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BOSTON COMMON! What memories does this beloved name awaken in my heart! — what associations recall from the recesses of the long-buried past !
Now, while these memories and associations are fresh in my mind, wilt come with me, dear reader, to this sweet spot ? wilt recline 'neath the sheltering branches of these noble trees ? wilt place thy hand cordially in mine, and lend me thy sympathy and thy heart ? and, while the birds are war. bling their love-songs over thy head, and the rainbow-tinted fountain dashes its delicate and cooling spray about thy feet, - while the fleecy clouds rest lightly in the southern heavens, and the distant hum of the busy city, together with the far off murmuring of waters, lull thy senses to forgetfulness of care, — wilt listen to my simple tale ?
I was born in a little country village, not many hundred miles from the city of Boston. It is due to my parents to say something of them in this place. My father was an Englishman, of a proud old stock, who came from the county of Kent, England, to this country, many years before my birth. His father sent him to college, when quite young, to acquire a thorough classical education. He was destined for the bar; but, happening to meet with a pretty young lady soon after his entrance, he became unfortunately enamored of her. I say unfortunately; for she had, in the eyes of the world, the great fault of being very poor in purse, although exceedingly beautiful in person.
The young gentleman wrote to his papa in due time, entreating his permission to wed the fair Helen, and thereby make two loving hearts one.
This tender epistle brought the old gentleman down very quickly to ascertain whom his darling Willie intended for the high honor of his hand; but when he found that the lady in question was a little nobody, who cut and made dresses for the proud dames of the village whenever they chose to patronize her, his rage knew no bounds. He anathematized her at once ; called her a
saucy young baggage,” a “presuming upstart,” &c.; and, shaking his gold-headed cane in the very face of Master William, bade him attend to his studies im. mediately, and to beware how he fell in love or troubled his father with such fooleries again.
My grandfather then departed, in high good humor with himself, thinking he had nipped a glorious rebellion in the bud, and conquered a young madcap of a son, who he forgot had the same unconquerable blood in his veins that flowed
through his own, and only waiting an occasion like the present to boil over.
Young William was highly incensed at the insult, as he called it, that his father had put upon him and his ladye-love, and, with the fury and impetuosity of eighteen, flew to Helen's humble dwelling, and informed her, in glowing terms, of his father's language and resolution.
“ Helen,” said he, “ you are dearer to me than ever. I love you a hundred times more for this opposition, and nothing on earth shall separate us more. This very night, my love, shall you be mine, if you will. I will bear you to some far-distant land, where I shall take a sacred delight in laboring for you, my sweet Helen; and we will be the carvers of our own destinies, and together undertake life's burdens, which will be all the easier if shared with each other. Come, what say you? Does my dear girl agree to this ? ”
“ But, Willie, you are too hasty. I have not thought sufficiently of the matter. If I were only sure of not being a burden to you, I would consent.”
“Say no more, dearest Helen,” cried my father, clasping her to his bosom. “You are now mine, and forever. I now leave you to obtain a clergyman, whose services I have already secured, in the person of a young friend of mine. will be with you in an hour."
Thus did my father woo and win his first wife. They were young, ardent, and dearly loved each other; and, when it is taken into consideration that it was William's first love, and that he had made up his mind that he should always be wretched if he did not obtain this object, also that Helen was poor, had no parents or home, and no one to offend or ask consent of, it is not to be wondered at so much, if they did lay aside prudence, and almost take a leap in the dark, as it were.
Well, they were married, and on that very night, too. My poor old grandfather had just arrived at home and taken off his overcoat and boots, and was recounting his success in high glee to his family, and striving to impress upon their minds an idea of his importance, and of the readiness of all things to yield to him, when, in another town, not twenty miles off, William and Helen were kneeling at the altar, and vowing eternal love and fidelity to each other.
My father purchased, the next day, from his spendingmoney, a fine new horse and sleigh, and, wrapping his lovely bride in the well-lined buffaloes, started for an unknown home.
They travelled three days, and, at the end of the third, arrived at a small village, pleasantly situated between two hills, on the banks of a winding stream.
In this beautiful vale did I first open my eyes upon a world strange to me as fairy land; and here was I reared and educated in quietness and peace, until I had arrived at womanhood. Sweet Linden ! home of my happy infancy, of my joyous childhood and careless girlhood, can I ever forget thee? Thou art intimately interwoven with every thought that passes through my mind, with every joy that quickens my pulse. Thy soft blue skies, thy leafy bowers, and the noisy brawling of thy Black Water, will be remembered to the latest moment of existence.
To return to my father and his bride. They were much struck with the beauty of sweet Linden, and decided to stop