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their upper stories projecting, with, here and there, plastered fronts, quaintly
arabesqued. An ascent, short, but steep and tortuous, conducted at once to the
old Abbey Church, nobly situated in a vast quadrangle, round which were the
genteel and gloomy dwellings of the Areopagites of the Hill. More genteel and
less gloomy than the rest—lights at the windows and flowers on the balcony—stood
forth, flanked by a garden wall at either side, the mansion of Mrs. Colonel
As I entered the drawing-room I heard the voice of the hostess; it was a voice
clear, decided, metallic, bell-like, uttering these words; "Taken Abbots' House
? I will tell you."
MRS. POYNTZ was seated on the sofa ; at her right sat fat Mrs. Bruce, who was a
Scotch lord's grand-daughter : at her left thin Miss Brabazon, who was an Irish
baronet's niece. Around her —a few seated, many standing—had grouped all the
guests, save two old gentlemen, who remained aloof with Colonel Poyntz near the
whist table, waiting for the fourth old gentleman, who was to make up the
rubber, but who was at that moment spell-bound in the magic circle, which
curiosity, that strongest of social demons, had attracted round the hostess.
" Taken Abbots' House ? I will tell you. Ah, Dr. Fenwick ! charmed to see you.
You know Abbots' House is let at last? Well, Miss Brabazon, dear, you ask who
has taken it. I will tell you—a particular friend of mine."
"Indeed ! Dear me !" said Miss Brabazon, looking confused. "I hope I did not say
any thing to—"
" Wound my feelings. Not in the least. You said your uncle, Sir Phelim, had a
coach-maker named Ashleigh, that Ashleigh was an uncommon name, though Ashley
was a common one; you intimated an appalling suspicion that the Mrs. Ashleigh
who had come to the Hill was the coach-maker's widow. I relieve your mind—she is
not ; she is the widow of Gilbert Ashleigh, of Kirby Hall."
" Gilbert Ashleigh," said one of the guests, a bachelor, whose parents had
reared him for the church, but who, like poor Goldsmith, did not think himself
good enough for it—a mistake of over-modesty, for he matured into a very
harmless creature. " Gilbert Ashleigh. I was at Oxford with him—a gentleman
commoner of Christ Church. Good-looking man—very: sapped—"
" Sapped! what's that ? Oh, studied. That he did all his life. He married
young—Anne Chaloner ; she and I were girls together : married the same year.
They settled at Kirby Hall —nice place, but dull. Poyntz and I spent a Christmas
there. Ashleigh when he talked was charming, but he talked very little. Anne,
when she talked, was commonplace, and she talked very much. Naturally, poor
thing, she was so happy. Poyntz and I did not spend another Christmas there.
Friendship is long, but life is short. Gilbert Ashleigh's life was short indeed;
he died in the fifth year of his marriage, leaving only one child, a girl. Since
then, though I never spent another Christmas at Kirby Hall, I have frequently
spent a day there, doing my best to cheer up Anne. She was no longer talkative,
poor dear. Wrapt up in her child, who has now grown into a beautiful girl of
eighteen —such eyes, her father's—the real dark blue—rare ; sweet creature, but
delicate ; not, I hope, consumptive, but delicate ; quiet—wants life. My girl
Jane adores her. Jane has life enough for two."
" Is Miss Ashleigh the heiress to Kirby Hall ?" asked Mrs. Bruce, who had an
"No. Kirby Hall passed to Ashleigh Sumner, the male heir, a cousin. But Mrs.
Ashleigh hired the place during his minority. He comes of age this year, that's
why she leaves. Lilian Ashleigh will have, however, a very good fortune—is what
we genteel paupers call an heiress. Is there any thing more you want to know ?"
Said thin Miss Brabazon, who took advantage of her thinness to wedge herself
into every one's affairs, " A most interesting account. But what brings Mrs.
Ashleigh here ?"
Answered Mrs. Colonel Poyntz, with the military frankness by which she kept her
company in good-humor, as well as awe :
"Why do any of us come here? Can any one tell me ?"
There was a blank silence, which the hostess herself was the first to break.
"None of us present can say why we came here. I can tell you why Mrs. Ashleigh
came. Our neighbor Mr. Vigors is a distant connection of the late Mr. Ashleigh,
one of the executors to his will, and the guardian to the heir-at-law. About ten
days ago Mr. Vigors called on me, for the first time since I felt it my duty to
express my opinion about the strange vagaries of our poor dear friend Dr. Lloyd.
And when he had taken his chair, just where you now sit, Dr. Fenwick, he said,
in a sepulchral voice, stretching out two fingers, so, as if I were one of the
what-do-you-call-'ems who go to sleep when he bids them, ' Marm, you know Mrs.
Ashleigh? You correspond with her.' Yes, Mr. Vigors; is there any crime in that
? You look as if there were.' ' No crime, marm,' said the man, quite seriously.
'Mrs. Ashleigh is a lady of amiable temper, and you are a woman of masculine
Here there was a general titter. Mrs. Colonel Poyntz hushed it with a look of
severe surprise. "What is there to laugh at ? All women would be men if they
could. If my understanding is masculine so much the better for me. I thanked Mr.
Vigors for his very handsome compliment,
and he then went on to say, ' that though Mrs. Ashleigh would now have to leave
Kirby Hall in a very few weeks, she seemed quite unable to make up her mind
where to go ; that it had occurred to him that, as Miss Ashleigh was now of an
age to see a little of the world, she ought not to remain buried in the country
; while, being of quiet mind, she recoiled from the dissipation of London.
Between the seclusion of the one and the turmoil of the other, the society of L-
was a happy medium. He should be glad of my opinion. He had put off asking for
it, because he owned his belief that I had behaved unkindly to his lamented
friend, Dr. Lloyd ; but he now found himself in rather an awkward position. His
ward, young Ashleigh Sumner, expected to enter on possession of Kirby Hall
(which Mr. Vigors, as his guardian, had let to Mrs. Ashleigh) on the precise day
agreed upon ; while his respect for the memory of another lamented friend, the
late Mr. Ashleigh, made him reluctant to press hard upon that friend's widow and
child. It was a thousand pities Mrs. Ashleigh could not decide at once on her
plans ; she had had ample time for preparation. A word from me, at this moment,
would be an effective kindness. Abbots' House was vacant, with a garden so
extensive that the ladies would not miss the country. Another party was after
Say no more,' I cried ; ' no party but my dear old friend, Anne Ashleigh, shall
have Abbots' House. So that question is settled.' I dismissed Mr. Vigors, sent
for my carriage—that is, for Mr. Barker's yellow fly and his best horses—and
drove that very day to Kirby Hall, which, though not in this county, is only
twenty-five miles distant. I slept there that night. By nine o'clock the next
morning I had secured Mrs. Ashleigh's consent, on the promise to save her all
trouble, sent for the landlord, settled the rent, lease, agreement ; engaged
Forbes's vans to remove the furniture from Kirby Hall, told Forbes to begin with
the beds. When her own bed came, which was last night, Anne Ashleigh came too. I
have seen her this morning. She likes the place, so does Lilian. I asked them to
meet you all here to-night ; but Mrs. Ashleigh was tired. The last of the
furniture was to arrive to-day; and though dear Mrs. Ashleigh is an undecided
character, she is not inactive. But it is not only the planning where to put
tables and chairs that would have tired her to-day ; she has had Mr. Vigors on
her hands all the afternoon, and he has been—here's her little note—what are the
words ? no doubt, most overpowering and oppressive'—no, ' most kind and
attentive' — different words, but, as applied to Mr. Vigors, they mean the same
" And now next Monday—we must leave them in peace till then-you will all call on
the Ashleighs. The Hill knows what is due to itself ; it can not delegate to Mr.
Vigors, a respectable man indeed, but who does not belong to its set, its own
proper course of action toward those who would shelter themselves on its bosom.
The Hill can not be kind and attentive, overpowering or oppressive, by proxy. To
those new born into its family circle it can not be an indifferent godmother ;
it has toward them all the feelings of a mother, or of a step-mother, as the
case may be. Where it says, 'This can be no child of mine,' it is a step-mother
indeed ; but, in all those whom I have presented to its arms, it has hitherto, I
am proud to say, recognized desirable acquaintances, and to them the Hill has
been a Mother. And now, my dear Mr. Sloman, go to your rubber ; Poyntz is
impatient, though he don't show it. Miss Brabazon, love, oblige us at the piano
; something gay, but not very noisy —Mr. Leopold Smythe will turn the leaves for
you. Mrs. Bruce, your own favorite set at vingt-un, with four new recruits. Dr.
Fenwick, you are like me, don't play cards, and don't care for music : sit here,
and talk or not, as you please, while I knit."
The other guests thus disposed of, some at the card-tables, some round the
piano, I placed myself at Mrs. Poyntz's side, on a seat niched in the recess of
a window, which an evening unusually warm for the month of May permitted to be
left open. I was next to one who had known Lilian as a child, one from whom I
had learned by what sweet name to call the image which my thoughts had already
shrined. How much that I still longed to know she could tell me ! But in what
form of question could I lead to the subject, yet not betray my absorbing
interest in it ? Longing to speak, I felt as if stricken dumb ; stealing an
unquiet glance toward the face beside me, and deeply impressed with that truth
which the Hill had long ago reverently acknowledged, that Mrs. Colonel Poyntz
was a very superior woman—a very powerful creature.
And there she sat knitting — rapidly, firmly; a woman somewhat on the other side
of forty, complexion a bronzed paleness, hair a bronzed brown, in strong
ringlets, cropped short behind —handsome hair for a man ; lips that, when
closed, showed inflexible decision, when speaking, became supple and flexile
with an easy humor and a vigilant finesse ; eyes of a red hazel, quick but
steady ; observant, piercing, dauntless eyes; altogether a fine
countenance—would have been a very fine countenance in a man ; profile sharp,
straight, clear-cut, with an expression, when in repose, like that of a sphinx ;
a frame robust, not corpulent, of middle height, but with an air and carriage
that made her appear tall; peculiarly white firm hands, indicative of vigorous
health, not a vein visible on the surface.
There she sat knitting, knitting, and I by her side, gazing now on herself, now
on her work, with a vague idea that the threads in the skein of my own web of
love or of life were passing quick through those noiseless fingers. And, indeed,
in every web of romance, the fondest, one of the Parcae is sure to be some
matter-of-fact she, social Destiny, as little akin to romance herself—as was
this worldly Queen of the Hill.
BALLADS OF THE WAR.
THE SLAUGHTERED INNOCENT.
" May 18.—The long-looked-for letter comes at last, and oh, how much joy it
gives me! . . All well at home, and want to see it, but not worse than we want
to see them.
. . . We both cried over the letter.
" Sunday, May 19.—A good old-fashioned sermon from our pastor, Chadwick. Oh! how
I love to listen to him!
. . . Do, Lord, deliver me from sin and temptation.
"July 4. —The memorable day of all days for the American people; we could hear
the sound of the enemy's guns, I suppose in celebration of the day. We did not
celebrate it ; I do not know why; I think we ought to have done so. . . . Would
like to know how the home folks spent it.
" July 21.-Got up a little after sunrise, broiled my meat, and ate it with old
crackers full of bugs—expecting orders to march every moment."
[From the Diary of a Young
Southerner, killed at
Bull Run, July 21.]
Simple, sanguine youth ! Loving, lapp'd in love!
Proud, quick, ardent, brave,
All mean things above !
Son, brother, friend, Faithful to the last,
Eager all to serve—Young enthusiast !
Not too much refined,
Not too tamely smooth ;
Easy to offend,
Easier to soothe. Proud of all the land, Glorying in its fame;
Living in its light, Fearing not its shame!
Hating party strife, Knowing not its springs;
Caring but for truth,
For the peace it brings.
Demagogueish fiend, Honest eyes to blind !
Forging subtle words,
Poison to his
mind! Causing him to hate
Union, Country, Flag;
Shouting, " Save your homes—It is shame to lag!"
Playing on his fears,
Quickening his pride;
Crying, " Glory waits—What you will, beside !"
Poor deluded boy!
Far away from home,
Wasting with new cares, Still compelled to roam.
Cheered by buoyant hope—Dreams of honored state;
Saddened, too, by thoughts, Shadows of his fate.
On the war-clouds came! Crazing thunders rolled!
He was every where!—There he lies, full cold!
Who has murdered him? Soon his friends will know; God, who hates
Will not leave it so.
Other victims wait;
Other faces white
Stare into the sky,
Stare with dreadful might!
Oh the day of wrath !—But, though Justice come,
Naught may wake the dead, Sleeping far from home.
THE STAMPEDE FROM HAMPTON.
ON page 524 we illustrate
the great stampede of negroes
from Hampton, which took place when our troops evacuated that town. A
correspondent of the Herald thus described the scene :
The departure of the main body of our troops in the vicinity of
Hampton was the
cause of some of the most extraordinary scenes that it has been my fortune to
witness. It became very evident to all that the absence of a reserve force, to
prevent a flank and rear movement on the part of the enemy, would make it
necessary, or at least a wise measure of precaution, to cause an evacuation of
the camp in the village of Hampton, at an early hour, or run the risk of having
two or three regiments cut to pieces in detail by the enemy, without a chance of
escaping that result, if the enemy appeared in the rear and front, as they might
do, and, by destroying the bridge at Hampton, entirely cut off the retreat of
the garrison of the village, as well as from succor from the fort. Consequently,
at an early hour last night, orders were given to Colonel Weber, of the
Twentieth New York regiment, and to the Naval Brigade, to immediately send over
their baggage, camp equipage, etc., to the fort, preparatory to a complete
evacuation of the place, that night or early this morning. An additional order
was also given to the effect that all negroes and Union men, with such effects
as they chose to carry with them, be removed from the village last night if
possible. When this order was conveyed to those interested a scene ensued which
baffles all description. The fear of an immediate attack from the rebels, and
the bringing into servitude again of all the negroes, lent wings to the
contrabands, who thickly cluster in the village of Hampton, and the hasty
preparations for instant flight, and the exodus that followed, were the most
laughable and at the same time pitiable sight I ever witnessed. All awakened
from their sleep, they seized such articles as they valued the most, and set out
in the midnight hours, over a long and lonely road leading to the fort, for that
haven in which they looked for comfort and safety that would not be again
disturbed. First came the men, some of then bearing in their arms the little picaninnies, who cried and sobbed from fear; others toting household furniture
upon their heads, hurrying along lest their masters should finally snatch them
from their newly-found freedom,
and again send them to the fields under the overseer's whip. Then came women,
also bearing their clothes, furniture, bedding, and, in short, every thing that
made up their household effects. Children of all ages, sizes, color, and
appearance clung to the skirts of the venerable old negro women, who rushed
hastily along the road, dragging the children after them, and sharply rebuking
their cries and expressions of fear.
So during the entire night, amidst the greatest excitement, and in many cases
agony of fear, the road was thronged with transportation wagons, hurrying along
loaded with baggage, camp equipage, camp utensils, furniture, and other
articles, which jostled the crowd of contrabands hastening along the same route.
Artillery, baggage wagons, soldiers, negroes, all manner of vehicles, sped along
pell-mell during the entire night, and all made confusion worse confounded.
The day broke, and still the road was traversed by contrabands, each one bearing
a load on his or her head or wheeling a creaking barrow, or perhaps draining a
cart loaded down with furniture. The Naval Brigade held their positions at the
redoubt, under arms all night, and ready, with two or three pieces of artillery,
which had been left, to sweep the avenues of approach with shot and shell, if
the enemy should make an attack. At about ten o'clock I rode over to Hampton, to
witness what was expected to be the destruction by fire of the entire village
and bridge leading to it. At that time I met, I was about to say, hundreds of
slaves, men, women, and children, the women invariably turbaned with a flaming
bandana handkerchief, and the children barefooted and without covering to the
head. Not a single article of furniture found in this latitude but might have
been seen on the heads of these unfortunate creatures, and what was too heavy to
carry was placed in the canoes, flatboats, and wherries that dotted the bay,
pulled by swarthy sons of Africa. Never was such an exodus seen before in this
Arriving at Hampton, after passing squads of soldiers at the bridges and along
the roads, we found the village almost deserted, a few soldiers, negroes, some
wagons, and one or two officers' horses were all that could be seen in its
desolate streets. Turning up the main road, toward Yorktown, where the old
county court-house stands, we found the scene of the conflagration, which we
first discovered from the fort. A small wooden structure of great age, lately
occupied as an Odd Fellows' Hall, was in ruins, and the conflagration had so far
destroyed the next building, occupied by the jailer, as to induce them to give
up all hopes of saving it, and to turn their attention to the jail, which was
then burning. All three of the buildings were totally destroyed, in spite of the
efforts of a detachment of Zouaves from the Tenth regiment, who worked the two
fire-engines sent up from the fort. At the time I left Hampton the enemy, who
were near our earth-works, had sent a flag of truce in to General Butler, by a
Captain Rand of the rebel force. I have not learned the object of his mission.
Up to the time I close my letter
General Butler had not determined to receive
the flag. I shall give you the result tomorrow.
Wanted 1000 Agents, to sell Miniature Pins of
Gen. Scott, Butler, and all the
Heroes. Also Great Bargains in Job Lots of Jewelry. Enclose from $1 to $10 for
samples. W. A. HAYWARD, 208
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A 25 Cent Sewing Machine!
And 5 other curious inventions. Agents wanted every where. Descriptive Circulars
sent free. Address SHAW & CLARK, Biddeford, Maine.
EVERY MAN HIS OWN PRINTER.
CHICAGO, Ill., July 5, 1861.—A. S. ADAMS & CO.: I am much pleased with the
Cottage Press, and although I never worked a day at printing in my life, find
myself able to do any kind of small jobs of printing with it, some samples of
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B. W. PHILLIPS.
Prices — Printing Office, complete, No. 2, prints 5x8 inches, $25 ; No. 3, 7x10,
$40 ; No. 4, 12x18, $60. Send for a Circular.
ADAMS PRESS COMPANY,
No. 117 Fulton St., New York.
Matrimony made Easy."—A new work, showing how either sex may be suitably
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$1 only for a Patent Copying Press warranted to copy letters perfectly. By mail
$1.27. Agents wanted by J. H. ATWATER, Providence, R. I.
TO ASSIST DIGESTION
and give Tone to
the Stomach, use LEA & PERRIN'S WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE. JOHN DUNCAN & SONS,
Square and Fourteenth Street, Sole Agents.
To the Book Trade.—FRANKLIN SQUARE, NEW YORK, Julie 18th, 1861: In consequence
of the present deranged state of business, our future sales will be for
Cash—deducting therefor five per cent. on ordinary six months' accounts.
A Trade Circular, containing a List of New Books, is now ready, and may be had
HARPER & BROTHERS.
"A STRANGE STORY,"
By Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton.
Single Copies Six Cents.
One Copy for One Year . . . .$2.50
Two Copies for One Year . . . . 4.00 Harper's Weekly and Harper's
Magazine, one year, $4.00. HARPER'S WEEKLY will be sent gratuitously for one
month—as a specimen—to any one who applies for it. Specimen Numbers of the
MAGAZINE will also be sent gratuitously.
HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS,
FRANKLIN SQUARE, NEW YORK.