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earth. Here there was freedom, room. He can only value this who has lost it ; yet no man lives, however low in the scale of civilization, who does not long for it, and will not suffer to get it : will suffer danger, pain and starvation rather than not be free. " Here,” said one, “all are freeholders ; rent-day does not trouble us." Here, if anywhere, might not every one sit under his own vine ? Earth and sea had fruits, and they were free. No monopolist, with subtle alchemy, gathered the earnings of men ; no Church collected the unwilling tithes ; no tax-gatherer waited on them with hungry coffers ; no king, no pope, no soldier, challenged their gratitude for having taken their money to govern them. They could govern themselves. Social, religious, and political anomalies and technicalities had not yet become grievous burdens, bearing down soul and body at the earth. “Here," said Cushman, "we have great peace, plentie of the Gospel, and many sweet delights and varietie of comforts." The New England History, Vol. I., Chap. IX.
NEW ENGLAND MEN, WOMEN, AND CHILDREN.
New England seems to have suffered for the want of two things : Amusement and Art. Why was this? Necessity forced men to work for the fertile lands were scarce, and the long winters required much food and shelter for man and beast. In a tropical land constant fruits seduce the body to repose ; but in a colder region the first warm sunshine of Spring must be watched, and seized, and planted along with the sprouting seed; the early hours and the eventide must be devoted to hasten the crops, which in the short summer must grow and blossom, and bear their fruit. Nature does much, but man must do much; he is the gnome whose cunning hand is to work up her black earths and rocks into golden grains. God helps those who help themselves was a doctrine practised in New England; and however they prayed, they always worked. Through eight months in the year, no man or woman had time for amusement. Habits were thus fixed ; and when the Winter came, those who had passed the hey-day of life, were content with rest.
The young now and then indulged in outbursts of amusements, and ran into excesses which they might have escaped, had fathers and mothers taken part in the dance and the song. Another element had a marked influence upon manners: Not only must the body be sustained though despised ; but the soul must be saved. Serious men and women passed, into serious years, feared the wrath of God. Ignorant as all were of the laws of health, they feared to be cut down in a moment, and they sat with Death at their board. To such, mere forgetfulness seemed sinful, and a song savored of evil, while a light word or a laugh might be an insult to that God who shook the heavens and the earth with his thunders, and said unto them, “Repent, repent, for the day of the Lord is at hand !” It is plain that they could not in-. dulge in trifling amusements, and must discountenance it in their children.
Art was neglected for much the same reasons that Amusement was discouraged. The necessities of a new country forbade one to make painting, or sculpture, or music, or poetry, the occupation of his life. Such a person would have failed to receive respect or support. Neither would those occupations have seemed consistent with the idea that a man was standing in the presence of an awful God, and liable at any moment to be called to judgment. Of the fine arts, music only received a brief attention as an accessory to the Sunday service. Art, therefore, failed to impart that grace and delicacy and ornament to life in New England, which is its province if properly used. The women of New England were truly helps-meet for
They bore fully their share of labors and trials. They were the housewives, spinners and weavers, tailors, nurses, and doctors of New England; they were dairymaids and cooks, as well as friends and sweethearts. They kept the gardens, where beds of herbs ripened “ for sickness," where roses and hollyhocks opened for beauty. They studied the weather and the almanac, and were wise to predict that if the moon's horns dipped we should have rain ; if the moon changed on Friday it would rain on Sunday. In New England women were never made the slaves or inferiors of men ; they were
co-equal in social life, and held a position superior to that held by them in England. Society did not, however, recognize their political rights.
The children probably had as poor a time as any portion of the people, for the prevailing principles did not favor too much gayety. Besides the Catechisms, which were apt to prove indigestible to children, there was an infinite quantity of work to be done, and both women and children were required to do their share. To the latter fell a class of work known as “chores;” and these chores they were deputed to do, morning and night, besides their school duty. They consisted of bringing in the wood, feeding and milking the cow, taking her to and from pasture, picking up chips, making snow-paths, going of innumerable errands, carrying cold victuals to the poor, and so on-the odds and ends of daily life. This early inured children to the responsibility of life; and although it made them old before their time, it guarded them from that levity and recklessness which has ruined many a fine promise and wrecked many a high hope. So that the child-life of New England had its good side ; and many a hearty and genial and gener
a ous man has grown out of these “chore-boys."— The New England History, Vol. II., Chap 1.
ELLIOTT, EBENEZER, an English poet, born at Masborough, Yorkshire, March 17, 1781; died near Barnsley, England, December 1, 1849. His father was an iron-founder, and the son worked in the foundry until he was twenty-three. He then set up in business for himself, but was not successful. At thirty he made another and successful attempt, with a borrowed capital of £100. At sixty he retired from business, with a competent fortune, and passed the remainder of his life in his villa at Barnsley, near Sheffield. He began to write poetry as early as his seventeenth year, and some of his early productions attracted the favorable notice of Southey. His Corn Law Rhymes began to appear about 1830, and from these he derived the appellation of “The Corn Law Rhymer.” A complete edition of his works up to that date was brought out in 1833–35. He, however, added to them at intervals, and soon after his death was published, in two volumes, More Prose and Verse by the Corn Law Rhymer, and also a brief Autobiography. Only a small part of Elliott's writings are of a political character. The greater portion of them are of a domestic nature, marked by a tender sentiment for nature, and the warmest feelings for humanity.
THE EXCURSION. Bone-weary, many-chided, trouble-tried !
Wife of my bosom, wedded to my soul ! Mother of nine that live, and two that died,
This day drink health from Nature's mountain-bowl ; Nay, why lament the doom that mocks control ? The buried are not lost, but gone before.
Then dry thy tears, and see the river roll O'er rocks, that crowned yon time-dark heights of yore; Now, tyrant-like, dethroned to crush the weak no more. The young are with us yet, and we with them.
Oh, thank the Lord for all He gives or takes : The withered bud, the living flower or gem !
And He will bless us when the world forsakes!
Lo! where thy fisher-born abstracted takes With his fixed eyes the trout he cannot see.
Lo! starting from his earnest dream he wakes ! While our glad Fancy, with raised foot and knee, Bears down at Noë's side the bloom-bowed hawthorn
tree. Dear children ! when the flowers are full of bees;
When sun-touched blossoms shed their fragrant snow; When song speaks like a spirit from the trees,
Whose kindled greenness hath a golden glow;
When clear as music, rill and river flow, With trembling hues, all changeful, tinted o'er
By that bright pencil which good spirits know. Alike in earth and heaven'tis sweet once more Above the sky-tinged hills to see the storm-birds soar.
Bright Eyebright! loveliest flower of all that grow
In flower-loved England! Flower whose hedgeside gaze Is like an infant's! What heart doth not know
Thee, clustered smiler of the bank! where plays
The sunbeam with the emerald snake, and strays The dazzling rill, companion of the road
Which the lone bard most loveth in the days When hope and love are young ? Oh, come abroad, Blue Eyebright! and this rill shall woo thee with an ode.