Page images

to benefit destitute orphans or vagrants gives an advantage in requiring and by sending them to homes in the far encouraging improvement in habits and West, where agents are stationed, and character. In Syracuse, New York, where homes are ready to receive the some years ago, the writer was shown children. When a sufficient number of a row of pretty, white cottages, built the little ones is collected, clothed, and alike, and with trim gardens to each. instructed, they make the Western jour- It was a profound surprise to learn that ney under the care of an agent, who these dwellings were a successful exdelivers them in the appointed places. periment on the part of a large railroad Correspondence is constantly kept up proprietor, and that the houses were between these children and the officers all occupied by Irish laborers. They at this end of the line. The benefit is were rent free the first year, on condimutual. They are saved from vice and tion that they should be kept in perfect vagrancy here, and they are welcome order. The next year they were rented where work is abundant and workers low, but always on the same condition; few.

and for some time the occupants had But New England does not want to now paid full rent, and had great pride send away her laborers. On the con- in keeping their little places with order trary, she needs them all. There is and neatness. This experiment would room enough for all, and more than seem to prove that progress is possible, work enough. In fact, labor is a great under favorable circumstances, even deal too well paid, - that is to say, un- among the reckless and improvident skilled labor. Following the law of Hibernians. supply and demand, the ignorant house- The late Governor Andrew, when he maid in a country town, who scarcely sent one hundred respectable, well-eduknows the name of the commonest cated young women to the extreme utensil, and who, in justice, does not West, where there were no such luxuearn the bread she eats, requires, and ries, and provided them with a suitable obtains, the same wages that an expe- escort thither, and an assurance of emrienced and competent person in the ployment at their journey's end, did the city receives. The labor must be ob- right thing in the right way, which tained somehow, at any cost. But if might well be imitated on a large scale there were ten times as many laborers with the redundant poor who are unemin the country, work would be ten times ployed in our cities. For these young better done than it is now.

women were educated to an employof the young men of New England ment which was already crowded. They have emigrated to the West, that were removed, at the expense of the there is abundant room for the raw ma- State, to a place where they were needterial from Ireland, if only the immi- ed, to a part of the country where their grants are wisely directed and appor- education would be useful to themselves tioned.

and those about them. Who shall say As to the objection, that a very large what will be the difference between a number of officers is necessary to carry community formed under such New on a plan of this kind, it seems hardly England influences, and one grown up worth considering. Perhaps the same with casual and possibly barbarous inmen who so skilfully and humanely fluences? Such power has character manage the houses of correction and ref- that it is believed many hundreds of ormation already mentioned might be thousands of impressible Irish men and employed in a work to supersede either. women might be made into excellent The foreign population thus brought Yankees, if they were so dispersed as more directly under purely American to receive fairly, and without prejudice, influences would be greatly benefited. the unconscious education that would The Yankee leaven leavens great lumps, come from daily contact with our own and the natural position of employer people. There might be a mutual in

So many

Auence with advantage to both; but the If these people were generally dispersed sterner characteristics would be the through the country, and those gregaristronger ones, at least in this bracing ous habits broken up which are both climate, and we should see, in the next the cause and effect of poverty, they generation, the vivacious Irish temper- would soon be visibly affected and ament assimilated in outward gravity to changed by the direct social influences that of the Yankee, while he, in his turn, that would be brought to bear on them. might have possibly borrowed some- For every reason, political and religthing of the other's hilarity. The uncon- ious, it is desirable that the victims of scious missionaries acting daily at the poverty, ignorance, and vice now crowdheads of households are illustrations of ed together in cities, and totally incathis. An Irish girl who has been in an pable of making any feasible arrangeAmerican family for a year will have so ments for their own advantage, should much changed her accent, that, when receive the systematic aid of the State the rest of her family follow her from in seeking a market for their labor, and Ireland, as they generally do by that the opportunity permanently to better time, they scarcely recognize her speech. their lot.



SAILOR, have you spoken her, and on what distant sea,

The ship, so long expected, that is coming home to me?
When shall I mark the sun and wave break into 'sparkling spray,
As, laden with my ventures, she comes sailing up the bay?

O sailor, if you have not hailed my ship by sea or shore,
Some word, mayhap, you bring of her, unheard by me before ;
For fairer far than all the feets of India or Cathay
Is the craft that flies my colors, and that cruises far away!

Not Count Arnaldos' shining prow, that sailed with satin sails ;
Not Cleopatra's burnished barge, wooed by the lovesick gales ;
Nor that famed ship of old which bore the Argonauts from Greece,
By Orphean strains accompanied, to win the Golden Fleece,

Great Cæsar and his fortunes not that classic bark which bore,
Nor that in which Queen Dido saw Æneas quit the shore;
Nor that wherein, as Horace sings, one half his soul was penned,
Because among her passengers embarked his dearest friend, -
Not those proud galleons of Spain whose bulging hulls we know
Brought tribute to her conquering Crown the wealth of Mexico,
And rivalled all romance of the Old World in the New,
When Pizarro blazed upon her with the plunder of Peru, -

Not that sea-ranger bold whose fame will nevermore be hid,
Whilst 'tween decks sailor-yarns are spun of Captain Robert Kidd,
Nor those which even now excite the merchantman's grim fears
As o'er the Spanish Main he roves, where roved the buccaneers,

Not that immortal vessel whose memory is as sweet
As was the blessed name she bore when first the Pilgrims' feet
In pious faith and holy zeal her narrow deckways trod,
Self-consecrate to liberty, to justice, and to God, —

Not all the storied stately helms of history or of song,
Not all whose war-set pennants gleam the martial waves along,
Not all the ships, in sooth, that sail, or ever sailed, the sea, -
Are half so fair as that which bears my signals floating free!

From truck to keelson, fore and aft from shapely stem to stern,
The sea reflects no line of hers my heart does not return;
And all my fondest hopes and prayers encircle her around,
As Xerxes' palm on every branch with chains of gold was bound.

More dear to me than silken bales, or wealth of Eastern zones,
Frankincense, myrrh, and ivory, rich gums and precious stones,
She carries for her cargo my life's uncounted years,
With all their hidden mysteries of future smiles and tears.
O speed her, every prospering gale, and every subject sea!
Those solemn stars by whom she steers, O guide her course to me!
For what care I for all the fleets of India or Cathay,
If the ship that bears my fortunes shall cruise so far away?




Grey, by the same token, as they sprig of green leaves in the bosom of say in Ireland (and, for that matter, out her gown. She had been accused of of it), had reached her sixty-seventh receiving these little floral ornaments spring. She was, nevertheless, still a from the hands of Mr. Herbert (of handsome woman, and, what is better whom I shall have more to say); but yet, still an amiable woman. The un- the charge is unfounded, inasmuch as troubled, unruffled course of her life they were very carefully selected from had left as few wrinkles on her temper a handful cut in the garden by her as on her face. She was tall and full maid. of person, with dark eyes and abundant That Mrs. De Grey should have white hair, which she rolled back from been just the placid and elegant old her forehead over a cushion, or some lady that she was, remained, in the eyes such artifice. The freshness of youth of the world at large, in spite of an and health had by no means faded out abundance of a certain sort of evidence of her cheeks, nor had the smile of her in favor of such a result, more or less imperturbable courtesy expired on her of a puzzle and a problem. It is true, lips. She dressed, as became a woman that every one who knew anything of her age and a widow, in black gar- about her knew that she had enjoyed ments, but relieved with a great deal of great material prosperity, and had sufwhite, with a number of handsome rings fered no misfortunes. She was mison her fair hands. Frequently, in the tress in her own right of a handsome property and a handsome house ; she She was a fine woman, a dull woman, had lost her husband, indeed, within a a perfect gentlewoman. She had taken year after marriage; but, as the late life, as she liked a cup of tea, — weak, George De Grey had been of a sullen with an exquisite aroma and plenty of and brooding humor, — to that degree, cream and sugar. She had never lost indeed, as to incur the suspicion of in- her temper, for the excellent reason sanity, — her loss, leaving her well pro- that she had none to lose. She was vided for, might in strictness have been troubled with no fears, no doubts, no accounted a gain. Her son, moreover, scruples, and blessed with no sacred had never given her a moment's trou certainties. She was fond of her son, ble; he had grown up a charming of the church, of her garden, and of her young man, handsome, witty, and wise; toilet. She had the very best taste; he was a model of filial devotion. The but, morally, one may say that she had lady's health was good ; she had half a had no history. dozen perfect servants ; she had the Mrs. De Grey had always lived in perpetual company of the incomparable seclusion; for a couple of years previMr. Herbert; she was as fine a figure ous to the time of which I speak she of an elderly woman as any in town; had lived in solitude. Her son, on she might, therefore, very well have reaching his twenty-third year, had been happy and have looked so. On gone to Europe for a long visit, in purthe other hand, a dozen sensible women suance of a plan discussed at intervals had been known to declare with em- between his mother and Mr. Herbert phasis, that not for all her treasures and during the whole course of his boyher felicity would they have consented hood. They had made no attempt to to be Mrs. De Grey. These ladies forecast his future career, or to prepare were, of course, unable to give a logi- him for a profession. Strictly, indeed, cal reason for so strong an aversion. he was at liberty, like his late father, to But it is certain that there hung over dispense with a profession. Not that Mrs. De Grey's history and circum- it was to be wished that he should take stances a film, as it were, a shadow of his father's life as an example. It was mystery, which struck a chill upon im- understood by the world at large, and, aginations which might easily have of course, by Mrs. De Grey and her been kindled into envy of her good for- companion in particular, that this gentune. “She lives in the dark," some tleman's existence had been blighted, one had said of her. Close observers at an early period, by an unhappy lovedid her the honor to believe that there affair ; and it was notorious that, in was a secret in her life, but of a wholly consequence, he had spent the few undefined character. Was she the vic- years of his maturity in gloomy idleness tim of some lurking sorrow, or the mis- and dissipation. Mrs. De Grey, whose tress of some clandestine joy? These own father was an Englishman, reduced imputations, we may easily believe, are to poverty, but with claims to high genpartially explained by the circumstance tility, professed herself unable to underthat she was a Catholic, and kept a stand why Paul should not live decentpriest in her house. The unexplained ly on his means. Mr. Herbert declared portion might very well, moreover, have that in America, in any walk of life, idlebeen discredited by Mrs. De Grey's ness was indecent; and that he hoped perfectly candid and complacent de- the young man would -- nominally at meanor. It was certainly hard to con- least -- select a career. It was agreed ceive, in talking with her, to what part on both sides, however, that there was of her person one might pin a mystery, no need for haste; and that it was - whether on her clear, round eyes or proper, in the first place, he should her bandsome, benevolent lips. Let us see the world. The world, to Mrs. De say, then, in defiance of the voice of Grey, was little more than a name ; but society, that she was no tragedy queen. to Mr. Herbert, priest as he was, it was


a vivid reality. Yet he felt that the it hard to divine. This was accounted
generous and intelligent youth upon a dull life forty years ago ; now, doubt-
whose education he had lavished all less, it would be considered no life at
the treasures of his tenderness and sa all. It is no matter of wonder, there-
gacity, was not unfitted, either by na- fore, that finally, one April morning, in
ture or culture, to measure his sinews her sixty-seventh year, as I have said,
against its trials and temptations; and Mrs. De Grey suddenly began to sus-
that he should love him the better for pect that she was lonely. Another
coming home at twenty-five an accom- long year, at least, was to come and go
plished gentleman and a good Catholic, before Paul's return. After meditating
sobered and seasoned by experience, for a while in silence, Mrs. De Grey
sceptical in small matters, confident in resolved to take counsel with Father
great, and richly replete with good sto Herbert.
ries. When he came of age, Paul re This gentleman, an Englishman by
ceived his walking-ticket, as they say, birth, had been an intimate friend of
in the shape of a letter of credit for George De Grey, who had made his
a bandsome sum on certain London acquaintance during a visit to Europe,
bankers. But the young man pocketed before his marriage. Mr. Herbert was
the letter, and remained at home, por a younger son of an excellent Catholic
ing over books, lounging in the garden, family, and was at that time beginning,
and scribbling heroic verses. At the on small resources, the practice of the
end of a year, he plucked up a little am law. De Grey met him in London,
bition, and took a turn through the and the two conceived a strong mutual
country, travelling much of the way on sympathy. Herbert had neither taste
horseback. He came back an ardent for his profession nor apparent ambi-
American, and felt that he might go tion of any sort. He was, moreover,
abroad without danger.

During his in weak health ; and his friend found no absence in Europe he had written difficulty in persuading him to accept the home innumerable long letters, -com place of travelling companion through positions so elaborate (in the taste of France and Italy. De Grey carried a that day, recent as it is) and so de very long purse, and was a most liberal lightful, that, between their pride in his friend and patron; and the two young epistolary talent, and their longing to men accomplished their progress as far see his face, his mother and his ex-tu as Venice in the best spirits and on tor would have been at a loss to deter the best terms. But in Venice, for mine whether he gave them more satis reasons best known to themselves, they faction at home or abroad.

bitterly and irretrievably quarrelled. With his departure the household Some persons said it was over a cardwas plunged in unbroken repose. Mrs. table, and some said it was about a De Grey neither went out nor enter

At all events, in consequence, tained

company. An occasional morn De Grey returned to America, and ing call was the only claim made upon Herbert repaired to Rome. He obher hospitality. Mr. Herbert, who was tained admission into a monastery, a great scholar, spent all his hours in studied theology, and finally was instudy; and his patroness sat for the vested with priestly orders. In Amermost part alone, arrayed with a perfec- ica, in his thirty-third year, De Grey tion of neatness which there was no married the lady whom I have deone to admire (unless it be her waiting- scribed. A few weeks after his marmaid, to whom it remained a constant riage he wrote to Herbert, expressing matter of awe), reading a pious book a vehement desire to be reconciled. or knitting under-garments for the or

Herbert felt that the letter was that of thodox needy. At times, indeed, she a most unhappy man ; he had already wrote long letters to her son, — the forgiven him; he pitied him, and after contents of which Mr. Herbert found a short delay succeeded in obtaining


« PreviousContinue »