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carriage drove into it, followed by a gentleman and two ladies, who walked after it. The current being rapid and deep, the boat was drawn from the one bank to the other by means of a rope stretched across the stream and fastened at both sides securely; but it required some time to make the pássage, and the two gentlemen reached the steep road which led up from the river in their walk, and stood there observing the objects about them as they would have studied a picture.
One of them appeared to be about twenty-four years of age, and there was an air almost of sadness about him as he surveyed the wide-spread landscape. The other was younger, certainly not more than twenty, and his manner was animated.
“Waring,” said he, “this picture almost equals our Virginia scenery ; but you want the mountains, and the Germans say you must have them, or a landscape is nothing."
"I do not suffer the Germans to decide questions of taste for me," replied the other, "nor do I feel any more respect for their opinions in such matters than I do for their theological views. For tranquil beauty, nothing can surpass this scene.
“Ah! you have not forgiven me for my transcendentalism, as you style it, because I express some admiration for German speculations. Yet I am sure that they hold almost supreme dominion in that realm, that is, if you accept Jean Paul Richter for authority, for he says: The land belongs to the French, the sea to the English, and the air to the Germans."
“Certainly,” said Waring, “and Jean Paul Richter confirms my opinion; for he means, that the German mind has nothing practical about it, and is simply speculative, and I think generally misty."
“Still, Waring,” answered the other, "you must admit that a sunset in the mountains does excel this; here you have quiet beauty, I agree, but standing in the midst of our Virginia mountains, you realize what Beattie means, in those fine lines of his Minstrel:
The pomp of groves, and garniture of fields
At this moment, the boat having reached the bank, the carriage drove up the steep ascent, and the party in the boat followed it on foot, coming up to that part of the road where the gentlemen were standing; when the elder of the two suddenly started, and then advancing toward the travellers, exclaimed: “Why, Mr. Springfield! have you returned ? I am delighted to see you.”
“Ah! Mr. Waring, you are here to welcome us !” the gentleman to whom he addressed himself replied, grasping his hand: “We begin to feel now that we are already at home.”
Waring then spoke with the ladies, who received him warmly, and expressed their gratification at reaching home once more.
So sudden had been the recognition of the travellers by Waring, that he had no time for explanations to his friend, who remained standing on the roadside, apparently interested and pleased with the scene; but now Waring, turning to him, said: “Mr. De Vane, let me present you to Mr. Springfield.” And the young gentleman, advancing, was also introduced to the ladies. One of these was Mrs. Springfield, and the other her niece, Miss Wordsworth.
There was in the manner of De Vane a blended selfpossession and embarrassment, which did not escape the
observation of Mrs. Springfield, and which interested her; she saw that his bearing had in it something of stateliness, and yet perfect good breeding. As the party entered their carriage and drove off, the two young gentlemen turned their steps in the same direction, and resumed their conversation.
“Waring !” exclaimed De Vane, “are those people friends of yours ? Mehercule! I never saw so lovely a person as that young girl. I give it up! With that addition to your picture, I never saw any thing, even in Virginia, to rival it."
What !” said Waring,“ does she compensate for the absence of mountains ?"
“Mountains ! she would shed a glory over Siberia. She is absolutely radiant. Who are they?”
“The gentleman," replied Waring somewhat gravely, “is a man of fortune, cultivation, and taste; yet a Methodist, and what it may perhaps surprise you still more to learn, is a lay preacher. Learned, accomplished, and thoroughly acquainted with the world, he is a Christian, and while he is unwilling to assume the responsibilities of a clergyman proper, yet he preaches habitually, and with an earnestness and power rarely equalled."
De Vane's face expressed astonishment and yet interest, but he was too well bred to say all that he felt. To see such a man, and to hear him thus described, was so unlike any thing coming under his own observation, that he was surprised, and he could not repress some remark of that kind; but knowing his friend Waring to be a Christian, he restrained himself,
“And the ladies,” said De. Vane, “what of them ?”
“The ladies," replied Waring, "are Mrs. Springfield, the wife of the gentleman to whom I have just introduced you, and a woman of the highest order. The younger lady is Miss Esther Wordsworth, a niece of Mrs. Springfield.”
"A Methodist, too ?” exclaimed De Vane. “ A Methodist, too,” replied his friend.
"Mehercule!” said De Vane, using his habitual classical exclamation when he was excited, and added : “I must really know more of them; for that young girl might be an angel just arrived, to show us what the inhabitants of heaven look like."
They walked on for a few moments in silence, and then having reached the College grounds, each one sought his
John Waring was a native of Georgia. He had grown up in that State; and after struggling with adverse fortunes for years, had acquired sufficient means to enable him to take a. collegiate, course. His parents died when he was quite young, leaving a very slender property for their two children, the son, of whom we have already spoken, and a sister still younger than himself.
John, then about sixteen years of age, at once decided to give his sister the whole advantages of the estate; and be gan even at that early age to teach a school. He persevered in this, until he acquired what he felt would enable him to complete his own education; and in his twentysecond year had entered the celebrated College in which he was now a student. He was in his senior year, and expected to graduate in December, at the approaching Commencement. He was deeply pious; and had been trained in that religious denomination which had acquired such influence in Georgia, as to number among its members the poor and the rich, the humble and the aristocratic. He was a Methodist.
George De Vane was a young Virginian. He had been for more than two years a student in the College, and in the same class with Waring. He, too, looked to a speedy graduation. Younger by several years than his friend, yet he had become intimate with him, shared his love of nature, his passion for books, and his disposition to seek recreation out of the common ways of life. Seeing his matured and well-knit form, no one would have supposed that his health was not perfect; yet his friends fearing that a disease not unknown to his family, might develop itself in him, advised him to pass some years in a milder climate than that of the mountain district of his native State. He was the only son of General Charles De Vane, a gentleman of large fortune, who had seen actual service in the army, and had acquired distinction in the late war with England. His property was so large, as to make it important for him to reside on his estate; and as his tastes were aristocratic, he saw little of general society. He belonged to that class of gentlemen, now almost extinct in Virginia, who were as exclusive in their social intercourse as the English nobility. He never travelled but with a coach and four horses; kept his servants in livery; and all the appointments of his large establishment were as formal and elaborate as if the world had undergone no change; just as if the law of primogeniture had not been destroyed, and suffrage made universal. His wife had died when George was but five years of age, and a widowed sister came to reside with him, who took charge of his household.
Mrs. Hester De Vane, who had married her cousin of the same name, to whom she was ardently attached, and whose death she still mourned, shared her brother's aristocratic tastes, but she was in almost every other respect widely different from him. Several years younger than her brother, she still retained traces of personal beauty; and having been plunged into deep grief by the loss of her husband, who died just four years after their marriage, she had sought that consolation which a stricken heart finds nowhere but at the feet of Him who invites the weary and heavy-laden to come to him-and