Louisa C. (Louisa Caroline) Tuthill.

I will be a gentleman : a book for boys online

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" Donna, I beg you to help yourself freely, and
help the lads. I '11 warrant they have had keen
appetites after their long starvation. Have n't
they ? "

The Donna actually blushed with embarrass-
ment at this singular question, and did not an-
swer it.

The visit was an amusing one, and yet by no
means agreeable, and they were glad when it was
time to return home.

The day at length arrived for the sailing of
the Sea-gull. The Don saw that every thing nice
and comfortable was provided, by way of cloth-
ing and stores, for the voyage.

" And have you no parting request to make of
me, my young friend ? " inquired the Donna of
Frank ; affectionately taking his hand.

" I have two requests to make," replied he,
"one is that Don Francesco and the Donna
make a voyage to the United States, and allow
my father the honor of receiving them at his
house, and me the pleasure of showing them
every thing worthy of observation in my native


"It would give us the greatest pleasure,"
warmly replied the Donna, " for we have a
strong inducement to do so, now that we shall
have a particular friend there. But is there not
something that I can do for you ? "

" That is my second request ; pardon me if I
am too bold. I should like to possess that minia-
ture likeness of yourself," replied Frank, point-
ing to a beautiful painting on ivory suspended
ovei the mantel-piece. " I shall never forget
your kindness, but I may not be able to retain
the exact impression of those features. Besides,
it resembles my dear mother, and henceforth I
shall love to think of you together."

The Donna handed him the miniature, with-
out saying a word, but her eyes were full of tears.

Joseph had been practising, under Frank's
instruction, a farewell speech in French, and
really succeeded very well as he said,

"Don and Donna Rebeiro, I am exceedingly
obliged to you for your hospitable politeness.
My mother and sisters will bless you as long as
they live, and I shall ever hold you in grateful
remembrance. Adieu."

" Let me hear from you both, by the earliest
possible opportunity," said the Don.


" By all means," said Frank ; " my father will
be most happy to discharge his indebtedness to
you as soon as possible."

"No, my dear boy, not a word of that; I
insist that you and your friend do me the favor
never again to allude to this matter. On that
condition, alone, I promise to return your visit at
no distant day. Captain Harrison was quite in-
dignant at the offer I made him with regard to
possage-money, saying, 4 Things had come to a
pretty pass if a Yankee could not be as generous
as a Portuguese. I want company in my cabin,
and consider it a lucky chance to have two nice
young fellows with me.' He is a frank, noble-
hearted man, and I am quite easy to intrust you
to his care."

The parting words had all been said, and Jo-
seph and Frank were once more upon the waters.

Captain Harrison was a jovial sailor, and yet
a man of good morals, and good plain sense.
Nothing in his deportment showed that he was
doing a favor to his young passengers.

The voyage was rapid and free from storms.
In twelve days after leaving Fayal, land was in

" My own, my native land ! " exclaimed
Frank, with heartfelt enthusiasm.


" I shall be sorry to part with you, Frank,"
said the captain. " If you ever go to sea again,
ship with me. I should like to see if you could
act the sailor as well as you do the gentleman.
And you, Brandon, I 've given you some tough
lessons, hard enough to swallow, but I hope they
will do you good. But on the whole you have
made yourself agreeable ; you do play a first rate
game of chess."

" I trust I shall not be obliged to go to sea
again ; for my father, I am sure, will be unwilling
to part with me," replied Frank ; " but if I should,
I prefer you for my captain to any man I knpw."

" And so should I," said Joseph. " I do not
know how I shall ever repay you for your kind-

" Poh ! poh ! do n't say a word of that. I was
provoked to think that furrener should offer me
money for carrying home two shipwrecked
fellow-countrymen. I am afraid he judges us
all by that skinflint Mudge, but he is no more
like a genuine Yankee than a potato is like a
Connecticut pumpkin."

" Then you are a Connecticut man ? " said

" That I am," replied the captain, " a true-


born Yankee, from Stonington, and proud to ac-
knowledge it all the world over. I have seen a
great deal of this round earth, but I never saw
any thing to equal old Connecticut. Has n't every
body heard of her clocks, colleges, and common

"And her wooden nutmegs," said Brandon.

" There now, Mr. Brandon," replied the cap-
tain, " you are not so much of a gentleman as
you might be. Frank Wood would have cut off
his little finger before he would have said that.
But there is no making a silken purse out of a
pig's ear."

" I beg your pardon, captain," exclaimed Jo-
seph. " I really did not think you could be so
sensitive about the honor of old Connecticut."

" It 's only because you are from the Bay
State, which happens to be a very little larger.
The pardon is granted ; but, remember, never
jest about a man's wife to her husband, nor about
Connecticut to a Stonington man "; and the cap-
tain turned upon his heel and whistled Yankee


WITH a throbbing heart, Frank Wood saw the
spires of New York rise out of the water.

The health officers came on board, and finding
the Sea-gull had sailed from a port where there
was no prevailing malignant disease, and had had
no sickness on board, the passengers were allow-
ed to land.

How anxiously Frank looked into every face
to recognize a familiar one among the crowd.
All were strangers, hurrying by, intent upon
their own business. No one knew or cared for

He left Brandon on board the vessel until he
should have seen his father and communicated to
him how closely he had been connected with his
friend, and how much Joseph had needed kind-


126 HOME.

As he stood at the door of his own home, he
hardly dared to lay his hand upon the bell-knob.
It was at last pulled so faintly that its feeble sound
intimated a poor beggar-child, fearful of refusal
to a solicitation of charity.

The waiter who appeared a new servant in
the house evidently expected some such appli-
cation ; for he said, in a rough voice, " Well, fel-
low ! What 's wanted ! "

" My father," faintly articulated Frank.

" Your father ! there is no such person here."

" You must be mistaken."

" No, I am not, youngster. If your father has
been here to consult the Doctor, he is not here
now " ; and the waiter was about to close the

But Frank, hearing the well-known voice of
that beloved relative, rushed by the servant and
ran up the stairs to the library, in spite of his
bawling, " Halloo, shipmate ! I tell you your
father is not in this house. The boy must be rav-
ing distracted."

Being disturbed by the noise, Dr. Wood step-
ped out of his library, and Frank stood before

For a moment they both remained motionless

HOME. 127

and speechless. The Doctor hardly believing his
own eves ; Frank amazed at his father's pale
and haggard appearance.

At length Dr. Wood exclaimed, " Great God !
I thank thee!" and throwing his arms around
Frank's neck, pressed him to his grateful heart.

The sailors, who left the Sally Ann in the long-
boat, had been picked up by a homeward-bound
vessel, and had reached New York about a month
before the arrival of the Sea-gull ; bringing the
news that the captain, and four sailors, went
down with the wreck of that unfortunate vessel.
Dr Wood had made inquiry of one of these sail-
el's, and learned of him that Frank was among
the lost.

His grief at the melancholy death of his only
son was such as to have occasioned an illness
from which he was just recovering, and which
had left him with the extreme paleness that so
much alarmed Frank. He received his noble-
hearted Frank as one restored from the dead.
After an hour spent in conversation, as he looked
into the bright blue eyes, sparkling with pleasure,
and saw the fresh healthy countenance of Frank,
his heart was overflowing with Christian grati-

128 HOME.

" Poor Brandon, I must go back to him, for he
will be impatient to see me," said Frank.

" And who is he ? " inquired Dr. Wood.

Frank briefly related the story of Joseph's suf-
ferings. His father told him to order the carriage
and bring him home with him immediately ; add-
ing, " Poor boys ! I suppose your luggage will
easily be transported."

Although Frank had prepared Joseph to expect
to see in his father a perfect gentleman, he was
struck with the elegance and dignity of Dr. Wood's
appearance ; and the cordial politeness with which
he received him put him at once entirely at

After two days spent veiy pleasantly in New
York, Brandon began to be extremely anxious to
see his mother and sisters. Frank went with him
to make arrangements for his journey home.

The morning came on which he was to leave.
Frank had been so faithful and persevering in his
kindness to Joseph, that he had become much
attached to him. It is a principle in our na-
ture to love whatever we bestow kindness upon ;

" The bird that we nurse, is the bird that we love."

Joseph, on his part, felt both gratitude and

HOME. 129

affection towards his young friend. Though
younger than himself, he had looked up to him
for advice and example. By that example, he
had corrected his erroneous opinions with regard
to being a gentleman. He saw that Frank was
very different from the ideal that his own mind
had furnished; yet, wherever he went, he was
recognized as a gentleman. He acknowledged to
himself how much Frank's high moral principles
had contributed to this, and he very naturally
came to the conclusion that it was not best for
him any longer to be a gay, dissipated fop.

When Dr. Wood was about to part with Joseph,
he put into his hand a well-filled purse, saying,
" Mr. Brandon, I will not subject you to the
pain that an honorable, independent young man
would feel at receiving pecuniary obligation.
Whenever it shall be perfectly convenient, you
can, if you like, repay me."

" Certainly, I shall be most happy to do so,"
replied Joseph ; " I am greatly obliged to you,

" I shall be in no haste for the money, and am
sure, in the course of a few years, you will have
saved more than that amount from your own
earnings. Keep up a constant correspondence

130 HOME.

with Frank. It will be an advantage to both of
you ; and whenever you can find leisure from
more important avocations, come and see us. I
trust I shall be able, during the coming year, to
pay you a visit, with Frank, and make the ac-
quaintance of your mother and sisters."

When the boys parted, Frank said, " Do you
know Joseph, that this is my birthday ? "

" I did not."

"It is ; I am just seventeen ; and I should be
perfectly happy were I not obliged to part with
you. But let us try to meet every year on this
anniversary, and then we shall be sure to keep
up our friendship."

Brandon's heart was so full that he could hard-
ly reply. He thought it unmanly to shed tears,
and brushed away the intruders from his eyes.
Tears that flow from gratitude are no mark of
weakness in man or woman ; to either, they are
the natural expression of genuine sensibility.



BRANDON pursued his way homeward as fast as
steamboats and locomotives could convey him;
yet, to his eager wishes, they seemed to move but

When he reached Boston, the associations con-
nected with that place were painful and mortify-

" What a silly boy was I, to parade about these
streets, trying to make people think I was some-
body ! And what consequence was it what these
passing strangers thought of me ? O, it was too
ridiculous," thought Joseph.

He now walked across the city quite uncon-
cernedly, in his sailor's dress, not fearing " the
world's dread laugh," and took passage in a
stagecoach for his native village.


As he rode along, sad forebodings filled his
heart. What changes might have taken place !
As the well known spire of the village church
came in sight, it was impossible to restrain those
tears which appeared to have burst from a long
time sealed up fountain ; tears of penitence for
his undutifulness as a son, his unkindness as a
brother. They were as refreshing to the soul as
evening dew to the delicate flower.

Joseph alighted at the well known gate. The
roses were hi full bloom; the grass, fresh and
nicely cut ; every thing bore the air of comfort.

With a trembling hand he raised the latch, open
ed the door, and walked into the parlour. It had
undergone an entire change ; not one familiar ob-
ject met his eye among the new and handsome
furniture that adorned the apartment.

A lady, an entire stranger, entered ; and, seeing
a sailor thus unceremoniously surveying the room,
she was about to scream with alarm, when Joseph,
very politely bowing, said,

" Excuse me, Madam, does not Mrs. Brandon
live here ? "

" She does not," replied the lady ; " she has
removed to the small cottage on the other side of
the green."


" Do you know if she and her family are well ? "
inquired Joseph, with a tremulous voicey

" Mrs. Brandon is well, I believe, but one of
her daughters has been very ill for some time
past," was the reply.

Joseph could scarcely articulate, "Which
one ? "

The lady did not know. Joseph hurried
across the green to the small cottage, knocked
at the door, and it was opened by Susan.

" Joseph ! Joseph ! " she screamed, and threw
her arms about his neck.

Immediately recovering from her surprise, she
motioned her brother to remain silent, and whis-
pered in his ear, " Our dear Fanny is ill ; so
very ill that there is but little hope of her recov-
ery. Come in softly."

She led him into an humble little parlour,
where were crowded the familiar movables for
which he had looked in vain at his mother's own
house. Mrs. Brandon sat by the bedside of her
precious child, who seemed to be insensible.
She watched

" Her breathing soft and low,
As in her breast the wave of life
Kept heaving to and fro."


Suddenly, the apparently dying girl started,
openea ^r eyes, and faintly articulated,

t; I heard Susan call Joseph. Has he come
home ? "

" I will go and see, dearest," replied Mrs.

She hastened to the parlour.

" Mother ! "

It was all that Joseph could utter, but the
word came up from the depth of a penitent heart,
and volumes could not have expressed to that
mother all which the tone of voice conveyed.
Never, since she held her first-born an infant in
her arms, had such an appeal been made to her
love, the past was all forgiven.

Mrs. Brandon soon hastened back to Fanny.

" Mother, has brother indeed come home ? "
said the invalid.

" He has, Fanny. Do you wish to see him ? "

" I do, immediately, for I fear I shall remain
but a very short time.'"

Wasted by long illness, Fanny was but the
shadow of herself, pale even to ghastliness ;
she seemed already to have approached the con-
fines of the world of spirits. She reached out
her thin white hand to Joseph, and a lovely smile
passed over her wan face.


"Fanny, my own sweet sister!" exclaimed
he, " forgive me ! I have not been a kind brother
to you."

" I do not remember that I have any thing to
forgive," she replied, pressing his hand to her
lips. " I have not long to live, but since you are
restored to our mother and Susan, I shall die con-

" Do not speak of dying, Fanny ; I trust we
shall all live together happily many years," said
her brother.

" Just as it may please God," fervently and
solemnly said the lovely girl. " I am resigned to
his holy will."

From this time she began to recover. By that
wonderful sympathy * that exists between body and

* The celebrated Dr. Rush relates the following anec-
dote : " During the time that I passed at a country
school in Cecil county in Maryland, I often went, on a
holy day, with my schoolmates, to see an eagle's nest, up-
on the summit of a dead tree in the neighbourhood of
the school, during the incubation of the bird. The
daughter of the farmer in whose field the tree stood, and
with whom I became acquainted, married and settled in
this city (Philadelphia) about forty years ago. In our
occasional interviews, we now and then spoke of the in-
nocent haunts and rural pleasures of our youth, and
among others of the eagle's nest in her father's field.


mind, no sooner was the latter relieved from the
weight of anxiety that had long pressed upon it,
than the physical system was equally relieved.
She was soon restored to perfect health.

A few years ago I was called to visit this woman when
she was in the lowest stage of typhus fever. Upon en-
tering the room I caught her eye, and with a cheerful
tone of voice said, only, * The eagle's nest' She seized
my hand, without being able to speak, and discovered
strong emotions of pleasure in her countenance, probably
from a sudden association of all her early enjoyments
with the words which I uttered. From that time she be-
gan to recover. She is now living, and seldom fails,
when we meet, to salute me with the echo of * The ea-
gle's nest. 1 "



JOSEPH'S letter, from Marseilles, had not
reached Mrs. Brandon, and not one word had
she heard from him during his absence. She
did not know even in what ship he had embark-
ed, and her anxiety for him had been unceas-

Soon after he left home, finding her affairs
much embarrassed, she leased her own pretty
house, and took the small cottage. In this way
she thought she should be able to pay off, in
time, the debts which Joseph's foolish extrava-
gance had left upon her hands.

Fanny had been a long time in delicate health,
and her illness was increased by the troubles that
had weighed down her youthful spirits.

Sorrow, and sympathy with her mother and


Fanny, had softened the harshness of Susan's

" Why, Sue," said Joseph, a few days after his
return, " I should scarcely know you ; really you
are much improved."

" I might say the same of yourself, Joseph,"
was the reply. " I should hardly recognize your
former self in your conversation, unless when
you boast of that ' famous French dinner-party,'
or speak grandiloquently of your great friends,
the ' Don and Donna Francesco Rebeiro.' "

" I do not intend to speak boastingly ; I thank
you for the hint," he gently replied, " and hope
I shall profit by it. I am truly grateful to those
excellent people. I intend learning French and
Portugese as soon as possible, that I may con-
verse with them whenever I visit them again. I
used to feel like a complete simpleton when they
were all talking around, and I was not able to
understand a single sentence. I am going to set
myself about some employment whenever I have
an opportunity, that I may no longer be a bur-
den to our kind mother. I hope to relieve the
pressure that is upon her, so that she can go
back again to her own house."

" Bravely spoken, Joseph," said Susan, with a
little of her former sarcastic manner.


" And bravely, by God's help, shall it be done,"
warmly replied Joseph.

The purse that Joseph received from Dr.
Wood contained one hundred dollars, all of
which remained, excepting the amount of his fare
from New York.

The expenses of Fanny's illness had pressed
heavily upon Mrs. Brandon. Joseph told her of
the generous loan he had received, and insisted
that she should make use of half of it, while he
would carefully use the remainder until he found
some employment.

" I have been so entirely occupied since your
return," said Mrs. Brandon, " that I had quite
forgotten to tell you that your Uncle Jones has
removed to Boston, and that he is in want of a
clerk in his counting-house. Go to him next
week, and state your wishes and intentions, and
I will write to him at the same time. I have no
doubt you can have the place, if you wish to be
a merchant."

" I wish for any honorable employment,
whereby I can maintain myself respectably, and
in time support you and my sisters in a comfort-
able manner," replied Joe ; " and as Fanny is so
much better, and I have already been home a
fortnight, I will go, if you think best, to-morrow."


" I am sorry to part with you so soon, but per-
haps it would be well to go soon, as the place
may not long remain vacant. Shall you go in
your sailor dress ? "

" No, mother, I have another suit that I have
carefully kept, the gift of kind friends. How
many excellent people there are in the world !
Yet I doubt if I should have experienced their
kindness had it not been for the unmistakable
good-breeding and gentleman-like deportment of
my friend, Frank Wood."

" I should like much to see that amiable Frank
Wood," said Fanny. " I wish to thank him for
his kindness to you."

" All in good time, Fanny dear," said Joseph.
" He has promised to make us an early visit."

The next morning Brandon started for Boston,
and rode on the outside of the stagecoach with-
out quarrelling with his fellow-passengers, a
peaceable, well-behaved young man, intent upon
making every body as comfortable as possible.

His uncle, although he received him kindly,
looked somewhat askance at his gay foreign
dress, the one he had purchased at Fayal.
Joseph, observing it, said, " I hope, Sir, if you re-
ceive me into your counting-room, that I shall soon


be able to purchase a more suitable dress than
this, which has such a foreign air."

" Such a foppish air," replied his uncle.
" You look like a paroquet."

" It is too foppish entirely, and I shall be right
glad to exchange it for one of American manu
facture, and true Yankee plainness," said Jo-

" That you shall do very soon, if you succeed,
as I think you will. When can you begin ? "

" To-morrow, if you please, sir."

" Well, I like your promptness. The salary is
five hundred dollars a year. Be honest and faith-
ful, and another year I will add two hundred
more to it."

The morning found Joseph seated among a
number of other clerks in a large counting-room.
At first, he was, of course, ignorant and awkward,
but so great was his desire for improvement that
he soon overcame all obstacles.

Faithful and honest he was, giving entire satis- ,
faction to his uncle, and gaining the good will of
all with whom he was associated.

The first present that Joseph made, from his
own salary, after he had remitted the hundred
dollars to Dr. Wood, was a pretty purse to Fanny,


with three five-dollar pieces shining through the
meshes. This was at the end of the first half
year. The correspondence between Frank and
himself had been sustained with undiminished in-
terest on both sides. He learned that Frank occa-
sionally heard from his foreign friends, and that
the Don and Donna expected soon to pay a visit
to the United States.



So well had Joseph Brandon satisfied his em-
ployer that he promised to raise his salary, as he
had intimated at their first interview. During
the year which was now nearly at an end, he had
been so economical as to live within his income,
pay Dr. Wood, and make several presents to his
mother and sisters ; yet he had always dressed
with neatness, and boarded in a respectable fam-

The family who had taken his mother's house
wished to give it up, to remove to the city ; and
Joseph gladly persuaded his mother to return to
it again, promising to make up the difference be-
tween the rent and that of the small cottage.

Mrs. Brandon consented to do so. Susan and
Fanny were delighted to return to their own


home, and still more so, because it was through
the generosity of their brother. They had just
become nicely settled when they received a visit
from Joseph, accompanied by Dr. Wood and

It was Frank's eighteenth birthday. His
health, since his return, had remained perfectly
good; and having decided upon following his
father's profession, he had commenced his prepar-
atory studies.

The yarns that they had to spin, when they

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Online LibraryLouisa C. (Louisa Caroline) TuthillI will be a gentleman : a book for boys → online text (page 6 of 7)