Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

´╗┐Title: The Bride of Fort Edward: Founded on an Incident of the Revolution
Author: Bacon, Delia Salter, 1811-1859
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Bride of Fort Edward: Founded on an Incident of the Revolution" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



THE BRIDE OF FORT EDWARD.

FOUNDED ON
AN INCIDENT OF THE REVOLUTION

BY DELIA BACON



PREFACE.

I am extremely anxious to guard against any misconception of the
_design_ of this little work. I therefore take the liberty of apprising
the reader beforehand, that it is _not_ a _Play_. It was not intended
for the stage, and properly is not capable of representation. I have
chosen the form of the DIALOGUE as best suited to my purpose in
presenting anew the passions and events of a day long buried in the
past, but it is the dialogue in scenes arranged simply with reference to
the impressions of the _Reader_, and wholly unadapted to the
requirements of the actual stage. The plan here chosen, involves
throughout the repose, the thought, and sentiment of Actual life,
instead of the hurried action, the crowded plot, the theatrical
elevation which the Stage necessarily demands of the pure Drama. I have
only to ask that I may not be condemned for failing to fulfil the
conditions of a species of writing which I have not attempted.

The story involved in these Dialogues is essentially connected with a
well-known crisis in our National History; nay, it is itself a portion
of the historic record, and as such, even with many of its most trifling
minutiae, is imbedded in our earliest recollections; but it is rather in
its relation to the _abstract truth_ it embodies,--as exhibiting a law
in the relation of the human mind to its Invisible protector--the
apparent sacrifice of the _individual_ in the grand movements for the
_race_,--it is in this light, rather than as an historical exhibition,
that I venture to claim for it, as here presented, the indulgent
attention of my readers.

                                                            THE AUTHOR.
_New-York, July 7th_, 1839.



THE

BRIDE OF FORT EDWARD,

A DRAMATIC STORY.


SCENE. _Fort Edward and its vicinity, on the Hudson, near Lake George_.


PERSONS INTRODUCED.

_British and American officers and soldiers_.

_Indians employed in the British service_.

ELLISTON--_A religious missionary residing in the adjacent woods_.

GEORGE GREY--_A young American_.

LADY ACKLAND--_Wife of an English Officer_.

MARGARET--_Her maid_.

MRS. GREY--_The widow of a Clergyman residing near Fort Edward_.

HELEN, _and_ ANNIE,--_Her daughters_.

JANETTE--_A Canadian servant_.

_Children, &c_.

_Time included--from the afternoon of one day to the close of the
following_.



  PART

    I. THE CRISIS AND ITS VICTIM

   II. LOVE

  III. FATE

   IV. FULFILMENT

    V. FULFILMENT

   VI. RECONCILIATION



THE BRIDE OF FORT EDWARD.

       *       *       *       *       *

PART FIRST.

       *       *       *       *       *

INDUCTION.

DIALOGUE I.


SCENE. _The road-side on the slope of a wooded hill near Fort Edward.
        The speakers, two young soldiers,--Students in arms_.


_1st Student_. These were the evenings last year, when the bell
From the old college tower, would find us still
Under the shady elms, with sauntering step
And book in hand, or on the dark grass stretched,
Or lounging on the fence, with skyward gaze
Amid the sunset warble. Ah! that world,--
That world we lived in then--where is it now?
Like earth to the departed dead, methinks.

_2nd Stud_. Yet oftenest, of that homeward path I think,
Amid the deepening twilight slowly trod,
And I can hear the click of that old gate,
As once again, amid the chirping yard,
I see the summer rooms, open and dark,
And on the shady step the sister stands,
Her merry welcome, in a mock reproach,
Of Love's long childhood breathing. Oh this year,
This year of blood hath made me old, and yet,
Spite of my manhood now, with all my heart,
I could lie down upon this grass and weep
For those old blessed times, the times of peace again.

_1st Stud_. There will be weeping, Frank, from older eyes,
Or e'er again that blessed time shall come.
Hearts strong and glad now, must be broke ere then:
Wild tragedies, that for the days to come
Shall faery pastime make, must yet ere then
Be acted here; ay, with the genuine clasp
Of anguish, and fierce stabs, not buried in silk robes,
But in hot hearts, and sighs from wrung souls' depths.
And they shall walk in light that we have made,
They of the days to come, and sit in shadow
Of our blood-reared vines, not counting the wild cost.
Thus 'tis: among glad ages many,--one--
In garlands lies, bleeding and bound. Times past,
And times to come, on ours, as on an altar--
Have laid down their griefs, and unto us
Is given the burthen of them all.

_2nd Stud_.                  And yet,
See now, how pleasantly the sun shines there
Over the yellow fields, to the brown fence
Its hour of golden beauty--giving still.
And but for that faint ringing from the fort,
That comes just now across the vale to us,
And this small band of soldiers planted here,
I could think this was peace, so calmly there,
The afternoon amid the valley sleeps.

_1st Stud_. Yet in the bosom of this gentle time,
The crisis of an age-long struggle heaves.

_2nd Stud_. _Age-long?_--Why, this land's history can scarce
Be told in ages, yet.

_1st Stud_.      But this war's can.
In that small isle beyond the sea, Francis,
Ages, ages ago, its light first blazed.
This is the war. Old, foolish, blind prerogative,
In ermines wrapped, and sitting on king's thrones;
Against young reason, in a peasant's robe
His king's brow hiding. For the infant race
Weaves for itself the chains its manhood scorns,
(When time hath made them adamant, alas!--)
The reverence of humanity, that gold
Which makes power's glittering round, ordained of God
But for the lovely majesty of right,
Unto a mad usurper, yielding, all,
Making the low and lawless will of man
Vicegerent of that law and will divine,
Whose image only, reason hath, on earth.
This is the struggle:--_here_, we'll fight it out.
'Twas all too narrow and too courtly _there_;
In sight of that old pageantry of power
We were, in truth, the children of the past,
Scarce knowing our own time: but here, we stand
In nature's palaces, and we are _men_;--
Here, grandeur hath no younger dome than this;
And now, the strength which brought us o'er the deep,
Hath grown to manhood with its nurture here,--
Now that they heap on us abuses, that
Had crimsoned the first William's cheek, to name,--
We're ready now--for our last grapple with blind power.

                                                    [_Exeunt_.

       *       *       *       *       *



DIALOGUE II.

SCENE. _The same. A group of ragged soldiers in conference_.


_1st Soldier_. I am flesh and blood myself, as well as the rest of you,
but there is no use in talking. What the devil would you do?--You may
talk till dooms-day, but what's to hinder us from serving our time
out?--and that's three months yet. Ay, there's the point. Show me that.

_2nd Sol_. Three months! Ha, thank Heaven mine is up to-morrow; and,
I'll tell you what, boys, before the sun goes down to-morrow night, you
will see one Jack Richards trudging home,--trudging home, Sirs! None of
your bamboozling, your logic, and your figures. A good piece of bread
and butter is the figure for me. But you should hear the Colonel,
though, as the time draws nigh. Lord! you'd think I was the General at
least. Humph, says I.

_3d Sol_. Ay, ay,--feed you on sugar-candy till they get you to sign,
and then comes the old shoes and moccasins.----

_2nd Sol_. And that's true enough, Ned. I've eaten myself, no less than
two very decent pair in the service. I'll have it out of Congress yet
though, I'll be hanged if I don't. None of your figures for me! I say,
boys, I am going home.

_1st Sol_. Well, go home, and--can't any body else breathe? Why don't
you answer me, John?--What would you have us do?--

_4th Sol_. Ask Will Wilson there.

_1st Sol_. Will?--Where is he?

_4th Sol_. There he stands, alongside of the picket there, his hands in
his pockets, whistling, and looking as wise as the dragon. Mind you,
there's always something pinching at the bottom of that same whistle,
though its such a don't-care sort of a whistle too. Ask Will, he'll tell
you.

_3d Sol_. Ay, Will has been to the new quarters to-day. See, he's coming
this way.

_5th Sol_. And he saw Striker there, fresh from the Jerseys, come up
along with that new General there, yesterday.

_3d Sol_. General Arnold?

_5th Sol_. Ay, ay, General Arnold it is.

_6th Sol_. [_Advancing_.] I say, boys----

_4th Sol_. What's the matter, Will?

_6th Sol_. Do you want to know what they say below?

_All_. Ay, ay, what's the news?

_6th Sol_. All up there, Sirs. A gone horse!--and he that turns his coat
first, is the best fellow.

_4th Sol_. No?

_6th Sol_. And shall I tell you what else they say?

_4th Sol_. Ay.

_6th Sol_. Shall I?

_All_. Ay, ay. What is it?

_6th Sol_. That we are a cowardly, sneaking, good-for-nothing pack of
poltroons, here in the north. There's for you! There's what you get for
your pains, Sirs. And for the rest, General Schuyler is to be disgraced,
and old Gates is to be set over us again, and----no matter for the rest.
See here, boys. Any body coming? See here.

_3d Sol_. What has he got there?

_2nd Sol_. The Proclamation! The Proclamation! Will you be good enough
to let me see if there is not a picture there somewhere, with an Indian
and a tomahawk?

_6th Sol_. Now, Sirs, he that wants a new coat, and a pocket full of
money--

_3d Sol_. That's me fast enough.

_2nd Sol_. If he had mentioned a shirt-sleeve now, or a rim to an old
hat--

_4th Sol_. Or a bit of a crown, or so.

_6th Sol_. He that wants a new coat--get off from my toes, you
scoundrel.

_All_. Let's see. Let's see. Read--read.

_7th Sol_. (_Spouting_.) "And he that don't want his house burned over
his head, and his wife and children, or his mother and sisters, as the
case may be, butchered or eaten alive before his eyes--"

_3d Sol_. Heavens and earth! It 'ant so though, Wilson, is it?

_7th Sol_. "Is required to present himself at the said village of
Skeensborough, on or before the 20th day of August next.
Boo--boo--boo--Who but I. Given under my hand."--If it is not _it_--it
is something very like it, I can tell you, Sirs. I say, boys, the old
rogue wants his neck wrung for insulting honest soldiers in that
fashion; and I say that you--for shame, Will Willson.

_4th Sol_. Hush!--the Colonel!--Hush!

_2nd Sol_. And who is that proud-looking fellow, by his side?

_4th Sol_. Hush! General Arnold. He's a sharp one--roll it up--roll it up.

_6th Sol_. Get out,--you are rumpling it to death.

       (_Two American officers are seen close at hand, in a bend
         of the ascending road; the soldiers enter the woods_.)

       *       *       *       *       *



DIALOGUE III.

SCENE. _The same_.


_1st Officer_. I cannot conceal it from you, Sir; there is but one
feeling about it, as far as I can judge, and I had some chances in my
brief journey--

_2nd Off_. Were you at head-quarters?

_1st Off_. Yes,--and every step of this retreating army only makes it
more desperate. I never knew any thing like the mad, unreasonable terror
this army inspires. Burgoyne and his Indians!--"_Burgoyne and the
Indians_"--there is not a girl on the banks of the Connecticut that does
not expect to see them by her father's door ere day-break. Colonel
Leslie, what were those men concealing so carefully as we approached
just now?--Did you mark them?

_2nd Off_. Yes. If I am not mistaken, it was the paper we were speaking of.

_1st Off_. Ay, ay,--I thought as much.

_2nd Off_. General Arnold, I am surprised you should do these honest men
the injustice to suppose that such an impudent, flimsy, bombastic tirade
as that same proclamation of Burgoyne's, should have a feather's weight
with any mother's son of them.

_Arnold_. A feather's, ay a feather's, just so; but when the scales are
turning, a feather counts too, and that is the predicament just now of
more minds than you think for, Colonel Leslie. A pretty dark horizon
around us just now, Sir,--another regiment goes off to-morrow, I hear.
Hey?

_Leslie_. Why, no. At least we hope not. We think we shall be able to
keep them yet, unless--that paper might work some mischief with them
perhaps, and it would be rather a fatal affair too, I mean in the way of
example.--These Green Mountain Boys----

_Arnold_. Colonel Leslie, Colonel Leslie, this army is melting away like
a snow-wreath. There's no denying it. Your General misses it. The news
of one brave battle would send the good blood to the fingers' ends from
ten thousand chilled hearts; no matter how fearful the odds; the better,
the better,--no matter how large the loss;--for every slain soldier, a
hundred better would stand on the field;----

_Leslie_. But then----

_Arnold_. By all that's holy, Sir, if I were head here, the red blood
should smoke on this grass ere to-morrow's sunset. I would have battle
here, though none but the birds of the air were left to carry the tale
to the nation. I tell you, Colonel Leslie, a war, whose resources are
only in the popular feeling, as now, and for months to come, this war's
must be; a war, at least, which depends wholly upon the _unselfishness_
of a people, as this war does, can be kept alive by excitement only. It
was wonderful enough indeed, to behold a whole people, the low and
comfort-loving too, in whose narrow lives that little world which the
sense builds round us, takes such space, forsaking the tangible good of
their merry firesides, for rags and wretchedness,--poverty that the
thought of the citizen beggar cannot reach,--the supperless night on the
frozen field; with the news perchance of a home in ashes, or a murdered
household, and, last of all, on some dismal day, the edge of the sword
or the sharp bullet ending all;--and all in defence of--what?--an
idea--an abstraction,--a thought:--I say this was wonderful enough, even
in the glow of the first excitement. But now that the Jersey winter is
fresh in men's memories, and Lexington and Bunker Hill are forgotten,
and all have found leisure and learning to count the cost; it were
expecting miracles indeed, to believe that this army could hold together
with a policy like this. Every step of this retreat, I say again, treads
out some lingering spark of enthusiasm. Own it yourself. Is not this
army dropping off by hundreds, and desertion too, increasing every hour,
thinning your own ranks and swelling your foes?--and that, too, at a
crisis--Colonel Leslie, retreat a little further, some fifty miles
further; let Burgoyne once set foot in Albany, and the business is
done,--we may roll up our pretty declaration as fast as we please, and
go home in peace.

_Leslie_. General Arnold, I have heard you to the end, though you have
spoken insultingly of councils in which I have had my share. Will you
look at this little clause in this paper, Sir. The excitement you speak
of will come ere long, and that at a rate less ruinous than this whole
army's loss. There's a line--there's a line, Sir, that will make null
and void, very soon, if not on the instant, all the evil of these golden
promises. There'll be excitement enough ere long; but better blood than
that shed in battle fields must flow to waken it.

_Arnold_. I hardly understand you, Sir. Is it this threat you point at?

_Leslie_. Can't you see?--They have let loose these hell-hounds upon us,
and butchery must be sent into our soft and innocent homes;--beings that
we have sheltered from the air of heaven, brows that have grown pale at
the breath of an ungentle word, must meet the red knife of the Indian
now. Oh God, this is war!

_Arnold_. I understand you, Colonel Leslie. There was a crisis like this
in New Jersey last winter, I know, when our people were flocking to the
royal standard, as they are now, and a few fiendish outrages on the part
of the foe changed the whole current in our favor. It may be so now, but
meanwhile--

_Leslie_. Meanwhile, this army is the hope of the nation, and must be
preserved. We are wronged, Sir. Have we not done all that men could do?
What were twenty pitched battles to such an enemy, with a force like
ours, compared with the harm we have done them? Have we not kept them
loitering here among these hills, wasting the strength that was meant to
tell in the quivering fibres of men, on senseless trees and stones,
paralyzing them with famine, wearying them with unexciting, inglorious
toil, until, divided and dispirited, at last we can measure our power
with theirs, and fight, not in vain? Why, even now the division is
planning there, which will bring them to our feet. And what to us, Sir,
were the hazards of one bloody encounter, to the pitiful details of this
unhonored warfare?--We are wronged--we are wronged, Sir.

_Arnold_. There is some policy in the plan you speak of,--certainly,
there is excellent policy in it if one had the patience to follow it
out; but then you can't make Congress see it, or the people either; and
so, after all, your General is superseded. Well, well, at all events he
must abandon this policy now,--it's the only chance left for him.

_Leslie_. Why; howso?

_Arnold_. Or else, don't you see?--just at the point where the glory
appears, this eastern hero steps in, and receives it all; and the
laurels which he has been rearing so long, blow just in time to drop on
the brow of his rival.

_Leslie_. General Arnold,--excuse me, Sir--you do not understand the man
of whom you speak. There is a substance in the glory he aims at, to
which, all that you call by the name is as the mere shell and outermost
rind. Good Heavens! Do you think that, for the sake of his own
individual fame, the man would risk the fate of this great
enterprize?--What a mere fool's bauble, what an empty shell of honor,
would that be. If I thought he would--

_Arnold_. It might be well for you to lower your voice a little, Sir;
the gentleman of whom you are speaking is just at hand.

[_Other officers are seen emerging from the woods_.]

_3d Off_. Yes, if this rumor holds, Lieutenant Van Vechten, your post is
likely to become one of more honor than safety. Gentlemen--Ha!--General
Arnold! You are heartily welcome;--I have been seeking you, Sir. If this
news is any thing, the movement that was planned for Wednesday, we must
anticipate somewhat.

_Leslie_. News from the enemy, General?

_Gen. Schuyler_. Stay--those scouts must be coming in, Van Vechten. Why,
we can scarce call it news yet, I suppose; but if this countryman's tale
is true, Burgoyne himself, with his main corps, is encamping at this
moment at the Mills, scarce three miles above us.

_Arnold_. Ay, and good news too.

_Leslie_. But that cannot be, Sir--Alaska--

_Gen. Schuyler_. Alaska has broken faith with us if it is, and the army
have avoided the delay we had planned for them.--That may be.--This man
overheard their scouts in the woods just below us here.

_Arnold_. And if it is,--do you talk of retreat, General Schuyler? In
your power now it lies, with one hour's work perchance, to make those
lying enemies of yours in Congress eat the dust, to clear for ever your
blackened fame. Why, Heaven itself is interfering to do you right, and
throwing honor in your way as it were! Do you talk of retreat, Sir, now?

_Gen. Schuyler_. Heaven has other work on hand just now, than righting
the wrongs of such heroes as you and I, Sir. Colonel Arnold--I beg your
pardon, Sir, Congress has done you justice at last I see,--General
Arnold, you are right as to the consequence, yet, for all that, if this
news is true, I must order the retreat. My reputation I'll trust in
God's hands. My honor is in my own keeping.

                           [_Exeunt Schuyler, Leslie, and Van Vechten_.

_Arnold_. There's a smoke from that chimney; are those houses inhabited,
my boy?

_Boy_. Part of them, Sir. Some of our people went oft to-day. That white
house by the orchard--the old parsonage there? Ay, there are ladies
there Sir, but I heard Colonel Leslie saying this morning 'twas a sin
and a shame for them to stay another hour.

_Arnold_. Ay, Ay. I fancied the Colonel was not dealing in abstractions
just now.

                                                             [_Exeunt_.

       *       *       *       *       *



DIALOGUE IV.

SCENE. _A room in the Parsonage,--an old-fashioned summer parlor.---On
        the side a door and windows opening into an orchard, in front,
        a yard filled with shade trees. The view beyond bounded by a
        hill partly wooded. A young girl, in the picturesque costume of
        the time, lies sleeping on the antique sofa. Annie sits by a
        table, covered with coarse needlework, humming snatches of songs
        as she works_.


_Annie_, (_singing_.)

  _Soft peace spreads her wings and flies weeping away.
  Soft peace spreads her wings and flies weeping away.
  And flies weeping away.
    The red cloud of war o'er our forest is scowling,
  Soft peace spreads her wings and flies weeping away.
    Come blow the shrill bugle, the war dogs are howling,
  Already they eagerly snuff out their prey--
    The red cloud of war--the red cloud of war_--


Yes, let me see now,--with a little plotting this might make two--two,
at least,--and then--

    _The red cloud of war o'er our forest is scowling,
  Soft peace spreads her wings and flies weeping away,
    The infants affrighted cling close to their mothers,
  The youths grasp their swords, and for combat prepare;
    While beauty weeps fathers, and lovers, and brothers,
  Who are gone to defend_--


--Alas! what a golden, delicious afternoon is blowing without there,
wasting for ever; and never a glimpse of it. Delicate work this! Here's
a needle might serve for a genuine stiletto! No matter,--it is the
cause,--it is the cause that makes, as my mother says, each stitch in
this clumsy fabric a grander thing than the flashing of the bravest
lance that brave knight ever won.

(_Singing_)
  _The brooks are talking in the dell,
  Tul la lul, tul la lul,
  The brooks are talking low, and sweet,
  Under the boughs where th' arches meet;
  Come to the dell, come to the dell,
  Oh come, come_.

  _The birds are singing in the dell,
  Wee wee whoo, wee wee whoo;
  The birds are singing wild and free,
  In every bough of the forest tree,
  Come to the dell, come to the dell,
  Oh come, come_.

  _And there the idle breezes lie,
  Whispering, whispering,
  Whispering with the laughing leaves.
  And nothing says each idle breeze,
  But come, come, come, O lady come,
  Come to th' dell_.

[_Mrs. Grey enters from without_.]

_Mrs. G_. Do not sing, Annie.

_Annie_. Crying would better befit the times, I know,--Dear mother, what
is this?

_Mrs. G_. Hush,--asleep--is she?

_Annie_. This hour, and quiet as an infant. Need enough there was of it
too. See, what a perfect damask mother!

_Mrs. G_. Draw the curtain on that sunshine there. This sleep has
flushed her. Ay, a painter might have dropped that golden hair,--yet
this delicate beauty is but the martyr's wreath now, with its fine nerve
and shrinking helplessness. No, Annie; put away your hat, my love,--you
cannot go to the lodge to-night.

_Annie_. Mother?

_Mrs. G_. You cannot go to the glen to-night. This is no time for idle
pleasure, God knows.

_Annie_. Why, you have been weeping in earnest, and your cheek is
pale.--And now I know where that sad appointment led you. Is it over?
That it should be in our humanity to bear, what in our ease we cannot,
_cannot_ think of!

_Mrs. G_. Harder things for humanity are there than bodily anguish,
sharp though it be. It was not the boy,--the mother's anguish, I wept
for, Annie.

_Annie_. Poor Endross! And he will go, to his dying day, a crippled
thing. But yesterday I saw him springing by so proudly! And the
mother----

_Mrs. G_. "_Words, words_," she answered sternly when I tried to comfort
her; "ay, words are easy. _Wait till you see your own child's blood_.
Wait till you stand by and see his young limbs hewn away, and the groans
come thicker and thicker that you cannot soothe; and then let them prate
to you of the good cause." Bitter words! God knows what is in store for
us;--all day this strange dread has clung to me.

_Annie_. Dear mother, is not this the superstition you were wont to
chide?

_Mrs. G_. Ay, ay, we should have been in Albany ere this. In these wild
times, Annie, every chance-blown straw that points at evil, is likely to
prove a faithful index; and if it serve to nerve the heart for it, we
may call it heaven-sent indeed. Annie,--hear me calmly, my child,--the
enemy, so at least goes the rumor, are nearer than we counted on this
morning, and--hush, not a word.

_Annie_. She is but dreaming. Just so she murmured in her sleep last
night; twice she waked me with the saddest cry, and after that she sat
all night by the window in her dressing-gown, I could not persuade her
to sleep again. Tell me, mother, you say _and_--and what?

_Mrs. G_. I cannot think it true, 'tis rumored though, that these savage
neighbors of ours have joined the enemy.

_Annie_. No! no! Has Alaska turned against us? Why, it was but yesterday
I saw him with Leslie in yonder field. 'Tis false; it must be. Surely he
could not harm us.

_Mrs. G_. And false, I trust it is. At least till it is proved
otherwise, Helen must not hear of it.

_Annie_. And why?

_Mrs. Grey_. She needs no caution, and it were useless to add to the
idle fear with which she regards them all, already. Some dark fancy
possesses her to-day; I have marked it myself.

_Annie_. It is just two years to-morrow, mother, since Helen's wedding
day, or rather, that sad day that should have seen her bridal; and it
cannot be that she has quite forgotten Everard Maitland. Alas, he seemed
so noble!

_Mrs. G_. Hush! Never name him. Your sister is too high-hearted to waste
a thought on him. Tory! Helen is no love-lorn damsel, child, to pine for
an unworthy love. See the rose on that round cheek,--it might teach that
same haughty loyalist, could he see her now, what kind of hearts 'tis
that we patriots wear, whose strength they think to trample. Where are
you going, Annie?

_Annie_. Not beyond the orchard-wall. I will only stroll down the path
here, just to breathe this lovely air a little; indeed, there's no fear
of my going further now.

                                                               [_Exit_.

_Mrs. G_. Did I say right, Helen? It cannot be feigned. Those quick
smiles, with their thousand lovely meanings; those eyes, whose beams
lead straight to the smiling soul. Principle is it? There is no
principle in this, but joy, or else it strikes so deep, that the joy
grows up from it, genuine, not feigned; and yet I have found her weeping
once or twice of late, in unexplained agony. Helen!

_Helen_. Oh mother! is it you? Thank God. I thought----

_Mrs. G_. What did you think? What moves you thus?

_Helen_. I thought--'tis nothing. This _is_ very strange.

_Mrs. G_. Why do you look through that window thus? There's no one
there! What is it that's so strange?

_Helen_. Is it to-morrow that we go?

_Mrs. G_. To Albany? Why, no; on Thursday. You are bewildered, Helen!
surely you could not have forgotten that.

_Helen_. I wish it was to-day. I do.

_Mrs. G_. My child, yesterday, when the question was debated here, and
wishing might have been of some avail, 'tis true you did not say much,
but I thought, and so we all did, that you chose to stay.

_Helen_. Did you? Mother, does the road to Albany wind over a hill like
that?

_Mrs. G_. Like what, Helen?

_Helen_. Like yonder wooded hill, where the soldiers are stationed now?

_Mrs. G_. Not that I know of? Why?

_Helen_. Perhaps we may cross that very hill,--no--could we?

_Mrs. G_. Not unless we should turn refugees, my love; an event of which
there is little danger just now, I think. That road, as indeed you know
yourself, leads out directly to the British camp.

_Helen_. Yes--yes--it does. I know it does. I will not yield to it. 'Tis
folly, all.

_Mrs. G_. You talk as though you were dreaming still; my child. Put on
your hat, and go into the garden for a little, the air is fresh and
pleasant now; or take a ramble through the orchard if you will, you
might meet Annie there,--no, yon she comes, and well too. It's quite
time that I were gone again. I wish that we had nothing worse than
dreams on hand. Helen, I must talk with you about these fancies; you
must not thus unnerve yourself for real evil.

                                                               [_Exit_.

_Helen_. It were impossible,--it could not be!--how could it be?--Oh!
these are wild times. Unseen powers are crossing their meshes here
around us,--and, what am I--Powers?--there's but one Power, and that--

  ----"He careth for the little bird,
  Far in the lone wood's depths, and though dark weapons
  And keen eyes are out, it falleth not
  But at his will."

                                                               [_Exit_.



PART SECOND

       *       *       *       *       *

LOVE

       *       *       *       *       *

DIALOGUE I.

SCENE. _A little glen in the woods near Fort Edward. A young British
        Officer appears, attended by a soldier in the American uniform;
        the latter with a small sealed pacquet in his hand_.


_Off_. Hist!

_Sol_. Well, so I did; but----

_Off_. Hist, I say!

_Sol_. A squirrel it is, Sir; there he sits.

_Off_. By keeping this path you avoid the picket on the hill. It will
bring you out where these woods skirt the vale, and scarcely a hundred
rods from the house itself.

[_Calling without_.]

_Sol_. Captain Andre--Sir.

_Off_. It were well that the pacquet should fall into no other hands.
With a little caution there is no danger. It will be twilight ere you
get out of these woods--

_Sol_. I beg your pardon, Sir; but here is that young Indian guide of
mine, after all, above there, beckoning me.

_Off_. Stay--you will come back to the camp ere midnight?

_Sol_. Unless some of these quick-eyed rebels see through my disguise.

_Off_. Do not forget the lodge as you return. A little hut of logs just
in the edge of the woods, but Siganaw knows it well.

                                                   [_Exit the Soldier_.

       (_The call in the thicket above is repeated, and another
                   young officer enters the glen_.)

_2nd Off_. Hillo, Maitland! These woods yield fairies,--come this way.

_1st Off_. For God's sake, Andre! (_motioning silence_.) Are you mad?

_Andre_. Well, who are they?

_Mait_. _Who_? Have you forgotten that we are on the enemy's ground?
Soldiers from the fort, no doubt. They have crossed that opening twice
since we stood here.

_Andre_. Well, let them cross twice more. I would run the risk of a
year's captivity, at least, for one such glimpse. Nay, come, she will be
gone.

_Mait_. Stay,--not yet. There, again!

_Andre_. Such a villainous scratching as I got in that pass just now. It
must have cost the rogues an infinite deal of pains though. A regular,
handsome sword-cut is nothing to a dozen of these same ragged scratches,
that a man can't swear about. After all, Captain Maitland, these cunning
Yankees understand the game. They will keep out of our way, slyly
enough, until we are starved, and scratched, and fretted down to their
proportions, meanwhile they league the very trees against us.

_Mait_. As to that, we have made some leagues ourselves, I think, quite
as hard to be defended, Sir.

_Andre_. It may be so. Should we not be at the river by this?

_Mait_. Sunset was the time appointed. We are as safe here, till then.

_Andre_. 'Tis a little temple of beauty you have lighted on, in truth.
These pretty singers overhead, seem to have no guess at our hostile
errand. Methinks their peaceful warble makes too soft a welcome for such
warlike comers. Hark! [_Whistling_.] That's American. One might win
bloodless laurels here. Will you stand a moment just as you are,
Maitland;--'tis the very thing. There's a little space in my unfinished
picture, and with that _a la Kemble_ mien, you were a fitting mate for
this young Dian here, (_taking a pencil sketch from his
portfolio_,)--the beauty-breathing, ay, beauty-breathing, it's no
poetry;--for the lonesome little glen smiled to its darkest nook with
her presence.

_Mait_. What are you talking of, Andre? Fairies and goddesses!--What next?

_Andre_. I am glad you grow a little curious at last. Why I say, and
your own eyes may make it good if you will, that just down in this glen
below here, not a hundred rods hence, there sits, or stands, or did some
fifteen minutes since, some creature of these woods, I suppose it is;
what else could it be? Well, well, I'll call no names, since they offend
you, Sir; but this I'll say, a young cheek and smiling lip it had,
whate'er it was, and round and snowy arm, and dimpled hand, that lay
ungloved on her sylvan robe, and eyes--I tell you plainly, they lighted
all the glen.

_Mait_. Ha? A lady?--there? Are you in earnest?

_Andre_. A lady, well you would call her so perchance. Such ladies used
to spring from the fairy nut-shells, in the old time, when the kings'
son lacked a bride; and if this were Windsor forest that stretches about
us here, I might fancy, perchance, some royal one had wandered out, to
cool the day's glow in her cheek, and nurse her love-dream; but here, in
this untrodden wilderness, unless your ladies here spring up like
flowers, or drop down on invisible pinions from above, how, in the name
of reason, came she here?

_Mait_. On the invisible pinions of thine own lady-loving fancy; none
otherwise, trust me.

_Andre_. Come, come,--see for yourself. On my word I was a little
startled though, as my eye first lighted on her, suddenly, in that
lonesome spot. There she sat, so bright and still, like some creature of
the leaves and waters, such as the old Greeks fabled, that my first
thought was to worship her; my next--of you, but I could not leave the
spot until I had sketched this; I stood unseen, within a yard of her;
for I could see her soft breath stirring the while. See, the scene
itself was a picture,--the dark glen, the lonesome little lodge, on the
very margin of the fairy lake--here she sat, motionless as marble; this
bunch of roses had dropped from her listless hand, and you would have
thought some tragedy of ancient sorrow, were passing before her, in the
invisible element, with such a fixed and lofty sadness she gazed into
it. But of course, of course, it is nothing to _your_ eye; for me, it
will serve to bring the whole out at my leisure. Indeed, the air, I
think, I have caught a little as it is.

_Mait_. A little--you may say it. She is there, is she?--sorrowful;
well, what is't to me?

_Andre_. What do you say?--There?--Yes, I left her there at least. Come,
come. I'll show you one will teach you to unlearn this fixed contempt of
gentle woman. Come.

_Mait_. Let go, if you please, Sir. She who gave me my first lesson in
that art, is scarcely the one to bid me now unlearn it, and I want no
new teaching as yet, thank Heaven. Will you come? We have loitered here
long enough, I think.

_Andre_. What, under the blue scope--what the devil ails you, Maitland?

_Mait_. Nothing, nothing. This much I'll say to you,--_that lady is my
wife_.

_Andre_. Nonsense!

_Mait_. There lacked--three days, I think it was, three whole days, to
the time when the law would have given her that name; but for all that,
was she mine, and is; Heaven and earth cannot undo it.

_Andre_. Are you in earnest? Why, are we not here in the very heart of a
most savage wilderness, where never foot of man trod before,--unless you
call these wild red creatures men?

_Mait_. You talk wildly; that path, followed a few rods further, would
have brought you out within sight of her mother's door.

_Andre_. Ha! you have been in this wilderness then, ere now?

_Mait_. Have you forgotten the fortune I wasted once on a summer's seat,
some few miles up, on the lake above? These Yankees did me the grace to
burn it, just as the war broke out.

_Andre_. Ay, ay, that was _here_. I had forgotten the whereabouts. Those
blackened ruins we passed last evening, perchance;--and the lady--my
wood-nymph, what of her?

_Mait_. Captain Andre, I beg your pardon, Sir. That sketch of yours
reminded me, by chance perhaps, of one with whom some painful passages
of my life are linked; and I said, in my haste, what were better left
unsaid. Do me the favor not to remind me that I have done so.

_Andre_. So--so! And I am to know nothing more of this smiling
apparition; nay, not so much as to speak her name? Consider, Maitland, I
am your friend it is true; but, prithee, consider the human in me. Give
her a local habitation, or at least a name.

_Mait_. I have told you already that the lady you speak of resides not
far hence. On the border of these woods you may see her home. I may
point it out to you securely, some few days hence;--to-night, unless you
would find yourself in the midst of the American army, this must content
you.

_Andre_. A wild risk for a creature like that! Have these Americans no
safer place to bestow their daughters than the fastnesses of this
wilderness?

_Mait_. It would seem so. Yet it is her home. Wild as it looks here,
from the top of that hill, where our men came out on the picket just now
so suddenly, you will see as fair a picture of cultured life as e'er
your eyes looked on. No English horizon frames a lovelier one.

_Andre_. _Here_? No!

_Mait_. Between that hill and the fort, there stretches a wide and
beautiful plain, covered with orchards and meadows to the wood's edge;
and here and there a gentle swell, crowned with trees, some patch of the
old wilderness. The infant Hudson winds through it, circling in its
deepest bend one little fairy isle, with woods enough for a single
bower, and a beauty that fills and characterizes, to its remotest line,
the varied landscape it centres; and far away in the east, this same
azure mountain-chain we have traced so long, with its changeful light
and shade, finishes the scene.

_Andre_. You should have been a painter, Maitland.

_Mait_. The first time I beheld it--one summer evening it was, from the
woods on the hill's brow;--we were a hunting party, I had lost my way,
and ere I knew it there I stood;--its waters lay glittering in the
sunset light, and the window-panes of its quiet dwellings were flashing
like gold,--the old brown houses looked out through the trees like so
many lighted palaces; and even the little hut of logs, nestling on the
wood's edge, borrowed beauty from the hour. I was miles from home; but
the setting sun could not warn me away from such a paradise, for so it
seemed, set in that howling wilderness, and----

_Andre_. Prithee, go on. I listen.

_Mait_. I know not how it was, but as I wandered slowly down the shady
road, for the first time in years of worldliness, the dream that had
haunted my boyhood revived again. Do you know what I mean, Andre?--that
dim yearning for lovelier beings and fairer places, whose ideals lie in
the heaven-fitted mind, but not in the wilderness it wakes in; that
mystery of our nature, that overlooked as it is, and trampled with
unmeaning things so soon, hides, after all, the whole secret of this
life's dark enigma.

_Andre_. But see,--our time is well-nigh gone,--this is philosophy--I
would have heard a love tale.

_Mait_. It was then, that near me, suddenly I heard the voice that made
this dull, real world, thenceforth a richer place for me than the
gorgeous dream-land of childhood was of old.

_Andre_. Ay, ay--go on.

_Mait_. Andre, did you ever meet an eye, in which the intelligence of
our nature idealized, as it were, the very poetry of human thought
seemed to look forth?

_Andre_. One such.

_Mait_.--That reflected your whole being; nay, revealed from its
mysterious depths, new consciousness, that yet seemed like a faint
memory, the traces of some old and pleasant dream?

_Andre_. Methinks the heavenly revelation itself doth that.

_Mait_. Such an eye I saw then shining on me. A clump of stately pines
grew on the sloping road-side, and, looking into its dark embrasure, I
beheld a group of merry children around a spring that gurgled out of the
hillside there, and among them, there sat a young girl clad in white,
her hat on the bank beside her, tying a wreath of wild flowers. That was
all--that was all, Andre.

_Andre_. Well, she was beautiful, I suppose? Nay, if it was the damsel I
met just now I need not ask.

_Mait_. Beautiful? Ay, they called her so. _Beauty_ I had seen before;
but from that hour the sun shone with another light, and the very dust
and stones of this dull earth were precious to me. _Beautiful?_ Nay, it
was _she_. I knew her in an instant, the spirit of my being; she whose
existence made the lovely whole, of which mine alone had been the
worthless and despised fragment. There are a thousand women on the earth
the artist might call as lovely,--show me another that I can worship.

_Andre_. Worship! This is Captain Everard Maitland. If I should shut my
eyes now----

_Mait_. Well, go on; but I tell you, ne'ertheless, there have been
times, even in this very spot,--we often wandered here when the day was
dying as it is now,--here in her soft, breathing loveliness, she has
stood beside me, when I have,--_worshipped?_--nay, feared her, in her
holy beauty, as we two should an angel who should come through that
glade to us now.

_Andre_. True it is, something of the Divinity there is in beauty, that,
in its intenser forms, repels with all its winningness, until the
lowliness of love looks through it. Well--you worshipped her.

_Mait_. Nay, you have told the rest. I would have worshipped; but one
day there came a look from those beautiful eyes, when I met them
suddenly, with a gaze that sought the mystery of their beauty,--a single
look, and in an instant the drooping lash had buried it forever; but I
knew, ere it fell, that the world of her young being was all mine
already. Another life had been forever added unto mine; a whole
creation; yet, like Eden's fairest, it but made another perfect; a new
and purer _self_; and in it grew the heaven, and the fairy-land of my
old dreams, lovelier than ever. You have loved yourself, Andre, else I
should weary you.

_Andre_. Not a bit the more do I understand you though. You talk most
lover-like; that's very clear, yet I must say I never saw the part worse
played. Why, here's your ladye-love, this self-same idol of whom you
rave, at this moment perchance, breathing within these woods,--years
too--two mortal years it must be, since you have seen her face; and
yet--you stand here yet, with folded arms;--a goodly lover, on my word!

_Mait_. Softly, Sir! you grace me with a title to which I can lay no
claim. Lover I _was_, may be. I am no lover now, not I--not I; you are
right; I would not walk to that knoll's edge to see the lady, Sir.

_Andre_. Well, I must wait your leisure, I see.

_Mait_. And yet, the last time that we stood together here, her arm lay
on mine, my promised wife. A few days more, and by _my_ name, all that
loveliness had gone. There needed only that to make that tie holy in all
eyes, the holiest which the universe held for us; but needed there that,
or any thing to make it such in ours. Why, love lay in her eye, that
evening, like religion, solemn and calm.--We should have smiled then at
the thought of any thing in height or depth, ending, what through each
instant seemed to breathe eternity from its own essence;--we were one,
_one,_--that trite word makes no meaning in your ear.--to me, life's
roses burst from it; music, sunshine, Araby, should image what it means;
what it meant rather, for it is over.

_Andre_. What was it, Maitland?

_Mail_. Oh,--well,--she did not love me; that was all. So far my story
has told the seeming only, but ere long the trial came, and then I found
it _was_ seeming, in good sooth. The Rebellion had then long been
maturing, as you know; but just then came the crisis. It was the one
theme everywhere. Of course I took my king's part against these rebels,
and at once I was outraged, wronged beyond all human bearing. Her mad
brother, her's, _her's_ what a world of preciousness, Andre, that little
word once enshrined for me; and still it seems like some broken vase,
fragrant with what it held.

_Andre_. And ever with that name, a rosy flash Paints, for an instant,
all my world. Nay, 'tis a little love-poem of my own; go on, Maitland.

_Mait_. This brother I say, quarrelled with me, though I had borne from
him unresentingly, what from another would have seemed insult. We
quarrelled at last, and the house was closed against me, or would have
been had I sought access; for I walked sternly by its pleasant door that
afternoon, though I remember now how the very roses that o'erhung the
porch, the benched and shaded porch, that lovely lingering place, seemed
to beckon me in. It was a breathless summer day, and the vine curled in
the open window,--even now those lowly rooms make a brighter image of
heaven to me than the jewelled walls that of old grew in the pageant of
our sabbath dreams.

_Andre_. And thus you abandoned your love? A quarrel with her brother?

_Mait_. I never wronged her with the shadow of a doubt. Directly, that
same day, I wrote to her to fix our meeting elsewhere, that we might
renew our broken plans in some fitter shape for the altered times. She
sent me a few lines of grave refusal, Sir; and the next letter was
returned unopened.

_Andre_. 'Twas that brother! Pshaw! 'twas that brother, Maitland. I'll
lay my life the lady saw no word of it.

_Mait_. I might have thought so too, perchance; but that same day,--the
morning had brought the news from Boston,--I met her by chance, by the
spring in the little grove where we first met; and--Good Heavens! she
talked of brothers! Brothers, mother, sisters!--What was their right to
mine? All that the round world holds, or the universe, what could it be
to her?--that is, if she had loved me ever; which, past all doubt, she
never did.

_Andre_. Maitland! Heavens, how this passion blinds you! And you
expected a gentle, timid girl like that to abandon all she loved. Nay,
to make her home in the very camp, where death and ruin unto all she
loved, was the watchword?

_Mait_. I beg your pardon, Sir. I looked for no such thing. I offered to
renounce my hopes of honor here for her; a whole life's plans, for her
sake I counted nothing. I offered her a home in England too, the very
real of her girlhood's wish; my blighted fortunes since, or a home in
yonder camp,--never, never. But if I had, ay, if I had,--that is not
_love_, call it what you will, it is not love, to which such barriers
were any thing.

_Andre_. Oh well, a word's a word. That's as one likes. Only with your
definition, give me leave to say, marvellous little love, Captain
Maitland, marvellous little you will find in this poor world of ours.

_Mait_. I'll grant ye.

_Andre_. If there is any thing like it outside of a poet's skull, ne'er
credit me.

_Mait_. Strange it should take such shape in the creating thought and in
the yearning heart, when all reality hath not its archetype.

_Andre_. Hist!

_Mait_. A careful step,--one of our party I fancy.

_Andre_. 'Tis time we were at the rendezvous. If we have to recross the
river as we came, on the stumps of that old bridge, we had best keep a
little day-light with us, I think.

                                                             [_Exeunt_.



DIALOGUE II.

SCENE. _A chamber in the Parsonage. Helen leaning from the open window_.


                           (_Annie enters_.)

_Annie_. Helen Grey, where on earth have you been? _Wood flowers!_

_Helen_. Come and look at this sunset.

_Annie_. Surely you have not, you cannot have been in those woods,
Helen: and yet, where else could this periwinkle grow, and these wild
roses?--Delicious!

_Helen_. Hear that flute. It comes from among those trees by the river side.

_Annie_. It is the shower that has freshened every thing, and made the
birds so musical. You should stand in the door below, as I did just now,
to see the fort and the moistened woods stands out from that black sky,
with all this brightness blazing on them.

_Helen_. 'Tis lovely--all.

_Annie_. There goes the last golden rim over the blackening woods;
already even a shade of tender mourning steals over all things, the very
children's voices under this tree,--how soft they grow.

_Helen_. Will the day come when we shall see him sink, for the last
time, behind those hills?

_Annie_. Nay, Helen, why do you mar this lovely hour with a thought like
that?

_Helen_. And in another life, shall we see light, when his, for us,
shines no more?--What sound is that?

_Annie_. That faint cry from the woods?

_Helen_. No,--more distant,--far off as the horizon, like some mighty
murmur, faintly borne, it came.

_Annie_. I wish that we had gone to-day. I do not like this waiting
until Thursday;--just one of that elder brother's foolish whims it was.
I cannot think how your consent was won to it. Did you meet any one in
your walk just now?

_Helen_. No--Yes, yes, I did. The little people where I went, I met by
hundreds, Annie. Through the dark aisles, and the high arches, all
decked in blue, and gold, and crimson, they sung me a most merry
welcome. And such as these--see--You cannot think how like
long-forgotten friends they looked, smiling up from their dark homes,
upon me.

_Annie_. You have had chance enough to forget them, indeed,--it is two
years, Helen, since you have been in those woods before. What could have
tempted you there to-day?

_Helen_. Was there _danger_ then?--was there danger indeed?--I was by
the wood-side ere I knew it, and then,--it was but one last look I
thought to take--nay, what is it, Annie? George met me as I was coming
home, and I remember something in his eye startled me at first; but if
there was danger, I should have known of it before.

_Annie_. How could we dream of your going there this evening, when we
knew you had never set your foot in those woods since the day Everard
Maitland left Fort Edward?

_Helen_. Annie!

_Annie_. For me, I would as soon have looked to see Maitland himself
coming from those woods, as you.

_Helen_. Annie! Annie Grey! You must not, my sister--do not speak that
name to me, never again, _never_.

_Annie_. Why, Helen, I am sorry to have grieved you thus; but I
thought--Look! look! There go those officers again,--there, in the lane
between the orchards, Scarcely half an hour ago they went by to the fort
in just such haste. There is something going on there, I am sure.

         (_Helen rises from the window, and walks the room_.)

_Annie_. In truth there was a rumor this afternoon,--you are so timid
and fanciful, our mother chose you should not hear it while it was rumor
only; but 'tis said that a party of the enemy have been seen in those
woods to-day, and, among them, the Indians we have counted so friendly.
Do you hear me, Helen?

_Helen_. That he should _live_ still! Yes, it is all real still! That
heaven of my thought, that grows so like a pageant to me, is still
_real_ somewhere. Those eyes--they are darkly shining now; this very
moment that passes _me_, drinks their beauty;--that voice,--that
tone,--that very tone--on some careless ear, even now it wastes its
luxury of blessing. Continents of hail and darkness, the polar seas--all
earth's distance, could never have parted me from him; but now I live in
the same world with him, and the everlasting walls blacken between us.
Those looks may shine on the dull earth and senseless stones, but not on
me; on uncaring eyes, but not on mine; though for one moment of their
lavished wealth, I could cheaply give a life without them; never again,
never, never, never shall their love come to me.

_Annie_. Who would have thought she could cherish in secret a grief like
this? Dear sister, we all believed you had forgotten that sad affair
long ago,--we thought that you were happy now.

_Helen_. Happy?--I am, you were right; but I have been to-day down to
the very glen where we took that last lovely walk together, and all the
beautiful past came back to me like life.--I _am_ happy; you must count
me so still.

_Annie_. With what I have just now heard, how can I?

_Helen_. It is this war that has parted us; and so, this is but my part
in these noble and suffering times, and that great thought reaches
overall my anguish. But for this war I might have been--hath this world
such flowers, and do they call it a wilderness?--I might have been, even
now, you know it, Annie, his wife, his wife, _his_. But our hearts are
cunningly made, many-stringed; and often much good music is left in them
when we count them broken. That which makes the bitterness of this lot,
the inconceivable, unutterable bitterness of it, even that I can bear
now, calmly, and count it God's kindness too.

_Annie_. I do not understand you, sister.

_Helen_. What if this young royalist, Annie, when he quarrelled with my
brother, and took arms against my country, what if he had kept faith to
_me?_

_Annie_. Well.

_Helen. Well?_ Oh no, it would not have been well. Why, my home would
have been with that pursuing army now, my fate bound up with that hollow
cause,--these very hands might have fastened the sword of oppression;
nay, the sword whose edge was turned against you, against you all, and
against the cause, that with tears, night and morning, you were praying
for, and with your heart's best blood stood ready to seal every hour.
No, it is best as it is; or if my wish grows deeper still, if in my
heart I envy, with murmuring thought, the blessed brides, on whose
wedding dawns the laughing sun of peace, then with a wish I cast away
the glory of these suffering times.--It is best as it is. I am content.

_Annie_. I wish I could understand you, Helen. You say, "if he had kept
faith to you;"--carried you off, you mean! Do you mean, sister Helen,
that of your own will you would ever have gone with him, with Everard
Maitland,--that traitor?

_Helen. Gone with him_? Would I not? Would I not? Dear child, we talk of
what, as yet, you know nothing of. Gone with _him_? Some things are
holy, Annie, only until the holier come.

_Annie_. (_looking toward the door_.) Stay, stay. What is it, George?

                       (_George Grey comes in_.)

_George_. I was seeking our mother. What should it be, but ill news?
This tide is against us, and if it be not well-nigh full, we may e'en
fold our arms for the rest. There, read that. (_Throwing her a letter_.)

Every face you see looks as if a thunder-cloud were passing it. I heard
one man say, just now, as I came in, that the war would be over in a
fortnight's time. There'll be some blood spilt ere then, I reckon
though.

_Helen_. What paper is that that reddens her cheek so suddenly?

_Annie_. The McGregor's!--think of it, Helen,--gone over to the British
side, and St. John of the Glens, and--who brought you this letter,
George? 'Tis false! I do not believe it, not a word of it. Why, here are
twenty names, people that we know, the most honorable, too,--forsaking
us now, at such a crisis!

_George_. Self-defence, self-defence, sister; their lands and their
houses must be saved from devastation. What sort of barracks think you,
would that fine country-seat of McGregor's make?--and St. John's--_he_
is a farmer you know, and his fields are covered with beautiful grain,
that a week will ripen, and so, he is for turning his sword into a
sickle;--besides, there are worse things than pillage threatened here.
Look, (_unfolding a hand-bill_.) Just at this time comes this villainous
proclamation from Skeensborough, scattered about among our soldiers
nobody knows how, half of them on the eve of desertion before, and the
other half--what ails you, Helen?

_Helen_. There he stands!

_Annie_. Is she crazed? Why do you clasp your hands so wildly? for
Heaven's sake, Helen!--her cheek is white as death.--Helen!

_Helen_. Is he gone, Annie?

_Annie_. As I live, I do not know what you are talking of. Nay, look;
there is no one here, none that you need fear, most certainly.

_Helen_. I saw him, his eye was on me; there he stood, looking through
that window, smiling and beckoning me.

_George_. Saw him? Who, in Heaven's name? This is fancy-work.

_Helen_. I saw him as I see you now. He stood on that roof,--an
Indian,--I saw the crimson bars on his face, and the blanket, and the
long wild hair on his shoulders; and--and, I saw the gleaming knife in
his girdle,--Oh God! I did.

_George_. Ay, ay, 'twas that scoundrel that dogged us in our way home,
I'll lay my life it was.

_Helen_. In our way home? An _Indian_, I said.

_George_. Well, well, and I say an Indian, a rascal Indian, was watching
and following us all the way home just now.

_Helen_. George!

_George_. Then you did not see him after all. In truth, I did not mean
you should, for we could not have hurried more, but all the time we sat
in that shanty, while it rained, about as far off as that chair from me,
stood this same fellow among the bushes, watching us, or rather you. And
you saw him here t He might have crept along by that orchard wall. What
are you laughing at, Annie?--I will go and see what sort of a guard we
have.

_Annie_. If you knew as much of Helen's Indians as I do, you would
hardly be in such a hurry, George, I mean about this one that was here
just now, for there are Indians in yonder forest I suppose; but since we
were so high, I never walked in the woods with her once, but that we
encountered one, or heard his steps among the bushes at least; and if it
chanced to be as late as this, there would be half a dozen of them way
laying us in the road,--but sometimes they turned out squirrels, and
sometimes logs of wood, and sometimes mere air, air of about this color.
We want a little light, that is all. There is no weapon like that for
these fancy-people. I can slay a dozen of them with a candle's beams.

                         (_George goes out_.)

_Helen_. Do not laugh at me to-night, Annie.

_Annie_. But what should the Indians want of you, pry'thee; tell me
that, Helen?

_Helen_. God knows. Wait till the sun sets to-morrow, and I will laugh
with you if you are merry then.

_Annie_. Why to-morrow?--because it is our last day
here? Tuesday--Wednesday--yes; the next day we
shall be on the road to Albany.

                                                               [_Exit_.

_Helen_. I am awake now. Watched me in the glen?--followed me home?
Those woods are full of them.--But what has turned their wild eyes on
me?

It is but one day longer;--we have counted many, in peril and fear, and
_this_, is the last;--even now how softly the fearful time wastes. _One
day!_--Oh God, thou only knowest what its shining walls encircle. (_She
leans on the window, musing silently_.) Two years ago I stood here, and
prayed to die.-On that same tree my eye rested then. With what visions
of hope I played under it once, building bowers for fairies I verily
thought would come, and dreaming, with yearning heart, of glorious and
beautiful things this world _hath not_. But, that wretched day, through
blinding tears, I saw the sunlight on its glossy leaves, and I said,
'let me see that light no more.' Surely the bitterness is deep when that
which hath colored all our unfolded being, is a weariness. For what more
hath life for me I thought, its lesson is learned and its power is
spent,--it can please, and it can trouble me no more; and why should I
stay here in vain and wearily?

It was sad enough, indeed, to see the laughing spring returning again,
when the everlasting winter had set in within, to link with each change
of the varied year, sweet with a life's memories, such mournfulness;
laying by, one by one, all hope's blessed spells, withered and broken
forever,--the moonlight, the songs of birds, the blossom showers of
April, the green and gold of autumn's sunset,--it was sad, but it was
not in vain.--Not in vain, Oh God, didst thou deny that weeping prayer.

      (_A merry voice is heard without, and a child's face peeps
           through the window that overlooks the orchard_.)

_Child_. Look! look! sister Helen! see what I have found on the roof of
the piazza here,--all covered with wampum and scarlet, and here are
feathers too--two feathers in it, blue and yellow--eagle's feathers they
are, I guess.

_Helen_ (_approaching the window_.) Let me see, Willy. What, did you
find it here?

_Willy._ Just under the window here. Frank and I were swinging on the
gate; and--there is something hard in it, Helen,--feel.

_Helen_. Yes, it is very curious; but--

_Willy_. There comes Netty with the candle; now we can see to untie this
knot.

_Helen_. Willy, dear Willy, you must give it to me, you must indeed,
and--I will paint you a bird to-morrow.

_Willy_. A blue-bird, will you? A real one?

_Helen_. Yes, yes;--run down little climber; see how dark it grows, and
Frank is waiting, see.

_Willy_. Well. But mind you, it must be a blue bird then. A real one.
With the red on his breast, and all.

                                                               [_Exit_.

         (_She walks to the table, unfastening the envelope_.)

_Helen_. What sent that thrill of forgotten life through me then?--that
wild, delicious thrill? This is strange, indeed. A sealed pacquet
within! and here--

         (_She glances at the superscription, and the pacquet
                        drops from her hand_.)

No--no. I have seen that hand-writing in my dreams before, but it
dissolved always. What's joy better than grief, if it pierce thus? Can
never a one of all the soul's deep melodies on this poor instrument be
played out, then--trembling and jarring thus, even at the breath of its
most lovely passion.--And yet, it is some cruel thing, I know.

       (_The pacquet opened, discovers Helen's miniature, a book,
                      a ring, and other tokens_.)

Cruel indeed! That little rose!--He might have spared me this. A dull
reader I were, in truth, if this needed comment,--but I knew it before.
He might have spared me this.

          (_She leans over the recovered relics with a burst
                        of passionate weeping_.)

Yet, who knows--(_lifting her head with a sudden smile_,) some trace,
some little curl of his pencil I may find among these leaves yet, to
tell me, as of old,--

     (_A letter drops from the book, she tears it eagerly open_.)

(_Reading_.) These cold words I understand, but--_letters!_--He wrote me
none! Was there ever a word between us, from the hour when he left me,
his fancied bride, to that last meeting, when, at a word, and ere I knew
what I had said, he turned on me that cold and careless eye, and left
me, haughtily and forever? And now--(_reading_)--misapprehension, has it
been! Is the sun on high again?--in this black and starless night--the
noonday sun? He loves me still.--Oh! this joy weighs like grief.

Shall I see him again? Joy! joy! Beautiful sunshine joy! Who knows the
soul's rich depths till joy hath lighted them?--from the dim and
sorrowful haunts of memory will he come again into the living present!
Shall I see those eyes, looking on me? Shall I hear my name in that lost
music sound once more?--His?--Am I his again? New mantled with that
shining love, like some glorious and beautiful stranger I seem to
myself, _Helen_--the bright and joy-wreathed thing his voice makes that
name mean--My life will be all full of that blest music. I shall be
Helen, evermore his--his.

No,--it would make liars of old sages,--and all books would read wrong.
A life of such wild blessedness? It would be fearful like living in some
magic land, where the honest laws of nature were not. A life?--a moment
were enough. Ages of common life would shine in it. (_Reading again_.)
"Elliston's hut?"--"If I choose that the return should be mutual,--and
the memorials of a despised regard can at best be but an indifferent
possession;--a pacquet reinclosed directly in this same envelope, and
left at the hut of the missionary, cannot fail to reach him safely."

"Safely."--Might he not come there safely then? And might I not go
thither safely too, in to-morrow's light? O God, let not Passion lead me
now. The centre beaming truth, not passion's narrow ray, must light me
here!--But am I not his?

Once more, one horizon circles, for a day, our long-parted destinies;
another, and another wave of these wild times will drift them asunder
again, forever; and I count myself his wife. His wife?--nay, his bride,
his two years' bride, to-night, his wife, to-morrow. He must meet me
there, (_writing_) at noon, I will say.--I did not think that little hut
of logs should have been my marriage-hall;--he must meet me there, and
to-morrow is my bridal day.



PART THIRD.

       *       *       *       *       *

FATE.

       *       *       *       *       *

DIALOGUE I.

SCENE. _The hill--Night--Large fires burning--Sentinels dimly seen in
        the back-ground. A young Indian steals carefully from the
        thicket. He examines the ground and the newly-felled trees._


_Indian_. One, two, three. And this is ringed. The dogs have spoiled the
council-house.

                        (_Soldiers rush forward_.)

_1st Sol_. So, Mr. Red-skin! would not you like a scalp or two now, to
string on your leggings? Maybe we can help you to one or so. Hold fast.
Take care of that arm, I know him of old.

      (_The Indian, with a violent struggle, disengages himself,
                      and darts into the thicket_.)

No? well,--dead or alive, we must have you on our side again.
(_Firing_.)

_2nd Sol_. _He's_ fixed, Sir.

_1st Sol_. Hark. Hark,--off again! Let me go. What do you hold me for,
you scoundrel?

_2nd Sol_. Don't make a fool of yourself, Will Wilson. There will be a
dozen of them yelling around you there. Besides, he is half way to the
swamp by this. Look here; what's this, in the grass here?

_1st Sol_. There was something in his hand, but he clenched it through
it all,--this is a letter. Bring it to the fire.

_2nd Sol_. (_reading_.) "_This by the Indian, as in case I am taken, he
may reach the camp in safety. Not over three thousand men in all, I
should think,--very little ammunition, soldiers mostly discouraged.--In
Albany, they are tearing the lead off the windows of the houses, and
taking the weights from the shops for ball. Talk of retreating on
Thursday to the new encampment, five miles below. More when I get to
you_."

_More!_ Humph! A pretty string of lies he has got here already. This
must go to the General, Dick.

                                                             [_Exeunt_.

       *       *       *       *       *



DIALOGUE II.

SCENE. _Chamber in the Parsonage. Moonlight. Annie sitting by the window,
        the door open into an adjoining room_.


_Annie_. (_Calling_.) Come, come,--why do you sit there scribbling so
late, Helen? Come, and enjoy this beautiful night with me. Ay, what a
world of invisible life amid the dew and darkness utters its glad
voices; even the little insect we never saw by day, makes us feel for
once the great brotherhood of being. This day week we shall be in
Albany,--no more such scenes as this then.

          (_Helen approaches the window, and puts her arm gently
                         around her sister_.)

_Helen_. No more!--It was a sad word you were saying, Annie.

_Annie_. How you startled me. Your hands are cold,--cold as icicles, and
trembling too. What ails you, Helen?

_Helen_. 'Tis nothing.--How often you and I have stood together thus,
looking down on that old bridge.--Summer and winter.--Do you remember
the cold snowy moonlights of old, when the sound of the distant bell had
hope in it? We shall stand together thus, no more.

_Annie_. Do not speak so sadly, Helen. I cannot think they will destroy
our home in mere wantonness. Was there not some one coming up the path
just now? Hark! there is news with that tone.

                                                               [_Exit_.

_Helen_. A little more, an hour perchance, and he will read my letter.
Why do I tremble thus? Is it because I have done wrong, that these dark
misgivings haunt me? No,--it is not remorse--'tis very like--yet remorse
it is not. Danger, there is none. I shall but walk to the wood-side as
to-day, that little path to the hut is quickly trod, and he will be
waiting there. I shall be safe then, safe as I care to be.--Why do I
stand here reasoning thus? Safe? And if I were not, what is it to me
now? The dark plan is laid. The fearful acting now is all that's left
for me.

This must go to the lodge to-night, and ere my mother returns;--to tell
them now, would be to make my scheme impossible.

       (_She begins, with a reluctant air, to fold the dresses,
                   which are lying loosely by her_.)

Oh God! whence do these dark and horrible thoughts grow?--Nay, feeling
not born of thought. That wedding robe looks like a shroud to me! I
cannot. Shadows from things unseen are upon me. The future is a night of
tempest, where I hear nothing but the breaking boughs, and the whirl and
crash of the mourning blast. Oh God! there is no refuge for the fearful,
but in thee.--To thee--no. If there is power in prayer of mine, hath it
not already doomed that wicked cause, my fate is linked with now. I
cannot pray.--Can I not?--How the pure strength comes welling up from
its infinite depths.

Hear me--not with lip service, I beseech thee now, but with the
earnestness that stays the rushing heart's blood in its way.--Hear me.
Let the high cause of right and freedom, whose sad banner, now, on
yonder hill, floats in this summer air; whose music on this soft
night-breeze is borne--let it prevail--though _I_, with all this
sensitive, warm, shrinking life; with all this new-found wealth of love
and hope, lie on its iron way.

I am safe now.--This life that I feel now, steel cannot reach.

                           (_Annie enters_.)

_Annie_. Dear Helen, dress yourself. It is all true! We must go
to-night, we must indeed. They are dismantling the fort now.--Come to
the door, and you can hear them if you will; and here is word from
Henry, we must be ready before morning--the British are within sight. Do
you hear me, Helen? Do not stand looking at me in that strange way.

_Helen_. To-night!

_Annie_. I was frightened myself at first, sadly; but there is no
danger, not the least. We shall be in Albany to-morrow, Henry says.
Come, Helen, there is no one to see to any thing but ourselves. They are
running about like mad creatures there below, and the children, are
crying, and such a time you never saw.

_Helen_. To-night! That those beautiful lips should speak it! Take it
back. It cannot be. It must not be.

_Annie_. Why do you look so reproachfully at me? Helen, you astonish and
frighten me!

_Helen_. Yes--yes--I see it all. And why could I not have known this one
hour sooner?--Even now it may not be too late. Annie--

_Annie_. Thank Heaven,--there is my mother's voice at last.

_Helen_. Annie, stay. Do not mark what I have said in the bewilderment
of this sudden fear. Is George below?--Who brought this news?

_Annie_. One of the men from the fort.--George has not been home since
you sent him to Elliston's. She is calling me. Make haste and come down,
Helen.

                                                               [_Exit_.

_Helen_. They will leave me alone. They will leave me here alone. And
why could I not have known this one hour sooner?--I could have bid him
come to-night--If the invisible powers are plotting against me, it is
well. Could I have thought of this?--and yet, how like something I had
known before, it all comes upon me.--Can I stay here alone?--Could
I?--No never, never! He must come for me to-night. Perchance that
pacquet still lies at yonder hut, and it is not yet too late to recal my
letter;--if it is--if it is, I must find some other messenger. Thank
God!--there is one way. Elliston can send to that camp to-night. He
can--even now,--He can--he will.--

                                                               [_Exit_.

       *       *       *       *       *



DIALOGUE III.

SCENE. _The porch. Helen waiting the return of her messenger from the hut_.


_Helen_. How quiet and soft it all lies in this solemn light. Is it
illusion?--can it be?--that old, familiar look, that from these woods
and hills, and from this moon-lit meadow, seems to smile on me now with
such a holy promise of protection and love?--The merry trill in this
apple-tree is the very sound that, waking from my infant sleep in the
hush of the summer midnight, of old lulled, nay, wakened my first inward
thought. Oh that my heart's youngest religion could come again, the
feeling with which a little child looks up to these mighty stars, as the
spangles on his home-roof, while he stands smiling beneath the awful
shelter of the skies, as under a father's dome. But these years show us
the evil that mocks that trust.

'Tis he,--What a mere thread of time separates me from my fate, and yet
the darkness of ages could not hide it more surely. Already he has
reached the lane. Another minute will show me all. Will the pacquet be
in his hand, or will it not? I will be calm--it shall be like a picture
to me.

Ah! there is an immeasurable power about us, a foreign and strange
thing, that answers not to the soul, that seems to know or to heed
nothing of the living suffering, rejoicing being of the spirit. Why
should I struggle with it any longer? From my weeping childhood to this
hour, it hath set its iron bars about me; no--softly yielding, hath it
not sometimes, the long, undreamed-of vistas opened, bright as
heaven,--and now, maybe--how slow he moves--even now perchance.--This is
wrong. The Infinite is One. The Goodness Infinite, whose everlasting
smile lighteth the inner soul, and the Power Infinite, whose alien touch
without, in darkness comes, they are of One, and the good know it.

_The Messenger_. (_Coming up the path_.)

Bless you, Miss! The pacquet had been gone this hour!

_Helen_. Gone! Well.--And Elliston--what said he?

_Mess_. I brought this note of yours back, Miss Helen. Father Elliston
was gone. Here has been an Indian killed on Sandy Hill this evening,
Alaska's own son as it turns out, and such a hubbub as they are making
about it you never heard. I met a couple of squaws myself, yelling like
mad creatures, and the woods are all alive with them. The priest has
gone down to their village to pacify them if it may be,--so I brought
the note back, Miss Helen, for there was no one there but a little
rascal of an Indian, and I would not trust the worth of a feather with
one of them. Was I right?

_Helen_. Yes. Give it to me. How far is it to the British camp?

_Mess_. Why, they are just above here at Brandon's Mills they say, that
is, the main body. It can't be over three miles, or so.

_Helen. Three_ miles! only three miles of this lovely moonlight road
between us.--William McReady, go to that camp for me to-night.

_Mess_. To the British camp?

_Helen_. Ay.

_Mess_. To the British camp! Lord bless you, Miss. I should be shot--I
should be shot as true as you are a living woman. I should be shot for a
deserter, or, what's worse, I should be hanged for a spy.

_Helen_. What shall I do!

_Mess_. And besides, there's Madame Grey will be wanting me by this
time. See how the candles dance about the rooms there.

_Helen_. Yes, you are right. We must go in and help them. Come.

                       (_They enter the house_.)



DIALOGUE IV.

SCENE. _The British camp. Moonlight. A lady in a rich travelling dress,
        standing in the door of a log-hut_.


_Lady Ackland_. (_Talking to her maid within_.) What is the matter,
Margaret? What do you go stealing about the walls so like a mad woman
for, with that shoe in your hand?

_Maid_. (_Within_.) There, Sir!--your song is done!--there's one less, I
am certain of that. _Coming to the door_.) If ever I get home alive, my
lady--Ha!--(_striking the door with her slipper_.) If ever--you are
there, are you? I believe I have broken my ear in two. The matter? Will
your ladyship look here?

_Lady A_. Well.

_Maid_. And if ever I get back to London, I'll say well too. If ever I
get back to London alive, my lady,--I'll see----

_Lady A_. What will you see, Margaret? Nothing lovelier than this, I am
sure. Are you not ashamed to stand muttering there? Come here, and look
at this beautiful night.

_Maid_. La, Lady Harriet!

_Lady A_. Listen! How still the camp is now! You can hear the rush of
those falls we passed, distinctly. How pretty the tents look there, in
that deep shade. These tuneful frogs and katy-dids must be our
nightingales to-night. Indeed, as I stand now, I could almost fancy that
fine wood there was my father's park; nay, methinks I see the top of the
old gray turrets peeping out among the shadows there. Look, Margaret, do
you see?

_Maid_. La! I can see woods enough, my lady, if that is what you
mean,--nothing else, and I have seen enough of them already to last me
one life through. Yes, here's a pretty tear I have got amongst
them!--Two guineas and a half it cost me in London,--I pray I may never
set my eyes on a wood again,

_Lady A_. This was some happy home once, I know. See that rose-bush, and
this little bed of flowers.--Here was a pretty yard--there went the
fence,--and there, where that waggon stands, by that broken pear-tree,
swung the gate. And pleasant meetings there have been at this door, no
doubt, and sorrowful partings too,--and hearts within have leaped at the
sound of that gate, and merry tales have been told by that desolate
hearth. In this little lonely unthought-of place, the mysterious world
of the human soul has unfolded,--the drama of life been played, as
grandly in the eyes of angels as in the proud halls where my life
dawned. And there are hearts that cling to this desolate spot as mine
does to that far-off home. We have driven them away in sorrow and fear.
This is war!

_Maid_. I wonder who is fluting under that tree there, so late. They are
serenading that Dutch woman, as I live.

_Lady A_. The Baroness, are you talking of, Margaret?

_Maid_. A baroness! Good sooth!--she looks like it, in that yellow silk,
and those odious beads, fussing about. If your ladyship will believe me,
I saw her sitting in her tent to-night, ay, in the door, feeding that
wretched child with her own hands. We can't be thankful enough they did
not put her in here with us, I'll own.

_Lady A_. Hush, hush, for shame! We might well have spared that empty
room. Come, we'll go in--It's very late. Strange that Sir George should
not be here ere this.

_Maid_. Look, my lady! Here's some one at the gate.

      (_An officer enters the little court, with a hasty step_.)

_Officer_. Good evening to your ladyship.--Is Captain Maitland
here?--Sir George told me that he left him here.

_Lady A_. Ay, but he has been gone this hour. Stay, it is Andre's flute
you hear below there, and some one has joined him just now--yes, it is
he.

_Off_. Under that tree;--thank you, my lady.

_Lady A_. Stay, Colonel Hill,--I beg your pardon, but you spoke so
hastily.--This young Maitland is a friend of ours, I trust there is
nothing that concerns him painfully.--

_Off_. Oh nothing, nothing, except that he is ordered off to Fort Ann
to-night. There are none of us that know these wild routes as well as he.

                                                               [_Exit_.

_Lady A_. Good Heavens! What noise is that?

_Maid_. Lord 'a mercy! The battle is coming?

_Lady A_. Hush! (_To a sentinel who goes whistling by_.) Sirrah, what
noise is that?

_Sentinel_. It's these Indians, my lady; they have found the son of some
chief of theirs murdered in these woods, and they are bringing him to
the camp now. That's the mourning they make.

_Lady A_. The Lord protect us!

                       (_They enter the house_.)

       *       *       *       *       *



DIALOGUE V.

SCENE. _The interior of a tent. Maitland, in travelling equipments,
        pacing the floor_.


_Maitland_. William! Ho there!

_Servant_. (_Looking in_.) Your honor?

_Mait_. Is not that horse ready yet?

_Ser't_. Presently, your honor.

                                                               [_Exit_.

_Mait_. So the fellow has been here, it seems, and returned again to
Fort Edward without seeing me. Of course, my lady deigns no answer.--An
answer! Well, I thought I expected none. Ten minutes ago I should have
sworn I expected none. Why, by this time that letter of mine has gone
the rounds of the garrison, no doubt. William!

                        (_The servant enters_.)

Bring that horse round, you rascal,--must I be under your orders too,
forsooth?

_Ser't_. Certainly, your honor,--but if he could but just,--I am
a-going, Sir,--but if he could but just take a mouthful or two more.
There's never a baiting-place till--

_Mait_. Do you hear?

                   (_The Servant retreats hastily_.)

_Mait_. The curse of having lived in these wilds cleaves to me in all
things. Here are Andre and Mortimer, and a hundred more, and none but I
for this midnight service.

_Ser't_. (_Re-entering_.) The horse is waiting, Sir,--but here's two of
these painted creturs hanging about the door, waiting to see you.
(_Handing him a packet_.)

There's no use in swearing at them, Sir, they don't understand it.

_Mait_. (_Breaking the seals hastily, he discovers the miniature_.) Back
again! Well, we'll try drowning next,--nay, this is as I sent it! That
rascal dropped it in the woods perhaps! Softly,--what have we here!

                (_He discovers, and reads the letter_.)

Who brought this?

_Ser't_. The Indian that was here yesterday.

_Mait_. Alaska! Here's blood on the envelope, on the letter too, and
here--This packet has been soaked in blood. (_Re-reading the letter_.)

"To-morrow"--"twelve o'clock" to-morrow--Look if the light be burning in
the Lady Ackland's window,--she was up as I passed. "Twelve
o'clock"--There are more horses on this route than these cunning
settlers choose to reckon. Why, there are ten hours yet--I shall be back
ere then. Helen--do I dream?--This is love!--How I have wronged
her.--This _is_ love!

_Ser't_. (_At the door_.) The horse is waiting, Sir,--and this Indian
here wont stir till he sees you.

_Mait_. Alaska--I must think of it,--_risk?_--I would pledge my life on
his truth. He has seen her too,--I remember now, he saw her--with me at
the lake. Let him come in.--No, stop, I will speak with him as I go.

                                                             [_Exeunt_.



DIALOGUE VI.

SCENE. _Lady Ackland's door_.


_Lady Ackland_. Married!--His wife?--Well, I think I'll not try to sleep
again. There goes Orion with his starry girdle.--Married--is he?

_Maid_. Was not that Captain Maitland that was talking here just now,
Lady Harriet?

_Lady A_. Go to bed, Margaret,--go to bed,--but look you though.
To-morrow with the dawn that furnishing gear we left in the tent must be
unpacked, and this empty room--whose wife, think you, is my guest
tomorrow, Margaret?

_Maid_. Bless me! If I were to guess till daylight, my lady----

_Lady A_. This young Maitland, you think so handsome, Margaret----

_Maid_. I?--la, it was not I, my lady, I am sure.

_Lady A_.--He will bring us his wife home here tomorrow, a young and
beautiful wife.

_Maid_. Wife?----

_Lady A_. Poor child,--we must give her a gentle welcome. Do you
remember those flowers we saw in the glen as we passed?--I will send for
them in the morning, and we will fill the vacant hearth with these
blossoming boughs.----

_Maid_. But, here--in these woods, a wife!--where on earth will he bring
her from, my lady?

_Lady A_. Ay, we shall see, to-morrow we shall see,--go dream the rest.

                                                      [_Exit the maid_.

_Lady A_. Who would have thought it?--so cold and proud he seemed, so
scornful of our sex.--And yet I knew something there lay beneath it
all.--Even in that wild, gay mood, when the light of mirth filled and
o'er-flowed those splendid eyes,--deeper still, I saw always the calm
sorrow-beam shining within.

That picture he showed me--how pretty it was!--The face haunts me with
its look of beseeching loveliness.--Was there anything so sorrowful
about it though?--Nay, the look was a smile, and yet a strange
mourn-fulness clings to my thought of it now. Well, if the painter hath
not dissembled in it--the _painter_?--no. The spirit of those eyes was
of no painter's making. From the _Eidos_ of the Heavenly Mind sprung
that.

I shall see her to-morrow.--Nay, I must meet her in the outskirts of the
camp,--so went my promise,--if Maitland be not here ere then.

                                                               [_Exit_.



THOUGHTS.

SCENE. _The Hill. The Student's Night-watch_.


  How beautiful the night, through all these hours
  Of nothingness, with ceaseless music wakes
  Among the hills, trying the melodies
  Of myriad chords on the lone, darkened air,
  With lavish power, self-gladdened, caring nought
  That there is none to hear. How beautiful!
  That men should live upon a world like this,
  Uncovered all, left open every night
  To the broad universe, with vision free
  To roam the long bright galleries of creation,
  Yet, to their strange destiny ne'er wake.
  Yon mighty hunter in his silver vest,
  That o'er those azure fields walks nightly now,
  In his bright girdle wears the self-same gems
  That on the watchers of old Babylon
  Shone once, and to the soldier on her walls
  Marked the swift hour, as they do now to me.
  Prose is the dream, and poetry the truth.
  That which we call reality, is but
  Reality's worn surface, that one thought
  Into the bright and boundless all might pierce,
  There's not a fragment of this weary real
  That hath not in its lines a story hid
  Stranger than aught wild chivalry could tell.
  There's not a scene of this dim, daily life,
  But, in the splendor of one truthful thought
  As from creation's palette freshly wet,
  Might make young romance's loveliest picture dim,
  And e'en the wonder-land of ancient song,----
  Old Fable's fairest dream, a nursery rhyme.
  How calm the night moves on, and yet
  In the dark morrow, that behind those hills
  Lies sleeping now, who knows what waits?--'Tis well.
  He that made this life, I'll trust with another.
  To be,--there was the risk. We might have waked
  Amid a wrathful scene, but this,--with all
  Its lovely ordinances of calm days,
  The golden morns, the rosy evenings,
  Its sweet sabbath hours and holy homes,----
  If the same hidden hand from whence these sprung,
  That dark gate opens, what need we fear there?----
  Here's wrath, but none that hath not its sure pathway
  Upward leading,--there are tears, but 'tis
  A school-time weariness; and many a breeze
  And lovely warble from our native hills,
  Through the dim casement comes, over the worn
  And tear-wet page, unto the listening ear
  Of our home sighing--to the _listening_ ear.
  Ah, what know we of life?--of that strange life
  That this, in many a folded rudiment,
  With nature's low, unlying voice, doth point to.
  Is it not very like what the poor grub
  Knows of the butterfly's gay being?----
  With its colors strange, fragrance, and song,
  And robes of floating gold with gorgeous dyes,
  And loveliest motion o'er wide, blooming worlds.
  That dark dream had ne'er imaged!----
  Ay, sing on,
  Sing on, thou bright one, with the news of life,
  The everlasting, winging o'er our vale.
  Oh warble on, thy high, strange song.
  What sayest thou?--a land o'er these dark cliffs,
  A land all glory, where the day ne'er setteth----
  Where bright creatures, mid the deathless shades,
  Go singing, shouting evermore? And yet
  'Twere vain. That wild tale hath no meaning here,
  Thou warbler from afar. Like music
  Of a foreign tongue, on our dull sense,
  The rich thought wastes.--We have been nursed in tears,
  Thro' all we've known of life, we have known grief,
  And is there none in life's deep essence mixed?
  Is sorrow but the young soul's garment then?----
  A baby mantle, doffed forever here,
  Within these lowly walls.
  And we were born
  Amid a glad creation!---then why hear we ne'er
  The silver shout, filling the unmeasured heaven?----
  Why catch we e'er the rich plume's rustle soft,
  Or sweep of passing lyre! Our tearful home
  Hung 'mid a gay, rejoicing universe,
  And ne'er a glimpse adown its golden paths?----
  Oh are there eyes, soft eyes upon us,
  In the dark and in the day, shining unseen,
  And everlasting smiles, brightening unfelt
  On all our tears: News sweet and strange ye bring.
  Hither we came from our Creator's hands,
  Bright earnest ones, looking for joy, and lo,
  A stranger met us at the gate of life,
  A stranger dark, and wrapped us in her robe,
  And bore us on through a dim vale.--Ah, not
  The world we looked for,--for an image in.
  Our souls was born, of a high home, that yet
  We have not seen. And were our childhood's yearnings,
  Its strange hopes, no dreams then,--dim revealings
  Of a land that yet we travel to?----
  But thou, oh foster-mother, mournful nurse,
  So long upon thy sable vest we're leaned,
  Thou art grown dear to us, and when at last
  At yonder blue and burning gate
  Thou yieldest up thy trust, and joy at last
  In her own wild embrace enfolds us once, e'en
  From the jewelled bosom of that dazzling one,
  From the young roses of that smiling face,
  Shall we not turn to thee, for one last glimpse
  Of that wan cheek, and solemn eye of love,
  And watch thy stately step, far down
  This dim world's fading paths? Take us, kind sorrow!
  We will lean our young head meekly on thee;
  Good and holy is thy ministry,
  Oh handmaid of the Halls thou ne'er mayst tread.
  And let the darkness gather round that world,
  Not for the vision of thy glittering walls
  We ask, nor glimpse of brilliant troops that roam
  Thine ancient streets, thou sunless city,--
  Wrap thy strange pavillions still in clouds,
  Let the shades slumber round thy many homes,
  By faith, and not by sight, through lowly paths
  Of goodness, sorrow-led, to thee we come.

       *       *       *       *       *



PART FOURTH.

       *       *       *       *       *

FULFILMENT.

       *       *       *       *       *

DIALOGUE I.

SCENE. _The ground before the fort. Baggage wagons. Cannon dismounted.
        Confused sounds within. A soldier is seen leaning on his rifle_.


                      (_Another soldier enters_.)

_2nd Sol_. It's morning! Look in the east there. What are we waiting
for?

_1st Sol_. Eh! The devil knows best, I reckon, Sir.

_2nd Sol_. Hillo, John! What's the matter there? Here's day-break upon
us! What are we waiting for?

                      (_Another soldier enters_.)

_3d Sol_. To build a bridge--that is all.

_2nd Sol_. A bridge?

_3d Sol_. We shall be off by to-morrow night, no doubt of it,--if we
don't chance to get cooked and eaten before that time,--some little risk
of that.

_2nd Sol_. But what's the matter below there, I say? The bridge? what
ails it?

_3d Sol_. Just as that last wagon was going over, down comes the bridge,
Sirs, or a good piece of it at least.--What else could it do?--timbers
half sawn away!

_2nd Sol_. Some of that young jackanape's work! _Aid-de-camp!_ I'd _aid_
him. He must be ordering and fidgetting, and fuming.--Could not wait
till we were over.

_1st Sol_. All of a piece, boys!

_3d Sol_. Humph. I wish it had been,--the bridge, I mean.

_1st Sol_. But, I say, don't you see how every thing, little and great,
goes one way, and that, against us? Chance has no currents like this!
It's a bad side that Providence frowns on. I think when Heaven deserts a
cause, it's time for us poor mortals to begin to think about it.

_3d Sol_. Now, if you are going to do so mean a thing as that, don't
talk about Heaven--prythee don't.

                                                       [_They pass on_.

                     (_Two other soldiers enter_.)

_4th Sol_. (_singing_.)

  _Yankee doodle is the tune
    Americans delight in,
  'Twill do to whistle, sing, or play,
    And just the thing for fighting.
  Yankee doodle, boys, huzza_----

(_Breaking off abruptly_.) I do not like the looks of it, Will.

_5th Sol_. Of what?

_4th Sol_. Of the morning that begins to glimmer in the east there.

_5th Sol_. No? Why, I was thinking just now I never saw a handsomer
summer's dawning. That first faint light on the woods and meadows, there
is nothing I like better. See, it has reached the river now.

_4th Sol_. But the mornings we saw two years ago looked on us with
another sort of eye than this,--it is not the glimmer of the long,
pleasant harvest day that we see there.

_5th Sol_. We have looked on mornings that promised better, I'll own. I
would rather be letting down the bars in the old meadow just now, or
hawing with my team down the brake; with the children by my side to pick
the ripe blackberries for our morning meal, than standing here in these
rags with a gun on my shoulder. Let well alone.--We could not though.

_4th Sol_. (_Handing him a glass_.) See, they are beginning to form
again. It looks for all the world like a funeral train.

_5th Sol_. What was the Stamp Act to us, or all the acts beyond the sea
that ever were acted, so long as they left us our golden fields, our
Sabbath days, the quiet of the summer evening door, and the merry winter
hearth. _The Stamp Act?_ It would have been cheaper for us to have
written our bills on gold-leaf, and for tea, to have drunk melted
jewels, like the queen I read of once; cheaper and better, a thousand
times, than the bloody cost we are paying now.

_4th Sol_. It was not the money, Will,--it was not the money, you know.
The wrong it was. We could not be trampled on in that way,--it was not
in us--we could not.

_5th Sol_. Ay, ay. A fine thing to get mad about was that when we sat in
the door of a moonlight evening and the day's toils were done. It was
easy talking then. _Trampled on!_ I will tell you when I was nearest
being trampled on, Andros,--when I lay on the ground below there last
winter,--on the frozen ground, with the blood running out of my side
like a river, and a great high-heeled German walking over my shoulder as
if I had been a hickory log. I can tell you, Sir, that other was a
moon-shiny sort of a trampling to that. I shall bear to be trampled on
in figures the better for it, as long as I live. Between ourselves
now----

_4th Sol_. There's no one here.

_5th Sol_. There are voices around that corner, though. Come this way.

                                                       [_They pass on_.

                      (_Another group of Soldiers_.)

_1st Sol_. Then if nothing else happens, we are off now. Hillo, Martin!
Here we go again--skulking away. Hey? What do you say now? Hey, Mr.
Martin, what do you say now?

_2nd Sol_. (_Advancing_.) What I said before.

_1st Sol_. But where is all this to end, Sir? Tell us that--tell us
that.

_3d Sol_. Yes, yes,--tell us that. If you don't see Burgoyne safe in
Albany by Friday night, never trust me, Sirs.

_1st Sol_. A bad business we've made of it.

_4th Sol_. Suppose he gets to Albany;--do you think that would finish
the war?

_3d Sol_. Well, indeed, I thought that was settled on all hands, Sir. I
believe the General himself makes no secret of that.

_4th Sol_. And what becomes of us all then? We shall go back to the old
times again, I suppose;--weren't so very bad though, Sam, were they?

_1st Sol_. We have seen worse, I'll own.

_3d Sol_. And what becomes of our young nation here, with its congress
and its army, and all these presidents, and generals, and colonels, and
aide-de-camps?--wont it look like a great baby-house when the hubbub is
over, and the colonies settle quietly down again?

_2nd Sol_. Faith, you take it very coolly. Before that can happen, do
you know what must happen to you?

_1st Sol_. Nothing worse than this, I reckon.

_2nd Sol_. (_makes a gesture to denote hanging_.)

_4th Sol_. What would they hang us though? Do you think they would
really hang us, John?

_2nd Sol_. Wait and see.

_1st Sol_. Nonsense! nonsense! A few of the ringleaders, Schuyler, and
Hancock, and Washington, and a few such, they will hang of course,--but
for the rest,--we shall have to take the oath anew, and swallow a few
duties with our sugar and tea, and----

_2nd Sol_. You talk as if the matter were all settled already.

_1st Sol_. There is no more doubt of it, than that you and I stand here
this moment. Why, they are flocking to Skeensborough from all quarters
now, and this poor fragment,--this miserable skeleton of an army, which
is the only earthly obstacle between Burgoyne and Albany, why, even this
is crumbling to pieces as fast as one can reckon. Two hundred less than
we were yesterday at this hour, and to-morrow--how many are off
to-morrow? Ay, and what are we doing the while? Bowing and retreating,
cap in hand, from post to post, from Crown Point to Ticonderoga, from
Ticonderoga to Fort Edward, from Fort Edward onward; just showing them
down, as it were, into the heart of the land. Let them get to
Albany--Ah, let them once get to Albany, they'll need no more of our
help then, they'll take care of themselves then and us too.

_2nd Sol_. They'll never get to Albany.

_1st Sol_. Hey?

_2nd Sol_. They'll never get to Albany.

_1st Sol_. What's to hinder them?

_2nd Sol_. We,--yes we,--and such as we, craven-hearted as we are.
They'll never get to Albany until we take them there captives.

_3d Sol_. Then they'll wait till next week, I reckon.

_1st Sol_. Ha ha ha! Ha ha ha! How many prisoners shall we have a-piece,
John? How many regiments, I mean? They'll open the windows when we get
there, won't they? I hope the sun will shine that day. How grandly we
shall march down the old hill there, with our train behind us. I shall
have to borrow a coat of one of them though, they might be ashamed of
their captor else.

_3d Sol_. When is this great battle to be, John? This don't look much
like it.

_4th Sol_. I think myself, if the General would only give us a chance to
fight----

_2nd Sol_. A chance to throw your life away,--he will never give you. A
chance to fight, you will have ere long,--doubt it not. Our General
might clear his blackened fame, by opposing this force to that,--this
day he might;--he will not do it. The time has not yet come. But he will
spare no pains to strengthen the army, and prepare it for victory, and
the glory he will leave to his rival. Recruits will be pouring in ere
long. General Burgoyne's proclamation has weakened us,--General Schuyler
will issue one himself to-day.

_1st Sol_. Will he? will he? What will he proclaim?--As to the recruits
he gets, I'll eat them all, skin and bone. What will he proclaim? You
see what Burgoyne offers us. On the one hand, money and clothing, and
protection for ourselves and our families; and on the other, the cord,
and the tomahawk, and the scalping-knife. Now, what will General
Schuyler set down over against these two columns?--What will he offer
us?--To lend us a gun, maybe,--leave to follow him from one post to
another, barefooted and starving, and for our pains to be cursed and
reviled for cowards from one end of the land to the other. And what will
he threaten? Ha, we were cowards indeed, if we feared what he could
threaten. What thing in human nature will he speak to?--say.

_2nd Sol_. I will tell you. To that spirit in human nature which resists
the wrong, the fiendish wrong threatened there. Ay, in the basest nature
that power sleeps, and out of the bosom of Omnipotence there is nothing
stronger. It has wakened here once, and this war is its fruit. It
slumbers now. Let Burgoyne look to it that he rouse it not himself for
us. Let him look to it. For every outrage of those fiendish legions,
thank God.--It lays a finger on the spring of our only strength. _What_
will he offer us? I will tell you.--A chance to live, or to
die,--_men_,--ay, to leave a sample of manhood on the earth, that shall
wring tears from the selfish of unborn ages, as they feel for once the
depths of the slumbering and godlike nature within them. And
Burgoyne,--oh! a coat and a pair of shoes, he offers, and--how many
pounds?--Are you men?

_4th Sol_. What do you say, Sam?--Talks like a minister, don't he?

_1st Sol_. Come, come,--there's the drum, boys. You don't bamboozle me
again! I've heard all that before.

_3d Sol_. Nor me.--I don't intend to have my wife and children
tomahawked,--don't think I can stand that, refugee or not.

_2nd Sol_. Here they come.

                       (_Other Soldiers enter_.)

_5th Sol_. All's ready, all's ready.

_6th Sol_. (_singing_.)

"_Come blow the shrill bugle, the war dogs are howling_,"--

                                                             [_Exeunt_.

       *       *       *       *       *



DIALOGUE II.

SCENE. _Before the door of the Parsonage. Trunks, boxes, and various
        articles of furniture, scattered about the yard. Two men coming
        down the path_.


                        (_George Grey enters_.)

_George_. Those trunks in the forward team. Make haste. We've no time to
lose. This box in the wagon where the children are.--Carefully--carefully,
though.

                         (_A Soldier enters_.)

_Sol_. Hurra, hurra, the house there! Are you ready? Ten minutes more.

_George_. Get out. What do you stand yelling there for? We know all
about it.

_Sol_. But your brother, the Captain, says, I must hurry you, or you'll
be left behind.

_George_. Tell my brother, the Captain, I'll see to that. We want no
more hurrying. We have had enough of that already, and much good it has
done us too. Stop, stop,--not that. We must leave those for the Indians
to take their tea in.

_Workman_. But the lady said----

_George_. Never mind the lady. Well, Annie, are you ready? Don't stand
there crying; there's no use. We may come back here again yet, you know.
Many a pleasant sunrise we may see from these windows yet. Heaven defend
us, here is this aunt of ours.--What on earth are they bringing now?

      (_A Lady in the door with a couple of portraits, followed
             by others bringing baskets and boxes, etc_.)

_Lady_. That will do, set them down; now, the Colonel and his lady, on
the back room wall, just over against the beaufet. Stop a moment. I'll
go with you myself.

_Betty_. (In, the door.) Lord 'a mercy! Here it is broad day-light. What
are we waiting for? I am all ready. Why don't we go?

_George_. I tell you, Aunt Rachael, the thing is impossible. This
trumpery can't go, and there's the end of it. St. George and the
Dragon----

_Miss Rachael_. Never mind this young malapert--do as I bid you.

_Betty_. Lord 'a mercy, we shall all be murdered and scalped, every soul
of us. Bless you--there it is in the garret now!--just hold this
umberell a minute, Mr. George,--think of those murderous Indians wearing
my straw bonnet. Lord bless you! What are you doing? a heaving my
umberell over the fence, in that fashion!

_George_. These women will drive me mad I believe. Let that box alone,
you rascal. Lay a finger on that trumpery there I say, and you'll find
whose orders you are under; as for the Colonel and his lady, they'll get
a little drink out of the first puddle we come to, I reckon.

                                                           [_Goes out_.

_Miss R_. (_Coming from the house_.) That will do. That is all,--in the
green wagon, John----

_Ser't_. But the children----

_Miss R_. Don't stand there, prating to me at a time like this. Make
haste, make haste!

How perfectly calm I am! I would never have believed it;--just tie this
string for me, child, my hands twitch so strangely,--they say the
British are just down in the lane here, with five thousand Indians,
Annie.

_Annie_. It is no such thing. Aunt Rachael. The British are quietly
encamped on the other side of the river; three miles off at least.

_Miss R_. I thought as much. A pretty hour for us to be turned out of
house and home to be sure. Not a wink have I slept this blessed night.
Hark! What o'clock is that? George, George! where is that boy? Just run
and tell your mother, Annie, just tell her, my dear, will you, that we
shall all be murdered. Maybe she will make haste a little. Well, are
they in?

_Ser't_. The pictures? They are in,--yes'm. But Miss Kitty's a crying,
and says as how she won't go, and there's the other one too; because,
Ma'am, their toes--you see there's the trunk in front gives 'em a leetle
slope inward, and then that chest under the seat--If you would just step
down and see yourself, Ma'am.

_Miss R_. I desire to be patient.

                                                        [_They go out_.

        (_Annie sits on the bench of the little Porch, weeping.
                    Mrs. Gray enters from within_.)

_Annie_. Shall I never walk down that shady path again? Shall I enter
those dear rooms no more? There are voices there they cannot hear. From
the life of buried years, ten thousand scenes, all vacancy toother eyes,
enrich those walls for us; the furniture that money cannot buy, that
only the joy and grief of years can purchase. They will spoil our
pleasant home,--will they not, mother?

_Mrs. G_. Pleasant, ay, pleasant indeed, has it been to us. God's will
be done. Do not weep, Annie. We have counted the cost;--many a safe and
happy home there will be in the days to come, whose light shall spring
from this forgotten sorrow. God's will be done.

_Annie_. Mother, they are all ready now; is Helen in her room still?

_Mrs. G_. Go call her, Annie. Hours ago it was I sent her there. I
thought she might get some little sleep ere the summons came. Call her,
my child. How deadly pale she was!

                                                      [_Annie goes in_.

       *       *       *       *       *



DIALOGUE III.

SCENE. _A Chamber partly darkened, the morning air steals faintly
        through the half-open shutters. Helen before the mirror,
        leaning upon the toilette, her face buried in her hands,
        her long hair unbound, and flowing on her shoulders_.


                           (_Annie enters_.)

_Annie_. Helen! Why, Helen, are you asleep there? Come, we are going
now. After keeping us on tiptoe for hours, the summons has come at last.
Indeed, there is hardly time for you to dress. Shall I help you?

_Helen_. (_Rising slowly_.) God help me. Bid my mother come here, Annie.

_Annie_. What ails you, Helen?--there is no time,--you do not understand
me,--there is not one moment to be lost. Let me wind up this hair for you.

_Helen_. Let go!--Oh God----

_Annie_. Helen Grey!

_Helen_. It was a dream,--it was but a foolish dream. It must not be
thought of now,--it will never do. Bid my mother come here, I am ready
now.

_Annie_. Ready, Helen!--ready?--in that dressing-gown, and your
hair--see here,--are you ready, Helen?

_Helen_. Yes,--bid her come.

_Annie_. Heaven only knows what you mean with this wild talk of yours,
but if you are not mad indeed, I intreat you, sister, waste no more of
this precious time.

_Helen_. No, no,--we must not indeed. It was wrong, but I could
not--go,--make haste, bid her come.

_Annie_. She is crazed, certainly!

                                                           [_Goes out_.

 (_Helen stands with her arms folded, and her eye fixed on the door_.)

                         (_Mrs. Grey enters_.)

_Mrs. G_. My child! Helen, Helen! Why do you stand there thus?

_Helen_. Mother----

_Mrs. G_. Nay, do not stay to speak. There--throw this mantle around
you. Where is your hat?--not here!--Bridal gear!

                           (_George enters_.)

_George_. On my word! Well, well, stand there a little longer, to dress
those pretty curls of yours, and--humph--there's a style in vogue in
yonder camp for rebels just now; we'll all stand a chance to try, I
think.

_Helen_. George!--George Grey!--Be still,--be still.--We must not think
of that. It was a dream.

_George_. Is my sister mad?

_Helen_. Mother--

_Mrs. G_. Speak, my child.

_Helen_. Mother--my blessed mother,--(_aside_.) 'Tis but a brief
word,--it will be over soon.

_Mrs. G_. Speak, Helen.

_Helen_. I cannot go with you, mother.

_Mrs. G_. Helen?

_George_. Not go with us?

_Mrs. G_. Helen, do you know what you are saying?

_George_. You are in jest, Helen; or else you are mad,--before another
sunset the British army will be encamping here.

_Helen_. Hear me, mother. A message from the British camp came to me
last night,--

_Mrs. G_. The British camp?--Ha!--ha! Everard Maitland! God forgive him.

_Helen_. Do not speak thus. It was but a few cold and careless lines he
sent me,--my purpose is my own.

_Mrs. G_. And--what, and he does not know?--Helen Grey, this passes
patience.

_Helen_. He does, Here is the answer that has just now come; for I have
promised to meet him to-day at the hut of the missionary in yonder
woods.--I can hardly spell these hasty words; but this I know, he will
surely come for me,--though he bids me wait until I hear his signal,--so
I cannot go with you, mother.

_Mrs. G_. Where will you go, Helen?

_Helen_. Everard is in yonder camp;--where should the wife's home be?

_Mrs. G_. The wife's?

_Helen_. These two years I have been his bride;--his wedded wife I shall
be to-day. Yonder dawns my bridal day.

_George_. What does she say? What does Helen say? I do not understand
one word of it.

_Mrs. G_. She says she will go to the British camp. Desertions thicken
upon us. Hark!--they are calling us.

_George_. To the British camp?

_Mrs. G_. Go down, George, go down. Your sister talks wildly and
foolishly, what you should not have heard, what she will be sorry for
anon; go down, and tell them they must wait for us a little,--we will be
there presently.

_George_. Hark! (_going to the door_.)--another message. Do you
hear?--Helen may be ready yet, if she will.

_Mrs. G_. Blessed delay! Go down, George; say nothing of this. There is
time yet. Tell them we will be there presently.

                          (_George goes out_.)

_Mrs. G_. Did you think I should leave you here to accomplish this
frantic scheme?--Did you dream of it, and you call me mother?--but what
do you know of that name's meaning? Do not turn away from me thus, my
child; do not stand with that fixed eye as though some phantom divinity
were there. I shall not leave you here, Helen, never.

Come, come; sit down with me in this pleasant window, there is time
yet,--let us look at this moonlight scheme of yours a little. Would you
stay here in this deserted citadel, alone? My child, our army are
already on their march. In an hour more you would be the only living
thing in all this solitude. Would you stay here alone, to meet your
lover too?--Bethink yourself, Helen.

_Helen_. This Canadian girl will stay with me, and----

_Mrs. G_. A girl!--Helen, yesterday an army's strength, the armies of
the nation, the love of mother, and brothers, and sisters, all seemed
nothing for protection to your timid and foreboding thought; and now,
when the enemy are all around us,--do you talk of a single girl? Why,
the spirit of some strange destiny is struggling with your nature, and
speaks within you, but we will not yield to it.

_Helen_. You have spoken truly, mother. There is one tie in these hearts
of ours, whose strength makes destiny, and where that leads, there lie
those iron ways that are of old from everlasting. This is Heaven's
decree, not mine.

_Mrs. G_. Do not charge the madness of this frantic scheme on Heaven, my
child.

_Helen. Everard!_--no, no, I cannot show to another the lightning flash,
that with that name reveals my destiny,--yet the falling stone might as
soon--question of its way. Renounce him?--you know not what you ask! all
there is of life within me laughs at the wild impossibility.

Mother, hear me. There is no danger in my staying here,--none real. The
guard still keep their station on yonder hill, and the fort itself will
not be wholly abandoned to-day. Everard will come for me at noon.--It is
impossible that the enemy should be here ere then; nay, the news of this
unlooked-for movement will scarce have reached their camp.--_Real_
danger there is none, and--Do not urge me. I know what you would say;
the bitter cost I have counted all, already, all--_all_. That Maitland
is in yonder camp, that--is it not a strange blessedness which can
sweeten anguish such as this?--that he loves me still, that he will come
here to-day to make me his forever,--this is all that I can say, my
mother.

_Mrs. G_. Will you go over to the British side, Helen? Will you go over
to the side of wrong and oppression? Would you link yourself with our
cruel and pursuing enemy? Oh no, no no,--that could not be--never, Amid
the world of fearful thoughts that name brings, how could we place your
image? Oh God, I did not count on this. I knew that this war was to
bring us toil, and want, and fear, and haply bloody death; and I could
have borne it unmurmuringly; but--God forgive me,--that the child I
nursed in these arms should forsake me, and join with our deadly foes
against us--I did not count on this.

_Helen_. Yes--that's the look,--the very look--all night I saw it;--it
does not move me now, as it did then. It is shadows of these things that
are so fearful, for with the real comes the unreckoned power of
suffering. Mother, this dark coil hath Heaven wound, not we. The tie
which makes his path the way of God to me, was linked ere this war
was,--and war cannot undo it now. It is a bitter fate, I know,--a bitter
and a fearful one.

_Mrs. G_. Ay, ay,--thank God! You had forgotten, Helen, that in that
army's pay, nay, all around us even now are hordes and legions.

_Helen_. I know it,--I know it all. I do indeed.

_Mrs. G_. Helen, will you place yourself defenceless amidst that savage
race, whose very name from your childhood upwards, has filled you with
such strange fear? Yesterday I chid you for those fancies,--I was
wrong,--they were warnings, heaven-sent, to save you from this doom.
What was that dream you talked of then?

_Helen_. Dreams are nothing. Will you unsay a life's lessons now when
most I need them?

_Mrs. G_. Yesterday, all day, a shadow as of coming evil lay upon me,
but now I remember the forgotten vision whence it fell. Yesternight I
had a dream, Helen, such as yours might be; for in my broken and fevered
slumbers, wherever I turned, one vision awaited me. There was a savage
arm, and over it fell a shower of golden hair, and ever and anon, in the
shadowy light of my dream, a knife glittered and waved before me. We
were safe, but over one,--some young and innocent and tender one it
was--there hung a hopeless and inexorable fate. Once methought it seemed
the young English girl that was wedded here last winter, and once she
turned her eye upon me--Ha!--I had forgotten that glance of
agony--surely, Helen, it was _yours_.

_Mrs. G_. Helen! my child--(_Aside_.) There it is, that same curdling
glance,--'twas but a dream, Helen. Why do you stand there so white and
motionless--why do you look on me with that fixed and darkening
eye?--'twas but a dream!

_Helen_. And where were you?--tell me truly. Was it not by a gurgling
fountain among the pine trees there? and was it not noon-day in your
dream, a hot, bright, sultry noon, and a few clouds swelling in the
western sky, and nothing but the trilling locusts astir?

_Mrs. G_. How wildly you talk; how should I remember any thing like
this?

_Helen_. I will not yield to it; tempt me not. 'Tis folly all, I know it
is. Danger there is none. Long ere yonder hill is abandoned, Everard
will be here; and who knows that I am left here alone, and who would
come here to seek me out but he? Oh no, I cannot break this solemn faith
for a dream. What would he give to know I held my promise and his love
lighter than a dream? I must _stay_ here, mother.

_Mrs. G_. No, my child. Hear me. If this must be indeed, if all my holy
right in you is nothing, if you will indeed go over to our cruel enemy,
and rejoice in our sorrows and triumph in our overthrow----

_Helen_. Hear her----

_Mrs. G_. Be it so, Helen,--be it so; but for all that, do not stay here
to-day. Bear but a little longer with our wearisome tenderness, and wait
for some safer chance of forsaking us. Come.

_Helen_. If I could--Ah, if I could----

_Mrs. G_. You can--you will. Here, let me help you, we shall be ready
yet. No one knows of this wild scheme but your brother and myself, no
one else shall ever know it. Come.

_Helen_. If I could. 'Tis true, I did not know when I sent him this
promise you would leave me alone ere the hour should come. Perhaps--no,
it would never do. When he comes and finds that, after all, I have
deserted him, once with a word I angered him, and for years it was the
last between us;--and what safer chance will there be in these fearful
times of meeting him? No, no. If we do not meet now, we are parted for
ever;--if I do not keep my promise now, I shall see him no more.

_Mrs. G_. See him no more then. What is he to us--this stranger, this
haughty, all-requiring one? Think of the blessed days ere he had crossed
our threshold. You have counted all, Helen? The anguish that will bring
tears into your proud brother's eyes, your sister's comfortless
sorrow?--did you think of her lonely and saddened youth? You counted the
wild suffering of this bitter moment,--did you think of the weary years,
the long sleepless nights of grief, the days of tears; did you count the
anguish of a mother's broken heart, Helen? God only can count that.

You did not--there come the blessed tears at last. Here's my own gentle
daughter, once again. Come, Helen, see, they are waiting for us. There
stands the old chaise under the locust tree. You and I will ride
together. Come, 'tis but a few steps down that shady path, and we are
safe--a few steps and quickly trod. Hark! the respite is past even now.
Do you stand there marble still? Helen, if you stay here, we shall see
you no more. This lover of yours hates us all. He will take you to
England when the war is over if you outlive its bloody hazards, and we
are parted for ever. I shall see you no more, Helen, my child; my child,
I shall see you no more. (_She sinks upon the chair, and weeps aloud_.)

_Helen_. Has it come to this? Will you break my heart? If it were
continents and oceans that you bade me cross, but those few steps--Ah,
they would sever me from him for ever, and I cannot, I cannot, I
can _not_ take them,--there is no motion so impossible. Yes, they are
calling us. Do not stay.

                           (_Annie enters_.)

_Annie_. Mother, will you tell me what this means?

_Mrs. G_. Yes, come in. We will waste no more time about it. She will
stay here to meet her lover, she will forsake us for a traitor. We have
nursed an enemy among us. The babe I cherished in this bosom, whose
sleeping face I watched with a young mother's love, hath become my
enemy. Oh my God--is it from thee?

_Annie_. Helen! my sister! Helen!

_Mrs. G_. Ay, look at her. Would you think that the spirit which heaves
in that light frame, and glances in those soft eyes, held such cruel
power? Yesterday I would have counted it a breath in the way of my
lightest purpose, and now--come away, Annie--it is vain, you cannot move
her.

                           (_George enters_.)

_George_. Mother, if Helen will not go now, we must leave her to her
fate or share it with her. Every wagon is on the road but ours. A little
more, and we shall be too late for the protection of the army. Shall I
stay with her?

_Mrs. G_. No, never. That were a sure and idle waste of life. Helen,
perhaps, may be safe with them. Oh. yes, the refugees are safe, else
desertion would grow out of fashion soon.

_Annie_. Refugees! Refugee! Helen!

_Mrs. G_. It sounds strange for one of us I know. You will grow used to
it soon. Helen belongs to the British side, she will go over to them
to-day, but she must go alone, for none of us would be safe in British
hands, at least I trust so--this morning's experience might make me
doubtful, but I trust we are all true here yet beside.

_Annie_. Have I heard aright, Helen?--or is this all some fearful dream?
You and I, who have lived together all the years of our lives, to be
parted this moment, and for ever,--no, no!

             (_A young American Officer enters hastily_.)

_Capt. Grey_. Softly, softly! What is this? Are you in this conspiracy
to disgrace me, mother? Oh, very well; if you have all decided to stay
here, I'll take my leave.

_Annie_. Oh, Henry, stay. You can persuade her it may be.

_Capt. G. Persuade_! What's all this! A goodly time for rhetoric
forsooth! Who's this that's risking all our lives, waiting to be
persuaded now?

_Mrs. G_. That Tory, Henry! We should have thought of this. Ah, if we
had gone yesterday,--that haughty Maitland,--she will stay here to meet
him! She will marry him, my son.

_Capt. G_. Maitland!--and stay here!

_Helen_. Dear Henry, let us part in kindness. Do not look on me with
that angry eye. It was I that played with you in the woods and meadows,
it was I that roamed with you in those autumn twilights,--you loved me
then, and we are parting for ever it may be..

_Capt. G_. (_To the children at the door_.) Get you down, young ones,
get you down. Pray, mother, lead the way, will you?--break up this ring.
Come, Helen, you and I will talk of this as we go on, only in passing
give me leave to say, of all the mad pranks of your novel ladies, this
caps the chief. You have outdone them, Helen; I'll give you credit for
it, you have outdone them all.

Why you'll be chronicled,--there's nothing on record like it, that ever
I heard of; I am well-read in romances too. We'll have a new love-ballad
made and set to tune, under the head of "Love and Murder," it will come
though, if you don't make haste a little. Come, come.

_Helen_. Henry!

_Capt. G_. Are you in earnest, Helen? Did you suppose that we were mad
enough to leave you here? You'll not go with us? But you will, by
Heaven!

_Helen_. Henry! Mother!--Nay, Henry, this is vain. I shall stay here, I
shall--I shall stay here,--so help me Heaven.

_Capt. G_. Helen Grey! Is that young lioness there my sometime
sister?--my delicate sister?--with her foot planted like iron, and the
strength of twenty men nerving her arm?

_Helen_. Let go.--I shall stay here.

_Capt. G_. Well, have your way, young lady, have your way; but--Mother,
if you choose to leave that mad girl here, you can,--but as for this
same Everard Maitland, look you, my lady, if I don't stab him to his
heart's core, never trust me.

          (_He goes out--Mrs. Grey follows him to the door_.)

_Mrs. G_. Stay, Henry,--stay. What shall we do?

_Capt. G_. Do!--Indeed, a straight waistcoat is the only remedy I know
of, Madam, for such freaks as these. If you say so, she shall go with us
yet.

_Mrs. G_. Hear me. This is no time for passion now Hear me, Henry. This
Maitland, _Tory_ as he is, is her betrothed husband, and she has chosen
her fate with him; we cannot keep her with us; nay, with what we have
now seen, it would be vain to think of it, to wish it even. She must go
to him,--it but remains to see that she meets him safely. Noon is the
hour appointed for his coming. Could we not stay till then?

_Capt. G_. Impossible. Noon?--well.--Oh, if its all fixed upon;--if you
have settled it between yourselves that Helen is to abandon us and our
protection, for Everard Maitland's and the British, the sooner done, the
better. She's quite right,--she's like to find no safer chance for it
than this. Noon,--there is a picket left on yonder hill till after that
time, certainly, and a hundred men or so in the fort. I might give Van
Vechten a hint of it--nay, I can return myself this afternoon, and if
she is not gone then, I will take it upon me she is not left a second
time. Of course Maitland would be likely to care for her safety. At all
events there's nothing else for us to do, at least there's but one
alternative, and that I have named to you.

                                               [_They go out together_.

_Helen_. (_She has stood silently watching them_.) He has gone, without
one parting look--he has gone! So break the myriad-tied loves, it hath
taken a life to weave. This is a weary world.

   (_She turns to her sister, who leans weeping on the window-seat_.)

Come, Annie, you and I will part in kindness, will we not? No cruel
words shall there be here. Pleasant hath your love been unto me, my
precious sister. Farewell, Annie.

_Annie_. Shall I never hear your voice again, that hath been the music
of my whole life? Is your face henceforth to be to me only a remembered
thing? Helen, you must not stay here. The Indians,--it was no idle fear,
the half of their bloody outrages you have not heard; they will murder
you, yes, _you_. The innocence and loveliness that is holy to us, is
nothing in their eyes, they would as soon sever that beautiful hair from
your brow----

_Helen_. Hush, hush. There is no danger, Annie. The dark things of
destiny are God's; the heart, the heart only, is ours.

                       (_Mrs. Grey re-enters_.)

_Mrs. G_. (_to Annie_.) Come, come, my child. This is foolish now. All
is ready. Janette will stay with you, Helen.

     (_Laughing voices are heard without, and the children's faces
                    are seen peeping in the door_.)

_Willy_. Dear mother, are you not ready yet? We have been in the wagon
and out a hundred times. Oh, Helen, make haste. The sun is above the
trees, and the grass on the roadside is all full of diamonds. The last
soldiers are winding down the hollow now. Is not Helen going, Mother?

_Mrs. G_. Your sister Helen is going from us forever. Come in and kiss
her once, and then make haste--you must not all be lost.

                            (_They enter_.)

_Willy_. Ah, why don't you go with us, sister?--Such a beautiful ride we
shall have. You never heard such a bird-singing in all your life.

_Frank_. We shall go by the Chesnut Hollow, George says we shall. Smell
of these roses, Helen. Must she stay here? Hark, Willy, there's the
drum. Good-bye, How sorry I am you will not go with us.

_Willy_. So am I. What makes you stand so still and look at us so? Why
don't you kiss me? Good-bye, Helen.

_Helen_. (_Embracing them silently_.)

_Annie_. Will you leave her here alone, mother? Will you?

_Mrs. G_. No. There is a guard left on yonder hill, and the fort is not
yet abandoned wholly. Besides, the army encamp at the creek, and Henry
himself will return this afternoon. She will be gone ere then, though.

_Helen_. Those merry steps and voices, those little, soft clinging hands
and rosy lips, have vanished forever. For all my love I shall be to them
but as the faint trace of some faded dream. This is a weary world.

Come, George, farewell. How I have loved to look on that young brow. Be
what my dreams have made you. Fare you well.

_George_. Farewell, Helen.

                                                [_He goes out hastily_.

_Helen_. Will he forget me?

_Mrs. G_. And farewell, Helen. Fare ye well.

_Helen_. Will she leave me thus?

_Mrs. G_. Do not go to the hut--do not leave this door until you are
sure of the signal you spoke of, Helen.

_Helen_. She will not look at me,--Mother!

_Mrs. G_. Farewell, Helen; may the hour never come when you need the
love you have cast from you now so freely.

_Helen_. Will you leave me thus? Is not our life together ending here?
In that great and solemn Hereafter our ways may meet again; but by the
light of sun, or moon, or candle, or underneath these Heavens, no more.
Oh! lovely, lovely have you been unto me, a spirit of holiness and
beauty, building all my way.--Part we thus?

_Mrs. G_. Farewell, Helen.

_Helen_. Part we thus?

_Mrs. G_. Fare ye well, Helen Grey, my own sweet and precious child, my
own lovely, lovely daughter, fare ye well, and the Lord be with you. The
Lord keep you, for I can keep you now no more. The Lord watch over you,
my helpless one, mine, mine, mine, all mine, though I leave you thus; my
world of untold wealth, unto another. Nay, do not sorrow, my blessed
child,--you will be happy yet. Fear nothing,--if this must be, I say,
fear nothing. You think that you are doing right in forsaking us
thus;--it may be that you are. If in the strength of a pure conscience
you stay here to-day,--be not afraid. When you lay here of old, a
lisping babe, I told you of One whose love was better than a mother's.
Now farewell, and trust in Him. Farewell, mine eye shall see thee yet
again. Farewell.

_Helen_. No, no; leave me not.

_Mrs. G_. Unclasp these hands, I cannot stay.

_Helen_. Never--never.

_Mrs. G_. Untwine this wild embrace, or, even now,--even now----

_Helen_. Farewell, mother. Annie Grey, farewell.

                                                            [_They go_.

_Helen_. This is a weary world. Take me home. To the land where there is
no crying or bitterness, take me home.

        (_The noise of retreating steps is heard, and the sound
                 of the outer door closing heavily_.)

_Helen_. They are gone,--not to church,--not for the summer's ride. I
shall see them no more.--In heaven it may be; but by the twilight
hearth, or merry table, at morn, or noon, or evening, in mirth or
earthly tenderness, no more.

Hark! There it is!--that voice,--I hear it now, I do. A dark eternity
had rolled between us, and I hear it yet again. They are going now.
Those rolling wheels, oh that that sound would last. There is no music
half so sweet. Fainter--fainter--it is gone--no--that was but the
hollow.--Hark----

Now they are gone, indeed. So breaks the sense's last link between me
and that world.

       *       *       *       *       *



PART FIFTH.

       *       *       *       *       *

FULFILLMENT

       *       *       *       *       *

DIALOGUE I.

SCENE. _The hill. A young Soldier enters_.


How gloriously, with what a lonely majesty the morning wastes in that
silent valley there; with its moving shadows, and breeze and sunshine,
and its thousand delicious sounds mocking those desolate homes----

     (_He stops suddenly, and looks earnestly into the thicket_.)

This is strange, indeed. This feeling that I cannot analyze, still grows
upon me. _Presentiment?_ Some dark, swift-flying thought, leaves its
trace, and the cause-seeking mind, in the range of its own vision
finding none, looks to the shadowy future for it.

                                                       [_He passes on_.

   (_Two Indian Chiefs, in their war-dress, emerge from the thicket,
                     talking in suppressed tones_.)

_1st Chief_. Hoogh! Hoogh! Alaska fights to revenge his son,--we spill
our blood to revenge his son, and he thinks to win gifts besides. Hugh!
A brave chief he is!

_2nd Chief_. Your talk is not good, Manida. They are our enemies,--we
shall conquer them, we shall see their chestnut locks waving aloft, we
shall dance and shout all night around them, and the eyes of the maidens
shall meet ours in the merry ring, sparkling with joy, as we shout
"Victory! victory! our enemies are slain,--our foot is on their necks,
we have slain our enemies!" What more, Manida? Is it not enough?

_1st Chief_. No. I went last night with Alaska to the camp above, to the
tent of the young sachem of the lake, and he promised him presents, rich
and many, for an errand that a boy might do. I asked Alaska to send me
for him, and he would not.

_2nd Chief_. The young white sachem was Alaska's friend, many moons ago,
when Alaska was wounded and sick.--He must revenge young Siganaw, but he
must keep his faith to his white friend, too.

_1st Chief_. Ah, but I know where the horse is hidden and the paper.
When the tomahawks flash here, and the war-cry is loudest, we will steal
away. Come, and I will share the prize with you.

_2nd Chief_. No, I will tell my brother chief that Manida is a
treacherous friend.

_1st Chief_. You cannot. It is too late. Hist! Quick, lower--lower--

                                        [_They crouch among the trees_.

       (_Another Soldier emerges from the wood-path, singing_.)

  "_Then march to the roll of the drum,
    It summons the brave to the plain,
  Where heroes contend for the home
    Which perchance they may ne'er see again_."


(_Pausing abruptly_.) Well, we are finely manned here!

                      (_1st Soldier re-enters_.)

_2nd Sol_. How many men do you think we have in all, upon this hill,
Edward?

_1st Sol_. Hist!--more than you count on, perhaps.

_2nd Sol_. Why? What is the matter? Why do you look among those bushes
so earnestly?

_1st Student_. It is singular, indeed. I can hardly tell you what it is,
but twice before in my round, precisely in this same spot, the same
impression has flashed upon me, though the sense that gives it, if sense
it is, will not bide an instant's questioning. There! Hist! Did nothing
move there then?

_2nd Sol_. I see nothing. This comes of star-gazing, when you should
have slept. Though as to that, I have nothing to complain of, certainly.
I had to thank your taste that way, last night, for an hour of the most
delicious slumber. It was like that we used to snatch of old, between
the first stroke of the prayer-bell and its dying peal.

_1st Sol_. I am glad you could sleep. For myself, such a world of
troubled thoughts haunted me, I found more repose in waking.

_2nd Sol_. Then I wish you could have shared my dream with me, as indeed
you seemed to, for you were with me through it all. A blessed dream it
was, and yet--

_1st Sol_. Well, let me share it with you now.

_2nd Sol_. I cannot tell you how it was, that in honor and good
conscience we had effected it, but somehow, methought our part in this
sickening warfare was accomplished, and we were home again. Oh the joy
of it! oh the joy of it! Even amid my dream, methought we questioned its
reality, so unearthly in its perfectness, it seemed. We stood upon the
college-green, and the sun was going down with a strange, darkling
splendor; and from afar, ever and anon came the thunder roll of battle;
but we had nought to do with it; our part was done; our time was out; we
were to fight no more. And there we stood, watching the students' games;
and there too was poor _Hale_, merry and full of life as e'er he was,
for never a thought of his cruel fate crossed my dream. Suddenly we saw
two ladies, arm in arm, come swiftly down the shady street, most
strangely beautiful and strangely clad, with long white robes, and
garlands in their hair, and such a clear and silvery laugh, and
something fearful in their loveliness withal; and one of them, as she
came smiling toward us--do you remember that bright, fair-haired girl we
met in yonder lane one noon?--Just such a smile as hers wore the lady
in my dream. Then, into the old chapel we were crowding all; that
long-deferred commencement had come on at last; we stood upon a stage,
and a strange light filled all the house, and suddenly the ceiling
swelled unto the skiey dome, and nations filled the galleries; and I
woke, to find myself upon a soldier's couch, and the reveille beating.

_1st Sol_. Well, if it cheered you, 'twas a good dream most certainly,
though, yet--the dream-books might not tell you so. Will you take this
glass a moment?

_2nd Sol_. What is it?

_1st Sol_. That white house by the orchard, in the door--do you see
nothing?

_2nd Sol_. Yes, a figure, certainly;--yes, now it moves. I had thought
those houses were deserted,--it is time they were I think, for all the
protection we can give them. How long shall we maintain this post, think
you, with such a handful?

_1st Sol_. Till the preparations below are complete, I trust so at
least, for we have watchers in these woods, no doubt, who would speedily
report our absence.

_2nd Sol_. Well, if we all see yonder sun go down, 'tis more than I
count on.

_1st Sol_. A chance if we do--a chance if we do. Will the hour come when
this infant nation shall forget her bloody baptism?--the holy name of
truth and freedom, that with our hearts' blood we seal upon her in these
days of fear?

_2nd Sol_. Ay, that hour may come.

_1st Sol_. Then, with tears, and _blood_ if need be, shall she learn it
anew; and not in vain shall the bones of the martyrs moulder in her
peopled vales. For human nature, in her loftiest mood, was this
beautiful land of old built, and for ages hid. Here--her cradle-dreams
behind her flung; here, on the height of ages past, her solemn eye down
their long vistas turned, in a new and nobler life she shall arise here.
Ah, who knows but that the book of History may show us at last on its
long-marred page--_Man_ himself,--no longer the partial and deformed
developments of his nature, which each successive age hath left as if in
mockery of its ideal,--but, man himself, the creature of thought,--the
high, calm, majestic being, that of old stood unshrinking beneath his
Maker's gaze. Even, as first he woke amid the gardens of the East, in
this far western clime at last he shall smile again,--a perfect thing.

_2nd Sol_. In your earnestness, you do not mark these strange sounds,
Edward. Listen. (_He grasps his sword_.)

                  (_A Soldier rushes down the path_.)

_3d Sol_. We are surrounded! Fly. The Indians are upon us. Fly.

                                                          [_Rushes on_.

              (_Another Soldier bursts from the woods_.)

_4th Sol_. God! They are butchering them above there, do not stand here!

                                               [_Rushes down the hill_.

_2nd Sol_. Resistance is vain. Hear those shrieks! There is death in
them. Resistance is vain.

_1st Sol_. Flight is vain. Look yonder! Francis,--the dark hour hath
come!

_2nd Sol_. Is it so? Mother and sister I shall see no more.

      (_A number of Indians, disfigured with paint and blood, and
 brandishing their knives, come rushing down the road, uttering short,
    fierce yells. Others from below, bringing back the fugitives_.)

_1st Sol_. We shall die together. God of Truth and Freedom, unto thee
our youthful spirits trust we.

    (_The Indians surround them. Fighting to the last, they fall_.)

       *       *       *       *       *



DIALOGUE II.

SCENE. _The deserted house--the chamber--Helen by the table--her head
        bowed and motionless. She rises slowly from her drooping posture_.


_Helen_. It is my bridal day. I had forgotten that. (_Looking from the
window_.) Is this real? Am I here alone? My mother gone? The army gone?
brothers and sisters gone, and those woods full of armed Indians? I am
awake. This is not the light of dreams,--'tis the sun that's shining
there. Not the fresh arid tender morning sun, that looked in on that
parting. Hours he has climbed since then, to turn those shadows
thus,--hours that to me were nothing.--Alone?--deserted--defenceless? Of
my own will too? There was a _law_ in that will, though, was there not?
(_Turning suddenly from the window_.) Shall I see him again? The living
real of my thousand dreams, in the light of life, will he stand here
to-day?--to-day? No, no. Is this swift flow of being leading on to
_that_? Oh day of anguish, if in thine awful bosom, still, that dazzling
instant sleeps, I can forgive the rest.

     (_She stands by the toilette, and begins to gather once more
     the long hair from her shoulders. Suddenly a low voice at the
      door breaks the stillness. The Canadian servant looks in_.)

_Jan_. I ask your pardon--Shall I come in, Ma'amselle?

_Helen_. Ay, ay, come in. How strangely any voice sounds amid this
loneliness. I am glad you are here.

_Jan_. (_Entering_.) Beautiful! Santa Maria! How beautiful! May I look
at these things, Ma'amselle? (_Stopping by the couch strewn with bridal
gear_.) Real Brussels! And the plume in this bonnet, was there ever such
a lovely droop?

_Helen_. Come, fasten this clasp for me, Netty. I thought to have had
another bridesmaid once, but--that is past--Yes, I am a bride to-day,
and I must not wait here unadorned. (_Aside_.) He shall have no hint
from me this day of "_altered fortunes_." As though these weary years
had been but last night's dream, and my wedding-day had come as it was
fixed, so will I meet him.--Yet I thought to have worn my shroud sooner
than this robe.

_Jan_. This silk would stand alone, Ma'amselle,--and what a lovely white
it is! Just such a bodice as this I saw my Lady Mary wear, two years ago
this summer, in Quebec; only, this is a thought deeper. But, Santa
Maria! how it becomes a shape like yours!

_Helen_. What a world of buried feeling lives again as I feel the clasp
of this robe once more! Will he say these years have changed me?

_Jan_. (_Aside_) I do not like that altered mien. How the beauty flashes
from her? Is it silk and lace that can change one so? Here are bracelets
too, Ma'amselle; will you wear them?

_Helen_. Yes. Go, look from the window, Janette, down the lane to the
woods. I am well-high ready now. He will come,--yes, he will come.

 (_Janette retreats to the window,--her eye still following the lady_.)

_Jan_. I have seen brides before, but never so gay a one as this. It is
strange and fearful to see her stand here alone, in this lonesome house,
all in glistening white, smiling, and the light flashing from her eyes
thus. She looks too much like some radiant creature from another world,
to be long for this.

_Helen_. He will come, why should he not? Netty, fix your eye on that
opening in the woods, and if you see but a shadow crossing it, tell me
quickly.

_Jan_. I can see nothing--nothing at all. Marie sanctissima!--how quiet
it is! The shadows are straight here now, Miss Helen.

_Helen_. Noon--the very hour has come! Another minute it may be.--Noon,
you said, Netty?

                  (_Joining Janette at the window_.)

_Jan_. Yes, quite--you can see; and hark, there's the clock. Oh, isn't
it lonesome though? See how like the Sunday those houses look, with the
doors all closed and the yards and gardens still as midnight. If we
could but hear a human voice!--whose, I would not care.

_Helen_. How like any other noon-day it comes! The faint breeze plays in
those graceful boughs as it did yesterday; that little, yellow butterfly
glides on its noiseless way above the grass, as then it did;--just so,
the shadows sleep on the grassy road-side there;--yes, Netty, yes,
_'tis_ very lonely.--Hear those merry birds!

_Jan_. But I would rather hear that signal, Miss Helen, a thousand
times, than the best music that ever was played.

_Helen_. I shall see him again. That wild hope is wild no longer. To
doubt were wilder now. Ay, Fate must cross my way with a bold hand, to
snatch that good from me now. And yet,--alas, in the shadowy future it
lieth still, and a dark and treacherous realm is that! The joys that
blossom on its threshold are not ours--It may be, even now, darkness and
silence everlasting lie between us.

_Jan_. Hark--Hark!

_Helen_. What is it?

_Jan_. Hark!--There!--Do you hear nothing?

_Helen_. Distant voices?

_Jan_. Yes--

_Helen_. I do--

_Jan_. Once before,--'twas when I stood in the door below, I heard
something like this; but the breeze just then brought the sound of the
fall nearer, and drowned it. There it is!--Nearer. The other window,
Miss Helen.

_Helen_. From that hill it comes, does it not?

_Jan_. Yes--yes, I should think it did. Oh yes. There is a guard left
there--I had forgotten that. Mon Dieu! How white your lips are! Are you
afraid, Ma'amselle?

           (_Helen stands gazing silently from the window_.)

_Jan_. There is no danger. It must have been those soldiers that we
heard,--or the cry of some wild animal roaming through yonder woods--it
might have been,--how many strange sounds we hear from them. At another
time we should never have thought of it. I think we should have heard
that signal though, ere this,--I do, indeed.

_Helen_. What is it to die? Nor wood nor meadow, nor winding stream, nor
the blue sky, do _they_ see; nor the voice of bird or insect do they
hear; nor breeze, nor sunshine, nor fragrance visits them. Will there be
nothing left that makes this being then? The high, Godlike purpose--the
life whose breath it is,--can _that_ die?--the meek trust in Goodness
Infinite,--can _that_ perish? No.--This is that building of the soul
which nothing can dissolve, that house eternal, that eternity's wide
tempests cannot move. No--no--I am not afraid. No--Netty, I am not
afraid.

_Jan_. Will you come here, Miss Helen?

_Helen_. Well.

_Jan_. Look among those trees by the road-side--those pine trees, on the
side of the hill, where my finger points.--

_Helen_. Well--what is it?

_Jan_. Do you see--what a blinding sunshine this is--do you see
something moving there?--wait a moment--they are hid among the trees
now--you will see them again presently--There!--there they come, a troop
of them, see.

_Helen_. Yes--_Indians_--are they not?

_Jan_. Ay--it must have been their yelling that we heard.--We need not
be alarmed.--They are from the camp--they have come to that spring for
water. The wonder is, your soldiers should have let them pass.--You will
see them turning back directly now.

_Helen_. (_Turning from the window_.) Shelter us--all power is thine.

_Jan_. Holy Virgin!--they are coming this way. Those creatures are
coming down that hill, as I live. Yes, there they come.

This strip of wood hides them now. What keeps them there so long? Ay,
ay,--I see now--I am sorry I should have alarmed you so, Ma'amselle, for
nothing too--They have struck into those woods again, no doubt; they are
going back to their camp by the lower route.

_Helen_. No.

_Jan_. It must be so. There is no doubt of it. Indeed, we might be sure
they would never dare come here.--They cannot know yet that your army
are gone. Besides, we should have heard from them ere this. They could
never have kept their horrid tongues to themselves so long, I
know.--Well, if it were to save me, I cannot screw myself into this
shape any longer. (_Rising from the window_.)

_Helen_. Listen.

_Jan_. 'Tis nothing but the sound of the river. You can make nothing
else of it, Ma'amselle,--unless it is these locusts that you hear. I
wish they would cease their everlasting din a moment.

How that breeze has died away! Every leaf is still now! There's not a
cloud or a speck in all the sky.

_Helen_. Look in the west--have you looked there?

_Jan_. Yes, there are a few little clouds beginning to gather there
indeed. We shall have a shower yet ere night.

              (_The war-whoop is heard, loud and near_.)

_Jan_. Mon Dieu! Here they are! It is all over with us! We shall be
murdered!

             (_She clasps her hands, and shrieks wildly_.)

_Helen_. Hush! hush! Put down that window, and come away. We must be
calm now.

_Jan_. It is all over with us,--what use is there? Do you hear that
trampling?--in the street!--they are coming!

_Helen_. Janette--Hear me. Will you throw away your life and mine? For
shame! Be calm. These Indians cannot know that we are here. They will
see these houses _all_ deserted. Why should they stop to search _this?_
Hush! hush! they are passing now.

_Jan_. They have stopped!--the trampling has stopped!--I hear the
gate,--they have come into the yard.

       (_A long wild yell is heard under the window. They stand,
       looking silently at each other. Again it trembles through
                    the room, louder than before_.)

_Helen_. I am sorry you stayed here with me. Perhaps--Hark! What was
that? What was that? Was it not _Maitland_ they said then? It was--it
is--Don't grasp me so.

_Jan_. Nay--what would you do?

_Helen_. I must speak with them. Let go my arm! Do you not hear? 'Tis
Maitland they are talking of. How strangely that blessed name sounds in
those tones!

_Jan_. You must not--we have tempted Heaven already--this is madness.

_Helen_. Let go, Janette. It is not you they seek. You can conceal
yourself. You shall be safe.

_Jan_. She is wild! Nay, I was mad myself, or I should never have stayed
here. It were better to have lived always with them, than to be murdered
thus.

      (_Helen opens the window, and stands for a moment, looking
      silently down into the court. She turns away, shuddering_.)

_Helen_. Can I meet those eyes again?

          (_Again the name of Maitland mingles with the wild
          and unintelligible sounds that rise from without_.)

_Helen_. Can I? (_She turns to the window_.) What can it mean? His own
beautiful steed! How fiercely he prances beneath that unskilful rein.
Where's your master, Selma, that he leaves me to be murdered here? A
letter! He bids me unfasten the door, Janette.

_Jan_. And will you?

_Helen_. They are treacherous I know. This will do.--(_Taking a basket
from the toilette_.) Give me that cord. (_She lets down the basket from
the window, and draws it up, with a letter in it_.)

_Helen_. (_Looking at the superscription_.) 'Tis his! I thought so. Is
it ink and paper that I want now? (_Breaking it open_.) Ah, there's no
forgery in this, 'Tis his! 'tis his!

_Jan_. How can she stand to look at that little lock of hair
now?--smiling as if she had found a bag of diamonds. But there's bad
news there. How the color fades out, and the light in her eye dies away.
What can it be?

_Helen_. (_Throwing the letter down, and walking the floor hastily_.)
This is too much! I cannot, I cannot, _I cannot go with them_! How could
he ask it of me? _This is_ cruel.

He knew, perfectly well, how I have always feared them--I cannot go with
them.

                     (_She takes up the letter_.)

(_Reading_.) "Possible"--"If it were possible"--he does not read that
word as I did when I kept this promise--_Possible_? He does not know the
meaning that love gives that word--"If I had known an hour sooner,"
--Ay, ay, an hour sooner!--"Trust me, dear Helen, they will not harm
you." _Trust me_, trust me. Won't I?

_Jan_. She is beckoning them, as I live!

_Helen_. Bring me that hat and mantle, Netty. I must go with these
savages.

_Jan_. _Go_ with them!

_Helen_. There is no help for it.

_Jan_. With these wild creatures,--with these painted devils?--No--Like
nothing human they look, I am sure. Ah see, see them in their feathers
and blankets, and that long wild hair. See the knives and the tomahawks
in their girdles! Holy Mary! Here's one within the court!

_Helen_. Yes, there he stands--there's life in it now.--There they
stand--the chesnut boughs wave over them--this is the filling up of
life. They _are_ waiting for me. 'Tis no dream.

_Jan_. Dare you go with them? They will murder you.

_Helen_. If they were but human, I could move them--and yet it is the
human in them that is so dreadful. To die were sad enough--to die by
violence, by the power of the innocent elements, were dreadful, or to be
torn of beasts; to meet the wild, fierce eye, with its fixed and deadly
purpose, more dreadful; but ah, to see the human soul, from the
murderers eye glaring on you, to encounter the human will in its
wickedness, amid that wild struggle--Oh God! spare me.

_Jan_. If you fear them so, surely you will not go with them.

_Helen_. This letter says they are kind and innocent. One I _should_
believe tells me there is no cause for fear. In his haste he could not
find no other way to send for me.--The army will be here soon,--I _must_
go with them.

_Jan_. But Captain Grey will come back here again this afternoon.
Stay,--stay, and we will go with him.

_Helen_. You can--yes, you will be safe. For myself, I will abide my
choice. Surely I need not dread to go where my betrothed husband trusts
me so fearlessly. I count my life worth little more than the price at
which he values it. Clasp this mantle, Netty.--And is it thus I go forth
from these blessed walls at last?--Through all those safe and quiet
hours of peace and trust, did this dark end to them lie waiting
here?--Are they calling me?

_Jan_. Yes.

_Helen_. Well,--I am ready. (_Lingering in the door_.) I shall sit by
that window no more. Never again shall I turn those blinds to catch the
breeze or the sunshine. Yes--(_returning_), let me look down on that
orchard once again. Never more--never more.

       (_She walks to the door, again pausing on the threshold_.)

_Helen_. (_solemnly_.) Oh God, here, from childhood to this hour,
morning and evening I have called on thee--forget me not. Farewell,
Netty, you will see my mother--you will see them all--that is
past.--Tell her I had seen the Indians, and was not afraid.

                                                       [_She goes out_.

_Jan_. It won't take much to make an angel of her, there's that in it.

             (_Looking cautiously through the shutters_.)

There she comes! How every eye in that wild group flashes on her! And
yet with what a calm and stately bearing she meets them. Holy Mary! she
suffers that savage creature to lift her to her horse, as though he were
her brother, and the long knife by his side too, glancing in the
sunshine! The horse, one would think, he knew the touch of that white
hand on his neck. How gently he rears his beautiful head. There they go.
Adieu! Was there ever so sad a smile?

Another glimpse I shall have of them yet beyond those trees.--Yes, there
they go--there they go. I can see that lovely plume waving among the
trees still.--Was there ever so wild a bridal train?

       *       *       *       *       *



DIALOGUE III.

SCENE. _British Camp. The interior of a Tent richly furnished. An
        Officer seated at a table covered with papers and maps.
        A Servant in waiting_.


_The Officer_. (_Sipping his wine, and carefully examining a plan of the
adjacent country_.) About here, we must be--let me see.--I heard the
drum from their fort this morning, distinctly. Turn that curtain; we
might get a faint breeze there now.

_Ser't_. But the sun will be coming that side, Sir. It's past two
o'clock.

_Off_. Past two--a good position--very. Well, well,--we'll take our
breakfast in Albany on Friday morning, and if our soldiers fast a day or
two ere then, why they'll relish it the better;--once in the rich
country beyond--Ay, it will take more troops than this General will have
at his bidding by that time, to drain the Hudson's borders for us.

                   (_A Servant enters with a note_.)

_Off_. (_Reading_.) "_The Baroness Reidesel's compliments--do her the
honor---Voisin has succeeded_."--Ay, ay,--Voisin has succeeded,--I'll
warrant that. That caterer of hers must be in league with the powers of
the air, I am certain. General Burgoyne will be but too happy, my
Lady--(_writing the answer_.)

                                               [_The Servant goes out_.

_Off_. Past two! The cannon should be in sight ere this. This to Sir
George Ackland.

                                                 [_Exit the Attendant_.

_Off_. Tuesday--Wednesday.--If the batteaux should get here to-morrow.
One hundred teams----

                 (_Another Officer enters the tent_.)

_1st Off_. How goes it abroad, Colonel St. Leger?

_2nd Off_. Indeed, Sir, the camp is as quiet as midnight. It's a
breathless heat. But there are a few dark heads swelling in the west. We
may have a shower yet ere night.

_Bur_. Good news that. But here is better, (_giving the other an open
letter_.)

_St. Leger_. Ay, ay, that reads well, Sir.

_Bur_. And here is another as good. Yes Sir, yes Sir,--they are flocking
in from all quarters--the insurgents are laying down their arms by
hundreds. It must be a miserable fragment that Schuyler has with him by
this.

_St. L_. General Burgoyne, is not it a singular circumstance, that the
enemy should allow us to take possession of a point like that without
opposition,--so trifling a detachment, too? Why, that hill commands the
fort,--certainly it does.

_Bur_. Well--well. They are pretty much reduced, I fancy, Sir. We shall
hardly hear much more from them. Let me see,--this is the hill.

_St. L_. A pity we could not provoke them into an engagement, though!
They depend so entirely upon the popular feeling for supplies and
troops, and the whole machinery of their warfare, that it is rather
hazardous reckoning upon them, after all. If we could draw them into an
engagement _now_, the result would be certain.

_Bur_. Yes, yes; we must contrive to do that ere long. Rather
troublesome travelling companions they make, that's certain. Like those
insects that swarm about us here,--no great honor in fighting them, but
a good deal of discomfort in letting them alone. We must sweep them out
of our way, I think, or at all events give them a brush, that will quiet
them a little.

_St. L_. Or they might prove, after all, like the gadfly in the fable. I
do not think this outbreak will be any disadvantage in the end, General.

_Bur_. Not a whit--not a whit--they have needed this. It will do them
good, Sir.

_St. L_. The fact is, these colonies were founded in the spirit of
insubordination, and all the circumstances of their position have
hitherto tended to develope only these disorganizing elements.

_Bur_. It will do them good, Sir. Depend upon it, they'll remember this
lesson. Pretty well sickened of war are they all. They'll count the cost
ere they try it again.

_St. L_. We can hardly expect the news from General Reidesel before
sunset, I suppose.

_Bur_. If my messenger returns by to-morrow's sunrise, it is better
fortune than I look for.

                     (_Col. St. Leger goes out_.)

                    (_Burgoyne resumes his plan_.)

_A Ser't_. (_At the door_.) Capt. Maitland, Sir.

_Bur_. Capt. Maitland!

_Ser't_. From Fort Ann, Sir.

                         (_Maitland enters_.)

_Bur_. Captain Maitland! Good heavens, I thought you were at
Skeensborough by this,--what has happened? or am I to congratulate
myself that the necessity of your embassy is obviated. You met them,
perhaps?--

_Maitland_. There's but little cause of congratulation, Sir, as these
dispatches will prove to you. I returned only because my embassy was
accomplished.

_Bur_. Do you mean to say, Captain Maitland, that you have seen the
waters of Lake Champlain, since you left here this morning?

_Mait_. I do, Sir.

_Bur_. On my word, these roads must have improved since we travelled
them some two days agone. I am sorry for your horses, Sir. You saw
General Reidesel?

_Mait_. I left him only at nine o'clock this morning.

                 (_Burgoyne examines the dispatches_.)

_Bur_. "Twelve oxen to one batteaux!"--"and but fifty teams!" This news
was scarcely worth so much haste, I think,--but fifty teams?--Captain
Maitland, had those draught horses from Canada not arrived yet?

_Mait_. They were just landing this morning as I left, but only
one-fourth of the number contracted for.

_Bur_. Humph! I would like to know what time, at this rate----sit down,
Captain Maitland, sit down--we are like to spend the summer here, for
aught I see, after all. (_A long pause, in which Burgoyne resumes his
reading_.)

_Mait_. General Burgoyne, I am entrusted with a message from General
Reidsel to the Baroness. If this is all----

_Bur_. What were you saying?--The Baroness--ay, ay--that's all well
enough,--but Captain Maitland is aware, no doubt, there are more
important subjects on the tapis just now than a lady's behests.

_Mait_. Sir?----

_Bur_. (_Pushing the papers impatiently from him_.) This will never do.
St. George! We'll give these rebels other work ere many days, than
driving away cattle and breaking down bridges for our convenience.
Meanwhile we must open some new source of supplies, or we may starve to
death among these hills yet. Captain Maitland, I have a proposal to make
to you. You are impatient, Sir.

_Mait_. General Burgoyne!----

_Bur_. Nay, nay,--there's no haste about it. It were cruel to detain you
now, after the toil of this wild journey. You'll find your quarters
changed, Captain Maitland. We sent a small detachment across the river
just now. Some of our copper-colored allies had got into a fray with the
enemy there.

_Mait_. Ha! (_returning_.)

_Bur_. Nothing of consequence, as it turns out. We hoped it would have
ended in something. A few of the enemy, who were stationed as a guard on
a hill not far from Fort Edward, were surprised by a party of Indians,
and killed, to a man, I believe. Afterwards, the victors got into a
deadly fray among themselves as usual. A quarrel between a couple of
these chiefs, at some famous watering place of theirs, and in the midst
of it, a party from the fort drove them from the ground;--this is
Alaska's own story at least.

_Mait_. _Alaska's!_

_Bur_. Alaska?--Alaska?--yes, I think it was,--one of these new allies
we have picked up here.

_Mait_. (_In a whisper_.) Good God!

_Bur_. By the time our detachment arrived there, however, the ground was
cleared, and they took quiet possession. Are you ill, Captain Maitland?

_Mait_. A little,--it is nothing. I am to cross the river.

_Bur_, Yes. You will take these papers to Captain Andre. You have
over-fatigued yourself. You should have taken more time for this wild
journey.

                        (_Maitland goes out_.)

_Bur_. I do not like the idea of division, but it cannot be helped now.
This gallant young soldier were a fitting leader for such an enterprize.

       *       *       *       *       *



DIALOGUE IV.

SCENE. _The ground before Maitland's Tent_.


           (_Maitland and the Indian Chief, Manida, enter_.)

_Mait_. This is well. (_He writes on a slip of paper, and gives it to
the Indian_.) Take that, they will give you the reward you ask for it.
Let me see your face no more, that is all.

_Manida_. Ha, _Monsieur_?

_Mait_. Let me see your face no more, I say. Do you understand me?

_Manida_. (_Smiling_.) Oui.

         (_Maitland turns from him. The Indian goes off in the
        opposite direction. He stops a moment, and steals a look
      at Maitland,--throws his head back with a long silent laugh,
                 and then goes on toward the woods_.)

_Mait_. (_Musing_.) I like this. _This_ is womanly! Nay, perhaps there
is no caprice about it. I may have misinterpreted that letter in my
haste last night. Very likely. Well,--better this, than that Helen Grey
should come to evil through fault of mine,--better this, than the
anguish of the horrible misgivings that haunted me amid my journey.

And so pass these faery visions! Nay, not thus. It will take longer than
this to unlink this one day's hope from its thousand fastnesses. I
thought, ere this, to have met the spirit of those beaming eyes, to have
taken to my heart for ever this soft, pure being of another life. And
yet, even as I rode through those lonely hills this morning, with every
picture my hope painted, there came a strange misgiving;--like some
scene of laughing noonday loveliness, darkening in the shadow of a
summer's cloud.

Strange that Alaska should abandon my trust! I cannot understand it.
Why, I should never have trusted her with this rascal Indian. There was
something in his eye, hateful beyond all thought,--and once or twice I
caught a strange expression in it, like malignant triumph it seemed. It
may be--no, he must have seen her--that glove he showed me was hers, I
know. Good God!--what if----I think my old experience should have taught
me there was little danger of her risking much in my behalf. Well--even
this is better, than that Helen Grey should have come to evil through
fault of mine.

       *       *       *       *       *



PART SIXTH

       *       *       *       *       *

RECONCILIATION.

       *       *       *       *       *

DIALOGUE I.

SCENE. _The slope of the Hill near Fort Edward. The road-side, shaded
        with stately pines and hemlocks_.


         (_Two British Officers, coming slowly down the road_.)

_1st Off_. Yes, here has been wild work upon this hill to-day. They were
slaughtered to a man.

_2nd Off_. I saw a sight above there, just now, that sickened me of
warfare.

_1st Off_. And what was that, pry'thee?

_2nd Off_. Oh nothing,--'twas nothing but a dead soldier; a common sight
enough, indeed; but this was a mere youth;--he was lying in a little
hollow on the roadside, and as I crossed in haste, I had well-nigh set
my foot on his brow. Such a brow it was, so young, so noble, and the
dark chesnut curls clustering about it. I think I never saw a more
classic set of features, or a look of loftier courage than that which
death seemed to have found and marbled in them. Hark--that's a
water-fall we hear.

_1st Off_. I saw him, there was another though, lying not far thence,
the sight of whom moved me more. He was younger yet, or seemed so, and
of a softer mould; and, torn and bloody as they were, I fancied I could
see in his garb and appointments, and in every line of his features, the
traces of some mother's tenderness.

_2nd Off_. Listen, Andre! This is beautiful! There's some cascade not
far hence, worth searching for.

_Andre_. Yes, just in among those trees you'll find a perfect
drawing-room, carpeted, canopied, and dark as twilight; its verdant
seats broidered with violets and forget-me-nots; and all untenanted it
seems, nay, deserted rather, for the music wastes on the lonely air, as
if the fairy that kept state there, in gossip mood had stolen down some
neighboring aisle, and would be home anon. I would have bartered all the
glory of this campaign for leave to stretch myself on its mossy bank,
for a soft hour or so.

_Mor_. Ay, with Chaucer or the "Faery Queen." If one could people these
lovely shades with the fresh creations of the olden time, knight and
lady, and dark enchantress and Paynim fierce, instead of Yankee rebels--

_Andre_. 'Twere well your faery-work were of no lasting mould, or these
same Yankee rebels would scarce thank you for your pains,--they hold
that race in little reverence. Alas,--

  No grot divine, or wood-nymph haunted glen,
  Or stream, or fount, shall these young shades e'er know.
  No beautiful divinity, stealing afar
  Through darkling nooks, to poet's eye thence gleam;
  With mocking mystery the dim ways wind,
  They reach not to the blessed fairy-land
  That once all lovely in heaven's stolen light,
  To yearning thoughts, in the deep green-wood grew.
  Ah! had they come to light when nature
  Was a wonder-loving, story-telling child!--
  The misty morn of ages had gone by,
  The dreamy childhood of the race was past,
  And in its tame and reasoning manhood,
  In the daylight broad, and noon-day of all time,
  _This_ world hath sprung. The poetry of _truth_,
  None other, shall her shining lakes, and woods,
  And ocean-streams, and hoary mountains wear.
  Perchance that other day of poesy,
  Unsung of prophets, that upon the lands
  Shall dawn yet, thence shall spring. The self-same mind
  That on the night of ages once, for us
  Those deathless clusters flung, the self-same mind,
  With all its ancient elements of might,
  Among us now its ancient glory hides;
  But, from its smothered power, and buried wealth,
  A golden future sparkles, decked from deeper founts,
  A new and lovelier firmament,
  A thousand realms of song undreamed of now,
  That shall make Romance a forgotten world,
  And the young heaven of Antiquity,
  With all its starry groups, a gathered scroll.


_Mor_. Ay, Andre, you were born a poet, and have mistaken your art.
Prythee excuse me, who am but a poor soldier, for marring so fine a
rhapsody with any thing so sublunary; but, methinks, for an enemy's
quarters, yonder fort shows as peaceable a front of stone and mortar as
one could ask for. What can it mean that they are so quiet there?

_Andre_. That spy did not return a second time.

_Mor_. The rogues have made sure of him ere this, I fancy. They may have
given us the slip,--who knows?

_Andre_. I would like to venture a stroll through that shady street if I
thought so. A dim impression that I have somewhere seen this view
before, haunts me unaccountably.

_Mor_. How I hate that sober, afternoon air, that hangs like an
invisible presence over it all. You can see it in the sunshine on those
white walls, you can hear it in the hum of the bee from the bending
thistle here.

_Andre_. Of the mind it is. This were lovely as the morning light, but
for the shade it gathers thence, from the thought of decline and the
vanishing day. 'Tis a pretty spot.

_Mor_. Yes, but the quiet goings-on of life are all hushed there now.

_Andre_. Ay, this is the hour, when the home-bound children swing the
gate with a merry spring, and the mother sits at her work by the open
window, with her quiet eye, and the daughter, with the beauty of an
untamed soul in her's, looks forth on the woods and meadows, and thinks
of her walk at even-tide. I thought it was something like a memory that
haunted me thus,--'tis the spot that Maitland talked of yesterday.

_Mor_. Captain Maitland? I saw him just now at the works above.

_Andre_. Here? On this hill?

_Mor_. Yes,--something struck me in his mien,--and there he stands with
Colonel Hill, above, on the other side.--Mark him now. Your friend is
handsome, Andre; he is handsome, I'll own,--but I never liked that smile
of his, and I think I like it less than ever now.

_Andre_. Why, that's the genuine Apollo-curl,--a line's breadth deeper
were too much, I'll own.

                (_Maitland and another Officer enter_.)

_Off_. That is all,--that is all, I believe, Captain Maitland. Yonder
pretty dwelling among the trees seems an old acquaintance of yours. It
has had the ill manners to rob me of your eye ever since we stood here,
and I have had little token that the other senses were not in its
company. Andre, has your friend never a ladye-love in these wilds, you
could tell us of?

_Mor_. He is sworn to secresy. Did you mark that glance?

_Mait_. Love! I hold it a pretty theme for the ballad-makers, Colonel
Hill; but for myself, I have scarce time for rhyming just now. Captain
Andre, here are papers for you.

                                 [_He walks away, descending the road_.

_Col. Hill_. So! So! What ails the boy?

    (_Looking after him for a moment, and then ascending the hill_.)

_Andre_. (_Reading_.) Humph! Here's prose enough! Will you walk up the
hill with me, Mortimer? I must cross the river again.

_Mait_. First let me seek this horse of mine,--the rogue must have
strayed down this path, I think.

                        (_He enters the wood_.)

     (_Andre walks to and fro with an impatient air, then pauses_.)

_Andre_. Well, I can wait no longer for this loiterer.

                                                               [_Exit_.

            (_Mortimer re-enters, calling from the woods_.)

_Mor_. Andre! Maitland! Colonel Hill! Good Heavens! Where the devil are
they all? Maitland!

           (_Maitland appears, slowly ascending the road_.)

_Mor_. For the love of Heaven,--come here.

_Mail_. Nay.--but what is it?

_Mor_. For God's sake, come,

       *       *       *       *       *



DIALOGUE II.

SCENE. _A little glen, darkly shaded with pines. A fountain issuing from
        one side, and falling with a curious murmur into the basin below_.


                   (_Mortimer and Maitland enter_.)

_Mor_. This is the place!--Well, if hallucinations like this can visit
mortal eyes, I'll ne'er trust mine again. 'Tis the spot, I'm sure of
it,--the place, too, that Andre was raving about just now.--The fairies'
drawing-room,--palace rather,--look at these graceful shafts,
Maitland,--and fairies' work, it must have been in good earnest.

_Mait_. If it's to admire this clump of pine trees you have brought me
hither, allow me to say you might have spared yourself that trouble. I
have seen the place already, as often as I care to.

_Mor_. Come this way a little,--yes, it was just above there that I
stood,--it must have been.

_Mait_. If you would give me some little inkling of what you are talking
about, Lieutenant Mortimer, I should be more likely to help you, if it's
help you need.

_Mor_. I do not ask you to believe me, but,--as I was springing on my
horse just now above there, the gurgling of this spring caught my ear,
and looking down suddenly--upon my word, Captain Maitland, I am ashamed
to describe what cannot but seem to you such an improbable piece of
fancy-work; and yet, true it seemed, as that I see you now. I was
looking down, as I said, when suddenly, among those low evergreens, the
brilliant hue of a silken mantle caught my eye, and then a woman's brow
gleamed up upon me. Yes, there in that dark cradle, calmly sleeping, all
flashing with gold and jewels, like some bright vision of olden time,
methought there lay--a lady,--a girl, young and lovely as a dream;--the
white plume in her bonnet soiled and broken, and the long bright hair
streaming heavily on her mantle,--and yet with all its loveliness, such
a face of utter sorrow saw I never. I _saw_ her, I saw her, as I see you
now,--the proud young form with such a depth of grace, in its strange
repose, and--where are you going?--what are you doing, Maitland?

_Mait_. Helen Grey!--

_Mor_. You are right. I did not mark that break--yes--there she lies.
Said I right, Maitland?

_Mait_. Helen Grey!--

_Mor_. Maitland! Heavens!--what a world of anguish that tone
reveals!--Why do you stand gazing on that lovely sleeper thus?

_Mait_. Bring water. There's a cup at yonder spring. Here has been
treachery! Devils and fiends have been working here against me. We must
unclasp this mantle. The treasure of the earth lies here.--Now doth mine
arm enfold it once, at last. 'Tis sweet, Helen, mine own _true_ love;
'tis sweet, even thus.

_Mor_. This letter,--see--from those loosened folds it just now dropped.
This might throw some light, perchance--

_Mait_. Let it be. There's light enough. I want no more. Water,--more
water,--do you see?

_Mor_. Maitland,--this is vain. Mark this dark spot upon her girdle--

_Mait_. Hush, hush,--there, cover it thus--'tis nothing, Loosen this
bonnet--so--'twas a firm hand that tied that knot; so--she can breathe
now.

_Mor_. How like life, those soft curls burst from their loosened
pressure! But mark you--there is no other motion, I am sorry to distress
you,--but--Maitland--this lady is dead.

_Mait. Dead_! Lying hell-hound! _Dead_! Say that again.

_Mor_. God help you!

_Mait. Dead_! Helen Grey, open these eyes. Here's one that, never having
seen them, talks of death. Oh God! is it thus we meet at last? At last
these arms are round her, and she knows it not. I look upon her, but her
eye answers me not. Dead!--for me? Murdered!--mine own hand hath done
it.

_Mor_. Why do you start thus?

_Mait_. Hush!--hush! There!--again--that slow heavy throb--again! again!

_Mor_. Good God! she breathes! This is life indeed.

_Mait_. (_Solemnly_.) Ay, thank God. This moment's sweetness is enough.

_Mor_. How like one in troubled sleep she murmurs! Mark those tones of
sweet and wild entreaty. Listen!

_Mait_. I have heard it again!--from the buried years of love and hope
that music came. She is here. 'Tis _she_. This is no marble mockery. She
is here! Her head is on my bosom. Death cannot rob me of this sweetness
now.

                         (_Talking without_.)

_A Lady_. This way--I hear their voices. Down this pathway--here they are.

              (_Lady Ackland and Andre enter the Glen_.)

_Lady A_. I knew it could not be. They told us she was murdered,
Maitland. (_Starting back_.) Ah--ah--God help thee, Maitland!

_Mait_. Listen, listen. She was speaking but now. There--again!

_Lady A_. And this is she! Can the wilderness blossom thus? And did God
unfold such loveliness--for a waste so cruel?

_Helen_. (_In a low murmur_.) We are almost there. If we could but pass
this glen. Oh God! will they stop here? Go on,--go on. Was not that a
white tent I saw? Go on. They will not. 'Tis nothing,--do not weep.

_Mait_. Look at me, Helen.--Open these eyes. One more look--one more.

_Andre_. She hears your bidding.

_Mait_. Oh God! Do you see those eyes--those dim, bewildered eyes?--it
is quenched--quenched. Let her lean on you.

_Lady A_. Gently--gently, she does not see us yet.

_Helen_. Oh Mother, I am ill and weary. Here's this dream again! Blue
sky? and pine-tree boughs? Am I here indeed? Yes, I remember now,--we
stood upon that cliff--I am dying. Is there no one here? Whose tears are
these?

_Lady A_. Dear child, sweet one, nay, lean on me.

_Helen_. My mother, oh my mother, come to me. Come, Annie, come, come!
Strangers all!

_Mor_. Her eye is on him. Hush!

_Andre_. See in an instant how the light comes flashing up from those
dim depths again. _That_ is the eye that I saw yesterday.

_Lady A_. That slowly settling smile,--deeper and deeper--saw you ever
any thing so gay, so passing lovely?

_Helen_. Is it--is it--Everard Maitland--is it _thee_? The living real
of my thousand dreams, in the light of life doth he stand there now?
Doth he? _'Tis he!_

_Mait_. Helen!

_Helen_. 'Tis he! That tone's spell builds around me its all-sheltering
music-walls, and death is nothing. Oh God, when at thy dark will dimly
revealed, I trembled yesterday, I did not think in this most rosy bower
to meet its fearfulness.

_Mait_. Helen,--dost thou love me _yet_?

_Helen_. Doubter, am I dying here?

_Mait_. 'Tis her own most rich and blessed smile, even as of old in
mirth it shone upon me. Your murderer, you count me then?

_Helen_. Come hither,--let me lean on _you_. Star of the wilderness!--of
this life that is fading now, the sun!--_doth_ mine eye see thee, then,
at last? Oh! this is sweet! On its own holy home my head rests now.
Everard, in this dark world _Love leans on Faith_. How else, even in
God's love and loveliness, could I trust now for that strange future on
whose bloody threshold I am lying here; yes, and in spite of prayers and
trust, and struggling hopes. And yet--how beautiful it is--that love
invisible, invisible no more. Like glorious sunshine it is streaming
round me,--lighting all. The infinite of that thy smile hath imaged, as
real,--it beams on me now. Have faith, in _him_ I mean; for--if we meet
again--we'll need it then no more; and--how dim it grows--nay, let me
lean on you,--and--through _this_ life's darkening glass I shall see you
no more. Nay, hold me!--quick!--where art thou?--Everard!--He is
gone--gone!

_Lady A_. Dead!--

_Mor_. She is dead!

_Andre_. This was Love.

_Lady A_. See how her eyes are fixed on _you_. The light and love of the
vanished soul looks through them still. Cruelly hath it been sent
thence; and no other gleam of its changeful beauty will e'er dawn in
them. Sadly, oh lovely stranger, I close for ever now these dark-fringed
lids upon their love and beauty. Yes--_this_ was love!

_Andre_. And so there was a need-be in its doom. I'll ne'er believe
_that_ genuine, that is blessed. The fate of this life would not suffer
it. Ah! if it would, if Heaven should leave a gem like that outside her
walls, we should none of us go thither.

_Mait_. Dead? How beautiful! Yes--let her lie there--under that lovely
canopy. Dead!--it's a curious word--How comes it that we all stand here?
Ha, Andre?--is it you?

_Andre_. I heard the tale as I crossed just now, from an Indian, who was
one in the ambuscade this noon--and in the woods on the other side, I
found this lady, with her attendants, abiding the promise she made you
last night, to welcome this lovely stranger with her savage guides.

_Mait_. Hush, hush. Let it pass. See,--a bride!

_Mor_. (_Aside_.) Did he trust her with these murderers?

_Mait_. Ay--say yes.

_Andre_. Indeed, Maitland, you wrong yourself. It was the treachery of
this savage Manida that crossed your plans, working the mission of some
Higher power,--as for Alaska, you might as soon have doubted me.

The Chief he sent for her was one he had known years--but,
unfortunately, he was one in the ambuscade this morning--nay, the leader
of it; for the murdered Indian was his son; and meanwhile amid the fight
the treacherous Manida, who accompanied him to Maitland's tent last
night, and heard the promised reward, found means to steal from its
concealment the letter, with which he easily won this trusting lady to
accompany him.

_Mor_. Ah!--there it lies.

_Andre_. It was here in this glen that Alaska, discovering the
treachery, lay in wait for them with a band of chosen warriors, and on
that cliff above they fought.

_Lady A_. (_Aside_.) And she stood there, amid those yelling demons
alone! Methinks the angels should have come from their unseen dwellings
at her prayer. Can our humanity's darkest extremity wring no love from
the invisible?--

_Andre_. Alaska had regained his charge; but the malignant eye, and the
deadly arrow of the vanquished Indian followed her. She fell, even in
the place where you found her; for at that same instant a party from the
fort drove them hence, victor and vanquished. Alaska fled; but the
murderer, with a tale cunning enough to deceive the lover, boldly
demanded and obtained the prize.

_Mor_. Mark his changed mien. I would rather see tears for a grief like
this, than that calm smile with which he gazes on her now.

         (_Burgoyne and St. Leger are seen talking in the road
                    above,--they enter the glen_.)

_Bur_. At a crisis like this we might better have lost a thousand men in
battle! Ah! ah!--a sight for our enemies, Lady Ackland! Where is this
Indian?

_St. L_. We have sent out for him. No one has seen him as yet.

_Bur_. Let him be found. Look to it. We will give them an example for
once. I say, at a crisis like this we might better have lost a thousand
men in battle, for it will turn thousands against us, and rouse the
slumbering spirit of resistance here, at the very crisis when, had it
slumbered on a little longer, all was ours.

_St. L_. But this was a quarrel among the Indians, and no fault of ours.

_Bur_. No matter. You will see what Schuyler will make of it. His wordy
proclamation will have its living sequel now. A young and innocent girl,
seeking the protection of our camp, is inhumanly murdered by Indians in
our pay. A single tale like this is enough to undo at a blow all that we
have accomplished here. With ten thousand wild aggravations, it will be
told in every cottage of these borders before to-morrow's sunset.

                  (_Another Officer enters hastily_.)

_Off_. Here is Arnold, with a thousand men, on the brow of the next
hill. One of the rebel guard escaped, and the news of the massacre here
has reached their camp below.

_Bur_. Said I right?

                (_The three Officers go out together_.)

_Andre_. This story is spreading fast, there will be throngs here
presently. Maitland,--nay, do not let me startle you thus, but--

_Mait_. Is it you? What was it we were saying yesterday?--we should have
noted it. This were a picture worth your pencilling now. Those silken
vestments,--that long, golden hair,--this youthful shape,--there's that
same haughty grace about it, that the smile of these thought-lit eyes
would disown with every glance. Then that letter,--and the Lady Ackland
here,--Weeping?--This is most strange. I know you all,--but,--as I live
I can't remember how this chanced. How comes it that we all stand here?
Pearls?--and white silk?--a bridal?--Ha ha ha! (_Laughing wildly_.)

_Lady A_. Take me away. This is too terrible! lean stay here no longer.
Take me away, Andre.

                                            [_Exeunt Andre and Lady A_.

                        (_An Officer enters_.)

_The Officer_. We are ordered to withdraw our detachment, Captain
Maitland. The rebels are just below, some two thousand strong, and in no
mood to be encountered.

_Mor_. He does not hear you. We must leave that murdered lady here, and
'tis vain to think of parting them. Come.

                                        [_Exeunt Mortimer and Officer_.

_Mait_. They are gone at last. They are all gone. I am alone with my
dead bride. I must needs smile--I could not weep when those haughty and
prying eyes were upon me, but now--I am alone with my dead
bride.--Helen, they are all gone,--we are alone. How still she
lies,--smiling too,--on that same bank. She will speak, surely she will.
How lightly those soft lashes lie, as if a word would lift
them.--Helen!--I will be calm and patient as a child. This lovely smile
is deepening, it will melt to words again.--Hark! that spring,--that
same curious murmur! We have checked our sweetest words to hear it, we
have stood here listening to it, till we fancied, in its talk-like
tones, wild histories, beautiful and sad, the secrets of the woods.--Oh
God!--and have such memories no power here now? In mine ear alone doth
the spring murmur now. Death! what is't?--Awake! awake,--by the love
that is _stronger_ than death,--awake!--

I thought that scene would shift. It had a heavy, dream-like mistiness.
_This_ is reality again. _These_ are the pine trees that I dreamed of.
See! how beautiful! With the sharp outline and the vivid hue such as our
childhood's unworn sense yields, they are waving now. Look, Andre, there
she sits, the young and radiant stranger,--there, in the golden sunset
she is sitting still, braiding those flowers,--see, how the rich life
flashes in her eye, and yet, just now I dreamed that she was dead,
and--and--Oh my God!

                         (_A voice without_.)

Let go, who stays me?--where's my sister?

                       (_Captain Grey enters_.)

_Grey_. Ha! Murderer! art satisfied?

_Mait_. Ay.

_Grey_. What, do you mock me, Sir?

_Mait_. Let her be. She is mine!--all mine! my love, my bride,--my
_bride_?--_Murderer_?--Stay!--Don't glare at me! I know you, Sir. I can
hurl off these mountain shadows yet.--They'll send some stronger devil
ere they wrench this hold from me! I know you well. What make you here?

_Grey_. Madness!--there's little wonder!--It's the only good that Heaven
has left for him! My lovely playfellow,--my sister, is it so indeed?
Alas! all gently lies this hand in mine. There is no angry strength here
now. Helen!--Ah! would to God our last words had not been in bitterness.

_Mait_. He weeps. I never thought to see tears there. List!--she should
not lie there thus. Strange it should move you so!--Think it a picture
now. 'Tis but a well-wrought painting after all, if one but thinks so.
See,--'tis but a sleeping girl, with the red summer light upon her
cheek, and the slight breeze stirring her golden hair. Mark you that
shoulder's grace?--They come.

                (_Leslie, Elliston, and others enter_.)

_Leslie_. Oh God, was there none other? My lovely cousin, and--were
_you_ the victim? In your bridal glory chosen,--nay, with your heart's
holiest law lured to the bloody altar! Yet this day's history, and
something in that calm, high mien, tells me, as freely you had moved
unto it, though God had spoken by a higher voice, and with a martyr's
garland beckoned you.

_Elliston_. Our cause is linked unto that ancient one, the cause of Love
and Truth; in which Heaven moves with unrelenting hand, not sparing its
own loveliest ones, but unto bloody death freely delivering them.

                  (_Grey and Leslie converse apart_.)

_Leslie_. Yes--we will bury her here. 'Tis a fitting spot; and unto
distant days, this lonely grave, with its ever-verdant canopy, shall be
even as Love's Shrine. Thither, in the calm and smiling summers of those
bloodless times shall many a fair young pilgrim come, to wonder at such
love; and living eyes shall weep, and living hearts shall heave over its
cruel fate, when unto her the long-told tale, and all the anguish of
this far-off day, shall be even as the dim passage of some troubled
dream. A martyr's garland she hath won indeed; true Love's young Martyr
there she lies.

_Elliston_. Yet was that love but the wreathed and glittering weapon of
a higher doom. In that holy cause, whose martyrs strew a thousand
fields, truth's, freedom's, God's, darkly, by _Power Invisible_ hath
this young life been offered here.

A thousand graves like this, over all this lovely land, in lanes and
fields, on the lonely hill-side, by the laughing stream, and in the
depths of many a silent wood, to distant days shall speak--of
blood-sealed destinies; with voices that no tyrant's power can smother,
they shall speak.--

_Leslie_. The light of that chamber window, through the soft summer
evening will shine here; no mournful memory of all the lovely past will
it waken. The autumn blaze will flicker within those distant walls, and
gather its pleasant circle again; but _she_ will lie calmly here. For
ever at her feet the river of her childhood shall murmur on, and many a
lovely spring-time, like the spring-times of her childhood, shall come
and go, but no yearning hope shall it waken here; the winter shall sing
through the desolate boughs, and rear its fairy temples around her, but
nought shall break her dreamless rest.--

_Mait_. Graves! Is it graves they are talking of? Will they bury this
gay young bride! 'Tis but the name; there's nothing sad in it. In the
lovely summer twilight shall her burial be, and thus; in all her bridal
array, with the glory of the crimson sunset shining through the
trees;--see what a fearful glow is kindling on her cheek, and that faint
breeze--or, is it life that stirs these curls? Stay!--whose young brow
is this?--Ha!--_whose_ smile is this? Who is this they would hurry away
into the darkness of death? The grave! Could you fold the rosy and
all-speading beauty of heaven in the narrow grave? Helen, is it
thee?--my heaven, my long-lost heaven; and, even now, but for mine own
deed--Oh God! was there no hand but mine?--but for me--They shall not
utter it,--there, thus. There's but _one_ cry that could unfold this
grief, but that would circle the round universe and fill eternity. A sad
sight this! Is't known who killed this lady, Sir?

_Leslie_. Of all the wrecks of beautiful humanity that strew these
paths, we have found none so sad as this!

_Elliston_. Mark you those groups of soldiers loitering on the road-side
there?

_An Officer_. Curiosity. The regiment that was dismissed to-day. They'll
be here anon.

_Leslie_. Ay, let them come.

_Off_. Look,--who comes up that winding pathway through the trees, with
such a swift and stately movement? A woman! See how the rude soldiers
turn aside with awe. Ah, she comes hither.

                         (_A voice without_.)

Where is she?--stand aside!--What have you here in this dark
ring?--Henry--nay, let me come.

                    (_Mrs. Grey enters the glen_.)

_Grey_. For God's sake, Madam, let me lead you hence. This is no place
for you. Look at this group of men, officers, soldiers--

_Mrs. G_. Would you cheat me _thus_? Is it no place for _me_? What kind
of place is't then for her, whose--Oh God!--think you I do not see that
slippered foot, nor know whose it is,--and whose plumed bonnet is it
that lies crushed there at their feet?--unhand me, Henry.

_Leslie_. Nay, let her come,--'tis best.

           (_She passes swiftly through the parting group_.)

_Mrs. G_. My daughter!--_Blood_? My stricken child smile you? No pity
was there then? Speak to me, speak! Your mother's tears are on your
brow, and heed you not? Nay, tell me all, my smitten one. This day's
dark history will you never pour into my ear, that hath treasured so
often your lightest grief? Alone through that wild anguish have you
passed, and smile you now? I bade her trust in God. Did _God_ see this?

         (_Arnold, and a group of Soldiers, enter the glen_.)

_Arnold_. Look there. Ay, ay, look there. You were right, Leslie;--this
_is_ better than a battle-field. They'll find that this day's work will
cost them dear.

_Mrs. G_. Did _God_, who loves as mothers love their babes, see this I
Had I been there, with my love, in the heavens, could _I_ have given up
this innocent and tender child a prey to the wild Indians? No!--and
legions of pitying angels waiting but my word. No,--no.

_Elliston_. Had you been there,--from that far centre whence God's eye
sees all, you had beheld what lies in darkness here. Forth from this
fearful hour you might have seen Peace, like a river, flowing o'er the
years to come; and smiles, ten thousand, thousand smiles, down the long
ages brightening, sown in this day's tears. Had you been there with
God's _all_-pitying eye, the pitying legions had waited your word in
vain, for once, unto a sterner doom, for the world's sake he gave his
Son.

_Mrs. G_. Words! Look there. That mother warned me yesterday. "_Words,
words! My own child's blood_,"--I _see_ it now.

                    (_A group of Soldiers enter_.)

_A. Soldier_. (_Whispering_.) Who would have thought to see tears on
_his_ face; look you, Jack Richards.

_Another Sol_. 'Twas his sister, hush!--

_Arnold_. Ay, ay, come hither. Look you there! Lay down your arms. Seek
the royal mercy;--here it is. Your wives, your sisters, and your
innocent children;--let them seek the royal shelter;--it is a safe one.
See.

_3d Sol_. It was just so in Jersey last winter;--made no difference
which side you were.

_Arnold_. Ask no reasons.--'Twas in sport may be. 'Tis but one, in many
such. Shameless tyranny we have borne long, and now, for resistance, to
red butchery we are given over. The sport of lawless soldiers, and
savages more cruel than the fiends in hell, are we, and the gentle
beings of our homes;--but, 'tis the Royal power. Lay down your arms.

_Soldiers_. (_Shouting_.) _No_.

_Arnold_. Nay, nay,--in its caprice some will be safe,--it may not light
on you. See, here's the proclamation. (_Throwing it among them_.) Pardon
for rebles.

_Soldiers_. No--no. (_Shouting_.) Away with pardon!--(_Tearing the
proclamation_.) To the death! Freedom for ever!





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Bride of Fort Edward: Founded on an Incident of the Revolution" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home