Evangeline

evangeline

EVANGELINE

Evangeline.—The title and heroine of a tale in hexameter verse by Longfellow, in two parts. Evangeline was the daughter of Benedict Bellefontaine, the richest farmer of Acadia (now Nova Scotia). At the age of seventeen she was legally betrothed by the notary-public to Gabriel, son of Basil the blacksmith; but next day all the colony was exiled by the order of George II., and their houses, cattle, and lands were confiscated. Gabriel and Evangeline were parted, and now, sustained by the brightness of hope, she wandered from place to place to find her betrothed. Basil had settled in Louisiana; but when Evangeline reached that distant land, Gabriel had gone. She sought him on the prairies, and, again far north, in Michigan, but ever a few days, a few weeks, too late. At length, grown old in this hopeless quest, she came to Philadelphia and became a sister of mercy. The plague broke out; and, as she visited the almshouse in ministration, she saw an old man who had been smitten with the pestilence. It was Gabriel. He tried to whisper her name; but death closed his lips. “All was ended now;” and “Side by side, in nameless graves, the lovers are sleeping.”