Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr.

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MAY. A. D. 1836.









"The changing guests, each in a different mood,
Sit at the road-side table and arise:
And every life among them in likewise
Is a soul's board set daily with new food.

"May not this ancient room thou sitt'st in dwell
In separate living souls for joy or pain?
Nay, all its corners may be painted plain
Where Heaven shows pictures of some life well-spent."

Yorkshire is the epitome of England. Whatever is excellent in the
whole land is found there. The men are sturdy, shrewd, and stalwart;
hard-headed and hard-fisted, and have notably done their work in every
era of English history. They are also a handsome race, the finest
specimens extant of the pure Anglo-Saxon, and they still preserve the
imposing stature and the bright blonde characteristics of the race.

Yorkshire abounds in what is the typical English home - fine old halls
and granges, set in wooded parks, and surrounded by sweet, shady
gardens. One of the fairest of these homes is Hallam-Croft. There may
be larger halls in the West Riding, but none that combines so finely
all the charms of antiquity, with every modern grace and comfort. Its
walls are of gray stone, covered with ivy, or crusted with golden
lichens; its front, long and low, is picturesquely diversified with
oriel windows, gable ends, and shadowy angles. Behind is a steep,
craggy range of woody hills; in front, a terraced garden of great
extent; full of old-fashioned bowers, and labyrinth-like walks, and
sloping down to a noble park, whose oaks and beeches are of wonderful
beauty, and whose turf is soft as velvet and greener than any artist
ever dreamed of.

Fifty years ago the owner of this lovely spot was Squire Henry Hallam.
He was about sixty years of age, stout and fair and dressed in fine
drab broad-cloth, with a white vest, and a white cambric kerchief tied
loosely round his neck. His hat, drab also, was low-crowned and
broad-brimmed, and, as a general rule, he kept it on. In the holy
precincts of a church, or if the national anthem was played, he indeed
always bared his head; but, in the first case, it was his expression
of a religious sentiment, in the second he saluted his country, and,
in a measure, himself.

One evening in the early spring he was sitting upon a low sofa in the
room that was specially his own, mending some fishing tackle. A couple
of setter puppies were worrying each other on the sofa beside him,
and a splendid fox-hound leaned her muzzle on one of his broad knees,
and looked up into her master's face with sad reproachful eyes. She
was evidently jealous, and watching anxiously for some look or word
of favor. She had not long to wait. The puppies became troublesome;
he chided them, and put the bit of leather they were quarreling about
in his pocket. Then he patted the hound, and said: "There's a deal
o' difference between them and thee, Fanny, and it's a' in thy favor,
lass;" and Fanny understood the compliment, for she whimpered happily,
and thrust her handsome head up against her master's breast.

At that moment his daughter, Elizabeth, entered the room. She had an
open letter in her hand, and a look half-perplexed and half-pleased
upon her face. "Father," she said, "there is a letter from America;
Richard and Phyllis are coming; and I am afraid I shall not know how
to make them happy."

"Don't thee meet troubles half 'way; they arn't worth th' compliment.
What is ta feared for, dearie?"

"Their life is so different from ours - and, father, I do believe they
are Methodists."

The squire fastened the bit of gaudy feather to the trout "fly" he
was making, before he answered. "Surely to goodness, they'll nivver
be that! Sibbald Hallam, my uncle, was a varry thick Churchman when
he went to th' Carolinas - but he married a foreigner; she had plenty
o' brass, and acres o' land, but I never heard tell owt o' her religion.
They had four lads and lasses, but only one o' them lived to wed, and
that was my cousin, Matilda Hallam - t' mother o' these two youngsters
that are speaking o' coming here."

"Who did she marry, father?"

"Nay, I knowt o' th' man she married. He was a Colonel Fontaine. I
was thinking a deal more o' my own wedding than o' hers at that time.
It's like enough he were a Methodist. T' Carolinas hed rebelled against
English government, and it's nobbut reasonable to suppose t' English
Church would be as little to their liking. But they're Hallams,
whativer else they be, Elizabeth, and t' best I hev is for them."

He had risen as he spoke; the puppies were barking and gamboling at
his feet, and Fanny watching his face with dignified eagerness. They
knew he was going to walk, and were asking to go with him. "Be still
wi' you, Rattle and Tory! - Yes, yes, Fanny! - and Elizabeth, open up
t' varry best rooms, and give them a right hearty welcome. Where's

"Somewhere in the house."

"Hedn't ta better ask him what to do? He knows ivery thing."

There was a touch of sarcasm in the voice, but Elizabeth was too much
occupied to notice it; and as the squire and his dogs took the road
to the park, she turned, with the letter still open in her hand, and
went thoughtfully from room to room, seeking her brother. There was
no deeper motive in her thought than what was apparent; her cares were
simply those of hospitality. But when a life has been bounded by
household hopes and anxieties, they assume an undue importance, and
since her mother's death, two years previously, there had been no
company at Hallam. This was to be Elizabeth's first effort of active

She found Antony in the library reading "The Gentleman's Magazine,"
or, perhaps, using it for a sedative; for he was either half asleep,
or lost in thought. He moved a little petulantly when his sister spoke.
One saw at a glance that he had inherited his father's fine physique
and presence, but not his father's calm, clear nature. His eyes were
restless, his expression preoccupied, his manner haughty. Neither was
his voice quite pleasant. There are human instruments, which always
seem to have a false note, and Antony's had this peculiarity.

"Antony, I have a letter from Richard and Phyllis Fontaine. They are
going to visit us this summer."

"I am delighted. Life is dreadfully dull here, with nothing to do."

"Come to the parlor, and I will give you a cup of tea, and read you
cousin Phyllis's letter."

The squire had never thought of asking Elizabeth why she supposed her
cousins to be Methodists. Antony seized at once upon the point in the
letter which regarded it.

"They are sailing with Bishop Elliott, and will remain until September,
in order to allow the Bishop to attend Conference; what does that mean,

"I suppose it means they are Methodists."

The young man was silent a moment, and then he replied, emphatically,
"I am very glad of it."

"How can you say so, Antony? And there is the rector, and the
Elthams - "

"I was thinking of the Hallams. After a thousand years of stagnation
one ought to welcome a ripple of life. A Methodist isn't asleep. I
have often felt inclined to drop into their chapel as I passed it.
I wonder how it would feel to be awake soul and body at once!"

"Antony, you ought not to talk so recklessly. Some people might imagine
you meant what you said. You know very well that the thousand years
of 'stagnation,' as you call it, of the Hallams, is a most respectable

"Very respectable indeed! That is all women think about - born
conservatives every one of them - 'dyed in the wool,' as a Bradford
man would say."

"Why do you quote what Bradford men say? I cannot imagine what makes
you go among a crowd of weavers, when you might be at Eltham Castle
with gentlemen."

"I will tell you why. At Eltham we yawn and stagnate together. The
weavers prick and pinch me in a thousand places. They make me dream
of living."

"Drink your tea, Antony and don't be foolish."

He shrugged his shoulders and laughed. Upon the whole, he rather liked
the look of astonishment in his sister's gray eyes, and the air of
puzzled disapproval in her manner. He regarded ignorance on a great
many matters as the natural and admirable condition of womanhood.

"It is very good tea, Elizabeth, and I like this American news. I shall
not go to the Tyrol now. Two new specimens of humanity to study are
better than glaciers."

"Antony, do remember that you are speaking of your own cousins - 'two
new specimens of humanity' - they are Hallams at the root."

"I meant no disrespect; but I am naturally a little excited at the
idea of American Hallams - Americans in Hallam-Croft! I only hope the
shades of Hengist and Horsa wont haunt the old rooms out of simple
curiosity. When are they to be here?"

"They will be in Liverpool about the end of May. You have two weeks
to prepare yourself, Antony."

Antony did not reply, but just what kind of a young lady his cousin
Phyllis Fontaine might be he had no idea. People could not in those
days buy their pictures by the dozen, and distribute them, so that
Antony's imagination, in this direction, had the field entirely to
itself. His fancy painted her in many charming forms, and yet he was
never able to invest her with any other distinguishing traits than
those with which he was familiar - the brilliant blonde beauty and
resplendent health of his countrywomen.

Therefore, when the real Phyllis Fontaine met his vision she was a
revelation to him. It was in the afternoon of the last day of May,
and Hallam seemed to have put on a more radiant beauty for the
occasion. The sun was so bright, the park so green, the garden so
sweet and balmy. Heart's-ease were every-where, honeysuckles filled
the air, and in the wood behind, the blackbirds whistled, and the
chaffinches and tomtits kept up a merry, musical chattering. The
squire, with his son and daughter, was waiting at the great open door
of the main entrance for his visitors, and as the carriage stopped he
cried out, cheerily, "Welcome to Hallam!" Then there was a few minutes
of pleasant confusion, and in them Phyllis had made a distinct picture
on every mind.

"She's a dainty little woman," said the squire to himself, as he sat
calmly smoking his pipe after the bustle of the arrival was over; "not
much like a Hallam, but t' eye as isn't charmed wi' her 'ell hev no
white in it, that's a' about it."

Antony was much interested, and soon sought his sister.

"If that is Cousin Phyllis, she is beautiful. Don't you think so,

"Yes; how perfectly she was dressed."

"That is a woman's criticism. Did you see her soft, dark eyes, her
small bow-shaped mouth - a beauty one rarely finds in English women - her
exquisite complexion, her little feet?"

"That is a man's criticism. How could you see all that in a moment
or two of such confusion?"

"Easily; how was she dressed?"

"In a plain dress of gray cloth. The fit was perfect, the linen collar
and cuffs spotless, the gray bonnet, with its drooping, gray feather
bewitching. She wore gray gloves and a traveling cloak of the same
color, which hung like a princess's mantle."

"How could you see all that in a moment or two of such confusion?"

"Do not be too clever, Antony. You forget I went with her to her

"Did you notice Richard?"

"A little; he resembles his sister. Their foreign look as they stood
beside you and father was very remarkable. Neither of them are like

"I am so glad of it; a new element coming into life is like a fresh
wind 'blowing through breathless woods.'"

But Elizabeth sighed. This dissatisfaction with the old, and craving
for the new, was one of the points upon which Antony and his father
were unable to understand each other. Nothing permanent pleased Antony,
and no one could ever predicate of him what course he would pursue,
or what side he would take. As a general rule, however, he preferred
the opposition in all things. Now, the squire's principles and opinions
were as clear to his own mind as his own existence was. He believed
firmly in his Bible, in the English Constitution, and in himself. He
admitted no faults in the first two; his own shortcomings toward Heaven
he willingly acknowledged; but he regarded his attitude toward his
fellow-man as without fault. All his motives and actions proceeded
from well-understood truths, and they moved in consistent and admirable

Antony had fallen upon different times, and been brought under more
uncertain influences. Oxford, "the most loyal," had been in a religious
ferment during his stay there. The spirit of Pusey and Newman was
shaking the Church of England like a great wind; and though Antony
had been but little touched by the spiritual aspect of the movement,
the temporal accusations of corruption and desertion of duty were good
lances to tilt against the Church with. It gave him a curiously mixed
pleasure to provoke the squire to do battle for her; partly from
contradiction, partly that he might show off his array of second-hand
learning and logic; and partly, also, for the delight of asserting
his own opinions and his own individuality.

Any other dispute the squire would have settled by a positive
assertion, or a positive denial; but even the most dogmatic of men
are a little conscientious about religious scruples. He had, therefore,
allowed his son to discuss "the Church" with him, but in some subtle
way the older man divined that his ideas were conviction; while
Antony's were only drifting thoughts. Therefore, the moral strength
of the argument was with him, and he had a kind of contempt for a
Hallam who could be moved by every Will-o'-the-wisp of religious or
Political opinions.

But Elizabeth was greatly impressed by her brother's accomplishments,
and she loved him, and believed in him with all her heart. The Hallams
hitherto had no reputation for mental ability. In times of need England
had found them good soldiers and ready givers; but poets and scholars
they had never been. Antony affected the latter character. He spoke
several languages, he read science and German philosophy, and he talked
such radical politics to the old gardener, that the man privately
declared himself "fair cap't wi' t' young squire."

Yet after all, his dominant passion was a love of power, and of money
as the means by which to grasp power. Below all his speculations and
affectations this was the underlying thought. True, he was heir of
Hallam, and as the heir had an allowance quite equal to his position.
But he constantly reflected that his father might live many years,
and that in the probable order of things he must wait until he was
a middle-aged man for his inheritance; and for a young man who felt
himself quite competent to turn the axle of the universe, it seemed
a contemptible lot to grind in his own little mill at Hallam. He had
not as yet voiced these thoughts, but they lay in his heart, and
communicated unknown to himself an atmosphere of unrest and
unreliability to all his words and actions.

It was soon evident that there would be little sympathy between Richard
and Antony. Richard Fontaine was calm, dignified, reticent; never
tempted to give his confidence to any one; and averse to receive the
confidences of others; therefore, though he listened with polite
attention to Antony's aspirations and aims, they made very little
impression upon him. Both he and Phyllis glided without effort into
the life which must have been so new to them; and in less than a week,
Hallam had settled happily down to its fresh conditions. But nothing
had been just as Antony expected. Phyllis was very lovely, but not
lovely specially for him, which was disappointing; and he could not
help soon seeing that, though Richard was attentive, he was also

There is one charming thing about English hospitality, it leaves its
guests perfect freedom. In a very few days Phyllis found this out;
and she wandered, unnoticed and undisturbed, through the long
galleries, and examined, with particular interest, the upper rooms,
into which from generation to generation unwelcomed pictures and
unfashionable furniture had been placed. There was one room in the
eastern turret that attracted her specially. It contained an old
spinet, and above it the picture of a young girl; a face of
melancholy, tender beauty, with that far-off look, which the French
call _predestinee_, in the solemn eyes.

It is folly to say that furniture has no expression; the small couch,
the faded work-table, the straight chairs, with their twisted
attenuated legs, had an unspeakable air of sadness. One day she
cautiously touched the notes of the instrument. How weak and thin and
hollow they were! And yet they blended perfectly with something in
her own heart. She played till the tears were on her cheeks, it seemed
as if the sorrowful echoes had found in her soul the conditions for
their reproduction. When she went back to her own room the influence
of the one she had left followed her like a shadow.

"How can I bring one room into another?" she asked herself, and she
flung wide the large windows and let the sunshine flood the pink
chintzes and the blooming roses of her own apartment. There was a tap
at the door, and Elizabeth entered.

"I have brought you a cup of tea, Phyllis. Shall I drink mine beside

"I shall enjoy both your company and the tea. I think I have been in
an unhappy room and caught some of its spirit - the room with the old
spinet in it."

"Aunt Lucy's room. Yes, she was very unhappy. She loved, and the man
was utterly unworthy of her love! She died slowly in that room - a
wasted life."

"Ah, no, Elizabeth! No life is waste in the great Worker's hands. If
human love wounds and wrongs us, are we not circled by angels as the
stars by heaven? Our soul relatives sorrow in our sorrow; and out
of the apparent loss bring golden gain. I think she would know this
before she died."

"She died as the good die, blessing and hoping."

Elizabeth looked steadily at Phyllis. She thought she had never seen
any face so lovely. From her eyes, still dewy with tears, the holy
soul looked upward; and her lips kept the expression of the prayer
that was in her heart. She did not wonder at the words that had fallen
from them. After a moment's silence, she said:

"My mother loved Aunt Lucy very dearly. Her death made a deal of
difference in mother's life."

"Death is always a great sorrow to those who love us; but for
ourselves, it is only to bow our heads at going out, and to enter
straightway another golden chamber of the King's, lovelier than the
one we leave."

Elizabeth scarce knew how to answer. She had never been used to discuss
sacred subjects with girls her own age; in fact, she had a vague idea
that such subjects were not to be discussed out of church, or, at
least, without a clergyman to direct the conversation. And Phyllis's
childish figure, glowing face, and sublime confidence affected her
with a sense of something strange and remote. Yet the conversation
interested her greatly. People are very foolish who restrain spiritual
confidences; no topic is so universally and permanently interesting
as religious experience. Elizabeth felt its charm at once. She loved
God, but loved him, as it were, afar off; she almost feared to speak
to him. She had never dared to speak of him.

"Do you really think, Phyllis, that angels care about our earthly

"Yes, I do. Love is the rock upon which our lives are generally built
or wrecked. Elizabeth, if I did not believe that the love of God
embraced every worthy earthly love, I should be very miserable."


"Because, dear, I love, and am beloved again."

"But how shall we know if the love be worthy?"

"Once in class-meeting I asked this question. That was when I first
became aware that I loved John Millard. I am not likely to forget the
answer my leader gave me."

"What was it?"

"Sister Phyllis," he said, "ask yourself what will your love be to
you a thousand ages hence. Ask yourself if it will pass the rolling
together of the heavens like a scroll, and the melting of the elements
with fervent heat. Ask if it will pass the judgment-day, when the
secret thoughts of all hearts will be revealed. Dare to love only one
whom you can love forever."

"I have never thought of loving throughout all eternity the one whom
I love in time."

"Ah! but it is our privilege to cherish the immortal in the man we
love. Where I go I wish my beloved to go also. The thought of our love
severed on the threshold of paradise makes me weep. I cannot understand
an affection which must look forward to an irrevocable separation.
Nay, I ask more than this; I desire that my love, even there assuming
his own proper place, should be still in advance of me - my guide, my
support, my master every-where."

"If you love John Millard in this way, he and you must be very happy."

"We are, and yet what earthly light has not its shadow?"

"What is the shadow, Phyllis?"

"Richard dislikes him so bitterly; and Richard is very, very near and
dear to me. I dare say you think he is very cool and calm and quiet.
It is the restraint which he puts upon himself; really Richard has
a constant fight with a temper, which, if it should take possession
of him, would be uncontrollable. He knows that."

"You spoke as if you are a Wesleyan, yet you went to Church last
Sunday, Phyllis."

"Why not? Methodists are not bigots; and just as England is my
mother-country, Episcopacy is my mother-Church. If Episcopacy should
ever die, Elizabeth, Methodism is next of kin, and would be heir to
all her churches."

"And Wesleyans and Methodists are the same?"

"Yes; but I like the old name best. It came from the pen of the
golden-mouthed Chrysostom, so you see it has quite an apostolic halo
about it."

"I never heard that, Phyllis."

"It is hardly likely you would. It was used at first as a word of
reproach; but how many such words have been adopted and made glorious
emblems of victory. It was thus in ancient Antioch the first followers
of Christ were called 'Christians.'"

"But how came Chrysostom to find a name for John Wesley's followers?"

"Richard told me it was used first in a pamphlet against Whitefield.
I do not remember the author, but he quoted from the pages of
Chrysostom these words, 'To be a Methodist is to be beguiled.' Of
course, Chrysostom's 'Methodist' is not our Methodist. The writer knew
he was unjust and meant it for a term of reproach, but the word took
the popular fancy, and, as such words do, clung to the people at whom
it was thrown. They might have thrown it back again; they did better;
they accepted it, and have covered it with glory."

"Why, Phyllis, what a little enthusiast you are!" and Elizabeth looked
again with admiration at the small figure reclining in the deep chair
beside her.

Its rosy chintz covering threw into vivid relief the exquisite paleness
of Phyllis's complexion - that clear, warm paleness of the South - and
contrasted it with the intense blackness of her loosened hair. Her
dark, soft eyes glowed, her small hands had involuntarily clasped
themselves upon her breast. "What a little enthusiast you are!" Then
she stooped and kissed her, a most unusual demonstration, for Elizabeth
was not emotional. Her feelings were as a still lake, whose depths
were only known to those who sounded them.

The conversation was not continued. Fine souls have an instinctive
knowledge of times and seasons, and both felt that for that day the
limit of spiritual confidence had been reached. But it was Phyllis's

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