AN AMERICAN STORY OF REAL LIFE,
BY T. S? ARTHUR,
AUTHOR OF " THE MAIDEN," " THE WIPE,"
AND " THE MOTHER."
HENRY F. ANNERS.
Entered, according tc act of Congress, in the year 1850, by
HENRY F . A X X E R S ,
In the ClorK'g Office of the District Court of the United
States, in aud for the Eastern District of Pen nsylvania.
SPRIGS OP AMERICAN ARISTOCRACY.
" ARE you going to Mr. Martin's grand come-
off,' to-morrow evening, Harry 1" asked one young
man of another, as they lounged in the bar-room
of the Mansion House.
" Of course I am. Will you be there!"
" O, yes. I never miss being present on such
occasions. But say, Harry, are you serious in
that matter about pretty Bell f'
" Am 1 1 What a question for you to ask !
Certainly I am."
" Do you think you can get around the old man,
" I can try. My family is as rood as his. So
you see we are even there. But I do n't think
much about him, now. I must first get the right
side of Bell."
" How do you expect to manage that V
'/By talking sentiment, paying her the most
flattering attentions possible, and being her most
humble servant on all occasions."
" She will have a splendid fortune."
" There is no mistake about that."
" How large do you think .'"
. ':"- ' :: '
4 BELL MARTIN.
* I have ascertained, pretty certainly, that old
Martin is worth about nine hundred thousand
dollars. He has two children. They will divide
at his death over three hundred thousand dollars
a piece, after the widow's one-third has been
taken out. And she, of course, is not going to
" Of course not. And you would come in, if
you had the daughter, for half of that sum also."
" Exactly. Now is n't there a glorious prospect
before me 1"
" There is, really. A golden opportunity, like
this, must not pass, unimproved."
" Nor will it."
"How do you stand with Belli"
" Pretty fair, I think. Last week I was at a
party with her, and broke the ice. She is young,
you know, and as frank and innocent as a child.
I really felt my heart warm toward her."
" Indeed ! That was a phenomenon !" said the
" Was n't it ! But do n't be alarmed. I 'm not
going to fall in love with her until I find the coast
" Do n't, if you please, or I shall be compelled to
cut your acquaintance."
" Never fear. A young man of my habits can 't
afford to fall in love, unless he is sure of success."
"And certain of gaining a fortune."
" Of course. That was pre-supposed."
" Are you going to buy that splendid pair of
horses, belonging to Porter, which you drove out
" I wish to do so."
"He asks twelve hundred dollars for them, I
" Yes. But I think would not refuse a thousand
if laid down before him."
SPRIGS OF AMERICAN ARISTOCRACY. 5
" Why do n't you take them, Harry 1 They are
worth all of that."
" I Ve sounded my old man about it. But he
looks black so soon as I begin to approach the
" What a bore ! I wonder if either of us will
ever get our fingers upon some of our dads' cash,
to spend it as we please 1"
" I hope so, one of these days. Won't I put it
in circulation, then!" snapping his fingers, and
winking with a knowing look. "It will be one
of the strangest things in nature, if I do n't."
" What an annoyance it is," said the companion
of the one called Harry, "to have rich old fathers
like ours, to tantalize us with the idea of wealth
in prospective, while they give us but the mere
trifle of two or three thousand a year to spend."
" It is indeed ! But what do you think 1 My
old man told me, yesterday, that he thought it
high time that I was beginning to do something."
" Do something !"
" What did he mean by that 1"
" Open an office for the practice of law, I sup-
pose. You know that, to please him, I studied
law for a year or two got squeezed through an
examination, and entered as a member of the
" Yes, I remember now ; ha ! ha ! And he
wanted you to put up your sjiingle, Eternally at
Law,' and come .into association with the filth and
off-scouring of this righteous city, Pickpockets,
thieves, blackguards, etc."
" Yes, that was it."
" But you had no notion of such a thing T
" Not I. Why do I want to practice law, or do
any thing else ? Has n't the old man plenty of
6 BELL MARTIN.
money ? Ain't I born a gentleman 1 Let the com-
mon herd work, say L"
" Ditto. Only about every tenth man that is
born, as some one has said, can afford to do
nothing. Thank fortune ! I am one of the decimal
" So is this child. It 's no use for the old man
to talk to me. I 'm not going to open an office and
stick up my name, to be reduced in public estima-
tion to a mere pettifogging lawyer."
" But would n't it be policy for you to do so T*
" How !"
" To make fair weather with old Martin."
" How would my opening an office make fair
weather with him ?-"
" He is a merchant T'
"And by industry and enterprise has quad-
rapled the fortune left him by his father."
" So I have heard it said."
"From persevering in industrious habits him-
self, he has, doubtless, come to have a high esti-
mation of industry in others."
" There may be something in that."
" Naturally, then, he would be inclined to think
favorably of a young man, pursuing, with appa-
rent industry, some business or profession, while
he would look unfavorably upon one whom he
would call a mere idler."
" I see the force of- what you say ; and wonder
that the idea never presented itself to my mind.
But do n't you think the fact of my being known
as only a young lawyer, would lessen my estima-
tion in the eyes of Belli"
"I do n't know. Perhaps it might."
" I fear so. She 's a young romantic thing, and
the idea of a common workie for all these law-
yers and merchants, and the like, are as much
SPRIGS OF AMERICAN ARISTOCRACY. 7
workies as mere mechanics might give her a
prejudice against me."
" There is force in that view."
" And suppose some foreign earl, or count were
to come along and take a notion to her what
chance would a mere lawyer have 7 None at all.
O, no ! I must still keep up the gentleman, until
I 've got her hooked, and then for scheming it over
the old codger, her father !"
"I believe you are right, Harry But come,
let 's have a drink, and then for a ride out to
The two young sprigs of American aristocracy
then turned to the bar, and each a took a strong
glass of brandy punch, preparatory to their ride
into the country. Fifteen minutes afterward they
were dashing up Chesnut street behind a pair of
beautiful horses, owned by the friend of Harry,
or Henry Ware, with feelings of contempt for the
spiritless pedestrians who plodded along the side-
The reader needs no further description of their
characters, than what they have themselves given,
to be able to appreciate them fully. Both were
sons of wealthy merchants, wrongly educated.
The systematic labor by which their parents had
risen into wealth and station in society, they des-
pised as something degrading. Idle pleasure
seemed to them the only worthy object of pur-
suit. Every thing else was beneath the station
and dignity of true gentlemen. Spendthrifts
the Mberal supplies of money furnished them with
a false liberality by their fathers, were altogether
insufficient to meet their growing and extrava-
gant wants. Hence, the means of obtaining
more inexhaustible and independent supplies,
soon formed part of their thoughts. They had
become men, and, as men, were annoyed by
8 BELL MARTIN.
what they esteemed the niggardly parental offer-
ings. To such, marriage presents the only way
to obtain the large amount of money called for by
extravagant habits and unsatisfied desires. And
to thoughts of marriage the'ir minds, especially
that of Henry Ware, turned ; and he was about
entering, as has been seen, with no small degree
of tact and earnestness, upon the business he had
laid out as necessary to be done; it is said,
necessary to be done, for only in a business light
did young Ware view the matter. If he had
been in possession of as much money as he
wanted, he would have thought of a wife about the
last thing. With such an encumbrance, he would
have been very far from burdening himself.
LOVE'S YOUNG DREAM.
" How does that look, Fanny 7" asked Bell Mar-
tin, turning her happy face toward her sister, and
directing attention to a beautiful head dress that a
modest-looking plainly attired girl, about her own
age, had been arranging for her.
" Very pretty indeed, sister ; Mary is always
tasty in her devices and arrangements."
" Is n't she 1 We must try and find you a nice
Mary smiled quietly, but made no reply. Her
station did not permit her to return jests, and
knowing this, she never attempted to do so. But
still, she had her own thoughts, as well as they."
" I think that white rose is a little toa much con*
LOVE'S YOUNG DREAM. 9
cealed, Mary, do n't you 7" remarked Bell, after
having surveyed herself for some time in the
" Perhaps it is," replied Mary, lifting her hand
to re-adjust the flower.
" But stop, Mary," interposed the light-hearted
girl, taking hold of her hand before she had
touched the rose. " That ' perhaps' was rather
coldly said. You do n't really think the flower
too much hid now do you r '
" No, I do not, or else I would have brought it
" Then I won't have it touched, for I never
opposed my taste to yours yet, that you were not
in the right," Bell replied, laughing.
" You are very particular this evening, sister,"
" Am 1 7 Well I have my reason for it."
" Ah ! What is it 1"
" I 'm going to captivate young Harry Ware."
" Indeed !"
"Yes. I intend carrying the citadel of his
heart by storm."
" Take care that you do not lose ycur own in
" Oh, never fear but that I '11 keep fast hold of
mine, at least till I see something to gain by a
" Harry is certainly a very captivating young
man. Do n't you think so, Mary 7"
Directly appealed to, although in a laughing
mood, Mary replied with the frankness of a sin-
" I have not had an opportunity of observing
him very closely; but the little I have seen of
him has not prepossessed me a great deal in his
" Has n't it, indeed ! Miss Demure 7"
10 BELL MARTIN.
" It has not, Bell ; but no doubt I can judge a
flower for a young lady of your position in
society, much better than I can a lover."
" Perhaps so. But why do n't you like Harry
Ware, Mary T'
" Did I say that I did not like him r
" Xo. But you said you were not prepossessed
in his favor T'
" That is true."
"Then why are you not prepossessed in his
" I am sure I do n't know. But I feel as if I
should' n't like to see you the wife of Mr. Ware."
The voice of the maiden trembled slightly as
she said this, and her tones had in them some-
thing of tenderness ; for she loved Bell Martin and
her sister although standing to them only in the
relation of one that served almost as purely as
if they were of her own kindred.
"His wife, Mary! How strangely you talk!
No one said any thing about becoming his wife.
O, dear ! That 's another matter, altogether."
" It 's the next thing that follows the winning
and losing of hearts, though, I believe," replied
Mary, the color on her cheek deepening.
"Is it, Mary 1" Bless me! how the "girl talks,
And see how she is blushing, Fanny ! As I live,
now I come to think of it, I do believe she has lost
her heart already. I thouglit Mr. Lane, Pa's head
clerk, came here pretty often of late."
This speech had the effect to make poor Mary's
face as red as scarlet.
" There ! See that ! See that, Fanny ! Just
look at her face ! ' Now, who would have sus-
pected our modest, quiet Mary T
" The next thin that fallows the losing and
winning of hearts, is marriage, I believe, ain't it,
Mary 1" said Fanny, with mock seriousness.
LOVE'S YOUNG DREAM. 11
" O, of course it is. How soon is the wedding
to take place ] It shall be in this very house, for
you are a good girl, Mary, and we all love you,"
Bell added, half laughing, half serious.
The momentary confusion that this unexpected
sally wrought in the mind of Mary, soon subsided,
and she said, in her quiet way
" You have anticipated what I should have told
" So it 's all true, Mary !" ejaculated Bell, almost
springing upon the floor with delight. Then turn-
ing quickly, and grasping the hand of the young
girl, she said, in a serious voice
" None will rejoice more than Fanny and my-
self at your good fortune, Mary. Mr. Lane I have
always heard spoken of by Pa in the highest
terms, and I am sure he will make you a good
husband. But we shall be very sorry to lose you.
Indeed, I do not know what we will do when you
" You can still feel kindly toward me. I ask
but that return for the deep interest my heart
does, and always must take in you," Mary said,
looking up into the face of the sisters, her eyes
ready to gush with tears. " We have been
together as little children, sharing each other's
pleasures. The same tender care that was over
you has been over me. And notwithstanding, as
we sprung up toward womanhood, our relations
to each other became necessarily changed, I have
not loved you less. Forgive me for saying, that
I have loved you as sisters I could not help it."
The tears, that had trembled beneath her dark
lashes now rolled over the maiden's cheek.
" We will love you as a sister," was the instant
response of the affectionate Bell, drawing her arm
around the waist of Mary. Our stations in life
are different. We cannot mingle in society
12 BELL MARTIN.
together. But that need not that cannot disturb
the sisterly regard we rnust feel for you. You
are worthy of it all, Mary."
A deep silence followed a silence in which
tender emotions were welling up from each gen-
tle and affectionate bosom. As they had never
felt it before, did Bell and Fanny feel the delight
of being loved fervently by a pure and honest
heart even though it beat in the bosom of one
all unknown to, and all unappreciated by, the
" But come, Bell," said Fanny, breaking in upon
that deep pause, " time passes."
" So it does. But I will soon be ready. Here,
Mary, arrange this scarf for me, if you please.
There, that will do. And now do n't you think I
look charming ?"
" Very; only a little pardon me overdressed."
" That 's according to your taste, Mary."
( Of course. My taste inclines to the simple."
" It 's a very pure taste, T know, but hardly gives
attractions enough for one in my station. Young
ladies who move in our circle, you know, dress
with a rich display, sometimes."
" I know they do. But they hide, it seems to
me, instead of bringing out their loveliness."
" Perhaps they do. Still, to quote a homely
adage ' Fine feathers make fine birds.' "
Mary shook her head, and smiled a reproof, as
" It 's no use for me to argue with you, Bell, for
while you give up your point, virtually, in argu-
ment, you stick to it in practice."
"No, Mary, I 'do n't think it is. I can admire
the beauty of simplicity in others you for in-
stance but like a little finery for myself. But
hark ! there 's the bell. Our company are begin-
LOVE 1 S YOUNG DREAM. 13
ning to come, and we must be down to receive
Among the first who came, were Henry Ware
and his two sisters, with whom Bell and Fanny
were on terms of intimacy. The young man, as
has been seen, had resolved on making a con-
quest; he, therefore, had dressed himself with
studied care, so as to bring out into good effect
his really attractive person.
There was something in the tone of his voice
and the expression of his face, when he saluted
Bell, already prepossessed in his favor, that made
her heart quicken its pulsations, and send the
blood in warmer currents to her cheek. Henry
Ware did not fail to observe the slight glow that
mantled her young and innocent face, nor the
pleasure that sparkled in her eye. They strength-
ened his hope of success.
" She is mine, in spite of the d 1 !" was the
elegant and manly expression of his thoughts,
whispered to himself, as he turned from her to
address her sister.
Whenever, without attracting particular obser-
vation, he could get by her side during the even-
ing, he was sure to be' there ; and all his conver-
sation was skilfully managed, so as to excite in
her mind tender emotions.
Attached to Mr. Martin's elegant residence was
a large garden, richly adorned with plants of the
rarest kinds. It was laid off in beautifully ar-
ranged walks, with arbors and alcoves, statuary
and every tasteful device that could please the
eye. Always, during an evening entertainment
in pleasant weather, it was brilliantly illuminated
with variegated lamps, ingeniously arranged into
elegant and striking figures.
Into this a portion of the company might always
be found, strolling about, thus dividing the allure-
14 BELL MARTIN.
ments of the social circle with the calmer and
more elevating delights of nature.
" Come, Bell, suppose we take a little walk in
the garden ; the air of these rooms is becoming
oppressive," said Ware to the gentle girl who
leaned upon his arm. " We have danced and
sung, and mingled pleasantly in the gay circle
here for some two hours. A change to the quiet
scene without will be very pleasant."
" It certainly will," replied Bell, making an in-
voluntary movement toward the door.
The two then retired from the "brilliantly lighted
saloon and gay company, and entered the garden.
The air was mild, and balmy from the perfume
rising from a thousand odoriferous flowers. The
moon and stars looked down from a sky of unu-
sual brilliancy, and shed their soft light, like a veil
of silver over all things.
"Beautiful! beautiful!" ejaculated Bell, as she
perceived and felt the loveliness of the scene.
" It is, indeed, very beautiful !" replied her com-
panion, uttering a sentiment he scarcely felt. His
mind was too selfishly interested in securing the
affections of the maiden, to care any thing about
a lovely moonlight scene, except so far as it might
tend to aid in the accomplishment of his purpose.
He could, therefore, perceive the beauty of ex-
ternal nature, but not feel it.
Slowly, they took their way down one of the
most retired alleys of the garden. Bell, whose
feelings the scene around had almost instantly
softened into tenderness, leaned with an air of
affectionate confidence upon the arm of Ware,
and listened to his artful and insinuating words,
that, while they spoke not of his own thoughts
and feelings, were fraught with just the senti-
ments calculated to awaken the heart of one so
LOVE'S YOUNG DREAM. 15
young and by nature so affectionate as the inno-
cent maiden by his side.
" Let us rest here for awhile, and enjoy the calm
delight of this lovely season," the young man
said, after having strayed through the garden for
some ten or fifteen minutes, pausing as he did so,
before an arbor thickly shaded by a vine, upon
which the yet unripe clusters hung in luxuriant
"How much I enjoy a scene like this," he re-
marked, after they were seated, thus alone. " It
has in it something so purifying and elevating to
the spirit. Something that lifts us above the base
ideas and grovelling affections of this sordid
world. It is under the influence of an hour like
this that we feel ourselves to be immortal."
" Do you remember L. E. L.'s lines ' On a
Star?' " asked Bell, after a brief silence.
" I do not."
"That brilliant star, yonder, has recalled the
touching effusion to my mind."
" Can you repeat the lines to which you allude 1"
" yes. For I have thought of them hundreds
" Then recite them, Bell."
The maiden complied, and recited, in a low
voice, full of pathos, the following lines :
" Beautiful star, that art wandering through
The midnight ocean's waves of blue !
I have watched since thy first pale ray
Rose on the farewell of summer's day.
From thy first sweet shine in the twilight hour,
To thy present blaze of beauty and power !
Would I could read my destiny,
Lovely and glorious star, in thee!
Yet why should I wish ? I know too well
What thy tablet of light would tell!
What, O, what, could I read there
But the depths of love's despair,
16 BELL MARTIN.
Blighted feelings, like leaves that fall
The first from April's coronal,
Hopes, like meteors, that shine and depart
An early grave and a broken heart!"
" A beautiful beginning but a sad ending, Bell.
Why should such poetry be a favorite with you 1
But that brilliant star, overhead, if the star of thy
destiny, would reveal a brighter page."
"I hope so. Still, I have always loved those
lines, and have repeated them over, almost invol-
untarily, a hundred times, until my feelings have
become imbued with their sadness. Heaven
grant that they be not prophetic of wrecked hopes
and a broken heart for me."
Bell spoke with emotion for, suddenly, there
came over her heart a chilling fear, that seemed
like a prophetic warning.
"How strange that you should speak thus!"
said her companion, in surprise. " You, than
whom no one has a brighter prospect; you,
every footstep of whose way has, thus far, been
" It is strange that I should feel thus. But it is
only when I repeat those verses, that there falls
upon my heart a shadow."
" Then I would never repeat them again ; for
they mock you with idle fears."
" I believe they do," replied Bell, rallying her-
self with an effort.
" How exquisitely falls that music upon the ear,
softened by distance," remarked Ware, after
another pause. " It comes like the swelling and
subsiding tones of the wind-touched ^Eolian."
" Music never came to me with such sweet-
ness before," said the maiden, in innocence and
simplicity. " It seems as if I could listen to it for-
LOVE'S YOUNG DREAM. 17
"I feel the same subdued and tender impres-
sions," replied the young man, in a low, soft tone.
" But come," he added, after a brief silence,
" we will be missed."
" True true ! I had forgotten, under the sweet
influence of the hour, that others are to be thought
of and regarded."
The two then returned, slowly, arm in arm
entered the house, and rejoined the gay groups
It was past two o'clock when the last visiter de-
parted. Mary, who had superintended the arrange-
ments of the party, after all were gone and a few
directions had been given to the servants, went
up to the room of Bell and Fanny to assist in un-
dressing them. She found the former seated by
a window in a musing attitude, looking out upon
the brilliant sky.
*' Come, Mary, you must attend to me first, for
Bell is away up among the stars, and won't be
down again for half an hour."
Mary smiled at this pleasant sally, but Bell did
not seem to hear it.
" There, Mary, you can go to star-gazing with
Bell if you choose, I 'm going to court a few
pleasant dreams!" she added, in a little while,
springing lightly into bed. In a few minutes she
was fast asleep.
Mary turned, and stood looking for some mo-
ments at Bell, who was still lost in deep abstrac-
tion. Then going up to her, she laid her hand
gently on her arm, and said
" Shall I assist you to undress 1"
" If you please, Mary," replied Bell, looking up
with a deep sigh, and then submitting to Mary's
hands in silence. Her rich attire was soon
changed for garments of snowy whiteness, and in
these she again took her place by the window,
18 BELL MARTIN.
and lifted her young face once more to the sky
that was sparkling in beauty and brightness.
As Mary turned to leave the chamber, she felt
a strong reluctance to do so. For a few moments
she hesitated, and then going back, she said in a
" You do not seem like yourself to-night, Bell."
The maiden roused herself again at this, and
after looking into Mary's face for an instant or
" Come, and sit down here, Mary."
Mary complied in silence.
"I am not myself to-night. In that you say
truly. But what ails me I cannot tell. I have
never felt the influence of a scene like this as I do
now. It seems as if I could sit and gaze forever
upon the sky and its myriads of beautiful stars.
Let me repeat to you some verses of that exquisite