fête.

"My child, this is a strange proposition to come from a young lady of
twenty," said her father.

"Why strange, dear sir?--We always mingled in the village fêtes in
Europe."

"_Certainement_" cried the delighted Mademoiselle Viefville; "_c'est
de rigueur, même_"

"And it is _de rigueur_, here, Mademoiselle, for young ladies to keep
out of them," put in John Effingham. "I should be very sorry to see
either of you three ladies in the streets of Templeton to-day."

Why so, cousin Jack? Have we any thing to fear from the rudeness of
our countrymen? I have always understood, on the contrary, that in no
other part of the world is woman so uniformly treated with respect
and kindness, as in this very republic of ours; and yet, by all these
ominous faces, I perceive that it will not do for her to trust
herself in the streets of a village on a _festa_"

"You are not altogether wrong, in what you now say, Miss Effingham,
nor are you wholly right. Woman, as a whole, is well treated in
America; and yet it will not do for a _lady_ to mingle in scenes like
these, as ladies may and do mingle with them in Europe."

"I have heard this difference accounted for," said Paul Powis, "by
the fact that women have no legal rank in this country. In those
nations where the station of a lady is protected by legal ordinances,
it is said she may descend with impunity; but, in this, where all are
equal before the law, so many misunderstand the real merits of their
position, that she is obliged to keep aloof from any collisions with
those who might be disposed to mistake their own claims."

"But I wish for no collisions, no associations, Mr. Powis, but simply
to pass through the streets, with my cousin and Mademoiselle
Viefville, to enjoy the sight of the rustic sports, as one would do
in France, or Italy, or even in republican Switzerland, if you insist
on a republican example."

"Rustic sports!" repeated Aristabulus with a frightened look--"the
people will not bear to hear their sports called rustic, Miss
Effingham."

"Surely, sir,"--Eve never spoke to Mr. Bragg, now, without using a
repelling politeness--"surely, sir, the people of these mountains
will hardly pretend that their sports are those of a capital."

"I merely mean, ma'am, that the _term_ would be monstrously
unpopular; nor do I see why the sports in a city"--Aristabulus was
much too peculiar in his notions, to call any place that had a mayor
and aldermen a town,--"should not be just as rustic as those of a
village. The contrary supposition violates the principle of
equality."

"And do _you_ decide against us, dear sir?" Eve added looking at Mr.
Effingham.

"Without stopping to examine causes, my child. I shall say that I
think you had better all remain at home."

"_Voilà, Mademoiselle Viefville, une fête Americaine!"_

A shrug of the shoulders was the significant reply.

"Nay, my daughter, you are not entirely excluded from the
festivities; all gallantry has not quite deserted the land."

"A young lady shall walk _alone_ with a young gentleman--shall ride
alone with him--shall drive out alone with him--shall not move
_without_ him, _dans le monde, mais_, she shall not walk in the
crowd, to look at _une fête avec son père!_" exclaimed Mademoiselle
Viefville, in her imperfect English. "_Je désespère vraiment_, to
understand some _habitudes Americaines!_"

"Well, Mademoiselle, that you may not think us altogether barbarians,
you shall, at least, have the benefit of the oration."

"You may well call it _the_ oration, Ned; for, I believe one, or,
certainly one skeleton, has served some thousand orators annually,
any time these sixty years."

"Of this skeleton, then, the ladies shall have the benefit. The
procession is about to form, I hear; and by getting ready
immediately, we shall be just in time to obtain good seats."

Mademoiselle Viefville was delighted; for, after trying the theatres,
the churches, sundry balls, the opera, and all the admirable gaieties
of New-York, she had reluctantly come to the conclusion that America
was a very good country _pour s'ennuyer_, and for very little else;
but here was the promise of a novelty. The ladies completed their
preparations, and, accordingly, attended by all the gentlemen, made
their appearance in the assembly, at the appointed hour.

The orator, who, as usual, was a lawyer, was already in possession of
the pulpit, for one of the village churches had been selected as the
scene of the ceremonies. He was a young man, who had recently been
called to the bar, it being as much in rule for the legal tyro to
take off the wire-edge of his wit in a Fourth of July oration, as it
was formerly for a Mousquetaire to prove his spirit in a duel. The
academy which, formerly, was a servant of all work to the public,
being equally used for education, balls, preaching, town-meetings,
and caucuses, had shared the fate of most American edifices in wood,
having lived its hour and been burned; and the collection of people,
whom we have formerly had occasion to describe, appeared to have also
vanished from the earth, for nothing could be less alike in exterior,
at least, than those who had assembled under the ministry of Mr.
Grant, and their successors, who were now collected to listen to the
wisdom of Mr. Writ. Such a thing as a coat of two generations was no
longer to be seen; the latest fashion, or what was thought to be the
latest fashion, being as rigidly respected by the young farmer, or
the young mechanic, as by the more admitted bucks, the law student,
and the village shop-boy. All the red cloaks had long since been laid
aside to give place to imitation merino shawls, or, in cases of
unusual moderation and sobriety, to mantles of silk. As Eve glanced
her eye around her, she perceived Tuscan hats, bonnets of gay colours
and flowers, and dresses of French chintzes, where fifty years ago
would have been seen even men's woollen hats, and homely English
calicoes. It is true that the change among the men was not quite as
striking, for their attire admits of less variety; but the black
stock had superseded the check handkerchief and the bandanna; gloves
had taken the places of mittens; and the coarse and clownish shoe of
"cow-hide" was supplanted by the calf-skin boot.

"Where are your peasants, your rustics, your milk and dairy
maids--_the people_, in short"--whispered Sir George Templemore to
Mrs. Bloomfield, as they took their seats; "or is this occasion
thought to be too intellectual for them, and the present assembly
composed only of the _élite_?"

"These _are_ the people, and a pretty fair sample, too, of their
appearance and deportment. Most of these men are what you in England
would call operatives, and the women are their wives, daughters, and
sisters."

The baronet said nothing at the moment, but he sat looking around him
with a curious eye for some time, when he again addressed his
companion.

"I see the truth of what you say, as regards the men, for a critical
eye can discover the proofs of their occupations; but, surely, you
must be mistaken as respects your own sex; there is too much delicacy
of form and feature for the class you mean."

"Nevertheless, I have said naught but truth."

"But look at the hands and the feet, dear Mrs. Bloomfield. Those are
French gloves, too, or I am mistaken."

"I will not positively affirm that the French gloves actually belong
to the dairy-maids, though I have known even this prodigy; but, rely
on it, you see here the proper female counterparts of the men, and
singularly delicate and pretty females are they, for persons of their
class. This is what you call democratic coarseness and vulgarity,
Miss Effingham tells me, in England."

Sir George smiled, but, as what it is the fashion of me country to
call 'the exercises,' just then began, he made no other answer.

These exercises commenced with instrumental music, certainly the
weakest side of American civilization. That of the occasion of which
we write, had three essential faults, all of which are sufficiently
general to be termed characteristic, in a national point of view. In
the first place, the instruments themselves were bad; in the next
place, they were assorted without any regard to harmony; and, in the
last place, their owners did not know how to use them. As in certain
American _cities_--the word is well applied here--she is esteemed the
greatest belle who can contrive to utter her nursery sentiments in
the loudest voice, so in Templeton, was he considered the ablest
musician who could give the greatest _éclat_ to a false note. In a
word, clamour was the one thing needful, and as regards time, that
great regulator of all harmonies, Paul Powis whispered to the captain
that the air they had just been listening to, resembled what the
sailors call a 'round robin;' or a particular mode of signing
complaints practised by seamen, in which the nicest observer cannot
tell which is the beginning, or which the end.

It required all the Parisian breeding of Mademoiselle Viefville to
preserve her gravity during this overture, though she kept her bright
animated, French-looking eyes, roaming over the assembly, with an air
of delight that, as Mr. Bragg would say, made her very popular. No
one else in the party from the Wigwam, Captain Truck excepted, dared
look up, but each kept his or her eyes riveted on the floor, as if in
silent enjoyment of the harmonies. As for the honest old seaman,
there was as much melody in the howling of a gale to his
unsophisticated ears, as in any thing else, and he saw no difference
between this feat of the Templeton band and the sighings of old
Boreas; and, to say the truth, our nautical critic was not so much
out of the way.

Of the oration it is scarcely necessary to say much, for if human
nature is the same in all ages, and under all circumstances, so is a
fourth of July oration. There were the usual allusions to Greece and
Rome, between the republics of which and that of this country there
exists some such affinity as is to be found between a horse-chestnut
and a chestnut-horse; or that, of mere words: and a long catalogue of
national glories that might very well have sufficed for all the
republics, both of antiquity and of our own time. But when the orator
came to speak of the American character, and particularly of the
intelligence of the nation, he was most felicitous, and made the
largest investments in popularity. According to his account of the
matter, no other people possessed a tithe of the knowledge, or a
hundredth part of the honesty and virtue of the very community he was
addressing; and after labouring for ten minutes to convince his
hearers that they already knew every thing, he wasted several more in
trying to persuade them to undertake further acquisitions of the same
nature.

"How much better all this might be made," said Paul Powis, as the
party returned towards the Wigwam, when the 'exercises' were ended,
"by substituting a little plain instruction on the real nature and
obligations of the institutions, for so much unmeaning rhapsody.
Nothing has struck me with more surprise and pain, than to find how
far, or it might be better to say, how high, ignorance reaches on
such subjects, and how few men, in a country where all depends on the
institutions, have clear notions concerning their own condition."

"Certainly this is not the opinion we usually entertain of
ourselves," observed John Effingham. "And yet it ought to be. I am
far from underrating the ordinary information of the country, which,
as an average information, is superior to that of almost every other
people; nor am I one of those who, according to the popular European
notion, fancy the Americans less gifted than common in intellect;
there can be but one truth in any thing, however, and it falls to the
lot of very few, any where, to master it. The Americans, moreover,
are a people of facts and practices, paying but little attention to
principles, and giving themselves the very minimum of time for
investigations that lie beyond the reach of the common mind; and it
follows that they know little of that which does not present itself
in their every-day transactions. As regards the practice of the
institutions, it is regulated here, as elsewhere, by party, and party
is never an honest or a disinterested expounder."

"Are you, then, more than in the common dilemma," asked Sir George,
"or worse off than your neighbours?"

"We are worse off than our neighbours for the simple reason that it
is the intention of the American system, which has been deliberately
framed, and which is moreover the result of a bargain, to carry out
its theory in practice; whereas, in countries where the institutions
are the results of time and accidents, _improvement_ is only obtained
by _innovations_. Party invariably assails and weakens power. When
power is the possession of a few, the many gain by party; but when
power is the legal right of the many, the few gain by party. Now, as
party has no ally as strong as ignorance and prejudice, a right
understanding of the principles of a government is of far more
importance in a popular government, than in any other. In place of
the eternal eulogies on facts, that one hears on all public occasions
in this country, I would substitute some plain and clear expositions
of principles; or, indeed, I might say, of facts as they are
connected with principles."

"_Mais, la musique, Monsieur_," interrupted Mademoiselle Viefville,
in a way so droll as to raise a general smile, "_qu'en pensez-vous?_"

"That it is music, my dear Mademoiselle, in neither fact nor
principle."

"It only proves that a people can be free, Mademoiselle," observed
Mrs. Bloomfield, "and enjoy fourth of July orations, without having
very correct notions of harmony or time. But do our rejoicings end
here, Miss Effingham?"

"Not at all--there is still something in reserve for the day, and all
who honour it. I am told the evening, which promises to be
sufficiently sombre, is to terminate with a fête that is peculiar to
Templeton, and which is called 'The Fun of Fire.'"

"It is an ominous name, and ought to be a brilliant ceremony."

As this was uttered, the whole party entered the Wigwam.

"The Fun of Fire" took place, as a matter of course, at a later hour.
When night had set in, every body appeared in the main street of the
village, a part of which, from its width and form, was particularly
adapted to the sports of the evening. The females were mostly at the
windows, or on such elevated stands as favoured their view, and the
party from the Wigwam occupied a large balcony that topped the piazza
of one of the principal inns of the place.

The sports of the night commenced with rockets, of which a few, that
did as much credit to the climate as to the state of the pyrotechnics
of the village, were thrown up, as soon as the darkness had become
sufficiently dense to lend them brilliancy. Then followed wheels,
crackers and serpents, all of the most primitive kind, if, indeed,
there be any thing primitive in such amusements. The "Fun of Fire"
was to close the rejoicings, and it was certainly worth all the other
sports of that day, united, the gingerbread and spruce beer included.

A blazing ball cast from a shop-door, was the signal for the
commencement of the Fun. It was merely a ball of rope-yarn, or of
some other similar material, saturated with turpentine, and it burned
with a bright, fierce flame until consumed. As the first of these
fiery meteors sailed into the street, a common shout from the boys,
apprentices, and young men, proclaimed that the fun was at hand. It
was followed by several more, and in a few minutes the entire area
was gleaming with glancing light. The whole of the amusement
consisted in tossing the fire-balls with boldness, and in avoiding
them with dexterity, something like competition soon entering into
the business of the scene.

The effect was singularly beautiful. Groups of dark objects became
suddenly illuminated, and here a portion of the throng might be seen
beneath a brightness like that produced by a bonfire, while all the
back-ground of persons and faces were gliding about in a darkness
that almost swallowed up a human figure. Suddenly all this would be
changed; the brightness would pass away, and a ball alighting in a
spot that had seemed abandoned to gloom, it would be found peopled
with merry countenances, and active forms. The constant changes from
brightness to deep darkness, with all the varying gleams of light and
shadow, made the beauty of the scene, which soon extorted admiration
from all in the balcony."

"_Mais, c'est charmant_!" exclaimed Mademoiselle Vielville, who was
enchanted at discovering something like gaiety and pleasure among the
"_tristes Amêricains_," and who had never even suspected them of
being capable of so much apparent enjoyment.

"These are the prettiest village sports I have ever witnessed," said
Eve, "though a little dangerous, one would think. There is something
refreshing, as the magazine writers term it, to find one of these
miniature towns of ours condescending to be gay and happy in a
village fashion. If I were to bring my strongest objection to
American country life, it would be its ambitious desire to ape the
towns, converting the ease and _abandon_ of a village, into the
formality and stiffness that render children in the clothes of grown
people so absurdly ludicrous."

"What!" exclaimed John Effingham; "do you fancy it possible to reduce
a free-man so low, as to deprive him of his stilts! No, no, young
lady; you are now in a country where if you have two rows of flounces
on your frock, your maid will make it a point to have three, by way
of maintaining the equilibrium. This is the noble ambition of
liberty."

"Annette's foible is a love of flounces, cousin Jack, and you have
drawn that image from your eye, instead of your imagination. It is a
French, as well as an American ambition, if ambition it be."

"Let it be drawn whence it may, it is true. Have you not remarked,
Sir George Templemore, that the Americans will not even bear the
ascendency of a capital? Formerly, Philadelphia, then the largest
town in the country, was the political capital; but it was too much
for any one community to enjoy the united consideration that belongs
to extent and politics; and so the honest public went to work to make
a capital, that should have nothing else in its favour, but the naked
fact that it was the seat of government, and I think it will be
generally allowed, that they have succeeded to admiration. I fancy
Mr. Dodge will admit that it would be quite intolerable, that country
should not be town, and town country."

"This is a land of equal rights, Mr. John Effingham, and I confess
that I see no claims that New-York possesses, which does not equally
belong to Templeton."

"Do you hold, sir," inquired Captain Truck, "that a ship is a brig,
and a brig a ship."

"The case is different; Templeton _is_ a town, is it not, Mr. John
Effingham?"

"_A_ town, Mr. Dodge, but not town. The difference is essential."

"I do not see it, sir. Now, New-York, to my notion is not a _town_,
but a _city_."

"Ah! This is the critical acumen of the editor! But you should be
indulgent, Mr. Dodge, to us laymen, who pick up our phrases by merely
wandering about the world; or in the nursery perhaps, while you, of
the favoured few, by living in the condensation of a province, obtain
a precision and accuracy to which we can lay no claim."

The darkness prevented the editor of the Active Inquirer from
detecting the general smile, and he remained in happy ignorance of
the feeling that produced it. To say the truth, not the smallest of
the besetting vices of Mr. Dodge had their foundation in a provincial
education, and in provincial notions; the invariable tendency of both
being to persuade their subject that he is always right, while all
opposed to him in opinion are wrong. That well-known line of Pope, in
which the poet asks, "what can we reason, but from what we know?"
contains the principle of half our foibles and faults, and perhaps
explains fully that proportion of those of Mr. Dodge, to say nothing
of those of no small number of his countrymen. There are limits to
the knowledge, and tastes, and habits of every man, and, as each is
regulated by the opportunities of the individual, it follows of
necessity, that no one can have a standard much above his own
experience. That an isolated and remote people should be a provincial
people, or, in other words, a people of narrow and peculiar practices
and opinions, is as unavoidable as that study should make a scholar;
though in the case of America, the great motive for surprise is to be
found in the fact that causes so very obvious should produce so
little effect. When compared with the bulk of other nations, the
Americans, though so remote and insulated, are scarcely provincial,
for it is only when the highest standard of this nation is compared
with the highest standard of other nations, that we detect the great
deficiency that actually exists. That a moral foundation so broad
should uphold a moral superstructure so narrow, is owing to the
circumstance that the popular sentiment rules, and as every thing is
referred to a body of judges that, in the nature of things, must be
of very limited and superficial attainments, it cannot be a matter of
wonder to the reflecting, that the decision shares in the qualities
of the tribunal. In America, the gross mistake has been made of
supposing, that, because the mass rules in a political sense, it has
a right to be listened to and obeyed in all other matters, a
practical deduction that can only lead, under the most favourable
exercise of power, to a very humble mediocrity. It is to be hoped,
that time, and a greater concentration of taste, liberality, and
knowledge than can well distinguish a young and scattered population,
will repair this evil, and that our children will reap the harvest of
the broad fields of intelligence that have been sowed by ourselves.
In the mean time, the present generation must endure that which
cannot easily be cured; and, among its other evils, it will have to
submit to a great deal of very questionable information, not a few
false principles, and an unpleasant degree of intolerant and narrow
bigotry, that are propagated by such apostles of liberty and learning
as Steadfast Dodge, Esquire.

We have written in vain, if it now be necessary to point out a
multitude of things in which that professed instructor and Mentor of
the public, the editor of the Active Inquirer, had made a false
estimate of himself, as well as of his fellow-creatures. That such a
man should be ignorant, is to be expected, as he had never been
instructed; that he was self-sufficient was owing to his ignorance,
which oftener induces vanity than modesty; that he was intolerant and
bigoted, follows as a legitimate effect of his provincial and
contracted habits; that he was a hypocrite, came from his homage of
the people; and that one thus constituted, should be permitted,
periodically, to pour out his vapidity, folly, malice, envy, and
ignorance, on his fellow-creatures, in the columns of a newspaper,
was owing to a state of society in which the truth of the wholesome
adage "that what is every man's business is nobody's business," is
exemplified not only daily, but hourly, in a hundred other interests
of equal magnitude, as well as to a capital mistake, that leads the
community to fancy that whatever is done in their time, is done for
their good.

As the "Fun of Fire" had, by this time, exhibited most of its
beauties, the party belonging to the Wigwam left the balcony, and,
the evening proving mild, they walked into the grounds of the
building, where they naturally broke into groups, conversing on the
incidents of the day, or of such other matters as came uppermost.
Occasionally, gleams of light were thrown across them from a fire-
ball; or a rocket's starry train was still seen drawn in the air,
resembling the wake of a ship at night, as it wades through the
ocean.

Chapter XXII.

                              Gentle Octavia, Let your best love draw
  to that point, which seeks But to preserve it.

  ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.

We shall not say it was an accident that brought Paul and Eve side by
side, and a little separated from the others; for a secret sympathy
had certainly exercised its influence over both, and probably
contributed as much as any thing else towards bringing about the
circumstance. Although the Wigwam stood in the centre of the village,
its grounds covered several acres, and were intersected with winding
walks, and ornamented with shrubbery, in the well-known English
style, improvements also of John Effingham; for, while the climate
and forests of America offer so many inducements to encourage
landscape gardening, it is the branch of art that, of all the other
ornamental arts, is perhaps the least known in this country. It is
true, time had not yet brought the labours of the projector to
perfection, in this instance; but enough had been done to afford very
extensive, varied, and pleasing walks. The grounds were broken, and
John Effingham had turned the irregularities to good account, by
planting and leading paths among them, to the great amusement of the
lookers-on, however, who, like true disciples of the Manhattanese
economy, had already begun to calculate the cost of what they termed
grading the lawns, it being with them as much a matter of course to
bring pleasure grounds down to a mathematical surface, as to bring a
rail-road route down to the proper level.

Through these paths, and among the irregularities, groves, and
shrubberies, just mentioned, the party began to stroll; one group
taking a direction eastward, another south, and a third westward, in
a way soon to break them up into five or six different divisions.
These several portions of the company ere long got to move in
opposite directions, by taking the various paths, and while they
frequently met, they did not often re-unite. As has been already
intimated, Eve and Paul were alone, for the first time in their
lives, under circumstances that admitted of an uninterrupted
confidential conversation. Instead of profiting immediately, however,
by this unusual occurrence, as many of our readers may anticipate,
the young man continued the discourse, in which the whole party had
been engaged when they entered the gate that communicated with the
street.

"I know not whether you felt the same embarrassment as myself, to-
day, Miss Effingham," he said, "when the orator was dilating on the
glories of the republic, and on the high honours that accompany the
American name. Certainly, though a pretty extensive traveller, I have
never yet been able to discover that it is any advantage abroad to be
one of the 'fourteen millions of freemen.'"

"Are we to attribute the mystery that so long hung over your birth-
place, to this fact," Eve asked, a little pointedly.

"If I have made any seeming mystery, as to the place of my birth, it
has been involuntary on my part, Miss Effingham, so far as you, at
least, have been concerned. I may not have thought myself authorized
to introduce my own history into our little discussions, but I am not
conscious of aiming at any unusual concealments. At Vienna, and in
Switzerland, we met as travellers; and now that you appear disposed
to accuse me of concealment, I may retort, and say that, neither you
nor your father ever expressly stated in my presence that you were
Americans."

"Was that necessary, Mr. Powis?"

"Perhaps not; and I am wrong to draw a comparison between my own
insignificance, and the éclat that attended you and your movements."

"Nay," interrupted Eve, "do not misconceive me. My father felt an
interest in you, quite naturally, after what had occurred on the lake
of Lucerne, and I believe he was desirous of making you out a
countryman,--a pleasure that he has at length received."

"To own the truth, I was never quite certain, until my last visit to
England, on which side of the Atlantic I was actually born, and to
this uncertainty, perhaps, may be attributed some of that
cosmopolitism to which I made so many high pretensions in our late
passage."

"Not know where you were born!" exclaimed Eve, with an involuntary
haste, that she immediately repented.

"This, no doubt, sounds odd to you, Miss Effingham, who have always
been the pride and solace of a most affectionate father, but it has
never been my good fortune to know either parent. My mother, who was
the sister of Ducie's mother, died at my birth, and the loss of my
father even preceded hers. I may be said to have been born an
orphan."

Eve, for the first time in her life, had taken his arm, and the young
man felt the gentle pressure of her little hand, as she permitted
this expression of sympathy to escape her, at a moment she found so
intensely interesting to herself.

"It was, indeed, a misfortune, Mr. Powis, and I fear you were put
into the navy through the want of those who would feel a natural
concern in your welfare."

"The navy was my own choice; partly, I think, from a certain love of
adventure, and quite as much, perhaps, with a wish to settle the
question of my birth-place, practically at least, by enlisting in the
service of the one that I first knew, and certainly best loved."

"But of that birth-place, I understand there is now no doubt?" said
Eve, with more interest than she was herself conscious of betraying.

"None whatever; I am a native of Philadelphia; that point was
conclusively settled in my late visit to my aunt, Lady Dunluce, who
was present at my birth."

"Is Lady Dunluce also an American?"

"She is; never having quitted the country until after her marriage to
Colonel Ducie. She was a younger sister of my mother's, and,
notwithstanding some jealousies and a little coldness that I trust
have now disappeared, I am of opinion she loved her; though one can
hardly answer for the durability of the family ties in a country
where the institutions and habits are as artificial as in England."

"Do you think there is less family affection, then, in England than
in America?"

"I will not exactly say as much, though I am of opinion that neither
country is remarkable in that way. In England, among the higher
classes, it is impossible that the feelings should not be weakened by
so many adverse interests. When a brother knows that nothing stands
between himself and rank and wealth, but the claims of one who was
born a twelvemonth earlier than himself, he gets to feel more like a
rival than a kinsman, and the temptation to envy or dislike, or even
hatred, sometimes becomes stronger than the duty to love."

"And yet the English, themselves, say that the services rendered by
the elder to the younger brother, and the gratitude of the younger to
the elder, are so many additional ties."

"It would be contrary to all the known laws of feeling, and all
experience, if this were so. The younger applies to the elder for aid
in preference to a stranger, because he thinks he has a claim; and
what man who fancies he has a claim, is disposed to believe justice
is fully done him; or who that is required to discharge a duty,
imagines he has not done more than could be properly asked?"

"I fear your opinion of men is none of the best, Mr. Powis!"

"There may be exceptions, but such I believe to be the common fate of
humanity. The moment a duty is created, a disposition to think it
easily discharged follows; and of all sentiments, that of a continued
and exacting gratitude is the most oppressive. I fear more brothers
are aided, through family pride, than through natural affection."

"What, then, loosens the tie among ourselves, where no law of
primogeniture exists?"

"That which loosens every thing. A love of change that has grown up
with the migratory habits of the people; and which, perhaps, is, in
some measure, fostered by the institutions. Here is Mr. Bragg to
confirm what I say, and we may hear his sentiments on this subject."

As Aristabulus, with whom walked Mr. Dodge, just at that moment came
out of the shrubbery, and took the same direction with themselves,
Powis put the question, as one addresses an acquaintance in a room.

"Rotation in feelings, sir," returned Mr. Bragg, "is human nature, as
rotation in office is natural justice. Some of our people are of
opinion that it might be useful could the whole of society be made
periodically to change places, in order that every one might know how
his neighbour lives."

"You are, then, an Agrarian, Mr. Bragg?"

"As far from it as possible; nor do I believe you will find such an
animal in this county. Where property is concerned, we are a people
that never let go, as long as we can hold on, sir; but, beyond this
we like lively changes. Now, Miss Effingham, every body thinks
frequent changes of religious instructors in particular, necessary.
There can be no vital piety without, keeping the flame alive with
excitement."

"I confess, sir, that my own reasoning would lead to a directly
contrary conclusion, and that there can be no vital piety, as you
term it, _with_ excitement."

Mr. Bragg looked at Mr. Dodge, and Mr. Dodge looked at Mr. Bragg.
Then each shrugged his shoulders, and the former continued the
discourse.

"That may be the case in France, Miss Effingham," he said, "but, in
America, we look to excitement as the great purifier. We should as
soon expect the air in the bottom of a well to be elastic, as that
the moral atmosphere shall be clear and salutary, without the breezes
of excitement. For my part, Mr. Dodge, I think no man should be a
judge, in the same court, more than ten years at a time, and a priest
gets to be rather common-place and flat after five. There are men
that may hold out a little longer, I acknowledge; but to keep real,
vital, soul-saving regeneration stirring, a change should take place
as often as once in five years, in a parish; that is my opinion, at
least."

"But, sir," rejoined Eve, "as the laws of religion are immutable, the
modes by which it is known universal, and the promises, mediation,
and obligations are every where the same, I do not see what you
propose to gain by so many changes."

"Why, Miss Effingham, we change the dishes at table, and no family of
my acquaintance, more than this of your honourable father's; and I am
surprised to find you opposed to the system."

"Our religion, sir," answered Eve, gravely, "is a duty, and rests on
revelation and obedience; while our diet may, very innocently, be a
matter of mere taste, even of caprice, if you will."

"Well, I confess I see no great difference, the main object in this
life being to stir people up, and to go ahead. I presume you know,
Miss Eve, that many people think that we ought to change our own
parson, if we expect a blessing on the congregation."

"I should sooner expect a curse would follow an act of so much
heartlessness, sir. Our clergyman has been with us since his entrance
into the duties of his holy office; and it will be difficult to
suppose that the Divine favour would follow the commission of so
selfish and capricious a step, with a motive no better than the
desire for novelty."

"You quite mistake the object, Miss Eve, which is to stir the people
up; a hopeless thing, I fear, so long as they always sit under the
same preaching."

"I have been taught to believe that piety is increased, Mr. Bragg, by
the aid of the Holy Spirit's sustaining and supporting us in our good
desires; and I cannot persuade myself that the Deity finds it
necessary to save a soul, by the means of any of those human agencies
by which men sack towns, turn an election, or incite a mob. I hear
that extraordinary scenes are witnessed in this country, in some of
the other sects; but I trust never to see the day, when the
apostolic, reverend, and sober church, in which I have been nurtured,
shall attempt to advance the workings of that Divine power, by a
profane, human hurrah."

All this was Greek to Messrs. Dodge and Bragg, who, in furthering
their objects, were so accustomed to "stirring people up," that they
had quite forgotten that the more a man was in "an excitement," the
less he had to do with reason. The exaggerated religious sects, which
first peopled America, have had a strong influence in transmitting to
their posterity false notions on such subjects; for while the old
world is accustomed to see Christianity used as an ally of
government, and perverted from its one great end to be the instrument
of ambition, cupidity, and selfishness, the new world has been fated
to witness the reaction of such abuses, and to run into nearly as
many errors in the opposite extreme. The two persons just mentioned,
had been educated in the provincial school of religious notions, that
is so much in favour, in a portion of this country; and they were
striking examples of the truth of the adage, that "what is bred in
the bone will be seen in the flesh," for their common character,
common in this particular at least, was a queer mixture of the most
narrow superstitions and prejudices, that existed under the garb of
religious training, and of unjustifiable frauds, meannesses, and even
vices. Mr. Bragg was a better man than Mr. Dodge, for he had more
self-reliance, and was more manly; but, on the score of religion, he
had the same contradictory excesses, and there was a common point, in
the way of vulgar vice, towards which each tended, simply for the
want of breeding and tastes, as infallibly as the needle points to
the pole. Cards were often introduced in Mr. Effingham's drawing-
room, and there was one apartment expressly devoted to a billiard-
table; and many was the secret fling, and biting gibe, that these
pious devotees passed between themselves, on the subject of so
flagrant an instance of immorality, in a family of so high moral
pretensions; the two worthies not unfrequently concluding their
comments by repairing to some secret room in a tavern, where, after
carefully locking the door, and drawing the curtains, they would
order brandy, and pass a refreshing hour in endeavouring to relieve
each other of the labour of carrying their odd sixpences, by means of
little shoemaker's loo.

On the present occasion, however, the earnestness of Eve produced a
pacifying effect on their consciences, for, as our heroine never
raised her sweet voice above the tones of a gentlewoman, its very
mildness and softness gave force to her expressions. Had John
Effingham uttered the sentiments to which they had just listened it
is probable Mr. Bragg would have attempted an answer; but, under the
circumstances, he preferred making his bow, and diverging into the
first path that offered, followed by his companion. Eve and Paul
continued their circuit of the grounds, as if no interruption had
taken place.

"This disposition to change is getting to be universal in the
country," remarked the latter, as soon as Aristabulus and his friend
had left them, "and I consider it one of the worst signs of the
times; more especially since it has become so common to connect it
with what it is the fashion to call excitement."

"To return to the subject which these gentlemen interrupted," said
Eve, "that of the family ties; I have always heard England quoted as
one of the strongest instances of a nation in which this tie is
slight, beyond its aristocratical influence; and I should be sorry to
suppose that we are following in the footsteps of our good-mother, in
this respect at least."

"Has Mademoiselle Viefville never made any remark on this subject?"

"Mademoiselle Viefville, though observant, is discreet. That she
believes the standard of the affections as high in this as in her own
country, I do not think; for, like most Europeans, she believes the
Americans to be a passionless people, who are more bound up in the
interests of gain, than in any other of the concerns of life."

"She does not know us!" said Paul so earnestly as to cause Eve to
start at the deep energy with which he spoke. "The passions lie as
deep, and run in currents as strong here, as in any other part of the
world, though, there not being as many factitious causes to dam them,
they less seldom break through the bounds of propriety."

For near a minute the two paced the walk in silence, and Eve began to
wish that some one of the party would again join them, that a
conversation which she felt was getting to be awkward, might be
interrupted. But no one crossed their path again, and without
rudeness, or affectation, she saw no means of effecting her object.
Paul was too much occupied with his own feelings to observe his
companion's embarrassment, and, after the short pause mentioned, he
naturally pursued the subject, though in a less emphatic manner than
before.

"It was an old, and a favourite theory, with the Europeans," he said,
with a sort of bitter irony, "that all the animals of this hemisphere
have less gifted natures than those of the other; nor is it a theory
of which they are yet entirely rid. The Indian was supposed to be
passionless, because he had self-command; and what in the European
would be thought exhibiting the feelings of a noble nature, in him
has been represented as ferocity and revenge; Miss Effingham, you and
I have seen Europe, have stood in the presence of its wisest, its
noblest and its best; and what have they to boast beyond the
immediate results of their factitious and laboured political systems,
that is denied to the American--or rather would be denied to the
American, had the latter the manliness and mental independence, to be
equal to his fortunes?"

"Which, you think he is not."

"How can a people be even independent that imports its thoughts, as
it does its wares,--that has not the spirit to invent even its own
prejudices?"

"Something should be allowed to habit, and to the influence of time.
England, herself, probably has inherited some of her false notions,
from the Saxons and Normans."

"That is not only possible, but probable; but England, in thinking of
Russia, France, Turkey, or Egypt, when induced to think wrong, yields
to an English, and not to an American interest. Her errors are at
least requited, in a degree, by serving her own ends, whereas ours
are made, too often, to oppose our most obvious interests. We are
never independent unless when stimulated by some strong and pressing
moneyed concern, and not often then beyond the plainest of its
effects.--Here is one, apparently, who does not belong to our party."

Paul interrupted himself, in consequence of their meeting a stranger
in the walk, who moved with the indecision of one uncertain whether
to advance or to recede. Rockets frequently fell into the grounds,
and there had been one or two inroads of boys, which had been
tolerated on account of the occasion; but this intruder was a man in
the decline of life, of the condition of a warm tradesman seemingly,
and he clearly had no connection with sky-rockets, as his eyes were
turned inquiringly on the persons of those who passed him, from time
to time, none of whom had he stopped, however, until he now placed
himself before Paul and Eve, in a way to denote a desire to speak.

"The young people are making a merry night of it," he said, keeping a
hand in each coat-pocket, while he unceremoniously occupied the
centre of the narrow walk, as if determined to compel a parley.

Although sufficiently acquainted with the unceremonious habits of the
people of the country to feel no surprise at this intrusion, Paul was
vexed at having his tête à tête with Eve so rudely broken; and he
answered with more of the hauteur of the quarterdeck than he might
otherwise have done, by saying coldly--

"Perhaps, sir, it is your wish to see Mr. Effingham--or--" hesitating
an instant, as he scanned the stranger's appearance--"some of his
people. The first will soon pass this spot, and you will find most of
the latter on the lawn, watching the rockets."

The man regarded Paul a moment, and then he removed his hat
respectfully.

"Please, sir, can you inform me if a gentleman called Captain Truck--
one that sails the packets between New-York and England, is staying
at the Wigwam at present."

Paul told him that the captain was walking with Mr. Effingham, and
that the next pair that approached would be they. The stranger fell
back, keeping his hat respectfully in his hand, and the two passed.

"That man has been an English servant, but has been a little spoiled
by the reaction of an excessive liberty to do as he pleases. The
'please, sir,' and the attitude can hardly be mistaken, while the
_nonchalance_ of his manner '_à nous aborder_' sufficiently betrays
the second edition of his education."

"I am curious to know what this person can want with our excellent
captain--it can scarcely be one of the Montauk's crew!"

"I will answer for it, that the fellow has not enough seamanship
about him to whip a rope," said Paul, laughing; "for if there be two
temporal pursuits that have less affinity than any two others, they
are those of the pantry and the tar-bucket. I think it will be seen
that this man has been an English servant, and he has probably been a
passenger on board some ship commanded by our honest old friend."

Eve and Paul now turned, and they met Mr. Effingham and the captain
just as the two latter reached the spot where the stranger still
stood.

"This is Captain Truck, the gentleman for whom you inquired," said
Paul.

The stranger looked hard at the captain, and the captain looked hard
at the stranger, the obscurity rendering a pretty close scrutiny
necessary, to enable either to distinguish features. The examination
seemed to be mutually unsatisfactory, for each retired a little, like
a man who had not found a face that he knew.

"There must be two Captain Trucks, then, in the trade," said the
stranger; "this is not the gentleman I used to know."

"I think you are as right in the latter part of your remark, friend,
as you are wrong in the first," returned the captain. "Know you, I do
not, and yet there are no more two Captain Trucks in the English
trade, than there are two Miss Eve Effinghams, or two Mrs. Hawkers in
the universe. I am John Truck, and no other man of that name ever
sailed a ship between New York and England, in my day, at least."

"Did you ever command the Dawn, sir?"

"The Dawn! That I did; and the Regulus, and the Manhattan, and the
Wilful Girl, and the Deborah-Angelina, and the Sukey and Katy, which,
my dear young lady, I may say, was my first love. She was only a
fore-and-after, carrying no standing topsail, even, and we named her
after two of the river girls, who were flyers, in their way; at
least, I thought so then; though a man by sailing a packet comes to
alter his notions about men and things, or, for that matter, about
women and things, too. I got into a category, in that schooner, that
I never expect to see equalled; for I was driven ashore to windward
in her, which is gibberish to you, my dear young lady, but which Mr.
Powis will very well understand, though he may not be able to explain
it."

"I certainly know what you mean," said Paul, "though I confess I am
in a category, as well as the schooner, so far as knowing how it
could have happened."

"The Sukey and Katy ran away with me, that's the upshot of it. Since
that time I have never consented to command a vessel that was called
after _two_ of our river young women, for I do believe that one of
them is as much as a common mariner can manage. You see, Mr.
Effingham, we were running along a weather-shore, as close in as we
could get, to be in the eddy, when a squall struck her a-beam, and
she luffed right on to the beach. No helping it. Helm hard up, peak
down, head sheets to windward, and main sheet flying, but it was all
too late; away she went plump ashore to windward. But for that
accident, I think I might have married."

"And what connexion could you find between matrimony and this
accident, captain?" demanded the laughing Eve.

"There was an admonition in it, my dear young lady, that I thought
was not to be disregarded. I tried the Wilful Girl next, and she was
thrown on her beam-ends with me; after which I renounced all female
names, and took to the Egyptian."

"The Egyptian!"

"Certainly, Regulus, who was a great snake-killer, they tell me, in
that part of the world. But I never saw my way quite clear as
bachelor, until I got the Dawn. Did you know that ship, friend?"

"I believe, sir, I made two passages in her while you commanded her."

"Nothing more likely; we carried lots of your countrymen, though
mostly forward of the gangways. I commanded the Dawn more than twenty
years ago."

"It is all of that time since I crossed with you, sir; you may
remember that we fell in with a wreck, ten days after we sailed, and
took off her crew and two passengers. Three or four of the latter had
died with their sufferings, and several of the people."

"All this seems but as yesterday! The wreck was a Charleston ship
that had started a butt."

"Yes, sir--yes, sir--that is just it--she had started, _but_ could
not get in. That is just what they said at the time. I am David,
sir--I should think you _cannot_ have forgotten David."

The honest captain was very willing to gratify the other's harmless
self-importance, though, to tell the truth, he retained no more
personal knowledge of the David of the Dawn, than he had of David,
King of the Jews.

"Oh, David!" he cried, cordially--"are _you_ David? Well, I did not
expect to see you again in this world, though I never doubted where
we should be, hereafter I hope you are very well, David; what sort of
weather have you made of it since we parted? If I recollect aright,
you worked your passage;--never at sea before."

"I beg your pardon, sir; I never was at sea before the _first_ time,
it is true; but I did not belong to the crew. I was a passenger."

"I remember, now, you were in the steerage," returned the captain,
who saw daylight ahead.

"Not at all, sir, but in the cabin."

"Cabin!" echoed the captain, who perceived none of the requisites of
a cabin-passenger in the other--"Oh! I understand, in the pantry?"

"Exactly so, sir. You may remember my master--he had the left-hand
state-room to himself, and I slept next to the scuttle-butt. You
recollect master, sir?"

"Out of doubt, and a very good fellow he was. I hope you live with
him still?"

"Lord bless you, sir, he is dead!"

"Oh! I recollect hearing of it, at the time. Well, David. I hope if
ever we cross again, we shall be ship-mates once more. We were
beginners, then, but we have ships worth living in, now.--Good
night."

"Do you remember Dowse, sir, that we got from the wreck?" continued
the other, unwilling to give up his gossip so soon. "He was a dark
man, that had had the small-pox badly. I think, sir, you will
recollect _him_, for he was a hard man in other particulars, besides
his countenance."

"Somewhat flinty about the soul; I remember the man well; and so,
David, good night; you will come and see me, if you are ever in town.
Good night, David."

David was now compelled to leave the place, for Captain Truck, who
perceived that the whole party was getting together again, in
consequence of the halt, felt the propriety of dismissing his
visiter, of whom, his master, and Dowse, he retained just as much
recollection as one retains of a common stage-coach companion after
twenty years. The appearance of Mr. Howel, who just at that moment
approached them, aided the manoeuvre, and, in a few minutes the
different groups were again in motion, though some slight changes had
taken place in the distribution of the parties.

Chapter XXIII.

  "How silver sweet sound lovers' tongues at night, Like softest
  music to attending ears!"

  ROMEO AND JULIET.

"A poor matter, this of the fire-works," said Mr. Howel, who, with an
old bachelor's want of tact, had joined Eve and Paul in their walk.
"The English would laugh at them famously, I dare say. Have you heard
Sir George allude to them at all, Miss Eve?"

"It would be great affectation for an Englishman to deride the fire-
works of any _dry_ climate," said Eve laughing; "and I dare say, if
Sir George Templemore has been silent on the subject, it is because
he is conscious he knows little about it."

"Well, that is odd! I should think England the very first country in
the world for fire-works. I hear, Miss Eve, that, on the whole, the
baronet is rather pleased with us; and I must say that he is getting
to be very popular in Templeton."

"Nothing is easier than for an Englishman to become popular in
America," observed Paul, "especially if his condition in life be
above that of the vulgar. He has only to declare himself pleased with
America; or, to be sincerely hated, to declare himself displeased."

"And in what does America differ from any other country, in this
respect?" asked Eve, quickly.

"Not much, certainly; love induces love, and dislike, dislike. There
is nothing new in all this; but the people of other countries, having
more confidence in themselves, do not so sensitively inquire what
others think of them. I believe this contains the whole difference."

"But Sir George does _rather_ like us?" inquired Mr. Howel, with
interest.

"He likes some of us particularly well," returned Eve. "Do you not
know that my cousin Grace is to become Mrs.--I beg her pardon--Lady
Templemore, very shortly?"

"Good God!--Is that possible--Lady Templemore!--Lady Grace
Templemore!"

"Not Lady Grace Templemore, but Grace, Lady Templemore, and graceful
Lady Templemore in the bargain."

"And this honour, my dear Miss Eve, they tell me you refused!"

"They tell you wrong then, sir," answered the young lady, a little
startled with the suddenness and _brusquerie_ of the remark, and yet
prompt to do justice to all concerned. "Sir George Templemore never
did me the honour to propose _to_ me, or _for_ me, and consequently
he _could_ not be refused."

"It is very extraordinary!--I hear you were actually acquainted in
Europe?"

"We were, Mr. Howel, actually acquainted in Europe, but I knew
hundreds of persons in Europe, who have never dreamed of asking me to
marry them."

"This is very strange--quite unlooked for--to marry Miss Van
Cortlandt! Is Mr. John Effingham in the grounds?"

Eve made no answer, but Paul hurriedly observed--"You will find him
in the next walk, I think, by returning a short distance, and taking
the first path to the left."

Mr. Howel did as told, and was soon out of sight.

"That is a most earnest believer in English superiority, and, one may
say, by his strong desire to give you an English husband, Miss
Effingham, in English merit."

"It is the weak spot in the character of a very honest man. They tell
me such instances were much more frequent in this country thirty
years since, than they are to-day."

"I can easily believe it, for I think I remember some characters of
the sort, myself. I have heard those who are older than I am, draw a
distinction like this between the state of feeling that prevailed
forty years ago, and that which prevails to-day; they say that,
formerly, England absolutely and despotically thought for America, in
all but those cases in which the interests of the two nations
conflicted; and I have even heard competent judges affirm, that so
powerful was the influence of habit, and so successful the schemes of
the political managers of the mother country, that even many of those
who fought for the independence of America, actually doubted of the
propriety of their acts, as Luther is known to have had fits of
despondency concerning the justness of the reformation he was
producing; while, latterly, the leaning towards England is less the
result of a simple mental dependence,--though of that there still
remains a disgraceful amount--than of calculation, and a desire in a
certain class to defeat the dominion of the mass, and to establish
that of a few in its stead."

"It would, indeed, be a strange consummation of the history of this
country, to find it becoming monarchical!"

"There are a few monarchists no doubt springing up in the country,
though almost entirely in a class that only knows the world through
the imagination and by means of books; but the disposition, in our
time, is to aristocracy, and not to monarchy. Most men that get to be
rich, discover that they are no happier for their possessions;
perhaps every man who has not been trained and prepared to use his
means properly, is in this category, as our friend the captain would
call it, and then they begin to long for some other untried
advantages. The example of the rest of the world is before our own
wealthy, and, _faute d'imagination_, they imitate because they cannot
invent. Exclusive political power is also a great ally in the
accumulation of money, and a portion have the sagacity to see it;
though I suspect more pine for the vanities of the exclusive classes,
than for the substance. Your sex, Miss Effingham, as a whole, is not
above this latter weakness, as I think you must have observed in your
intercourse with those you met abroad."

"I met with some instances of weakness, in this way," said Eve, with
reserve, and with the pride of a woman, "though not more, I think,
than among the men; and seldom, in either case, among those whom we
are accustomed to consider people of condition at home. The self-
respect and the habits of the latter, generally preserved them from
betraying this feebleness of character, if indeed they felt it."

"The Americans abroad may be divided into two great classes; those
who go for improvement in the sciences or the arts, and those who go
for mere amusement. As a whole, the former have struck me as being
singularly respectable, equally removed from an apish servility and a
swaggering pretension of superiority; while, I fear, a majority of
the latter have a disagreeable direction towards the vanities."

"I will not affirm the contrary," said Eve, "for frivolity and
pleasure are only too closely associated in ordinary minds. The
number of those who prize the elegancies of life, for their intrinsic
value, is every where small, I should think; and I question if Europe
is much better off than ourselves, in this respect."

"This may be true, and yet one can only regret that, in a case where
so much depends on example, the tone of our people was not more
assimilated to their facts. I do not know whether you were struck
with the same peculiarity, but, whenever I felt in the mood to hear
high monarchical and aristocratical doctrines blindly promulgated, I
used to go to the nearest American Legation."

"I have heard this fact commented on," Eve answered, "and even by
foreigners, and I confess it has always struck me as singular. Why
should the agent of a republic make a parade of his anti-republican
sentiments?"

"That there are exceptions, I will allow; but, after the experience
of many years, I honestly think that such is the rule. I might
distrust my own opinion, or my own knowledge; but others, with
opportunities equal to my own, have come to the same conclusion. I
have just received a letter from Europe, complaining that an American
Envoy Extraordinary, who would as soon think of denouncing himself,
as utter the same sentiments openly at home, has given an opinion
against the utility of the vote by ballot; and this, too, under
circumstances that might naturally be thought to produce a practical
effect."

"_Tant pis_. To me all this is inexplicable!"

"It has its solution, Miss Effingham, like any other problem. In
ordinary times, extraordinary men seldom become prominent, power
passing into the hands of clever managers. Now, the very vanity, and
the petty desires, that betray themselves in glittering uniforms,
puerile affectations, and feeble imitations of other systems,
probably induce more than half of those who fill the foreign missions
to apply for them, and it is no more than we ought to expect that the
real disposition should betray itself, when there was no longer any
necessity for hypocrisy."

"But I should think this necessity for hypocrisy would never cease!
Can it be possible that a people, as much attached to their
institutions as the great mass of the American nation is known to be,
will tolerate such a base abandonment of all they cherish!"

"How are they to know any thing about it? It is a startling fact,
that there is a man at this instant, who has not a single claim to
such a confidence, either in the way of mind, principles, manners, or
attainments, filling a public trust abroad, who, on all occasions
except those which he thinks will come directly before the American
people, not only proclaims himself opposed to the great principles of
the institutions but who, in a recent controversy with a foreign
nation, actually took sides against his own country, informing that
of the opposing nation, that the administration at home would not be
supported by the legislative part of the government!"

"And why is not this publicly exposed?"

"_Cui bono_! The presses that have no direct interest in the matter,
would treat the affair with indifference or levity, while a few would
mystify the truth. It is quite impossible for any man in a private
station to make the truth available in any country, in a matter of
public interest; and those in public stations seldom or never attempt
it, unless they see a direct party end to be obtained. This is the
reason that we see so much infidelity to the principles of the
institutions, among the public agents abroad, for they very well know
that no one will be able to expose them. In addition to this motive,
there is so strong a desire in that portion of the community which is
considered the highest, to effect a radical change in these very
institutions, that infidelity to them, in their eyes, would be a
merit, rather than an offence."

"Surely, surely, other nations are not treated in this cavalier
manner!"

"Certainly not. The foreign agent of a prince, who should whisper a
syllable against his master, would be recalled with disgrace; but the
servant of the people is differently situated, since there are so
many to be persuaded of his guilt. I could always get along with all
the attacks that the Europeans are so fond of making on the American
system, but those which they quoted from the mouths of our own
diplomatic agents."

"Why do not our travellers expose this?"

"Most of them see too little to know anything of it. They dine at a
diplomatic table, see a star or two, fancy themselves obliged, and
puff elegancies that have no existence, except in their own brains.
Some think with the unfaithful, and see no harm in the infidelity.
Others calculate the injury to themselves, and no small portion would
fancy it a greater proof of patriotism to turn a sentence in favour
of the comparative 'energies' and 'superior intelligence' of their
own people, than to point out this or any other disgraceful fact, did
they even possess the opportunities to discover it. Though no one
thinks more highly of these qualities in the Americans, considered in
connexion with practical things, than myself, no one probably gives
them less credit for their ability to distinguish between appearances
and reality, in matters of principle."

"It is probable that were we nearer to the rest of the world, these
abuses would not exist, for it is certain they are not so openly
practised at home. I am glad, however, to find that, even while you
felt some uncertainty concerning your own birth-place, you took so
much interest in us, as to identify yourself in feeling, at least,
with the nation."

"There was one moment when I was really afraid that the truth would
show I was actually born an Englishman--"

"Afraid!" interrupted Eve; "that is a strong word to apply to so
great and glorious a people."

"We cannot always account for our prejudices, and perhaps this was
one of mine; and, now that I know that to be an Englishman is not the
greatest possible merit in your eyes, Miss Effingham, it is in no
manner lessened."

"In my eyes, Mr. Powis! I do not remember to have expressed any
partiality for, or any prejudice against the English: so far as I can
speak of my own feelings, I regard the English the same as any other
foreign people."

"In words you have not certainly; but acts speak louder than words."

"You are disposed to be mysterious to-night. What act of mine has
declared _pro_ or _con_ in this important affair."

"You have at least done what, I fear, few of your countrywomen would
have the moral courage and self-denial to do, and especially those
who are accustomed to living abroad--refused to be the wife of an
English baronet of a good estate and respectable family."

"Mr. Powis," said Eve, gravely, "this is an injustice to Sir George
Templemore, that my sense of right will not permit to go
uncontradicted, as well as an injustice to my sex and me. As I told
Mr. Howel, in your presence, that gentleman has never proposed for
me, and of course cannot have been refused. Nor can I suppose that
any American gentlewoman can deem so paltry a thing as a baronetcy,
an inducement to forget her self-respect."

"I fully appreciate your generous modesty, Miss Effingham; but you
cannot expect that I, to whom Templemore's admiration gave so much
uneasiness, not to say pain, am to understand you, as Mr. Howel has
probably done, too broadly. Although Sir George may not have
positively proposed, his readiness to do so, on the least
encouragement, was too obvious to be overlooked by a near observer."

Eve was ready to gasp for breath, so completely by surprise was she
taken, by the calm, earnest, and yet respectful manner, in which Paul
confessed his jealousy. There was a tremor in his voice, too, usually
so clear and even, that touched her heart, for feeling responds to
feeling, as the echo answers sound, when there exists a real sympathy
between the sexes. She felt the necessity of saying something, and
yet they had walked some distance, ere it was in her power to utter a
syllable.

"I fear my presumption has offended you, Miss Effingham," said Paul,
speaking more like a corrected child, than the lion-hearted young man
he had proved himself.

There was deep homage in the emotion he betrayed, and Eve, although
she could barely distinguish his features, was not slow in
discovering this proof of the extent of her power over his feelings.

"Do not call it presumption," she said; "for, one who has done so
much for us all, can surely claim some right to take an interest in
those he has so well served. As for Sir George Templemore, you have
probably mistaken the feeling created by our common adventures for
one of more importance. He is warmly and sincerely attached to my
cousin, Grace Van Cortlandt."

"That he is so now, I fully believe; but that a very different magnet
first kept him from the Canadas, I am sure.--We treated each other
generously, Miss Effingham, and had no concealments, during that long
and anxious night, when all expected that the day would dawn on our
captivity. Templemore is too manly and honest to deny his former
desire to obtain you for a wife, and I think even he would admit that
it depended entirely on yourself to be so, or not."

"This is an act of self-humiliation that he is not called onto
perform," Eve hurriedly replied; "such allusions, now, are worse than
useless, and they might pain my cousin, were she to hear them."

"I am mistaken in my friend's character, if he leave his betrothed in
any doubt, on this subject. Five minutes of perfect frankness now,
might obviate years of distrust, hereafter."

And would you Mr. Powis, avow a former weakness of this sort, to the
woman you had finally selected for your wife?"

"I ought not to quote myself for authority, for or against such a
course, since I have never loved but one, and her with a passion too
single and too ardent ever to admit of competition. Miss Effingham,
there would be something worse than affectation--it would be trifling
with one who is sacred in my eyes, were I now to refrain from
speaking explicitly, although what I am about to say is forced from
me by circumstances, rather than voluntary, and is almost uttered
without a definite object. Have I your permission to proceed?'

"You can scarcely need a permission, being the master of your own
secrets, Mr. Powis."

Paul, like all men agitated by strong passion, was inconsistent, and
far from just; and Eve felt the truth of this, even while her mind
was ingeniously framing excuses for his weaknesses. Still, the
impression that she was about to listen to a declaration that
possibly ought never to be made, weighed upon her, and caused her to
speak with more coldness than she actually felt. As she continued
silent, however, the young man saw that it had become indispensably
necessary to be explicit.

"I shall not detain you, Miss Effingham, perhaps vex you," he said,
"with the history of those early impressions, which have gradually
grown upon me, until they have become interwoven with my very
existence. We met, as you know, at Vienna, for the first time. An
Austrian of rank, to whom I had become known through some fortunate
circumstances, introduced me into the best society of that capital,
in which I found you the admiration of all who knew you. My first
feeling was that of exultation, at seeing a young countrywoman--you
were then almost a child, Miss Effingham--the greatest attraction of
a capital celebrated for the beauty and grace of its women----"

"Your national partialities have made you an unjust judge towards
others, Mr. Powis." Eve interrupted him by saying, though the
earnestness and passion with which the young man uttered his
feelings, made music to her ears: "what had a young, frightened,
half-educated American girl to boast of, when put in competition with
the finished women of Austria?"

"Her surpassing beauty, her unconscious superiority, her attainments,
her trembling simplicity and modesty and her meek purity of mind. All
these did you possess, not only in my eyes, but in those of others;
for these are subjects on which I dwelt too fondly to be mistaken."

A rocket passed near them at the moment, and, while both were too
much occupied by the discourse to heed the interruption, its
transient light enabled Paul to see the flushed cheeks and tearful
eyes of Eve, as the latter were turned on him, in a grateful
pleasure, that his ardent praises extorted from her, in despite of
all her struggles for self-command.

"We will leave to others this comparison, Mr. Powis," she said, "and
confine ourselves to less doubtful subjects."

"If I am then to speak only of that which is beyond all question, I
shall speak chiefly of my long cherished, devoted, unceasing love. I
adored you at Vienna, Miss Effingham, though it was at a distance, as
one might worship the sun; for, while your excellent father admitted
me to his society, and I even think honoured me with some portion of
his esteem, I had but little opportunity to ascertain the value of
the jewel that was contained in so beautiful a casket; but when we
met the following summer in Switzerland, I first began truly to love.
Then I learned the justness of thought, the beautiful candour, the
perfectly feminine delicacy of your mind; and, although I will not
say that these qualities were not enhanced in the eyes of so young a
man, by the extreme beauty of their possessor, I will say that, as
weighed against each other, I could a thousand times prefer the
former to the latter, unequalled as the latter almost is, even among
your own beautiful sex."

"This is presenting flattery in its most seductive form, Powis."

"Perhaps my incoherent and abrupt manner of explaining myself
deserves a rebuke; though nothing can be farther from my intentions
than to seem to flatter or in any manner to exaggerate. I intend
merely to give a faithful history of the state of my feelings, and of
the progress of my love."

Eve smiled faintly, but very sweetly, as Paul would have thought, had
the obscurity permitted more than a dim view of her lovely
countenance.

"Ought I to listen to such praises, Mr. Powis," she asked; "praises
which only contribute to a self-esteem that is too great already?"

"No one but yourself would say this; but your question does, indeed,
remind me of the indiscretion that I have fallen into, by losing that
command of my feelings, in which I have so long exulted. No man
should make a woman the confidant of his attachment, until he is
fully prepared to accompany the declaration with an offer of his
hand;--and such is not my condition."

Eve made no dramatic start, assumed no look of affected surprise, or
of wounded dignity; but she turned on her lover, her serene eyes,
with an expression of concern so eloquent, and of a wonder so
natural, that, could he have seen it, it would probably have
overcome every difficulty on the spot, and produced the usual
offer, notwithstanding the difficulty that he seemed to think
insurmountable.

"And yet," he continued, "I have now said so much, involuntarily as
it has been, that I feel it not only due to you, but in some measure
to myself, to add that the fondest wish of my heart, the end and aim
of all my day-dreams, as well as of my most sober thoughts for the
future, centre in the common wish to obtain you for a wife."

The eye of Eve fell, and the expression of her countenance changed,
while a slight but uncontrollable tremor ran through her frame. After
a short pause, she summoned all her resolution, and in a voice, the
firmness of which surprised even herself, she asked--

"Powis, to what does all this tend?"

"Well may you ask that question, Miss Effingham! You have every right
to put it, and the answer, at least, shall add no further cause of
self-reproach. Give me, I entreat you, but a minute to collect my
thoughts, and I will endeavour to acquit myself of an imperious duty,
in a manner more manly and coherent, than I fear has been observed
for the last ten minutes."

They walked a short distance in profound silence, Eve still under the
influence of astonishment, in which an uncertain and indefinite dread
of, she scarce knew what, began to mingle; and Paul, endeavouring to
quiet the tumult that had been so suddenly aroused within him. The
latter then spoke:

"Circumstances have always deprived me of the happiness of
experiencing the tenderness and sympathy of your sex, Miss Effingham,
and have thrown me more exclusively among the colder and ruder
spirits of my own. My mother died at the time of my birth, thus
cutting me off, at once, from one of the dearest of earthly ties. I
am not certain that I do not exaggerate the loss in consequence of
the privations I have suffered; but, from the hour when I first
learned to feel, I have had a yearning for the tender, patient,
endearing, disinterested love of a mother. You, too, suffered a
similar loss, at an early period, if I have been correctly
informed----"

A sob--a stifled, but painful sob, escaped Eve; and, inexpressibly
shocked, Paul ceased dwelling on his own sources of sorrow, to attend
to those he had so unintentionally disturbed.

"I have been selfish, dearest Miss Effingham," he exclaimed--"have
overtaxed your patience--have annoyed you with griefs and losses that
have no interest for you, which can have no interest, with one happy
and blessed as yourself."

"No, no, no, Powis--you are unjust to both. I, too, lost my mother
when a mere child, and never knew her love and tenderness. Proceed; I
am calmer, and earnestly intreat you to forget my weakness, and to
proceed."

Paul did proceed, but this brief interruption in which they had
mingled their sorrows for a common misfortune, struck a new chord of
feeling, and removed a mountain of reserve and distance, that might
otherwise have obstructed their growing confidence.

"Cut off in this manner, from my nearest and dearest natural friend,"
Paul continued, "I was thrown, an infant, into the care of hirelings;
and, in this at least, my fortune was still more cruel than your own;
for the excellent woman who has been so happy as to have had the
charge of your infancy, had nearly the love of a natural mother,
however she may have been wanting in the attainments of one of your
own condition in life."

"But we had both of us, our fathers, Mr. Powis. To me, my excellent,
high principled, affectionate--nay tender father, has been every
thing. Without him, I should have been truly miserable; and with him,
notwithstanding these rebellious tears, tears that I must ascribe to
the infection of your own grief, I have been truly blest."

"Mr. Effingham deserves this from you, but I never knew my father,
you will remember."

"I am an unworthy confidant, to have forgotten this so soon. Poor
Powis, you were, indeed, unhappy!"

"He had parted from my mother before my birth and either died soon
after, or has never deemed his child of sufficient worth to make him
the subject of interest sufficient to excite a single inquiry into
his fate."

"Then he never knew that child!" burst from Eve, with a fervour and
frankness, that set all reserves, whether of womanly training, or of
natural timidity, at defiance.

"Miss Effingham!--dearest Miss Effingham--Eve, my own Eve, what am I
to infer from this generous warmth! Do not mislead me! I can bear my
solitary misery, can brave the sufferings of an isolated existence;
but I could not live under the disappointments of such a hope, a hope
fairly quickened by a clear expression from your lips."

"You teach me the importance of caution, Powis, and we will now
return to your history, and to that confidence of which I shall not
again prove a faithless repository. For the present at least, I beg
that you will forget all else."

"A command so kindly--so encouragingly given--do I offend, dearest
Miss Effingham?" Eve, for the second time in her life, placed her own
light arm and beautiful hand, through the arm of Paul, discovering a
bewitching but modest reliance on his worth and truth, by the very
manner in which she did this simple and every-day act, while she said
more cheerfully--

"You forget the substance of the command, at the very moment you
would have me suppose you most disposed to obey it."

"Well, then, Miss Effingham, you shall be more implicitly minded.
_Why_ my father left my mother so soon after their union, I never
knew. It would seem that they lived together but a few months, though
I have the proud consolation of knowing that my mother was blameless.
For years I suffered the misery of doubt on a point that is ever the
most tender with man, a distrust of his own mother; but all this has
been happily, blessedly, cleared up, during my late visit to England.
It is true that Lady Dunluce was my mother's sister, and as such
might have been lenient to her failings; but a letter from my father,
that was written only a month before my mother's death, leaves no
doubt not only of her blamelessness as a wife, but bears ample
testimony to the sweetness of her disposition. This letter is a
precious document for a son to possess, Miss Effingham!"

Eve made no answer; but Paul fancied that he felt another gentle
pressure of the hand, which, until then, had rested so lightly on his
own arm, that he scarcely dared to move the latter, lest he might
lose the precious consciousness of its presence.

"I have other letters from my father to my mother," the young man
continued, "but none that are so cheering to my heart as this. From
their general tone, I cannot persuade myself that he ever truly loved
her. It is a cruel thing, Miss Effingham, for a man to deceive a
woman on a point like that!"

"Cruel, indeed," said Eve, firmly. "Death itself were preferable to
such a delusion."

"I think my father deceived himself as well as my mother; for there
is a strange incoherence and a want of distinctness in some of his
letters, that caused feelings, keen as mine naturally were on such a
subject, to distrust his affection from the first."

"Was your mother rich?" Eve asked innocently; for, an heiress
herself, her vigilance had early been directed to that great motive
of deception and dishonesty.

"Not in the least. She had little besides her high lineage, and her
beauty. I have her picture, which sufficiently proves the latter;
had, I ought rather to say, for it was her miniature, of which I was
robbed by the Arabs, as you may remember, and I have not seen it
since. In the way of money, my mother had barely the competency of a
gentlewoman; nothing more."

The pressure on Paul was more palpable, as spoke of the miniature;
and he ventured to touch his companion's arm, in order to give it a
surer hold of his own.

"Mr. Powis was not mercenary, then, and it is a great deal," said
Eve, speaking as if she were scarcely conscious that she spoke at
all.

"Mr. Powis!--He was every thing that was noble and disinterested. A
more generous, or a less selfish man, never existed than Francis
Powis."

"I thought you never knew your father personally!" exclaimed Eve in
surprise.

"Nor did I. But, you are in an error, in supposing that my father's
name was Powis, when it was Assheton."

Paul then explained the manner in which he had been adopted while
still a child, by a gentleman called Powis, whose name he had taken,
on finding himself deserted by his own natural parent, and to whose
fortune he had succeeded, on the death of his voluntary protector.

"I bore the name of Assheton until Mr. Powis took me to France, when
he advised me to assume his own, which I did the more readily, as he
thought he had ascertained that my father was dead, and that he had
bequeathed the whole of a very considerable estate to his nephews and
nieces, making no allusion to me in his will, and seemingly anxious
even to deny his marriage; at least, he passed among his
acquaintances for a bachelor to his dying day."

"There is something so unusual and inexplicable in all this, Mr.
Powis, that it strikes me you have been to blame, in not inquiring
more closely into the circumstances than, by your own account I
should think had been done."

"For a long time, for many bitter years, I was afraid to inquire,
lest I should learn something injurious to a mother's name. Then
there was the arduous and confined service of my profession, which
kept me in distant seas: and the last journey and painful
indisposition of my excellent benefactor, prevented even the wish to
inquire after my own family. The offended pride of Mr. Powis, who was
justly hurt at the cavalier manner in which my father's relatives met
his advances, aided in alienating me from that portion of my
relatives, and put a stop to all additional proffers of intercourse
from me. They even affected to doubt the fact that my father had ever
married."

"But of that you had proof?" Eve earnestly asked.

"Unanswerable. My aunt Dunluce was present at the ceremony, and I
possess the certificate given to my mother by the clergyman who
officiated. Is it not strange, Miss Effingham, that with all these
circumstances in favour of my legitimacy, even Lady Dunluce and her
family, until lately, had doubts of the fact."

"That is indeed unaccountable, your aunt having witnessed the
ceremony."

"Very true; but some circumstances, a little aided perhaps by the
strong desire of her husband, General Ducie, to obtain the revival of
a barony that was in abeyance, and of which she would be the only
heir, assuming that my rights were invalid, inclined her to believe
that my father was already married, when he entered into the solemn
contract with my mother. But from that curse too, I have been happily
relieved."

"Poor Powis!" said Eve, with a sympathy that her voice expressed more
clearly even than her words; "you have, indeed, suffered cruelly, for
one so young."

"I have learned to bear it, dearest Miss Effingham, and have stood so
long a solitary and isolated being, one in whom none have taken any
interest--"

"Nay, say not that--_we_, at least, have always felt an interest in
you--have always esteemed you, and now have learned to--"

"Learned to--?"

"Love you," said Eve, with a steadiness that afterwards astonished
herself; but she felt that a being so placed, was entitled to be
treated with a frankness different from the reserve that it is usual
for her sex to observe on similar occasions.

"Love!" cried Paul, dropping her arm. "Miss Effingham!--Eve--but that
_we_!"

"I mean my dear father--cousin Jack--myself."

"Such a feeling will not heal a wound like mine. A love that is
shared with even such men as your excellent father, and your worthy
cousin, will not make me happy. But, why should I, unowned, bearing a
name to which I have no legal title, and virtually without relatives,
aspire to one like you!"

The windings of the path had brought them near a window of the house,
whence a stream of strong light gleamed upon the sweet countenance of
Eve, as raising her eyes to those of her companion, with a face
bathed in tears, and flushed with natural feeling and modesty, the
struggle between which even heightened her loveliness, she smiled an
encouragement that it was impossible to misconstrue.

"Can I believe my senses! Will _you_--_do_ you--_can_ you listen to
the suit of one like me?" the young man exclaimed, as he hurried his
companion past the window, lest some interruption might destroy his
hopes.

"Is there any sufficient reason why I should not, Powis?"

"Nothing but my unfortunate situation in respect to my family, my
comparative poverty, and my general unworthiness."

"Your unfortunate situation in respect to your relatives would, if
any thing, be a new and dearer tie with us; your comparative poverty
is merely comparative, and can be of no account, where there is
sufficient already; and as for your general unworthiness, I fear it
will find more than an offset, in that of the girl you have so rashly
chosen from the rest of the world."

"Eve--dearest Eve--" said Paul, seizing both her hands, and stopping
her at the entrance of some shrubbery, that densely shaded the path,
and where the little light that fell from the stars enabled him still
to trace her features--"you will not leave me in doubt on a subject
of this nature--am I really so blessed?"

"If accepting the faith and affection of a heart that is wholly
yours, Powis, can mate you happy, your sorrows will be at an end--"

"But your father?" said the young man, almost breathless in his
eagerness to know all.

"Is here to confirm what his daughter has just declared," said Mr.
Effingham, coming out of the shrubbery beyond them, and laying a hand
kindly on Paul's shoulder. "To find that you so well understand each
other, Powis, removes from my mind one of the greatest anxieties I
have ever experienced. My cousin John, as he was bound to do, has
made me acquainted with all you have, told him of your past life, and
there remains nothing further to be revealed. We have known you for
years, and receive you into our family with as free a welcome as we
could receive any precious boon from Providence."

"Mr. Effingham!--dear sir," said Paul, almost gasping between
surprise and rapture--"this is indeed beyond all my hopes--and this
generous frankness too, in your lovely daughter--"

Paul's hands had been transferred to those of the father, he knew not
how; but releasing them hurriedly, he now turned in quest of Eve
again, and found she had fled. In the short interval between the
address of her father and the words of Paul, she had found means to
disappear, leaving the gentlemen together. The young man would have
followed, but the cooler head of Mr. Effingham perceiving that the
occasion was favourable to a private conversation with his accepted
son-in-law, and quite as unfavourable to one, or at least to a very
rational one, between the lovers, he quietly took the young man's
arm, and led him towards a more private walk. There half an hour of
confidential discourse calmed the feelings of both, and rendered Paul
Powis one of the happiest of human beings.

Chapter XXIV.

  "You shall do marvellous wisely, good Reynaldo, Before you visit
  him, to make inquiry Of his behaviour."

  HAMLET

Ann Sidley was engaged among the dresses of Eve, as she loved to be,
although Annette held her taste in too low estimation ever to permit
her to apply a needle, or even to fit a robe to the beautiful form
that was to wear it, when our heroine glided into the room and sunk
upon a sofa. Eve was too much absorbed with her own feelings to
observe the presence of her quiet unobtrusive old nurse, and too much
accustomed to her care and sympathy to heed it, had it been seen. For
a moment she remained, her face still suffused with blushes, her
hands lying before her folded, her eyes fixed on the ceiling, and
then the pent emotions found an outlet in a flood of tears.

Poor Ann could not have felt more shocked, had she heard of any
unexpected calamity, than she was at this sudden outbreaking of
feeling in her child. She went to her, and bent over her with the
solicitude of a mother, as she inquired into the causes of her
apparent sorrow.

"Tell me, Miss Eve, and it will relieve your mind," said the faithful
woman; "your dear mother had such feelings sometimes, and I never
dared to question her about them; but you are my own child, and
nothing can grieve you without grieving me."

The eyes of Eve were brilliant, her face continued to be suffused,
and the smile which she gave through her tears was so bright, as to
leave her poor attendant in deep perplexity as to the cause of a gush
of feeling that was very unusual in one of the other's regulated
mind.

"It is not grief, dear Nanny,"--Eve at length murmured--"any thing
but that! I am not unhappy. Oh! no; as far from unhappiness as
possible."

"God be praised it is so, ma'am! I was afraid that this affair of the
English gentleman and Miss Grace might not prove agreeable to you,
for he has not behaved as handsomely as he might, in that
transaction."

"And why not, my poor Nanny?--I have neither claim, nor the wish to
possess a claim, on Sir George Templemore. His selection of my cousin
has given me sincere satisfaction, rather than pain; were he a
countryman of our own, I should say unalloyed satisfaction, for I
firmly believe he will strive to make her happy."

Nanny now looked at her young mistress, then at the floor; at her
young mistress again, and afterwards at a rocket that was sailing
athwart the sky. Her eyes, however, returned to those of Eve, and
encouraged by the bright beam of happiness that was glowing in the
countenance she so much loved, she ventured to say--

"If Mr. Powis were a more presuming gentleman than he is, ma'am--"

"You mean a less modest, Nanny," said Eve, perceiving that her nurse
paused.

"Yes, ma'am--one that thought more of himself, and less of other
people, is what I wish to say."

"And were this the case?"

"I might think _he_ would find the heart to say what I know he
feels."

"And did he find the heart to say what you know he feels, what does
Ann Sidley think should be my answer?"

"Oh, ma'am, I know it would be just as it ought to be. I cannot
repeat what ladies say on such occasions, but I know that it is what
makes the hearts of the gentlemen leap for joy."

There are occasions in which woman can hardly dispense with the
sympathy of woman. Eve loved her father most tenderly, had more than
the usual confidence in him, for she had never known a mother; but
had the present conversation been with him, notwithstanding all her
reliance on his affection, her nature would have shrunk from pouring
out her feelings as freely as she might have done with her other
parent, had not death deprived her of such a blessing. Between our
heroine and Ann Sidley, on the other hand, there existed a confidence
of a nature so peculiar, as to require a word of explanation before
we exhibit its effects. In all that related to physical wants, Ann
had been a mother, or even more than a mother to Eve, and this alone
had induced great personal dependence in the one, and a sort of
supervisory care in the other, that had brought her to fancy she was
responsible for the bodily health and well-doing of her charge. But
this was not all. Nanny had been the repository of Eve's childish
griefs, the confidant of her girlish secrets; and though the years of
the latter soon caused her to be placed under the management of those
who were better qualified to store her mind, this communication never
ceased; the high-toned and educated young woman reverting with
unabated affection, and a reliance that nothing could shake, to the
long-tried tenderness of the being who had watched over her infancy.
The effect of such an intimacy was often amusing; the one party
bringing to the conferences, a mind filled with the knowledge suited
to her sex and station, habits that had been formed in the best
circles of christendom, and tastes that had been acquired in schools
of high reputation; and the other, little more than her single-
hearted love, a fidelity that ennobled her nature, and a simplicity
that betokened perfect purity of thought Nor was this extraordinary
confidence without its advantages to Eve; for, thrown so early among
the artificial and calculating, it served to keep her own
ingenuousness of character active, and prevented that cold, selfish,
and unattractive sophistication, that mere women of fashion are apt
to fall into, from their isolated and factitious mode of existence.
When Eve, therefore, put the questions to her nurse, that have
already been mentioned, it was more with a real wish to know how the
latter would view a choice on which her own mind was so fully made
up, than any silly trifling on a subject that engrossed so much of
her best affections.

"But you have not told me, dear Nanny," she continued, "what _you_
would have that answer be. Ought I, for instance, ever to quit my
beloved father?"

"What necessity would there be for that, ma'am? Mr. Powis has no home
of his own; and, for that matter, scarcely any country----"

"How can you know this, Nanny?" demanded Eve, with the jealous
sensitiveness of a young love.

"Why, Miss Eve, his man says this much, and he has lived with him
long enough to know it, if he had a home. Now, I seldom sleep without
looking back at the day, and often have my thoughts turned to Sir
George Temple more and Mr. Powis; and when I have remembered that the
first had a house and a home, and that the last had neither, it has
always seemed to me that _he_ ought to be the one."

"And then, in all this matter, you have thought of convenience, and
what might be agreeable to others, rather than of me."

"Miss Eve!"

"Nay, dearest Nanny, forgive me; I know your last thought, in every
thing, is for yourself. But surely, the mere circumstance that he had
no home ought not to be a sufficient reason for selecting any man,
for a husband. With most women it would be an objection."

"I pretend to know very little of these feelings, Miss Eve. I have
been wooed, I acknowledge; and once I do think I might have been
tempted to marry, had it not been for a particular circumstance."

"You! You marry, Ann Sidley!" exclaimed Eve, to whom the bare idea
seemed as odd and unnatural, as that her own father should forget her
mother, and take a second wife. "This is altogether new, and I should
be glad to know what the lucky circumstance was, which prevented
what, to me, might have proved so great a calamity."

"Why, ma'am, I said to myself, what does a woman do, who marries? She
vows to quit all else to go with her husband, and to love him before
father and mother, and all other living beings on earth--is it not
so, Miss Eve?"

"I believe it is so, indeed, Nanny--nay, I am quite certain it is
so," Eve answered, the colour deepening on her cheek, as she gave
this opinion to her old nurse, with the inward consciousness that she
had just experienced some of the happiest moments of her life,
through the admission of a passion that thus overshadowed all the
natural affections. "It is, truly? as you say."

"Well, ma'am, I investigated my feelings, I believe they call it, and
after a proper trial, I found that I loved you so much better than
any one else, that I could not, in conscience, make the vows."

"Dearest Nanny! my kind, good, faithful old nurse! let me hold you in
my arms: and, I, selfish, thoughtless, heartless girl, would forget
the circumstance that would be most likely to keep us together, for
the remainder of our lives! Hist! there is a tap at the door It is
Mrs. Bloomfield; I know her light step. Admit her, my kind Ann, and
leave us together."

The bright searching eye of Mrs. Bloomfield was riveted on her young
friend, as she advanced into the room; and her smile, usually so gay
and sometimes ironical, was now thoughtful and kind.

"Well, Miss Effingham," she cried, in a manner that her looks
contradicted, "am I to condole with you," or to congratulate?--For a
more sudden, or miraculous change did I never before witness in a
young lady, though whether it be for the better or the worse----These
are ominous words, too--for 'better or worse, for richer or
poorer'----"

"You are in fine spirits this evening, my dear Mrs. Bloomfield, and
appear to have entered into the gaieties of the Fun of Fire, with all
your--"

"Might, will be a homely, but an expressive word. Your Templeton Fun
of Fire is fiery fun, for it has cost us something like a general
conflagration. Mrs. Hawker has been near a downfall, like your great
namesake, by a serpent's coming too near her dress; one barn, I hear,
has actually been in a blaze, and Sir George Templemore's heart is in
cinders. Mr. John Effingham has been telling me that he should not
have been a bachelor, had there been two Mrs. Bloomfields in the
world, and Mr. Powis looks like a rafter dugout of Herculaneum,
nothing but coal."

"And what occasions this pleasantry?" asked Eve, so composed in
manner that her friend was momentarily deceived.

Mrs. Bloomfield took a seat on the sofa, by the side of our heroine,
and regarding her steadily for near a minute, she continued--

"Hypocrisy and Eve Effingham can have little in common, and my ears
must have deceived me."

"Your ears, dear Mrs. Bloomfield!"

"My ears, dear Miss Effingham. I very well know the character of an
eaves-dropper, but if gentlemen will make passionate declarations in
the walk of a garden, with nothing but a little shrubbery between his
ardent declarations and the curiosity of those who may happen to be
passing, they must expect to be overheard."

Eve's colour had gradually increased as her friend proceeded; and
when the other ceased speaking, as bright a bloom glowed on her
countenance, as had shone there when she first entered the room.

"May I ask the meaning of all this?" she said, with an effort to
appear calm.

"Certainly, my dear; and you shall also know the _feelings_ that
prompt it, as well as the meaning," returned Mrs. Bloomfield, kindly
taking Eve's hand in a way to show that she did not mean to trifle
further on a subject that was of so much moment to her young friend.
"Mr. John Effingham and myself were star-gazing at a point where two
walks approach each other, just as you and Mr. Powis were passing in
the adjoining path. Without absolutely stepping our ears, it was
quite impossible not to hear a portion of your conversation. We both
tried to behave honourably; for I coughed, and your kinsman actually
hemmed, but we were unheeded."

"Coughed and hemmed!" repeated Eve, in greater confusion than ever.
"There must be some mistake, dear Mrs. Bloomfield, as I remember to
have heard no such signals."

"Quite likely, my love, for there was a time when I too had ears for
only one voice; but you can have affidavits to the fact, _à la mode
de New England_, if you require them. Do not mistake my motive,
nevertheless, Miss Effingham, which is any thing but vulgar
curiosity"--here Mrs. Bloomfield looked so kind and friendly, that
Eve took both her hands and pressed them to her heart--"you are
motherless; without even a single female connexion of a suitable age
to consult with on such an occasion, and fathers after all are but
men----"

"Mine is as kind, and delicate, and tender, as any woman can be, Mrs.
Bloomfield."

"I believe it all, though he may not be quite as quick-sighted, in an
affair of this nature.--Am I at liberty to speak to you as if I were
an elder sister?"

"Speak, Mrs. Bloomfield, as frankly as you please, but leave me the
mistress of my answers."

"It is, then, as I suspected," said Mrs. Bloomfield, in a sort of
musing manner; "the men have been won over, and this young creature
has absolutely been left without a protector in the most important
moment of her life!"

"Mrs. Bloomfield!--What does this mean?--What _can_ it mean?"

"It means merely general principles, child; that your father and
cousin have been parties concerned, instead of vigilant sentinels;
and, with all their pretended care, that you have been left to grope
your way in the darkness of female uncertainty, with one of the most
pleasing young men in the country constantly before you, to help the
obscurity."

It is a dreadful moment, when we are taught to doubt the worth of
those we love; and Eve became pale as death, as she listened to the
words of her friend. Once before, on the occasion of Paul's return to
England, she had felt a pang of that sort, though reflection, and a
calm revision of all his acts and words since they first met in
Germany, had enabled her to get the better of indecision, and when
she first saw him on the mountain, nearly every unpleasant
apprehension and distrust had been dissipated by an effort of pure
reason. His own explanations had cleared up the unpleasant affair,
and, from that moment, she had regarded him altogether with the eyes
of a confiding partiality. The speech of Mrs. Bloomfield now sounded
like words of doom to her, and, for an instant, her friend was
frightened with the effects of her own imperfect communication. Until
that moment Mrs. Bloomfield had formed no just idea of the extent to
which the feelings of Eve were interested in Paul, for she had but an
imperfect knowledge of their early association in Europe, and she
sincerely repented having introduced the subject at all. It was too
late to retreat, however, and, first folding Eve in her arms, and
kissing her cold forehead, she hastened to repair a part, at least,
of the mischief she had done.

"My words have been too strong, I fear," she said, "but such is my
general horror of the manner in which the young of our sex, in this
country, are abandoned to the schemes of the designing and selfish of
the other, that I am, perhaps, too sensitive when I see any one that
I love thus exposed. You are known, my dear, to be one of the richest
heiresses of the country; and, I blush to say that no accounts of
European society that we have, make fortune-hunting a more regular
occupation there, than it has got to be here."

The paleness left Eve's face, and a look of slight displeasure
succeeded.

"Mr. Powis is no fortune-hunter, Mrs. Bloomfield," she said,
steadily; "his whole conduct for three years has been opposed to such
a character; and, then, though not absolutely rich, perhaps, he has a
gentleman's income, and is removed from the necessity of being
reduced to such an act of baseness."

"I perceive my error, but it is now too late to retreat. I do not say
that Mr. Powis is a fortune-hunter, but there are circumstances
connected with his history, that you ought at least to know, and that
immediately. I have chosen to speak to you, rather than to speak to
your father, because I thought you might like a female confidant on
such occasion, in preference even to your excellent natural
protector. The idea of. Mrs. Hawker occurred to me, on account of her
age; but I did not feel authorised to communicate to her a secret of
which I had myself become so accidentally possessed,'

"I appreciate your motive fully, dearest Mrs. Bloomfield," said Eve,
smiling with all her native sweetness, and greatly relieved, for she
now began to think that too keen a sensitiveness on the subject of
Paul had unnecessarily alarmed her, "and beg there may be no reserves
between us. If you know a reason why Mr. Powis should not be received
as a suitor, I entreat you to mention it."

"Is he Mr. Powis at all?"

Again Eve smiled, to Mrs. Bloomfield's great, surprise, for, as the
latter had put the question with sincere reluctance, she was
astonished at the coolness with which it was received.

"He is not Mr. Powis, legally perhaps, though he might be, but that
he dislikes the publicity of an application to the legislature. His
paternal name is Assheton."

"You know his history, then!"

"There has been no reserve on the part of Mr. Powis; least of all,
any deception."

Mrs. Bloomfield appeared perplexed, even distressed; and there was a
brief space, during which her mind was undecided as to the course she
ought to take. That she had committed an error by attempting a
consultation, in a matter of the heart, with one of her own sex,
after the affections were engaged, she discovered when it was too
late; but she prized Eve's friendship too much, and had too just a
sense of what was due to herself, to leave the affair where it was,
or without clearing up her own unasked agency in it.

"I rejoice to learn this," she said, as soon as her doubts had ended,
"for frankness, while it is one of the safest, is one of the most
beautiful traits in human character; but beautiful though it be, it
is one that the other sex uses least to our own."

"Is our own too ready to use it to the other?"

"Perhaps not: it might be better for both parties, were there less
deception practised during the period of courtship, generally: but as
this is hopeless, and might, destroy some of the most pleasing
illusions of life, we will not enter into a treatise on the frauds of
Cupid, Now to my own confessions, which I make all the more
willingly, because I know they are uttered to the ear of one of a
forgiving temperament, and who is disposed to view even my follies
favourably."

The kind but painful smile of Eve, assured the speaker she was not
mistaken, and she continued, after taking time to read the expression
of the countenance of her young friend--

"In common with all of New-York, that town of babbling misses, who
prattle as water flows, without consciousness or effort, and of
whiskered masters, who fancy Broadway the world, and the flirtations
of miniature drawing-rooms, human nature, I believed, on your return
from Europe, that an accepted suitor followed in your train, in the
person of Sir George Templemore."

"Nothing in my deportment, or in that of Sir George, or in that of
any of my family, could justly have given rise to such a notion,"
said Eve, quickly.

"Justly! What has justice, or truth, or even probability, to do with
a report, of which love and matrimony are the themes? Do you not know
_society_ better than to fancy this improbability, child?"

"I know that our own sex would better consult their own dignity and
respectability, my dear Mrs. Bloomfield, if they talked less of such
matters; and that they would be more apt to acquire the habits of
good taste, not to say of good principles, if they confined their
strictures more to things and sentiments than they do, and meddled
less with persons."

"And pray, is there no tittle-tattle, no scandal, no commenting on
one's neighbours, in other civilized nations besides this?"

"Unquestionably; though I believe, as a rule, it is every where
thought to be inherently vulgar, and a proof of low associations."

"In that, we are perfectly of a mind; for, if there be any thing that
betrays a consciousness of inferiority, it is our rendering others of
so much obvious importance to ourselves, as to make them the subjects
of our constant conversation. We may speak of virtues, for therein we
pay an homage to that which is good; but when we come to dwell on
personal faults, it is rather a proof that we have a silent
conviction of the superiority of the subject of our comments to
ourselves, either in character, talents, social position, or
something else that is deemed essential, than of our distaste for his
failings. Who, for instance, talks scandal of his grocer, or of his
shoemaker? No, no, our pride forbids this; we always make our betters
the subject of our strictures by preference, taking up with our
equals only when we can get none of a higher class."

"This quite reconciles me to having been given to Sir George
Templemore, by the world of New-York," said Eve, smiling.

"And well it may, for they who have prattled of your engagement, have
done so principally because they are incapable of maintaining a
conversation on any thing else. But, all this time, I fear I stand
accused in your mind, of having given advice unasked, and of feeling
an alarm in an affair that affected others, instead of myself, which
is the very sin that we lay at the door of our worthy Manhattanese.
In common with all around me, then, I fancied Sir George Templemore
an accepted lover, and, by habit, had gotten to associate you
together in my pictures. Oh my arrival here, however, I will confess
that Mr. Powis, whom, you will remember, I had never seen before,
struck me as much the most dangerous man.--Shall I own all my
absurdity?"

"Even to the smallest shade."

"Well, then, I confess to having supposed that, while the excellent
father believed you were in a fair way to become Lady Templemore, the
equally excellent daughter thought the other suitor, infinitely the
most agreeable person."

"What! in contempt of a betrothal?"

"Of course I, at once, ascribed that part of the report to the usual
embellishments. We do not like to be deceived in our calculations, or
to discover that even our gossip has misled us. In pure resentment at
my own previous delusion, I began to criticise this Mr. Powis--"

"Criticise, Mrs. Bloomfield!"

"To find fault with him, my dear; to try to think he was not just the
handsomest and most engaging young man I had ever seen; to imagine
what he ought to be, in place of what he was; and among other things,
to inquire _who_ he was?"

"You did not think proper to ask that question of any of _us_," said
Eve, gravely.

"I did not; for I discovered by instinct, or intuition, or
conjecture--they mean pretty much the same thing, I believe--that
there was a mystery about him; something that even his Templeton
friends did not quite understand, and a lucky thought occurred of
making my inquiries of another person."

"They were answered satisfactorily," said Eve, looking up at her
friend, with the artless confidence that marks her sex, when the
affections have gotten the mastery of reason.

"_Cosi, cosi_. Bloomfield has a brother who is in the Navy, as you
know, and I happened to remember that he had once spoken of an
officer of the name of Powis, who had performed a clever thing in the
West Indies, when they were employed together against the pirates. I
wrote to him one of my usual letters, that are compounded of all
things in nature and art, and took an occasion to allude to a certain
Mr. Paul Powis, with a general remark that he had formerly served,
together with a particular inquiry if he knew any thing about him.
All this, no doubt, you think very officious; but believe me, dear
Eve, where there was as much interest as I felt and feel in you, it
was very natural."

"So far from entertaining resentment, I am grateful for your concern,
especially as I know it was manifested cautiously, and without any
unpleasant allusions to third persons."

"In that respect I believe I did pretty well. Tom Bloomfield--I beg
his pardon, Captain Bloomfield, for so he calls himself, at present--
knows Mr. Powis well; or, rather _did_ know him, for they have not
met for years, and he speaks of his personal qualities and
professional merit highly, but takes occasion to remark that there
was some mystery connected with his birth, as, before he joined the
service he understood he was called Assheton, and at a later day,
Powis, and this without any public law, or public avowal of a motive.
Now, it struck me that Eve Effingham ought not to be permitted to
form a connection with a man so unpleasantly situated, without being
apprised of the fact. I was waiting for a proper occasion to do this
ungrateful office myself, when accident made me acquainted with what
has passed this evening, and perceiving that there was no time to
lose, I came hither, more led by interest in you, my dear, perhaps,
than by discretion."

"I thank you sincerely for this kind concern in my welfare, dear Mrs.
Bloomfield, and give you full credit for the motive. Will you permit
me to inquire how much you know of that which passed this evening?"

"Simply that Mr. Powis is desperately in love, a declaration that I
take it is always dangerous to the peace of mind of a young woman,
when it comes from a very engaging young man."

"And my part of the dialogue--" Eve blushed to the eyes as she asked
this question, though she made a great effort to appear calm--"my
answer?"

"There was too much of woman in me--of true, genuine, loyal, native
woman, Miss Effingham, to listen to that had there been an
opportunity. We were but a moment near enough to hear any thing,
though that moment sufficed to let us know the state of feelings of
the gentleman. I ask no confidences, my dear Eve, and now that I have
made my explanations, lame though they be, I will kiss you and repair
to the drawing-room, where we shall both be soon missed. Forgive me,
if I have seemed impertinent in my interference, and continue to
ascribe it to its true motive."

"Stop, Mrs. Bloomfield, I entreat, for a single moment; I wish to say
a word before we part. As you have been accidentally made acquainted
with Mr. Powis's sentiments towards me, it is no more than just that
you should know the nature of mine towards him----"

Eve paused involuntarily, for, though she had commenced her
explanation, with a firm intention to do justice to Paul, the
bashfulness of her sex held her tongue tied, at the very moment her
desire to speak was the strongest. An effort conquered the weakness,
and the warm-hearted, generous-minded girl succeeded in commanding
her voice.

"I cannot allow you to go away with the impression, that there is a
shade of any sort on the conduct of Mr. Powis," she said. "So far
from desiring to profit by the accidents that have placed it in his
power to render us such essential service, he has never spoken of his
love until this evening, and then under circumstances in which
feeling, naturally, perhaps I might say uncontrollably, got the
ascendency."

"I believe it all, for I feel certain Eve Effingham would not bestow
her heart heedlessly."

"Heart!--Mrs. Bloomfield!"

"Heart, my dear; and now I insist on the subject's being dropped, at
least, for the present. Your decision is probably not yet made--you
are not yet an hour in possession of your suitor's secret, and
prudence demands deliberation. I shall hope to see you in the
drawing-room, and until then, adieu."

Mrs. Bloomfield signed for silence, and quitted the room with the
same light tread as that with which she had entered it.

Chapter XXV.

  "To show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very
  age and body of the time, his form and pressure."

  SHAKSPEARE.

When Mrs. Bloomfield entered the drawing-room, she found nearly the
whole party assembled. The Fun of Fire had ceased, and the rockets no
longer gleamed athwart the sky; but the blaze of artificial light
within, was more than a substitute for that which had so lately
existed without.

Mr. Effingham and Paul were conversing by themselves, in a window-
seat, while John Effingham, Mrs. Hawker, and Mr. Howel were in an
animated discussion on a sofa; Mr. Wenham had also joined the party,
and was occupied with Captain Ducie, though not so much so as to
prevent occasional glances at the trio just mentioned. Sir George
Templemore and Grace Van Cortlandt were walking together in the great
hall, and were visible through the open door, as they passed and
repassed.

"I am glad of your appearance among us, Mrs. Bloomfield," said John
Effingham, "for, certainly more Anglo-mania never existed than that
which my good friend Howel manifests this evening, and I have hopes
that your eloquence may persuade him out of some of those notions, on
which my logic has fallen like seed scattered by the way-side."

"I can have little hopes of success where Mr. John Effingham has
failed."

"I am far from being certain of that; for, somehow Howel has taken up
the notion that I have gotten a grudge against England, and he
listens to all I say with distrust and distaste."

"Mr. John uses strong language habitually, ma'am," cried Mr. Howel,
"and you will make some allowances for a vocabulary that has no very
mild terms in it; though, to be frank, I do confess that he seems
prejudiced on the subject of that great nation."

"What is the point in immediate controversy, gentlemen?" asked Mrs.
Bloomfield, taking a seat.

"Why here is a review of a late American work, ma'am, and I insist
that the author is skinned alive, whereas, Mr. John insists that the
reviewer exposes only his own rage, the work having a national
character, and running counter to the reviewer's feelings and
interests."

"Nay, I protest against this statement of the case, for I affirm that
the reviewer exposes a great deal more than his rage, since his
imbecility, ignorance, and dishonesty, are quite as apparent as any
thing else."

"I have read the article," said Mrs. Bloomfield, after glancing her
eye at the periodical, "and I must say that I take sides with Mr.
John Effingham in his opinion of its character."

"But do you not perceive, ma'am, that this is the idol of the
nobility and gentry; the work that is more in favour with people of
consequence in England than any other. Bishops are said to write for
it!"

"I know it is a work expressly established to sustain one of the most
factitious political systems that ever existed, and that it
sacrifices every high quality to attain its end."

"Mrs. Bloomfield, you amaze me! The first writers of Great Britain
figure in its pages."

"That I much question, in the first place; but even if it were so, it
would be but a shallow mystification. Although a man of character
might write one article in a work of this nature, it does not follow
that a man of no character does not write the next. The principles of
the communications of a periodical are as different as their
talents."

"But the editor is a pledge for all.--The editor of this review is an
eminent writer himself."

"An eminent writer may be a very great knave, in the first place, and
one fact is worth a thousand conjectures in such a matter. But we do
not know that there is any responsible editor to works of this nature
at all, for there is no name given in the title-page, and nothing is
more common than vague declarations of a want of this very
responsibility. But if I can prove to you that this article _cannot_
have been written by a man of common honesty, Mr. Howel, what will
you then say to the responsibility of your editor?"

"In that case I shall be compelled to admit that he had no connexion
with it."

"Any thing in preference to giving up the beloved idol!" said John
Effingham laughing. "Why not add at once, that he is as great a knave
as the writer himself? I am glad, however, that Tom Howel has fallen
into such good hands, Mrs. Bloomfield, and I devoutly pray you may
not spare him."

We have said that Mrs. Bloomfield had a rapid perception of things
and principles, that amounted almost to intuition. She had read the
article in question, and, as she glanced her eyes through its pages,
had detected its fallacies and falsehoods, in almost every sentence.
Indeed, they had not been put together with ordinary skill, the
writer having evidently presumed on the easiness of the class of
readers who generally swallowed his round assertions, and were so
clumsily done that any one who had not the faith to move mountains
would have seen through most of them without difficulty. But Mr.
Howel belonged to another school, and he was so much accustomed to
shut his eyes to palpable mystification mentioned by Mrs. Bloomfield,
that a lie, which, advanced in most works, would have carried no
weight with it, advanced in this particular periodical became
elevated to the dignity of truth.

Mrs. Bloomfield turned to an article on America, in the periodical in
question, and read from it several disparaging expressions concerning
Mr. Howel's native country, one of which was, "The American's first
plaything is the rattle-snake's tail."

"Now, what do you think of this assertion in particular, Mr. Howel?"
she asked, reading the words we have just quoted.

"Oh! that is said in mere pleasantry--it is only wit."

"Well, then, what do you think of it as wit?"

"Well, well, it may not be of a very pure water, but the best of men
are unequal at all times, and more especially in their wit."

"Here," continued Mrs. Bloomfield, pointing to another paragraph, "is
a positive statement or misstatement, which makes the cost of the
'civil department of the United States Government,' about six times
more than it really is."

"Our government is so extremely mean, that I ascribe that error to
generosity."

"Well," continued the lady, smiling, "here the reviewer asserts that
Congress passed a law _limiting_ the size of certain ships, in order
to please the democracy; and that the Executive privately evaded this
law, and built vessels of a much greater size; whereas the provision
of the law is just the contrary, or that the ships should not be
_less_ than of seventy-four guns; a piece of information, by the way,
that I obtained from Mr. Powis."

"Ignorance, ma'am; a stranger cannot be supposed to know all the laws
of a foreign country."

"Then why make bold and false assertions about them, that are
intended to discredit the country? Here is another assertion--'ten
thousand of the men that fought at Waterloo would have marched
through North America?' Do you believe that, Mr. Howel?"

"But that is merely an opinion, Mrs. Bloomfield; any man may be wrong
in his opinion."

"Very true, but it is an opinion uttered in the year of our Lord one
thousand eight hundred and twenty-eight; and after the battles of
Bunker Hill, Cowpens, Plattsburg, Saratoga, and New-Orleans! And,
moreover, after it had been proved that something very like ten
thousand of the identical men who fought at Waterloo, could not march
even ten miles into the country."

"Well, well, all this shows that the reviewer is sometimes mistaken."

"Your pardon Mr. Howel; I think it shows, according to your own
admission, that his wit, or rather its wit, for there is no _his_
about it--that its wit is of a very indifferent quality as witticisms
even; that it is ignorant of what it pretends to know; and that its
opinions are no better than its knowledge: all of which, when fairly
established against one who, by his very pursuit, professes to know
more than other people, is very much like making it appear
contemptible."

"This is going back eight or ten years--let us look more particularly
at the article about which the discussion commences."

"_Volontiers_"

Mrs. Bloomfield now sent to the library for the work reviewed, and
opening the review she read some of its strictures; and then turning
to the corresponding passages in the work itself, she pointed out the
unfairness of the quotations, the omissions of the context, and, in
several flagrant instances, witticisms of the reviewer, that were
purchased at the expense of the English language. She next showed
several of those audacious assertions, for which the particular
periodical was so remarkable, leaving no doubt with any candid
person, that they were purchased at the expense of truth.

"But here is an instance that will scarce admit of cavilling or
objection on your part, Mr. Howel," she continued; "do me the favour
to read the passage in the review."

Mr. Howel complied, and when he had done, he looked expectingly at
the lady.

"The effect of the reviewer's statement is to make it appear that the
author has contradicted himself, is it not?"

"Certainly, nothing can be plainer."

"According to your favourite reviewer, who accuses him of it, in
terms. Now let us look at the fact. Here is the passage in the work
itself. In the first place you will remark that this sentence, which
contains the alleged contradiction, is mutilated; the part which is
omitted, giving a directly contrary meaning to it, from that it bears
under the reviewer's scissors."

"It has some such appearance, I do confess."

"Here you perceive that the closing sentence of the same paragraph,
and which refers directly to the point at issue, is displaced, made
to appear as belonging to a separate paragraph, and as conveying a
different meaning from what the author has actually expressed."

"Upon my word, I do not know but you are right!"

"Well, Mr. Howel, we have had wit of no very pure water, ignorance as
relates to facts, and mistakes as regards very positive assertions.
In what category, as Captain Truck would say, do you place this?"

"Why does not the author reviewed expose this?"

"Why does not a gentleman wrangle with a detected pick-pocket?"

"It is literary swindling," said John Effingham, "and the man who did
it, is inherently a knave."

"I think both these facts quite beyond dispute," observed Mrs.
Bloomfield, laying down Mr. Howel's favourite review with an air of
cool contempt; "and I must say I did not think it necessary to prove
the general character of the work, at this late date, to any American
of ordinary intelligence; much less to a sensible man, like Mr.
Howel."

"But, ma'am, there may be much truth and justice in the rest of its
remarks," returned the pertinacious Mr. Howel, "although it has
fallen into these mistakes."

"Were you ever on a jury, Howel?" asked John Effingham, in his
caustic manner.

"Often; and on grand juries, too."

"Well, did the judge never tell you, when a witness is detected in
lying on one point, that his testimony is valueless on all others?"

"Very true; but this is a review, and not testimony."

"The distinction is certainly a very good one," resumed Mrs.
Bloomfield, laughing, "as nothing, in general, can be less like
honest testimony than a review!"

"But I think, my dear ma'am, you will allow that all this is
excessively biting and severe--I can't say I ever read any thing
sharper in my life."

"It strikes me, Mr. Howel, as being nothing but epithets, the
cheapest and most contemptible of all species of abuse. Were two men,
in your presence, to call each other such names, I think it would
excite nothing but disgust in your mind. When the thought is clear
and poignant, there is little need to have recourse to mere epithets;
indeed, men never use the latter, except when there is a deficiency
of the first."

"Well, well, my friends," cried Mr. Howel, as he walked away towards
Grace and Sir George, "this is a different thing from what I at first
thought it, but still I think you undervalue the periodical."

"I hope this little lesson will cool some of Mr. Howel's faith in
foreign morality," observed Mrs. Bloomfield, as soon as the gentleman
named was out of hearing; "a more credulous and devout worshipper of
the idol, I have never before met."

"The school is diminishing, but it is still large. Men like Tom
Howel, who have thought in one direction all their lives, are not
easily brought to change their notions, especially when the
admiration which proceeds from distance, distance 'that lends
enchantment to the view,' is at the bottom of their faith. Had this
very article been written and printed round the corner of the street
in which he lives, Howel would be the first to say that it was the
production of a fellow without talents or principles, and was
unworthy of a second thought."

"I still think he will be a wiser, if not a better man, by the
exposure of its frauds."

"Not he. If you will excuse a homely and a coarse simile, 'he will
return like a dog to his vomit, or the sow to its wallowing in the
mire.' I never knew one of that school thoroughly cured, until he
became himself the subject of attack, or, by a close personal
communication, was made to feel the superciliousness of European
superiority. It is only a week since I had a discussion with him on
the subject of the humanity and the relish for liberty in his beloved
model; and when I cited the instance of the employment of the
tomahawk, in the wars between England and this country, he actually
affirmed that the Indian savages killed no women and children, but
the wives and offspring of their enemies; and when I told him that
the English, like most other people, cared very little for any
liberty but their own, he coolly affirmed that their own was the only
liberty worth caring for!"

"Oh yes," put in young Mr. Wenham, who had overheard the latter
portion of the conversation, "Mr. Howel is so thoroughly English,
that he actually denies that America is the most civilized country in
the world, or that we speak our language better than any nation was
ever before known to speak its own language."

"This is so manifest an act of treason," said Mrs. Bloomfield,
endeavouring to look grave, for Mr. Wenham was any thing but accurate
in the use of words himself, commonly pronouncing "been," "ben,"
"does," "dooze," "nothing," "nawthing," "few," "foo," &c. &c. &c.,
"that, certainly, Mr. Howel should be arraigned at the bar of public
opinion for the outrage."

"It is commonly admitted, even by our enemies, that our mode of
speaking is the very best in the world, which, I suppose, is the real
reason why our literature has so rapidly reached the top of the
ladder."

"And is that the fact?" asked Mrs. Bloomfield, with a curiosity that
was not in the least feigned.

"I believe no one denies _that. You_ will sustain me in this, I
fancy, Mr. Dodge?"

The editor of the Active Inquirer had approached, and was just in
time to catch the subject in discussion. Now the modes of speech of
these two persons, while they had a great deal in common, had also a
great deal that was not in common. Mr. Wenham was a native of New-
York, and his dialect was a mixture that is getting to be
sufficiently general, partaking equally of the Doric of New England,
the Dutch cross, and the old English root; whereas, Mr. Dodge spoke
the pure, unalloyed Tuscan of his province, rigidly adhering to all
its sounds and significations. "Dissipation," he contended, meant
"drunkenness;" "ugly," "vicious;" "clever," "good-natured;" and
"humbly," (homely) "ugly." In addition to this finesse in
significations, he had a variety of pronunciations that often put
strangers at fault, and to which he adhered with a pertinacity that
obtained some of its force from the fact, that it exceeded his power
to get rid of them. Notwithstanding all these little peculiarities,
peculiarities as respects every one but those who dwelt in his own
province, Mr. Dodge had also taken up the notion of his superiority
on the subject of language, and always treated the matter as one that
was placed quite beyond dispute, by its publicity and truth.

"The progress of American Literature," returned the editor, "is
really astonishing the four quarters of the world. I believe it is
very generally admitted, now, that our pulpit and bar are at the very
summit of these two professions. Then we have much the best poets of
the age, while eleven of our novelists surpass any of all other
countries. The American Philosophical Society is, I believe,
generally considered the most acute learned body now extant, unless,
indeed, the New-York Historical Society may compete with it, for that
honour. Some persons give the palm to one, and some to the other;
though I myself think it would be difficult to decide between them.
Then to what a pass has the drama risen of late years! Genius is
getting to be quite a drug in America!"

"You have forgotten to speak of the press, in particular," put in the
complacent Mr. Wenham. "I think we may more safely pride ourselves on
the high character of the press, than any thing else."

"Why, to tell you the truth, sir," answered Steadfast, taking the
other by the arm, and leading him so slowly away, that a part of what
followed was heard by the two amused listeners, "modesty is so
infallibly the companion of merit, that _we_ who are engaged in that
high pursuit do not like to say any thing in our own favour. You
never detect a newspaper in the weakness of extolling itself; but,
between ourselves, I may say, after a close examination of the
condition of the press in other countries, I have come to the
conclusion, that, for talents, taste, candour, philosophy, genius,
honesty, and truth, the press of the United States stands at the
very----"

Here Mr. Dodge passed so far from the listeners, that the rest of the
speech became inaudible, though from the well-established modesty of
the man and the editor, there can be little doubt of the manner in
which he concluded the sentence.

"It is said in Europe," observed Johr Effingham, his fine face
expressing the cool sarcasm in which he was so apt to indulge, "that
there are _la vieille_ and _la Jeune France_. I think we have now had
pretty fair specimens of _old_ and _young_ America; the first
distrusting every thing native, even to a potatoe: and the second
distrusting nothing, and least of all, itself."

"There appears to be a sort of pendulum-uneasiness in mankind," said
Mrs. Bloomfield, "that keeps opinion always vibrating around the
centre of truth, for I think it the rarest thing in the world to find
man or woman who has not a disposition, as soon as an error is
abandoned, to fly off into its opposite extreme. From believing we
had nothing worthy of a thought, there is a set springing up who
appear to have jumped to the conclusion that we have every thing."

"Ay, this is _one_ of the reasons that all the rest of the world
laugh at us."

"Laugh at us, Mr. Effingham! Even _I_ had supposed the American name
had, at last, got to be in good credit in other parts of the world."

"Then even _you_, my dear Mrs. Bloomfield, are notably mistaken.
Europe, it is true, is beginning to give us credit for not being
quite as bad as she once thought us; but we are far, very far, from
being yet admitted to the ordinary level of nations, as respects
goodness."

"Surely they give us credit for energy, enterprize, activity----"

"Qualities that they prettily term, rapacity, cunning, and swindling!
I am far, very far, however, from giving credit to all that it suits
the interests and prejudices of Europe, especially of our venerable
kinswoman, Old England, to circulate and think to the prejudice of
this country, which, in my poor judgment, has as much substantial
merit to boast of as any nation on earth; though, in getting rid of a
set of ancient vices and follies, it has not had the sagacity to
discover that it is fast falling into pretty tolerable--or if you
like it better--intolerable substitutes."

"What then do _you_ deem our greatest error--our weakest point?"

"Provincialisms, with their train of narrow prejudices, and a
disposition to set up mediocrity as perfection, under the double
influence of an ignorance that unavoidably arises from a want of
models, and of the irresistible tendency to mediocrity, in a nation
where the common mind so imperiously rules."

"But does not the common mind rule every where? Is not public opinion
always stronger than law?"

"In a certain sense, both these positions may be true. But in a
nation like this, without a capital, one _that is all provinces_, in
which intelligence and tastes are scattered, this common mind wants
the usual direction, and derives its impulses from the force of
numbers, rather than from the force of knowledge. Hence the fact,
that the public opinion never or seldom rises to absolute truth. I
grant you that _as_ a mediocrity, it is well; much better than common
even; but it is still a mediocrity."

"I see the justice of your remark, and I suppose we are to ascribe
the general use of superlatives, which is so very obvious, to these
causes."

"Unquestionably; men have gotten to be afraid to speak the truth,
when that truth is a little beyond the common comprehension; and thus
it is that you see the fulsome flattery that all the public servants,
as they call themselves, resort to, in order to increase their
popularity, instead of telling the wholesome facts that are needed."

"And what is to be the result?"

"Heaven knows. While America is so much in advance of other nations,
in a freedom from prejudices of the old school, it is fast
substituting a set of prejudices of its own, that are not without
serious dangers. We may live through it, and the ills of society may
correct themselves, though there is one fact that men aces more evil
than any thing I could have feared."

"You mean the political struggle between money and numbers, that has
so seriously manifested itself of late!" exclaimed the quick-minded
and intelligent Mrs. Bloomfield.

"_That_ has its dangers; but there is still another evil of greater
magnitude. I allude to the very general disposition to confine
political discussions to political men. Thus, the private citizen,
who should presume to discuss a political question, would be deemed
fair game for all who thought differently from himself. He would be
injured in his pocket, reputation, domestic happiness, if possible;
for, in this respect, America is much the most intolerant nation I
have ever visited. In all other countries, in which discussion is
permitted at all, there is at least the _appearance_ of fair play,
whatever may be done covertly; but here, it seems to be sufficient to
justify falsehood, frauds, nay, barefaced rascality, to establish
that the injured party has had the audacity to meddle with public
questions, not being what the public chooses to call a public man. It
is scarcely necessary to say that, when such an opinion gets to be
effective, it must entirely defeat the real intentions of a popular
government."

"Now you mention it," said Mrs. Bloomfield, "I think I have witnessed
instances of what you mean."

"Witnessed, dear Mrs. Bloomfield! Instances are to be seen as often
as a man is found freeman enough to have an opinion independent of
party. It is not for connecting himself with party that a man is
denounced in this country, but for daring to connect himself with
truth. Party will bear with party, but party will not bear with
truth. It is in politics as in war, regiments or individuals may
desert, and they will be received by their late enemies with open
arms, the honour of a soldier seldom reaching to the pass of refusing
succour of any sort; but both sides will turn and fire on the
countrymen who wish merely to defend their homes and firesides."

"You draw disagreeable pictures of human nature, Mr. Effingham."

"Merely because they are true, Mrs. Bloomfield. Man is worse than the
beasts, merely because he has a code of right and wrong, which he
never respects. They talk of the variation of the compass, and even
pretend to calculate its changes, though no one can explain the
principle that causes the attraction or its vagaries at all. So it is
with men; they pretend to look always at the right, though their eyes
are constantly directed obliquely; and it is a certain calculation to
allow of a pretty wide variation--but here comes Miss Effingham,
singularly well attired, and more beautiful than I have ever before
seen her!"

The two exchanged quick glances, and then, as if fearful of betraying
to each other their thoughts, they moved towards our heroine, to do
the honours of the reception.

Chapter XXVI.

          "Haply, when I shall wed, That lord, whose hand must take
  my plight, shall carry Half my love with him, half my care and
  duty."

  CORDELIA.

As no man could be more gracefully or delicately polite than John
Effingham, when the humour seized him, Mrs. Bloomfield was struck
with the kind and gentleman-like manner with which he met his young
kinswoman on this trying occasion, and the affectionate tones of his
voice, and the winning expression of his eye, as he addressed her.
Eve herself was not unobservant of these peculiarities, nor was she
slow in comprehending the reason. She perceived at once that he was
acquainted with the state of things between her and Paul. As she well
knew the womanly fidelity of Mrs. Bloomfield, she rightly enough
conjectured that the long observation of her cousin, coupled with the
few words accidentally overheard that evening had even made him
better acquainted with the true condition of her feelings, than was
the case with the friend with whom she had so lately been conversing
on the subject.

Still Eve was not embarrassed by the conviction that her secret was
betrayed to so many persons. Her attachment to Paul was not the
impulse of girlish caprice, but the warm affection of a woman, that
had grown with time, was sanctioned by her reason, and which, if it
was tinctured with the more glowing imagination and ample faith of
youth, was also sustained by her principles and her sense of right.
She knew that both her father and cousin esteemed the man of her own
choice, nor did she believe the little cloud that, hung over his
birth could do more than have a temporary influence on his own
sensitive feelings. She met John Effingham, therefore, with a frank
composure, returned the kind pressure of his hand, with a smile such
as a daughter might bestow on an affectionate parent, and turned to
salute the remainder of the party, with that lady-like ease which had
got to be a part of her nature.

"There goes one of the most attractive pictures that humanity can
offer," said John Effingham to Mrs. Bloomfield, as Eve walked away;
"a young, timid, modest, sensitive girl, so strong in her principles,
so conscious of rectitude, so pure of thought, and so warm in her
affections, that she views her selection of a husband, as others view
their acts of duty and religious faith. With her love has no shame,
as it has no weakness."

"Eve Effingham is as faultless as comports with womanhood; and yet I
confess ignorance of my own sex, if she receive Mr. Powis as calmly
as she received her cousin."

"Perhaps not, for in that case, she could scarcely feel the passion.
You perceive that he avoids oppressing her with his notice, and that
the meeting passes off without embarrassment. I do believe there is
an elevating principle in love, that, by causing us to wish to be
worthy of the object most prized, produces the desired effects by
stimulating exertion. There, now, are two as perfect beings as one
ordinarily meets with, each oppressed by a sense of his or her
unworthiness to be the choice of the other."

"Does love, then, teach humility; successful love too?"

"Does it not? It would be hardly fair to press this matter on you, a
married woman; for, by the pandects of American society, a man may
philosophize on love, prattle about it, trifle on the subject, and
even analyze the passion with, a miss in her teens, and yet he shall
not allude to it, in a discourse with a matron. Well, _chacun à son
goût_; we are, indeed, a little peculiar in our usages, and have
promoted a good deal of village coquetry, and the flirtations of the
may-pole, to the drawing-room."

"Is it not better that such follies should be confined to youth, than
that they should invade the sanctity of married life, as I understand
is too much the case elsewhere?"

"Perhaps so; though I confess it is easier to dispose of a straight-
forward proposition from a mother, a father, or a commissioned
friend, than to get rid of a young lady, who, _propriâ personâ_,
angles on her own account. While abroad, I had a dozen proposals--"

"Proposals!" exclaimed Mrs. Bloomfield, holding up both hands, and
shaking her head incredulously.

"Proposals! Why not, ma'am?--am I more than fifty? am I not
reasonably youthful for that period of life, and have I not six or
eight thousand a year--"

"Eighteen, or you are much scandalized."

"Well, eighteen, if you will," coolly returned the other, in whose
eyes money was no merit, for he was born to a fortune, and always
treated it as a means, and not as the end of life; "every dollar is a
magnet, after one has turned forty. Do you suppose that a single man,
of tolerable person, well-born, and with a hundred thousand francs of
_rentes_, could entirely escape proposals from the ladies in Europe?"

"This is so revolting to all our American notions, that, though I
have often heard of such things, I have always found it difficult to
believe them!"

"And is it more revolting for the friends of young ladies to look out
for them, on such occasions, than that the young ladies should take
the affair into their own hands, as is practised quite as openly,
here?"

"It is well you are a confirmed bachelor, or declarations like these
would mar your fortunes. I will admit that the school is not as
retiring and diffident as formerly; for we are all ready enough to
say that no times are egual to our own times; but I shall strenuously
protest against your interpretation of the nature and artlessness of
an American girl."

"Artlessness!" repeated John Effingham, with a slight lifting of the
eye-brows; "we live in an age when new dictionaries and vocabularies
are necessary to understand each other's meaning. It is artlessness,
with a vengeance, to beset an old fellow of fifty, as one would
besiege a town. Hist!--Ned is retiring with his daughter, my dear
Mrs. Bloomfield, and it will not be long before I shall be summoned
to a family council. Well, we will keep the secret until it is
publicly proclaimed."

John Effingham was right, for his two cousins left the room together,
and retired to the library, but in a way to attract no particular
attention, except in those who were enlightened on the subject of
what had already passed that evening. When they were alone, Mr.
Effingham turned the key, and then he gave a free vent to his
paternal feelings.

Between Eve and her parent, there had always existed a confidence
exceeding that which it is common to find between father and
daughter. In one sense, they had been all in all to each other, and
Eve had never hesitated about pouring those feelings into his breast,
which, had she possessed another parent, would more naturally have
been confided to the affection of a mother. When their eyes first
met, therefore, they were mutually beaming with an expression of
confidence and love, such as might, in a measure, have been expected
between two of the gentler sex. Mr Effingham folded his child to his
heart, pressed her there tenderly for near a minute in silence, and
then kissing her burning cheek he permitted her to look up.

"This answers all my fondest hopes, Eve"--he exclaimed; "fulfils my
most cherished wishes for thy sake."

"Dearest sir!"

"Yes, my love, I have long secretly prayed that such might be your
good fortune; for, of all the youths we have met, at home or abroad,
Paul Powis is the one to whom I can consign you with the most
confidence that he will cherish and love you as you deserve to be
cherished and loved!"

"Dearest father, nothing but this was wanting to complete my perfect
happiness."

Mr. Effingham kissed his daughter again, and he was then enabled to
pursue the conversation with greater composure.

"Powis and I have had a full explanation," he said, "though in order
to obtain it, I have been obliged to give him strong encouragement"

"Father!"

"Nay, my love, your delicacy and feelings nave been sufficiently
respected, but he has so much diffidence of himself, and permits the
unpleasant circumstances connected with his birth to weigh so much on
his mind, that I have been compelled to tell him, what I am sure you
will approve, that we disregard family connections, and look only to
the merit of the individual."

"I hope, father, nothing was said to give Mr. Powis reason to suppose
we did not deem him every way our equal."

"Certainly not. He is a gentleman, and I can claim to be no more.
There is but one thing in which connections ought to influence an
American marriage, where the parties are suited to each other in the
main requisites, and that is to ascertain that neither should be
carried, necessarily, into associations for which their habits have
given them too much and too good tastes to enter into. A _woman_,
especially, ought never to be transplanted from a polished to
an unpolished circle; for, when this is the case, if really a
lady, there will be a dangerous clog on her affection for her
husband. This one great point assured, I see no other about which a
parent need feel concern."

"Powis, unhappily, has no connections in this country; or none with
whom he has any communications; and those he has in England are of a
class to do him credit."

"We have been conversing of this, and he has manifested so much
proper feeling that it has even raised him in my esteem. I knew his
father's family, and must have known his father, I think, though
there were two or three Asshetons of the name of John. It is a highly
respectable family of the middle states, and belonged formerly to the
colonial aristocracy. Jack Effingham's mother was an Assheton."

"Of the same blood, do you think, sir? I remembered this when Mr.
Powis mentioned his father's name, and intended to question cousin
Jack on the subject."

"Now you speak of it, Eve, there _must_ be a relationship
between them. Do you suppose that our kinsman is acquainted with the
fact that Paul is, in truth, an Assheton?"

Eve told her father that she had never spoken with their relative on
the subject, at all.

Then ring the bell and we will ascertain at once how far my
conjecture is true. You can have no false delicacy, my child, about
letting your engagement be known to one as near and as dear to us, as
John."

"Engagement, father!"

"Yes, engagement," returned the smiling parent, "for such I already
deem it. I have ventured, in your behalf, to plight your troth to
Paul Powis, or what is almost equal to it; and in return I can give
you back as many protestations of unequalled fidelity, and eternal
constancy, as any reasonable girl can ask."

Eve gazed at her lather in a way to show that reproach was mingled
with fondness, for she felt that, in this instance, too much of the
precipitation of the other sex had been manifested in her affairs;
still, superior to coquetry and affectation, and much too warm in her
attachments to be seriously hurt, she kissed the hand she held, shook
her head reproachfully, even while she smiled, and did as had been
desired.

"You have, indeed, rendered it important to us to know more of Mr.
Powis, my beloved father," she said, as she returned to her seat,
"though I could wish matters had not proceeded quite so fast."

"Nay, all I promised was conditional, and dependent on yourself. You
have nothing to do, if I have said too much, but to refuse to ratify
the treaty made by your negotiator."

"You propose an impossibility,", said Eve, taking the hand, again,
that she had so lately relinquished, and pressing it warmly between
her own; "the negotiator is too much revered, has too strong a right
to command, and is too much confided in to be thus dishonoured.
Father, I _will_, I _do_, ratify all you _have_, all you _can_
promise in my behalf."

"Even, if I annul the treaty, darling?"

"Even, in that case, father. I will marry none without your consent,
and have so absolute a confidence in your tender care of me, that I
do not even hesitate to say, I will marry him to whom you contract
me."

"Bless you, bless you, Eve; I do believe you, for such have I ever
found you, since thought has had any control over your actions.
Desire Mr. John Effingham to come hither"--then, as the servant
closed the door, he continued,--"and such I believe you will continue
to be until your dying day."

"Nay, reckless, careless father, you forget that you yourself have
been instrumental in transferring my duty and obedience to another.
What if this sea-monster should prove a tyrant, throw off the mask,
and show himself in his real colours? Are you prepared, then,
thoughtless, precipitate, parent"--Eve kissed Mr, Effingham's cheek
with childish playfulness, as she spoke, her heart swelling with
happiness the whole time, "to preach obedience where obedience would
then be due?"

"Hush, precious--I hear the step of Jack; he must not catch us
fooling in this manner."

Eve rose; and when her kinsman entered the room, she held out her
hand kindly to him, though it was with an averted face and a tearful
eye.

"It is time I was summoned," said John Effingham, after he had drawn
the blushing girl to him and kissed her forehead, "for what between
_tête à têtes_ with young fellows, and _tête à têtes_ with
old fellows, this evening, I began to think myself neglected. I hope
I am still in time to render my decided disapprobation available?"

"Cousin Jack!" exclaimed Eve, with a look of reproachful mockery,
"_you_ are the last person who ought to speak of disapprobation,
for you have done little else but sing the praises of the applicant,
since you first met him."

"Is it even so? then, like others, I must submit to the consequences
of my own precipitation and false conclusions. Am I summoned to
inquire how many thousands a year I shall add to the establishment of
the new couple? As I hate business, say five at once: and when the
papers are ready, I will sign them, without reading,"

"Most generous cynic," cried Eve, "I would I dared, now, to ask a
single question!"

"Ask it without scruple, young lady, for this is the day of your
independence and power. I am mistaken in the man, if Powis do not
prove to be the captain of his own ship, in the end."

"Well, then, in whose behalf is this liberality really meant; mine,
or that of the gentleman?"

"Fairly enough put," said John Effingham, laughing, again drawing Eve
towards him and saluting her cheek; "for if I were on the rack, I
could scarcely say which I love best, although you have the
consolation of knowing, pert one, that you get the most kisses."

"I am almost in the same state of feeling myself, John, for a son of
my own could scarcely be dearer to me than Paul."

"I see, indeed, that I _must_ marry," said Eve hastily, dashing
the tears of delight from her eyes, for what could give more delight
than to hear the praises of her beloved, "if I wish to retain my
place in your affections. But, father, we forget the question you
were to put to cousin Jack."

"True, love. John, your mother was an Assheton?"

"Assuredly, Ned; you are not to learn my pedigree at this time of
day, I trust."

"We are anxious to make out a relationship between you and Paul; can
it not be done?"

"I would give half my fortune, Eve consenting, were it so!--What
reason is there for supposing it probable, or even possible?"

"You know that he bears the name of his friend, and adopted parent,
while that of his family is really Assheton."

"Assheton!" exclaimed the other, in a way to show that this was the
first he had ever heard of the fact.

"Certainly; and as there is but one family of this name, which is a
little peculiar in the spelling--for here it is spelt by Paul
himself, on this card--we have thought that he must be a relation of
yours. I hope we are not to be disappointed."

"Assheton!--It is, as you say, an unusual name; nor is there more
than one family that bears it in this country, to my knowledge. Can
it be possible that Powis is truly an Assheton?"

"Out of all doubt," Eve eagerly exclaimed; "we have it from his own
mouth. His father was an Assheton, and his mother was--"

"Who!" demanded John Effingham, with a vehemence that startled his
companions.

"Nay, that is more than I can tell you, for he did not mention the
family name of his mother; as she was a sister of Lady Dunluce,
however, who is the wife of General Ducie, the father of our guest,
it is probable her name was Dunluce."

"I remember no relative that has made such a marriage, or who _can_
have made such a marriage; and yet do I personally and intimately
know every Assheton in the country."

Mr. Effingham and his daughter looked at each other, for it at once
struck them all painfully, that there must be Asshetons of another
family.

"Were it not for the peculiar manner in which this name is spelled,"
said Mr. Effingham, "I could suppose that there are Asshetons of whom
we know nothing, but it is difficult to believe that there can be
such persons of a respectable family of whom we never heard, for
Powis said his relatives were of the Middle States--"

"And that his mother was called Dunluce?" demanded John Effingham
earnestly, for he too appeared to wish to discover an affinity
between himself and Paul.

"Nay, father, this I think he did not say; though it is quite
probable; for the title of his aunt is an ancient barony, and those
ancient baronies usually became the family name."

"In this you must be mistaken, Eve, since he mentioned that the right
was derived through his mother's mother, who was an Englishwoman."

"Why not send for him at once, and put the question?" said the
simple-minded Mr. Effingham; "next to having him for my own son, it
would give me pleasure, John, to learn that he was lawfully entitled
to that which I know you have done in his behalf."

"That is impossible," returned John Effingham. "I am an only child,
and as for cousins through my mother, there are so many who stand in
an equal degree of affinity to me, that no one in particular can be
my heir-at-law. If there were, I am an Effingham; my estate came from
Effinghams, and to an Effingham it should descend in despite of all
the Asshetons in America."

"Paul Powis included!" exclaimed Eve, raising a finger reproachfully.

"True, to him I have left a legacy; but it was to a Powis, and not to
an Assheton."

"And yet he declares himself legally an Assheton, and not a Powis."

"Say no more of this, Eve; it is unpleasant to me. I hate the name of
Assheton, though it was my mother's, and could wish never to hear it
again."

Eve and her father were mute, for their kinsman, usually so proud and
self-restrained, spoke with suppressed emotion, and it was plain
that, for some hidden cause, he felt even more than he expressed. The
idea that there should be any thing about Paul that could render him
an object of dislike to one as dear to her as her cousin, was
inexpressibly painful to the former, and she regretted that the
subject had ever been introduced. Not so with her father. Simple,
direct, and full of truth, Mr. Effingham rightly enough believed that
mysteries in a family could lead to no good, and he repeated his
proposal of sending for Paul, and having the matter cleared up at
once.

"You are too reasonable, Jack," he concluded, "to let an antipathy
against a name that was your mother's, interfere with your sense of
right. I know that some unpleasant questions arose concerning your
succession to my aunt's fortune, but that was all settled in your
favour twenty years ago, and I had thought to your entire
satisfaction."

"Unhappily, family quarrels are ever the most bitter, and usually
they are the least reconcileable," returned John Effingham,
evasively.--"I would that this young man's name were any thing but
Assheton! I do not wish to see Eve plighting her faith at the altar,
to any one bearing that, accursed name!"

"I shall plight my faith, if ever it be done, dear cousin John, to
the man, and not to his name."

"No, no--he must keep the appellation of Powis by which we have all
learned to love him, and to which he has done so much credit."

"This is very strange, Jack, for a man who is usually as discreet and
as well regulated as yourself. I again propose that we send for Paul,
and ascertain precisely to what branch of this so-much-disliked
family he really belongs."

"No, father, if you love me, not now!" cried Eve, arresting Mr.
Effingham's hand as it touched the bell-cord; "it would appear
distrustful, and even cruel, were we to enter into such an inquiry so
soon. Powis might think we valued his family, more than we do
himself,"

"Eve is right, Ned; but I will not sleep without learning all. There
is an unfinished examination of the papers left by poor Monday, and I
will take an occasion to summon Paul to its completion, when an
opportunity will offer to renew the subject of his own history; for
it was at the other investigation that he first spoke frankly to me,
concerning himself."

"Do so, cousin Jack, and let it be at once," said Eve earnestly. "I
can trust you with Powis alone, for I know how much you respect and
esteem him in your heart. See, it is already ten."

"But, he will naturally wish to spend the close of an evening like
this engaged in investigating something very different from Mr.
Monday's tale," returned her cousin; the smile with which he spoke
chasing away the look of chilled aversion that had so lately darkened
his noble features.

"No, not to-night," answered the blushing Eve. "I have confessed
weakness enough for one day. Tomorrow, if you will--if he will,--but
not to-night. I shall retire with Mrs. Hawker, who already complains
of fatigue; and you will send for Powis, to meet you in your own
room, without unnecessary delay."

Eve kissed John Effingham coaxingly, and as they walked together out
of the library, she pointed towards the door that led to the
chambers. Her cousin laughingly complied, and when in his own room,
he sent a message to Paul to join him.

"Now, indeed, may I call you a kinsman," said John Effingham, rising
to receive the young man, towards whom he advanced, with extended
hands, in his most winning manner. "Eve's frankness and your own
discernment have made us a happy family!"

"If any thing could add to the felicity of being acceptable to Miss
Effingham," returned Paul, struggling to command his feelings, "it is
the manner in which her father and yourself have received my poor
offers."

"Well, we will now speak of it no more. I saw from the first which
way things were tending, and it was my plain-dealing that opened the
eyes of Templemore to the impossibility of his ever succeeding, by
which means his heart has been kept from breaking."

"Oh! Mr. Effingham, Templemore never loved-Eve Effingham! I thought
so once, and he thought so, too; but it could not have been a love
like mine."

"It certainly differed in the essential circumstance of reciprocity,
which, in itself, singularly qualifies the passion, so far as
duration is concerned. Templemore did not exactly know the reason why
he preferred Eve; but, having seen so much of the society in which he
lived, I was enabled to detect the cause. Accustomed to an elaborate
sophistication, the singular union of refinement and nature caught
his fancy; for the English seldom see the last separated from
vulgarity; and when it is found, softened by a high intelligence and
polished manners, it has usually great attractions for the _biasés_."

"He is fortunate in having so readily found a substitute for Eve
Effingham!"

"This change is not unnatural, neither. In the first place, I, with
this truth-telling 'tongue, destroyed all hope, before he had
committed himself by a declaration; and then Grace Van Cortlandt
possesses the great attraction of nature, in a degree quite equal to
that of her cousin. Besides, Templemore, though a gentleman, and a
brave man, and a worthy one, is not remarkable for qualities of a
very extraordinary kind. He will be as happy as is usual for an
Englishman of his class to be, and he has no particular right to
expect more. I sent for you, however, less to talk of love, than to
trace its unhappy consequences in this affair, revealed by the papers
of poor Monday. It is time we acquitted ourselves of that trust. Do
me the favour to open the dressing-case that stands on the toilet-
table; you will find in it the key that belongs to the bureau, where
I have placed the secretary that contains the papers."

Paul did as desired. The dressing-case was complicated and large,
having several compartments, none of which were fastened. In the
first opened, he saw a miniature of a female so beautiful, that his
eve rested on it, as it might be, by a fascination.--Notwithstanding
some difference produced by the fashions of different periods, the
resemblance to the object of his love, was obvious at a glance. Borne
away by the pleasure of the discovery, and actually believing that he
saw a picture of Eve, drawn in a dress that did not in a great degree
vary from the present attire, fashion having undergone no very
striking revolution in the last twenty years, he exclaimed--

"This is indeed a treasure, Mr. Effingham, and most sincerely do I
envy you its possession. It is like, and yet, in some particulars, it
is unlike--it scarcely does Miss Effingham justice about the nose and
forehead!"

John Effingham started when he saw the miniature in Paul's hand, but
recovering himself, he smiled at the eager delusion of his young
friend, and said with perfect composure--

"It is not Eve, but her mother. The two features you have named in
the former came from my family; but in all the others, the likeness
is almost identical."

"This then is Mrs. Effingham!" murmured Paul, gazing on the face of
the mother of his love, with a respectful melancholy, and an interest
that was rather heightened than lessened by a knowledge of the truth.
"She died young, sir?"

"Quite; she can scarcely be said to have become an angel too soon,
for she was always one."

This was said with a feeling that did not escape Paul, though it
surprised him. There were six or seven miniature-cases in the
compartment of the dressing-box, and supposing that the one which lay
uppermost belonged to the miniature in his hand, he raised it, and
opened the lid with a view to replace the picture of Eve's mother,
with a species of pious reverence. Instead of finding an empty case,
however, another miniature met his eye. The exclamation that now
escaped the young man was one of delight and surprise.

"That must be my grandmother, with whom you are in such raptures, at
present," said John Effingham, laughing--"I was comparing it
yesterday with the picture of Eve, which is in the Russia-leather
case, that you will find somewhere there. I do not wonder, however,
at your admiration, for she was a beauty in her day, and no woman is
fool enough to be painted after she grows ugly."

"Not so--not so--Mr. Effingham! This is the miniature I lost in the
Montauk, and which I had given up as booty to the Arabs. It has,
doubtless, found its way into your state-room, and has been put among
your effects by your man, through mistake. It is very precious to me,
for it is nearly every memorial I possess of my own mother!"

"Your mother!" exclaimed John Effingham rising. "I think there must
be some mistake, for I examined all those pictures this very morning,
and it is the first time they have been opened since our arrival from
Europe. It cannot be the missing picture."

"Mine it is certainly; in that I cannot be mistaken!"

"It would be odd indeed, if one of my grandmothers, for both are
there, should prove to be your mother.--Powis, will you have the
goodness to let me see the picture you mean."

Paul brought the miniature and a light, placing both before the eyes
of his friend.

"That!" exclaimed John Effingham, his voice sounding harsh and
unnatural to the listener,--"that picture like _your_ mother!"

"It is her miniature--_the_ miniature that was transmitted to
me, from those who had charge of my childhood. I cannot be mistaken
as to the countenance, or the dress."

"And your father's name was Assheton?"

"Certainly--John Assheton, of the Asshetons of Pennsylvania."

John Effingham groaned aloud; when Paul stepped back equally shocked
and surprised, he saw that the face of his friend was almost livid,
and that the hand which held the picture shook like the aspen.

"Are you unwell, dear Mr. Effingham?"

"No--no--'tis impossible! This lady never had a child. Powis, you
have been deceived by some fancied, or some real resemblance. This
picture is mine, and has not been out of my possession these five and
twenty years."

"Pardon me, sir, it is the picture of my mother, and no other; the
very picture lost in the Montauk."

The gaze that John Effingham cast upon the young man was ghastly; and
Paul was about to ring the bell, but a gesture of denial prevented
him.

"See," said John Effingham, hoarsely, as he touched a spring in the
setting, and exposed to view the initials of two names interwoven
with hair--"is this, too, yours?"

Paul looked surprised and disappointed.

"That certainly settles the question; my miniature had no such
addition; and yet I believe that sweet and pensive countenance to be
the face of my own beloved mother, and of no one else."

John Effingham struggled to appear calm; and, replacing the pictures,
he took the key from the dressing case, and, opening the bureau, he
took out the secretary. This he signed for Powis, who had the key, to
open; throwing himself into a chair, though every thing was done
mechanically, as if his mind and body had little or no connection
with each other.

"Some accidental resemblance has deceived you as to the miniature,"
he said, while Paul was looking for the proper number among the
letters of Mr. Monday. "No--no--that _cannot_ be the picture of
your mother. She left no child. Assheton did you say, was the name of
your father?"

"Assheton--John Assheton--about that, at least, there can have been
no mistake. This is the num her at which we left off--will you, sir,
or shall I, read?"

The other made a sign for Paul to read; looking, at the same time, as
if it were impossible for him to discharge that duty himself.

"This is a letter from the woman who appears to have been entrusted
with the child, to the man Dowse," said Paul, first glancing his eyes
over the page,--"it appears to be little else but gossip--ha!--what
is this, I see?"

John Effingham raised himself in his chair, and he sat gazing at
Paul, as one gazes who expects some extraordinary developement,
though of what nature he knew not.

"This is a singular passage," Paul continued--"so much so as to need
elucidation. 'I have taken the child with me to get the picture from
the jeweller, who has mended the ring, and the little urchin knew it
at a glance.'"

"What is there remarkable in that? Others beside ourselves have had
pictures;-and this child knows its own better than you."

"Mr. Effingham, such a thing occurred to myself! It is one of those
early events of which I still retain, have ever retained, a vivid
recollection. Though little more than an infant at the time, well do
I recollect to have been taken in this manner to a jeweller's, and
the delight I felt at recovering my mother's picture, that which is
now lost, after it had not been seen for a month or two."

"Paul Blunt--Powis--Assheton "--said John Effingham, speaking so
hoarsely as to be nearly unintelligible, "remain here a few minutes--
I will rejoin you."

John Effingham arose, and, notwithstanding he rallied all his powers,
it was with extreme difficulty he succeeded in reaching the door,
steadily rejecting the offered assistance of Paul, who was at a loss
what to think of so much agitation in a man usually so self-possessed
and tranquil. When out of the room, John Effingham did better, and he
proceeded to the library, followed by his own man, whom he had
ordered to accompany him with a light.

"Desire Captain Ducie to give me the favour of his company for a
moment," he then said, motioning to the servant to withdraw. "You
will not be needed any longer."

It was but a minute before Captain Ducie stood before him. This
gentleman was instantly struck with the pallid look, and general
agitation of the person he had come to meet, and he expressed an
apprehension that he was suddenly taken ill. But a motion of the hand
forbade his touching the bell-cord, and he waited in silent wonder at
the scene which he had been so unexpectedly called to witness.

"A glass of that water, if you please, Captain Ducie," said John
Effingham, endeavouring to smile with gentleman-like courtesy, as he
made the request, though the effort, caused his countenance to appear
ghastly again. A little recovered by this beverage, he said more
steadily--

"You are the cousin of Powis, Captain Ducie."

"We are sisters' children, sir."

"And your mother is"

"Lady Dunluce--a peeress in her own right."

"But, what--her family name?"

"Her own family name has been sunk in that of my father, the Ducies
claiming to be as old and as honourable a family, as that from which
my mother inherits her rank. Indeed the Dunluce barony has gone
through so many names, by means of females, that I believe there is
no intention to revive the original appellation of the family which
was first summoned."

"You mistake, me--your mother--when she married--was--"

"Miss Warrender."

"I thank you, sir, and will trouble you no longer," returned John
Effingham, rising and struggling to make his manner second the
courtesy of his words--"I have troubled you, abruptly--incoherently I
fear--your arm--"

Captain Ducie stepped hastily forward, and was just in time to
prevent the other from falling senseless on the floor, by receiving
him in his own arms.

Chapter XXVII.

  "What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba, That he should weep for
  her."

  HAMLET.

The next morning, Paul and Eve were alone in that library which had
long been the scene of the confidential communications of the
Effingham family. Eve had been weeping, nor were Paul's eyes entirely
free from the signs of his having given way to strong sensations.
Still happiness beamed in the countenance of each, and the timid but
affectionate glances with which our heroine returned the fond,
admiring look of her lover, were any thing but distrustful of their
future felicity. Her hand was in his, and it was often raised to his
lips, as they pursued the conversation.

"This is so wonderful," exclaimed Eve, after one of the frequent
musing pauses in which both indulged "that I can scarcely believe
myself awake. That you Blunt, Powis, Assheton, should, after all,
prove an Effingham!

"And I, who have so long thought myself an orphan, should find a
living father, and he a man like Mr. John Effingham!"

I have long thought that something heavy lay at the honest heart of
cousin Jack--you will excuse me Powis, but I shall need time to learn
to call him by a name of greater respect."

"Call him always so, love, for I am certain it would pain him to meet
with any change in you. He _is_ your cousin Jack"

"Nay, he may some day unexpectedly become _my_ father too, as he
has so wonderfully become yours," rejoined Eve, glancing archly at
the glowing face of the delighted young man; "and then cousin Jack
might prove too familiar and disrespectful a term."

"So much stronger does your claim to him appear than mine, that I
think, when that blessed day shall arrive, Eve, it will convert him
into _my_ cousin Jack, instead of your father. But call _him_
as you may, why do you still insist on calling _me_ Powis?"

"That name will ever be precious in my eyes! You abridge me of my
rights, in denying me a change of name. Half the young ladies of the
country marry for the novelty of being called Mrs. Somebody else,
instead of the Misses they were, while I am condemned to remain Eve
Effingham for life."

"If you object to the appellation, I can continue to call myself
Powis. This has been done so long now as almost to legalize the act."

"Indeed, no--you are an Effingham, and as an Effingham ought you to
be known. What a happy lot is mine! Spared even the pain of parting
with my old friends, at the great occurrence of my life, and finding
my married home the same as the home of my childhood!"

"I owe every thing to you, Eve, name, happiness, and even a home."

"I know not that. Now that it is known that you are the great-
grandson of Edward Effingham, I think your chance of possessing the
Wigwam would be quite equal to my own, even were we to look different
ways in quest of married happiness. An arrangement of that nature
would not be difficult to make, as John Effingham might easily
compensate a daughter for the loss of her house and lands by means of
those money-yielding stocks and bonds, of which he possesses so
many."

"I view it differently. _You_ were Mr.--my father's heir--how
strangely the word father sounds in unaccustomed ears!--But you were
my father's chosen heir, and I shall owe to you, dearest, in addition
to the treasures of your heart and faith, my fortune."

"Are you so very certain of this, ingrate?--Did not Mr. John
Effingham--cousin Jack--adopt you as his son even before he knew of
the natural tie that actually exists between you?"

"True, for I perceive that you have been made acquainted with most of
that which has passed. But I hope, that in telling you his own offer,
Mr.--that my father did not forget to tell you of the terms on which
it was accepted?"

"He did you ample justice, or he informed me that you stipulated
there should be no altering of wills, but that the unworthy heir
already chosen, should still remain the heir."

"And to this Mr--"

"Cousin Jack," said Eve, laughing, for the laugh comes easy to the
supremely happy.

"To this cousin Jack assented?"

"Most true, again. The will would not have been altered, for your
interests were already cared for."

"And at the expense of yours, dearest? Eve!"

"It would have been at the expense of my better feelings, Paul, had
it not been so. However, that will can never do either harm or good
to any, now."

"I trust it will remain unchanged, beloved, that I may owe as much to
you as possible."

Eve looked kindly at her betrothed, blushed even deeper than the
bloom which happiness had left on her cheek, and smiled like one who
knew more than she cared to express.

"What secret meaning is concealed behind the look of portentous
signification?"

"It means, Powis, that I have done a deed that is almost criminal. I
have destroyed a will."

"Not my father's!"

"Even so--but it was done in his presence, and if not absolutely with
his consent, with his knowledge. When he informed me of your superior
rights, I insisted on its being done, at once, so, should any
accident occur, you will be heir at law, as a matter of course.
Cousin Jack affected reluctance, but I believe he slept more sweetly,
for the consciousness that this act of justice had been done."

"I fear he slept little, as it was; it was long past midnight before
I left him, and the agitation of his spirits was such as to appear
awful in the eyes of a son!"

"And the promised explanation is to come, to renew his distress! Why
make it at all? is it not enough that we are certain that you are his
child? and for that, have we not the solemn assurance, the
declaration of almost a dying man!"

"There should be no shade left over my mother's fame. Faults there
have been, somewhere, but it is painful, oh! how painful! for a child
to think evil of a mother."

"On this head you are already assured. Your own previous knowledge,
and John Effingham's distinct declarations, make your mother
blameless."

"Beyond question; but this sacrifice must be made to my mother's
spirit. It is now nine; the breakfast-bell will soon ring, and then
we are promised the whole of the melancholy tale. Pray with me, Eve,
that it may be such as will not wound the ear of a son!"

Eve took the hand of Paul within both of hers, and kissed it with a
sort of holy hope, that in its exhibition caused neither blush nor
shame. Indeed so bound together were these young hearts, so ample and
confiding had been the confessions of both, and so pure was their
love, that neither regarded such a manifestation of feeling,
differently from what an acknowledgement of a dependence on any other
sacred principle would have been esteemed. The bell now summoned them
to the breakfast-table, and Eve, yielding to her sex's timidity,
desired Paul to precede her a few minutes, that the sanctity of their
confidence might not be weakened by the observation of profane eyes.

The meal was silent; the discovery of the previous night, which had
been made known to all in the house, by the declarations of John
Effingham as soon as he was restored to his senses, Captain Ducie
having innocently collected those within hearing to his succour,
causing a sort of moral suspense that weighed on the vivacity if not
on the comforts of the whole party, the lovers alone excepted.

As profound happiness is seldom talkative, the meal was a silent one,
then; and when it was ended, they who had no tie of blood with the
parties most concerned with the revelations of the approaching
interview, delicately separated, making employments and engagements
that left the family at perfect liberty; while those who had been
previously notified that their presence would be acceptable, silently
repaired to the dressing-room of John Effingham. The latter party was
composed of Mr. Effingham, Paul, and Eve, only. The first passed into
his cousin's bed-room, where he had a private conference that lasted
half an hour. At the end of that time, the two others were summoned
to join him.

John Effingham was a strong-minded and a proud man, his governing
fault being the self-reliance that indisposed him to throw himself on
a greater power, for the support, guidance, and counsel, that all
need. To humiliation before God, however, he was not unused, and of
late years it had got to be frequent with him, and it was only in
connexion with his fellow-creatures that his repugnance to admitting
even of an equality existed. He felt how much more just, intuitive,
conscientious even, were his own views than those of mankind, in
general; and he seldom deigned to consult with any as to the opinions
he ought to entertain, or as to the conduct he ought to pursue. It is
scarcely necessary to say, that such a being was one of strong and
engrossing passions, the impulses frequently proving too imperious
for the affections, or even for principles. The scene that he was now
compelled to go through, was consequently one of sore mortification
and self-abasement; and yet, feeling its justice no less than its
necessity, and having made up his mind to discharge what had now
become a duty, his very pride of character led him to do it manfully,
and with no uncalled-for reserves. It was a painful and humiliating
task, notwithstanding; and it required all the self-command, all the
sense of right, and all the clear perception of consequences, that
one so quick to discriminate could not avoid perceiving, to enable
him to go through it with the required steadiness and connexion.

John Effingham received Paul and Eve, seated in an easy chair; for,
while he could not be said to be ill, it was evident that his very
frame had been shaken by the events and emotions of the few preceding
hours. He gave a hand to each, and, drawing Eve affectionately to
him, he imprinted a kiss on a cheek that was burning, though it paled
and reddened in quick succession, the heralds of the tumultuous
thoughts within. The look he gave Paul was kind and welcome, while a
hectic spot glowed on each cheek, betraying that his presence excited
pain as well as pleasure. A long pause succeeded this meeting, when
John Effingham broke the silence.

"There can now be no manner of question, my dear Paul," he said,
smiling affectionately but sadly as he looked at the young man,
"about your being my son. The letter written by John Assheton to your
mother, after the separation of your parents, would settle that
important point, had not the names, and the other facts that have
come to our knowledge, already convinced me of the precious truth;
for precious and very dear to me is the knowledge that I am the
father of so worthy a child. You must prepare yourself to hear things
that it will not be pleasant for a son to listen--"

"No, no--cousin Jack--_dear_ cousin Jack!" cried Eve, throwing
herself precipitately into her kinsman's arms, "we will hear nothing
of the sort. It is sufficient that you are Paul's father, and we wish
to know no more--will hear no more."

"This is like yourself, Eve, but it will not answer what I conceive
to be the dictates of duty. Paul had two parents; and not the
slightest suspicion ought to rest on one of them, in order to spare
the feelings of the other. In showing me this kindness you are
treating Paul inconsiderately."

"I beg, dear sir, you will not think too much of me, but entirely
consult your own judgment--your own sense of--in short, dear father,
that you will consider yourself before your son."

"I thank you, my children--what a word, and what a novel sensation is
this, for me, Ned!--I feel all your kindness, but if you would
consult my peace of mind, and wish me to regain my self-respect, you
will allow me to disburthen my soul of the weight that oppresses it.
This is strong language; but, while I have no confessions of
deliberate criminality, or of positive vice to make, I feel it to be
hardly too strong for the facts. My tale will be very short, and I
crave your patience, Ned, while I expose my former weakness to these
young people." Here John Effingham paused, as if to recollect
himself; then he proceeded with a seriousness of manner that caused
every syllable he uttered to tell on the ears of his listeners. "It
is well known to your father, Eve, though it will probably be new to
you," he said, "that I felt a passion for your sainted mother, such
as few men ever experience for any of your sex. Your father and
myself were suitors for her favour at the same time, though I can
scarcely say, Edward, that any feeling of rivalry entered into the
competition."

"You do me no more than justice, John, for if the affection of my
beloved Eve could cause me grief, it was because it brought you
pain."

"I had the additional mortification of approving of the choice she
made; for, certainly, as respected her own happiness, your mother did
more wisely in confiding it to the regulated, mild, and manly virtues
of your father, than in placing her hopes on one as eccentric and
violent as myself."

"This is injustice, John. You may have been positive, and a little
stern, at times, but never violent, and least of all with a woman."

"Call it what you will, it unfitted me to make one so meek, gentle,
and yet high-souled, as entirely happy as she deserved to be, and as
you did make her, while she remained on earth. I had the courage to
stay and learn that your father was accepted, (though the marriage
was deferred two years in consideration for my feelings,) and then
with a heart, in which mortified pride, wounded love, a resentment
that was aimed rather against myself than against your parents, I
quitted home, with a desperate determination never to rejoin my
family again. This resolution I did not own to myself, even, but it
lurked in my intentions unowned, festering like a mortal disease; and
it caused me, when I burst away from the scene of happiness of which
I had been a compelled witness, to change my name, and to make
several inconsistent and extravagant arrangements to abandon my
native country even."

"Poor John!" exclaimed his cousin, involuntarily, "this would have
been a sad blot on our felicity, had we known it!"

"I was certain of that, even when most writhing under the blow you
had so unintentionally inflicted, Ned; but the passions are
tyrannical and inconsistent masters. I took my mother's name, changed
my servant, and avoided those parts of the country where I was known.
At this time, I feared for my own reason, and the thought crossed my
mind, that by making a sudden marriage I might supplant the old
passion, which was so near destroying me, by some of that gentler
affection which seemed to render you so blest, Edward."

"Nay, John, this was, itself, a temporary tottering of the reasoning
faculties,"

"It was simply the effect of passions, over which reason had never
been taught to exercise a sufficient influence. Chance brought me
acquainted with Miss Warrender, in one of the southern states, and
she promised, as I fancied, to realize all my wild schemes of
happiness and resentment."

"Resentment, John?"

"I fear I must confess it, Edward, though it were anger against
myself. I first made Miss Warrender's acquaintance as John Assheton,
and some months had passed before I determined to try the fearful
experiment I have mentioned. She was young, beautiful, well-born,
virtuous and good; if she had a fault, it was her high spirit--not
high temper, but she was high-souled and proud."

"Thank God, for this!" burst from the inmost soul of Paul, with
unrestrainable feeling.

"You have little to apprehend, my son, on the subject of your
mother's character; if not perfect, she was wanting in no womanly
virtue, and might, nay ought to have made any reasonable man happy.
My offer was accepted, for I found her heart disengaged. Miss
Warrender was not affluent, and, in addition to the other
unjustifiable motives that influenced me, I thought there would be a
satisfaction in believing that I had been chosen for myself, rather
than for my wealth. Indeed, I had got to be distrustful and
ungenerous, and then I disliked the confession of the weakness that
had induced me to change my name. The simple, I might almost say,
loose laws of this country, on the subject of marriage, removed all
necessity for explanations, there being no bans nor license
necessary, and the Christian name only being used in the ceremony. We
were married, therefore, but I was not so unmindful of the rights of
others, as to neglect to procure a certificate, under a promise of
secrecy, in my own name. By going to the place where the ceremony was
performed, you will also find the marriage of John Effingham and
Mildred Warrender duly registered in the books of the church to which
the officiating clergyman belonged. So far, I did what justice
required, though, with a motiveless infatuation for which I can now
hardly account, which _cannot_ be accounted for, except by
ascribing it to the inconsistent cruelty of passion, I concealed my
real name from her with whom there should have been no concealment. I
fancied, I tried to fancy I was no impostor, as I was of the family I
represented myself to be, by the mother's side; and. I wished to
believe that my peace would easily be made when I avowed myself to be
the man I really was. I had found Miss Warrender and her sister
living with a well-intentioned but weak aunt, and with no male
relative to make those inquiries which would so naturally have
suggested themselves to persons of ordinary worldly prudence. It is
true, I had become known to them under favourable circumstances, and
they had good reason to believe me an Assheton from some accidental
evidence that I possessed, which unanswerably proved my affinity to
that family, without, betraying my true name. But there is so little
distrust in this country, that, by keeping at a distance from the
places in which I was personally known, a life might have passed
without exposure."

"This was all wrong, dear cousin Jack," said Eve, taking his hand and
affectionately kissing it, while her face kindled with a sense of her
sex's rights, "and I should be unfaithful to my womanhood were I to
say otherwise. You had entered into the most solemn of all human
contracts, and evil is the omen when such an engagement is veiled by
any untruth. But, still, one would think you might have been happy
with a virtuous and affectionate wife!"

"Alas! it is but a hopeless experiment to marry one, while the heart
is still yearning towards another. Confidence came too late; for,
discovering my unhappiness, Mildred extorted a tardy confession from
me; a confession of all but the concealment of the true name; and
justly wounded at the deception of which she had been the dupe, and
yielding to the impulses of a high and generous spirit, she announced
to me that she was unwilling to continue the wife of any man on such
terms. We parted, and I hastened into the south-western states, where
I passed the next twelvemonth in travelling, hurrying from place to
place, in the vain hope of obtaining peace of mind. I plunged into
the prairies, and most of the time mentioned was lost to me as
respects the world, in the company of hunters and trappers."

"This, then, explains your knowledge of that section of the country,"
exclaimed Mr. Effingham, "for which I have never been able to
account! We thought you among your old friends in Carolina, all that
time."

"No one knew where I had secreted myself, for I passed under another
feigned name, and had no servant, even. I had, however, sent an
address to Mildred, where a letter would find me; for, I had begun to
feel a sincere affection for her, though it might not have amounted
to passion, and looked forward to being reunited, when her wounded
feelings had time to regain their tranquillity. The obligations of
wedlock are too serious to be lightly thrown aside, and I felt
persuaded that neither of us would be satisfied in the end, without
discharging the duties of the state into which we had entered."

"And why did you not hasten to your poor wife, cousin Jack," Eve
innocently demanded, "as soon as you returned to the settlements?"

"Alas! my-dear girl, I found letters at St. Louis announcing her
death. Nothing was said of any child, nor did I in the least suspect
that I was about to become a father. When Mildred died, I thought all
the ties, all the obligations, all the traces of my ill-judged
marriage were extinct; and the course taken by her relations, of
whom, in this country, there remained very few, left me no
inclination to proclaim it. By observing silence, I continued to pass
as a bachelor, of course; though had there been any apparent reason
for avowing what had occurred, I think no one who knows me, can
suppose I would have shrunk from doing so."

"May I inquire, my dear sir," Paul asked, with a timidity of manner
that betrayed how tenderly he felt it necessary to touch on the
subject at all--"may I inquire, my dear sir, what course was taken by
my mother's relatives?"

"I never knew Mr. Warrender, my wife's brother, but he had the
reputation of being a haughty and exacting man. His letters were not
friendly; scarcely tolerable; for he affected to believe I had given
a false address at the west, when I was residing in the middle
states, and he threw out hints that to me were then inexplicable, but
which the letters left with me, by Paul, have sufficiently explained.
I thought him cruel and unfeeling at the time, but he had an excuse
for his conduct."

"Which was, sir--?" Paul eagerly inquired.

"I perceive by the letters you have given me, my son, that your
mother's family had imbibed the opinion, that I was John Assheton, of
Lancaster, a man of singular humours, who had made an unfortunate
marriage in Spain, and whose wife, I believe, is still living in
Paris, though lost to herself and her friends. My kinsman lived
retired, and never recovered the blow. As he was one of the only
persons of the name, who could have married your mother, her
relatives appear to have taken up the idea that he had been guilty of
bigamy, and of course that Paul was illegitimate. Mr. Warrender, by
his letters, appears even to have had an interview with this person,
and, on mentioning his wife, was rudely repulsed from the house. It
was a proud family, and Mildred being dead, the concealment of the
birth of her child was resorted to, as a means of averting a fancied
disgrace. As for myself, I call the all-seeing eye of God to witness,
that the thought of my being a parent never crossed my mind, until I
learned that a John Assheton was the father of Paul, and that the
miniature of Mildred Warrender, that I received at the period of our
engagement, was the likeness of his mother. The simple declaration of
Captain Ducie concerning the family name of his mother, removed all
doubt."

"But, cousin Jack, did not the mention of Lady Dunluce, of the
Ducies, and of Paul's connections, excite curiosity?"

"Concerning what, dear? I could have no curiosity about a child of
whose existence I was ignorant. I did know that the Warrenders had
pretensions to both rank and fortune in England, but never heard the
title, and cared nothing about money that would not probably, be
Mildred's. Of General Ducie I never even heard, as he married after
my separation, and subsequently to the receipt of my brother-in-law's
letters, I wished to forget the existence of the family. I went to
Europe, and remained abroad seven years and as this was at a time
when the continent was closed against the English, I was not in a way
to hear any thing on the subject. On my return, my wife's aunt was
dead; the last of my wife's brothers was dead; her sister must then
have been Mrs. Ducie; no one mentioned the Warrenders, all traces of
whom were nearly lost in this country, and to me the subject was too
painful to be either sought or dwelt on. It is a curious fact, that,
in 1829, during our late visit to the old world, I ascended the Nile
with General Ducie for a travelling companion. We met at Alexandria,
and wont to the cataracts and returned in company, He knew me as John
Effingham, an American traveller of fortune, if of no particular
merit, and I knew him as an agreeable English general officer. He had
the reserve of an Englishman of rank, and seldom spoke of his family,
and it was only on our return, that I found he had letters from his
wife, Lady Dunluce; but little did I dream that Lady Dunluce was
Mabel Warrender. How often are we on the very verge of important
information, and yet live on in ignorance and obscurity! The Ducies
appear finally to have arrived at the opinion that the marriage was
legal, and that no reproach rests on the birth of Paul, by the
inquiries made concerning the eccentric John Assheton."

"They fancied, in common with my uncle Warrender, for a long time,
that the John Assheton whom you have mentioned, sir," said Paul, "was
my father. But. some accidental information, at a late day, convinced
them of their error, and then they naturally enough supposed that it
was the only other John Assheton that could be heard of, who passes,
and probably with sufficient reason, for a bachelor. This latter
gentleman I have myself always supposed to be my father, though he
has treated two or three letters I have written to him, with the
indifference with which one would be apt to treat the pretensions of
an impostor. Pride has prevented me from attempting to renew the
correspondence lately."

"It is John Assheton of Bristol, my mother's brother's son, as
inveterate a bachelor as is to be found in the Union" said John
Effingham, smiling, in spite of the grave subject and deep emotions
that had so lately been uppermost in his thoughts. "He must have
supposed your letters were an attempt at mystification on the part of
some of his jocular associates, and I am surprised that he thought it
necessary to answer them at all."

"He did answer but one, and that reply certainly had something of the
character you suggest, sir. I freely forgive him, now I understand
the truth, though his apparent contempt gave me many a bitter pang at
the time. I saw Mr. Assheton once in public, and observed him well,
for, strange as it is, I have been thought to resemble him."

"Why strange? Jack Assheton and myself have, or rather had a strong
family likeness to each other, and, though the thought is new to me,
I can now easily trace this resemblance to myself. It is rather an
Assheton than an Effingham look, though the latter is not wanting."

"These explanations are very clear and satisfactory," observed Mr.
Effingham, "and leave little doubt that Paul is the child of John
Effingham and Mildred Warrender; but they would be beyond all cavil,
were the infancy of the boy placed in an equally plain point of view,
and could the reasons be known why the Warrenders abandoned him to
the care of those who yielded him up to Mr. Powis."

"I see but little obscurity in that," returned John Effingham. "Paul
is unquestionably the child referred to in the papers left by poor
Monday, to the care of whose mother he was intrusted, until, in his
fourth year, she yielded him to Mr. Powis, to get rid of trouble and
expense, while she kept the annuity granted by Lady Dunluce. The
names appear in the concluding letters; and had we read the latter
through at first, we should earlier have arrived at, the same
conclusion, Could we find the man called Dowse, who appears to have
instigated the fraud, and who married Mrs. Monday, the whole thing
would be explained."

"Of this I am aware," said Paul, for he and John Effingham had
perused the remainder of the Monday papers together, after the
fainting fit of the latter, as soon as his strength would admit; "and
Captain Truck is now searching for an old passenger of his, who I
think will furnish the clue. Should we get this evidence, it would
settle all legal questions."

"Such questions will never be raised," said John Effingham, holding
out his hand affectionately to his son; "you possess the marriage
certificate given to your mother, and I avow myself to have been the
person therein styled John Assheton. This fact I have endorsed on the
back of the certificate; while here is another given to me in my
proper name, with the endorsement made by the clergyman that I passed
by another name, at the ceremony."

"Such a man, cousin Jack, was unworthy of his cloth!" said Eve with
energy.

"I do not think so, my child. He was innocent of the original
deception; this certificate was given after the death of my wife, and
might do good, whereas it could do no harm. The clergyman in question
is now a bishop, and is still living. He may give evidence if
necessary, to the legality of the marriage."

"And the clergyman by whom I was baptized is also alive," cried Paul,
"and has never lost sight of me He was, in part, in the confidence of
my mother' family, and even after I was adopted by Mr. Powis he kept
me in view as one of his little Christians as he termed me. It was no
less a person than Dr.----."

"This alone would make out the connection and identity," said Mr.
Effingham, "without the aid of the Monday witnesses. The whole
obscurity has arisen from John's change of name, and his ignorance of
the fact that his wife had a child. The Ducies appear to have had
plausible reasons, too, for distrusting the legality of the marriage;
but all is now clear, and as a large estate is concerned, we will
take care that no further obscurity shall rest over the affair."

"The part connected with the estate is already secured," said John
Effingham, looking at Eve with a smile. "An American can always make
a will, and one that contains but a single bequest is soon written.
Mine is executed, and Paul Effingham, my son by my marriage with
Mildred Warrender, and lately known in the United States' Navy as
Paul Powis, is duly declared my heir. This will suffice for all legal
purposes, though we shall have large draughts of gossip to swallow."

"Cousin Jack!"

"Daughter Eve!"

"Who has given cause for it?"

"He who commenced one of the most sacred of his earthly duties, with
an unjustifiable deception. The wisest way to meet it, will be to
make our avowals of the relationship as open as possible."

"I see no necessity, John, of entering into details," said Mr.
Effingham; "you were married young, and lost your wife within a year
of your marriage. She was a Miss Warrender, and the sister of Lady
Dunluce; Paul and Ducie are declared cousins, and the former proves
to be your son, of whose existence you were ignorant. No one will
presume to question any of us, and it really strikes me that all
rational people ought to be satisfied with this simple account of the
matter."

"Father!" exclaimed Eve, with her pretty little hands raised in the
attitude of surprise, "in what capital even, in what part of the
world, would such a naked account appease curiosity? Much less will
it suffice here, where every human being, gentle or simple, learned
or ignorant, refined or vulgar, fancies himself a constitutional
judge of all the acts of all his fellow-creatures?"

"We have at least the consolation of knowing that no revelations will
make the matter any worse, or any better," said Paul, "as the gossips
would tell their own tale, in every case, though its falsehood were
as apparent as the noon-day sun. A gossip is essentially a liar, and
truth is the last ingredient that is deemed necessary to his other
qualifications; indeed, a well authenticated fact is a death-blow to
a gossip. I hope, my dear sir, you will say no more than that I am
your son, a circumstance much too precious to me to be omitted."

John Effingham looked affectionately at the noble young man, whom he
had so long esteemed and admired; and the tears forced themselves to
his eyes, as he felt the supreme happiness that can alone gladden a
parent's heart.

Chapter XXVIII.

  "For my part, I care not: I say little; but when the time comes,
  there shall be smiles."--NYM.

Although Paul Effingham was right, and Eve Effingham was also right,
in their opinions of the art of gossiping, they both forgot one
qualifying circumstance, that, arising from different causes,
produces the same effect, equally in a capital and in a province. In
the first, marvels form a nine days' wonder from the hurry of events;
in the latter, from the hurry of talking. When it was announced in
Templeton that Mr. John Effingham had discovered a son in Mr. Powis,
as that son had conjectured, every thing but the truth was rumoured
and believed, in connection with the circumstance. Of course it
excited a good deal of a natural and justifiable curiosity and
surprise in the trained and intelligent, for John Effingham had
passed for a confirmed bachelor; but they were generally content to
suffer a family to have feelings and incidents that were not to be
paraded before a neighbourhood. Having some notions themselves of the
delicacy and sanctity of the domestic affections, they were willing
to respect the same sentiments in others. But these few excepted, the
village was in a tumult of surmises, reports, contradictions,
confirmations, rebutters, and sur-rebutters, for a fortnight. Several
village _élégants_, whose notions of life were obtained in the
valley in which they were born, and who had turned up their noses at
the quiet, reserved, gentleman-like Paul, because he did not happen
to suit their tastes, were disposed to resent his claim to be his
father's son, as if it were an injustice done to their rights; such
commentators on men and things uniformly bringing every thing down to
the standard of serf. Then the approaching marriages at the Wigwam
had to run the gauntlet, not only of village and county criticisms,
but that of the mighty Emporium itself, as it is the fashion to call
the confused and tasteless collection of flaring red brick houses,
marten-box churches, and colossal taverns, that stands on the island
of Manhattan; the discussion of marriages being a topic of never-
ending interest in that well regulated social organization, after the
subjects of dollars, lots, and wines, have been duly exhausted. Sir
George Templemore was transformed into the Honourable Lord George
Templemore, and Paul's relationship to Lady Dunluce was converted, as
usual, into his being the heir apparent of a Duchy of that name;
Eve's preference for a nobleman, as a matter of course, to the
_aristocratical_ tastes imbibed during a residence in foreign
countries; Eve, the intellectual, feminine, instructed Eve, whose
European associations, while they had taught her to prize the
refinement, grace, _retenue_, and tone of an advanced condition
of society, had also taught her to despise its mere covering and
glitter! But, as there is no protection against falsehood, so is
there no reasoning with ignorance.

A sacred few, at the head of whom were Mr. Steadfast Dodge and Mrs.
Widow-Bewitched Abbott, treated the matter as one of greater gravity,
and as possessing an engrossing interest for the entire community.

"For my part, Mr. Dodge," said Mrs. Abbott, in one of their frequent
conferences, about a fortnight after the _éclaircissement_ of
the last chapter, "I do not believe that Paul Powis is Paul Effingham
at all. You say that you knew him by the name of Blunt when he was a
younger man?"

"Certainly, ma'am. He passed universally by that name formerly, and
it may be considered as at least extraordinary that he should have
had so many aliases. The truth of the matter is, Mrs. Abbott, if
truth could be come at, which I always contend is very difficult in
the present state of the world--"

"You never said a juster thing, Mr. Dodge!" interrupted the lady,
feelings impetuous as hers seldom waiting for the completion of a
sentence, "I never can get hold of the truth of any thing now; you
may remember you insinuated that Mr. John Effingham himself was to be
married to Eve, and, lo and behold! it turns out to be his son!"

"The lady may have changed her mind, Mrs. Abbott: she gets the same
estate with a younger man."

"She's monstrous disagreeable, and I'm sure it will be a relief to
the whole village when she is married, let it be to the father, or to
the son. Now, do you know, Mr. Dodge, I have been in a desperate
taking about one thing, and that is to find that, bony fie-dy, the
two old Effinghams are not actually brothers! I knew that they
_called_ each other cousin Jack and cousin Ned, and that Eve
affected to call her uncle _cousin_ Jack, but then she has so
many affectations, and the people are so foreign, that I looked upon
all that as mere pretence; I said to myself a neighbourhood _ought_
to know better about a man's family than he _can_ know himself,
and the neighbourhood all declared they were brothers; and yet
it turns out, after all, that they are only cousins!"

"Yes, I do believe that, for once, the family was right in that
matter, and the public mistaken."

"Well, I should like to know who has a better right to be mistaken
than the public, Mr. Dodge. This is a free country, and if the people
can't sometimes be wrong, what is the mighty use of their freedom? We
are all sinful wretches, at the best, and it is vain to look for any
thing but vice from sinners."

"Nay, my dear Mrs. Abbott, you are too hard on yourself, for every
body allows that _you_ are as exemplary as you are devoted to
your religious duties."

"Oh! I was not speaking particularly of myself, sir; I am no egotist
in such things, and wish to leave my own imperfections to the charity
of my friends and neighbours. But, do you think, Mr. Dodge, that a
marriage between Paul Effingham, for so I suppose he must be-called,
and Eve Effingham, will be legal? Can't it be set aside, and if that
should be the case, wouldn't the fortune go to the public?"

"It _ought_ to be so, my dear ma'am, and I trust the day is not
distant when it will be so. The people are beginning to understand
their rights, and another century will not pass, before they will
enforce them by the necessary penal statutes. We have got matters so
now, that a man can no longer indulge in the aristocratic and selfish
desire to make a will, and, take my word for it, we shall not stop
until we bring every thing to the proper standard."

The reader is not to suppose from his language that Mr. Dodge was an
agrarian, or that he looked forward to a division of property, at
some future day; for, possessing in his own person already, more than
what could possibly fall to an individual share, he had not the
smallest desire to lessen its amount by a general division. In point
of fact he did not know his own meaning, except as he felt envy of
all above him, in which, in truth, was to be found the whole secret
of his principles, his impulses, and his doctrines. Any thing that
would pull down those whom education, habits, fortune, or tastes, had
placed in positions more conspicuous than his own, was, in his eyes,
reasonable and just--as any thing that would serve him, in person,
the same ill turn, would have been tyranny and oppression. The
institutions of America, like every thing human, have their bad as
well as their good side; and while we firmly believe in the relative
superiority of the latter, as compared with other systems, we should
fail of accomplishing the end set before us in this work, did we not
exhibit, in strong colours, one of the most prominent consequences
that has attended the entire destruction of factitious personal
distinctions in the country, which has certainly aided in bringing
out in bolder relief than common, the prevalent disposition in man to
covet that which is the possession of another, and to decry merits
that are unattainable.

"Well, I rejoice to hear this," returned Mrs. Abbott, whose
principles were of the same loose school as those of her companion,
"for I think no one should have rights but those who have experienced
religion, if you would keep vital religion in a country. There goes
that old sea-lion, Truck, and his fishing associate, the commodore,
with their lines and poles, as usual, Mr. Dodge; I beg you will call
to them, for I long to hear what the first can have to say about his
beloved Effinghams, now?"

Mr. Dodge complied, and the navigator of the ocean and the navigator
of the lake, were soon seated in Mrs. Abbott's little parlour, which
might be styled the focus of gossip, near those who were so lately
its sole occupants.

"This is wonderful news, gentlemen," commenced Mrs. Abbott, as soon
as the bustle of the entrance had subsided. "Mr. Powis is Mr.
Effingham, and it seems that Miss Effingham is to become Mrs.
Effingham. Miracles will never cease, and I look upon this as one of
the most surprising of my time."

"Just so, ma'am," said the commodore, winking his eye, and giving the
usual flourish with a hand; "your time has not been that of a day
neither, and Mr. Powis has reason to rejoice that he is the hero of
such a history. For my part, I could not have been more astonished,
were I to bring up the sogdollager with a trout-hook, having a cheese
paring for the bait."

"I understand," continued the lady, "that there are doubts after all,
whether this miracle be really a true miracle. It is hinted that Mr.
Powis is neither Mr. Effingham nor Mr. Powis, but that he is actually
a Mr. Blunt. Do you happen to know any thing of the matter, Captain
Truck?"

"I have been introduced to him, ma'am, by all three names, and I
consider him as an acquaintance in each character. I can assure you,
moreover, that he is A, No. 1, on whichever tack you take him; a man
who carries a weather helm in the midst of his enemies."

"Well, I do not consider it a very great recommendation for one to
have enemies, at all. Now, I dare say, Mr. Dodge, _you_ have not
an enemy on earth!"

"I should be sorry to think that I had, Mrs. Abbott. I am every man's
friend, particularly the poor man's friend, and I should suppose that
every man _ought_ to be my friend. I hold the whole human family
to be brethren, and that they ought to live together as such."

"Very true, sir; quite true--we _are_ all sinners, and ought to
look favourably on each other's failings. It is no business of mine--
I say it is no business of ours, Mr. Dodge, who Miss Eve Effingham
marries; but were she _my_ daughter, I do think I should not
like her to have three family names, and to keep her own in the
bargain!"

"The Effinghams hold their heads very much up, though it is not easy
to see _why_; but so they do, and the more names the better,
perhaps, for such people," returned the editor. "For my part, I treat
them with condescension, just as I do every body else; for it is a
rule with me, Captain Truck, to make use of the same deportment to a
king on his throne, as I would to a beggar in the street."

"Merely to show that you do not feel yourself to be above your
betters. We have many such philosophers in this country."

"Just so," said the commodore.

"I wish I knew," resumed Mrs. Abbott; for there existed in her head,
as well as in that of Mr. Dodge, such a total confusion on the
subject of deportment, that neither saw nor felt the cool sarcasm of
the old sailor; "I wish I knew, now, whether Eve Effingham has really
been regenerated! What is your opinion, commodore?"

"Re-what, ma'am," said the commodore, who was not conscious of ever
having heard the word before; for, in his Sabbaths on the water,
where he often worshipped God devoutly in his heart, the language of
the professedly pious was never heard; "I can only say she is as
pretty a skiff as floats, but I can tell you nothing about
resuscitation--indeed, I never heard of her having been drowned."

"Ah, Mrs. Abbott, the very best friends of the Effinghams will not
maintain that they are pious. I do not wish to be invidious, or to
say unneighbourly things; but were I upon oath, I could testify to a
great many things, which would unqualifiedly show, that none of them
have ever experienced."

"Now, Mr. Dodge, you know how much I dislike scandal," the widow-
bewitched cried affectedly, "and I cannot tolerate such a sweeping
charge. I insist on the proofs of what you say, in which, no doubt,
these gentlemen will join me."

By proofs, Mrs. Abbott meant allegations.

"Well, ma'am, since you insist on my _proving_ what I have said,
you shall not be disappointed. In the first place, then, they _read_
their family prayers out of a book."

"Ay, ay," put in the captain; "but that merely shows they have some
education; it is done every where."

"Your pardon, sir; no people but the Catholics and the church people
commit this impiety. The idea of _reading_ to the Deity, Mrs.
Abbott, is particularly shocking to a pious soul."

"As if the Lord stood in need of letters! _That_ is very bad, I
allow; for at _family_ prayers, a form becomes mockery."

"Yes, ma'am; but what do you think of cards?"

"Cards!" exclaimed Mrs. Abbott, holding up her pious hands, in holy
horror.

"Even so; foul paste-board, marked with kings and queens," said the
captain. Why this is worse than a common sin, being unqualifiedly
anti-republican."

"I confess I did not expect-this! I had heard that Eve Effingham was
guilty of indiscretions, but I did not think she was so lost to
virtue, as to touch a card. Oh! Eve Effingham; Eve Effingham, for
what is your poor diseased soul destined!"

"She dances, too, I suppose you know that," continued Mr. Dodge, who
finding his popularity a little on the wane, had joined the meeting
himself, a few weeks before, and who did not fail to manifest the
zeal of a new convert.

"Dances!" repeated Mrs. Abbott, in holy horror.

"Real fi diddle de di!" echoed Captain Truck.

"Just so," put in the commodore; "I have seen it with my own eyes.
But, Mrs. Abbott, I feel bound to tell you that your own daughter--"

"Biansy-Alzumy-Anne!" exclaimed the mother in alarm.

"Just so; my-aunty-all-suit-me-anne, if that is her name. Do you
know, ma'am, that I have seen your own blessed daughter, my-aunty-
Anne, do a worse thing, even, than dancing!"

"Commodore, you are awful! What _could_ a child of mine do that
is worse than dancing?"

"Why, ma'am, if you _will_ hear all, it is my duty to tell you.
I saw aunty-Anne (the commodore was really ignorant of the girl's
name) jump a skipping-rope, yesterday morning, between the hours of
seven and eight. As I hope ever to see the sogdollager, again, ma'am,
I did!"

"And do you this as bad as dancing?"

"Much worse, ma'am, to my notion. It is jumping about without music,
and without any grace, either, particularly as it was performed by
my-aunty-Anne."

"You are given to light jokes. Jumping the skipping-rope is not
forbidden in the bible."

"Just so; nor is dancing, if I know any thing about it; nor, for that
matter, cards."

"But waste of time is; a sinful waste of time; and evil-passions, and
all unrighteousness."

"Just so. My-aunty-Anne was going to the pump for water--I dare say
you sent her--and she was misspending her time; and as for evil
passions, she did not enjoy the hop, until she and your neighbour's
daughter had pulled each other's hair for the rope, as if they had
been two she-dragons. Take my word for it, ma'am, it wanted for
nothing to make it sin of the purest water, but a cracked fiddle."

While the commodore was holding Mrs. Abbott at bay, in this manner,
Captain Truck, who had given him a wink to that effect, was employed
in playing off a practical joke at the expense of the widow. It was
one of the standing amusements of these worthies, who had gotten to
be sworn friends and constant associates, after they had caught as
many fish as they wished, to retire to the favourite spring, light,
the one his cigar, the other his pipe, mix their grog, and then
relieve their ennui, when tired of discussing men and things, by
playing cards on a particular stump. Now, it happens that the captain
had the identical pack which had been used on all such occasions in
his pocket, as was evident in the fact that the cards were nearly as
distinctly marked on their backs, as on their faces. These cards he
showed secretly to his companion, and when the attention of Mrs.
Abbott was altogether engaged in expecting the terrible announcement
of her daughter's errors, the captain slipped them, kings, queens and
knaves, high, low, jack and the game, without regard to rank, into
the lady's work-basket. As soon as this feat was successfully
performed, a sign was given to the commodore that the conspiracy was
effected, and that disputant in theology gradually began to give
ground, while he continued to maintain that jumping the rope was a
sin, though it might be one of a nominal class. There is little
doubt, had he possessed a smattering of phrases, a greater command of
biblical learning, and more zeal, that the fisherman might have
established a new shade of the Christian faith; for, while mankind
still persevere in disregarding the plainest mandates of God, as
respects humility, the charities, and obedience, nothing seems to
afford them more delight than to add to the catalogue of the offences
against his divine supremacy. It was perhaps lucky for the commodore,
who was capital at casting a pickerel line, but who usually settled
his polemics with the fist, when hard pushed, that Captain Truck
found leisure to come to the rescue.

"I'm amazed, ma'am," said the honest packet-master, "that a woman of
your sanctity should deny that jumping the rope is a sin, for I hold
that point to have been settled by all our people, these fifty years.
You will admit that the rope cannot be well-jumped without levity."

"Levity, Captain Truck! I hope you do not insinuate that a daughter
of mine discovers levity?"

"Certainly, ma'am; she is called the best rope jumper in the village,
I hear; and levity, or lightness of carriage, is the great requisite
for skill in the art. Then there are 'vain repetitions' in doing the
same thing over and over so often, and 'vain repetitions' are
forbidden even in our prayers. I can call both father and mother to
testify to that fact."

"Well, this is news to me! I must speak to the minister about it."

"Of the two, the skipping-rope is rather more sinful than dancing,
for the music makes the latter easy; whereas, one has to force the
spirit to enter into the other. Commodore, our hour has come, and we
must make sail. May I ask the favour, Mrs. Abbott, of a bit of thread
to fasten this hook afresh?"

The widow-bewitched turned to her basket, and raising a piece of
calico, to look for the thread "high, low, jack and the game," stared
her in the face. When she bent her eyes towards her guests, she
perceived all three gazing at the cards, with as much apparent
surprise and curiosity, as if two of them knew nothing of their
history.

"Awful!" exclaimed Mrs. Abbott, shaking both hands,--"awful--awful--
awful! The powers of darkness have been at work here!"

"They seem to have been pretty much occupied, too," observed the
captain, "for a better thumbed pack I never yet found in the
forecastle of a ship."

"Awful--awful--awful!--This is equal to the forty days in the
wilderness, Mr. Dodge."

"It is a trying cross, ma'am."

"To my notion, now," said the captain, "those cards are not worse
than the skipping-rope, though I allow that they might have been
cleaner."

But Mrs. Abbott was not disposed to view the matter so lightly. She
saw the hand of the devil in the affair, and fancied it was a new
trial offered to her widowed condition.

"Are these actually cards!" she cried, like one who distrusted the
evidence of her senses.

"Just so, ma'am," kindly answered the commodore; "This is the ace of
spades, a famous fellow to hold when you have the lead; and this is
the Jack, which counts one, you know, when spades are trumps. I never
saw a more thorough-working pack in my life."

"Or a more thoroughly worked pack," added the captain, in a condoling
manner. "Well, we are not all perfect, and I hope Mrs. Abbott will
cheer up and look at this matter in a gayer point of view. For myself
I hold that a skipping-rope is worse than the Jack of spades, Sundays
or week days. Commodore, we shall see no pickerel to-day, unless we
tear ourselves from this good company."

Here the two wags took their leave, and retreated to the skiff; the
captain, who foresaw an occasion to use them, considerately offering
to relieve Mrs. Abbott from the presence of the odious cards,
intimating that he would conscientiously see them fairly sunk in the
deepest part of the lake.

When the two worthies were at a reasonable distance from the shore,
the commodore suddenly ceased rowing, made a flourish with his hand,
and incontinently began to laugh, as if his mirth had suddenly broken
through all restraint. Captain Truck, who had been lighting a cigar,
commenced smoking, and, seldom indulging in boisterous merriment, he
responded with his eyes, shaking his head from time to time, with
great satisfaction, as thoughts more ludicrous than common came over
his imagination.

"Harkee, commodore," he said, blowing the smoke upward, and watching
it with his eye until it floated away in a little cloud, "neither of
us is a chicken. You have studied life on the fresh water, and I have
studied life on the salt. I do not say which produces the best
scholars, but I know that both make better Christians than the jack-
screw system."

"Just so. I tell them in the village that little is gained in the end
by following the blind; that is my doctrine, sir."

"And a very good doctrine it would prove, I make no doubt, were you
to enter into it a little more fully--"

"Well, sir, I can explain--"

"Not another syllable is necessary. I know what you mean as well as
if I said it myself, and, moreover, short sermons are always the
best. You mean that a pilot ought to know where he is steering, which
is perfectly sound doctrine. My own experience tells me, that if you
press a sturgeon's nose with your foot, it will spring up as soon as
it is loosened. Now the jack-screw will heave a great strain, no
doubt; but the moment it is let up, down comes all that rests on it,
again. This Mr. Dodge, I suppose you know, has been a passenger with
me once or twice?"

"I have heard as much--they say he was tigerish in the fight with the
niggers--quite an out-and-outer."

"Ay, I hear he tells some such story himself; but harkee, commodore,
I wish to do justice to all men, and I find there is very little of
it inland, hereaway. The hero of that day is about to marry your
beautiful Miss Effingham; other men did their duty too, as, for
instance, was the case with Mr. John Effingham; but Paul Blunt-Powis-
Effingham finished the job. As for Mr. Steadfast Dodge, sir, I say
nothing, unless it be to add that he was nowhere near _me_ in
that transaction; and if any man felt like an alligator in Lent, on
that occasion, it was your humble servant."

"Which means that he was not nigh the enemy, I'll swear before a
magistrate."

"And no fear of perjury. Any one who saw Mr. John Effingham and Mr.
Powis on that day, might have sworn that they were father and son,
and any one who _did not see_ Mr. Dodge might have said at once,
that he did not belong to their family. That is all, sir; I never
disparage a passenger, and, therefore, shall say no more than merely
to add, that Mr. Dodge is no warrior."

"They say he has experienced religion, lately, as they call it."

"It is high time, sir, for he had experienced sin quite long enough,
according to my notion. I hear that the man goes up and down the
country disparaging those whose shoe-ties he is unworthy to unloose,
and that he has published some letters in his journal, that are as
false as his heart; but let him beware, lest the world should see,
some rainy day, an extract from a certain log-book belonging to a
ship called the Montauk. I am rejoiced at this marriage after all,
commodore, or marriages rather, for I understand that Mr. Paul
Effingham and Sir George Templemore intend to make a double bowline
of it to-morrow morning. All is arranged, and as soon as my eyes have
witnessed that blessed sight, I shall trip for New-York again."

"It is clearly made out then, that the young gentleman is Mr. John
Effingham's son?"

"As clear as the north-star in a bright night. The fellow who spoke
to me at the Fun of Fire has put us in a way to remove the last
doubt, if there were any doubt. Mr. Effingham himself, who is so
cool-headed and cautious, says there is now sufficient proof to make
it good in any court in America, That point may be set down as
settled, and, for my part, I rejoice it is so, since Mr. John
Effingham has so long passed for an old bachelor, that it is a credit
to the corps to find one of them the father of so noble a son."

Here the commodore dropped his anchor, and the two friends began to
fish. For an hour neither talked much, but having obtained the
necessary stock of perch, they landed at the favourite spring, and
prepared a fry. While seated on the grass, alternating be tween the
potations of punch, and the mastication of fish, these worthies again
renewed the dialogue in their usual discursive, philosophical, and
sentimental manner.

"We are citizens of a surprisingly great country, commodore,"
commenced Mr. Truck, after one of his heaviest draughts; "every body
says it, from Maine to Florida, and what every body says must be
true."

"Just so, sir. I sometimes wonder how so great a country ever came to
produce so little a man as myself."

"A good cow may have a bad calf, and that explains the matter. Have
you many as virtuous and pious women in this part of the world, as
Mrs. Abbott?"

"The hills and valleys are filled with them. You mean persons who
have got so much religion that they have no room for any thing else?"

"I shall mourn to my dying day, that you were not brought up to the
sea! If you discover so much of the right material on fresh-water,
what would you have been on salt? The people who suck in nutriment
from a brain and a conscience like those of Mr. Dodge, too,
commodore, must get, in time, to be surprisingly clear-sighted."

"Just so; his readers soon overreach themselves. But it's of no great
consequence, sir; the people of this part of the world keep nothing
long enough to do much good, or much harm."

"Fond of change, ha?"

"Like unlucky fishermen, always ready to shift the ground. I don't
believe, sir, that in all this region you can find a dozen graves of
sons, that lie near their fathers. Every body seems to have a mortal
aversion to stability,"

"It is hard to love such a country, commodore!"

"Sir, I never try to love it. God has given me a pretty sheet of
water, that suits my fancy and wants, a beautiful sky, fine green
mountains, and I am satisfied. One may love God, in such a temple,
though he love nothing else."

"Well, I suppose if you love nothing, nothing loves you, and no
injustice is done."

"Just, so, sir. Self has got to be the idol, though in the general
scramble a man is sometimes puzzled to know whether he is himself, or
one of the neighbours."

"I wish I knew your political sentiments, commodore; you have been
communicative on all subjects but that, and I have taken up the
notion that you are a true philosopher."

"I hold myself to be but a babe in swaddling-clothes compared to
yourself, sir; but such as my poor opinions are, you are welcome to
them. In the first place, then, sir, I have lived long enough on this
water to know that every man is a lover of liberty in his own person,
and that he has a secret distaste for it in the persons of other
people. Then, sir, I have got to understand that patriotism means
bread and cheese, and that opposition is every man for himself."

"If the truth were known, I believe, commodore, you have buoyed out
the channel!"

"Just so. After being pulled about by the salt of the land, and using
my freeman's privileges at their command, until I got tired of so
much liberty, sir, I have resigned, and retired to private life,
doing most of my own thinking out here on the Otsego-Water, like a
poor slave as I am."

"You ought to be chosen the next President!"

"I owe my present emancipation, sir, to the sogdollager. I first
began to reason about such a man as this Mr. Dodge, who has thrust
himself and his ignorance together into the village, lately, as an
expounder of truth, and a ray of light to the blind. Well, sir, I
said to myself, if this man be the man I know him to be as a man, can
he be any thing better as an editor?"

"That was a home question put to yourself, commodore; how did you
answer it?"

"The answer was satisfactory, sir, to myself, whatever it might be to
other people. I stopped his paper, and set up for myself. Just about
that time the sogdollager nibbled, and instead of trying to be a
great man, over the shoulders of the patriots and sages of the land,
I endeavoured to immortalize myself by hooking him. I go to the
elections now, for that I feel to be a duty, but instead of allowing
a man like this Mr. Dodge to tell me how to vote, I vote for the man
in public that I would trust in private."

"Excellent! I honour you more and more every minute I pass in your
society. We will now drink to the future happiness of those who will
become brides and bridegrooms to-morrow. If all men were as
philosophical and as learned as you, commodore, the human race would
be in a fairer way than they are to-day."

"Just so; I drink to them with all my heart. Is it not surprising,
sir, that people like Mrs. Abbott and Mr. Dodge should have it in
their power to injure such as those whose happiness we have just had
the honour of commemorating in advance?"

"Why, commodore, a fly may bite an elephant, if he can find a weak
spot in his hide. I do not altogether understand the history of the
marriage of John Effingham, myself; but we see the issue of it has
been a fine son. Now I hold that when a man fairly marries, he is
bound to own it, the same as any other crime; for he owes it to those
who have not been as guilty as himself, to show the world that he no
longer belongs to them."

"Just so; but we have flies in this part of the world that will bite
through the toughest hide."

"That comes from there being no quarter-deck in your social ship,
commodore. Now aboard of a well-regulated packet, all the thinking is
done aft; they who are desirous of knowing whereabouts the vessel is,
being compelled to wait till the observations are taken, or to sit
down in their ignorance. The whole difficulty comes from the fact
that sensible people live so far apart in this quarter of the world,
that fools have more room than should fall to their share. You
understand me, commodore?"

"Just so," said the commodore, laughing, and winking. "Well, it is
fortunate that there are some people who are not quite as weak-minded
as some other people. I take it, Captain Truck, that you will be
present at the wedding?"

The captain now winked in his turn, looked around him to make sure no
one was listening, and laying a finger on his nose, he answered, in a
much lower key than was usual for him--

"You can keep a secret, I know, commodore. Now what I have to say is
not to be told to Mrs. Abbott, in order that it may be repeated and
multiplied, but is to be kept as snug as your bait, in the bait-box."

"You know your man, sir."

"Well then, about ten minutes before the clock strikes nine, to-
morrow morning, do you slip into the gallery of New St. Paul's, and
you shall see beauty and modesty, when 'unadorned, adorned the most.'
You comprehend?"

"Just so," and the hand was flourished even more than usual.

"It does not become us bachelors to be too lenient to matrimony, but
I should be an unhappy man, were I not to witness the marriage of
Paul Powis to Eve Effingham."

Here both the worthies, "freshened the nip," as Captain Truck called
it, and then the conversation soon got to be too philosophical and
contemplative for this unpretending record of events and ideas.

Chapter XXIX

  "Then plainly know, my heart's dear love is set On the fair
  daughter of rich Capulet; As mine on hers, so hers is set on mine;
  And all combined, save what thou must confine By holy marriage."

  ROMEO AND JULIET.

The morning chosen for the nuptials of Eve and Grace arrived, and all
the inmates of the Wigwam were early afoot, though the utmost care
had been taken to prevent the intelligence of the approaching
ceremony from getting into the village. They little knew, however,
how closely they were watched; the mean artifices that were resorted
to by some who called themselves their neighbours, to tamper with
servants, to obtain food for conjecture, and to justify to themselves
their exaggerations, falsehoods, and frauds. The news did leak out,
as will presently be seen, and through a channel that may cause the
reader, who is unacquainted with some of the peculiarities of
American life, a little surprise.

We have frequently alluded to Annette, the _femme de chambre_
that had followed Eve from Europe, although we have had no occasion
to dwell on her character, which was that of a woman of her class, as
they are well known to exist in France. Annette was young, had
bright, sparkling black eyes, was well made, and had the usual
tournure and manner of a Parisian grisette. As it is the besetting
weakness of all provincial habits to mistake graces for grace,
flourishes for elegance, and exaggeration for merit, Annette soon
acquired a reputation in her circle, as a woman of more than usual
claims to distinction. Her attire was in the height of the fashion,
being of Eve's cast-off clothes, and of the best materials, and
attire is also a point that is not without its influence on those who
are unaccustomed to the world.

As the double ceremony was to take place before breakfast, Annette
was early employed about the person of her young mistress, adorning
it in the bridal robes. While she worked at her usual employment, the
attendant appeared unusually agitated, and several times pins were
badly pointed, and new arrangements had to supersede or to supply the
deficiencies of her mistakes. Eve was always a model of patience, and
she bore with these little oversights with a quiet that would have
given Paul an additional pledge of her admirable self-command, as
well as of a sweetness of temper that, in truth, raised her almost
above the commoner feelings of mortality.

"_Vous êtes un peu agitée, ce matin, ma bonne Annette_," she
merely observed, when her maid had committed a blunder more material
than common.

"_J'espère que Mademoiselle a été contente de moi, jusqu' à
present_," returned Annette, vexed with her own awkwardness, and
speaking in the manner in which it is usual to announce an intention
to quit a service.

"Certainly, Annette, you have conducted yourself well, and are very
expert in your _métier_. But why do you ask this question, just
at this moment?"

"_Parceque_--because--with mademoiselle's permission, I intended
to ask for my _congé_."

"_Congé_! Do you think of quitting me, Annette?"

"It would make me happier than anything else to die in the service of
mademoiselle, but we are all subject to our destiny"--the
conversation was in French--"and mine compels me to cease my services
as a _femme de chambre_."

"This is a sudden, and for one in a strange country, an extraordinary
resolution. May I ask, Annette, what you propose to do?"

Here, the woman gave herself certain airs, endeavoured to blush, did
look at the carpet with a studied modesty that might have deceived
one who did not know the genus, and announced her intention to get
married, too, at the end of the present month.

"Married!" repeated Eve--"surely not to old Pierre, Annette!"

"Pierre, Mademoiselle! I shall not condescend to look at Pierre.
_Je vais me marier avec un avocat_."

"_Un avocat_!"

"_Oui, Mademoiselle_. I will marry myself with Monsieur
Aristabule Bragg, if Mademoiselle shall permit."

Eve was perfectly mute with astonishment, notwithstanding the proofs
she had often seen of the wide range that the ambition of an American
of a certain class allows itself. Of course, she remembered the
conversation on the Point, and it would not have been in nature, had
not a mistress who had been so lately wooed, felt some surprise at
finding her discarded suitor so soon seeking consolation in the
smiles of her own maid. Still her surprise was less than that which
the reader will probably experience at this announcement; for, as has
just been said, she had seen too much of the active and pliant
enterprise of the lover, to feel much wonder at any of his moral
_tours de force_. Even Eve, however, was not perfectly acquainted
with the views and policy that had led Aristabulus to seek this
consummation to his matrimonial schemes, which must be explained
explicitly, in order that they may be properly understood.

Mr. Bragg had no notion of any distinctions in the world, beyond
those which came from money, and political success. For the first he
had a practical deference that was as profound as his wishes for its
enjoyments; and for the last he felt precisely the sort of reverence,
that one educated under a feudal system, would feel for a feudal
lord. The first, after several unsuccessful efforts, he had found
unattainable by means of matrimony, and he turned his thoughts
towards Annette, whom he had for some months held in reserve, in the
event of his failing with Eve and Grace, for on both these heiresses
had he entertained designs, as a _pis aller_. Annette was a
dress-maker of approved taste, her person was sufficiently
attractive, her broken English gave piquancy to thoughts of no great
depth, she was of a suitable age, and he had made her proposals and
been accepted, as soon as it was ascertained that Eve and Grace were
irretrievably lost to him. Of course, the Parisienne did not hesitate
an instant about becoming the wife of _un avocat;_ for,
agreeably to her habits, matrimony was a legitimate means of
bettering her condition in life. The plan was soon arranged. They
were to be married as soon as Annette's month's notice had expired,
and then they were to emigrate to the far west, where Mr. Bragg
proposed to practise law, or keep school, or to go to Congress, or to
turn trader, or to saw lumber, or, in short, to turn his hand to any
thing that offered; while Annette was to help along with the _ménage_,
by making dresses, and teaching French; the latter occupation
promising to be somewhat peripatetic, the population being
scattered, and few of the dwellers in the interior deeming it
necessary to take more than a quarter's instruction in any of the
higher branches of education; the object being to _study_, as it
is called, and not to _know_. Aristabulus, who was filled with
_go-aheadism_, would have shortened the delay, but this Annette
positively resisted; her _esprit de corps_ as a servant, and all
her notions of justice, repudiating the notion that the connexion
which had existed so long between Eve and herself, was to be cut off
at a moment's warning. So diametrically were the ideas of the
_fiancés_ opposed to each other, on this point, that at one time it
threatened a rupture, Mr. Bragg asserting the natural independence of
man to a degree that would have rendered him independent of all
obligations that were not effectually enacted by the law, and Annette
maintaining the dignity of a European _femme de chambre,_ whose
sense of propriety demanded that she should not quit her place
without giving a month's warning. The affair was happily decided by
Aristabulus's receiving a commission to tend a store, in the absence
of its owner; Mr. Effingham, on a hint from his daughter, having
profited by the annual expiration of the engagement, to bring their
connexion to an end.

This termination to the passion of Mr. Bragg would have afforded Eve
a good deal of amusement at any other moment; but a bride cannot be
expected to give too much of her attention to the felicity and
prospects of those who have no natural or acquired claims to her
affection. The cousins met, attired for the ceremony, in Mr.
Effingham's room, where he soon came in person, to lead them to the
drawing-room. It is seldom that two more lovely young women are
brought together on similar occasions. As Mr. Effingham stood between
them, holding a hand of each, his moistened eyes turned from one to
the other in honest pride, and in an admiration that even his
tenderness could not restrain. The _toilettes_ were as simple as
the marriage ceremony will permit; for it was intended that there
should be no unnecessary parade; and, perhaps, the delicate beauty of
each of the brides was rendered the more attractive by this
simplicity, as it has often been justly remarked, that the fair of
this country are more winning in dress of a less conventional
character, than when in the elaborate and regulated attire of
ceremonies. As might have been expected, there was most of soul and
feeling in Eve's countenance, though Grace wore an air of charming
modesty and nature. Both were unaffected, simple and graceful, and we
may add that both trembled as Mr. Effingham took their hands.

"This is a pleasing and yet a painful hour," said that kind and
excellent man; "one in which I gain a son, and lose a daughter."

"And _I_, dearest uncle," exclaimed Grace, whose feelings
trembled on her eye-lids, like the dew ready to drop from the leaf,
"have _I_ no connexion with your feelings?"

"You are the daughter that I lose, my child, for Eve will still
remain with me. But Templemore has promised to be grateful, and I
will trust his word."

Mr. Effingham then embraced with fervour both the charming young
women, who stood apparelled for the most important event of their
lives, lovely in their youth, beauty, innocence, and modesty; and
taking an arm of each, he led them below. John Effingham, the two
bridegrooms, Captain Ducie, Mr. and Mrs. Bloomfield, Mrs. Hawker,
Captain Truck, Mademoiselle Viefville, Annette, and Ann Sidley, were
all assembled in the drawing-room, ready to receive them; and as soon
as shawls were thrown around Eve and Grace, in order to conceal the
wedding dresses, the whole party proceeded to the church.

The distance between the Wigwam and New St. Paul's was very trifling,
the solemn pines of the church-yard blending, from many points, with
the gayer trees in the grounds of the former; and as the buildings in
this part of the village were few, the whole of the bridal train
entered the tower, unobserved by the eyes of the curious. The
clergyman was waiting in the chancel, and as each of the young men
led the object of his choice immediately to the altar, the double
ceremony began without delay. At this instant Mr. Aristabulus Dodge
and Mrs. Abbot advanced from the rear of the gallery, and coolly took
their seats in its front. Neither belonged to this particular church,
though, having discovered that the marriages were to take place that
morning by means of Annette, they had no scruples on the score of
delicacy about thrusting themselves forward on the occasion; for, to
the latest moment, that publicity-principle which appeared to be
interwoven with their very natures, induced them to think that
nothing was so sacred as to be placed beyond the reach of curiosity.
They entered the church, because the church they held to be a public
place, precisely on the principle that others of their class conceive
if a gate be blown open by accident, it removes all the moral
defences against trespassers, as it removes the physical.

The solemn language of the prayers and vows proceeded none the less
for the presence of these unwelcome intruders; for, at that grave
moment, all other thoughts were hushed in those that more properly
belonged to the scene. When the clergyman made the usual appeal to
know if any man could give a reason why those who stood before him
should not be united in holy wedlock, Mrs. Abbott nudged Mr. Dodge,
and, in the fulness of her discontent, eagerly inquired in a whisper,
if it were not possible to raise some valid objection. Could she have
had her pious wish, the simple, unpretending, meek, and _church_-going
Eve, should never be married. But the editor was not a man to act
openly in any thing, his particular province lying in insinuations
and innuendoes. As a hint would not now be available, he determined
to postpone his revenge to a future day. We say revenge, for
Steadfast was of the class that consider any happiness, or
advantage, in which they are not ample participators, wrongs done to
themselves.

That is a wise regulation of the church, which makes the marriage
ceremony brief, for the intensity of the feelings it often creates
would frequently become too powerful to be suppressed, were it
unnecessarily prolonged. Mr. Effingham gave away both the brides, the
one in the quality of parent, the other in that of guardian, and
neither of the bridegrooms got the ring on the wrong finger. This is
all we have to of the immediate scene at the altar. As soon as the
benediction was pronounced, and the brides were released from the
first embraces of their husbands, Mr. Effingham, without even kissing
Eve, threw the shawls over their shoulders, and, taking an arm of
each, he led them rapidly from the church, for he felt reluctant to
suffer the holy feelings that were uppermost in his heart to be the
spectacle of rude and obtrusive observers. At the door, he
relinquished Eve to Paul, and Grace to Sir George, with a silent
pressure of the hand of each, and signed for them to proceed towards
the Wigwam. He was obeyed, and in less than half an hour from the
time they had left the drawing-room, the whole party was again
assembled in it.

What a change had been produced in the situation of so many, in that
brief interval!

"Father!" Eve whispered, while Mr. Effingham folded her to his heart,
the unbidden tears falling from both their eyes--"I am still thine!"

"It would break my heart to think otherwise, darling. No, no--I have
not lost a daughter, but have gained a son."

"And what place am I to occupy in this scene of fondness?" inquired
John Effingham, who had considerately paid his compliments to Grace
first, that she might not feel forgotten at such a moment, and who
had so managed that, she was now receiving the congratulations of the
rest of the party; "am I to lose both son and daughter?"

Eve, smiling sweetly through her tears, raised herself from her own
father's arms, and was received in those of her husband's parent.
After he had fondly kissed her forehead several times, without
withdrawing from his bosom, she parted the rich hair on his forehead,
passing her hand down his face, like an infant, and said softly--

"Cousin Jack!"

"I believe this must be my rank and estimation still Paul shall make
no difference in our feeling; we will love each other as we have ever
done."

"Paul can be nothing new between you and me. You have always been a
second father in my eyes, and in my heart, too, dear--dear cousin
Jack."

John Effingham pressed the beautiful, ardent, blushing girl to his
bosom again; and as he did so, both felt, notwithstanding their
language, that a new and dearer tie than ever bound them together.
Eve now received the compliments of the rest of the party, when the
two brides retired to change the dresses in which they had appeared
at the altar, for their more ordinary attire.

In her own dressing-room, Eve found Ann Sidley, waiting with
impatience to pour out her feelings, the honest and affectionate
creature being much too sensitive to open the floodgates of her
emotions in the presence of third parties.

"Ma'am--Miss Eve--Mrs. Effingham!" she exclaimed as soon as her young
mistress entered, afraid of saying too much, now that her nursling
had become a married woman.

"My kind and good Nanny!" said Eve, taking her old nurse in her arms,
their tears mingling in silence for near a minute. "You have seen
your child enter on the last of her great earthly engagements, Nanny,
and I know you pray that they may prove happy."

"I do--I do--I do--ma'am--madam--Miss Eve--what am I to call you in
future, ma'am?"

"Call me Miss Eve, as you have done since my childhood, dearest
Nanny."

Nanny received this permission with delight, and twenty times that
morning she availed herself of the permission; and she continued to
use the term until, two years later, she danced a miniature Eve on
her knee, as she had done its mother before her, when matronly rank
began silently to assert its rights, and our present bride became
Mrs. Effingham.

"I shall not quit you, ma'am, now that you are married?" Ann Sidley
timidly asked; for, although she could scarcely think such an event
within the bounds of probability, and Eve had already more than once
assured her of the contrary with her own tongue, still did she love
to have assurance made doubly sure. "I hope nothing will ever happen
to make me quit you, ma'am?"

"Nothing of that sort, with my consent, ever shall happen, my
excellent Nanny. And now that Annette is about to get married, I
shall have more than the usual necessity for your services."

"And Mamerzelle, ma'am?" inquired Nanny, with sparkling eyes; "I
suppose she, too, will return to her own country, now you know every
thing, and have no farther occasion for her?"

"Mademoiselle Viefville will return to France in the autumn, but it
will be with us all; for my dear father, cousin Jack, my husband--"
Eve blushed as she pronounced the novel word--"and myself, not
forgetting you my old nurse, will all sail for England, with Sir
George and Lady Templemore, on our way to Italy, the first week in
October."

"I care not, ma'am, so that I go with you. I would rather we did not
live in a country where I cannot understand all that the people say
to you, but wherever you are will be my earthly paradise."

Eve kissed the true-hearted woman, and, Annette entering, she changed
her dress.

The two brides met at the head of the great stairs, on their way back
to the drawing-room. Eve was a little in advance, but, with a half-
concealed smile, she gave way to Grace, curtsying gravely, and
saying--

"It does not become _me_ to precede Lady Templemore--I, who am
only Mrs. Paul Effingham."

"Nay, dear Eve, I am not so weak as you imagine. Do you not think I
should have married him had he not been a baronet?"

"Templemore, my dear coz, is a man any woman might love, and I
believe, as firmly as I hope it sincerely, that he will make you
happy."

"And yet there is one woman who would not love him, Eve!"

Eve looked steadily at her cousin for a moment, was startled, and
then she felt gratified that Sir George had been so honest, for the
frankness and manliness of his avowal was a pledge of the good faith
and sincerity of his character. She took her cousin affectionately by
the hand, and said--

"Grace, this confidence is the highest compliment you can pay me, and
it merits a return. That Sir George Templemore may have had a passing
inclination for one who so little deserved it, is possibly true--but
my affections were another's before I knew him."

"You never would have married Templemore, Eve; he says himself, now,
that you are quite too continental, as he calls it, to like an
Englishman."

"Then I shall take the first good occasion to undeceive him; for I do
_like_ an Englishman, and he is the identical man."

As few women are jealous on their wedding-day, Grace took this in
good part, and they descended the stairs together, side by side,
reflecting each other's happiness, in their timid but conscious
smiles. In the great hall, they were met by the bridegrooms, and each
taking the arm of him who had now become of so vast importance to
her, they paced the room to and fro, until summoned to the _déjéuner
à la fourchette_, which had been prepared under the especial
superintendence of Mademoiselle Viefville, after the manner
of her country.

Wedding-days, like all formally prepared festivals, are apt to go off
a little heavily. Such, however, was not the case with this, for
every appearance of premeditation and preparation vanished with this
meal. It is true the family did not quit the grounds, but, with this
exception, ease and tranquil happiness reigned throughout. Captain
Truck was alone disposed to be sentimental, and, more than once, as
he looked about him, he expressed his doubts whether he had pursued
the right course to attain happiness,

"I find myself in a solitary category," he said, at the dinner-
table, in the evening. "Mrs. Hawker, and both the Messrs.
Effinghams, _have been_ married; every body else _is_ married, and I
believe I must take refuge in saying that I _will be_ married, if I
can now persuade any one to have me. Even Mr. Powis, my right-hand
man, in all that African affair, has deserted me, and left me like a
single dead pine in one of your clearings, or a jewel-block dangling
at a yard-arm, without a sheave. Mrs. Bride--" the captain styled
Eve thus, throughout the day, to the utter neglect of the claims of
Lady Templemore--"Mrs. Bride, we will consider my forlorn condition
more philosophically, when I shall have the honour to take you, and
so many of this blessed party, back again to Europe, where I found
you. Under your advice I think I might even yet venture."

"And I am overlooked entirely," cried Mr. Howel, who had been invited
to make one at the wedding-feast; "what is to become of me, Captain
Truck, if this marrying mania go any further?"

"I have long had a plan for your welfare, my dear sir, that I will
take this opportunity to divulge; I propose, ladies and gentlemen,
that we enlist Mr. Howel in our project for this autumn, and that we
carry him with us to Europe. I shall be proud to have the honour of
introducing him to his old friend, the island of Great Britain."

"Ah! that is a happiness, I fear, that is not in reserve for me!"
said Mr. Howel, shaking his head. "I have thought of these things, in
my time, but age will now defeat any such hopes."

"Age, Tom Howel!" said John Effingham; "you are but fifty, like Ned
and myself. We were all boys together, forty years ago, and yet you
find us, who have so lately returned, ready to take a fresh
departure. Pluck up heart; there may be a steam-boat ready to bring
you back, by the time you wish to return."

"Never," said Captain Truck, positively. "Ladies and gentlemen, it is
morally impossible that the Atlantic should ever be navigated by
steamers. That doctrine I shall maintain to my dying day; but what
need of a steamer, when we have packets like palaces?"

"I did not know, captain, that you entertained so hearty a respect
for Great Britain--it is encouraging, really, to find so generous a
feeling toward the old island in one of her descendants. Sir George
and Lady Templemore, permit me to drink to your lasting felicity."

"Ay--ay--I entertain no ill-will to England, though her tobacco laws
are none of the genteelest. But my wish to export you, Mr. Howel, is
less from a desire to show you England, than to let you perceive that
there are other countries in Europe--"

"Other countries!--Surely you do not suppose I am so ignorant of
geography, as to believe that there are no other countries in
Europe--no such places as Hanover, Brunswick, and Brunswick
Lunenberg, and Denmark; the sister of old George the Third married
the king of that country; and Wurtemberg, the king of which married
the Princess Royal--"

"And Mecklenburg-Strelitz," added John Effingham, gravely, "a
princess of which actually married George the Third _propriâ
personâ_, as well as by proxy. Nothing can be plainer than your
geography, Howel; but, in addition to these particular regions, our
worthy friend the captain wishes you to know also, that there are
such places as France, and Austria, and Russia, and Italy; though the
latter can scarcely repay a man for the trouble of visiting it."

"You have guessed my motive, Mr. John Effingham, and expressed it
much more discreetly than I could possibly have done," cried the
captain. "If Mr. Howel will do me the honour to take passage with me,
going and coming, I shall consider the pleasure of his remarks on men
and things, as one of the greatest advantages I ever possessed."

"I do not know but I might be induced to venture as far as England,
but not a foot farther."

"_Pas à Paris!_" exclaimed Mademoiselle Viefville, who wondered
why any rational being would take the trouble to cross the Atlantic,
merely to see _Ce melancolique Londres;_ "you will go to _Paris_,
for my sake, Monsieur Howel?"

"For your sake, indeed, Mam'selle, I would do any thing, but hardly
for my own. I confess I have thought of this, and I will think of it
farther. I should like to see the King of England and the House of
Lords, I confess, before I die."

"Ay, and the Tower, and the Boar's-Head at East-Cheap, and the statue
of the Duke of Wellington, and London Bridge, and Richmond Hill, and
Bow Street, and Somerset House, and Oxford Road, and Bartlemy Fair,
and Hungerford Market, and Charing-Cross--_old_ Charing-Cross,
Tom Howel!"--added John Effingham, with a good-natured nod of the
head.

"A wonderful nation!" cried Mr. Howel, whose eyes sparkled as the
other proceeded in his enumeration of wonders. "I do not think, after
all, that I can die in peace, without seeing _some_ of these
things--_all_ would be too much for me. How far is the Isle of
Dogs, now, from St. Catherine's Docks, captain?"

"Oh! but a few cables' lengths. If you will only stick to the ship
until she is fairly docked, I will promise you a sight of the Isle of
Dogs before you land, even. But then you must promise me to carry out
no tobacco!"

"No fear of me; I neither smoke nor chew, and it does not surprise me
that a nation as polished as the English should have this antipathy
to tobacco. And one might really see the Isle of Dogs before landing?
It _is_ a wonderful country! Mrs. Bloomfield, will you ever be
able to die tranquilly without seeing England?"

"I hope, sir, whenever that event shall arrive, that it may be met
tranquilly, let what may happen previously. I do confess, in common
with Mrs. Effingham, a longing desire to see Italy; a wish that I
believe she entertains from her actual knowledge, and which I
entertain from my anticipations."

"Now, this really surprises me. What _can_ Italy possess to
repay one for the trouble of travelling so far?"

"I trust, cousin Jack," said Eve, colouring at the sound of her own
voice, for on that day of supreme happiness and intense emotions, she
had got to be so sensitive as to be less self-possessed than common,
"that our friend Mr. Wenham will not be forgotten, but that he may be
invited to join the party."

This representative of _la jeune Amérique_ was also present at
the dinner, out of regard to his deceased father, who was a very old
friend of Mr. Effingham's, and, being so favourably noticed by the
bride, he did not fail to reply.

"I believe an American has little to learn from any nation but his
own," observed Mr. Wenham, with the complacency of the school to
which he belonged, "although one might wish that all of this country
should travel, in order that the rest of the world might have the
benefit of the intercourse."

"It is a thousand pities," said John Effingham, "that one of our
universities, for instance, was not ambulant. Old Yale was so, in its
infancy; but unlike most other creatures, it went about with greater
ease to itself when a child, than it can move in manhood."

"Mr. John Effingham loves to be facetious," said Mr. Wenham with
dignity; for, while he was as credulous as could be wished, on the
subject of American superiority, he was not quite as blind as the
votaries of the Anglo-American school, who usually yield the control
of all their faculties and common sense to their masters, on the
points connected with their besetting weaknesses. "Every body is
agreed, I believe, that the American imparts more than he receives,
in his intercourse with Europeans."

The smiles of the more experienced of this young man's listeners were
well-bred and concealed, and the conversation turned to other
subjects. It was easy to raise the laugh on such an occasion, and
contrary to the usage of the Wigwam, where the men usually left the
table with the other sex, Captain Truck, John Effingham, Mr.
Bloomfield, and Mr. Howel, made what is called a night of it. Much
delicious claret was consumed, and the honest captain was permitted
to enjoy his cigar. About midnight he swore he had half a mind to
write a letter to Mrs. Hawker, with an offer of his hand; as for his
heart, that she well knew she had possessed for a long time.

The next day, about the hour when the house was tranquil, from the
circumstance that most of its inmates were abroad on their several
avocations of boating, riding, shopping, or walking, Eve was in the
library, her father having left it, a few minutes before, to mount
his horse. She was seated at a table, writing a letter to an aged
relative of her own sex, to communicate the circumstance of her
marriage. The door was half open, and Paul appeared at it
unexpectedly, coming in search of his young bride. His step had been
so light, and so intently was our heroine engaged with her letter,
that his approach was unnoticed, though it had now been a long time
that the ear of Eve had learned to know his tread, and her heart to
beat at its welcome sound. Perhaps a beautiful woman is never so
winningly lovely as when, in her neat morning attire, she seems fresh
and sweet as the new-born day. Eve had paid a little more attention
to her toilette than usual even, admitting just enough of a properly
selected jewelry, a style of ornament, that so singularly denotes the
refinement of a gentlewoman, when used understandingly, and which so
infallibly betrays vulgarity under other circumstances, while her
attire had rather more than its customary finish, though it was
impossible not to perceive, at a glance, that she was in an undress.
The Parisian skill of Annette, on which Mr. Bragg based so many of
his hopes of future fortune, had cut and fitted the robe to her
faultlessly beautiful person, with a tact, or it might be truer to
say a contact, so perfect, that it even left more charms to be
imagined than it displayed, though the outline of the whole figure
was that of the most lovely womanhood. But, notwithstanding the
exquisite modelling of the whole form, the almost fairy lightness of
the full, swelling, but small foot, about which nothing seemed lean
and attenuated, the exquisite hand that appeared from among the
ruffles of the dress, Paul stood longest in nearly breathless
admiration of the countenance of his "bright and blooming bride."
Perhaps there is no sentiment so touchingly endearing to a man, as
that which comes over him as he contemplates the beauty, confiding
faith, holy purity and truth that shine in the countenance of a
young, unpractised, innocent woman, when she has so far overcome her
natural timidity as to pour out her tenderness in his behalf, and to
submit to the strongest impulses of her nature. Such was now the fact
with Eve. She was writing of her husband, and, though her expressions
were restrained by taste and education, they partook of her
unutterable fondness and devotion. The tears stood in her eyes, the
pen trembled in her hand, and she shaded her face as if to conceal
the weakness from herself. Paul was alarmed, he knew not why, but Eve
in tears was a sight painful to him. In a moment he was at her side,
with an arm placed gently around her waist, and he drew her fondly
towards his bosom.

"Eve--dearest Eve!" he said--"what mean these tears?"

The serene eye, the radiant blush, and the meek tenderness that
rewarded his own burst of feeling, reassured the young husband, and,
deferring to the sensitive modesty of so young a bride, he released
hold, retaining only a hand.

"It is happiness, Powis--nothing but excess of happiness, which makes
us women weaker, I fear, than even sorrow."

Paul kissed her hands, regarded her with an intensity of admiration,
before which the eyes of Eve rose and fell, as if dazzled while
meeting his looks, and yet unwilling to lose them; and then he
reverted to the motive which had brought him to the library.

"My father--_your_ father, that is now--"

"Cousin Jack!"

"Cousin Jack, if you will, has just made me a present, which is
second only to the greater gift I received from your own excellent
parent, yesterday, at the altar. See, dearest Eve, he has bestowed
this lovely image of yourself on me; lovely, though still so far from
the truth. And here is the miniature of my poor mother, also, to
supply the place of the one carried away by the Arabs."

Eve gazed long and wistfully at the beautiful features of this image
of her husband's mother. She traced in them that pensive thought,
that winning kindness, that had first softened her heart towards
Paul, and her lips trembled as she pressed the insensible glass
against them.

"She must have been very handsome, Eve, and there is a look of
melancholy tenderness in the face, that would seem almost to predict
an unhappy blighting of the affections."

"And yet this young, ingenuous, faithful woman entered on the solemn
engagement we have just made, Paul, with as many reasonable hopes of
a bright future as we ourselves!"

"Not so, Eve--confidence and holy truth were wanting at the nuptials
of my parents. When there is deception at the commencement of such a
contract, it is not difficult to predict the end."

"I do not think, Paul, you ever deceived; that noble heart of yours
is too generous!"

"If any thing can make a man worthy of such a love, dearest, it is
the perfect and absorbing confidence with which your sex throw
themselves on the justice and faith of ours. Did that spotless heart
ever entertain a doubt of the worth of any living being on which It
had set its affections?"

"Of itself, often, and they say self-love lies at the bottom of all
our actions."

"You are the last person to hold this doctrine, beloved, for those
who live most in your confidence declare that all traces of self are
lost in your very nature."

"Most in my confidence! My father--- my dear, kind father, has then
been betraying his besetting weakness, by extolling the gift he has
made."

"Your kind, excellent father, knows too well the total want of
necessity for any such thing. If the truth must be confessed, I have
been passing a quarter of an hour with worthy Ann Sidley."

"Nanny--dear old Nanny!--and you have been weak enough, traitor, to
listen to the eulogiums of a nurse on her child!"

"All praise of thee, my blessed Eve, is grateful to my ears, and who
can speak more understandingly of those domestic qualities which lie
at the root of domestic bliss, than those who have seen you in your
most intimate life, from childhood down to the moment when you have
assumed the duties of a wife?"

"Paul, Paul, thou art beside thyself; too much learning hath made
thee mad!"

"I am not mad, most beloved and beautiful Eve, but blessed to a
degree that might indeed upset a stronger reason."

"We will now talk of other things," said Eve, raising his hand to her
lips in respectful affection, and looking gratefully up into his fond
and eloquent eyes; "I hope the feeling of which you so lately spoke
has subsided, and that you no longer feel yourself a stranger in the
dwelling of your own family."

"Now that I can claim a right through you, I confess that my
conscience is getting to be easier on this point. Have you been yet
told of the arrangement that the older heads meditate in reference to
our future means?"

"I would not listen to my dear father when he wished to introduce the
subject, for I found that it was a project that made distinctions
between Paul Effingham and Eve Effingham, two that I wish,
henceforth, to consider as one in all things."

"In this, darling, you may do yourself injustice as well as me. But
perhaps you may not wish _me_ to speak on the subject, neither."

"What would my lord?"

"Then listen, and the tale is soon told. We are each other's natural
heirs. Of the name and blood of Effingham, neither has a relative
nearer than the other, for, though but cousins in the third degree,
our family is so small as to render the husband, in this case, the
natural heir of the wife, and the wife the natural heir of the
husband. Now your father proposes that his estates be valued, and
that my father settle on you a sum of equal amount, which his wealth,
will fully enable him to do, and that I become the possessor in
reversion, of the lands that would otherwise have been yours."

"You possess me, my heart, my affections, my duty; of what account is
money after this!"

"I perceive that you are so much and so truly woman, Eve, that we
must arrange all this without consulting you at all."

"Can I be in safer hands? A father that has always been too indulgent
of my unreasonable wishes--a second parent that has only contributed
too much to spoil me in the same thoughtless manner--and a----"

"Husband," added Paul, perceiving that Eve hesitated at pronouncing
to his face a name so novel though so endearing, "who will strive to
do more than either in the same way."

"Husband," she added, looking up into his face with a smile innocent
as that of an infant, while the crimson tinge covered her forehead,
"if the formidable word must be uttered, who is doing all he can to
increase a self-esteem that is already so much greater than it ought
to be."

A light tap at the door caused Eve to start and look embarrassed,
like one detected in a fault, and Paul to release the hand that he
had continued to hold during the brief dialogue.

"Sir--ma'am"--said the timid, meek voice of Ann Sidley, as she held
the door ajar, without presuming to look into the room; "Miss Eve--
Mr. Powis."

"Enter, my good Nanny," said Eve, recovering her self-composure in a
moment, the presence of her nurse always appearing to her as no more
than a duplication of herself. "What is your wish?"

"I hope I am not unreasonable, but I knew that Mr. Effingham was
alone with you, here, and I wished--that is, ma'am,--Miss Eve--Sir--"

"Speak your wishes, my good old nurse--am I not your own child, and
is not this your own child's"--again Eve hesitated, blushed, and
smiled, ere she pronounced the formidable word--"husband."

"Yes, ma'am; and God be praised that it is so. I dreamt, it is now
four years, Miss Eve; we were then travelling among the Denmarkers,
and I dreamt that you were married to a great prince--"

"But your dream has not come true, my good Nanny, and you see by this
fact that it is not always safe to trust in dreams."

"Ma'am, I do not esteem princes by the kingdoms and crowns, but by
their qualities--and if Mr. Powis be not a prince, who is?"

"That, indeed, changes the matter," said the gratified young wife;
"and I believe, after all, dear Nanny, that I must become a convert
to your theory of dreams."

"While I must always deny it, good Mrs Sidley, if this is a specimen
of its truth," said Paul, laughing. "But, perhaps this prince proved
unworthy of Miss Eve, after all?"

"Not he, sir; he made her a most kind and affectionate husband; not
humouring all her idle wishes, if Miss Eve could have had such
wishes, but cherishing her, and counselling her, and protecting her,
showing as much tenderness for her as her own father, and as much
love for her as I had myself."

"In which case, my worthy nurse, he proved an invaluable husband,"
said Eve, with glistening eyes--"and I trust, too, that he was
considerate and friendly to you?"

"He took me by the hand, the morning after the marriage, and said,
Faithful Ann Sidley, you have nursed and attended my beloved when a
child, and as a young lady; and I now entreat you will continue to
wait on and serve her as a wife to your dying day. He did, indeed,
ma'am; and I think I can now hear the very words he spoke so kindly.
The dream, so far, has come good."

"My faithful Ann," said Paul, smiling, and taking the hand of the
nurse, "you have been all that is good and true to my best beloved,
as a child, and as a young lady; and now I earnestly entreat you to
continue to wait on her, and to serve her as _my_ wife, to your
dying day."

Nanny clapped her hands with a scream of delight, and bursting into
tears, she exclaimed, as she hurried from the room,

"It has all come true--it has all come true!"

A pause of several minutes succeeded this burst of superstitious but
natural feeling.

"All who live near you appear to think you the common centre of their
affections," Paul resumed; when his swelling heart permitted him to
speak.

"We have hitherto been a family of love--God grant it may always
continue so."

Another delicious silence, which lasted still longer than the other,
followed. Eve then looked up into her husband's face with a gentle
curiosity, and observed--

"You have told me a great deal, Powis--explained all but one little
thing, that, at the time, caused me great pain. Why did Ducie, when
you were about to quit the Montauk together, so unceremoniously stop
you, as you were about to get into the boat first; is the etiquette
of a man-of-war so rigid as to justify so much rudeness, I had almost
called it--?"

"The etiquette of a vessel of war is rigid certainly, and wisely so.
But what you fancied rudeness, was in truth a compliment. Among us
sailors, it is the inferior who goes first _into_ a boat, and
who _quits_ it last."

"So much, then, for forming a judgment, ignorantly! I believe it is
always safer to have no opinion, than to form one without a perfect
knowledge of all the accompanying circumstances."

"Let us adhere to this safe rule through life, dearest, and we may
find its benefits. An absolute confidence, caution in drawing
conclusions, and a just reliance on each other, may keep us as happy
to the end of our married life, as we are at this blessed moment,
when it is commencing under auspices so favourable as to seem almost
providential."





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