Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!

A True Tale Of Life
by [?]

IN one of the New England States, the little church-bell in Chester village rung merrily in the clear morning air of a bright summer’s day. It was to call the people together, and they all obeyed its summons–for who among the aged, middle-aged, or the young, did not wish to fitness the marriage ceremonies of their favourite, Ellen Lawton? Ere the tolling of the bell had ceased, the gray-haired man was leaning on the finger-worn ball of his staff, in the corner of his antiquated pew; the hale, healthy farmer came next; and then the seat was filled with rosy-cheeked boys and girls, till the dignified matron brought up the rear at the honourable head. The church became quiet, eager eyes were fastened upon the door. Presently a tall form entered, that of a handsome man, apparently about thirty years of age, on whose arm was leaning, in sweet childlike smiling trust, the young and loved Ellen Lawton, whose rose-cheek delicately shaded the pale face, and who looked more beautiful in her angel loveliness than ever before, even to the eyes of the humble villagers, to whom she ever was but a “thing of beauty” and “a joy for ever.” If thus she looked to familiar eyes, how transcendently beautiful must she have appeared to him, who this hour was to make her his own chosen bride, the wife of his bosom, the pride, the priceless jewel of his heart. They stood before the altar; he cast his dark eye upon her–she raised hers, beaming in their blue depths, all full of love and tenderness, and as they met his, the orange blossoms trembled slightly in her auburn tresses, and the rose-tint, deepened on her cheek. The voice of the man of God was heard, and soon Frederic Gorton had promised to “love, cherish, and protect,” and Ellen Lawton to “love, honour, and obey.” As it ever is, so it was there, an interesting occasion–one that might well cause the eye to fill with tears, the heart to hope, fearfully but earnestly hope, that that young girl’s dreams may not too soon fade, that in him to whom she has given her heart she may ever find a firm friend, a ready counsellor, a kind and forbearing spirit, a sympathizing interest in all her thoughts and emotions. On this occasion many criticising glances were thrown upon the handsome stranger, and many whispers were circulated.

“I fear,” said one of the deacon’s good ladies, “that he is too proud and self-willed for our gentle Ellen;” and she took off her spectacles, which she wiped with her silk handkerchief, as if she thought they were wearied of the long scrutiny as her own very eyes.

Is there truth in the good lady’s suspicion? Look at Frederic Gorton, as he stands there in his stateliness, towering above his bride, like the oak of the forest above the flower at its foot. His eye is very dark and very piercing, but how full of tenderness as he casts it upon Ellen’s up-turned face! His brow is lofty, and pale, and stern, but partially covered with long dark hair, with which lady’s finger had never toyed. His cheek was as if chiselled from marble, so perfect had the hand of nature formed it. His mouth–another space of Ellen’s unpenetrating discernment, would have been reminded of Shakspeare’s

“O, what a deal of scorn looks beautiful
In the contempt and anger of his lip.”

There was about it that compression, so indicative of firmness, which, while it commands respect, as often wins love.

A perfect contrast to him, was the fairy thing at his side; gentle as the floating breeze of evening, trusting as true-hearted woman ever is, lovely, amiable, and beautiful, she was just one to win a strong man’s love; for there is something grateful to a proud man in having a delicate, gentle, confiding girl place all her love and trust in him and making all her happiness derivable from his will and wish. Heaven’s blessing rest upon him who fulfils faithfully that trust reposed in him, but woe be unto him who remembers not his vows to love and to cherish!