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And, perchance, canst tell us some news of these ships and their errand."

Then with modest demeanor made answer the notary public,"Gossip enough have I heard, in sooth, yet am never the wiser; And what their errand may be I know no better than others. Yet am I not of those who imagine some evil intention Brings them here, for we are at peace; and why then molest us?" God's name!" shouted the hasty and somewhat irascible blacksmith;

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"Must we in all things look for the how, and the why, and the wherefore?


Daily injustice is done, and might is the right of the strongest!"' But, without heeding his warmth, continued the notary public,— 300 "Man is unjust, but God is just; and finally justice


Triumphs; and well I remember a story, that often consoled me,
When as a captive I lay in the old French fort at Port Royal.'
This was the old man's favorite tale, and he loved to repeat it
When his neighbors complained that any injustice was done them. 305
"Once in an ancient city, whose name I no longer remember,
Raised aloft on a column, a brazen statue of Justice

Stood in the public square, upholding the scales in its left hand,
And in its right a sword, as an emblem that justice presided
Over the laws of the land, and the hearts and homes of the people. 310
Even the birds had built their nests in the scales of the balance,
Having no fear of the sword that flashed in the sunshine above


But in the course of time the laws of the land were corrupted; Might took the place of right, and the weak were oppressed, and

the mighty

Ruled with an iron rod. Then it chanced in a nobleman's palace 315
That a necklace of pearls was lost, and ere long a suspicion
Fell on an orphan girl who lived as maid in the household.
She, after form of trial condemned to die on the scaffold,
Patiently met her doom at the foot of the statue of Justice.
As to her Father in heaven her innocent spirit ascended,
Lo! o'er the city a tempest rose; and the bolts of the thunder
Smote the statue of bronze, and hurled in wrath from its left


Down on the pavement below the clattering scales of the balance,
And in the hollow thereof was found the nest of a magpie,
Into whose clay-built walls the necklace of pearls was inwoven." 3.5



Silenced, but not convinced, when the story was ended, the blacksmith

Stood like a man who fain would speak, but findeth no language; All his thoughts were congealed into lines on his face, as the


Freeze in fantastic shapes on the window-panes in the winter.

Then Evangeline lighted the brazen lamp on the table, Filled, till it overflowed, the pewter tankard with home-brewed Nut-brown ale, that was famed for its strength in the village of


While from his pocket the notary drew his papers and inkhorn, Wrote with a steady hand the date and the age of the parties, 335 Naming the dower of the bride in flocks of sheep and in cattle. Orderly all things proceeded, and duly and well were completed, And the great seal of the law was set like a sun on the margin. Then from his leathern pouch the farmer threw on the table Three times the old man's fee in solid pieces of silver; 340 And the notary rising, and blessing the bride and bridegroom, Lifted aloft the tankard of ale and drank to their welfare. Wiping the foam from his lip, he solemnly bowed and departed, While in silence the others sat and mused by the fireside, Till Evangeline brought the draught-board out of its corner. 345 Soon was the game begun. In friendly contention the old men

Laughed at each lucky hit, or unsuccessful manœuvre,

Laughed when a man was crowned, or a breach was made in the


Meanwhile apart, in the twilight gloom of a window's embrasure, Sat the lovers and whispered together, beholding the moon rise 350 Over the pallid sea and the silvery mist of the meadows.

Silently one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven,
Blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels.

Thus was the evening passed. Anon the bell from the belfry Rang out the hour of nine, the village curfew, and straightway Rose the guests and departed; and silence reigned in the household.

Many a farewell word and sweet good-night on the door-step Lingered long in Evangeline's heart, and filled it with gladness. Carefully then were covered the embers that glowed on the hearth-stone,

And on the oaken stairs resounded the tread of the farmer.

Soon with a soundless step the foot of Evangeline followed..
Up the staircase moved a luminous space in the darkness,
Lighted less by the lamp than the shining face of the maiden.
Silent she passed through the hall, and entered the door of her


Simple that chamber was, with its curtains of white, and its clothes-press

Ample and high, on whose spacious shelves were carefully folded 365
Linen and woollen stuffs, by the hand of Evangeline woven.
This was the precious dower she would bring to her husband in


Better than flocks and herds, being proofs of her skill as a housewife.

Soon she extinguished her lamp, for the mellow and radiant moonlight

Streamed through the windows, and lighted the room, till the heart of the maiden

Swelled and obeyed its power, like the tremulous tides of the


Ah! she was fair, exceeding fair to behold, as she stood with Naked snow-white feet on the gleaming floor of her chamber! Little she dreamed that below, among the trees of the orchard, Waited her lover and watched for the gleam of her lamp and her


Yet were her thoughts of him, and at times a feeling of sadness Passed o'er her soul, as the sailing shade of clouds in the moonlight

Flitted across the floor and darkened the room for a moment. And, as she gazed from the window, she saw serenely the moon



Pleasantly rose next morn the sun on the village of Grand-Pré. Pleasantly gleamed in the soft, sweet air the Basin of Minas, Where the ships, with their wavering shadows, were riding at


Life had long been astir in the village, and clamorous labor Knocked with its hundred hands at the golden gates of the




Forth from the folds of a cloud, and one star follow her footsteps, 380 As out of Abraham's tent young Ishmael wandered with Hagar.



Now from the country around, from the farms and neighboring hamlets,

Came in their holiday dresses the blithe Acadian peasants.

Many a glad good-morrow and jocund laugh from the young folk 390 Made the bright air brighter, as up from the numerous meadows, Where no path could be seen but the track of wheels in the greensward,

Group after group appeared, and joined, or passed on the highway.

Long ere noon, in the village all sounds of labor were silenced. Thronged were the streets with people; and noisy groups at the house-doors

395 Sat in the cheerful sun, and rejoiced and gossiped together.

Every house was an inn, where all were welcomed and feasted; For with this simple people, who lived like brothers together, All things were held in common, and what one had was another's. Yet under Benedict's roof hospitality seemed more abundant: 400 For Evangeline stood among the guests of her father;

Bright was her face with smiles, and words of welcome and



Fell from her beautiful lips, and blessed the cup as she gave it.

Under the open sky, in the odorous air of the orchard, Stript of its golden fruit, was spread the feast of betrothal. There in the shade of the porch were the priest and the notary seated;

There good Benedict sat, and sturdy Basil the blacksmith.

Not far withdrawn from these, by the cider-press and the beehives, Michael the fiddler was placed, with the gayest of hearts and of


Shadow and light from the leaves alternately played on his snowwhite

410 Hair, as it waved in the wind; and the jolly face of the fiddler Glowed like a living coal when the ashes are blown from the embers.

Gayly the old man sang to the vibrant sound of his fiddle, Tous les Bourgeois de Chartres, and Le Carillon de Dunkerque, And anon with his wooden shoes beat time to the music. 415 Merrily, merrily whirled the wheels of the dizzying dances

Under the orchard-trees and down the path to the meadows; Old folk and young together, and children mingled among them.

Fairest of all the maids was Evangeline, Benedict's daughter!
Noblest of all the youths was Gabriel, son of the blacksmith!

So passed the morning away. And lo! with a summons


Sounded the bell from its tower, and over the meadows a drum beat.

Thronged ere long was the church with men. Without, in the churchyard,

Waited the women. They stood by the graves, and hung on the


Garlands of autumn-leaves and evergreens fresh from the forest. Then came the guard from the ships, and marching proudly

among them

Entered the sacred portal. With loud and dissonant clangor hoed the sound of their brazen drums from ceiling and case


Echoed a moment only, and slowly the ponderous portal
Closed, and in silence the crowd awaited the will of the soldiers.
Then uprose their commander, and spake from the steps of the

Holding aloft in his hands, with its seals, the royal commission. "You are convened this day," he said, "by his Majesty's orders. Clement and kind has he been; but how you have answered his



Be transported to other lands. God grant you may dwell there Ever as faithful subjects, a happy and peaceable people! Prisoners now I declare you, for such is his Majesty's pleasure!" As, when the air is serene in the sultry solstice of summer, Suddenly gathers a storm, and the deadly sling of the hailstones Beats down the farmer's corn in the field, and shatters his


Hiding the sun, and strewing the ground with thatch from the house-roofs,

Bellowing fly the herds, and seek to break their enclosures;



Let your own hearts reply! To my natural make and my temper Painful the task is I do, which to you I know must be grievous. 435 Yet must I bow and obey, and deliver the will of our monarch: Namely, that all your lands, and dwellings, and cattle of all kinds Forfeited be to the crown; and that you yourselves from this province



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