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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesSamantha At The World's Fair - Chapter 21
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Samantha At The World's Fair - Chapter 21 Post by :oukhanova Category :Long Stories Author :Marietta Holley Date :May 2012 Read :3854

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Samantha At The World's Fair - Chapter 21


Wall, it wuz all settled as I wanted it to be. Them two angels, as I couldn't hardly keep callin' 'em, if one of 'em wuz a he angel--them two lovely good creeters wuz married right in the place where I wanted 'em to be married--right in our parlor, in front of the picter of Grant, and not fur back of the hangin' lamp, but fur enough back so's to allow of a lovely bell of white roses and lilies to swing over their heads.

The bell wuz made of the white roses, and a fair white lily hung down, a-swingin' its noiseless music out into the hearts below--sacred music which we all seemed to hear in our inmost hearts as we looked into the faces that stood under that magic bell.

Isabelle had on a white muslin gown, plain, but shear and fine, and she wore a bunch of white roses at her belt and at her white throat, and she carried in her hand a bunch of rare ones.

But it all corresponded, for she wuz the white lily herself, as tall, and fair, and queenly.

Only when the words wuz said that made her Tom's wife, her cheeks flushed up as no white lily ever did, even under the sun's rosiest rays.

But a sun wuz a-shinin' on her that went beyend any earthly sun--it wuz the rays of the great planet Love that illuminated her face, and lit up her glorified eyes with the light that wuz never on sea nor on shore.

Her husband looked right into her face all the while the Elder wuz a-unitin' 'em, a-lookin' at her as if he could not quite believe in his happiness yet--looked at her as one looks at a pearl of great price, when he has recovered it after a long loss.

I sez to Josiah, as I see that look on his face--

"Many waters may not quench it, Josiah Allen, nor floods drown it, can they?"

And he brung me back to the present by remarkin'--

"I wouldn't bring up drowndins and conflagrations at such a time as this, Samantha."

And I sithed and sez to myself, what I have said so many times to she that wuz Samantha Smith, in strict confidence--

"How different, how different Josiah Allen and I look at things! And still we worship each other, jest about."

Wall, Thomas Jefferson and Maggie wuz there, and Tirzah Ann and Whitfield, and the children, and Krit. The two girls, our daughters, wuz dressed in white, and the Babe stood up by the bride dressed in white, and holdin' a cunnin' little basket of posies in her hand, and they all looked pretty, and felt pretty, and acted so.

We had good refreshments to refresh ourselves with, and everything went off happy and joyous, as weddings should, and will, if True Love stands up with 'em; and she is the only Bridesmaid worth a cent.

(I am aware that it is usual to call Love a he, but I believe in fair play, and you may as well call it a she once in a while, specially as the female sect are as lovin' agin as the he ones, so I think.)

Wall, they had lots and lots of presents--nice ones too. Mr. Freeman's gift to her wuz two diamond and ruby bracelets, that shone on her white wrists like sparks of fire and dew.

Them diamonds seemed to be the mates of the ones that had burned on her finger ever sence a day or two after they met at the World's Fair.

So you see, though she gin her jewels away in her youth, she found 'em agin in her ripe, sweet womanhood. She gin away the jewels of her ambition, her glowin' hopes and desires, for a career, and she found 'em more than all made up to her.

But the jewels her husband prized most in her wuz the calm light of patience, and love, and womanliness that shone on her face. They wuz made, them pure pearls of hern, as pearls always are, by long sufferin' and endurance, and the "constant anguish of patience."

Krit give her for his gift a beautiful cross of precious stones, and I mistrusted, from what I see in her face when he gin it to her, that he meant it to be symbolical, and then agin I don't know. But, anyway, she wore it a-fastenin' the lace at her white throat.

(Illustration: Krit give her a beautiful cross.)

But I do know that the girls and I gin her some good linen napkins, and towels, and table-cloths, and the boys a handsome set of books.

And I do know that the supper afterwards wuz, although well I know the impoliteness of my even hintin' at it--I do know, and I should lie if I said that I didn't know it, that that supper wuz a good one--as good a one, so fur as my knowledge goes, as wuz ever put on a table in the town of Lyme, or the village of Jonesville.

And Josiah Allen, he eat too much--fur, fur too much. And I hunched him three times to that effect at the time, to no avail.

And once I stepped on his toe--a dretful warnin' steppin'--and he asked me out loud and snappish (I hit a corn, I spoze, onbeknown to me)--and he asked me right out before 'em all, voyalent, "What I wuz a-steppin' on his toe for?"

(Illustration: I stepped on his toe.)

And so, of course, that curbed me in, and I had to let him go on, and cut a full swath in the vittles. But it wuz some comfort for me to think that most likely he wouldn't be tempted by a weddin' supper agin--not for some time, anyway. For the Babe wuz but young yet, and we wuz gettin' along.

Yes, that hull weddin' went off perfectly beautiful, and there wuzn't but one drawback to my happiness on that golden day that united them two happy lovers.

Yes, onbeknown to me a feelin' of sadness come over me--sadness and regret.

It wuzn't any worriment and concern about the fate of Isabelle and her husband --no; True Love wuz a-goin' out with 'em on their weddin' tower, and I knew if he went ahead of 'em, and they wuz a-walkin' in the light of his torch, their way wuz a-goin' to be a radiant and a satisfyin' one, whether it led up hill or down or over the deep waters--yea, even over the swellin' of Jordan.

No, it wuzn't that, nor anything relatin' to the children, or my dress, or anything--

No, my dress--a new lilock gray alpaca--sot out noble round my form, and my new head-dress wuz foamin' lookin', but it didn't foam too much.

No, it wuzn't that, nor anything about the neighbors--no; they looked some envious at our noble doin's, and walked by the house considerable, and the wimmen made errents, and borrowed more tea and sugar, durin' the preparations, than it seemed as if they could use in two years; but I pitied 'em, and forgive 'em--

And it wuzn't anything about the children or Krit.

For the children wuz happy in their happy and prosperous hums, and Krit, they say--I don't tell it for certain--but they say that he come back engaged to a sweet young girl of Chicago--

Come back from the great New World of the World's Fair, as his illustrious namesake went home so long ago, in chains--

Only Krit's chains wuz wrought of linked love and blessedness instead of iron--so they say.

I've seen her picter; but good land! how can I tell who or what it is? It is pretty as a doll, and Krit seems to think his eyes on it; but he's so full of fun, I can't git any straight story out of him.

But Thomas Jefferson says she is a bonny fidy girl--a good one and a pretty one, and has got a father dretful well off; and he sez that she and Krit are engaged. So I spoze more'n like as not they be.

And I also learnt, through a letter received that very day, that Mr. Bolster has led Miss Plank to the altar, or she has led him--it don't make much difference. Anyway, she has walked offen the Plank of widowhood, and settled down onto a Bolster for life.

(Illustration: Mr. Bolster led Miss Plank to the altar.)

I wuz glad on't. She wanted a companion, and he loves to converse, Heaven knows; and he is sure of one thing--he's almost certain, or as certain as we can be of anything in this life, that he will have the best pancakes that hands can make or spoons stir up.

I learnt also from her letter--Miss Bolster's, knee Plankses--that Nony Piddock wuz a-goin into the ministery. What a case for funerals he will be, and shockin' casualities! But he won't be good for much on a weddin' occasion.

And speakin' of weddin's brings me back to my subject agin.

No, it wuzn't any of these things that cast that mournful shadder on my eyebrows, anon, and even oftener, when I wuz out by myself--

And I spoze that I might as well tell what it wuz that I regretted and missed--

It wuz Christopher Columbus! the Brave Admiral! good, noble creeter!

I felt, in view of all he had done for America and the world, it wuz too bad that he had to die without havin' the privilege of seein' Jonesville, and bein' with us that day, and seein' what we see, and hearin' what we heard, and eatin' what we eat--

It wuz his doin's, the hull on't wuz Christopher Columbuses doin's. For if he hadn't discovered America, why, he wouldn't had no World's Fair for him. And then it stands to reason that Josiah and I shouldn't have gone to it. And if we hadn't gone to Miss Plankses, Mr. Freeman and Isabelle wouldn't have met.

Yes, I felt to lay the praise of it all to that blessed old mariner--I felt that I hadn't done nothin' towards it to what he had. And I kep on a-sayin' to myself--

"Oh, if he could only have been here, and seen with his own eyes what he had done!"

And when I thought how he walked hungry through the streets of Genoa, oh, how I did wish he could have had some of my scolloped oysters, and pressed chickens, and jell-cake, and tarts, and my heartfelt pity and sympathy, to say nothin' of other vittles, and well-meanin' actions accordin'.

(Illustration: How I did wish he could have had some of my scolloped oysters, and jell-cake, and tarts.)

Of course, I would have been pleased to have had Queen Isabelle and Ferdinand there--

There wuz cake enough, and ice-cream, and oysters, and everything. And everybody that knows me knows that I hain't one to begrech havin' one or two more visitors to wait on and provide for than I had planned havin'.

Yes, I should have been glad to seen 'em, and wait on 'em. But I didn't seem to care anything about seein' 'em, compared to my feelin's about Christopher Columbus.

Yes, Christopher wuz my theme, and my constant burden of mind.

But I had to gin it up. I couldn't expect a man to live four or five hundred years jest to please me, and gratify Jonesville.

No, Columbus wuzn't there. He wuz off somewhere a-discoverin' new continents, or planets, mebby.

For I don't believe he crumpled right down, and sot down forever on them golden streets.

No; I believe the eager, active mind would be a-reachin' out, a-findin' out new truths, new discoveries, so great that it would probable make us shet our eyes before the blindin' glory of 'em, if we could only git a glimpse of 'em.

But there, in that New World that lays beyend the sunset, he is happy at last--blest in the companionship of other true prophetic ones, whose deepest strivin's wuz, like his, to make the world better and wiser--them who longed for deeper, fuller understandin', and who walked the narrer streets of earth, like him, in chains and soul-hunger.

I love to think that now, onhampered by mutinous foes, or mortal weakness, they are a-sailin' out on that broad sea of full knowledge, and comprehension, and divine sympathy. Lit by the sunshine of infinite love, they sail on, and on, and on.

Marietta Holley's Novel: Samantha at the World's Fair

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