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month of May in which she attained the age of eighteen, just after her return home from the Misses Primbers' school, you would not have thought such a pretension upon my part to be extravagant; for I verily believe that to have made her any handsomer than she was, would have been a needless waste of beauty.
I will not incur the folly of an attempt to describe such a peerless creature; yet as it is quite probable that many will be curious with respect to the style of her beauty, and will be ready to ask whether she was plump or thin, fair or dark complexion, tall or short, and so forth, I will proceed to be more explicit concerning these matters, meanwhile disclaiming all intention of giving a downright description of my heroine, according to the fashion prevalent among authors. And hereby I make manifest the sincerity of my own belief in the superiority of Lucy's good looks. For it would be a very easy thing-after having asserted, in general terms, that she was without a rival-to leave each of my readers to paint her picture for himself, and so each one would be sure to imagine her to be what he most admires. But I disdain to use any such unworthy artifice, in order to gain for my heroine the suffrages of my readers, at the expense of her individuality.
So then I will say that Lucy was in height about five feet and three or four inches. Her figure was slight and graceful, befitting her youth, though the budding beauties of her form gave promise of ripening, in due season, into the symmetrical proportions of mature and perfect womanhood. She was very fair, with light brown hair that had a pale golden tint in the sun, so thick and wavy, and apt to curl withal, that she used commonly to wear it on her neck and falling over her white shoulders; though of late, to be sure, since she had been at Hartford, it had grown too long to be suffered to have its own way in this fashion. Her face was oval, with a low, broad forehead, and a delicate little chin, and rosy mouth, with dimples in each cheek, that chastened the somewhat imperious expression given to her face by her large, calm grey eyes and straight nose. This blending of haughtiness and sweetness was also perceptible in her manner as well as in her face. The queen of gods and men could not assume a mien more superb than this little country girl; the queen of hearts, sweet Venus herself, was not more capable of inspiring love.
I am sure, that by this time, I have made it evident to everybody that my heroine is a very lovely, deserving person, and worthy of the place of honor in brighter pages than mine-a reflection at the same time pleasant and painful. I must confess, however, that I am conscious of feeling a good deal of satisfaction at my good fortune, in having discovered this "gem of purest ray serene," in the sequestered valley of the Niptuck; for I cannot but hope that its lustre will be reflected upon the setting in which I shall place it, and so cause my humble story to be regarded with complacency, and perhaps even with delight, by those whose good opinion I am so desirous to gain.
That so handsome a creature should have lovers, was a matter of course, and needs not be averred. Even when Lucy was a little witch of ten, and went to the district-school in a short frock and pantalettes, the boys used to strive for the privilege of carrying her dinner basket, and the lucky fellow who secured her for a passenger, to haul home upon his sled, was pretty sure to run a gauntlet of snow-balls as soon as he had left his lovely fare at her father's gate. Indeed, I have good reason to believe that before she was ten years of age, she had received a proposal of marriage from her cousin, John Dashleigh-who was but three years older-and that she had returned a favorable reply, accompanied with several kisses, and a great many tears and passionate exclamations; for John was to start the next morning, with his mother and grandfather, in the very tilted wagon in which the children then sat, for the Genesee country, four hundred miles away into the woods, among the bears and savage Indians.
But as the years came and went, John's image, for a while very carefully cherished, grew fainter and fainter in her memory, and in the course of time -she never could tell when or howit began to be considered a settled thing that when she grew up she was to marry young Joab Sweeny, for whom she could not help feeling a hearty dislike; and, in fact, throughout the neighborhood, it came to be well understood that Fixed Starr and Deacon Joab Sweeny's wife, his sister Achsah, had negotiated an alliance between Lucy and her cousin, young Joab. To contend against the will of either of these resolute personages was a thing but seldom dreamed of in Walbury. To hope to subvert their joint decrce was of course quite out of the
question. Besides, when Lucy made her appearance at meeting the first Sunday after her return home from the Misses Primbers' great school at Hartford, she was dressed in such a stylish mode, she carried herself so haughtily, and above all she was so transcendently lovely, that the young swains of Walbury, though struck dumb with admiration, instinctively felt that it was madness to aspire to so exalted a fortune as her love would confer. To be sure, the more enterprising of the young fellows, her former schoool-mates, had, according to the custom of smart young Yankees, left their native village in quest of fortunes abroad.
I dare say that if either Jack Ross or Sam Grosvenor had been at home that Sunday night, he would have ventured to call at the colonel's for the purpose of inviting Lucy to go to the singing school. Be that as it may, young Joab Sweeny, as he made ready to do his mother's bidding, and went up into his chamber to repair his Sunday toilet before setting out to call on his fair cousin, confidently supposed that he had no reason to fear a rival. Albeit in this Joab reckoned without his host, as the saying is, as will hereinafter more fully and at large ap
(To be continued.)
LIVING IN THE COUNTRY.
Mrs. Sparrowgrass discourses of Social Life in the Rural Districts-Town and Country-The Advantages of dressing in a Plain Way-Our New Dog-Autumnal Scenery-A Family Aqueduct.
WE E have an invitation to a party," said Mrs. Sparrowgrass, Friday next, and I think a party is a very pleasant thing in the country. There is more sociability, more hospitality, warmer welcomes, less dress, and less style, than there is in the city." Here Mrs. Sparrowgrass handed me an engraved card of rather formidable dimensions, which I must confess looked anything but rural. I took the missive with some misgivings, for I have a natural horror of parties. "I wonder," said I, in the most playful kind of bitter irony, "whether we will meet out here that young lady that never sings herself, but is always so passionately fond of music?" Mrs. Sparrowgrass said she thought not; she said she heard she was married.
"And that gentleman," I continued, "who was a stranger to me, that always wanted to be presented to some young lady that I didn't know?"
Mrs. Sparrowgrass said she believed he had gone to California.
"And that lady who prized confectionery above good-breeding, and went home with her pockets well stuffed with mottoes, in defiance of the eighth commandment, and the laws of propriety?"
Mrs. Sparrowgrass said she knew the lady to whom I alluded, but she assured me she was yet in New York, and had not been seen about our village.
"Then," said I, "Mrs. Sparrowgrass, we will go to the party. Put my best shirt, and the white waistcoat in Monday's wash. Never mind expense. me a crumb of bread, and bring me my old white gloves. I am going to be gay.'
"I think," said Mrs. Sparrowgrass, "that a party in town is nothing but an embarrassment." "True," said I. "Don't you remember," said she," what a fuss I used to make about getting my hair fixed, and how put out I was that night when you forgot the japonica?" Certainly." "And then, when we were all dressed and ready, how we used to wait for fear of getting there too early, and after we did reach the house, how we always got in a corner, and made happy wall-flowers of ourselves, and some old friend." "Of course I do." "Where nobody took any notice of us." แ Exactly." "Then what difference did it make how I was dressed-whether I wore Honiton lace or cotton edging?" "I am afraid," said I, "Mrs. Sparrowgrass, if you had made a point of wearing cotton lace, you would not have been invited." At this palpable double entendre I felt that secret satisfaction which every man must feel when he has said a good thing. It was lost upon Mrs. Sparrowgrass. "Here," she continued, we expect a simple, old-fashioned entertainment. Then I chimed
in-"No gas-lights to make your eyes
said I, "there was a prospect of apples
I could be content
To see no other verdure than its own;
but we must succumb; we will go like
“If you were me, what would you wear?" said Mrs. Sparrowgrass.
Something very plain, my dear." "Then," said Mrs. Sparrowgrass, "I have nothing very plain, suitable for a party, and to-morrow I must go to town and do a little shopping."
"I am afraid," said I (after the second day's hard shopping in town) "your dress is going to be too plain, my dear. Every hour brings a fresh boy, with a fresh bundle, and a fresh bill, to my office." Mrs. Sparrowgrass said, “ that if I thought so, perhaps she had better get something expensive when she went to buy the trimming." I told her I thought her dress would do without trimming. She said, "it would be ridiculous without gimp or galloon; but perhaps I would prefer velvet ribbon, on account of the flounces ?" I told her she had better get the velvet ribbon, and omit the gimp and galloon. Mrs. Sparrow66 very well," and the next grass said, day another boy brought another bundle, and another bill, which convinced me that extras for an important item in rural architecture. Then we had a dressmaker for several days, and the stitching went on by sun-light and lamplight, and on the last day Mrs. S. discovers that she had nothing for her head, and the new bonnet was taken to pieces to get at the feathers for a coiffure. Then when the night fell, there fell, too, a soaking rain; and I had forgotten the carriage, so I was obliged to go a mile in the mud to order one from the village livery stable. Then I had to walk back, VOL. V.-21
as the man said "it was out;" but he promised to send it for us right straight off. Then I had to get dressed over again. Then Mrs. Sparrowgrass could not find her best handkerchief, and I dropped five spermacetti blotches on the new silk dress looking for it. Then she found the handkerchief. Then our girl said that the new dog had run off with one of my boots. Then I had to go out in the mud in my slippers after the dog. Then I got the boot and put it on so as to make that sure. Then we waited for the carriage. We were all dressed and ready, but no carriage. We exercised all the patience we could muster, on account of the carriage, and listened at the windows to see if we could hear it. Two months have elapsed, and it hasn't come yet. Next day we heard that the party had been an elegant affair. That everybody was there, so that we concluded the carriage had not been able to come for us on account of business.
I have bought me another dog. I bought him on account of fine, long ears, and beautiful silky tail. He is a pup, and much caressed by the young ones. One day he went off to the butcher's, and came back with no more tail than a toad. The whole bunch of young Sparrowgrasses began to bawl when he reached the cottage, on account of his tail. I did not know him when I came home, and he could not recognize me-he had He relost his organ of recognition. minded me of a dog I once heard of, that looked as if he had been where they wanted a tail merely, and had taken his, and thrown the dog away. Of course I took my stick, and went to see the butcher. Butcher said "he supposed I was something of a dog fancier, and would like to see my dog look stylish." I said on the contrary, that I had bought him on account of his handsome silky tail, and that I would give ten dollars to have it replaced. Then the idea of having it replaced seemed so ludicrous that I could not restrain a smile, and then the butcher caught the joke, and said there was no way to do it except with fresh putty. I do love a man that can enjoy a joke, so I took a fancy to that butcher. When I got home and saw the dog, I thought less of the butcher, but put a piece of black court-plaster on the dog, and it improved his appearance at once. So I forgave the butcher, and went to bed at peace with all mankind.
I love to lie a-bed in these autumnal mornings, and see the early sunlight on
these grim old palisades. A vast stretch of rock, gaunt and grey, is not a cheerful view from the south window. Shut your eyes for a few minutes, and now look. That faint red cornice, reaching rough-cast along the rugged tops, ten miles or more, from Closter to Tillietudlem, is not unpicturesque.' And although we have not the odor of spring lilacs and summer roses, breathing through the windows, yet there is something not less delightful to the sense in this clear frosty atmosphere. Below, the manycolored woods that bourgeon on the sides seem to retain the verdure of early spring in those cool depths of shadow. As the sunlight broadens on the crags, the illusion disappears, and we behold once more the brilliant vagaries of vegetation, the hectic hints of yesterday. I wish Kensett could see that pure blue sky and yonder melancholy sloop on the river, working her passage down with bricks from Haverstraw, and a sail like an expanded rose leaf. It is a pleasant thing to watch the river craft in these autumnal mornings. Sometimes we see a white breast covey coming up in the distance-from shore to shore a spread of dimity. Here and there are troops of shining ones with warm illuminated wings, and others creeping along in shadow with spectral pinions, like evil spirits. Yonder schooner is not an unfair image of humanity; beating up against adverse winds with one black and one white sail. That dogged old craft, just emerging from obscurity into sunlight, is but a type of some curmudgeon passing from poverty to affluence, and there is another, evidently on the wrong track, stretching away from the light of prosperity into the gloom of misfortune. I do not love the country less because of her teachings by these simple symbols. There are many things to be learned from watching the old wood-sloops on the river.
Our neighbor has been making an improvement in his house. He has had a drain made in the kitchen, with a long earthen pipe ending in a cess-pool at the end of his garden. The object of it is to carry off the superfluous water from the house. It was a great convenience, he said, on wash days." One objection might be urged, and that was after every heavy rain he found a gully in his garden path, and several cart-loads of gravel in his cess-pool. Besides, the pipe was of an equal width, and one obstruction led to another; sometimes it was a silver spoon and a child's frock; some
times it was a scrubbing-brush, a piece of soap, and a handkerchief. I said that if he had made a square wooden trough, gradually widening from end to end, it would have cleared itself, and then I thought it would be a good thing for me to have such a one myself. Then I had a cess-pool built at the bottom of the wall, under the bank, which is about one hundred and fifty feet from the kitchen, and told my carpenter to make a trough of that length. Carpenter asked me "how big I wanted it?" I told him about eight inches in diameter at the end nearest to the house, and then gradually widening all the way for the whole length. As I said this, my carpenter smiled, and said he never heard of such a thing. I told him no, that the idea was an original one of my own. He asked me how much I would like to have it widened. I thought for a moment, and said, "about half an inch to a foot." He said very well, and the next week he came with two horses and an edifice in his cart that looked like a truncated shot tower. I asked him what that was? He said it was the big end of my pipe. When he laid it on the ground on its side I walked through it, and could not touch the upper side with my hand. Then I asked the carpenter what he meant by it, and he said it was made according to directions. I said not at all, that I told him to increase the diameter at the rate of half an inch to the foot, and he had made it about a foot to the foot, as near as I could judge. "Sparrowgrass," said he, a little nettled, "jest take your pencil and put down eight inches." "Well, that's the diameter of the small end, I believe?" I told the carpenter he was right so far. Now for every foot there is an increase of half an inch in the width; that's according to directions, too, aint it?" Yes. "Well, then, put down one hundred and fifty half inches, how much does that make, altogether, in feet?" Six feet eleven inches. "Now," said he, "jest you take my rule, and measure the big end of that ere pipe." "Carpenter, said I, "I see it all, but the next time I build an aqueduct I will be a little more careful in the figures." "Sparrowgrass,' said he, pointing to the pipe, "did not you tell me that that was an original idea of your own?" I answered that I believed I did make a remark of that kind. "Well," said he, with a sort of muffled laugh, "that is the first time that I did see an original idea come out at the big end."
NOTES ON PROPER NAMES.
ANS, Hans! come here, my poy-I saysh mynheer, knows you vot for I calls my poy Hans?"
"No, indeed sir, I cannot think of any peculiar fitness in it."
Well, mynheer, it ish because that ish his name.'
Here ended the question with our simple-minded Dutchman, here it ends with most men, who never ask why names should be suffered to lord it over things. But philosophy, which is always permitted to step in when utility steps out, has a longer inquisition in the case. To Hans it were enough to know that the rough aspirate-nasal-hiss, is his name, and he would hardly be so wise as to let sour-krout wait for him to settle the wherefore of his having any name, or that name in which he was summoned to dinner. But philosophy never dines, and to her it imports much why he was so called; and she might from so short a text preach an endless dissertation on philology, anatomy, the progress of civilization, and the arts, and the great science of nomenclature. But if she has her head, nobody else could ever dine; so nstead of our going into the wilderness of wisdom opened up by his name, Hans may go to his father the D-Dutchman, and we will go to the limited consideration of proper names.
To commence methodically, though someways from the beginning: names are of two kinds, proper and common; yet nothing is now more common than proper names are; and, indeed, nothing more proper than common names. man's own name is his proper name, in spite of unfitness and incongruity. To appropriate the name of another, as at the bottom of a note of hand, is, however, not proper, though, alas! too common. He is a forger who does that, whatever his trade may be. Yet a hundred Smiths "black" or "white," might write John to their notes without imputation of guilt, John Smith being a common noun, and synonymous with anonymous, if that is not a bull.
In the "brave days of old," all men were anonymous, not, indeed, John Smiths, but really unchristened Pagans. It was no unmeaning phrase that of "fighting to win themselves a name," for they verily had none; which had this advantage that no envious slanderer could rob them of one, "good" or ill.
This was before academies for writing were opened, or a Cadmus had taken out letters patent for his invention of letters. Billets, it is true, had been sent before, but they were billets of wood, addressed rather to the head than
the understanding. Cain is supposed to be the originator of this kind of epistlatory correspondence. Forging was, of course, impossible. By a singular coincidence, this was first heard of— the days of Tubal Cain, whose impudence in that respect caused a particular mention of his "brass;" and the sad consequence is not omitted, that he was "first who walked in irons"-very suggestive of the fate of forgers to this day thus early, in its history, humanity is seen limping with its two Cains!
You may suppose that Adam, or the first man, bore a proper name, though a little stained-with apple-juice. But this is from a misapprehension of the customs of the time. It has become so well known as to be a proverbial phrase that every human, at his début in this world is a "little red baby;" it is a birth mark from his father Adam, who was made of red clay from the disintegrated red sand-stone with which the earth was underpinned. For this reason he was called Adam, that is Redey, just as naughty boys say darkey, to people of a deeper shade. This was enough to distinguish him in that early age, when the family was small, and Fame's genealogical banian had not grown to a perfect swamp of oblivion, with its myriad branches turned trunks.
We are told that he gave names to the animals, but properly speaking they were not proper names; merely for distinction he called his favorite cows 66 bughorn," "brindle," and "line-back;" and on that long first day, before Eve came, it is not strange that he called one graceful creature his "deer," and another his "duck." The thing was highly proper, but the names were not; and we repeat you cannot be too cautious about confounding names with things. When people began to multiply-which Daboll says is " a more rapid way of doing addition "-it is obvious they must have a more convenient, not to say more polite, way of distinguishing people in the second person, than to run tugging at their coat-tails, and saying "you! you!" or the not less indelicate fashion of