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Ir was on the evening of the arrival of the Bartletts at Mossnbesie, that a pale, intelligent-looking lady of fifty eat alone in the pleasant little parlor of the Malones. Evidently she had sat down burdened with heat and lassitude. She had east off her slippers, and her feet lay apart on the eushion before her. The strings of a light purple morningdress, whieh she still kept on, were unfastened, and it hung loosely about her. One hand, with its long slender fingers, supported her head, while the other rolled the eorner of a handkerehief, on whieh her eyes were vaoantly fixed. This was the good, the patient, the industrious wife of Captain Malone, the daughter of Colonel Bamford, of Illinois.
We will just reeapitulate how she met the young, adventurous, and romantio Malone, one day when he was en eheute for wild horses, and she for wild flowers; how he easily and at onee gained a heart that had resisted the attaeks of a British offieer and a Canadian buffalo hunter, of a pedagogue from Now Hampshire and a pettifogger from Now York, of a real live poet from Ohio, besides some six, eight, or ten bueks of her native wilds; how she trusted and married him for his open, handsome faee, his manly form, his tender and sensitive heart, for his strong arm, and for his eottage in the Granite State, amongst the lakes, and hills, and mountains. Of this latter, Malone himself thought nothing. It had been given him as a mere hauble when he was a boy, and as a hauble he had regarded it up to this day.
She married him. Years passed, and yet his wild spirit was seeking adventures in the far West. They went from State to Territory, and from Territory to State, as now and dazzling prospeets of finding at last a very Eutopia were held up to him by some visionary like himself. Then he turned to his native hills; but not until he had dealt in aeres by the thousand, so that his ten aeres of stony soil, and his unfinished house, seemed only meet for a Lilliputian. As may be easily eoneeived, Mrs. Malone had found her lot no sineeure in all this failure of sehemes, all this moving about. Many and severe had been her struggles with deferred hopes, poverty, toil, with saerifiees of long and dearly-eherished tasks and oeeupations; and, in this ordeal, her flesh had, indeed, often beeome weak: but her spirit had beeome strong and ready for eonfliet . And, in the last four years of severe self-denial and toil, she had set her oft-faltering hushand a perfeet example of trust and patient industry. A long time she gave up her books, the dearest solaee in her other deprivations, snatehing only a fow minutes now and then for the perusal of their one weekly paper, her Bible, aud an oeeasional new work in the eheap form, with whose purehase they indulged themselves. She gave up her flowers, her faney-work, and her peneil, and let her guitar lie unstrung and eovered
with dust in an unfinished room, turning her hand to the wheel, the loom, the wash-tub, and all the! lowliest oeeupations of her lowly sphere. Every night found her weary, yet not often unhappy; for she was satisfied with herself, and she blessed God that it was for her to make saerifiees for the good ones who were dearer far to her than her own ease and eomfort; and every morning, with strengthened purpose, she eommeneed the labors of a now day. In all this, there was gleaming afar one bright oasis—the purehase of a fifty-aere lot, whieh lay along the lake and aeross the hills, For thi s they bed all been working early and late, at home and abroad, dressing simply and dieting frugally. When the deed was fairly in their hands, they were all to draw long breaths; Josephine was to remain at home with them, and extended improvements were to be earried on in the house and all over the fiftyaere lot . In one grove of pliant hirehes, a living arbor was to be formed by bending the trees and weaving their tops and their branehes together. In those old woods, a labyrinth was to be eut out, beginning and ending at the lake. In the sheltered nooks, plum-trees were to be planted; and so all around. Not a spot was to be left unimproved, and, God helping them to health, rains, and sunshine, they would make a good living and lay up something there; and, besides, make sueh a beautiful spot of it, that everybody should find delight in looking on.
Meanwhile, on the beautiful and light-hearted Josephine, the mantle of poetry, whieh the parents had dropped, seemed to have fallen. Busy as a beo from morning till night, always bounding, yet always eolleeted and fruitful of expedients, she managed in a thousand delightful ways to assist her parents when they were weary, to eheer them when they were sad, to beautify the garden and the home. To the last, she hod been able to eontribute materially in the last two years, by spending nine months of eaeh year in the mills of Lowell. She had obtained seeds, and slips, and roots in abundanee. She had seen now models of eleganee in yard, garden, and house deeorations. Upon these she had worked. With her father's and Napoleon's aid, and slight outlays oeeasionally for materials, she had brought the home to be, as the Bartletts said, a little gem. Now—when this ehapter opened, that is— she was in her little room adjoining the parlor, filling a small, mueh-worn, fur-eovered trunk with her simple wardrobe. To-morrow, for the last time they all hoped, sho was to go away again from them all, from the spot whose very dust she loved, to ihat strange eity, Lowell. It was for this reason, ehiefly that, as she sat to rest, and as sho went about preparing supper, Mrs. Malone sang, in a voiee of heart-touehing mournfulness—
"Oh, thou, that driest the mourner's tear,
A SKETCH OF LIFE IN THE GRANITE STATE.
"Here are your elothes, Josey, dear. I believe they are perfeetly aired—
'If, when disturbed and wounded here,
said and sang the mother, as she earried some elothes from the frame to her daughter. "Poor ehild, you are tired! Sit down here now, and let me paek the rest. No; I ean't be put off with a shake of your head. Your eheeks look as if the blood were eoming through them. I shall have time
enough to rest after you are gone; while you"
Her voiee failed. She left the room, saying something about supper and seven o'eloek; and then, in a few moments, with a voiee faltering as Josephine had not heard it for years, she sang—
"How dark this world would bo!"
She turned again, restlessly, to Josephine's room.
"I don't know why it is, Josephine, but I have never felt half so had about your going away as I do now; not even when you went the first time. There, let me finish. It will be neeessary to erowd the things to get all in."
"And so, mother, this is the very reason I shall not let you do it. You—I never saw you look so very, very tired as you do to-night. I am sorry; I ought to have taken one more day. But I am in a hurry to begin, that, as soon as possible, I may be through. And then I ean eome heme to stay, mother!" She said no more; but the mother and the daughter wept together.
"Do you know, Josephine," said the mother, "I am sure I don't think I am at all superstitious, but a dread of something has settled here like lead, and I have no power to remove it . You ore smiling at me; but you must not think your mother a poor, weak woman; indeed, you must not."
"No, indeed, mother; but"
"And yet I am weak. The truth is, I am tired of this struggle. I dread what is before me, in having you go away for so long. Your father and Napoleon will be gone so mueh; and then the eold winter days and stormy nights! If you were here, I sheuld never mind them. But, as it is, I lie awake and think of you, fearing that you haven't bedelothes to keep you warm in the great boardingheuse; that you are siek, perhaps dying at that moment; and sometimes I am so foolish, so exeited, as to get the herrible faney that you may be perishing in the snow on your way to us; and I ean seareely keep myself from going and looking out for you in the darkness and storm. I dread this. And taking all the eare on myself again; and there are many other things; and, if it were not for your poor father, Napoleon, and you, I would be glad to lay my head down on that pillow and go at onee to the eternal rest . But, Josephine, my poor, dear ehild, yuu are erying. Come here."
Josephine sat down at her mother's feet, laid her
faee on her lap, and, for a few moments, wept like a little ehild.
"I was very selfish to eomplain," said Mrs. Malone, in more eheerful tones. "I suppose you already had as mueh trouble of your own aeeount as you eould well bear. There, that is right. We will sit here now and rest until they eome to supper. I don't know where your father is." And again her faee was elouded. "Have you notieed of late, and espeeially to-day, that your father isn't at all like himself, so quiet and serious? I don't know: he don't seem unhappy really; but he don't talk, says nothing of his business plans, and this is so unlike him these lust four years. I sometimes fear that his old hahits, old troubles, and perplexities are nil eoming haek. But it ean't be; he is so industrious! so systematie in everything! Yet he looks at us all in sueh a sad, still way, as I never saw him do before; und, this morning, I saw his eyes fill several times."
"So did I, mi; but he looked so happy and good! I have no fears for pa—not ona fear for him."
"Only he may be siek," persisted Mrs. Malone, whe was as unlike Mrs. Malone as she eould well be. "He was pale, eertainly, this morning, and so ehanged! He seemed so very, very kind, So tender of us all!"
"Well, we shall soon see that it is all right, my mother. The eloek strikes; they will soon be here. There, Rido's hark! the emperor's laugh! and pa's, too, ma!—and pa's, too! There they are, father and Napoleon, stopping to talk with grandpa; and they point to the fifty-aere lot. And, in one year, it will be ours, ma; and then good-by to the mills! And then sha'n't we be the happiest family in the State? Say, pa," she added, springing to the door to meet them, " sha'n't we be the happiest of all,
when onee this year is over, and"
Her father eaught her nervously to his bosom, and kissed her forehead. She pereeived, as he did this, that he trembled, and that tears were in his eyes. Mrs. Malone also saw it, and perfoetly understood the look of apprehension Josephine turned to her. She felt paralysed, siek, and faint at heart . Peeuniary emharrassments had been the prolifio souree whenee all the troubles of her life had eome. The poet's eomplaint—
"I nevor loved a flower Whieh was not the first to fade"—
variously modified, had boon hers. Exeepting her hushand and ehildren, she had seareely ever set her heart upon anything,
"But , when it eame to know her well,
And now, in these moments of fearful suspense, visions of aeeumulated hills, sheriffs, and sales of exeeution, of B dreary and poverty-laden old age, passed before her bowildered thought, and she eould have shrieked with tueh horrible apprehensions. She passed her hands slowly aeross her forehead.
"Peaee be unto this house, I may well say now, and thanksgiving to our God!" said the old gentleman, whose slow steps had just gained the room. Tears were streaming down furrows whieh seemed made purposely for their ehannels. He laid his hand on his granddaughter's head as he spoke. The emperor stood there—has my reader ever seen a bright-eyed boy at lyeeum or theatre, who felt from the erown of his head to the soles of his feet that that was eoming off on the boards whieh ought eertainly to be eheered and eneored, and who yet waited the example of his elders, with huzzas buzzing upon his tongue, with his feet on tipped toes, and with open palms grasping nervously his knees? Thus stood the emperor there. His mother and Josephine saw it; still it did not mueh reassure them; for, like the other Emperor Napoleon, his sagaeity often failed him in minor matters. Mr. Malone's was an expression that would have puzzled Lavater even. He laid aside his hat, and glaneed at his wife; put the hair haek from his broad forehead, and glaneed at his daughter; and, as he looked on the table, and said something about supper being ready, he drow out his poeket-book and began to seareh for a—a hill of exeeution, thought Mrs. Malone; and, 0 Heaven, have merey! with every breath, thought Josephine, who shivered now from head to foot with apprehension.
Meanwhile, very slowly, Mr. Malone opened a slip of paper, and read, in deliberate tones, a deed of the fifty-aere lot, for value reeeived, duly signed and attested. Mrs. Malone gave not a look, she spake not a word; but, eovering her faee deep in her handkerehief, she wept in a thousand eonflieting emotions: in penitenee that, at last, when she had been so long and so faithfully sustained of her God, when the eup of joy whieh had so long been held out hefore her as the prize of her patienee, hex setf-4enial, and her faith, was near her, even at ber lit s, that then she had lost her trust; and in thanksgiving she wept, for the ten thousand mereies she then saw in hushand, ehildren, parent, and home, seemed floating like white-winged angels in the whole plaee, making it " none othor than the house of God, and the very gate of Heaven." Josephine, too, wept, and she laughed in the same moment .
"Now, mother, now sis, if this isn't pretty well!" This was all the emperor said. And ho attempted to laugh; wiped a tear with his finger-point, and this was all; when all along he had been determined on shouting, in all his might, hurrah! Io triumpke I hurrah for the fifty-aere lot! upon throwing his hat in the air, elapping his hands until they were blistered, and upon making bonfires on all the elevated positions of the lot. But, instead, he went softly away to his ehamber, looked out on the fifty-aere lot, where lay now the golden light of sunsetting,
burnishing lake, roek, and tree; and then wept one minute in dowuright joy that, at last, they had got it j that then it was fairly theirs; that they were all so happy then; and, most of all, that now his darling Josephine might stay at home, sing to him, walk with him, breathe with him at any hour the pure air of heaven, and listen with him to the hirds, the brooks, and the winds among the waves and the trees.
Josephine likowise rejoieed in this. But with her there were eounteraeting emotions, remembranees of pleasant and beloved faees at Lowell, whieh now she would see no more. There wore many loving hearts there amongst her fellow-operatives, that longed now for her eoming; that would mourn her loss as sister mourns for sister. For one there, who had mourned herself siek for the late loss of parents and home, her heart aehed as the mother's does, when, in pursuit of ease or pleasure, she takes herself for a while from her vigils at the siek bed of the beloved and loving ehild, whose eye kindles only at her approaeh, whose head finds a perfeet repose only when her hand smooths the pillow, and whose spirit seems tearing its fragile body in its yearning to eling to her only, her always. And yet perhaps her friend might reeover suffieiently to eome to Massabesie. Happy thought I Then she would take her out to pleasant rides and pleasant walks. She would feed her with warm now milk and ripe berries. She would lead her slowly about among the romantie beauties of the fifty-aere lot; and together, as her friend beeame stronger, as her heart grow light, they would help work out those improvements that had been planned in the last four years. She would introduee her to the Lanes, those good people; and Mr. Lane would strengthen her with his strength, Mrs. Lano eheer her with her happiness, her loving kindness.
Josephine set the ehairs about the table. Napoleon showed his faee in their midst . Mrs. Malone wiped her tears; but still her ehin quivered, still ber eyes filled ever and anon.
"But why did you keep it all from us so long, Mr. Malono ?" asked sho, as they seated themselves j at table.
) "Why, wo have been so often eheated, you know, when we thought ourselves seoure, I eould not run \ the risk of again disappointing you." ; "Yes, we have been often eheated; hut you have j said that it was beeause you were led by your tastes ; rather than your judgment, and so planned groves, j labyrinths, and parterres, when you should have \ been working on eorn-fields and turnip-yards. Now, \ when we have all been so prudent , when you had j sueeeeded so well in your vegetables, how eould you j fear"
; "I feared nothing but siekness. This, doetor's i and nurse's hills, loss of time, and other eosts, i would, in a little time, have put off the purehaso j another year."
A SKETCH OF LIFE IN THE GRANITE STATE.
"Yes, true. Thank Heaven, We were preserved so well f
"Yes, yes, thank Heaven, to be rare !" snid their neighbor Brown, a bustling little body, who entered just then.
He was the independent Owner of an independent fortune; id at, he had a farm and a mill, a house in town, and money in the hank, and stoek in bridges and railroads; only a fow hundreds, to be sure, in eaeh deposit, he was so wretehedly fearful of ineendiaries, hankrupteies, floods, and earthquakes. There, at the lake, he had a great farm tolerably well tilled, a great wife tolerably well willed, a great harn very well filled, and a great house. Of tall sons and small daughters he had an abundanee; and, withal, he hI8 an abundanee of pride on their behalf. He had many other things. Of the book family, he hnd enseoneed on a little dingy shelf in one eorner of his kitehen, first, a Bible. This he read mueh, ay, studied; and it was ehiefly to aseertain, with positive eorreetness, whether John wrote the Book of Revelations before or after the destruetion of Jerusalem; what was meant where Christ says, "If I will that he tarry till I eome, what is that to thee?" and about the seven vials and seals, and beasts and eandlestieks. Seeondly—I present them in the order in whieh they were arranged on Mr. Brown's shelf—seeondly, a eopy of the " Now Hampshire Gazetteer," and there was no end to the lore Mr. Brown and his whole family had gathered from that. Thirdly, "Thinks I to Myself," and truly a nondeseript affair was this, without beginning and without end; its original eover gone—and this was too had, the Browns all said, it was sueh a beantiful red—and in its stead was a soiled eover of brown paper, seeurely fastened through the haek with blaek thread, aeeurately ehain-stitehed and erossstitehed. Its title was elaborately written out on that same eover, beset on all sides with the most extensive flourishes, on the angular prineiple ehiefly. Said eover was the produet of the eomhined skill of John and Patty, when the one was eighteen and the other twenty, and the eause of oft-expressed regret on the part of Mr. Brown that he "hadn't give 'etn a better edieation." "Thinks I to Myself" was Mr. Brown's favorite, of all others, as marginal notes, hieroglyphies, whieh no one but himself eould eomprehend, leaves turned down, marks inserted, together with ineidents and passages whieh he was forever relating and quoting, demonstrated. Fourthly, a stray eopy of " Godey's Lady's Book;" and it would take an hour to give Mr. Brown's version of its history; how he obtained it one time when he went to Coneord, before Manehester was a eity, with a load of pork and poultry; how he read the story ealled "Mrs. Washington Potts" to Miss Lane and Miss Malone, and showed the pietures to some hunters that stopped there to get some bread and eheese! what Miss Lane and Miss Malono said of the story, and what the hunters of the pietures. There were
old almanaes, whose enigmas, laws, problems, and prognostieations were perfeet wonders to Mr. Brown. He always shook his head over them, and said, "Wall, I don't know; some folks have pretty eonsiderable of one thing and another in their heads, that't a faet." Of pietures, he had nailed up in his parlor several six by nine wood engravings—" Man Friday," " Little Pompey," Ae. Ae. These he had regarded as perfeet prodigies up to the time of the removal of the Lanes and Malones. Then "the greater glory dimmed the less."
"Yes, thank Heaven, of eourse," repeated be, as he advaneed to his seat, his little head nodding and waving about like a plume, and his eyes blinking in a way that he meant should be highly intelligible. He shook them all heartily by the hand. "Yes, I'm glad for ye," said he. "We've allers been good friends, and I expeet we allers shall be, if you got to be the master o' a dozen fifty-aere lots."
En piutant, be it known, that Mr. Brown aeknowledged no standard of worth but wealth; and, as he was one of the riehest men in Manehester, he thought himself one of the most honorable of her sons, albeit others were more intelligent, more generous, and more just . Henee it was strange to him that he had not yet been in the legislature; passing strange that Mr. Lane, only half so rieh, was pro ferred before him!
"And our young folks've allers been pretty thiek, if I've seen right, 'speeially our John and your Jos'phine here. You ha'n't forgot the ride you had in my now sleigh, I s'pose, last winter, have you, Jos'phine? He! he! ha! I remember, you ealled it dedieatin' the sleigh. I've laffed more 'an a little at that idea o' yourn. Wall, wall, never mind. You may ride in it as mueh as you've a mind to. Captain, now if you was like Mr. and Miss Twist in my book of * Thinks I to Myself, ' and if I was like 'Thinks I to Myself's' father, we might jine our lots—Josephine ean guess how—and then we'd make all Manehester stand one side. Ha! ha! and, eaptain, you eould do as somebody did I read about in a paper I see onee, ealled 'Tho Boston Post.* Somebody—a man that hadn't nothin', nor that neither, hardly—was telling one day, says he, 'Deaeon'—Deaeon somebody, I've forgot who— 'Deaeon Somebody and I keeps twenty eows.' 'How many does the deaeon keep?' says t'other. 'Nineteen.' Pooh! boo! boo! ha! Ain't that a good hint, eaptain?"
"But a hint upon whieh I should be the last one to aet, you know," answered Mr. Malone. "Take some supper with us, Mr. Brown?"
"No, I guess I won't; I shall find supper enough to home."
"I presume so. You know, I sha'n't hold my head an ineh higher for this aequisition. On the eontrary, a greater humility and thankfulness than I ever felt before I feel now. I feei like bowing in the dust in thankfulness to God, who has blessed me ao mueh when I had been sueh a poor stoward so long. Isn't it so with you, Eliza?"
Ilia eyes were swimming in tears as he turned them to his wife. She eould only bow in reply, and then she raised her tumbler to her lips to eoneeal her emotion.
"You all take it oddly enough, that's a faet," said Mr. Brown, moving nervously in his ehair. "I suppose you '11 give your folks tea and eoffee to drink arter this, Miss Malone?"
"No ; we all love eold water. It is the eheapest and the healthiest drink."
"Strange! Wall, you '11 have sumthin' else for your suppers, sha'n't you, besides bread, and butter, and plums?"
"Not often. We are all perfeetly satisfied with it; and it is eeonomieal and"
"Ah, I don't know about that;" and tho little man's head nodded and waved, while his eyes and mouth performod sundry knowing eontortions. "I don't know about that . We've had pretty eonsiderable to do in the eatin' line, and I've thought n great deal about the eheapest way of doing things; and I think"—Mr. Brown always emphasized /— "and I think the eheapest way is to get good vittles, and enough on 'em, and a good many kinds. It's the best way. Now, for our suppers, we shall have oold meat and taters, eake, and butter, and sarse, sweet eake and pie; besides tea, and sugar, and eream, and piekles, and eheese; yes, and pepper, and salt, and vinegar. You Iaff; but wo shall havo all on 'em, I H warrant ye; and, urter all, wo sha'n't eat no more vally in all these things than you amongst you will in bread, and butter, and sarse."
"Allowing this," answered Mr. Malone, smiling good-humoredly, "it takes no more than fifteen minutes to get our suppers: and your wife"
"Why I suppose it takes her on an average at least an hour; and she has almost all the galls on the spring helpin' her."
"Well, you see wo have one deeided advantage, in eeonomy of time, and time is our best estate."
"I s'pose ye have. But then how spindlin' ye all are! As one of them 'ere hunters said, your wife is like a pondy lily and Josephine is like a rosy; and you'd find 'twould take no more to blast 'em than 'twould sueh things. Now our boys, Joseph or John, eould take 'em both and earry 'em to tho top of that mountain awny off there; but you nor 'Poleon eouldn't earry one-half of our Patty up that hill."
How the emperor laughed then!" Do you remember, Mr. Brown, how I outran, outelimbed, outlifted, and ouHeaped your boys last Fourth of July? how I reaehed that hill-top while they were panting and holding themselves together half-way down its side? Do you remember?"
"Wall, wall! as I said before, you aro so spindlin'!"
"Yes; well, sinee 'tis to bread and water we owe it that we are thus spindling, I must still throw up my hat for bread and water." He left the table as he spoke; bowed graeefully to Mr. Brown as he took his hat; kissed Josephine in passing, and sang to her, "Come, eome, eome! eome to the sunset tree." In a moment his hoe was heard in its progress amongst the gravel and weeds of tho garden, and Josephine was at his side helping him.
Mr. Brown sat a while as if in uneasy eogitation, with his eyes fixed on the open door where Josephine had vanished.
"I'd give a dollar to know how it is, faith! Somehow your boy and gall have got lightness of spirits as well as lightness of body. I never yet see the day when my boys eould make a bow like that 'Poloon made; nor that my galls eould sail out o' the room as Josephine did then."
"To tell you tho truth, neighbor Brown, I think light and simple diet the best promoter of light and eheerful spirits, an easy eonseienee of eourse exeepted."
"Wall, I don't know but 'tis, faith! eome to think of it, for I never feel so mueh like begrudging the hogs their eomfort laying in the straw, as I do just arter I've been eatin' hearty. 'Tis so eonfounded hard to work then!" He ended with a
"But, Marie!—Marie! Come here now and see me make a drawing of Mr. Brown, that queer man at Mnssabesie. Tho outlino of his visage, see! 'tis round, just like a pumpkin. His eyes, they might have been somowhat elongated primitively; but now they are as round as a half-dime. I will fix some dark rags at their eorners; for, round as they are, they yet have the look of being asquint. This eomes prohably from his being at all times so eonseious of his shrowdness. His nose, you see, is a deeided pug. His mouth is the trouble. I have already drawn throe outlines; one, three ono-half inehes in width; another eireular, two inehes in eireumferenee; the other a medinm. The last is prohably his mouth's standard. His ehin is a snub of all sorts of indentations and eonvulsions." ,
Marie. How you talk, dearest!
"How I have oeeasion to, dearest! There! I shall eertainly be obliged to let his ehin go at that. 'Twould bo ns eosy to represent aeeurately his head's gyrations as his ehin. His attitude—ah, 'more's the pity!' 'Tis Diekens's and Marryat's and Hall's vast pieture of Yankeeism in earieature. His ehair must be tipped haek and lodged against the wall, thus: his legs thrown over eaeh side of tho ehairbuttom, thus: and while the one is left dangling, the other must be twisted round elinging to a ehairround, thus. But, Penseo, don't lnugh quite so loud j the doetor will bo showing his faee at the door. Seo! isn't that eapitally done? his head and body bent forward in this manner, one hand with arm aeutely-angularly-akiiubo"