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 ]

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: Quaker idyls
Author: Gardner, Sarah M. H.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Quaker idyls" ***

   [Illustration: “_Lucretia Mott quietly took her place beside the
                      colored man._”--Page 145.]

                             QUAKER IDYLS

                          SARAH M. H. GARDNER


                               NEW YORK
                        HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY

                           COPYRIGHT, 1894,
                           HENRY HOLT & CO.

                      THE MERSHON COMPANY PRESS,
                             RAHWAY, N. J.



  TWELFTH STREET MEETING,                                              1

  A QUAKER WEDDING,                                                   17

  TWO GENTLEWOMEN,                                                    33

  OUR LITTLE NEIGHBORS,                                               53

  PAMELIA TEWKSBURY’S COURTSHIP,                                      65

  SOME ANTE-BELLUM LETTERS FROM A QUAKER GIRL,                        87

  UNCLE JOSEPH,                                                      159

  MY GRANDAME’S SECRET,                                              175

                         _This little book is
                    affectionately dedicated to two
                            dear “Friends,”
                        E. W. P. and M. M. T._

                             QUAKER IDYLS.

                        TWELFTH STREET MEETING.

Are the summer mornings longer in Philadelphia than elsewhere, or is
it the admirable Quaker custom of breaking the fast at the usual hour
on Sunday that gives such delightful leisure before the calm walk to
meeting at half past ten?

Certain it is that the Sabbath of June 11 was no exception to the
general rule, and when John and Martha Wilson, with their daughter
Cassy, passed beyond the brick wall which separates the sanctuary
from the street, there were groups of Friends kindly inquiring after
the welfare of each other, and offering greeting to such as were
unaccustomed to the place.

John passed to the right, where he extended his hand to a
fellow-worshiper. Martha paused in the doorway to stroke the shining
curls of a pretty child, whose gentle mother had failed in her efforts
to subdue Dame Nature. And Cassy, sweet Cassy, who was no longer very
young, felt the color rise, and modestly dropped her eyes, as she
noticed the pleased observance of her entrance depicted on the face
of George Evans, already occupying a seat on the “men’s side” of the

Several elderly Friends were in their place on the floor, and in
the gallery were those who held the positions of elders and accepted
ministers. Their hands were folded, and one or two of the men, who held
walking sticks, rested their hands on the rounded tops. But the faces
of all wore a far-away look, as if the present surroundings could never
disturb the sweet serenity of their souls.

Quietly the congregation gathered. There was not a large company.
But few wore the garb of the past generation. There was, among the
middle-aged, a disposition to grow a little plainer with increasing
years, but the soft felt hat was conspicuous in the room, and the stiff
bonnets were relieved by silk shirrs of brown or gray.

Cassy, this warm day, has assumed a gown of white stuff, the very
essence of simplicity; a straw bonnet of half modern date, destitute
of embellishment, unless the satin ties, reaching halfway to the
crown, and the blond pleating surrounding her face, could be called
trimming. The dress was closed at the throat by a small gold clasp,
which confined also the edges of the linen collar; drab, openwork mitts
covered her well-shaped hands--hands that were never weary with good
work, nor ever fearful of losing their beauty in the performance of the
daily toils that fell upon them.

As the house grew silent, and more silent, a gentle prayer went up from
her heart that she might keep her spirit undefiled, and when, after a
little, the stillness was broken by the voice of an aged man in the
upper seat, she raised her head and paid the strictest attention to
his opening words.

“Like as a father pitieth his children,” he began, his pale face
reflecting the purity of his aspirations, and the trembling voice,
growing in volume as he proceeded, until after a few moments it had
fallen into that peculiar cadence, a sort of half melancholy rising
and falling inflection, measured and monotonous, that afflicts the
unaccustomed ear, and so often in these holy assemblies destroys their

Philo Thomas was a trial to poor Cassy; she revered his patient life of
tribulation, she caught the reflection of the light which glowed within
his soul, but his outward manifestations were singularly unacceptable
to her; she wished that so good a man might feel called upon to keep
silence in public places, and yet she half rebuked herself for the
seeming disrespect.

Patiently she tried to keep pace with the thought that so slowly
fell from the sing-song utterance, but gradually she drifted into a
different channel. The glowing face of the man who had rejoiced at
her coming was rising before her. Educated, as she had been, to the
strictest truthfulness, she could not even seek to shut out from
herself the knowledge that she felt and enjoyed his satisfaction at
her presence there, nor, indeed, her own pleasure and comfort in this
state of affairs. Her heart beat a trifle faster than it ought, and the
blush burned again as she forgot the preacher and the company and only
remembered the one face across the narrow line which divided the women
from the men.

Suddenly the voice ceased, and the solemn silence smote her like a

“What have I done!” she cried out in spirit, “I have desecrated the
holy place. My thoughts are the thoughts of a worldling! Can I bear
through the week the recollection that I wasted my opportunity on the
first day? that any human being can have the power to turn me from my
path, can destroy my self-respect, can make me forget my Creator?”

“The Lord is in his holy temple, blessed be the name of the Lord,”
passed through her heart, and formed on her trembling lips. Hot tears
filled her eyes and fell unheeded on her handkerchief, tears of shame
and humiliation.

A faint rustle aroused her. In the gallery a slight pale woman arose,
untied the strings of her stiff bonnet, and laid it on the bench beside
her. Stepping forward until her hand rested on the rail in front, she
spoke softly, distinctly, and the happy change from the droning tones
of the earlier speaker riveted the attention of the wandering.

She spoke of the pure in heart; defining her terms, dwelling on the
growth of sin if permitted to linger, emphasizing the truth that we
must be ever on the alert to discern the shadow of transgression, until
poor Cassy--who had at once entered into the spirit of the sermon--poor
Cassy felt that this was being spoken directly to her.

Then as the sweet voice paused, a new measure filled it. She turned
from admonition to adoration, depicting the joy there is in heaven
over one sinner who returns from his ways, and as if carrying out
the thought of the aged man who had preceded her, and which he had
so sorely missed in his illustration, she urged the tenderness of
an earthly parent to an erring child, and the abounding love and
beneficence of our Heavenly Father.

“Dear children,” she cried, “do not fear to approach him. Open your
hearts! Search out the hidden places! Let the light stream in and your
sins shall be wiped away. Fear not man; that which it is impressed upon
you to reveal, dare not to keep secret.”

She resumed her seat and her bonnet, but the seed she had sown took
deep root in Cassy’s heart. All through the remaining hour she
revolved its teaching in her soul. It was clear the meaning for her was
a stronger and heartier purification of her thoughts. Not that George
Evans was an unholy object, nor that his affection was to be despised,
but that the meeting-house was not the place for human admiration. And
oh! what did these words mean, “Not to keep silent?” Was she bidden to
unfold this page to George, to tell him that the lesson was for him

What pain it cost her to dream of such a task! yet was not this one of
those hidden places that should be flooded with light? What if he did
deem _her_ unwomanly who could speak on such a matter without having
been spoken to? Were not the commands of the Lord to be preferred to
any earthly comfort? She should perhaps lose her lover--see herself
dethroned, for never a word had he vouchsafed her but of the plainest
courtesy, but she should gain the respect of her own conscience. The
fires that purify, also blister and burn. How could she refuse? Perhaps
George Evans’ soul was in peril too, for well she knew that upon his
ear had fallen unheeded the words of the first preacher.

Solemnly the two men friends at the head of the gallery clasped hands,
and immediately a little hum of neighborly inquiry went round.

Cassy dreaded to move. She felt, rather than saw, her lover waiting for
her outside the door, and silently asking help in her time of trouble,
she walked down the aisle. She did not omit any of the customary
greetings; she promised to meet with the sewing committee the next
day, to carry jelly to an aged friend, and turned and shook the hand
which George Evans held out to her.

There was nothing strange that he walked beside her down Arch Street,
but he gave her little opportunity to open her heart. They had passed
but a short distance when he broke the silence by saying:

“Cassy, does thee know I almost felt that Mary Elwood’s sermon was
intended for me? And perhaps for thee, too. I have thought for some
time that the Lord had designed thy path and mine to run side by side.
Thee knows that this morning was the first opportunity I have had
to attend meeting for several weeks, but when I saw thy face it was
so pleasant to me that I fell into a worldly train of thought--how
I might tell thee of my great hope, that thee would respond to my
affection for thee. Mary Elwood’s voice broke my reverie, and showed
me where my way led. I resolved then to speak to thee at once, for
something in thy look betrayed thy feeling, and I feared I had led thee
into evil; that my glance, as I entered meeting, had possessed the
power of withdrawing thy meditation from the Lord, and the voice of his
servant warned me to repent, and hesitate not to reveal to thee the
source of my inquietude.”

Gravely she laid her hand upon his arm, and with but one shy upward
glance at his earnest face, she said solemnly:

“Blessed be the name of the Lord. This lesson was also revealed unto
me. Had thee not felt called upon to warn me against such temptation,
I should have dwelt upon it to thee at the first opportunity, but our
Heavenly Father hath spared me the trial.”

                           A QUAKER WEDDING.

A renowned foreigner characterized Philadelphia as a “city of
magnificent sameness.” Possibly this is true of the older portions of
the town, and surely there is little in the exterior of the compactly
built houses on upper Arch Street to distinguish the dwelling of the
Twelfth Street Friend from that of a more worldly citizen.

On a certain morning in October, the same atmosphere of seclusion
surrounded the whole block between Sixteenth and Seventeenth streets.
No possible hint came forth from No. -- that within its red brick
walls, outlined with the cold precision of white marble sills and
doorsteps and guarded by heavy shutters, there was about to be
consummated a tender little drama. The narrow door, with its painted
icy glare and glistening knob, opened at short intervals to admit tall
figures in long coats, cut with straight collars, and beaver hats in
gray or black, whose broad brims shadowed smooth-shaven, manly faces.
Trim little maidens too, and their quaint feminine relatives, waited
demurely on the spotless step, for the opening touch of a dark-skinned
hand within.

It rarely happened that a newcomer entered without a pleasant greeting
to the elderly colored woman: “How is thee to-day, Hannah?” or, “I
am glad to find thee has conquered thy rheumatism”; which brought a
low-voiced answer: “Thank thee; will thee go up to the second story,
or can I send thy bonnet?” This to the elder women, while the sweet
young damsels, in a happy subdued flutter, have turned to the guest
chamber to smooth their silken raiment, or possibly to venture so far
toward personal adornment as the fastening of a few white buds over
the dainty corsage. There was a little murmur of soft voices: the
expression of joy that Cassy and George had been blessed with such a
beautiful wedding day; the hope that Mary Anna Landers would be able to
reach there in time for the ceremony. “She always speaks so acceptably
to the young.” One told of a certain aged Friend in deep affliction
and the message that she bore from the dying bed to the gentle bride
whose helpful hands had so often soothed the pain away. And thus, in
groups, the guests descended to the parlor, the straight long room
where a strong light from tall windows in front and rear was modified
by means of drab Venetian blinds. Between these windows hung, on one
hand, a modest engraving of William Penn, and upon the opposite wall
that of Elizabeth Fry. Both were framed in dark-colored wood, and the
benign expression of the gifted man, and the wealth of dignity in
the face of the celebrated philanthropist charmed in spite of their
austere surroundings. Upon a marble mantel, under a glass shade,
rested a clock, as white and cold as the slab beneath; a small basket
of delicate ferns, as if half ashamed of their vivid green, retired
behind the solemn mouth of a tall undecorated silver candlestick. The
room was well-nigh filled with chairs placed in regular order, and
two hair-cloth sofas whose broad seats accommodated the elders of the
meeting. Directly below the picture of the venerable Penn were the
places designed for George and Cassy, straight-backed old oaken chairs,
that would be a delight to the antiquarian of to-day, and near the
right wall stood a small table upon which rested a roll of parchment, a
pen, and a substantial ink-well.

One of the windows was open, and the fresh sweet air came in laden with
the noises of the street: the rumble of the carts, the click of hoofs
upon the sharp stone pavements, the distant cries of venders, and the
whistle of the locomotive. The light breeze stirred the cap borders
and the kerchiefs of the placid women, who lifted their soft hands to
rearrange the muslin with the same instinct that prompts the care of
curl and ornament in their fashionable sisters. The parchment fluttered
to the ground, and in replacing it there was exposed to view a page of
exquisite penmanship, the great letters in ornate Old English hardly
belonging to Quaker simplicity.

Meanwhile in the sitting room at the head of the first flight of stairs
there was a sweet picture. This apartment was so entirely an emanation
from the home life that the stiffness and coldness of the lower room
was totally lacking. The very loud tick of the old-fashioned mahogany
clock that stood in the corner had a sound of cheer. The little wood
fire on the hearth gave out a welcome, and the half dozen rockers and
lounging chairs in gray and brown dress held open arms. A big Maltese
cat crouched by the rug, a few pencil sketches from the hand of a
favorite nephew graced the wall, and a heavy bookcase gave evidence
thro’ its glass door, of much substantial learning. There was a cluster
of periodicals on a stand, the clear title of “The Friend” recalling
their import; a stereo-scope with a tray of views, a basket of knitting
work, and, hanging on the back of a peculiar easy-chair, the round
pillow that betokens snatches of rest.

Cassy was standing by the east window. The broad beams of the morning
sun were growing more direct, and fell with force over her delicate
form. Her gown of silver gray enveloped her like mist, and chastened
the rising color. As she turned toward the advancing figure of the
bridegroom, her eyes suffused with tears. She held forth her hands and
said tremblingly, “Dear George, how earnestly I pray that our Heavenly
Father may ever guide me so that I walk aright, and fulfill toward
thee all the requirements of this holy relation.” Tenderly he kissed
her as he replied, “My soul is assured that thee never would have
been drawn so close to me were it not the will of the Divine Master:”
and presently when John and Martha entered they pressed the daughter
to their hearts and breathed upon the stalwart young man a blessing,
so full of emotion that the patience of awaiting Friends was quite
forgotten. Then the tall monitor on the corner, that had marked the
hour of Cassy’s birth, gave warning of another epoch in her life.

The company was seated as the little party entered the parlor. George
and Cassy advanced to the chairs assigned them, John and Martha next
their daughter, and the parents of George occupied a similar position
on the other side. There were a few minutes of absolute silence, then
the younger pair arose, joined hands, and in a clear unbroken voice the
bridegroom spoke these words:

“In the presence of the Lord and this assembly, I, George Evans take
Cassy Wilson to be my wife, promising with Divine assistance to be
unto her a faithful and loving husband until death shall separate us;”
and after an instant’s pause, the bride, with a far-away look in her
sweet eyes, calmly repeated the same tender promise. Then they sat
down again, and presently a white-haired man, with so great revelation
of power in his face that it might almost have been called conscious
strength, appeared in supplication before the throne of grace. He
asked that the twain now made one might become nearer and dearer to
each other as time went on, and that in fulfillment of the claims of
the spirit, they might ever be ready to respond to the call of the
Bridegroom who cometh while it is yet night. For some moments after
the prayer had ended the company remained with bowed heads, and the
stillness was but gently broken by the movement of another honored
Friend, who came forward as a member of the committee appointed by the
monthly meeting, to be present at the marriage and report that all
proceedings had taken place in strict accordance with the rules of the
society. He now read aloud the certificate, heretofore lying on the
table, testifying to such regularity, and advancing to the bridal pair
requested them to affix their signatures. The pen was then passed to
the parents, and as each person present gave hands to the happy George
and Cassy, the same favor was extended. During the conclusion of this
ceremony, Cassy’s color had brightened with the congratulations and
gentle admonitions of these so dear to her, and before it was finished
the little buzz of friendly interest had wreathed the placid face in
smiles, and dried the tears that were almost too ready to start to the
eyes of the tender mother. No one was forgotten; even the faithful
Hannah and the Cassius of long service added their irregular strokes
to the certificate, and Cassy caught up on her arm the three-year-old
guest, and guided his playful fingers over the smooth page.

There was a quiet intimation that a collation was spread in an
adjoining apartment, and the thrifty folk, who scorn the embellishments
but not the substantials of life, did ample justice to the bounteous
repast, daintily served from the finest of linen, the clearest of
glasses, and the frailest of china. There was no spoken word of
thanksgiving, only a pause wherein their hearts might acknowledge the
mercies of the Giver of all Good. There was no haste, no indecorous
indulgence in the temptations of the table, but a cheerful, happy
tone pervaded the company who regarded marriage not as the absorption
of one life by another, but as a true union of strong souls for the
furtherance of God’s holy purpose.

As each guest departed, he or she was freighted with a package of
wedding cake for some friend or servant: “Maria, will thee kindly give
this to Eldridge Percy? We all feel to regret his absence, and trust
that he may be spared to meet with us once again.” “Philip, thee knows
how dear our Cassy was to Hagar the summer we spent at your home: thee
will not mind carrying her a bit of cake?”

And when at length the hour of parting came, there was no long line of
merrymakers to hurl slippers and showers of rice after the retreating
carriage, but there were last words spoken that dwelt in the hearts of
the earnest young husband and wife, and the injunction of the father
was a simple admonition to “search ever for the light that is revealed
in the soul”; and the loving children heard his brave voice reply to
the neighbor that regretted the distance that must henceforth separate
them: “I can safely trust my son and daughter in the hands of the Lord,
wheresoever he may lead them.”

                           TWO GENTLEWOMEN.

The square brick house with many windows, in the little village of
W., was called the “Mountain Place,” both from the name of one of its
occupants, and also from its situation, which was the most conspicuous
point in town.

The owner was a rich manufacturer, who had for many years placed it at
the disposal of his two widowed sisters less prosperous, financially,
than himself.

Mrs. Letitia Mountain’s family lived on the lower floor in a commodious
suite of “apartments,” hardly known as such in that day, when any
respectable person was supposed to occupy, or furnish, an entire
dwelling, but the idiosyncracy was in this case excused on ground of a
peculiar attachment existing between the sisters.

The double parlors, with high ceiling and heavy folding doors, were
forever resplendent in white china paint and velvet paper, and the
visitor felt almost obliged to observe the extreme complexity of
the figure on the carpet, evidently designed for homes of heroic

The upper rooms were far less imposing, and thus better suited to the
smaller purse and household of the elder sister, Mrs. Honora Plum.
This poor lady endured much from the companionship of a stepdaughter,
ill-tempered and idle, and reflecting the blaze of an ancient
escutcheon stained by vice, for Mrs. Plum had married the younger son
of a titled English gentleman.

Nothing of the regret from which she must have suffered ever passed her
lips, and her patient smile sweetened the loaf which she so generously
shared with the woman whose only claim was the name she bore.

Mrs. Mountain’s past, on the contrary, was delightful to contemplate. A
happy marriage in early life shed a halo over even the long illness and
death of a beloved husband; but neither this break in the tide of joy,
nor the sorrows of Honora, ever darkened the light of true sister love
that doubled their present portion of helpfulness and cheer.

Both ladies were short and dark, with large brown eyes which never lost
their sparkle, and well-formed lips that kept a rosy color into late

Fashion forever stamps some part of Nature’s work as reprehensible,
and at the period of which I write, the gray locks that represent
intensity of feeling as often as age were considered unfit to be seen
by the world. So the heavy silken bands that graced the brows of both
sisters were closely covered with beribboned caps, and bordered with
“false fronts” of dusky hair, coiled on each side over two small combs,
forming stiff and ungainly puffs that did not seem to belong to the
little women, but to which they were so much attached that one never
admitted the other to her chamber until the structure was erected, or a
huge nightcap entirely concealed the absence of it.

Far more suitable would have been the simplicity of the Friend’s
costume, which bore a wondrous charm for them, as the dress of their
beloved mother. But the sisters had wandered from the fold, each
had married “out of meeting” and thereby forfeited her birthright
membership; and having renounced the worship of their fathers, they
also felt it incumbent to robe themselves somewhat according to the
fashion of the world’s people, but the “Stranger” air which marked
their devotions before a “hireling ministry” also clung to their

It was a little pitiful, this estrangement from their early religious
associations, and perchance it might have been their greatest pleasure
to return to the fold when the days of their widowhood came, but the
meeting was held in a remote district of the township, and neither
of the sisters was robust. For this reason they made a church home in
the nearest house of worship, and carried thither so much of their
elementary religion as wrought daily miracles of love and patience.

They were charitable to a degree almost beyond praise, and the fine
bearing, the impressive presence of the little pair, could have come
from nothing else than a realization of noble attributes.

The annals of New York indeed would be incomplete without mention of
the exceeding service rendered the State in time of need by a rich
Quaker, who steadfastly refused any public recognition, but whose death
was everywhere heralded as that of a man combining in his character
modesty and rare worth.

Perhaps it was the consciousness of being heir to these virtues that
led Honora into a false conception of the inheritance of her husband,
but the painful knowledge of her error never lessened her understanding
of the motto “Noblesse oblige.”

Everybody forgave the sisters their touch of pride since both its
source and outcome were of such purity, but it was almost pathetic to
hear their personal disavowal of merit, attributing all things of worth
in their admirable womanhood to their ancestry, and when, in the days
of her children’s youth, Mrs. Mountain found it necessary to chastise
them, the rod was considered far less severe than a reminder that
through misdemeanor they were sullying the family record.

It was a matter of deep regret to both Honora and Letitia that they
had no sons. The former was childless, and the latter had buried her
boys in infancy, but it was a consolation that the marriage of their
brother, late in life, had resulted in securing a continuance of the
honored line.

Hospitality was one of the inherited virtues. The fruit cake jar
was never allowed to become empty, and on such holidays as were not
bespoken by their brother, their separate tables were surrounded by the
impecunious old and young of their acquaintance.

So long as Mrs. Mountain’s daughters remained unmarried there was an
abundance of merrymaking, but after they had gone to homes of their own
this youthful element was greatly missed. Mrs. Plum’s stepdaughter was
too grim to be social, and gradually the lives of the sisters fell
into a routine.

Certain days in the month were devoted to family visits. The rector
was entertained by them alternately, at stated periods, and once
every fortnight they dressed themselves in stiff silks and real
laces, and went through the formality of returning calls. No doubt
the conversation was as little varied as the wardrobe, yet it was a
pleasing duty, faithfully performed.

They had been educated like the majority of well-to-do women of
that period, but this was far from developing a love of study--that
progressive intelligence which furnishes the ladies of the present with
unfailing entertainment.

Nothing, therefore, was a greater satisfaction to them than the daily
visits of an old and respected colonel, living on a large farm just
beyond the border of the town.

He rode to the post office every morning on a white horse, quite as
stiff in his joints as his master, and it was one of the duties of the
postman to respond to the timely cough of the colonel by carrying out
the scanty mail, if such there chanced to be. The soldierly salutation
repaid him a hundred-fold for this small attention, while the colonel
turned his horse toward Mountain Place.

He was so prompt in all his proceedings that the servant prepared
herself, at ten o’clock, to answer the summons of the enormous brass
knocker, and with as much dignity as if he had come with a message of
state, the ruddy man inquired for “the ladies.” Then, as he entered the
hall, he graciously relieved any embarrassment by mentioning “Mrs.
Mountain’s parlor, if you please,” or “Mrs. Plum’s drawing room,”
alternating day by day. Immediately the lady presiding arose and
greeted him as though he was recently returned from a foreign mission,
and in the next breath spoke to the servant, who had long ago learned
to await this direction: “Ask Mrs. Plum if it will be convenient to
come down, Colonel Gray is here,” or “My compliments to Mrs. Mountain.”

The newcomer then formally welcomed the second sister, carefully asked
after her health, and conversation became general.

An hour, sometimes two, the colonel’s horse stood in the wind and
weather awaiting his agreeable master, but if, as rarely happened, the
latter limit was transgressed, a loud neighing brought the gentleman
to his feet. “Ladies, I have had a most entertaining morning; duty
alone calls me from your side. Allow me to wish you good-day.”

In the afternoon as the sisters sat by the front window knitting socks
for the poor, or daintily stitching some fine muslin for a baby’s
outfit, they discussed the Colonel’s visit.

“Letitia, I am sorry brother does not like the Colonel.”

They never disagreed, and from a constant desire to emphasize, each the
opinion of the other, there had grown a habit of repetition.

“Yes, Honora, I wish brother did incline toward the Colonel.”

“I cannot understand his objection. Colonel Grey is a gentleman, and
an excellent provider.”

This term embraced a multitude of small virtues, chiefly that of
generosity toward his immediate family, and to Mrs. Mountain and Mrs.
Plum, the man who failed in this respect had better not be alluded to.

It was a little strange that they knew the Colonel’s household habits,
for he lived alone with an aged housekeeper and her husband, and it was
only at long intervals that he opened his doors to his friends, albeit
he was justly proud of the frequent honor he enjoyed of “drinking a
dish of tea” at the Mountain Place, and on these occasions he never
forgot to be strictly impartial in his attentions, and addressed his
conversation first to one, then to the other of the sisters.

Like the entire village population, he was well aware that to these
ladies everyone looked for advice, and indeed for intelligent nursing.
So frequent were the midnight calls for services that one of the
servant’s regular duties was the disposition at nightfall of their
hoods, cloaks, and lantern conveniently near the front door.

A reference to this formed a staple joke between the friends, and
Letitia frequently asserted (and it was repeated by Honora) that in
case of illness at “Moss Farm,” they would consider themselves engaged.

Perhaps the good Colonel had more than a jest at heart when he referred
to the matter, for the ills of life come surely in train of age, and
the summons reached Mountain Place on an early morning of September. It
was a shock to the ladies, this forerunner of a parting from one who
had been so stanch a friend, and so inconsiderate a visitor, as their
brother insisted.

Just as the carryall came in sight of the Colonel’s homestead, the
first twitter of awakening birds brought a new sense of life and
activity into the world. The dark forest behind the house sent forth a
thousand notes of welcome to the day, and the clear spring, where the
old horse turned to drink, added its gentle murmur.

Mrs. Mountain was touched, her eyes moistened.

“Alas!” she said, noting the movement of the old gray, “the world never
stops for any of us. The birds sing, the horse wants to drink, the
sunlight flashes over the farm, just as if the good man that has lived
so long to lighten the cares of others, was not passing away.”

“Passing away! Yes, passing away,” and the solemn voice of her sister,
seemed like an echo from the hills.

It was the usual trouble, a shock of paralysis, and the faithful doctor
gave little encouragement, yet he thought it possible the Colonel’s
speech might become clear again, and when the stupor that enthralled
the poor man had passed, the pale eye wandered about the room. Words
were unnecessary, the watchers understood that he wanted a hand laid
in his own, and Letitia gently slid her soft palm beneath the chilled
fingers. Honora as promptly took her place at the other side, stroking
the withered arm that lay motionless upon the bed.

The doctor opened the window, and as the delicious breath of the pines
crept in, the sick man stirred. He moved his head restlessly. But
when Mrs. Mountain would have left her place to rearrange his pillows,
suddenly his tongue loosed and he spoke, feebly indeed, and with an
effort, but the words fell distinctly upon the listeners.

“Years ago, I wanted--I intended she should be my wife if----” He
stopped. Presently he gave evidence that the same thought was still in
his mind.

“Yes,” he murmured, “but I love her just as well.”

The doctor moistened the dry lips, and the sisters both moved as if to
assist, but one lifeless hand pressed heavily, and the poor member with
a little vitality motioned Mrs. Mountain not to stir.

So they remained, while hour after hour went by.

The noonday was upon them when again the old face brightened and the
quavering voice said slowly:

“Yes, yes, I love her just as well.”

The silence that followed was not broken again, and soon the faithful
sisters spread the white sheet over the dear dead.

That night, as they sat together in Mrs. Mountain’s stately parlor,
Honora said with a sigh:

“Perhaps, Letitia, it is just as well the Colonel never spoke to you
about marriage. His family was not so good as our own, but I thought it
strange he could see you so often and not love you.”

And Letitia startled Mrs. Plum by contradicting her.

“Child alive, Honora! I always knew the Colonel loved the ground you
trod on.”

                         OUR LITTLE NEIGHBORS.

                        A first of April story.

Jerry came in one spring morning wearing a very triumphant air. He
caught the baby from the floor and tossed him as he said:

“Well, Kittie, I have taken the house.”

“Have you, dear? Now do just tell me all about it. Is it ‘The Cottage
by the Sea’ or a ‘cobble-stone front’ at Riverdale? Have you plenty
of neighbors, and a garden spot, and what rent? Pray don’t keep me in

An amused smile passed over his face as he seated himself.

“Let me see, question No. 1. Is it the ‘Cottage by the Sea?’ Yes, if
you choose, for the ocean is only three miles away; just a lovely drive
or even walk through delicious pine wood. A ‘cobble-stone front?’ No,
thank you. A small plain wooden box, of a dull gray color, well suited
to its neighbors, for there is quite a community of Quakers in the
vicinity. Neighbors near? Yes, decidedly, as our share is only half
the box, after all. It was built for a summer home for two brothers,
the Allens, next door to us, you know. Caleb cannot leave town this
year, so we can occupy his quarters. Garden spot? Oh, yes; abundantly
large, but all in one inclosure. The house is regularly divided, but
the grounds are not. Don’t look worried, little wife; you and I and the
baby are not likely to be troublesome, and I am sure Joseph Allen’s
staid household will behave itself.”

And so on the “First of April” we moved. My costume was considerably
demoralized when we reached our summer home. The baby had quite
destroyed all the beauty my hat ever had, and my small nephew, who had
insisted upon going to visit us the first day, was so timid in crossing
the river that he clung to my draperies with too much fervor, and I
presume that I was an object of pity to the few ladies in the cabin.
Certain it is that I felt decidedly shabby, tired, and perhaps a trifle
out of humor as I entered the cottage door and dropped my heavy boy
on the clean, but carpetless floor. Bridget soon made her appearance
with a list of the casualties, and as Jerry had not yet arrived, I was
growing very gloomy when a light tap at the side entrance caused me to
spring to my feet.

What a picture of simplicity and purity stood before me! I blushed at
the contrast which my disordered finery presented! Here on my doorstep
were two little wrens (I could call them nothing else, although they
were certainly girls), one just a trifle taller and larger than the
other; both with soft pink cheeks and brown hair cut close on the neck
and parted smoothly and evenly, without a suggestion of crimp or curl.
Their dresses were of a drab color, just visible below long white
aprons, on which there was not even a superfluous button! Their linen
sunbonnets boasted of no ruffles, and the colored stockings, which
peeped from beneath their rather long dresses, were of the same shade.
Little gray birds, with just such shy little ways!

The elder one looked up timidly and held toward me a basket, saying:

“Mother sent thee this lunch.”

“And don’t forget, Sallie,” whispered the younger, “don’t forget about
the baby.”

“Thee can ask that, Debby.”

The only worldly looking feature between them was Debby’s blue eyes,
and they sparkled and ran riot in spite of her, but her mouth was very
serious as she asked:

“Would it not relieve thee if Sally and I were to ’tend the baby?” then
glancing at my company, “the children, I mean, while thee lies down on
mother’s bed.”

My eyes filled with tears at the thoughtfulness of these strangers. I
had never known anything about “Quakers” before.

The baby was ready enough to exchange Bridget’s charms for the dainty
little ladies’, and I clasped each of his small hands in Debby’s, but
instantly she transferred one-half her treasure to sister Sally, who
turned demurely, and said:

“Thank thee. We will watch over him, and presently, if thee thinks
best, I can give him some milk.”

They had not quite reached the garden when Johnny burst forth. In great
wrath he was indeed.

“Do they fink I am a baby!” he roared out. “Get my cap, I want to go on
the boat again!”

“On the boat, Johnny!”

He colored, and remembering his terror, revenged himself upon me by

“I s’pose the reason they calls me chillen is ’cause they’s such ole
womans demselves;” and having flung his parting shot he walked off with
great dignity.

A moment later he was lunching superbly from cold chicken and apple
tart out of the “’ole womans’” basket! Such is mortal man!

Although I felt inclined to decline my little neighbor’s invitation
to “lie down on mother’s bed,” it was a great help to me to have the
baby so well cared for, and Bridget’s stout arms ready to stretch and
nail carpets. Down they went rapidly, and was it the fresh breeze from
the ocean, wafted through the pine trees, or was it the glass of rich
Jersey milk that toned me up to such a cheery condition that, when
Jerry’s step sounded on the gravel, I rushed to meet him, singing
“Home, Sweet Home”?

The good man was delighted with my progress, and especially with my
report of the lovely little neighbors, which I lingered over.

“And where are they now, Kittie?”

“Let us go quietly out to the garden and see, for I am sure I do not
intend to impose on good nature by giving over baby entirely to them.”

The tall drooping willow tree in the grass plot sheltered a lovely
group. Baby mine, sound asleep in the big clothes basket, was snugly
tucked up and protected by the little ladies, attended by that fickle
youth, Master Johnny. His squeaky voice was plainly heard explaining
the mysteries of Cat’s Cradle and Wood Sawyer. But in a moment more he
called wildly:

“Ain’t that a big snake on the baby?” His companions sprang forward
hurriedly, but the vicious boy only replied, “April Fool.” The two
girls hung their heads and colored. I held my breath. I could not
believe they did not understand the joke. It was only an instant, and
then Sally, laying her soft hand on stupid little Johnny’s head, said
in the silvery voice, so low and clear:

“Dear, could thee not just as well say ‘Fourth Month Dunce’?”


In a certain section of Central New York the contour of the hills forms
a remarkable resemblance to a huge _pitcher_, and by this name the
region has long been known.

A few years since my husband and I, with a young son, took a delightful
outing through that locality. Having our own horses and carriage,
we made a very leisurely journey, aiming always for a comfortable
resting place at night, and bearing away with us each morning a hamper
containing luncheon for ourselves and a bag of oats for the ponies.
Thus equipped, we traversed the distance to our next lodging according
to our daily whim; picnicking at noon, in true gypsy fashion, beneath
some pine trees, or beside a rippling stream; turning from coffee and
sandwiches to a delicious course of “Humorous Sketches,” or a siesta
upon pine boughs.

Many comical adventures had we. It was difficult to convince the
country people, who often stopped to chat with us, that this was
recreation. They invariably demanded a legitimate reason for such
unusual proceedings, and more than one inquiring visitor searched the
light vehicle for some wares that he had “made sure” we were peddling.

Genuine offers of hospitality were not wanting, and many a pedestrian
found a seat in the comfortable little carriage.

It so happened one morning that my husband was somewhat bewildered by
the conjunction of several roads, and seeing in advance of us a sturdy
figure moving forward at a good pace we hurried to overtake it. At the
sound of approaching wheels, and the words “My friend, can thee tell me
just where _Pitcher_ lies?” a genial countenance was turned toward us.

“Wal, I reckon, this here,” indicating the abrupt hills just before us,
“is the handle. What part be ye looking fer?”

He had a ruddy face, very grizzly as to beard, and when he removed
his weather-worn hat his smooth, bald crown, with a fringe of white
curls, seemed an unfit accompaniment for the twinkling eyes of deep
blue--such eyes as one sometimes sees in babies, wholly undimmed by
care or tears.

“Why, I really don’t know,” laughed my husband; “I was directed to
Hosmer’s Inn.”

“Oh, ho! that’s atwixt the nose and the swell. Now ye are smiling, and
well ye may; but just step out here and ye can see that God A’mighty
shaped a perfecter pitcher out of them hills than most men can turn on
a wheel--no, ye can’t drive nigh to this stump, and that’s whar yer
woman wants to stand.”

He helped us all to alight, gave me his hand as I climbed to the top of
the stump, and pointed with his thumb to a rise of ground far in the

“That thar’s the rim, being what the pitcher ought to rest on if the
Lord had sot it on end.” There was no possible irreverence in his
tone. “Hereabouts,” a rolling section nearer us, “is the swell. Just
across Bub’s left shoulder lies the nose, and here right for’ard is the
beginning of the handle. Foller it--see it curves jest so.”

It was very plain, and we all expressed our complete understanding of
the “lay of the land.”

“There is jest four p’ints where you can see the whole figger to onct.
Here, by this hick’ry stump; yander, north of the nose; south of them
pines ye see, and kinder back of the rim. Them’s all, but it’s worth a
journey--and I take it ye are travelers--to see how darned perfect the
thing is. Looked to right, it couldn’t be beat; and I reckon, somehow,
it’s about so with the most of God A’mighty’s doin’s--ef we look to
’em _right_ they’re about perfect, that’s all there is of it.”

My husband thanked the old man cordially and invited him to ride with
us if his route lay that way.

“Wal, now, I don’t care ef I do, squire. Ye hev the speech of the
Quakers and them’s mighty good folk, and it haint often nowadays that
I get behind two such spankin’ roans as them be. Nor,” as he clambered
into the front seat, “nor nigh so sensible a looking woman--yer wife,

“Yes; this is my wife and son.”

“It’s a darned good thing to hev yer wife with ye, along in life. I
haint never had one yit,” he added evasively.

We all smiled, but the old man didn’t notice it. My husband spoke of
the crops, of the fine air and good water. Our visitor answered in
monosyllables. At last, pointing to a white gleam in the distance, he
said, almost gleefully:

“Now, thar’s a woman livin’ in that house, that I cal’late to call my
wife one o’ these days; but time an’t come yet.”

“How so?” asked I, rather hastily, I fear, for I scented a romance.

“Wal, it’s a long story, but ef ye an’t amiss I’d jest as lief tell it.
We’re mor’n six miles from Hosmer’s.” And with this little introduction
the story proceeded.

“It was in 1846 that I first come to the nose. Our farm lay afar off to
the rim--a little mite further. But our deestric wa’n’t a-goin’ to keep
no school that winter; so I up and asked father ef I dassent go off
somewheres and get a job o’ chores fer my board, and so git one more
term of schoolin’. He hadn’t no objections, and kinder thought it over,
and spoke about Deacon Hinman at the nose being laid up with _teesick_
and reckoned how he might want me. So I packed my big red han’kercher
full o’ traps and socks and shirts, and away I come. I can see myself
now a-bobbin’ up and down this very lane. It wa’n’t worked by team
then, and it was full o’ yaller-rod and spikenet, for it had been an
awful pretty fall. So I, like a boy--and I love to pick ’em yit--hung
a posy bed around my neck, and clean forgot it when I knocked at the
deacon’s side door. And what do ye think? The durndest prettiest gal up
and opened it. I never was so took back. I allers knowed Deacon Hinman
hadn’t no darters; and there she stood and me a-meachin’, till all at
once she said:

“‘A-peddlin’ posies?’

“Then my feelin’ came back, and I answered her quick: ‘Do you like ’em?’

“And she took ’em, and was a-turnin’ away as red as a piny herself when
I recollected the deacon’s teesick. So I stepped in the room and sot
down on the settee, and says I: ‘How’s the deacon?’

“‘He’s abed,’ says she.

“‘Got a man around?’

“‘Ef we haint it’s none o’ your business. I’m man enough to tell ye
that, and if ye haint got nothin’ better to do than to sass folks and
string posies ’round yer neck, I’d thank ye to git up and go.’

“I do not know as I ever heard Pamely Tewksbury say so much to onct in
all my days since, fer she a’nt no talker; but, land’s sake, didn’t
she skeer me, and didn’t she look purty! I kinder shook all over, so I
scarce got tongue to tell her who I was and what fetched me. She was
ashamed enough then; I see it in her eyes, but she didn’t never tell
me. No, sir. That a’nt her way.

“The deacon’s wife came in jest then, half a-cryin’, for the cow had
kicked her, and it didn’t take long afore we struck a bargain, and
in the evenin’s she told me all about the deacon’s teesick and her
rheumatiz; but the only thing I could remember was that the gal was the
deacon’s niece come to live with them, and her name was Pamely.

“My! how that winter flew by. I don’t reckon I l’arned a great deal
to school, but I knew jest how many sticks of wood het the stove up
right to bake, and how to plan to git time fer the churning Saturdays,
and to turn out the wash-water Monday nights fer a gal who never said
tire--but I couldn’t a-bear to see them little arms a-liftin’ so.

“Summer time come, and the deacon wa’n’t no better, and father said
how I’d better stay and hire out for hayin’. I was a powerful worker
then--I can mow my swath pretty reg’lar now--and I was a powerful big
eater, too; but there wa’n’t no lack of vittles. The deacon was allers
a good provider, and Pamely was a rare cook.”

Here he paused, and turning toward the white speck, now grown into a
distinct homestead, he said gravely:

“Ef ye was to put up there this very day, and no one a-knowin’ of yer
comin’, _she’d_ set ye afore as good a meal at an hour’s notice as
ever Hosmer sot for two dollars and a half a day.” Then the story went

“At first I used to talk to Pamely some, but after a while every time I
tried to speak somethin’ crammed in my throat, and it got to be so that
I dassent try to talk. Evenin’s I jest sot and whittled mush-sticks
out of white pine, till she bu’st out one night, and says she: “S’pose
you think I’m goin’ to spile my mush every time with a new tastin’
stirrer.” And she laughed till she had to go out the room; but what did
I care ef she used them stirrers fer kindlin’? I’d had my luck lookin’
at her fingers fly a-sewin’ or a-knittin’, and I’ve got a pair of
double blue and white streaked mittens now that she made that winter.
It went along so fer ’bout three year and more. I don’t think I keered
much fer time. I jest wanted to be a-earnin’, winter and summer, and
that was what it had come to, fer the deacon didn’t git much better,
and the wimmen folks couldn’t git along without me very well. They do
say now I’m dreffle handy; and so long’s Pamely set store by me, I was
all right. I declare to goodness, I clean forgot there was another
young man in Pitcher but me! But I had to wake up to it, arter all, and
I’ve wished a thousand times I had waked up sooner.

“Pamely went off on a visit to her folks, and when she come back,
onexpected like, a feller fetched her. When I see him a-liftin’ her
outen the sleigh I felt like a-heavin’ a claw-hammer at him; but when
he turned round, and I saw what a putty-face he was, says I to myself,
‘Pshaw!’ Several times that winter he come, and set and set, and onct
I got up and was a-goin’ up the kitchen stairs when I felt somethin’
in my heel. I sot down on the top step and pulled my stockin’ off,
a-lookin’ fer a tack or perhaps a broke-off needle, when all of a
sudden the door was ajar and they hadn’t spoke a word afore I heard Jim
Whiffles say: ‘I knowed a feller as went a-courtin’ one gal fer a whole

“‘P’r’aps,’ said Pamely.

“‘And she didn’t chuck him off neither.’

“‘S’pose not.’

“I tell you I listened close after that, but there was not a sound
until Jim shove his chair and got up to go and she took the candle to
the outside door, and then she come in and went right off to bed.

“Next mornin’ I looked at her sharper’n ever but I couldn’t see a
shadder on her cheek. She was jest as bloomin’ and as quiet as ever,
and I knowed she cared more fer my leetle finger than fer the whole of
Jim Whiffles’ body.

“Next time he came it was near New Year’s and he sot a big red apple
plump in her lap; but she did not so much as say ‘thankee.’ I thought
she kinder of turned toward me, as much as to say, ‘Ef ye had done it,
all right.’

“‘But I didn’t _know_, and I reckoned I needn’t begrudge Jim an
evenin’s lookin’ at her. So I off to bed ag’in. I was thinkin’ how
mean I had been about listenin’ on the stairs, when up through the
big stovepipe hole come these words, jerked out as usual: ‘I think
sometime there’s goin’ to be a weddin’ up to our meetin’-house.’

“‘Like as not.’

“‘And I reckon Jim Whiffles is goin’ to pay the dominee.’


“That was all. My heart beat so I thought they must hear it, so I
covered my head with the bed clothes, and in five minutes more he went
away, callin’ out as he drove off, ‘Good-night!’

“I did not sleep much, but I kep’ up a thinkin’; and at last I made out
that nobody’d be such a fool as to ask a woman to have him that way;
and it must be Jim felt kinder sneakin’, arter visitin’ of her, and let
her know he was a-goin to marry Ary Edwards that I had heard tell he
went with. So I was comforted ag’in.

“It wa’n’t more’n two weeks afore I was took down with a fever. Pamely
nursed me night and day, and every time I see her I said to myself,
‘Jest the first time I’ve got strength to walk to the dominee’s house
we’ll be made happy.’ Dear little soul! What a good supper she laid
on the table the night I was so tired out with doin’ of the milkin’,
havin’ done nothin’ fer so long.

“‘Ezra,’ she says, and her face flushed up; ‘Ezra eat. I’ve cooked it
fer you.’

“I wanted to blurt right out then that I loved her, but I didn’t.

“I had to tuck myself up mighty early, for I was clean beat out, and I
declare fer it, but I was jest fallin’ into a doze like when I heard
Jim Whiffles come. Pamely wa’n’t done the dishes, so she clattered
away, and at last sot down to knittin’. Nary one spoke much, only to
tell a word or two about the snow storm that was a-brewin’. And I was
comforted ag’in, but it was short measure. When the clock had struck
nine Jim got up, and while he was puttin’ on his top coat I heard him

“‘Pamely, I was a-tellin’ ye last time I was here about Jim Whiffles
paying the preacher?’

“‘Jest so.’

“‘And you was the gal that the dominee told to love and obey her man.’

“‘Jest so.’

“I was breathless! Was there nothin’ more to come? I had almost made up
my mind that Jim was gone, when I caught the sound of a very decided
smack. Good Lord forgive me, but I fought with the devil that night!

“Pamely and Jim Whiffles was made one April 6, 1850. He fell heir to
some property, and she got a thousand dollars when her uncle died, and
a couple thousand more--in land--when Mrs. Hinman went off. So things
prospered with them. He was hardworkin’ kind of a putterer, but she was
a master hand to save, and them children all was like her--smart as a
steel trap.

“Eight years come next Tuesday Jim Whiffles died. I didn’t need a
second lesson--Lord A’mighty knows how hard it come to me onct! and
I had loved Pamely right straight through. So, jest six months arter
Jim was laid away I made a kind of an errant up to her house, and the
very minnit I see her, it all came over me so I couldn’t help it, and I
screeched right out:

“‘Pamely, hev me; do, fer goodness sake, say yes! Don’t you know I
allers wanted ye?’

“She turned ’round, and her eyes was a-flashin’ when she answered:

“‘_Allers?_ And lived in the same house nigh onto four years? You had
first chance, and now you come whinin’ afore Jim’s cold.’

“I sneaked off. I thought the Lord was ag’in me this time, but I jest
couldn’t give her up. I kep’ right on goin’. All the children one arter
another, has married and done well, and she boosted ’em all.

“Last Sunday I was over there ag’in, and, somehow, I thought she kind
o’ squeezed my hand at meetin’; so I swelled up, and says I, ‘Pamely,
is Jim cold?’

                    “And she answered back, ‘Yes.’”


                                                       Ninth Mo., 27th.

Mother Dear: When first thy loved face faded from view as our carriage
left the crooked lane, my tears were inclined to flow, but Uncle Joseph
has much of dear father’s gentle manner, and he sought to turn my
attention to the objects around us.

I will not pause now, to tell thee about the pleasures and pains of
the journey, for my poor head ached sadly ere we reached Boston, but
with all the interests that surrounded my first long ride in the
railroad cars, I could not forget that I was going among comparative
strangers, and leaving the dearest spot on earth. I want now to give
thee a glimpse, if I can, of the life here, and ask whether or not thee
approves of the course I am pursuing.

It was quite dark when we got to Uncle Joseph’s house, and I think I
had a little fear of meeting his wife, whom I can scarcely call “Aunt”
without an effort, so different is she from the simple women that I
love. Her very first greeting disturbed me, it was so extravagant, and
as full of embraces as if she had always known me; but she was very
kind when she learned that my head ached, and supported me tenderly to
my chamber, where she helped me undress, and then with her own hands,
although they have several domestics, brought me a bit of toast and
tea. I was sorry to disappoint her but I could not taste it, and she
exclaimed petulantly, yet I may have mistaken the tone:

“Bless me, child, you are too young to have whims--and it is my duty to
see that you keep the roses in your cheeks, or where will the lovers
be? Sit up now, and eat your supper.”

I am afraid I betrayed the astonishment I felt, but, dear mother,
_thee_ could never speak thus, and--I did _not_ eat the toast!

Next morning I was out in the garden marveling over the wondrous beauty
of their surroundings, when Uncle Joseph came to look for me. His is a
very sweet spirit, and I may be wrong, but there is pity in my heart
for him. Not that Aunt Élise (as she calls it, although I should
pronounce it Eliza) does not try to do her duty by him, but that her
education has given her false standards.

She was surprised to see me at breakfast, and asked why I had not
called “the maid” to help me dress. I replied that I needed no one, and
that thee and father believed that it was best to wait upon ourselves;
then she held up her finger glistening with jewels, and said:

“Tut, tut! I fear we have a rebel to deal with, and rebels are never
attractive. No, no, _ma petite_ (which means little one), the maid
_must_ assist you. She is from Paris, and knows the _art_ of dressing,
which country girls know nothing about, and I want to send you home
with a lover and a trousseau, and that could _never_ be if you comb
your curls out, and wear a gray frock.”

I believe she means to be kind to me, and is not at all disagreeable,
even though I cannot seem pleased.

Well the day passed quickly by, for I was charmed with their green lawn
running down to the river-side, and a little hedge of white hawthorn,
that I am sure would delight thee. Toward evening aunt invited me to
drive into the city with her and bring Uncle Joseph home. They do not
have dinner until seven o’clock, which seems very late to me; but
about one, or a little before, we have a nice meal which I thought was
dinner, until I was told to call it lunch. Aunt herself says it is

The roads are so pretty, fine houses on every hand. It only seems to
me that there is an air of extravagance, which I deprecate, for there
seem to be no small and unpretentious homes, until the city is reached,
and there everything is so dreary! I am sure I should get lost very
easily, for Boston’s streets are as crooked as Philadelphia’s are
straight. I said to aunt that I should hardly dare for some time to
come to town alone, and she answered:

“Never, I trust. It is highly improper for a pretty young girl to go
out without an attendant.”

I am sure _thee_ never thought thus. Perhaps she was but trying to play
upon my vanity.

I think the neighborhood must be a pleasant one just about Uncle
Joseph, for yesterday a number of persons called, and spoke kindly to
me. Toward four o’clock one of the young women asked aunt’s permission
for me to accompany her in a walk by the river. Soon after we left the
house we came upon a group of young men, and my companion explained to
them that she had succeeded in getting me away from my guardian, and
then she gave me the names of the party, and I was surprised to know
that two of them belonged to the old and respected families of A. and
H. It seemed strange to mingle with the descendants of revolutionary
times, and perhaps I expressed a little of the awe I felt, when I
acknowledged their presence.

Thee has often told me that the Lord is no respecter of persons,
and warned me against doing honor to anything mortal. Perhaps I
have received a severe lesson, for I soon found that this was a
premeditated excursion on the water, and there was a deal of laughter
over the ease with which Anna W. had outwitted my aunt. Thee can
imagine my discomfiture, both at finding myself in a false position
and also at the discovery of their willingness to engage in deceit.
Oh, mother, how have the mighty fallen! When I became conscious of the
whole situation I said, just as I would have said to thee:

“If there is any doubt about my aunt’s willingness to have me go with
you, I must go back at once.” And can thee believe it? _they laughed_,
and off the boat started.

Of course there was nothing to do but make the best of it. I tried to
talk to young A. about his famous great-grandfather--but he seemed not
to know much about him, and when I spoke of his nobility of character,
the young man looked bewildered, and said if there had ever been
anything of that kind in the family, it had died out.

I began to think so, too, as the afternoon went on--for he puzzled me
greatly. All of these young men are being educated at Harvard College,
yet they did not appear to regard their opportunities as unusual, and
their references to the professors were not respectful. Edward H.
inquired whether I read French and on my saying yes, he at once asked
me if I had a good pony--and I told him I did not ride on horseback at
all, which seemed to amuse them greatly, and Anna afterward explained
that a _pony_ was a translation--a key of the whole lesson which the
teachers do not expect them to use, but which nearly the entire class

We talked about the matter a little, and I said I should not think one
could learn anything thus, and Edward H. replied “_That_ is not what we
go to Harvard for!”

How strange it sounded! And yet it was not so distressing to me as
the discovery that these young men have absolutely no interest in
anti-slavery movements. They talked about Garrison and Phillips as
fanatics, and said “This meddling with other people’s concerns is a
very dangerous business.”

I ventured to ask “And was it not ‘meddling’ to throw the tea

But they said I was getting too deep for them. And then F. A. told
me that only a very insignificant part of Boston people respected
the Abolitionists. This new party they admitted has an anti-slavery
wing, but that it must be clipped or we shall have trouble. “Trouble”
I cried--and I admit, mother dear, that I talked perhaps, more than I
ought--“how can a man rest easy without troubling the public conscience
about the poor slaves.” A. tried to show me that the best way to
eradicate slavery is to be on good terms with the slaveholders, and
have no concern for the black man, who is only an animal--I think he
said--after all, and when it proves itself a failure in a business
sense, as he admitted it must be, then slavery will die out!

Not a spark of humanity about him, not a thought of God’s suffering
children, only a fear of disturbing business relations with a rich
section! My heart stood almost still with astonishment. Here in
Boston, where I had looked for the broadest humanity and the clearest
intelligence, here on the lips of the descendant of a great patriot
were words of cowardice and self-seeking!

When at last the boat turned about, and the young men gave Anna W. and
myself lessons in rowing, we came again to the little landing, and
there on the bank stood aunt in search of us.

I felt mortified, and would have explained only that I could not
reproach others, and I expected her to reprimand me, but lo! she only
shook her finger and said:

“Well, girls will be girls, and even a pretty Quakeress is not proof
against temptation.” How I wanted to tell the whole story! But, mother
dear, I did not. Was I wrong? And the young men went away and my
cheeks burned as aunt called after them, “I know you will want to see
those roses again.”

Good-night dear, dear mother.

                                                       Tenth Mo., 30th.

MY DEAR MOTHER: I know thee will not feel it to be wrong for me to
tell thee of my trials as well as my pleasures, for thee has taught me
that nothing is too small a matter to lay before our Heavenly Father,
and in many respects I am puzzled by the new life I am leading here.
Particularly do I regret having to think, and even to dwell upon,
questions concerning money. That is, as thee has said, a necessity of
our physical being, but must ever be relegated to the background in our
thoughts. Uncle Joseph has asked me several times already whether my
purse was not empty, but although I have answered with a laugh that I
did not see the bottom yet, I feel that I have been a little lavish,
and of course I cannot permit another to purchase for me the luxuries
which my pleasure-loving heart alone demands.

If thee wishes thee may send me some more, but should it prove
inconvenient to do so, merely mention such to be the case, and I will
absent myself from those excursions that are likely to be expensive.

I have been much mortified more than once already, by Edward H. or F.
A. paying where I am concerned.

The first time this occurred was the day we sailed in the harbor. There
were car fares, and boat tickets to be purchased, and I awaited Anna
W.’s movement, before getting out my purse. To my surprise she said
nothing about it, and the young men bought everything for us all. I
estimated the cost at about a dollar apiece, which thee sees is quite
an item when figured for four. So at the close of the day, for we had
lunch and all, I spoke to Edward about it. We were walking at the time,
and he stopped and laughed so immoderately that I was hurt. Perceiving
this, he turned and taking my hand, said gently: “Do not deny me this
pleasure. Oh, if I could always do it for you! Your gratitude is so

What does thee think he meant, mother dear? I was so perplexed by his
speech that I was almost glad when Anna and F. A. turned to ask the
cause of the laughter. But how thoughtful Edward was not to expose me
to others’ merriment, for he turned the talk in another way immediately.

Was it not right and womanly in me to offer to pay the expense I had
incurred? I want thy opinion, for I think it was, only, from his manner
and that of Anna before, I fear such is not the custom; but I shall
greatly hesitate to place myself under similar circumstances again.

It was with this thought in mind that I declined to go with them the
next Seventh day. Everyone thought I was sick, and aunt began to
imagine that I had looked pale all day! I denied feeling poorly, and
was beginning to get embarrassed, when Edward H. walked to the window
and asked me to come and see a peculiar cloud. This drew away the
attention of the others and he said very gently:

“That cloud is no more peculiar than the one which has arisen between
us, and it does not threaten half the harm.” Then he went on to
tell me that he suspected the reason of my refusal, and asked me to
consider whether I would not like to do some small favor for him. I
replied “Certainly.” “Then,” he said, “never speak of money where I am
concerned, again. I have much more than I need, and I could not spend
it in any manner that could both profit and please me more than by
taking you about this region. Consider, too, the favors our family have
had from your uncles.”

Was it not kindly done? And too, does thee not agree with my opinion
that it _sounded_ like Friends’ teaching? I shall await thy judgment
impatiently--but I went with him.

Another curious thing has happened too. I expect thee will laugh at the
many adventures that befall me. On Sixth-day evening it rained very
hard, but Uncle Joseph had tickets for a concert, which they wished
very much that I should hear. I thought it would be discourteous to
decline, although I do feel that vast sums are thus frittered away,
which might benefit the poor. To my surprise aunt said I should wear a
wool frock, as we were not going to take the horses on account of the
rain, but would be driven only to a point where we can meet the horse
railroad, which is often a very great convenience.

Notwithstanding the bad weather there was a large number of persons
present in the hall. I cannot pronounce judgment upon the concert, for
I have no knowledge concerning these things. One lady who sang seemed
to have, naturally, a sweet voice, but it was overstrained, and the
long drawn notes were quite offensive. I am sure, however, that the
audience was satisfied, and uncle and aunt have repeatedly signified
their delight, and hope to have another opportunity to listen to her. I
did my best to express my thanks for the kindness in taking me, without
mentioning my distaste for such entertainments, but my aunt suspected
me, and laughingly said “I believe you are sleepy, child.” And in truth
I was! However, I was soon wide enough awake. We missed the car we had
hoped to gain, and had to wait in a little room, nearly half an hour.
All sorts of people were there. More than once aunt said wearily, “I
hate these mixed crowds, and I shall not let my pity for the horses
inconvenience us like this again.”

For my part I was quite interested in watching the people. Just as the
car came there was a new throng, and we found it necessary to separate
our seats. Indeed uncle, with many other gentlemen, was forced to stand
the whole way. Just in front of me was a group of Harvard students, and
the moment of starting added to their numbers some who were evidently
under the influence of liquor. One of them was a very young fellow,
neatly dressed and with a sweet expression of countenance, but, mother
dear, he was really intoxicated. He staggered into the door, and
leaning against the post actually _snored_. Many of the persons present
laughed, but the sight was very sad to me, and a nice young man, tall
and straight as Cousin Benjamin, who was close beside me, said, no
doubt observing my distress: “This troubles you.” I answered: “Indeed
it does; think of the boy’s parents!” He assented, and remarked that
the lad was evidently a “Freshman”--that is, a newcomer at college--for
that is what they are called in their first year.

“And what will become of him when he gets out of the car?” I asked, for
I could plainly see that the poor boy was too much befogged to find his
way home alone.

“If he has no friend with him, a policeman may get hold of him.”

“How terrible,” I said, with some warmth perhaps.

“I suppose,” continued the young man after quite a pause, “that I
_could_ take him to his room if he has any way to indicate where that
is, or to mine until morning, if that will relieve your mind.”

I supposed I brightened up a good deal at this, and I urged it upon
him, but he did not positively promise, for he quite shocked me by
bending close to me and saying almost in a whisper:

“If I do, it will be done for your sake, remember, and one good turn
deserves another, so tell me where you go to church.” I was so much
surprised that for a moment I could not answer; then he repeated his
request, but the car stopped with a jerk that it usually has, and my
uncle and aunt signified that we were to get out.

The carriage was waiting, but we had scarcely made ourselves
comfortable, when my aunt exclaimed:

“Sallie, I do believe you were talking to those strange men in the car.
What will you do next to astonish me?”

I saw my uncle closely regarding me, and with a more severe expression
than I had ever seen him wear, but I could not believe I had done wrong
to take a humane interest in the tipsy boy. So I told them all about
it--except that I did not repeat the foolish speech of the tall young
man; it was not worth remembering.

My uncle’s face softened as he heard me out, and he patted my aunt’s
plump hand and said, smiling at me:

“I guess she means well always, Élise. Customs differ, you know.”

But I do not think she regarded it so lightly, for she sighed heavily,
and on First day when I stood ready to accompany her to meeting--I mean
church--she came into the entry leading to my room, and began:

“Sallie, child, I beg you not to talk to the minister between prayers,”
and then she suddenly turned, took my cheeks between her hands and
kissed each of them, saying rather wildly I thought, “But I declare,
_ma petite_, you are pretty enough to turn the head of any male

She is a strange person! So full of moods--and tenses I might say--but
very very kind to thy simple Sallie.

Of course thee understands that I gave no clew whatever to the place
of worship where I was in the way of going.

Nevertheless, last First-day night, when I walked to the “Vesper
Service,” I think it is called, in company with our young friends,
Anna, F. A., and Edward H., whom should I see standing in the
vestibule, but the tall young man! I assure thee I wanted to ask him
how it fared with the poor tipsy boy, but I dared not, particularly
after what aunt had said to me. Still, I could not be unmindful of his
presence all through the hour, for he followed us into the room and sat
just where he could see us all the time. I resolved to banish worldly
thoughts, but I am afraid I did not, so that I grew very uncomfortable,
and was glad when the end came, but even then I was pained by Edward
asking me where in the world I had met Jack D. I answered that I was
not acquainted with any person so named.

“Well, that _is_ a puzzle,” he said, “for he has been in Europe six
months, and this is the first time I have laid eyes on him, yet I could
have declared [he really said _sworn_, but I don’t think he means evil
by it] that he recognized you as we went in.”

I had to say something, so I inquired what class “Jack D.” belonged to,
and this was his response:

“Great Jehosephat! Jack D. is the swellest senior on record. If once
you get into his cave he sports his oak, and treats you like a nabob.”

The Harvard vernacular is sometimes hard to translate! But I am
burning too much gas.

                                                          THY DAUGHTER.

                                                      Eleventh Mo., 3d.

MOTHER DEAR: Anna W. and I have just returned from what was in many
respects a most interesting excursion, and yet it had its dark side.

Almost immediately after I had written to thee last week, aunt carried
me to town and insisted upon my choosing several nice garments. It was
wholly unnecessary, for my wardrobe, thee knows, was very comfortable,
and I did not care to be under so great obligation to her, but I
found that to do otherwise would hurt her feelings, so I chose, very
reluctantly, a white merino that she said I must have to wear in the
evening, and aunt herself selected a pretty pale blue silk. It seems
gay for me, but she has promised that it shall be made in a plain
way. I am afraid, however, that her ideas and mine concerning those
things will not agree. Lastly, she bought a gown and cloak of a heavy
texture, and trimmed with beautiful gray fur. There is a muff too. I
submit rather than enjoy taking so much, pretty as the things are. I am
not certain that I can trust my pride, which gets the better of poor
mortals so soon, but thee told me to do as nearly as possible without
troubling my conscience, as aunt desires, therefore I shall wear the
expensive garments with less thought of the unnecessary outlay than I
otherwise could. Uncle Joseph says the color of the fur is the only
thing that reconciles me to the purchase. Indeed I am ashamed to tell
thee that the making of each dress--for I saw the bill--has cost about
seven dollars!

Well, I will add to this worldly record, that when the cloak and muff
came home, there was also a round hat, with a long soft feather on it!
_Of course_, I could not be comfortable in that, and as it is quite a
new thing for me to wear aught but a bonnet, aunt was persuaded by dear
Uncle Joseph to substitute a bit of ribbon and a band of the fur for
the feather, but I almost wish thee could have seen it just as I first
did, it was beautiful!

The young men come home from Harvard College every Seventh day at noon,
and we mostly go together, Anna W., F. A., Edward H., and myself for
a drive or a walk. It is getting rather cool for boating. Aunt seems
to find it quite “_proper_” for four of us to be together. She says
(I hate to tell thee this) that either of the boys would be a very
desirable “parti!” Such suggestions drive away all the pleasure that
would come from their companionship, so I try to turn a deaf ear when
she approaches the subject.

To-day we went to Nahant, a beautiful rocky beach, where there is a
large hotel in summer, and many charming seaside homes. One of the
cottages is owned by a relative of F. A. and is still open, so we
agreed to accept an invitation to dine.

It was so cool that I wore my new gown and hat, but they all had so
much to say concerning their perfections and becomingness that I felt
pained, and told them so. Edward H. was quite serious over it and
asked me _why_ I should not enjoy knowing I had fine eyes, unusual
hair, and a bright color. Of course I could only answer that if God had
given me _honest_ eyes and healthy color I was very glad, but that I
believed he did not wish me to think too much about them--and Edward
said, “Well, you need not. We will do the thinking.” So then I blushed
more and more, but I managed to ask him not to do any more _talking_
about it.

We left Uncle Joseph’s at eight o’clock in the morning, F. A.
driving his father’s horses, which are very fleet. I never had a
more exhilarating ride. The air was delicious and we were a long
time directly by the ocean. Oh, I wished for thee continually! Anna
wanted to drive part way. So Edward got back in the seat with me,
and presently our conversation drifted into politics. Thee knows I am
no politician, and that I adhere to the belief of Garrison, that the
Constitution of the United States is a “Covenant with Hell,” but I
confess I am greatly interested in the Republican party. If Charles
Sumner is right in his opinion of the Constitution, then through
political action we may look for the final overthrow of slavery, but
Edward is not even a Republican! He says the very foundations of our
government will be shaken if they elect their president, and I am not
sure that he is wrong! Let them be shaken, and relaid say I. He calls
me a rebel, and warns me that if another Anthony Burrs appears in
Boston, I may walk the streets in chains, as a conspirator against the
peace and well-being of society. I can see that he goes to greater
length than he otherwise might, because he thinks it teases me.

I asked F. A. to what party he belonged, and he quickly answered, “The
Know Nothings.” I could not help joining in the laugh that followed,
although it is a serious matter to me, and the levity with which these
young men, of stanch old revolutionary blood, treat such questions
astonishes me beyond measure.

Indeed I have as yet met no one whom I could characterize as other than
“conservative.” One evening I said this in the parlor, and aunt quickly
answered that to be erratic was always unpopular, and young people
cannot afford to forego the pleasures of society. So she begged me not
to say much even though I felt a great deal.

No doubt she intended to do me a kindness by this warning, but the
contrast between this teaching and thine, dear mother mine, brought
tears to my eyes. I think Uncle Joseph must have observed them, for
when aunt was called out of the room, he patted me on the head and
whispered, “Next week I am going to give my little girl a treat. We
will not talk about it now, but she shall see and hear some Bostonians
who are _not_ conservatives.” I kissed him, and then we both laughed;
and when aunt came in again he proposed a game of authors, which we
play very often. It is quite new, and I am sure they have learned it in
kindness to me, since they have discovered that I do not play cards.
Did I ever tell thee my experience on this matter? It was soon after
my arrival that a party of friends came in to spend the evening, and
cards were proposed. It seems that aunt is a great card player--whist
I believe they call it--and prides herself not a little on teaching it
to others. It needs a certain number to perfect the game, and including
myself there was just enough for two parties. When I found how matters
were I am afraid I felt cowardly about avowing my principles. It is so
unpleasant to make others uncomfortable, but I did not hesitate long.
I spoke quietly to Uncle Joseph and asked him please not to count me,
as I could not play. Aunt heard me and answered before he had time to
do so: “Oh, that does not amount to much. You shall be my partner, and
as you are surprisingly quick to learn, I will guarantee that another
time you can lead a game.” I know my poor cheeks burned, but I had to
tell her more. “Dear aunt,” I said, “it is not that I am ignorant, for
you are both ever ready to help me, but that I believe it is wrong.”
I wish thee could have seen the astonishment on her face. Her tone
changed at once, and she spoke rather harshly, “Come, come, child, let
us have no whims. How often do you have to be told that the judgment
of your elders is enough. This is no concern of yours save to do as
you are bid; take your place.” I am sure I do not know what would
have followed--for I _certainly_ could never have yielded and even
for peace’ sake touched the pasteboard that is connected in my mind
with all that is low and of evil report. But our struggles are never
forgotten, and a friend was raised up. One of the ladies appealed to
her brother to know if he had the new game in his pocket--authors--and
then very graciously aunt permitted half of us to play this very simple
and innocent amusement. Why is it to do right sometimes costs so much
trouble to others? I think thee would say: We cannot solve all the
problems of life; this is one that must rest with a higher intelligence
than our own.

Uncle Joseph has just brought me a card of invitation to a party at the
house of John B.’s mother. A queer little dark woman full of learning!
With the card was a penciled note: “Our liberal entertainment will not
take place until the week following Thanksgiving.” I suppose uncle
wrote this, rather than talk about it before my aunt. But how sad it
must be for two really well-meaning people not to agree in their

Dear mother, I have kept this letter until after the party in order to
tell thee about it, but I am afraid neither of us will quite enjoy my
relation of it.

In the first place aunt insisted upon dressing my hair and arranging
some flowers about my blue silk frock. She is really an artist in those
things, and with the help of the maid I scarcely knew myself! Forgive
me, if I say I could but admire the creature they had constructed. And
yet it made me cry, I looked like a stranger! I thought best not to say
a word but to go just as I was, in order to please her. Every time I
passed a glass I felt like an imposter! Dear Uncle Joseph drove with me
in the carriage and came after me at what _they_ regard as an early
hour, eleven o’clock. On the way he said, “Little girl, try and forget
your furbelows, and next time I will persuade aunt to let you go in
your simple white frock.” So I was comforted. And indeed I _tried_ hard
to forget, but I could not. People looked at me on every hand, and I
thought it must be because it was as if I was trying to be someone else
than a Friend. Then came another trial. There was a large room with a
linen cover over the rich carpet, and dancing going on. The musicians
sat in the upper hall, and supper was served from ten on. I had no
sooner gone through with the ceremony of various introductions, than I
was surrounded by young men, who asked me to dance. I suppose they did
so out of kindness to a stranger, but Anna W. helped me in my trouble,
by saying “Yes” to each one that asked me, and then I explained that
Friends did not think it right to dance, and one young man made us
laugh heartily by saying:

“Why, I thought you were a Quaker or a Shaker, or something that dances
all the time, even when they go to church!” Did not that show gross

The supper, too, tried me, for everyone, almost without an exception,
took a glass of wine! Anna told me it was a “light wine,” but _that_
could make no difference to me.

Edward H. was my escort, and when I declined taking it, he put his
glass down untouched. I thought it was very wise in him. Perhaps the
thought of its injurious influence was new to him. We did not talk
about it, but half a dozen times we were urged to drink. It really
made me sad, for these young men are not proof, always, against
temptation, and indeed I had reason to fear before I left, that the
wine had affected one of them at least; for as I stood waiting to say
Good-night, he asked if he might accompany me home, and when I told him
uncle was coming for me, he added: “I do not blame him for trying to
keep such a beauty to himself as long as possible!”

During the evening a young matron living near here told me some of
their friends had proposed to have a series of “sociables,” meeting at
their houses alternately, and wished me to join. I am sure it is very
kind, although I do not know what sort of entertainments these are to
be, but I thanked her and said I would ask aunt’s permission, and to
my surprise, as she threw my shawl about my shoulders, she stooped and
kissed me, “Good-by for the present!” That is what they use here as the
                                                      form of farewell.

                                                   THY LOVING DAUGHTER.

                                                    Eleventh Mo., 24th.

DEAR MOTHER: Oh, what a treat I have had! Nothing that Uncle Joseph
could have done would have given me more pleasure than attending the
Anti-Slavery Fair, held in Music Hall last week. I think thee cannot
estimate aright the effort which it cost him, unless thee calls to
mind all that I have told thee concerning the real relation of the
business men of Boston to the comparatively small number belonging to
the A. S. Society. Of course aunt knew about our attendance, although
I doubt whether she had an invitation to join us, and she made merry
continually over what she called our “escapade.”

When I went upstairs to get my cloak, she called to me, “Girly, put on
all your _outré_ garments; you must look odd, or you will not be in
harmony with your surroundings. Only _queer_ people belong.”

The entertainment began at half-past seven with a tea; that is, small
tables were scattered about, where one could sit down, and the ladies
handed around tea and cakes. My pleasure began at once, for we had
scarcely entered the hall, which, by the way, is _very_ large, when we
met Uncle Joseph’s old friend, Daniel K. I had seen him before, and he
told me how much I was like grandmother. So now, as soon as he saw us,
he tucked my hand under his arm and bore me across the room, where,
behind one of the tables sat a stout elderly woman, in a very queer
cap. I have seen pictures like it, and does thee remember Elizabeth
Jones, who did our laundry work one summer? She wore a similar one. It
was not thin like thine, but rather heavy in texture, with a wide frill
about the face. But the woman beneath it was very attractive. She had
such bright eyes and a most winning smile.

She spoke with Friend Daniel, and I did not catch his words, but
immediately she came around to us, stroked my hair and invited me
to pour tea. Then someone else came and called her by name, and who
does thee think it was? Lydia Maria Child. When I realized that I was
helping the writer of those beautiful stories, I had to turn and look
at her more closely and I could not help saying, “Did thee ever know
David and Jonathan?” We laughed together, and she seemed pleased that I
had read her works. For an hour or more we waited on the cake and tea,
and then Uncle Joseph took me over to the other side where articles
were exposed for sale. I bought a few trifles, which uncle insisted
upon paying for, but thee knows just about what Philadelphia fairs are,
so I will not repeat. One thing however I must speak of. I selected
a tiny package of visiting cards tied together with a bit of ribbon,
and each one was inscribed with the name of a prominent Abolishionist
written by himself. William Loyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, Charles
Remond, Stephen Foster, and so on. I thought I should like to keep
them until I am old, and tell my children how I came to have them. I
also bought a pocket pincushion with alternate black and white pins.

Presently there was some music, for which I did not care, and then
a gentleman announced Wendell Phillips as a speaker. My! but I wish
thee had been there! Such enthusiasm! and with good reason. I do not
believe I ever saw a finer looking man. He has a _little_ look of a
man of the world, but one forgets that as soon as he opens his lips.
Then came forth no uncertain sounds, but genuine thunderbolts of truth
and eloquence. Oh, it was grand! Uncle says he spoke over half an
hour, but it seemed short to me, and as he left the platform I sighed.
Uncle Joseph inquired what I would like next, and I answered “Either
Sumner or Emerson,” and lo! as if I had touched a magic spring, _both_
of them appeared. The former, thee is aware, is not able to do duty,
but his magnificent presence was enough, and he smiled down at the
audience with a great friendliness as he said he “wanted to _introduce_
Ralph Waldo Emerson.” Everybody laughed and cheered, and the gentle
philosopher spoke only a little time, about human rights and human
wrongs. I was much impressed by his manner, which is that of one who
soliloquizes rather than of an orator. He is a great contrast in
appearance too, to those who preceded him--tall and slender, his head
bowing just a little, as if it was heavy with great thought, but there
is not much fire about him, and thee would undoubtedly like him the
better for it. He is very genial, for I saw him talking and smiling
with all who approached. I hear that he has a great reverence for the
_individual_, and looks not for the foibles, but the majesty of the man.

I asked Uncle Joseph if he thought it would be right for me to speak
with William Lloyd Garrison, of whom dear grandfather had so much to
say, and I soon found that the very name of my good ancestor was a
passport everywhere in the room. I was introduced to the Garrison young
people, three sons at least; and the mother asked me to come and see
her, which I should like to do, but it is scarcely probable. I do not
wish to offend aunt’s prejudices, unnecessarily, and my visit there
could be of no real use.

I saw Elizabeth Peabody, who is trying to interest people in the
kindergarten methods of teaching young children, by playing and talking
with them, rather than through books, and it certainly seems a most
reasonable system.

It seems to me now as if I had seen Boston, for the people who were at
the Fair were the very people I have heard about, and read about all
my life--the people indeed, whom _I_ supposed constituted Boston, and
yet outside their own circle, few know or care whether they exist. I
am wrong. They have been raised up for a holy purpose, and if, as it
seems, the busy mart is deaf to their entreaties for universal liberty,
unconditional emancipation, the sin will lie at its own door should
bloodshed follow.

I am afraid this meeting with those in whom I am so much interested
will rather spoil me for our everyday routine. It is pleasant enough,
but it seems selfish to devote so large a share of time to one’s
entertainment. I sometimes long for active _work_; but aunt says it
spoils the domestics (servants is her word) to help them, and it spoils
a “lady’s hands”! I never heard thee complain in that way, and there
are no dearer or daintier hands than thine, which are ready for pot or
pan, needle or butter mold. Perhaps it is a little Pharisaical to thank
God we are “not like other men,” but I am thankful that I was sent into
thy arms!

I have been tempted to say that I had a _complete_ pleasure at the
Anti-Slavery Fair, but as I was about to write it thus, a reminder came
to me of _one_ thing that I wanted and did not get, and that was a
piece of _temperance mince pie_; for I heard it said that there were
such in an adjoining room, and much as I like pies, I have steadfastly
declined tasting those that looked so nice at uncle’s table, for I know
full well they are made with a strong infusion of brandy.

We came out home by the horse railroad again, and I somehow could
not help thinking about the poor tipsy boy and the tall young man,
and strange enough, the latter got into our car! I did not lift my
eyes once, on the whole route, for he sat directly opposite me, and I
thought it would be discourteous not to acknowledge his presence, and
to do so would trouble my uncle. So I was especially weary when we
got out, and I thought the young man went on further, but just as we
stopped he sprang up as though he had been asleep and in hurrying out
he jostled me, and begged me to excuse it. He has a fair voice, manly,
and direct, and--but what does thee think? after he had passed, there
was a scrap of paper lying on my muff! Perhaps I ought to have thrown
it away without reading, but I _did_ want to know about the poor lad,
and so I crumpled it up in my glove, until I got into my quiet chamber,
and then I saw that it was a bit torn from a newspaper border, and
beautifully written with a lead pencil. It said: “I took him home and
have talked with him since about the wrong he has done. I think it will
not happen again.”

Was it not kind in “Jack D.” to let me know in this way, without
intruding upon me, or even signing his name?

I intended to bring home the little cushion I bought at the fair,
but when I told Edward H. all about it, he said that he would like a
memento to recall what I have told him about the sin of slavery, which
I really believe he had never been taught to consider. So I gave him
the pinball.

I must tell thee about my French lessons next time. Aunt speaks with a
fine accent, they tell me; and she thinks I have been well taught.

                          I wish I could kiss thy dear cheek. Farewell,



                                                      Fourth Mo., 26th.

MOTHER DEAR: Thy presence has been roundabout me throughout the day,
and I cannot sleep until I have availed myself of this poor medium, my
pen, to convey to thee some of the thoughts that fill my mind.

Cousin Henry went with me to attend the morning meeting at Race Street,
where we listened to words of warning and words of comfort from the
lips of Friend B. and Friend T., and I was quite lost in meditation
following the discourse of the latter, whose fine voice I ofttimes
fear has an influence over me that should only be the result of his
spiritual teaching. Then Lucretia Mott arose and spoke very acceptably,
as she has ever done, to me. Yet it was not the words that fell from
her lips that so greatly affected me, it was the memory of a strange
scene that I have recently witnessed that endeared her to me, and it
is of this that I am anxious thee should know.

On Second day, while we were awaiting Cousin Henry at the customary
dinner hour, a lad brought in a note asking aunt to excuse his
non-appearance and begging her to bring some friends and join him at
the office of the U. S. Commissioner on Fourth Street as soon after two
o’clock as possible.

It seems that a colored man had been claimed as a fugitive slave by
a Southerner staying in the city, and this reaching the ears of a
prominent Abolitionist, a few persons resolved to make a strenuous
effort to have the case publicly tried.

Such, as thee knows, is not the usual proceeding, for the poor
creatures are generally given over to the hands of their taskmasters
with very little noise or show of justice.

The watchword was quickly passed, and when the case was opened
the small room was densely packed and it was made evident to the
commissioner that considerable excitement prevailed. He therefore
judged it best to delay further trial until 2 P. M., at which hour
the court would sit in the large hall just around the corner, by
Independence Square, and it was there that aunt took me.

Friend J. and his wife, Elizabeth C. and two sons, and four or five
other “plain bonnets and broad brims,” entered the room about the same
time that we did. A. L., whom thee remembers, was present and arranged
comfortable seats for us, some having benches, others chairs, while a
large table in the middle of the hall was surrounded with the roughest
looking men I ever saw! They were armed with pistols and bowie knives
and handled their weapons too freely to make me comfortable. And yet
how cowardly I felt when I glanced at the poor slave face so full of
terrible anticipation!

The room was fast filling up with Southern sympathizers when Lucretia
Mott quietly took her place beside the colored man, and after speaking
kindly with him drew forth her knitting work! I never saw anything
so diabolical as the countenances of the company about the table, as
they commented to each other upon her appearance there. Evidently they
resolved to render her situation as trying as possible, which, I assure
thee, they never failed to do during the whole session.

Of course thee knows I had never been in a court room before, and
so I am afraid I shall not be able to give thee anything more than
a very meager account of the regular proceedings. It seems that the
identity of the slave had first to be proved, with the date of his
escape. Then the poor man brought what testimony he could quickly
gather as to his having lived near Lancaster for a greater length of
time than his would-be owner asserted. The evidence was given under
great difficulties because the strong Southern bias of the crowd broke
forth in wild cries and oaths, whenever the adverse testimony came on.
Sometimes the noise was deafening. The commissioner is a frail man of
middle age, and by the way, a descendant of Friends. He made great
exertion to maintain order, but frequently looked as if he feared the
result of interference.

Hour after hour went on. The twilight had grown into darkness and
midnight finally drew near. None of the anti-slavery party had been
allowed to leave the room, or rather having left it, to return.
Everyone was getting hungry, yet I think we all thought especially of
the good woman who sat so calmly beside the not over cleanly colored
man, but I am bound to add, with a group of tried and true friends
close around her.

In one of the pauses loud voices were heard outside, and a rush toward
the door gave us fear that a measure was on foot to seize the prisoner
and carry him off under the very eye of the law, but we found the
trouble arose from a young man insisting upon being allowed to enter
with refreshments for Lucretia Mott. He was actually driven away by
force, and only after a hazardous entry, by means of a water pipe and
window, was he able to present the modest supper to her. Thee will not
be surprised to know that she at once shared it with other Friends in

Soon after daylight the commissioner announced that the testimony had
all been taken and he found himself too much fatigued to continue the
sitting, therefore the court was adjourned until 2 P. M. of that day.
I had grown very restless, as thee may imagine, and turning to aunt I
said, “I scarcely dare breathe for fear the poor man must go back to
his chains.” A. L., who sat near, touched me lightly on the shoulder,
and replied: “Prepare thyself calmly for the worst in life, and thus
thee will not be overwhelmed when disaster comes, and should the best
be realized thy joy will be proportionate.”

I think I shall never forget his remark. The whole scene is so vivid
before me. I cannot close my eyes without seeing every detail of the
crowded room, dimly lighted, and the shadowy figures in the shady
corners leaning anxiously forward to catch the expression as well
as the words of an earnest old black man, who was questioned and
cross-questioned for hours on the witness stand. I know, mother, that
had it been I, I should certainly have made some mistake, but he did
not get greatly confused, only wandered slowly over and over again in
his statements and settled down upon what proved to be the absolute

It seems he was a small gardener in the neighborhood where the prisoner
worked, and had written down in his rough notebook the date of the
stranger’s arrival. This book was the only direct testimony in favor
of freedom, for all the other witnesses became confused, or else
exhibited clearly the falsity of their statements. As it turned out,
the good, conscientious gardener had made a mistake in his date, and
the commissioner suspected it, but as A. L. told us they could not go
behind the written facts and we all thought he was, indeed, greatly
harassed by the situation and was glad enough to be able “to give the
prisoner the benefit of the doubt,” which I suppose is a formal phrase
that applies to causes decided upon suspicious evidence, and thee
knows, it is often said that English law leans toward mercy.

Alas! that it should not always be based upon justice! And, mother
dear, thee will recall here a great deal that I have written thee
about the young men of New England with whom I have been thrown during
the year. I cannot bring myself back to the old thought that I bore
concerning them. I expected the H. and A. families were as eager for
the abolition of slavery as their forefathers were to found a “free and
independent nation,” and behold! they jeer at Garrison and Phillips and
hesitate to do any thing that will hurt Southern pride.

Thee has ever taught me to “judge not,” yet I would that the youth of
distinguished patriot families now enjoying every educational advantage
at the great seat of learning--Harvard College--might also feel the
throb of sympathy for the oppressed. But we must turn back to the
terrible slave trial.

At times, toward dawn especially, when the men grew weary, I suppose,
the pistols were flourished as if they were harmless things. I drew
very near to dear aunt once, but she quietly pointed to Lucretia
Mott, whose age required rest, but whose motion betrayed neither her
weariness nor deep concern. It was a relief when a little before nine
o’clock the court was adjourned. It seems there was some thought of
attempting a forcible capture of the man on trial, but his anti-slavery
friends gathered close about him and thus remained until he was in the
hands of the officers of the law.

Of course we were very tired, but nothing of small importance could
have kept us from rejoining the throng, for such it had now become,
when court opened again that afternoon.

What is called the “argument” began as soon as order was established.
First the lawyer on one side, a much disfigured man named B. B., tried
to show that all the evidence was in favor of the slaveholder. That is,
that the man claimed was really the escaped slave, and this being so,
the commissioner ought to give him up. Then the other, G. E., made a
most satisfactory response, stating that the only evidence to be relied
upon was the gardener’s account book, and that distinctly showed the
man to have been free at the time he was said to have run away. Oh,
mother! I wish thee could have heard him. I know it is dangerous to
allow one’s enthusiasm too great liberty, but I never felt so well
satisfied with any speaker before.

At last it was over and a long reading from the commissioner closed
the matter. Even aunt, I think, was in doubt how it might end, until
the very last sentence, and then--although I did not approve of the
sentiment--I could not help a touch of sympathy with a man near me who
shouted excitedly, “You have saved your soul, commissioner!”

_Such_ excitement! People shook hands and cried and--the slave had
disappeared! No one saw him go, no one seemed to know where he went,
but aunt whispered to me that it was all right, he was taken in charge
by a friend and would be immediately out of harm’s way. I think it was
an hour before we could get down to the street, so thronged was the
staircase, and everyone seemed happy over the result.

I am inclined to think my mind dwelt as much on the awful
responsibility of the commissioner as upon the released man. How
_can_ one bind himself by an oath to serve a government that has made
this iniquitous bond with the slaveholders? I _almost_ hope to learn
later that this dreadful experience has led to the resignation of
Commissioner L.

There was one other thing, mother dear, that gave me great joy. In the
midst of the enthusiasm, someone seized my hand. I was not astonished
at the movement for every heart seemed to be throbbing with sympathy
and brother love, but I assure thee I was very happy when I lifted my
eyes and saw bending over me the familiar face of Edward H.! What a
fine face it is! And on this occasion burning with newborn devotion to
principle! It is needless to say that he has since been to visit us,
and that he is going to return to Pennsylvania during the summer and
has kindly responded to my invitation to come to our home.

Thee cannot help loving him, I know, nor can dear father either, and
you will both rejoice that--for Edward has so expressed it--through
your simple Sallie’s teaching a strong man has been led to see the
enormity of our national sin, and pledged himself to leave no stone
unturned toward its abolishment.

                                            In firm affection, I remain

                                                          THY DAUGHTER.

N. B.--I think perhaps I ought to tell thee about a letter I have
recently had from F. A. A kind letter, but with a tone of flattery
that I do not quite like, nor, indeed, understand. He speaks as if
I was much in his thought and--can it be, dear mother, that I gave
him a wrong impression of my friendship? My cheeks burn as I write
this, but it is delightful to know good Edward H. was thoroughly
inspired--through my mere suggestion that these are serious times--to
do a great deal of honest thinking. I shall be right glad to welcome
him within our home!

                             UNCLE JOSEPH.

One of the prominent figures in our meeting house for many years was
that of Uncle Joseph--for thus was he known by the young and old who
frequented our religious gatherings.

He occupied the second seat in the men’s gallery--and it was with him
that the Elder shook hands in sign that Friends should separate, when
it seemed likely that the spirit would move no others to utter gentle
words of blessing or stern warning against the wiles of the tempter.

As children we regarded Uncle Joseph in the light of a patriarch,
although I now know that his years, at the time of which I write, had
scarce reached the limit of a half century.

He was a comely man, straight and tall, his smooth-shaven face beaming
with good nature, and his soft blue eye lighted with sympathy, but he
was not intellectual. Slow of movement and uncertain in expression, his
hearers were often troubled to follow his excellent thought, and it
was no uncommon thing for my parents to refer to his ministrations as
being “labored.” We had a consciousness, based perhaps upon accidental
knowledge, that he was uncommonly well to do, and also that there was
considerable feeling in the society that Sarah Sidney, with her clear
insight and facile speech, would be a fit life companion for the good
man. But time wore on and there seemed no likelihood of a realization
of this desire.

I can remember one occasion when the subject really assumed the
importance that is usually given to gossip, but it was so lovingly and
conscientiously touched upon that I was greatly impressed.

My father and mother were in the way of inviting many friends to dine
with them on monthly meeting day. Quarterly meeting brought even more
persons from a distance, and among the children little unaccustomed
duties were distributed. I was frequently desired to remain for a time
in the front chamber and assist our women visitors in removing their
wraps and adjusting the cap crowns that often met with disaster beneath
the stiff bonnets. It was always a pleasurable duty, for Friends never
forget the young, and as each one grasped my little palm, she did not
neglect to speak an encouraging word.

On the occasion to which I have alluded, meeting broke up somewhat
later than usual. I hurried home, warmed my chilled fingers, and ran
upstairs, where a bright fire was burning on the hearth. I glanced
about to see that the wood box was full, and looked out of the window
where my eye rested upon a short line of carriages all bent in the
direction of our home. First came father and mother, grandfather and
the three younger children; then a vehicle well known to me as that of
Elias Chase from Derry Quarter; and thus I counted them off, as one by
one they drew up beside the horse-block.

I missed Sarah Sidney, who generally came with Theophilus Baldwin’s
family, and having seen her placid face in its usual place on the seat
beneath the gallery, fronting the meeting, I was at a loss to explain
her absence. She was tenderly attached to mother, and I could not
believe any light matter would take her to another’s table.

A gentle voice called me to my duties:

“Why, Katherine dear, thee must have been very spry to get home before
us. I was pleased to see thy interest in the meeting to-day.”

The good woman kissed me and thanked me for the little aid I was able
to give in unpinning her great shawl.

Directly afterward, sweet Jane Spencer came tripping up the stairs. She
was frequently spoken of as exhibiting “overmuch ardor” in all her
good works, but we children loved the enthusiastic little woman.

“O Katherine, I am glad to make use of thy quick fingers. My cap
strings are sadly awry. I have been most uncomfortable in them all
through meeting. Our breakfast was a trifle late this morning, and we
had far to drive.”

One and another arrived, each with a thought of me. “How thee grows,
child,” or “Thy mother is blessed in her little helpers.”

The room was well-nigh full, when someone asked the question that had
been trembling on my lips.

“Where is Sarah Sidney?”

No one directly replied, but after a moment’s reflection nearly all had
a suggestion or a little interest in her to express.

“Methought her face bore traces of anxiety this morning. I trust she
has met with no further financial disaster. Thee knows, Rhoda, she is
benevolent to a surprising degree in one whose purse is not lengthy,
and it is therefore a serious matter to be forced to curtail in her

“Sarah is too true a follower of the Great Teacher to be long afflicted
by the things of this world,” replied an aged friend.

“Ah, Hannah dear,” answered the first speaker, “thee has never had the
bread and butter trouble, and therefore thee can hardly compass its

I think we all felt the force of this argument, for Hannah was richly
dowered. Presently Jane Spencer sighed:

“I cannot help wishing that Uncle Joseph would recognize that the hand
of the Lord is pointing him to Sarah Sidney.”

“If such be the will of our Heavenly Father, I doubt not it will be
revealed in due time,” and Hannah spoke with great deliberation.

“That is quite true, and undoubtedly it is only those among us who
are a trifle worldly minded, that show a disposition to hasten these
things.” Jane Spencer was always very meek under reproof, and I felt
glad that others sustained her desire that Uncle Joseph should be a
little less deliberate in his action.

“I can hardly think that he realizes Sarah’s worth,” said a late comer.

“On the contrary,” it was Rhoda Longstreet’s voice, “I am sometimes
inclined to believe that his doubt rests upon his own merit. If he
were one of the world’s people I should say he was bashful. As it is,
I shall call him slow in perceiving his adaptation to any peculiar

“Thee may be right,” responded Jane Spencer, and I was struck with the
note of merrymaking that accompanied her words. “If so, I can only wish
that somebody would give him a hint, for I really believe that Sarah
has perceived their true relationship, and that her spirit is troubled
with doubt since no sign is given unto her.”

“Ah,” interrupted Hannah, “shall we never learn that God does not wish
us to call upon him for _signs_?”

Now it had chanced, although none of those present were at that time
conscious of it, that Sarah Sidney had given up her seat in a friend’s
carriage to a person who was suffering from a weak limb, and had
walked briskly along the frozen road toward our house.

Uncle Joseph, too, had chosen to leave his vehicle at home, and seeing
in the distance a familiar plump little figure, he made haste to
overtake her.

For a few moments they talked together of the lesser things of life.
Then they fell into silence, which was at last broken by Uncle Joseph’s

“My mind has dwelt much to-day upon the Bible teaching of the relation
of Ruth and Boaz.”

I am sure the throbbing heart beneath the clear muslin kerchief of
Sarah Sidney must have bounded a little at this. He went on: “Has thee
ever thought it over, and applied the test to our own lives?”

It certainly was not strange that the good woman hesitated before she

“If thee means to ask whether it has been shown to me that I am chosen
of the Lord to be thy companion, I will admit that it has; but, Joseph,
thee is not an old man, nor am I a young hand-maiden.”

Uncle Joseph stopped short in his walk, and catching a frightened look
upon the honest face beside him, he gravely said:

“It was not upon _that_ relation my mind ran. I thought rather of the
increased duty in this day and generation which must belong to the
husbandman and his gleaners; or in other words the responsibility of
him upon whom the benefits of this world have been showered, and the
loud call that is ever sounding in my ear to extend help to those who
need; and it has been whispered to me that thy material goods have
been slipping from thee, and--and, I wished to offer my aid.”

Could one marvel if a feeling of faintness crept over the gentle Sarah,
or that a beseeching look set the seal upon the awful stillness that
followed? Her face grew first scarlet, then very, very white. Uncle
Joseph’s voice sounded strange in her ear. She feared she should fall,
but as the tones grew clearer, something else impressed her.

“Sarah, thee has a more receptive spirit than my own. I have sometimes
longed to see aright in regard to the formation of a closer bond with
thee, and I rejoice that through my own ill-chosen speech thee has been
led to point the way.”

He took her trembling hand between his own, and smiled down upon
the sweet but tearful face; then her lips were opened, the pain went
forever out of her heart, and she whispered only:

“Dear Joseph.”

But her trial was not quite over. We were already summoned to the
dining room when Uncle Joseph and Sarah Sidney entered the door
together. I glanced about me, and was certain that I saw more than one
look of satisfaction exchanged by the company present.

The moment of silent blessing was past. My mother moved as if to begin
serving the soup, but she caught Uncle Joseph’s eye, and awaited his
slow words:

“Dear friends,” he said with a little tremor in his voice, “rejoice
with me, for to-day has our beloved Sarah Sidney revealed to me the
message that the Lord has given into her keeping.”

He paused, and with a flush brightening her soft cheeks Sarah asked

“Joseph, will thee kindly explain thyself?”

I never knew him to do anything so well as he now related to us the
manner in which he had obtained an insight into the secret knowledge of
Sarah Sidney’s heart.

As he ceased speaking, her own rhythmic tones filled the room in
tender thanksgiving to the Lord for his gift of companionship, and
this has evermore remained in my memory as one of the most beautiful
supplications I have been privileged to hear.

                         MY GRANDAME’S SECRET.

Almost a hundred years ago, there was born into a staid Quaker
household a child whose very physique set at defiance all the rules of
the orderly family.

The father, Daniel, and the mother, Lucretia Chester, were fair,
colorless persons, and the brown hair of the latter was severely banded
beneath her clear muslin cap. One can imagine the tinge of dismay that
must have clouded the fatherly affection for his firstborn, when Daniel
perceived that the babe was a dimpled, dark-eyed daughter, whose wealth
of raven locks fell into soft rings about her brow.

As she grew into recognition of her immediate surroundings, her
abounding vivacity made her singularly attractive. Her great eyes
sparkled as she cooed in sympathy with the soft-toned stroke of the
tall clock that had rung out the hour of her mother’s birth, and
the play of the firelight on the pale wall inspired her to feverish
exhibitions of delight. At such times Daniel laid his hand tenderly on
the refractory curls, and vainly smoothing away their pretty curves, he
said, “Alas, Lucretia, a very worldling has been given to our charge.
It behooves thee and me to keep an untiring watch over the little one.”
“She is the Lord’s own, is she not?” was the gentle reply. But to guide
and to guard her after the fashion of the stern orthodox rule was the
unrelenting training that the father practiced. More than once as the
years went on, he took the scissors from the hand of his wife, with a
strange misgiving lest she harbored a secret pleasure in the child’s
ringlets, and severely he cut away so much of the crowning glory as
scissors could cut, only to find an immediate renewal of nature’s
willfulness, and it was with something like reproach that he spoke of
her brilliant color.

“I wish, Dorcas, thee had more of the mother’s tint about thee,” he
said, emphasizing the plain Quaker name they had given the girl, as if
to counteract the impression of her brilliant beauty which increased
with time.

One day as she sat at dinner, flushed by a wild scamper across the lawn
with her playfellow, a soft-eyed collie, straight before her hung a
looking-glass which served her father in his frequent shaving trials,
and the child, catching the reflection of her bright face, cried out:

“I do not see, dear father, why thee should wish me to be pale like
mother. Mine is far the prettier color. She is a snowdrop, but I am the

The pain Daniel felt darkened his brow. “Dorcas,” he said, “thee speaks
as the daughter of sin; thy words reveal the wiles of the devil.”

The sensitive girl trembled, then her brave spirit rose and despite her
tears she had answer:

“Did not our Heavenly Father make us _all_, and why may I not admire
myself, if I am his handiwork, as much as thee admires dear mother?”

Her innocence touched Lucretia, who made haste to forestall a severe
reproof from her husband:

“The love of the flesh is unholy, my daughter. We are bidden to strive
with all the might which the Lord vouchsafes against the things of this
world. To purify the heart through the working of the Holy Spirit, this
is the highest good.”

“I think I do not understand thee, mother. Is the rose blushing for its
sin in not being made like snowdrops?”

“Dorcas, restrain thy tongue; and, Lucretia, perhaps we are in error
not to take the child more persistently to meeting. That she is
restless and disturbing to the meditations of others must not be
allowed to have too much weight.”

From that time forward the active girl placed herself under bonds
to subdue her natural inclinations, and many a bright spring morning
she sighed as she watched the lambs frisking in the fields, and noted
the disappointment of the collie as she refused his invitation to a
race, and with dripping hands she smoothed and resmoothed her curls,
preparatory to the ride to meeting. It was hard work, too, for her
to keep awake during the long silence or the droning tones of the
preacher, that seemed arranged in order to lull the restless children
to sleep, but she formulated a private code of morals, under which
this trial figured as a dispensation to school the spirit in its early
encounters with the tempter.

Occasionally the sermon interested her. Far more frequent was her
retirement within herself, and in misery of spirit she recounted the
long list of her sins, sincerely soliciting aid from on high that they
might be overcome. Among the chief of her trials was to make the honest
confession that she was not averse to looking at her own image, and
from this constant sense of the enormity of the transgression grew
an absolute intolerance of her beauty. She would have become morbid
over it, but for the thoroughly healthful nature which reveled in
outdoor exercise, and was of no mean assistance to the busy father
in his lesser tasks. Dorcas was unselfish, too, and her mind turned
readily into other channels than that of self-consciousness. She was
a deft little housemaid, and imitated her mother’s kindly ways with
the servants; but perhaps the absence of childish companions gave her
an air of maturity hardly in accord with her years. She was dreamy
too. Somewhere in her nature lurked a drop of Southern blood; that
which colored her rich dark skin colored also her mental constitution.
She was filled with romance and yet she had never heard a fairy-tale
or listened to a troubadour’s song, but her soul was on fire at the
relation of a heroic deed, or the unspoken sentiment of a pair of

Lucretia had chosen to teach the little maiden at home; perhaps the
staid father had hesitated to send the worldling into the midst of
temptations such as lurk behind the schoolroom door. His pride in her
ready insight must have been great for he did not scorn knowledge,
although he scorned honors, and Dorcas displayed a marvelous aptitude
for study. Even this bore a cross to him. “She is more like a boy than
a girl at books,” he thought, and cherished the memory of every gentle
womanly exhibition.

Daniel dearly loved Lucretia. She was to him a type of the true wife,
and undemonstrative as he was, little as she would have acknowledged
the wish, there lurked in the heart of each an unspeakable sorrow that
the only child which God had given to their arms should be so unlike
the meek and patient woman, the sweet orthodox saint, who had borne her.

In 1815 prison reform was a dim dream in the hearts of a few. Men
incline toward a theory of retributive justice, and are keen to assume
the judgment rôle and fasten a stigma to sin, forgetful that although
the sin may be outgrown, the stigma rarely is wiped away.

The orthodoxy of society was as fixed as the theological dogma of that
early day; leniency was license to the common mind; and the culprit was
faced with continual reminders of his guilt as a necessary step toward

The wrath of man, like the wrath of God, was to be known and feared;
the evil-doer was beaten into the path of the righteous, not led by
the law of love. Too much of this spirit exists at the present time,
but seventy-five years ago the force of public opinion tended in that

The prisoners were permitted to come forth on Sabbath morning and
listen, many of them with bound limbs, to a long exhortation from the
strait-laced clergy, who pointed a finger of scorn as well as reproach
at the guilty, and it was little wonder that their hearts were hardened
by what they heard, and that when they went forth again into the world
it was often with a determination to revenge themselves on society at

The home of Daniel and Lucretia Chester was a resting place for such
Friends as repaired to that locality for religious purposes, and
Daniel was frequently charged with bearing one of them company to the
county jail, which stood on the outskirts of their little town. Here
he never failed to be impressed with the terrors of sin, and to exhort
his family afterward to tread the straight and narrow way. More than
once Dorcas had been allowed to accompany her father on such visits,
with the idea of permeating the maiden’s consciousness with a correct
view of righteous punishment. On such an occasion, when she had just
passed her sixteenth birthday, the Friend who had a “concern” to speak
to the erring, aroused her indignation by his harsh denunciations. So
touched was she that her sympathies far outran her judgment, and in
passing through the room where the prisoners had assembled for worship,
Dorcas let her eyes rove over the throng and tender smiles play about
her mouth. One face among the many never faded from her memory. He was
but a lad, scarcely greater in years than herself, but tall and well
built. His keen glance was riveted to her face from the instant of her
entrance, and when she kindly nodded to the sullen group, this youth
fairly started from his seat. His bronze brow, his piercing black
eyes, his clean-cut limbs--all were instantly photographed upon her

She lingered a moment at the door, while Daniel turned his carryall,
and as she paused, she was conscious that the boy had reached far over
his companions and was eagerly watching her.

“Father,” she said, “does thee suppose all those prisoners are really

“Undoubtedly, Dorcas. It is a sad sight--a sad sight; but there is no
room to doubt that punishment awaits them hereafter as well as here.”

“I do not believe it,” she said sternly; “that is, dear father, I do
not think our Heavenly Parent will afflict them always, because they
have done wrong once. Would not thee take one of them to thy home and
heart after his release just as eagerly as thee would have done before
he was put in prison?”

“No, I would not. Are we not told that the way of the transgressor is
hard, and are we to set our judgment in defiance of that of the Lord
our God? It is our duty to enforce punishment for sin, to make the
sinner feel his peril, his exclusion, in order that he may repent.”

“But suppose he has repented?”

“Then let him come before his Maker and confess.”

“I think it would be awfully hard, dear father, for me to go before
thee and mother and say I was sorry, after you had so severely shown
your displeasure with me. Now if we held out our hands and welcomed the
sinner home, would he not be more likely to come? Was it not so in the
parable of the Prodigal Son?”

“There be those,” Daniel answered, as if in protest, “who thus construe
the passage, but I believe it not. No man may even turn to his father’s
house until he has been fed on husks.”

The midsummer heat was upon the land. The red sun set in splendor, and
the blood-dyed moon rose as in wrath.

The simple little chamber which was Dorcas’ own, had a broad window
opening upon the upper veranda. The small white cot was close at its
side, and the sweet night wind that bore the breath of the wild rose
and the clustering honeysuckle, softly stirred the dark curls that
strayed beneath the border of the muslin cap which the sleeper wore.
The heat was so great that she had suffered the strings to remain
untied, and the collar of her plain gown was turned away from the white
throat. She stirred. Was the breath from the garden too free upon her
cheek? Consciousness of some invasion made her restless. Presently her
eyelids quivered and lifted; surely Dorcas was dreaming! and yet, no;
there was a manly figure resting on the sill of the open window. She
sat up, making a quick motion to close the neck of her gown, and tie
the cap strings, but as quickly a voice broke upon her ear.

“Do not be afraid. I have been here several minutes wanting to tear off
one of those strings, but I knew it would disturb you.”

Dorcas was never a coward, and her astonishment at this matter-of-fact
statement forbade any outcry.

“Who is thee, and what does thee want?” was her commonplace exclamation.

“I am Henri Beauclaire. I have escaped from the jail. You saw me there.
I found out who you were after I was certain that it was not an angel
who smiled on me last Sunday, and--do not stop me. I only want to tell
you this: when I made up my mind to get out of that mad house, I made
up my mind, too, that I would see you and talk to you before I went

The girl was fascinated by the picture. A handsome youth with his soul
blazing in his eyes, sitting upright in the brilliant moonlight that
fell across her bed. There was no evil in his face. She kept silent and
let him speak on.

“Your name is Dorcas Chester, and I want you to know that I never
stole the money I was put in jail for stealing; but they proved I did,
and so I had two whole years to serve if I did not get away from them.
Would not you have tried to get out? That is hell over there.”

“Yes,” she half whispered.

“I knew you would. Nothing I can ever do or say will make me anything
in this world but a jail-bird unless I hide. So I am going to France
for a while. My _grandpère_ is there. By and by I will come back, and
you must give me something that I can show you then so that you will
know me, for I shall not look like this.”

He glanced disdainfully at the poor clothes he wore and reached out a
hand as if to receive an offering.

“What shall I give thee? I have nothing.” A thought of a lock of her
hair was in Dorcas’ mind, but she knew it would be missed, cut as
cleverly as she might. Then came the doubt, too, whether it were right
to thus encourage a culprit!

“Give me,” Henri said, and his voice was melodious, “give me that cap

She shrank back into the shadow. It seemed indelicate to let him touch
her nightgarb.

“Would it, would it make thee think of leading a better life, of God
and forgiveness and----”

“It would make me think of you, and that is of God. Forgiveness I need
not, for I never did the deed. No better life ask I than such one as my
_grandpère_ lives.”

He reached for the cap string.

Mechanically Dorcas tore it off and lifted it to his height.

The boy looked out at the sweet stars paling under the tropical moon,
then he bent his eyes upon the beautiful girl, and slowly said:

“I am going now. Remember, I never did it, and keep yourself just
as you are until that day when the white cap string shall come home
again.” He was gone, and Dorcas sat silent for a moment; then the
painful consciousness forced itself upon her that her father’s voice
was calling. She dropped her head upon the pillow, wrapped the sheet
about her throat, and closed her eyes. The voice came nearer. “Dorcas,
Dorcas,” it said; but she did not stir. Her heart was wildly beating
with fear lest the youth of her dream should be pursued, but her parent
went calmly away, and only at breakfast was there any allusion to the

“Dorcas, thee talked strangely, last night, in thy sleep.”

The girl’s face crimsoned as she felt the untruthfulness of her
reply: “How funny that is!” but the motherly eye was not long without
discovering the loss of the nightcap string.

“Daughter,” she said, “how was it possible for thee to tear thy cap in
this way? It is as though thee had willed to do it and done it with all
thy might.”

And the girl replied, with some of her hoydenish spirit: “Throw the
old thing away; I have plenty more,” for it seemed as if she could not
tolerate the witness to her secret compact.

“I am surprised,” answered the gentle mother. “Waste not, want not.
Get thy thimble and thread; here is some muslin, thee can hem another

Dorcas did not allow herself to brood over her midnight adventure.
Perhaps she was pained by the part of concealment that she played
toward her parents; perhaps she was troubled, too, by a recollection
of the rebuke contained in the boy’s words. She was sometimes inclined
to feel that he was right and her own little world was wrong in so
strictly upholding law, and in believing the ways of God were at utter
variance from the ways of generous men.

“I care not to live any better life than that _mon grandpère_ lives.”

These words were ringing in her ears, and she pictured to herself the
detail of that life, far enough from reality, no doubt, but a pretty
idyl. She began to read much history, and once asked her mother to
allow her to take French lessons from a villager. Lucretia was shocked.

“Ah, my child! there is little to be read in that tongue that could
benefit thee. Blasphemers and winebibbers they are, with no sense of
shame in their idolatry of sensual things.”

“Then they are an evil-minded people, mother?”

“Yea, yea; a frivolous and false-hearted race.”

Then Dorcas turned away sorrowfully. Could it be that Henri Beauclaire
had told what was not true? If he could steal he might also lie. He
was base had he done both; and if that race was false why was he an
exception among Frenchmen? When this mood was upon her she blushed
alone in her chamber at the thought of the bit of muslin that he so
carefully rolled about his finger and put from sight. Mostly, however,
her meditations were concluded with the memory of his respect for the
clean life of his _grandpère_, and, do as she might, to think him
guilty she could not.

The years went quickly by. It was a round of simple duties to Dorcas,
enlivened by a keen sense of the beautiful and a quick response to
sympathetic needs. The weeks were much alike. First-day meeting,
followed by the household laundry work. Fourth-day meeting, succeeded
by the mending, sweeping, and baking. This was varied by monthly
meeting day dinner, when several Friends were apt to be seated at
their board, or a drive to a quarterly meeting in a larger community;
and the crowning event--not often enjoyed by Lucretia and Dorcas--of
passing a week in the great city at the time of the yearly gathering.
It was on one of the latter occasions that Dorcas met and became much
interested in a young man who was welcomed by Daniel as the son of a
dear and distant friend. She had never mingled with youth a great deal,
and George Townsend’s quick wit and good temper were a source of great
pleasure to her. She had no idea of marriage in her mind, and when,
after months of intimate acquaintance, he directly asked her to become
his wife, she shrank from him as if he had struck her.

“Does thee feel that I have done wrong?” he gently questioned.

“No,” she stammered; but a strange vision of flashing dark eyes and an
earnest injunction to “keep just as you are now” made her faint.

“Will thee let me dwell upon thy request in solitude?” she said, and
the honest-hearted man made answer:

“Thee is right to question thy own soul. If there thee finds a single
cloud, wait until the light cometh.”

When Dorcas sat alone she covered her face with both hands and a few
tears trickled between her fingers. Presently she wiped them away, and
began to question herself as she would have questioned another.

“Why do I hesitate? I am greatly drawn toward George Townsend. Father
and mother regard him highly; he is a God-fearing man, capable and
conscientious; he is a member of our meeting; his business can be
readily arranged so that we may live near my dear parents and bless
their declining years. Why not?”

To so pure a maiden, one whose affections had never keenly asserted
themselves nor been lightly trifled with, the idea of having granted
unasked the treasure of her love was in itself a reproach.

Dorcas paled in view of the thought to which she felt it right to give
definite shape; then she walked restlessly toward the window where once
sat the dark-eyed lad, and she said, honestly and bravely:

“Until to-day the actual meaning of that charge, to ‘keep as you
are,’ never occurred to me. Am I certain that he intended that bit of
muslin to typify my faith--faith to him personally? or was it, as I
vaguely comprehended it then, faith that I would be the same in my
just dealing with his apparent shortcomings? Who can tell? It is six
years since he went away. Perhaps he died before seeing his _grandpère_
again. Perhaps he forgot the place where he suffered so much; or found
his beautiful ancestral home too lovely to leave. Perhaps--” and this
hurt her, but she thought it fair to admit the doubt, “perhaps he
fell into evil ways again. And, indeed, had he been all that my dream
pictured, would he not, within six years, have found an opportunity to
communicate with me? Surely I deserved it.”

Then came another question; “Would I have married him, had he come back
with a clean record and a demand for my love? Could I have given my
life into the hand of an utter stranger, a foreigner of whose race I
know no good? Would my father and mother have blessed me and bade me
go to my husband’s arms with joy? No, it could not have been, and I
could not have done it without. Should Henri return tomorrow for the
fulfillment of such a desire, I should bid him leave me. Is it right to
marry George Townsend with this secret in my heart? Ought I to reveal
it, reveal my doubts and struggles concerning it? No. I should be quite
willing to place my hand in his and say, ‘George, whatever thee has
in thy heart that thee wishes to tell me, that do I wish to hear; but
whatever trials thee has passed through and honestly left behind thee,
with those I have no question.’

“Could I let George go from me and live my life alone, without a pang
because of his absence? No, I could not. Therefore, O Lord, with a
clean heart I will walk beside him, asking daily grace from thy hand,
and humbly seeking to serve thee through serving him.”

She bathed her flushed face, smoothed the curls away, and went into the
garden. There among the sweet-peas and the rich clove-pinks, she laid
her hand in that of her lover and simply said:

“My heart tells me I will be a true wife unto thee.”

The next decade wrought a great change in Dorcas. The vivacity that she
had seemed so likely to lose under the stern repression of her parents,
assumed the semblance of loving good cheer. Her beauty as a matron
surpassed that of her girlhood, and it became a matter of merrymaking
in the household that a stranger never passed her without turning to
look a second time. Her sweet spirit was overflowing with thankfulness
for the great blessing of fervid affection from so manly and upright a
companion as George Townsend. Indeed, if ever the taint of pride clung
to Dorcas it was when she thought of her husband.

A little maiden had for eight years walked beside her. A faithful
representative of the Chester household. Truly, if Daniel had regretted
his own daughter’s alien features, he was content now in the miniature
Lucretia whose demure air was a marked contrast to the flashing wit of
her dark-eyed mother.

The village, too, was changed. Through George Townsend’s exertions
manufacturing interests flourished, and although wealth was pouring
into his coffers, the comfort of a thousand lesser households told of
just dealing between man and man. But the old jail still stood on the
highway, and its barred windows were lengthened to a half score. The
same fiery brick walls, the same foul atmosphere, the same class of
inhabitants were closed behind the multitudinous bolts and bars. The
passer-by winced as he heard the loud laugh or the fearful curse; and
the faces that pressed against the iron casement were faces of the
young and the old, of women as well as men, and gathered from the ranks
of first offenders as well as those of the hardened criminals.

One morning, while yet Dorcas sat at the head of the breakfast table,
dispensing as much of cheer by her sunny face as from the viands, a
message was brought requesting her presence at the county jail. It
was no unusual occurrence for the mother to be thus summoned from her
peaceful home to smooth the path of the unrighteous, and very shortly
she stepped from her carriage into the door of the plague spot of the
neat village. She was met by the jailer’s wife, a coarse woman, but not
untouched with good intentions.

“I was sorry to send for you,” she said, “but a queer-looking man
was let in last night, who has been bleeding at the lungs, and all I
could do and say was nothing till I promised to fetch you early this
morning. He hadn’t ought to been here, I ’spose, but Thomas found him
sitting on the doorstep, and rattling the latch, and when he asked
to be let in and Thomas said as it was a jail, he up and told a queer
story about once having broke out; and anyways it wasn’t right to leave
him out there a-bleedin’, so I put him in one of my rooms; he seemed

An unaccustomed horror crept over Dorcas. She had to steady herself
against the door-post for a moment before following the woman into the
cramped little chamber.

Half-sitting upon the bed, surrounded with pillows and cloths stained
with blood, was Henri Beauclaire. His eyes flashed with the old
intensity, but from amid the pallor of a countenance wasted with

“Stand there,” he whispered hoarsely; and motioning to the jailer’s
wife to go out, he fastened his gaze on Dorcas’ half-frightened face.

“Look at me, woman; do you know me?”

She bowed her head.

“Do you know what this is?” he said again, as he drew from his breast a
bit of soiled and yellow muslin.

“This is a betrothal ring. Yes, I tell you, by this you plighted your
troth to me, and by the heavens above, you have broken your faith.”

Dorcas made motion as if to answer.

“Stop,” he said. “You can have nothing to say; it is I who must relieve
my bursting heart. Do you know what this is?” laying his finger on the
bright stains. “This is my life-blood, and you have spilled it. When
I came over sea I had a cough, and they told me I needed care, but
I laughed them to scorn, for I said to myself, when once I am there,
where her gentle hands can smooth the pain away and her sweet smile
bring back the light to my eyes, all will be well. Do you know how
it was with me during these years? When, after being hunted like a
wild beast from wood to cavern, from hill to seaport, at last I stood
by my _grandpère_, his heart was filled with joy--for I was his only
descendant left on earth, and on me he leaned feeble and childish. I
could not leave him for an hour without reproach; how could I come
to you? Year after year he lingered, and although I starved for your
smile, I believed in you, and God knows, had I suspected the awful
truth of your unfaithfulness, I should have done the same. Heaven
itself could not have lured me from that poor man, whose dying
blessing is sounding in my ears this day. When I had laid him away,
scarce three months ago, and found that the old chateau with its
thousands of meters of rich garden and tillage was mine, I bounded for
my passport, I dreamed of naught else than a return to build a family
worthy of the saintly dead.

“Would you know the rest? How I came in the dusk to the village street
and crept in the shadow to your father’s door, feeling that I could not
at once bear the blaze of your beauty. When I had seen the old man open
the casement and sit in the moonlight with a child upon his knee, my
heart misgave me. Fainting for food, for I had been too eager to eat, I
crept back to the inn. Slowly I questioned the _garçon_ concerning the
people of the village, and gradually the truth dawned--you were untrue!
I was like a madman that night. I wore a track in the floor, I doubt
not, with my restless pacing, and when day broke I went forth with a
wild intent to do murderous work. All through the hours of sunlight
I examined the mill, and the dwelling-place where a false heart was
beating, and at night I planned to carry out my work of destruction. I
would fire the mill and the house and take care that, so quick would
leap the flames, that no escape would be possible. And if, through
some strange fatality, my plot was defeated, there, in the fierce
distraction of a great conflagration, I would rush upon you with my
knife and stab you to your death! Yes,” he leaned forward and hissed
the words, “the woman who has taught me that there is no faith, that
God and honor and love are myths, ought to die by the hand of the man
whom she has wrecked.”

Again Dorcas stirred, and again he waved her into silence.

“And what was your excuse? Six years of silence. What were they to me?
Six centuries might have waned, and I should have kept my faith. When
I looked at this trysting string, I said alway and ever the same: ‘She
is as strong as the threads she tore with so great an effort; she will
never waver.’

“What was the good of nature’s brand that you bear: the mark of
unyielding purpose, of faith and love as firm as God’s foundation, as
broad as the firmament--you belie them all. There you stand now with
your great eyes shining as if a _soul_ dwelt behind them; your rich
smooth skin blooming with the color and purity of nature, not artifice;
your red lips curved with a smile you cannot repress, and yet I swear
you are as false as hell!

“Only this”--he touched the crimson stains--“only this defeated my
plan, and enabled you to breath the sweet spring air once more; only
this has made it possible for me to die cursing you with my latest
breath without dealing that blow at your heart that should have mingled
our blood in one stream.”

The exhausted man fell back upon his pillows, and Dorcas crept to his
side and smoothed the rich waves of jet-black hair, and with a wet
sponge moistened his lips. Presently he opened his eyes, and before he
could speak she said calmly:

“I am going to take thee to our home. George Townsend will help me to
nurse thee back to life and peace. I will tell thee, now, that I never
knew thy full intent in asking me for the cap string; had I known it I
should not have given it, for thy reason and my own would have rebelled
against an alliance wholly at variance with Nature’s laws. Thee did not
love _me_, the girl; thee loved my _faith_, my trust in thy honesty;
and I bid thee go on loving it, for I shall trust thee now, just as
I trusted thee then. I believed thee innocent of the crime for which
thee had been confined. I believed it only because thee said it was so,
and thy face told the same story. I believe in thee now, in despite
thy _words_, for thy soul is speaking more truly through thy glance,
and that tells me that thy devotion to thy _grandpère_ was no myth,
while thy frenzy is. Thee shall find thy faith in me is rewarded, for
thee shall live to be one of our household and to bless us all with thy

She ceased speaking, summoned the jailer’s wife, and had the sick man
borne to her carriage.

When she had reached her own door Dorcas entered alone, and quietly
spoke to her husband, who still sat by the breakfast table.

“George, I have brought home a very ill man; will thee please attend to
his removal from the carriage while I prepare a bed? I shall put him
into the little room next our own that I may the more carefully tend

That night, as Dorcas sat late by the invalid’s side, the only word
that he spoke was the whispered question:

“Are you not afraid?”

And as she bent over him tenderly she answered:

“Not for a moment do I fear thee; I only wish thee well.”

Slowly the strength came to the feeble pulse, but when the frail man
was permitted to leave his sick bed, it was found that his cough became
less frequent and his fever had subsided. Then, too, he was moved into
a large upper chamber, the best the house afforded, and although the
kind attentions of Dorcas were unremitted, he lost all sense of care or
espionage. Gradually he recognized himself as a member of the family,
and never was there any allusion to his advent or expected departure.
Before many months he was the dear “uncle,” of the household, taking
his part in all that went on; teaching the little Lucretia; reading
aloud bits of quaint wisdom or humor, from “Le Roman de la Rose,” and
“Le Roman du Renart;” pages from Froissart, his beloved Pascal, and La
Bruyère; or listening to the many schemes for lifting the burdens of
others that were constantly suggested by George or Dorcas.

From 1820 to 1830 there was a great awakening on the subject of Prison
Reform. The work of England’s noble Howard had been supplemented by
that of the devoted Elizabeth Fry, and the whole world rang with their
achievements. Slow, alas! was the motion across the water, but sure in
its coming.

Henri Beauclaire, too feeble to exert great physical effort, was keenly
alive to the necessity of introducing humanitarian methods in all
places for the confinement of the accused.

He labored unceasingly toward an enlargement and purification of the
county jail, for separate day rooms for the men and women, for decent
food and lavatories, and for constant occupation. In all he did Henri
was warmly seconded by his true friends, and when at last the summons
came that called him from their midst, no one among the villagers was
more regretted.

In the short will which was found amid his small effects, he had
bequeathed the old chateau to his native town as a home for such
discharged prisoners as were friendless and aged, and the closing
clause read thus:

“To my more than sister, my earthly savior, Dorcas Townsend, I leave
the testimony of my later years, and the contents of my strong-box.”

This contained some valuable silver and household linen bearing a
coronet, and a sandalwood casket wherein reposed a yellow muslin cap

In the evening following the burial Dorcas sat with her family about
her on the moonlit porch. She slid her hand softly into that of her
husband, and said:

“George dear, thee has never asked me, but I should like to tell thee,
the secret of my peculiar interest in our brother who has passed away.”

Then my grandame told the story, and the accurate memory of my mother
gave it unto me as it is written.

At its conclusion her husband kissed her flushed cheek, saying:

“Thine was ever a romantic nature, and were romance always controlled
by reason, how many lives might blossom into joy and usefulness, as did
that of our beloved Henri.”

                               THE END.



 Being the History of Three Months in the Life of an English Gentleman.
 By ANTHONY HOPE. 16mo, 75 cents.

“A grand story.... It is dignified, quick in action, thrilling,
terrible.... There is everything that is exciting and turbulent,
and nothing that is too extravagant to be possible with desperate
men fighting for so great an issue as the throne of a ‘powerful
province.’... A great writer, and there is no flaw either in
the design, execution, or wording of a really most ingenious
tale.”--_Chicago Herald._

“The author is a born story-teller, and has, moreover, a very pretty
wit of his own.”--_The Outlook._


 And Other Tales. By HENRY A. BEERS. 16mo, 75 cents.

Contents: A Suburban Pastoral--A Midwinter Night’s Dream--A Comedy
of Errors--Declaration of Independence--Split Zephyr--A Graveyard
Idyl--Edric the Wild and the Witch Wife--The Wine-Flower.

 QUAKER IDYLS. By MRS. S. M. H. GARDNER. 16mo, 75 cents.

Contents: Twelfth Street Meeting--A Quaker Wedding--Two
Gentlewomen--Our Little Neighbors--Pamelia Tewksbury’s Courtship--Some
Ante-Bellum Letters from a Quaker Girl--Uncle Joseph--My Grandame’s

 JOHN INGERFIELD. And Other Stories. By JEROME K. JEROME. 16mo, 75

Contents: John Ingerfield--The Woman of the Saeter--Variety
Patter--Silhouettes--The Lease of the Cross-Keys.

  Publishers,       New York.

Jerome’s John Ingerfield;

=The Woman of the Saeter=, =Silhouettes=, =Variety Patter=, and =The
Lease of the Cross-keys=. The title-story (half the book) and the
two that follow are in serious vein. With portrait of Jerome and
illustrations. Small 16mo. 75 cents.

 “This dainty little volume, contrived to look like a tall folio in
 miniature ... the creepy Norwegian ghost story (_The Woman of the
 Saeter_) ... the vague but picturesque sketch called _Silhouettes_....
 The first (_John Ingerfield_) is a very sweet and pathetic love story
 ... true to the best there is in human nature ... many diverse traits
 of character and striking incidents being compressed within its
 narrow limits.... It is a good thing to write an honest, wholesome,
 old-fashioned love story like _John Ingerfield_.”--_New York Times._

 “Rare combination of true pathos and thoroughly modern humor.”--_The

 “_Variety Patter_ and _The Lease of the Cross-keys_ are in lighter
 vein; the former having delicious humorous touches, and the latter
 being in its entirety a very clever conceit.”--_Boston Times._

 “A charming story.”--_Literary World._

 “A charming little story.”--_London Athenæum._

 “Quaint and attractive in the extreme.”--_Philadelphia Call._

 “_The Woman of the Saeter_ is weird and strange, and told with much

 “An exquisite love story ... like fine gold in its value.”--_Chicago

 “One of the sweetest, saddest stories we have ever read.”--_Chicago

 “One of the best short stories that has appeared in some
 time.”--_Detroit Free Press._

 “A delightful story.”--_Hartford Post._

 “... The book will not be put down until all are
 finished.”--_Baltimore American._

  29 West 23d Street, New York.

                          Transcriber’s Notes

Errors in punctuation have been fixed.

Page 32: “henceforth seprate” changed to “henceforth separate”

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Quaker idyls" ***

Copyright 2023 LibraryBlog. All rights reserved.