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Dwelt in the love of God and of man. Alike were they free from Fear, that reigns with the tyrant, and envy, the vice of republics. Neither locks had they to their doors, nor bars to their windows; But their dwellings were open as day and the hearts of the owners; There the richest was poor, and the poorest lived in abundance.”

pp. 5–8.

Not far from this village dwelt Benedict Bellefontaine, the wealthiest farmer of Grand-Pré; with him

“Gentle Evangeline lived, his child, and the pride of the village. Stalworth and stately in form was the man of seventy winters; Hearty and hale was he, an oak that is covered with snow-flakes; White as the snow were his locks, and his cheeks as brown as the

oak-leaves. Fair was she to behold, that maiden of seventeen summers. Black were her eyes as the berry that grows on the thorn by the

way-side, Black, yet how softly they gleamed beneath the brown shade of her

tresses ! Sweet was her breath as the breath of kine that feed in the meadows. When in the harvest heat she bore to the reapers at noontide Flagons of home-brewed ale, ah! fair in sooth was the maiden. Fairer was she when, on Sunday morn, while the bell from its turret Sprinkled with holy sounds the air, as the priest with his hyssop Sprinkles the congregation, and scatters blessings upon them, Down the long street she passed, with her chaplet of beads and her

missal, Wearing her Norman cap, and her kirtle of blue, and the ear-rings, Brought in the olden time from France, and since, as an heirloom, Handed down from mother to child, through long generations. But a celestial brightness—a more ethereal beautyShone on her face and encircled her form, when, after confession, Homeward serenely she walked with God's benediction upon her. When she had passed, it seemed like the ceasing of exquisite music."


pp. 8–10.

Many a suitor had this fair Evangeline, but the only one she loved in return was,

“ Gabriel Lajeunesse, the son of Basil the blacksmith, Who was a mighty man in the village, and honoured of all men; For since the birth of time, throughout all ages and nations, Has the craft of the smith been held in repute by the people. Basil was Benedict's friend. Their children from earliest childhood Grew up together as brother and sister; and Father Felician, Priest and pedagogue both in the village, had taught them their

letters Out of the selfsame book, with the hymns of the church and the



But when the hymn was sung, and the daily lesson completed,
Swiftly they hurried away to the forge of Basil the blacksinith.
There at the door they stood, with wondering eyes to behold him
Take in his leathern lap the hoof of the horse as a plaything,
Nailing the shoe in its place; while near him the tire of the cart.

Lay like a fiery snake, coiled round in a circle of cinders.
Oft on autumnal eves, when without in the gathering darkness
Bursting with light seemed the smithy, through every cranny and

crevice, Warm by the forge within they watched the labouring bellows, And as its panting ceased, and the sparks expired in the ashes, Merrily laughed, and said they were nuns going into the chapel. Oft on sledges in winter, as swift as the swoop of the eagle, Down the hill-side bounding, they glided away o'er the meadow. Oft in the barns they climbed to the populous nests on the rafters, Seeking with eager eyes that wondrous stone, which the swallow Brings from the shore of the sea to restore the sight of its fledglings; Lucky was he who found that stone in the nest of the swallow ! Thus passed a few swift years, and they no longer were children. He was a valiant youth, and his face, like the face of the morning, Gladdened the earth with its light, and ripened thought into action. She was a woman now, with the heart and hopes of a woman. “ Sunshine of Saint Eulalie was she called ; for that was the sun

shine Which, as the farmers believed, would load their orchards with

apples; She, too, would bring to her husband's house delight and abundance, Filling it full of love and the ruddy faces of children.”

pp. 13–15.

At length came the time when they were to be married. In the autumn-in that time of rich foliage and glad weather, called by the Acadians the “Summer of All Saints,”—the happy event was to take place. For this purpose the bridegroom's father came to the farmer's, followed by the notary, who is thus described :

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“Bent like a labouring oar, that toils in the surf of the ocean, Bent, but not broken, by age was the form of the notary public; Shocks of yellow hair, like the silken floss of the maize, hung Over his shoulders; his forehead was high; and glasses with horn

bows Sat astride on his nose, with a look of wisdom supernal. Father of twenty children was he, and more than a hundred Children's children rode on his knee, and heard his great watch

tick. Four long years in the times of the war had he languished a captive, Suffering much in an old French fort as the friend of the English.

Now, though warier grown, without all guile or suspicion,
Ripe in wisdom was he, but patient, and simple, and childlike.
He was beloved by all, and most of all by the children ;
For he told them tales of the Loup-garou in the forest,
And of the goblin that came in the night to water the horses,
And of the white Létiche, the ghost of a child who unchristened
Died, and was doomed to haunt unseen the chambers of children;
And how on Christmas eve the oxen talked in the stable,
And how the fever was cured by a spider shut up in a nutshell,
And of the marvellous powers of four-leaved clover and horseshoes,
With whatsoever else was writ in the lore of the village.”—pp.


Everything seemed fair: the lovers were happy in their hopes—the morning was bright—but, alas ! it was soon overcast. In the midst of the preparations for the marriage, the English soldiery arrived, and having assembled the principal colonists in the church, made prisoners of them there. The shock was sudden and severe.

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As, when the air is serene in the sultry solstice of summer, Suddenly gathers a storm, and the deadly sling of the hailstones Beats down the farmer's corn in the field and shatters his windows, Hiding the sun, and strewing the ground with thatch from the house

roofs, Bellowing fly the herds, and seek to break their inclosures ; So on the hearts of the people descended the words of the speaker. Silent a moment they stood in speechless wonder, and then rose Louder and ever louder a wail of sorrow and anger, And, by one impulse moved, they madly rushed to the door-way. Vain was the hope of escape; and cries and fierce imprecations Rang through the house of prayer; and high o'er the heads of the

others Rose, with his arms uplifted, the figure of Basil the blacksmith, As, on a stormy sea, a spar is tossed by the billows. Flushed was his face and distorted with passion ; and wildly he

shouted, “Down with the tyrants of England! we never have sworn them al

legiance ! Death to these foreign soldiers, who seize on our homes and our har

vests !' More he fain would have said, but the merciless band of a soldier Smote him upon the mouth, and dragged him down to the pavement.

“ In the midst of the strife and tumult of angry contention, Lo! the door of the chancel opened, and Father Felician Entered, with serious mien, and ascended the steps of the altar. Raising his reverend hand, with a gesture he awed into silence All that clamorous throng; and thus he spake to his people ;


Deep were his tones and solemn; in accents measured and mournful Spake he, as, after the tocsin's alarum, distinctly the clock strikes. What is this that ye do, my children? what madness has seized

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it now,

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Forty years of my life have I laboured among you, and taught you,
Not in word alone, but in deed, to love one another!
Is this the fruit of my toils, of my vigils and prayers and privations ?
Have you so soon forgotten all lessons of love and forgiveness?
This is the house of the Prince of Peace, and would you profane it
Thus with violent deeds and hearts overflowing with hatred ?
Lo! where the crucified Christ from his cross is gazing upon you!
See! in those sorrowful eyes what meekness and holy compassion!
Hark! how those lips still repeat the prayer, Father, forgive

them ! Let us repeat that prayer in the hour when the wicked assail us, Let us repeat


say, O Father forgive them!' Few were his words of rebuke, but deep in the hearts of his people Sank they, and sobs of contrition succeeded that passionate out

break; And they repeated his prayer, and said, “O Father, forgive them!' “Then came the evening service. The tapers gleamed from the

altar. Fervent and deep was the voice of the priest, and the people res

ponded, Not with their lips alone, but their hearts; and the Ave Maria Sang they, and fell on their knees, and their souls, with devotion

translated, Rose on the ardour of prayer, like Elijah ascending to heaven. “Meanwhile had spread in the village the tidings of ill, and on

all sides Wandered, wailing, from house to house the women and children. Long at her father's door Evangeline stood, with her right hand Shielding her eyes from the level rays of the sun, that, descending, Lighted the village street with mysterious splendour, and roofed

each Peasant's cottage with golden thatch, and emblazoned its windows. Lo! within had been spread the snow-white cloth on the table ; There stood the wheaten loaf, and the honey fragrant with wild

flowers ; There stood the tankard of ale, and the cheese fresh brought from

the dairy; And at the head of the board the great arm-chair of the farmer. Thus did Evangeline wait at her father's door, as the sunset Threw the long shadows of trees o'er the broad ambrosial meadows. Ab! on her spirit within a deeper shadow had fallen, And from the fields of her soul a fragrance celestial ascended, Charity, meekness, love, and hope, and forgiveness and patience! Then, all-forgetful of self, she wandered into the village,

Cheering with looks and words the disconsolate hearts of the women,
As o’er the darkening fields with lingering steps they departed,
Urged by their household cares, and the weary feet of their children.
Down sank the great red sun, and in golden, glimmering vapours
Veiled the light of his face, like the Prophet descending from Sinai.
Sweetly over the village the bell of the Angelus sounded.
“ Meanwhile, amid the gloom, by the church Evangeline lin-

All was silent within ; and in vain at the door and the windows
Stood she, and listened and looked, until, overcome by emotion,

Gabriel !' cried she, aloud, with tremulous voice; but no answer Came from the graves of the dead, nor the gloomier grave of the

living. Slowly at length she returned to the tenantless house of her father. Smouldered the fire on the hearth, on the board stood the supper un

tasted, Empty and drear was each room, and haunted with phantoms of

terror. Sadly echoed her step on the stair and the floor of her chamber. In the dead of the night she heard the whispering rain fall Loud on the withered leaves of the sycamore-tree by the window. Keenly the lightning flashed; and the voice of the neighbouring

thunder Told her that God was in heaven, and governed the world he cre

ated! Then she remembered the tale she had heard of the justice of

heaven; Soothed was her troubled soul, and she peacefully slumbered till

morning.”—pp. 41–48.

In five days, the cruel orders of the government were car. ried into execution. Gabriel was torn from Evangeline, and Evangeline's father, overcome with grief, died, just as he was on the point of embarkation.

Evangeline was borne far away, with the rest of the emigrants. With a widowed heart she went wandering in search of her lost Gabriel. The old blacksmith was found, but his son, worn with feverish anxiety, had left him, to hunt with the Indians for furs. The old blacksmith's new house, and his meeting with Evangeline, is thus described :

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“ Near to the bank of the river, o'ershadowed by oaks, from

whose branches
Garlands of Spanish moss and of mystic mistletoe flaunted,
Such as the Druids cut down with golden hatchets at Yule-tide,
Stood, secluded and still, the house of the herdsman. A garden
Girded it round about with a belt of luxuriant blossoms,
Filling the air with fragrance. The house itself was of timbers


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