Page:Female Prose Writers of America.djvu/472

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FRANCES B. M. BROTHERSON.

Frances Bennett Brotherson was born at Elmira, New York, Sept. 22d, 1816. She was the only daughter of Matthew McReynolds, Esq., merchant, of that place. In 1833, she was married to P. R. K. Brotherson, Esq.; and removed to Cadiz, Ohio, in 1836, where she resided until the year 1850. During the past year she has resided in the very beautiful and picturesque city of Peoria, Illinois.

Mrs. Brotherson has written numerous articles both in prose and verse, which have appeared chiefly in the Western periodicals. From one of these, the following piece is selected.


THE OLD AND THE NEW YEAR.

It was the last evening in the cold and cheerless month of December, and the winter king had asserted and established his claims in the most despotic manner, binding in icy chains every streamlet and fountain, and crushing under his feet nature’s fairest works. The stars looked down from their high dwelling-place, like sentinels upon the outposts of Heaven, keeping watch and ward, lest something less true and bright than they themselves were, should enter within its holy precincts; and the wind howled sadly around, breathing a requiem for the glories which had followed each other in brief succession, during the past year, seeming to tell, in plaintive tones, that they were gone, for ever gone!

On such a night did they, for whom the household fire glowed brightly, bless their happy, enviable lot, and sigh, as they remembered that hundreds were suffering—nay, were dying for want of a single spark of that genial element, to impart feeling and life to