« AnteriorContinuar »
NEW-YORK, APRIL, 1862.
OR, THE CAPTURE OF BURG O Y N E.
A STORY OF THE REVOLUTION.
BY MRS. AXXA L. SXELLING,
A year had passed since the events re- | ture's own curls over her snowy neck, and corded in our last chapter, and we will now rested, as she reclined, upon her arms, bare introduce our readers to the drawing-room to the shoulder, as was the prevailing cusof a neat mansion, adorned with heavy, old tom, while the sleeves of her dress were fashioned furniture, which had been convey looped up with pale blue ribands. One tiny ed from old England to this country-not foot peeped from beneath her white robe, exactly in the “May Flower," but soon after | encased in that now obsolete deformity, a the voyage so celebrated in the annals of high-heeled shoe; and the thought would at our country. Chintz curtains, covered with once have occurred to a spectator of any the most gorgeous flowers of all colors, taste,“ how much prettier that foot would draped the windows. The chairs were of appear in a slipper of white satin !" massive oak; the seats covered with worsted The young girl seemed busily occupied embroidery in the form of diamonds, varied in separating the flowers of a bouquet, and, as the tints of the rainbow. The fire-place with somewhat of a petulant and mischievwas constructed of tiles, representing Æsop's ous air, tearing to pieces blossom after Fables, Joseph's Flight into Egypt, and blossom which composed it, till ber dress, other interesting subjects. A large and the sofa, and a few yards around her on the comfortable couch, by far too ponderous to floor, were thickly strewn with the fragrant be much of a locomotive, stood on one side treasures. After continuing this interesting of the fire-place, on which reclined the grace- employment until only one poor rose reful form of a young girl. A simple dress mained entire in her fairy fingers, she looked of white cambric, sitting close to the figure, at it a moment as if undecided as to its desdisplayed its beautiful proportions, scarcely tiny, and then, suddenly turning towards a yet advanced beyond the period of child- young lady who sat a little behind the couch hood. Her eyes were of that brilliant black, | deeply absorbed in reading, she exclaimed : which seemed to dart fire with every glance, | “You are enough to spoil the temper of shaded by lashes an Eastern Peri might envy. an angel, Helen. Here have I sat for full Her hair, of the same ebon hue, parted in ten minutes, and not a syllable passed your the middle of her forehead and fell in na- lips. There, read away;" and the rose, de
scribing a circle in the air, alighted on the dark-eyed Flora sprang from her stooping book of which the fair occupant of the couch position to the side of the speaker. Every was so jealous.
trace of color had flown from her late ani. “Flora, you do not deserve your name,” | mated countenance ; and with a trembling replied her companion, smiling, and at the voice she repeated the words same time placing the fugitive rose in her “Edward Lester !" own dark hair.
“ Yes," replied Helen, much surprised at “Was there ever such a spirit of destruc- the agitation of her friend. tiveness! What would St. Clair say if he “He was taken prisoner, as I told you, knew the fate of his beautiful present ?” and is now ill in the British camp, where
" St. Clair may say what he pleases," re Clarence Grahame has become much inteturned the dark-eyed dámsel, slightly pout- rested in him. But be not anxious on acing her lip. “It is a matter of perfect in count of your old playmate, Flora. He does difference to me.”
not mind fatigue, and is doing nothing more “Nay, Flora, be more consistent. This than he would to any one in such a situaindifference, I am confident, is merely as tion. Suppose you had a brother, or any sumed."
relative ill in an enemy's camp, would you " Thank you for the compliment, my not think it hard if he found no kind friend lady,” replied the capricious beauty, who to comfort him ?" was now busily engaged in collecting the Flora did not immediately reply, but scattered fragments of the bouquet. No walked quickly across the room and rang sigh of pity was breathed over the ruins, but the bell violently. A fine-looking negro while her fingers were at work and her head girl appeared at the summons, and Flora, bent down, she said :
catching her by the sleeve, drew her into a “ You received a letter yesterday, Helen. corner, and began to talk to her in low May I inquire if it contained any important tones, with as much familiarity as if she news ?”
were a favorite companion. Indeed, the inIt was now Helen's turn to betray embar telligent look of the girl would have conrassment. “My letter came from the ranks vinced any one that she was far above a of the enemy, as you call them, Flora, and common menial. Philis Wheatly was one therefore cannot interest you."
of the rare examples among her race, of a “I beg your pardon, lady fair,” returned mind cultivated in no ordinary manner. Flora; “I have a very particular friend in Her eye was large, dark, and brilliant, her those ranks, named Clarence Grahame. I features well proportioned, and instead of should be gratified to hear of his well that stupid, vacant expression of countenance being."
peculiar to Africans, hers was lit up with For an instant the brilliant color iled from animation and intelligence. In early childthe cheek of our heroine, but she fixed her hood she had exhibited remarkable talents, searching eye upon the countenance of her but, being a slave, had little prospect of refriend as she raised it a moment, and, satis ceiving the advantages of education. But a fied with the scrutiny, answered
kind master indulged her wishes to improve, “He is well, and gaining favor every day and she became so noted for her poetic tawith the royal troops; but he observes that lents, that several ladies of high rank correfor several weeks he has suffered from fa sponded with her. She addressed several of tigue and anxiety, watching over the couch her poems to General Washington. But of a wounded prisoner, taken in a late sortie we shall speak further of Miss Philis in a upon the American fortress. He mentions future narrative, relating to a family with his name too, I believe-Edward Lester." whom she was more nearly connected. She
With a bound like a startled fawn, the I was at this time housekeeper to Flora's
father, who was a widower, and almost wor- some important news ;" and the young lady, shipped her young mistress, though she in spite of her affliction at the imprisonment sometimes presumed to oppose some of her of her friend Edward, threw herself upon wild schemes. Helen, utterly unconscious the couch, and indulged in a long fit of that any thing she might have said caused merriment. this mysterious conference, went on with her Deacon Jones was a fine specimen of the reading as if nothing had occurred. olden school. His sleek, gray hair retreated
“ Philis, you remember Mr. Lester ?” asked from his forehead, and was braided with the young lady.
great precision in a long queue tied with black "Remember him, dear Miss Flora ! that ribbon. His snuff-colored coat was buttoned I do. He was a noble young gentleman. up close to the chin—the buttons of shining What of him ?"
brass, nearly as large as a half dollar. His “ He is a prisoner in the British camp, face wore a perpetual calm. No one had Philis."
ever seen him laugh heartily or frown an“God forbid !"
grily. But we will let the good deacon speak "And you must release him, Philis, some for himself. way or other. Hush ! don't speak loud “So," said he, as he laid down his broadMiss Helen don't favor the American cause. rimmed hat, and seated himself, without Can't you go to the camp?"
ceremony, by the side of Flora ; “so that The more experienced African smiled at graceless son of Madame Dumont's has gone the proposal. “Why, dear Miss Flora, off to the tory army. The best place for you talk as if I was proof against rifle- him; and I wish to my soul his mother was balls and swords. What good could I do?" 'long of him, instead of employing herself in
“ Effect his release ; or at least take care deluding the minds of sinners, and preventof him in his illness."
ing them from hearing and profiting by the "And do you suppose they will allow me, truth. Our godly sister, Betsey Charity who am a rebel, to go into their camp, Miss More, had made arrangements to establish Flora ?"
an indigent orphan school on evangelical * You a rebel! pooh !” exclaimed the principles, where the children of the poorer. impatient young lady. “Women have classes could be clothed and instructed in nothing to do with party terms. I suppose the ways of truth. All her plans are to be you call Miss Helen a tory, then, Philis ?" defeated by the interference of this Catholic
Philis smiled a peculiar smile; for she bigot. She went round among the parents, was shrewd, and saw farther into character and threatened them with the vengeance of than her volatile mistress, and she doubted the priest if they dared send their children whether the letters that passed to and from to a heretic school; and I understand she the British camp contained tory sentiments ; has offered to advance three hundred pounds but she made no comments upon the sub- towards establishing a Catholic orphan asyject, and Flora went on :
lum. I hope our Christian brethren will put · Philis, you don't know how important down such a scheme at once.” it is that Mr. Lester should be free at this “But why do you include Clarence in his time. That hateful St. Clair still persecutes mother's plans ?” asked Flora. . me with his attentions, and my father favors “Like mother, like son, I take it,” rehim. Miss Helen, there, is in league with plied the deacon. “I am glad he has not him, and, indeed, it seems to me that the been sent to scatter bis pernicious doctrines whole world is against poor Edward. Only among the youth of our army. (Philis, tell get a letter to Mr. Grabame from me, and | the Gin’ral I'want to speak with him.) A be will not refuse my request. Oh dear, poor, miserable, spoiled, effeminate coxcomb! dear! there comes Deacon Jones, big with brought up at his mother's apron-string, and