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Toussaint made her what she is. In this work there was grouped around him a score of men, mostly of pure negro blood, who ably seconded his efforts. Toussaint was indisputably their chief. Courage, purpose, endurance, these are the tests. He did plant a state so deep that all the world has not been able to root it up.
CVII.—WAITING BY THE GATE.
ESIDE a massive gateway built up in years gone by,
Upon whose top the clouds in eternal shadow lie,
While streams the evening sunshine on quiet wood and lea, I stand and calmly wait till the hinges turn for me.
The tree-tops faintly rustle beneath the breeze's flight,
Behold, the portals open, and o'er the threshold, now,
In sadness then I ponder how quickly fleets the hour
Again the hinges turn, and a youth, departing, throws
O glory of our race that so suddenly decays!
O crimson flush of morning that darkens as we gaze!
O breath of summer blossoms that on the restless air
I grieve for life's bright promise, just shown and then withdrawn;
Once more the gates are opened; an infant group go out,
O frail, frail tree of Life, that upon the greensward strows Its fair young buds unopened, with every wind that blows!
So come from every region, so enter, side by side,
The strong and faint of spirit, the meek and men of pride. Steps of earth's great and mighty, between those pillars gray, And prints of little feet, mark the dust along the way.
And some approach the threshold, whose looks are blank with fear,
And some whose temples brighten with joy in drawing near,
I mark the joy, the terror; yet these, within my heart,
W. C. BRYANT.
CVIII.-TOM BROWN'S LAST VISIT TO RUGBY.
N the summer of 1842, Tom Brown stopped once again
at the well-known station; and leaving his bag and fishing-rod with a porter, walked slowly and sadly up towards the town. It was now July. He had rushed away from Oxford the moment that term was over, for a fishing ramble in Scotland, with two college friends, and had been for three weeks living on oatcake and mutton-hams in the wildest part of Skye.
2. They had descended one sultry evening on the little inn at Kyle Rhea ferry, and while Tom and another of the party put their tackle together and began exploring the stream for a sea-trout for supper, the third strolled into the house to arrange for their entertainment. Presently he came out in a loose blouse and slippers, a short pipe in his mouth, and an old newspaper in his hand, and threw himself on the heathery scrub which met the shingle, within easy hail of the fishermen.
3. There he lay, the picture of free-and-easy, loafing, hand-to-mouth young England, "improving his mind," as he shouted to them, by the perusal of the fortnight-old weekly paper, the legacy of the last traveler, which he had hunted out from the kitchen of the little hostelry, and being a youth of a communicative turn of mind, began imparting the contents to the fishermen as he went on.
4. "What a bother they are making about these wretched corn laws! here are three or four columns full of nothing but sliding scales and fixed duties.-Ah, here's something better a splendid match between Kent and England, Brown! Kent winning by three wickets. Felix fifty-six runs without a chance, and not out!"
5. Tom, intent on a fish which had risen at him twice, answered only with a grunt.
6. "Anything about the Goodwood?" called out the third
7. "Rory O'More drawn. Butterfly colt amiss,” shouted the student.
8. "Just my luck," grumbled the inquirer, jerking his flies off the water, and throwing again with a heavy, sulle. splash, and frightening Tom's fish.
9. "I say, can't you throw lighter over there? We are not fishing for grampuses," shouted Tom across the stream, 10. "Hullo, Brown! here's something for you," called out the reading man next moment. "Why, your old master, Arnold of Rugby, is dead."
11. Tom's hand stopped halfway in his cast, and his line and flies went all tangling round and round his rod; you might have knocked him over with a feather. Neither of his companions took any notice of him, luckily; and with a violent effort he set to work mechanically to disentangle his line. He felt completely carried off his moral and intellectual legs, as if he had lost his standing-point in the invisible world. Besides which, the deep-loving loyalty which he felt for his old leader made the shock intensely painful. It was the first great wrench of his life, the first gap which the angel Death had made in his circle, and he felt numbed, and beaten down, and spiritless.
12. Well, well! I believe it was good for him and for many others in like case; who had to learn by that loss that the soul of man cannot stand or lean upon any human prop, however strong, and wise, and good; but that He upon whom alone it can stand and lean will knock away all such props in his own wise and merciful way, until there is no ground or stay left but Himself, the Rock of Ages, upon whom alone a sure foundation for every soul of man is laid.
13. As he wearily labored at his line, the thought struck him, "It may all be false, a mere newspaper lie,” and he strode up to the recumbent smoker.
"Let me look at the paper," said he.
14. "Nothing else in it," answered the other, handing it up to him listlessly. "Hullo, Brown! what's the matter, old fellow? are n't you well?"
15. "Where is it?" said Tom, turning over the leaves, his hands trembling, and his eyes swimming, so that he could not read.
16. "What? What are you looking for?" said his friend, jumping up and looking over his shoulder.
"That about Arnold," said Tom.
17. "Oh, here," said the other, putting his finger on the paragraph. Tom read it over and over again; there could be no mistake of identity, though the account was short enough.
18. "Thank you," said he at last, dropping the paper. I shall go for a walk: don't you and Herbert wait supper for me." And away he strode, up over the moor at the back of the house, to be alone, and master his grief if possible.
19. His friend looked after him, sympathizing and wondering, and knocking the ashes out of his pipe, walked over to Herbert. After a short parley they walked together up to the house.
"I'm afraid that newspaper has spoiled Brown's fun for this trip."
66 How odd that he should be so fond of his old master!" said Herbert.
20. The two, however, notwithstanding Tom's prohibition, waited supper for him, and had everything ready when he came back some half an hour afterwards. But he could not join in their cheerful talk, and the party was soon silent, notwithstanding the efforts of all three. One thing only had Tom resolved, and that was that he could n't stay in Scotland any longer; he felt an irresistible longing to get to Rugby, and then home; and soon broke it to the others, who had too much tact to oppose.