« PreviousContinue »
A SUMMER IN NEW ENGLAND.
ILLUSTRATED BY PORTE CRAYON.
He blushed as he said this, and at the same time made a great pretense of cutting up his beef-steak, but I observed that he ate none of it after all.
"Go back to Boston !" I exclaimed, "to enjoy a repetition of the heat and dullness I heard you complain of so frequently while there! Why, Dick, what's the matter?"
My young friend was by this time in a state
and it trembles on the lips of him who has eaten his last crust. The successful man avoids asking it, the beaten fears to answer it. It is signified by the earliest glimmer of speculation in the eye of infancy, and is the last expressive query ere the light of life goes out. Happy is that man w ho daily finds his answer in the law of a benignant necessity. Thrice happy he whose confiding faith shall solve the problem in the end.
As we sat at breakfast on the morning after the Lowell cireus I asked the question, "What next, Dick?"
My companion had been unusually quiet during the meal, and now responded to my interrogatory with more mildness and hesitation of maaver than was usual with him.
"I think, Cousin Robert, 1 would like to go hack to Boston."
a In love are all these 1lla: suspicious, quarrels.
WHAT next? This is the great question
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1861, by Harper and Brothers, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York. Vol.. XXIII.—No. 134.—K
of crimson confusion, but he spoke up resolutely: "Cousin Robert, to tell you the plain truth, if it does not interfere with any plans of yours, I should like very much to have another opportunity of going to see—"
"Oh!" I interrupted, "you still entertain the idea of going to sea. Very well; if you are so determined, you can doubtless find a ship in Boston."
"Cousin Robert, don't make game of me, and I will be confidential with you. I am desperately in love."
"Good Heavens, Dick, is it possible that you are not cured yet? Six weeks of absence compounded with change of scene and salt-water! It is almost incredible."
Dick laughed, and answered in his balmiest I mauner: "Cousin, you are older and wiser than I, and what you told me of the curative powers of salt-water I have found eminently true. I have not thought of Nelly Hardy since we entered New Bedford, I am sure. But you must recollect I was in love with Miss Prue Teazle when she was in Virginia two years ago."
I laid down my knife and fork, and opening my eyes as wide as possible, stared at my vis-avis in silent astonishment. The purposed impression of solemnity was defeated, however, by an uncontrollable fit of laughter which seized me.
"Well, well, my old cock,"eried Dick. "You may jeer and ridicule to your heart's content: but didn't I sec you were more than half gone with her yourself the other evening, and expected to get that bouquet, which you didn't?"
I immediately recovered my dignity.
'' Come, boy, that will do. You haven't the wit of a gopher. Do yon suppose that a man of sense and experience can not show his admiration for a young lady's wit and beauty without being in love with her?"
"Excuse me, Cousin Bob. Of course I was just joking about her, for it was plain to see it was the other one, Miss Stickley, that you were captivated with, and I think the flame was mu
"Get out with your impertinence, you distempered puppy! But tell me, Dick, did you call on Miss Teazle after the evening we spent there?"
"To be sure I did! Politeness required that I should call next day; and I apologized for your neglect—told her you had engagements."
"The devil take you, Dick; I'm much indebted to you."
"Then I called twice afterward, and I tell you they have an elegant-establishment. Such a pair of carriage-horses—it is enough to make one's mouth water; and Miss Prue's riding pony —he looks as if he was covered with black satin; you couldn't soil a white kid glove on his hide."
"Poor Nelly Hardy!" I exclaimed. "I used to think that the Squire had some pretty good stock on his place."
"Perhaps he has," said Dick, puckering his brows; '' that is well-bred stock of his, I know— very fast too. But you see, Cousin Robert, they are not kept up like the animals here. Why, their stable over there is a showier building than Squire Hardy's house."
"Very well, youngster, we'll return to Boston, as you seem to desire it so earnestly. There is something very attractive at first sight in this
educated life; this finished artificiality; thistrim refinement manifest in all the details of living; but in the midst of its allurements I only yearn the more for wild nature's grace and freedom. The unpruned tangle-wood of the primeval forest—the clear unsophisticated eye of the prairie colt, guileless of bit or saddle."
Breakfast over, we walked to the depot to get information about the trains for Boston. As we entered the building we found one just starting for Portland, and my attention was attracted by the erect, portly figure of an elderly gentleman accompanied by a very stylish-looking young lady. They stood with their backs to us, and seemed to be interested in the movements of the porters about the baggage car. Suddenly she spoke up.
"There, papa, I recognize our porter with the trunks; now let us get in and be seated, for tintrain is about starting."
At these commouplace words Dick commenced tugging at my arm like a ten-pound bluefish.
"I say, Cousin, did you hear that?" he exclaimed, pulling me with all his might toward the platform of the car. I pulled back with equal determination, insisting that I had heard the. remark, but could not pereeive that it had any significance for us.
'' Did you hear that voice? She is a Virginian, as sure as I live!" and he exhibited so much agitation of mauner that I feared he had lost his wits, and foreibly prevented his following them into the car.
"Let me go and see the baggage," he said.
So I released him, and he ran rapidly toward the car, where they were still chucking in belated trunks.
In a few moments the train went off, and I moved slowly toward the door of the building to rejoin my comrade. Presently there was a movement in the crowd, and I saw a board of plaster images flying in the air above the heads of the people. A crash and loud voices followed, and I hurried forward to see the fun. There, to my horror, I discovered Dick, the centre of an amazed cirele, attended on one side by a policeman, and on the other by the jabbering and gesticulating Lucchese cast vendor. Around them lay scattered the debris of birds, beasts, saints, emperors, republicans, and flowerpots, mingled in common and undistinguished ruin. Dick was all red and excited, and as soon af he laid eyes on me, he exclaimed: "By thunder, Cousin Robert. I knew it—it was she; I saw her initials on the trunk—E. H. I knew I couldn't be mistaken, and if it hadn't been for this d—d fool with his crockery I'd have been on the train with them."
"You should have thanked him