« AnteriorContinua »
bor, and, even if they had been at boards and broken furniture that might hand, I should hardly dare to risk my serve for fuel. strength, not yet renovated after my “For two days the wind held, and sickness, and, which was so essential to then there fell an awful silence as of mother's safety, in an effort that might the grave. fail.
“Sometimes I read from the Psalms, “So the hours went on, and the day or from the Gospel of John, which that was like night wore to a close. mother dearly loved ; and though she In the evening mother brightened up a did not take much notice, but lay in a little. She was calm now, and for the stupor most of the time, the holy words time free from pain. There was an were comfort and company to me. At unearthly beauty in the large, bright other times I sat in mute grief, watchhollow eyes, and the thin cheeks, ing her painful breathing, and the where the rose of fever burned. The gradual pinching and sharpening of disease had worked swiftly. Even this her features as the relentless disease revival might be only a forerunner of worked upon them. O, it was hard ! death.
I don't think many lives know so much " " I want to tell you, dear,' she said, and such utter misery. In my anxiety • what to do in case I should not get and grief, and the mental bewilderwell."
ment resulting from loss of sleep, I “I hid my face in the quilt, and tried forgot to reckon the days as they not to sob, while she went on, in a passed. sweet, calm, thoughtful way, to tell me “But one day, as I sat by mother's of the things that in my inexperience I pillow, my mind full of the dread that might forget. I must not be wasteful seemed now as if it might any moment of food or fuel ; if the snow - which be realized, — of the awfulness of being was still falling — should cover the left alone in that living tomb with the chimney so that I could not make a marble image of what was and yet was fire, I must wrap myself and the chil- not my mother, the clock struck nine in dren in all the warm things I could the morning. Somewhere the sun was find, — there were some new blankets shining, I thought. Somewhere there in the chest in the chamber, she said, were happy lovers, merry-makings in that she had meant for me. I must divers places, wedding-bells ringing. get those if I needed them. And if “ A faint sound disturbed my revery. I am not here to encourage you, my
started up and listened intently; but d,' she said tenderly, don't give the noise did not recur, and I dropped up hoping. Help cannot be very far my head again, thinking my fancy had off. Some of the neighbors will come cheated me. to us, or father will work his
way “ I don't know why it was that what through the snow, and get home. And, failed to reach my strained ear found its Mercy, don't be afraid of the poor way to mother's; but all at once, from body that I shall leave behind me. having been in a stupid state from Think of it as the empty house that I which I could hardly rouse her, she have used for a little while, and be opened her eyes, and said, “What is sure it can do you no harm.'
that?' “I promised all she asked, and hid " • Do you hear anything ?' I asked, my tears as well as I could. While trembling. But before she could anshe slept, and I could do nothing for swer, I too heard a shout. her, I kept the children quiet with play- “ Help was at hand ! And mother things and stories. I cooked bread might yet be saved ! and meat, and made a great kettle of “I burst into tears, and Jem and porridge against the time when we David set up a loud cry for company. might not be able to have a fire; I Those outside heard it, for the next hunted in the garret for bits of old instant there was a great halloo. They
were cutting their way through the home. Yet he had come as fast as drift, — they came every minute near- the roads would let him, travelling er and nearer. Pretty soon I heard a night and day in his eagerness to reach voice that set my heart beating and us. He told us of houses snowed up, made me sob again. It was Ephraim's. and people and animals perishing mis
" " Are you all alive ?' he cried. erably. And by God's grace we were
“ “We are all alive, but mother is saved, even to the cows, which in their very sick.'
hunger had broken loose from their “I don't know how long it took to stalls, and eaten the hay from the tunnel that huge snow-drist. 1 sat holding mother's hand till there was “And so my life's greatest joy and a noise at the door. I sprang up then, pain came to me by the storm. and the next instant stood face to face gave Ephraim back to me.
For forty with Ephraim. And we did not meet years as man and wife we had never a as we had parted.
hard word. “I was glad to think that we owed “'T is thirty years since he went, our deliverance to him. He had — thirty years of Heaven's peace for roused up the neighbors, and they him. I did not think to wait so long came over that trackless waste on when he went. The children have snow-shoes. On snow-shoes Ephraim been very good to me, but I've missed went for the doctor, and mother began their father always. But I shall go to to mend from the time of his coming. him soon. Son Ephraim, I am ninety
“It was a week before father got two to-morrow !.”
All that chill December snow?
“ Ah!" the wise old lips reply,
“ Youth may pass and strength may die; But of Love I can't foretoken:
Ask some older Sage than I !”
AMONG THE WORKERS IN SILVER.
rior, when they get away up in sands upon thousands of acres of raspthe northern part of Lake Huron, berry-bushes hanging full of fruit, and where are those “four thousand isl- all going to waste. He also observed ands ” lying flat and green in the sun, that Indian girls and squaws in conwithout a tree or a hut upon them, see siderable numbers lived near by. Putat length, in the distance, a building ting this and that together, he conlike a large storehouse, evidently not ceived the idea of a novel speculation. made by Indian hands. The thing is In the summer following he returned neither rich nor rare ; the only wonder to the place, with a copper kettle, many is, how it got there. For many hours barrels of sugar, and plenty of large before coming in sight of this building, stone jars. For one cent a pail he had no sign of human life is visible, unless, as many raspberries picked as he could perchance, the joyful passengers catch use; and he kept boiling and jarring sight of a dug-out canoe, with a blan- until he had filled all his vessels with ket for a sail, in which an Indian fish- jam, when he put them on board a erman sits solitary and motionless, as sloop, took them down to Detroit, and though he too were one of the inani- sold them. The article being approved, mate features of the scene, On draw and the speculation being profitable, he ing near this most unexpected structure, returned every year to the raspberry the curiosity of the travellers is changed country, and the business grew to an into wild wonder. It is a storehouse extent which warranted the erection of with all the modern improvements, and this large and well-appointed building. over the door is a well-painted sign, In the Western country, the raspberry bearing the words,
jam made in the region of Lake Huron
has been for twenty years an estabRASPBERRY JAM.
lished article of trade. We had the If the present writer, when be first curiosity once to taste tarts made of beheld this sign, had read thereon, “Op- it, and can testify that it was as bad as era-Glasses for hire,” or “ Kid Gloves heart could wish. It appeared to be a cleaned by a new and improved meth- soggy mixture of melted brown sugar od,” he could not have been more and small seeds. surprised or more puzzled. The ex- But that is neither here nor there. planation, however, was very simple. The oddity of our adventure was in Many years ago, it seems, à Yankee discovering such an establishment in such a place. Since that time we have spise upon others and love upon ouroften had similar surprises, especially selves. in New England, where curious indus- But there is something at Provitries have established themselves in the dence less to be expected even than most out-of-the-way nooks. In a ham- seventy-two manufactories of jewelry : let of three or four houses and a church, it is the largest manufactory of solid we see such signs as “Melodeon Man- silver-ware in the world! In a city so ufactory.” At a town in Northern Ver- elegant and refined as Providence, mont we find four hundred men busy, where wealth is so real and stable, the year round, in making those great we should naturally expect to find on Fairbanks Scales, which can weigh an the sideboards plenty of silver plate ; apple or a train of cars. There is noth- but we were unprepared to discover ing in St. Johnsbury which marks it there three or four hundred skilful out as the town in the universe fittest men making silver-ware for the rest of to produce huge scales for mankind. mankind, and all in one establishment, The business exists there because, forty - that of the Gorliam Manufacturing years ago, there were three excellent Company. This is not only the larheads in the place upon the shoulders gest concern of the kind in existence, of three brothers, who put those heads but it is the most complete. Every together, and learned how to make and operation of the business, from the how to sell scales. All over New Eng- melting of the coin out of which the land, industries have rooted themselves ware is made, to the making of the which appear to have no congruity packing-boxes in which it is conveyed with the places in which they are found. to New York, takes place in this one We heard the other day of a village congregation of buildings. Nor do we in which are made every year three hesitate to say, after an attentive exbushels of gold rings. We ourselves amination of the products of European passed, some time ago, in a remark- taste, that the articles bearing the ably plain New England town, a manu- stamp of this American house are not factory of fine diamond jewelry. In equalled by those imported. another town — Providence — there are is a fine simplicity and boldness of seventy-two manufactories of common outline about the forms produced here, jewelry. Now what is there in the together with an absence of useless character or in the situation of this and pointless ornament, which render city of Roger Williams, that should them at once more pleasing and more have invited thither so many makers of useful than any others we have seen. cheap trinkets? It is a solid town, that It was while going over this interestmakes little show for its great wealth, ing establishment, that the raspberryand contains less than the average num- jam incident recurred to us. This ber of people capable of wearing taw- thing, however, is both rich and rare ; dry ornaments. Nevertheless, along and yet the wonder remains how it with machine-shops of Titanic power, got there. It got there because, forty and cotton-mills of vast extent, we find years ago, an honest man began there these seventy-two manufactories of jew- a business which has grown steadily to elry. The reason is, that, about the this day. It got there just as all the year 1795, one man, named Dodge, rooted businesses of New England prospered in Providence by making got where we find them now. In the such jewelry as the simple people of brief history of this one enterprise those simple old times would buy of we may read the history of the industhe passing pedler. His prosperity try of New England. Not the less, lured others into the business, until it however, ought the detailed history to has grown to its present proportions, be written ; for it would be a book full and supplies half the country with of every kind of interest and instructhe glittering trash which we all de- tion.
It was an honest man, we repeat, and rings, the only articles made by who founded this establishment. We the Providence jewellers for many believe there is no house of business years. In due time Jabez Gorham of the first class in the world, of thirty set up for himself; and he added to the years' standing, the success of which list of articles the important item of is not clearly traceable to its serving watch-chains of a peculiar pattern, long the public with fidelity. An old clerk known in New England as the “Gorof Mr. A. T. Stewart of New York ham chain." The old gentleman gives informed us that, in the day of small an amusing account of the simple manthings, many years ago, when Mr. ner in which business was done in Stewart had only a retail dry-goods those days. When he had manufacstore of moderate extent, one of the tured a trunkful of jewelry, he would rules of the establishment was this: jog away with it to Boston, where, “ Don't recommend goods; but never after depositing the trunk in his room, fail to point out defects.” Now a man he would go round to all the jewellers struggling with the difficulties of a in the city to inform them of his arrival, new business, who lays down a rule and to say that his jewelry would be of that nature, must be either a very ready in his room for inspection on the honest or a very able man. He is following morning at ten o'clock, and likely to be both, for sterling ability is not before. Before the appointed hour necessarily honest. It is not surpris- every jeweller in the town would be at ing, therefore, that Mr. Stewart is now his door; but as it was a point of honthe monarch of the dry-goods trade in or to give them all an equal chance, the world ; and we fully believe that no one was admitted till the clock the history of all lasting success would struck, when all pushed in in a body. disclose a similar root of honesty. In The jewelry was spread out on the all the businesses which have to do bed, around which all the jewellers of with the precious metals and precious Boston, in 1820, could gather without stones, honesty is the prime necessi- crowding. Each man began by placing ty ; because in them, though it is the his hat in some convenient place, and easiest thing in the world to cheat, it was in his hat that he deposited the the cheat is always capable of being articles selected by him for purchase. detected and proved. A great silver. When the whole stock had been transhouse holds itself bound to take back ferred from the bed to the several hats, an article of plate made forty years Mr. Gorham took a list of the contents ago, if it is discovered that the metal of each ; whereupon the jewellers is not equal in purity to the stand- packed their purchases, and carried ard of the silver coin of the country in them home. In the course of the day, which it was made. The entire and the bills were made out; and the next perfect natural honesty, therefore, of morning Mr. Gorham went his rounds Jabez Gorham, was the direct cause and collected the money. The busiof the prosperity of the house which ness being thus happily concluded, he he founded. He is now a serene and returned to Providence, to work uninhealthy man of eighty-two, long ago terruptedly for another six months. In retired from business. He walks about this manner, Jabez Gorham conducted the manufactory, mildly wondering at business for sixteen years, before he the extent to which its operations have ever thought of attempting silver-ware. extended. “It is grown past me,” he Such was his reputation for scrupulous says with a smile ; “I know nothing honesty, that, for many years before he about all this.”
left the business, none of his customIn the year 1805, this venerable old ers ever subjected his work to any test man was an apprentice to that Mr. whatever, not even to that of a pair of Dodge who began in Providence the scales. It is his boast, that, during the manufacture of ear-rings, breastpins, whole of his business career of more