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Chanticleer A Thanksgiving Story of the Peabody Family   By: (1817-1889)

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First Page:

CHANTICLEER:

A

THANKSGIVING STORY

OF

THE PEABODY FAMILY.

SECOND EDITION.

BOSTON: B. B. MUSSEY & CO. NEW YORK: J. S. REDFIELD. 1850.

ENTERED, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1850.

BY J. S. REDFIELD,

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Southern District of New York.

PREFACE.

Shall the glorious festival of Thanksgiving, now yearly celebrated all over the American Union, (said the author to himself one day,) be ushered in with no other trumpet than the proclamations of State Governors? May we not have a little holiday book of our own, in harmony with that cherished Anniversary, which, while it pleases your fellow countrymen, should it have that good fortune, may acquaint distant strangers with the observance of that happy custom of our country? With the hope that it may be so received, and as a kindly word spoken to all classes and sections of his fellow citizens, awakening a feeling of union and fraternal friendship at this genial season, the writer presents this little volume of home characters and incidents.

November, 1850.

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

THE LANDSCAPE OF THE STORY.

CHAPTER II.

ARRIVAL OF THE MERCHANT AND HIS PEOPLE.

CHAPTER III.

THE FARMER FOLKS FROM THE WEST.

CHAPTER IV.

THE FORTUNES OF THE FAMILY CONSIDERED.

CHAPTER V.

THE CHILDREN.

CHAPTER VI.

THE FASHIONABLE LADY AND HER SON.

CHAPTER VII.

THE THANKSGIVING SERMON.

CHAPTER VIII.

THE DINNER.

CHAPTER IX.

THE NEW COMERS.

CHAPTER X.

THE CONCLUSION.

CHAPTER FIRST.

THE LANDSCAPE OF THE STORY.

I see old Sylvester Peabody the head of the Peabody family seated in the porch of his country dwelling, like an ancient patriarch, in the calm of the morning. His broad brimmed hat lies on the bench at his side, and his venerable white locks flow down his shoulders, which time in one hundred seasons of battle and sorrow, of harvest and drouth, of toil and death, in all his hardy wrestlings with old Sylvester, has not been able to bend. The old man's form is erect and tall, and lifting up his head to its height, he looks afar, down the country road which leads from his rural door, towards the city. He has kept his gaze in that direction for better than an hour, and a mist has gradually crept upon his vision; objects begin to lose their distinctness; they grow dim or soften away like ghosts or spirits; the whole landscape melts gently into a pictured dew before him. Is old Sylvester, who has kept it clear and bright so long, losing his sight at last, or is our common world, already changing under the old patriarch's pure regard, into that better, heavenly land?

It seemed indeed, on this very calm morning in November, as if angels were busy about the Old Homestead, (which lies on the map, in the heart of one of the early states of our dear American Union,) transforming all the old familiar things into something better and purer, and touching them gently with a music and radiance caught from the very sky itself. As in the innocence of beauty, shrouded in sleep, dreams come to the eyelids which are the realities of the day, with a strange loveliness the fair country lay as it were in a delicious dreamy slumber. The trees did not stand forth boldly with every branch and leaf, but rather seemed gentle pictures of trees; the sheep bells from the hills tinkled softly and as if whispering a secret to the wind; the birds sailed slowly to and fro on the air; there was no harshness in the low of the herds, no anger in the heat of the sun, not a sight nor a sound, near by nor far off, which did not partake of the holy beauty of the morning, nor sing, nor be silent, nor stand still, nor move, with any other than a gliding sweetness and repose, or an under tone which might have been the echo here on earth, of a better sphere... Continue reading book >>




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