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ness and reared a commonwealth. He men of signal virtue. They have all olrhad most noble and congenial associates tained a good report, and richly and emin the chief magistrates of the other New- inently do they deserve it. They were, England colonies. Bradford and Wins- indeed, a providential galaxy of purelow of Plymouth, Eaton of New Haven, hearted, unspotted, heroic men. There his own son and Haynes and Hopkins is a mild and sweet beauty in the star of Connecticut, and Williams of Prov- of Winthrop, the lustre of which asks no idence Plantations, were all of them jealous or rival estimation.
THE PLANTING OF THE APPLE-TREE.
Come, let us plant the apple-tree I
Cleave the tough greensward with the spade;
Wide let its hollow bed be made;
There gently lay the roots, and there
Sift the dark mould with kindly care,
And press it o'er them tenderly,
So plant we the apple-tree.
What plant we in the apple-tree?
Buds, which the breath of summer days
Shall lengthen into leafy sprays;
Boughs, where the thrush with crimson breaat
Shall haunt and sing and hide her nest.
We plant upon the sunny lea
When we plant the apple-tree.
What plant we in the apple-tree?
A world of blossoms for the bee;
We plant with the apple-tree.
What plant we in the apple-tree?
While children, wild with noisy glee,
TOL. XII I. 2
And search for them the tufted grass
And when above this apple-tree
And guests in prouder homes shall sec,
The fruit of the apple-tree.
The fruitage of this apple-tree
And they who roam beyond the sea
In the shade of the apple-tree.
Each year shall give this apple-tree
The years shall come and pass, but we
In the boughs of the apple-tree.
And time shall waste this apple-tree.
What shall the tasks of mercy be,
Is wasting this apple-tree?
"Who planted this old apple-tree?"
The children of that distant day ,
Thus to some aged man shall say;
And, gazing on its mossy stem,
The gray-haired man shall answer them:
"A poet of the land was he, Born in the rude, but good old times; 'T is said he made some quaint old rhymes
On planting the apple-tree."
So Beltran was a Rebel .
Vivia stood before the glass, brushing out black shadows from her long, fine hair. There lay the letter as little Jane had left it, as she had let it lie till all the doors had clanged between, as she had laid it down again. She paused, with the brush half lifted, to glance once more at the clear superscription, to turn it and touch with her finger-tips the firm seal. Then she went on lengthening out the tresses that curled back again at the end like something instinct with life.
How long it had been in coming I — gradual journeys up from those Southern shores, and slumber in some comrade's care till a flag of truce could bear it across beneath the shelter of its white wing. Months had passed. And where was Beltran now? Living, — Vivia had a proud assurance in her heart of that! her heart that went swiftly gliding back into the past, and filling old scenes with fresh fire. Thinking thus, she bent forward with dark, steady gaze, as if she sought for its pictures in the uncertain depths of the mirror, and there they rose as of old the crystal gave them back to the seeker. It was no gracious woman bending there that ehe saw, but a scene where the very air infused with sunlight seemed to glow, the house with its wide veranda veiled in vines, and above it towering the rosy cloud of an oleander-tree, behind it the far azure strip of the bay, before it the long low line of sandy beach where the waters of the Gulf forever swung their silver tides with a sullen roar, — for the place was one of .-".-» islands that make the perpetual fortifications of the Texan coast . Vivia, a slender little maiden of eleven summerS, rocks in a boat a rod from shore, and by her side, his length along the warm wave, his arm along the boat, a boy floats in his linen clothes, an amphibious child, so undersized as to seem but little more than a baby, and yet a
year her senior. He swims round and round the skiff in circling frolies, followed by the great dog who gambols with them, he dives under it and comes up far in advance, he treads water as he returns, and, seizing the painter, draws it forward while she sits there like Thetis guiding her sea-horses. Then, as the sun flings down more fervid showers, together they beach the boat and scamper up the sand, where old Disney, who has been dredging for oysters in the great bed below, crowns his basket with little Ray, and bears him off perched aloft on his bent back. Vivia walks beside the old slave in her infantile dignity, and disregards the sundry attempts of Ray's outstretched arms, till of a sudden the beating play of hoofs runs along the ground, and Beltran, with his morning's game, raceskby on his fiery mustang, and, scarcely checking his speed as he passes, stoops from the saddle and lifts the little girl before him. Vivia would look back in triumph upon Ray in his ignoble conveyance, but the affair has already been too much for him, ho has flung himself on the instant from old Disney's basket, as if he were careless whether he fell under the horse's feet or not, but knowing perfectly well that Beltran will catch him. And Beltran, suddenly pulling up with a fierce rein, does catch him, bestows him with Vivia, slightly to her dainty discomfort, and dashes on. Noon deepens; Vivia does not sleep, she seeks Ray, Ray who does not sleep either, but who is not to be beguiled. For, one day, the child in his troubled dreams had been found by Beltran with a white coil of fangs and venom for his pillow; and never since has Beltran taken his noontide siesta but Ray watches beside him till the thick brown lashes lift themselves once more. For, if Ray knows what worship is, he would show you Beltran enshrined in his heart, this brother a dozen years his elder, who had hailed his birth with stormy tears of joy, who had carried him for years when ho was yet too weak to walk, who in his own full growth would seem to have absorbed the younger's share, were it not that, tiny as Ray may be, his every nerve i- steel, made steel, though, by the other, and so trained and suppled and put at his service. It was Beltran who had first flung him astride the saddle and sent him loping off to town alone, but who had secretly followed him from thicket to thicket, and stood ready in the market-place at last to lift him down; it was Beltran who had given him his own rifle, had taught him to take the bird on the wing, had led him out at night to see the great silent alligator in his scale-armor sliding over the land from the coast and plunging into the fresh waters of the bay,—who took him with him on the long journeys for gathering in the cattle of the vast stockfarm, let him sleep beside himself on the bare prairie-floor, like a man, with his hofse tethered to his boot, told him the spot in the game on which to draw his bead, showed him what part to dress, and made him chef de cuisine in every camp they crossed; it was he who had taught Irim how to hold himself in any wild stampede, on the prairie how to conquer fire with fire, to find water as much his element as air; it is Beltran, in short, who has made him this little marvel which at twelve years old he finds himself to be,—this brother who serves him so, and whom he adores, for whom he passionatery expresses his devotion, — this brother whom he loves as he loves the very life he lives. So Vivia, too, sits down at Beltran's feet that day, and busies herself with those pink plumes of the spoonbill's wings which he brought home to her, — so that, when he wakes, he sees her standing there like the spirit of his dream, her dark eyes shining out from under the Bolting shadowy hair, and the rosy wings trembling on her little white shoulders. And just then Beltran has no word for Ray, the customary smiling word always waited for, since his eyes are on the vision at his feet, and straightway the child springs down, springs where he can in
tercept Beltran's view, seems to rise in his wrath a head above the girl, and, looking at Beltran all the while, slaps Vivia on the cheek. Instantly two hands have clasped about his wrists, two hands that hold him in a vice!, and two eyes are gazing down into his own and paralyzing him. Still the grasp, the gaze, continue; as Vivia watches that look, a great blue glow from those eyes seems to cloud her ovm brain. The color rises on Ray's cheeks, his angry eyes fall, his chest heaves, his lips tremble, off from the long black lashes spin sprays of tears, he cannot move, he is so closely held, but slowly he turns his head, meets the red lips of the forgiving girl with his, then casts himself with sobs on Beltran's breast. And all that evening, as the sudden heavy clouds drive down and quench sunset and starlight, while they sit about a great fire, Beltran keeps her at his side and Ray maintains his place, and within there is light and love, and without the sand trembles to the shock of sound and the thunder of the surf, and the heaven is full of the wildly flying blast of the Norther.
Still, as Vivia gazed into the silent mirror, the salient points of her life started up as if memory held a torch to them in their dark recesses, and another picture printed its frosty spiculce upon the gray surface of the glass before her. No ardent arch of Southern noontide now, no wealth of flower and leaf, no pomp of regnant summer, but winter has darkened down over sad Northern countries, and white Arctic splendor hedges a lake about with the beauty of incomparable radiance; the trees whose branches overhang the verge are foamy fountains, frozen as they fall; distantly beyond them the crisp upland fields stretch their snowy sparkle to touch the frigid-flashing sapphire of the sky, and bluer than the sky itself their shadows fall about them; every thorn, every stem, is set, a spike of crusted lustre in its icy mail; the tingling air takes the breath in silvery wreaths; and wheiever the gay garment of a skater breaks the monotone with a gleam of crimson or purple, the shining feet beneath chisel their fantastic curves upon a floor that is nothing but one glare of crystal sheen. And here, hero of the scene, glides Beltran, master of the Northern art as school-days jnade him, skates as of old some young Viking skated, all his being bubbling in a lofty glee, with blue eyes answering this icy brilliance as they dazzle back from the tawny countenance, with every muscle rippling grace and vigor to meet the proud volition, lithely cutting the air, swifter than the swallow's wing in its arrowy precision, careleas as the floating flake in elfortless motion, skimming along the lucid sheathing that answers his ringing heel with a tune of its own, and swaying in his almost aerial medium, lightly, easily, as the swimming fish sways to the currents of the tide. Scoring whitely their tracery of intricate lines, the groups go by in whorls, in angles, in sweeping circles, and the ice shrinks beneath them; here a fairy couple slide along, waving and bowing and swinging together; far away some recluse in his pleasure sports alone with folded arms, careening in the outward roll like the mast of a phantom-craft; everywhere inshore clusters of ruddychecked boys race headlong with their hawkey-sticks, and with their wild cries, making benders where the ice surges in a long swell; and constantly in Beltran's wake slips Vivia, a scarlet shadow, while a clumsy little black outline is ever designing itself at her heels as Ray strives in vain to perfect the mysteries of the left stroke. All about, the keen air breathes its exhilaration, and the glow seems to penetrate the pores till the very blood dances along filled with such intoxicating influence; all above, the afternoon heaven degpens till it has no hidden richness, and between one and the pale gold of the coldly reddening horizon the white air seems hollow as the flaw in some great transparent jewel. Still they wind away in their gladness, when hurriedly Beltran reaches his hand for the heedless Vivia's, and hurriedly she sees terrifying grooves spreading round them, a groat web-work
of cracks,—the awful ice lifts ilstlf, sinks, and out of a monstrous fissure chill death rises to meet them and ingulf them. In an instant, Ray, who might have escaped, has hurled himself upon them, and then, as they all struggle for one drowning breath in the flood, Vivia dimly divines through her horror an arm stretched first towards Ray, snatched back again, and bearing her to safety. Ray has already scrambled from the shallow broach where his brother alone found bottom; waiting hands assist Beltran; but as she lingers that moment shivering on the brink, blindly remembering the double movement of that arm beneath the ice, she silently asks, with a thrill, if he suffered Ray to save himself because he was a boy, and could, or because — because she was Vivia!
Southern noontide, winter twilight lost themselves again, as Vivia gazed, in the soft starry gleam of an April midnight . A quiet room, dimly lighted by a llama that dying eyes no longer see; two figures kneeling, one at either side of the mother, — the little apple - blossom of a mother brought up to die among her own people, — one shaking with his storm of sobs, the other supporting the dear, weary head on his strong breast, and stifling his very heart-beat lest it stir the frail life too roughly- And the mother lifts the lids of her faint eyes, as when a parting vapor reveals rifts of serene heaven, gazes for a moment into the depths of her firstborn's tenderness, gropes darkly for his fingers and for the hot little hand thrust eagerly forth to meet hers, closes one about the other, and folds them both upon her own heart. Then Beltran bends and gathers from the lips the life that kindled his. 'With a despairing cry, Ray flings himself forward, and dead and living lie in Beltran's arms, while the strong convulsion of his heart rends up a hollow groan from its emptiness. Atid Vivia draws aside the curtain, and the gentle wind brings in the sweet earthy scent of fresh furrows lately wet with showers, and the ever-shifting procession of the silent stars unveil themselves of gauzy cloud,