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“ Humph! I am nearly smothered !" wood-pile, and upsot it, and Miss Mansaid Lucy, pouting, and arranging her ners and Miss Dashleigh are tryin' to disordered collar and bonnet. "You onhitch him." must have learned to kiss from the bears At hearing of this disaster, John and Indians in the Genesee country, hastily inquired of his cousin whether Cuusin John. Indeed, sir, I never saw she felt strong enough to walk to the such a rude fellow."
house with Ellen's assistance; and upon At this speech, and the look of feigned being assured by Lucy of her ability to displeasure which accompanied it, John, walk without any aid whatever, he who, whatever he might have been repaired to the back-yard, where he taught in the Genesee country with re- found his mother, Mrs. Manners, and spect to the manner of kissing, had had Susan, endeavoring to extricate Old Bob but few opportunities to learn there all from the shafts of the unfortunate chaise, the ways of women; John, I say, was which lay on its beam ends upon the so extremely disconcerted, and discom- wood-pile. The performance of this task fited, and experienced such shame and he forth with took upon himself, and the distress, that his countenance, which women retired into the house. Having was always a truthful index of his unharnessed the borse and turned him thoughts, betrayed plainly the anguish into the lane to roll, righted the chaise of his soul; so that Lucy could not help and run it under the shed, he unstrapped feeling a violent pity for him.
Lucy's trunk and carried it into the ball; "Well, well, cousin John," said she, though, by this time, his hand began to in the kindest tone, and smiling as she smart and swell. However, when he extended her hand; "there's no harm saw Lucy's face in a halo of bright corls, done, after all, unless you've broken as she stooped over the banisters of the your neck tumbling out of the pear- staircase, and heard her thank him for &
dear, good, cousin John, and ask if he John humbly took the little white wouldn't please bring the trunk up into land that was held out to him, and her room, he forgot all about the pain, shook it awkwardly, but did not dare and rejecting Susan's proffers of assisto kiss it, as Lucy supposed he would. ance, he mounted the stairs with his Indeed, it didn't come into his head to burden, which he would have set down do so, for he had been taught, with res at the door of Lucy's room ; for he was pect to the matter of kissing, to proceed too modest to enter that sacred apartat once to the cheeks and lips, according ment without further invitation, but to the rude fashion prevailing at that Lucy came and held open the door, smiltiine in the Genesee country. However, ing so pleasantly all the while, and so le Lucy, the little witch, knew as well as passed in by her, and finally, at her that she was a beauty, that her tall, direction, placed the trunk at the foot of well-favored cousin was her lover, and the little white bed. Then he took as big as he was, the slave of her merest off his hat and went out, on tiptoe, withwbim and caprice. Even gentle little out saying a word, for there was an Ellen, standing by, wonderingly guessed atmosphere of purity and innocence in the truth, and blushed at her thoughts; the place that it seemed to him would while Susan Peet, whose suspicions, be disturbed by the sound of his voice. new-born as they were, had suddenly When he got down into the kitchen matured into firm convictions, smiled again, Susan bathed his hand in hartsmischievously; though, at the same time, horn, and told him to hurry and get she smothered a faint pang of regret at ready for tea. So he went over to his the destruction of a vague hope, which, mother's house across the way, washed till then, she had not discovered was his face and hands, combed his hair, and alive in her lieart. “I ain't wanted no put on his coat, and then returned to more," said she, rather plaintively ; “so the big house, where, as soon as he made I'll go, I believe. But, John," she his appearance, everybody sat down to added, as she opened the garden gate, the tea-table, and fell a-talking of old " you'd better come pretty soon, for times, and how he and Lucy and Ellen old Bob's tipped the shay over onto the had grown.
(To be continued.)
A REMINISCENCE OF BEARBROOK.
I LOVE an old house. There is some I thing sootbing and friendly in its very decay. The dampness that hangs about the parlors, the cracks twisting through the yellow ceiling, and the fearless mice that scratch and scamper behind the waiascot, afford me satisfaction I never feel in the modern monuments of newly-acquired wealth and vulgar taste, which are fast superseding the solid, comfortable mansions of the last century.
To fulfill its whole duty, your old honse must have a ghost and a pretty woman to live in it. But alas, for the back-sliding of the present! We may moan as we will, over the weak eyes and polmonary disorders that beset men and women-but the degeneration of ghosts is a real affliction,
I knew what would come of it when spectres took to Webster, and spelt their final syllable tmer. Who would be afraid of such a spectre as that-or what could he have to communicate that world be at all worth hearing! We should naturally expect such a fellow to exhibit himself for fifty cents (private sittings one dollar), and then deluge us with his awkward flattery and commonplace mcrality.
But a good honest ghost, who lives in a sober way in a quiet house in the country, commands my entire respect. He has positively no connection with these vagrant apparitions who are flying about the land-visiting “ circles" here and there—making their ghastly jokes, preaching their feeble homilies, and blowing iteir tin fish-borps into the ears of skeptics. No, no, our old-fashioned aristocratic gbost (that it does a man good to believe in) has a hearty contempt for these nomadic impostors. There he lives in his little windy attic, or mopes about his damp cellar, and drearns of the good old times when he tised to clank his chain about the house. and frighten the straggler who went up stairs to get a book, or make the little group in the parlor stir the fire and draw more closely together as they heard his solemo tramp in the hall. What thrilling interest gathered about his communications when, after years of awful suspense, he deigned to indicate the old well where he had sonk bis treasure, or
revealed in the strictest confidence) the precise individual who had defrauded you out of your rightfal inheritance, and the steps that should be taken for its recovery.
Such a ghost as that was worth knowing. Give me one old fashioned, schoJarly phantom, who must be talked to in Latin, who appears at the canonical hour of midnight, and, above all, who is content to remain a permanent fixture in your house and I will resign right, title, and interest, in all and singular tippers, rappers, and trumpeters, that new revelation or old imposture can conjure up.
I believe that Major Wherrey values the highly respectable Shade who is said to haunt those queer old attic passages that twist in and out under the roof of the Bearbrook mansion, quite as much as any of his more tangible possessions.
“My dear Tom,” he used to say to me, " at the present day I know of but one criterion by which to examine the claims of our fashionable neighbors to the social position which they claim. The time was, to be sure, when if a man kept a carriage with his arms painted on the door, and a sober coachman to drive him about town, you might have known he was of gentle descent, and had & goodly company of ancestors to vouch for him. But now everything is changed
carriages are kept by people wliose fathers drove them, and arms have their market value, and may be purchased of any engraver. There is, however, one thing the rogues cannot counterfeit. So, when you have any doubt of the antiquity and consequent respectability of a dashing family, ask, not if they keep their groom or their coupé, but, whether they keep their ghost; and if they don't, depend upon it they are not what they pretend to be."
The last time that iny uncle thus de. livered himself was a year ago last fastday. Mr. Barnard, Kate, and myself, were lounging easily before the fire (we had just come in damp and sleepy from a lyceum lecture) listening to the strange murmurs of the wind as it rattled the tin spout that passed under the eaves, or wandering about the large chimneys, groaned its solemn requiem over all the glowing hearths and sunny faces that had ona beamed upon the oak panneling of the parlor where we sat-and ther passed out into the darkness.
“I think we must bave another back log," remarked Mr. Barnard, who was standing in a “gentlemanly attitude” before the fire, and gazing out into the room with his usual complacency. “I don't feel like going to bed after that strong coffee that Mrs. Wherrey made for the Sunday-school children."
“Not for the children but for their teachers," interposed my aunt in correction. I don't know why it is that Doctor Drachma's sewing circle should drink their tea and coffee so very strong; but As long as they get it at other places, I must bave it so here."
“The old excuse that would continue every evil in the world,” rejoined Barnard. “How fortunate it is there are some people brave enough to act up to their notions of right, without reference to the dicta of the little community with whom fortune has thrown them. Old absurdities, aye, and old iniquities too, linger on the scene when the world is really tired of them, merely because no one has the courage to rise up and push them off."
“But this hardly applies to the use of stimulants or narcotics."
"Perhaps not even if we include in the latter class the lecture we have listened to this evening the world has not yet outgrown coffee or lyceums, and we may vainly look for such millennium. But there are, nevertheless, many things in which we are prepared for reform, if some one would only begin it. Take, for instance, this very Sunday-school system whose practical workings have been exbibited this afternoon. What possible good can come of such questions As this (I take the first one I see on opening the text-book)-For what are the rats of the East famous ?".
"For-the-length-of-their-tails-and-thespeed-of-their-running," --responded my aunt, admirably mimicking the false ernphasis and hurried utterance with which children rattle off the information they have learned by rote.
" Very well,” said Barnard, “now if I were to vary the question a little, and ask you what eastern animal was celebrated for speed and tail, the chances are that you would be utterly perplexed, and complain that there was no such question in the book. Indeed I tried the experiment this afternoon by puzzling &
poor little girl who-before Doctor Dracb ma could well pronounce the question- What has the camel sometimes been called fluently responded–The ship of the desert. But when I askod her wbat animal had sometimes been called the sh.p of the desert, the dear little thing was terribly confused, began to cry, and rather thought it was an eastern rat."
"I cannot think Sunday-schools particularly desirable for the class of children to be found in Doctor Dracbma's congregation," remarked the major. “They are made to supersede that home instruction and example, which the parents are fully able to give, and without which all public teaching seems a very empty pretence. Of course for the children of the poor and illiterate, it is a very different matter. I always subscribe most beartily to any plan for dispensing religious instruction among them-and tried ny best to persuade Kate to teach in one of the ragged schools during our last winter in New York."
“Good !" said Mr. Barnard, “I wish you better sucoess next year; though if you use Drachma's catechism I should certainly advise some additions by way of appendix. Wby, I should like to know, is it pecessary to keep the rising generation posted up concerning eastern rats, to the exclusion of eastern cranberries. Let us hear how soine oriental Sir Joseph Banks undertook to grow cranberries in Palestine, and how inferior they were to those produced by Major Wherrey at Bearbrook."
As any joke touching the precious vegetable production, to the cultivation of wbich my uncle had devoted so much time and study, was seldom well received -my aunt judged it best to prevent a reply, by sending me into the hall to bring in the back-log that Mr. Barnard had coveted. “I told John he might go and see his cousin at Piccochee to-night," she remarked in explanation, “and as to-morrow is my washing-day the women have gone to bed long ago_s0 we must help ourselves.”
"I am most happy to be of service," said I, advancing to the door, - though I must questiou John's devotion to his cousin, for his cow-hide boots bave certainly been wandering about the entry ever since we came home."
“And by the uncertainty of their movement I should say that John had been drowning his loves or his sorrows in some of his inaster's punch," drily observed Mr. Barnard.
As I passed out of the room, we all beard a heavy sound, as of some one falling at full length upon the painted canvas floor-cloth;-but nothing was to be seen. The great hall store threw its dull red light on nothing save the picture of old Judge Wherrey in his wig and gown, and the stiff chair, glittering bravely with its brass-headed nails, that he used to sit upon when on earth.
"John! John!" exclaimed my aunt barrying after me, and peering upon every square inch of the floor, as if John was a beetle that she feared to crush— * Why, bless me, major, the man is not here!"
"No," said my uncle very calmly, “I knew he wasn't there. I could have told you what it was at once-only I was afraid we should offend it, and it would go off. This is very pleasant. I am really much gratified."
"And who or what in the name of wonder do all these its refer to," exclaimed Barnard. “Is it a dog or a monkey that has been tuaking himself so audible ?"
“Oh! neither," said my uncle very quietly, “it is only- old Tolli wotte's ghost."
“A ghost!" screamed my aunt, and threw herself into my arms for protection—"Oh! you horrid abominable major-to bring me to this haunted old rat-trap, and then invite ghosts to board, and say you're glad when they come. Oh ! dear, dear, where shall I go ?"
Upon consideration it struck Mrs. Kate that she might as well stay where she was-a decision to which I had no manner of objection. Indeed my faith waxed strong in a spiritual manifestation which could give such a comfortable proof of its reality. Dick Horripitts says (although rather more coarsely) that it is good fun to support a pretty girl while dancing the German; but, for my part, I think it is much better fun to do it standing still. And I earnestly counsel those whose business it is to look after such matters, to consider whether a new figure introducing this slight improvement might not be generally popular.
We hurried back into the parlor-I, with a log under each arm, and Kate (being or pretending to be very much frightened) clinging to my skirts-or rather to the gardent that fulfils their purpose in a masculine wardrobe. There is surely nothing more taking than to see
& pretty woman feign excessive timidity; but then she must be really pretty to carry it off--and I cannot recommend one who is not to try so doubtful an experiment. My aunt, however, is quite handsome enough to do as she pleases in this and all other respect3-and I am sure you would have fanned, and salted and soothed her, quite as zealously as Barnard and I did, had you happened in at the crisis.
* And who was old Tolliwotte, aud what business has his ghost here ?" inquired Barnard, when our fair patient was in & condition approaching convelescence.
“Colonel Tolliwotte".-responded my uncle, in the precise and measured tone of a man who has a story to tell and who knows it-" Colonel Tolliwotte was the ancestor of Captain Simon Tolliwotte, who owns the farm just over the river. He is described by one of his contemporaries as a man who did picke out & way to thrive in grace, and had much power of godliness to the fattening of leane churches. He is also mentioned as one who loved well Our New Eng. land Ordinances, and ever veered his tongue against foreigne ladies, apeheaded pallets, and all fashions.' These unprofitable classes of society he seems to have dosed with a composition the old chronicler calls 'syrrope of reformation;' but his most famous exploits were against the Indians, of whom it is related that he did often kill as many as six after supper, and was greatly discipliDated in grace. It can hardly be surprising that a gentleman of such singular accomplishment should have captivated the affections of Dorcas Wherrie, the daughter of old Retribution Wherrie, who built this house. I have never been able to ascertain any particulars concerning their courtship; but the melancholy event that brought it to a conclusion is vividly depicted by contemporaneous authority. It seems that poor Tolliwotte went out one evening to take his customary diversion with the Indians -and promised to call upon Dorcas on his way home. He did call; but the hapless lady never had so unwelcome a visitor. In fact, the savages bad at last got the better of him, and he entered the house scalped (that was no great matter, for he wore a wig), and pierced with several disagreeable instruments in several vital parts of his body. He staggered about the hall for some time-just as we have heard those mysterious boots do this evening and finally fell with a crash--just such a crash, Tom, as we heard when you opened the door and lay bathed in blood at the feet of his own Dorcas."
My uncle paused for a moment, to give due effect to this dismal picture, and thus continued:
“Ever since that day there has been a tradition in our family that the colonel was in the habit of returning to earth to rehearse the painful scene with which his life terminated. Indeed the truth of this story was placed beyond a doubt by the testimony of my grandfather, who, upon returning one evening from a supper-party at the tavern, actually surprised the colonel, Miss Dorcas, and old Retri, bution, going through their affecting exhibition in the front entry. Of late years, since the house has been more opened to the world, I regret to say that this interesting party have been forced to hold their meetings in the attic, where they have much annoyed my cooks who cannot be made to understand the great privilege of entertaining such aristocratic company. But the little event of this evening gives me good hopes that they have returned to the original scene of their sufferings, and that they will continue to repeat their satisfactory, thongh somewhat melancholy, performances every evening during the season."
"It seems strange," observed Barnard, " that these ghosts should always wish to go over their most painful experiences when on earth. One would certainly suppose that the colonel would prefer to repeat the felicitous moment, when he rose from his knees the accepted lover of Dorcas, or when he had the luck to bag a brace of Indians at a shot. But this seems to be characteristic of all manifestations, ancient and modern. I have seen mediuins thrown into all sorts of convulsions to represent the final mo. ments of the spirit who professed to animate them."
"I think it is almost sacrilege," said my uncle, "to mention these authentic and respectable apparitions in the same breath with an imposture so transparent and silly as modern spiritualism."
"You speak like one who has not examined the matter, but is ready to take up the cry of the street or press about a subject of which he is wholly uninformed,” retorted Mr. Barnard. **Spiritualism may be, and in my opinion is, a delusion; but an imposture it certainly is not. The alleged phenomena, though
in inany cases exaggerated and distorted, do undoubtedly take place. And we have no right to call our neighbor weak or silly, because his mind is convinced by evidence that fails to satisfy our own. I am acquainted with many spiritualists, as I am with many Catholics and Calvinists, whose peculiar tenets of faith I can by no means accept, yet upon whose judgment and information in indifferent inatters I have the greatest reliance. Nay, inore; I can feel the highest respect for men who are brave enough to advocate what they conceive to be the truth, undeterred by loss of social caste, or the jeers and mockery with which the world always receives those who seek its improvement in any novel or unauthorized way."
“ Well! I shall hear of you as a confirmed believer in all these signs and wonders. When people begin to talk 80 about it, they soon come boldly up to the mark, and swallow any absurdity a diseased imagination can invent."
“I will not say that I shall never be converted to spiritualism, because, with a certain amount of evidence, I believe I could be converted to that, or anything else. But I will say this—that after having carefully read every book of any note devoted to the advocacy of the new revelation--after having done a goodly amount of that “investigating" for which spiritualists clamor so loudly-I am infinitely further from believing, than I was before beginning my inquiries. And this is not because I have not seen many instances of that clairvoyant thought-reading which must be accepted as an established fact, but, Well, it is not worth while to detail all my reasons just now, ard just here, so they shall be kept for some long morning, when you ask for them.”
“ It is very strange we have not had the spirits here yet," said my uncle. “They had a great run at South Wexford and Ponkussett; but they seem to have skipped Bearbrook."
“They will be upon you some time or other when you least expect them," rejoined Barnard. “The whole town will be thrown into a state of furious excitement. People will abandon their business and their pleasure and tip the tables from morning to night. Doctor Drachma will preach a series of sermons against it, and five or six families will become indignant and sell their pews. One or two people may possibly become insane from over-exciteinent-and then the epi