xt7n2z12p24m https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt7n2z12p24m/data/mets.xml Hentz, Caroline Lee, 1800-1856. 1856  books b92-238-31251751 English T.B. Peterson & Brothers, : Philadelphia : This digital resource may be freely searched and displayed.  Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically.  Physical rights are retained by the owning repository.  Copyright is retained in accordance with U. S. copyright laws.  For information about permissions to reproduce or publish, contact the Special Collections Research Center. Ernest Linwood  / by Mrs. Caroline Lee Hentz. text Ernest Linwood  / by Mrs. Caroline Lee Hentz. 1856 2002 true xt7n2z12p24m section xt7n2z12p24m 

ERNEST



LINWOOD.



BY



      MRS. CAROLINE LEE HENTZ.
AUTHOR OF ' THE PLANTER  NORTHERN BRIDE," "LINDA, THE TOUNG PILOT OF f'H
  BELLE CREOLE," "ROBERT GRAHAM," '"THE LOST DAUGHTER, "COURTSHIP AND
     MARRIAGE," "RENA, OR THE SNOW BIRD," " MARCUB WARLAND, OR
       THE LONG MOSS SPRING," " LOVE AFTER MARRIAGE," "EOLINE,
           OR  MAGNOLIA VALE," "THE BANISHED SON,"
                " HELEN AND ARTHUR," ETC., BTC.







        "Thou hast called me thine angel In moments of bliss,
        Still thine angel I'll prove mid the horrors of this.
        Through the furnace unshrinking thy steps I'll pursue,
        And shield thee, and save thee, and perish there too."








                  PI) iabpound;ip Iji a:
     T. B. PETERSON & BROTHERS1
             306 CHESTNUT STREET.

 












     Entered according to Act of Congres, in the year 186, by
                CAROLINE LEE HENTZ,
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts

 

         ERNEST LIN WOOD.






                    CHAPTER I.

  WITHi an incident of my childhood I will commence the
record of my life. It stands out in bold prominence, rugged
and bleak, through the haze of memory.
  I was only twelve years old. He might have spoken less
harshly. He might have remembered and pitied my youth and
sensitiveness, that tall, powerful, hitherto kind man, - my pre-
ceptor, and, as I believed, my friend. Listen to what he did say,
in the presence of the whole school of boys, as well as girls,
assembled on that day to hear the weekly exercises read, writ-
ten on subjects which the master had given us the previous
week.
  One by one, we were called up to the platform, where be sat
etlhroned in all the majesty of the Olympian king-god. One
Dy one, the manuscripts were read by their youthful authors, -
the criticisms uttered, which marked them with honor or
.hame, - gliding figures passed each other, going and return-
rng, while a hasty exchange of glances, betrayed the flash of
triumph, or the gloom of disappointment.
  " Gabriella Lynn ! " The name sounded like thunder in my
ears. I rose, trembling, blushing, feeling as if every pair of
eyes in the hall were burning like redhot balls on my face. I
tried to move, ibsu my feet were glued to the floor.
                                                      '6)

 

ERNEST LINWOOD.



  " Gabriella Lynn! "
  The tone was louder, more commanding, and I dared not
resist the mandate. The greater fear conquered the less. With
a desperate effort I walked, or rather rushed, up the steps, the
paper fluttering in my hand, as if blown upon by a strong wind.
  "A little less haste would be more decorous, Miss."
  The shadow of a pair of beetling brows rolled darkly over
me. Had I stood beneath an overhanging cliff, with the ocean
waves dasling at my feet, I could not have felt more awe or
dread. A mist settled on my eyes.
  "Read," - cried the master, waving his ferula with a com-
manding gesture,-" our time is precious."
  I opened my lips, but no sound issued from my paralyzed
tongue. With a feeling of horror, which the intensely diffident
can understand, and only they, I turned and was about to fly
back to my seat, when a large, strong hand pressed its weight
upon my shoulder, and arrested my flight.
  " Stay where you are," exclaimed Mr. Regulus. " Have I
not lectured you a hundred times on this preposterous shame-
facedness of yours Am I a Draco, with laws written in blood,
a tyrant, scourging with an iron rod, that you thus shrink and
tremble before me Read, or suffer the penalty due to disobe-
dience and waywardness."
  Thus threatened, I commenced in a husky, faltering voice
the reading of lines which, till that moment, I had believed
glowing with the inspiration of genius. Now, how flat and
commonplace they seemed! It was the first time I had ever
ventured to reveal to others the talent hidden with all a miser'g
vigilance in my bosom casket. I had lisped in rhyme, - I had
improvised in rhyme, - I had dreamed in poetry, when the
moon and stars were looking down on me with benignant lus-
tre; -I had thought poetry at the sunset hour, amid twilight
shadows and midnight darkness. I had scribbled it at early
morn in my own little room, at noonday recess at my solitary
Aesk; but no human being, save my mother, knew of the young
dream-girl's poetic raptures.
  One of those irresistible promptings of the spirit whioh all



6

 

ERNEST LINWCOD.



have felt, and to which many have yielded, induced me at this
era to break loose from my shell and come forth, as I imagined,
a beautiful and brilliant butterfly, soaring -up above the gaze of
my astonished and admiring companions. Yes; with all my
diffidence I anticipated a scene of triumph, a dramatic scene,
whic4 would terminate perhaps in a crown of laurel, or a pub-
lie ovation.
   Lowly self-estimation is by no means a constant accompani-
ment of diffidence.  The consciousness of possessing great
powers and deep sensibility often creates bashfulness. It is
their veil and guard while maturing and strengthening. It is
the flower-sheath, that folds the corolla, till prepared to encoun-
ter the sun's burning rays.
   "Read!"
   I did read, -one stanza. I could not go on though the
scaffold were the doom of my silence.
  "What foolery is this! Give it to me."
  The paper was pulled from my clinging fingers. Clearing
his throat with a loud and prolonged hem, -then giving a
flourish of his ruler on the desk, he read, in a tone of withering
derision, the warm breathings of a child's heart and soul, strug-
gling after immortality, - the spirit and trembling utterance of
long cherished, long imprisoned yearnings.
  Now, when after years of reflection I look back on that
never-to-be-forgotten moment, I can form a true estimate of the
poem subjected to that fiery ordeal, I wonder the paper did not
scorch and shrivel up like a burning scroll. It did not deserve
ridicule. The thoughts were fresh and glowing, the measure
correct, the versification melodious. It was the genuine off-.
spring of a young imagination, urged by the " strong necessity
of giving utterance to its bright idealities, the sighings of a heart
looking beyond its lowly and lonely destiny. Ah! Mr. Regu-
lus, you were cruel then.
  Methinks I see him, - hear him now, weighing in the iron
scales of criticism every springing, winged idea, cutting Aid
X1ahing the words till it seemed to me they dropped blood, -



7

 

Eti-TEST LINWOOD



then glancing from me to the living rows of benches with such
a cold, sarcastic smile.
   " What a barbarous, unfeeling monster! " perhaps I hear
 some one exclaim.
   No, he was not. He could be very kind and indulgent. He
 had been kind and generous to me. He gave me my tuition,
 anl had taken unwearied pains with my lessons. He could for-
 gi'e great offences, but had no toleration for little follies. He
 really thought it a sinful waste of time to write poetry in
 school. He had given me a subject for composition, a useful,
 practical one, but nbt at all to my taste, and I had ventured to
 disregard it. I had jumped over the rock, and climbed up to
 the flowers that grew above it. lie was a thorough mathemati-
 cian, a celebrated grammarian, a renowned geographer and lin-
 guist, but I then thought he had no more ear for poetry or
 music, no more eye for painting, -the painting of God, or
 man, -than the stalled ox, or the Greenland seal. I did him
 injustice, and he was unjust to me. I had not intended to slight
 or scorn the selection he had made, but I could not write upon
 it,-I could not help my thoughts flowing into rhyme.
   Can the stream help gliding and rippling through its flowery
margins Can the bird help singing and warbling upward into
the deep blue sky, sending down a silver shower of melody as
it flies
   Perhaps some may think I am swelling small things into
great; but incidents and actions are to be judged by their re-
suts, by their influence in the formation of character, and the
hue they reflect on futurity. Had I received encouragement
Stead of rebuke, praise instead of ridicule, - had he taken
at by the hand and spoken some such kindly words as these:-
   "This is very well for a little girl like you. Lift up that
downcast face, nor blush and tremble, as if detected in a guilty
act. You must not spend too much time in the reveries of
imagination, for this is a working-day world, my child. Even
the birds have to build their nests, and the coral insect is a
mighty laborer. The gift of song is sweet, and may be made



9

 

ERNEST LINWOOD.



an instrument of the Creator's glory. The first notes of the
lark are feeble, compared to his heaven-high strains. The
fainter dawn precedes the risen day."
   Oh! had he addressed me in indulgent words as these, who
knows but that, like burning Sappho, I might have sang as well
as loved Who knows but that the golden gates of the Eden
of immortality might have opened to admit the wandering Peri
to her long-lost home  I might have been the priestess of a
shrine of Delphic celebrity, and the world have offered burning
incense at my altar. I might have won the laurel crown, and
found, perchance, thorns hidden under its triumphant leaves.
I might, - but it matters not. The divine spark is undying,
and though circumstances may smother the flame it enkisdles,
it glows in the bosom with unquenchable fire.
  I remember very well what the master said, instead of the
imagined words I have written.
  "' Poetry, is it -or something you meant to be called by
that name  Nonsense, child - folly - moon-beam hallucina-
tion ! Child I do you know that this is an unpardonable
waste of time Do you remember that opportunities of im-
provement are given you to enable you hereafter to secure an
honorable independence This accounts for your reveries over
the blackboard, your indifference to mathematics, that grand
and glorious science! Poetry! ha, ha! I began to think you
did not understand the use of capitals, - ha, ha! "
  Did you ever imagine how a tender loaf of bread must feel
when cut into slices by the sharpened knife How the young
bark feels when the iron wedge is driven through it with cleav-
ing force  I think I can, by the experience of that hour. I
stood with quivering lip, burning cheek, and panting breast, -
my eyes riveted on the paper which he flourished in his left
hand, pointing at it with the forefinger of his right.
  "1 He shall not go on," - said I to myself, exasperation giv-
ing me boldness, -" he shall not read what I have written of
nay mother. I will die sooner. He may insult my poverty
but hers shall be sacred, and her sorrows too."
  I sprang forward, forgetting every thing in the fear of hem



9

 

E ERNEST LINWOOD.



ing her name associated with derision, and attempted to get pos-
session of the manuscript. A fly might as well attempt to wring
the trunk of the elephant.
   " Really, little poetess, you are getting bold. I should like to
see you try that again. You had better keep quiet."
   A resolute glance of the keen, black eye, resolute, yet twink-
ling with secret merriment, and he was about to commence
another stanza.
  I jumped up with the leap of the panther. I could not loosen
his strong grasp, but I tore the paper from round his fingers,
ran down the steps through the rows of desks and benches,
without looking to the right or left, and flew without bonnet or
covering out into the broad sunlight and open air.
  " Come back, this moment ! "
  The thundering voice of the master rolled after me, like a
heavy stone, threatening to crush me as it rolled. I bounded
on before it with constantly accelerating speed.
  " Go back, - never! "
  I said this to myself. I repeated it aloud to the breeze that
came coolly and soothingly through the green boughs, to fan
the burning cheeks of the fugitive. At length the dread of
pursuit subsiding, I slackened my steps, and cast a furtive
glance behind me. The cupola of the academy gleamed white
through the oak trees that surrounded it, and above them the
glittering vane, fashioned in the form of a giant pen, seemed
writing on the azure page of heaven.
  My home, - the little cottage in the woods, was one mile dis-
tant. There was a by-path, a foot-path, as it was called, which
cut the woods in a diagonal line, and which had been trodden
hard and smooth by the feet of the children. Even at mid-day
there was twilight in that solitary path, and when the shadows
deepened and lengthened on the plain, they concentrated into
gloominess there. The moment I turned into that path, I was
supreme. It was mine. The public road, the thoroughfare
leading through the heart of the town, belonged to the world.
I was obliged to walk there like other people, with mincing
steps, and bonnet tied primly under the chin, according to the



10

 

                  ERNEST LINWOOD.                        11

 rule and plummet line of school-girl propriety. But in my
 own little by-path, I could do just- as I pleased. I could run
 with my bonnet swinging in my hand, and my hair floating like
 the wild vine of the woods. I could throw myself down on the
 grass at the foot of the great trees, and looking up into the
 deep, distant sky, indulge my own wondrous imaginings.
 I did so now. I cast myself panting on the turf, and turning
 my face downward instead of upward, clasped my hands over it,
 and the hot tears gushed in scalding streams through my fingers,
 till the pillow of earth was all wet as with a shower.
 Oh, hey did me good, those fast-gushing tears! There was
 comfort, there was luxuTy in them. Bless God for tears! How
 they cool the dry and sultry heart! How they refresh the
 fainting virtues! [How they revive the dying affections !
 The image of my pale sweet, gentle mother rose softly
 through the falling drops. A rainbow seemed to crown her
 with its sevenfold beams.
 Dear mother I- would she will me to go back where the
giant pen dipped its glittering nib into the deep blue ether

 

CHAPTER II.



  " GET up, Gabriella, -you must not lie here on the damp
ground. Get up, - it is almost night. What wil your mother
aay  what will she think has become of you  "
  I started up, bewildered and alarmed, passing my hands
dreamily over my swollen eyelids. Heavy shadows hung over
the woods. Night was indeed approaching. I had fallen into
a deep sleep, and knew it not.
  It was Richard Clyde who awakened me. His schoolmaster
called him Dick, but I thought it sounded vulgar, and he was
always Richard to me. A boy of fifteen, the hardest student
in the academy, and, next to my mother and Peggy, the best
friend I had in the world. I had no brother, and many.a time
had he acted a brother's part, when I had needed a manly
champion. Yet my mother had enjoined on me such strict re-
serve in my intercourse with the boy pupils, and my disposition
was so shy, our acquaintance bad never approached -familiarity.
  "I did not mean to shake you so hard," said he, stepping
back a few paces as he spoke, "but I never knew any one sleep
so like a log before. I feared for a moment that you were
dead."
  " It would not be much matter if I were," I answered, hardly
knowing what I said, for a dull weight pressed on my brain,
and despondency had succeeded excitement.
  "Oh, Gabriella! is it not wicked to say that "
  "If you had been treated as badly as I have, you would feel
like saying it too."
  "Yes !" he exclaimed, energetically, " you have been treated
badly, shamefully, and I told the master so to-his face."
    (12)

 

ERNEST LIN WOODI .



  " You! You did not, Richard. You only thought so. You
would not have told him so for all the world."
  " But I did, though ! As soon as you ran out of school, it
seemed as if he made but one step to the door, and his face
looked as black as night. I thought if he overtook you, he
might, - I did not know what he would do, he was so angry.
I sat near the door, and I jumped right up and faced him on
the threshold. Don't, sir, don't! I cried; she is a little girl,
and you a great strong man."
  " ' What is that to you, sirrah  ' he exclaimed, and the forked
lightning ran out of his eye right down my backbone. It aches
yet, Gabriella.
  " It is a great deal, Sir, I answered, as bold as a lion. You
have treated her cruelly enough already. It would be cowardly
to pursue her."
  "Oh, Richard! how dared you say that Did he not strike
you  "
  " He lifted his hand; but instead of flinching, I made myself
as tall as I could, and looked at him right steadfastly. You
do not know how pale he looked, when I stopped him on the
threshold.  His very lips turned white-I declare there is
something grand in a great passion. It makes one look some-
how so different from commom folks. Well, now, as soon as he
raised his hand to strike me, a red flush shot into his face, like
the blaze of an inward fire. It was shame,-anger made him
white - but shame turned him as red as blood. His arm drop-
ped down to his side, - then he laid his hand on the top of his
head,-' Stay after school,' said he, ' I must talk with you.' "
  " And did you " I asked, hanging with breathless intereet
on his words."
  "Yes; I have just left him."
  "He has not expelled you, Richard "
  "No; but he says I must ask his pardo)p before the whole
school to-morrow. It amounts to the sa  thing. I will never
do it."                          7
  "Iam so sorry this has happend" said I. " Oh I that I had



id

 

F. ERNEST LINWOOD



never written that foolish, foolish poetry. It has done so much
mischief."
   "You are not to blame, Gabriella. He had no business to
 laugh at it; it was beautiful -all the boys say so. I have
 no doubt you will be a great poetess one -of these days. lie
 ought to have been proud of it, instead of making fun of you.
 It was so mean."
   " But you must go back to school, Richard. You are the
 best scholar. The master is proud of you, and will not give
 you up. I would not have it said that I was the cause of your
 leaving, for twice your weight in solid gold."
   "Would you not despise me if I asked pardon, when I have
done no wrong; to appear ashamed of what I glory in; to act
the part of a coward, after publicly proclaiming him to be
one"
   " It is hard," said I, " but-"
   We were walking homeward all the while we were talking,
and at every step my spirits sank lower and lower. How differ-
enxt every thing seemed, now, from what it did an hour ago.
True, I had been treated with harshness, but I had no right to
rebel as I had done. Had I kissed the rod, it would have lost
its sting, - had I borne the smart with patience and gentle-
ness, my companions would have sympathized with and pitied
me; it would not have been known beyond the walls of the
academy. But now, it would be blazoned through the whole
town. The expulsion of so distinguished a scholar as Richard
Clyde would be the nine days' gossip, the village wonder. And
I should be pointed out as the presumptuous child, whose dis-
appointed vanity, irascibility, and passion had created rebellion
and strife in a hitherto peaceful seminary. I, the recipient of
the master's favors, an ingrate and a wretch! My mother would
know this - my gentle, pale-faced mother.
  Our little cottage was now visible, with its low walls of gray
ishwhite, and vine-encircled windows.
  "Richard," said I, walking as slowly as possible, though it
was growing darker every moment, " I feel very unhappy. 1



14

 

ERNEST LINWOOD. D5



will go and see the master in the morning and ask him to punish
me for both. I will humble myself for your sake, for you have
been my champion, and I never will forget it as long as I live.
I was wrong to rush out of school as I did, - wrong to tear
the paper from his hands, - and I am willing to tell him so
now. It shall all be right yet, Richard,-indeed it shall."
    You shall not humble yourself for me, Gabriella; I like a
girl of spirit."
   We had now reached the little gate that opened into our own
green yard. I could see my mother looking from the window for
her truant child. My heart began to palpitate, for no Catholic ever
made more faithful confessions to his absolving priest, than I to
my only parent. Were I capable of concealing any thing from
her, I should have thought myself false and deceitful. With feel-
ings of love and reverence kindred to those with which I re-
garded my Heavenly Father, I looked up to her, the incarnate
angel of my life. This expression has been so often used it
does not seem to mean much; but when I say it, I mean all the
filial heart is capable of feeling. I was poor in fortune, but
in her goodness rich. I was a lonely child, but sad and pen
sive as she was, she was a fountain of social joy to me. Then,
she was so beautiful - so very, very lovely !
  I caught the light of her pensive smile through the dimness
of the hour. She was so accustomed to my roaming in the
woods, she had suffered no alarm.
  " If my mother thinks it right, you will not object to my
going to see Mr. Regulus," said I, as Richard lifted the gate.
latch for me to enter.
  " For yourself, no; but not for me. I can take care of myse14
Gabriella."
  He spoke proudly. He did not quite come up to my childish
idea of a boy hero, but I admired his self-reliance and bravery.
I did not want him to despise me or my lack of spirit. I began
to waver in my good resolution.
  Mly mother called me, in that soft, gentle tone, so full of
music and of love.
  In ten minutes I had told her alL



15

 

CHAPTER MII.



   IF I thought any language of mine could do justice to her
character, I would try to describe my mother. Were I to speak
of her, my voice would choke at the mention of her name.
As I write, a mist gathers over my eyes. Grief for the loss of
such a being is immortal, as the love of which it is born.
   I have said that we were poor, -but ours was not abject
poverty, hereditary poverty, -though Ihad never known afflu-
ence, or even that sufficiency which casts out the fear of want.
I knew that my mother was the child of wealth, and that she
had been nurtured in elegance and splendor. I inherited from
her the most fastidious tastes, without the means of gratifying
them. 1 felt that I had a right to be wealthy, and that misfor-
tune alone had made my mother poor, had made her an alien
from her kindred and the scenes of her nativity. I felt a
strange pride in this conviction. Indeed there was a singular
union of pride and diffidence in my character, that kept me
aloof from my young companions, and closed up the avenues to
the social joys of childhood.
  My mother thought a school life would counteract the influ-
ence of her own solitary habits and example. She did not
wish me to be a hermit child, and for this reason accepted the
offier Mr. Regulus made through the minister to become a
pupil in the academy. She might have sent me to the free
schools in the neighborhood, but she did not wish me to form
associations incompatible with the refinement she had so care-
fully cultivated in me.  She might have continued to teach me
at home, for she was mistress of every accomplishment, but she
thought the discipline of an institution like this would give tone
    (16)

 

IRNEST LINWOOD.



and firmness to my poetic and dreaming mind. She wanted me
to become practical, -she wanted to see the bark growing and
hardening over the exposed and delicate fibres. She anticipated
for me the cold winds and beating rains of an adverse destiny.
I knew she did, though she bad never told me so in words. I
read it in the anxious, wistful, prophetic expression of her soft,
deep black eyes, whenever they rested on me. Those beautiful,
mysterious eyes !-
  There was a mystery about her that gave power to her ex-
cellence and beauty. Through the twilight shades of her sor-
rowful loneliness, I could trace only the dim outline of her past
life. I was fatherless, - and annihilation, as well as death,
seemed the doom of him who had given me being. I was for-
bidden to mention his name. No similitude of his features, no
token of his existence, cherished by love and hallowed by rev-
erence, invested him with the immortality of memory. It was
as if he had never been.
  Thus mantled in mystery, his image assumed a sublimity and
grandeur in my imagination, dark and oppressive as night. I
would sit and ponder over his mystic attributes, till he seemed
like those gods of mythology, who, veiling their divinity in
clouds, came down and wooed the daughters of men. A being
so lovely and good as my mother would never have loved a
common mortal. Perhaps he was some royal exile, who had
found her in his wanderings a beauteous flower, but dared not
transplant her to the garden of kings.
  My mother little thought, when I sat in my simple calico
dress, my school-book open on my knees, conning my daily les-
sons, or seeming so to do, what wild, absurd ideas were revelling
in my brain. She little thought how high the " aspiring blood"
of mine mounted in that lowly, woodland cottage.
  I told her the history of my humiliation, passion, and flight,-
of Richard Clyde' brave defence and undaunted resolution,
-of my sorrow on his account, - of my shame and indignation
on my own.
  " My poor Gabriella I"
  " You are not angry with me, my mother"



1X

 

X8 ERNEST LINWOOfD.



   " Angry! No, my child, it was a hard trial, - very hard
for one so young. I did not think Mr. Regulus capable of so
mulch unkindness. He has cancelled this day a debt of grati-
tude."
  " My poor Gabriella," she again repeated, laying her delicate
hand gently on my head. " I fear you have a great deal to
contend with in this rough world. The flowers of poesy are
eweet, but poverty is a barren soil, my child. The dew that
moistens it, is tears.J
  I felt a tear on my hand as she spoke. Child as I was, I
thought that tear more holy and precious than the dew of
heaven. Flowers nurtured by such moisture must be sweet.
  ".I will never write any more," I exclaimed, with desperate
resolution. " I will never more expose myself to ridicule and
contempt."
  " Write as you have hitherto done, for my gratification and
your own. Your simple strains have beguiled my lonely hours.
But had I known your purpose, I would have warned you of
the consequences. The child who attempts to soar above its
companions is sure to be dragged down by the hand of envy.
Your teacher saw in your effusion an unpardonable effort to rise
above himself, - to diverge from the beaten track. You may
have indulged too much in the dreams of imagination. You
may have neglected your duties as a pupil. Lay your hand on
your heart and ask it to reply."
  She spoke so calmly, so soothingly, so rationally, the fever
of imagination subsided. I saw the triumph of reason and
principle in her own self-control, -for, when I was describing
the scene, her mild eye flashed, and her pale cheek colored with
an unwonted depth of hue. She had to struggle with her owD
emotions, that she might subdue mine.
  "May I ask him to pardon Richard Clyde, mother"
  "The act would become your gratitude, but I fear it woulk
avail nothing. If he has required submission of him, he wil
hardly accept yours as a substitute."
  "Must I ask him to forgive me  Must I return "
  I hung breathlessly on her reply.



18

 

ERN1lST LTINWOOD.



  "Wait tilt morning, my daughter. We shall both feel differ-
ently then. I would not have you yield to the dictates of pas-
sion, neither would I have you forfeit your self-respect. I must
not rashly counsel."
  " I would not let her go back at all," exclaimed a firm, de-
cided voice. "They ain't fit to hold the water to wash her
hands."
  "Peggy," said my mother, rebukingly, " you forget yourself-"
  "I always try to do that," she replied, while she placed on
the table my customary supper of bread and milk.
  "Yes, indeed you do," answered my mother, gratefully,-
"kind and faithful friend. But humility becometh my child
better than pride."
  Peggy looked hard at my mother, with a mixture of rever-
ence, pity, and admiration in her clear, honest eye, then taking
a coarse towel, she rubbed a large silver spoon, till it shone
brighter and brighter, and laid it by the side of my bowl. She
bad first spread a white napkin under it, to give my simple re-
past an appearance of neatness and gentility. The bowl itself
was white, with a wreath of roses round the rim, both inside
and out. Those rosy garlands had been for years the delight
of my eyes. I always hailed the appearance of the glowing
leaves, when the milky fluid sunk below them, with a fresh ap-
preciation of their beauty. They gave an added relish to the
Arcadian meaL They fed my love of the beautiful and the
pure. That large, bright silver spoon, - I was never weary of
admiring that also. It was massive - it was grand - and
whispered a tale of former grandeur. Indeed, though the fur-
niture of our cottage was of the simplest, plainest kind, there
were many things indicative of an earlier state of luxury and
elegance. My mother always used a golden thimble,-she
had a toilet case inlaid with pearl, and many little articles ap-
propriate only to wealth, and which wealth only purchases.
These were never displayed, but I bad seen them, and made
them the corner-stowcs of many an airy castle.
       2



19

 

CHAPTER IV.



  AND whc was Peggy
  She was one of the best and noblest women God ever made.
She was a treasury of heaven's own influences.
  And yet she wore the form of a servant, and like her divine
Master, there was " no beauty " in her that one should desire to
look. upon her.
  She had followed my mother through good report and ill re-
port. She had clung to her in her fallen fortunes as something
sacred, almost divine. As the Hebrew to the ark of the cove-
nant, - as the Greek to his country's palladium, - as the chil-
dren of Freedom to the star-spangled banner, -so she clung in
adversity to her whom in prosperity she almost worshipped. I
learned in after years, all that we owed this humble, self-sacri-
ficing, devoted friend. I did not know it then -at least not all
-not half. I knew that she labored most abundantly for us,-
that she ministered to my mother with as much deference as
if she were an empress, anticipating her slightest wants and
wishes, deprecating her gratitude, and seeming ashamed of her
own' goodness and industry. I knew that her plain sewing,
assisted by my mother's elegant needle-work, furnished us the
means of support; but I had always known it so, and it seemed
all natural and right. Peggy was strong and robust. The bur-
den of toil rested lightly on her sturdy shoulders. It seemed to
me that she was born with us and for us, - that she belonged
to us as rightfully as the air we breathed, and the light that
illumined us. It never entered my mind that we could live
without Peggy, or that Peggy could live without us.
  My mother's health was very delicate. She could not sew
long without pressing her hand on her aching side, and then
Peggy iould draw her work gently from  her with her lar g,
      ' 201

 

ERNEST LINWOOD.



kind hand, make her lie down and rest, or walk out il the fresh
air, till the waxen hue was enlivened on her pallid cheek.
She would urge her to go into the garden and gather flowers
for Gabriella, " because the poor child loved so to see them in
the room." We had a sweet little garden, where Peggy delved
at early sunrise and evening twilight. Without ever seeming
hurried or overtasked, she accomplished every thing  We had
the earliest vegetables, and the latest. We had fruit, we had
flowers, all the result of Peggy's untiring, providing hand.
The surplus vegetables and fruit she carried to the village mar-
ket, and though they brought but a trifle in a country town,
where every thing was so abundant, yet Peggy said, " we must
not despise the day of small gains." She took the lead in all
business matters in-doors and out-doors. She never asked wy
mother if sh