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"Why, sir, mother and I have come to the conclusion that it is best we should leave the mansion, bidding you good-bye with more gratitude in our hearts for your kindness than our lips can express. Her health, you know, sir, is not very good."
"Well," said Trenchard, with a frown, "is this place sickly? just tell me that!"
"In truth, sir, there are other circumstances which forbid us to trespass longer upon your liberality."
Come, come, I reckon I understand all about it. Stephen has been here; he left in a towering passion, I'm sure, by his savage walk; he's been saying something to you that he ought not. Confound the rascal! I wouldn't give a dozen like him for one hair of your head. So now be cheerful and like yourself, and I'll cane him if he so much as speaks to you again."
"But really, uncle, I think it is best that we should leave."
"Hush, Lucy! you shan't go; you shan't talk about it; you shan't so much as think about it: so be quiet. But whose step was that? Here, Ichabod! Ichabod!"
"Who was it, Ichabod, that came in at the front door just now?"
"Marser Frank. He went right up to his room."
"Not Skinner, then? Ah, well! when Mr. Skinner comes back from Delviton watch out for him and tell him I want to see him about the wheat to be sown in the new field. | Do you understand?”
"Yes, sir; an' I reckon that's him now: I heard the little gate slam what leads to his house."
"Run then and head him; I'll go to the back piazza."
Thus speaking, the old man trudged away, and was not seen again by Mrs. Montgomery and her daughter till an hour afterwards, when they met him at the dinner-table along with the other member of that family of four, Francis Herbert. The latter was very pale, and spoke less than usual during the meal.
After the garniture of the table was removed, and the servant had left, they remained in their seats some moments according to custom, Colonel Trenchard glancing over the newspaper, and the others conversing. Presently he lifted up his eyes from the journal, and said in his blunt way:
"Frank, is it true, as I hear, that you have taken a horsewhipping in the village this morning?"
The two ladies started and bent their eyes instantly upon the youth. He too was startled by the sudden interrogatory; the crimson current rushed at once to his cheeks, which just before seemed bloodless, and he felt his heart throbbing in his throat. It was some moments before he answered; when he did speak, it was in a tone wonderfully calm:
"Yes, sir, I have received some blows of a whip from Mr. Randolph."
Well, the Herberts used to be a spunky breed; they must be changed a great sight since. I suppose, however, you are going to challenge him; but that's a poor business. Have no duels, but settle your quarrels, you youngsters, when your blood's warm and there's no sin in it. It is a pity indeed that you let the minute slip. I don't see what other course you have left open for yourself. It's wrong, though, very wrong; but Stephen's not a fellow to back out and ask pardon it's a pity-pity-pity."
"I agree with you, sir, that duels are sinful, and have no thought of challenging Randolph to one."
"The mischief you haven't! And what then will you do?"
"What can I do?"
Why, strike him back, to be sure.
In such "But, Mr. Trenchard, could you justified such an act upon the princi the New Testament?"
"Frank, God has made man to feel
"Pardon me, sir, for interrupting but Christ tells us to subdue such re ment-to hold it in check.”
"Well, if it is so, we are not perfec:. surely to kill a man in a sudden pass not like killing him in cold blood. I exactly the reason, as I said just now,... ́ duels are so wicked: they are more rank murders."
"But, Colonel, if you had ever kilai man in a quarrel, do you not think! wauld feel sorry about it afterwards!"
"I have known others, of whom I vot not have thought it, to become sorry, and is possible I might too."
"Well, sir, have you not also kn such persons to wish that any thing had h pened rather than that they should h another's blood upon them?"
a case, don't stop to think on which side the odds are, but jump right into the fellow. I have known many a little man stump a big one. When I was down in New-ment, and feel it most keenly at any Orleans, ten years ago, I happened to meet that wounds our honor; and theref a man who had been long before, and who accordinglyalways will be, more hateful to me than the old boy himself. He was much stouter than I, as well as a great deal heavier, but when I shook my fist in his face on the public street he dared not toe the mark. Well, shortly after I was taken down with the fever, which kept me two weeks; and the first day I tottered out, as thin as a ghost and hardly able to hold my own weight, this cowardly scoundrel took the chance to give me a cut with his whip, as Steve did you; but you may swear he didn't bestow me a second. I hadn't my knife, unfortunately, or I would have given it to him in the midriff; but I clapped my fingers around his throat and clinched them tighter than ever cooper hooped a flour barrel. The villain tripped me up in a hurry, for my legs were not as stiff as a peavine, but I held my grip; down we came together; he battered my face till the mother that bore me would not have known it. Still I held on, and he grew blue and gasped for breath; then he got his thumb "No, Frank; you were placed in a nece under my right eye and gave one twitch; Isity: a man with a gun in his hand who's winced my head, and the eye-ball slipped horsewhipped is under a necessity to shed from his clutch; the next instant his fingers blood." stretched out with a jerk, his fat carcass rolled upon its back, and I had no call to hang on longer. He was not dead, however, and afterwards revived to do more villainy. I believe in my heart he is anxious to kill me in the same way I made him suffer. It is Alexander Leach I mean, that hypocritical buffoon. But to return to the present business. I must allow that you would have had no chance whatever in a regular set-to with Steve Randolph, nor would anybody else have had, for he is as strong as Samson and has the spunk of Lucifer; but then you had a loaded gun." "And would you really prefer, sir, that I had now your nephew's blood upon my hands?"
'Yes; Hiram Messenger was just so." "Then, sir, if it is certain that if I ha killed Randolph I should have bitterly re gretted it, did I not right to refrain ?"
"But I was not in a necessity, for I did not shed blood."
"How did you escape from it, though! What! to stand still under a cowhiding like a slave! It could not be endured."
Yet, Colonel, as Christians we are bound not to slay except when our own life is in peril."
"Frank! Frank! I am not a member of the Church-you are. I could not act so: if you must, you should turn preacher, and then you would be safe.”
"I cannot perceive in myself," answered Herbert, "any special qualification for the sacred ministry, and I should scorn to fly to its protection out of cowardice."
"Be Quaker, then."
"Frank Herbert," said the Colonel, impa- | stepped lightly by, and she naturally cast a tiently, "it is not worth while to talk any glance within. The young man sat with his more. You are just graduated, and may head buried in his hands and leaning upon easily have too much logic for a plain old the table. She went on to her own room, man like me; but if you are sincere in your but in less than an hour came out again, doctrines, you of course have no regard in and walked so softly down the passage that such a case as this for the opinion of the a mouse would not have been startled by world. You are content to be despised and a footfall; when she was again opposite the ridiculed at every public gathering-at study, she laid her hand upon the latch, and every family fireside; to have the very boys with the same quietness that had marked all point their fingers at you as you pass, and, her movements, looked inside. There Herin ridiculous show, mimic the operation you bert still sat with his head enfolded in his have undergone; to hear some negro, after arms. She entered, touched his shoulder being punished for a petty theft in the way lightly, and said: in which negroes are punished, tell his com- "Frank!" panions with a grin, that he can 'stand a lashing 'most as well as Marser Herbert.' You can endure all this, eh?"
Herbert was pale as death, but made no reply.
"So you are quite pleased to be the object of disgust and contempt, or else of humiliating pity; to receive the vilest insults from every bully; to be jeered at, cuffed, kicked; to be avoided by every gentleman and loathed by every woman? All this you must bear, for it is the necessary portion of the coward-or of him, that is, who seems to be one."
These last words were spoken after a pause, by way of extenuation, for the old gentleman, in the energy of his application of the argumentum ad hominem, had not noticed the increasing emotion of poor Frank, who finally had burst into tears outright. Perceiving his rather awkward apology inadequate to counteract his previous rhetoric, he added soothingly:
"Never mind, Frank; you know me; don't take it hard, my boy. We were only talking, of course; you brought on the debate, so you ought not to mind it."
"Excuse me, sir," said Herbert, rising and hastily withdrawing.
There was silence when he left. Trenchard looked alternately at the young lady and the old one. Mrs. Montgomery murmured, "Poor fellow!" Lucy's eyes were directed to the floor, and the long lashes quite concealed their expression. The party then, by a common impulse, separated. Lucy proceeded to her chamber, and to reach it had to pass a pleasant little room which, in the abundance of apartments in that large mansion, had been appropriated by Herbert as a sort of study. The door was a-jar as she
He raised his head, and his lovely visitor perceived that his eyes were almost bloodshot, and that his cheeks showed the ravages of a scalding torrent of tears. "Ah, Lucy, is it you? Why come to look at me in my wretchedness?"
"Is it not reason enough, Frank, that you are wretched?"
"Alas!" he rejoined, "why do you remind me by your company that life has any thing attractive? Lucy, this world has never been an indulgent mother to me; now I am bitterly taught how utterly worthless and intolerable it is. What do I live for? Care-pain-distracting doubtsunceasing torment. Where is the pleasure that I can hope to taste which will not turn to ashes in my mouth? We exist and suffer, but to die at last. Oh! what torture can be worse than that which now rends me body and mind? And to think how trifling a thing might free me from it all: the work of an instant, and then-then-” Herbert covered his face with his hands, but removing them, added, "then a deliverance from this woe-deliverance from the presence of
day. The injuries of us both are inflicted | come to a conclusion," he smiled fr by the same person. We have a common fully," it is this, that I am, as Cust pain caused by a common author. Cannot Trenchard says, a coward: is it not so? we then sympathize?" The maiden looked at him with prise and apprehension, for she bee his mind wandering.
"What! has Stephen Randolph presumed to offer you discourtesy ? Tell it
The youth, as he uttered these words, sprang up as one transformed, and his fine eye sparkled with anger.
"Nay, it was nothing; I merely wished to divert your thoughts."
Lucy! Lucy! I must know it!
has he done?"
"He has done nothing; he merely said- -some inconsiderate words."
“Well, what were those words? Do not vex me with such vague information." "Well, then," answered the maiden, "though I had no thought of repeating it, since you will have me relate so trifling a matter, he called me". -she blushed and hesitated-" Mr. Randolph called me ' a fortune-hunting dependent.''
"By heavens! the scoundrel shall rue it!" cried Herbert, pacing the floor vehemently; "he shall retract the base, unmanly slander, or I will cram it down the bully's throat!"
He started to leave the room, but Lucy quietly restrained him.
"What would you do? soon cease to obey the sacred bearance ?"
Will you so
"Yes, I see," he continued; “your lence acknowledges that you believe correct."
"No, Frank, you are not a coward; you own heart tells you you are not.”
"I am-I must be. This accounts fr every thing. No wonder that my gr dian reproaches me, that you pity me; 5. wonder that men cast upon me different looks from what other persons receive; to wonder "-here the muscles of his mouth contracted spasmodically-" that I amhorsewhipped! Wherefore am I made f feebler sinews than any other of mankind? Why is an excess of bodily viga given to one who is disposed to abuse his gift, rather than to me who would use it to raise, and to heal, and to succor the oppressed?”
"Ah, Frank, ought you not rather to bless God for the disposition than to envy those who, without that disposition, incur his fearful displeasure? Choose for yourself. If the Almighty thinks not fit to confer all his gifts upon any one, how can you complain if you possess those which are most desirable?"
"True, dear Lucy. What a wretch am "Oh, I forgot-forgot." There was I to dare call in question the propriety of something in the tone with which these the appointments of my Creator! You simple words were spoken that must long are right, you are right. Why should I have rung in the ears of any one who had care for the judgment of man? To do so heard them, so much was there that told is not only wicked but weak and foolish." of abandonment of hope and energy; of "I am glad," said Miss Montgomery, a grief bordering upon despair; of a heart" to hear you speak thus once more. well nigh broken. He resumed his seat by the table, and as at the first, his head rested upon his folded arms.
Lucy was awed by an intensity of emotion so surpassing any thing that can be felt by minds of ordinary organization, and made no sound to disturb his sad revery. What space of time thus elapsed, we have no means of exactly ascertaining; the sun, however, in its descent had nearly reached the horizon, when the young man arose with a countenance as haggard and care-worn as if years of anxiety had left their impress upon it.
"Lucy, I want your opinion. I have
which the devotees of the world might regard as a disgrace, ought rather, as it is in obedience of the law of God, to be reckoned an honor."
"Yes, yes," replied Herbert; "but the thought will recur, What do men think?' To be dishonored-dishonored for ever! Oh! Lucy, what a fate!"
"Frank! have you never admired the martyrs of ancient time? Have you never felt that you could endure like things to win a place in that noble army?"
"I have-I have indeed; and were I a minister of the gospel, I think I should prefer that field above all others which
should most signally try my faith; were | ly tempted, and have not had such a moniit hedged in with pestilence or with fagot, the more eager, I think, I would be to press on.'
tor. But fear no longer for me. I may indeed sometimes fail to perform my duty, but never again, so help me God! will I feel grief or shame at having performed it. But
"Then why not count your present sufferings a martyrdom, and summon a mar-stay; why do you go?" tyr's temper to endure them?"
"So I could, Lucy, were it not for one distinction, which you overlook. Those glorious men who died to bear testimony to the gospel, suffered indeed pangs which I dare not equal mine to, yet they had this happiness, that their courage was never called in question. I undergo an agony which to my frail strength is almost intolerable, and I undergo it, I trust, from principle; but men-and this makes the bitterness of my lot-men attribute my conduct to pusillanimity. If now some opportunity would only occur, without the sin of my seeking it, to prove my courage in some dreadful danger-but what am I saying? Do I know myself so well? Might not I succumb under such a trial, and then my condition become worse than it is? God Omniscient knoweth, and will direct the matter in mercy. But I dismiss all my doubts and distress. I am a coward indeed, so long as I remain enthralled by them. I see my duty before me, and I will follow it-may Heaven bless the determination-follow it, whatever obstacles interpose, whether it be danger, or, what is harder to bear-yet which I will bear-the hatred and scorn of my fellow-men."
"Frank! you are now like yourself."
"I am myself, dearest Lucy, thanks to you. How many, alas! have been as sore
"I am not sorry to have stayed so long; but see! it is almost night. It will soon be supper: remember-meet the Colonel firmly."
"Doubt it not. Watch me well, and if I prove unequal to this occasion or any other, then call me craven, and forbid me, Lucy, to tell you how I love you."
Frank perceived, dark as it was, that this observation had brought up a blush, and sprang forward so quickly as to obstruct her passage through the door.
"Stop, Lucy! you must tell me. In case I should prove a resolute champion of the truth, will you allow me to whisper what, if you reject it not, I will dare avow on the house-tops?"
"Fy!" exclaimed the maiden, "there is magic at work. Where is that bashful gentleman whom I saw here just now? He has quite vanished and left no trace."
"He is here still," said Frank, at once changing his tone and manner; "have you nothing, Lu-I mean Miss Montgomery-to say to him?"
"Yes," replied Lucy, coolly; "I advise him by all means to refrain from imitating a certain wild youngster, not far off, who presumes to lay restraint upon the liberty of young ladies. So good evening to you."
Thus speaking, she tripped by him and disappeared in the passage.
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
VOL. VIII. NO. V. NEW SERIES.