Berenice a Novel

Cover of book Berenice a Novel
Categories: Fiction » Historical Fiction

BERENICE. CHAPTER I. FRIEND of my heart you say you miss me from the world in which you live, and would know what I am doing in my new home in the eastern land of pine- clad hills and rock-girt shores


. My new home is in the house where my father ven erated name once dwelt deserted, but now refitted, our old homestead, long and made tenantable. It stands on a bleak and barren headland on one of the most picturesque of the islands of the three hundred and sixty- five that dot the blue bay of Passamaquoddy the bay that is said to be as beautiful as that of Naples. Passamaquoddy cradles its friendly waters between the opposing shores of Campobello and Moose Island the one, subjected to the rule of his majesty King George IV. the other, one of the jewels of Uncle Sams diadem of States. My island home Come, ful as I tell you. My and see if it is not beauti home in the house on the rock Here I sit and muse in the turret-chamber, where my father sat, like an eagle in his eyrie, watching the world spin round. My fathers house Pardon the fond delight long an alien. I am rapturous of one so as a child restored to its mothers bosom. My home Here, when the night has darkened down, are displayed those northern streams of splendor, flashing like glimpses of immortal light from the polar zone. Night blessed night then is the fishermans har vest-hour then, with the pitch-knot lighted, flaring and blazing at his shallops prow, he casts the net into the phosphor-gleaming sea but, as he plies his solitary oar, he hears strange murmurings in the breeze that skims and ruffles the gently-heaving ocean. To cheer his loneliness, he chants a stave from some rude bal lad of a bygone time, which tells how the pirates of the Scorpion once infested this eastern coast, and forced a maiden, just in her May of life, to walk the dreadful plank, and, vainly struggling, drink a briny death and this full in her lovers view, who sat in irons on the deck, and, helpless, saw her perish. A wailing voice, like the lone plovers cry, sounds over the watery waste, and thrills the chanter with myste rious awe. But he grimly smiles at his own foolish fancies, and pufls though his checks to wrhistle to the wind, never a sound is heard. The skies smile on the fishers toil the sea teems with life his nets are full he quenches his torch in the hissing waves, where so long ago the fire of that young maidens love went out. lie pulls his boat shoreward with a steady dipping oar and then he re tires to his humble cottage, to dream, perhaps, of the struggles of drowning men, of gold and gems, of silks of Tyrian dye, arid of all the wealth which the ocean caverns hold. My earliest recollections of my father are of his placing me on a low bench, between his knees, when my head came just up to his heart, as we sat together in the turret-chamber in the clear afternoons. He, with his spy-glass, watched the ships in the distance sailing in various directions, or, perhaps, riding at anchor in the bay. For years he held an office under government in the revenue department, arid was obliged to keep a sharp look-out for smugglers. I love the old place, wild and lonely as it is. I like the inhabitants of this out-of-the-way district, sim ple and illiterate as most of them are. Their quaint oddities amuse me when I am in a humor to be amused and, once a month, just to keep up a spirit of sociality and good-feeling among my neighbors, I give an enter tainment in the old hall, and ask all the children to make merry at the feast...

+Write review

User Reviews:

Write Review: