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rain, even at mid-day, all is darkness and gloom.
The first visit to these mountains, of which any European record is preserved, was made in 1642, by Darby Field, an Irish emigrant, who had settled at Exeter, New-Hampshire. Possessing a roving disposition, and having heard the extravagant descriptions given by the natives of those mountains, whose glittering summits were the first objects he saw on nearing the coast, he persuaded two Indians to accompany him, and in June ascended their summits. His account, preserved by Winthrop in his annals, is somewhat extravagant, but nevertheless amusing. Field states that "the distance was about one hundred miles from Saco; that after forty miles travel, he did, for the most part, ascend; and, within twelve miles of the top, there was neither tree nor grass, but low ravines, which they went upon the top of sometimes; but that there was a continued ascent upon rocks, on a ridge between two valleys filled with snow, out of which came two branches of Saco river, which met at the foot of the hill, where was an Indian town of some two hundred people. Some of them accompanied him within eight miles of the top, but durst go no further, telling him that no Indian ever dared to go higher, and that he would die if he went; so they staid there till his return. His two Indians took courage by his example, and went with him. They went, divers times, through the thick clouds, for a good space; and, within four miles of the top, they had no clouds, but very cold. By the way, among the rocks, there were two ponds, one a blackish water, the other reddish. On the north side, there was such a precipice, as they could scarce discern to the bottom. They had neither cloud nor wind on the top, and moderate heat. All the country above him seemed a level, excepting here and there a hill rising above the rest, far beneath them."
The dread of the Indians at any attempts to penetrate the recesses of the mountains, is easily explained. A tradition prevailed among them, that a deluge once overspread the land, and destroyed every human being, except a single powaw and his wife, who found shelter in the pinnacles of Agiocohook, and thus preserved the race from annihilation. The fancy of the natives peopled this mountain with beings of a superior rank, who were invisible to the human eye, but sometimes indicated their presence by storms and tempests, which they were believed to control. The savages, therefore, never attempted to ascend the summit, deeming the effort to be full of peril, and success impossible. But they frequented the defiles and environs of the mountains, and of
course propagated many extravagant accounts of their appearance, and of the treasures they were supposed to conceal.
As before remarked, history has added nothing to the never-dying charm with which Nature has invested these mountains. Their date is from the Creation; their grandeur is primitive, reaching beyond all traditions of the earth. The magnificent pass, called the Noтcн, has indeed become a theatre of interest, not only for the demonstrations of Almighty Power there exhibited "in mountains cloven to their base," but on account of a terrific storm, which visited the mountains in 1826, pouring down their sides a deluge, which overwhelmed a whole family, then living in the Notch, a short distance from the romantic spot where the NOTCH HOUSE now stands.
THE SPARTAN MOTHER.
Save when the breeze came wandering there,
And though she even proudly smiled,
At my friend the squire's, when he lived in the country, I was a constant visitor; and for nothing was that pleasant hospitable house more remarkable, than for the eccentric animals that found their way into it, whether as guests or as servants. Of both classes, in the course of a very few years, there were several queer specimens. I laugh as I recall them to mind.
Delightful cottage, what joyous hours have rolled away there! Well content should I have been to have remained a welcome guest there for ever, if I could but have secured the privilege of dining as sparingly as I liked, and of taking just as few glasses of the old ale or the old port as suited me, rather than my friend. But with the old fashioned notions of hospitality prevalent there, the comfort of "enough" was out of the question. It was a word never used at the squire's table. If you desired to taste a second or a third dish, the good bountiful Mrs. N. sent you a second or third dinner; and not to eat all that was placed before you, though already long past the point where appetite and desire cease, was to break through every principle of their establishment, and violate all their simple ideas of etiquette and good breeding. If you left the remaining wing of a turkey, they would be wretched for the rest of the day-"You didn't like it," you were not comfortable." After a year or two, Mrs. N. did so far relax, and mingle mercy with her hospitality, as to say when placing two ribs of roast beef upon one's plate, "I hope if there's more than you wish for, that you won't scruple to leave it."
Consequences the most alarming sometimes ensued from this sense of the necessity of consuming whatsoever was placed before you by your host. A travelling acquaintance of the squire's (one Mr. Joseph Miller) paid him a visit one morning; and as he could not possibly stay one moment, and insisted upon not taking any refreshment at all, he was let off with a tankard of ale, and some of the finest cheese in the country. The traveller threw upward a look of despair as he saw about half a magnificient "Cheshire" introduced to his notice; but as time was precious, he went to work, and ate with vigour for half an hour, when the post-boy knocked to remind him of the necessity of completing that stage in a given time, or the journey would be fruitless. The answer returned was, that the traveller "would come as soon as he could ;" and at the cheese he went again with increased energy. Another thirty minutes elapsed, when he paused to gaze, with evident symptoms of exhaus
tion, on the semicircle of Cheshire, not yet visibly diminished; a second rap now summoned him, but his reply was an anxious, hopeless look, and the faint ejaculation "Wait!" The attack on the cheese was once more renewed, but by no means fiercely. Gad," cried the squire at last, "had I guessed you could ha' staid so long, we'd hastened dinner a bit." "So long!" exclaimed the traveller in a tone of despair; "let me tell you such a piece of cheese as that isn't to be got through with so quick as you think for!"
Another case, and a still more piteous one, was that of a young and simple damsel from a neighbouring county, who brought with her the established consciousness of the unpardonable rudeness of sending away any thing presented by the host. Accordingly one day at dinner, when cheese was sent round, and a plate containing several pieces was handed to the young lady, she presumed it to be meant for her, and as in duty bound, devoured the whole supply. It so happened that she did not visit at the squire's again for some considerable time; and then, when remonstrated with for not calling upon her friends at the farm, she said, "Well, I will call, I shall be delighted to dine with you again; but pray don't give me cheese!"
All who entered the farm seemed alike under the influence of one dreary and imperative necessity; that they must take whatever was offered them-which never failed to be too much. A French gentleman one evening underwent, with exemplary politeness, the martyrdom of drinking sixteen cups of tea, simply from not knowing that he was expected, when tired, to put the spoon in the cup. This at last he did by mere accident, or good Mrs. N. would have gone on pouring out for him all night, to her great felicity.
Never but once-only once-was that excellent lady convicted of a fit of moderation in the arrangements of her table, and that was when some acquaintances had been persuading her to transform a rustic into a page, and assuring her that thick pieces of bread at dinner were quite barbarous and vulgar. She did so far forget her original nature, as to decorate the boy with roley-poley buttons, to turn his Christian name of Colin into the surname of Collins, and to admonish him on the subject of bread, thus-" Collins, don't cut up so many loaves when we have Company at dinner; I don't like very small pieces, but then there shouldn't be too many; you should count heads; you must know how much bread will be wanted, and cut accordingly. Now mind!" Kind, hospitable dame, how was she punished for her
precaution! When the next dinner-party assembled, and a dozen persons had taken their seats at the table, Collins proceeded to hand the bread round, after the provincial fashion of twenty years ago; but by the time he reached his mistress, the last person of the dozen, the bread was gone. Collins," said she, in a low discreet whisper, 66 some bread, some more bread." Collin's whisper in reply was meant to be equally discreet, but it was more audible. "Please, ma'am, I did count heads, and cut twelve bits, but that 'ere gentleman has took two pieces!"
Collins, the page, was but the folly of a day; he speedily disappeared, and one Robin became his successor, who also was a victim to this spirit of innovation. He was a rustic of but one idea; which was to do whatever he was ordered as well as he could. If told to make haste, he would simply start off at the top of his speed; if told to fly, he would assuredly attempt with his arms and coat-flaps an imitation of the action of a bird, and fly as well as he was able. He understood all instructions literally; Robin had no imagination. To bring in everything upon a waiter, was an order he could easily comprehend; mistake was impossible. "Well, I declare!" cried Mrs. N. to some visitors one morning, "you haven't yet seen my pets;" (alluding to some pups that had just seen the light ;) "Robin, bring in the pets they are miracles." There was considerable delay, however, in the execution of this order. At last, however, when curiosity was at its height, and expectation on tiptoe, Robin did contrive, after a "to do" outside the door, to make a formal appearance with the pups, and to explain the delay thus, "Here be the pups, ma'am, only dang it, they won't keep on the waiter."
Where the squire picked up Robin's successor, I never understood. He never appeared to have " organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions;" he seemed to be simply a thing of clock-work. Never shall I forget his walking into the room one day, an hour after dinner, and fixing himself beside his master's chair while the squire was telling us one of his sporting stories, which were sometimes rather long, waiting patiently until the close for the signal to proceed, and then when the Squire had turned round leisurely to know what he wanted, saying in his slow tone, "When I went up stairs, sir, a little while ago, the house was a-fire! It's burning now."
But I ought to relate one more example of the manner in which the patience of the Squire's lady was tried, by the rusticity of her attendants, during the short season of her attempt to
elevate her household arrangements into something like fashionable dignity. One day, when the Squire had sent off, upon some frivolous errand, every servant in the house except cook and coachman, in dropped a very important visitor who proffered his company at dinner, to the consternation of the lady: hospitable as she was, she was in a dilemma; but it could not be helped. The services of the coachman were duly called into requisition to wait at table, greatly to his chagrin, for he detested the duty, and whenever he chanced to be called upon to perform it, was sure to find some means of letting all the room know that he did. He abhorred in-door work, and took a pride in proclaiming himself to be coachee. On this occasion, having some apple dumplings to bring in (vulgarities to which the Squire was considerably attached), the coachman, not qualified by daily practice for the duty, let some of them slip off the dish; but recovering himself, he contrived to balance the dish as he held it out, and to steady the rolling dumplings therein, with a "Who-o, whoo-oo, whut!" Neither the Squire nor his lady ever affected the gentilities" after this, or allowed their honest hearts to be disconcerted about trifles.
It was a few weeks after the surrender of the accomplished but unfortunate Burgoyne, that a youth in full regimentals might have been seen slowly pursuing his way over the ground where the battle was fought, yet singularly unmindful of the "wrecks of human glory lost” which he occasionally encountered in his path. His mind seemed to be carried away by some theme of more importance to him than the capture of generals or the revolution of empires. It was evident that a degree of unhappiness was mixed up with his contemplations, while doubt and anxiety sometimes contracted his brow and rendered his step unsteady. In one moment, he moved forward with rapidity like one anxious to arrive at the end of his journey, and in another he paused in his career as if fearful of too soon realizing the consummation of his thoughts. At length he reached the gently sloping side of a hill. The sun lay upon the green grass; the birds were hopping from branch to branch, while a few cattle strayed over the green, or stood listlessly chewing their cud by a neighbouring pond. He passed on until the umbrageous branches of a large tree canopied his head from the sun. Under this tree he paused, and looked around him with an air of anxious ex
pectation. After waiting several moments, in evident impatience he at length muttered-" she will not come-I am on a fool's errand."
"And if thine is a fool's errand, Frederick, what does thee say to mine?"
These words were uttered by a female voice close by, with that tone of joyous simplicity which indicates a tranquil mind, and a most provoking possession of that gaiety which loves to startle such gloomy soliloquies as Frederick was about to indulge. And scarcely were the words spoken, when his "bird of beauty," casting aside a veil, not of the modern loom, but of bright green leaves, fresh from the hand of Nature, behind which she had just secreted her arrival at their hill-side rendezvous, presented herself a maiden of much beauty, which did not, then at least, display the faultless sculpture of her figure in gaudiness of lace and cushioned attire, but in one of beautiful simplicity and grace, and every fold of which was eloquent of unstudied character. The beauty of her face was not aided by art, but glowed with that roseate tint of sylvan health and pure carnation which Diana must have taken from the beams of the morning, as they met her in the forest chase, while its expression was marked with just so much reserve, as nature, ever true in her laws, gives to ennoble by dignity, what she enamoured by loveliness.
"We have been concerned about thee, Frederick. We heard that thee was wounded in the battle."
"We!" cried Frederick-" how long shall it be we ?"
"I only meant myself and cousin," answered the other. “Surely Caroline may be permitted to feel an interest in thy welfare as well as myself."
"But not the same kind of interest as your
self, my adored Catharine. When will you cease this torturing ambiguity, and acknowledge that in your bosom I am without a rival ?"
Catharine was silent a moment, and then said, "I have met thee at this time, at thy particular request. The fine words and extravagant professions used by the world's people, make little impression upon us who have no alliance with the vanities of this life. I supposed thou hadst some new argument to advance-some solid reason to give
"So I have, cold and cruel girl," answered he. "I am going to leave the army, and shall deal no more in the trade of blood, as you think proper to call it !"
"As I think proper to call it !" cried she."Ah! Frederick, I fear thy heart is not convinced, whatever thy actions may be. No. Quit not the cause which thou deems so sacred,
to gratify a simple country maiden like myself. Follow the directions of thy own conscience, not mine. But is it true that thou wast hurt at the battle ?"
"Not by the enemy," answered the young officer, "but the impetuous Arnold, who, in the hour of battle, resembles a whirlwind, struck me with his sword in the heat of action. The wound was trifling, but I was deeply hurt in my feelings. After Burgoyne surrendered, I demanded an apology, and Arnold willingly accorded it. He said that if he had struck me, he did not know it at the time."
"That general appears to be a man of singular intrepidity," said Catharine.
"He is a thunderbolt of war," said Frederick, "but I do not altogether like him. He has done much for the country, and the victory of Saratoga is more owing to his prowess, than to the conduct of Gates; yet I cannot say that I am altogether pleased with him. But, to leave that subject; you seem very hard to please. The great fault in my conduct was my warlike habits, and when I talk of quitting them, you tell me to remain in the army!"
"I would not have thee quit the army to please me, nor measure thyself by my conscience. I should be pleased to see thy mind convinced of the unrighteousness of war; but until it is convinced, I would have thee continue to fight for thy country."
"I think I understand you," said the youth, taking her hand, "and may I not hope, that you, who are so liberal in your views, and feelings, will tolerate one, whose opinions on some subjects, may be different from your own."
"Frederick,” said the other seriously, "I am attached to the principles of our society. I am firmly convinced of their rectitude, and never can forsake them. How would it be possible for us to live happily together? Thou wouldst not be satisfied with the simplicity of my conduct; thou wouldst probably wish to wean me from my Quaker notions; and perhaps thou art, at this moment, flattering thyself that if once in thy power, the love which should be my husband's, would lead me to embrace thy opinions."
The young man turned away his eyes, and laughed like one whose thoughts had been detected.
"Now do you suppose," said he, "that I cannot be as tolerant as yourself? do you imagine that I would invade your peculiar principles? No! by heaven! you shall be as free as the winds-you shall continue to say thee and thou, and to attend your quarterly meetings
Stop, stop, not so fast," cried Catharine
the doors of our quarterly meetings, would be closed against me, as soon as our union became public."
This conversation was continued for some time. Frederick made use of every argument that he could devise; and what will not a handsome young officer effect, even with a quakeress? In this case, however, he only succeeded so far as to gain permission to see her father on the subject. In this, Catharine felt perfectly secure, as her father was a faithful follower of George Fox.
The youth and maiden parted. She went home; Frederick followed at a distance, until he came within sight of the comfortable mansion of Nathaniel Jackson. Even when seen at a distance, there seemed to be an air of quiet and composure about the mansion of the Friend. Frederick stood still a moment to contemplate the abode of serenity and of virtue. He felt as if the air of the camp would but ill agree with the atmosphere of the place whither he was bound. He had stood unmoved in the midst of men of authority-he had encountered the gaze of Washington himself, and his eye had not quailed; but now he almost trembled at the idea of meeting a simple Quaker. He strode forward until he reached the dooryard of the house. Here all was neatness and beauty. There were few gaudy flowers there, but the most modest of Flora's tribe looked out from among the green leaves, or peeped from the grass with an air of sweetness that was irresistible. The front door was open. The youth rapped; but no one came. He then ventured to peep into the first room, and was struck with the simple neatness of the furniture, and the perfect order of the most trifling arrangements. The clean brown hearth-the bunch of green in the fire-place-the clock in one corner, which seemed to be the sole companion of solitude-the antique bureau, with its mighty claws-and the books, with plain and simple binding, all conspired to impress the youth with sensations, both new and interesting. But a few days had passed away since he was struggling amid the heat and dust of a battle, and now he stood in the hall of a peaceful Quaker, where all was quietness and repose. Nay, more, he had come to seek fellowship with the people who resided here, to ask the hand of an only daughter. As yet, he stood unobserved, but soon a door opened, and a shy little girl shrunk back as she perceived a stranger in the entry. As the door opened, Frederick caught sight of the father of his Catharine. The old gentleman was sitting cross-legged in an adjoining apartment, and quietly perusing a book. He seemed to be about the middle height, and
rather portly: his hair was slightly silvered; and his full round face beamed with gentleness and good nature his dress was of a brownish colour, and of that peculiar pattern so well known as the distinguishing mark of Quakerism his lower garment, fitting tight and buttoned at the knee, with stockings drawn tightly over the limb, showed off his round, well-proportioned leg to great advantage. As the little girl had left the door half open, Frederick had a fine opportunity to make what discoveries he might, before entering upon his perilous task. The longer he gazed upon that open, and peaceful countenance, the more assurance he felt. He had already advanced one step forward, when the old gentleman caught sight of him. He instantly arose, and, laying aside his book, advanced to meet the stranger. "Mr. Jackson, I doubt not," said Frederick.
"Yes, yes, my name is Nathaniel Jackson, and thou art welcome to his house," replied the other briskly, and without evincing any ill-mannered surprise in his looks or gestures.
"Thank God, I have a gentleman to deal with," said he mentally, as the Quaker reached a chair.
"I have called to see you, Mr. Jackson, on a very delicate piece of business; and a subject which is to me of the highest importance." The other smiled, nodded, and appearing desirous of making the youth perfectly at his ease, said, "Thou art of the army, without doubt."
Yes, sir; I have that honour." tle host slightly coloured, but went on to make inquiries after several persons connected with military matters; and he also drew from Frederick a full history of the late battle. As the youth got warm with his subject, his eyes beamed with enthusiasm, his frame was agitated, and there, beneath that Quaker roof, did he bebetray all the military ardour that burned in his breast.
“We are a plain people," said Mr. Jackson, after the youth had concluded, "and, perhaps, thou may be a little surprised to know that I have heard of thee before, and that thy errand here is not altogether unknown to me. Where didst thou first fall in with my Catharine ?"
This was a fortunate question; and the young man was not slow in answering it.
"At a boarding-school," said he―" the building was on fire, and I rescued her from the flames. It was more than four years ago. We have met occasionally since."
"I know it-I know it," cried the Quaker, vanquishing his emotion as he recollected that awful night, when his only child came near being forever tern from his arms. "I know