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his seelings were, you can better conceive than I describe, and how she has rewarded him, you know best.” “I know? I'll be hanged if I do.” “Stop, stop,” said the old man, laughing, “you may not have remembered that, though your father's name is not Henry, your mother's is Alice. You see I have only given you some of the names wrong. But did your uncle S. never tell you any thing about it o’’ “He once said he was indebted to my father, for his life, but not a word more.” “It is very singular,” said the old man, “but when they are as old as I am, they will talk more of such things.”
THE DEW-DROP-A FABLE.
A DEw-prop, on a summer morning,
THE first week of vacation brought me a letter from Fred. Middleton to come and visit him. Fred. was an old friend of mine, a fine handsome fellow, rich as Mordecai himself, and married about three years. His letters were stuffed full of nonsense about his beautiful wife, his house, his grounds, love, domestic felicity, and all that sort of thing that's gendered by bridal cakes and honey-moons, and my curiosity was up to come and take a look at him. So jumping into a gig, three hours good driving brought me to his vicinity, and a little inquiry led me up to his door.
As these are sketches I can't stop for trifles; the reader will therefore imagine just such a house as he chooses.
Knocking at a friend's door is bad taste. It sounds formal. So I pushed into the hall, and made my way as I could until I brought up in the library.
There was a fracas in the neighborhood; voices engaged in sharp altercation; and one of them I recognized as Fred.’s in a moment. Now eaves-dropping is not my forte. I am a little too honorable for it. But here was a fix where honor was about as useful as honest Jack Falstaff's. His could’nt mend a neck or a leg; mine could not help me. I was therefore obliged to hear.
“But, Freddy must be educated, my dear.”
Gad zooks, thinks I, Middleton's improved.
“How can you speak so, my dear?”
“How, my dear, can you speak so? Nothing but Freddy in the morning; nothing but Freddy at night. Freddy's hat, Freddy's coat, Freddy's breeches, Freddy's every thing; I must tell you, Louise, I'm tired of it.”
“Well, you need’nt get angry about it.”
“I’m not angry.” (Moderately loud.)
“Yes, you are.” (Provokingly calm.)
WOL. II. 3
“No, I'm not.” (Louder.)
“You are.” (Calm.)
“I aint.” (In thunder.)
“Well, well, my dear, I’m sorry to trouble you; but you know it's necessary.”
“But I do not know it’s necessary.”
“My children must be school’d, my dear.”
“You need’nt have children then | Throw Fred to the dogs for what I care.”
“Why, Frederick, how you talk this morning. I only speak to you, and you’re so cold and so cross”—
“Cold and cross, madam | I'm hot enough in all conscience.”
“Well, sir, as you please.” (Putting the accent.)
“Well, madam, it shall be as I please.” (Tempest rising.)
“I’ve heard you say so before.” (Sharp as the crack of a rifle.)
“I don't love you.” (Lightning.)
“I’ve heard you say that too.” (A rifle.)
“You’re a vile woman.” (Louder.)
“And that too.” (A rifle.)
“I hate you.” (Still louder.)
“And that likewise.” (Rifle.)
“I wish you out of my house.” (Home-made thunder again.)
“O, Frederick, this from you ! you—wicked—you'll—break— my—heart—you know—you will—you monster—O dear! O dear!”
There was a shower about this time—then a long pause.
Pauses after storms, reader, you know are all the fashion.
Presently I heard a loud laugh, and both rush into each other’s arms.
“My dear,” in a very sweet tone, “that's a dreadful bad temper of yours, eh?”
“Very, my dear—I’m sorry for it.”
“How sorry are you ?”
“Nay, but I’ll not be put off by having my mouth stopp'd. You shall ask pardon—come—quick.”
“Well, my dear, I do ask pardon.”
“And you wont sin again?”
“If I do I’ll be da”—
“And that's an awful bad habit too, Frederick, swearing.”
“Tis, is nt it. Well, I'll”—
“Leave it off?”
“Yes, and so’—
“And so f"—
“We’re friends again,” said he.
“We’re friends again,” said she.
“Dear, dear Louise.”
“Dear, dear Frederick.”
At that moment they entered the library, his arm making a girdle for her waist, hers clasped fondly over his neck, her head laid sweetly on his shoulder, her long raven locks disheveled and hanging down upon his breast, and her little boy toddling along by her side and holding on to her gown ; presenting on the whole such a beautiful group and picture as I never saw before. Hang me! if I did’nt envy him.
“Fred, you rascal,” said I, “how dare you treat your wife ill? I’ve heard all. You’re a brute!”
“Sostly, softly, sir,” said the lady stepping forward, “I let nobody scold my husband but myself—do I Frederick o’ and her dove-like eyes were raised to his with such a soul of devotion in them as
But I guess this will do for once.
I left Fred next day with a moral in my heart big enough to sanctify all North College—a difficult thing by the by—and that was, the importance of my getting a wife right off.
I’d just as lief you'd know it as not, Reader, I’ve a tremendous passion for moonlight. I always had. When a boy I loved to go out under its influence and steal water-melons; not indeed from any particular propensity for thieving or a love of the melons, but simply for love of the moon. Walking through orchards too was pleasant." Hiding myself in Squire Applejohn's garden, on the side of the house where his daughter had her rooms so as to get a chat with her, that too was pleasant. Sticking placards on whipping-posts—dashing in the school-house windows—throwing mud against the church door— stopping up the key-hole—cutting the bell rope—in short, there's no end of the pleasures I used to take by moonlight.
But don't mistake me here. Don't suppose I never had a little of the ‘lifting up' feeling which sometimes gets hold of us; a little of that influence which makes geese dance and fools rhyme. O, I had considerable of it. I’ve had the real afflatus.’ I used to climb trees by night, (not fruit trees, mind you, now,) straddle a fence, or the ridge-pole of the barn, and then send my gaze off into the blue heavens till I got dizzy. The fair moon hanging off like a spirit of the atmosphere, the orbs rolling on and chanting to the cherubim, the bright ether stretching off and away which my thought could not fathom, the silence and solitude and solemnity of the glittering
pageantry of heaven, O I've felt all these; and then I’ve thought
of a good large dairy-cheese and aunt Polly's pantry, and jumped
from the ridge-pole and run off like lightning.
When my proud heart has ached, and I have felt