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her husbands knewed that, and was proud of her; for she were a elegant manager, which they were n't, and have got a right nice property together.
«Now, unfort'nately there were another female in the family that had ambition for the same, and that were Sally Ann, Billy Lazenberry's wife. But there's a diff'unce betwixt wimming that have a head and know it, and them that think they have got a head and hain't, and that were the case with Sally Ann. Billy ner none the other children, married or not, never thought o' sich a thing as tryin' to hector over their ma. But Sally Ann, knowin' that Billy bein' a good-hearted fellow, and would n't quoil, she severial times ondertook to tell her ma-in-law she ought to do this and she ought n't to do that, and the old lady, fer Billy's sake, only thes smiled, and went on about her business same as if Sally Ann had n't opened her mouth. You onderstand, she see Sally Ann never have nigh the head she have herself, and 't were n't worth while to bother with her 'ithout the time come to use her to help fetch about anything she have made up her mind she want. And, shore enough, it did along o' them red ribbins and things I told you about. Sally Ann ought to have knew, like everybody else did, that the old lady were n't goin' to stay a widder providin' she could suit herself; for she were n't but forty-nine year old, and she were as perfect healthy and active as Sally Ann, every bit and grain, and as fer looks, she helt her own remarkable. She were never at no time what people called a great beauty, but she full made up by charecter and industr'ous and good managy, and special the good head she always carried about with her.»
Despite what then seemed to me the very far advanced age of the lady thus for the third time indulging herself in romantic speculations, my old friend's numerous words were more interesting to me than I could hope to make them to others by rehearsal. I must narrate in brief, therefore, some facts told by him in much fond detail.
For reasons sufficient in her own mind, Mrs. Billy Lazenberry decided that her mother-inlaw should not marry again if she could hinder it. Knowing this, the elder, on her part, decided to use her daughter-in-law in furtherance of her intentions general and special.
When the widow had put on what Mr. Pate styled her red ribbins and things,» marrying gentlemen began to surmise that, whatever else might be the result, she would not take offense at approaches in ways that were not
improperly urgent, and with words choicely persuasive. Among these was Mr. James Boze, a bachelor whom young people, for years, had been calling Uncle Jeems. Although a gentleman of some firmness of character and a reasonably good business man, he was slow in action, and modest to a degree that made him a favorite listener with those who much preferred their own to the conversation of others. He professed to be a lover of what he called the seck-seck,» even acknowledging an intensity of feeling occasionally, when in the presence of one specially attractive, that produced titillation in his nostrils leading to violent sneezing when he had no more sign of a cold than the most clear-headed among my readers at this minute. Embarrassment, soon degenerating into inanity, had heretofore kept him from making known the state of his feelings to any particular lady. Now, being about the age of the widow Lazenberry, or perhaps a year or so younger, he was generally believed to be one who might be counted out when marriage was the theme of conversation among the neighbors. A rather small man in the beginning, latterly he had seemed to age and dwindle rather fast for one of his years. He lived close, closer in the lapse of time and the fading away of romantic ideas and hopes. With both the late Lazenberrys he had been a good friend, and many a time at the Lazenberry table had he been joked with by the last for continuing to be an old bachelor. Repelling such a charge as well as he could, he thanked Mrs. Lazenberry, and always remembered her for coming to his support on such occasions by maintaining that the only reason why he had not married was that his time had n't come.
Now there may or there may not have been something peculiar in a look which Mr. Boze received from Mrs. Lazenberry on that Sunday at Long Creek meeting-house when she appeared first in colors. He indulged a small hope that there was; but he was not a man to presume upon such a thing. Yet there was noticed somewhat, if only a trifle, of brightening in his looks and dress, and a slight propensity to sneeze whenever the lady's name was mentioned in his hearing. In this simple society there were almost no secrets. If there had been, Mrs. Billy Lazenberry would have been apt to make early acquaintance with one as interesting as this. As it was, her motherin-law, far from indulging any motive of concealment, for reasons good and sufficient wished her to have knowledge of everything existing, and suspicion as far as possible beyond it. Mrs. Billy had laughingly been hav
ing a good deal to say about, as she expressed it, «old uncle Jeems Boze a-primping hisself here lately.» Something pointed seemed needful for the occasion; so one day, when Billy was at his mother's, she said to him, «Billy, Sally Ann have been a-ridiculin' of Jeems Boze right smart, and if you could git her to stop it, possible it might be jest as well
"Law, ma, I can't no more stop Sally Ann from sech as that than I can shet up all out o' doors. You know that, ma.»
«Yes, I know, my son. Pity but what you could. Sally Ann, exceptin' of ruther too much tongue, is a good woman and a excellent wife. Maybe if you'll try it again you'll have better luck. Because you know Jeems Boze is not a for'ard person, and sech as that might hurt his feelin's and discourage him, which nobody ought to want to make
Billy promised to undertake the task. «Now, my boy,» here said Mr. Pate in parenthesis, "there were where the old lady showed the head she had over Sally Ann. She knewed that when Billy begun on Sally Ann, it would turn her tongue perfect loose on Jeems Boze, and that's what she wanted done. And then she want to fling out to Billy in a affectionate, motherly way, so to prepar' his mind for what might be comin' onexpected-like.»
As was foreseen, Mrs. Billy, after report of the conversation, excited by this new view of the case, became more intent than before upon repressing Mr. Boze. She went about picking up all there was to be had against him, adding freely other things that in her opinion would be far more discreditable if they could only be found out. Mr. Boze,-most harmless and peace-loving of mankind, never having been in a quarrel of any sort in all his life, and timid, especially with regard to women,-looking upon all this as a warning, decided that it was most prudent for him to stop right where he was, get back amain into his old clothes, shave himself as before but once a week, and that only in spots, indifferent as to the number of gashes from an unstropped razor, and give it out that his health was bad, and he had no expectation or wish to live much longer. It is curious, when a man comes to be afraid of a woman, how intensely afraid he can get. At the bare mention of Mrs. Sally Ann Lazenberry's name Mr. Boze's countenance became utterly woe-begone, his small frame shrank yet smaller, and he trembled sensibly without, and more so within. It was actually pitiful how this humble, good
man wilted before the blasts of Mrs. Sally Ann Lazenberry.
When the widow had noted as much as was satisfactory of all this, she exclaimed:
« Aha!» and then added to herself, «Sally Ann is a conven'enter thing to have about sech a matter than a body might even want.»
The afternoon was far worn before the conclusion of this story. I often recall my old friend's interest, greater, evidently, because of the ripe ages of the lovers. Passing over his very many words in narrating the subsequent doings of the parties interested, I subjoin some remarks of the one most prompt and active in conducting them to a happy end.
One day, a fortnight or so after an event the excitement of which began to subside the sooner, perhaps, for being the third of its kind, this person, in answer to a neighbor's congratulations, among very many others, said the following words:
"I thanky, Mrs. Ivy. The longer a body live in this world, it seem like the bigger their expe'unce is bound to be. When I was a girl, of course, like other girls, I looked forrards, and when I got married, I done it accordin' to the Lord's app'intment, which I believe in the same in such cases as I believe in you a-settin' there. Well, 'Lihu Lazenberry he was a good husband, like he promised, but he died, leaving me a widder with three children. And after a while Isaac Lazenberry he overpersuaded me, not expected, and in the course of time Isaac Lazenberry went, and there I were again, with two more orphans. Now the 'Postle Paul, you know yourself, Mrs. Ivy, he writ that when a female person have lost her companion, it is perfect lawful for her to have another; and it seem like to me the 'Postle Paul give his advices freer to widders than young girls, being appearant ruther doubtful sometimes about young girls, but p'inted that widders better had. Had n't been so, I'd 'a' never took Isaac Lazenberry, and when Isaac Lazenberry went, it would n't been worth no man person's while to even name sech a subject to me, which I has no doubt, Mrs. Ivy, you were the same when Mr. Ivy come at you after your first husband died, a not doubtin' but what the 'Postle Paul knowed what he was a-talkin' about. Now, fact o' the business is, idees of the kind, after Isaac Lazenberry went, might of kept longer out of my mind had n't been for Sally Ann, that everybody know the fun'ril of Isaac Lazenberry were n't so very fur over when Sally Ann, thinkin' my business were her business, she begun to talk. Then I stuck on
the breast of my frock one little, lone, red ribbin, thes to let Sally Ann know that my business was a thing that I were goin' to tend to myself 'ithout a-askin' of her fer help. To tell the truth, I had n't been pesterin' my mind noways about Jeems Boze partic'lar. But when Jeems Boze got hisself some new clothes, and begun to hold hisself straighter, and look like he thought somethin' of hisself, and when I ketched his eye Sunday meetin's, lookin' at me friendly and wishful, and I let him see my feelin's were n't hurted by sech behavior, why, of course I begun to have that same flutterin' in my breast that a female can't keep herself from havin' sech a time and in them conditions, albe same like before it were not expected, and I begun to be a-waitin' to see what Jeems Boze were goin' to do about it.
<< But now Sally Ann she let her tongue go loose at both ends, as the sayin' is, against Jeems Boze to sech a scan'lous pitch that it skeert Jeems Boze, and made him drap back further than before in his bachelor ways, and he never come anigh me, and he tell people that it would n't be so very long before they'd find him at the p'int o' death. Now, don't you know, Mrs. Ivy, that sech as that made me feel sorry for Jeems Boze? Why, of course it was obleeged to. And then I put on more red, and I determined in my mind to thes kiver myself all over with red ruther than to let Sally Ann drive him to the insignificance she were appearant bent on. But you know, Mrs. Ivy, I never could ketch Jeems Boze's eye to let him understand my signs and feelin's, he were that skeert of Sally Ann. That made the yearnester the flutterin' I had fer him in my breast, and so one Sat'day night, when my Sam were startin' for his wife's house (she that were Jeems Boze's Judy), I told him to tell his Marse Jeems from me not to mind Sally Ann's talk, and that I had neither part ner lot in it. And when Sam came back a Monday mornin', he said the words made his Marse Jeems fa'rly jump out of his cheer; and next mornin' he got out his new clothes and put 'em on, and he shaved hisself nice and clean, and he told Sam if he did n't feel ruther skeert to do it, he 'd get on his horse and ride straight over here. And he told Sam to tell me to try to fetch back my mind, and see if I could n't ricollect tellin' him the reason why he had n't got married it were because his time had n't come. Did you ever see anything dilicater than that? And I made Sam go right straight back and tell him I ricollect perfect, and it seemed like to me the same as a marracle. And so,
not long after, here come a-ridin' up the lane nobody but Jeems Boze, a-suspicionin' of which I had already put on my best frock. And soon as he come in the house and shook hands, he trimbled and he sneezed and he set down awk'ard-like; and I were pleased in my mind to see his egzitement, because you know yourself it's the nature of a dilicate female, even if it have been twice before, to not seem like too willin' when a man person come at her on sech a arrant, and so he may feel ruther skeert and dubious, and not be holdin' his head up too high and bold. At first Jeems Boze were speechless till I handed him a tumbler of water with my own hands, and said I thought he looked uncommon well that mornin', which he did; then he peertened up, and-well-what followed, followed. And I sent for Billy and the girls that 's married; and they all acknowledged I have been a good mother to them, and that if I felt it were my juty to get married again, they were thankful in their mind it were as good a man as their Uncle Jeems Boze. Of course Sally Ann knocked under when she found she had it to do.»
She paused awhile, and then added with some pathos:
<< And why should n't she, Mrs. Ivy? What have I done to be found fault with by Sally Ann or anybody else? Is a widder, even a two-time widder, got nothin' else to do but thes set down or go about grievin' fer them that 's gone, and a-complainin' of the good Lord fer takin' of 'em? And ain't a widder, even if she ain't young as some, ain't she liable to get lonesome and to want company like other wimming? I know well as if I had heard 'em that some people laughed when the widder Lazenberry have got married a third time, and that to Jeems Boze, not expected. But sech as that don't faze, and is perfect idle wind to me and Jeems Boze, that if I ever see a happy man person and contented in his mind, as he acknowledge it hisself, it is Jeems Boze, that he solemn declare he were glad his time never come till it did; and as for kind and biddable and convenant man person for a woman to have about the house, and do what she want done, and not to do what she don't want done,-I say it bold, -I don't believe in my mind there 's anybody anywheres to beat Jeems Boze. And, oh, it's my hopes and my honest pra'rs that the good Lord may n't seemeth him meet to make me another widder. For, as you has the expe'unce to know yourself, Mrs. Ivy, it 's only them that has been one that know what the feelin's of it is.»>
«You see, my son,» Mr. Pate said, in conclusion, that courtin' and marryin' ain't a thing of people's age, ner of their been married before oncet or twicet and left singuil. I might add three times or four times; number o' times got nothin' to do with it. It's thes the natur' o' people to not want to live by their lone self, and when their pardner is took away from 'em, if they don't git another it ain't because they don't want to. And when you git old enough to study about sich things, if your mind have the strenkt to take 'em in, you'll see that them married wimming that busies theirselves the most strenious about widders a-marryin' ag'in is the very ones,
nine times in ten, to do the very same like ways theirself when their husbands drap off young or old, make no odds which, 'ithout they 're so old as to forgit or to not know what they do want. Time and tide waits for nobody. And if you do be too young to know it now, it's a fact that you never will hear a sensibler obserwation than what that call itself.
«You better go back to your ma now. She might git oneasy and be a-sendin' fer you. Spent that thrip I give you Chuesday? There, now, I knowed he had! Never mind. If both of us lives to his next birthday, he shall have another.»> Richard Malcolm Johnston.
NIGHT IN THE REDWOODS.
THE eyes that all day upward look to feast
On sloping boughs, nor yet at twilight ceased,
All still, save in the soul a breath, a call,
A thrill that holds the heart in solemn thrall;
One swelling pulse, one mighty undertone
God's voice down through the redwood branches blown.
WITH PICTURES BY IRVING R. WILES.
THE day had been very hot under the tall trees which everywhere embower and stifle Saratoga, for they shut out the air as well as the sun; and after tea (they still have an early dinner at all the hotels in Saratoga, and tea is the last meal of the day) I strolled over to the pretty Congress Park, in the hope of getting a breath of coolness there. Mrs. March preferred to take the chances on the veranda of our pleasant little hotel, where I left her with the other ladies, forty fanning like one, as they rocked to and fro under the roof lifted to the third story by those lofty shafts peculiar to the Saratoga architecture. As far as coolness was concerned I thought she was wise after I reached the park, for I found none of it there. I tried first a chair in the arabesque pavilion (I call it arabesque in despair; it might very well be Swiss; it is charming, at all events), and studied to deceive myself with the fresh-looking ebullition of the spring in the vast glass bowls your goblets are served from (people say it is pumped, and artificially aërated); but after a few moments this would not do, and I went out to a bench, of the rows beside the graveled walks. It was no better there; but I fancied it would be better on the little isle in the little lake, where the fountain was flinging a sheaf of spray into the dull air. This looked even cooler than the bubbling spring in the glass vases, and it sounded vastly cooler. There would be mosquitos there, of course, I admitted in the debate I had with myself before I decided to make experiment of the place, and the event proved me right. There were certainly some mosquitos in the Grecian temple
(if it is not a Turkish kiosk; perhaps we had better compromise, and call it a Grecian kiosk), which you reach by a foot-bridge from the mainland, and there was a damp in the air which might pass for coolness. There were three or four people standing vaguely about in the kiosk; but my idle mind fixed itself upon a young French-Canadian mother of low degree, who sat, with her small boy, on the verge of the pavement near the water. She scolded him in their parlance for having got himself so dirty, and then she smacked his poor, filthy little hands, with a frown of superior virtue, though I did not find her so very much cleaner herself. I cannot see children beaten without a heartache, and I continued to suffer for this small wretch even after he had avenged himself by eating a handful of peanut shells, which would be sure to disagree with him and make his mother more trouble. In fact, I experienced no relief till his mother, having spent her insensate passion, gathered him up with sufficient tenderness, and carried him away. Then, for the first time, I noticed a girl sitting in a chair just outside the kiosk, and showing a graceful young figure as she partly turned in it to look after the departing mother and child. When she turned again and glanced in my direction at the noise I made in placing my chair, I could see two things-that she had as much beauty as grace, and that she was disappointed in me. The latter fact did not wound me, for I felt its profound impersonality. I was not wrong in myself; I was simply wrong in being an elderly man with a gray beard instead of the handsome shape and phase of youth which her own young beauty had a right to in my place. I was not only not