Tales and sketches

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Page 238 - I kept an awful solemnity of visage, being, indeed, a little piqued that a narrative which had good authority in our ancient superstitions, and would have brought even a church deacon to Gallows Hill, in old witch times, should now be considered too grotesque and extravagant for timid maids to tremble at.
Page 24 - He called up in review the years, that, even at his early age, he had spent in solitary study, in conversation with the dead, while he had scorned to mingle with the living world, or to be actuated by any of its motives. He asked himself to what purpose was all this destructive labor, and where was the happiness of superior knowledge. He had climbed but a few steps of a ladder that reached to infinity: he had thrown away his life in discovering, that, after a thousand such lives, he should still...
Page 26 - And let th' aspiring youth beware of love, Of the smooth glance beware; for 'tis too late, When on his heart the torrent softness pours. Then wisdom prostrate lies, and fading fame Dissolves in air away ; while the fond soul, Wrapt in gay visions of unreal bliss, Still paints th' illusive form ; the kindling grace ; Th...
Page 339 - It was an old fashioned building with a small antique portico in front, where, of a lazy summer afternoon, the wise men of the village assembled to read newspapers, talk politics, and drink beer. Before the door stood a tall yellow sign post, from which hung a white sign, emblazoned with a fierce bald-headed eagle, holding an olive branch in one claw, and a flash of forked lightning in the other. Underneath was .written in large black letters " The Bald Eagle : Good Entertainment for Man and Beast...
Page 223 - Recently, in224. deed, an historian has treated the subject in a manner that will keep his name alive, in the only desirable connection with the errors of our ancestry, by converting the hill of their disgrace into an honorable monument of his own antiquarian lore, and of that better wisdom, which draws the moral while it tells the tale.
Page 179 - Ellen spoke, and, at the same time, a sense of the singular course 180 to which her gratitude had impelled her, caused her beauty to grow brighter and more enchanting with every word. And when, as she concluded, she extended her hand to Fanshawe, to refuse it was like turning from an angel, who would have guided him to heaven. But, had he been capable of making the woman he loved a sacrifice to her own generosity, that act would have rendered him unworthy of her. Yet the struggle was a severe one...
Page 118 - Alas, youth, these are strange times,' observed the President, 'when a doctor of divinity and an undergraduate set forth, like a knight-errant and his squire, in search of a stray damsel. Methinks I am an epitome of the church militant, or a new species of polemical divinity. Pray Heaven, however, there be no such encounter in store for us; for I utterly forgot to provide myself with weapons.
Page 348 - The pantaloons were of the same color as the jacket, and were trimmed with yellow cord. Some rode with long stirrups, some with short stirrups, and some with no stirrups at all; some sat perpendicular upon their saddles, some at an obtuse angle, and others at an angle of forty-five. One was mounted on a tall one-eyed bone setter, with his tail and ears cropped; another on a little red nag, with shaggy mane and long switch tail, and as vicious as if the very devil were in him. Here was a great fellow,...
Page 240 - In the rear of the procession rode a figure on horseback, so darkly conspicuous, so sternly triumphant, that my hearers mistook him for the visible presence of the fiend himself...
Page 354 - ... nothing of him, they knew nothing of him ! Their spirit and patience were completely soaked out of them ; no patriotism was proof against such torrents of rain. Every heart seemed now to sink in despair. Every hope had given way, when the twang of the stage horn was heard, sending forth its long drawn cadences, and enlivening the gloom of a rainy twilight. The coach dashed up to the door. It was empty, not a solitary passenger. The coachman came in without a dry thread about him. A little stream...

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