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what it is, and goes off among his vines in a state of painful unconcern. The boys run out to the brow of the hill, and come back in great excitement to announce that the whole town is thronging up toward the house. Then all, as if apprehending the nature of the visit, gather about their table again, that being the place where their visitors will expect to find them.
At length Sam Yates comes in sight around the corner of the mansion, followed closely by all the operatives of the mill, dressed in their holiday attire. Mrs. Dillingham has found her brother, and, with her hand upon his arm, she goes out to meet his visitors. They have come to crown the feast, and signalize the anniversary by bringing their congratulations to the proprietor and the beautiful lady who presides over his house. There is a great deal of awkwardness among the young men, and tittering and blushing among the young women, with side play of jest and coquetry, as they form themselves in a line, preparatory to something formal, which presently
Mr. Yates, the agent of the mill, who has consented to be the spokesman of the occasion, stands in front, and faces Mr. Benedict and Mrs. Dillingham.
your practical efforts to give us a share in the results of your prosperity, and for the purifying influences which go out from this dwelling into all our humble homes. We give you our congratulations on this anniversary, and hope for happy returns of the day, until, among the inevitable changes of the future, we all yield our places to those who are to succeed us."
Mr. Benedict's eyes are full of tears. He does not turn, however, to Mr. Balfour for help. The consciousness of power, and, more than this, the consciousness of universal sympathy, gave him self-possession and the power of expression.
"Mr. Yates," says Mr. Benedict, "when you call me master you give me pain. When you speak of me as your brother, and the brother of all those whom you represent, you pay me the most grateful compliment that I have ever received. It is impossible for me to regard myself as anything but the creature and the instrument of a loving Providence. It is by no power of my own, no skill of my own, no providence of my own, that I have been carried through the startling changes of my life. The power that has placed me where I am is the power in which, during all my years of adversity, I firmly trusted. It was that power which brought me my friends-friends to whose good-will and efficient service I owe my wealth and my ability to make life profitable and pleasant to you. Fully believing this, I can in no way regard myself as my own, or indulge in pride and vainglory. You are all my brothers and sisters, and the dear Father of us all has placed the power in my hands to do you good. In the patient and persistent execution of this stewardship lies the duty of my life. I thank you all for your good-will. I thank you all for this opportunity to meet you, and to say to you the words which have for five years been in my heart, waiting to be spoken. Come to me always with your troubles. Tell me always what I can do for you to make your way easier. Help me to make this village a prosperous, virtuous, and happy one-a model for all its neighbors. And now I wish to take you all by the hand, in pledge of our mutual friendship and of our devoto each other."
"Mr. Benedict," says he, "this demonstration in your honor is not one originated by myself, but, in some way, these good people who serve you learned that you were to have a formal celebration of this anniversary, and they have asked me to assist them in expressing the honor in which they hold you, and the sympathy with which they enter into your rejoicing. We all know your history. Many of those who now stand before you remember your wrongs and your misfortunes; and there is not one who does not rejoice that you have received that which your own genius won in the hands of another. There is not one who does not rejoice that the evil influence of this house is departed, and that one now occupies it who thoroughly respects and honors the manhood and womanhood that labor in his service. We are glad to acknowledge you as our master, because we know that we can regard you as our friend. Your predecessor despised poverty-evention the poverty into which he was born-and forgot, in the first moment of his success, that he had ever been poor, while your own bitter experiences have made you brotherly. On behalf of all those who now stand before you, let me thank you for your sympathy, for
Mr. Benedict steps forward with Mrs. Dillingham, and both shake hands with Mr. Yates. One after another-some shyly, some confidently-the operatives come up and repeat the process, until all have pressed the proprietor's hand, and have received a
pleasant greeting and a cordial word from his sister, of whom the girls are strangely afraid. There is a moment of awkward delay as they start on their homeward way, and then they gather in a group upon the brow of the hill, and the evening air resounds with "three cheers" for Mr. Benedict. The hum of voices begins again, the tramp of a hundred feet passes down the hill, and our little party are left to themselves.
They do not linger long. The Snows take their leave. Mr. and Mrs. Yates retire with a lingering "good-night," but the Balfours and the Fentons are guests of the house. They go in and the lamps are lighted, while the "little feller-Paul B. by name" is carried on his happy father's shoulder to his bed upstairs.
Finally, Jim comes down, having seen his pet asleep, and finds the company talking about Talbot. He and his pretty, worldly wife, finding themselves somewhat too intimately associated with the bad fame of Robert Belcher, had retired to a country seat on the Hudson-a nest which they feathered well with the profits of the old connection.
And now, as they take leave of one another for the night, and shake hands in token of their good-will, and their satisfaction with the pleasures of the evening, Jim says: "Mr. Benedict, that was a good speech o' yourn. It struck me favorble an' s'prised me some considable. I'd no idee
BROTHERS, I greet you! wond'ring at the call
ye could spread so afore folks. I shouldn't wonder if ye was right about Proverdence. It seems kind o' queer that somebody or somethin' should be takin' keer o' you an' me, but I vow I don't see how it's all ben did, if so be as nobody nor nothin' has took keer o' me an' you too. It seems reasomble that somethin's ben to work all the time that I hain't seed. The trouble with me is that I can't understand how a bein' as turns out worlds as if they was nothin' more nor snow-balls would think o' stoppin' to pay 'tention to sech a feller as Jim Fenton."
"You are larger than a sparrow, Jim," says Mr. Benedict, with a smile. "That's so."
*This poem was delivered in the Chapel of Harvard University, Thursday, July 1, 1875, before the Phi Beta Kappa Society.
"Larger than a hair.”
Jim puts up his hand, brushes down the stiff crop that crowns his head, and responds with a comical smile:
"I don' know 'bout that."
Then Jim pauses as if about to make some further remark, thinks better of it, and then, putting his big arm around his little wife, leads her off, upstairs.
The lights of the great house go out one after another, the cataracts sing the inmates to sleep, the summer moon witches with the mist, the great, sweet heaven bends over the dreaming town, and there we leave our friends at rest, to take up the burden of their lives again upon the happy morrow, beyond our feeble following, but still under the loving eye and guiding hand to which we confidently and gratefully commit them.
What could you look for save a sermon song, Dull as a Dudleian, and twice as long?
Yet, since you bade me, at the call I come To beat the old ecclesiastic drum.
I feel the mantle of my Pilgrim sires
But since the wished afflatus don't display
Let me from many minstrels take a part-
Yet Æsop warns the poet who presumes
Subdued in plumage, sensitive of ear, Gliding through thickets when there's danger near. He does not prink, true poets never do; He leaves such fopperies to the cockatoo, The parrot tribe, whose ear-offending notes Betray their breeding when they ope their throats. Graceful in motion, elegant though shy, His is the style we judge not by the eye. Fine feathers mark the finch of gilded wing; The bird of genius calmly waits to sing. Ah, then the magic of his art is shown In twenty voices, none of them his own; Now thrush, now robin,-then to hear, The sweet bravura of the bobolink, The blackbird's lilting call, the bluebird's sharp Staccato chiming with the March wind's harp. The round he runs of each familiar strain, We scarce catch one before he's off againWith the hawk's scream, the frighten'd hen deceives; Twitters like sparrows underneath the eaves; Trills till the vexed canary in his cage Sulks on his perch in jealous, baffled rage; Yelps like the puppy-like the kitten mews, The lazy pigeon on the barn outcoos, And crowns the whole with one triumphant note Of joyous laughter from the human throat. But when in midnight's hush the full moon's beam Flings the black shadows on Pilatka's stream, Silv'ring the summits of the moss-hung pines, And decks with diamond dews the tangled vines, Then, when all else is hushed, hear him repeat His native love-notes, witching, wild and sweet.
Then take the slender fancy I pursue,
Sam Silsbee on Commencement Day Saw the Governor's escort fill the way.
Roberto, called Brunino of the Borg,
Guardian of certain droves by Thrasymene, Which find cool plashy pastures near the lake,
Fell into doubt upon a point of law,
You, Eccelenza, to take heed of beastsCorpo di Baccho-plague upon the brute, "A quarrelsome, ill-tempered, ugly thing. "I think his mother must have lowered herself "Into forbidden wedlock-buffaloes"Or the mal' occhio crossed him when a calf. "Your oxen, now, Signore, gentle, yet "Pure-bred Toscani, mouse-colored, with soft, "Deep, dreamy eyes, like the Madonna's own. "Sicuro, Signor Ávocato-they
"Could ne'er have done my bull an injury.
My bull, I say-for, mark me, I'm a plain "Man of the people, quite unskilled to put "Learn'd suppositions from the civil law, "As Caius thus and so, and Manlius thus
The umpire flings his truncheon down,
"But seek to tell the plain, unvarnished tale,
Just as it happened. Well, my bull, I say,
Did gore your ox-the one, you know; the plump, Brown-backed one; he with just a thought of dark
"On his fore-shoulder. Or-you do not know,
"Having less care of oxen than of courts.
Well, as I said, this maladetto bull
"Of mine hath hurt your ox, and so I come,
Supposing I am bound to pay the cost,
Having some certain scudi ready here. "And now, 'cclenza, tell me am I right: "Or must I bring my neighbors in to prove "The damage, and seek judgment in the court?”
Then Gian Battista, turning sidewise round His parrot-beak of nose, and fingering at A score of tape-tied parchments on his desk, Turned and replied: "Sicuro, if the case "Be as you say, and if it were your bull "That hurt my ox. I have a bull, I think, "Not sweetly tempered; but I keep him penned. "No oxen that I wot of-if, I say,
The damage be a damage, which the law "Rightly takes count of-then if it be shown "I kept my oxen to their proper bound,
"And that your bull was negligently watched, "Mio Roberto, I am loth to think "Il Brunonino careless in his craft. "Cortona knows his merit-if, I say, "This doth appear, by witnesses of trust, "Sworn on the Gospel-not your country louts, "Who scarce can tell their right hand from their left; "Or some birbone of the market-place, "Who for a paul would swear that black were white, "But like Tommaso yonder, or yourself,
Supposing you not party to the case
Why, then I should consider that the suit "Was one, which, bating needful steps of law, "Circuitous, may be, for justice' sake, "Might come before the judges in a year, "Madonna helping-after which, you know, "Who seeks to eat his cake, must tarry still, "Until the meal be bolted.' But we hope! "Meanwhile,-and this advice I give you in "Three colonati pays your present cost.
"I think you said you had the coin in hand, "Meanwhile, in case my ox were like to die. "Were he killed quickly, I might save his meat. "Franzino pays cinque centesimi
"Per pound for such, too little; but we know Beggars must not be choosers-vain to cry "For milk when pails o'erturn; what must be, must. "And, mi' Roberto, when you next essay "To lead a lawyer to convict himself,
Relying on the trick of sop's age, "Remember that, now, 'Abbiamo Noi "Tutto reverso'-we have changed all that."
Who follows? One whose varied gifts are such,
But, as the fabled philosophic stone
There's a poet whose fortunate culture combines The fresh growth of the fields with the toil of the mines, Who can catch the rude accents of primitive speech . From the men of the furrow and men of the beach: While at home, in the pages of Marlowe and Drayton, Ford, Fletcher, and Webster, and Taylor and Leighton, Old English and New English equally known, And used with a grace that is simply his own. When the bird sings outside of his library sill, And the poet just dreams to its jubilant trill, 'Mid the blossoming scents of the lilacs in June, When the breeze and the sunlight with both are in tune, The verse from his pen and the bird's warbled strain Are twined in one lyric's melodious chain, Till bird-song with bird-song so lovingly blends, No critic can tell which begins and which ends.
Then his wit lights each line with a vibrating spark,
Once more across the waters-yet once more,
Gunhild of Bathstead,-daughter of Gudarm,