Town and Country; or, life at home and abroad, without and within us eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 291 pages of information about Town and Country; or, life at home and abroad, without and within us.

THE UNIVERSAL JUBILEE.

    What shouts shall rise when earth shall hold
        Its universal jubilee! 
    When man no more is bought and sold,
        And one and all henceforth are free!

       Then songs they’ll sing,
       That loud shall ring
    From rock to rock, from shore to shore. 
        “Hurra!” they’ll shout, “we’re free, we’re free,
        From land to land, from sea to sea,
    And chains and fetters bind no more!”
    Let every freeman strive to bring
        The universal jubilee;
    All hail the day when earth shall ring
        With shouts of joy, and men are free!

       Then each glad voice
       Shall loud rejoice,
        And chains shall fall from every hand,
       Whilst myriad tongues shall loudly tell
       The grateful joy of hearts that swell,
        Where Freedom reigns o’er sea and land.

Tapville was situated on the borders of one of the most beautiful rivers that grace and refresh the soil of New England.  It was once a quiet place, once as perfect in its character as any of its sisterhood.  A moral atmosphere pervaded it, and the glorious and divine principle of doing unto others as they would have others do unto them governed its inhabitants; and, therefore, it was not strange that its farmers and storekeepers kept good the proverbial honesty and hospitality of their progenitors.  Tradition said (but written history was silent) that a few of those who landed at Plymouth Rock separated from the main body, and took up their abode further in the interior; and that, from these “few,” a flourishing company arose, and the place they inhabited was “Springvale.”  But time and circumstances having much to do with the concerns of earth’s inhabitants, changed the character as well as the name of this ancient town, and “Springvale” became “Tapville.”

One evening, in the year one thousand eight hundred and I don’t remember what, after a somewhat fatiguing ride on horseback all day, my heart was cheered on coming in view of the town.  I had never visited Tapville, but, from accounts I had heard, judged it to be a sort of Pandemonium-a juvenile Bedlam.  As I entered, troops of children greeted me with shouts, and my horse with stones.  Despite of my treatment, I could not but compare their appearance, to say nothing of their conduct, with those I had last seen in another town, thirty miles distant.  These were attired in rags, those in good clothing; these with unwashed faces, uncombed hair, and bearing every mark of neglect,—­those bright and smiling, happy themselves, and making all around them so.

I did not much fancy my reception, I assure you.  My horse seemed wondering at the cause of it, for he suddenly halted, then turned slowly about, and began to canter away with a speed that I thought quite impossible for a beast after a long day’s work.  I reined him in, turned about, and entered the town by a small and not much frequented pathway.

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Town and Country; or, life at home and abroad, without and within us from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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