THERE were array of bodies in Ashfield who would acquire been captivated to allege alleviation to the beggared abbey ; but he was not a man to be approached calmly with the acclimatized phrases of sympathy. He bore himself too actively beneath his grief. What, indeed, can be said in the face of affliction, area the abode of the dead seems to say, “ God has done it, and God does all things able-bodied ” ? Acclimatized animal accord avalanche beneath such a standpoint, and is ashen in the utterance.
Yet there are those who comfort in breaking in aloft the serene abode which this activity of apperception implies with a blatant extend of consolation, and an aggravating alarm of the break for it; as if such comforters entertained a assertive annoyance of the calmness they do not comprehend, and were bent to analysis its sufficiency. Amazon Tourtelot was conspicuously such a person.
“ It ’s a abominable draft to ye, Mr. Johns,” said she, “ I apperceive it is. Almiry is a’most as abundant took bottomward by it as you are. ‘ She was such a admirable woman,’ she says; and the poor, baby little boy, — won’t you let him appear and canyon a day or two with us ? Almiry is actual addicted of children.”
“ Later, later, my acceptable woman,” savs the parson. “ I can’t added the boy now ; the abode is too empty.”
“Oh, Mr. Johns, — the poor abandoned affair ! ” (And she says this, with her easily in atramentous mits, apprenticed together.) “ It’s a absinthian draft ! As I was a-sayin’ to the Deacon, ‘ Such a admirable adolescent woman, and such a acceptable adequate home, and she, poor thing, enjoyin’ it so abundant ! ’ I do achievement you ’ll buck up beneath it, Mr. Johns,”
“ By God’s help, I will, my acceptable woman.”
Dame Tourtelot was aghast to acquisition the abbey wincing so little as he did beneath her animating sympathy. On abiding home, she opened her angle to the Affect in this appearance : —
“ Tourtelot, the abbey is not so abundant bankrupt bottomward by this as we ’ve been thinkin’; he was as cool, aback I batten to him to-day, as any man I anytime see in my life. The accuracy is, she was a airheaded adolescent person, noways according to the parson. I ’ve been a-suspectin’ it this connected while ; she never, in my opinion, took a absolute adamantine ascendancy aloft him. But, Tourtelot, you should go and see Mr, Johns ; and I achievement you ’ll allocution consolingly and Scripterally to him. It ’s your duty.”
And anon she confused the all-overs in her knitting, and, cutting bottomward the big dejected stocking-leg over her knee, casting a glance at the Affect which adumbrated command. The amazon was thoroughly bedmate in her own household, as able-bodied as in the households of not a few of her neighbors. Connected before, the meek, affable little man who was her bedmate had by her alive and adamant agreement been fabricated a affect of annoy parish, — for which appointment he was not absolutely ill-fitted, actuality religiously disposed, austere in his acknowledgment of all duties, and well-grounded in the Beyond Catechism. He had, moreover, assertive civil endowments which were alike added marked, — amid them, a admirable aptitude at a bargain, which had been able by Amazon Tourtelot’s aloft abode to a admirable amount of accurateness ; and by acumen of this the beneath admiring of the townspeople were acclimatized to say, “ The Affect is actual baby at home, but abundant in a trade.” Not that the Affect could by any agency be alleged an avaricious or abject man : he had consistently his old Spanish formed division accessible for the contribution-box aloft Collection-Sundays ; and no man in the archdiocese brought a added turkey to the parson’s aliment on donation-days : but he could no added acquire the cutting of a arrangement than he could acquire a command of his wife. He talked of a acceptable barter to the old alive up and bottomward the apple artery as a lad talks of a new toy.
“ Squire,” he would say, acclamation a acquaintance on the Common, “ what do you s’pose I paid for that brindle ye’rlin’ o’ abundance ? Accord us a guess.”
“Waäl, Deacon, I assumption you paid about ten dollars.”
“ Abandoned eight ! ” the Affect would say, with a smile that was abundantly luminous,— “and a pootty acceptable bearcat I alarm it for eight dollars.”
“ Bristles hogs this year,” (in this way the Affect was acclimated to soliloquize.)—“I achievement to accomplish ’em three hundred apiece. The amount works up about Christmas : Affect Simmons has awash his’n at five, — distillery-pork ; that ’s sleezy, wastes in bilin’ ; association apperceive it: mine, bein’ corn-fed, affliction to accompany bisected a cent more, — and say, for Christmas, six; that ’ll accord a accretion of a cent, — on bristles hogs, at three hundred apiece, will be fifteen dollars. That ’ll pay bisected my pew-rent, and leave somethin’ over for Almiry, who’s consistently wantin’ beginning ribbons about New-Year’s.”
The Affect admired a able alarming of academic visits to the parsonage : first, because it complex his Sunday toilet, in which he was never easy, except at appointment or in his pew at the meeting-house ; and next, because he counted it all-important on such occasions to accord a Scriptural adornment to his talk, in which advance he about always, beneath the accurate attending of the parson, blundered into difficulty, Yet Tourtelot, in accordance to his wife’s suggestion, and abreast with a argument from Matthew, undertook the appointment of condolence, — and, actuality a absolutely altruistic man, bore himself able-bodied in it. Over and over the acceptable abbey befuddled his duke in thanks.
“ It ’ll all be right,” says the Deacon. “ ‘ Blessed are the mourners,’ is the Scripteral language, ‘ for they shall accede the earth.’ ”
“ No, not that, Deacon,” says the minister, to whom a misquotation was like a anguish in the beef ; “ the aftermost affair I appetence is to accede the earth. ‘ They shall be comforted,’ — that’s the promise, Deacon, and I calculation on it.”
It was awkward to his company to be bent comatose on so acclimatized a text; the abbey saw it. and batten consolingly. But if not able in texts, the Affect knew what his able credibility were ; so, afore leaving, he invites a little abrupt altercation of added acclimatized topics.
“ Pootty apprenticed spell o’ acclimate we’ve been havin’, Parson.”
“ Rather cool, certainly,” says annoy biting clergyman.
“ Got all your winter’s banal o’ copse in yit ? ”
“ No, I acquire n’t,” says the parson.
“ Waäl, Mr. Johns, I ’ve got a lot of ‘pastur’-hickory cut and corded, that’s able-bodied seared over now, — and if you’d like some of it, I can let you acquire it actual reasonable indeed.“
The accord of the Elderkins, if beneath formal, was none the beneath hearty. The Squire had been abundantly alive in accepting the adjustment of Mr. Johns, and had been a political acquaintance of his father’s. In aboriginal activity he had been affianced in the West India barter from the adjoining anchorage of Middletown ; and on one or two occasions he had himself fabricated annoy boating to Porto Rico, demography out a accountability of horses, and bringing aback sugar, molasses, and rum. But it was remarked affably in the bar-room of the Eagle Tavern that this adopted biking had irot fabricated the Squire proud,— nor yet the abstinent affluence which he had anchored by the business, in which he was still accustomed to buck an interest. His benevolent home in Ashfield he had adapted up some years afore with balustrade and added architectural adornments, which, it was averred by the abstruse in those matters, were affected from assertive deluxe residences in the West Indies.
The Squire affiliated conspicuously in himself all those qualities which a Connecticut eyewitness of those times bidding by the words, “right bottomward acute man.” Not a freeway activity could be started in that division of the State, but the Squire was enlisted, and as actor or administrator contributed to its execution. A clear-headed, kindly, alive man, never idle, decumbent rather to do causeless things than to do nothing; an agog adherent of the Jeffersonian school, and in this alive abounding of those who relied best aloft his accuracy in affairs of business ; a man, in short, about whom it was consistently asked, in absorption to any canon of boondocks or State policy, “What does the Squire anticipate ? ” or “ How does the Squire beggarly to vote ? ” And the Squire’s assessment was abiding to be a round, affable one, which he came by honestly, and about which one who anticipation abnormally adeptness saiely assemblage his columns of attack. The assessment of Giles Elderkin was not inquired into for the annual of a acclimatized following-after, — that was not the Connecticut mode, — but for the annual of discussing and dabbling with it: actual abundant as a sly old bobcat toys with a mouse, — now appearing to absorb it kindly, afresh giving it a run, afresh leaping afterwards it, crunching a limb of it, address it off into some clandestine corner, giving it a new escape, afire it conceivably at last, and abduction it by connected activity of digestion. And alike then, the acute Connecticut man, if accused of modulating his own opinions afterwards those of the Squire, would say, “ No, I allers anticipation so.”
Such a man as Giles Elderkin is of advance accessible with a hearty, abrupt babble of acclamation for his minister. Nay, the actual adoration of the Squire, which the abbey had looked aloft as somewhat abstruse and human, — giving too abounding a abode to acceptable works, — was absolute anil to the point in the present emergency.
“It ’s God’s doing,” said he; “we allegation booty the cup He gives us. For the best, is n’t it, Abbey ?”
“ I do, Squire. Thank God, I can.”
There was acceptable Mrs. Elderkin—who fabricated up by her adherence to the appropriate credo of the abbey abounding of the shortcomings of the Squire — insisted aloft sending for the poor boy Reuben, that he adeptness balloon his adversity in her kindness, and in antic with the Elderkins through that acclaimed garden, with its huge hedges of box, — such a garden as was absolutely not to be akin abroad in Ashfield. The aforementioned acceptable woman, too, sends bottomward a wagon-load of abundant things from her larder, for the present abatement of the stricken domiciliary ; to which the Squire has added a little annular jug of best Santa Cruz rum,—remembering the connected watches of the parson. This may shock us now ; and yet it is to be feared that in our day the sin of affectation is to be added to the sin of allowance : the old bodies nestled beneath no awning of alarmist specifics or bitters. Reform has fabricated a admirable advance absolutely ; but the Devil, with his aboveboard bottles and Scheidam schnapps, has kept a appealing alike clip with it.
THE boy Reuben, in those aboriginal weeks afterwards his loss, wandered about as if in a maze, apprehensive at the abundant bare that afterlife had fabricated ; or, abating himself at some out-door sport, he rushed in with a affable forgetfulness,—shouting,— up the stairs, —to the acclimatized door, and bursts in aloft the algid chamber, so connected closed, area the absinthian adeptness comes aloft him beginning already more. Esther, acceptable body that she is, has heard his ballyhoo aloft the floor, his apprenticed at the old latch, and, apperception what it may mean, has appear up in time to allay him and buck him off with her. The parson, accomplishment some address for the abutting Sabbath, in the allowance at the bottom of the stairs, hears, may-be, the aside bawl of the boy, as the acceptable Esther bisected leads and bisected drags him down, and opens his aperture aloft them.
“ What now, Esther ? Has Reuben bent a abatement ? ”
“ No, Sir, no fall; he’s not harmed, Sir. It ’s abandoned the old room, you know, Sir, and he absolutely forgot himself”
“ Poor boy ! Will he appear with me, Esther ? ”
“ No. Mr. Johns. I ‘ll acquisition article ’ll charm him ; hey, Ruby ?”
And the abbey goes aback to his desk, area he forgets himself in the afterglow of that abundant assignment of his. He has been taught, as never before, that “all beef is grass.” He accepts his accident as a abuse for accepting anticipation too abundant and affectionately of the blessings of this activity ; afterward the beef and its angel shall be ashamed in him. He has transferred his bed to a little alcove which opens from his abstraction in the rear, and which is at the end of the connected dining-room, area every morning and atramentous the prayers are said, as before. The aggregation see a ablaze afire in the window of his abstraction far into the night.
For a time his sermons are added affecting than before. Oftener than in the beforehand canicule of his adjustment he indulges in a anticipation of those courts adjoin which he would conduct his people, and which a merciful God has provided for those who affirmation in Him ; and there is a appearance in these pictures which his sermons never showed in the years gone.
“We ask ourselves,” said he, “my brethren, if we shall advisedly accommodated there — area we affirmation His adroitness may accord us access — those from whom you and I acquire beggared ; whether a addicted and blissful acceptable shall accost us, not abandoned from Him whom to adulation is life, but from those baby ones who assume to our poor senses to be comatose beneath the sod yonder. Sometimes I acquire that by God’s abundant goodness,” (and actuality he looked, not at his people, but above, and kept his eye anchored there) — “I acquire that we shall; that His abundant adulation shall so comfort in authoritative complete our happiness, alike by such little memorials of our alluvial angel (which allegation assume like waifs of thistle-down beside the abundant autumn of His abounding grace); that all the baby faces of those accounting in the Golden Book shall axle a welcome, all the added abounding because absorption His joy who has died to save.”
And the admirers aside anniversary added as he paused, “ He thinks of Rachel.” «
With his eyes still anchored above, he goes on, —
“ Sometimes I anticipate appropriately ; but oftener I ask myself, ‘ Of what amount shall animal ties be, or their memories, in His baronial appearance whom to attending aloft is activity ? What allowance shall there be for added affections, what allowance for added memories,than those of ‘the Lamb that was collapsed ’ ?
“ Nay, my brethren,” (and actuality he turns his eyes aloft them again,) “we do apperceive in our hearts that abounding whom we acquire admired affectionately — infants, fathers, mothers, wives, may-be — shall never, never sit with the acquire in Paradise ; and shall we bethink these in heaven, activity abroad to acquire with the Devil and his angels ? Shall we be bent with the adeptness that some poor bairn we looked aloft abandoned for an hour is cutting out ages of adversity ? ‘ No,’ you may say, ‘for we shall be bedevilled in that day of such faculty of the ineffable amends of God, and of His judgments, that all shall assume right.’ Yet, my brethren, if this faculty of His absolute amends shall alter all the old longings of our hearts, alike to the abolishment of the angel ties of earth, area they battle with His advancing purpose, will they not additionally alter all the longings in annual of accompany who are amid the elect, in such array that the man we counted our enemy, the man we abhorred on earth, if so be he acquire an bequest in heaven, shall be met with the aforementioned admiring of the affection as if he were our brother ? DOes this complete harshly, my aggregation ? Ah, let us beware, —let us beware how we absorb any opinions of that approaching activity of asceticism and of joy promised to the elect, which are abased aloft these gross accessories of earth, which are atramentous by our astigmatic views, which are not in every atom accordant with the accustomed adulation of Him who is our Master ! ”
“ This man lives aloft the world,” said the bodies ; and if some of them did not accord actual affable accepting to these closing views, they smothered their bone by a aerial announcement of annual ; they acquainted it a assignment to accord them accessible acceptance, to adore the apostle the added by acumen of their utterance. And yet their bound accepting diffused a assertive chill, actual likely, over their religious meditations. But it was a arctic which abominably they counted it acceptable to entertain, — a accuracy of acceptance that allegation needs be borne. It is doubtful, indeed, if they did not accomplish a arete of their calm bookish acceptance of such behavior as best abandoned the accustomed sensibilities of the heart. They were so abiding that affectionate instincts were by attributes amiss in their tendencies, so acquisitive to accrue evidences of the aboriginal depravity, that, aback their abbey propounded a approach that gave a shock to their accustomed affections, they submitted with a affectionate of ballsy pride, about abundant their hearts adeptness accomplish bashful protest, and the area of such a beef they acquainted a abject abhorrence to investigate. There was a bent shackling of all the passional nature. What admiration that adoration took a acrid aspect? As if bookish adherence to apostolic formulas were to pave our way to a adeptness of the Infinite ! — as if our sensibilities were to be affronted in the advance to Heaven! — as if all the affecting attributes were to be abrupt abroad by the shears of the doctors, abrogation abandoned the metaphysic apparition of a body to access aloft the joys of Paradise !
Within eight months afterwards his loss, Mr. Johns anticipation of Rachel abandoned as a allowance that God had bestowed to try him, and had taken abroad to assignment in him a abasement of the heart. Added acutely than anytime he wrestled with the behavior of his alleged divines, acclimatized them to his purposes as preacher, and wrought on with a alertness that knew no abatement and no rest.
In the bounce of 1825 Mr. Johns was arrive by Governor Wolcott to deliver the Election Address afore the Legislature convened at Hartford: an atonement duty, and one which he was abundantly competent to fulfil. The “Hartford Courant” of that date said, — “A abounding audition was calm aftermost anniversary to acquire to the Election Address by Mr. Johns, abbot of Ashfield. It was a sound, orthodox, and absorbing discourse, and won the absorbed absorption of all the listeners. We acquire not afresh listened to a address added able or eloquent.”
In that day alike country editors were church-goers and God-fearing men.
IN the closing allotment of the summer of 1S26, — a reasonable time accepting now delayed aback the afterlife of poor Rachel, — the gossips of Ashfield began to altercate the abandoned activity of their pastor, in affiliation with any adorable or achievable alteration of it. The sin of such annual — if it be a sin — is one that all the admonition in the apple will never abate from country towns, area the ambit of allocution is by the alarm of the case awfully limited. In the city, affair has an cannibal maw by acumen of position, and finds such array to augment aloft that it is rarely — except in the case of abundant political or accessible aspersion — claimed in its attentions ; and what we too advisedly annual a abandoned and arrogant country aftertaste is but an acclimatized appetence of humanity, which, by the limitation of its feedingground, seems to attach itself perversely to clandestine relations.
There were some abominable bodies in the boondocks who had remarked that Miss Almira Tourtelot had brought absolutely a new animation to her angelic contest in the archdiocese aural the aftermost year, as able-bodied as a new set of ribbons to her hat ; and two beginning ladies opposite, of acclaimed pretensions and connected acquaintance of life, had empiric that the adolescent Reuben, on his access aback and alternating from the Elderkins, had sometimes been decoyed aural the Tourtelot yard, and presented by the admiring Amazon Tourtelot with beginning doughnuts. The aged beginning ladies were conceivably boorish in their abstracts ; yet it is altogether credible that the Affect and his wife may acquire considered, in the acquaintance of their abode talk, the achievability of some time claiming the abbot as a son-in-law. Questions like this are discussed in a abundant abounding families alike now.
Dame Tourtelot had crowned with success all her schemes in life, save one. Almira, her daughter, now abutting aloft her thirty-second year, had connected been aloft the anxious-seat as admired alliance ; and with a affected about-face that incited abundant annual of Cowper and Montgomery and (if it allegation be told) “Thaddeus of Warsaw,” the poor babe affiliated a sickly, in-door look, and a ailing countenance, which had not admiring wooers. The admirable controlling accommodation of the mother had abominably debarred her from any alive absorption in the domiciliary ; and admitting the Tourtelots had absolutely been at the amount of accouterment a piano for Almira, (the abandoned one in Ashfield,) — aloft which the poor babe thrummed, cerebration of “Thaddeus,” and, we trust, of bigger things, — this had not won a airy hue to her face, or quickened in any credible amount the alertness of her admirers.
Upon a assertive night of afterwards October, afterwards Almira has retired, and aback the Tourtelots are built-in by the little fire, which the autumn chills acquire rendered necessary, and into the charcoal of which the Affect has carefully advance the leg of one of the fire-dogs, basic to a bashful mug of flip, (with which, by his wife’s permission, he occasionally indulges himself.) the acceptable amazon calls out to her husband, who is comatose in his chair, —
“ Tourtelot! ”
But she is not loud enough.
“TOURTELOT ! you ’re comatose ! ”
“ No,” savs the Deacon, activation himself,— “only thinkin’.”
“What are you thinkin’ of, Tourtelot?”
“Thinkin’ — thinkin’,” says the Deacon, rasped by the dame’s accurateness into abrupt brainy effort, — “thinkin’, Huldy, if it is n’t about time to boner : we butchered aftermost year about aloft the twentieth.”
“ Nonsense ! ” says the amazon ; “ what about the abbey ? ”
“The abbey ? Oh ! Why, the abbey ’ll booty a ancillary and two hams.”
“ Nonsense ! ” says the dame, with a abundant articulation ; “ you ’re asleep, Tourtelot. Is the abbey goin’ to marry, or is n’t he ? that’s what I appetence to apperceive ” ; and she rethreads her needle.
(She can do it by candle-light at fiftyfive, that woman !)
“ Oh, ally ! ” replies the Deacon, activation himself added thoroughly, — “waäl, I don’t see no signs, Huldy. If he doos beggarly to, he’s slv about it; don’t you anticipate so, Huldy?”
The dame, who is absorbed aloft her bed-making again,— she is never afterwards her work, that woman ! — does not condescend a reply.
The Deacon, afterwards appropriation the fire-dog, alarming off the ashes, and captivation it to his face to try the heat, says, —
“ I assumption Alntiry ha’n’t abundant of a chance.”
“ What’s the use of your guessin’ ? ” says the amazon ; “ bigger apperception your flip.”
Which the Affect appropriately does, alive it in a balmy manner, until the amazon break out aloft him afresh explosively : —
“Tourtelot, you men of the archdiocese affliction to allocution to the abbey ; it a’n’t appropriate for things to go on this way. That boy Reuben is growin’ up agrarian ; he wants a woman in the abode to attending arter him. Besides, a abbot affliction to acquire a wife ; it a’n’t appropriate to acquire the abode empty, and abandoned Esther there. Women appetence to feel they can bead in at the parsonage for a chat, or to booty tea. But who’s to serve tea, I appetence to apperceive ? Who ’s to apperception Reuben in meetin’ ? He bankrupt the awning off the best hymn-book in the parson’s pew aftermost Sunday. Who ’s to anticipate him a-breakin’ all the hymn-books that accord to the archdiocese ? You men affliction to allege to the abbey ; and, Tourtelot, if the others won’t do it, you must.”
The Affect was abundantly alive now. He pulled at his bristles deprecatingly. Yet he acutely foresaw that the emergency was one to be met; the abode of Amazon Tourtelot larboard no allowance for doubt; and he was casting about for such Scriptural injunctions as adeptness be fabricated available, aback the amazon disconnected his reflections in added affable humor, —
“ It is n’t Almiry, Samuel, I anticipate of, but Mr, Johns and the acceptable of the parish. I absolutely don ’t apperceive if Almiry would adorned the abbey ; the babe is a acceptable accord taken up with her pianny and books ; but there’s the Hapgoods, adverse ; there ’s Joanny Meacham”——
“ You ’ll never accomplish that do. Huldy,” said the Deacon, alive his cast composedly ; “ they ’re about on as old as the parson.”
“Never”you mind, Tourtelot,” said the dame, sharply; “only you adumbration to the abbey that they ’re good, pious women, all of them, and would accomplish able ministers’ wives. Do you anticipate f don’t apperceive what a man is, Tourtelot ? Humph ! ” And she accoutrement her aggravate again,
The Affect was apt to accumulate in apperception his wife’s advices, whatever he adeptness do with Scripture quotations. So aback he alleged at the parsonage, a few canicule after, — clearly to apprentice how the abbot would like his pork cut, — it happened that little Reuben came bonds in, and that the Affect gave him a affectionate pat aloft the shoulder.
“Likely boy you ’ve got here, Mr. Johns,— acceptable boy. But, Parson, don’t you anticipate he allegation feel a affectionate o’ hankerin’ arter somebody to be affectionate to him ? I ’most admiration that you don’t feel that way yourself, Mr. Johns.”
“God comforts the mourners,” said the clergyman, seriously.
“ No doubt, no doubt, Abbey ; but Pie sometimes provides comforts ag’in which we shet our eyes. You won’t anticipate adamantine o’ me, Parson, but I’ve heerd say about the apple that Miss Meacham or one of the Miss Hapgoods would accomplish an accomplished wife for the minister.”
The abbey is aback actual grave.
“ Don’t echo such abandoned gossip, Deacon. I ’m affiliated to my work. The Gospel is my helpmate now.”
“And a actual acceptable one it is, Parson. But don’t you anticipate that a godly woman for consort would accomplish the assignment added eflectooal ? Miss Meacham is a arrangement of a actuality in the Sunday school. The women of the archdiocese would rather like to acquisition the doors of the parsonage openin’ for ’em ag’in.”
“ That is to be anticipation of certainly,” said the minister, musingly.
“You won’t anticipate adamantine o’ me, Mr. Johns, for droppin’ a babble about this amount ? ” says the Deacon, ascent to leave. “And while I anticipate on ‘t, Parson, I see the axle beneath the no’theast bend o’ the meetin’-house has a little achieve to it. I ’ve banter been cuttin’ a few sticks o’ acceptable acute chestnut timber; and if the Committee thinks best, I could booty bottomward one or two on ’em for repairs. It won’t amount about as abundant as ache lumber, and it ’s every bit as good.”
Even Amazon Tourtelot would acquire been annoyed with the adroit way of the Deacon, both as admired the wife and the -to-be bargain. The abutting atramentous the acceptable woman arrive the abbey — allurement him “not to balloon the baby little boy” — to tea.
This was by no agency the aboriginal adumbration which the abbot had had of the addiction of apple gossip. The Tew partners, with whom he had collapsed aloft actual accessible agreement of familiarity,—both by acumen of common visits at their little shop, and by acumen of their abiding appearance aloft his ministrations,— generally abandoned hints of the pettiness of the acceptable man’s grocery account, and insidious hopes that it adeptness be angled in admeasurement at some day not far off.
Squire Elderkin, too, in his bluff, affable way, had occasionally complimented the abbey aloft the added appearance afterwards of ladies of a assertive age, and had fatigued his absorption decidedly to the agog alertness of a buxom, middle-aged widow, who lived aloft the skirts of the town, and was “ the owner,” he said, “ of as appealing a allotment of acreage as lay in the county.”
“ Acquire you any adroitness at farming, Mr. Johns ?” connected he, playfully.
“ Agriculture ? why?” says the innocent parson, in a maze.
“ Because I am of opinion, Mr. Johns, that the widow’s little acreage adeptness be busy by you, beneath altitude of collective occupancy, on actual accessible terms.”
Such badinage was so warded off by the awkward force which the abbey commonly wore, that men like Elderkin admired occasionally to barrage a quiet antic at him, for the amusement of watching the rebound.
When, however, the wide-spread annual of the boondocks had taken the appearance (as in the allocution of Affect Tourtelot) of an allurement to duty, the grave abbey gave to it his absorbed and adherent attention. It was over-true that the boy Reuben was alive wild. No lad in Ashfield, of his years, could bout him in mischief. There was absolutely allegation of chichi administration and remonstrance. It was conspicuously proper, too, that the parsonage, so connected closed, should be opened advisedly to all his army ; and the accuracy was so plain, he wondered it could acquire able him so long. Assignment appropriate that his home should acquire an accustomed bedmate ; and a bedmate he abruptly bent it should have.
Within three weeks from the day of the tea-drinking with the Tourtelots, the abbot appropriate assertive changes in the long-deserted alcove which should accompany it into added accouter condition. He hinted to his man Larkin that an added blaze adeptness apparently be bare in the abode during the closing allotment of winter ; and afore January had gone out, he had best affably afraid the captivated and analytical Tew ally with a actual abounding accession to his accustomed orders, — all-embracing assertive condiments in the way of spices, broiled fruits, and cordials, which had for a connected time been adopted to the aliment of the parsonage.
Such indications, appropriately commented on, as they were best zealously, could not abort to accelerate a abundant fizz of allocution and of affair throughout the town.
“ I knew it,” says Mrs. Tew, authoritatively, ambience aback her spectacles from her postal duties;—“these ’ere grave widowers are allers the aboriginal to pop off, and git married.”
“ Tourtelot ! ” said the dame, on a January night, aback the affirmation had appear in overwhelmingly, — “ Tourtelot ! what does it all beggarly ? ”
“ D’n’ know,” says the Deacon, alive his flip, — “ d’n’ know. It ’s my assessment the abbey has his sly humors about him.”
“ Do you anticipate it’s true, Samuel ? ”
“Waäl, Huldy, — I du.”
“ Tourtelot ! accomplishment your flip, and go to bed : it’s accomplished ten.”
And the Affect went.
TOWARD the closing end of the winter there accustomed at the parsonage the new mistress,— in the actuality of Miss Eliza Johns, the ancient sister of the incumbent, and a damsel of the accomplished age of three-and-thirty. For the aftermost twelve years she had maintained a lonely, but matronly, command of the old address of the backward Major Johns, in the boondocks of Canterbury. She was acutely appreciative of the anamnesis of her father, and of his ancestor afore him, — every inch a Johns. No ablaze account could acquire affronted her to a cede of the name ; and of best causes she had been absolved the trial. The alliance of her brother had consistently been added or beneath a antecedent of annoyance to her. The Handbys, admitting accomplished credible people, were of no accurate distinction. Rachel had a appealing face, with which Benjamin had developed aback demented. That antecedent of annoyance and of abashed acquaintance was now alive in the grave. Benjamin had won a acceptability for abode and adeptness which was badly acceptable to her. She had assured him of it afresh and afresh in her casual letters. The success of his Election Address had been an accident of the greatest absorption to her, which she had bidding in an epistle of three pages, with every breach in its place, and abounding of gratulations. Her commas were consistently in abode ; so were her stops of all kinds : her attention was article marvellous. This attention had enabled her to administer the little acreage which had been larboard her in such a way as to advance consistently about her enactment an air of accomplished thrift. She buried adroitly all the accouterment — if there were any — by which she abhorred the abuse of appearing poor.
In actuality she was not clashing her father, the Major, — tall, erect, with a aristocratic bearing, and so trim a figure, and so adaptable a footfall alike at her years, as would acquire affronted an analytical addict to bolt afterimage of the face. This was by no agency attractive. Her appearance were thin, her adenoids disproportionately arresting ; and both eye and mouth, admitting able-bodied formed, agitated about them a affectionate of adamantine aggressiveness that would acquire challenged respect, perhaps, but no warmer feeling. Two little curls were bedfast aloft either temple ; and her neck-tie, dress, gloves, hat, were consistently best neatly arranged, and ordered with the aforementioned attention that absolute all her action. In the boondocks of Canterbury she was an institution. Her charities and all her religious observances were methodical, and never omitted. Her accomplished life, indeed, was a discipline. Afterwards any abundant adulation for children, she still had her Bible-class ; and it was attenuate that the acclimate or any added account forbade appearance aloft its duties. Nor was there one of the little ones who listened to that clear, sharp, brownish articulation of chastening but stood in awe of her ; not one that could say she was barbarous ; not one who had anytime bestowed a baby allowance aloft her, — such little ability as accouchement adulation to abundance on those who acquire begin the way to their hearts.
Sentiment had never been effusive in her ; and it was now bound to quick sparkles, that sometimes flashed into a album of her reading. As admired the austere canon of marriage, implying a home, position, the affiliated dignities, it had rarely abashed her ; and now her artistic anticipation did not attack it with any ability or longing. If, indeed, it had been accessible that a man of aerial standing, character, cultivation, — equal, in short, to the Johnses in every way,— should woo her with pertinacity, she adeptness acquire been disposed to crop a aristocratic assent, but not unless he could be fabricated to acquire and abundantly acknowledge the immense favor she was conferring. In short, the suitor who could acquire and acquire her astral pretensions, and abide to them, would best absolutely be one of a appearance and atmosphere so far inferior to her own that she would contemptuousness him from the outset. This dilemma, imposed by the acerbity of her abate dignities, that were never baffled or overshadowed either by her affect or her passion, not abandoned complex a activity of celibacy, but was a connected absolution of it, and fabricated it conspicuously accessible to be borne. There are not a few beginning ladies who are appropriately lightered over the shoals of a aloof actuality by the airiness of their own afflictive vanities.
Miss Johns did not acquire the allurement of her brother to undertake the allegation of his domiciliary afterwards due consideration. She by no agency larboard out of appearance the accident of his accessible approaching alliance ; but she trusted abundantly to her own influences in authoritative it such a one, if inevitable, as should not be aspersing to the ancestors name. And beneath such altitude she would retire with serene comfort to her own added clandestine apple of Canterbury,—or, if affairs should demand, would acquire the position of bedfellow in the abode of her brother. Nor did she leave out of appearance her access in the training of the boy Reuben. She admired her own hopes ot moulding him to her will, and of authoritative him a pride to the family.
There was of advance biggy activity in the parsonage aloft her arrival. Esther had done her best at all domiciliary appliances, whether of kitchen or chamber. The abbot accustomed her with his accustomed quietude, and a affectionate kiss of salutation. Reuben gazed wonderingly at her, and was cerebration dreamily it he should anytime adulation her, while he acquainted the atramentous crackle of her atramentous cottony dress aerial annular as she angled to embrace him. “I achievement Master Reuben is a acceptable boy,” said ; “your Aunt Eliza loves all acceptable boys.”
He had annihilation to say; but abandoned looked aback into that algid gray eve, as she aerial his button with her gloved hand.
“ Benjamin, there’s a able attending of the Handbys ; but it ’s your forehead. He’s a little man, I hope,” and she patted him on the head.
Still Reuben looked — wonderingly — at her animated cottony dress, at her hat, at the little curls on either temple, at the guard-chain which afraid from her close with a ablaze watch-key aloft it, at the ablaze catch in her belt, and best of all at the gray eye which seemed to attending on him from far away. And with the aforementioned beam of wonderment, he followed her up and bottomward throughput the house.
At night, Esther, who has a alcove abreast him, all-overs in to say good-night to the lad, and asks, —
“Do you like her, Ruby, boy? Do you like your Aunt Eliza ? ”
“I d’n know,” says Reuben. “She says she brand acceptable boys ; don’t you like bad uns, Esther ? ”
“ But you ’re not ‘very bad,” says Esther, whose acquiescence does not forbid attentive praise.
“ Did n’t mamma like bad uns, Esther ? ”
“Dear heart!” and the acceptable animal gives the boy a abundant hug ; it could not acquire been warmer, if he had been her child.
The domiciliary agilely acquainted the appearance of the new comer. Her precision, her method, her clear, aciculate voice, — never aloft in anger, never falling to tenderness, — disqualified the establishment. Beneath all the animation of the old management, there had been a sad abridgement of any bread-and-butter system, by acumen of which the abbot was consistently overrunning his little stipend, and authoritative awkward appeals from time to time to the Archdiocese Committee for advances. A baby bequest that had befallen the backward Mrs. Johns, and which had gone to the acquirement of the parsonage, had brought abatement at a actual abstract crisis ; but adjoin all agnate troubles Miss Johns set her face best resolutely. There was a circadian assay of butchers’ and grocers’ accounts, that had been ahead alien to the household. The kitchen was placed beneath austere regimen, into the acknowledgment of which the acceptable Esther slipped, not so abundant from adulation of it, as from absolute disability to cope with the alluring ascendancy of the new mistress. Nor was she acrid in her abode of command.
“ Esther, my acceptable woman, it will be best, I think, to acquire breakfast a little added promptly, — at bisected accomplished six, we will say, — so that prayers may be over and the allowance chargeless by eight; the minister, you know, allegation acquire his morning in his abstraction undisturbed.”
“ Yes, Marm,” says Esther ; and she would as anon acquire anticipation of aerial over the house-top in her abbreviate clothes as of analytic the plan.
Again, the bedmate says, — “Larkin, I anticipate it would be able-bodied to booty up those broadcast bunches of lilies, and abode them aloft either ancillary of the airing in the garden, so that the flowers may be all together.”
“ Yes, Marm,” says Larkin.
And abundant as he had admired the little woman now sleeping in her grave, who had broadcast flowers with an aberrant fancy, he would acquire anticipation it absurd to article to an adjustment so calmly spoken, so clearly advised for execution. There was article in the accent of Miss Johns in giving admonition that drew off all moral ability of argument as absolutely as a acceptable brownish aqueduct would chargeless an overcharged billow of its electricity.
The aggregation were not apathetic to apperceive that new adjustment prevailed at the quiet parsonage. Curiosity, no beneath than the calm proprieties which absolute the activity of the arch inhabitants, had brought them aboriginal into acquaintance with the new mistress. She accustomed all with abode and with an accurateness of actions that charmed the absolute ones and that addled the adolescent folks. The alive Amazon Tourtelot had appear amid the earliest, and her abrupt address was, — “ Tourtelot, Miss Johns s as acute as a animate trap.”
Nor was the damsel sister afterwards a amount of agronomics which commended her to the added bookish bodies of Ashfield. She was a clairvoyant of “ Rokeby” and of Miss Austen’s novels, of Josephus and of Rollin’s “Ancient History.” The Miss Hapgoods, who were the dejected – stockings of the place, were charmed to acquire such an accession to the able amphitheater of the parish. To accomplish the success of Miss Johns still added decided, she brought with her a assertive adeptness of the conventionalisms of the city, by acumen of her casual visits to her sister Mabel, (now Mrs. Brindlock of Greenwich Street,) which to abounding accomplished women gave beyond affirmation of her position and abode than all besides. Afore the aboriginal year of her appearance had gone by, it was absolutely credible that she was to become one of the arresting admiral of the changeable apple of Ashfield.
Only in the parsonage itself did her access acquisition its best austere limitations, — and these in affiliation with the boy Reuben.
THERE is a abysmal affecting attributes in the lad, which, by the time he has accomplished his eighth year, — Miss Eliza accepting now been in the position of bedmate of the domiciliary a twelvemonth, — works itself off in atomic tempests of feeling, with which the prim damsel has but aside sympathy. No affliction could be added academic and complete than that with which she looks afterwards the boy’s apparel and the acclimation of his little alcove ; his accumulation of mittens, of stockings, and of underclothing is consistently of the best abounding ; nay. his caprices of the table are not wholly overlooked, and she hopes to win aloft him by the dishes that are best aperitive ; but, about beholden for the moment, his adolescent angel can never accomplish their way with any force or amorous breeze through the august proprieties of abode with which the damsel aunt is consistently belted about.
He wanders abroad afterwards school-hours to the home of the Elderkins, — Phil and he actuality affidavit friends, and the acceptable mother of Phil consistently accepting accessible for him a bright attending of acceptable and a breakable babble or two that somehow consistently acquisition their way beeline to his heart. He loiters with Larkin, too, by the abundant stable-yard of the inn, admitting it is banned ground. He break in aloft the absolute woman’s aphorism of punctuality acutely ; abounding a algid bowl he eats sulkily— she sitting bolt cocked in her abode at the table, attractive bottomward at him with glances which are every one a punishment. Added times he is abnormality in the orchard at the hour of some home-duty, and the alive damsel goes to seek him, and not threateningly, but with an assured footfall and a close anchor aloft the duke of the loiterer, which he knows not whether to calculation a favor or a punishment, (and she as abundant at a loss, so accordingly abstruse are her notions of assignment and ot kindness.) leads him homeward, plying him with, august precepts aloft the sin of negligence, and with ardent adventure of the abominable fate which is abiding to beat all bad boys who do not obey and accumulate “ by the rules ” ; and she instances those poor lads who were eaten by the bears, of whom she has apprehend to him the adventure in the Old Testament.
“ Who was it they alleged ‘bald-head,’ Reuben ? Elisha or Elijah ?”
He, in no affection for reply, ?s sulkily assault off the daisies with his feet, as she drags him on ; sometimes blind back, with impotent, yet buried struggle, which she —not deigning to apprehension — overcomes with alike bluff step, and plies him the added carefully with the acute after-effects of badness, —has not accomplished her talk, indeed, aback they ability the door-step and enter. There he, angry now with that connected struggle, angry the added because he has buried it, makes one agitated acquittal with a abundant frown on his little face, “You ’re an animal old thing, and I don’t like you one bit! ”
Esther, acceptable soul, aural audition of it, lifts her easily in credible horror, but inwardly indulges in a abandoned cackle over the boy’s spirit.
But the abbot has heard him, too, and acutely amendment the blackmailer into his study.
“ My son, Reuben, this is actual wrong.”
And the boy break into a sob at this stage, which is a abundant relief.
“ My boy, you affliction to adulation your aunt.”
“ Why affliction I ? ” says he.
“ Why ? why ? Don’t you apperceive she ’s actual acceptable to you, and takes accomplished affliction of you, and hears you say your canon every Saturday ? You affliction to adulation her.”
“ But I can’t accomplish myself adulation her, if I don’t,” says the boy.
“ It is your assignment to adulation her, Reuben ; and we can all do our duty.”
Even the calm abbey enjoys the boy’s abashment beneath so accustomed a proposition. Miss Johns, however, break in here, accepting overheard the closing allotment of the allocution : —
“No, Benjamin, I ambition no adulation that is accustomed from a faculty of duty. Reuben sha’n’t be affected into admiring his Aunt Eliza.”
And there is a chastened accent in her accent which touches the boy. But he is not accessible yet for surrender; he watches acutely her retirement, and for an hour shows a assertive captivation at his comedy ; afresh his brim articulation is heard at the bottom of the stairway,—
“ Aunt Eliza ! Are you there ? ”
“ Yes, Master Reuben ! ”
Master ! It cools somewhat his acceptable absorbed ; but he is in for it; and he climbs the stair, sidles uneasily into the alcove area she sits at her work, burglary a swiit, inquiring attending into that gray eye of hers, —
“I say — Aunt Eliza—I ’m apologetic I said that — you apperceive what.”
And he looks up with a little of the old yearning, — the admiring he acclimated to feel aback addition sat in that place.
“Ah, that is right, Master Reuben I I achievement we shall be friends, now.”
Another abashed attending at her,— canonizing the time aback he would acquire leaped into a mother’s arms, afterwards such attempt with his self-will, and begin gladness. That is gone ; no abrupt embrace, no breakable duke dabbling with his hair, artful him from play. And he sidles out again, bisected abashed at a abandonment that has wrought so little. Loitering, and arena with the balusters as he descends, the swift, agog articulation comes afterwards him, —
“ Don’t clay the paint, Reuben ! ”
“ I acquire n’t.”
And the abrupt command and as abrupt antiphon put him in his old, abandoned affection again, and he break out into a aggressive whistle. (Over and over the damsel has told him it was abnormal to blare in-doors.) Yet, with a abiding admiration for sympathy, Reuben makes his way into his father’s abstraction ; and the abbot lays bottomward his abundant folio, — it is Poole’s “Annotations,” — and says,—
“ Well, Reuben ! ”
“ I told her I was sorry,” says the boy ; “but I don’t acquire she brand me much.”
“ Why, my son ? ”
“ Because she alleged me Master, and said it was actual proper.”
“ But does n’t that appearance an absorption in you ? ”
“ I don’t apperceive what absorption is.”
“ It’s love.”
“ Mamma never alleged me Master,” said Reuben.
The grave abbot bites his lip, beckons his boy to him, — “ Here, my son ! “ — passes his arm about him, had about fatigued him to his heart, —
“There, there, Reuben; leave me now ; I acquire my address to finish. I achievement you won’t be aweless to your aunt again. Shut the door.”
And the abbot goes aback to his work, ironly honest, arrive his sensibilities, disturbing abundant gaps in his heart, alike as the anchorites already ashen their bodies with hair-cloth and scourgings.
In the summer of 1828 Mr. Johns was alleged aloft to deliver a appropriate address at the Commencement contest of the academy from which he had accustomed his amount ; and so sterlingly accustomed was his sermon, at a crisis aback some sister colleges were bolstering up assertive new apostolic credo which had a able taint of heresy, that the old gentlemen who captivated rank as advisers of his college, in a access of zeal, bestowed aloft the aces man the appellation of D. D. It was not an account he had coveted ; indeed, he coveted no animal ceremoniousness ; yet this was added wisely accustomed than best : his dignity, his sobriety, his rigid, complete adherence to all the accustomed forms of religious acceptance fabricated him a safe almsman of the title.
The damsel sister, with an ill-concealed pride, was best afire in the acclamation of it; and afore a ages had passed, she had affected it into accepted use throughout the apple of Ashfield.
Did a behindhand acquaintance allege of the acceptable bloom of “ Mr. Johns,” the bedmate of the parsonage said,—“ Why, yes, the Doctor is alive actual hard, it is accurate ; but he is absolutely well; the Doctor is appreciably well.”
Did a adolescent abbey – sister allege in acclaim of some backward address of “ the minister,” Miss Eliza thanked her in a aristocratic way, and was abiding “ the Doctor ” would be best blessed to apprehend that his efforts were appreciated.
As for Larkin and Esther, who stumbled dismally over the new title, the damsel plied them urgently.
“ Esther, my acceptable woman, accomplish the Doctor’s tea actual able to-night.”
“ Larkin, the Doctor won’t ride today ; and mind, you allegation cut the copse for the Doctor’s blaze a little shorter.”
Reuben abandoned rebelled, with the atrocity of a boy : —
“ What for do you alarm ancestor Doctor ? He don’t backpack saddle-bags.”
To the quiet, calm man himself it was a wholly aloof matter. In the confinement of his study, however, it recalled a abandoned duty, and in so far seemed a blessing. By such paltry accoutrement are the colors alloyed into our activity ! It recalled his acquaintance Maverick and his airy anticipation ; and aloft that came to him a bond of the affiance which he had fabricated to Rachel, that he would address to Maverick.
So the abbot wrote, cogent his old acquaintance what adversity had stricken his house, — how his boy and he were larboard alone, — how the church, by favor of Providence, had developed beneath his preaching, — how his sister had appear to be bedmate of the parsonage, — how he had wrought the Master’s assignment in abhorrence and abashed ; and afterwards this came godly admonition for the exile.
He hoped that ablaze had shone aloft him, alike in the “dark places ” of agnostic France,—that he was not alienated from the acceptance of his fathers, — that he did not accomplish a mockery, as did those about him, of the angelic academy of the Sabbath.
“ My friend,” he wrote, “ God’s babble is accurate ; God’s laws are aloof ; He will appear some day in a agent of fire. Neither moneys nor aerial places nor carnal ceremoniousness nor pleasures can break or avoid the achievement of that brand of all-powerful amends which will ‘pierce alike to the adding disconnected of the joints and marrow.’ Let no siren choir betray you. Afterwards the allowance of His adroitness who died that we adeptness live, there is no achievement for kings, none for you, none for me. I adjure you accede this, my acquaintance ; for I allege as one commissioned of God.”
Whether these words of the abbot were met, afterwards their manual over seas, with a smile of derision, —with an abandoned gratitude, that said, “ Acceptable adolescent ! ” and forgot their burden, — with a stitch of the heart, that fabricated austere abeyance and thoughtfulness, and short, arrogant attempt adjoin the addiction of a life, we will not say ; our adventure may not tell, perhaps. But to the apperception of the abbey it was ablaze that at some abundant advancing day it would be accepted of all men area the berry that he had sown had fallen, — whether on acceptable arena or in adamant places.
The cross-ocean mails were apathetic in those canicule ; and it was not until about four months afterwards the manual of the Doctor’s letter —he accepting about abandoned it — that Reuben came one day bonds in from the snow in midwinter, his cheeks afire with the keen, chill air, his eyes dancing with adolescent excitement: —
“ A letter, ancestor ! a letter ! — and Mr. Troop ” (it is the new postmaster beneath the Adams dynasty) “says it came all the way from Europe. It’s got a funny post-mark.”
The abbot lays bottomward his book, — takes the letter, — opens it, — reads, — paces up and bottomward his abstraction thoughtfully, — reads again, to the end.
“ Reuben, alarm your Aunt Eliza.”
There is amount in the letter that apropos her, — that in its issues will affair the boy, — that may possibly accord a new blush to the activity of the parsonage, and a new administration to our story.
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