List Of Contents | Contents of Elinor Wyllys, by Susan Fenimore Cooper
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heavy movement of sorrow. The mother, the sisters, and the
nearest female friends remained in privacy together at the house
of mourning. As the funeral train moved along the highway towards
Longbridge, it gradually increased in length; the different
dwellings before which it passed had their windows closed, as a
simple token of sympathy, and on approaching the village, one
bell after another was heard, tolling sadly. The hearse paused
for a moment before the house of Mr. Joseph Hubbard; those who
had come thus far in carriages alighted, and joined by others
collected in the village, they moved from there on foot. Several
brother artists from New York, and other associates of the young
man's, bore the cloth which covered his coffin; and immediately
after the nearest relatives, the elder brothers, and the uncles,
came Hazlehurst and de Vaux, with the whole party of the Petrel,
and the crew of the little schooner: and sincerely did they mourn
their young friend; it is seldom indeed that the simple feeling
of grief and compassion pervades a whole funeral train so
generally as that of the young artist. But our poor Charlie had
been much loved by all who knew him; he was carried to the grave
among old friends of his family, in his native village--and there
were many there capable of admiring his genius and respecting his
character. As the procession entered the enclosure it passed
before a new-made grave, that of the negro sailor, who had been
decently interred by the directions of de Vaux, on the preceding
evening, the party of the Petrel having also attended his
funeral. On reaching the final resting-place of the young artist,
among the tombs of his family, by the side of his father the
minister, an impressive prayer and a short but touching address
were made; the coffin was lowered, the earth thrown on it, and
the grave closed over Charlie Hubbard: the story of his life was

{"entered the enclosure" = at Christ Episcopal Church, in
Cooperstown, which Susan Fenimore Cooper attended,
African-Americans were at this time buried just inside the
churchyard entrance, away from the other graves; "was told" = was

Harry was the last to leave the spot. While the funeral train
returned with the mourners to the house of Mr. Joseph Hubbard, he
remained standing by the grave of his friend, his mind filled
with the recollection of the brilliant hopes so suddenly
extinguished, the warm fancies so suddenly chilled, the bright
dreams so suddenly blighted by the cold hand of death. The solemn
truth, that the shadow of death had also passed over himself was
not forgotten; life in its true character, with all its real
value, all its uncertainties, all its responsibilities, rose more
clearly revealed to him than it had ever yet done; he turned from
Charlie's grave a wiser man, carrying with him, in the
recollection of his own unexpected restoration, an impulse for
higher and more steadfast exertion in the discharge of duty.

But if Hazlehurst's thoughts, as he retraced his solitary way
towards Wyllys-Roof, were partly sad, they were not all gloomy.
Wisdom does not lessen our enjoyment of one real blessing of
life; she merely teaches us to distinguish the false from the
true, and she even increases our happiness amid the evils and
sorrows against which we are warned, by purifying our pleasures,
and giving life and strength to every better thought and feeling.
When Harry entered the gate of Wyllys-Roof, his heart beat with
joy again, as he saw Elinor, now his betrothed wife, awaiting his
return on the piazza; he joined her, and they had a long
conversation together in the fullness of confidence and
affection. They were at length interrupted by Miss Agnes, who
returned from the Hubbards'. The young people inquired
particularly after Miss Patsey.

"She is much more calm than she was yesterday; more like herself,
more resigned, thinking again of others, attending to Mrs.
Hubbard; she seems already to have found some consoling

"It seems, indeed," said Harry, "as if Hubbard's memory would
furnish consolation to his friends by the very greatness of their
loss; his character, his conduct, were always so excellent; the
best consolation for Miss Patsey."

"It is touching to see that excellent woman's deep affection for
one, so different from herself in many respects," observed Mr.

"Fraternal affection is a very strong tie," said Miss Agnes

She might have added that it is one of the most honourable to the
human heart, as it is peculiar to our race. Other natural
affections, even the best, may be partially traced among the
inferior beings of creation; something of the conjugal, paternal,
and filial attachment may be roused for a moment in most living
creatures; but fraternal affection is known to man alone, and
would seem in its perfect disinterestedness, almost worthy to
pass unchanged to a higher sphere.

"I have often thought," said Mr. Wyllys, "that the affection of
an unmarried sister for a brother or a sister, whose chief
interests and affections belong by right to another, if not the
most tender, is surely the most purely disinterested and generous
which the human heart can know: and single women probably feel
the tie more strongly than others."

Mr. Wyllys was thinking when he spoke, of his daughter Agnes and
Patsey Hubbard; and he might have thought of hundreds of others
in the same circumstances, for happily such instances are very

"I have never had either brother or sister, but I can well
imagine it must be a strong tie," said Elinor.

"I flattered myself I had been a sort of brother to you in old
times," said Harry smiling.

"Your romantic, adopted brothers, Nelly, are not good for much,"
said her grandfather. "We tried the experiment with Harry, and
see how it has turned out; it generally proves so, either too
much or too little. Don't fancy you know anything about plain,
honest, brotherly affection," he added, smiling kindly on his
granddaughter, who sat by his side.

Probably Harry was quite as well satisfied with the actual state
of things.

"But Charlie was also a son to Miss Patsey," he added, after a

"Yes; he had been almost entirely under her care from an infant,"
replied Miss Agnes.

"Poor Charlie!--little did I think that bright young head would
be laid in the grave before mine!" said Mr. Wyllys.

A moment's pause ensued.

"Much as I loved Hubbard, much as I regret his loss," said Harry,
"I shall always think of him with a melancholy pleasure."

"Excepting his loss, there does not seem indeed to be one painful
reflection connected with his name," observed Miss Agnes.

"Cherish his memory then among your better recollections," added
Mr. Wyllys, to Harry and Elinor. "And an old man can tell you the
full value of happy recollections; you will find one day the
blessing of such treasures of memory."

"It is a legacy, however, which the good alone can leave their
friends," said Miss Agnes.

And so it proved, indeed; after the first severe grief of the
sudden bereavement had passed away, the young man was remembered
among his friends with a peculiar tenderness, connected with his
youth, his genius, his excellent character, his blameless life,
and early death. Life had been but a morning to Charlie Hubbard,
but it was a glowing summer morning; its hours had not been
wasted, abused, misspent; brief as they were, yet in passing they
had brought blessings to himself, to his fellow-beings; and they
had left to those who loved him the best consolations of memory.


"Is not true love of higher price
Than outward form, though fair to see?"

{Samuel Taylor Coleridge (English poet, 1772-1834), "Separation"
lines 9-10}

HARRY had a busy autumn that year. He had two important objects
in view, and within a few weeks he succeeded in accomplishing
both. He was very desirous, now all difficulties were removed,
that his marriage with Elinor should not be deferred any longer
than was absolutely necessary.

"There cannot be the shadow of a reason, love, for waiting," he
said to her within a few days of the explanation. "Remember, it
is now six years since you first promised to become my
wife--since we were first engaged."

"Six years, off and on," said Elinor smiling.

"Not really off more than a moment."

Elinor shook her head and smiled.

"No; not really off more than a very short time."

"Very well," said Elinor archly; "but don't you think the less we
say about that second year the better? Perhaps the third and the
fourth too."

"No indeed; I have been thinking it all over; and in the first
place there has not been a moment in those six years when I have
not loved you; though to my bitter mortification I confess, there
was also a moment when I was IN LOVE with another, but it was a
very short moment, and a very disagreeable one to remember. No; I
wish you to look well into those six years, for I honestly think
they will appear more to my credit than you are at all aware of.
I shan't be satisfied until we have talked them over again, my
part at least; I don't know that you will submit to the same

"Oh, you have already heard all I have to say," she replied,
blushing deeply; "I shan't allude to my part of the story again
this long while."

Nevertheless, Harry soon succeeded in obtaining her consent to be
married within six weeks; in fact she made but few objections to
the arrangement, although she would have preferred waiting
longer, on account of the recent afflictions of Jane and the

The important day soon arrived, and the wedding took place at
Wyllys-Roof. A number of friends and relatives of both parties
were collected for the occasion; Mrs. Stanley, Robert Hazlehurst
and his wife, the late Mrs. George Wyllys and her new husband, or
as Harry called them, Mr. and Mrs. Uncle Dozie, the Van Hornes,
de Vauxes, Bernards, and others. Mary Van Alstyne was bridesmaid,
and Hubert de Vaux groomsman. The ceremony which at length united
our two young friends, was impressively performed by the
clergyman of the parish to which the Wyllyses belonged; and it
may be doubted whether there were another couple married that
day, in the whole wide world, whose feelings as they took the
solemn vows were more true, more honourable to their natures,
than those of Harry and Elinor.

Talking of vows, it was remarked by the spectators that the groom
made his promises and engagements in a more decided tone of
voice, a less embarrassed manner than usual; for, strange to say,
your grooms, happy men, are often awkward, miserable swains
enough in appearance; though it would be uncharitable in the
extreme, not to suppose them always abounding in internal
felicity. There was also another observation made by several of
the wedding-guests, friends of Harry, who were then at
Wyllys-Roof for the first time, and it becomes our duty to record
the remark, since it related to no less a person than the bride;
it was observed that she was not as pretty as a bride should be.

"Mrs. Harry Hazlehurst is no beauty, certainly," said Albert
Dangler to Orlando Flyrter.

"No beauty! She is downright ugly--I·wonder at Hazlehurst's

Unfortunately for Elinor, the days are past when benevolent
fairies arrive just at the important moment, and by a tap of the
wand or a phial of elixir, change the coarsest features, the most
unfavourable complexion, into a dazzling image of everything most
lovely, most beautiful. Nor had she the good luck of certain
young ladies of whom one reads quite often, who improve so
astonishingly in personal appearance between fifteen and
twenty--generally during the absence of the hero--that they are
not to be recognized, and a second introduction becomes
necessary. No; Elinor was no nearer to being a beauty when Harry
returned from Brazil, than when he went to Paris; she was just as
plain on the evening of her wedding as she was six years before,
when first presented to the reader's notice.

Jane, though now in widow's weeds, was just as beautiful too, as
when we first saw her; she was present at her cousin's wedding,
as Elinor wished her to be there, although in a deep mourning
dress. Patsey Hubbard was also in the drawing-room during the
ceremony, and in deep black; but she left her friends as soon as
she had expressed her warmest wishes for the happiness of her
former pupil: she wept as she turned from the house, for she
could not yet see that well-known, cheerful circle at
Wyllys-Roof, without missing one bright young face from the

Among those who had declined invitations to the wedding, were Mr.
Ellsworth and Mrs. Creighton, although both had expressed many
good wishes for the affianced couple; the gentleman wrote
sincerely, but a little sadly perhaps, as it was only six weeks
since his refusal; the lady wrote gracefully, but a little
spitefully it is believed, since it was now generally known that
Harry must recover entire possession of his fortune.

This vexatious affair was, in fact, finally settled about the
time of Harry's marriage; and, thanks to the disclosures of
Stebbins, it was no longer a difficult matter to unravel the
plot. As soon as William Stanley's representative, or in other
words, Hopgood, found that Stebbins had betrayed him, he ran off,
but was arrested shortly after, tried and convicted. He was no
sooner sentenced, than he offered to answer any questions that
might be asked, for he was anxious that his accomplice,
Clapp--who had also taken flight, and succeeded in eluding all
pursuit--should be punished as well as himself. It appeared that
his resemblance to the Stanleys was the first cause of his taking
the name of William Stanley; he was distantly related to them
through his mother, and, as we may often observe, the family
likeness, after having been partially lost for one or two
generations, had appeared quite strongly again in himself; and as
usual, the peculiarities of the resemblance had become more
deeply marked as he grew older. Being very nearly of the same
age, and of the same pursuit as William Stanley, he had actually
been taken for the young man on several occasions. He had been in
the same lawyer's office as Clapp, whom he had known as a boy,
and had always kept up some intercourse with him; meeting him one
day accidentally, he related the fact of his having passed
himself off for William Stanley by way of a joke. "The sight of
means to do ill deeds, makes deeds ill done:" Clapp seemed from
that moment to have first taken the idea of the plot; he
gradually disclosed his plan to Hopgood, who was quick-witted, a
good mimic, and quite clever enough for the purpose. The idea was
repeatedly abandoned, then resumed again; Hopgood having
purposely shipped under the name of William Stanley, several
times, and practised an imitation of William Stanley's hand by
way of an experiment. Finding no difficulties in these first
steps, they gradually grew bolder, collecting information about
the Stanleys, and carefully arranging all the details. Stebbins
had frightened them on one occasion; but after having obtained

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