Chapter XIII. {XXXVI}

“Nay, let them go, a couple of quiet ones!” Taming the Shrew.

{William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew, III.ii.240}

ELINOR was all anxiety to learn the result of the interview; and Mary Van Alstyne also naturally felt much interest in the subject, as she, too, was a cousin of William Stanley, their mothers having been sisters. Elinor soon discovered that the sailor had borne a much better examination than either of her friends had expected; he had made no glaring mistake, and he had answered their questions on some points, with an accuracy and readiness that was quite startling. He evidently knew a great deal about the Stanley family, their house, and the neighbourhood; whoever he was, there could he no doubt that he had known Mr. Stanley himself, and was very familiar with the part of the country in which he had resided. Altogether, the personal resemblance, the handwriting, the fact of his being a sailor, the papers he had shown, the plausible statement he had given, as to his past movements, and his intimate knowledge of so many facts, which a stranger could scarcely have known, made up a combination of circumstances, quite incomprehensible to the friends at Wyllys-Roof. Still, in spite of so much that appeared in his favour, Mr. Wyllys declared, that so far as his own opinion went, he had too many doubts as to this man’s character, to receive him as the son of his friend, upon the evidence he had thus far laid before them. The circumstances under which he appeared, were so very suspicious in every point of view, that the strongest possible evidences of his identity would be required, to counteract them. The length of time that had passed since the wreck of the Jefferson, the long period during which his father’s property had been left in the hands of others, and the doubtful character of the channel through which the claim was at length brought forward — all these facts united, furnished good grounds for suspecting something wrong. There were other points too, upon which Mr. Wyllys had his doubts; although the general resemblance of this individual to William Stanley, was sufficient to pass with most people, allowing for the natural changes produced by time, yet there were some minor personal traits, which did not correspond with his recollection of Mr. Stanley’s son: the voice appeared to him different in tone; he was also disposed to believe the claimant shorter and fuller than William Stanley, in the formation of his body and limbs; as to this man’s gait, which was entirely different from that of William Stanley, as a boy, nearer observation had increased Mr. Wyllys’s first impression on that subject. On these particular points, Mrs. Stanley and Hazlehurst were no judges; for the first had scarcely seen her step-son, the last had only a child’s recollection of him. Nor could Miss Agnes’s opinion have much weight, since she had seldom seen the boy, during the last years he passed on shore; for, at that time, she had been much detained at home, by the ill health of her mother. Hazlehurst had watched the claimant closely, and the interview had silenced his first misgivings, for he had been much struck with two things: he had always heard, whenever the subject of William Stanley’s character had been alluded to before him, that this unfortunate young man was sullen in temper, and dull in mind. Now, the sailor’s whole expression and manner, in his opinion, had shown too much cleverness for William Stanley; he had appeared decidedly quick-witted, and his countenance was certainly rather good-natured than otherwise. Mr. Wyllys admitted that Harry’s views were just; he was struck with both these observations; he thought them correct and important. Then Hazlehurst thought he had seen some signs of intelligence between Clapp and the sailor once or twice, a mere glance; he could not be positive, however, since it might have been his own suspicions. As to the volume of the Spectator, he had felt at first morally certain that he had read that very volume at Greatwood, only four years ago, but he had since remembered that his brother had the same edition, and he might have read the book in Philadelphia; in the mean time he would try to recall the circumstances more clearly to his mind; for so long as he had a doubt, he could not swear to the fact. He knew it was not the octavo edition, at Greatwood, that he had been reading, for he distinctly remembered the portrait of Steele in the frontispiece, and Addison’s papers on the Paradise Lost, which he had been reading; that very portrait, and those papers, were contained in the volume handed to him by Clapp. Both Mr. Wyllys and Hazlehurst were gratified to find, that Mrs. Stanley differed from them less than they had feared. She confessed, that at one moment her heart had misgiven her, but on looking closely at the sailor, she thought him less like her husband than she had expected; and she had been particularly struck by his embarrassment, when she had asked him to describe the furniture of the drawing-room at Greatwood, the very last summer he had been there, for he ought certainly under such circumstances, to have remembered it as well as herself; he had looked puzzled, and had glanced at Mr. Clapp, and the lawyer had immediately broken off the examination. Such were the opinions of the friends at this stage of the proceedings. Still it was an alarming truth, that if there were improbabilities, minor facts, and shades of manner, to strengthen their doubts, there was, on the other side, a show of evidence, which might very possibly prove enough to convince a jury. Hazlehurst had a thousand things to attend to, but he had decided to wait at Wyllys- Roof until the arrival of Mr. Ellsworth.

{“Addison’s papers on the Paradise Lost“ = in fact, Addison’s essays on Paradise Lostare contained in volumes four and five of the Spectator}

Leaving those most interested in this vexatious affair to hold long consultations together in Mr. Wyllys’s study, we must now proceed to record a visit which Miss Agnes received from one of our Longbridge acquaintances, and we shall therefore join the ladies.

“I am sorry, my dear, that the house is not so quiet as we could wish, just now,” said Miss Agnes to Jane, one morning, as she and Elinor were sitting together in the young widow’s room.

“Thank you, Aunt; but it does not disturb me, and I know it is not to be avoided just now,” said Jane, languidly.

“No, it cannot be helped, with this troublesome business going on; and we shall have Mrs. Creighton and Mr. Ellsworth here soon.”

“Pray, do not change your plans on my account. I need not see any of your friends; I shall scarcely know they are here,” said Jane, with a deep sigh.

“If it were possible to defer their visit, I should do so; but situated as we are with Mr. Ellsworth — ” added Miss Wyllys.

“Certainly; do not let me interfere with his coming. I feel perfectly indifferent as to who comes or goes; I can never take any more pleasure in society!”

“Here is my aunt Wyllys driving up to the door,” said Elinor, who was sitting near a window. “Do you feel equal to seeing her?”

“Oh, no, not to-day, dear,” said Jane in an imploring voice; and Elinor accordingly remained with her cousin, while Miss Agnes went down to meet Mrs. George Wyllys. This lady was still living at Longbridge, although every few months she talked of leaving the place. Her oldest boy had just received a midshipman’s warrant, to which he was certainly justly entitled — his father having lost his life in the public service. The rest of her children were at home; and rather spoilt and troublesome little people they were.

“How is Jane?” asked Mrs. Wyllys, as she entered the house.

“Very sad and feeble; but I hope the air here will strengthen her, after a time.”

“Poor thing! — no wonder she is sad, indeed! So young, and such an affliction! How is the child?”

“Much better; she is quite playful, and disturbs Jane very much by asking after her father. What a warm drive you must have had, Harriet; you had better throw off your hat, and stay with us until evening.”

“Thank you; I must go home for dinner, and shall not be able to stay more than half an hour. Is your father in? I wished to see him, as well as yourself, on business.”

“No, he is not at home; he has gone off some miles, to look at some workmen who are putting up a new farm-house.”

“I am sorry he is not at home, for I want to ask his opinion. And yet he must have his hands full just now, with that vexatious Stanley case. I must say, I think Clapp deserves to be sent to the tread-mill!”

“Perhaps he does,” replied Miss Wyllys. “It is to be hoped at least, that he will receive what he deserves, and nothing more.”

“I hope he will, with all my heart! But as I have not much time to spare, I must proceed to lay my affairs before you. Now I really and honestly want your advice, Agnes.”

“You have had it often before,” replied Miss Wyllys, smiling. “I am quite at your service now,” she added, seeing her sister-in-law look a little uneasy. Mrs. Wyllys was silent for a moment.

“I scarcely know where to begin,” she then said; “for here I am, come to consult you on a subject which you may think beneath your notice; you are superior to such trifling matters,” she said, smiling — and then added: “But seriously, I have too much confidence in your judgment and good sense, to wish to act without your approbation.”

“What is the point upon which I am to decide? — for you have not yet told me anything.”

“It is a subject upon which I have been thinking for some time — several months. What should you say to my marrying again?” asked Mrs. Wyllys stoutly.

Miss Agnes was amazed. She had known her sister-in-law, when some years younger, refuse more than one good offer; and had never for a moment doubted her intention to remain a widow for life.

“You surprise me, Harriet,” she said; “I had no idea you thought of marrying again.”

“Certainly, I never thought of taking such a step until quite lately.”

“And who is the gentleman?” asked Miss Agnes, in some anxiety.

“I know you will at least agree with me, in thinking that I have made a prudent choice. The welfare of my children is indeed my chief consideration. I find, Agnes, that they require a stronger hand than mine to manage them. Long before Evert went to sea, he was completely his own master; there were only two persons who had any influence over him, one is his grandfather, the other, a gentleman who will, I suppose, before long, become nearly connected with him. I frankly acknowledge that I have no control over him myself; it is a mortifying fact to confess, but my system of education, though an excellent one in theory, has not succeeded in practice.”

’Because,’ thought Miss Agnes, ‘there is too much theory, my good sister.’ “But you have not yet named the gentleman,” she added, aloud.

“Oh, I have no doubt of your approving my choice! He is a most worthy, excellent man — of course, at my time of life, I shall not make a love-match. Can’t you guess the individual — one of my Longbridge neighbours?”

“From Longbridge,” said Miss Wyllys, not a little surprised. “Edward Tibbs, perhaps,” she added, smiling. He was an unmarried man, and one of the Longbridge beaux.

“Oh, no; how can you think me so silly, Agnes! I am ashamed of you! It is a very different person; the family are great favourites of your’s.”

“One of the Van Hornes?” Mrs. Wyllys shook her head.

“One of the Hubbards? — Is it John Hubbard, the principal of the new Academy?” inquired Miss Agnes, faintly.

“Do you suppose I would marry a man of two-or-three-and-twenty!” exclaimed Mrs. Wyllys with indignation. “It is his uncle; a man against whom there can be no possible objection — Mr. James Hubbard.”

’Uncle Dozie, of all men!’ thought Miss Agnes. ‘Silent, sober, sleepy Uncle Dozie. Well, we must be thankful that it is no worse.’

“Mr. Hubbard is certainly a respectable man, a man of principles,” she observed aloud. “But everybody looked upon him as a confirmed old bachelor; I did not suspect either of you of having any thoughts of marrying,” continued Miss Agnes, smiling.

“I am sometimes surprised that we should have come to that conclusion, myself. But it is chiefly for the sake of my children that I marry; you must know me well enough, Agnes, to be convinced that I sacrifice myself for them!”

“I wish, indeed, that it may be for their good, Harriet!”

“Thank you; I have no doubt of it. I feel perfect confidence in Mr. Hubbard; he is a man so much older than myself, and so much more experienced, that I shall be entirely guided in future by his counsel and advice.”

Miss Agnes had some difficulty in repressing a smile and a sigh.

“Of course, I am well aware that many people will think I am taking a foolish step,” continued Mrs. Wyllys. Hubbard’s connexions, are generally not thought agreeable, perhaps; he has very little property, and no profession. I am not blinded, you see; but I am very indifferent as to the opinion of the world in general; I am very independent of all but my immediate friends, as you well know, Agnes.”

Miss Wyllys was silent.

“In fact, my attention was first fixed upon Mr. Hubbard, by finding how little he was appreciated and understood by others; I regretted that I had at first allowed myself to be guided by general opinion. Now I think it very possible that, although Mr. Hubbard has been your neighbour for years, even you, Agnes, may have a very mistaken opinion of him; you may have underrated his talents, his strong affections, and energetic character. I was surprised myself to find, what a very agreeable companion he is!”

“I have always believed Mr. James Hubbard a man of kind feelings, as you observe, and a man of good principles; two important points, certainly.”

“I am glad you do him justice. But you are not aware perhaps, what a very pleasant companion he is, where he feels at his ease, and knows that he is understood.”

’That is to say, where he can doze, while another person thinks and talks for him,’ thought Miss Agnes.

“The time is fixed I suppose for the wedding, Harriet?” she inquired aloud, with a smile.

“Nearly so, I believe. I told Mr. Hubbard that I should be just as ready to marry him next week, as next year; we agreed that when two persons of our ages had come to an understanding, they might as well settle the matter at once. We shall be married, I fancy, in the morning, in church, with only two or three friends present. I hope, Agnes, that your father and yourself will be with me. You know that I should never have taken this step, if you had not agreed with me in thinking it for the good of my children.”

“Thank you, Harriet; of course we shall be present, if you wish it.”

“Certainly I wish it. I shall always look upon you as my best friends and advisers.”

“Next to Mr. Hubbard, in future,” replied Miss Agnes, smiling.

“When you know him better, you will confess that he deserves a high place in my confidence. You have no idea how much his brother and nieces think of him; but that is no wonder, for they know his good sense, and his companionable qualities. He is really a very agreeable companion, Agnes, for a rational woman; quite a cultivated mind, too.”

Visions of cabbages and turnips rose in Miss Agnes’s mind, as the only cultivation ever connected, till now, with Uncle Dozie’s name.

“We passed last evening charmingly; I read the Lay of the Last Minstrel aloud to him, and he seemed to enjoy it very much,” continued Mrs. Wyllys.

{ Lay of the Last Minstrel= long narrative poem (1805) by Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)}

’He took a nap, I suppose,’ thought Miss Agnes. “He ought to be well pleased to have a fair lady read aloud to him,” she replied, smiling.

“The better I know him, the more satisfied I am with my choice. I have: found a man upon whom I can depend for support and advice — and one who is at the same time a very pleasant companion. Do you know, he sometimes reminds me of our excellent father,”

This was really going too far, in Miss Agnes’s opinion; she quite resented a comparison between Uncle Dozie and Mr. Wyllys. The widow, however, was too much occupied with her own affairs, to notice Miss Agnes’s expression.

“I find, indeed, that the whole family are more agreeable than I had supposed; but you rather gave me a prejudice against them. The young ladies improve on acquaintance, they are pretty, amiable young women; I have seen them quite often since we have been near neighbours. Well, I must leave you, for Mr. Hubbard dines with me to-day. In the mean time, Agnes, I commit my affairs to your hands. Since I did not find your father at home, I shall write to him this evening.”

The ladies parted; and as Mrs. Wyllys passed out of the room, she met Elinor.

“Good morning, Elinor,” she said; “your aunt has news for you, which I would tell you myself if I had time:” then nodding, she left the house, and had soon driven off. “My dear Aunt, what is this news?” asked Elinor.

Miss Agnes looked a little annoyed, a little mortified, and a little amused.

When the mystery was explained, Elinor’s amazement was great.

“It is incredible!” she exclaimed. “My Aunt Wyllys actually going to marry that prosing, napping Mr. Hubbard; Uncle Dozie!”

“When I remember her husband,” said Miss Agnes, with feeling, “it does seem incredible; my dear, warm-hearted, handsome, animated brother George!”

“How extraordinary!” said Elinor, who could do nothing but exclaim.

“No; not in the least extraordinary,” added Miss Agnes; “such marriages, dear, seem quite common.”

Mr. Wyllys was not at all astonished at the intelligence.

“I have expected that Harriet would marry, all along; she has a great many good intentions, and some good qualities; but I knew she would not remain a widow. It is rather strange that she should have chosen James Hubbard; but she might have done worse.”

With these philosophical reflections, Mrs. Wyllys’s friends looked forward to the happy event which was soon to take place. The very same morning that Miss Agnes was taken into the confidence of the bride, the friends of the groom also learned the news, but in a more indirect manner.

The charms of a parterre are daily be-rhymed in verse, and vaunted in prose, but the beauties of a vegetable garden seldom meet with the admiration they might claim. If you talk of beets, people fancy them sliced with pepper and vinegar; if you mention carrots, they are seen floating in soup; cabbage figures in the form of cold-slaw, or disguised under drawn-butter; if you refer to corn, it appears to the mind’s eye wrapt in a napkin to keep it warm, or cut up with beans in a succatash { sic}. Half the people who see these good things daily spread on the board before them, are only acquainted with vegetables after they have been mutilated and disguised by cookery. They would not know the leaf of a beet from that of the spinach, the green tuft of a carrot from the delicate sprigs of parsley. Now, a bouquet of roses and pinks is certainly a very beautiful object, but a collection of fine vegetables, with the rich variety of shape and colour, in leaf, fruit, and root, such as nature has given them to us, is a noble sight. So thought Uncle Dozie, at least. The rich texture and shading of the common cabbage- leaf was no novelty to him; he had often watched the red, coral-like veins in the glossy green of the beet; the long, waving leaf of the maize, with the silky tassels of its ears, were beautiful in his eyes; and so were the rich, white heads of the cauliflower, delicate as carved ivory, the feathery tuft of the carrot, the purple fruit of the egg-plant, and the brilliant scarlet tomato. He came nearer than most Christians, out of Weathersfield, to sympathy with the old Egyptians in their onion-worship.

{“parterre” = ornamental flower garden; “out of Weathersfield” = Wethersfield (the modern spelling), Connecticut, was famous for its onions (there is still a red onion called “Red Weathersfield”), until struck by a blight about 1840; “old Egyptians” = ancient Egypt was proverbial for worshiping the onion}

With such tastes and partialities, Uncle Dozie was generally to be found in his garden, between the hours of sun-rise and sun-set; gardening having been his sole occupation for nearly forty years. His brother, Mr. Joseph Hubbard, having something to communicate, went there in search of him, on the morning to which we refer. But Uncle Dozie was not to be found. The gardener, however, thought that he could not have gone very far, for he had passed near him not five minutes before; and he suggested that, perhaps Mr. Hubbard was going out somewhere, for “he looked kind o’ spruce and drest up.” Mr. Hubbard expected his brother to dine at home, and thought the man mistaken. In passing an arbour, however, he caught a glimpse of the individual he was looking for, and on coming nearer, he found Uncle Dozie, dressed in a new summer suit, sitting on the arbour seat taking a nap, while at his feet was a very fine basket of vegetables, arranged with more than usual care. Unwilling to disturb him, his brother, who knew that his naps seldom lasted more than a few minutes at a time, took a turn in the garden, waiting for him to awake. He had hardly left the arbour however, before he heard Uncle Dozie moving; turning in that direction, he was going to join him, when, to his great astonishment, he saw his brother steal from the arbour, with the basket of vegetables on his arm, and disappear between two rows of pea-brush.

“James! — I say, James! — Where are you going? Stop a minute, I want to speak to you!” cried Mr. Joseph Hubbard.

He received no answer.

“James! — Wait a moment for me! Where are you?” added the merchant; and walking quickly to the pea-rows, he saw his brother leave them and dexterously make for the tall Indian-corn. Now Uncle Dozie was not in the least deaf; and his brother was utterly at a loss to account for his evading him in the first place, and for his not answering in the second. He thought the man had lost his senses: he was mistaken, Uncle Dozie had only lost his heart. Determined not to give up the chase, still calling the retreating Uncle Dozie, he pursued him from the pea-rows into the windings of the corn-hills, across the walk to another growth of peas near the garden paling. Here, strange to say, in a manner quite inexplicable to his brother, Uncle Dozie and his vegetables suddenly disappeared! Mr. Hubbard was completely at fault: he could scarcely believe that he was in his own garden, and that it was his own brother James whom he had been pursuing, and who seemed at that instant to have vanished from before his eyes — through the fence, he should have said, had such a thing been possible. Mr. Hubbard was a resolute man; he determined to sift the matter to the bottom. Still calling upon the fugitive, he made his way to the garden paling through the defile of the peas. No one was there — a broad, open bed lay on either hand, and before him the fence. At last he observed a foot-print in the earth near the paling, and a rustling sound beyond. He advanced and looked over, and to his unspeakable amazement, saw his brother, James Hubbard, busily engaged there, in collecting the scattered vegetables which had fallen from his basket.

“Jem! — I have caught you at last, have I? What in the name of common sense are you about there?”

No reply was made, but Uncle Dozie proceeded to gather up his cauliflowers, peas and tomatoes, to the best of his ability.

“Did you fly over the fence, or through it?” asked his brother, quite surprised.

“Neither one nor the other,” replied Uncle Dozie, sulkily. “I came through the gate.”

“Gate! — why there never was a gate here!”

“There is one now.”

And so there was; part of the paling had been turned into a narrow gate.

“Why, who cut this gate, I should like to know?”

“I did.”

“You did, Jem? What for? — What is the use of it?”

“To go through.”

“To go where? It only leads into Mrs. Wyllys’s garden.”

Uncle Dozie made no answer.

“What are you doing with those vegetables? I am really curious to know.”

“Going to carry them down there,” said Uncle Dozie.

“Down where?” repeated Uncle Josie, looking on the ground strewed with vegetables.

“Over there.”

“Over where?” asked the merchant, raising his eyes towards a neighbouring barn before him.

“Yonder,” added Uncle Dozie, making a sort of indescribable nod backward with his head.

“Yonder! — In the street do you mean? Are you going to throw them away?”

“Throw away such a cauliflower as this!” exclaimed Uncle Dozie, with great indignation.

“What are you going to do with them, then?”

“Carry them to the house there.”

“What house?”

“Mrs. Wyllys’s, to be sure,” replied Uncle Dozie, boldly.

“What is the use of carrying vegetables to Mrs. Wyllys? She has a garden of her own” said his brother, very innocently.

“Miserable garden — poor, thin soil,” muttered Uncle Dozie.

“Is it? Well, then, I can understand it; but you might us well send them by the gardener.”

Uncle Dozie made no reply, but proceeded to arrange his vegetables in the basket, with an eye to appearances; he had gathered them all up again, but another object which had fallen on the grass lay unnoticed.

“What is that — a book?” asked his brother.

Uncle Dozie turned round, saw the volume, picked it up, and thrust it in his pocket.

“Did you drop it? I didn’t know you ever carried a book about you,” replied his brother, with some surprise. “What is it?”

“A book of poetry.”

“Whose poetry?”

“I am sure I’ve forgotten,” replied Uncle Dozie, taking a look askance at the title, as it half-projected from his pocket. “It’s Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner,” he added.

{“Coleridge’s ... ” = The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798) by the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834). A number of chapter epigraphs in “Elinor Wyllys” are taken from this famous poem}

“What in the world are you going to do with it?” said his brother, with increasing surprise.

“I wanted a volume of poetry.”

“You — Jem Hubbard! Why, I thought Yankee-Doodle was the only poetry you cared for!”

“I don’t care for it, but she does.”

“She! — What she?” asked Uncle Josie, with lively curiosity, but very little tact, it would seem.

“Mrs. Wyllys,” was the laconic reply.

“Oh, Mrs. Wyllys; I told her some time ago that she was very welcome to any of our books.”

“It isn’t one of your books; it’s mine; I bought it.”

“It wasn’t worth while to buy it, Jem,” said his brother; “I dare say Emmeline has got it in the house. If Mrs. Wyllys asked to borrow it, you ought to have taken Emmeline’s, though she isn’t at home; she just keeps her books to show off on the centre-table, you know. Our neighbour, Mrs. Wyllys, seems quite a reader.”

“She doesn’t want this to read herself,” observed Uncle Dozie.

“No? — What does she want it for?”

“She wants me to read it aloud.”

Uncle Josie opened his eyes in mute astonishment. Uncle Dozie continued, as if to excuse himself for this unusual offence: “She asked for a favourite volume of mine; but I hadn’t any favourite; so I bought this. It looks pretty, and the bookseller said it was called a good article.”

“Why, Jem, are you crazy, man! — yougoing to read poetry aloud!”

“Why not?” said Uncle Dozie, growing bolder as the conversation continued, and he finished arranging his basket.

“I believe you are out of your head, Jem; I don’t understand you this morning. What is the meaning of this? — what are you about?”

“Going to be married,” replied Uncle Dozie, not waiting for any further questions, but setting off at a brisk step towards Mrs. Wyllys’s door.

Mr. Joseph Hubbard remained looking over the fence in silent amazement; he could scarcely believe his senses, so entirely was he taken by surprise. In good sooth, Uncle Dozie had managed matters very slily, through that little gate in the garden paling; not a human being had suspected him. Uncle Josie’s doubts were soon entirely removed, however; he was convinced of the reality of all he had heard and seen that morning, when he observed his brother standing on Mrs. Wyllys’s steps, and the widow coming out to receive him, with a degree of elegance in her dress, and graciousness in her manner, quite perceptible across the garden: the fair lady admired the vegetables, ordered them carried into the cellar, and received Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner from Uncle Dozie’s hands, while they were still standing beneath the rose-covered porch, looking sufficiently lover-like to remove any lingering doubts of Uncle Josie. After the happy couple had entered the house, the merchant left his station at the paling, and returned to his own solitary dinner, laughing heartily whenever the morning scene recurred to him. We have said that Uncle Dozie had managed his love affairs thus far so slyly, that no one suspected him; that very afternoon, however, one of the most distinguished gossips of Longbridge, Mrs. Tibbs’s mother, saw him napping in Mrs. Wyllys’s parlour, with a rose-bud in his button-hole, and the Ancient Mariner in his hand. She was quite too experienced in her vocation, not to draw her own conclusions; and a suspicion, once excited, was instantly communicated to others. The news spread like wild-fire; and when the evening-bell rang, it had become a confirmed fact in many houses, that Mrs. Wyllys and Mr. James Hubbard had already been privately married six months.