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“Oh, I will go anywhere,” she rejoined, quickly; “anywhere from this; that I may know who I am-may bear my child with me-may lead a virtuous life, instead of suffering the pangs of shame through a life of unholy trouble.”
“She never knows when she’s well off. If Marston was to hear her talk in that way, I wouldn’t stand in her shoes,” interrupted Ellen, with a significant air.
Touched by this nike air max anxious reply, Maxwell determined to know more of her feelings-to solve the anxiety that was hanging upon her mind, and, if possible, to carry her beyond the power that held her and her child in such an uncertain position.
“I meant into the house,” said he, observing that Ellen was not inclined to favour Clotilda’s feelings; and just at that moment the shrill sounds of a bugle summoned the party to the collation. Here another scene was enacted, which is beyond the power of pen to describe. The tables, decorated with wild flowers, were spread with meats of all descriptions,–fowl, game, pastry, and fruit, wines, and c cheap nike air max trainers ool drinks. Faces wearing the blandest smiles, grave matrons, and cheerful planters,–all dressed in rustic style and neatness-gathered around to partake of the feast, while servants were running hither and thither to serve mas’r and missus with the choicest bits. Toasts, compliments, and piquant squibs, follow the wine-cup. Then came that picture of southern life which would be more worthy of praise if it were cheap nike air max carried out in the purity of motive:–as soon as the party had finished, the older members, in their turn, set about preparing a repast for the servants. This seemed to elate the negroes, who sat down to their meal with great pomp, and were not restrained in the free use of the choicest beverage. While this was going on, Marston ordered Rachel to prepare fruit and pastry for Ellen and Clotilda. “See to them; and they must have wine too,” whispered Marston.
“I know’s dat, old Boss,” returned Rachel, with a knowing wink.
After the collation, the party divided into different sections. Some enjoyed the dance, others strolled through the pine-grove, whispering tales of love. Anglers repaired to the deep pond in quest of trout, but more likely to find water-snakes and snapping turtles. Far in the distance, on the right, moving nike canada online like fairy gondolas through the cypress-covered lagoon, little barks skim the dark surface. They move like spectres, carrying their fair freight, fanned by the gentle breeze pregnant with the magnolia’ sweet perfume. The fair ones in those tiny barks are fishing; they move from tree to tree trailing their lines to tempt the finny tribe here, and there breaking the surface with their gambols.
Lorenzo, as we have before informed the reader, exhibited signs of melancholy during the day. So evident were they that Franconia’s sympathies became enlisted in his behalf, and even carried so far, that Maxwell mistook her manner for indifference toward himself. And, as if to confirm his apprehensions, no sooner had the collation ended than she took Lorenzo’s arm and retired to the remains of an old mill, a few rods above the landing nike air max sale . It was a quiet, sequestered spot-just such an one as would inspire the emotions of a sensitive heart, recall the associations of childhood, and give life to our pent-up enthusiasm. There they seated themselves, the one waiting for the other to speak.
“Tell me, Lorenzo,” said Franconia, laying her hand on his arm, and watching with nervous anxiety each change of his countenance, “why are you not joyous? you are gloomy to-day. I speak as a sister-you are nervous, faltering with trouble-”
“Trouble!” he interrupted, raising his eyes, and accompanying an affected indifference with a sigh. It is something he hesitates to disclose. He has erred! his heart speaks, it is high-handed crime! He looks upon her affectionately, a forced smile spreads itself over his face. How forcibly it tells its tale. “Speak out,” she continues, tr nike air max classic emulously: “I am a sister; a sister cannot betray a brother’s secrets.” She removes her hand and lays it gently upon his shoulder.
Looking imploringly in her face for a few minutes, he replies as if it were an effort of great magnitude. “Something you must not know-nor must the world! Many things are buried in the secrets of time that would make great commotion if the world knew them. It were well they passed unknown, for the world is like a great stream with a surface of busy life moving on its way above a troubled current, lashing and foaming beneath, but only breaking here and there as if to mark the smothered conflict. And yet with me it is nothing, a moment of disappointment creeping into my contemplations, transplanting them with melancholy-”
“Something more!” interrupted Franconia, “something more; it is a step bey nike canada store ond melancholy, more than disappointment. Uncle feels it sensibly-it pains him, it wears upon him. I have seen it foremost in his thoughts.” Her anxiety increases, her soft meaning eyes look upon him imploringly, she fondles him with a sister’s tenderness, the tears trickling down her cheeks as she beholds him downcast and in sorrow. His reluctance to disclose the secret becomes more painful to her.
“You may know it soon enough,” he replies. “I have erred, and my errors have brought me to a sad brink. My friends-those who have indulged my follies-have quickened the canker that will destroy themselves. Indulgence too often hastens the cup of sorrow, and when it poisons most, we are least conscious. It is an alluring charmer, betraying in the gayest livery-”
“Lorenzo,” she interrupts, wiping the tears from her eyes. “Tell m nike air max 95 e all; remember woman’s influence-she can relieve others when she cannot relieve herself. Make me your confidant–relieve your feelings.”
“This night, Franconia, I shall bid a painful good-bye to those familiar scenes which have surrounded my life,–to you, my sister, to those faithful old friends of the plantation, Daddy Bob and Harry. They have fondled me, protected me, played with me in my childhood, led me to my boyish sports when all was bright and pleasant, when the plantation had its merry scenes for slave and master. I must go upon the world, mingle with strange life, make experience my guardian. I have committed a crime-one which for ever disgraces the honourable-”
Crime, crime, crime! weighed itself in her mind. “And what of that?” she rejoined, suddenly; “a sister can forgive a brother any crime; and even a lov nike air max 90 er, if she love truly, can forget them in her affections. Do not go upon the world; be a man above crime, above the bar of scandal. Have confidence in yourself; do not let the injustice overcome you. Once on the world a wanderer, remember the untold tale of misery, speeding its victims to that death of conscience burning unseen.”
“Nay, Franconia, you mean well; but you have not learned the world. Take this as my advice, remember it when I am gone, and in years to come you will acknowledge its truth–Fortune at the south rests on an unsound foundation! We are lofty in feelings, but poor in principle, poor in government,–poor in that which has built our great republic. Uncertainty hangs over us at every step; but, whatever befall you, stand firm through adversity. Never chide others for the evils that may befall you; bear your burdens without casting reflections on others,–it is nobler! Befriend those who have no power to befriend themselves; and when the world forgets you, do not forget yourself. There is no step of return for those who falter in poverty. To-night I shall leave for the city; in a few days you will know all.” Thus saying, he conducted Franconia back to rejoin the party, already making preparations to return.
He gave her an insight of his troubles, in such a manner as to create deep agitation; and, although satisfied that an event of more than ordinary magnitude was at hand, she could not associa nike canada te it with the commission of crime. The day, spent with all the conviviality of southern life, ended amidst the clang of merry voices, and soft music: a gay group assembled at the bank, ready to return under the cheering influence of music and moonlight.
The bugle sounded,–the soft notes of “Home, sweet Home!” followed: the party, forming into double file, gay and grotesque, marched through the grove to the barge. Servants, old and young, were in high glee; some joining in chorus with the music; some preparing the barge, others strewing branches and flowers in the pathway, to the delight of young “mas’r” and “missus,”-all singing. Aunt Rachel, high above her minions in authority, is poised on the bank, giving directions at the very top of her voice. Daddy Bob, Harry, and Dandy-the latter named after “mas’r’s” fleetest horse-are freighting their young “missusses” in their arms to the boat, shielding their feet from the damp.
“Now, mas’r, Old Boss,” Bob says, directing himself to Marston, after completing his charge with t cheap nike air max he young ladies, “Jus’ lef’ ‘um tote, old mas’r safe da’? So ‘e don’ mus e’ foot.” And forthwith he shoulders Marston, lands him like a bale of cotton on one of the seats, much to the amusement of those on board, sending forth shouts of applause. The party are on board; all is quiet for a minute; again the music strikes up, the barge is gliding over the still bosom of the fairy-like stream.
The sun h as just sunk into a fiery cloud that hangs its crimson curtains high in the heavens, shedding refulgent beauty over the dark jungle lining the river’s banks. And then, twilight, as if stealing its way across the hills, follows, softening the scene. Soon it has gone, the landscape sleeps, tranquilly arched by the serene vault of a southern sky. Everything seems peaceful, reposing, and serene; the air breathes warm and balmy, distributing its invigorating influence. The music has ceased, nothing but the ripple of the water is heard; then the stars, like pearls suspended over the dark surface, begin to glimmer and shine. Above all is the moon, like a silver goddess, rising stealthily and shedding her pale light upon the calm glow.
Onward, onward, onward, over the still stream, winding its way to the nike air max 1 great deep, they move; and again the music echoes and re-echoes through the forest, over the lawn; dying away in chimes that faintly play around us. The sudden changes in the heavens,–monitor of things divine,–call up in Lorenzo’s feelings the reverses of fortune that will soon take place on the plantation. He had never before recognised the lesson conveyed by heavenly bodies; and such was the effect at that moment that it proved a guardian to him in his future career.
It was near midnight when the barge reached the plantation. Fires were lighted on the bank, negroes were here and there stretched upon the ground, sleeping with such superlative comfort that it landed ere they awoke. One by one the parties returned for their homes; and, after shaking hands with Marston, nike air max 90 sale taking an affectionate adieu of Franconia (telling her he would call on the morrow), lisping a kind word to the old negroes, Lorenzo ordered a horse, and left for the city. He took leave of the plantation, of its dearest associations, like one who had the conflict of battle before him, and the light of friendship behind. ③

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