Imatges de pÓgina
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young girl.

itself as “Good Lord, deliver us!” — the I never saw anything like the tendersweet alternation of the two choirs, as ness with which this young girl treats her their holy song floated from side to side,– little deformed neighbor. If he were in the keen young voices rising like a flight the way of going to church, I know she of singing-birds that passes from one would follow him. But his worship, if grove to another, carrying its music with any, is not with the throng of men and it back and forward, — why should she women and staring children. not love these gracious outward signs of I, the Professor, on the other hand, am those inner harmonies which none could a regular church-goer. I should go for deny made beautiful the lives of many of various reasons, if I did not love it; but her fellow-worshippers in the humble, yet I am happy enough to find great pleasnot inelegant Chapel of Saint Polycarp ? ure in the midst of devout multitudes,

The young Marylander, who was born whether I can accept all their creeds and bred to that mode of worship, had

or not. One place of worship comes introduced her to the chapel, for which nearer than the rest to my ideal standhe did the honors for such of our board- ard, and to this it was that I carried our ers as were not otherwise provided for. I saw them looking over the same prayer- The Church of the Galileans, as it is book one Sunday, and I could not help called, is even humbler in outside pretenthinking that two such young and hand- sions than the Church of Saint Polycarp. some persons could hardly worship to- Like that, it is open to all comers.

The gether in safety for a great while. But stranger who approaches it looks down a they seemed to mind nothing but their quiet street and sees the plainest of chapprayer-book. By-and-by the silken bagels, — a kind of wooden tent, that owes was handed round. - I don't believe she whatever grace it has to its pointed win

so awkward, you know;--- besides, dows and the high, sharp roof, — traces, she only came by invitation. There she both, of that upward movement of ecclesiis, with her hand in her pocket, though, astical architecture which soared aloft in --and sure enough, her little bit of silver cathedral-spires, shooting into the sky as tinkled as it struck the coin beneath. God the spike of a flowering aloe from the bless her! she hasn't much to give; but cluster of broard, sharp-wedged leaves beher eye glistens when she gives it, and low. This suggestion of mediæval symthat is all Ileaven asks. - That was the bolism, aided by a minute turret in which first time I noticed these young people a hand-bell might have hung and found together, and I am sure they bebaved just room enough to turn over, was all with the most charming propriety, — in of outward show the small edifice could fact, there was one of our silent lady- boast. Within there was very little that boarders with them, whose eyes would pretended to be attractive. A small orhave kept Cupid and Psyche to their gan at one side, and a plain pulpit, showgood behavior. A day or two after this ed that the building was a church; but it I noticed that the young gentleman had was a church reduced to its simplest exleft bis seat, which you may remember pression. was at the corner diagonal to that of Yet when the great and wise monarch Iris, so that they have been as far re- of the East sat upon his throne, in all the moved from each other as they could be golden blaze of the spoils of Ophir and at the table. His new seat is three or the freights of the navy of Tarshish, his four places farther down the table. Of glory was not like that of this simple course I madlo a romance out of this, at chapel in its Sunday garniture. For the once. So stupid not to see it! How lilies of the field, in their season, and the could it be otherwise ? — Did you speak, fairest flowers of the year, in due succesMadam? I beg your pardon. (To my sion, were clustered every Sunday mornlady-reader.)

ing over the preacher's desk. Slight,

will;

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thin-tissued blossoms of pink and blue criticisms on the literary character of and virgin white in early spring, then the sermon they may hear. There is the full-breasted and deep-hearted roses no restlessness and no restraint among of summer, then the velvet-robed crim- this quiet, cheerful people. One thing son and yellow flowers of autumn, and in that keeps them calm and happy during the winter delicate exotics that grew un- the season so evidently trying to many der skies of glass in the false summers of congregations is, that they join very genour crystal palaces without knowing that erally in the singing. In this way they it was the dreadful winter of New Eng. get rid of that accumulated nervous force land which was rattling the doors and which escapes in all sorts of fidgety frosting the

panes,
the whole

year
told

movements, so that a minister trying to its history of life and growth and beauty keep his congregation still reminds one from that simple desk. There was al- of a boy with his hand over the nose of ways at least one good sermon, - this

a pump which another boy is working, floral liomily. There was at least one this spirting impatience of the people is so good prayer,--that brief space when all like the jets that find their way through were silent, after the manner of the his fingers, and the grand rush out at Friends at their devotions.

the final Amen! has such a wonderful Here, too, Iris found an atmosphere likeness to the gush that takes place of peace and love. The same gentle, when the boy pulls his hand away, with thoughtful faces, the same cheerful but such immense relief, as it seems, to both reverential spirit, the same quiet, the the pump and the officiating youngster. same life of active benevolence. But How sweet is this blending of all voices in all else how different from the Church and all hearts in one common song of of Saint Polycarp! No clerical costume, praise! Some will sing a little loud, perno ceremonial forms, no carefully train- haps, — and now and then an impatient ed choirs. A liturgy they have, to be chorister will get a syllable or two in adsure, which does not scruple to borrow vance, or an enchanted singer so lose all from the time-honored manuals of devo- thought of time and place in the luxury tion, but also does not hesitate to change of a closing cadence that he holds on to its expressions to its own liking.

the last semibreve upon his private rePerhaps the good people seem a lit- sponsibility; but how much more of the tle casy with each other;— they are apt spirit of the old Psalmist in the music of to nod cheerfully, and have even been these imperfectly trained voices than in known to whisper before the minister the academic niceties of the paid percame in.

But it is a relief to get rid formers who take our musical worship of that old Sunday-n0,-Sabbath face, out of our hands! which suggests the idea that the first day I am of the opinion that the creed of of the week is commemorative of some the Church of the Galileans is not quite most mournful event.

The truth is,

80 precisely laid down as that of the these people meet very much as a fam- Church of Saint Polycarp. Yet I susily does for its devotions, not putting off. pect, if one of the good people from each their humanity in the least, considering of those churches had met over the bed it on the whole quite a cheerful matter of a suffering fellow-creature, or for the to come together for prayer and song promotion of any charitable object, they and good counsel from kind and wise would have found they had more in comlips. And if they are freer in their de- mon than all the special beliefs or want meanor than some very precise congre- of beliefs that separated them would gations, they have not the air of a world

There are always many ly set of people. Clearly they have not who believe that the fruits of a tree afcome to advertise their tailors and milli- ford a better test of its condition than a ners, nor for the sake of exchanging statement of the composts with which it

amount to.

a

is dressed, — though the last has its mean- During the wars of the French Empire, ing and importance, no doubt.

no doubt, - I said. Between these two churches, then, our That's it! that's it!--said the little genyoung Iris divides her affections. But I tleman;— where the battle of intelligence doubt if she listens to the preacher at is fought, there are most minds bruised either with more devotion than she does and broken! We're battling for a faith to her little neighbor when he talks of here, Sir. these matters.

The divinity-student remarked, that it What does he believe? In the first was rather late in the world's history for place, there is some deep-rooted disquiet men to be looking out for a new faith. lying at the bottom of his soul, which I didn't say a new faith,- said the litmakes bim very bitter against all kinds tle gentleman ; - old or new, it can't of usurpation over the right of private help being different here in this Amerjudgment. Over this seems to lie a cer- ican mind of ours from anything that tain tenderness for humanity in general, ever was before; the people are new, bred out of life-long trial, I should say, Sir, and that makes the difference. One but sharply streaked with fiery lines of load of corn goes to the sty, and makes wrath at various individual acts of wrong, the fat of swine,- another goes to the especially if they come in an ecclesias- farm-house, and becomes the muscle that tical shape, and recall to him the days clothes the right arms of heroes. It isn't when his mother's great-grandmother was where a pawn stands on the board that strangled on Witch Hill, with a text from makes the difference, but what the game the Old Testament for her halter. With round it is when it is on this or that all this, he has a boundless belief in the

square. future of this experimental hemisphere, Can any man look round and see what and especially in the destiny of the Christian countries are now doing, and free thought of its northeastern metrop- how they are governed, and what is the olis.

general condition of society, without seeA man can see further, Sir, ing that Christianity is the flag under he said one day, — from the top of Bos- which the world sails, and not the rudder ton State-Hlouse, and see more that is that steers its course ? No, Sir! There . worth seeing, than from all the pyramids was a great raft built about two thousand and turrets and steeples in all the places years ago, — call it an ark, rather, in the world! No smoke, Sir; no fog, the world's great ark ! big enough to Sir; and a clean sweep from the Outer hold all mankind, and made to be Light and the sea beyond it to the New launched right out into the open waves Hampshire mountains! Yes, Sir, — and of life, - and here it has been lying, one there are great truths that are higher end on the shore and one end bobbing than mountains and broader than seas, up and down in the water, men fighting that people are looking for from the all the time as to who should be captain tops of these hills of ours, — such as the and who should have the state-rooms, world never saw, though it might have and throwing each other over the side seen them at Jerusalem, if its eyes had because they could not agree about the been open ! - Where do they have most points of compass, but the great vessel crazy people ? Tell me Sir! never getting afloat with its freight of

I answered, that I had heard it said nations and their rulers ;-- and now, Sir, there were more in New England than there is and has been for this long time in most countries, perhaps more than in a fleet of “heretic " lighters sailing out any part of the world.

of Boston Bay, and they have been sayVery good, Sir,— he answered. When ing, and they say now, and they mean have there been most people killed and to keep saying, “ Pump out your bilgewounded in the course of this century ? water, shovel over your loads of de bal

my

last, get out your old rotten cargo, and Seems to know what is going on, — reads we will carry it out into deep waters books, old and new, - has many recent and sink it where it will never be seen publications sent him, they tell me, again ; so shall the ark of the world's but, what is more curious, keeps up with hope float on the ocean, instead of stick- the every-day affairs of the world, too. ing in the dock-mud where it is lying !” Whether he hears everything that is

It's a slow business, this of getting the said with preternatural acuteness, or ark launched. The Jordan wasn't deep whether some confidential friend visits enough, and the Tiber wasn't deep enough, him in a quiet way, is more than I can and the Rhone wasn't deep enough, and tell. I can make nothing more of the the Thames wasn't deep enough, - and noises I hear in his room than my old perhaps the Charles isn't deep enough; conjectures. The movements I mention but I don't feel sure of that, Sir, and I are less frequent, but I often hear the love to hear the workmen knocking at plaintive cry, I observe that it is rarethe old blocks' of tradition and making ly laughing of late ;-I never have dethe ways smooth with the oil of the Good tected one articulate word, but I never Samaritan. I don't know, Sir, — but I heard such tones from anything but a do think she stirs a little, I do believe human voice. she slides ;--and when I think of what There has been, of late, a deference a work that is for the dear old three- approaching to tenderness, on the part breasted mother of American liberty, I of the boarders generally, so far as he is would not take all the glory of all the concerned. This is doubtless owing to greatest cities in the world for birth- the air of suffering which seems to have right in the soil of little Boston !

saddened his look of late. Either some Some of us could not help smil- passion is gnawing at him inwardly, or ing at this burst of local patriotism, espe- some hidden disease is at work upon cially when it finished with the last two him. words.

-What's the matter with Little BogAnd Iris smiled, too. But it was the ton ?—said the young man John to me radiant smile of pleasure which always one day. - There a'n't much of him, any lights up her face when her little neigh- low; but 't seems to me he looks peakbor gets excited on the great topics of eder than ever. The old woman says progress in freedom and religion, and he's in a bad way, 'n' wants a nuss to especially on the part which, as he take care of him. Them nusses that pleases himself with believing, his own take care of old rich folks marry 'em city is to take in that consummation of sometimes, -- 'n' they don't commonly human development to which he looks live a great while after that. No, Sir! forward.

I don't see what he wants to die for, Presently she looked into his face with after he's taken so much trouble to live a changed expression, - the anxiety of in such poor accommodations as that a mother that sees her child suffering. crooked body of his. I should like to You are not well, – she said.

know how his soul crawled into it, 'n' I am never well, – he answered.

how it's goin' to get out. What busiHis eyes fell mechanically on the death's- ness has he to die, I should like to know? head ring he wore on his right hand. Let Ma’am Allen (the gentleman with the She took his hand as if it had been a diamond) die, if he likes, and be (this is baby's, and turned the grim device so family-magazine); but we a'n't goin' that it should be out of sight. One slight, to have him dyin'. Not by a great sight. sad, slow movement of the head seem- Can't do without him anyhow. A’n't it ed to

say, " The death-symbol is still fun to hear him blow off his steam? there!”

I believe the young fellow would take A very odd personage, to be sure ! it as a personal insult, if the little gentis

a

man should show any symptoms of quit- tints have faded out as their line of deting our table for a better world.

scent has become impoverished, are of In the mean time, what with go- various blood, and in them the soul has ing to church in company with our young often become pale with that blanching lady, and taking every chance I could of the hair and loss of color in the eyes get to talk with her, I have found myself which makes them approach the charbecoming, I will not say intimate, but acter of Albinesses. well acquainted with Miss Iris. There I see in this young girl that union of is a certain frankness and directness strength and sensibility which, when diabout her that perhaps belong to her rected and impelled by the strong instinct artist nature. For, you see, the one so apt to accompany this combination of thing that marks the true artist is a clear active and passive capacity, we call geperception and a firm, bold hand, in dis- nius. She is not an accomplished artist, tinction from that imperfect mental vis- certainly, as yet ; but there is always an ion and uncertain touch which give us air in every careless figure she draws, as the ferble pictures and the lumpy stat- it were of upward aspiration, — the elan ues of the mere artisans on canvas or of John of Bologna's Mercury, - a lift in stone. A true artist, therefore, can to them, as if they had on winged sanhardly fail to have a sharp, well-defined dals, like the herald of the gods. I hear character.

Besides this, many young her singing sometimes; and though she girls have a strange audacity blended evidently is not trained, yet is there a with their instinctive delicacy. Even in wild sweetness in her fitful and somephysical daring many of them are a times fantastic melodies, — such as can mateb for boys; whereas you will find come only from the inspiration of the few among mature women, and especial moment, — strangely enough, reminding ly it they are mothers, who do not confess, me of those long passages I have heard and not unfrequently proclaim, their ti- from my little neighbor's room, yet of difmidity. One of these young girls, as many ferent tone, and by no means to be misof us hereabouts remember, climbed to taken for those weird harmonies. the top of a jagged, slippery rock lying I cannot pretend to deny that I am out in the waves, - an ugly height to get interested in the girl.

Alone, unproup,

and a worse one to get down, even tected, as I have seen so many young for a bold young fellow of sixteen. An- girls left in boarding-houses, the centre other was in the way of climbing tall of all the men's eyes that surround the trees for crows' nests, — and crows gen- table, watched with jealous sharpness by erally know about how far boys can every woman, most of all by that poor "shin up," and set their household estab- relation of our landlady, who belongs to lishments above high-water-mark. Still the class of women that like to catch othanother of these young ladies I saw for ers in mischief when they are too mature the first time in an open boat, tossing on for indiscretions, (as one sees old rogues the ocean ground-swell, a mile or two turn to thief-catchers,) one of Nature's from shore, off a lonely island. She lost gendarmerie, clad in a complete suit of all her daring, after she had some girls wrinkles, the cheapest coat-of-mail against of her own to look out for.

the shafts of the great little enemy, — so Many blondes are very gentle, yield- surrounded, Iris spans this commonplace ing in character, impressible, unelastic. household-life of ours with her arch of But the positive blondes, with the golden beauty, as the rainbow, whose name she tint running through them, are often full borrows, looks down on a dreary pasture of character. They come from those with its feeding flocks and herds of indifdeep-bosomed German women that Taci- ferent animals. tus portrayed in such strong colors. The These young girls that live in boardnegative blondes, or those women whose ing-houses can do pretty much as they

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