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Then from his leathern pouch the farmer threw

on the table Three times the old man's fee in solid pieces of

silver; 340 And the notary rising, and blessing the bride and

the bridegroom, Lifted aloft the tankard of ale and drank to their

welfare. Wiping the foam from his lip, he solemnly bowed

and departed, While in silence the others sat and mused by the

fireside, Till Evangeline brought the draught-board out of

its corner. 345 Soon was the game begun. In friendly contention

the old men Laughed at each lucky bit, or unsuccessful ma

neuvre, Laughed wlien a man was crowned, or a breach

was made in the king-row. Meanwhile apart, in the twilight gloom of a win

dow's embrasure, Sat the lovers and whispered together, beholding

. the moon rise 350 Over the pallid sea and the silvery mist of the

meadows. Silently one by one, in the infinite meadows of

heaven, Blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of

the angels.

Thus was the evening passed. Anon the bell Rang out the hour of nine, the village curfew, and

from the belfry 344. The word draughts is derived from the circumstance of drawing the men from one square to another.

straightway 355 Rose the guests and departed; and silence reigned

in the household. Many a farewell word and sweet good-night on

the door-step Lingered long in Evangeline's heart, and filled it

with gladness. Carefully then were covered the embers that

glowed on the hearth-stone, And on the oaken stairs resounded the tread of

the farmer. 360 Soon with a soundless step the foot of Evangeline

followed. Up the staircase moved a luminous space in the

darkness, Lighted less by the lamp than the shining face of

the maiden. Silent she passed through the hall, and entered the

door of her chamber. Simple that chamber was, with its curtains of This was the precious dower she would bring to

white, and its clothes-press 365 Ample and high, on whose spacious shelves were

carefully folded Linen and woollen stuffs, by the hand of Evange

line woven. 354. Curfew is a corruption of couvre-feu, or cover fire. In the Middle Ages, when police patrol at night was almost unknown, it was attempted to lessen the chances of crime by making it an offence against the laws to be found in the streets in the night, and the curfew bell was tolled, at various hours, according to the custom of the place, from seven to nine o'clock in the evening. It warned honest people to lock their doors, cover their fires, and go to bed. The custom still lingers in many places, even in America, of ringing a bell at nine o'clock in the evening.

her husband in marriage, Better than flocks and herds, being proofs of her

skill as a housewife. Soon she extinguished her lamp, for the mellow

and radiant moonlight 370 Streamed through the windows, and lighted the

room, till the heart of the maiden Swelled and obeyed its power, like the tremulous

tides of the ocean. Ahl she was fair, exceeding fair to behold, as she

stood with Naked snow-white feet on the gleaming floor of

her chamber! Little she dreamed that below, among the trees of

the orchard, 375 Waited her lover and watched for the gleam of

her lamp and her shadow. Yet were her thoughts of him, and at times a feel

ing of sadness Passed o’er her soul, as the sailing shade of clouds

in the moonlight Flitted across the floor and darkened the room for

a monient. And, as she gazed from the window, she saw

serenely the moon pass 380 Forth from the folds of a cloud, and one star

follow her footsteps, As out of Abraham's tent young Ishmael wandered

with Hagar!

Pleasantly rose next morn the sun on the vil.

lage of Grand-Pré,
Pleasantly gleamed in the soft, sweet air the Basin

of Minas,

Where the ships, with their wavering shadows,

were riding at anchor. 385 Life had long been astir in the village, and

clamorous labor Knocked with its hundred hands at the golden

gates of the morning. Now from the country around, from the farms and

neighboring hamlets, Came in their holiday dresses the blithe Acadian

peasants. Many a glad good-morrow and jocund laugh from

the young folk 390 Made the bright air brighter, as up from the

numerous meadows, Where no path could be seen but the track of

wheels in the greensward, Group after group appeared, and joined, or passed

on the highway. Long ere noon, in the village all sounds of labor

were silenced. Thronged were the streets with people; and noisy

groups at the house-doors 395 Sat in the cheerful sun, and rejoiced and gossiped

together. Every house was an inn, where all were welcomed For with this simple people, who lived like

and feasted; 396. “Real misery was wholly unknown, and benevolence anticipated the demands of poverty. Every misfortune was relieved as it were before it could be felt, without ostentation on the one hand, and without meanness on the other. It was, in short, a society of brethren, every individual of which was equally ready to give and to receive what he thought the common right of mankind.” From the Abbé Raynal's account of the Acadians. The Abbé Guillaume Thomas Francis Raynal was a French writer (1711-1796) who published A Philosophical History of the Settlements and Trade of the Europeans in the

brothers together, All things were held in common, and what one

had was another's. Yet under Benedict's roof hospitality seemed more

abundant: 400 For Evangeline stood among the guests of her

father; Bright was her face with smiles, and words of

welcome and gladness Fell from her beautiful lips, and blessed the cup

as she gave it.

Under the open sky, in the odorous air of the

orchard, Stript of its golden fruit, was spread the feast of

betrothal. 405 There in the shade of the porch were the priest

and the notary seated; There good Benedict sat, and sturdy Basil the

blacksmith. Not far withdrawn from these, by the cider-press

and the beehives, Michael the fiddler was placed, with the gayest of

hearts and of waistcoats. Shadow and light from the leaves alternately

played on his snow-white 410 Hair, as it waved in the wind; and the jolly face

of the fiddler Glowed like a living coal when the ashes are blown

from the embers.

East and West Indies in which he included also some account of Canada and Nova Scotia. His picture of life among the Acadians, somewhat highly colored, is the source from which after writers have drawn their knowledge of Acadian manners.

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