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"Indeed!” replied Mrs. Gildersleeve; "and your Almo Mater, Mr. Simonson?” turning to her guest.
“Harvard, Madam.” His voice was low and deferential.
“Then I suppose, sir, you are an Abolitionist, and swear by Garrison?"
It was young Culpepper, and there was a hint of a sneer in his voice. Judge Gildersleeve looked up sharply, half in rebuke; but Marjorie broke in:
"I'm sure, Harold, Mr. Simonson's politics do not concern us. You know what Professor Pinckney says."
"Yes-poor old Pink! By the way, he's another Harvard man," yet more ungraciously. "I half suspect he, too, has the Yankee infection."
The young lawyer smiled, and Marjorie suddenly became conscious of the rare yet rugged beauty of his face and head.
“Mr. Culpepper has a perfect right to inquire regarding my politics," he said, "and I'm only sorry I can't give him a decisive answer.”
"Then you are an Abolitionist,” affirmed young Culpepper. “I thought so the moment I saw you.”
“Harold," broke in Marjorie again, "are all Abolitionists fine-looking, well educated, and cultivated gentlemen ?"
The speech was wholly unexpected, therefore all the more effective. Plainly the situation was becoming uncomfortable for a certain aggressive and outspoken young man.
"I must disclaim both accusation and compliment,” exclaimed the young lawyer, “the latter to my regret. As to politics, I am wholly unversed. I have been too busy to give heed to the criminations and recriminations of the politicians; besides, during my year abroad I knew nothing of what was going on in America."
"Then at least you're not an out-and-out Abolitionist?" It was the kindly voice of Mrs. Gildersleeve.
"Dear madam,"--and no priest could have spoken with
greater unction—“I can only claim to be a patriot. Political
"Nobly said, young man, nobly said."
"And so you think you can dwell securely and serenely in
“I did not say that, Mr. Culpepper. I said the clamor and counterclaims of parties confuse me—but that I am a patriot, ready to respond instantly to my country's call, I stoutly affirm."
"Good !” mockingly. “Then may I inquire which side is to be honored with your invaluable aid in the present crisis -the Tyrants of the North, or the true Patriots of the South ?”
Judge Gildersleeve's face was flushed with deep anger. Though Harold was Marjorie's fiance, and the son of his dearest friend, he had outraged the generous spirit of true hospitality. Raising his hand threateningly, “Stop, Harold! You shall not insult my guest, nor—-"
"Please, Judge Gildersleeve,” interrupted the young lawyer, "I do not think Mr. Culpepper meant any offense. If
I may be permitted a word more, I think we shall happily understand each other."
The young lawyer had spoken with a generous optimism, and was rewarded with a gladdening smile from Marjorie, which Harold noted.
"If it were a foreign foe to be combated, no true American would hesitate a moment; but this is a family feud, a domestic quarrel. I believe the men on both sides are equally honorable and patriotic.”
“For shame, Judge Gildersleeve,” said Harold, rising from the table. "I at least must resent this
“Sit down, Harold. I'm ashamed of you. Go on, Mr. Simonson."
"I have but little more to add, Judge Gildersleeve. I read Daniel Webster's Seventh of March Speech with deep emotion and said, 'There speaks the true patriot.' When Jefferson Davis came to Boston, two years ago, I managed to hear him. The great Caleb Cushing presided, and the illustrious Edward Everett graced the platform with his presence. As I listened to the learned and eloquent Mississippian, I said, 'There speaks the true American.' The speeches made at the two National Democratic Conventions, at Charleston and Baltimore, I read with the deepest sympathy and said, 'Patriots all, but too fiery and inflammable.' Many times in Boston I heard Wendell Phillips-an infernal machine set to music, some one called him--and William Lloyd Garrison. Always they saddened, sometimes angered, me; still honesty compelled me to say, 'Nevertheless they are patriots, but too morose, too bitter, too denunciatory.' Last winter at Cooper Institute, New York, I heard Abraham Lincoln and _and—”
"You fell down and worshipped him, declared him to the the greatest patriot of them all.” It was Harold Culpepper, furious.
"No, Mr. Culpepper. Again you are in error. I did not fall down and worship him, nor did I apotheosize him as a patriot, though a great patriot he unquestionably is.
But I did say, 'This is the broadest-visioned, the levelest-headed, and the kindest-hearted man I ever saw.'”
Fortunately, at this juncture they were interrupted by the arrival of Dr. Culpepper, Professor Pinckney, Abner Wilcox, and a number of young people, and they all went into the parlor.
For a moment young Simonson was beside Marjorie. Shyly she took his hand, glancing quickly at the rest of the company to see she was not observed, and in a low voice said to him, “You are the noblest man I ever met, and a true gentleman.” She paused a moment, a trifle confused, then added, “Papa believes in you, and so do I. You will not think me forward, will you? You were insulted at our table, and I want you to know that I am on-on your side."
The young lawyer was surprised, but very happy. As waking from a dream, he suddenly realized that, for the first time in his life, he had been pierced by one of Cupid's arrowsthat he was in love with the Judge's daughter, with Marjorie Gildersleeve. True, she was engaged to Harold Culpepper, but he could adore her in the distance.
However, he was not given time to soliloquize or rhapso-
Opposite Marjorie, a handsome, imperious man, evidently
booming: ""Acris hiems solvitur grata vice veris et Favoni, machinæ trahuntque siccas carinas; nec prata albicant canis pruinis.''
"And you say, Judge, this youngster is the son of Abe Simonson? Then he's a villain !"
"To the contrary, Doctor, he's one of the finest young men I ever met. Besides, he's a Harvard man, both letters and law.”
"Then, of course, he's an infernal Abolitionist. Thought so the moment I saw him."
"Wrong again, Doctor."
"What, a true patriot? Then let me shake his hand, and pledge him my friendship in a glass of wine. Quoth Horace: "Nunc ego quæro mutare mitibus tristia, dum opprobriis, recantatis fias mihi amica reddasque animum.'
"Not so fast, good Doctor. He has gone through the fires of Boston Abolitionism; he also heard Lincoln at the Cooper Institute great meeting--and is yet undecided; for he also saw Daniel Webster, and has read his Seventh of March Speech. Likewise he saw and heard our Chieftain on his last visit to Boston. It is now for us to win him to our sacred Cause."
"And that we will do. Present me to him."
But there was little chance for conversation, as Marjorie soon bore the young lawyer away to present him to a number of her young friends. After that came dancing, and as dancing was not one of the accomplishments of the young disciple of Justinian, the two enjoyed a quiet tete-à-tête in
Severe winter is melting beneath the agreeable change of spring and the western breeze, and the windlasses are drawing down the dry vessels; nor are the meadows whitened with hoaa frost.
* Now I am anxious to exchange bitter taunts for soothing strains, provided that my injurious expression being recanted, tk08 wilt become my friend and restore my peace of mind.