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and child; she understood it too well to pet it, I understood it too little to be jealous of it. It was only by asking her that you could discover that Aunt Judy was free; it was only by being asked that she could recollect it. For her, freedom meant the right to "go where she pleased"; but her love knew no where but my father's roof and her darling's crib, nor anything so wrong as that right. For us, her freedom meant our freedom, the right to send her away when we chose ; but our love knew no such when in all the shameful possibilities of time, nor anything in all the cruel conspiracies of ingratitude so wrong as that right. Could we entreat her to leave us, or to return from following after us, when each of our hearts had spoken and said, "The Lord do so to me, and more also, if aught but death part thee and me"? So she and I have gone on together ever since, and shall go on, until we come to the Bethlehem of love at rest. What though she had been there before we started, and were there now? To the saints and their eternal spaceless spirits there are nor days, nor miles, nor starting-points, nor resting-places, nor journey's ends.

his theory, was patriarchal and protec- of magnificent contempt to both nurse tive, and in his practice eminently beneficent; - if he were living this day, I doubt not he would be found among its most earnest and confident champions; - but he did not believe in holding human beings in bondage "on principle," as it were, and for the mere sake of bondage. The patriarchal element was, he thought, an essential in the moral right of the system, and that no longer necessary, the system became wrong. Therefore. so soon as it became clear to him that he (so peculiarly had God blessed him) could protect, advise, relieve his servants as effectually, they being free, as if their persons and their poor little goods, their labor and almost their lives, were at his disposal, he set them at liberty without asking the advice, or caring for the opinion, of any man; and by the same instrument which gave them the right to work, think, live, and die for themselves, he imposed upon his children a solemn responsibility for their well-being, in the future as in the past, - the honorable care of seeing to it that their wants were judiciously provided for, their training virtuous, their instruction useful, their employers just, their families united. and their homes happy. Those who were already of age went forth free at once; the minors received their "papers,, on their twenty-first birthday. And thus it was that, when I was born, Aunt Judy was as much freer than her "boy" is now, as simple, natural wants are freer than impatient, artificial appetites.

But that was the beginning and the end of Aunt Judy's freedom. For all the change it wrought in her feelings and her ways toward us, or in ours toward her, she might as well have remained the slave and the baby she was born; the old relations, so natural and gentle, of affection and faithful service on her side, of affection and grateful care on ours, no mere legal forms could alter: no papers could disturb their peacefulness, no privileges impair their confidence. Indeed, that same freedom- or at least her personal interest in it - was matter

From my earliest remembered observation, when I first began to "take notice," as nurses say of vague babies, with pinafore comparison and judgment, Aunt Judy was an old woman; I knew that, because she had explained to me why I had not wrinkles like hers, and why she could not read her precious Bible without spectacles, as I could, and why my back was not bent too, and how if I lived I would grow so. From such instructions I derived a blurred, bewildering notion that from me to her, suffering an Aunt-Judy change, was a long, slow, wearisome process of puckering and dimming and stiffening. But when she told me how she had carried my mother in her arms, as she had carried me, and had made the proud discovery of her first tooth, as, piously exploring among my tender gums with her little finger, she had found mine, I stared at the Pacific of

her possible nursings, in a wild surmise, silent upon a peak of wonder. "Well, then, Auntie," I asked, "do you think you 're much more than a thousand?"

She was not noticeably little as a woman, but wonderfully little as a bundle, to contain so many great virtues,— rather below the medium stature, slender, and bent with age, rather than with burdens; for she had had no heartless master to lay heavy packs upon her. Her face, far from unpleasing in its lines, was lovely in its blended expression of intelligence, modesty, the sweetest guilelessness, an almost heroic truthfulness, devoted fidelity, a dove-like tranquillity of mind, and that abiding, reposeful trust in God which is equal to all trials, and can never be taken by surprise. Her voice was soft and soothing, her motions singularly free from clumsiness or fretfulness, her manners so beautifully blended of unaffected humility, patience, and self-respect as to command, in cheerful reciprocity, the deference they tendered; in which respect she was a severe ordeal to the sham gentlemen and ladies who had the honor to be presented to her, — the slightest trace of snobbery betraying itself at once to the sensitive test-paper of Aunt Judy's true politeness. Her ways were ways of pleasantness, and all her paths were peace. Faith, hope, and charity were met in her dusky, shrunken bosom, more at home there, perhaps, than in a finer dwelling.

A sneering philosophy was never yet challenged to contemplate a piety more complete than that which made this venerable "nigger" a lady on earth, and a saint in heaven; but on her knees she found it, and on her knees she held it fast, watching, praying, trembling.

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cense and aspiration. With her to labor was literally to worship; she washed dishes with confession, ironed shirts with supplication, and dusted furniture with thanksgiving, morning, evening, noon, and night, praising God. From resting-place to resting-place, over tedious stretches of task, she prayed her way,

"And ever, at each period,

She stopped and sang, 'Praise God !"" like Browning's Theocrite. And, as if answering Blaise, the listening monk, when he said,

• "Well done!

I doubt not thou art heard, my son:
As well as if thy voice to-day

Were praising God the Pope's great way," her longing was,

"Would God that I Might praise him some great way and die." Many a time have I, bursting boisterously into my little bedroom in quest of top or ball, checked myself, with a feeling more akin to superstition than to reverence, on finding Aunt Judy on her knees beside the pretty cot she had just made up so snugly and tenderly for me, pouring her ever-brimming heart out in clear, refreshing springs of prayer. Led by these still waters, she rested there from the heat and burden of life, as the camel by wells in the desert. On such occasions I always knew that my dear old nurse had just finished making a bed or sweeping a room, and had sunk down to rest in a prayer, as a fagged drudge on a stool. If you ever gloried and what gentleman has not?— in Gregg's brave old hymn, beginning

"Jesus, and shall it ever be,

A mortal man ashamed of thee?"

you would ask for no more intrepid illustration of its loyal spirit than the figure of Aunt Judy on her knees at the foot of my father's bed, where he often found her in the act, - turning her face for an instant, but without offering to rise, from her Divine Master to the mild fellow-servant in whom she affectionately recognized an earthly master, and asking, with a manner far less embarrassed than his own, "Was you lookin' for your gloves, sir? They's on de

bureau, and your umbrell's behind de door'; —and then placidly turning back again to that Master whom most of us white slaves of the Devil think we have honored enough when we have printed His title with a capital M. "My Master, shall I speak? O that to Thee My Servant were a little so As flesh may be !

-

grow

That these two words might creep and To some degree of spiciness to Thee!" But the hour of my Aunt-Judyness most sacred and inspiring to me, weirdly filling my imagination with solemn reaches beyond my childish ken, was at the close of the day, when I having been undressed, with many a cradle lecture and many a blessing, many an admonition and endearment, line upon line and precept upon precept, here a text and there a pious rhyme, between the buttons and the strings, and having said my awful "Now I lay me." lest “I should die before I wake,” and been tucked in with careful fondling fingers, the party of the first part honorably contracting to "shut his eyes and go straight to sleep," provided the party of the second part would remain at the bedside till the last heavy-lingering wink was winked, that image of her Maker carved in ebony took up her part in creation's pausing chorus, and poured her little human praise into the echoing ear of God in such a burst of triumphant humility, of exulting hope and trust, and all-embracing charity and love, — wherein master and mistress and fellow-servant, friend and stranger, the kind and the cruel, the just and the unjust, the believer and the scoffer, had each his welcome place and was called by his name, as only Ruth could have said or Isaiah sung. As for me, I only lay there with closed eyes, very still, lest I should offend the angels, for I knew the room was full of them, as for me, I only write here with a faltering heart, lest I should offend those prayers, for I know heaven is full of them, and I know that for every time my name arose to the throne of God on that beatified handmaid's hopes and cries, I have been forgiven seventy times seven.

And so Aunt Judy prayed and praised, sitting upon the landing to rest herself, as she descended from the garret sidewise, the same foot always advanced, as is the way of weak old folks in coming down stairs; and so she prayed and praised between the splitting spells of her forty years' asthmatic cough, rocking backward and forward, with her hands upon her knees. And sometimes she preached to me, the ironingtable being her pulpit; for oh! she was an excellent divine, that had the Bible at her fingers' ends, and many a moving sermon did she deliver, "how God doth make his enemies his friends." And sometimes she baptized me. the bath-tub being her Jordan, in the name of duty, love, and patience. In truth, Aunt Judy took as much prophylactic pains with my soul as if it had been tainted with a congenital sulphuric diathesis; and if I had sunk under a complication of profane disorders, no postmortem statement of my spiritual pathology would have been complete and exact which failed to take note of her stringent preventive measures.

Now be it known, that Aunt Judy's piety was in no respect of the niggerish kind; when I say "colored," I mean one thing, respectfully; and when I say "niggerish," I mean another, disgustedly. I am not responsible for the distinction: it is a true "cullud " nomenclature, and very significant; our fellow-citizens of African descent themselves employ it, nicely and wisely; and when they call each other "nigger," the familiar term of opprobrium is applied with all the malice of a sting, and resented with all the sensitiveness of a raw. So when I say that my Auntie's piety was not of the niggerish kind, even Zoe, "The Octoroon," or any other woman or man in whose veins courses the blood of Ham four times diluted, knows that I mean it was not that glory-hallelujah variety of cunning or delusion, compounded of laziness and catalepsy, which is popular among the shouting, shirt-tearing sects of plantation darkies, who "git relijin" and fits twelve times a year.

To all such she used to say, "'T ain't de real grace, honey, —'t ain't de sure glory, you hollers too loud. When you gits de Dove in your heart, and de Lamb on your bosom, you'll feel as ef you was in dat stable at Bethlehem and de Blessed Virgin had lent you de sleepin' Baby to hold." She would not have shrunk from lifting up her voice and crying aloud in the marketplace, if thereby she might turn one smart butcher from the error of his weighs; but for steady talking to the Lord, she preferred my bedside or the back-stairs

But in those days the kitchen was my paradise, by her transmuted. As a child, and not less now than then, I had a consuming longing for snuggery; my one fair, clear idea of the consummate golden fruit of the spirit's sweet content was a cosey place to get away to. In my longing I purred with the cat rolled up in her furry ball on the rug by the fire, making a high-post bedstead of a chair; in my longing I stole with furtive rats to their mysterious cave-nests in the wall. So do I now, the more for that I lost, so long ago, my dear kitchen, my Aunt-Judymy home.

ness,

"I behold it everywhere,

On the earth, and in the air,
But it never comes again."

At this moment I feel the dresser in the corner, gleaming with the cook's refulgent pride of polished tins; I am sensible of that pulpit ironing-tablealas! the flat-iron on its ring is as cold as the hand that erst so deftly guided it. I bask before the old-fashioned hospitable fireplace, capacious and embracing, and jolly with its old-fashioned hickory blaze, and the fat old-fashioned kettle hung upon the old-fashioned crane, swinging and singing of oldfashioned abundance and good cheer. I behold the Madras turban, the white neckerchief crossed over the bosom, the clumsy steel-bowed spectacles, the check apron, and the old-fashioned love that is forever new. But they never come again.

That kitchen was my hospital and my

school, — as much better than the whole round of select academies and classical institutes that my father tried, and that tried me, as check aprons and love are more inculcating than canes and quarterly bills; and however it may be with my head, my heart never has forgotten the lessons I learned there. Thither, on the nipping nights of winter, brought I my small fingers and toes, numbed and aching with snow-balling and skating, to be tenderly rubbed before the fire, or fondly folded in the motherly apron. Thither brought I an extensive and various assortment of splinters and fresh cuts; thither my impervious nose, to be lubricated with goose-grease, or my swollen angry tonsils ("waxen kernels," Aunt Judy called them), to be mollified with volatile liniment.

It was here that my own free mind, uncompelled by pedagogues and unallured by prizes, first achieved a whole chapter in the Bible. Cook and laundress and chambermaid were out for the evening; the table had been cleared and covered with the fresh white cloth; and I. perched on Aunt Judy's lap at the end next the fireplace, glided featly over the short words, plunged pluckily through the long, (braced, as it were, against the superior education and the spectacles behind me,) of the first chapter of the Gospel according to St. John, from the Word that was in the beginning, to the Hereafter of the glorified Son of man. After which so large performance for so small a boy, we rerefreshed ourselves with that cheerful hymn, in which Dr. Watts lyrically disposes of the questions,

"And must this body die,
This mortal frame decay?
And must these active limbs of mine
Lie mouldering in the clay?"

For so infantile a heart, my darling old mammy had a wonderful lack of active imagination, even in her religion; for there all was real and actual to her. Her pleasures of memory and her pleasures of hope were alike founded upon fact. Christ was as personal to her as her own rheumatic frame, and heaven as positive as her kitchen.

"Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed ".; - but for her, to believe and to see were one. So whatever imagination she may by nature have possessed seemed to have dwindled for lack of exercise: it was long since she had had any use for it. She had no folk-lore, no faculty of storytelling, only a veracious legend or two of our family, which she invariably related with an affidavit-like scrupulousness of circumstance. I cannot recollect that she ever once beguiled me with a mere nurse's tale. So when at that kitchen-table we read "The Pilgrim's Progress" together, we presented a curious entertainment for the student of intellectual processes, nurse and child arriving by diverse arguments of imagination at the same result of reality; she knowing that Sin was a burden, because she had borne it; I, because I had seen it in the picture strapped to Christian's back; she, that Despair was a giant, because he had often appalled her soul within her; I, because in a dream he had made me scream last night;-she, that Death was a river, because so many of her dear ones had gone over, and because on her clear days she could see the other shore; I, because, as I lay with my young cheek against her old heart, I could hear the beating of its waves.

Blessed indeed is the mother who is admitted to the sanctuary of her darling's secrets with the freedom with which Aunt Judy penetrated (was invited rather, with parted lips and sparkling eyes) to mine, - into whose sympathetic ear are poured, in all the dream-borne melody of the first songs of the heart, in all "the tender thought, the speechless pain" of its first violets, his earliest confessions, aspirations, loves, wrongs, troubles, triumphs. Well do I remember that day when, trembling, ghastly, faint, I fell in tears upon her neck, and poured into her bosom and basin the spasmodic story of My First Cigar! Well do I remember that night, when, bursting from the evening party in the parlor, and the thick red married lady in the thin blue VOL. XVIII. NO. 105.

6

tarletan, and all my raptures and my anguish, I flung myself into Aunt Judy's arms and acknowledged the soft corn of My First Love, raving at the fatal sandy-whiskered gulf that yawned between me and Mine thick blue Own One in the thin red tarletan!

Well do I remember though I was only seven times one-the panting exultation with which I flung into her lap the cheap colored print of the Tower of Babel (showing the hurly-burly of French bricklayers and Irish hod-carriers, and the grand row generally) that I had just won at school by correctly committing to memory, and publicly reciting, the whole of

"Almighty God, thy piercing eye

Strikes through the shades of night," etc. My first prize! The Tower of Babel fell untimely into the wash-tub, but she dried it on her warm bosom; and I have never forgotten that All our secret actions lie All open to His sight; though I have never seen the verses (they were in Comly's Spelling - Book) from that day to this.

In those days we had a youth of talent in the family, a sort of sophomorical boil, that the soap and sugar of indiscriminate adulation had drawn to a head of conceit. This youth bestowed a great deal of attention on a certain young woman of a classical turn of mind, who once had a longing to attend a fancy-ball as a sibyl. About the same time Sophomore missed the first volume of his Potter's "Antiquities of Greece"; and, having searched for it in vain, made up his mind that I had presented it as a keepsake, together with a lock of my hair and a cent's worth of pea-nut taffy, to the head girl. of the infant class at my Sunday school. So Sophomore, being in morals a pedant and in intellect a bully, accused: me of appropriating the book, and of-fered me a dollar if I would restore it: to him. With swelling heart and quivering lip I carried the wanton insult — my first great wrong - straight to Aunt Judy, who, in her mild way, resented it: as a personal outrage to her own feelings, and tried to soothe and console.

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