Ethan Brand

  • ETHAN BRAND

  • A CHAPTER FROM AN ABORTIVE ROMANCE

  • Narrator

    Bartram the lime-burner, a rough, heavy-looking man, begrimed with charcoal, sat watching his kiln at nightfall, while his little son played at building houses with the scattered fragments of marble, when, on the hill-side below them, they heard a roar of laughter, not mirthful, but slow, and even solemn, like a wind shaking the boughs of the forest.

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    Little Boy

    โ€œFather, what is that?โ€

  • Narrator

    asked the little boy, leaving his play, and pressing betwixt his father's knees.

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    Bartram

    โ€œOh, some drunken man, I suppose,โ€

  • Narrator

    answered the lime-burner;

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    Bartram

    โ€œsome merry fellow from the bar-room in the village, who dared not laugh loud enough within doors lest he should blow the roof of the house off.

  • So here he is, shaking his jolly sides at the foot of Graylock.โ€

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    Little Boy

    โ€œBut, father,โ€

  • Narrator

    said the child, more sensitive than the obtuse, middle-aged clown,

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    Little Boy

    โ€œhe does not laugh like a man that is glad.

  • So the noise frightens me!โ€

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    Bartram

    โ€œDon't be a fool, child!โ€

  • Narrator

    cried his father, gruffly.

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    Bartram

    โ€œYou will never make a man, I do believe;

  • there is too much of your mother in you.

  • I have known the rustling of a leaf startle you.

  • Hark!

  • Here comes the merry fellow now.