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"Used not!"  said Biddy. "O Mr. Pip!

Well!  I rather thought I would give up that
point too. After another silent turn in the
garden, I fell back on the main position.

"Biddy," said I, " I made a remark respecting
my coming down here often, to see Joe,
which you received with a marked silence.
Have the goodness, Biddy, to tell me why."

"Are you quite sure, then, that you WILL
come to see him often?" asked Biddy, stopping
in the narrow garden walk, and looking at me
under the stars with a clear and honest eye.

"Oh dear me!" said I, as if I found myself
compelled to give up Biddy in despair. "This
really is a very bad side of human nature!
Don't say any more, if you please, Biddy. This
shocks me very much."

For which cogent reason I kept Biddy at a
distance during supper, and, when I went up to
my own old little room, took as stately a leave
of her as I could, in my murmuring soul, deem
reconcilable with the churchyard and the event
of the day. As often as I was restless in the
night, and that was every quarter of an hour,
I reflected what an unkindness, what an injury,
what an injustice, Biddy had done me.

Early in the morning, I was to go. Early in
the morning, I was out, and, looking in, unseen,
at one of the wooden windows of the forge.
There I stood, for minutes, looking at Joe,
already at work with a glow of health and
strength upon his face that made it show as if
the bright sun of the life in store for him were
shining on it.

"Good-by, dear Joe!—No, don't wipe it off
for God's sake, give me your blackened hand!
I shall be down soon, and often."

"Never too soon, sir," said Joe, "and never
too often, Pip!"

Biddy was waiting for me at the kitchen
door, with a mug of new milk and a crust of
bread. "Biddy," said I, when I gave her my
hand at parting, "I am not angry, but I am

"No, don't be hurt," she pleaded quite
pathetically; "let only me be hurt, if I have been

Once more, the mists were rising as I walked
away. If they disclosed to me, as I suspect
they did, that I should not come back, and that
Biddy was quite right, all I can say isthey
were quite right too.


FEW things can be much more dissimilar than
an English ploughing match and an American
agricultural meetingthe two are as different,
in a word, as the lean Southern planter with his
lank hair and nankeen-coloured bloodless face,
from the fleshy, portly, rosy country English
gentleman who distributes prizes at the other.

My impression of the first is pleasantmy
impression of the second is pleasant; but how
different the one kind of pleasure from the other!
When I think of the English scene, I see
before me the dark chocolate-coloured furrows,
lighted by the sunshine of early spring; I
remember the teams of broad-chested horses, gay in
blue and geranium-coloured ribbons, trampling
down the stubbles before the keen cleaving
ploughs; I hear the pleasant gossip and
hearty laughter of the holiday folk; I see the
clean white smock-frocks gathering round the
happy winner of the prize; I see the country
squires on their sturdy glossy hunters; I see
the tent where the collation is; I hear the
merry pop of the champagne corks, and the
chime and cadence of the band. But what I saw
of the ordinary agricultural meeting in America,
took place on very different earth, and was
lighted by a sun of a far fiercer strength. They
were not all freemen whom I saw there,
merrymakingthey were men of different aims and of
another world. The land had had far different
antecedents from our own, had been, almost
within the memory of living men, trod by
Indian mocassins, and soaked with warmer blood
than that of the buffalo or beaver.

It was September month, when the ripe
cotton-pod prefigures winter, and whitens the
plantations of Louisiana with sheets of snow.
In all the forests of the New World, the maple
waved its thousands of little crimson flags; the
snake began to prepare for its five months'
sleep, and rest from working evil; the mailed
alligator, for its hybernation in the coagulated
mud; all the myriad iron roads leading from the
Northern and the Southern States swarmed with
yellow planters, their wives and daughters, and
their slave nurses and ladies' maids who were
returning home from the Northern watering-
places. Newport, with its pleasant sea-bathing
and chowder suppers, was lorn and lone;
Saratoga with its demi-monde, its gulls and hawks,
was deserted; the Sulphur Springs were being
reluctantly forsaken; the glass at those hotels
was being put up for the winter; the blinds were
lowering; the waiters were going away; the
whites were looking black, the blacks blacker
than usual; in fact, the South having first gone
to visit the North during the hot and unhealthy
summer, was on its way home again, for the
cool and grateful winter. Let the tyrannical
overseer on Nash's cotton plantation beware,
for "massa," the absentee, would soon be home.
Let the unjust steward on Jackson's sugar
estate, keep his weather eye open, for "massa"
would soon be back to redress wrongs, and to
look over the accounts.

It was at the climax of this backward migration
that I came to stop awhile in Richmond,
the capital of Virginia. The Southern birds
were winging home to roost  "i' the rocky
wood;"  the hotels were brimming over; the
waiters were all black in the face, partly from
natural tendency, partly from incessantly carrying
heavy luggage up-stairs that had no ending,
but seemed to lead to one of the further planets
the Moon, the Larger Bear, or the Dog Star.
Richmond was in a state of great excitement.