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settled than the place requires. Many persons are not so liberal or so punctual in their payments as they ought to be. Many of the pastors, men of good parts and devoted piety, struggle through difficulties with heroic fortitude, which they can derive alone from their zeal in the cause of souls. No other motive could retain them in office, when other means of acquiring an abundant living are spread all around them. They are at times glad to add a little farm to their cure of souls, or employ their spare hours in educational engagements. In remote parts money is not very plenty, and the people are accustomed to employ barter instead of our common method of buying and selling. With such people it is much easier to give gifts to their pastor than to insure him a regular money income. From this circumstance has arisen the plan of having what has got the name of “A Bee,” once a year, which, if met with as much simple kindness by the receiver of the honey, as it is bestowed by the busy, happy, working bees who bring it, must be productive not of pain, but of pleasure on both sides.
As one not present in the hive on that great day, I can only tell what has been related by those who have many a time buzzed there with great delight. The plan is in this style. A few of the active, warmhearted females form a committee, and wait on the minister and his wife; or should he be a bachelor, no matter, or all the better. They are not to stop on the threshold for a ceremony. They invite them
selves and all the congregation to wait on the parsonage on a named day, or any other that suits the parsonage better. They take all charge, trouble, responsibility, only hoping the family will allow them the privilege of the house. That being negotiated, and the day arrived—first comes the band of waiters, with all the appendages of a table covered and laden with good things. They are spread forth, and who shall count the dough-nuts, and the floating islands, and the piles of cheese, and loads of rich cakes and bread, and oceans of cream, and plates of frizzled beef, and smoking turkey, and fried oysters, and roast chicken, and pineapples of butter, and canoes of brandy peaches, and preserved plums, and ginger, and strawberries? The feast is after the fashion of Abigail, or old Barzillai's gifts to David the king. It is princely. They eat and drink, and love one another, and are very happy. Drink! did I say? Yes, from urns of fragrant tea, and pots of rich coffee, and, if to be had, from beautiful pitchers of iced water. And the gentle family, cheered by the scene, enjoy it greatly, and some of the minister's jokes hit the nail on its very head, and are recited perhaps till the bees re-assemble next year, or may be long after he has passed away. And in the close, they sing praises and give thanks, and the busy ones gather up their empty vessels and depart-all parties feeling more united in love than they were before.
Then the family explore the house, which had been given up to the friendly invaders. They have
been in the larder, and there have left such marks as a side of bacon, a cask of butter, some fine cheeses. They have been in the garret, and deposited a load or two of flour, a bag of buckwheat, and another of meal. They have been in the study, and placed an easy chair, and a rug before it, for their pastor has left life's meridian behind him. They have been in the pantry, and left a barrel of sugar, a chest of tea, and a cask of molasses. The children find, with surprise, a nice new greatcoat hanging in the hall, as if it were quite at home; and on mamma's bed a web to make frocks, a beautiful new gown and cloak, and a piece for jackets for the boys.
In the midst of all the exclamations of joyful surprise and grateful conjecture as to the individual donors, the good man steps to the garden to breathe more freely under this load of kindness, when, lo! his wood-house is packed full of winter fuel, and the last waggoner stands at a loss, not finding room for his load. “Take it to my neighbour the Baptist minister down the hill there,” says the grateful pastor; “I fear he is hardly so richly provided for as I am; and I am as much obliged to my friend as if I burnt every cord of it myself.”
This, o tithe-paying people of England, is "A Bee!” How sweetly could many of your generous hearts fall into the humour of the country, and contribute your own pot of honey, and your blessing with it!
All weddings are not so bright and gay as that I am about to describe; but every marriage, even amongst the poorest people, ought to be a mixture of the solemnity and the festival ;-solemn, because it forms a bond life-long, and colouring eternal things ; festive, because love, and hope, and sympathy are all in lively exercise.
Imagine one of the loveliest days of the “ Indian summer," in the middle of November. The sun rising over New York, shaded in his lustre by a thin gauzy haze, which his ardent beams had before eight o'clock drank up, leaving neither shade, nor visible cloud, nor any mark but himself in all that blue vault, the depths of which the eye searched vainly to fathom, or conjecture what might be beyond. It was such a morning as in Britain would have had “the lark blythe waking at the daisy's side," and one would have watched him piercing the vault of heaven, till even the last speck had disappeared from the eye, while his rich warblings still
poured down upon the ear. How is it that neither skylarks, daisies, nor primroses frequent the lands of this intense blue sky, though they thrive and rejoice in our more cloudy region ?
Imagine various households afloat by six or seven, and unwonted toilets and hair-dressings with wreathed lilies and roses before breakfast, and all the sprightly remark and lively anticipations of interested groups, preparing in various dwellings for a pleasant drive and pleasanter ceremony. Imagine the rough, unsightly, broken rocks, unfinished roads, and the half built up brick and mortar litter of the suburbs left behind, and a road gained which carries you from one elevation to another, now in view of the magnificent Hudson, with its flashing waters, its fleet sail-boats, and its steamers; now behind one of the innumerable knolls that rise upon its banks; now sheltered by a grove of noble trees, now fronted by a stern gray rock, and again greeted by a smiling village, a busy hotel, or a tasteful villa. These knobs on the banks of the great river, which whilom were islets that barely lifted their heads above waters which were gradually subsiding into the ocean, are many of them crowned by handsome shining white houses, with wide piazzas, and shading Venetian shutters of bright green. Without a gray curl of smoke in the air, or a yellow stain of it upon the walls, they look very brilliant, and are cheerful and open, so that the eye may often penetrate a whole suite of apartments, till it reaches shrubs, vases, and flowers