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The Granite monthly, a New Hampshire magazine, devoted to literature, history, and state progress (Volume 53) online

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pented and confessed. She lived to
old age and died at the Village.
The young man left the Society, as
was invariably the case with the
young men, enlisted in the Union
army and died in a hospital from
wounds.

George Mason and Harriet
Adams became affected with the
same malady. George left and not
long thereafter was killed by an
explosion of a powder mill. Har-
riet finally withdrew and is still
living at an advanced age.

Glbert Brown came to the So-
ciety when a child. He was as
conscientious and efficient as any
man of the Society. He became
warmly attached to a beautiful girl
of about my age, some eight years
younger than himself, and his af-
fection was returned by her. While
1 do not know the particulars of
the affair, 1 do know enough to be-
lieve that the girl confessed to the
Eldress, and the man was talked to
in a manner that he resented. There
must have been a bad break some-
how for he was removed to the
North Family and it almost broke
his heart. He was my very dear
friend and he confided to me his
sorrow at leaving the home of his
childhood, and the bitterness he felt
toward those officers for their in-
justice to him. My sympathies
were with him and I visited him at
the North Family in the fields and
woods where he worked. He was
an Elder there until he withdrew a
few years later. The girl died be-
fore he left. He never married.
The lives of both were blighted.
1 know that she continued to visit



him after his moving to the other
Family, showing her love was still
there. It was truly a sad case.

Two brothers, children of parents
who, joined the Shakers early in
the forties, each had a girl love, and
it was known by everybody. The
Eldresses omitted no effort to break
up the affairs. Both couples were
infatuated and much in earnest
about it. They were watched and
the girls were guarded, and one
man was removed to another Fami-
ly and the girl loved by the other
man to still another! Family and
yet the business went merrily on
until finally one girl, or woman,
for both were over thirty, left the
society, followed very soon by her
lover. The other brother left soon
after, but his love remained in the
society quite a time, but finally
followed the others and all were
married at last. An occasional
elopement would occur without any
knowledge by the: Elders of any
unlawful intimacy existing. Some
projected elopements were foiled,
yet in such cases the spell usually
remained unbroken, and the final
clearance only a little while defer-
• red.

The record of my personal ex-
periences would not be complete
without referring again to my men-
tal attitude ; whether 1 had become
reconciled to the situation ; whether
I had attained contentment and
happiness. I was growing strong
in faith. My purpose to always
remain a Shaker was fixed. I be-
lieved the gaining of Eternal Life
was worth all the sacrifice of earth-
ly pleasure. I feared in turning
back to worldly enjoyments to lose
for ages my opportunities for sal-
vation, my rightful place in the
ranks of the just made perfect. Yes,
it was fear that held me. This life
possessed little charm. There was
little of joy in it for me. Year af-
ter vear I longed for death, but
wanted to die a Shaker. Night af-



FORTY YEARS A SHAKER



65



ter night as 1 laid my head upon
my pillow did I wish it might be my
last day upon earth. My physical
condition may have had something
to do with this. Not being strong
I may have been a little morbid.
I was seldom ill enough to keep
me from work, and I worked hard
and faithfully. I was not continual-
ly under depression. I did not wear
my heart upon my sleeve. I never
gave expression to my feelings, and
I am sure no one ever guessed them,
and if my old friends could read
these lines they would be surprised
in the extreme.

I am absolutely certain, how-
ever, that his feeling was shared by
many others, particularly so of the
young women. It was the inevi-
table consequence of an unnatural
life shut off from the sweetest pleas-
ures that gladden the human heart.
Just at the stage when the young
man craves a love all his very own,
and in its joys the future looks so
beautiful, he finds himself immured
in an Institution of sexual convent
gloom. Surround it as you will by
attempt to make it gladsome, you
cannot change its nature nor the
effect of it.

Visitors to our Village, seeing
the neatness and order everywhere
conspicuous ; partaking of the viands
invitingly spread upon the table ;
beholding the smiling faces of the
sisters, and listening to the well-
trained and musical voices of their
singers, may well believe that hap-
piness here reigns supreme, and may
indeed wonder how any one could
leave this lovely place. But were
they gifted to delve deeply into the
human heart, to feel its cravings,
its almost agonizing longing for
pleasures from which the Shaker
is and necessarily must be debar-
red, they would understand that



which is difficult and almost im-
possible to describe.

Another fact must be admitted.
To one who has been a Shaker
from early childhood, the troubles
of life outside, its dangers, its stren-
uousness are unknown. He dwells
chiefly upon that of which he is de-
prived. He needs experience to
teach him the value of a shelter
from the evil and sins of the world,
and hence we see the reason for the
uneasiness of the young people.
In the earlier days the society was
very largely of older persons who
had mingled with the world, be-
come familiar with its rougher side,
and thereby were made able to ap-
preciate a more quiet life.

On arriving at the age of twenty-
one every one was required to sign
the Covenant, thereby accepting all
the responsibilities and becoming
eligible to all the privileges of
membership. They now dedicated
soul and body # to the sacred cause.
They renouncea all claim to private
property, and if any came to them
by will or inheritance it must be
transferred to the general fund.
If they should leave the Society
they could claim no compensation
for services rendered. The signing
of the Covenant was usually made
an impressive event. In so large
a number of young people there
would often be several of nearly
the same age. The signing of the
older ones would be delayed until
all of the class arrived at the right
age, and if one of this number with-
drew from the Society it was made
to appear a matter of great re-
proach, and somewhat of a disgrace
to the entire company. I think the
company with whom I signed the
covenant consisted of three brethren
and eight sisters, of whom Helen

was one.

To be Continued.



THE STORY OF PEMIGEWASSET

By William C. Adams.

( >nce there lived a mighty chieftain.
Good and wise Pemigewasset,
Chief of redmen of the mountains,
Eyes as bright as sun at midday,
Swift on foot as bounding red deer;
On the wartrail had no equal;
Louder than the howl of grey wolf
Was his warcry, was his warwhoop
When he called his braves together,
When he called them forth to battle.

Pemigewasset, prophet, seer,
Might}' chieftain of the mountains,
Loved the mountains and the woodlands,
Loved the rivers and the fountains,
Loved all nature, loved his people,
Knew the long trails, cross the mountains,
Knew the pathways through the forests,
Often talked with the Great Spirit,
Lived in peace with friendly nations,
Thus lived Chief Pemigewasset,
Chief of redmen of the mountains.

In the valley all was peaceful,

In the village all was stillness,

In the wigwam all was quiet.

Now a warwhoop rent the air,

'Twas the warwhoop of the Mohawks,

The)- had come from lands far westward,

From the land across the river,

Come to fight Pemigewasset ;

Hurled themselves upon his people.

Hand to hand in fury fought they,

Fought till stars came out at night time.

Proud and brave Pemigewasset
On to vict'ry led his brave men,
Scattered wide the Mohawk warriors,
Shattered all their hopes of vict'ry.
But the chief Pemigewasset
Still determined, still defiant,
Called together all his warriors,
Told them all about the Mohawks,
Told them how they broke their treaties.
How they never kept a promise,
How they warred upon his people,
That the cunning Mohawk warriors
Must be driven from the mountains.



THE STORY OF PEMIGEWASSET 67

Then the brave Pemigewassets
( )n their faces spread the warpaint,
Brought their arms of warfare hither,
Madly in pursuit they followed
Followed they the Mohawk warriors.
Stopped not till they reached the river
Where they halted for the night time.
Where the}" waited for the morning
To renew once more their warfare.
But the sly and crafty Mohawks
Under cover of the darkness,
With the cunning of the red fox
Spied the brave Pemigewassets,
Seized and bound them as they slept there,
Took them captive in the night time,
Then the cheering Mohawk warriors
Quickly led their captives homeward,
In the prison safely placed them,
Then they waited for the morning.

But Minerwa, Mohawk princess,
Saw the chief, Pemigewasset,
She admired him, loved him warmly,
Planned at once to give him warning.
From his bonds she quickly freed him,
Then straightway freed his warriors.
Now the princess, proud Minerwa,
Knew full well that on the morrow
With her life must pay the forfeit
For betraying thus her people,
Planned to join Pemigew r asset.
That she might deceive her father,
Make him think that she had perished,
She ran quickly to the water
Her canoe in haste unfastened
Thus unfastened, she upturned it
Pushed it out upon the water,
On the water left it drifting
Then made haste to join the chieftain.

In the morning when the sun rose
Looked in vain the Mohawk chieftain
For his captives from the mountains
They had vanished in the night time
Taking with them proud Minerwa
Who the father thought had perished.
She had joined Pemigewasset,
Took him for her husband,
Journeyed with him to his wigwam
In his home among the mountains.



68 THE GRANITE MONTHLY

Sadly walked the Mohawk chieftain

In and out among his people

For his thoughts were on his daughter.

On the princess, on Minerwa.

Sadder grew each day the old man

And each day he grew more feeble,

Lingered ever near the water

Where he thought his daughter perished.

Years thereafter came some warriors
From the Hurons to the mountains.
Came from lands that lay far westward,
Came to fight Pemigewasset,
Came to war upon his people.
Fiercely waged the cruel warfare
And the "chief, Pemigewasset,
In the leg was badly wounded.
Rut the Hurons were defeated.
Driven quickly from the mountain.
By chance a Huron warrior
Saw Minerwa, saw the princess,
Saw the daughter of the chieftain.
Wife of Chief Pemigewasset.
Straightway told the Mohawk chieftain
That he'd seen Minerwa, princess.
That she lived among the mountains,
Wife of Chief Pemigewasset.
Now in close attention listened
The old chieftain to the story
To the message of the warrior.
Though his head was bowed in silence
In his breast his heart was throbbing
For he longed to see his daughter
Who he thought long since had perished.
Sent for her to come and see him.
Promised that she'd have protection
On her journey through the forests.
And the daughter's heart grew softer
When she heard her father's message.
Then Minerwa planned the journey,
Planned to go and see her father
Who had now grown old and feeble.
I bit the chief, Pemigewasset,
Lamed in battle with the Hurons
Could not take the journey with her;
He would wait upon the mountain,
He would wait there for her coming
They would talk each day in smoke signs
Thus they parted as young lovers
Thinking soon they'd see each other
In their home among the mountains.
On the mountain top he waited



THE STORY OF PEMIGEWASSET 69

While she sat and nursed her father

Till the Mohawk's spirit left him.

Then she turned her footsteps homeward,

Toward her home among the mountains.

Soon she'd see her chieftain husband.

But, alas, her hopes soon vanished

For she met a former suitor,

Filled with rage he seized and bound her,

Told her that she soon must perish.

Humbly there she plead for mercy,

But no mercy showed the warrior.

Thus she perished in the forest.

Thus she talked no more in smoke signs

To her husband in the mountain.

Still the chieftain lingered, waited

For the princess, for Minerwa.

Through the summers, through the winters

Waited there Pemigewasset,

Keeping watch upon the mountain.

Year by year he sat and waited

For the princess, for Minerwa.

Feebler grew each year the chieftain

Then one day his spirit left him,

Left to join his wife Minerwa

In the Hunting Grounds far westward.

That this story of devotion

Of the chieftain for his princess

May thus never be forgotten,

The Great Spirit carved a profile,

Carved it in the cold gray granite,

Carved a face upon the cliff side,

Carved the "Old Man of the Mountain,"

Face of Chief Pemigewasset.



JOE ENGLISH HILL



B\ Harriet Pervier.



As Persis Fisher stood feeding the
chickens the bright California sun
touched her narrow-chested figure
with a pitiless finger. It showed
with no softening shadows, the an-
gular temples and tight little knot
of brown hair. The clear eyes,
however, needed no shading.

From her porch the next neigh-
bor called: "Mis' Brandis has gone."

"Gone! Gone wherei"

"Gone to Alaska an' the Knoltons
are going to Niagara tomorrow.
Some folks do have a good time
in this world. I reckon ther's no-
body 'd like to see the pretty places
of this world better than I, but
here I'm stuck."

Giving her pan a final shake, Per-
sis turned toward the porch, resting
her back against a post. A tiny
smile wrinkled the corners of her
mouth. "I guess," she said, "there's
lots of pretty places to see."

"I always wanted to go to
Niagara, an' th' Yellowstone, an'
then to E-e-urup."

The smile in Persis eyes deep-
ened. "I'd love to travel," she af-
firmed, "and see all that but" —
hesitating, "I guess some place is
prettier to each of us than any
other. Maybe like the rainbow
each sees her own. I guess Joe
English Hill would be my prettiest
place."

"Joe English Hill ! For goodness
sake who is that?"

Persis laughed aloud. "It isn't
a he. It is a hill in New Hamp-
shire. Mother was born at the foot
of it and I guess there isn't a pret-
tier place in the world."

"Joe English Hill," repeated the
other woman.

"Its named for Joe English who
was chased there by Indians. Its
just granite, smooth like the head
of a bald man, with trees growing



along the lower edges. Joe English
ran up on top with the Indians close
behind. There was no place to
hide. The side of the hill goes down,
straight, most as steep as the side
of a house."

Persis stopped talking and star-
ed out in front as if she could see
the man on the hill.

"What'd he do?" the neighbor
demanded in sharp tones.

"Oh," Persis started as if recall-
ed from a distance, "there was a pile
of brush just at the edge of this
steep place. Joe English dived un-
der that and the Indians were run-
ning so fast they could not stop and
so fell over."

"They weren't very bright In-
dians," retorted the neighbor in dis-
gust.

Persis smiled. "I used to think
that too. but," wistfully, "I wish I
could see Joe English Hill."
"Haint you ever seen it?"
"No, I've never been east."
"1 can't see how it could be
pretty, just a chunk of rock."

"I guess that is my own rainbow,"
replied Persis, smiling whimsically
to herself as she went into the
house.

A few weeks later Persis stood
in the doorway talking to stout, old
Dr. Morley. Her eyes peered out
of her waxen face with a dazed look.
"Doctor," she faltered, "are you
sure r

"Miss Persis, it is my business to
be sure. I can't afford to be guess-
ing."

Smiling vaguely she swept the
back of her hand across here eyes.
"How long?"

"Four months — with extreme
care, maybe six."

"You are sure that I can not live
more than six months?"



JOE ENGLISH HILL



71



"Sure," snapped the doctor, feel-
ing making him brusque.

After a silence that lasted a long
minute she exclaimed, "Doctor Mor-
ley I'm going home."

This was a changed woman, a
smiling, exultant, radiant creature.

"S-sure-sure," the man fairly
stuttered in his surprise.

"You don't understand.*' she
laughed. "All my life I have want-
ed to see New Hampshire. Mother
was born there and talked so much
about it 1 felt that I knew and lov-
ed it as she did. Since she left me
I wanted to go there but all I had
was this house. Now I can sell the
place and go home. I can go to
Joe English Hill."

"E-eh." said the doctor.

"That's the hill where mother
lived," she explained.

The following month was a busy
one for Persis. She sold her small
property and with all her worldly
possessions packed in two unpre-
tentious trunks was ready for the
east. During this time her talk
was not of the relatives she was to
see for the first time, nor of the
country she was to traverse, but of
Joe English Hill. She did not seem
to dread the parting from life long
friends or the inevitable ending
that was approaching. Her only
fear was that she might not live to
see Joe English Hill.

When the morning came for her
start, a crowd of kindly neighbors
gathered to see her off on her
journey "home" and to load her
with gifts. She was almost the
only one who shed no tear, but with
a radiant smile waved to them from
the car as long as she could dis-
tinguish a face.

That was a wonderful journey.

The gaunt, shy old maid usually
afraid of strangers, made friends all
along the way. She seemed to have
shed the husk of self-consciousness
and to be thinking only of the won-
drous thing that was coming to her.



She talked with a hard faced
woman about going "home," till the
paint, which Persis never saw, was
tear streaked.

She never knew that one blase
traveling man after listening to the
story and perhaps reading a tale
that her lips did not utter, rushed
to the rear and with a queer mist
before his eyes said a word that
would have shocked the gentle old
woman.

When Persis entered the car a
stout, high-nosed woman had taken
a long look at her through a gold
lorgnette, starting at the hem of
her neat serge dress and ascending
slowly to the wing on her hat.
Then the stout woman turned aside
in disdain.

When Persis left the car at
Chicago, this woman sent a porter
scurrying after her with a filled
thermos bottle, a silver flask of
brandy and a message for her to
take them to keep up her strength
to reach Joe English Hill.

"What good people there are in
this world," Persis said to the
cousin who had come to meet her.

She remained only a few days in
Chicago for a needed rest and could
not be persuaded to stop longer
because she was anxious to reach
New Hampshire. Leaving Chicago,
she made the acquaintance of a
girlish bride whose husband was a
railroad man. Persis told her
about Joe English Hill. Perhaps
that might help explain how it
happened that people smiled upon
her so pleasantly, and all the train
men were so considerate. She was
showered with candy, fruit and
magazines. The flowers at her
chair vied with those of the actress
two seats in front. Even when
she changed to another road the
kind attentions followed her.

It was a very frail, tired woman
that left the train at the small New
Hampshire station just as evening
was darkening the late July sky.



72



THE GRANITE MONTHLY



A cousin, living on the place where
her mother had been born, met her
with a comfortable carriage. He
lifted her into the carriage like a
child. She rewarded him with a
happy if somewhat wan smile.

As they drove across a small
wooden bridge she bent forward to
look at the brook. "That must be
where mother and Uncle Charlie
used to fish," she announced.

"That brook's too shallow to have
big fish," replied the cousin.

"Mother used to say it sang over
the stones like a happ.v child at
play."

"Deep waters run still," the
cousin cpaoted in oratorical tones.

Later when they crossed another
bridge she did not try to look at it.
"1 expect the Cardinal Flower is
in blow," she remarked.

"Saw some yesterday."

"I never saw it but I guess it is
pretty."

"A good hill of beans looks pret-
tier to me," he answered.

"Everyone to their own rain-
bow," said Persis with a faint
laugh.

The cousin privately believed
that her mind wandered. At the
end of the long ride she was so
tired she had to be carried into the
house. Her last words were "To-
morrow I'll see Joe English Hill."

"Don't set your heart much on
that," said the cousin's wife, "for
it aint much to see."

The next morning she was un-
able to get out of bed. Among the
pillows her colorless waxen face
looked a lifeless thing until she
opened her excited, sparkling eyes.
She hardly touched breakfast. But
she would not allow the shade rais-
ed so that she might look out of the
window.

After a rest she asked if the sun



shone on Joe English Hill. Being
told that it did, she explained to
the woman, "You see I've heard
most all my life, while mother was
with me that is, about Joe English
Hill. 1 guess its the loveliest thing
on God's earth. I'm glad I shall
see it first with the sun on its bald
crown."

The kindly woman opened her
lips to reply then hesitated and
closed them again.

A little whde later she asked,
"Shall I put you in the big chair
and push it to the window so that
you can look out?"

"If you only would," the sick
woman cried in an ectasy of delight.

It was done very gently but af-
terward Persis lay among the pil-
lows gasping. The woman stretch-
ed out a hand to raise the shade
but Persis stopped her. Several
long minutes she lay wth closed
eyes while the woman waited.
'Then opening them suddenly she
sat erect saying, "Now, please."

Again the woman opened her
lips to speak, but looking at the wide
brilliant eyes, closed her mouth
into a grim, straight line. Quick-
ly she reached for the cord and
pulled the shade high.

Persis breathing jerkily, leaned
forward in her chair, her happy
eyes focusing on the bare, ugly,
rocky hill before her. Her eyes
widened with a look that was al-
most fear.

The watching woman gripped
the chair-back till her knuckles
whitened from the pressure.

Persis suddenly turned to her
with a smile. "I guess — it isn't
how things look — its just love makes
them beautiful." Then the tired
head dropped back among the pil-
lows.



A FEW PAGES OF POETRY

Through the kindness of Mr. John H. Bartlett. A gratifying

Brookes More a prize of $50 is offer- number of entries for the contest

ed for the best poem published in already have been received, some of

the Granite Monthly during the which are printed herewith, while

year 1921. The judges are Prof, others may be found elsewhere in

Katharine Lee- Bates, Mr. W. S. the magazine.
Braithwaite and former Governor



A FEBRUARY AFTERNOON

By Virginia B. Ladd.

Snow everywhere we look! Great banks of snow —
The village street hard-trampled as a floor.

The mercury sinks from zero to below

And cold gusts howl through crannies of the door.

The great trees creak. Their boughs thresh to and fro.

One huge limb snaps — and crashes through the drifts
Across the path betwixt the heaped up snow,

And there, half buried, its brown form uplifts.

We shiver, and draw closer 'round the fire,

And think of those outside its heartsome cheer.

And, as the boisterous winds rise, shrieking, higher
Our vaguely felt unrest is tinged with fear.

But look ! Along the far horizon line

Beyond the woods, which like a dark band show,
There gleam the sunset lights ! They seem divine,

As, where the sky joins earth, they glow.

Like a bright revelation on this dreary scene
They speak of warmth and comfort yet to be,

Vivid with shades of rose and palest green
And pearly shell-tints from some distant sea.

So, though the piercing gales came fraught with dread
And frost benumbs the streams and lake and ground,

Although the trees and tiny plants seem dead
And icy snow-crusts everywhere abound,

What joy it is to turn from this wild day

And catch that flashing signal from the west,

Which, though the hues from opal pale to gray,
Has left its message of sweet peace and rest.



TAM O' SHANTERS

By Dorothy W. Smith.

Tarns, tarns, tams !

Will they never go out of style ?

"Their vogue varies

But vanisheth not away."

When I am a grandmother,

1 verily expect to see

My grown children and small,

Wearing tams of some sort.

I even hope I shall

Have one myself



Online Library1884 numbers of the Bay state monthlyBe the first and subjects of first 10 volumes and List of porThe Granite monthly, a New Hampshire magazine, devoted to literature, history, and state progress (Volume 53) → online text (page 9 of 57)