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liberal publisher, and be guided by his Tell your mother to have some clean advice. I can put you in correspond- shirts and things ready for you, and we ence with such a person, and you had will be off day after to-morrow mornbetter trust him than me a great deal. ing." Why don't you send your manuscript Gifted hastened to impart the joyful by mail ?”
news to his mother, and to break the “What, Mr. Gridley ? Trust my fact to Susan Posey that he was about poems, some of which are unpublished, to leave them for a while, and rush into the post-office ? No, sir, I could to the deliriums and dangers of the never make up my mind to such a risk. great city. I mean to go to the city myself, and read Susan smiled. Gifted hardly knew them to some of the leading publishers. whether to be pleased with her sympaI don't want to pledge myself to any thy, or vexed that she did not take his one of them. I should like to set them leaving more to heart. The smile held bidding against each other for the out bravely for about a quarter of a copyright, if I sell it at all.”
minute. Then there came on a little Mr. Gridley gazed upon the innocent twitching at the corners of the mouth. youth with a sweet wonder in his eyes Then the blue eyes began to shine with that made him look like an angel, a lit- a kind of veiled glimmer. Then the tle damaged in the features by time, but blood came up into her cheeks with a full of celestial feelings.
great rush, as if the heart had sent up " It will cost you something to make a herald with a red flag from the citathis trip, Gifted. Have you the means del to know what was going on at the to pay for your journey and your stay outworks. The message that went at a city hotel ? "
back was of discomfiture and capitulaGifted blushed. “My mother has laid tion. Poor Susan was overcome, and by a small sum for me," he said. “She
gave herself up to weeping and sobbing. knows some of my poems by heart, and The sight was too much for the young she wants to see them all in print.” poet. In a wild burst of passion he
Master Gridley closed his eyes very seized her hand, and pressed it to his firmly again, as if thinking, and opened lips, exclaiming, “Would that you them as soon as the foolish film had left could be mine forever!” and Susan them. He had read many a page of forgot all that she ought to have re“ Thoughts on the Universe to his membered, and, looking half reproachown old mother, long, long years ago, fully but half tenderly through her
, and she had often listened with tears of tears, said, in tones of infinite sweetmodest pride that Heaven had favored
ness, “O Gifted !” her with a son so full of genius.
“I'll tell you what, Gifted,” he said. “I have been thinking for a good while
CHAPTER XXV that I would make a visit to the city,
THE POET AND THE PUBLISHER. and if you have made up your mind to try what you can do with the publish- It was settled that Master Byles ers, I will take you with me as a com- Gridley and Mr. Gifted Hopkins should panion. It will be a saving to you and leave early in the morning of the day your good mother, for I shall bear the appointed, to take the nearest train to expenses of the expedition."
the city. Mrs. Hopkins labored hard Gifted Hopkins came very near go to get them ready, so that they might ing down on his knees. He was so make a genteel appearance among the overcome with gratitude that it seemed great people whom they would meet in as if his very coat-tails wagged with his society. She brushed up Mr. Gridley's emotion.
best black suit, and bound the cuffs of “Take it quietly,” said Master Grid- his dress-coat, which were getting a litley.. Don't make a fool of yourself. tle worried. She held his honest-looking hat to the fire, and smoothed it clothes and thin clothes, flannels and while it was warm, until one would linens, socks and collars, with handkerhave thought it had just been ironed by chiefs enough to keep the pickpockets the hatter himself. She had his boots busy for a week, with a paper of gingerand shoes brought into a more brilliant bread and some lozenges for gastralcondition than they had ever known: gia, and “hot drops,” and ruled paper if Gifted helped, it was to his credit as to write letters on, and a little Bible, much as if he had shown his gratitude and a phial with hiera picra, and anby polishing off a copy of verses in other with paregoric, and another with praise of his benefactor.
"camphire" for sprains and bruises, When she had got Mr. Gridley's en- Gifted went forth equipped for every cumbrances in readiness for the jour- climate from the tropic to the pole, and ney, she devoted herself to fitting out armed against every malady from Ague her son Gifted. First, she had down to Zoster. He carried also the paterfrom the garret a capacious trunk, of nal watch, a solid silver bull's-eye, and solid wood, but covered with leather, a large pocket-book, tied round with a and adorned with brass-headed nails, by long tape, and, by way of precaution, the cunning disposition of which, also, pinned into his breast-pocket. He the paternal initials stood out on the talked about having a pistol, in case he rounded lid, in the most conspicuous were attacked by any of the ruffians manner. It was his father's trunk, and who are so numerous in the city, but the first thing that went into it, as the Mr. Gridley told him, No! he would cerwidow lifted the cover, and the smother- tainly shoot himself, and he should n't ing, shut-up smell struck an old chord think of letting him take a pistol. of associations, was a single tear-drop. They went forth, Mentor and TelemHow well she remembered the time achus, at the appointed time, to dare the when she first unpacked it for her young perils of the railroad and the snares of husband, and the white shirt bosoms the city. Mrs. Hopkins was firm up to showed their snowy plaits! O dear, near the last moment, when a little dear!
quiver in her voice set her eyes off, and But women decant their affection, her face broke up all at once, so that sweet and sound, out of the old bottles she had to hide it behind her handkerinto the new ones, -off from the lees chief. Susan Posey showed the truthof the past generation, clear and bright, fulness of her character in her words into the clean vessels just made ready to Gifted at parting. “Farewell,” she to receive it. Gifted Hopkins was his said, “and think of me sometimes mother's idol, and no wonder. She while absent. My heart is another's, had not only the common attachment but my friendship, Gifted — my friendof a parent for him, as her offspring, ship — " but she felt that her race was to be ren- Both were deeply affected. He took dered illustrious by his genius, and her hand and would have raised it to thought proudly of the time when some his lips ; but she did not forget herself, future biographer would mention her and gently withdrew it, exclaiming, “O own humble name, to be held in lasting Gifted !” this time with a tone of tenremembrance as that of the mother of der reproach which made him feel like Hopkins.
a profligate. He tore himself away, So she took great pains to equip this and when at a safe distance flung her a brilliant but inexperienced young man kiss, which she rewarded with a tearful with everything he could by any possi- smile. bility need during his absence. The Master Byles Gridley must have great trunk filled itself until it bulged had some good dividends from some of with its contents like a boa-constrictor his property of late. There is no other who has swallowed his blanket. Best way of accounting for the handsome clothes and common clothes, thick style in which he did things on their arrival in the city. He went to a tail- “Let me look at your manuscript, if or's and ordered a new suit to be sent you please, Mr. Popkins," said the pubhome as soon as possible, for he knew lisher, interrupting in bis turn. his wardrobe was a little rusty. He "Hopkins, if you please, sir,” Gifted looked Gifted over from head to foot, suggested mildly, proceeding to extract and suggested such improvements as the manuscript, which had got wedged would recommend him to the fastidious into his pocket, and seemed to be holdeyes of the selecter sort of people, and ing on with all its might. He was wonput him in his own tailor's hands, at the . dering all the time over the extraordisame time saying that all bills were to nary clairvoyance of the publisher, who be sent to him, B. Gridley, Esq., parlor had looked through so many thick folds, No. 6, at the Planet House. Thus it broadcloth, lining, brown paper, and came to pass that in three days from seen his poems lying hidden in his their arrival they were both in an emi- breast-pocket. The idea that a young nently presentable condition. In the person coming on such an errand should mean time the prudent Mr. Gridley had have to explain his intentions would been keeping the young man busy, and have seemed very odd to the publisher. amusing himself by showing him such He knew the look which belongs to this of the sights of the city and its suburbs class of enthusiasts just as a horseas he thought would combine instruc- dealer knows the look of a green purtion with entertainment.
chaser with the equine fever raging in When they were both properly his veins. If a young author had come equipped and ready for the best com- to him with a scrap of manuscript hidpany, Mr. Gridley said to the young den in his boots, like Major André's poet, who had found it very hard to papers, the publisher would have taken contain his impatience, that they would one glance at him and said, “Out with now call together on the publisher to it!” whom he wished to introduce him, and While he was battling for the refracthey set out accordingly.
tory scroll with his pocket, which turned " My name is Gridley,” he said with half wrong side out, and acted as things modest gravity, as he entered the pub- always do when people are nervous and lisher's private room. “ I have a note in a hurry, the publisher directed his of introduction here from one of your conversation again to Master Byles authors, as I think he called himself, Gridley. -a very popular writer for whom you “A remarkable book, that of yours, publish."
Mr. Gridley, would have a great The publisher rose and came forward run if it were well handled. Came in the most cordial and respectful man- out twenty years too soon, - that was ner. “Mr. Gridley ? – Professor Byles the trouble. One of our leading scholGridley, -author of 'Thoughts on the ars was speaking of it to me the other Universe'?"
day. We must have a new edition,' The brave-hearted old man colored he said; “people are just ripe for that as if he had been a young girl. His book.' Did you ever think of that? dead book rose before him like an ap- Change the form of it a little, and give parition. He groped in modest confu- it a new title, and it will be a popular sion for an answer. * A child I bur- book. Five thousand or more, very ied long ago, my dear sir," he said. likely." “ Its title-page was its tombstone. I Mr. Gridley felt as if he had been have brought this young friend with rapidly struck on the forehead with a me, - this is Mr. Gifted Hopkins of dozen distinct blows from a hammer Oxbow Village, — who wishes to con- not quite big enough to stun him. He verse with you about "
sat still without saying a word. He “I have come, sir — " the young poet had forgotten for the moment all about began, interrupting him.
poor Gifted Hopkins, who had got out
his manuscript at last, and was calming the disturbed corners of it. Coming to himself a little, he took a large and beautiful silk handkerchief, one of his new purchases, from his pocket, and applied it to his face, for the weather seemed to have grown very warm all at once. Then he remembered the errand on which he had come, and thought of this youth, who had got to receive his first hard lesson in life, and whom he had brought to this kind man that it should be gently administered.
"You surprise me," he said, —"you surprise me. Dead and buried. Dead and buried. I had sometimes thought that - at some future period, after I was gone, it might - but I hardly know what to say about your suggestions. But here is my young friend, Mr. Hopkins, who would like to talk with you, and I will leave him in your hands. I am at the Planet House, if you should care to call upon me. Good morning. Mr. Hopkins will explain everything to you more at his ease, without me, I am confident."
Master Gridley could not quite make up his mind to stay through the interview between the young poet and the publisher. The flush of hope was bright in Gifted's eye and cheek, and the good man knew that young hearts are apt to be over-sanguine, and that one who enters a shower-bath often feels very differently from the same person when he has pulled the string.
"I have brought you my Poems in the original autographs, sir," said Mr. Gifted Hopkins.
He laid the manuscript on the table, caressing the leaves still with one hand, as loath to let it go.
"What disposition had you thought of making of them?" the publisher asked, in a pleasant tone. He was as kind a man as lived, though he worked the chief engine in a chamber of tor
lisher, who determined to be very patient with the protégé of the hitherto little-known, but remarkable writer, Professor Gridley. At the same time he extended his foot in an accidental sort of way, and pressed it on the righthand knob of three which were arranged in a line beneath the table. A little bell in a distant apartment-the little bell marked C-gave one slight note, loud enough to start a small boy up, who looked at the clock, and knew that he was to go and call the publisher in just twenty-five minutes. five minutes; B, ten minutes; C, twenfive minutes"; — that was the small boy's working formula. Mr. Hopkins was treated to the full allowance of time, as being introduced by Professor Gridley.
The young man laid open the manuscript so that the title-page, written out very handsomely in his own hand, should win the eye of the publisher.
BLOSSOMS OF THE SOUL. A WREATH OF VERSE; Original.
BY GIFTED HOPKINS.
"A youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown." Gray.
"Shall I read you some of the rhymed pieces first, or some of the blank-verse poems, sir?" Gifted asked.
"Read what you think is best, specimen of your first-class style of composition."
"I will read you the very last poem I have written," he said, and he began:
"THE TRIUMPH OF SONG. "I met that gold-haired maiden, all too dear; And I to her: Lo! thou art very fair, Fairer than all the ladies in the world That fan the sweetened air with scented fans, And I am scorchéd with exceeding love, Yea, crispéd till my bones are dry as straw. Look not away with that high-archéd brow, But turn its whiteness that I may behold, And lift thy great eyes till they blaze on mine. And lay thy finger on thy perfect mouth, And let thy lucent ears of carven pearl Drink in the murmured music of my soul, As the lush grass drinks in the globéd dew; For I have many scrolls of sweetest rhyme I will unroll and make thee glad to hear. "Then she : O shaper of the marvellous phrase That openeth woman's heart as doth a key,
I dare not hear thee - lest the bolt should slide
That locks another's heart within my own. they entered he dropped another man-
uscript into the basket and looked up. " Then I: If thou not hear me, I shall die,
“Tell me,” said Gifted, “what are Yea, in my desperate mood may list
these papers, and who is he that looks And do myself a hurt no leech can mend;
upon them and drops them into the For poets ever were of dark resolve, And swift stern deed
basket ?" That maiden heard no more, “ These are the manuscript poems But spake : Alas! my heart is very weak,
that we receive, and the one sitting at And but for - Stay! And if some dreadful morn, After great search and shouting thorough the
the table is commonly spoken of among wold,
us as The Butcher. The poems he We found thee missing, - strangled, — drowned drops into the basket are those reject
i' the mere, Then should I go distraught and be clean mad !
ed as of no account.” O poet, read! read all thy wondrous scroll !
" But does he not read the poems beYea, read the verse that maketh glad to hear!
fore he rejects them ?" Then I began and read two sweet, brief hours, And he forgot all love save only mine!"
“ He tastes them. Do you eat a
cheese before you buy it?" “Is all this from real life?" asked “ And what becomes of all these that the publisher.
he drops into the basket ?” "It- no, sir — not exactly from real “ If they are not claimed by their life — that is, the leading female per- author in proper season they go to the son is not wholly fictitious - and the devil.” incident is one which might have hap- “ What !” said Gifted, with his eyes pened. Shall I read you the poems stretched very round. referred to in the one you have just “To the paper factory, where they heard, sir?”
have a horrid machine they call the " Allow
me, one moment. Two devil, that tears everything to bits, – hours' reading, I think, you said. I as the critics treat our authors, somefear I shall hardly be able to spare times, - sometimes, Mr. Hopkins.”' quite time to hear them all.
Gifted devoted a moment to silent ask what you intend doing with these reflection. productions, Mr---rr- Popkins." After this instructive sight they re
"Hopkins, if you please, sir, not turned together to the publisher's priPopkins,” said Gifted, plaintively. He vate room. The wine had now warmed expressed his willingness to dispose of the youthful poet's præcordia, so that the copyright, to publish on shares, or he began to feel a renewed confidence perhaps to receive a certain percentage in his genius and his fortunes. on the profits.
“I should like to know what that "Suppose we take a glass of wine critic of yours would say to my manutogether, Mr. - Hopkins, before we script,” he said boldly. talk business," the publisher said, “You can try it, if you want to,” the opening a little cupboard and taking publisher replied, with an ominous drytherefrom a decanter and two glasses. ness of manner which the sanguine He saw the young man was looking youth did not perceive, or, perceiving, nervous. He waited a few minutes, did not heed. until the, wine had comforted his epi- “ How can we manage to get an imgastrium, and diffused its gentle glow partial judgment ?" through his unspoiled and consequent- “O, I'll arrange that. He always ly susceptible organization.
goes to his luncheon about this time. Come with me,” he said.
Raw meat and vitriol punch, - that 's Gifted followed him into a dingy what the authors say. Wait till we hear apartment in the attic, where one sat at him go, and then I will lay your manua great table heaped and piled with script so that he will come to it among manuscripts. By him was a huge bas- the first after he gets back. You shall ket, half full of manuscripts also. As see with your own eyes what treatment