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Childe Roeliff's Pilgrimage:

A Travelling Legend by James Kirke Paulding

 



Childe Roeliff was a citizen,
       Thorough ye citie knowne,
Who, from hys wealthe and dignitie,
       Had ryghte conceited growne.

Roeliff Orendorf,—or, as he was commonly called, Childe Roeliff, on account of a certain conceited simplicity which caused him to be happily insensible to the sly ridicule called forth by his little purse-proud pomposities,—was a worthy man, and useful citizen of the queen of cities—I need not mention the name,—who having got rich by a blunder, had ever after a sovereign and hearty contempt for wisdom. He never could see the use of turning his head inside out, as he was pleased to call it, in thinking of this, that, and the other thing; and truly he was right, for if he had turned it inside out, he would, peradventure, have found nothing there to repay him for the trouble. But, for all this, he was a very decentish sort of a man, as times go; for he subscribed liberally to all public-spirited undertakings that promised to bring him in a good profit; attended upon all public meetings whose proceedings were to be published in the newspapers, with the names of the chairman, secretary, and committee; and gave away his money with tolerable liberality where he was sure of its being recorded. In short, he was wont to say, that he did not mind spending a dollar any more than other people, only the loss of the interest was what he grudged a little.

The Childe's father was an honest tinman, in times which try men's pedigrees,—that is to say, some forty years ago; and Roeliff being brought up to the same trade—we beg pardon, profession,—became, as it were, so enamoured of noise, that he never could endure the silence of the country; was especially melancholy of a summer evening, when all the carts had gone home; and often used to say that Sunday would be intolerable were it not for the ringing of the bells. Yet, for all his attachment to noise, he never made much in the world himself, and what little he did make was in his sleep, he having a most sonorous and musical proboscis. It was thought to be owing to this impatience of repose, or rather silence, that he caused his daughter, at the expense of a great deal of money, to be taught the piano, by a first rate pianist, whose lessons were so eminently successful, that Roeliff was wont to affirm her playing always put him in mind of the tinman's shop.

His early life, until the age of nearly forty, was spent in plodding and projecting schemes for growing rich, but without success. Having, however, contrived to amass a few thousands, in the good old way of saving a part of his earnings, he was inspired to purchase six acres of land in the outskirts of the city, in doing which he made a most fortunate blunder—he bought in the wrong place, as everybody assured him. In process of years, however, it turned out to have been the right one, for the city took it into its head to grow lustily in that quarter. Streets were laid out lengthwise and crosswise through it; one of which was called after his name. The speculators turned their interests that way, and Roeliff came out of his blunder with a great plum in his pocket; nay, some said with a plum in each pocket. "Where is the use," said he to his friends, "of taking such pains to do right, when I have grown rich by what everybody said was wrong?" His friends echoed the sentiment; for what man of two plums was ever contradicted, except by his wife? So Roeliff ever afterward took his own way, without paying the least regard to the opinions of wise people: and if, as we have often read in a book, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, he was right, for I have heard a man of great experience hint, that one-half the mistakes we make in this world come of taking the advice of other people. "Every man," he would say, "is, after all, the best judga of his own business. And if he at any time asks the opinion of others, it should only be that he may gather more reasons for following his own."

The period in which a man grows rich in his own estimation, is the crisis of his fate; and indeed the rule will apply equally to nations. Every day we see people who don't know what to do with themselves because they have grown rich: and is not this unlucky country of ours on the eve of a mighty struggle, merely because she is just getting out of debt; and, forgetful of the old proverbs, about reckoning your chickens before they are hatched, and hallooing before you are out of the wood, is in a convulsion of doubt and uncertainty as to what she will do with her money afterward. So it happened with friend Roeliff.

He was more puzzled a hundred times to know how to spend, than he was in making his fortune; and had it not been for his great resourse of standing under the window of a neighbouring tinman's shop, enjoying the merry "clink of hammers closing rivets up," he would have been devoured by the blue devils, which everybody knows are almost as bad as printers' devils. At first he was smitten with an ambition to become literary; accordingly, he purchased all the modern romances: fitted up a library in an elegant style, and one morning determined to set to work improving his mind. About an hour after he was found fast asleep, the book lying at his feet, and his head resting on the table before him. It was with considerable trouble that Mrs. Orendorf at last shook his eyes open; but such was the stultification of ideas produced by this first effort of study, that Roeliff often declared he did not rightly come to himself until he had spent half an hour under the tinman's shop window. This disgusted him with learning, and he turned his attention to the fine arts; bought pictures, busts, casts, and got nearly smothered to death in submitting to Browere's process for obtaining a fac-simile of one of the ugliest faces in the city. He rode this hobby some time with considerable complacency; and covered his library walls with pictures christened after the names of all the most celebrated masters of the three great schools. One day a foreign connoisseur came to see his collection; and on going away, made Roeliff the happiest of men, by assuring him he had not the least doubt his pictures were genuine, since they had all the faults of all the great masters in the highest perfection. "It is of no consequence," thought Roeliff, "how bad they are, provided they are only originals."

But to a man without taste the cultivation of the fine arts soon loses its relish. Affectation is but short-lived in its enjoyments, and the gratification of one vanity creates only a vacuum for the cravings of another. Roeliff was again becalmed for want of some excitement, and the tinman, unfortunately, removed to a distant part of the city, leaving, as it were, a dreadful noiseless solitude behind him. At this critical period, his favourite nephew, an eminent supercargo, who had made the tour of Europe, returned like most of the touring young gentlemen, who go abroad to acquire taste and whiskers, with a devouring passion for music. He had heard Paganini, and that was enough to put any man in his senses out of them, in the quavering of a demi-semi-quaver. Under the tuition of the regenerated man, Roeliff soon became music-mad. He subscribed to musical soirées; to musical importations from Italy; to private musical parties, held in a public room, in the presence of several hundred strangers; and enjoyed the treat with such a zest, that it is affirmed he was actually more than once roused from a profound sleep, by the crashes at the end of some of the grand overtures. "Bless me! how exquisite! it puts me in mind of the tinman's shop," would he exclaim, yawning at the same time like the mouth of the great Kentucky cavern.

One summer came—the trying season for people of fashion and sensibility, and the favourite one of Roeliff, who could then sit at the open windows, and enjoy the excitement of noise, dust, and confusion, to the utmost degree possible, in the paradise of Broadway, just as our southern visiters do. But it is time to say something of Mrs. Orendorf, who had a great deal to say for herself, when occasion called for the exercise of her eloquence. About this time she made the discovery, that though she had spent every summer of her life in the city, for more than forty years, without falling a victim to the heat and the bad air, it was quite impossible to do so any longer. In short, the mania of travelling had seized her violently, and honest Roeliff was at length wrought upon to compromise matters with her. Mrs. Roeliff hinted strongly at a trip to Paris, but it would not do. In the first place, he considered his wife a beauty, as she really had been twenty years before; and felt some apprehensions she might be run away with by a French marquis. In the second place, he could not bear the idea of parting for so long a time from the music and dust of Broadway; and in the third place, he had some rational doubts whether he should cut any considerable figure in the saloons of Paris. Mrs. Orendorf, however, insisted on going abroad somewhere, and the worthy gentleman proposed Canada. The lady, on being assured that Canada was actually a foreign country, assented to the arrangement; and it was determined that they should stop a few days at the Springs, on their way to foreign parts. Accordingly, Mrs. Orendorf, and her only daughter, Minerva, went forth into the milliners' shops to array themselves gorgeously for the approaching campaign. It was settled that the travelled supercargo, for whom Roeliff entertained an astonishing respect, and in whose favour he had conceived a plan which will be developed in good time, should go with him, as Minerva's beau. Young Dibdill, so he was called, abhorred such notorious things as a family party; and was at first inclined, as he declared, to "cut the whole concern;" but as Minerva was a very pretty girl, and an heiress besides, he at length made up his mind to be bored to death, and accorded his consent, with the air of a person conferring a great favour.

That our travelled readers may not turn up their noses at Mr. Julius Dibdill for such a barbarous dereliction of the dignity of his caste, we will describe our heroine, before we proceed with our legend. She had a beautiful little face, rather pale, and reflecting—a beautiful little figure, round, and finely formed—a beautiful little foot and hand—and the most beautiful little pocket ever worn by woman. It held two plums,—for be it known that Roeliff Orendorf had but this only child, and she was heiress to all he had in the world. She was, moreover, accomplished, for she danced, sung, dressed, and walked according to the best models; and what is greatly to her credit, though rich, handsome, and admired, she was not more than half-spoiled. It is not to be denied that she was a little sophisticated, a little affected, and a little too fond of the looking-glass and the milliners' shops; but there was at bottom a foundation of good sense, good feeling, and pure sensibility, which, it was obvious to an attentive observer, would, under happy auspices, in good time, redeem her from all these little foibles.

Minerva, though scarcely eighteen, had many admirers, and might have had many more, had it not been for her unfortunate name, which put the young gentlemen in mind of the goddess of wisdom; and kept some of them at an awful distance. Among these admirers were two who claimed and received particular preference in different ways—her cousin Julius she despised more than any other, and Reuben Rossmore she cherished above all the rest in her heart. Yet, strange to tell, she preferred a walk in Broadway at noon with Julius, before one with Reuben; and a walk with Reuben on the Battery of a moonlight evening, to one with her cousin Julius. Would you know the reason of this odd inconsistency? Julius was one of the best dressed and most fashionable young men in the city. He smuggled all his clothes from London and Paris by means of a friend in one of the packets. Whereas Reuben was generally about twelve hours behind the march of improvement in his dress, and wanted that indispensable requisite of a modern Adonis, a muzzle à la Bison . So far as nature's workmanship went, Reuben was Apollo to a satyr, when compared with Julius; but the tailor cast his thimble, his shears, and his goose into the scale, and restored the balance in favour of the latter. Not one of the charming divinities who emulate the waddle of a duck in their walk, and the celebrated Venus de Monomotapa in their figures, but envied Minerva, when escorted by Julius; yet not a single one of them all would have cared, had she walked from Dan to Beersheba, and back again, with Reuben Rossmore. Such is the influence of the example of others on the heart of a young girl, that our heroine sometimes would turn a corner when she saw Reuben coming, while she always met Julius with smiling welcome, or at least something that answered the purpose just as well. To sum up all in one word, Julius was most welcome in public, Reuben in private.

"She is ashamed of me," said Reuben to himself, when he sometimes thought she wished to avoid him in Broadway; and he would refrain from visiting her for several days. But when at length he overcame his feelings, and went to see her, the manner of her reception in the quiet parlour of the worthy Roeliff banished these throes of pride, and he forgot his suspicions in the joy of a smiling unaffected welcome.

It was on the 29th of June, 1828, that the party, consisting of Roeliff, his lady, daughter, and nephew, two servants, six trunks, and eight bandboxes, embarked in the steamboat for Albany. Minerva recommended the safety-barge, on account of the total absence of all danger, and the quiet which reigns in these delightful conveyances. But Roeliff hated quiet, and loved his money, and, on Mrs. Orendorf observing the fare was much higher than in the other boats, like honest John Gilpin—

"Childe Roeliff kissed his loving wife, O'erjoy'd was he to find, That though on pleasure she was bent, She had a frugal mind."

So they embarked on board one of the fast boats, and away they went up the river as swift as the wind. It ought to have been stated before, but it is not too late to do it now, that young Rossmore had more than once hinted his desire to accompany them; yet though somewhat of a favourite with the whole party, except Julius, who disliked him from an instinctive perception of his superiority, somehow or another it so happened that no one thought of giving him an invitation. He however accompanied them to the boat; and Minerva, at parting, could not help saying, as she gave him a hand as soft and white as the fleecy snow before it becomes contaminated by touching the dirty earth, accompanied by a smile like that of Aurora, when, in the charming month of June, she leads the rosy hours over the high eastern hills, diffusing light, and warmth, and gladness over the face of nature,—

"I hope we shall meet you in the course of our journey."

The last bell rung—the cry of "Ashore! ashore!" was heard fore and aft the vessel, which lay champing the bit, as it were, like an impatient race-horse; and heaving back and forth in a sort of convulsive effort to be free. Reuben jumped on the wharf—the word was given, the fasts let go, and as if by magic she glided off, first slowly, then swifter and swifter, until the wharves, the streets, the whole city seemed scampering behind and gradually disappearing like the shadows of a misty morning. For some reason or other, Minerva turned her head towards the receding city, and to the last saw Reuben standing at the end of the wharf, watching the progress of the enchanted barke that bore her away.

This was the first time our heroine had set forth to see the world, and of consequence, her imagination had never been blighted by the disappointment of those glowing anticipations with which the fancy of untried and inexperienced youth gilds the yet unexplored terra incognita. Her head was full of unknown beauties that were to spring up under her feet and greet her at every step; and of strange and novel scenes and adventures, of which as yet she could form no definite conception. The novelty of the steamboat, the swiftness of its motion, and the quick succession of beautiful scenery on either shore of the river, for awhile delighted her beyond expression; but she was mortified to find by degrees, that the monotony of motion, the heat of the weather, increased by the effusion of so much scalding steam and greasy vapour from the machinery, gradually produced an irksome and impatient feeling, a peevish wish to arrive at Albany. The confined air of the cabin, the crowd, the clattering of plates, knives, forks; the impatient bawlings of "waiter! boy!" from hungry passengers, all combined, took away her appetite, and gave her a headache, so that by the time they arrived at the hotel in Albany, she was glad to retire to her chamber, and seek that balmy rest she had hitherto enjoyed at her quiet home. But in this she was sorely disappointed. The hurly-burly of the house, which lasted till long after midnight—and the arrival and departure of stages just about the dawn of day; together with that odd feeling which is experienced by persons who go from home for the first time, of occupying a strange bed, banished sleep from her pillow, and she arose languid and unrefreshed. And thus ended the first lesson.

Childe Roeliff would gladly have sojourned a day or two in Albany. It was the city of his ancestors, one of whom had emigrated to New-York, in high dudgeon at beholding the progress of that pestilent practice of building houses with the broadside in front, instead of the gable-end, as had been the custom from time immemorial. He was moreover smitten with admiration of the noise and hurly-burly of the hotel, which reminded him of his old favourite place of resort, the tinman's shop. But Mrs. Orendorf was impatient to reach the Springs, and Minerva, besides some little stimulus of the same kind, longed to get clear of the racket which surrounded her. As to friend Julius, he had explored the larder of the hotel, and carried his researches into the kitchen; there was nothing but commonplace materials in the one, and no French cook in the other. He was therefore ready to turn his back upon Albany at a moment's warning. Accordingly they departed immediately after dinner, and proceeded on their way to Saratoga. The bill made Roeliff look rather blue, but he was too much of a man of spirit to demur, though there was a certain bottle of chateaux margaux, which squire Julius had called for, the price of which was above rubies.

The ostensible object of our travellers was to explore and admire the beauties of the country; but somehow or other they travelled so fast all day, and were so tired when night came, that they scarcely saw any thing except from the carriage, on their way to the Springs, which they reached rather late in the evening. A great piece of good fortune befell them on their arrival. A large party had left Congress Hall in the afternoon, and they were consequently enabled to obtain excellent rooms at that grand resort of beauty and fashion. That very evening they had a ball, and Minerva was dragged to it by her mother, though she would not have been able to keep herself awake, had it not been for her astonishment at seeing some of the elderly married ladies dance the waltz and gallopade. Julius was in his element, and created a sensation, by the exuberance of his small-talk and whiskers. Indeed, he was so much admired that Minerva was almost inclined to doubt her understanding, as well as her experience, both which had long since pronounced him a heartless, headless coxcomb. Two fashionable married ladies at once took him under their patronage, and Childe Roeliff was sometimes so much annoyed at his neglect of his daughter, that he said to himself, in the bitterness of his heart, "I wonder what business married women have with young beaux? In my time it was considered very improper." Poor man, he forgot that he was but lately initiated into high life, and that the march of intellect had been like that of a comet since his time, as he called it.

Minerva was at first astonished, then amused, and then delighted with the noisy, easy system of flirtation at that time in vogue at Congress Hall. In the course of a few days,—such is the influence of example on the mind of a young inexperienced female,—she lost all that feeling of delicate shyness, which is so apt to embarrass a timid, high-souled, intellectual girl, in her first outset in life; she could run across a room, bounce into a chair, talk loud and long, and quiz people nobody knew, just as well, and with as little of that exploded vulgarism called, if I recollect aright, blushing, as either Mrs. Asheputtle or Mrs. Dowdykin, both of whom had made the "grand tower, " as their husbands took care to inform everybody; and had learned the true Parisian pronunciation, from a French fille-de-chambre of the first pretensions. These two lady patronesses of Congress Hall took our heroine under their special protection, and Mrs. Orendorf affirmed she could see a great improvement in her every day. "I declare," said she to Roeliff, "I do think Minerva could talk to six gentlemen all at once, and even dance the gallopade with a man she never saw before, without being in the least frightened."—"So much the worse," said the Childe. "In my time a young woman could not say boo to a goose in a strange company, without your hearing her heart beat all the while."—"So much the worse," said Mrs. Roeliff, "what is a woman good for if she can't talk, I wonder."—"I don't know," said the Childe, "except it be to make puddings and mend stockings."—"I wish to heaven you'd mend your manners," cried Mrs. Roeliff; and thus the conference ended, as it generally does in these cases, with a mutual conviction in the mind of each that the other was a most unreasonable person. Nothing, in fact, reconciled Roeliff to the Springs, except the inspiring racket of the drawing-room of Congress Hall, which he declared put him always in mind of the tinman's shop. The following letters were written by Minerva and her cousin Julius, about a week after their arrival at Saratoga Springs.

To Miss Juliana Grantland, New-York.

"My dear Juliana:—

"I am quite delighted with this place, now that I have got over that bad habit of blushing and trembling, which Mrs. Asheputtle assures me is highly indecent and unbecoming. She says it is a sign of a bad conscience and wicked thoughts, when the blood rushes into the face. I wish you knew Mrs. Asheputtle. She has been all over Europe, and seen several kings of the old dynasties, who, she says, were much more difficult to come at than the new ones, who are so much afraid of the canaille, that they are civil to everybody. Only think, how vulgar. Mrs. Asheputtle says, that she knew several men with titles; and that she is sure, if she had not been unfortunately married before, she might have been the wife of the Marquis of Tëte dc Veau. The marquis was terribly disappointed when he found she had a husband already; but they made amends by forming a Platonic attachment, which means— I don't know really what it means—for Mrs. Asheputtle, it seemed to me, could not tell herself. All I know is, that it must be a delightful thing, and I long to try it, when I am married—for Mrs. Asheputtle says it won't do for a single lady. What can it be, I wonder?

"You can't think how delightful it is here. The company is so fashionable. I had almost said genteel. But fashion and gentility are quite opposite things, as I have learned since I came. At least, fashion is very opposite to what my ideas of genteel used to be at home. There it was thought genteel, among the humdrum people that visited at our house, to speak in a gentle subdued tone of voice; to move, if one moved at all, without hurry or noise; to refrain from talking with one's mouth full of sweetmeats; to give the floor to others after dancing a cotillon; not to interrupt any one in speaking; and above all not to talk all together, and as loud as possible. But here, my dear Juliana, every thing is different. Everybody talks at once, and as loud as they can, which is very natural and proper, you know, or how could they make themselves heard? Nothing is more common than to see them run from one end of the long-room to the other, and flounce into a chair, as in the game of puss in a corner. And it does seem to me that when the young ladies get a place in a cotillon, or waltz, for cotillons are vulgar, they don't know when to sit down. I must tell you an odd thing that made me laugh the other night. Julius was dancing the waltz with Mrs. Asheputtle, and their faces somehow came so close together that his whiskers tickled her nose, and set her sneezing, so that she was obliged to sit down. We are so musical here, you can't think; and have private concerts, where the young ladies sing before two or three hundred people. I was foolish enough to be persuaded one night to sing, or rather attempt to sing, `Thou art gone awa frae me, Mary,' but my heart beat so I could not raise a note, and I was obliged to leave the piano, mortified almost to death, to think I had exposed myself before so many people. Mrs. Asheputtle lectured me finely, declaring she was ashamed to see a young lady, who had been under her tuition more than a week, blushing and panting like a miserable innocent. My mother too was very angry, and scolded me for my want of breeding. But I was a little comforted by overhearing a gentleman, who is looked up to by everybody here, on account of his sense and learning, say to another, `It is quite a treat now-a-days to see any thing like feminine timidity. The ladies of the present day have the nerves of the Nemean lion, and are afraid of nothing but spiders. For my part, I had rather have seen that pretty little girl shrink from this public exhibition, than hear Pasta sing her best. However, if I know the lady who has taken her under her tuition, it will not be long before she is able to sing at a theatre, or in a beargarden. '

"When I could muster courage to look up, and round about me, who should I see but Reuben Rossmore, standing close at my side, any eying me with such a look of affectionate kindness, that I could have fairly cried, if I had not been ashamed. He spoke to me in a voice, too, that went to my heart, and I should have been happy again, if I had not seen Mrs. Asheputtle looking at Reuben, and giggling. `Lord, my dear,' whispered she, coming up close to my ear, `Lord, who is that you shook hands with just now. I never saw such a barbarian, to come here with such a coat as that; why, I believe it was made before the flood. I'll tell you what, my dear, if you don't cut that coat, which was certainly cut by Noah's tailor, I shall cut you, and so will all your fashionable acquaintance.' I could not stand this, so I turned away from Reuben, and pretended not to notice he was near me, or to hear what he said. In a little while he left me, and I saw him no more that evening. I felt my heart sink at his leaving me, though it was my own fault; and was standing by myself, thinking whether he would come again, when I was addressed by the gentleman who made the speech about my singing, or rather my not singing. He beguiled me into a conversation, such as I have not heard since I came; and that so charmingly, that in a little while I forgot my mortified feelings, and chatted away with him, with as little effort or timidity as if I had been talking to my father. He spoke of the beauties of a ride he had taken to Lake George, a day or two before, by the way of Jesup's Landing; and described it in such unaffected, yet rich language, that I was drawn completely out of the scene before me, into rural shades, among rugged rocks, and murmuring waters, and roaring cascades. He seemed pleased with my replies, or rather, I believe, with the deep attention I paid him; and when called away by my mother, I heard him say to his friend,—

" `A charming little girl: it is a great pity she has fallen into such bad company.'

" `Bad company!' replied the other, `is it not highly fashionable?'

" `Doubtless, but not the less dangerous to a young and inexperienced girl on that account. People who aspire to lead the ton are not always the best bred; and the union of fashion and vulgarity is not uncommon. A hoydenish familiarity is often mistaken for graceful ease; loud talking and boisterous laughter for wit and vivacity; a total disregard to the feelings of supposed inferiors for a lofty sense of superiority; affectation for grace, and swaggering impudence for the air noble.'

"I have since had several conversations with Mr. Seabright—that is his name,—who sometimes puts me out of conceit with Mrs. Asheputtle and her set. He seems to single me out; and though the other young ladies affect to laugh at my conquest of the old bachelor, I can see very well they all consider his notice an honour. Mr. Seabright and Reuben have formed an acquaintance, and take long rides and walks together.

" `That is a young man of merit as well as talents, Miss Orendorf,' said he, this morning, `very different from the common run.'

"I believe I blushed—I am sure I felt my heart beat at this praise of Reuben. I wish to heaven he would change his tailor.

"My father begins to get tired of this place; and as for myself, notwithstanding the excitement of talking, flirting, waltzing, gallopading, and dressing, I sometimes catch myself getting tired too, and last night yawned in the face of Mrs. Asheputtle as she was describing a Platonic walk by moonlight on the Lake of Geneva with the Marquis of Tête de Veau. I fancy she is rather cool since. Since talking with Mr. Seabright I feel my taste for rural seenes reviving, and have persuaded my father to go to Lake George to-morrow, by the way of Jesup's Landing. Mamma seems rather inclined to stay a few days longer, though I don't know why, for Mrs. Asheputtle laughs at her before my face; and I blush to tell you that I have almost lost the spirit to resent it. Nay, I will confess to you, Juliana, that I have more than once caught myself being ashamed of my kind good parents, because they are ignorant of certain factitious nothings, as Mr. Seabright calls them, which are supposed to constitute good breeding. My cousin Julius don't seem much pleased with the idea of leaving Mrs. Asheputtle, with whom he has formed a Platonic attachment; for you must know, though fashionable women can have but one husband at a time, they may have as many Platonics as they please. However, he is to accompany us, and seems to think we ought to be grateful for the sacrifice. For my part, I had just as soon he would stay where he is; for though I like to be gallanted by him in public, between ourselves, Juliana, he is the most stupid man in private you ever knew. Adieu, I will write you again.

"Yours, ever, "Minerva Orendorf.

"P.S.—I am so pleased! You must know there has been a little coolness between Reuben and me— about—about his coat, I believe. But it so happened, that my father was in such a good humour at the prospect of getting away from this place at last, that in the fulness of his heart he has invited Reuben to be of the party to Lake George. Reuben pretended to make some excuses, but I could see his eyes sparkle brighter than ever, and he soon got over his scruples. If I don't fit him for this I'm no woman."

The same post carried the following letter from Mr. Julius Dibdill to his friend Count Rumpel Stiltskin, a distinguished foreigner, and eléve vice-cousul.

"My dear Count,

"One of the great disadvantages of foreign travel is, that it unfits one for the enjoyment of any thing in one's own country, particularly when that country is so every way inferior to the old world. It is truly a great misfortune for a man to have too much taste and refinement. I feel this truth every day of my life; and could almost find in my heart to regret the acquirement of habits and accomplishments that almost disqualify me for a citizen of this vulgar republic, which, I am sorry to perceive, seems in a fair way of debauching the whole world with her pernicious example of liberty and equality. If it were not for Delmonico and Palmo, the musical soirees, and a few other matters, I should be the most miserable man in the world. Would you believe it, my dear count, there is not a silver fork to be seen in all the hotels between New-York and Saratoga? And yet the people pretend to be civilized!

"I will acquaint you with my reasons for submitting to the martyrdom of beauing my cousin to this place. My uncle, whose wealth, and nothing else, redeems him from utter and irretrievable condemnation in my eyes, has hinted to me, that if I can make myself agreeable to the goddess Minerva, he will come down handsomely on the happy day, and leave us all he has in his will. I thought I might possibly make my courtship endurable by mixing it up with a little filtration with the dames at the Springs. By-the-way, count, almost the only improvement I have observed in this country since I first left it, is in the well-bred married ladies, who begin to relish the European fashion of encouraging young gentlemen in a little harmless filtration wonderfully. It is one of the highest proofs of the progress of refinement among these barbarians, that can be conceived.

"Travelling in the steamboat is detestable. The same vile system of equality which pervades all this horrible country, where no respect is paid to the aristocracy, reigns in all its glory in these abominable inventions of republican genius. At breakfast I sat next a fellow who actually put his knife in his mouth with a bushel of potatoes on it; loaded his plate with contributions from all parts of the table at once; bawled out `boy!' to the waiters five hundred times, with his mouth full of the produce of the four quarters of the globe; and concluded his trencher feats by upsetting a cup of moderate hot coffee right into my lap. The gormandizing cyclop made me an apology, it is true; but I make a point now of understanding nothing but French and Italian, and looked at the monster with an air of perfect ignorance of what he was pleased to say. `He is a foreigner, I believe,' said the cyclop to his friend. And I forgave him the coffee, on the score of a mistake so highly complimentary.

"At Albany, where we spent a night, it is sufficient to say that they affected great state at the hotel; with what success you may conjecture, when I tell you there was neither French cookery nor silver forks. Mine honoured uncle and predestined father-in-law was hugely delighted, however, with his entertainment; and he and the jolly landlord cracked jokes in a style of the most abominable republican equality; or rather, I should say, the landlord joked, and my uncle laughed, having never attempted a joke, I believe, since the old continental war.

"I find this place more tolerable, notwithstanding the absence of the summum bonum—an accomplished travelled cook. They are musical here; the amateurs officiate and keep time, like the two buckets of a well,— one up, the other down. But this is neither here nor there—it is fashionable abroad—and whatever is fashionable is worthy the attention of fashionable people. My intended was one night persuaded, or rather commanded, by her mother, to attempt a horrible ballad; and, awful to relate, such was her vulgar timidity that she faltered, panted, and was obliged to give it up at the conclusion of the first verse. What under heaven shall I do with such a woman? I shall positively take her abroad and shut her up in a nunnery.

"We have also the waltz, the gallopade, and the exquisite mazourka—each more delightful than the other. Nothing in the world is better calculated to dissipate that vulgar awkwardness which is so apt to subsist among strange men and women, accidentally thrown together, than these highly sociable dances, which break down all ceremony and introduce the greatest strangers, as it were, into each other's arms. The first night of my arrival I singled out the most dashing of the married ladies, a Mrs. Asheputtle, who has travelled: we danced the gallopade, and were as intimate as if we had been hatched in the same dovecot. She is a charming, spirited being, who has travelled to the greatest advantage; is perfectly aware of the innocence of flirtation; admires young fellows of spirit; and has a sovereign contempt for her husband. What excellent materials for a Platonic arrangement are here met together in one person. I foresee we shall be the best friends in the world; or rather, we are already so much so that some of the vulgar begin to look significantly and whisper knowingly on the matter. This is delightful, and gives such a zest to flirtation you know. For my part, I would not care for Venus herself, except we could conjure up a little wonder among these republicans.

"Mine uncle, the execrable Roeliff Orendorf, has just announced his determination to leave this to-morrow for Lake George, where the ladies are to banquet on the picturesque, and the said Roeliff on black bass. But I—I who have seen the Lago Maggiore, and the Isola Bella—I who have sailed in a gondola on a Venetian canal—I who have eaten of maccaroni and Vermicelli soup, concocted by an Italian artist in the very air of Italy—and I who have luxuriated at the Café Hardy on turbot à la crème et au gratin—I to be bamboozled into admiration or ecstasy by Lake George and its black bass!—forbid it, Hamel Frères; forbid it, immortal Corcellet; and forbid it, heaven! But the fiat is gone forth, and we depart to-morrow by a new route, which has been recommended by one Seabright, a quiz, who pretends to taste and all that, though, so far as I can learn, he has never been outside Sandy Hook in his life. He has talked a great deal to the goddess Minerva, and, I dare say, persuaded her she came full formed from the brain of Jove; for though she treats me with attention in public, I must confess to thee, count, that in private it is exactly otherwise. I sometimes suspect a horrid monster by the name of Reuben Rossmore, who has made his appearance here, and was a beau of hers in New-York. Could I conceive the possibility of a woman who has been accustomed to the cut of my coat for months past, enduring the abstract idea of a man wearing a garment like that of Master Reuben, I should be inclined to a little jealousy. But the thing is impossible. Why, count, the coat was, beyond all doubt, contrived at least six months ago, and must have been perpetrated by the tailor of King Stephen, whose inexpressibles, you may chance to recollect—for you sometimes pretend to read Shakspeare to please John Bull—coset xactly half a crown. I am therefore compelled to believe that she entertains this monstrous oddity for the truly feminine purpose of spurring me on through the medium of a little jealousy to a premature disclosure of my intentions, and a direct offer of my hand. Jealous!—I, that—but the thing is too ridiculous.

"However this may be, I intend to propose shortly, for I can't keep up the farce of courtship and attention much longer. When I am married, you know, it will be in the highest degree vulgar to be civil to her. I shall be a free man then, and hey for Mrs. Asheputtle and the gallopade. I do therefore purpose to take the first opportunity in the course of this diabolical tour, when the moon shines, the stars twinkle, the zephyr whispers, and the very leaves breathe soft aspirations of love, to declare myself to the goddess Minerva, who, if she refuses me, must be more or less than woman. Then shall we be married—then shall I be free— then will that detestable and vulgar old man, mine uncle Roeliff, come down with the shiners—then shall we, or rather I, Julius Dibdill, cut a sublime caper— then will the wicked old man and woman, yclept my father and mother-in-law, go the way of all flesh—and then shall I be worth two plums at least. Glorious anticipation! and certain as glorious.

"Thine assuredly and ever, "Julius Dibdill.

"P.S.—I have just learned that the man in the antediluvian coat is invited to join our party. So much the better; I shall have somebody to take the goddess Minerva off my hands and study the picturesque with her. But the divine Asheputtle is abroad—she looks up at my window—she smiles—she beckons! Away goes my pen, and I bequeath mine inkstand to the d—l: videlicet, the printer's devil."

The morning shone bright, and "all nature smiled in dewy tears," as the great bard Whipsyllabub saith, when our party set forth on their way to Lake George. Following the advice of Seabright, who intimated a possibility of his joining them at the lake, they chose a route not generally followed, and not laid down in any of the books. It led them through a fine fruitful and picturesque country, the inspiration of which affected the party in various ways. Minerva and Reuben pointed out with sympathetic delight the little clear rivulets that meandered throught the meadows, crossing the road back and forth in their devious windings—the rich fields of golden grain in which the happy husbandman was now reaping the harvest of his autumn and spring labours; and the distant waving mountains that marked the vicinity of the beautiful Hudson—beautiful in all its course, from its departure from the little parent lake to its entrance into the boundless ocean. Julius took no note of the country, except that when occasionally called upon to admire, he would lug in a comparison with some scenery on the Rhine, the Lake of Geneva, or the like, intimating something like pity of those unlucky wights who never had an opportunity of seeing them, and who could admire the homely charms of an American landscape. Mrs. Orendorf did nothing but talk about what a charming place they had just left, and what a charming woman was Mrs. Asheputtle; and Childe Roeliff, having made two or three desperate efforts to resist the inroads of the enemy, and keep his eyes open, fell fast asleep. Happy is he who can thus at will shut out the world, evade the tediousness of time, and, as it were, annihilate that awful vacuum which intervenes between the great epochs of the day—to wit, breakfast, dinner, and supper.

About midday they came in sight of Jesup's Landing, as it is called, a little village close to the banks of the Hudson, which here presents a scene of exquisite beauty. The river is scarcely half a quarter of a mile wide, and seems to sleep between its banks, one of which rises into irregular hills, bounded in the distance by lofty mountains, the other is a velvet carpet, just spread above the surface of the stream, and running back to the foot of a range of round full-bosomed hills, that are succeeded by a range of rugged cliffs. Several little streams abounding in trout, and as clear as crystal, meander through these meadows, fringed with alders and shrubs of various kinds, wild flowers, and vines; and here and there a copse of lofty trees. The little village consisted of a few comfortable houses, scattered along the right bank of the river, and extending perhaps a quarter of a mile. At sight of this charming scene Reuben and Minerva exchanged looks of mutual pleasure, indicating that sympathy of taste and feeling which forms one of those imperceptible ties which finally bind two hearts together, and constitute the basis of the purest species of youthful love. There was nobody present to call in question the orthodoxy of Reuben's coat; no coterie of fashion to make Minerva ashamed of so unfashionable a beau, and she resigned herself gently into that respect and admiration which his goodness of heart, his natural talents, and extensive acquirements merited, and which nothing but the fear of being laughed at could repress in her bosom.

It was decided that they should take dinner at a neat comfortable inn, the names of whose owners we would certainly immortalize in this our story, did we chance to recollect them. But as there is but one public house in the village, the traveller, who we hope may be tempted to visit this scene, when peradventure he shall peruse the adventures of the good Childe Roeliff, cannot well mistake the house. While dinner was preparing Minerva proposed a walk, for the purpose of viewing a fall distant about half a mile, which Mr. Seabright had excited her curiosity to see. The old folks were too tired; and Julius had seen the cascade of Lauterbrunn, and a dozen besides, in foreign parts, so there was no use in his going to visit one that by no possibility could be supposed equal to these. Minerva and Reuben therefore set out together, after being enjoined by the old gentleman not to keep them waiting dinner. Julius, in the mean time, meditated a scrutiny into the kitchen, to see into the flesh-pots of Egypt.

After proceeding over a high ridge which hid the river from their view, the road suddenly turned to the left down a steep hill, and they beheld the river raging in violent whirlpools, covered with foam, and darting through its narrow channel with noisy vehemence. A few houses, and a sawmill lay far beneath them, scattered among rocks and little gardens, where the sunflower paid its homage to the god of its idolatry, and the cabbage grew in luxuriant and chubby rotundity. Descending the hill, they hegan to notice the white spray rising above the tops of the pine-trees which crowned the perpendicular cliff on the opposite side of the river, and gradually the roar of the torrent strengthened into sublimity. At length they turned the corner of the mill, and beheld one of the finest scenes to be found in a state abounding in the beautiful and sublime of nature.

Minerva had taken the arm of the young man in descending the hill, and she continued to lean on it, with a more perceptible pressure, as they stood, in the silence of strong emotion, gazing at the scene before them. Perhaps we should have said Minerva stood gazing at the scene—for it is due to the strict accuracy we mean to preserve throughout our progress, to state that Reuben, after glancing at the fall, happened to cast his eye upon the damsel leaning on his arm, and pressing unconsciously against him in thrilling admiration, mixed with apprehension of the tremendous uproar of the waters, which shook the earth at their feet. He there beheld a countenance so beautiful, yet so apparently unconscious of beauty, so lighted up with feeling, intelligence, and delight, that for some moments he forgot the charms of inanimate nature in the contemplation of a rarer masterpiece. As he stood thus gazing in her face, their eyes happened to meet, and the rose was never in the dewy spring morning decked with such a tint as spread, like the Aurora Borealis, over the mild heaven of her countenance. We will not affirm that Reuben blushed too, for that might bring him into disgrace with some of our fashionable readers. But we can affirm that his pulse beat in such a style that if the doctor had been called in, he would certainly have pronounced him in a high fever. Recovering herself in a few moments, Minerva said, with the prettiest affectation of petulance imaginable,—

"Pray, young gentleman, did you come here to see the fall or not?"

"I did," said Reuben, somewhat surprised.

"Then I wish you would take the trouble to look at it a little. I never before suspected you of being insensible to the beauties of nature."

He took out his pencil—it was a self-sharpening one,—and wrote a few verses which he presented her. They turned upon the superiority of the charms of woman, embellished with gentleness, beauty, intellect, tenderness, sympathy, and, above all, an immortal soul, over all other triumphs of creative power. We would insert them here, but Minerva always declared she threw the manuscript into the torrent.

"What nonsense!" exclaimed she, after reading it; and there is every reason to believe she was affronted at being thus put in comparison with a waterfall. But, somehow or other, she still held his arm while they staid at the foot of the torrent, and until they reached the inn. Nay, she held it while they mounted the steps, and after they entered the dining-room, when Mrs. Orendorf observed, rather significantly, "Minerva, can't you stand alone?"

Minerva started, let go the arm, and ran up-stairs; for what purpose is a mystery to this day: perhaps it was because she wanted to convince the old lady she could stand alone. Master Julius listened to the account of their excursion with astonishing apathy; but was actually inspired to rub his hands in ecstasy, by the sight of a fine dish of trout, which, for the time being, banished the recollection of turbot à la crème et au gratin.

Nothing on earth can exceed the beauty of the scenery from Jesup's Landing to Hadley's Falls, of a fine summer afternoon; and the party, at least two of them, enjoyed it with all the zest of youthful feeling awakened into admiration of every thing delightful, by the new-born excitement of that universal passion which in its first dawnings communicates a charm to every thing we hear, every thing we see, every thing we enjoy. The youthful lover, ere his hopes are poisoned by jealousy and doubt, feels a glow about his heart, an elasticity of spirit, a capacity for enjoyment he never knew before. Solitude acquires a new charm, for his fancy has now an object of perpetual contemplation, which is everywhere its associate, and with which his spirit holds converse absent as well as present. He imagines every thing grateful and endearing to his heart; creates a thousand occasions of innocent gratification; conjures up smiles, blushes, and glances more eloquent than words; the present is happiness, the future enchanting; and this fretful world the garden of Eden, inhabited by one more blooming, beautiful, and pure than the mother of mankind at the first moment of her creation, ere the serpent whispered his first temptations, and the first transgression stained the virgin earth. Such, or something like these, were the feelings of Minerva and Reuben, as they stole a few minutes to ramble along the river to the mouth of a little stream that joined it out of the meadows about a quarter of a mile from the inn.

"Nothing is wanting to the beauty of this fairy scene," said the young man.

"Yes," replied Minerva, "you have named the very thing wanting. It is indeed a fairy scene, and could we only imagine it the occasional haunt of these charming little folks, it would derive additional interest and beauty from the association. I have been told that few, if any, of the rivers of the ancient world are to be compared with this; but they are ennobled by their nymphs, their river gods, and their connexion with poetry, romance, and religion, while our pure and beautiful streams have nothing but reality to recommend them. I sometimes wish I could believe in the fairies."

"And so do I," answered Reuben. "I confess I often look back with regret upon that happy period, before fancy became the slave of reason; when the youthful imagination was filled with the unseen glories of enchanted palaces; with spirits, fairies, and genii, guarding virtue, punishing vice; alluring us to the practice of all the moral duties by the most splendid rewards, and deterring us from the commission of crimes by the most awakening punishments. I sympathize with the French poet, when he complains that, `The fays and all are gone, Reason, reason reigns alone; Every grace and charm is fled, All by dulness banished. Thus we ponder slow and sad, After truth the world is mad; Ah! believe me, error too Hath its charms nor small nor few.' "

The carriage now overtook them, and they proceeded on their journey sitting side by side, now bowling along the level banks of the river, crowned with trees, whose velvet foliage was reflected in the still, pure water, with an inimitable softness and beauty; and now slowly ascending the round green hills, which every moment opened to their view new and distant landscapes—hills rising above hills, and ending at last in blue mountains seeming to mingle with the skies. Little was said by either, except in that language which all understand,— as an unknown poet says,— The Indian maid at home Who makes the crystal lake her looking-glass, As well as she that moves in courtly balls, And sees in full-length mirrors scores of angels. They followed the direction of each other's eyes in search of nature's masterpieces, or looked into them and beheld them reflected as in the gliding river.

Master Julius Dibdill, having had the misfortune to be a great traveller, saw nothing in the scenery to merit his attention; but he saw something in these glances which he did not at all like. They spoke a language which he comprehended perfectly, and he began to ponder within himself that it was high time to come to an explanation; for, incredible as it might seem, the antediluvian coat seemed in a fair way to eclipse the whiskers, at least in these romantic solitudes.

"But I will wait till we arrive at Lake George, where I shall find an assemblage of fashionable people, and resume my empire," thought he.

In the mean time he bestirred himself to make the agreeable; talked about the musical soirées, the fashions, the great people, the cookery, "and all that sort of thing." But these topics, it would seem, have no enchantment out of the sphere of the drawing-room and fancy ball. Within the magic circle of nature, among meadows, and streams, and rocks, and mountains, and in the deep solitudes of the touching melancholy woods, they hold no sway. The heart responds not to them, and even echo disdains to reply from her sequestered hiding-place. Minerva heard what he said, but she looked at the distant cascade of Hadley, where the Hudson and the dark rolling Sacondaga come forth from their empire in the woods, unite their waters, and quarrel away with angry vehemence, until, becoming as it were reconciled to their enforced marriage, they jog on quietly together like Darby and Joan, till they mingle at last with that emblem of eternity, the vast, unfathomable, endless ocean, which swallows up the waters of the universe at one mighty gulp.

Crossing the river at Hadley, by a bridge hanging in the air directly over the falls, the scene changed by degrees into a vast mountainous forest of gloomy pines, destitute of cultivation, except that here and there, at long intervals, the hand of man was indicated by a little clear field, along some devious winding brook, groping its way through the little valleys, and turning a sawmill, sore enemy to the gigantic pines, and destructive to the primeval forests that have braved the elements for ages past. The road was rough and rocky, and the people they passed were few and far between; wild in their looks, and wild in their attire. Still there was a romantic feeling of novelty connected with the scene; it was a perfect contrast to that they had just quitted; and there was a solemn and desolate wildness about it, which partook of sublimity. Minerva and Reuben enjoyed it, for they were studying the early and enchanting rudiments of a first love together,— the good lady-mother complained sorely of the bruises she sustained,—Childe Roeliff grumbled, and bitterly reviled the road because it would not let him sleep,— while the accomplished Dibdill whiled away the tedious hours, by every moment asking the driver how far it was to Lake George, and expressing his impatience to get there.

The night set in ere they had cleared this wild district, and grew exceedingly dark in consequence of the approach of a storm. The lightning and thunder became frequent and appalling, while the intervals were enveloped in tenfold darkness. The progress of the carriage became necessarily so slow that the excellent Roeliff was at length enabled to accommodate himself with a nap, from which not even the thunder could rouse him. The horses, as is common on such occasions, became dogged and obstinate, and at length came to a dead stand. In the mean time the distant roaring of the woods announced that the tempest was let loose, and approaching on the wings of the whirlwind.

The situation of the party became extremely unpleasant, and Minerva unconsciously pressed against Reuben, as if for protection. The expostulations of the driver with his team at length roused Childe Roeliff from his sleep, who, on being made to comprehend the situation of affairs, forthwith began to scold the unfortunate women, on whom he laid all the blame. In the first place, it was his wife who urged him on to travelling in foreign parts; and in the second, his daughter, who proposed this route through the wilderness, or desert of Moravia, as he termed it. What a capital thing it is to have some one to lay the blame upon in times of tribulation! To be able to say to another, "It is all your fault," is better in the eyes of some people than all the consolations of philosophy.

The darkness, as we observed before, was intense in these gloomy woods, and it became impossible to distinguish objects through the void, except during the flashes of lightning. In this dilemma, they sat consulting what was to be done, without coming to a determination, occasionally appealing to the driver; who at length threw them into despair by acknowledging that he feared he had deviated from the right road in the darkness of the night.

"Is there a house near?" asked Reuben.

"If we are on the right track, there must be one somewhere hereabouts, sir," replied the driver. "But the people who live in it are not of the best character, they say."

A flash of lightning, that seemed to set the heavens and the earth in a blaze, and quivered among the lofty trees, followed by a fearful crash of thunder, interrupted this dialogue. As the explosion rolled away, grumbling at a distance, the silence was interrupted by two or three voices, exclaiming, close to the horses' heads,—

"Hollo! hollo! hollo! who are you?"

The ladies shrieked—Childe Roeliff was struck dumb, and Julius began to think about bandits and brigands. Poor Minerva, frightened out of all recollection of the dignity of the sex, actually seized Reuben's hand, and held it fast, as if she feared he was going to run away.

"Hollo! hollo!—I say, who are you?" repeated the same rough voices.

"Travellers benighted in the woods," replied Reuben.

"Where do you come from?"

"Saratoga."

"Where are you going?"

"To Lake George."

"You'll not get there to-night I reckon."

"Why, how far is it?"

"Five miles, through the worst road in all York state."

"Is there any house near?"

"I suspect I live just nigh hand yonder. You have just passed it.—We heard something queer like, and came out just to see what it was."

"Can you accommodate us for the night?"

"Can't I?—do you think I live in a hollow tree?"

"How far is it to your house?"

"Not a hundred yards yonder. There, you may see it now."

And by the flashes of lightning, they distinguished the house at a little distance.

"O don't let us go with these men!" whispered Minerva to Reuben.

"I dare say they are as rude and as wild as bears," mumbled Mrs. Orendorf.

"No doubt they are squatters." quoth the Childe.

"I can swear to them," said Julius, in an undertone of great apprehension. "They talk and look just like banditti—and this is a most capital place for murder. I wish I had brought my hair-triggers."

"Banditti!" screamed the old lady.

"Don't be alarmed," said Reuben. "There is no danger of banditti in a happy and well-governed country."

"Why, hollo! I say, mister—are you going to light or not? We can't stand all night here. I felt a drop of rain on my nose just now, and hear the storm coming like fury down yonder. You are welcome to go or stay, only make up your minds at once, or I'm off like a shot."

"We had better go with them," said Reuben. "If they had any mischief in their heads, they could do it here better than anywhere else."

All finally assented to this proposition, warned by the increasing whispers of the woods and the pattering of the rain that no time was to be lost.

The horses, who seemed conscious they had been driven past a place of shelter, willingly suffered the nightwalkers to take them by the reins and turn them round, and in less than a minute they drew up before a house, at the door of which stood a woman with a light.

"Quick! quick! jump like lamplighters," exclaimed the master of the house; "or in less than no time you'll be as wet as drowned rats."

The increasing rain and uproar warned them to follow this advice, and the whole party, trunks, bandboxes, and all, were in a trice received into the solitary mansion, which, to their dismay and mortification, they found already occupied by a party of the most questionable figures they had ever seen. It consisted of five or six of what, in the common phrase of Brother Jonathan, are called "hard-looking characters," seated on benches made of slabs, and tippling whiskey in a pretty considerable fine style. They looked a little queer at our travellers as they entered, but offered no rudeness of speech or manner; and one of them, a native of the most gallant of all countries, offered Minerva his seat on the slab with great courtesy, considering he was dressed in a red flannel shirt, and had forgotten his shoes somewhere or other.

The house in which accident had thus cast our travellers was entirely new, or rather, we may affirm it was not above half-finished. Of the vast superfluity of windows, only two were furnished with glass, and the rest boarded up to keep out the weather. Half the room they occupied was plastered, the other half lathed only, and every thing, in fact, squared with the distinguishing characteristic of honest Brother Jonathan, who of all people in the world excels in building big houses, which he never finishes. The furniture was exceedingly "sparse," as the western members of Congress say of the population of the new states: there was a bed in one corner, in which lay ever so many little white-headed rogues, who ever and anon popped up their polls to take a sly look at the strangers. It was sufficiently clean, and the vanity of woman peeped forth even in these wild regions, in the form of a coarse cotton fringe, which hung like a fishing net from the ends of the pillow-cases. There were only two chairs visible, the seats composed of pieces of pine boards. Still nothing was slovenly, and every thing about the place indicated, not the incurable poverty of an old country, which neither toil nor industry can remedy, but that temporary absence of conveniences, which opportunity had not yet permitted them to supply.

But to the ladies, and to Childe Roeliff, who for some years past had been accustomed to the luxuries of a splendid establishment, all this appeared the very quintessence of poverty and misery combined. They looked round them with dismay, and to their view all seemed to indicate that species of want and wretchedness which impels mankind to the violation of social duties, and the perpetration of the deepest crimes. They trembled for their lives, especially when they saw suspended above the mantelpiece, and standing up in the corners, at least half a dozen guns. Squire Julius, whose head was full of banditti, observed these mortal weapons as well as the ladies, and gave himself up for lost that night.

"This comes of family parties, and rides in search of the picturesque. I shall never dance the gallopade again with the divine Asheputtle, that's certain," thought he, as he glanced his eye upon the harsh features, athletic forms, and above all, infamous costume, of the convivial party.

Mine host was indeed of a face and figure most alarming to behold. He was fast approaching to the gigantic in height, and bony in the extreme—in short, he seemed all bone and sinew. His features were awfully strong; and of his nose it might be predicated, that it was no wonder the first drop of rain which came from the heavens that night fell upon that extensive promontory, for the chances were in its favour a hundred to one. He was, however, not uncourteous in his way; but to the eyes of the refined portion of society, rusticity always conveys an idea of rudeness and barbarity. It was plain that he was the master of the house, for the tone of his voice indicated as much. Mine hostess was rather a little woman—not deformed or ugly, but quite the contrary. She might have been handsome, had it not been for a garment of green baize, which threw friend Julius into a perspiration of horror.

Our travellers had scarcely entered the house when the storm commenced its career, and such a storm as carries with it all the sublime of nature. The wind howled, the thunder crashed, and the trees groaned, while the rain beat a tattoo upon the roof and sides of the building, as if it was determined to pepper some of those within.

"I've seen many a storm in ould Ireland," exclaimed one of the worshipful members, in a strong Irish accent; "but never any tunder like dis."

"Pooh!" replied a figure that seemed to have been made out of a shingle; "how should you when everybody knows neither the sky nor the earth is half as big in Ireland as in this country."

"Well, suppose and it isn't; what den?—is it any reason why the tunder and lightning wouldn't be as big? answer me dat, you Dutch Yankee."

"Why, I should guess so, arguing from analogy—"

"Ann what?—devil burn me if I know such a woman— and I don't care what she argufies."

"I say," continued the other with great gravity, "that, arguing from analogy, it is quite impossible, as I should partly guess, that the thunder should be as loud in such a small splice of a country, as it is in these United States of Amerrykey. You see now, Mister McKillicuddy—that's a queer name of yours—I wonder your daddy wasn't ashamed to give you such a shorter of a cognomen."

"Do you compare me to a cog-wheel, you shingle faced monkey?" interrupted Mister McKillicuddy, who, like all his company, was a dealer in sawing boards in this region, where vast quantities are made and sent to New-York by way of the Hudson.

"I compare you?—I'll see you pickled first," said Jonathan; "I was only saying you had a tarnal droll name—I wouldn't have such a name for all the bogs of Ireland."

"Bogs!—you tief—none of your coming over me with bogs;—I've seen a bog in Ireland bigger than the whole State of New-York—yes, and if you come to dat, bigger dan your whole Untied States as you call 'em."

"Whew—w—w!" whistled Jonathan; "what a miserable country that Ireland of yours must be: I don't wonder the snakes and toads have all left it, of their own accord, long ago."

"Of their own accord!—no such ting I tell you.—St. Patrick driv 'em all out by preaching to the rascals."

"Whew!—why I spose maybe you calculate on that as a mighty slick piece of horsemanship. But for all that, he can't hold a candle to our Deacon Mabee. Let the deacon alone for driving a wedge— why, the other night, at a four-days meetin, I wish I may be shot if he didn't drive every cretur out of the schoolhouse exceptin old Granny Whimblebit, who is as deaf as an adder. St. Patrick can't hold a candle to Deacon Mabee, I'm considerably inclined to think."

"May be or may be not, Mister Longreach; nobody shall say any ting, or tink any ting, or dream any ting to the undervallying Saint Patrick."

"Ever in Bosting? I'm from Bosting or thereabouts, I guess, don't you?" replied Mr. Longreach.

"Bosting!—none of your coming over me with your Bosting—Dublin for ever for me, honey!"

"Dubling—I've heard say by one of the slickest fellers within a hundred miles of Bosting—that the city of Dubling was so leetle you might kiver it all over with the peeling of a potato."

"By the holy poker, but I'd like to come over that slick feller.—The peel of a peraty!—By St. Patrick's blue eyes!"

"Was his eyes blue?" asked Mr. Longreach, with great apparent earnestness. "I always heard your Irish people were great dealers in black eyes, maybe."

"Yes, by the hokey, and I'll give you a short specimen off-hand if you go to make fun upon me, Mister Longreach."

"I make fun of you!—I'd see your neck stretched first."

"You wouldn't now, would you," cried Mr. McKillicuddy, rising in great wrath, and making immediate demonstrations of hostility. But the rest of the company, who understood the dry humour of Jonathan, and were enjoying the colloquy, interfered, and insisted they should drink friends, assuring Mr. McKillicuddy no harm was meant. Peace was accordingly restored, and a short silence ensued. This, however, was soon interrupted by the vespers of Childe Roeliff, who, being tired with his ride and of waiting for supper, had fallen asleep in one of the two chairs we have commemorated.

"Hush," cried McKillicuddy; "we will disturb the ould New-Yorker there. And, now I think of it, 'tis time to be going home to the ould woman. The storm is over in one-half the time it would have been in swate Ireland, for all dat tundering Yankee says."

Accordingly, seeing that the moon was peeping forth from her recesses in the clouds, they made their homely compliments to the strangers, and quietly sought their burrows among the rocks and hills. Julius, who watched them narrowly, overheard, with the quick ear of apprehension, one of them say to the landlord, in an under-tone, "What time shall we be here?" "About an hour before day," replied he.

During the preceding dialogue, the mistress of the mansion had been preparing supper for the travellers, and Minerva and Reuben had listened with amusing interest to this homely display of national character. But Squire Dibdill could not divest himself of the impression that these ill-dressed people were first-rate banditti, and that they only retired to throw the party off their guard, and induce them to spend the night in this dangerous abode. After supper, which was of the most plentiful kind—for however our people may lodge, they all feed well—he hinted pretty strongly about going on to the lake that night. But it was now ten o'clock, the clouds had again obscured the moon, and the driver, who heard the proposal from his corner, declared that neither he nor his horses were in a humour to undertake such a road at such an hour, in such a night as this. The road, always bad, must be now almost impassable, with the torrent of rain which had just fallen; and he could not answer to his master or the party for running the risk of a midnight journey. Julius gave up the point unwillingly, and it was settled to remain where they were till morning.

No small difficulty occurred in arranging accommodations, as mine host was not accustomed to entertain strangers of distinction, or indeed any strangers at all. Seldom did a traveller pass that way, and still more rarely did they tarry there for the night. We profess not to know what became of the rest of the party; but it hath come to our knowledge that Master Julius slept, or was supposed to sleep, in a little excrescence of a building that projected from the rear of the house, usually occupied by the owner of the mansion himself, who resigned it on this occasion to his guest. About eleven the party retired to rest, and soon a deathlike silence reigned everywhere, interrupted only at intervals by the whooping of the owl or the barking of the dogs about the house, occasionally disturbed by those "varmints" which still infest the more obscure recesses of our mountains. All save Julius were soon fast asleep, or,—to speak more in accordance with the "big" style of describing small things now-a-days,— soon all were locked in the arms of Morpheus; and it hath been asserted on good authority, that the last thoughts of Reuben and the pretty little Minerva were of each other.

Julius examined his sleeping-room with great attention, but saw nothing to excite his suspicions save a few spots on the floor, which looked very much like recent stains of blood. He went to bed; but he was nervous, and could not sleep for thinking of banditti. He lay listening for hours after all was quiet as the grave around him, and the dread silence increased his apprehensions, insomuch that he wished he had permitted Reuben to sleep in the room with him, notwithstanding the horror with which travelled gentlemen, and more especially English travellers, look upon such a republican enormity. The state of his mind aggravated every little sound that met his ear; the stir of a mouse made his heart beat double; the hooting of the solitary owl sounded like a prophetic foreboding of danger; and the barking of the dogs announced to his exaggerated apprehensions, the approach of the robbers.

After a long probation of tantalizing fears, he at length worried himself into a sleep, from which he was roused by a cautious and ominous tap at his window, which had no shutter, and was but a few feet from the ground. All was dark within and without, and there reigned all around that deathlike stillness which may be called the empire of fear, since to the excited fancy it is far more appalling than the uproar and confusion of the elements. After an interval of a moment, during which he lay without drawing his breath, some one said, in an under-tone,

"Knock louder."

"We shall disturb the ladies."

"That's true, I guess, but then how shall we get at him?"

"By de hokey, he sleeps as dough he knowed it was his last."

Julius recognised the voices of Longreach and McKillicuddy, and his apprehensions now ripened into certainty. His forehead became cold with the dews of fear, and every feeling, every function of life resolved itself into one horrible apprehension as he heard them cautiously trying first at the door, then at the window, and uttering low curses of disappointment at finding them fastened.

"By J—s, we shall be too late, for I see de day coming over de top of de mountain yonder."

"Well, them, I'll be darn'd if I don't go without him."

"By de holy poker, but I won't; he shall go wid us, dead or alive. So here goes."

Mr. McKillicuddy hereupon essayed himself more vigorously to open the door, and the apprehensions of Julius being now wrought up to the highest pitch, he roared out,—

"Murder! murder!" as loud as he could bawl.

"Och, murder!" shouted McKillicuddy in astonishment and dismay, as he heard the voice of the stranger.

Julius continued to vociferate the awful cry until he roused Reuben and mine host, and waked the ladies, who began to echo him with all the might of female lungs. Dressing themselves with great expedition, our hero and the landlord proceeded to the place where Julius was so sorely beset by the banditti, and beheld by the slight tint of the gray morning, the figures of McKillicuddy and his companion standing under the window. Mine host hailed them, and was answered by a well-known voice.

"A pretty kettle of fish you have made of it."

"Yes, I guess if he'd studied nine years and a half for a blunder, he wouldn't have made a better. Darnation, why did you direct us to the wrong place?"

"By jingo," replied the landlord, "that's true, I forgot, or rather I didn't know, the strange gentleman was to sleep in my room."

All this while the valiant Dibdill was vociferating "Murder, murder!" in his best style, and Reuben, perceiving there was no danger of such a catastrophe at present, managed, by the assistance of the landlord, to force the door. Their attempts redoubled the horrors of poor Julius, who for some time withstood all the assurances of Reuben that there was not the least danger of being murdered this time. He stood in a perfect abstraction of horror, with but one single impression on his memory, and that was of banditti; repeating, as it were unconsciously, the awful cry of murder, murder! as fast as his tongue could utter it, until it gradually died away in a whisper.

Having tried what shaking, and pushing, and arguments would do, in vain, the landlord at length brought him to his recollections by dashing a basin of water in his face. For a minute or two he stood congealed and astounded, then rubbing his eyes, and looking round with a most ludicrous stare, exclaimed,

"Bless my soul, what is the matter?"

"By de soul of ould Ireland," cried McKillicuddy, bursting into a roar of laughter, "by de soul of ould Ireland, I believe de squire took us for robbers."

The whole scene changed at once, and shouts of laughter echoed in these solitudes which had just been alarmed with the cry of murder. Reuben could not forbear joining in the chorus, as he looked at Julius, who stood in his nightcap and oriental gown, shaking with the cold ablution he had received, aided by the remains of his fears, and exhibiting a ludicrous combination of shame and apprehension.

The mystery was soon unravelled. Master McKillicuddy had, a week or two before, got, as it were, into a row on occasion of some anniversary,—we believe it was that of the famous battle of the Boyne—with some of his dear countrymen, and a lawsuit, which was to be tried that day, was the natural consequence. The landlord and Mr. Jonathan Longreach were his principal witnesses, and the place of holding court being somewhat distant, it had been arranged to set out before daylight, and that the other two were to awaken mine host on their way.

The story came to the ears of Minerva, by some means or other. We will not affirm that Reuben did not tell her, for it was very natural she should ask the reason of the great noise that had frigtened her, and it would have been impolite for him to keep it to himself. All mankind, and most especially all womankind, love courage. It is in itself so noble a quality,—and then it is so indispensable to the protection of the weaker sex, that we do not wonder they admire a soldier, because his profession indispensably leads him at some time or other into dangers, which he could not encounter without disgrace, if he lacked courage. The conduct of Julius on this awful night most sensibly diminished the influence of his coat, his whiskers, and travelled accomplishments, over Minerva. Her imagination gradually got the better of her senses, and instead of the perfect dandy arrayed from top to toe in the very quintessence of fashionable adornment,—with chains, and ribands, and diamonds bright, charming all eyes, and taking captive every ear; he ever after appeared to her, yelad in satin cap, and oriental nightgown, crying "Murder! murder!" while the water trickled down his cheeks like floods of tears. Still, however, he continued to be the admiration of Mrs. Orendorf, who had the authority of Mrs. Asheputtle that he was perfect, and as for Childe Roeliff, the marriage of his daughter and nephew was the favourite project of his declining years; and who ever knew an elderly gentleman abandon such a thing on the score of want of merit, want of affection, incompatibility of temper, or prior attachment? Had Roeliff done this, he would have been the most remarkable old man ever recorded in tradition, history, or romance; and if in the course of this his Progress, he should chance to present such an extraordinary example, we shall do all in our power to transmit his fame to future ages.

Nothing ruins a man in this age of improvement so effectually as being ashamed of himself or his conduct. So long as he puts a good brazen face on the matter, let it be what it will, he gets along tolerably well; but it is all over with him if he gives the slightest reason for believing that he is himself conscious of having committed a wrong or ridiculous action. Julius was a man of the world, and had crossed Mount St. Gothard; of course he was aware of these truths, and appeared in due time full dressed for travel, with an air so unconscious, a self-possession so perfect, that one might have believed the whole of the night's adventure nothing but a dream.

"You were disturbed I hear, last night?" said Minerva, with as mischievous a look and smile as ever decked the lip and eye of an angel.

"Y-e-e-s," replied Julius, adjusting his stock, and twisting his whiskers—"Y-e-s—I believe I got the nightmare—eating that confounded supper. I dreamed I was in Italy and about being murdered by robbers. In fact, 'pon my honour, I was in a complete trance, and nothing but a basin of cold water brought me to myself."

Minerva was ready to die at this ingenious turn; and not a day passed after this that she did not annoy his vanity by some sly allusion to the nightmare. Being roused so early, they determined to proceed to Lake George to breakfast, where they arrived, and found lodgings at the pretty village of Caldwell, so called after the founder and proprietor, now gone down to his grave, but still living in the recollection of hundreds, yea, thousands, who have shared his liberal hospitality and banqueted on his sparkling wit, his rich humour, and his generous wines.

Everybody worth writing for has seen this pleasant village and delightful lake, and therefore we shall not describe it here. Else would we envelop it in the impenetrable fog of some "powerful writing," and give such a picture of its pure waters, enchanting scenery, and fairy isles, as might, peradventure, confound the reader, and cause him to mistake perplexity and confusion for lofty sublimity. A party was arranged the next morning for a voyage to the Diamond Isle; and Julius determined in his own mind to lure the fair goddess Minerva into some romantic recess, and there devote to her his coat, his accomplishments, and his whiskers. They embarked in a gondola, one of the most leaky and unmanageable inconveniences ever seen, and rowed by two of the laziest rogues that ever swung upon a gate, or sunned themselves on a sand-beach.

It had rained in the night, and the freshness of the morn was delightful to the soul, as all nature was beautiful to the eye. There may be other lakes equally lovely in every thing but the transparency of its water. You look down into the air, and see the fish sporting about the bottom of the pure element. Julius had prepared himself for conquest—he was armed at all points, from head to toe—from his whiskers to his pumps and spatterdashes. As he contemplated, first himself, and next the rustic Reuben—he whispered, or rather he was whispered in the ear by a certain well-dressed dandy, "It is all over with him, poor fellow—this day I shall do his business to a dead certainty."

The gondola, as we said before, was rowed by two of the very laziest fellows that every plied oars. They were perfect lazaroni, and the vessel was almost half filled with water ere they reached the enchanted shores of Diamond Island. While the rest of the party were stumbling over the ground, broken up in search of the crystals with which it abounds, and whence it derives its name, Julius—having, by a masterly manoeuvre, fastened good Mrs. Orendorf to the arm of Reuben, and led the Childe into a jeopardy, where he broke his shin, and becoming disgusted with every species of locomotion, sat himself down quietly to wait the motions of the party—drew Minerva, by degrees, along the shore until they reached the opposite extremity to that where they landed. Whether she, with the true instinct of the sex, anticipated that "the hour and the man was come," and wilfully afforded this opportunity for the purpose of putting an end for ever to his expectations; or whether beguiled into forgetfulness by the beauties of the scene, we cannot say; but Minerva accompanied him without hesitation, and thus afforded a favourable opportunity to speak his mind. He did speak his mind, but he might just as well have held his tongue. We grieve to defraud our fair readers of a love scene in such a romantic spot; but time presses, and we have yet a long space to travel over before Childe Roeliff finishes his progress. Suffice it to say, Julius was rejected irrevocably, in spite of his coat, his whiskers, and his spatterdashes; and thus Minerva established her title to be either more or less than woman. They rejoined the party, and Reuben, who studied their countenances with the jealous scrutiny of a lover, detected in that of Julius deep mortification, under the disguise of careless levity; in that of the young lady a red tint, indicating something like the remains of angry emotion.

On their return from the island, Julius took the earliest opportunity of announcing to Childe Roeliff his intention to depart for the Springs that very day.

"What!" exclaimed the astonished old gentleman— "leave us in the middle of our journey! why, what will Minerva say to it, hey?"

She has no right to say any thing; she has this day given me a walking ticket," answered Julius, forcing himself into an explanation so mortifying to his vanity.

"A walking ticket! and what the d—I is that?"

"She has rejected me."

"Plump, positive?"

"Irrevocably, split me!"

"Pooh! Julius, don't be in such a hurry; try again: she'll be in a different humour to-morrow, or next day; now don't go—don't;" and the Childe was quite overcome.

"I must go, sir; it would be too excruciating to my feelings to remain any longer."

"But what did the girl say?"

"She said she could never love me, sir."

"Pshaw! that's all in my eye, Julius—never is a long day. Her mother, I remember, told me just the same thing, until I made my great speculation, when she all at once found out it was a mistake."

"But it is not likely I shall ever make a great speculation, uncle. Besides, I suspect, from appearances, that she begins to be fond of Reuben Rossmore. It is quite impossible that I should ever bring myself to enter the lists with him;" and Julius drew himself up with great dignity, at the same time scanning himself in the glass.

"Fond of Reuben Rossmore! what makes you think so, eh?"

"I'm not certain, uncle, but I believe some such absurd preference induced her to reject me."

"If I was certain of that, I'd leave all my estate to you, Julius, and cut her off with a shilling." And he swore a great oath, that if Minerva married against his wishes, she was no daughter of his from that moment.

"Hum!" thought Julius; "that would be the very thing itself. The money without the girl—delightful! I must change my tack, and persuade her to marry this rustic Corydon instead of myself. I will gain his confidence, and forward their wishes in all possible ways. If I can only bring about a runaway match—hum"— and he mused on this scheme, until it almost amounted to a presentiment.

"Now don't go, Julius—do stay with us till we get back to New-York. I want you to take care of Minerva, and keep her out of the hands of Reuben, whom I like very much, except in the character of son-in-law. Now do stay and take care of her, till I get rid of Reuben. I wonder what possessed me to invite him to join our party?"

"By no means, uncle; don't let them suspect that you know or believe any thing of this matter. If you send him away, you must give a reason for so doing, and without doubt they will ascribe your suspicions to malice on my part at having been rejected. No, no, sir, let him remain where he is; and in the mean time, at your request, I will renew my addresses, or rather try what silent attentions can do towards conciliating Minerva's favour. If I should fail, I can, at all events, be on the watch, and interfere in various ways to thwart the views of this ungrateful and interested young man."

Childe Roeliff accorded his consent to the plan, at the same time informing Julius that he should take the first opportunity of apprizing Minerva of his unalterable intentions towards him, and of his determination to punish her if she dared to oppose them, by adopting his nephew, and making him his heir. Julius thought he knew enough of the pompous, self-willed Childe to be certain that he would fulfil his threats to the letter; and departed from his presence with the design of immediately commencing operations.

The next morning, before daylight, they embarked in a steamboat for the foot of the lake, on their way to foreign parts. There was a large party of fashionables on board, and Julius was in his element again. The Childe, who hated being disturbed so early in the morning most mortally, retired into the cabin to take a nap; and Mrs. Orendorf was delighted with meeting some of her Saratoga acquaintance. Julius taking advantage of the absence of his uncle, devoted himself to entertain them; and Minerva and Reuben were for a while left to the undisturbed society of each other. Fortunately, the boat did not go above five or six miles an hour, and thus they had an opportunity of almost studying the beautiful scenery of the lake, which, narrowing at the lower end, bears on its pure bosom a hundred little verdant isles. Some with a single tree, others tufted with blossomed shrubbery, and all, as it were, imitating the motion of the vessel, and dancing like corks on the surface of the waters. It was a rare and beautiful scene, such as seldom presents itself to travellers in any region of the peopled earth, and such as always awakens in hearts disposed to love, thoughts, feelings, and associations which cannot fail to attract and bind them to each other in the ties of mutual sympathy and admiration. Much was not said by either, except in that language which sparkles in the lucid eye, glows in the gradually warming cheek, and lurks in the meaning smile.

"How slow the boat goes!" exclaimed a fashionable lover of the picturesque, associated with the party before mentioned. "I'm tired to death. I wish we were at Ticonderoga." And the sentiment was echoed by the rest of the picturesque hunters, who all declared they never were so tired in their lives, and that they wished to heaven they were at Ticonderoga. How often people mistake being tired of themselves for being tired of every thing else?

Minerva and Reuben exchanged a look, which said, as plain as day, that they did not wish themselves at Ticonderoga, and were not above half tired to death.

In good time they were landed at the foot of the lake, which they quitted to enter a stage coach waiting to carry them across to Lake Champlain, a distance of five or six miles. The ride was interesting to Reuben especially, whose grandfather had fought and fallen in the bloody wars that raged at intervals for a century or more between the French and English during their struggles for the possession of North America. Lake Champlain and Lake George furnished the only practicable route by which armies, and the necessary supplies of armament and provisions could be transported by the rival candidates for the empire of half a world, and the famous pass of Ticonderoga was the theatre of a series of battles which have made it both traditionally and historically renowned.

The fashionable party of picturesque hunters, in their haste to get on they did not know themselves whither, passed Ticonderoga at full trot, although they had been in such a hurry to get there; crossed the lake to the little village of that name, in Vermont, and remained at the tavern, wishing and wishing the steamboat Franklin would come along, and lengthening every passing hour by fidgetty impatience. By the persuasion of Minerva, the Childe Roeliff was wrought upon reluctantly to visit the ruins of the famous old fortress of Ticonderoga.

Just at the point of junction, where the outlet of Lake George enters Lake Champlain, a high, rocky, round promontory projects boldly into the latter, covered with the walls of massive stone barracks, the remains of which are still standing; cut and indented by deep ditches, breasted with walls, and cased on the outer sides towards the south and east with a facing of rocks, from which you look down with dizzy head upon the waters of the sister lakes. Across the outlet of Lake George is Mount Independence towering to a great height; to the east and south-east, Lake Champlain appears entering the mountains on the other side by a narrow strait; while to the north it gradually expands itself from a river to a lake, until it makes a sudden turn at Crown Point, and disappears. The whole promontory is one vast fortress, and even the bosom of the earth appears to have been consecrated to the purposes of defence,—for ever and anon our travellers were startled at coming upon an opening, the deep, dark recesses of which they could not penetrate.

There are few more grand and interesting scenes in the wide regions of the western world than old Ticonderoga. Ennobled by nature, it receives new claims and a new interest from history and tradition; it is connected with the early events of the brief but glorious career of this new country; and independently of all other claims, it presents in its extensive, massy, picturesque ruins a scene not to be paralleled in a region where every thing is new, and in whose wide circumference scarce a ruined building or desolate village is to be found.

In pursuance of his deep-laid plan, Julius attached himself to Mrs. Orendorf, to whom he was so particularly attentive in the ramble, that Childe Roeliff was not a little astonished.

"What the devil can that fellow see in the old lady to admire, I wonder?" quoth he. "Hum, I suppose these are what the blockhead calls his silent attentions to my daughter, and be hanged to him."

While engaged in these cogitations he neglected to look which way he was going, and tumbled incontinently to the bottom of an old half-filled ditch, where he lay in a featherbed of Canada thistles. Fortunately he was extracted with no injury except a little scratching; but the accident occasioned such a decided disgust towards Ticonderoga and its antiquities, that he peremptorily commanded a retreat to the carriage, which, by a somewhat circuitous route, conveyed them to the shores of Lake Champlain. Here they found a ferryboat of the genuine primitive construction, being a scow with a great clumsy sail, steered with a mighty oar by a gentleman of colour, and rowed, in default of wind, by two other gentlemen of similar complexion. By the aid of all these advantages they managed to cross the lake, which is here, perhaps, a mile wide, in about the time it takes one of our steam ferry-boats to cross the bay from New-York to the quarantine. Blessings on the man that first invented steamboats, for the time he has saved to people who don't know what to do with it is incalculable! On arriving at the hotel in the little village of Ticonderoga, they found the fashionable, picturesque-hunting party whiling away the tedious hours until the Franklin should come from Whitehall, with that delightful recreation yclept sleep, the inventor of which deserves an equal blessing with him of the steamboat.

The Franklin at length made her appearance; all the fashionable picturesque party waked up as by magic, and hastened on board, in as great a hurry as if she had been Noah's ark and the deluge approaching. About two o'clock they became exceedingly impatient for dinner. After dinner they retired to their berths— waked up, and became exceedingly impatient for tea. After tea they began to be tired to death of the steamboat, the lake, and of every thing, and longed with exceeding impatience to get to St. John's. Enjoying nothing of the present, they seemed always to depend on something in perspective; and their whole lives appeared to be spent in wishing they were somewhere else. The day was of a charming temperature; the sweet south wind gently curled the surface of the lake, which gradually expanded to a noble breadth, and all nature invited them to share in her banquet. But they turned from it with indifference, and were continually yawning and complaining of being "tired to death."

The other party, whose progress is more peculiarly the subject of our tale, were somewhat differently constituted and differently employed. The sage Roeliff was telling a worthy alderman with whom he had entered into a confabulation, the history of his speculation, and how he made his fortune by a blunder. The worthy alderman had got rich simply by the growth of the city of New-York, which had by degrees overspread his potato patch, and turned the potatoes into dollars. Neither of them could in conscience ascribe their success in life to any merits of their own, and they agreed perfectly well in their estimate of the worthlessness of calculation, and forethought, and sagacity, "and such kind of nonsense," as the Childe was pleased to say. Roeliff declared it was the most pleasant day he had spent since he left home. That excellent woman Mrs. Orendorf, with her now inseparable attendant Julius Dibdill, was enjoying upon sufferance the society of the picturesque hunters, and echoing their complaints of being tired to death; while Minerva and Reuben, sitting apart on an elevated seat, which commanded a view of the lake and both its shores, were enjoying with the keen relish of taste and simplicity the noble scene before them.

They were delighted as well as astonished at the magnificent features of this fine lake, and exchanged many a glance that spoke their feelings. The tourists and compilers of Travellers' Guides, had not prepared them on this occasion for disappointment; and they enjoyed the scenery a thousand times more, for not having been cheated by exaggerated anticipations. They expected nothing after Lake George, which had been hitherto the exclusive theme of admiration with poets and descriptive writers of all classes; but they found here something far more extensive and magnificent. As they approached the beautiful town of Burlington, the lake gradually expanded, and its shores became more strikingly beautiful. On either side lay a tract of cultivated country diversified with hill and dale, and gradually rising and rising until it mingled with the lofty Alleghanies on the west, and the still more lofty mountains of Vermont on the east, some of them so distant they looked almost like visions of mountains, the creation of the imagination. Everywhere visible, they range along, following the course of the lake, now approaching nearer, and anon receding to a great distance, and presenting in the evening of the day, on one side, the last splendours of the setting sun, on the other the soft gentle tints of the summer twilight gradually fading away into the deep hues of night.

If an author, like unto an actor, might peradventure be tolerated in making his bow before his readers, and blundering out a speech which no one hears or comprehends, we might here bear witness that nowhere in all our sojournings among the matchless beauties of this our favoured country have we beheld a scene more splendidly magnificent, more touching to the heart and the imagination, than the bay of Burlington presents, just as the summer sun sheds his last lustres on its spacious bosom, and retires from his throne of many-coloured clouds, glowing in the ever-changing radiance of his departing beams, behind the distant Alleghanies. The charming town of Burlington, basking on the hillside towards the west; the rich farms which environ it; the noble expanse of waters studded with pine-crowned isles, and stretching in one direction to the beautiful village and county of Essex, in the other towards Plattsburg; the vast range of mountains rising tier over tier, and presenting every varied tint of distance,—all form a combination, which to hearts that throb at the touch of nature is, beyond expression, touching and sublime.

The temple of Jehovah is his glorious works. The soul imbued with the pure spirit of piety, unadulterated and unobscured by the subtilties of ingenious refinement or fanatical inspiration, sees, feels, and comprehends in the woods, the waters, the mountains, and the skies, the hand of a Being as far above it in intelligence as in power, and is struck with an impression of awful humility. In the words of a nameless and obscure bard, it

Hears the still voice of Him in the mild breeze, The murmuring brook, the silent, solemn night, The merry morning, and the glorious noon. Sees him in darkness when no eye can see; In the green foliage of the fruitful earth; The mirror of the waters, in the clouds Of the high heavens, and in the speechless stars, That sparkle of his glory.

It was just at the witching hour of sunset, in a calm luxurious evening, such as the most orthodox writers of fiction describe with enthusiasm, when they are about making their hero or heroine do something naughty, that the noble steamboat Franklin (of which and her excellent commander we beg to make most honourable mention) entered the bay of which we have just given a sketch, and stopped a few minutes at the wharf to land her passengers at Burlington. The fashionable party of picturesque-hunters still continued almost tired to death, and longed more than ever to get to St. John's. But I need not say that the souls of Minerva and Reuben were wide awake to the scene before them. Abstracted from the hurry and bustle of the moment, they turned their eyes towards the glowing west, and their spirits communed together in the luxury of silence. They followed each other's looks, from the floating isles that lay like halcyons on the bosom of the lake, to the shores beyond, softened by distance into the most beautiful purple tints, and thence their eyes rested together on the vast sea of hills rising above hills beyond. One feeling animated them, and though not a word was said, the electricity of looks communicated that feeling to the hearts of both.

That evening a melancholy partaking of sweet and bitter anticipations stole over the two young people. Hitherto they had been satisfied to be together, and partake in the enjoyments of each other. But the progress of true love ends but at one single point all over the universe. From being satisfied with the present, we begin to explore the future, and the delight of associating with one being alone carries us at length to the desire and necessity of possessing that being for ever. To this point were the hearts of Minerva and Reuben at length brought by the sweet communions we have described. A mutual consciousness of approaching troubles, of certain disappointments in store for each, came suddenly over them. Minerva suspected the views of her father in favour of Julius, and long experience had taught her that when he had once got hold of a notion he stuck to it as a fowl does to a crumb. Reuben also had his presentiments; he was neither rich nor fashionable; it was therefore clear to his mind that he was not likely to be particularly distinguished either by Childe Roeliff or his aspiring dame, who was in great hopes of catching one of the seignors of Montreal for her daughter. It was observed by Julius, who kept an eye upon them, although he never interrupted their intercourse, that, after tea, Minerva joined the fashionable picturesque-hunting party, who by this time were tired to death for the hundredth time; and that Reuben retired from her side, and stood apart leaning over the railing of a distant part of the vessel. Julius thought this a favourable opportunity to open his masked battery.

Accordingly, he sauntered towards him, apparently without design, and entered into conversation on some trifling subject. Reuben never at any time liked his society, and still less at the present moment, when he was deep in the perplexities of love. He answered Julius neglectingly, and in a voice that partook in the depression of his feelings.

"You seem out of spirits, Rossmore," at length said Julius, gayly; "come, tell me what has come over you of late, and especially this evening?"

Reuben felt indignant; he had never invited or encouraged any thing like this familiarity, and replied, with a cool indifference,—

"Nothing in particular; and if there were, I do not wish to trouble any but my friends with my thoughts or feelings."

"Well, and am I not your friend?"

"Not that I know of."

"You will know it soon. Now listen to me, Rossmore; I see what is going forward, not being exactly blind, as I believe you think me. I know what is going forward."

"Know what is going forward, sir! well, and what is going forward?" answered Reuben, whose heart whispered at once what Julius meant.

"Will you suffer me to speak, and listen coolly to what I am going to say?"

"Mr. Dibdill, there are certain subjects on which none but a confidential friend ought to take the liberty of questioning another. Allow me to say, that nothing in our intercourse has entitled you to that privilege."

"Pooh, pshaw now, Rossmore, don't be so stiff and awful. I know what is going on between my cousin and you, as well as—"

"Stop, Mr. Dibdill," cried Reuben, vehemently, "the subject is one on which you have no right to speak to me, nor will I permit it, sir."

"Rossmore," said Julius, with a deep and serious air, which riveted the attention of Reuben, in spite of himself,—"Rossmore, I know your thoughts at this moment as well as you do yourself. You think me your rival, of course your enemy—on my soul, I am neither one nor the other."

"No!" exclaimed the other, turning full upon him.

"No—that I have been, I acknowledge, but it was more to please my uncle than myself. The fact is, Minerva, though a very good girl, is not to my taste." And he said this with a mighty supercilious air.

"The d—l she isn't," cried Reuben, in a fury; "and pray, sir, what have you to say against her? I insist on your admiring her, or, by my soul, you shall take the consequences."

Julius laughed. "Well, if I must, I must. Then I presume you insist upon my paying my addresses to Minerva?"

"No-o-o, not exactly that either. But you will oblige me by condescending to give your reasons for not admiring Miss Orendorf."

"Why, in the first place, she talks English better than French; in the second place, she likes a ballad better than a bravura; in the third place, she exhibits a most ludicrous unwillingness to dance the waltz and the gallopade; in the fourth place, she is no judge of a coat; in the fifth place, she can't sing before five or six hundred people without losing her voice; and in the last place, she blushes in the most unbecoming style. That last objection is decisive. What under the sun should I do with such a woman?"

Reuben was so pleased with the assurance of his having renounced Minerva, that he neglected to knock Julius down for this blasphemy. He only replied,

"Well, sir?"

"Well, to come to the point at once, you love my cousin Minerva—"

"By what right, sir?—"

"Be quiet, Rossmore, till I have done, and then blow my brains out if you will. I am your friend, at least in this business. My uncle, I know, will give me no rest about this ridiculous plan of his for bringing us together, until Minerva is fairly disposed of; I have, therefore, an interest in this business of yours, and you may command all my services."

"What a heartless coxcomb!" thought Reuben, "to be insensible to the charms of such an angel." However, he forgave him on the score of having a rival out of the way.

"I cannot but feel obliged to you, whatever may be your motives," said he, addressing Julius; "but I see no benefit I can derive from your services, and therefore beg leave to decline them."

"But let me tell you, Rossmore, you ought to see it. I have influence with old Roeliff and his wife, the latter especially, which, if properly exerted, may smooth the way to the gratification of your wishes, and, say what you will, I mean to do all I can for you. Though I admire not my cousin, as I said before, because, in the first place—"

"Pray, Mr. Dibdill, to the point. You need not repeat your reasons," interrupted Reuben, rather pettishly.

"To the point, then. My uncle is determined to make a match between his daughter and myself; but that is out of the question, as I said before; because, in the first place—"

"Pray spare me any more of your reasons."

"Well—it is quite out of the question, because— you must hear another reason, Rossmore—because Minerva don't like me, and does like you." Reuben smiled in spite of himself. He thought this last reason worth all the rest. Julius continued:

"Now, whatever you may think of me, my dear friend—for I mean to prove I hold you such—I am not the man to marry any woman unless sure of her affections, however wealthy she may be in possession or reversion."

"Nor I," said Reuben; "I despise Miss Orendorf's fortune as much as I admire her person, and love her good qualities."

"No doubt, no doubt, my dear friend; but, as I said before, I wish Minerva married, that my uncle may see the impossibility of his wishes being fulfilled in relation to me. My ridiculous aunt differs in her views for her daughter with my ridiculous uncle. She has heard of the seignors and seignories at Montreal, and has good hopes of making her daughter a baroness some how or other, Heaven knows how—for, as I said before, there is no chance of my cousin being distinguished in fashionable society, because, in the first place—"

"D—n it, sir, do stick to the point, can't you? Your reasons can be of no consequence to me," cried Reuben, chafing.

"Well, well, I will. Now, my plan is this—but are you sure of the affections of Minerva?"

"I have never said a single word to her on the subject."

"No! not in all the romantic walks and tête-á-têtes you have had together?"

"No, on my honour. I felt a presentiment that her parents would never consent to our union, and therefore scorned to engage her affections."

"O, marry come up!" cried Julius, laughing. "You scorned to engage her affections, did you? You never spoke a word to her on the subject, you say? I suppose you never said any thing with your eyes, hey? and you never received an answer, hey? in a language no man in his senses can mistake? You have behaved in the most honourable manner, without doubt, and I can't help admiring your high notions! Pooh! pooh! Rossmore! you know my cousin likes you; everybody on board this boat might see it, if they had not something else to attend to, and you know it too, for all your confounded hypocrisy."

Reuben could not deny this, for the soul of him. The fact is, the consciousness was too delicious to admit of denial.

"You must be married at Montreal," said Julius, abruptly.

"Her parents will never consent."

"Then you must marry without it."

"Her father will never forgive her."

"Don't believe it. She is his only child; he dotes on her, and in a little while, finding he could not live without her, he will recall her home, and dote on her more than ever. I know him from top to toe, and I know the influence I have over him, which I will exert in your behalf. I am, besides, pretty certain I can command the services of mine excellent aunt, if it be only from the pure spirit of opposition."

"I cannot but feel obliged to you; but my course shall be different. I mean first to procure the consent of Minerva, and then plainly, directly, and honestly lay my proposal before her father."

Julius was startled at this declaration. It upset all his plans. Recovering himself in a few moments, he resumed:

"Then take my word, you will never see her after that exhibition of candour and honesty, as you call it. I know my uncla rather better than you do, and I know that so long as he can prevent a thing he never gives up; but the moment it is out of his power, he gradually relinquishes all his former hostility and reconciles himself at last to what is inevitable. He hates vexation so much, that he never voluntarily indulges it long. If you ask his consent he will never give it—nay, he will bind himself by some foolish oath, that will prevent his forgiving her after it is done."

"I can't help it; I shall pursue the straight-forward course."

"Fool!—but I beg pardon. You see the anxiety I feel for your success by its making me ill-mannered. But if you pursue this course, I pledge myself you will never be the husband of Minerva Orendorf."

"Time and perseverance, or chance and good fortune, may bring it about at last."

"One word, then," replied Julius, earnestly and precipitately, as he saw Childe Roeliff approaching. "One word more. Promise me you will not take any decisive steps until we arrive at Montreal."

"I do."

"Upon your honour?"

"Upon my honour."

Here the presence of Mr. Orendorf put an end to the conversation, which had attracted the notice of Minerva, who wondered what they could have been talking about so warmly and earnestly. Her heart fluttered as Reuben approached her, but whether with apprehension that the two young men had quarrelled, or any other more occult feeling, has never come to our knowledge.

By this time the evening had set in, but it was moonlight—the full of the moon—and such is the bland and balmy and innocent air that floats upon the bosom of the lake, its purity, dryness, and elasticity, that there is not the least danger in being exposed to it during the whole of a clear evening. They entered the Bay of Saranac, scarcely less distinguished for its beauty, and far more renowned in history, than that of Burlington. It was here that the gallant McDonough, now, with his famous contemporaries Decatur and Perry, gone to immortality, won laurels that will never fade while the grass is green on the bank that overlooks the bay, or the water runs in the Saranac River. Reuben and Minerva had both been known, the former intimately, to these distinguished men, and the scene recalled them to mind as if they had perished yesterday.

They remembered the simplicity which marked the characters of the two young sailors, who were united in glory, and might be said to be united in death, in the flower of their age.

"What a striking figure was McDonough!" cried Minerva.

"And what a sweet, mild, yet manly expression was in the blue eye of Perry!" replied Reuben. "Both were of a high class of men, but they neither of them equalled Decatur. I knew him well, and have studied his character. He was one of the few—the very, very few great men I ever met with. There are plenty of great men in this world, my dear Minerva"—Dear Minerva! thought our heroine—"of a certain kind. Some are great by virtue of high station, some by high birth, some by chance, and some by necessity. Nature makes these by dozens; but a truly great man is a rare production. Such was Decatur: he was not merely a brave man—I might almost say the bravest of men—but he was a man of most extraordinary intellect, a statesman as well as a warrior; one who, like David Porter, could negotiate a treaty as well as gain a victory; one who could influence the most capacious minds by his eloquence and reasoning, as easily as he quelled the more weak and ignorant by his authority and example. His influence over others was that of strength over weakness, and had he run the career of civil life, he would have been equally, if not more, distinguished than he became in that of active warfare. He has been blamed for the manner of his death; but his inflexible maxim in life was, that the man whom he considered not sufficiently beneath his notice to escape insult or injury was fairly entitled to reparation. He did not, as many men do, put himself on a par with another in bandying abuse and exchanging mutual imputations, and then take refuge at last in the cowardly pretext that his adversary was beneath his notice! Peace to his ashes, and honour to his memory, say I; and may he find many to emulate his example!"

Minerva listened with enthusiasm to this eulogium on one of her favourite heroes, and watched with delighted interest the glow which gradually mantled the cheek, the fire that lightened in the eye of the young man as he dwelt on a theme so animating. A silence of some minutes followed, which was suddenly interrupted by Minerva—

"Pray, what were you and my cousin talking about so long?"

"It was well that the moon was just then obscured by a cloud, else Reuben would inevitably have been detected in the absurd act of blushing up to the eyes, not only by Minerva, but by the fashionable picturesque-hunting party—but now we think of it, these last were gone to bed "tired to death."

Minerva, however, perceived a hesitation in his speech and an embarrassment of manner which excited her apprehensions.

"I entreat you, Reuben, to answer me one question. Have you and my cousin quarrelled?"

"No, on my honour."

"You seemed deeply interested in the conversation you had this evening."

"True, it was on a most interesting subject." Minerva looked curious. "Did it concern only myself, I would tell you what it was about.

"Whom else did it concern?"

"You."

"Then I must know what it was about. I have a right to know, as a party concerned," cried the young lady, with one of her sweetest smiles.

Reuben looked confused and doubtful, and Minerva's curiosity became very troublesome to her. It was highly indelicate and improper, certainly; but the fact is, she felt a most unaccountable interest in the particulars of this conversation. She became a little offended at his silence, and Reuben remained in a most painful embarrassment.

"Well," said she at length, "if I am not thought worthy of knowing what you say so nearly concerns myself, I will bid you good-night. It is time, indeed, for the passengers, I see, have quitted the deck some time," and she was retiring.

"For Heaven's, dear Mi—for Heaven's sake, Miss Orendorf, don't leave me!"

"Why should I stay? You won't tell me any thing I wish to know."

"But only stay, and I will tell you."

"What?" replied Minerva archly.

"That I—that you—that your father, I mean—that your cousin Julius—that is to say—that it would be folly, nay, it would be dishonourable in me to tell— what I wish to tell"—here poor Reuben, as they say, got into a snarl, and could not utter another word of sense or nonsense.

Women, though ever so young and inexperienced, have a mighty quick instinct in love matters, and Minerva at once began to comprehend the nature of the subject on which Reuben had just spoken so eloquently and with such wonderful clearness. She became still more embarrassed than he, and, hardly knowing what she said, asked, in a trembling voice—

"What can be the matter with you, Reuben?"

"I love you, dearest Minerva!"

"Good-night!" replied Minerva, and disappeared in an instant from his sight.

That night Reuben could not sleep, and we don't much wonder at it, for, sooth to say, what with the hissing, and puffing, and jarring, and diabolical noises of all kinds, commend us to a fulling-mill, a cotton manufactory, or even Childe Roeliff's favourite resource, a tinman's shop, for a sound nap, rather than to a steamboat. And yet we have often lain awake in all the horrors of sleepless misery, and heard villains snore as lustily as if they reposed themselves on a bed of down in the cave of Morpheus. How we did hate the monsters!

But our hero had other matters to keep him awake It would have puzzled the most perfect adept in the science of woman's heart, to decide whether Minerva had left him in a good or a bad humour; whether she resented his abrupt declaration, or ran away to hide her confusion. No wonder, then, it puzzled honest Reuben Rossmore, who had scarcely studied the A B C of a woman's mind, much less investigated its hidden mysteries.

At the dawn of the morning the party awoke and found themselves in a new world. It seemed that they had been transported during the night, like some of the heroes of the Arabian tales, from one distant country to another. The houses, the fields, the cattle, the sheep, the pigs, dogs, cats, hens and chickens, men, women, and children, all seemed to belong to a different species. They neither looked, dressed, nor talked like the people they had left the night before, for the women wore men's hats, and the men red night-caps, and they all spoke in a tongue which Squire Julius pronounced to be a most execrable patois. Nothing was ever equal to the metamorphosis produced by a sail of a few miles, between two grassy banks almost level with the surface of the lake, and destitute alike of stream or mountain to mark the division between the domains of two powerful empires.

"As I live," exclaimed Mrs. Orendorf, as she emerged from the ladies' cabin, "I believe we have got into a foreign country at last. If there isn't a woman with a man's hat!"

"Mercy upon us!" ejaculated Childe Roeliff; "if there isn't an oven on the top of a pig-sty!"

"Good Heavens! what can these people be talking about so fast? Come here, Minerva, and tell me what they are saying."

"They are discussing the price of a cabbage," said Minerva.

"Well, who'd have thought it? I was afraid they were just going to fight with each other. I never saw such strange people."

"We are in Canada, madam," observed Reuben, who had ventured to join them on the invitation of a smile and a blush from Minerva; "we are in Canada, or rather in the old world, for I have heard it observed by travellers, that this portion of the province of Canada exhibits an exact picture of the interior of France, or rather of what France was nearly three centuries ago, in dress, language, manners, and rural economy."

"Is it possible!" exclaimed Mrs. Orendorf; "then I can't think what people go to France for. I'm sure I see nothing here worth the trouble of crossing a lake, much less the sea. Do they wear such caps in France?"

"In some of the old fashioned towns, I am told they do, madam," said Reuben.

"And such dirty garments and faces? and are they shaped like these queer people? and have the men such long beards?"

"On week-days, I believe."

"Well," exclaimed Mrs. Orendorf, "if that's the case, I thank my stars I did not go to France."

"No thanks to you or your stars," quoth Childe Roeliff; "if it hadn't been for me you'd have gone fast enough."

It is thus that husbands ruin the tempers of their wives, who are naturally the best creatures in the world, by taking all the merit of their discretion and good works to themselves. The spirit of contradiction came over the good lady.

"I deny it," said she sharply; "I gave up the point voluntarily."

"Yes, when you couldn't have your own way."

"Well, then, if you come to that, I wish I had gone."

"That is exactly what I said; you wanted to go then, and so you do now."

We don't know what the plague came over Childe Roeliff to get into such a bad humour this morning, except it might be that he was hungry, than which there is no greater foe to that dulcet composure and sweet submissive meekness, so becoming in a husband when confabulating, as it were, with his helpmate. All the Childe got by this effervescence of ill-humour was a determination on the part of Mrs. Orendorf to have her own way for the next twelvemonth at least.

By this time the arrangements for landing were completed, and the passengers, almost as numerous and various as those of Noah's ark, descended upon terra firma. Among them was observed the fashionable picturesque-hunting party, who were as usual "tired to death," and who, after breakfasting at St. John's, were again "tired to death," and whirled away towards Montreal as fast as horses could carry them.

The road from St. John's to La Prairie, a distance of about eighteen miles, is over a dead level, which soon becomes tiresome from its monotony. Yet still to one accustomed only to the scenery, dress, manners and modes of the United States, it is not devoid of interest. Many, indeed all their customs, carry us back to old times. Nearly all the property is held under the seigneurs, by ancient tenures which restrict the occupants of the land to one single inflexible routine of cultivation; a circumstance which places a barrier in the way of all improvements. Most of the farms consist of one field, bordering on the high road, extending on a dead level back as far as the eye can reach, and separated from the adjoining ones by a ditch. Half the distance between St. John's and La Prairie is almost one continued village of houses, built entirely on the same plan, with here and there a Gothic-fronted church, whose steeple, covered with tin, shines gorgeously at a distance in the sun. Women are seen at work in the fields almost as commonly as men, dressed in straw hats, and scarcely to be distinguished from them. The sickle is still the only implement in cutting down the harvest; no cattle graze in the fields, except in large droves on the commons; and the houses are either of mud or wood, small in size, with a single door right in the centre. Plain and contracted as they are, they still exhibit dis tinctive marks of that national characteristic of French-men, in all situations and countries. There is always some little attempt at ornament,—such as the shingles of the roof being scalloped at the edges, along the eaves, or at the pinnacle of the roof; and poor, miserably poor must be that habitation which does not present some little indication of a superfluity of labour and expense. The little gardens, though often overrun with that atrocious and diabolical production of nature in her extremest spleen, called the Canada thistle, abound in flowers, and look gay in the midst of neglect and desolation; and of a Sunday evening it is surprising to see the metamorphosis which takes place among the inhabitants. Neither rags, nor dirt, nor long beards, nor old straw hats are visible. The young girls are tight, and neat, and gay; and you see them gathering in groups at some appropriate house, in the little villages, to spend the evening in their favourite amusement of dancing. The Longobards, or long beards,— the same, we presume, mentioned by Tacitus,—appear in chins as smooth as the new-mown meadow; and here and there a red sash figures among them, the relic and memento of a former age. A few years ago this was the universal dress of the men; but the Yankees have come among them, and, sad to relate, our party saw but two red sashes in all their sojournings in Canada. One of these they met on the road to La Prairie, on horseback, and saluted. The ancient remnant of French chivalrous courtesy, stopped his horse, which he was obliged to do to pull off his cap, and bowed profoundly, about the time the party had reached a distance of half a mile. The other was telling his beads with great devotion in the magnificent cathedral of Montreal. Had we time and space we would dwell at more length on these matters, for we confess we delight in old times, old customs, and old oddities of all kinds, not so much because they are better than new ones, but because there is something about them which, like old wine, smacks tastefully on the palate, and produces an agreeable excitement. But we must hasten on our Progress, lest peradventure the committee appointed by that munificent patron and goodly pattern of literature, Mr. Francis Herbert, to pass judgment on our respective contributions, should fall asleep over our story, which, to say truth, lacketh much of that delectable mystification and bloodshed which rendereth romances so piquant and acceptable to the gentle reader, who, judging from appearances, sitteth down to peruse them, animated by the same vehement feeling of curiosity which impelleth so many of the tender sex to run after an execution. Suffice it then to say, that Childe Roeliff and his party reached the ancient village of La Prairie, which belongs to the old world and not to the new, after a ride of three or four hours over one of the worst roads in the universe; a circumstance somewhat remarkable, seeing that there was neither hill or stone in all the long way. Some interloping "Varmounters" talked of a railroad here; but the old Frenchmen threw up their caps, and cried "Diable!"

From La Prairie our travellers were delighted with the noble view which presented itself. The St. Lawrence makes a bend, and expands into a lake-like sheet of water of the most magnificent dimensions, and greatest purity. Above, it is all quiet and repose; below, it tapers off in a series of rapids approaching to sublimity. Beyond these lies Montreal, basking at the foot of the mountain which gives its name to the city and island, and stretching along the side of the abruptly rising shores of the river. It exhibited a most imposing appearance, with its tin steeples towering into the air, and glittering in the noonday beam of a glorious summer day. In addition to the steeples, nearly all the houses and public edifices are covered with tin, which, such is the dryness of the atmosphere, never rusts; and certainly, in a clear day, and across the noble St. Lawrence, the appearance of Montreal is that of one of the creations of the Arabian Nights. Of all places in the world to look down upon from the sky, this ancient city is the finest. Childe Roeliff was not the least delighted of the party, for he thought to himself, "There is no danger but there are plenty of tinmen's shops, to prevent one from being onnewed by silence, and I shall enjoy myself wonderfully." One of the finest steam ferry-boats in the world carried them like thought through the roaring rapids, and between the jutting rocks; and it seemed scarcely a moment from their embarking at La Prairie to their landing at Montreal,—the city of tin roofs, iron window-shutters, and stone walls. Minerva actually saw a great stone wall on the very pinnacle of a roof; such is their inveterate propensity to heaping up masses of granite and limestone.

On landing at the end of a long wooden bridge jutting out into the river,—for there are few or no wharves here,— they were struck with a most enormous din of voices, a vociferous confusion of individual tongues, that made Childe Roeliff think the whole universe was about falling together by the ears. Such an effusion of bad French never before was heard in any other spot of this new world, as we verily believe. All the draymen, with their long-queued drays, seemed to have approximated to this chosen spot, to meet the steamboat, this being the trip in which she generally brought the travellers from the "States," as they are called at Montreal, I presume on the score of some lingering doubt whether they are really "united" or not. The consequence of collecting together in a small space was, that these long-tailed inconveniences got entangled with each other in a perfect Gordian knot. But though the vehicles were tied, the tongues of the drivers were not. We have heard "pretty considerable" of scolding and vociferation; but, by the account received from Reuben Rossmore, it was the trickling of a rill to the roaring of a cataract, the chirping of a flock of snow-birds to the sonorous gabble of a rencounter of two flocks of turkeys. We are credibly informed, on the same authority, that the gesticulation was equal to the vociferation, and altogether it seemed that every moment would produce a battle royal. By degrees, however, the longtailed vehicles got disentangled, the little Canadians gradually cooled down, and, in one minute after the vociferation subsided, were as merry and good-humoured as crickets in a warm winter's hearth. Our travellers put up at the British American Hotel, on the score of patriotism,—the sign of this establishment being so happily disposed, by accident probably, towards the river, that in approaching from La Prairie you see only the words "American Hotel." Here Julius and Mrs. Orendorf were delighted to meet again the fashionable picturesque-hunting party, who declared they had been tired to death riding across the Prairie, tired to death of waiting a full hour for the ferry-boat at La Prairie, tired to death of the ferry-boat, and lastly, that they were now tired to death of Montreal, and were going that very afternoon to embark in the steamboat for Quebec. Childe Roeliff, who sometimes accidentally blundered out a spice of common sense, observed, after listening to all this,—

"I wonder, if you are so tired of every thing, you don't go home and stay there."

"Quel bête!" whispered Mrs. Dowdykin, the head matron of the picturesque party, to Count Capo d'Oca, her Platonic.

The soft, gentle, quiet kindness of Minerva towards Reuben since the declaration which caused such a precipitate flight on the part of that young lady, had assured him that the offence was not unpardonable; and, though nothing more had been said on the subject, there existed a perfect understanding of the sentiments of each other. Julius, who watched them closely, though he appeared to take little interest in their movements, and seldom intruded upon their tête-à-têtes, determined to let the affair float along on the current of events for the present, foreseeing that it would ere long come to a crisis either one way or other. In the mean time the party visited the parade ground, where they were astonished at the triumph of discipline in converting men into machines; the vast and magnificent cathedral, the most majestic erection of the kind in all North America, and the nunneries, where Minerva, who had pictured nuns as the most ethereal and spiritual of all flesh, was astonished to find them, in the language of Childe Roeliff, "as fat as butter."

It was in one of these excursions that the Childe was struck all at once with a conviction that Julius paid no more attention to his daughter than if they had been married ten years. It occurred to him that he left Minerva entirely to the care of Reuben, affected to lag behind in the most negligent manner, and whistle Lillebullero, or some other tune, in a sort of under-tone, as if to indicate his utter indifference to what was going forward. He forthwith determined to speak to the young man on the subject the first opportunity, which luckily occurred that very afternoon. Minerva and Reuben had strolled out on the bank of the river; Mrs. Orendorf was napping; and Julius was left alone with Childe Roeliff to finish a bottle of hock and discuss fruit and nuts at leisure. Roeliff had lighted his segar and taken a whiff or two, when the spirit moved him, and, gathering himself together, he spoke as follows:

"Nephew, somehow or other—I may be mistaken— but it seems to me you have given up all thoughts of Minerva. I don't see any of those silent attentions you talked about, or any attentions at all. You leave her entirely to Reuben, so far as I can see."

"But, my dear uncle, you don't see every thing; there are times and seasons, when nobody sees or hears us, when I flatter myself I am making slow and sure progress in her heart."

"Slow enough, I believe; but whether sure or not is more than I will say. On the contrary, it appears to me that she likes Reuben much better than you."

"My dear sir, don't you know that this is one of the best reasons in the world for believing she likes me the best?"

"Not I,—I don't know any such thing; and I'll tell you what, Julius, I mean to leave this place—though I confess I am delighted with the perpetual ringing of the bells—to-morrow morning, after having signified to master Reuben Rossmore that his room is better than his company."

"By no means, sir; this will derange my whole system, and lose me the young lady to a certainty. Only wait a little longer, sir."

"Shilly shally, tilly vally.—I'll tell you what, Julius, I can see as far into a millstone as you, I suspect, and I tell you that Reuben is gaining more in one day than you do in ten."

"But, my dear uncle,—"

"Tut, tut! I tell you to-morrow morning we dissolve partnership with master Reuben, as sure as to-morrow comes. You need not say any more—I am determined not to listen to another word on the subject." And so it seemed, for in half a minute Childe Roeliff, who had a great alacrity in falling asleep extempore, was seen leaning back in his chair, with his nose elevated at an angle of forty-five degrees, and the stump of a segar in his mouth, as fast as a church.

Julius was taken somewhat unaware by this sudden determination of Childe Roeliff; his plans were not quite matured, and he was obliged to vary them a little to suit the present crisis. That evening he invited Reuben into the sitting parlour occupied by the party, but now dark and deserted, the ladies having retired to their chamber to rest after the fatigues of a sultry day spent in rambling about the city. Here he communicated to him the determination of Roeliff to dismiss him on the morrow, and urged him, by every motive he could conceive, to arrange a clandestine match with Minerva immediately.

"What!" cried Reuben, "before I have done the old gentleman the honour of first asking his consent?"

"I tell you, Rossmore, it is useless for you to ask it. You have heard of his determination in my favour, and a more obstinate old fool does not live than mine honoured uncle. You will be insulted by his rough vulgarity, and driven from the sight of Minerva, who, I can see, will break her heart to lose you."

"I am resolved to try, at any rate. You may say what you will of Mr. Orendorf, but to me he appears a person of a good heart, excellent principles, and correct understanding of what is right and proper. He has treated me kindly; at his fireside I have been always received with unaffected welcome, and he has displayed on all occasions a generous confidence. I am determined to try the appeal."

"And if it fails, then I presume your ticklish conscience will not stand in the way of an elopement. The old blockhead will forgive you in a month afterward."

"I will never give him an opportunity. I love Miss Orendorf with an affection as warm, sincere, and lasting as ever impelled a hero of romance to betray the happiness of his mistress by making her an exile from the home and the hearts of her parents. But I will never ask her—and if I did, I am sure she would spurn me—I will never, by a look or a hint, a word or an action, tempt her to forget her duty and the re gard which every virtuous female owes to her own honour. If I cannot gain her by honourable, open means, I will bear her loss like a man."

Julius burst into a long, loud laugh.

"One need not go to church to hear a sermon, I find," at length he said, wiping his eyes. "Then I presume you have no objection to my prosecuting my views upon the young lady?"

This was rather a sore question, but Reuben rallied himself to meet it.

"It is the will of her parent, and I have no right to oppose him any more than you have."

"Her parent!—you don't—you can't look upon him in any other light than as the wolf that suckled Romulus and Remus, or the bear that nurtured his great prototype Orson. Pooh, pooh! Rossmore, I beseech thee once again to get over this unmanly squeamishness. If you cheat this old dotard out of his daughter, it is no more than he has done to every man, woman, or child with whom he ever had any dealings."

"You lie like a rascal!" exclaimed an appalling voice from a distant and dark corner of the room, and presently the veritable Childe Roeliff advanced upon the astonished young men. Julius was stricken dumb with guilt, and Reuben with astonishment. The Childe had quietly ensconced himself in a corner to take his evening nap, and was awakened by the earnest voices of the young men, early in the discussion. The interest of the subject caused him, we presume, to forget he was enacting the questionable part of a listener.

"So, sir!" cried the Wrathful Childe Roeliffe; "so master Julius Dibdill, I am an obstinate old blockhead it seems; a rough ignorant bear, a she-wolf that suckles young men—a man that deserves to be cheated out of his only daughter, because he has cheated every man, woman, and child he ever had any dealings with. Do I quote you right, sir?"

"I—I—I believe, sir, I might have said some such thing in jest, sir."

"In jest was it, sir? Now hear what I have got to say to you in earnest. You are an ungrateful hypocrite;—you have abused my confidence, and returned my kindness with insult and falsehood. I say falsehood, sir, for, however ignorant and vulgar I may be, I never wronged man, woman, or child, nor dog, nor cat, nor any of God's creatures wilfully or wantonly. Thou art a base slanderer, if thou sayest that. I would— that is to say, I might have forgiven the only son of my only sister, now gone to her place of rest, had he but said I was vulgar and ignorant. It may be I am so, sir, for I never had an opportunity in early youth of gaining that knowledge of the world and of books which others had; but a villain or a rogue I am not—I never have been—and with God's help I never will be. Quit my sight, liar and hypocrite, and never come into it again."

Julius had nothing to say—he was dumbfounded. He saw that all was over, and that nothing was left him but a creditable retreat. So he mustered all the ready cash of brass he had about him, and walked out of the room whistling "Di tanti palpiti."

Childe Roeliff now turned to Reuben. The deuse appeared to be in the old son of a tinman, who all at once seemed transmuted to sterling gold; anger had made him eloquejt. He turned to Reuben—

"As for you, young man—"

"Ah! now comes my turn!" thought Reuben.

"As for you, sir, I heard what you said, too; and— and"—here the old man's eyes almost overflowed,— "and you may be assured that I will not lose the good opinion you have of me if I can help it. You said, when I am sure you could not have the least expectation I should ever know it, that I appeared to you a man of a good heart, excellent principles, and a correct understanding of what was right and proper. You also said—and every word went to my heart, seeing I was about to treat you otherwise to-morrow—you said I had treated you kindly, welcomed you at my fireside, and bestowed my confidence on you. I remember all this, and I will never forget it while I live. You said, too, you would not abuse that confidence, but appeal to me, and abide by the result. Now hear me—or rather hear this young woman;"—for just at this moment the light step of Minerva was heard, and her dim shadow seen entering the door;—"hear what she has to say, and take this with you, that whatever she says, I will sanction, as sure as my name is Roeliff Orendorf;" saying which, he marched out of the room before Reuben could reply.

What passed between Minerva and Reuben we cannot disclose; we were not near enough to overhear what they said, and it was too dark to see what they did; but the waiting-maid, who happened to approach the room in which they were, privately declared she distinguished something that sounded for all the world like a kiss, and the next morning not the bright sun himself arose more bright and glorious than did the fair goddess Minerva. Youth revelled in her limbs, hope sparkled in her rosy cheek and speaking eye; the past was forgotten, the present Elysium, the future heaven. So beautiful did she look that morning, that the waiter who brought in breakfast forgot the tea-tray, and letting it fall plump on the floor, stood stock still with eyes and mouth wide open, just as if he had seen a ghost.

Julius was no longer visible. He had hastened down to the wharf, after the oration of Childe Roeliff, where he found the steamboat just departing for Quebec, and joined the party of Mrs. Dowdykin, the Count Capo d'Oca, and the picturesque hunters, who were "tired to death," as usual.

Of the condescending assent of Mrs. Orendorf to the marriage of Minerva and Reuben, to which she was partly induced by a secret belief that Childe Roeliff was in his heart opposed to the match; partly by having learned that all the seignors of Montreal were either married, or forbidden to marry, or dead; and partly by the solemn promise of Reuben Rossmore to employ in future a more fashionable tailor;—how she, all her life, talked of her travels into foreign parts—how the young couple married, and did, in good time, become, as it were, the parents of a goodly race;—and concerning the final catastrophe of the Platonics of Mrs. Asheputtle and Julius, behold! will they not, peradventure, be found in the second part of Childe Roeliff's Pilgrimage, provided that erudite and liberal patron and pattern of literature, Mr. Francis Herbert, shall think proper to propound another prize to be contested and tilted for, with gray-goose lance in rest, by all comers of honourable descent and degree?

 
 
 

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