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About seven o'clock, mother and I But all was useless. On came thought it would be wise to pack up the fire with a steady sweep. We saw our silver and valuables ; for it seemed that it was idle to combat it longer, as if we were directly in the path of the and turned all our energies to saving conflagration. Down Fore Street, and what we could. Our home was to be from Fore to Free, it was rushing on. ours no longer. The dear old roof-tree, The southwestern heavens were en- under which had assembled so many tirely shut from our view by the flames loved ones, now gone forever, — where and smoke; cinders, ashes, and blaz- the eyes of all our home circle first saw ing embers were falling like rain down the light of life, - where three of that Middle Street, and across to Congress, number closed theirs in death, — the as far as the eye could see.

The scene

centre of the hopes and joys of a lifetime, was terrible ; but it was soon surpassed was to be abandoned to the flames. in fearfulness, for the work of desola- It was like tearing our heart-strings to tion was not half completed. The Irish leave it so ; but there was no time for population were the chief sufferers up to lingering. With streaming eyes and this hour. It was heart-rending to see aching hearts we started out, taking the women rushing hither and thither, what we could in our hands. There trying to save their few possessions. was by this time no vehicle to be obHere, a poor creature was dragging a tained in which we could ride ; and, mattress, followed by several little cry- supporting my mother, my sisters clinging children, her face the picture of ing to us in silent terror, we were borne despair; there, another, with her family, along with the crowd down Middle Street stood over the remnants of her scanty to India. I cannot remember any incistock. A poor woman, who was in the dents of that walk. The hurrying throng habit of working for us, lived near the around me, the flying sparks, and the corner of Cross and Fore Streets. She roar of the engines, seem like the conhad five children and a sick husband to fusion of a dream. care for. Almost all her energies were Our sister, who met us at the door, bent in getting them to a place of safe- felt perfectly secure, and had done nothty; and the few little things which she ing towards packing. I gave her an succeeded in rescuing from the flames account of our proceedings, thinking were afterwards stolen from her by each moment of some precious thing some one of the many wretches who I might have brought away.

We went gathered the spoils that awful night. to the front door, and looked out on the

It soon became evident that we must scene before us. The fire seemed to decide upon some plan of action, in come on the wings of the wind. Midcase it should come to the worst. We dle Street was ablaze ; Wood's marble had two married sisters, one living hotel was in flames, together with the in India Street, the other at the west beautiful dwelling opposite. The fire end of the city. As the former had no leaped from house to house, and, if for family, and was alone, even her husband a moment checked, it was but to rush being away, and as the latter had three on in wilder fury. Churches, one by children, and a house full of company, one, were seized by the flame, and we decided that, if we must move, it crumbled into ruin before it. No hushould be to India Street. We sent off man power could arrest its fierce proone team, and my youngest brother gress. In vain the firemen put forth a with it, before the fire was anywhere strength almost superhuman : their exnear us ; and then, while my. two little ertions seemed but to add to its fury. sisters assisted mother in getting things Explosion after explosion gave greater together, I worked with my brother and terror to the scene: buildings were succousin, hanging wet blankets against cessively blown up in the useless effort the walls, pouring water on the roof, to bar its pathway; the fire leaped the and taking other precautionary meas- chasm and sped on. Fugitives of ev


ery age and condition were hurrying “We must be calm and collected, through the streets, laden with every- and save what we can. John is trying thing imaginable, - especially looking to get a team to carry mother up to glasses, which seem the one impor- L-'s; the rest of us will have to tant thing to be saved during a fire. go to the graveyard. But John may My brother and cousin had not yet not be successful, so you stay here, made their appearance, nor had we and see if you can get any one to take seen anything of my brother-in-law, mother : they may do it for you, when from the other end of the city. But they would n't for a man." we knew they must be at their places I stood on the edge of the sidewalk, of business, which were now in the clinging to the horse-post, and appealed heart of the burning district. Swiftly in vain to wagons going by. the destruction hurried towards us ; Won't

you take a lady and children and people were now seen bringing in away from here ?" their goods and seeking shelter on our “I can't, ma'am, not if you was to premises. O what heart-broken faces give me twenty-five dollars, not if surrounded that fearful night ! you was to give me five hundred. I'm Friends, and people we had never taking a load for a gentleman now.” seen, alike threw themselves on our So it was in every case. Very many kindness; and I must say that a spirit were worse off than we were, — had not of humanity and good - will seemed even a man to help. One well-known everywhere prevalent among the citi- citizen was appealed to for help, in zens. We were now ourselves tortured the early part of the evening, by a by suspense.

Could we escape, or poor woman, a sort of dependant of should we again have to seek refuge his family. He took her and her from the flames ? Surely the work daughter, with their effects, outside of destruction would stop before it the city, and returned to find India reached India Street ? The hot breath Street on fire and no means of getof the maddening fire, and its lurid ting through the crowd to his house, glare, were the only response. O, if which was burned, with all that was the wind would only change! But a not saved by the exertions of his wife. vane, glistening like gold in the fire. They had visiting them a lady whose light, steadfastly pointed to the south- child lay dead in the house, awaiting east. For one moment it veered, and burial. The mother took the little our hearts almost stood still with hope; corpse in her arms and carried it herbut it swung back, and a feeling of de- self up to the other end of the city! spair settled upon us.

While I was making these vain atOur house was full. One poor lady, tempts, John drove up in a light, openwith a little baby only a week old, lay topped buggy. We hurriedly got mothon a sofa in one of the rooms ; near er and E into it, and gave into their her, bent over in a rocking-chair, sat charge the jewelry and silver, and they an old woman who had not been out drove away. I could not but tremof her house for five years, with a look ble for their safety. The road seemed of hopeless bewilderment on her wrin- impassable, so dense was the strugkled face. But people were now begin- gling crowd. On every side the fire ning to move from our house. India was raging. Looking up India Street Street was almost blocked up. Every it was one sheet of flame, and equally kind of vehicle that went upon wheels, so before us. It looked like a world from a barouche to a wheelbarrow, on fire, for we could see no smoke, passed by laden with furniture. it was too near for that, -- and the

At this moment my brother and heat was terribly intense. brother-in-law approached, blackened al- There was no time to be lost. Both most beyond recognition. It was not un- our servants and M—'s were away til C-spoke that I really knew him. spending the Fourth, so we had to depend entirely on ourselves. Our back over again in words that fearful night, fence was soon torn down, and we all and relating to each other some of those worked as we never had before. We incidents of the fire which can never saved a good deal, but not one half of all be told. A little friend of ours, when what we brought from our house in the leaving her home, took in her arms her first place. We had thrown things out doll, nearly as large as herself; obliged of the window, and C- and - to flee a second time, her mother told worked hard dragging them out of the her it was useless to try and save the yard, until, scorched and almost suffo doll, and she must leave it there. With cated, they were compelled to desist. many tears she laid it on the sofa, feelThe flames were upon us so quickly, ing, no doubt, as if she were leaving a it seemed incredible that they could human being to be burnt. The next have seized the house so soon after we day, a friend brought to her the identithought we were in danger.

cal dolly, which had been found in the “ Thank God, we are all safe !" cried graveyard ! The little one's joy may M—, sinking upon the ground in the be imagined. graveyard, where we took refuge. She One of the women in the Irish quarter tried to look cheerful ; but the sight picked up her big pig in her arms and before her - her house in flames- and carried it to a place of safety, then rethe thought of her husband's absence turned to take care of her children and overcame her, and she burst into tears. furniture. A woman went by our house I laid the two little girls upon the grass ; in the early part of the evening bent and, wearied out, they soon fell asleep. nearly double beneath the weight of a It was a strange scene in that quiet trunk strapped upon her back. We old cemetery, where the dead of more saw women that night with loads under than a century had lain undisturbed in which almost any man would have stagtheir graves. Where only the reverent gered in ordinary circumstances. tread of the mourner, or of some vis- Before we were supposed to be in itor carefully threading his way among danger, I walked out with a young the grassy mounds, was wont to be friend to see what progress the fire known, crowds of frantic people were was making. At a corner we observed hurrying across ; while here and there a woman with a child about eight years were family groups clustered together, old, talking, in great agitation, to a lady, watching the destruction of their prop- and evidently urging her to accede to erty.

some req est. My companion sugHow long the remaining hours gested that we should see if we could seemed ! Would the daylight never aid her in any way. As we approached, come? The children slept on, and we the lady had taken the child by the four talked in low tones of the morrow. hand, with the words, “What is your

At length, faint, rosy lights began to address ?” which was given. We instreak the eastern horizon, and slowly quired if we could be of any service. the day dawned. The sun rose No, thank you,” was the reply. “I clouded above the hills, sending down asked that lady to take care of my his beams upon the desolation which daughter. I keep store on that street the night had wrought, lighting up the over there.

My husband is out of islands and the blue waters, flecked town, and I don't know what I shall with sail-boats.

do!” — and, wringing her hands, she Not less welcome to us, J

I have wondered since also appeared, - with a hay-cart, whose what was the fate of the little girl driver he had engaged to come and re

thus intrusted to the care of stranmove us. Our goods were put into it; gers ; for the lady went in the direction we took our places among them, and, as afterwards swept by the fire. soon as the tardy oxen could carry us, One family, whose house the flames were safe in my sister's house, living did not reach until near two o'clock in



hurried away


the morning, behaved with great cool- walked so rapidly that his employer

The head of the household lay could not keep up with him. He called ill. It was their first care to provide upon him to slacken his pace; but, as for him. Then they went deliberately no attention was paid to this, the genabout, gathering up their valuables, tleman dropped his books upon the taking just what they wanted. They ground, and, running forward, knocked secured a wagon to carry away their him down, determined to be obeyed, things. Their house, meanwhile, had fire or no fire. been full of refugees from the flames. But all were not so cool. One man, One of the young ladies, going for seeing the flames advancing in the dithe last time through the deserted rection of his house, rushed thither to rooms, found, on a sofa in the parlor, save his property. He worked with a sick woman, utterly unable to move. might and main, but, when the house At first, she felt almost in despair at was nearly emptied, became aware of sight of this poor creature, so near the fact that it was his neighbor's. By meeting a fearful fate. But quickly this time

this time his own dwelling was on fire, recovering her presence of mind, she from which he saved scarcely anything. called in men from the street, and, I know one person who passed through by their united efforts, they carried his hall perfectly empty-handed, while her out, and forced a passing wagon all around him were bundles and boxes, to take her to a safe place. A young which were consumed in the fire ; anlady, who lived at a little distance from other walked out of his house with a this family, was spending the night at package of envelopes in his hand, leavthe other end of the city. They sat up ing, close by, an article worth thirty doltill half past twelve, and she was then lars. in the act of retiring, never dreaming I must mention one of many instanthat her home was in danger, when a ces of unselfishness that came under my loaded wagon stopped at the door, and observation. A gentleman was comout stepped her sister and child. She fortably established in a house which went back in the same vehicle, and he had recently bought and furnished, worked till twelve the next day, getting expecting there to enjoy the pleasures things out of the house, collecting and of a home. One half of the house he guarding them till they could be re- had rented; but the husband of the moved.

woman to whom it was let was not in There was, of course, the usual dif- town. Their dwelling shared the fate ference shown amongst people in such of those around them, being burnt. He circumstances, - energy and coolness first set to work to save his own things; contrasted with imbecility and frantic but, struck by the forlorn condition of excitement. A friend who moved three his tenant, he did his best to save her times, with her husband so ill that he effects, even to the detriment of his had to be carried from place to place, own; for when they were examined, never once forgot to administer his the greater portion of them was found medicine at regular intervals, — with a to be hers. Time has not exhausted steady hand pouring out the drops by the truth and beauty of the saying, that the light of the fire.

“in the night the stars shine forth,” A gentleman was carrying some of and the stars did not pale even in the his books, preceded by an assistant, terrible light of the fire that consumed who also had his arms full. The latter half a city

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TH ‘HERE were nine of us, all told, claimed from me a mother's care,

when mother died; myself, the the youngest a wailing babe but seven eldest, aged twenty, a plain and serious days old, whom I came to cherish and woman, well fitted by nature and cir- love as my little boy. cumstance to fill the place made vacant When I had settled down, and grown by death.

accustomed to the vacuum which never I cannot remember when I was young. could be filled for me, I thought a great Indeed, when I hear other women re- deal upon mother's last words. I was count the story of their early days, I proud of the trust she reposed in me, think I had no childhood, for mine was and I meant to be faithful to it. I wonlike no other.

dered much why she had thought it Mother was married so young, that likely I should never marry; for I was a at the age when most women begin to woman with strong instincts, and, amid think seriously of marriage she had all the toil and care of my barren life, I around her a numerous brood, of which had seen afar, through gleaming mists, I was less the elder sister than the the mountains of hope arise, and beyounger mother. She was delicate by yond the heat and dust and labor of nature, and peevish by reason of her duty caught glimpses of green ways burdens, and I think could never have made pleasant by quiet waters. been a self-reliant character ; so she I do not think my burden seemed fretted and sighed through life, and heavier now that mother no longer when death came, unawares, she seemed helped me to bear it; for my sense of not sorry for the refuge.

responsibility had been increased by She called me to her bed one day in her complaining spirit. Her discouraga tone so cheerful that I wondered, and ing views of life held in check the reins when I saw the calm and brightness in of my eager fancy: it seemed wrong her face, hope made me glad. " Mar- to enjoy a happiness I could not share garet,” she said, "you have been a with her. Now I no longer felt this good daughter. I never did you justice restraint; but, knowing that somehow until this illness opened my eyes. You she had missed this happiness for which have shamed me by your patience and I waited, the knowledge invested her your sacrifices so gently borne. You are memory with a tender pity, and temmore fit to be a mother than I ever was; pered my pleasure with a feeling akin and I leave the children to your care to pain. without a fear. It is not likely you will I was never idle. Behind the real ever marry, and I die content, knowing work of life, my fancy wrought on, unthat you will do your duty."

known and unsuspected by the world ; After this came many sad days,—the my lamp of joy, fed by the sweet oil parting, the silent form which death had of hope, was ready for the lighting, and made majestic, the funeral hymns, the I was content to wait. tolling bell, the clods upon the coffin- My little boy throve bravely. Every lid ; and when the sun shone out and morning I awoke him with a kiss ; and, the birds sang again, it seemed to me I perhaps because each day seemed but a had dreamed it all, and that the sun continuation of the other, time stood could not shine nor the birds sing above still for him. He was for me the incara grave on which the grass had not nation of all loveliness. The fair face, yet had time to grow. But I had not and blond hair, and brown, brooding dreamed, nor had I time for dreaming eyes, were beautiful as an angel's, and Mother was dead, and eight children goodness set its seal on his perfections.

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