Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

so!”

a

was nobody else to hear; and very pleas- why you don't hitch hosses with Miss ant, both to our little lady and her mas- Lucindy.” ter, were these long winter evenings, Monsieur Leclerc looked

up

astonwhen they diligently waded through Ra- ished.

. cine, and even got as far as the golden · Horses, my friend ?

I have no periods of Chateaubriand. The pets horse!” fared badly for petting in these days ; “ Thunder 'n' dry trees! I didn't say they were fed and waited on, but not you hed, did I ? But that comes o’usin' with the old devotion ; it began to dawn what Parson Hyde calls figgurs, I s'pose. on Miss Lucinda's mind that something I wish 't he'd use one kind o’ figgurin’ to talk to was preferable, as a companion, a leetle more; he'd pay me for that even to Fun, and that there might be a wood-sawin'. I didn't mean nothin' about stranger sweetness in receiving care and hosses. I sot out fur to say, Why don't protection than in giving it.

ye marry Miss Lucindy?" Spring came at last. Its softer skies “I?” gasped Monsieur,—“I, the forwere as blue over Dalton as in the wide eign, the poor? I could not to presume fields without, and its footsteps as bloombringing in Miss Lucinda's garden as in “ Well, I don't see 's it 's sech drefful mead or forest. Now Monsieur Leclerc presumption. Ef you ’re poor, she's a came to her aid again at odd minutes, and woman, and real lonesome too; she ha'n't set her flower-beds with mignonette bor- got nuther chick nor child belongin' to ders, and her vegetable-garden with salad her, and you 're the only man she ever herbs of new and flourishing kinds. Yet took any kind of a notion to. I guess 't not even the sweet season seemed to would be jest as much for her good as hurry the catastrophe that we hope, dear- yourn.” est reader, thy tender eyes have long "Hush, good Is-ray-el! it is good to seen impending. No, for this quaint stop there. She would not to marry after alliance a quainter Cupid waited, - the such years of goodness: she is a saint chubby little fellow with a big head and of the blesséd.” a little arrow, who waits on youth and “Well, I guess saints sometimes fellerloreliness, was not wanted here. Lucin- ships with sinners; I've heerd tell they da's God of Love wore a lank, hard-fea- did; and ef I was you, I'd make trial for tured, grizzly shape, no less than that of 't. Nothin' ventur', nothin' have.” Israel Slater, who marched into the gar- Whereupon Israel walked off, whistden one fine June morning, earlier than ling. usual, to find Monsieur in his blouse, hard Monsieur Leclerc's soul was perturbed at work weeding the cauliflower-bed. within him by these suggestions; he pull

“ Good mornin', Sir! good mornin'!” ed up two young cauliflowers and reset said Israel, in answer to the Frenchman's their places with pigweeds; he hoed the greeting “ This is a real slick little gar- nicely sloped border of the bed flat to den-spot as ever I see, and a pootty the path, and then flung the hoe across house, and a real clever woman the walk, and went off to his daily occuI 'll be skwitched, ef it a'n't a fust-rate pation with a new idea in his head. Nor consarn, the hull on 't. Be you ever a- was it an unpleasant one.

The idea of a goin' back to France, Mister ?”

transition from bis squalid and pinching “No, my goot friend. I have nobody boarding-house to the delicate comfort of there. I stay here; I have friend here: Miss Lucinda’s ménage, the prospect of but there, – oh, non ! je ne reviendrai so kind and good a wife to care for his pas! ah, jamais ! jamais !

hitherto dreaded future, — all this was “ Pa’s dead, eh ? or shamming? Well, pleasant. I cannot honestly say he was I don't understand your lingo; but ef in love with our friend; I must even you 're a-goin' to stay here, I don't see confess that whatever element of that

a

too.

a

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

nature existed between the two was now and linger. Miss Lucinda had the volall on Miss Lucinda's side, little as she ume of Florian in her hands, and was knew it. Certain it is, that, when she ap- wondering why he did not begin, when peared that day at the dancing-class in a the book was drawn away, and a hand, new green calico flowered with purple, laid on both of hers. and bows on her slippers big enough for “ Lucinda!” he began, “I give you a bonnet, it occurred to Monsieur Le- no lesson to-night. I have to ask. Dear clerc, that, if they were married, she would Mees, will you to marry your poor take no more lessons! However, let us slave ? " not blame him ; he was a man, and a Oh, dear!” said Miss Lucinda. poor one; one must not expect too much Don't laugh at her, Miss Tender-eyes ! from men, or from poverty ; if they are You will feel just so yourself some day, tolerably good, let us canonize them even, when Alexander Augustus says, “Will it is so hard for the poor creatures ! you be mine, loveliest of your sex?” And to do Monsieur Leclerc justice, he only you won't feel it half so strongly, had a very thorough respect and admi- for you are young, and love is Nature to ration for Miss Lucinda. Years ago, in youth, but it is a heavenly surprise to his stormy youth-time, there had been a age. pair of soft-fringed eyes that looked into Monsieur Leclerc said nothing. He his as none would ever look again, - and had a heart after all, and it was touched they murdered her, those mad wild beasts now by the deep emotion that flushed of Paris, in the chapel where she knelt Miss Lucinda's face, and made her tremat her pure prayers,

- murdered her be- ble so violently, — but presently he spoke. cause she knelt beside an aristocrat, her “Do not!” said he. “I am wrong. I best friend, the Duchess of Montmorenci, presume. Forgive the stranger!” who had taken the pretty peasant from “ Oh, dear!” said poor Lucinda again, her own estate to bring her up for her -"oh, you know it isn't that! but how maid. Jean Leclerc had lifted that pale can you like me ?shape from the pavement and buried it There, Mademoiselle! there's humility himself; what else he buried with it was for you! you will never say that to Alexinvisible; but now he recalled the hour ander Augustus ! with a long, shuddering sigh, and, hiding Monsieur Leclerc soothed this frighthis face in his hands, said softly, “The ened, happy, incredulous little woman violet is dead, – there is no spring for into quiet before very long; and if he her. I will have now an amaranth, — it really began to feel a true affection for is good for the tomb.”

her from the moment he perceived her Whether Miss Lucinda's winter dress humble and entire devotion to him, who suggested this floral metaphor let us not shall blame him ? Not I. If we were inquire. Sacred be sentiment, when there all heroes, who would be ralet-de-chamis even a shadow of reality about it!- bre? if we were all women, who would when it becomes a profession, and con- be men? He was very good as far as founds itself with millinery and shades of he went; and if you expect the chivalries mourning, it is — " bosh,” as the Tur- of grace out of Nature, you “may exkeys say.

pect,” as old Fuller saith.

So it was So that very evening Monsieur Leclerc peacefully settled that they should be arrayed himself in his best, to give an- married, with a due amount of tears and other lesson to Miss Lucinda. But, some- smiles on Lucinda's part, and a great deal how or other, the lesson was long in be- of tender sincerity on Monsieur's. She ginning; the little parlor looked so home- missed her dancing-lesson next day, and like and so pleasant, with its bright lamp when Monsieur Leclerc came in the and gay bunch of roses on the table, that evening he found a shade on her happy it was irresistible temptation to lounge face.

a

66

once

a

“Oh, dear!” said she, as he entered. did not go to Niagara, nor to Newport;

" Oh, dear!” was Lucinda's favorite but that afternoon Monsieur Leclerc aspiration. Had she thought of it as an brought a hired rockaway to the door, Anglicizing of “ O Dieu ! ” perhaps she and took his bride a drive into the counwould have dropped it; but this time she try. They stopped beside a pair of bars, went on headlong, with a valorous de- where Monsieur hitched his horse, and, spair, —

taking Lucinda by the hand, led her into “I have thought of something! I'm Farmer Steele's orchard, to the foot of his afraid I can't! Monsieur, aren't you a biggest apple-tree. There she beheld a litRomanist?"

tle mound, at the head and foot of which “ What is that ?” said he, surprised. stood a daily rose-bush shedding its latest “ A Papist, a Catholic !”

wreaths of bloom, and upon the mound “ Ah !” he returned, sighing,

itself was laid a board on which she read, I was bon Catholique, – once in my gone

“ Here lie the bones of poor Piggy." youth; after then I was nothing but the Mrs. Lucinda burst into tears, and poor man who bats for his life; now I Monsieur, picking a bud from the bush, am of the religion that shelters the stran- placed it in her hand, and led her tenger and binds up the broken poor.” derly back to the rockaway.

Monsieur was a diplomatist. This melt- That evening Mrs. Lucinda was telled Miss Lucinda's orthodoxy right down; ing the affair to old Israel with so much she only said,

feeling that she did not perceive at all " Then you will go to church with the odd commotion in his face, till, as she

repeated the epitaph to him, he burst out “ And to the skies I ,” said with, — " He didn't say what become o' Monsieur, kissing her knotty band like a the flesh, did he ? ” — and therewith fled lover.

through the kitchen-door. So in the earliest autumn they were afterward Israel would entertain a few married, Monsieur having previously favored auditors with his opinion of the presented Miss Lucinda with a delicate

matter, screaming till the tears rolled plaided

gray

silk for her wedding attire, down his cheeks, – in which she looked almost young; and “ That was the beateree of all the wed. old Israel was present at the ceremony,

din'-towers I ever heerd tell on. Goodwhich was briefly performed by Parson ness ! it 's enough to make the WanHyde in Miss Manners's parlor. They derin' Jew die o' larfin'!”

me ?”

pray,"

For years

[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

FIBRILIA.

THERE are not a few timid souls who lon a Spice Island, and at his demand imagine that England is falling into de- it furnished him with an annual supply cay. Our Cousin John is apt to com- of sixty millions of pounds. He required plain. He has been accustomed to en- more sugar for his coffee, and by shipping large upon his debts, his church-rates and a few coolies from Calcutta and Bombay poor-rates, his taxes on air, light, motion, to the Mauritius, once the Isle of France, “everything, from the ribbons of the bride it yields him annually two hundred and to the brass nails of the coffin,” upon the forty million pounds of sugar, more than wages of his servants both on the land

St. Domingo ever yielded in the palmy and the water, upon his Irish famine and days of slavery. He wanted wool, and exodus, and his vast expenses at home his flocks soon overspread the plains of and abroad. And when we consider how Australia, tendering him the finest fleeces, small is his homestead, a few islands in a and his shepherds improved their leisure high latitude inferior to those of Japan not in playing like Tityrus on the reed, in size and climate, and how many of but in opening for him mines of copper his family have left him to better their and gold. He had his eye on California, condition, one might easily conclude that but Fremont was too quick for him, and he had passed his meridian, and that his he now contents himself with pocketing a prospects were as cloudy as his atmos- large proportion of her gold, to say nothphere.

ing of the silver of Mexico and Peru. But our Cousin John, with a strong Wherever there is a canal to be exconstitution, is in a green old age, and cavated, a railway to be built, or a line still knows how to manage his property of steamers to be established, our Cousin

Within the last two years he has quietly John is ready with a full purse to favor extinguished sixty millions of his debts in the enterprise. lle turns even his sailors terminable annuities. He has improved and soldiers to good account: the other his outlying lands of Scotland and Ire- day he subdued one hundred and fifty land, ransacked the battle-fields of Eu- millions of rebels in the Indies, and then rope for bone-clust and the isles of the we find him dietating a treaty of peace Pacific for guano, and imported enough and a tribute to the Emperor of China to fertilize four millions of acres, and, not from the ruins of his summer-palace and content with the produce of his home- the walls of Pekin. Although generally farm, imports the present year more than well disposed, especially towards his kith four millions of tons of grain and corn to and kin this side the water, he is choleric, feed nineteen millions of his people. and if his best customers treat him ill, he

He has carried bis annual exports up does not hesitate to knock them down. to six hundred and thirty millions of dol- Although dependent on Russia for his lars, and importing more than he exports hemp and naval stores, and on China for still leaves the world his debtor. Ile has his raw silk and teas, he suffers no such a strong fancy for new possessions, and considerations to deter him from fighting, selects the most productive spots for his and usually gets some advantage when plantations. When he desired muslin, he comes to terms. He is belting the calico, and camel's hair shawls for his fam- world with colonies, and forming agenily, he put his finger on India; and when cies for his children wherever he can he called for those great staples of com- send the messengers of his commerce. merce, indigo, saltpetre, jute, flax, and At this very moment he is considering linseed, India sent them at his bidding. whether he shall transport coolies from When he required coffee, he found Cey- China to Australia, Natal, or the Feegee

Fibrilia.

161

Islands, to raise his cotton and help put modesty.” The golden-mouthed St. Chrisdown Secession and export-duties, or ostom writes in his Homilies,

-"Does whether he shall give a new stimulus to the rich man wear silken shawls? His India cotton by railways and irrigation. soul is in tatters.” * Silken shawls are He seems to prosper in all his business; beautiful, but they are the production of for the “ Edinburgh Review” reports him worms." worth six thousand millions of pounds, at The silken thread was early introduced. least, - a very comfortable provision for Galen recommends it for tying blood-veshis family.

sels in surgical operations, and remarks The wealth and power of Great Brit- that the rich ladies in the cities of the ain are supposed to rest upon her mines Roman Empire generally possessed such of iron and coal. These undoubtedly help thread; he alludes also to shawls interto sustain the fabric. With her iron and woven with gold, the material of which coal, she fashions and propels the winged is brought from a distance, and is called Mercuries of her commerce; with these Sericum, or silk. Down to the time of and the clay that underlies her soil, she the Emperor Aurelian silk was of great erects her factories and workshops; these value, and used only by the rich. His form the Briarean arms by which she biographer informs us that Aurelian neifabricates her tissues. But it is by more ther had himself in his wardrobe a garminute columns than these, it is by the ment composed wholly of silk, nor prehollow tubes revealed by the microscope, sented any to others, and when his own the fibres of silk, wool, and flax, hemp, wife begged him to allow her a single jute, and cotton, that she sustains the shawl of purple silk, he replied, — " Far great structure of her wealth. These be it from me to permit thread to be she spins, weaves, and prints into draper. balanced with its weight in gold !” — for ies which exact a tribute from the world. a pound of gold was then the price of a During the year 1860 Great Britain im- pound of silk. ported or produced a million tons of such Silk is mentioned in some very ancient fibres, an amount equal to five million Arabic inscriptions; but down to the reign bales of cotton, more than one-half of of the Emperor Justinian was imported which were in cotton alone. These fi- into Europe from the country of the Sebres it is our purpose to examine. res, a people of Eastern Asia, supposed

to be the Chinese, from whom it derived The thread of the silk

its name. During the reign of Justinian ly into use. The Chinese ascribe its in- two monks brought the eggs of the silktroduction to the wife of one of their em- worm to Byzantium from Serinda in Inperors, to whom divine honors were sub- dia, and the manufacture of silk became sequently paid. Until the Christian era a royal monopoly of the Roman Emsilk was little known in Europe or West- pire. ern Asia. It is mentioned but three times From Greece the culture of silk was in the common version of the Old Testa- gradually carried into Italy and Spain, ment, and in each case the accuracy of and English abbots and bishops often the translation is questioned by German returned from Rome with vestments of critics. It is, however, distinctly alluded silk and gold. Silken threads are atto by St. John, by Aristotle, and by the tached to the covers of ancient English poets who flourished at the court of Au- manuscripts. Silk in the form of velvet gustus, Virgil, Ilorace, and Tibullus, and is may be seen on some of the ancient arreferred to by the writers of the first four mor in the Tower of London; and porcenturies. Tertullian, in his homily on tions of silk garments were found in 1827 Female Attire, tells the ladies, —“Clothe in the Cathedral of Durham, on opening yourselves with the silk of truth, with the the tomb of St. Cuthbert. The use of fine linen of sanctity, and the purple of silk, however, was so rare in England VOL. VIII.

11

-worm came ear

« AnteriorContinuar »