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An algonquin maiden


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Title:AnAlgonquinMaidenARomanceoftheEarlyDaysofUpperCanada
Author:G.MercerAdam
A.EthelwynWetherald
PostingDate:September26,2012[EBook#8661]ReleaseDate:August,2005
FirstPosted:July30,2003
Language:English
***STARTOFTHISPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOKANALGONQUIN
MAIDEN***

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ANALGONQUINMAIDEN
AROMANCEOFTHEEARLYDAYSOFUPPERCANADA
BY
G.MERCERADAMANDA.ETHELWYNWETHERALD

EnteredaccordingtoActofParliament,intheyearonethousandeighthundred
andeighty-six,byGRAEMEMERCERADAMandAGNESETHELWYN
WETHERALD,intheOfficeoftheMinisterofAgriculture,Ottawa.

TOTHEVETERANPUBLISHER,JohnLovell,Esq.,OFMONTREAL,WHO
HAS
SPENTALONGANDBUSYLIFEINTHEVARIEDSERVICEOFHIS
COUNTRY,THIS


MODESTEFFORTINTHEFIELDOFCANADIANFICTIONIS
AFFECTIONATELYAND
ADMIRINGLYDEDICATEDBYTHEAUTHORS.


CONTENTS.
CHAPTERI.

TheYoungMasterofPineTowers
CHAPTERII.

AnUpperCanadianHousehold
CHAPTERIII.

"WhenSummerDayswereFair"
CHAPTERIV.

IndianAnnalsandLegends
CHAPTERV.

TheAlgonquinMaiden
CHAPTERVI.

Catechisings
CHAPTERVII.



AnAccident
CHAPTERVIII.

Convalescence


CHAPTERIX.

OntheWaytotheCapital
CHAPTERX.

YorkandtheMaitlands
CHAPTERXI.

After"TheBall"
CHAPTERXII.

AKissanditsConsequences
CHAPTERXIII.

RivalAttractions
CHAPTERXIV.

"MuddyLittleYork"
CHAPTERXV.

PoliticsattheCapital
CHAPTERXVI.

Love'sProtestations
CHAPTERXVII.

APicnicintheWoods
CHAPTERXVIII.

TheCommodoreSurrenders


CHAPTERXIX.

AtStamfordCottage
CHAPTERXX.

TheComingofWanda
CHAPTERXXI.

ThePassingofWanda
CHAPTERXXII.

Love'sRewards


ANALGONQUINMAIDEN.


CHAPTERI.
THEYOUNGMASTEROFPINETOWERS.

ItwasaMaymorningin1825—spring-timeoftheyear,latespring-timeofthe
century.Ithadrainedthenightbefore,andawarmpallorintheeasternskywas
theonlyindicationthatthesunwastryingtopiercethegraydomeofnearly
opaquewateryfog,lyinglowuponthatpartoftheworldnowknownasthecity
ofToronto,thenthetownofLittleYork.Thisclusteroffiveorsixhundred
houseshadtakenupadeterminedpositionattheedgeofaforestthengloomily
forbiddinginitsaspect,interminableinextent,inexorableinitsresistancetothe
shyortothesturdyapproachesofthesettler.Manversusnature—thesuccessive
assaultsofperishinghumanityuponthealmostimpregnablefortressesofthe
eternalforests—thiswasthestruggleofCanadiancivilization,anditshard-won
triumphswerebodiedforthinthescatteredroofsofthesecheaphabitations.
Seennowthroughsoftgradationsofvapourygloom,theytookonapoetic
significance,astenderlyintangibleastheromantichalowhichthemistofyears
lovestoweaveabouttheheadsofdepartedpioneers,who,forthemostpart,
livedouttheirlivesinplain,grimstyle,withoutanythoughtofposingas
"conqueringheroes"intheeyesofsucceedinggenerations.
Fromtheporticoofoneofthesedwellings,underawind-swayedsignwhich
advertisedittobeaplaceofrestandrefreshment,steppedamanofmorethan
middleage,whosenervousgaitandanxiousfacebetokenedamindillatease.
Hehadthelookandairofahighlyrespectableoldservitor,—onewhohad
followedthefamilytowhomhewasboundbytiesoflife-longservicetoa
countryofwhichhestronglydisapproved,notbecauseitofferedapoorfieldfor
hisownadvancement,butbecause,tohismind,itscrudesocietyandnarrow
opportunitiesillbecamethedistinctionoftheOldWorldfamilytowhose
fortuneshewasdevoted.Timehadsoftenedtheseprejudices,buthadfailedto
meltthem;andiftheyhadapardonablefashionofcongealingunderthestressof
theCanadianwinter,theygenerallyshowedsignsofathawattheapproachof


spring.Atthepresentmomenthehadnothought,noeyes,foranythingsavea
mist-enshroudedspeckfaroffacrossthewatersofLakeOntario.Allthe
impatienceandlongingoftheweekjustpastfoundventthroughhiseyes,ashe
watchedthatpale,uncertain,scarcelyvisiblemoteonthehorizon.Ashereached
theshorethefogliftedalittle,andagreatsunbeam,leapingfromacloud,
illuminedforamomentthesmoothexpanseofwater;butthenewdaywasasyet
charyofitsgifts.Itwasverystill.Thewoodsandwavesalikeweretrancedin
absolutecalm.Theunlightedheavensbroodeduponthesilentlimpidwatersand
thebreathlesswoods,whilebetweenthem,withrestlessstep,andheartas
gloomyasthemorning,withsecret,soremisgiving,pacedtheoldservant,his
attentionstillriveteduponthatdistantspeck.Thesightoflandandhometothe
gazeofalongabsentwanderer,weariedwithocean,isnotmoredearthanthe
firstglimpseoftheapproachingsailtowatchingeyesonshore.
Wasitintruththepacketvesselforwhosecominghehadyearninglywaited,or
thedarkwingofasoaringbird,ordiditexistonlyinimagination?Thetideof
hisimpatienceroseanewasthedimobjectslowlyresolveditselfintothe
semblanceofasail,shroudedinthepale,damplightofearlymorning.
Unwillingtoadmittohisusuallygraveunimpressibleselfthefactthathewas
restlessanddisturbed,hereducedhispacetoadignifiedmarch,extendedhis
chosenbeattoawidermarginofthesandyshore,and,partingtheblighted
branchesofagroupoftrees,thatboreevidenceoftheeffectofconstant
exposuretolakewinds,heaffectedtoexaminethemcritically.Butthehandthat
touchedthewitheredleavestrembled,andhissightwasdimmedwithsomething
closelyresemblingthemorning'smist.Whenheagainraisedhiseyestothat
white-sailedvesselitlookedtohishopelessgazeabsolutelybecalmed.Theslow
momentsdraggedheavilyalong.Themantleoffogwaswhollyliftedatlast,and
thelonelywatcherwasenvelopedinthesoftbeautyofthemorning.Alight
cloudhungmotionless,asthoughspell-bound,abovethemuteandmoveless
trees,whilebeforehimthedeadblueslopesofheavenwereunbrokenbya
singleflyingbird,thewidewasteofwaterunlighted,savebythatunfluttering
sail.
Andnow,likeavisibleresponsetohissilentbutseeminglyresistlesslonging,a
boatwasrapidlypushedawayfromthelargercraft,andtheswiftflashandfall
oftheoarskepttimetothepulsingintheoldman'sbreast.Againensuedthat
ingloriousconflictbetweenself-respectingsobrietyofdemeanourandlong
suppressedemotion,whichendedonlywhentheboatgratedonthesand,anda
blondestalwartyouthleapedashore.Theoldmanfelluponhisneckwithtears


andmurmuredejaculationsofgratitudeandwelcome;butyoungimpatienthands
pushedhimnotungentlyaside,andayouthfulvoice,highandintensefrom
anxiety,urgentlyexclaimed:
"Mymother!Howismymother?"
"Sheyetbreathes,thankGod.Shehasbeenlongingforyourcomingasa
sufferingsaintlongsforheaven.Shemustseeyoubeforeshedies!"
Theyoungmanturnedalittleasidewithdown-benthead.Hispositiveblueeyes
lookedalmostfeverishlybright;andthelip,onwhichhehadunconsciously
bittenhard,nowreleasedfrompressure,quiveredperceptibly;butwiththe
unwillingnessorinabilityofyouthtoadmittheinevitablenessofagreatgriefhe
burstforthwith:
"Isthatallyouhavetosaytome?"Andthen,ashiskeeneyenoticedthetears
stillundrieduponthecheeksoftheoldman,hesighedheavily."Cannothingbe
done?Istherenohelp?Itdoesn'tseempossible!"Hegroundhisheelheavily
intothesand."Saysomething,Tredway,"heentreated,"anythingwithagleam
ofhopeinit."
Tredwayshookhishead."Theonlyhopethatremainsisthatyouwillreach
homeintimetoreceiveherlastwords.ThisisthesecondtimethatIhavecome
downexpectingtomeetyou."
Theyoungfellowwithhiserectmilitaryairandnoticeablyhandsomeface
betrayedaremoteconsciousnessthathewasperhapsworththetroubleof
comingaftertwice.Astheytogetherhastenedupfromthebeachtheyoungerof
thetwobrieflynarratedthecauseofhisdelay—adelayoccasionedbystressof
weatherontheAtlantic,andthestateoftheroadsinthevalleyoftheMohawk,
onthejourneyfromtheseaboard.Hehadlostnotanhour,theyoungmansaid,
inobeyingthesummonsofhisfather,theCommodore,toquitEnglandand
returntohisCanadianhomeerehismuch-lovedmotherpassedfromtheearth.
Eagertoreachthathome,whichwasontheshoresofLakeSimcoe,theyoung
Cadetbadetheoldservitorhastentogettheirhorsesreadywhentheywould
instantlysetforth.Astheywereabouttomount,theyoungerofthetwowas
accostedbyanoldfriend,nowanattacheofGovernmentHouse,who,learning
ofthearrivalofthepacket,andexpectingtheyoungmasterofPineTowers,had
strolleddowntothelanding-placetowelcomethenewcomerandaskhimto


partakeoftheGovernor'shospitality.Theyoungman,however,beggedhis
friendtohavehimexcused,andwithdutifulmessagesofrespectforthe
Governorandhishousehold,andacordialadieutohisformerboon-companion,
herapidlysetoffforhome,closelyfollowedbyhisattendant.
Cominguptheoldmilitaryroad,cutoutbetweenYorkandHollandLandingby
HisMajesty'scorpsofQueen'sRangers,undertheregimeofGovernorSimcoe,
bothhorsemenfellintoabriefsilence,brokenbysorrowfulinquiriesfromthe
youngermanregardingthesubjectwhichlaysoclosetotheheartofeach.
"Dying!"heexclaimedindeepsadness,andwiththeutterincapacityofyoung
andardentlifetoconceivetherealityofdeath."Andmyownmother.Itseems
naturalenoughforothermotherstodie—butmine!Heavenhelpus!Wenever
knowthemeaningofgriefuntilitcomestoourownthreshold."
TheoldstewardviewedwithadesolatestaretheMaylandscape,brightlylitwith
sunshineandbloom,andsaidwearily:
"Butwhatcanoneexpectinthiswretched,half-civilizedcountry?Nowin
England—"
Hisvoicelingeredlonguponthatfondlylovedword,andhisyoungmaster
concludedthesentencewith,
"Therewouldbelittlehope,butinthis'bravenewworld,'wheretheodourofthe
woodsisatonic,andtheairbringshealingandbalm,howcandeathexist?Ah,
Tredway,thisisabeautifulcountry!"
"Tomethereisbutonebeautifulcountry—thatisEngland."Againtherewas
thatlingeringintonation.
EdwardMacleodgaveventtoashortmelancholylaugh.Theallurementsofan
oldcivilizationwereover-ripetohistaste.Promiseappealedtohisimagination;
fulfilmentwasadullfact.Alongwiththeunmistakableevidencesofbirthand
breedinginhisperson,therewasinhisfreshyouthandbuoyancysomething
joyouslyakintothevigorousyounglifeabouthim.
"England,"saidTredway,withhisdisapprovingregardfixeduponthewilderness
around,"isagarden."
"AndItakenodelightingardens,"declaredEdward."Iwasneverintendedfora


gardenstatue.Thislongday'sjourneyunderthegianttreesofthewild,
unconqueredwoodsseemstogratifysomesavageinstinctofmynature.Theold
countryiswelladaptedtokeepaliveoldcustoms,oldnotions,oldtraditions;but
formeIamaCanadian,mymindisweariedwithover-muchcivilization.Ihate
theEnglishloveoflandforland'ssake.Thatlineofhills,swellinginmassive
curves,andcrowned,notwithatotteringruin,servingtohangsomelegendary
romanceorfadedragofsuperstitionupon,butwithstatelytrees—thatismyidea
ofthebeautiful."
Hestruckintoasharpgallop,hisbrightheadabovethedarkbluemilitarycloak
formingapicturesquefeatureinthewoodland,andtheflyingheelsofhis
spiritedhorseseemingtoaddarattlingchorusofapplausetohispatriotic
sentiments.Theoldretainerambledalonginhiswake,butmoreslowly.Hisidea
ofthebeautifulwasnotquitesorecklesslydefiant.Presently,forhewasstill
jadedfromtheeffectsofhislongjourneyonthepreviousday,herelaxedhis
attemptatspeed,andsoonlostsightofhiscompanionaltogether.Thevisionof
wavingcloakandflyingsteedvanishedinthegreenaislesoftheforest.
AlongtheOakRidges—situatesomethirtymilesfromYork—whichthetwo
horsemennowneared,aHuguenotsettlementhadbeenformedabouttheclose
oftheeighteenthcentury.ThesettlerswereFrenchofficersofthenoblesseorder,
who,duringtheFrenchRevolution,whentheroyalistcausebecamedesperate,
emigratedtoEngland,thencetoCanada,where,bythebountyoftheCrown,
theyweregivengrantsoflandinthisportionoftheProvinceofUpperCanada.
HeremanyoftheseemigreshadmadeclearingsontheRidges,andreared
chateauxforthemselvesandtheirhouseholdsafterthemanneroftheirancestral
homesinLanguedocandBrittany.Intothegroundsofoneofthesemansionshad
theyoungerhorsemandisappearedtopayhishurriedrespectstothestatelydame
whowasitsowner,andwho,withherfairdaughter,wereintimatefriendsofthe
Macleodfamily.
Almostbeforetheoldmanhadtimetowonderwhatmadfreakhadkepthis
youngmastersolongfromthebeatenroad,hewasathissideagain.
"Ihavebeentryingtogetaglimpseofmylittlefriend,Helene,"hesaid,in
explanationofhisabsence,"buttheDeBerczymansionisasemptyasachurch
onMonday.TheystillgotoLakeSimcoeinsummer,Isuppose.Butwhatdoes
thisearlyflightportend?"


"Itwascausedsolelybytheseriousnatureofyourmother'sillness.
MadameandMademoisellehavebeennowfiveweeksat'Bellevue.'"
Theyoungman'sfacedarkened,orratherlostthebrightnessthathabitually
playeduponit,likegleamsofsunshineonastream,which,whendisappearing,
showthedepthofthetidebeneath.
"Youwouldscarcelyknowtheyoungladynow,"continuedTredway."The
differencebetweenfifteenandeighteenisthedifferencebetweenchildhoodand
womanhood."
"Isupposeshehasgrownlikeayoungforesttree,andholdshergracefulhead
almostashigh."
"Sheiswellgrown,andverybeautiful,butnotbewitchinglikeyoursisterRose."
"Ah!dearlittleRose!Butshe,too,Idoubtnot,isabudnolonger.It'soddhow
mucheasieritisforagirltobeawomanthanforaboytobecomeaman."There
wassomethingvaguelysuggestiveofregretinthegesturewithwhichyoung
Macleodlightlybrushedhisshortupperlip,whosehirsuteadornmentwasnot,in
itsowner'sestimation,allthatitoughttohavebeen."Iwastwenty-onelast
winter.DoIlookveryyoung?"heinquired,withthenaturalanxietyofaman
whohasrecentlyescapedtheignominyofbeinginhisteens.
"Youlookaltogethertooyoung,"drylyreturnedtheancientservitor,"to
appreciatetheworthofacountrywhereoldcustoms,oldideas,andold
traditionsarerespected."
"Thenmayyouthalwaysbemine!"exclaimedEdward,lookingroundhimwith
theglowinhisheart,suretobefeltbythedevoutworshipperofNatureinthe
largeandbeautifulpresenceofherwhomheadores.Theregionabouthim,
esteemedtheepitomeofdrearinessinwinter,heldnowinitsdepthsavast
luxuryofvegetation.Thewildvinesranknottedandtwistedaboutthetrunks
andbranchesofmultitudinoustrees,andthefallenlogsweredrapedwithmoss,
lichens,anddelicateferns.Passingthroughthisboundlesswilderness,they
seemedtolookintoasuccessionofwoodlandchambers,thicklycarpetedwith
wildflowers,gorgeouslyfestoonedwithcreepingandparasiticalplantshanging
fromthebranches,andsecuredintheirleafyseclusionbywallsofabundant
foliage.Inoneofthesenaturalparlourstheypausedfortheirmid-dayrepast—
mid-dayintheworldwithout,buthere,whereonlyvagrantgleamsofthespring


sunpiercedtheforestsolitudes,gloomywithspruceandpine,therewasasense
ofmorningintheair.Thisappearancewasheightenedbythedelicatecurtainsof
cobweb,strungwithshiningpearls,whichstillmightbeseenafterthefogat
earlydawn.Therewasnosoundexceptsometimesthatofaninvisiblebird,
singingintheupperair,orwhenapartridge,rousedbyapproachingsteps,
startedfromthehollow,andrapidlywhirringawaydirectlybeforethemwas
againstartledintoflightwhentheyovertookit.
Theroadtheyfollowedcutstraightthroughtheforest,and,disdainingtoenclose
thehillsingracefulcurves,attackedandsurmountedtheminthedirectfashion
commontoourforefathers,whentheyencounteredobstaclesofanyserious
nature.Theabsenceofhumansightorvoicegaveastrangenesstothesoundof
theirownutterances,andtherewerefrequentlapsesintothatsadsilencewhich
felluponthemasnaturallyasthegloomfromtheovershadowingboughsabove.
Theoldattendantwhoviewedeverymemberofthefamilywhomheservedand
lovedjustasthefirstmanregardedtheworldathisfirstglimpseofit—thatis,as
anextensionofhisownconsciousness—wasdeeplymovedatthesightofhis
youngmaster'ssombreface.Edward'sheart,indeed,achedpainfully.The
perpetualrepetitionofthisluxurianceofyoungfreshlifeinthewoodsofMay
wasaconstantreminderofalifethatuntillatelyhadbeenasvigorously
beautiful,andnowperhapshadpassedawayfromthisworldforever.
LeavingtheirwearyhorsesatHollandLanding,theytookboatdowntheriver
andbay,desiringtohastentheirarrivalatthefamilymansion,nearlyoppositeto
whatisnowtheprettilysituatedtownofBarrie.Edwardsatapartandgazedlong
andsilentlyatthewavingtreelines,darkagainstaluminous,cool,graysky,
withitsscatteredbutserenegroupofclouds.Allhisdesireforhomeandforher
whowasthesunshineofithadresolveditselfintoayearningthatgnawed
momentarilyathisheart.Insteadofthefairskyandlandscapeandsilent
waterwaysofhisNewWorldhome,hesaworratherfelt,thehushofadim
chamber,whosewastedoccupanthadtravelledfarintothevalleyoftheshadow
ofdeath.Hisweteyes,lookingabroadupontheouterworld,wereastheeyesof
thosewhoseenot.Theafternoonsunshinepaledandthinned,butbeneaththe
chillofthespringdaytherelayawarmhintoftheuntoldtendernessof
midsummer.Unconsciouslytohimselftheprophecybroughtafeelingofcomfort
tohisheart,initsreminderofthegloryofthatsummertowhichhismother
mightevennowbepassing—"theglorythatwastoberevealed."
ItwasearlytwilightwhenEdwardMacleodreachedhisbeautifulhome


overlookingKempenfeldtBay.Thebroad,solid-builthouse,withits
commandingposition,andspaciousverandas,seemedjustsuchamansionasan
oldnavalofficer,whowasreducedtotheinsipidnecessityofalifeonshore,
wouldchoosetodwellin.Onemightalmostbetemptedtocallitafinepieceof
marinearchitecture,insomeofitsfancifulremindersofanoceanvessel.Its
solitariness,itspointedturretsandgables,itsproudpositiononwhatmightbe
termedthetopmostwaveofearthinthatregion,theflyingflagatitssummit,
andtheamplewhitecurtainsthatflutteredsail-likeintheopenwindows,all
heightenedtheresemblance.Fromitsportaldowntothebay,extendedanoble
avenueofhardwoodtrees—oak,walnutandelm—neverplantedbythehandof
man.Theirgraciouslivesthewoodmanhadspared,andnow,withtheir
outstretchedbranches,catchingthefainteveningbreeze,theyseemedtobreathe
asadbenedictionuponthereturningyouth,whowalkedhurriedlyand
tremblinglybeneaththem.
Ashesteppedfromtheirleafyshadowuponthesunset-gildedlawn,hewas
startledbyanapparitionwhichseemedsuddenlytotakeshapefromasweetscentedthicketoflilacsnowinprofusebloomattherearofthehouse.Adark,
lissomecreature,beautifulasayoungprincess,butaprincessinthedisguiseofa
savage,dartedpasthim.Sosuddenwastheappearance,andsoswifttheflightof
thisduskyDiana,speedingthroughtheblossomingshrubsofspring,thathis
mindretainedonlyageneralimpressionofaface,perfect-featuredandolivetinted,andaformrobedinabrilliantandbarbarousadmixtureofscarlet,yellow,
andverydarkblue.
Butthenextmomenteverysensationandemotiongavewaytooverwhelming
andprofoundgrief,forhissisterRose,hurryingtomeethim,threwherselfinto
hisarmswithanabandonofsorrowthatseemedtoleavenoroomforhope.The
fatalquestionburnedamomentonhislips,thendiedawayunuttered,leaving
thempaleasashes,andabigtearfelluponthebrightheadofthegirlwhomhe
nowbelievedtobewithhimselfmotherless.Butinamomenthisfathertookhis
handinatense,stronggrasp,anddrewhimquicklyforward."Sheyetbreathes,"
hewhispered,"butisunabletorecognizeanyofus.Heavengrantshemayknow
you.Fordayspasthermoanhasbeen,'IcannotdieuntilIseemyson,untilIsee
myfirst-born.'"
Hisvoicebrokeastheyenteredthechamberofdeath.Theyoungman,feeling
strangelyweakandblind,satdownbesidethebed,fortheawfulhushofthis
darkenedroomweighedheavilyuponhim.Asinaterribledreamhesawthe


sorrowingformsofhisyoungerbrotherandsister,crouchingathisfeet,poor
Rosedroopinginthedoorway,hisfather'stremblinghandsgraspingapostofthe
high,old-fashionedbedstead,and,ontheothersideofthebedayouthful
stranger,whoseblackdressandveryblackhairdivinelyframedafaceandthroat
ofmilkywhiteness.Theseobjectsleftbutaweakimpressionuponhisdulled
senses,forallhissoulwasgoingoutinresistlesslongingtowardsthefast-ebbing
lifethatseemedtobeslippingawayfromhisfeeblegrasp.Hestrokedthelittle
bloodlesshand,andkissedrepeatedlythewastedcheek,utteringatthesame
timelowmurmursofentreatythatshewouldlookuponhimoncemorebefore
shedied.Allinvain.Utterlystillandunresponsiveasdeathitself,shelaybefore
him."Dearmother,"heimplored,"itisyourson,yourownEdwardthatcalls
you.Canyounothear?Willyounotcomebacktomeasinglemoment?Ah,I
cannotletyougo;Icannot,Icannot!"Hisvoicesankinapassionatemurmurof
grief."Youwilllookatmeonce,willyounot?Oh,mother,mother,mother!"
Hehadfallentohisknees,withhisfaceonthepillowclosetohers,andhislast
wordssmoteuponherearliketheinarticulatewailofaninfantwhoselifemust
perishalongwiththestrongsustaininglifeofherwhogaveitbirth.Thehead
turnedeversoslightly,theeyelidsquiveredfaintlyandlifted,andhereyes
lookedfullyandtenderlyuponherson.Then,withamightyeffort,sheraised
onetransparenthand,andbroughtitfeebly,flutteringly,higherandhigher,until
itlayuponhischeek.Astrangefaintlightofunearthlysweetnessplayedabout
herlips.Itwasalightassweetandbeautifulasherownlifehadbeen,butnowit
paledandfaded—brightenedagain—flickeredamoment—andthenwentout
forever.
Thesadsoundofchildrenweepingbrokethesilenceofthedeath-chamber.
Edwardstillknelt,andRosewasbowedwithgrief;buttheoldCommodore's
courageousvoicesoundedasthoughwrungfromthedepthsofhissorelystrickenheart:
"TheLordgave,andtheLord—"histonguefailedhim,butafteramomentary
strugglehecontinuedinshakingtones—"andtheLordtakethaway.Blessed—"
Hecouldsaynomore.
Surelytheblessingthat,forchokingsobs,couldnotfindutteranceonearth,was
heardinheaven,andabundantlyreturneduponthebraveanddesolatespiritof
himwhostrovetopronounceit.


CHAPTERII.
ANUPPERCANADIANHOUSEHOLD.

Thebreakfast-roomofPineTowers,onabright,sunnymorning,somethreeor
fourdaysafterthedeathofitsmuch-respectedmistress,heldalargeconcourse
ofthenotablesofYork,andotherprivateandofficialgentryoftheProvince.
Theyhadcometotakepart,onthepreviousday,inthefuneralobsequies;and
werenow,afteranight'srestandbountifulmorningrepast,abouttoreturntothe
Capital.Amongthenumbergatheredtopayrespecttothedeceasedlady's
memory,aswellastoshowtheirregardandsympathyforthebereavedhusband,
thegoodoldCommodore,weremanywhosenameswere"householdwords"in
theearlydaysofUpperCanada.SixtyyearshavepassedovertheProvincesince
thenotablegathering,andallwhowerethenpresenthavepaidthedebtof
nature.Hushednowasaretheirvoices,theMacleodbreakfast-room,onthe
morningwehaveindicated,wasaperfectbabelofnoise.Thesolemnpageantof
thepreviousday,andthesacredgriefsofthosewhomthegrimEnemyhadmade
desolate,seemedatthemomenttohavebeenforgottenbythedepartingthrong;
andforatimetheyoungmasterofPineTowers,ashebadeadieutohisfather's
guests,witnessedasceneinsharpcontrasttoyesterday'sorderlydecorum.Itwas
withasighofreliefthatEdwardMacleodsawthelastofthemiscellaneous
vehiclesmoveoff,andthefinalguesttaketheroadtothebateauxonthelake,to
conveyhimandthosewhowerereturningbywatertoHollandLanding,thereto
findthemeansofreachingtheCapital.
Enteringthehouse,emptynowofallbutthosewhowereleftofitsusual
inmates,includinghissister'sfriend,thebeautifulHelene—whomhehadhardly
hadanopportunitytomorethangreetonhisreturnfromEngland—an
overpoweringsenseofdesolationfelluponhim.Seatinghimselfnearhis
mother'sfavouritewindow,theyoungman'slonelinessandbereavementfound
ventintears.Allthepastcamevividlybeforehim—amother'slife-long
devotionandtendercare;herthousandwinningwaysandlovingendearments;


herprideinhisfuturecareerandprospects;andtherecollectionofthemany
innocentconfidenceswhichamotherlovestopourintotheearofahandsome,
grown-upson,whosefilialaffectionandchivalrousdevotionassureherthatshe
stillpossessescharmstowhichherhusbandandhiscontemporariesofa
previousgenerationhadbeenwontsedulouslytopaytribute."Ah,beautiful
mother,itisnotto-daynorto-morrowthatIshallfullyrealizethatIamtosee
theenomoreonearth,"saidtheyoungmanmusingly,ashelefthisseatand
strodenervouslyupanddowntheroom,whilehisfavouritehoundfromarugby
thelargeopenfire-placeeyedhisagitatedmovements.
Presentlytheyoungman'ssoliloquieswereinterruptedbythetimidentranceof
hissister,Rose,followedbythemoredecidedandstatelytreadofthecharming
Helene.
"Ah,Edward,"saidhissister,"youarealone.Haveallourguestsgone?"
"Yes,"wasthereply,"andIamnotsorrytohavethehouseagaintoourselves."
"You,ofcourse,includeHeleneamongthelatter,"observedRose
interrogatively.
"Ido,certainly,"wasEdward'sinstantandcordialresponse,asheofferedHelene
hishandtoconductherdownthestepsintotheconservatoryandoutontothe
lawn."MissDeBerczy,ofcourse,isoneofus,thoughyoutoldmethismorning
thatshe,too,expressedawishtobegone."
Heleneinterruptedtheseremarkswiththeexplanationthatherwishtotakeleave
wasowingtoamandateofhermother'swhichhadreachedherthatmorning.
"Weshallallbesorryatyourleavingussosoon,"wasEdward'scourteous
rejoinder."But,whenyougo,"headded,"youmustpermitmetoaccompany
youto'Bellevue,'forIwishtopaymyrespectstoyourmamma;itisalongtime
nowsincewemet.Besides,IhavetodelivertoherthecameosIbroughther
fromEnglandandthefamilytrinketsyouruncleentrustedtomycare."
"Mamma,Iknow,iseagertoreceivethem,andwillbedelightedtowelcome
youback.Inhernote,bytheway,shetellsmethatCaptainJohnFranklinhas
writtentoherfromYork,askingpermissiontocalluponheronhiswaynorth.
YouknowthattheArcticExpeditionistogooverland,bywayof
PenetanguisheneandRupert'sLand,andistoeffectajunctionwithCaptain


Beechey'spartyoperatingfromHudson'sBay."
"SoIlearnedbeforeIleftEngland,"repliedEdward."Ihopemyfather,"he
added,"willbeabletomeetthemembersoftheExpedition.Itwouldrousehim
fromhisgrief,andIknowthathetakesagreatinterestinCaptainFranklin's
project."
Theconversationwasnowmonopolizedbytheladies,forHelenetookRose
asidetotellthatyoungladythathermammahadgivenhersomenewsofa
youngandhandsomeland-surveyor,ofBarrie,ofwhomshehadheardRose
speakintermsofwarmadmiration.
ThegentlemanreferredtowasAllanDunlop,who,Helenerelated,hadbeen
veryusefulatYorktoCaptainFranklin,ingivinghiminformationastotheroute
tobefollowedbyhisExpeditiononitswaytothe"hoarseNorthsea."
Rosevisiblycolouredasshelistenedtotheyoungman'spraises,intheextract
Helene'smotherhadenclosedfromCaptainFranklin'scommunication.That
youngladyprotested,however,thatAllanDunlopwasherbrother'sfriend,not
hers."Indeed,"sheadded,"wehaveonlyoccasionallymetattheChurchat
Barrie,andIhavenotevenbeenintroducedtohim."
"Ah,andhowisitthathisnameisalwaysonyourlipsaftereveryserviceIhear
youhaveattendedacrossthebay?"queriedHelenearchly.
ThetintsdeepenedonRose'ssweet,brightfaceassheapologeticallyurged"that
atsuchtimestherewasdoubtlessnothingbettertotalkabout."
HappilyforRosetheembarrassingconversationwasinterruptedbythereturnof
herbrother,whorejoinedtheladiestosaythatonthehighway,attheendofthe
avenuedownwhichhehadstrolled,apartyofmarinesandEnglishshipwrights,
incommandofanavalofficer,hadjustpassedontheirwaytothepost,near
Barrie,toproceedonthemorrowbytheNotawassagarivertotheGeorgianBay,
andontothenewnavalstationatPenetanguishene.AMr.Galt,who
accompaniedtheparty,andwasonhiswaytotheCanadaLandCompany's
reserveintheHurondistrict,hadbroughthimlettersfromYork,amongwhich,
headded,wasonefromhisoldfriend,AllanDunlop,condolingwithhimonthe
lossofhismotherandsendinghisrespectfulcomplimentstohisfatherandhis
family.


"Howcurious!"observedHelene,"why,we'vejustbeentalkingofMr.
Dunlop."
"Youmeantosay,"interposedRose,"thatyouhavejustbeentalkingofhim."
"Well!thatisquiteacoincidence,MissDeBerczy,butdoyouknowmyfriend?"
askedEdward.
"No,I'venotthatpleasure,"repliedthebeautifulHuguenot,"butyoursister,I
believe,knowshim—"
"Oh,Helene!Idonot!"saidRose,interruptingly.
Edwardturnedtowardshissister,andforamomentregardedherlovingly.After
apause,hesaid,"Well,Sis,ifyoudoknowhim,youknowoneofthebestand
mostpromisingofmyearlyacquaintances,andfromwhatIhaveheardofhim
sincemyreturn,IfeelthatIwanttoimprovemyownacquaintancewithhim,
andshallnotbesorrytoknowthathehasbecomeyourfriendaswellasmine."
"But,Edward,youmustwaittillIdoknowhim,"saidRosewithsomeemphasis.
"Iknowyourfriendbysightonly,andhaveneverspokentohim;though,I
confess,Ihaveheardagooddealofhimintherecentelection,andmuchthatis
favourable,thoughpapahastakenagreatdisliketohimonaccountofhis
politicalopinions."
"Ah,papa'sToryprejudiceswouldbesuretodoinjusticetoDunlop,"Edward
rejoined;"but,Ifear,"headded,"thereisneedinthepoliticalarenaofUpper
CanadaofjustsuchaReformerashe."
AtthisstageoftheconversationtheoldCommodorewasobservedonthe
veranda,andTredwayapproachedthegrouptoannouncethatlunchwasonthe
table.
CommodoreMacleod,asmaybeinferredfromhisson'sremarkabouthis
father'sToryprejudices,wasaToryoftheoldschool,amemberofthe
LegislativeCouncilofUpperCanada,andafirmallyandstiffupholderofthe
ProvincialExecutive,whohadearnedforthemselves,bytheirautocraticrule,
therathersinisterdesignationof"theFamilyCompact."Asatrustedfriendand
loyalsupporteroftheoligarchyoftheday,whomawell-knownradicalwho
figuredprominentlyinthelaterhistoryoftheProvincewaswonttospeakofas


thatarmyofplacemenandpensioners,"Paymasters,Receivers,Auditors,King,
LordsandCommons,whoswallowedthewholerevenueofUpperCanada"—the
referencetoamanofthetypeofyoungDunlop,whoaspiredtopolitical
honours,wasparticularlydistasteful,andsuretobringupontheobjectofhis
bitteranimadversionthefullvialsofhiswrath.
RalphMacleodwasagrandspecimenofthesturdyBritishseamen,who
contributedbytheirprowesstomakeEnglandmistressoftheseas.Heentered
thenavyduringthewarwithHolland,andservedunderLordHowe,whenthat
old"sea-dog,"in1782,cametothereliefofGibraltar,againstthecombined
forcesofFranceandSpain.HeservedsubsequentlyunderLordRodney,inthe
WestIndies,andwasashipmateofNelson'sinSirJohnJervis'victoryoverthe
SpanishfleetoffCapeSt.Vincent.ForhisshareinthatactionMacleodgained
hiscaptaincy,whilehisfriendCommodoreNelsonwasmadeaRear-Admiral.In
1797hewaswoundedatCamperdownwhileservingunderAdmiralDuncan,
andretiredwiththerankofCommodore.
Earlyinthecentury,hemarriedanEnglishladyandcametoCanada,wherefora
timeheheldvariouspostsonthenavalstationsontheLakes,andwaswith
Barclay,onhisflagship,TheDetroit,inthedisasteronLakeErie,inSeptember,
1813.NarrowlyescapingcapturebyCommanderPerry'sforcesatPut-in-Bay,he
joinedGeneralProctorinhisretreatfromAmherstburgtotheThames,andwas
presentatthebattleofMoravianTown,wheretheIndianchief,Tecumseh,lost
hislife.
WhentheTreatyofGhentterminatedthewarandleftCanadainpossessionof
herown,CommodoreMacleod,withotheroldnavalofficers,retiredfromthe
service,andtookgrantsoflandintheneighbourhoodofLakeSimcoe.Being
possessedofconsiderableprivatemeans,theCommodorebuiltapalatial
residenceonthebordersofthatlake,andvariedthemonotonyofalifeashoreby
anengrossinginterestinpoliticsandtheactivedutiesofaLegislative
Councillor.Theillnessofhiswife,towhomhewasdevoted,hadinthepasttwo
yearsalmostentirelywithdrawnhimfrompoliticallife,andlosttohis
colleaguesintheUpperHousetheservicesofonewhotookgrimpleasurein
stranglingbillsobnoxioustothedominantfactionwhichoriginatedintheLower
Chamber.HistemporarywithdrawalfromtheLegislativeCouncil,andthe
lengthenedabsenceinEnglandofDr.Strachan,thatsturdyecclesiasticwhowas
longtherulingspiritofthe"FamilyCompact,"emboldenedtheleadersof
ReformtoinveighagainsttheHydra-headedabusesofthetime,andsow


broadcastthedragon-teethofdiscontentandtheseedsofaspeedyharvestof
sedition.
Already,Wm.LyonMackenziehadunfolded,inthelivelycolumnsofThe
ColonialAdvocate,his"plentifulcropofgrievances;"whiletheharshoperations
oftheAlienAct,theinterdictingofimmigrantsfromtheUnitedStates,the
arrogantclaimsoftheAnglicanChurchtotheexclusivepossessionoftheClergy
Reserves,andthejobberyandcorruptionthatprevailedintheLand-granting
DepartmentoftheGovernment,allcontributedtofantheflameofdiscontent
andsaptheloyaltyofthecolony.IntheLegislativeAssemblyeachrecurring
sessionaddedtotheclamourofopposition,andemphasizedthedemandfor
ResponsibleGovernmentandPopularRights.Butasyetsuchdemandswere
lookeduponastheravingsoflunacyortheimpertinencesoftreason.
ConstitutionalGovernment,eveninthemother-land,wasnotyetfullyattained;
and,inadistantdependency,itwasnottobeexpectedthattheprerogativeofthe
Crown,ortherightsandprivilegesofitsnominee,anirresponsibleExecutive,
weretobemadesubordinatetothewillofthepeople."Takecarewhatyouare
aboutinCanada,"weretheiratewordsWilliamIV.hurledathisministers,some
fewyearsaftertheperiodofwhichwearewriting."By—!"addedthis
constitutionalmonarch,"IwillneverconsenttoalienatetheCrownLandsnorto
maketheCouncilelective."
Withsuchoutburstsofroyalpetulanceandold-timekingcraft,andsimilar
ebullitionsfromDowningStreet,exhortingtheUpperCanadianAdministration
toholdtightthereinsofgovernment,thereformingspiritoftheperiodhada
hardtimeofitinenteringonitsmanyyearsconflictwithanarrogantand
bureaucraticExecutive.Ofmanyofthemembersoftherulingfactionofthetime
itmaynotbecomeusnowtospeakharshly,formostofthemweremenof
educationandrefinement,andintheirdaydidgoodservicetotheState.If,inthe
exerciseoftheiroffice,theylackedconsiderationattimesforthelessfavoured
oftheirfellow-colonists,theyhadtheinstinctsandbearingofgentlemen,save,it
maybe,when,inconclave,occasiondrovethemtoaviolentandcontemptuous
oppositiontothewillofthepeople.Butmen—mostofallpoliticians—naturally
defendtheprivilegeswhich,theyenjoy;andtheexceptionalcircumstancesof
thecountryseemedatthetimetogivetotheholdersofofficeaprescriptiveright
totheirpositionandemoluments.
Attheperiodofwhichwearewriting,therewasmuchneedofwisemoderation
onthesideofthegovernedaswellasonthatofthegoverningclass.Butof


moderationtherewaslittle;andthenatureoftheevilscomplainedof,thenonconciliatoryattitudeoftherulingoligarchy,andthelicencewhicha"Free
Press,"—recentlyintroducedintothecolony,—gaveinformulatingchargesof
corruption,andinlooseningthetongueofinvective,madeitalmostimpossible
todiscussaffairsofState,saveintheheatedtermsfamiliartoirritatedand
incensedcombatants.Itwasatthisperiodthattheyoungland-surveyor,Allan
Dunlop,enteredtheLegislativeAssemblyandtookhisseatasmemberforthe
NortherndivisionoftheHomeDistrict.Thoughwarmlyespousingthecauseof
thepeopleintheever-recurringcollisionswiththedifferentbranchesofthe
Government,andaswarmlyassertingtherightsandprivilegesofthepopular
ChamberinitsstruggleswiththeautocracyoftheUpperHouse,theyoung
ParliamentarianwasequallyjealousofthereasonableprerogativeoftheCrown,
andtemperateinthelanguageheusedwhenhehadoccasiontodecryitsabuse.
HewasoneofthefewintheLegislaturewho,whiletheyrecognizedthattheold
systemofgovernmentwasbecominglessandlesssuitedtothegeniusandwants
oftheyoungCanadiancommunity,atthesametimewishedtousherinthenew
regimewiththemoderationandtactwhichmarktheworkofthethoughtful
politicianandtheaimsofthetruestatesman.Ithasbeensaidthatonenever
knowswhatisinsideapolitician.WhatwasinsidetheReformer,AllanDunlop,
wasallthatbecameapatriotandahigh-mindedgentleman.


CHAPTERIII.
"WHENSUMMERDAYSWEREFAIR."

Afterwards—forcloseuponthecomingofeverygrief,howevergreat,fallthe
slow,dullfootstepsofAfterwards—,thebereavedMacleodfamilytookupagain
theoccupationsandinterestsoflifeinthebenumbedfashionofthosewhose
nervesareslowinrecoveringtheeffectofagreatshock.Edwardaloneborea
bravefront,thoughhisheartattimesfailedhim.Hewassomethingofapuzzle
tothefriendofhissister,whocouldnotreconcilethetearswhichshesawinhis
eyesonemomenttothejestsheheardfromhislipsthenext,andwhomarvelled
insecretthattheutterabandonofhisgriefatthebedsideofhisdyingmotherhad
notbeenfollowedbyastateofsettledmelancholyafterherdeath.Tothecool,
steadfastnatureofMademoiselleDeBerczythisalternatelightandshade,gaiety
andgrief,intheheartofRose,aswellasofherbrother,wasdifficultto
understand;butnowshebeganfaintlytoperceivethattotheirardent
temperamentsunshinecameasnaturallyasitdidtothefirstdayofspring,
which,whileitachedwiththeremembranceofwinter,couldnotwhollyrepress
onthataccountitsnaturalbrightness.CertainlyEdwardMacleod,thoughhis
unusuallypalefacegaveevidenceofthesufferingwhichhehadlately
experienced—nay,whichhewasevennowexperiencing—couldnotsaythatlife
forhimwasutterlywithoutconsolation.Forthesakeofthestrickenhousehold,
forthesakeofherwhohadleftthemdesolate,hewouldbeaman;and,being
thatcomplexcreature,aman,involvesnotonlytheloftyvirtuesofcourageand
self-forgetfulness,butalsoatendersusceptibilitytothecharmsoftheseperfect
springdays,andtothenolessalluringcharmsofamaideninthespring-timeof
youth.
NearlyaweekhadelapsedsincethefuneralofMrs.Macleod,andnowasecond
messagefromhomehadbeenreceivedbyHeleneDeBerczy,remindingherthat
herinvalidmotherhadclaimswhichcouldnolongerbesetaside.IfMadame
DeBerczy'slanguagewasseldomimperative,herintentionabundantlymadeup


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