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the flag,—with such shouts, and hurrahs, and waving of handkerchiefs-and ‘Hail, Columbia !' from the band. And then at supper they toasted Commodore Decatur and his officers and crew, with ten times ten, it seemed to me-instead of three times three. My dear, you never heard people shout as we did."
“You among the rest?” said Rosalie, smiling.
“I don't know I'm sure I cried. And vos beaux yeux are sparkling even at my poor account. There go the guns!'
They both started up and stood listening; and while all the bells of the city rang out their gladness, the guns at the Battery gave a response for the old Thirteen-a pledge that not one of them should be wanting in the contest.
“The bells will ring for an hour yet,” said Marion, as the last report died away, so you may as well sit down and listen at your leisure. Poor Mary Laton ! how can she bear all this! Her eldest son was killed in the engagement. Well, I must go. How lovely you look, child !-these guns have put colour in your cheekstry and keep it for your visitors–0 no, you will not see them. Poor child ! and dear child, and every kind of a child that ever was well beloved, goodbye.” And giving Rosalie a half-dozen kisses, Miss Arnet quitted the room.
When little Hulda next awoke, she found Martha keeping watch at her bedside.
Not, indeed, keeping watch of her-for Martha's eyes were intent upon four long shining knitting-needles that were kicking about at a great rate; while below them depended a short worsted cylinder of clouded blue yarn.
What are you doing, Martha?" said Hulda.
Massy! child, how you scar't me! and made me drop a stitch into the bargain. Why, I'm a knittin'-didn't you never see nobody knit afore?"
“O yes, but not such a looking thing as that,” said Hulda, disapprovingly. “What is it?"
* It's a first-rate lookin' thing, I can tell you," said Martha“first-rate feelin', too. It's a mitten.'
“What's a mitten?" said Hulda, who, being a young lady convalescent and at leisure, was well disposed to ask questions.
“Don't you know?-them things people wears on their hands. It aint a glove, but it kivers a person's hand just as well-some folks thinks better."
“O I know now," said Hulda, "it's like a little bag with a thumb to it."
“Well, I s'pose it does look considerable like that,” said Martha, knitting away with renewed energy,
“Only a bag is shut up at one end,” said Hulda, doubtfully.
“A thing can't be finished till it's done,” said Martha, sententiously:
Hulda looked on for a while in silence. “Is that little hole for the thumb to come out of?" “For nothing else," said Martha. “But who are they for?” said Hulda; "that is too big for you." off ;
"La sakes, Hulda, you aint waked up, be you? I guess it'll be some time afore I want mittens to sew in. These is for the militie.” “The militia !” said Hulda. “Why, they don't want mittens.'
Don't they though ?-then you know more about it than Tom Skiddy, for he says his hands gets awful cold sometimes, mornings. And you see, Hulda, the paper says the ladies up to Newburgh and Hudson, and all along shore there, has been knittin' their fingers
and sent I do know how many pairs of socks and mittens -six hundred, I guess, more or less-up to the Governor for the militie; and there was printed thanks to 'em in the paper,--so I don't see why folks here mustn't do nothing."
“O yes, Rosalie told me about that,” said Hulda. "But she said those were for the soldiers away off-somewhere where it's
" 'Taint cold here, I s'pose,” said Martha ; "we don't have to make fires in these parts.”
“But it isn't so cold as some other places.”
“La, child, so long's fingers gets froze, it don't make much odds about the theometer. And fingers can get froze in this town o' York-Tom Skiddy says so.
"You like Tom Skiddy very much, don't you?” said Hulda.
“He aint so bad he couldn't be worse,” replied Martha, when her head had taken two or three turns as if her mind were balancing as well.
“But isn't he very good to you?” pursued Hulda. “Good to me!” said Marthă, with a gyration of more dignity; "he aint got quite so far as that yet. Once in a while I'm good to him and he's pretty good to himself. That's about the state of the case. Only I may as well give the mittens to the first militieman that comes handy; instead of sending 'em off to nobody knows who, nor whether they'd fit.”
Hulda looked on again thoughtfully.
“I can't see why poor folks should lose their fingers because the capting buys yaller gloves,” said Martha. And, inspired by the freezing fingers, hers Hew the faster.
“How very quick you knit!” said Hulda.
“Don't I, though !” said Martha, “ as quick as most folks. I always was spry. And you see, Hulda, I'll put blue and white fringe to the top; and the way they'll keep Tom Skiddy's fingers warm, 'll be a caution.”
Each vapour that obscured the sunset's ray,
In duskier braids around the eyes of day;
Creep hand in hand from yon obscurest glen.-SHELLEY. It was Sunday afternoon; and, unlike most perfect things, the daylight lingered; and a fair specimen of winter drew slowly to
its close. The last sunbeams played persuasively about the hardfeatured city, as if to draw and lead its attention towards the great light of the world; even as had the light of truth that day touched some hearts that slowly moved off beyond its reach.
Little Hulda sat in her sister's lap by the parlour fire; sometimes putting forth simple questions and remarks in a very unostentatious way, and sometimes silently following her sister's eyes, as they gazed upon the fire or looked out into the darkening
light. At the window, half withdrawn within the curtains, sat Thornton. He bad but just come in, and seemed not to have brought his mind in with him, for his attention was given undividedly to the street. At least it seemed to be; but from a certain moody aspect, from the gloomy air with which he now and then nodded to a passer-by, his sister judged that his thoughts were busy not only within doors, but within himselfNeither pleasantly nor profitably, she thought -it was more like the clouds which cover up the day than the darkness which precedes it.
Afraid that he should think she was watching him, her eye came back to the fire, and then down to the little face on her breast. Hulda was observing her very anxiously, but the anxiety broke away and a smile came. “ Are you tired, Alie:” said the child, stroking her face.
A little." “Were you out this afternoon?" said Thornton, abruptly turn ing his head.
“No-I stayed with Hulda."
“0, with some scholars who are older and know less," said Rosalie.
“In other words, with your kitchen Bible-class,” said Thornton, in a way which gave the adjective its full effect.
She bowed her head slightly, but without looking at him, and answered, “Even so.
Her brother eyed her for a minute, and then said more softly, “What do you do so for, Alie:—it's too absurd, and wrong; Tiring yourself out as if you were not possessed of common sense.
Why you declared yourself tired out yesterday,” said his sister, smiling. “But I had been amusing myself-taking my pleasure.”
And I have been taking mine." “Nonsense! Do you expect me to believe that you like to hear bad English and worse theology if it is only kept in countenance by the kitchen dresser?”
“Not theology at all,” said his sister, "only the Bible; and that is sweet English to my ear always. And if it were not- Thornton, you would have liked to bear a hand in the destruction of the Bastile?"
“There you are," said Thornton, “off on some unpursuable tangent. The most impossible person to argue with I ever saw !" and his head turned to the window again.
haven't said any hymn to-night, Alie,” said little Hulda. Well, dear, it is not too late. 'O
no, said Hulda, “but I haven't learned any new one." “ Then tell me one of the old,” Hulda considered awhile, and began very slowly and distinctly.
“ Little travellers Zionward,
Each one entering into rest,
Let the little travellers in !
Pacing life's dark journey through,
I from islands of the main.
Every tear and pain gone by,
Let the little travellers in!" Rosalie had listened with her face bent down and resting upon the child's head; drinking in the words with double pleasure from those little lips, and blessing God in her heart for the life and immortality so clearly brought to light, so simply put forth within the reach of a child's faith. She glanced towards her brother, but the moodiness was greater than ever.
“What makes you sigh, Alie?" said Hulda, looking up. “Don't you think that's a pretty hymn ?"
“I do indeed. But Hulda, who are these little travellers ?"
"You told me,” said Hulda again, with her usual smile at escribing anything to lier sister. “I remember you said it was going after him with cur hearts more than any other way. You said that merely to keep some of God's commands without trying to love him, was like walking backwards."
'Yes, the people who are seeking first the kingdom of God are not yet free from sin-they do slip and fall sometimes—but that is their grief. Their faces are toward heaven--their desire is to do the will of God, because he has loved them and given himself for them."
“I wish I could,” said Hulda, who was looking gravely into the fire; "I do try. I like that hymn so much, Alie. It's so pleasant to think that there will be all sorts of poor little children in heaven -and there they'll be just as happy as any one else.”.
* Yes,” said her sister, with a long breath, "all will be happy in
heaven; and there will be no difference there. Those gates are open to all who follow Christ, and the little black children are as free to go in as the white. It is not any particular nation, nor any particular church, but 'the redeemed of the Lord,' that shall 'return and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.'
“ Aren't you ready to have candles?" said Thornton, suddenly quitting his seat at the window. “It's excessively stupid sitting here in the dark.'
Rosalie reached out her hand the bell-cord, while Hulda exclaimed,
Stupid ! O that was because you were too far off to hear what Alie was talking about.'
“It was not because I was too far off."
“But how could you feel stupid, then?" said Hulda. “I'm sure it was beautiful."
“So let it remain, then," said Thornton. “Bring some more wood, Tom, and last night's paper.'
“You must not expect to find everybody as fond of my talk as you are, Hulda,” said Rosalie, with an attempt to bring down the child's look of astonishment. “ I'm not a very brilliant ex. positor.” “What is an expositor?" said Hulda.
A person who explains particular passages or books."
I think you are brilliant," said Hulda, with a smile that certainly was.
Why don't you ask me who I heard this afternoon?" said Thornton, abruptly.
Gentlemen sometimes prefer to give an unsolicited account of their movements," said his sister, with a look and smile that might have stroked any fur into order.
“ You shall have it, then," he answered. “I heard Will Ackerman and Lieutenant Knolles."
A flush of deep feeling came to her face and left it as quickly, but she said nothing; only her eyes, which had been raised to his with interested expectation, fell again, and her cheek once more rested upon Hulda. “ We had a very fine walk," Thornton went on,
“and then a game of billiards, and so home with the church-goers."
Still she said nothing, nor raised her head, although its support was suddenly withdrawn; for Hulda, having with some trouble taken the meaning of such strange words, started up and exclaimed,
But it's very wrong to play billiards on Sunday, and not go to church! Don't you know that, Thornton?".
"I know that you concern yourself with what is not your business," said the young man hastily, his hand giving more evident token of his displeasure. But it did not reach Hulda's cheek-only the shielding hand of her sister.