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Title: Mind Amongst the Spindles
Author: Various
Language: English
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  A Miscellany,








  [Illustration: DOW AND JACKSON'S PRESS]


  INTRODUCTION.   By the English Editor                               5

  Abby's Year in Lowell                                              21

  The First Wedding in Salmagundi                                    28

  "Bless, and curse not"                                             32

  Ancient Poetry                                                     33

  The Spirit of Discontent                                           36

  The Whortleberry Excursion                                         38

  The Western Antiquities                                            43

  The Fig Tree                                                       45

  Village Pastors                                                    49

  The Sugar-Making Excursion                                         61

  Prejudice against Labor                                            65

  Joan of Arc                                                        73

  Susan Miller                                                       81

  Scenes on the Merrimac                                             92

  The First Bells                                                   100

  Evening before Pay-Day                                            108

  The Indian Pledge                                                 118

  The First Dish of Tea                                             120

  Leisure Hours of the Mill Girls                                   122

  The Tomb of Washington                                            136

  Life among Farmers                                                138

  A Weaver's Reverie                                                147

  Our Duty to Strangers                                             150

  Elder Isaac Townsend                                              152

  Harriet Greenough                                                 153

  Fancy                                                             161

  The Widow's Son                                                   163

  Witchcraft                                                        167

  Cleaning Up                                                       170

  Visits to the Shakers                                             172

  The Lock of Gray Hair                                             178

  Lament of the little Hunchback                                    183

  This World is not our Home                                        185

  Dignity of Labor                                                  187

  The Village Chronicle                                             188

  Ambition and Contentment                                          197

  A Conversation on Physiology                                      199

[Illustration: Decoration]


In the American state of Massachusetts, one of the New England states,
which was colonized by the stern Puritans who were driven from our
country by civil and religious persecution, has sprung up within the
last thirty years the largest manufacturing town of the vast republic.
Lowell is situated not a great distance from Boston, at the confluence
of the rivers Merrimac and Concord. The falls of these rivers here
afford a natural moving power for machinery; and at the latter end of
the year 1813 a small cotton manufacture was here set up, where the
sound of labor had not been heard before. The original adventure was not
a prosperous one. But in 1826 the works were bought by a company or
corporation; and from that time Lowell has gone on so rapidly increasing
that it is now held to be "the greatest manufacturing city in America."
According to Mr. Buckingham, there are now ten companies occupying or
working thirty mills, and giving employment to more than 10,000
operatives, of whom 7,000 are females. The situation of the female
population is, for the most part, a peculiar one. Unlike the greater
number of the young women in our English factories, they are not brought
up to the labor of the mills, amongst parents who are also workers in
factories. They come from a distance; many of them remain only a limited
time; and they live in boarding houses expressly provided for their
accommodation. Miss Martineau, in her "Society in America," explains
the cause not only of the large proportion of females in the Lowell
mills, but also of their coming from distant parts in search of
employment: "Manufactures can to a considerable degree be carried on by
the labor of women; and there is a great number of unemployed women in
New England, from the circumstance that the young men of that region
wander away in search of a settlement on the land, and after being
settled find wives in the south and west." Again, she says, "Many of the
girls are in the factories because they have too much pride for domestic

In October, 1840, appeared the first number of a periodical work
entitled "The Lowell Offering." The publication arose out of the
meetings of an association of young women called "The Mutual Improvement
Society." It has continued at intervals of a month or six weeks, and the
first volume was completed in December, 1841. A second volume was
concluded in 1842. The work was under the direction of an editor, who
gives his name at the end of the second volume,--Abel C. Thomas. The
duties which this gentleman performed are thus stated by him in the
preface to the first volume:--

"The two most important questions which may be suggested shall receive
due attention.

"1st. Are all the articles, in good faith and exclusively the
productions of females employed in the mills? We reply, unhesitatingly
and without reserve, that THEY ARE, the verses set to music excepted. We
speak from personal acquaintance with all the writers, excepting four;
and in relation to the latter (whose articles do not occupy eight pages
in the aggregate) we had satisfactory proof that they were employed in
the mills.

"2d. Have not the articles been materially amended by the exercise of
the editorial prerogative? We answer, THEY HAVE NOT. We have taken
_less liberty_ with the articles than editors usually take with the
productions of other than the most experienced writers. Our corrections
and additions have been so slight as to be unworthy of special note."

Of the merits of the compositions contained in these volumes their
editor speaks with a modest confidence, in which he is fully borne out
by the opinions of others:--

"In estimating the talent of the writers for the 'Offering,' the fact
should be remembered, that they are actively employed in the mills for
more than twelve hours out of every twenty-four. The evening, after
eight o'clock, affords their only opportunity for composition; and
whoever will consider the sympathy between mind and body, must be
sensible that a day of constant manual employment, even though the labor
be not excessive, must in some measure unfit the individual for the full
development of mental power. Yet the articles in this volume ask no
unusual indulgence from the critics--for, in the language of 'The North
American Quarterly Review,'--'many of the articles are such as satisfy
the reader at once, that if he has only taken up the "Offering" as a
phenomenon, and not as what may bear criticism and reward perusal, he
has but to own his error, and dismiss his condescension, as soon as may

The two volumes thus completed in 1842 were lent to us by a lady whose
well-earned literary reputation gave us the assurance that she would not
bestow her praise upon a work whose merit merely consisted in the
remarkable circumstance that it was written by young women, not highly
educated, during the short leisure afforded by their daily laborious
employments. She told us that we should find in those volumes some
things which might be read with pleasure and improvement. And yet we
must honestly confess that we looked at the perusal of these
closely-printed eight hundred pages as something of a task. We felt
that all literary productions, and indeed all works of art, should, in a
great degree, be judged without reference to the condition of the
producer. When we take up the poems of Burns, we never think that he was
a ploughman and an exciseman; but we have a painful remembrance of
having read a large quarto volume of verses by Ann Yearsly, who was
patronized in her day by Horace Walpole and Hannah More, and to have
felt only the conviction that the milkwoman of Bristol, for such was
their authoress, had better have limited her learning to the score and
the tally. But it was a duty to read the "Lowell Offering." The day that
saw us begin the first paper was witness to our continued reading till
night found us busy at the last page, not for a duty, but a real

The qualities which most struck us in these volumes were chiefly these:
_First_--there is an entire absence of all pretension in the writers to
be what they are not. They are factory girls. They always call
themselves "girls." They have no desire to be fine ladies, nor do they
call themselves "ladies," as the common fashion is of most American
females. They have no affectations of gentility; and by a natural
consequence they are essentially free from all vulgarity. They describe
the scenes amongst which they live, their labors and their pleasures,
the little follies of some of their number, the pure tastes and
unexpensive enjoyments of others. They feel, and constantly proclaim
without any effort, that they think it an honor to labor with their
hands. They recognize the real dignity of all useful employments. They
know that there is no occupation really unworthy of men or women, but
the selfish pursuits of what is called pleasure, without the desire to
promote the good of others by physical, intellectual, or moral
exertions. _Secondly_--many of these papers clearly show under what
influences these young women have been brought up. An earnest feeling
of piety pervades their recollections of the past, and their hopes for
the future. The thoughts of home, too, lie deep in their hearts. They
are constantly describing the secluded farm-house where they were
reared, the mother's love, the father's labors. Sometimes a reverse of
fortune falling upon a family has dispersed its once happy members.
Sometimes we see visions of past household joy through the orphan's
tears. Not unfrequently the ardent girl, happy in the confirmed
affection of some equal in rank, looks exultingly towards the day when
she may carry back from the savings' bank at Lowell a little dower to
furnish out their little farm on the hill side, where the barberries
grew, so deliciously red and sour, in her remembrance of childhood.
_Thirdly_--there is a genuine patriotism in the tone of many of these
productions, which is worthy the descendants of the stern freemen who,
in the New England solitudes, looked tearfully back upon their
father-land. The institutions under which these young women live are
different from our own; but there is scarcely a particle of what we have
been too apt to call republican arrogance. The War of Independence is
spoken of as it ought to be by every American, with feelings of honest
exultation. But that higher sentiments than those of military triumph
mingle with the memory of that war, and render patriotism something far
nobler than mere national pride, may be seen in the little poem which we
gladly reprint, "The Tomb of Washington." The paper called "The Lock of
Gray Hair" is marked by an honest nationality, which we would be ashamed
not to reverence.--_Fourthly_--like all writers of good natural taste,
who have not been perverted into mere imitators of other writers, they
perceive that there is a great source of interest in describing, simply
and correctly, what they have witnessed with their own eyes. Thus, some
of the home pictures of these volumes are exceedingly agreeable,
presenting to us manners and habits wholly different from our own, and
scenes which have all the freshness of truth in their delineations.--The
old stories, too, which they sometimes tell of past life in America, are
equally interesting; and they show us how deeply in all minds is
implanted the love of old things, which are tenderly looked back upon,
even though they may have been swept away by what is real
improvement.--_Lastly_--although there are necessarily in these volumes,
as in every miscellany, some things which are tedious, and some puerile,
mock sentimentalities and labored efforts at fine writing, we think it
would be difficult upon the whole for a large body of contributors,
writing under great indulgence, to produce so much matter with so little
bad taste. Of pedantry there is literally none. The writers are familiar
with good models of composition; they know something of ancient and
modern history; the literature of England has reached them, and given a
character and direction to their thoughts. But there is never any
attempt to parade what they know; and we see they have been readers,
only as we discover the same thing in the best educated persons, not in
a display of their reading, but in a general tone which shows that
cultivation has made them wiser and better.

Such were the opinions we had formed of "The Lowell Offering," before we
were acquainted with the judgment pronounced upon the same book by a
writer whose original and brilliant genius is always under the direction
of kindly feelings towards his fellow-creatures, and especially towards
the poor and lowly of his human brethren. Mr. Dickens, in his "American
Notes," thus mentions "The Lowell Offering," of which he says, "I
brought away from Lowell four hundred good solid pages, which I have
read from beginning to end:"--"Of the merits of 'The Lowell Offering,'
as a literary production, I will only observe, putting entirely out of
sight the fact of the articles having been written by these girls after
the arduous labors of the day, that it will compare advantageously with
a great many English annuals. It is pleasant to find that many of its
tales are of the mills and of those who work in them; that they
inculcate habits of self-denial and contentment, and teach good
doctrines of enlarged benevolence. A strong feeling for the beauties of
nature, as displayed in the solitudes the writers have left at home,
breathes through its pages like wholesome village air; and though a
circulating library is a favorable school for the study of such topics,
it has very scant allusion to fine clothes, fine marriages, fine houses,
or fine life. Some persons might object to the papers being signed
occasionally with rather fine names, but this is an American fashion.
One of the provinces of the state legislature of Massachusetts is to
alter ugly names into pretty ones, as the children improve upon the
tastes of their parents."

If the separate articles in "The Lowell Offering" bear signatures which
represent distinct writers, we have, in our selection of thirty-seven
articles, given the productions of twenty-nine individual contributors.
It is this circumstance which leads us to believe that many of the
papers are faithful representations of individual feelings. Tabitha,
from whose pen we have given four papers, is a simple, unpretending
narrator of old American scenes and customs. Ella, from whom we select
three papers, is one of the imaginative spirits who dwell on high
thoughts of the past, and reveries of the future--one who has been an
earnest thinker as well as a reader. Jemima prettily describes two
little home-scenes. Susanna, who to our minds exhibits natural powers
and feelings, that by cultivation might enable her to become as
interesting an historian of the old times of America in the days before
the Revolution as an Irving or a Cooper, furnishes us with two papers.
The rest are Lisettas, and Almiras, and Ethelindas, and Annettes, and
Theresas; with others who are contented with simple initials. They have
all afforded us much pleasure. We have read what they have written with
a deep interest. May the love of letters which they enjoy, and the power
of composition which they have attained, shed their charms over their
domestic life, when their days of mill service are ended. May their
epistles to their friends be as full of truthfulness and good feeling as
their contributions to "The Lowell Offering." May the success of this
their remarkable attempt at literary composition not lead them to dream
too much of the proud distinctions of authorship--uncertain prizes, won,
if won at all, by many a weary struggle and many a bitter
disappointment. The efforts which they have made to acquire the practice
of writing have had their own reward. They have united themselves as
familiar friends with high and gentle minds, who have spoken to them in
books with love and encouragement. In dwelling upon the thoughts of
others, in fixing their own thoughts upon some definite object, they
have lifted themselves up into a higher region than is attained by
those, whatever be their rank, whose minds are not filled with images of
what is natural and beautiful and true. They have raised themselves out
of the sphere of the partial and the temporary into the broad expanse of
the universal and the eternal. During their twelve hours of daily labor,
when there were easy but automatic services to perform, waiting upon a
machine--with that slight degree of skill which no machine can ever
attain--for the repair of the accidents of its unvarying progress, they
may, without a neglect of their duty, have been elevating their minds in
the scale of being by cheerful lookings-out upon nature, by pleasant
recollections of books, by imaginary converse with the just and wise who
have lived before them, by consoling reflections upon the infinite
goodness and wisdom which regulates this world, so unintelligible
without such a dependence. These habits have given them cheerfulness and
freedom amidst their uninterrupted toils. We see no repinings against
their twelve hours' labor, for it has had its solace. Even during the
low wages of 1842, which they mention with sorrow but without complaint,
the same cultivation goes on; "The Lowell Offering" is still produced.
To us of England these things ought to be encouraging. To the immense
body of our factory operatives the example of what the girls of Lowell
have done should be especially valuable. It should teach them that their
strength, as well as their happiness, lies in the cultivation of their
minds. To the employers of operatives, and to all of wealth and
influence amongst us, this example ought to manifest that a strict and
diligent performance of daily duties, in work prolonged as much as in
our own factories, is no impediment to the exercise of those faculties,
and the gratification of those tastes, which, whatever the world may
have thought, can no longer be held to be limited by station. There is a
contest going on amongst us, as it is going on all over the world,
between the hard imperious laws which regulate the production of wealth
and the aspirations of benevolence for the increase of human happiness.
We do not deplore the contest; for out of it must come a gradual
subjection of the iron necessity to the holy influences of love and
charity. Such a period cannot, indeed, be rashly anticipated by
legislation against principles which are secondary laws of nature; but
one thing, nevertheless, is certain--that such an improvement of the
operative classes, as all good men,--and we sincerely believe amongst
them the great body of manufacturing capitalists,--ardently pray for and
desire to labor in their several spheres to attain, will be brought
about in a parallel progression with the elevation of the operatives
themselves in mental cultivation, and consequently in moral excellence.
We believe that this great good may be somewhat advanced by a knowledge
diffused in every building throughout the land where there is a mule or
a loom, of what the factory girls of Lowell have done to exhibit the
cheering influences of "MIND AMONGST THE SPINDLES."

       *       *       *       *       *

We had written thus far when we received the following most interesting
and valuable letter from Miss Martineau. We have the greatest pleasure
in printing this admirable account of the factory girls at Lowell, from
the pen of one who has labored more diligently and successfully than any
writer of our day, to elevate the condition of the operative classes. To
Miss Martineau we are deeply indebted for the ardent zeal with which she
has recommended the compilation, and for the sound judgment with which
she has assisted us in arranging the details of a plan which mainly owes
its origin to her unwearied solicitude for the good of her

              _Letter from Miss Martineau to the Editor._

                                            _Tynemouth, May 20, 1844._

    MY DEAR FRIEND,--Your interest in this Lowell book can scarcely
    equal mine; for I have seen the factory girls in their Lyceum, and
    have gone over the cotton-mills at Waltham, and made myself familiar
    on the spot with factory life in New England; so that in reading the
    "Offering," I saw again in my memory the street of houses built by
    the earnings of the girls, the church which is their property, and
    the girls themselves trooping to the mill, with their healthy
    countenances, and their neat dress and quiet manners, resembling
    those of the tradesman class of our country.

    My visit to Lowell was merely for one day, in company with Mr.
    Emerson's party,--he (the pride and boast of New England as an
    author and philosopher) being engaged by the Lowell factory people
    to lecture to them, in a winter course of historical biography. Of
    course the lectures were delivered in the evening, after the mills
    were closed. The girls were then working seventy hours a week, yet,
    as I looked at the large audience (and I attended more to them than
    to the lecture) I saw no sign of weariness among any of them. There
    they sat, row behind row, in their own Lyceum--a large hall,
    wainscoted with mahogany, the platform carpeted, well lighted,
    provided with a handsome table, desk, and seat, and adorned with
    portraits of a few worthies, and as they thus sat listening to their
    lecturer, all wakeful and interested, all well-dressed and
    lady-like, I could not but feel my heart swell at the thought, of
    what such a sight would be with us.

    The difference is not in rank, for these young people were all
    daughters of parents who earn their bread with their own hands. It
    is not in the amount of wages, however usual that supposition is,
    for they were then earning from one to three dollars a-week, besides
    their food; the children one dollar (4_s._ 3_d._), the second rate
    workers two dollars, and the best three: the cost of their dress and
    necessary comforts being much above what the same class expend in
    this country. It is not in the amount of toil; for, as I have said,
    they worked seventy clear hours per week. The difference was in
    their superior culture. Their minds are kept fresh, and strong, and
    free by knowledge and power of thought; and this is the reason why
    they are not worn and depressed under their labors. They begin with
    a poorer chance for health than our people; for the health of the
    New England women generally is not good, owing to circumstances of
    climate and other influences; but among the 3800 women and girls in
    the Lowell mills when I was there, the average of health was not
    lower than elsewhere; and the disease which was most mischievous was
    the same that proves most fatal over the whole country--consumption;
    while there were no complaints peculiar to mill life.

    At Waltham, where I saw the mills, and conversed with the people, I
    had an opportunity of observing the invigorating effects of MIND in
    a life of labor. Twice the wages and half the toil would not have
    made the girls I saw happy and healthy, without that cultivation of
    mind which afforded them perpetual support, entertainment, and
    motive for activity. They were not highly educated, but they had
    pleasure in books and lectures, in correspondence with home; and had
    their minds so open to fresh ideas, as to be drawn off from thoughts
    of themselves and their own concerns. When at work they were amused
    with thinking over the last book they had read, or with planning the
    account they should write home of the last Sunday's sermon, or with
    singing over to themselves the song they meant to practise in the
    evening; and when evening came, nothing was heard of tired limbs and
    eagerness for bed, but, if it was summer, they sallied out, the
    moment tea was over, for a walk, and if it was winter, to the
    lecture-room or to the ball-room for a dance, or they got an hour's
    practice at the piano, or wrote home, or shut themselves up with a
    new book. It was during the hours of work in the mill that the
    papers in the "Offering" were meditated, and it was after work in
    the evenings that they were penned.

    There is, however, in the case of these girls, a stronger support, a
    more elastic spring of vigor and cheerfulness than even an active
    and cultivated understanding. The institution of factory labor has
    brought ease of heart to many; and to many occasion for noble and
    generous deeds. The ease of heart is given to those who were before
    suffering in silent poverty, from the deficiency of profitable
    employment for women, which is even greater in America than with us.
    It used to be understood there that all women were maintained by the
    men of their families; but the young men of New England are apt to
    troop off into the West, to settle in new lands, leaving sisters at
    home. Some few return to fetch a wife, but the greater number do
    not, and thus a vast over proportion of young women remains; and to
    a multitude of these the opening of factories was a most welcome
    event, affording means of honorable maintenance, in exchange for
    pining poverty at home.

    As for the noble deeds, it makes one's heart glow to stand in these
    mills, and hear of the domestic history of some who are working
    before one's eyes, unconscious of being observed or of being the
    object of any admiration. If one of the sons of a New England farmer
    shows a love for books and thought, the ambition of an affectionate
    sister is roused, and she thinks of the glory and honor to the whole
    family, and the blessing to him, if he could have a college
    education. She ponders this till she tells her parents, some day, of
    her wish to go to Lowell, and earn the means of sending her brother
    to college. The desire is yet more urgent if the brother has a pious
    mind, and a wish to enter the ministry. Many a clergyman in America
    has been prepared for his function by the devoted industry of
    sisters; and many a scholar and professional man dates his elevation
    in social rank and usefulness from his sister's, or even some
    affectionate aunt's entrance upon mill life, for his sake. Many
    girls, perceiving anxiety in their fathers' faces, on account of the
    farm being incumbered, and age coming on without release from the
    debt, have gone to Lowell, and worked till the mortgage was paid
    off, and the little family property free. Such motives may well
    lighten and sweeten labor; and to such girls labor is light and

    Some, who have no such calls, unite the surplus of their earnings to
    build dwellings for their own residence, six, eight, or twelve
    living together with the widowed mother or elderly aunt of one of
    them to keep house for, and give countenance to the party. I saw a
    whole street of houses so built and owned, at Waltham; pretty frame
    houses, with the broad piazza, and the green Venitian blinds, that
    give such an air of coolness and pleasantness to American village
    and country abodes. There is the large airy eating-room, with a few
    prints hung up, the piano at one end, and the united libraries of
    the girls, forming a good-looking array of books, the rocking chairs
    universal in America, the stove adorned in summer with flowers, and
    the long dining-table in the middle. The chambers do not answer to
    our English ideas of comfort. There is a strange absence of the wish
    for privacy; and more girls are accommodated in one room than we
    should see any reason for in such comfortable and pretty houses.

    In the mills the girls have quite the appearance of ladies. They
    sally forth in the morning with their umbrellas in threatening
    weather, their calashes to keep their hair neat, gowns of print or
    gingham, with a perfect fit, worked collars or pelerines, and
    waistbands of ribbon. For Sundays and social evenings they have
    their silk gowns, and neat gloves and shoes. Yet through proper
    economy,--the economy of educated and thoughtful people,--they are
    able to lay by for such purposes as I have mentioned above. The
    deposits in the Lowell Savings' Bank were, in 1834, upwards of
    114,000 dollars, the number of operatives being 5000, of whom 3800
    were women and girls.

    I thank you for calling my attention back to this subject. It is
    one I have pleasure in recurring to. There is nothing in America
    which necessitates the prosperity of manufactures as of agriculture,
    and there is nothing of good in their factory system that may not be
    emulated elsewhere--equalled elsewhere, when the people employed are
    so educated as to have the command of themselves and of their lot in
    life, which is always and everywhere controlled by mind, far more
    than by outward circumstances.

                                            I am very truly yours,

                                                    H. MARTINEAU.

[Illustration: Decoration]




"Mr. Atkins, I say! Husband, why can't you speak? Do you hear what Abby

"Any thing worth hearing?" was the responsive question of Mr. Atkins;
and he laid down the New Hampshire Patriot, and peered over his
spectacles, with a look which seemed to say, that an event so uncommon
deserved particular attention.

"Why, she says that she means to go to Lowell, and work in the factory."

"Well, wife, let her go;" and Mr. Atkins took up the Patriot again.

"But I do not see how I can spare her; the spring cleaning is not done,
nor the soap made, nor the boys' summer clothes; and you say that you
intend to board your own 'men-folks' and keep two more cows than you did
last year; and Charley can scarcely go alone. I do not see how I can get
along without her."

"But you say she does not assist you any about the house."

"Well, husband, she _might_."

"Yes, she might do a great many things which she does not think of
doing; and as I do not see that she means to be useful here; we will let
her go to the factory."

"Father, are you in earnest? may I go to Lowell?" said Abby; and she
raised her bright black eyes to her father's, with a look of exquisite

"Yes, Abby, if you will promise me one thing, and that is, that you will
stay a whole year without visiting us, excepting in case of sickness,
and that you will stay but one year."

"I will promise anything, father, if you will only let me go; for I
thought you would say that I had better stay at home, and pick rocks,
and weed the garden, and drop corn, and rake hay; and I do not want to
do such work any longer. May I go with the Slater girls next Tuesday?
for that is the day they have set for their return."

"Yes, Abby, if you will remember that you are to stay a year, and only a

Abby retired to rest that night with a heart fluttering with pleasure;
for ever since the visit of the Slater girls, with new silk dresses, and
Navarino bonnets trimmed with flowers and lace veils, and gauze
handkerchiefs, her head had been filled with visions of fine clothes;
and she thought if she could only go where she could dress like them,
she would be completely happy. She was naturally very fond of dress, and
often, while a little girl, had she sat on the grass bank by the
road-side, watching the stage which went daily by her father's retired
dwelling; and when she saw the gay ribbons and smart shawls, which
passed like a bright phantom before her wondering eyes, she had thought
that when older she too would have such things; and she looked forward
to womanhood as to a state in which the chief pleasure must consist in
wearing fine clothes. But as years passed over her, she became aware
that this was a source from which she could never derive any enjoyment,
while she remained at home, for her father was neither able nor willing
to gratify her in this respect, and she had begun to fear that she must
always wear the same brown cambric bonnet, and that the same calico gown
would always be her "go-to-meeting dress." And now what a bright picture
had been formed by her ardent and uncultivated imagination.--Yes, she
would go to Lowell, and earn all that she possibly could, and spend
those earnings in beautiful attire; she would have silk dresses,--one of
grass green, and another of cherry red, and another upon the color of
which she would decide when she purchased it; and she would have a new
Navarino bonnet; far more beautiful than Judith Slater's; and when at
last she fell asleep, it was to dream of satin and lace, and her glowing
fancy revelled all night in a vast and beautiful collection of
milliners' finery.

But very different were the dreams of Abby's mother; and when she awoke
the next morning, her first words to her husband were, "Mr. Atkins,
were you serious last night when you told Abby that she might go to
Lowell? I thought at first that you were vexed because I interrupted
you, and said it to stop the conversation."

"Yes, wife, I was serious, and you did not interrupt me, for I had been
listening to all that you and Abby were saying. She is a wild,
thoughtless girl, and I hardly know what it is best to do with her; but
perhaps it will be as well to try an experiment, and let her think and
act a little while for herself. I expect that she will spend all her
earnings in fine clothes, but after she has done so she may see the
folly of it; at all events, she will be more likely to understand the
value of money when she has been obliged to work for it. After she has
had her own way for one year, she may possibly be willing to return
home, and become a little more steady, and be willing to devote her
active energies (for she is a very capable girl) to household duties,
for hitherto her services have been principally out of doors, where she
is now too old to work. I am also willing that she should see a little
of the world, and what is going on in it; and I hope that, if she
receives no benefit, she will at least return to us uninjured."

"O, husband, I have many fears for her," was the reply of Mrs. Atkins,
"she is so very giddy and thoughtless, and the Slater girls are as
hair-brained as herself, and will lead her on in all sorts of folly. I
wish you would tell her that she must stay at home."

"I made a promise," said Mr. Atkins, "and I will keep it; and Abby, I
trust, will keep _hers_."

Abby flew round in high spirits to make the necessary preparations for
her departure, and her mother assisted her with a heavy heart.


The evening before she left home her father called her to him, and
fixing upon her a calm, earnest, and almost mournful look, he said,
"Abby, do you ever think?"--Abby was subdued, and almost awed, by her
father's look and manner. There was something unusual in it--something
in his expression which was unexpected in him, which reminded her of her
teacher's look at the Sabbath school, when he was endeavoring to
impress upon her mind some serious truth. "Yes, father," she at length
replied, "I have thought a great deal lately about going to Lowell."

"But I do not believe, my child, that you have had one serious
reflection upon the subject, and I fear that I have done wrong in
consenting to let you go from home. If I was too poor to maintain you
here, and had no employment about which you could make yourself useful,
I should feel no self-reproach, and would let you go, trusting that all
might yet be well; but now I have done what I may at some future time
severely repent of; and, Abby, if you do not wish to make me wretched,
you will return to us a better, milder, and more thoughtful girl."

That night Abby reflected more seriously than she had ever done in her
life before. Her father's words, rendered more impressive by the look
and tone with which they were delivered, had sunk into her heart as
words of his had never done before. She had been surprised at his ready
acquiescence in her wishes, but it had now a new meaning. She felt that
she was about to be abandoned to herself, because her parents despaired
of being able to do anything for her; they thought her too wild,
reckless, and untameable, to be softened by aught but the stern lessons
of experience. I will surprise them, said she to herself; I will show
them that I have some reflection; and after I come home, my father shall
never ask me if I _think_. Yes, I know what their fears are, and I will
let them see that I can take care of myself, and as good care as they
have ever taken of me. I know that I have not done as well as I might
have done; but I will begin _now_, and when I return, they shall see
that _I am_ a better, milder, and more thoughtful girl. And the money
which I intended to spend in fine dress shall be put into the bank; I
will save it all, and my father shall see that I can earn money, and
take care of it too. O, how different I will be from what they think I
am; and how very glad it will make my father and mother to see that I am
not so very bad, after all.

New feelings and new ideas had begotten new resolutions, and Abby's
dreams that night were of smiles from her mother, and words from her
father, such as she had never received nor deserved.

When she bade them farewell the next morning, she said nothing of the
change which had taken place in her views and feelings, for she felt a
slight degree of self-distrust in her own firmness of purpose.

Abby's self-distrust was commendable and auspicious; but she had a very
prominent development in that part of the head where phrenologists
locate the organ of firmness; and when she had once determined upon a
thing, she usually went through with it. She had now resolved to pursue
a course entirely different from that which was expected of her, and as
different from the one she had first marked out for herself. This was
more difficult, on account of her strong propensity for dress, a love of
which was freely gratified by her companions. But when Judith Slater
pressed her to purchase this beautiful piece of silk, or that splendid
piece of muslin, her constant reply was, "No, I have determined not to
buy any such things, and I will keep my resolution."

Before she came to Lowell, she wondered, in her simplicity, how people
could live where there were so many stores, and not spend all their
money; and it now required all her firmness to resist being overcome by
the tempting display of beauties which met her eye whenever she
promenaded the illuminated streets. It was hard to walk by the
milliners' shops with an unwavering step; and when she came to the
confectionaries, she could not help stopping. But she did not yield to
the temptation; she did not spend her money in them. When she saw fine
strawberries, she said to herself, "I can gather them in our own pasture
next year;" when she looked upon the nice peaches, cherries, and plums
which stood in tempting array behind their crystal barriers, she said
again, "I will do without them _this_ summer;" and when apples, pears,
and nuts were offered to her for sale, she thought that she would eat
none of them till she went home. But she felt that the only safe place
for her earnings was the savings' bank, and there they were regularly
deposited, that it might be out of her power to indulge in momentary
whims. She gratified no feeling but a newly-awakened desire for mental
improvement, and spent her leisure hours in reading useful books.

Abby's year was one of perpetual self-contest and self-denial; but it
was by no means one of unmitigated misery. The ruling desire of years
was not to be conquered by the resolution of a moment; but when the
contest was over, there was for her the triumph of victory. If the
battle was sometimes desperate, there was so much more merit in being
conqueror. One Sabbath was spent in tears, because Judith Slater did not
wish her to attend their meeting with such a dowdy bonnet; and another
fellow-boarder thought her gown must have been made in "the year one."
The color mounted to her cheeks, and the lightning flashed from her
eyes, when asked if she had "_just come down_;" and she felt as though
she should be glad to be away from them all, when she heard their sly
innuendoes about "bush-wackers." Still she remained unshaken. It is but
a year, said she to herself, and the time and money that my father
thought I should spend in folly, shall be devoted to a better purpose.


At the close of a pleasant April day, Mr. Atkins sat at his kitchen
fire-side, with Charley upon his knees. "Wife," said he to Mrs. Atkins,
who was busily preparing the evening meal, "is it not a year since Abby
left home?"

"Why, husband, let me think: I always clean up the house thoroughly just
before _fast-day_, and I had not done it when Abby went away. I remember
speaking to her about it, and telling her that it was wrong to leave me
at such a busy time, and she said, 'Mother, I will be at home to do it
all next year.' Yes, it is a year, and I should not be surprised if she
should come this week."

"Perhaps she will not come at all," said Mr. Atkins, with a gloomy look;
"she has written us but few letters, and they have been very short and
unsatisfactory. I suppose she has sense enough to know that no news is
better than bad news, and having nothing pleasant to tell about herself,
she thinks she will tell us nothing at all. But if I ever get her home
again, I will keep her here. I assure you, her first year in Lowell
shall also be her last."

"Husband, I told you my fears, and if you had set up your authority,
Abby would have been obliged to stay at home; but perhaps she is doing
pretty well. You know she is not accustomed to writing, and that may
account for the few and short letters we have received; but they have
all, even the shortest, contained the assurance that she would be at
home at the close of the year."

"Pa, the stage has stopped here," said little Charley, and he bounded
from his father's knee. The next moment the room rang with the shout of
"Abby has come! Abby has come!" In a few moments more, she was in the
midst of the joyful throng. Her father pressed her hand in silence, and
tears gushed from her mother's eyes. Her brothers and sisters were
clamorous with delight, all but little Charley, to whom Abby was a
stranger, and who repelled with terror all her overtures for a better
acquaintance. Her parents gazed upon her with speechless pleasure, for
they felt that a change for the better had taken place in their once
wayward girl. Yes, there she stood before them, a little taller and a
little thinner, and, when the flush of emotion had faded away, perhaps a
little paler; but the eyes were bright in their joyous radiance, and the
smile of health and innocence was playing around the rosy lips. She
carefully laid aside her new straw bonnet, with its plain trimming of
light blue ribbon, and her dark merino dress showed to the best
advantage her neat symmetrical form. There was more delicacy of personal
appearance than when she left them, and also more softness of manner;
for constant collision with so many young females had worn off the
little asperities which had marked her conduct while at home.

"Well, Abby, how many silk gowns have you got?" said her father, as he
opened a large new trunk. "_Not one_, father," said she; and she fixed
her dark eyes upon him with an expression which told all. "But here are
some little books for the children, and a new calico dress for mother;
and here is a nice black silk handkerchief for you to wear around your
neck on Sundays; accept it, dear father, for it is your daughter's first

"You had better have bought me a pair of spectacles, for I am sure I
cannot see anything." There were tears in the rough farmer's eyes, but
he tried to laugh and joke, that they might not be perceived. "But what
did you do with all your money?"

"I thought I had better leave it there," said Abby, and she placed her
bank-book in her father's hand. Mr. Atkins looked a moment, and the
forced smile faded away. The surprise had been too great, and tears fell
thick and fast from the father's eyes.

"It is but a little," said Abby. "But it was all you could save,"
replied her father, "and I am proud of you, Abby; yes, proud that I am
the father of such a girl. It is not this paltry sum which pleases me so
much, but the prudence, self-command, and real affection for us which
you have displayed. But was it not sometimes hard to resist temptation?"

"Yes, father, _you_ can never know how hard; but it was the thought of
_this_ night which sustained me through it all. I knew how you would
smile, and what my mother would say and feel; and though there have been
moments, yes, hours, that have seen me wretched enough, yet this one
evening will repay for all. There is but one thing now to mar my
happiness, and that is the thought that this little fellow has quite
forgotten me;" and she drew Charley to her side. But the new
picture-book had already effected wonders, and in a few moments he was
in her lap, with his arms around her neck, and his mother could not
persuade him to retire that night until he had given "sister Abby" a
hundred kisses.

"Father," said Abby, as she arose to retire, when the tall clock struck
eleven, "may I not sometime go back to Lowell? I should like to add a
little to the sum in the bank, and I should be glad of _one_ silk gown!"

"Yes, Abby, you may do anything you wish. I shall never again be afraid
to let you spend a year in Lowell."



I have often heard this remark, "If their friends can give them nothing
else, they will surely give them a wedding." As I have nothing else to
present at this time, I hope my friends will not complain if I give them
an account of the first wedding in our town. The ceremony of marriage
being performed by his Excellency the Governor, it would not be amiss to
introduce him first of all.

Let me then introduce John Wentworth (the last governor of New Hampshire
while the colonies were subject to the crown of Great Britain), whose
country seat was in Salmagundi. The wedding which I am about to
describe was celebrated on a romantic spot, by the side of Lake
Winnipiseogee. All the neighbors within ten miles were invited, and it
was understood that all who came were expected to bring with them some
implements of husbandry, such as ploughs, harrows, yokes, bows,
wheelbarrows, hods, scythe-snaths, rakes, goads, hay-hooks, bar-pins,
&c. These articles were for a fair, the product of which was to defray
the expenses of the wedding, and also to fit out the bride with some
household furniture. All these implements, and a thousand and one
besides, being wanted on the farm of Wentworth, he was to employ persons
to buy them for his own especial use.

Johnny O'Lara, an old man, who used to chop wood at my father's door,
related the particulars of the wedding one evening, while I sat on a
block in the chimney-corner (the usual place for the greatest rogue in
the family), plying my knitting-needles, and every now and then, when
the eyes of my step-mother were turned another way, playing slyly with
the cat. And once, when we yonkers went upon a whortleberry excursion,
with O'Lara for our pilot, he showed us the spot where the wedding took
place, and described it as it was at the time. On the right was a grove
of birches; on the left a grove of bushy pines, with recesses for the
cows and sheep to retire from the noon-day sun. The background was a
forest of tall pines and hemlocks, and in front were the limpid waters
of the "Smile of the Great Spirit." These encircled about three acres of
level grass-land, with here and there a scattering oak. "Under yonder
oak," said O'Lara, "the ceremony was performed; and here, on this flat
rock, was the rude oven constructed, where the good wives baked the
lamb; and there is the place where crotched stakes were driven to
support a pole, upon which hung two huge iron kettles, in which they
boiled their peas. And on this very ground," said O'Lara, "in days of
yore, the elfs and fairies used to meet, and, far from mortal ken, have
their midnight gambols."

The wedding was on a fine evening in the latter part of the month of
July, at a time when the moon was above the horizon for the whole night.
The company were all assembled, with the exception of the Governor and
his retinue. To while away the time, just as the sun was sinking behind
the opposite mountains, they commenced singing an ode to sunset. They
had sung,

  "The sunset is calm on the face of the deep,
    And bright is the last look of Sol in the west;
  And broad do the beams of his parting glance sweep,
    Like the path that conducts to the land of the blest,"

when the blowing of a horn announced the approach of the Governor, whose
barge was soon seen turning a point of land. The company gave a salute
of nineteen guns, which was returned from the barge, gun for gun. The
Governor and retinue soon landed, and the fair was quickly over. The
company being seated on rude benches prepared for the occasion, the
blowing of a horn announced that it was time for the ceremony to
commence; and, being answered by a whistle, all eyes were turned toward
the right, and issuing from the birchen grove were seen three musicians,
with a bagpipe, fife, and a Scotch fiddle, upon which they were playing
with more good nature than skill. They were followed by the bridegroom
and grooms-man, and in the rear were a number of young men in their
holiday clothes. These having taken their places, soft music was heard
from the left; and from a recess in the pines, three maidens in white,
with baskets of wild flowers on the left arm, came forth, strewing the
flowers on the ground, and singing a song, of which I remember only the

  "Lead the bride to Hymen's bowers,
  Strew her path with choicest flowers."

The bride and bridesmaid followed, and after them came several lasses in
gala dresses. These having taken their places, the father of the bride
arose, and taking his daughter's hand and placing it in that of
Clifford, gave them his blessing. The Governor soon united them in the
bonds of holy matrimony, and as he ended the ceremony with saying, "What
God hath joined let no man put asunder," he heartily saluted the bride.
Clifford followed his example, and after him she was saluted by every
gentleman in the company. As a compensation for this "rifling of
sweets," Clifford had the privilege of kissing every lady present, and
beginning with Madame Wentworth, he saluted them all, from the
gray-headed matron, to the infant in its mother's arms.

The cake and wine were then passed round. Being a present from Madame
Wentworth, they were no doubt excellent. After this refreshment, and
while the good matrons were cooking their peas, and making other
preparations, the young folks spent the time in playing
"blind-man's-buff," and "hide and go seek," and in singing "Jemmy and
Nancy," "Barbara Allen," "The Friar with Orders Grey," "The Lass of
Richmond Hill," "Gilderoy," and other songs which they thought were
appropriate to the occasion.

At length the ringing of a bell announced that dinner was ready. "What,
dinner at that time of night?" perhaps some will say. But let me tell
you, good friends (in Johnny O'Lara's words), that "the best time for a
wedding dinner, is when it is well cooked, and the guests are ready to
eat it." The company were soon arranged around the rude tables, which
were rough boards, laid across poles that were supported by crotched
stakes driven into the ground. But it matters not what the tables were,
as they were covered with cloth white as the driven snow, and well
loaded with plum puddings, baked lamb, and green peas, with all
necessary accompaniments for a well ordered dinner, which the guests
complimented in the best possible manner, that is, by making a hearty

Dinner being ended, while the matrons were putting all things to rights,
the young people made preparation for dancing; and a joyous time they
had. The music and amusement continued until the "blushing morn"
reminded the good people that it was time to separate. The rising sun
had gilded the sides of the opposite mountains, which were sending up
their exhalations, before the company were all on their way to their
respective homes. Long did they remember the first wedding in our town.
Even after the frost of seventy winters had whitened the heads of those
who were then boys, they delighted to dwell on the merry scenes of that
joyful night; and from that time to the present, weddings have been
fashionable in Salmagundi, although they are not always celebrated in
quite so romantic a manner.



The Athenians were proud of their glory. Their boasted city claimed
pre-eminence in the arts and sciences; even the savage bowed before the
eloquence of their soul-stirring orators; and the bards of every nation
sang of the glory of Athens.

But pre-eminent as they were, they had not learned to be merciful. The
pure precepts of kindness and love were not taught by their sages; and
their noble orators forgot to inculcate the humble precepts of
forgiveness, and the "charity which hopeth all things." They told of
patriotism, of freedom, and of that courage which chastises wrong or
injury with physical suffering; but they told not of that nobler spirit
which "renders good for evil," and "blesses, but curses not."

Alcibiades, one of their own countrymen, offended against their laws,
and was condemned to expiate the offence with his life. The civil
authorities ordered his goods to be confiscated, that their value might
swell the riches of the public treasury; and everything that pertained
to him, in the way of citizenship, was obliterated from the public
records. To render his doom more dreary and miserable,--to add weight to
the fearful fulness of his sentence,--the priests and priestesses were
commanded to pronounce upon him their curse. One of them, however, a
being gentle and good as the principles of mercy which dwelt within her
heart--timid as the sweet songsters of her own myrrh and orange groves,
and as fair as the acacia-blossom of her own bower--rendered courageous
by the all-stimulating and powerful influence of kindness, dared alone
to assert the divinity of her office, by refusing to curse her
unfortunate fellow-being--asserting that she was "PRIESTESS TO BLESS,


[Illustration: Decoration]


I love old poetry, with its obscure expressions, its obsolete words, its
quaint measure, and rough rhyme. I love it with all these, perhaps _for_
these. It is because it is different from modern poetry, and not that I
think it better, that it at times affords me pleasure. But when one has
been indulging in the perusal of the smooth and elegant productions of
later poets, there is at least the charm of variety in turning to those
of ancient bards. This is pleasant to those who love to exercise the
imagination--for if we would understand our author, we must go back into
olden times; we must look upon the countenances and enter into the
feelings of a long-buried generation; we must remember that much of what
we know was then unknown, and that thoughts and sentiments which may
have become common to us, glowed upon these pages in all their primal
beauty. Much of which our writer may speak has now been wholly lost; and
difficult, if not impossible, to be understood are many of his
expressions and allusions.

But these difficulties present a "delightful task" to those who would
rather push on through a tangled labyrinth, than to walk with ease in a
smooth-rolled path. Their self-esteem is gratified by being able to
discover beauty where other eyes behold but deformity: and a brilliant
thought or glowing image is rendered to them still more beautiful,
because it shines through a veil impenetrable to other eyes. They are
proud of their ability to perceive this beauty, or understand that
oddity, and they care not for the mental labor which they have been
obliged to perform.

When I turn from modern poetry to that of other days, it is like leaving
bright flowery fields to enter a dark tangled forest. The air is cooler,
but damp and heavy. A sombre gloom reigns throughout, occasionally
broken by flitting sunbeams, which force their way through the thick
branches which meet above me, and dance and glitter upon the dark
underwood below. They are strongly contrasted with the deep shade
around, and my eye rests upon them with more pleasure than it did upon
the broad flood of sunshine which bathes the fields without. My
searching eye at times discovers some lonely flower, half hidden by
decayed leaves and withered moss, yet blooming there in undecaying
beauty. There are briers and thistles and creeping vines around, but I
heedlessly press on, for I must enjoy the fragrance and examine the
structure of these unobtrusive plants. I enjoy all this for a while, but
at length I grow chilled and weary, and am glad to leave the forest for
a less fatiguing resort.

But there is one kind of old poetry to which these remarks may not
apply--I mean the POETRY OF THE BIBLE.--And how much is there of this!
There are songs of joy and praise, and those of woe and lamentation;
there are odes and elegies; there are prophecies and histories; there
are descriptions of nature and narratives of persons, and all written
with a fervency of feeling which embodies itself in lofty and glowing
imagery. And what is this but poetry? yet not that which can be compared
to some dark, mazy forest, but rather like a sacred grove, such as "were
God's first temples." There is no gloom around, neither is there bright
sunshine; but a calm and holy light pervades the place. The tall trees
meet not above me, but through their lofty boughs I can look up and see
the blue heavens bending their perfect dome above the hallowed spot,
while now and then some fleecy cloud sails slowly on, as though it loved
to shadow the still loneliness beneath. There are soft winds murmuring
through the high tree-tops, and their gentle sound is like a voice from
the spirit-land. There are delicate white flowers waving upon their
slight stems, and their sweet fragrance is like the breath of heaven. I
feel that I am in God's temple. The Spirit above waits for the
sacrifice. I can now erect an altar, and every selfish worldly thought
should be laid thereon, a free-will offering. But when the rite is over,
and I leave this consecrated spot for the busy path of life, I should
strive to bear into the world a heart baptized in the love of beauty,
holiness, and truth.

I have spoken figuratively--perhaps too much so to please the pure and
simple tastes of some--but He who made my soul and placed it in the body
which it animates, implanted within it a love of the beautiful in
literature, and this love was first awakened and then cherished by the
words of Holy Writ.

I have, when a child, read my Bible, from its earliest book to its
latest. I have gone in imagination to the plains of Uz, and have there
beheld the pastoral prince in all his pride and glory. I have marked
him; too, when in the depth of his sorrow he sat speechless upon the
ground for seven days and seven nights; but when he opened his mouth and
spake, I listened with eagerness to the heart-stirring words and
startling imagery which poured forth from his burning lips! But my heart
has thrilled with a delightful awe when "the Lord answered Job out of
the whirlwind," and I listened to words of more simplicity than
uninspired man may ever conceive.

I have gone, too, with the beloved disciple into that lonely isle where
he beheld those things of which he was commanded to write. My
imagination dared not conceive of the glorious throne, and of Him who
sat upon it; but I have looked with a throbbing delight upon the New
Jerusalem coming down from heaven in her clear crystal light, "as a
bride adorned for her husband." I have gazed upon the golden city,
flashing like "transparent glass," and have marked its pearly gates and
walls of every precious stone. In imagination have I looked upon all
this, till my young spirit longed to leave its earthly tenement and soar
upward to that brighter world, where there is no need of sun or moon,
for "the Lamb is the light thereof."

I have since read my Bible for better purposes than the indulgence of
taste. There must I go to learn my duty to God and my neighbor. There
should I look for precepts to direct the life that now is, and for the
promise of that which is to come; yet seldom do I close that sacred
volume without a feeling of thankfulness, that the truths of our holy
religion have been so often presented in forms which not only reason and
conscience will approve, but also which the fancy can admire and the
heart must love.


[Illustration: Decoration]


"I will not stay in Lowell any longer; I am determined to give my notice
this very day," said Ellen Collins, as the earliest bell was tolling to
remind us of the hour for labor.

"Why, what is the matter, Ellen? It seems to me you have dreamed out a
new idea! Where do you think of going? and what for?"

"I am going home, where I shall not be obliged to rise so early in the
morning, nor be dragged about by the ringing of a bell, nor confined in
a close noisy room from morning till night. I will not stay here; I am
determined to go home in a fortnight."

Such was our brief morning's conversation.

In the evening, as I sat alone, reading, my companions having gone out
to public lectures or social meetings, Ellen entered. I saw that she
still wore the same gloomy expression of countenance, which had been
manifested in the morning; and I was disposed to remove from her mind
the evil influence, by a plain common-sense conversation.

"And so, Ellen," said I, "you think it unpleasant to rise so early in
the morning, and be confined in the noisy mill so many hours during the
day. And I think so, too. All this, and much more, is very annoying, no
doubt. But we must not forget that there are advantages, as well as
disadvantages, in this employment, as in every other. If we expect to
find all sunshine and flowers in any station in life, we shall most
surely be disappointed. We are very busily engaged during the day; but
then we have the evening to ourselves, with no one to dictate to or
control us. I have frequently heard you say, that you would not be
confined to household duties, and that you dislike the millinery
business altogether, because you could not have your evenings for
leisure. You know that in Lowell we have schools, lectures, and meetings
of every description, for moral and intellectual improvement."

"All that is very true," replied Ellen, "but if we were to attend every
public institution, and every evening school which offers itself for our
improvement, we might spend every farthing of our earnings, and even
more. Then if sickness should overtake us, what are the probable
consequences? Here we are, far from kindred and home; and if we have an
empty purse, we shall be destitute of _friends_ also."

"I do not think so, Ellen. I believe there is no place where there are
so many advantages within the reach of the laboring class of people, as
exist here; where there is so much equality, so few aristocratic
distinctions, and such good fellowship, as may be found in this
community. A person has only to be honest, industrious, and moral, to
secure the respect of the virtuous and good, though he may not be worth
a dollar; while on the other hand, an immoral person, though he should
possess wealth, is not respected."

"As to the morality of the place," returned Ellen, "I have no fault to
find. I object to the constant hurry of everything. We cannot have time
to eat, drink, or sleep; we have only thirty minutes, or at most
three-quarters of an hour, allowed us, to go from our work, partake of
our food, and return to the noisy chatter of machinery. Up before day,
at the clang of the bell--and out of the mill by the clang of the
bell--into the mill, and at work, in obedience to that ding-dong of a
bell--just as though we were so many living machines. I will give my
notice to-morrow: go, I will--I won't stay here and be a white slave."

"Ellen," said I, "do you remember what is said of the bee, that it
gathers honey even in a poisonous flower? May we not, in like manner, if
our hearts are rightly attuned, find many pleasures connected with our
employment? Why is it, then, that you so obstinately look altogether on
the dark side of a factory life? I think you thought differently while
you were at home, on a visit, last summer--for you were glad to come
back to the mill in less than four weeks. Tell me, now--why were you so
glad to return to the ringing of the bell, the clatter of the machinery,
the early rising, the half-hour dinner, and so on?"

I saw that my discontented friend was not in a humor to give me an
answer--and I therefore went on with my talk.

"You are fully aware, Ellen, that a country life does not exclude people
from labor--to say nothing of the inferior privileges of attending
public worship--that people have often to go a distance to meeting of
any kind--that books cannot be so easily obtained as they can here--that
you cannot always have just such society as you wish--that you"--

She interrupted me, by saying, "We have no bell, with its everlasting

"What difference does it make?" said I, "whether you shall be awakened
by a bell, or the noisy bustle of a farm-house? For, you know, farmers
are generally up as early in the morning as we are obliged to rise."

"But then," said Ellen, "country people have none of the clattering of
machinery constantly dinning in their ears."

"True," I replied, "but they have what is worse--and that is, a dull,
lifeless silence all around them. The hens may cackle sometimes, and the
geese gabble, and the pigs squeal"----

Ellen's hearty laugh interrupted my description--and presently we
proceeded, very pleasantly, to compare a country life with a factory
life in Lowell. Her scowl of discontent had departed, and she was
prepared to consider the subject candidly. We agreed, that since we must
work for a living, the mill, all things considered, is the most
pleasant, and best calculated to promote our welfare; that we will work
diligently during the hours of labor; improve our leisure to the best
advantage, in the cultivation of the mind,--hoping thereby not only to
increase our own pleasure, but also to add to the happiness of those
around us.



About a dozen of us, lads and lasses, had promised friend H. that on the
first lowery day we would meet him and his family on the top of Moose
Mountain, for the purpose of picking whortleberries, and of taking a
view of the country around. We had provided the customary complement of
baskets, pails, dippers, &c.; and one morning, which promised a suitable
day for our excursion, we piled ourselves into a couple of waggons, and
rode to the foot of the mountain and commenced climbing it on foot. A
beaten path and spotted trees were our guides. A toilsome way we found
it--some places being so steep that we were obliged to hold by the
twigs, to prevent us from falling.

Three-quarters of an hour after we left our horses, we found ourselves
on the whortleberry ground--some of us singing, some chatting, and all
trying to see who could pick the most berries. Friend H. went from place
to place among the young people, and with his social conversation gave
new life to the party--while his chubby boys and rosy girls by their
nimbleness plainly told that they did not intend that any one should
beat them in picking berries.

Towards noon, friend H. conducted us to a spring, where we made some
lemonade, having taken care to bring plenty of lemons and sugar with us,
and also bread and cheese for a lunch. Seated beneath a wide-spreading
oak, we partook of our homely repast; and never in princely hall were
the choicest viands eaten with a keener relish. After resting a while,
we recommenced picking berries, and in a brief space our pails and
baskets were all full.

About this time, the clouds cleared away, the sun shone out in all the
splendor imaginable, and bright and beautiful was the prospect. Far as
the eye could reach, in a north and north-easterly direction, were to be
seen fields of corn and grain, with new mown grass-land, and potato
flats, farm-houses, barns, and orchards--together with a suitable
proportion of wood-land, all beautifully interspersed; and a number of
ponds of water, in different places, and of different forms and
sizes--some of them containing small islands, which added to the beauty
of the scenery. The little village at Wakefield corner, which was about
three miles distant, seemed to be almost under our feet; and with friend
H.'s spy-glass, we could see the people at work in their gardens,
weeding vegetables, picking cherries, gathering flowers, &c. But not one
of our number had the faculty that the old lady possessed, who, in the
time of the Revolution, in looking through a spy-glass at the French
fleet, brought the Frenchmen so near, that she could hear them chatter;
so we had to be content with ignorance of their conversation.

South-westerly might be seen Cropple-crown Mountain; and beyond it,
Merry-meeting Pond, where, I have been told, Elder Randall, the father
of the Free-will Baptist denomination, first administered the ordinance
of Baptism. West, might be seen Tumble-down-dick Mountain; and north,
the Ossipee Mountains; and far north, might be seen the White Mountains
of New Hampshire, whose snow-crowned summits seemed to reach the very

The prospect in the other directions was not so grand, although it was
beautiful--so I will leave it, and take the shortest route, with my
companions, with the baskets and pails of berries, to the house of
friend H. On our way, we stopped to view the lot of rock maples, which,
with some little labor, afforded a sufficient supply of sugar for the
family of friend H., and we promised that in the season of sugar-making
the next spring, we would make it convenient to visit the place, and
witness the process of making maple-sugar.

Our descent from the mountain was by a different path--our friends
having assured us, that although our route would be farther, we should
find it more pleasant; and truly we did--for the pathway was not so
rough as the one in which we travelled in the morning. And besides, we
had the pleasure of walking over the farm of the good Quaker, and of
hearing from his own lips many interesting circumstances of his life.

The country, he told us, was quite a wilderness when he first took up
his abode on the mountain; and bears, he said, were as plenty as
woodchucks, and destroyed much of his corn. He was a bachelor, and lived
alone for a number of years after he first engaged in clearing his land.
His habitation was between two huge rocks, at about seventy rods from
the place where he afterwards built his house.--He showed us this
ancient abode of his; it was in the midst of an old orchard. It appeared
as if the rocks had been originally one; but by some convulsion of
nature it had been sundered, midway, from top to bottom. The back part
of this dwelling was a rock wall, in which there was a fire-place and an
oven. The front was built of logs, with an aperture for a door-way; and
the roof was made of saplings and bark. In this rude dwelling, friend H.
dressed his food, and ate it; and here, on a bed of straw, he spent his
lonely nights. A small window in the rock wall admitted the light by
day; and by night, his solitary dwelling was illuminated with a
pitch-pine torch.

On being interrogated respecting the cause of his living alone so long
as he did, he made answer, by giving us to understand, that if he was
called "the bear," he was not so much of a brute as to marry until he
could give his wife a comfortable maintenance; "and moreover, I was
resolved," said he, "that Hannah should never have the least cause to
repent of the ready decision which she made in my favor." "Then," said
one of our company, "your wife was not afraid to trust herself with the
bear?" "She did not hesitate in the least," said friend H.; "for when I
'popped the question,' by saying, 'Hannah, will thee have me?' she
readily answered, 'Yes, To----;' she would have said, 'Tobias, I will;'
but the words died on her lips, and her face, which blushed like the
rose, became deadly pale; and she would have fallen on the floor, had I
not caught her in my arms. After Hannah got over her faintness, I told
her that we had better not marry, until I was in a better way of living;
to which she also agreed. And," said he, "before I brought home my bird,
I had built yonder cage"--pointing to his house; "and now, neighbors,
let us hasten to it; for Hannah will have her tea ready by the time we
get there." When we arrived at the house we found that tea was ready;
and the amiable Mrs. H., the wife of the good Quaker, was waiting for
us, with all imaginable patience.

The room in which we took tea was remarkably neat. The white floor was
nicely sanded, and the fire-place filled with pine-tops and rose-bushes;
and vases of roses were standing on the mantel-piece. The table was
covered with a cloth of snowy whiteness, and loaded with delicacies; and
here and there stood a little China vase, filled with white and damask

"So-ho!" said the saucy Henry L., upon entering the room; "I thought
that you Quakers were averse to every species of decoration; but see!
here is a whole flower-garden!" Friend H. smiled and said, "the rose is
a favorite with Hannah; and then it is like her, with one exception."
"And what is that exception?" said Henry.--"Oh," said our friend,
"Hannah has no thorns to wound." Mrs. H.'s heightened color and smile
plainly told us, that praise from her husband was "music to her ear."
After tea, we had the pleasure of promenading through the house; and
Mrs. H. showed us many articles of domestic manufacture, being the work
of her own and her daughters' hands. The articles consisted of sheets,
pillow-cases, bed-quilts, coverlets of various colors, and woven in
different patterns,--such as chariot wheels, rose-of-sharon, ladies'
delight, federal constitution--and other patterns, the names of which I
have forgotten. The white bed-spreads and the table-covers, which were
inspected by us, were equal, if not superior, to those of English
manufacture; in short, all that we saw proclaimed that order and
industry had an abiding place in the house of friend H.

Mrs. H. and myself seated ourselves by a window which overlooked a young
and thrifty orchard. A flock of sheep were grazing among the trees, and
their lambs were gambolling from place to place. "This orchard is more
beautiful than your other," said I; "but I do not suppose it contains
anything so dear to the memory of friend H. as his old habitation." She
pointed to a knoll, where was a small enclosure, and which I had not
before observed. "There," said she, "is a spot more dear to Tobias; for
there sleep our children." "Your cup has then been mingled with sorrow?"
said I. "But," replied she, "we do not sorrow without hope; for their
departure was calm as the setting of yonder sun, which is just sinking
from sight; and we trust that we shall meet them in a fairer world,
never to part." A tear trickled down the cheek of Mrs. H., but she
instantly wiped it away, and changed the conversation. Friend H. came
and took a seat beside us, and joined in the conversation, which, with
his assistance, became animated and amusing.

Here, thought I, dwell a couple, happily united. Friend H., though rough
in his exterior, nevertheless possesses a kindly affectionate heart; and
he has a wife whose price is above rubies.

The saucy Henry soon came to the door, and bawled out, "The stage is
ready." We obeyed the summons, and found that Henry and friend H.'s son
had been for our vehicles. We were again piled into the waggons--pails,
baskets, whortleberries, and all; and with many hearty shakes of the
hand, and many kind farewells, we bade adieu to the family of friend H.,
but not without renewing the promise, that, in the next sugar-making
season, we would revisit Moose Mountain.



In the valley of the Mississippi, and the more southern parts of North
America, are found antique curiosities and works of art, bearing the
impress of cultivated intelligence. But of the race, or people, who
executed them, time has left no vestige of their existence, save these
monuments of their skill and knowledge. Not even a tradition whispers
its _guess-work_, who they might be. We only know _they were_.

What proof and evidence do we gather from their remains, which have
withstood the test of time, of their origin and probable era of their
existence? That they existed centuries ago, is evident from the size
which forest trees have attained, which grow upon the mounds and
fortifications discovered. That they were civilized and understood the
arts, is apparent from the manner of laying out and erecting their
fortifications, and from various utensils of gold, copper, and iron
which have occasionally been found in digging below the earth's surface.
If I mistake not, I believe even glass has been found, which, if so,
shows them acquainted with chemical discoveries, which are supposed to
have been unknown until a period much later than the probable time of
their existence. That they were not the ancestors of the race which
inhabited this country at the time of its discovery by Columbus, appears
conclusive from the total ignorance of the Indian tribes of all
knowledge of arts and civilization, and the non-existence of any
tradition of their once proud sway. That they were a mighty people is
evident from the extent of territory where these antiquities are
scattered. The banks of the Ohio and Mississippi tell they once lived;
and even to the shore where the vast Pacific heaves its waves, there are
traces of their existence. Who were they? In what period of time did
they exist?

In a cave in one of the Western States, there is carved upon the walls a
group of people, apparently in the act of devotion; and a rising sun is
sculptured above them. From this we should infer that they were Pagans,
worshipping the sun and the fabulous gods. But what most strikingly
arrests the antiquarian's observation, and causes him to repeat the
inquiry, "who were they?" is the habiliments of the group. One part of
their habit is of the Grecian costume, and the remainder is of the
Phoenicians. Were they a colony from Greece? Did they come from that
land in the days of its proud glory, bringing with them a knowledge of
arts, science, and philosophy? Did they, too, seek a home across the
western waters, because they loved liberty in a strange land better than
they loved slavery at home? Or what may be as probable, were they the
descendants of some band who managed to escape the destruction of
ill-fated Troy?--the descendants of a people who had called Greece a
mother-country, but were sacrificed to her vindictive ire, because they
were prouder to be Trojans than the descendants of Grecians? Ay, who
were they? Might not America have had its Hector, its Paris, and Helen?
its maidens who prayed, and its sons who fought? All this might have
been. But their historians and their poets alike have perished. They
_have been_; but the history of their existence, their origin, and their
destruction, all, all are hidden by the dark chaos of oblivion.
Imagination alone, from inanimate landmarks, voiceless walls, and
soulless bodies, must weave the record which shall tell of their lives,
their aims, origin, and final extinction.

Recently, report says, in Mexico there have been discovered several
mummies, embalmed after the manner of the ancient Egyptians. If true, it
carries the origin of this fated people still farther back; and we might
claim them to be contemporaries with Moses and Joshua. Still, if I form
my conclusions correctly from what descriptions I have perused of these
Western relics of the past, I should decide that they corresponded
better with the ancient Grecians, Phoenicians, or Trojans, than with the
Egyptians. I repeat, I may be incorrect in my premises and deductions,
but as imagination is their historian, it pleases me better to fill a
world with heroes and beauties of Homer's delineations, than with those
of "Pharaoh and his host."


[Illustration: Decoration]


It was a cold winter's evening. The snow had fallen lightly, and each
tree and shrub was bending beneath its glittering burden. Here and there
was one, with the moonbeams gleaming brightly upon it, until it seemed,
with its many branches, touched by the ice-spirit, or some fairy-like
creation, in its loveliness and beauty. Every thing was hushed in

Situated at a little distance, was a large white house, surrounded with
elm-trees, in the rear of which, upon an eminence, stood a summer-house;
and in the warm season might have been seen many a gay lady reclining
beneath its vine-covered roof. No pains had been spared to make the
situation desirable. It was the summer residence of Captain Wilson. But
it was now mid-winter, and yet he lingered in the country. Many were the
questions addressed by the villagers to the old gardener, who had grown
grey in the captain's service, as to the cause of the long delay; but he
could not, or would not, answer their inquiries.

The shutters were closed, the fire burning cheerfully, and the astral
lamp throwing its soft mellow light upon the crimson drapery and rich
furniture of one of the parlors. In a large easy chair was seated a
gentleman, who was between fifty and sixty years of age. He was in deep
and anxious thought; and ever and anon his lip curled, as if some bitter
feeling was in his heart. Standing near him was a young man. His brow
was open and serene; his forehead high and expansive; and his eyes
beamed with an expression of benevolence and mildness. His lips were
firmly compressed, denoting energy and decision of character.

"You may be seated," said Capt. Wilson, for it was he who occupied the
large chair, the young man being his only son. "You may be seated,
Augustus," and he cast upon him a look of mingled pride and scorn. The
young man bowed profoundly, and took a seat opposite his father. There
was a long pause, and the father was first to break silence. "So you
intend to marry a beggar, and suffer the consequences. But do you think
your love will stand the test of poverty, and the sneer of the world?
for I repeat, that not one farthing of my money shall you receive,
unless you comply with the promise which I long since made to my old
friend, that our families should be united. She will inherit his vast
possessions, as there is no other heir. True, she is a few years your
senior; but that is of no importance. Your mother is older than I am.
But I have told you all this before. Consider well ere you choose
between wealth and poverty."

"Would that I could conscientiously comply with your request," replied
Augustus, "but I have promised to be protector and friend to Emily
Summerville. She is not rich in this world's goods; but she has what is
far preferable--a contented mind; and you will allow that, in point of
education, she will compare even with Miss Clarkson." In a firm voice he
continued, "I have made my choice, I shall marry Emily;" and he was
about to proceed, but his father stamped his foot, and commanded him to
quit his presence. He left the house, and as he walked rapidly towards
Mr. Grant's, the uncle of Miss Summerville, he thought how unstable were
all earthly possessions, "and why," he exclaimed, "why should I make
myself miserable for a little paltry gold? It may wound my pride at
first to meet my gay associates; but that will soon pass away, and my
father will see that I can provide for my own wants."

Emily Summerville was the daughter of a British officer, who for many
years resided in the pleasant village of Dridonville. He was much
beloved by the good people for his activity and benevolence. He built
the cottage occupied by Mr. Grant. On account of its singular
construction, it bore the name of the "English cottage." After his death
it was sold, and Mr. Grant became the purchaser. There Emily had spent
her childhood. On the evening before alluded to, she was in their little
parlor, one corner of which was occupied by a large fig-tree. On a stand
were geraniums, rose-bushes, the African lily, and many other plants. At
a small table sat Emily, busily engaged with her needle, when the old
servant announced Mr. Wilson. "Oh, Augustus, how glad I am you are
come!" she exclaimed, as she sprung from her seat to meet him; "but you
look sad and weary," she added, as she seated herself by his side, and
gazed inquiringly into his face, the mirror of his heart. "What has
happened? you look perplexed."

"Nothing more than I have expected for a long time," was the reply; and
it was with heartfelt satisfaction that he gazed on the fair creature by
his side, and thought she would be a star to guide him in the way of
virtue. He told her all. And then he explained to her the path he had
marked out for himself. "I must leave you for a time, and engage in the
noise and excitement of my profession. It will not be long, if I am
successful. I must claim one promise from you, that is, that you will
write often, for that will be the only pleasure I shall have to cheer me
in my absence."

She did promise; and when they separated at a late hour, they dreamed
not that it was their last meeting on earth.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Oh, uncle," said Emily, as they entered the parlor together one
morning, "do look at my fig-tree; how beautiful it is. If it continues
to grow as fast as it has done, I can soon sit under its branches." "It
is really pretty," replied her uncle; and he continued, laughing and
patting her cheek, "you must cherish it with great care, as it was a
present from ---- now don't blush; I do not intend to speak his name,
but was merely about to observe, that it might be now as in olden times,
that as _he_ prospers, the tree will flourish; if he is sick, or in
trouble, it will decay."

"If such are your sentiments," said Emily, "you will acknowledge that
thus far his path has been strewed with flowers."

Many months passed away, and there was indeed a change. The tree that
had before looked so green, had gradually decayed, until nothing was
left but the dry branches. But she was not superstitious: "It might be,"
she said, "that she had killed it with kindness." Her uncle never
alluded to the remark he had formerly made; but Emily often thought
there might be some truth in it. She had received but one letter from
Augustus, though she had written many.

Summer had passed, and autumn was losing itself in winter. Augustus
Wilson was alone in the solitude of his chamber.--There was a hectic
flush upon his cheek, and the low hollow cough told that consumption was
busy. Was that the talented Augustus Wilson? he whose thrilling
eloquence had sounded far and wide? His eyes were riveted upon a
withered rose. It was given him by Emily, on the eve of his departure,
with these words, "Such as I am, receive me. Would I were of more worth,
for your sake."

"No," he musingly said; "it is not possible she has forgotten me. I will
not, cannot believe it." He arose, and walked the room with hurried
steps, and a smile passed over his face, as he held communion with the
bright images of the past. He threw himself upon his couch, but sleep
was a stranger to his weary frame.

Three weeks quickly passed, and Augustus Wilson lay upon his death-bed.
Calm and sweet was his slumber, as the spirit took its flight to the
better land. And O, it was a sad thing to see that father, with the
frost of many winters upon his head, bending low over his son,
entreating him to speak once more; but all was silent. He was not there;
nought remained but the beautiful casket; the jewel which had adorned it
was gone. And deep was the grief of the mother; but, unlike her husband,
she felt she had done all she could to brighten her son's pathway in
life. She knew not to what extent Capt. W. had been guilty.

Augustus was buried in all the pomp and splendor that wealth could
command. The wretched father thought in this way to blind the eyes of
the world. But he could not deceive himself. It was but a short time
before he was laid beside his son at Mount Auburn. Several letters were
found among his papers, but they had not been opened. Probably he
thought that by detaining them, he should induce his son to marry the
rich Miss Clarkson, instead of the poor Emily Summerville.

       *       *       *       *       *

Emily Summerville firmly stood amidst the desolation that had withered
all her bright hopes in life. She had followed her almost idolized uncle
to the grave; she had seen the cottage, and all the familiar objects
connected with her earliest recollections, pass into the hands of
strangers; but there was not a sigh, nor a quiver of the lip, to tell of
the anguish within. She knew not that Augustus Wilson had entered the
spirit-land, until she saw the record of his death in a Boston paper.
"O, if he had only sent me one word," she said; "even if it had been to
tell me that I was remembered no more, it would have been preferable to
this." The light which had shone so brightly on her pathway was
withdrawn, and the darkness of night closed around her.

Long and fearful was the struggle between life and death; but when she
arose from that sick bed, it was with a chastened spirit. "I am young,"
she thought, "and I may yet do much good." And when she again mingled in
society, it was with a peace that the world could neither give nor take

She bade adieu to her native village, and has taken up her abode in
Lowell. She is one of the class called "factory girls." She recently
received the letters intercepted by Capt. Wilson, and the melancholy
pleasure of perusing them is hallowed by the remembrance of him who is
"gone, but not lost."



The old village pastor of New England was "a man having authority." His
deacons were _under_ him, and not, as is now often the case, his
tyrannical rulers; and whenever his parishioners met him, they doffed
their hats, and said "Your Reverence." Whatever passed his lips was both
law and gospel; and when too old and infirm to minister to his charge,
he was not turned away, like an old worn-out beast, to die of hunger, or
gather up, with failing strength, the coarse bit which might eke out a
little longer his remaining days; but he was still treated with all the
deference, and supported with all the munificence which was believed due
to him whom they regarded as "God's vicegerent upon earth." He deemed
himself, and was considered by his parishioners, if not infallible, yet
something approaching it. Those were indeed the days of glory for New
England clergymen.

Perhaps I am wrong. The present pastor of New England, with his more
humble mien and conciliatory tone, his closer application and untiring
activity, may be, in a wider sphere, as truly glorious an object of
contemplation. Many are the toils, plans and enterprises entrusted to
him, which in former days were not permitted to interfere with the
duties exclusively appertaining to the holy vocation; yet with added
labors, the modern pastor receives neither added honors, nor added
remuneration. Perhaps it is well--nay, perhaps it is _better_; but I am
confident that if the old pastor could return, and take a bird's-eye
view of the situations of his successors, he would exclaim, "How has the
glory departed from Israel, and how have they cast down the sons of

I have been led to these reflections by a contemplation of the
characters of the first three occupants of the pulpit in my native

Our old pastor was settled, as all then were, for life. I can remember
him but in his declining years, yet even then was he a hale and vigorous
old man. Honored and beloved by all his flock, his days passed
undisturbed by the storms and tempests which have since then so often
darkened and disturbed the theological world. The opinions and creeds,
handed down by his Pilgrim Fathers, he carefully cherished, neither
adding thereto, nor taking therefrom; and he indoctrinated the young in
all the mysteries of the true faith, with an undoubting belief in its
infallibility. There was much of the patriarch in his look and manner;
and this was heightened by the nature of his avocations, in which
pastoral labors were mingled with clerical duties. No farm was in better
order than that of the parsonage; no fields looked more thriving, and no
flocks were more profitable than were those of the good clergyman.
Indeed he sometimes almost forgot his spiritual field, in the culture of
that which was more earthly.

One Saturday afternoon the minister was very busily engaged in
hay-making. His good wife had observed that during the week he had been
unusually engrossed in temporal affairs, and feared for the well-being
of his flock, as she saw that he could not break the earthly spell, even
upon this last day of the week. She looked, and looked in vain for his
return; until, finding him wholly lost to a sense of his higher duties,
she deemed it her duty to remind him of them. So away she went to the
haying field, and when she was in sight of the reverend haymaker, she
screamed out, "Mr. W., Mr. W."

"What, my dear?" shouted Mr. W. in return.

"Do you intend to feed your people with hay to-morrow?"

This was a poser--and Mr. W. dropped his rake; and, repairing to his
study, spent the rest of the day in the preparation of food more meat
for those who looked so trustfully to him for the bread of life.

His faithful companion was taken from him, and those who knew of his
strong and refined attachment to her, said truly, when they prophesied,
that he would never marry again.

She left one son--their only child--a boy of noble feelings and superior
intellect; and his father carefully educated him with a fond wish that
he would one day succeed him in the sacred office of a minister of God.
He hoped indeed that he might even fill the very pulpit which he must at
some time vacate; and he prayed that his own life might be spared until
this hope had been realized.

Endicott W. was also looked upon as their future pastor by many of the
good parishioners; and never did a more pure and gentle spirit take upon
himself the task of preparing to minister to a people in holy things. He
was the beloved of his father, the only child who had ever blessed
him--for he had not married till late in life, and the warm affections
which had been so tardily bestowed upon one of the gentler sex, were now
with an unusual fervor lavished upon this image of her who was gone.

When Endicott W. returned home, having completed his studies at the
University, he was requested by our parish to settle as associate pastor
with his father, whose failing strength was unequal to the regular
discharge of his parochial duties. It was indeed a beautiful sight to
see that old man, with bending form and silvery locks, joining in the
public ministrations with his young and gifted son--the one with a calm
expression of trusting faith; the countenance of the other beaming with
that of enthusiasm and hope.

Endicott was ambitious. He longed to see his own name placed in the
bright constellation of famed theologians; and though he knew that years
must be spent in toil for the attainment of that object, he was willing
that they should be thus devoted. The midnight lamp constantly witnessed
the devotions of Endicott W. at the shrine of science; and the wasting
form and fading cheek told what would be the fate of the infatuated

It was long before our young pastor, his aged father, and the idolizing
people, who were so proud of his talents, and such admirers of his
virtues,--it was long ere these could be made to believe he was dying;
but Endicott W. departed from life, as a bright cloud fades away in a
noon-day sky--for his calm exit was surrounded by all which makes a
death-bed glorious. His aged father said, "The Lord gave, and the Lord
hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." And then he went
again before his flock, and endeavored to reconcile them to their loss,
and dispense again the comforts and blessings of the gospel, trusting
that his strength would still be spared, until one, who was even then
preparing, should be ready to take his place.

       *       *       *       *       *

Shall I tell you now of my own home? It was a rude farm-house, almost
embowered by ancient trees, which covered the sloping hill-side on which
it was situated; and it looked like an old pilgrim, who had crawled into
the thicket to rest his limbs, and hide his poverty. My parents were
poor, toiling, care-worn beings, and in a hard struggle for the comforts
of this life had almost forgotten to prepare for that which is to come.
It is true, the outward ordinances of religion were never neglected; but
the spirit, the feeling, the interest, in short all that is truly
deserving the name of piety, was wanting. My father toiled through the
burning heat of summer, and the biting frost of winter, for his loved
ones; and my mother also labored, from the first dawn of day till a late
hour at night in behalf of her family. She was true to her duties as
wife and mother, but it was from no higher motive than the instincts
which prompt the fowls of the air to cherish their brood; and though she
perhaps did not believe that "labor was the end of life," still her
conduct would have given birth to that supposition.

I had been for some time the youngest of the family, when a little
brother was born. He was warmly welcomed by us, though we had long
believed the family circle complete.--We were not then aware at how dear
a price the little stranger was to be purchased. From the moment of his
birth, my mother never knew an hour of perfect health. She had
previously injured her constitution by unmitigated toil, and now were
the effects to be more sensibly felt. She lived very many years; but it
was the life of an invalid.

Reader, did you ever hear of the "thirty years' consumption?" a disease
at present unknown in New England--for that scourge of our climate will
now complete in a few months the destruction which it took years of
desperate struggle to perform upon the constitutions of our more hardy

My mother was in such a consumption--that disorder which comes upon its
victim like the Aurorean flashes in an Arctic sky, now vivid in its pure
loveliness, and then shrouded in a sombre gloom. Now we hoped, nay,
almost believed, she was to be again quite well, and anon we watched
around a bed from which we feared she would never arise.

It was strange to us, who had always seen her so unremitting in her
toilsome labors, and so careless in her exposure to the elements, to
watch around her now--to shield her from the lightest breeze, or the
slightest dampness of the air--to guard her from all intrusion, and
relieve her from all care--to be always reserving for her the warmest
place by the fire-side, and preparing the choicest bit of food--to be
ever ready to pillow her head and bathe her brow--in short, to be never
unconscious of the presence of disease.--Our steps grew softer, and our
voices lower, and the stillness of our manners had its influence upon
our minds. The hush was upon our spirits; and there can surely be
nothing so effectual in carrying the soul before its Maker, as disease;
and it may truly be said to every one who enters the chamber of
sickness, "The place whereon thou standest is holy ground."

My little brother was to us an angel sent from heaven.--He possessed a
far more delicate frame and lofty intellect than any other member of the
family; and his high, pale brow, and brilliant eyes, were deemed sure
tokens of uncommon genius. My mother herself watched with pleasure these
indications of talent, although the time had been when a predilection
for literary pursuits would have been thought inconsistent with the
common duties which we were all born to fulfil.

We had always respected the learned and talented, but it was with a
feeling akin to the veneration we felt for the inhabitants of the
spiritual world. They were far above us, and we were content to bow in
reverence. Our thoughts had been restricted to the narrow circle of
every-day duties, and our highest aspirations were to be admitted at
length, as spectators, to the glory of a material heaven, where streets
of gold and thrones of ivory form the magnificence of the place. It was
different now.--With a nearer view of that better world, to which my
mother had received her summons, came also more elevated spiritual and
blissful views of its glory and perfection. It was another heaven, for
she was another being; and she would have been willing at any moment to
have resigned the existence which she held by so frail a tenure, had it
not been for the sweet child which seemed to have been sent from that
brighter world to hasten and prepare her for departure.

Our pastor was now a constant visitant. Hitherto he had found but little
to invite him to our humble habitation. He had been received with awe
and constraint, and the topics upon which he loved to dwell touched no
chord in the hearts of those whom he addressed. But now my mother was
anxious to pour into his ears all the new-felt sentiments and emotions
with which her heart was filled. She wished to share his sympathy, and
receive his instructions; for she felt painfully conscious of her
extreme ignorance.

It was our pastor who first noticed in my little brother the indications
of mental superiority; and we felt then as though the magical powers of
some favored order of beings had been transferred to one in our own
home-circle; and we loved the little Winthrop (for father had named him
after the old governor) with a stronger and holier love than we had
previously felt for each other. And in these new feelings how much was
there of happiness! Though there was now less health, and of course less
wealth, in our home, yet there was also more pure joy.

I have sometimes been out upon the barren hill-side, and thought that
there was no pleasure in standing on a spot so desolate. I have been
again in the same bare place, and there was a balmy odor in the
delicious air, which made it bliss but to inhale the fragrance. Some
spicy herb had carpeted the ground, and though too lowly and simple to
attract the eye, yet the charm it threw around the scene was not less
entrancing because so viewless and unobtrusive.

Such was the spell shed around our lowly home by the presence of
religion. It was with us the exhalation from lowly plants, and the pure
fragrance went up the more freely because they had been bruised. In our
sickness and poverty we had joy in the present, and bright hopes for the

It was early decided that Winthrop should be a scholar.--Our pastor said
it must be so, and Endicott, who was but a few years older, assisted him
in his studies. They were very much together, and excepting in their own
families, had no other companion. But when my brother returned from the
pastor's study with a face radiant with the glow of newly-acquired
knowledge, and a heart overflowing in its desire to impart to others, he
usually went to his pale, emaciated mother to give vent to his
sensations of joy, and came to me to bestow the boon of knowledge. I was
the nearest in age. I had assisted to rear his infancy, and been his
constant companion in childhood; and now our intercourse was to be
continued and strengthened, amidst higher purposes and loftier feelings.
I was the depository of all his hopes and fears, the sharer of all his
plans for the future; and his aim was then to follow in the footsteps of
Endicott W. If he could only be as good, as kind and learned, he should
think himself one of the best of mankind.

When Endicott became our pastor, my brother was ready to enter college,
with the determination to consecrate himself to the same high calling.
It seemed hardly like reality to us, that one of our own poor household
was to be an educated man. We felt lifted up--not with pride--for the
feeling which elevated us was too pure for that; but we esteemed
ourselves better than we had ever been before, and strove to be more
worthy of the high gift which had been bestowed upon us. When my brother
left home, it was with the knowledge that self-denial was to be
practised, for his sake, by those who remained; but he also knew that it
was to be willingly, nay, joyously performed. Still he did not know
_all_. Even things which heretofore, in our poverty, we had deemed
essential to comfort, were now resigned.--We did not even permit my
mother to know how differently the table was spread for her than for our
own frugal repast. Neither was she aware how late and painfully I toiled
to prevent the hire of additional service upon our little farm. The joy
in the secret depths of my heart was its own reward; and never yet have
I regretted an effort or a sacrifice made then. It was a discipline like
the refiner's fire, and but for my brother, I should never have been
even as, with all my imperfections, I trust I am now.

My brother returned from college as the bright sun of Endicott W.'s
brief career was low in a western sky. He had intended to study with him
for the same vocation--and with him he _did_ prepare. O, there could
have been no more fitting place to imbue the mind with that wisdom which
cometh from above, than the sick room at our pastor's.

  "The chamber where the good man meets his fate,
  Is privileged beyond the common walks of life,"--

and Endicott's was like the shelter of some bright spirit from the other
world, who, for the sake of those about him, was delaying for a while
his return to the home above.--My brother was with him in his latest
hours, and received as a dying bequest the charge of his people. The
parish also were anxious that he should be Endicott's successor; and in
the space requested for farther preparation, our old pastor returned to
his pulpit.

But he had overrated his own powers; and besides, he was growing blind.
There were indeed those who said that, notwithstanding his calmness in
the presence of others, he had in secret wept his sight away; and that
while a glimmer of it remained, the curtain of his window, which
overlooked the grave-yard, had never been drawn. He ceased his labors,
but a temporary substitute was easily found--for, as old Deacon S.
remarked, "There are many ministers _now_, who are glad to go out to
day's labor."

My mother had prayed that strength might be imparted to her feeble
frame, to retain its rejoicing inhabitant until she could see her son a
more active laborer in the Lord's vineyard; "and then," said she, "I can
depart in peace." For years she had hoped the time would come, but dared
not hope to see it. But life was graciously spared; and the day which
was to see him set apart as peculiarly a servant of his God, dawned upon
her in better health than she had known for years. Perhaps it was the
glad spirit which imparted its renewing glow to the worn body, but she
went with us that day to the service of ordination. The old church was
thronged; and as the expression of thankfulness went up from the
preacher's lips, that one so worthy was then to be dedicated to his
service, my own heart was subdued by the solemn joy that he was one of
us. My own soul was poured out in all the exercises; but when the charge
was given, there was also an awe upon all the rest.

Our aged pastor had been led into his pulpit, that he might perform this
ceremony; and when he arose with his silvery locks, thinned even since
he stood there last, and raised his sightless eyes to heaven, I freely
wept. He was in that pulpit where he had stood so many years, to warn,
to guide, and to console; and probably each familiar face was then
presented to his imagination. He was where his dear departed son had
exercised the ministerial functions, and the same part of the service
which he had performed at his ordination, he was to enact again for his
successor. The blind old man raised his trembling hand, and laid it upon
the head of the young candidate; and as the memories of the past came
rushing over him, he burst forth in a strain of heart-stirring
eloquence. There was not a tearless eye in the vast congregation; and
the remembrance of that hour had doubtless a hallowing influence upon
the young pastor's life.

My brother was settled for five years, and as we departed from the
church, I heard Deacon S. exclaim, in his bitterness against modern
degeneracy in spiritual things, that "the old pastor was settled _for
life_." "So is the new one," said a low voice in reply; and for the
first time the idea was presented to my mind that Winthrop was to be,
like Endicott W., one of the early called.

But the impression departed in my constant intercourse with him in his
home--for our lowly dwelling was still the abode of the new pastor. He
would never remove from it while his mother lived, and an apartment was
prepared for him adjoining hers. They were pleasant rooms, for during
the few past years he had done much to beautify the place, and the
shrubs which he had planted were already at their growth. The thick
vines also which had struggled over the building, were now gracefully
twined around the windows, and some of the old trees cut down, that we
might be allowed a prospect. Still all that could conduce to beauty was
retained; and I have often thought how easily and cheaply the votary of
true taste can enjoy its pleasures.

Winthrop was now so constantly active and cheerful, that I could not
think of death as connected with him. But I knew that he was feeble, and
watched and cherished him, as I had done when he was but a little child.
Though in these respects his guardian, in others I was his pupil. I sat
before him, as Mary did at the Messiah's feet, and gladly received his
instructions. My heart went out with him in all the various functions of
his calling. I often went with him to the bed-side of the sick, and to
the habitations of the wretched. None knew better than he did, how to
still the throbbings of the wrung heart, and administer consolation.

I was present also, when, for the first time, he sprinkled an infant's
brow with the waters of consecration; and when he had blessed the babe,
he also prayed that we might all become even as that little child. I was
with him, too, when for the first time he joined in holy bands, those
whom none but God should ever put asunder; and if the remembrance of the
fervent petition which went up for them, has dwelt as vividly in their
hearts as it has in mine, that prayer must have had a holy influence
upon their lives.

I have said that I remember his first baptism and wedding; but none who
were present will forget his first funeral. It was our mother's. She had
lived so much beyond our expectations, and been so graciously permitted
to witness the fulfilment of her dearest hope, that when at length the
spirit winged its flight, we all joined in the thanksgiving which went
up from the lips of her latest-born, that she had been spared so long.

It was a beautiful Sabbath--that day appointed for her funeral--but in
the morning a messenger came to tell us that the clergyman whom we
expected was taken suddenly ill. What could be done? Our old pastor was
then confined to his bed, and on this day all else were engaged. "I will
perform the services myself," said Winthrop. "I shall even be happy to
do it."

"Nay," said I, "you are feeble, and already spent with study and
watching. It must not be so."

"Do not attempt to dissuade me, sister," he replied. "There will be many
to witness the interment of her who has hovered upon the brink of the
grave so long; and has not almost every incident of her life, from my
very birth, been a text from which important lessons may be drawn?" And
then, fixing his large mild eyes full upon me, as though he would utter
a truth which duty forbade him longer to suppress, he added, "I dare not
misimprove this opportunity. This first death in _my_ parish may also be
the last. Nay, weep not, my sister, because I may go next. The time at
best is short, and I must work while the day lasts."

I did not answer. My heart was full, and I turned away. That day my
brother ascended his pulpit to conduct the funeral services, and in them
he _did_ make of her life a lesson to all present. But when he addressed
himself particularly to the young, the middle-aged and the old, his eyes
kindled, and his cheeks glowed, as he varied the subject to present the
"king of terrors" in a different light to each. Then he turned to the
mourners. And who were _they?_ His own aged father, the companion for
many years of her who was before them in her shroud. His own brothers
and sisters, and the little ones of the third generation, whose childish
memories had not even yet forgotten her dying blessing. He essayed to
speak, but in vain. The flush faded from his cheek till he was deadly
pale. Again he attempted to address us, and again in vain. He raised his
hand, and buried his face in the folds of his white handkerchief. I also
covered my eyes, and there was a deep stillness throughout the assembly.
At that moment I thought more of the living than of the dead; and then
there was a rush among the great congregation, like the sudden bursting
forth of a mighty torrent.

I raised my eyes, but could see no one in the pulpit. The next instant
it was filled. I also pressed forward, and unimpeded ascended the steps,
for all stood back that I might pass. I reached him as he lay upon the
seat where he had fallen, and the handkerchief, which was still pressed
to his lips, was wet with blood. They bore him down, and through the
aisle; and when he passed the coffin, he raised his head, and gazed a
moment upon that calm, pale face. Then casting upon all around a
farewell glance, he sunk gently back, and closed his eyes.

       *       *       *       *       *

A few evenings after, I was sitting by his bed-side. The bright glow of
a setting sun penetrated the white curtains of his windows, and fell
with softened lustre upon his face. The shadows of the contiguous
foliage were dancing upon the curtains, the floor, and the snowy drapery
of his bed; and as he looked faintly up, he murmured, "It is a beautiful
world; but the other is glorious! and my mother is there, and Endicott.
See! they are beckoning to me, and smiling joyfully!--Mother, dear
mother, and Endicott, I am coming!"

His voice and looks expressed such conviction of the reality of what he
saw, that I also looked up to see these beautiful spirits. My glance of
disappointment recalled him; and he smiled as he said, "I think it was a
dream; but it will be reality soon.--Do not go," said he, as I arose to
call for others. "Do not fear, sister. The bands are very loose, and the
spirit will go gently, and perhaps even before you could return."

I reseated myself, and pressing his wasted hand in mine, I watched,--

  "As through his breast, the wave of life
        Heaved gently to and fro."

A few moments more, and I was alone with the dead.

We buried Winthrop by the side of Endicott W., and the old pastor was
soon laid beside them. * * * *

Years have passed since then, and I still love to visit those three
graves. But other feelings mingle with those which once possessed my
soul. I hear those whose high vocation was once deemed a sure guarantee
for their purity, either basely calumniated, or terribly condemned.
Their morality is questioned, their sincerity doubted, their usefulness
denied, and their pretensions scoffed at. It may be that unholy hands
are sometimes laid upon the ark, and that change of times forbids such
extensive usefulness as was in the power of the clergymen of New England
in former days. But when there comes a muttering cry of "Down with the
priesthood!" and a denial of the good which they have effected, my soul
repels the insinuation, as though it were blasphemy. I think of the
first three pastors of our village, and I reverence the ministerial
office and its labors,

  "If I but remember only,
  That such as these have lived, and died."


[Illustration: Decoration]


It was on a beautiful morning in the month of March, (one of those
mornings so exhilarating that they make even age and decrepitude long
for a ramble), that friend H. called to invite me to visit his
sugar-lot--as he called it--in company with the party which, in the
preceding summer, visited Moose Mountain upon the whortleberry
excursion. It was with the pleasure generally experienced in revisiting
former scenes, in quest of novelty and to revive impressions and
friendships, that our party set out for this second visit to Moose

A pleasant sleigh-ride of four or five miles, brought us safely to the
domicile of friend H., who had reached home an hour previously, and was
prepared to pilot us to his sugar-camp. "Before we go," said he, "you
must one and all step within doors, and warm your stomachs with some
gingered cider." We complied with his request, and after a little social
chat with Mrs. H., who welcomed us with a cordiality not to be
surpassed, and expressed many a kind wish that we might spend the day
agreeably, we made for the sugar-camp, preceded by friend H., who walked
by the side of his sleigh, which appeared to be well loaded, and which
he steadied with the greatest care at every uneven place in the path.

Arrived at the camp, we found two huge iron kettles suspended on a pole,
which was supported by crotched stakes, driven in the ground, and each
half full of boiling syrup. This was made by boiling down the sap, which
was gathered from troughs that were placed under spouts which were
driven into rock-maple trees, an incision being first made in the tree
with an auger. Friend H. told us that it had taken more than two barrels
of sap to make what syrup each kettle contained. A steady fire of oak
bark was burning underneath the kettles, and the boys and girls, friend
H.'s sons and daughters, were busily engaged in stirring the syrup,
replenishing the fire, &c.

Abigail, the eldest daughter, went to her father's sleigh, and taking
out a large rundlet, which might contain two or three gallons, poured
the contents into a couple of pails. This we perceived was milk, and as
she raised one of the pails to empty the contents into the kettles, her
father called out, "Ho, Abigail! hast thee strained the milk?"

"Yes, father," said Abigail.

"Well," said friend H., with a chuckle, "Abigail understands what she is
about, as well as her mother would; and I'll warrant Hannah to make
better maple-sugar than any other woman in New England, or in the whole
United States--and you will agree with me in that, after that sugar is
turned off and cooled." Abigail turned to her work, emptied her milk
into the kettles, and then stirred their contents well together, and put
some bark on the fire.

"Come, Jemima," said Henry L., "let us try to assist Abigail a little,
and perhaps we shall learn to make sugar ourselves; and who knows but
what she will give us a 'gob' to carry home as a specimen to show our
friends; and besides, it is possible that we may have to make sugar
ourselves at some time or other; and even if we do not, it will never do
us any harm to know how the thing is done." Abigail furnished us each
with a large brass scummer, and instructed us to take off the scum as it
arose, and put it into the pails; and Henry called two others of our
party to come and hold the pails.

"But tell me, Abigail," said Henry, with a roguish leer, "was that milk
really intended for whitening the sugar?"

"Yes," said Abigail with all the simplicity of a Quakeress, "for thee
must know that the milk will all rise in a scum, and with it every
particle of dirt or dust which may have found its way into the kettles."

Abigail made a second visit to her father's sleigh, accompanied by her
little brother, and brought from thence a large tin baker, and placed it
before the fire. Her brother brought a peck measure two-thirds full of
potatoes, which Abigail put into the baker, and leaving them to their
fate, returned to the sleigh, and with her brother's assistance carried
several parcels, neatly done up in white napkins, into a little log hut
of some fifteen feet square, with a shed roof made of slabs. We began to
fancy that we were to have an Irish lunch. Henry took a sly peep into
the hut when we first arrived, and he declared that there was nothing
inside, save some squared logs, which were placed back against the
walls, and which he supposed were intended for seats. But he was
mistaken in thinking that seats were every convenience which the
building contained,--as will presently be shown.

Abigail and her brother had been absent something like half an hour, and
friend H. had in the mean time busied himself in gathering sap, and
putting it in some barrels hard by. The kettles were clear from scum,
and their contents were bubbling like soap. The fire was burning
cheerfully, the company all chatting merrily, and a peep into the baker
told that the potatoes were cooked.

Abigail and her brother came, and taking up the baker, carried it inside
the building, but soon returned, and placed it again before the fire.
Then she called to her father, who came and invited us to go and take

We obeyed the summons; but how were we surprised, when we saw how neatly
arranged was every thing. The walls of the building were ceiled around
with boards, and side tables fastened to them, which could be raised or
let down at pleasure, being but pieces of boards fastened with leather
hinges and a prop underneath. The tables were covered with napkins,
white as the driven snow, and loaded with cold ham, neat's tongue,
pickles, bread, apple-sauce, preserves, dough-nuts, butter, cheese, and
_potatoes_--without which a Yankee dinner is never complete. For
beverage, there was chocolate, which was made over a fire in the
building--there being a rock chimney in one corner. "Now, neighbors,"
said friend H., "if you will but seat yourselves on these squared logs,
and put up with these rude accommodations, you will do me a favor. We
might have had our dinner at the house, but I thought that it would be a
novelty, and afford more amusement to have it in this little hut, which
I built to shelter us from what stormy weather we might have in the
season of making sugar."

We arranged ourselves around the room, and right merry were we, for
friend H.'s lively chat did not suffer us to be otherwise. He
recapitulated to us the manner of his life while a bachelor; the many
bear-fights which he had had; told us how many bears he had killed; how
a she-bear denned in his rock dwelling the first winter after he
commenced clearing his land--he having returned home to his father's to
attend school; how, when he returned in the spring, he killed her two
cubs, and afterwards the old bear, and made his Hannah a present of
their skins to make a muff and tippet; also his courtship, marriage, &c.

In the midst of dinner, Abigail came in with some hot mince-pies, which
had been heating in the baker before the fire out of doors, and which
said much in praise of Mrs. H.'s cookery.

We had finished eating, and were chatting as merrily as might be, when
one of the little boys called from without, "Father, the sugar has
grained." We immediately went out, and found one of the boys stirring
some sugar in a bowl to cool it. The fire was raked from beneath the
kettles, and Abigail and her eldest brother were stirring their contents
with all haste. Friend H. put a pole within the bail of one of the
kettles, and raised it up, which enabled two of the company to take the
other down, and having placed it in the snow, they assisted friend H. to
take down the other; and while we lent a helping hand to stir and cool
the sugar, friend H.'s children ate their dinners, cleared away the
tables, put what fragments were left into their father's sleigh,
together with the dinner-dishes, tin baker, rundlet, and the pails of
scum, which were to be carried home for the swine. A firkin was also put
into the sleigh; and after the sugar was sufficiently cool, it was put
into the firkin, and covered up with great care.

After this we spent a short time promenading around the rock-maple
grove, if leafless trees can be called a grove. A large sap-trough,
which was very neatly made, struck my fancy, and friend H. said he would
make me a present of it for a cradle. This afforded a subject for mirth.
Friend H. said that we must not ridicule the idea of having sap-troughs
for cradles; for that was touching quality, as his eldest child had been
rocked many an hour in a sap-trough, beneath the shade of a tree, while
his wife sat beside it knitting, and he was hard by, hoeing corn.

Soon we were on our way to friend H.'s house, which we all reached in
safety; and where we spent an agreeable evening, eating maple sugar,
apples, beech-nuts, &c. We also had tea about eight o'clock, which was
accompanied by every desirable luxury--after which we started for home.

As we were about taking leave, Abigail made each of us a present of a
cake of sugar, which was cooled in a tin heart.--"Heigh ho!" said Henry
L., "how lucky! We have had an agreeable visit, a bountiful feast--have
learned how to make sugar, and have all got sweethearts!"

We went home, blessing our stars and the hospitality of our Quaker

I cannot close without telling the reader, that the sugar which was
that day made, was nearly as white as loaf sugar, and tasted much




Mrs. K. and her daughter Emily were discussing the propriety of
permitting Martha to be one of the party which was to be given at Mr.
K.'s the succeeding Tuesday evening, to celebrate the birth-day of
George, who had lately returned from college. Martha was the niece of
Mr. K. She was an interesting girl of about nineteen years of age, who,
having had the misfortune to lose her parents, rather preferred working
in a factory for her support, than to be dependent on the charity of her
friends. Martha was a favorite in the family of her uncle; and Mrs. K.,
notwithstanding her aristocratic prejudices, would gladly have her niece
present at the party, were it not for fear of what people might say, if
Mr. and Mrs. K. suffered their children to appear on a level with
factory operatives.

"Mother," said Emily, "I do wish there was not such a prejudice against
those who labor for a living; and especially against those who work in a
factory; for then Martha might with propriety appear at George's party;
but I know it would be thought disgraceful to be seen at a party with a
factory girl, even if she is one's own cousin, and without a single
fault. And besides, the Miss Lindsays are invited, and if Martha should
be present, they will be highly offended, and make her the subject of
ridicule. I would not for my life have Martha's feelings wounded, as I
know they would be, if either of the Miss Lindsays should ask her when
she left Lowell, or how long she had worked in a factory."

"Well, Emily," said Mrs. K., "I do not know how we shall manage to keep
up appearances, and also spare Martha's feelings, unless we can persuade
your father to take her with him to Acton, on the morrow, and leave her
at your uncle Theodore's. I do not see any impropriety in this step, as
she proposes to visit Acton before she returns to Lowell."

"You will persuade me to no such thing," said Mr. K., stepping to the
door of his study, which opened from the parlor, and which stood ajar,
so that the conversation between his wife and daughter had been
overheard by Mr. K., and also by the Hon. Mr. S., a gentleman of large
benevolence, whose firmness of character placed him far above popular
prejudice. These gentlemen had been in the study unknown to Mrs. K. and

"You will persuade me to no such thing," Mr. K. repeated, as he entered
the parlor accompanied by Mr. S.; "I am determined that my niece shall
be at the party. However loudly the public opinion may cry out against
such a measure, I shall henceforth exert my influence to eradicate the
wrong opinions entertained by what is called good society, respecting
the degradation of labor; and I will commence by placing my children and
niece on a level. The occupations of people have made too much
distinction in society. The laboring classes, who are in fact the wealth
of a nation, are trampled upon; while those whom dame Fortune has placed
above, or if you please, _below_ labor, with some few honorable
exceptions, arrogate to themselves all of the claims to good society.
But in my humble opinion, the rich and the poor ought to be equally
respected, if virtuous; and equally detested, if vicious."

"But what will our acquaintances say?" said Mrs. K.

"It is immaterial to me what 'they say' or think," said Mr. K., "so long
as I know that I am actuated by right motives."

"But you know, my dear husband," replied his wife, "that the world is
censorious, and that much of the good or ill fortune of our children
will depend on the company which they shall keep. For myself, I care but
little for the opinion of the world, so long as I have the approbation
of my husband, but I cannot bear to have my children treated with
coldness; and besides, as George is intended for the law, his success
will in a great measure depend on public opinion; and I do not think
that even Esq. S. would think it altogether judicious, under existing
circumstances, for us to place our children on a level with the laboring

"If I may be permitted to express my opinion," said Mr. S. "I must say,
in all sincerity, that I concur in sentiment with my friend K.; and,
like him, I would that the line of separation between good and bad
society was drawn between the virtuous and the vicious; and to bring
about this much-to-be-desired state of things, the affluent, those who
are allowed by all to have an undisputed right to rank with good
society, must begin the reformation, by exerting their influence to
raise up those who are bowed down. Your fears, Mrs. K., respecting your
son's success, are, or should be, groundless; for, to associate with the
laboring people, and strive to raise them to their proper place in the
scale of being, should do more for his prosperity in the profession
which he has chosen, than he ought to realize by a contrary course of
conduct; and, I doubt not, your fears will prove groundless. So, my dear
lady, rise above them; and also above the opinions of a gainsaying
multitude--opinions which are erroneous, and which every philanthropist,
and every Christian, should labor to correct."

The remarks of Esq. S. had so good an effect on Mrs. K., that she
relinquished the idea of sending Martha to Acton.


The following evening Emily and Martha spent at Esq. S.'s, agreeably to
an earnest invitation from Mrs. S. and her daughter Susan, who were
anxious to cultivate an acquaintance with the orphan. These ladies were
desirous to ascertain the real situation of a factory girl, and if it
was as truly deplorable as public fame had represented, they intended to
devise some plan to place Martha in a more desirable situation. Mrs. S.
had a sister, who had long been in a declining state of health; and she
had but recently written to Mrs. S. to allow Susan to spend a few months
with her, while opportunity should offer to engage a young lady to live
with her as a companion. This lady's husband was a clerk in one of the
departments at Washington; and, not thinking it prudent to remove his
family to the capital, they remained in P.; but the time passed so
heavily in her husband's absence, as to have a visible effect on her
health. Her physician advised her not to live so retired as she did, but
to go into lively company to cheer up her spirits; but she thought it
would be more judicious to have an agreeable female companion to live
with her; and Mrs. S. concluded, from the character given her by her
uncle, that Martha would be just such a companion as her sister wanted;
and she intended in the course of the evening to invite Martha to
accompany Susan on a visit to her aunt.

The evening passed rapidly away, for the lively and interesting
conversation, in the neat and splendid parlor of Esq. S., did not suffer
any one present to note the flight of time. Martha's manners well
accorded with the flattering description which her uncle had given of
her. She had a good flow of language, and found no difficulty in
expressing her sentiments on any subject which was introduced. Her
description of "Life in Lowell" convinced those who listened to the
clear, musical tones of her voice, that the many reports which they had
heard, respecting the ignorance and vice of the factory operatives, were
the breathings of ignorance, wafted on the wings of slander, and not
worthy of credence.

"But with all your privileges, Martha," said Mrs. S., "was it not
wearisome to labor so many hours in a day?"

"Truly it was at times," said Martha, "and fewer hours of labor would be
desirable, if they could command a proper amount of wages; for in that
case there would be more time for improvement."

Mrs. S. then gave Martha an invitation to accompany her daughter to P.,
hoping that she would accept the invitation, and find the company of her
sister so agreeable that she would consent to remain with her, at least
for one year; assuring her that if she did, her privileges for
improvement should be equal, if not superior to those she had enjoyed in
Lowell; and also that she should not be a loser in pecuniary matters.
Martha politely thanked Mrs. S. for the interest she took in her behalf,
but wished a little time to consider the propriety of accepting the
proposal. But when Mrs. S. explained how necessary it was that her
sister should have a female companion with her, during her husband's
absence, Martha consented to accompany Susan, provided that her uncle
and aunt K. gave their consent.

"What an interesting girl!" said Esq. S. to his lady, after the young
people had retired. "Amiable and refined as Emily K. appears, Martha's
manners show that her privileges have been greater, or that her
abilities are superior to those of Emily. How cold and calculating, and
also unjust, was her aunt K., to think that it would detract aught from
the respectability of her children for Martha to appear in company with
them! I really hope that Mr. K. will allow her to visit your sister. I
will speak to him on the subject."

"She _must_ go with Susan," said Mrs. S.; "I am determined to take no
denial. Her sprightly manners and delightful conversation will cheer my
sister's spirits, and be of more avail in restoring her health than ten

Mr. K. gave the desired consent, and it was agreed by all parties
concerned that some time in the following week the ladies should visit
P.; and all necessary preparations were immediately made for the


It was Tuesday evening, and a whole bevy of young people had assembled
at Mr. K.'s. Beauty and wit were there, and seemed to vie with each
other for superiority. The beaux and belles were in high glee. All was
life and animation. The door opened, and Mr. K. entered the room. A
young lady, rather above the middle height, and of a form of the most
perfect symmetry, was leaning on his arm. She was dressed in a plain
white muslin gown; a lace 'kerchief was thrown gracefully over her
shoulders, and a profusion of auburn hair hung in ringlets down her
neck, which had no decoration save a single string of pearl; her head
was destitute of ornament, with the exception of one solitary rosebud on
the left temple; her complexion was a mixture of the rose and the lily;
a pair of large hazel eyes, half concealed by their long silken lashes,
beamed with intelligence and expression, as they cast a furtive glance
at the company. "Ladies and gentlemen," said Mr. K., "this is my niece,
Miss Croly;" and as with a modest dignity she courtesied, a beholder
could scarce refrain from applying to her Milton's description of Eve
when she first came from the hand of her Creator. Mr. K. crossed the
room with his niece, seated her by the side of his daughter, and,
wishing the young people a pleasant evening, retired. The eyes of all
were turned towards the stranger, eager to ascertain whether indeed she
was the little girl who once attended the same school with them, but who
had, for a number of years past, been employed in a "Lowell factory."
"Oh, it is the same," said the Miss Lindsays. "How presumptuous," said
Caroline Lindsay to a gentleman who sat near her, "thus to intrude a
factory girl into our company! Unless I am very much mistaken, I shall
make her sorry for her impudence, and wish herself somewhere else
before the party breaks up." "Indeed, Miss Caroline, you will not try to
distress the poor girl; you cannot be so cruel," said the gentleman, who
was no other than the eldest son of Esq. S., who had on the preceding
day returned home, after an absence of two years on a tour through
Europe. "Cruel!" said Caroline, interrupting him, "surely, Mr. S., you
cannot think it cruel to keep people where they belong; or if they get
out of the way, to set them right; and you will soon see that I shall
direct Miss Presumption to her proper place, which is in the
kitchen,"--and giving her head a toss, she left Mr. S., and seating
herself by Emily and Martha, inquired when the latter left Lowell, and
if the factory girls were as ignorant as ever.

Martha replied by informing her when she left the "city of spindles;"
and also by telling her that she believed the factory girls, considering
the little time they had for the cultivation of their minds, were not,
in the useful branches of education, behind any class of females in the
Union. "What chance can they have for improvement?" said Caroline: "they
are driven like slaves to and from their work, for fourteen hours in
each day, and dare not disobey the calls of the factory bell. If they
had the means for improvement, they have not the time; and it must be
that they are quite as ignorant as the southern slaves, and as little
fitted for society." Martha colored to the eyes at this unjust
aspersion; and Emily, in pity to her cousin, undertook to refute the
charge. Mr. S. drew near, and seating himself by the cousins, entered
into conversation respecting the state of society in Lowell. Martha soon
recovered her self-possession, and joined in the conversation with more
than her usual animation, yet with a modest dignity which attracted the
attention of all present. She mentioned the evening schools for teaching
penmanship, grammar, geography, and other branches of education, and how
highly they were prized, and how well they were attended by the factory
girls. She also spoke of the Lyceum and Institute, and other lectures;
and her remarks were so appropriate and sensible, that even those who
were at first for assisting Caroline Lindsay in directing her to her
"proper place," and who even laughed at what they thought to be Miss
Lindsay's wit,--became attentive listeners, and found that even one who
"had to work for a living" could by her conversation add much to the
enjoyment of "good society."

All were now disposed to treat Martha with courtesy, with the exception
of the Miss Lindsays, who sat biting their lips for vexation; mortified
to think that in trying to make Martha an object of ridicule, they had
exposed themselves to contempt. Mr. S. took upon himself the task (if
task it could be called, for one whose feelings were warmly enlisted in
the work) of explaining in a clear and concise manner the impropriety of
treating people with contempt for none other cause than that they earned
an honest living by laboring with their hands. He spoke of the duty of
the rich, with regard to meliorating the condition of the poor, not only
in affairs of a pecuniary nature, but also by encouraging them in the
way of well-doing, by bestowing upon them that which would cost a good
man or woman nothing,--namely, kind looks, kind words, and all the sweet
courtesies of life. His words were not lost; for those who heard him
have overcome their prejudices against labor and laboring people, and
respect the virtuous whatever may be their occupation.


Bright and unclouded was the morning which witnessed the departure of
the family coach from the door of the Hon. Mr. S. Henry accompanied by
his sister and the beautiful Martha, whose champion he had been at the
birth-night party of George K. Arrived at P., they found that they were
not only welcome, but expected visitors; for Esq. S. had previously
written to his sister-in-law, apprising her of Henry's return, and his
intention of visiting her in company with his sister Susan, and a young
lady whom he could recommend as being just the companion of which she
was in need. In a postscript to his letter he added, "I do not hesitate
to commend this lovely orphan to your kindness, for I know you will
appreciate her worth."

When Henry S. took leave of his aunt and her family, and was about to
start upon his homeward journey, he found that a two days' ride, and a
week spent in the society of Martha, had been at work with his heart. He
requested a private interview, and what was said, or what was concluded
on, I shall leave the reader to imagine, as best suits his fancy. I
shall also leave him to imagine what the many billets-doux contained
which Henry sent to P., and what were the answers he received, and read
with so much pleasure.--As it is no part of my business to enter into
any explanation of that subject, I will leave it and call the reader's
attention to the sequel of my story, hoping to be pardoned if I make it
as short as possible. * * * *

It was a lovely moonlight evening. The Hon. Mr. S. and lady, Mr. and
Mrs. K., and Caroline Lindsay, were seated in the parlor of Mr.
K.--Caroline had called to inquire for Martha, supposing her to be in
Lowell. Caroline's father had been deeply engaged in the eastern land
speculation, the result of which was a total loss of property. This made
it absolutely necessary that his family should labor for their bread;
and Caroline had come to the noble resolution of going to Lowell to work
in a factory, not only to support herself, but to assist her parents in
supporting her little brother and sisters. It was a hard struggle for
Caroline to bring her mind to this; but she had done it, and was now
ready to leave home. Dreading to go where all were strangers, she
requested Mr. K. to give her directions where to find Martha, and to
honor her as the bearer of a letter to his niece. "I know," said she,
"that Martha's goodness of heart will induce her to secure me a place of
work, notwithstanding my former rudeness to her--a rudeness which has
caused me to suffer severely, and of which I heartily repent." Mr. K.
informed Caroline that he expected to see his niece that evening; and he
doubted not she would recommend Miss Lindsay to the overseer with whom
she had worked while in Lowell; and also introduce her to good society,
which she would find could be enjoyed, even in the "city of spindles,"
popular prejudice to the contrary notwithstanding. Esquire and Mrs. S.
approved of Caroline's resolution of going to Lowell, and spoke many
words of encouragement, and also prevailed on her to accept of something
to assist in defraying the expenses of her journey, and to provide for
any exigency which might happen. They were yet engaged in conversation,
when a coach stopped at the door, and presently George and Emily entered
the parlor! They were followed by a gentleman and lady in bridal
habiliments. George stepped back, and introduced Mr. Henry S. and lady.
"Yes," said Henry laughingly, "I have brought safely back the Factory
Pearl, which a twelvemonth since I found in this room, and which I have
taken for my own." The lady threw back her veil, and Miss Lindsay beheld
the countenance of Martha Croly.

I shall omit the apologies and congratulations of Caroline and the
assurance of forgiveness and proffers of friendship of Martha. The
reader must also excuse me from delineating the joy with which Martha
was received by her uncle and aunt K.; and the heartfelt satisfaction
which Esquire and Mrs. S. expressed in their son's choice of a wife. It
is enough to state that all parties concerned were satisfied and happy,
and continue so to the present time. To sum up the whole they are happy
themselves, and diffuse happiness all around them.

Caroline Lindsay was the bearer of several letters from Martha, now Mrs.
S., to her friends in Lowell. She spent two years in a factory, and
enjoyed the friendship of all who knew her; and when she left Lowell her
friends could not avoid grieving for the loss of her company, although
they knew that a bright day was soon to dawn upon her. She is now the
wife of George K., and is beloved and respected by all who know her.
Well may she say, "Sweet are the uses of adversity," for adversity awoke
to energy virtues which were dormant, until a reverse of fortune. Her
father's affairs are in a measure retrieved; and he says that he is
doubly compensated for his loss of property in the happiness he now

I will take leave of the reader, hoping that if he has hitherto had any
undue prejudice against labor, or laboring people, he will overcome it,
and excuse my freedom and plainness of speech.



When, in the perusal of history, I meet with the names of females whom
circumstances, or their own inclinations, have brought thus openly
before the public eye, I can seldom repress the desire to know more of
them. Was it choice, or necessity, which led them to the battle-field,
or council-hall? Had the woman's heart been crushed within their
breasts? or did it struggle with the sterner feelings which had then
found entrance there? Were they recreant to their own sex? or were the
deed which claim the historian's notice but the necessary results of the
situations in which they had been placed?

These are questions which I often ask, and yet I love not in old and
musty records to meet with names which long ere this should have
perished with the hearts upon which love had written them; for happier,
surely, is woman, when in _one_ manly heart she has been "shrined a
queen," than when upon some powerful throne she sits with an untrembling
form, and an unquailing eye, to receive the homage, and command the
services of loyal thousands. I love not to read of women transformed in
all, save outward form, into one of the sterner sex; and when I see, in
the memorials of the past, that this has apparently been done, I would
fain overleap the barriers of bygone time, and know how it has been
effected. Imagination goes back to the scenes which must have been
witnessed then, and perhaps unaided portrays the minute features of the
sketch, of which history has preserved merely the outlines.

But I sometimes read of woman, when I would not know more of the places
where she has rendered herself conspicuous; when there is something so
noble and so bright in the character I have given her, that I fear a
better knowledge of trivial incidents might break the spell which leads
me to love and admire her; where, perhaps, the picture which my fancy
has painted, glows in colors so brilliant, that a sketch by Truth would
seem beside it but a sombre shadow.

Joan of Arc is one of those heroines of history, who cannot fail to
excite an interest in all who love to contemplate the female character.
From the gloom of that dark age, when woman was but a plaything and a
slave, she stands in bold relief, its most conspicuous personage. Not,
indeed, as a queen, but as more than a queen, even the preserver of her
nation's king; not as a conqueror, but as the savior of her country; not
as a man, urged in his proud career by mad ambition's stirring energies,
but as a woman, guided in her brilliant course by woman's noblest
impulses--so does she appear in that lofty station which for herself she

Though high and dazzling was the eminence to which she rose, yet "'twas
not thus, oh 'twas not thus, her dwelling-place was found." Low in the
vale of humble life was the maiden born and bred; and thick as is the
veil which time and distance have thrown over every passage of her life
yet that which rests upon her early days is most impenetrable. And much
room is there here for the interested inquirer, and Imagination may rest
almost unchecked amid the slight revelations of History.

Joan is a heroine--a woman of mighty power--wearing herself the
habiliments of man, and guiding armies to battle and to victory; yet
never to my eye is "the warrior-maid" aught but _woman_. The ruling
passion, the spirit which nerved her arm, illumed her eye, and buoyed
her heart, was woman's faith. Ay, it was _power_--and call it what ye
may--say it was enthusiasm, fanaticism, madness--or call it, if ye will,
what those _did_ name it who burned Joan at the stake,--still it was
power, the power of woman's firm, undoubting faith.

I should love to go back into Joan's humble home--that home which the
historian has thought so little worthy of his notice; and in imagination
I _must_ go there, even to the very cradle of her infancy, and know of
all those influences which wrought the mind of Joan to that fearful
pitch of wild enthusiasm, when she declared herself the inspired agent
of the Almighty.

Slowly and gradually was the spirit trained to an act like this; for
though, like the volcano's fire, its instantaneous bursting forth was
preceded by no prophet-herald of its coming--yet Joan of Arc was the
same Joan ere she was maid of Orleans; the same high-souled, pure and
imaginative being, the creature of holy impulses, and conscious of
superior energies. It must have been so; _a superior mind may burst upon
the world, but never upon itself_: there must be a feeling of sympathy
with the noble and the gifted, a knowledge of innate though slumbering
powers. The neglected eaglet may lie in its mountain nest, long after
the pinion is fledged; but it will fix its unquailing eye upon the
dazzling sun, and feel a consciousness of strength in the untried wing;
but let the mother-bird once call it forth, and far away it will soar
into the deep blue heavens, or bathe and revel amidst the
tempest-clouds--and henceforth the eyrie is but a resting place.

As the diamond is formed, brilliant and priceless, in the dark bowels of
the earth, even so, in the gloom of poverty, obscurity, and toil, was
formed the mind of Joan of Arc.--Circumstances were but the jeweller's
cutting, which placed it where it might more readily receive the rays
of light, and flash them forth with greater brilliancy.

I have said, that I must in imagination go back to the infancy of Joan,
and note the incidents which shed their silent, hallowed influence upon
her soul, until she stands forth an inspired being, albeit inspired by
naught but her own imagination.

The basis of Joan's character is religious enthusiasm: this is the
substratum, the foundation of all that wild and mighty power which made
_her_, the peasant girl, the savior of her country. But the flame must
have been early fed; it was not merely an elementary portion of her
nature, but it was one which was cherished in infancy, in childhood and
in youth, until it became the master-passion of her being.

Joan, the child of the humble and the lowly, was also the daughter of
the fervently religious. The light of faith and hope illumes their
little cot; and reverence for all that is good and true, and a trust
which admits no shade of fear or doubt, is early taught the gentle
child. Though "faith in God's own promises" was mingled with
superstitious awe of those to whom all were then indebted for a
knowledge of the truth; though priestly craft had united the wild and
false with the pure light of the gospel: and though Joan's religion was
mingled with delusion and error,--still it comprised all that is
fervent, and pure, and truthful, in the female heart. The first words
her infant lips are taught to utter, are those of prayer--prayer,
mayhap, to saints or virgin; but still to her _then_ and in all
after-time, the aspirations of a spirit which delights in communion with
the Invisible.

She grows older, and still, amid ignorance, and poverty, and toil, the
spirit gains new light and fervor. With a mind alive to everything that
is high and holy, she goes forth into a dark and sinful world, dependent
upon her daily toil for daily bread; she lives among the thoughtless and
the vile; but like that plant which opens to nought but light and air,
and shrinks from all other contact--so her mind, amid the corruptions of
the world, is shut to all that is base and sinful, though open and
sensitive to that which is pure and noble.

"Joan," says the historian, "was a tender of stables in a village inn."
Such was her outward life; but there was for her _another_ life, a life
within that life. While the hands perform low, menial service, the soul
untrammelled is away, and revelling amidst its own creations of beauty
and of bliss. She is silent and abstracted; always alone among her
fellows--for among them all she sees no kindred spirit; she finds none
who can touch the chords within her heart, or respond to their melody,
when she would herself sweep its harp-strings.

Joan has no friends; far less does she ever think of earthly lovers; and
who would love _her_, the wild and strange Joan! though perhaps, the
gloomy, dull, and silent one; but that soul, whose very essence is
fervent zeal and glowing passion, sends forth in secrecy and silence its
burning love upon the unconscious things of earth. She talks to the
flowers, and the stars, and the changing clouds; and their voiceless
answers come back to her soul at morn, and noon, and stilly night. Yes,
Joan loves to go forth in the darkness of eve, and sit,

  "Beneath the radiant stars, still burning as they roll,
  And sending down their prophecies into her fervent soul;"

but, better even than this, does she love to go into some high
cathedral, where the "dim religious light" comes faintly through the
painted windows; and when the priests chant vesper hymns, and burning
incense goes upward from the sacred altar--and when the solemn strains
and the fragrant vapor dissolve and die away in the distant aisles and
lofty dome, she kneels upon the marble floor, and in ecstatic worship
sends forth the tribute of a glowing heart.

And when at night she lies down upon her rude pallet, she dreams that
she is with those bright and happy beings with whom her fancy has
peopled heaven. She is there, among saints and angels, and even
permitted high converse with the Mother of Jesus.

Yes, Joan is a dreamer; and she dreams not only in the night, but in the
day; whether at work or at rest, alone or among her fellow-men, there
are angel voices near, and spirit-wings are hovering around her, and
visions of all that is pure, and bright, and beautiful, come to the mind
of the lowly girl. She finds that she is a favored one; she feels that
those about her are not gifted as she has been; she knows that their
thoughts are not as her thoughts; and then the spirit questions, Why is
it thus that she should be permitted communings with unearthly ones? Why
was this ardent, aspiring mind bestowed upon _her_, one of earth's
meanest ones, shackled by bonds of penury, toil, and ignorance of all
that the world calls high and gifted? Day after day goes by, night after
night wears on, and still these queries will arise, and still they are

At length the affairs of busy life, those which to Joan have heretofore
been of but little moment, begin to awaken even _her_ interest.
Hitherto, absorbed in her own bright fancies, she has mingled in the
scenes around her, like one who walketh in his sleep. They have been too
tame and insipid to arouse her energies, or excite her interest; but now
there is a thrilling power in the tidings which daily meet her ears. All
hearts are stirred, but none now throb like hers: her country is
invaded, her king an exile from his throne; and at length the
conquerors, unopposed, are quietly boasting of their triumphs on the
very soil they have polluted. And shall it be thus? Shall the victor
revel and triumph in her own loved France? Shall her country thus tamely
submit to wear the foreign yoke? And Joan says, No! She feels the power
to arouse, to quicken, and to guide.

None now may tell whether it was first in fancies of the day or visions
of the night, that the thought came, like some lightning flash, upon her
mind, that it was for this that powers unknown to others had been
vouchsafed to _her_; and that for this, even new energies should now be
given.--But the idea once received is not abandoned; she cherishes it,
and broods upon it, till it has mingled with every thought of day and
night. If doubts at first arise, they are not harbored, and at length
they vanish away.

  "Her spirit shadowed forth a dream, till it became a creed."

All that she sees and all that she hears--the words to which she eagerly
listens by day, and the spirit-whispers which come to her at
night,--they all assure her of this, that she is the appointed one. All
other thoughts and feelings now crystallize in this grand scheme; and as
the cloud grows darker upon her country's sky, her faith grows surer and
more bright. Her countrymen have ceased to resist, have almost ceased to
hope; but she alone, in her fervent joy, has "looked beyond the present
clouds and seen the light beyond." The spoiler shall yet be vanquished,
and _she_ will do it; her country shall be saved, and _she_ will save
it; her unanointed king shall yet sit on the throne, and "Charles shall
be crowned at Rheims." Such is her mission, and she goes forth in her
own ardent faith to its accomplishment.

And did those who first admitted the claims of Joan as an inspired
leader, themselves believe that she was an agent of the Almighty? None
can now tell how much the superstition of their faith, mingled with the
commanding influence of a mind firm in its own conviction of
supernatural guidance, influenced those haughty ones, as they listened
to the counsels, and obeyed the mandates, of the peasant girl.--Perhaps
they saw that she was their last hope, a frail reed upon which they
might lean, yet one that might not break. Her zeal and faith might be an
instrument to effect the end which she had declared herself destined to
accomplish. Worldly policy and religious credulity might mingle in their
admission of her claims; but however this might be, the peasant girl of
Arc soon rides at her monarch's side, with helmet on her head, and armor
on her frame, the time-hallowed sword girt to her side, and the
consecrated banner in her hand; and with the lightning of inspiration in
her eye, and words of dauntless courage on her lips, she guides them on
to battle and to victory.

Ay, there she is, the low-born maid of Arc! there, with the noble and
the brave, amid the clangor of trumpets, the waving of banners, the
tramp of the war horse, and the shouts of warriors; and there she is
more at home than in those humble scenes in which she has been wont to
bear a part. Now for once she is herself; now may she put forth all her
hidden energy, and with a mind which rises at each new demand upon its
powers, she is gaining for herself a name even greater than that of
queen. And now does the light beam brightly from her eye, and the blood
course quickly through her veins--for her task is ended, her mission
accomplished, and "Charles is crowned at Rheims."

This is the moment of Joan's glory,--and what is before her now? To
stand in courts, a favored and flattered one? to revel in the soft
luxuries and enervating pleasures of a princely life? Oh this was not
for one like her. To return to obscurity and loneliness, and there to
let the over-wrought mind sink back with nought to occupy and support
it, till it feeds and drivels on the remembrance of the past--this is
what she would do; but there is for her what is better far, even the
glorious death of a martyr.

Little does Joan deem, in her moment of triumph, that this is before
her; but when she has seen her mission ended, and her king the anointed
ruler of a liberated people, the sacred sword and standard are cast
aside; and throwing herself at her monarch's feet, and watering them
with tears of joy, she begs permission to return to her humble
home.--She has now done all for which that power was bestowed; her work
has been accomplished, and she claims no longer the special commission
of an inspired leader. But Dunois says, No! The English are not yet
entirely expelled the kingdom, and the French general would avail
himself of that name, and that presence, which have infused new courage
into his armies, and struck terror to their enemies. He knows that Joan
will no longer be sustained by the belief that she is an agent of
heaven; but she will be with them, and that alone must benefit their
cause. He would have her again assume the standard, sword, and armor; he
would have her still retain the title of "Messenger of God," though she
believe that her mission goes no farther.

It probably was not the first time, and it certainly was not the last,
when woman's holiest feelings have been made the instruments of man's
ambition, or agents for the completion of his designs. Joan is now but a
woman, poor, weak, and yielding woman; and overpowered by their
entreaties, she consents to try again her influence. But the power of
that faith is gone, the light of inspiration is no more given, and she
is attacked, conquered, and delivered to her enemies. They place her in
low dungeons, then bring her before tribunals; they wring and torture
that noble spirit, and endeavor to obtain from it a confession of
imposture, or connivance with the "evil one;" but she still persists in
the declaration that her claims to a heavenly guidance were true.

Once only was she false to herself. Weary and dispirited; deserted by
her friends, and tormented by her foes,--she yields to their assertions,
and admits that she did deceive her countrymen. Perhaps in that hour of
trial and darkness, when all hope of deliverance from without, or from
above, had died away,--when she saw herself powerless in the merciless
hands of her enemies, the conviction might steal upon her own mind, that
she had been self-deceived; that phantasies of the brain had been
received as visions from on high,--but though her confession was true in
the abstract, yet Joan was surely untrue to herself.

Still it avails her little; she is again remanded to the dungeon, and
there awaits her doom.

At length they bring her the panoply of war, the armored suit in which
she went forth at the king's right hand to fight their battle hosts. Her
heart thrills, and her eye flashes, as she looks upon it--for it tells
of glorious days. Once more she dons those fatal garments, and they find
her arrayed in the habiliments of war. It is enough for those who wished
but an excuse to take her life, and the Maid of Orleans is condemned to

They led Joan to the martyr-stake. Proudly and nobly went she forth, for
it was a fitting death for one like _her_. Once more the spirit may
rouse its noblest energies; and with brightened eye, and firm, undaunted
step, she goes where banners wave and trumpets sound, and martial hosts
appear in proud array. And the sons of England weep as they see her, the
calm and tearless one, come forth to meet her fate. They bind her to the
stake; they light the fire; and upward borne on wreaths of soaring
flame, the soul of the martyred Joan ascends to heaven.




"Mother, it is all over now," said Susan Miller, as she descended from
the chamber where her father had just died of _delirium tremens_.

Mrs. Miller had for several hours walked the house, with that ceaseless
step which tells of fearful mental agony: and when she had heard from
her husband's room some louder shriek or groan, she had knelt by the
chair or bed which was nearest, and prayed that the troubled spirit
might pass away. But a faintness came over her, when a long interval of
stillness told that her prayer was answered; and she leaned upon the
railing of the stairway for support, as she looked up to see the first
one who should come to her from the bed of death.

Susan was the first to think of her mother: and when she saw her sink,
pale, breathless, and stupified upon a stair, she sat down in silence,
and supported her head upon her own bosom. Then for the first time was
she aroused to the consciousness that she was to be looked upon as a
stay and support; and she resolved to bring from the hidden recesses of
her heart, a strength, courage, and firmness, which should make her to
her heart-broken mother, and younger brothers and sisters, what _he_ had
not been for many years, who was now a stiffening corpse.

At length she ventured to whisper words of solace and sympathy, and
succeeded in infusing into her mother's mind a feeling of resignation to
the stroke they had received.--She persuaded her to retire to her bed,
and seek the slumber which had been for several days denied them; and
then she endeavored to calm the terror-stricken little ones, who were
screaming because their father was no more. The neighbors came in and
proffered every assistance; but when Susan retired that night to her own
chamber, she felt that she must look to HIM for aid, who alone could
sustain through the tasks that awaited her.

Preparations were made for the funeral; and though every one knew that
Mr. Miller had left his farm deeply mortgaged, yet the store-keeper
cheerfully trusted them for articles of mourning, and the dress-maker
worked day and night, while she expected never to receive a
remuneration. The minister came to comfort the widow and her children.
He spoke of the former virtues of him who had been wont to seek the
house of God on each returning Sabbath, and who had brought his eldest
children to the font of baptism, and been then regarded as an example of
honesty and sterling worth; and when he adverted to the one failing
which had brought him to his grave in the very prime of manhood, he also
remarked, that he was now in the hands of a merciful God.

The remains of the husband and father were at length removed from the
home which he had once rendered happy, but upon which he had afterwards
brought poverty and distress, and laid in that narrow house which he
never more might leave, till the last trumpet should call him forth;
and when the family were left to that deep silence and gloom which
always succeed a death and burial, they began to think of the trials
which were yet to come.

Mrs. Miller had been for several years aware that ruin was coming upon
them. She had at first warned, reasoned, and expostulated; but she was
naturally of a gentle and almost timid disposition; and when she found
that she awakened passions which were daily growing more violent and
ungovernable, she resolved to await in silence a crisis which sooner or
later would change their destiny. Whether she was to follow her
degenerate husband to his grave, or accompany him to some low hovel, she
knew not; she shrunk from the future, but faithfully discharged all
present duties, and endeavored, by a strict economy, to retain at least
an appearance of comfort in her household.

To Susan, her eldest child, she had confided all her fears and sorrows;
and they had watched, toiled, and sympathized together. But when the
blow came at last, when he who had caused all their sorrow and anxiety
was taken away by a dreadful and disgraceful death, the long-enduring
wife and mother was almost paralyzed by the shock.

But Susan was young; she had health, strength, and spirits to bear her
up, and upon her devolved the care of the family, and the plan for its
future support. Her resolution was soon formed; and without saying a
word to any individual, she went to Deacon Rand, who was her father's
principal creditor.

It was a beautiful afternoon in the month of May, when Susan left the
house in which her life had hitherto been spent, determined to know,
before she returned to it, whether she might ever again look upon it as
her home. It was nearly a mile to the deacon's house, and not a single
house upon the way. The two lines of turf in the road, upon which the
bright green grass was springing, showed that it was but seldom
travelled; and the birds warbled in the trees, as though they feared no
disturbance. The fragrance of the lowly flowers, the budding shrubs, and
the blooming fruit-trees, filled the air; and she stood for a moment to
listen to the streamlet which she crossed upon a rude bridge of stones.
She remembered how she had loved to look at it in summer, as it murmured
along among the low willows and alder bushes; and how she had watched it
in the early spring, when its swollen waters forced their way through
the drifts of snow which had frozen over it, and wrought for itself an
arched roof, from which the little icicles depended in diamond points
and rows of beaded pearls. She looked also at the meadow, where the
grass was already so long and green; and she sighed to think that she
must leave all that was so dear to her, and go where a ramble among
fields, meadows, and orchards, would be henceforth a pleasure denied to


When she arrived at the spacious farm-house, which was the residence of
the deacon, she was rejoiced to find him at home and alone. He laid
aside his newspaper as she entered, and, kindly taking her hand,
inquired after her own health and that of her friends. "And now,
deacon," said she, when she had answered all his questions, "I wish to
know whether you intend to turn us all out of doors, as you have a
perfect right to do--or suffer us still to remain, with a slight hope
that we may sometime pay you the debt for which our farm is mortgaged."

"You have asked me a very plain question," was the deacon's reply, "and
one which I can easily answer. You see that I have here a house, large
enough and good enough for the president himself, and plenty of every
thing in it and around it; and how in the name of common sense and
charity, and religion, could I turn a widow and fatherless children out
of their house and home! Folks have called me mean, and stingy, and
close-fisted; and though in my dealings with a rich man I take good care
that he shall not overreach me, yet I never stood for a cent with a poor
man in my life. But you spake about some time paying me; pray, how do
you hope to do it?"

"I am going to Lowell," said Susan quietly, "to work in the factory, the
girls have high wages there now, and in a year or two Lydia and Eliza
can come too; and if we all have our health, and mother and James get
along well with the farm and the little ones, I hope, I do think, that
we can pay it all up in the course of seven or eight years."

"That is a long time for you to go and work so hard, and shut yourself
up so close at your time of life," said the deacon, "and on many other
accounts I do not approve of it."

"I know how prejudiced the people here are against factory girls," said
Susan, "but I should like to know what real good _reason_ you have for
disapproving of my resolution. You cannot think there is anything really
wrong in my determination to labor, as steadily and as profitably as I
can, for myself and the family."

"Why, the way that I look at things is this," replied the deacon:
"whatever is not right, is certainly wrong; and I do not think it right
for a young girl like you, to put herself in the way of all sorts of
temptation. You have no idea of the wickedness and corruption which
exist in that town of Lowell. Why, they say that more than half of the
girls have been in the house of correction, or the county gaol, or some
other vile place; and that the other half are not much better; and I
should not think you would wish to go and work, and eat, and sleep, with
such a low, mean, ignorant, wicked set of creatures."

"I know such things are said of them, deacon, but I do not think they
are true. I have never seen but one factory girl, and that was my cousin
Esther, who visited us last summer. I do not believe there is a better
girl in the world than she is; and I cannot think she would be so
contented and cheerful among such a set of wretches as some folks think
factory girls must be. There may be wicked girls there; but among so
many, there must be some who are good; and when I go there, I shall try
to keep out of the way of bad company, and I do not doubt that cousin
Esther can introduce me to girls who are as good as any with whom I have
associated. If she cannot I will have no companion but her, and spend
the little leisure I shall have in solitude, for I am determined to go."

"But supposing, Susan, that all the girls there were as good, and
sensible, and pleasant as yourself--yet there are many other things to
be considered. You have not thought how hard it will seem to be boxed up
fourteen hours in a day, among a parcel of clattering looms, or whirling
spindles, whose constant din is of itself enough to drive a girl out of
her wits; and then you will have no fresh air to breathe, and as likely
as not come home in a year or two with a consumption, and wishing you
had staid where you would have had less money and better health. I have
also heard that the boarding women do not give the girls food which is
fit to eat, nor half enough of the mean stuff they do allow them, and it
is contrary to all reason to suppose that folks can work, and have their
health, without victuals to eat."

"I have thought of all these things, deacon, but they do not move me. I
know the noise of the mills must be unpleasant at first, but I shall get
used to that; and as to my health, I know that I have as good a
constitution to begin with as any girl could wish, and no predisposition
to consumption, nor any of those diseases which a factory life might
otherwise bring upon me. I do not expect all the comforts which are
common to country farmers; but I am not afraid of starving, for cousin
Esther said, that she had an excellent boarding place, and plenty to
eat, and drink, and that which was good enough for anybody. But if they
do not give us good meat, I will eat vegetables alone, and when we have
bad butter, I will eat my bread without it."

"Well," said the deacon, "if your health is preserved, you may lose some
of your limbs. I have heard a great many stories about girls who had
their hands torn off by the machinery, or mangled so that they could
never use them again; and a hand is not a thing to be despised, nor
easily dispensed with. And then, how should you like to be ordered
about, and scolded at, by a cross overseer?"

"I know there is danger," replied Susan, "among so much machinery, but
those who meet with accidents are but a small number, in proportion to
the whole, and if I am careful I need not fear any injury. I do not
believe the stories we hear about bad overseers, for such men would not
be placed over so many girls; and if I have a cross one, I will give no
reason to find fault; and if he finds fault without reason, I will leave
him, and work for some one else.--You know that I must do something, and
I have made up my mind what it shall be."

"You are a good child, Susan," and the deacon looked very kind when he
told her so, "and you are a courageous, noble-minded girl. I am not
afraid that _you_ will learn to steal, and lie, and swear, and neglect
your Bible and the meeting-house; but lest anything unpleasant should
happen, I will make you this offer: I will let your mother live upon the
farm, and pay me what little she can, till your brother James is old
enough to take it at the halves; and if you will come here, and help my
wife about the house and dairy, I will give you 4_s._ 6_d._ a-week, and
you shall be treated as a daughter--perhaps you may one day be one."

The deacon looked rather sly at her, and Susan blushed; for Henry Rand,
the deacon's youngest son, had been her playmate in childhood, her
friend at school, and her constant attendant at all the parties and
evening meetings. Her young friends all spoke of him as her lover, and
even the old people had talked of it as a very fitting match, as Susan,
besides good sense, good humor, and some beauty, had the health,
strength and activity which are always reckoned among the qualifications
for a farmer's wife.

Susan knew of this; but of late, domestic trouble had kept her at home,
and she knew not what his present feelings were. Still she felt that
they must not influence her plans and resolutions. Delicacy forbade that
she should come and be an inmate of his father's house, and her very
affection for him had prompted the desire that she should be as
independent as possible of all favors from him, or his father; and also
the earnest desire that they might one day clear themselves of debt. So
she thanked the deacon for his offer, but declined accepting it, and
arose to take leave.

"I shall think a great deal about you, when you are gone," said the
deacon, "and will pray for you, too. I never used to think about the
sailors, till my wife's brother visited us, who had led for many years a
sea-faring life; and now I always pray for those who are exposed to the
dangers of the great deep. And I will also pray for the poor factory
girls who work so hard and suffer so much."

"Pray for me, deacon," replied Susan in a faltering voice, "that I may
have strength to keep a good resolution."

She left the house with a sad heart; for the very success of her hopes
and wishes had brought more vividly to mind the feeling that she was
really to go and leave for many years her friends and home.

She was almost glad that she had not seen Henry; and while she was
wondering what he would say and think, when told that she was going to
Lowell, she heard approaching footsteps, and looking up, saw him coming
towards her. The thought--no, the idea, for it had not time to form into
a definite thought--flashed across her mind, that she must now arouse
all her firmness, and not let Henry's persuasion shake her resolution to
leave them all, and go to the factory.

But the very indifference with which he heard of her intention was of
itself sufficient to arouse her energy. He appeared surprised, but
otherwise wholly unconcerned, though he expressed a hope that she would
be happy and prosperous, and that her health would not suffer from the
change of occupation.

If he had told her that he loved her--if he had entreated her not to
leave them, or to go with the promise of returning to be his future
companion through life--she could have resisted it; for this she had
resolved to do; and the happiness attending an act of self-sacrifice
would have been her reward.

She had before known sorrow, and she had borne it patiently and
cheerfully; and she knew that the life which was before her would have
been rendered happier by the thought, that there was one who was deeply
interested for her happiness, and who sympathized in all her trials.

When she parted from Henry it was with a sense of loneliness, of utter
desolation, such as she had never before experienced. She had never
before thought that he was dear to her, and that she had wished to carry
in her far-off place of abode the reflection that she was dear to him.
She felt disappointed and mortified, but she blamed not him, neither did
she blame herself; she did not know that any one had been to blame. Her
young affections had gone forth as naturally and as involuntarily as the
vapors rise to meet the sun. But the sun which had called them forth,
had now gone down, and they were returning in cold drops to the
heart-springs from which they had arisen; and Susan resolved that they
should henceforth form a secret fount, whence every other feeling should
derive new strength and vigor. She was now more firmly resolved that her
future life should be wholly devoted to her kindred, and thought not of
herself but as connected with them.


It was with pain that Mrs. Miller heard of Susan's plan; but she did not
oppose her. She felt that it must be so, that she must part with her
for her own good and the benefit of the family; and Susan hastily made
preparations for her departure.

She arranged everything in and about the house for her mother's
convenience; and the evening before she left she spent in instructing
Lydia how to take her place, as far as possible, and told her to be
always cheerful with mother, and patient with the younger ones, and to
write a long letter every two months (for she could not afford to hear
oftener), and to be sure and not forget her for a single day.

Then she went to her own room; and when she had re-examined her trunk,
bandbox, and basket, to see that all was right, and laid her
riding-dress over the great armchair, she sat down by the window to
meditate upon her change of life.

She thought, as she looked upon the spacious, convenient chamber in
which she was sitting, how hard it would be to have no place to which
she could retire and be alone, and how difficult it would be to keep her
things in order in the fourth part of a small apartment, and how
possible it was that she might have unpleasant room-mates, and how
probable that every day would call into exercise all her kindness and
forbearance. And then she wondered if it would be possible for her to
work so long, and save so much, as to render it possible that she might
one day return to that chamber and call it her own. Sometimes she wished
she had not undertaken it, that she had not let the deacon know that she
hoped to be able to pay him; she feared that she had taken a burden upon
herself which she could not bear, and sighed to think that her lot
should be so different from that of most young girls.

She thought of the days when she was a little child; when she played
with Henry at the brook, or picked berries with him on the hill; when
her mother was always happy, and her father always kind; and she wished
that the time could roll back, and she could again be a careless little

She felt, as we sometimes do, when we shut our eyes and try to sleep,
and get back into some pleasant dream, from which we have been too
suddenly awakened. But the dream of youth was over, and before her was
the sad waking reality of a life of toil, separation, and sorrow.

When she left home the next morning, it was the first time she had ever
parted from her friends. The day was delightful, and the scenery
beautiful; a stage-ride was of itself a novelty to her, and her
companions pleasant and sociable; but she felt very sad, and when she
retired at night to sleep in a hotel, she burst into tears.

Those who see the factory girls in Lowell, little think of the sighs and
heart-aches which must attend a young girl's entrance upon a life of
toil and privation, among strangers.

To Susan, the first entrance into a factory boarding-house seemed
something dreadful. The rooms looked strange and comfortless, and the
women cold and heartless; and when she sat down to the supper-table,
where, among more than twenty girls, all but one were strangers, she
could not eat a mouthful. She went with Esther to their sleeping
apartment, and, after arranging her clothes and baggage, she went to
bed, but not to sleep.

The next morning she went into the mill; and at first, the sight of so
many bands, and wheels, and springs, in constant motion was very
frightful. She felt afraid to touch the loom, and she was almost sure
that she could never learn to weave; the harness puzzled and the reed
perplexed her; the shuttle flew out, and made a new bump upon her head;
and the first time she tried to spring the lathe, she broke out a
quarter of the treads. It seemed as if the girls all stared at her, and
the overseers watched every motion, and the day appeared as long as a
month had been at home. But at last it was night; and O, how glad was
Susan to be released! She felt weary and wretched, and retired to rest
without taking a mouthful of refreshment. There was a dull pain in her
head, and a sharp pain in her ankles; every bone was aching, and there
was in her ears a strange noise, as of crickets, frogs, and jews-harps,
all mingling together, and she felt gloomy and sick at heart. "But it
won't seem so always," said she to herself; and with this truly
philosophical reflection, she turned her head upon a hard pillow, and
went to sleep.

Susan was right, it did not seem so always. Every succeeding day seemed
shorter and pleasanter than the last; and when she was accustomed to the
work, and had become interested in it, the hours seemed shorter, and the
days, weeks, and months flew more swiftly by than they had ever done
before. She was healthy, active, and ambitious, and was soon able to
earn even as much as her cousin, who had been a weaver several years.

Wages were then much higher than they are now; and Susan had the
pleasure of devoting the avails of her labor to a noble and cherished
purpose. There was a definite aim before her, and she never lost sight
of the object for which she left her home, and was happy in the prospect
of fulfilling that design. And it needed all this hope of success, and
all her strength of resolution, to enable her to bear up against the
wearing influences of a life of unvarying toil. Though the days seemed
shorter than at first, yet there was a tiresome monotony about them.
Every morning the bells pealed forth the same clangor, and every night
brought the same feeling of fatigue. But Susan felt, as all factory
girls feel, that she could bear it for a while. There are few who look
upon factory labor as a pursuit for life. It is but a temporary
vocation; and most of the girls resolve to quit the mill when some
favorite design is accomplished. Money is their object--not for itself,
but for what it can perform; and pay-days are the landmarks which cheer
all hearts, by assuring them of their progress to the wished-for goal.

Susan was always very happy when she enclosed the quarterly sum to
Deacon Rand, although it was hardly won, and earned by the deprivation
of many little comforts, and pretty articles of dress, which her
companions could procure. But the thought of home, and the future happy
days which she might enjoy in it, was the talisman which ever cheered
and strengthened her.

She also formed strong friendships among her factory companions, and
became attached to her pastor, and their place of worship. After the
first two years she had also the pleasure of her sister's society, and
in a year or two more, another came. She did not wish them to come while
very young. She thought it better that their bodies should be
strengthened, and their minds educated in their country home; and she
also wished, that in their early girlhood they should enjoy the same
pleasures which had once made her own life a very happy one.

And she was happy now; happy in the success of her noble exertions, the
affection and gratitude of her relatives, the esteem of her
acquaintances, and the approbation of conscience. Only once was she
really disquieted. It was when her sister wrote that Henry Rand was
married to one of their old school-mates. For a moment the color fled
from her cheek, and a quick pang went through her heart. It was but for
a moment; and then she sat down and wrote to the newly-married couple a
letter, which touched their hearts by its simple fervent wishes for
their happiness, and assurances of sincere friendship.

Susan had occasionally visited home, and she longed to go, never to
leave it; but she conquered the desire, and remained in Lowell more than
a year after the last dollar had been forwarded to Deacon Rand. And
then, O, how happy was she when she entered her chamber the first
evening after her arrival, and viewed its newly-painted wainscoting, and
brightly-colored paper-hangings, and the new furniture with which she
had decorated it; and she smiled as she thought of the sadness which had
filled her heart the evening before she first went to Lowell.

She now always thinks of Lowell with pleasure, for Lydia is married
here, and she intends to visit her occasionally, and even sometimes
thinks of returning for a little while to the mills. Her brother James
has married, and resides in one half of the house, which he has recently
repaired; and Eliza, though still in the factory, is engaged to a
wealthy young farmer.

Susan is with her mother, and younger brothers and sisters. People begin
to think she will be an old maid, and she thinks herself that it will be
so. The old deacon still calls her a good child, and prays every night
and morning for the factory girls.

                                                        F. G. A.


I have been but a slight traveller, and the beautiful rivers of our
country have, with but one or two exceptions, rolled their bright waves
before "the orbs of fancy" alone, and not to my visual senses. But the
few specimens which have been favored me of river scenery, have been
very happy in the influence they have exerted upon my mind, in favor of
this feature of natural loveliness.

I do not wonder that the "stream of _his_ fathers" should be ever so
favorite a theme with the poet, and that wherever he has sung its
praise, the spot should henceforth be as classic ground. Wherever some
"gently rolling river" has whispered its soft murmurs to the recording
muse, its name has been linked with his; and far as that name may
extend, is the beauty of that inspiring streamlet appreciated.

Helicon and Castalia are more frequently referred to than
Parnassus,--and even the small streams of hilly Scotland, are renowned
wherever the songs of her poet "are said or sung." "The banks and braes
o' bonny Doon," are duly applauded in the drawing-rooms of America; and
the Tweed, the "clear winding Devon," the "braes of Ayr," the "braes o'
Ballochmyle," and the "sweet Afton," so often the theme of his lays, for
his "Mary's asleep by its murmuring stream," are names even here quite
as familiar, perhaps more so, than our own broad and beauteous rivers.
Such is the hallowing power of Genius; and upon whatever spot she may
cast her bright unfading mantle, there is forever stamped the impress of

"The Bard of Avon" is an honorary title wherever our language is read;
and though we may have few streams which have as yet been sacred to the
muse, yet time will doubtless bring forth those whose genius shall make
the Indian cognomens of our noble rivers' names associated with all that
is lofty in intellect and beautiful in poetry.

The Merrimac has already received the grateful tribute of praise from
the muse of the New England poet; and well does it merit the encomiums
which he has bestowed upon it. It is a beautiful river, from the time
when its blue waters start on their joyous course, leaving "the smile of
the Great Spirit," to wind through many a vale, and round many a hill,
till they mingle

  "With ocean's dark eternal tide."

I have said that I have seen but few rivers. No! never have I stood

  "Where Hudson rolls his lordly flood;
  Seen sunrise rest, and sunset fade
  Along his frowning palisade;
  Looked down the Appalachian peak
  On Juniata's silver streak;
  Or seen along his valley gleam
  The Mohawk's softly winding stream;
  The setting sun, his axle red
  Quench darkly in Potomac's bed;
  And autumn's rainbow-tinted banner
  Hang lightly o'er the Susquehanna;"--

but I still imagine that all their beauties are concentrated in the blue
waters of the Merrimac--not as it appears here, where, almost beneath my
factory window, its broad tide moves peacefully along; but where by
"Salisbury's beach of shining sand," it rolls amidst far lovelier
scenes, and with more rapid flow. Perhaps it is because it is _my_ river
that I think it so beautiful--no matter if it is; there is a great
source of gratification in the feeling of whatever is in any way
connected with our _humble_ selves is on that account invested with some
distinctive charm, and in some mysterious way rendered peculiarly

But even to the stranger's eye, if he have any taste for the beautiful
in nature, the charms of the banks of the Merrimac would not be
disregarded. Can there be a more beautiful bend in a river, than that
which it makes at Salisbury Point? It is one of the most picturesque
scenes, at all events, which I have ever witnessed. Stand for a moment
upon the drawbridge which spans with its single arch the spot where "the
winding Powow" joins his sparkling waters with the broad tide of the
receiving river. We will suppose it is a summer morning. The thin white
mist from the Atlantic, which the night-spirit has thrown, like a bridal
veil, over the vale and river, is gently lifted by Aurora, and the
unshrouded waters blush "celestial rosy red" at the exposure of their
own loveliness. But the bright flush is soon gone, and as the sun rides
higher in the heavens, the millions of little wavelets don their diamond
crowns, and rise, and sink, and leap, and dance rejoicingly together;
and while their sparkling brilliancy arrests the eye, their murmurs of
delight are no less grateful to the ear. The grove upon the Newbury side
is already vocal with the morning anthems of the feathered choir, and
from the maple, oak, and pine is rising one glad peal of melody. The
slight fragrance of the kalmia, or American laurel, which flourishes
here in much profusion, is borne upon the morning breeze; and when their
roseate umbels are opened to the sun, they "sing to the eye," as their
less stationary companions have done to the ear.

The road which accompanies the river in its beauteous curve, is soon
alive with the active laborers of "Salisbury shore;" and soon the loud
"Heave-ho!" of the ship-builders is mingled with the more mellifluous
tones which have preceded them. The other busy inhabitants are soon
threading the winding street, and as they glance upon their bright and
beauteous river, their breasts swell with emotions of pleasure, though
in their constant and active bustle, they may seldom pause to analyze
the cause. The single sail of the sloop which has lain so listless at
the little wharf, and the double one of the schooner which is about to
traverse its way to the ocean, are unfurled to the morning wind, and the
loud orders of the bustling skipper, and the noisy echoes of his
bustling men, are borne upon the dewy breeze, and echoed from the
Newbury slopes. Soon they are riding upon the bright waters, and the
little skiff or wherry is also seen darting about, amidst the rolling
diamonds, while here and there a heavy laden "gundelow" moves slowly
along, "with sure and steady aim," as though it disdained the pastime of
its livelier neighbors.

Such is many a morning scene on the banks of the Merrimac; and not less
delightful are those of the evening. Perhaps the sunset has passed. The
last golden tint has faded from the river, and its waveless surface
reflects the deep blue of heaven, and sends back undimmed the first
faint ray of the evening star. The rising tide creeps rippling up the
narrow beach, sending along its foremost swell, which, in a sort of
drowsy play, leaps forward, and then sinks gently back upon its
successors. Now the tide is up--the trees upon the wooded banks of
Newbury, and the sandy hills upon the Amesbury side, are pencilled with
minutest accuracy in the clear waters. Farther down, the dwellings at
the Ferry, and those of the Point, which stand upon the banks, are also
mirrored in the deep stream. You might also fancy that beneath its lucid
tide there was a duplicate village, so distinct is every shadow. As, one
by one, the lights appear in the cottage windows, their reflected fires
shoot up from the depths of the Merrimac.

But the waters shine with brighter radiance as evening lengthens; for
Luna grows more lavish of her silvery beams as the crimson tints of her
brighter rival die in the western sky. The shore is still and
motionless, save where a pair of happy lovers steal slowly along the
shadowed walk which leads to Pleasant Valley. The old weather-worn ship
at the Point, which has all day long resounded with the clatter of
mischievous boys, is now wrapped in silence. The new one in the
ship-yard, which has also been dinning with the maul and hammer, is
equally quiet. But from the broad surface of the stream there comes the
song, the shout, and the ringing laugh of the light-hearted. They come
from the boats which dot the water, and are filled with the young and
gay. Some have just shot from the little wharf, and others have been for
hours upon the river. What they have been doing, and where they have
been, I do not precisely know; but, from the boughs which have been
broken from _somebody's_ trees, and the large clusters of laurel which
the ladies bear, I think I can "guess-o."

But it grows late. The lights which have glowed in the reflected
buildings have one by one been quenched, and still those light barks
remain upon the river. And that large "gundelow," which came down the
Powow, from the mills, with its freight of "factory girls," sends forth
"the sound of music and dancing." We will leave them--for it is possible
that they will linger till after midnight, and we have staid quite long
enough to obtain an evening's glimpse at the Merrimac.

Such are some of the scenes on the river, and many are also the pleasant
spots upon its banks. Beautiful walks and snug little nooks are not
unfrequent; and there are bright green sheltered coves, like Pleasant
Valley, where "all save the spirit of man is divine."

I remember the first steamboat which ever came hissing and puffing and
groaning and sputtering up the calm surface of the Merrimac. I remember
also the lovely moonlight evening when I watched her return from
Haverhill, and when every wave and rock and tree were lying bathed in a
flood of silver radiance. I shall not soon forget her noisy approach, so
strongly contrasted with the stillness around, nor the long loud ringing
cheers which hailed her arrival and accompanied her departure. I noted
every movement, as she hissed and splashed among the bright waters,
until she reached the curve in the river, and then was lost to view,
excepting the thick sparks which rose above the glistening foilage of
the wooded banks.

I remember also the first time I ever saw the aborigines of our country.
They were Penobscots, and then, I believe, upon their way to this city.
They encamped among the woods of the Newbury shore, and crossed the
river (there about a mile in width) in their little canoes, whenever
they wished to beg or trade.--They sadly refuted the romantic ideas
which I had formed from the descriptions of Cooper and others;
nevertheless, they were to me an interesting people. They appeared so
strange, with their birch-bark canoes and wooden paddles, their women
with men's hats and such _outré_ dresses, their little boys with their
unfailing bows and arrows, and the little feet which they all had. Their
curious, bright-stained baskets, too, which they sold or gave away. I
have one of them now, but it has lost its bright tints. It was given me
in return for a slight favor.--I remember also one dreadful stormy night
while they were amongst us. The rain poured in torrents. The thick
darkness was unrelieved by a single lightning-flash, and the hoarse
murmur of the seething river was the only noise which could be
distinguished from the pitiless storm. I thought of my new acquaintance,
and looked out in the direction of their camp. I could see at one time
the lights flickering among the thick trees, and darting rapidly to and
fro behind them, and then all would be unbroken gloom. Sometimes I
fancied I could distinguish a whoop or yell, and then I heard nought but
the pelting of the rain. As I gazed on the wild scene, I was strongly
reminded of scenes which are described in old border tales, of wild
banditti, and night revels of lawless hordes of barbarians.

These are summer scenes; and in winter there is nothing particularly
beautiful in the icy robe with which the Merrimac often enrobes its
chilled waters. But the breaking up of the ice is an event of much

As spring approaches, and the weather becomes milder, the river, which
has been a thoroughfare for loaded teams and lighter sleighs, is
gradually shunned, even by the daring skater. Little pools of bluish
water, which the sun has melted, stand in slight hollows, distinctly
contrasted with the clear dark ice in the middle of the stream, or the
flaky snow-crust near the shore. At length a loud crack is heard, like
the report of a cannon--then another, and another--and finally the
loosened mass begins to move towards the ocean. The motion at first is
almost imperceptible, but it gradually increases in velocity, as the
impetus of the descending ice above propels it along; and soon the dark
blue waters are seen between the huge chasms of the parting ice. By and
bye, the avalanches come drifting down, tumbling, crashing, and whirling
along, with the foaming waves boiling up wherever they can find a
crevice; and trunks of trees, fragments of buildings, and ruins of
bridges, are driven along with the tumultuous mass.--A single night will
sometimes clear the river of the main portion of the ice, and then the
darkly-tinted waters will roll rapidly on, as though wildly rejoicing at
their deliverance from bondage. But for some time the white cakes, or
rather ice-islands, will be seen floating along, though hourly
diminishing in size, and becoming more "like angel's visits."

But there is another glad scene occasionally upon the Merrimac--and that
is, when there is a launching. I have already alluded to the
ship-builders, and they form quite a proportion of the inhabitants of
the shore. And now, by the way, I cannot omit a passing compliment to
the inhabitants of this same shore. It is seldom that so correct,
intelligent, contented, and truly comfortable a class of people is to be
found, as in this pretty hamlet. Pretty it most certainly is--for nearly
all the houses are neatly painted, and some of them indicate much taste
in the owners. And then the people are so kind, good, and industrious. A
Newburyport editor once said of them, "They are nice folks there on
Salisbury shore; they always pay for their newspapers"--a trait of
excellence which printers can usually appreciate.

But now to the ships, whose building I have often watched with interest,
from the day when the long keel was laid till it was launched into the
river. This is a scene which is likewise calculated to inspire salutary
reflections, from the comparison which is often instituted between
ourselves and a wave-tossed bark. How often is the commencement of
active life compared to the launching of a ship; and even the
unimaginative Puritans could sing,

  "Life's like a ship in constant motion,
    Sometimes high and sometimes low,
  Where every man must plough the ocean,
    Whatsoever winds may blow."

The striking analogy has been more beautifully expressed by better
poets, though hardly with more force. And if we are like wind-tossed
vessels on a stormy sea, then the gradual formation of our minds may be
compared to the building of a ship. And it was this thought which often
attracted my notice to the labors of the shipwright.

First, the long keel is laid--then the huge ribs go up the sides; then
the rail-way runs around the top. Then commences the boarding or
timbering of the sides; and for weeks, or months, the builder's maul is
heard, as he pounds in the huge _trunnels_ which fasten all together.
Then there is the finishing inside, and the painting outside, and, after
all, the launching.

The first that I ever saw was a large and noble ship. It had been long
in building, and I had watched its progress with much interest. The
morning it was to be launched I played truant to witness the scene. It
was a fine sunshiny day, Sept. 21, 1832; and I almost wished I was a
boy, that I might join the throng upon the deck, who were determined
upon a ride. The blocks which supported the ship were severally knocked
out, until it rested upon but one. When that was gone, the ship would
rest upon greased planks, which descended to the water. It must have
been a thrilling moment to the man who lay upon his back, beneath the
huge vessel, when he knocked away the last prop. But it was done, and
swiftly it glided along the planks, then plunged into the river, with an
impetus which sunk her almost to her deck, and carried her nearly to the
middle of the river. Then she slowly rose, rocked back and forth, and
finally righted herself, and stood motionless. But while the dashing
foaming waters were still clamorously welcoming her to a new element,
and the loud cheers from the deck were ringing up into the blue sky, the
bottle was thrown, and she was named the WALTER SCOTT. It will be
remembered that this was the very day on which the Great Magician
died--a fact noticed in the Saturday Courier about that time.

Several years after this, I was attending school in a neighboring town.
I happened one evening to take up a newspaper. I think it was a
Portsmouth paper; and I saw the statement that a fine new ship had been
burnt at sea, called the WALTER SCOTT. The particulars were so minutely
given, as to leave no room for doubt that it was the beautiful vessel
which I had seen launched, upon the banks of the Merrimac.




There are times when I am melancholy, when the sun seems to shine with a
shadowy light, and the woods are filled with notes of sadness; when the
up-springing flowers seem blossoms strewed upon a bier, and every
streamlet chants a requiem. Have we not all our trials? And though we
may bury the sad thoughts to which they give birth in the dark recesses
of our own hearts, yet Memory and Sensibility must both be dead, if we
can always be light and mirthful.

Once it was not so. There was a time when I gaily viewed the dull clouds
of a rainy day, and could hear the voice of rejoicing in the roarings of
the wintry storm, when sorrow was an unmeaning word, and in things which
now appear sacred my thoughtless mind could see the ludicrous.

These thoughts have been suggested by the recollection of a poor old
couple, to whom in my careless girlhood I gave the name of "the first
bells." And now, I doubt not, you are wondering what strange association
of ideas could have led me to fasten this appellation upon a poor old
man and woman. My answer must be the narration of a few facts.

When I was young, we all worshipped in the great meeting-house, which
now stands so vacant and forlorn upon the brow of Church Hill. It is
never used but upon town-meeting days--for those who once went up to the
house of God in company, now worship in three separate buildings. There
is discord between them--that worst of all hatred, the animosity which
arises from difference of religious opinions. I am sorry for it; not
that I regret that they cannot all think alike, but that they cannot
"agree to differ." Because the heads are not in unison, it needeth not
that the hearts should be estranged; and a difference of faith may be
expressed in kindly words. I have my friends among them all, and they
are not the less dear to me, because upon some doctrinal points our
opinions cannot be the same. A creed which I do not now believe is
hallowed by recollections of the Sabbath worship, the evening meetings,
the religious feelings--in short, of the faith, hope, and trust of my
earlier days.

I remember now how still and beautiful our Sunday mornings used to seem,
after the toil and play of the busy week. I would take my catechism in
my hand, and go and sit upon a large flat stone, under the shade of the
chestnut tree; and, looking abroad, would wonder if there was a thing
which did not feel that it was the Sabbath. The sun was as bright and
warm as upon other days, but its light seemed to fall more softly upon
the fields, woods and hills; and though the birds sung as loudly and
joyfully as ever, I thought their sweet voices united in a more sacred
strain. I heard a Sabbath tone in the waving of the boughs above me, and
the hum of the bees around me, and even the bleating of the lambs and
the lowing of the kine seemed pitched upon some softer key. Thus it is
that the heart fashions the mantle with which it is wont to enrobe all
nature, and gives to its never silent voices a tone of joy, or sorrow,
or holy peace.

We had then no bell; and when the hour approached for the commencement
of religious services, each nook and dale sent forth its worshippers in
silence. But precisely half an hour before the rest of our neighbors
started, the old man and woman, who lived upon Pine Hill, could be seen
wending their way to the meeting-house. They walked side by side, with a
slow even step, such as was befitting the errand which had brought them
forth. Their appearance was always the signal for me to lay aside my
book, and prepare to follow them to the house of God. And it was because
they were so unvarying in their early attendance, because I was never
disappointed in the forms which first emerged from the pine trees upon
the hill, that I gave them the name of "the first bells."

Why they went thus regularly early I know not, but think it probable
they wished for time to rest after their long walk, and then to prepare
their hearts to join in exercises which were evidently more valued by
them than by most of those around them. Yet it must have been a deep
interest which brought so large a congregation from the scattered
houses, and many far-off dwellings of our thinly peopled country town.

And every face was then familiar to me. I knew each white-headed
patriarch who took his seat by the door of his pew, and every aged woman
who seated herself in the low chair in the middle of it; and the
countenances of the middle-aged and the young were rendered familiar by
the exchange of Sabbath glances, as we met year after year in that
humble temple.

But upon none did I look with more interest than upon "the first bells."
There they always were when I took my accustomed seat at the right hand
of the pulpit. Their heads were always bowed in meditation till they
arose to join in the morning prayer; and when the choir sent forth their
strain of praise they drew nearer to each other, and looked upon the
same book, as they silently sent forth the spirit's song to their Father
in heaven. There was an expression of meekness, of calm and perfect
faith, and of subdued sorrow upon the countenances of both, which won my
reverence, and excited my curiosity to know more of them.

They were poor. I knew it by the coarse and much-worn garments which
they always wore; but I could not conjecture why they avoided the
society and sympathy of all around them. They always waited for our
pastor's greeting when he descended from the pulpit, and meekly bowed to
all around, but farther than this, their intercourse with others
extended not. It appeared to me that some heavy trial, which had knit
their own hearts more closely together, and endeared to them their faith
and its religious observances, had also rendered them unusually
sensitive to the careless remarks and curious inquiries of a country

One Sabbath our pastor preached upon parental love. His text was that
affecting ejaculation of David, "O Absalom, my son, my son!" He spoke of
the depth and fervor of that affection which in a parental heart will
remain unchanged and unabated, through years of sin, estrangement, and
rebellion. He spoke of that reckless insubordination which often sends
pang after pang through the parent's breast; and of wicked deeds which
sometimes bring their grey hairs in sorrow to the grave. I heard stifled
sobs; and looking up, saw that the old man and woman at the right hand
of the pulpit had buried their faces in their hands. They were trembling
with agitation, and I saw that a fount of deep and painful remembrances
had now been opened. They soon regained their usual calmness, but I
thought their steps more slow, and their countenances more sorrowful
that day, when after our morning service had closed, they went to the
grave in the corner of the churchyard. There was no stone to mark it,
but their feet had been wearing, for many a Sabbath noon, the little
path which led to it.

I went that night to my mother, and asked her if she could not tell me
something about "the first bells." She chid me for the phrase by which I
was wont to designate them, but said that her knowledge of their former
life was very limited. Several years before, she added, a man was
murdered in hot blood in a distant town, by a person named John L. The
murderer was tried and hung; and not long after, this old man and woman
came and hired the little cottage upon Pine Hill. Their names were the
same that the murderer had borne, and their looks of sadness and
retiring manners had led to the conclusion that they were his parents.
No one knew, certainly, that it was so--for they shrunk from all
inquiries, and never adverted to the past; but a gentle and sad looking
girl, who had accompanied them to their new place of abode, had pined
away, and died within the first year of their arrival. She was their
daughter, and was supposed to have died of a broken heart for her
brother who had been hung. She was buried in the corner of the
churchyard, and every pleasant Sabbath noon her aged parents had mourned
together over her lowly grave.

"And now, my daughter," said my mother, in conclusion "respect their
years, their sorrows, and, above all, the deep fervent piety which
cheers and sustains them, and which has been nurtured by agonies, and
watered by tears, such as I hope my child will never know."

My mother drew me to her side, and kissed me tenderly; and I resolved
that never again would I in a spirit of levity call Mr. and Mrs. L. "the
first bells."


Years passed on; and through summer's sunshine and its showers, and
through winter's cold and frost, and storms, that old couple still went
upon their never-failing Sabbath pilgrimage. I can see them even now, as
they looked in days long gone by. The old man, with his loose, black,
Quaker-like coat, and low-crowned, much-worn hat, his heavy cowhide
boots, and coarse blue mittens; and his partner walking slowly by his
side, wearing a scanty brown cloak with four little capes, and a close,
black, rusty-looking bonnet. In summer the cloak was exchanged for a
cotton shawl, and the woollen gown for one of mourning print. The
Sabbath expression was as unchangeable as its dress. Their features were
very different, but they had the same mild, mournful look, the same
touching glance, whenever their eyes rested upon each other; and it was
one which spoke of sympathy, hallowed by heartfelt piety.

At length a coffin was borne upon a bier from the little house upon the
hill; and after that the widow went alone each Sabbath noon to the two
graves in the corner of the churchyard. I felt sad when I thought how
lonely and sorrowful she must be now; and one pleasant day I ventured an
unbidden guest into her lowly cot. As I approached her door, I heard her
singing in a low, tremulous tone,

  "How are thy servants blessed, O Lord."

I was touched to the heart; for I could see that her blessings were
those of a faith, hope, and joy, which the world could neither give nor
take away.

She was evidently destitute of what the world calls comforts, and I
feared she might also want its necessaries. But her look was almost
cheerful as she assured me that her knitting (at which I perceived she
was quite expeditious) supplied her with all which she now wanted.

I looked upon her sunburnt, wrinkled countenance, and thought it radiant
with moral beauty. She wore no cap, and her thin grey hair was combed
back from her furrowed brow. Her dress was a blue woollen skirt, and a
short loose gown; and her hard shrivelled hands bore witness to much
unfeminine labor. Yet she was contented, and even happy, and singing
praise to God for his blessings.

The next winter I thought I could perceive a faltering in her gait
whenever she ascended Church Hill; and one Sabbath she was not in her
accustomed seat. The next, she was also absent; and when I looked upon
Pine Hill, I could perceive no smoke issuing from her chimney. I felt
anxious, and requested liberty to make, what was then in our
neighborhood an unusual occurrence, a Sabbath visit. My mother granted
me permission to go, and remain as long as my services might be
necessary; and at the close of the afternoon worship, I went to the
little house upon the hill. I listened eagerly for some sound as I
entered the cold apartment; but hearing none, I tremblingly approached
the low hard bed. She was lying there with the same calm look of
resignation, and whispered a few words of welcome as I took her hand.

"You are sick and alone," said I to her; "tell me what I can do for

"I am sick," was her reply, "but not _alone_. He who is every where, and
at all times present, has been with me, in the day and in the night. I
have prayed to him, and received answers of mercy, love, and peace. He
has sent His angel to call me home, and there is nought for you to do
but to watch the spirit's departure."

I felt that it was so; yet I must do something. I kindled a fire, and
prepared some refreshment; and after she drank a bowl of warm tea, I
thought she looked better. She asked me for her Bible, and I brought her
the worn volume which had been lying upon the little stand. She took
from it a soiled and much worn letter, and after pressing it to her
lips, endeavored to open it--but her hands were too weak, and it dropped
upon the bed. "No matter," said she, as I offered to open it for her; "I
know all that is in it, and in that book also. But I thought I should
like to look once more upon them both. I have read them daily for many
years till now; but I do not mind it--I shall go soon."

She followed me with her eyes as I laid them aside, and then closing
them, her lips moved as if in prayer. She soon after fell into a
slumber, and I watched her every breath, fearing it might be the last.

What lessons of wisdom, truth and fortitude were taught me by that
humble bed-side! I had never before been with the dying, and I had
always imagined a death-bed to be fraught with terror. I expected that
there were always fearful shrieks and appalling groans, as the soul left
its clay tenement; but my fears were now dispelled. A sweet calmness
stole into my inmost soul, as I watched by the low couch of the
sufferer; and I said, "If this be death, may my last end be like hers."

But at length I saw that some dark dream had brought a frown upon the
pallid brow, and an expression of woe around the parched lips. She was
endeavoring to speak or to weep, and I was about to awaken her, when a
sweet smile came like a flash of sunlight over her sunken face, and I
saw that the dream of woe was exchanged for one of pleasure. Then she
slept calmly, and I wondered if the spirit would go home in that
peaceful slumber. But at length she awoke, and after looking upon me and
her little room with a bewildered air, she heaved a sigh, and said
mournfully, "I thought that I was not to come back again, but it is only
for a little while. I have had a pleasant dream, but not at first. I
thought once that I stood in the midst of a vast multitude, and we were
all looking up at one who was struggling on a gallows. O, I have seen
that sight in many a dream before, but still I could not bear it, and I
said, 'Father, have mercy;' and then I thought that the sky rolled away
from behind the gallows, and there was a flood of glory in the depth
beyond; and I heard a voice saying to him who was hanging there, 'This
day shalt thou be with me in Paradise!' And then the gallows dropped,
and the multitude around me vanished, and the sky rolled together again;
but before it had quite closed over that scene of beauty, I looked
again, and _they were all there_. Yes," added she with a placid smile,
"I know that _he_ is there with them; the _three_ are in heaven, and _I_
shall be there soon."

She ceased, and a drowsy feeling came over her. After a while she opened
her eyes with a strange look of anxiety and terror. I went to her, but
she could not speak, and she pressed my hand closely, as though she
feared I would leave her. It was a momentary terror, for she knew that
the last pangs were coming on. There was a painful struggle, and then
came rest and peaceful confidence. "That letter," whispered she
convulsively; and I went to the Bible, and took from it the soiled paper
which claimed her thoughts even in death. I laid it in her trembling
hands, which clasped it nervously, and then pressing it to her heart,
she fell into that slumber from which there is no awakening.

When I saw that she was indeed gone, I took the letter, and laid it in
its accustomed place; and then, after straightening the limbs, and
throwing the bed-clothes over the stiffening form, I left the house.

It was a dazzling scene of winter beauty that met my eye as I went forth
from that lowly bed of death. The rising sun threw a rosy light upon the
crusted snow, and the earth was dressed in a robe of sparkling jewels.
The trees were hung with glittering drops, and the frozen streams were
dressed in lobes of brilliant beauty.

I thought of her upon whose eyes a brighter morn had beamed, and of a
scene of beauty upon which no sun should ever set, and whose
never-fading glories shall yield a happiness which may never pass away.

I went home, and told my mother what had passed; and she went, with some
others, to prepare the body for burial. I went to look upon it once
more, the morning of the funeral. The features had assumed a rigid
aspect, but the placid smile was still there. The hands were crossed
upon the breast; and as the form lay so still and calm in its snowy
robes, I almost wished that the last change might come upon me, so that
it would bring a peace like this, which should last for evermore.

I went to the Bible, and took from it that letter. Curiosity was strong
within me, and I opened it. It was signed "John L.," and dated from his
prison the night before his execution. But I did not read it. O no! it
was too sacred. It contained those words of penitence and affection over
which her stricken heart had brooded for years. It had been the
well-spring from which she had drunk joy and consolation, and derived
her hopes of a reunion where there should be no more shame, nor sorrow,
nor death.

I could not destroy that letter: so I laid it beneath the clasped hands,
over the heart to which it had been pressed when its beatings were
forever stilled; and they buried her, too, in the corner of the
churchyard; and that tattered paper soon mouldered to ashes upon her
breast. * * * *

We have now a bell upon our new meeting-house; and when I hear its
Sabbath morning peal, my thoughts are subdued to a tone fitting for
sacred worship; for my mind goes back to that old couple, whom I was
wont to call "the first bells;" and I think of the power of religion to
hallow and strengthen the affections, to elevate the mind, and sustain
the drooping spirit, even in the saddest and humblest lot of life.


[Illustration: Decoration]



"To-morrow is pay-day; are you not glad, Rosina, and Lucy? _Dorcas_ is,
I know; for she always loves to see the money. Don't I speak truth
_now_, Miss Dorcas Tilton?"

"I wish you would stop your clack, Miss Noisy Impudence; for I never
heard you speak anything that was worth an answer. Let me alone, for I
have not yet been able to obtain a moment's time to read my tract."

"'My tract'--how came it 'my tract,' Miss Stingy Oldmaid?--for I can
call names as fast as you," was the reply of Elizabeth Walters. "Not
because you bought it, or paid for it, or gave a thank'ee to those who
did; but because you lay your clutches upon every thing you can get
without downright stealing."

"Well," replied Dorcas, "I do not think I have clutched any thing now
which was much coveted by anyone else."

"You are right, Dorcas," said Rosina Alden, lifting her mild blue eye
for the first time towards the speakers; "the tracts left here by the
monthly distributors are thrown about, and trampled under foot, even by
those who most approve the sentiments which they contain. I have not
seen anyone take them up to read but yourself."

"She likes them," interrupted the vivacious Elizabeth, "because she gets
them for nothing. They come to her as cheap as the light of the sun, or
the dews of heaven; and thus they are rendered quite as valuable in her

"And that very cheapness, that freedom from exertion and expense by
which they are obtained, is, I believe, the reason why they are
generally so little valued," added Rosina. "People are apt to think
things worthless which come to them so easily. They believe them cheap,
if they are offered cheap. Now I think, without saying one word against
those tracts, that they would be more valued, more perused, and exert
far more influence, if they were only to be obtained by payment for
them. If they do good now, it is to the publishers only; for I do not
think the community in general is influenced by them in the slightest
degree. If Dorcas feels more interested in them because she procures
them gratuitously, it is because she is an exception to the general

"I like sometimes," said Dorcas, "to see the voice of instruction, of
warning, of encouragement, and reproof, coming to the thoughtless,
ignorant, poor and sinful, as it did from him who said to those whom he
sent to inculcate its truths, Freely ye have received, _freely give_.
The gospel is an expensive luxury now, and those only who can afford to
pay their four, or six, or more, dollars a year, can hear its truths
from the successors of him who lifted his voice upon the lonely
mountain, and opened his lips for council at the table of the despised
publican, or under the humble roof of the Magdalen."

"Do not speak harshly, Dorcas," was Rosina's reply; "times have indeed
changed since the Savior went about with not a shelter for his head,
dispensing the bread of life to all who would but reach forth their
hands and take it; but circumstances have also changed since then. It is
true, we must lay down our money for almost everything we have; but
money is much more easily obtained than it was then. It is true, we
cannot procure a year's seat in one of our most expensive churches for
less than your present week's wages; and if you really wish for the
benefits of regular gospel instruction, you must make for it as much of
an exertion as was made by the woman who went on her toilsome errand to
the deep well of Samaria, little aware that she was there to receive the
waters of eternal life. Do not say that it was by no effort, no
self-denial, that the gospel was received by those who followed the
great Teacher to the lonely sea-side, or even to the desert, where,
weary and famished, they remained day after day, beneath the heat of a
burning sun, and were relieved from hunger but by a miracle. And who so
poor now, or so utterly helpless, that they cannot easily obtain the
record of those words which fell so freely upon the ears of the
listening multitudes of Judea? If there are such, there are societies
which will cheerfully relieve their wants, if application be made. And
these tracts, which come to us with scarcely the trouble of stretching
forth our hands for their reception, are doubtless meant for good."

"Well, Rosina," exclaimed Elizabeth, "if you hold out a little longer, I
think Dorcas will have no reason to complain but that she gets _her_
preaching cheap enough; but as I, for one, am entirely willing to pay
for mine, you may be excused for the present; and those who wish to
hear a theological discussion, can go and listen to the very able
expounders of the Baptist and Universalist faiths, who are just now
holding forth in the other chamber. As Dorcas hears no preaching but
that which comes _as cheap as the light of the sun_, she will probably
like to go; and do not be offended with me, Rosina, if I tell you
plainly, that you are not the one to rebuke her. What sacrifice have you
made? How much have you spent? When have you ever given anything for the
support of the gospel?"

A tear started to Rosina's eye, and the color deepened upon her cheek.
Her lip quivered, but she remained silent.

"Well," said Lucy to Elizabeth, "all this difficulty is the effect of
the very simple question you asked; and I will answer for one, that I am
glad to-morrow is pay-day. Pray what shall you get that is new,

"Oh, I shall get one of those damask silk shawls which are now so
fashionable. How splendid it will look! Let me see; this is a five
weeks' payment, and I have earned about two dollars per week; and so
have you, and Rosina; and Dorcas has earned a great deal more, for she
has extra work. Pray what new thing shall _you_ get, Dorcas?" added she,

"She will get a new bank book, I suppose," replied Lucy. "She has
already deposited in her own name five hundred dollars, and now she has
got a book in the name of her little niece, and I do not know but she
will soon procure another. She almost worships them, and Sundays she
stays here reckoning up her interest while we are at meeting."

"I think it is far better," retorted Dorcas, "to stay at home, than to
go to meeting, as Elizabeth does, to show her fine clothes. I do not
make a mockery of public worship to God."

"There, Lizzy, you must take that, for you deserved it," said Lucy to
her friend. "You know you _do_ spend almost all your money in dress."

"Well," said Elizabeth, "I shall sow all my wild oats now, and when I am
an old maid I will be as steady, but _not quite_ so stingy as Dorcas. I
will get a bank book, and trot down Merrimack street as often as she
does, and everybody will say, 'what a remarkable change in Elizabeth
Walters! She used to spend all her wages as fast as they were paid her,
but now she puts them in the bank. She will be quite a fortune for some
one, and I have no doubt she will get married for what she _has_, if not
for what she is.' But I cannot begin now, and I don't see how _you_ can,

"I have not begun," replied Rosina, in a low sorrowful tone.

"Why yes, you have; you are as miserly now as Dorcas herself; and I
cannot bear to think of what you may become. Now tell me if you will not
get a new gown and bonnet, and go to meeting?"

"I cannot," replied Rosina, decidedly.

"Well, do, if you have any mercy on us, buy a new gown to wear in the
Mill, for your old one is so shabby. When calico is nine-pence a yard, I
do think it is mean to wear such an old thing as that; besides, I should
not wonder if it should soon drop off your back."

"Will it not last me one month more?" and Rosina began to mend the
tattered dress with a very wistful countenance.

"Why, I somewhat doubt it; but at all events, you must have another pair
of shoes."

"These are but just beginning to let in the water," said Rosina; "I
think they must last me till another pay-day."

"Well, if you have a fever or consumption, Dorcas may take care of you,
for _I_ will not; but what," continued the chattering Elizabeth, "shall
you buy that is new, Lucy?"

"Oh, a pretty new, though cheap, bonnet; and I shall also pay my
quarter's pew-rent, and a year's subscription to the 'Lowell Offering;'
and that is all that I shall spend. You have laughed much about old
maids; but it was an old maid who took care of me when I first came to
Lowell, and she taught me to lay aside half of every month's wages. It
is a rule from which I have never deviated, and thus I have quite a
pretty sum at interest, and have never been in want of anything."

"Well," said Elizabeth, "will you go out to-night with me, and we will
look at the bonnets, and also the damask silk shawls? I wish to know the
prices. How I wish to-day had been pay-day, and then I need not have
gone out with an empty purse."

"Well, Lizzy, _you_ know that 'to-morrow is pay-day,' do you not?"

"Oh yes, and the beautiful pay-master will come in, rattling his coppers
so nicely."

"Beautiful!" exclaimed Lucy; "do you call our pay-master _beautiful_?"

"Why, I do not know that he would look beautiful, if he was coming to
cut my head off; but really, that money-box makes him look

"Well, Lizzy, it _does_ make a great difference in his appearance, I
know; but if we are going out to-night, we must be in a hurry."

"If you go by the post-office, do ask if there is a letter for me," said

"Oh, I hate to go near the post-office in the evening; the girls act as
wild as so many Caribbee Indians. Sometimes I have to stand there an
hour on the ends of my toes, stretching my neck, and sticking out my
eyes; and when I think I have been pommeled and jostled long enough, I
begin to 'set up on my own hook,' and I push away the heads that have
been at the list as if they were committing it all to memory, and I send
my elbows right and left in the most approved style, till I find myself
'master of the field.'"

"Oh, Lizzy! you know better; how can you do so?"

"Why, Lucy, pray tell me what _you_ do?"

"I go away, if there is a crowd; or if I feel very anxious to know
whether there is a letter for me, the worst that I do is to try 'sliding
and gliding.' I dodge between folks, or slip through them, till I get
waited upon. But I know that we all act worse there than anywhere else;
and if the post-master speaks a good word for the factory girls, I think
it must come against his conscience, unless he has seen them somewhere
else than in the office."

"Well, well, we must hasten along," said Elizabeth; "and stingy as
Rosina is, I suppose she will be willing to pay for a letter; so I will
buy her one, if I can get it. Good evening, ladies," continued she,
tying her bonnet; and she hurried after Lucy, who was already down the
stairs, leaving Dorcas to read her tract at leisure, and Rosina to patch
her old calico gown, with none to torment her.


"Two letters!" exclaimed Elizabeth, as she burst into the chamber,
holding them up, as little Goody in the storybook held up her "two
shoes;" "two letters! one for _you_, Rosina, and the other is for _me_.
Only look at it! It is from a cousin of mine, who has never lived out of
sight of the Green Mountains. I do believe, notwithstanding all that is
said about the ignorance of the factory girls, that the letters which
_go out_ of Lowell look as well as those which _come into_ it. See here:
up in the left hand corner, the direction commences, 'Miss;' one step
lower is 'Elizabeth;' then down another step, 'Walters.' Another step
brings us down to 'Lowell;' one more is the 'City;' and down in the
right hand corner is 'Massachusetts,' at full length. Quite a regular
stair-case, if the steps had been all of an equal width. Miss Elizabeth
Walters, Lowell City, Massachusetts, anticipates much edification from
the perusal thereof," said she, as she broke the seal.

"Oh, I must tell you an anecdote," said Lucy. "While we were waiting
there, I saw one girl push her face into the little aperture, and ask if
there was a paper for her; and the clerk asked if it was a transient
paper. 'A what?' said she. 'A transient paper,' he repeated. 'Why, I
don't know what paper it is,' was the reply; 'sometimes our folks send
me one, and sometimes another.'"

Dorcas and Elizabeth laughed, and the latter exclaimed, "Girls, I am not
so selfish as to be unwilling that you should share my felicity. Should
you not like to see my letter?" and she held it up before them. "It is
quite a contrast to our Rosina's delicate Italian penmanship, although
she is a factory girl."

    "DEAR COUSIN.--I write this to let you know that I am well, and hope
    you are enjoying the same great blessing. Father and Mother are well
    too. Uncle Joshua is sick of the information of the brain. We think
    he will die, but he says that he shall live his days out. We have
    not had a letter from you since you went to Lowell. I send this by
    Mary Twining, an old friend of mine. She works upon the Appletown
    Corporation. She will put this in the post-office, because we do not
    know where you work. I hope you will go and see her. We have had a
    nice time making maple sugar this spring. I wish you had been with
    us. When you are married, you must come with your husband. Write to
    me soon, and if you don't have a chance to send it by private
    conveyance, drop it into the post-office. I shall get it, for the
    mail-stage passes through the village twice a week.

      'I want to see you morn, I think,
      Than I can write with pen and ink;
      But when I shall, I cannot tell--
      At present I must wish you well.'

                                      "Your loving cousin,
                                                "JUDITH WALTERS."

"Well," said Elizabeth, drawing a long breath, "I do not think my
_loving cousin_ will ever die of the 'information of the brain;' but if
it should get there, I do not know what might happen.--But, Rosina, from
whom is _your_ letter?"

"My mother," said Rosina; and she seated herself at the little
light-stand, with a sheet of paper, pen, and inkstand.

"Why, you do not intend to answer it to-night?"

"I must commence it to-night," replied Rosina, "and finish it to-morrow
night, and carry it to the post-office. I cannot write a whole letter in
one evening."

"Why, what is the matter?" said Dorcas.

"My twin-sister is very sick," replied Rosina; and the tears she could
no longer restrain gushing freely forth. The girls, who had before been
in high spirits, over cousin Judy's letter, were subdued in an instant.
Oh, how quick is the influence of sympathy for grief! Not another word
was spoken. The letter was put away in silence, and the girls glided
noiselessly around the room, as they prepared to retire to rest.

Shall we take a peep at Rosina's letter? It may remove some false
impressions respecting her character, and many are probably suffering
injustice from erroneous opinions, when, if all could be known, the very
conduct which has exposed them to censure would excite approbation. Her
widowed mother's letter was the following:--

    "MY DEAR CHILD.--Many thanks for your last letter, and many more for
    the present it contained. It was very acceptable, for it reached me
    when I had not a cent in the world. I fear you deprive yourself of
    necessaries to send me so much. But all you can easily spare will be
    gladly received. I have as much employment at tailoring as I can
    find time to do, and sometimes I sit up all night, when I cannot
    accomplish my self-allotted task during the day.

    "I have delayed my reply to your letter, because I wished to know
    what the doctors really thought of your sister Marcia. They
    consulted to-day, and tell me _there is no hope_. The suspense is
    now over, but I thought I was better prepared for the worst than I
    am. She wished me to tell her what the doctors said. At length I
    yielded to her importunities. 'Oh, mother,' said she, with a sweet
    smile, 'I am so glad they have told you, for I have known it for a
    long time. You must write to Rosina to come and see me before I
    die.' Do as you think best, my dear, about coming. You know how glad
    we would be to see you. But if you cannot come, do not grieve too
    much about it.--Marcia must soon die, and you, I hope, will live
    many years; but the existence which you commenced together here, I
    feel assured will be continued in a happier world. The interruption
    which will now take place will be short, in comparison with the life
    itself which shall have no end. And yet it is hard to think that one
    so young, so good, and lovely, is so soon to lie in the silent
    grave. While the blue skies of heaven are daily growing more softly
    beautiful, and the green things of earth are hourly putting forth a
    brighter verdure, she, too, like the lovely creatures of nature, is
    constantly acquiring some new charm, to fit her for that world which
    she will so soon inhabit. Death is coming, with his severest
    tortures, but she arrays her person in bright loveliness at his
    approach, and her spirit is robed in graces which well may fit her
    for that angel-band, which she is so soon to join.

    "I am now writing by her bed-side. She is sleeping soundly now, but
    there is a heavy dew upon the cheek, brow, and neck of the tranquil
    sleeper. A rose--it is one of _your_ roses, Rosina--is clasped in
    her transparent hand: and one rosy pedal has somehow dropped upon
    her temple. It breaks the line which the blue vein has so distinctly
    traced on the clear white brow. I will take it away, and enclose it
    in the letter. When you see it, perhaps it will bring more vividly
    to memory the days when you and Marcia frolicked together among the
    wild rose bushes.--Those which you transplanted to the front of the
    house have grown astonishingly. Marcia took care of them as long as
    she could go out of doors; for she wished to do something to show
    her gratitude to you. Now that she can go among them no longer, she
    watches them through the window, and the little boys bring her
    every morning the most beautiful blossoms. She enjoys their beauty
    and fragrance, as she does everything which is reserved for her
    enjoyment. There is but one thought which casts a shade upon that
    tranquil spirit, and it is that she is such a helpless burden upon
    us. The last time that she received a compensation for some slight
    article which she had exerted herself to complete, she took the
    money and sent Willy for some salt. 'Now, mother,' said she, with
    the arch smile which so often illuminated her countenance in the
    days of health, 'Now, mother you cannot say that I do not earn my

    "But I must soon close, for in a short time she will awaken, and
    suffer for hours from her agonizing cough.--No one need tell me now
    that a consumption makes an easy path to the grave. I watched too
    long by your father's bed-side, and have witnessed too minutely all
    of Marcia's sufferings to be persuaded of this.

    "But she breathes less softly now, and I must hasten. I have said
    little of the other members of the family, for I knew you would like
    to hear particularly about her. The little boys are well--they are
    obedient to me, and kind to their sister. Answer as soon as you
    receive this, for Marcia's sake, unless you come and visit us.

    "And now, hoping that this will find you in good health, as, by the
    blessing of God, it leaves me, (a good though an old-fashioned
    manner of closing a letter,) I remain as ever,

                                      "Your affectionate mother."

Rosina's reply was as follows:--

    "DEAR MOTHER.--I have just received your long-expected letter, and
    have seated myself to commence an answer, for I cannot go home.

    "I do wish very much to see you all, especially dear Marcia, once
    more; but it is not best. I know you think so, or you would have
    urged my return. I think I shall feel more contented here, earning
    comforts for my sick sister and necessaries for you, than I should
    be there, and unable to relieve a want. 'To-morrow is pay-day,' and
    my earnings, amounting to ten dollars, I shall enclose in this
    letter. Do not think I am suffering for anything, for I get a long
    very well. But I am obliged to be extremely prudent, and the girls
    here call me miserly. Oh, mother! it is hard to be so misunderstood;
    but I cannot tell _them_ all.

    "But your kind letters are indeed a solace to me, for they assure me
    that the mother whom I have always loved and reverenced approves of
    my conduct. I shall feel happier to-morrow night, when I enclose
    that bill to you, than my room-mates can be in the far different
    disposal of theirs.

    "What a blessing it is that we can send money to our friends; and
    indeed what a blessing that we can send them a letter. Last evening
    you was penning the lines which I have just perused, in my
    far-distant home; and not twenty-four hours have elapsed since the
    rose-leaf before me was resting on the brow of my sister; but it is
    now ten o'clock, and I must bid you good night, reserving for
    to-morrow evening the remainder of my epistle, which I shall address
    to Marcia."

It was long before Rosina slept that night; and when she did, she was
troubled at first by fearful dreams. But at length it seemed to her that
she was approaching the quiet home of her childhood. She did not
remember where she had been, but had a vague impression that it was in
some scene of anxiety, sorrow, and fatigue; and she was longing to reach
that little cot, where it appeared so still and happy. She thought the
sky was very clear above it, and the yellow sunshine lay softly on the
hills and fields around it. She saw her rose-bushes blooming around it,
like a little wilderness of blossoms; and while she was admiring their
increased size and beauty, the door was opened, and a body arrayed in
the snowy robes of the grave, was carried beneath the rose-bushes. They
bent to a slight breeze which swept above them, and a shower of snowy
petals fell upon the marble face and shrouded form. It was as if nature
had paid this last tribute of gratitude to one who had been one of her
truest and loveliest votaries.

Rosina started forward that she might remove the fragrant covering, and
imprint one last kiss upon the fair cold brow; but a hand was laid upon
her, and a well-known voice repeated her name. And then she started, for
she heard the bell ring loudly; and she opened her eyes as Dorcas again
cried out, "Rosina, the second bell is ringing."--Elizabeth and Lucy
were already dressed, and they exclaimed at the same moment, "Remember,
Rosina, that _to-day is pay-day_."



On the door-steps of a cottage in the land of "steady habits," some
ninety or an hundred years since, might, on a soft evening in June, have
been seen a sturdy young farmer, preparing his scythes for the coming
hay-making season. So intent was he upon his work that he heeded not the
approach of a tall Indian, accoutred for a hunting expedition, until,
"Will you give an unfortunate hunter some supper and lodging for the
night?" in a tone of supplication, caught his ear.

The farmer raised his eyes from his work, and darting fury from beneath
a pair of shaggy eyebrows, he exclaimed, "Heathen, Indian dog, begone!
you shall have nothing here."

"But I am very hungry," said the Indian; "give only a crust of bread and
a bone to strengthen me on my journey."

"Get you gone, you heathen dog," said the farmer; "I have nothing for

"Give me but a cup of cold water," said the Indian, "for I am very

This appeal was not more successful than the others.--Reiterated abuse,
and to be told to drink when he came to a river, was all he could obtain
from one who bore the name of Christian! But the supplicating appeal
fell not unheeded on the ear of one of finer mould and more sensibility.
The farmer's youthful bride heard the whole, as she sat hushing her
infant to rest; and from the open casement she watched the poor Indian
until she saw his dusky form sink, apparently exhausted, on the ground
at no great distance from her dwelling. Ascertaining that her husband
was too busied with his work to notice her, she was soon at the Indian's
side, with a pitcher of milk and a napkin filled with bread and cheese.
"Will my red brother slake his thirst with some milk?" said this angel
of mercy; and as he essayed to comply with her invitation, she untied
the napkin, and bade him eat and be refreshed.

"Cantantowwit protect the white dove from the pounces of the eagle,"
said the Indian; "for _her_ sake the unfledged young shall be safe in
their nest, and her red brother will not seek to be revenged."

He then drew a bunch of feathers from his bosom, and plucking one of
the longest, gave it to her, and said, "When the white dove's mate
flies over the Indians' hunting grounds, bid him wear this on his
head." * * * *

The summer had passed away. Harvest-time had come and gone, and
preparations had been made for a hunting excursion by the neighbors. Our
young farmer was to be one of the party; but on the eve of their
departure he had strange misgivings relative to his safety. No doubt his
imagination was haunted by the form of the Indian, whom, in the
preceding summer he had treated so harshly.

The morning that witnessed the departure of the hunters was one of
surpassing beauty. Not a cloud was to be seen, save one that gathered on
the brow of Ichabod (our young farmer), as he attempted to tear a
feather from his hunting-cap, which was sewed fast to it. His wife
arrested his hand, while she whispered in his ear, and a slight quiver
agitated his lips as he said, "Well, Mary, if you think this feather
will protect me from the arrows of the red-skins, I'll e'en let it
remain." Ichabod donned his cap, shouldered his rifle, and the hunters
were soon on their way in quest of game.

The day wore away as was usual with people on a like excursion; and at
nightfall they took shelter in the den of a bear, whose flesh served for
supper, and whose skin spread on bruin's bed of leaves, pillowed their
heads through a long November night.

With the first dawn of morning, the hunters left their rude shelter and
resumed their chase. Ichabod, by some mishap, soon separated from his
companions, and in trying to join them got bewildered. He wandered all
day in the forest, and just as the sun was receding from sight, and he
was about sinking down in despair, he espied an Indian hut. With mingled
emotions of hope and fear, he bent his steps towards it; and meeting an
Indian at the door, he asked him to direct him to the nearest white

"If the weary hunter will rest till morning, the eagle will show him the
way to the nest of his white dove," said the Indian, as he took Ichabod
by the hand and led him within his hut. The Indian gave him a supper of
parched corn and venison, and spread the skins of animals, which he had
taken in hunting, for his bed.

The light had hardly began to streak the east, when the Indian awoke
Ichabod, and after a slight repast, the twain started for the settlement
of the whites. Late in the afternoon, as they emerged from a thick wood,
Ichabod with joy espied his home. A heartfelt ejaculation had scarce
escaped his lips, when the Indian stepped before him, and turning
around, stared him full in the face, and inquired if he had any
recollection of a previous acquaintance with his red brother. Upon being
answered in the negative, the Indian said, "Five moons ago, when I was
faint and weary, you called me an Indian dog, and drove me from your
door. I might now be revenged; but Cantantowwit bids me tell you to go
home; and hereafter, when you see a red man in need of kindness, do to
him as you have been done by. Farewell."

The Indian having said this, turned upon his heel, and was soon out of
sight. Ichabod was abashed. He went home purified in heart, having
learned a lesson of Christianity from an untutored savage.



Tea holds a conspicuous place in the history of our country; but it is
no part of my business to offer comments, or to make any remarks upon
the spirit of olden time, which prompted those patriotic defenders of
their country's rights to destroy so much tea, to express their
indignation at the oppression of their fellow citizens. I only intend to
inform the readers of the "Lowell Offering" that the first dish of tea
which was ever made in Portsmouth, N. H., was made by Abigail Van Dame,
my great-great-grandmother.

Abigail was early in life left an orphan, and the care of her tender
years devolved upon her aunt Townsend, to whose store fate had never
added any of the smiling blessings of Providence; and as a thing in
course, Abigail became not only the adopted, but also the well-beloved,
child of her uncle and aunt Townsend. They gave her every advantage for
an education which the town of Portsmouth afforded; and at the age of
seventeen she was acknowledged to be the most accomplished young lady in

Many were the worshippers who bowed at the shrine of beauty and learning
at the domicile of Alphonzo Townsend; but his lovely niece was unmoved
by their petitions, much to the perplexity of her aunt, who often
charged Abigail with carrying an obdurate heart in her bosom. In vain
did Mrs. Townsend urge her niece to accept the offers of a young student
of law; and equally vain were her efforts to gain a clue to the cause of
the refusal, until, by the return of an East India Merchantman, Mr.
Townsend received a small package for his niece, and a letter from
Captain Lowd, asking his consent to their union, which he wished might
take place the following year, when he should return to Portsmouth.

Abigail's package contained a Chinese silk hat, the crown of which was
full of Bohea tea. A letter informed her that the contents of the hat
was the ingredient, which, boiled in water, made what was called the
"Chinese soup."

Abigail, anxious to ascertain the flavor of a beverage, of which she had
heard much, put the brass skillet over the coals, poured in two quarts
of water, and added thereto a pint bason full of tea, and a gill of
molasses, and let it simmer an hour. She then strained it through a
linen cloth, and in some pewter basins set it around the supper table,
in lieu of bean-porridge, which was the favorite supper of the epicures
of the olden time.

Uncle, aunt, and Abigail, seated themselves around the little table, and
after crumbling some brown bread into their basins, commenced eating the
Chinese soup. The first spoonful set their faces awry, but the second
was past endurance; and Mrs. Townsend screamed with fright, for she
imagined that she had tasted poison. The doctor was sent for, who
administered a powerful emetic; and the careful aunt persuaded her niece
to consign her hat and its contents to the vault of an outbuilding.

When Capt. Lowd returned to Portsmouth, he brought with him a chest of
tea, a China tea-set, and a copper teakettle, and instructed Abigail in
the art of tea-making and tea drinking, to the great annoyance of her
aunt Townsend, who could never believe that Chinese soup was half so
good as bean-porridge.

The _first dish of tea_ afforded a fund of amusement for Capt. Lowd and
lady, and I hope the narrative will be acceptable to modern



The leisure hours of the mill girls--how shall they be spent? As Ann,
Bertha, Charlotte, Emily, and others, spent theirs? as we spend ours?
Let us decide.

No. 4 was to stop a day for repairs. Ann sat at her window until she
tired of watching passers-by. She then started up in search of one idle
as herself, for a companion in a saunter. She called at the chamber
opposite her own. The room was sadly disordered. The bed was not made,
although it was past nine o'clock. In making choice of dresses, collars,
aprons, _pro tempore_, some half dozen of each had been taken from their
places, and there they were, lying about on chairs, trunks, and bed,
together with mill clothes just taken off. Bertha had not combed her
hair; but Charlotte gave hers a hasty dressing before "going out
shopping;" and there lay brush, combs, and hair on the table. There were
a few pictures hanging about the walls, such as "You are the prettiest
Rose," "The Kiss," "Man Friday," and a miserable, soiled drawing of a
"Cottage Girl." Bertha blushed when Ann entered. She was evidently
ashamed of the state of her room, and vexed at Ann's intrusion. Ann
understood the reason when Bertha told her, with a sigh, that she had
been "hurrying all the morning to get through the 'Children of the
Abbey,' before Charlotte returned."

"Ann, I wish you would talk to her," said she. "Her folks are very poor.
I have it on the best authority. Elinda told me that it was confidently
reported by girls who came from the same town, that her folks had been
known to jump for joy at the sight of a crust of bread. She spends every
cent of her wages for dress and confectionary. She has gone out now; and
she will come back with lemons, sugar, rich cake, and so on. She had
better do as I do--spend her money for books, and her leisure time in
reading them. I buy three volumes of novels every month; and when that
is not enough, I take some from the circulating library. I think it our
duty to improve our minds as much as possible, now the mill girls are
beginning to be thought so much of."

Ann was a bit of a wag. Idle as a breeze, like a breeze she sported with
every _trifling_ thing that came in her way.

"Pshaw!" said she. "And so we must begin to read silly novels, be very
sentimental, talk about tears and flowers, dews and bowers. There is
some poetry for you, Bertha. Don't you think I'd better 'astonish the
natives,' by writing a poetical rhapsody, nicknamed 'Twilight Reverie,'
or some other silly, inappropriate thing, and sending it to the
'Offering?' Oh, how fine this would be! Then I could purchase a few
novels, borrow a few more, take a few more from a circulating library;
and then shed tears and grow soft over them--all because we are taking a
higher stand in the world, you know, Bertha."

Bertha again blushed. Ann remained some moments silent.

"Did you ever read Pelham?" asked Bertha, by way of breaking the

"No; I read no novels, good, bad, or indifferent. I have been thinking,
Bertha, that there may be danger of our running away from the reputation
we enjoy, as a class. For my part, I sha'n't ape the follies of other
classes of females. As Isabel Greenwood says--and you know she is always
right about such things--I think we shall lose our independence,
originality, and individuality of character, if we all take one standard
of excellence, and this the customs and opinions of others. This is a
jaw-cracking sentence for me. If any body had uttered it but Isabel, I
should, perhaps, have laughed at it. As it was, I treasured it up for
use, as I do the wise sayings of Franklin, Dudley, Leavitt, and Robert
Thomas. I, for one, shall not attempt to become so accomplished. I shall
do as near right as I can conveniently, not because I have a heavy
burden of gentility to support, but because it is quite as easy to do

  'And then I sleep so sweet at night.'

"Good morning, Bertha."

At the door she met Charlotte, on her return, with lemons, nuts, and

"I am in search of a companion for a long ramble," said Ann. "Can you
recommend a _subject_?"

"I should think Bertha would like to shake herself," said Charlotte.
"She has been buried in a novel ever since she was out of bed this
morning. It was her turn to do the chamber work this morning; and this
is the way she always does, if she can get a novel. She would not mind
sitting all day, with dirt to her head. It is a shame for her to do so.
She had better be wide awake, enjoying life, as I am."

"Nonsense!" exclaimed Ann, in her usual _brusque_ manner. "There is not
a cent's choice between you this morning; both are doing wrong, and each
is condemning the other without mercy. So far you are both just like me,
you see. Good morning."

She walked on to the next chamber. She had enough of the philosopher
about her to reason from appearances, and from the occupation of its
inmates, that she could succeed no better there. Every thing was in the
most perfect order. The bed was shaped, and the sheet hemmed down _just
so_. Their lines that hung by the walls were filled "jist." First came
starched aprons, then starched capes, then pocket handkerchiefs, folded
with the marked corner out. Then hose. This room likewise, had its
paintings, and like those of the other, they were in perfect keeping
with the general arrangements of the room and the dress of its
occupants. There was an apology for a lady. Her attitude and form were
of precisely that uncouth kind which is produced by youthful artificers,
who form head, body and feet from one piece of shingle; and wedge in two
sticks at right angles with the body, for arms. Her sleeves increased in
dimensions from the shoulders, and the skirt from the belt, but without
the semblance of a fold. This, with some others of the same school, and
two "profiles," were carefully preserved in frames, and the frames in
screens of green barage. Miss Clark was busily engaged in making
netting, and Miss Emily in making a dress. Ann made known her wants to
them, more from curiosity to hear their reply, than from a hope of
success. In measured periods they thanked her--would have been happy to
accompany her. "But, really, I must be excused," said Miss Clark. "I
have given myself a stint, and I always feel bad if I fall an inch short
of my plans."

"Yes; don't you think, Ann," said Emily, "she has stinted herself to
make five yards of netting to-day. And mother says there is ten times as
much in the house as we shall ever need. Father says there is twenty
times as much; for he knows we shall both be old maids, ha! ha!"

"Yes, and I always tell him that if I am an old maid I shall need the
more. Our folks make twenty or thirty yards of table linen every year. I
mean to make fringe for every yard; and have enough laid by for the next
ten years, before I leave the mill."

"Well, Emily," said Ann, "you have no fringe to make, can't you
accompany me?"

"I should be glad to, Ann; but I am over head and ears in work. I have
got my work all done up, every thing that I could find to do. Now I am
making a dress for Bertha."

"Why, Emily, you are making a slave of yourself, body and mind," said
Ann. "Can't you earn enough in the mill to afford yourself a little time
for rest and amusement?"

"La! I don't make but twelve dollars a month, besides my board. I have
made a great many dresses evenings, and have stinted myself to finish
this to-day. So I believe I can't go, any way. I should be terrible glad

"Oh, you are very excusable," answered Ann. "But let me ask if you take
any time to read."

"No; not much. We can't afford to. Father owns the best farm in Burt;
but we have always had to work hard, and always expect to. We generally
read a chapter every day. We take turns about it. One of us reads while
the other works."

"Yes; but lately we have only taken time to read a short psalm," said
Emily, again laughing.

"Well, the Bible says, 'Let him that is without sin cast the first
stone,' or I might be tempted to remind you that there is such a thing
as laboring too much 'for the meat that perisheth.' Good morning,

Ann heard a loud, merry laugh from the next room, as she reached the
door. It was Ellinora Frothingham's; no one could mistake, who had heard
it once. It seemed the out-pouring of glee that could no longer be
suppressed. Ellinor sat on the floor, just as she had thrown herself on
her return from a walk. Her pretty little bonnet was lying on the floor
on one side, and on the other a travelling bag, whose contents she had
just poured into her lap. There were apples, pears, melons, a
mock-orange, a pumpkin, squash, and a crooked cucumber. Ellinora sprang
to her feet when Ann entered, and threw the contents of her lap on the
floor with such violence, as to set them to rolling all about. Then she
laughed and clapped her hands to see the squash chase the mock-orange
under the bed, a great russet running so furiously after a little fellow
of the Baldwin family, and finally pinning him in a corner. A pear
started in the chase; but after taking a few turns, he sat himself down
to shake his fat sides and enjoy the scene. Ellinora stepped back a few
paces to elude the pursuit of the pumpkin, and then, with well-feigned
terror, jumped into a chair. But the drollest personage of the group was
the ugly cucumber. There he sat, Forminius-like, watching the mad freaks
of his companions.

"Ha! see that cucumber?" exclaimed Ellinora, laughing heartily. "If he
had hands, how he would raise them so! If he had eyes and mouth, how he
would open them so!" suiting action to her words. "Look, Ann! look,
Fanny! See if it does not look like the Clark girls, when one leaves any
thing in the shape of dirt on their table or stand!"

Peace was at length restored among the _inanimates_.

"I came to invite you to walk; but I find I am too late," said Ann.

"Yes. Oh, how I wish you had been with us! You would have been so
happy!" said Ellinora. "We started out very early--before
sunrise--intending to take a brisk walk of a mile or two, and return in
season for breakfast. We went over to Dracut, and met such adventures
there and by the way, as will supply me with food for laughter years
after I get married, and trouble comes. We came along where some oxen
were standing, yoked, eating their breakfast while their owner was
eating his. They were attached to a cart filled with pumpkins. I took
some of the smallest, greenest ones, and stuck them fast on the tips of
the oxen's horns. I was so interested in observing how the ceremony
affected the Messrs. Oxen, that I did not laugh a bit until I had
crowned all four of them. I looked up to Fanny, as I finished the work,
and there she sat on a great rock, where she had thrown herself when she
could no longer stand. Poor girl! tears were streaming down her cheeks.
With one hand she was holding her lame side, and with the other filling
her mouth with her pocket handkerchief, that the laugh need not run out,
I suppose. Well, as soon as I looked at her, and at the oxen, I burst
into a laugh that might have been heard miles, I fancy. Oh! I shall
never forget how reprovingly those oxen looked at me. The poor
creatures could not eat with such an unusual weight on their horns, so
they pitched their heads higher than usual, and now and then gave them a
graceful cant, then stood entirely motionless, as if attempting to
conjecture what it all meant.

"Well, that loud and long laugh of mine, brought a whole volley of folks
to the door--farmer, and farmer's wife, farmer's sons, and farmer's
daughters. 'Whoa hish!' exclaimed the farmer, before he reached the
door; and 'Whoa hish!' echoed all the farmer's sons. They all stopped as
soon as they saw me. I would remind you that I still stood before the
oxen, laughing at them. I never saw such comical expressions as those
people wore. Did you, Fanny? Even those pictures of mine are not so
funny. I thought we should raise the city police; for they had
tremendous voices, and I never saw any body laugh so.

"As soon as I could speak, and they could listen to me, I walked up to
the farmer. 'I beg your pardon sir,' said I, 'but I did want to laugh
so! Came all the way from Lowell for something new to laugh at.' He was
a good, sensible man, and this proves it. He said it was a good thing to
have a hearty laugh occasionally--good for the health and spirits. Work
would go off easier all day for it, especially with the boys. As he said
'boys,' I could not avoid smiling as I looked at a fine young sprig of a
farmer, his oldest son, as he afterwards told us, full twenty-one."

"And now, Miss Ellinora," said Fanny, "I shall avenge myself on you, for
certain saucy freaks, perpetrated against my most august commands, by
telling Ann, that as you looked at this 'young sprig of a farmer,' he
looked at you, and you both blushed. What made you, Nora? I never saw
you blush before."

"What made you, Nora?" echoed Ellinora, laughing and blushing slightly.
"Well, the farmer's wife invited us to rest and breakfast with them. We
began to make excuses; but the farmer added his good natured commands,
so we went in; and after a few arrangements, such as placing more
plates, &c., a huge pumpkin pie, and some hot potatoes, pealed in the
cooking, we sat down to a full round table. There were the mealy
potatoes, cold boiled dish, warm biscuit and dough-nuts, pie, coffee,
pickles, sauce, cheese, and just such butter and brown bread as mother
makes--bread hot, just taken from the oven. They all appeared so
pleasant and kind, that I felt as if in my own home, with my own family
around me. Wild as I was, as soon as I began to tell them how it seemed
to me, I burst into tears in spite of myself, and was obliged to leave
the table. But they all pitied me so much, that I brushed off my tears,
went back to my breakfast, and have laughed ever since."

"You have forgotten two very important items," said Fanny, looking
archly into Ellinora's face. "This 'fine young sprig of a farmer'
happened to recollect that he had business in town to-day; so he took
their carriage and brought us home, after Nora and a roguish sister of
his had filled her bag as you see. And more and better still, they
invited us to spend a day with them soon; and promised to send this
'fine young sprig,' &c., for us on the occasion."

Ellinora was too busily engaged in collecting her fruit to reply. She
ran from the room; and in a few moments returned with several young
girls, to whom she gave generous supplies of apples, pears, and melons.
She was about seating herself with a full plate, when a new idea seemed
to flash upon her. She laughed, and started for the door.

"Ellinora, where now?" asked Fanny.

"To the Clark girls' room, to leave an apple peeling and core on their
table, a pear pealing on their stand, and melon, apple, and pear seeds
all about the floor," answered Ellinora, gaily snapping her fingers, and
nodding her head.

"What for? Here, Nora; come back. For what?"

"Why, to see them suffer," said the incorrigible girl. "You know I told
you this morning, that sport is to be the order of the day. So no
scoldings, my dear."

She left the room, and Fanny turned to one of the ladies who had just

"Where is Alice," said she. "Did not Ellinora extend an invitation to

"Yes; but she is half dead with the _blues_, to-day. The Brown girls
came back last night. They called on Alice this morning, and left
letters and presents from home for her. She had a letter from her little
brother, ten years old. He must be a fine fellow, judging from that
letter, it was so sensible, and so witty too! One moment I laughed at
some of his lively expressions, and the next cried at his expressions of
love for Alice, and regret for her loss. He told her how he cried
himself to sleep the night after she left home; and his flowers seemed
to have faded, and the stars to have lost their brightness, when he no
longer had her by his side to talk to him about them. I find by his
letter that Alice is working to keep him at school. That part of it
which contained his thanks for her goodness was blistered with the
little fellow's tears. Alice cried like a child when she read it, and I
did not wonder at it. But she ought to be happy now. Her mother sent her
a fine pair of worsted hose of her own spinning and knitting, and a nice
cake of her own making. She wrote, that, trifling as these presents
were, she knew they would be acceptable to her daughter, because made by
her. When Alice read this, she cried again. Her sister sent her a pretty
little fancy basket, and her brother a bunch of flowers from her
mother's garden. They were enclosed in a tight tin box, and were as
fresh as when first gathered. Alice sent out for a new vase. She has
filled it with her flowers, and will keep them watered with her tears,
judging from present appearances. Alice is a good-hearted girl, and I
love her, but she is always talking or thinking of something to make her
unhappy. A letter from a friend, containing nothing but good news, and
assurances of friendship, that ought to make her happy, generally throws
her into a crying fit, which ends in a moping fit of melancholy. This
destroys her own happiness, and that of all around her.'"

"You ought to talk to her, she is spoiling herself," said Mary Mason,
whose mouth was literally crammed with the last apple of a second

"I have often urged her to be more cheerful. But she answers me with a
helpless, hopeless, 'I can't Jane! you know I can't. I shall never be
happy while I live; and I often think that the sooner I go where "the
weary are at rest," the better.' I don't know how many times she has
given me an answer like this. Then she will sob as if her heart were
bursting. She sometimes wears me quite out; and I feel as I did when
Ellinora called me, as if released from a prison."

"Would it improve her spirits to walk with me?" asked Ann.

"Perhaps it would, if you can persuade her to go. Do try, dear Ann,"
answered Jane. "I called at Isabel Greenwood's room as I came along, and
asked her to go in and see if she could rouse her up."

Ann heard Isabel's voice in gentle but earnest expostulation, as she
reached Alice's room. Isabel paused when Ann entered, kissed her cheek,
and resigned her rocking-chair to her. Alice was sobbing too violently
to speak. She took her face from her handkerchief, bowed to Ann, and
again buried it. Ann invited them to walk with her. Isabel cheerfully
acceded to her proposal, and urged Alice to accompany them.

"Don't urge me, Isabel," said Alice; "I am only fit for the solitude of
my chamber. I could not add at all to your pleasure. My thoughts would
be at my home, and I could not enjoy a walk in the least degree. But
Isabel, I do not want you to leave me so. I know that you think me very
foolish to indulge in these useless regrets, as you call them. You will
understand me better if you just consider the situation of my mother's
family. My mother a widow, my oldest brother at the West, my oldest
sister settled in New York, my youngest brother and sister only with
mother, and I a Lowell factory girl! And such I must be--for if I leave
the mill, my brother cannot attend school all of the time; and his heart
would almost break to take him from school. And how can I be happy in
such a situation; I do not ask for riches; but I would be able to gather
my friends all around me. Then I could be happy. Perhaps I am as happy
now as you would be in my situation, Isabel."

Isabel's eyes filled, but she answered in her own sweet, calm manner:

"We will compare lots, my dear Alice. I have neither father, mother,
sister, nor home in the world. Three years ago I had all of these, and
every other blessing that one could ask. The death of my friends, the
distressing circumstances attending them, the subsequent loss of our
large property, and the critical state of my brother's health at
present, are not slight afflictions, nor are they lightly felt."

Isabel's emotions, as she paused to subdue them by a powerful mental
effort, proved her assertion. Alice began to dry her tears, and to look
as if ashamed of her weakness.

"I, too, am a Lowell factory girl," pursued Isabel. "I, too, am laboring
for the completion of a brother's education. If that brother were well,
how gladly would I toil! But that disease is upon his vitals which laid
father, mother, and sister in their graves, in one short year. I can see
it in the unnatural and increasing brightness of his eye, and hear it in
his hollow cough. He has entered upon his third collegiate year; and is
too anxious to graduate next commencement, to heed my entreaties, or the
warning of his physician."

She again paused. Her whole frame shook with emotion; but not a tear
mingled with Ann's, as they fell upon her hand.

"You see, Alice," she at length added, "what reasons I have for regret
when I think of the past, and what for fear when I turn to the future.
Still I am happy, almost continually. My lost friends are so many
magnets, drawing heavenward those affections that would otherwise rivet
themselves too strongly to earthly loves. And those dear ones who are
yet spared to me, scatter so many flowers in my pathway, that I seldom
feel the thorns. I am cheered in my darkest hours by their kindness and
affection, animated at all times by a wish to do all in my power to make
them happy. If my brother is spared to me, I ask for nothing more. And
if he is first called, I trust I shall feel that it is the will of One
who is too wise to err, and too good to be unkind."

"You are the most like my mother, Isabel, of any one I ever saw," said
Ann. "She is never free from pain, yet she never complains. And if Pa,
or any of us, just have a cold or head ache, she does not rest till 'she
makes us well.' You have more trouble than any other girl in the house;
but instead of claiming the sympathies of every one on that account, you
are always cheering others in their little, half-imaginary trials.
Alice, I think you and I ought to be ashamed to shed a tear, until we
have some greater cause than mere home-sickness, or low spirits."

"Why, Ann, I can no more avoid low spirits, than I can make a world!"
exclaimed Alice, in a really aggrieved tone. "And I don't want you all
to think that I have no trouble. I want sympathy, and I can't live
without it. Oh that I was at home this moment!"

"Why, Alice, there is hardly a girl in this house who has not as much
trouble, in some shape, as you have. You never think of pitying them;
and pray what gives you such strong claims on their sympathies? Do you
walk with us, or do you not?"

Alice shook her head in reply. Isabel whispered a few words in her
ear--they might be of reproof, they might be of consolation--then
retired with Ann to equip for their walk.

"What a beautiful morning this is!" exclaimed Ann, as they emerged from
the house. "_Malgre_ some inconveniences, factory girls are as happy as
any class of females. I sometimes think it hard to rise so early, and
work so many hours shut up in the house. But when I get out at night, on
the Sabbath, or at any other time, I am just as happy as a bird, and
long to fly and sing with them. And Alice will keep herself shut up all
day. Is it not strange that all will not be as happy as they can be? It
is so pleasant."

Isabel returned Ann's smile. "Yes, Ann, it is strange that every one
does not prefer happiness. Indeed, it is quite probable that every one
does prefer it. But some mistake the modes of acquiring it through want
of judgment. Others are too indolent to employ the means necessary to
its attainment, and appear to expect it to flow in to them, without
taking any pains to prepare a channel. Others, like our friend Alice,
have constitutional infirmities, which entail upon them a deal of
suffering, that to us, of different mental organization, appears wholly

"Why, don't you think Alice might be as happy as we are, if she chose?
Could she not be as grateful for letters and love-tokens from home?
Could she not leave her room, and come out into this pure air, listen to
the birds, and catch their spirit? Could she not do all this, Isabel, as
well as we?"

"Well, I do not know, Ann. Perhaps not. You know that the minds of
different persons are like instruments of different tones. The same
touch thrills gaily on one, mournfully on another."

"Yes; and I know, Isabel, that different minds may be compared to the
same instrument _in_ and _out_ of tune. Now I have heard Alice say that
she loved to indulge this melancholy; that she loved to read Byron, Mrs.
Hemans, and Miss Landon, until her heart was as gloomy as the grave.
Isn't this strange--even silly?"

"It is most unfortunate, Ann."

"Isabel, you are the strangest girl! I have heard a great many say, that
one cannot make you say anything against anybody; and I believe they are
correct. And when you reprove one, you do it in such a mild, pretty way,
that one only loves you the better for it. Now, I smash on, pell-mell,
as if unconscious of a fault in myself. Hence, I oftener offend than
amend. Let me think.--This morning I have administered reproof in my own
blunt way to Bertha for reading novels, to Charlotte for eating
confectionary, to the Clark girls for their 'all work and no play,' and
to Alice for moping. I have been wondering all along how they can spend
their time so foolishly. I see that my own employment would scarcely
bear the test of close criticism, for I have been watching motes in
others' eyes, while a beam was in my own. Now, Isabel, I must ask a
favor. I do not want to be very fine and nice; but I would be gentle and
kind hearted--would do some good in the world. I often make attempts to
this end; but always fail, somehow. I know my manner needs correcting;
and I want you to reprove me as you would a sister, and assist me with
your advice. Will you not, dear Isabel?"

She pressed Isabel's arm closer to her side, and a tear was in her eye
as she looked up for an answer to her appeal.

"You know not what you ask, my beloved girl," answered Isabel, in a low
and tremulous tone. "You know not the weakness of the staff on which you
would lean, or the frailties of the heart to which you would look up,
for aid. Of myself, dear Ann, I can do nothing. I can only look to God
for protection from temptation, and for guidance in the right way. When
He keeps me, I am safe; when He withdraws His spirit, I am weak indeed.
And can I lead you, Ann? No! you must go to a higher than earthly
friend. Pray to Him in every hour of need, and He will be 'more to you
than you can ask, or even think.'"

"How often I have wished that I could go to Him as mother does--just as
I would go to a father!" said Ann. "But I dare not. It would be mockery
in one who has never experienced religion."

"Make prayer a _means_ of this experience, my dear girl. Draw near to
God by humble, constant prayer, and He will draw near to you by the
influences of His spirit, which will make you just what you wish to be,
a good, kind-hearted girl. You will learn to love God as a father, as
the author of your happiness and every good thing. And you will be
prepared to meet those trials which must be yours in life as the
'chastisements of a Father's hand, directed by a Father's love.' And
when the hour of death comes, dear Ann, how sweet, how soothing will be
the deep-felt conviction that you are going _home_! You will have no
fears, for your trust will be in One whom you have long loved and
served; and you will feel as if about to meet your best, and most
familiar friend."

Ann answered only by her tears; and for some minutes they walked on in
silence. They were now some distance from town. Before them lay farms,
farm-houses, groves and scattering trees, from whose branches came the
mingled song of a thousand birds. Isabel directed Ann's attention to the
beauty of the scene. Ann loved nature; but she had such a dread of
sentimentalism that she seldom expressed herself freely. Now she had no
reserves, and Isabel found that she had not mistaken her capacities, in
supposing her possessed of faculties, which had only to develop
themselves more fully, which had only to become constant incentives to
action, to make her all she could wish.

"You did not promise, Isabel," said Ann, with a happy smile, as they
entered their street, "you did not promise to be my sister; but you
will, will you not?"

"Yes, dear Ann; we will be sisters to each other. I think you told me
that you have no sister."

"I had none until now; and I have felt as if part of my affections could
not find a resting place, but were weighing down my heart with a burden
that did not belong to it. I shall no longer be like a branch of our
woodbine when it cannot find a clinging place, swinging about at the
mercy of every breeze; but like that when some kind hand twines it about
its frame, firm and trusting. See, Isabel!" exclaimed she, interrupting
herself, "there sits poor Alice, just as we left her. I wish she had
walked with us--she would have felt so much better. Do you think,
Isabel, that religion would make her happy?"

"Most certainly. 'Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden.
Take my yoke upon you; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye _shall_
find rest for your souls,'--is as 'faithful a saying' and as 'worthy of
all acceptation' now, as when it was uttered, and when thousands came
and 'were healed of _all_ manner of diseases.' Yes, Alice may yet be
happy," she added musingly, "if she can be induced to read Byron less,
and her Bible more; to think less of her own gratification, and more of
that of others. And we will be very gentle to her, Ann; but not the less
faithful and constant in our efforts to win her to usefulness and

Ellinora met them at the door, and began to describe a frolic that had
occupied her during their absence. She threw her arms around Isabel's
waist, and entered the sitting-room with her. "Now, Isabel, I know you
don't think it right to be so giddy," said she. "I will tell you what I
have resolved to do. You shake your head, Isabel, and I do not wonder at
all. But this resolution was formed this morning, on my way back from
Dracut; and I feel in my 'heart of hearts' 'a sober certainty of waking'
energy to keep it unbroken. It is that I will be another sort of a girl,
altogether, henceforth; steady, but not gloomy; less talkative, but not
reserved; more studious, but not a bookworm; kind and gentle to others,
but not a whit the less independent, 'for a' that,' in my opinions and
conduct.--And, after this day, which I have dedicated to Momus, I want
you to be my Mentor. Now I am for another spree of some sort. Nay,
Isabel, do not remonstrate. You will make me weep with five tender

It needed not so much--for Isabel smiled sadly, kissed her cheek, and
Ellinora's tears fell fast and thick as she ran from the room.

Ann went immediately to Alice's room on her return.--She apologized to
her for reproving her so roughly, described her walk, gave a synopsis of
Isabel's advice, and her consequent determinations. By these means she
diverted Alice's thoughts from herself, gave her nerves a healthy
spring, and when the bell summoned them to dinner, she had recovered
much of her happier humor. Ellinora sat beside her at table. She
laughingly proposed an exchange, offering a portion of her levity for as
much of her gravity. She thought the _equilibrium_ would be more
perfect. So Alice thought, and she heartily wished that the exchange
might be made.

And this exchange seems actually taking place at this time. They are as
intimate as sisters. Together they are resolutely struggling against the
tide of habit. They meet many discouraging failures; but Isabel is ever
ready to cheer them by her sympathy, and to assist them by her advice.

Ann's faults were not so deeply rooted; perhaps she brought more natural
energy to their extermination. Be that as it may, she is now an
excellent lady, a fit companion for the peerless Isabel.

The Clark girls do not, as yet, coalesce in their system of
improvement. They still prefer making netting and dresses, to the
lecture-room, the improvement circle, and even to the reading of the
"Book of books." So difficult is it to turn from the worship of Plutus!

The delusion of Bertha and Charlotte is partially broken. Bertha is
beginning to understand that much reading does not naturally result in
intellectual or moral improvement, unless it be well regulated.
Charlotte is learning that "to enjoy is to obey;" and that to pamper her
own animal appetites, while her father and mother are suffering for want
of the necessaries of life, is not in obedience to Divine command.

And, dear sisters, how is it with each one of _us_? How do we spend our
leisure hours? Now, "in the stilly hour of night," let us pause, and
give our consciences time to render faithful answers.



    "He sleeps there in the midst of the very simplicities of Nature."

  There let him sleep, in Nature's arms,
    Her well-beloved, her chosen child--
  There 'mid the living, quiet charms
    Of that sequestered wild.
    He would have chosen such a spot,
  'Twas fit that they should lay him there,
  Away from all the haunts of care;
    The world disturbs him not.--
  He sleeps full sweet in his retreat--
    The place is consecrated ground,
  It is not meet unhallowed feet
    Should tread that sacred mound.

  He lies in pomp--not of display--
    No useless trappings grace his bier,
  Nor idle words--they may not say
    What treasures cluster here.
    The pomp of nature, wild and free,
  Adorns our hero's lowly bed,
  And gently bends above his head
    The weeping laurel tree.
  In glory's day he shunned display,
    And ye may not bedeck him now,
  But Nature may, in her own way,
    Hang garlands round his brow.

  He lies in pomp--not sculptured stone,
    Nor chiseled marble--vain pretence--
  The glory of his deeds alone
    Is his magnificence.
    His country's love the meed he won,
  He bore it with him down to death,
  Unsullied e'en by slander's breath--
    His country's sire and son.
  Her hopes and fears, her smiles and tears,
    Were each his own.--He gave his land
  His earliest cares, his choicest years,
    And led her conquering band.

  He lies in pomp--not pomp of war--
    He fought, but fought not for renown;
  He triumphed, yet the victor's star
    Adorned no regal crown.
    His honor was his country's weal;
  From off her neck the yoke he tore--
  It was enough, he asked no more;
    His generous heart could feel
  No low desire for king's attire;--
    With brother, friend, and country blest,
  He could aspire to honors higher
    Than kingly crown or crest.

  He lies in pomp--his burial place
    Than sculptured stone is richer far;
  For in the heart's deep love we trace
    His name, a golden star.
    Wherever patriotism breathes,
  His memory is devoutly shrined
  In every pure and gifted mind:
    And history, with wreaths
  Of deathless fame, entwines that name,
    Which evermore, beneath all skies,
  Like vestal flame, shall live the same,
    For virtue never dies.

  There let him rest--'t is a sweet spot;
    Simplicity becomes the great--But
  Vernon's son is not forgot,
    Though sleeping not in state.
    There, wrapt in his own dignity,
  His presence makes it hallowed ground,
  And Nature throws her charms around,
    And o'er him smiles the sky.
  There let him rest--the noblest, best;
    The labors of his life all done--
  There let him rest, the spot is blessed--
    The grave of WASHINGTON.



There is much complaint among farmers' wives and daughters, of want of
time for rest, recreation, and literary pursuits. "It is cook, eat, and
scrub--cook, eat, and scrub, from morning till night, and from year to
year," says many a farmer's wife. And so it is in many families. But how
far this results from the very nature of the situation, and how far from
injudicious domestic management, is a query worthy of our attention. A
very large proportion of my readers, who are now factory girls, will in
a few months or years be the busy wives of busy farmers; and if by a few
speculations on the subject before us, and an illustration to the point,
we can reach _one_ hint that may hereafter be useful to us, our labor
and "search of thought" will not have been in vain.

Mr. Moses Eastman was what is technically called a wealthy farmer. Every
one in the country knows what this means. He had a farm of some hundred
or more acres, a large two-story dwelling house, a capacious yard, in
which were two large barns, sheds, a sheep-cote, granary, and hen-coop.
He kept a hundred sheep, ten cows, horses and oxen in due proportion.
Mr. Eastman often declared that no music was half so sweet to him as
that of the inmates of this yard. I think we shall not quarrel with his
taste in this manifestation; for it is certainly delightful, on a warm
day, in early spring, to listen to them, the lambs, hens--Guinea and
American--turkeys, geese, and ducks and peacocks.

Mr. Eastman was unbending in his adherence to the creed, prejudices, and
customs of his fathers. It was his boast that his farm had passed on
from father to son, to the fourth generation; and everybody could see
that it was none the worse for wear. He kept more oxen, sheep, and cows
than his father kept. He had "pulled down his barns and built larger."
He had surrounded his fields and pastures with stone wall, in lieu of
Virginian, stump, brush, and board fence. And he had taught his sons and
daughters, of whom he had an abundance, to walk in his footsteps--all
but Mary. He should always rue the day that he consented to let Mary go
to her aunt's; but he acted upon the belief that it would lessen his
expenses to be rid of her during her childhood. He had all along
intended to recall her as soon as she was old enough to be serviceable
to him. But he said he believed that would never be, if she lived as
long as Methuselah. She could neither spin nor weave as she ought; for
she put so much material in her yarn, and wove her cloth so thick, that
no profit resulted from its manufacture and sale. Now Deborah, his
oldest daughter, had just her mother's _knack_ of making a good deal out
of a little.--And Mary had imbibed some very dangerous ideas of
religion,--she did not even believe in ghosts!--dress, and reading. For
his part, he would not, on any account, attend any other meeting than
old Mr. Bates's. His father and grandfather always attended there, and
they prospered well. But Mary wanted to go to the other meeting
occasionally, all because Mr. Morey happened to be a bit of an orator.
True, Mr. Bates was none of the smartest; but there was an advantage in
this. He could sleep as soundly, and rest as rapidly, when at his
meeting, as in his bed; and by this means he could regain the sleep lost
during the week by rising early and working late. And Mary had grown so
proud that she would not wear a woolen home-manufactured dress
visiting, as Deborah did. She must flaunt off to meeting every Sabbath,
in white or silk, while _chintz_ was good enough for Deborah. Deborah
seldom read anything but the Bible, Watts's Hymn Book, "Pilgrim's
Progress," and a few tracts they had in the house. Mary had hardly laid
off her finery, on her return from her aunt's, before she inquired about
books and newspapers. Her aunt had heaps of books and papers. These had
spoilt Mary. True, papers were sometimes useful; he would have lost five
hundred dollars by the failure of the ---- Bank, but for a newspaper he
borrowed of Captain Norwood. But the Captain had enough of them--was
always ready to lend to him--and he saved no small sum in twenty years
by borrowing papers of him.

How Captain Norwood managed to add to his property he could not
conceive. So much company, fine clothing, and schooling! he wondered
that it did not ruin him. And 'twas all folly--'twas a sin; for they
were setting extravagant examples, and every body thought they must do
as the Norwoods did. Mr. Norwood ought to remember that his father wore
home-made; and what was good enough for his good old father was good
enough for _him_. But alas! times were dreadfully altered.

As for Mary, she must turn over a new leaf, or go back to her aunt. He
would not help one who did not help herself. Mary was willing, nay,
anxious to return. To spend one moment, except on the Sabbath, in
reading, was considered a crime; to gather a flower or mineral, absurd;
and Mary begged that she might be permitted to return to Mrs. Barlow. As
there was no prospect of reforming her, Mr. Eastman and his wife readily
consented. Mr. Eastman told her, at the same time, that she must be
preparing for a wet day; and repeatedly charged her to remember that
those who folded their hands in the summer, must "beg in harvest, and
have nothing."

Mary had often visited the Norwoods and other young friends, during the
year spent at home; but she had not been permitted to give a party in
return. Why, Deborah had never thought of doing such a thing! Mary
begged the indulgence of her mother, with the assurance that it was the
last favor she would ever ask at her hand. The _mother_ in her at last
yielded; and she promised to use her influence with her husband. After a
deal of cavilling, he consented, on the condition that the strictest
economy should attend the expenditures on the occasion, and that they
should exercise more prudence in the family, until their loss was made
gain. So the party was given.

"You find yourself thrown on barren ground, Miss Norwood," said Mary, as
she saw Miss Norwood looking around the room; "neither papers, books,
plants, plates, nor minerals."

"Where are those rocks you brought in, Molly!" said Deborah, with a
loud, grating laugh.

Mary attempted to smile, but her eyes were full of tears.

"What rocks, Deborah!" asked Clarina Norwood.

"Them you see stuffed into the garden wall, there.--Mary fixed them all
in a row on the table. I think as father does, that nothing is worth
saving that can't be used; so I put them in the wall to keep the hens
out of the garden. The silly girl cried when she see them; should you
have thought it?"

"What were they, Mary?" asked Clarina.

"Very pretty specimens of white, rose, and smoky quartz, black and white
mica, gneiss, hornblende, and a few others, that I collected on that
very high hill, west of here."

"How unfortunate to lose them!" said Miss Norwood, in a soothing tone.
"Could not we recover them, dear Mary?"

"There is no room for them," said Deborah. "We want to spread currants
and blueberries on the tables to be dried. Besides, I think as father
does, that there is enough to do, without spending the time in such
flummery. As father says, 'time is our estate,' and I think we ought to
improve every moment of it, except Sundays, in work."

"I must differ from you, Miss Eastman," said Miss Norwood. "I cannot
think it the duty of any one to labor entirely for the 'meat that
perisheth.' Too much, vastly too much time is spent thus by almost all."

"The mercy! you would have folks prepare for a wet day, wouldn't you?"

"I would have every one make provision for a comfortable subsistence;
and this is enough. The mind should be cared for, Deborah. It should not
be left to starve, or feed on husks."

"I don't know about this mind, of which you and our Mary make such a
fuss. My concern is for my body. Of this I know enough."

"Yes; you know that it is dust, and that to dust it must return in a
little time, while the mind is to live on for ever, with God and His
holy angels. Think of this a moment, Deborah; and say, should not the
mind be fed and clothed upon, when its destiny is so glorious? Or should
we spend our whole lives in adding another acre to our farms, another
dress to our wardrobe, and another dollar to our glittering heap?"

"Oh, la! all this sounds nicely; but I _do_ think that every man who has
children should provide for them."

"Certainly--intellectual food and clothing. It is for this I am
contending. He should provide a comfortable bodily subsistence, and
educate them as far as he is able and their destinies require."

"And he should leave them a few hundreds, or thousands, to give them a
kind of a start in the world."

"He does this in giving them a liberal education, and he leaves them in
banks that will always discount. But farther than education of intellect
and propensity is concerned, I am for the self-made man. I think it
better for sons to carve their own way to eminence with little pecuniary
aid by way of a settlement; and for daughters to be 'won and wedded' for
their own intrinsic excellence, not for the dowry in store for them from
a rich father."

"There is no arguing with you, everybody says; so I'll go and see how my
cakes bake."

Mr. Eastmam came in to tea, contrary to his usual custom.

"Clarina, has your father sold that great calf of his?" he inquired, as
he seated himself snugly beside his "better half."

"Indeed, I do not know, sir," answered Clarina, biting her lip to avoid

"I heard Mr. Montgomery ask him the same question, this morning; and Pa
said 'yes,' I believe," said Miss Norwood, smiling.

"How much did he get for it?"

Miss Norwood did not know.

"Like Mary, I see," said Mr. Eastman. "Now I'll warrant you that Debby
can tell the price of every creature I've sold this year."

"Yes, father; I remember as plain as day, how much you got from that
simple Joe Slater, for the white-faced calf--how much you got for the
black-faced sheep, Rowley and Jumble, and for Star and Bright. Oh, how I
want to see Bright! And then there is the black colt--you got forty
dollars for him, didn't you, father?"

"Yes, Debby; you are a keen one," said Mr. Eastman triumphantly. "Didn't
I tell you so, Julia?"

"I do not burden my memory with superfluities," answered Miss Norwood.
"I can scarcely find room for necessaries."

"And do you rank the best way of making pies, cakes, and puddings, with
necessaries or superfluities?"

"Among necessaries in household economy, certainly," answered Miss
Norwood. "But Mrs. Child's 'Frugal Housewife' renders them superfluities
as a part of memory's storage."

"Oh, the book costs something, you know; and if this can be saved by a
little exercise of the memory, it is well, you know."

"The most capacious and retentive memory would fail to treasure up and
retain all that one wishes to know of cooking and other matters," said

"Well, then, one may copy from her book," said Mr. Eastman.

"Indeed, Mr. Eastman, to spend one's time in copying her recipes, when
the work can be purchased for twenty-five cents, would be 'straining out
a gnat, and swallowing a camel,'" remarked the precise and somewhat
pedantic Miss Ellinor Gould Smith. "And then the peculiar disadvantages
of referring to manuscript! I had my surfeit of this before the
publication of her valuable work."

"Ah! it is every thing but valuable," answered Mr. Eastman. "Just think
of her pounds of sugar, her two pounds of butter, her dozen eggs, and
ounces of nutmegs. Depend upon it, they are not very valuable in the
holes they would make in our cash-bags." He said this with precisely the
air of one who imagines he has uttered a poser.

"But you forget her economical and wholesome prescriptions for disease,
her directions for repairing and preserving clothing and provisions,
that would be lost without them," answered Miss Smith.

"But one should always be prying into these things, and learn them for
themselves," said Mr. Eastman.

"On the same principle, extended in its scale, every man might make his
own house, furniture, and clothing," said Miss Norwood. "With the
expenditure of much labor and research, she has supplied us with
directions; and I think it would be vastly foolish for every wife and
daughter to expend just as much, when they can be supplied with the
fruits of hers, for the product of half a day's labor."

"Does your mother use it much?" asked Mrs. Eastman.

"Yes; she acknowledges herself much indebted to it."

"I shouldn't think she'd need it; she is so notable. Has she made many
cheeses this summer?"

"About the usual number, I believe."

"Well, I've made more than I ever did a year afore--thirty in my largest
hoop, all new milk, and twenty in my next largest, part skimmed milk.
Our cheese press is terribly out of order, now. It must be fixed, Mr.
Eastman. And I have made more butter, or else our folks haven't ate as
much as common. I've made it salter, and there's a great saving in

"There's a good many ways to save in the world, if one will take pains
to find them out," said Mr. Eastman.

"Doubtless; but I think the best method of saving in provisions is to
eat little," said Clarina, as she saw Mr. Eastman _putting down_ his
third biscuit.

"Why, as to that, I think we ought to eat as much as the appetite calls
for," answered Mr. Eastman.

"Yes; if the appetite is not depraved by indulgence."

"Yes; it is an awful thing to pinch in eating," said Deborah.

"I never knew one to sin in doing it," said Miss Norwood. "But many
individuals and whole families make themselves excessively
uncomfortable, and often incur disease, by eating too much. There is,
besides, a waste of food, and of labor in preparing it. In such
families, there is a continual round of eating, cooking, and sleeping,
with the female portion; and no time for rest, recreation, or literary

"I have told our folks a great many times, that I did not believe that
you lived by eating, over to your house," said Mr. Eastman. "I have been
over that way before our folks got breakfast half ready; and your men
would be out to work, and you women folks sewing, reading, or watering
plants, or weeding your flower garden. I don't see how you manage."

"We do not find it necessary to manage at all, our breakfasts are so
simple. We have only to make cocoa, and arrange the breakfast."

"Don't you cook meat for breakfast?" asked Mrs. Eastman.

"Never; our breakfast invariably consists of cocoa, or water, cold white
bread and butter."

"Why, our men folks will have meat three times a day--warm, morning and
noon, and cold at night. We have warm bread for breakfast and supper,
always. When they work very hard, they want luncheon at ten, and again
at three. I often tell our folks that it is step, step, from morning
till night."

"Of course, you find no time to read," said Miss Norwood.

"No; but I shouldn't mind this, if I didn't get so dreadful tired. I
often tell our folks that it is wearing me all out," said Mrs. Eastman,
in a really aggrieved tone.

"Well, it is quite the fashion to starve, now-a-days, I know; but it is
an awful sin," said Mr. Eastman.

Miss Norwood saw that she might as well spend her time in rolling a
stone up hill, as in attempting to convince him of fallacy in reasoning.

"Clarina," said she, "did you ask Frederic to call for the other volume
of the 'Alexandrian?'"

"Why, I should think that you had books enough at home, without
borrowing," said Mr. Eastman, stopping by the way to rinse down his
fifth dough-nut. "For my part, I find no time for reading anything but
the Bible." And the deluded man started up with a gulp and a grunt. He
had eaten enough for three full meals, had spent time enough for eating
one meal, and reading several pages; yet he left the room with a smile,
so self-satisfied in its expression, that it was quite evident that he
thought himself the wisest man in New Hampshire, except Daniel Webster.

This is rather a sad picture of life among farmers. But many of my
readers will bear me witness that it is a correct one, as far as it
goes. Many of them have left their homes, because, in the quaint but
appropriate language of Mrs. Eastman, it was "step, step, from morning
till night." But there are other and brighter pictures, of more
extensive application, _perhaps_, than that already drawn.

Captain Norwood had as large a farm as Mr. Eastman. His family was as
large, yet the existence of the female portion was paradisiacal,
compared with that of Mrs. Eastman and her daughters. Their meals were
prepared with the most perfect elegance and simplicity. Their table
covers and their China were of the same dazzling whiteness. Their
cutlery, from the unfrequency of its contact with acids, with a little
care, wore a constant polish. Much prettier these, than the dark
oiled-cloth cover and corresponding _et cetera_ of table appendages, at
Mr. Eastman's. Mrs. Norwood and her daughters carried _system_ into
every department of labour. While one was preparing breakfast, another
put things in nice order all about the house, and another was occupied
in the dairy.

Very different was it at Mr. Eastman's. Deborah must get potatoes, and
set Mary to washing them, while she made bread. Mrs. Eastman must cut
brown bread, and send Deborah for butter, little Sally for sauce, and
Susan for pickles. One must cut the meat and set it to cook; then it was
"Mary, have you seen to that meat? I expect it wants turning. Sally, run
and salt this side, before she turns it." And then, in a few moments,
"Debby, do look to that meat. I believe that it is all burning up. How
do them cakes bake? look, Sally. My goodness! all burnt to a cinder,
nearly. Debby, why didn't you see to them?"

"La, mother! I thought Mary was about the lot, somewhere. Where is she,
I wonder?"

"In the other room, reading, I think likely. Oh! I forgot: I sent her
after some coffee to burn."

"What! going to burn coffee now? We sha'nt have breakfast to-day."

"You fuss, Debby. We can burn enough for breakfast in five minutes. I
meant to have had a lot burned yesterday; but we had so much to do.
There, Debby, you see to the potatoes. I wonder what we are going to
have for dinner."

"Don't begin to talk about dinner yet, for pity's sake," said Deborah.
"Sally, you ha'nt got the milk for the coffee. Susan, go and sound for
the men folks: breakfast will be ready by the time they get here. Mary,
put the pepper, vinegar, and salt on the table, if you can make room for

"Yes; and Debby, you go and get one of them large pumpkin pies," said
Mrs. Eastman. "And Sally, put the chairs round the table; the men folks
are coming upon the run."

"Oh, mother! I am so glad you are going to have pie! I do love it _so_
well," said Susan, seating herself at the table, without waiting for her

Such a _rush!_ such a clatter of knives, forks, plates, cups, and
saucers! It "realized the phrase of ----," and was absolutely appalling
to common nerves.

After breakfast came the making of beds and sweeping, baking and boiling
for dinner, making and turning cheese, and so on, until noon. Occasional
bits of leisure were _seized_ in the afternoon, for sewing and knitting
that must be done, and for visiting.

The situation of such families is most unpleasant, but it is not
irremediable. Order may be established and preserved in the entire
household economy. They may restrict themselves to a simpler system of
dietetics. With the money and time thus saved, they may purchase books,
subscribe for good periodicals, and find ample leisure to read them.
Thus their intellects will be expanded and invigorated. They will have
opportunities for social intercourse, for the cultivation of
friendships; and thus their affections will be exercised and warmed.
Then, happy the destiny of the farmer, the farmer's wife, and the
farmer's daughters.

                                                         A. F. D.


It was a sunny day, and I left for a few moments the circumscribed spot
which is my appointed place of labor, that I might look from an
adjoining window upon the bright loveliness of nature. Yes, it was a
sunny day; but for many days before, the sky had been veiled in gloomy
clouds; and joyous indeed was it to look up into that blue vault, and
see it unobscured by its sombre screen; and my heart fluttered, like a
prisoned bird, with its painful longings for an unchecked flight amidst
the beautiful creation around me.

Why is it, said a friend to me one day, that the factory girls write so
much about the beauties of nature?

Oh! why is it, (thought I, when the query afterwards recurred to me,)
why is it that visions of thrilling loveliness so often bless the
sightless orbs of those whose eyes have once been blessed with the power
of vision?

Why is it that the delirious dreams of the famine-stricken, are of
tables loaded with the richest viands, or groves, whose pendent boughs
droop with their delicious burdens of luscious fruit?

Why is it that haunting tones of sweetest melody come to us in the deep
stillness of midnight, when the thousand tongues of man and nature are
for a season mute?

Why is it that the desert-traveller looks forward upon the burning
boundless waste, and sees pictured before his aching eyes, some verdant
oasis, with its murmuring streams, its gushing founts, and shadowy
groves--but as he presses on with faltering step, the bright _mirage_
recedes, until he lies down to die of weariness upon the scorching
sands, with that isle of loveliness before him?

Oh tell me why is this, and I will tell why the factory girl sits in the
hour of meditation, and thinks--not of the crowded clattering mill, nor
of the noisy tenement which is her home, nor of the thronged and busy
street which she may sometimes tread,--but of the still and lovely
scenes which, in bygone hours, have sent their pure and elevating
influence with a thrilling sweep across the strings of the spirit-harp,
and then awaken its sweetest, loftiest notes; and ever as she sits in
silence and seclusion, endeavoring to draw from that many-toned
instrument a strain which may be meet for another's ear, that music
comes to the eager listener like the sound with which the sea-shell
echoes the roar of what was once its watery home. All her best and
holiest thoughts are linked with those bright pictures which call them
forth, and when she would embody them for the instruction of others, she
does it by a delineation of those scenes which have quickened and
purified her own mind.

It was this love of nature's beauties, and a yearning for the pure
hallowed feelings which those beauties had been wont to call up from
their hidden springs in the depths of the soul, to bear away upon their
swelling tide the corruption which had gathered, and I feared might
settle there,--it was this love, and longing, and fear, which made my
heart throb quickly, as I sent forth a momentary glance from the factory

I think I said there was a cloudless sky; but it was not so. It was
clear, and soft, and its beauteous hue was of "the hyacinth's deep
blue"--but there was one bright solitary cloud, far up in the cerulean
vault; and I wished that it might for once be in my power to lie down
upon that white, fleecy couch, and there, away and alone, to dream of
all things holy, calm, and beautiful. Methought that better feelings,
and clearer thoughts than are often wont to visit me, would there take
undisturbed possession of my soul.

And might I not be there, and send my unobstructed glance into the
depths of ether above me, and forget for a little while that I had ever
been a foolish, wayward, guilty child of earth? Could I not then cast
aside the burden of error and sin which must ever depress me here, and
with the maturity of womanhood, feel also the innocence of infancy? And
with that sense of purity and perfection, there would necessarily be
mingled a feeling of sweet uncloying bliss--such as imagination may
conceive, but which seldom pervades and sanctifies the earthly heart.
Might I not look down from my aerial position, and view this little
world, and its hills, valleys, plains, and streamlets, and its thousands
of busy inhabitants, and see how puerile and unsatisfactory it would
look to one so totally disconnected from it? Yes, there, upon that soft
snowy cloud could I sit, and gaze upon my native earth, and feel how
empty and "vain are all things here below."

But not motionless would I stay upon that aerial couch. I would call
upon the breezes to waft me away over the broad blue ocean, and with
nought but the clear bright ether above me, have nought but a boundless,
sparkling, watery expanse below me. Then I would look down upon the
vessels pursuing their different courses across the bright waters; and
as I watched their toilsome progress, I should feel how blessed a thing
it is to be where no impediment of wind or wave might obstruct my onward

But when the beams of a midday sun had ceased to flash from the foaming
sea, I should wish my cloud to bear away to the western sky, and
divesting itself of its snowy whiteness, stand there, arrayed in the
brilliant hues of the setting sun. Yes, well should I love to be
stationed there, and see it catch those parting rays, and, transforming
them to dyes of purple and crimson, shine forth in its evening vestment,
with a border of brightest gold. Then could I watch the king of day as
he sinks into his watery bed, leaving behind a line of crimson light to
mark the path which led him to his place of rest.

Yet once, O only once, should I love to have that cloud pass on--on--on
among the myriads of stars; and leaving them all behind, go far away
into the empty void of space beyond. I should love, for once, to be
_alone_. Alone! where _could_ I be alone? But I would fain be where
there is no other, save the INVISIBLE, and there, where not even one
distant star should send its feeble rays to tell of a universe beyond,
there would I rest upon that soft light cloud, and with a fathomless
depth below me, and a measureless waste above and around me, there would

"Your looms are going without filling," said a loud voice at my elbow;
so I ran as fast as possible and changed my shuttles.



  "Deal gently with the stranger's heart."--MRS. HEMANS.

The factory girl has trials, as every one of the class can testify. It
was hard for thee to leave

  "Thy hearth, thy home, thy vintage land.
  The voices of thy hindred band,"--

was it not, my sister? Yes, there was a burden at your heart as you
turned away from father, mother, sister, and brother, to meet the cold
glance of strange stage-companions. There was the mournfulness of the
funeral dirge and knell, in the crack of the driver's whip, and in the
rattling of the coach-wheels. And when the last familiar object receded
from your fixed gaze, there was a sense of utter desolation at your
heart. There was a half-formed wish that you could lie down on your own
bed, and die, rather than encounter the new trials before you.

Home may be a capacious farm-house, or a lowly cottage, it matters not.
It is _home_. It is the spot around which the dearest affections and
hopes of the heart cluster and rest. When we turn away, a thousand
tendrils are broken, and they bleed.--Lovelier scenes _might_ open
before us, but that only "the loved are lovely." Yet until new
interests are awakened, and new loves adopted, there is a constant
heaviness of heart, more oppressive than can be imagined by those who
have never felt it.

The "kindred band" may be made up of the intelligent and elegant, or of
the illiterate and vulgar; it matters not. Our hearts yearn for their
companionship. We would rejoice with them in health, or watch over them
in sickness.

In all seasons of trial, whether from sickness, fatigue, unkindness, or
_ennui_, there is one bright _oasis_. It is

  ----"the hope of return to the mother, whose smile
  Could dissipate sadness and sorrow beguile;
  To the father, whose glance we've exultingly met--
  And no meed half so proud hath awaited us yet;
  To the sister whose tenderness, breathing a charm,
  No distance could lessen, no danger disarm;
  To the friends, whose remembrances time cannot chill,
  And whose home in the heart not the stranger can fill."

This hope is invaluable; for it,

      "like the ivy round the oak,
  Clings closer in the storm."

Alas! that there are those to whom this hope comes not! those whose
affections go out, like Noah's dove, in search of a resting place; and
return without the olive-leaf.

"Death is in the world," and it has made hundreds of our factory girls
orphans. Misfortunes are abroad, and they have left as many destitute of
homes. This is a melancholy fact, and one that calls loudly for the
sympathy and kind offices of the more fortunate of the class. It is not
a light thing to be alone in the world. It is not a light thing to meet
only neglect and selfishness, when one longs for disinterestedness and
love. Oh, then, let us

  "Deal gently with the stranger's heart,"

especially if the stranger be a destitute orphan. Her garb may be
homely, and her manners awkward; but we will take her to our heart, and
call her sister. Some glaring faults may be hers; but we will remember
"who it is that maketh us to differ," and if possible, by our kindness
and forbearance, win her to virtue and peace.

There are many reasons why we should do this. It is a part of "pure and
undefiled religion" to "visit the fatherless in their afflictions." And
"mercy is twice blest; blest in him that gives, and him that takes." In
the beautiful language of the simple Scotch girl, "When the hour o'
trouble comes, that comes to mind and body, and when the hour o' death
comes, that comes to high and low, oh, my leddy, then it is na' what we
ha' done for ourselves, but what we ha' done for others, that we think
on maist pleasantly."



Elder Townsend was a truly meek and pious man. He was not what is called
_learned_, being bred a farmer, and never having had an opportunity of
attending school but very little--for school privileges were very
limited when Elder Townsend was young. His chief knowledge was what he
had acquired by studying the Bible (which had been his constant
companion from early childhood,) and a study of human nature, as he had
seen it exemplified in the lives of those with whom he held intercourse.

Although a Gospel preacher for more than forty years, he never received
a salary. He owned a farm of some forty acres, which he cultivated
himself; and when, by reason of ill health, or from having to attend to
pastoral duties, his farming-work was not so forward as that of his
neighbors, he would ask his parishioners to assist him for a day, or a
half-day, according to his necessities. As this was the only pay he ever
asked for his continuous labors with them, he never received a denial,
and a pittance so trifling could not be given grudgingly. The days which
were spent on Elder Townsend's farm were not considered by his
parishioners as days of toil, but as holydays, from whose recreations
they were sure to return home richly laden with the blessings of their
good pastor.

The sermons of Elder T. were always _extempore_; and if they were not
always delivered with the elocution of an orator, they were truly
excellent, inasmuch as they consisted principally of passages of
Scripture, judiciously selected, and well connected.

The Elder's intimate knowledge of his flock, and their habits and
propensities, their joys and their sorrows, together with his thorough
acquaintance with the Scriptures, enabled him to be ever in readiness to
give reproof or consolation (as need might be,) in the language of Holy
Writ. His reproofs were received with meekness, and the recipients would
resolve to profit thereby; and when he offered the cup of consolation,
it was received with gratitude by those who stood in need of its healing
influences. But when he dwelt on the loving-kindness of our God, all
hearts would rejoice and be glad. Often, while listening to his
preaching, have I sat with eyes intently gazing on the speaker, until I
fancied myself transported back to the days of the "beloved disciple,"
and on the Isle of Patmos was hearing him say, "My little children, love
one another."

When I last saw Elder Townsend, his head was white with the frosts of
more than seventy winters. It is many years since. I presume, ere this,
he sleeps beneath the turf on the hill-side, and is remembered among the
worthies of the olden time.

                                                            B. N.



  "The day is come I never thought to see,
  Strange revolutions in my farm and me."

                                   DRYDEN'S VIRGIL.

Harriet Greenough had always been thought a spoiled child, when she left
home for Newburyport. Her father was of the almost obsolete class of
farmers, whose gods are their farms, and whose creed--"Farmers are the
most independent folks in the world." This latter was none the less
absolute in its power over Mr. Greenough, from its being entirely
traditionary. He often repeated a vow made in early life, that he would
never wear other than "homespun" cloth. When asked his reasons, he
invariably answered, "Because I won't depend on others for what I can
furnish myself. Farmers are the most independent class of men; and I
mean to be the most independent of farmers."--If for a moment he felt
humbled by the presence of a genteel well-educated man, it was only for
a moment. He had only to recollect that farmers are the most independent
class of people, and his head resumed its wonted elevation, his manner
and tone their usual swaggering impudence.

While at school he studied nothing but reading, spelling, arithmetic,
and writing. Latterly, his reading had been restricted to a chapter in
the Bible per day, and an occasional examination of the almanac. He did
not read his Bible from devotional feeling--for he had none; but that he
might puzzle the "book men" of the village with questions like the
following:--"Now I should like to have you tell me one thing: How
_could_ Moses write an account of his own death and burial? Can you just
tell me where Cain and Abel found their wives? What verse is there in
the Bible that has but two words in it? Who was the father of Zebedee's
children? How many chapters has the New Testament?--How many verses, and
how many words?" Inability or disinclination to answer any and all of
these, made the subject of a day's laughter and triumph.

Nothing was so appalling to him as innovations on old customs and
opinions. "These notions, that the earth turns round, and the sun stands
still; that shooting stars are nothing but little meteors, I think they
call them, are turning the heads of our young folks," he was accustomed
to say to Mr. Curtis, the principal of the village academy, every time
they met. "And then these new-fangled books, filled with jaw-cracking
words and falsehoods, chemistry, philosophy, and so on--why, I wonder if
they ever made any man a better farmer, or helped a woman to make better
butter and cheese? Now, Mr. Curtis, it is _my_ opinion that young folks
had better read their Bibles more. Now I'll warrant that not one in ten
can tell how many chapters there are in it. My father knew from the time
he was eight till he was eighty. Can _you_ tell, Mr. Curtis?"

Mr. Curtis smiled a negative; and Mr. Greenough went laughing about all
day. Indeed, for a week, the first thing that came after his blunt
salutation, was a loud laugh; and in answer to consequent inquiries
came the recital of his victory over "the great Mr. Curtis." He would
not listen a moment to arguments in favor of sending Harriet to the
academy, or of employing any other teachers in his district than old
Master Smith, and Miss Heath, a superanuated spinster.

Mrs. Greenough was a mild creature, passionless and gentle in her nature
as a lamb. She acquiesced in all of her husband's measures, whether from
having no opinions of her own, or from a deep and quiet sense of duty
and propriety, no one knew. Harriet was their pet. As rosy, laughing,
and healthy as a Hebe, she flew from sport to sport all the day long.
Her mother attempted, at first, to check her romping propensity; but it
delighted her father, and he took every opportunity to strengthen and
confirm it. He was never so happy as when watching her swift and eager
pursuit of a butterfly; never so lavish of his praises and caresses as
when she succeeded in capturing one, and all breathless with the chase,
bore her prize to him.

"Do stay in the house with poor ma, to-day, darling; she is very
lonely," her mother would say to her, as she put back the curls from the
beautiful face of her child, and kissed her cheek. One day a tear was in
her eye and a sadness at her heart; for she had been thinking of the
early childhood of her Harriet, when she turned from father, little
brother, playthings and all, for her. Harriet seemed to understand her
feelings; for instead of answering her with a spring and laugh as usual,
she sat quietly down at her feet, and laid her head on her lap. Mr.
Greenough came in at this moment.

"How? What does this mean, wife and Hatty?" said he.--"Playing the baby,
Hat? Wife, this won't do. Harriet has your beauty; and to this I have no
objections, if she has my spirits and independence. Come, Hatty; we want
you to help us make hay to-day; and there are lots of butterflies and
grasshoppers for you to catch. Come," he added; for the child still kept
her eyes on her mother's face, as if undecided whether to go or stay.
"Come, get your bonnet--no; you may go without it. You look too much
like a village girl. You must get more tan."

"Shall I go, ma?" Harriet asked, still clinging to her mother's dress.

"Certainly, if pa wishes it," answered Mrs. Greenough with a strong
effort to speak cheerfully.

She went, and from that hour Mrs. Greenough passively allowed her to
follow her father and his laborers as she pleased; to rake hay, ride in
the cart, husk corn, hunt hen's eggs, jump on the hay, play ball,
prisoner, pitch quoits, throw dice, cut and saw wood, and, indeed, to
run into every amusement which her active temperament demanded. She went
to school when she pleased; but her father was constant in his hints
that her spirits and independence were not to be destroyed by poring
over books. She was generally left to do as she pleased, although she
was often pleased to perpetrate deeds, for which her school-mates often
asserted they would have been severely chastised. There was an
expression of fun and good humor lurking about in the dimples of her fat
cheeks and in her deep blue eye, that effectually shielded her from
reproof. Master Smith had just been accused of partiality to her, and he
walked into the school considerably taller than usual, all from his
determination to punish Harriet before night. He was not long in
detecting her in a rogueish act. He turned from her under the pretence
of looking some urchins into silence, and said, with uncommon sternness
and precision, "Harriet Greenough, walk out into the floor." Harriet
jumped up, shook the hands of those who sat near her, nodded a farewell
to others, and walked gaily up to the master. He dreaded meeting her
eye; for he knew that his gravity would desert him in such a case. She
took a position behind him, and in a moment the whole house was in an
uproar of laughter. Master Smith turned swiftly about on his heel, and
confronted the culprit. She only smiled and made him a most graceful
courtesy. This was too much for his risibles. He laughed almost as
heartily as his pupils.

"Take your seat, you, he! he! you trollop, you, he! he! and I will
settle with you by and bye," he said.

She only thanked him, and then returned to her sport.

So she passed on. When sixteen, she was a very child in everything but
years and form. Her forehead was high and full, but a want of taste and
care in the arrangement of her beautiful hair destroyed its effect. Her
complexion was clear, but sunburnt. Her laugh was musical, but one
missed that _tone_ which distinguishes the laugh of a happy feeling girl
of sixteen from that of a child of mere frolic. As to her form, no one
knew what it was; for she was always putting herself into some strange
but not really uncouth attitude; and besides, she could never _stop_ to
adjust her dress properly.

Such was Harriet Greenough, when a cousin of hers paid them a visit on
her return to the Newburyport mills. She was of Harriet's age; but one
would have thought her ten years her senior, judging from her superior
dignity and intelligence. Her father died when she was a mere child,
after a protracted illness, which left them penniless. By means of
untiring industry, and occasional gifts from her kind neighbors, Mrs.
Wood succeeded in keeping her children at school, until her daughter was
sixteen and her son fourteen. They then went together to Newburyport,
under the care of a very amiable girl who had spent several years there.
They worked a year, devoting a few hours every day to study; then
returned home, and spent a year at school in their native village.

They were now on their return to the mills. It was arranged that at the
completion of the present year Charles should return to school, and
remain there until fitted for the study of a profession, if Jane's
health was spared that she might labor for his support.

Jane was a gentle affectionate girl; and there was a new feeling at the
heart of Harriet from the day in which she came under her influence.
Before the week had half expired which Jane was to spend with them,
Harriet, with characteristic decision, avowed her determination to
accompany her. Her father and mother had opposed her will in but few
instances. In these few she had laughed them into an easy compliance. In
the present case she found her task a more difficult one. But they
consented at last; and with her mother's tearful blessing, and an
injunction from her father not to bear any insolence from her employers,
but to remember always that she was the independent daughter of an
independent farmer, she left her home.


A year passed by, and our Harriet was a totally changed being, in
intellect and deportment. Her cousins boarded in a small family, that
they might have a better opportunity of pursuing their studies during
their leisure hours. She was their constant companion. At first she did
not open a book; and numberless were the roguish artifices she employed
to divert the attention of her cousins from theirs. They often laid them
aside for a lively chat with her; and then urged her to study with
them. She loved them ardently. To her affection she at last yielded, and
not to any anticipations of pleasure or profit in the results, for she
had been _educated_ to believe that there was none of either.

Charles had been studying Latin and mathematics; Jane, botany, geology,
and geography of the heavens. She instructed Charles in these latter
sciences; he initiated her as well as he might, into the mysteries of
_hic, hæc, hoc_, and algebra. At times of recitation, Harriet sat and
laughed at their "queer words." When she accompanied them in their
search for flowers, she amused herself by bringing mullen, yarrow, and,
in one instance, a huge sunflower.--When they had traced constellations,
she repeated to them a satire on star-gazers, which she learned of her

The _histories_ of the constellations and flowers first arrested her
attention, and kindled a romance which had hitherto lain dormant. A new
light was in her eye from that hour, and a new charm in her whole
deportment. She commenced study under very discouraging circumstances.
Of this she was deeply sensible. She often shed a few tears as she
thought of her utter ignorance, then dashed them off, and studied with
renewed diligence and success. She studied two hours every morning
before commencing labor and until half past eleven at night. She took
her book and her dinner to the mill, that she might have the whole
intermission for study. This short season, with the reflection she gave
during the afternoon, was sufficient for the mastery of a hard lesson.
She was close in her attendance at the sanctuary. She joined a Bible
class; and the teachings there fell with a sanctifying influence on her
spirit, subduing but not destroying its vivacity, and opening a new
current to her thoughts and affections. Although tears of regret for
misspent years often stole down her cheeks, she assured Jane that she
was happier at the moment than in her hours of loudest mirth.

Her letters to her friends had prepared them for a change, but not for
_such_ a change--so great and so happy. She was now a very beautiful
girl, easy and graceful in her manners, soft and gentle in her
conversation, and evidently conscious of her superiority, only to feel
more humble, more grateful to Heaven, her dear cousins, her minister,
her Sabbath school teacher, and other beloved friends, who by their
kindness had opened such new and delightful springs of feeling in her

She flung her arms around her mother's neck, and wept tears of gratitude
and love. Mrs. Greenough felt that she was no longer alone in the world;
and Mr. Greenough, as he watched them--the wife and the
daughter--inwardly acknowledged that there was that in the world dearer
to his heart than his farm and his independence.

Amongst Harriet's baggage was a rough deal box. This was first opened.
It contained her books, a few minerals and shells. There were fifty
well-selected volumes, besides a package of gifts for her father,
mother, and brother.--There was no book-case in the house; and the
kitchen shelf was full of old almanacs, school books, sermons, and jest
books. Mr. Greenough rode to the village, and returned with a rich
secretary, capacious enough for books, minerals, and shells. He brought
the intelligence, too, that a large party of students and others were to
spend the evening with them. Harriet's heart beat quick, as she thought
of young Curtis, and wondered if he was among the said students.--Before
she left Bradford, struck with the beauty and simplicity of her
appearance, he sought and obtained an introduction to her, but left her
side, after sundry ineffectual attempts to draw her into conversation,
disappointed and disgusted. He _was_ among Harriet's visitors.

"Pray, Miss Curtis, what may be your opinion of our belle, Miss
Greenough?" asked young Lane, on the following morning, as Mr. Curtis
and his sister entered the hall of the academy.

"Why, I think that her improvement has been astonishingly rapid during
the past year; and that she is now a really charming girl."

"Has she interfered with your heart, Lane?" asked his chum.

"As to that, I do not feel entirely decided. I think I shall renew my
call, however--nay, do not frown, Curtis; I was about to add, if it be
only to taste her father's delicious melons, pears, plums, and apples."

Curtis blushed slightly, bowed, and passed on to the school room. He
soon proved that he cared much less for Mr. Greenough's fruit than for
his daughter: for the fruit remained untasted if Harriet was at his
side. He was never so happy as when Mr. Greenough announced his purpose
of sending Harriet to the academy two or three years. Arrangements were
made accordingly, and the week before Charles left home for college,
she was duly installed in his father's family.

She missed him much; but the loss of his society was partially
counterbalanced by frequent and brotherly letters from him, and by
weekly visits to her home, which by the way, is becoming quite a
paradise under her supervision.--She has been studying painting and
drawing. Several well-executed specimens of each adorn the walls and
tables of their sitting-room and parlor. She has no "regular built"
centre-table, but in lieu thereof she has removed from the garret an old
round table that belonged to her grandmother. This she has placed in the
centre of the sitting-room; and what with its very pretty covering
(which falls so near the floor as to conceal its uncouth legs), and its
books, it forms no mean item of elegance and convenience.

Mr. Greenough and his help have improved a few leisure days in removing
the trees that entirely concealed the Merrimac. By the profits resulting
from their sale, he has built a neat and tasteful enclosure for his
house and garden. This autumn shade-trees and shrubbery are to be
removed to the yard, and fruit-trees and vines to the garden. Next
winter a summer-house is to be put in readiness for erection in the

All this, and much more, Mr. Greenough is confident he can accomplish,
without neglecting his _necessary_ labors, or the course of reading he
has marked out, "by and with the advice" of his wife and Harriet. And
more, and better still, he has decided that his son George shall attend
school, at least two terms yearly. He will board at home, and will be
accompanied by his cousin Charles, whom Mr. Greenough has offered to
board gratis, until his education is completed. By this generosity on
the part of her uncle, Jane will be enabled to defray other expenses
incidental to Charles's education, and still have leisure for literary

Most truly might Mr. Greenough say,--

  "The day is come I never thought to see,
  Strange revolutions in my farm and me."


[Illustration: Decoration]


  O Swiftly flies the shuttle now,
  Swift as an arrow from the bow:
  But swifter than the thread is wrought,
  Is soon the flight of busy thought;
  For Fancy leaves the mill behind,
  And seeks some novel scenes to find.
  And now away she quickly hies--
  O'er hill and dale the truant flies.
  Stop, silly maid! where dost thou go?
  Thy road may be a road of woe:
  Some hand may crush thy fairy form,
  And chill thy heart so lately warm.
  "Oh no," she cries in merry tone,
  "I go to lands before unknown;
  I go in scenes of bliss to dwell,
  Where ne'er is heard a factory bell."

  Away she went; and soon I saw,
  That Fancy's wish was Fancy's law;
  For where the leafless trees were seen,
  And Fancy wished them to be green,
  Her wish she scarcely had made known,
  Before green leaves were on them grown.
  She spake--and there appear'd in view,
  Bright manly youths, and maidens, too.
  And Fancy called for music rare--
  And music filled the ravished air.

  And then the dances soon began,
  And through the mazes lightly ran
  The footsteps of the fair and gay--
  For this was Fancy's festal day.
  On, on they move, a lovely group!
  Their faces beam with joy and hope;
  Nor dream they of a danger nigh,
  Beneath their bright and sunny sky.
  One of the fair ones is their queen,
  For whom they raise a throne of green;
  And Fancy weaves a garland now,
  To place upon the maiden's brow;
  And fragrant are the blooming flowers,
  In her enchanted fairy-bowers.

  And Fancy now away may slip,
  And o'er the green-sward lightly skip,
  And to her airy castle hie--
  For Fancy hath a castle nigh.
  The festal board she quick prepares,
  And every guest the bounty shares,--
  And seated at the festal board,
  Their merry voices now are heard,
  As each youth places to his lips,
  And from the golden goblet sips
  A draught of the enchanting wine
  That came from Fancy's fruitful vine.

  But hark! what sound salutes mine ear?
  A distant rumbling now I hear.
  Ah, Fancy! 'tis no groundless fear,
  The rushing whirlwind draweth near!
  Thy castle walls are rocking fast,--
  The glory of thy feast is past;
  Thy guests are now beneath the wave,--
  Oblivion is their early grave,
  Thy fairy bower has vanished--fled:
  Thy leafy tree are withered--dead!
  Thy lawn is now a barren heath,
  Thy bright-eyed maids are cold in death!
  Those manly youth that were so gay,
  Have vanished in the self-same way!

  Oh Fancy! now remain at home,
  And be content no more to roam;
  For visions such as thine are vain,
  And bring but discontent and pain.
  Remember, in thy giddy whirl,
  That _I_ am but a factory girl:
  And be content at home to dwell,
  Though governed by a "factory bell."



Among the multitudes of females employed in our manufacturing
establishments, persons are frequently to be met with, whose lives are
interspersed with incidents of an interesting and even thrilling
character. But seldom have I met with a person who has manifested so
deep devotion, such uniform cheerfulness, and withal so determined a
perseverance in the accomplishment of a cherished object, as Mrs. Jones.

This inestimable lady was reared in the midst of affluence, and was
early married to the object of her heart's affection. A son was given
them, a sweet and lovely boy. With much joy they watched the development
of his young mind, especially as he early manifested a deep devotional
feeling, which was cultivated with the most assiduous attention.

But happiness like this may not always continue. Reverses came. That
faithful husband and affectionate father was laid on a bed of
languishing. Still he trusted in God; and when he felt that the time of
his departure approached, he raised his eyes, and exclaimed, "Holy
Father! Thou hast promised to be the widow's God and judge, and a Father
to the fatherless; into Thy care I commit my beloved wife and child.
Keep Thou them from evil, as they travel life's uneven journey. May
their service be acceptable in thy sight." He then quietly fell asleep.

Bitter indeed were the tears shed over his grave by that lone widow and
her orphan boy; yet they mourned not as those who mourn without hope.
Instead of devoting her time to unavailing sorrow, Mrs. Jones turned her
attention to the education of her son, who was then in his tenth year.
Finding herself in reduced circumstances, she nobly resolved to support
her family by her own exertions, and keep her son at school. With this
object, she procured plain needle-work, by which, with much economy, she
was enabled to live very comfortably, until Samuel had availed himself
of all the advantages presented him by the common schools and high
school. He was then ready to enter college--but how were the necessary
funds to be raised to defray his expenses?

This was not a new question to Mrs. Jones. She had pondered it long and
deeply, and decided upon her course; yet she had not mentioned it to her
son, lest it should divert his mind from his studies. But as the time
now rapidly approached when she was to carry her plan into operation,
she deemed it proper to acquaint Samuel with the whole scheme.

As they were alone in their neat little parlor, she aroused him from a
fit of abstraction, by saying, "Samuel, my dear son, before your father
died we solemnly consecrated you to the service of the Lord; and that
you might be the better prepared to labor in the gospel vineyard, your
father designed to give you a liberal education. He was called home; yet
through the goodness of our Heavenly Father, I have been enabled thus
far to prosecute his plan. It is now time for you to enter college, and
in order to raise the necessary funds, I have resolved to sell my little
stock of property, and engage as an operative in a factory."

At this moment, neighbor Hall, an old-fashioned, good-natured sort of a
man, entered very unceremoniously, and having heard the last sentence,
replied: "Ah! widow, you know that I do not like the plan of bringing up
our boys in idleness. But then Samuel is such a good boy, and so fond of
reading, that I think it a vast pity if he cannot read all the books in
the state. Yes, send him to college, widow; there he will have reading
to his heart's content. You know there is a gratuity provided for the
education of indigent and pious young men."

"Yes," said Mrs. Jones, "I know it; but I am resolved that if my son
ever obtains a place among the servants of the Prince of Peace, he shall
stand forth unchained by the bondage of men, and nobly exert the
energies of his mind as the Lord's freeman."

Samuel, who had early been taught the most perfect obedience, now
yielded reluctant consent to this measure.--Little time was requisite
for arrangements; and having converted her little effects into cash,
they who had never before been separated, now took an affectionate and
sorrowful leave of each other, and departed--the one to the halls of
learning, and the other to the power-looms.

We shall now leave Samuel Jones, and accompany his mother to Dover. On
her arrival, she assumed her maiden name, which I shall call Lucy
Cambridge; and such was her simplicity and quietness of deportment,
that she was never suspected of being other than she seemed. She readily
obtained a situation in a weave-room, and by industry and close
application, she quickly learned the grand secret of a successful
weaver--namely, "Keep the filling running, and the web clear."

The wages were not then reduced to the present low standard, and Lucy
transmitted to her son, monthly, all, saving enough to supply her
absolute necessities.

As change is the order of the day in all manufacturing places, so, in
the course of change, Lucy became my room-mate; and she whom I had
before admired, secured my love and ardent friendship. Upon general
topics she conversed freely; but of her history and kindred, never. Her
respectful deportment was sufficient to protect her from the inquiries
of curiosity; and thus she maintained her reserve until one evening when
I found her sadly perusing a letter. I thought she had been weeping. All
the sympathies of my nature were aroused, and throwing my arms around
her neck, I exclaimed, "Dear Lucy, does your letter bring you bad news,
or are any of your relatives"----I hesitated and stopped; for, thought
I, "perhaps she _has_ no relatives. I have never heard her speak of any:
she may be a lone orphan in the world." It was then she yielded to
sympathy, what curiosity had never ventured to ask. From that time she
continued to speak to me of her history and hopes. As I have selected
names to suit myself, she has kindly permitted me to make an extract
from her answer to that letter, which was as follows:

"My Dear Son,--in your letter of the 16th, you entreat me to leave the
mill, saying, 'I would rather be a scavenger, a wood-sawyer, or
anything, whereby I might honestly procure a subsistence for my mother
and myself, than have you thus toil, early and late. Mother, the very
thought is intolerable! O come away--for dearly as I love knowledge, I
cannot consent to receive it at the price of my mother's happiness.'

"My son, it is true that factory life is a life of toil--but I am
preparing the way for my only son to go forth as a herald of the cross,
to preach repentance and salvation to those who are out of the way. I am
promoting an object which was very near the heart of my dear husband.
Wherefore I desire that you will not again think of pursuing any other
course than the one already marked out for you; for you perceive that my
agency in promoting your success, forms an important part of _my_

Often have I seen her eyes sparkle with delight as she mentioned her son
and his success. And after the labor and toil of attending "double work"
during the week, very often have I seen her start with all the
elasticity of youth, and go to the Post Office after a letter from
Samuel. And seldom did she return without one, for he was ever
thoughtful of his mother, who was spending her strength for him. And he
knew very well that it was essential to her happiness to be well
informed of his progress and welfare.

Nearly three years had elapsed since Lucy Cambridge first entered the
mill, when the stage stopped in front of her boarding house, and a young
gentleman sprang out, and inquired if Miss Lucy Cambridge was in.
Immediately they were clasped in each other's arms. This token of mutual
affection created no small stir among the boarders. One declared, "she
thought it very singular that such a pretty young man should fancy so
old a girl as Lucy Cambridge." Another said, "she should as soon think
that he would marry his mother."

Samuel Jones was tall, but of slender form. His hair, which was of the
darkest brown, covered an unusually fine head. His eyes, of a clear dark
grey, beaming with piety and intelligence, shed a lustre over his whole
countenance, which was greatly heightened by being overshadowed by a
deep, broad forehead.

He visited his mother at this time, to endeavor to persuade her to leave
the mill, and spend her time in some less laborious occupation. He
assured her that he had saved enough from the stock she had already sent
him, to complete his education. But she had resolved to continue in her
present occupation, until her son should have a prospect of a permanent
residence; and he departed alone.

Intelligence was soon conveyed to Lucy that a young student had preached
occasionally, and that his labors had been abundantly blessed. And ere
the completion of another year, Samuel Jones went forth a licentiate, to
preach the everlasting gospel.

I will not attempt to describe the transports of that widowed heart,
when she received the joyful tidings that her son had received a
unanimous call to take the pastoral charge of a small but well-united
society in the western part of Ohio, and only waited for her to
accompany him thither.

Speedily she prepared to leave a place which she really loved; "for,"
said she, "have I not been blessed with health and strength to perform a
great and noble work in this place?"

Ay, undoubtedly thou hast performed a blessed work; and now, go forth,
and in the heartfelt satisfaction that thou hast performed thy duty,
reap the rich reward of all thy labors.

Samuel Jones and his mother have departed for the scene of their future
labors, with their hearts filled with gratitude to God, and an humble
desire to be of service in winning many souls to the flock of our Savior
and Lord.



It may not, perhaps, be generally known that a belief in witchcraft
still prevails, to a great extent, in some parts of New England. Whether
this is owing to the effect of early impressions on the mind, or to some
defect in the physical organization of the human system, is not for me
to say; my present purpose being only to relate, in as concise a manner
as may be, some few things which have transpired within a quarter of a
century; all of which happened in the immediate neighborhood of my early
home, and among people with whom I was well acquainted.

My only apology for so doing is, that I feel desirous to transmit to
posterity, something which may give them an idea of the superstition of
the present age--hoping that when they look back upon its dark page,
they will feel a spirit of thankfulness that they live in more
enlightened times, and continue the work of mental illumination, till
the mists of error entirely vanish before the light of all-conquering

In a little glen between the mountains, in the township of B., stands a
cottage, which, almost from time immemorial, has been noted as the
residence of some one of those ill-fated beings, who are said to take
delight in sending their spirits abroad to torment the children of men.
These beings, it is said, purchase their art of his satanic majesty--the
price, their immortal souls, and when Satan calls for his due, the
mantle of the witch is transferred to another mortal, who, for the sake
of exercising the art for a brief space of time, makes over the soul to

The mother of the present occupant of this cottage lived to a very
advanced age; and for a long series of years, all the mishaps within
many miles were laid to her spiritual agency; and many were the
expedients resorted to to rid the neighborhood of so great a pest. But
the old woman, spite of all exertions to the contrary, lived on, till
she died of sheer old age.

It was some little time before it was ascertained who inherited her
mantle; but at length it was believed to be a fact that her daughter
Molly was duly authorized to exercise all the prerogatives of a witch;
and so firmly was this belief established, that it even gained credence
with her youngest brother; and after she was married, and had removed to
a distant part of the country, a calf of his, that had some strange
actions, was pronounced by the _knowing ones_, to be bewitched; and this
inhuman monster chained his calf in the fire place of his cooper-shop,
and burned it to death--hoping thereby to kill his sister, whose spirit
was supposed to be in the body of the calf.

For several years it went current that Molly fell into the fire, and was
burned to death, at the same time in which the calf was burned. But she
at length refuted this, by making her brother a visit, and spending some
little time in the neighborhood.

Some nineteen or twenty years since, two men, with whom I was well
acquainted, had an action pending in the Superior Court, and it was
supposed that the testimony of the widow Goodwin in favor of the
plaintiff, would bear hard upon the defendant. A short time previous to
the sitting of the court, a man by the name of James Doe, offered
himself as an evidence for the defendant to destroy the testimony of the
widow Goodwin, by defaming her character. Doe said that he was willing
to testify that the widow Goodwin was a witch--he knew it to be a fact;
for, once on a time she came to his bed-side, and flung a bridle over
his head, and he was instantly metamorphosed into a horse. The widow
then mounted and rode him nearly forty miles; she stopped at a tavern,
which he named, dismounted, tied him to the sign-post and left him.
After an absence of several hours, she returned, mounted, and rode him
home; and at the bed-side took off the bridle, when he resumed his
natural form.

No one acquainted with Doe thought that he meant to deviate from the
truth. Those naturally superstitious thought that the widow Goodwin was
in reality a witch; but the more enlightened believed that their
neighbor Doe was under the influence of spirituous liquor when he went
to bed; and that whatever might be the scene presented to his
imagination, it was owing to false vision, occasioned by derangement in
his upper story; and they really felt a sympathy for him, knowing that
he belonged to a family who were subject to mental aberration.

A scene which I witnessed in part, in the autumn of 1822, shall close my
chapter on witchcraft. It was between the hours of nine and ten in the
morning, that a stout-built, ruddy-faced man confined one of his cows,
by means of bows and iron chains, to an apple-tree and then beat her
till she dropped dead--saying that the cow was bewitched, and that he
was determined to kill the witch. His mother, and some of the neighbors
witnessed this cruel act without opposing him, so infatuated were they
with a belief in witchcraft.

I might enlarge upon this scene, but the recollection of what then took
place recalls so many disagreeable sensations, that I forbear. Let it
suffice to state that the cow was suffering in consequence of having
eaten a large quantity of potatoes from a heap that was exposed in the
field where she was grazing.


[Illustration: Decoration]


There is something to me very interesting in observing the
manifestations of animal instinct--that unerring prompter which guides
its willing disciple into the ever straight path, and shows him, with
unfailing sagacity, the easiest and most correct method of accomplishing
each necessary design.

But to enter here, upon a philosophical dissertation, respecting the
nature and developments of instinct, is not my design, and I will now
detain you with but one or two instances of it, which have fallen under
my own observation.

One warm day in the early spring, I observed a spider, very busily
engaged upon a dirty old web, which had for a long time, curtained a
pane of my factory window. Where Madame Arachne had kept herself during
the winter, was not in my power to ascertain; but she was in a very good
condition, plump, spry, and full of energy. The activity of her
movements awakened my curiosity, and I watched with much interest the
commotion in the old dwelling, or rather slaughter house, for I doubted
not that many a green head and blue bottle had there met an untimely

I soon found that madam was very laboriously engaged in that very
necessary part of household exercises, called, CLEANING UP; and she had
chosen precisely the season for her labors which all good housewives
have by common consent appropriated to paint-cleaning, white-washing,
&c. With much labor, and a prodigal expenditure of steps, she removed,
one by one, the tiny bits of dirt, sand &c., &c., which had accumulated
in this net during the winter; but it was not done, as I at first
thought, by pushing and poking, and thrusting the intruders out, but by
gradually destroying their _location_, as a western emigrant would
say.--Whether this was done, as I at one time imagined, by devouring the
fibre as she passed over it, or by winding it around some under part of
her body, or whether she left it at the centre of the web, to which
point she invariably returned after every peregrination to the
outskirts, I could not satisfy myself. It was to me a cause of great
marvel, and awakened my perceptive as well as reflective faculties from
a long winter nap.

To the first theory there was no objection, excepting that I had never
heard of its being done; but then it might be so, and in this case I had
discovered what had escaped the observation of all preceding
naturalists. To the second there was this objection, that when I
occasionally caught a front view of "my lady," she showed no distaff,
upon which she might have re-wound her unravelled thread. The third
suggestion was also objectionable, because, though the centre looked
somewhat thicker, or I surmised that it did, yet it was not so much so
as it must have been, had it been the depot of the whole concern.

Of one thing I was at length assured--that there was to be an entire
demolition of the whole fabric, with the exception of the main beams,
(or sleepers, I think is the technical term,) which remained as usual,
when all else had been removed. Then I went away for the night, and when
I returned the next morning, expecting to behold a blank--a void, an
evacuation of premises--a removal--a disappearance--a destruction most
complete, without even a wreck left behind--lo! there was again the
rebuilt mansion--the restored fabric, the reversed Penelopian labor: and
madam was rejoicing like the patient man of Uz, when more than he had
lost was restored to him.

My feelings, (for I have a large bump of sympathy) were of that
pleasurable kind which Jack must have experienced, when he saw the
castle, which in a single night had established itself on the top of his
bean-pole; or which enlivened the bosom of Aladdin, when he saw the
beautiful palace, which in a night had travelled from the genii's
dominions to the waste field, which it then beautified; and I felt truly
rejoiced that my industrious neighbor's works of darkness were not
always deeds of evil. But alack for the poor _spinster_, when it came
_my_ turn to be _cleaning up_!

[Illustration: Decoration]



Sometime in the summer of 18--, I paid a visit to one of the Shaker
villages in the State of New York. Previously to this, many times and
oft had I (when tired of the noise and contention of the world, its
erroneous opinions, and its wrong practices) longed for some retreat,
where, with a few chosen friends, I could enjoy the present, forget the
past, and be free from all anxiety respecting any future portion of
time. And often had I pictured, in imagination, a state of happy
society, where one common interest prevailed--where kindness and
brotherly love were manifested in all of the every-day affairs of
life--where liberty and equality would live, not in name, but in very
deed--where idleness, in no shape whatever, would be tolerated--and
where vice of every description would be banished, and neatness, with
order, would be manifested in all things.

Actually to witness such a state of society was a happiness which I
never expected. I thought it to be only a thing among the airy castles
which it has ever been my delight to build. But with this unostentatious
and truly kind-hearted people, the Shakers, I found it; and the reality,
in beauty and harmony, exceeded even the picturings of imagination.

No unprejudiced mind could, for a single moment, resist the conviction
that this singular people, with regard to their worldly possessions,
lived in strict conformity to the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. There
were men in this society who had added to the common stock thousands and
tens of thousands of dollars; they nevertheless labored, dressed, and
esteemed themselves as no better, and fared in all respects like those
who had never owned, neither added to the society, any worldly goods
whatever. The cheerfulness with which they bore one another's burdens
made even the temporal calamities, so unavoidable among the inhabitants
of the earth, to be felt but lightly.

This society numbered something like six hundred persons, who in many
respects were differently educated, and who were of course in
possession of a variety of prejudices, and were of contrary dispositions
and habits. Conversing with one of their elders respecting them, he
said, "You may say that these were rude materials of which to compose a
church, and speak truly: but here (though strange it may seem) they are
worked into a building, with no sound of axe or hammer. And however
discordant they were in a state of nature, the square and the plumb-line
have been applied to them, and they now admirably fit the places which
they were designed to fill. Here the idle become industrious, the
prodigal contracts habits of frugality, the parsimonious become generous
and liberal, the intemperate quit the tavern and the grog-shop, the
debauchee forsakes the haunts of dissipation and infamy, the swearer
leaves off the habits of profanity, the liar is changed into a person of
truth, the thief becomes an honest man, and the sloven becomes neat and

The whole deportment of this truly singular people, together with the
order and neatness which I witnessed in their houses, shops, and
gardens, to all of which I had free access for the five days which I
remained with them, together with the conversations which I held with
many of the people of both sexes, confirmed the words of the
Elder.--Truly, thought I, there is not another spot in the wide earth
where I could be so happy as I could be here, provided the religious
faith and devotional exercises of the Shakers were agreeable to my own
views. Although I could not see the utility of their manner of worship,
I felt not at all disposed to question that it answered the end for
which spiritual worship was designed, and as such is accepted by our
heavenly Father. That the Shakers have a love for the Gospel exceeding
that which is exhibited by professing Christians in general, cannot be
doubted by any one who is acquainted with them. For on no other
principle could large families, to the number of fifty or sixty, live
together like brethren and sisters. And a number of these families could
not, on any other principles save those of the Gospel, form a society,
and live in peace and harmony, bound together by no other bond than that
of brotherly love, and take of each other's property, from day to day
and from year to year, using it indiscriminately, as every one hath
need, each willing that his brother should use his property, as he uses
it himself, and all this without an equivalent.

Many think that a united interest in all things temporal is contrary to
reason. But in what other light, save that of common and united
interest, could the words of Christ's prophecy or promise be fulfilled?
According to the testimony of Mark, Christ said, "There is no man who
hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife,
or children, or lands, for my sake and the Gospel's, but he shall
receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and
sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions, and in
the world to come eternal life." Not only in fact, but in theory, is an
hundredfold of private interest out of the question. For a believer who
forsook all things could not possess an hundredfold of all things only
on the principle in which he could possess _all that_ which his brethren
possessed, while they also possessed the same in an united capacity.

In whatever light it may appear to others, to me it appears beautiful
indeed, to see a just and an impartial equality reign, so that the rich
and the poor may share an equal privilege, and have all their wants
supplied. That the Shakers are in reality what they profess to be, I
doubt not. Neither do I doubt that many, very many lessons of wisdom
might be learned of them, by those who profess to be wiser. And to all
who wish to know if "any good thing can come out of Nazareth," I would
say, you had better "go and see."


I was so well pleased with the appearance of the Shakers, and the
prospect of quietness and happiness among them, that I visited them a
second time. I went with a determination to ascertain as much as I
possibly could of their forms and customs of worship, the every-day
duties devolving on the members, &c.; and having enjoyed excellent
opportunities for acquiring the desired information, I wish to present a
brief account of what "I verily do know" in relation to several

First of all, justice will not permit me to retract a word in relation
to the industry, neatness, order, and general good behavior, in the
Shaker settlement which I visited. In these respects, that singular
people are worthy of all commendation--yea, they set an example for the
imitation of Christians everywhere. Justice requires me to say, also,
that their hospitality is proverbial, and deservedly so. They received
and entertained me kindly, and (hoping perhaps that I might be induced
to join them) they extended extra-civilities to me. I have occasion to
modify the expression of my gratitude in only one particular--and that
is, one of the female elders made statements to me concerning the
requisite confessions to be made, and the forms of admission to their
society, which statements she afterwards denied, under circumstances
that rendered her denial a most aggravated insult. Declining farther
notice of this matter, because of the indelicacy of the confessions
alluded to, I pass to notice,

1st. The domestic arrangements of the Shakers. However strange the
remark may seem, it is nevertheless true, that our factory population
work fewer hours out of every twenty-four than are required by the
Shakers, whose bell to call them from their slumbers, and also to warn
them that it is time to commence the labors of the day, rings much
earlier than our factory bells; and its calls were obeyed, in the family
where I was entertained, with more punctuality than I ever knew the
greatest "workey" among my numerous acquaintances (during the fourteen
years in which I have been employed in different manufacturing
establishments) to obey the calls of the factory-bell. And not until
nine o'clock in the evening were the labors of the day closed, and the
people assembled at their religious meetings.

Whoever joins the Shakers with the expectation of relaxation from toil,
will be greatly mistaken, since they deem it an indispensable duty to
have every moment of time profitably employed. The little portions of
leisure which the females have, are spent in knitting--each one having a
basket of knitting-work for a constant companion.

Their habits of order are, in many things, carried to the extreme. The
first bell for their meals rings for all to repair to their chambers,
from which, at the ringing of the second bell, they descend to the
eating-room. Here, all take their appropriate places at the tables, and
after locking their hands on their breasts, they drop on their knees,
close their eyes, and remain in this position about two minutes. Then
they rise, seat themselves, and with all expedition swallow their food;
then rise on their feet, again lock their hands, drop on their knees,
close their eyes, and in about two minutes rise and retire. Their meals
are taken in silence, conversation being prohibited.

Those whose chambers are in the fourth story of one building, and whose
work-shops are in the third story of another building, have a daily task
in climbing stairs which is more oppressive than any of the rules of a
manufacturing establishment.

2d. With all deference, I beg leave to introduce some of the religious
views and ceremonies of the Shakers.

From the conversation of the elders, I learned that they considered it
doing God service to sever the sacred ties of husband and wife, parent
and child--the relationship existing between them being contrary to
their religious views--views which they believe were revealed from
heaven to "Mother Ann Lee," the founder of their sect, and through whom
they profess to have frequent revelations from the spiritual world.
These communications, they say, are often written on gold leaves, and
sent down from heaven to instruct the poor simple Shakers in some new
duty. They are copied, and perused, and preserved with great care. I one
day heard quite a number of them read from a book, in which they were
recorded, and the names of several of the brethren and sisters to whom
they were given by the angels, were told me. One written on a gold leaf,
was (as I was told) presented to Proctor Sampson by an angel, so late as
the summer of 1841. These "revelations" are written partly in English,
and partly in some unintelligible jargon, or unknown tongue, having a
spiritual meaning, which can be understood only by those who possess the
spirit in an eminent degree. They consist principally of songs, which
they sing at their devotional meetings, and which are accompanied with
dancing, and many unbecoming gestures and noises.

Often in the midst of a religious march, all stop, and with all their
might set to stamping with both feet. And it is no uncommon thing for
many of the worshipping assembly to crow like a parcel of young
chanticleers, while others imitate the barking of dogs; and many of the
young women set to whirling round and round--while the old men shake and
clap their hands; the whole making a scene of noise and confusion which
can be better imagined than described. The elders seriously told me
that these things were the outward manifestations of the spirit of God.

Apart from their religious meetings, the Shakers have what they call
"union meetings." These are for social converse, and for the purpose of
making the people acquainted with each other. During the day, the elders
tell who may visit such and such chambers. A few minutes past nine, work
is laid aside; the females change, or adjust, as best suits their fancy,
their caps, handkerchiefs, and pinners, with a precision which indicates
that they are not _altogether_ free from vanity. The chairs, perhaps to
the number of a dozen, are set in two rows, in such a manner that those
who occupy them may face each other. At the ringing of a bell each one
goes to the chamber where either he or she has been directed by the
elders, or remains at home to receive company, as the case may be. They
enter the chambers _sans cérémonie_, and seat themselves--the men
occupying one row of chairs, the women the other. Here, with their clean
checked home-made pocket-handkerchiefs spread in their laps, and their
spit-boxes standing in a row between them, they converse about raising
sheep and kine, herbs and vegetables, building walls and raising corn,
heating the oven and paring apples, killing rats and gathering nuts,
spinning tow and weaving sieves, making preserves and mending the
brethren's clothes,--in short, every thing they do will afford some
little conversation. But beyond their own little world they do not
appear to extend scarcely a thought. And why should they? Having so few
sources of information, they know not what is passing beyond them. They
however make the most of their own affairs, and seem to regret that they
can converse no longer, when, after sitting together from half to
three-quarters of an hour, the bell warns them that it is time to
separate, which they do by rising up, locking their hands across their
breasts, and bowing. Each one then goes silently to his own chamber.

It will readily be perceived, that they have no access to libraries, no
books, excepting school-books, and a few relating to their own
particular views; no periodicals, and attend no lectures, debates,
Lyceums, &c. They have none of the many privileges of manufacturing
districts--consequently their information is so very limited, that their
conversation is, as a thing in course, quite insipid. The manner of
their life seems to be a check to the march of mind and a desire for
improvement; and while the moral and perceptive faculties are tolerably
developed, the intellectual, with a very few exceptions, seem to be
below the average.

I have considered it my duty to make the foregoing statement of facts,
lest the glowing description of the Shakers, given in the story of my
first visit, might have a wrong influence. I then judged by outward
appearances only--having a very imperfect knowledge of the true state of
the case. Nevertheless, the _facts_ as I saw them in my first visit, are
still facts; my error is to be sought only in my inferences. Having
since had greater opportunities for observation, I am enabled to judge
more righteous judgment.

                                                            C. B.


Touching and simple memento of departed worth and affection! how
mournfully sweet are the recollections thou awakenest in the heart, as I
gaze upon thee--shorn after death had stamped her loved features with
the changeless hue of the grave. How vividly memory recalls the time
when, in childish sportiveness and affection, I arranged this little
tress upon the venerable forehead of my grandmother! Though Time had
left his impress there, a majestic beauty yet rested upon thy brow; for
age had no power to quench the light of benevolence that beamed from
thine eye, nor wither the smile of goodness that animated thy features.
Again do I seem to listen to the mild voice, whose accents had ever
power to subdue the waywardness of my spirit, and hush to calmness the
wild and turbulent passions of my nature.--Though ten summers have made
the grass green upon thy grave, and the white rose burst in beauty above
thine honored head, thy name is yet green in our memory, and thy virtues
have left a deathless fragrance in the hearts of thy children.

Though she of whom I tell claimed not kindred with the "high-born of
earth"--though the proud descent of titled ancestry marked not her
name--yet the purity of her spotless character, the practical usefulness
of her life, her firm adherence to duty, her high and holy submission to
the will of Heaven, in every conflict, shed a radiance more resplendent
than the glittering coronet's hues, more enduring than the wreath that
encircles the head of genius. It was no lordly dome of other climes, nor
yet of our far-off sunny south, that called her mistress; but among the
granite hills of New Hampshire (my own father-land) was her humble home.

Well do I remember the morning when she related to me (a sportive girl
of thirteen) the events of her early days.--At her request, I was her
companion during her accustomed morning walk about her own homestead.
During our ramble, she suddenly stopped, and looked intently down upon
the green earth, leaving me in silent wonder at what could so strongly
rivet her attention. At length she raised her eyes, and pointing to an
ancient hollow in the earth, nearly concealed by rank herbage, she said,
"that spot is the dearest to me on earth." I looked around, then into
her face for an explanation, seeing nothing unusually attractive about
the place. But ah! how many cherished memories came up at that moment!
The tear of fond recollection stood in her eye as she spoke:--"On this
spot I passed the brightest hours of my existence." To my eager inquiry,
Did you not always live in the large white house yonder? She replied,
"No, my child. Fifty years ago, upon this spot stood a rude dwelling,
composed of logs. Here I passed the early days of my marriage, and here
my noble first-born drew his first breath." In answer to my earnest
entreaty to tell me all about it, she seated herself upon the large
broad stone which had been her ancient hearth, and commenced her story.

"It was a bright midsummer eve when your grandfather, whom you never
saw, brought me here, his chosen and happy bride. On that morning had we
plighted our faith at the altar--that morning, with all the feelings
natural to a girl of eighteen, I bade adieu to the home of my childhood,
and with a fond mother's last kiss yet warm upon my cheek, commenced my
journey with my husband towards his new home in the wilderness. Slowly
on horseback we proceeded on our way, through the green forest path,
whose deep winding course was directed by incisions upon the trees left
by the axe of the sturdy woodsman. Yet no modern bride, in her splendid
coach, decked in satin, orange-flowers, and lace--on the way to her
stately city mansion, ever felt her heart beat higher than did my own on
that day. For as I looked upon the manly form of him beside me, as with
careful hand he guided my bridal rein--or met the fond glance of his
full dark eye, I felt that his was a changeless love.

"Thus we pursued our lonely way through the lengthening forest, where
Nature reigned almost in her primitive wildness and beauty. Now and then
a cultivated patch, with a newly-erected cottage, where sat the young
mother, hushing with her low wild song the babe upon her bosom, with the
crash of the distant falling trees, proclaimed it the home of the

"Twilight had thrown her soft shade over the earth: the bending foliage
assumed a deeper hue; the wild wood bird singing her last note, as we
emerged from the forest to a spot termed by the early settlers 'a
clearing.' It was an enclosure of a few acres, where the preceding year
had stood in its pride the stately forest-tree. In the centre,
surrounded by tall stalks of Indian corn, waving their silken tassels in
the night-breeze, stood the lowly cot which was to be my future home.
Beneath yon aged oak, which has been spared to tell of the past, we
dismounted from our horses, and entered our rude dwelling. All was
silent within and without, save the low whisper of the wind as it swept
through the forest. But blessed with youth, health, love, and hope, what
had we to fear? Not that the privations and hardships incident to the
early emigrant were unknown to us--but we heeded them not.

"The early dawn and dewy eve saw us unremitting in our toil, and Heaven
crowned our labors with blessings. 'The wilderness began to blossom as
the rose,' and our barns were filled with plenty.

"But there was coming a time big with the fate of these then infant
colonies. The murmur of discontent, long since heard in our large
commercial ports, grew longer and louder, beneath repeated acts of
British oppression. We knew the portentous cloud every day grew darker.
In those days our means of intelligence were limited to the casual
visitation of some traveller from abroad to our wilderness.

"But uncertain and doubtful as was its nature, it was enough to rouse
the spirit of patriotism in many a manly heart; and while the note of
preparation loudly rang in the bustling thoroughfares, its tones were
not unheard among these granite rocks. The trusty firelock was
remounted, and hung in polished readiness over each humble door. The
shining pewter was transformed to the heavy bullet, awaiting the first
signal to carry death to the oppressor.

"It was on the memorable 17th of June, 1775, that your grandfather was
at his usual labor in a distant part of his farm: suddenly there fell
upon his ear a sound heavier than the crash of the falling tree: echo
answered echo along these hills; he knew the hour had come--that the
flame had burst forth which blood alone could extinguish. His was not a
spirit to slumber within sound of that battle-peal. He dropped his
implements, and returned to his house. Never shall I forget the
expression of his face as he entered.--There was a wild fire in his
eye--his cheek was flushed--the veins upon his broad forehead swelled
nigh to bursting. He looked at me--then at his infant-boy--and for a
moment his face was convulsed. But soon the calm expression of high
resolve shone upon his features.

"Then I felt that what I had long secretly dreaded was about to be
realized. For awhile the woman struggled fearfully within me--but the
strife was brief; and though I could not with my lips say 'go,' in my
heart I responded, 'God's will be done'--for as such I could but regard
the sacred cause in which all for which we lived was staked. I dwell not
on the anguished parting, nor on the lonely desolation of heart which
followed. A few hasty arrangements, and he, in that stern band known as
the Green Mountain Boys, led by the noble Stark, hurried to the post of
danger. On the plains of Bennington he nobly distinguished himself in
that fierce conflict with the haughty Briton and mercenary foe.

"Long and dreary was the period of my husband's absence; but the God of
my fathers forsook me not. To Him I committed my absent one, in the
confidence that He would do all things well. Now and then, a hurried
scrawl, written perhaps on the eve of an expected battle, came to me in
my lonely solitude like the 'dove of peace' and consolation--for it
spoke of undying affection and unshaken faith in the ultimate success of
that cause for which he had left all.

"But he did return. Once more he was with me. I saw him press his
first-born to his bosom, and receive the little dark-eyed one, whom he
had never yet seen, with new fondness to his paternal arms. He lived to
witness the glorious termination of that struggle, the events of which
all so well know; to see the 'stars and stripes' waving triumphantly in
the breeze, and to enjoy for a brief season the rich blessings of peace
and independence. But ere the sere and yellow leaf of age was upon his
brow, the withering hand of disease laid his noble head in the dust. As
the going down of the sun, which foretells a glorious rising, so was his
death. Many years have gone by, since he was laid in his quiet
resting-place, where, in a few brief days, I shall slumber sweetly by
his side."

Such was her unvarnished story; and such is substantially the story of
many an ancient mother of New England. Yet while the pen of history
tells of the noble deeds of the patriot fathers, it records little of
the days of privation and toil of the patriot mothers--of their nights
of harassing anxiety and uncomplaining sorrow. But their virtues remain
written upon the hearts of their daughters, in characters that perish
not. Let not the rude hand of degeneracy desecrate the hallowed shrine
of their memory.


[Illustration: Decoration]


  Oh, ladies, will you listen to a little orphan's tale?
  And pity her whose youthful voice must breathe so sad a wail;
  And shrink not from the wretched form obtruding on your view.
  As though the heart which in it dwells must be as loathsome too.

  Full well I know that mine would be a strange repulsive mind,
  Were the outward form an index true of the soul within it shrined;
  But though I am so all devoid of the loveliness of youth,
  Yet deem me not as destitute of its innocence and truth.

  And ever in this hideous frame I strive to keep the light
  Of faith in God, and love to man, still shining pure and bright;
  Though hard the task, I often find, to keep the channel free
  Whence all the kind affections flow to those who love not me.

  I sometimes take a little child quite softly on my knee,
  I hush it with my gentlest tones, and kiss it tenderly;
  But my kindest words will not avail, my form cannot be screened,
  And the babe recoils from my embrace, as though I were a fiend.

  I sometimes, in my walks of toil, meet children at their play;
  For a moment will my pulses fly, and I join the band so gay;
  But they depart with nasty steps, while their lips and nostrils curl,
  Nor e'en their childhood's sports will share with the little crooked

  But once it was not thus with me: I was a dear-loved child;
  A mother's kiss oft pressed my brow, a father on me smiled;
  No word was ever o'er me breathed, but in affection's tone,
  For I to them was very near--their cherish'd, only one.

  But sad the change which me befel, when they were laid to sleep,
  Where the earth-worms o'er their mouldering forms their noisome
    revels keep;
  For of the orphan's hapless fate there were few or none to care,
  And burdens on my back were laid a child should never bear.

  And now, in this offensive form, their cruelty is viewed--
  For first upon me came disease--and deformity ensued:
  Woe! woe to her, for whom not even this life's earliest stage
  Could be redeemed from the bended form and decrepitude of age.

  And yet of purest happiness I have some transient gleams;
  'Tis when, upon my pallet rude, I lose myself in dreams:
  The gloomy present fades away; the sad past seems forgot;
  And in those visions of the night mine is a blissful lot.

  The dead then come and visit me: I hear my father's voice;
  I hear that gentle mother's tones, which makes my heart rejoice;
  Her hand once more is softly placed upon my aching brow,
  And she soothes my every pain away, as if an infant now.

  But sad is it to wake again, to loneliness and fears;
  To find myself the creature yet of misery and tears;
  And then, once more, I try to sleep, and know the thrilling bliss
  To see again my father's smile, and feel my mother's kiss.

  And sometimes, then, a blessed boon has unto me been given--
  An entrance to the spirit-world, a foretaste here of heaven;
  I have heard the joyous anthems swell, from voice and golden lyre,
  And seen the dearly loved of earth join in that gladsome choir.

  And I have dropped this earthly frame, this frail disgusting clay,
  And, in a beauteous spirit-form, have soared on wings away;
  I have bathed my angel-pinions in the floods of glory bright,
  Which circle, with their brilliant waves, the throne of living light.

  I have joined the swelling chorus of the holy glittering bands
  Who ever stand around that throne, with cymbals in their hands:
  But the dream would soon be broken by the voices of the morn,
  And the sunbeams send me forth again, the theme of jest and song.

  I care not for their mockery now--the thought disturbs me not,
  That, in this little span of life, contempt should be my lot;
  But I would gladly welcome here some slight reprieve from pain,
  And I'd murmur of my back no more, if it might not ache again.

  Full well I know this ne'er can be, till I with peace am blest,
  Where the heavy-laden sweetly sleep, and the weary are at rest;
  For the body shall commingle with its kindred native dust,
  And the soul return for evermore to the "Holy One and Just."


[Illustration: Decoration]


How difficult it is for the wealthy and proud to realize that they must
die, and mingle with the common earth! Though a towering monument may
mark the spot where their lifeless remains repose, their heads will lie
as low as that of the poorest peasant. All their untold gold cannot
reprieve them for one short day.

When Death places his relentless hand upon them, and as their spirit is
fast passing away, perhaps for the first time the truth flashes upon
their mind, that this world is not their home; and a thrill of agony
racks their frame at the thought of entering that land where all is
uncertainty to them. It may be that they have never humbled themselves
before the great Lawgiver and Judge, and their hearts, alas! have not
been purified and renewed by that grace for which they never
supplicated. And as the vacant eye wanders around the splendidly
furnished apartment, with its gorgeous hangings and couch of down, how
worthless it all seems, compared with that peace of mind which attends
"the pure in heart!"

The aspirant after fame would fain believe this world was his home, as
day by day he twines the laurel-wreath for his brow, and fondly trusts
it will be unfading in its verdure; and as the applause of a world, that
to him appears all bright and beautiful, meets his ear, he thinks not of
Him who resigned his life on the cross for suffering humanity--he thinks
of naught but the bubble he is seeking; and when he has obtained it, it
has lost all its brilliancy--for the world has learned to look with
indifference upon the bright flowers he has scattered so profusely on
all sides, and his friends, one by one, become alienated and cold, or
bestow their praise upon some new candidate who may have entered the
arena of fame. How his heart shrinks within him, to think of the long
hours of toil by the midnight lamp--of health destroyed--of youth
departed--of near and dear ties broken by a light careless word, that
had no meaning! How bitterly does he regret that he has thrown away all
the warm and better feelings of his heart upon the fading things of
earth! How deeply does he feel that he has slighted God's holy law--for,
in striving after worldly honors, he had forgotten that this world was
not his home; and while the rainbow tints of prosperity gleamed in his
pathway, he had neglected to cultivate the fadeless wreath that cheers
the dying hour! And now the low hollow cough warns him of the near
approach of that hour beyond which all to him is darkness and gloom; and
as he tosses on the bed of pain and languishing, lamenting that all the
bright visions of youth had so soon vanished away, the cold world
perchance passes in review before him.

He beholds the flushed cheek of beauty fade, and the star of fame fall
from the brow of youth. He marks the young warrior on the field of
battle, fighting bravely, while the banner of stars and stripes waves
proudly over his head; and while thinking of the glory he shall win, a
ball enters his heart.--He gazes upon an aged sire, as he bends over the
lifeless form of his idolized child, young and fair as the morning, just
touched by the hand of death; she was the light of his home, the last of
many dear ones; and he wondered why he was spared, and the young taken.
Though the cup was bitter, he drank it.

Again he turned his eyes from the world, whereon everything is written,
"fading away." Yes, wealth, beauty, fame, glory, honor, friendship, and
oh! must it be said that even love, too, fades? Almost in despair, he
exclaimed, "Is there aught that fades not?" And a voice seemed to
whisper in his ear, "There is God's love which never fades; this world
is not your home; waste not the short fragment of your life in vain
regrets, but rather prepare for that dissolution which is the common lot
of all; be ready, therefore, to pass to that bourne from which there is
no return, before you enter the presence of Him whose name is Love."

  "Then ask not life, but joy to know
    That sinless they in heaven shall stand;
  That Death is not a cruel foe,
    To execute a wise command.
  'Tis ours to ask, 'tis God's to give.--
  We live to die--and die to live."


[Illustration: Decoration]


From whence originated the idea, that it was derogatory to a lady's
dignity, or a blot upon the female character, to labor? and who was the
first to say sneeringly, "Oh, she _works_ for a living?" Surely, such
ideas and expressions ought not to grow on republican soil. The time has
been when ladies of the first rank were accustomed to busy themselves in
domestic employment.

Homer tells us of princesses who used to draw water from the springs,
and wash with their own hands the finest of the linen of their
respective families. The famous Lucretia used to spin in the midst of
her attendants; and the wife of Ulysses, after the siege of Troy,
employed herself in weaving, until her husband returned to Ithaca. And
in later times, the wife of George the Third, of England, has been
represented as spending a whole evening in hemming pocket-handkerchiefs,
while her daughter Mary sat in the corner, darning stockings.

Few American fortunes will support a woman who is above the calls of her
family; and a man of sense, in choosing a companion to jog with him
through all the up-hills and down-hills of life, would sooner choose one
who _had_ to work for a living, than one who thought it beneath her to
soil her pretty hands with manual labor, although she possessed her
thousands. To be able to earn one's own living by laboring with the
hands, should be reckoned among female accomplishments; and I hope the
time is not far distant when none of my countrywomen will be ashamed to
have it known that they are better versed in useful than they are in
ornamental accomplishments.

                                                            C. B.

[Illustration: Decoration]



"Come, Lina, dear," said Mr. Wheeler to his little daughter, "lay by
your knitting, if you please, and read me the paper."

"What, pa, this old paper, 'The Village Chronicle?'"

"Old, Lina!--why, it is damp from the press. Not so old, by more than a
dozen years, as you are."

"But, pa, the _news_ is _olds_. Our village mysteries are all worn
threadbare by the gossiping old maids before the printer can get them in
type; and the foreign information is more quickly obtained from other
sources. And, pa, I wish you wouldn't call me Lina--it sounds so
childish, and I begin to think myself quite a young lady--almost in my
teens, you know; and Angeline is not so very long."

"Well, Angeline, as you please; but see if there is not something in the

"Oh, yes, pa; to please you I will read the stupid old (_new_, I mean)
concern.--Well, in the first place, we have some poetry--some of our
village poets' (genius, you know, admits not of distinction of sex)
effusions, or rather confusions. Miss Helena (it used to be Ellen once)
Carrol's sublime sentiments upon 'The Belvidere Apollo,'--which she
never saw, nor anything like it, and knows nothing about. She had better
write about our penny-post, and then we might feel an interest in her
lucubrations, even if not very intrinsically valuable. But if she does
not want to be an old maid, she might as well leave off writing
sentimental poetry for the newspapers; for who will marry a _bleu_?"

"There is much that I might say in reply, but I will wait until you are
older. And now do not let me hear you say anything more about old maids,
at least deridingly; for I have strong hopes that my little girl will be
one herself."

"No, pa, never!--I will not marry, at least while you, or Alfred, or
Jimmy, are alive; but I cannot be an old maid--not one of those
tattling, envious, starched-up, prudish creatures, whom I have always
designated as old maids, whether they are married or single--on the
sunny or shady side of thirty."

"Well, child, I hope you never will be metamorphosed into an old maid,
then. But now for the Chronicle--I will excuse you from the poetry, if
you will read what comes next."

"Thank you, my dear father, a thousand times. It would have made me as
sick as a cup-full of warm water would do. You know I had rather take so
much hot drops.--But the next article is Miss Simpkins's very original
tale, entitled 'The Injured One,'--probably all about love and despair,
and ladies so fair, and men who don't care, if the mask they can wear,
and the girls must beware. Now ain't I literary? But to be a heroine
also, I will muster my resolution, and commence the story:

"'Madeline and Emerilla were the only daughters of Mr. Beaufort, of H.,
New Hampshire.'

"Now, pa, I can't go any farther--I would as lieve travel through the
deserts of Sahara, or run the gauntlet among the Seminoles, as to wade
through this sloshy story. Miss Simpkins always has such names to her
heroines; and they would do very well if they were placed anywhere but
in the unromantic towns of our granite State. H., I suppose, stands for
Hawke, or Hopkinton. Miss Simpkins is so soft that I do not believe Mr.
Baxter would publish her stories, if he were not engaged to her sister.
She makes me think of old 'deaf uncle Jeff,' in the story, who wanted
somebody to love."

"And she does love--she loves everybody; and I am sorry to hear you talk
so of this amiable and intellectual girl. But I do not wish to hear you
read her story now--as for her names, she would not find one
unappropriated by our towns-folks. What comes next?"

"The editorial, pa, and the caption is, 'Our Representatives.' I had ten
times rather read about the antediluvians, and I wish sometimes they
might go and keep them company. And now for the items: Our new bell got
cracked, in its winding way to this 'ere town; and the meeting-house at
the West Parish, has been fired by an incendiary; and the old elm, near
the Central House, has been blown down; and Widow Frye has had a yoke of
oxen struck by lightning; and old Col. Morton fell down dead, in a fit
of apoplexy; and the bridge over the Branch needs repairing; and 'a
friend of good order' wishes that our young men would not stand gaping
around the meeting-house doors, before or after service; and 'a friend
of equal rights' wishes that people might sell and drink as much rum as
they please, without interference, &c., &c.; and all these things we
knew before, as well as we did our A B C's. Next are the cards: The
ladies have voted their thanks to Mr. K., for his lecture upon
phrenology--the matrimonial part, I presume, included; and the
Anti-Slavery Society is to have a fair, at which will be sold all sorts
of abolition things, such as anti-slavery paper, wafers, and all such
important articles. I declare I will make a nigger doll for it. And Mr.
P., of Boston, is to deliver a lecture upon temperance; and the trustees
of the Academy have chosen Mr. Dalton for the Preceptor, and here is his
long advertisement; and the Overseers of the Poor are ready to receive
proposals for a new alms-house; and all these things, pa, which have
been the town talk this long time. But here is something new. Our
minister, dear Mr. Olden, has been very seriously injured by an accident
upon the Boston and Salem Railroad. The news must be very recent, for we
had not heard of it; and it is crowded into very fine type. Oh, how
sorry I am for him!"

"Well, Lina, or Miss Angeline, there is something of sufficient
importance to repay you for the trouble of reading it, and I am very
glad that you have done so--for I will start upon my intended journey to
Boston to-day, and can assist him to return home. Anything else?"

"Oh, yes, pa! a long list of those who have taken advantage of the
Bankrupt Act, and the Deaths and Marriages; but all mentioned here, with
whose names we were familiar, have been subjects for table-talk these
several days."

"Well, is there no foreign news?"

"Yes, pa; Queen Victoria has given another ball at Buckingham Palace;
and Prince Albert has accepted a very fine blood-hound, from Major
Sharp, of Houston; and Sir Howard Douglas has been made a Civil Grand
Cross of the Bath, &c., &c. Are not these fine things to fill up our
republican papers with?"

"Well, my daughter, look at the doings in Congress--that will suit you."

"You know better, pa. They do nothing there but scold, and strike, and
grumble--then pocket their money, and go home. See, here it begins, 'The
proceedings of the House can hardly be said to have been _important_. An
instructive and delightful _scene_ took place between Mr. Wise of
Virginia, and Mr. Stanly, of South Carolina.' Yes, pa, that's the way
they spend their time. In this _act_ of the farce, or tragedy, one
called t' other a _bull-dog_, t' other called one a _coward_. Do you
wish to hear any more?"

"You are somewhat out of humor, my child; but are there no new notices?"

"Yes, here is an 'Assessors' Notice,' and an 'Assignee's Notice,' and a
'Contractors' Notice;' but you do not care anything about them. And here
is an 'Auction Notice.'"

"What auction? Read it, my love."

"Why, the late old Mr. Gardner's farm-house, and all his furniture, are
to be sold at auction. And here is a notice of a meeting of the
Directors of the Pentucket Bank, to be held this very afternoon."

"I am very glad to have learned of it, for I must be there. Is that

"All?--no, indeed! Here are some long articles, full of _Whereases_, and
_Resolved's_, and _Be it enacted's_; but I know you will excuse me from
reading them. And now for the advertisements: Here is a fine new lot of
_Chenie-de-Laines_, 'just received' at Grosvenor's--oh, pa! do let me
have a new dress, won't you?"

"No, I can't--at least, I do not see how I can. But if you will promise
to read my paper through patiently for the future, and will prepare my
valise for my journey to Boston, I will see what I may do. Meantime I
must be off to the directors' meeting. And now let me remind you that
two items, at least, in this paper, have been of much importance to me;
and one, it seems, somewhat interesting to you. So no more fretting
about the Chronicle, if you want a _new gown_."

Mr. Wheeler left the room, and Angeline seated herself at the
work-table, to repair his vest. She was sorry she had fretted so much
about the Chronicle; but she did wish her father would take the "Ladies'
Companion," or something else, in its stead.

While seated there, her little brother came running into the room, all
out of breath, and but just able to gasp out, "Oh, Lina! there is a man
at the Central House, who has just stopped in the stage, and he is going
right on to Kentucky, and straight through the town where Alfred lives,
for I heard him say so; and I asked him if he would carry anything for
us, and he said, 'Yes, willingly.' So I ran home as fast as I could
come, to tell you to write a note, or do up a paper, or something,
because he will be so sure to get it--and right from us, too, as fast as
it can go. Now do be quick, or the stage will start off."

"Oh, dear me," exclaimed Angeline, "how I do wish we had a New York
Mirror, or a Philadelphia Courier, or a Boston Gazette, or anything but
this stupid Chronicle! Do look, Jimmy! is there nothing in this pile of

"No, nothing that will do--so fold up the Chronicle, quick, for the
stage is starting."

Angeline, who had spent some moments in looking for another paper, now
had barely time to scrawl the short word "Lina" on the paper, wrap it in
an envelop, and direct it. Jimmy snatched it as soon as it was ready,
and ran out "_full tilt_," in knightly phrase, or, as he afterwards
said, "_lickity split_."

The stage was coming on at full speed, and he wished to stop it. Many a
time had he stood by the road-side, with his school companions, and,
waving his cap, and stretching out his neck, had hallooed, "Hurrah for
Jackson!" and he feared that, like the boy in the fable, who called
"Wolves! wolves!" if he now shouted to them from the road-side, they
would not heed him. So he ran into the middle of the road, threw up his
arms, and stood still. The driver barely reined in his horses within a
few feet of the daring boy.

"Where is the man who is going straight ahead to Kentucky?"

"Here, my lad," replied a voice, as a head popped out of the window, to
see what was the matter.

"Well, here is a paper which I wish you to carry to my brother; and if
you stop long enough where he is, you must go and see him, and tell him
you saw me too."

"Well done, my lad! you are a keen one. I'll do your bidding--but don't
you never run under stage-horses again."

He took the packet, while the driver cracked his whip; and the horses
started as the little boy leaped upon the bank, shouting, "Hurra for
Yankee Land and old Kentucky!"


In a rude log hut of Western Kentucky was seated an animated and
intelligent-looking young man. A bright moon was silvering the
forest-tops, which were almost the only prospect from his window; but
in that beauteous light the rough clearing around seemed changed to
fairy land; and even his rude domicile partook of the transient
renovation. His lone walls, his creviced roof, and ragged floor, were
transformed beneath that silvery veil; and truly did it look as though
it might well be the abode of peaceful happiness.

"I feel as though I could write poetry now," said Alfred to himself.
"Let me see--'The Spirit's Call to the Absent,' or something like that;
but if I should strike my light, and really get pens, ink, and paper, it
would all evaporate, vanish, abscond, make tracks, become scarce, be o.
p. h. Ah, yes! the poetry would go, but the feeling, the deep affection,
which would find some other language than simple prose, can never

"How I wish I could see them all! There is not a codger in my native
town--not a crusty fusty old bachelor--not an envious tattling old
maid--not a flirt, sot, pauper, idiot, or sainted hypocrite, but I could
welcome with an embrace. But if I could only see my father, or Jimmy, or
Lina, dear girl! how much better I should feel! It would make me ten
years younger, to have a chat with Lina; and, to tell the truth, I
should like to see any woman, just to see how it would seem. I'd go a
quarter of a mile, now, to look at a row of aprons hung out to dry. But
there! it's no use to talk.

"An evening like this is such an one as might entice me to my mother's
grave, were I at home. Oh! if she were but alive--if I could only know
that she was still somewhere on the wide earth, to think and pray for
me--I might be better, as well as happier. Methinks it must be a blessed
thing to be a mother, if all sons cherish that parent's memory as I have
mine--and they do. It cheers and sustains the exile in a stranger's
land; it invigorates him in trial, and lights him through adversity; it
warns the felon, and haunts and harrows the convict; it strengthens the
captive, and exhilarates the homeward-bound. Truly must it be a blessed
thing to be a mother!"

He stopped--for in the moonlight was distinctly seen the figure of a
horseman, emerging from the public road, and galloping across the
clearing. He turned towards the office of the young surveyor, and in a
few moments the carrier had related the incident by which he obtained
the paper, and placed "The Village Chronicle" in Alfred's hand.

He struck a light, tore off the wrapper, and the only written word which
met his eye was "Lina." "Dear name!" said he, "I could almost kiss it,
especially as there is none to see me. She must have been in a
prodigious hurry! and how funny that little rascal, Jimmy, must have
looked! Well, 'when he next doth run a race, may I be there to see.'"

He took the paper to read. It was a very late one--he had never before
received one so near the date; and even that line of dates was now so
pleasing. First was Miss Helena Carroll's poetry. "Dear girl!" said he,
"what a beautiful writer she is! Really, this is poetry! This is
something which carries us away from ourselves, and more closely
connects us with the enduring, high, and beautiful. Methinks I see her
now--more thin, pale, and ethereal in her appearance than when we were
gay school-mates; but I wonder that, with all her treasures of heart and
intellect, she is still Helena Carroll.

"And now here is Miss Simpkin's story of 'The injured One'--beautiful,
interesting, and instructive, I am confident; and I will read it, every
word; but she italicises too much; she throws too lavishly the bright
robes of her prolific fancy upon the forms she conjures up from
New-England hills and vales. I wonder if she remembers now the time when
she made me shake the old-apple tree, near the pound, for her, and in
jumping down, I nearly broke my leg. Well, if I read her story, I will
try that it does not break my heart.

"And here is an excellent editorial about 'Our Representatives'--I will
read it again, and now for the ITEMS."

These were all highly interesting to the _absentee_, and on each did he
expatiate to himself. How different were his feelings from his sister's,
as he read of the cracked bell, the burned meeting-house, the dead oxen,
the apoplectic old Colonel, the decayed bridge, the hints of the friends
of "good order" and "equal rights." Then there was a little scene
suggested by every card; he wondered who had their heads examined at the
Phrenological lecture; and if the West Parish old farmers were now as
stiffly opposed to the science. And how he would like to see Lina's
chart, and to know if Jimmy had brains--he was sure he had legs, and a
big heart for a little boy; and he wondered what girls ran up to have
their heads felt of in public; and what the man said about
matrimony--an affair which in old times was thought to have more to do
with the heart than the head.

Then his imagination went forward to the fair of the Anti-Slavery
Society, and he wondered where it would be, and who would go, and what
Lina would make, and whether so much fuss about slavery was right or
wrong, and if "father" approved of it. Then the temperance lecture was
the theme for another self-disquisition. He wondered who had joined the
society, and how the Washingtonians held out, and if Mr. Hawkins was
ever coming to the West.

Then he was glad the trustees were determined to resuscitate the old
academy. What grand times he had enjoyed there, especially at the
exhibitions! and he wondered where all the pretty girls were who used to
go to school with his bachelorship. Then they were to have a new
alms-house; and forty more things were mentioned, of equal interest--not
forgetting Mr. Olden's accident, for which "father would be so sorry."
Then there were the Marriages and Deaths--each a subject of deep
interest, as was also the list of Bankrupts. The foreign news was news
to him; and Congress matters were not passed unheeded by.

Then he read with deep interest every "Assessor's Notice," also those of
"Assignees," "Contractors," and "Auctioneers." There was not a single
"Whereas" or "Resolved," but was most carefully perused; and every "Be
it enacted" stared him in the face like an old familiar friend.

Then there were the advertisements; and Grosvenor's first attracted his
attention from its _big_ letters. "CHENIE-DE-LAINES!" said he, "What in
the name of common sense are they? Something for gal's gowns, _I guess_;
and what will they next invent for a name?"

But each advertisement told its little history. Some of the old
"_pillars_" of the town were still in their accustomed places. The same
signatures, places, and almost the same goods--nothing much changed but
the dates. Another advertisement informed him of the dissolution of an
old copartnership, and another showed the formation of a new one. Some
old acquaintances had changed their location or business, and others
were about to retire from it. Those whom he remembered as almost boys,
were now just entering into active life, and those who should now be
preparing for another world were still laying up treasures on earth.
One, who had been a farmer, was now advertising himself as a _doctor_.
A lawyer had changed into a miller, and old Capt Prouty was post-master.
The former cobler now kept the bookstore, and the young major had turned
printer. The old printer was endeavoring to collect his debts--for he
said his devil had gone to Oregon, and he wished to go to the devil.

Not a single puff did Alfred omit; he noticed every new book, and
swallowed every new nostrum. "Old rags," "Buffalo Oil," "Bear's Grease,"
"Corn Plaster," "Lip Salve," "Accordions," "Feather Renovators," "Silk
Dye-Houses," "Worm Lozenges," "Ready-made Clothing," "Ladies' Slips,"
"Misses' Ties," "Christmas Presents," "Sugar-house Molasses," "Choice
Butter," "Shell Combs," "New Music," "Healing Lotions," "Last Chance,"
"Hats and Caps," "Prime Cost," "Family Pills," "Ladies' Cuff Pins,"
"Summer Boots," "Vegetable Conserve," "Muffs and Boas," "Pease's
Horehound Candy," "White Ash Coal," "Bullard's Oil-Soap," "Universal
Panacea," "Tailoress Wanted," "Unrivalled Elixir," "Excellent Vanilla,"
"Taylor's Spool Cotton," "Rooms to Let," "Chairs and Tables," "Pleasant
House," "Particular notice," "Family Groceries," "A Removal,"
"Anti-Dyspeptic Bitters," &c., &c., down to "One Cent Reward--Ran away
from the Subscriber," &c.--Yes; he had read them all, and all with much
interest, but one with a deeper feeling than was awakened by the others.
It was the notice of the sale of the late Mr. Gardner's House, farm, &c.

"And so," said Alfred, "Cynthia Gardner is now free. She used to love me
dearly--at least she said so in every thing but words; but the old man
said she should never marry a harum-scarum scape-grace like me. Well!
it's no great matter if I did sow all my wild oats then, for there is
too little cleared land to do much at it here. The old gentleman is
dead, and I'll forgive him; but I will write this very night to Cynthia,
and ask her to--

  ----'come, and with me share
  Whate'er my hut bestows;
  My cornstalk bed, my frugal fare,
  My labor and repose.'"



It has been said that all virtues, carried to their extremes, become
vices, as firmness may be carried to obstinacy, gentleness to weakness,
faith to superstition, &c., &c.; and that while cultivating them, a
perpetual care is necessary that they may not be resolved into those
kindred vices. But there are other qualities of so opposite a character,
that, though we may acknowledge them both to be virtues, we can hardly
cherish them at the same time.

Contentment is a virtue often urged upon us, and too often neglected. It
is essential to our happiness; for how can we experience pleasure while
dissatisfied with the station which has been allotted us, or the
circumstances which befall us? but when contentment degenerates into
that slothful feeling which will not exert itself for a greater
good--which would sit, and smile at ease upon the gifts which Providence
has forced upon its possessor, and turns away from the objects, which
call for the active spring and tenacious grasp--when, I repeat,
contentment is but another excuse for indolence, it then has ceased to
be a virtue.

And Ambition, which is so often denounced as a vice--which _is_ a vice
when carried to an extent that would lead its votary to grasp all upon
which it can lay its merciless clutch, and which heeds not the rights or
possessions of a fellow-being when conflicting with its own domineering
will, which then becomes so foul a vice--this same ambition, when kept
within its proper bounds, is then a virtue; and not only a virtue, but
the parent of virtues. The spirit of laudable enterprise, the noble
desire for superior excellence, the just emulation which would raise
itself to an equality with the highest--all this is the fruit of

Here then are two virtues, ambition and contentment, both to be
commended, both to be cherished, yet at first glance at variance with
each other; at all events, with difficulty kept within those proper
bounds which will prevent a conflict between them.

We are not metaphysicians, and did we possess the power to draw those
finely-pencilled mental and moral distinctions in which the acute
reasoner delights so often to display his power, this would be no place
for us to indulge our love for nicely attenuated theories. We are aware,
that to cherish ambition for the good it may lead us to acquire, for the
noble impulses of which it may be the fountain-spring, and yet to
restrain those waters when they would gush forth with a tide which would
bear away all better feelings of the heart--this, we know, is not only
difficult, but almost impossible.

To strive for a position upon some loftier eminence, and yet to remain
unruffled if those strivings are in vain; to remain calm and cheerful
within the little circle where Providence has stationed us, yet actively
endeavoring to enlarge that circle, if not to obtain admittance to a
higher one; to plume the pinions of the soul for an upward flight, yet
calmly sink again to the earth if these efforts are but useless
flutterings; all this seems contradictory, though essential to
perfection of character.

Thankfulness for what we have, yet longings for a greater boon;
resignation to a humble lot, and a determination that it shall not
always be humble; ambition and contentment--how wide the difference, and
how difficult for one breast to harbor them both at the same time!

Nothing so forcibly convinces us of the frailty of humanity as the
tendency of all that is good and beautiful to corruption. As in the
natural world, earth's loveliest things are those which yield most
easily to blighting and decay, so in the spiritual, the noblest feelings
and powers are closely linked to some dark passion.

How easily does ambition become rapacity; and if the heart's yearnings
for the unattainable are forcibly stilled, and the mind is governed by
the determination that no wish shall be indulged but for that already in
its power, how soon and easily may it sink into the torpor of inaction!
To keep all the faculties in healthful exercise, yet always to restrain
the feverish glow, must require a constant and vigilant self-command.

How soon, in that long-past sacred time when the Savior dwelt on earth,
did the zeal of one woman in her Master's cause become tainted with the
earth-born wish that her sons might be placed, the one upon his right
and the other upon his left hand, when he should sit upon his throne of
glory; and how soon was _their_ ardent love mingled with the fiery zeal
which would call down fire from heaven upon the heads of their

Here was ambition, but not a justifiable desire for elevation; an
ambition, also, which had its source in some of the noblest feelings of
the soul, and which, when directed by the pure principles which
afterwards guided their conduct, was the heart-spring of deeds which
shall claim the admiration, and spur to emulous exertions, the men of
all coming time.

"Be content with what ye have," but never with what ye are; for the wish
to be perfect, "even as our Father in heaven is perfect," must ever be
mingled with regrets for the follies and frailties which our weak nature
seems to have entailed upon us.

And while we endeavor to be submissive, cheerful, and contented with the
lot marked out for us, may gratitude arouse us to the noble desire to
render ourselves worthy of a nobler station than earth can ever present
us, even to a place upon our Savior's right hand in his heavenly

                                                            H. F.



Physiology, Astronomy, Geology, Botany, and kindred sciences, are not
now, as formerly, confined to our higher seminaries of learning. They
are being introduced into the common schools, not only of our large
towns and cities, but of our little villages throughout New-England.
Hence a knowledge of these sciences is becoming general. It needs not
Sibylline wisdom to predict that the time is not far distant when it
will be more disadvantageous and more humiliating to be ignorant of
their principles and technicalities, than to be unable to tell the
length and breadth of Sahara, the rise, course and fall of little rivers
in other countries, which we shall never see, never hear mentioned--and
the latitude and longitude of remote or obscure cities and towns. If a
friend would describe a flower, she would not tell us that it has so
many flower-leaves, so many of those shortest things that rise from the
centre of the flower, and so many of the longest ones; but she will
express herself with more elegance and rapidity by using the technical
names of these parts--petals, stamens, and pistils. She will not tell us
that the green leaves are formed some like a rose-leaf, only that they
are rounder, or more pointed, as the case may be; or if she can find no
similitudes, she will not use fifty words in conveying an idea that
might be given in one little word. We would be able to understand her
philosophical description. And scientific lectures, the sermons of our
best preachers, and the conversation of the intelligent, presuppose some
degree of knowledge of the most important sciences; and to those who
have not this knowledge, half their zest is lost.

If we are so situated that we cannot attend school, we have, by far the
greater part of us, hours for reading, and means to purchase books. We
should be systematic in our expenditures. They should be regulated by
the nature of the circumstances in which we find ourselves placed,--by
our wages, state of health, and the situation of our families. After a
careful consideration of these, and other incidentals that may be, we
can make a periodical appropriation of any sum we please, for the
purchase of books. Our readings, likewise, should be systematic. If we
take physiology, physiology should be read exclusively of all others,
except our Bibles and a few well-chosen periodicals, until we acquire a
knowledge of its most essential parts. Then let this be superseded by
others, interrupted in their course only by occasional reviews of those
already studied.

But there are those whose every farthing is needed to supply themselves
with necessary clothing, their unfortunate parents, or orphan brothers
and sisters with a subsistence. And forever sacred be these duties.
Blessings be on the head of those who faithfully discharge them, by a
cheerful sacrifice of selfish gratification. Cheerful, did I say? Ah!
many will bear witness to the pangs which such a sacrifice costs them.
It is a hard lot to be doomed to live on in ignorance, when one longs
for knowledge, "as the hart panteth after the water brook." My poor
friend L.'s complaint will meet an answering thrill of sympathy in many
a heart. "Oh, why is it so?" said she, while tears ran down her cheeks.
"Why have I such a thirst for knowledge, and not one source of
gratification?" We may not know _why_, my sister, but faith bids us
trust in God, and "rest in his decree,"--to be content "when he refuses
more." Yet a spirit of _true_ contentment induces no indolent yieldings
to adverse circumstances; no slumbering and folding the hands in sleep,
when there is so much within the reach of every one, worthy of our
strongest and most persevering efforts. Mrs. Hale says,--

  "There is a charm in knowledge, _best_ when bought
  _By vigorous toil of frame and earnest search of thought_."

And we will toil. Morning, noon, and evening shall witness our exertions
to prepare for happiness and usefulness here, and for the exalted
destiny that awaits us hereafter. But proper attention should be paid to
physical comfort as well as to mental improvement. It is only by
retaining the former that we can command the latter. The mind cannot be
vigorous while the body is weak. Hence we should not allow our toils to
enter upon those hours which belong to repose. We should not allow
ourselves, however strong the temptation, to visit the lecture-room,
&c., if the state of the weather, or of our health, renders the
experiment hazardous. Above all, we should not forget our dependence on
a higher Power. "Paul may plant, and Apollos water, but God alone giveth
the increase."

       *       *       *       *       *

_Ann._ Isabel, before we commence our "big talk," let me ask you to
proceed upon the inference that we are totally ignorant of the subject
under discussion.

_Ellinora._ Yes, Isabel, proceed upon the _fact_ that I am ignorant even
of the meaning of the term _physiology_.

_Isabel._ It comes from the Greek words _phusis_, nature, and _logia_, a
collection, or _logos_, discourse; and means a collection of facts or
discourse relating to nature. Physiology is divided, first, into
Vegetable and Animal; and the latter is subdivided into Comparative and
Human. We shall confine our attention to Human Physiology, which treats
of the organs of the human body, their mutual dependence and relation,
their functions, and the laws by which our physical constitution is

_A._ And are you so heretical, dear Isabel, as to class this science, on
the score of utility, with Arithmetic and Geography--the alpha and omega
of common school education?

_I._ Yes. It is important, inasmuch as it is necessary that we know how
to preserve the fearfully delicate fabric which our Creator has
entrusted to our keeping. We gather many wholesome rules and cautions
from maternal lips; we learn many more from experiencing the painful
results that follow their violation. But this kind of knowledge comes
tardily; it may be when an infringement of some organic law, of which we
were left in ignorance, has fastened upon us painful, perhaps fatal,

_A._ We may not always avoid sickness and premature death by a knowledge
and observance of these laws; for there are hereditary diseases, in
whose origin we are not implicated, and whose effects we cannot
eradicate from our system by "all knowledge, all device."

_I._ But a knowledge of Physiology is none the less important in this
case. If the chords of our existence are shattered, they must be touched
only by the skilful hand, or they break.

_E._ Were it not for this, were there no considerations of utility in
the plea, there are others sufficiently important to become impulsive.
It would be pleasant to be able to trace the phenomena which we are
constantly observing within ourselves to their right causes.

_I._ Yes; we love to understand the springs of disease, even though "a
discovery of the cause" neither "suspends the effect, nor heals it." We
rejoice in health, and we love to know why it sits so strongly within
us. The warm blood courses its way through our veins; the breath comes
and goes freely in and out; the nerves, those subtle organs, perform
their important offices; the hand, foot, brain--nay, the whole body
moves as we will: we taste, see, hear, smell, feel; and the inquiring
mind delights in knowing by what means these wonderful processes are
carried on,--how far they are mechanical, how far chemical, and how far
resolvable into the laws of vitality. This we may learn by a study of
Physiology, at least as far as is known. We may not satisfy ourselves
upon all points. There may be, when we have finished our investigations,
a longing for a more perfect knowledge of ourselves; for "some points
must be greatly dark," so long as mind is fettered in its rangings, and
retarded in its investigations by its connection with the body. And this
is well. We love to think of the immortal state as one in which longings
for moral and intellectual improvement will _all_ be satisfied.

_A._ Yes; it would lose half its attractions if we might attain
perfection here.

_E._ And now permit me to bring you at once to our subject. What is this
life that I feel within me? Does Physiology tell us? It ought.

_I._ It does not, however; indeed, it cannot. It merely develops its

_E._ The principles of life--what are they?

_I._ The most important are _contractibility_ and _sensibility_.

_E._ Let me advertise you that I am particularly hostile to technical
words--all because I do not understand them, I allow, but please humor
this ignorance by avoiding them.

_I._ And thus perpetuate your ignorance, my dear Ellinora? No; this will
not do; for my chief object in these conversations is that you may be
prepared to profit by lectures, essays and conversation hereafter. You
will often be thrown into the company of those who express themselves in
the easiest and most proper manner, that is, by the use of technical
words and phrases. These will embarrass you, and prevent that
improvement which would be derived, if these terms were understood.
Interrupt me as often as you please with questions; and if we spend the
remainder of the evening in compiling a physiological glossary, we may
all reap advantage from the exercise. To return to the vital
principles--vital is from _vita_, life--_contractibility_ and
_sensibility_. The former is the property of the muscles. The muscles,
you know, are what we call flesh. They are composed of fibres, which
terminate in tendons.

_Alice._ Please give form to my ideas of the tendons.

_I._ With the muscles, they constitute the agents of all motion in us.
Place your hand on the inside of your arm, and then bend your elbow. You
perceive that cord, do you not? That is a tendon. You have observed them
in animals, doubtless.

_Ann._ I have. They are round, white, and lustrous; and these are the
muscular terminations.

_I._ Yes; this tendon which you perceive, is the termination of the
muscles of the fore-arm, and it is inserted into the lower arm to assist
in its elevation.

_E._ Now we are coming to it. Please tell me how I move a finger--how I
raise my hand in this manner.

_I._ It is to the contractile power of the muscles that you are indebted
for this power. I will read what Dr. Paley says of muscular contraction;
it will make it clearer than any explanation of mine. He says, "A muscle
acts only by contraction. Its force is exerted in no other way. When
the exertion ceases, it relaxes itself, that is, it returns by
relaxation to its former state, but without energy."

_E._ Just as this India-rubber springs back after extension, for

_I._ Very well, Ellinora. He adds, "This is the nature of the muscular
fibre; and being so, it is evident that the reciprocal _energetic_
motion of the limbs, by which we mean _with force_ in opposite
directions, can only be produced by the instrumentality of opposite or
antagonist muscles--of flexors and extensors answering to each other.
For instance, the biceps and brachiæus _internus_ muscles, placed in the
front part of the upper arm, by their contraction, bend the elbow, and
with such a degree of force as the case requires, or the strength
admits. The relaxation of these muscles, after the effort, would merely
let the fore-arm drop down. For the _back stroke_ therefore, and that
the arm may not only bend at the elbow, but also extend and straighten
itself with force, other muscles, the longus, and brevis brachiæus
_externus_, and the aconæus, placed on the hinder part of the arms, by
their contractile twitch, fetch back the fore-arm into a straight line
with the cubit, with no less force than that with which it was bent out.
The same thing obtains in all the limbs, and in every moveable part of
the body. A finger is not bent and straightened without the
_contraction_ of two muscles taking place. It is evident, therefore,
that the animal functions require that particular disposition of the
muscles which we describe by the name of antagonist muscles."

_A._ Thank you, Isabel. This does indeed make the subject very plain.
These muscles contract at will.

_E._ But how can the will operate in this manner? I have always wished
to understand.

_I._ And I regret that I cannot satisfy you on this point. If we trace
the cause of muscular action by the nerves to the brain, we are no
nearer a solution of the mystery; for we cannot know what power sets the
organs of the brain at work--whether it be foreign to or of itself.

We will come now, if you please to _sensibility_, which belongs to the

_A._ I have a very indefinite idea of the nerves.

_E._ My _ideal_ is sufficiently definite in its shape, but so droll! I
do not think of them as "being flesh of my flesh," but as a _species_ of
the _genus_ fairy. They are to us, what the Nereides are to the green
wave, the Dryades to the oak, and the Hamadryades to the little flower.
They are quite omnipotent in their operations. They make us cry or they
make us laugh; thrill us with rapture or woe as they please. And, my
dear Isabel, I shall not allow you to cheat me out of this pleasing
fancy. You may tell us just what they are, but I shall be as incredulous
as possible.

_I._ They are very slender white cords, extending from the brain and
spinal marrow--twelve pairs from the former, and thirty from the latter.
These send out branches so numerous that we cannot touch the point of a
pin to a spot that has not its nerve. The mucous membrane is--

_F._ Oh, these technicals! What is the mucous membrane?

_I._ It is a texture, or web of fibres, which lines all cavities exposed
to the atmosphere--for instance, the mouth, windpipe and stomach. It is
the seat of the senses of taste and smell.

_E._ And the nerves are the little witches that inform the brain how one
thing is sweet, another bitter; one fragrant, another nauseous.
Alimentiveness ever after frowns or smiles accordingly. So it seems that
the actions of the brain, and of the external senses, are reciprocated
by the nerves, or something of this sort. How is it, Isabel? Oh, I see!
You say sensibility belongs to the nerves. So sights by means of--of

_I._ Of the optical nerves.

_E._ Yes; and sounds by means of the--

_I._ Auditory nerves.

_E._ Yes; convey impressions of externals to the brain. And "Upon this
hint" the brain acts in its consequent reflections, and in the nervous
impulses which induce muscular contractibility. And this muscular
contractibility is a contraction of the fibres of the muscles. This
contraction, of course, shortens them, and this latter _must_ result in
the bending of the arm. I think I understand it. What are the brain and
spine, Isabel? How are they connected?

_I._ You will get correct ideas of the texture of the brain by observing
that of animals. It occupies the whole cavity of the skull, is rounded
and irregular in its form, full of prominences, _alias_ bumps. These
appear to fit themselves to the skull; but doubtless the bone is moulded
by the brain. The brain is divided into two parts; the upper and
frontal part is called the _cerebrum_, the other the _cerebellum_. The
former is the larger division, and is the seat of the moral sentiments
and intellectual faculties. The latter is the seat of the propensities,
domestic and selfish.

_A._ I thank you, Isabel. Now, what is this spine, of which there is so
much "complaint" now-a-days?

_I._ I will answer you from Paley: "The spine, or backbone, is a chain
of joints of very wonderful construction. It was to be firm, yet
flexible; _firm_, to support the erect position of the body; _flexible_,
to allow of the bending of the the trunk in all degrees of curvature. It
was further, also, to become a pipe or conduit for the safe conveyance
from the brain of the most important fluid of the animal frame, that,
namely, upon which _all voluntary motion depends, the spinal marrow_; a
substance not only of the first necessity to action, if not to life, but
of a nature so delicate and tender, so susceptible and impatient of
injury, that any unusual pressure upon it, or any considerable
obstruction of its course, is followed by paralysis or death. Now, the
spine was not only to furnish the main trunk for the passage of the
medullary substance from the brain, but to give out, in the course of
its progress, small pipes therefrom, which, being afterwards
indefinitely subdivided, might, under the name of nerves, distribute
this exquisite supply to every part of the body."

_Alice._ I understand now why disease of the spine causes such
involuntary contortions and gestures, in some instances. Its connection
with the brain and nerves is so immediate, that it cannot suffer disease
without affecting the whole nervous system.

_I._ It cannot. The spinal cord or marrow is a continuation of the
brain. But we must not devote any more time to this subject.

_Bertha._ I want to ask you something about the different parts of the
eye, Isabel. When ---- ---- lectured on optics, I lost nearly all the
benefit of his lecture, except a newly awakened desire for knowledge on
this subject. He talked of the retina, cornea, iris, &c.; please tell me
precisely what they are.

_I._ The retina is a nervous membrane; in other words a thin net-work,
formed of very minute sensitive filaments. It is supposed by some to be
an expansion of the optic nerve; and on this the images of objects we
see are formed. It is situated at the back part of the eye. Rays pass
through the round opening in the iris, which we call the pupil.

_B._ What did the lecturer say is the cause of the color of the pupil?

_I._ He said that its _want of color_ is to be imputed to the fact that
rays of light which enter there are not returned; they fall on the
retina, forming there images of objects. And you recollect he said that
"absence of rays is blackness." The iris is a kind of curtain, covering
the aqueous humor--aqueous is from the Latin _aqua_, water. It is
confined only at its outer edge, or circumference; and is supplied with
muscular fibres which confer the power of adjustment to every degree of
light. It contracts or dilates involuntarily, as the light is more or
less intense, as you must have observed. The rays of light falling on
that part of the iris which immediately surrounds the pupil, cause it to
be either black, blue, or hazel. We will not linger on this ground, for
it belongs more properly to Natural Philosophy. We will discuss the
other four senses as briefly as possible. "The sense of taste," says
Hayward, "resides in the mucus membrane of the tongue, the lips, the
cheeks, and the fauces." Branches of nerves extend to every part of the
mouth where the sense of taste resides. The fluid with which the mouth
is constantly moistened is called mucus, and chiefly subserves to the
sense of taste.

_Ann._ I have observed that when the mucus is dried by fever, food is
nearly tasteless. I now understand the reason.

_E._ _Apropos_ to the senses, let me ask if feeling and touch are the
same. Alfred says they are; I contend they are not, precisely.

_I._ Hayward thinks a distinction between them unnecessary. He says they
are both seated in the same organs, and have the same nerves. But the
sense of feeling is more general, extending over the whole surface of
the skin and mucus membrane, while that of touch is limited to
particular parts, being in man most perfect in the hand; and the sense
of feeling is passive, while that of touch is active. This sense is in
the skin, and is most perfect where the epidermis, or external coat, is
the thinnest. We will look through this little magnifying glass at the
skin on my hand. You will see very minute prominences all over the
surface. These points are called papillæ. They are supposed to be the
termination of the nerves, and the _locale_ of sensation.

_E._ Will you _shape_ my ideas of sensation?

_I._ According to Lord Brougham, one of the English editors of this
edition of Paley, it is "the effect produced upon the mind by the
operation of the senses; and involves nothing like an exertion of the
mind itself."

Of the sense of hearing, I can tell you but little. Physiologists have
doubts relative to many parts of the ear; and I do not understand the
subject well enough to give you much information. I will merely name
some of the parts and their relative situations. We have first the
external ear, which projecting as it does from the head, is perfectly
adapted to the office of gathering sounds, and transmitting them to the
membrane of the tympanum, commonly called the drum of the ear, from its
resembling somewhat, in its use and structure, the head of a drum. The
tympanum is a cavity, of a cylindrical or tunnel form, and its office is
supposed to be the transmission to the internal ear of the vibrations
made upon the membrane. These vibrations are first communicated to the
malleus or hammer. This is the first of four bones, united in a kind of
chain, extending and conveying vibrations from the tympanum to the
labyrinth of the ear beyond. The other bones are the incus, or anvil,
the round bone, and the stapes, or stirrup--the latter so called from
its resemblance to a stirrup-iron. It is placed over an oval aperture,
which leads to the labyrinth, and which is closed by means of a
membranous curtain. These bones are provided with very small muscles,
and move with the vibrations of the tympanum. The equilibrium of the air
in the tympanum and atmosphere is maintained by the means of the
Eustachian tube, which extends from the back part of the fauces, or
throat, to the cavity of the tympanum. The parts last mentioned
constitute the middle ear. Of the internal ear little is known. It has
its semicircular canals, vestibules, and cochlea; but their agencies are
not ascertained.

The organ of smell is more simple. This sense lies, or is supposed to
lie, in the mucous membrane which lines the nostrils and the openings in
connection. Particles are constantly escaping from odorous bodies; and,
by being inhaled in respiration, they are thrown in contact with the
mucous membrane.

_A._ Before leaving the head, will you tell us something of the organs
of voice?

_I._ By placing your finger on the top of your windpipe, you will
perceive a slight prominence. In males this is very large. This is the
thorax. It is formed of four cartilages, two of which are connected with
a third, by means of four chords, called vocal chords, from their
performing an important part in producing the voice. Experiments have
been made, which prove that a greater part of the larynx, except these
chords, may be removed without destroying the voice. Magendie thus
accounts for the production of the voice. He says, "The air, in passing
from the lungs in expiration, is forced out of small cavities, as the
air-cells and the minute branches of the windpipe, into a large canal;
it is thence sent through a narrow passage, on each side of which is a
vibratory chord, and it is by the action of the air on these chords,
that the sonorous undulations are produced which are called voice."

_E._ Do not the lips and tongue contribute essentially to speech?

_I._ They do not. Hayward says he can bear witness to the fact that the
articulation remains unimpaired after the tongue has been removed. The
labials, _f_ and _v_, cannot be perfectly articulated without the action
of the lips.--What subject shall we take next?

_A._ A natural transition would be from the head to the heart, and, in
connection, the circulation of the blood.

_I._ Yes. I will give you an abstract of the ideas I gained in the study
of Hayward's Physiology, and the reading of Dr. Paley's Theology. The
heart, arteries, and veins are the agents of circulation. The heart is
irregular and conical in its shape; and it is hollow and double.

_A._ There is no channel of communication between these parts, is there?

_I._ None; but each side has its separate office to perform. By the
right, circulation is carried on in the lungs; and by the left through
the rest of the body. I will mark a few passages in Paley, for you to
read to us, Ann. They will do better than any descriptions of mine.

_A._ I thank you, Isabel, for giving me an opportunity to lend you
temporary relief.--"The disposition of the blood-vessels, as far as
regards the supply of the body, is like that of the water-pipes in a
city, viz. large and main trunks branching off by smaller pipes (and
these again by still narrower tubes) in every direction and towards
every part in which the fluid which they convey can be wanted. So far,
the water-pipes which serve a town may represent the vessels which
carry the blood from the heart. But there is another thing necessary to
the blood, which is not wanted for the water; and that is, the carrying
of it back again to its source. For this office, a reversed system of
vessels is prepared, which, uniting at their extremities with the
extremities of the first system, collects the divided and subdivided
streamlets, first by capillary ramifications into larger branches,
secondly by these branches into trunks; and thus returns the blood
(almost exactly inverting the order in which it went out) to the
fountain whence its motion proceeded. The body, therefore, contains two
systems of blood-vessels, arteries and veins.

"The next thing to be considered is the engine which works this
machinery, viz., the _heart_. There is provided in the central part of
the body a hollow muscle invested with spiral fibres, running in both
directions, the layers intersecting one another. By the contraction of
these fibres, the sides of the muscular cavity are necessarily squeezed
together, so as to force out from them any fluid which they may at that
time contain: by the relaxation of the same fibres, the cavities are in
their turn dilated, and, of course, prepared to admit every fluid which
may be poured into them. Into these cavities are inserted the great
trunks both of the arteries which carry out the blood, and of the veins
which bring it back. As soon as the blood is received by the heart from
the veins of the body, and _before_ that is sent out again into its
arteries, it is carried, by the force of the contraction of the heart,
and by means of a separate and supplementary artery, to the lungs, and
made to enter the vessels of the lungs, from which, after it has
undergone the action, whatever it may be, of that viscus, it is brought
back, by a large vein, once more to the heart, in order, when thus
concocted and prepared, to be thence distributed anew into the system.
This assigns to the heart a double office. The pulmonary circulation is
a system within a system; and one action of the heart is the origin of
both. For this complicated function four cavities become necessary, and
four are accordingly provided; two called ventricles, which _send out_
the blood, viz., one into the lungs in the first instance, the other
into the mass, after it has returned from the lungs; two others also,
called auricles, which receive the blood from the veins, viz. one as it
comes from the body; the other, as the same blood comes a second time
after its circulation through the lungs."

_I._ That must answer our purpose, dear Ann. Of the change which takes
place in the blood, and of the renewal of our physical system, which is
effected by circulation, I shall say nothing. We will pass to

_E._ Whose popular name is breathing?

_I._ Yes. The act of inhaling air, is called inspiration; that of
sending it out, expiration. Its organs are the lungs and windpipe. The
apparatus employed in the mechanism of breathing is very complex. The
windpipe extends from the mouth to the lungs.

_A._ How is it that air enters it so freely, while food and drink are

_I._ By a most ingenious contrivance. The opening to the pipe is called
glottis. This is closed, when necessary, by a little valve, or lid,
called the epiglottis (_epi_ means _upon_.)

_E._ And this faithful sentinel is none other than that perpendicular
little body which we can see in our throats, and which we have _dubbed_

_I._ You are right, Ellinora. Over this, food and drink pass on their
way to the road to the stomach, the gullet. The pressure of solids or
liquids tends to depress this lid on the glottis; and its muscular
action in deglutition, or swallowing, tends to the same effect. As soon
as the pressure is removed, the lid springs to its erect position, and
the air passes freely. Larynx and trachea are other names for the
windpipe, and pharynx is another for the gullet. The larynx divides into
two branches at the lungs, and goes to each side. Hence, by
subdivisions, it passes off in numerous smaller branches, to different
parts of the lungs, and terminates in air-cells. The lungs, known in
animals by the name of lights, consist of three parts, or lobes, one on
the right side, and two on the left.

_Alice._ The lights of inferior animals are very light and porous--do
our lungs resemble them in this?

_I._ Yes; they are full of air-tubes and air-cells. These, with the
blood vessels and the membrane which connects (and this is cellular,
that is, composed of cells,) form the lungs. The process of respiration
involves chemical, mechanical, and vital or physiological principles. Of
the mechanism I shall say but little more. You already know that the
lungs occupy the chest. Of this, the breast bone forms the front, the
spine, the back wall. Attached to this bone are twelve ribs on each
side. These are joined by muscles which are supposed to assist in
elevating them in breathing, thus enlarging the cavity of the chest. The
lower partition is formed by a muscle of great power, called the
diaphragm, and by the action of this organ alone common inspiration can
be performed. Hayward says, "The contraction of this muscle necessarily
depresses its centre, which was before elevated towards the lungs. The
instant this takes place, the air rushes into the lungs through the
windpipe, and thus prevents a vacuum, which would otherwise be produced
between the chest and lungs." Expiration is the reverse of this. The
chemistry of respiration regards the change produced in the blood by
respiration. To this change I have before alluded.

_Ann._ When we consider the offices of the heart and lungs, their
importance in vital economy, how dangerous appears the custom of
pressing them so closely between the ribs by tight lacing?

_I._ Yes; fearful and fatal beyond calculation! And one great advantage
in a general knowledge of our physical system, is the tendency this
knowledge must have to correct this habit.

_A._ To me there is not the weakest motive for tight lacing. Everything
but pride _must_ revolt at the habit; and there is something positively
disgusting and shocking in the wasp-like form, labored breathing, purple
lips and hands of the tight lacer.

_E._ They indicate such a pitiful servitude to fashion, such an utter
disregard of comfort, when it comes in collision with false notions of
elegance! Well for our sex, as we could not be induced to act from a
worthier motive, popular opinion is setting in strongly against this
practice. Many of our authors and public lecturers are bringing strong
arms and benevolent hearts to the work.

_A._ Yes; but to be perfectly consistent, should not the fashions of the
"Lady's Book," the "Ladies' Companion," and of "Graham's Magazine," be
more in keeping with the general sentiment? Their contributors furnish
essays, deprecating the evils of tight lacing, and tales illustrative of
its evil effects, yet the figures of the plates of fashions are
uniformly most unnaturally slender. And these are offered for national

_E._ "And, more's the pity," followed as such.

_I._ I think the improvements you mention would only cause a temporary
suspension of the evil. They might indeed make it the _fashion_ to wear
natural waists; but like all other fashions, it must unavoidably give
way to new modes. They might lop off a few of the branches; but science,
a knowledge of physiology alone, is capable of laying the axe at the
root of the tree.--What is digestion, Ellinora?

_E._ It is the dissolving, pulverizing, or some other _ing_, of our
food, isn't it?

_I._ Hayward says that "it is an important part of that process by which
aliment taken into the body is made to nourish it." He divides the
digestive apparatus into "the mouth and its appendages, the stomach and
the intestines." The teeth, tongue, jaws, and saliva, perform their
respective offices in mastication. Then the food passes over the
epiglottis, you recollect, down the gullet to the stomach. The saliva is
an important agent in digestion. It is secreted in glands, which pour it
into the mouth by a tube about the size of a wheat straw.

_Alice._ I heard our physician say that food should be so thoroughly
masticated before deglutition (you see I have caught your technicals,
Isabel,) that every particle would be moistened with the saliva. Then
digestion would be easy and perfect. He says that dyspepsia is often
incurred and perpetuated by eating too rapidly.

_I._ Doubtless this is the case. As soon as the food reaches the
stomach, the work of digestion commences; and the food is converted to a
mass, neither fluid or solid, called chyme. With regard to this process,
there have been many speculative theories. It has been imputed to animal
heat, to putrefaction, to a mechanical operation (something like that
carried on in the gizzard of a fowl,) to fermentation, and maceration.
It is now a generally adopted theory, that the food is _dissolved_ by
the gastric juices.

_Ann._ If these juices are such powerful solvents, why do they not act
on the stomach, when they are no longer supplied with _subjects_ in the
shape of food?

_I._ According to many authorities, they do. Comstock says that "hunger
is produced by the action of the gastric juices on the stomach." This
theory does not prevail, however; for it has been proved by experiment,
that these juices do not act on anything that has life.

_Alice._ How long does it take the food to digest?

_I._ Food of a proper kind will digest in a healthy stomach, in four or
five hours. It then passes to the intestines.

_Ann._ But why does it never leave the stomach until thoroughly

_I._ At the orifice of the stomach, there is a sort of a valve, called
pylorus, or door-keeper. Some have supposed that this valve has the
power of ascertaining when the food is sufficiently digested, and so
allows chyme to pass, while it contracts at the touch of undigested

_A._ How wonderful!

_I._ And "how passing wonder He who made us such!"

_Alice._ No wonder that a poet said--

  "Strange that a harp of thousand strings
    Should keep in tune so long!"

_Ann._ And no wonder that the Christian bends in lowly adoration and
love before _such_ a Creator, and _such_ a Preserver?

_E._ Now, dear Isabel, will you tell us something more?

_I._ Indeed, Ellinora, I have already gone much farther than I intended
when I commenced. But I knew not where to stop. Even now, you have but
just _commenced_ the study of _yourselves_. Let me urge you to read in
your leisure hours, and reflect in your working ones, until you
understand physiology, as well as you now do geography.


[Illustration: Decoration]

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TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: Minor typographical errors and inconsistencies have
been silently normalized. Archaic and variable spellings retained.

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