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The title* of these volumes will render their readers liable to a disappointment, from which a few prefatory words may save them. It was chosen simply to mark the period of the story, and that period was selected as one to which an American always gratefully recurs, and as affording a picturesque light for domestic features. The writer has aimed to exhibit the feeling of the times, and to give her younger readers a true, if a slight, impression of the condition of their country at the most—the only suffering period of its existence, and by means of this impression to deepen their gratitude to their patriot-fathers; a sentiment that will tend to increase their fidelity to the free institutions transmitted to them. Historic events and war details have been avoided; the writer happily being aware that no effort at
* It has been suggested, that the title might be deemed ambi
that it might indicate an expectation, that “this sixty years since in America” would take place with the “sixty years since" of the great Master. I have not yet forgotten the literature of my childhood—the fate of the ambitious frog. To those who know me, I need not pead “not guilty" to a charge of such insane vanity, and those who do not will believe me when I say, that the only moment when I could wish the benefactor of the universal reading public to be forgotten, is when my humble productions are under perusal.
“ A swashing and a martial outside”
would conceal the weak and unskilled woman.
A very few of our “immortal names" have been introduced, with what propriety the reader must determine. It may be permitted to say, in extenuation of what may seem presumption, that whenever the writer has mentioned Washington, she has felt a sentiment resembling the awe of the pious Israelite when he approached the ark of the Lord.
For the rest, the author of these volumes is most happy in trusting to the indulgent disposition which our American public constantly manifest towards native literature.
THE LINWOOD S.
“Un notable exemple de la forcenée curiosité de notre nature, s'amusant se préoccuper des choses futures, comme elle n'avoit pas assez à faire à désirer les présentes."--MONTAIGNE.
Some two or three years before our revolutionary war, just at the close of day, two girls were seen entering Broadway through a wicket garden-gate, in the rear of a stately mansion which fronted on Broad-street, that being then the court-end of the city--the residence of unquestioned aristocracy(sic transit gloria mundi !) whence royal favour and European fashions were diffused through the province of New York.
The eldest of the two girls had entered on her teens. She was robust and tall for her years, with the complexion of a Hebe, very dark hair, an eye (albeit belonging to one of the weaker sex) that looked as if she were born to empire-it might be over hearts and eyes—and the step of a young Juno. The younger could be likened neither to goddess, queen, nor any thing that assumed or loved command. She was of earth's gentlest and finest
mould-framed for all tender humanities, with the destiny of woman written on her meek brow. "Thou art born to love, to suffer, to obey,—to minister, and not to be ministered to.” Well did she fulfil her mission! The girls were followed by a black servant in livery. The elder pressed forward as if impelled by some powerful motive, while her companion lagged behind,-sometimes chasing a young bird, then smelling the roses that peeped through the garden-paling; now stopping to pat a goodnatured mastiff, or caress a chubby child : many a one attracted her with its broad shining face and linsey-woolsey short-gown and petticoat, seated with the family group on the freshly-scoured stoops of the Dutch habitations that occurred at intervals on
“Come, do come along, Bessie, you are stopping for every thing," said her companion, impatiently. Poor Bessie, with the keenest sensibility, had, what rarely accompanies it, a general susceptibility to external impressions,—one might have fancied she had an extra set of nerves. When the girls had nearly reached St. Paul's church, their attendant remonstrated,—“Miss Isabella, you are getting quite out to the fields—missis said you were only going a turn up the Broadway."
“So I am, Jupe."
“A pretty long turn,” muttered Jupiter ; and after proceeding a few paces further, he added, in a raised voice, “the sun is going down, Miss Isabella."
“ That was news at 12 o'clock, Jupiter.”
“But it really is nearly set now, Isabella," interposed her companion Bessie.
Well, what if it is, Bessie ?-it is just the right time-Effie is always surest between sundown and dark.”
“Mercy, Isabella! you are not going to Effie's. It is horrid to go there after sundown-please Isabella, don't.” Isabella only replied by a “pshaw, child !" and a laugh.
Bessie mustered her moral courage (it required it all to oppose Isabella), and stopping short, said, “I am not sure it is right to go there at all.”
“ There is no right nor wrong in the matter, Bessie, -you are always splitting hairs.” Notwithstanding her bold profession, Isabella paused, and with a tremulousness of voice that indicated she was not indifferent to the cardinal points in her path of morality, she added, "why do you think it is not right, Bessie ?" “ Because the Bible
that ination, and every thing of that kind, is wicked.”
“Nonsense, child! that was in old times, you know."
Isabella's evasion might have quieted a rationalist of the present day, but not Bessie, who had been bred in the strict school of New England orthodoxy; and she replied, “What was right and wrong in old times, is right and wrong now, Isabella.”
"Don't preach, Bessie--I will venture all the
sorcery, and div