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Page 219


“Oh, my home,
Mine own dear home.”

While Eliot was enjoying the doubtful advantage
of Sir Henry's hospitality, Herbert Linwood,
a fugitive in his native city, was seeking concealment
in his father's house. His ardent temperament,
which had plunged him into this perplexity,
did not qualify him to extricate himself from it.
So far from not giving to any “unproportioned
thought its act,” thought and action were simultaneous
with him. His whole career had shown
that discretion was no part of his valour. He
never foresaw danger till he was in to the very lips;
and, unfortunately, he manifested none of the facility
at getting out that he did at getting in. In
short, he was one of those reckless, precipitate,
vivacious, kind, and whole-hearted young fellows,
who are very dear and very troublesome to their

After leaving Sir Henry Clinton's, he turned
into a lane leading from Broadway to Broad-street,
and affording a side-entrance to his father's premises.
As he was about to turn into his father's


Page 220
gateway, he saw a man enter the lane from Broad-street,
and for once cautious, he continued his
walk. He fancied the stranger eyed him suspiciously.
As he turned into Broad-street the man
also turned into Broadway, and Herbert eagerly
retraced his steps; but as he entered his father's
gate he had the mortification to see the man repass
the upper corner of the street, and to believe
that he was observed by him. He was once more
on his father's premises. His heart throbbed. The
kitchen-door was half open, and through the aperture
he saw Rose, who he was sure would joyfully
admit him into the garrison if he could open a communication
with her; but there were obstacles in
the way. Jupiter, whom Isabella had warned him
not to trust, was, according to his custom of filling
up all the little interludes of life, eating at a side-table.
Beside him sat Mars on his hind-legs, patiently
waiting the chance mouthfuls that Jupe
threw to him. Mars was an old house-dog, an
enfant gaté, petted by all the family, and pampered
by Jupe. An acquaintance of Jupiter's had dropped
in for an afternoon's lounge; and Rose, who
had a natural antipathy to loungers of every degree,
was driving round with a broom in her hand, giving
with this staff of office the most expressive intimations
that his presence was unwelcome.

We must be permitted to interrupt our narrative,
and recede some nine or ten years, to record the
most remarkable circumstance in Rose's life. She


Page 221
was a slave, and most faithful and efficient. Slaves
at that period were almost the only servants in the
province of New-York; and Rose, in common
with many others, filled the office of nurse. Gifts
and favours of every description testified her owner's
sense of her value. On one memorable Newyear's
day, when Isabella was a child of eight
years, she presented Rose a changeable silk dress.
It was a fine affair, and Rose was pleased and

“Now,” said Isabella, “you are as grand and as
happy as any lady in the land—are you not, Rose?”

“Happy!” echoed Rose, her countenance changing;
“I may seem so; but since I came to a
thinking age, I never have had one happy hour or
minute, Miss Belle.”

“Oh, Rose, Rose! why not, for pity's sake?”

“I am a slave.

“Pshaw, Rosy, dear! is that all?—I thought
you was in earnest.” She perceived Rose was
indeed in earnest; and she added, in an expostulating
tone, “Are not papa and mamma ever so kind
to you? and do not Herbert and I love you next
best to them?”

“Yes, and that lightens the yoke; but still it is
a yoke, and it galls. I can be bought and sold
like the cattle. I would die to-morrow to be free
to-day. Oh, free breath is good—free breath is
good!” She uttered this with closed teeth and
tears rolling down her cheeks.


Page 222

Tears on Rose's cheeks! Isabella could not
resist them, and pouring down a shower from her
own bright eyes, she exclaimed, “You shall be
free, Rose,” and flew to appeal to her father. Her
father kissed her, called her “the best little girl in
the world,” and laughed at her suit.

“Rose is a fool,” he said; “she had reason to
complain when she lived with her old mistress,
who used to cuff her; but now she was free in
every thing but the name—far better off than nine
tenths of the people in the world.” This sophistry
silenced, but did not satisfy Isabella. The spirit
of truth and independence in her own mind responded
to the cravings of Rose's, and the thrilling
tone in which those words were spoken, “it
is a yoke, and it galls,” continued to ring in her

Soon after, a prize was promised in Isabella's
school for the best French scholar. She was sadly
behind-hand in the studies that require patient application;
and her father, who was proud of her
talents, was often vexed that she did not demonstrate
them to others. “Now, Belle,” he said,
“if you will but win this prize, I'll give you any
thing you'll ask of me.”

“Any thing, papa?”

“Yes—any thing.”

“You promise for fair, sir?”

“You gipsy! yes.”

“Then write it down, please; for I have heard


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you say, papa, that no bargain is good in law that
is not written down.”

Mr. Linwood wrote, signed, and sealed a fair
contract. Isabella set to work. The race was a
hard one. Her competitors were older than herself,
and farther advanced in the language; but a
mind like hers, with motive strong enough to call
forth all its energy, was unconquerable. Every
day and evening found her with increasing vigour
at her tasks. Her mother remonstrated, Herbert
teased and ridiculed, and Rose fretted. “What
signified it,” she asked, “for Miss Belle to waste
her rosy cheeks and pretty flesh over books, when,
without book-learning, she was ten times brighter
than other girls?” Still Isabella, hitherto a most
desultory creature in her habits, and quitting her
tasks at the slightest temptation, persevered like a
Newton; and like all great spirits, she shaped
destiny. The prize was hers.

“Now, Belle,” said her father, elated with the
compliments that poured in upon him, “I will fulfil
my part of the contract honourably, as you have
done yours. What shall it be, my child?”

“Rose's freedom, papa.”

“By Christopher Columbus (his favourite oath
when he was pleased), you shall have it; and in
half an hour you shall give her, with your own
hand, Belle, the deed of manumission.”

“Could we but find the right sort of stimulus,”
he afterward said to his wife, “we might make


Page 224
Belle a great scholar.” But the “right sort of
stimulus” was not easily found; and Isabella soon
recovered her “rosy cheeks and pretty flesh.” Her
mind fortunately resembled those rich soils, where
every chance sunbeam and passing shower brings
forth some beautiful production. Her schoolmates
studied, plodded, and wondered they did not know
half as much, and were never half as agreeable, as
Isabella Linwood. Human skill and labour can
do much, but Heaven's gifts are inimitable.

Rose's outward condition was in no wise changed,
but her mind was freed from galling shackles
by the restoration of her natural rights, and she
now enjoyed the voluntary service she rendered.

We return from our digression. Herbert perceived,
from a glance at the dramatis personæ that
occupied the scene, that it was no time for him to
enter; and slouching his cap over his face, he seated
himself on the door-step, and whittled a stick,
listening, with what patience he could muster, to
the colloquy within.

“'Pon my honour, Mr. Linwood” (the slaves
were in the habit of addressing one another by the
names or titles of their masters), “'pon my honour,
Mr. Linwood, you were in a 'dicament this
morning,” said Jupiter's friend.

“Just 'scaped with my life, gin'ral.”

“That's always safe,” muttered Rose, “that nobody
would cry for if it were lost.”

“That's not the case with Mr. Linwood,” resumed
the general, “for Miss Phillis, in patic'lar,


Page 225
turned as white as any lily when he stood by that
kicking horse.”

“It was a 'markable 'liv'rance, and I'll tell you
how it happened, only don't tell anybody but Miss
Phillis, with my 'spects. Just as Jennet had stopped
one bout of kicking, and was ready to begin
again, I heard an apparition of a voice crying out
`softly, softly Jennet, softly,' and 'pon my honour
she stood stock still, trembling like a leaf—do you
surmise who it was?”

“Miss Isabella, to be sure, you fool,” said Rose.

“No such ting, Rose, I was as calm as—”

“A scared turkey, Jupe.”

`I say I was as calm as them tongs, and there
was nobody near the horse but that rebel officer
when I heard the apparition. As true as you sit
there, general, it was Mr. Herbert's voice that
quieted Jennet. I'll lay the next news we hear
will be his death—poor 'guided young man!”

“'Tis a pity,” replied the believing general, “to
cut him off 'fore he's a shock of wheat; but then
the rebels must die first or last, as they desarve, for
trying to drive off the reg'lars. Pretty times we
should have in New-York if they were gone: no
balls, no races, no t'eatres, no music, no cast-off
rigimentals, for your lawyers and traders ant genteel
that way, Mr. Linwood.”

“Very true, gin'ral. Here's 'fusion to the
rebels!” and he passed his cup of cider to his


Page 226

“Now out on you, you lazy, slavish loons,”
cried Rose; “can't you see these men are raised
up to fight for freedom for more than themselves?
If the chain is broken at one end, the links will fall
apart sooner or later. When you see the sun on
the mountain-top, you may be sure it will shine
into the deepest valleys before long.”

“I s'pose what you mean, Rose, is, that all men
are going to be free. I heard Mr. Herbert say,
when he argied with master, that `all men were
born free and equal;' he might as well say, all
men were born white and tall; don't you say so,

“Be sure, Mr. Linwood, be sure. And I wonder
what good their freedom would do 'em. Freedom
ant horses and char'ots, tho' horses and
char'ots is freedom. Don't you own that, Miss

“He's a dog that loves his collar,” retorted Rose.

“Don't be 'fronted, Miss Rose. Tell me now,
don't you r'ally think it's Cain-like and ongenteel
for a son to fight 'gainst his begotten father, and
so on?”

“I would have every man fight on the Lord's
side,” replied Rose, “and that's every man for his
own rights.”

“La, Miss Rose, then what are them to do
what has not got any?” Rose apparently disdained
a reply to this argument, and the general interposed.


Page 227

“It may be well Mr. Herbert is gone, if he ant
dead and gone; for by what folks say, if the war
goes on, there won't be too much left for Miss

“`Folks say!”' growled Rose, “don't come
here, Mart, with any lies but your own.”

“Well, well, Miss Rose, I did not say noting.
I know Miss Isabella is sure to have a grander
fortin nor ever her father had, and that 'fore long
too—Jem Meredith tells me all about it.”

“That being the case, Rose,” said Jupe, “hand
us on a bit of butter. You are as close as if we
were in a 'sieged city.”

“Butter for you, you old cormorant! and butter
a dollar a pound! No, no; up, Jupe—out, out,
Mars—let me clear away.”

Rose was absolute in her authority. Jupiter
rose, and Mars crawled most unwillingly out at the
door. When there, the drowsy, surfeited animal
was suddenly electrified; he snuffed, wagged his
tail, barked, and ran in and out again. “What
does all this mean?” demanded Rose; and pushing
the door wide open, she espied a figure quietly
seated on the steps, repressing Mars, and whittling
with apparent unconcern. Now Rose, in common
with many energetic domestics, had the same
sort of antipathy to beggars that she had to moths
and vermin of every description, considering them
all equally marauders on the domicil.

“What are you doing here, you lazy varmint?


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pretty time of day for a great two-fisted fellow to
be lying over the door, littering the steps this
fashion. Fawning on a beggar, Mars! shame on
you! clear out, sir!”—and she gave a stroke with
her broom, so equally shared by the man and dog,
that it was not easy to say for which it was designed.
The dog yelped, the man sprang adroitly
on one side of the step, raised his cap, and looked
Rose in the face.

It was a Gorgon glance to Rose. For an instant
she was transfixed; and then recovering her
self-possession, she said, so as to appear to her
auditors within to be replying to a petition:—
“Hungry, are you?—well, well, go to the wash-house,
and I'll bring you some victuals—the hungry
must be fed.”

“That's what master calls sound doctrine, Rose,”
said Jupiter; “I hope you won't forget it before my

“You, you hound, you never fast long enough
to be hungry; but I'll remember you at supper-time
—I've some fresh pies in the pantry—if you'll
take the big kettle to be mended. Now is a good
time—Mart will lend you a hand.”

Both assented, and thus in a few moments were
disposed of; and Rose repaired to the wash-house
to embark her whole heart in Herbert's concerns,
provided her mind could be satisfied on some cardinal
points. After she had given vent to the first
burst of joy, something seemed to stick in Rose's


Page 229
throat—she hemmed, coughed, placed and displaced
the moveables about her, and then speaking out
her upright soul, she said, “you ant a deserter?”

“A deserter, Rose! I'd not look you in the
face if I were.”

“Nor a spy, Mr. Herbert?”

“Indeed, I am not, Rose.”

“Then,” she cried, striking the back of one hand
into the palm of the other, “then we'll go through
fire and water for you; but Miss Belle and I could
not raise our hands for spy or deserter, though he
were bone of her bone.”

These preliminaries settled, nothing was easier
than for Rose to sympathize fully with the imprudent
intensity of Herbert's longings to see his own
family. Nothing beyond present concealment was
to be thought of till a council could be held with
Isabella. Her injunction was obeyed, and Rose
immediately conducted Herbert to his own apartment.
On his way thither he caught through a
glass door a glimpse of his mother, who was alone,
employing some stolen moments in knitting for her
son;—stolen we say, for well beloved as he was,
she dared not even allude to him in his father's
presence. Mrs. Linwood was thoroughly imbued
with the conjugal orthodoxy, that

“Man was made for God,
Woman for God in him.”

She firmly believed that the husband ruled by divine


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right. She loved her son; but love was not
with her as with Isabella, like the cataract in its natural
state, free and resistless; but like the cataract
subdued by the art of man, controlled by his inventions,
and subserving his convenience. Such characters,
if not interesting, are safe, provided they
fall into good hands. Such as she was, her son
loved her tenderly, and found it hard to resist
flying to her arms; and he would actually have
done so when he saw her take up the measurestocking
lying in her lap and kiss it, and Rose said,
“It is yours,” but Rose held him back.

Every thing in his apartment had been preserved,
with scrupulous care, just as he had left it,
and all indicated that he was daily remembered.
There was nothing of the vault-like atmosphere
of a deserted room, no dust had accumulated on
the furniture. His books, his writing-materials,
his little toilet affairs, were as if he had left them
an hour before. Herbert had never felt more tenderly
than at this moment, surrounded by these
mute witnesses of domestic love, the sacrifice he
had made to his country. He was destined to feel
it more painfully.

Rose reappeared with the best refreshments of
her larder. “Times are changed, Mr. Herbert,”
she said, “since you used to butter your bread
both sides, and when you dropped it on the carpet
say, `The butter side is up, Rosy.' If the
war lasts much longer we shall have no buttered
side to our bread.”


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“How so, Rose? I thought you lived on the
fat of the land in the city. Heaven knows our
portion is lean enough.”

“Oh, Mr. Herbert, it takes a handful of money
now to buy one day's fare; and money is far from
being plentiful with your father, though I'd pull
out my tongue before I'd say so to any but your
father's son. There's little coming in from the
rents, when the empty houses of the rebels (as our
people call them) are to be had for nothing, or
next to nothing. They say the commandant does
take the rent for some, and give it to the poor;
which is like trying to cheat the devil by giving a
good name to a bad deed.”

“But, Rose, my father has property out of the

“Yes, Mr. Herbert; but the farms are on what's
called the neutral ground; and the tenants write
that what one side does not take, t'other does not
leave; and so between friends and foes it's all
Miss Isabella and I can do to keep the wheels
agoing. She has persuaded your father to dispose
of all the servants but Jupe and me—plague and
no profit were they always, as slaves always are.
There's no telling the twists and turns that she
and your mother makes that your father may see
no difference on the table, where he'd feel it most.
If he does, he's sure to curse the rebels; and that's
a dagger to them.”

“Rose, does my father never speak of me?”


Page 232

“Never, Mr. Herbert, never.”

“Nor my mother?”

Rose shook her head. “Not in your father's

“And my sister—is she afraid to speak my

“She!—the Lord forgive you, Mr. Herbert.
When did she ever fear to do what was right?
There's not a day she does not talk of you, though
your mother looks scared, and your father looks
black; but I mistrust he's pleased. I heard her
read to him out of a newspaper one day how General
Washington had sent your name in to Congress
as one of them that had done their duty handsome
at Stony Point or some of them places; and
she clapped her hands, and put her arms round
his neck, and said, with that voice of hers that's
sweeter than a flute, `Are you not proud of him?”'

“My noble sister!—what did he say, Rose?”

“Never a word with his lips; but he went out
of the room as if he'd been shot, his face speaking
plainer than words.”

“Oh, he'll forgive me!—I'm sure he will!” exclaimed
Herbert, his ardent feelings kindling at the
first light.

“Don't be too sartin, Mr. Herbert—will and
heart are at war; and will has been master so long
that I mistrust heart is weakest—if, indeed,” she
added, averting her eye, “you should join the


Page 233

“Ay, then the fatted calf would be killed for
me! No, Rose, I had rather die with my father's
curse upon me.”

“And better—better!—far better, Mr. Herbert:
your father's curse, if you don't desarve it, won't
cut in; but the curse of conscience is what can't
be borne. I must not stay here longer. If you
get tired sitting alone, you can sleep away the
time. The bed has fresh linen—I change it every
month, so it sha'n't get an old smell, and put them
in mind how long you've been gone.”

“After all,” thought Herbert, as the faithful
creature quitted the room, “I have never suffered
the worst of absence—the misery of being forgotten!”
But every solacing reflection was soon lost
in the anxieties that beset him. A light-hearted,
thoughtless youth, is like the bark that dances over
the waves when skies are cloudless, breezes light,
and tides favourable, but wants strength and ballast
for difficult straits and tempestuous weather.
“I have swamped myself completely,” thought
Herbert. “Eliot must inevitably leave me in the
city. It was selfish in me to expose him to censure—that
never occurred to me. Instead of getting
my father's forgiveness—a fond, foolish dream
—I stand a good chance, if Rose is right, of being
handed over to the tender mercies of Sir Henry
Clinton. And if I escape hanging here I am lost
with General Washington: imprudence and rashness
are sins of the first degree with him. Would


Page 234
to Heaven I could get out of this net as easily as
I ran into it! I always put the cart before the
horse—action before thought.”

With such meditations the time passed heavily;
and Herbert took refuge in Rose's advice, and
threw himself on the bed within the closely-drawn

We hope our sentimental readers will not abandon
him, when we confess that he soon fell into a
profound sleep, from which he did not awaken for
several hours. They must be agitating griefs that
overcome the strong tendencies of a vigorous constitution
to eating and sleeping. And besides, it
must be remembered in Herbert's favour, that the
preceding night had been one long fatiguing vigil.
Kind nature, pardon us for apologizing for thy gracious