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Page 332


It is a simple story, possessing moderate interest,
of an every-day life. Things of a stranger character
than these described are happening all the time, and a
writer need scarcely draw on fancy for his incidents,
when there are realities enough about him, made to his
hand. The chief character is no “Don” or “Lord;” but
a plain man, born of plain parents, and destined for the
same plain duties and struggles that await all who are
born outside the pale of luxurious plenty. James Trevor
was a quick-witted and ready youth, indifferently
honest, very ambitious, and passably good-looking; a
fair average character, as a boy, — prone to trade and
boyish speculation, in which he always came off best, —
selfish as boys almost always are, and enjoyed the reputation
of being “dreadful smart,” which old Jacob Trevor,
his father, was very proud to hear, seeing in the
promise of the title-page a richly-wrought book, as full
of good things as a Thanksgiving-day is of blessings.

Mr. Trevor was an old farmer in a back town in Massachusetts
— Sweetfern, I will call it, though there is
not a sprig of that fragrant herb within many miles of
it. He was well to do, as everybody said, though not
rich. His farm had come to him from his father, one of
the earliest settlers of Sweetfern, and was the most fertile
of any in the section where it was located. The land
was watered by a beautiful stream that flowed among


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the hills, which now serves as a power to turn the
wheels of thriving manufactories, but, at the time of
which I write, was deemed simply a manifestation of
the good-will of Providence towards the Trevors. The
Trevors were out in the Revolution, and James could
point to Bennington and Saratoga, in which his grandfather
and father both figured, or go away back into the
French war, where his grandfather was wounded in the
ambuscade at Fort Edward, at the time Colonel Williams
was killed.

When James Trevor was about sixteen years old,
his father informed him that he had procured him a
position in a store, in a town some miles away from
Sweetfern; which announcement he received with great
pleasure, as he had become weary of the monotony
of farm-life. The store was a new field for the
development of his budding genius, and he accepted
the position without any hesitation. The next week
saw him installed in the coveted situation. It was a
large country store, occupied by Edes & Co., the name
of which firm was blazoned on a wide, white sign, extending
along the whole front of the largest building in
the place; and, by the side of the door, on long strips
of black board, were painted the names of the various
articles sold there — molasses and muslin, tobacco and
tongues-and-sounds, crockery and crackers, Indian-meal
and indigo, hats and hay, calcined magnesia and calico,
and “other articles too numerous to mention,” as the
advertisement of the firm in the local paper expressed
it. It was said of Edes' plug-tobacco, by the farmers,
that he soaked it in a little brandy and a little molasses,
and it was as good as any they ever wanted to see.
Contented souls! they had not yet dreamed of the bliss
of silver-leaf.


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Thus, at sixteen, James Trevor found himself in business,
indentured, as was the custom in those days, to
learn the trade of a country storekeeper, with a quick
fortune and a life of dignified ease in perspective. He
dashed into the performance of his duties with all the
enthusiasm of a boy, and became very soon convinced
that on his individual efforts alone the existence of the
firm of Edes & Co. particularly depended. Mr. Edes
was an aristocrat, by nature, — a village aristocrat, one
of the meanest and most contemptible of that class,
who by a shrewd venture in early life had made a
large sum, with which he had embarked in trade, and
been very successful. Fortune, however, rather than
sagacity, had favored him. He had small intelligence,
and less feeling, and was most distinguished for the
tenacity with which he would hold on to a dollar when
he got it. He never lost a cent in his life, and never
gave away one until he had ciphered out its return
through some other channel. He was a strict attendant
upon church, and his whole household — consisting of
an only daughter, a half-sister, Mr. Merrow, the Co. of
his firm, who boarded with him, and James Trevor —
were expected to accompany him; which meant that
they must go — and they did.

Julia Edes, the daughter, was a delicate and pensive
child. Her mother had died when she was quite young,
and her father's half-sister, a maiden lady of forty, had
been installed mistress of the household, assuming to
herself the entire charge of the young heiress, a charge
which the unsympathetic father never interfered with.
The child's outward wants were all attended to, as was
her education; but it was a frosty atmosphere that
her shrinking nature had to develop itself in. The aunt,
though a kind woman, had no feeling in common with


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her own. Propriety of conduct was her only ideal of
human excellence, and work the ultimate of human
endeavor. She conceived every kind of pleasure to be
sin; and hence all of the promptings of the young
nature of her charge were checked by the hydrostatic
influences that weighed her down. The bounds of her
association with other children were meted out to her,
beyond which she dare not go; and constant surveillance
was held upon her conduct, that she might not be
led into any insubordinate mirth, that would trench on
the province of propriety. One ghastly skeleton stood
forever in her young path — the fear of offending; and,
though she loved her aunt, it was a love that was begloomed
by that estimable woman, who, like a good
many other estimable persons, placed herself between
her and the light of joy. She was named for her aunt,
and felt grateful for many attentions; but often, in the
midst of her tenderest reflections regarding her, the
thought would steal in and mar all, that she was a
slave, and that the poorest child that sported on the
village-green, or roamed in unrestrained freedom in the
fields and woods, was an enviable object.

At the time James Trevor came to reside with her
father, she was about fifteen years old. She was not
handsome, and there was a shyness and reserve about
her that rendered her anything but prepossessing. Her
pale, wan face was surmounted by very dark hair, that
hung in careless masses around her forehead. Her eyes
were black, and were almost all the time bent upon
the ground, except at moments when the utterance of a
fine sentiment, or a note of music, or a strange voice,
would attract her attention. One quick glance would
then betray her pleasure or her curiosity, instantly to
subside again into seeming indifference. Such she appeared


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to him when she first fell beneath his eye, and
he made up his mind that a union with his master's
daughter at least would form no part in his programme
of prospective greatness. Beyond merely looking at
her once or twice his interest did not extend; for
an introduction was not deemed essential. He was a
proper, smart-looking lad, of which it is presumed the
young lady took notice; for, after she had retired to
her chamber with her aunt, she remained for some time
very thoughtful, and then said,

“Aunt, don't you think the young man, down stairs,
very good-looking?”

“Child!” replied the aunt, with a tone of sternness
that turned the maiden's heart to stone, and her lips to
iron rigidity, “your question is highly improper.”

That was the end of the first lesson, so far as propriety
had anything to say about it; but, dashing
madly through her brain, came troops of bewildering
thoughts, that made her downy pillow a scene of wild
fancies. Love reared an idol before her, crowned with
beauty and grace. It smiled upon her, and pointed to
a vacant pedestal by its side, which, when she strove to
ascend it, crumbled to pieces; and, as she gazed, the
idol also faded away, the roses turned to thorns, and a
mocking laugh greeted her ears as she awoke. She
was glad the vision had passed, and felt provoked that
it had obtruded itself, unsolicited, especially because it
had not ended happily, as all dreams of love should,
agreeably to the rule of romance. James Trevor slept
soundly enough all night; for his was a mind not yet
capable of dreaming of anybody or anything but himself.

First meetings are always tender turning-points in a
story, wherein mutual love springs into life with the
glance of the eye or the pressure of the hand. But,


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from the very material fact that neither the glance of
the eye nor the pressure of the hand were exchanged,
I am denied the delightful task of describing any such
phenomenon. They met for some time as strangers,
never speaking a word, although glances were accidentally
exchanged by them at times, throwing both into
inexplicable confusion, as though they had done some
guilty thing in looking at each other.

It was on the second Sunday of James Trevor at the
Edes's, while on their way to meeting, that Mr. Edes, who
walked behind with Mr. Merrow, called his sister to his
side to speak to her upon some matter then uppermost
in his mind, leaving Julia, with whom she had been
walking, alone. By one of those strange accidents,
that happen with great opportuneness to draw people
together, as though there were some invisible master
of ceremonies engaged in an eccentric, though sensible,
mode of introduction, Julia's handkerchief was swept
out of her hand by a gust of wind that, with sportive
violence, rolled it over and over in the dirt, and bore it
along with great rudeness, depositing it at the feet of
James Trevor, who was walking along ahead of the
party, unmindful of anything that was transpiring. He
came near stepping upon the delicate fabric, but did
not; and, as it rolled over again, as if to take another
start, he reached down and seized it, somewhat as
though he were afraid of it, and, turning back, placed
it, with a low bow, in the young lady's hand. She
received it with a pleasant smile, and a “Thank you,”
that by its sweetness gave him a thrill of pleasure he
had never before experienced. He walked along by
her side, occasionally glancing at her through the corner
of his eye, and began to think she was very pretty;
her form, too, taking new grace in his fancy. He


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could n't say anything, however, though he made twenty
attempts to speak. He had ideas enough, but he could n't
think of them. At last, he mustered resolution to say,
“Miss Edes, I hope we shall be friends.” It was an
immense speech, and its tone was tender and manly,
too; and she replied, with charming frankness, “I hope
so, with all my heart; for I have very few friends.”
Her voice trembled as she said this, the tone of which
set him to thinking how fine it would be if she were
shut up in a castle, and were to wave her handkerchief
from some loophole, and he should see it, and should
rush in and kill a dragon or two, and the entire garrison
of men-at-arms, and set her free, and she should accept
him as her lover! The train of his thought here ran
off the track, as the aunt took her place by the side of
her niece, freezing James Trevor into his old position,
though he turned the sweet little sentence over in his
mind that had echoed his hope, and dwelt upon the
unhappiness conveyed in the remark that she had very
few friends.

This first day was the beginning of a more intimate
relation between the two. They met now as friends,
whenever they did meet, though the occasions were
rare. The keen eye of the aunt saw the impropriety
of their meeting alone, and she always was in the way
at such meetings. The restraint thus placed upon them
was a continued invitation to break through it; and
the catastrophe feared and guarded against transpired
through the excess of vigilance used for its prevention.
The boy and girl — now older, as two years had elapsed
since they had first met, and he had grown in manly
grace, and she in womanly development — had actually
fallen over ears in love. They had stolen many a march
on the old aunt, by letter, and by such blissful snatches


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of time as chance had favored them withal; and they
had found many. A low balcony that ran by her chamber
window admitted of many a meeting in the summer
nights, for your lover has ever been as spry as a cat. All
noticed the change in the fair Julia's manner, for she had
wonderfully improved. From the dull and moping girl,
she became lively and vivacious, and even “Old Propriety,”
as James Trevor profanely termed the aunt, admitted
that she had never known so wonderful a change.

Alas! that I must dash this beautiful scene to pieces,
and strew salt upon its ground, so that nothing shall
grow there more! But I am truthful in my narration,
and a reputation achieved by a long life of veracity
must not be endangered by any wrong statement. A
letter — O, that lovers should ever know how to write!
O, that they knew enough to avoid ink! O, that they
would write their tender missives in paregoric or
water! — directed to “Julia Edes,” appointing a meeting
on the balcony, fell into the hands of the aunt,
instead of the daughter. The night was dark, and the
youth, full of love and impatience, climbed upon the
balcony, where Julia awaited him. It was the wrong
Julia, though, and, as he clasped her in his arms, unaware
of the difference, in his impetuosity, and imprinted
a dozen kisses upon her lips, she brought him
a box upon his ear that almost knocked him down, saying,
at the same time,

“There, you sauce-box, take that!”

He had already taken it, and her remark seemed
superfluous, considering that fact. He mumbled out
some apology, and at that instant the window opened,
and Mr. Edes stepped out, having been attracted by his
sister's sharp voice.

“What 's the matter?” was his question. “Thieves?”


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“The matter!” said she, tartly. “O, nothing, nothing!
This youngster has presumed to make an appointment
to meet Julia here on the balcony, that 's all; and, as I
chose to take her place, I came very nigh being smothered
with kisses.”

“Young man,” said Mr. Edes, drawing himself up
from five feet eight to five feet eight and a half, “have
you presumed to take such liberties with my child and

“I have, sir,” said James, boldly; “and all that I
regret about it is that I made this mistake. I certainly
never should have taken such liberties with your sister,
had I seen who it was.”

“And have you no regrets to express at your mendacious
— mendacious — impropriety in presuming to
make an appointment with my daughter, sir?” said the
old man, sternly.

“No, sir,” he replied, frankly; “I could not help
loving her, as she loves me. We have told each other
so, whenever we could; and I have hoped that some
day, when I was a man, she would be my wife, with
your consent.”

“How improper!” said Miss Edes, holding up both
her hands.

“Well, young man,” continued Mr. Edes, “you can
be no longer a resident of my house; this presumption
divides us. I have a higher aim for my daughter, and
with the morning you will depart for your home.”

James clambered down from the balcony as heavily
as though two fifty-sixes had been thrust into his coat-pockets;
but it was really because his heart was so
heavy. He crawled away to his chamber, mortified and
chagrined, and then sat down and wrote Julia a letter,
vowing constancy, and swearing, in the approved style,


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that he would come back and marry her, when he had
won fortune, which he was sure to do. He sealed his
letter, and, stealing out, placed it beneath her door;
then, putting a few things together, he stepped lightly
down the stairs, and passed out of the house forever.
His path led by the store, the key of which he had in his
pocket. Recollecting some trifle that he wished to take
with him, he opened the door and went in. The old
store-dog growled fiercely as he entered, but, perceiving
who it was, he licked the hand held out to him, and
took his place upon the mat, where he had been sleeping,
satisfied that all was right.

A wicked spirit was near James Trevor as he stood
there, and whispered in his ear many tempting and
insidious words. “There is money in the safe, as you
know,” it said, “which you must have, in order to get
away. You have earned it,” the voice continued; “you
have not been half paid: take it. Revenge is sweet,
James Trevor, and you cannot touch the old hunks so
keenly as through his pocket.” Alas, for poor human
weakness and dull conscientiousness! the tempter won;
and, though a good spirit whispered “Julia,” the rustling
of the bank-notes he was handling drowned the
sound, and, pocketing a considerable sum of the money,
he passed out into the world, appeasing the little conscience
that troubled him with the assurance that he
would pay the amount, with interest, when he came back
rich. He threw the key of the store into a pond, and
struck across the fields in an opposite direction from
his home, to where a stage-road led to the seaboard.
He thought that they would not miss the money for
several days, and then, as he had left no traces of his
being in the store, that they would have no proof that
he had stolen it; and he reckoned rightly.


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The amount taken was part of a large sum reserved
to pay for an invoice of goods expected to arrive by
the slow wagons that plied between Campton and the
seaboard, and it was not missed until the package was
removed from the safe for conveyance, by the stage-driver,
to its destination. Confusion instantly prevailed,
when the loss was discovered. Mr. Edes raved in a
manner very severe, accusing everybody of a disposition
to swindle him; when some one, in order to vindicate
himself from so general a charge, asked if James
Trevor might not have taken it, as he had so very mysteriously
disappeared from the store, which disappearance
he and the other associate had vainly tried to
account for. The suggestion was made to Mr. Merrow,
who gladly received it, as he had latterly taken a repugnance
to the young man, on account of the interest
manifested in him by Julia, which his jealous instincts
had perceived, whose good graces he wished to secure
to himself. He immediately mentioned the suggestion
to Mr. Edes, who, admitting its reasonableness, became
more frantic, and at once sent a messenger to Sweetfern
to bring the fugitive back, as he conceived he had
taken that direction.

Great was the astonishment of old Mr. Trevor at the
tale the messenger told him of the disappearance of his
son, and his imputed dishonesty. It was a severe blow
to him, as his hope of his son's greatness had grown
with time. Now dishonor and shame were about to
descend upon a name that had long been respectable.
He went back to Campton with the messenger, and was
informed by Mr. Edes, in private, of the boy's presumption,
— he would not for many dollars have the fact
public, — and of the probability of his dishonesty.
There was, it is true, no positive proof that he had


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committed the crime, but he would advertise him through
the country, and have him brought back for trial. The
father saw all this through his fears, and compromised
the matter by supplying the missing amount. He sorrowfully
returned, with the reluctantly-admitted belief
that his son, for whom he had indulged such hope, was
a villain. He was a wanderer, he knew not where, and
there was no possibility of communicating with him, in
order to make an effort to save him, if he had not fallen

The letter that her departed lover had written
to Julia had not reached its destination, and the
poor girl knew not what had befallen him. His absence
alarmed her, and, in reply to the timid question
she asked her aunt regarding him, she was told that he
had stolen money from her father and run away. What
a blow was this for young love! But her faith in her
lover's honesty was strong, even though appearances
might be against him. Yet why should he have gone,
at all? and why should he not have told her that he
was going? The questions were very perplexing, and
the attempt to solve them wrought a fever of anxiety
in her mind, that brought with it the illness of body
that follows despair. It was long before she recovered,
and when restored to health her step had lost its
elasticity, and her eye the joyous fire that had characterized
it when reflecting the sunlight of requited love.
(I have submitted the close of the preceding sentence to
the criticism of those who have for twenty years been
accustomed to read love-stories, and they say that the
“sunlight of requited love” is good. Poor Julia!)

We left James Trevor on the road, waiting for the
stage-coach, with determination in his heart, and stolen
money in his pocket. Tender thoughts of Julia flitted


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through his mind, amid the whirl of conflicting emotions,
like the gleam of an angel's wing in the dun and smoke
of battle. For a moment he would feel like a scoundrel;
and then the tempter, who had never left him, would
whisper “Chicken-hearted milksop” in his ear, and suggest
that it was “only a loan.” About the time the
stage came along, he felt quieted, and mounted to the
top with something like cheerfulness in his manner. It
was a delightful morning in summer; the birds sang
from every bush, and universal nature seemed glowingly
alive with melody and bloom. A grateful coolness
filled the air, which flung incense abroad from
myriad censers, and the human soul, rightly attuned,
arose with the spirit of the morning in responsive praise.

There was on the outside of the stage, with James
Trevor, a rough and poor-looking man, whose cheerful
and pleasant face denoted a happy heart within. He
seemed fully alive to the beauty of the scene, and his
lips were constantly expressing the joy that filled him.

“How good men should strive to be,” he said, “in
view of the blessings the good Father sends!” He looked
at James, as he spoke, who, with a half-consciousness
that he could read his secret, faltered out a timid

“But, for all this blessing,” the rough man continued,
“which should bring us to our knees, we return nothing
but wrong-doing and baseness.”

James tried to look attentive and interested, while he
felt his heart beating very fast, and his conscience
sorely troubled.

“Man is the only thing in the universe,” the rough
man went on, “that is false to God. The flowers bloom,
the winds blow, the stars shine, the glorious sun warms


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and invigorates, and all are `good,' as when pronounced
thus in Eden; but man — strange perversity!”

The poor runaway could not resist the feeling that
had been coming upon him, and here bowed his head
with the deepest contrition. His companion observed
it, and, thinking James some boy grieved at leaving
home, strove to comfort him, by telling him that with
honesty and probity he might secure wealth and fame,
and return again to honor those from whom he had
sprung. But the counsel only added fuel to the fire.
That was a miserable day for him on the top of the
coach, and he was very glad when he arrived at his destination,
and pleased to be rid of one who, it seemed,
had either been especially sent to torment him, or as an
angel to warn him against future danger. He accepted
the latter signification, and, sitting down, wrote his
father the whole story of his love, and his indiscretion,
and his dishonesty, with the tale of his strange
conversion, returning the money, and begging forgiveness,
stating his determination to leave the country, and
never come back until he had made fortune enough to
claim his bride, and give her the position she was fitted
to grace. From this time he became a wanderer in
search of fortune.

There is a description of special Providence in the
affairs of men, termed Good-luck; and those favored with
it have but to will, and the slaves of good-luck, and all
the other slaves, instantly obey, as readily as did the
slaves of the lamp in the hands of Aladdin. Their touch
seems, Midas-like, to turn everything to gold. They
speak, and their words coin into guineas, or take the
form of bank-notes. They step, and whole territories
of real estate, never known before, spring into being.
They wave their hands, and mighty factories stand


Page 346
beside the subservient streams. The converse has
too many disagreeable associations of a personal character
to induce me to dwell upon it. James Trevor
was lucky. He had changed his name, and had found
his way to Hayti, where, in a few years, he acquired a
sufficient amount to justify his return to claim his bride,
from whom he had not heard since he left his country.
It was at the time when the fever of the revolution had
spread to the outer limit of the French jurisdiction, and
Hayti was in a great state of fermentation. The antagonism
of the blacks and whites was every day growing
more and more bitter. The whites, from an overweening
sense of their own superiority, did not deign
to conciliate, and James Trevor, who had become a
prominent man, less than any; for one who has only
the idea of achieving gain in his heart has small room
for humane considerations. The storm so long gathering
at last burst, and, just upon the eve of Trevor's
embarking for home, and when he had adjusted everything
for his departure, those violent scenes began,
which ended in the establishment of the Haytien republic,
and the subjugation of the whites. Every dollars of his
money was swept away, and, barely escaping with his
life, by the aid of a faithful slave, he was again cast
upon the world.

The sweet Julia of his boyish dreams still held place
in his affections; but he had taught himself to see her
only through a wordly mist of money and establishment,
and doubt of womanly constancy, that had grown
up within him in an atmosphere of intrigue and licentiousness,
caused him at times to entertain the possibility
that she had forgotten him; and these feelings, in
his hour of ruin, came upon him with a force to dispel
the half-formed resolution to return, while pride, that


Page 347
unsafe counsellor, recalled the promise he had made not
to return until he was rich. “I will keep my promise,”
he said to himself, and he did. There was no chance
of hearing from his native place, it being remote from
the seaboard, and, though he had at several times sent
letters to Julia and his father, by transient ships, to be
dropped into remote post-offices, those letters were
never received by those to whom they were sent.

Ten years more had passed over his head, and once
more fortune had smiled upon him. He had located
himself in Marseilles, and — O, treachery to love! — he
was about to marry. The gentle Julia, though not all
forgotten, had become the memory of a vision, seen in
the air some bright morning, that the sudden cloud had
obscured, or of an angel that appeared in some distant
reverie, impalpable and unsubstantial. The fascinating
glitter of a fashionable woman had captivated his senses
rather than won his heart, and he was about to marry
her — as thousands marry, most happy reader, who bind
that knot with their tongue that their teeth cannot untie,
to hold them in irredeemable wretchedness, as must
be the case where love sheds not its benediction — seeing
nothing beyond present aggrandizement or convenience.
He married, and the white image of Julia
floated out of his mind, as the angel of Peace flees the
scene where the demon of Discord asserts his claim for
supremacy. And thus we leave him, selfish, false, ungrateful
— to find his reward, perhaps!

The gentle Julia, in all these years, had proved true to
her first love, treasuring his memory with commendable
persistency, which must have been very refreshing to
witness. We know nothing like it in these latter seasons,
when constancy to a first lover depends oftener
upon the accident of never knowing a second one than


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upon a principle. The venerable aunt had died and
been buried according to the gravest and most approved
propriety, and mourned up to the expected shade. On
her death-bed she confessed to Julia the great wrong
she had done her, and produced the very letter James
Trevor had written the night of his departure, which
she had adroitly purloined, having suspected, from a
shrewd knowledge of human nature, that he would write
such a letter, and seen him from her own door deposit
it beneath her niece's. That letter breathed the most
ardent promises of constancy, and vows that he would
return to marry her in spite of “Old Propriety,” and
begging her to be true to him. The same old story!

She had been besieged by Merrow as soon as his rival
was out of the way, but was obdurate to all his entreaties,
and had uniformly refused to listen to the addresses
of any. Time found her an heiress of her father's property,
the old gentleman having paid the debt of nature
without a discount, which was considered a strange
departure from his usual mode of operations. The
business passed into the hands of Mr. Merrow, who had
married, and who became purchaser of the Edes mansion,
the daughter desiring to remove from a scene to
her so full of painful recollections. This she did, and,
with the strange and unaccountable caprice of woman's
character, chose to locate in the very city from which
her lover had taken his departure in quest of fortune.
She bought a residence there, and, with a single female
companion, spent her time in benevolent actions.

It is not a very pleasant part of a writer's duty to
kill off all the characters of his story before the dénouement,
though that plan is adopted sometimes by fictionists
when they wish to get troublesome people out of
the way. This veracious story, however, is that of a


Page 349
life, with a lapse of time that operates with subtle and
certain force upon human years, as most people know;
therefore they, at least, will not be surprised when we
gather old Jacob Trevor to his fathers, or mention that
he died at a good old age, the farm having been sold to
a cotton manufacturing company, and the money therefor
distributed among the heirs-at-law.

Few were living that could have recognized, in the
rich Mr. Merton, merchant, of Marseilles, the humble
boy, James Trevor, who had left the American hills
forty years before. He scarcely knew himself, and
scarcely wished to, for life to him had become identified
with foreign scenes and foreign circumstances, and the
money was all there for which he had sold himself. He
had, through correspondents in New York, learned of
his father's death, and he had also, by the same means,
learned of the departure of the Edes family from Campton.
His domestic life had been a stormy one. He
had no children, his wife was wildly extravagant, and
addicted to the prominent vices incident to some phases
of fashionable life, — gambling and wine-drinking, —
and the wealth that had come to him, under the domination
of good-luck, was in constant danger of being swept
from him by her excesses. Did he not have his reward?
At length, in a time of panic, the crash came, and, ruined
in health, commercial credit, and personal reputation,
James Trevor found himself a bankrupt. His wife left
him, and his wreck was complete.

But he was richer in ruin than when in his highest
state of opulence. It led him to think, and with thought
came repentance, and with repentance resolution. And,
as his feelings softened in the atmosphere of trial, the
good spirit came into his heart again, and, though years
of time and a further distance of estrangement had


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separated them, he thought of Julia Edes, and wept —
that ruined old man — like a child. He never was so
rich in his life as at that moment. His soul was coining
ingots of golden treasure, and laying it up in a heaven
of returning tenderness. To talk of earthly riches, in
comparison to this!

The ship-fever was raging among emigrants arrived
at the city where the “good Miss Edes,” as the poor
called her, resided, and early and late was she busy in
ministering to the wants of the sick and dying. The
hospitals were full, and nurses were hard to be procured;
so she herself went from ward to ward, alleviating, as
far as possible, the pain of the sufferers. Blessings followed
her wherever she went. One morning she was
told that a poor old man had been brought in during
the night, and there was no place for him. Every bed
was full, and room could not be found for more.

“Send him to my house,” said she; “he must not
suffer for this care;” and he was accordingly sent there
on a litter.

As soon as she had gone the round of her duty, she
returned to her home, and there, upon a comfortable
bed, she found the stranger. The fever had taken a
fearful hold upon his feeble system, and upon its
paroxysms delirium attended. She merely glanced at
him as he lay in his unconsciousness, his features disfigured
by the disease, and gave directions to the physician
who had accompanied her home to bestow on
him all needed attentions, and to procure a nurse for
him, whose duty she would for the present perform. He
went away, and left her alone with the sick man. The
sufferer muttered incoherently, as he lay with his eyes
shut. At length every faculty in her was absorbed by
a word he uttered. She did not breathe, but leaned


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over him, with all her senses acutely alive, to catch a
repetition of the sound.

“Julia!” he murmured, “dearest Julia, why will you
not come to me?”

She looked in the face so fearful with distemper, and
around the lips she saw the same smile that had beamed
upon her in the long years ago, never once forgotten;
and, kneeling down by the bedside, she bowed her head
upon her hands, while the tears — tears of pity and
love — flowed copiously, and cried aloud, from the fulness
of her heart, “Thank God! thank God!” The
doctor, on his return, found her thus. She had swooned
from excitement and exhaustion.

The life of the stranger was spared, and through the
long watches of his illness she never left his bedside.
Slowly he recovered, and his first inquiry was as to the
place where he found himself. He was told that he
was in the house of a friend, who would see that all his
wants were answered.

“Thanks — many thanks,” he said; “but I can make
no return for your kindness. I am a poor, ruined man,
and, though I recently could command everything, I am
now dependent upon charity for my very life.”

He lay still, but his proud spirit seemed to struggle
with the ignominy of dependence, and with a deep sigh
he fell asleep, — into one of those half-conscious sleeps
wherein the soul involuntarily reveals itself, and during
which she often heard her name taken upon the dreamer's
lips. But now a fearful storm was raging in his
mind, in which she heard more than she should have
heard of reënacted strife, of recrimination and retort,
and bitter taunt, and severe invective, and through it she
knew that James Trevor had proved false to his early
vows. But there came no anger with the thought.


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Her love for him was too pure for that; it sought his
good and happiness alone, irrespective of conditions.
As she listened to him, the storm in his mind subsided,
and, in the sweet tones of the olden time, again came
the beloved name —


She bent over him, and, taking his thin hand in hers,
looked down into his eyes as he awoke, and breathed
the name he had not for years heard —

“James Trevor!”

The tenderness and singularity of this scene surpass
all my powers of description. I could, having been
young myself, describe a meeting of young people
under such circumstances; but these were venerable
lovers, and it is not to be supposed that the rhapsody
of youth could have any part in the meeting. There
were doubtless a few kisses exchanged under the first impulse,
and then came the explanation of mutual fortunes,
tender reminiscences, and future prospects, which were
not very bright conjugally, provided they had been still
young, with an ugly French wife in the way. But the
heyday of their blood had grown tame, and a mellowed
and subdued affection had taken the place of that fiercer
passion which marked their early years. It was no
longer passion, and in the calmness of its sacred glow
they both found a healthy happiness. They lived in the
same house together for many years, agreeably to a
propriety that would have delighted Julia's aunt; but
his arm was her support, and her affectionate counsel
his encouragement in his new effort to be a better man.
And thus the Fortunes of a Life turned out.