THE $30,000 BEQUEST and Other Stories by Mark Twain

gentle hopes and aspirations, are enough to uphold her in the storms

of darkness, without the transferred colorings of a stained sufferer.

How often have we seen it in our public prints, that woman occupies

a false station in the world! and some have gone so far as to say it

was an unnatural one. So long has she been regarded a weak creature,

by the rabble and illiterate–they have looked upon her as an

insufficient actress on the great stage of human life–a mere puppet,

to fill up the drama of human existence–a thoughtless, inactive being–

that she has too often come to the same conclusion herself, and has

sometimes forgotten her high destination, in the meridian of her glory.

We have but little sympathy or patience for those who treat her as

a mere Rosy Melindi–who are always fishing for pretty complements–

who are satisfied by the gossamer of Romance, and who can be

allured by the verbosity of high-flown words, rich in language,

but poor and barren in sentiment. Beset, as she has been, by the

intellectual vulgar, the selfish, the designing, the cunning, the hidden,

and the artful–no wonder she has sometimes folded her wings in despair,

and forgotten her HEAVENLY mission in the delirium of imagination;

no wonder she searches out some wild desert, to find a peaceful home.

But this cannot always continue. A new era is moving gently onward,

old things are rapidly passing away; old superstitions, old prejudices,

and old notions are now bidding farewell to their old associates

and companions, and giving way to one whose wings are plumed

with the light of heaven and tinged by the dews of the morning.

There is a remnant of blessedness that clings to her in spite of all

evil influence, there is enough of the Divine Master left to accomplish

the noblest work ever achieved under the canopy of the vaulted skies;

and that time is fast approaching, when the picture of the true

woman will shine from its frame of glory, to captivate, to win back,

to restore, and to call into being once more, THE OBJECT OF HER MISSION.

Star of the brave! thy glory shed,

O’er all the earth, thy army led–

Bold meteor of immortal birth!

Why come from Heaven to dwell on Earth?

Mighty and glorious are the days of youth; happy the moments

of the LOVER, mingled with smiles and tears of his devoted,

and long to be remembered are the achievements which he gains with a

palpitating heart and a trembling hand. A bright and lovely dawn,

the harbinger of a fair and prosperous day, had arisen over the

beautiful little village of Cumming, which is surrounded by the

most romantic scenery in the Cherokee country. Brightening clouds

seemed to rise from the mist of the fair Chattahoochee, to spread

their beauty over the the thick forest, to guide the hero whose

bosom beats with aspirations to conquer the enemy that would tarnish

his name, and to win back the admiration of his long-tried friend.

He endeavored to make his way through Sawney’s Mountain, where many meet

to catch the gales that are continually blowing for the refreshment

of the stranger and the traveler. Surrounded as he was by hills

on every side, naked rocks dared the efforts of his energies.

Soon the sky became overcast, the sun buried itself in the clouds,

and the fair day gave place to gloomy twilight, which lay heavily

on the Indian Plains. He remembered an old Indian Castle,

that once stood at the foot of the mountain. He thought if he could

make his way to this, he would rest contented for a short time.

The mountain air breathed fragrance–a rosy tinge rested on the glassy

waters that murmured at its base. His resolution soon brought him

to the remains of the red man’s hut: he surveyed with wonder and

astonishment the decayed building, which time had buried in the dust,

and thought to himself, his happiness was not yet complete.

Beside the shore of the brook sat a young man, about eighteen or twenty,

who seemed to be reading some favorite book, and who had a remarkably

noble countenance–eyes which betrayed more than a common mind.

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Categories: Twain, Mark