Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

Much other conversation ensued, and I took my leave of them. Ten years passed away; principally in Europe, and the incident had quite gone from my memory. On my return to my native country, after a few weeks spent among kindred and friends, at the East, I visited Wash. ington, during a session of Congress, and the first evening after my arrival attended the President's levee; the rooms were crowded to excess; a gentleman passed me several times, and gave me a very piercing glance, and at length came up to me, and inquired if he had not the pleasure once of seeing me at Ticonderoga. The address brought to my mind the whole story of the maniac girl. I am a member of Congress from Vermont, said he, the gentleman you conversed with upon the subject of the diseases of the mind, at Ticonderoga. In the case of the young lady, I followed, with the aid of her father and my sister, your directions to the very letter, and the experiment was successful in a very short time. Isabella is now Mrs. Darlington, in possession of as sound a mind as that of any one in this crowd. She is well aware of your advice, and has long been desirous of seeing you. Be so kind as to give me your name, and I will introduce you to her now. I was so absorbed in your directions during our interview at the fort, that I forgot to take your address. I handed him my card, and he then presented me to the most elegant woman in the room. She had caught my attention early in the evening, and for some undefined reason, I felt that she was nearer to me than the rest of the females in the crowd. We were acquainted in an instant, and entered into conversation as old friends. She took my arm for a stroll through the apartments, and as though by accident, although I surmised that there might be a little design in it, led the way to the circular room, whose windows were filled with flowers and plants; and bending over a Daphna Odora, then in full bloom and fragrance, in a sweet undertone, said, I have a fine one in my garden-I call it the stranger. My husband has named it, " the medicine of the mind.It was named for you, for it was while tending that flower, that I was first conscious that times had passed over me, and that I was now restored to reason. With its odor ascended my thanksgiving hymn to Heaven for my recovery. The plant has been cherished with fondness ever since. In the midst of my mental aberrations, I had some vague impression, that the gentle course my friends were pursuing in opposition to the advice of my physician, had come from the recommendation of the stranger who addressed me in such compassionate tones, in the ruins of the old fort. I often go there to pour out my gratitude for my restoration,—which has been so perfect that not a cloud has passed over my mind since. She continued, I need not add, that it would give my husband and my father great pleasure to see you in Vermont. I wish to show my garden, and my library, which are after your model. My female friend, and dear sister-in-law is a happy wife and mother; we live together as affectionately as your heart could wish."

I saw the happy couple every day I was in Washington, and parted with them, giving them a promise that if I ever came within fifty miles of their residence on business or pleasure, that I would travel that distance to be a witness of their felicity. Yesterday, as we were examining these ruins, my promise came forcibly to my mind, and I at once decided on the visit. Do not say hereafter, that old bachelors do no good as they wander about the world; for, at the very time I gave the advice for healing the wounds of the mind, I took from my pocket a horsechestnut and planted it at my feet; and the tree which sprang from it is now shading your head, and shedding its blossoms around you.

4

THE BLACKSMITH;

OR, THE INFLUENCE OF LETTERS UPON MORALS.

A scrap of domestic history.

Break from thy body's grasp thy spirit's trance
Give thy soul air, thy faculties expanse.
Knock off the shackles which thy spirit bind
To dust and sense, and set at large thy mind!
Then move in sympathy with God's great whole,

And be, like man at first, "a living soul.”—DANA. Several years ago, before Lord Chancellor Brougham was editor of a penny magazine, or ever we had heard of the great efforts of learned men in England to diffuse information among the humble classes in that country, a young gentleman, who was a member of a literary society in New England, which had for its object mutual improvement, and the diffusion of letters among the rising generation, took a bundle of children's books in his chaise-box, as he was setting out on a journey into the country. His intention was to hand them to a clergyman, or schoolmaster, as he passed through some obscure town; but he soon forgot that he had them in his possession. Having travelled two or three days, his horse cast a shoe; and, on inquiry, much to his annoyance, he learned that there was no blacksmith to be found within a mile; the informant assuring the traveller, “That if the smith was sober, he would shoe his horse as well as any man in those parts." When the traveller reached the blacksmith's shop, he

« ПредишнаНапред »