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   Chapter 34 No.34

The Chainbearer; Or, The Littlepage Manuscripts By James Fenimore Cooper Characters: 34292

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:03


"And she hath smiles to earth unknown-

Smiles, that with motion of their own

Do spread, and sink, and rise:

That come and go with endless play

And ever, as they pass away,

Are hidden in her eyes."

-Wordsworth.

* * *

I was early in costume the following morning. I question if my own mother could have known me, had she lived long enough to see the whiskers sprout on my cheeks, and to contemplate my countenance as a man. I went into Dunning's library, drew the little hurdy-gurdy from its hiding-place, slung it, and began to play "St. Patrick's Day in the Morning," with spirit, and, I trust I may add, with execution. I was in the height of the air, when the door opened, and Barney thrust his high-cheeked-bone face into the room, his mouth as wide open as that of a frozen porker.

"Where the divil did ye come from!" demanded the new footman, with the muscles of that vast aperture of his working from grin to grim, and grim to grin again. "Yee's wilcome to the tchune; but how comes ye here?"

"I coomes vrom Halle, in Preussen. Vat isht your vaterland?"

"Bee yees a Jew?"

"Nein-I isht a goot Christian. Vilt you haf Yankee Tootle?"

"Yankee T'under! Ye'll wake up the masther, and he'll be displaise'd, else ye might work on that tchune till the end of time. That I should hear it here, in my own liberary, and ould Ireland t'ree thousand laigues away!"

A laugh from Dunning interrupted the dialogue, when Barney vanished, no doubt anticipating some species of American punishment for a presumed delinquency. Whether the blundering, well-meaning, honest fellow really ascertained who we were that breakfasted with his master, I do not know; but we got the meal and left the house without seeing his face again, Dunning having a young yellow fellow to do the service of the table.

I need scarcely say that I felt a little awkward at finding myself in the streets of New York in such a guise; but the gravity and self-possession of my uncle were a constant source of amusement to me. He actually sold a watch on the wharf before the boat left it, though I imputed his success to the circumstance that his price was what a brother dealer, who happened to be trading in the same neighborhood, pronounced "onconscionably low." We took a comfortable state-room between us, under the pretence of locking up our property, and strolled about the boat, gaping and looking curious, as became our class.

"Here are at least a dozen people that I know," said my uncle, as we were lounging around-loafing around is the modern Doric-about the time that the boat was paddling past Fort Washington; "I have reconnoitred in all quarters, and find quite a dozen. I have been conversing with an old school-fellow, and one with whom I have ever lived in tolerable intimacy, for the last ten minutes, and find my broken English and disguise are perfect. I am confident my dear mother herself would not recognize me."

"We can then amuse ourselves with my grandmother and the young ladies," I answered, "when we reach the Nest. For my part, it strikes me that we had better keep our own secret to the last moment."

"Hush! As I live, there is Seneca Newcome this moment! He is coming this way, and we must be Germans again."

Sure enough, there was 'Squire Seneky, as the honest farmers around the Nest call him; though many of them must change their practices, or it will shortly become so absurd to apply the term "honest" to them, that no one will have the hardihood to use it. Newcome came slowly toward the forecastle, on which we were standing; and my uncle determined to get into conversation with him, as a means of further proving the virtue of our disguises, as well as possibly of opening the way to some communications that might facilitate our visit to the Nest. With this view, the pretended pedler drew a watch from his pocket, and offering it meekly to the inspection of the quasi lawyer, he said-

"Puy a vatch, shentlemans?"

"Hey! what? Oh a watch," returned Seneca, in that high, condescending, vulgar key, with which the salt of the earth usually affect to treat those they evidently think much beneath them in intellect, station, or some other great essential, at the very moment they are bursting with envy, and denouncing as aristocrats all who are above them. "Hey! a watch is it? What countryman are you, friend?"

"A Charmans-ein Teutscher."

"A German-ine Tycher is the place you come from, I s'pose?"

"Nein-ein Teutscher isht a Charman."

"Oh, yes! I understand. How long have you been in Ameriky?"

"Twelf moont's."

"Why, that's most long enough to make you citizens. Where do you live?"

"Nowhere; I lifs jest asht it happens-soometimes here, ant soometimes dere."

"Ay, ay! I understand-no legal domicile, but lead a wandering life. Have you many of these watches for sale?"

"Yees-I haf asht many as twenty. Dey are as sheep as dirt, and go like pig clocks."

"And what may be your price for this?"

"Dat you can haf for only eight tollars. Effery poty wilt say it is golt, dat doesn't know petter."

"Oh! it isn't gold then-I swan!"-what this oath meant I never exactly knew, though I suppose it to be a Puritan mode of saying "I swear!" the attempts to cheat the devil in this way being very common among their pious descendants, though even "Smith Thompson" himself can do no man any good in such a case of conscience-"I swan! you come plaguy near taking even me in! Will you come down from that price any?"

"If you wilt gif me some atfice, perhaps I may. You look like a goot shentlemans, and one dat woultn't sheat a poor Charmans; ant effery poty wants so much to sheat de poor Charmans, dat I will take six, if you will drow in some atfice."

"Advice? You have come to the right man for that? Walk a little this way, where we shall be alone. What is the natur' of the matter-action on the case, or a tort?"

"Nein, nein! it isht not law dat I wants, put atfice."

"Well, but advice leads to law, ninety-nine times in a hundred."

"Ya, ya," answered the pedler, laughing; "dat may be so; put it isht not vat I vants-I vants to know vere a Charman can trafel wit' his goots in de country, and not in de pig towns."

"I understand you-six dollars, hey! That sounds high for such a looking watch"-he had just before mistaken it for gold-"but I'm always the poor man's friend, and despise aristocracy"-what Seneca hated with the strongest hate he ever fancied he despised the most, and by aristocracy he merely understood gentlemen and ladies, in the true signification of the words-"why, I'm always ready to help along the honest citizen. If you could make up your mind, now, to part with this one watch for nawthin', I think I could tell you a part of the country where you might sell the other nineteen in a week."

"Goot!" exclaimed my uncle, cheerfully. "Take him-he ist your broberty, and wilcome. Only show me de town where I canst sell de nineteen udders."

Had my uncle Ro been a true son of peddling, he would have charged a dollar extra on each of the nineteen, and made eleven dollars by his present liberality.

"It is no town at all-only a township," returned the liberal Seneca. "Did you expect it would be a city?"

"Vat cares I? I woult radder sell my vatches to goot, honest country men, dan asht to de best burghers in de land."

"You're my man! The right spirit is in you. I hope you're no patroon-no aristocrat?"

"I don't know vat isht badroon, or vat isht arishtocrat."

"No! You are a happy man in your ignorance. A patroon is a nobleman who owns another man's land; and an aristocrat is a body that thinks himself better than his neighbors, friend."

"Well, den, I isht no badroon, for I don't own no land at all, not even mine own; and I ishn't petter asht no poty at all."

"Yes, you be; you've only to think so, and you'll be the greatest gentleman of 'em all."

"Well, den, I will dry and dink so, and pe petter asht de greatest shentlemans of dem all. But dat won't do, nudder, as dat vilt make me petter dan you; for you are one of de greatest of dem all, shentlemans."

"Oh! as for me, let me alone. I scorn being on their level. I go for 'down with the rents!' and so'll you, too, afore you've been a week in our part of the country."

"Vat isht de rent dat you vants to git down?"

"It's a thing that's opposed to the spirit of the institutions, as you can see by my feelin's at this very moment. But no matter? I'll keep the watch, if you say so, and show you the way into that part of the country, as your pay."

"Agreed, shentlemans. Vat I vants is atfice, and vat you vants is a watch."

Here uncle Ro laughed so much like himself, when he ought clearly to have laughed in broken English, that I was very much afraid he might give the alarm to our companion; but he did not. From that time the best relation existed between us and Seneca, who, in the course of the day, recognized us by sundry smiles and winks, though I could plainly see he did not like the anti-aristocratic principle sufficiently to wish to seem too intimate with us. Before we reached the islands, however, he gave us directions where to meet him in the morning, and we parted, when the boat stopped alongside of the pier at Albany that afternoon, the best friends in the world.

"Albany! dear, good old Albany!" exclaimed my uncle Ro, as we stopped on the draw of the bridge to look at the busy scene in the basin, where literally hundreds of canal-boats were either lying to discharge or to load, or were coming and going, to say nothing of other craft: "dear, good old Albany! you are a town to which I ever return with pleasure, for you at least never disappoint me. A first-rate country-place you are; and, though I miss your quaint old Dutch church, and your rustic-looking old English church from the centre of your principal street, almost every change you make is respectable. I know nothing that tells so much against you as changing the name of Market Street by the paltry imitation of Broadway; but, considering that a horde of Yankees have come down upon you since the commencement of the present century, you are lucky that the street was not called the Appian Way. But, excellent old Albany! whom even the corruptions of politics cannot change in the core, lying against the hill-side, and surrounded with thy picturesque scenery, there is an air of respectability about thee that I admire, and a quiet prosperity that I love. Yet, how changed since my boyhood! Thy simple stoops have all vanished; thy gables are disappearing; marble and granite are rising in thy streets, too, but they take honest shapes, and are free from the ambition of mounting on stilts; thy basin has changed the whole character of thy once semi-sylvan, semi-commercial river; but it gives to thy young manhood an appearance of abundance and thrift that promise well for thy age!"

The reader may depend on it that I laughed heartily at this rhapsody; for I could hardly enter into my uncle's feelings. Albany is certainly a very good sort of a place, and relatively a more respectable-looking town than the "commercial emporium," which, after all, externally, is a mere huge expansion of a very marked mediocrity, with the pretension of a capital in its estimate of itself. But Albany lays no claim to be anything more than a provincial town, and in that class it is highly placed. By the way, there is nothing in which "our people," to speak idiomatically, more deceive themselves, than in their estimate of what composes a capital. It would be ridiculous to suppose that the representatives of such a government as this could impart to any place the tone, opinions, habits and manners of a capital, for, if they did, they would impart it on the novel principle of communicating that which they do not possess in their own persons. Congress itself, though tolerably free from most shackles, including those of the Constitution, is not up to that. In my opinion, a man accustomed to the world might be placed blindfolded in the most finished quarter of New York, and the place has new quarters in which the incongruities I have already mentioned do not exist, and, my life on it, he could pronounce, as soon as the bandage was removed, that he was not in a town were the tone of a capital exists. The last thing to make a capital is trade. Indeed, the man who hears the words "business" and "the merchants" ringing in his ears, may safely conclude, de facto, that he is not in a capital. Now a New York village is often much less rustic than the villages of the most advanced country of Europe; but a New York town is many degrees below any capital of a large state in the old world.

Will New York ever be a capital? Yes-out of all question, yes. But the day will not come until after the sudden changes of condition which immediately and so naturally succeeded the Revolution, have ceased to influence ordinary society, and those above again impart to those below more than they receive. This restoration to the natural state of things must take place as soon as society gets settled; and there will be nothing to prevent a town living under our own institutions-spirit, tendencies and all-from obtaining the highest tone that ever yet prevailed in a capital. The folly is in anticipating the natural course of events. Nothing will more hasten these events, however, than a literature that is controlled, not by the lower, but by the higher opinion of the country; which literature is yet, in a great degree, to be created.

I had dispensed with the monkey, after trying to get along with the creature for an hour or two, and went around only with my music. I would rather manage an army of anti-renters than one monkey. With the hurdy-gurdy slung around my neck, therefore, I followed my uncle, who actually sold another watch before we reached a tavern. Of course we did not presume to go to Congress Hall, or the Eagle, for we knew we should not be admitted. This was the toughest part of our adventures. I am of opinion my uncle made a mistake; for he ventured to a second-class house, under the impression that one of the sort usually frequented by men of our supposed stamp might prove too coarse for us altogether. I think we should have been better satisfied with the coarse fare of a coarse tavern, than with the shabby-genteel of the house we blundered into. In the former, everything would have reminded us, in a way we expected to be reminded, that we were out of the common track; and we might have been amused with the change, though it is one singularly hard to be endured. I remember to have heard a young man, accustomed from childhood to the better habits of the country, but who went to sea, a lad before the mast, declare that the coarseness of his shipmates-and there is no vulgarity about a true sailor, even when coarsest-gave him more trouble to overcome, than all the gales, physical sufferings, labor, exposures and dangers, put together. I must confess, I have found it so, too, in my little experience. While acting as a strolling musician, I could get along with anything better than the coarse habits which I encountered at the table. Your silver-forkisms, and your purely conventional customs, as a matter of course, no man of the world attaches any serious importance to; but there are conventionalities that belong to the fundamental principles of civilized society, which become second nature, and with which it gets to be hard, indeed, to dispense. I shall say as little as possible of the disagreeables of my new trade, therefore, but stick to the essentials.

The morning of the day which succeeded that of our arrival at Albany, my uncle Ro and I took our seats in the train, intending to go to Saratoga, via Troy. I wonder the Trojan who first thought of playing this travestie on Homer, did not think of calling the place Troyville, or Troyborough! That would have been semi-American, at least, whereas the present appellation is so purely classical! It is impossible to walk through the streets of this neat and flourishing town, which already counts its twenty thousand souls, and not have the images of Achilles and Hector, and Priam, and Hecuba, pressing on the imagination a little Uncomfortably. Had the place been called Try, the name would have been a sensible one; for it is trying all it can to get the better of Albany; and, much as I love the latter venerable old town, I hope Troy may succeed in its trying to prevent the Hudson from being bridged. By the way, I will here remark, for the benefit of those who have never seen any country but their own, that there is a view on the road between Schenectady and this Grecian place, just where the heights give the first full appearance of the valley of the Hudson, including glimpses of Waterford, Lansingburg and Albany, with a full view of both Troys, which gives one a better idea of the affluence of European scenery than almost any other spot I can recall in America. To my hurdy-gurdy:

I made my first essay as a musician in public beneath the windows of the principal inn of Troy.

I cannot say much in favor of the instrument, though I trust the playing itself was somewhat respectable. This I know full well, that I soon brought a dozen fair faces to the windows of the inn, and that each was decorated with a smile. Then it was that I regretted the monkey. Such an opening could not but awaken the dormant ambition of even a "patriot" of the purest water, and I will own I was gratified.

Among the curious who thus appeared, were two whom I at once supposed to be father and daughter. The former was a clergyman, and, as I fancied by something in his air of "the Church," begging pardon of those who take offence at this exclusive title, and to whom I will just give a hint in passing. Any one at all acquainted with mankind, will at once understand that no man who is certain of possessing any particular advantage, ever manifests much sensibility because another lays claim to it also. In the constant struggles of the jealous, for instance, on the subject of that universal source of jealous feeling, social position, that man or woman who is conscious of claims never troubles himself or herself about them. For them the obvious fact is sufficient. If it be answered to this that the pretension of "the Church" is exclusive, I shall admit it is, and "conclusive" too. It is not exclusive, however, in the sense urged, since no one denies that there are many branches to "the Church," although those branches do not embrace everything. I would advise those who take offence at "our" styling "ourselves" "the Church," to style themselves "the Church," just as they call all their parsons bishops, and see who will care about it. That is a touchstone which will soon separate the true metal from the alloy.

My parson, I could easily see, was a Church clergyman-not a meeting-house clergyman. How I ascertained that fact at a glance, I shall not reveal; but I also saw in his countenance some of that curiosity which marks simplicity of character: it was not a vulgar feeling, but one which induced him to beckon me to approach a little nearer. I did so, when he invited me in. It was a little awkward, at first, I must acknowledge, to be beckoned about in this manner; but there was something in the air and countenance of the daughter that induced me not to hesitate about complying. I cannot say that her beauty was so very striking, though she was decidedly pretty; but the expression of her face, eyes, smile, and all put together, was so singularly sweet and feminine, that I felt impelled by a sympathy I shall not attempt to explain, to enter the house, and ascend to the door of a parlor that I saw at once was public, though it then contained no one but my proper hosts.

"Walk in, young man," said the father in a benevolent tone of voice. "I am curious to see that instrument; and my daughter here, who has a taste for music, wishes it as much as I do myself. What do you call it."

"Hurty-gurty," I answered.

"From what part of the world do you come, my young friend?" continued the clergyman, raising his meek eyes to mine still more curiously, "Vrom Charmany; vrom Preussen, vere did reign so late de good Koenig Wilhelm."

"What does he say, Molly?"

So the pretty creature bore the name of Mary. I liked the Molly, too; it was a good sign, as none but the truly respectable dare use such familiar appellations in these ambitious times. Molly sounded as if these people had the aplomb of position and conscious breeding. Had they been vulgar, it would have been Mollissa.

"It is not difficult to translate, father," answered one of the sweetest voices that had ever poured its melody on my ear, and which was rendered still more musical by the slight laugh that mingled with it. "He says he is from Germany-from Prussia, where the good King William lately reigned."

I liked the "father," too-that sounded refreshing, after passing a night among a tribe of foul-nosed adventurers in humanity, every one of whom had done his or her share toward caricaturing the once pretty appellatives of "pa" and "ma." A young lady may still say "papa," or even "mamma," though it were far better that she said "father" and "mother;" but as for "pa" and "ma," they are now done with in respectable life. They will not even do for the nursery.

"And this instrument is a hurdy-gurdy?" continued the clergyman. "What have we here-the name spelt on it?"

"Dat isht de maker's name-Hochstiel fecit."

"Fecit?" repeated the clergyman; "is that German?"

"Nein-dat isht Latin; facio, feci, factum, facere-feci, fecisti, FECIT. It means make, I suppose you know."

The parson looked at me and at my dress and figure with open surprise, and smiled as his eye glanced at his daughter. If asked why I made this silly display of lower-form learning, I can only say that I chafed at being fancied a mere every-day street musician, that had left his monkey at home, by the charming girl who stood gracefully bending over her father's elbow, as the latter examined the inscription that was stamped on a small piece of ivory which had been let into the instrument. I could see that Mary shrunk back a little under the sensitive feeling, so natural to her sex, that she was manifesting too much freedom of manner for the presence of a youth who was nearer to her own class than she could have supposed it possible for a player on the hurdy-gurdy to be. A blush succeeded; but the glance of the soft blue eye that instantly followed, seemed to set all at rest, and she leaned over her father's elbow again.

"You understand Latin, then?" demanded the parent, examining me over his spectacles from head to foot.

"A leetle, sir-just a ferry leetle. In my coontry, efery mans isht obliget to be a soldier some time, and them t'at knows Latin can be made sergeants and corporals."

"That is Prussia, is it?"

"Ya-Preussen, vere so late did reign de goot Koenig Wilhelm."

"And is Latin much understood among you? I have heard that, in Hungary, most well-informed persons even speak the tongue."

"In Charmany it isht not so. We all l'arnts somet'ing, but not all dost l'arn eferyt'ing."

I could see a smile struggling around the sweet lips of that dear girl, after I had thus delivered myself, as I fancied, with a most accurate inaccuracy; but she succeeded in repressing it, though those provoking eyes of hers continued to laugh, much of the time our interview lasted.

"Oh! I very well know that in Prussia the schools are quite good, and that your government pays great attention to the wants of all classes," rejoined the clergyman; "but I confess some surprise that you should understand anything of Latin. Now, even in this country, where we boast so much--"

"Ye-e-s," I could not refrain from drawling out, "dey does poast a great teal in dis coontry!"

Mary actually laughed; whether it was at my words, or at the somewhat comical manner I had assumed-a manner in which simplicity was tant soit peu blended with irony-I shall not pretend to say. As for the father, his simplicity was of proof; and, after civilly waiting until my interruption was done, he resumed what he had been on the point of saying.

"I was about to add," continued the clergyman, "that even in this country, where we boast so much"-the little minx of a daughter passed her hand over her eyes, and fairly colored with the effort she made not to laugh again-"of the common schools, and of their influence on the public mind, it is not usual to find persons of your condition who understand the dead languages."

"Ye-e-e-s," I replied; "it isht my condition dat misleats you, sir. Mine fat'er wast a shentlemans, and he gifet me as goot an etication as de Koenig did gif to de Kron Prinz."

Here, my desire to appear well in the eyes of Mary caused me to run into another silly indiscretion. How I was to explain the circumstance of the son of a Prussian gentleman, whose father had given him an education as good as that which the king of his country had given to its crown prince, being in the streets of Troy, playing on a hurdy-gurdy, was a difficulty I did not reflect on for a moment. The idea of being thought by that sweet girl a mere uneducated boor, was intolerable to me; and I threw it off by this desperate falsehood-false in its accessories, but true in its main facts-as one would resent an insult. Fortune favored me, however, far more than I had any right to expect.

There is a singular disposition in the American character to believe every well-mannered European at least a count. I do not mean that those who have seen the world are not like other persons in this respect; but a very great proportion of the country never has seen any other world than a world of "business." The credulity on this subject surpasseth belief; and, were I to relate facts of this nature that might be established in a court of justice, the very parties connected with them would be ready to swear that they are caricatures. Now, well-mannered I trust I am, and, though plainly dressed and thoroughly disguised, neither my air nor attire was absolutely mean. As my clothes were new, I was neat in my appearance; and there were possibly some incongruities about the last, that might have struck eyes more penetrating than those of my companions. I could see that both father and daughter felt a lively interest in me, the instant I gave them reason to believe I was one of better fortunes. So many crude notions exist among us on the subject of convulsions and revolutions in Europe, that I dare say, had I told any improbable tale of the political condition of Prussia, it would have gone down; for nothing so much resembles the ignorance that prevails in America, generally, concerning the true state of things in Europe, as the ignorance that prevails in Europe, generally, concerning the true state of things in America. As for Mary, her soft eyes seemed to me to be imbued with thrice their customary gentleness and compassion, as she recoiled a step in native modesty, and gazed at me, when I had made my revelation.

"If such is the case, my young friend," returned the clergyman, with benevolent interest, "you ought, and might easily be placed in a better position than this you are now in. Have you any knowledge of Greek?"

"Certainly-Greek is moch study in Charmany."

"In for a penny, in for a pound," I thought.

"And the modern languages-do you understand any of them?"

"I speaks de five great tongues of Europe, more ast less well; and I read dem all, easily."

"The five tongues!" said the clergyman, counting on his fingers; "what can they be, Mary?"

"French, and German, and Spanish, and Italian, I suppose, sir."

"These make but four. What can be the fifth, my dear?"

"De yoong laty forgets de Englisch. De Englisch is das funf."

"Oh! yes, the English!" exclaimed the pretty creature, pressing her lips together to prevent laughing in my face.

"True-I had forgotten the English, not being accustomed to think of it as a mere European tongue. I suppose, young man, you naturally speak the English less fluently than any other of your five languages?"

"Ya!"

Again the smile struggled to the lips of Mary.

"I feel a deep interest in you as a stranger, and am sorry we have only met to part so soon. Which way shall you be likely to direct your steps, my Prussian young friend?"

"I go to a place which is callet Ravensnest-goot place to sell vatch, dey tells me."

"Ravensnest!" exclaimed the father.

"Ravensnest!" repeated the daughter, and that in tones which put the hurdy-gurdy to shame.

"Why, Ravensnest is the place where I live, and the parish of which I am the clergyman-the Protestant Episcopal clergyman, I mean."

This, then, was the Rev. Mr. Warren, the divine who had been called to our church the very summer I left home, and who had been there ever since! My sister Martha had written me much concerning these people, and I felt as if I had known them for years. Mr. Warren was a man of good connections, and some education, but of no fortune whatever, who had gone into the Church-it was the church of his ancestors, one of whom had actually been an English bishop, a century or two ago-from choice, and contrary to the wishes of his friends. As a preacher, his success had never been great; but for the discharge of his duties no man stood higher, and no man was more respected. The living of St. Andrew's, Ravensnest, would have been poor enough, had it depended on the contributions of the parishioners. These last gave about one hundred and fifty dollars a year, for their share of the support of a priest. I gave another hundred, as regularly as clock-work, and had been made to do so throughout a long minority; and my grandmother and sister made up another fifty between them. But there was a glebe of fifty acres of capital land, a wood-lot, and a fund of two thousand dollars at interest; the whole proceeding from endowments made by my grandfather, during his lifetime. Altogether, the living may have been worth a clear five hundred dollars a year, in addition to a comfortable house, hay, wood, vegetables, pasture, and some advantages in the way of small crops. Few country clergymen were better off than the rector of St. Andrew's, Ravensnest, and all as a consequence of the feudal and aristocratic habits of the Littlepages, though I say it, perhaps, who might better not, in times like these.

My letters had told me that the Rev. Mr. Warren was a widower; that Mary was his only child; that he was a truly pious, not a sham-pious, and really zealous clergyman; a man of purest truth, whose word was gospel-of great simplicity and integrity of mind and character; that he never spoke evil of others, and that a complaint of this world and its hardships seldom crossed his lips. He loved his fellow-creatures, both naturally and on principle; mourned over the state of the diocese, and greatly preferred piety even to high-churchism. High-churchman he was, nevertheless; though it was not a high-churchmanship that outweighed the loftier considerations of his Christian duties, and left him equally without opinions of his own in matters of morals, and without a proper respect, in practice, for those that he had solemnly vowed to maintain.

His daughter was described as a sweet-tempered, arch, modest, sensible, and well-bred girl, that had received a far better education than her father's means would have permitted him to bestow, through the liberality and affection of a widowed sister of her mother's, who was affluent, and had caused her to attend the same school as that to which she had sent her own daughters. In a word, she was a most charming neighbor; and her presence at Ravensnest had rendered Martha's annual visits to the "old house" (built in 1785) not only less irksome, but actually pleasant. Such had been my sister's account of the Warrens and their qualities, throughout a correspondence of five years. I have even fancied that she loved this Mary Warren better than she loved any of her uncle's wards, herself of course excepted.

The foregoing flashed through my mind, the instant the clergyman announced himself; but the coincidence of our being on the way to the same part of the country, seemed to strike him as forcibly as it did myself. What Mary thought of the matter, I had no means of ascertaining.

"This is singular enough," resumed Mr. Warren. "What has directed your steps toward Ravensnest?"

"Dey tell mine ooncle 'tis goot place to sell moch vatch."

"You have an uncle, then? Ah! I see him there in the street, showing a watch at this moment to a gentleman. Is your uncle a linguist, too, and has he been as well educated as you seem to be yourself?"

"Certain-he moch more of a shentleman dan ast de shentleman to whom he now sell vatch."

"These must be the very persons," put in Mary, a little eagerly, "of whom Mr. Newcome spoke, as the"-the dear girl did not like to say pedlers, after what I had told them of my origin; so she added-"dealers in watches and trinkets, who intended to visit our part of the country."

"You are right, my dear, and the whole matter is now clear. Mr. Newcome said he expected them to join us at Troy, when we should proceed in the train together as far as Saratoga. But here comes Opportunity herself, and her brother cannot be far off."

At that moment, sure enough, my old acquaintance, Opportunity Newcome, came into the room, a public parlor, with an air of great self-satisfaction, and a nonchalance of manner that was not a little more peculiar to herself than it is to most of her caste. I trembled for my disguise, since, to be quite frank on a very delicate subject, Opportunity had made so very dead a set at me-"setting a cap" is but a pitiful phrase to express the assault I had to withstand-as scarcely to leave a hope that her feminine instinct, increased and stimulated with the wish to be mistress of the Nest house, could possibly overlook the thousand and one personal peculiarities that must still remain about one whose personal peculiarities she had made her particular study.

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