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Robert E. Lee Portrait
Margaret must commence the developing process; so Mrs. Dayta took her to Rome,
spent four years between there and
Venice—for she was in no hurry.
She considered haste the sign-manual of weakness, + his mark. During
those years Margaret's mother died and her father took a second wife—a
vulgar, shrewish woman; from that time Bagdad would have been as eligible an
abiding place in her thought as the lonely farm-house in Virginia; and Sweet
Air, Mrs. Dayta's country seat, where they quietly settled on their return,
became in truth her home: so pleasant a one that she rarely thought of the
cloud, no larger than a man's hand, on her horizon—her utter dependence and
There had been two days of pitiless fog and drizzle, borrowed of November, with
no hope of clearing till late in the afternoon, when a cold gleam showed above
the hills, followed by a flash and
sparkle of sunshine, a sudden blaze of the sun low down in the west, and
a surge and rush of clouds, burning fiercely at their ragged edges, reft,
broken through by long quivering gleams of brightness,
darker than scarlet, deeper than gold; in its turn caught, embosomed,
swept away in the purple rout
toward the sea, or tossed high toward mid-heaven, bursting out in rosy
flushes through the tangle and the
fluttering of the trees; and Margaret, wrapped in a cloak and hood,
watching it an from the crumbling bank overlooking the river.
She was not too pleased to hear some one coming
down the walk. It sounded like Roscoe Baring's step; if not, it must be Lucius
Marvin, familiarly known as "Lucy." Hard to tell which she disliked the most! It
to be Douglas Erfut. What
sent him there?
She had thought him a
fixture near Mrs. Dayta.
He came and stood beside her silently and reverently
till the glory was quite gone—then,
"Thank you," said Margaret, turning around.
"I know no one else who
would have had so much
sense. Only the gag could have hindered them from breaking in on the
divine service that has been going on."
Douglas smiled at her, not with his lips but out
of the depths of a remarkable pair of blue
"You must come in.
This wind it too cool for you."
"On the contrary I am thawing out. When I came out I was a petrifaction of
disgust. The waters of small talk have been dropping on me for the past two
days, and every good and pleasant feeling is nearly turned into stone."
"Your own fault."
"You know nothing at all about it. You are all day with your books, and your
busy, stirring life. The quiet that is stagnation to me is rest to you. The rose
that has been running its thorns into me all day shows you only blushes. Here,
too, when you are tired, you can play billiards, smoke your cigars, and talk
politics in your detestable slang, though I protest I had rather
hear it than the nonsense about Ada Pentable and her diamonds, and Sam
Masser's match, Mrs. Devant's housekeeping, her rouge, and her d'Aloncon
shawl. I am interested in neither flannels nor silk.
I don't care whether Selina's aunt was Miss Eastman or Miss Portman. I
like none of these things."
"You need not let them injure you."
It is all our life. Dressing, driving,
gossiping, with such dreary variations as Lucy's
'I say now, Miss Margaret, ain't that jolly?' or Roscoe Baring's
'A person of your fine mind can not but appreciate,'
Margaret mimicked tone and manner with precision. Douglas looked astonished.
"I beg your pardon, but really I
have always thought you were trying to decide which of those two gentlemen is
the most bearable."
Margaret's cheeks flamed even
in the darkness, but
she answered, half-defiantly,
"Well, could I do better?"
"Yes, if you dare."
They were close upon the house; no time then to ask his meaning even if she
had wished. In the drawing-room the people were all gathered about the
fire, and their entrance was hardly noticed.
Douglas sat down by Margaret in the shadow.
"Dare you?" he asked, as if in continuation of their conversation.
"Dare I what?"
Sudden flame shot up in their
faces. Mrs. Dayta had quietly lighted a lamp swinging near them, and
stood scanning them.
"Did you have a pleasant walk?" she asked.
"We had no walk at all. I found
Miss Margaret shivering on the bank, and brought her in."
"Most grandmotherly of you! But seriously, Margaret, you look as if you were
thoroughly chilled; go over by the fire, my love."
Margaret went over to the hearth, and stood there holding up a little walking
boot to the dancing blaze, and looking into it with dreaming eyes, listening
perhaps to the wind beating up against the broad front of the house, and
gibbering in the chimney.
"What are you thinking of?" asked Roscoe Baring, who had been watching her. "You
look mutinous, what the Scotch call 'raised.' Did you meet a spirit in your
"I don't know—perhaps."
"Your destiny, of course."
Margaret started. Groping
in the dark Roscoe had struck fall at what in her mind was most
antagonistic to him.
"A destiny!" she answered, with spirit. "I doubt if it will be mine. I don't
It was Mrs. Dayta exclaiming at the other end of the room. In walking about the
billiard-table she had struck her
little jeweled back-comb against a bracket, or caught her braid in it,
or, at any rate, there it was, all down around her, her superb hair, longer even
than Margaret's, of that lovely brown that here and there brightens into reddish
gold; and what with gossamer sleeves falling away from her handsome arms as she
put it back, and the white gleaming
of little hands in the
soft-clinging mass, and the sparkle of diamonds
catching the light, making a very pretty picture for
all whom it might concern—Mr. Erfut, for instance. Perhaps Margaret
didn't think it pretty. At any rate
she turned her back, brought out from a blue silk nest a thimble, which,
if thimbles can feel, must have been not a little astonished at its unusual
perch on her finger, and sewed savagely all the evening, not even stopping for
coffee; but after a while a
well-shaped masculine hand, on which sparkled a certain familiar signet
ring, set down a tiny cup before her, and Douglas Erfut said in her ear,
"Miss Margaret, listen to this apropos of our
conversation: "'Suffering and sacrifice is the price of truth and good.
Roads slope easily downward, and climb painfully upward, but at the end of one a
ditch awaits you; the other winds into the very rose and sapphire of heaven
"Whose writing is that?" asked Margaret, looking up in surprise, but dropping
her eyes the instant after under his steady, meaning look, and crimsoning to the
temples at her own simplicity; while Mrs. Dayta, watching them with jealous,
wrathful eyes over her coffee-cup, cried out, like Athaliah, "treason" in her
It was at this juncture that she had favored them
with the declaration with which we commence;
ominous enough for Margaret, energetically hating
the fate chosen for her by Mrs. Dayta in the person
of Lucius, or Roscoe Baring, just awakened to
the possibility of resistance, half shrinking from
the struggle, wholly uncertain of her own strength.
At this time they left Sweet Air for their usual winter's stay in town.
Douglas came daily, so did Roscoe and Lucius; and the world said that Mrs. Dayta
would become Mrs. Erfut, and that Margaret was coquetting, quoting the proverb
about "two stools," etc., and nearing the truth as closely as usual.
Came that memorable 13th of April, the rising of the North, the pouring forth of
volunteers, and foremost among them, enlisting as a private, and for the war,
Douglas Erfut. When they heard of it, Margaret and Mrs. Dayta both turned white,
looked at each other stealthily, saw only a blank, and resigned themselves to
wait as only women can.
It was the evening before Douglas's going, Margaret's
birth-night also; music sounding out in the drawing-room, airy
flutterings, whisperings, and rustlings every where; lights springing from the
burning hearts of brazen flowers, or streaming moon-like
from alabaster globes, pale honey-suckles hanging over broad-brimmed
marble vases, lilies, scarlet fuschias, purple and golden leaved pansies crowded
in their centre, or swinging in baskets of cool moss from the walls, Mrs. Dayta
calm and watchful, Margaret starting at every new arrival, and looking like a
spirit; that was the way Douglas found them. He was nervous too in his way. He
would not be hindered by the crowd, he would not be detained by Mrs. Dayta, but
cut his way through it all like Saladin's sword, and as if by instinct found
Margaret sitting alone for the instant. She tried hard for composure, but her
cheeks would burn, her voice would tremble.
"How late you were! I thought you were not coming at all."
"You could never have believed that—besides, I am not the latest. I see Roscoe
and Lucy are not here yet."
"I don't think they will honor us."
Something in Margaret's tone made him start, look earnestly for a moment, then
"You have done it, then."
"Done what? How malicious you look! I have told you nothing."
Douglas put such trifling on one side with a wave
of his hand:
"I am serious now. What will Mrs. Dayta say?"
"How can I tell? You heard her the other morning. You need not look so. I have
counted the cost. I have the instincts of my race—I love all this (looking about
her) with passion even. The bright colors, the fragrant air, the luxury, the
very winding of the stairs are to me hourly pleasure; but I can accept the
details even of a poor and squalid life better than disgust and death in life,
with Roscoe Baring or Lucy. Once I thought it might be endured—"
She stopped short, arrested by the triumph of Douglas's eyes, tried to rally,
flushed all over her pale face,
stammered, fell into hopeless confusion, and bending low her proud head
began to pull a honey-suckle to pieces leaf by leaf. Douglas caught the little
destroying hands and held them fast in his own.
"How is it with me, Margaret?" he asked, softly.
"Let me hear my sentence too. Would life with me be death in life also?"
Margaret was silent, but she offered no resistance when he drew her close to his
"Margaret, do you love me?"
"Oh, hush!—you know."
"No, I am unbelieving as Thomas. I can't take in so much happiness. Set it to
music. Say Douglas I love you."
"Oh, I can't; you know that I do."
Douglas took off his ring—a shield of onyx, bearing the word Mizpah in Hebrew
lettering, each quaint character picked out in diamond sparks.
"You will wear this, and remember its meaning," he said. "The Lord watch between
me and thee, when we are absent one
from another. My darling, you will think of me often."
"What else shall I have to do?"
" I hope nothing more distasteful; yet I wish I was not so inexorably hurried
away. I don't half like leaving you to the tender mercies of Mrs. Dayta."
"Hush!" whispered Margaret; voices and steps were in perilous neighborhood,
people coming to look for cloaks and hoods. Douglas found time for only one word
more, as they were standing in the door-way.
"You will write me often?"
The words were spoken half in a whisper, Douglas held her hand but an instant,
but Mrs. Dayta caught both words and look, and the shadow that had haunted her
face for the last few weeks deepened
and darkened as she went back into the bright deserted rooms. Margaret
had not yet gone up stairs but seated herself on the first sofa that fell in her
way, unconscious of any thing but her own thought, not smiling, but reflecting
in face and air some inward glory. This radiance completed Mrs. Dayta's
exasperation. The sullen wrath that had smouldered so long flamed up in fierce
invective. Margaret had set aside the purpose and the ambition of years as a
very little thing, had stolen from her the only love she had ever valued. She
had waited till doubting was at an end. Now she raged all the more furiously,
because of her long self-control. Margaret listened, at first bewildered and
half-terrified, grew then indignant, answered at last coolly contemptuous.
Between these two truce could never exist again. No refuge was left Margaret now
but her father's house, and the welcome,
if the clammy fingers and the cool, unfriendly scrutiny of her
step-mother could be called by so warm a name. Up the hill Difficulty lay
Margaret's road from this time; her father had never loved her overmuch, had
ceased to think of her as his; her step-mother said openly,
"That if she didn't care enough for her family to
stay with them, she would have more spirit than to
come back to take the bread out of their mouths when her fine friends shoved her
Unjust as well as cruel, since Margaret worked,
not indeed over wash-tub and stove, but with children
and sewing, night and day.
One only consolation was left her. She must hear from Douglas soon. She had
written to him a week ago, but the
days went on into weeks, and at last Margaret said to herself with a
shudder, "It is a month." Two months, and hope began to fade; three, and it died
quite away. Douglas had not cared
to answer; she was deserted; utterly alone in life. People don't thrive
on convictions of that sort; and
Margaret drooped so fast that at last even her father saw, and pulling
the work from her hands roughly
told her to let it alone, and stay out in the air till she could look a
little less like a ghost. She obeyed, but always in the same listless,
hopeless way. The mountains could give her
none of their solemn peace and assurance, and when
she sought it from above, she only groped for it in the dark, asked it of
a God far off, and was not answered.
She stood one evening as she had stood a year before, watching the day go out.
Heavy clouds rushed to bar out the sinking sun, and the dying
light had risen against it in blood-red revolt, scaled the dark mass,
hurled down on it such flakes of flame as might pave the road to heaven, shot
out over it in long arrowy gleams, filled all the west with awful living
splendor. The hills below her were
already asleep in shadow, the mountain gloomed above, its still fields
dark to the very top, but uplifting
the woods on its crest into the very heart of the intolerable glory; and
the brown leaves burned darkly in the clear light, and about the
cool, dark green of pines and cedars writhed scarlet
vines, and showing, through trembling boughs of larch, yellows and
crimson blended in a wild mosaic.
" 'Pears like as ef de Lord was jes dar," said old
Juliet, once Margaret's nurse, drawing near. "Dat some sech burnin' as de
Holy ob Holies. I clar I'se most feared to look, I feels him so close."
"Not to me, Juliet. It only seems wrathful and burning. I can't find the Lord."
"Kase you looks too fur, honey chile. Tell ye
he's close by; he's got hole ob your hand jes now, poor lamb! He's been
callin' you dis long time; now he's waitin' for you to come."
"He has taken away every thing from me," exclaimed Margaret, passionately. "He
has left me nothing. I am desolate—bereaved."
"Do don't say dat, Miss Margret. De Lord's ways not man's ways. Tink how he led
Moses clar to de back ob de desert,
and what he showed 'Lijah in de cave in de mountain, like dis yer,
p'raps, and how our blessed Jesus preached in de wild places 'cause de
prince ob dis world stopped de eyes and ears in de cities, jes as he done wid
you; and ef you feels cast down, tink ob dat poor
soul Joseph sold away among strangers, younger dan you. Spec his heart
went down like lead sometimes when he was in dat yer prison, clean forgot ob
every one. But he come out all glorious in de end—'member dat, Miss Margret."
"I can't think. I want comfort, not thought; that is driving me mad already,"
sighed Margaret. "I am alone, deserted altogether." ,
"No, you ain't, you precious chile. Tell you
Christ jes here; not fur off, way up 'mong de stars, as you tink. Try and
believe, poor chile; only put out yer hand and say, Lord help, I will come.
Needn't be afraid to step, Miss Margret, he'll ketch you; won't let you
fall, no more'n he let Peter drown;
only try and see!" exclaimed Juliet, tears streaming fast down her face.
A blank must come here. Of that abiding of Christ with flesh and blood those
only can know who dare take his promises fully to themselves.
Words are not sufficient for the things of the spirit.
Enough that Margaret found that peace that passeth all understanding.
The times grew stormier. War made itself heard
and felt even there; parties of scouts belonging to either side grew to
be no infrequent visitors. Margaret viewed them with utter indifference. What
were their wars and fightings to her? But one
night she caught the tones of a voice that made her
heart leap up with a sickening throb, and turning
short she met the incredulous look of a pair of blue eyes that certainly
in the old time belonged to Douglas Erfut.
And then hesitation and reproach on either side.
"How cruel you have been to hide yourself here without a word!"
"You have forgotten me."
"Forgotten! I have looked for you every where. Why didn't you write?"
"I have never received a line. I have been trying to find you for the last six
months. I had commenced to despair."
And then Margaret told him all the story of that sorrowful year, ending with a
glance at the ring.
"So you see, Douglas, the Lord did watch between us." And so she found rest, for
be sure he did not leave her long in that dreary house, but took her into his
life and to his heart forever.
WE publish on
page 748 a picture of the United
States steamship VANDERBILT, which has just gone in chase of the
Alabama. This magnificent vessel,
the finest man-of-war in our navy, was built, at a cost of nearly one
million of dollars, for Commodore
Vanderbilt by Mr. Jeremiah Simonson some five years ago, and was last
year presented to the Government as a free gift by her owner. She is 340 feet
long, 49 feet beam, 33 feet depth of hold, and 5268 tons. She is propelled by
two engines of 2500-horse power, and is notoriously the
fastest vessel afloat, as well as one of the strongest. To prepare her
for fighting, all her upper works on the main-deck have been cut away, leaving
her deck flush from bow to stern. She carries twelve nine-inch
six on a side, and two 100-pound Parrott guns, one forward and the other aft.
Her power as a ram has often been described. Being solid for fifty feet from the
bow, she could run down any vessel in the world. She is commanded by Commander
Baldwin. We hope he may meet the Alabama.
BRIGADIER-GENERAL DAVID S. STANLEY, whose portrait we give on
page 749, is a
native of Ohio. He entered the Military Academy in 1848, and graduated ninth in
the large class of 1852. His first service, after the usual routine of duty at
the cavalry school of practice at Carlisle, was with the Surveying Expedition to
the Pacific under Lieutenant Whipple. On the return of the expedition he was
assigned to duty with his regiment, on the Western frontier, where, in several
conflicts with the Indians, he distinguished himself for energy and courage.
Lieutenant-General Scott, in his brief notices of events connected with the
campaigns of 1859, says: "The prompt and gallant First Lieutenant David S.
Stanley, First Cavalry from Fort Arbuckle, with Company D of his regiment,
pursued into the Wishita Mountains a party of Comanches thirty minutes after
receiving his orders. After an exciting steeple-chase of several miles over
rocks, the detachment killed and left dead on the field seven Comanches."
On the breaking out of the rebellion General Stanley was a captain of the First
(now the Fourth) Cavalry, and with his Company was distinguished
in several engagements with the rebels in Missouri: in the affair at
Forsyth having his horse killed under him. He acted a most conspicuous part at
New Madrid and Island No. 10, at Iuka, and, last, at the battle of Corinth, in
command of a division, where he gallantly led the brilliant charge of the
Eleventh Missouri and
Twenty-seventh Ohio, which was the crowning act in that glorious victory.
page 749 we give a portrait of COLONEL
RUFUS INGALLS, Chief Quarter-master of the Army of the Potomac, and one
of our best soldiers. The following sketch will explain who the General is:
Rufus Ingalls, United States Army, Chief Quarter-master
of the Army of the Potomac, entered West Point as
Cadet in 1839, and graduated in 1843. He was born in
Denmark, Maine, August 23, 1820; was first sent to duty
in Louisiana, with the celebrated rifle regiment, formerly
Second Dragoons, now the Second Cavalry, and served
under the late rebel General Twiggy, on the borders of
Texas, when that State was a Republic.
In the year 1845 he was promoted to a Lieutenancy in
the First Dragoons, and joined that regiment at Fort Leavenworth
in May of that year. At the breaking out of the
Mexican War he was Adjutant of that post, which was
most of the time under
General Kearney, and assisted in
mustering in and drilling Doniphan's famous regiment.
He marched afterward into
New Mexico with General
Kearney, where he served in
various parts of the Territory
until the autumn of 1847, when he was relieved and
ordered to California.
He was present in the conflicts at Embudo and Pueblo-de-Taos,
during the insurrection in the early part of 1847;
and when Captain Burgeoin fell in the latter battle, February
4, 1847, he was by his side, and assumed command
of the regulars on the field. He was brevetted for "gallantry
and good conduct" on that occasion.
In January, 1848, he was made a Captain in the Quarter-master's
Department, and in April following sailed for
California, via Cape Horn, with the first recruits that
were sent to that coast.
After a long period of service on the Pacific he returned
to the Atlantic States. Before the
attack on Fort Sumter
he sailed with the command of Colonel Brown, as his Chief
Quarter-master, to reinforce Fort Pickens, where he served
until July, 1861, when he was withdrawn, and ordered to
duty as Chief Quarter-master on the south side of the Potomac,
at Arlington, where his duties were laborious and
responsible, and where he served with signal success; in
consideration of which he was appointed an Aid-de-camp,
with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, to
When it was decided by General M'Clellan to move
against Richmond by the Peninsula, Colonel Ingalls was
appointed to take the direct charge of the transportation
and supplies of his army.
It is well known to all who have been with the army
what his labors have been; with what judgment and promptness
every want has been anticipated, in the changing of
Fortress Monroe, via Ship Point, Cheeseman's
Yorktown, and the White House, on the Pamunky,
around to Harrison's Landing, on the
James River, with
numerous fleets of vessels and trains of wagons.
On the 12th of January, 1862, he was made a Major in
the Quarter-master's Department, by act of Congress, for
fourteen years' faithful service in that department, and
on the retirement of General Van Vliet, Colonel Ingalls
was announced as Chief Quarter-master of the Army of the