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lady. But she'll not want for a friend while I'm by her. May the whole British army-" but Mrs. Cudworth's objurgation died in her heart as she recalled the scene she was in. "You're better than the rest, Lieutenant; but I wish the whole parcel of ye had never set foot in Boston."
"Now just tell me, Mrs. Cudworth, what I can do," said Page. "These are new scenes to me."
"There's nothing," said she; "there's nothing more can be done to-night. these drunken fellows that have been singing and swearing will only let the house alone to-night. Twice they've rapped at the knocker, and it was all I could do once to keep them outside."
"You shall not be troubled," said the lieutenant, as he slipped from his guard a silver whistle. "See, take this, and when you need me, open the window or door a bit and whistle. I shall be near, and you'll know my rap. I'll only tap once on the knocker. I've some matters outside I want to attend to, but I shall be within call." He stammered a little as he said this, but gathered his cloak about him, fastened it securely, and passed quickly out of the house again.
"He's a willing young man," said Mrs. Cudworth, eyeing the whistle curiously.
"It's a wild life these young officers lead," said Mrs. Nixon dubiously. "I suppose we'd best go up and sit with the body, Tabitha, eh?" and she looked rather regretfully at the fire.
"Sit you here, Abigail," said Mrs. Cudworth. "I mistrust Miss Hope's there now, and she'll not thank us to disturb her."
A step was heard on the staircase, hesitating in the passage by the kitchen. Mrs. Cudworth hastened out with her light to find her young mistress standing there.
"Is any one with you, Tabitha?" she asked in a low tone.
"Only Abigail Nixon, Miss Hope." "Ah, I thought I heard other voices." "The lieutenant came in with her a moment ago, but he has gone again. Come to the warm fire, child."
"No, not now," said she. "I will go up again. When will the lieutenant return ?"
"I don't know. He acted strangely; said he had matters outside, but if I needed him, I might only whistle on this toy he handed
The girl took the whistle and examined it. She had heard the conversation in the kitchen.
"Do not keep Abigail long to-night,” said she in a whisper. "I do not wish to see any one," and she went upstairs again.
Mrs. Cudworth returned to the kitchen, and began bustling about, putting it in order.
"It's a dark night," said she, going to a window and peering out between her shading hands.
A man just then passed beneath the window, and she half drew back, but saw it was the lieutenant. She watched him pace down the walk and then turn again.
"The Lord preserve us," she said to herself, "but the lieutenant's keeping guard. He'll catch his death of cold."
"There's many a house in Boston to-night," said Mrs. Nixon, "where there's either a dead body or a dying one. The Lord's judgments The town is doomed to de
are upon us.
"Mrs. Nixon," said Mrs. Cudworth, planting herself before her, "the Lord keeps his own counsel. There have been folks died from the beginning, and it's no worse dying in Boston than anywhere else. There are a good many live people here too, and there are live people over yonder, the other side of the Charles, and what we've got to do is to keep our courage up, that's what I say; and when those boys come over here, as come they will, and I shouldn't wonder if they came this blessed night, what we want is to be ready for them. I'm not going to give in. I'm going to stand it out, and the town ain't going to be doomed either."
Mrs. Nixon spread out her hands to the fire, but said nothing, perceiving, poor thing, in her dull way, that she and Mrs. Cudworth jarred that night, and that not even a corpse in the house could depress Mrs. Cudworth to her own habitual level. Presently she rose and shuffled out of the house, with a promise to come early in the morning again.
"I'll not desert ye now, Tabitha, when ye're in the valley of the shadow of death," and from the firmness of her tone, it was plain that Mrs. Nixon, besides being a little piqued, was capable of enjoying a walk with. her friend through any tract that looked desolate and gloomy.
Above, in the room where the paralytic had lain for weeks, steadily watched, a death in life, by her daughter, lay now the dead woman, while her daughter still sat by her side. For weeks no voice had left the mother's lips, and scarcely a sign of recognition, yet she had been alive, and now she was
dead. Ah, the wide separation there was in that. Speechless, almost immovable, she had been a comfort and a hope to which her daughter clung. Now, speechless and immovable, still she was a memory receding with every tick of the clock. Not yet had the girl turned away from that past which she was vainly striving to perpetuate in the present, cheating herself willingly into the belief that, so long as she sat there, she was living the old life still. But always, like a But always, like a deep-toned bell, came the word dead, dead to her lips, forced up from her heart, and in the dullness of her grief, she seemed able only to repeat it again and again, as if trying to make the fact certain, and so tolerable.
As she sat thus, isolated by her grief, with only this dull beat of the melancholy word, it seemed as if it came with renewed force at regular intervals. She found herself mechanically listening to a word which she almost mechanically framed for her own hearing. Then she became strangely aware of a measured beat mingling with this melancholy iteration in her own heart. She aroused herself to listen. It was a foot-fall in the street below, steady and firm. She heard it pass and re-pass back and forth, and she knew before she quite confessed her knowledge to herself that it was the lieutenant keeping guard over the house. Soon she
watched for the sound, letting it die away with a half fear, hearing it come again with a new sense of relief. As she sat thus, leaning back wearily in her chair, Mrs. Cudworth entered.
"Dear Miss," said she, "pray take your rest now and I will watch."
"Really I am not tired, Tabby," said she. "Have you closed everything below? Has Abigail gone?"
"She has gone, and the house is closed; but I am dubious what to do about the lieutenant. He has not come in, and I mistrust he is patroling in front of the house. There has not been a knock at the door since he went out."
"He said this whistle would call him ?" asked Miss Deland, fingering the toy. "Leave a light in the kitchen, Tabitha, and I will call him presently."
"There is a light there now, Miss. I will watch here if you wish to go down," said Mrs. Cudworth, having a dim sense that her mistress must needs be humored.
"No, go to bed. You are very kind, Tabby, and you need not fear but I will call you if I need you."
Mrs. Cudworth left her young mistress to herself; she was wont to obey her, for Miss Deland's eyes were of the kind that make one's words final, and she had looked at Tabitha while she spoke.
When Hope Deland was left alone, she sank back in her chair again and listened to assure herself that her guard still paced back and forth. Presently she left the room and went below into the kitchen. They had closed the sitting-room and dining-room of the house and used the kitchen for a common room, for wood was scarce, and Miss Deland had no wish to invite society. She went to the door, opened it, and blew a soft note upon the whistle. As soon as she had done it, and heard a step coming quickly down the walk, the blood rushed to her cheeks and she stretched out her hand to a chair. The lieutenant entered the open door, and closed it behind him. The girl rose as he came forward and held out her hand.
"What can I do for you?" he asked gently, as he took it.
The words came to her with a singular fullness, and in her half-active state, she found herself pursuing them beyond the simple meaning. A smile even began to grow upon her lips, unknown to herself, answering some subtile suggestion of her mind. What could he do? She was not looking at him, and the lieutenant let his eyes rest earnestly upon her. Somehow, an equal leisure of mind possessed them each. With her, it was a dreamy condition; the time for action had not yet come violently to her. With him, it was a steady concentration of all the turns and questionings of the evening upon a single idea. Her face resolved his doubts. He let her hand fall, and she looked up and said simply:
"You are very kind, but I could not let you stay longer out of doors. Tabitha gave me your whistle," and she returned it to him. "I have no fear," she added. “There is something of a protection in death, I think."
"I have never known it," said he. "I have never stood in the presence of death." "Come," said she, with a swift impulse.
He followed her upstairs into the room where the mother lay, calm and remote. They stood side by side. He could not speak. The silent witness before them was witness to a silent bond. The weeks of their life together in this old house had been steadily drawing them together, yet that morning they had been apart, separated by
questions on one side and the other. Tonight, each had suddenly, swiftly, unmistakably been drawn to the other, and the mutual dependence had decided the questions that they could not decide apart. "Till death us do part" is the old formula, and here it was preceded by "since death us doth unite." Hope bent over her mother's face and touched the cold lips with her own, and Edward Page reverently bent, kneeled, and bowed over the form likewise. It was a silent exchange of vows; but there is a silence which does not covet words.
On the morning of the 5th of March, General Howe, climbing the staircase of the Province House to the cupola, looked out and saw in the gray distance a redoubt upon Dorchester Heights.
"The rebels!" he exclaimed. "They have done more in one night than my whole army would have done in a month."
The whole town was thrown into an uproar. It was quickly known that the council of war had determined upon an attack of the redoubt, and transports were bearing men to Castle William, where they were to rendezvous, previous to the attack, which was to be made under the command of Earl Percy. As the day wore on, the March winds began to rise and increased in violence. The harbor was beaten by the wind and the storm which it brought, and the surf could be seen breaking upon the shore below the heights, where the landing was to be made. The troops were forced to return, and every one was running hither and thither, the officers and men pursued by varying orders, the loyalists crowding about the Province House and loudly boasting of the deeds that were to be done, timid citizens secretly making preparations for a safer hiding of their property, too well aware that, in the general disturbance, plunder would be the first thought of many, while here and there women of bolder patriotism met one another with high hopes of a release at the hands of the colonial troops, with whose more active valor their own patient faith had kept company.
The storm rose higher, when a boat pushed off from Gree's ship-yard, near the Charlestown ferry-way. The wind blew violently, and the boat made slow headway, but the tide was in its favor, as it worked its way across the river toward Lechmere's Point. The young man who pulled at the oars was
an athletic fellow, but he pulled slowly and apparently in no haste, while his companion in the stern of the boat occasionally, in a low voice, gave directions as to the course. As they neared the other shore, the lights from the camp grew more distinct, and it was plain that a large body of men were bivouacked there. The outline of a redoubt could be seen indistinctly, and presently a voice was heard on the shore. "Who goes there?"
"A friend. Show me where to land."
There was a murmur of voices on the shore, when presently a boat pushed off in the darkness. It came near, and a lantern was suddenly flashed upon the two occupants of the first boat. "Miss Deland!" "What! worth ?"
Is that you, Thomas Cud
"Aye, it is. Throw us your painter, Captain, and we'll tow you in," and shortly they were drawn up by a rough wharf and the boat made fast.
"I was Lieutenant Page, of the Regiment," said that young man to the officer of the guard. "I am a deserter from the army. That's an ugly word, and it sticks in my throat; but, as I know very well what I am doing, I am not to be frightened by a word. I ask that I may be taken to headquarters with this lady, who has made an escape from the town with me."
The officer smiled to himself, but ordered a guard of men to escort the two to Cambridge.
"There's a wagon out here, Captain," said Thomas Cudworth, who had begged to be one of the guard; "it hasn't any springs, but may be it will be better than walking. I say, Miss Deland, how's mother?"
Very well, and waiting for you, Tom. I couldn't persuade her to come with us. She said you would be sure to be in Boston in a few days, and she meant to welcome you."
The free and easy manner of the American soldiers and their officers struck Page as a great novelty, and suddenly the ludicrousness of their situation, so soon after the peril of his head, overcame him.
"Hope," he whispered, "deserting is a desperate business, but deserting in a market wagon is something of a novelty. I say that word over often, so as to get used to it."
"Edward," said she, more earnestly, "I am glad you would not let me persuade you to come alone."
"No, we are deserters together; that's very plain."
The wagon stopped before General Putnam's headquarters at the Inman House in Cambridge. Green, Sullivan and Putnam were all there as the two deserters were brought in. Miss Deland was given in charge of the ladies of the household, while Page was examined by the officers. He gave his name and rank, but utterly refused to give any information respecting the movements or position of troops in Boston.
"Gentlemen," said he, "I am a deserter, as I have told you, and I have left Boston at the peril of my life. I do not propose to enter the American army, but I do propose to be an American citizen. Do not ask me to betray my late country any further than by depriving her of my personal services. It cost me a struggle to give up my country, and I cannot turn right about and be a fierce American, but I shall be an honest one.
became convinced that the principle was on your side. I could not fight you any longer, and, when it came to the pinch, I deserted, rather than join in attacking you.
I am to marry Miss Deland. I could have married her and thrown up my commission, but the decision was forced upon me by the exigencies of war. I have thrown up my commission with a vengeance, and I am in no mood to receive a new one from you, to fight my late friends. Gentlemen, I am frank with you, and I have only one other favor to ask, that you will grant me a soldier's wedding to-night."
The Generals held a brief council, the result of which was, that while the storm was raging and thousands of anxious hearts in Boston and out were beating at the near approach of the raising of the siege, Edward Page and Hope Deland were married-a pastoral in the midst of a lowering war.
I. IN GENERAL.
I DISLIKE and decline the word architecture in this connection, because I cannot see that architecture, properly speaking, has anything to do with the building of a house. I have never seen what might be called an architectural dwelling-house that was not a monstrosity. As soon as a man attempts to build architecturally, all the gentler divinities begin to weep. Architecture is for public building, and belongs to the State or the Church. It is inspired by patriotism or the grandeur of the religious sentiment; but a dwelling-house is the fruit of the domestic instinct-the need of shelter, the love of home, of wife, child and friend, and the question of art, or of what is usually understood as architectural beauty, is to be steadily ignored in its construction.
In fact I set out with the principle that one's house, outside and inside, is to have in the main what may be called negative beauty; because a house truly viewed is but a setting, a background, and should never be pushed to the front and made much of on its own account.
The hangings are a background for the pictures, and are to give tone and atmosphere to the rooms, while the whole interior
is but a background for the human form and for the domestic life lived there, and should always be minor, low-toned, and unobtrusive.
Mr. Conway describes some artists' houses in London, the positive beauty of whose interiors must have completely belittled and shamed the occupants, and made all domestic life therein appear vulgar and mean. What jewels of humanity were these that required such a setting?
A house is for shelter, comfort, health, hospitality-to eat in and sleep in, and be born in and die in, and should accord in appearance with homely every-day usages, and with natural universal objects and scenes. Its root must be in the affections, its characteristic tone and suggestion that of domestic life.
The domestic impulse or instinct is not the greatest the human heart is capable of. It is not that which built the cathedrals or inspired the grand works of art in painting, sculpture, poetry, etc., but it is that which must build our houses, our homes, if we would not have them an eye-sore to the passer by. When father or grandfather, beginning at the stump, set out to build his house, filled with this impulse alone,- the desire for shelter, safety, and simple comfort, and the log cabin arose under cover of the dark
forest, the result was beautiful to the true eye; or later, when the stumps had disappeared, the forest had retreated and the family increased, his low, broad, unpainted, clap-board house still merged in the landscape and left the eye free. Its beauty was negative, it was more or less according to him who looked upon it. But later still, when the family had increased in wealth, and its pride had kept pace, but not its culture and good manners, and its representative aimed to build something pleasing, something that would look well and mark his place as that of a man of wealth and social importance, and his white, heavily corniced, towered, French-roofed structure obtruded itself upon the old spot, pushing to the background with its white picket fence, all the old landmarks, the heart experienced a chill and every wise eye was outraged. And we know what the pretentious whitehouse period marks the end of in the rural settlement. It marks the end of the spirit of friendliness and social interchanges between neighbors. It inaugurates the period of jealousy, of coldness, of back-biting. While the people yet lived in their log huts, and the battle went hard with them, they had things more in common; there was sympathy and hearty good-will between them; hard work and hard times made all the world akin; the people were drawn together and their humble abodes were scenes of sweet domestic life and neighborly interchanges. And when the primitive cabin gave place to the large-ceiled farm-house, there was still love, and fellowship, and contentment among the people. They still had large families, many children, hard work, plain fare, few wants, and social gatherings. They had "bees," apple-cuts, huskings, quiltings, spinnings, raisings, shooting matches, trainings, etc., and plenty of weddings and christenings. The tramp or the stranger was given lodgings and food, and the hospitality of the roof denied to
But when the white house comes in, then stand back; no familiarity, no "changing works," no borrowing or lending now; no welcome to the peddler, or the poor itinerant, now; jealousy, envy, rivalry, and general uncharitableness reign. Of course I would not have the man of wealth and refinement imitate in his dwelling the rude and simple make-shifts of his forefathers. Let his wealth, his culture, and his position be all inferred from his house, as we infer his refinement and good breeding from his
tone and presence, and not by open advertisement of the fact in dress and equipage. But all the same his house must be built by his heart, his love of home. It must be as truly expressive of his larger and more complex wants, as was the log house of the simple needs of the settler; but its beauty may be negative for all that. It may have the beauty of rocks and trees, and not come out and challenge the eye any more markedly.
For it may be observed that what we call beauty of nature is mainly negative beauty; that is, the mass, the huge rude background, made up of rocks, trees, hills, mountains, plains, waters, etc., has not beauty as a positive quality, visible to all eyes, but affords the mind the conditions of beauty, namely: health, strength, fitness, etc., beauty being an experience of the beholder. Some things, on the other hand, as flowers, foliage, brilliant colors, sunsets, rainbows, water-falls, may be said to be beautiful in and of themselves; but how wearisome the world would be without the vast negative background upon which these things figure, and which provokes and stimulates the mind in a way the purely fair forms do not.
If one's house existed for its own sake, if it were an end in and of itself, there might be some fitness in the attempt to give it positive beauty. But as the matter stands, only that human habitation satisfies my eye in which the aim of beauty or art as such is entirely swallowed up and lost sight of in the suggestion of comfort, warmth, stability, and I do not think that the house is beautiful, but inviting and home-like. If the builder has added any extrinsic ornaments, anything not in keeping with the necessities of the construction (of course I would not confine him to the bare bones of the case); if he has clapped on an abominable French roof, which, in our climate, answers so poorly the purposes of a roof, and suggests no shelter or hospitality; if he has thrust up a tower where there is no view to command; or if he has painted his structure one of those light, delicate tints, that is like nothing out of doors, and makes one feel as if the house ought to be taken in out of the wet and the weather, I see he has made a bid for the admiration of the public, and that he had no deep want in his heart to satisfy.
We are drawn most by negative things or qualities any way, are we not? The healthful, robust mind is positive, and seeks in nature, and mainly in art, something to