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on, Esther had cleared away the “ litters,” | cheese, butter, cakes, and tea; to these, as a put everything in its place, and was now set- matter of course, were added hot rolls of ting the table in that quick, silent manner I beautiful light bread. How it is managed I have so often remarked amongst her country- cannot conceive, but I will here mention inci
Without appearing to notice our dentally that I never sat down to tea or breakconversation, she now turned towards her fast in an American farmhouse without seeing husband, and in a low voice asked him if he hot rolls that looked as if they had that mincould find a few hen's eggs for her, as she ute come out of the oven ! had none in the house.
Though nothing could exceed the hospital“Yes, yes; there's some in the wood-house, ity of my entertainer, I did not feel altogether I saw them there this morning. I'll bring at my ease. The injunction given me by his them to you in a minute ; and now, Esther, wife, in such a mysterious manner, had raised fly round and get us something to eat as quick a doubt in my mind as to whether he was as you can.”
perfectly sane, and the apprehension I was As soon as her husband left the room, Mrs. under lest I should unwittingly say something Baldwin came towards me, and in a grave. that would " set him off," or " send him earnest manner, said, “ 'Twas not that I so wild,” was a constant restraint
the freemuch wanted the eggs, but—don't say any- dom of my conversation. thing about fishing in them New Hampshire “I am not to say anything about the lakes lakes to my husband, it sets him off so; and, of New England, and I am to take no notice for the laud's sake! don't ask nothing about of that queer picture,” said I to myself. that kind o' picture,” continued she, indicat- “ Well, there are plenty of other subjects ing the mysterious-looking, cone-framed print open to me, for Mr. Baldwin is a sensible, rag, which I have already described, by a intelligent man. But then the unpleasant slight nod; “ it would send him wild—and yet suspicion of his being deranged again preperhaps he'll tell you all about it himself, if sented itself, and I began to speculate upon you don't notice it, for be seems to have taken what kind of lunacy it might be that he was a fancy to you.”
afflicted with-whether he was violent, for There is a cool imperturbability about a instance ? His wife had no appearance of Yankee woman which makes me believe that being afraid of him; but then, as I said beshe could never be taken by surprise, never fore, these Yankee women are so wonderfully be thrown off her guard ; her complete self-calm and self-possessed, that that's no rule ! possession and command of countenance, un- At all events, here I must stay for the night, der all circumstances, are admirable ; and for to make any excuse for going back to yet, perhaps, there are cases in which an Steubenville, after having so far received his English woman's embarrassment would be hospitality, would be most ungracious--bemore interesting; but, however, this was not sides, “ Reuben has taken a fancy to me.” one of them.
Our plentiful meal — which was dinner, Mrs. Baldwin had hardly finished speaking tea, and supper all in one-was over, and all when her husband returned with the eggs, things cleared away by a little after eight which he handed to her in his hat. She o'clock. Knowing the primitive hours that looked up at the clock.
are kept by the country people in most parts “ The steak and fish are quite done by this of America, and being unwilling to cause time, Reuben, and by the time you've eaten any inconvenience in the family, I offered to them the pancakes will be ready.”
retire, if this were their hour for going to She left us for a few minutes, and then re- bed. turned with a tray laden with a dish of stewed “ Well, sir, as soon as you please ; hut fish that was fit to set before a London alder- you'll excuse me if I read a chapter or two man, a beefsteak, to which I cannot give such first; 'tis my custom, sir, and I believe I unqualified praise, a dish of potatoes, and an- should not sleep good if I neglected it. We other of boiled Indian corn. Setting these New Englanders are mostly brought up to things on the table, she slipped out of the read the Bible, but some of us are apt to forroom again, and brought in a second relay, get it, and to think of nothing but how to get consisting of pumpkin-pies—which are very money, and then the Lord sends us something much like our cheese-cakes—cranberry jelly, to waken us up, and show us his power.”
I took up
As Reuben spoke, he walked up to the then, as I had often done before, somewhat strange looking picture, and stood with his ashamed of the want of common honesty in eyes fixed on it. I was afraid that he now my own country, which makes it so absolutely was really “ going off,” and thought it most necessary for us to look carefully to the fasprudent to make no reply to his observations, tenings of our doors and windows every night. as it ght tend to make matters worse. His I have often slept in rooms in which there wife, however, seemed to know how to man- was a most troublesome superabundance of age him ; for taking his Bible down from the furniture, where conveniences were multishelf, she handed it to him, saying, “ Here, plied till they became inconveniences, and Reuben, it is getting late.”
coign of vantage He took it from her mechanically, with his pied by a useless knickknack. A bed, a small eyes still fixed on the picture, and then in a table and basin, one chair, and a few wooden low voice, as if he were talking to himself, pegs to hang my clothes un, were all that said, “ FAITHFUL-yes; that's what I forgot graced Reuben Baldwin's spare room—and it to be, and the Lord visited me in his wrath.” was sufficient: everything was clean and
“ You wont talk now, please, Reuben ; I comfortable, and I never slept better in my aint so good a scholar as you, and I never can life. read when anybody is talking,” said Mrs. At five, next morning, we sat down to a Baldwin, as she laid an old, well-worn Bible breakfast of the same profuse description as in large print on the table before her. Reu- our supper of the preceding night. Fried ben also sat down to read, and for the time, bacon, omelets, Johnny-cake, two or three I hoped, the danger was over.
kinds of preserved fruits, and excellent coffee - Good News from England, were on the table, all prepared by the indewhich I found to be a curious journal of the fatigable Esther : her husband milked the doings and sufferings of the first settlers who cow and sawed the wood for the stove, and went from England in the May Flower, writ- probably helped her with the heaviest work, ten by one of them, Mr. Winslowe, whose but she kept no servant of any kind to assist name is still held in reverence in New Eng- her. It has often been a mystery to me to land. It was he, I read, that imported into imagine how these American women get that country the first neat cattle that were through all the multifarious business that ever seen there. After reading with great falls to their share with so little apparent attention for about half an hour, Reuben effort or fatigue. In one or two instances in closed his book, and asked if I were inclined which I felt myself upon sufficiently familiar to go to bed. I was quite willing to do so, terms to allow of my asking the question, for, besides that I had been upon my feet for the answer has been, “ Well, I
it is a great many hours, and began to feel the just what we've been used to.” What would want of rest, I knew that it would be ex- our English farmers' daughters think of such pected that I should be ready for breakfast by work? I think I may venture to answer for four, or, at latest, by five o'clock the next them, “ 'Tis what we have never been used morning. I had not far to go to my sleep- to!” ing-room, which was separated merely by After breakfast, I went with Mr. Baldwin boards from the room in which we had been to look at his farm, of which he was not a sitting, and was just half its width; the other a little proud. He told me that he had had half formed the bedroom of my host and host-it only two years, and that his were the first ess. As we were about to leave the room, I no-crops that were ever grown on the land. ticed that there was neither lock nor bolt on Though so small in extent, he and his wife the outer door, a deficiency that I had fre- could get a good living out of the farm,
the quently observed in the country parts of soil of which was rich and deep, and very America.
easily worked, and when there was nothing “I guess you can't very well do without particular to be done on the land, he caught them things in your country,” said Mr. Bald- fish in some of the neighboring streams, which win, with a sly smile of superiority. he could always find a ready sale for at Steu
"Not in the part that I come from, cer- benville. - tainly,” replied 1,-an answer not quite free The prohibitions which I had received from from prevarication ; but I confess that I felt Mrs. Baldwin, or I should rather say the hasty
conclusion that I had drawn from them, had from any great calamity, or whether he labored prevented my asking Reuben many questions under some kind of religious insanity, a malwhich occurred to me respecting New Eng- ady which is said to be very prevalent in the land and its farming, and the comparative Eastern States. advantages and disadvantages to be found in We entered the log-house in silence. Mrs. Ohio; the former, if I might at all trust my Baldwin was sitting in the rocking-chair, own judgment, greatly preponderating. Yet busily employed in knitting a man's worsted the man seemed to be communicative, and stocking. She raised her eyes for an instant, much more open in his manner than the gen- and gave the slightest possible nod to her erality of his countrymen whom I had con- husband, as much as to say: “I see you," versed with ; and in whom, indeed, the want or “ here am I,” her knitting and her rockof openness is so common, as fairly to be ing going on vigorously all the while in percalled a national characteristic. This morn- fect silence. And yet, under this cold and ing, too, he seemed to be in good spirits, and undemonstrative exterior, how much kindI had not once observed the gloomy, or un- ness was latent! happy expression of countenance which I saw After sincerely thanking the worthy couple the day before.
for their hospitality, I offered to take my I had seen enough of New England in leave, but Reuben would not consent to my merely travelling through it, to be aware of going away 80 soon. the general inferiority of its soil; for, with “ Not yet, sir; not yet: 'tis not often that some notable exceptions, the land is abso- we see any one here, for we live very retired, lutely encumbered with rocks, which can be and have no neighbors out here in the bush ; got rid of by the farmer only at a vast expense but though I don't care much about society, of capital and labor; the climate, too, is se- I do like to have somebody like yourself to vere, and the winter long and cold. I knew talk with sometimes—it cheers me up, and also that there had been for many years past, does me good, so you will not leave us just a tide of emigration from the New England yet, I hope.” States into Ohio, and even to the far west; I could not urge the necessity of my prestherefore it did not appear strange to me that ence at Steubenville, as I had already said Reuben Baldwin should leave the sterile soil that I had nothing to do there, but to wait and bleak climate of New Hampshire, for the for my friend's arrival from New York. I fertile land he had chosen, and I said some- therefore accepted the invitation as frankly thing to that effect.
as it was offered, and sat down by the open I saw his countenance change immediately, window, looking with admiration at the rich and he walked on for a minute or two before tints of the varied foliage, and the beautiful he made any reply to my observation. glimpses of forest scenery that were before
" What you say about our rough climate me. and stony farms in New England is quite 6. You see, sir,” said Reuben, " what a true, but as I was raised there I did not think nice place I've got here—everything to make much of them things—we don't when we a man happy, you must think; and I am have been used to them all our life, any more happier than I ever thought to be again, than you think of all the fogs and dull when I first settled here, little more than two dark days you get in England. No, sir, I years ago. Esther, my, dear, I shall tell the should have lived there happy enough, and gentlemen why it was that we could'nt live no died there, if it had not pleased God to recall longer in the old place : I feel better for talking the greatest blessing he had bestowed upon of it sometimes-at first I could not; but us, and in such an awful way! It well nigh that's over now. took away my senses, but thanks be to the “ I should be sorry, indeed,” said I, “ if I Lord who comforteth those that are cast down. have asked any question, or made any
remark For our aflliction, which is but for a moment, that has given you pain, by reminding you. worketh for us a far more exceeding and eter- of past misfortunes.” nal weight of glory.”
“I know it, sir. I'm sure you would noti Here Reuben again made a long pause, say anything to hurt my feelings ; and as to which I did not think fit to interrupt, as I reminding me of what's past, that can't bo still felt uncertain whether he was suffering avoided. Why, sir, this morning, as we. LIVING AGE.
were walking through the bush, and talking grow to a large size. Except that there are about the different crops grown in your coun- some fertile valleys, the country all round try, we came to where a lot of pine cones lay about for miles is the roughest I know any. under the trees. I don't suppose you noticed where ; in some parts great blocks of granite, them, but I did ; and for a minute or two I of many tons weight, lie all over the land, so did not hear what you were saying, no more that it is impossible to plow amongst them, than if I'd been in New Hampshire, for my and even on the best land the stones are a mind was wandering back to the time when great hindrance to the farmer. Well, sir, I the poor child used to pick thein up, and lived in one of them pleasant valleys I told make believe shooting me with them; but I you of; we were nicely sheltered from the have not told you about her yet. My mind cold winds by the rising ground and the pine seems to run off the rails like, sometimes, and woods at the back, and right in front, not I forget what I am talking about."
more than a furlong from my door, was Lake Mr. Baldwin was walking up and down Şunapee. I have heard that there are lakes the room in an excited manner, as he spoke ; in your country so handsome that people go presently he stopped opposite the strange- from all parts to look at them ; well, I guess looking picture, and began dusting the fram there ain't none handsomer than Lake Sunawith his handkerchief.
pee. The water is as blue as the heavens, “ You have not offered Mr. Laurence any and so clear and smooth, that the mountains of our cider, Reuben ; perhaps he would like and dark pine woods are reflected in it just some after walking so long in the heat.” as if it was a looking-glass. Perhaps you
“ I'm glad you thought of it, Esther. My would think it a lonely place, for our nearwife thinks of everything, sir,"continued he, est neighbors were on the other side of the as soon as Mrs. Baldwin left the room to fetch lake; but we New England farmers never the cider ; “if it had not been for her I think ourselves lonely if we live within sight should have lost my senses under that grcat of a neighbor's house, and I could see three trial, for I almost lost faith and trust in God, or four. 80 great was my affliction. But, after the " Well, sir, my wife and I had been marfirst, she bore up so like a true Christian, ried a good many years, but we had no chilthat I took comfort from her example, and dren till about four years ago, when it though at times my mind is sore troubled, I pleased God to give us a little daughter, and know that all things work together for good I can't tell you how much I loved that child. to them that love God.”
My wife named it Faithful—that was ber When Mrs. Baldwin returned with a jug own mother's given name—and the child of cider, there was another pause ; but this grew and ran about quite strong, and began time her little ruse had not succeeded in to talk in her own pretty way, and Esther turning her husband's thoughts from what I and I used to say to one another, what & suppose she considered a dangerous subject, blessing she was, and what a comfort she for after filling our glasses he resumed the would be to us in our old age. In the evenconversation.
ing after my work was done, I often used to “You have been in New Hampshire, sir, carry her down to the lake, where I spent 80 I need not tell you what a different coun- much of my time fishing, and she would run try that is to what you now see ; and you about on the hard, white sand that lies along have been through the Notch in the White the shore, as happy as an angel, while her Mountains ; that is quite in the north of the mother and I sat under the shade of the pines range. I lived to the south, near the foot of near by, watching her. the Sunapee Mountain, for all them hills - The last time she was ever to play there have names, though strangers call them the was on one Sabbath evening; the day had • White Mountains,' as if they were all one been rather hot and close for September, and thing. They get their name from their tops: we noticed that we could not see a leaf stir, being covered with snow for ten months in the air was so still when we got down to the the year ; nothing wont grow there but black Sunapee shore, where there was always
Lower down there is a growth of fresh breeze off the water even in the hottest dwarfed ugly pines, and 'tis only quite at the days of summer. The
child had picked foot of the hills, and on the plains, that trees up an apronful of pine cones, and put them
into my coat pocket to carry home for her, another direction, right over two or three and then we all sat down, for she seemed stone fences, over a stream of water, and tired and sleepy, and before many minutes across several fields ; but neither she nor I she fell asleep on her mother's lap. This was can give any account of what happened to us about an hour before sunset: but almost on a after we heard that dreadful crash, just as suddeu it grew so dark that we thought there we were lifted up into the air, though neither must be a heavy thunder-storm coming, and of us was hurt any more than being a little we rose up to go home as quick as possible, bruised and stunned like; but the most territhinking that the child would get wet. I ble part of the story I have not yet told, took little Faithful from Esther, who went on though 'tis most likely you have guessed it as fast as she could before me. There was already-we never saw our child again! not a breath of air stirring, nor any thunder, “ For many days we searched amongst the but as it grew darker every minute, the ruined farms, and through the shattered and lightning seemed to flash over the waters of torn-up trees, and wherever the whirlwind the lake and light them up for an instant, could be traced by its work of destruction ; and then again they looked as black as ink. but all in vain. The bedstead on which my As fast as I could I followed my wife along wife had laid the dear child was found in the the path that led to our house, hoping that pine wood at the foot of the mountain, one the child would be safe if we got there before of our chairs, along with some of the rafters the storm broke over our heads, for at that of the house, were carried right across the time I did not think of its being more than lake into another man's farm, but she was a very severe storm, though I never had seen never found. A neighbor brought us a small one come on so sudden as this. Just as we piece of the frock she had on, which he picked got to the place where the path makes a turn, up amongst the broken stumps of the trees my wife stopped suddenly, and throwing up that had had all their tops clean carried away, her hands, cried out :
and this—this is all,” said the poor fellow, “O Lord have mercy on us, for surely the pointing to the piece of print under the glass, end of the world is at hand.”
“ that we now have that ever belonged to our I never shall forget the awful sight I saw dear child," when I looked up! An immense black pillar “ Everything we had was destroyed,” said that whirled round and round furiously, and Mrs. Baldwin, who, with the same tact that sent out flashes of red light in every direction, I had observed on another occasion, now adseemed to be coming rapidly towards us; we dressed me in order to give her husband time were now but a short distance from our own to recover himself. door, and by hurrying forward with all our Everything we had was destroyed; but strength, in another minute we were in the we felt only one loss—that of our child. At house. My wife took the child out of my first I thought if we had lost our child, as arms, while at the same instant we both ex- other parents lose theirs, I could have borne claimed, . Thank the Lord she is safe,' and it; but to have her carried away in a raging Esther, who was ready to fall from terror and whirlwind, and never see her again-oh! it exhaustion, laid our little sleeping angel on was a hard hard, trial. "But we cannot choose the bed.
-it was the Lord's doing, and it is our duty Up to that time we had not heard a submit.” sound, and the air was as still and oppressive Mrs. Baldwin covered her face with her as it had been all day ; but just as my wife hands for a minute, but soon mastering her stooped down to kiss her little Faithful, a emotion, she rose, and taking down the picture great crash and rushing wind shook the from the nail on which it hung, she put it house, and at the same moment I felt myself into my hands. carried up into the air and whirled along in There, sir, those are the cones that our complete darkness. What more happened to little Faithful picked up and put into her fame I don't know anything about, for I lost all ther's pocket only an hour before she was sense, until I found myself some hours after- taken from us. As soon as he could fix his wards lying on the earth amongst uprooted mind to any kind of work, he set himself to trees, torn branches, and broken pieces of make this frame with them, for the storm had buildings. Meantime
wife was carried in spared them to us for that purpose, he said.”