And now, reader, join us in taking a fond farewell of the Rosebrooks, who have so nobly played their part, to the shame of those who stubbornly refuse to profit by their example. They played no inactive part in the final escape; but discretion forbids our disclosing its minuti. They sought to give unto others that liquid of life to which they owed their own prosperity and happiness; nor did selfish motive incite them to action. No; they sought peace and prosperity for the state; they would bind in lasting fellowship that union so mighty of states, which the world with mingled admiration and distrust watches; which in kindred compact must be mightier, which divided must fall! And while taking leave of them, hoping their future may be brightened with joys-and, too, though it may not comport with the interests of our southern friends, that their inventive genius may never want objects upon which to illustrate itself so happily-let us not forget to shake old Jack Hardweather warmly by the hand, invoking for him many fair winds and profitable voyages. A big heart enamelled of “coarse flesh” is his; but with his warm functions he has done much good; may he be rich in heaven’s rewards, for he is poor in earth’s!
In which is A happy meeting, some curious facts developed, and Clotilda’s history disclosed.
It was seven days after the sailing of the Maggy Bell, as described in the foregoing chapter, that Montague was seen sitting in the comfortably furnished parlour of a neat cottage in the suburbs of Nassau. The coal fire burned brightly in a polished grate; the carpets and rugs, and lolling mats, indicated of care and comfort; the tabbied furniture and chastely worked ottomans, and sofas, and chairs, and inlaid workstands, seem bright of regularity and taste; and the window curtains of lace and damask, and the scroll cornices from which they flowingly hung, and the little landscape paintings that hung upon the satin-papered walls, and the soft light that issued from two girandoles on the mantel-piece of figured marble, all lent their cheering aid to make complete the radiant picture of a happy home. But Montague sat nervous with anxiety. “Mother won’t be a minute!” said a pert little fellow of some seven summers, who played with his hands as he sat on the sofa, and asked questions his emotions forbid answering. On an ottoman near the cheerful fire, sat, with happy faces, the prettily dressed figures of a boy and girl, older in age than the first; while by the side of Montague sat Maxwell, whose manly countenance we transcribed in the early part of our narrative, and to whom Montague had in part related the sad events of the four months past, as he heaved a sigh, saying, “How happy must he die who careth for the slave!” Ere the words had escaped his lips, the door opened, and the