“Yes, dear child. Freddie’s sweet message still more, Oh, I need not mourn for him!”
tyranny is dead!
—Run hence, proclaim, cry it about the streets.”
—SHAKESPEARE’S JULIUS CAESAR.
The winter of 1861-’62 wore wearily away, the Great Republic still convulsed with all the horrors of the civil war; and the opening spring witnessed no abatement of the fearful strife.
Daring all these months nothing unusual had occurred in the family of our friends at Naples; but one lovely morning in April a sweet floweret blossomed among them; bringing joy and gladness to all hearts.
“Our little violet,” Elsie said, smiling up at the happy face of her husband, as he bent over her and the babe. “She has come to us just as her namesakes in America are lifting their pretty heads among the grass.”
“Thank you, darling,” he answered, softly touching his lips to her cheek; “yes, we will give her my mother’s name, and may she inherit her lovely disposition also.”
“I should be so glad, dear mother’s was as lovely a character as I ever knew.”
“Our responsibilities are growing, love: three precious little ones now to train up for usefulness here and glory hereafter.”
“Yes,” she said, with grave yet happy face; “and who is sufficient for these things?”
“Our sufficiency is of God!”
“And He has promised wisdom to those who ask it. What a comfort. I should like to show this pretty one to Walter. Where is he now, I wonder, poor fellow?”
Ah, though she knew it not, he was then lying cold in death upon the bloody field of Shiloh.
There had been news now and then from their Northern friends and relatives. Richard Allison had recovered from his wound, and was again in the field. Edward was with the army also; Harold, too, and Philip Ross.
Lucy was, like many others who had strong ties in both sections and their armies, well-nigh distracted with grief and fear.
From their relatives in the South the last news received had been that of the death of Dick Percival, nor did any further news reach there until the next November. Then they heard that Enna had been married again to another Confederate officer, about a year after her first husband’s death; that Walter had fallen at Shiloh, that Arthur was killed in the battle of Luka, and that his mother, hearing of it just as she was convalescing from an attack of fever, had a relapse and died a few days after.
Great was the grief of all for Walter; Mr. Dinsmore mourned very much for his father also, left thus almost alone in his declining years. No particulars were given in regard to the deaths of the two young men.
“Oh,” cried Elsie, as she wept over Walter’s loss, “what would I not give to know that he was ready for death! But surely we may rejoice in the hope that he was; since we have offered so much united prayer for him.”