Response of Veal: “My Dear Charge,—You solicit me or Captain Harris to advise you as to what to next do. Well, as Harris says he has always had the heft of the load on his shoulders, I will try and respond myself and let Harris rest. Ha! ha! Well, Marble, we must joke a bit; did we not, we should have the blues, as do you some of those rainy days when you see no living person at the rock, save your own dear ones. Not a sound do you hear, save the woodpecker and that little gray bird [Mr. Marble’s pet canary], that sings all day long, more especially wet days, tittry, tittry, tittry. But, Marble, as Long [a deceased friend of Marble] says, ‘Don’t be discouraged.’ We are doing as fast as we can. As to the course, you are in the right direction at present. You have one more curve to make before you take the course that leads to the cave. We have a reason for keeping you from entering the cave at once. Moses was by the Lord kept forty years in his circuitous route, ere he had sight of that land that flowed with milk and honey. God had his purpose in so doing, notwithstanding he might have led Moses into the promise, in a very few days from the start. But no; God wanted to develop a truth, and no faster than the minds of the people were prepared to receive it. Cheer up, Marble, we are with you and doing all we can.
Another communication, from C.B. Long, contains the following: “The names of Hiram and Edwin Marble will live when millions of years shall, from this time, have passed, and when even kings and statesmen shall have been forgotten.”
And so the man and, after him, his son worked on till, so far as they were concerned, death closed the scene. Whether any person in the years to come will follow these misguided laborers, and take up the work where they left it, is a question.
The legendary lore of Dungeon Rock is eclipsed by the dominant impulse of lives absorbed in an idea, based upon supernatural agency. While it is an evidence of a misguided zeal, unequaled by anything the whole world has heretofore probably known, in and of itself it is no mystery.
The mystery is that there ever lived human beings to undertake such an unpromising work, where such hardship and perseverance were required, and where the folly of any hope of success must have been apparent to an intelligent person every day, from the commencement to the close of the twenty-seven years of servile toil.
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Lancaster in Acadie and the Acadiens in Lancaster.
By Henry S. Nourse.