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zeal and patriotism. The instant the clock struck twelve, a round was fired from the fort, and a vast and bottomless bowl, supposed to be the identical one in which the famous wise men of Gotham went to sea, was brought in, filled to the utmost brim with smoking punch. The memory of the departed year, i. and the hopes of the future, were then drank in a special bumper; after which the ladies retired, and noise and fun became the order of the night. The Heer told his great story of having surprised and taken a whole picket-guard, under the great Gustavus; and each of the guests contributed his tale, taking special care, however, not to outdo their host in the marvellous,-a thing which always put the governor out of humour.
« Counsellor Lanfanger talked wonderfully about public improvements; Counsellor Varlett sung, or rather roared, a hundred verses of a song in praise of Rhenish wine; and Othman Pfegel sinoked and tippled, till he actually came to a determination of bringing matters to a crisis with the fair Christina the very next day. Such are the wonder-working powers of hot punch! As for the Dominie, he departed about the dawn of day, in such a plight, that, if it had not been impossible, we should have suspected him of being, as it were, a little overtaken with the said punch. To one or two persons, who chanced to see him, he actually appeared to stagger a little; but such was the stout faith of the good Dominie's parishioners, that neither of these worthy fellows would believe his own eyes sufficiently to state these particulars.
"A couple of hours' sleep sufficed to disperse the vapours of punch and pepper-pot; for heads in those days were much harder than now, and the Heer, as well as his roistering companions, rose betimes, to give and receive the compliments and good wishes of the season. The morning was still,
clear, and frosty. The sun shone with the lustre, though not with the warmth, of summer, and his bright beams were reflected, with indescribable splendor, from the glassy smooth expanse of ice, that spread across, and up and down the broad river, far as the eye could see. The smoke of the village chimneys rose straight into the air, looking like so many inverted pyramids, spreading gradually broader and broader, until they melted away, and mixed imperceptibly with ether. Scarce was the sun above the horizon, when the village was alive with rosy boys and girls, dressed in their new suits, and going forth with such warm anticipations of happiness, as time and experience imperceptibly fritter away into languid hopes, or strengthening apprehensions. 'Happy new year !' came from every mouth and every heart. Spiced beverages and lusty cakes were given away with liberal, open hand; every body was welcomed to every house; all seemed to forget their little heart-burnings and disputes of yore; all seemed happy, and all were so; and the Dominie, who always wore his coat with four great pockets on new-year's day, came home and emptied them seven times of loads of new-year cookies.
« When the gay groups had finished their rounds in the village, the ice in front was seen all alive with the small fry of Elsingburgh, gamboling and skating, sliding and tumbling, helter skelter, and making the frost-bit ears of winter glad with the sounds of mirth and revelry. In one place was a group playing at hurley, with crooked sticks, with which they sometimes hit the ball, and sometimes each other's shins : in another, a knot of sliders, following in a row, so that, if the foremost fell, the rest were sure to tumble over him. A little farther might be seen a few, that had the good fortune to possess a pair of skates, luxuriating in that most graceful of all exercises, and emulated by some half a dozen little urchins, with smooth bones fastened to their feet, in imitation of the others, skating away with a gravity and perseverance worthy of better implements. All was rout, laughter, revelry, and happiness; and that day the icy mirror of the noble Delaware reflected as light hearts as ever beat together in the new world. At twelve o'clock, the jolly Heer, according to his immemorial custom, went forth from the edge of the river, distributing apples, and other dainties, together with handsful of wampum, which, rolling away on the ice in different directions, occasioned innumerable contests and squabbles among the fry, whose disputes, tumbles, and occasional buffetings for the prizes, were inimitably ludicrous upon the slippery element. Among the most obstreperous and mis. chievous of the crowd was that little fellow Cupid, who made more nuise, and tripped up more heels, that day, than any half a dozen cotempories. His voice could be heard above all the rest, especially after the arrival of the Heer, before whom he seemed to think it his duty to exert himself, while his unrestrained, extravagant laugh, exhibited that singular hilarity of spirit, which distinguishes the deportment of the African slave from the invariable gravity of the free red man of the western world.
“ All day, and until after the sun had set, and the shadows of night succeeded, the sports of the ice continued, and the merry sounds rung far and near, occasionally interrupted by those loud noises, which sometimes shoot across the ice like a rushing earthquake, and are occasioned by its cracking, as the water rises or falls."
The following little trait of amiable feeling, from the French of the Countess de Hautpoul, may perhaps tend to awaken corresponding sentiments in the minds of some of our younger readers. They
may rest assured, that a year commenced with the kindly feelings of Matilda, will close with a pleasing satisfaction to the head and heart of every one following in her course.
“The three daughters of the Countess de Bleville rose at an early hour on new year's day, and, full of the pleasure which they anticipated from it, each of them gave vent in conversation to her feelings on the subject. "To-day,' said Eugenia, 'I shall embrace our dear mother, and shall express to her my respect and my tenderness.' 'To-day,' exclaimed Caroline, gaily, she will caress us, while she gives us our new year's gifts'—' and will pardon our faults and bless us,' added the mild Matilda. May heaven,' said with one voice all these affectionate children, preserve to us our beloved mother, and grant us the grace to imitate her virtues, and to contribute to her happiness.' A pious silence succeeded this short and fervent prayer; but soon, with the natural lightness of youth, the thoughts of the three sisters reverted to the charming trifles which they expected to receive on that day, and they endeavoured to guess what they should be gratified with by the generosity of their parent. They recollected their last new year's gifts, and gave themselves up to all the delights of hope. Our new year's gifts will be much handsomer this year,' said Caroline, 'for we are a year older, and a year is a great deal. For example, our grandfather sent each of us a present of a guinea; now, that we are grown up, I dare say he will give
us two. "Two guineas !' cried Matilda ; 'our grandfather - is not rich ;-he has a great many grandchildren; and we
ought not to wish for what must certainly compel him to submit to some privations. That is very well thought of you,' replied Caroline, looking at her sister rather sarcastically; • besides, you are in no need of money; for you have some, and you make no use of it. You must have a little treasure of your own. For a long time you have learned your lessons so well that you always receive your week's allowance; for my part, it is as much as I can do to get one week out of four. Eugenia is not luckier than I am; and we have therefore had our purse in common, and spent it together to the last sixpence. You did not choose to be of our society; you are a great deal richer than we are, and especially a great deal more economical. The poor girl felt all the bitterness of this reproach; she was grieved by it, but she made no answer.
“Matilda, the youngest of Madam de Bleville's three daughters, had at first seemed to have but little taste for study; she
was supposed to have neither readiness nor memory. All at once, however, her disposition changed, she became so attentive-so laborious, that, having overtaken her sisters, she would have surpassed them, if a modest feeling had not restrained her zeal. Every week Matilda received the reward which was given when the governess was satisfied with the progress of her pupils ; but she constantly put by this little sum, and would never purchase any of the rural dainties which her sisters proposed to buy in their walks round Bleville. She also denied herself all the other little gratifications which are so naturally wished for at her age, and of which she was, in fact, equally as fond as her sisters were. Nobody could conceive how it happened that she had 'acquired at once so much aptitude, and so much self-denial. Madam Dubreuil, a woman of real merit, whom the countess had chosen to assist her in the task of educating her daughters, was at first delighted with the happy change which had taken place in Matilda; but she began, at times, to fear that it had its origin in that love of money which can only have birth in a low mind, incapable of any noble and generous sentiment. Matilda patiently bore the jokes of her sisters and her young friends on her avarice; they wounded only her self-love, and that the amiable girl sacrificed with firmness; but, having guessed the half-conceived suspicion of Madam Dubreuil, her heart was deeply wounded by it. She often thought of opening her mind to her mother, but a sort of bashfulness, which is natural to benevolence, prevented her; and in these internal combats, in which delicacy was triumphant, Matilda acquired energy, and proved that it is not possible to do good without making sacrifices, and having a firm and constant will.
" While the three sisters were waiting the getting up of their mother, Matilda's nurse arrived: she was a country-woman, who lived in the village of Bleville. Notwithstanding the bounty of the countess, Genevieve was poor, because she had a numerous family; and, as her dress betrayed her poverty, it was not without blushes and confusion that she visited the castle. She nevertheless carried her present to the child whom she had nursed: it consisted of butter, cream, and new laid eggs. Matilda received it with expressions of the warmest gratitude, and took her nurse to her room. There, opening a chest of drawers, she drew out a piece of pink-checked cotton, a mob-cap trimmed with lace, a neckkerchief, and an apron; and, embracing her nurse, she told her that they were all for her. The surprise and pleasure of Genevieve may be easily imagined; the head bailiff's wife would not be finer than she would. Her pleasure was, however, sadly dashed, when Matilda entreated her to keep it a