Huntingdon journal. (Huntingdon, Pa.) 1843-1859, July 10, 1849, Image 1

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From the Ladies' Notional Magazine
• "Poor Mrs. Lincoln, how I pity her !"
exclaimed Mrs. Mervyn, as bhe turned
her eyes from the lady in question, to
address a gentleman who had just taken
a seat beside her.
"Why sot" replied Mr. Howard: "she
does not look inn very pitiable condition
et the present moment at least, with her
smiling face, her glittering turban, and
her velvet dress."
"Look again," said the lady, "and you
will see that she is in a perfect fever of
impatience and anxiety. Her mouth
smiles, it is true, but look at her eyes
rolling in a fine phrenzy between my Kate
who is talking to that fashionable rowdy
St. Clair, and her own pretty, over dres
sed daughter, who is listening with such
a tell-tale face to poor young Marston.
As the futes seem always against her, 1
wish with all my heart she may fail in
her endeavors to separate those two, who
would suit each other so well."
“Have the fates such a peculiar plea
ere in crossing Mrs. Lincoln!—in my
ignorance I have always supposed her a
very successful manager.”
".in some respects she may he, yet she
seems to fail in attaining what she sets
her heart most upon. She tries her best
to govern her husband—he walks the e
ven tenor of his way, allowing her to
fret and fume and manceuvre as she may.
Another of her aims has been to be a
leader in the world of fashion—she has
succeeded in being only its most sub
servient follower. She has set her heart
upon her daughter's being a dashing
belle, and is bitterly disappointed that
nature intended her for something bet
ter. .Strong, however, in her determin
ation to “conquer fate," she lot ces the
girl to undertake the part she wishes
her to play, and then wonders at her
want of success. J ust look at the poor
child, almost crushed under the load of
finery with which her mother has bediz
ened her.
Mr. Howard looked in the direction
indicated, and smiled as lie observed the
gentle brow of the pretty Flora over
shadowed by a ponderous wreath, which
would have served to crown three gen
uine godesses of spring, her slender arms
weighed down with their multitudinous
bracelets, and her petite figure flounced
to the waist, until its symmetry was de.
stroyed in the profusien of drapery.
Extremely diffident by nature, she was
at that mometirshrinking still more from
notice, to conceal the blushes that were
mantling on her cheek, from pleasure in
the society of one she secretely prefer.
"But you were about telling me of
love afliur—were you nod" said Mr
"Nay, I know nothing about it. I on
ly surmise from Flora's conscious looks
that she prefers young Aterston, whose
only fault is that he is poor; and from
her mother's fidgets and manccuvres,
that she has fixed her heart upon St. Clair
whose only virtue is that he is rich and
fashionable, and who so sadly misuses
the gifts with which kind nature has en
dowed him, that no sensible
. woman
would wish him for a son-in-law."
'Nay, you are too hard upon St. Clair,'
said Mr. Howard—"besides, fortune and
fashion in these days are not much dis
pised, even by sensible people: and if
St. Clair is a little wild, why a pretty,
gentle wife, would be juseithe very thing.
for him. So lam for the match decid
edly," and with a gay laugh, Mr. How
ard moved through the crowd.
Flora Lincoln had looked forward to
this ball with intense pleasure, for she
knew that she would then meet with one
who rarely mingled in such scenes, and
who for some unknown reason had sel
doin sought her society. Henry Mars
ton had been an intimate friend of her
oldest brother, now abroad, and always a
favorite with herself, though till the par
tial estrangement we have alluded to,
she scarcely knew how highly she had
valued him. It was as yet new, dazzling
and strange to her. She felt in a sort
of bewilderment that deprived her in a
measure of the powers of pleasing that
she really possessed ; and the injudi-
Clous course of her mother, whose deter
mination that her daughter should take
a prominent place among the bells of the
season often forced her into positions
she felt to be both ridiculous and pain
ful.—Mrs. Lincoln had no idea of the
possession of a single gift of nature, of
accomplishment, of education, save for
the purpose of display. To shine was
all her aim, and shine Flora must and
should—not with her own soft, morn-1
radiance, but with the adventitious glare
he meteor fashion could throw upon
her. Nothing, therefore, that expense
or management could do, had been
spared to attain the desirable end—if end
that can be called which was but a
means of reaching one still more desi-
rable—a wealty and distinguished tear
To achieve this, Mrs. Lincoln thought
her prime maternal duty—a duty rem•
tiered still more onerous because four
younger daughters were awaiting in the
nursery and schoolroom, their turn to
play their part on the stage of fashion.
Flora was, therefore, to marry early, and
as soon after her debut her pretty, child-
like grace attracted the attention of the
rich and fashionable St. Clair, he was
fixed upon as the chosen future hus
Until this unfortunate evening every
thing had favored Airs. Lincoln's plans.
Mr. St. Clair met all her advances very
cordially, was always at hand to dance
and talk with Flora, and when she was
present scented to care for no one else;
while the gentle diffidence with which
she permitted his attentions indicated to
the sagacious mother a growing prefer.
ence. At this hall, however, a change
seemed to come over the spirit of both
the intended lovers. Flora, deeply in
terested in Marston's conversation, ap
peared to shrink front St. Clair's notice;
while he revenged himself for her indif
ference by an animated flirtation with
Kate Mervyn, who, though less beauti
ful than Flora, possessed the style and
air of fashion she so greatly needed.
Mrs. Lincoln was almost 7 beside her
self ! What was to be done'? How
willingly would she have annihilated
both Kate and Henry on the spot !—but
as it was, she was forced to Smile and
compliment, and appear to listen, while
forming plans innumerable to subvert
the threatened failure of her daring
scheme, Poor Floral—little did she
dream, as with beating heart and glow
ing cheek she said good bye to Henry as
he placed her in the carriage beside her
mother, of the storm that was about to
burst on her devoted head. Mrs. Lin
coln had been irlitated past endurance
by the restraint she had been obliged to
impose upon her feelings ; their out
break was, therefore, proportionably
strong, and Flora wept and strove to pa
cify her in vain.
It was some time, indeed, before the
poor girl was able to comprehend the
ground of her offence, for until this rno
ment she was entirely unconscious of
her mother's plans. When the truth at
last dawned upon her, it came with such
stunning force that, as the light from
the opening door of their home gleamed
upon her daughter's face, Mrs. Lincoln
was shocked nt the change that had
came over it. The soft and gentle ex
pression tuns gone, the tears dried, arid
a stony brilmness that awed the angry
mother into silence had usurped its place.
No further word was spoken on either
side. Flora silently took her candle and
proceeded to her solitary chamber, and
there sat, decked with her mocking finery
until daylight dawned.
But oh! the bitter thoughts that 'chas
ed each other through her busy bruin, as
she sat there so calm, so still. It seem
ed ns though a veil had been stripped
from her eyes, and she no longer looked
upon the fair outside of things, but on
their hard realities. The mother she
loved so dearly now stood before her a
worldly schemer, who had avowed her
self ready to sacrifice her daughter's
happiness to her ouv ambition ; and to
what other love could she trust if her's
had failedl Even the thought of Mar
ston brought no relief. She knew that
she loved him, but had she any proof
that he loved her in return'!—none but
kind looks and gentle words and tones,
which perchance he might give to oth
ers, as well as to her. So Flora at day
light sought her neglected couch, as ut
terly miser Ale as one so innocent could
Mrs. Lincoln's nature was one that ne
ver could bear opposition. Let her have
her own way, and few could seem more
amiable and pleasant than she. Oppose
and she made you feel it every hour
in the day, and every minute of the hour.
'-She was a fond mother, but one that
exacted implicit obedience; and her chil
dren, who were naturally gentle, seldom
ventured to disobey her.—To Flora, in
particular, who was always self-distrust
ful and diffident to a fault, her mother's
wishes had hitherto been absolute com
mands. It was, "Flora, you will wear
such a dress tonight"—"your hair must
be arranged so and so"—"you will dance
in this style, play in that,•behave in the
other," and so on forever. The business
of her life, in fact, was that of giving
directions and seeing them obeyed.
Her husband, satisfied with his own per
sonal freedom, with which he had taught
his wife never to interfere, allowed her
to be the sun around which the domes
tic system moved with admirable regu
larity. The very thought then of Flora
wandering from her proper sphere, like
some eccentric comet, and decide for her.
self, was nut to be suffered for a single
moment. Next morning Flora was sum.
monad like a culprit before the maternal
bar, when in plain terms Mrs. Lincoln
requested site would hold no further in
tercourse with Henry Marston than the
barest civility demanded, as he was an
acquaintance of whom she entirely dis
approved. Flora ventured to inquire
"I request I may be obeyed, Flora,
without being accountable for my wishes
to a child like you. There may be ma
ny reasons why I think a young man an
unfit companion for my daughter, which
it would be improper for me to speak or
you to hear. Nay, no heroics," she
added as Flora was about interrupting
her with clasped hands and streamin g
eyes—"your ditty as a daughter is sub
mission, and it is well for you that you
have a mother better able to judge what
is for your trite happiness than you are
capable of doing for yourself. As to
Mr. St. Clair—you have promised your
self too far in the eyes of the world, to
think of receding now."
"Oh, mamma, mamma!" said Flora in
an agony, "do not speak to me of St.
Clair, when my whole heart—"
"Silence, Flora!" said her mother lin
periously with a tone and look that
checked the warm tears of her daughter
and closed the warmer heart that was
about pouring forth its inmost feelings
into the mother's ear. But Mrs. Lin
coln knew too well what she was about,
to listen to any confessions. Coldly
and authoratively she reiterated her
commands, and poor Flora, after a few
I hope struggles, was forced to submit.
Her constrained manner to Henry griev
ed him deeply, and alter a vain effort to
ascertain the cause, he disappeared
from the circles in which she appeared.
Thus time went on, and Mrs. Lincoln's
plans seemed on the eve of their fulfil.
meet. Flora who for a time appeared to
droop and languish, had now brighten
ed up again, and attained to more than
usual vivacity. She seemed daily to
gain more confidence in herself, and to
claim more consideration from those a
; round her. Mr. St. Clair was her C3ll
- visiter, he snug with Flora, walked
and rode with her, and she would often
return from these excursions with so
I glowing a cheek, that Mrs. Lincoln was
sure that mystic words had been spoken
and though restless and fidgeting as ev
er, she was perfectly certain that all was
going right. To add to her satisfaction
it was currently reported that Henry
Marston was seriously attentive to Kate
Mervyn, and though she wondered that
her mother would allow her to think of
one so poor and unknown to fame, she
felt doubly thankful that her own mas
terly policy had checked the incipient
flame in her daughter's bosom and by
forcing him to see that there was no
hope there, had directed his views into
another channel.
It was evening—the lights burned
brightly on the table of Mrs. Lincoln's
spacious drawing room and flashed upon
the splendid mirrors. and the gorgeous
gilding; the rich curtains fell with their
heavy folds across the darkened wind
ows, and the whole apartment with its
brilliant carpet and luxurious furniture
spoke of wealth, ease and comfort. But
neither the ease nor the comfort that
surrounded them seemed to have found
their way into the hearts of the master
and mistress of all this elegance. Mr.
Lincoln was walking restlessly up and
down the room, and his usually good
humored face looked puzzled and anx
tons; While Mrs. Lincoln in her authori
tative dogmatic style, exclaimed—
"It will be a most admirable thing for
poor Flora—besides it is my match from
beginning to end—l planned and arran
ged it all, and thought Flora was a little
restive at first, I fixed the matter at once
by say big it should be as I desired—you
see the result. She now is happy as
the day is long, and I am sure will con
sent to marry St. Clair as soon as he
asks it—indeed, I wonder ho has not
spoken before this."
Mr. Lincoln stopped short in his hur
ried walk, and with a pec•.liar express.
ion replied—"l do not wonder at it at all.
Mr. St. Clair knows very well that I will
never consent to his marrying Flora, and
that once in my life 1 intend to have my
own way."
, ‘My ilenr Mr. Lincoln, how very nb.
"Absurd! yes, it is absurd—the very
height of absurdity. 1 can't help laugh
ing, for the soul of me, at the absurdity
of the whole affair; and Mr. Lincoln
laughed heartily,
"What dayou mean,• Mr. Lincoln'!"
said the lady angrily—"this is no laugh
ing matter."
"It is my dear—upon my life it is—
'let those laugh who win,' you know."
and Mr. Lincoln's merriment redoubled.
"Mr. Lincoln what do you mean'?"
"Read this, my dear, and you will
see," and Mr. Lincoln placed in her hand
a note addressed to himself, by announ
cing his daughter's engagement, alluding
to the happy termination of all their dif-
ficulties, with thanks for Mr. Lincoln's
kind offices, and hopes that Flora would
act as bridesmaid. Mrs. Lincoln read
the note nearly through before she dis•
covered the bridegroom was not to be
Henry Marston, as she anticipated—but
St. Clair.
41 e cannot attempt to describe the
scene which ensued ; it is enough to tell
its termination. After having exhaust
ed herself in invectives against St. Clair,
Kate, Flora, and the whole world, Mrs.
Lincoln had sunk sobbing on the sofa,
when her husband said to her—
"I have so long let you have your own
way, Sarah, that you must forgive me
if I have made use of a little stratagem
to carry mine. I confess that I wanted
the courage to endure all that we both
should have had to suffer had I opposed
you openly. Now the matter is done,
and you will be obliged to submit. But
you might have spared yourself all this
mortification, had you been willing to
listen to your daughter, when she would
have laid bare her whole heart to you ;
and you may be thankful your unkind
ness did not drive her to deceit or des
peration. In her misery she came to
me--told me that she love Ma rston,
and implored me not to force h mary
St. Clair.—l told her to submit to your
wishes, while I would see what could
be done. Through my friend Howard I
soon discovered how matters stood.—
St. Clair had long been attached to Kate
but her mother was prejudiced against
him, sod his attentions to Flora were but
a blind to conceal his real feelings, so
that if her heart had not been occupied
by another, she might, through your
fault at this moment have been suffer
ing the miseries of a hopeless attach
ment. Mr. Mervyn, approved of his
daughter's choice, as I did of Flora's ;
but as both of us were under petticoat
government, we concerted together our
plan, by means of which all our young
people were able to see a good deal of
each other, until their mothers could be
brought to right reason. Mrs. Mervyn,
finding her daughter's happiness is so
deeply interested, has at last given her
' consent; and confesses that she judged
the young man too hastily. Howard,
who has been the master mover of our
plot dines here to-morrow, and with him
Henry Marston. He is a son-in-law I
should be proud of, and so will you when
you come to your senses. Remember how
the world will laugh if they think you
are outwitted."
And the dread of the world's laugh
prevailed. Mrs. Lincoln digested her
disappointment; put a good face upon the
matter, praised Henry's virtues and abil
ities in all companies, and declared, in
her usuul stereotyped phrase on such
.occas!ons, that "had she searched the
world over, Flora could not have made a
better choice." The wedding was as
grand as though it had been for a mil
lionaire, and Mr. Lincoln, in his delight
nt his daughter's happiness, declares
that he is so pleased with his success,
that he is afraid he may be tempted to
' take up his wife's forsaken business of
cinnati Commercial tells a good story.
It says: " How often is it the case that
a rosy cheeked man, who never indulges
in the use of ardent spirits, is suspected
of taking a drop, now and then. An
occurrence which took place yesterday
morning verifies this fact :
" Our old friend, kt illiam Luck, was
passing along Fourth street, early after
breakfast, when his progress was pol
itely arrested by a well-dressed, well-fed
gentlemen from the country, with,
" Sir , can you inform me where I can
procure a few gallons of fine old brandy I
I wish to take it out to my place tor
private use."
" Well sir," said Mr. am inform
ed that Mr. s—, of the Bank Ex
change, is autart in those matters, and
will sepply you."
So, after showing the stranger where
Mr. S--was to be found, he contin
ued," You have the advantage of me
-1 don't know you."
" Nor do I know you , "
replied the
stranger; " but you look like a man who
knows where the best brandy sn town is t.)
be found." . . .
Mr. L. bowed to the stranger, and
passed down the street, muttering that
he did not know which excelled, the
man's politeness, or is impudence."
ny- "GENTLEMEN of the jury," said
a western lawyer, "you are met here on
one of the most solemn occasions that
ever happened ever since I had a brief.
The defendant, being a stout, able
bodied man, rushed like an ass upon my
client, who is a frail, young widder ;
and why did not the thunders of heaven
blast him when he stepped towards her,
stretched forth his arms like the forked
thunder of japan and kissed her in the
The following eloquent letter from Hon. John
McLean, of Ohio, showing the influence which
Sabbath schools may be made to exert on the
character and prosperity of the whole country,
was read at the Anniversary of the National In
stitution, to which it refers, at Philadelphia, in
May :
.. .
DEAR SIR : WIIiISI I consider myself
honored by the Board of Officers and
Managers of the American Sunday
School Union, in being placed nominally
at their head, 1 cannot repress a fear
that, in accepting the position, I may
stand in the way of some one of higher
merit and of greater usefulness.
The more I reflect upon Sabbath
schools, the more deeply am 1 impressed
with their importance. Education with
out moral training may increase nation.
al knowledge, but it will add nothing to
national virtue. By a most intelligent
and able report, made some years ago
by Guizot, it appeared that in those de
partments of France where education
had been most advanced crime was most
common. And by later reports it is
shown that in Prussia, Scotland, and
England, where the means of education
has been greatly increased, especially
in Prussia and Scotland, criminal offen
ces have increased. Making due allow
ance for the growth of population, and
the aggregation of individuals in carry
ing on various useful enterprises, the
principal cause of this is a want of mor
al culture.
Knowledge without moral restraint
only increases the capacity of an indi
vidual for mischief. As a citizen, he is
more dangerous to society, and does more
to corrupt the public morals, than one
without education. So selfish is our na
ture, and so prone to evil, that we require
chains, moral or physical, to curb our
propensities and passions.
Early impressions are always the most
lasting. All experience conduces to es
tablish this. Who has forgotten the
scene of his boyhood, or the pious in
structions of ilia parental However
they may be disregarded and condemn
ed by an abandoned course, yet they
cannot be consigned to oblivion. In
the darkest hours of revelry they will
light up in the memory and cause re
morse. And this feeling will generally,
sooner or later, lead to reformation.
Whatever defect there may be of mo
ral culture in our common schools, it is
more than supplied in our Sabbath
schools. Here the whole training is of
a moral and religious character, entirely
free from sectarian influences.
Impressions thus made can never be
eradicated. * * *
And it may not be an extravagant cal
to suppose that every ten years
five millions of persons who had been
Sabbath school scholars enter into ac
tive society. More or less they may be
supsosed to he influenced by the princi
ples inculcated at those schools. Re•
strained themselves by morel consider
ations, their example may have some
influence on en equal number of their
associates. Here, then is an element of
power which must be salutary on our
social and political relations. The good
thus clone cannot be fully known and
appreciated, as theamount of evil which
it prevents cannot be measured.
It may be assumed as an axiom that
free Government can rest on no other
basis than moral power. France has a
republic which is maintair.ed by bayo
nets. And there is reason to apprehend
that in that country there is not a suf
ficient moral basis for the maintenance
of n free Government.
But are our own beloved institutions
free from danger'? Who has not seen
the "yawning chasm," inour own beauti
ful edificel Its pillars seemed to be mo
ved, its wall and its dome, and the con
tour of the fabric have suffered ; and no
thing can restore it to its pristine beau
ty and strength' but a united and contin
ual eflbrt of the intelligent and virtuous
citizens of cur country. And we must
increase the number of these by every
possible means. Sabbath schools must
be relied on as a principle agent in this
great work. Without their aid I should
look to the future with little hope. Mere
partyism should be discarded for prin
ciple, and moral power, founded as it
must be on the justice and fitness of
things, must be made the ground of ac
When I consider the mighty trust,
moral and political, which has been com
mitted to us; when I reflect upon the ex
tent and fertility of our country, its di
versified and healthful climates, and its
capacities for human enjoyment, I am
overwhelmod with the vastness of the
subject. Rapidly as we have advanced
for the last thirty years in the develop.
meat of our physical resources, and in
the arts and sciences, the bow of prom
ise still abides in the future.
But a nation may be greet in ita phys
ical power and in ita mental attainments
VOL. XIV, NO. 26
without possessing the basis of moral
power, which is the only foundation for
practical liberty. I have no fears of
the concentrated powers of the world.
We could drive them from our Shores
without endangering our institutions.
But, whilst I have no fear as to the per.
manency of our Government from in
fluences and powers from without, I am
not without apprehension from causes
which arise among ourselves. 'I his is
indeed a strange paradox. Can we not
trust ourselves? "Is thy servant a dog
that he should do this thingl"
There is no security against the enor
mities of our race, which has so. often
disgraced the history of the world, but
a restraining influencewhich sets bounds
to human passions. The superior civil
ization, moderation, and justice of Mod
ern times is attributable to the benign in . ",
fluence of Christianity. The anciea t re
publics were destitute of this power.
Physical force was the arbiter of right
and the dispenser of justice. But now
there is an element of moral power
which more or less pervades all civilized
nations, ane which has its foundation in
the Bible. No nation can disregard this
law with impunity. If it be not embo.
died in any published code, yet it is not
the less powerful. It is written in the
hearts and understandings of mankind.
It shakes the thrones of despots who,
through a line of ancestry of many cen
turies, have governed with an absolute
To us as a nation are committed the
great principles of tree government, and
we are responsible to those who shall
come after us for a faithful discharge of
the trust. Now we must continue to
build upon the foundation of our fathers.
They were equal to the crisis. Wash
ington and Hancock, and Adams, and
their compatriots were good men as well
as great men. They looked to a super
intending Providence, and to the pre
cepts of the Bible.
There is enough of intelligence and
virtue, and of honest purpose in the na
tion, if embodied and made active, to
free us from the prevailing corruptions
of the day. And there is no agency
more efficient to strengthen this state of
the public mind than our Sabbath schools.
They are the nurseries of virtue, of an
elevated patriotism, and of religion. * *
And what nobler motive could impel
to human action ! Compare it with the
motives which led to other lines of ac
tion, and with their results. The aspi
ration of the mere politician begins and
ends in himself. The benefits (if ben
efits they may be called) conferred on
his supporters have no higher motive
than this. The same remark will apply
to many who are engaged in the pur
suits of commerce, or in the prosecution
of enterprises which ordinarily lead to
the accumulation of individual and
national wealth. They may become
great in this respect, and advance the
wealth of their country, without being
exemplary themselves, or inci easing the
public virtue. And so of professional
renown. How empty is that bauble
which entwines the brow of the orator
in the senate, at the bar, or in the pulpit,
whose heart is not full of the kindly
feelings of humanity, and who does not
endeavor to mitigate the sufferings and
increase the happiness of his race.
If we desire to make our nation truly
great, and to transmit to posterity our
institutions to their primitive simpli
city and force, we must imbue the minds
of our youth with a pure and an elevated
morality, which shall influence their
whole lives. And I know of no means
so well calculated to produce this result
as Sabbath schools.
I regret that my public duties will
prevent my being present at your annual
With the greatest respect,l am, dear
sir, faithfully yours,
.llouut Sterhng Whig of the 15th inst,
states that a most horrid and revolting
murder was perpetrated on the previous
. day, in that country. During the ab
sence of her husband (Mr. 3. H Foster)
a fiend in human shape entered the dwel
ling of Mr. F., took a rope and tied it
three or four times around the neck of
Mrs. Foster, and then, in addition to
the crime of murder he perpetrated•a
shocking offence upon her person. Mr.
Foster left home about ten o'clock to
perform military duty a few miles, dis
tant, and returned about two o'clock,
when he found his wife dead ! From the
marks on her person, and other circum.
stances, a terrible scuffle must have ta
ken pace. The fiend, after accomplish•
mg his diabolical pu•pose stole a gun,
some ten or twelve dollars in money, an
nccordeon, one or two bottles of liquor,
and some sugar. The whole neigh
borhood is greatly excited, and some
twenty or thirty persons are in pursuit
of the murderer.