Imatges de pÓgina
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other in the thickly peopled soil of that ever it might be, to the young girl who breezy summit. You love to lean on the has since that established such a claim free-stone slab which lies over the bones upon him. He did not, however. A of the Mathers, — to read the epitaph considerable bequest to one of our public of stout John Clark, “despiser of little institutions keeps his name in grateful men and sorry actions,” — to stand by remembrance. The telescope through the stone grave of sturdy Daniel Malcom which he was fond of watching the heavand look upon the splintered slab that enly bodies, and the movements of which tells the old rebel's story, — to kneel by had been the source of such odd fancies on the triple stone that says how the three my part, is now the property of a WestWorthylakes, father, mother, and young ern College. You smile as you think of daughter, died on the same day and lie my taking it for a fleshless human figure, buried there ; a mystery; the subject of when I saw its tube pointing to the sky, a moving ballad, by the late BENJAMIN and thought it was an arm under the FRANKLIN,—as may be seen in his auto white drapery thrown over it for protecbiography, which will explain the secret tion. So do I smile now ; I belong to the of the triple gravestone; though the old numerous class who are prophets after philosopher has made a mistake, unless the fact, and hold my nightmares very the stone is wrong.

cheap by daylight. Not very far from that you will find a I have received many letters of inquifair mound, of dimensions fit to hold a ry as to the sound resembling a woman's well-grown man. I will not tell you the voice, which occasioned me so many perinscription upon the stone which stands plexities. Some thought there was no at its head; for I do not wish you to be question that he had a second apartsure of the resting-place of one who ment, in which he had made an asylum could not bear to think that he should for a deranged female relative. Others be known as a cripple among the dead, were of opinion that he was, as I once after being pointed at so long among the suggested, a “ Bluebeard” with patriliving. There is one sign, it is true, by archal tendencies, and I have even been which, if you have been a sagacious read- censured for introducing so Oriental an er of these papers, you will at once know element into my record of boarding-house it; but I fear you read carelessly, and experience. must study them more diligently before Come in and see me, the Professor, some you will detect the hint to which I allude. evening when I have nothing else to do,

The Little Gentleman lies where he and ask me to play you Tartini's Devil's longed to lie, among the old names and Sonata on that extraordinary instrument the old bones of the old Boston people. in my possession, well known to amaAt the foot of his resting-place is the riv- teurs as one of the master-pieces of Joer, alive with the wings and antennæ of seph Guarnerius. The vox humana of its colossal water-insects ; over opposite the great Haerlem organ is very lifelike, are the great war-ships, and the long and the same stop in the organ of the guns, which, when they roar, shake the Cambridge chapel might be mistaken in soil in which he lies; and in the steeple some of its tones for a human voice; but of Christ Church, hard by, are the sweet I think you never heard anything come chimes which are the Boston boy's Ranz so near the cry of a prima donna as the des Vaches, whose echoes follow him all A string and the E string of this instruthe world over.

ment. A single fact will illustrate the In Pace !

resemblance. I was executing some tours

de force upon it one evening, when the I told you a good while ago that the policeman of our district rang the bell Little Gentleman could not do a better sharply, and asked what was the matter thing than to leave all his money, what- in the house. He had heard a woman's

ers.

screams, --- he was sure of it. I had to tled, - unless the majority of his people make the instrument sing before his eyes change with him or in advance of him. before he could be satisfied that he had A hard case, to which nothing could not heard the cries of a woman. This reconcile a man, except that the faithful instrument was bequeathed to me by the discharge of daily duties in his personal Little Gentleman. Whether it had any relations with his parishioners will make thing to do with the sounds I heard com- him useful enough in his way, though as ing from his chamber, you can form your a thinker he may cease to exist before own opinion ; - I have no other conjec- he has reached middle age. ture to offer. It is not true that a second Iris went into mourning for the apartment with a secret entrance was Little Gentleman. Although, as I have found; and the story of the veiled lady said, he left the bulk of his property, by is the invention of one of the Report will, to a public institution, he added a

codicil, by which he disposed of various Bridget, the housemaid, always insist- pieces of property as tokens of kind reed that he died a Catholic. She had membrance. It was in this way I beseen the crucifix, and believed that he

came the possessor of the wonderful inprayed on his knees before it. The last strument I have spoken of, which had circumstance is very probably true; in- been purchased for him out of an Italian deed, there was a spot worn on the car- convent. The landlady was comforted pet just before this cabinet which might with a small legacy. The following exbe thus accounted for. Why he, whose tract relates to Iris : " in considerawhole life was a crucifixion, should not tion of her manifold acts of kindness, but love to look on that divine image of only in token of grateful remembrance, blameless suffering, I cannot see; on the and by no means as a reward for services contrary, it seems to me the most natural which cannot be compensated, a certain thing in the world that he should. But 'messuage, with all the land thereto apthere are those who want to make pri- pertaining, situate in Street, at the vate property of everything, and can't North End, so called, of Boston, aforemake up their minds that people who said, the same being the house in which don't think as they do should claim any I was born, but now inhabited by several interest in that infinite compassion ex- families, and known as the Rookery.'” pressed in the central figure of the Chris- Iris had also the crucifix, the portrait, tendom which includes us all.

and the red-jewelled ring. The funeral The divinity-student expressed a hope or death's-head ring was buried with him. before the boarders that he should meet It was a good while, after the Little him in heaven. — The question is, wheth- Gentleman was gone, before our boarder he'll meet you, — said the young fel- ing-house recovered its wonted cheerfullow John, rather smartly. The divinity- There was a flavor in his whims student hadn't thought of that.

and local prejudices that we liked, even However, he is a worthy young man, while we smiled at them. It was hard to and I trust I have shown him in a kind- see the tall chair thrust away among usely and respectful light. He will get a less lumber, to dismantle his room, to take parish by-and-by; and, as he is about to down the picture of Leah, the handsome marry the sister of an old friend, — the Witch of Essex, to move away the masSchoolmistress, whom some of us remem- sive shelves that held the books he loved, ber, - and as all sorts of expensive ac- to pack up the tube through which he cidents happen to young married min- used to study the silent stars, looking isters, he will be under bonds to the down at him, like the eyes of dumb creaamount of his salary, which means star- tures, with a kind of stupid half-consciousvation, if they are forfeited, to think all ness, that did not worry him as did the his days as he thought when he was set- eyes of men and women, - and hardest

ness.

of all to displace that sacred figure to pair of green spectacles, and dressed in which his heart had always turned and black broadcloth. His personal aspect, found refuge, in the feelings it inspired, and a certain solemnity of countenance, from all the perplexities of his busy brain. led me to think he must be a clergyman; It was hard, but it had to be done. and as Master Benjamin Franklin blurt

And by-and-by we grew cheerful again, ed out before several of us boarders, one and the breakfast-table wore something day, that “Sis had got a beau,” I was of its old look. The Koh-i-noor, as we pleased at the prospect of her becoming named the gentleman with the diamond, a minister's wife. On inquiry, however, left us, however, soon after that “ little I found that the somewhat solemn look mill,” as the young fellow John called which I had noticed was indeed a proit, where he came off second best. His fessional one, but not clerical. He was departure was no doubt hastened by a a young undertaker, who had just sucnote from the landlady's daughter, inclos- ceeded to a thriving business. Things, I ing a lock of purple hair which she “ had believe, are going on well at this time of valued as a pledge of affection, ere she writing, and I am glad for the landlady's knew the hollowness of the vows he had daughter and her mother. Sextons and breathed,” speedily followed by another, undertakers are the cheerfullest people inclosing the landlady's bill. The next in the world at home, as comedians and morning he was missing, as were his lim- circus-clowns are the most melancholy in ited wardrobe and the trunk that held it. their domestic circle. Three empty bottles of Mrs. Allen's cel- As our old boarding house is still in ebrated preparation, each of them assert- existence, I do not feel at liberty to give ing, on its word of honor as a bottle, that too minute a statement of the present its former contents were “not a dye,” condition of each and all of its inmates. were all that was left to us of the Koh-i

I am happy to say, however, that they noor.

are all alive and well, up to this time. From this time forward, the landlady's That kind old gentleman who sat opdaughter manifested a decided improve- posite to me is growing older, as old ment in her style of carrying herself be- men will, but still smiles benignantly on fore the boarders. She abolished the all the boarders, and has come to be a odious little flat, gummy side-curl. She kind of father to all of them, — so that left off various articles of “jewelry.” on his birthday there is always something She began to help her mother in some like a family festival. The Poor Relaof her household duties. She became a tion, even, has warmed into a filial feelregular attendant on the ministrations of ing towards him, and on his last birth. a very worthy clergyman, having been day made him a beautiful present, nameattracted to his meetin' by witnessing a ly, a very handsomely bound copy of marriage ceremony in which he called a Blair's celebrated poem, " The Grave." man and a woman a "gentleman” and The young man John is still, as he a "lady," -- a stroke of gentility which

says,

“ in fust-rate fettle." I saw him quite overcame her. She even took a

spar, not long since, at a private exhibipart in what she called a Sahbath school, tion, and do himself great credit in a setthough it was held on Sunday, and by to with Henry Finnegass, Esq., a profesno means on Saturday, as the name she sional gentleman of celebrity. I am intended to utter implied. All this, which pleased to say that he has been promotwas very sincere, as I believe, on her ed to an upper clerkship, and, in consepart, and attended with a great improve- quence of his rise in office, has taken an ment in her character, ended in her bring- apartment somewhat lower down than ing home a young man, with straight, number “forty-Pleven," as he facetiously sandy hair, brushed so as to stand up called his attic. Whether there is any steeply above his forehead, wearing a truth, or not, in the story of his attachment to, and favorable reception by, the Iris was obedient, as she was bound to daughter of the head of an extensive be. She was respectful, grateful, as a wholesale grocer's establishment, I will child is with a just, but not tender parent. not venture an opinion; I may say, how- Yet something was wrong. She had one ever, that I have met him repeatedly in of her trances, and became statue-like, company with a very well-nourished and as before, only the day after the Model's high-colored young lady, who, I under- arrival. She was wan and silent, tasted stand, is the daughter of the house in nothing at table, smiled as if by a forced question.

effort, and often looked vaguely away Some of the boarders were of opinion from those who were looking at her, her that Iris did not return the undisguised eyes just glazed with the shining moisture attentions of the handsome young Mary- of a tear that must not be allowed to gathlander. Instead of fixing her eyes stead- er and fall. Was it grief at parting from ily on him, as she used to look upon the the place where her strange friendship Little Gentleman, she would turn them had grown up with the Little Gentleaway, as if to avoid his own. They often man? Yet she seemed to bave become went to church together, it is true; but reconciled to his loss, and rather to have nobody, of course, supposes there is any a deep feeling of gratitude that she had relation between religious sympathy and been permitted to care for him in his those wretched “sentimental” movements last weary days. of the human heart upon which it is The Sunday after the Model's arrival, commonly agreed that nothing better is that lady had an attack of headache, and based than society, civilization, friend- was obliged to shut herself up in a darkship, the relation of husband and wife, ened room alone. Our two young friends and of parent and child, and which many took the opportunity to go together to people must think were singularly over- the Church of the Galileans. They said rated by the Teacher of Nazareth, whose but little going, - " collecting their whole life, as I said before, was full of thoughts” for the service, I devoutly sentiment, loving this or that young man, hope. My kind good friend the pastor pardoning this or that sinner, weeping preached that day one of his sermons over the dead, mourning for the doomed that make us all feel like brothers and city, blessing, and perhaps kissing, the sisters, and his text was that affectionate little children,- so that the Gospels are one from John, “ My little children, let still cried over almost as often as the last us not love in word, neither in tongue, work of fiction !

but in deed and in truth.” When Iris But one fine June morning there rum- and her friend came out of church, they bled up to the door of our boarding- were both pale, and walked a space withhouse a hack containing a lady inside out speaking. and a trunk on the outside. It was our At last the young man said,

You and friend the lady-patroness of Miss Iris, I are not little children, Iris ! the same who had been called by her She looked in his face an instant, as if admiring pastor “ The Model of all the startled, for there was something strange Virtues.” Once a week she had written in the tone of his voice. She smiled a letter, in a rather formal hand, but full faintly, but spoke never a word. of good advice, to her young charge. In deed and in truth, Iris, And now she had come to carry her Wbat shall a poor girl say or do, when away, thinking that she had learned all a strong man falters in his speech before she was likely to learn under her present her, and can do nothing better than hold course of teaching. The Model, how- out his hand to finish his broken senever, was to stay awhile, a week, or tence ? more, - before they should leave to- The poor girl said nothing, but quietly gether.

laid her ungloved hand in his, - the little soft white hand which had ministered could be nothing less than maternal. I so tenderly and suffered so patiently. at once recognized my old friend, the

The blood came back to the young young fellow whom we called John. He man's cheeks, as he lifted it to his lips, was delighted to see me, introduced me even as they walked there in the street, to “Madam," and would have the lusty touched it gently with them, and said, - infant out of the carriage, and hold him " It is mine!”

up for me to look at. Iris did not contradict him.

Now, then, — he said to the two-year

old, — show the gentleman how you hit The seasons pass by so rapidly, that I from the shoulder. – Whereupon the litam startled to think how much has hap- tle imp pushed his fat fist straight into pened since these events I was describing. my eye, to his father's intense satisfacThose two young people would insist on

tion. having their own way about their own Fust-rate little chap, — said the papa. affairs, notwithstanding the good lady, so - Chip of the old block. Reglr little justly called the Model, insisted that the Johnny, you know. age of twenty-five years was as early as I was so much pleased to find the any discreet young lady should think of

young

fellow settled in life, and pushing incurring the responsibilities, etc., etc. about one of “them little articles ” he Long before Iris had reached that age, seemed to want so much, that I took my she was the wife of a young Maryland punishment” at the hands of the infant engineer, directing some of the vast con- pugilist with great equanimity. And how structions of his native State, — where is the old boarding-house ?-I asked. he was growing rich fast enough to be A 1,- he answered. — Painted and able to decline that famous Russian offer papered as good as new. Gahs in all the which would have made him a kind of na- rooms up to the sky-parlors. Old wombob in a few years. Iris does not write an's layin' up money, they say. Means verse often, nowadays, but she some- to send Ben Franklin to college. - Just times draws. The last sketch of hers I then the first bell rang for church, and have seen in my Southern visits was of my friend, who, I understand, has betwo children, a boy and girl, the young- come a most exemplary member of sociest holding a silver goblet, like the one ety, said he must be off to get ready for she held that evening when I – I was so meetin', and told the young one to “shake struck with her statue-like beauty. If in dada,” which he did with his closed fist, the later summer months you find the in a somewhat menacing manner.

And grass marked with footsteps around that so the young man John, as we used to grave on Copp's Hill I told you of, and call him, took the pole of the miniature flowers scattered over it, you may be sure carriage, and pushed the small pugilist that Iris is here on her annual visit to the before him homewards, followed, in a home of her childhood and that excellent somewhat leisurely way, by his pleasantlady whose only fault was, that Nature looking lady-companion, and I sent a sigh had written out her list of virtues on and a smile after him. ruled paper, and forgotten to rub out the That evening, as soon as it was dark, lines.

I could not help going round by the old One thing more I must mention. Being boarding-house. The “gahs” was lighton the Common, last Sunday, I was at- ed, but the curtains, or, more properly, tracted by the cheerful spectacle of a the painted shades, were not down. And well-dressed and somewhat youthful pa- so I stood there and looked in along pa wheeling a very elegant little carriage the table where the boarders sat at the containing a stout baby. - A buxom evening meal, — our old breakfast-table, young lady watched them from one of which some of us feel as if we knew so the stone seats, with an interest which well. There were new faces at it, but

48

VOL. IV.

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