Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte Southworth.

India: the pearl of Pearl River online

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have no such events to relate.

It happened as Eosalie had predicted she met no
serious opposition to the current of her affections.
And if we look into the causes of that leniency on the
part of her guardians, we shall not find their non-
resistance so unaccountable, after all.

Left without father or mother without near rela-
tives or natural protectors, except a youthful step-
dame, now too entirely absorbed in the contemplation
of her own marriage, and an old uncle, to whom until
two years past she had been a perfect stranger, Miss
Vivian was thus not the first object of interest to any
one around her.

It is true, that when Rosalie made known her pur-
pose to Mrs. Vivian, the lady opposed the contemplated
marriage with entreaties and tears ; but finding that
entreaties and tears only distressed the maiden with-
out shaking her resolution, the young step-mother felt
neither the right nor the inclination to attempt the
arbitrary control of Miss Vivian's destiny. In yield-
ing her final consent, the sweet-lipped lady said, amid
falling tears "Oh! were he well established, Rosalie,
there is no one in the world to whom I would resign
you with so much pleasure and comfort, as to him
whom you have chosen. And well I know, and
deeply 1 feel, that even now, from this low point of
life with you by his si ic with you for an incentive


with his high moral principles and intellectual
faculties, and in this favoured country, he must rise,
he must accomplish a brilliant destiny. But 0, Eosa-
lie, my child, in the meanwhile, I dread for you those
toilsome, terrible first steps on the road to success ! O
Eosalie, pause ! How much wiser to wait until he has
conquered success !"

" And share his triumphs when I would not share
his toils? No! no! no!"

"It would be so much safer, Eosalie 1"

" And so much more prudent to allow him, in those
moments of depression and despondency that must
come, to think that it is only the successful statesman
or jurist whose fortunes I would share, not those of
the toiling aspirant ! To turn a second India on his
hands, and so forever and forever break down his
faith in womanhood, in disinterestedness, and in truth !
No ! no ! no ! and a thousand times no ! I have the
blessed privilege of healing the heart that India
wounded, of lifting up the brow that she bowed down,
of strengthening and sustaining the faith that she

" If you should be a burden to him ?"

" I will never be a burden to him ! Providence will
never so fail me. Mine is no sudden girlish fancy. It
is a deep, earnest affection, arising from the profoundest
sentiments of esteem and honour that ever woman felt
for man and the Father who inspired it will bless it.
HE who in his benignant love said, ' It is not good for
man to be alone,' will strengthen me to be a true
help-meet for my husband."

" Eosalie ! be practical, child !"

" Be faithful first, aiid practical afterwards."


" Eosalie, you don't know what you brave ! Fancy
yourself and Mark now married, and housekeeping
(forsooth !) in some wretched log- cabin or some lath-
and-plaster shell of a shanty, in some new Western
village. Fancy yourselves both down with that curse
of new settlements, the ague, and each unable to help
the other, and no one to give you a cup of tea, and
perhaps with no tea in the house."

" That is a plain statement of a very dismal contin-
gency, dear mamma. Yet I have no doubt that we
should shiver and shake safely through it, as others
have done. Yet it is not fair or wise to contemplate
the worst possibility only. The Western pioneers are
not always laid up with the ague and without tea 1" said
Rosalie, with a sparkle of fan in her eyes.

But in a moment after, the young girl's face grew
serious, and she said, in a tremulous voice, " And
besides, dear mamma, the very bugbears that you
have evoked to frighten me from my journey only
draw me on to go. Oh, do you think, mamma, that
I could bear to stay here in safety, ease, and luxury,
and know that he was far away, exposed to all the
dangers, hardships, and privations of a pioneer life ?"

" Nonsense ! Danger is the natural element of man !
to seek it is the nature of the creature!"

"Yes, mamma; but illness, fever, burning thirst,
solitude, and helplessness, is not. And, if I thought that
Mark were suffering all these things in some wretched
Western cabin, and I not near to bathe his head and
give him a cup of cold water, and to nurse and com-
fort and soothe him, but separated from him by thou-
sands of miles of mountains and plains, I tell you,
mamma, it would nearly break my heart ! It is no


use ! I must go with him, to meet whatever of good or
ill Fate has in store. It can have nothing else so evil
as a separation ! Oh ! I feel as if the worst calamity
that could possibly befall me, would be a separation
from him."

"Foolish girl! You love that broad-shouldered,
robust man, as tenderly as a mother loves her babe !"

" I love him with a tenderness and sympathy that
makes me tremblingly alive to his least ^sorrow or,
lightest pain ; and yet mark you, mamma, with an
esteem, with a depth of respect, with an honour that
makes me aspire to his approbation as my highest
good under Heaven !"

" Kosalie, I will not farther oppose you ! Yet, if
you only had strength to endure the hardships of a
Western life, I should feel less anxiety."

" Do not fear. I shall be able to endure, because
' my good will is to it ;' and energetic, because I shaH
have a good motive ; and healthy, because I shall be
happy because my heart will be right and at rest ;
for I say it again, because it is a great deep truth
' Out of the heart are the issues of life /' Yes, out of the
heart are the issues of will, purpose, hope, health,
strength, enterprise, achievement, SUCCESS! Out of
the heart are the issues of all the good that can come
back to us in time or eternity! on earth or in
Heaven 1"




" We foresee and could foretel
Thy future fortune sure and well ;
But those passionate ejes speak true, speak true,
And let them say what thou shall do !" Browning.

WITH Miss Vivian's uncle the difficulty was even
less in obtaining his consent to the marriage with
Mark Sutherland; and for the following reasons:
Colonel Ashley worshipped his proud, talented son,
St. Gerald; and in his estimation no interests could
compete for an instant with St. Gerald's interests.
Colonel Ashley liked Rosalie well enough, and wished
her well enough, and he was resolved to do all he
could to insure her future happiness; yet if a slight
risk of her welfare would insure the domestic peace
and content of St. Gerald, Colonel Ashley was not
one to hesitate between the conflicting interests of his
niece and son. And that the marriage and departure
of Mark Sutherland and Rosalie would tend greatly
to tranquillise the life of the already disturbed hus-
band, he could not now doubt.

It was dreadful to notice all the fatal effects of
India's want of faith it was awful to anticipate the
final result. The once haughty and self-possessed
woman was growing spiritless and nervous, subject to
extremes of excitement and depression, moody, irri-
table, and flighty to the last degree. Her glorious
beauty was tvithering, uniting, as you have seen some


richly -blooming flower wither suddenly without appa-
rent cause wither as if scorched by the burning
breath of the sirocco. And the cause was apparent to
every one around her, not excepting her bitterly-
wronged and most wretched husband to every one
around her but Rosalie, whose perfect truth and inno-
cence of heart shielded her from the suspicion of so
much evil. If it was fearful to see the ravages that
misery had made in the glorious beauty of India, it
was not less so to observe its desolating effect upon
the splendid genius of St. Gerald.

It was now a stirring time with aspiring young
statesmen. A great national crisis was at hand ; and
it behooved all prominent politicians to be up and do-
ing. St. Gerald, of all statesmen, should have been
the most active, the most energetic. The eyes of his
party were turned in anxiety towards him the eyes
of old grey heads, exhausted by a long life's service,
and reposing on their well-earned laurels, and the eyes
of young aspirants, panting to succeed to them, were
all fixed upon St. Gerald, as their hope, their leader,
and their deliverer ! A senator already, he is carried
up on the tenth wave of popular favour ! Should he
serve them well in this crisis, as he surely can if he
will, for his talent, his eloquence, his influence is
mighty among the nations; should he serve them well
this time, there is no honour, no, not the highest in
the gift of the people, to which he may not reason-
ably aspire ! St. Gerald should be busy now riding
from town to town, from county to county, from
State to State convening the people, organising
meetings, making speeches, drawing up resolutions,
and doing all those multifarious acts by which states-


men in the recess of Congress touch the secret springs
of the great political machinery, to keep it in mo-
tion, or haply to stop it altogether. St. Gerald should
be up and doing, for now is the " tide" in his affairs,
which " taken at the flood" may bear him on to for-
tune aye, ultimately to the, Presidential chair. St.
Gerald should be active, stirring for every day is
destiny ! But the young statesman is doing absolutely
nothing. He is withering in inaction, because his bride
is withering from his side.

Colonel Ashley perceives it all. And can he see
the brilliant fortunes of his proud boy thus wrecked,
if the sacrifice of Rosalie will help to avert the ruin ?
No, Eosalie! Only give yourself to Mark Suther-
land, and coax him away to "parts unknown," to
that " bourne whence no traveller returneth," if possi-
ble, and your uncle will smooth your path he will
try to persuade Clement Sutherland to forego his wrath
and hate, and yield you up your own fortune he will
give you his blessing, and as much assistance of every
kind as your independent spirit will permit you to

Colonel Ashley, in fact, gave his full consent and
approbation to the engagement of Mark Sutherland
and Eosalie Vivian. He even joined Mr. Suther-
land in persuading Rosalie to fix an early day for the
solemnization of the marriage.

And, having settled that matter to his satisfaction,
he next sought his friend, Clement Sutherland, and,
having informed him of the betrothal, entreated him
to make some provision from the bride's fortune for
the young couple, or at least to settle an annuity upon


her until she should be of age, and enter upon the
possession of her property.

But Clement Sutherland was proof against all argu-
ments and entreaties. He locked his grim jaws fast,
and would yield not a cent or a kind word. At last
Colonel Ashley left him in indignation and despair.
He did not then know that hate and revenge were not
the only reasons that constrained the guardian of
Mark Sutherland's young bride to hold a death-grip
upon her purse-strings. No one then suspected that
the money-grasping passion of the man had tempted
him into ruinous speculations and embezzlement of
the orphan's funds. "Sufficient unto the day is the
evil thereof;" therefore, let them not dream it yet!__

A week after this betrothal, Mr. Lauderdale arrived,
to fulfil his engagement with the " sparkling" young
widow. He was received with the utmost pleasure by
his old friends and acquaintances, and welcomed with
cordial hospitality by Colonel Ashley.

The next week witnessed two bridals. Mr. Lauder-
dale and Mrs. Vivian were married at Ashley Hall,
by the pastor of the parish ; and at the same time and
place, by the same minister, Mark Sutherland and
Eosalie Vivian were united in that bond that only
death can sever.

The next day there were two departures : Mr. and
Mrs. Lauderdale bade an affectionate adieu to their
friends, and set out for their palace home in the South ;
and Mark Sutherland, and Eosalie, his wife, departed
for their log cabin in the West.




" If any two creatures grew into one,
They shall do more than the world has done j
Tho' each apart were never so weak,
Yt vainly thro' the world would you seek
For the knowledge and the might
Which, in such union, grew their right." Browning.

"ROSALIE, my own blessed wife, you spoke the
truth, or, rather, you applied it fitly 'out of the
heart are the issues of life I' I feel and recognize it
now. It is with far different emotions that I tread
this deck, that bears us on to the great West, to those
which oppressed and discouraged my soul two years
ago. Then, dearest, I went forth alone, unloved, un-
loving ; now your form hangs upon my arm, not an
incumbrance, but a source of strength and joy. But,
O Rosalie, how is it how will it be with you ? Can
you love the wild West as you love your own sunny

" ' Westward the star of empire wends its way.'
Who can look upon the shores of this great river, and
note the many thriving new villages, without joyfully
perceiving that ? The South is a beautiful, a luxuriant
region, where, 'lapped in Elysium,' you may dream
your soul away; but the West is a magnificently
vigorous land, whose clarion voice summons you to
action. The South might be illustrated by a beautiful
epicurienne, like India the West only by a vigorous
young Titan, like"



"Mark Sutherland!" answered Eosalie, with her
eyes sparkling with delight.

They were standing upon the hurricane deck of the
steamer Indian Queen, which was puffing and blowing
its rapid course down the Ohio river. She was lean-
ing on the arm of her husband ; their heads were bare,
the better to enjoy the freshness of the morning air ;
her eyes were sparkling, and her cheeks glowing with
animation, and her sunny ringlets, blown back, floated
on the breeze.

From their elevated site they commanded a view
of both shores of the river, and turned their eyes
alternately from the north to the south side.

" Does my dear Eosalie perceive any very remark-
able difference in the aspect of these opposite shores ?"
asked Mark, bending his serious gaze upon her.

" Yes ! I notice that one shore is thickly studded
with thriving villages and flourishing fields, while the
other is a comparative wilderness, with here and there
a plantation house, and at long intervals a stunted
town. What can be the reason of this ?"

" Have you not already surmised the reason?"

The thoughtful eyes of Eosalie roved slowly over
the scene, and then raised and fixed their earnest gaze
upon her husband's face, and she said

"It is so. There is only one set of persons in the
civilized world who are more unhappy than the

" And they are"

" Their masters."

" Yes, Eosalie ; and it is from among their number


that the first great successful reformer of the great
evil must arise !"

" Why do you think so, Mark ?"

" From Jittiess : we are unwilling to be taught our
duty by an antagonist who reasons in partial igno-
rance of the facts, judges harshly and unjustly, and
speaks not the truth in love so often as falsehood in
hatred; and from analogy: all great successful re-
formers that the world has ever known, have arisen
not from the outside, but from the very midst of the
evil to be reformed. Martin Luther sprang, not from
among the Illuminati, but from the bosom of the
Roman Catholic Church and priesthood. Nay, Christ
himself came not in clouds of glory, clothed with the
majesty of Godhead from Heaven he arose from the
midst of the people whom he came to redeem. So,
Eosalie, the apostle of liberty must arise in the

She had listened to his words with loving and
reverent attention, and now she fixed her gaze upon
his eyes, and said, with penetrating earnestness

" Mark Sutherland' Thou art the manT "

His very soul thrilled to her inspiring words and
glance. He walked hastily from her side in agitation,
but, soon returning, said

" Nay, Koaalie, nay ; this mission is not for me. I
hear no voice from heaven calling me to the work I"

"Have you listened? The voice of God speaks not
often in thunder from Heaven. It is a ' still, small
voice,' breathed from the depths of your spirit. ' The
word of God is within you.' "

He pressed his hand to his brow, throwing back the


dark hair that fell in waves around it. He was still
agitated, excited.

"You trouble my soul even as the descending
angel troubled the pool of Bethesda, Eosalie!" he

" Only to arouse its powers," she answered, carry-
ing out the simile. While speaking, she anxiously
sought his eyes, which at last met hers in a loving
gaze, and then she continued, " You have consecrated
your mission as only such a mission can be consecrated,
by a great sacrifice at its commencement can you
pause now ?"

" Kosalie ! Eosalie ! why had I not known you bet-
ter before ? Why could I not have loved you only
from the first? Why have the last two or three
years of my life been lonely and wasted ?"

' " I had to grow up for you. I had to be left to
mature in solitude and silence. I was a child three
years ago."

" And you are a child still, young priestess of liberty I )
A child still in all things but the inspired wisdom of
your heart I"

We have no time nor space to follow the course
of this young pair, step by step, or to relate the many
conversations they held together, in which hand up-
held hand, heart strengthened heart, spirit inspired
spirit, until the two grew into one with oue heart,
soul, and spirit one interest, purpose, and object.

The boat wended on her way, reached the mouth
of the Ohio river, and turned up the Mississippi ; and

in five days more landed at the new village of S , /

iu the Northwest Territory. It was very early in the
morning ; the sun had not yet risen, and the fog still


lay, white and heavy, upon the wilderness shores for
here the wilderness, exuberant and luxuriant in vege-
tation, lay all around and the new village of S
was at the very outskirts of pioneer civilization. It
was situated on the right or east bank of the Upper
Mississippi, and the dwellings were scattered up and
down the high bluff so oddly, that a passenger, look-
ing upon the hamlet, said it see med as if a giant had
gathered a handful of houses and flung them at the
bluff, and that they had settled at random where they
had fallen.

Our young couple were the only passengers for

S , and they followed their baggage into the skiff,

and were landed just as the sun arose, gilding the
windows of the village, and lighting up into splendour
all the glorious scene.

"See, Mark! It is a happy omen," said Rosalie

He pressed her hand, and turned upon her a look
of unspeakable love, as he handed her to the shore.

There was a porter even in that rude, remote place.
He took charge of the baggage, and led the way to
the hotel on the top of the bluff.

It was a large, unfinished, two-story frame house,
rudely built of rough pine boards, unpainted without,
and unplastered within. Our young couple followed
their guide, the porter, who was also the landlord,
into the large bare parlour, which was also the kitchen
of the inn. This room was scantily furnished, with a
few rough chairs, a table neatly enough set out for
breakfast, and a glowing cooking stove, in full blast,
at which stood the cook, who was also the landlady,
getting breakfast.


The rudeness of the whole scene disturbed Mark,
for Eosalie's sake. She felt that it did. She looked
at him with a gladdening smile, exclaiming

" Oh ! I like it, Mark. I like it so much. Every-
thing is so new and strange, and so free and easy.
And so large and grand," she added, going to one of
the windows, and looking out, with delighted eyes,
upon the magnificent virgin country. "The air is
fine here, Mark. There is a springiness and life in it
I never felt before, even on the mountains. And see,
the fog is all dispersed already."

" Yes it's allowed to be healthy in these parts ; no
ague here," said the landlady.

" And so near the ' river that is strange," said

"Well, you see the winds blow mostly from the
shore ; and the fog when there is a fog settles on
the other side of the river. And then, many folks
allow that this, being a high, lime-stone country, is
naterally healthy."

" Have you many boarders now ?" inquired Rosalie,
kindly interesting herself in the fortunes of her

" Only bachelors, for constant. Sometimes, when a
boat-load of people arrive, we have a house full, till
they gets settled or goes somers else," replied the land-
lady, setting the coffee-pot on the table, and ordering
her lord and master to go to the door and blow the
horn. She then invited her guests to sit down to
breakfast, and had just begun to help them, when her
other boarders, the bachelors half-a-dozen robust,
rudely-clothed, but earnest, intelligent-looking men
entered, and gathered around the table. The break-


fast was plain, but substantial, well-cooked, and abun-
dant. And our young pair, as well as the bachelors,
did justice to the fare.

After breakfast " the bachelors" left the table and
the house, and went about their various businesses
some to their stores, some to their workshops. The
landlady bustled about to wash up and clear away
her breakfast service ; and Mark Sutherland followed
his young wife to the window, and said

" And now, dear Rosalie, I must leave you here, at
least till noon."

" You must ?"

"Yes; there is much to be -done, that must be done
immediately. Lauderdale's deserted law-office must
be opened and aired, and my sign or shingle, as the
folks here call it tacked up, and the place generally
prepared for the transaction of any business that may
turn up. Then I have to write and send off an ad-
vertisement to the nearest newspaper which, by the
way, is published in a town thirty miles distant. And
lastly, dear Eose, I have to look up a cabin, or part
of a frame house, where ' two mortal mice,' like you
and I, may go to housekeeping. Whether all this
can be accomplished in a forenoon, or not, I do not
know ; but, at all events, I shall try to be back again
at twelve. Good bye."

And, pressing her hand, he left her.

Rosalie seated herself by the window, and looked
out upon the new country. From the river, and from
the grove that crowned the bluff on which the village
was situated, the country stretched eastward, out and
out a high, level, and limitless prairie, its flat and
green monotony broken, ut wide intervals, by groves


similar to this which surrounded S , and relieved

by countless millions of wild flowers, whose rich, gor-
geous, and brilliant hues surpassed anything the ob-
server had ever seen before.

" What is that splendid scarlet flower that grows so
tall, and is as abundant on the prairie as clover in our
own fields ?" inquired Eosalie.

" I reckon you are talking about the prairie pink ;
but I haven't much time, myself, to take notice of
flowers 'specially wild weeds," replied the landlady,
rattling the dishes and tea-cups, and bustling about
between the cooking stove, the table, and the cup-

" Are you not a Marylander ?" asked Eosalie.

" Yes," said the woman. "How did you know?"

"By your speech."

Just at this moment the cry of a child commenced
in an adjoining room, and continued during the whole
of the hostess's morning work. She set aside the
table, and began to sweep the room, raising a great
dust from the dried and pulverized mud left by the
bachelors' shoes. Eosalie thoughtlessly threw her
pocket-handkerchief over her head, to protect her
hair from the dust thoughtlessly, for else she might
have guessed it would displease the touchy pride of
the hard-working pioneer woman.

" You don't like the dust maybe you never saw a
broom ?" she asked, looking somewhat contemptuously
at the young lady's delicate person.

" Oh ! yes, I have," said Eosalie, gently, " and used
a broom, too ; but I always sprinkle the floor, and tie
a handkerchief over my head before sweeping."

" And what do you take all that trouble for ?"


Online LibraryEmma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte SouthworthIndia: the pearl of Pearl River → online text (page 15 of 29)