Our World, Or, the Slaveholder's Daughter eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 672 pages of information about Our World, Or, the Slaveholder's Daughter.
Who that was not, and had not been twenty times, on the very brink of wresting him from the useless tyranny of his obdurate creditors!  Who that had not waited from day to day, with purse-strings open, ready to pour forth the unmistakeable tokens of friendship!  How many were only restrained from doing good-from giving vent to the fountains of their hospitality-through fear of being contaminated with that scandal rumour had thrown around his decline!  Over his death hath sprung to life that curious fabric of living generosity, so ready to bespread a grave with unneeded bounties,—­so emblematic of how many false mourners hath the dead.  But Graspum would have all such expressions shrink beneath his glowing goodness.  With honied words he tells the tale of his own honesty:  his business intercourse with the deceased was in character most generous.  Many a good turn did Marston receive at his hands; long had he been his faithful and unwearied friend.  Fierce are the words with which he would execrate the tyrant creditors; yea, he would heap condign punishment on their obdurate heads.  Time after time did he tell them the fallen man was penniless; how strange, then, that they tortured him to death within prison walls.  He would sweep away such vengeance, bury it with his curses, and make obsolete such laws as give one man power to gratify his passion on another.  His burning, surging anger can find no relief; nor can he tolerate such antiquated debtor laws:  to him they are the very essence of barbarism, tainting that enlightened civilisation so long implanted by the State, so well maintained by the people.  It is on those ennobling virtues of state, he says, the cherished doctrines of our democracy are founded.  Graspum is, indeed, a well-developed type of our modern democracy, the flimsy fabric of which is well represented in the gasconade of the above outpouring philanthropy.

And now, as again the crimson clouds of evening soften into golden hues-as the sun, like a fiery chariot, sinks beneath the western landscape, and still night spreads her shadowy mantle down the distant hills, and over the broad lagoon to the north-two sable figures may be seen patting, sodding, and bespreading with fresh-plucked flowers the new grave.  As the rippling brook gives out its silvery music, and earth seems drinking of the misty dew, that, like a bridal veil, spreads over its verdant hillocks, they whisper their requiem of regret, and mould the grave so carefully.  “It’s mas’r’s last,” says one, smoothing the cone with his hands.

“We will plant the tree now,” returns the other, bringing forward a young clustering pine, which he places at the head of the grave, and on which he cuts the significant epitaph-"Good master lies here!”

Duncan and Harry have paid their last tribute.  “He is at peace with this world,” says the latter, as, at the gate, he turns to take a last look over the paling.

CHAPTER XXXIX.

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Our World, Or, the Slaveholder's Daughter from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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