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for stopping you iustead of smashing his wares," I said; "you had neither purse nor baggage."
The policeman tipped me a facetious wink: "On a spree, I guess—begun early in the day— but it won't cost much. The whole lot isn't worth more than a dollar or two."
I gave him to understand, in an undertone, that there was neither drink nor insanity in the case; but that the youngster had missed his sweet-heart, who was on the departing train. The officer laughed good-humoredly, and forthwith released his prisoner from manual durance. While adjusting his rumpled collar Dick turned to the bereaved sculptor and asked what was the damage.
"Oh Signore," cried the Lucchese, "to pay for all that magnificent statuary fifty dollars would not suffice!"
At the mention of this sum Dick was taken somewhat aback. '' Fifty dollars!" he exclaimed. "If I had known it was going to cost that much I'd have kicked your head off at the same time."
"Give him two dollars and let him go," said the officer.
The statuary regarded him with an injured air, and declared he would sacrifice himself so far as to accept ten dollars. Meanwhile I had been looking over the pieces, and being something of a connoisseur in the arts, I was enabled to make a rough estimate of the loss, which amounted to about two dollars and thirty cents at market prices. This I went over with an authoritative air, stating the number of pieces broken and their prices. The cast vendor's countenance fell.
"Gentlemen," said he, "if I take less than three dollars I shall be reduced to ruin and beggary."
"Here are five, which will pay for your loss and your fright. Go your ways and prosper."
As we returned to our hotel I questioned my companion as to the identity of the parties who went off on the train, receiving his confirmatory statements with an interest which he little suspected.
"So now, Dick, after your exploit of the morning, the sooner we're off for Boston the better."
"Boston!" he exclaimed, with a look of astonishment. "Why, Cousin, they're on their way to the White Mountains—the porter told me so!"
"Squire Hardy and daughter, you mean. I regret that we missed seeing them; but the young lady in Boston?"
"Cousin Robert," said Dick, in a persuasive tone, "why not go to the White Mountains? I've heard so much talk about them."
"And Miss Teazle, Dick?"
Dick hesitated and stammered, in a way that showed more perplexity than indecision.
"Cousin Robert," quoth he, "you may think me a very absurd and unreliable person. Indeed I scarcely understand myself; but do you know that from the moment I heard Ellen Hardy's voice down there, all that nonsense about Miss Prue has gone out of my head?"
"All that nonsense has departed suddenly, to make way for a fresh arrival. Why, I thought Ellen Hardy had treated you badly, and you were running away from her all this time."
A momentary shadow passed over my young friend's face as I said this; but quickly recovering himself, he protested that he had entirely got over his love, and only viewed the lady in the light of a friend; but he "did like the old gentleman—a jolly old cock!" and, in short, he had been away so long that he was dying to see somebody from the neighborhood of home. As I had nothing to urge against these arguments, we took tickets for the White Mountains, by way of Portland, and were soon on our way there with locomotive speed.
On the morning we started a northeaster had covered the land with a wet Newfoundland fog, so that our observations of the country between Lowell and Portland were limited to views of the railway stations where we stopped. At one of these places I saw a bench full of individuals who looked as if they had been celebrating the ever-glorious Fourth; but as that day had not arrived yet, and, moreover, as we were in Maine, I came to the conclusion that they were only sleepy, or perhaps victims of that tyrannical liquor law.
At Portland we found a good hotel, and a well-built town set upon several hills, commanding, from different points, beautiful views of the harbor and the sea. Of this latter enjoyment we were deprived by the everlasting fog. Passing part of a day and a night here, we took passage next morning on the Grand Trunk Railroad for Gorham, intending to reach Mount Washington from that point.
As we drove inland we presently got out of the fog-bank, and had the satisfaction of seeing the face of the earth again smiling in sunshine. The villages are built generally of wood—neat, hut not so tastefully ornamented as those of Massachusetts. There were extensive natural nurseries of evergreens, of such variety and richness as might excite the envy and admiration of tree-fanciers; while, on the other hand, there was little to flatter the utilitarian eye of the agriculturist accustomed to the broad corn-fields of the Middle and Western States.
If not particularly promising in corn, these ficlds however exhibited an astonishing fertility in scarecrows, impressing the stranger with amazing ideas of the boldness and voracity of the crows in this climate, as also of the wonderful inventive genius of the white inhabitants.
A very gentlemanly-looking gray-headed man, who sat in front of us, had overheard our facetious and disparaging comments; and as we
stopped upon the outskirts of a village, he turned, and pointing to a group in front of a cottage that stood hard by, he said,
"Gentlemen, there is the most valuable crop raised in this country."
I recalled and repeated the lines of Aleaeus of Mytilene:
u\Vhat constitutes a state?
Thick wall, or mouted gate;
The old gentleman's face gleamed with delight, and half-rising in his seat, he began where I stopped and finished the piece:
"With powers as far above dull brutes endued In forest, brake, or den,
As beasts excel cold rocks and brambles rudeMen, who their duties know. But know their rights, and, knowing, dare maintain;Prevent the long-aimed blow, And crush the tyrant while they rend the chain."
Ere the first line had passed his lips I recognized the master who had taught me to recite the verses, and as he closed we were exchanging a cordial double shake of the hands, while tears stood in the old man's eyes.
"Dick Dashaway, don't you know your old schoolmaster, Almont Ferule?"
A momentary sullenness had clouded Dick's face as he remembered the tender years of his boyhood; but it cleared off at this appeal, and he joined in the greeting as warmly as any of us.
For twenty years Almond Ferule had administered in the Academy of our native village in Virginia. With him I had completed my academic course; and under his auspices Dick had been initiated into the sorrows of classical wisdom. The history of his reign would be the history of a mimic state. At its commencement Power and Dignity sat enthroned behind the Teacher's desk, and the baton of command—a long flat cherry ruler—served the double purpose of ruling the good boys'copy-books and the stubborn souls of the bad. For, in those days, the mawkish and licentious sentimentality which denies all right to law, and robs all authority of its virility, had not yet obtained general public credit. The teacher was a despot in his realm, from whose decrees there was no appeal. The rod was his ultima ratio, and always ready; and if he did occasionally condescend to verbal reasoning with his subjects, he assured himself of their cars in a manner which forbade inattention. Under this sort of government the Academy prospered, and the boys learned something. But in the progress of things it began to be discovered that the model man of the New World, in his rapid approximation to perfection, had outgrown the ideas of a
former age, and felt the necessity of casting his shell, like a last year's crab.
As the sphere rolls so floats the bubble. From the great state the little community learns its lessons. In the school there arose at first sullen murmurings, discontents, conspiracies; then rebellions and open war. Old Ferule stood his ground like a true king; he whacked, boxed, and expelled, with a royal faith in the divinity of his right. The rebels bemoaned their sufferings, and showed their wounds to mammas; and indignant mammas appealed to loving papas. The whole village rose against the bloody ty
rant. Ferule quoted Solomon — "Spare the rod, and spoil the child." "Who was Solomon? Hadn't our ancestors fought and bled for free-Idom?" The dethroned pedagogue squared his accounts, packed his trunk, and returned to his kindred. Since that day the great untrammeled Democratic man has advanced with uuparalleled speed toward the goal of human perfectibility, leaving behind him in the race Honor, Decency, and English Grammar.
Our old friend was now going on a visit to a married sister who lived some distance off the road, in a region abounding in fish and small game. He habitually passed his summers there for the purpose of recruiting his health; and as he took leave of us at the next station he pressed us earnestly to accompany him, promising fine sport with trout, pike, and salmon. I was disposed to accept the invitation, but Dick had other views; so we went on to Gorham.
On landing here we found ourselves in the midst of a fine mountain country. At the station is a i large hotel, and a bear chained to a pole, for the accommodation and amusement of summer travelers. Immediately beside the platform was a roomy vehicle ready to convey us to the Glen House, eight miles distant, and located just at the base of Mount Washington. In this carriage we seated ourselves, in company with a third passenger; and were presently rocking and bouncing through a rough gorge in the mountains, eagerly looking out for scenery by the way. A heavy thunder-storm, which seemed to have been got up for the purpose of giving us a characteristic reception, now burst upon us m terrific fury. To protect us from the water the curtains were lowered all round, and we were left to our gloomy internal reflections, while our plucky driver stuck to his post and toiled on his splashing, swashing
course. It was a wearisome and apparently interminable ride. The eight miles might have been eighty for all that we knew, as a man shut up in the dark can compute neither time nor distance. •
"How many have you got?" cried a voice through the storm.
"Three," returned our driver, curtly, as he whipped up his toiling team.
"I was not so far wrong," muttered Dick. "I was just dreaming we were lobsters in a pot, washing about on the bottom of the sea. That sounds like a verification of it."
We arrived at our destination at last, and what was still more cheering the storm was over, leaving forest and meadow glittering in fair sunshine. As we descended from our carriage my eye first sought the President of the mountains, and having fixed upon his majestic form dwelt there for a space. Dick ran immediately into the house and called for the register, which he hastily examined; and as I turned to enter I met him coming out with a blank face.
"Dick," said I, "this is glorious. After spending so much time in a flat country, how exhilarating it is to breathe the mountain air!"
"It looks flat to me all about here," he sighed in respouse. "They are not here, Cousin. They must have taken some other route."
"We'll doubtless meet them to-morrow or next day, in some romantic spot, perhaps—which will be all the more charming. Meanwhile we must not mope. What shall be the programme for to-day?"
"Dinner will be ready directly," replied Dick.
"A very good thing in its place. And then for our afternoon's amusement."
The dinner was capital, and after that the accommodating landlord exhibited his list of entertainments.
We fixed upon a ride to Glen Ellis and the Crystal Cascade — a pair of pretty waterfalls, five and six miles distant. Commend me to a White Mountain landlord for promptness. By the time we had adjusted our riding toggery the horses and a guide stood ready at the front door. With corresponding promptness we mounted and were off.
Our road lay through a densely shaded gorge with rocks, laurels, and rushing streams, all redolent of the wild, untainted, unsubdued earth. Let your poet in his garret, and your parliument