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As if impelled to reveal a secret she fain would

have guarded : I will no longer conceal what is laid upon me to

tell thee; I have received from the Lord a charge to love

thee, John Estaugh.”

And John Estaugh made answer, surprised at

the words she had spoken, 6 Pleasant to me are thy converse, thy ways, thy

meekness of spirit; Pleasant thy frankness of speech, and thy soul's

immaculate whiteness, Love without dissimulation, a holy and inward

adorning But I have yet no light to lead me, no voice to

direct me. When the Lord's work is done, and the toil and

the labor completed He hath appointed to me, I will gather into the

stillness Of my own heart awhile, and listen and wait for

his guidance."

Then Elizabeth said, not troubled nor wounded

in spirit, So is it best, John Estaugh. We will not speak

of it further. It hath been laid upon me to tell thee this, for to

morrow

Thou art going away, across the sea, and I know

not

Line 4. And John Estaugh made answer, surprised by the words she

bad spoken,

When I shall see thee more; but if the Lord hath

decreed it, Thou wilt return again to seek me here and to find

me.” And they rode onward in silence, and entered the

town with the others.

IV.

Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other

in passing, Only a signal shown and a distant voice in the

darkness ; So on the ocean of life, we pass and speak one

another, Only a look and a voice, then darkness again and

a silence.

Now went on as of old the quiet life of the

homestead. Patient and unrepining Elizabeth labored, in all

things Mindful not of herself, but bearing the burdens of

others, Always thoughtful and kind and untroubled ; and

Hannah the housemaid Diligent early and late, and rosy with washing and

scouring, Still as of old disparaged the eminent merits of

Joseph, And was at times reproved for her light and frothy

behavior, For her shy looks, and her careless words, and her

evil surmisings,

Being pressed down somewhat, like a cart with

sheaves overladen, As she would sometimes say to Joseph, quoting the

Scriptures.

Meanwhile John Estaugh departed across the

sea, and departing Carried hid in his heart a secret sacred and pre

cious, Filling its chambers with fragrance, and seeming

to him in its sweetness Mary's ointment of spikenard, that filled all the

house with its odor. O lost days of delight, that are wasted in doubting

and waiting! O lost hours and days in which we might have

been happy! But the light shone at last, and guided his waver

ing footsteps, And at last came the voice, imperative, question

less, certain.

Then John Estaugh came back o'er the sea for

the gift that was offered, Better than houses and lands, the gift of a woman's

affection. And on the First-Day that followed, he rose in the

Silent Assembly, Holding in his strong hand a hand that trembled

a little, Promising to be kind and true and faithful in all

things. Such were the marriage rites of John and Eliza

beth Estaugh.

And not otherwise Joseph, the honest, the dili

gent servant Sped in his bashful wooing with homely Hannah

the housemaid; For when he asked her the question, she answered,

“Nay ;” and then added : “ But thee may make believe, and see what will

come of it, Joseph."

INTERLUDE.

A PLEASANT and a winsome tale,"
The Student said, “ though somewhat pale
And quiet in its coloring,
As if it caught its tone and air
From the gray suits that Quakers wear;
Yet worthy of some German bard,
Hebel, or Voss, or Eberhard,
Who love of humble themes to sing,
In humble verse ; but no more true
Than was the tale I told to you.”

The Theologian made reply,
And with some warmth, “ That I deny;
'T is no invention of my own,
But something well and widely known
To readers of a riper age,
Writ by the skilful hand that wrote
The Indian tale of Hobomok,
And Philothea's classic page.
I found it like a waif afloat,
Or dulse uprooted from its rock,
On the swift tides that ebb and flow

In daily papers, and at flood
Bear freighted vessels to and fro,
But later, when the ebb is low,
Leave a long waste of sand and mud."

“ It matters little," quoth the Jew;
6. The cloak of truth is lined with lies,

Sayeth some proverb old and wise ;
And Love is master of all arts,
And puts it into human hearts
The strangest things to say and do.”

And here the controversy closed
Abruptly, ere 't was well begun;
For the Sicilian interposed
With, “Lordlings, listen, every one
That listen may, unto a tale
That's merrier than the nightingale;
A tale that cannot boast, forsooth,
A single rag or shred of truth;
That does not leave the mind in doubt
As to the with it or without;
A naked falsehood and absurd
As mortal ever told or heard.
Therefore I tell it; or, maybe,
Simply because it pleases me.”

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