Throwing Things Into Confusion
The Maid of Maiden Lane
Author:Amelia E. Barr

Prudence declares that whenever a person is in that disagreeable situation which compels him to ask "what shall I do?" that the wisest answer is, "nothing." But such answer did not satisfy George Hyde. He was too young, too sure of his own good fortune, too restless and impulsive, to accept Prudence as a councillor. He might have considered, that, hitherto, affairs had happened precisely as he wished them; and that it would be good policy to trust to his future opportunities. But he was so much in earnest, so honestly in love, that he felt his doubts and anxieties could only be relieved by action. Sympathy, at least, he must have; and he knew no man, to whom he would willingly talk of Cornelia. The little jests and innuendoes sure to follow his confidence would be intolerable if as**sociated with a creature so pure and so ingenuous.

"I will go to my mother!" he thought. And this resolution satisfied him so well, that he carried it out at once. But it was after dark when he reached the tall stone portals of Hyde Manor House. The ride, however, had given him back his best self. For when we leave society and come into the presence of Nature, we become children again; and the fictions of thought and action as**sumed among men drop off like a garment. The beauty of the pale green hills, and the flowing river, and the budding trees, and the melody of birds singing as if they never would grow old, were all but charming accessories and horizons to his constant pictures of Cornelia. It was she who gave life and beauty to all he saw; for as a rule, if men notice nature at all, it is ever through some painted window of their own souls. Few indeed are those who hear-"The Ancient Word, That walked among the silent trees."

Yet Hyde was keenly conscious of some mystical sympathy between himself and the lovely scenes through which he passed--conscious still more of it when the sun had set and the moon rose--dim and inscrutable--over the lonely way, and filled the narrow glen which was at the entrance to the Manor House full of brooding power.

The great building loomed up dark and silent; there was but one light visible. It was in his mother's usual sitting-room, and as soon as he saw it, he began to whistle. She heard him afar off, and was at the door to give him a welcome.

"Joris, my dear one, we were talking of you!" she cried, as he leaped from the saddle to her arms. "So glad are we! Come in quickly! Such a good surprise! It is our hearts' wish granted! Well, are you? Quite well? Now, then, I am happy. Happy as can be! Look now, Richard!" she called, as she flung the door open, and entered with the handsome, smiling youth at her side.

In his way the father was just as much pleased. He pushed some papers he had been busy with impatiently aside, and stood up with outstretched hand to meet his son.

"Kate, my dear heart," he cried, "let us have something to eat. The boy will be hungry as a hunter after his ride. And George, what brings you home? We were just telling each other--your mother and I--that you were in the height of the city's follies."

"Indeed, sir, there will be few follies for some days. Mr. Franklin is dead, and the city goes into mourning."

"'Tis a fate that all must meet," said the General; "but death and Franklin would look each other in the face as friends--He had a work to do, he did it well, and it is finished. That is all. What other news do you bring?"

"It is said that Mirabeau is arrested somewhere, for something. I did not hear the particulars."

"Probably, for the very least of his crimes. Marat hates him; and Marat represents the fury of the Revolution. The monster wished to erect eight hundred gibbets, and hang Mirabeau first."

"And the deputies are returning to the Provinces, drunk with their own importance. They have abolished titles, and coats of arms, and liveries; and published a list of the names the nobles are to as**sume--as if people did not know their own names. Mr. Hamilton says 'Revolution in France has gone raving mad, and converted twenty-four millions of people into savages.'"

"I hate the French!" said the General passionately. "It is a natural instinct with me, just as tame animals are born with an antipathy to wild beasts. If I thought I had one drop of French blood in me, I would let it out with a dagger."

George winced a little. He remembered that the Morans were of French extraction; and he answered-"After all, father, we must judge people individually. Mere race is not much."

"George Hyde! What are you saying? RACE is everything. It is the strongest and deepest of all human feelings. Nothing conquers its prejudices."

"Except love. I have heard, father, that Love never asks 'of what race art thou?' or even 'whose son, or daughter, art thou?'"

"You have heard many foolish things, George; that is one of them. Men and women marry out of their own nationality, AT THEIR PERIL. I took my life in my hand for your mother's love."

"She was worthy of the peril."

"God knows it."

At this moment Mrs. Hyde entered the room, her fair face alight with love. A servant carrying a tray full of good things to eat, followed her; and it was delightful to watch her eager happiness as she arranged meats, and sweetmeats, in tempting order for the hungry young man. He thoroughly enjoyed this provision for his comfort; and as he ate, he talked to his father of those things interesting to him, answering all questions with that complaisant positiveness of youth which decides everything at once, and without reservation. No one understood this better than General Hyde, but it pleased him to draw out his son's opinions; and it also pleased him to watch the pride of the fond mother, who evidently considered her boy a paragon of youthful judgment.

"And pray," he asked, "what can you tell me about the seat of government? Will New York be chosen?"

"I am sure it will be Philadelphia; and, indeed, I care not. It would, however, amuse you to hear some of the opinions on the matter; for every one hangs his judgment on the peg of his own little interests or likings. Young De Witt says New York wants no government departments; that she is far too busy a city, to endure government idlers hanging around her best streets. Doctor Rush says the government is making our city a sink of political vice. Mr. Wolcott says honesty is the fashion in New York. Some of the clergy think Wall Street as wicked as the most fashionable streets in Tyre and Sodom; and the street-singers--thanks to Mr. Freneau--have each, and all, their little audiences on the subject. As I came up Broadway, a man was shouting a rhyme advising the Philadelphians to 'get ready their dishcloths and brooms, and begin scouring their knockers, and scrubbing their rooms.' Perhaps the most sensible thing on the subject came from one of the New England senators. He thought the seat of government ought to be 'in some wilderness, where there would be no social attractions, where members could go and attend strictly to business.' Upon my word, sir, the opinions are endless in number and variety; but, in truth, Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Morris are arranging the matter. This is without doubt. There is to be some sort of compromise with the Southern senators, who are promised the capital on the Potomac, finally, if they no longer oppose the as**sumption of the State debts. I hear that Mr. Jefferson has been brought to agree to this understanding. And Mr. Morris doubtless thinks, if the government offices are once opened in Philadelphia, they will remain there."

"And Joris, the ladies? What say they on the subject?" asked Mrs. Hyde.

"Indeed, mother, some of them are lamenting, and some looking forward to the change. All are talking of the social deposition of the beautiful Mrs. Bingham. 'She will have to abate herself a little before Mrs. Washington,' I heard one lady say; while others declare, that her as**sociation with our Republican Court will be harmonious and advantageous; especially, as she is beloved in the home of the President."

"OUR REPUBLICAN COURT! The definition is absurd!" said General Hyde, with both scorn and temper. "A court pre-supposes both royalty and nobility!"

"We have both of them intrinsically, father."

"In faith, George! you will find, that intrinsic qualities have no social value. What people require is their external evidence."

"And their external evidence would be extremely offensive here, sir. For my part, I think, the sneaking hankering after titles and ceremonies, among our wealthy men and women is a very great weakness. Every one knows that nothing would please fussy Mr. Adams better than to be a duke, or even a lord--and he is by no means alone in such desires."

"They may be yet realized."

"They will not, sir--not, at least, while Thomas Jefferson lives. He is the bulldog of Democracy, and he would be at the throat of any such pretences as soon as they were suggested."

"Very well, George! I have no objections."

"I knew, sir, that you were a thorough Democrat."

"Do not go too far, George. I love Democracy; but I hate Democrats! Now I am sleepy, and as Mr. Jefferson is on the watch, I may go to sleep comfortably. I will talk to you more on these subjects in the morning. Good-night!" He put his hand on his son's shoulder, and looked with a proud confidence into the bright face, lifted to the touch.

Then George was alone with his mother; but she was full of little household affairs; and he could not bring into them a subject so close, and so sacred to his heart. He listened a little wearily to her plans, and was glad when she recollected the late hour and hurried him away to his chamber--a large, lofty room in the front of the house, on which she had realized all the ideas that her great love, and her really exquisite taste suggested. He entered it with a sense of delight, and readily surrendered himself to its dreamy air of sleep and rest. "I will speak to my mother in the morning," he thought. "To-night, her mind is full of other things."

But in the morning Mrs. Hyde was still more interested in "other things." She had an architect with her, her servants were to order, her house to look after; and George readily felt that his hour was certainly not in the early morning. He had slept a little late, and his mother did not approve of sleep beyond the normal hour. He saw that he had delayed household matters, and made an environment not quite harmonious. So he ate his breakfast rapidly, and went out to the new stables. He expected to find the General there, and he was not disappointed. He had, however, finished his inspection of the horses, and he proposed a walk to the upper end of the Glen, where a great pond was being dug for Mrs. Hyde's swans, and other aquatic birds.

There was much to interest them as they walked: men were busy draining, and building stone walls; ploughing and sowing, and digging, and planting. Yet, in the midst of all this busy life, George detected in his father's manner an air of melancholy. He looked into his son's face with affection, and pointed out to him with an apparent interest, the improvements in progress, but George knew--though he could not have explained why he knew--that his father's heart was not really in these things. Presently he asked, "How goes it with your law books, George?"

"Faith, sir, I must confess, very indifferently. I have no senses that way; and 'tis only your desire that keeps my books open. I would far rather read my Plutarch, or write with my sword."

"Let me tell you, soberly, that it is a matter of personal interest to you. There is now no question of the law as a profession, for since your cousin's death your prospects have entirely changed. But consider, George, that not only this estate, but also the estate of your Grandfather Van Heemskirk must eventually come to you. Much of both has been bought from confiscated properties, and it is not improbable that claimants may arise who will cause you trouble. How necessary, then, that you should know something of the laws affecting land and property in this country."

"My grandfather is in trouble. I forgot to tell you last night, that his friend, Elder Semple, is dead."


"Yes, sir."

For a few minutes General Hyde remained silent; then he said with much feeling, "Peace to the old Tory! He was once very kind to me and to my family. Ah, George, I have again defrauded myself of a satisfaction! For a long time I have intended to go and see him--it is now too late! But I will return to the city with you and pay him the last respect possible. Who told you this news?"

"I was walking on Broadway with young McAllister, and Doctor Moran stopped us and sent word to Elder McAllister of the death of his friend. I think, indeed, they were relatives," "Was Doctor Moran his physician?"

"Yes, sir. A very good physician, I believe; I know, that he is a very courteous and entertaining gentleman."

"And pray, George, how do you come by such an opinion?"

"I had the honour of spending an evening at Doctor Moran's house this week; and if you will believe me, sir, he has a daughter that shames every other beauty. Such bewildering loveliness! Such entrancing freshness and purity I never saw before!"

"In love again, George. Faith, you make me ashamed of my own youth! But this enchanting creature cannot make of her father--anything but what he is."

"This time I am desperately, and really, in love."

"So you were with Mollie Trefuses, with Sarah Talbot, with Eliza Capel, with Matilda Howard--and a galaxy of minor beauties."

"But it has come to this--I wish to marry Miss Moran; and I never wished to marry any other woman."

"You have forgotten--And by Heaven! you must forget Miss Moran. She is not to be thought of as a wife--for one moment."

"Sir, you are not so unjust as to make such a statement without giving me a reason for it."

"Giving you a reason! My reason ought to have sprung up voluntary in your own heart. It is an incredible thing if you are not already familiar with it."

"Simply, sir, I profess my ignorance."

"Look around you. Look east, and west, and north, and south,--all these rich lands were bought with your Uncle William's money. He made himself poor, to make me rich; because, having brought me up as his heir, he thought his marriage late in life had in a manner defrauded me. You know that the death of his two sons has again made me the heir to the Hyde earldom; and that after me, the succession is yours. Tell me now what child is left to your uncle?"

"Only his daughter Annie, a girl of fourteen or fifteen years."

"What will become of her when her father dies?"

"Sir, how can I divine her future?"

"It is your duty to divine her future. Her father has no gold to leave her--he gave it to me--and the land he cannot leave her; yet she has a natural right, beyond either mine or yours."

"I give her my right, cheerfully."

"You cannot give it to her--unless you outlaw yourself from your native country--strip yourself of your citizenship--declare yourself unworthy to be a son of the land that gave you birth. Even if you perpetrated such a civil crime, you would render no service to Annie. Your right would simply lapse to the son of Herbert Hyde--the young man you met at Oxford--"

"Surely, sir, we need not talk of that fellow. I have already told you what a very sycophant he is. He licks the dust before any man of wealth or authority; his tongue hangs down to his shoe-buckles."

"Well then, sir, what is your duty to Annie Hyde?"

"I do not conceive myself to have any special duty to Annie Hyde."

"Upon my honour, you are then perversely stupid! But it is impossible that you do not realize what justice, honour, gratitude and generosity demand from you! When your uncle wrote me that pitiful letter which informed me of the death of his last son, my first thought was that his daughter must be as**sured her right in the succession. There is one way to compass this. You know what that way is.--Why do you not speak?"

"Because, sir, if I confess your evident opinion to be just, I bind myself to carry it out, because of its justice."

"Is it not just?"

"It might be just to Annie and very unjust to me."

"No, sir. Justice is a thing absolute; it is not altered by circumstances, especially for a circumstance so trivial as a young man's idle fancy."

"'Tis no idle fancy. I love Cornelia Moran."

"You have already loved a score of beauties--and forgotten them."

"I have admired, and forgot. If I had loved, I should not have forgotten. Now, I love."

"Then, sir, be a man, a noble man, and put your personal gratification below justice, honour, and gratitude. This is the first real trial of your life, George, are you going to play the coward in it?"

"If you could only see Miss Moran!"

"I should find it difficult to be civil to her. George, I put before you a duty that no gentleman can by any possibility evade."

"If this arrangement is so important, why was I not told of it, ere this?"

"It is scarcely a year since your Cousin Harry's death. Annie is not fifteen years old. I did not wish to force matters. I intended you to go to England next year, and I hoped that a marriage might come without my advice or my interference. It seemed to me that Annie's position would itself open your heart to her."

"I have no heart to give her."

"Then you must at least give her your hand. I myself proposed this arrangement, and your uncle's pleasure and gratitude were of the most touching kind. Further, if you will have the very truth, then know, that under no circumstances, will I sanction a marriage with Doctor Moran's daughter."

"You cannot possibly object to her, sir. She is perfection itself."

"I object to her in-toto. I detest Doctor Moran, personally. I know not why, nor care wherefore. I detest him still more sincerely as a man of French extraction. I was brought very much in contact with him for three years, and if we had not been in camp, and under arms, I would have challenged him a score of times. He is the most offensive of men. He brought his race prejudices continually to the front. When Lafayette was wounded, with some of his bragging company, nothing would do but Doctor Moran must go with them to the hospital at Bethlehem; yes, and stay there, until the precious marquis was out of danger. I'll swear that he would not have done this for Washington--he would have blustered about the poor fellows lying sick in camp. Moran talks about being an American, and the Frenchman crops out at every corner. But HE is neither here, nor there, in our affairs; what I wish you to remember is, that rank has its duties as well as its privileges; and you would be a poltroon to accept one and ignore the other. What are you going to do?"

"I know not. I must think--"

"I am ashamed of you! In the name of all that is honourable, what is there to think about? Have you told this Miss Moran that you love her?"

"Not in precise words. I have only seen her three or four times."

"Then, sir, you have only YOURSELF to think about. Have I a son with so little proper feeling that he needs to think a moment when the case is between honour and himself? George, it is high time that you set out to travel. In the neighbourhood of your mother, and your grandparents, and your flatterers in the city, you never get beyond the atmosphere of your own whims and fancies. This conversation has come sooner than I wished; but after it, there is nothing worth talking about."

"Sir, you are more cruel and unreasonable than I could believe possible."

"The railings of a losing lover are not worth answering. Give your anger sway, and when you are reasonable again, tell me. A man mad in love has some title to my pity."

"And, sir, if you were any other man but my father, I would say 'Confound your pity!' I am not sensible of deserving it, except as the result of your own unreasonable demands on me--Our conversation is extremely unpleasant, and I desire to put an end to it. Permit me to return to the house."

"With all my heart. But let me advise you to say nothing to your mother, at present, on this subject:" then with an air of dejection he added-- "What is past, must go; and whatever is to come is very sure to happen."

"Sir, nothing past, present, or future, can change me. I shall obey the wishes of my heart, and be true to its love."

"Let me tell you, George, that Love is now grown wise. He follows Fortune."

"Good-morning, sir."

"Let it be so. I will see you to-morrow in town. Ten to one, you will be more reasonable then."

He stood in the centre of the roadway watching his son's angry carriage. The poise of his head, and his rapid, uneven steps, were symptoms the anxious father understood very well. "He is in a nak**ed temper, without even civil disguise," he muttered; "and I hope his own company will satisfy him until the first fever is past. Do I not know that to be in love is to be possessed? It is in the head--the heart--the blood--it is indeed an uncontrollable fever! I hope, first and foremost, that he will keep away from his mother in his present unreason."

His mother was, however, George's first desire. He did not believe she would sanction his sacrifice to Annie Hyde. Justice, honour, gratitude! these were fine names of his father's invention to adorn a ceremony which would celebrate his life-long misery, and he rebelled against such an immolation of his youth and happiness. When he reached the house, he found that his mother had gone to the pond to feed her swans; and he decided to ride a little out of his way in order to see her there. Presently he came to a spot where tall, shadowing pines surrounded a large sheet of water, dipping their lowest branches into it. Mrs. Hyde stood among them, and the white, stately birds were crowding to her very feet. He reined in his horse to watch her, and though accustomed to her beauty, he marvelled again at it. Like a sylvan goddess she stood, divinely tall, and divinely fair; her whole presence suffused with a heavenly serenity and happiness! Upon the soft earth the hoofs of his horse had not been audible, but when he came within her sight, it was wonderful to watch the transformation on her countenance. A great love, a great joy, swept away like a gust of wind, the peace on its surface; and a glowing, loving intelligence made her instantly restless. She called him with sweet imperiousness, "George! Joris! Joris! My dear one!" and he answered her with the one word ever near, and ever dear, to a woman's heart--"MOTHER!"

"I thought you were with your father. Where have you left him?"

"In the wilderness. There is need for me to go to the city. My father will tell you WHY. I come only to see you--to kiss you--"

"Joris, I see that you are angry. Well then, my dear one, what is it? What has your father been saying to you?"

"He will tell you."

"SO! Whatever it is, your part I shall take. Right or wrong, your part I shall take."

"There is nothing wrong, dear mother."

"Money, is it?"

"It is not money. My father is generous to me."

"Then, some woman it is?"

"Kiss me, mother. After all, there is no woman like unto you."

She drew close to him, and he stooped his handsome face to hers, and kissed her many times. Her smile comforted him, for it was full of confidence, as she said-"Trouble not yourself, Joris. At the last, your father sees through my eyes. Must you go? Well then, the Best of Beings go with you!"

"When are you coming to town, mother?"

"Next week. There is a dinner party at the President's, and your father will not be absent--nor I--nor you?"

"If I am invited, I shall go, just that I may see you enter the room. Let me tell you, that sight always fills my heart with a tumultuous pride and love."

"A great flatterer are you, Joris!" but she lifted her face again, and George kissed it, and then rode rapidly away.

He hardly drew rein until he reached his grandfather's house, a handsome Dutch residence, built of yellow brick, and standing in a garden that was, at this season, a glory of tulips and daffodils, hyacinths and narcissus--the splendid colouring of the beds being wonderfully increased by their borderings of clipped box. An air of sunshiny peace was over the place, and as the upper-half of the side-door stood open he tied his horse and went in. The ticking of the tall house-clock was the only sound he heard at first, but as he stood irresolute, a sweet, thin voice in an adjoining room began to sing a hymn.

"Grandmother! Grandmother!! Grandmother!!!" he called, and before the last appeal was echoed the old lady appeared. She came forward rapidly, her knitting in her hand. She was singularly bright and alert, with rosy cheeks, and snow-white hair under a snow-white cap of clear-starched lace. A snow-white kerchief of lawn was crossed over her bre**ast, and the rest of her dress was so perfectly Dutch that she might have stepped out of one of Tenier's pictures.

"Oh, my Joris!" she cried, "Joris! Joris! I am so happy to see thee. But what, then, is the matter? Thy eyes are full of trouble."

"I will tell you, grandmother." And he sat down by her side and went over the conversation he had had with his father. She never interrupted him, but he knew by the rapid clicking of her knitting needles that she was moved far beyond her usual quietude. When he ceased speaking, she answered-"To sell thee, Joris, is a great shame, and for nothing to sell thee is still worse. This is what I think: Let half of the income from the earldom go to the poor young lady, but THYSELF into the bargain, is beyond all reason. And if with Cornelia Moran thou art in love, a good thing it is;--so I say."

"Do you know Cornelia, grandmother?"

"Well, then, I have seen her; more than once. A great beauty I think her; and Doctor John has Money--plenty of money--and a very good family are the Morans. I remember his father--a very fine gentleman."

"But my father hates Doctor Moran."

"Very wicked is he to hate any one. Why, then?"

"He gave me only one reason--that his family is French."

"SO! Thy mother was Dutch. Every one cannot be English--a God's mercy they cannot! Now, then, thy grandfather is coming; thy trouble tell to him. Good advice he will give thee."

Senator Van Heemskirk however went first into his garden and gathering great handfuls of white narcissus and golden daffodils, he called a slave woman and bade her carry them to the Semple house, and lay them in, and around, his friend's coffin. One white lily he kept in his hand as he came towards his wife and grandson, with eyes fixed on its beauty.

"Lysbet," he said,--but he clasped George's hand as he spoke--"My Lysbet, if in the Dead Valley of this earth grow such heavenly flowers as this, we will not fear the grave. It is only to sleep on the bre**ast that gives us the lily and the rose, and the wheat, and the corn. Oh, how sweet is this flower! It has the scent of Paradise."

He laid it gently down while he put off his fine broadcloth coat and lace ruffles and as**sumed the long vest and silk skull cap, which was his home dress; then he put it in a buttonhole of his vest, and seemed to joy himself in its delicate fragrance. With these preliminaries neither Joris nor Lysbet interfered; but when he had lit his long pipe and seated himself comfortably in his chair, Lysbet said-"Where hast thou been all this afternoon?"

"I have been sealing up my friend's desk and drawers until his sons arrive. Very happy he looks. He is now ONE OF THOSE THAT KNOW."

"Well, then, after the long strife, 'He Rests.'"

"Men have written it. What know they about it? Rest would not be heaven to my friend Alexander Semple. To work, to be up and doing His Will, that would be his delight."

"I wonder, Joris, if in the next life we shall know each other?"

"My Lysbet, in this life do we know each other?"

"I think not. Here has come our dear Joris full of trouble to thee, for his father has said such things as I could not have believed. Joris, tell thy grandfather what they are."

And this time George, being very sure of hearty sympathy, told his tale with great feeling--perhaps even with a little anger. His grandfather listened patiently to the youth's impatience, but he did not answer exactly to his expectations.

"My Joris," he said, "so hard it is to accept what goes against our wishes. If Cornelia Moran you had not met, would your father's desires be so impossible to you? Noble and generous would they not seem--"

"But I have seen Cornelia, and I love her."

"Two or three times you have seen her. How can you be sure that you love her?"

"In the first hour I was sure."

"Of nothing are we quite sure. In too great a hurry are you. Miss Moran may not love you. She may refuse ever to love you. Her mind you have not asked. Beside this, in his family her father may not wish you. A very proud man is Doctor John."

"Grandfather, I may be an earl some day."

"An English earl. Doctor John may not endure to think of his only child living in that far-off country. I, myself, know how this thought can work a father to madness. And, again, your Cousin Annie may not wish to marry you."

"Faith, sir, I had not thought of myself as so very disagreeable."

"No. Vain and self-confident is a young man. See, then, how many things may work this way, that way, and if wise you are you will be quiet and wait for events. One thing, move not in your anger; it is like putting to sea in a tempest. Now I shall just say a word or two on the other side. If your father is so set in his mind about the Hydes, let him do the justice to them he wishes to do; but it is not right that he should make YOU do it for him."

"He says that only I can give Annie justice."

"But that is not good sense. When the present Earl dies, and she is left an orphan, who shall prevent your father from adopting her as his own daughter, and leaving her a daughter's portion of the estate? In such case, she would be in exactly the same position as if her brother had lived and become earl. Is not that so?"

"My dear, dear grandfather, you carry wisdom with you! Now I shall have the pleasure to propose to my father that he do his own justice! O wise, wise grandfather! You have made me happy to a degree!"

"Very well, but say not that I gave you such counsel. When your father speaks to me, as he is certain to do, then I will say such and such words to him; but my words in your mouth will be a great offence; and very justly so, for it is hard to carry words, and carry nothing else. Your dear mother--how is she?"

"Well and happy. She builds, and she plants, and the days are too short for her. But my father is not so happy. I can see that he is wearied of everything."

"Not here, is his heart. It is in England. And no longer has he great hopes to keep him young. If of Liberty I now speak to him, he has a smile so hopeless that both sad and angry it makes me. No faith has he left in any man, except Washington; and I think, also, he is disappointed that Washington was not crowned King George the First."

"I can as**sure you, sir, that others share his disappointment. Mr. Adams would not object to be Duke of New York, and even little Burr would like a lordship."

"I have heard; my ears are not dull, nor my eyes blind. But too much out of the world lives your father; men who do so grow unfit to live in the world. He dreams dreams impossible to us--impossible to France--and then he says 'Liberty is a dream.' Well, well, Life also is a dream--when we awake--"

Then he ceased speaking, and there was silence until Lysbet Van Heemskirk said, softly, "When we awake, WE SHALL BE SATISFIED."

Van Heernskirk smiled at his wife's cheerful as**surance, and continued, "It is true, Lysbet, what you say; and even here, in our dreaming, what satisfaction! As for me, I expect not too much. The old order and the new order fight yet for the victory; and what passes now will be worth talking about fifty years hence."

"It is said, grandfather, that the Dutch church is anti-Federal to a man."

"Not true are such sayings. The church will be very like old Van Steenwyck, who boasts of his impartiality, and who votes for the Federals once, and for the anti-Federals once, and the third time does not vote at all. If taken was the vote of the Church, it would be six for the Federals and half-a-dozen for the anti-Federals."

"Mr. Burr--"

"Of Mr. Burr I will not talk. I like not his little dirty politics."

"He is very clever."

"Well, then, you have to praise him for being clever; for being honest you cannot praise him."

"'Tis a monstrous pity that Right can only be on one side; yet sometimes Right and Mr. Burr may happen to be on the same side."

"The right way is too straight for Aaron Burr. If into it he wanders 'tis for a wrong reason."

"My dear grandfather, how your words bite!"

"I wish not to say biting things; but Aaron Burr stands for those politicians who turn patriotism into shopkeeping and their own interest-- men who care far more for WHO governs us than for HOW we are governed. And what will be the end of such ways? I will tell you. We shall have a Democracy that will be the reign of those who know the least and talk the loudest."

At this point in the conversation Van Heemskirk was called to the door about some business matter and George was left alone with his grandmother. She was setting the tea-table, and her hands were full of china; but she put the cups quickly down, and going to George's side, said-"Cornelia Moran spends this evening with her friend Arenta Van Ariens. Well then, would thou like an excuse to call on Arenta?"

"Oh, grandmother! Do you indeed know Arenta? Can you send me there?"

"Since she was one month old I have known Arenta. This morning, she came here to borrow for her Aunt Jacobus my ivory winders. Now then, I did not wish to lend Angelica Jacobus my winders; and I said to Arenta that 'by and by I would look for them.' Not far are they to seek; and for thy pleasure I will get them, and thou canst take them this evening to Arenta."

"O you dear, dear grandmother!" and he stood up, and lifted her rosy face between his hands and kissed her.

"I am so fond of thee," she continued. "I love thee so much; and thy pleasure is my pleasure; and I see no harm--no harm at all--in thy love for the beautiful Cornelia. I think, with thee, she is a girl worth any man's heart; and if thou canst win her, I, for one, will be joyful with thee. Perhaps, though, I am a selfish old woman--it is so easy to be selfish."

"Let me tell you, grandmother, you know not how to be selfish."

"Let me tell thee, Joris, I was thinking of myself, as well as of thee. For while thy grandfather talked of Aaron Burr, this thought came into my mind--if to Annie Hyde my Joris is married, he will live in England, and I shall see him no more in this world. But if to Cornelia Moran he is married, when his father goes to England, then here he will stay; he will live at Hyde Manor, and I shall go to see him, and he will call here to see me;--and then, many good days came into my thoughts. Yes, yes, in every kind thing, in every good thing, somewhere there is hid a little bit of our own will and way. Always, if I look with straight eyes, I can find it." "Get me the winders, grandmother; for now you have given me a reason to hurry."

"But why so quickly must you go?"

"Look at me! It will take me two hours to dress. I have had no dinner--I want to think--you understand, grandmother?"

Then she went into the best parlour, and opening one of the shutters let in sufficient light to find in the drawer of a little Chinese cabinet some ivory winders of very curious design and workmanship. She folded them in soft tissue paper and handed them to her grandson with a pleasant nod; and the young man slipped them into his waistcoat pocket, and then went hurriedly away.

He had spoken of his dinner, but though somewhat hungry, he made but a light meal. His dress seemed to him the most vitally important thing of the hour; and no girl choosing her first ball gown could have felt more anxious and critical on the subject. His call was to be considered an accidental one; and he could not therefore dress as splendidly as if it were a ceremonious or expected visit. After much hesitation, he selected a coat and breeches of black velvet, a pearl-coloured vest, and cravat and ruffles of fine English bone lace. Yet when his toilet was completed, he was dissatisfied. He felt sure more splendid apparel set off his dark beauty to greater advantage; and yet he was equally sure that more splendid apparel would not--on this occasion--be as suitable.

Doubting and hoping, he reached the Van Ariens' house soon after seven o'clock. It was not quite dark, and Jacob Van Ariens stood on the stoop, smoking his pipe and talking to a man who had the appearance of a workman; and who was, in fact, the foreman of his business quarters in the Swamp.

"Good-evening, sir," said George with smiling politeness. "Is Miss Van Ariens within?"

"Within? Yes. But company she has tonight," said the watchful father, as he stood suspicious and immovable in the entrance.

It did not seem to George as if it would be an easy thing to pass such a porter at the door, but he continued, "I have come with a message to Miss Van Ariens."

"A very fine messenger!" answered Van Ariens, slightly smiling.

"A fine lady deserves a fine messenger. But, sir, if you will do my errand for me, I am content. 'Tis from Madame Van Heemskirk--"

"SO then? That is good."

"I am George Hyde, her grandson, you know."

"Well then, I did not know. 'Tis near dark, and I see not as well as once I did."

"I have brought from Madame Van Heemskirk some ivory winders for Madame Jacobus."

"Come in, come in, and tell my Arenta the message thyself. I know nothing of such things. Come in, I did not think of thee as my friend Van Heemskirk's grandson. Welcome art thou!" and Van Ariens himself opened the parlour door, saying, "Arenta, here is George Hyde. A message he brings for thy Aunt Angelica."

And while these words were being uttered, George delighted his eyes with the vision of Cornelia, who sat at a small table with some needlework in her hand. Arenta's tatting was over her foot, and she had to remove it in order to rise and meet Hyde. Rem sat idly fingering a pack of playing cards and talking to Cornelia. This situation George took in at a glance; though his sense of sight was quite satisfied when it rested on the lovely girl who dropped her needle as he entered, for he saw the bright flush which overspread her face and throat, and the light of pleasure which so filled her eyes that they seemed to make her whole face luminous.

In a few moments, Arenta's pretty enthusiasms and welcomes dissipated all constraint, and Hyde placed his chair among the happy group and fell easily into his most charming mood. Even Rem could not resist the atmosphere of gaiety and real enjoyment that soon pervaded the room. They sang, they played, they had a game at whist, and everything that happened was in some subtle, secret way, a vehicle for Hyde's love to express itself. Yet it was to Arenta he appeared to be most attentive; and Rem was good-naturedly inclined to permit his sister to be appropriated, if only he was first in the service of Cornelia.

But though Hyde's attentions were so little obvious, Cornelia was satisfied. It would have been a poor lover who could not have said under such circumstances "I love you" a hundred times over; and George Hyde was not a poor lover. He had naturally the ardent confidence and daring which delight women, and he had not passed several seasons in the highest London society without learning all those sweet, occult ways of making known admiration, which the presence of others renders both necessary and possible.

About half-past nine, a negro woman came with Cornelia's cloak and hood. George took them from Arenta's hand and folded the warm circular round Cornelia's slight figure; and then watched her tie her pretty pink hood, managing amid the pleasant stir of leave-taking to whisper some words that sang all night like sweetest music in her heart. It was Rem, however, that gave her his arm and escorted her to her own door; and with this rightful privilege to his guest young Hyde was far too gentlemanly and just to interfere. However, even in this moment of seeming secondary consideration, he heard a few words which gave him a delightful as**surance of coming satisfaction. For as the two girls stood in the hall, Arenta said-"You will come over in the morning, Cornelia?"

"I cannot," answered Cornelia. "After breakfast, I have to go to Richmond Hill with a message from my mother to Mrs. Adams; and though father will drive me there I shall most likely have to walk home. But I will come to you in the afternoon."

"Very well. Then in the morning I will go to Aunt Angelica's with the winders. I shall then have some news to tell you in the afternoon--that is, if the town makes us any."

And George, hearing these words, could hardly control his delight. For he was one of Mrs. Adams' favourites, and so much at home in her house that he could visit her at any hour of the day without a ceremonious invitation. And it immediately struck him that his mother had often desired to know how Mrs. Adams fed her swans, and also that she had wished for some seeds from her laburnum trees. These things would make a valid excuse for an early call, as Mrs. Adams might naturally suppose he was on his way to Hyde Manor.

He took a merry leave of Arenta, and with his mind full of this plan, went directly to his rooms. The Belvedere Club was this night, impossible to him. After the angelic Cornelia, he could not take into his consciousness the hideous Marat, and the savage orgies of the French Revolution. Such a thought transference would be an impossible profanation. Indeed, he could consider no other thing, but the miraculous fact, that Cornelia was going to Mrs. Adams'; and that it was quite within his power to meet her there.

"'Tis my destiny! 'Tis my happy destiny to love her!" he said softly to himself. "Such an adorable girl! Such a ravishing beauty is not elsewhere on this earth!" And he was not conscious of any exaggeration in such language. Nor was there. He was young, he was rich, he had no business to consider, no sorrow to sober him, no care of any kind to mingle with the rapturous thoughts which his transported imagination and his captivated heart blended with the image of Cornelia.

"I shall tell Mrs. Adams how far gone in love I am," he continued. "She is herself set on that clever little husband of hers; and 'tis said, theirs was a love match, beyond all speculation. I shall say to her, 'Help me, madame, to an opportunity'; and I think she will not refuse. As for my father, I heard him this morning with as much patience as any Christian could do; but I am resolved to marry Cornelia. I will not give her up; not for an earldom! not for a dukedom! not for the crown of England!"

And to these thoughts he flung off, with a kind of passion, his coat and vest. The action was but the affirmation of his resolve, a materialization of his will. To have used an oath in connection with Cornelia would have offended him; but this passionate action as**serted with equal emphasis his unalterable resolve. A tender, gallant, courageous spirit possessed him. He was carried away by the feelings it inspired: and nobly so, for alas for that man who professes to be in love and is not carried away by his feelings; in such case, he has no feelings worth speaking of!

Joris Hyde allowed the sweet emotions Cornelia had inspired to have, and to hold, and to occupy his whole being. His heart burned within him; memories of Cornelia closed his eyes, and then filled them with adorable visions of her pure, fresh loveliness; his pulses bounded; his blood ran warm and free as the ethereal ichor of the gods. Sleep was a thousand leagues away; he was so vivid, that the room felt hot; and he flung open the casement and sat in a beatitude of blissful hopes and imaginations.

And after midnight, when dreams fall, the moon came up over Nassau and Cedar Streets and threw poetic glamours over the antique churches, and grassy graveyards, and the pretty houses, covered with vines and budding rosebushes; and this soft shadow of light calmed and charmed him. In it, he could believe all his dreams possible. He leaned forward and watched the silvery disc, struggling in soft, white clouds; parting them, as with hands, when they formed in baffling, airy masses in her way. And the heavenly traveller was not silent; she had a language he understood; for as he watched the sweet, strong miracle, he said softly to himself-"It is a sign to me! It is a sign! So will I put away every baffling hindrance between Cornelia and myself. Barriers will only be as those vaporous clouds. I shall part them with my strong resolves--I shall--I shall--I--" and he fell asleep with this sense of victory thrilling his whole being. Then the moon rose higher, and soon came in broad white bars through the window and lay on his young, handsome, smiling face, with the same sweet radiance that in the days of the gods glorified the beautiful shepherd, sleeping on the Ephesian plains.