The Old Bell of Independence; Or, Philadelphia in 1776 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 159 pages of information about The Old Bell of Independence; Or, Philadelphia in 1776.

“They had seated themselves on a fallen tree, and continued for a few moments to gaze in the mirrored Lehigh, as if their very thoughts might be reflected on its glassy surface.  Visions of war and bloodshed were passing before the fancy of the excited girl, and she breathed an inward prayer to heaven to protect her lover; when, casting her eyes upward, she suddenly exclaimed with startling energy: 

“‘Vincent, look at the sky!’ Murray raised his head, and sprang instantly on his feet.  ‘Tell me,’ continued Mary, ’am I dreaming, or am I mad! or do I actually see armies marching through the clouds?’

“Murray gazed steadfastly for a moment, and then exclaimed, ’It is the British, Mary—­I see the red coats as plainly as I see you.’

“The young girl seemed transfixed to the spot, without the power of moving.  ‘Look there,’ said she, pointing her finger upward—­’there are horses, with officers on them, and a whole regiment of dragoons!  Oh, are you not frightened?’

“‘No,’ replied her companion—­but before he had time to proceed, she again exclaimed: 

’There, there, Vincent!  See the colors flying, and the drums, and trumpets, and cannon, I can almost hear them!  What can it mean?’

’Don’t be so terrified, Mary.  It is my belief, that what we see is an intimation from God of the approaching war.  The ‘Lord of Hosts’ has set his sign in the heavens.  But come, let us run to the house.  This is no time to dance—­and they will not believe us, unless their own eyes behold the vision!’

“Before he had finished speaking, they were hastily retracing their steps to the scene of merriment; and in another moment the sound of the violin was hushed, and the feet of the dancers were still.  With one accord, they all stood in the open air, and gazed with straining glances at the pageant in the heavens; and marked it with awe and wonder.  A broad streak of light spread itself gradually over the sky, till the whole wide expanse was in one brilliant blaze of splendor.  The clouds, decked in the richest and most gorgeous colors, presented a spectacle of grandeur and glory, as they continued to shape themselves into various forms of men, and horses, and armor, till a warlike and supernatural host was distinctly presented to the view.  The dragoons, on their prancing horses; the riflemen and artillery, with their military ensigns and accoutrements; the infantry, and even the baggage-wagons in the rear, were all there to complete the imposing array. It is no fiction; many were eye-witnesses of that remarkable vision, which passed on from the east, and disappeared in the west—­and, from that evening, the sound of the violin was heard no more in those places, until the end of the Revolution.

“Mary Tracy hung upon the arm of her lover, and listened anxiously to his words, as he spoke to her in a low but decided tone.”  “That’s very strange; but you have not told us how the young tory was converted,” interrupted Mrs. Harmar.

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The Old Bell of Independence; Or, Philadelphia in 1776 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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