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health remained. But he addressed a ranged that food should be left at stated spirit as bold as his own, as truly imbued spots around the village, that troughs filled with knowledge of Christian duty, as de- with water should be placed near the termined to act with fortitude and resig- boundary line of communication, to receive nation to death. She sent her children to and purify the purchase money used in the a temporary home of safety, but she re- perilous traffic ; and thus all danger be fused to go herself; he whom she had avoided of spreading contagion. In his sworn to love and cherish she would not labors he was much assisted by the Earl desert in his hour of need; the marriage of Devonshire, who was at the time residvow of consolatory companionship, “ till ing at Chatsworth, where he also remained, death doth part,” she would keep to the undeterred by fear, during the whole time letter, and resolutely, with Christian forti- the plague was ravaging Eyam, doing all tude, cast away all fear, and prepared for in his power to second the exertions of its a duty, although it was rendered doubly noble pastor. repulsive by the terrors which surrounded Mompesson felt more than ever the neit.
cessity for religious comfort and observThese noble spirits by their example ances, and wished that his flock should upheld the hopes of their poor parishioners; unite in prayer to God, and listen to the they flew not from their homes when their certain hope of salvation as they had done pastor showed his faith and determination; heretofore. But to assemble where they they trusted in him and obeyed his behests; used, in the village church, would be to he was their guide, their monitor, in life woo the embraces of Death. He there. and death. By this means the plague was fore fixed on a spot where he had often pent in the narrow limits of the village, enjoyed the beauty of retirement in hapand the county—or perhaps we may say pier hours, and there determined to asthe country generally—was saved from semble his hearers. It is a deep dell, similar ravages. Such was his influence close to the village, formed by the fissures over the villagers, that at a time when, of of the rocks as they descend toward all others, men listen least to argument Middleton Dale, its craggy sides covered and most to fear, he was implicitly obeyed with trees, and a small stream trickling in all things; his character and example along the midst. Half-way down the dell drew a moral cordon—"a charmed circle" a rock projects from the mass of foliage, -round Eyam, which none attempted to and at a little height from the base is a pass, even though to remain within it was small cavernous arch about twelve feet to hazard death almost inevitably. He ar- | high. This Mompesson chose for his pul
pit; it was sufficiently high to command a month of August, and her death is thus view of the little dell ; its arched roof con- feelingly told by her husband in a letter to centrated and threw forth his voice to his a friend : hearers on the hill opposite.
“This is the saddest news ever my pen could " A pallid, ghost-like, melancholy crew,
write. The destroying angel having taken up Seated on scattered crags, and far-off knolls, his quarters within my habitation, my dearest As fearing each the other.”
wife has gone to her eternal rest, and is invested
with a crown of righteousness, having made a And thus was God's service conducted at well as me, she had fled from the pit of destruc
happy end. Indeed, had she loved herself as Eyam during the plague, and the spot is tion with the sweet babes, and might have prostill sacred to the villagers, who term it longed her days, but she was resolved to die a Cucklet Church.
martyr to my interest. My drooping spirits are The pastor's home was soon visited by much refreshed with her joys, which, I think,
are unutterable." the angel of death. His noble wife fell stricken by the pestilence: she died in the Her tomb is in front of the village
church, near the entrance to the chancel. self. Further I can assure you, my sweet On one end is sculptured a winged hour- babes, that her love to you was little inglass, and the inscription, Cavete, nescitis ferior to hers for me. For why should horam ; on the other a skull and the words she be so desirous of living, but that you Mors mihi lucrum. At each corner, and might have the comfort of my life?" he a little in advance of the tomb, are placed adds a touching story of her death-bed, four chamfered stone pillars, and close be- when, on refusing all sustenance or corside is an antique Runic cross.
dials, “I desired her to take them for your When death had thus deprived him of dear sakes. Upon the mention of your his wife, the pastor's hope of his own life dear names, she lifted herself up and took failed him, and in the letter we have just them, which was to let me understand, quoted, he speaks of himself to a friend while she had strength left, she would emas “your dying chaplain," and assures him brace any opportunity she had of testifying “this paper is to bid you a hearty fare- her affection to you." well forever.” He recommends his chil- At this time the plague raged fearfully dren to his care, in memorable words which at Eyam; the church-yard was overcrowdall parents should echo, “ I am not desirous ed, and in the fields and hills adjoining the that they should be great, but good.” In village, its once happy inhabitants found writing to his children, he says, “I do be- their graves. Some twenty years ago, lieve, my dear hearts, upon sufficient the neighboring fields contained the graves grounds, that she was the kindest wife in and monumental tablets of the dead; but the world ; and I do think from my soul, they are all now obliterated by the hand that she loved me ten times more than her- of the husbandman, except one group,
known as “the Riley Gravestones,” which “The condition of this place has been so sad are situated about half a mile from the that I persuade myself it did exceed all hisvillage on the hill-side ; a wall has been tory and example; I may truly say that our
place has become a Golgotha, the place of a erected round the stones that remain, but skull: and had there not been a small remmany whose resting-places were not dis nant of us left, we had been as Sodom, and tinguished by such marks, are not included
been made like unto Gomorrah. My ears never within this humble inclosure. One square
heard such doleful lamentations, and my eyes
never be held such ghastly spectacles. Now, tomb and six head-stones record the rest
blessed be God, all our fears are over, for none ing-places of an entire family, and show have died of the infection since the 11th of Ochow fearfully sudden the plague swept all tober, and all the pest-houses have been long away. The first who died was Elizabeth empty." Hancock, on August 3, 1666 ; the father He now resumed his duties in the vildied on the following day; the three sons lage church, the quaint and simple edifice died together on the 7th of that month, where so many had listened whose ears another daughter on the 9th, and another were now closed by pestilential death. the day following ; leaving one boy only It has been well said that “a fervent as the representative of the family. piety, a humble resignation, a spirit that
It was during the August and Septem- under circumstances peculiarly afflicting ber of this year that the plague raged could sincerely say, 'Not my will, but Thine uncontrolled; early in November it ceased, be done,' a manly fortitude and a friendly leaving unscathed the Pastor Mompesson, generosity of heart, were blended together who on the 20th of November writes : in the character of Mompesson.”
to take up their abode here because pos
sessed of vast acres, of some of which MHERE is a certain incongruity in the they disposed for a mere nominal equiva
Oswego. One of the earliest frontier posts, sional journeys to New York and Niagara, it had every chance of becoming a great and some interest in politics, diversified mart; but later settlements have repeat their isolated, but agreeable and independedly outstripped it in apparent growth, ent life ; and such of their heirs as retained while its natural advantages are unrivaled. land, realized subsequently large returns. The first inhalation of the breeze from the Ex-President Van Buren is one of the lake whereon it is situated, assures us large land owners here; squatters occupy we are in a far more salubrious region than many of his lots at present unavailable most of the younger cities of Western New otherwise. York; the position, arrangement for busi- The lake sailors form a characteristic ness, and ancient memories of the place class of the population; and a vigorous old combine to excite our anticipations; but woman, mother of four captains, gave me we approach it, by land, on a railway which a vivid idea of the salubrity of the place, intersects a rough and imperfectly cleared associated with frontier wars, the expediregion, quite behind the fertility of the tions of Montcalm and Shirley, and the country which divides the other inland rule of Frontenac and Barnett, with the cities of the state. On its most elevated early development of the great resources site we find a large stone edifice called the of the state after the revolution and the United States Hotel, which is unoccupied Canada trade. Fort, mole, pharos, derfor want of support; and yet, as you gaze ricks, store-houses, craft of various kinds, from its piazzas over lake, woods, river, factories, and ship-building attest the navi. pier, light-house, churches, stores, and gable, deposit, and transportation facilities dwellings, it is difficult to imagine a more of Oswego at the first glance. desirable summer residence within a day's The recent discussion in the journals of journey of the metropolis ; even five miles what are called discriminating canal tolls, back the climate is quite different; the suggests an important and peculiar element pure, bracing air here is at once grateful of its local prosperity. But this was orig. and invigorating; yet few seek Oswego inally, and is forever indicated by the grand because it is only accessible by a single inland sea on whose borders it is situated; and uninviting railroad ; business is pro- and the lover of nature as well as the poverbially spasinodic; speculation exceeds litical economist finds therein a primitive regular trade; and its great material, and permanent attraction, whether investbreadstuffs, so vary in supply, that this ed with the gray mist of summer, crystalbeing one of the largest depôts, a transitory line in the frosty atmosphere, or arrayed in activity is the natural consequence. Yet the most gorgeous and versatile tints, its trade is greater than that of Buffalo ; gleaming with the peculiar light of every it numbers seventeen thousand inhabitants; precious stone in the lapidary's cabinet ; twenty-four thousand dollars were appro- under the magic beams of morning, noon, priated this year for public education ; its and especially sunset; or reviving Arctic banking capital is eight hundred thousand memories when heaped with masses of ice dollars; within a few months, a fine new by gales, stagnant in the azure and glitterbridge and handsome stone Episcopal ing calm of the intense and still cold of church have been erected, and Gerritt protracted winter ; or heaving up its mailed Smith has endowed a free library, which bosom in the throes of the freshet. already boasts a substantial building, four As the summers are brief the gardens thousand admirably selected volumes, and bloom late, and a profusion of Michigan an adequate fund invested ; five millions roses make the front yards and porch colof property is taxed here, which is about umns look gay, and the yellow rose is one third of the whole.
abundant. Late in June, along the plank Octogenarian residents speak of the time walks and by the neat domiciles, lilacs, when they knew Oswego as a thickly sweetbriar, and woodbine make the breeze wooded place, with an old and a new fort, fragrant, and masses of snow-buds linger a single in a few stores, and three or four into winter. Before the few humble cotmansions, occupied by gentlemen induced | tages of the old French emigrés, many of whose poor descendants yet remain, the banks ; mills, lofty store-houses, barges fleur de lis ornaments a little vegetable heaped with bags and barrels of flour, and patch. Many fine trees lend rural beauty immense piles of Indian corn, rafts of to the streets; the maple shows its crim- timber, and boat-loads of salt, the loud, son banner, the Virginia woodbine its scar- spasmodic puff of the steam-tug, announce let drapery, and the mountain ash its orange a busy mart. The old mounds and trenches berries in the autumn. Sometimes the of Fort Ontario remain, but the thick tint of sky and water, as one lingers by the walls and barracks were rebuilt ten years harbor late in the afternoon, recalls the ago, and have modernized the structure. Mediterranean ; the stone mole, the white From the parapet you look out upon the light-house, the vessel on the stocks, and lake; and, when a light mist hangs over sails picturesquely gleaming on the lake, its calm surface, and a fleet of schooners make up a scene in which Salvator ur loom through the saffron haze, an effect Stanfield could find desirable material. is produced that would delight a votary of Here a warehouse and there a fort, far | Turner. away a steamer on its way to Canada, or Lake Ontario is remarkable for its rocky a schooner near by, entering the bay, hint bottom and clear waters; it is the smallest the successive frontier and commercial im- and the deepest of the great lakes ; its portance of Oswego.
beach is either pebbly or a slate ledge; it On a fine day it is delightful to explore is singularly pellucid; and, taking its color the little remnant of woods that yet skirts most perfectly from the firmament, nothing the lake. Along its margin the varie- can exceed the diversified and exquisite gated stones are rounded by the friction hues its vast crystal mirror reflects, accordof the waves; here a flat table of rock ing to the season, the atmosphere, and the . invites your feet, and there a cape, with sky. The refraction is like that of a mirtrees to the water's edge, reminds us of ror. Nowhere in this continent are the the days when, in their bosky depths, the sunsets more splendid and various. The Indian sprang from his canoe to seek game length of time this great body of water is or an ambush. The mandrake is yet found imbibing and giving out the solar heat, acin these woods; as you grope through the counts for many of the peculiarities of the bushes, under the thick boughs of hickory, climate ; high winds prevail; the winter beech, hemlock, and birch, a spongy tract is long and dreary; the summers cooler will reveal a plant whose leaves are ori. than adjacent places, and the early autumn ental in shape, and under their sheltering delightful. Apple orchards thrive; white canopy, closely attached to the side of the fish are abundant; the enormous salmon, stalk, like a cockade to a hat, is a flower once so plenty, have disappeared from the in the form of a rose, which looks as if river, also most of the game from the sculptured thereon ; it is of a creamy woods. After the grass crop, which yields white; the fruit is developed from the at the average rate of three thousand dolstamen; the stalk is thick and porous, and lars for every three hundred acres, grazing the contrast of the snowy outline of the and vegetable gardens are the most profitflower and the dark green and daintily able kinds of farming; the latter, as usual in shaped leaves, give the mandrake, to a this country, absurdly neglected ; although stranger's eye, more the air of a rich ex- the example of a thrifty Scotchman, who oric than any product of our woods. The has made a fortune out of a single large columbine nods from the rifted rock, and garden which, a few years ago, was unwild strawberries abound. The dead, mold- productive pasturage, might have stimuering trunks, the heaps of brown leaves lated the natives to judicious enterprise and rank undergrowth, the myriad of deli- in this regard. One is here continually cate ferns, glimpses of the lake through reminded of the marketable and economical the umbrage, its low roar or quick plash, value of Indian corn, long the chief susand the twilight and verdure, make it seem tenance of the Aborigines who dwelt here ; as if we were far away from canals, rail- now the most nourishing food of prairie ways, and trade, until, emerging, the or- traveler and Southern negro. The care with chard and fallow land, the chimney stacks which it is raised, and the adaptation of and locomotive's whistle, instantly break the soil and climate of the whole continent the illusion. Crossing the bridge, a vista for its growth, render it eminently the of enterprise offers itself along the river's grain of America. Barlow sang, in our