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by the shoulder, “where are your shoes and | 'cept Nora sed yer'd es leaf hev a monkey han'le stockings ?”
her es me.
Ef yer'd on'y let me hole an' ten' “Gorry!" ejaculated Aggy, drawing up the de baby I cud be a Chrisshen-I tink I cudoffending members in a twinkling, and blinking dat's a fac." her great eyes at me with terror.
And with these words, after wiping her eyes There lay the cast-off articles, in full view, upon her apron, she commenced dancing franmidway between the entrance and the parlor tically before the baby, stopping occasionally to door.
let the soft dimpled hands clutch at her wool “When did you take them off?" I gasped, while the little one crowed and screamed with ready to cry with mortification, as the memory delight. of my rather boastful words surged within me. Half tempted to consent, and yet dreading a
“I tuck 'em off 'fore de ladies cum,” whined positive fiat from Theophilus, who idolizes the the girl, "coz yer tole me ter be quiet: can't baby, I turned the subject, and was glad when do nuffin in dem yar shoes."
the door-bell summoned Aggy from the room. • Aggy," I asked, in a tragic voice, “ did you After old Cudjoe left, Theophilus and I held swing your feet in that outrageous manner while another consultation. He was inexorable. the ladies were in the hall ?”
“What!" he cried, “ let that crazy imp take “Donno, missy," sobbed Aggy, scratching care of the baby, never! Isn't it enough to have , her head; “mose like I did, coz dey allers swings my furniture, windows, and crockery broken ; nattural when I sits on any thin' high.” to find the children's · hooples' hung across my
Just then Theophilus came in, and, rather best beaver; to be made ridiculous before my than put him in possession of the facts, I hastily friends, and to have my youngsters all talking gathered up the girl's impedimenta, and allowed and laughing like darkeys, without having poor her to depart for the kitchen without further little Pinky's brains dashed out into the bargain! comment. But it was trying, to say the least I tell you, Emma, this contraband' notion of of it, to hear her singing, obliviously, as she yours is Quixotic, absurd, positively criminal bounded down the stairs :
under the circumstances !" "Oh, l'oe goin' to be an angel
Now when Theophilus forgets himself in this I'se goin' to be an angel,
manner I simply blush for him, and quietly reAn' lib in de big, blue sky."
solve to follow my own calmer judgment. ConIn the evening Aggy's father came in. He sequently, Aggy was duly installed the next day was a noble-looking negro, though evidently as under-nurse, and did so well that before the worn by toil and suffering. His “Well, gal!" first week elapsed even Theophilus admitted that and the twinkle in his bright eye, as Aggy en- matters were not so very discouraging after all. tered the room, told their own story of love and One bright, icy afternoon-shall I ever forget long forbearance. For his sake my resolve to it!—while little Philly was suffering in the hands return her to the Society was abandoned at of his nurse, under a severe attack of Psychroonce. I shall never forget the glow of honest phobia, the baby, held in Aggy's now careful pride with which he forced upon me a small sum arms, was gazing through the window panes. of money_his first savings as a free man—“to Suddenly, like Rasselas, she was seized with an buy de chile some close."
ardent desire to visit the outer world, and, of “Ef it's de same to you, marm," was his dig- course, soon set up a vigorous “ dey-dey! deynified reply to my remonstrance, “I'd rather de dey!" which, being interpreted, means--"I want gal ud hab it. She hain't had no mudder since somebody to put on my street fixings and take she woz a nussin' chile, an' ole Cudjoe's nebber me out-quick! quick!” had no chance to hev the 'sponsibility uv her “Do lef me take her, missy, jess in frun' ob afore. May de Lor' bress you, marm, an' de de house; please do, missy," pleaded Aggy, pressgen’man too, fur shelterin' uv her an'larnin' ing the baby to her heart in eager anticipation. her.” He looked at Aggy a moment, and con- “I keep her wrap up jess es warm es I kin, an' tinued: “An' oh! missus, ef yer could, ef yer I promis,' she continued, rolling her great eyes only could, wid de Lord's help, make her a solemnly till they showed more white than black, Christian, it ud—” He stopped short and burst “I promis I wunt go no furder dan de house." into tears.
“Very well,” said I, “I'll trust you, Aggy. “We will try,” I said, grasping the old man's Look up at the window every few moments, and hand; "and you, Aggy, I know, will endeavor I'll wave my hand when I wish you to come in future to be a good girl for your father's in." sake."
We wrapped the little darling up warmly, and “Can't, missy,” sobbed Aggy, with sudden I couldn't help congratulating myself on my vehemence, as she plunged her woolly head in recognition of Aggy's true sphere, when I saw the old man's bosom, “ 'tain't no use—I'se 'frac-how tenderly and cautiously she descended the tory—sojers sed so-I'se got de debbil in me!" stairs with her precious burden.
At this point Theophilus walked into the room In a moment I raised the window and saw with the baby in his arms. Aggy sprang up in Aggy walking demurely up and down in front an instant.
of the house, her head bobbing like a Mandarin's “Dar, missy, dat's it! She ain't a bit afeard in dutiful watchfulness of my signal. I could uv niggers-she's liked Aggy frum de furst, not resist the temptation to run down to the
front parlor, where Theophilus sat reading the ing crowd, who deluged him with questions and paper, to show him how gloriously my system incensed him with their vulgar jokes, he was worked. He looked up as I entered.
indeed to be pitied ! Matters were not much “Theoph, dear, do come and see how care- ameliorated either by the appearance of a pofully Aggy carries the baby,” said I, raising the liceman, who, coming late to the rescue, as ususash lightly.
al, insisted in stentorian tones upon knowing Aggy was singing in a subdued voice as she "what all this meant?” paced slowly up and down :
Humbled and grateful, I clasped my baby in “ Massa gone, missy too,
my arms that evening, scarcely daring to look Cryl niggers, cry!
at Theophilus. Tink I'll see de bressed Norf
We might never have heard of Aggy again 'Fore the day I die,
had not our baby boen carried to Madison Park, Hil hi! Yankee shot 'im,
months after, by its new nurse. Now 1 tink de debbil's got 'im."
When they returned I could hear baby chatAll would have been well if Theophilus had tering away in pure Choctaw all the way up only kept quiet, but the man was possessed. He stairs. dashed the blinds open with a bang, and called “Why, darling, what is it?" I asked, meetout, sternly:
ing her at the door, and almost smothering the “Be careful, girl! The sidewalks are slip- little orator with kisses. “What did baby see pery. Mind you don't go a single step past the in the Park?” house!"
“Goo goo, Ag, goo goo, Ag, zoo whoo!" This was enough. Aggy raised her eyes to “Bless her heart, ma'am," cried nurse, “I his face, and we saw in a moment that her imp- declare if she don't almost tell you." ish spirit was aroused. Off she started. The- “Tell me what, Betsy ?” ophilus, without taking time to get his hat, “Why, do you believe, ma'am, when me and rushed to the door and reached the sidewalk baby was agoing in the Park, what should come just in time to see her dart around the corner. bouncing up to us but an ugly little nigger!” He hurried on, but only to catch the gleam of “Ag! Goo-ug gug!” explained the baby: the baby's white cloak as it disappeared at the “Yes, you pet, goo goo. So it was," connext turn. Another, and yet another corner tinued Betsy, taking off its "things," and putwas gained with no better success. People stared ting all the pins in her mouth — "it was a to see a hatless man rushing along at such a nassy black thing, it was !"
Crowds gathered, and every idler in the “Well, what about the colored girl ?" I askstreet joined in the chase, but to no avail. The ed, becoming impatient. “Was it Aggy?" girl had wings to her feet. Theophilus shud- “Yes, ma'am, that very young un you've dered lest in her excitement she should dash the been tellin' me of. Well, if she didn't laugh, baby to the ground; but he dared not slacken and cry, and dance, and clap her hands till I his pace, because to lose sight of her, he felt, was thought she'd go into fits. Then she whisked to lose his child forever. Shouts filled the air the baby out of my arms in a jiffy, and most -cries of “Stop thief!”—“Run, sis !”-“Shake strangled it with kisses; and, do you believe, your pins nimbler, old fellow!”—“Hurrah for ma'am, the more I tried to pull baby away the the gal!” resounded on every side. Meanwhile more it wouldn't come, but just held on to the the rabble, Theophilus in their midst, pressed dirty black neck an' hollered. At last, when I on faster and faster. More than once the fugi- got the baby safe in my arms again, and it tive ran almost under the heads of passing a-screaming to go back to her, I jest up an' horses, causing them to leap and prance, but the told the sassy thing to go about her business. girl never once faltered or staggered. On she "Well,' says she, “I'se gwine' (these nigran, until turning her head she saw that her gers talks like heathen). “Tell missy Aggy pursuers were gaining upon her. Halting an lub her fust-rate, on'y I'se got anudder missy instant, she laid the baby on a huge pile of mats now.' Then she told me she lived in that litin front of a grocery, and flew around the corner. tle house, you know, ma'am, on the corner of
No one followed, for all stopped to see wheth- Street, and ran off, after kissin' baby again, er what she had cast away was a bundle or a and laughin' an' cryin' like wild.” living thing. Not a sound escaped it, and only Betsy paused from sheer exhaustion ; for when its panting father clasped it to his bosom during the narrative she had been tossing her did the poor frightened birdie utter a cry. The charge up and down, shaking her head, and ophilus told me afterward that that cry was the making herself interesting to it generally. sweetest sound he had ever heard in his life- Before night I called at the "corner house," which struck me as rather a queer idea, though and found that it was a home indeed for Aggy. I said nothing
Somehow she had on that eventful day run into Poor Theophilus! His position, considering the arms of a Quaker lady--one of those dear his temperament, was certainly not an enviable good souls whose lanterns of kindness are car
Standing bareheaded with a screaming ried about in all sorts of out-of-the-way places, baby in his arms, nearly a mile from home, and shedding beams of light in dark corners, and in a part of the city where not a hack, not a discovering something holy where others can hat store, was to be seen, surrounded by a gap- detect only pestilence and sin. Through her I trust that the prayer of her poor old father has | ing; a patient cow stood by a sparkling stream, been answered:
watching, with quiet eyes, some lambs cropping “Ef you could-oh, ef you only could, wid the clover; while nearer the rays of the sun de Lord's help, make her a Christian!” came dancing and dimpling through the foliage
of a great tree, sprinkling the turf beneath with This is no fancy sketch. Aggy is to-day a transparent golden flecks. living flesh and blood human being—“God's Flowers came peeping in at the windowimage carved in ebony." When I look at the roses, and beneath them mignonnette. One final result of the experiment with “Our Con- could easily fancy that the rich perfume of the traband” I thank God, and take courage for her one, mingling with the faint but pure scent of and for the race to which she belongs.
the other, was stealing through and out of the
atmosphere of the picture to his sense as he ARTIST_PHILOSOPHER
I do not know whether the painting was a LOVER.
master-piece. I can only say that it had reH!" said the artist to himself, as he put ceived a fine careful finish. Upon it the artist
at last approaches the ideal perfection which I all that he had painted. He had dreamed this have so longed to attain! Assuredly this will sweet idyl, and now it was depicted on the canplease the whole world.”
vas—enshrined within the woman's eyes and the And in truth it would seem so. Upon the angel's smile. large canvas was depicted an interior, of beauti- Presently some friends came in. They went ful appointments and decorations, painted with into raptures; not a fault any where. They that sober richness of hue so fascinating to the defied the severest critic to do other than praise. eye, while, at the same time, it best sets off and They insisted that the artist should challenge enhances the life-figures in the scene. There opinions from the whole world. And so it came were many pictures, and one grand head in bas- to pass that solely to please them he consented so relievo, inclosed in a massive frame hanging to write on a scroll what follows: upon the walls; and exquisite statuettes of ala- “The artist invites every spectator to mark with the baster gleamed, half-luminous, in the corners. chalk pencil a cross upon each limb, feature, or accessory
The room might have fitly represented the which he thinks deficient." artist's own studio, had not the invasion of a The first day of the Exhibition came. The cradle-a soft, dimpling, sleeping infant within picture by the grace of the committee hung in a - and a beautiful woman, who, dove-like, sat passable light. The artist's name was neither brooding over the child, forbidden the idea. new nor old. The monument of his fame was
The almost divine love shining down upon indeed begun, but the shaft had yet to rise to the babe from the eyes of the woman was pic- the height of immortality. tured beyond word-description. Her face was Lo! the visitors and the critics arrive and young, noble, and richly tinted. The regal stand before the picture. The artist staid at wealth of golden hair which crowned her head, home. escaping from the comb, had fallen, radiant as They looked—and assuredly they did admire sunbeams, over her full shoulders, covered with —but then what so sweet as to assert your sua simple robe of saintly whiteness, which was perior knowledge by finding fault-especially draped in large luxuriance of folds over the sup- when you are frankly entreated so to do with a ple curves and outlines of her person. A dainty chalk pencil at your hand. white hand lay firm upon the edge of the cradle Stand with me by the side of the painting and -such a hand as a sick man longs for to rest listen. cool upon his forehead and exorcise the racking “Wa'al," ejaculated a Yankee, with his hands pain.
in his pockets, “wa'al, whose tumbstun is that Just without the threshold of an inner door, neow, I wonder," pointing to the basso relievo in the tender gloom of the back-ground, was a on the wall in the scene. form so shadowy that one had to look twice to “ That is not a tombstone, my good Sir," cordefine it. It was that of an angel smiling, with rected a by-stander ; “it is a painted semblance his finger on his lip. It might have been as of the marble bust of the great Judge Story." well, perhaps better, to have left out this visible “Oh, don't say! Wa'al, the position air good, presence of one from on high, telling us that, but the color air all-fired bad." nearest to love Divine, was the love of a mother So he slyly raised the pencil and marked for her child—for a dearer, tenderer life than Judge Story with a cross. her own. But of this I am not the one to de- A fat Dutchman now came and planted his termine. I have only to do with the facts in legs in front of the picture. He intended a demy story.
liberate view. It seemed in the picture to be summer-time, “Hm! what stuff!" said Mynheer; "why for the one large casement-window was wide does de fellow waste baint in such a pusiness? open. Far out in the distance the hills lay why don't he take bortraits? mit a nasty paby warm in the glow of sunlight; the long, slant too! I hate dem!” and he made a great cross grass gave suggestion of the south wind blow- from one end of the cradle to the other.
Now came an artist into view. He glared at went up to his work. It displayed one great, the picture, and immediately grew bilious with universal scratch of cross white chalk. Not a jealousy. His own picture, with its clouds like color, not an outline could be seen. The paintflying apple-dumplings, and its figures, the er stood transfixed with mortification. Then identical and amazing ones out of a toy Noah's he thought, with his eyes bent upon the floor, ark, was placed near, and made an admirable every fibre in him thrilling, a red spot on each foil to heighten the mystical tender charm which cheek, as if those marks had struck him in the pervaded our artist's work, and which sang in face like an open hand. Presently his face the heart like a home lyric.
changed and softened; he smiled; the red spots But not for the jealous brother-painter. He faded out. Have I not said in my title to this sneered. “Maternal love! a miserable old true story that he was a philosopher? and phisubject! The woman has absolutely a wooden losophy was now in the ascendant; she suggestface! The whole thing is flat!”
ed another experiment; and our artist was not Yes, he called a face in whose deep eyes a only an Epicurean, but a prosaic philosopher. whole heaven of love was floating “wooden," Indeed, while he thought he wondered he had and made frantic by his jealousy, the terrible not had prescience of the trick poor human naman dashed a venomous cross at this love in the ture thus challenged had played upon him. It woman's eyes, blotting them out.
was precisely what he ought to have expected. A short, dark man, evidently a Spaniard, So he took up the scroll and went away at last came to look. He consulted his catalogue, content. Not so his friends. They stormed; then fixing a glass in his eye prepared to criti- they raged up and down his studio; they called cise, rolling the while a paper cigarette. Of all who had affronted the picture with their course we know at once, before he speaks a marks “dolts, coxcombs, noodles, puppies," and word, that any painting out of Spain-and yes, a dozen other complimentary titles. They inhe and we will admit Italy—could not have the sisted that the invitation on the scroll should be slightest shade of merit. If you wish to be cer- reversed, " and then see how the new marks tain of this axiom praise an American artist, would give the lie to the first!" And so, to and see Don Sancho rear, and prance, and ges- please them again, late that night, while the ticulate. So the nose of the Spaniard went up little Frenchman was howling in his sleep with in the air, and he jerked out, “ Aha! look at his mai lying heavy on his breast, and that beef-steak angel! It is only a head and all the rest of the cross-marking critics, we ferwings one should paint;" and straightway he vently hope, were foundering and groaning in began to pommel the poor angel with the pen- their beds under the lashings of avenging dreams, cil as if he were driving nails into his body. our philosopher was preparing another scroll.
Nearly all the nations of the earth had each It read thus: a representative at this congress for criticism. “The artist entreats that on each outline, color, or decA Roman-nosed Italian of the Hebrew persua- oration which gives proof of merit the spectator will make sion made his unanswerable shibboleth upon a small circle with the white chalk pencil." the glorious golden hair—“To dare to imitate He arose early the next day, and, taking some immortal Titian with those pumpkin - colored soft cloths and the new scroll, easily obtained adlocks !" Thus he to his own conceit-and shuf- mittance to the Exhibition rooms before the hour fied off caterwauling an opera air.
of opening. He approached his beautiful picture, A wind-dried, wiry little Frenchman, who did and with gentlest care removed the ignominious not eat a pound of beef in a week, and conse-coat of chalk. The radiance of love in the moquently had no stomach for things substantially ther's eyes broke upon him with such a new and as well as ideally good, gazed at the painting. sudden spell that he waved forth his arms, and His brown wizened countenance was twisting then folded them slowly over his bosom, as if and twitching-he was making horrible faces, he had taken in to his inmost soul the pure, inbecause too much logwood and verjuice, just im- effable sweetness of that look. His heart beat bibed, were creating a riot in the above-mentioned violently. His hand trembled as he restored to organ. He knew he should sleep that night view the faultless flow of the white robe, and with a claret-colored nightmare; and so there the lustrous, fluent ripples of the golden hair. was a sardonic sort of compensation in calling The angel seemed to smile upon him, to his our artist “scélérat," and marking crosses here then exalted sense ; for the soul of the painter and there indiscriminately.
at this moment was as innocent and guileless To him followed a florid-faced man, English as was that of the picture-child in the cradle ; to the back-bone and to the clumsy shoes. and truly I believe his pencil was guided with When he saw by his catalogue that our artist a prayer when he traced that grand benignant was from Massachusetts—that sturdy Common- smile, its shadowy sweetness resting luminous wealth that resisted and defied the King, burned upon the soul like the impression which is left witches, and drowned tea-oh, then, criticism when, in our dreams, we have a glimpse of must be fairly done; and a few finishing crosses heaven. were added to the rest, reducing the hapless And now in all its pristine beauty the paintpainting to a chaotic ruin.
ing once more awaited criticism, the new scroll That night, just before the doors of the Ex- and pencil duly laid by its side. hibition closed, the artist came quietly in and Let us listen again.
Two men stand talking eagerly together, fant a ring in his nose and another in his ear, though in low, almost reverential tones. Their and marked a number of circles together, in the fine faces glow with enthusiasm. One ex- form of a bunch of grapes, around the chin of claims :
the angel, to represent a long, pointed beard. “What a lovely poem on canvas! How sim- Among the rest came a flabby-faced, looseple, yet how full of suggestion! How the warm jointed gentleman, with a poultice round his golden richness of the woman's hair, as it parts neck, and severely shaved as to whisker, who away from her sweet face, is enhanced to a liv. made the specified mark of admiration on the ing radiance by contrast with the cool translu- cow, because he (not the cow) was a hypocrite, cent tint of her white robe !"
and would not own his admiration for the wo“And those deep, glorious eyes,” whispered man; while a jolly stock-broker, with his monthe other, “and the exquisite outline of her ey-bags breaking out in gold chains and diamond form. What a noble type of woman! With pins, stamped and admired, and stamped and what a royal air she would lift her head-a roy- vociferated by George! and by Jove! that the alty all fused into the look of love with which picture was prime; the best thing in the market; she regards her child! Ah! what is this ?"- and he meant to buy it and put it up for a he read the scroll—“We are to mark the beau- raffle; and he made a wreath of circles all round ties we most approve. The wondrous eyes be- the margin--margins being most to his taste. fore all; then the beautiful hair;" and he took Between genuine admiration, hypocrisy, idlethe pencil and traced a small circle upon the ness, and mischief, the painting, as on the day brow and hair of the woman, and the two re- before, quite disappeared ; but this time it was luctantly turned away.
killed with kindness. It would seem that every Next came two ladies. One was all purple line which yesterday had been condemned was and fine linen ; a diabolical French bonnet (they now perfect in the eyes of beholders. The phiare all of that stamp at present), with flowers losopher, coming in at night, saw in the myriads and feathers half a yard high on top of the brim, of admiring “O's” only one other phase of humaking the wearer look as if just escaped from man nature, and laughed softly to himself; then, Bedlam (all women look thus in the present taking up the scroll and pencil, he went away. fashion); gilt side-combs ; hair frizzed and stuffed artificially; velvet cloak; moiré antique Early the next morning the painting was dress trimmed with guipure lace; gloves with once more restored, and this time left to take its two buttons; and unlimited crinoline. With chance of criticism from knowledge, impulse, or rustle, bustle, and fuss she took a seat in front instinct, without scroll, let, or hindrance. The of the picture. She knew all about high art, artist came to the Exhibition. and could mince out suth words as “chiaro- The rooms were crowded with visitors. One oscuro," pre-Raphaelite," "manipulation," half of them praised our painting, the other “tone," and all the rest, which I can not re- half condemned it. The artist did not care for peat, because I do not know them; and having either. He had been taught a lesson. He was lately been reading Tennyson, she was in a there to please himself with a closer view of hutwitter to call any thing and every thing “an man nature. idyl.”
That day passed and the next. On the third, So she put her head and its stupendous ac- in the afternoon, a beautiful young woman came companiments very much on one side, and, half past with a light, gliding step. She glanced at shutting her eyes, lisped, affectedly:
the painting, stopped, and quietly sat down. "Oh, Miss Pepper, what a lovely little idyl The ample sweep of her pearl-gray robe brushed that baby is !”
the artist's foot. If the golden-haired woman “Bless me!" exclaimed her companion, quite in the picture could have been touched with life, startled at such a heathenish remark, "what an and had come out and stood by the other, whose idea! It don't look the least like an idol. It delicately-traced brows and shining tresses were is quite a clean, decent baby, I am sure.” of raven blackness, they would have been wide
She was a little miminy-piminy woman- ly different indeed, but the two most beautiful altogether second-hand in dress and position, women in the world. one of those convenient aunts who live in most The one out of the picture was pale as a lily, brown stone houses, and mend the stockings. with great violet eyes, full of a moonlight calm
A faint sniff of contempt at the lamentable -of a repose which would have been sad, had ignorance of Miss Pepper was all the explana- not a rosy, merry, melting mouth, ever dimpling tion vouchsafed by the first lady. She took the into smiles, made an April chasing of the tenpencil and made two large circles like a pair of der gloom. spectacles on the face of the baby, and pranced The artist watched her. He noticed how the off without looking at her companion.
dark, pale face lightened as she gazed; how a “Bless me! oh, bless me!" ejaculated poor faint rose - bloom spread slowly over the oval little Miss Pepper, letting the words off like pop- cheek; how the violet-gray eyes grew larger guns. “She has made the poor thing look like with the tender, loving thoughts which the pican idol now, if it didn't before, and did forever! ture was whispering to her heart ; how two big They are finishing it," she added, as two mis- tears at last came trembling down, and were chievous boys, with infinite glee, gave the in- suffered to drop unheeded upon her folded hands,