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'apple-trees,' in the shade of which the judge 'drew his bridle' 'to greet the maid," and beneath them, though now choked with stones and weeds, 'the cool spring bubbled up," while beyond all is the meadow where Maud, radiant 'with simple beauty and rustic health,' raked the fragrant new-mown hay."
And, in fact, he might have added, that Whittier's pastoral poems, by which, perhaps, he is best known to the world, are colored and rendered most charming by recollections of his early home.
Until recently, Mr. Whittier has resided in Amesbury for many years. The house which has so often been pointed out as his home is a plain, unostentatious, two-story dwelling, located in the most quiet part of the town. It has a gable roof, a long piazza running along the east side, and a neat porch in front. Graceful trees throw their shadows upon its roof, and orderly flower-plats surround it. Friend street, upon which it is located, derives its name from the little Quaker or Friends' meeting-house that stands on the border of a grove of birch and pine, near its head. Through the shrubbery that clusters near the poet's study window the open country may be seen at a little distance, and the shady road that goes winding through the light sandy soil to the hills beyond. An air of quiet simplicity rests over the scene. The church referred to is only a few steps from the poet's residence, and is a onestory building, painted yellow, and blinded. Just back of it, and seen through a clump of locusts, rolls the Merrimac.
We are told that its internal appointments are characterized by the utmost neatness, and charm all callers by the strict simplicity of a quiet taste. The few portraits that adorn the walls are those of dear friends and yet dearer relatives, and no one can look at the features of his beloved sister, Elizabeth, without feeling that the world is better for her pure and modest living. The poet's home was for many years in charge of this maiden lady, and her lovely character was like a perennial blossom whose fragrance is the delight of all. She fully sympathized with her brother in his literary work, and it is said that he was accustomed to submit to her criticism the first copies of whatever he wrote. She was the author of several very creditable poems and sketches herself. Though resigned to her death, it was a loss
from which the tender sensibilities of Whittier can never recover.
A well-tilled garden has always blossomed on the poet's grounds, and household pets love to be stroked by his tender hand. Here and there are little articles of virtu upon his mantels, and an occasional gift, cherished because of its sacred associations. His library is a cozy little room, brightened by a wood fire.
Though Mr. Whittier still holds his property in the town of Amesbury, and exercises his right as a voter there, he spends the larger part of his time at the present writing with relatives in Danvers, at their residence a little more than a mile northwest of the principal village. The so-called old "Boston Path," an inland road leading through historic Medford and Reading to Ipswich and the "sea-blown" city of Newburyport and the northern settlements, passed, we are told "by an alternative and scarcely secondary line, directly by the site of this residence," and this path may still be traced. If any one, therefore, wishes personally to see him, he will find the genial old poet in this delightful spot. The house itself is spacious and hospitable; modern as to comfort and convenience, and venerable enough for dignity and homelike looks. The material is wood, and the color a light-brown. There are pillars on either side, reaching to near the full height of the building. A handsome addition has recently been made toward the east, and in this wing of the mansion are apartments specially devoted to Mr. Whittier.
Within his private study, with its fire of coals in an open grate, an air of ease and refined hospitality seems to linger, and greets the caller who has yearned to take its benignant occupant by the hand for a companionable chat. As far as the aspect of the room is concerned, he might have been at home in it for many years.
We are glad to learn that within and without the situation is befitting this lover of Nature and of humanity, and of all living things. Whittier is emphatically a poet of the present time; he is American, and the dust of antiquity clings not to his garments. As a prose writer also he has but few superiors, and as good authority as A. P. Peabody says in the North American Review: "We are not sure but that we like Mr. Whittier's prose better than his poetry." Honored, beloved, revered, long may he live, and serene be the evening of his days!
young Rod-man of the Muskingum left his home for the Improvement Camp. Yet it was also a day of pluck. No little mental fortitude and physical stamina were required by that fond mother to bid farewell to that well-beloved son. Well she knew that he would be exposed, in camp and field, to many dangers and privations. She also knew, however, that she had instilled into his plastic mind the sound and enduring principles of truthfulness, honesty and obedience, handed down to her and to him from generation to generation. She knew, furthermore, how industrious, prudent and competent her son had been proved to be; how devoted to his preparation for any duty to which he might be called; how certain he was to succeed as a Rod-man, a surveyor and engineer; how modest were his manners; how temperate were his habits. She feared not, therefore, to trust her dear boy away from home, assisting to improve the newly-opening lands and waters of that part of the Western Reserve of Ohio.
As for the boy Rod-man himself, with what varied emotions of heart he undertook that memorable journey! With a throbbing bosom and a tearful eye he went forth on that lonely path of duty. But his step was firm, and his will was strong.
"All the world before him, and Providence his guide."
That youthful Rod-man alone, and that Divine guide only will ever know the hidden thoughts that then and there passed rapidly through his mind. What visions of acquired learning, what plans of a chosen calling, what renewed devotion to home and kindred, country and mankind flashed through the portals of his memory, and over the dawning horizon of the future! Under an inspiration never to be forgotten, he steadily journeyed his onward way with a single travelling companion by his side until the surveyor's camp was reached.
What should be the Rod-man's greeting? Welcome, or unwelcome? We shall see. He came to the gentleman in charge not as a stranger. The superintendent of the corps knew the ancestors of the boy, and by them he wisely judged the boy himself. His character for truthfulness, honesty, industry and sobriety had preceded him. He was soon found to be competent, and therefore a valuable accession. Hardy, intelligent, apt, quick of perception, industrious and persevering, he won his way to the confidence of his employers, and secured many expressions of their good will. He became the special favorite of the
accomplished and popular chief-engineer, who had the skill to forecast something of the future of the lad; and who, on retiring from that post, gave him an unsolicited testimonial of merit, which the Rod-man has preserved to this day.
The pursuits of this improvement corps were of necessity quite nomadic. Their tents were pitched in the tangled forests, or on the desolate prairie, or along the brushy banks of the devious river, or among the dark gullies, or on the overhanging cliffs of the then primeval boundary lines. But all this was a splendid opportunity for disciplining the mind and maturing the muscle of the young Rod-man. It taught him most effectually the great practical lessons of everyday life—lessons he has since repeatedly studied in other fields of active duty,-taught to others, and never once forgotten—the lessons of true Independence, PerSeverance and Success.
Time passes on. The survey of the Muskingum is finished. The Rod-man returns home, and resumes his higher class of studies. As he does so, a vast and fruitful region of his country is opened up to the advancing march of civilization. New settlements spring into being. Towns and cities follow in their train. The sequestered route of the young Rod-man, with the engineer corps, becomes the arena for the broad thoroughfares of agriculture, commerce, manufactures, and the arts. The silent everglade he once travelled, rod in hand, have become dotted with the spires of religion, the domes of learning, the towers of industry, and the homes of plenty, contentment and happiness.
The Rod-man still continues his classical and other studies. With native force of character, he pursues them with unremitting assiduity. The inspiration he had derived from his experience in the field as an assistant-engineer and surveyor now stood him well in hand. He had not only aided to contribute to the home he loved so well, but he had a valuable contribution to his practical knowledge. His attention was again turned to the law. He soon became a successful practitioner in the Justices' Courts of his native county, where his character for close application to each case, his researches into the precedents, his analysis of opinions, won him the respect of all his associates. On the very day of his obtaining his majority, he was admitted to the bar of the State and County Courts, on motion of one of its most distinguished
LEON MANOR; OR, THE RESOLUTE GHOSTS.
A STORY OF MARYLAND IN 1725.
(All rights reserved.)
"gracious Heaven!" exclaimed Mr. Burton, losing my senses?"
e next moment, while he still stood spelli as it were in the doorway, the mysterious again flew across the room, formed the words rAiTHFUL Steward," and immediately disred. A third time the light appeared and upon the wall, " Restore The Right!" and 1 time instantly vanished. At the same time seemingly from some soft wind instrument, Ton the air; they breathed alow, wailing as of some spirit weakened by the continu- ain of a hopeless remorse. Such at least he expression of the music to the amazed, most astounded, master of Faywood. lerciful Heaven!" he cried, at length remg speech, "what have I done to be thus 1?"
You have deceived the master who entirely
i you," answered a soft and musical voice,
res expressive more of grief than of anger.
have robbed his orphan heir of his rights."
deny the charge," replied Burton. "I have
othing dishonest. What I possess has been
! by the labor of my own thought."
'.las! it is all false," said the strange voice,
iftly and mournfully. "Miserable man,
nto your own soul, and there you will see
ith recorded that you made use of the posi
■ which you were placed by Mr. Leon's con
e in your integrity, to work for your own
ends and not for his good—his good! which
the duty of your office to attend to alone!"
;m willing to be tried by any court in the
answered Burton, now becoming accus
to his singular situation, and feeling indig
'the charges brought against him. "My
ts have been legally proved and substan
and my title to the estate is unimpeach
he facts which you mention," said the same sad voice in reply, "only prove your craftiot your integrity. Wretched man, do you
suppose that the poor technical ingenuity which may still the voice of your lawyer-like conscience will answer the charges which high Heaven has recorded against you? That you may see illustrated how you have stained the holy truth by the evil devices of your own selfish heart, come to the table in this room, and fill a glass from the pitcher of water which stands beside your book."
Mechanically obeying the mandate, Mr. Burton entered the library, at the door of which he continued to stand during the whole of this strange colloquy. Putting down upon the table the lamp which he had carried in his hand, he poured into the.goblet water from the pitcher. The glass vessel was filled with a red fluid. Amazed, he held the pitcher under the light of the lamp; the water which it contained was transparent and to all appearance pure. Dreadfully alarmed at this, as it seemed to him, evident miracle, he dropped the pitcher upon the table, ran to the door leading into the hall and, throwing it wide open, called repeatedly at the extent of his voice for Mr. Fortescue. The secretary at length answered his urgent calls, and in a few minutes afterward made his appearance on the broad staircase leading down into the hall. He was without his coat and in his "stocking feet."
"What in the name of Heaven is the matter, Mr. Burton?" he asked, as he approached the owner of Faywood. "Why is this loud and startling alarm at so late an hour?"
"O, Mr. Fortescue," replied the terrified Burton, "I have seen such sights, I have heard such sounds!"
"What! are you too seized with the mania of ghost-seeing?" asked the secretary; "I had thought that your nerves were-too firm for that."
"O, my friend," replied the ex-lawyer, whose cheeks were deadly pale, and whose eyes were bright with, terror in the light of the candle in the secretary's hand, "I cannot doubt the evidence of my own senses. I will tell you all, and you shall judge for yourself. After that I shall want your advice as to the course which I shall pursue."