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“Oh shame on men! devil with devil damn'd,
Firm concord holds: men only disagree
Of creatures rational, though under hope
Of heavenly grace: and God proclaiming peace,
Yet live in hatred, enmity, and strife.”


A calm observer who has scarcely lived half the
age of man, must look back with a smile at human
frailty, rather than with a harsher feeling upon the
subjects that have broken the world in which he has
lived, (be it a little or a great one,) into opposed and
contending parties. The stream for a while glides on
with an unbroken surface, a snag interposes, and the
waters divide, and fret, and foam around it till chance
or time sweep it away, when they again commingle,
and flow on in their natural unruffled union. This is
the common course of human passions. The subject
in dispute may be more or less dignified; the succession
to an empire, or to a few acres of sterile land;
the rival claims of candidates to the Presidency, or
competitors for a village clerkship; the choice of a
minister to England, or the minister of our parish; the
position of a capital city, or of an obscure meeting
house;[1] the excellence of a Catalini, or of a rustic
master of psalmody; a dogma in religion or politics;
in short anything, to which, as with the shield in the
fable, there are two sides.

Some who have lived to swell the choral song to
Adams and Jefferson, and blend their names in one


Page 10
harmonious peal, will remember when the one, in his
honest estimation, was a patriot hero, and the other
the arch enemy of his country. For myself, having
been bred, according to the strictest sect of my political
religion, a federalist, I regarded Mr. Jefferson,
(whom all but his severest enemies do not now deny,
to have been a calm, and at least well-intentioned
philosopher,) as embodying in his own person whatever
was impracticable, heretical and corrupt in politics,
religion and morals. Some impressions of my early
childhood which were connected with the subsequent
fate of obscure but interesting individuals, have preserved
a vivid recollection of those party strifes that
should now only be remembered to assuage the heat
of present controversies.

I was sent when a very young child, (I am not the
hero of my own story, my readers must therefore bear
with a little prefatory egotism,) to pass the summer in
a clergyman's family in Vermont, in a village which
I shall take the liberty to call Carrington. Whether
I was sent there for the advantage of a better school
than my own village afforded, or for the flattering
reason that governs the disposition of most younger
children in a large family, to be got out of the way,
the domestic archives do not reveal. Whatever was
the motive, I am indebted to the fact for some of the
most interesting recollections of my life. The first
absence from home is a period never forgotten, and
always vivid. How well do I remember the aspect
of that long, broad, and straight street that traversed
the village of Carrington, as it appeared to me when I
first entered it. The meeting house, with its tall,
grenadier looking steeple; the freshly painted school
house, the troop of shouting boys springing from its
portal; the neat white houses with Venetian blinds, and
pretty court-yards and gardens, the dwellings of the
physician, the lawyer, and the merchant, the modest
gentry of the place; and that, to my youthful vision,


Page 11
colossal piece of architecture, a staring flaming mansion,
(I afterwards learned that Squire Hayford was
its master,) with pilasters, pillars and piazzas, a balustrade,
cupola, and four chimneys! Even then I
turned my eyes from this chef-d'œuvre of rustic art
to the trees by the way side, whose topmost boughs
in their freshest green, (for summer was still in its
youth,) were flushed with the beams of the setting sun.
And I eagerly gazed at the parsonage which stood at
the extremity of the plain, flanked by an orchard of
scrawny neglected apple trees, its ill-proportioned form,
and obtrusive angles sheltered by the most ample
elm that ever unfolded its rich volume of boughs. A
willow there was too, I remember, that hung its tresses
over the old well-curb, for there Fanny Atwood and I
have cracked many a “last year's butternut,” sweeter
to us far than the freshest, most flavorous nuts of the
south, or any thing else would now be.

It is difficult, in our levelling and disenchanted days,
to recall the awe that thirty years ago the puritan
clergy of New England inspired in the minds of children.
Who is there bred in the land of the pilgrims,
that has not in his memory an immaculate personage,
tall or short but always erect, with a three-cornered
cocked hat, long blue yarn stockings drawn over the
knee, silver shoe buckles and a silver headed cane,
looking stern and unrelenting, as if he embodied the
terrors of the law? Who does not remember depressing
his voice and checking the “little footsteps that
lightly pressed the ground,” as he passed the minister's
house, the domain that seemed to him to shut out
all human sympathies, to stand between heaven and
earth, a certain purgatory, at least to all youthful sinners?

With such prepossessions I entered Dr. Atwood's
family. The Doctor himself was absent on some
pastoral duty when I arrived. I was soon put at my
ease by the hospitalities of his social family. How the


Page 12
prejudices of childhood melt away and disappear in
the first beam of kindness! A most kind and simple
hearted race were the Atwoods. Miss Sally, the oldest,
was housekeeper; a bountiful provider of “spring
,” cherry pies and gingerbread. Man and woman
too, and above all a child, is an eating animal. The
record of her culinary virtues remains long after every
other trace of good Miss Sally has faded from my
mind. The second sister was Miss Nancy, a “weakly
person” she was called, and truly was. I can see her
pale serious face now, in which sensibility to her own
ailments, and solicitude for those of her fellow mortals,
were singularly blended; her slender tall figure, as
she stood shaking that vial with contents so mysterious
to me, which she called her “mixture;” her hands all
veins and chords that seemed to have been made to
spread plasters. Miss Nancy, in poetic phrase, was
a “culler of simples.” She gathered herbs, (my friend
Fanny called them sickness,) for all the village, and
administered them too. She could tell with unerring
certainty when motherwort would kill, and boneset
would cure. Forgive me, gentle reader, (for Miss
Nancy could not,) if I have mistaken an alias for a
species. In brief, Miss Nancy was one of those prudent
apprehensive people peculiarly annoying to
children. Her memory was a treasure house of hair
breadth escapes and fatal accidents; and her eye, like
that of a speculator devouring the prices of stocks,
would fix upon that imaginative column in the newspapers
devoted to the enumeration of such fancy
articles as “caution to youths;” “fatal sport;” “hydrophobia!”
&c., &c. Malvina was the third daughter;
I knew little of her, for she was a lady of the shears,
and pursued her calling by keeping the even tenor of her
way through the neighbourhood, making “auld claiths
look amaist as weel's the new.” I should have said
that Malvina was among the few who would go through
life content with the sphere Providence had assigned


Page 13
her, without one craving from that “divinity that
stirs within;” limiting her ambition to pleasing the
little boys, and satisfying their mammas, and her desires
to her well-earned twenty-five cents per day.
But Malvina married and emigrated. Her husband
was, as I have heard, a disciple of Tom Paine, and
poor Melvina, who was only adequate to shape a sleeve
or collar, began to reason of “fate and free will,” foreknowledge
absolute; and afterwards, when she visited
her friends, she bewailed their irrational views,
wondered they could believe the Bible! and would
have enlightened them with that precious text-book,
the Age of Reason, had not Dr. Atwood consigned it
forthwith to an auto-de-fé.

The doctor, according to the common custom of New
England clergymen, who have an income of four or
five hundred dollars a year, had educated several sons
at college. One was a thriving attorney and counsellor
at law, in New York, and two others, (who closed the
account of the doctor's first marriage,) were keeping
school, and qualifying themselves for the learned professions.
The doctor in middle life, as it is by courtesy
called, but long after his sun had declined from its
meridian, had married a young and very pretty girl,
who, by all accounts, looked much beside her autumnal
consort, like a fresh blown rose attached to a stalk of
sere and yellow leaves. The human frailty the doctor
betrayed in his preference of this lamb of his flock
over certain quite mature candidates for his conjugal
favour, gave such scandal to his parish that the good
man was fain to leave Connecticut, the land of his
forefathers, and remove to Vermont, then called the
new state, where his domestic arrangements were
viewed with more indulgence. His wife, who seems
to have had no fault but that one which was mending
every day, died in the course of a few years, after
having augmented the doctor's wealth by the addition
of one child.


Page 14

This child was the gem of the family, and a gem of
“purest ray serene,” was my little friend Fanny. Fanny
Atwood! Writing her name, even at this distance
of time, makes my heart beat quicker. Affection has its
bright, its immortal names, that will live after the
trump of fame is a broken instrument, and the names
it has pealed over the world are with all forgotten
things. Perhaps I commit a mistake in making Fanny
Atwood the heroine of a story. It may be that like
those wild flowers she so much resembled, that are so
delicate and sweet in their native green wood, but so
fragile that they fade and droop as soon as they are exposed
to the eye of the sun, and appear spiritless and
insignificant when compared with the splendid belles of
the green-house, on which the art of the horticulturist
has been exhausted, so my little rustic favourite may
seem tame, and she and her fortunes be derided by the
fine ladies, if any such grace my humble tale with a
listening ear.

I have known those who have drank of the tainted
waters of a city till they confessed that the pure
element as it welled up from the green turf, or sparkled
in the crystal fountain of a mountain rock, was tasteless
and disagreeable! But I know those too, who, though
they have mastered the music of Rossini, have yet
ears and hearts for wood notes wild. Nature is too
strong for art, and those who are accustomed to the
refinements of artificial life, may look without a
“disdainful smile” on Fanny Atwood as she was when
I first saw her; as she continued, the picture of simplicity
and all loveable qualities. She had a little
round Hebe form. Her neck, chest, shoulders and
arms were the very beau ideal of a French dress
maker, so fair and fat; her hands were formed in the
most delicate mould, and dimpled as an infant's; her
hair was of the tinge between flaxen and brown; glossy
and wavy. Her mouth bore the signet of the sweet
and playful temper that bade defiance to all the


Page 15
curdling tendencies of life, it was certainly the fittest
organ for “words o' kindness” that could be formed.
She had a slight lisp; graceful enough in childhood,
but happily, as she grew up, it wore off. The line of
her nose was sufficiently Grecian to be called so by her
admirers, but her eyes, I am compelled to confess, even
while I yet feel their warm and gentle beam upon me,
were not according to the rule of beauty; they were
clear and bright as health and cheerfulness could make
them, but they lacked many shades of the violet, and
were smaller than the orthodox heroine dimensions.
If my bill of particulars fail to present the image of
my friend, let my readers embody health, good humour,
order, a disinterestedness, considerateness or mindfulness,
a quick sympathy with joy and sorrow, in the
image of a girl of nine years, and it cannot fail to
resemble Fanny Atwood. She would have been a
spoiled child, if unbounded love and indulgence could
have spoiled her; but she was like those fruits and
flowers which are only made more beautiful or flavorous
by the fervid rays of the sun. She sometimes tried
Miss Sally's patience by a too free dispensation of the
luxuries of her frugal pantry, and Miss Nancy's by
deriding her herb teas, even “that sovereignest thing
on earth,” her motherwort; and once, when in the act
of raising a dose of the panacea, the mixture, to her
lips, she let fall dose, vial and all; accidentally, no
doubt; but poor Miss Nancy! I think her nerves
never quite recovered the shock. However, these
offences were soon forgiven, and would have been, if
magnified a hundred fold, for in the touching language
of old Israel, Fanny “was the only child of her mother,
and her mother was dead.”

I was within a few months of Fanny's age when we
first met, and with the facility of childhood we became
friends in half an hour. She had presented me to her
two favourites, a terrier puppy and a black cat, between
whom she had so assiduously cultivated a friendship


Page 16
that she had converted their natural gall into honey,
and they coursed up and down the house together to
the infinite amusement of my friend, and the perpetual
annoyance of the elderly members of the family. Nothing
could better illustrate Fanny's power, than the
indulgence she obtained for these little pests. Miss
Sally prided herself on her discipline of animals, but
she was brought to wink at Fido's misdeeds, suffered
him to sleep all day by the winter's fire, and when she
once or twice resolutely ordered him out for the night,
she was persuaded by Fanny to get up out of her
warm bed and let him in. And the cat, though Miss
Nancy's aversion, fairly installed herself on a corner
of Fanny's chair, and was thrice a day fed from her

As I have said, Fanny and I made rapid progress in
our friendship. She had introduced me to her little
family of dolls, which were all patriotic, all of home
manufacture, and I had offered to her delighted vision
my compagnon de voyage a London doll; in our eyes,
the master piece of the arts. We were consulting
confidently on some matters touching our respective
families, when I heard the lumbering sound of the
doctor's chaise, and I felt a chill come over me like
that of poor Jack, the bean-climer of aspiring memory,
when seated at the giant's hearth, and chattering with
his lady, he first heard the homeward step of her redoubtable
lord and master. My prejudiees against the
clerical order were certainly not dispelled by my first
impressions of Doctor Atwood. He wore a thick set
foxy wig, cut by a semi-circular around the forehead.
His chin was not a freshly mown stubble field, for it
was Saturday, and the doctor shaved but once a week.
His figure was tall and corpulent, and altogether he
presented a lowering and most forbidding aspect to
one who had been accustomed to a more advanced
state of civilization than his person indicated. I had
retreated to the furthest corner of the room, dropped


Page 17
my head and hidden my doll in my handkerchief, when
Fanny, to my astonishment, dragging me into notice,
exclaimed in the most affectionate tone, “Oh, father,
how glad I am you have come! I wanted you to see
C—'s doll; she is the most perfect beauty! are you
not glad she's come?” Now meaning me, not the doll.

The doctor made no reply for a moment, and when
he did, he merely said, without a sign of courtesy or
even humanity, “How d'ye do, child, pretty well?”

“Father!” exclaimed Fanny in a tone which betrayed
her mortification and disappointment. I shrank away
to my seat, but Fanny remained hovering about the
place where her father stood, lost apparently in sullen
abstraction. The doctor sat down. Fanny seated
herself on his knee; I wondered she could. “How
funny your wig looks! father,” she said, “it's all
awry.” Then laughing, and giving it a fearless twirl,
she took a comb from the doctor's waistcoat pocket,
smoothed it down, threw her fat arms round his neck
and kissed him first on one cheek, then on the other,
saying, “you look quite handsome, now, father!”
Scanty as my literature was, a classical allusion occurred
to me; “Beauty and the Beast!” thought I, but
far would it have been from the nature of that Beast
to have been as dull to the caresses of Beauty as the
doctor seemed to Fanny's. She was evidently perplexed
by his apparent apathy; for a moment she laid
her cheek to his, then sprang from his knee and went
to a cupboard about ten inches square, made in the
chimney beside the fireplace, (an anomaly in architecture,
these puritan cupboards were,) and drew from it a
long pipe, filled, lighted, and put it in her father's lips.
He received it passively, smoked it with continued
unconsciousness, and when the tobacco was exhausted,
threw pipe and all out of the window. Fanny looked
at me and laughed, then suddenly changing to an
expression of solicitude, she leaned her elbow on the
doctor's knee, looked up in his face, and said in a


Page 18
voice that must penetrate to the heart, “what is the
matter, father?”

The doctor seemed suddenly to recover his faculties;
to come to himself, in common phrase, and with tears
gushing from his eyes, he said, “Fanny, my child,
poor Randolph's mother is dead.”

Dead, father! What will Randolph do?”

“Do, Fanny?” replied the doctor, brushing off his
tears, “why he will do his duty; no easy matter in the
poor boy's case.” The doctor then proceeded to relate
the scene he had just come from witnessing, and
which had melted one of the tenderest hearts that ever
was in a human frame, uncouth and repelling as that
frame was. The facts which will explain the doctor's
emotions are briefly these. There was a certain Squire
Hayford residing in Carrington, the proprietor of the
stately mansion we have noticed. He was a democrat,
according to the classification of that day, and one of
the most impassioned order. A democrat in theory,
but in his own little sphere as absolute a despot as ever
sat on a throne. He was the wealthiest man in Carrington,
owned most land, and had most ready money;
in short, he was the great man of the place, and, as
was happily said on another occasion, “the smallest of
his species.” Of all the men I ever met with he had
the most unfounded and absurd vanity. His opinions
were all prejudices, and in each and all of them he
held himself infallible. He was the centre of his
world, the sun of his system, which he divided into
concentric circles. Himself first, then his household,
his town, his county, his state, &c. Fortunately for
himself, he had adopted the popular side in politics,
and with a character that would have been particularly
odious to the sovereign people, he made himself an
oracle among them. This man had one child, a
daughter, a gentle and lovely woman as she was described
to me, who some fourteen years before my
story begins, had married a Mr. Gordon, from one


Page 19
of the Southern States. It was a clandestine marriage.
Squire Hayford having refused his consent, because Gordon
was a “southerner,” and he held all “southerners”
in utter contempt and aversion, and never graced them
with any other name than slave-drivers, with the
addition of such expletives as might give force to the
reproach. Gordon was a high spirited man and an
ardent lover, and he easily persuaded Miss Hayford to
escape from the unreasonable opposition of her father,
and transfer her allegiance to him. This was her first
disobedience, but disobedience to him was an unpardonable
sin in the squire's estimation, and he
permitted his only child to encounter the severest evils,
and languish through protracted sufferings, before he
manifested the slightest relenting. She lost several
children; she became a widow, was reduced to penury,
and sacrificed her health in one of our southern
cities, in an attempt to gain a livelihood as governess.
Her father then sent her a pitiful sum of money, and
information that a small house in Carrington, belonging
to him was vacant, and she might come and occupy it
if she would. The kindness was scanty, and the
manner of it churlish enough; but disease and penury
cut off all fastidiousness, and Mrs. Gordon returned to
Carrington with her only son Randolph.

Here she languished month after month. The bare
necessities of existence were indirectly supplied by her
father, but he never visited her, never spoke to her,
and, what affected her more deeply, he never noticed
her son, never betrayed a consciousness of his existence.

Adversity, if it does not sever the ties of nature,
multiplies and strengthens them. Never was there a
tenderer union than that which subsisted between
Randolph and his mother, and nothing could have
been more natural than Fanny's exclamation when told
of Mrs. Gordon's death, for it seemed as if the life of
parent and child were fed from the same fountain.


Page 20
As my readers are now acquainted with the relative
position of the parties, I shall give the doctor's account
to Fanny in his own words. “I left the chaise at Mrs.
Gordon's door, my child,” said he, “that Randolph
might take her to ride. They had ridden but a short
distance when she complained of faintness, and Randolph
turned back. She had fainted quite away just
as they stopped at their own door. There was a man
riding past; Randolph called to him for help. He
came and assisted in carrying the poor lady to her
bed. When she recovered her senses, she looked up
and saw the man; it was her father, Fanny!”

“Her father! what, that hateful old Squire Hayford?”

“Yes, my child. Providence brought him to her
threshold at the critical moment. When I called for
the chaise, I went in. I saw she was dying. Randolph
was bathing her head with camphor, and his
tears dropped on the pillow like rain. Her father
stood a little way from the bed. He looked pale and
his lip quivered. Ah, Fanny, my child, death takes
hold of the heart that nothing else will reach. When
Mrs. Gordon heard my step she looked up at me and
said, `I believe I am dying; pray with me once more
Dr. Atwood; pray that my father may forgive—that
—he—may—' and here her voice faltered, but she
looked at Randolph, and I understood her, and went
to prayer.”

“But, father, what did Squire Hayford do? you know
he swore a horrid oath last Independence that he
would never hear `Parson Fed[2] pray again.”'

“Yes, yes, Fanny, I remember, and he remembered
too, for he walked out of the door and stood in
the porch, but I took care to raise my voice so loud
that he could not help hearing me. The Lord assisted
me, my child; words came to me faster than I could
utter them; thoughts, but not my thoughts; words,


Page 21
but not of my choosing, for they pierced even my
own heart. When I had done, Squire Hayford came
in, walked straight to the bed, and said, `Mary, I
forgive you; I wish your troubles may be all at an end,
but I am not answerable for your past sufferings; I
told you what you must expect when you married that
southern beggar.”'

“Father,” exclaimed Fanny, “why did you not stop

“I did long to knock him down, Fanny, and I thought
Randolph would, for his black eyes flashed fire; but
oh, how quick they fell again when his mother looked
up like a dying saint as she was, and said, `Father,
let the past be past.”'

“`Well,' said he, `so I will; and as I am a man of
deeds and not of words, I promise you I will do well
by your boy; I will take him home, and he shall be
the same as a son to me, provided—”'

“Here he paused. I think she did not hear his last
word, for her face lighted up, she clasped her hands
and thanked God for crowning with such mercy
her dying hour; then she drew Randolph down to
her, kissed him, and said, `now, my son, I can die in
peace.' `But,' said her father, `you have not heard
me out, Mary. Randolph must give up the name of
Gordon for that of Hayford—”'

“Oh, father,” interrupted Fanny, “he did not, did he?”

“Let me finish, child. The poor lady at the thought
of her son giving up his dead father's name, heaved a
sigh so deep and heavy, that I feared her breath would
have gone with it. She looked at Randolph, but he
turned away his eye. `My dear child,' she said,
`it must be; it is hard for me to ask and you to do,
but it must be; speak Randolph, say you accept the

“Thus pressed, the poor boy spoke, and spoke out
his heart, `Do not ask me that, mother,' he said;
`give up my dear father's name! No, never, never!”'


Page 22

“`My child, you must, you will be destitute; without
a home, a friend, a morsel of bread.”'

“`I shall not be destitute, mother, I can work, and
is not Doctor Atwood my friend! and besides, mother,
I care not what becomes of me when you are gone.”'

“`But I do, my son; I cannot leave you so. Oh,
promise me, Randolph.”'

“`Do not ask me, mother; I cannot give up the
name I love and honour above all others, for that—'
I know not what the poor boy might have said, for his
mother stopped him. `Listen to me, my son,' she
said, `my breath is almost spent; you know how I
have been punished for one act of disobedience; how
much misery I brought on your dear father, on
all of us; you may repair my fault. Oh, give me
peace, promise to be faithful in your mother's place
to her father.”'

“`I will promise any thing, dear mother; I will do
any thing but take his name.”'

“`All is useless without that;' her voice sunk to a
whisper,—`dear, dear child,' she added, `it is my
last wish.' I saw her countenance was changing,
and I believe I said, `she is going,' and poor Randolph
cried out, `Mother, mother, I will do every
thing you ask—I promise—' a sweet smile spread
over her face. He laid his cheek to her's, she tried
to kiss him, but her lips never moved again, and in a
few moments, my dear Fanny, she was with the saints
in heaven.”

Fanny's tears had coursed down her cheeks as her
father had proceeded in his narration. Soon after I
heard her repeating to herself, “Randolph Hayford,
Randolph Hayford; I will never call him anything
but Randolph; but I suppose I shall not often have a
chance to call him anything. That cross old Squire
Hayford hates you so, father, he'll never let Randolph
come and see us; he'll never let him go anywhere
but to some dirty democrat's.”


Page 23

I now look back, almost unbelieving of my own
recollections, at the general diffusion of the political
prejudices of those times. No age nor sex was exempt
from them. They adhered to an old man to the very
threshold of another world, and they sometimes clouded
the serene heaven of such a mind as my friend Fanny

The rival parties in Carrington were so nearly
balanced, that each individual's weight was felt in the
scale. All qualities and relations were merged in the
political attribute. I have often heard, when the bell
tolled the knell of a departed neighbour, the most kind
hearted person say, “we” or “they have lost a vote!”
Good Doctor Atwood was as sturdy in his political as
in his religious faith. He had a vein of humanity like
my Uncle Toby's, that tempered his judgment in
individual cases, but in the abstract, I rather think he
believed that none but federalists and the orthodox,
according to the sound school of the Mathers and
Cottons, could enter the kingdom of heaven. With
this creed, with an ardent temperament that glowed
to the last hour of his life, and with the faculty of
expressing pithily what he felt strongly, and without
fear or awe of mortal man, he was, of course, loved
almost to idolatry by his own party, and hated in equal
measure by the rival faction.

I have said that the village street of Carrington
traversed a hill and plain. The democrats for the most
part occupied the hill. What an infected district it
then seemed to me! The federalists (alas! was it an
augury of their descending fortunes?) lived in the vale.
The most picturesque object in the village, and one as
touching to the sentimental observer as Sterne's dead
ass, was a superannuated horse; a poor commoner, who
picked up an honest living by the way side. His walk
was as regular as Edie Ochiltree's, or any other
licensed gaberlunzie's. He began in the morning, and
grazing along, he arrived about midday at the end of


Page 24
his tour, he then crossed the street and returned, now
and then resting his weary limbs in the shadow of a
tree planted by the way side. Thus sped his innocent
life. It was an edifying sight to see the patience and
satisfaction with which he gleaned his scanty portion
of the bounties of nature. Jacques would have moralized
on the spectacle. The children called him Clover,
why, I know not, unless it were an allusion to his
green old age. He was a great favourite with the little
urchins; the youngest among them were wont to
make their first equestrian essays on Clover's bare
back. My friend Fanny's gentle heart went out
towards him in the respect that waits on age. Many
a time have I known her to abstract a measure of oats
from the parson's frugal store, and set it under the elm
tree for Clover, and as she stood by him while he was
eating, patting and stroking him, he would look round
at her with an expression of mute gratitude and
fondness, that words could not have rendered more

Strange as it may seem, even poor Clover was
converted into a political instrument. This “innocent
beast and of a good conscience,” was made to supply
continual fuel to the inflammable passions of the fiery
politicians of Carrington. His sides were pasted over
with lampoons in which the rival factions vented their
wit or their malignity safe from personal responsibility,
for Clover could tell no tales. Thus he trudged from
the hill, a walking gazette, his ragged and grizzled
sides covered with these militant missives, and returned
bearing the responses of the valley, as unconscious of
his hostile burden, as the mail is of its portentous
contents. Sometimes, indeed, Clover carried that
which was more accordant with his kind and loving

As Fanny had predicted, after Randolph's removal
to the great house, his grandfather prohibited his visits
at Doctor Atwood's, but Fanny often met him in the


Page 25
lagging walk to school, berrying, nutting, and on all
neutral ground, and when they did not meet, they
maintained a continual correspondence by Clover. The
art was simple by which they secured their billetdoux
from the public eye, but it sufficed. The inside contained
the effusion of their hearts. The outside was
scribbled with some current political sarcasm or joke.
The initial letter of Randolph's superscription was
always F., Fanny's G., for she tenaciously adhered to
the name of Gordon. The communications were
attached by the corners to Clover. I found recently
among some forgotten papers one of Fanny's notes, and
childish as it is, I shall make no apology for inserting
it verbatim.

“Dear Randolph—I thank you a thousand times and
so does C—, for the gold eagles. There never was
anything in the world so beautiful, I do'nt believe.
They are far before the grown up ladies. We shall
certainly wear them to meeting next Sabbath, and fix
them so every body in the world can see them, and not
let the bow of ribbon fall down over them, as Miss
Clarke did last Sabbath, cause she has got that old
democrat, Doctor Star, for a sweetheart; but I managed
her nicely, Randolph. In prayer time when she did
not dare move, I whirled round the bow so the eagle
stood up bravely, and flashed right in Doctor Star's
eyes. I did not care so very much about having an
eagle for myself, (though I do now since you have
given it to me,) but I thought it very important for
C— to wear the federal badge, because her father is
a senator in Congress. Father is almost as pleased as
we are. I see Clover coming and I must make haste;
poor old fellow! I heard his tread when it stormed so
awfully last night, and I got father to put him up in our
stable. Was not he proper good? It was after prayers,
too, and his wig was off and his knee buckles out. There,
they all go out of Deacon Garfield's to read Clover's
papers. Good by, dear, dear Randolph.

F. A.”


Page 26

If my readers are inclined to smile at the defects of
my heroine's epistle, they must remember those were
not the days when girls studied Algebra, and read
Virgil in the original before they were ten years old.
Besides, I have not claimed for Fanny intellectual
brilliancy. The manifestations of her mind were
(where some bel esprits last look for it,) in the
conduct of her daily life.

But I am fondly lingering on the childhood of my
friend. I must resolutely pass over the multitude of
anecdotes that occur to me, to those incidents that are
sufficiently dignified for publication.

Eight years flowed on without working any other
change in the condition of my friends in Carrington
than is commonly effected by the passage of time.
Doctor Atwood continued his weekly ministrations,
varied only by a slight verbal alteration in his prayer.
During Mr. Adams's presidency, he implored the Lord
to continue to us rulers endued with the spirit of their
station. When Mr. Jefferson became chief magistrate,
he substituted “give” for continue. Miss Sally still
brewed and backed with her accustomed energy. Miss
Nancy by the too lavish consumption of her own
nostrums, had lost everything but her shadow. Squire
Hayford was more opinionated and insufferable than
ever. Poor old Clover was dead, and at Fanny's
request, had been honourably interred beneath the elm
tree, his favourite poste restante. Fanny had preserved
the distinctive traits of her childhood, and at seventeen,
was as good humoured, as simple, as lovely and, (as
more than one thought,) far more loveable than when
I first knew her.

The sad trials of Randolph's youth had early ripened
his character, and had given to it an energy and self-government
that he could have derived alone from the
discipline of such circumstances. The lofty spirit of
his father had fallen on him like the mantle of an
ascending prophet. His mother's concentrated tenderness


Page 27
had fostered his sensibility, and the influence of
her dying hour passed not away with the days of
mourning, but stamped his whole after life.

Who has ever lost a friend, without that feeling so
natural, that a painter of nature has put it into the
mouth of a man lamenting over a dead beast? “I am
sure thou hast been a merciful master to him,” said I.
“Alas!” said the mourner, “I thought so when he was
alive, but now that he is dead I think otherwise.”

The solution of this universal lamentation and just
suffering, must be found in the fact that the very best
fall far short of the goodness of which their Creator has
made them capable. It is in the spirit of expiation that
far more deference is paid to the wishes of the dead
than the living; and affectionate and devoted as
Randolph was to his mother, I doubt if she had lived,
that she ever could have persuaded him to the sacrifices
and efforts he made for her sake when she was dead.
He immediately assumed the name of Hayford, without
expressing a regret, even to Fanny; and accustomed as
he had been to the control alone of his gentle mother,
he submitted without a murmur to the petty and
irritating tyrannies of his grandfather. He suppressed
the expression of his opinions and surrendered his
strongest inclinations at the squire's command. Never
was there a case in which the sanctifying influence of
a pure motive was more apparent. The same deference
which Randolph paid to his relative, might have been
rendered by a sordid dependant, but then where would
have been that moral power which gave Randolph an
ascendancy even over the narrow and unperceiving
mind of his grandfather, and which achieved another
and a more honourable triumph.

A Mrs. Hunt, a widowed sister of the squire, presided
over the female department of his family. She was a
well intentioned woman, a meek and patient drudge,
who had been content to toil in his house year after
year, for the poorest of all compensations, presents;


Page 28
the common and wretched requital for the services of
relations. Mrs. Hunt had been sustained in her
endurance by a largess that now and then fell upon her
eldest son, and by the hope that ultimately her brother's
fortune would descend to her unportioned children.
This hope was suddenly blighted by his adoption of
Randolph; and Randolph, of course, became the object
of her dislike, and he daily suffered those annoyances
and discomforts which a woman always has in her
power to inflict. To these he opposed a respectful
deportment; a mindfulness of her convenience and
comfort, and a generous attention to her children,
which smoothed her rugged path, and all unused as
she was to such humanities, won her heart. It was
not long before the good woman found herself going
to him, whom she had regarded as her natural enemy,
for aid and sympathy in all her troubles.

If I am prosing, my readers must forgive me. It has
always seemed to me that we may get the most useful
lessons from those who are placed in circumstances
not uncommon, nor striking, but to which a parallel
may be found in every day's experience. It is a
common doctrine, but one not favourable to virtue, that
characters are formed by circumstances. If it be true,
my friend Randolph was a noble exception; his
character controlled circumstances; and, by the
best of all alchymy, he extracted wholesome food
out of the materials that might have been poison to

His boyish affection for Fanny Atwood had ripened
into the tenderest love, and was fully returned, without
my friend ever having endured the reserve and distrust
that are supposed to be necessary to the progress of
the passion. Trials their love had, but they came from
without. Dr. Atwood had heard the squire had said,
“the parson might try his best to get his heir for his
daughter Fanny; he'd never catch his heir, though he
caught Randolph!” The good doctor was a proud father,


Page 29
and a poor man, and, though it cost him many a
heartache, he shut his doors against Randolph.

Meanwhile, the squire's self complacency in Randolph
increased. The squire had the art of making
everybody's merit or demerit minister to this great
end of his being. He was proud of his talents, his
scholarship and his personal elegance, though his facsimile
resemblance to his father was so striking, that
the squire was never heard to speak of his appearance,
except to say, “what a crop of hair he has—just like
all the Hayfords!”

There was one peculiarity about Randolph, that puzzled
his grandfather. “The fellow is so inconsistent,”
said he to himself one day, after he had been reviewing
his account books; “when he has money of his own
earning, he pours it out like water; gave the widow
fifty dollars last week, but he seems as afraid of spending
my cash as if I exacted Jews' usury; quite contrary
to the old rule, `light come, light go.' I have footed
it right; eight years since Mary died—day after we
lost Martin's election by the parson's vote; can't be
mistaken; he's got through college, fitted for the law,
and I have paid out cash for him but ninety-nine
pounds, five shillings, and three pence, lawful! By
George! the widow's brood has cost me more in that
time. Ah! it's number one after all; is sure of it at
last, and that southern blood can't bear an obligation.
Trust me for seeing into a millstone. I can tell him
he'll have to wait; I feel as young as I did thirty years
ago; sound grinders—good pulse—steady gait. Ten
years to run up to three score, and ten may last to
eighty. Grandmother Brown lived to ninety and
upwards; why should not I? when I quit, am willing
Randolph, (wish his name was Silas,) should have it.
If it was not for that southern blood he'd be about the
likeliest of the Hayfords. All his obstinacy comes
from that `I'll not disobey you, sir, and even if I
would, Miss Atwood would not marry me without your


Page 30
consent; but be assured, sir, I shall never marry any
other!' `We'll see, my lord; while I can say nay,
you shall never marry that old aristocrat's daughter.
Just one-and-twenty now; guess you'll sing another
tune before you are twenty-five. Time to go up to
the printing office; wonder if we shall have another
Hampden this week—confounded smart fellow

Then looking at his watch and finding the happy
hour for country ennuyes, the hour for the mail and
daily lounge, had arrived, the squire sallied forth to
take his morning walk to the printing office, the village
reading room.

There was a weekly journal published in Carrington,
the “Star,” or “Sun,” I forget which, but certainly
the ascendant luminary of the democrat party. There
had appeared, recently, in this journal, a series of articles
written temperately, and with vigour and elegance,
on the safety of a popular government.

The writer advocated an unlimited trust in the
sanitive virtue of the people; he appeared familiar
with the history of the republics that had preceded
ours, and contended that there was no reason to infer
our danger from their brief existence. He maintained,
(and it will now perhaps be admitted with truth,) that
distrust of the people was the great error of the federalists;
that the prestiges of the old government still
hung about them, and that they were committing a
fatal mistake in applying old principles to a new
condition of things.

These articles were read, lauded and republished.
The name of the author was sought, but in vain.
Even the printer and editor, (I believe one individual
personated both these august characters,) were ignorant,
and could only guess that it was judge —, or lawyer
—, the lights of the state. But conjecture is not
certainty, and the author still remained the “great unknown,”


Page 31
not only of Carrington, but of the county
and state.

The squire returned from his morning lounge with
a fresh journal, containing a new article from Hampden,
the signature of the unknown author. A fresh
newspaper! Its vapour was as sweet a regale to the
little vulgar pug-nose of our village politician as the
dews of Helicon to the votaries of the muses. It so
happened that Randolph was sitting in the parlour,
reading, when the squire came in. “Have you seen
the paper, this morning, Randolph?” he asked.

“No; I have not.”

“I guess not, I have got the first that was struck off.
Another article from Hampden, I understand. He is
answered in the Boston Sentinel. They own he writes
`plausibly, ably and eloquently;' the d— speaks
truth for once. I guess the Boston chaps find their
match at last.” The squire had a habit not peculiar
to him, but rather annoying, of reading aloud a passage
that either pleased or displeased him, without any
regard to the occupations of those around him. His
comments, too, were always expressed aloud. He
drew out his spectacles and sat down to the paper.
His sister, Mrs. Hunt, was sewing in one corner of
the room, and Randolph sitting opposite to him, but
apparently absorbed in his book. “Too deuced cool,”
grumbled the squire, after reading the first passage.
“Ah, he warms in the harness; not up to the mark,
though; I wish he'd give 'em one of my pealers.”
“Good, good; wonder what the Centinel will say to
that. By George, capital! I could not have writ it
better. I would have put in more spice, though.”

“Ha! true as a prophet. Listen, Randolph.” The
squire then read aloud. “We are aware that prediction
is not argument, but we venture to prophesy that
in twenty years from this time the federal party will
have disappeared. The grandsire will have to explain
the turn—”


Page 32

Term, sir,” interposed Randolph.

“Yes, yes, term. The grandsire will have to explain
the term to the child at his knee. We shall be a nation
of republicans, and whenever—”

Wherever, sir.”

“So it is; wherever an American is found, at home
or aboard—”

Abroad, sir.” This time there was a slight infusion
of petulance in Randolph's tone, and still more in the
squire's at the repeated interruptions as he proceeded.

“At home or abroad, in office or out of it, in high
station or low, he will claim to be a Republican,
and cherish the title as the noblest and happiest a

Citizen, sir—noblest and happiest a citizen can

“Confound you, Randolph!” exclaimed the squire,
dropping the paper and fixing his eyes on his grandson;
“how do you know the words before I speak
them?” This was rather an exclamation of vexation
than suspicion. Randolph was conscious that in involuntarily
interposing to save his offspring from
murder he had risked a secret, and he answered the
squire's exclamation with a look of confusion that at
once flashed the truth upon his obtuse comprehension.
He jumped up, clapped Randolph on the shoulder,
exclaiming, “you wrote it yourself, you dog, you can't
deny it. It's a credit to you, a credit to the name.
But you might have known I should have found you
out. Just like all the Hayfords, keep every thing snug
till out it comes with a crack.”

“I thought all along,” meekly, said Mrs. Hunt,
who had been plying her needle unobserved and unobserving,
“I thought all along cousin Randolph wrote
them pieces.”

“Now shut up, widow,” retorted the squire, “you
did not think no such thing; just like all fore-thoughts,
come afterwards. Now, ma'am please to step out;


Page 33
I must have a little private conversation with Mr.

“Be kind enough before you go, aunt,” said Randolph,
“to promise me that you will say nothing of
what has just passed. I have made no admissions, and
I do not wish to be thought the writer of the Hampden

Mrs. Hunt, of course, promised fidelity. As soon
as she was out of hearing, “What does that mean?”
asked the squire. “It is all stuff to make a secret of
it any longer.'

“I think not, sir. The articles have far more reputation
and influence, (if I may believe they have
influence,) than if they were known to proceed from
a young man whose name has no authority.”

“Hoity-toity! who's got a better name than yours?
a'nt willing the Hayfords should have the credit, hey?”
Randolph did not vouchsafe any reply to the squire's
absurd mistake, and after a few moments his gratified
vanity regained its ascendancy.

“The pieces please me,” said he, “though if you
had told me you were writing them I could have given
you some hints that would have improved them. They
want a little more said about men, less of principles.
They want fire, too; egad, I'd send 'em red
hot bullets; but they'll do; you've come out like a
man, on the right side, and now I believe what I felt
scary about before.” Here the squire paused, and
fixed one of his most penetrating glances upon Randolph.
“I believe you will vote to-morrow, and vote
right.” Randolph made no reply.

A few words will here be necessary to explain the
dilemma in which Randolph was about to be placed.
The annual election of a representative to the state
legislature was to occur the next day. The rival
parties in Carrington were known to their champions
to be exactly balanced. There was not a doubtful vote
except Randolph Hayford's. He had never yet voted,


Page 34
not having till now arrived at the requisite age. He
had not thrown himself into the scale of either party.
His opinions were independent, and independently
expressed. The squire's hopes of his vote were very
much encouraged by the Hampden articles, but still
there were circumstances in this case that made him
somewhat apprehensive.

“Your vote,” resumed the squire, “will decide the
election to-morrow.” Again he paused, but without
receiving a reply. “I can't have much doubt which
way Hampden will vote, but I like to make all sure
and fast. Randolph, I know what scion you want to
see engrafted on that tree.” The squire pointed to
the only picture in his house, a family tree, that in a
huge black frame stretched its frightful branches over
the parlour fireplace. On these branches hung a regiment
of militia captains, majors, colonels, sundry
justices of the peace; precious fruit all, supported by
an illustrious trunk, a certain Sir Silas Hayford, who
flourished in the reign of Charles the First. Strange
and inconsistent as it may appear with his ultra
democracy, never was there a man prouder of his
ancestral dignities, or more anxious to have them
transmitted, than our village squire.

“Randolph,” he continued, assured of success by
the falling of Randolph's eye, and a certain half
pleased, half anxious expression that overspread his
face. “Randolph, I have always said that I never
would give my consent to your marriage with that old
aristocratic parson's daughter. But circumstances
alter cases. I am a man that hears to reason when I
approve of it. I have no fault to find with the girl;
never heard her speak; believe she's well enough.”
Randolph bit his lips. How hard it is to hear an idolized
object spoken of as if she were of the mass of humankind.
“To come to the point, Randolph,—if you'll
go forward to-morrow like a man, and give in your
vote for Martin and make Ross's scale kick the beam,


Page 35
I'll withdraw my opposition to this match. Hear me
out. I'll do more for you. I'm pleased with you,
Randolph. I've just received the money for my
Genesee lands. I'll give you two hundred pounds to
buy your law library, and you may go next week to
any town in the state you like, and open your office,
and be your own man, and take your girl there as soon
as you like.”

“Good Heaven!” exclaimed Randolph, “you can
offer nothing more; the world has nothing more to
tempt me.” And he left the room in a state of agitation
in which the squire had never before seen him.
The squire called after him,—“Take time to consider,
Randolph. To-morrow morning is time enough for
your answer.”

In the course of the evening, Randolph met Fanny
Atwood. Whether the meeting was accidental, I cannot
pretend to say. It would seem to have been
disobedience in my friend to have kept up her intercourse
with Randolph after the doctor had shut his
doors upon him. But Fanny well knew there was
nothing beside herself, the doctor loved so well as
Randolph; nothing that in his secret heart he so much
desired as to see them united, and that his resolute and
rather harsh procedure in excluding Randolph from
his house had been a sacrifice of his own inclinations
to his honest pride. This being the state of the
matter, it cannot appear strange that Fanny should be
willing to meet him when “with rosy blush,

Summer eve is sinking;
When on rills that softly gush,
Stars are softly winking;
When through boughs that knit the bower,
Moonlight gleams are stealing.”

Or at any of those times and places which nature's
and our poet have appointed to tell “Love's delightful

The lovers took a sequestered and favourite walk to


Page 36
a little waterfall at some distance from the village.
Here, surrounded by moonlight, the evening fragrance
and soft varying and playful shadows, they seated
themselves on the fallen trunk of a tree, one of their
accustomed haunts.

When they first met, Fanny had said, “So, Randolph,
your secret is out at last!”

“Out! is it?”

“Pshaw, you know it is. Your grandfather hinted
it at the post office, and the town is ringing with it.”

“I am sorry for it. I was aware that my grandfather
knew it, but I have seen nobody else to-day.
Has your father heard it, Fanny?”

“Yes; finding it was out, I told him myself. Dear
father! he both laughed and cried.”


“Yes; you know that is no uncommon thing for
him to do. He was grieved that you had come out
on the democratic side, for you know he thinks a
democrat next to an infidel; but then he was pleased
to find you could write such celebrated articles. He
has said all along that they had more sense and reason
in them than could be distilled from everything else
written by the democrats. Now he is amazed, he
says, that a boy, (you know he calls every one a boy
that is not forty,) should write so wisely, and above
all, so temperately.”

“Ah, my dear Fanny, adversity, though a `stern
and rugged nurse' she be, enforces a discipline that
makes us early wise. Heaven grant that her furnace
may not be heated so hot as to consume instead of

“What do you mean, Randolph? you are very sad
this evening. Are you not well? you are not troubled
about this secret. I thought you looked very pale;
what has happened to you?”

Randolph kissed the hand that Fanny in her earnestness
had lain on his. “My dearest Fanny,” he replied,


Page 37
“since you have exchanged those vows with me that
pledge us to `halve our sorrows as well as double our
joys,' you have condemned yourself to trials too severe
for your sweet and gentle spirit.”

“Randolph, if my spirit is sweet and gentle, it can
the better bear them; and besides, nothing can be a
very, very heavy trial that I share with you. But tell
me quick what it is? I am sure I shall think of some
way of getting rid of it.”

Randolph shook his head, and then related his
morning's conversation withhis grand father. “Now,”
he said, “you see the cruel predicament in which I am
placed. You, my beloved Fanny, the object of my
fondest hopes, all that makes life attractive and dear
to me, are placed within my grasp; an honourable
career is opened to me, escape from the galling thraldom
of my grandfather's house, from the perpetual
annoyance of his vulgarity, his garrulity, jealousy, and
petty tyrannies; and this, without the slightest deviation
in the spirit or even the letter from my promise
to my dying mother.” Randolph paused. Fanny
watched every motion of his countenance with breathless
expectation; she could not speak; she did not
know what remained to be said, but she “guessed and
feared.” He proceeded. “But the price, Fanny, the
price I am to pay for these ineffable blessings! I must
give my vote to an unprincipled demagogue, and withhold
it from an honest man. I must sacrifice the
principles that I have laid down to govern my conduct.
They may be stigmatized as juvenile, romantic, and
fantastical; as long as I believe them essential to integrity,
I cannot depart from them without a consciousness
of degradation. My moral sense is not
yet dimmed by the fumes of party, and it seems to
me as plain a proposition as any other, that we ought
only to support such men and such measures as are for
the good of the country, and the whole country. It
seems to me, that no man enlists under the banner of


Page 38
a party without some sacrifice of integrity. My grandfather
says to me, in his vulgar slang, `between two
stools you will fall to the ground.' Be it so. It will
be ground on which I can firmly plant my foot, and
look up to heaven with a consciousness that I have not
offended against that goodness that made me a citizen
of a country destined to be the greatest and happiest
the world ever saw, provided we are true to our political
duties. Dearest Fanny, do not think I am haranguing
and not feeling. God knows I have had a sore conflict;
my heart has been wrung. You cover your face.
Have I decided wrong?”

“Oh, no, no;” she replied in a voice broken by her
emotion. “For all the world, I would not that you
should have decided otherwise. And yet, is it not
very, very hard? I mean for you, Randolph. For
myself, I have a pleasant home, and I am happy enough
while I can see you every day, and be sure each day that
we love one another better than we did the last. Besides;”
she added, looking up with her sunny smile,
“on some accounts, it is best as it is; it would almost
break father's heart to part from me; and, as he says,
dear Randolph, when the right time comes, `Providence
will open a way for us.”'

“Then, Fanny, you approve my decision?”

“Approve it, Randolph! I do not seem proud,
perhaps; but it would humble me to the very dust to
have you think even of acting contrary to what you
believe to be right. Oh, if we could only live in a
world where it was all love and friendship and no

Randolph smiled at the simplicity of Fanny's wish,
and expressed, with all a lover's fervour, his admiration
of the instinctive rectitude of her mind. He confessed
that he had resolved and re-resolved his grandfather's
proposition, in the hope that he might hit upon some
mode of preserving his integrity and securing the bright
reward offered him, but in vain.


Page 39

Our lovers must be forgiven if they protracted their
walk long after the orthodox hour for barring a minister's
doors. My friend, still the “spoiled child,” found
her old sister Sally sitting up for her; and as they crept
up to their rooms, “They say old maids are cross,” said
Fanny, “but they don't know you who say so. You
remember, sister, when you used to love to walk by
moonlight, with a certain Mr. —?”

“Whish, nonsense, Fanny,” said our “nun demure,”
but she finished the ascent of the stairs with a lighter
step, and as Fanny kissed her for good night, she saw
that a slight blush had overspread her wan cheek at
the pleasurable recollections called up. So true is woman
to the instincts of her nature.

On the next morning, Randolph was absent, and
Mrs. Hunt said, in answer to his grandfather's inquiries,
that he had ridden to the next village on business,
and had left word that he should return in time for
the election. The squire was excessively elated. He
was on the point of obtaining a party triumph by the
casting vote of his grandson; he should exhibit him
for the first time in the democratic ranks, “enlisted for
the war,” with the new blown honours of Hampden
thick upon him. There are elevated points in every
man's life, and this morning was the Chimborazo of
the squire's.

At the appointed hour the rival parties assembled at
the meeting house; that being in most of our villages
the only building large enough to contain the voters of
the town, is, notwithstanding the temporary desecration,
used as a political arena. There the rival parties
met, as (with sorrow we confess it,) rival parties often
meet in our republic, like the hostile forces of belligerent
nations, as if they had no interest nor sentiment
in common.

The balloting began. Randolph had not arrived.
The squire, though not yet distrustful, began to fidget.
He had taken his station beside the ballot box; a station


Page 40
which, in spite of its violation of the courtesies if
not the principle of voting by ballot, is often occupied by
eager village politicians, for the purpose of peering into
the box, and detecting any little artifice by which an
individual may have endeavoured to conceal his vote.
Here stood the squire, turning his eyes from the door
where they eagerly glanced in quest of Randolph, to the
box, and giving a smile or scowl to every vote that was
dropped in. “What keeps the parson back?” thought
he, knitting his grisled brows, as he looked at Doctor
Atwood, “he is always the first to push forward.”
This was true. The doctor's principles kindly coincided
with his inclination in bringing him to the poll,
but once having “put in his mite,” as he said, “into the
good treasury,” he paid so much deference to his office,
as immediately to withdraw from the battle-field.

The doctor had controlling reasons for lingering on
this occasion. Fanny had acquainted him with Randolph's
determination. The old man was touched
with his young favourite's virtue, and the more (we
must forgive something to human infirmity,) that
Randolph's casting vote would decide the election in
favour of the federal party. The balloting was drawing
to a close, and still Randolph did not appear. The
doctor now fully participated the squire's uneasiness.
He took off his spectacles, wiped them over and over
again, and strained his eyes up the road by which
Randolph was to return. “It is not like him to flinch,”
thought the sturdy old man, “he is always up to the
mark.” Still, as the delay was prolonged his anxiety
increased. “Better have come boldly out on their side
than sneak off in this fashion. I might have known
that no one tainted with jacobinism could act an upright
manly part. He writes well, to be sure; fine
sentiments, but nothing so namby pamby as sentiment
that is not backed up by conduct. Well, well; we
are all in the hands of the Lord, and he may see fit yet
to turn his heart; poor little Fanny; I'll throw in my


Page 41
vote and go home to her.” The doctor gave one last
look through the window, and now, to his infinite joy,
he descried Randolph approaching. In a few moments
more he entered the church. His vote had been a
matter much debated and of vital interest to both parties.
As he entered, every eye turned towards him,
and a general murmur ran round the church. “He'll
vote for us!” and “he'll vote for us!” passed from
mouth to mouth, and as usual the confident assertions
were vouched by wagers. Whatever wrestlings with
himself Randolph might have had in secret he was too
manly to manifest his feelings to the public eye, and
he walked up the aisle with his customary manner,
revealing nothing by look or motion to the eager eyes
of his observers; though there was enough to daunt
or at least to fluster a man of common mettle, in the
well known sound of the doctor's footsteps, shuffling
after him, and in the aspect of the squire standing bolt
upright before him; confidence and exultation seeming
to elevate him a foot-above his ordinary stature.

“Ha,” thought he, “every man has his price; bait
your hook with a pretty girl, and you'll be sure to catch
these boys.” At this critical moment, Randolph dropped
in his vote. It was open, fairly exposed to the
squire's eye, and it bore in legible, indubitable characters,
the name of the Federal candidate. The doctor
involuntarily grasped his hand, and whispered, “You
have done your duty, my son, God bless you!”

Words cannot describe either the squire's amazement
or his wrath. Randolph had presumed too far when he
hoped that the decency due to a public meeting would
compel his relative to curb his passion, till reflection
should abate it. It burst forth in incoherent imprecations,
reproaches, and denunciations; and Randolph,
finding that his presence only served to swell the storm,

The votes were now counted, and notwithstanding
Randolph's vote, and, contrary to all expectation, there


Page 42
proved to be a tie. Some federalist had been recreant.
The balloting was repeated. Doctor Atwood had gone,
and the democratic candidate was elected by a majority
of one.

This unexpected good fortune turned the tide of the
squire's feelings. His individual chagrin was merged
in the triumph of his party. They adjourned to the
tavern to celebrate their victory in the usual mode of
celebrating events, by eating and drinking. Excitement
had its usual effects on our unethereal squire, and
he indulged his stimulated appetite somewhat beyond
the bounds of prudence.

Even the tiger is said to be comparatively good natured
on a full stomach. The squire's wrath was appeased
by the same natural means; and when Hampden
was toasted, he poured down a bumper, saying to his
next neighbour as he did so, “I might have known that
fellow with his nonsensical notions would have voted
for the man he thought best of.” The conviviality of
our politicians continued to a late hour. Libations
were poured out to all the bright champions of their
party. The moderns unfortunately swallow their libations.
Finally, the squire proposed a parting glass to
“the confusion and overthrow of all monarchists, aristocrats,
federalists, or despots, by whatever name
called,” and in the very act of raising it to his lips, he
was seized with an apoplexy, which, in spite of his
“sound grinders, full pulse, steady gait, and grandmother
Brown having lived to ninety,” carried him off in
the space of a few hours, leaving his whole estate, real
and personal, to his legal and sole heir, Randolph Hayford.

And how did Randolph bear this sudden reverse of
fortune in his favour? This verification, as it truly
seemed, of the doctor's prophecy, that “Providence
would open up a way for them.”

In the first place, he laid the axe to the root of the
Hayford tree, renouncing at once and for ever the name,


Page 43
(of which he had so religiously performed the duties,)
and resuming with pride and joy his honoured patronymic.
He then, by a formal deed of quit calm, relinquished
all right and title to the estate, real and personal,
and goods and chattels of Silas Hayford, Esquire, in
favour of Martha Hunt, said Silas's sister.

Thus emancipated, and absolved from all further
duties and obligations to the name of Hayford, with a
character improved and almost perfected by the exact
performance of self-denying and painful duties, he
began his professional career, depending solely on his
own talents and efforts; thank heaven, a sure dependence
in our favoured country.

My sweet friend, Fanny, who seemed to be the pet
of destiny, as well as of father, sisters, and friends, was
thus indulged in bearing the name of Gordon, to which
she so fondly adhered. She was soon transferred to
Randolph's new place of residence, and without breaking
her old father's heart by a separation. He having
rashly preached an ultra federal sermon on a fast day,
that widened the breach between himself and the majority
of his parish, so far, that it was impossible to close
it without emulating the deed of Curtius. To this the
good doctor had no mind, and just then most fortunately,
(we beg his pardon, his own word is best,)
“providentially” receiving a call to a vacant pulpit in
the place of Randolph's residence, he once more transferred
his home; spent his last days near his favourite
child, and at last, in the language of scripture, “fell
asleep” on her bosom.

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This fruitful subject of dispute has rent asunder many a village
society in New England.