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Elinor Wyllys by Susan Fenimore Cooper

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{This e-text was prepared from the first edition of Susan
Fenimore Cooper's "Elinor Wyllys: or, The Young Folk of
Longbridge" (Philadelphia: Carey and Hart, 1846). "Elinor Wyllys"
was also published in England (London: Richard Bentley, 1845),
but has otherwise not been reprinted.

{Text and note are by Hugh C. MacDougall (jfcooper@wpe.com).
Notes are enclosed in curly brackets { }; these include
identification of epigraphs and other quotations and allusions,
explanations of obsolete word usage, and translations of foreign
words and expressions. Quotations from Shakespeare are cited to
the Riverside Edition (adopted as standard for the MLA-approved
Cooper Edition of the works of James Fenimore Cooper). Spelling
and punctuation, including the author's idiosyncratic use of
colons and semi-colons, inconsistent use of single quotation
marks for "thoughts," and combinations of dashes with other
punctuation, have not been changed (except for occasional silent
insertion of missing quotation marks). First instances of some
unusual spellings (whether or not in accordance with the author's
usual practise), and obvious typographical errors, are followed
by {sic} to indicate that there has not been a mistake in
transcription. Because of the limitations of the .TXT format,
italicized foreign words (mostly French) are transcribed in
ordinary type, and accents are omitted; words italicized for
emphasis, or to emulate dialect or incorrect pronunciation, are
transcribed as capitals.}



{Pseudonym of Susan Fenimore Cooper (1813-1894),
daughter of James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851)}

"Familiar matter of today;
Some natural sorrow, loss or pain,
That has been, and may be again."

{William Wordsworth (English poet, 1770-1850), "The Solitary
Reaper" lines 22-24}




THERE is so much of mystification resorted to, at the present
time, in the publication of books, that it has become proper that
the editor of Elinor Wyllys should explain what has been his own
connection with this particular work.

The writer of this book is a valued female friend, who had a
right to ask, and did ask, its editor's advice and assistance, in
presenting it to the public. This advice and assistance have been
cheerfully afforded, though neither has properly extended to the
literary character of the work. As the author has not wished to
appear, the name of the editor has been used in obtaining the
copy-right, and his assistance given in forwarding and returning
proof-sheets. Over a few of the last, the editor has cast an eye;
but, believing the author of the book to be fully competent
herself, to superintend her own work, as it has gone through the
press, this supervision on the part of the editor has been very

The editor has great confidence in the principles, taste, and
intelligence of the real author of Elinor Wyllys. She has seen
much of that portion of the world with which a lady becomes
acquainted, and has seen that much under the most favorable
circumstances. As usually happens in such cases, her book will be
found free from exaggerations of every sort; and will be more
likely to be well received by persons of her own class, than by
those who are less familiar with its advantages. Imagination,
feeling, sound principles, and good taste, are all to be found in
this book, though in what degree, the public will necessarily
decide for itself.


Philadelphia, Oct. 8, 1845.


IT will be well, perhaps, that the reader bear in mind, while
running over the following pages, that many passing observations,
many trifles, which naturally find their way into any sketch of
social life, refer chiefly to things and notions in favour some
ten years since; a period which is certainly not beyond the
memory of man, but very possibly beyond the clear recollection of
some young lady reader, just within her teens. New opinions, new
ideas, new fashions have appeared among us since then, and made
their way perceptibly. Twenty years' possession constitutes a
legal title, if we may believe the lawyers; but a single season
is often sufficient for a new fancy--fancies of a serious nature
too, sometimes--to take full possession of the public mind, and
assume arbitrary control of the premises for the time being, at

It will be more honest to confess, at once, before the reader
undertakes the first chapter, that the tale now before him is a
first appearance in print--a first appearance, too, of one who,
even now that the formidable step is taken, feels little disposed
to envy the honours of authorship. Writing may be a very pleasant
pastime; but printing seems to have many disagreeable
consequences attending every stage of the process; and yet, after
all, reading is often the most irksome task of the three. In this
last case, however, the remedy is generally easy; one may throw
aside the volume, and abuse the author. If there are books which
MUST be read, stupid or not, owing to the claim of some great
name on the binding, the present story is not one of the number;
and perhaps the perfect liberty enjoyed by the reader under such
circumstances--to like or dislike independent of critics, to cut
every leaf, or skip a dozen chapters at a time without fear of
reproach--will incline him to an amiable mood. It is to be hoped
so; it will be unfortunate if, among many agreeable summer
excursions both on terra firma and in the regions of fancy, the
hour passed at Longbridge should prove a tedious one: in such a
case the fault will belong entirely to the writer of the
narrative, for there are certainly some very pleasant and very
worthy people among the good folk of Longbridge.

---------, August, 1845.



"Enter the house, pr'ythee."--

{Samuel Rogers (English poet, 1763-1855), "Italy: Genevra" line
19. Samuel Rogers befriended James Fenimore Cooper and his family
during their visits to England in 1826-33}

HAD there been a predecessor of Mr. Downing in the country, some
five-and-twenty year since, to criticise Wyllys-Roof, the home of
our friend Elinor, his good taste would no doubt have suggested
many improvements, not only in the house itself, but also in the
grounds which surrounded it. The building had been erected long
before the first Tudor cottage was transported, Loretto-like,
across the Atlantic, and was even anterior to the days of Grecian
porticoes. It was a comfortable, sensible-looking place, however,
such as were planned some eighty or a hundred years since, by men
who had fortune enough to do as they pleased, and education
enough to be quite superior to all pretension. The house was a
low, irregular, wooden building, of ample size for the tastes and
habits of its inmates, with broad piazzas, which not only
increased its dimensions, but added greatly to the comfort and
pleasure of the family by whom it was occupied.

{"Downing" = Andrew Jackson Downing (1815-1852), noted American
rural architect and landscape gardener; "Loretto-like" = after
Loreto, in Italy, where, according to tradition, a brick Holy
House was miraculously conveyed through the air by angels in

The grounds were of the simplest kind. The lawn which surrounded
the house was merely a better sort of meadow, from which the
stones and briars had been removed with more care than usual, and
which, on account of its position, received the attention of one
additional mowing in the course of the summer. A fine wood, of a
natural growth, approached quite near to the house on the
northern side, partially sheltering it in that direction, while
an avenue of weeping elms led from the gate to the principal
entrance, and a row of locusts, planted at equal distances, lined
the low, rude stone wall which shut out the highway. One piazza
was shaded by noble willows, while another was faced by a row of
cherry trees, flanked by peach and pear. Fruit trees, although so
common and so lavish of their blessings in this climate, are
often gathered about American country-houses, instead of being
confined to gardens devoted to the purpose, as in Europe; a habit
which pleasantly reminds us that civilization has made a recent
conquest over the wilderness in this new world, and that our
forefathers, only a few generations back, preferred the trees of
the orchard to those of the forest, even for ornament. Fruit
trees are indeed beautiful objects when gay with the blossoms of
spring, or rich with the offerings of summer, and, mingled with
others, are always desirable about a dwelling as simple and
unpretending in its character as Wyllys-Roof. Beneath the windows
were roses and other flowering shrubs; and these, with a few
scattered natives of the soil--elm, hickory, sycamore, and tulip
trees--farther from the house, were the only attempts at
embellishment that had been made. The garden, surrounded by a
white paling, was thought an ornamental object, and lay within
full view of the drawing-room windows; and yet it was but a
mixture of the useful and the beautiful, in which the former
largely predominated. As a kitchen-garden it was certainly
excellent; but the narrow flower-borders, which surrounded the
ample beds of melons and strawberries, asparagus and
cauliflowers, would have appeared meanly furnished in the eyes of
a flower-fancier of the present day. There was not a hybrid among
them, nor a single blossom but what bore a plain, honest name;
and although there were lilies and roses, pinks and violets in
abundance, they would probably have been all rooted out by your
exclusive, fashionable gardener of the last summer, for they were
the commonest varieties only. There were but two walks on the
lawn; one of these was gravelled, and led to the garden-gate; the
other was a common foot-path leading to the river, where the
gentlemen of the family kept their boats, and where the cattle,
who often grazed on the lawn, went to drink. The grounds were
bounded on one side by a broad river, on the other by a
sufficiently well-travelled highway. What particular river and
highway these were, through what particular state and county they
ran, we do not think it incumbent on us to reveal. It may easily
be inferred, however, that Wyllys-Roof belonged to one of the
older parts of the country, at no great distance from the
seaboard, for the trees that shaded the house were of a growth
that could not have been reached by any new plantation in a
western settlement.

{"particular state..." = Longbridge, we learn, has steamboat
connections to New York City, while steamboat connections to
Philadelphia are from nearby Upper Lewiston; in the course of the
story, one of the first railroads in America comes through town;
this suggests, if anywhere, New Jersey. Judicial matters take
place in Philadelphia, which would seem to place Longbridge in
Pennsylvania. It is not clear, however, that the author had any
specific location in mind}

The interior arrangements of Wyllys-Roof corresponded very
naturally with the appearance of things outside. The ceilings
were low, and the apartments small and numerous; much room had
been thrown into broad, airy passages, while closets and
cupboards abounded. The whole of the lower floor had originally
been wainscoted, but Miss Agnes Wyllys was answerable for several
innovations in the principal rooms. When Mr. Wyllys decided to
make his country-place a permanent residence, his daughter, who
was at the head of his establishment, fancied that the furniture
they had brought from their house in town could not be
advantageously disposed of, without cutting folding-doors between
the drawing-rooms. It was fortunate that a couple of adjoining
rooms admitted of this arrangement, for at that day, two
drawing-rooms of equal size, united by wide folding-doors, were
considered a necessary of life to all American families "on
hospitable thought intent." It seems to have been only very
recently that any other arrangement has been found possible, an
important discovery, which, like many others that have preceded
it, was probably the happy effect of necessity, that mother of
invention. Mr. Wyllys having cut through the partition, was next
persuaded to take down the wainscoting, and put up in its place a
French paper, very pretty in its way, certainly, but we fear that
Miss Agnes had no better reason to give for these changes than
the fact that she was doing as her neighbours had done before
her. Miss Wyllys was, however, little influenced in general by
mere fashion, and on more important matters could think for
herself; this little weakness in favour of the folding-doors may
therefore be forgiven, and justly ascribed to the character of
the age in which she lived and gave tea-parties.

{"on hospitable thought intent" = John Milton (English poet,
1608-1674), "Paradise Lost", Book V, line 332}

For several years after they removed permanently to Wyllys-Roof,
the family, strictly speaking, consisted of Mr. Wyllys, his
unmarried daughter, and the usual domestics, only. They were
seldom alone, however; they had generally some friend or relative
with them, and in summer the house was often filled to
overflowing, during the whole season, with parties of friends, or
the different branches of a large family connection; for the
Wyllyses had their full share of that free spirit of hospitality
which seems characteristic of all classes of Americans. After a
time, however, another member was received into the family. This
was the orphan daughter of Mr. Wyllys's eldest son, an engaging
little girl, to whom her grandfather and aunt were called upon to
fill the place of the father and mother she had lost. The little
orphan was too young, at the time, to be aware, either of the
great affliction which had befallen her, or of her happy lot in
being committed to such kind guardians, in merely exchanging one
home for another.

The arrival of the little Elinor at Wyllys-Roof was the only
important event in the family for some ten or twelve years; the
Wyllyses were not much given to change, and during that period
things about them remained much as they have just been described.
We defer presenting the family more especially to the reader's
notice until our young friend Elinor had reached her seventeenth
birth-day, an event which was duly celebrated. There was to be a
little party on the occasion, Miss Agnes having invited some
half-dozen families of the neighbourhood to pass the evening at

The weather was very warm, as usual at the last of August; and as
the expected guests were late in making their appearance, Mr.
Wyllys had undertaken in the mean time to beat his daughter at a
game of chess. Elinor, mounted on a footstool, was intent on
arranging a sprig of clematis to the best advantage, in the
beautiful dark hair of her cousin Jane Graham, who was standing
for that purpose before a mirror. A good-looking youth, whom we
introduce without farther ceremony as Harry Hazlehurst, was
watching the chess-players with some interest. There were also
two ladies sitting on a sofa, and as both happened at the time to
be inmates of Wyllys-Roof, we may as well mention that the
elderly gentlewoman in a cap was Mrs. Stanley, the widow of a
connection from whom young Hazlehurst had inherited a large
property. Her neighbour, a very pretty woman, neither young nor
old, was Mrs. George Wyllys, their host's daughter-in-law, and,
as her mourning-dress bespoke her, also a widow. This lady was
now on a visit to Wyllys-Roof with her young children, whom, as
she frequently observed, she wished to be as much as possible
under the influence of their father's family.

Mr. Wyllys's game was interrupted for a moment, just as he was
about to make a very good move; a servant came to let him know
that a drunken man had been found under a fence near the house.
The fellow, according to Thomas's story, could not be roused
enough to give a straight account of himself, nor could he be
made to move.

"Is it any one you know, Thomas?" asked Mr. Wyllys.

"No, sir, it's no one from hereabouts. I shouldn't wonder if he
was a sailor, by the looks of his trowsers and jacket. I guess it
is some loafer on his way to Longbridge."

What could be done with him? was the question. The ladies did not
seem to like the idea of having a drunken man, whom no one knew,
brought into the house at night.

"I dare say it is the same person I heard asking the way to
Wyllys-Roof this morning, when we stopped at the turnpike-gate,"
observed Mrs. Stanley. "He looked at the time as if he had been

Elinor suggested that possibly it might be some old sailor, who
fancied he had a claim upon Mr. Wyllys's kindness--Mr. George
Wyllys having died a commander in the navy.

Harry volunteered to go out and take a look at him, and the party
in the drawing-room awaited the result of this reconnoitring
{sic}. At the end of five minutes Hazlehurst returned with his

"As far as I can judge by the help of moonlight and a lantern, it
is no very prepossessing personage. He swore at me roundly for
disturbing him, and I take it the fellow is really a sailor. I
asked him what he wanted at Wyllys-Roof, but we could not make
anything out of him. To keep him from mischief, we locked him up
in one of the out-houses. It is to be hoped in the morning he
will be sober enough to tell his errand."

The matter thus settled, nothing farther was thought of it at the
time, and in another moment the game of chess was won, and the
flower secured in a becoming position. Mrs. Stanley had been
watching Elinor's movements with a smile.

"You are an expert hair-dresser; the flowers are much prettier as
you have arranged them," said the lady to her young friend.

"Is it not a great improvement? They looked heavy as Jane had
arranged them before--I have taken out more than half," replied

Mrs. George Wyllys looked up from the newspaper she was reading,
and suggested a change.

"I think the clematis would look better on the other side."

"Do you really think so, Aunt Harriet? I flattered myself I had
been very successful: it strikes me that it looks very well."

"What is it that looks so well, ladies?" said Mr. Wyllys, rising
from the chess-table and drawing near the young people. "The
flower? Yes, the flower and the face are both very pretty, my
dear. What is it? a honeysuckle?"

"No indeed, grandpapa," answered Elinor, "it is a clematis--this
is a honeysuckle, a monthly honeysuckle, which Jane had twisted
with it; but to my fancy the clematis is prettier alone,
especially as it is so precious--the very last one we could

"Why don't you put the honeysuckle in your own hair, Nelly? it is
a very pretty flower. Being queen of the evening, you should
certainly wear one yourself."

"Oh, I never wear flowers, grandpapa; I cannot make them look
well in my hair. This bouquet must proclaim my dignity to-night."

"It is pretty enough, certainly, my child, for any dignity--"

"Is it not rather large?" said Harry. "Why, Elinor, you have
smothered my humble offering in a whole wilderness of sweets!"

"Not quite as bad as that," said Elinor, smiling--"I only put
with yours, a few Aunt Agnes and Miss Patsey gave me--look at
Jane's if you wish to see a bouquet of a reasonably fashionable

"Bouquets are worn very large this summer," said Jane Graham, in
a languid tone, resting her beautiful eyes on the bunch in her

"Fashion even in flowers!" exclaimed Mr. Wyllys.

"So it would seem," replied Elinor, smiling.

"And, pray," said Harry, taking a rose from a vase near him, "if
a friend were to offer a flower for your belt, since you will not
place one in your hair, would fashion permit it to be worn?"

"I don't believe it would, Nelly," said her grandfather.

Elinor looked just a little embarrassed, and a little pleased.

"Thank you," she said, taking the rose Harry offered; and while
securing it in her sash, she felt that she coloured. But the
flush was scarcely observed on a cheek as dark as hers.

"Well, Agnes, it is high time your friends came, unless they
expect a rout," said Mr. Wyllys, stepping towards a window to
look out. "Who are we to have?"

{"rout" = a large evening party}

"Your new neighbours, sir, the Taylors; your old friends, the
Hubbards, Van Hornes, Bernards--"

"I hope you will like the Taylors, Agnes; but I don't know much
about them. I am glad you thought of asking them this evening,
for he brought me a letter, you remember, from New York."

{"letter" = a letter of introduction}

"As there is a young lady in the family, and a son just grown up,
I thought they might like to dance," replied Miss Agnes. She then
turned to Mrs. Stanley, and asked that lady, who lived in New
York, if she knew anything of these new neighbours of theirs.

"I never heard of them," replied Mrs. Stanley. "But they may be
very important people, and make a great deal of noise, for all
that; as I only see my old friends, and live so quietly myself, I
don't even know the names of half the people who pass for

"I never suspected our new neighbours of being fashionable,"
replied Mr. Wyllys; "but I hope they will turn out pleasant,
sensible people, for your sake, ladies; and, then, if Taylor is a
chess-player, that will leave nothing farther to be desired."

"Here comes somebody, at last!" exclaimed Mrs. George Wyllys,
hearing a carriage. "The Van Hornes, I suppose."

"I beg your pardon," said Hazlehurst, who was standing near the
window, "that is the Taylor equipage; why the 'tastiness' of the
Taylor barouche is visible even by moonlight."

{"barouche" = four-wheeled carriage with room for four passengers

The party in the carriage, consisting of father and mother, son
and daughter, soon alighted, and appeared in the drawing-room.
They were introduced by Mr. Wyllys, and received politely by his
daughter and her niece.

"I am gratified, sir," said the tall and thin Mr. Taylor, with a
pompous tone, "in having so early an opportunity of making our
ladies mutually acquainted."

"We shall hope to see your family often, Mr. Taylor," replied his
host. "You must not forget that we are near neighbours; and we
country folk think a great deal of neighbourhood, I assure you."

"Yes; of course the restraints of society must be much greater in
a city, than in a more sparsely settled section."

"I hope your new purchase suits you on farther examination. The
farm is certainly a very good one; but the house, I should think,
must want repairs."

"It does, sir; I calculate to build, however, next year. The
present dwelling is much too small."

"The house might suit us, I think," observed Mrs. Taylor, who,
with Miss Agnes, had taken a seat, while the young people were
standing, chatting, near them. "If husband would put up a
back-building, we should have room enough."

Miss Wyllys remarked, that even a small addition, often increased
very much the convenience of a house.

"Certainly, madam; but I apprehend, if I had added wings and a
back-building to the premises, as I first intended, Mrs. Taylor
would still have found the house not sufficiently spacious. Now
our young ladies and gentlemen are growing up, we must have, more
room for company."

"Well," added his wife, "I expect to see a good deal of tea and
dinner company, next summer, with the house as it is."

"The young people will be much obliged to you for your kind
intentions, Mrs. Taylor; ours is not a very gay neighbourhood,"
said Miss Wyllys.

"So I should conclude," remarked Mr. Taylor.

"I don't know, Agnes," said her father; "if you include
Longbridge in the neighbourhood, I think we may call ourselves a
gay set."

"True, sir," said Miss Agnes; "but as we seldom go there
ourselves in the evening, it had not struck me in that light. But
very possibly, Mrs. Taylor and her young ladies may be more
enterprising than Elinor and myself."

"Four miles, madam," interposed Mr. Taylor, "with a good vehicle
and good horses, is no great distance. Longbridge seems to be in
a very flourishing condition, sir;" turning to Mr. Wyllys.

"Yes, the place is looking up; they are very busy just now. They
are building a good deal, this summer."

"I observed several tasty mansions, in what may be called the
suburbs; in particular a brick edifice, being erected, I
understand, by Joseph P. Hubbard."

"The brick house near the bridge? Yes, it will be the largest
about here. Hubbard is building it more to please his daughters
than himself, I fancy."

"It promises a great display of taste--I observe he has reserved
half his lot, in front of the mansion, for a park."

"Hem--Yes, there will be just half an acre in it. Does Hubbard
call it a park?" asked Mr. Wyllys, with an amused expression
about his eyes.

"I applied the term myself," replied the knowing Mr. Taylor. "I
was altogether much pleased with the appearance of your village,
sir. It has a lively business for such a small place--things
really look quite citified there. If I had seen Mr. Hubbard's
mansion, before concluding my bargain for my present location, I
think I should have made him an offer."

"I am very glad you did not, husband. I was brought up on a farm,
Miss Wyllys, and I am very happy that we have got in the open
country. Besides, Mr. Hubbard's house will be too large for

"Ha, ha!" faintly laughed Mr. Taylor; "you seem to like room out
of doors better than within, Mrs. Taylor."

At this moment two persons walked quietly into the room, and were
received very kindly by Miss Wyllys and Elinor. One was a woman
of about forty, plainly, but neatly dressed, with a pleasing
face, remarkable for a simple expression of common sense and
goodness. Her manners corresponded perfectly with her appearance;
they were quiet and pleasant. The lad who accompanied her was a
boy of sixteen, small, and slightly made, with good features, and
an uncommonly spirited and intelligent countenance. They might
very naturally have been taken for mother and son; but they were,
in fact, brother and sister.

"Well, Charlie, my lad," said Mr. Wyllys, placing a hand on the
boy's shoulder, "I hear the important matter is at last under
full consideration."

"Yes, sir; my friends have all but consented; even sister Patsey
is coming round. It will be all settled next week, I hope."

"I wish you joy of your success, Charlie," cried Hazlehurst.

"Not yet, if you please, Mr. Hazlehurst," said Miss Patsey
Hubbard, smiling good-naturedly. "It is only a conditional
consent, Charles, you must remember." Then turning to Mr. Wyllys,
she added--"All our friends seem to agree with you, sir, and Miss
Wyllys: my uncles think Charles ought to show what he has done to
some experienced painters, and have their opinions. We feel very
anxious on the subject."

"Remember to persevere, young man, if you once begin," said Mr.

"No danger but I shall, sir," said the boy rather proudly.

"I fear, Charles, that half the fault of your obstinacy is thrown
upon my shoulders," said Elinor. "Those Lives of the Painters
were an unfortunate present; they seem quite to have turned your
head; I am afraid Miss Patsey will not soon forgive me."

{"Lives of the Painters" = probably Giorgio Vasari (Italian
writer, 1511-1574), "Lives of the Most Excellent Architects,
Painters and Sculptors" (1550, rev. 1568), a famous and often
reprinted series of biographies of Italian artists, also
frequently cited as "Lives of the Artists."}

"I can't thank you enough for them, Miss Elinor--you don't know
what pleasure I have had with them."


"We'll measure them a measure, and begone."

{William Shakespeare, "Romeo and Juliet", I.iv.10}

The arrival of guests again called the ladies away; they were
followed by others, until the drawing-room was half-filled with
the young people of the neighbourhood, and their parents. Mrs.
Stanley was soon talking with Patsey Hubbard, whom she liked
particularly. The tall and thin Mrs. Bernard, and her friend, the
short and fat Mrs. Van Horne, were regretting with Mrs. George
Wyllys, that she should think the air of Longbridge did not agree
with her children; and lamenting that she should not remain at
Wyllys-Roof until November, according to her first intention.
Charlie was deep in a volume of fine engravings. Young Taylor was
standing; in a corner, looking handsome, but awkward, and out of
place. Mr. Taylor, the father, was aiming at making himself
'affable' to everybody he knew; he liked to be called the
'affable' Mr. Taylor. The last of the party to arrive, were Mr.
and Mrs. Clapp; a couple, who were by no means equally liked by
their hosts. The husband was a Longbridge lawyer, whose views and
manners were not much admired at Wyllys-Roof; and he would
probably never have found his way there, had he not married one
of their old friends and favourites, Kate Hubbard, a younger
sister of Miss Patsey's--one who from childhood had always been
welcome among them. William Cassius Clapp had curly hair, bright
black eyes, and pink cheeks--and, consequently, was generally
thought an Adonis: his wife was a diminutive little creature,
quite pretty, and very amiable; a sort of mixture of Miss Patsey
and Charlie, without the more striking qualities of either. Some
of her friends had thought her thrown away upon Clapp; but she
seemed perfectly satisfied after five years' experience, and
evidently believed her husband superior in every way to the
common run of men. Holding it to be gross injustice towards the
individuals whom we bring before the reader, to excite a
prejudice against them in the very first chapter, we shall leave
all the party to speak and act for themselves; merely
endeavouring to fill the part of a 'faithful chronicler,'

Mr. Taylor had been looking, with a mixed expression of surprise
and curiosity, at the person he had heard addressed as Miss
Patsey Hubbard, when the lady remarked his manner, and, smiling
quietly, she bowed to him. The bow was returned; and Mr. Taylor
crossed the room, to renew an acquaintance with the woman, who,
three-and-twenty years before, had refused to become his wife.
Mr. Pompey Taylor had, however, risen too much in the world,
since then--according to his own estimation, at least--he had
become too rich and too prosperous, not to look back with great
equanimity, on what he now considered as a very trifling
occurrence. While he was addressing Miss Patsey in his most
polished manner, just marked with an extra-touch of 'affability,'
for her especial benefit, he could not but wonder that her
countenance should still wear the same placid, contented air as
of old; it seemed, indeed, as if this expression had only been
confirmed by time and trials. He began to think the accounts he
had occasionally heard, of his old flame, must have been
incorrect; it was scarcely possible she should look so calm, and
even cheerful, if her father, the Presbyterian minister, had
actually left her not only penniless, but burdened with the
support of a bed-ridden step-mother, and a house full of younger
brothers and sisters. We leave him to satisfy his curiosity as
well as he could.

When was there ever an evening too warm for young people to
dance! Elinor's friends had not been in the room half an hour,
before they discovered that they were just the right number to
make a quadrille agreeable. They were enough to form a double
set; and, while they were dancing, the elder part of the company
were sitting in groups near the windows, to catch the evening
air, and talking over neighbourly matters, or looking on at their
young friends.

"Don't you think Elinor very graceful?" exclaimed Mrs. Van Horne
to her friend, Mrs. Bernard. "I like to watch her, while she is
dancing; her movements are all so pleasing and easy, never, in
the least, exaggerated--but, it is in her very nature; she has
always been the same, from a little creature."

"Yes," replied Mrs. Bernard; "but it is a pity her face should be
so ugly; for she has rather a pretty figure--"

"Do you think her really ugly? She does not strike me, as so very
plain--there is nothing repulsive in her face. I have known girls
called pretty, who had something far nearer coarseness in their
features. It is true, I have been accustomed to see her from the
time she was four years old; and, I know, she is always thought
very plain by strangers."

"Why, my dear Mrs. Van Horne, she has not one feature that can be
called good; and her eye-brows are so heavy, and her complexion
is so thick and dark, too!"

"Yes, it is true, she is very dark; and that is a pity; if she
were only fairer, her features would appear to greater

"Just look at her now," said Mrs. Bernard, "as she is standing by
her cousin, Jane Graham, who is dancing with your son. Was there
ever a greater contrast?"

"But Jane is so remarkably pretty--"

"Certainly, she is a perfect little beauty; and that is one
reason, perhaps, why Elinor strikes us as so plain; she is so
much with her cousin--"

"Well," said Mrs. Van Horne, "if you are going to quarrel so
much, with my little friend's face, we had better find something
else to talk about; for she is a very great favourite of mine."

"And justly--I dare say.--But, I am a great admirer of beauty,
you know; and I cannot keep my eyes off Jane's lovely face."

The conversation then turned upon the Hubbards.

"Charlie, it seems, is actually going to be a painter," observed
Mrs. Bernard. "Miss Patsey tells me, he is so bent on it, that
she thinks there is no use in opposing it any longer; though, Mr.
Clapp says, it is a wretched plan."

"I hope Charles may succeed; he is a fine boy; and I shall be
very sorry, for Patsey's sake, if he turns out badly. She is very
anxious about him, I know."

"They have been so fortunate, with the rest of the family, that,
I hope, they will be able to keep Charlie straight. I see Miss
Patsey is talking to Mrs. Taylor; they are old friends, perhaps.
Do you know anything about these Taylors?"

"Nothing but what my husband told me. He is a merchant in New
York, and very rich;--made his money quite lately; and the
business-men think a good deal of him."

"He seems to have a great deal to say for himself. Have you
called on Mrs. Taylor?"

"We were there yesterday. She is a quiet, plain woman. The young
man is good-looking, but very shy and awkward. The daughter seems
very lively."

"Yes, and she is quite pretty, too. She will be a belle, I dare

"I hope Mrs. Taylor will send her younger children to Patsey's

"I wish she may; it will be a good thing for Miss Patsey, and
make up her dozen. You know, she will not take more than twelve,
as she keeps the largest room in the house for her mother."

"How kind and faithful Patsey has been to her step-mother! Just
as she is, though, to everybody else; and she does it all in such
a quiet, consistent way. I am glad to see her here to-night--she
enjoys a little society, once in a while; and yet no one can
persuade her to go out, except Miss Wyllys."

"She has come in honour of her pupil's birthday, I suppose. You
know, Elinor Wyllys was her first scholar. By-the-bye, do you
know what I heard, the other day? They say, in Longbridge, that
Mr. Hazlehurst is engaged to one of the young ladies here;
though, to which, my informant did not say."

"There is no truth in it, you may be sure--they are too much like
brother and sister, to think of it. Besides, Mr. Hazlehurst is
going abroad, shortly."

"I did not know that. Where is he going?"

"He told my son, yesterday, that he was going to Europe, for two
years, to take care of his brother, Mr. Robert Hazlehurst, who
has never recovered from the fall he had last winter; and the
physicians have ordered him to travel."

At that moment the ladies were joined by Miss Agnes.

"I hear, Miss Wyllys," said Mrs. Bernard, "that Mr. Hazlehurst is
going to Europe. He will be very much missed, at Longbridge."

"Yes, we shall miss him, here, very much," replied Miss Wyllys;
"Harry has been with us more than ever, this summer. But, his
brother is not in a state to travel alone, nor fit to take care
of his wife and children, who go with him; and, although the plan
is a sudden one, and interferes with Harry's law-studies, yet his
friends all think a visit to Europe may be a great advantage to

The ladies agreed that it was a very good arrangement, and some
inquiries were made as to Mr. Robert Hazlehurst's health; and a
discussion of bruises and falls, nerves and dyspepsia, followed.

Soon after, the quadrille broke up.

"Well, Miss Jane," cried Mrs. Bernard, as several young people
drew near, "I hear that your sister, Mrs. Robert Hazlehurst, is
going to Europe; if I were you, I would not be left behind."

"I should like to go very well," said the beauty, in a languid
tone; "but, I shall be at school, in New York, next winter."

"Oh, that is a pity! I am sure, you could learn all you want to
know, much better, in Paris. Don't you think she ought to go, Mr.

"Certainly, ma'am; everybody should go to Paris, if they have a

"Miss Jane would be such a charming addition to your party.--Two
young people together, you would enjoy yourselves more, and make
it pleasanter for your friends."

Young Hazlehurst made a civil bow to the lady; but he looked as
if he had an opinion of his own on the subject, for comical
expression crossed his face at the moment. Jane had turned in
another direction, and was slowly lisping an answer to a very
animated question of Miss Adeline Taylor's.

"Yes; I was at Mrs. G-----'s school, last year; and, I am going
there again."

"Well, I positively think I must go there, too, for my last
winter. Mrs. G-----'s school is all the fashion, now. All the
young ladies she turns out, are very lively. Miss Hubbard, the
great belle, was there, you know, before she came out. Don't you
think it would be an excellent plan, Mr. Hazlehurst, for your
cousin and me to be chums? I declare, I wish you were going, too,
Miss Wyllys."

"Thank you. I have never been to school, in my life; and it is
rather late, to begin now."

"Never been to school! What dull times you must have had at home!
You don't know what fine fun we have, at school; it is next to
going into company. I wouldn't stay at home, for the world. Why
didn't you go?"

"Well, I really don't know why. Perhaps, I should have wished to
go, if I had thought it as pleasant as you seem to do, Miss

"And pray, if I may ask, what made it so very pleasant?" asked
Harry Hazlehurst. "I should like to be initiated into the
delights of a young ladies' boarding-school. Of course, they must
be very different from the rude enjoyments of collegians."

"Oh! it would take me a year, to tell you all about it."

"I shall be most happy to listen all the evening. But, let me
find you a chair, before you commence; you must be tired of
standing," said Harry, with a view to taking a seat himself.

"Me? Oh, no; I never sit down, at a party; I always stand. You
lose half the fun, by sitting down." And, having secured Harry's
attention, the half-fledged belle turned to another youth, within
hailing distance. "Now, what do you think Mr. Hazlehurst has
given me to do, for the next hour, Mr. Van Horne?"

"I am sure, I don't know. Is it something very difficult?
Listening to his pretty speeches, perhaps," said the other.

"Oh dear, no! I don't believe Mr. Hazlehurst can make a tender
speech; I don't believe he has got any heart," said Miss Adeline,
looking an attempt at archness.

"And, pray, what makes you think so, Miss Taylor? Do you judge
from my savage expression?"

"Well, perhaps, you have one;" said the young lady, looking up
bewitchingly. "I suspect, though, you take very good care of it,"

"But this is not fair; you are abusing me, instead of giving us
the delights of your school, as you promised."

"Oh, I had forgotten that. But, I should think, you might guess
what fun we have--a set of wild girls together."

"How should I know anything about it? Pray, be more explicit."

"Well, in the first place, we make a point of getting up an
excitement, at least once a week."

"Like our unruly spirits at college, you break the windows, and
roll cannon-balls, I suppose."

"How you talk! No, indeed. Our last excitement was about the coat
of our Professor of Mathematics. It was such a quizzical cut, we
told Mrs. A., it was morally impossible for us to attend to the
lesson, and study the problems, as long as the man wore it."

"It was unpardonable, in a professor of mathematics, to wear a
coat that was not cut according to rule."

"Now wasn't it? Well, you may be sure, we can always pitch upon
something for an excitement, whenever we're in the humour for it.
And then, we have secrets to tell about our beaux--and we quiz
the new scholars--and we eat candy--and we torment Mrs. A-----;
but, I shan't tell you any more, now; for I must go out on the
piazza, and have a walk--it looks so sweet, out there. You shall
have the rest of the story, if you'll come."

And away tripped the young lady, followed, of course, by the

Mr. Taylor, who had been moving about the room, making himself
popular by a very bland smile, and, what he considered very
courtly manners, still had time to keep one eye upon his son, who
after an awkward fashion, seemed devoting himself to one or two
of the ladies, and the other, upon his daughter. "Adeline will
make herself conspicuous," thought the gratified father.

"Liny seems to enjoy herself," was the observation of her mother,
who had been sitting quietly at her daughter's elbow, listening
to the conversation just related.

"Two conquests!" thought the young lady herself.

"A lively girl!" was the opinion of young Van Horne.

"Fair game!" said Harry to himself.

While some of the young people were flirting, others dancing, Mr.
Taylor and Mr. Clapp, whose acquaintance had commenced on board a
steamboat that very morning, were walking together up and down
the hall, which they had pretty much to themselves. They touched
on business, which was pronounced very active; and on politics,
which were declared to be particularly dull, just then: Mr.
Clapp, indeed, thought the people much too quiet--shamefully
blind to their own interests, which always demanded what he
called a state of healthful excitement--meaning an unreasonable
excitement upon any subject whatever. There can be no doubt that
Mr. Clapp honestly believed such a state of agitation far more
conducive than quiet to his own interest; for he was quite a
fluent speaker, and very ambitious of a seat in the State
Assembly. He belonged to that school of republicanism, which so
completely identifies the individual with the mass, that it
cannot conceive of any independent opinions, tastes, or
principles; and, very possibly, he persuaded himself the good of
the nation, as well as his personal advantage, required a fresh
brand to be thrown upon the Longbridge council-fire. Having
exchanged opinions with Mr. Clapp upon politics and the market,
Mr. Taylor proceeded to make some observations and inquiries
about the company; he evidently felt some curiosity regarding his
new neighbours, while his companion seemed well disposed to give
him all the information he desired.

"Mr. Wyllys is a man of large property, I conclude," said the

Mr. Clapp named the number of thousands usually given to their
host; the amount was much lower than Mr. Taylor had supposed. He
had already discovered that Mr. Wyllys was highly respected by
the Longbridge community in general, and he had taken it for
granted that he must be the richest man in the neighbourhood; but
he now found that this was far from being the case. Mr. Wyllys,
though in easy circumstances, could not command half as much
money as several business men about him.

"THERE is a good fortune for you," said Mr. Clapp; "the lady on
the sofa; her property does not lie here, though. The real estate
is mostly in Carolina and Philadelphia. Did you see the young
gentleman who has just gone out on the piazza with your
daughter--Mr. Hazlehurst? At the demise of the widow, it all goes
to him; but in the mean time he has only two thousand a year--it
will be full twenty, altogether, if well managed," said Mr.
Clapp, running his fingers through the black locks which his wife
thought so handsome.

{"fortune" = short for a woman of fortune; an heiress}

"Mrs. Stanley is the old lady's name, is it not? The young
gentleman is her grandson, I conclude."

"Not at all; only a nephew by marriage," replied the lawyer,
pulling up his collar. "He may feel much obliged to Mr. Stanley
for feathering his nest so well. But Hazlehurst is a very good
fellow; I always liked him from the time he was a little shaver."

"The testator had no children of his own to inherit, I suppose,"
remarked Mr. Taylor.

"No sir; the only child of the first wife died just before his
father--the lady in the other room had no family. Mr. Stanley had
not a single near relation in the world; he bequeathed fifty
thousand dollars to an Orphan Asylum, and left his widow a
life-estate in one-half the remainder; which, at her death, goes
in a lump, real estate and personals, to young Hazlehurst, who is
the son of an old friend, and a nephew by marriage."

{"personals" = personal property}

"Some four hundred thousand dollars, I think you said; that would
make a fine capital for a young man to open business with!"

"But show me the young man who, with four hundred thousand to
begin with, will not spend it instead of making more! No, sir;
give me a man with small means and a sharp wit for his stock in
trade, rather than a hundred thousand down; ten to one the first
winds up the better man by a good round sum. I should not wonder
at all to find myself a richer man than Harry Hazlehurst by the
time I am fifty."

"What splendid operations he might engage in, though!"

"If he wanted to, he could not touch the money now; it is all in
the widow's hands until he is five-and-twenty, excepting the
allowance of two thousand a year which she gives him, now he is
of age."

After a little more conversation of the same nature--in which the
Van Hornes and the Bernards came in for their share of the
appraisal, Mr. Clapp concluded by the offer of an introduction.

"Shall I introduce Mrs. Stanley to you? I am very well
acquainted. I was raised in the same part of the country she came
from. She is a very agreeable lady in conversation."

Mr. Taylor had not the least objection to make the acquaintance
of any human being enjoying an estate of four hundred thousand
dollars. He assented, and following Mr. Clapp into the
drawing-room, the introduction took place without farther
preface. Mrs. Stanley had been conversing with Miss Patsey and
Elinor; she was rather taken by surprise when Mr. Clapp,
advancing before her, said, with a flourish, "Mr. Taylor, Mrs.
Stanley." Both the gentlemen were received by her with as much
quiet coolness as was consistent with civility to her friend's
guests. She had lately been often annoyed by Mr. Clapp's
officious attentions, and was at a loss to account for them,
until she remembered he might be wishing to obtain a share in the
management of her affairs.

Having succeeded in bringing about the introduction, Mr. Clapp
turned to Elinor.

"I hear strange stories in Longbridge about you, Miss Wyllys,"
said Mr. Clapp.

There was as yet no individual in the little world known to
Elinor, more trying to her temper than the husband of her friend,
Kate Hubbard. There was a smirking impertinence in Mr. Clapp's
manner, of which it seemed impossible for him to divest himself,
for it was often most conspicuous when he wished to make himself
most agreeable; and no wonder this was the case, for it was a
quality natural to him. The simple feeling of genuine respect and
deference, so grateful to the heart where sincerely felt, was one
he had never had the happiness to know. On the present occasion
Elinor was not a little provoked with him, and something of the
feeling might have been traced in her expression. We have heard
of brilliant black eyes, that never appeared more beautiful than
when flashing with passion. Those of our friend Elinor were small
and grey; indignation, therefore, may not have been so becoming
to them.

"Scarcely worth remembering, I fancy," she replied; and then made
some observation about Mrs. Hubbard, to turn the conversation.
The raillery and pleasantry of a man with no more tact, or true
delicacy, than William Cassius Clapp, was more than even Elinor's
sweet temper could have borne.

Mr. Wyllys had taken a seat near Mrs. Taylor.

"We have not seen all your young people yet, I believe, Mrs.

"Oh, no, sir--I have six at home, besides the two here. Thomas
and Adeline are my eldest; the rest are hardly old enough to go
out; to parties--though Pompey is nearly fifteen."

"You must bring Mr. Pompey, too, next time. Your eldest son tells
me he has just left Yale."

"He graduated last month. I want him to stay at home now until
winter, and then go into business. But his father has taken a
nation of having him go to Europe for six months. Thomas does not
care so much about it; but husband has a great opinion of a
European journey--he talks some of going himself. Some young men
go a whaling to see the world; but Mr. Taylor thinks Thomas had
better have a chance to go to Paris."

"He will probably find Paris the pleasantest trip of the two,"
said Mr. Wyllys, smiling. "Young Hazlehurst is going abroad, too;
he sails next week, with his brother. What is the name of Harry's
packet, Nelly?" asked her grandfather, taking the young girl's
hand affectionately, as she passed.

Elinor named the vessel; and, from Mrs. Taylor's answer, it
appeared, the young men were to sail in the same ship.

"I am glad to hear that your grandson is going to France, sir; it
will be more sociable, for Thomas to have somebody he knows, in

"They will probably meet there. Harry is not my grandson,

"I beg your pardon; but, I understood, that the pretty young
lady, with the white flower in her hair, and the young gentleman
talking to my daughter Adeline, were your grandchildren."

"Oh, no; Miss Graham is my great-niece; and, as for Harry, if I
remember right, he is no relation at all; though, we call him
cousin. I have a house full of little grandchildren, here, just
now, from Baltimore; but they are too young to be out of the
nursery, at this hour. Does Miss Taylor sing?"

"No, sir; Adeline performs on the piano; but she has not any
voice for music; which, I am very sorry for, as I like to hear
young people sing."

"Perhaps, then, you would like to hear my grand-daughter; she
sings me a song every evening, after tea," said Mr. Wyllys, who,
indeed, seemed to think something was wanting to an evening, in
his own house, unless Elinor gave him a little music, of which he
was passionately fond; though, like most American gentlemen, of
his age, he had no knowledge of the art, and no other guide than
a good ear, and good natural taste. Elinor's voice was a full,
sweet contralto, which had been cultivated under the best masters
in Philadelphia; and, as she never attempted what she could not
perform with ease and grace, her music always gave pleasure. One
or two of the other ladies followed her, at the piano--Mary Van
Horne, and a friend who had come with her; but their performance
was very indifferent. It was rarely that one heard anything
approaching to really good amateur music, in this country,
fifteen years ago, at the date of Elinor's seventeenth birthday.

A light supper, and a Virginia reel, concluded the evening; when
the party broke up.

"I hope you are jealous, Elinor," said Harry Hazlehurst, as he
returned into the house, after having attended Miss Adeline
Taylor to the carriage.

"Jealous!--Of what, pray?"

"Of the heart and affections of your humble servant, to be
sure.--You must have observed the snare that Miss Taylor laid for

"Nonsense.--Good night!" and Elinor accompanied her aunt and
cousin up stairs.


"Her playmate from her youth."

{Samuel Rogers (English poet, 1763-1855), "Italy: Genevra" line

ELINOR had been in her room for some minutes, and was standing in
thought, before an open window, when she turned toward a little
table near her, and, opening a Bible, drew from it a letter. She
raised it to her lips, and, moving toward a light unfolded the
sheet. Tears soon blinded her sight; she was much agitated; then,
becoming calmer, she continued to read. It was a letter of some
length, and every line seemed deeply interesting to the reader.
Once she paused, as if struck by some new thought, and then,
again, she read with some anxiety. She had just finished the last
words, when her door opened, and Miss Agnes entered the room.

"Be calm, my dear child," said her aunt; "it is indeed a precious
letter, and one which we both value highly; your feelings are
only natural, dearest; but do not indulge them to excess." Miss
Wyllys, by her gentle, caressing manner, succeeded in calming
Elinor, when, urging her not to sit up later, she left her niece
for the night.

When Miss Agnes was gone, Elinor fell on her knees, with the
letter still in her hand. She remained some time, apparently in
prayer, and then rising calmly, she folded the sheet, and laid it
on the Bible; and, before her head touched her pillow, the letter
was again removed, and placed beneath it.

We have not the slightest wish to beguile the reader into
believing that Elinor had a mysterious lover, or a clandestine
correspondence; and we shall at once mention, that this letter
was one written years previously, by the mother she had lost; and
her good aunt, according to the direction, had placed it in her
niece's hands, on the morning of her seventeenth birthday.

When Mr. Wyllys went down to breakfast, the next morning, he
inquired if their drunken visiter {sic--the Cooper family's usual
spelling of the word}, of the previous night, had shown himself

"I have just been out, sir, to look after him," said Harry, "and
the fellow does not seem to have liked his night's lodgings. He
broke jail, and was off before any of the men were up this
morning; they found the door open, and the staple off--he must
have kicked his way out; which could easily he done, as the lock
was old."

Elinor suggested that it was, perhaps, some one who was ashamed
of the situation in which he had been found.

"More probably he was too much accustomed to a lock-up house, to
find it pleasant. But if he really had any business here, we
shall hear of him again, no doubt," said Mr. Wyllys. The affair
thus disposed of, the conversation took another turn.

Mr. Wyllys, Elinor's grandfather, was decidedly a clever man. He
had held a high position, in his profession, until he withdrew
from it, and had, at one time, honourably distinguished himself
as a politician. He was well educated, and well read; his
library, at Wyllys-Roof, was, indeed, one of the best in the
country. Moreover, Mr. Wyllys was a philosopher, a member of the
Philosophical Society of Philadelphia; and the papers he read,
before that honourable association, were generally much admired
by his audience. It is even probable that Mr. Wyllys believed
himself endowed with a good stock of observation and experience
in human nature; but, in spite of all these advantages, we cannot
help thinking that, although well-versed in natural philosophy,
this excellent gentleman proved himself quite ignorant of boy and
girl nature. Even his daughter, Miss Agnes, feared her father had
been unwise and imprudent on an occasion which she considered of
great importance.

A great deal might be said in favour of Harry Hazlehurst. Few
young men, of his age, were more promising in character and
abilities. He was clever, and good-tempered; and, with all the
temptations of an easy fortune within his reach, he had always
shown himself firm in principles. There was one trait in his
character, however, which had already more than once brought him
into boyish scrapes, and which threatened, if not corrected, to
be injurious to his career through life. He was naturally
high-spirited; and, having been indulged by his mother, and
seldom controlled by his male guardian, a brother some ten years
older than himself, Harry was rather disposed to be self-willed,
and cherished some false notions regarding independence of
character. His friends hoped, however, that as he grew older, he
would become wiser. Something of this feeling had been mixed up
with the motives which had lately led him to take a decided step
for the future.

>From a boy, Harry had been more or less the companion and
play-fellow of Elinor Wyllys and Jane Graham, whom he looked upon
as cousins, owing to a near family connexion. He had always felt
very differently, however, towards the two girls. Jane, a little
beauty from her birth, had been an indolent and peevish child,
often annoying Harry by selfish interference with their plans and
amusements. Elinor, on the contrary, had always been a favourite
playmate. She was an intelligent, generous child, of an
uncommonly fine temper and happy disposition. As for her plain
face, the boy seldom remembered it. They were both gay, clever
children, who suited each other remarkably well, in all their
little ways and fancies. Now, within the last year, it had struck
Harry that his brother Robert and his sister-in-law, Mrs.
Hazlehurst, were very desirous of making a match between Jane
Graham and himself. He had overheard some trifling remark on the
subject, and had suffered an afternoon's very stupid teasing and
joking, about Jane, from a talkative old bachelor relation. This
was quite sufficient to rouse the spirit of independence, in a
youth of his years and disposition. When, at length, he heard a
proposition that Jane should accompany them abroad, he went so
far as to look upon it as something very like manoeuvring {sic}.
HE was not a man to be led by others, in the choice of a wife.
Jane might be a beauty--no doubt she was--but he had no such
extravagant admiration for mere beauty. There was Elinor, for
instance; she was a very different girl, though without any
beauty; she was just the kind of person he liked. She was so
warm-hearted and generous in her feelings--without a bit of
nonsense; she was so clever--could catch a thought in a moment,
and always understood and enjoyed a good thing. Then her manners,
too, were charming, so simple and natural; while Jane had no
manners at all. Then, everybody said she was remarkably graceful,
in a perfectly natural way;--how well she rode! Jane was even
afraid to mount. And how pleasantly Elinor sang--and he was so
fond of music. Jane would do very well to sit and look at all day
long; but, for walking, talking, riding, singing--ay, for
thinking and feeling, Elinor would make precisely such a
companion as a man of sense would wish for. By dint of dwelling
on Elinor's good qualities, and on what he fancied the plans of
his brother and sister-in-law, he came to the conclusion that the
only thing to be done, under the circumstances, by a man of any
character--by a man who had an opinion of his own, was to go
immediately to Mr. Wyllys, and request his permission to address

Harry was a great favourite with his uncle--from a child the
young man had always given this title to Mr. Wyllys--and he had
more than once expressed to his daughter, a wish that Hazlehurst
and Elinor might, some years thence, take a fancy for each other.
In the mean time he seemed to look upon them as children, and
left matters to take care of themselves. Harry's proposal was,
therefore, quite unexpected at the moment, and took him by
surprise; he seemed to think Hazlehurst decidedly too young, at
present--he had not yet acquired his profession. This little
difficulty in the opening of the affair, merely served to rouse
Harry's eloquence; and as his youth was really the only objection
against him, he succeeded, before long, in obtaining Mr. Wyllys's
cheerful consent to his endeavouring, during the next two months,
to interest Elinor in his behalf.

Miss Agnes, when informed of what had passed, was quite startled;
she thought both parties too young to take so decided a step. But
her father had given his formal consent, and she could not
seriously oppose it; especially when she remembered that she,
also, had more than once indulged the idea that some five or six
years later, Harry would make a very good husband for her adopted

No one in the family was more surprised at Harry's advances than
Elinor herself. They had been so much together, ever since she
could remember, and had always been such good friends, in an
open, brother-and-sisterly way, that even in the last year or
two, when indistinct ideas of love and matrimony had
occasionally, like distant events, cast their shadows before,
Harry had never once presented himself to her fancy in the light
of a suitor. It required a day or two for her to comprehend the
full meaning of Harry's proceedings; she could say neither yes,
nor no. This hesitation, very much increased Hazlehurst's
perseverance; but her aunt, who looked on anxiously, had
stipulated that nothing decided should be required of her, until
Harry left them.

In the mean time, a day or two had been sufficient for Mr. Wyllys
to become not only reconciled to the idea, but so well pleased
with the appearance of things, that he amused himself with
looking on at Harry in his new character of a lover; and
generally once a day, had some little joke at the expense of
Elinor's embarrassment. But now, the two months had passed; Harry
was to sail the next week for France--and Elinor, the morning
after her birth-day, was to give a decided answer.

It was no longer very difficult to foresee that this answer would
be favourable. In fact, Harry, who was thoroughly gentlemanly by
nature and habit, had made his attentions just what they ought to
have been under the circumstances; and, with the full approbation
of her own friends, and all Harry's good qualities appearing in
their best light, the two months had proved sufficient to direct
Elinor's childish affection for him into another and a deeper
channel. The letter she had received on the night of her
birth-day, caused a moment's indecision when, the next morning,
after breakfast, as Mrs. Stanley and Mrs. George Wyllys left the
room, her grandfather playfully asked her "what they should do
with Harry?"

But she scarcely knew in what shape to express the thought that
arose in her mind, and the feeling merely gave an additional
touch of embarrassment to her manner, which was only looked upon
as quite natural at the moment.

"I shall think myself very badly treated, Elinor," said Harry,
observing her hesitation, "if you turn me off like a common
acquaintance, after we have been the best friends in the world
for nobody knows how long."

"Well, Nelly," said her grandfather, "what is it, my child? Shall
we tell Harry to go to Paris and cultivate his moustaches, and
forget everything else?"

"Oh, no;" said Elinor, smiling as she held out her hand to
Hazlehurst, though without looking up: "pray, don't come back a

The affair was settled. The young people parted with the
understanding that when Hazlehurst returned from Europe, and had
acquired his profession, they were to be married; and Harry went
to Philadelphia, to join his brother, and make the last
arrangements for their voyage.

Jane, too, left Elinor a few days later; and Miss Wyllys, who had
charge of her--as Mr. and Mrs. Graham lived in Charleston--placed
her at one of the fashionable boarding schools of New York. Miss
Adeline Taylor had, in the mean time, informed her parents that
she had changed her mind as to the school which was to have the
honour of completing her education: she should NOT return to Mrs.
A-----'s, but go to Mrs. G-----'s, which was a more fashionable
establishment. Not that she had anything to complain of at Mrs.
A-----'s; but she thought the young ladies at Mrs. G-----'s
dressed more elegantly, and besides, she felt the impossibility
of remaining separated from Jane Graham, her new bosom friend.
These two young ladies had met twice previously to the evening
they had passed together at Wyllys-Roof; Adeline had upon one
occasion been in the same boat with Jane, going and coming,
between New York and Longbridge, and she had already done all in
her power towards getting up a desperate intimacy. Her mother, as
a matter of course, did not interfere with the young lady's
preference for Mrs. G-----'s school--why should she? It was
Adeline's affair; she belonged to the submissive class of
American parents, who think it an act of cruelty to influence or
control their children, even long before they have arrived at
years of discretion. As for Mr. Taylor, he had discovered that
the daughters of several fashionable families were at Mrs.
G-----'s, and was perfectly satisfied with the change; all he had
to do was, to make out the cheques in one name instead of
another. Adeline managed the whole affair herself; and having at
last been to a young party, for which she had been waiting, and
having satisfied some lingering scruples as to the colours of the
silk dresses which composed the winter uniform of the school, and
which she at first thought frightfully unbecoming to her
particular style of beauty, Miss Taylor one morning presented
herself at Mrs. G-----'s door, and was regularly admitted as one
of the young band in fashionable training under that lady's roof.
Jane, it is true, did not show quite as much rapture at the
meeting as Adeline could have wished; but, then, Miss Taylor had
already discovered that this last bosom-friend was of a calmer
disposition than the dozen who had preceded her.

Harry had not been a day in Philadelphia, before he announced to
his brother, his engagement with Elinor; for he was much too
frank by nature to have any taste for unnecessary mystery.

"I have a piece of news for you, Robert," he said, as he entered
the drawing-room before dinner, and found his brother lying on a

"Good news, I hope," replied Mr. Robert Hazlehurst.

"May I not have my share of it?" asked Mrs. Hazlehurst, whom
Harry had not observed.

"Certainly; it is a piece of good fortune to your humble servant,
in which I hope you will both be interested."

"Why, really, Harry," said his sister-in-law, "there is a touch
of importance, with a dash of self-complacency and mystery in
your expression, that look a little lover-like. Have you come to
announce that you are determined to offer yourself to some belle
or other before we sail?"

"The deed is already done," said Harry, colouring a little; as
much, perhaps, from a mischievous satisfaction in the
disappointment he foresaw, as from any other feeling.

"No!" said his brother, turning towards him with some anxiety.
"Offered yourself--and accepted, then; or, of course, you would
not mention it."

"Pray, tell us, Harry, who is to be our new sister," said Mrs.
Hazlehurst, kindly, and with some interest.

"I have half a mind to tease you," he replied, smiling.

"I never should guess," said Mrs. Hazlehurst. "I had no idea you
were attached to any one--had you, Robert?"

"Not I! It must be somebody at Longbridge--he has been there more
than half his time lately. Come, tell us, Harry, like a man; who
is it?" asked Robert Hazlehurst, naturally feeling interested in
his younger brother's choice.

"No one precisely at Longbridge," said Harry, smiling.

"Who can it be?--And actually engaged?" added Mrs. Hazlehurst,
who saw that Harry would not explain himself without being

"Engaged, very decidedly, and positively, I am happy to say. Is
there anything so very wonderful in my having declared an
attachment to Elinor; I am sure I have liked her better than any
one else all my life."

"Engaged to Elinor!" exclaimed Robert Hazlehurst, much relieved.
"I am delighted to hear it. It is a wiser step than one would
always expect from a young gentleman of your years."

"Engaged to Elinor! I wish you joy with all my heart," repeated
his sister-in-law. "It had not occurred to me to think of any one
so near and dear to us already; you could not have done better,
Harry," she added, with a perfectly frank, open smile.

To tell the truth, Hazlehurst was not a little surprised, and
rather mortified by this decided approbation--since it proved he
had been unjust, and that he had deceived himself as to what he
had supposed the wishes of his brother, and the plans of his
sister-in-law. He did not, however, for an instant, regret the
step he had taken; his regard for Elinor was too sincere to allow
of any other feeling than that of satisfaction, in remembering
their engagement. But it had now become a matter of indifference
whether Jane were to join the European party or not.

On the appointed day, the Hazlehursts sailed. They went abroad
with more advantages than many others, for they carried with them
good sense, good principles, and a good education, and were well
prepared to enjoy the wide field of observation that lay before
them. There was every reason to hope, from the encouraging
opinions of his physicians, that Mr. Robert Hazlehurst's health
would be entirely restored by travelling; his wife looked forward
to the excursion with much pleasure, and Harry was delighted with
the plan. They had an old family friend in Paris, an excellent
woman, who was in every way qualified to redeem the promises she
had given, of soon making them feel at home in France. Madame de
Bessieres was the widow of a distinguished emigre, and had passed
a long exile with her husband in America. They had been for years
near neighbours of Mr. Wyllys, and this gentleman had had it in
his power, at different times, to render services of some
importance to his French friends. Madame de Bessieres and her
family were grateful for these acts of kindness: she had known
the young people at Wyllys-Roof, and felt an interest in them
all; for their own sakes, as well as from a sincere respect and
regard for Mr. Wyllys and his daughter, this lady was anxious to
show the Hazlehursts every friendly attention in her power. Under
these agreeable auspices, the party left home, expecting to be
absent for a couple of years.


"Farewell, my lord! Good wishes, praise, and prayers,
Shall Suffolk ever have of Margaret."
Henry VI.

{William Shakespeare, "1 Henry VI", V.iii.173-174}

THE arrival of letters from Harry, often accompanied by something
pretty or useful, as a souvenir for herself, were the principal
events of the next winter, to Elinor. Several months of the cold
weather were passed, as usual, by Mr. Wyllys and his family, in
Philadelphia; and Miss Agnes thought it time that her niece
should make her appearance in society. But Elinor found less
pleasure, than most girls, in the gay world. She was seldom
appreciated, in mixed company; she was too young, at that time,
and too modest, for her intelligence to be generally known or
cared for; while her personal appearance exposed her to be
entirely overlooked and neglected by strangers; it had indeed
occasionally been the cause of mortifications, more deeply felt
by Miss Agnes, than by Elinor herself. People talk so lightly, in
what is called general society; heartless remarks are uttered
with so much careless indifference on all sides, that it was not
surprising some unkind observations should have reached her ear.
It was not until the season that she had been introduced into a
larger circle, that Elinor became better aware of her
disadvantages in this respect. She had been so tenderly loved and
watched over by her grandfather and aunt; she was so generally
liked by those who had been hitherto her companions, that she had
not been aware of all the consequences of her position. She knew
that her appearance was not attractive, while her young friends
were more or less pretty; still, she had thought but little on
the subject, until her introduction into a larger circle led her
to remark the great importance which the world attaches to mere
beauty, in women, at least. But, with this reflection, came also
the gratifying recollection of Harry's regard for her; and it
served indeed to increase very much her attachment to him, by
giving it an additional feeling of gratitude.

Harry's letters were kind and affectionate, and Elinor thought
them very amusing. It was impossible that an intelligent,
well-educated young man, suddenly transported from the New, to
the Old World, should not find a great deal to say; and Harry
told his adventures very agreeably. His letters to Elinor were
almost as straight-forward and matter-of-fact, as they might have
been if she had already become his wife. His brother's health was
improving; so much so, that they were talking of leaving Mrs.
Hazlehurst, and her children, in Paris, while Harry and the
invalid made a six weeks' excursion to England. Madame de
Bessieres had been all kindness, and they were delighted with the
society they met at her house. "Madame de Bessieres remembers you
perfectly," said Harry, in one of his letters, "and as she is
sure, under Aunt Agnes' care, you must have grown up with all the
good and agreeable qualities that she loved you for when a child,
she agrees with your humble servant, in thinking him a very lucky
fellow, and very prudent, in having secured you before he left
home. She is really a most excellent and charming woman, as kind
as possible to Louisa. Her American friends have every reason to
be satisfied with her recollections of them, especially Mr.
Wyllys and Aunt Agnes, whom she evidently appreciates. Her
nephew, young de Guivres, and I, are very good friends already,
and often take a gallop together in the Bois de Boulogne. It is a
settled thing, Elinor, dear, that I am to bring you to France,
one of these days; that is to say, if you have no objections;
which, of course, you will not have. Tom Taylor is here still,
and his progressive steps in civilization are quite amusing, to a
looker-on; every time I see him, I am struck with some new
change--some fresh growth in elegance. I was going to say, that
he will turn out a regular dandy; but he would have to go to
London for that; he will prove rather a sort of second-rate
petit-maitre a la Parisienne; which is entirely a different
creature. It would do your heart good to see Robert; he eats like
a ploughman, if ploughmen ever devour poulets a la Marengo, or
ortolans a la Provencale. I wish I could give as good an account
of Creighton, who arrived in the last packet; poor fellow, he has
not revived at all, and, I fear, will never be better. His wife
is with him; as pretty and agreeable as ever. I hope Bruno
behaves well, and remembers that it is now his chief duty to
devote himself to your service."

{"petit-maitre a la Parisienne" = a ridiculously pretentious
dandy, Parisian-style; "poulets a la Marengo" = chicken Marengo,
a recipe supposedly invented by Napoleon's chef after the Battle
of Marengo in 1800; "ortolans a la Provencale" = ortolans (a
variety of bunting) in the style of southern France (Provence)

This was the last letter Elinor received in Philadelphia, for
early in the spring the family returned to the country. She was
never happier than at Wyllys-Roof, and resumed with delight
occupations and amusements, which would have appeared very
insipid to many elegant belles whom she left behind her--since
the mornings were to be passed without visiting or shopping, the
evenings without parties or flirtations. In a quiet country
house, with no other young person in the family, there was of
course, at Wyllys-Roof, very little excitement--that necessary
ingredient of life to many people; and yet, Elinor had never
passed a tedious day there. On the longest summer morning, or
winter evening, she always found enough to occupy her time and

To her, Wyllys-Roof was home; and that is a word of a broader and
more varied meaning in the country than in a town. The cares, the
sympathies of a country home, embrace a wide circle, and bring
with them pleasures of their own. People know enough of all their
neighbours, to take part in any interesting event that may befall
them; we are sorry to hear that A., the shoemaker, is going to
move away; we are glad to find that B., the butcher, has made
money enough to build a new house. One has some acquaintance with
everybody, from the clergyman to the loafer; few are the faces
that one does not know. Even the four-footed animals of the
neighbourhood are not strangers: this is the Doctor's
Newfoundland dog; that is some old lady's tortoise-shell cat. One
knows the horses, as well as the little urchins who ride them to
water; the cows, and those who milk them. And then, country-folks
are nature's freeholders; they enjoy a full portion of the earth,
the air, the sky, with the thousand charms an ever-merciful
Creator has lavished on them. Every inanimate object--this hill,
that wood, the brook, the bridge, C.'s farm-house, and D.'s
barn--to the very highway, as far as eye can reach, all form
pleasing parts of a country home. In a city, on the contrary, we
live surrounded by strangers. Home is entirely restricted to our
own fire-side. One knows a neighbour's card, perhaps, but not his
face. There may have been a funeral or a wedding next-door, and
we learn it only from the morning paper. Then, even if a fixture
oneself, how is it possible for human sensibilities to cling very
closely to the row of brick houses opposite, which are
predestined to be burned or pulled down in a few years? Nor can
one be supposed to look with much pleasure at the omnibus horses,
or half-starved pigs that may belong to one's street. No doubt,
that with hearts warm and true, we may have a FIRESIDE in town;
but HOME with its thousand pleasant accessories--HOME, in its
fullest meaning, belongs especially to the country.

Elinor was a country girl, born and bred. Though banished from
Chesnut {sic} Street, she would have been well satisfied with the
usual occupations of a country life, varied only by quiet walks
with her aunt, rides with her grandfather, chatty meetings with a
few young companions, or long visits from old friends, whose
names and faces had been familiar to her all her life. The first
few weeks after her return to Wyllys-Roof, she had, of course,
more than usual to see and hear. Elinor had been absent from home
but a few months; yet, even in that short space, she found
changes had occurred in the neighbourhood--varied, as usual--some
of a sad, some of a pleasant nature. Miss Agnes and her niece
found one place vacant among those whom they were in the habit of
seeing often; the father of a family who lived within sight of
their own windows, had died suddenly, and left a widow and
children to struggle with the world: but they were neither
friendless nor repining, and submitted with humble resignation to
their severe affliction, prepared to meet with faith and hope the
additional cares and toils allotted to them. One of Elinor's
young friends, too, was lying on a sick-bed at Longbridge--a
beautiful girl of her own age wasted by consumption; but she was
calm and peaceful, though without hope this side the grave. We
shall scarcely forgive ourselves for making even a distant
allusion to one portion of Elinor's pleasures and labours,
although more especially connected with home; since none could
perform their religious duties with less ostentation, with more
single-hearted sincerity--none could more carefully follow the
precept, to "give with simplicity," than Miss Wyllys, and the
niece she had educated.

{"Chesnut Street" = Chestnut Street, a fashionable street in

Of course, the ladies had immediately resumed their intercourse
with their old friends; and they had many neighbourly visits to
pay. Not your formal, fashionable morning calls, lasting just
three minutes, when you are so unfortunate as to find at home the
individual you are paying off; no, indeed; good, honest visits of
nearly an hour's length, giving time to exchange many kindly
inquiries as to the health of all the members of the family, the
condition of the garden, and promises of the crops; and even
occasionally allowing Mr. Wyllys to take a look at some addition
to the live-stock, in the shape of calves, colts, or pigs. Then,
Mrs. Bernard had just moved into a new house, whose comforts and
conveniences must certainly be shown by herself, and appreciated
by her friends. Then, Elinor had to kiss, and make acquaintance
with several tiny pieces of humanity, in white frocks and lace
caps--little creatures born during the past winter; of course,
the finest babies one could wish to see, and the delight of their
parents' hearts. Then, Alida Van Horne was going to be married;
as Elinor was to be her bridesmaid, a great deal of talking and
consulting took place on the occasion, as matter of course. But,
although her time was fully occupied in many different ways, no
day was too pleasant or too busy for more than one thought to be
given to Harry Hazlehurst.


"Anch' io son pittore!"

{"Anch' io son pittore" = "I too, am a painter!" (Italian).
Antonio Allegri da Correggio (Italian painter, 1494-1534),
exclamation on viewing Raphael's "St. Cecilia" at Bologna (1525)}

THERE was one subject, in which the family at Wyllys-Roof felt
particularly interested just then, and that was, Charlie
Hubbard's picture. This piece was to decide finally the question,
whether Charlie should be an artist, or a merchant's clerk; a
question which he himself considered all important, and which
caused much anxiety to his friends.

The house in which the Hubbards lived was a grey, wooden cottage,
of the smallest size; curious gossips had, indeed, often wondered
how it had ever been made to contain a large family; but some
houses, like certain purses, possess capabilities of expansion,
quite independent of their apparent size, and connected by
mysterious sympathies with the heads and hearts of their owners.
This cottage belonged to the most ancient and primitive style of
American architecture; what may be called the comfortable, common
sense order--far superior, one might suppose to either Corinthian
or Composite, for a farm-house. The roof was low, and unequally
divided, stretching, on one side, with a long, curving slope,
over the southern front; which was scarce seven feet high:
towards the road the building was a little more elevated, for a
dormer-window gave it the dignity of a story and a half. Not only
the roof, but the walls--we have classical authority for wooden
walls--were covered with rounded shingles, long since grey, and
in spots, moss-grown. Twice the cottage had escaped a more
brilliant exterior; upon one occasion it had been inhabited by an
ambitious family, who talked of a coat of red paint; fortunately,
they moved away, before concluding a bargain with the painter.
Again, when the Hubbards took possession of the 'old grey house,'
a committee of ladies actually drove over from Longbridge, with
the intention of having it whitewashed; but, the experienced old
negro engaged to clean generally, gave it as his opinion, that
the shingles were not worth the compliment. The windows were very
small; more than half the glass was of the old, blue bull's-eye
pattern, no longer to be found at modern glaziers, and each heavy
window-shutter had a half-moon cut in its upper panel, to let in
the daylight. When we add, that there was a low porch before the
door, with a sweet-briar on one side, and a snowball on the
other, the reader will have a correct idea of the house inhabited
by our friends, the Hubbards.

{"Corinthian or Composite" = two of the classical orders of
architecture, based on the style of column used. The "Composite
order," however, was something of a Cooper family joke, first
used by James Fenimore Cooper in "The Pioneers" (1823) to
describe a pretentious building of no particular style at all.
The Coopers, father and daughter, were contemptuous of buildings
that pretended to be Greek temples}

The cottage stood within a little door-yard, near the gate which
opened on the lawn of Wyllys-Roof; and, immediately opposite the
place recently purchased by Mr. Taylor. Here the family had lived
for the last twelve years; and, from that time, Miss Patsey had
been obliged to struggle against poverty, with a large family of
younger brothers and sisters, dependent, in a great measure, upon
her prudence and exertions.

Mr. Hubbard, the father, a respectable Presbyterian minister, had
been, for half his life, in charge of a congregation in
Connecticut, where, by-the-bye, Mr. Pompey Taylor, at that time a
poor clerk, had been an unsuccessful suitor for Patsey's hand.
After a while, the family had removed to Longbridge, where they
had lived very comfortably and usefully, until, at length, the
minister died, leaving his widow and seven children entirely
unprovided for. Happily, they possessed warm friends and kind
relatives. The old grey house, with a garden and a little meadow
adjoining, was purchased for his brother's family by Mr. Joseph
Hubbard, known to the young people as Uncle Josie: he was a
merchant, in easy circumstances, and cheerfully gave the thousand
dollars required. The cottage was furnished by the minister's
congregation. Many useful presents were made, and many small
debts forgiven by kind neighbours. With this humble outfit the
family commenced their new career. Mrs. Hubbard, the second wife,
and mother of the three younger children, had lost the use of one
hand, by an attack of paralysis. She had always been a woman of
very feeble character; and although treated with unvarying
kindness and respect by her step-children, could do little
towards the government or assistance of the family. It was Patsey
who toiled, and managed, and thought for them all. With the aid
of two younger sisters, mere children, at first, and an old black
woman, who came once a week to wash, all the work was done by
herself, including baking, ironing, cooking, cleaning, &c.; and
yet Patsey found time to give up four hours a day to teaching a
class of some dozen children, belonging to several neighbouring
families. This school furnished the only money that passed
through her hands, and contributed the only regular means of
support to the family. They received, however, much kind
assistance, in many different ways; indeed, otherwise, it would
have been scarcely possible to keep a fireside of their own.
There had been, in all, nine children; but the eldest son, a
missionary, died before his father; the second had already gone
to Kentucky, to seek his fortunes as a physician; he had married
young, and, with children of his own to support, it seemed but
little he could do for his step-mother; he sent for a younger
brother, however, engaging to provide for him entirely. Another
son was educated by his rich Longbridge relative, kind Uncle
Josie; another uncle, a poor old bachelor, known to the
neighbourhood as Uncle Dozie, from a constant habit of napping,
did his utmost, in paying the school-bills of his niece
Catherine. In the course of a few years, Uncle Josie's protege
became an assistant in the school where he had been educated;
Kate Hubbard, Uncle Dozie's favourite, married a quick-witted,
but poor, young lawyer, already introduced to the reader, by the
name of Clapp.

Still, there remained in the family two younger daughters, and
Charlie, besides Miss Patsey and Mrs. Hubbard. By the exertions
and guidance of Patsey, the assistance of friends, and their own
good conduct, the young people, in due time, were all growing up,
endowed with good principles, good educations, and with
respectable prospects opening before them. At the period of our
narrative, the third daughter hoped shortly to become an
under-governess in the school where she had been educated; and
Mary, the youngest of the family, had such a decided taste for
music, that it was thought she would have no difficulty in
supporting herself, by giving lessons, in the course of two or
three years. Of all the family, Charlie was the one that caused
his friends the most anxiety. He was a fine, spirited,
intelligent boy; and Uncle Josie had promised to procure a
situation for him, with his son-in-law, a commission-merchant and
auctioneer, in New York. This plan was very pleasing to Mrs.
Hubbard and Miss Patsey; but, unfortunately, Charlie seemed to
have no taste for making money, and a fondness for pictures and
pencils, that amounted almost to a passion. Here was an
unexpected obstacle; Charlie was the pet and spoiled child of the
family. All the rest of the young people had been quite satisfied
with the different means of support that had offered for each;
and they had followed their respective careers with so much quiet
good sense, that Charlie's remonstrances against the
counting-house, and his strong fancy for an artist's life, was
something quite new, and which Miss Patsey scarcely knew how to
answer. There was nothing in the least poetical or romantic about
Patsey Hubbard, who was all honest kindness and straight-forward
common sense. She had no feeling whatever for the fine arts;
never read a work of imagination; scarcely knew one tune from
another; and had never looked with pleasure at any picture, but
one, a portrait of her own respected father, which still occupied
the place of honour in their little parlour, nearly covering one
side of the wall. This painting, to speak frankly, was anything
but a valuable work of art, or a good likeness of the worthy
minister. The face was flat and unmeaning, entirely devoid of
expression or relief; the body was stiff and hard, like
sheet-iron, having, also, much the color of that material, so far
as it was covered by the black ministerial coat. One arm was
stretched across a table, conspicuous from a carrot-coloured
cloth, and the hand was extended over a pile of folios; but it
looked quite unequal to the task of opening them. The other arm
was disposed of in some manner satisfactory to the artist, no
doubt, but by no means easy for the spectator to discover, since
the brick-coloured drapery which formed the back-ground to the
whole, certainly encroached on the side where nature had placed
it. Such as it was, however, Miss Patsey admired this painting
more than any she had ever seen, and its gilt frame was always
carefully covered with green gauze, no longer necessary to
preserve the gilding, but rather to conceal its blackened lustre;
but Charlie's sister belonged to that class of amateurs who
consider the frame as an integral part of the work of art. It
was, perhaps, the most promising fact regarding any future hopes
of young Hubbard's, as an artist, that this same portrait was far
from satisfying his taste, uncultivated as it was. Charlie was,
for a long time, so much ashamed of his passion for drawing, that
he carefully concealed the little bits of paper on which he made
his sketches, as well as the few old, coarse engravings he had
picked up to copy. But, one day, Miss Patsey accidentally
discovered these treasures between the leaves of a number of the
Longbridge Freeman, carefully stowed away in an old chest of
drawers in the little garret-room where Charlie slept. She found
there a head of Washington; one of Dr. Blair; a view of Boston;
and an old French print called L'Ete, representing a shepherdess
making hay in high-heeled shoes and a hoop; there were copies of
these on bits of paper of all sizes, done with the pen or
lead-pencil; and lastly, a number of odd-looking sketches of
Charlie's own invention. The sight of these labours of art, was
far from giving Miss Patsey pleasure, although it accounted for
the surprising disappearance of her writing-paper, and the
extraordinary clipping, she had remarked, of late, on all notes
and letters that were left lying about, from which every scrap of
white paper was sure to be cut off. She spoke to Charlie on the
subject, and, of course, he had to confess. But he did not
reform; on the contrary, matters soon grew worse, for he began to
neglect his studies. It happened that he passed the whole summer
at home, as the school where his brother had been assistant, and
he himself a pupil, was broken up. At last, Miss Patsey talked to
him so seriously, about wasting time on trifles, that Charlie,
who was a sensible, warm-hearted boy, and well aware of the
exertions his sister had made for him, promised amendment, and
actually burnt all his own sketches, though the precious
engravings were still preserved. This improvement only lasted a
while, however, when he again took to drawing. This time he
resolutely respected Miss Patsey's paper, but that only made
matters worse, for he became more ambitious; he began to sketch
from nature; and, having a special fancy for landscape, he used
to carry his slate and arithmetic into the fields; and, instead
of becoming more expert in compound interest, he would sit for
hours composing pictures, and attempting every possible variety
in the views of the same little mill-pond, within a short
distance of the house. He soon became quite expert in the
management of his slate and pencil, and showed a good deal of
ingenuity in rubbing in and out the white shading on the black
ground, something in the manner of a stump-drawing; but, of
course, these sketches all disappeared before Charlie went to
take his regular lesson in book-keeping, from the neighbour who
had promised to keep him in practice until the winter, when he
was to enter the counting-house.

{"Dr. Blair" = possibly Robert Blair (Scottish poet, 1699-1747),
author of "The Grave"; or James Blair (1656-1743), founder of the
College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. "L'Ete" =
summertime (French); "stump drawing" = probably from "stump", a
pencil-like drawing implement of rolled paper or of rubber, used
to smooth or rub in dark lines}

At last, however, Charlie determined to have an explanation with
his mother and sister; he made a clean breast as to the misdoings
on the slate, and boldly coming to the point, suggested the
possibility of his being able to support himself, one day, as an
artist, instead of a commission merchant. Poor Miss Patsey, this
was a sad blow to her! It had been her cherished ambition to see
Charlie an upright, prosperous merchant; and now that his
prospects were brightening, and a situation was provided for him,
that he should be only a painter! She had a very low opinion of
artists, as a class, and she would almost as soon have expected
Charlie to become a play-actor, or a circus-rider. When the boy
found that both Uncle Josie and Uncle Dozie thought his idea a
very foolish one, that Miss Patsey was very much distressed, and
Mrs. Hubbard could not be made to comprehend the difference
between an artist and a house-painter, he again abandoned his own
cherished plans, and resumed his commercial studies.
Unfortunately, one day, Elinor was choosing a book as a present
for her old play-fellow, at a bookstore in Philadelphia, when she
laid her hand on the Lives of the Painters. These volumes finally
upset Charlie's philosophy; he immediately set to work to
convince Miss Patsey and Uncle Josie, by extracts from the
different lives, that it was very possible to be a good and
respectable man, and not only support himself, but make a
fortune, as an artist. Of course, he took care to skip over all
unpleasant points, and bad examples; but when he came to anything
creditable, he made a note of it--and, one day, pursued Miss
Patsey into the cellar, to read to her the fact that Reubens had
been an ambassador.

{"Reubens" = Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), famous Flemish
painter, who served as a diplomat in Spain from 1626-30}

Miss Patsey confided her anxieties to Mr. Wyllys, who was already
aware of Charlie's propensities, and, indeed, thought them
promising. He advised Mrs. Hubbard and Patsey, not to oppose the
boy's wishes so strongly, but to give him an opportunity of
trying what he really could do; and as the expense was a very
important consideration with the Hubbards, he made Charlie a
present of a palette and colours, and kindly took him, one day,
to Philadelphia, to see Mr. S-----, who gave him some advice as
to the way in which he should go to work. This assistance Charlie
received, upon condition that he should also, at the same time,
continue his other studies; and in case any two artists that his
friend might consult, should declare, on seeing his work, that he
did not show talent enough to promise reasonable success, he was,
from that time, to devote himself to business. For a while,
Charlie was a great deal happier than a king. He immediately
began a view of his beloved little mill-pond, and then attempted
one of a small sheet of water in the neighbourhood, called
Chewattan Lake. These, after having been touched and re-touched,
he carried, with a portfolio of drawings, to New York, and with a
fluttering heart and trembling hands laid them before two
distinguished artists, Mr. C----- and Mr. I-----, to whom Mr.
Wyllys had given him letters. The decision of these gentlemen was
not discouraging, upon the whole; but they found that he had set
out wrong in the arrangement of his colours, and having corrected
the mistake, they proposed his painting another piece in oils, to
determine whether the faults in the first were the result of
ignorance, or of a false eye for colour; for on this point his
judges disagreed. It must be confessed that Charlie's clouds
might give some idea of such vapours as they may exist in the
moon; but certainly the tints the youth had given them were very
remarkable for an earthly atmosphere.

It was upon this last picture--another view of Chewattan
Lake--that Charles was engaged, heart and soul, when the Wyllyses
returned home. One afternoon, Mr. Wyllys proposed to Miss Agnes
and Elinor, to walk over and call upon Miss Patsey, and see what
their young friend had done.

"Here we are, Charlie, my lad; you promised us a look at your
work this week, you know;" said Mr. Wyllys, as he walked into the
neat little door-yard before the Hubbards' house, accompanied by
the ladies.

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