To fly my hawk. The hawk’s a glorious bird;
Obedient—yet a daring, dauntless bird!”
Here, too, are her guitar and zither, on both which instruments Mary Anderson is a proficient.
And now that we have seen all her treasures, we must follow her to the top of the house, from which is obtained a fine view of the Atlantic as it races in mighty waves on to the beach at Long Branch. She declares that in the offing, among the snowy craft which dance at anchor there, can be distinguished her pretty steam yacht, the Galatea.
Night is falling fast, but with that impulsiveness which is so characteristic of her, Mary Anderson insists upon our paying a visit to the stables to see her favorite mare, Maggie Logan. Poor Maggie is now blind with age, but in her palmy days she could carry her mistress, who is a splendid horsewoman, in a flight of five miles across the prairie in sixteen minutes. As we enter the box, Maggie turns her pretty head at sound of the familiar voice, and in response to a gentle hint, her mistress produces a piece of sugar from her pocket. As Mary Anderson strokes the fine thoroughbred head, we think the pair are not very much unlike. Meanwhile, Maggie’s stable companion cranes his beautiful neck over the side of the box, and begs for the caress which is not denied him.
Night has fallen now in earnest, and the beaming colored boy holds his lantern to guide us along the path, while Maggie whinnies after us her adieu. The grasshoppers chirp merrily in the sodden grass, and now and then a startled rabbit darts out of the wood and crosses close to our feet. The light is almost blinding as we enter the cheerful dining-room, where supper is laid on the snowy cloth, and are introduced to the charming family circle of the Long Branch villa. Though it is the home now of an old Southerner, Mary Anderson’s step-father, it is a favorite trysting-place with Grant, the hero of the North, with Sherman, and many another famous man, between whom and the South there raged twenty years ago so deadly and prolonged a feud. While not actually a daughter of the South by birth, Mary Anderson is such by early education and associations, and to these grim old soldiers she seems often the emblem of Peace, as they sit in the pretty drawing-room at Long Branch, and listen, sometimes with tear-dimmed eyes, to the sweet tones of her voice as she sings for them their favorite songs.
Birth and education.
Seldom has a more charming story been written than that of Mary Anderson’s childhood and youth to the time when, a beautiful girl of sixteen, she made her debut in what has ever since remained her favorite role, Juliet—and the only Juliet who has ever played the part at the same age since Fanny Kemble.