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doorplate capable of sending dazzling beams into the eyes of the envious neighbors over the way? Again, the doors of dentists and other practitioners of that sort have an invariable air about them which is never seen anywhere else. General conclusions such as these anyone can draw; and the more careful students can doubtless go on probing still deeper into family secrets, finding clues in the numbers on the panels or the shape of the handle. But in Eastbury, the most advanced expert in the science would be wholly at fault.
It is not that the inhabitants lack individuality, either. every turn you meet original and interesting examples of the old New England type, now so rare; but there is something in the air, apparently, which has driven every mark of identification from the front doors all along the shady Main street; to the layman there is absolutely no essential difference between the door on Josiah Howe's gambrel roofed cottage down on the mill road and that on lame Justice Trueby's house, who is, as everyone knows, "the richest man in Barnstable County, Sir!"
But nevertheless, even in their blankness, there is something about the doors, some universal trait, hard for the stranger to explain, but which he can plainly see, which strikes him with a vague feeling of sadness not to be shaken off. Only when he has scanned the faces about him and has come to know the life of the little fishing village can he fairly make clear what there is about the doors that makes them stare at him so desolately. It is the mourning in the hearts of the Eastbury folk, which custom has quaintly reflected in the senseless wooden panels. Hardly a household is there but can tell of some loss in the blue ocean beyond the reefs; but the people hide their griefs and, putting away the black garb, sail out again and leave their doors to be tokens of what is ever wearing away their souls. They all stand decked like perpetual mourners. The narrow walk leading up from the low gate is overgrown with sad colored weeds whose blossoms are scattered as soon as they appear; the woodbine and waxen ivy, growing unchecked, creep and writhe across the white framework like a veil; they twine closely about the knot and the chance bits of carving, while the ugly knocker, like a kind of elfin creature, grins fiercely out from the wreaths which fetter it and deaden its cheery clatter to a dull tapping, as of a ghost or dead
thing. You are frightened away, and hasten to the more accustomed path to the side door with the jolly red curtains.
For years these doors may stay unopened. Their hinges rust away beneath the vines, and the busy wasps hang paper houses under the lintel. To the Eastbury men it would seem like a sacrilegious thing to open them save for a funeral or on a wedding day. They are doors no longer, but are tender, sacred testimony of a sentiment which custom has made unmanly to express in any other way. Shall anyone ever dare to hang his own escutcheon in a place that generations have consecrated as a shrine of their unshed tears?
E. G. T.
-The general was a fine old southern gentleman, a typical representative of the old school. He was tall and erect, his finely cut face set off by bushy gray hair, heavy eyebrows, and a drooping gray moustache. His language always interesting, was a charming combination of scholarly dignity and politeFor myself, to know him was to worship him. I never saw a man for whom I had a higher admiration.
One chilly day, as he was leaving the house, I noticed that he seemed to be having trouble with his overcoat. "Thank you, sir; thank you," he said heartily, as I hurried to his assistance. "It isn't so easy for me since this trouble with my shoulder."
That remark started me on a long line of thought. A lame shoulder-significant. The general had spent all the early part of his life in a "fire-eating" part of the South; who could have been more likely to become engaged in a duel than himself? He was still a man of coolness and determination ; it was easy to believe that whoever lamed him had suffered in return. Then again, my old friend had served four years under General Lee-another suggestion.
How was I to find out? Recollections of the war were painful to him. If he had received that hurt in a duel, and, as was of course probable, had killed his opponent-well, I didn't wish to be the one to remind him of that either. Remembrance was too distinct of the old gentleman's fury once when he saw a man abuse a horse. How I was ever to penetrate that mystery I could not see.
At last my curiosity got the better of my prudence. I waited days for another opportunity to help the old hero with
his overcoat, determined then to bring up the dreaded subject. My time came-a raw, unpleasant day, with the general most opportunely over to lunch. For the first time I was impatient to have him start. At last-I held his coat so as to let him into it just as easily as possible, and with my heart in my mouth, inquired how his shoulder was injured.
"Most remarkable accident, sir; most remarkable," he said with a frown that made me regret my inquisitiveness. "Several years ago, sir-strange it doesn't get well, too-I threw that shoulder out trying to put on an overcoat with a torn sleeve lining."
T. S. K.
-Probably the only place in Holland where the Dutchman of Girard Dow's pictures and of Washington Irving's description, exists in all his amplitude, to-day, is in the Island of Marken. The men in their great blue knickerbockers and red shirts, the women in an indescribable array of gorgeous. colors, and the children, boys and girls alike, in petticoats and small Dutch caps with a single curl on each side of their round Dutch faces, all belong to the Holland of two hundred years ago. The Island itself is only a mile or two square, but it is embellished with a group of picturesque Dutch houses, several wind mills, a light-house and a grave-yard. The latter, owing to the scarcity of land, is of peculiar construction. On a mound near the shore stands the cabin of a ship. Here generation after generation have been buried. The coffin is taken into the cabin and placed in the only grave, where sinking slowly in the quicksand it finally goes out to sea. But the men, owing to their seafaring life, often do not have the good fortune to die in their beds; so the prudent Dutchman always carries his funeral expenses with him, in the form of a large gold button in the collar of his shirt. He who picks up the body and gives it a decent burial, may keep the stud for his pains. The boys, when they reach the age of ten, are presented with a silver button and are taken to sea with their fathers; but before this event takes place, they dress exactly as the girls, being only destinguishable by a round piece of calico on the crown of their caps. The bent little woman who calls herself the oldest inhabitant-and her looks do not belie the assertion-will exhibit her house from cellar to garret, displaying pots, pans and even a wedding
dress worn by herself and seven previous generations on like occasions, for the paltry sum of one florin. The richest man on the Island has not, as might be supposed, invested his wealth in Government bonds, but in furniture, Delft ware and old clocks, and his home presents the appearance of a curiosity shop, with the wholesome addition of Dutch neatness. In fact the Island and its people are quaint and picturesque as possible, and avarice, so prevalent on the main-land has not yet become a disease in Marken. Their own pastor and school teacher, provide for the needs, spiritual and temporal, of the little community. The men fish, the women scrub, and between them the Island presents such an air of neatness, that the most scrupulous Burgomaster in all Holland could not possibly take exception.
W. A. D.
-The cold winds steals in gusts along the edge of the woods and nestles through the cornfields from shock to shock ; here it drives out a flurry of leaves from the shadow of the trees and then tosses out a flock of sparrows from a shock of dry husks. A pair of squirrels scramble noisely after one another down the crooked fence. A woodpecker hammers resonantly on a dry limb back in the woods and a buzzard wheels ominously overhead. The family of crows foraging among the heaps of ears along the shocks feed on undisturbed by noise or shadow. A team goes rattling by on the frozen turnpike; two boys climb over the fence from the road and cross the corner of the field, the crows seem neither to see or hear.
A shadow is creeping along the fence by the woods; surely if the crows are oblivious to the now evident dangers, they are in great peril now. The shadow creeps on until it is within a few yards of gunshot.
Two or three quick sharp calls from the top of the nearest tall tree and five black shadows are launched into the air and slip away over the fence among the tree-trunks. Once fairly out of sight they caw in mocking chorus in the distance. The sentinel crow, the safeguard of his race has done his duty.
-The old colonial records of New Haven abound with statements and anecdotes which give interesting glimpses of
the Puritan institutions and customs that once existed here; though few of us, in the hurry of daily routine, pause long enough to consider the circumstances and mode of life of those stern forefathers who then possessed the soil we tread so thoughtlessly.
It is only a couple of centuries ago that a fifth part of the "trayned band" of the town was required to be present, fully armed, at the "meeting house," to protect the congregation from the Indians; while to the end that bullets might be plentiful in case of need, they were made common currency at the value of a farthing. Some queer doings of the members of this pioneer congregation are recorded, which go to show that the staid old Puritans were very human. In 1650 the deacons of the Church informed the Court that "the wampum which is putt into the Church Treasury is generally so bad that the Elders to whom they pay it cannot pay it away." Again, we read of one unlucky parishioner who was so thoughtless as to say that he derived no profit from the minister's sermon; for which most serious offense he was fined and soundly whipped.
In those days the ordination of a minister was an event of moment socially as well as spiritually. There was an ordination ball and an ordination feast. In the latter, cider, beer and grog were plentifully supplied, and there are instances where the punch was mixed on the meeting house steps. As late as 1825, in New Haven, ordination drinks were freely provided for all at a neighboring bar, and the society hospitably paid the bill. But laxness in one direction was more than offset by strictness in others. The Sabbath was most rigidly observed, and on that day the most decorous behavior was exacted from all. The tithingman, whose staff of office was a wand, tipped at one end with a hard knob and at the other with a fox's tail, was on duty at the church, where he used the knobbed end of the wand to good effect on the snoring men, while the sleeping Dorothys, Priscillas and Prudences were tickled with the other. We do not wonder that the tithingman was a necessity when we read the sermons of those times sometimes reached a "twenty-seventhly." These officers were also obliged to watch a certain number of families all the week to see that they conducted themselves properly.
Strangely enough, more traces of the old Puritan customs and requirements are to be found to-day right here in the University than among the townspeople. In the old times