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children a love for sacred things. Morning and evening did I lisp my infantile prayers to her, and it seemed as if she sent them up for me to God.
Come, William, it is high time to be up, if you wish to go out with Roger to the Park, across the Avon, and see the new rookery. The sun is up long before you.
Don't you hear the larks singing? It will soon be breakfast-time, and Roger can't wait.' • Dear mother, I am so sleepy !' You are! and how long has my son been in bed ? Eight hours — and sleepy yet! You must not become a sluggard ! Mother,
• mother, I want to whisper to you; I forgot my prayers last night. You were away, and I fell asleep without saying them.'
Oh, my son, you should be careful never to forget them. You should remember who keeps you alive, and makes you so happy ; and you should always put yourself under His care before you sleep.' Mother, let me say my prayers now.' All this comes upon me now with the freshness of first ideas. And it is just what my dear mother said to me -- I remember it so distinctly! Day after day she would impress some religious truth upon my mind, and so kind, so tenderly, that it would have melted an older heart than mine. How she loved me! How she loves me still! Perhaps with a difference in the feeling too.
To my mother I came with all my troubles ; to her I repeated all my grievances, save one. I never could name to her what sat the heaviest at my young heart - the belief that I was doomed. Often did she perceive that something afflicted me; and most soothingly did she attempt to discover the cause ; but my tongue refused to do its office, if I desired to tell her; and my only relief was in tears. My mother sometimes thought that my fears were of a religious nature; and she would accordingly attempt to comfort me by the soothing promises of the Scriptures. But all in vain. The prophecy haunted me. And to the one of all others who might have afforded consolation I could not speak of it.
My brother Hugh was five years elder than myself, and of course was rather a protector than a play-fellow. He was a noble boy ; kind in his nature, quick in his feelings, and forgiving and generous to a fault. We loved each other fondly. Evil betide the one who dared offer indignity to me when Hugh was present! He took a pride in defending me, and fancied himself a man, as he fought battles and achieved victories in my behalf. He was intelligent and apt in his studies, though not of a thoughtful turn. He had a fine voice, prepossessing manners, and a rapid flow of language, together with a commanding energy of character, which overcame every obstacle.
My little sister was a general favorite; and though in great danger of being spoiled in consequence, yet by the judicious government of both parents, was preserved from such an unhappy fate. She was very like her mother in disposition, and being educated at home, under her immediate direction, it was no wonder that the resemblance daily grew stronger. I will mention one more, and our family are all told. There resided with my father a maiden aunt, many years older than himself, who had always lived at the castle. She was an elder sister of Hugh
St. Leger, and had occupied one room in the old castle all her life. This was a small but neatly-finished chamber, on the river side, commanding a fine view of the Avon, and the country beyond.
This singular woman, at the time of my birth, was nearly seventy. In appearance she was tall and commanding. Her hair was perfectly white, and she wore it short over her head. She had gray eyes, which sparkled with the brightness of youth, and retained all their original quickness of vision. Her habits were very peculiar. She required but little service, although one of the old crones I spoke of was always in attendance upon her. With the family her intercourse was singular enough. She very rarely came to the table, and never sought the society of any one; yet when addressed, she would mingle freely in conversation, showing remarkable accuracy in matters of history, and especially in chronology. Yet she invariably added to the truth strange matters of fiction, which possessed such a verisimilitude, that none knew when to credit her. She spent most of her time either in her own apartment, musing and reading, or in wandering along the banks of the Avon, plucking a flower here and there, or picking up small pebbles on the shore; talking to herself the while, with great earnestness. The usual occupations of her sex she never engaged in for a moment. I know not if she knew the use of the needle. She rarely retired to rest until the night was far spent, and seldom rose before mid-day.
As may be supposed, such a person produced upon my mind a most lasting impression. When a child, she was a mystery to me; and as I became older, she was no less an enigma. She appeared to have no sympathies; yet she seemed, judging from her acts, to be attached to us all. If I deemed myself slighted by any of the servants, I had only to tell Aunt Alice, and without investigation or question, the offen. der was subjected to the severest reproof. If I was ill, I found my way to Aunt Alice's apartment, and received every attention which it was in her power to bestow. Nothing asked of her was refused, and she never tired of our importunities. Yet in all this, no feeling, no sympathy was manifested ; all was cold — without heart, without lise. Yet she was roused to anger by the slightest opposition. Seldom in. deed did she meet with it, but when she did, the storm and whirlwind were fit emblems of her wrath. These paroxysms lasted but for a brief space; and in the exhibition of them there was the same want of feeling, of vital passion, as in her calm moments. Passionless; possessing nothing like affection in her heart, with no apparent ties on earth; she seemed to regard every thing around her like shadows on the wall : they came, they went - but they were shadows still, while she remained the same. Often have I crept close to her, as she wandered out on some of her long walks, and listened to the conversation she was holding with herself. This was sometimes in a foreign language, of which I knew nothing. When she spoke in our own tongue, her subject was generally of things long past, of which I could understand but little. I could perceive that she often kept up an imaginary conversation with two, and sometimes three persons, with great volubility ; and I could in consequence very rarely make out a connected link of what was said.
Again I would steal unnoticeu into her room, and listen as she recited strange events of history, which made my young blood run cold, and my heart beat so violently that I was glad to discover myself, and ask some favor at her hands. At last I came to spend a great deal of time in her apartment; and Aunt Alice would relate to me, in the same passionless style, long-forgotten stories of our house; marked passages of history relating to it; and a minute and almost tedious narrative of historical events, relative to any subject I chose to start. These were always entirely free from the ordinary gossip with which lovers of the marvellous are apt to lard their stories, and therefore produced the stronger impression. Of course Aunt Alice was familiar with the prophecy to which I have alluded; but she only spoke of it as a historical fact, and by no persuasion or artifice could she be induced to give an opinion of its application; neither would she listen to any from another person; so that my morbid fears found no relief from her. Treated with marked respect by my father and all the family; allowed to have her will in every thing; this very remarkable woman lived among us like a spirit of another world. She came and went unquestioned ; continued year after year, pursuing the same round of strange employments; solitary and soulless; having no sympathy with her sex, no feeling with her kind.
Of youth's deep fearless trust, that light the scroll
Give back - for thou hast more -
But tenderness to pour :
Give back!- who shall explore
Or Science dared to soar ?
Not till the stars shall fall,
Beneath thy mystic pall:
As the bright flowers wake from their wintry tomb,
Yet start not, nor shrink from the race I must run,
Unsullied and pure is the future's broad scroll,
THERE are many excellent stories of the Bench and Bar of Vermont, very current among the good people of the State, which however I do not remember to have seen in print, and which I dare say are little known abroad. Some of these I shall here set down precisely as I heard them from the mouth of an old lawyer, who is well known as the Nestor of the gown and wig in Vermont. If it should turn out, as it often happens in matters of this sort, that any of the incidents here related shall be claimed to have occurred somewhere else, to the honor of some other of our sovereign States, I beg leave to declare, according to established usage, that any such pretension is wholly unfounded, and that any versions different from my own are altogether apocryphal.
It was formerly a custom in Vermont, although now little practised, for a lawyer, when promoted to the dignity of the bench, to follow up his old retainers;' and accordingly whenever a case came on in which “his Honor' was concerned as counsel, he immediately doffed the ermine, resumed the gown, and battled away among the attornies, in the old style. Apropos of the metamorphose in question ; a story is told of Judge Chase, now many years deceased. The judge was a man of very ardent temperament, and in debate was exceedingly vehement and vociferous. In an important cause he was making the closing argument to the jury, and with much warmth and earnestness of manner, insisting on a 'verdict for the plaintiff.' A friend of the defendant, who had been listening to the concluding part of the attorney's address, and who supposed that he was acting in his judicial capacity, ran out of the house, declaring that he never saw such abominable partiality in his life.' Meeting the defendant in the street, he told him he might as well go home at once, for the judge had charged his case to the devil, and the plaintiff was sure to recover !'
Judge Chase was a man of excellent sense, and withal a great stickler for the dignity of courts. A case of very trifling importance, having well nigh run the gauntlet of legal adjudication, came up at length to the highest court in the state. The counsel for the plaintiff was opening with the usual apologies for a frivolous suit, when the subject-matter, “to wit, one turkey, of great value,' etc., catching the ear of the judge, he called out : « Mr. Clerk, strike that case from the docket; the Supreme Court of the State of Vermont does not sit here to determine the ownership of a turkey!'
There lives in the northern part of the State a lawyer and ex judge, who is very famous for his wit. He has kept a respectable law school at his chambers, 'on and off,' for the last forty years; and is still teaching the elements of his profession to a “knot of legal limbs,'having