Ҿ˹˹ѧ
PDF
ePub

do penance for thy sin.” I will rather of them that sit in council, and hold give him my hand and help him arise. foul revelry over their neighbors' shortI will set him up again, and I will back comings; they shall read of our resohim against all takers that he never lutions, and there shall be no comfort slips again.

in the cup of tea any more which Tab“One touch of nature makes the bies sip delectably, while they tear wbole world kin,” saith another poet; Miss Bright-eyes to pieces. There but he meant good, not bad nature, for shall lurk a maggot in the shreds of he knew full well how to set communi- dried beef which these modern ghouls, ties by the ears with his sharp sayings. rend, as they rend my fair name; and

To-day it is the sister against her may the biscuits be as heavy upon brother, the son against his father, and their stomachs as tale-bearing shall one the world is so full of evil, if we might day be upon their consciences. believe the scandal-mongers, that no Thou shalt not bear false witness. good will ever exist again in it.

If I am unlike you, gentle reader, , “Let those who dance pay the pi- guiltless of this crying sin, I know you per,” says Wordly-mindedness, and he will not condemn me, will not decry me,' chuckles as he says it for a sharp thing. make little of me, or seek to poison But there are some who like dancing men's minds against me. You will have that have not the wherewithal, and to that charity for me which is not puffed those I offer my purse. If a man fall up; and where I err, or you are ignodown, I am not going to jump upon his rant of my motive, hold your peace. back and jeer him. He has danced, To-day there are dear ones in exile, and cannot pay now; but what of that? or in the bonds of sin, for this very Some day he will.

practice. There are lives hopelessly. Here is one hand and one heart that lost to virtue, and others imbittered shall never betray. Come to me, ye forever. Families are separated, and scandal-torn and society-ridden. Come high hopes and aspirations crushed,

to me, ye whom venomous tongues have while the fountains of affection which harried, and ye whose characters hang should be filled to the brim afford only in shreds about you, come also. Ye a trickling stream, or, worse still, foul have faults, and so have I. Somewhere lees which pever will subside. There ye have good traits, and these are what are shadows in many homes, and empty I respect.

chairs that never will be filled. The Let us defy the " they-says,” and as child on the floor misses its playfellow, for those whose shibboleth is, “ I have the wife her husband, the mother her it upon good authority,” we will give son, the betrothed her lover, and still them the go-by.

the tale-bearers go upon their rounds, We will laugh to see the tribulation and their feet never, never rest.

THE ROSE ROLLINS.

PART L

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

"HERE lived a few years ago in so much, but the rather that there

was an utter absence of buoyancy, an of New England a solitary, friendless indurated and inflexible style and exman, of the name of John Chidlaw, pression about the whole man, as if, a gray-headed, stoop-shouldered, hol- in fact, he had been born old. You low-chested person of about fifty years could not think of him as having ever of age at the time our story begins. been a boy, with cherry cheeks, and He was sober, steady, and industrious, laughing eyes, and steps that were and always had been so since his first careless and fleet as the wind, but he appearance in the place, but somehow had had his boyhood and his boyhood's he never got ahead. He was thrift dream, as will appear by and by. less, people used to say, and they got It had happened to him at one time in the habit of calling him “Johnny," that a saw had gone into his hand, and and then “Old Johnny," until nobody left a jagged and ugly scar across the called him anything else, unless it back; another time it had happened were here and there some poor child that his horse had run away, upsetor sympathetic woman, who said “Un- ting his cart, and breaking one of his cle Johnny," with that sort of gentle legs, so that he limped thereafter, kindness that is never bestowed on the and was disabled from some of the prosperous.

harder kinds of work he had been He did not resent anything, even used to do. He had been dismissed pity, but took his hard fortune as a by one and another, in consequence of matter of course, and the heavier the his inability to make a full day's work, burden, why, the more he bent his and was sitting one day on a pile of shoulders, but he did not complain. bricks in the outer edge of the town Nobody had ever asked his history, where he lived, quite down-hearted, the history of a man who has patches and chewing, not the cud of sweet and at his knees, and whose elbows are bitter fancies, but, instead thereof, a bit out, is not, by those more fortunate of pine stick, which he held partly in persons who have no patches at their and partly out of his mouth. knees, and whose elbows are not out, His eyes looked solemnly out from generally supposed to be of an inter under his gray eyebrows as now and esting character. John Chidlaw was, then a whistling teamster drove by, therefore, never bothered with ques. throwing a whole cloud of hot, suffotions.

cating dust over him. Sometimes a Could he lift a heavy log ? Could pedler, or some stroller with a monhe tend a saw-mill ? Could he drive key on his shoulder and an organ on a team, or carry a hod of bricks ? his back, would nod to him as he These, and the like, were the ques- passed; but the pedler did not think tions that were asked him mostly; and of exhibiting his wares, nor the organas he could say yes to any and all of man of grinding out a tune, or of setthese, and as people did not require ting his monkey to playing tricks, for him to say more, he seldom did say the like of old Johnny. The sun was more, but listed the log, or drove the growing large toward the setting, and team, as the case might be, in silence. nothing had turned up, when all at

He looked a good deal older than once there was a wild whirl of wheels, he was, - not that his head was and a crying and shouting and holdgray, and not that his shoulders bent ing up of hands by all the men and

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

boys along the road. A horse was streamed down his neck, and wet his running away. On he came, gallop- shirt-bosom and sleeves, and still the ing furiously, while the old heavy- voices cried, “Hold on, Johnny!” topped buggy to which he was at They thought he was being battered tached rattled and creaked and swayed to death, though the blood was from from side to side frightfully, —- fright the mouth of the horse, for the enfully, because it was in imminent dan- tire weight of the man was being ger of being crushed all to pieces ; dragged by the bit. and sitting still and solemnly upright, At the toll-gate an old woman ran swaying with the buggy, and in immi- out with a broom, she could have nent danger of being crushed to pieces shut the gate, but did not, - and when too, was a child, -a beautiful little Johnny had stopped the horse, which girl, with a cloud of yellow curls rip- he did a little farther on, she told him pling down her bare shoulders. Her that but for his being in the way she white dress fluttered in the wind, and could have stopped the beast at once, her hat was swimming on the pond and that, if he was as badly battered half a mile in the rear ; but still she sat, as he seemed, she would be at the sober and quiet as though she had pains of getting the poor-bouse cart, been on her mother's knees, and not and seeing that he was carted away! so much as puckering her pretty lip The old carriage was surrounded in for all the tumult and fright.

a few minutes, and the child lifted A dozen men were in the road, out, and kissed and coaxed, and petsome with rails in their arms, with ted and praised, and fed with candies which they no doubt intended to in- and cakes, and handed from the arms tercept the mad creature; but the best of one to another; and the feet and intentions fail sometimes, and the men legs of the horse were carefully exwith rails in their arms threw them amined, and he was dashed with cool down, and got themselves out of the water, and combed and rubbed, and way, as soon as the danger came near petted and patted, and given a variety them.

of either grand or endearing names ; John Chidlaw went into the road but nobody looked after Johnny, and among the rest, but without a rail in the only kindness shown him was that his arms.

He did not, however, get of the old woman with the broom.

way. of threw himself with might and main last, and the time of her relenting to upon the neck of the frightened beast, ward John Chi law was at hand. and there he held, and was dragged He was washing the blood from his along, - half the time, as it seemed, un- face in a wayside puddle, when the der his very feet.

man who owned the horse and buggy “That's you, Johnny!” “Go it!" came breathlessly up. “My good “Good for you!” were the cheers and friend,” he said, slapping him on the calls of encouragement that followed shoulder, "you have saved my child's him. The horse was valuable, and he life !” And then his hand slipped was in danger of breaking his neck; from shoulder to waist, and he posiand what matter about John Chidlaw! tively hugged the astonished Johnny, He had no friends!

who was almost awe-struck at first, He required not to be thus stimu

for the hugger was well to do, and he lated, if they had but known it: he that was hugged was exceeding poor, had been stimulated sufficiently al- as the reader knows. ready, by the tossing hair and fair “ My name," he said, introducing face of the little girl, to peril his life, himself, “is Hilton, David Hilton, and and he was not the man to look back I keep the ferry at the lower end of when he had his hand to the plough. the town; should n't wonder if I could

The blood besmeared his face, and put business in your way! You can

turn your hand to a’most anything, I he began taking the boxes from her reckon, -a man of your build mostly lap. can."

"O sir, you ’re wery good!” says A fortnight later, and John Chidlaw the milliner, quite blushing. And then was the master of a little black sail- she adjusted her skirts, and flirted boat' not much bigger than a canoe, them about as she adjusted them, and and his business was to carry butch- then she untied her bonnet-strings and ers' meat, bread, poultry, and vege- knotted them up again, for nothing in tables from the market-town in which the world but the pleasure of tying "he lived to the great hotels situated knots in ribbon apparently; but John on the hills above the opposite 'shore. Chidlaw thought he had never in his His boat had, therefore, in his eyes, life seen such a graceful and enchant'somewhat the dignity of a merchant- ing performance. He brought his 'man'; 'and as he was entitled to a part jacket directly, and offered to spread of the profits of the trade he carried it over the board on which she was on, he was 'at once a ' proud and a sitting. "happy man. He had christened his * Oh, you 're wery good, wery good, · boat “ The Rose Rollins," and kept I am sure, sir, - but I'm a-givin' you

her as neat and trim as she could be too much trouble !"--and, saying so, "He wore a "sailor's jacket, from pro- she partly rose and allowed the seat fessional pride, and used all the nau- to be cushioned as proposed. The tical phrases he could muster. His wind caught the bright ribbons, and shoulders got the better of their stoop, fluttered them in the man's face as and his chest of its hollowness, in a he was thus employed. wonderfully short time; and one day, - 4 Oh !" says the milliner, with a little when he was asked about the scar start; and then she says, “The nasty on his hand, he answered that he had winds have such a wulgar way of been bitten by a whale when he was catchin' up a body's things”; and a young man at sea. It will be per- she pulls back the innocent strings ceived that he was gaining confidence, and holds them against her bosom by and growing in worldly 'wisdom. The main force. questioner was a very timid person, “ Pray, miss, don't haul 'em round but she said she guessed she could that way on my account; they did n't : trust' herself with an old sailor like hurt me none !

Why, I thought 't was "that, and at once went aboard. She a butterfly at fust, and then I thought was a millinor, laden with boxes for 't was a hummin'-bird, and them was the ladies in the opposite hotels, and allers pleasin' things to me, both on was the first female passenger the · 'em.” master of the Rose had had ; --- for The woman was flattered. In the his legitimate' trade was merchan- ' first place she was not young, not dise, and not the transportation of men 'much younger than he, in fact, - and and women; but occasionally, as his ' he had addressed her as “miss ” ; and confidence grew, he had taken'a pas- ' in the next place his comparing her

senger or two across the ferry, on : ribbons to butterflies and humming- his own hook, as he phrased it. : birds seemed the same as a personal

** I took such a wiolent fancy to the compliment. : name o' your wessel," says the milli- Captain !" she says, coloring up, i ner, and that is how I come to take : "did you think so, werily?"-and then

passage with you. Ain't she a nice she changes the subject, and talks little thing, though ? "

about the appearance of the clouds, and “Trim as a gal o sixteen!” says the prospect of rain. “I suppose you John. " But had nt you better un--old sailors can tell, purty much," she lade yourself o your merchandise, and says, "whether it's a-goin' to rain, or fix to enjoy thie śail some ??'-- and whether the clouds will ewaporate into

[ocr errors]

1

mist; and I should really walue your to me,” says the milliner, “if I may judgment, for if my things should git wenter so far?" wet, you see, it would cost me a wery "Most certainly!” exclaimed John. considerable sum!”

You could n't venter nothin' that “I'll just take an obserwation!” says would n't be your credit, -I 'll vouch John ; and he set his foot on a bread- a fippenny bit on that!” basket, and cocked up one eye.

He Then he repeated himself, substitut• had never given the sound of w to his ing wenter, and wouch, in the places of

v before, but he had noticed that his the words previously used. fair passenger did so, and he adopted “Dear me! I should become wain o' the pronunciation, partly in gallantry, myself if I thought your compliment partly because it struck him as elegant. was walid," says the milliner, dropping While he was taking the observation, a her eyes; but the next moment she bright thought came to him. “ I guess gives her bonnet-strings a little flirt, we shall have foul weather afore long,” and goes on in the sprightliest way says he. “When the clouds hev sich about a hundred trifles, - one of which disjinted shapes as they hev this had no connection with another. mornin', it 's generally portentous; but “You've forgot what you sot out I can knock up a canvas kiver in a on!” says John, interrupting her at minute, and if it still looks like fur rain last; “ and you kerried me away so, when we go into port, why, I would I was a-forgittin' on 't too. Howsever, adwise you just to stay aboard, it it's no odds, as I know on, — you sha'n't cost you a cent more, not if you make whatever you touch so interestmake a dozen trips ! ”

in'!” “I'm sure I 'm wery much obliged, O Captain ! how you do warnish Captain, and I 'll take your adwice when me up! I shall certainly wacate the we come to port, and if the weather premises when we come to port, if you still looks wacillating, I won't wenter don't stop sich things ! - that is, if ashore. It would n't be worth while to there's a single westige o'clear sky. But risk my goods, - some of 'em welwets, we were talking of the walue of money, too, of great walue !”

was n't we?” She cast down her eyes “ The keepin' on 'em aboard sha'n't again, and spoke with a sweet seriouscost you nothin',” says John, “if that

“I walue money,” she says, 'll be any object to you."

“ when I see I can make another happy He wished to convey the idea, that, with it.” And then she says her lot in to a person of her fabulous wealth, deal life has been a wery lonely and sad ing in velvets and the like, a fare more one, - wersatile, but on the whole lone

or less could not possibly be an object, ly, sometimes to the wery werge of deand at the same time to show a mag- spair ! nanimous disposition on his own part. “You don't say ?" says John. "I

" Money is money,” says the milliner, certainly should n't ’a’ thought it pos* there is no denying of that; and it has sible! Why, you don't mean to say its adwantages, on account o' which I you've allers been alone in the world ?" set a certain walue upon it; but just for Then she tells him how she thought its own sake I can't say that I do walue she fell in love, at seventeen, with a it, not over and above !"

green-grocer that turned out to be a “I hev n't hed no great on ’t,” says miserable wagabond, inwesting all her John, “but I've hed enough, sense I've earnings in whiskey and rum, and come into business, to know that if I drinking them himself. hed to keep it a-chinkin' into my pocket “The villain !” cried John; - and I should n't value it much."

then, finding that he had not done jusThen he corrected himself, and said tice to his feelings, he repeated, with walue.

great stress of indignation, “ The wil“I'll tell you how money is waluable lain! the black-hearted willain! But

ness.

« ͹˹Թõ
 »