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heard father's voice in the entry and started up school books. Their father's library
entered our was chiefly composed of works unsuited room, · Why here's pa! A cheerful voice called out from behind him, . And here's ma !' A
for their years. How their hearts beautiful lady, very fair, with bright blue eyes,
bounded with joy as he one day said: and soft auburn hair, bound round with a black / “ George, you may read Scott's novels. velvet bandeau, came into the room, smiling, I have always disapproved of novels as eager, and happy-looking, and coming to our trash, but in these is real genius and beds, kissed us and told us that she loved little children, and that she would be our mother.
real culture.” During one summer they Never did mother-in-law make a happier or read Ivanhoe seven times. As the sweeter impression. She seemed to us so fair, so older children went off to college little delicate, so elegant that we were almost afraid ones came. In all thirteen children to go near her. We must have been rough, were born unto them. Repeatedly the red.cheeked, country children, honest, obedient and bashful. I remember I used to feel breezy,
parsonage was turned into mourning, rough and rude in her presence."
which for a season gave a dreary color
ing to its prevailing spirit. With adThe new mother entered her new vancing life expenses increased. The home with mingled feelings of pleasure sons wrote home from college for money and solicitude. She had never seen, so to buy clothing, a watch, etc., to which many rosy cheeks and laughing eyes. the father replies that he has none. It The little ones were in great glee, save is surprising how this prince of Purithe oldest, Catherine, who was moved tans, in the height of his popularity and to tears. They soon learned to love her power, amid the abounding wealth of tenderly. The Litchfield people were the people whom be served, was left to all on tiptoe to see the minister's new worry over inadequate means of supwife. When she came to church the port. As president of Lane Seminary following Sunday, she says:
at Cincinnati, he repeatedly appealed “I felt some agitation on entering to personal friends in the East to keep the door to see everybody seated, the wolf from his door. and had I known all, I don't know but Few persons showed so much hard I should have fallen down in the way, work and causes of worry mixed with for William says the people all turned lively mirth and innocent hilarity. round, and the scholars and all in the | The strong man seems to have been a galleries rose up.”
dyspeptic. Good meals are greatly Evidently the second Mrs. Beecher relished, followed by the groans of a was in every respect well adapted for petulant stomach. After long and conher place in the parsonage. Their tinuous mental strain his system breaks plain white house in Litchfield may at down. Consumption, or something first sight have seemed somewhat worse still seems to threaten him. Seasons cramped, but it looked full well enough. of gloomy despondency haunt him with At first an old-fashioned house with their vapory visions. He fought the four small rooms, it was enlarged with demon of dyspepsia no less than that of tbe addition of a new part. It did not infidelity. He kept a load of sand in look “very well, but was in good re- his cellar to which he would run at odd pair." The family was economically intervals and shovel it from one side to conducted. Their vegetables were the other, to work off nervous exciteraised in their own garden. In the fall ment through the muscles, and his skill a barrel of apple sauce was made, was and fame as a wood sawyer was known left to freeze, then slices were cut off, in all the country round about. When which the children spread on their weary with study he fled to the cellar bread instead of butter. At nine in or woodshed for relief. In his back the evening the parents ate sweet apples, yard he had bars, a ladder, ropes and when they could get them, and drank weights, where be would astonish his milk. During the winter they rose brethren with bis athletic feats. He before day. All the children were would change his clothes three and through with their breakfast by day- four times a day to meet the changeable light.
climate of Boston. On his few acres The older children in due time needed he toiled with energy no less than in pleasant reading in addition to their his study and pulpit. He could do
nothing slow or by halves. He plowed, suddenly dropped bis pen and said: harvested, threshed with the flail, fed “ Tom, I wish I could have heard Paghis own cattle, planted and pruned anini !" Then, taking down his old trees, and made fence until his face was three-stringed fiddle, he took it up, bathed and his clothes soaked with per- thrummed the strings, tuned and sounded spiration, and some days rode many a tone or two unsatisfied, and said, “ If miles a horseback to benefit his health, I could only play wbat I hear inside of but chiefly to serve God. He knew me, I'd beat Paganini.” He seemed how to get pleasure out of stern duty. dissatisfied with his efforts and finally His sons he trained to similar babits. contented himself with “Merrily ho!" The great piles of wood which his peo- Towards the close of his life one of ple brought him were all needed in this his sons was moved to tears on a visit airy eastle and cold climate. He would home, when at family prayers he saw lead the boys with a paternal hurrah, the same old hymn book, and father go each having an axe, himself the most to the study and fetch his fiddle and vigorous hewer in the lot. “How the tune it to sing “Joy to the World," — axes rung, and the chips flew, and the bis voice serving him only occasionally, jokes and stories flew faster; and when and mother's more persevering than all was cut and split, then came the strong. “We went through all the great work of wheeling in and piling" verses, and when father's voice failed
The apple peeling season in Autumn from the pitch, his lips kept the time required all hands in the home. The and the words till his voice could maswork was done in the kitchen, an im- ter the easier tone, and so they sung mense brass kettle hanging over the with the spirit and the understanding, fireplace, where children and servants while I dreamed and dried my eyes. were busy with the full baskets of Since then I have beard the fiddle bearapples and quinces. The genial parson ing up the music all alone at family himself worked the apple peeler. prayer at Boston, not a voice to join in, Sometimes one of the boys would enter- yet at least three of us following the tain the rest of the peelers by reading words while dear old father persevered out of one of Scott's novels.
in the music to the end. Oh, we must Great was the joy when some fortu have a family meeting in heaven, and nate accident brought an upright piano sing and have prayers again!" into the “poor country minister's" "You will have troubles, go where you home. Ere long the older daughters will; but when they come, don't dam learned to accompany their sweet voi-them up, but let them go down stream, ces on the instrument. Beautiful was and you will soon be rid of them." the scene and the music. Often the two This advice to his theological students sons accompanied a sister with their Lyman Beecher practiced through life. flutes and the father with his violin. But sometimes his troubles would block Usually this home orchestra played up in chunks like an ice gorge, until psalm tunes, whilst the daughters played there was a break, when the rapid curand sang the pious music then in vogue. rent would sweep all away for a season, His old violin did a blessed service in and his sunny joy and exbilaration the parsonage. Often when hardest at would quite overcome him. And how work, he dropped his book and pen to manfully he fought to keep the stream relieve his mental and nervous weari. clear. After many a battle with trouble ness by playing snatches on his favorite he said, “Indolent habits derange the instrument. Some mornings before day nervous system and stir up a tyrant he woke the family by scraping cat-gut. capable of making hell on earth. Thus A lively air would greatly please the it is with dyspepsia, and it is most refrisky little ones, so that sometimes he markable that Nature, before she surwould unintentionally fly off in a sort renders, stoutly resists, and bangs of juvenile “hop,” when suddenly he out flags of distress.”
1 produced a dismal screech, and put an His compulsory seasons of recreation end to the mischief.
became occasions of the keenest enjoyIn old age he and his son Thomas ment. He could extract pleasure from were busy writing in his study, when he l duty, and in its path honey from the
hitterest flower. In which respect, Dr. “What sort of an old fellow is he?” H. Harbaugb was much like him, whose “Oh pretty much like the rest of seasons of toil, trial, and means of us. ·Good man enough to work for.” recuperating an overworked system, ' “ Tough old chap, ain't he ?” alike furnished him material for cheer- “Guess so, to them that try to chaw ful thought and innocent mirth. Wbo him up.” that witnessed his exuberant drollery “First-rate saw that of yours," said and cheer-inspiring buoyancy on his the sawyer, when he saw bow rapidly the vacation rambles or around the social pieces were cut, as the conversation went unbendings of ecclesiastical meetings, on. will not remember how in this way be This compliment to the saw touched kept sending bis trouble down stream. its owner at a tender point. He had
What Beecher in youth began partly set that saw as carefully as the articles from necessity, later became a pleasant of his creed, every tooth was critically fixed habit. As soon as he can crawl adjusted, and he gave a smile of triout of his sick room he “is able to cut umph. wood, plant apple seeds, set out trees, “I say, where can I get a saw like and plant in the garden.” And it is that ?" astonishing what a wood-cutter he was. “I don't know, unless you buy While living in Boston he had no gar- mine." den to dig in; bis wood pile was his “Will you trade? What do you chief source of recroation. Large as | ask ?''. this wss, it sometimes became ex “I don't know; I'll think about it. hausted.
Call at the house to-morrow and I'll tell
you." “ He was as fastidious with the care of his | The next day the old man knocked wood-saws as a musician in the care of his
and met the doctor at the door, fresh Cremona. In fact, there was an analogy between the two instruments. In moods of ab
from the hands of his wife, with his
rom the nanas OI OIS Wire, with n straction, deeper than ordinary, it was some-coat brushed and cravat tied, going out times doublul what he imagined himself to be to pastoral duty. The poor sawyer gave doing, tiling his saw, or Sawing his fiddle. I a start of surprise. That the old saw was musical under his hand |
“Oh," said the doctor, "you are the
“Oh " said the doctor (you are the none could deny; and that he enjoyed its brilliant notes was clear from the manner in which man
man that wanted to buy my saw.
that wantea he kept the instrument always at hand in his Well, you shall have it for nothing; study, half concealed among results of councils, only let me have some of your wood to reviews, reports, and sermons, ready to be filed
saw, when you work on my street." and set at any time, while he pondered, or even while settling nice points of theology with
“ Be banged," said the sawyer afterhis boys, or taking counsel with brother minis
| wards, “it I didn't want to crawl into ters."
an auger bole, when I found it was old
Beecher himself I had been talking Looking out of his study window one with so crank the day before.” day, wondering what he should do, as Thereafter the old man was a regular every stick of his wood had been sawed attendant at the parson's church, and aud split, he saw the pile of an old declared that "he was the only man in wood sawyer down the street, a preju- these parts that can saw wood faster diced member of a certain small sect, than I can.” who was always shy of Beecher. Soon Like all positive, aggressive men, he the poor man beheld a man coming out was often rudely and slanderously asof Dr. Beecher's house in his shirt sailed. His most telling reply to such sleeves, and without a cravat. With attacks, he drew from a bit of ill-odored saw in hand he briskly walked up to the experience which befell him. sawyer, and offered his services.
"You live there ?” said the poor “Riding on horseback from Southampton mar, nodding his head at Beecher's homeward one evening, with a heavy folio bouse.
under his arm, he saw what he supposed to be “ Yes."
a rabbit run across the path and stop by the
roadside. It was moonlight, and he could not “ Work for that old man ?”
see very distinctly, but thought to himself, “I'll • Yes."
have a shot at you anyhow. So when he came
along the supposed rabbit, he poised the pon-buried aside of his friend. “ Then the derous folio and hurled it at the mark, receiving
young men will come and see where I in return a point blank shot of an unmistakable character, that required him to bury his clothes,
and Brother Taylor are buried, and it folio, and everything about him, in the earth, in
will do them good.” order to become presentable. In after life being The education and salvation of his asked why he did not reply to a certain Mr. I children weighed heavily upon him. - who was abusing him through the
And how his heart bled because he public press, he replied, I threw a book at a skunk once, and he had the best of it. I made
could not always give them the needed up my mind never to try it again."
support; often he wept for joy when
from some unexpected quarter God sent A regularly whole-souled man was him help for them. As one after the this. Whetber fighting an evil on the other became a Christian, his gratitude pulpit and floor of the General As- found vent in tears. And as he folsembly, or going fishing or hunting, his lowed some to the grave his heart and whole heart was in what he undertook. home were turned into dreary wastes of It is amusing and touching as well, to desolation. One of his sons became a read the old man's animated descrip- bitter skeptic. His keen mind could tions of his fishing achievements. How not be convinced by arguments or loving once, with Roxana at his side, he fol- appeals. Feeling that he was out of lowed a very large trout along a certain sympathy with the rest of the family he brook, and finally caught him with his located in Indianapolis, so as not to hands under a log, “swinging him in come in contact with them. The the air and shouted as if I was crazy." parents and all the children agreed that
Under the weight of many years he at a certain hour of each day they exclaimed, “Oh, Tom, now if we only would go to the closets of their respechad a lake about forty rods long, tive homes and pray for this wanderer. right out of the porch, and a little snug At length a letter came informing the boat, just to row out into the middle, father of his conversion. With chokand drop your line, and pull in the fish, ing utterance, he exclaimed, “ His and come back quietly, and come in, mother has been long in heaven, but and nobody see you, I believe I would she bound cords about her child's heart go right off." .
before she left which have drawn him This element in Beecher's character back. He has never been able to break did him valuable service. It helped them.” him to go through his hard work with a The conversion of his children was cheerful spirit. Rugged and unspar- more or less perplexing, by reason of ingly severe in his theological battles, his peculiar religious views at that time. he had a very tender loving heart. His At least so it strikes one now. Their friends he drew to himself with unsel- feelings and motives were analyzed and fish ardor. At a certain church trial tested in a most distracting style. The he and Dr. Taylor, of Yale College, doctrine that children born and piously were on opposite sides of the question trained of Christian parents, and who at issue. Sharp words passed between give clear evidence of sincere repentthe two giants. During the recess of ance toward God, and faith in Christ, the session their friends were anxiously should still have to pass through a concerned about the quarrel between technical and strictly prescribed process these two pillars of the Church. Where of mental exercise and agony, before could they be? for they had lost sight they can be recognized as Christians, is of both. Ere long a little girl found averse alike to the teachings of reason them sitting under an apple tree in an and revelation. It is to this, doubtless, orchard, each having his arm around that Dr. Beecher referred in his old the other's neck, and amicably talking age, when he said, “ I was an ignoramus the matter over, which, like lover's quar then." rels usually, only brought their hearts He closely watched the progress of nearer together.
his children's education, and speaks of When near his end, Beecher was their talents and improvement, with heard to mutter of Taylor, “ Part of me pardonable pride. One of them sent - part of me." He wanted to be him an extract from one of his sermons
which he had preached. The father preached long, often over an hour, and acknowledges its reception, and says that looked his hearers straight in the eye. in reading it he required two pocket He never beat the air; always strove handkerchiefs to keep his eyes and face that every sermon might be the meads dry.
of saving souls. He used to say that a In those days, New England people sermon that did not induce anybody of all classes were given to the use of to do anything was thrown away. At intoxicating drinks. Prominent Church family devotions he often wept as be members kept a variety of liquors ou prayed for the conversion of sinners. their side boards, not only for the use And on family festivals, like that of of their guests, but themselves made Thanksgiving Day, the saying of grace free use of them. At the meetings of at table called up the image of his Presbytery and Synod, and of congre- sainted Roxana, and set him a weeping. gational convocations, the ministry and A very tender-hearted man was this, elders indulged freely. Dr. Beecher blending gentleness with a brusk fearless was aroused by the evil, and preached courage, as we so often find in great a series of six temperance sermons, first men. to his own people, afterwards he After preaching his stirring sermons preached them, by request, at other of a Sunday his whole being was places. Among the many publications wrought up to the highest pitch. How on this subject, none have appeared could it be let down without a shock to which present so close and forcible an the system. After his evening services argument against the sale and use of he went directly home to spend an hour intoxicating drinks as a beverage as or two with his children in letting bimthese. These sermons produced a great self “run down,” as he termed it. commotion, and brought upon the head " This was the best season for being of their author violent attacks from with him. He was lively, sparkling, men prominent in Church and State. jocose, full of arecdote and incident, He met his antagonists with the and loved to have us all about him, courage of a hero, and has the honor of and indulge in a good laugh.” Mother having been the pioneer in a cause had gone to bed, and the little ones which since then has spread over the coaxed the dear papa to unbend in most Christian world.
unclerical fashion. He went through He fought Unitarianism, Intemper the wonders of the double shuffle, ance, a certain phase of Congregation which he used to dance on the barn alism, and Old School Presbyterianism, floor at corn huskings when he was a and acted a leading part in the disrup- young man ; usually, too, in his stocktion of the Presbyterian Church. Anding feet, which gave somebody lots of had he lived when the two bodies re- darning work. All this formed part of united he, doubtless, would have been his needed bodily recuperation. He among the first to forget the past and would say, “If I were to go to bed at embrace his co-workers of former | the key at which I leave off preaching years.
I should toss and tumble all night. I A prodigious worker was this. He must let off steam gradually, and then would preach every day during weeks I can sleep like a child.” for his brethren, then hasten home and
“ He was an excellent sleeper, and usually try to bring up his neglected work in knew of but one sleep, which lasted from the his own parish, write for the periodicals, time his head touched the pillow till the youngcut wood and shovel sand, and work his est child was sent to wake hin up in the mornlittle farm.
ing. This was invariably the department of Meanwhile, his study was all in con
the reigning baby; it was solemnly instructed
by him that it was necessary to take him by fusion, no matter how often careful
the nose and kiss him many times before the hands would put things in order. His heaviness in his head would go off so that he sermons he would often write on scraps could lift it. Oftentimes he would lie in bed of paper, and even on old envelopes.
after his little monilor had called him, professWhen hard pressed, he would simply
ing fears that there was a lion under the bed
| which would catch his foot if he put it out." arrange his material in his mind, without writing the sermon. Usually hel The breakfast bell rang vainly ofte!