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370 It was a scene that might recall a remote half feudal, half patriarchal age, when, under the smoky rafters of his antique hall, some warlike thane sat, with kinsmen and dependants ranged down the long board, each in his degree. Here, doubtless, Ragueneau, the Father Superior, held the place of honor; and, for chieftains scarred with Danish battle-axes, was seen a band of thoughtful men, clad in a threadbare garb of black, their brows swarthy from exposure, yet marked with the lines of intellect and a fixed enthusiasm of purpose. Here was Bressani, scarred with firebrand and knife; Chabanel, once a professor of rhetoric in France, now a missionary, bound by a self-imposed vow to a life from which his nature recoiled; the fanatical Chaumonot, whose character savored of his peasant birth,for the grossest fungus of superstition that ever grew under the shadow of Rome was not too much for his omnivorous credulity, and miracles and mysteries were his daily food; yet, such as his faith was, he was ready to die for it. Garnier, beardless like a woman, was of a far finer nature. His religion was of the affections and the sentiments; and his imagination, warmed with the ardor of his faith, shaped the ideal forms of his worship into visible realities. Brbeuf sat conspicuous among his brethren, portly and tall, his short moustache and beard grizzled with time,for he was fifty-six years old. If he seemed impassive, it was because one overmastering principle had merged and absorbed all the impulses of his nature and all the faculties of his 371 mind. The enthusiasm which with many is fitful and spasmodic was with him the current of his life,solemn and deep as the tide of destiny. The Divine Trinity, the Virgin, the Saints, Heaven and Hell, Angels and Fiends,to him, these alone were real, and all things else were nought. Gabriel Lalemant, nephew of Jerome Lalemant, Superior at Quebec, was Brbeuf's colleague at the mission of St. Ignace. His slender frame and delicate features gave him an appearance of youth, though he had reached middle life; and, as in the case of Garnier, the fervor of his mind sustained him through exertions of which he seemed physically incapable. Of the rest of that company little has come down to us but the bare record of their missionary toils; and we may ask in vain what youthful enthusiasm, what broken hope or faded dream, turned the current of their lives, and sent them from the heart of civilization to this savage outpost of the world.I have heard, answered Lamon, that a tax-collector is to be sent to some of the rebellious cities. He will have hundreds of soldiers with him. It would not surprise me, Thuphrastos, if you should be appointed to that office.
"H-oh! already, egcep' inside me, I'm dead."
But where were old friends and battery sisters? All estranged. Could not the Callenders go to them and explain? Explain! A certain man of not one-fifth their public significance or "secesh" record, being lightly asked on the street if he had not yet "taken the oath" and as lightly explaining that he "wasn't going to," had, fame said, for that alone, been sent to Ship Island--where Anna "already belonged," as the commanding general told the three gentle refusers of the oath, while in black letters on the whited wall above his judgment seat in the custom-house they read, "No distinction made here between he and she adders."Ganeagaono, Mohawk, Agnier.
Rhaiboskels! Bow-legs! he shouted, his voice echoing far over the plain, where did you get your shield?
Under the green curtain was seen on each side a184 pair of feet. The sight of these motionless feet aroused an indescribable excitement among the men. At first no one believed his eyes; then all rose from their couches. It was so still that, for the first time in the course of the evening, the water was heard trickling in the fulling-room adjoining.The actual text of Anna's chunk was never divulged, even to Flora. We do not need it. Neither did Flora. One of its later effects was to give the slender correspondence which crawled after it much more historical value to the battery and the battery's beloved home city than otherwise it might have had. From Virginia it told spiritedly of men, policies, and movements; sketched cabinet officers, the president, and the great leaders and subleaders in the field--Stuart, Gordon, Fitzhugh Lee. It gave droll, picturesque accounts of the artillerist's daily life; of the hard, scant fare and the lucky feast now and then on a rabbit or a squirrel, turtles' eggs, or wild strawberries. It depicted moonlight rides to dance with Shenandoah girls; the playing of camp charades; and the singing of war, home, and love songs around the late camp fire, timed to the antic banjo or the sentimental guitar. Drolly, yet with tenderness for others, it portrayed mountain storm, valley freshet, and heart-breaking night marches beside tottering guns in the straining, sucking, leaden-heavy, red clay, and then, raptly, the glories of sunrise and sunset over the contours of the Blue Ridge. And it explained the countless things which happily enable a commander to keep himself as busy as a mud-dauber, however idle the camp or however torn his own heart.