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DID HIS DUTY.
COME, bear him to his
With still and solemn tread.
No crown of laurel shall be
Above his youthful head,
No words of praise upon his tomb
To speak of how he fell—
Only the honest epitaph,
"He did his duty well."
Come near and gaze upon the dead
Ere laid beneath the dust;
Gaze on the calm and settled face
With still and solemn trust.
Look on him! let your grief be
And do not mourn as they
Who mourn a youthful spirit lost,
Or birth-right cast away.
How might a mother's heart
To know amid the brave
Her son, the brightest and the
Had found his early grave;
Amid the foremost ranks had
With bold and fearless eye,
And felt within his noble heart
'Twas honor thus to die.
Then bear him to his
With still and solemn tread.
No crown of laurel shall be
Upon his youthful head,
No words of praise upon his tomb
To speak of how he fell—
Only the honest epitaph,
"He did his duty well."
"I AM shamed through all my being
to have loved so slight a thing." Fanny Marvin started, shrank away, and from
behind her little spangled fan looked nervously about her; but Mrs. Grundy was
flirting, or she was sneering, or else she was manoeuvring, or, perhaps, she was
eating; at any rate, she had not heard the fierce, angry whisper. The swaying,
voluptuous music was going on, the camelias near them didn't blush, or the roses
pale, only the dark fire in Captain Heriot's eyes gave the lie to the
conventional smile about his mouth.
John Heriot, following the
impulse of the natural heart, had been idol-worshiping; had enshrined and burned
incense to his new-found deity; and, like the Israelites of old, received as his
wages confusion of face. It was only an additional phase of the old experience,
going on ever since the unsophisticated days when altars smoked to dead, cold,
and still marble: and because we make temples of heart and brain, and worship
principles and passions instead, we can't afford to smile back through the misty
cycles at the Olympiad; for a righteous law ordains that all worship addressed
to any other than God must be given to unworthiness. So John Heriot found it.
Any one could have told him that Fanny Marvin was not purity, tenderness,
womanliness—in a word, only soft eyes and voice, lovely hair and shifting color,
and a rare taste in dress. Hardly the component parts of Captain Heriot's ideal
wife! Sallow, flat-chested, somewhat ungracious Esther Graham was, if he had
known it, far nearer his ideal—only it is so hard to believe that deep, clear
eyes do not always mirror deep, pure thoughts; and so Fanny Marvin might have
been Mrs. Heriot, and John's evil genius, but for the providential circumstance
of young Tandem Dashe and his half million. Captain Heriot's love endured
neither rivalry nor hesitating preference. He flamed out in reproaches,
quarreled fiercely, left her finally with the bitter quotation that heads this
idle story, and went back to his regiment before his furlough had half expired,
very poor indeed—robbed of all trust.
One woman had deceived him,
another never should. They were all alike. Faith was a myth. Loyalty and honor
(feminine) a poetic fiction. A little painted bit of ivory that he had worn
about on his heart he broke up with a scornful laughter that was worse than
tears; two or three faint little notes he held to the flame and watched shrivel
into dust with grim satisfaction. His diamond had proved a pebble, therefore
there were no diamonds.
Houses, on the average, are the
exponents of those who own them; so many stone embodiments of the ruling idea,
the pet idiosyncrasy (those in New York conscientiously excepted, tents being,
in the writer's opinion, the only legitimate expression of metropolitan life).
The house of the widow Ellicott was very like herself. It spoke principally of
the times when Guy, first of the American branch, came to Virginia, bringing the
very bricks of which it was built, a young wife, a slender fortune, and a family
tree, that was of course a sapling in the time of William the Conqueror. It
settled solidly down among the trees, like a house that considered itself an
institution and knew nothing of the first of May. It spread itself out in
brooding, cozy style; it ran to piazzas in the most unlimited way; it opened a
huge door and a broad hall, like a generous heart; it had the traditional wide
staircases and deep-set windows. Every where were cool, dark woods, paneled
walls, waxed floors, with nothing bright about it except the conservatory, and
Faith, only grandchild of Mrs. Ellicott. A lithe little maiden delighting in
soft bright colors, pansy-leaf purples, mid-summer blues, even venturing on
scarlet and amber hues; pale almost to sallowness, but with a perilous power of
lighting up and glowing with an inner diamond-like light, soft
abundant hair, and one real
beauty, brown eyes, tender and deep in expression, shaded by long lashes,
overarched by perfect brows, a quiet, intense face, but—
"Not in the least like the
family, child," her proud old grandmother was used to say—" only you have the
little arched foot, and the rosy nails and palms that are always the marks of a
true Ellicott;" and Faith would look up at the hundred-year-old portrait of a
blue-eyed, fair-haired Faith on the library wall with a curious smile, not at
all as if she felt dimmed by the more patent beauty of her ancestress.
There was another characteristic
of the Ellicotts. An intensity of will and tenacity of opinion, which Faith
shared in common with such matters as the arched foot and rosy palms, though as
yet developed only in visiting people whom Mrs. Grundy didn't delight to
honor—an unwavering adherence to the
Stars and Stripes, and the utterance of
much treason. (See dictionaries south of Mason and Dixon's line.)
She was quite ready, this little
Faith of ours, to brave at once the world and the above-mentioned fashionable
female—not with that calm contempt that knows both their worth and
worthlessness, but the ignorant daring that knows neither.
Society, which couldn't quite
ostracize an Ellicott, advised Mrs. Ellicott "to come to an understanding" with
her refractory grandchild, "as if one could come to an understanding with a
butterfly! or a humming-bird" thought the stately lady, watching Faith taking a
stitch or two at her embroidery frame, flashing out in some gay little ballad,
whirling round and round the room humming a wild waltz measure, and then
flinging herself down amidst the cushions to tease and kiss Nada Blithersoe, her
little golden-haired cousin.
"Come and I will tell you about
the little hare," said gleeful Faith. But the little one, putting out a dimpled
hand as if to keep her off, lisped solemnly,
"Are you very wicked, Cousin
"I don't know, Nada; how ever did
that idea creep under that little golden thatch of yours? Did you get lost in
some of those big books of sermons, when nurse Bella couldn't find you this
"Mamma told grandma this morning
that she couldn't come and see you any more; and I know you must be very
naughty, for mamma always tells me that it is only bad people whom I mustn't go
to see. Have you told a lie, Faith, or disobeyed? Can't you pray to be forgiven?
I like you so much, I want you to be good again."
Faith unconsciously pushed the
child from her, and sat up quite erect, and only looking straight at Mrs.
Ellicott, the careless smile quite gone, and a look to make one think of the
flush in the sky and the light on the wave on a stormy morning.
"Children and fools speak the
truth," said Mrs. Ellicott, sententiously; "and Mrs. Blithersoe only spoke the
sentiments of every other right feeling Southern woman. You can not expect to be
countenanced while you advocate the cause of the enemies of your country."
"Have I asked the countenance of
"You will find it difficult to
stem the tide singly. Besides, what affair is it of yours?"
"There are just two kingdoms—that
of good and that of evil: there are only two standards—those of right and wrong.
He that is not for truth is against her; and, disclaim it as you will, you
conservatives and neutrals are fighting vigorously on the other side."
"What arrogance for a child like
you to pronounce on right and wrong!"
"Has God said, so strait is the
way of truth that a child can not enter therein?"
"Faith, it is very irreverent in
you so to parody the Holy Scriptures. A woman's business is with the needle and
"True; but these are not her sole
concerns. If they had been, we should have been born without brains and
heart—simply a patent compound of instinct, rockers, wheels, pedals, and a
"You will condescend at least to
acknowledge that men know something more of politics than you."
"Of politics, yes; of patriotism,
no. This very child beside me could understand that the flag of the Union which
gave her State life, and the power to live, was that of her country."
Mrs. Ellicott's last shred of
patience gave way.
"I wonder that an Ellicott can
ally herself to that low herd of Northern mudsill abolitionists who are the
whole cause of the war. Do you know that if your friends prosper the next step
will be to free your slaves and make you a beggar?"
"Better that than living in open
defiance of God."
"Has he any where said, Thou
shalt not keep a slave?"
"No; but he has said, 'Do unto
others as ye would that they should do unto you.' I have yet to learn that any
among us have dared shut the gates of heaven against these poor beings, and deny
that they have souls; and if the merciful Jesus really died for them, and
according to his promise lives in the hearts of those among them who love him,
are they not "others?" Are they not included in the commandment? Admit that, and
then, my dear grandmother, if you can find me a man who dares assert that he
would be willing to work all his days for another, be shut out by law from
education and further development, and hold his heart's best affections at the
mercy of another human being, I will go as a vivandiere with our army
"Oh, Faith has grown quite
unanswerable since she has acted as nurse to the Yankee Captain!" Both turned
toward the third speaker, a handsome young man in a lieutenant' uniform,
standing in the door-way.
"Her proficiency is not so
astonishing," he went on, " when you consider her teacher, who, though a child
and blind, has always the cleverest pupils in the world.
A deep glow flamed up in Faith'
"It is manly and generous in you,
Arnold Blithersoe, to attack a girl, and a helpless sufferer! I spent six weeks
at Captain Heriot' house. I was indebted to him for all my pleasure while in New
York. His sister and his fiancee, Fanny Marvin, are my dearest friends; so, when
I saw him tossed into a cart with other moaning wretches, stopping at our door
for a glass of water, and heard from the surgeon that every jolt and turn of the
wheel lessened his chance for life, I should have allowed him to pass on to the
tender mercies of a crowded shed, brevetted by necessity as a hospital. That
would have been noble and worthy of Southern honor, I suppose!"
"Mrs. Ellicott, I appeal to—"
But that lady had prudently
disappeared. The young man flashed a quick glance around. Nada was busy with the
spaniel, the coast was clear; he came and sat beside her on the cushions.
"Faith, are you quite sure that
you don't love Captain Heriot?" he asked, softly, trying to look into her eyes.
No question could well have been
more unfortunate. Love a man who cared nothing for her, who was betrothed! She
would listen to no explanation, no apologies; but flinging aside the hand that
sought hers, went up stairs, face burning, and eyes moist with indignation of
course, at the mere mention of loving John Heriot, and as she was thinking about
him, what more natural than to go in and look at him?
He was lying with half-closed
eyes—closed, I am afraid, only on the instant that he heard a little slippered
foot coming along the hall. He was very still; he breathed like one in sleep;
yet from under his deceitful lids he lost not a movement as she went about the
breezy, pleasant room, looping back a curtain, removing vials, and disappearing
for an instant to come back with her hands full of gay flowers, and sit down on
the floor like a child to arrange them. He saw it all, down to the little
bird-like poise of the head on one side, as she held it up for a final look. He
no longer liked or trusted in women; but then he could admire this little,
bright-tinted picture, that wanted nothing but a frame. She was not pretty, but
she pleased him. The perfect arch of eyebrow and the sweep of the long lashes,
the little ear just showing from under the mass of soft hair brushed smoothly
away, the scarlet of her lips, intense in tone as the heart of some flower that
flamed out under tropical skies, the melting away of a little rounded chin into
her white throat, her deft clinging fingers, the half-revealing of an arched
foot, even the soft blue of her pretty wrapper, soothed and delighted him. She
placed the flowers on a little stand, that had probably borne the silver goblet,
with its foaming night draught, in those old times which Mrs. Ellicott delighted
to mention. She stole up to the bedside in the most exaggerated cat-after-mouse
fashion, a little cool hand rested lightly on his forehead, and either she or
the wind sighed, "Poor John!"
One of his hands seized and
imprisoned hers, and a pair of mischievous eyes opened wide and looked up in her
startled face. Faith's first movement was to try ineffectually for freedom; her
second to despise herself, and say, coolly,
"Oh! you are awake, and better,
"Both; but what has this last
moment done that you are so partial to it, while you freeze up all the rest with
your 'Captain Heriot?' "
"I don't understand you."
"It was 'Poor John!' a moment
"You were dreaming."
"Let me dream always, then."
Here each winced with a
remembrance. John recollected that he neither liked nor trusted women; Faith
thought of Fanny Marvin. His fingers relaxed; hers wrested themselves from his
grasp. She walked away toward the door; but there his voice arrested her.
"One moment before you go. What
is the news?"
"Oh! nothing. I think most of our
battles are fought on paper."
John groaned and turned
"If these confounded wounds would
ever heal!" "Even then you will be a prisoner."
"Oh! I shall be exchanged. Your
cousin, Mr. Blithersoe, has promised to use his influence in my behalf."
"Fanny will have reason to be
glad," said Faith, with a sharp twinge at her heart.
"Fanny! I really don't think my
movements will affect her materially; but I forget, you don't know—our
engagement is broken off."
Faith walked quickly back to the
flowers, looked up as if to speak, checked herself, and bent low over them
again. If it hadn't been quite impossible, one would have said, from the light
in her eyes, that she was glad.
"Well," asked John, who had been
watching her, "are you not sorry for me?"
"Ought I to be?"
"Ought you not?"
"How can I tell? I know nothing
of the circumstances."
"Isn't it bad enough to be
jilted? Don't that call for the deepest commiseration?"
Faith was looking half
"How you speak! I thought you
"I thought so too; but something
of late has shaken my belief. Two creeds are pulling at my poor affections on
their death-bed: one stoutly asserts that I only dreamed, worshiping an idol of
my own creation, not really loved, because I had nothing to love; the other,
that there is no love, only a brief delirium."
"Believe it not!" exclaimed
Faith. "Abase yourself in dust and ashes; confess that you have erred; but don't
be weak enough to deny the existence of the moon because you once made a mistake
about a Roman candle."
"Faith!" called Arnold Blithersoe,
"Come back," said John, under his
Faith nodded and went to the
door. Arnold was there with a stranger in a sort of military undress.
"I have brought the surgeon,
coz," was his salutation," to see if Captain Heriot's wounds will permit him to
move. A lot of prisoners are to be sent on to the Federal lines this afternoon,
and I promised to use my influence in effecting an exchange for him as speedily
There was no mistaking the
triumph of his look, the meaning of his tone; but again Faith's indomitable
pride came to the rescue.
"I think he is well enough, and
he will be very glad," she said, shortly. "He was wishing for it a little while
Then she fled away to her own
room, and kneeling down before her little white bed, was still for a while. An
hour later came a message front Captain Heriot. "Could he see her for an
instant." Faith got up from her knees, bathed her eyes in Cologne water and went
down, calm, with the exception of a subtle tremor about her mouth. She found
John dressed, and feverishly alert and eager.
"I am going," were his first
"So I supposed. I am glad for
"Be sorry for me, too. I shall
not forget the weeks I have spent here."
"Hardly; a doctor twice a day,
medicines, fever, and bandages are not easily forgotten."
"But the tender little nurse who
watched over me must be, of course. I thought you at least were sincere."
"I am," said Faith, proudly.
"Answer then: Is my going a
Faith raised her eyes and tried
to meet his look, failed in that, and was silent.
"What then?" he repeated.
The answer seemed to force itself
from her lips against her will.
"Pain, grief, unutterable."
John's face lighted up; he made a
quick movement toward her, but checked himself.
"The pain and grief of losing a
friend, Faith?" She shrank away, burning with blushes, crushed with shame.
"You are cruel," she said,
passionately. "It is unmanly, dishonorable."
"My little lily, Faith, forgive
me. It was a poor return for my dear little nurse, but I doubted if a woman
dared be true, and could love well enough to put self-love and pride on one
He had drawn her close to him,
and though she made no answer her head rested confidingly enough on his
"Do you think you can be
steadfast?" he asked, after a moment's pause. "You will not hesitate or doubt
either yourself or me?"
For answer she gave him her
hand—a steady little one, as firm as it was soft and white.
"I would doubt not the sincerity,
but the capability of any other woman," he whispered; "but I shall rest on your
"Not on my word, or that of any
mortal's," she answered; "but because I have promised you; trusting in the
strength of Him who is love, you may trust without fear."
So they parted. He is working,
she waiting, both hoping.
ARMY OF THE MISSISSIPPI.
WE publish on
page 589 several
pictures of towns and scenes in Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi, drawn by an
officer of the Army of the Mississippi. The artist describes the points
illustrated as follows:
Trenton is one of the most
important towns on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, and has been noted for its
disloyalty since the rebellion broke out. The country people in the
neighborhood, on the contrary, are thoroughly loyal; and, as they are in the
majority, Union mass meetings have been held in town, hundreds taking the oath.
The town has been recently occupied by the Second Illinois Cavalry and the First
Regiment Kansas Volunteers. An important bridge was burned by a rebel band near
this place; but it was soon repaired, and the inhabitants have been given notice
that a repetition of the outrage will visit them with proper retaliation.
Eastport Landing is an important
point on the Tennessee River at the present troublous time, being the place
where immense quantities of Government stores are deposited for the supply of
our forces in the neighboring parts of Mississippi and Alabama. It is situated
at the foot of the Muscle Shoals, and is the highest point on the river reached
by steamboats of the larger class. It is only a few miles distant from the
Memphis and Charleston Road, to which the stores are transported by teams, and
then distributed by railway. The Eighth Kansas Volunteers occupy the town and
protect the stores from the numerous guerrilla bands that infest this portion of
Humboldt is an important
strategic point in Western Tennessee, being at the crossing of the Memphis and
Ohio and the Mobile and Ohio railroads. It was yielded to our forces very
reluctantly by the rebels. In connection with this sketch is one of the ruins of
a burned bridge, situated on the Memphis and Ohio Railroad, a short distance
from Humboldt. A few days since the track was torn up near this place by a band
of guerrillas; but it was soon repaired, and the road is now open from Columbus
Iuka is a station upon the
Memphis and Charleston Railroad, now in possession of our troops. It is
pleasantly situated, and has recently become quite celebrated on account of a
number of fine (Next Page)