Nowhere within the range of human vision can the eye find a more restful scene of quiet simplicity and softer blending of river, hill and foliage, than in the valley of the Deerfield on any sunny summer day. Let him who would have a sterner scene of majestic grandeur stand upon the storm-beaten cliffs of some rock-fringed coast, while the silver-crested sea and the dark, deep toned clouds, like mercy and righteousness, kiss each other.
To us who love Massachusetts, her principles, her institutions, her hills, valleys and rocks, her future is but the lengthening out of a perfect present; and at last, when the scroll of states is finally rolled up, may her eternal record stand for the highest type of Christian citizenship.
[Footnote 4: Census of 1885.]
* * * * *
A ROMANCE OF COLONIAL DAYS.
BY FRANCES C. SPARHAWK, Author of “A Lazy Man’s Work.”
A GRAVE DECISION.
After the greetings were over, Elizabeth, looking at Stephen Archdale, realized fully the difficulties of her task. She was to go through with it alone she perceived, for her father had turned away and taken up a spyglass that had been brought him at the moment, and was absorbed in looking through it at the new fascine battery. Evidently he expected her to give Captain Archdale the history of the facts and conclusions that had brought her father and herself to Louisburg. As she looked at the young man in his strength, she felt more than ever the necessity for speaking. He knew well enough that Mr. Edmonson hated him, and that was necessary to be known. And yet, speech was hard, for even though he could never imagine Edmonson’s contemptible insinuations, still before he believed in his own danger he might have to learn his enemy’s foiled purpose toward herself; and to be sought for her fortune was not a thing that Elizabeth felt proud of. Her head drooped a little as the young man stood watching her, and the color began to come into her face. Then the courage that was in her, and the power that she had of rising above petty considerations into grandeur, came upon her like an access of physical strength. The strong necessity filled her, and the thought that she might be bringing life where she had almost brought death, at least death of joy, lighted her face. Still she hesitated for a moment, but it was only to study how she should begin. Shall she give him Katie’s letter at once, and in her name warn him to take care of the life that was of so much value to his betrothed? No, for with Katie’s letter in his hand, he could not listen carefully to Elizabeth’s words, he could think only of what was within. His thoughts would refuse to have to do with danger; they would be busy with joy. That must wait.
“We have come here, my father and I,” she began, “to say one word to you, Captain Archdale. We talked it over, and we saw no other way.”