Page images

read it in alternate verses, as he used to do with his mother when a child, but never since. He had never wished to do so with any one, but this evening I reminded him of his mother as she used to look on Sunday evenings in her white dress, and as he .pictured her an

• angel in heaven. Oh, Jane, I am ashamed to repeat all this! I asked him which was his mother's favorite psalni, which we read, and then mine. Between whiles he told me much of his mother; 'Pardon me,' he said, 'but she was my bosom friend, the only one

I have had all my life, until ,' he did not

finish his sentence, and we sat silent, yet we seemed better companions than wlien we were talking. At last he spoke, ' How happy we are, Si^an!' Oh, Jane, what strange happiness, and yet what trouble, sprang up in my heart to hear him call me 'Susan;' you know I have been 'Miss Woodville' to every one all my life, and he said it so tenderly. Yet I burst into tears—did you ever hear of any thing so silly? Mr. Frankland asked very gravely,' Are you angry with me, Miss Woodville?' I could not utter a single syllable, but only cried the more. No wonder he soon rose, and went away. Then all was worse than before, I cried twice as much to think how unkindly I had behaved. A whole fortnight passed away, and he never once came to see me. Oh, how sick I grew, evening after evening, listening for the footsteps which never came!

"At last I determined to try to do my duty and forget my hopes; it was but going back to where I was before. Ah, that weary going back! I took up the arithmetic book one evening when recollections happened to be very troublesome, and set myself to prepare some sums, for they would require all my thoughts. The door opened, I glanced up, there was Mr. Frankland! Jane, you never saw that expression of his, so grave and determined. 'Miss Woodville, I must have 8OU19 conversation with you; will you listen to me'i" My heart was in my throat, but I conquered my foolish tremors, and answered, as bold as a lion, that I was glad to see him. 'I have been a very unhappy man for the last fortnight, Miss Woodville; do you care to hear wherefore?' These words, so low and grave, made me tremble like an aspen leaf. 'Yes, if you please,' was all the reply I could frame. 'Do you remember that I called you Susan?' here his voice shook. 'You appeared offended. I believed that, by grasping too much for a poor lame fellow like me, I had lost the friendship that made me so happy. You wept, your gentle heart bled to give me pain, and I resolved I would never bring another tear into those dear eyes, but compelled myself to stay away from you. I have borne many bitter trials,' he went on,

n almost a whisper, 'but none so sharp as this! At last, catching at a straw, it occurred to me, perhaps you were not angry, perhaps you would forgive me. Was I wrong? Will you forgive me?' 'I was never angry,' but as I said the words my face grew scarlet, feeling what I had said. Then he came closer, and said in a tone so soft, so earnest, so troubled, 'But do you know I cannot stop berc, I cannot call you Miss Woodville again? Must I go away, and never see you more?' My heart bcal so fast I could not spoak, indeed I could not!' Did I terrify you? does it grieve you so much to bid me go? I will never pain you more. God bless you, Susan.' The unspeakable sorrow in his voice made me brave against every thing. 'Stav,' I whispered,' call me Susan, call me —' I did not say your Susan, but he understood me,

and he said oh, Jane! It'an tell you no

more, but you will believe now how all trouble seems to have gone from us forever."

I could, indeed. But my story has run such a length, that I must not linger anymore on this humble, happy courtship. Mrs. Dashwood made no objection to the match, further than sneering at the "poor, romantic simpletons." She, however, expressed her dislike at long engagements in her house, and the lovers were not unwilling to hasten matters. The marriage was to take place in six weeks. Mr. Frankland had a small legacy laid by, which he took to buy the furniture, though his aunt pronounced it "too ludicrous!" Miss Woodville's little savings procured her wardrobe, the house linen, and'a tea service. How she managed to get so much out of her savings, I could never understand! Certainly her trousseau (as she always called it) was plainer than some housemaids', and she had a happy art of convincing herself that whatever she had, she really liked best. Simplicity was so much more elegant than finery. Yet I suspected, had her means been different, she would have liked what was pretty as well as any little bride, so I made her an elegant wedding bonnet, instead of the much-lauded puritan straw. The present was received with sparkling eyes, and was the sole marriage gift they had, I believe, save sundry clever pincushions made by her little pupils who loved her dearly. The Miss Dash woods were really "very sorry," but they were too poor, with all their eayeties, to afford presents. I dressed the Dride (and very sweet and pretty had she grown in my eyes) in her white muslin dress, and beautiful bouquet of hot-house flowers given by Mr. Tom Dashwood, who had taken some interest in the love affair of the "poor devils," as he called them.

Mrs. Frankland has made me promise to come the very first spare afternoon I should have after her marriage to drink tea in her new house. This was situated in a small row in the suburbs. I should have fixed upon it by the new paint, the fresh muslin blind and geranium in the window, had not the little bride run out herself to welcome me. She was all bright with blushes and smiles, and I seemed to have made her so happy by coming, that a sort of complacent feeling stole over me, as if I had done something very kind in coming to take my tea. With what pretty vanity and delight did she not show me over her house, the air with which she styled the little front parlor " the drawing-room," the tiny lobby "the hall," and the little grass-plot and one flower-bed "our garden." Remember, she never had had a home, and this ordinary little house looked to her a palace! Blissful tears were in her eyes as she spoke of her husband, how good, how kind, how clever he was. What an exquisite joy it was both to him and her to be really loved, and find themselves of consequence to a single living creature.

Long before we had finished our conversation, Mr. Frankland came home. He had become quite another person, even his lameness seemed lessened, he walked erect, his Elaintive smile was exchanged for one as right as his little wife's-whom he bantered so fondly. Tea having been brought in by the one servant, Betsey, we had a very sociable meal, though the cakes were of a most extraordinary kind, invented by Mrs. Frankland, out of dough, by the help of currants and a shaping wine-glass. Her husband thought they came from the confectioner's— what could she do that was not best? Ah happy little bride, sharing the prerogative of royalty that cannot do wrong! After tea, Mr. Frankland showed me a present he said he had made himself, the manuscript of his wife's poetry prettily bound. Even the minnow-fry of poets have their vanity, as could be seen in the little woman's gratified smile. In her last sonnet upon her new home, I, who was not in love, could not repress a smile at the epithets, "rural shades," " rosybowers," and "verdant meads," bestowed on the little pert brick house, the broken ground opposite, and the little flower court with its white-washed wall. Mr. Frankland, not liking perhaps to seem deluded before a third person, likewise demurred here a little. "Well, well!" he concluded, "it is well that a poor man's wife should be an alchemist."

Two happy years passed away, and then there came on this united couple a promise of the one only blessing wanting: Mrs. Frankland was about to become a mother. Her husband's happiness was, at first, al

loyed by some little care. Theirs was but a narrow income, and his manly, protecting love chafed at the fear of privation for his Susan. But as Susan presently cheered away every cloud, it was impossible to be miserable about one who was so perfectly contented herself. And then came the prospect of a possible addition to Mr. Fraukland's salary. It was but ten pounds a year it must be confessed, but had you heard bis wife talk of " the addition to our income" and "our excellent prospects," you -would have rated it at a hundred pounds or so. However, she was an excellent manager, and every week since her marriage, besides a trifle for charity, had laid by what now amounted to a nice little sumWbr the new expenses. Only those who have had a narrow income can estimate the comfort of a saving like this. Mrs. Frankland expected her confinement about Christmas, so I went to her in November to lend a hand to the work. Our materials being poor, in spite of Susan's stripping off every bit of lace she possessed, we had plenty of scope for our ingenuity to give beauty to our work by dint of scalloping, stitching and satin stitching, and very proud were we of our creations.

I promised to keep house while Susan was to be ill, she had such confidence in my "making George comfortable," and I was to lie god-mother. Mr. Frankland had thought it proper, in case the child should be a girl, to request Mrs. Dashwood to be the other god-mother. The tone of the refusal, more than the refusal itself, wounded Mrs. Frankland for her husband's sake. "George was Mr. Dashwood's own nephew, full as well-born, and had behaved to him better than his own sons." Then, for the first time she told me that Mrs. Dashwood had never been to see her, and even her dear little pupils had never been allowed to come. "I would not have done them any harm," said she; "surely I am not more vulgar now, than when with them all day."

When our work was over, I had an engagement before Christmas at a village some eight miles off, where lived two families of my patrons. I was to be a fortnight away. The young ladies of the two families were to go to their first ball, and much afraid were they I should never finish in time. All my work, however, was completed, to the last stitch, before even the eventful evening arrived, and, having no more to do, I sat down to rest myself, and took up the paper with the curiosity one always has when from home. I turned to the births, deaths, and marriages ; not a name I knew. Stop, there are a few more deaths over the page—what is this ?—who is dead in Lamb Street ?" On Sunday, the 27th instant, at her residence, Lamb Street, Susan, the beloved wife of George Frankland, Esq." This must be some mistake; sick and trembling I re-read the sentence: "Susan, the beloved wife "— those vain, fond words to spell out to the world how dear, how very dear the being that is lost! But, oh it was not my Susan, my kind, healthy, happy Susan! No, it must be some one weary and sick of the world that Death had taken to his cold bed, not the sunny Susan who had kissed mo so warmly a fortnight ago. And this news was a week old. But there it was, " Susan, the beloved wife of George Frankland, Esq." She was dead! Susan was dead! I should never see her any more! No, never any more, that kept ringing in my ears.

But what was my loss to the husbaruFs1} What would become of Aim? A lonely, despised man from his birth, a Spring had suddenly burst upon him, and, when he had poured forth his soul in hymns of praise, suddenly all was taken from him! A younger, gayer, prosperous man might revive and marry again, but, poor, lame, and dejected, who would love him now that Susan was gone? How was he to be resigned? I feared to see Mr. Frankland.

As I returned to L , every street,

the inn-door where Susan had stood watching me off, brought her and my sorrow to my mind. The street where we stopped was busy, crowded, and steep, the east wind blew cuttingly up it. Cold and dreary, I felt keenly the being jostled by passengers, as I stood waiting for my box. Suddenly, I saw Mr. Frankland toiling wearily up the steep street among the crowd. He seemed to walk lamer, and leant heavily upon his stick against the buffeting of the wind. I shall not forget how plaintive his face looked through all the sweetness of his expression. My first impulse was to retreat; how could he bear to see me, and here? But he had observed me. "Jane," he said, and held out his hand. He looked me full in the face. Utter lone

"Yes," replied he, "I never looked for that."

How could my grief be loquacious, when his was so <juiet? I went to see him as soon as I could. I stood on the steps; she had first opened that door to me. Betsey let me in, and took me into the parlor. I motioned to her to sit down. We both began to cry. We sat thus crying some time, when the front door was opened with a latch key, and Mr. Frankland walked in, too suddenly for us to check our tears. He looked from one to the other, there came a quivering movement in his features, and he walked away as though to hang up his hat. Presently he returned, and g^ave me a kind welcome; you see he was anxious to greet me as his Susan would have done.

Betsey soon brought in the tea; we sat down to it, but I couiJ not cat. "I see, I see," said he, quietly, "nothing tastes as when she made it." Thinking it my duty to divert his thoughts, I began to talk ou various matters. He answered me kindly, but I saw that his thoughts were elsewhere. His eyes were fixed on the vacant place, more intent on summoning back the shade of his Susan than any thing this world could afford.

At last he said abruptly, "How pretty she used to look, Jane, pouring out the tea."

"Ah, yes, sir! she used to sit just here."

"No," he replied, pointing to a spot a few inches lower down, "it was just here, that she might see the trees in Mr. Jones' garden; then suddenly breaking down, "Oh, my God! could she not have been spared me a little longer?" This was his first and last ungovcrncd emotion so far as I could witness.

After this evening I often went to see Mr. Frankland, and his Susan was ever our favorite theme. In time he became a wealthy man, his talents gaining him a partnership. But he never left the humble house in Lamb Street, or married, though I have credibly heard that more than one handsome lady had

liness and patient sorrow filled that mute ap-1 hinted he would not be repulsed. No one peal with unspeakable pathos. Tears gushed j who had been kind to his Susan did he ever

from my eyes: he wished nothing more than tears shed for love of his Susan.

At last he said gently, " We have had a great loss!"

"Oh sir," cried I, passionately, "it is too great to be told!"

forget, not even the cousin who had given her the wedding bouquet. After an honored life, he slept at last in her grave. I have often thought of the glad meeting awaiting that constant heart in another world! C. O.

From the Saturday Review.

of our own numerous and well-appointed armies struggling slowly and noisily through

This is a fresh and pleasant book,and we! the tangled wilderness of South Africa in gladlv welcome it as a proof that at least one' the Catire wars. Of course the tribes of American is capable of writing without any 'Florida have been subdued, as the strength serious offences against good taste. It con-: TM the Cafires has been broken; but at what tains delightful descriptions of the scenery' cost? I» is> however, consolatory to find and sports of the Southern States; and if that the difficulties of a contest between a disthe picture which it draws of society be, as : ciplined army and savages are much the same we think it is, in the main truthful, the light- everywhere. We regret that the American hearted negroes who follow the chase and I who was sald to have wished to get n conprepare the hunters' meals deserve to be set ^act to finish the last^Caffre war dM not

against the White Slaves and Uncle Toms ~ " »••••<»

whose mental and bodily sufferings have so deeply affected the British public. The account it gives of the long war between the United States and the Indians of Florida,

make a similar offer to his own government. This book is full of amusing stories, the style of which is even more humorous than the incidents. Let us try to convey some idea of one called "The Panther's Cub,"

deserves especial praise for the candor with which is told after supper in a settler's cabin, which it discloses both the violence and : Mike. who like some great sportsman of our treachery of the American officers towards °wn country is very taciturn, has remarked,

the Indians, and the awkwardness and tardiness of the American soldiers employed in 'It

in an interval of smoking, " Painter is an oncommon onsartain varmint." Hereupon he is pressed to tell the tale of how he

hunting down a wily and active enemy, it.— — i- TM ---

would have been impossible to describe in! missed a panther the year before. "Wall," more severe terms than are to be found in this! he begins, "it was airly mornin' when I book the slow and cumbrous movements of i started out after that air painter." He saw our own troops endeavoring to overtake the! no signs a11 the first day, nor the second. Caffrcs. The writer represents himself as By nightfall the hunter had returned nearly wandering in Florida during the war in com- to his starting-point. "Yowler and I lay pany with a famous white hunter called In- i down together, and were dom' some tall tun Mike, who reminds us of that favorite of sleepm." The cry of the panther waked

boyhood, the Long Rifle of Cooper's tales. The sagacity and beautiful shooting of this white indian make him the most prominent character of the story, and as soon as we become acquainted with him, we feel quite at

did not come near. and when it brack

him, but the beast

"Mornin' came

enough to see a meetin' house, I pushed on

but the painter had moved off." The trail

was found, "and then, sez I, 'Now, Mr.

ease for his companions amid the bands of Painter, we'll see who's best at walking.'" artful and murderous Seminoles who are I Yowler went on a-head, and after an hour,

traversing the country all around them. It is a great merit of the book that the reader

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

becomes keenly interested in the adventures,

although a very small experience of this

kind of novel would suffice to teach him how iter remarked, " Here is a painter that (

they will end. Mike steals into the camp of wounded, and vet don't pitch inter a fe

a dreaded chief called Tiger Tail, takes away whn>fl »«•"«»•*•* *» ** * «•—*

from it a scalp, and cuts his well-known

mark upon a canoe. Next day Mike and his

companions meet, on the St. John's river, six barge-loads of -soldiers bound on a foray. "Hollo!" cries Mike; "goin* a fishin'?" In answer to this satirical salutation, the officer in command asks Mike how soon he thinks the expedition will overtake Tiger Tail. The reply is "Never." The officer calls after him, " Come and guide us, and you will be well paid." Mike answers," No, you're too many of you: 'taint no use." Nothing more severe than this was ever said

* Wild Sports in the South; or, the Camp-Firei of the Eterglculti. By Charles E. Whitehend, translator of " Gerard the Lion-Killer." New York: Derby and Jackson. London: Sampson Low, Son, and Co. 1860.

[ocr errors]

going.'" By noon they reached a river, and Mike found a place where the chase had lain down in the mud, and knew by the marks of the teats that it was a she panther who had two sucking cubs. A little further on were the tracks of a single cub she had been carrying in her mouth all the way. That was the reason she did not fight. She wanted to get her cub across the river. "My 'pinion of that painter rose some." The hunter and his dog crossed the river in pursuit upon a log, and pushed on through a tough kind of swamp. Presently he found that the panther had doubled back upon her trail and had recrossed the river. "Wall, that's queer. There's somethin' onnateral in that painter.

She won't tree, and she goes in a straight line to 'tother eend of creation, and now she's goin' back agin." He took another log and ferried back. Then he found where the panther had lain down, but there was no trace of a cub. "It tuck just a minute of thinking, and it was all clare." The panther had littered two cubs near where she was seen in the morning. She knew the place was unsafe so she determined to carry her cubs into the swamp beyond the river. She made straight for the swamp with one of _ them, and hid i t, returned on her track, hoping to mislead her pursuer, and at a safe time to carry her other cub into the same swamp. "Soon as I had reasoned this out, I struck for that ere swamp straight." He found the cub and tied it up in his hunting coat.

"When I got all this done, I thought of the old painter, and what she would say to me when she come home with her 'tother young'un. The more I calkerlatctl, the more it seemed onpleasant; for though the varmint was so perlite when she was outwitting me, I reckoned she wouldn't bo so much so when the boot got on 'toth'cr leg. Fust I thought I would get out of that air windfall, and wail for the old lady on the bank of tho river, wliar we could have a clare field, fur I knew it was sartain she would be artcr me, and I'd a lectio rccther the fight wouldn't bo fit out in that swamp. So I put out for the river, anil •when I got thar, t»ok a claro spot and putttin' tho cub down for the stakes, sat down to wait for the other party."

The sun had gone down. The dog grew restless and watched the swamp as it' he knew what was coming. The frogs were heard, and the owls and cranes, "but I couldn't hear any painter, and accordin' to my calculations there would be some howlin' when she cum home, and found her pappoosc bagged." It got so dark that Mike could not sec the sights on his rifle:—

"I thought it nil over to myself. I own up I felt kind n mean like. This stcalin' young cubs ont their nests is onnatcral any way. . . . I'd given n bearskin to put that cub back, and then have fit it out with u claro conscience. But it conld'nt bo done no how. All that's left when tho deal is made is to stand up to your hand."

Just then he saw beyond the river the light of an Indian camp. It was part of Tiger Tail's band. They were friendly then, but " nasty varmints, worsen painters any day." However, they could help the fight, so'Mike paddled over once more, looking round once or twice to see if the panther was not climbing on the log behind him. He got over all right, and "yer better believe I didn't let grass grow under me." As he came up to the camp, he looked back, and " where the sandy bank lay against the water, where it •was brightened by the sunset, I tee the she

painter cumin' like greased lightnin'." He walked slowly into the ring of seated Indiana, laid before them the cub rolled up in his coat, and sat down as far off as convenient. He announced a present to the chief and—

"I was goin'on to say .more, but I didn't liave time, for jist tlicn I Iiccrd a thump in tho bushes, and the shc-panthcrcum in as cf she was flyin'. . . . The lousy devils rolled over like prairie dogs, the pot upsot, ihc coals flew around, the squaws yelled, the dogs pitched in, and afore any one could get out liis knife, that painter did some tall tcarin'. They rolled over and over, yellin', bitin,' swearin'. Some got hit fur the painter fur they couldn't sec whnr to strike, and tlmrwas no room forsliootin'. Lord, Colonel, it would hur done you i;ood to have seen that air scrimmage. I got behind a tree, and larfcd so it hurt me; and when 1 see they had well nigh fit out, Yowler and me, thinkin' they might blame us, stepped out, and I hain't seen them. Injuns nur that air painter since."

There is another and even a better story about a panther and a parson getting shut up together in a pig-pen on a dark winter night, on the coast, when, between the noise of the wind and the surf, " you couldn't a heerd a neighbor askin' you to take a drink, and I reckon that is what a man hears quickest." A hunter is outside the pen preparing to shoot the panther, and listening to the ejaculations of the divine —

"Just then the doctor broke out afresh, Haifa screechin', half a prayin'; he seemed to be kind 'o confessin" to the painter, for ho was goin' over what a sinner he hud been, and talking about Daniel in the lion's den, and the sword of the Lord, and somethin' about Gideon, and Snmson and the young lion; and yer never did hear a critter get out so much that was pious in so short a time. I think if I wanted to convart a sinner IV. shut him up with a painter, I would."

The parson hoped, as he prayed, that the panther, who was nearly as uncomfortable and as noisy in a different way as himself, would jump out of the pen by a hole in the roof, and leave him among the gentle pigs. But the panther tried the leap, and failed: ; and then the parson forgot his praying, and j hollowed lustily to the hunter to come and (help him. "He was like the old woman who said she trusted in Providence, when her horse ran away with her, till the britchen broke, and then she guv up." We rather think that this must have been the sama parson of the Southern States of whoso spiritual gifts we have somewhere heard a very emphatic commendation. It should be known that in the south the ruder settlers have a single coarse form of speech which supplies every variety of the uses of a superlative.

« PreviousContinue »