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M 8h tom'd nd her mothrrV g*i* bmaght Uck 
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Flow to the dn-m of her early yi-r I nU purt- nr.- (In- drop* that full. 
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ft* puts from lore which bath U11 been true.- 

P I) i I a b c 1 In a : 


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BOOK I. , AU8 



THR Two SISTERS AND THE Two Uxruw 130 






2034556 (21) 


BOOK IX. '- 

. . .413 











MR. HORTOX, a rich and childless widower, made 
his first visit to his also widowed sister, Mrs. Dushnne. 
A beautiful little girl of about ten, was introduced to 
him as the darling Clara, his little pet niece, who was 
prepared to love her uncle better than any body el.^o 
in the world, always excepting her mamma. The child 
was remarkably beautiful, and all the decorations of 
dress were made to enhance her juvenile loveliness. 
The heart of the lonely man melted within him when 
he felt his neck wreathed by those white velvet arms, 
and his cheek kissed over and over by those sweet 
ruby lips. 

"God bless her! 1 ' cried he, hugging her to his breast, 
igain and again. " What a precious child it is!" 

"I love you, dear uncle," muttered Clara, in the 
oftest voice " I have loved you a long time." 

Mr. Horton gave the lovely child another warm 
embrace, then, releasing her, turned to his sister, with 
moistened eyes. 



"If Heaven had granted me such a child as that, 
sister, to cheer my widowed heart, I should still be 
one of the happiest of men." 

" You must look upon her as if indeed she were 
your own, my dear brother," said Mrs.Dushane, draw- 
ing Clara fondly towards her. " I am not so selfish 
as to wish to engross her exclusively, though I 
acknowledge I have a mother's pride as well as affec- 

"But you have another daughter, your eldest born 
where is she? My heart yearns to embrace them all. I 
came here to see if its aching void could not be filled." 

"Oh! Erne?" said Mrs. Dushane, carelessly. "I do 
not know where she is. She is very shy and reserved 
likes to be by herself very different from Clara 
remarkably ordinary in her person," continued she, in 
a lower voice, " and has a very singular and sullen dis- 
position. She is a great affliction to me, but one can- 
not expect to be blessed in all her children." 

" Still I want to see the child," said the benevolent 
Mr. Horton. " I loved her father like my own brother, 
and he used to say his little girl was the image of him- 
self; I cannot help loving his daughter." 

"I fear you will not find much to love in poor Erne," 
replied the mother, with a deep sigh; "but you shall 
see her;" then ringing the bell, she ordered a servant 
to bring Miss Erne to her uncle. 

Soon after, a dark, thin, neglected-looking child was 
ushered into the room, who hung back on the hand 
of the servant, and whose looks and gestures expressed 
sullenness and reluctance. Her long, thick, dark hair 


hung in tangled masses over her neck and forehead, 
and it was difficult to distinguish her features, for she 
endeavoured to cover them with her hair, as with a veil. 
With slow steps and averted face, she approached the 
centre of the room, when her mother called to her in 
a tone of authority 

" Put down your hand from your face, Effie, and 
come and speak to your uncle come quicker." 

Effie looked at her uncle through her long 
tresses, then, letting her hand fall, she drew nearer, 
with a more willing step. 

"Ah! that was her father's glance," exclaimed Mr. 
Horton, opening his arms as he spoke. 

Effie hesitated a moment, then darted like lightning 
to his bosom, and clung round his neck with both 
her arms, as if she would never let him go. 

" Effie," said her mother, reproachingly, " you are 
too rude I did not tell you to tear your uncle to 

" Let her be let her be," said Mr. Horton, pushing 
back her hair, and looking earnestly in her face. 
" Why her eyes are full of tears, and her heart beats 
as if she had been running a race. Don't be afraid 
of me I'm your uncle, who has no little girl of his 
own to love; I want you to look upon me as a 

"That will do, Effie," said Mrs. Dushane; "you 
make your uncle too warm come and take a seat by 

Effie withdrew her arms from her uncle's neck, and, 
sliding from his knee, took the seat indicated by her 


mother's glance. Mr. Horton's eyes were still riveted 
upon her face. 

"Is that child sick?" he asked, abruptly. 

" No," replied Mrs. Dushane " she always has that 
meagre' half-famished look. She is a great deal 
stronger than Clara." 

Mr. Hortou did not reply, but looked earnestly at 
both children, while his sister watched his counte- 
nance with silent interest. Mrs. Dushane had antici- 
pated the arrival of her brother with great anxiety. 
She knew the immense wealth he had acquired that 
he had no children of his own to inherit it that she 
was his only surviving sister, and she was sure that 
the moment he beheld her darling Clara, he would 
adopt her as the heiress of his fortune. 

"My dear," said she to her, the morning of her 
brother's arrival, "you remember how much I have 
told you of your Uncle Horton your rich uncle. 
Now, though we have a very decent living, that is all ; 
I shall be able to leave you nothing, but your uncle is 
said to be worth a million and, I have no doubt, 
will make you heiress to the whole, if you only try to 
please him, and be a dear, sweet, beautiful child, the 
whole time he is here." 

" Oh ! I will be sure to please him," cried Clara, 
dancing before the looking-glass. "Ill please him 
without trying." 

"How are you sure of that, darling?" asked the 

"Oh, because lam so pretty," replied the spoiled 
child, shaking back the ringlets from her bright blue 


eyes, and looking archly in her mother's face. "You 
know every body says I am pretty, mamma, and that 
sister is ugly." 

"Yes but you must not repeat what every body 
says before your uncle, for he would not be pleased 
if he thought you vain and you must be very polite 
and affectionate to him get in his lap, put your arms 
around his neck, and caress him a great deal. You 
must never get in a passion before him, for it spoils 
your looks ; you know, my dear, you are too apt to 
do it. You must be very attentive to him when he is 
speaking, and be sure iiever to contradict him. I 
recollect it always displeased him to be interrupted in 

"I hope he will not stay long, if I've got to listen 
to him all the time," said Clara, " for I know he must 
be a dry old thing." 

"You will not think a million of dollars dry, one 
of these days," said Hrs. Dushane " but never mind, 
perhaps he will leave it to Effie." 

"To Effie!" exclaimed Clara, with a laugh of 
derision. "To Effie! the ugly thing? Oh, no! I'm 
not afraid of her. You see if I don't please uncle, 
without trying very hard either." 

A servant, whose chief employment was to wait 
upon Clara, was full two hours curling her hair and 
arranging her dress, before the arrival of Mr. Horton, 
and. when the business of the toilette was over, sho 
led her in triumph to her mother, asking her "if 
Miss Clara did not look like a perfect angel I" 


A rapturous kiss on her roseate cheek was an ex- 
pressive answer in the affirmative. 

"Oh! mamma, you tumble my frock," cried 
little belle, in a pettish tone. "I don't love to be 

Shall I change Miss Effie's dress?" asked the 
servant as she was leaving the room. 

"It's of no consequence," said Mrs. Dushane, coldly: 
"she needn't come into the room to-night I'm 
ashamed my brother should see her," continued she, 
in a kind of soliloquy; "she is so ugly, and awk- 
ward, and wayward, I want to keep her out of hhr 
sighiras long as possible." 

Mr. Horton had not been more than a week with 
his sister before he discovered that, though she was 
the nominal head of the establishment, Miss Clara 
was the real one, and that her varying whims and 
caprices were the laws that governed the whole 
household. Effie seldom made her appearance, and 
then she seemed more like an automaton than any 
thing else; never displaying any trait of that sensi- 
bility which had so touched her uncle's heart the first 
night of his arrival. When company was present, 
Clara was summoned to the piano to entertain the 
guests with music, which she had been taught 
almost from her cradle; or she was called upon to 
display her graceful little figure in the mazes of the 
hornpipe, or the undulations of the shawl dance, 
which her master said she executed to perfection. 

One evening Mr. Horton sat reading in an upper 
piazza which fronted the chamber he occupied. It 


was shaded by luxurious vines, which trailed their 
flowery tendrils through the diamond trellis-work 
and excluded the rays of the setting sun. Embowered 
in the rich shades, he sat unseen, enjoying the sweet- 
ness and freshness of declining day. lie heard the 
voices of the children in the adjoining room, and he 
oould not but notice that Clara's tones wanted some- 
thing of the dulcet softness of her parlour accents. 
lie had scarcely ever heard the full sound of Effie's 
voice, and he now listened unconsciously to a conver- 
sation which promised to develope her character to a 
most interested auditor. 

"Don't, Clara, press so hard against this geranium," 
said Effie, in an expostulating tone; "you know 
mother will be very angry if it is broken." 

"I don't care," replied Clara, evidently persisting 
in her conduct; "she will not be angry with me." 

"But she will with me," said Effie, "for I have the 
care of this flower, and if any harm happens to it, 
she will blame me. You've brcken off several leaves 

There was a moment's silence, and then a sudden 
and vehement exclamation from Effie again roused 
the attention of Mr. Ilorton. 

"Oh, Clara, see what you've done! The most 
beautiful branch is broken and you did it on pur- 
pose too 1" 

Clara laughed mockingly, and at the same moment 
Mrs. Dushane was heard to enter the apartment. 

" Effie I Effie 1" exclaimed she angrily, " what have 
you been doing? How dare you break that gera- 


mum, when I've forbidden you to touch a single leaf 
of it?" 

"I didn't break it, mother 1" answered Efiie. "I 
wouldn't have broken it for any thing in the world." 

"How dare you deny it, when you are holding it 
in your own hand, you good-for-nothing little thing?" 
cried the mother, with increasing anger. " I suppose 
you want to make me think that Clara broke it 
don't you?" 

"Clara did break it I" sobbed Effie; "she knows 
sbe did, and I tried to keep her from it." 

" Oh I mamma, I didn't do any such thing !" cried 
Clara, with the boldness of innocence itself "you 
know I wouldn't." 

"I could forgive you for breaking the flower," 
exclaimed Mrs. Dushane, in the husky voice of sup- 
pressed passion, "but tell such another lie on Clara, 
and you had better never have been born." 

Mr. Horton started from his seat in uncontrollable 
agitation, dropped his book, and rushed to the "open 
door of the apartment just as Effie, smitten by a vio- 
lent blow, had fallen prostrate to the floor, her hand 
still grasping the broken geranium, whose leaves were 
scattered around her. 

"Clarinda!" cried Mr. Horton, sternly, "unjust, 
unnatural woman what have you done?" 

"She is a liar, brother, and I struck her. She 
deserved it," answered Mrs. Dushane, pale with 

"She is not a liar, and I know it," answered he, in 
a ra l8 ed voice. There stands the liar ! pointing to 


the now terrified and guilty-looking Clara. " 1 heard 
every thing that passed between them. She broke 
the flower wantonly, purposely, against her sister's 
prayers she broke it, and then basely denies it. Kise, 
.my poor child," continued he, trying to lift Kflie from 
the ground; "you shall have one friend to protect 
you, if your own mother casts you from her." 

Effie was only stunned by the fall, and when sho 
found herself in the arms of Mr. Ilorton, she struggled 
to be released. 

"Oh I let me go," cried she, almost frantically 
" sho will hate me worse than ever. Oh 1 how I wish 
I was dead 1 how I wish I was dead !" 

There was something terrible in the expression of 
the child's large, dilated black eyes, as, in a wild 
paroxysm of passion, she repeated this fearful ejacu- 
lation. Mr. Horton shuddered, but he only held her 
the more closely. 

"Clarinda," said he, solemnly, "you have that to 
answer for which will weigh like iron upon your soul 
at the great judgment day. What has this poor, 
neglected child done, that you treat her worse than 
an hireling, and lavish all your affection on that 
selfish and unprincipled girl ?" 

'Clara," said her mother, "leave the room instantly. 
This is no place for you. Why do you net obey 

Clara began to weep bitterly, but her mother took 
her by the hand, and leading her to the door, gave her 
in charge to a servant, with a whispered injunction 
not intended for her brother's ear. 


"Now let that child go," said she. If I am to be 
arraigned for my conduct, I don't want any li 
Effie, follow your sister, and mind that there 
more quarrelling." 

She shall not go," cried Mr. Horton. " I fear tl 
there is no safety for her out of my arms. Clarinda, 
I cannot believe the cruel, unjust, and unnatural 
mother I see before me, is the sister whom I remem- 
ber in the spring-time of the heart's feeling, and in 
the gentleness of early womanhood." 

" Brother, if you wish me to speak, let that child 
go. I will not be humbled before her, or any human 

"Yes, let me go," said Effie, again struggling. "I 
don't want to stay here." 

" One question, first," said Mr. Horton. "Tell me 
truly, why you wished yourself dead ?" 

" Because every body hates me." 

"And what makes you think every body hates 


"Because I am ugly," cried the child, in a low, 
bitter tone, looking darkly and sullenly at her mother. 

" / will love you, Effie, if you are good, as well as if 
you were my own child. But you must not give way 
to such violent passions. Be gentle, if you wish to 
be loved. Be gentle, if you wish to be beautiful." 

He put her down from his knee, where he had 
seated her, and motioned that she might depart. 
She stood for a moment as if irresolute, then threw 
her arms around his neck, kissed his cheeks, his 


bands, and even the sleeves of his garment, in a most 
passionate manner, and ran out of the room. 

" Oh ! Clarinda," cried he, greatly moved, " what a 
heart you are throwing away from you !" 

"To me she has always been sullen and cold," said 
Mrs. Dushane; "she has never shown me any affec- 
tion, but, on the contrary, the greatest dislike." 

"Because the fountain of her young affections has 
been frozen, and her young blood turned to gall," 
replied her brother. "She has been brought up with 
the withering conviction that she is an object of 
hatred and disgust to those around her, placed in 
glaring comparison with her beautiful sister, treated 
like a menial, her dress neglected, her manners un- 
cultivated, :.;i-i her sensibilities crushed and trodden 
under foot. Talk about her affections ! You might 
as well take those very geranium leaves, and grind 
them with your heel, till you have bruised out all 
their fragrance, and then murmur that they gave you 
back no sweetness. But that child has affections, 
warm, glowing affections, though you have never 
elicited them and a mind, too, though you have 
never cultivated it ; but if God grant me the opportu- 
nity, I will take possession of the unweeded wilderness 
of her heart and mind, and turn it into a blooming, 
domestic garden yet." 

Mrs. Dushane was thunderstruck. She saw in pros- 
pective her darling Clara disinherited, and she knew 
not yi what way to avert the impending calamity. 

" Brother," cried she, putting her handkerchief to 
her eyes, " you are strangely altered. You used tc 


love me once, but now the stranger within my gates 
would treat me with more kindness. You don't 
know what provocations I have, or you would not 
accuse me of such cruelty and injustice." 

" You forget, Clarinda, that I have been a witness 
myself of your injustice. I do not make accusations, 
but appeal to self-evident truths and did you not 
suffer Clara to depart, without once rebuking her for 
her falsehood and guilt ?" 

" Brother, I believe you hate Clara." 
" I have no love for her faults, and to speak the 
honest truth, I never liked favourites. From the time 
of ancient Joseph's coat of many colours, which excited 
the envy and hatred of his brethren, to our days of 
modern refinement, favouriteisrn has been the fruitful 
source of sin and sorrow, and oftentimes of blood and 
death. Do not accuse me of unkindness, Clarinda, 
because I speak strongly of the eviJs you have caused. 
I would rouse you to a sense of your danger, and 
place before you, in all their length and breadth, the 
sacred duties you have too long neglected." 

"I may have been wrong," cried Mrs. Dushane, 
apparently softening; "indeed, I know I have been, 
but I never could govern Effie in any other way than 
by severity. She is the most singular child you ever 
saw, and you are the only person who ever seemed to 
love her. You remember, brother, when I was a 
young girl, I was very much admired for my beauty, 
and perhaps was led to attach an undue value to it. 
My greatest ambition was to have a beautiful infant, 
and when Effie was said to be so remarkably ugly, I 


could not help it, but my heart seemed steeled against 
her; and she was a very cross infant, too, and cried 
day and night I could hear the nurse calling her a 
cross, ugly thing, till I was ashamed to have her in 
my sight Then Clara was so uncommonly beautiful, 
and such a sweet, smiling, bewitching little infant, I 
could not help idolising her. Every body called her 
an angel, and indeed you must acknowledge she has 
the beauty of one. Then she is so affectionate and 
loving. You don't know how she twines around 
one's heart. To be sure, she was very wrong just 
now, very wrong; but pray forgive her this one fault. 
You saw how bitterly she wept. It was only the 
dread of your displeasure. You have no idea how 
tenderly she loves you. Forgive Clara, for my sake, 
and I will be fcind to Effie for yours." 

" For your own sake, my beloved sister," said Mr. 
Horton, seating himself by her side, and taking her 
hand affectionately in his. " The consciousness of a 
fault, is one step to reformation. Only cultivate a 
mother's feelings for Effie, and, believe me, you will 
be repaid for all your care." 

Late that evening, as Mr. Horton was walking pen- 
sively in the garden, whose walks and arbours were 
partially illumined by the light of a waning moon, he 
was attracted by a dark object under one of the trees. 
Supposing it some animal, which had gained unlawful 
admittance, he approached to drive it from the en- 
closuje, when he was startled by the appearance of 
two large black eyes turned upwards to the heavens, 
flashing out from a cloud of gipsy-looking hair. 


"Effie," cried he, "what are you doing here so late, 

and alone ?" 

"Nothing," replied she, springing on her feet; "I was 
only looking at the moon and stars." 

"You had better go and look at them through 
your bed- curtains," said he, passing his hand over her 
dew-damp hair; "it is time for little girls to be in bed 
and asleep." 

" I cannot sleep so soon," said the child ; " I think 
too much, and I wish too much." 

" What is it you wish so much, Effie ?" 
" Oh I I wish to be up among the stars, out of the 
way of every body here; and then they look as if they 
love me, with their sweet, bright eyes." 

Mr. Horton took her hand, and led her slowly and 
gently along. 

"You seem to want to be loved, Effie?" 
" Oh ! yes," answered she, with energy. " I would 
die to be loved only half as well as Clara." 

" Well, listen to me, Effie, and I will tell you how 
you may be loved even better than Clara. You must 
not think that it is only beautiful persons who are 

"But they hate me because I am ugly," interrupted 

"You are not ugly, my child, and as you grow 
older, you will grow handsomer. But you must for- 
get your looks, and think of cultivating your mind 
and heart. You must try to be loved for something 
better than beauty, and beauty perhaps will come, 
without thinking of it." 


Effie looked up to him with a smile which really 
had a beautifying influence on her face, seen by that 
soft moonlight. 

" If I could only be with you all the time," said she, 
"I should be happy." 

" "Would you, indeed, like to leave your home, and 
come and live with me?" 

" Would I ?" cried she, suddenly stopping " I 
would walk barefoot to the end of the universe; I 
would feed on bread and water all my life, if I could 
only live near you." 

" Perhaps we will live together one of these days," 
said he, smiling at her enthusiasm, " but I will pro- 
mise you better fare than bread and water. And 
now, good night and God bless you, my own dar- 
ling Effie !" 

Effie retired to bed, but long after she laid her 
head upon her pillow, she whispered to herself the 
endearing epithet, which had melted into her inmost 
heart. It was the first time she had ever been so 
fondly addressed, and even in her dreams she thought 
a gentle voice was murmuring in her ear, " my own 
darling Effie!" Oh! how sweet to the neglected, 
lone-hearted child, was the language of sympathy and 
love! It was like the gurgling fountain in the arid 
desert the nightingale in the dungeon's solitude 
the gentle gale that first wakened the wild music of 
her soul. It seemed that till that moment there had 
been a chill weight of lead in her bosom, cold and 
deadening, but that it was now fused in the glowing 
warmth of love, and flowing in one stream of affection, 


reverence, gratitude, and almost worship, to the feet 
of her benefactor and friend. 

When Mr. Horton proposed to his sisl 
Effie home with him, she could not disguise her rooi 
tification and displeasure. Effie, the heiress of 
uncle's fortune, to the exclusion of Clara, was a ci 
cumstance too intolerable to be endured. 
Effie chosen in preference to the beautiful ( 
would gladly have refused the request, but she knew 
not what plea to urge against it. She had herself 
acknowledged her unnatural dislike to the child, and 
her neglect of all a mother's duties towards it was a 
too evident truth. In vain she sought to stifle the 
voice of upbraiding conscience. It would be heard, 
even amidst the whirlwind of passion that raged in 
her breast. Mr. Horton's determination was to re- 
move Effie as far as possible from the associations of 
her childhood, to place her at school, where she could 
have every opportunity for the development of her 
talents, and the discipline of her character and then, 
if she fulfilled his hopes, to adopt her as his own, and 
make her the heiress of his fortune, and the inheritor 
of his name. 

Clara was outrageous when she learned the new 
destiny of her sister. She pouted, wept, and stamped, 
in the impotence of her wrath. Effie should not go 
home with her uncle, and get all his money, a whole 
million of dollars, away from her. She didn't want 
to be pretty any more. She wished she were ugly. 
She would be ugly, if it were only to spite her 


mamma, because she had not made her uncle like her 
better than Effie. 

Her mother, instead of soothing and petting her 
with the halcyon strains of flattery, as she was wont 
to do when her favourite got up a domestic storm, 
now vented upon her the anger she dared not mani- 
fest before her brother. 

" It was your own fault," said she, " you spoiled, 
ungrateful child ; you broke my geranium, and then 
meanly lied about it. You had better not wish your- 
self ugly, for you will have nothing but your beauty 
to depend upon, when you grow up. Not a cent of 
money will you have for a fortune, while your sister 
will be an heiress and a belle " 

" I don't care," cried Clara, scornfully pouting her 
rose-leaf lips. " I'll be a belle too ; and I don't want a 
fortune. Til marry somebody with a great big for- 
tune, and you shaVt live with me, either, Madame 

Clara's appellation for her mother, in moments of 
passion, was " Madame Mamma ;" and Madame 
Mamma began to feel a foretaste of the anguish 
caused by that " sharper than a serpent's tooth," the 
tongue of a thankless child. 

Having depicted a few scenes in the childhood of 
the two sisters, and shown the different influences, 
emanating from the same source, which operated in 
the characters of both, the lapse of a few years may 
be imagined, and those who have become interested 
in the ugly Effie, may see her once more in the period 
of adolescence when released from the discipline of a 


school, she fills a daughter's place in her uncle's 
household. The mansion of Mr. Horton was such as 
became his princely fortune. It was on a lordly 
scale, and presented an elegance of architecture and 
refinement of taste unequalled in that part of the 
country where he resided. It was shaded on all sides 
by magnificent trees, and a smooth lawn stretched out 
in front, intersected by an avenue of symmetrical 
poplars, and surrounded by a hedge of perennial 
shrubs. Underneath one of the trees that shadowed 
the walls, and looking out on this rich, velvet lawn, 
sat the benevolent owner of this noble establishment, 
whose dignified person corresponded well with the 
other features of the scenery. A young girl stood near 
him, holding a bow in her left hand, and watching 
the motions of a young man, who was feathering an 
arrow fitted for that sylvan bow. Her figure had 
scarcely attained its full height, but it had all the 
rounded proportions and undulating outlines of early 
womanhood. Her head, covered with short raven 
curls, gave her the appearance of a young Greek, but 
her clear, dark complexion, of perfect softness and 
transparency, assimilated her more to the Creole race. 
Her features were not regular nor handsome in them- 
selves, but they were lighted up with animation and 
intellect, and illuminated by such large, splendid 
black eyes, that it would have been difficult for the 
most fastidious connoisseur of female beauty to havo 
judged them with any severity of criticism. From 
the bow, on which she partly leaned, the quiver 
suspended over her shoulder, the wild grace of her 


attitude, and the darkness of her complexion, she 
might have been mistaken for one of those daughters 
of the forest which American genius has so often 
glowingly described. 

" That will do, Dudley," said she, playfully snatch- 
ing the arrow, and fitting it to her bow; "better reserve 
some of your skill to fledge your own arrows, fur you 
know I can shoot like Robin Hood himself.'' 

The young man laughed, and the trial of skill com- 
menced. They shot alternately, and scarcely had the 
gleaming arrow darted from the string, than they 
each pursued its flight over the lawn, striving for the 
glory of first reaching the fallen missile. At last the 
young girl hit the target in the very centre, and Mr. 
Horton pronounced her the victor. 

"You must surrender, Dudley," said he; "there is 
no disgrace in yielding to Erne as swift a foot, as 
true an eye, and as steady a hand 

"And as warm a heart," interrupted she, approach- 
ing him with a cheek to which exercise had given a 
colour like the coral under the wave, and seating 
herself on the grass at his feet. " But what shall be 
my reward, dear uncle ? In the merry days of the 
'Lion-hearted King,' the victor always received some 
crown, or trophy of his skill nr valour." 

While she was speaking, Dudley had been gather- 
ing some of the flowers and perennial leaves of the 
shrubbery, and had woven them into a rustic garland, 
which, sportively kneeling, he placed upon her 

"I suppose, if I were versed in the language of 


chivalry," said the youth, "I should address you as the 
queen of love and beauty." 

"Berutyl" repeated Effie, with a laugh that made 
the green walks ring. " What would my mother and 
Clara say if they heard such an appellation given to 
their ugly Effie? You needn't look so mockingly, 
Dudley, for you may ask my uncle if, four years ago, 
I wasn't the ugliest little gipsy he ever beheld." 

"You have, indeed, changed most marvellously, 
Effie," replied he, passing his hand carelessly over the 
head that rested against his knee; "and you may 
thank the daily exercise in the open air, which you 
have been compelled to take, for its invigorating and 
beautifying influence." 

" I may thank, rather, the parental tenderness, the 
kindness, and the care, that have been poured like 
balm into a bruised and wounded heart, healing and 
purifying it, and changing, as it were, the very life- 
blood in my veins!" exclaimed Effie, in her peculiarly 
impassioned manner. " Do you remember the night 
when you found me under the sycamore tree, and 
called me your own darling Effie ? From that moment I 
date a new existence from that moment life became 
dear to me, and oh 1 how dear, how very dear it lias 
been to me since !" 

Mr. Horton looked down upon her with glistening 
eyes, and blessed his God that it had been his destiny 
to appropriate such rich treasures of intellect and 
sensibility, and as he looked on the fair lands stretch- 
ing around him, far as the eye could reach, blessed 
Him again that he could now leave one behind him 


who was worthy to be the mistress of those beautiful 
possessions. There was another pair of brighter, 
younger eyes, looking down upon her, and wonder- 
ing if it were possible she had ever been called the 
u ugly Effie." Perhaps she read his thoughts, for she 
smilingly said 

" I wish you could see my sister Clara." 

" Why ?" 

"Because she is so exquisitely fair so faultlessly 

" I do not like faultless beauties," replied he ; " they 
are always insipid. I do not like blondes they have 
no expression. I like to see a face that changes with 
the changing feelings now dark, now bright, like 
the heavens bending above us." 

"Do you think your mother and sister would know 
you, Effie ?" asked Mr. Horton. 

"I do not think they would," she replied, "for I 
sometimes hardly recognize myself. I should like to 
see them as a stranger, to see what impressions I might 
make. When shall I see them, dear uncle ? Some- 
thing whispers me I may yet be blest with a mother's 
and a sister's love. " 

" Are you not happy with me ? Do you wish to 
leave me, Effie?" 

"Never! I want no other home than this. But, in 
looking back, I blame myself so much for the sullen 
and vindictive feelings I once dared to cherish. I 
tried so little to deserve the love which was not spon- 
taneously bestowed, I long to prove to them that I am 
now not ultrrlv unworthv of their rctrm!." 


"I honour your wishes," said Mr. Horton, kindly; 
"and when we return from Europe they shall be 
gratified. Two years will soon pass away. You will 
then have acquired all the advantages of travelling in 
classic lands. Dudley will have completed his educa- 
tion in the German universities, and in the freshness of 
transatlantic graces, can present himself to your fair 
sister, whose beauty you are so anxious he should ad- 
mire. " 

Dudley began to reiterate his detestation of blondes, 
but Mr. Horton interrupted him to discuss more im- 
portant matters. 

Dudley Alston was a ward of Mr. Horton's, the 
orphan son of the most intimate friend of his youth. 
"When his father died, he left him to the guardianship 
of Mr. Horton, with the conditions that he should 
finish his education in Europe, and that he should 
never marry without the consent of Mr. Horton. 

Mr. Alston had not been dead more than a year, so 
that Dudley had never seen EfBe in her chrysalis state. 
They had passed together their last vacation, and now 
again met, free from all scholastic restraints, \vith 
spirits buoyant as young singing birds, converting 
the still home of the widower into a bright scene of 
youthful exercise and hilarity. Mr. Horton rejoiced 
in the circumstances which Jjad thrown so closely 
together these two congenial beings so dear to his 
affections, and which promised to draw them togethnr 
in closer and more endearing union. Dudley was 
handsome, intelligent, and high-spirited; generous 
almost to prodigality; unsuspicious almost to ere- 


dulitj; impulsive and uncalculating, and possessed 
of an independent fortune, free from any of those 
mortgages and encumbrances which so often neu- 
tralize the property of reputed heirs. Where could 
he find a husband for Effie, combining so many rare 
endowments, and where could Dudley find a being 
like Erne, with a soul of fire, a heart of love, and a 
person which he now thought singularly fascinating? 
lie was too wise to speak his hopes, but he thought 
it as impossible that their hearts should not grow 
together, as that two young trees, placed side by side, 
should not interlace their green boughs, and suffer 
their trembling leaves to unite. He wrote occasional 
letters to his sister, and received from her cold and 
brief replies. She expatiated chiefly on Clara's extra- 
ordinary beauty, and lamented her limited means to 
introduce her to the world as she would wish hoped 
that Effie was improving, but declared her readiness 
to take her home, whenever her uncle was disgusted 
or weary of his charge. Mr. Ilorton never made 
known to her the astonishing improvement in Effie's 
appearance, for he wanted to dazzle her some day 
with the sudden lustre of the gem she had thrown 
from her heart. He always mentioned her in vague 
terms, expressed his general satisfaction in her good 
conduct, and approbation of her studious habits. "As 
nature did not make her a beauty," said he, "I intend 
she shall be a scholar, and no fear of her being called a 
bos bleu shall prevent me from giving her a thoroughly 
classical education. She is already familiar with Greek 


and Latin, and during our European travels, she shall 
become mistress of all the modern languages." 

" Oh ! there is nothing so disgusting as a pedantic 
woman!" exclaimed Clara, with a shudder, as her 
mother finished the perusal of the letter. " I know 
French and Italian enough to sing all the fashionable 
songs and repeat all the common quotations, and that 
is all a young lady requires. As for Greek and 
Latin, I detest their very idea. But poor Effie needs 
something to distinguish her, even besides her uncle's 
fortune. I wonder if she is as ugly as ever, /should 
really like to see her." 

" So should I," replied Mrs. Dushane, with an in 
voluntary sigh, for there were moments when nature 
spoke in her heart, and she had become convinced, 
from her own fatal experience, that there were other 
qualities necessary in a daughter besides personal 
beauty. There were times "when the whole head 
was sick, and the whole heart faint," when she would 
have welcomed a filial hand to bathe her temples, or 
hold her aching brow, even though it were the hand 
of her neglected child. There were times when the 
rebellious will, the selfish vanity, the careless disre- 
spect, or bold defiance of the spoiled favourite, made 
her feel as if Heaven's retribution might be felt in 
this world. At others, when she saw her caressed 
and admired, and heard herself envied as the mother 
of such a paragon, she tried to convince herself that 
disobedience and ill-humour were only slight flaws in 
this matchless diamond, which it would be invidious to 
dwell upon. She had had no communication with her 


brother during his residence in Europe, and believing 
that all intercourse with him vould now probably 
cease, and that there was no hope of his substituting 
Clara for Effie, she became more and more anxious to 
secure for the former an establishment worthy of her 
charms. Clara was now before the world as an ac- 
knowledged belle, occupying that place in society for 
which she had been solely calculated, and which she 
had been made to believe a part of her birthright. 

One evening, Mrs. Dushane accompanied her 
daughter to the house of a lady who, being a great 
amateur in music, was very fond of giving concerts. 
Clara, as a beauty, and a brilliant performer, was 
always invited. This evening, the lady told Clara to 
look her prettiest, and do her prettiest, as a young 
lady was to be present a stranger, just arrived in 
town who was said to have most remarkable and 
fascinating accomplishments. Clara's vain and eager 
eye ran over the crowd, in search of one who would 
have the hardihood to rival her. She had scarcely 
assured herself that there were none but familiar faces 
around her, when the lady of the house approached 
and begged permission to introduce her to Miss 
Horton, the young lady whose coming she had an- 
nounced. The company fell back as the hostess led 
Clara and her mother through the folding doors, to 
the centre of another apartment, where a young lady 
stood beneath the full blaze of the chandeliers, lean- 
ing on the arm of a young and distinguished-looking 
stranger. Clara gazed intently on the form of this 
rival beauty, and a feeling of relieved self-complacency 


dimpled the roses of her cheeks. Those on whom 
nature has lavished her living lilies and carnations, 
are very apt to depreciate the charms of those whose 
pretensions to loveliness are based on other attributes 
than mere beauty of complexion. That of the young 
stranger was what Clara called dark, and it might 
have appeared so, contrasted with the dazzling white- 
ness of her own, but it had that oriental delicacy and 
transparency so seldom found except in eastern climes. 
Her eyes were so dark and resplendent that their 
brightness would have been almost overpowering had 
they not been softened by long, sweeping lashes, of the 
same jetty hue as her luxuriant and shining hair. 
Her figure was exquisite in repose, and from its 
waving outline promised that grace of motion which 
is more pleasing than beauty itself. There was no- 
thing conspicuous in her dress save a small diamond 
star that sparkled amid the darkness of her tresses, 
like a lone planet on " night's ebon brow." The gen- 
tleman on whose arm she leaned ah, 

"Not his the form, not his the eye, 
That youthful maidens wont to fly." 

Clara marked him as her victim, and met his ex- 
ceedingly earnest gaze with a glance of soR allure- 
ment. The young lady, whose air and appearance 
betrayed familiarity with the most elegant and fash- 
ionable society, nevertheless manifested Ho small 
degree of embarrassment while passing through the 
customary forms of introduction. She coloured 
and her eyes were bent down with an ex- 


pression of modesty and humility entirely unexpected 
from her previous bearing. 

" Ilorton 1" repeated Mrs. Dushane, when her name 
was announced ; " I have a brother of that name now 
in Europe. It is a long time since I have seen him, 
however," she added, with a sigh. 

"Then I hope you will have pleasing associations 
connected with me, madam," said Miss Ilorton, in a 
sweet, low voice. 

Mrs. Dushane, who was prepared to wage warfare 
with one who might rival her daughter, could not 
help feeling the charm of such affability and sweet- 
ness. She wondered who the Mr. Alston was, who 
accompanied her, but, notwithstanding his juxtapo- 
sition with the attractive stranger, she could not but 
hope that he was the rich and distinguished individual 
heaven had destined for her favourite child. 

Music was the order of the evening, and Clara was 
led to the piano, Miss Ilorton declining to play first. 
Being from early childhood accustomed to sing and 
play in public, she had no faltering of modesty, to 
mar the brilliancy of her execution. She sang and 
played as she did every thing else, for effect and it 
was generally such as the most exacting vanity could 
desire. Mr. Alston and Miss Ilorton stood near her, 
and evinced, by their silent attention, the most flat- 
tering interest in the beautiful songster. 

" And now, Miss Ilorton," cried the impatient 
hostess and "Miss Ilorton" passed from mouth to 
mouth, as the circle pressed and narrowed around her 
" Perhaps Miss Horton would prefer the harp ?" 


"She too* more accustomed to the harp," she re- 
plied, and a splendid instrument was drawn towar 


;r. . / . 

Clara was no proficient on the harp, having, ID 
of obstinacy, given up her lessons, because the c 
blistered her delicate fingers. She felt a thrill 
envy, as she beheld Miss Horton seat herself 
fully before the lyre, such as the "shepherd monarcl 
once swept," and pass her white hands over 1 
strings. At first her touch was soft, and her voio 
low, and she looked at Clara as if deprecating her 
criticism; but, after awhile, she looked at no one- 
she thought of nothing but the spirit of music that 
filled her soul, thrilled through her nerves, flowed in 
her veins, and burned upon her cheek. There was no 
affectation in her manner there was enthusiasm, 
sensibility, fire but it was the fire from within, illu- 
minating the temple, which its intensity sometimes 
threatened to destroy. It is true, she once or twice 
raised her glorious black eyes to heaven, but it was 
because music naturally lifted her thoughts to heaven, 
and her glance followed its inspiration. 

"Are you not weary?" asked Clara, after she had 
again and again yielded to the entreaties of her audi- 
tors to give them another and yet another strain. 

" No," answered she, rising ; " but I must not forget 
that others may be, notwithstanding their apparent 
sympathy with an enthusiast like myself." 

"Oh! Mr. Delamere," cried Clara, addressing a 
pale, pensive, and intellectual gentleman, who had 
stood, as if spell-bound, by the harp, " do not look so 


reproachfully at me; I did not think of putting a stop 
to your ecstasy." 

"You arc right," said he, drawing a deep inspira- 
tion; "I was forgetting the mortal in the im- 

" Oh ! that we all, and always could !" exclaimed 
Miss Horton; "but those who speak of immortality 
in a scene like this, must be singularly bold." 

"Perhaps it would be more in keeping by that 
window, which looks out upon the magnificence of an 
evening sky," answered Mr. Delamere, with a smile so 
winning, she could not but yield to the invitation; 
and, seated in a curtained embrasure, which admitted 
the fresh night breeze, she soon found she was with a 
companion to whom she was not ashamed to commu- 
nicate her most glowing thoughts, for she " received 
her own with usury." He had travelled over many 
lands over the countries from which she had just 
returned and she felt as if she heard once more tho 
song of the Alpine peasant, the rich strains of the 
Italian improvisatore, or beheld again the sublime 
and storied scenes so vividly impressed upon her 
memory. But, at times, her abstracted eye told 
of other subjects of contemplation. She thought 
of the mother whose unkiudness had embittered her 
childhood, now smiling unconsciously on her neg- 
lected offspring, and she longed to throw herself 
on her neck, and ask her to forget the past, and 
welcome back her no longer ugly Effie. She looked 
ut her sister, on whose angelic face evil passions had 
left no more trace than the rough bark on the 


glassy wave, and, forgetting the scorn and contumely 
she had heaped upon her in the first, dark portion 
of her life, she yearned to embrace her, to press to, 
her own those smiling lips, and call her by the sweet 
name of sister. 

"Not yet," said she to herself; "I have promised 
my uncle to shine before them a little while, at least 
till I have won their admiration as a stranger, and 
triumphed as another, ere I allow them to recognize 
in me the hated and ugly Erne." 

Surprised at her silence, Mr. Delamere watched her 
thoughtful and varying countenance with an interest 
that surprised himself. His early history was roman- 
tic. In the very dawn of manhood he had formed an 
attachment for a fragile and lovely young creature, 
who expired suddenly on the very morning of her 
nuptial day, and whose white bridal wreath was 
placed upon the shroud that mantled her virgin 
bosom. Delamere, in the anguish of so awful a be- 
reavement, secluded himself long from the world, 
which, to him, seemed covered with a funereal pall, 
and devoted himself to the memory of the dead. But, 
at length, the solicitations of friendship, the energies 
of youth, and the strong necessity of social life, drew 
him back to the scenes which he had once frequented, 
chastened by sorrow, enriched by experience, the his- 
tory of the past written on his pallid cheek, and 
speaking from his pensive eye. No wonder that the 
music of Erne's voice had thrilled through a heart 
whose strings had once been so rudely broken, lie 
felt for the young songstress a most painful interest, 


for he saw she was one born to feel and to suffer ; 
for when were deep feeling and suffering ever dis- 
united ? 

" Is not Clara beautiful, Dudley ?" asked Effic, the 
morning after the sisters met. "Is she not beautiful 
as the dreams of imagination ?" 

"She is, indeed, most exquisitely fair,' 1 answered 
he; "she has almost conquered my prejudices against 
blondes. But she is no more to be compared to you, 
Kffie, than a clear, cloudless day is to a starry, re- 
splendent night 

' Tko* walk'ft in beauty, like the night 
Of cloudiest climes and starry ekies.' * 

"Don't flatter me, Dudley," cried she impatiently; 
" I know its exact value, which few girls, so young 
as myself, can say. Let there be nothing but truth 
and sincerity between us. Now is the time to prove 
whether the love you bear me is the result of habit 
and association, or that passion which would have 
selected me for its object, though \\ e had been here- 
tofore sundered as far as from pole to pole. Unfor- 
tunately, my uncle's wishes are known to both of us, 
revealed in an unguarded moment. To me, I ac- 
knowledge, his slightest wish is a law, and you know 
my heart has not murmured at his will." 

She blushed, and averted her eyes, which she was 
conscious expressed in still stronger language the 
feelings she was uttering. 

" What is it you mean ?" exclaimed he vehemently. 
" Do you doubt my truth and constancy, when, from 


the first moment I beheld you, I have scarcely had a 
thought or wish which has not been cntwm- 
you? You were the star of my boyhood, you are the 
cynosure of my manhood, and age will brir 
change. No, it is for me to doubt-not 

While this conversation was passing bctwee 
at the hotel where Mr. Horton had put up, incog., for 
the purpose already explained, Mrs. Dushane i 
Clara were expatiating on tho young stranger wh< 
had flashed across their path the preceding evening. 

"I do not think her really handsome, mother," said 
Clara ; "she is not fair enough for that. She reminded 
me of some one whom I have seen before, but I cannot 
think who it is." 

"It is the same case with me," said her mother; 
have been trying to think who she is like, but in vain. 
She certainly created a great sensation, and she was 
very affable and polite to me. How I wish you had 
not given up the harp, Clara I It's a thousand times 
more graceful an instrument than the piano. It was 
nothing but yo'ir waywardness. I told you you 
would repent of it some day." 

" If I did play on the harp," said Clara, pettishly, 
" I wouldn't put myself into such ecstasies at my own 
music, as she did. I don't believe Mr. Alston admires 
her singing much, for he talked to me almost the 
vrhole time." 

" Yes, because you talked to him. But, seriously, 
Clara, he is a fine-looking young man, and may be 
very rich. You had better try to captivate him, even 
if he is already captivated by Miss Horton. IIow 


familiar that name docs sound! We must invite them 
to our house make a party for them for they evi- 
dently are persons of distinction." 

"Not a musical party, mother. One good thing, 
however, we have no harp here." 

The party was given, and Erne crossed once more, 
with unconquerable emotions, the threshold of her 
childhood's home. She entered the drawing-room, 
followed by a train of obsequious admirers, and re- 
ceived by the mistress of the mansion with all the 
pomp and ceremony of fashionable politeness. She 
was magnificently dressed, for it was her uncle's 
pleasure that she should be so, and Clara felt, with 
envy and bitterness, that she was eclipsed by this 
splendid stranger. 

"I will win Alston, if I die," ejaculated she to her- 
self: "for I know she loves him, and it will be such a 
triumph 1" 

Monopolized as Erne was, with Delamere flitting a 
pensive shadow at her side, it was difficult for Dudley 
Alston to claim any portion of her attention. It was 
therefore an easy task for Clara to monopolize him. 
She laid aside her frivolity, veiled her vanity, and 
taxed her mind to the fullest extent of its powers, to 
interest and amuse him. She had a great deal of tact, 
and could talk with a fluent tongue, while the love- 
liest smiles gaTe a charm to the words she uttered. 
Dudley could not help being pleased with this flat- 
tering attention. He knew from Mr. Ilorton that she 
was a spoiled and unamiable child, and was prepared 
to dislike and avoid her, but he could not believe 


aught but gentleness now dwelt in abreast so fair. 
Effie had entreated him to endeavour to think favou 
ably of Clara, forgetting her childish foibles, and 
her sake he ought to do it. Mrs. Dushane was mon 
and more delighted with Miss Horton, for nothing 
could be more deferential than her manners towar 
her. She sought her conversation, and turned from 
all her admirers, whenever she had an opportunity of 
addressing her. Mrs. Dushane could hardly with- 
draw her eyes from her face. That haunting resem- 
blance I It vexed and pained her. Once, moved by 
a sudden reminiscence, she whispered to Clara 

" It is the most ridiculous thing I ever knew and 
yet there is something about Miss Ilorton that really 
makes me think of our Effie." 

" Shocking I" exclaimed Clara, laughing outright. 
"What would Miss Ilorton say, if she knew you com- 
pared her to such a thing as Effie ?" 
Alston caught the name of Effie. 
" You were speaking of some one by the name of 
Effie," said he. "I have always admired it since I 
read the Heart of Midlothian. Is the Effie to whom 
you allude, as beautiful as the lily of St. Leonard's?" 

"Oh no it is my own sister, whom my uncle 
adopted, and who is now in Europe with him. She is 
very far from being pretty." 

"Indeed," said he, "is that possible, and your 
sister, too? Does she not resemble you in the 

"No," answered she, with a shiver of disgust. 
"She is lean, swarthy, and almost deformed. But 


uncle will give her a large fortune, and that -will make 
up for her defects." 

"Perhaps she has improved since you saw her 
last," said Dudley, and he could not help casting an 
admiring glance towards Eflie, whose graceful head 
was at that moment turned towards her mother in 
the act of listening. Effie had been praising the 
beauty of Clara, and asked if she were an only 

"No I have one beside," answered Mrs. Dushane, 
in a confused manner; "but she lives with her uncle, 
who has adopted her." 

"Is it long since you have seen her, madame?" 

"Oh! yes she was a little child when he took her, 
and now she is a young lady." 

"If she was as beautiful as her sister, I should 
think you would long to see her," said Effie. 

"She wasn't to be compared to Clara: indeed, she 
was as ugly as her sister is pretty I" 

"Poor girl!" cried Effie; "I hope you did not love 
her less because Nature denied the gift of beauty ?" 

" Why, no," stammered Mrs. Dushane : " one can't 
help their looks. But hers were uncommon." 

" Do you think you would know her now, after so 
long an absence ?' 

" Yes I should know her any where. She looked 
like nobody in the world but herself." 

A half-suppressed sigh, which followed these words, 
sounded in Effie's ear like the music of the spheres. She 
unconsciously echoed it, and it was echoed yet again, 
for the pensive Delamere was lingering by her side, 


and this token of sensibility interested him more than 
all the brilliancy of her attractions. 

"Can she have known sorrow?" thought he. The 
next self-interrogation was "Has she known love? 
And oh! how ardently, how devotedly," thus con- 
tinued his meditations, "such a being must love I 
Would she accept the reins of a heart once impas- 
sioned as her own ? Would she mingle the unfaded 
blossoms of her youth with the dark cypress and 
melancholy yew ?" 

Effie, touched by the soft gloom that hung like a 
cloud around him, lent a more than willing ear to his 
conversation. But, while she listened to him, her 
thoughts often wandered to one whom Clara kept 
ever near her, and on whom her eyes turned with an 
expression of unequivocal admiration. A pang shot 
through her heart, such as but one passion can inflict 
Then another succeeded, that she was capable of yield- 
ing to such an emotion. 

" If he be not mine, wholly mine, heart, soul and 
life, I will resign him, though I die in the effort," 
was the language of the maiden's soul. Her love had 
hitherto flowed on, a clear, unruffled stream, rising in 
the green hills of adolescence, its channels margined 
with flowers, and its current gilded by the sunbeams. 
Now the waters were becoming troubled, for they 
were rolling over a rocky bed. Did the rocks betoken 
that a whirlpool was near, and was the frail bark of 
her happiness to be wrecked in its vortex ? 

One morning, when the demon of ill-temper, roused 
by some petty disappointment, had full possession 


of Clara, and proud Mrs. Dushane, as usual, was the 
victim of its inflictions, a letter came from Mr. Ilorton, 
announcing his return from Europe, and his inten- 
tion of visiting her immediately, with his adopted 
daughter. This annunciation could not have been 
made at a moment more propitious for Efiie ; for her 
spirit was chafed and smarting from the ungrateful 
conduct of Clara. She sat, however, like one in a 
trance, for she was ashamed and perplexed in what 
manner to receive her long-estranged daughter. An 
acknowledged heiress, fresh from the courts of Europe, 
was a being of some consequence, no matter how ugly 
she might be. 

"Poor Effie!" exclaimed she; "I did treat her 
shamefully, and all for the most selfish and passionate 
of human beings, with nothing on earth to recommend 
her but a little beauty, of which I am getting heartily 

" Oh ! Madame Mamma" cried Clara, who still re- 
tained some of the deeply respectful language of her 
childhood; "it is too late to sing that song; you are 
ten times more vain of me than I am of myself. If I 
am vain, you taught me to be so ; if I am passionate, 
you set me the example. ' It won't do for folks that 
live in glass houses to throw stones.' But, good 
heavens, what shall we do with Effie, at all these fine 
parties they are making for Miss Horton? Oh! I 
forget she can talk Greek and Latin, and French, and 
Italian. She is a learned lady, and will put me quite 
in the shade. An heiress, tool Perhaps Dudley 
Alston will fall in love with her. What in the world 


shall I say to her? I declare I never felt so strango 
about any thing in my life." 

You had better treat her kindly, if it is only fi 
policy, Miss Clara, for, though you deserve it not, she 
may share her fortune with you for I remember well 
the poor thing was generous to a fault 1" 

Clara, upon reflection, concluded to act upon this 
hint, and she began to think too that it would be a 
delightful thing to have Effie near, as a foil to her own 
beauty. She would shine still brighter iu the dark, 
beaming eyes of Dudley Alston. 

Mrs. Dushane felt in a state of trepidation the re- 
mainder of the day. The sound of carriage wheels 
made her start, and change colour. The sudden 
opening of the door made her heart beat almost to 

"Oh! how I wish it were overl" she would say. 
" If I only knew how she felt towards me, I should be 
easy. If I only knew how she looked 1 She can't 
help being ugly, though." 

About the twilight hour, the carriage of Mr. Horton 
did indeed roll up to the door, and Mrs. Dushane be- 
held her brother descend with a veiled lady clinging 
to his arm. A large shawl wrapped her figure, though 
the weather did not seem to require such a protection. 
Even when she entered, they could see nothing of her 
face through the thick green veil that covered it. 

"Ugly still!" thought Clara, "or she would not 
take such pains to hide herself." 

" I have brought you back a daughter," said Mr. 
Horton, after embracing his sister and Clara; "but 


remember, my sister, if you place the least value on a 
brother's love, not to wound her feelings again, with 
regard to her personal deficiencies. She comes to 
you a good, affectionate and intelligent girl, who 
cherishes no vindictive feelings for the past, and 
who is anxious to show you all the tenderness of a 

"Only promise to love me, my mother, half as well 
as you do Clara," said Effie, in a trembling voice, 
throwing her arms around her mother's neck anil 
leaning her head on her shoulder, " and I will not ask 
for more." 

Mrs. Dushane, completely overcome by this unex- 
pected softness and humility, pressed the veiled 
figure of her child to her heart, and wept and sobbed 
till her brother led her to a seat, and calmed her 

"And you too, my sister," cried the same sweet, 
tremulous voice ; " let us henceforth love one an- 

Clara returned the embrace, with a semblance of 
warmth, but she was dying with curiosity to look 
under the green veil and the muffling shawl. She 
saw with surprise, however, that the hand which 
clasped hers, was of exquisite delicacy and symmetry, 
soft and jewelled as her own. 

"Let me take off your bonnet and shawl," said she; 
"you must be very warm." 

The servant at this moment entered with lights, 
thus dispersing the shades of twilight which lingered 
in the room. Effie first gave the shawl into Clara's 


eager hand, revealing by the act the full outlines of her 
splendid figure; then throwing off the bonnet and 
veil, and shaking back her jetty ringlets, she turned 
and knelt at her mother's feet. 

"Behold your Effie!" exclaimed she "no longer 
sullen and unloving, and I trust no longer ugly. My 
dear uncle was determined you should admire me, 
before you knew my identity, so you must forgive me 
for having appeared in masquerade. Having assumed 
his honoured name, it was an easier task. I think 
you liked me as a stranger ; refuse not to love me 

Mrs. Dushane was so bewildered and astonished 
and delighted, she was very near falling into hysteric 
fits. When she was composed enough to speak, she 
repeated in a kind of triumph : 

" I said she looked like our Effie I said she made 
me think of our Effie." 

Clara's blooming cheek turned to the whiteness of 
marble. The chill of envy penetrated to her very 
heart. The fascinating being whom she dreaded as 
a rival, was then her own sister ; so long the object 
of her contempt and derision. The transformation 
was too great. It was incredible! Effie met her 
cold, fixed gaze, and an involuntary shiver ran 
through her veins. The image of Dudley Alston 
passed before her, and she feared to think of the 

Mrs. Dushane was so proud of her new daughter, 
so pleased and excited by the eclat and romance of 
the circumstances that attended her arrival, and her 


house was so thronged with visitors, she had hardly 
any time to think of Clara. But Clara was not for- 
getful of herself. To win Dudley Alston, whom she 
loved as far as her vain heart was capable of loving, 
was the end and aim of all her hopes and resolves. 
To win him from Effie was a double triumph, for 
which she was willing to sacriflce truth, honour, and 
that maiden modesty which shrinks from showing an 
unsolicited attachment She believed that if sho 
could convince Effie that she herself was beloved by 
Alston, she would be too proud ever to look upon 
him as a lover, and that, if Alston supposed Delamero 
a successful and favoured admirer of Effie's, the 
same pride would make him stand aloof and forbid 
him to seek an explanation. Effie was too ingenuous 
and high-souled to suspect Clara of acting this doubly 
treacherous part. She felt as only a nature like hers 
can feel, that Dudley Alston' was more and more 
estranged from her, but she believed Clara was sup- 
planting her in his affections, and disdained either by 
look or word to draw him back to his allegiance. 

"What do you think of Dudley Alston, Effie?" 
asked Clara, abruptly, once when they chanced to bo 

Effie's quick blood rushed burningly to her cheeks. 

" As the associate of my youthful pleasures, as my 
fellow-student and fellow-traveller, he must naturally 
seem very near to me," she answered, with assumed 

" He is very handsome, very pleasing," said Clara, 
with affected confusion, "and I cannot help liking 


him better than any one I ever knew; you who have 
known him so long, can tell me whether I may trust 
him I will say it, Effie whether I may dare to love 


Effie turned deadly pale she looked in her sister's 
face, and asked the simple question 

" Has he told you that he loved you, Clara?" 
"Good heavens! what a question!" exclaimed Clara, 
with a look of offended modesty ; " do you think I 
would have made such a confession, had I not been in 
the first place aware of his love ?" 

"No, surely you would not," answered she, in a 
voice so strange and unnatural that Clara trembled 
at the bold step she had taken. She began to fear 
the consequences. 

"What's the matter, Effie ?" said she. "Are you 
faint ?" 

"I don't know," she replied, passing her hand 
hurriedly over her brow; "but the air is very close 
here. I will go into the balcony." 

She rose as she spoke, and Clara rose simulta- 

" I would rather be alone," said Effie ; and Clara 
dared not follow. 

" The hour of trial is come," thought Effie ; " let me 
meet it without blenching I" 

She wandered into the garden, and sat down under 
the shade of the sycamore, where her uncle had found 
her years before, longing, in the bitterness of her 
young heart, to die. How long she sat, she knew not 
she was roused by the approach of Dudley Alston, 


who, seeing her sitting like a pale statue there, forgot, 
for the moment, the withering doubts which Clara 
had been breathing into his ear. 

" Effie, why are you here, sitting so pale and still ?" 
cried he in a tone of the deepest tenderness. 

Eflfie rose and leaned against the tree fbr support. 

" Lean on me, dearest Effie, "continued he, passing 
his arm round her waist, and drawing her towards 
him; "you are ill you are faint." 

Indignation gave her strength, as she released herself 
from his clasping arms. 

"I can forgive inconstancy, Dudley, but not insult," 
said she, and the lightning darted from her eyes ; 
"you remember that I told you, if the hour should 
come when your heart was not wholly mine, I would 
not wed my fate to yours, though life should be the 
sacrifice, llad you nobly and ingenuously told me that 
you no longer loved me, that my more beautiful sister 
had won the affection you once thought mine, I would 
have forgiven, I would still have loved you as a bro- 
ther. But to mock me still with looks and words of 
seeming love I cannot, will not bear it." 

" By the heaven above," exclaimed the young man 
vehemently, "I swear this charge is false! Who dares 
to accuse me ? If it be Delamere, his lily face shall 
soon wear another livery." 

"No, Dudley wrong not one who is incapable of 
any thing mean and calumniating. Clara herself has 
disclosed to me your love and hers, and I here declare 
you as free from all allegiance to me, as the cloud that 
is passing over the sun. But she may as well build 
- 4 


her home oil that thin, grey cloud, as trust for 
happiness to a heart as light and vain as yours." 

"Effie!" cried he, forcibly seizing her hand, and 
holding her back as she turned to depart; "you 
.shall not go from me thus. Come with me into 
your sister's presence, and let her explain this 
shameful mystery. I have never breathed one 
syllable to her but the commonplace language of 
admiration. My heart has never wandered from 
you toward her, or one of womankind. Come with 
me. I demand it as an act of justice I claim it as a 
sacred right!" 

"Yes," exclaimed a deeper voice from behind, "he 
has a right, and I will sustain it." 

And Mr. Ilorton emerged from an arbour, which 
the foliage of the spreading sycamore partially 
formed. He had been reading in the shade one 
of his daily habits in summer and had overheard 
a conversation fraught with intense interest to him. 
Strange! the good man despised the character of a 
listener, and yet it was the second time he had 
involuntarily acted the part of one, in the really 
dramatic history of his sister's family. He was 
indignant and excited, and drawing Effie's trembling 
arm through his, he led her towards the house, with 
no lagging footsteps. As they came through a back 
path, they entered the room before Clara had time 
to escape. When she met her uncle's stern eye 
and frowning brow, she knew she was to be arraigned 
as a criminal, in the presence of the man for whom 
she had bartered her integrity, and bartered it in vaiu. 


rt I have lost him forever," whispered her sinking 
heart, " but I will never recant what I have said ho 
never shall be hers!" 

" Clara," said her uncle, approaching still nearer, 
and keeping his piercing eyes upon her, "tell 
me the truth, on your soul's peril has this young 
man ever made professions of love to you ?" 

Clara bowed her head slowly, till her ringlets half 
veiled her beautiful face. 

" I have revealed it to my sister, and I cannot deny 
it to you." 

"This is too much!" exclaimed Dudley, his lace 
turning hueless as ashes. "Oh, if she were but a 

"Peace, Dudley!" cried Mr. Ilorton, in a command- 
ing voice. Then again turning to Clara. 

" I remember, years ago, a little girl, who wantonly 
broke the geranium her mother prized, and, to screen 
herself from blame, boldly accused her innocent 
sister of the fault she had herself committed. Have 
you forgotten it ? or the shame and sorrow of that 
hour ? Clara, you are still the same false, false to 
the very heart's core." 

"You always hated me," cried Clara, trying to 
assume a bolder tone, in the desperation of her situa- 
tion; "you always hated me, and took Effie's part 
against me. I wouldn't have told her what I did, 
though I have Raid nothing but the truth, if I had 
thought she would have cared anything about it. I'm 
sure she might be satisfied with her new lover, Mr. 
Delarnere, with6ut making such a fuss about a 


castaway, to whom I condescend to show some 

"Clara," exclaimed Effie, raising her brow from her 
uncle's shoulder, where she had bent it in anguish 
and shame during this disgraceful scene "Clara, you 
have betrayed yourself, by this double falsehood. 
You know that I have refused Mr. Delamere as a 
lover, but that I honour him as a friend. I considered 
such a secret sacred, but you have forced me to reveal 
it. Dudley, my heart acquits you fully, freely, humbly 
for oh! how much have I erred in thus doubting 
thy honour and thy truth!" 

Their eyes met, as they turned towards each other. 
How they would have scaled their reconciliation can- 
not be known, for Mr. Horton threw his arms around 
them both so closely, in the fulness of his joy, that 
their hearts beat against each other, while they 
found a parental pillow on his own. Tears fell from 
the good man's eyes. 

"God bless you, my children," cried he, kissing 
Erne's crimsoned cheek, " and make you a blessing to 
each other. Let not the falsehood and guile of others 
ever again shake your confidence and love. Let your 
love be founded on a rock even the Eock of Ages; 
then the winds and waves may beat against it in vain." 

During this scene, the guilty, foiled, and conse- 
quently wretched Clara, stole unnoticed from the 
apartment, and in the solitude of her own chamber 
gave vent to the violence of long-suppressed passion. 

"Oh! that I had been born ugly!" she said, stamping 
iu the impotence of her rage: then running to a 


mirror, and gazing on her convulsed features " I am 
ugly now good heavens, how horrible are the effects 
of passion! Yes, mother," continued she for Mrs. 
Dushane, who had heard the loud and angry voices 
below, without daring to enter, fearing in some way 
that Clara was involved in the difficulty, softly opened 
the door of the chamber and looked anxiously in 
"yes, mother, come and see your beauty now! Soo 
your own work, and be proud ! If you hadn't called 
me your beauty, your pet, your darling, till I sickened 
at your flattery, and loathed the author of it if you 
had cultivated in me one moral virtue, I should never 
have been the detected, hated and despised thing I am 

Poor Mrs. Dushane! She had sown the wind, and 
reaped the whirlwind. 

Effie, who pitied her unhappy sister, would gladly 
have shared her fortune with her, but this her uncle 

" If she should be in want and sorrow, you shall 
relieve and comfort her," said he, in answer to her 
prayers. " If she marries, for your mother's sake, 
you may supply her wedding paraphernalia ; but I 
will never make her the guardian of Heaven's bounty 
never give her the means of administering to her 
own evil passions." 

The UGLY EFFIE, soon a happy bride, became her 
mother's pet and darling. The BEAUTIFUL CLARA, 
still unmarried, continued to embitter her peace, and 
present a fatal example of the evils of maternal 


Jbrhmcs of a goraig 

THE evening was cold and clear. The stars sparkled' 
dazzlingly above, the frost sparkled white and chill- 
ingly below. Young Mordaunt wrapped his cloak 
closely around him and walked on with a rapid step. 

The stranger who passed him in the dim starlight 
might have taken him for some Haroun Al Raschia 
in disguise, he wore his cloak with such lordly grace, 
and his head sat so nobly and proudly on his shoul- 
ders. But, alas! Mordaunt was very poor. He had 
but one dollar in his pocket, and he knew not what 
the morrow would bring forth. He was a young 
physician, just commencing practice in a large city, 
with no capital except his brains, but with a stock of 
enthusiasm, hope, and faith (notwithstanding a dark 
and mysterious destiny had shadowed his youth), 
sufficient to endow all the Medical Institutions in tho 
world. He was now treading the margin of his pro- 
fession, watching the great rushing sea of life that 
roared around him, ready to seize hold of some sinking 
mariner, and save him from destruction. But the poor 
wretches were sure to stretch out their trembling arms 
to some older, more experienced swimmer on the 
human tide, and the young man was obliged to work 
off his superfluous energy and skill in acts of gratuitous 
service. This evening he had been unusually fortu- 
nate. He had received one dollar as a fee, and" having 
a passionate love of the drama, he was about to indulge 


himself in a visit to the theatre, whose doors poverty 
had long closed against him. A distinguished actor 
was starring on the boards, and Mordaunt was hasten- 
ing to secure a favourable seat in the parquette. At 
the corner of the street, he met a young man of the 
name of Wiley, who, turning round, walked in the 
same direction with him. Mordaunt always felt as if 
he came in contact with a counter stream of thought, 
when he met this young man ; and now it seemed as 
if a dash of cold, quenching water was thrown over 
the glow of his anticipations. There was no sympathy, 
no congeniality. It was the contrast of fire and ice. 

" Whither so fast, Mordaunt ?" 

" To the theatre. Are you disposed for the same 

" No ; I cannot afford it !" 

"Afford!" repeated Mordaunt, in an accent of sur- 

Wiley was reputed wealthy, and thousands taken 
from his pockets would scarcely leave as deep a void 
as Mordaunt's solitary dollar. 

" I cannot afford the time," repeated Wiley. " Life 
is too short for the great purposes of utility, and too 
precious to be wasted in search of amusement. I find 
no leisure for such things myself; but every one has 
a right to put his own estimate on the gifts of God, 
and improve them as he thinks best." 

There was something cold and cutting in the tone 
of his voice, something assimilated to the frosty at- 
mosphere, that penetrated the ear of Mordaunt and 
chilled him. 


"I know there are some," he replied, "\vho can 
keep on, day after day, and year after year, in the 
same tread- mill mode of existence, unconscious of 
weariness as of progress ; but I cannot ; I must have 
occasional excitement. I cannot sit forever in my 
office, waiting for the stagnant waters of the pool to 
be stirred by the angel of success. The principle of 
vitality burns too intensely in my bosom for inaction. 
It must have fuel. If not of the kind I most desire, 
the light combustibles which a random breeze may 
throw in its way " 

"For God's sake," exclaimed a broken voice, so 
suddenly it made them both start, " for God's sake, 
gentlemen, show me the way to a doctor. My wife is 
dying. Where can I find a doctor ?" 

The blaze of a gas-lamp fell full upon the face of 
the speaker. It was a man miserably poor, to judge 
by his patched and threadbare garments. lie had no 
outer covering to protect him from the cold night air, 
and his old, napless hat, that beacon-sign of decaying 
gentility, looked as if it had been Fortune's foot-ball. 
In the weak, trembling under lip, the wan, bloodshot 
eye, the ravages of intemperance were written in de- 
facing characters. At this moment, however, he was 
in the sober possession of all his faculties. Despair 
and remorse lent urgency and eloquence to his ac- 

"For the love of Heaven," he again repeated, 
"direct me to a doctor. Though," he added with 
bitterness, " T have not a cent in the world to pay 
him " 


"I am a physician," cried Mordaunt, Ins warm, im- 
pulsive heart glowing within him at the prospect of 
being able to administer relief to suffering humanity. 
"Show me where you live. I will see what I can do 
for your wife." 

"The Lord Almighty bless you!" exclaimed the 
suppliant, the tears which are ever ready to flow 
from the eyes of the inebriate washing his bloated 

"I wish you joy of your patient," said Wiley. 
" This must be the angel who is to stir the waters of 
the stagnant pool of life." 

Just as Mordaunt was turning to follow the steps 
of his miserable conductor, without answering the 
sneering remark of Wiley, another man came rushing 
along the pavement as if the avenger of blood was be- 
hind him. 

' What is the matter?" cried "Wiley, moving in- 
stinctively from the path. " Are the blood hounds 
let loose to-night?" 

" The horses have run away with my master," an- 
swered the man, panting for breath. " He has been 
thrown upon the pavement. His leg is broken his 
arm is fractured. I want a doctor, a surgeon, at the 
quickest possible notice. For the love of mercy, di- 
rect me to the nearest." 

"Well, Doctor Mordaunt," said Wiley, "your star 
seems to be in the ascendant to-night. I know this 
man's master. It is Mr. Goldman, the modern Croesus. 
Your fortune is made." 

"I have promised this poor creature to go with 


him," answered Mordaunt, struggling with the strong 
temptation that beset him. The glow of compassion 
faded. Turning suddenly to the wretched being who 
had been calling down blessings on his head, he said 

" Tell me where you live, and as soon as I have 
attended to the gentleman who requires my assistance, 
I will call and see your wife." 

" O, sir, she is dying I left her in spasms. She 
will die if you delay. You promised me, you know 
you did. God gave her life as well as the rich man. 
If you let her perish, God will judge you for it, and 
man, too." 

The pale eye of the drunkard kindled fiercely as he 
spoke. He forgot that he had been draining, drop by 
drop, the heart's blood of her whose life he was re- 
quiring so vehemently of another. 

"He is right," said Mordaunt, heaving off the 
temptation, with a long, deep inspiration; then di- 
recting the servant of Mr. Goldman to the office of 
Dr. Lewis, an eminent surgeon as well as physician, 
he immediately followed the rapid but unsteady steps 
of his guide. 

" Yes," repeated he to himself, as he walked along, 
glad that he had girded himself for his task of mercy, 
" yes, he is right. Though waves of gbld should roll 
over my path, they could not drown the faintest whis- 
per of accusing conscience. Yet, what a glorious 
opportunity I have lost ! Rich ! Wiley says he is 
rich, and riches always give influence. Let me 
imagine the result of the incident, supposing I could 
have profited by this golden chance. He is r'ch I 


am skilful at least, occultly so. He is suffering I 
relieve him. He is munificent I am grateful. He 
becomes eloquent in praise of the young physician, 
recommends him to favour, and favour comes fast tread- 
ing on the heels of success. Dr. Mordaunt begins to 
make a name and fame. The poor little bark, that has 
kept close to the shore, without one favouring gale to 
fill its sail, now spreads them gallantly to the breeze, 
and floats fearlessly on the foaming billows of the main. 
Ah ! perchance the rich man has a daughter a lovely 
daughter fair as the dream of a poet a Cordelia in 
filial tenderness, an Imogen in purity, and a Juliet in 
love. She bends in transport over her recovering 
father, she blesses my healing power. She raises her 
eyes of dewy splendour to rny face. The accents of 
gratitude, which she strives in vain to utter, melt on 
her sweet, rosy lips. I take her soft hand in mine, 

when " 

Mordaunt was suddenly checked in his sentimental 
reverie by coming in contact with a cold, damp wall, 
whose resistance almost threw him backward. His 
guide had turned into a narrow, dark alley, running 
back of a splendid block of buildings, and the damp, 
close air breathed of the mould and vapours of the 
tomb. But the pure stars glistened through the 
opening above with a concentration of brilliancy 
absolutely sunlike. Mordaunt realized their immense, 
immeasurable distance. He sighed as he looked up, 
thinking that even thus all that was bright and beau- 
tiful seemed to elude him, shining cold and high, 
alluring and baffling. One star of exceeding glory 


riveted his gaze. Up in the centre of the zenith it 
shone, a blazing diamond on the forehead of night. 
By a sudden transition of thought, Hordaunt recalled 
the scene when the Chaldean shepherds beheld the 
star of the East beaming above the manger which was 
made the cradle of the infant God. What a glory 
thrown around poverty 1 A God in a manger I Should 
one be ashamed of lowliness, when the Deity had 
wrapped himself in it, as a mantle? Mordaunt felt a 
sublime contempt for all the gauds of this world. 
And this sudden lifting of the soul was caused by that 
one bright, ascendant star, on which his wandering 
gaze had fixed. That star was his the whole 
heavens, with their resplendent host, were his. A 
soul, capable of taking in this amplitude of glory, was 
his a heart, large enough to embrace all the suffering 
children of humanity, was his. How could he call 
himself poor? All the dark past was forgotten. 

He was obliged to bend his head while passing into 
the low dwelling occupied by the patient. The light 
was so dim, contrasted with the white dazzle of the 
stars on which his eyes had been so long fixed, he did 
not at once see with distinctness the interior of the 
apartment into which he was ushered. But gradually 
every object came out as through the gloom of a 
morning twilight. A low bed, whose snow-white 
covering spoke of neatness and lingering refinement 
in the midst of penury and domestic misery, stood 
opposite the door, and above that snowy covering 
rose a pale and ghastly face, with closed eyelids and 
parted lips, through which the breath came slowly 


and gaspingly. By the side of the bed sat a figure 
wrapped in a large, gray shawl, which nearly en- 
veloped the whole person. The face belonging to 
this figure turned slowly toward him, as he ap- 
proached the bed, and it shone upon him in tliat dim 
apartment like one of those evening stars he had just 
been contemplating, beaming through a dull, gray 
cloud. It was a face of youth and beauty, but pale, 
sad, and holy as a nun's ; a countenance which had 
been bending over the couch of the dying till the 
shadow of mortality had passed over its brightness. 
No conscious start disturbed the quietude of her atti- 
tude, no sudden blush coloured the fair cheek, as she 
met the wondering glance of Mordaunt, who bowed 
his head in acknowledgment of her presence. A 
groan from the apparently dying woman recalled his 
attention to her, and taking her thin and sallow hand 
in his, he counted the low and flickering pulse ; then 
lifting the candle from a little table not far from the 
bed, he held it so that the light might fall upon her 
faded and sunken features. Her eyelids moved not, 
as the rays flashed over them. He spoke to her in a 
clear, deep voice, but the sound did not penetrate her 
deafened ear. 

"She is not dying, doctor?" cried the man, fixing 
his bleared and rueful eyes on Mordaunt's serious and 
earnest countenance. " You don't think she is dying, 

" She is very low, very low, indeed," replied Mor- 
daunt. " How long has she been in this exhausted 


"About half an hour; ever since the spasm sub- 
sided," said the young lady with the gray shawl 

The voice was BO sweet, and had such a subdued 
and holy tone, that Mordaunt held his breath to 

"O! it was terrible," she continued, "to witness 
that awful paroxysm!" 

" Surely you were not alone with her ?" exclaimed 
the young doctor, involuntarily. 

"No," she replied, with a slight shudder; "a ser- 
vant was with me, whom a short time since I sent for 
wine, thinking it might possibly revive her." 

" I fear it may be too late," said Mordaunt. " Her 
nervous system seems completely destroyed, worn out 
by long struggles, I should think." 

Here he riveted his gaze on the drunken husband, 
with a look that spoke volumes. ' 

"/ haven't killed her," he cried, weeping and sob- 
bing aloud. " I know I have not always treated her 
as I ought I have sometimes been rough to her, 
when I didn't well know what I was doing. I never 
struck her but once as I remember never I 
didn't mean to hurt her I haven't killed her, 
doctor " 

"But once!" exclaimed Mordaunt, indignantly. 
" It was enough ! It was a death-blow 1" 

" Lord Almighty 1" cried the man, staggering back 
into a chair, and turning frightfully pale, as another 
deep groan echoed through the room. 

Mordaunt took up the vials clustered on the table, 
and after having examined them, poured some ether 


in a glass, and having diluted it with water, put it to 
the passive lips of the patient. The odour of the 
ethereal fluid seemed to revive her. She breathed 
more easily, and the eyeballs began to move under 
the closed lids. 

"She needs stimulants," said Mordaunt; "wine 
will not be strong enough. She must have brandy. 
Ilere," added he to the husband, taking from his 
purse the solitary dollar that dollar which was to 
have been the open-sesame to the magic caverns 
of fancy and placing it in his hand, "here, go to 
the nearest apothecary's and get a bottle of the best 
French brandy, such as they keep for the sick. Make 

The bloodshot eyes of the drunkard flashed up 
with a sudden and fierce delight. The very sound 
of the word brandy tingled his blunted senses. The 
sight of the money was fuel to his feverish and brutal 
desires. Mordaunt felt a gentle touch on his arm, and 
looking round, he saw the gleam of a white hand on 
his dark coat. The folds of the gray shawl swept 
momentarily against him. 

"He is gone," said the young lady, in a tone of dis- 
appointment; "alas! he cannot be trusted." 

"Surely, at a moment like this he must be faithful!" 
cried Mordaunt; yet the recollection of the insane 
gleam of his eye made him shudder. 

"Strange that Hannah does not return," said the 
young lady, looking anxiously toward the door. Her 
countenance brightened even as she spoke, for a 
woman came to the threshold and beckoned her to 


approach. Mordaunt heard a startling exclamation 
from the gray-shawled damsel, in answer to something 
the woman said, in a quick, low voice. 

"Good heavens! My uncle! How could it happen? 
His arm and leg both broken ! ! what a dreadful 

She leaned against the frame of the door, as if over- 
come with the shock she had received. Mordaunt 
saw that she was deadly pale, and handed her a glass 
of water. She took it with a trembling hand, and as 
she raised her eyes to his face, he remembered his 
reverie about the rich man's daughter, and how her 
vision had passed before him, fixing her eyes of 
dewy splendour on his face. The vision seemed 
realized only it was the rich man's niece, instead 
of his daughter, and he was in the poor man's 
hovel, instead of the rich man's palace. 

"You will not leave this poor creature," said she, 
folding her shawl closely around her, and making a 
motion to Hannah to follow her. " My poor uncle ! 
how much he must suffer I" 

She stepped upon the threshold, unbonneted and 

" Surely you are not going abroad without a pro- 
tector, at this hour?" cried Mordaunt, feeling the 
impossibility of leaving his poor patient alone, yet 
longing to offer his services as an escort. 

"I have only to pass through the gate," she replied; 
" this cabin is back of my uncle's yard. God bless 
you, sir, for your kindness to this poor woman! She 
is worthy of it." 


She was gone the Evening Star, as bis spirit called 
her and he seemed left in darkness. 

Yes ! this must be the niece of Mr. Goldman, whom 
lie might have had for a patient, and who might 
have opened to him the golden portals of success. 
Such an opi/cr:anity scarcely occurs more than once 
in a lifetime. And what good had he done to this 
poor woman? Ether and brandy might possibly 
add a few hours to her miserable existence; but 
even if he could bring her back to life, he would 
be bestowing no blessing. Life to a drunkard's wife! 
it was a curse a living death a dying life. Better, 
far better that she should press the clay-cold pillow 
of the grave, than that bed of thorns. Yet he did 
not relinquish his cares. lie fed the waning lamp 
of life with the oil of kindness, and continued to 
watch by the bed of the sufferer, bathing her temples 
with water, and moistening her lips with wine. He 
listened for the footsteps of the drunken husband, 
but the wretch came not. lie was doubtless steep, 
ing his soul deeper still in the burning fluid of 
hell. Mordaunt remembered the soft pressure of the 
white hand on his arm, and wished he had sooner 
felt its warning touch. 

About midnight, the poor, weak pulse his fingers 
pressed suddenly stopped, and Mordaunt found him- 
self alone with the dead. As the inexpressible 
calm and placidity of death stole over the features, 
restoring something of yonthfulness and beauty, and 
the charm of a great and solemn mystery rested 
upon them, he lookel upon her with a strange 


interest. The human frame was to him a wondrous 
and curious -machine, a God-constructed, glorious 
instrument. He looked upon it with the eyes of 
science, and whether clothed in rags or fine linen, 
he recognized the hand of the Divine Architect. 

But what must he do? Whom could he sum- 
mon to that death-tenanted chamber? The Evening 
Star was now shedding its soft, pitying rays over 
another couch of suffering, that couch which his 
ministrations might also have soothed. Just as he 
was rising, resolved to rouse the inmates of the 
next cabin, and induce them to attend to the last 
duties of humanity, the door opened and Hannah 
quietly entered. She was a grave, respectable-look- 
ing woman, and seemed to understand at one glance 
the office that devolved upon her. Mordaunt felt 
as if his mission was now ended, and he was glad 
that it was so. 

"How is the gentleman? How is Mr. Goldman?" 
asked he. " Is he very badly hurt ?" 

" Dreadfully, sir. His leg and arm are broken, and 
he is shockingly bruised, besides. You can hear him 
groan all over the house." 

" And the young lady ?" 

"Miss Constance? She is with her uncle. She 
will not leave him, though the doctors all urge her to 
go, and she looks ready to drop down, too." 

"Has he many doctors with him?''' 

" There are three below enough to kill him, I am 
sure," added she, in a kind of sotto voce. 

"I might have been one of that favoured trio," 


thought Mordaunt, " and now the -weight of my last 
dollar is added to the millstone of sin that is dragging 
a wretch to the abyss of perdition. But I meant to 
do good. God forgive me for repining." 

The history of the drunkard and his wife has 
nothing to do with our story, only as it serves to 
illustrate the character of our young physician, and to 
introduce him to Constance Goldman, one of those 
angels of mercy whom God sometimes sends into the 
world to drop balm into the wounds that sin has made, 
and to strew with roses and lilies the thorny path that 
leads to the grave. 

Days and weeks passed away. Mordaunt continued 
to struggle on to struggle on the very verge of 
penury, just able, with the strictest economy, to pay 
his daily expenses. His practice was extending, but 
chiefly among the poor, whose scanty purse he felt 
unwilling to diminish. He was gaining experience 
but losing hope. His youthful appearance was a bar 
to his success. He had a strong desire to cut off his 
bright, brown locks, which had a most obstinate and 
provoking wave, and assume a venerable-looking wig; 
to cover his sunny, hazel eyes with a pair of green 
spectacles, and wear an expression of supernatural 
gravity and intense wisdom. Every thing short of 
this, he did, to make himself older, but in vain. The 
fire of youth was burning in the temple of life, and it 
illuminated all surrounding objects. 

Once, when he was walking with "Wiley, (for, un- 
congenial as they were, they were frequent com- 
panions,) a carriage stopped at the door of a splendid 


mansion just before them. A lady descended, whom 
he immediately recognized as the Evening Star. The 
gray cloud no longer enveloped her graceful figure, 
which was robed in all the elegance of fashion. The 
face was less pale and sad than when he saw her last, 
but still wore that celestial fairness which is seldom 
warmed with the colouring of earth. Mordaunt bowed 
low to the recognizing glance, while Wiley stepped 
forward with the freedom of an old acquaintance, and 
offered his assistance in leading her up the flight of 
marble steps which led to the door. 

Mordaunt felt a sudden swelling of the heart against 
"Wiley. He could not help it, though he despised 
himself for it. He knew by intuition that Constance 
would speak to him. lie felt that he was not forgot- 
ten. Though her cheek, like the pure asbestos, kind led 
not at his approach, her eye had beamed with a modest 
but joyous welcome. He knew by intuition also that 
"Wiley's cold and biting tongue would wither like 
frost every kindly sentiment she might now perchance 
feel for him. He did not dream that she had fallen in 
love with him, for he was not vain or presumptuous, 
but, associated as they had been in the holy task of 
mercy and compassion, he could not help thinking 
there was a sympathy between them, which he could 
not bear to have chilled. He did not want his name 
to be mentioned in her presence by the lips of Wiley. 
But why should he suffer his equanimity to be dis- 
turbed by such illusions? She might not condescend 
to mention him. She was compassionate, and looked 
kindly on him, when she had met him in the hovel of 


the poor, but should he seek her in her own lordly 
home, the rich heiress might cBm with her indifference 
(he could not associate with her the idea of scorn) the 
poor young physician. Mordaunt, in spite of his 
elasticity and hopefulness of spirit, was beginning to 
feel a little of the sickness of hope deferred. lie had 
observed that morning, with rather sorrowful mis- 
givings, that his best coat was a little more lustrous 
at the elbows than it was when he first wore it, and 
that the silken down of his hat was getting a little 
shorter and somewhat worn ; especially on the rim in 
front, which he touched when making his graceful 
bows. There was nothing yet to detract from the 
gentility of his appearance, but he knew a day would 
come when the coat would grow rusty and the hat 
napless, and unless he had more profitable patients 
than the drunkard's poor wife, it would be long be- 
fore he could purchase others. He entered his office, 
took off his hat, smoothed it carefully with the sleeve 
of his coat before he hung it on the peg, then ex- 
changing his coat for a student's wrapper, he threw 
himself into a chair, waked up the dying coals in the 
grate, and folding his arms, gazed steadfastly on a 
majestic skeleton that stood in a corner of the room, 
silent but awful guardian of its solitude. 

" Hail, grim companion," he exclaimed ; " teacher, 
monitor, and friend ! Hail, lonely palace of a departed 
king. No empty cage of a liberated captive. How 
often has the poor prisoner beat in agony against the 
marble bars of his prison-house, struggling for release . 
How often has the proud monarch revetted in pride 


behind that white, gleaming lattice- work ! 
for six thousand years the great Architect of the uni- 
verse has been building domes like these, frail, won- 
drous, glorious, but perishable perishable temples of 
the imperishable corruptible homes of incorruption ; 
and for six thousand years to come, perchance, the 
same magnificent structures will rise and continue to 
rise, mocking the genius and invention of man. It is 
a proud thought that we, masters of the divine art of 
healing, are able to cheat time and the grave of their 
inalienable right, antf preserve from decay and ruin 
fabrics more grand than Egyptian t or Grecian art ever 
fashioned. Yes ! ours is a noble art, and I exult that 
I am one of its disciples. But, alas ! I am still very 
poor ; and ! the irremediable disgrace that still clings 
to my name 1" 

We will leave Mordaunt for a while with the grim 
companion whom he makes the confidant of his wild, 
deep thoughts, and follow Wiley into the dwelling of 
the modern Croesus. 

Mr. Goldman, who was still suffering from his broken 
limbs, reclined upon a couch, near the fire. Wiley 
sat by his side; Constance, at a little distance. Wih-y, 
when he wished to please, had the most insinuating 
manners, and he had a strong desire to please the 
uncle of Constance. He felt confident of success with 
him, but there was something about Constance he 
could not fathom. A holy serenity, a passionless calm, 


over which the breath of admiration flowed like a 
cloud over crystal, leaving no impression on its pure, 
smooth surface. As she now sat, looking into the fire, 
with a soft languor diffused over her features, he was 
flattering himself that he might be the subject of her 
waking dream, when she startled him with the ques- 
tion, in her peculiarly sweet, low tone of voice 

"Who is the young gentleman who was your com- 
panion this evening?" 

" It was young Doctor Mordaunt," answered "Wiley, 
vexed at finding another than himself the subject of 
her reverie. "But surely he could not have had the 
presumption to bow, as an entire stranger?" 

"He is not an entire stranger, nor do I believe that 
he would be guilty of presumption, under any circum- 
stances," replied Constance, with a slight shade of 

" Who is that you are speaking of?" asked Mr. Gold- 
man, whose ear caught the sound of doctor. " Doctor 
Mordaunt? I never heard of him. Is he a distin- 
guished physician ?" 

" He is a young tyro," answered Wiley, " a true Don 
Quixote in his profession. To show you what chance 
he has of arriving at distinction, I will mention an 
incident, connected with him, in which you, sir, have 
a personal interest. The night when you were thrown 
from the carriage, and your footman came rushing 
through the street, in frantic haste for a doctor, ready 
to seize the first he could grasp, I was walking with 
Mordaunt, and while I bewailed your misfortune, I 
could not help rejoicing at such a magnificent opening 


for him, knowing your unbounded influence, and the 
eclat it would give him to be employed even acciden- 
tally by you. Would you believe it, sir, he refused to 
follow your servant, refused to administer to your re- 
lief " 

"Kefused?" exclaimed Mr. Goldman, with an air 
of surprise and displeasure. "This is very unac- 
countable behaviour. Did he know who I am? Or 
did he imagine I was some poor wretch, who could 
not pay him for his services ?" 

I told him who you were, sir, and that it was a 
life of no common value that was endangered. But 
because he had promised a few moments before to 
prescribe for the wife of a vile drunkard, who with 
reeling step arrested us in our path, a creature too 
low to be considered within the pale of humanity, he 
turned a deaf ear to the tale of your sufferings, and 
allowed her life to outweigh yours, in the scale of his 

"Fool I" exclaimed Mr. Goldman. 

" Perhaps he put his promise in the scale to balance 
the temptation," said Constance. " Of course he is 
wealthy, or he would not slight a golden opportunity." 

" Not worth a cent in the world," answered Wiley, 
"and, what is more, never will be." 

" Uncle," said Constance, with a sudden lighting 
up of her fair, calm face, a splendour, not a glow, 
" when I tell you what I know of this young Doctor 
Mordaunt, you will withdraw the opprobrious epithet 
you have given him. The night of your dreadful 
accident, I was with poor Kate O'Brien, when ha 


visited her, and I was struck with the kindness of his 
manner, and the heartiness of his sympathy. It 
seemed to me that he was skilful, and that he felt as 
much interest in her recovery as if a great reward 
were to be his. Kate O'Brien, sir," added she, looking 
toward Wiley, with a glance he could not understand, 
" was a favourite servant of my mother's. My mother 
had her from childhood in her household, and loved 
her almost as her child- She was faithful, gentle, and 
affectionate. Ever since her unfortunate marriage she 
has lived near us, an object of interest and compassion. 
She was worthy of the profoundest pity, whatever 
may be said of her miserable husband. That Doctor 
Mordaunt should conscientiously adhere to his promise 
of visiting the poor and lowly, in the face of a strong 
temptation, is, I think, a noble instance of generosity 
and self-sacrifice. I esteemed him before I honour 
him now." 

" And what is this young doctor to you, that you 
defend him so warmly, Constance?" cried her uncle, 
looking suspiciously on her shining countenance, for 
it literally shone with moral admiration. 

"To me, nothing, uncle; but the cause is every 

"What cause?" 

" The cause of truth, and justice, and humanity. I 
thought if you and Mr. Wiley understood the circum- 
stances which I have related, they would vindicate 
Dr. Mordaunt from the charges of Quixotism and 
folly. Uncle, you was attached to poor Kate I waa 
summoned to your bed of agony her brutal husband 


forsook her this young man remained with her till 
she died. Even then, he watched by her lonely corse. 
Hannah found him guarding it, as a sacred trust " 

Constance paused. She had spoken with more 
energy than she was aware of, and a faint colour 
dawned perceptibly on her alabaster cheek. 

Wiley, exasperated to find that, instead of lowering 
Mordaunt, he had only exalted him in her estimation, 
rose to depart. Constance drew a sigh of relief as the 
door closed on his departing figure. Mr. Goldman 
looked anxious and irritated. 

" You have displeased him, Constance." 

" I care not, uncle. His displeasure or approbation 
are alike to me." 

" He loves you. He has wealth and talents and a 
rising reputation. I do not like to see you blind to 
his merits, and infatuated by those of a poor stranger. 
I wish to speak to you openly, Constance. I do not 
think I shall ever recover from the shock my consti- 
tution has received. It is time that I should transfer 
my guardianship to another. Wiley is rich himself, 
and cannot be allured by your fortune. His attach- 
ment is disinterested and sincere, yet he has sufficient 
worldly wisdom to watch over your property, and his 
sobriety, prudence, and good sense, will secure your 
domestic happiness. I like Wiley. I wish you to 
marry him." 

"I do not like him, uncle. I do not wish to marry 
him, or any one else. His worldly wisdom chills 
the very atmosphere I breathe. If I ever do marry, 
it shall not be a man of dollars and cents, a man 


without one warm and generous affection, one noble, 
magnanimous feeling. Kate O'Brien, the drunkard's 
wife, was not more worthy of pity than I should 
be. Her heart was crushed mine would be frozen." 

"Constance," said her uncle, suddenly raising him- 
self on one elbow, then falling back with a groan 
of pain, " if you have conceived a sudden passion 
for this young doctor, I will never countenance it; I 
warn you against this folly. It shall be blasted in 
the very bud." 

"Oh! uncle, have you so poor an opinion of me 
as to believe me incapable of an unselfish, generous 
sentiment? I am not one to be governed by the 
impulse of passion. You know I am not. I am called 
the snow-maiden, because I am deemed so cold and 
unimpressible. I do feel interested in this young 
physician, for he has shown himself magnanimous 
and strong to resist temptation. A noble spirit 
struggling with destiny is worthy of admiration. I 
would give worlds to hold out to him a helping hand. 
I would give any thing that I were a man, that I 
could offer him a brother's aid, a friend's assistance. 
I feel guilty in the possession of wealth, so far 
beyond my want, when it might serve as a golden 
ladder, on which a great soul could mount to the 
heights of honour and distinction." 

"You are a strange girl, Constance. I do not 
understand you," cried her uncle, feeling through 
the icy coldness of his nature, in spite of his own 
will, the penetrative sun-rays of her own philanthropy. 
He said he could not understand her, but he did 


in some measure. lie understood her enough to 
know that she was misled by no girlish fancy, nd 
unmaidenly passion, but actuated by a high and holy 
benevolence. He listened to her with more patience, 
on that couch of suffering, to which she had been 
a waiting, ministering angel, than he would have 
done in his days of health and ease. 

" Uncle," she added, fixing her clear, serene eyes 
on his face, and taking his thin hand in the soft 
palms of hers, " you a -e a man, and can do what I 
cannot. You are rich one of the stewards of God's 
gold. You can take this young man by the hand 
and lift him above the influences of poverty, so chill- 
ing and depressing to the young and ambitious mind. 
You said this morning that you did not like Doctor 
Lewis, that he was careless and indifferent, that he 
would not listen to your complaints, and seemed to 
think you had no right to make them." 

"Yes, I did say so," interrupted Mr. Goldman, "and 
I say so again. He never stays with me longer thuu 
three minutes, treats me like a common patient." 

"He has too many patients, uncle. You are of 
no consequence to him. Your money is no more 
to him than any other man's. If you should employ 
this young doctor, he would be grateful and atten- 
tive. You would have the satisfaction of feeling 
that you were doing him a favour, perhaps laying 
the foundation of his future eminence. You would 
be the honoured patron of youthful talent and now- 
unknown worth. You would exult in your own 


works. 0! uncle, it is not what we do for ourselves, 
but others, that is written in the Book of Life." 

"You say he was very kind to poor Kate?" 

" Oh I so kind and compassionate ! No brother could 
have been kinder." 

"What would Doctor Lewis say?" 

"I think he would rejoice, for the sake of the young 
man. He is too eminent in his profession to indulge 
in the meanness of jealousy." 

"What will Wiley say?" 

"Wiley I Let him say what he pleases. He is 
envious, and I despise him. He is malicious, and I 
dislike him. He is cold-hearted, and I shun him. 
He is avaricious, and cares not for me, but my 
wealth. Believe me, uncle, he is unworthy of your 
confidence. The lips that, cold and sarcastic, can 
breathe the venom of slander on an absent brother, 
never shall address the words of love to me." 


"All mankind are brothers, uncle. O! I feel the 
chain that binds me to my race. I cannot bear to 
think that mine should be made of links of gold, and 
others of galling iron. There will come a day of great 
equality, uncle. Blessed are those who labour in this 
world to establish the equilibrium here, which will 
settle at last on the meeting waves of the great human 

Mr. Goldman cast a look of perplexity and admi- 
ration on his niece. He could not follow the divine 
aspirations of her spirit. He even felt awe. in her 
presence. She seemed scarcely of the earth, earthy. 


How came this young girl by these holy sentiments, 
surrounded by such worldly influences ? Cast in tho 
fiery furnace of temptation, with the dangerous gifts 
of beauty, wealth, and genius, how is it that she 
walked unscathed 'mid the scorching flames, serene 
and unmoved ? Was it that one in the likeness of 
the Son of God walked with her, as he did with the 
children of Israel, and disarmed the elements of the 
world of their destroying power ? 

" How shall I send for this young doctor ?" sud- 
denly asked Mr. Goldman. " Do you know where he 

" We have a Directory. I will get it. 

Constance sought the book, and immediately ascer- 
tained the location of the young physician. 

"I will try him r Constance. If I do not like him, 
I shall dismiss him. Remember, it is only an experi- 

"Certainly, dear uncle. I ask no more. Thank 
you a thousand times for this kind concession. It is 
good, it is noble of you. If you find him unskillful, 
it will be your duty to withdraw your influence, for 
life is too precious to be lightly dealt with, and yours 
most of all. Good-night." 

She bent a-nd kissed the forehead of her uncle with 
unusual tenderness. He drew her gently nearer and 
nearer, till she was rested against his heart. He folded 
his uninjured arm around her, and laid his hand on 
her smooth, soft hair. 

"Constance," said he, "you are a good girl too 
good for this world. I wish there were more like 


you. It is very strange, when talking with Wiley, I 
feel as hard and worldly as he seems to be. When 
listening to you, I seem a different being. The 
monitor within responds to your sweet accents. 
When I mingled with the world, every thing around 
me wore a bright metallic glare. I found myself 
valued for my wealth, and I took a pride in its pos- 
session. Why should I not glory in what gave me 
power and influence? Since I have been confined to 
this couch, and when I am alone with you, my better 
nature rises and sometimes triumphs. Good-night. 
God bless you, Constance." 

" And you too, dear uncle." 

A tear, which glittered on the fringed curtain of 
her eyes, fell on the cheek of the invalid, as she turned 
from the couch. It was only deep emotion that could 
draw tears from the eyes of Constance. Her feelibgs 
were not upon the surface. They were far down in 
the "sunless retreats of the ocean" of thought. 

The next day, when Doctor Lewis called, Constance 
perceived a shade of embarrassment on her uncle's 
countenance, and she hastened to relieve him. 

" Doctor Lewis," said she, as he turned hastily to 
the door, " I will not detain you long. It will give 
you neither disappointment or displeasure if uncle 
should free you from your attendance on him ? 
Thanks to your skill, he is no longer in danger. There 
is a promising young physician whom he wishes to 
patronize. His name is Mordaunt. Has he your 
permission to do so ?" 

"Certainly," he replied, with a look of mingled 


pleasure and surprise. "I like your frankness. I 
have heard of this young man. He is promising. I 
am glad to hear of his good fortune." 

His countenance expressed more than his words ; 
but Constance did not blush or cast down her eyes. 
She related in a few words all that she knew of Mor- 
daunt, and that it was owing to her persuasions that 
her uncle had been induced to employ him. 

The simplicity and frankness of her manner con- 
vinced the doctor of the purity and elevation of her 
motives. He was not a cold, unfeeling man. He had 
not time to express his feelings. The burden of a 
great responsibility rested upon him, and it made him 
grave and thoughtful. If he made hurried calls at 
the rich man's bedside, where his attentions were 
needed least of all, he often stayed hours in the hovels 
of the poor. Nothing rejoiced him more than to hear 
of the rising fame of some young brother in the 
practice, but he had not time to exert himself for their 
interests. He had met Mordaunt a short time before, 
in the suburbs of the city, at the house of a poor 
German, and he was much pleased with the young 
man. So he told Constance, and a smile of approba- 
illumined his countenance as he did so. 

" When I was a young man," said he, laying his 
hand on the latch, " I had many a hard struggle with 
the world. I know how to sympathize with these 
young wrestlers. Tell Doctor Mordaunt so, and tell 
him to call and see me. I shall be glad to know him 

And he did know him better, and became his firm 


friend and disinterested counsellor. And Mr. Gold- 
man was charmed with the young physician, and 
sounded his praises in ey.ery ear. 

Mordaunt had indeed cast his bread upon the waters 
when he visited the dying wife of the drunkard, and 
gave away his only dollar in the hope of stimulating 
her exhausted energies. He did not know, when he 
entered that wretched abode, that there sat the angel 
who was to stir the stagnant waters of his life. But it 
was even so. 

Now, he knew that he was indebted to Constance 
for the sudden flow of prosperity that came rolling in 
the dry and sandy channel of poverty; for the dawn- 
ing sunshine that shone on the night-cloud of de- 
spondency; for the glorious hope of future distinction 
that now animated his being. He was not vain, and 
never believed for a moment that personal admiration 
for himself had prompted the generous interposition 
of Constance in his behalf. Neither did he impute it 
to compassion that would have humiliated him but 
to a just appreciation of his character, learned by that 
intuition of woman's heart which the philosopher ad- 
mits, though he cannot explain. 

Mordaunt had an exalted estimate of woman. He 
adored his mother, and dearly loved his gentle sister 
(for he had a mother and sister, who dwelt far away, 
in a sweet country village), and in every lovely young 
female he recognized a sister's form. For Constance 
he felt an admiration so chastened by reverence, it 
was less like the feeling that youth and beauty in- 
spires than what the worshipper feels for his guardian 


saint. It was not love, for she indeed seemed the 
snow-maiden too pure and too cold to be warmed by 
the breath of human passi<^p. He experienced in her 
presence a feeling of divine repose, a kind of moon- 
light quietude ; for such was her exquisite purity, her 
holy spirituality, that she diffused around her a kind 
of silvery brightness that threw a soft, illusive charrn 
on all within the sphere of her influence. 

Mordaunt's practice was now rapidly extending 
among the rich and influential, among those who 
could appreciate his merits, as well as reward his ser- 
vices. He no longer looked with anxious eye on tho 
sleeve of his coat, or the rim of his hat. He could 
afford to buy new ones. He was no longer poor, no 
longer unknown. His mind, liberated from the iron 
fetters of poverty, and unchilled by the vapours of 
obscurity, was conscious of an expansion, a warmth, 
an elevation unknown before. He became strongly 
attached to Doctor Lewis, who, in his now familiar in- 
tercourse with the young man, displayed a geniality 
of feeling, more winning from the contrast with the 
prevailing reserve and dignity of his character. 

Mordaunt occasionally met Wiley, in whose breast 
the gall of jealousy was added to the venom of envy 
Himself the now rejected lover of Constance, he hated 
the man who, he believed, had rivalled him in her 
affections. He did not discontinue his visits at Mr. 
Goldman's. He asked to retain the privileges of a 
friend, though denied far dearer rights. He wanted 
to watch the progress of Mordaunt, and, if possible, 
undermine the stately fabric of his growing fame. 


" Every man," said he, " has some weak, vulnerable 
point, some spot that the Styx of Stoicism has not 
bathed. Mordaunt is prqud. Let the barbed arrow 
pierce him through his pride, and the wound will 
prey upon his life." 

The soul of Mordaunt had a vulnerable spot, but it 
was one of which Wiley never dreamed, a spot whero 
the arrow would indeed penetrate deep as the core of 
life. But time had folded its layers thickly over it, 
and the man at times forgot what had well nigh mad- 
dened the boy. 

The age of a tree is known by the consecutive circles 
that are formed round the heart of the trunk, and it 
takes many a stroke of the sharpest axe to reach that 
guarded part. 

Thus, year after year had wrapped round the quick 
of Mordaunt's heart a deeper coating, rendering it 
more inaccessible to external injury. He was far 
removed from the associations of the past, and on 
that one subject the lips of memory were hermetically 

One evening, Doctor Lewis came into his office at a 
late hour. Wiley was sitting there, leaning back 
against the wall, on the back-ground of a dark cloak, 
so that his figure was not at first distinguishable. Mor- 
daunt was in an abstracted mood, and apparently for- 
getful of the presence of one whom his nature avoided 
with a strong, electric repulsion. 

" Come to my office, Mordaunt," said Doctor Lewis, 
laying his hand familiarly on his shoulder ; " I have a 
glorious subject the criminal who was executed this 


morning. lie is certainly one of the noblest speci- 
mens of humanity, as fur as the outward man is con- 
cerned, I have ever seen." ^ 

An expression of sickening horror passed over 
Mordaunt's countenance. He shrunk involuntarily 
from the hand laid in kindness upon hijn. Doctor 
Lewis beheld him with surprise and disappointment. 

"I thought you would welcome such an oppor- 
tnnity," said he, rather coldly. "You surely must 
have conquered ere this that morbid sensibility that 
recoils from an act which the wants of science 
demand, which philanthropy sanctions and religion 
approves. The man who has violated the laws of 
God makes an expiation greater than his life, when 
he yields his body to the scalpel, which explores 
the winding mysteries of vitality. Living he may 
be the scourge, dead, the benefactor of mankind." 

"Doctor," replied Mordaunt, and his usually sunny 
eye was darkened and overcast, "I would far rather 
disturb the awful slumbers of the grave than touch 
the poor victim of man's unrighteous judgment. 
He was condemned and executed on circumstantial 
evidence alone. Such a decision is not lawful. It 
is often murder of the most cruel, deliberate kind. 
I believe him innocent. I would not make a sacri- 
fice of his body to save my own from burning 

Wiley leaned forward from his darkened corner 
and gazed with intense curiosity on the pale and 
excited face of Mordaunt. Why should he feel so 
painful an interest in the fate of a nameless male- 


factor? What was his guilt or innocence to him? It 
was not merely abstract sympathy with his race 
which could extinguish the colour of his cheek, 
and quench so suddenly the light of his eye. 

Wiley, the naturally cold and envious, the deli- 
berately jealous and now malignant Wiley, watched 
his victim with feline subtlety and dissimulation. 
He had discovered a wire which communicated with 
the vital, vulnerable part he had been so long seek- 
ing. And he twisted and twisted it round the screw 
of memory, ready to draw it and tug at it, till the 
heart's blood came oozing, drop by drop, exposing 
the inner wound. 

"I will not urge you to-night," said Doctor Lewis, 
taking leave of Mordaunt with a serious kindness 
of manner, which made the young man grasp his 
hand with unconscious warmth. "I see you are 
nervous, and I fear seriously indisposed. We can- 
not always command our will, and every one, I 
believe, has some strange, unaccountable weakness, 
which has its ebbs and flows like the moon- ruled 

"I fear you think me weak, doctor," replied 
Mordaunt, " but do not judge me without a hear- 
ing. I will not detain you now. Some time, when 
you are entirely at leisure, I will tell you some- 
thing of the history of my early life. A terrible 
shock, received in childhood, will make the electric 
chord vibrate in long, after years." 

When Doctor Lewis had left the office, Mordaunt 
resumed his seat, and leaning his elbows on the table, 


pressed Ms forehead upon his hand, bending his head 
so that his hair fell in thick masses over his brow. 
Tnere was perfect silence in the apartment. The lamp- 
light fell with a strong glare on the ghastly frame- 
work of life gleaming cold and white in its dim recess, 
and threw the shadow of Mordauut darkly on the 

"Wiley looked at the shadow and smiled, then softly 
rising, he approached the young physician, and said, 
in his usual cool, passionless tone 

" You do not seem well to-night, Mordaunt. Can I 
do any thing for you ?" 

"No, sir," replied Mordaunt haughtily. Then, with 
a sudden change of voice, he added " Pardon me, I 
thought you had left me." 

"I am glad you refused to accompany Doctor 
Lewis," said Wiley. I have more sympathy with 
your scrupulous humanity than with his cold, abstract 
love of science." 

" I have not been actuated by humanity," said Mor- 
daunt, hastily. "I will not accept unmerited com- 
mendation, if you consider it such. But / do not. I 
look upon Doctor Lewis as the high- priest of humanity. 
He is a votary of science only as he is a lover of man- 

" Why did you tell him that you would not make 
a sacrifice of the body of that man, believing him 
innocent, to save your own from consuming fire." 

"Because," replied the young man with energy, 
"he probably has friends, who are watching with 
agonizing anxiety to pay to his poor remains those 


holy rites immemorial time has hallowed. His black- 
ened name, his awful doom, the rope, the scaffold, and 
the hangman's gripe cannot divorce the victim from 
their affections and sympathies. The sanctity of a 
Christian burial heals the gaping wound caused by a 
violent and ignominious death. Who would rob the 
wretched survivors of so poor a consolation ? Who 
would deprive them of a home for their bitter tears ? 
A turf to make green with the dew of sorrow ? Those 
who die in the arms of their kindred, who are laid 
quietly and reverently in their six-feet bed of earth, 
with the balm of prayer and praise, what matters it to 
them if their sanctified dust be made to add to the 
glory of science and the good of man ? What matters 
it to them, whether their bones moulder beneath the 
clods of the valley, or bleach in the sunshine of heaven? 
Friends never go to pierce into the mystery of the 
charnel-house. Affection shrinks back from its cold 
threshold. The wreath may hang on the marble urn 
the tablet gleam with golden characters. Love, 
sorrow, memory ask no more." 

"Some of his kindred have died upon the scaffold," 
said Wiley to himself, passing his hand over his eyes 
to hide the triumphant malice of their beams. "I 
know it as well as if I had seen their bodies swinging 
between heaven and earth. Constance shall know 
it, too." 

"For myself," continued Mordaunt, in a still more 
excited tone, " I care not what becomes of this clay 
temple of mine when the indwelling Deity is departed. 
Earth, fire, flood may claim their own, for it will re- 


solve at last into its original elements. The soul, the 
enfranchised angel, what cares it foe the poor remnant, 
the broken chains, the badges of sorrow and slavery 
it leaves behind ?" 

We will leave Mordaunt to his own reflections ; for 
when the door closed on Wiley, he suddenly extin- 
guished his lamp and wrapped himself in darkness, as 
with a mantle. The memories of childhood rolled 
back in a black flood, lashed into billows, drowning 
the joys of the present, the hopes of the future ; even 
the serene and holy light of the Evening Star could 
not disperse the thick gloom that followed in the wake 
of those cold waters. It only made their shadows 
more appalling. The dark hour was on him, the 
eclipse of the soul, for the first time since the evening 
which introduced him to Constance Goldman. 

Yes, every mortal that has a soul to feel, has their 
dark hours. Sometimes the night-cloud comes we 
know not whence, and goes we know not whither. 
Sometimes it is the shadow of a mighty sorrow, a sor- 
row rising gravely and gloomily above the landscape 
of life still existing, though years may have stretched 
their space between. 

Mordaunt's own nature was too bright and sunny 
'for that mysterious, spirit- woe so many are doomed to 
feel ; but the dark mountain, whose shade had fallen 
on the green fields and flowery vales of childhood, 
still loomed upon his sight, through the dimness of 
distance and the mists of time. 


Not many days after the scene we have described 
in Mordaunt's office, he was met by Wiley at the 
house of Mr. Goldman, who was still an invalid. 
Wiley exerted himself more than usual to shine in 
the conversation that evening, and his apparent 
warmth of feeling nearly surprised Mordaunt into an 
inward acknowledgement that he had wronged this 
man's nature ; that it might possess some of the finer 
traits hitherto lying beneath or beyond the observa- 
tion of the world. By imperceptible degrees, and with 
consummate art, he led the conversation through many 
tributary streams into the channel that suited his 

Pride of birth and station had been touched upon 
lightly, and Wiley had maintained that the aristocracy 
of intellect was the only true aristocracy the one 
that would, sooner or later, be universally acknow- 
ledged and respected. There was something noble, he 
said, in the efforts of a young man to rise above the 
misfortunes of his early life. But no honest man 
should be ashamed of his parentage. 

To his propositions, deferentially stated, and skil- 
fully reasoned, he gained the assent of even the aristo- 
cratic Mr. Goldman. 

"But," said Wiley, glancing keenly towards Mor- 
clauut, "suppose that in addition to his poverty, a 
dark stain rested on the family of a young man, and, 
concealing all knowledge of the circumstances of his 
early history, he should strive to ingratiate himself 
into the favour of his superiors, and attaint their 
skirts with the blackness that clung to his own." 


" I know such an one," he continued, " who even 
aspires to the hand of a young lady far above him. 
He has partially succeeded in impressing her with tho 
belief that he is a man of noble sentiments and quali- 
ties, that his impulses and aspirations are like her 
own, that his genius, talents, and acquirements are a 
fair offset to her possessions and proud name, and that 
an alliance with him would secure to her happiness 
and peace. He hides from her his history, which he 
would fain bury in the oblivion of tho past; he hides 
from her the truth that his name would bring dis- 
honour upon her and those connected with her by 
the dearest ties ; he hides from her that he is seeking 
this marriage to gild over that name that has been 
stained with a dreadful crime ; in short, he hides from 
her the fact that his own father perished ignominiously 
upon the scaffold I Is this honourable ?" 

It was not till after the words died away that the 
spirit felt their reptile influence. 

Constance had answered "No, it is not honour- 
able," before this influence was perceptible on herself. 
She observed the eye of Wiley fixed steadily on Mor- 
daunt, who was seated at her side, and an impulse 
which she could not resist urged her to turn and look 
upon him. 

As she did so, she met his glance, and her own was 
riveted, as by fascination. Never had she seen the 
face of man of such marble pallor. Never had she 
witnessed such an expression of sternness and despair 
on any human countenance. And yet, flashing 
through this sternness and despair there was a Bud- 


denly kindled, burning ray, quick, bright and fierce, 
as the meteor of a dark night In that momentary 
communion of glances, a history was revealed which 
volumes might not contain. 

You have seen the lightning instantaneously open- 
ing the gates of midnight, while stretching beyond 
seemed interminable fiery streets, glimpses of the 
eternal land. So ofttimes the lightning of strong 
emotion discloses the mysterious depths of the soul, 
"that city of our God," whose length and breadth no 
ganger's wand has ever measured. 

For one moment the face of Constance was blood- 
less as his own, then, quickly and gushingly as tho 
blood follows the stroke of the lancet, the warm cur- 
rent rushed over her cheek and brow. It was like 
the breaking up of an ice-bound stream, when the 
waves leap from their prison-bonds, or rather (with 
reverence we use the comparison), like the miracle of 
Cana, when the hueless water "owned its God and 

Mr. Goldman, whose easy chair was placed a little 
back from the group, and who beheld not the emotions 
we have described, repeated with emphasis the words 
of Constance 

" No, it is not honourable. It is not pardonable. I 
could pity, nay, esteem the young man who, making no 
secret of his misfortune, endeavoured to make himself 
an unblemished fame. But I never would forgive the 
one who deceived my confidence and tried to intro- 
duce into my family a dishonoured name. Who is 
the young man of whom you are speaking?" 


"I, sir, am that unfortunate man," exclaimed Mor- 
daunt, to the astonishment of Wiley, rising from hia 
seat, and turning towards Mr. Goldman ; " but I have 
never sought to deceive the confidence of my friends. 
I have merely been silent on a misfortune for which 
sympathy has no balm, and friendship no relief. I ac- 
knowledge that in scenes far from my native home I 
have endeavoured to forget that I bore a dishonoured 
name, and to make for myself an irreproachable repu- 
tation. But it was for no foul, deliberate crime that 
my unhappy parent was doomed to a death of shame. 
The victim of a dark and inscrutable destiny, he left 
on the minds of all who knew him a conviction of his 
innocence as clear and ineffaceable as if the testimony 
were written with a diamond pen on a tablet of crystal. 

" This gentleman, with a penetration that does more 
honour to his head than his heart, has discovered the 
secret, which I have guarded from no mean or unwor- 
thy motives. Why he has taken this opportunity to 
disclose it, in a manner the tortures of the inquisition 
could not have surpassed, he alone knows." 

"I mentioned no names," cried Wiley, evidently 
disconcerted by the undaunted frankness of Mordaunt; 
" if conscience has directed the application, I neither 
claim the merit nor assume the blame." 

"Keally, gentlemen, this is a most extraordinary 
disclosure," said Mr. Goldman, turning pale from the 
excitement of his feelings, "I know not when my 
nerves have received so sudden and severe a shock. 
Doctor Mordaunt, I have never met with a young 
gentleman whom I have esteemed more, but theso un- 


fortunate circumstances you should have made them 
known to me sooner. I am placed in a very dis- 
tressing position." 

Here he put his hand to his head with nn air of 
such pain and embarrassment that Constance immedi- 
ately saturated her handkerchief with cologne and 
bathed his forehead. She was glad of something to do 
in a moment of such overwhelming emotion. 

" Let me relieve you of the distress which my pre- 
sence occasions you, sir," cried Mordaunt. But before 
I withdraw I would thank you for all past kindness 
and confidence. I rejoice in the conviction that I have 
not forfeited either by any conduct of my own. Should 
you consider me responsible for an event which oc- 
curred in my early childhood, and which no acts of 
my manhood could change, and exclude me hereafter 
from your friendship and esteem, I must bow to a de- 
cision whose justice nevertheless reason and religion 
could never admit. Farewell, sir. I wish you to re- 
flect calmly on this question, and whatever be the re- 
sult, gratitude for the past will be permanent as my 

With a respectful bow to Mr. Goldman, who did 
not attempt to reply, and another still lower to Con- 
stance, Mordaunt passed from the room without direct- 
ing a glance at Wiley. 

With slow steps he traversed the long passage, 
walking over prostrate pillars of moonshine, white 
and gleaming as marble, thinking that of materials as 
ghostly and unsubstantial his life-temple must be built. 

As he opened the door, a silver scaflfold was plainly 


defined upon the floor. He shuddered to see his 
thoughts thus shaping themselves in the night-glory, 
when he was arrested by a touch so light as to be 
almost impalpable. At first he imagined that the 
moonbeams were gleaming on his arm in the form of 
a fair and delicate hand, for there it was on the dark 
sleeve of his coat, just as he had seen it months be- 
fore in Kate O'Brien's cottage. He turned and beheld 
the celestial countenance of Constance so near that 
her breath sighed upon his cheek. 

"Constance!" he exclaimed. 

It was the first time he had ever addressed her 
thus. It was strange that while the revelation just 
made seemed to divorce him from mankind, it drew 
him irresistibly closer toward her. At any other 
moment he would have thought it presumption to 
have called her by her own noble and appropriate 
Christian name. 

" Come into the conservatory a few moments," said 
she, "unless you are willing to throw aside a friend 
as lightly as the flower your foot is now crushing." 

A flower had fallen from the bosom of Constance 
under the feet of Mordaunt, who was unconsciously 
grinding it in the dust. 

" I hope this is not prophetical," cried Constance in 
a very low voice, looking on the defaced and mangled 

Mordaunt followed the steps of Constance, like a 
man walking in a dream, back through the passage, 
out into the still splendour of the night, down the 
granite stairs, till he found himself in a grotto, in the 


centre of which a beautiful fountain was throwing up 
its sparkling jets, which descended in the form of a 
weeping willow, with crystal boughs dropping pearly 
tears in a marble reservoir. 

Imagination could not conceive a more enchanting 
spot than this "Fairy's Grotto," as Constance named 

When her uncle erected the magnificent mansion 
which he now occupied, he allowed her taste to lux- 
uriate there in all the prodigality of nature and all 
the refinement of art. Mordaunt had been admitted 
before to this lovely retreat, and he was familiar 
with all its beauties, but now it burst upon him with 
a loveliness that seemed more than earthly. The 
rich aroma of the flowers pressed with languishing 
sweetness on his senses, and the soft, monotonous 
murmur of the falling fountain mingled with the 
sad, minor tones of his own spirit, making a mournful 
but divine harmony. 

They sat down on a circular seat which surrounded 
the basin, and watched in silence the diamond shower 
sparkling in the moonlight that turned every drop 
into a prism, reflecting its radiance. Some of the 
most beautiful nymphs of mythology stood within 
the shade of the grotto, and received eternal baptism 
from the spray. There was one of the daughters of 
Danaus, holding up her bottomless vase to catch the 
fountain's waters, hope struggling with despair on her 
beautiful features, the hope that her expiatory task 
might yet be accomplished. A lovely Bacchante 
lifted her ivy-crowned brow and caught a silver 


crown upon its leaves. A Flora, the embodiment of 
youthful beauty and grace, was represented as scat- 
tering flowers on the dewy grass, and all these charm- 
ing classical figures were reflected in a mirror which 
constituted a wall on one side, and the willowy foun- 
tain with its diamond branches was reflected there 
also, and two other figures seated side by side cast 
their images on the illuminated sheet of crystal, which 
multiplied, as if by enchantment, the fairy scene. 

Constance had thrown around her a light scarf, 
very airy in texture, but its colour was silver gray, 
and Mordaunt thought once more of the Eveniny Star. 
But now its rays seemed setting instead of rising on 
the horizon of his destiny. 

" I thank you for this last act of kindness and con- 
descension," said Mordaunt, regretting the next 
moment that he had spoken at all, for it seemed 
sacrilege to break the silence, or rather the music, of 
the hour. " But is it not cruel to bring me here, that 
I may feel the more fully and deeply what I fear I 
have for ever lost ?" 

" Why should any blessing, yours either by pos- 
session or in reversion, be lost to you now?" asked 

"You know the curse that clings to me, and yet ask 

"I have learned your misfortunes, and, though 
nobly sustained as they have hitherto been, they will 
turn to blessings at last. I rejoice that you had the 
moral courage to avow yourself the object of Wiley's 
dark insinuations. He is already baffled, and his malice 


will recoil on himself. And do you know me so little 
as to believe that the revelations of this night can 
affect my esteem for you that I could be so unjust, 
so cowardly, and unkind that I could visit on the 
innocent the crime of the guilty, even if the guilt 
exist? But I have faith in your father's innocence, 
because you are his son. I have faith that it will yet 
be made known to the world, dark as is the cloud 
which now rests upon it." 

"Ten thousand blessings for this sublime faith," 
exclaimed Mordaunt, his countenance kindling with 
inspiration, " and ten thousand blessings for the con- 
fidence which has not been shaken by this sudden 
blow. I feel myself worthy of it, and yet I would not 
take advantage of it and expose you to the malicious 
observations of the world. Wiley will blazon abroad 
the stigma which brands my name. By association, 
your own will become contaminated. Your uncle will 
sacrifice me to the god of public opinion. He has 
not the moral strength to resist its influence. I should 
expose you to his displeasure, and bring dissension 
into a now harmonious household." 

" I should be unworthy of the blessings you have 
just breathed upon me, if I were not willing to brave 
the evils ypu are bringing in such dread array before 
me. O, if you knew how little I care for the opinion 
of the world, when conscious of right in my own heart, 
you would feel how inefficient were your arguments, 
how sophistical your reasoning. The world, as it is 
called, one true friend would outweigh a hundred-fold 
in my estimation." 


"For ray own safety, Constance, then be it. To 
wish to be more than a friend to you now would -be 
the madness of presumption, and yet so manly pre 
sumptuous I am. Nay, so ungrateful, that the friend 
ship which a short time ago I valued as the most 
precious gift of heaven, would now seem ra cake of 
stone to the prayer of a craving, hungry heart. No," 
added he, with increasing excitement, " I cannot ac- 
cept intercourse on such cold terms. I dare not ask 
it on any other. Therefore, I must leave you. 1 
knew there was a gulf between us, but I would not 
see it ; I made a bridge of flowers over it, and tried to 
forget that there was an abyss beneath. "Wiley has 
torn away the frail arch. God forgive him I fear I 
never can." 

" You murmur at a cake of stone," said Constance, 
and again the crimson under-current so lately liberated 
from restraint sent its waves to her cheek, " yet you 
have never asked for bread." 

And the reserved, nun-like Constance uttered this 
to the man whose father had perished on the scaffold, 
and whose name was in consequence irretrievably dis- 
honoured. Yes, and far more, for they sat for houra 
in that fairy grotto, till 

"Like holy revealings 
From innermost shrines came the light of their feelings." ' 

Mordaunt related all his past history, including the 
awful tragedy of his father's death. He was then a 
mere boy, but he remembered well his mother's agony 
and his sister's despair. He remembered well the last 


prison-scene, when his father, almost crushing him in 
his arms, baptized him with tears of olood, as it were, 
declaring his innocence in the name of that God in 
whose presence he was about to appear. Years of 
darkness followed, but light dawned at last. His 
mother was a brave, Christian woman, and grief did 
not crush her. She lived for her children. In him, 
the jubilant spirit of youth at last rose above the 
gloomy past, that past which began to appear as a 
frightful dream. Amid new scenes, surrounded with 
new associations, he ceased to dwell upon it, and, if 
the shadow intruded, he resolutely dispelled it. There 
came, however, a time when it rolled down upon him 
with the blackness of a thunder-storm, and he bowed 
beneath its weight. It was the night when Doctor 
Lewis entered his oi$ce, and Wiley was witness of 
emotions his malice too well interpreted. 

"I have explained every thing to Doctor Lewis," 
said Mordaunt, " and he is more than ever my friend. 
He has even offered me a partnership in his practice, 
and given me the most earnest advice to remain." 

" Remain 1" repeated Constance. " Surely, you have 
not thought of leaving us ?" 

" Since I have discovered that I have an enemy, the 
very air I breathe seems contaminated. But now I 
feel that I can triumph over his malice. With the 
hopes that now animate me, I could face an opposing 
world. At this moment I would scarcely rend from 
my life's history its darkened leaf, for on its black 
tablet I read in golden characters your conlidence and 
faith. No ! welcome the shame, since it Ls the back- 


ground of glory. Welcome the gross, for the love- 
crown that glitters in the future 1" 

Constance Goldman did not feel as if she had made 
any sacrifice in pledging her faith to Mordaunt. She 
believed herself the winner of a noble prize in a heart 
like his. Never, perhaps, had a young and inex- 
perienced girl a truer estimate of life. A brotherless, 
sisterless orphan, nature had opened few channels in 
which her affections could flow. There was nothing 
in her uncle's character to inspire the love and rever- 
ence she longed to bestow on some legitimate object 
She had met no one in the circles of wealth and fash- 
ion in whom she felt the slightest interest. Of a 
deeply religious temperament, her heart lifted itself 
toward God with a fervour and devotion unchecked 
by any earthly idol. In every^son and daughter of 
sorrow she saw a brother and sister to whom God had 
appointed her a ministering spirit. So she went about 
doing good, surrounded by a halo of vestal purity, 
which made her inapproachable as she was lovely. 
From the first moment she beheld Mordaunt in the 
cottage of poor Kate O'Brien, she felt his superiority 
to his kind ; on every succeeding interview she more 
and more esteemed and honoured him; but it was 
not till this evening, when, with the quickness of a 
woman's perception, she read that he was the object 
of Wiley's malice, and at the same time had a vivid 
insight into his heart, that her own was awakened; 
and its awakening was like the sun-burst of a smmer's 
day after a morning of clouds. What if his father's 
name was a heritage of ignominy ? She cared not, since 


lie was pure, and of spotless fame. Was he not more 
noble, more glorious in his own underived excel- 
lence ? 

When Mordaunt left the grotto, the moon had set, 
and the silver had faded from the willow's watery 
ooughs. But clear and serene and resplendent shone 
the Evening Star above his head. 

On his homeward way he reflected on his destiny, 
and its whole aspect seemed changed. Even the scaf- 
fold had lost its ignominy, and was exalted to the 
grandeur of the cross. He wondered that he had not 
thought of it more as the theme of an incarnate Deity 
the altar of a god-like sacrifice. 

All the influence of Constance was lost upon her 
uncle in reference to Mordaunt. He refused to listen 
to her persuasions, to her earnest exhortations that he 
would take a noble stand above the prejudices of the 
vulgar and the passions of the proud. Mordaunt, the 
son of an executed criminal, should never more be an 
inmate of his house, an attendant on his person. He 
wished him no evil, he even forgave him the deception 
he had practiced, but all intercourse must cease. 
Poverty could be forgiven, but disgrace, never! 

Constance and Mordaunt both had too lofty a sens', 
of propriety to think of clandestine meetings. She 
resolved to wait till the time of her majority, and 
then, being in possession of her fortune, and freed 
from the legal authority of a guardian, she could 
openly avow and glory in her choice. 

an the meantime, the malicious tongue of Wiley 
was not silent. The history of Mordaunt became the 


topic of the day, and wherever he went the eye of 
curiosity followed him. Many turned away coldly 
who had formerly smiled, and some who had just be- 
gun to smile, frowned, and withdrew their patronage. 
The artful misrepresentations of Wiley, uttered without 
any apparent venom or design, were the trail of the 
serpent, blighting the flowers of confidence and 

The young physician had, however, one pillar to 
lean upon, in the firm friendship of Doctor Lewis, 
firm as the granite, and imperishable as gold. While 
his proud spirit writhed in secret at the undeserved 
obloquy darkening his young renown, he thought of 
'the love of Constance, the esteem of Doctor Lewis, 
and felt himself rich beyond the common hopes of 

" Be strong, be patient," said this excellent friend ; 
" be self-reliant and hopeful. It is hardly within the 
bounds of possibility that your father's memory will 
ever be cleared of the stain that rests upon it. But 
the cloud will in time roll away from yourself. It is 
only what is inherent that is permanent." 

" I have always had a hope so strong as to assume 
the character of certainty," replied Mor Jaunt, " that 
God would bring about a revelation which would sur- 
round my father's memory with the halo of martyr- 
dom. I tremble when I hear of the confessions of 
dying criminals tremble with a vague expectation 
of discovering the actual murderer, in whose stead the 
innocent and righteous was doomed to suffer." 

"It may be," said the doctor, "but after the lapse 


of so many years, it would be little short of the mira- 
culous. We must wait for the great day of revealing, 
when mere circumstantial evidence will be annihilated 
by the consuming fires of truth. 

One night, as Mordauut was returning with Doctor 
Lewis from a professional visit, and passing through a 
cross street, peopled by poverty and vice, lie was 
arrested by a tumult on the side- walk. Lights were 
gleaming near the door of a low building, and several 
figures were rushing out in different directions. One 
came in violent contact with Mordaunt, at the immi- 
nent risk of prostrating him on the pavement. 

" What is the matter ?" he exclaimed. " What is 
the cause of this violent tumult ?" 

"A man is bleeding to death I" cried several voices, 
clamorously. "Can any one tell us where to find a 
doctor, a surgeon? He can't live ten minutes, at this 

" Show us the way," said Doctor Lewis. " Here are 
two doctors at once." 

The next moment, forcing their way through the 
crowd, they stood in the presence of the bleeding 
man, and, accustomed as they were to every form of 
suffering and death, they recoiled with involuntary 
horror from the spectacle before them. He lay ex- 
tended on his back, on the bare floor, weltering in his 
blood. He lay in a crimson pool, and the dark red 
tide was still gushing from his right arm, like water 
from a fountain. 

" What is the meaning of this ?" said Doctor Lewis, 


even his iron nerves vibrating painfully as he gazed 
upon him. 

"Nothing but a fight," answered a ruffianly-looking 
bystander. " The man that cut him ran off when he 
saw him bleed so dreadfully." 

"Nothing but a fight!" repeated Doctor Lewis, 
sternly ; " why he must have cut an artery. 'Tis a 

A knife dabbled in blood lay dripping on the floor. 
Doctor Lewis threw off his coat, seized the knife, and 
stepping, almost wading into the bloody pool, he 
stooped down and gashed open the flleeve of the 
wounded man. To tie up a severed artery is a diffi- 
cult and dangerous operation, but with a firm yet 
gentle touch he drew together the issues of life, till 
the living fibres turned, the valves of the fountain 
closed, and the victim was saved from immediate 

"You are not used to such bloody work," said 
Doctor Lewis, looking at his own and MorJaunt's 
ensanguined hands, after they had laid their patient 
on a bed, in the adjoining room, and administered the 
customary restoratives. "We might be taken for 
murderers, indeed," added he, holding out his arms, 
whose linen covering of dazzling white was reddened 
with the scarlet dye of murder. 

Mordaunt turned deadly pale. He remembered 
his father, and the evidence that stained a spotless 

" He cannot live," said Doctor Lewis. " Such rills 
of blood as have flowed from his arteries are enough 


to exhaust the energies of the strongest life. And 
why should we wish him to live, only to expend tho 
wonderful muscular strength which God has given 
him in scenes of violence and strife? I can read in 
every line of his strongly-marked, disfigured face, a 
history of blood and crime." 

At length the man opened his eyes, and rolling 
them round the apartment, they rested on the figures 
that were seated by the bedside with wonder and 
terror. He looked upon their grave countenances and 
bloody arms, and had they been agents of vengeance 
instead of ministers of mercy, he could not have ex- 
pressed more wildness of horror in his dim and glassy 
glance. Mordaunt stood nearest him, his arms folded 
across his breast, and a dark shade resting upon the 
sunlight of his eyes. The restless glance of the 
patient became fixed on his face, and it suddenly 
flashed, as if from an inward blaze. A hoarse shriek 
burst from his lips. 

" Who are you?" he cried. "How came you here? 
I'm not dead yet! By the eternal God, I'll not 
be tormented before my time ! Away, I say ! How 
came that blood on your hands? You didn't do it! 

" Come this side, Mordaunt," said Dr. Lewis, in a 
low voice. " He seems delirious, and there is some- 
thing about you that agitates him. I want him to be 
Tery quiet ' 

:{ Mordaunt, Mordaunt !" groaned the man, " who 
told you his name ?" 

Then pausing, he added, in a whisper 


"Fool! he died upon the scaffold!" 

Mordaunt grasped the Doctor's arm with spasmodic 
force. The blood rushed in torrents to his brain, to 
make room for the wild hope that leaped into his heart. 

" Be quiet," said the Doctor, laying his hand on 
Mordaunt's shoulder, and fixing upon him his com 
manding eyes. Be quiet. He may die witliout con- 

The last words were audible only to the ear of Mor- 
daunt ; but, low as they were, they rung through him 
like a trumpet's blast. He remained silent, while 
every fibre of his frame quivered with suppressed 

Doctor Lewis bent over the wounded man, and 
addressed him calmty and deliberately. 

" You have but a few hours to live, at the utmost. 
You are going into the presence of God, a naked, 
guilty, trembling soul. Your only hope of mercy is 
in making a full confession of the crimes you have 
committed. You cannot conceal them. / know them. 
God knows them. The assembled universe will know 

The dying man uttered the most horrible groans ; 
while, as if under the influence of fascination, he kept 
his lurid, sunken eyes fixed upon the pale and agitated 
face of Mordaunt. 

"I can't die," he murmured; "I hav'n't time to 
repent. He had. Every body that dies upon the 
scaffold goes to Heaven don't they ? A few hours 
how many ? Tell me, or, by the Almighty God, 
I'll curse you with my last breath 1" 


"You cannot live more than three, perhaps not 
one," replied the Doctor, with imperturbable com- 
posure. "Waste not your breath in idle curses. 
There was pardon for the dying thief there may be 
for you. You cannot bring back the dead ; you may 
justify their memory. For your crimes this young 
man's father perished on the scaffold. Confess it for, 
as sure as you die without clearing the innocent, your 
departing spirit will weave itself a winding-sheet of 

"I will confess," he gasped; "but, God of mercy! it 
is too late too late." 

The Doctor moistened the parched lips of the 
patient ; then, having forced him to swallow a reviv- 
ing mixture, he drew from his pocket paper and 
pencil, and seated himself with the gravity of a ma- 
gistrate by the side of the bed. It was not without 
many interruptions, incoherent ejaculations, groans 
of despair, and cries for mercy, that the wretched 
being, who called himself Leftridge, related what we 
will endeavour to condense in fewer words. 

More than sixteen years previous, Leftridge and 
Mordaunt (the father of the young physician) met as 
travellers, in a crowded inn. There was another 
stranger there, who boasted of the immense quantity 
of gold in his possession. He looked upon the red 
wine-cup, and prudence evaporated with its fumes. 
Leftridge and Mordaunt shared the same room, the 
same bed. The stranger, with his boasted gold, 
occupied the next apartment. 

Leftridge could not sleep a demon was at work 


in bis heart, hissing temptation. He stole from tho 
side of his sleeping companion, on whose placid face 
the moonbeams were shining, (strange that man can 
meditate deeds of guilt, in such a holy light !) Mor- 
daunt's dagger, his travelling weapon of defence, Ihy 
gleaming on the table, conspicuous for its gilded 
sheath. Leftridge drew forth the blade, and touched 
the edge with his cold fingers. The steel seemed to 
burn into his flesh, chill as it was. A linen handker- 
chief lay by its side bearing initials not his own. lie 
seized it also, and stole with stealthy steps into the 
adjoining room. So sure was the blow that but one 
groan broken on the silence of the night, and that 
groan echoed not beyond the walls of the death- 

The murderer filled his pockets with gold and fled. 
Mordaunt was arrested as the criminal. His own knife, 
found in the gaping wound, his own handkerchief, 
bathed in blood, some of the gold, discovered in hia 
pocket, were circumstantial evidences which no coun- 
ter testimony outweighed. The absence of Leftridge, 
who was supposed to have left at early dawn, as 
travellers often did, excited little remark. Mordaunt 
was a stranger. So great was the public indignation, it 
came near setting at defiance the majesty of the law, 
and condemning him without judge or jury. The 
sequel of his fate is known to the reader from our 
previous narrative. 

Leftridge wandered from place to place, far from 
the scene of the two-fold tragedy, spending his ill-gotten 
gold, and trying to drown in intemperance the un 


quenchable fires of remorse. Providence had brought 
him, at his last hour, face to face with the son of his 
victim, thus proving its own retributive justice. 

Mordaunt listened to this vindication of his father's 
memory in breathless emotion, but no vindictive feel- 
ings swelled in his bosom. That miserable being, 
stretched on the very edge of the burning crater of 
doom, looking into the smoking abyss below, feeling 
the crumbling earth sinking, giving way beneath 
could he look upon him with any emotions save of 
the deepest compassion ? His father had died, sus- 
tained by faith and animated by Christian hope. His 
memory, though stamped with public ignominy, was 
embalmed by the tears of widowed and filial love. 
His misfortunes had canonized him. But Leftridge 
alas, for the poor wretch ! What was left for him 
but a fearful looking forward to future judgment, and 
a name steeped in infamy ? 

Exhausted by the efforts he had made, he lay pant- 
ing, gasping, a cold and clammy moisture oozing from 
his cadaverous skin. And so he died. 

Doctor Lewis took immediate measures to publish 
to the world the circumstances, which removed the 
shadow that envy and malice had rolled over Mor- 
daunt's name. They became the topic of the day, 
and the young physician was exalted into a hero, the 
hero-son of a martyr-sire. That very night he wrote 
to his mother the next he sought the dwelling of 

"My father's memory is justified," said he, address- 
ing Mr. Goldman; and, notwithstanding the respect 


he wished to manifest to the uncle of Constance, his 
manner was cold and haughty. "Is the social ban 
removed from his son ?" 

" I regret exceedingly, Doctor Mordaunt," answered 
Mr. Goldman, in much embarrassment, " that circum- 
stances have compelled me to put an unnatural re- 
straint upon my feelings. For myself, I could riso 
above the prejudices of the world ; but as the guardian 
of a young lady of rank and fortune, I have been 
compelled to be circumspect. We live in a cold and 
censorious world." 

" I am fully aware of that truth, sir," answered 
Mor'daunt, with a slight dash of bitterness in his tone ; 
but the entrance of Constance, now the Morning Star 
of his destiny, dispersed the lingering clouds of 
haughtiness from his brow, and he remembered 
nothing but that her faith ana 5 trust had been the same, 

" Through joy and through sorrow, through glory and shame." 

"Wiley had the audacity to call at his office and 
offer his congratulations. He extended his hand with 
the assurance of a welcome guest. Mordaunt folded 
his arms and drew back with stately reserve. 

"You can enter my doors and sit down in my 
office," said he, with a glance that brought the hot 
blood to Wiley's usually cold cheek, " for they are 
not a part of myself; but my hand is my own, and 
never shall be voluntarily given to a man whose heart 
I know to be destitute of every warm and generous 
feeling. That I bear no vindictive remembrance of 
the past, let this action speak." 


Taking from his pocket-book a soiled and worn- 
looking paper, he put it in the hand of Wiley. 

" This paper," he added, " relates to yourself. The 
Stephen Wiley there referred to as the leader of a 
notorious band of counterfeiters must be your own 
father. There are collateral proofs which I can gather 
up, if you will it, and place in strong array before 
your eyes. This paper was found upon the person of 
Leftridge, the murderer, himself one of that lawless 
band. Doctor Lewis is the only man beside myself 
acquainted with this disagreeable fact. He will never 
publish it to the world, and I should look upon my- 
self with loathing and scorn, if I could imitate the 
malice from whose evils I have just been liberated, 
and seek to cover you with a father's shame. Now 
your secret is safe. Tear the paper into a thousand 
pieces, if you will, and let the winds of heaven dis- 
perse the relics." 

Wiley crushed the paper as if with iron fingers. 
His lips turned of ashy paleness, while the veins in 
his forehead swelled and stood out like purple cords, 
lie tried to speak and falsify the evidence of truth, 
but the words adhered to his palsied tongue. The 
astounding revelation brought about by such a strange 
coincidence of circumstances seemed so much like the 
retributive justice of heaven, he was struck dumb with 
terror, and his coward eye quailed before the flashing 
gaze of Mordaunt. 

" I again repeat," said the latter, " that your secret 
is safe. You know it is. You know me to be inca- 
pable of a mean revenge. And I will add, that if you 


profit by this bitter lesson, if you ever awaken to the 
beauty of truth and the value of friendship, if you 
should offer your hand with an honest heart in it, 
then mine shall close upon it with equal readiness and 

" You are generous," exclaimed Wiley, in a hoarse 
unnatural voice, "but I cannot talk now. Farewell, 
Mordaunt. You will never see me again, unless I can 
accept your offered conditions. I shall leave the city 
immediately. My character is in your hands. Do 
what you will with it, I shall never complain." 

They parted, and years passed before they met 
again. When they did meet, Wiley extended his 
hand, and Mordaunt did not reject it. Magnanimity 
had triumphed over malice. Wiley never became a 
warm-hearted or amiable man, for he wanted the 
genial elements to constitute such a character, but he 
did endeavour to be a just and honest one, and he had 
the candour to acknowledge that it was owing to the 
influence of Mordaunt. He had been a cold skeptic 
iu the belief of the existence of moral excellence ; but 
there was a living reality, a simple majesty and truth 
in Mordaunt's virtues, to which his spirit bowed in 
late but sincere acknowledgment. 

And once again Mordaunt sat with Constance in the 
"Pairy's Grotto." The fountain threw up its silvery 
spray into the moonlight, falling with the same lulling 
music in the marble reservoir. The beautiful 
daughter of Danaus still held her empty vase beneath 
the waters, the lovely Bacchante caught the same re 
splendent crown upon her leafy brow, and the 


graceful Flora twined her fadeless garlands in tho 

Constance, fair and pure as these marble graces re- 
posing in the moonlight, and ten thousand times as 
lovely, sat beside her husband, her eyes raised to the 
night-arch bending radiantly above them. 

"Do you see that solitary star?" said Mordaunt, 
taking her hand in his, and raising it in his toward 
one whose rays were almost lost in the full glory of 
the moon. " The first night I ever met you, I fixed 
my gaze upon that planet, and thoughts, holy and in- 
spiring, rushed into my soul. The dread of poverty, 
the fear of shame, melted away in its divine effulgence. 
I saw you in the cottage. From that moment you 
became the Evening Star of my destiny, shining on 
with steadily increasing brightness unto the perfect 


t tow Sisters anlr too Kindts. 

Miss PHILLIS MANNERS was the maiden sister of 
Mr. Manners, and the female guardian and governess 
of his two motherless daughters, Lelia and Elmira. 
One evening, Miss Manners entered the apartment of 
her neices, with a decided air of vexation, and even 

"How provoking!" she exclaimed; "how unfor- 
tunate! The most mortifying circumstance in the 

"What is it, Aunt Phillis?" asked Lelia, sympa- 

"Aunt Phillis again!" repeated the lady. "Will 
you never learn to call me Cousin Phillis ? I have 
told you a hundred times I disliked that formal, old- 
fashioned title." 

" Forgive me, dear aunt. Well, I cannot help ad- 
dressing you so I have always called things by their 
right names, and as you are my aunt, and not my 
cousin, I can't see the sin of giving you the title 
nature designates. You know I haven't been with 
you long I shall become accustomed by-and-by to 
your peculiarities, and endeavour to conform to them. 
Prrfy, tell us what is so provoking?" 

"Your father has just received a letter from your 
Uncle Clements. He is coming here to-morrow, the 
very day I expect your Uncle Banks. Was ever any 
thing so provoking ?" 


"Provoking, indeed!" cried Elmira, reflecting, as 
in a mirror, the mortified expression of her aunt's 

"Dear Uncle Clements!" exclaimed Lelia, clasping 
her hands joyfully together. "I am so glad he is 
coming Aunt Lydia told me so much of his good- 
ness, piety, and talents, my heart yearns towards him. 
Our mother, too, loved him very dearly." 

Miss Manners cast a withering look on the glowing 
countenance of Lelia. 

"You forget his poverty and the low society he 
must keep, in comparison with his brother. Mr 
Banks is come into possession of a splendid fortune, 
and will visit us in a style suited to his rank. There 
will be a succession of parties and entertainments 
while he is here. We shall all derive great conse- 
quence from his wealth but the poverty of your 
Uncle Clements will weigh as much against us 
in the opposite scale. I never was so vexed in my 

" I did not know that poverty, produced by mis- 
fortune, was a crime and a degradation, before," said 
Lelia, warmly. " For my part, I feel inclined to pay 
him a thousand times more respect, in his present 
reduced circumstances, than if he were rolling in 

"Whatever your inclinations may be," said Miss 
Manners, with dignity, "you will be careful not to 
offend your Uncle Banks, by showing a preference to 
Mr. Clements. He is only half brother to your 


mother, and I don't see the necessity of calling him 
uncle at all." 

"Must we call him cousin, too?" asked Lelia, 

" I suppose you will honour his precious son 
Charles, who is to accompany him, with that title," 
replied her aunt. " But I warn you against familiarity 
with him. Your Uncle Banks has a son, with whom 
you may be proud to claim kindred, and though ho 
is your cousin, it does not prevent the possibility of a 
nearer connection. It would be well to have the pro- 
perty kept in the family. Young ladies, a great deal 
may depend upon this visit of your uncle's. The stay 
of the last shall be very short, if it depends on my 

" Surely, aunt cousin you will not treat him with 
incivility ?" said Lelia looking reproachfully at her 
silent sister. 

" I shall not be dictated to in my course of conduct, 
Miss Lelia : but whatever it is, I shall expect you will 
imitate it. Your sister, I am confident, will do so, 
without any exercise of authority on my part. Your 
father leaves all household regulations to me, and I 
shall allow no interference in my arrangements." 

She left the room, as she spoke, with a raised head, 
or rather a raised turban, for her head, unusually 
small, was enveloped in such voluminous folds of 
muslin and lace, it required some discrimination to 
notice the face, surmounted by such a tremendous 
turret. The sisters were left alone, and looked into 
each other's faces for a moment, without speaking 


Leila's cheeks burned with an unusual colour, and her 
eyes sparkled with excitement. 

"Thank Heaven I" cried she, "that I said nothing 
really disrespectful to Aunt Phillis but from you, 
Elmira, I cannot withhold the expression of indignant 
feeling. Speak to me, sister, and say you scorn such 
sordid views, and know how to appreciate virtue 
itself. Say that you will unite with me in paying 
both our uncles the respect and affection that is due 
to them that you will make no distinction in favour 
of wealth or circumstances. Think if our dear mother 
were alive, what she would wish us to do, and you 
will never wound the feelings of one who was so dear 
to her." 

" You are the strangest girl I ever saw in my life, 
Lelia," said Elmira, coldly ; "you make as much fuss 
about this old uncle as if he were made of gold ; I 
don't know what we shall do with him for Uncle 
Banks must have the handsomest chamber, and we 
must keep the next handsomest for company. Then 
there is Cousin Phillis' room and ours. The other 
chambers are very 5 decent, but they have no fire- 
places. He will be obliged to be satisfied with one 
of them. Cousin Phillis never will allow a bed to be 
put in one of the lower apartments." 

" Has our father no authority in his own household, 
that every thing must be referred to Cousin Phillis, as 
you are pleased to call her?" asked Lelia, trying to 
speak calmly. " If I find Uncle Clements' comfort so 
entirely diregarded, I shall speak to him, and see thai- 
he is properly attended to." 


" Father would as soon cut off his right hand, as 
contradict any of Cousin Phillis' orders, I assure you," 
answered Elmira. "You are the only person who 
ever dared to do it yet, and you will be very sorry 
for it. She said before you came home, she knew 
Aunt Lydia had spoiled you, and it is true enough. 
You are exactly like her, in thought, word, and 

" Oh ! that I were indeed like her," exclaimed 
Lelia, "for a gentler purer, holier being, never lived. 
All my virtues are hers, all my faults my own. Let 
me never hear her reproached for follies or sins 
which are the legitimate offspring of my own 

Unable to repress the tears which this unkind allu- 
sion to a relative so tenderly beloved, and so recently 
lost, excited, Lelia left the room, feeling more keenly 
than she had ever done before, that between her sister 
and herself there was not one feeling or principle in 
common. All that is necessary to state of the pre- 
vious history of these two young sisters, may be ex- 
plained in a few words. Deprived in childhood of 
-their mother, they were separated immediately after 
her death, and placed under influences asopposite as 
pole to pole. Aunt Lydia, a maiden sister of Mrs. 
Manners, received the orphan Lelia from her dying 
mother, as her own, and as such she educated and 
cherished her, till, her death making her a second time 
an orphan, she returned to her father's house. Elmira 
remained at home, under the care of Miss Phillis Man- 
ners, who assumed the charge of her brother's house- 


hold, with an authority as absolute and undisputed as 
the laws of the Medes and Persians. 

Mr. Manners was one of those good-natured men, 
who always avoid trouble and contention, and who 
have not moral courage enough to follow up the prin- 
ciples they profess to admire. He believed his sister 
one of the best managers in the world, probably from 
the bustle attending all her movements, and thought 
himself very fortunate in having so careful and dis- 
creet a guardian for his daughter. He regretted that 
Lelia did not enjoy equal advantages, for Aunt Lydia 
was so quiet and unpresuming, and made so little 
parade of her own good deeds, and he was so accus- 
tomed to the egotism and display of his sister, he 
imagined that Aunt Lydia was one of those passive 
characters who exercised but little influence in her 
own household. Had he reflected a little on the 
great laws of nature, he would have remembered 
that the most powerful influences are silent and often 
unseen. The rays that illumine the immensity of the 
universe, as silently as brightly execute their glorious 
mission. The dews that refresh the sultriness of 
nature, steal silent and unseen from their secret 
dwelling-place, and " teach mankind unostentatious 
charity." But Mr. Manners never reasoned from 
analogy, indeed, he seldom reasoned at all, and it is 
not strange that the unobtrusive virtues of Aunt 
Lydia escaped his worldly observation. True, when 
Lelia returned, he would have thought her very 
graceful, lovely, and amiable, had not his acute- 
minded sister discovered so many blemishes in her 


and such superior excellences in Elmira. He con- 
cluded, as usual, that she was a better judge than 
himself, and her opinion was considered infallible. 

Miss Phillis Manners, alias Aunt Phillis, alias Cousin 
Phillis, would have been in the full sweep of her 
glory, on the day of Mr. Banks' arrival, had not the 
expectation of Mr. Clements' visit cast its dark 
shadow before. It is not to be supposed, that all her 
anxiety was disinterested, or that it was for the 
aggrandizement of her nieces alone, she was hoping, 
and toiling, and planning. 

Mr. Banks was a widower, and as she had passed 
her vernal morn and summer noon in maiden single- 
ness of heart, she was resolved that the quietude of 
her autumnal eve -should be spent in the shadow of 
the myrtle bower. Notwithstanding her sincerity to 
her brother, and the truths her oft-consulted mirror 
breathed of her withering beauty, she fancied every 
one else must be labouring under an optical illusion, 
and imagined herself still in the spring-time of youth. 
It was a great source of vexation that she was com- 
pelled to own her once dark, but now bleaching locks, 
thus detracting from the juvenility of her appear- 
ance, but she consoled herself with the idea that a 
turban was a most becoming and oriental style of 
head-dress, admirably in keeping with the erectness 
and dignity of her figure. This day she appeared 
dressed with elaborate elegance on her white turban 
she wore a single artificial white rose, placed over her 
left car, partly twisted in her long, flowing curls; 
pearl ornaments on her neck, and a robe of delicate, 


lilac- coloured silk, fitted closely to her really fine 
form. No wrinkle was ever allowed to mar the out- 
line of her dress, and could she have exercised as 
arbitrary a dominion over her face, it would have 
been as smooth as Parian marble. She had been 
practising a kind of eager smile, with which to wel- 
come the East India nabob, as she had great faith in 
first impressions. Elmira, who implicitly followed 
her aunt's directions, was also much adorned, but 
Lelia made no alteration in the mourning garb she 
wore in memory of Aunt Lydia. Miss Phillis told 
her that she had never looked so shocking in her 
life, that her eyes were as heavy as lead, and her com- 
plexion as pale as ashes. She did, indeed, look pale, 
for she was agitated in the prospect of meeting so 
many kindred she had never seen, and in the dread 
that their visit would be a source of domestic trial t,o 
her, determined as she was not to yield her princi- 
ples of right to the tyranny of her aunt, or the ridicule 
of her sister. 

"lie's come Uncle Banks is come!" exclaimed 
Elmira, who had been watching at the window, alter- 
nately with her aunt, at least two hours. In a mo- 
ment the whole household was in a bustle a splendid 
carriage stopped at the door a footman let down the 
steps, with as much ceremony as if a king were about 
to descend. Aunt Phillis stood on the threshold, 
smiling, and courtseying, and trying to blush, as u 
large, red-faced gentleman, wrapped in a blue cloak, 
slowly alighted, and walked up the flag-stones, breath- 
ing audibly at every step. A tall, straight;, sandy- 


haired young man followed him, in whom Elmira im- 
mediately discovered a striking resemblance to the 
picture of Prince Albert, and who was dressed in 
as princely a style as our republican costume will 

"Welcome, a thousand times welcome," exclaimed 
Aunt Phillis, sinking lower and lower, while she ex- 
tended both her hands to the short-breathed gentle- 
man, who came panting towards her. 

" Thank you how d'ye do ? Hope to see you very 
well, ma'am," said Mr. Banks, as soon as he recovered 
his breath sufficiently, shaking her hand up and down, 
something in the style of a pump-handle. " Ha this 
is my niece, is it ? Blooming as a peach, glad to see 
your uncle, hey?" catching Elmira under the chin, 
and giving her a salute that echoed to the farthest 
corner of the ante-room. " This is my son Joe quite 
a man grown just like his father chip of the old 
block ha 1" 

Lelia, who had shrunk back in the first rush of 
welcome, now tremblingly approached her uncle. He 
was the first of her mother's relatives she had ever 
Been, except Aunt Lydia, and her heart throbbed with 
undefinable emotion. 

"What little baggage is this?" cried Mr. Banks, 
giving her at the same time a smothering embrace. 
" Just like her mother. This must be Liddy's child. 

Lelia saw a tear trembling in the corner of his 
clear, gray eye, and she forgot for a moment the 
roughness of his manners, and the singularity of his 


As soon as they entered the sitting-room, Mr. Banks 
sank down into a chair, as if quite exhausted, calling 
for a cushion for his feet in no very gentle tone. Miss 
Phil! is sprang to the sofa, and catching up the cush- 
ions, placed them under his feet like a lapwing. 

"Thank you, ma'am. Excuse me troubled with 
the gout dreadful twinges great invalid poor ap- 
petite be better by-and-by." 

Lelia thought it strange to hear a man, with such 
round, ruddy cheeks and robust frame, complaining 
of ill-health, and she could not help smiling to hear 
her aunt declaring that he did indeed look like an in- 
valid, and she feared the journey had been too much 
for him. 

Cousin Joe seemed as bashful and reserved as his 
father was free and easy, and seating himself at a re- 
spectful distance, communed with his own thoughts. 
Placed in such a luxurious attitude, Mr. Banks gradu- 
ally recovered the composure of his muscles, which 
had been dreadfully distorted, nodded and smiled at 
his nieces, and calling Lelia to him, made her sit 
down on his knee, and patted her on the head like a 
little child. 

" Good girl," said he ; " Liddy told me all about 
you. Don't be afraid of your uncle. Eough outside 
nothing but the bark smooth kernel inside." 

Lelia smiled, and began to think she should like 
her uncle, in spite of his rough outside, but Aunt 
Phillis was not at all pleased that Lelia should be 
placed in the foreground of the picture, and drawing 
Elmira towards him, she said, in a playful tone, "you 


must not slight my pet you don't know how 
anxiously she lias watched your coming. She has 
been almost crazy to see you." 

"Fine girl, too, cried Mr. Banks, pinching her 
cheeks; "good healthy colour. Got any sweethearts, 
hey? Must look sharp see if they've got the chink. 
Can't live without it oils the springs keeps them 
agoing hey ?" 

Here he put both hands in his pockets, and shook 
with inward laughter for several moments ; then 
opening his mouth, the sound began to roll out in 
echoing peals, which Aunt Phillis thought proper to 
echo again, more faintly, and Elmira fainter still. 
Lelia alone looked grave, and her gravity seemed to 
increase Mr. Banks' mirth, who continued to laugh 
till he was obliged to hold his own sides. 

" Can't help it," said he ; " never could stop does 
one good helps digestion troubled with the dys- 
pepsia obliged to diet." 

Lelia thought when she saw her uncle at the supper- 
table f complaining of the poorness of his appetite, yet 
enting heartily all the time, requiring a dozen things 
which were not on the table; keeping the servants 
running in every direction, and Aunt Phillis' eyes 
flying from dish to dish in ludicrous perplexity, trying 
to anticipate his wishes, that he was the strangest in- 
valid she ever saw. lie was very particular about 
eggs, an indispensable ingredient of all his meals. At 
first they were too hard, then too soft again, there 
was a crack in the shell, through which some drops 
of water had penetrated. At length he had the boil- 


ing water brought to the table, and taking out his 
watch, cooked them to his apparent satisfaction. Poor 
Aunt Phillis sat, without eating a mouthful, endeav- 
ouring to look pleased, though ready to burst with 
vexation, for she prided herself upon the superiority 
of her cookery, and on this occasion no luxury had 
been spared, which could tempt the most fastidious 
taste. She had, however, one source of consolation. 
The evening was already advanced, and Mr. Clements 
had not yet made his appearance. She could not help 
hoping some fortunate accident had detained him, and 
that he would not be present to obstruct the incense 
she was preparing for the golden calf she had set up 
as her idol. Night came on, and Mr. Banks, pleading 
excessive fatigue and gouty pains, was ushered up 
stairs into the most sumptuous apartment the house 
afforded, and Aunt Phillis drew a deep inspiration, as 
if relieved from the visitation of a nightmare. 

"Very pleasant gentleman your uncle is," said she, 
looking at Elmira. "Bather particular in his ways 
but that is owing to his ill- health. So perfetly original. 
How do you like your Cousin Joseph ? I think him 
one of the most perfect gentlemen I have ever seen." 

" I have no doubt we shall find him very interest- 
ing," replied Elmira ; " but he does not seem inclined 
to talk much. He seems very distant, for a 

" You caunot expect so much familiarity from one 
of his great expectations, as from an inferior person," 
said Aunt Phillis. " He cannot but feel his own con- 


Lelia smiled, and was about to speak, when Aunt 
Phillis interrupted her. 

" I wish you would break yourself of that saucy 
habit of smiling at my remarks, Miss Lelia ; I assure 
you, I think it very impertinent." 

" Dear aunt " 

" Dear aunt again you called me dear aunt at the 
supper- table three times, as if in defiance of my pro- 
hibition, and on purpose to draw the attention of Mr. 

The lumbering sound of wheels approaching the 
door, arrested the attention of all, and the clinking 
sound of the falling steps, convinced them that some 
one was descending. 

"It must be Uncle Clements," exclaimed Lelia, 
eagerly opening the door, while Aunt Phillis and 
Elmira exchanged glances of undisguised chagrin. 

" You need not ring the bell," said Aunt Phillis, 
seeing the motion of Lelia's hand ; " the stage-driver 
will attend to him." 

But the mandate came too late, for a merry peal 
rang through the hall, as Mr. Clements and his son 
entered the house. The lamps that lighted the pas- 
sage most brilliantly in honour of Mr. Banks, threw 
their full blaze on their advancing figures, and Lelia, 
on whom the whole burden of welcome seemed to 
rest, felt a glow of delight diffused over her whole 
heart, in tracing, even then, in the mild lineaments of 
her uncle's face, a resemblance to her beloved Aunt 

" Oh, what a contrast 1" thought she, as she looked 


at her Cousin Charles. The next moment she was in 
her uncle's affectionate embrace as affectionate, but 
far less energetic, than Mr. Banks' high-pressure greet- 
ing. Miss Phillis Manners received them with stately 
civility, which Elmira tried to imitate, though she 
could not help thinking that if her Cousin Joe did 
resemble Prince Albert, her Cousin Charles was vastly 
handsomer, and more engaging in his appearance. 
He was dressed in a complete suit of black, which 
corresponded well with his dark hair and eyes, and so 
was the father, but the coat of the latter was rusty and 
threadbare, and his whole apparel that of a decayed 

"And these are my two nieces," said Mr. Clements, 
looking from one to the other, with moistened eyes, 
"my sister's children! Is it possible? How difficult 
it is to realize your blooming womanhood! Charles, 
you have often heard me speak of their mother; here," 
turning to Lelia, " is her living picture." 

A violent ringing of the bell produced a sudden 
silence. Miss Phillis started up in alarm, when Mr. 
Banks' footman opened the door, with a half comic, 
half tragic countenance. 

"What is the matter?" cried Miss Phillis. "Is Mr. 
Banks ill? Has any thing happened ?" 

"No, ma'am!'' he replied; "but he says the sheets are 
damp, and will give him the rheumatiz. He wants 
them changed, if you please, directly. He's walking 
about as fast as he can for exercise, till it's done, to 
keep from catching cold." 

" Tell him the sheets have been doubly and trebly 


aired," answered she, in a raised tone. "I am remark- 
ably careful about such things. There is no possible 
danger of taking cold." 

"It won't do any good to toll him so, ma'am," said 
the man, grinning. " When he once gets a notion 
into his head, you might as well try to move the globe 
as to get it out of him. He won't sleep to-night, unices 
you humour him about the sheets." 

Miss Phillis left the room with great alacrity ; but 
the manner in which she closed the doors, showed she 
was not altogether pleased with Mr. Banks' original 

Lelia began to feel very uneasy about her uncle's 
accommodations for the night. She saw he looked 
pale and fatigued, and seemed oppressed with a dry 
cough. Charles watched his father's countenance 
with deep anxiety, and asked him if he would not 
retire, adding, that he was still too much of an invalid 
not to practice some self-indulgence. 

Lelia had not exchanged a word with her aunt 
upon the subject ; she had put off the evil hour as 
long as possible. It could not be deferred any longer, 
and hearing her footsteps descending the stairs, she 
rose with precipitation and left the room, telling her 
uncle that she would have a room immediately pre- 
pared for his reception. She met her aunt on the 
stairs, whose clouded brow would have terrified her 
from any purpose, in which her own gratification was 

" Cousin Phillis," said she, trying to propitiate her, 
ny giving her the name she loved, "Uncle Clements 


is very much fatigued, and wishes to retire. I sup- 
pose he will occupy the blue chamber." 

" The blue chamber !" repeated Aunt Phillis. " An d 
what right have you to think that he will occupy the 
blue chamber? The very best chamber in the house." 

"Because," said Lelia, gathering courage as she 
proceeded, "because there is no other unoccupied 
sleeping-room, sufficiently comfortable at this season 
of the year. There is the one which has been appro- 
priated to Uncle Banks, certainly as handsome as the 
blue chamber. Then there is father's, and yours, and 
sisters, and my own all warm and pleasant. The 
others have no fire-places, and you would not surely 
assign them to an invalid, such cold nights as these." 

Aunt Phillis gave Lelia a look which had often 
made others quail, but she returned it with an un- 
daunted glance. 

" Silence is assent," cried she, springing down the 
steps. "I'll tell Peggy t? kindle a fire in the blue 

"If you do," said Aunt Phillis, shaking her fore- 
finger at her from the platform on which she stood, 
with the gesture of a Pythoness; "if you do, you'll 
repent it in dust and ashes." 

Lelia paused. Her spirit was roused. She felt 
that she was the eldest daughter of her father's 
house, and had a right to command, when her father's 
reputation for justice and hospitality was thus en- 
dangered. She feared, however, a scene of disgrace- 
ful violence, which might reach her uncle's ears, 
and though almost despising herself for the act, she 


condescended to plead and reason. She went back 
to where her aunt stood. 

'' You do not reflect, aunt, what a strange appear- 
ance it will have such a marked distinction between 
two brothers. The very servants will talk of it, 
and report it to our neighbours. We shall be con- 
demned by all as mercenary and unkind." 

"I don't care if we are, miss," retorted she, "it's 
none of their business, nor yours either. As to 
the chamber I've allotted to him, I've no doubt it's 
a palace to what he ever slept in before. What'n 
he, I should like to know a poor, penny-stripped 
fellow, a hanger-on of rich relations, a codger worth 
nothing but the coat on his back, and that almost 
out at the elbows, that he should be served so 
daintily? He had no business to stick his nose 
where he's not wanted. If he don't like his accommo- 
dations, he may go away, and the sooner the better." 

Aunt Phillis paused to take breath, as a person 
drinking a glass of soda sometimes stops from the 
rapidity of the effervescence but the angry fluid 
continued to flow from her eyes. 

"I will appeal to my father," said Lelia, "and, 
thank heaven ! here he comes." 

Mr. Manners at this moment opened the street door, 
and looked, with a little trepidation, on the theatrical 
figure of his sister, standing erect upon the stairs, the 
rose over her left ear trembling and tossing as if in- 
stinct with life, a symptom with which he was very 
familiar; for, like certain animals, when excited by 
passion, she had a vibratory motion of the ears 


Lelia ran to her father, and putting her arm in his, 
drew him towards his sister, in spite of his evident 

" Dear father," said she, " Aunt Phillis is not willing 
that Uncle Clements should have a comfortable room 
to sleep in. Uncle Banks has the green chamber, 
with a blazing fire, and poor Uncle Clements is to be 
put in the north-east corner of the house, without a 
particle of fire, or even curtains to his bed. Is it 
right, father ? is it kind ? 

Poor Mr. Manners was so unaccustomed to exercise 
any decision of his own in household affairs, and 
feared so much the keen edge of his sister's tongue 
he found himself in a most unpleasant dilemma. He 
hated scenes he wanted to get along with as little 
trouble as possible. 

"Brother," said Miss Phillis, "we've lived very 
peaceably, till this girl came back to give me her im- 
pertinence from morning till night. I will not bear 
it if she's to be mistress, I'll quit the house. I leave 
you to decide." 

She uttered this in a, low tone, and a kind of bit- 
ter smile, a thousand times more fearful than her 

"Tsho! Phillis don't talk in that way," stam- 
mered Mr. Manners, " she don't mean any disrespect 
to you; there's some misunderstanding, I dare say. 
Lelia, your aunt will see that every thing is right ; I 
always leave such matters to her, and it is proper that 
you should do so there's a plenty of room in the 
house no difficulty " 


Ashamed of his want of moral resolution, he has- 
tened into the parlour, whither his sister followed 
him, with a majestical step, leaving Lelia alone on 
the stairs. So completely overwhelmed was she 
with disappointment, shame, and, it must be con- 
fessed, with indignation too, that she sat down, and 
leaning against the banister, covered her face and 
wept like a child. 

" What will they think of us ?" said she to herself, 
"what will they think of me? It was I who told 
them I would order a room to be prepared. They 
will think it is my selection, and despise me in their 
hearts and there is Uncle Banks, with his great 
ruddy face and vigorous frame, in his sumptuous 
apartment, issuing his orders with the authority of 
the Grand Lama. Oh! the omnipotence of gold!" 

Absorbed in these bitter reflections, and hearing 
only the sound of her own stifled sobs, she was not 
aware of approaching footsteps till they were close 
beside her, when, looking up, she beheld her uncle 
ascending the stairs, leaning on the arm of his son, 
and preceded by Peggy, the chambermaid, who 
looked ashamed of the office she was performing. 
Her uncle paused as he passed, and laying his hand 
tenderly on her head, exclaimed, "God bless thee, my 

Her Cousin Charles, too, caught her hand, and 
pressing it warmly, said, "Good night, my dear 

The words were nothing in themselves, but there 
was something in the tone of his voice, and in the 


glance of his dark, penetrating eye, that seemed to 
say, "Thou hast no part or lot in this matter." 

Could they have overheard the conversation re- 
specting them ? It was possible that the door might 
have been left ajar, and Aunt Phillis' voice was shrill 
in her anger. She knew not that she ought to derive 
comfort from this supposition, since it exposed her 
aunt and her father to such opprobrium, but she 
could not help encouraging the idea, and retired to 
her chamber, soothed by the remembrance of her 
uncle's blessing, and her cousin's affectionate " good 

She was permitted to remain alone some time, for 
Elmira was closeted with her aunt, probably listening 
to her wrathful account of the events of the evening. 
Lelia rejoiced at this circumstance, as she could in 
stillness and solitude commune with her own excited 
spirit. Upon reflection, she was not pleased with her 
own conduct. Principle had guided her actions, but 
passion had mingled its base alloy with the pure gold 
of her upright intentions. She trembled to think of 
the unchristian feelings in which she had indulged. 

" God forgive me !" cried she, clasping her hands 
over the Bible, which she had opened and commenced 
to read, preparatory to her nightly rest, " for the evil 
thoughts of this night. I have hated my aunt, de- 
spised my father and sister, and triumphed in my own 
conscious superiority. Perhaps if I had displayed 
more meekness, her stubborn will might have yielded. 
Uncle Clements looks like a Christian. He has the 
evangelical countenance of Aunt Lydia, her mild 


benignant smile. No bitterness dwells in his heart 
I will try to banish it from mine." 

"When Elmira entered the apartment, accompanied 
by her aunt, who always remained a while in her 
nieces' room, before retiring to her own, Leila's head 
rested placidly on the pillow, and her eyelids were 
gently closed. Aunt Phillis held the candle over her 
to see if she were really asleep. Her cheeks were 
flushed, and the moisture yet glittered on her eyelids ; 
but her soft, regular breathing, indicated the peaceful- 
ness and depth of her slumbers. Young eyelids, 
steeped in tears, close heavily in sleep, and Lelia's 
self-communion and self-humiliation had diffused a 
quietude over her troubled soul, and hushed her pas- 
sions into rest. It would seem impossible for any one 
to look upon her, in her innocence and purity, and 
cherish vindictive feelings towards her ; but the very 
contemplation of this innocence and sweetness only 
added fuel to Aunt Phillis' ire. 

"Impudent little minx," muttered she, "I wonder 
how she dares to sleep I" 

It is hardly uncharitable to suppose that she would 
not have been sorry if a stray spark had fallen on her 
muslin night-cap, and scorched the bright locks that 
wandered over her brow. Aunt Phillis sat down the 
candle, seated herself in front of the fire, and placing 
her feet on the fender, fell into a reverie. 

" It is very cold," said she, at length, drawing a 
large shawl over her shoulders. "I am glad I told 
them to keep up a fire in Mr. Banks' room to-night 
If he should get the gout in his stomach, he might 


die, and I wouldn't have him die for a thousand 
dollars, before " 

She stopped, for she found she was thinking aloua. 
and became conscious Elmira was listening, for she 
laughed aloud. 

" I'm sure there does not seem much danger of his 
dying, with his red face and stout body," said she. 
" Uncle Clements looks like a shadow to him. But 
really, Cousin Charles is very handsome, and seems 
very much like a gentleman, too. He is not dressed 
meanly, either and looks proud enough, though he 
is so poor. Don't you think he is handsome, aunt ?" 

"I don't think anything about him," replied she 
sharply; "I don't want to hear his name, or his 
father's either. I wish they were both in Nova 

"They might as well be in Nova Zembla, as the 
place they are in now," thought Elmira, " for all the 
comfort they get in it." 

But she was prudent enough not to express this 
idea. She began to take off the ornaments from her 
hair, and while engaged in this operation before the 
mirror, a sudden thought seemed to strike her. 

"Was mother very handsome, Cousin Phillis?" 
asked she, twisting a string of pearls round her 
fingers, again and again. 

"What a question!" repeated Aunt Phillis. "She 
looked well enough, I believe nothing extraordinary. 

" P^cause every one says Lelia is the image of her, 
as if t were the greatest compliment in the world. I 


wonder who /am like for I am not in the least like 

"You are said to resemble we," said Aunt Phillis, 
drawing up her neck with a self-complacent air ; " I 
heard Mr. Banks say there was a striking resem- 

"Now, aunt, you know he never said any such a 
thing," replied Elmira, deeply mortified; "he said 
there was a family resemblance, and that was all. 
How can you say, aunt, I look like you ? There isn't 
a feature in our faces alike and then you look so 
much older!" 

Elmira forgot her fear of her aunt, in her wounded 
vanity, or she would never have dared to breathe the 
hint that she thought her older than herself, or less 

"Keally, Miss," cried Aunt Phillis, giving the fender 
a push against the fire-place as she spoke ; it's a great 
insult to be said to resemble me, is it ? I am not so 
old or so ugly, as to be ashamed to look in the glass 
with any one. Really, these bread and butter Misses 
think any body, who has arrived at years of dis- 
cretion, is as old as Methuselah, and ugly too, forsooth. 
Well, the world has got to a strange pass, when little 
girls not only think themselves wiser and better, but 
younger and handsomer than any body else." 

She took up the candle with a jerk, gave the fender 
another push, and walked out of the apartment in a 
highly acidified state of feeling. 

" Look like her, indeed !" said Elmira, examining 
herself critically in the looking-glass; "the old irighti 


She might have been dag out of the ruins of Hercu 
laneum, for all the youth and heauty she possesses 
Who ever heard of such ridiculous vanity ?" 

Elrnira was not conscious that it was vanity equally 
ridiculous, which reigned in her own breast, and 
caused a dislike to her aunt, for the resemblance 
which she had pointed out, which all her injustice to 
Lelia, and coldness and incivility to her uncle, had 
failed to inspire. Alas! for poor human nature. 

The next morning, Mr. Banks and his son break 
fasted in their own apartment, and almost all the ser- 
vants in the household were put in requisition, to 
satisfy his capricious desires. 

Mr. Clements and Charles took their seats at the 
breakfast-table, but the pallid complexion of the 
former indicated that no refreshing slumbers had 
repaired his enfeebled frame. As Mr. Manners ob- 
served the delicacy of his appearance, his slight appe- 
tite, and that he was repeatedly obliged to put down 
his coffee, to suppress a rising cough, his conscience 
upbraided him for his pusillanimous conduct, and the 
image of his wife, once tenderly loved, seemed to rise 
before him, in the person of her neglected brother. 
There was a gravity, too, on the fine brow of his 
nephew, Charles, which he construed into a silent 
lebuke. Then Lelia looked sad, and he was ashamed 
to meet her usually loving glance. His sister ap- 
peared in one of her sour moods, and Elmira some- 
what sullen. Altogether he had a very uncomfortable 
breakfast, and though he was glad when it was 
over, he did not feel better satisfied with himself 


when seated with the same group around the fire- 
side. . 

The entrance of Mr. Banks and his tall son created 
a great sensation. Aunt Phillis sprang to arrange 
his cushions, and made every one move from their 
places to give him the best seat by the fire, and the 
most luxurious chair. He presented a most imposing 
spectacle in his morning costume, wrapped in a wad- 
ded robe de chambre of silver gray, lined with scarlet, 
a turban of yellow silk, white fur moccasins, and 
gloves of similar materials. He nodded familiarly to 
all, as he sank down into his cushions in a true 
oriental style, winked at Sfiss Phillis, chucked Lelia 
under the chin, and slapped Charles on the shoulder, 
whose gravity gave place to ill-suppressed mirth at 
his uncle's extraordinary figure. 

"I hope you rested well last night," said Miss 
Phillis ; " that you found your room comfortable." 

" Rested like a king," replied he ; " warm as toast ; 
chilled at first by damp sheets ; soon got over it ; all 
right at last. How are you, brother? look rather 
pale. Sleep well, hey?" 

" I did not rest well," answered Mr. Clements ; " I 
have a difficulty of breathing, which often compels me 
to walk during the night. I feared I should disturb 
the household by so doing." 

"Oh, uncle!" exclaimed Lelia "and were you 
obliged to do so last night?" 

" I did not mean to distress you, my child," said 
he, taking her hand in his ; " but I walked my room 
the greater part of the night, and as I know it must 


be unpleasant to those who may be contiguous to me; 
and as I perceive it is not convenient to remain 
longer, I am sorry to say I must leave you this 

" Oh, uncle 1" again ejaculated Lelia, giving her 
father a look that spoke volumes. 

" Must not think of such a thing," stammered Mr. 
Manners ; " perfectly convenient very happy to see 
you fear you haven't been as comfortable as you 

"What's that you are talking of going away?" 
interrupted Mr. Banks. "Sha'n't do any such thing. 
Not convenient! Saw a room fit for a prince close to 
mine; not a soul in it. Sleep there to-night. Walk 
till morning won't wake one. Go away ! nothing 
but pride. Hate to be outshone, hey ? Empty pockets 
ache near full ones." 

Here he put his hands in his pockets, and jingling 
some gold and silver, began one of his interminable 

Miss Phillis saw that it was necessary, to redeem 
her reputation in the eyes of Mr. Banks, to treat 
his brother with more civility. She condescended 
to make some apology for the mistake of the pre- 
ceding night, and promised to prepare the apart- 
ment which Mr. Banks desired for him, if he would 

Thus authorized, Mr. Manners became quite elo- 
quent, and Lelia's eyes pleaded more eloquently 
than all their words. Mr. Clements could not resist 


their mute appeal, and declared his willingness to 

Cheerfulness was restored, and even Miss Phillis 
appeared amiable ; for the conviction that she had 
acted right, though forced into the path of duty, 
gave a sweetened expression to her face, which 
elicited the evident admiration of Mr. Banks, and 
added, in consequence, to her own self-elation. 

A week passed away, during which time the two 
uncles and their sons became completely domesti- 
cated in the family of Mr. Manners. Mr. Banks 
continued to assume the most amusing airs of superior 
grandeur, sported a most magnificent wardrobe, flirted 
with Aunt Phillis, and pinched and kissed her 
nieces while Mr. Clements, mild, dignified and in- 
tellectual, wore the same thread-bare coat, and the 
same nap-worn hat. Aunt Phillis, before whose 
eyes visions of wedded pomp and splendour, bright 
as if called up by the wand of the genii, were con- 
stantly floating, scarcely noticed his presence, as, 
according to her interpretation, he seemed too con- 
scious of his own insignificance to force himself 
upon the observation of any one. Cousin Joe was 
still reserved, but as Elmira, according to her aunt's 
instructions, paid him the most marked attention, 
he attached himself more and more to her society, 
and it seemed more than probable that a double 
wedding might take place. Lelia, who, in her pure 
singleness of heart, thought not of conquests or 
weddings, felt a delight in the companionship of 
her Cousin Charles, that, succeeding the dearth ot 


all congenial feelings, had the power of enchant- 
ment. The books which she had read alone, and 
which had enthralled her with the master-spell of 
genius, acquired a double fascination, since they 
had discoursed of their excellencies. He had a finely 
modulated voice, and when he read aloud, she dis- 
covered that the dullest author had charms unknown 
before. Lelia was very fond of drawing, and she 
now took unwonted pleasure in the exercise of this 
accomplishment, for Charles had the painter's eye, 
as well as the poet's tongue. And, in their hours 
of closer intimacy, when withdrawn from the bust- 
ling circle too much occupied with their own inter- 
ests to interfere with them, they sat near Mr. Cle- 
ments' side, who led them on to themes of high and 
holy import, and thought and feeling came up from 
the innermost depths of the soul, and brightened 
or darkened in the speaking eye it was then that 
Lelia learned, that, while music, painting, and poetry 
gave grace and beauty to his mind, a rich vein of 
philosophy, and a still richer vein of religion, ran 
like golden ore through the whole texture of her 
cousin's character. She had never been so happy in 
her life. Though it was winter, and the trees were 
leafless, and the ground bleak and bare, she seemed 
surrounded with the verdure of the aroma of per- 
petual summer. All above her was sunshine, all 
beneath was flowers for the affections of her ardent 
heart, which, since her Aunt Lydia's death, had been 
yearning for some legitimate object, on which to ex- 
ercise their tenderness, had found one worthy of all their 


strength and fervour, and on which they expanded 
with unconscious warmth. But this is a working- 
day world, and life has realities which often force us 
from the lovely idealities, which hang their beautiful 
drapery over the machinery of our existence. Lelia 
had one serious source of anxiety in the rnidst of 
her new felicity her uncle's coat; she could not 
bear to see his dignified figure clouded by such a 
rusty garment. She was at first troubled that 
Charles should be so much better dressed than his 
father, fearing that a tinge of selfishness tarnished 
the lustre of his virtues ; but her uncle had removed 
this fear, by accidentally mentioning that the ward- 
robe of Charles was replenished by a friend, to whom 
he was willing to be under obligations, trusting that 
he would be able to repay them, by the exercise 
of his own talents, when he was once established in 
the world. Her Aunt Phillis was in a high state 
of preparation for a large entertainment in honour 
of Mr. Banks and his son. Lelia was distressed at 
the thought of her Uncle Clements appearing at it 
in his shabby suit. She would have begged her 
father to present him a new one, but remembering 
the scene about the bed-chamber, she dreaded a 
similar refusal. 

"What a shame 1" thought she, "that Uncle Banks 
should be revelling in affluence, and suffer his brother 
to wear such poor apparel!" I should think pride, if 
no better feeling, would incite him to a more just and 
generous conduct." 

An unexpected circumstance favoured her secret 


wishes. Her father had promised Elmira and herself 
a set of jewels, when they first appeared in the 
raiments of womanhood. The fulfilment of this 
promise had been deferred from time to time, though 
Elmira often reminded him of it. Lelia, in the com- 
parative seclusion of her life, sighed for no such deco- 
rations, and now her mourning dress precluded them. 
Mr. Manners, finding himself in a munificent vein, in 
consequence of the brilliant prospects opening through 
his rich brother-in-law, gave them each the money 
requisite for the purchase, and telling them to make 
their own selection, left them, that they might consult 
their aunt upon the occasion. 

Lelia followed him with blushing earnestness. 
" Dear father," said she, " I thank you more than I 
can express for your kindness. Yet I dare to ask for 
an additional proof of your goodness. Would you be 
displeased if I appropriated this money . to another 
purpose than the jewels. I am in mourning now, and 
would rather not wear them. Yet, if this is a gift to 
me, and I arn permitted to use it as I would wish, you 
will make me very happy." 

" \Vho ever heard of a young girl that did not want 
jewels before?" exclaimed Mr. Manners, half incredu- 
lous of the correctness of his hearing. 

"What other purchase do you wish to make? I 
thought your wardrobe was well supplied." 

" And so it is," replied Lelia, twisting her father's 
guard-chain round her trembling fingers, for she feared 
he would question her too closely "but if you will 
allow me to employ the money in the way I like best, 


I will make no unworthy use of it. I will do nothing 
which your own heart will not approve. Say yes, 
dear father, and do not ask me to tell you any thing 

Lelia had such a beseeching way with her, it was 
impossible for any one but Aunt Phillis to resist her. 
Mr. Manners was touched by her disinterestedness. 
Perhaps his rnind caught a glimpse of her purpose, 
and being ashamed that he had not anticipated her, he 
forbore to ask her further questions. 

"You are a strange child," said he, smiling, "but I 
believe I must trust you this time. Do what you like 
with it. It is your own." 

Lelia threw her arms around his neck, and gave 
him at least half a dozen kisses ; then running to her 
uncle's room, where he usually sat reading at this 
hour, she knocked for admittance. She did not 
realize the delicacy of her office till she stood before 
him, with a hue, deep as that of convicted guilt, dyeing 
her cheeks. 

" What petition, or confession, do those blushes 
herald ?" said he, laying down his book, as she en- 

"It is, indeed, a petition, uncle, but I know not how 
to word it ; I fear you will be offended, and I could 
not brook your displeasure." 

" I do not think it possible for you to do any thing 
to offend rne," answered he, taking her hand in both 
his "nor do I think I could rei'use any petition you 
might offer, 'even were it half of my kingdom.' " 

"Then take this trifle," said she, putting the paper 


which contained the money in his hand, and clasping 
bis fingers tightly around it, " and let me see my dea.' 
uncle at Aunt Phillis' grand fete, as she calls it, in a 
new suit, which he must wear, in honour of his, per- 
haps, too presumptuous niece." 

She dared not look in his face, and as he did not 
speak immediately, she feared he was offended, and 
that the pride of poverty rebelled against the offering, 
but a tear, which fell upon the hand which elapsed his, 
convinced her that his silence was not that of haughti- 
ness or resentment. 

" I can say, with your favourite Miranda, that ' I'm 
a fool to weep at what I'm glad of,' " cried he at 
length, "for I do prize your gift, my Lelia, beyond 
all words. Not that I attach much value to a new 
coat after all, but the feelings which prompted the 
act, sanctify the offering in my eyes. I know you will 
not love me more than you do in this old suit, which 
I must wrap up in lavender and sweet-smelling shrubs, 
as a memento of my visit here but strangers look 
at the coat, and not at the man. There are a great 
many Aunt Phillises in the world, and very few 

Lelia felt so happy at the successful accomplish- 
ment of her wishes, that she went warbling down 
stairs like a bird, and actually danced into the draw- 
ing-room, to the horror of Aunt Phillis, who thought 
it an unpardonable sin for any one to deviate from the 
straight forward and perpendicular lines of utility and 

In the course of the evening, Elmira asked her sister 


if she did not intend to go with her, in the morning, 
to purchase the jewels. 

" Lelia don't care about jewels," said Mr. Manners, 
significantly, "she is a girl in ten thousand." 

Lelia began to examine her work-box very indus- 
triously, and pretended not to hear what they were 

"I should not be surprised," said Elmira, laugh- 
ingly, " if she put her money out at interest, or in tho 
saving banks, she's such a utilitarian." 

" Perhaps she is going to establish a charity school," 
cried Aunt Phillis, with a sneer. Mr. Banks not hap- 
pening to be present, she thought she might relax a 
little from her amiability. 

" To whatever use she has appropriated it," said Mr. 
Clements, "she will receive, not only thirty, but sixty, 
nay an hundred fold." 

Charles, who sat beside his cousin, took up a spool 
of thread from her work-box, and appeared to be 
scrutinizing its quality most earnestly, but he was in 
reality watching her downcast face, and thinking it 
was scarcely a merit in Lelia to sacrifice personal 
ornaments, since she was in herself so lovely and so 
loveable. He knew the purpose to which she had 
devoted her father's gift, and he longed to tell her of 
the gratitude and admiration she had inspired, but he 
would not wound her modesty by confessing a knowl- 
edge of her disinterested goodness. 

" Are you going to take lessons in sewing, Charles?' 
asked Cousin Joe, unexpectedly breaking silence. " I 
should judge so, by the interest you manifest for that 


work-box." It was the first witticism Cousin Joe had 
attempted to make, and every one laughed Aunt 
Phillis seemed ready to fall into convulsions, for 
Joe was an object of her homage, inferior only to his 

It is not our intention to give a minute description 
of Aunt Phillis' splendid fete. It had the elaborate 
display and ceremony usual on such occasions, but 
seldom is a fashionable party graced by such figures 
as Mr. Banks and Aunt Phillis presented to the ad- 
miring eye. He wore a coat and small clothes of 
superb black velvet, relieved by a vest of the deepest 
crimson, composed of the same rich materials. White 
silk stockings, and golden knee-buckles ; voluminous 
shirt-ruffles, and multitudinous rings, distinguished 
the man of wealth from the inferior throng. As Aunt 
Phillis promenaded up and down the saloon, leaning 
on his arm, she believed herself the envy of every 
female heart, as well as the admiration of every manly 
eye. She wore on this occasion, which she thought 
but the prelude of a nuptial festival, a dress of white 
satin, trimmed with blonde, a gossamer turban, pro- 
fusely trimmed with pearls and flowers, among which 
the orange blossom bloomed with prophetic sweetness. 
Lelia could have laughed at her aunt's vehement affec- 
tation of juvenility, but she remembered that she was 
a moral and immortal being, and sighed to see her 
thus twining with roses and gems the sepulchre of 
youth. She saw her sister's neck and arms glittering 
with jewels, and she did not repine, for her eye rested 
on her Uncle Clements, and she would not have ex- 


changed her feelings for the diamonds of Golconda. 
How well he looked in his new suit of deep black 1 
How she admired the soft shadows of silver gray that 
stole, like a mist, over his jetty hair ! How her heart 
throbbed as she met his affectionate smile, his grate- 
ful, approving glance ! 

Mr. Clements had another silent admirer. It was 
no other than Mr. Manners. He had been watching 
his daughter's countenance; and, following the direc- 
tion of her eyes, he could not help sympathizing \vith 
her enthusiastic emotions. The freshness and sensi- 
bility of life's earlier days, when her mother hung 
upon his arm a young and confiding bride, came back 
upon him. He forgot the hardening lessons the world 
had taught him, his pusillanimous submission to his 
sister's arbitrary sway he was once more a man and 
a father. Drawing near her, he was about to tell her 
that he had discovered her secret, and that she need 
not fear his anger, when he saw Charles anticipate 
him. The young man bent down and talked to her 
in a low voice, and she answered him in the same 
tone. Moreover, there was an expression in the 
young man's eyes very different from what cousins 
are wont to wear, and Lelia's colour deepened, and 
flitted, and resolved at last into that roseate hue, which 
is said to be emblamatic of something more than a 
cousin's love. 

" I must look to this," thought Mr. Manners, " he is 
a fine young fellow but he is too poor to think of 
marrying. I wish he were Mr. Banks' son, for Lelia's 


The father was once more merged in the man of the 
world. Nature yielded to Gold. ... 

Aunt Phi His was too much excited that night to 
close her eyes in sleep. Mr. Banks had done every 
thing but make a downright offer of himself. He had 
invited her and Elrnira to accompany them home, 
telling her that he wanted her to see his house and 
grounds to show her in what style he lived. She was 
to select a building spot for his son, who was to have 
an establishment equal to Aladdin's palace and over 
that establishment, Elmira was destined to preside. 
The gray, wavering light of dawn, saw Aunt Phillis 
still absorbed in the contemplation of her future 
grandeur. She then sank into a kind of extatic doze, 
in which she beheld Mr. Banks' gold knee-buckles 
glittering at her feet, where he had prostrated him- 
self, in the act of surrendering to her his heart, his 
hand, and his fortune. 

The time drew near for the departure of the two 
uncles. Aunt Phillis and Elmira were so much occu- 
pied in arranging their apparel for the anticipated 
visit, they had no leisure to notice the evident de- 
jection of Lelia, or if they had, they would have 
attributed it to envy at their superior good fortune. 
-> " Sorry for Lelia," said Mr. Banks, patting her on 
the head. " Good girl pretty girl wish I had room 
in the carriage for you why not go with Unle Cle- 
ments ? Ashamed to ask you ? Charles going away. 
Be so lonely what say, brother, hey ?" 

" That my poor home will be transformed into an 
Eden bower, with such a gentle, ministering spirit 


there. Bat what says my dear niece? Would she 
consent to 'such a sacrifice? Charles has received a 
commission which will take him immediately to a 
foreign laud. I shall be indeed most solitary." 

"Oh! willingly, gladly will I accompany you," 
cried Lelia, " if my father will consent." 

That consent was not easily obtained ; but when he 
considered that Charles was to be absent, and the 
danger he feared would be thus averted, his greatest 
objection was removed. Another very strong one 
remained, the want of female companionship. This 
was obviated by Mr. Clements' description of his 
housekeeper a most motherly and estimable woman ; 
and who would prove a sufficient guardian for his 
young niece, 

" There are very few poor men," said Mr. Clements, 
" in the possession of such a blessing, as this faithful 
and attached friend. She has remained with me 
during all my misfortunes, serving me from attach- 
ment, that looks for no reward beyond the exercise of 
its allotted duties." 

Mr. Manners at length consented that Lelia should 
accompany him, upon condition of a speedy return. 
The departure of the travellers was deferred for some 
days, in consequence of an unexpected movement on 
the part of Cousin Joe. He insisted that he could not, 
and would not start till his union was consummated 
with Elmira, with whom he seemed every moment 
more enamoured. Elmira, notwithstanding the chill- 
ing influence of Aunt Phillis' worldly maxims and 
example, had some feelings true to nature lingering 


in the depth of her heart. She thought she would not 
feel so reluctant to this marriage, for reluctant she 
unaffectedly was, though she had used all the arts of 
her sex, to allure him, if Charles were not present. 
Aunt Phillis thought upon the whole that it would bo 
the height of gentility to have the wedding take place 
on the morning of their journey, and then, on their 
return, celebrate the nuptials by a large wedding 
party. Mr. Manners was well pleased with the match, 
and as all the higher powers were propitious, Elmira 
thought it best to smile and be propitious too. 

Just before the wedding, Aunt Phillis took Elmira 
aside, and after a long preamble about the importance 
of commencing the married life with grace and pro- 
priety, said, "Remember, my dear, that there is a 
great deal in the name you will bear; that is, there is 
a fashionable and unfashionable style of addressing a 
married woman. You must not allow any one to 
call you Mrs. Elmira Banks, or young Mrs. Banks 
but Mrs. Joseph Banks. That will be a sufficient 
distinction. When the senior Mr. Banks when /am 
married, (there is no use in speaking in inuendoes,) I 
intend to be called simply Mrs. Banks. Remember, 
rny dear, Mrs. Joseph Banks." 

Poor Aunt Phillis, she was already trembling, at 
the idea of being styled old Mrs. Banks, and seeking 
to avert the impending calamity. Lelia beheld, with 
unspeakable agitation, the preparations for her sister's 
nuptials. She knew she did not love her future bride- 
groom, and that the gold for which slie \v<\s about to 
sacrifice the truthfulness of nature, and the bloom of 


youth would never fill the aching void felt by the 
craving heart, too late made sensible of its capacities 
for happiness. 

" God has no blessing for such unhallowed vows," 
said she to herself, as she stood pale and tearful by 
her sister's side, during the nuptial ceremony. When 
the benediction was pronounced and the bride ready 
to receive the congratulations of her friends, Lelia 
could not speak she could only lean her head on 
Elmira's shoulder and weep. 

"Don't cry, Lelia," whispered Elmira; "when you 
and Charles live in your log cabin together, in the 
wild woods, you'd forget all about me." 

"Let me be the first to congratulate Mrs. Joseph 
Banks, on her new name," said Aunt Phillis, advanc- 
ing and saluting the bride, with inimitable grace. 

"Mrs. Joseph Banks 1" repeated Mr. Banks. "Very 
good, young Mrs. Banks I Very good! By and by, 
there will be old Mrs. Banks will there not, hey?" 
pinching Aunt Phillis' arm, who thought proper to 
resent the familiarity, by drawing away her arm and 
tossing up her head with unexpected disdain. The 
next moment, fearing she might offend him by her 
too manifest resentment of the odious cognomen, she 
looked back upon him, with a coquettish smile, and 
said something about his being a privileged wit. 

The carriage rolled up to the door with a magnili' 
cent sweep. The bride and bridegroom were seated 
first then Mr. Banks, who seemed to be completely 
cured of the gout, helped Aunt Phillis to ascend, who 
sprang up the steps, as light as a fawn, threw back 


her veil and kissed her hand to those she was leaving 
behind. It was a long time before Mr. Banks was 
arranged to his own satisfaction, and it was not till 
Aunt Phillis had squeezed herself into the smallest 
possible compass, he declared himself comfortably 

"Fine horses these, brother," said he, putting his 
head out of the window; "sweep like the wind. Ride 
like a king!" Poor Lelial don't cry wish there was 
room. Take you next time bye, bye." 

The noble horses, which had been pawing the 
ground, impatient of their long restraint, bounded 
forward, at the first touch of the whip, and the car- 
riage was soon out of sight. But as long as it was 
seen, the white handkerchief of Aunt Phillis waved 
from the window, like an oriflamme of victory. The 
stage, which brought Mr. Clements and his son, was 
soon at the door. 

"I do not think I can part with you, after all," said 
Mr. Manners, retaining Lelia in a parting embrace 
"I shall be too lonely." 

"Then come with us," said Mr. Clements, "and let 
me reciprocate, as far as I arn able, the hospitality I 
have received under your roof." 

"That cuts rather close," thought Mr. Manners. 

"Come with us," said Charles. "Then Lelia will 
not carry a divided heart." 

Lelia echoed these invitations most earnestly, and, 
to his own astonishment, he found himself in a few 
minutes seated in the stage-coach, at his daughter's 


side, about to make an extempore visit to his poor 

As Aunt Phillis is in reality the heroine of this 
tale, we feel it a proper tribute of respect to follow 
her course, in preference to the unambitious Lelia. It 
is not our intention to follow the minutiae of a journey 
which required many days to accomplish, for we are 
as anxious as she was to reach the home which had so 
long been looming on the restless sea of her maiden 
fancy. The last day, their road lay through a rough, 
hilly country, which gave many a jolt to her weary 
sides, and aching limbs. They rode through leafless 
forests, which seemed stretching into "a boundless 
contiguity of space," and . through which the wintry 
winds whistled, making most melancholy music. 
Long and anxiously did the bride real, and the bride 
apparent, gaze from the carriage windows, straining 
their eyes to catch a glimpse of the distant spires of 
Banksville, where they were to enjoy the realization 
of their golden dreams. It was a grey, misty, dreary 
looking day, and towards evening the mist condensed 
into clouds, and the clouds descended in a drizzling 
rain, which completely obscured the country, and 
made the travellers fold their cloaks more closely 
round them, and draw towards each other with more 
affectionate familiarity. 

" Oh, I am so tired !" exclaimed Aunt Phillis, lean- 
ing her head against Mr. Banks' ample shoulder; 
"shall we never reach home? You told me three 
hours ago it was only ten miles to Banksville." 

"Don't be impatient," replied he, "soon be there. 


Chrrming place; get a fine supper; rest like 

It was a late, dark hour, when the travellers reached 
the termination of their journey. Aunt Phillis and 
Elmira had both fallen back into a deep slumber, 
from which they were scarcely aroused by the sudden 
cessation of the motion of the carriage, and the voice 
of Uncle Banks, bidding them wake up, and cheer up, 
for they had got home at last. With stiffened limbs, 
and bewildered capacities, the film of sleep still lin- 
gering on their eye-lids, they were assisted from the 
carriage, and led stumbling along over a rough path- 
way towards a low dwelling intrenched in a cluster 
of forest trees, whose branches made coarse net-work 
over the roof. 

" "Where are we going?" cried Aunt Phillis. "What 
sort of a place is this ? Oh, dear 1 I can scarcely see 
my hand before me." 

"Never mind," said Uncle Banks; "see soon 
enough. Hallo, there" giving a thundering rap at 
the door " bring a light here. Ho quick ! a l>ght 
for the ladies !" 

A heavy step was heard lingering near the door, 
which being swung open wide, displayed a large 
clumsy-formed girl, dressed in linsey-woolsey gar- 
ments, with sleeves rolled up to her elbows, holding 
a candle in one hand, and shading her eyes with the 

" La r Mr. Banks, if it isn't you ! Bless my stars I 
here are ladies, sure enough !" 

" Open the parlour directly. Hun and make UD a 


fire good fire blazing fire" cried Mr. Banks, 
taking the candle and leading the way for his shiver- 
ing guests. 

"What are you stopping for, at this ugly old place, 
when we are so near home?" asked Aunt Phillis, 
mechanically following him, while cold, fearful drops 
began to gather on her darkening brow. 

" Joseph, I thought you said we were to get home 
to-night," said Elmira, in a trembling, reproachful 
voice, sinking down into the first chair she saw, half 
dead with fatigue and indefinite apprehension. 

"Homel" repeated Uncle Banks, rubbing his 
hands exultingly together, "and what should this 
be, but home ? New place, to be sure going to be 
a palace by-and-by not quite finished yet. Wel- 
come to Banksville, my dear fine place, isn't it, 

"Home!" screamed Aunt Phillis, lifting up both 
hands almost as high as the ceiling rolling her eyes 
round the unpapered and unpainted walls, up on the 
unlathed rafters, then into the huge chimney, where 
the large girl was piling pine knots higher than her 
head, and whose broad glare soon illuminated the 
whole apartment " Home ! home ! did you say ?" 

"Yes, home!" shouted Uncle Banks, from the very 
top of his lungs. "Deaf all at once, hey? Good 
home as ever was plenty of room plenty of wood 
plenty of things to eat. What more do you want ? 
Come, take off your cloak set down by the fire no 
ceremony here." 

Aunt Phillis looked steadily in his face, without 


winking her eyes dilated to their utmost dimensions, 
for more than a minute, and he looked steadily at her, 
smiling and winking all the time. The girl in the 
chimney stopped blowing the fire, and looked from 
one to the other, grinning and coughing, displaying 
two full-length rows of unbroken ivory. 

"Oh my stars," shrieked Aunt Phillis, clapping 
both hands tightly on her head, and throwing herself 
back in a chair, "Oh! my head it will burst I 
can't breathe I shall suffocate I shall die. Here," 
to the grinning girl, " unloosen my cloak untie my 
bonnet give me a glass of water." The last words 
were uttered in a calmer voice. The idea, that not- 
withstanding the awful delusions respecting the 
splendour of Banksville, under which she had been 
labouring, she could induce him to build a house to 
her own taste, out of his hoarded treasures, came like a 
good angel and checked the outpouring of her anger. 
" It is very strange," said she, in a hysterical giggle, 
" that a gentleman of your fortune should be willing 
to live so so simply." 

"My fortune I" repeated Mr. Banks, "fortune 
enough. Own this lot and farm plenty for me all 
the rest a false report. No matter thought I'd try 
my friends make a frolic of it. No harm done no 
sham here," striking his hand on his expansive chest. 

" But your carriage ?" gasped Aunt Phillis. 

" Borrowed." 

" Your fine clothes? 

"All borrowed hey." 

Aunt Phillis started up on her feet, quivering with 


passion. " You wretch you monster," she exclaimed 
"you deceiver you jack-daw in peacock's plumes! 
I'll prosecute you for an impostor. I'll have you put 
in a penitentiary set in the pillory transported to 
Botany Bay. To entrap in this vile way my unsus- 
pecting innocence. To lure me on to the brink of 
matrimony to make me the laughing stock of the 
whole world." i i. * 

Uncle Banks put his hands in his pockets and 
began one of his silent laughs. 

" To think of my waiting upon you as if you were 
the grand Sultan himself," continued she, after taking 
a fresh inspiration. " Of my tending your old gouty 
feet yea, holding them in my very lap." 

" Hey diddle, diddle, the cat's in the fiddle," cried 
he, getting up and frisking a little, to show the sound- 
ness of his limbs. "Good feet as any body's feet. 
No more gout than you have. Eeady for a reel this 

" Take us home directly, unfeeling wretch," cried 
the unhappy spinster. "I'll never sleep in this miser- 
able hovel I'll perish in the woods first." 

Uncle Banks, who had enjoyed sufficiently the rage 
and mortification of Aunt Phillis, seemed to feel real 
compassion for the distress of the weeping Elmira. 
"Poor girl," said he, kindly patting her on the 
shoulder, " don't take on so Joe loves you he's 
young and strong be a rich man yet. Every tree of 
the West has a treasure of gold in its trunk. I'm 
getting old tired of the seas lost my money wanted 
at home wanted rest folks heard I'd got a great 


fortune it wasn't my fault didn't mean to make you 
unhappy thought you loved Joe good boy make 
you a good husband." 

Elmira, who, weary and half stunned, seemed in a 
passive state, did not answer, but when Joe, en- 
couraged by his father, ventured to sit down by her 
and take her hand in his, and she did not snatch it 
away, Uncle Banks thought it a propitious omen, and 
drawing the back of his hand across his eyes, he did 
not speak for a few moments. 

Aunt Phillis, completely exhausted, leaned against 
the wall. Her bonnet, partly untied, rested on the 
back of her head ; her turban, disarranged by the 
jolting of the carriage and her own wrathful gestures, 
was poked on one side, revealing one or two stiff 
grey locks, while heslpng dark ringlets, uncurled by 
the rain, clung to her ckeeks and chin with mourn- 
ful adhesiveness. The corners of her mouth were 
drawn down into acute angles ; the corners of her eye- 
brows lifted up in corresponding angles in an op- 
posite direction; her nose looked sharpened into a 
severer point. Shakspeare knew nothing of melan- 
choly madness. He had never seen Aunt Phillis 

Nothwithstanding the rough appearance of this 
lodge, in the wilderness of the boundless west, where 
the storm-wrecked and eccentric mariner had found a 
sheltered haven of rest, it was comfortable and looked 
even cheerful, illumined as it now was by the blazing 
pine knots, which crackled and corruscated in the 
vast chimney, and filled every nook and crevice with 


the brightness of noon-day. A good substantial sup- 
per was soon spread before them by the "maid of all- 
work," but no one but Uncle Banks tasted a morsel. 
He seemed to have lost entirely the fastidiousness of 
his appetite, and eat of every dish with the keenest 

Aunt Phillis did not prowl into the woods, as she 
had threatened, but threw herself down on her hum- 
ble bed in a state resembling despair. The cup of 
her wrath had foamed over, and she was now drink- 
ing in silence the bitter dregs; the veriest lees of the 
wine of life. She felt, as we may suppose, as the 
aeronaut feels, who, after rising majestically into the 
blue convexity of Heaven, leaving far below the 
grossness and opacity of earth, breathing the elasticity 
of a rarer, purer atmosphere, almost hearing the music 
of the empyrean, and catching glimpses of the palace 
of the Sun, when, suddenly, the gas explodes, the 
airy chariot falls, and he comes tumbling headlong 
from his glorious height, into some muddy pool, with 
bruised frame, broken bones and shaking brains. 

For hours she lay, planning schemes of unexampled 
vengeance, which for variety and originality, might 
have shamed the torments of the fabled Tartarus, 
till an appalling consciousness of her own impotence, 
and the ridiculousness of her wrongs, checked the 
ingenuity of her revenge She resolved at length to 
get home, as speedily and quietly as possible, to say 
nothing to her brother, or any of her friends, of her 
disappointment, and thus screen herself from the 
derision which she knew would be her portion. 


Elmira's feelings were not deep, nor her passions 
strong. Her character had been moulded by circum- 
stances, and it was easily remoulded. After the first 
ebullition of sorrow and chagrin, convinced that her 
destiny was fixed, she submitted with a comparative 
good grace determining, in her own mind, that her 
father should build her a fine house, and that the 
world should never know how deceived she had been. 
Besides, Joe was so really affectionate ad kind, she 
could not continue sullen and resentful and ill-hu- 
mour looked so unlovely and forbidding in her aunt, 
that she struggled against its mastery. 

"Carry you home again," said Mr. Banks, "in 
the same carriage that brought you don't want to 
keep folks against their will ought to be glad of 
such a fine ride. Daughter may go too, till we get 
her a house built. Be happy as a queen yet mustn't 
be angry at uncle all for the best married Joe 
not his purse. Fine boy hey ?" 

With what different emotions did Aunt Phillis find 
herself seated in the same carriage with the same 
party, the day but one after her arrival. She wouldn't 
condescend to sit on the same seat with Mr. Banks, 
but making Elmira occupy that post of honour, to 
the great displeasure of Cousin Joe, placed herself 
opposite, and if the lightning of her eyes could have 
withered, Mr. Banks would have been nothing but a 
shrivelled scroll. He seemed in imperturbable good 
humour, singing and laughing so merrily, that Elmira 
caught the infection, and smiled and even laughed. 
The third day of their journey, the aspect of the 


country changed. It was no longer the same road 
they had travelled before Aunt Phillis noticed the 
change, and peevishly asked to what new cities they 
were going. 

"Going to stop to-night at a friend's," answered 
Uncle Banks. "Good friend loaned me this carriage 
lmt me my velvet suit and jewels capital fellow 
rich as a Jew lives like a prince catch him per- 

Aunt Phillis disdained to answer, supposing he was 
going to take her to another log-cabin and some com- 
panion of congenial coarseness. Night came on, a 
clear, cold, moonlight night, when the atmosphere 
itself looked all white and silvery, and the pebbly 
ground sparkled like diamonds. The horses went 
faster and faster, and struck fire from their resound- 
ing hoofs. Uncle Banks' spirits rose at every turning 
of the wheels. He sang every verse of "Cease rude 
Boreas," "Black-eyed Susan," and "The Jolly Tar," 
keeping time with his feet and hands, while Aunt 
Phillis kept dodging her head this way and that, and 
drawing her feet under her clothes to avoid coming in 
contact with him. At length the carriage rolled over 
a smoother road regular rows of lofty trees, grand 
and lordly even in the wintry nakedness, skirted the 
way-side the illuminated windows of a large white 
dwelling, with white columns supporting a piazza, 
that surrounded the whole building, over which pe- 
rennial vines were clustering, became defined on the 
luminous back-ground of the starry heaven. 

"This is a fine house, to be sure," said Aunt Phillis, 


in a more gracious tone, as the carriage stopped at tho 
door. " It is pleasant to see a Christian-looking habi- 
tation once more." 

"No need of knocking," said Uncle Banks, leading 
the way up the flight of marble steps, to the entrance 
"old acquaintance no ceremony." 

He entered the hall, then throwing back the folding 
doors, displayed to the astonished eyes of Aunt Phillis, 
a scene which she thought some wizard wand had 
conjured. Seated at a table in the centre of the apart- 
ment, beneath the soft lustre of a moonlight lamp, sat 
her brother, reading a newspaper, as much at ease, as 
if he had been domesticated there all his life, and di- 
rectly opposite was Mr. Clements, so intently engaged 
with a book that he did not notice the opening of the 
door. And on a sofa, a little in the back- ground of 
the picture, Charles and Lelia were sitting side by 
side, engaged in such earnest and interesting conver- 
sation, it is doubtful whether the entrance of Xerxes 
and his army would have diverted their attention, from 
each other. 

"Well done, kinsfolk!" exclaimed Uncle Banks, 
giving his brother a rousing slap on the shoulder. 
"Can't you see a body, hey? Brought Cousin Phillis 
to make you a visit. Wasn't pleased with Banksville, 
may be she'll like Clementsville better. Ha little 
sweetheart playing puss in the corner there. Como 
and kiss your uncle." 

' \Velcome, Cousin Phillis," said Mr. Clements, 
shaking her cordially by the hand, "many thanks for 
Mii unexpected honour. I shall be most happy to 


repay you, according to my poor ability, some of the 
obligations I owe you." 

" So you've all been making a fool of me," cried she, 
unable to suppress the overflowing of her passions. 
"Pretending to be poor, when you're rich, and rich 
when you're poor, just to make a gull of me and 
that little hypocrite knew it all the time," shaking her 
forefinger at Lelia, with a familiar gesture, "she 
knew it all. She acted her part as well as the rest 
of you. You've every one been in a conspiracy 
against me. Yes every one not excepting my own 

Here she threw herself back on the sofa and cover- 
ing her face with her handkerchief, rocked to and fro, 
in hysterical agony. 

" There is no use in recrimination now, sister," said 
Mr. Manners. " We have both been taught a good 
lesson, by which I hope I shall profit, as long as I 
live. But you must not accuse Lelia. She was the 
only one of us, who loved her uncle and cousin for 
themselves alone ; and verily, she hath found her re- 
ward," added he, giving Charles a look, that might 
have made any young man proud. 

"Come, Cousin Phillis," said Mr. Clements, "let 
us forget and forgive. We have all been playing a 
little farce, which has made us somewhat better ac- 
quainted with human nature, and with the mysteries 
of our own hearts. Having received a splendid ac- 
cession to my fortunes, while still a resident in a 
foreign land, which rumour, by mistake, gave to my 
sailor brother here, I yielded to his whim, and allowed 


myself to be thought poor and himself rich, as had 
been previously reported to you. I had some mis- 
givings as to the propriety of the deception; but 
since I have discovered such a treasury of disinter- 
ested affection, in this beloved child," drawing Lelia 
to his bosom as he spoke " this child, who is as much 
lifted above hypocrisy as the heavens are above the 
earth, and since I have secured the happiness of my 
son, by a promised union with so much loveliness 
and virtue, I cannot regret the masquerade we wore. 
Yes, Lelia I would not exchange this coat, this dress 
given to your poor uncle, for the ermine of royalty. 
Its history shall be recorded in the family archive and 
handed down even to your children's children. El- 
mira, your husband is not a poor man, for he shall 
share of my inheritance, and yet make himself a name 
and a fame in the growing West." 

" Come, Cousin Phillis," cried Uncle Banks. "Kub 
out old scores. Kiss and be friends. Don't spoil 
your eyes. Catch a rich sweetheart yet maybe. 
Hain't got the chink can't help it don't want 
it clear head sound limbs, stout heart good con- 
science wealth enough for me. Isn't that enough 


Cap; or, mj ranko%r's 

IT was past midnight, and the moon had gone down 
\vhen the stage stopped at Edward Stanley's lodgings, 
who was about to visit his village home. The lamps 
threw a strong glare on the pavements, but the in- 
terior of the vehicle was in such deep shade, he could 
but imperfectly distinguish his fellow travellers. 

He observed, however, that several young gentlemen 
occupied the front and middle seats, while an old 
woman, muffled in a cloak, sat alone on the back one. 
She turned her head sharply round as he entered, and 
the light glimmering under her large hood was 
brightly reflected from a pair of spectacles of such 
spacious dimensions, they seemed to cover her whole 
face, or at least all the face that was visible through 
the wide-plaited border of a mob cap. Edward took 
the only vacant seat in the stage, at her side, with a 
very respectful bow, which was received with some- 
thing between a hem and a cough, a sound diverting 
in itself, and rendered still more so, by its echo from 
the opposite seat ; for the young gentlemen seemed 
determined to derive all the amusement possible from 
their antiquated companion. Edward had a convivial 
spirit, but he had too deep a reverence for age ever to 
make it a subject for mirth. It was in itself a suffi- 
cient guarantee for veneration, even when unaccompa- 
nied by those traits which impart a beauty to the 


faded brow, and to the hoary head a crown of glory. 
The recollection of his own grandmother, too, who 
had died since his absence from home one of those 
fine, dignified relics of the majestic simplicity of olden 
time, which reminds one so forcibly of the degeneracy 
of modern days gave a tenderness to his manners, in 
addressing an aged person, which was peculiarly en- 
gaging in the present instance, from the effect of con- 

"Take care, grandmother," said the young men 
opposite, as the stage jolted over a huge stone, " take 
care of your spectacles. We shall upset, now, depend 
upon it." 

" No thanks to you if we don't," cried she, mutter- 
ing, in the indistinct accents of age. Then turning 
towards Edward, she continued, " It is really refresh- 
ing to see a well-behaved, decent young gentleman, 
after enduring the impertinence of the dandies and 
jacknapes. Never mind, you may laugh now as loud 
as you please; but if you live, you will be old your- 
self one of these days." 

She put her hand into her pocket, which seemed 
unfathomable in depth, and drawing out a snuff-box, 
after rapping it several times, she presented it to 
Edward, who was obliged from politeness to take a 
pinch, and all the passengers petitioning for a similar 
favour, a sneezing concert commenced, in which the 
old lady herself acted the most sonorous part. After 
the mirth occasioned by this chorus had subsided, she 
dropped her box into her pocket, and it sunk like a 
pebble descending into a vault. Edward began to 


enjoy his journey exceedingly ; he never felt disposed 
to sleep in a stage coach, and the old lady declared 
herself of the same temperament, though he gallantly 
offered his shoulder as a pillow, to the great amuse- 
ment of the others, who were, ere long, nodding their 
heads to and fro, occasionally knocking their heads 
against each other, or reclining backwards in more 
unsocial attitudes. Edward and his muffled com- 
panion fell into the most familiar and agreeable con- 
versation. She seemed very shrewd and original in 
her remarks, and exercised the privilege of age in in- 
quiring his name, the place of his residence, &c. 

" Ah," said she, " I knew you had a mother and 
sisters or a sister whom you loved, from your kind- 
ness to me, an old woman, and a stranger. Heaven 
be blessed for the influence of gentle ones on the heart 

of man. And you are going to the village of . 

Do you know any thing of the Widow Clifton, 
daughter of Squire Lee, who lives somewhere in those 

" Not personally but report says she is such a gay 
dashing character. I suppose she will find herself 
very much out of place in a country town. I hear, 
through my sister, that she is to take possession of 
her late father's dwelling, which has been fitted up 
for her accommodation in quite a princely style. 
You speak as if you knew her, madam." 

" Yes, for I was a great friend to her grandmother ; 
a fine old lady as ever lived, a thousand time hand- 
somer than Gertrude but very likely you may not 


agree with me. Young eyes see differently from old 

" Is she young?" asked Edward. 

"Yes, she is scarcely twenty, for she married, poor 
thing, at a very early age, and was left a widow soon 
after. She has need of more discretion than she has 
now, or ever will have." 

"I should like to see this gay young widow," said 
Edward, musingly, the vision of a pair of heavenly 
blue eyes that he had seen stealing softly before him, 
" but it is not likely that we shall become acquainted, 
for my mother and sister live very retired, and when 
I am at home I devote myself to them." 

It was surprising in what confidential terms he was 
addressing his new acquaintance, and how entirely he 
forgot to ask her name and residence, though he had 
so freely imparted his own. 

As the morning air came chill and dewy over the 
hill, she drew her cloak more closely around her, 
pulled down her hood, and seemed drowsy and silent. 
Edward was not sorry to tie left a while to his own 
reflections. He thought of the mild eyes of his 
mother, at that very moment, perhaps, turned towards 
the window, anxiously watching his coming, of the 
more eager anticipations of his only sister, and more 
than all, he thought upon " the witching smile that 
caught his youthful fancy." 

1* He was roused from his reveries by the suddon 
stopping of the stage, and he found he was to be 
separated from his ancient friend. Jumping out with 
as much alacrity as if he were in attendance on youth 


and beauty, he assisted her as she descended with slow 
and difficult steps ; and opening the gate for her to 
pass, gave her a cordial and respectful farewell. 

" I shall riot soon forget you, young gentleman," 
said she, holding out her tremulous hand, "and if the 
time ever comes when I can serve you, you will find 
the aged can remember the kindness of youth." 

Resuming his seat, his thoughts winged their way 
towards the home he was now rapidly approaching. 
In two or three hours, he began to distinguish the 
irees familiar to his boyhood. A little farther, a 
majestic elm stretched its lordly branches over the 
street, they passed, on either side, the landmark of his 
school-day pastimes. Then a white house glimmered 
through the green foliage that overshadowed it, and 
a moment more, Edward was in the arms of his 
mother, with his sister clinging round his neck. An 
only son and brother, returned after twelve months' 
absence, to beings whose best affections were garnered 
in him, might reasonably call forth warm and joyous 
emotions. A shade, however, passed over their 
brows, as the saddened glance of Edward rested on 
the easy chair, where he had last beheld that vener- 
able form with placid brows, crowned with living 
silver, now laid low in the dust and they all remem- 
bered the dead. 

A year's residence in the heart of a city, would 
naturally produce some change in a young man, as 
yet only in the morning of manhood, and as Clara's 
admiring eyes ran over the face and figure of her bro- 
ther, she blushed at her own rusticity. There was an 


indescribable something in his air and manner, that 
told he had been in a region different from her own, 
and a shadow of awe began to steal over the deep love 
she felt for him. Mrs. Stanley, whose chastened and 
pious thoughts were dwelling on the inner man, re- 
joiced that his heart remained unchilled during his 
intercourse with the world, for the fountain of filial 
tenderness was still full and gushing over. 

Edward Stanley was poor that is, he had only his 
own inborn energies to carry him through the world. 
He had just completed his studies as a lawyer, having 
finished his last year with one of the most distinguished 
members of the bar, a friend of his late father, who, 
though he died poor in one sense of the word, was 
rich in the good opinions of his fellow-men. Edward 
was resolved it should prove a year of probation, and 
adhered to his determination not to suffer even the 
holiest interest of nature to turn him aside from his 
steadfast course. The trial was past he was admitted 
to the bar and now felt privileged to rest and re- 
fresh himself for a while at the well-springs of the 

That evening, as he looked abroad and saw the 
moon sending down such rills of light through the deep 
shades of the landscape, he thought how beautiful 
Fanny Morton had looked when she stood, a year ago, 
in the midst of such silver waves, and he longed to 
know how she would look then, standing in the self- 
same moonbeams. The wish was easily accomplished, 
for her father's house was but a short distance from 
his own, and he soon found himself near the threshold. 


The house was situated a little retreating from th* 
street, and the path that led to it was soft and grassy, 
lying too in a thick shadow, so his approach was not 
perceived. There she stood, almost in the same atti- 
tude, leaning against the door, looking upwards with 
eyes so deeply, beautifully blue, they seemed to have 
borrowed the colour from the night heaven to which 
their gaze was directed. Her fair, flaxen hair glittered 
in the moonlight with a golden lustre, brightly con- 
trasting with the pure whiteness of a brow, where the 
serenity of youth and innocence was now softly re- 

" Fanny!" said Edward, emerging from the shadow ; 
and she sprang forward at the well-known voice, with 
a bounding step, and a joyous smile. 
" Edward, I am so glad you are come." 
Her manner was so frank and affectionate, it re- 
lieved him from the agitation he felt in addressing her. 
Perhaps he felt a disappointment in meetjng her child- 
ish expression of pleasure, instead of the deep silence 
of joy, for it is certain the romance of his feelings con- 
siderably subsided, and he uttered some commonplace 
sayings, instead of the high-wrought sentiments in 
which he had been indulging. He had never told 
Fanny in so many words that he loved her, but they 
had lived in almost daily interchange of offices 
prompted by aifection. In absence he had blended 
her image with every memory of the past and every 
hope of the future, and now in her presence, he ac- 
knowledged that she was fairer and lovelier than even 
the visions his fancy had drawn. The people of the 


village seeing Fanny again the constant companion of 
Edward and Clara Stanley, as in former times, prophe 
siel a speedy union, though they dwelt on the ex- 
cessive imprudence of the match, as they were both 
too poor to think of marrying, and many declared 
Fanny to be no better than a piece of painted wax- 
work, fit only to be looked at and admired. 

They were returning one evening, about sunset, 
from a walk in the woodland. Fanny was literally 
covered with garlands, which Edward and Clara had 
woven, and with her hat swinging in her hand, and 
her fair locks unbound, she formed the most pic- 
turesque feature of a landscape, then rich in all the 
glories of summer. They turned aside from the 
path, for the trampling of horses' feet were behind 

"Look, brother, look!" exclaimed Clara, as a lady, 
in company with two gentlemen, rode gaily by. She 
was dressed in green. Her long riding-dress swept 
far below her feet, and waving feathers of the same 
colour mingled with the folds of a veil which floated 
lightly on the breeze. She turned ancL^pked earn- 
estly at Fanny, who, blushing at her fantastical appear- 
ance, drew behind Clara, when the veil of the stranger 
suddenly loosened, and, fluttering, fell at Edward's 
feet. Never was a fairer opening for gallantry. The 
lady checked her spirited horse, and, bending grace- 
fully forward, received the veil from the hands of Ed- 
ward, with a smile and a bow that would have repaid 
any man for a greater exertion. Her complexion was 
dark, but richly coloured with the warm hues of ex- 


ercise and health ; and when she smiled, her eyes were 
so brilliantly black, and her teeth so glitteringly white, 
that Clara could talk of nothing else for an hour after 
she reached home and Edward caught himself won- 
dering several times, who the lady of the green plumes 
could be. 

" Yes," said he, suddenly, when he saw, at night, 
lights gleaming from the windows of the great white 
house on the hill " It must be Mrs. Clifton, the dash- 
ing widow." 

And Mrs. Clifton it proved to be, whose arrival 
caused no slight sensation in this quiet village Ed- 
ward and Fanny were quite forgotten in the superior 
claims of one, who, though among them, was not of 
them. One represented her as proud as Lucifer, 
sweeping through the streets, with her officer-like cap 
and feathers, another, as a lioness, leaping her horse 
over hedges and walls. Some represented her as 
dark as an Ethiopian, terrible and grand and others, 
as beautiful as an angel, and blithe as a wood-nymph. 
Meanwhile tljp unconscious object of these contra- 
dictory a^Miostly invidious remarks, continued her 
rides over^Bl and dale with unwearied activity, nnd 
sometimes she appeared in a splendid carriage, with a 
footman, who was said to be dressed in livery, though 
he wore a suit of sober gray. 

What was the astonishment of Clara Stanley, when 
she saw one morning this splendid carriage stop at 
her own door, and Mrs. Clifton herself descend from 
it! Clara's next feeling was deep mortification ; for 
both her mother and herself were dressed in plain 


calico mourning frocks, and the room was in a state 
of particular disorder, for she was occupied in cutting 
and arranging work, and her brother had covered the 
table with papers he was about to examine. 

"Oh, Edward," cried Clara, "if there's not Mrs. 
Clifton! what shall we do?" 

" Do ?" said he, laughing and starting up eagerly 
"Why ask her to come in;" and with an ease and 
self-possession that almost provoked the mortified 
Clara, he met this startling visitor at the threshold. 

She introduced herself with so much grace and 
politeness, and fell into conversation so rapidly and 
simply, apologizing for what she feared might b& 
deemed an intrusion, but expressing an earnest wish 
to become acquainted with neighbours in whose 
society she anticipated so much pleasure, so naturally 
and sincerely, that Clara's burning cheeks began to 
cool, and her confused senses to be sufficiently col- 
lected to appreciate so signal an honour. Mrs. Stanley 
was too truly refined and well bred to share in her 
daughter's embarrassment. She was not ashamed of 
the simplicity of their dress, and she dji ooi !.>!; 
upon the proofs of Clara's industry anrWHward's 
literature, scattered about the room, as at all disgrace- 
ful. Moreover, she was very proud of her son, and 
thought she had never seen him appear to such ail 
advantage as at this moment, when engaged in ani- 
mated conversation with this graceful and charming 
lady. Mrs. Clifton admired the garden, the vines that 
made such fairy lattice-work around the windows, the 
pictures that hung upon the walls, till every thing 


around her became exalted in Clara's eyes, with 
charms unknown before. When she arose to depart, 
she urged Mrs. Stanley so warmly to visit her, and to 
suffer her to see much of Clara, -it was impossible not 
to believe she was soliciting a favour. She was so 
lonely, she said the friends who had accompanied 
her were returned, and she had nothing but her books 
and harp for companions. Her harp ! Clara was crazy 
to hear a harp. The very idea carried her at once 
into the fairy land of romance, of Ossian's heroines 
and Milton's angels. 

"Is she not the most charming woman you ever 
saw in your life ?" exclaimed Clara, the moment she 
had left them. " I quite forgot my calico frock and 
these linen shreds, long before she was gone. Did 
you ever see any one so polite and condescending? 1 
.wonder how she came to select us from all the village, 
to call upon," and she smiled at the importance it 
would give them in the eyes of their neighbours. 

"I am not much surprised," said Mrs. Stanley, "as 
her father $nd yours were on intimate terms, and 
it is MJAtte she has taken pains to ascertain hie 
friends^WRfe had just married when Mr. Lee came 
into the country, and as she went immediately 
abroad, she never visited the place during her father's 
life. She married very young, and I think I have 
heard she was not happy in her union. She cer- 
tainly does not seem inconsolable at her husband's 

"Is she not delightful, Edward?" continued Clara, 
in a perfect fever of admiration. "Did you ever 


see such eyes and teeth? and though she is dark, 
her complexion is so glowing and clear, I don't 
think she would look as handsome if she were fairer. 
I wonder if she will marry again?" 

"You wonder at so many things," replied Edward, 
laughing, "you must live in a perpetual state of 
astonishment. But I do think, Clara, that Mrs. Clifton 
is very delightful, and very charming, and graceful, 
and I hope my dear little rustic sister will try to 
imitate her graces." 

Edward would never have breathed this unfor- 
tunate wish had he anticipated how faithfully poor 
Clara would have obeyed his injunction. 

The visit was soon returned, and if Clara admired 
her new friend before, she was now completely fasci- 
nated. She "saw the white rising of her hands upon 
the harp," and heard the mellow tones of a voice 
tuned to the sweetest modulation of art. The rich 
furniture, the superb curtains, the paintings in massy 
gilt frames, seemed to her unaccustomed eye equal 
to oriental splendour, and Mrs. Clifton some eastern 
enchantress, presiding over the scene,^Mji more 
than magic power. Edward Stanley wl^passion- 
ately fond of music. He had never heard it in such 
perfection. But there was a charm in Mrs. Clifton's 
conversation even superior to her music. It was 
full of spirit, sensibility, enthusiasm, and refinement. 
Then its perfect adaptedness to all around her! 
Every one talked better with her than with any one 
else, and felt, when they quitted her society, that 
they had never been so agreeable before; confessing, 


at the same time, that they had never met with any 
one half so pleasing as herself. She certainly did 
flatter a little; that is, she told very pleasant truths, 
with a most bewitching smile, and another thing, 
which, perhaps, was the great secret of her attrac- 
tion, she seemed completely to forget herself, in her 
interest for those around her. 

It is very certain Mrs. Stanley's family thought 
more of their new neighbour that night, than their 
old ones. Even Edward forgot to dream of the 
blue eyes of Fanny Morton. His conscience re- 
proached him for the oblivion; and when he saw the 
unenvying interest with which she listened to Clara's 
praises of the dashing widow, as she was called by 
the villagers, he admired the sweetness and sim 
plicity of a character, pure as the untracked snow. 
He admired, but, for the first time, he felt a want 
in this sweet character. lie had never discovered 
before, that Fanny was deficient in sensibility, that 
the shadows of feeling seldom passed over her 
celestial countenance. He found, too, a dearth of 
thoughf 6tA. variety in her conversation, of which he 
had never been sensible before. A pang of self-ac- 
cusation shot through his heart, as he made these 
discoveries, and feeling as if he were guilty of 
injustice, his attentions became still more frequent, 
and he tried to restrain his restless and wandering 

Clara sat one morning in a deep reverie "Mother," 
said she, at length, "do you remember that full crim- 


son damask petticoat, grandmother left me as a me- 
mento of old times?" 

"Yes," answered Mrs. Stanley, surprised at the sud- 
denness of the question, "why do you ask?" 

"I was thinking it would make some beautiful 
window curtains for our parlour. The sun shines 
in so warm it is really uncomfortable to sit there, 
and the reflection of red curtains is very beautifying 
to the complexion." 

"Ah! Clara," cried her brother, "you never dis- 
covered how uncomfortable it was, till you saw 
Mrs. Clifton's fine curiains. You forget the blinds, 
and the vines, and' the rose-bushes. Pray have 
more reverence for dear grandmother's ancient 

Clara blushed, and was considerably disconcerted, 
but nevertheless continued her dreams of improve- 
ment. Her latent love forshow and splendour began to 
glimmer forth and iljuminate many an airy castle she 
amused herself in building. To imitate Mrs. Clifton 
was now the end and aim of her existence. She 
practised her step, her air, her smile, before the look- 
ing-glass, in her own chamber, till from a very simple 
and unaffected girl, she became conspicuously the re- 
verse. She strung every window with ^Eolian harps, 
and tried to sing in unison when the wild winds swept 
the chords but they disdained the harmony of the 
human voice, and mocked at her efforts. Edward felt 
quite distressed at an effect so contrary to his wishes, 
but he concealed his chagrin under a good-humoured 
ridicule, which somewhat checked her progress in the 



graces. Once, when they were to accompany Mrs 
Clifton in an excursion on horseback, and the lady, 
arrayed in her suit of forest green, was already wait- 
ing their motion, he knew not whether he was most 
amused or grieved, to see Clara descend in a dress of 
the same colour, in which the imitation was too ob- 
vious and too defective not to border on the ridiculous, 
with a green veil wreathed around the crown of her 
bonnet, and suffered to stream back behind, in the 
form of a feather or plume. Though the affection of 
her brother would not allow him to wound her feel- 
ings, by making her fully aware of her folly, and he 
chose rather gently to lead her back to true simplicity 
and good sense, she did not escape a severer lash from 
those who envied her the distinction of Mrs. Clifton's 
acquaintance, and who revenged themselves on her 
damask curtains, ^olian harps, and new-born airs. 
Her present ambition was to possess a gold chain, an 
ornament she deemed indispensable to the perfection 
of a lady's dress. She did not aspire to so magnifi- 
cent a one as wreathed the graceful neck of Mrs. 
Clifton, but she thought she would be perfectly happy 
with one of fur inferior value surrounding her own. 
She had a long string of large gold beads, a parting 
gift from her sainted grandmother, an ornament too 
obsolete for wear, and which she had often sighed to 
convert into modern jewelry. An opportunity oc- 
curred, at the very moment, of all others, she most 
desired it. Mrs. Clifton was to give a party. The 
day before the event, Clara was examining her simple 
wardrobe, trying to decide on the important articles 


of dress, and mourning over her slender stock of 
finery, when a pedler stopped at the door, with a 
trunk filled with jewelry and trinkets. He spread 
them before her admiring eyes, and when she hesi- 
tated and regretted he offered to take any old orna- 
ments in exchange, holding up, at the same time, a 
glittering chain, the very article for which her vitiated 
fancy was yearning. The temptation was irresistible, 
and, unfortunately, she was alone. She flew to her 
little trunk of treasures, drew out her grandmother's 
beads, and the pedler's eyes brightened as he saw the 
pure rich old fashioned gold, knowing their superior 
value to his own gilded trifles. 

"Will you exchange that chain for these?" said 
she, in a faltering voice; for in spite of her vain 
desire, the very act seemed a sacrilege to her con- 

" That would not be an even bargain," he replied ; 
and it was true, for the chain was nothing but brass, 
thinly washed with gold. Clara hung down her head. 
In proportion to the difficulty of obtaining the bauble, 
her longing increased. 

"That is a very pretty little trunk," cried the 
pedler, "it would be very convenient to hold my 
jewels. If you will throw that in, we will strike a 

Now the trunk was not Clara's. It belonged to her 
brother. It was the last keepsake bequeathed to him 
by this same grandmother, whose legacies of love 
Clara was converting to purposes of vanity and pride. 
There was a letter in it, directed to him, with a clause 


on the envelope, that he was not to open it till he was 
of age, unless he should find himself in some emergency, 
and especially in need of counsel. The old lady was 
supposed to possess considerable property, and it was 
also believed that Edward would be her heir. On 
her death, however, these expectations proved vain, 
and her grandson did not honour her memory the 
less because he was not enriched by her loss. He 
took the letter as a sacred bequest, wondering much 
at the singular injunction, and told Clara to keep the 
trunk for him, as it was of no use to him, and she 
would preserve it with more care. Clara knew it was 
only intrusted to her keeping ; and she turned pale at 
the thought of betraying a brother's trust; but she 
repeated to herself it was of no possible use to him, 
that he would probably never inquire for it, and it 
could not hurt her dear grandmother's feelings, who 
was sleeping beneath the clods of the valley. It was 
a thing, too, of so little consequence and the chain 
was so beautiful. She emptied the trunk of its con- 
tents, gave it hastily into the pedler's hands, with the 
beads which had remained on her grandmother's neck 
till she died, and gathering up the chain, felt, in- 
stead of the joy of triumph self- upbraiding and 
shame. She would have recalled the act ; but it was 
too late the pedler was gone. So poor was the 
gratification of vanity but the bitter consequence 
of a deviation from rectitude she was yet to expe- 

When arrayed for the party, she put a shawl care- 
fully around her neck before she made her appear- 


ance, to conceal her ill-gotten splendour but the 
consciousness of having something to conceal from 
the affectionate eyes that were bent upon her, gave a 
disturbed and anxious expression to her countenance 
that did not escape the observation of her brother ; 
and when she saw Fanny in the unadorned simplicity 
of her own loveliness, she secretly loathed the acqui- 
sition for which she had sacrificed her principles of 

"Let me see you, Clara, before you start," said 
Mrs. Stanley and she added, smiling, " I hope you 
have not tried to look too well." 

"Oh, pray, mother take care, cried Clara, shrinking 
from the dreaded hand that touched her shawl ; " it 
will tumble my dress to take it off now. It is only 
my plain muslin frock," and hurrying away, with 
blushes and trepidation, she felt that her punishment 
was begun. 

Arrived at Mrs. Clifton's she became still more 
dissatisfied, when she saw they: elegant hostess, 
dressed in the simplest attire, consistent with fashion 
and taste, with no ornament but a cluster of roses, 
wreathed amidst locks of gypsy blackness and oriental 
abundance. Her piercing eye rested a moment on 
the beautiful Fanny, then flashed towards Edward, 
with a very peculiar expression. He understood their 
meaning, and an undefinable sensation of pain and 
displeasure oppressed him. Mrs. Clifton was too 
polite to confine her attentions to those she most 
wished to distinguish, but moved amongst her guests, 
endeavouring, as far as possible, to adapt herself to 


their different capacities and tastes. She had invited 
her father's friends, wishing extremely to make them 
her own, and to convince them that she valued their 
sympathy and good will. 

"You seem dispirited this evening, Mr. Stanley," 
said she, as Edward, unusually silent, stood leaning 
against the harp, from which he had more than once 
heard thrilling music; "perhaps I ought to say, pre- 
occupied. It may be wise to abstract the mind in 
the midst of a throng, but I am afraid it is rather 

" I should think the wisdom consisted in the subject 
of the abstraction," replied Edward, "and I believe I 
am as unwise as I am selfish." 

"I do not think so," said Mrs. Clifton, and she 
looked at Fanny, whose serene countenance was 
beaming from the opposite side of the room. " Beauty, 
whether the subject of abstraction or contemplation, 
fills the mind with the most delightful ideas, and 
elevates it by the conviction that the hand that mads 
it is divine. I do not agree with the moralist who 
would degrade it as a vain and valueless possession. 
The woman who possesses it, may exercise a bound- 
less influence over the heart of man, and if exerted 
aright how glorious may be the result! Often and 
often have I sighed for the celestial gift yet, perhaps, 
I should be neither better nor happier." 

"You!" exclaimed Edward. 

It was but a monosyllable, but the most laboured 
panegyric could not have been half so expressive. 
The clear olive of Mrs. Clifton's cheek was coloured 


with a brighter hue as she languidly resumed " I 
did not solicit a compliment, but its brevity recom- 
mends yours. I know I am not handsome. I cannot 
be if beauty depends upon lilies and roses. In the 
gay and heartless world I have learned to shine as 
others do, and have tried the rules of art. My life 
has been passed much with strangers. You, Mr. 
Stanley, surrounded as you are, by all the sweet 
charities of a home, living in its warm and sunny 
atmosphere, you do not know the coldness and the 
loneliness of the brotherless and sisterless heart." 

She spoke in a tone of deep feeling, and cast 
down her eyes with a deep expression of pro- 
found melancholy. Edward did not attempt to 
reply he could not embody the new and over- 
powering emotions that were filling his soul, and 
he would not utter the common-place language 
of admiration. He felt like a man who had all 
his life been walking in darkness, and a dream, 
and had all at once awakened in a blaze of light. 
Several now gathered around Mrs. Clifton, entreat- 
ing her to play; and Edward availed himself of 
the opportunity of drawing back, where he could 
listen, unseen by her, to the melodious songstress 
of the hour. He looked at Fanny, who was now 
near the instrument, and compared the calm feeling 
of happiness he had enjoyed in her society to the 
tumultuous tide that was now rushing through his 

"I have loved Fanny like a brother," thought he, 


"ignorant of a deeper passion. And now I am a 
man and a fool ." 

A hand was laid upon his arm. "Brother, are 
you not well? You look pale to-night." Clara 
was looking anxiously in his face, and he saw- 
that her own was flushed with excitement. 

"Yes, Clara, I am well but what has disturbed 
you? Indeed I noticed before we left home that 
something seemed to weigh upon your spirits. Tell 
me the cause." 

He drew her hand affectionately through his arm, 
and for the first time noticed her new ornament. 

"It is not the weight of this new chain that 
oppresses you," said he, lifting it from her neck 
"though it does feel rather magnificent. You have 
never showed me this new gift of yours. Who 
could have been the donor?" and he thought of 
Mrs. Clifton. 

"Do not speak of it here," whispered Clara, with 
so much embarrassment, it confirmed Edward's sus- 
picions with regard to the donor, and though he 
regretted the nature of the obligation, he could 
not but think it was prompted by kindness to an 
observation of Clara's imitative decorations. The 
truth was, Clara had been exceedingly annoyed by 
the questions she could not, or rather would not 

Some one had suggested that it was a present 
from Mrs. Clifton, and though she did not affirm 
it, actually, she was glad to admit the idea, as 
an escape from further persecution on the subject. 


Still her conscience writhed under the implied 
falsehood, and she dreaded its detection. To add 
to her mortification, she overheard some one remark 
"that Clara Stanley need not put on so many airs 
about her new chain, for it was nothing but pinch- 
beck, and had a strong smell of brass." 

She rejoiced when the hour of retiring arrived; 
and when she reached home, she ran up stairs, 
went to bed, and cried herself to sleep. Poor Clara ! 
she awakened that night from a terrible fit of the 
nightmare, for she dreamed that her grandmothers 
icy hands were groping about her neck for the 
beads she had bartered, that the cold grasp grew 
tighter and tighter, her breath shorter and shorter, 
till she screamed and awoke. She dreaded the next 
day her brother's questioning about the mysterious 
chain; but, absorbed in his own deep, overmaster- 
ing emotions, he forgot the subject when the glit- 
tering bauble was removed from before his eyes. 
From this time a change was observable in his 
character. He became as silent and abstracted as 
he had before been gay and communicative. He 
no longer talked of Mrs. Clifton, and even to Fanny 
he was cold and constrained. Fanny preserved the 
same equanimity of feeling, though she missed 
Edward's vivacity and smiles, and openly lamented 
the transformation. She looked rather more serious 
than usual, but the azure of her eye was undimmed, 
and the soft rose of her cheek remained undi- 
minished in bloom. Edward turned from the same- 
ness and lustre of her countenance, to gaze upon 


the changing face that "pale passion loved" and 
while he acknowledged the hopelessness of his in- 
fatuation, he brooded over it, till it enervated all 
the energies of his soul. It was fortunate for his 
mind, that domestic circumstances of a perplexing 
nature roused it into exercise. Some very unex- 
pected claims were made against the estate. Mr. 
Stanley had died suddenly, and left his affairs con- 
siderably involved, but his family now believed every 
thing was settled, and that the small property 
which remained was all their own. With the 
strictest economy it was just sufficient for a genteel 
support, and that was all. They had no means 
of meeting this unexpected exigency, but by the 
sale of the house a sorrowful expedient, for it 
was endeared by every association connected with 
a husband's and a father's love besides it was their 
home, and where should they look for another? 
Edward remembered the letter of his grandmother. 
He wanted but a few months of being of age, and 
the hour of trouble had arrived. He opened and 
read it, then gave it into his mother's hands with 
a countenance illuminated with joy. 

"It- is all well, dear mother more than well 
though dead she yet continues her guardianship 
of love. Clara, where is the trunk whose value I 
have just learned? It will save us from ruin." 

Clara looked aghast. 

"The trunk!" stammered she "what good can it 
do us?" 

"Bead that letter it will explain it." 


The explanation may be given to the reader in 
fewer words. The trunk contained a false bottom, 
in which the good lady had placed deeds and papers, 
containing an amount of property which made a 
rich legacy to her grandson. Knowing the tempta- 
tions to which youth is exposed, and knowing toe 
that necessity calls forth the noblest powers of man- 
kind; she did not wish him to know of the exist- 
ence of this property till he became of age; and 
being somewhat eccentric in her character, and 
fond of surprises, she had adopted this singular 
method of bequeathing to him her fortune. Clara 
read the letter, and sat like a statue of stone. She 
wished the earth to open and swallow her, the moun- 
tains to fall and crush her to atoms, to save her 
from the remorse and shame that had overtaken 

"Clara, what is the matter?" said Edward, sitting 
down by her side; "can you not go for the trunk, 

The unhappy girl tried to speak, but only uttered 
a piercing shriek, and fell prostrate on the floor. 
Excessively alarmed, they raised and endeavoured 
to bring her to composure, but she continued to 
wring her hands and exclaimed 

"Oh, what have I done! what have I done!" 

They gathered at length from her broken sen- 
tences, the extent of their misfortune. The treasure 
was lost, irredeemably lost, for it would be impos- 
sible to trace the course of one who led an itinerant 
life, and' was probably now in some remote part 


of the country. If it ever were discovered, it 
would probably be at some distant day, and the 
demand was immediate and pressing. Neither Mrs. 
Stanley nor Edward could add to the agonies of 
Clara's remorse, by unavailing reproaches, but they 
both keenly felt how much it added to thpir cala- 
mity, to think the means their guardian angel held 
out for their relief, was wrested from them by the 
hands of a daughter and a sister. 

" We must submit," said Mrs. Stanley, with a heavy 
sigh, "to the will of God." 

"We must act" said Edward, "and be not cast 
down, my mother. If Heaven spares my life and 
health, we shall never know one real want. In 
this country there is no such thing as poverty, and 
as to vanity and show, let Clara's bitter lesson prove 
the emptiness of their claims." 

When it was known that Mrs. Stanley's dwelling- 
house was advertised for sale, to satisfy the demands 
of impatient creditors, there was much astonishment 
and sorrow, for she was a woman universally belovd 
for her meekness, loving kindness, and tender 
charities. The neighbours gathered in to question 
and condole, and great was the sympathy expressed 
for Clara's inconsolable grief. They did not know 
the secret burden that weighed her to the dust, and 
wondered much to see the young bowed down so 
heavily, while Mrs. Stanley seemed so calm and 
resigned. Fanny Morton was very sorry, and ex- 
pressed herself on the occasion with all the depth 
of feeling of which her tranquil nature was capable, 


but Edward more than ever felt the immeasurable 
distance of their souls. Hers could not comprehend 
the depth and sensibility of his. The lightning of 
heaven, and the cold phosphorescent light of earth 
are not more different in their properties. Mrs. 
Clifton came, but not with the cro\vd. She waited 
till others accused her of standing aloof from her 
favourites in the day of adversity. She came alone, 
leaving her carriage, her servants, and all the par- 
aphernalia of her wealth behind her. Mrs. Stanley 
knew how to appreciate this delicacy, as well as 
the added deference and respect of her manners. 
She asked no questions she added no condolence 
she came, she said, to solicit a favour, not to 
confer one. She wished to become purchaser of 
their beautiful cottage, whose situation she had 
so much admired. She had learned that her father 
had desired to become the owner of the lot, if 
Mr. Stanley ever disposed of it. She was anxious 
herself that it should not pass into other hands, 
and to secure their continuance in the neighbourhood. 

" If by gratifying my father's known wish," con- 
tinued Mrs. Clifton, her brilliant eyes softened by 
visible emotion, "I can relieve you, Mrs. Stanley, 
from, I trust, a transient embarrassment, I shall not 
consider myself less your debtor wlien the time 
comes that you desire to reclaim it, I will not with- 
hold its restoration." 

The tears, which sorrow had not wrung from Mrs. 
Stanley's eyes, now fell fast from gratitude. She 
pressed 'Mrs. Clifton's hand in hers, and said, in a low 


voice, "You have caused the widow's heart to sing 
for joy may heaven reward you for your kind- 

Clara, incapable of restraining herself longer, threw 
her arms around her neck, and sobbed out, "Oh, 
madam, you have saved me from despair.'' 

Mrs. Clifton, who attributed her words to the 
natural regret of a young and ardent heart, on the 
prospect of quitting the home of childhood, warmly 
returned the involuntary embrace, and bid her call 
back her smiles, and be ready to accompany her on 
the morrow in a botanical excursion. When she rose 
to depart, Edward rose also to accompany her home. 
He was no longer gloomy and reserved. He no longer 
looked upon her as an enchantress, moving high 
above him, in a region of inaccessible light and 
splendour, but as a woman, endowed with all the 
warm and lovely sensibilities of her sex a being 
whom he might dare to love, though he coul^l never 
hope to obtain who might forgive the homage, even 
though she rejected the worshipper. Had not humility, 
always the accompaniment of deep and fervent passion, 
ruled his perceptions, he might have derived an in- 
spiration for his hopes, from the softened language of 
her eyes a language which others had not been slow- 
in translating. They entered the magnificent saloon. 
The contrast its gilded walls presented to the agitated 
scene they had left, was felt by both. 

" Desolate is the dwelling of Moina," said she, in an 
accent half sad and half sportive, " silence is in the 
house of her fathers." 


" Dwells there no joy in song, white hand of the 
harp of Lutha ?" continued Edward, in the same poetic 
language, and drawing the harp towards her. It is 
always delightful to find the train of our own thoughts 
pursued by a friend proving that we think in 
unison. Mrs. Clifton felt this as she swept her hands 
over the chords, and called forth that sweet and im- 
passioned melody peculiar to the daughters of Italy. 
She paused, and her dark eye rested a moment on the 
%ce of her auditor. It was partly shaded by his hand, 
and she saw that he was overcome by some powerful 
emotion. Again she sang, but her voice was low, 
and she ceased at length as if weary of the effort. 

" You seem spell-bound by the genius of silence," 
said she ; " I should be wrong to break the charm." 

" I know I must appear more than stupid," replied 
he, " when there is every thing around to inspire me. 
But my feelings have been deeply oppressed by 
anxiety,. and the weight of anxiety has been removed 
by a debt of gratitude, which, however pleasing and 
gracefully imposed, is only too deeply felt." 

" Oh ! let not your pride be jealous of the happiness 
I have dared this day to purchase. What have I done 
for you and yours, half half so precious to YOUR re- 
membrance, as to mine? Your sister's tearful blessing, 
your mother's hallowed prayer." 

She spoke with fervor and sensibility, and her 
countenance was lighted up with such an exalted ex- 
pression, Edward was scarcely able to restrain the 
impetuous impulses of passion that urged him on. 
The confession trembled on his lips, but pride and 


poverty, two stern monitors, stood by his side, an& 
forbade the avowal of his madness and presump- 

"No I" said he to himself, "let me live on in tho 
silence and secrecy of hopeless devotion, rather than 
by unguarded rashness risk the loss of that confi- 
dence so dangerous, yet so delightful. She allows me 
to be her friend. Let me never dare to aspire to 
more " 

Thus reasoned Edward Stanley, and thus he 
schooled the language of his lips but the passion 
denied utterance in words, flashed from his eyes, and 
modulated every accent of his voice. He looked back 
upon this evening, passed alone with Mrs. Clifton, 
amidst the breathings of poetry and music, and ex- 
ulted in the reflection that he had not committed 
himself by any act of imprudence he might hereafter ' 
vainly rue. Sometimes his feelings rose up against 
Clara, for the selfish vanity that had led her to sacri- 
fice the fortune that might have 'placed him above 
the suspicion of mercenary motives, but her unap- 
peasable sorrow for her transgression, would not 
allow him to cherish any resentment towards her 
Sometimes too, his conscience reproached him for the 
part he was acting towards Fanny, the idol of his 
boyish fancy but every hour passed in her presence, 
convinced him that she looked upon him more as a 
brother than a lover, and wrapped in a mantle of 
constitutional indifference, she seemed scarcely awara 
of the wandering of his heart. 

"Oh I I am so glad vou are not going to leave usl 


I do not know how I should live without you and 

Fanny's most ardent expression in joy and sorrow, 
was, " I am so glad I arn so sorry." It was a great 
deal for her to say but she looked at Clara exactly 
as she did at him, and Edward, whose heart was now 
enlightened, felt that she did not love him, and ho 
rejoiced in the conviction. 

One evening, just between twilight and darker 
hour, he was returning from a long walk, wnen, a 
little before he left the woodland path that led into 
the public road, he met an old woman muffled in a 
cloak and hood he bowed, and was passing on, when 
she accosted him in a voice that was not unknown, 
and approaching nearer to her, he knew by the 
spectacles gleaming through the shades, under the 
deeper shade of a mob-cap, his ancient friend of the 
stage-coach, and he greeted her with great cordiality. 
She told him she was travelling about as usual, and 
had stopped in the village to make a visit to Mrs. 
Clifton, the granddaughter of her old friend. 

"It is growing dark and late," said he, "let me see 
you safe to her house, for you have mistaken the path 
that leads to it." 

" Stop a moment," cried she, " if you are not in too 
much haste, and let me rest on this log by the way- 
side. I am old, and it wearies me to walk fast. Sit 
down, young man, and let me ask after your welfare. 
I have not forgotten your kindness to the aged, nor 
ever shall I." 

Edward brushed the dust from the log with his 


handkerchief, and preparing a seat for her, with great 
reverence placed himself at her side. 

"Come," said she, "I nmst soon be gone, but I 
want to know if I can serve you. I am an eccentric 
old creature, but I am well off in the world, and when 
I die, I cannot carry my money into the grave. I am 
told there is a pretty young girl in the neighbourhood, 
whom you love, and would marry, were you not poor 
Do not blush to own it, for if it is so, and I can make 
you happy by my means, I shall bless the hour that 
brought us together, even near the end of my pil- 

Her tremulous voice faltered, and she raised her 
handkerchief under her spectacles. 

" Thank you, a thousand times, for your generous 
offer," replied Edward, much moved; "but indeed, 
madam, you are misinformed. I would not marry, if 
I could." 

"Young man," cried she, "you are not sincere. 
The heart craves for a kindred heart. You would 
not live alone. Confide in me, and I will not betray 
you. Trifle with me, and you may lose a friend, 
whose professions are not lightly made. Tell me, do 
you not love the fair girl, whom they call the beauty 
of the village, or is it but a passing rumour that has 
reached my ears ?" 

Edward wondered at the interest this singular old 
woman expressed in his destiny, but he did not doubt 
its sincerity, and he would not repay it with dissimu- 

"No, madam, I do not love her, otherwise than 


with brotherly kindness. "Where I do love, T can- 
not hope, and all your generosity cannot avail me 

" Where ?" said she. " I want no half confidences 
The imagination of age is dull to that of youth. Tell 
me all, or nothing." 

" There is one, then, with whom, were she poor, 
beggary would be a paradise, but whom fortune has 
placed so far beyond my reach, it would be madness 
to name, and presumption to aspire to. Sometimes, 
emboldened by her condescension, I have dared to 
think, had my lot been different but no it can 
never be I need not say more you know where 
your steps are bound." 

A silence followed this avowal, and Edward was so 
much absorbed by his own feelings, as almost to 
forget the presence of his companion. At length she 

" I do not see the great presumption of your hopes 
if you mean the Widow Clifton. I see nothing to 
make her beyond your reach, unless you choose your- 
self to put her up in the clouds. She is rich, it is true, 
but what does she want in another ? She has found co 
joy in wealth. I know the history of her marriage; 
it was involuntary on her part, and brought no happi- 
ness a state of splendid bondage. Why do you not 
at least learn from her, whether your love is hopeless? 
If I, an old woman if my heart warmed towards 
you, the first moment I saw you, is her young 
bosom made of stone, that it cannot be melted or im- 


"She has often spoken," said Edward, finding an 
increasing fascination in the subject, and drawing still 
nearer his aged friend, "of the loneliness of her 
destiny, and of the insufficiency of wealth, to satisfy 
the cravings of the heart. Then wild dreams dazzled 
my imagination, and gilt the future with the hues of 
heaven. But the dread of being banished from her 
presence, of incurring the displeasure of one who 
had been the benefactress of our family you, who 
are now in the winter of your days, can have no con- 
ception of the strength of these mental conflicts this 
warring of fire and ice." 

" I have not forgotten the memories of youth," she 
answered ; " and impassive as you believe me, there 
is an image cherished in my breast, whose traits the 
waves of oblivion can never efface, nor the snow of 
age ever chill. Few can love as I have loved ; and 
love with me, is immortal as the divine spark that 
lights up this perishing frame." 

She leaned tremblingly against the shoulder of 
Edward, who reproached himself for calling up 
emotions so sublime- in their strength, thus glowing 
and triumphant, amidst the ruins of beauty and youth. 
He drew her cloak more closely around her, and 
warned her that the night dew was falling. 

"You are right," said she, rising; "I was forgetting 
I am not young like you." 

They walked slowly on, in the direction of Mrs. 
Clifton's house. 

" May I not ask the name of the friend, to whose 
kindness I am so much indebted ?" cried he. 


"Oh," replied she, laughing, "I thought every 
body knew Aunt Bridget; for I am one of those 
universal aunts, whom every body knows, and nobody 
cares for. My property is my own, and I have a 
right to bequeath it to whomsoever I please. I have 
chosen you as my heir, and you may consider your- 
self equal in fortune to Widow Clifton, or any other 
widow in the land. Not a word of thanks no grati- 
tude at least till legal measures are taken to secure 
it to your possession." 

"Singular and generous being!" said Edward; 
beginning to believe her brain was somewhat un- 
sound, "what have I done to excite so romantic an 
interest, what can I do to prove myself worthy of it ?" 

" Be sincere truth is the only bond of love, and 
concealment with friends is falsehood." 

They had now reached the gate of the avenue. 

" You will go in ?" 

"No," said he, "I cannot see her to-night; to-mor- 
row, perhaps shall I see you then ?" 

" I cannot tell what the morrow will bring forth. 
But one thing let me say, young man, ere we part. 
You must plead your own cause, and not expect it 
will be done by me. If you have not moral courage 
and manly spirit sufficient to meet the consequences, 
whatever they may be, you merit the downfall of your 
hope, and the humiliation of your pride." 

She closed the gate, and Edward watched her dark 
shrouded figure slowly treading the winding path, 
and almost imagined he had been with one of those 
sibylline priestesses, who opened their lips in pro- 


phecy, and shadowed the mystic outlines of futurity. 
"Whatever she may be," thought he, "I will be 
guided by her counsel, and abide by the result." 

As he drew near his own home, and saw the light 
shining so quietly and brightly through the trees that 
quivered gently as in a golden shower, and thought 
how tranquilly the hearts of the inmates now beat, 
secure from the fear of being driven from that love- 
hallowed home when he reflected that for this peace, 
BO beautifully imagined in the scene before him, they 
were indebted to the very being whose recollection 
excited the throbbing of a thousand pulses in his 
heart and in his brain, gratitude so mingled with 
and chastened his love, that every breathing became 
a prayer for her happiness, even if it were to be pur- 
chased at the sacrifice of his own. 

He saw Clara through the window, seated at a 
table, with some object before her, which was shaded 
by the branches, but her attitude was so expressive 
that he stood a moment to contemplate her figure. 
Her hands were clasped in a kind of ecstacy, and her 
cheeks were coloured with a bright crimson, strikingly 
contrasting with their late pallid hue. Something 
hung glittering from her fingers, upon which she 
gazed rapturously one moment, then, bending for- 
ward the next, she seemed intent upon what was be- 
fore her. He opened the door softly ; she sprang up, 
and, throwing her arms around him, cried in an ac- 
cent of hysterical joy 

"Dear brother the trunk is found there it is, 


oh! I am so hoppy!" And she wept and laughed 

There indeed it was the identical trunk whose 
loss had occasioned so much sorrow, with its red 
morocco covering and bright nails untarnished. Ed- 
ward rejoiced more for Clara's sake than his own for 
her remorse, though salutary to herself, was harrowing 
to him. 

"Explain this mystery, dear Clara, and moderate 
these transports. How have you recovered the lost 
treasure ?" 

"Oh! it was the strangest circumstance! Who do 
you think had it, but Mrs. Clifton, that angel sent 
down from heaven, for our especial blessing." 

"You know I went there to-day, about the time 
you took the walk in the woods. My heart was so 
full of grief for my folly, and gratitude for her kind- 
ness, I thought it would have burst, and I told her 
all ; no, not quite all for I could not bring myself 
to tell her that it contained your property ; her eye 
seemed to upbraid me so for betraying the trust ; but 
again it beamed with joy because she could restore to 
me both sacred relics." 

Here she held up the beads, now a thousand times 
more precious to her than all the chains in the 

"The pedler called there, after he left me. She 
recognized the trunk, as it bore the name of a friend." 

Edward's cheek burned with emotion for his own 
name, Edward Stanley, was wrought upon the velvet 
lining, but Clara went breathlessly on. 


" She gathered from the pedler the history of the 
beads, and purchased them both, that she might, on 
some future day, have the pleasure of restoring them. 
She understood the sacrifice my foolish vanity had 
made, and anticipated the repentance that would fol- 
low. Is she not a friend, the best and kindest, and 
ought we not to love her as our own souls ? And can 
you forgive me, Edward will you forgive me, though 
I fear I never shall be able to pardon myself?" 

."Forgive you, my sister? Let me only see once 
more the sweet, unaffected girl, who was the object 
of my approbation, as well as my love, and I ask no 

He now examined the secret recess of the trunk, 
and found the papers safe and untouched. Their 
value transcended his most sanguine expectations. He 
could redeem the paternal dwelling, meet the demands 
which had involved them in distress, and still find 
himself a comparatively rich man. 

Clara ran out of the room, and, bringing back the 
chain the " cause of all her woe," she put it in a 
conspicuous corner of her work-box. 

"I will never wear this paltry bauble again," cried 
she; "but I will keep it as a memento of my vanity, 
and a pledge of my reformation. I will look at it a 
few moments every day, as the lady did upon the 
skeleton of her lover, to remind me of the sins of 

When Clara had left them with a joyous "good 
night," Mrs. Stanley drew her chair next to her son, 
and looked earnestly in his face. 


"There is something I ought to mention," said she, 
"and yet I cannot bear to damp your present satis- 
faction. I have been told of an intended marriage, 
which I fear will disappoint your fondest hopes. I 
trust, however, you have too much honest pride to 
suffer your feelings to prey upon your happiness." 

Edward started up, and pushed his chair against 
the wall with a violent rebound. 

"I cannot bear it, mother I believe it would drive 
me mad after all I have dared to dream to-night. I 
might, perhaps, live without her, but I could not live 
to see her married to another. Fool, credulous fool 
that I was, to believe that dotard's prophecy !" 

He sat down again in the chair which Clara had 
left, and, throwing his arms across the table, bent his 
face over them, and remained silent. 

"Alas I my son," cried Mrs. Stanley, "I feared it 
would be so. Mr. Morton feels for you the tenderness 
of a father, but " 

"Mr. Morton, did you say?" cried Edward, starting 
up again, at the risk of upsetting chairs, tables, and 
lamps, "I believe I am out of my senses; and is it 
Fanny Morton who is going to be married ?" 

The sudden change in his countenance, from despair 
to composure, quite electrified Mrs. Stanley. She 
could not comprehend such great and sudden self- 

"Mr. Morton tells me," she continued, "that Fanny 
is addressed by a gentleman of wealth and respecta- 
bility, and one who is every way a desirable con- 
nection. He has learned from Fanny that no engage- 


ment subsisted between you ; but he seemed appre- 
hensive that your affections were deeply interested, 
and wished me to soften the intelligence as much as 

Edward smiled. " Tell Mr. Morton I thank him 
for his kind consideration, for no one can rejoice in 
Fanny's prospects more than I do." 

Mrs. Stanley was bewildered, for she had not 
dreamed of his present infatuation. 

"I cannot understand how resignation can be 
acquired so soon, especially after such a burst of 
frenzy. I fear it is merely assumed to spare my 

"I cannot feign, dear mother, though I may conceal. 
Dismiss all fears upon this subject, for were Fanny to 
live a thousand years in all her virgin loveliness if 
nature permitted such a reign to youth and beauty 
she would never be sought after as the bride of your 

He kissed his mother, and bade her a hasty "good 
night," anxious to avoid explanation on a subject 
which had already agitated him so much. 

The next day, when he reflected on his extra 
ordinary interview with the old lady of the stage 
coach, and her incredible promise in his behalf, lw 
became more than ever convinced of her mental hallu- 
cination. Yet there was too much method in her 


madness, if madness indeed existed, to allow him to 
slight the impressions of her words. He was now 
independent, and hopes that before seemed presump- 
tuous, now warmed every pulsation of his being. 


"Shall I even now follow the sibyl's counsel?" said 
he to himself, as he bent his steps at evening towards 
Mrs. Clifton's door; but the moment he entered her 
presence, Aunt Bridget, her promises, and the world 
itself were forgotten. She met him with a smile, but 
there was a burning glow on her cheek, and a hurried 
glance of her eye, that indicated internal agitation. 
She attempted to converse on indifferent topics, but 
her thoughts seemed to wander, and she at length 
became silent. 

" I saw a friend of yours last night," said he with 
much embarrassment, for he knew not whether his 
confessions were unrevealed. "She is very singular, 
but extremely interesting in her eccentricities. Is she 
with you yet?" 

"She is, and will be with us whenever you desire. 
Yet I would first speak with you, Mr. Stanley, and com- 
municate an intelligence which I trust will not cost 
me the withdrawal of your friendship. You have 
known me rich, surrounded with all the appliance of 
wealth and fashion, and, as such, envied and admired. 
My fortune has been transferred into the hands of 
another, and you see me now destitute of that tinsel 
glare, which threw a radiance around me, which was 
not rny own. Flatterers may desert me, but friends 
I trust I may retain." 

She extended her hand with an involuntary motion, 
and the glow forsook her cheek. 

' Your fortune gone," exclaimed Edward, "and 
mine restored !" The next moment he was kneeling 
at her feet. In no other attitude could he have ex- 


pressed the depth of passion he now dared to utter. 
"What he said he knew not ; he only felt that he 
was breathing forth the hoarded and late hopeless 
love, of whose extent he had never before been fully 

"Am I then loved for myself alone?" cried Mrs. 
Clifton ; ** by one, too, from whom I have vainly waited 
this avowal, to justify my preference?" 

She bowed her head upon the hands that Edward 
was clasping in his own, as if her soul shared the 
humility of his devotion. Who would have recog- 
nized the gay and brilliant heiress, who once revelled 
in the cold halls of fashion, in this tender and pas- 
sionate woman ? 

" Oh 1" exclaimed she, when the feelings of both 
became sufficiently calm for explanation, "were I still 
the child of affluence, I might have vainly looked for 
the testimony of that love which the vassal of love 
was so long a rebel to, to truth, and to nature. And 
now," added she, rising, " let me not, in the fulness 
of my heart's content, forget your old friend, who is 
waiting no doubt, with impatience, to greet you. 
You will probably be surprised to learn that she is 
the lawful inheritor of my fortune, and that all I have 
been so profusely lavishing was her just due.'' 

She smiled at Edward's unutterable look of aston- 
ishment, and closed the door. He was left but a few 
moments to his own bewildered thoughts, when the 
door again opened, and Aunt Bridget entered, in the 
same ancient cloak and hood, which seemed to V) a 
part of herself. 


" Wisest and best of counsellors," said he, advancing 
to meet her, and leading her to a seat on the sofa 
"to you I owe the blessings of this hour. It was 
surely a propitious star that shone upon me when I 
first seated myself beside you that memorable night. 
Had you not come to prove your claim to her wealth, 
the spell that bound me would not yet have been 
broken, and a wall of separation might still have 
arisen between hearts that have met and blended, and 
will continue to mingle through eternity." 

Aunt Bridget turned away her head, and seemed 
suddenly to have lost the gift of speech. 

Somewhat alarmed at her unusual silence, especially 
as he felt her shaking and trembling under the folds 
of her cloak, he leaned over, and tried to untie her 
hood, so as to give her air. Fearing she would fall 
into a fit, as she continued to tremble still more 
violently, he burst the ribbons asunder, for the knots 
seemed to tighten under his fingers, and the cloak, 
hood, and mob cap fell off simultaneously ; the large 
green spectacles, too, dropped from the eyes, which, 
laughing and brilliant, now flashed upon his own 
and the arms which had been extended to support a 
far different personage, were folded in transport 
around the graceful form of Mrs. Clifton. 

" Will you forgive me?" cried she, when she raised 
those beaming eyes from his shoulder, " the wily de- 
ception I have practised ? Will you forgive me for 
continuing a disguise through love wnich commenced 
from eccentric motives? Young and unprotected, I 
have sometimes found safety in this disfiguring garb. 


Like the Arabian monarch, I like, occasionally, the 
covering of a mask, that I may be able to read the 
deep mysteries of human nature. But my masquerade 
is over. I have now read all I ever wished to learn. 
Promise not to love me less because the doom of riches 
still clings to me, and I will pledge life and fame, that 
you shall find in Aunt Bridget a faithful, true, and 
loving wife." 

f tMcr. Sjjt Squd fa % glob % 

CLARA STANLEY, at the time of her brother's mar- 
riage with Mrs. Clifton, believed herself the happiest 
of human beings. The first wish of her heart was 
gratified, and she did not think it possible that a more 
ardent one could quicken its pulsations. She loved 
Edward as a most affectionate and tender brother; 
she admired him, too, as the most handsome and 
graceful of men, and her pride as well as her affection 
exulted in his union with the admired and fascinating 
widow. Bat after the excitement attending the event 
had subsided, she wondered at the dejection that 
weighed down her spirits. She felt that there was a 
love dearer than that of a sister's now gladdening his 
life, and that she must henceforth be satisfied with a 
secondary place in his affections. She had no other 
brother, no sister to supply his place as a companion, 
and poor Clara was often left to feel a dearth of which 


she had never dreamed before. There was something, 
too, in the impassioned character of Gertrude (for thus 
by her Christian name we will hereafter designate our 
former friend of the Mob Cap) that threw a kind of 
romance over every scene in which she moved, and 
Clara, communing with her own heart, would some- 
times ask herself if she had the same deep capabilities 
of loving, or if the being existed, though yet unseen, 
who could call them into existence. 

An event soon occurred that gave a new colour to 
her dreams. She was sitting at an open window, in- 
tently reading, when the unfolding of the gate 
attracted her attention. She started as if she had seen 
a monster, for she knew at the first glance that it was 
a pedler who was coming in, and the sight of one 
filled her with horror. To make the sudden appear- 
ance more terrific, he carried in his hand a red mo- 
rocco trunk, almost exactly like the one she had so 
shamefully bartered, and unexpectedly recovered. 

"Oh, mother, dear mother!" exclaimed she, starting 
up in dismay, " do not let him come in ; I cannot bear 
the sight of him. Tell him we do not want any 
jewels. I hate I detest the whole tribe of pedlers. 
I W ish " 

A look from her mother checked her rash speech. 

" Bather blame yourself, Clara," said Mrs. Stanley, 
" for a folly for which I never would again upbraid 
you, if the remembrance of it did not make you un- 
reasonable and unjust to others. I do not wish you 
to purchase jewels, but you must not be harsh in your 


"I know I am wrong," answered Clara, ingenu- 
ously ; " bat you know not the agonies of remorse the 
sight of that man calls to my recollection." 

In the mean while the pedler knocked, and was 
admitted by Mrs. Stanley, with her usual gentle 
courtesy. He was a young man of quite a genteel 
appearance, and his long dark hair shading his fore- 
head with its shining masses, his exceedingly dark 
complexion, and dark piercing eyes, reminded Clara, 
whose imagination was ever on the wing in search of 
romantic resemblances of the Gipsy race. He placed 
his trunk on the floor, and kneeling on one knee, 
opened, it without speaking. 

" Do not trouble yourself," said Clara, with a nervous 
shudder, as the opening lid displayed the glitter of the 
jewels ; we do not wish to purchase any thing." 

" Allow me to show them to you," said he, with 
that officious politeness peculiar to his profession, " you 
may be tempted to change your resolution." 

" No, no," answered Clara ; " I have made a vow 
never to wear another jewel." 

" Not even a ring ?" said he, with a smile, which she 
thought very bold and sarcastic; and determined to 
repel his assurance, she took up the book which she 
was reading, appeared to be absorbed by its contents. 

But the persevering pedler was not so easily re- 

" Will you not look at this beautiful chain ?" said 
he, holding one up so near her eyes that she could uot 
but perceive the dazzle of the links. 

"Surely," thought Clara, "he must be my evil genius, 


sent to torment me before my time, for my past 

She put the chain back with an impatient gesture, 
and an appealing look to her mother to rid her of his 

" My daughter has not the wish, nor I the means, to 
purchase your ornaments." said Mrs. Stanley mildly, 
but gravely; "you will probably find others in the 
neighbourhood, who have both." 

The young pedler reluctantly closed his trunk and 
took up his hat, which he had thrown at Clara's feet as 
he knelt, and thus given the opportunity of seeing the 
the name of Hover written on the lining. He observed 
the direction of her eyes, and said as he swung the hat 
carelessly in his hand, 

" A very appropriate name, Miss, for one of my pro- 
fession. I believe it was what made me first think of 
becoming a pedler ; and, as I am naturally indolent 
and fond of variety, I find my roving life vastly agree- 
able at times." 

"You are certainly vastly impertinent," thought 
Clara, as he retreated with a really graceful bow and a 
bold gaze of admiration, which displeased Mrs. Stanley 
very much, and made her close the door quickly after 
him, though it was a warm summer day. 

"I do not like that man at all, Clara," said she, 
after he was gone; "he is very assuming, and though 
I reproved you for your vehemence when he first 
made his appearance, I cannot but agree with you in 
thinking that pedlers are any thing but a respect- 
able class of people. A young, handsome, and appa- 


rently intelligent man, like him, to be wasting his time 
in such an idle, inglorious profession. You were right 
in checking his presumption as you did." 

The next day Clara was searching her work-basket 
for some stray articles of sewing, when her eyes fell on 
a small packet, folded up in muslin paper. 

"I do not remember what I have folded so carefully 
in this envelope," said she, as she loosened the cover- 
ing, and a beautiful diamond ring, set in pearl, dropped 
into her lap. Clara was lost in astonishment, and ex- 
amined it again and again, almost believing it an opti- 
cal illusion. "How could it get here?" asked she 
aloud; but she was alone, and all the answer she could 
obtain was from her own thoughts. "The pedler? 
Yes, it must have been the pedler 1" She remem- 
bered that he had taken out some of his jewels, and 
placed them on the table, and that when he put them 
back, she had heard some paper rustling in his hands. 
This could not have been the result of accident, it 
must have been a bold design, and Clara blushed as 
if she had been detected jn the act of stealing ; recall- 
ing his long, lingering gaze of admiration, and the 
bright, dark eyes which, in spite of herself, had riveted 
that gaze on her memory. 

She could not return the ring she could not keep 
it; what should she do? She put it on her finger, 
turned it in the sunbeams, and admired its shifting 
lustre, and delicate setting. That it was intended as 
a token of the admiration his looks so evidently ex- 
pressed, she could not doubt ; and, though she knew 
she ought to be indignant at the presumption of 


the act, a throb of gratified vanity fluttered in her 

The sound of approaching footsteps induced her to 
restore the ring to the envelope, and when her mother 
entered, sne was busily searching her work-box for 
her thimble and scissors, and looking in every direc- 
tion to avoid tlie glance that might notice the confu- 
sion of her own. Shame prevented her from mention- 
ing the circumstance to her mother, besides, she did 
not wish to expose the young pedler to her resent- 
ment for his secret homage. 

"I wonder what I have done with my ring!" said 
she, stooping down that her heightened colour might 
seem the result of the attitude. 

" Your ring!" repeated Mrs. Stanley" what ring?" 

" Oh! I did not mean ring," cried Clara hastily ; " I 

meant my thimble. But it is too warm to be confined 

to the needle within doors. I scarcely ever think of 

walking now, Edward is not with me." 

"It is true, dear Clara," answered Mrs. Stanley, 
"you must feel the want of exercise. But you should 
not linger at home, for want of your brother; for you 
must learn to be more independent of him now. The 
paths are all familliar to you, and in our quiet village 
you can never be in danger." 

Clara felt as if she could bless her mother, for thus 
giving her a carlc-Uanche to ramble about by herself, 
and just now she wanted to think her own thoughts, 
and her own thoughts were never half so delightful as 
when she could look up to the blue sky, stretching far 
around her, and the green earth beneath her, the lull- 


ing sound of waters in her ear, and the fragrant 
breathings of the zephyrs on her brow. 

"I will first go to Gertrude," said she to herself, 
"and, if I find her alone, I will tell her about the 
ring, and ask her what I must do." 

Gertrude met her at the entrance of the avenue, 
with one of her most brilliant smiles. 

"You are the very person I most wished to see," 
said she. "I have just received a letter from that 
chivalric cousin of mine, Washington Graham, of 
whom you have more than once heard me speak. He 
is actualy wending his way hither, so much charmed 
is he by the description I have given him of a certain 
rural maiden, whom, perchance, you know. Hear what 
he says himself, Clara." 

Clara blushed, while Gertrude opened the letter, and 
read here and there a paragraph : 

" A cheek to blush, un eye to weep, a heart to feel, 
and a mind to kindle these are charms that exercise 
an almost omnipotent sway over my wayward spirit. 
* * Simplicity and sensibility constitute what is 
most lovely in woman. When these are combined, as 
they seem to be in this charming new sister of yours, 
I feel as if I could make a pilgrimage to her shrine, 
and glory in surrendering a liberty of which so many 
have vainh* attempted to deprive me." 

"Oh, how could you be so unjust to yourself and 
me?" exclaimed Clara, ready to cry with unaffected 
vexation. "You know I am the veriest rustic in the 
world. Even in Edward's company I fear to disgrace 
him, and how must I appear in a stranger's eyes? 

I would not meet him for the universe after such 

Clara hesitated. She did not like to accuse Ger- 
trude of falsehood, especially when too partial kind- 
ness had dictated the act. Gertrude passed her hand 
over Clara's throbbing neck, and looked smilingly into 
her downcast eyes. 

" The sister of Edward Stanley need not blusn in 
the presence of any gentleman of the land, never at 
least for her own sake and do not destroy the fair 
web of romance I ani weaving for you, by false pride 
or false shame. This cousin of mine is doomed to bo 
the hero of your destiny, graced as he is with every 
quality to win and wear a maiden's heart. Since I 
have robbed you of a brother, dear Clara, it is no more 
than fair that I should give you a lover in return." 

In vain Clara protested and declared she never 
thought of a lover, never wished for one, and entreated 
her never to mention the subject; she could never 
more hear the name of Washington Graham, with- 
out feeling her cheeks dyed with conscious blushes. 

"I dare not speak of the ring," thought she, "to 
Gertrude now. If she has such magnificent views for 
me, she will be doubtless displeased at the presump- 
tion of the gift." 

With her thoughts strangely confused between the 
blending images of Washington Graham and the ped- 
ler, she turned towards the woodland, and continued 
her walk alone. There was one favourite spot 
where the turf seemed greener, the sky bluer, and the 
trees bent their branches more lovingly towards those 


who sought the shadow of their leaves than any other, 
and thither Clara directed her steps. She had con- 
cealed the ring in her bosom, resolving to inquire at 
the earliest opportunity, the route the pedler had 
taken ; but the opportunity was much nearer than she 
imagined, fer when she reached her favourite resting- 
place, there the identical young gentleman was reclin- 
ing, leaning on his red morocco trunk, his hat lying 
on the grass, and a poetical-looking book in his 

Clara started back in alarm and shame, at thus sud- 
denly finding herself alone with one whose presump- 
tion the restraining presence of her mother had failed 
to check. The young man sprang upon his feet, but 
his manner, instead of being bold and careless, was 
modest and respectful. 

"Pardon me," said he, "if I have intruded upon a 
spot, which, perhaps, is by right appropriated to your- 
self. If so, forgive the sympathy which drew me 

Clara's alarm subsided at the deference of his ad- 
dress, but her embarrassment remained. 

"I have no right here, sir," replied she, "beyond 
your own. But since I meet you so unexpectedly, I 
-would wish " Here Clara stammered; for in restor- 
ing the ring, she knew not how to avoid wounding 
his feelings, without compromising her own dignity. 
She drew forth the paper, which she had concealed in 
the foldings of her dress, and handing it toward him, 
with a look which she intended to be cold and severe, 
added, "this ring which I found on my table, I be 


lieve must be your property. I was wishing for an 
opportunity to return it, as it appears to be of value " 

"Do you then scorn my offering?" said he, drawing 
back with an air of deep mortification; "was I too pre- 
sumptuous, in daring to leave this little token of the 
admiration with which you had inspired me? I know 
my situation is lowly, and those who look upon wealth 
and station as what constitute the man, may regard me 
with contempt; but there is something in your coun- 
tenance that encouraged me to think you were above 
the false prejudices of the world. No! madam, I can- 
not take back the gift, worthless henceforth, if refused 
by you. It shall never encircle another's finger; but 
lie in the grass beneath our feet, to mingle its pearls 
with the dews of night." 

Poor Clara! assailed by flattery, breathed in poeti- 
cal high-flown language such as she had read in 
books, but never expected to hear addressed to her- 
self delighted, in the midst of her confusion, at meet- 
ing with so romantic an incident in her hitherto un- 
eventful life she could not repulse with harshness 
her humble admirer. 

"It is not from scorn that I refused your gift," 
answered she; "but you must be conscious of the ex- 
treme impropriety of my permitting such freedom in 
a stranger. Your conduct is very strange, sir very 

" Is it strange," said Rover, without seeming dis- 
concerted by her rebuke, " to admire what is beauti- 
ful, or unauthorized to wish it our own? In my 
somewhat idle and wandering life, I have had leisure 


to cultivate the taste and imagination nature has given 
me, and I think I can say, mine is no vulgar stamp. 
Books are my constant companions, poetry my pas- 
sion, and nature my study and delight. I am sure I 
speak what is true, and your own heart can bear wit- 
ness to it there is something congenial to your own 
character in mine. Two kindred souls can read each 
other at a glance, while discordant spirits may remain 
strangers for years." 

He accompanied these words by a glance such as 
Clara never met before,- and it made her heart throb, 
and her cheek kindle. There was a glow, too, man- 
tling his own dark cheek, an eloquent commentary on 
the warmth of his language. She cast down her eyes, 
and they rested on the hateful trunk the badge of 
the pedler and her mind all at once took in the ridi- 
culous position in which she was placed. A pedler 
for her lover 1 A stranger whom she had never seen 
but once before; and then her mother, gentle as she was, 
had shut the door in his face, incensed at his familiarity. 
Then the vision of the proud Washington Graham, 
such as Gertrude had depicted, came in dazzling con- 
trast, to increase her mortification. These thoughts, 
so chilling to romance, gave her sufficient composure 
to speak, and resolution enough to speak as she 

"I cannot forgive myself for continuing this con- 
versation so long. I feel more and more sensible of 
its impropriety. Since you leave me no other alter- 
native, you force me to lay your treasure where the 
dews of ni'jrht will indeed deface its lustre." 


She said this in answer to a deprecating motion of 
his hand, as she again extended the ring, and dropping 
it on the grass, she turned to depart, glorying in tha 
conquest she had made over the weakness and vanity 
which tempted her to linger and accept an incense as 
novel as it was pleasing. Rover crushed the ring 
under his feet, and his eye flashed scornfully. 

" I see I am mistaken. Every woman is a slave to 
opinion, and fears to follow the dictates of her own 
heart. A fine coat and a fine equipage are the only 
passports to her favour, and -provided the world ap- 
prove her choice, it matters not whether she is tortured 
by unkindness, or frozen by indifference." 

Clara stopped, for her spirits were roused, and she 
forgot her timidity, that she might vindicate herself 
from such an assertion. 

" Whatever claims you may offer as an individual," 
said she, " to confidence and respect, you must be con- 
scious you have chosen a profession that precludes 
you, by its itinerant habits, from the society in which 
we mingle. I am indeed astonished that you are 
willing to pursue it, ignoble as it is deemed." 

"If I should tell you the history of my life," he 
answered, more calmly, "you would find, perhaps, 
that I had been a rebellious youth, too proud to 
labour, too independent to solicit favour, who wanted 
to see a little of the world, and thought it just as 
honest and respectable to walk through it with a 
pedler's trunk and a clear conscience as to wear a 
lawyer's gown or carry a doctor's lance. But," added 
he, dismissing his sarcastic tone for one of deep feel- 


ing, " if you dislike me because the world dubs me 
pedler, I will be any thing and every thing you please, 
if I may be animated with the hope of one day win- 
ning your affections. Yet the love that is capable of 
defying any reproach, and encountering any obstacle, 
that can trample pride and vanity, and the world it- 
self, under its feet, is the only love that can satisfy 
the boundless wishes of my heart. If I cannot meet 
with this, I will continue a wanderer through life, 
dealing in tinsel and gewgaws, rejoicing the while in 
my own independence." 

It was impossible for the imaginative and inex- 
perienced Clara, to listen to these high- wrought sen- 
timents, so exactly corresponding to her own, without 
being moved. She could not disdain one who laughed 
to scorn the distinctions of society, and who, proud 
of his inborn wealth, asserted his claims to regard as 
one of nature's aristocrats. In vain she sought to 
leave him, till she had admitted the possibility that 
he might see her again, and had promised, that the 
dread of meeting him should not banish her entirely 
from her wonted walks. 

When alone once more, she wept at her impru- 
dence, and would have given worlds to live over again 
the last hour, that she might recall the faint encoura-^- 
ment she had given. She knew she was wrong in 
concealing the circumstance from her mother and 
brother; but she tried to persuade herself that he 
would soon leave the neighbourhood, and forget his 
foolish admiration of herself, so there could be no 
necessity of revealing what would only expose him to 


their resentment. She avoided, after this, the place 
where she had met him ; but there were other shaded 
walks, and her mother told her that her health would 
suffer for want of exercise. It would be impossible 
to live within doors all the time in warm summer 
weather, and it is not strange that she again encoun- 
tered the persevering pedler, or that the dread and 
the sbame that at first oppressed her, gradually melted 
"iwaj in the fascination of their romantic and untold 
meetings. Each time she said to herself "It shall 
be the last;" but faint and wavering are the resolu- 
tions of youth, opposed to the growing influence of 
the strongest passion of the heart. He no longer 
carried the odious red trunk, and she tried to forget 
that she had ever seen it. When with him, it was an 
easy task, listening to such language, and looked upon 
by such eyes, soft, yet bright, so luminously dark I 
Even the gipsy hue of his complexion, gave him a 
wild charm in her eyes, harmonizing, as it did, with 
his wandering habits and eccentric character. 

As Clara was walking, lost in these dangerous 
reveries, hesitating whether she should proceed where 
she was almost sure of meeting one who seemed like 
an invisible being to watch her footsteps, and know 
whither they were bound, or to remain nearer the 
guardian boundary of home, she was startled by the 
sound of horses' feet behind her, and it forcibly re- 
minded her of her brother's first meeting with Mrs. 
Clifton, for it was precisely the same path, and like- 
wise near the sunset hour of day. She turned her 
head involuntarily, as the sound came near, and drew 


back as far as the width of the path would allow, to 
permit the stranger and his attendant to pass by. 
She did this with a quickened pulse, for something 
told her it must be Washington Graham. At any 
rate, he was no vulgar rider for he was mounted on 
a coal-black horse, splendidly caparisoned, and 
attended by a negro, who rode one of the same raven 
colour, whose blackness was contrasted by a scarlet 
saddle-cloth, that almost swept the ground. Clara 
was so dazzled by the magnificence of their appear- 
ance, and so confused by the thought, that it was the 
hero appropriated to herself, by the splendid imagi- 
nation of Gertrude, she could not clearly discern the 
gentleman's features, though he raised his hat as ho 
passed, with a graceful bow, and slackened his pace, 
till he disappeared in the direction of the white house 
on the hill. 

" What a singular coincidence !" said Clara to her- 
self. "Just on this spot did Edward first behold Mrs. 
Clifton, on horseback, too, and that glance decided his 
destiny !" The ardent glance of Rover flashed through 
her memory, and, conscious of the struggle of vanity 
and feeling in the heart, she believed herself unworthy 
of the homage it expressed. 

" What can he ever be to me, this proud, southern 
stranger," she added, " who cornes among us like an 
eastern nabob? and yet I shall be to him an object 
of ridicule and disgust, after Gertrude's glowing de- 
scription. Had he never heard my name, 1 might 
escape his notice, but now it is impossible." 

While her mind was wrought up to a state of 


feverish excitement by the anticipated meeting with 
the dreaded stranger, her eyes were fixed on the win- 
dows of her brother's dwelling, illuminated as they 
now were, by the setting sunbeams, and she could see 
the dark outlines of the two riders defined upon them; 
then she knew that her conjecture was right. Most 
willingly would she have sought some covert in the 
woods, and fed on berries and herbs for weeks to 
some, to avoid the mortification she believed was in 
store for her; but she fortunately remembered she 
had a mother, who was probably even now waiting 
her return with anxiety, for the soft gray of twilight 
was beginning to steal over sunset's golden tints. 

The next day she received a summons from Ger- 
trude, telling her there was to be a general gathering 
of friends to welcome the arrival of her cousin, who 
was all impatience to behold the fair rustic whose 
image was already drawn on his fancy in such attract- 
ive colours. This message renewed the trepidation 
of Clara to such a degree, that she was tempted to 
plead a nervous headache, as an excuse from attend- 
ance. One moment she was ready to sink at the 
thought of her being contemned and despised the 
next the possibility that Washington Graham, lordly 
as he seemed, might cast a favouring glance upon her, 
unpretending as she was, filled her with dread. If so, 
what would become of poor Rover? And what 
would Gertrude think if she turned coldly away from 
the attentions of her gifted cousin? When arraying 
herself for the occasion, she tried to school herself 
into perfect indifference with regard to her appear- 


ance ; but in vain. She repeated to herself a hundred 
times, it was no matter how she looked. She could 
not obtain the stranger's admiration, if she would 
she would not, if she could still she lingered before 
her mirror, thinking it had never reflected a less 
pleasing image. She was entirely divested of orna- 
ments, for she had not forgotten the bitter lesson 
taught by the tinsel chain ; but the " ornament of a 
meek and quiet spirit," which seeks no praise or 
favour, for any outward gifts, Clara had not yet 
gained. The same vanity that led her to barter her 
self-approbation for a paltry bauble, now caused her 
to tremble, in anticipation of a stranger's scrutiny. 
She thought it humility, and would have wept at the 
suggestion, that one trace of the foible that had lately 
cost her so dear was still linge/ing in her heart. The 
green branches were lopped off, but the roots still 
clung to the parent, and when circumstances favoured 
their growth, were ready to shoot forth with new 

When Clara found herself in the illuminated draw- 
ing-room, she saw nothing, for a few moments, but 
bright spectres floating before her eyes, and heard 
nothing but a ringing sound in her ears loud as the 
echoes of a tolling bell. She had a kind of conscious- 
ness that she was going through the ceremony of in- 
troduction to a gentleman ; but how he looked and 
what he said, she knew not. He might have been tho 
veiled prophet Mohanna, for aught she knew of his 
face, for she never lifted her eyes from the carpet, but 
stood clinging to her brother's arm : her cheeks burn- 


ing with blushes, indeed whole face and even her 
neck was covered with the same crimson hue. Clara 
knew that the deep suffusion she was undergoing was 
any thing but becoming, and this conviction only 
idded to the intensity of the glow. The idea that she 
was actually in the presence of the formidable 
Washington Graham, the prophesied hero of her- 
dsstiny, was too overwhelming. He addressed her in 
the common language of courtesy, but she could only 
answer in monosyllables, and whispering to her 
brother to lead her to a window, he drew her away, 
pitying her confusion, yet vexed at her unwonted 
awkwardness and taciturnity. 

"Leave me here," said she to Gertrude, who fol- 
lowed her to her retreat, " there are so many people 
in the centre of the room, that I cannot breathe. I 
will not disgrace you here." 

" I will leave you, dear Clara, since you desire it," 
answered she, with a calm sweetness of manner that 
operated like a charm in soothing Clara's preposterous 
agitation, "and only remember that while you are 
just to yourself, you can never disgrace us. But for 
my sake, for Edward's sake, try to recover your self- 
possession, and give my kinsman the welcome I have 
dared to promise him from the sister of my hus- 

Clara felt the gentle rebuke conveyed in these words, 
as she followed with her eyes Gertrude's retreating 
figure, admiring that surpassing gracefulness which 
distinguished her above all other women. She could 
not but admire still more the kindness and forbear- 


ance she manifested towards one go untutored and 
wayward as herself. The soft evening air that flowed 
ri through the open window, cooled her fevered 
cheeks, while the circumstance of her being permitted 
to remain quiet much longer than she anticipated, 
composed, while it mortified her. She dreaded obser- 
vation she equally dreaded neglect; and when she 
saw Washington Graham conversing with some ladies 
on the opposite side of the room, without making any 
effort to disturb her solitude, and by their pleased and 
attentive countenances knew that he was saying what 
seemed very agreeable and entertaining, she felt 

" It were better to stand the lightning's shock, 
Than moulder piecemeal on the rock." 

She had but a partial view of his face, as it was 
somewhat turned from her, but his figure struck her 
as being remarkably graceful and gentleman-like. In 
a little while he changed his position, and her heart 
palpitated anew, for she thought he was approaching 
her; but no! he was drawing near his cousin, who, 
having been compelled to take her seat at the harp, 
(an instrument which still possessed all the charm of 
novelty with her guests,) was beckoning him to her 
side. Clara, like her brother, was passionately fond 
of music, and Gertrude's always thrilled to her very 
soul. But now a manly voice of exquisite melody 
mingled its deep notes with hers, and both blending 
with the full, breeze-like strains of the harp, " rose 
like a stream of rich distilled perfume." Edward was 
leaning over the, instrumert in the same attitude she 



remembered to have seen him at Mrs. Clifton's never- 
to-be-forgotten party, but then his face was pale and 
his countenance dark ; now it was lighted up with an 
expression of fervour and happiness as intense as the 
human features are capable of wearing, and Gertrude's 
eves, floating in liquid radiance, were occasionally 
lifted to his, beaming with the love she no longer 
sought to bury in the foldings of her own heart. 

"Surely," thought Clara, "I have never loved Ed- 
ward, or my nature is too cold to love as she does, and 
yet my very existence seemed bound up in his. Can 
there be a love stronger than that which binds together 
an only brother and sister, when that brother, too, ex- 
ercises a father's tender guardianship, in place of him 
who is laid low with the dead ?" 

As she asked herself this question, the image of 
Rover seemed to glide before her, and memory whis- 
pered, "The glance of Rover, when it bends on me, 
expresses the same depth and fire, and can it be that 
he loves me more than Edward? And will he ever 
fill, and more than fill a brother's place within my 
heart? Dare I ever avow the interest he has inspired, 
to those who have woven my destiny with that of this 
dazzling stranger?" 

At this moment the face of Washington was turned 
towards her, and though her vision was somewhat 
obscured by the tears that involuntarily suffused her 
eyes, she could observe its lineaments, and she thought 
she could trace in every feature the pride of wealth 
and conscious superiority. His fine figure was set off 
by a dress of aristocratic elegance; his hair was 


arranged in earless but graceful waves around his 
temples, revealing a forehead, whose unsunned white- 
ness plainly indicated that he at least was exempt 
from the primeval curse of earning his bread by the 
sweat of his brow. The southern sun had given to 
his cheeks a manlier glow, so that the idea of effemi- 
nacy could never be associated with Washington 
Graham, who looked exactly what he was, a gentle- 
man by nature, by birth, by wealth, and by educa- 
tion. The music had so far subdued Clara, and 
carried her out of herself, that when Gertrude again 
approached her, accompanied by her cousin, she re- 
ceived them with less trepidation, and she ventured 
to listen and speak, though still with her eyes bowed 
down in "penetrative shame." Had Clara been con- 
scious of her own attractions, she would not have suf- 
fered so much from self-distrust. She could not know 
them, for when she saw herself reflected in the look- 
ing-glass, in the act of dressing, her features were at 
rest, and there was nothing sufficiently striking in 
their outline, or dazzling in their hue, to give her an 
exalted image of her own loveliness. She never saw 
the roses flitting over her cheeks, coming and going, 
and coming again, heralds of the heart's spring-time, 
or the warm and shifting lustre of her eye, when 
enthusiasm or sensibility stirred its peaceful depths. 
What if she had made a conquest of a poor wandering 
pedler? This magnificent Washington Graham was a 
very different kind of person, and the idea that he 
would look upon her with admiration or love, was 
too absurd to be admitted, and it would certainly ex- 


pose her to the ridicule of all her acquaintances, if it 
were but known that it had ever entered into her 
mind. But when she was once more alone in her 
room, and reflected on the events of the evening, 
though filled with mortification at her own want of 
self-control, she rejoiced she had stood the ordeal 
without any open violation of decorum, and without 
incurring any visible marks of contempt. The 
thought that she had been seen, and that the illusion 
created by Gertrude was consequently dispelled, was 
very comforting to her. Another thought gave her a 
feeling of delight and self-approbation why, she could 
not define Rover lost nothing in her estimation in 
comparison with the elegant southerner. She would 
rather live over again the moments passed with him 
in the midst of nature's loveliness, stolen and hurried 
as they were, and always accompanied with the dread 
of detection and the consciousness of acting a clandes- 
tine part, than spend a thousand such evenings as 
this so cold, constrained and formal. Clara was a 
mystery to herself foolish girl that she was, to find a 
happiness in contemplations which should fill her with 
sorrow and self-reproach! The next day, Gertrude 
came to her with a congratulating smile. 

"I feared last night, dear Clara," said she, "when 
you acted the part of the blushing automaton, that 
my character as prophetess was more than endangered, 
that it was lost. But cousin Washington declares 
himself enchanted with that very bashfulness and 
simplicity that deprived you of your native grace. 
He is so sick of the artificial glare of fashionable 


society, so weary of glitter and display, his eye reposes 
with delight, as he expresses it, on the soft green of 
your character." 

"Stop," cried Clara, "you do but mock me. His 
practised tongue may well utter the language of flat- 
tery, but do not, dearest Gertrude, solicit his admira- 
tion for me. To gratify your affection he may profess 
an interest I know he can never feel. You know not 
how wounding is the thought that I should be forced, 
as it were, upon the particular notice of a gentleman 
like him 1" 

" Believe me, Clara," answered Gertrude, earnestly, 
" I will do nothing to wound your delicacy or pride. 
I will say nothing more at present, leaving it for time 
to unfold events, which I trust will justify all I have 
ventured to express ; one thing only let me ask, what 
think you of my vaunted cousin ?" 

"I have no distinct impression left on my mind," 
answered Clara, " so deep was the embarrassment that 
oppressed me. He appeared to me like something 
bright, lofty, and cold." 

"Oh," said Gertrude, "you do not know him yet. 
Beneath that somewhat cold exterior, the result of a 
premature experience of the world's heartlessness v 
there is a depth of feeling known only to those who 
see him free from the restraints of society. Hand- 
some, intellectual and rich romantic, too, in the 
best sense in which that oft perverted word is used, 
I should not think it possible that Washington 
Graham could fail to win a young and disengaged 
heart like yours." 


The soft blush that had hitherto coloured the cheek 
of Clara, was pale to the crimson that now dyed its 

" He leaves us to-morrow for a few days," continued 
Gertrude, " and when he returns, I hope to see all my 
fondest wishes realized." 

Clara breathed as if recovering from a fit of the 
nightmare. She pleaded every excuse to be permitted 
to remain at home that evening. She had a nervous 
headache, she was unfit to appear in company, she did 
not like to leave her mother alone ; in short, she gave 
twenty reasons, any one of which was sufficient in 
itself to answer her purpose. 

" My head really does ache," said Clara, after Ger- 
trude's departure, " and I think a walk in the fresh 
air will revive me ; though unfit for company, I am, 
not ashamed of being seen by the cattle and the birds." 
How she dispot/ed of her objections to leave her mother 
alone, remained a mystery even to herself. She had 
never met Eovcr in the path in which she now walked, 
and he could not know the direction she had taken ; 
yet she started when the wind moved the branches or 
the birds flew rustling through the leaves, as if these 
accustomed sounds were the harbingers of coming 
footsteps. She was unwilling to acknowledge to her- 
self the disappointment that weighed upon her spirits; 
but not finding in her walk the exhilarating influence 
she anticipated, she turned her face homeward. 

" He has probably neard of the arrival of Wash- 
ington Graham," thought Clara, "and believes me 
paying homage to his wealth and pretensions. He 


does me injustice, but it is no matter. Better, Car 
better that we should never meet again for he can 
never be any thing to me. Edward would not disdain 
his poverty, for he was himself once poor. But a 
pedler ! Mrs. Clifton would not have married Edward 
if he had been an itinerant pedler." 

Just as Clara had finished these reflections, which 
breathed more of pique than she was aware of, she 
heard a sudden crashing among the boughs, and the 
pedler himself bounded into the path, his dark com- 
plexion glowing from the rapidity of his motions, 
and his eye sparkling with more than its wonted 

" I feared that I might be forgotten," said he ; " but 
I see that I have wronged you yet if village rumour 
has been true, it is a hopeless devotion, an act of still 
greater presumption. It says that a stranger of wealth 
and distinction, conspicuous for the display and pride 
of his appearance, is come hither for the sole purpose 
of addressing and wedding Clara Stanley. It says, 
too, that he will not address her in vain." 

The characteristic openness and boldness of this 
address left Clara no room for evasion. She did not 
wish to acknowledge its truth she would not give 
utterance to a falsehood. Unpractised in the arts 
which could teach her the way of extrication, she 
stood silent and embarrassed, wishing the good people 
of the village would find something else to talk about 
besides the Stanleys, whose concerns seemed to in- 
terest them so much. 

"You are silent, Clara," cried he, in an altered 


tone; "you do not deny it, and heaven forbid you 
should, if for once village gossip has spoken the truth. 
I have no right to reproach you you have professed 
nothing promised nothing and yet I feel as if I 
were waking from the sweetest and brightest dream 
that ever gladdened the heart of man the dream of 
imagined perfection." 

Clara's heart swelled under the consciousness of 
injustice, and she would have made an indignant 
reply, but the deep dejection of his countenance and 
air inspired her with pity. 

"If I deserved upbraiding from you," said she, "I 
should not at this moment be dreading the reproaches 
of all whom I love. "Whatever may be said of this 
stranger's visit, his coming can never influence my 
feelings towards you." 

The last words were uttered in a tremulous voice. 
She began to feel as if she had forsaken the "guide 
of her youth," and rashly given her happiness into a 
stranger's keeping. In the true spirit of a heroine, 
though true only to the impulse of nature, she 
covered her face with her hands, and, sittting down at 
the foot of the tree beneath which they were standing, 
tried to think herself miserable ; but, strange as it may 
seem, a thrill of delight still penetrated her heart, 
from the conviction that she was beloved. Nothing 
was more natural, from the lowly position she had 
assumed, for Kover to kneel at her side ; and he did 
kneel in exactly the same graceful attitude in which 
she first beheld him, when he bent to display his jewels 
to her admiring gaze ; but Clara had forgotten all that, 


and she soon forgot every thing else but the words he 
breathed into her ear. and the looks that bore witness 
to their sincerity. 

The next morning, as she was tying up some wan- 
dering vines, that answered all the purposes of 
jalousies, to the window, she heard the tramping of 
horses' feet, and Washington Graham, on his raven 
black horse, accompanied by his black attendant, with 
the red saddle cloth sweeping so magnificently on 
either side, was seen passing by. He lifted his hat, 
and bowed till his hair almost touched his horse's 
flowing rnane, then rode rapidly by. Clara thought 
of the Black Knight in Ivanhoe ; of Ivanhoe himself, 
and almost expected to see the days of tournaments 
and queens of love and beauty revived. 

"He is certainly very, very graceful," said she, 
shading her eyes to catch the last glimpse of his 
knight-like figure, yet vexed at being forced to bring 
him in lordly contrast to the contemned Hover, 
assured that in every thing but outward show, Rover 
transcended the southern nabob. " But I dare say ha 
is very proud, and the maiden that he will wed must 
also be proud and rich, as she will be beautiful and 
accomplished." And with a half-suppressed sigh at 
the inequalities of fortune's gifts, she resumed her oc- 
cupation, which naturally led her thoughts back to 
rural life and cottage scenes, and it was not long 
before she was indulging most heroic scorn for every 
joy dependent on wealth or fortune. 

Clara sat one evening alone with her mother, her 
head bent over her work. Whenever she was thua 


situated, her secret weighed heavily on her heart, and 
the dread of detection was never absent from her 
mind. If Mrs. Stanley addressed her suddenly, she 
would start and turn pale if she looked upon her 
earnestly, she would tremble and blush, and some- 
times she would talk at random, and commit a thou- 
sand inconsistencies. She rejoiced at the entrance of 
a neighbour, for it saved her the trouble of talking, 
and left her to the indulgence of her o\vn thoughts. 
Mrs. Morton, the lady who now made her appearance, 
was only desirous of listeners, for she came laden with 
news she was eager to impart before she could be 
forestalled in the office. 

" This is a very unpleasant affair about that young 
pedler," said Mrs. Morton ; " have you heard of it ?" 

Clara's ears tingled at these words, and she held her 
breath to listen. Mrs. Stanley expressed her igno- 
rance, and Mrs. Morton proceeded. 

" You recollect that a shocking murder and rob- 
bery were perpetrated not very long since in an ad- 
joining town, and that great rewards were offered for 
the apprehension of the murderer. It seems they 
have discovered a gang of pedlers, who are going 
about murdering and plundering in every direction. 
Some one who knew the gentleman who has been 
lately murdered, says he can swear to one of the 
watches among the jewels of the young pedler who 
has been sauntering about here. He says he has seen 
it in the gentleman's possession, and has no doubt he 
is both a robber and a murderer. They have taken 
up the young man upon suspicion, and he is now 


confined in jail. The probability is he will be 

" It is indeed shocking to hear of such crimes," re- 
plied Mrs. Stanley, "when the actors, too, are brought 
so near our own homes. I thought there was some- 
thing very suspicious about that young man, and I 
feared he might be troublesome to us." 

She loooked at Clara as she spoke, but she seemed 
to take no interest in the conversation, remaining per- 
fectly still, with her head bowed, so that the lamp 
shone brightly on the ringlets that shaded her face, 
leaving her features in a still deeper shade. 

While Mrs. Morton went on with earnestness and 
volubility, describing all she knew of the event in 
exaggerated colours, Clara rose softly and left ttu 
room. She stepped cautiously through the passage, 
and down the steps, opened the gate with a noiseless 
touch, and then ran like lightning through the street. 
It was a moonlight night, and she could see her own 
shadow flitting on every wall, lengthening into spectral 
dimensions, as she flew on, as if the avenger of blood 
was behind. She slackened not her pace, even while 
ascending the hill on which her brother's house was 
situated, nor paused till she reached the avenue of 
trees that stood in long stately lines in front of the 
mansion. For a moment she stopped, and looked back 
at the light that glimmered from her mother's window, 
like a solitary star, luring the wanderer home then 
renewing her flight, she found herself all at once in 
the presence of Gertrude, who was sitting alone in her 
chamber, little dreaming of so strange an interrup- 


tion. She rose in unspeakable alarm at Clara's en- 
trance, whose appearance fully justified the feeling 
Her face was of ashy paleness, her lips parted and 
quivering, and her long hair hung unbound over her 
shoulders in damp clinging masses. 

"Clara, dear Clara," exclaimed Gertrude, "tell me 
what has happened I You know nothing of Edward ? 

"Is Edward gone! Thank heaven!" uttered Clara, 
and sinking into a chair, she burst into tears. Ger- 
trude threw her arms around her, and held her sob- 
bing head against her bosom, till, like a wearied child, 
she gradually ceased her tears. The hot pressure on 
her brain seemed loosened, but there was anguish in 
her heart. There was but one sound in her ears - 
"He will in all probability be hung!" There was 
but one image before her eyes Rover, a dying victim 
to a false accusation. She believed him as guiltless 
of crime as her own brother was, and the one strong 
purpose of her soul was to liberate him, at the hazard 
of her own liberty, and life itself, if it were necessary. 
She had read of Helen Mar, who followed into capti- 
vity the Scottish chieftain ; of the devoted Lavalette, 
who effected the escape of her husband from the walla 
of a prison by clothing him in her own garments, and 
assuming his bondage instead. Impulse and action 
were almost simultaneous with Clara. She stopped 
not to think of the censure of the world, the reproaches 
of her friends. Eover in prison exposed to an igno- 
minious death, alone filled her mind. The circum- 
stances of Edward's absence, who had been called 


away upon some unexpected business, was favour- 
able to her design, for she was sure of the co-opera- 
tion of Gertrude. 

" Dear Gertrude," said she, " I cannot tell you the 
cause of my grief, but. if you love me, do not refuse 
what I am going to ask of you." 

" I do love you, Clara, for more than your own 
sake, and mysterious as you are to-night, I am ready 
to promise that whatever you ask shall be granted, 
assured that it will be nothing but what justice may 
require and affection bestow." 

"Thanks, a thousand thanks," cried Clara. "Then, 
quick, dear Gertrude, lend me the cloak, hood, and 
Mob Cap, which you wore when Edward first met 
you, and say not a word of what you have done to a 
human being. Oh! Gertrude, you look as if you 
were going to deny me 1" and Clara clasped her hands 
supplicatingly together, as if her life depended on the 

" I would do any thing but suffer you to expose 
yourself to danger," said Gertrude, a bright ray flit- 
ting over her face at meeting a spirit so congenial to 
her own. " Any thing that will not serve as a barrier 
to separate you hereafter from Washington Graham." 

"Talk not of "Washington Graham," cried Clara, 
impatiently; " I think not of him, I care not for him 
nor is there danger to me. Hasten, I will do nothing 
but what your own generous, uncalculating heart 
would prompt me to do." 

Gertrude withdrew a moment, and returned with 
her masquerade dress, which she kept as a precious 


memento of her life's most romantic scenes. "My 
Clara," said she as she entered, " the sight of these 
makes me almost wish I had again the task of winning 
the heart which I first learned to prize beneath their 
muffling shades. Never, never shall I forget the 
hour when Edward breathed into Aunt Bridget's ear 
the story of his love for the high and lofty "Widow- 

" Tell me," cried Clara, as she hastily wrapped her 
youthful person in the ancient cloak, "if Edward had 
been in danger before you married him, what would 
you have done to save him ?" 

"What would I have done!" repeated Gertrude, 
passionately, " I would have died to save him. Had 
I ten thousand lives, I would peril them all for him 
at this moment, so entirely, so devotedly do I love 

Clara could have worshipped her for this burst of 
enthusiasm, sanctioning as it did her own purposed 
devotion, and with firmer hand she tied the mob cap 
under her chin, put on the green spectacles, and drew 
the hood over her head. Notwithstanding Clara's 
distress, Gertrude could not forbear smiling at her 
antiquated little figure, wondering whether she had 
ever looked as obselete herself. "Now speed thee, 
dear Clara, and heaven bless thy purpose, whatever it 
may be," cried she, leading her down the steps of the 

Clara was obliged to gather her cloak round her, 
as it trailed on the ground, and impeded her walking. 
Then she recollected, that if so aged a person as she 


appeared to be, were seen running, it would excite 
suspicion, and she tried to fashion her movements to 
the character she had assumed. She met several boys, 
who terrified her by hallooing in her ear, "Good- 
night, grandmother what will you take for your 
spectacles?" Without turning her head, she walked 
on with quicker steps till she arrived at the prison. 
She had been there before to visit a poor black woman, 
who was very sick, and who had been accused of an 
attempt to poison a white family. She died in prison, 
and her innocence was proved too late. She knew 
the jailer, too, a simple, kind-hearted man; and when 
in faltering accents, which might well pass for the 
trembling utterance of age, she requested admittance 
to the pedler, (that hateful name almost choked Clara, 
for she had never breathed it aloud since she had first 
known Rover,) the good jailer immediately granted 
her admission. Rover was seated in a remote corner 
of the gloomy apartment, his head resting on his hand, 
the dim light -scarcely defining the dark outlines of 
his figure. He raised his dark eyes upon her entrance, 
and they flashed with lamp-like brilliancy through 
the shades that surrounded him. He was in danger 
and disgrace, and Clara felt that if she had resolved 
to act a heroic part, she would do it in the true spirit 
of a heroine. She drew near him without speaking, 
while he, with the courtesy which adorns a prison as 
much as a drawing-room, rose and offered her his scat, 
wondering what good old lady was so kind as to visit 
him in this extremity. Clara sunk into the chair, and 
gathering courage now the critical moment had arrived 


untied the strings of her cloak and cap, and emerged 
from the disguise like the evening star from behind a 
gray cloud. 

"Clara Stanley, by all that is lovely!" exclaimed 
he ; and the graceful pedler knelt at her feet. A 
bright triumphant smile played about his lips. "Wel- 
come imprisonment, danger, and death itself, if they 
bring with them consolations like this. You believe 
me innocent, then," added he, " or deeming me guilty, 
have come to pity and " 

"To save!" interrupted Clara, "to save, believing 
you innocent. In this apparel you can pass out un- 
discovered, and fly the wretches who seek your life. 
As for me, there is no danger. They -will release me 
as soon as they learn that I am here." 

" What I leave you here alone in this dismal place, 
the long dark night, exposed to present suffering and 
future calumny, that I may elude dangers, which after 
all, are imaginary, for my life is in no peril ! I can 
produce such proofs of my innocence as will cover 
my accusers with shame. No! no! I cannot leave 
this cell. It is transformed into the garden of Eden 
since I have here learned what I have hitherto dared 
to doubt, the truth, the tenderness, th$ heroism of 
woman's love." 

"And shall I have braved every thing in vain?" 
cried Clara, imploringly. "Your innocence will serve 
you nothing when law in its strength is once aimed 
against you. Even in this very cell I saw a poor 
creature breathe her last, accused, though guiltless, con- 
demned and broken-hearted. And I shall be as safe 


here as in my own chamber. The jailer knows me 
my mother has been kind to his children, and ho will 
be kind to me; I shall immediately be released. 
What! still unyielding? Have you upbraided me 
for coldness and pride, and fear of the world's cen- 
sure? but who now is cold and proud, and unwilling 
to incur a debt of gratitude?" 

Rover fixed his steadfast gaze on Clara's now glow- 
ing countenance. She seemed transformed. Her eyes, 
that had always bowed abashed beneath the beams of 
his, were riveted intently on his face and the hand 
which had never willingly been abandoned to his hold, 
now clasped his, in the energy of her address. 

" Clara," said he, and his voice trembled with deep 
emotion, " this is no time for deception on one con- 
dition only will I fly. Should my fame be cleared, 
and my character proved upright and pure, will you 
allow me to declare my love before the world, and 
consent to unite your fate to mine, however poor and 
lowly I may be?" 

" I will consent to any thing that obtains a mother's 
sanction," replied Clara, in low but firm accents; then 
snatching up the cloak, and throwing it over his 
shoulders, she entreated him to hasten, as footsteps 
were heard echoing through the passage. There was 
no time to be lost, and he hastily gathered the folds 
of his cloak around him ; but when he bent his head 
for the mob cap and spectacles, unconquerable mirth 
struggled with the tumultuous feeling excited in his 
bosom. Even Clara, though wrought upon by a 
thousand fears, could not forbear laughing at the 


ludicrous effect of the headdress; then she wept to 
think she could have laughed at such a moment. She 
was sure that Madame Lavallette did not laugh when 
she liberated her husband from the gloomy Concierge, 
and he must have looked equally grotesque in her 
French mantle and veil. The cold sound of the turn- 
ing key banished every thought but her separation 
from Rover. "And now," whispered she, "Kover, 
farewell take the winga of the morning, that all pur- 
suit may be vain." 

The gray folds of the cloak were for one moment 
wrapped closely around her, and a soft deep voice 
murmured in her ear, "farewell, generous, noble, 
and devoted Clara. Your holy confidence shall never 
be betrayed. You shall yet find me all your trusting 
heart believed." 

The door slowly creaked open. Clara sprang into 
the darkest corner of the cell, while the prisoner 
passed out to the jailer, who remained on the outer 
side. She trembled, for she distinctly heard the latter 
mutter, as he fumbled about the keyhole, "the old 
woman might have had the manners to speak to a 
body. She strided by me as fierce as a dragoon. I 
wonder what she wanted of the pedler. I'll go in 
and see if all is safe." 

He reopened the door, looked round the cell, and 
was about to close it, when returning and shading his 
eyes with his hand, " I thought I saw something 
white in this corner. As sure as I am alive it 
is a woman ! Bless my stars, if it is not Miss Clara 
Stanley 1" 


Clara's first impulse was to rush by him and escape 
through the open door ; her next was to remain and 
prevent him from pursuing Rover. 

" Why, where is the pedler ?" cried he, looking from 
side to side in amazement and dismay. "Ah, ha I I 
know what made the old woman walk so fast. But 
I'll catch him yet." 

"No, no I" exclaimed Clara, springing forward, 
and holding him by the arm. "You cannot be so 
cruel. He is innocent, and you might have his life 
to answer for." 

" But it is as much as my place is worth to let him 
go," said the jailer, struggling to free himself from 
Clara's hold, whose slender fingers seemed gifted with 
wondrous strength. 

"It is a cruel office," cried Clara, "and I would not 
wish to keep it ; and if you do lose it you shall have 
a better one instead. My brother shall exert his in- 
fluence, and you shall not be blamed. Dear, good 
jailer I do not be angry, but remain quiet here. I 
never asked a favour of you before, and you have said 
my mother has been kind to you." 

" So she has, and a blessed woman she is," replied 
he; "and so have you, too, as to that matter; but 
what makes you take on so about it ? Is that young 
pedler any kin of yours ?" 

"No," answered Clara, blushing; "but I knew he 
was innocent, and I pitied him sorry, indeed, should 
I be, if I could not be kind to any but my own kin- 

Clara continued her pleadings, and, in short, as the 


jailer said, had "such a taking, coaxing way, there 
was no getting away from her," so that she at last 
persuaded him to let the matter rest, and suffer it to 
be supposed that the prisoner had broke loose from 
confinement. He promised, too, to say nothing about 
her agency, and to permit her to depart unmolested. 

"But you must not go bare-headed and bare-necked 
through the damp air," said he, "the folks will think 
you crazy. Stop till I get you a bonnet and shawl 
of my wife's. I can get them without disturbing her, 
and you can send them back in the morning." 

Clara thanked him for his consideration, and the 
fear of being taken up for a crazy woman induced 
her to accept the offer. But when he brought her a 
wonderful-looking shawl, flowered all over with beasts 
and birds, and a straw bonnet which looked as if it 
had survived a hundred fashions, she feared the dan- 
ger still existed, and that she would lose her own 
identity in the various transformations of the evening. 
The good-natured jailer laughed heartily, and said 
"there was a good deal in things belonging to a per 
son, and fitting them, after all, for they became his 
wife mightily." 

Clara showered down her blessings upon him, and 
returned home, while, like Collins' Passions, 

" By turns she felt her glowing mind 
Disturb'd, delighted, raised, refined." 

"How shall I meet my mother?" thought sha v 
when she reached her own door, and she stood on the 
threshold pale and trembling. The exultation o. 


having performed a generous action no longer buoyed 
up her spirits with unnatural excitement. She felt 
that she was a daughter, acting independently of a 
mother's sanction, and she shrunk from the terrors 
of her penetrating gaze. A glance through the win- 
dow, from which the light streamed in glimmering 
rays, relieved her worst fears. She saw her mother 
quietly seated at a little work-table, her Bible opened 
before her, entirely absorbed by its sacred pages. 
Clara was too much accustomed to pass her evening 
in her chamber, for her absence to excite observation, 
and Mrs. Stanley usually sat up till a late hour, the 
tranquillity of the night harmonizing with her chas- 
tened and religious tone of character. Clara stole 
softly up stairs, hastily divested herself of her strange 
attire, and, smoothing down her disordered locks, 
endeavoured to compose herself to rest. But no 
slumber that night visited the couch of Clara. Her 
nerves were unstrung. The singing of the wind 
against the window made her start from her pillow. 
The clouds drifting over the moon seemed the shadows 
of horsemen in the fleetncss of pursuit. 

The flight of the pedler became a matter of three 
days' wonder in town, during which time active mea- 
sures were taken to discover the place of his retreat, 
but in vain. Intelligence was received, just as they 
had given up the pursuit as hopeless, that the real 
murderer was apprehended, who, by a voluntary con- 
fession of his crime, had exonerated the young pedler 
from the slightest imputation of guilt, who again made 
lus appearance in the village, the hero and lion of the 


day. But what was the astonishment of the good 
people when it was reported that Clara Stanley was 
actually going to be married at her brother's, where a 
splendid wedding was to be given, and then they were 
to start off to some distant place, where the pedler 
was to give up his profession, and try to pass off for a 
gentleman ! There was more reality and truth in these 
reports than is generally the case in village gossip. 
The nuptials of Clara and young Rover were in 
full preparation, through the influence of the all-con- 
quering Gertrude. Edward and Mrs. Stanley were 
induced to yield their consent. Rover declared his 
resolution of relinquishing his present course of life, 
and embracing some honourable profession, in which 
the energies of his mind could be called into exercise, 
and Clara, who was, perhaps, a little disappointed at 
things going on so smoothly, where she expected so 
much opposition, expressed her willingness to go with 
him to the world's end, if it were necessary. She 
shrunk from the idea of a bridal festival, but Ger- 
trude insisted upon arranging every thing her own way. 

"If," said she, "you have shown yourself superior 
to the prejudices of the world, in the independence 
of your choice, let it see that you glory in acknow- 
ledging it." 

But when she would have lavished upon her those 
tasteful gifts affection loves to bestow on such occa- 
sions, Clara put them from her, refusing to wear any 
thing more adorning than a plain muslin robe. 

" If I am to be the bride of a poor man," said she, 
" the decorations of wealth are not for me." 


She thought she had subdued every trace of her 
once besetting sin, but when she sat in her own room, 
overcome by those feelings which press home on the 
heart of the most thoughtless on their bridal day, she 
saw the unexpected apparition of Washington Graham 
sweeping by on his raven black horse, in all the pride 
of conscious wealth and aristocracy ; she turned away 
from the sight in mortification and dismay. 

" Gertrude must have known of his coming," said 
she, brushing away the tears that trembled on her 
cheek, " and yet she gave me no warning. I cannot 
bear that he should be present, to look down in scorn 
on one equal, if not superior to him in every gift of 
nature and of God. May Rover forgive me this last 
lingering moment of weakness, unworthy of her who 
is blest with a heart like his." 

The shades of evening came on, and Clara, in her 
robe of unadorned white, with the bridal rose wreathed 
in her hair, was waiting, with palpitating heart, the 
anticipated summons. She was already at her bro- 
ther's, in an apartment adjoining the drawing-rooms, 
which were fast filling with guests. 

"I am proud of my sister," exclaimed Gertrude, 
kissing her cheek, now pallid from agitation. 

" Be not angry, dear Clara ; though I have pleaded 
the cause of Rover with all the interest so romantio a 
love could inspire, I cannot but feel for my cousin. 
Washington Graham is here, returned once more to 
devote himself to the task which I once dared to pro- 
mise him would prove successful." 

"Never, never mention his name to me again," cried 


Clara, " nor seek to raise in me emotions which some- 
times triumph over my better nature. I have been 
the child of vanity, and once sacrificed even my in- 
tegrity to vain display and heartless ambition. And 
now, when I have been struggling with my indwelling 
enemy, in the strength of'disinterested love alone, and 
feel as if I had come off conquering, let not your hand, 
Gertrude, supply my vanquished foe with new arrn& 
to rob me of my victory." 

The sudden unfolding of the doors prevented Ger 
trude's reply. A flame of light poured its effulgence 
into Clara's eyes, and every thing swam in confusion 
before her gaze. The room appeared to turn round 
with a circular motion, and every figure to blend to- 
gether in strange confusion. She was only conscious 
of being led forward into the centre of the room by a 
hand that trembled as much as her own, and of hear- 
ing a buzzing sound around her like the murmur of 
many voices. 

"Be not dismayed, dear Clara," said the bride- 
groom, in a low voice, in her ear; "your generous 
confidence shall never be betrayed." 

Clara, who had been gradually raising her eyes 
from the floor, as they recovered the sense of vision, 
perceived that every face was turned towards the 
bridegroom, with a stare of amazement. It was more 
than curiosity. It was wonder mixed with incredulity. 
Involuntarily following the direction of their glances, 
she raised her eyes to the face of him on whose arm 
she was leaning, and a wild exclamation escaped her 
lips. It was Washington Graham that supported 


ner: "Washington Graham, with all that high-bred 
elegance of dress and manner, which distinguished 
him from all others. The waving hair carelessly 
shading the brow of marble whiteness, the complexion, 
the air, were Washington Graham's; but the dark, 
lustrous eyes, whose glance had so often thrilled 
to her very soul, and which were now bent on her 
pale, bewildered countenance, were the eyes of Rover. 

"Clara, dear Clara," cried he, "the hue of the 
gipsy, the garb of the pedler, alone are wanting, 
but the faith of the lover, the vows of the bride- 
groom, remain. Forgive the deception I have prac- 
tised in concert with my romantic cousin here, 
whose guardian genius has been constantly exerted 
in my behalf, to prove whether I could be loved 
for myself alone." 

"Xes," added Gertrude, turning towards the com- 
pany with inimitable grace, thus diverting their 
attention from Clara's unconquerable emotion, "suf- 
fer me to finish the explanation. I know all our 
friends are interested in hearing. My cousin came 
hither, disgusted with recent proofs of the treachery 
of those who were attracted towards him by the 
mere distinctions of wealth and fortune, and laying 
aside their gaudy trappings, he assumed the disguise 
of a poor and lowly man." 

"But what upon earth made him think of passing 
off for a pedler?" exclaimed an old lady, who had 
been rubbing her spectacles half a dozen times, to 
ascertain if she could see distinctly. Every one 
smiled at the sudden interrogation. 


"I had written to him," rejoined Gertrude, "of 
Clara's history, and of her invincible horror of the 
very name; and he, in the proud confidence of his 
own unborrowed excellence, resolved to encounter 
the most obdurate prejudices, that he might have 
the glory of conquering them. How he has suc- 
ceeded, your own congratulating hearts can now bear 

"But I can't for my life think," continued the 
persevering old lady, "why she didn't find him out. 
I know nobody would have deceived me in that way." 

Gertrude spoke in a low voice to "Washington 
Graham, who, gently withdrawing from the trem- 
bling hand that clung to his arm for support, smiled 
and left the apartment. Clara followed him with 
her eyes, as if she feared he was about to vanish 
like the phantasmagoria of a dream, and there was a 
dead pause in the whole assembly. In a few minutes 
the door re-opened, and a young man appeared, 
dressed in a plain suit of the darkest green, his 
hair combed in shading waves over his darkened 
brow, his complexion tinged with the same gipsy 
dye "Hover!" exclaimed Clara, and sprang forward 
with a bound of irrepressible delight. Every remain- 
ing doubt vanished, and she wept in the fullness of 
her joy. 

The old lady put on her spectacles, and looking 
close in his face, declared she would never have 
known him from Adam only there was a sort of a 
look out of the eyes, that was like nobody else in 
the world but himself. 


There was now a general rush of congratulation 
towards Clara, and she was almost smothered with 
caresses from those who, a few hours before, thought 
it would be a disgrace to visit her again. The bride 
of Washington Graham was a very different person 
from the bride of a pedler, but Clara's heart whis- 
pered that Rover and Washington Graham were the 

"Well," said the lady of the spectacles, after the 
bridegroom had resumed his character as Washing- 
ton Graham, and the wedding was concluded, "I 
never saw any thing like these Stanleys, for the 
luck that follows them; but I would not advise any 
of the young folks to get such romantic notions 
into their heads, for all that. Every old woman 
with a mob cap don't turn into a rich young widow, 
nor every pedler into a fine gentleman." 


Sljje $canty Kransformei. 

"CATHERINE," said young Meredith to his sister, 
ns she was hastily passing him, on the way to the 
drawing-room, "stop a moment, and let me speak 
with you." 

Catherine paused reluctlantly, for she was eager to 
welcome her expected guest. 

"I have invited a friend here, to-night, to whom I 
wish you to be particularly attentive." 

"Ah!" said Catherine; "is he very handsome, and 
rich, and fashionable? For he must be either one or 
all, to make it an object for me to be particularly 
attentive to him." 

" As to his beauty, I leave you to decide men are 
no judges of each other's beauty I know not the ex- 
tent of his wealth but one thing I do know, I am 
under obligations to him I never can repay." 

Catherine looked inquiringly, and Meredith pro- 
ceeded : 

" You remember my journey over the mountains 
last summer, the upsetting of the carriage, my broken 
leg, my being detained so long in a log cabin, sick, 
and as some thought, dying. Well, surely you recol- 
lect, Catherine, the young man, my fellow traveller, 
who, though a stranger, lingered there with me, till I 
was in a state of comparative ease, and watched over 
me like a guardian angel I do believe, under 
heaven, I owe my life to his tenderness and carer 


what was my delight to meet him, unexpectedly, a few 
hours since in the streets ! I insisted upon his coming 
home with me, immediately, but this his engagements 
would not permit. He promised, however, to devote 
the evening to me, and I trust you will not forget the 
high claims he has upon your gratitude and consider- 

" To be sure I will not," answered Catherine. " I 
will be as polite as possible, for I feel under infinite 
obligations to him, but as to entertaining him, I fear it 
will be out of my power. I never know what to say 
to these very good pattern people. I am sorry he 
happened to come to-night, as we expect so* much 
company. It is really unfortunate," said she, to her- 
self, in a low voice, as she hurried into the parlour, to 
greet, as she supposed, far more attractive and distin- 
guished guests, than her brother's grave and quiet 
nurse. She knew she ought to be very grateful to 
him, but she imagined he must be a very dull com- 
panion, for Frank had been comparatively dull since 
his acquaintance with him, and always quoted Mr. 
Clifton, when he wished to support any argument in 
favour of morality, virtue, and religion. She was 
tired of his name, for he was Frank's oracle, and her 
oracles were among the gay and fashionable of the 

Frank and Catherine Meredith had neither father 
nor mother. An aunt, the widowed sister of Mrs. 
Meredith, was at the head of the household establish- 
ment, and the delegated guardian of Catherine's youth. 
Frank had been educated abroad, while Catherine waa 


placed in one of the most fashionable boarding schools 
in the country. When the brother and sister met, 
after a separation of many years, in the home of their 
youth, they were as strangers to each other. Each 
vainly sought to read in the other's face and person, 
the image impressed on their juvenile memory. The 
shy and somewhat awkward boy, had become the 
self-possessed and elegant young man the slender, 
pale, and stooping little girl, the graceful, well-pro- 
portioned, and blooming young woman. They both 
appeared appropriate representatives of the beings 
whose names they bore, and well fitted to adorn the 
station ^hey were destined to fill. Mr. and Mrs. 
Meredith were both devotees of wealth and fashion. 
They had dedicated their children at the same altar, 
but being called away by sudden disease, they could 
only bequeath to them their wealth and their example. 
Mrs. Milner, their maternal aunt, stood in a mother's 
place to Catherine, and believing, like her mother, 
that beauty, dress, and manners made up all that is 
really desirable and lovely in woman, she resolved 
that Catherine should be a model of perfection in these 
three grand essentials. Nature had furnished her 
with the first, wealth with the second, and education 
the third. Frank was proud of his sister, Mrs. Milner 
was proud of her niece she was flattered, caressed, 
and imitated. Is it strange that she should be vain? 
Frank left his sister with regret to take the mountain 
journey mentioned above, and when he returned 
again after his hair-breadth escape and protracted 
absence, she seemed more than ever endeared to his 


affections. But whether from the consciousness of 
having escaped great danger from sickness, or the 
companionship of Clifton, he was unaccountably 
changed, or, as Catherine declared, unaccountably 
dull. She loved her brother, and felt bound by 
every moral obligation to his friend, but he was the 
last person she wished to see. She felt an internal 
conviction she should dislike him, and that he would 
dislike her, and that his presence would be a restraint 
on her gaiety and amusements. On this occasion she 
was dressed with unusual splendour. Mrs. Milner, 
who always presided over the decorations of her toilet, 
with as much gravity as a chief magistrate over the 
destinies of a nation, declared that nothing was want- 
ing to complete the elegance of her attire, very judi- 
ciously adding, she had never seen her look half so 
beautiful, and that with such a face, and such a dress, 
she might make a conquest of any heart she chose. 
Catherine entered the room with a cheek flushed with 
the consciousness of beauty, and an eye that sought 
in the glances of others the admiration, she doubted 
not, was her spontaneous tribute. She was soon sur- 
rounded by a circle of flatterers, who so completely 
engrossed her attention, she entirely forgot her brother 
and his dreaded friend, and her spirits, elated by 
vanity, effervesced in the loud and frequent laugh. 

" Who is that gentleman with your brother ?" said 
one of her companions, as an accidental opening in 
the group revealed him, standing directly opposite, 
with a young man in black by his side, both appa- 
rently waiting for an opportunity to approach 


her. The unmeaning laugh died on her lips. 
There was something in the stranger's aspect 
that rebuked her frivolity, and shamed her into 

"Can that be Mr. Clifton?" thought she. "How 
different from what I imagined he would be !" 

The next moment her brother pressed forward 
alone, and drawing her arm through his, whispered in 
her ear, "For mercy's sake, Catherine, leave those 
grinning idiots, and try to appear like a sensible girl, 
the rest of the evening. I never was so mortified in 
my life, that Clifton should see you for the first time 
to such disadvantage. He is so very peculiar, so 
different from every other person, and I am so 
desirous that you should please him." 

The heart of the vain and flattered Catherine rose 
rebellious at this speech. Frank had never spoken 
so harshly to her before. She determined to show 
her resentment by disregarding his injunctions, and 
when she received Mr. Clifton's bow of introduction, 
her countenance expressed as plain as words could 
speak it, "admire me as I am, for I will not change to 
please you or any individual in the universe." Two 
moments after, she would have bartered all the incense 
she had been so eagerly accepting, for the power to 
recall that haughty and ungracious look, so ungrate- 
fully bestowed, yet so mildly received. "Frank is to 
blame for all," said she to herself, trying to soothe her 
self-anger, by throwing the whole burthen on him ; 
"he always described him as a kind of hum-drum, 
prosing being. Whoa 1 asked him if lie wore hand- 


some, he answered me evasively, as if he were just 
not ugly. Men were no judges of each other's beauty ! 
As to wealth and fashion, he knew nothing about it I 
as if any one could be so graceful, who had not 
been educated in refinement and in the most elegant 
society ! And then, to crown the whole, for Frank to 
make me so angry at the very moment when I ought 
to have been most amiable ! Oh ! that I had been 
more on my guard !" 

Poor Frank was, as he had said, deeply mortified 
and disappointed. He was a great believer in first 
impressions. He loved and venerated Clifton more 
than any other human being. He knew there was 
much in Catherine's character, entirely uncongenial to 
his own, but he relied on her beauty and attractive 
manners to disarm his judgment, at first sight, and 
after that, he hoped miracles from the influence he 
was sure Clifton would obtain over her mind. Never 
could he have beheld her under circumstances more 
to her disadvantage, and Frank, who had been look- 
ing forward to the moment when he should introduce 
his sister to his friend, as an era in his existence, felt 
as if he could never forgive her the disappointment 
she had caused. There was an embarrassing pause 
after the introduction. Frank, when alone with 
Clifton, could talk with him for hours, unrestrainedly, 
but the fashionable atmosphere he now breathed 
chilled the expression of his natural feelings, and he 
knew Clifton would be disgusted with what was arti- 
ficial. It was strange he had never been sensible 
before of his sister's entire want of simplicity 01 cba- 


racter. He forgot that he had always seen her sur- 
rounded by beings as artificial as herself, and that 
now every look and action was seen through the 
medium in which he fancied his friend beheld them. 
Catherine was not suffered long to remain passive 
she was solicited for music " Are you fond of music, 
sir?" said she, addressing Clifton, for the first time. 

"Extremely so," was his reply. The tone of his 
voice was singularly pleasing. There was no laboured 
accent to give effect to his words. 

"Now, I shall charm him," thought Catherine, "in 
spite of all his gravity and reserve, for no voice can 
compare with mine in compass, or brilliancy, and my 
execution is declared to be unrivalled." 

When she was seated at the piano, Frank bent over 
her, under the pretence of arranging the music, and 
whispered in her ear, "Play some of those fine marches, 
but do not sing any of those foolish songs, you are 
accustomed to do. Not to-night, for my sake." 

Catherine commenced a slow and beautiful march, 
not for his sake, but for the sake of the handsome 
and cold-looking stranger, whose admiration she re- 
solved to win. She glanced her eye carelessly towards 
him, as she concluded, and she thought his counte- 
nance was lighted up with pleasure, but she was vexed 
to see that he was looking down, and she feared the 
soft expression she had thrown into her face, while 
playing, had been lost upon him. " Oh, sing this 
song, Miss Meredith," "and this," reiterated many 
voices, " the instrument is nothing without your 


" I cannot sing to-night," said she ; " I am hoarse 
I have a bad cold." 

" Are you afraid of singing profane songs before 
the young parson ?" said one, who passed for a wit, in 
a low voice behind her. 

" Kidiculous !" exclaimed Catherine; "there is no 
young parson here." 

"Indeed! I thought the gentleman in black was 
one and you have looked so grave and solemn since 
his entrance, I imagined he had told you it was a sin 
to smile, and perhaps to sing." 

He turned as he spoke to one of those vain, volup- 
tuous, and unmeaning songs, to which fashion some- 
times sets its almost omnipotent seal. She had not 
the moral courage to refuse, and urged by her dread 
of ridicule, and desire to show her independence, she 
began in one of the sweetest and most melodious 
voices in the world, strains which made Frank groan 
in spirit, and wish the piano in the bottom of the sea. 
Intoxicated with the applause she received, she forgot 
her scruples, and continued to sing and play her 
aunt nodding and smiling at her, as she went waving 
about the room, courting compliments for Catherine, 
that she might repeat them to her, when the company 
had gone. When Catherine rose from the instrument 
her brother and Mr. Clifton had disappeared. She 
looked in vain among the groups of faces for that 
dark and serious eye, whose expression was a mys- 
tery to her understanding. With mortified feelings 
she retired to her chamber, after the company had 
dispersed, and placing the lights so as to shine with 


full resplendence on a mirror, she took a long and 
deliberate survey of herself, before she divested herself 
of her glittering ornaments. She compared herself in 
imagination with all the bright forms which had re- 
cently beamed on her gaze, and she could not but 
exult in her own pre-eminence. "I feared I had 
grown ugly," said she, turning her beautiful profile 
towards the glass, after gazing on the full reflection 
of her features, "he looked so cold and distant upon 
me. If I have not appeared handsome to him, to- 
night, I can never hope to charm him, for this dress 
is superb, and this bandeau of pearl, contrasts so 
finely with my dark hair." She unbound her long 
shining hair, and as it hung in luxuriance around her, 
the thought flashed into her mind, that Clifton might 
be an admirer of simplicity, and she resolved to steal 
upon his senses the next time they met, in all the 
sweetness of undecorated maiden loveliness. She 
would wear pure, virgin white, her hair should fall in 
natural waves on her neck, she would look all that 
was gentle and modest. It never entered into the 
heart of Catherine, that man could be enslaved by 
any other charm than beauty, or that beauty, all 
radiant as hers, could fail to captivate the being ex- 
posed to its influence. She had never dreamed that 
an eye less bright might possess a holier charm, or a 
form less fair inspire a deeper emotion. She had never 
been taught to think that there might be something 
enshrined within, an indwelling beauty, an immortal 
principle, capable of giving grace and lustre to fea- 
tures unattractive in themselves. From a child, every 


instruction she had received seemed to have for the 
ultimate object, external attraction. She was excluded 
from the sun and air, those "chartered libertines," 
lest they should add a deeper shade to the roses and 
lilies of nature her hands were kept imprisoned in 
gloves, to preserve their snowy tints; she was not 
permitted to read or study by candle-light, lest she 
should dim the starry brightness of her eyes, or to 
take long walks, lest her feet should become enlarged 
by too much exercise. 

" Katy, my dear, don't run, it will make your com- 
plexion red Katy, my love, don't eat too much, it 
will make your complexion coarse." 

A thousand such admonitions as these were asso- 
ciated with the memory of her mother, and never had 
her aunt suffered them to be forgotten for want of 
reiteration. Mrs. Milner even exceeded her in the 
minuteness of her instructions. She compelled her to 
wear a linen mask, during the long summer nights, to 
enhance the delicacy of her skin, and to put on a deep 
bonnet, in her own room, whenever she sat by an open 
window. Thus brought up from infancy in the worse 
than Egyptian bondage of fashion, poor Catherine had 
no conception of the unfettered joys of nature. When 
at school, she was confined within the walls of a city, 
and obliged to submit to the iron rules of an ultra- 
fashionable instructress. To do her justice, she was a 
docile pupil, and graduated with all the honours of the 

Frank Meredith had accompanied Clifton to his 
own room, and sat with him long after midnight. It 


seemed that Clifton possessed the master-key to his 
soul, for it was only when he was alone with him, 
that he suffered his thoughts to flow out unchecked, 
and expressed the desires and hopes that were strug- 
gling into existence within his bosom. 

"Clifton," said he, "I have not lived since you 
parted from me; I have been dragging on a joyless 
being, incapable of feeling sympathy, or imparting 
delight. Catherine calls me dull and stupid, and so I 
am, but she knows not how vain and valueless all my 
former pursuits now appear to me she knows not 
with what loathing I turn from the false pleasures she 
so eagerly pursues." 

" I know not," repeated Clifton, in a reproachful 
voice ; " are you convinced yourself that they are in- 
capable of satisfying the vast desires of an immortal 
mind, are you conscious of the fire of eternity burning 
within you, and can you sit down in silence, and see 
your own and only sister endeavouring to quench 
what is unquenchable, to destroy what is indestructible, 
without warning or rebuke? Frank, I did hope bet- 
ter things of you." 

" I know I have been wrong," answered Frank, in- 
genuously, "but I want your moral courage. A thou- 
sand times have I been on the point of declaring to 
her all that has been passing in my heart ; the reflec- 
tions that were awakened on my sick bed, the influence 
of your example and conversation, but I have always 
been interrupted by some vanity in the shape of dress, 
or my good aunt, or some fashionable dangler 1 
never could find the favourable moment and though 


I can feel, deeply, keenly feel, I cannot find language 
to give utterance to my thoughts. Catherine would 
call me crazy if I should tell her what is passing 
within me, when she deems me merely listless and 
unoccupied. To tell the truth, I have not dared to 
contend with the unhallowed influences around her, 
while I become more and more angry to see her 
yielding to their power. Yet, believe me, Clifton, she 
is not so vain and foolish as she forced you to think her 
this night. Nature intended her for something better 
than a mere belle." 

"Your sister is beautiful," said Clifton, "beautiful 
and young, and greatly to be pitied. I could have 
wept to see her adorned like a victim to be sacrified 
on the altar of a godless world I thought of my own 
sister as fair, and oh! how much more lovely, whom 
three months since I consigned to the dust, and I 
asked myself, what hope or consolation would be my 
portion now, if the bloom of her youth had been 
wasted in scenes like these. She died in her sixteenth 
spring she died in my arms, with the smile of rapture 
on her pallid lips, and anticipated glory gleaming 
from her closing eye.'' Clifton paused and looked 
upward with a heavenly expression, then turning 
towards Frank with an earnest and fervent manner, 
"Do you love your sister?" 

"Better than any thing in this world, except your- 

"And with this love, then, glowing in your heart, 
and believing as you do, in the existence of that 
eternal world, of which she has scarcely been allowed 


to dream, convinced of her accountability to God, for 
all the gifts he has bestowed, an accountability which 
has never been impressed on her conscience, what 
would be your reflections if you saw her struck down 
by the angel of death, even as my sweet and bloom- 
ing Jane, conscious that you had never even whis- 
pered in her ear 'This is riot all, my sister this 
bright, but shadowy scene eternity's beyond !' " 

"Clifton," said Frank, impetuously, "you have saved 
my life I know I should have died on the moun- 
tains, when that burning fever was drying up my 
veins, if you had not watched over me with more 
than woman's tenderness. But this is not half the 
debt. You roused my mind from its long and deadly 
lethargy, and it has ever since been heaving and 
struggling for that glorious liberty of the children of 
God, you taught me to pant after. But I am not yet 
free I am too weak to help others break their bonds. 
Do this for me, and I will bless you. Come and re- 
main with us, and be our Mentor and our guide. 
Catherine is scarcely more a devotee of the world than 
I was, when first you knew me. Be not afraid of 
coming in contact witli vice and folly we must some- 
times handle the dross of earth, to extract its gold. 
You will not be contaminated, and we shall be puri- 

"It pains me, my friend," replied Clifton, "that you 
should ascribe a power to me that belongs to God 
alone. If I have been instrumental in his hands of 
exciting in you a thirst for living waters, give thanks 
to Him from whom those living waters flow I am 


but a fellow-pilgrim with you, through the wilderness 
of life, and having, like you, drank deep of the feverish 
streams of pleasure, and found them unsatisfying, I 
have been directed to a pure and purifying fountain,, 
and I could but ask you to taste and live." 

Clifton could not be persuaded to make the house 
of his friend his home, but he /consented to remain 
near him, for a time, and to visit him, as often as he 
could be assured of finding him at liberty to act as a 
rational being. He promised, too, to converse with 
Catherine, as a rational and immortal being, and to 
persevere in the task, though he might meet with 
displeasure and disgust from her. It was a novel 
task, indeed, to be imposed on a young and handsome 
man, to tell a flattered beauty of her faults instead of 
offering incense to her vanity, but the rays of Cathe- 
rine's beauty fell as coldly on Clifton's eye, as the 
sunbeams reflected from a sheet of polar ice as he 
had told her brother, he looked upon her with the 
sincerest pity for her own sake, and with sentiments 
more tender for his, for his soul clave unto Frank's, 
even as Jonathan's unto David, " with a love passing 
the love of woman." It was a love that stretched far 
beyond the limits of time, and followed its object 
through the un wasting ages of eternity. 

Catherine adopted the plan of elegant simplicity 
she had previously arranged, and appeared without 
any ornament but a single white rose, wreathed in 
her dark locks. But with all her practised graces, 
and determination to be admired, she found it impos- 
sible to preserve with Clifton, those artificial manners 


for which she had been so much applauded. His 
graceful gravity checked the affected laugh, which so 
often rung without merriment. Whenever she met 
his mild, serious, yet deeply penetrating eye, she for- 
got to add a languishing softness, or sparkling bril- 
liancy to her own. Absorbed in the contemplation of 
his singular and to her mysterious character, she, for 
almost the first time in her life, forgot herself, and 
looked and moved as nature prompted. As she list- 
ened to his conversation, so superior in intellect to 
what she was accustomed to hear, she felt ashamed 
that, instead of cultivating her powers of reason and 
expression, she had aimed at nothing higher than 
brilliant nonsense. 

One evening she walked in the garden with Clifton 
and her brother, for it was sunset, and Mrs. Milner 
thought at that hour she might venture in the air 
with impunity. Clifton was an enthusiast, when speak- 
ing of the beauties of nature, and he never spoke of a 
tree or flower, without leading the thoughts to the 
divine mysteries of creation, and endeavouring to 
raise them to their great and glorious Author. Cathe- 
rine was a skilful botanist, but here was a lore in 
which she was altogether unlearned. When she ac- 
companied them in their Avalk, she thought to herself, 
"Now shall I have an opportunity of shining," but 
when Clifton began to speak of the beauties to which 
she directed his gaze, he soared so far beyond the 
limits of her capacities, she felt as if she were left 
grovelling behind. Frank gathered a beautiful rose, 
and gave his sister as they passed the bush on which 


it was blossoming. She took it with a smile, and was 
about to place it in her bosom "Oh, my God!" she 
passionately exclaimed, suddenly dropping the flower. 
A thorn had pierced her finger, and the blood stained 
its snowy surface. 

Clifton started and a flush passed over his face. 
He turned towards her, but not to sympathize in so 
trivial an accident: "Miss Meredith," said he, "forgive 
me, if I speak with a plainness you are not wont to 
hear. It is inexpressibly painful to me, to hear the 
most holy and august name in the universe uttered 
irreverently. Even in prayer, I cannot breathe it, 
without melting with tenderness or trembling with 

Catherine turned pale at the solemnity of the re- 
buke, then reddened with anger, shame and astonish- 
ment, till, at length, unable to control her excited 
feelings, tears she could not hide gushed from her 

"I did not mean to wound," said he; "forgive me, 1 
ask once again, if I have spoken too harshly. But 
believe me, I address you as a friend, less flattering, 
perhaps, than many wno bear that name, but more 
sincere. Angels rejoice when the lips of beauty unite 
with them in strains of adoration and praise of the 
source of uncreated glory, but angels weep, if beatified 
beings can weep, when youth and beauty live regard- 
less of the high, the undeniable claims of their Maker 
on their soul." 

There was an earnestness, a tenderness in his voice 
and manner, that disarmed her resentment, but as her 


anger died away, her tears flowed more freely. " You 
are very, very solemn, Mr. Clifton," said she ; "I spoke 
thoughtlessly ; I know, I am too apt to do so ; but I 
little dreamed I was giving you pain." 

Frank felt for the distress of his sister, though he 
was delighted at her unexpected sensibility. He drew 
her arm through his, and leading her towards the 
Bummer-house, entreated Clifton to take advantage of 
the present calm and uninterrupted moment and con- 
verse with them both as if he were addressing a bro- 
ther or a sister. 

"A sister 1" repeated Clifton; the words touched the 
chords of memory; "Miss Meredith, shall I speak to 
you of a sister, who was unutterably dear to my affec- 
tions ? who, one year since, was blooming in health as 
you now are, but who now sleeps in death ? You 
say I am very solemn, and I now choose a solemn theme, 
but to me it is a delightful one, a glorious one." 

Catherine shuddered. Death was associated in her 
mind with images of darkness and horror, for she 
thought only of the body returning to dust, consigned 
to corruption and the worm, not of the soul ascend- 
ing to the God who gave it. It was an awful subject 
to her, yet she felt a curiosity, restrained by fear, to 
know how his young sister had met the conqueror's 

"Glorious!" exclaimed she "oh! it must be ter- 

" Death had no terrors for her," replied he, " though 
he carne to her in the spring-time of her youth. She 
welcomed him as a messenger from God, whom she 


loved as a reconciled Father, and laid her head on his 
cold bosom as gently as if she were reclining on a 
pillow of down. Do you ask me what it was that made 
her dying hour a scene of such holy tranquillity ? It 
was faith in Him who had died to redeem her, who 
had himself passed through the portals of the tomb, 
and left behind him a long track of glory. 'I know 
that my Redeemer livetli,' were the last words she 
uttered, and had you seen the seraphic expression of 
her eye and the smile that lingered on her lips even 
after the spirit had departed, you would have felt 
with me the reality, the beauty, the grandeur of re- 

Catherine listened and wondered. The rays of the 
crimsoned west were reflected on the face of Clifton, 
through the parting boughs that shaded the window 
of the summer-house. Its usually pale hue was 
lighted up with a fervent glow, and his eyes beamed as 
she thought with more than earthly fire. And yet he 
was speaking of death, a subject, tlje mere mention of 
which never failed to blanch the roses of her cheek 
and freeze her blood with horror. 

"Religion," thought she, " what is religion? Does it 
consist in such a life as mine? In dressing, shining, 
practising to be admired, in living but for flattery and 
display, in a life of idleness and dissipation ?" 

Thus Catherine's awakened conscience interrogated 
her when she retired to the solitude of her chamber, 
and a still, small voice within gave back the faithful 
negative. Lost in her new reflections, she did not 
notice the entrance of a servant who came loaded with 


band-boxes, sent by the milliner and mantua-maker, 
containing articles for which she had been impatiently 
waiting. Mrs. Milner, who always followed these ar- 
rivals, and who never moved without a bustle, roused 
her from her reverie. 

"Why, Catherine, my love," said she, "what is the 
matter, that you seem so indifferent about these 
beautiful dresses? You have been crying spoiling 
your eyes and complexion I know it by the red 
circle round them what can be the matter? You 
have been moping these two or three days ever since 
that Clifton has been here, and a most disagreeable 
young man he is, I am sure." 

"Disagreeable, aunt," repeated Catherine, with some 

"Yes, exceedingly so," replied Mrs. Milner; "he has 
not said a civil thing to you yet. It was kind in him 
to take care of Frank, when lie was sick, and that 
is the only reason I tolerate him. I can't bear 
people who look as if they thought themselves so 
much better than other folks. He does not take any 
more notice of you than if you were his grandmother. 
I hope it is not that which makes you low spirited." 

" No, indeed," said Catherine, her vanity, which had 
slumbered for a little while, piqued at the remark; 
" I do not care for his attention, but I am sure he is 
polite and kind. He has been speaking to me of his 
sister, a beautiful young girl, who died a short time 
since, and it was impossible not to be affected by the 
manner in which he described her death." 

" I do not see the use of his talking to you about 


these things," answered Mrs. Milner with some asper- 
ity ; " it only serves to damp one's spirits, and does no 
good to any one I always avoid them myself." 

" But, aunt," said Catherine, "shall we not be obliged 
to think of them sometimes? If we must die our- 

" Nonsense," interrupted Mrs. Milner. " I will not 
hear you talk in that gloomy strain. We ought to 
enjoy ourselves as much as possible in this world, and 
not trouble ourselves about leaving it till the time 
comes. Look at this superb dress. There is not an- 
other pattern in town you must wear it to-morrow 
evening at Mrs. R.'s, for there is to be a splendid party 

She unfolded the robe, richly ornamented with lace 
and novel decorations, before Catherine, whose eyes 
began to sparkle, as they were wont to do, in the con- 
templation of her finery, long and early acquired 
habits of ^vanity and love of admiration triumphing 
over the better feelings that were beginning to strug- 
gle in her heart. That night her thoughts were strange 
and confused. She tried in vain to sleep at one 
moment the deep-toned voice of Clifton seemed ring- 
ing in her ears, rebuking her profane levity ; at another 
the shrouded form of his once blooming sister, rose 
pale and cold before her shuddering gaze; then the 
glittering image of herself in her new attire, the 
centre of an admiring crowd, came dazzlingly over the 
shadows of the tomb. Over all there brooded one 
overwhelming idea, which once admitted, she could 
not shut out, that though she had lived an atheist's 


life, tlicro was indeed a God from whose presence and 
whose power she could not flee. The breathing silence 
of the night, its sweeping shadows, through which the 
stars were gleaming like the myriad eyes of omni- 
science, the lonely voice of the wind sighing through 
the trees, deepened the awe that oppressed her soul. 
Mrs. Milner rebuked her in the morning for her pale 
complexion, and insisted upon treating her as an in- 
valid, and confining her to her room. By this means 
she hoped to keep her frorn the society of Clifton, 
whose influence she dreaded more than she was will- 
ing to acknowledge. She thought her, however, suf- 
ficiently recovered in the evening, to attend the party 
at Mrs. R.'s, for which splendid preparations had been 
long making. Catherine did not devote as much time 
as she was wont to do, in decorating her person, but 
her aunt supplied the deficiency, by over zeal on her 
part. She twisted and untwisted her hair, curled and 
uncurled it, waved and braided it, till Catherine de- 
clared her head ached and she would rather go as she 
was than be tortured any longer. She was beginning 
to think there was an interior to her head, which had 
been left to shameful neglect and poverty, while costly 
gems, and time, than gems more precious, had been 
constantly lavished on the exterior. Catherine received 
that evening a lesson she little expected, and it was not 
the less salutary. After playing and singing for the 
gratification of the company, and being complimented 
and admired as usual, she began to be weary. She felt 
a void unfelt before. She looked on the young men 
who surrounded her, and thought how they sunk into 


insignificance, even in personal comparison with Clif- 
ton, to say nothing of his loIVy intellect, his pure and 
spiritual conversation. Every thing that was said to 
her sounded silly and vapid. She wanted to be alone, 
and taking advantage of a moment, when a new singer 
was engaging general attention, she retired into the 
piazza, where the beauty of the night had already at- 
tracted many of the guests. She stood a moment in 
the shade without being perceived, quite near a young 
gentleman and lady who were engaged in earnest con- 
versation. She had no intention of acting the part of 
a listener, but hearing her own name, she involuntarily 
held her breath that she might not lose the accom- 
panying words. The gentleman was one of her pro- 
fessed admirers, the young lady one of her warmest 
professing friends. 

"You have been saying all these fine things before 
to Catherine Meredith," said the young lady; "you 
are the professed worshipper of her beauty. Why 
attempt to lay offerings at a meaner shrine?" 

"Catherine Meredith," repeated he, emphatically; 
"why it is the fashion to admire Jier, and her vanity 
is so excessive and so exacting, it is impossible for a 
young man to be in her presence, without being 
forced to pay tribute to it. And then her vain, foolish 
aunt, taxing every one's admiration for Catherine, and 
compelling them to declare her a super-angelic being!" 

"But surely you think her handsome?" asked the 
young girl, in a delighted voice. "I never thought her 
so myself, but feared to confess it, lest I should be 
accused of envy." 


"Yes, rather handsome," was the reply, "but nothing 
to excite interest. She reminds me of Moore's des 
cription of that beauty unchangeably bright which 
annihilates love, with its own dazzling excess. Oh! 
no. I flatter her, it is true, for it amuses me, but 
neither she, nor fifty thousand such as she, could ever 
touch my heart." 

Here something was added in a lower voice, some- 
thing probably meant for her exclusive ear, and they 
passed on into the moonlight, leaving Catherine first 
petrified "with astonishment, and then glowing with 

_ "Are these," thought she, -the friends in whose 
sincerity I have confided, to whose professions I have 
lent a charmed and willing ear?" 
^ Bitter was the pang to find herself an object of 
ridicule and contempt, where she believed she was 
almost worshipped. Unused to self-control, and too 
proud to suffer her feelings to be visible to those who 
would triumph in her mortification, she complained 
of a violent headache to her aunt, and induced her to 
return home. The same young man pressed forward 
to assist her into the carriage, with that devoted 
admiring air he always assumed, but Catherine, giv- 
ing him an inexplicable look, coldly declined the 
offered civility, to the great astonishment and dis- 
pleasure of her aunt. 

"You are very strange to-night, Catherine," said 

Mrs. Milner. "I thought Mr. was a great 

favourite of yours." 


"I hate him, I detest him," cried she. "I never wish 
to hear his name mentioned in my presence." 

Her long-repressed feelings here burst forth, and 
throwing herself back in the carriage, she wept the 
bitterest tears she had ever shed in her life. Wounded 
pride, mortified vanity, envy, jealousy, and anger, 
raged like a whirlwind in her bosom. It was long 
before she would explain to her aunt the cause of her 
mysterious agitation, and when she did so, the vio- 
lence of Mrs. Milner's indignation swept away Cathe- 
rine's in its stronger current. She exhausted herself 
in giving vent to her anger, and retired to her room 
in a state bordering on hysterics. As Catherine 
crossed the gallery that led to her chamber, the ser- 
vant who lighted her, begged her to stop and speak 
to a little girl, who seemed in great distress about her 
mother, and had been there once before, during their 
absence. She had just made an appeal in her behalf 
to Mrs. Milner, but in vain she was too much en- 
grossed with her own imagined wrongs. Catherine 
was precisely in that state of mind when she was re- 
joiced to be carried away from herself. She turned 
to the child, and bade her make known her wants. 
The little girl came forward, trembling and weeping, 
and in a few simple words declared her errand. Her 
mother was poor, very poor, who lived in a little 
alley not far distant. She supported herself by her 
daily labour, and two or throe little children, whom 
uhe left at home during the day, and to whom she 
returned at night, with the wages she had earned. 
This night she had returned very ill and laid down 


in her bed, without speaking. The eldest of the little 
girls, whose name was Nelly, ran over to beg one of 
the servants of Mrs. Milner to come to her mother's 
assistance, for she was afraid she was going to die. 
"There was a good gentleman here," said Nelly, "who 
told me he would send her a doctor, but I am afraid 
to bo left with mother, and brother and sister are 
litlleer than I." 

Catherine thought there was but one good gentle- 
man in the world, and that was Clifton. The tears 
of the little girl affected her surprisingly. " It is but 
a few steps," said she, "and the moon is shining 
brightly, I will go with you myself, and see what can 
be done for your mother." 

Then telling Nelly to lead the way, she bade the 
astonished waiting-maid follow, and set out, for the 
first time in her life, for the abode of poverty, sick- 
ness, and perhaps of death. With nothing but a light 
scarf thrown over her splendid dress, she glided 
through the alternate shadows and moonbeams, by 
the side of the miserable child, like one of those 
bright genii, described in oriental tales. She was 
hardly conscious of the impulse that led her on. She 
was greatly excited, and having read one lesson of 
the world's vanity, she felt a feverish desire to peruse 
another, in a far different scene. It was not till she 
reached the door of the low, wretched dwelling, she 
was sensible of the extraordinary situation in which 
she had placed herself. Nelly softly lifted the latch, 
and held the door for Catherine to pass in, with that 
courtesy which nature sometimes teaches the humblest 


of its children. Catherine paused upon the threshold, 
for she felt that she was treading on holy ground. 
A voice, too, reached her ear, whose tones breathed 
of the tranquillity of heaven. A single lamp, placed 
on a low table near the bed, dimly lighted up the 
apartment, and revealed to the appalled view of 
Catherine, the livid countenance of the apparently 
dying woman. She lay extended on a straw pallet, 
rigid and motionless, with no symptoms of life about 
her, but an occasional wild rolling of the eyes, which 
were of a livid black, and contrasted fearfully with 
her ashy complexion. Two little, pale, terrified-looking 
children crouched near the foot of the bed, and kneeling 
by its side, was a figure which Catherine thought she 
would have recognised in the most distant isle of 
the ocean. It was Clifton, who, like his divine 
Master, made it his business to go about, binding up 
the wounds of sorrow and sin, and soothing the evils 
of suffering humanity. lie had sent a physician, 
who had but just left the cabin, but he came him- 
self, to see if he could not minister comfort and give 
counsel to the soul of the invalid. He found her in 
that condition, when it is impossible for man to tell 
what is passing between the spirit and tho mighty 
God into whose presence it is about to appear, and 
kneeling down, he commended her to Him in whose 
sight the dweller of the mud- walled cottage and the 
inmate of the palace are equal. 

Catherine held her breath, as that solemn, fervent, 
thrilling prayer rose like incense above the couch of 
death. He was not aware of her presence. He re- 


membered only the presence of the omnipotent 
Jehovah, and the poor sufferer, for whom he was 
interceding, and by this simple, yet sublime act of 
faith and devotion he transformed that miserable 
apartment into a scene of grandeur and of glory. 
When Clifton rose from his knees, Nelly, who had 
stood in mute awe by the side of Catherine, approached 
her mother, and took hold of the hand, which was no 
longer conscious of her touch. Catherine followed, 
trembling and bewildered, and encountered the won- 
dering gaze of Clifton, who turned round at the foot- 
steps of the child. The lamp flashed up at this 
moment, and reflected its rays full on Catherine's glit- 
tering figure, so strangely contrasting with the poverty 
and gloom of the place. The dying woman seemed 
to be roused by the gleam, and opening her eyes once 
more, fixed them upon Catherine with such a wild, 
unearthly glare, she could scarcely repress the scream 
of terror that rose to her lips. 

Clifton drew near Catherine. "You had better 
return," said he; "you cannot relieve her, for she is 
beyond all human aid. Take these poor orphans with 
you, and give them shelter for the night. Let your 
attendant remain here. I will see you safely home, and 
then return, and keep watch with her while life lasts." 

" Can I do nothing to assist you ?" asked Catherine, 
ashamed of her helplessness and her fears. 

" There is nothing to be done," replied he, " but I 
rejoice that you have been led here for your own sake. 
This scene needs no comments. It is awful, but 


Here a deep groan from the bed made Catherine 
start and shudder, and Clifton pitying her agitation, 
took her hand and drew her gently away. The 
children sobbed and clung to the bedside of their 
mother, refusing to leave her, and Clifton thinking it 
kinder to indulge their feelings than to force them, 
suffered them to remain behind. When they came 
into the open air, and saw the pure and blessed moon 
shining above, Catherine felt as if she were emerging 
into more celestial regions than she had ever inhabited 
before. A sixth sense seemed to have been imparted 
to her, whereby the glory of God was revealed to her 
soul. The heavens no longer appeared to her a mere 
expanse of starry blue, made to gratify man's nightly 
vision, or to exercise the genius of the astronomer, 
but a tablet on which was impressed in burning and 
eternal characters, the wisdom, the power, the infinity 
of the creating uncreated hand. The shadows of 
death were left rolling behind, forming a dark back- 
ground for these living splendours. The conscious- 
ness that she had something existing within her, 
destined to live when the moon, and the stars, and tho 
heavens themselves were no more, swelled in her 
bosom, and oppressed while it exalted her. When 
Clifton parted with her qt her own door, he simply 
said, "May God bless you, Miss Meredith." The 
words were few, but every thing that was kind and 
feeling was expressed in the deep and heartfelt sin- 
cerity of the tones. Catherine could not sleep, 
through the long watches of the night. How much 
had she learned during the past hours of the treachery, 


the falsehood, the vanity of the world ! She reflected 
with shame and remorse on the stormy passions that 
had been excited in her breast. They had all subsided 
in the chill, still atmosphere of death. The beauty 
which she had lived to adorn and display seemed 
now worthless in her eyes, doomed as it was to turn 
to dust and ashes, while the deathless principle which 
had been slumbering under the influence of such fatal 
opiates, now awakened and rose upon the ruins of 
demolished vanity and pride, with supernatural 

The woman died a few hours after Catherine left 
her. Her first thought when she heard the intelli- 
gence was for the destitute orphans. She knew they 
had a friend in Clifton, but she wanted to aid him in 
this labour of love. Her only difficulty was in break- 
ing the matter to her aunt, and in gaining her consent 
and co-operation. Frank unfortunately was absent, 
who would have assisted her in this extremity, and 
though with some misgivings, she entered upon her 
explanation. Mrs. Milner was aghast with horror, 
when she learned that Catherine herself had breathed 
infected air, had stood by the bed of death, and per- 
haps exposed herself and the family to some loath- 
some disease. She called for camphor, lavender, and 
cologne, and insisted upon Catherine's bathing her- 
self in the odorous waters, as many times as the proud 
leper was commanded to wash in the waves of Jordan. 
The children she would not hear of them. They 
might bring distemper with them; there was an orphan 
asylum in which they could be placed. She was 


going to make immediate preparations to leave the 
town, and visit some watering place, where they 
would be secure from contagion. Baffled in her be- 
nevolent wishes, Catherine entreated Clifton to find a 
home for the orphans, on the condition tlul she should 
be allowed to defray all expenses connected with the 
charge. This Clifton did not resist, for he knew it 
would flow back in blessings on herself. 

A pious and respectable widow consented to receive 
them, and Catherine never forgot her protege's. Mrs. 
Milner's alarm did not subside, and another motive, 
unavowed, induced her to hasten her departure, her 
anxiety to remove Catherine from the influence of 
Clifton. Her anger, too, at the occurrence which took 
place at the party, accelerated her movements. 
Catherine saw with dismay the arrangements for their 
speedy removal from the society of one, whom she 
now regarded as her best counsellor, and truest friend. 
Frank openly resisted the plan, but finding it in vain 
to alter his aunt's determination, he urged Clifton to 
accompany them, with all the eloquence of which he 
was master. "I cannot go with you," replied he; 
here Mrs. Milner breathed freely, " but I will endea- 
vour to follow," here her brow again clouded, while 
Catherine's brightened as if a sunbeam flashed over 
it. They were to commence their journey early in 
the morning Clifton lingered till a late hour in the 
evening. He spoke to Catherine with all the freedom 
and tenderness of a brother, and at her own request 
sketched the outline of his sainted sister's character 
and life, for Catherine resolved in her heart she 


would make them the model of her own. She no 
longer thought it a gloomy theme she could even 
hear him speak of death without shuddering, for she 
began to perceive beyond its shadows, the dawn of 
an eternal day. 

"Thank Godl" exclaimed Mrs. Milner, as the 
carriage rolled away from the door, and the last 
glimpse of Clifton's figure was excluded from their 

" For what ?" asked Frank, abruptly. 

" For being relieved of the company of that young 
man. He has changed you and Catherine into perfect 
mopes, and me, too, almost I really have not felt 
well since he came among us." 

Catherine either could not or would not speak. She 
sat veiled in a corner of the carriage, and turned not 
at the voice of her aunt. Not so Frank he could 
not hear Clifton lightly named. 

" Aunt," said he, warmly, " there is more real worth 
in one joint of Clifton's little finger, than in all the 
young men you ever knew in your whole existence. 
He is truth to his heart's core. He would sacrifice 
his life for his enenvy more he could not do for a 
friend. Mopes ! I never knew one hour of real 
happiness till I knew him, nor Catherine either, I am 
confident, though she may not be bold enough to 
declare it." 

" Well, Frank," replied she, angrily, " I will not 
say more now, as you are so warm, but I never wish 
to see him again as long as I live." 

" Perhaps not, my dear aunt, but when you come 


to die, you may wish in vain for such a friend as 

Mrs. Milner looked as if she thought that hour was 
far distant; but in such an hour as we think not, "the 
Son of Man cometh." She awoke that night with a 
violent pain in her head, and a burning thirst, ac- 
companie 1 by indescribable and alarming sensations. 
Slie)|uul fled precipitately from disease, but it pur- 
sued her like a strong man armed, and she now 
lay powerless in its grasp. As a traveller she was 
deprived of the comforts of home, and was compelled 
to employ as a physician, a stranger, in whose skill 
she had no confidence. Catherine was terrified. She 
had never seen her aunt sick in her life. She had 
lived as if she expected immortality on earth. It 
was a melancholy thing to see her prostrated so 
suddenly on a sick bed. She insisted upon going 
home immediately. She would be well as soon as 
she returned, she was sure, but the moment she lifted 
her head from the pillow, her brain reeled and her 
limbs refused their office. In a few hours she was 
raving in delirium, and the physician declared her 
life in the utmost danger. Messengers were dispatched 
for her medical friends, but before they arrived, she 
was on the verge of eternity, and no human hand 
could hold her back from the awful abyss in which she 
was about to plunge. It was a fearful thing to hear 
her raving about fashion and fine dresses, and Cathe- 
rine's beauty, thus weaving of vanity a winding-sheet 
for her soul, the grave-clothes which it must wear 
into the presence of a holy God. 


" Oil I" exclaimed Catherine, as she hung in agony 
over her bed, " oh, that Clifton were here, that he 
might breathe one such prayer over her as I heard 
him breathe over that poor, dying woman!" 

" My sister," said Frank, " let us kneel together, and 
pray that Clifton's God may be ours. The voice of 
prayer cannot reach her ear, but it will be heard by 
Him whose mercy is equal to his power." 

It was a touching sight to see that brother and 
sister kneeling by the dying bed of her who had 
never instilled into their young hearts one principle 
of religion, who had dedicated them to the GoJ of this 
world, totally regardless of another, and who had 
never lifted one prayer for herself or them, but had 
risen up and laid down like the beasts that perish, to 
eat, to drink, to sleep, and then to die. 

Mrs. Milner died. No ray of reason broke in 
on her departing soul no consolation remained for 
her weeping friends. The last words she uttered 
rung in Catherine's ear, long after her body was 
mouldering in the grave. "Take it back," said she, 
after having given directions for a new dress in the 
latest style, "take it back, it is old-fashioned, and 
stiff. It does not fit rne. The chamber is narrow, 
and the robe must be tight. The folds must lay close 
and smooth, and take care the dust does not soil it. 
It looks wondrous white." White indeed was the 
last robe she wore, and the folds once laid, they never 
moved again. 

To avoid details too minute for the limits of a 
story like this, we will pass over the interval of a 


year, and introduce Catherine Meredith once more to 
our readers in her own home, which was to be her 
home no longer. Owing to the boundless extrava- 
gance of Mrs. Milner, who proved so faithless a 
guardian to the trust imposed, Catherine's fortune 
was completely exhausted, and Frank found when ha 
had cancelled every debt, he had scarcely enough left 
for a support. The splendid house of their father 
was given up, and they were about to remove to a 
small cottage in the country, where Frank intended 
to prepare himself for the ministry, and Catherine 
to engage in the instruction of youth. Catherine sat 
alone in the spacious apartment, which had been so 
often thronged with gay and flattering guests. She 
was dressed in simple mourning, and her hair parted 
on her brow, without ringlets or ornaments. Her 
cheek was pale, and her eye more thoughtful than in 
her days of vanity, but " that peace which passeth all 
understanding" now beamed from her countenance, 
and pervaded her heart. True, she felt some natural 
regrets at leaving the home of her childhood, where 
every object was endeared to her juvenile memory. 
She sat down to the piano, and touched the keys for 
the last time. She began a hymn that Clifton had 
taught her, but overcome by her feelings, she paused, 
and leaning her face on the instrument, tears fell 
thick and fast upon the keys, which had so many 
times responded to her flying fingers. The door 
opened, but she did not raise her head. She thought 
she knew her brother's footsteps. Some one s;it down 
by her side, but still she moved not, for assured of 


Frank's affectionate sympathy, she was not ashamed 
of her emotion. Her hand was gently taken, and 
she withdrew it not, believing it the same fraternal 
hand which had always soothed her sorrows, and 
wiped away her tears. " Catherine," said a voice, as 
kind and tender, but far different from Frank's. It 
was Clifton, the brother of her adoption, and from 
this moment, the destiny of Catherine was changed. 
She was told that she was loved by one whom she 
revered as the best and holiest of created beings, as 
her guide to heaven, her counsellor and consoler on 
earth. Catherine, in the true humility of her heart, 
believed herself unworthy of his love, but she doubted 
not his sincerity, and she lifted up her heart in grati- 
tude to heaven for having provided her with a friend 
so dear. Clifton had not stood aloof from them, 
during the year which had flown by. Many a time 
previous to this hour, his heart had yearned to pour 
forth the tenderness that filled it to overflowing, but 
he feared the change in Catherine's character might 
be rather the result of feeling than principle, and that 
she might relapse again into her former habits of 
self-indulgence and folly. Now, however, when he 
saw her continuing in the narrow path of duty with 
undeviating steps, unmoved by the ridicule of her 
former associates, preparing herself for a life oPexer- 
tion and self-denial, with more than resignation, with 
energy and cheerfulness; he felt that he could take 
her by the hand, and bind her to his heart with in- 
dissoluble ties ties which death could not sever, 
and eternity would more closely unite. 


" Did you know that .Catherine Meredith was mar- 
ried this morning to that methodistical young man ?" 
asked one of Catherine's former associates of another. 
" I always thought it would be a match, for the poor 
girl almost run crazy after him." 

" Well, I wish her joy," answered the other. "I am 
sure no one envies her. They say he is very poor 
and exceedingly penurious. I know well enough she 
will get tired of her conventicle life such a proud, 
vain flirt as she used to be, is not changed so soon. It 
is all hypocrisy. She put on religion, as she would 
put on a new dress, to catch her husband, and she 
will put it off as readily, when it suits her conve- 

"And what do you think," observed the first 
speaker, " of her handsome brother Frank ? They say 
he is going to turn a preacher since he has lost his 
property. Poor Mrs. Milner little thought, when she 
died, of such a downfall to her hopes. I believe she 
thought Catherine might have married any prince in 
Europe. She was an excellent woman, after all 
gave such elegant parties ; she was a great loss to 

So the heartless world spoke of the future prospects 
of those who had withdrawn from its unhallowed in- 
fluence. Let us follow Catherine for one moment to 
her new home, and see whether she is wedded to 
penury and avarice. The last light of day, that soft- 
ened yet glowing light, which allows the eye to dwell 
umlazzled on the loveliness of nature, was lingering 
on the landscape. The richness and maturity of latent 


summer mellowed the tints, but no trace of autumnal 
decay yet marked the magnificent garniture of the 
fields and bowers. The bridal travellers were ascend- 
ing a gradual slope, from which the prospect every 
moment expanded into deeper loveliness, when Cathe- 
rine's eye was attracted by a white mansion, gleaming 
through overshadowing trees, in classic beauty and 
simplicity, situated remote from the road, and sur- 
rounded by an expanse of living green. 

" Whose beautiful dwelling-place is that ?" said 

" Let us pause a moment on the brow of this hill, 
that we may observe more leisurely this enchanting 
view." Clifton ordered the carriage to stop, and 
Catherine gazed with delighted eye around her. 
"The owner of that mansion, my beloved Cathe- 
rine," said Clifton, while he followed with his own 
her beaming glances, "is a most blessed and happy 
man. Heaven has endowed him with wealth, and also 
inspired him with a desire to make the gift subser- 
vient to his Creator's glory. His heart overflows with 
love to his fellow-men, yet he felt alone in the world, 
for, in common with other men, he was called to 
weep over the graves of his kindred. He sighed for 
a bosom on which he could repose his cares and his 
trust. He sought it not among the daughters of 
fashion, and yet he found it. He is now in possession 
of a wife most lovely to his sight, but far more lovely 
to his soul; a meek, devoted, Christian wife, who, 
having loved him for himself alone, unconscious of 
his wealth, now comes to share it, and help him to 


distribute it among the children of sorrow and of 
want." Catherine threw herself into her husband's 
arms and wept, but they were tears of gratitude and 
joy ; not for the affluence that was again to be her 
portion, but that she was the wife of Clifton deemed 
worthy to be his handmaid and partner on earth, and 
destined, she humbly believed, to be his companion 
hereafter, in that world " where there shall be no more 
marrying or giving in marriage, but where all shall 
be like the angels of God in heaven." 


"MARY HAWTHORNE, why don't you come into the 
drawing-room? There is not a very large company, 
so you need not be frightened away to-night." 

" Perhaps not ; but I had rather pass the evening 
in your father's chamber. He will be alone, and will 
welcome me, I know; and in the drawing-room, I 
should be a mere cipher to others, while I would 
myself suffer the tortures which none but bashful 
people can know." 

" Well, if you persist in your old-fashioned ways, 
I suppose I must let you follow them ; I acknowledge 
there is nothing particularly attractive as yet in the 
assembly, so let us walk awhile on this green plat, 
and make our observations, through these lighted 
windows, on the figures so gaily dressed." 

The speaker, a fashionable-looking, gaily-dressed 
young man, led his companion along, as he spoke, to 
the spot indicated ; and as they slowly promenaded in 
the shade, he criticised with a practised eye the dress, 
air, and attitudes of the group within, illuminated as 
it was by the shower of silver light that fell from the 
brilliant chandeliers. There could not be a greater 
contrast in appearance, than between the young man 
and his companion. Her apparel was remarkable in 
such a scene, from its extreme simplicity ; and there 
was no glow of beauty on her face, or striking graces 
of person, to render the absence of all adventitious 


ornament forgotten by the beholder. She was not 
beautiful ; she was not handsome ; not even what the 
world calls pretty, and yet she is the heroine of my 
story and Henry Graham, the hero, was called the 
handstfmest man in his mother's drawing-room, when 
the elite of the city were gathered there, as they were 
often wont to be. 

"Had you not better go in?" said Mary, as she 
observed the stately figure of Mrs. Graham pass and 
repass the windows, pausing to say a few words to 
this guest, bowing graciously to that, smiling benig- 
nantly on one, offering a fan to another, the embodied 
spirit of politeness, ever moving, yet ever seeming 
exactly in the right spot. 

"Not yet; stay awhile longer there is no one 
there I care any thing about ; and you know I never 
trouble myself to entertain those who are indifferent 
to me. It is incredible to me how my mother 
(Heaven forgive her !) can condescend to put on that 
eternal smile, and to appear so delighted with people 
whom in her heart she despises, laughs at, or dislikes. 
I must say, however, her smiles become her very 
muoh; she is a noble-looking woman, and under- 
stands the art of dressing better than any lady I 
know I wish you would take lessons of her, 

" When I am as handsome as your mother, I will 
certainly do it. Let excessive attention to dress be 
the peculiar privilege of beauty: /claim the less 
appropriated one of unadorned homeliness." 

" You do injustice to yourself you look very 


well, Mary, vastly better than a hundred prettier 
girls. If you would summon a little more confidence, 
and assume an air, a manner that something, whose 
fascination we feel, yet cannot describe : dress, with a 
little more taste and fashion, you would find that 
nature has not been such a niggard after all. You 
would be astonished yourself at the metamorphosis." 

"It must have been far easier to transform Daphne 
into a laurel tree, and Narcissus into a flower, than an 
awkward girl like me, into a modern fine lady. Oh, 
Henry 1" she continued, in a tone of deep feeling, " if 
you knew what I suffer when I am in the midst of a 
scene like the one reflected before us, you would 
never ask me to enter upon it. When I see so many 
fair forms, and so many admiring eyes bent upon 
them, I cannot but make comparisons humbling to 
myself; and sometimes I feel as if I would barter an 
empire, if I had it, for such claims to honour : ay, 'tis 
true, I grow envious ; and then I hate myself." 

" Strange girl ! With such a soul " he was 

going on, probably, to exalt the perfections of the soul 
in comparison with those of the body, when his atten- 
tion became suddenly and completely distracted ; his 
eye rested on a lady, who, at that moment, entered 
the drawing-room, and hastily saying, " I believe it is 
time I should be there," Mary found herself alone 
beneath the mulberry tree, under which they had just 
been standing. The most laboured eloquence could 
not have convinced her more of the justice of her 
own reflections with regard to personal beauty, than 
this simple act. The lady whom Henry so eagerly 


sought, was beautiful splendidly, surpassingly beau- 
tiful : not from mere regularity of feature, and bril- 
liancy of complexion, but there was an air of regality 
about her, a queenly grace, such as Mary's imagina- 
tion had invested her lovely namesake of the house 
of Stuart with. She was dressed magnificently ; but 
the jewelry of her eyes transcended the gems that 
glittered on her neck and arms ; and even the diamond 
star, that shone midst the darkness of her hair, flashed 
not more brightly than the glances she scattered like 
sun-rays around her. "Wherever she moved there 
was a buzz, a commotion, a pressing forward of the 
gentlemen a subsiding motion among the ladies. 
But who could marvel? She moved with such grace! 
Mary caught herself repeating, before she was aware 
of the recollection, 

" The cygnet nobly walks the water 
So moves on earth Circassia's daughter." 

Wherever the fair stranger turned, Henry Graham 
followed her, with an animation of countenance and 
earnestness of manner, strikingly contrasted with the 
languor and indifference he generally manifested, 
when he felt no motive to call into exercise those 
powers of pleasing with which he was eminently en- 
dowed. Mary sighed ; she was vexed with herself 
for sighing she feared she was growing very envious. 

"I would rather die," said she to herself, "than 
give myself up to the dominion of such a hateful 
passion. Conscious as I am of having that within 
which should lift me above such grovelling thoughts 


a heart glowing with the love of all that's excel- 
lent and fair a soul capable of bearing me to the 
very gates of the empyrean " 

She remembered, then, her office as nurse, in the 
chamber of the invalid master of the gay mansion, 
and quitting her post of observation, she passed the 
illuminated hall, and softly unclosed the door of an 
apartment, where she knew her light footstep was 
always welcomed with joy. 

" Mary, my dear, is it you ?" asked a mild voice, as 
she entered. She answered by smoothing the pillow 
on which the invalid leaned in his easy chair, and 
placing his footstool in a more comfortable position. 
What a change did this silent chamber present from 
the hall into which she had just been gazing ! The 
dim lamps that burned upon the table, the close-drawn 
curtains shutting out the soft breath of evening, the 
white locks and wan face that reclined upon the 
pillow called up a very different train of reflections 
from the dazzling lights, the crimson folds drawn 
back by gilded shafts, the proud mien and flushed 
cheek of Mrs. Graham, or the gaiety and splendour 
of her guests. She thought of her mother's sick 
room and dying hour, her own deserted home, and, 
drawing a low chair near Mr. Graham, she sat down 
in silence, for her heart was too full for speech. 

And who is Mary Hawthorne ? What relation does 
she bear to the family of the Grahams ? And where 
did she acquire those rustic, retiring habits, so uncon- 
genial with her present situation ? may be questions 
naturally asked and easily answered. 


Mary's mother was cousin to Mrs. Graham, and in 
early youth had been her play-fellow, school-mate, 
and most familiar friend. An imprudent marriage, 
whose result was a blighting of the heart, poverty, 
and seclusion from the world, removed her entirely 
from Mrs. Graham's prosperous and brilliant sphere. 
Left in widowhood with scarcely the means of sup- 
port, yet too proud to ask assistance from the early 
friends, whose neglect and alienation she bitterly felt, 
she continued to struggle with her destiny, and to 
bear up herself and her young daughter above the 
cold waters of despair that seemed fast closing around 
her, till, finding herself sick and dying, she sent a 
messenger to the once affectionate friend of her youth, 
and entreated her with all the eloquence of a dying 
mother's prayer, to receive and cherish her desolate 

Mrs. Graham's good feelings were not so utterly 
worn out in the pursuit of the world's pleasures, as to 
be unaffected by a petition like this. She promised 
all that was asked ; and Mrs. Hawthorne's last sigh 
was mingled with a throb of deep thanksgiving. 
Mary, the humble, disciplined child of adversity and 
eorrow, became a dependent on the bounty of one 
who, from her cradle, had been dandled in the lap of 
smiling prosperity, and knew adversity and sorrow only 
by name. Accustomed to the unbounded indulgence 
of her own passions, Mrs. Graham never reflected, that 
others might have passions and feelings too. Con- 
sideration made no part of her character. When she 
granted Mrs. Hawthorne's petition, she had flattered 


herself that her orphan protege would give her addi- 
tional eclat in society ; she had delineated her in her 
own imagination, with the classic outline of her 
mother's beautiful face a fair, drooping lily, gemmed 
with the dews of sorrow, that would contrast sweetly 
with the roses of beauty she gathered into her draw- 
ing-room. Her disappointment at seeing Mary was 
extreme, and she had not the delicacy or kindness to 
conceal it. The weeds of mourning and the pallor of 
deep grief, had a most unfavourable effect on Mary's 
naturally pale complexion and downcast eyes ; while 
awed by the unwonted splendour that surrounded her, 
she exhibited an embarrassment of manner, which, to 
the self-possessed and graceful Mrs. Graham, had the 
character of incurable awkwardness. 

"What a pity she's not prettier 1" said she to a 
female friend, in a low voice, but which Mary, accus- 
tomed to watch for the feeble accents of her mother, 
distinctly heard ; " I cannot conceive how it happens ; 
her mother was one of the most beautiful women I 
ever saw ; I am shockingly disappointed ; she seems 
excessively awkward, too, poor thing 1" 

Cold and heavy as lead did each unfeeling word 
sink in poor Mary's woe- worn heart. Convicted of the 
atrocious crime of not being handsome, she had an 
intuitive perception, that the qualities of the head and 
heart, which, amidst all the ills of life, her mother had 
constantly taught her to cultivate, would be considered 
as of little value in the estimation of Mrs. Graham. 
All the warm feelings of gratitude and love, which 
she was ready to pour out at the feet of her benefac- 


tress, were congealed at the fountain. She sickened 
in the midst of profusion, and would gladly have laid 
herself in her mother's grave and died, if she could 
have escaped the chagrin and isolation of her present 
lot. To have nobody to love her, nobody to love in 
return, it was a living death, a frozen life ; she could 
not endure it. At last she found an object on whom 
she could lavish her sympathy, her affections, and her 
cares. She had been for some time a member of the 
household before she knew there was such a being iu 
the world as Mr. Graham. There was such a constant 
bustle about the house, such an ebbing and flowing 
of the tide of fashionable life, she was perfectly be- 
wildered; her faculties of seeing and hearing seemed 
to have become dim and weakened ; she felt a mere 
speck herself, a mote in the sunbeam, whose oppressive 
glare withered up her young heart. 

One evening, she never forgot it, when sitting sad 
and unnoticed in a corner of the room, Henry Gra- 
ham, who, though the flattered votary of fashion, was 
gifted by nature with warm and generous feelings, 
took compassion on the forlornness of her situation, 
and asked her to walk in the garden and help him to 
gather some flowers for his father. His father ! it was 
the first time she had heard his name. She then 
learned from him, that Mr. Graham had been long 
confined to his room, by a chronic disease, which, 
though not attended with any immediate danger, was 
a source of frequent suffering, and excluded him from 
all the active pleasures of existence. 

"Oh, let me go to him," exclaimed Mary; "let 


me stay with him and nurse him ; I am too dull, too 
sad, to be where I am; will you not take me to him?" 
Henry was moved by the earnestness of her man- 
ner; it was the first time he had heard distinctly 
the sound of her voice, or seen the colour of her 
eyes; for, dismayed by the remarks of Mrs. Graham 
on her personal appearance, she had remained per- 
fectly silent from that moment in company, unless 
directly addressed, with drooping lids, that too often 
covered tears, that would but dared not fall. She 
now spoke with fervour, and her voice, though low, 
had an uncommon sweetness of tone; and her mild, 
sad gray eye lighted up with an expression which not 
only indicated exalted feeling, but intellectual power. 
Henry, though he had made his best endeavours to 
bring down his mind to the level of coxcombry, 
and to form himself after the most admired models 
of fashion, had not been quite able to do it. The 
celestial spark would occasionally flash out. He 
had looked upon Mary as a kind of automaton, a 
poor girl whom it was his mother's business to feed 
and clothe, and, as such, entitled to kindness on his 
part. He now saw that she was a feeling, thinking 
being, and Mary understood, with surprise and de- 
light, she might look for sympathy where she had 
least expected it. He walked with her through the 
garden, pointing out to her observation what he 
thought most worthy of admiration, conducted her 
kindly to his father's chamber, was very sorry he 
hud not time to remain himself, and left her, happier 
than she had been since she was an orphan. 


She was surprised when she saw an aged man, 
with snowy hair, reclining on a couch, by the side 
of which Henry had seated her. Mrs. Graham, in 
full dress, might have passed for the elder sister of 
her son, and could not have numbered half the 
years of her husband. " This must be Henry's grand- 
sire," thought she, "and yet he called him father." 
She was mistaken it was Mr. Graham, the neglected 
husband of his younger, gayer wife, breathing out 
his unvalued existence, uncheered by those sooth- 
ing attentions, those offices of love, which can trans- 
form the couch of sickness into a bed of roses. Yet 
many a poor cabin dweller doubtless envied him 
his damask canopy, downy pillows, and numerous 
attendants, nor dreamed that the inmate of such an 
apartment could sigh from the consciousness of 
neglect. He must have been a very exacting man, 
for Mrs. Graham came into the room almost every 
day, to inquire after his health, which was very kind, 
as he had been sick so long, it would have been 
natural not to think of him at all; and Henry, who 
certainly loved his father, often devoted an hour at 
a time to read to him or converse with him. He 
would gladly have done more to prove his filial 
devotion, but then, as he himself had told Mary, he 
had so little time. He was obliged to attend his 
mother to so many parties, to see so much compnay 
at home, to go to the theatre and the ball-room so 
often, he was so much admired and caressed, and 
he was so unaffectedly and constitutionally indolent, 
it was surprising how he was able to accomplish so 


much. From the hour Mary first stood by his side, 
and offered, with a trembling hand, the flowers she 
had gathered in the evening, whose commencemeDt 
we have just described, during: the lapse of a year, 
she had been to him a ministering spirit of kindness 
and love. She became as light to his eyes and 
fragrance to his senses. The face which was disre- 
garded or criticised by the side of the heartless belle, 
was welcomed by him as an angel visitor. She came 
to him arrayed in the beauty of gentle words and 
deeds, and his chilled bosom melted with tenderness, 
and warmed towards her with more than a father's 
love. Nor did she confine herself to mere physical 
attentions. She administered to his mind the food 
it loved, read to him hour after hour, till lulled by 
her voice, he slumbered quietly as a soothed infant. 
Mary grew happy in the consciousness of being loved, 
of being necessary to the happiness of another. She 
had another source of happiness in the society of 
Henry, who found a relief from ennui in her natural 
and unpretending conversation, exalted, as it often- 
times was, by beauty of imagination and vigour of 
thought. When weary of playing the part of a fine 
gentleman, weary of shining and being shone upon, 
or of lounging on a sofa, or sauntering through the 
hall, he thought of Mary, and found himself refreshed 
and invigorated in her presence. The best, the kind- 
est of feelings of his nature were called into exercise 
by this companionship, for Mary never touched a chord 
of the human heart that did not answer in sweet 
music, provided that the heart were rightly tuned. 


He learned to look upon her with the kindness and 
consideration of a brother, and sought to draw her 
more into society, but here his efforts were generally 

" Mary, my child, do not stay with me to-night, 
said Mr. Graham, laying his hand on her head, as she 
drew a low seat close to him, and leaned on the 
elbow of his chair "you make yourself too much of 
a nun; I am a selfish old man, I know, but I cannot 
bear to see you deprive yourself of every gratification 
at your age." 

"I find my chief pleasure here; I cannot even 
claim the merit of making a sacrifice, for if I did not 
remain with you, I should most probably retire to my 
own room." 

" I have a great deal to say to you, Mary, but I 
cannot do it to-night; I feel too languid for the effort; 
another time when I can rally a little more strength, 
remember what I have said: I must not defer it too 
long, for my life is gliding away, grain after grain ; a 
few more turnings of the glass and it will all be over. 
Does it make you weep, child, to hear me speak thus? 
Well, take down that book and read me to sleep, for 
my eyes are heavy, and it is better that I should not 
talk now." 

Mary took the book, and began to read in those 
low, gentle tones, so soothing to a sick man's ear. It 
was not long before his deepened breathing convinced 
her that her voice was no longer heard. She paused 
awhile, and turning over the pages, tried to continue 
reading to herself, but though it was an author she 


loved, she could not fasten her attention upon a single 
paragraph. Her eyes ran over the lines, and mechani- 
cally took in the words, but her thoughts wandered 
after the dazzling stranger. Iler curiosity was ex- 
cite 1 she wondered at its own intensity. She longed 
for the morning, that she might ask Henry her name 
and residence. She laid down her book, and sat in 
the window, within the curtain, where she could see 
and hear something of the movements in the hall ; 
for Mr. Graham's room was in a wing of the building, 
extending back from the main body of the house. 
The sash was a little raised, and she could distinctly 
hear the notes of the piano, with the accompaniment 
of a female voice of rare and exquisite melody. 
" That must be the beautiful stranger," and she was 
right in her conclusion. It was Miss Devereux, the 
star of the evening, the acknowledged beauty of a 
sister city, a nightingale in song, a goddess in the 
dance, a perfect mirror of the graces. Female rivalry 
was put aside in her presence, for she distanced all 
competition. It was no disgrace to yield the palm to 
one so pre-eminent ; it became a matter of policy to 
praise and admire her, and for once, the ladies vied 
with the other sex, in their flatteries and attentions. 
She had the peculiar power of conversing with half a 
dozen gentlemen at the same time, and to make each 
believe that they were particularly distinguished. 
She would keep a dozen more employed for her at 
the same time, and each considered himself particu- 
larly honoured. No empress was more despotic in 
her sway, yet she threw her chains around her vassals 


so gracefully, that they gloried in their bondage. If 
Mary was so anxious to hear her name, she had but 
to listen at the door of the drawing-room, where it 
resounded from corner to corner the whole evening. 
It was " Miss Devereux's glove," " Miss Devereux's 
fan," " Miss Devereux's this," and " Miss Devereux's 
that," nothing in the world but Miss 'Devereux. It 
was strange how one woman could turn so many 
people's heads in one night, but she was the vent, vidi, 
vici lady. It would be difficult to count the tongues 
employed the next morning in discussing the merits 
of her person, voice, dress, and manners. It is strange 
indeed, if no flaw were discovered in the jewel, upon 
an inspection so close ; perhaps the microscopic eye 
of envy might have done so; but Henry Graham 
made no such discovery. Mary found him as ready 
to tell her all he knew respecting her, as she was 
eager to ask. He described her as not only the most 
beautiful being he ever beheld, but the most fasci- 
nating ; he could find no language sufficiently strong 
to do justice to her; he was obliged to speak in 
ejaculatory sentences : "How superbly she dances," 
"how divinely she sings," "such eyes," "such a 
brow," " such a glorious complexion !" It is unne- 
cessary to repeat all the encomiums that were uttered, 
or all that Mrs. Graham and her son said respecting 
the evening's party or the morning's entertainment. 
The former was delighted, because it had gone off so 
brilliantly, and the latter that he had been roused and 
exalted into interest, and that the demon of ennui 
was charmed away, for that clay at least. And so it 


was for many days for weeks. There was a constant 
succession of parties, rides, excursions of pleasure, and 
every fashionable pastime for the beautiful stranger. 
H<xnry became fascinated and bewitched; he could 
talk of nothing else, till Mary, whose curiosity was 
completely satiated, would gladly have changed the 
theme. She was unwilling to manifest her weariness, 
lest Henry should mistake it for envy, and she some- 
times feared it was so. Gradually, however, he spoke 
of her less and less, but from his long fits of abstrac- 
tion, it was evident he thought the more ; and Mary 
changing her fear, dreaded lest he should suffer him- 
self to be lured by a syren to works that might wreck' 
his peace. She knew but little of Miss Devereux, but 
she believed her heartless ; she could not understand 
how any one could appreciate the affections of one 
who accepted with smiles, incense from all. Her 
fears were soon confirmed by one of those accidents 
which reveal more of the character in one moment, 
than is oftentimes done in years. 

There was a long walk in Mrs. Graham's garden, 
shaded on each side by a close hedge, whither Mary 
was wont to retreat for solitude and exercise. One 
day, after enduring the martyrdom of a dinner party, 
whioh Mrs. Graham had given in honour of Miss 
Derereux, after feeling the presence of her beauty, 
till she seemed dazzled by its brilliance, and wishing 
most fervently that for Henry's sake, so superb a 
temple might have an indweller worthy of its fair 
proportions; she welcomed the moment which gave 
the ladies liberty to retire, and sought her favourite 


sbade. She always chose the least frequented side 
of the hedge, and was walking there, absorbed in 
thought, with her usual stilly step, when she heard 
voices on the other side, one of which immediately 
arrested her attention. It was that of Miss Devereux 
conversing with another young lady, probably a 
bosom friend. 

"You are entirely mistaken," Miss Devereux was 
saying; "I care nothing about him, only as he admin- 
isters to the gratification of the present moment; I 
may prefer him to any of the fools around me just 
now, because he is the handsomest, and reported to 
be the richest." 

"Poor fellow," exclaimed her companion; "I always 
thought before you came, he was cased in a suit of 
mail, impenetrable to ladies' attractions; but indeed, 
Julia, you are wrong to encourage him so much if 
you really mean to discard him." 

"Discard him! let him give me the opportunity; 
and be assured he shall he will. I never suffer a 
man who has shown his devotion by exclusive atten- 
tions alone, trying to earn a right to an acceptance, 
and to make himself sure of it before he is committed, 
I never suffer such a man to escape: I lead him on 
till I bring him to my feet, and then suffer him to 
get up as he can." 

"Supposing I undeceive him, and tell him what a 
deep coquette you are!" 

"Do it I defy you to do itl and I would stake my 
life on his incredulity. The chains are around him, 
the rivets are fastened, he cannot break them now: 


would you know one of the great secrets of my power, 
Maria? They call me handsome: very well perhaps 
I am so but it is this; in giving just enough encour- 
agement to inspire hope, and too little to create con- 

"Very well; but if you ever mean to marry I can- 
not conceive why you would not accept him; he is 
handsome, rich, and fashionable." 

"It is true, if I were foolish enough to think of 
falling in love, it would be a very good opportunity, 
but I love my independence and liberty too well; a 
few years hence will do ; I would not for the autocrat 
of the Russias barter the freedom I now enjoy for 
domestic thraldom." 

Mary, compelled to be a listener from her situation, 
was indignant and amazed. She could not have be- 
lieved there was so much hollo wness and art in the 
world. She felt as if she had been reading a dark page 
of the human heart, and in her simplicity and sincerity, 
looked upon Miss Devereux as little better than a 
murderess. What! entice a person with smiles and 
graces, and kind glances, to lay his whole affections 
at her feet, and then spurn them ! Mary shuddered 
she was but a novice in the ways of the world and 
she shuddered still more when she heard the voice of 
Henry Graham accosting them, and the same silver 
tones which had just been pronouncing his doom, ad- 
dress him with such seductive softness. 

"What, a rose! Mr. Graham offer me a rose! I 
thank you ; but I dislike roses exceedingly." 

" Dislike roses ! impossible." 


" Very possible ; they are so vulgar, so glaring and 
large ; I cannot imagine how it was ever named the 
queen of flowers." 

"Unqueen her then, and suffer me to place the dia- 
dem on the one yourself shall call the fairest." 

" Excuse me, no queen of flowers for me ; they de- 
serve not such honours; they are too fading, too 
abundant ; there is vulgarity in their very profusion ; 
they are a plebeian race, and I must acknowledge I 
dislike them all." 

Henry spoke of a ride proposed for the morrow, and 
hoped the sky would be as blue and the air as pleasant, 
it was such a delightful excursion, the prospect was one 
of the finest in the world." 

" Now, Mr. Graham, I sincerely think it one of the 
most foolish things in nature to go so far for a little 
amusement. I shall go, and I thank you for starting 
the idea, but how preposterous to ride so many miles 
over a dusty road and then climb a steep rugged hill, 
leaving shreds of muslin and lace on every shrub, just 
to admire a fine prospect and to have the blessed priv- 
ilege of being weary I" 

" If you do not wish to go, Miss Devereux," con- 
tinued Henry, " the party will be broken up : we 
sought your pleasure particularly in the proposition; 
if I am not very much mistaken, yourself suggested 
the idea." 

When the trio had again entered the house, Mary 
glided along her shaded path, which she could not do 
before without crossing theirs, and making them con- 
scious of her previous vicinity, rejoicing for once thaV 


she was not beautiful, if beauty must be accompanied 
with such heartless vanity and folly. Her mind was 
absorbed with one thought, Miss Devereux and the 
painful disclosure she was compelled to make to Henry 
Graham, for she deemed it a religious duty to inform 
him of the arts of which he was destined to be the 
victim. She found an early opportunity of being alone 
with him ; she knew that they were to meet on the mor- 
row, and she wished he should arm himself in time 
with the panoply of moral courage, to defy the arts 
of this insidious beauty. 

" Henry," said she, approaching the sofa on which 
he reclined. She felt a sudden choking in her throat, 
and paused with the flush of embarrassment rising on 
her pale cheek. 

"Well, what would you, Mary?" making room for 
her by his side. " What petition is harbingered by 
that earnest look ?" 

" None ; I have no petition to make, merely simple 
facts to state, which I deem it my duty, however un- 

" Do not hesitate ; speak openly ; am I not your 
brother ? Address me as such." 

"I hesitate because I fear to give pain; I fear too 
to be associated in your mind with painful emotions." 

" What is it you have to communicate ? Your eyes 
are filled with tears, you breathe with difficulty; 
is it any thing of Miss Devereux ? Good heavens ! 
Any accident ? has the carriage been overturned ? is 
she hurt? is she killed?" and Henry started upon 
his feet. 


"Pray, compose yourself: it is of Miss Devereux I 
\vould speak, yet I am not aware of any accident. I 
have been an unwilling listener to-day to words you 
ought_to hear, as they may, they must affect the hap- 
piness of your future life." Gathering courage from 
Henry's preposterous alarm, Mary faithfully repeated 
the cold, treacherous dialogue she had over 
Henry listened without any interruption ; she saw the 
blood mount higher and higher, till it reached his 
temples; he bit his nether lip most ominously : was ho 
angry with her or Miss Devereux ? she could not tell. 
At last he began to walk up and down the room with 
long tragic steps, stopping occasionally and applying 
his hand to his forehead with a force that made Mary 
start. She had never witnessed a lover's heroics, and 
was seriously alarmed. Hardly knowing what she 
did, she ran to him, and seizing him by the arm, ar- 
rested him in his rapid movements. 

" Henry, dear Henry ! what is the matter ? Do not 
suffer yourself to be moved in this manner, try to for- 
get her, she is not worthy you should give yourself 
such suffering on her account." 

Henry shook her from him as if a viper had clung 
to him. Staggered by the violence of the motion, she 
was obliged to lean against the wall for support, and 
stung to the soul, she covered her face with her hands 
and burst into tears. He stopped, looked steadily at 
her and became very pale. 

" Mary, beware what you are doing ; it is dangerous 
to trifle with a man's passions when they are roused 
as mine are. I cannot believe her such a hypocrite: 


deceit never was enshrined in such a form ; were an 
angel to tell me that she did not love me, I would not 
believe it." 

" You think me then capable of falsehood ?" 

"I think you have misunderstood and misinter- 
preted playful and innocent language. You know 
nothing of the world : what woman of spirit will 
acknowledge her affection for another, especially to a 
female friend ? I would not wound your feelings, I 
may have been too hasty, you always act from a sense 
of right, but, Mary, you know but little of love." 

Mary's tears were checked, the sense of deep in- 
justice and ingratitude supplied her with dignity to 
bear her up above her wounded sensibility. Her mild 
eye lit up with a burning ray, her cheek glowed with 
living crimson, she seemed transformed ; never before 
had her countenance beamed with such an expression ; 
it imparted power and beauty to her face. Henry 
caught it, and it had upon him the momentary effect 
of fascination. Though the tide of exalted feeling 
soon rolled back, effacing for the time every im- 
pression but one, in after hours of darkness and 
despondency, the recollection of this flashing out of 
the heart and soul came to him as the torch, lighting 
up the gloom of a mine : Mary moved to the door and 
laid her hand upon the latch. 

" My errand is done," said she ; " how painful a one 
it has been, is useless tor me to say. Had I known 
the manner in which it would be received, I might 
have lingered longer ; but it is better as it is ; I have 
done what truth and friendship required, and it is 


enough. Grateful friendship, I ought to say, for when 
dejected, oppressed, and unappreciated by others, 
every fountain of joy sealed up, you came with sym- 
pathy and kindness on your lips and in your heart, 
and the living waters once more gladdened the desert 
of my life. From that hour gratitude to yourself and 
father have been a strong vital principle within me. 
Simple, inexperienced girl as I am, I know you better 
than the world does, and I have the boldness now to 
utter it: while the flatterers of your fortune deem, 
you the mere indolent devotee of fashion, I have seen 
a depth of feeling and vigour of intellect that shamed 
the worldly bondage to which it submitted. That 
feeling and intellect will yet work out deliverance 
and triumph ; you will hereafter do me justice." 

Henry looked after her as she closed the door, as 
Amarath did upon the genius Syndaria when he had 
encircled her finger with the magic ring. lie felt the 
power and purity of truth, and his conscience up- 
braided him for the ungracious manner in which he 
had met the admonition of his friend. Then again his 
imagination delineated the goddess form of Miss 
Devereux, the darkness of " her oriental eye" swam 
before his gaze : he thought of her houri smile, and 
convinced himself that she was all that was excellent 
as well as all that was fair; Mary's fastidious ideas of 
rectitude had been needlessly alarmed, and had con- 
verted a little badinage and evasion into moral turpi- 
tude. He attended the riding party the following day; 
Mrs. Graham was also there in high spirits; Mary re- 
mained, as usual, by the couch of Mr. Graham. 


The house was almost deserted ; the servants, as a 
reward for the many extra services required of them 
during such a succession of parties, were enjoying a 
holiday. Every room in the usually gay mansion 
was as still as the sick chamber where Mary kept her 
unwearied vigils. 

"Mary, my dear," said the invalid in a moment 
she was bending over him, "place these pillows be- 
hind me, and draw back that curtain, so that I may 
feel the west wind through the slats ; I feel better than 
I have^ for many days, I can breathe more freely. 
Do you remember a promised communication you 
were to hear when I could summon sufficient strength 
and resolution? I dare not defer it longer; some- 
thing warns me to finish all I have to do on earth, for 
I shall soon rest on a pillow where your kind hands, 
my Mary, can never reach me more. Give me a glass 
of that cordial and draw your chair still closer, and 
now let me begin before this glow has left my 

Mary had not forgotten what he had once said to 
her on this subject. Her curiosity had been excited 
and interested, but now the moment had arrived when 
it was to be gratified, she shrunk with awe and mis- 
giving from the mysterious communication. She 
gazed with solemn interest on the aged speaker, 
whose sunken eyes were turned on her with a look of 
intense and prophetic meaning. 

"Mary, if I had strength to relate to you the his- 
tory of my life, you would wonder what strong pas- 
sions had warred in this now wasted frame. I cannot 


go back to my youth, I will not even revert to my 
prime of manhood; it was passed before I became a 
married man. When I tell you that never heart of 
mortal was more bound up in visions of home and 
domestic joy, that I centred in it all my affection, 
care, wealth, and happiness; when you see how my 
affection has been repaid, my cares returned, my 
wealth dissipated, my happiness disregarded oh! my 
child, I am a dying old man, and ought to wrestle no 
longer with the dark spirits of this world, but when I 
think of the folly, the recklessness, the hard-hearted- 
ness of those from whom I had a right to expect pity, 
kindness, and love, the blood of nearly seventy years 
burns in my chilled veins." 

"Oh! forbear, sir, you are flushed, you are feverish, 
you cannot bear this exertion." 

"Interrupt me not when I have so much to say, 
such uncertain breath to utter it. I said I had centred 
all my wealth in my home; I was wrong; when my 
son was about sixteen, unfortunate boy, left exposed 
to such pernicious influences, I was called to Europe 
upon commercial business of great importance: dur- 
ing my residence there, some fortunate speculation, 
which it is unnecessary to detail, became to me a source 
of immense wealth. When I returned, and learned 
the extravagant career my wife had run, her bound- 
less ambition to be first in every idle expenditure, 
I resolved to make a secret of my newly acquired 
riches, and vowed to hoard it, that my son, whom she 
was training as her disciple, might have an inherit- 
ance secure from her dissipation. I might have 


secured it to him by law, but I had another object in 
view: I had a lesson to teach them both, a lesson they 
are yet bitterly to learn. I love my son, nature has 
gifted him with noble qualities, and had not heaven 
prostrated me upon this sick bed at the time I was 
most anxious to direct his education, he might have 
been a man; but left to the uncontrolled influence of 
such a mother, is it strange that he has lost the nobil- 
ity of nature? Interrupt me not, my own dear Mary; 
my story yet remains to be told. Upon my return 
this mansion was vacated ; though only a few miles 
from the city, it was too retired in winter for Mrs. 
Graham's gay propensities. I brought with me, 
from Europe, a young man, in the capacity of a ser- 
vant, though his object was to come over to this 
country and find employment as a carpenter, being a 
poor but very ingenious mechanic. He came with 
me to this place, then deserted of its inmates; I 
brought him into this very room, I locked him within 
it till he had completed the work I had appointed him 
to do. He finished his task; bound by an oath of 
secrecy, he received the stipulated sum, left me and 
died soon after of a sudden disease. No being but 
myself knows the work he wrought." 

He paused from exhaustion, nor could he forbear to 
smile at the wild expression of Mary's countenance as 
she glanced round the room, almost expecting to see 
supernatural beings issue from the walls. 

" There is nothing here to harm you, Mary," con- 
tinued he, after a pause ; " I employed no unholy 
means; my journeyman laboured after a European 


model. Now rise, my child, bolt both doors, that no 
one may eater unawares ; you cannot draw the bolts 
with such a trembling hand ; there, that is a little 
steadier. Now walk to the fire-place and press firmly 
with a downward motion against the lower pannel, the 
right side of the chimney; a little lower, firmer, 
harder ; harder yet." 

Mary obeyed the directions, bewildered and fright- 
ened at finding herself such a mysterious agent. The 
pannel suddenly slid, and a small secret closet was 

" Mary, hand me the casket within that closet." 

The heavy casket was placed on his bed ; he drew 
from his bosom a small key, which was suspended 
from his neck by a chain, and bidding Mary unfasten 
the hasp, he immediately clasped it around her own. 
"And now, Mary," said he, with a more solemn, 
deeper accent, " you are in possession of the key that 
unlocks that foreign treasure I have so long secured 
from the unprincipled waste of wealth; hide it in 
your bosom, let not even the chain be visible, guard 
it as the bequest of a dying man, who is about to be- 
queath you a more sacred legacy still." 

Mary sank on her knees by the bed-side and clasped 
his hands imploringly in hers. "Do not, do not, I 
entreat you, sir, bequeath this gold to me. It would 
weigh me down to the dust; this chain even now 
seems a string of fire* around my neck. Your son, 
your son, the wealth is his, who is so fitting to receive 
it from your hands ; he is worthy of your trust, ho 
will not abuse it." 


The sick man raised his feeble body with an energy 
that appalled her. " It is for the sake of that son, that 
now degenerate boy, I leave this in your immediate 
keeping. Within this casket is a letter to Henry, ex- 
plaining to him all my wishes: put it back in the 
recess, replace the pannel and unbolt the doors. Ap- 
proach me once more, and with your hand in mine, 
your eyes lifted to heaven, promise to obey me in 
my last directions, and my soul shall bless you in its 
parting hour." 

Subdued and awe-stricken, Mary lifted her tearful 
eyes and faltered out the promise he exacted. 

"It is enough; the lips of truth have vowed, and 
the vow will never be broken. When I am gone my 
estate will be involved in irremediable ruin; I have 
long foreseen this would be the result of such bound- 
less extravagance. I have long since ceased to warn, 
for my unhappy son needs the lesson in store; ad- 
versity alone will rouse him from his mental and 
moral lethargy; let him but once be forced to call his 
powers into exercise by commanding necessity, and 
they will come like a legion of angels to his help in 
the hour of need ; let him become poor, flatterers will 
desert him, beauty will slight him, he will turn from 
the hollow world and be regenerated. He must go 
through this stormy ordeal, and then, when all the 
dross is removed, when he stands unalloyed and firm 
on the independent basis of his own character, and not 
till then, may this casket, from whose contents you 
have in the mean time derived your own support, be 
committed into his keeping." 


" But should the lesson fail, should ho sink into de- 
spondency and inaction, once inure I entreat " 

"You have promised, entreaties are vain; if the 
lesson should fail, he merits it not, and I leave it in 
worthier hands. You have been to me like the reno- 
vated spirit of my own youth; to you I look for every 
thing that remains of my comfort and support. I feel 
a faith, strong as that inspired by prophecy, that my 
son will shake the dust from his spirit and put on the 
beautiful garments of true manhood: you will not 
always remain the guardian of this treasure. As for 
her, who has alienated herself from me from the hour 
she became & bride, who has neglected me for long 
years on my sick bed, left me to the care of hirelings 
till God in his mercy sent me a loving and tender 
daughter in you, the time is to come, and soon, when 
she will cling to the reeds of fortune and find them 
break in her grasp; when, deserted by seeming friends, 
she will feel the horrors of solitude and remember me ; 
let repentance be her dowry." 

The voice of the sick man assumed a tone alarm- 
ingly hollow as he uttered the last words. His head 
sank back heavily on Mary's shoulder, who gazing in 
his face, saw that his eyes were fixed with a glassy 
stare. Though she felt a dreadful conviction that the 
effort he bad just made had exhausted the strength of 
life, and that he was sinking at once, now the moment 
of excitement was passed, she did not lose her pre- 
sence of mind. She laid him back on the pillow, and 
bathed his temples and face with the restorative 
waters, with which the chamber w r as supplied ; she 


chafed his cold hands, but the features remained rigid, 
the eyes moved not in answer to her fearful glance. 
She recollected that one waiting maid had been or- 
dered to remain behind, and, ringing the bell till the 
girl ran in, she immediately despatched her for the 
physician. "When he arrived and took the patient's 
hand, it fell like lead on the bed-side. His skill availed 
him nothing here he was dead. 

Mary now felt an awful responsibility resting upon, 
her, rendered doubly solemn by the instantaneous 
death of him who had entrusted it the delegated 
guardian of Henry's wealth and fame the repository 
of a secret so strange as almost to baffle credulity. 
Mary felt all this, till she sank down in the hopeless- 
ness of despair: but even in this first hour of despair, 
she prayed that she might be strengthened by Him, 
who himself prayed, when bowed by more than mor- 
tal agonies; and the hope, the conviction that the son 
would be regenerated over the ashes of the father, 
came like the wing of an angel hovering over the gloom. 

Mrs. Graham was shocked, excessively shocked, by 
the suddenness of the event. She shrieked and even 
fainted, when, on her return from the party, she found 
herself standing by the shrouded body of her husband, 
by the side of which Mary sat in the immobility of 
sorrow: she was reminded of her own mortality; the 
chill atmosphere of death oppressed and appalled her. 
The conviction that the gay, glittering life she was 
leading was nothing but a passage to the grave, the 
cold, deep, lonely grave, came over her heavily and 


Henry's grief was sincere. The poignancy of self- 
reproach added intolerable stings to filial affliction. 
"While he had been engaged in selfish amusement, 
administering to the pleasures of an adulated beauty, 
given up to high and unhealthy excitement, the irre- 
proachable Mary had clung to the anchor of duty 
sustained his father's dying agonies and received his 
parting breath. 

It was after every thing had subsided into the 
stillness of gloom, which succeeds such startling 
events, that Mary, whose energies of mind were 
now called into vigorous exercise by the responsi- 
bilities which had so mysteriously devolved upon 
her, endeavoured to extend that influence over the 
mind of Henry, which true moral excellence and 
modest, intellectual strength always give its pos- 
sessor. Conscious of the reverse of fortune that 
awaited him, she tried to arouse his ambition by 
the purest and most exalted motives. She related 
the conversations she had often had with his father, 
when left alone with him in his sickness, in which 
he deplored the indolence of character, which per- 
mitted the most brilliant attributes of mind to re- 
main mouldering in inaction. She told of the dreams 
in which he sometimes indulged, of loving to see 
the son of his hopes sitting in the high places of 
the land, swaying the multitude by his eloquence, 
watching over insulted laws, and avenging outraged 

With a heart softened by sorrow, a conscience 
enlightened by the same salutary counsel, Henry 


listened as to his better angel, and made the most 
ardent resolutions for the future. 

Without entering into tedious and unprofitable 
details, it may be said here that Mr. Graham's ex- 
ecutor found that he had. died insolvent; that the 
consternation of the widow was unutterable, and the 
wonder and sympathy of her innumerable friends, 
as sincere and- valuable as they usually are on such 
occasions. Mulberry Grove, the beautiful and stately 
mansion, was to be sold. Mrs. Graham was to take 
private lodgings in the city; her son was going on 
a European tour, and Mary was to return to the 
obscurity of her native village. Such were the on- 
dits of the world of fashion. 

Among those who came to pay visits of condo- 
lence, after the knowledge of their worst misfortune, 
were Miss Devereux and her inseparable friend. 
She was on the eve of her departure to her native 
city, and mingled her expressions of sympathy for 
her friends, with the warmest words of gratitude 
for their attentions. She wanted to walk once more 
in that beautiful garden, which she should always 
remember as a model of the blended loveliness of 
nature and art. In the course of their walk, she 
managed so skilfully as to separate herself from 
her companion, and to be alone with Henry by the 
hedge. This accomplished coquette had no thought 
of departing with the glory of her conquest unac- 
knowledged. Though his fallen fortunes rendered 
it of less consequence, his name was to be added 
to the number of her victims; for her ambition 


stopped not at less than a hecatomb. The opportunity 
was irresistible; the temptation equally so. The sym- 
pathy she had assumed diffused a captivating softness 
over the lustre of her beauty, and there was an abandon- 
ment, an abstraction in her manner, that might have 
given encouragement to a bolder lover. The declara- 
tion was made: it was a pouring out of the whole 
heart and soul, with all the generous fervour of a 
first acknowledged attachment: as Miss Devoreux 
afterwards told her confident, "it was the most 
graceful, impassioned, and heroic declaration she had 
ever received, and had she not been informed about 
his loss of wealth, she was afraid she might have 
been foolish enough to have consented." She heard 
him in silence, with downcast eyes, from which 
rays of gratified vanity were brightly stealing. She 
then drew back with the air of a queen, who is 
about to reject the petition of a vassal; was greatly 
surprised and distressed; she had never imagined 
the existence of such feelings on his part; uttered 
some cold words about friendship and esteem, cour- 
tesied gracefully, and moved towards the house, 
leaving Henry to reflections we have no wish to 
describe. The greatest kindness we can offer to a 
man of real and deep sensibility, who first discovers 
he has been the dupe of heartless vanity, is to "leave 
him to himself." 

It was that very night, when the family had retired 
to rest, and the whole household in the quiet attendant 
on that lonely hour, Mary left the room, bearing in 
her hand a feeble lamp, and directed her steps to the 


chamber lately occupied by Mr. Graham. She had 
formed the resolution of going back to the scenes o 
her childhood, in the midst of her mother's friends, 
and supporting herself by the exercise of her talents. 
She could teach a school ; she was confident she could 
gain a subsistence. Nothing would induce her to 
remain an incumbent on Mrs. Graham. As the estate 
was to be sold, Mary deemed it her first duty to take 
possession of the treasure, of which she was made the 
reluctant guardian. Notwithstanding the sacredness 
of the charge, and the uprightness of her own prin- 
ciples, she trembled, and drew her breath quickly and 
short, as she opened the door of an apartment so 
lately solemnized by the awful presence of death, 
surrounded by the dim shadow of midnight, secret 
and alone. Notwithstanding her cautious movements, 
the wind, which blew with a strong current through 
the long hall, pressed against the door with such force 
that it eluded her grasp, and closed with a noise 
which almost terrified her from her purpose. Sick at 
heart, she sat down in the easy chair, which, but a 
little while before, she had seen occupied by the 
venerable form now covered with the mould of the 
grave. She lived over the last, impressive scene, 
heard again the solemn adjurations of paternal 
anguish, and her resolution became strengthened for 
the task. She rose put down her lamp pressed the 
secret door drew forth the casket replaced the 
panel, and lifting up the lamp, was turning towards 
the door, when the opposite one slowly opened, and 
Mrs. Graham stood before her. Mary uttered a faint 


shriek, the lamp dropped from her hand, and she re- 
mained gazing on the apparition without the power 
of speech or motion. 

" What is your business here ?" at length exclaimed 
Mrs. Graham, her eye fixed as if by fascination on the 
casket rushing towards her with exasperation in 
every feature. 

" I came on an errand of duty," faltered Mary, with 
bloodless lips. 

" And that casket, how came it in your possession ? 
Am I to be plundered in my own household, by one 
whom my bounty has fed? Give it me this instant 
for your life." 

Mary grasped it to her bosom with convulsive 
agony, yet with a resolution as firm as that with 
which the martyr clings to the cross, for which he is 
yielding up his life. 

"J)o you dare defy me thus?" exclaimed Mrs. 
Graham, seizing her arm, and shaking her with deliri- 
ous force. " I'll rouse every servant in the household 
minion thief!" 

" By the soul of the sainted dead, I am innocent 1" 
cried Mary, emboldened by the consciousness of her 
own innocence, and the sacred guardianship to which 
slie had been elected. "Touch not this, Mrs. Graham, 
as you would rest in your own dying hour. It wa.s 
intrusted to me by your husband, with his last breath. 
I vowed to guard it till the hour appointed. Let not 
the curse of perjury rest upon me. Incur not the 
wrath of Heaven by disregarding the wishes, the com- 
mands of the dead." 


Mrs. Graham was not in a situation to listen to any 
appeal. She had been kept awake by an acute nervous 
affection, which she had in vain endeavoured to soothe. 
Her indignation was boundless, her purpose immove- 
able. Her hands seized the casket, which Mary 
vainly struggled to retain. Mrs. Graham was a tall, 
stately, strong woman ; Mary a slender girl, with 
feeble muscles, that relaxed at last in the powerful 
grasp that held her. 

"Oh! Henry, Henry!" shrieked the unfortunate 
girl, " where art thou ?" 

Mrs. Graham burst into a convulsive laugh, and 
held the casket in her right hand, extended over the 
victim now prostrate at her feet. 

At that moment, as if Providence had marked out 
that night for its own particular purpose, the door was 
thrown back by a sudden motion, and Henry Graham 
stood before them. It would be strange indeed if a 
rejected man thought of slumber ; it is certain he had 
not, but, racked by feelings that maddened him, he had 
walked his own room like a restless ghost, till Mary'a 
shrill cry of agony, issuing from the chamber of death, 
pierced his ear, and brought him to the scene on which 
he now gazed in unutterable amazement. The majestic 
figure of his mother, in her white night-dress, and long 
black locks tha$, loosened in the struggle, streamed 
back from her brow, with uplifted arm, holding a 
glittering casket, standing over the pale and prostrate 
Mary, in that chamber where the shadows of death 
still lingered, suddenly confronted him. 


" Gracious Heavens I what does this mean ?" asked 

"TVhat does it mean?" repeated Mrs. Graham, 
dragging Mary forward with one hand, while she 
shook the casket in the other; "it means that this 
girl is a wretch, a plunderer, who steals in the silence 
of midnight to rifle your father's coffers, and rob you 
of your inheritance." 

"Impossible, impossible!" exclaimed Henry. "Rise, 
Mary, rise and vindicate yourself from a charge so 

The generous and devoted girl, even in the moment 
of despair, thought not of herself, but him. She hailed 
his sudden appearance as a direct interposition of 
Heaven, in vindication of his rights. Freeing herself 
from Mrs. Graham's now relaxing grasp, she clung to 
Henry with frantic energy. 

" Oh ! Henry, think not of me, but of yourself. 
That casket is yours ; your father gave it in my keep- 
ing in his last hour. He resisted my prayers and 
tears that I might be spared such a trust. He made 
me swear by the Heaven that now hears me, to be 
true to the charge, to keep it, to cherish it, till adver- 
sity, unknown before, had called out the heaven-born 
energies within you. It was for your sake he has 
secreted this wealth for years. It was for your sake 
he committed it first to these feeble hands. He has 
left with it a letter, expressing to you all his wishes 
and Bis hopes. On the eve of returning to the ob- 
scurity of my own lot, obedient to the commands of 
the dead, I sought this chamber and took possession 


of that fatal treasure. Oh ! that he had left it in other 
hands than mine !" 

Henry, at that moment, would as soon have doubted 
the evidence of truth itself, as the words of Mary. 
Free from the spell which had lately enthralled his 
faculties and dimmed his perception of right and 
wrong, he saw Mary's character in its own pure, ex- 
alted light. Throwing one arm around her, as if to 
shield her from the storm that had just swept her 
down, he turned to his mother, with the respect 
of a son, but the authority of a man, in his voice and 
manner : 

" My mother, woe be unto those who break the 
commands that death has hallowed. By all that is 
sacred, I entreat you to restore what I must say, you 
have most unjustly assumed." 

The conscience of Mrs. Graham had convinced her, 
as she listened to Mary's explanation, that she had 
shamefully wronged her, but her pride refused to 
yield to its convictions. 

'No!" said Mary, "I never can resume its guardian- 
ship. Destiny has interposed to save me from this 
oppressive responsibility. Into your hands I now com- 
mit what Heaven has willed I should not retain. 
Here is the key, which your father suspended round 
my neck with his own hands. It was the last office 
they ever performed : almost the last words he ever 
uttered, was a prophecy of the future glory of your man- 
hood. Oh! Henry, fulfil that dying prophecy, and it 
matters not who keeps the gold, which is but dust in 
the balance of such a reputation." 


Henry took the casket from his mother's unresist- 
ing hand, knelt down and opened it in silence. He 
stopped not to count the gold, or to ascertain its im- 
mense value, but drawing out the paper directed to 
himself, closed it again, and gave it back to his 

"I have taken all I shall ever claim. Mother, this 
is yours, take it, and use it as you will. Mary is 
right in declining to receive it, and as for myself, I 
will read the stern lesson my father willed that I 
should learn. Nay, I will not keep it; I will earn my 
fortune, or be a poor man to the last day of my life." 

Mrs. Graham refused and reasoned, but at last con- 
vinced herself that a mother was the' most fitting per- 
son to be the guardian of her son's property. She 
would not consent to it but from that conviction. 
She condescended to ask Mary to forget the occur- 
rence of the night, and to look upon her as she had 
ever done, considering her house, wherever it might 
be, as her home. But Mary, while she expressed 
gratitude for the offer and for past kindness, declared 
it her earnest wish to return to the village where she 
was born, mid scenes more congenial to her taste. 
Henry did not oppose this resolution. He respected 
the motive too highly, and her honour, her happiness 
would be promoted by the change. 

It was a source of speculation, of surprise, when it 
svas made known to the world, soon after this event- 
ful night, that Mulberry Grove was not to pass from 
the possession of its owners. Mrs. Graham did not 
retrench her expenses, and of course the number of 


her friends and flatterers remained undiminishcd. Tho 
removal of so humble and unpretending a being as 
Mary, was a matter of too little importance to excite 
observation, but when it was ascertained beyond a 
doubt, that the indolent and fashionable Henry Gra- 
ham was become an indefatigable student of that pro- 
fession which he had before only nominally embraced; 
when he was at length seen at the bar, in eloquence 
and power, pleading for injured innocence or violated 
right, then the world did indeed marvel at the trans- 
formation, and talk of it as a modern miracle. 

We will pass over the events of the following year. 
They may be understood from one scene which took 

place in the little village of , at the close of a 

summer day. A group of gay, neatly dressed little 
girls were running merrily from the door of a low 
isolated building that stood in the middle of a green 
common. The sun-bonnets thrown recklessly back, 
the satchels swinging from their arms, the unbounded 
gaiety of their motions, all spoke "the playful children 
just let loose from school." A gentleman, who seem- 
ed to be a traveller, from the thick riding-dress he 
wore, on so mild a day, accosted one of the eldest 
children in that tone of habitual gentleness and 
courtesy, that even untaught children know how to 
appreciate. He asked if they were returning from 
school. An affirmative accompanied by a low courtesy, 
was the reply. "The name of the school- mistress?" 
" Mary Hawthorne yonder she comes ;" and the affec- 
tionate child ran to her beloved instructress, to 
announce the approach of the stranger. But Mary's 


eye needed not the annunciation. She had recognized 
the well-known form of Henry Graham, and the next 
moment her hand was in his. 

" Mary Hawthorne !" For eighteen months she had 
not heard his voice. Past scenes rushed to her recol- 
lection, and joy and exultation swelled her heart. 
She knew that his father's prophecy was fulfilled. 
During the months of their separation, he had con- 
stantly written to her, and every letter breathed the 
progressive elvation of his soul. She had followed in 
spirit, with trembling anxiety, his onward course, till it 
had reached the goal of fame, and now he stood before 
her, as his dying father so eloquently expressed, "in 
the beautiful robes of true manhood." And Mary, 
too, was changed. The consciousness of exciting so 
noble an influence as she had, over a naturally noble 
mind, the exertion of her own independent faculties, 
and the pure air^she breathed in those beautiful 
regions, had imparted a glow to her countenance, and 
a vigour to her frame, they had never before possess- 
ed. Her face was now radiant with the most lovely 
expression the female lineaments can wear. 

"You have grown handsome, Mary, as well as 
blooming," said Henry, as they walked together to- 
wards Mary's rural home; and Mary, who seldom 
blushed, coloured like a true heroine, at the unwonted 

That evening, after having related all the struggles 
he had sustained with constitutional and habitual in- 
dolence, the counteracting influence of his mother, 
who considered the course he was pursuing as de- 


grading rather than exalting; after an hour of the 
most unbounded confidence, Henry drew from his 
bosom the letter of his father, which he had taken 
from the memorable casket. 

"Mary, the time has arrived when I may ask you 
to read this letter. My whole soul and heart are in 
my father's wishes. On your decision " he was too 
much agitated to go on. He placed the letter in her 
hands, and gazed in silence on her downcast face 
while she perused its contents. He saw, through 
gathering tears and rushing crimson, gratitude, joy, 
and shame. He remembered the moment when, after 
having warned him of the arts of Miss Devereux, he 
had accused her of " knowing little of love," and her 
countenance had so eloquently vindicated the charge. 
He felt 'that through all his errors he had been be- 
loved, and he wondered at himself that he could ever 
have been insensible to such real and exalted loveli- 

Is it needful to say what were Mr. Graham's solemn 
wishes, what the decision on which the happiness of 
Henry's existence depended ? That he should take 
this inestimable girl as his wife, as a legacy more pre- 
cious than the gold of the East ; and she did become 
his wife, and he never regretted the hour when ho 
was discarded by the beautiful Miss Devereux. 


KATE FRANKLIN sat at the window, watching the 
lightning that streamed through the sky, till her eyes 
were almost blinded by the glare. She was naturally- 
timid, and had an unusual dread of a thunder-storm, 
yet though the lightning ran down in rills of fire, and 
the thunder rolled till the earth shook with its rever- 
berations, she kept her post of danger, repeating, as 
she gazed abroad, " Oh ! that I were a boy, that I 
might venture abroad in search of my father I It is 
almost midnight, 3 r et he is not returned. He will 
perish in a storm like this. Oh ! that I were a boy 1" 
she again passionately exclaimed while the rain 
began to drive against the casement, and the wind 
swept the branches of the trees roughly by the panes. 
She held a young baby in her arms, which she had 
just lulled to sleep, and her mother lay sleeping in a 
bed in the same apartment. All slumbered but Kate, 
who for hours had watched from the window for her 
father's return. At length her resolution was taken : 
she laid the babe by her mother's side, drew down the 
curtain to exclude the lightning's glare, and throwing 
a shawl around her, softly opened the door, and soon 
found herself in the street, in the midst of the thunder, 
the lightning, and the rain. How strong must have 
been the impulse, how intense the anxiety, which 
could have induced a timid young girl to come out ai 
that lone, silent hour, on such a night, without a pro- 


lector or a guide ! She flew along at first, but the rain 
and the wind beat in her face, and the lightning bewil- 
dered her with its lurid corruscations. Then pausing 
for breath, she shaded her eyes, aiyl looking fearfully 
around, gazed on every object, till her imagination 
clothed it with its own wild imagery. 

At length her eye fell on a dark body extended 
beneath a tree by the way-side. She approached it, 
trembling, and kneeling down, bent over it, till she 
felt a hot breath pass burningly over her cheek, and 
just then a sheet of flame rolling round it, she recog- 
nized but too plainly her father's features. She took 
his hand, but it fell impassive from her hold. She 
called upon his name, she put her arms around his 
neck and tried to raise him from the earth, but his 
head fell back like lead, and a hoarse breathing sound 
alone indicated his existence. 

"Father, dear father, wake and come home!" she 
cried, in a louder tone; but the thunder's roar did not 
rouse him, how much less her soft, though earnest 
voice. Again she called, but she heard only the 
echoes of night repeating her own mournful adjura- 
tion " Father, dear father, come home !" 

How long she thus remained, she knew not; but 
the wind and the rain subsided, the lightning flashed 
with a paler radiance, and at intervals the wan moon 
might be seen wading through the gray, watery 
clouds. She felt her strength exhausted, and clasping 
her hands together, lifted her eyes, streaming with 
tears, almost wishing a bolt would fall and strike 
them both simultaneously. 


" My father is lost !" said she, " and why should I 
wish him to live ? Why should I wish to survive him ?" 

The sound of horse's feet approaching startled her 
The horseman checked his speed as he came opposite 
the tree, where Kate still knelt over her father, and 
as the lightning played over her white garments, 
which, being wet by the rain, clung closely around 
her, she might well be mistaken for an apparition. 
Her shawl had fallen on the ground, her hair streamed 
in dripping masses over her face, and her uplifted 
arms were defined on the dark background of an 
angry sky. The horse reared and plunged, and tha 
rider dismounting, came as near to the spot as the 
impetuous animal would allow. 

"Oh! Harry "Blake, is it you?" exclaimed Kate. 
" Then my father will not be left here to die !" 

" Die !" repeated Harry ; " what can have hap- 
pened ? Why are you both abroad such a night as 

" Alas !" said Kate, " I could not leave my father 
to perish. I sought him through the storm, and I find 
him thus." 

While she was speaking, Harry had fastened the 
bridle of his horse to the tree, and stooped down on 
the other side of Mr. Franklin. Kate's first feeling on 
his approach was a transport of gratitude now 
she was overwhelmed with shame; for she knew, as 
Harry inhaled the burning exhalation of his breath, 
his disgraceful secret would be revealed that secret, 
which her mother and herself had so long in anguish 


" Poor Kate 1" involuntarily burst from his lips, as 
he gazed on the prostrate and immoveable form of 
the man he had so much loved and respected. Had 
he seen him blasted by the lightning's stroke, he could 
not have felt more shocked or grieved. He compre- 
hended in a moment the full extent of his degrada- 
tion, and it seemed as if an awful chasm, yawning 
beneath his feet, now separated him, and would for 
ever separate him from his instructor and friend. 

" Kate," said he, and hia voice quivered from emo- 
tion, " this is no place for you. You are chilled by 
the rain you will be chilled to death, if you remain 
in your wet garments. Let me see you safe at home, 
and I will return to your father, nor leave him till he 
is in a place of security." 

"No, no!" cried Kate, "I think not of myself, only 
assist me to raise him, and lead him home, and I care 
not what happens to me. I knew it would come to 
this at last. Oh ! my po6r father !" 

Harry felt that there was no consolation for such 
grief, and he attempted not to offer any. He put a 
strong arm round the unhappy man, and raised him 
from the ground, still supporting his reeling body 
and calling his name in a loud, commanding tone. 
Mr. Franklin opened his eyes with a stupid stare, and 
uttered some indistinct, idiotic sounds, then letting 
jis head fall on his bosom, he suffered himself to be 
led homeward, reeling, tottering, and stumbling at 
every step. And this man, so helpless and degraded, 
so imbruted and disgusting, that his very daughter, 
who had just periled her life in the night-storm to 


secure him from clanger, and turned away from him, 
even while she supported him, with unconquerable 
loathing, was a member of Congress, a distinguished 
lawyer eloquent at the bar, and sagacious in council 
a citizen respected and beloved ; a friend generous 
and sincere a husband once idolized a father once 
adored. The young man who had walked by his side, 
had been for more than a year, a student in his office, 
and sat under his instruction, as Paul sat at the 
feet of Gamaliel. Now, in the expressive language 
of Scripture, he could have exclaimed, "Oh, Lnril<>r, 
thou son of the morning, how low art thou fallen !" 
but he moved on in silence, interrupted occasionally 
by the ill-repressed sobs of Kate. lie had been that 
day to an adjoining town to transact some business 
for Mr. Franklin, and being detained to an unusually 
late hour, was overtaken by the .storm, vhcn the 
agonized voice of Kate met his car. 

Harry lingered a moment at Mr. Franklin's door 
before he departed. He wanted to say something 
expressive of comfort and sympathy to Kate, but he 
knew not what to say. 

"You will never mention the circumstances of 
this night, Harry," said Kate, in a low, hesitating 
tone. "I cannot ask you to respect my father as 
you have done, but save him, if it may be, from 
the contempt of the world." 

"If he were my own father, Kate," cried Harry, "I 
would not guard his reputation with more jealous 
care. Look upon me henceforth as a brother, and 


call upon me as such, when you want counsel, sym- 
pathy or aid. God bless you, Kate." 

"Alas! there is no blessing for a drunkard's 
daughter," sighed Kate, as she turned from the door 
and listened to her father's deep, sonorous breathing, 
from the sofa on which he had staggered, and where 
he lay stretched at full length, till long after the dawn- 
ing of morn, notwithstanding her efforts to induce him 
to change his drenched garments. 

Mrs. Franklin was an invalid, and consequently a 
late riser. Kate usually presided at the breakfast 
table, and attended to her father's wants. This morn- 
ing he took his accustomed seat, but his coffee and 
toast remained untasted. He sat with his head lean- 
ing upon his hand, his eyes fixed vacantly on the wall, 
and his hair matted and hanging in neglected masses 
over his temples. Kate looked upon his face, and re- 
membered when she thought her father one of the 
handsomest men she had ever seen when dignity was 
enthroned upon his brow, and the purity as well as 
the majesty of genius beamed from his eye. He lifted 
his head and encountered her fixed gaze probably 
followed the current of her thoughts, for his coun- 
tenance darkened, and pushing his cup far from him, 
he asked her, in a surly tone, why she stared so rudely 
upon him ? 

Kate tried to answer, but there was suffocation in 
her throat, and she could not speak. 

Mr. Franklin looked upon her for a moment with 
a stern, yet wavering glance, then rising and thrust- 
ing back his chair against the wall, he left the 


house, muttering as he went, " curses not loud, but 

Kate had become gradually accustomed to the 
lowering cloud of sullenness, which the lethargy of 
inebriation leaves behind it. She had heard by almost 
imperceptible degrees, the voice of manly tenderness 
assume the accents of querulousness and discontent ; 
but she had never met such a glance of defiance, or wit- 
nessed such an ebullition of passion before. Her heart 
rose in rebellion against him, and she trembled at the 
thought that she might learn to hate him as he thus 
went on, plunging deeper and deeper in the gulf of 

" No, no, no !" repeated she to herself, " let me never 
be such a monster. Let me pity, pray for him, love 
him if I can but let me never forget that he is my 
father still." 

Young as Kate was, she had learned that endurance, 
not happiness, was her allotted portion. Naturally 
high-spirited and impetuous, with impassioned feelings 
and headlong impulses, in prosperity she might have 
become haughty and ungovernable ; but subjected in 
early youth to a discipline, of all others the most gall- 
ing to her pride, her spirit became subdued, and her 
passions restrained by the same process by which her 
principles were strengthened, and the powers of her 
mind precociously developed. Her brothers and 
sisters had all died in infancy, except one, now an 
infant in the cradle, a feeble, delicate child, for 
whom every one prophesied an early grave was ap- 


Mrs. Franklin herself was constitutionally feeble, 
and yielding to the depression of spirits caused by her 
domestic misfortunes, indulged in constant and inef- 
fectual complainings, which added to the gloom of the 
household, without producing amendment or reforma- 
tion in its degraded master. She was very proud, and 
had been a very beautiful woman, who had felt for 
her husband an attachment romantically strong, for it 
was fed by the two strongest passions of her heart 
pride, which exulted in the homage paid to his talents 
and his graces, and vanity, which delighted in the in- 
fluence her beauty exercised over his commanding 
mind. Now, his talents and graces were obscured by 
the murky cloud of intemperance, and her languishing 
beauty no longer received its accustomed incense ; the 
corrosions of mortification and peevish discontent be- 
came deeper and deeper, and life one scene of gloom 
and disquietude. 

Kate grew up amidst these opposing influences like a 
beautiful plant in a barren, ungenial soil. To her father, 
she was the delicate but hardy saxifrage, blooming 
through the clefts of the cold, dry rock ; to her mother, 
the sweet anemone, shedding its blossoms over the 
roots of the tree from which it sprung fragrant, 
though unnurtured, neglected and alone. 

It would be too painful to follow, step by step, Mr. 
Franklin's downward course. Since the night of his 
public exposure he had gone down, down, with a fear- 
fully accelerated motion, like the mountain stream, 
when it leaps over its rocky barrier. Public confi- 
dence was gradually withdrawn, clients and friends 


forsook him, and ruin trod rapidly on the steps of 

Harry Blake clung to him, till he saw his once pow- 
erful mind partaking so far of the degradation of his 
body, as to be incapable of imparting light to his. 
He now felt it due to himself to dissolve the connec- 
tion subsisting between them and he called, though 
reluctantly, to bid him farewell. Mr. Franklin seemed 
much agitated when Harry informed him of his in- 
tended departure. He knew the cause, and it seemed 
as if the last link was about to be severed that bound 
him to the good and honourable. Harry had been to 
him a delightful companion ; and, in the days of his 
unsullied reputation, it had been one of his most in- 
teresting tasks to direct a mind so buoyant and aspi- 
ring, and which owned, with so much deference, the 
overmastering influence of his own. 

" Do not go yet, Harry," said he ; "I have much, 
much to say to you, and I may never have another 
opportunity. I have anticipated this moment. It is 
painful, but justice to yourself demanded it." 

Harry seated himself, pale from suppressed emo- 
tion, while Mr. Franklin continued speaking, walking 
up and down the room, every feature expressive of 
violent agitation. 

" I have never yet to a human being introduced the 
subject of which I am about to speak not even to my 
wife and daughter. I have never rolled back the 
current of time, and revealed the spot where, standing 
on the quicksands of youth, the first wave of tempta- 
tion washed over me. I could not bear to allude to 


the history of my degradation. But you, Harry, are 
going among strangers, amid untried scenes and I 
would warn you now, with the solemnity of a man 
who knows he has sealed his own everlasting ruin, to 
beware of the first downward step. You do not know 
me, sir no one knows me ; they know not my pa- 
rentage, or the accursed stream that runs in these 

" My father was called the King of the Drunkards 
He drank till he was transformed, breath, bones, and 
sinew, into flame, and then he died the most horrible 
of all deaths of spontaneous combustion. Yes, he 
was the King of the Drunkards ! I remember when 
a little boy, I saw him walking at the head of a long 
procession, with a banner flying, as if in triumph, and 
a barrel of whiskey rolling before, on which the 
drummer made music as they walked. And shouts 
went up in the air, and people applauded from the 
windows and the doors and I thought the drunkard's 
was a merry life. But when I grew older, and saw 
my mother's cheek grow paler and paler, and knew 
that my father's curses and threats, and brutal treat- 
ment were the cause when I saw her at length die 
of a broken heart, and heard the neighbours say that 
my father had killed her, and that he would have to 
answer for her death at the great bar of Heaven ! 
I began to feel an indescribable dread and horror, and 
looked upon my father with loathing and abhorrence ! 
And when he died when his body was consumed by 
flames, which seemed to me emblematical of the 
winding-sheet in which his soul was wrapped I fled 


from my native town, my native State ; I begged my 
bread from door to door. At length, a childless 
stranger took me in. He pitied my forlorn condition 
clothed, fed, and educated me. Nature had given 
me talents, and now opportunity unfolded them. ~\ 
became proud and ambitious, and I wanted to con- 
vince my benefactor that I was no vulgar boy. Con- 
scious of the dregs from which I had been extracted 
I was resolved to make myself a name and fame and 
I have done it. You know it, Harry I have taken 
my station in the high places of the land ; and the 
time has been, when but to announce yourself as my 
student, would have been your passport to distinction. 
Well, do you want to know what made me what I 
am ? what, when such a burning beacon was forever 
blazing before my memory, hurried me on to throw 
my own blasted frame into a drunkard's dishonoured 
grave ? I will tell you, young man it was the wine 
cup! the glass offered by the hand of beauty, with 
smiles and adulation ! I had made a vow over my 
mother's ashes that I would never drink. I prayed 
God to destroy me, body and soul, if I ever became a 
drunkard. But wine, they said, was one of God's best 
gifts, and it gladdened without inebriating it was in- 
gratitude to turn from its generous influence. I be- 
lieved them, for it was alcohol that consumed my 
father. And I drank wine at the banquet and the 
board and I drank porter and ale, and the rich- 
scented cordial and I believed myself to be a tem- 
perate man. I thought I grew more intellectual ; I 
could plead more eloquently, and my tongue made 


more music at the convivial feast. But when the ex- 
citement of the scene was over, I felt languid and 
depressed. My head ached, and my nerves seemed 
unsheathed. A thirst was enkindled within me, that 
wine could no longer quench. A hereditary fire was 
burning in my veins. I had lighted up the smoulder- 
ing spark, and it now blazed, and blazed. I knew I 
was destroying myself, but the power of resistance 
was gone. When I first tasted, I was undone ! Be- 
ware, Harry, beware ! To save you from temptation, 
I have lifted the veil, and laid bare before you the hell 
of a drunkard's bosom. But no ! that cannot be. The 
Invisible alone can witness the agonies of remorse, the 
corroding memories, the anticipated woes, the unutter- 
able horrors that I endure and dread and expect to 
endure as long as the Great God himself exists." 

He paused, and sunk down exhausted into a chair. 
Large drops of sweat rolled down his livid brow his 
knees knocked together, his lips writhed convulsively, 
every muscle seemed twisted, and every vein swollen 
and blackened. Harry was terrified at this paroxysm. 
He sprang toward him, and untying the handkerchief 
from his neck, handed him a glass of water with trem- 
bling hands. Mr. Franklin looked up, and meeting 
Harry's glance of deep commisseration, his features 
relaxed, and largo tears, slowly gathering, rolled down 
his cheeks. He ben* forward, and extending his arms 
across the table, laid his head on them ; and deep, 
suffocating sobs burst forth, shaking his frame, as if 
with strong spasms. Harry was unutterably affected. 
He had never seen man weep thus before. He knew 


they were tears wrung by agony, the agony of remorse; 
and while he wept in sympathy, he gathered the hope 
of his regeneration from the intensity of his sufferings. 

" I pity you, Mr. Franklin," said he, " from my soul 
I pity you but you must not give yourself up as lost. 
God never yet tempted a man beyond his strength. 
You may, you can, you must resist. For your own 
sake, for your wife's your daughter's sake, I con- 
jure you." 

" My daughter's !" interrupted Mr. Franklin, lifting 
his head. "Ah! that name touches the chord that 
still vibrates. Poor Kate! poor Kate! The hand 
that should have blessed has blighted her young hopes. 
My wife reproaches me, and gives me gall and vine- 
gar, even when I would meet her with smiles. But 
Kate never gave me one reproach but her tears. I 
once thought you loved her, and that I should see the 
two objects I most loved, happy in each other's affec 
tions, and scattering roses over the pillow of my 
declining years. But that can never be now ; youi 
proud father will never permit you to marry a 
drunkard's daughter." He spoke this in a bitter tone, 
and a smile of derision for a moment curled his lips. 

" You thought right," exclaimed Harry, passionately, 
" I have loved her, I do love her, as the best, the love- 
liest, the most exalted of human beings. I would not 
pain you, sir, but you constrain me to speak the truth : 
my father hns forbidden me to think of such a union, 
and as I am now dependent on him, I could not brave 
his commands without seeking to plunge your daughter 
into poverty and sorrow. Yet I will not deceive you 


I would have braved everything with her consent, but 
she refuses to listen to vows, unsanctioned by parental 
authority. The time, I trust, will corne when, having 
secured an independence, by my energies, I may dare 
to speak and act as a man, and woo her to be my wife 
in the face of the world." 

" Yes ! yes !" repeated Mr. Franklin, "the time may 
come, but I shall not live to see it. There is at times 
such a deadly faintness, such a chilly weight here," 
laying his hand on his breast, " it seems as though I 
could feel the cold fingers of death clutching round 
my heart and freezing my life-blood. If I did not 
warm the current with fresh streams of alcohol, I 
should surely die. Then this aching brow, this throb- 
bing brain, these quivering nerves, and shaking limbs, 
are they not all the heralds of coming dissolution? 
Harry, I do not mean to distress you I have but one 
thing more to say : if you resist temptation, and I pray 
God you may, dare not triumph over the fallen. Oh ! 
you know not, you dream not, in the possession of 
unclouded reason and unblighted faculties, the proud 
master of yourself, what that wretch endures, who, be- 
set by demons on every side, feels himself dragged 
down lower and lower, incapable of resistance, to the 
very verge of the bottomless pit." 

He wrung Harry's hand in his, then turned and left 
the office. Harry followed, oppressed and awe-struck 
by the revelations he had heard. Temptation, sin, 
sorrow, disgrace, death, judgment, and eternity, swept 
like dark phantoms across his mind ; chasing away 
hope, love, joy, and heaven ; even the image of Kate 


Franklin flitted mournfully in the back-ground, fading 
and indistinct as a vanishing rainbow. 

Kate grieved at Harry's departure, but it was a 
grief which vented itself in tears. She was affected 
by his disinterested attachment ; she esteemed his vir- 
tues and admired his character, and in sunnier hours 
she might have indulged in those sweet day-dreams 
of love, which throw over the realities of life the huea 
of heaven. But she felt it was hers to endure and to 
struggle, not to enjoy she dared not fix her gaze on 
the single star that shone through the dark clouds 
closing around her, lest it should charm her into a for- 
getfulness of the perils and duties of her situation ; 
so gathering all her energies, as the traveller folds his 
mantle over his breast to shield him from the tempest, 
the more fearful the storm, the more firm and strong 
became her powers of resistance. It was summer 
when Harry departed, and Kate, though she never 
mentioned his name, found his remembrance associa- 
ted with the flowers, the fragrance, and the moonlight 
of that beautiful season; but when winter came 
on, with its rough gales, and sleet and snow for she 
lived on the granite hills of New England, where the 
snow spirit revels amid frost-work and ice she sat 
by a lonely fire, watching her father's late return, or 
nursing the fretful and delicate babe in her mother's 
chamber, all the anticipated ills of poverty hanging 
darkly over her, Kate found her only comfort in com- 
muning with her God, to whom, in the dearth of all 
earthly joy, she had turned for support and consola- 
tion, and as her religious faith increased, her fortitude 


strengthened, and her stern duties became easier of 
performance. One night she sat alone by the fireside 
and it was a most tempestuous night, the wind 
howled and tossed the naked boughs of the trees 
against the windows, which rattled as if they would 
shiver in the blast ; and the snow, drifted by its vio- 
lence, blew in white wreaths on the glass and hung its 
chill drapery on the walls. She sat on a low seat in 
the corner, her Bible on her knees, a dim fire burning 
on the hearth, for cold as it was, she would not suffer 
it to be replenished with fuel which her mother might 
yet want for her own comfort. She was gradually 
accustoming herself to personal privations, voluntarily 
abstaining from every luxury, not knowing how soon 
she might need the necessaries of life. She was read- 
ing the sublime book of Job, and when she came to 
the words, " Hast thou entered into the .snow ? Hast 
thou seen the treasures of the hail?" she repeated 
them aloud, struck with the force, mid the wintry 
scene around her. At this moment her father en- 
tered. It was an unusually early hour for his return, 
and as he walked forward she noticed with joy that, 
his step was less fluctuating than usual. He bent 
shivering over the fire, which Kate immediately 
kindled afresh, and a bright blaze soon diffused 
warmth and cheerfulness through the apartment. 

" I heard your voice as I entered, Kate," said he ; 
" where is your companion ?" 

" There," answered she, lifting the Bible from her 
knees " here is the companion of my solitude, and a 
very pleasing one I find it." 


Mr. Franklin fixed his eyes steadfastly on Kate for 
a few moments, throwing himself back in his chair, 
gazed upon the ceiling, and spoke as in a soliloquy 

" I remember when I was a little boy, reading that 
book at my mother's knee, and when she was dying 
she told me never to lay my head upon the pillow 
without reading a chapter and praying to the Great 
God for pardon and protection. But that was a long 
time ago. I would not open it now for the universe." 

"Oh! father!" exclaimed Kate, "do not say so. 
Young as I am, I have lived too long if the promises 
written here be not true. They alone have saved me 
from despair." 

"Despair!" repeated he, in a hollow tone "yes, 
that is the fitting word, but it belongs to me alone. 
YOM are innocent and virtuous, and why should you 
talk of despair? You have no brand on your brow, 
no thunder-scar graven by the Almighty's hand, from 
which men turn away, and women shrink from with 
horror. I am an object of loathing and scorn to all. 
Even you, my own daughter, who once lived in my 
bosom, if I should open my arms to enfold you, as I 
was wont to do, would shrink from me, u^ from llu: 
leper's touch." 

" Oh ! no, no !" cried Kate, springing from her sent, 
and throwing her arms impulsively around his neck, 
while her tears literally rained on his shoulder. 

It had been long months since she had heard such 
a gush of tenderness from his lips since she had 
dared to proffer the caresses of affection. She thought 
all natural feeling was dried up in his heart withered, 


scorched by the fiery breath of intemperance. She 
had locked her grief and humiliation in her own 
breast. She believed every appeal to her reason and 
sensibility would be as unavailing as if made to the 
granite of her native hills. She now reproached her- 
self for her coldness and reserve. She accused herself 
of neglect and irreverence. 

" Oh, my father!" she exclaimed, " if you still love 
me I will not despair. There is hope, there will be 
joy. You have but to make one great effort, and 
you will be free once more. Chains, strong as ada- 
mant, cannot bind the soul to sin, unless it is a willing 
captive. You are wr^hed now ; we are all wretched. 
No smiles gladden our household. My mother lies 
on a bed of languishment, where a breaking heart has 
laid her. My little sister pines like a flower, which 
sunbeams never visited ; and I oh, father ! Avords 
can never tell the wo, the anguish, the agony, which 
I have pent up in my bosom, till it threatened to 
destroy me. I would not reproach you I would not 
add one drop to your cup of bitterness but I must 
speak now, or I die." 

Excited beyond her power of self-control, Kate slid 
from her father's relaxing arms, and taking the Bible, 
which lay upon her chair, in both hands, prostrated 
herself at his feet. 

" By this blessed book," continued she, in an 
exalted voice, " this book which has poured oil and 
balsam in my bleeding heart, this book, so rich in 
promises, so fearful in threatenings by the God who 
created you to glorify Him, the Saviour who died to 


redeem you by your immortal and endangered soul 
I pray thee to renounce the fatal habit, which has 
transformed our once blissful home into a prison-house 
of shame, sorrow, and despair." 

She paused, breathless from intense emotion, but 
her uplifted hands still clasped the sacred volume; her 
cheek glistening with tears, was mantled with crim- 
son ; and her eyes, turned up to her father, beamed 
with the inspiration of the Christian's hope. 

Mr. Franklin looked down upon his daughter, as 
she thus knelt before him, and it seemed as if a ray 
from the Divine intelligence darted like a glory from 
her eyes into the depths of hMMoul. Lost, ruined as 
he was, there was still hope of his redemption. He 
might be saved. She, like a guiding cherub, might 
still take him by the hand, and lead him back to the 
green paths of pellucid streams where he had once 
walked with undoubting footsteps. As these thoughts 
rolled through his mind, he bent forward, lower and 
lower, till his knees touched the floor. He wrapped 
his arms around Kate, and, leaning his head on her 
shoulder, sobbed aloud. The prayer of the publican 
trembled on his lips " Oh, my God ! have mercy 
upon me, a miserable sinner! Oh, Thou who was 
once tempted, yet never sinned, save me from temp- 
tation !" 

It was long before other sounds interrupted the hal- 
lowed silence which succeeded. Kate hardly dared to 
breathe, lest she should disturb the communion her 
father's soul was holding with the being he invoked. 
Her heart ached with the fulness of hope that flowed 


into it from channels long sealed. Had he made pro- 
mises of amendment in his own strength, she might 
have feared their stability, but now, when she saw 
him prostrate in the dust, in tears and humiliation, 
crying for mercy from the depths of a wounded and 
contrite spirit, she believed that He, " whose fan is in 
His hand," had come to winnow the chaff from the 
wheat, before the whole should be consumed with un- 
quenchable fire. 

It was midnight before she rose to retire to her 
chamber. She felt unwilling to leave her father. It 
seemed to her that this night was the crisis of her des- 
tiny that angels and^emons were wrestling for his 
soul that the angels^ad prevailed; but might not 
the demons return ? or the good angels, too sure of 
their victory, wing their way back to the skies ? Long 
after she had retired to bed, she heard him walk back- 
wards and forwards, and sometimes she heard his voice 
ascending as in prayer. 

" Hear him, gracious Father !" cried she, from her 
moistened pillow, " hear him, answer and bless him !" 

Then folding her arms closely round the infant, who 
slumbered by her side, she gradually fell asleep, and 
it will throw no shade over her filial piety to believe* 
that no one thought of Henry Blake, associated with 
pure images of future felicity, gilded her dreams. 
How long she slept, she knew not; but she awoke 
with a strange feeling of suffocation, and, starting up 
in bed, looked wildly around her. She saw nothing, 
but the chamber seemed filled with smoke, and a hol- 
low, crackling sound met her ear. The dread of fire 


for a moment paralyzed her limbs. It was but a mo- 
me nt when springing from her bed, the infant still 
cradled on her arm, she opened the door, and found 
the terrible reality of her fears. Such a rush of hot 
air pressed upon her, she staggered back, panting and 
bewildered. The flames were rolling in volumes 
through the next apartment, and the wind, blowing in 
violence through the outer door, which was open, 
fearfully accelerated the work of destruction. 

">Iy father 1" shrieked Kate; u my father ! where 

is he ?" 

That fearful cry awoke the child, who screamed and 
clung in terror closer to her Ij^m ; but her mother, 
who seldom slept except undeWe influence of power- 
ful opiates, lay still unmoved, unconscious of the ter- 
rific element which was raging around her. 

"Mother!" cried Kate, franticly, " wake or you die! 
The house is in flames! they are roUing towards us! 
they are coming I Oh ! my God mother, awake !" 
She shook her arm with violence, and shrieked in 
her ear ; but, though she moved and spoke, she seemed 
in a lethargy so deep, that nothing could rouse her to 
a sense of her danger. 

The flames began to curl their forked tongues around 
the very door of the chamber, and the house shook 
and quivered as if with the throes of an earthquake. 
Kate knew she could make her own escape through a 
door, in an opposite direction ; but she resolved, ii 
she could not save her mother, to perish with her. 
She would have her lifted in her arms, were it not for 
the infant clinging to her bosom. Perchance that infant 


might be saved. She rushed through the door made 
her way through the drifting snow to the street, laid 
the child down on the chill but soft bank by the wall- 
side, silently commending it to the protection of God, 
then winged her way back to the 'building, though 
the flames were now bursting from the roof, and red- 
dening the snow with their lurid glare. 

"Mother, dear mother, speak if you live," cried 
Kate, shuddering at the supernatural sounds of her 
own voice. A faint groan issued from the bed, round 
which the flames were rapidly gathering. It is aston- 
ishing what strength is given by desperation. Kate 
was a slender girl, of d^jate frame, unused to physi- 
cal exertion, but now SB felt nerved with a giant's 
strength. She took up her mother in her arms, just 
as the fire caught the bed curtain, and communicated 
even to her night-dress. Smothering the blaze with 
the blanket she had dragged from the bed in rescuing 
her mother, she flew rather than walked, burdened as 
she was, the flames roaring and hissing behind her, 
gaining upon her at every step the hot air almost 
stifling her breath, even while her naked feet were 
plunging through the snow drifts, and the frosts pene- 
trating her thin night wrapper. It seemed as if ages 
of thought find feeling were compressed in that awful 
moment. Her father's dreaded fate her little sister 
freezing on the snow the servants probably perishing 
in the flames her houseless mother fainting in her 
arms her own desolate condition all was as vividly 
impressed on her mind as the lurid blaze of the confla- 
gration on the dark grey of the wintry night. She 


bent her steps to the nearest dwelling, which was the 
residence of Mr. Blake, the father of Harry. She 
reached the threshold, and feU with her now senseless 
"burden, heavily against the door. She tried to call 
aloud for assistance, but no sound issued from her 
parched and burning lips. She endeavored to lift her 
right hand to the knocker, but it was numb and power- 
less, and in her left, which encircled her mother, she 
felt for the first time the most intense pain. 

"Merciful Father!" thought she, "thou who has 
sustained us thus far, leave us not to perish 1" 

Even while this prayer burst from her soul, foot- 
steps approached, the door opened, and Mr. Blake, ac- 
companied by a servant, beRg a lamp, stood upon 
the threshold. He had been awakened a few minutes 
before by the reflection of the blaze in his chamber, 
and had just aroused his family, when the sudden jar- 
ring of the door excited his alarm. He recoiled at 
first with horror from the spectacle which he beheld. 
Mrs. Franklin, white, ghastly and still, lay to all ap- 
pearance dead, in the nerveless arms of her daughter, 
who, pale, prostrate, and voiceless, could only lift her 
imploring eyes, and moan the supplication her lips 
vainly sought to express. Mr. Blake had forbidden 
hit] son to marry a drunkard's daughter, and he had 
looked coldly on Kate, secretly condemning her for 
the influence she unconsciously exercised over his 
destiny. But he was not a hard-hearted man, though 
very proud, and his wife was a repository of heaven's 
own influences. Under her anxious superintendence, 
the sufferers were soon placed in warm beds, and every 


means used for the resuscitation of the one, and the 
renovation of the other, while Mr. Blake, with the 
male -part of the household, hastened to the scene of 
the conflagration. The main building was now 
enveloped in fire, but the kitchen was still standing, 
and he rejoiced to see the servants rushing to and fro, 
trying to save something, perhaps their own property, 
from the ruins. He looked around in search of the 
unhappy master, and trembled at the supposition that 
he might have found a funeral pyre. There was 
nothing to be done the work of destruction was 
almost consummated, and he was turning away sick 
at heart, when he thought he saw a bundle lying near 
the wall where he stooft He stooped down, and be- 
held with astonishment a sleeping infant. At first he 
thought it dead, but when he raised it, and touched his 
cheek to its cold face, he felt its sweet breath stealing 
softly over his lips, and its little hand instinctively 
clasped his neck. He was inexpressibly affected, and 
gathering the folds of his cloak around it, he pressed 
it to his bosom with a father's tenderness. Never had 
he been so struck with the special providence of God, 
as in the preservation of this little outcast. Angels 
must have brooded over it, and impressed their 
heavenly warmth upon its chilly bed. But who had 
laid it so tenderly in its snowy cradle, aloof from the 
smoke and the blaze ? Who but she whose filial arms 
had borne her mother to his own door ! As he 
answered this interrogation to himself, his heart smote 
him for his injustice to the heroic girl who had made 
such unparalleled exertions. He almost wished Harry 


was at home but this was a moment of excitement ; 
when he became calmer, he rejoiced at his absence. 

Mr. Franklin had not perished in the ruins. After 
Kate had left him, his newly awakened feelings of re- 
morse raged with frenzy in his bosom. No longer 
soothed by his daughter's caresses, and sustained by 
her prayers, the blackness of despair rolled over him. 
He could not compose himself to rest the room 
seemed too small to contain the mighty conflict of his 
feelings. He could not bear to look upon the blazing 
hearth, and feel the fires raging within. He went to the 
door, and as the cold wind blew on his brow, he felt 
inexpressible relief, and leaving the door unlatched, 
he rushed abroad, reckless wHere he went, provided 
he could escape from himself. The farther he roamed 
from his own home, the more he seemed to lose the 
consciousness of his own identity, till exhausted in 
body and mind, he threw himself down on the floor 
of an uninhabited dwelling, which had often been the 
scene of his drunken orgies. There he lay, while the 
fire which he left blazing on the hearth, fanned by the 
blast howling through the open door, reveled uncon- 
trolled and unconquerable. When at morning he 
sought his homestead, he found it a heap of smoulder- 
ing ruins and he knew the work of destruction was 
his. He remembered how the door creaked in the 
blast, and in his madness he would not return. While 
he stood gazing in speechless agony oti the wreck, 
Mr. Blake approached, and taking him by the arm, 
drew him to his own dwelling. Like the friends of 
Job, he spoke not, for " he saw his grief was very 


great." His wife, whom lie had once tenderly loved, 
and who, in his chastened mood, came back to his 
memory, clothed in all the sweetness of which his 
vices had robbed her, lay on her deathbed. Though 
rescued by filial devotion from a fiery grave, she had 
swallowed the breath of the flames, and her chafed and 
wounded spirit was passing into the presence of hei 
Maker. She could not speak, but she knew him as he 
entered, and stretching out her feeble hand, her 
dying glance spoke only pity and forgiveness. 
The unhappy man knelt by her side, and burying 
his face in the bed-cover, gave way to a burst of an- 
guish, that was like the rending asunder of body and 
soul. And Kate, too, lay there by the side of her 
dying mother, with frozen feet, blistered hands, and 
feverish brow with her bright locks scorched and 
disheveled her eyes bloodshot and dim. This, too, 
was his work. There are calamities which come im- 
mediately from the hand of God, and man bows in 
weakness before the majesty of the power that over- 
whelms him. The pestilence that walketh in dark- 
ness the tempest that wasteth at noonday the earth- 
quake the flood are ministers of his vengeance, 
and come clothed with an authority so high and sa- 
cred, the boldest and strongest dare not rebel. But 
when the sufferer stands amid ruin his own hand has 
wrought when conscience tells him he has arrogated 
to himself the fearful work of destruction, and stolen 
and winged the darts of death there is an unfatho- 
mable wo, an immedicable wound, an undying re- 
morse an antepast on earth of the retributions of 


heaven. Let no one say the horrors of intemperance 
are exaggerated ! Here fire and death had done their 
part, but murder had not yet reddened the black cata- 
logue of sin. Happy, comparatively happy, the ine- 
briate who is arrested in his headlong career, before 
the blood of innocence, mingling with the libations 
of Bacchus, brands him with the curse of Cain the 
indelible stamp of infamy, which his own life, poured 
out on the scaffold, cannot efface, and which is handed 
down an inalienable heritage, to his children's children. 
The day after the remains of the ill-fated Mrs. 
Franklin were consigned to the grave, the citizens 
of the place assembled in the town hall, to make 
arrangements for the relief of the suffering family. 
Their sympathies were strongly excited in behalf of 
the heroine, Kate and in the hour of his calamity 
they remembered Mr. Franklin as he was in his high 
and palmy days, when his voice had so often filled 
the hall where they were met, with strains of the 
loftiest eloquence. They had seen him prostrated on 
the grave of his wife, in sorrow that refused consola- 
tion, and they felt towards him something of that 
tenderness which we feel for the dead when vice is 
recollected with compassion rather than hatred, and 
scorn melts in forgiveness. "Warmed by a common 
impulse, they contributed munificently, and made 
immediate preparations for the erection of a new 
building on the site of the old. Mr. Frankln, who 
was aware of their movements, entered the hall be- 
fore they separated. It had been long since he had 
met his former friends, associated in such a respect- 


able body, and a few days before he would Lave 
shrunk from their glances, conscious of his degraded 
condition. Now, strengthened by a solemn resolu- 
tion, he came among them, and standing in their 
midst, he begged permission to address them a few 
moments. He began with the history of his boy- 
hood, and told them his parentage, his flight, his 
temptation, his perjury, and guilt. His voice was at 
first faltering, but as he proceeded, it recovered much 
of its former richness of tone, and when he painted 
his remorse and despair, his solemn resolutions of 
amendment, and his trust in Almighty God for 
strength to fulfil them, his eloquence rose to the most 
thrilling sublimity. 

" For myself," said he, in conclusion, " I would have 
asked nothing hoped nothing. I would have buried 
in the deepest solitude the memory of my shame. 
But I have children a daughter worthy of a better 
fate. For her sake I solicit the restoration of that 
confidence I have so justly forfeited the birthright 
I have so shamefully sold. Low as I have sunk, I 
I feel by the effort I have this moment made, that the 
indwelling Deity has not yet quite forsaken this pol- 
luted temple. I am still capable of being master of 
myself, and with God's help I will be so. I ask not 
for the hand of fellowship aud friendship. I want 
it not till time shall have proved the sincerity of 
my reformation, and purified from defilement the 
drunkard's name." 

Here every hand was simultaneusly extended, in 
token of reviving confidence. Some grasped his in 


silence and tears others fervently bid him God- 
speed, and promised him encouragement, sympathy 
and patronage. 

The introduction of a household scene more than 
a twelve-month after this will close the history of 
The Drunkard's Daughter. Mr. Franklin was seate<f 
by his own fireside, reading; and when he raised his 
clear, dark eye from the book, and cast it on the 
domestic group at his side, you could read in his un- 
troubled glance, quietude, self-respect, and confidence. 
The red signet of intemperance was swept from his 
noble brow; every look bore witness to his intel- 
lectual and moral regeneration. Kate sat near him 
she, who, in the hands of God, had been made the in- 
strument of his salvation bearing on her youthful 
and lovely person a sad memento of her father's sin. 
Her left hand lay useless in her lap ; its sinews had 
been contracted by the fires she smothered, when 
snatching her mother from the flames, and she was 
destined to carry through life a witness of filial hero- 
ism and devotion. But her right hand was elapsed in 
that of Harry Blake, who, sanctioned by parental 
authority, had sought and received her wedded vows. 
Kate refused for a long time to assume the sacred du 
ties of a wife, conscious of her impaired usefulness, 
but Harry pleaded most eloquently, and Harry's 
father declared that he considered the cause of her 
dependence as a mark of glory and honor. He had 
forbidden his son to claim alliance with a degraded 
name, but Kate had proved, during her sojourn in his 
dwelling, that a daughter's virtues could redeem a 


father's shame. Kate soon learned to be reconciled to 
a misfortune, which only endeared her the more to 
the hearts of her friends. She forgot to mourn over 
her physical dependence, in a father's and husband's 
devoted love. But, though dependent, she was not 
passive. She scared in all their intellectual pursuits, 
read for them, wrote for them, when weary from pro- 
fessional toils, and all that her right hand found to do, 
" she did diligently and in order." She was their in- 
spiring companion, their modest counsellor, their 
spiritual friend. 

There was one more figure added to this domestic 
scene. A fair-haired child sat on Mr. Franklin's knee, 
and twisted her chubby fingers in his still raven hair. 
It was the child once cradled on the snowy bed, whose 
blooming cheeks and bright lips corresponded more 
with the. rose-bud, than the snow-drop, the pet name she 

" Let no man say, when he is tempted, I am tempted 
of God," or having once yielded to the power of the 
tempter, that, like the giant slumbering in the lap of 
Delilah, he cannot break the green withs with which 
his passions have bound him, and find in after years 
the shorn locks of his glory clustering once more 
around his brow. 


$t%r Ptrij, % Cntjjolit. 

THE history of Father Hilario is not a tale of fiction? 
invented to excite the sympathy of the reader. It has 
its foundation in truth, and needs no false auxiliaries 
to enhance its affecting interest. Imagination may 
have slightly embellished some of the minor incidents 
of his life, but his character stands forth in the simple 
majesty of reality, and the decorations of fancy, like 
the light garland thrown round the marble bust, could 
neither change its noble lineaments nor exalt its classic 

beauty. The beautiful village of L , situated in 

one of the loveliest regions of Spanish Flanders, was 
the residence of this pure and holy minded Catholic. 
It was not the place of his nativity, nor has tradition 
told the land of his birth, or the events of his earlier 
years. He came to the peaceful valley, commissioned 
to watch over the souls of the people, and to break 
to them the bread of Heaven. They received with 
enthusiasm a pastor, who seemed anointed by the 
Deity itself for his divine office. There was a silent 
acknowledgment in every eye that beheld him, that he 
was a being of superior order, apparently moulded of 
purer clay, and fitted for nobler purposes than the 
grosser multitude. At first there was more awe than 
affection in the feelings he inspired. From his habits 
of rigorous self denial, his air of deep devotion, his 
love of hermit solitude, they regarded him rather as a 
saint than a man. It seemed that he held high and 


invisible communion with nature in her secret places, 
her pathless woods, her virgin bowers, and by the 
banks of her silent streams. So constant were his 
solitary excursions, he was called the wanderer of the 
ibrest, or sometimes by a holier appellation, the angel 
of the grove. Some children once, urged by the rest- 
less curiosity of childhood, traced his path ami con- 
cealed themselves in a thick cluster of trees, where 
they could watch his movements unperceived. Scarcely 
able to repress their glee at the success of the juvenile 
scheme, their young eyes pierced through the inter- 
vening foliage, but mirth was chastened into awe, 
when they beheld him prostrate on his kness, his locked 
hands lifted towards heaven, and an expression in his 
upturned eyes so deep and solemn, as to strike them 
with superstitious dread. They imagined they saw a 
halo round his brow, such as encircled the heads of 
their tutelar saints, and ever afterwards they designated 
him as the angel of the grove. There was one of this 
young group, on whom the impression made by this 
glimpse of holiness was ineffaceable. Whenever she 
bent in prayer by her parent's knee, or at the altar of 
her God, that kneeling form and upturned brow, in- 
vested with such beatific radiance, rose between her 
and the heaven to which her orisons were addressed, 
till she associated it with her every idea of that invisi- 
ble glory which no eye can see and live. 

Father Hilario was gradually looked upon as some 
thing more approachable and human. The children, 
who had been terrified by his appearance of unearthly 
sanctity, became accustomed to the benign expression 


of his countenance, as they met him in their daily 
walks, and, won by the omnipotent charm of goodness, 
would often forsake their sports, gather round him 
in his solitude, and listen in breathless silence, 
while he talked to them of the God who made, ancf 
the Saviour who redeemed them. Sometimes with a 
gush of tenderness, that seemed irrepressible, he would 
take them in his arms, and weep over them tears as 
gentle as those which the mother sheds over her new- 
born babe. They knew not the fountain of his tears, 
but they had an intuitive conviction that they were 
holy drops, and like the unconscious flower, which 
opens its chalice to the dew, each innocent heart drank 
in their heavenly influence. The children repeated in 
their homes the words of Father Hilario. They said 
his voice was sweet as the first notes of the birds in 
the spring ; that his eyes were gentle, and as bright 
as the sun when he looks over the western hills. 
Parents followed the steps of their children, and sat 
at the feet of the man of God, listening with childlike 
docility, while he pointed out to them that luminous 
path, which shines up through the darkness of earth, 
to the regions of perfect day. The aged sought his 
instructions, and it was a touching sight to see many 
a head, hoary with the snows of time, bent meekly 
before him, who convinced them their white locks 
were a crown of glory, if bowed in penitence and hu- 
mility at the foot of the cross. Profaneness sealed its 
bold lips in the presence of a being so immaculate. 
Scepticism abandoned its doubts, as it looked upon one 
who seemed the embodied spirit of that religion, at- 


tested by the blood of martyred saints, and Christi- 
anity itself appeared, arrayed in new and renovated 

Was Father Hilario old and were those silver cords 
which bind us to earth beginning to loosen, that he 
thus offered himself a living sacrifice unto God? No ! 
he was still in the glowing prime of manhood ; and, 
as if the Creator had willed, in this instance, to unite 
the perfection of the material and spiritual beauty, he 
had formed him in his divinest mould. Had the soul 
been enshrined in a meaner temple, it may be ques- 
tioned if it had ever attracted so many worshippers, 
and it is to be feared that some, who came to offer 
incense to the Creator, paid as deep a homage to the 
creature, so nobly adorned. It has been said by one 
of his cotemporaries, that there never was a more im- 
posing or interesting figure than Father Hilario pre- 
sented when he stood before the altar in his robes o^ 
priesthood, apparently unconscious of every eye, save 
that which is unseen, his sable hair, shading a brow 
of marble purity a brow where devotion sat en- 
throned, unmolested by the demons of earth-born 
passion. It was even 'averred by some, and tha 
remark was uttered with reverence, that they could 
trace a striking resemblance between the officiating 
priest and the features of the Master whom he served, 
whose lineaments were emblazoned by the altar's 
sacred lights. There was, indeed, a similitude. Like 
that divine Master, he was destined to bow beneath 
the cross of human suffering, and to drain to its dregs 
the cup of agony and humiliation. 


Years, however, passed on in this blessed tranquility. 
We spoke of one child, on whom the impression made 
by the glimpse of Father Hilario in the fervency of 
prayer, was deep and enduring. That child, then 
older than her juvenile companions, was now in her 
girlhood, and was acknowldged, even by her rivals, the 

fairest flower in the gardens of L . Her real name 

has not been preserved in the annals of this history. 
It matters not we will call her Leila. The word 
conveys an idea of loveliness and fragility ; and is 
appropriate to her, who, like the lily of the field, waa 
transcendent in delicacy and sweetness. There was 
something about this young maiden so different from 
the usual characteristics of her age, that the eye of 
the stranger involuntarily rested on her face, and read 
there the indications of a higher, and perchance, a 
sadder destiny, than that of her blooming fellows, 
she was beautiful, but pale as the wild flower to which 
we just resembled her, save when some sudden emo- 
tion passed into her mind, the lightning that plays on the 
summer's evening cloud, is not more brilliant or evan- 
escent than the colours that then flitted over her cheek. 
Her eyes she seemed born to remind one of all that 
is lovely and perishing had the deep hue of the 
mountain violet ; and, like their modest emblem, had 
a natural bending towards the earth ; but when they 
were directed towards heaven, as they oftentimes were, 
there was a holy illumination diffused over her face, 
like that which is seen on the countenance of the 
virgin mother, when she is represented as listening to 
the songs of the angels. She was an only child, and 


her parents, as they saw her in her innocence and 
beauty, shrinking from the gaities and amusements of 
youth, and devoting herself to meditation and prayer, 
felt a kind of prophetic gloom steal over their minds, 
and, though they never gave utterance to their fore- 
bodings, they feared that one so fair and spiritual 
would not long be suffered to dwell on earth. An 
unpolluted blossom, the heavenly instructions of 
Father Hilario, were the sun and dew of her exist- 
ence. While her more joyous companions followed 
the impulses of their blithe spirits, she sat, a young 
disciple, at the feet of this Gamaliel ; and when he 
talked to her of divine things, till her soul kindled 
into ecstasy, she was unconscious that one spark of 
earthly fire mingled with the flame that was glowing 
within. She would have shrunk with horror from 
the sacrilegious thought of loving the anointed of tho 
Lord, the Apostle, the Saint she believed herself 
superior to human passion, and when sought in wed- 
lock, for young as she was, she had already inspired 
in others, what she imagined she was destined never 
herself to feel ; she would answer that " she wished to 
be the bride of her Eedeemer only." Alas ! she knew 
not that she had placed an earthly idol in the sanc- 
tuary of her heart, that temple which she had solemnly 
dedicated to the living God. But the veil was yet to 
be rent away, and the temple to become desolate and 
dim. Before the further development of the story, it 
will be necessary to introduce two characters, who 
were conspicuous actors in some of its darkest scenes. 
When the inhabitants of L were first placed 


under the pastoral guardianship of Father Hilario, 
there were two youths, who had gained "bad emi- 
nence" in society, as rebels against its salutary restraints. 
Murillo, the eldest, had one of those subtle, designing 
spirits, which loved to work in ambush, to hurl the 
shafts of mischief from behind some sheltering cloud, 
and laugh at the consternation they excited. Guido 
was bold and lawless. He would stand forth in the 
broad sunshine and commit the most daring depreda- 
tions, entirely reckless of their consequences. Yet 
there was a mixture of openness and generosity which 
often exerted their redeeming influence on his char- 
acter. Unfortunately, exposed to the evil example ot 
Murillo, he suffered from that moral contagion which 
the purest and firmest have been unable to resist. The 
inventive wickedness of the former exercised a mastery 
over him, which he was ashamed to acknowledge, but 
to which he involuntarily yielded. About the period 
to which we allude, they entered by stealth, into the 
church, and desecrated the altar, by the most unhal- 
lowed hieroglyphics ; then mingling with the throng 
who came to worship there, watched with eager scru- 
tiny the effect of their impious ingenuity. Father 
Hilario felt the insult as a Christian, rather than as a 
man. He saw every eye directed to the offending 
characters, and, wishing to give an awful lesson to the 
perpetrators of such a crime, he came forward, with a 
majesty he had never before assumed, and in the name 
of outraged Christianity, commanded the authors of 
the deed, if within the reach of his voice, to cast them- 
selves before that very altar they had profaned, and, 


tears of repentance, wash out the foul stains they 
had made. Guido felt as if thunderstruck by the 
unexpected appeal. The sacrilege of the act, for the 
first time, glared upon his conscience, and following 
the impulse of his headstrong and ungovernable 
nature, he forced his passage through the crowd, threw 
himself on his knees before Father Hilario, and declared 
himself one of the offenders. He did not betray his 
comrade; but Murillo was too notorious not to be 
known as his accomplice. Murillo, however, asserted 
his innocence, with a countenance so imperturable, and 
a voice so firm, it was almost impossible to doubt his 
truth. When the boys next encountered each other 
on the village green, Murillo assailed the penitent with 
every expression of scorn and indignation. 

" You have not the spirit of a man in you," he 
exclaimed, " pitiful coward that you are, to be fright- 
ened by the threats of a canting priest. You have wit 
enough in your brains for the invention of mischief, 
but not courage enough in your soul to carrry it into 

" I had rather be a coward than a liar," retorted 
Guido, contemptuously. "I tell you to your face, 
Murillo, you are both ; and I desire no more fellow- 
ship with one whom I despise." He turned his back 
as he spoke, and walked several paces from the 
exasperated Murillo, who pursued him with bitter 

" You are a base-born wretch, and you know it," 
cried Murillo, " deny it if you can resent it if you 



Guido felt the taunt to his heart's core. There was 
a mystery attending his birth, which made his claim to 
legitimacy somewhat doubtful ; but, as his mother had 
expiated her frailty with her life, the shade that dark- 
ened her fame did not long obscure the opening man- 
hood of her son. There were few who were unfeeling 
enough to stigmatize, in his presence, the parent who 
was now beyond the reach of human obloquy and 
shame. With flashing eyes and boiling blood, Guido 
turned upon the insulter, and, seizing a stone which 
unfortunately lay within his reach, he dashed it into 
his face. Murillo fell to the ground apparently lifeless, 
while the blood issued in torrents from his wounded 
head. Guido stood over him, aghast at the conse- 
quences of his rashness. He believed himself a mur- 
derer, and gazed in agony of remorse and horror upon 
the pale, bleeding form extended before him. The 
wound, however, did not prove mortal. After suffer- 
ing excruciating tortures, and lingering long in a state 
of painful debility, he was at last restored to his wonted 
vigour. But one of his eyes and they were singularly 
bright was extinguished for ever, and a terrible scar 
on the temple disfigured the beauty of a face, which, 
in spite of the absence of every moral charm, was once 
eminently handsome. It may well be helieved that 
Murillo, with his vindictive and irascible temper, never, 
in his heart, forgave the one who had thus marred hia 
features, and cheated them " of their fair proportions." 
He had been particularly vain of the fiery brilliancy 
of his eyes, and he felt that the glory of his counte- 
nance was departed, and a blighting mark set upon him 


to make him an object of pity or derision to a gazing 
world. As the young tree, riven by the lightning's 
stroke, stands scathed and barren in the midst of 
abounding verdure, he remained gloomy and dark in 
the social band, the few generous affections with which 
nature had gifted him, blasted by the withering con- 
sciousness of personal deformity. Guido, whose bet- 
ter feelings had been awakened by the solemn admo- 
nitions of Father Hilario, and whose remorse for the 
injury he had inflicted was keen as the resentment that 
dictated the act, and lasting as its consequences, exerted 
every energy and every art to soften the hatred of 
Murillo, and indemnify him for the wrong he had 
done, but in vain years passed on, still Murillo's soli- 
tary eye scowled indignantly by the grave of its fellow 
whenever it turned upon the unfortunate Guido. 
Another circumstance served to widen the chasm 
which separated them. While they were advancing 
deeper into manhood, the juvenile charms of Leila 
were assuming the more seductive graces of woman- 
hood, and the hearts of both acknowledged her inspi- 
ration. There was nothing strange in this. It would 
seem as natural to love, nay, as impossible not to love 
such a being as Leila, as to look upon a rose in the 
dewy freshness of its bloom, without wishing to inhale 
its fragrance and gather it from its bower. Her perfect 
unconsciousness of her own loveliness, her indifference 
to admiration, the elevation and sanctity of her char- 
acter, rendered it difficult for one to address her in the 
language of earthly passion. But Guido emboldened 


himself to declare the homage she inspired, though he 
anticipated the denial she gave. 

"I would devote myself to God," she answered ; and 
she looked so heavenly when she uttered the words, he 
almost convinced himself he had a second time been 
guilty of profaneness, in aspiring to one so saintlike 
and pure. As for Murillo, his love partook of all that 
was dark and fierce in a character, whose passions were 
strong and untameable as the elements. Once, in a 
moment of uncontrollable excitement, he revealed to 
her the strength and depth of emotions he had long 
smothered in his breast, where they burned with the 
intenseness of nature's central fires. She shrunk from 
him in terror she had not the power to conceal, and his 
proud heart chafed almost to madness in his bosom. 
He remembered the promise of his boyhood, before 
any defacing touch had swept out the lines of symme- 
try and beauty, and he cursed Guido in his secret soul, 

as the author of his misery and degradation. 

*## *##:; 

It was the depth of summer. Every thing wore that 
aspect of almost oppressive magnificence and intensity 
of hue peculiar to the season, which elicits the latent 
glories of nature, while it deadens the strength and 
energy of man. The earth began to pant for one of 
those liberal showers, which come down with such 
life-giving influence, on the dry and thirsty plain. 
The excessive brightness of the foliage gradually 
waned, the thick leaves drooped, and hung languidly 
from the branches, as if fainting for the salutary 
moisture of the skies, while the eye, dazzled and 


wearied by the continuous sunshine, watched anxi- 
ously the faintest shadow that floated over the glow- 
ing horizon, till every glance beamed prayer, that 
the blessing of the rain and the dew might be borne 
within its bosom. Then welcome was the forest 
depth, the shadow of the rock, in the sultry land. 
Leila wandered through the solitudes she loved. 
From her childhood she had been accustomed to soli- 
tary rambles, and her parents, with indulgent tender- 
ness, allowed no restraint to be imposed upon her 
inclinations, confiding in the purity of their origin. 
Mid the loneliness of nature, she held deep and un- 
witnessed intercourse with the mysteries of her own 
heart, but its language was inexplicable to her sim- 
plicity. She could not define the vague, restless 
consciousness of guilt which mingled with her secret 
devotions, weighed down its spirit in its upward 
flight, and spread a dimness over all her dreams of 

She sat in the coolness of one of her favourite re- 
treats, unconscious in the shadows that surrounded 
her, of the heavy cloud that was rising, darkening 
and rapidly diffusing itself over the sky, till a faint 
flash of lightning, quivering through the gloom, suc- 
ceeded by a low, sullen roar of distant thunder, 
warned her that the prayer of the husbandman was 
about to be answered, and a painful feeling of her 
personal apprehension accompanied the conviction, 
when she thought of her lonely and unprotected 
situation. She suffered unconquerable terrors in a 
thunder storm. It was one of those constitutional 


weaknesses which no mental energy could overcome. 
When a child, she believed this awful herald of ele- 
mental wrath was the voice of the Ancient of Days, 
proclaiming his omnipotent mandates to a hushed and 
trembling world; she associated it with the mountain 
that burned with unconsuming flame, with all the 
most terrible manifestations of Almighty power ; and 
though, in after years, she learned the sublime myste- 
ries of nature, she never forgot the impressions of her 
childhood. Almost powerless from dread, she en- 
deavoured to find her homeward path, while the 
storm approached with a rapidity and violence, which 
might have shaken nerves less exquisitely sensitive 
than hers. The lightning no longer ran in dazzling 
chains, on the edge of the sky, but spread in bannered 
pomp over the firmament, and the thunder came on, 
in gathering peals, louder, deeper, nearer, till the trees 
of the forest shook in their ancient brotherhood, and 
the coeval rocks reverberated fearfully with the 

Leila thought of the grove which was consecrated 
in her mind by the image of Father Ililario, which 
even now might be hallowed by his presence, and 
though bewildered by fear, she sought it as a city of 
shelter, to which she might fly and live. She saw the 
thick vine wreaths, which hung in unpruned luxu- 
riance over one of the most lovely and sequestered 
arbours nature ever arched in the wilderness, for the 
repose and security of man. She reached the en- 
trance, and glancing through the lattice-work, woven 
by the interlacing tendrils, was arrested there by the 


object which met her gaze. The same figure which, 
years before, had beamed on. her sight, like an angel 
of peace, now knelt in the centre of the grotto, calm 
amidst the warring elements, absorbed in adoration 
and prayer, while the lightning as it flashed through 
the foliage, played around his uplifted brow, in 
wreaths of living glory. Leila trembled as she gazed 
she dared not to disturb his sublime confidence with 
her wild, undisciplined terrors ; but, faint with fa- 
tigue, dread, and a thousand undefined emotions, she 
leaned against the branches, with a sigh, heavy, as ir- 
repressible. Father Hilario heard that low sound, 
though apparently insensible to the thunder's crash. 
No expression of human suffering ever fell unheeded 
on his ear, and, turning to the direction from whence 
it proceeded, he saw his beloved disciple, standing ex- 
hausted and agitated before him the deathlike pale- 
ness of fear triumphing on her cheeks over the lilies 
of nature. With an involuntary impulse of tender- 
ness and compassion, he extended his arms towards 
her, and Leila sunk into their protecting fold, with a 
feeling like that with which we may suppose the 
wounded dove seeks the sheltering down of its 
mother's wings. 

Father Hilario endeavored, with the most persuasive 
gentleness, to infuse into her mind the composure and 
confidence, arising from faith in that Being who makes 
the mightiest elements his vassals, and whose mercy 
is commensurate to his power. He recalled to her 
those many instances on holy record, where the faith- 
ful had been preserved, and innocence left unharmed, 


while the most terrible ministers of God's vengeance 
were dealing out destruction to the rebellious and 
polluted. While he was yet speaking, an electrifying 
flash illuminated the grove the thunder burst in one 
magnificent paean over the forest, and the tall tree, be- 
neath whose boughs the grotto was woven, stood with 
its trunk shivered and scathed, though its green sum- 
mit seemed still unconscious of the desolation that 
awaited it. The large rain-drops now plashed on the 
leaves, the wind bowed and twisted the branches, as if 
anxious to open a passage for the shower to the pant- 
ing bosom of the earth. It came down in deluging 
torrents. Their canopy of leaves no longer sheltered 
them, the vine was rent, the frail twigs scattered on 
the blast, which every moment swept with increasing 
violence over Father Hilario and his now almost help- 
less charge. He vainly endeavored to shield her from 
its fury, by wrapping his arms around her and pres- 
sing her closer and closer to a heart which, free from 
the tumults of earthly passion, might well become the 
resting-place of innocence and beauty. Even in that 
hour of grandeur and horror, when the death -bolts 
where every where hissing through the clouds, Leila 
felt a glow of happiness pervading her being, which 
triumphed over the effects of the chilling wind and 
drenching rain yet no emotion agitated her spotless 
breast, which an incarnate angel might not have felt, 
and gloried in acknowledging. It seemed to her that 
v/hile Omnipotence was bowing the heavens, and com- 
ing down in all its glory and majesty, almost annihil- 
ating her very existence with awe, she beheld in the 


mild, religious eyes, that were looking down into her 
soul, a beam of heaven's own love and mercy, a blessed 
assurance that man is never forgotten by the Almighty, 
and that the low prayer of faith rises with acceptance 
to his ear, high above the din and wailing of the tem- 

There was one eye which witnessed this scence 
it was a solitary one and the worst passions of which 
our nature is capable, were concentrated in its rays. 
Murillo had followed the steps of Leila. lie marked 
the coming storm, and hastened to her accustomed 
haunts, believing that she would willingly seek a refuge 
from its violence, even in his sheltering arms. Not 
finding the object of his search, he continued his pur- 
suit in doubt and alarm, till he discovered the place 
of her retreat, and saw, himself unseen, all which we 
have just described. He remained rooted to the spot 
by a kind of fascination, which he had not the power 
to dispel. The truth was revealed to him at once 
she loved him she, this vestal beautj-, who seemed 
surrounded by an atmosphere of spheral, unapproach- 
able light, she loved this heaven-dedicated mortal with 
all the ardour of woman's first, unblighted affection. 
He read it in every expression of her upturned eye, 
in the doubtful colour that momentarily dyed her 
cheek, then left it stainless in its native whiteness. 
lie felt maddened by this discovery. He had always 
looked upon Guido, whom he had sworn to hate, as 
a rival, and feared his success; but Father Hilario, a 
man whose age so much transcended hers, whose 
profession excluded him frum the world's sympathies 


it was incredible. He could not, however, but 
acknowledge to himself, that if Father Hilario had 
passed the morning of youth, time had not cast one 
shade over the meridian of his manhood, and while 
he gazed upon him, as he knelt in the storm, thus 
tenderly supporting and cherishing the only being 
who had ever kindled a sentiment of love in his own 
dark bosom, he was forced to confess, that man never 
had a nobler representative. 

It is a bootless and unprofitable task, that of 
attempting to describe the unfathomable hell of a 
human heart, delivered up to the unresisted mastery 
of its own evil passions. It is on the consequences of 
crime that the moralist rests his hope. These, called 
up by the wizard wand of conscience, glide and glide 
before the eyes of the pale delinquent, like the accus- 
ing phantoms, in the night vision of the guilty and 
aspiring Thane. 

The storm subsided the heavy clouds rolled to- 
wards the eastern horizon, and the covenant token of 
mercy arched its deepening radiance on the retiring 
vapours. Father Hilario pointed out to Leila this 
glorious reflection of the Creator's smile, and dwelt 
upon that memorable era, when it first bent in beauty 
over the sinking waters of the deluge. Every object 
in their homeward path elicited from him a lesson of 
gratitude and love. Leila listened, but not to the 
rich melodies of nature, whteh were now breathing 
and gushing around them, in the music of waters, the 
symphony of birds, and the mellow intonations of the 
distant thunder, that rolled at intervals its organ-nutcs 


on the gale. She heard "but one sound in the mag- 
nificent chorus the voice of Father Hilario. 

Had Murillo never stolen, like a serpent as he was, 
to that bower of shelter, and witnessed emotions, 
whose purity, the baseness and corruption of his 
nature could never conceive, and which he imagined 
partook of the unholy ardour of his own feelings, her 
innocent heart would perhaps never have known the 
pangs of self-upbraiding, which afterwards so cruelly 
martyred its peace. He watched his opportunity of 
meeting her alone. The spell which had enthralled 
him in her presence was now dissolved. He loved 
her still, but he no longer feared ; for the secret of 
which he was the master, placed her more upon a 
level with himself, and brought her down from that 
high mount of holiness, upon which his imagination 
had exalted her. He was resolved to humble her 
by accusing her to her face of the sacrilege of which 
she was guilty. 

" Yes, Leila," cried he, stung by the cold, averted 
air with which she met his proffered civilities, " I 
know it all. It is not that your heart is wedded to 
heaven, that you turn from the gaities of youth, and 
scorn the vows of the young and the brave. You 
love Father Hilario. You cannot, you dare not deny 
it. All that you have inspired in me, false girl, you 
feel for him. I saw you, Leila, when you thought no 
eye but his was on you,*folded to his bosom, in the 
solitude of the grove, the crimson of passion glowing 
on your check, and its lightnings, brilliant as thoso 


which illuminated the sky, kindling in your eyes. In 

He paused, for he was terrified by the effect of his 
words ; she stood as if smitten by some avenging 
angel. Every drop of blood seemed to have deserted 
its wonted channel, for it is scarcely exaggerated to say, 
that her face and lips were white as marble, and they 
looked as deadly cold ; while her eyes, which dark- 
ened in their intensity, were riveted on his, with a 
look of wild supplication, which would have melted a 
less indurated heart. The truth burst upon her like 
a thunderbolt, and it crushed her to the earth. Had 
it been whispered her in the dim shadows of night, 
by a mother's gentle voice, it would have come over 
her, even then, with a blasting power, but to have it 
break upon her thus the unfortunate girl sank down 
upon the fragment of a rock, near the spot where they 
stood, and, covering her face with her hands, wept in 
agony. Murillo's terror subsided at the sight of her 
tears, and he went on remorsely widening the wound 
he had made. 

" Think not," he continued, " no longer to deceive 
the world. It shall know the latent fire which burns 
beneath the ice of sanctity, with which thou hast en- 
circled thyself. Father Hilario, too ! Vile wolf, who 
has clothed himself in shepherd's garb !" 

"Forbear!" almost shrieked Leila, at these words; 
" oh ! never by thought, or word, or look" she 
stopped despairingly, she knew not in what language 
to vindicate the character of Father Hilario from the 
charges of his adversary. She folt that she was in his 


power, and casting herself on her knees before him, 
she supplicated for mercy. " You may destroy me. 
Murillo, /merit it. I have deceived myself and the 
world ; / am guilty beyond forgiveness ; but Father 
Ililario he lives only for the God who has anointed 
him. Oh ! if through me he should suffer" her joined 
hands and beseeching eyes finished what her bloodless 
lips in vain endeavoured to articulate. Murillo gazed 
with malignant triumph upon his victim. He had 
wrapped his coil around her, and she might seek, with 
unavailing struggles, to extricate herself from the folds. 
But whatever was his purpose he chose to dissemble, 
and raising her, whom he had so deeply humiliated, 
from the ground, he assured her that her secret should 
be safe in his possession, and her feeling sacred in h>s 
eyes. He solicited her pardon for the extravagancies 
to which love and jealousy had urged him, in terms 
so mild and submissive, and begged to be admitted to 
her friendship and sympathy, with such lowly defer- 
ence, it is not strange that he deceived one so guileless 
and confiding. 

He left her left the dart to rankle where he threw 
it and it did rankle. Never more did she meet with 
an untroubled eye, the calm and heavenly glance of 
Father Ililario. No longer did she sit at his feet with 
the sweet docility of childhood, the deep joy of her 
soul mirrored on her brow. Father Hilario was 
grieved at her estrangement ; he feared that the flower 
lie had so carefully reared for Paradise was about to 
lavish its bloom* and its fragrance on the perishing 
hings of this world ; but when he gently reproved, 


her for her coolness, she would only turn from mm 
silently and wept. Unhappy Leila ! the fairest and 
purest of earth are oft devoted to the saddest destiny ; 
and what doom more sad than to bo condemned to 
the conviction that the inspirations of virtue and sen- 
sibility are sacrilege and guilt ? 

Father Hilario sat one evening, as he was wont to 
do, in a chamber which he had consecrated to devo- 
tion, surrounded by the authors he loved, and the 
saints whom he adored. Alreadythe waning sun dif- 
fused that golden, religious light through the apart- 
ment, which falls with such soothing, solemnizing in- 
fluence on the soul of the devotee. He sat in spir- 
itual abstraction, an illuminated missal open before 
him, and the holy emblom of his faith placed so as to 
receive the gilding of the western rays. The sound 
of hasty footsteps, and the confused murmur of voices 
approaching this hitherto unmolested retreat, roused 
him from his devout meditations. The door was vio- 
lently thrown open, and a party of citizens, whose 
looks were indicative of horror and alarm, entered 
the apartment. 

"What means this tumult?" exclaimed Father 
Ililario; and he feared some calamitous event had 
filled the village with consternation. The man who 
seemed to be the leader of the group, advanced witr 
an air of mingled authority and trepidation, and lay- 
ing his hand on the shoulder of Father Hilario, ad- 
dressed him in the startling words: "You are our 
prisoner, Father Hilario. We arrest you by order of 
the chief magistrate." 


" Me I your minister ?" exclaimed Father Hilario, 
in dignified yet sorrowful amazement. " Of what am 
I accused ?" 

" Of murder!" cried the officer, and the words ware 
mattered by the rest of the party, in tones that seem- 
ed to be afraid of their own echoes. Father Hilario 
looked steadfastly on the faces of each to see if he 
were not surrounded by a band of maniacs. "With 
added solemnity he repeated the question, and received 
the same awful reply. A dead silence succeeded this 
reiteration, when, gathering himself up with inde- 
scribable majesty, he commanded them to depart. The 
indignation of outraged manhood towered over the 
long-suffering meekness of Christianity. 

" Ye know me 1" he cried, and his usual mild voice 
was fearful in its power. " Ye know that I am not a 
man of blood. I have toiled, wept, and prayed for your 
salvation. The delegate of my divine Master, I have 
broken for you, with unpolluted hands, the bread of 
life. I have followed your paths in sickness and sor- 
row, binding up the wounds of human suffering, lift- 
ing the bruised reed, and holding the lamp of faith 
over the valley of death. I have but oh ! perverse 
generation, is this your return ?" He stopped, over- 
"oowered by the depth of his emotion, while tears, 
which only agony could have drawn forth, gushed 
from his eyes. The men looked at each other as if 
in shame and fear, for the errand they had under- 
taken. The officer said, "it is a most painful task, 
which had devolved upon him, but that duty was im- 
perative, and must be obeyed." " Who is my accu- 


ser?" demanded the victim. " I," answered a deep 
voice from behind, and Murillo advanced in front of 
the group. His face was cold and calm, and his man- 
ner firm and self-possessed. He spoke as a man con- 
scious of the import of his words, and ready to meet 
their consequences. " I accuse thee of the murder of 
Guido. / saw the deed. / saw the dagger in his 
bloody breast. Cold on the earth he lies. I accuse 
thee, in the face of God and of man, as the perpetra- 
tor of the crime." While Murillo was speaking, 
Father Hilario resumed his composure, though a 
deeper shade of solemnity settled on his brow. 
" Search," cried he, " for the proofs of your accusa- 
tion. Every recess is open to your scrutiny." 

He unfolded the doors to their examination; but 
what words can speak the consternation of Father 
Hilario, when, as they passed into the ante-chamber, 
they lifted his surplice, which he had left there as was 
his custom when he retired to the inner apartment, 
and found it all dabbled with blood ; even the print 
of gory fingers, damning proof of the recent death- 
struggle, was visible on its ample folds. A dagger, 
too, clotted with fresh blood gouts, fell to the floor, as 
the officer of justice displayed the ensanguined rai- 
ment, and there it lay " in form and shape as palpa- 
ble " as the air drawn dagger, which gleamed before 
the eyes of the Scottish regicide. Father Hilario 
staggered back against the wall, his ashy lips quiver- 
ing with unutterable horror, his hair actually recoiling 
from his brow, as if instinct with the spirit within. It 
was a scene which an Angelo would have trembled 


with ecstasy to behold and which he would have 
fixed upon his canvas in imperishable colours. There 
was a look of ghastly excitement on every face, save 
one, such as is seen at the midnight conflagration, 
when the pallidness of terror is lighted up with an 
unearthly glare, by the flaming element around. That 
face was still and cold in its expression if there was 
one feeling predominant over another, it seemed to bo 
scorn, and a slight curl of the lip, turned towards 
Father Hilario, said, as plain as words could utter it, 
"thou hypocrite!" Father Hilario marked it not. 
His eyes were directed towards heaven his hands 
folded on his breast, and those present never forgot 
the manner in which he ejaculated the most affecting 
appeal on holy record " Oh ! my God, why hast thou 
forsaken me ?" 

I have undertaken the task, and, however painful, 1 
must not shrink from its fulfilment; then let not the 
moralist upbraid me, for introducing an event which 
the infidel might exultingly cite, as proof that no 
superintending Providence watched over the destinies 
of man. But, who are those who stand around the 
throne of God, clothed with robes of glory, and im- 
mortal crowns upon their brows ? They who have 
travelled with bleeding feet through the briers and 
thorns of human suffering, mid darkness, and tribula- 
tion, and despair the pilgrims of sorrow, that they 
may be the inheritors of immortality. Father Hilnrio 
had walked uncontaminated through a path where 
the flowers of love and the incense of adulation were 
dangerously blended ; he was now to pass through the 


refiner's fire, that the fine gold might be purified 1'rom 
the dross of this world's pollution. I will not linger 
on scenes so revolting. He surrendered himself into 
the hands of the magistrate, and in one of those cells 
vaulted for the reception of human guilt, one of the 
best and purest of God's creation, awaited the trial for 
life or death. The inhabitants of the village trembled 
and clustered together, as when the shock of an earth- 
quake is felt, claiming closer brotherhood in the 
general calamity. They loudly proclaimed his inno- 
cence; they protested against his arrest as an act of 
sacrilege ; they would have burst his prison doors to 
redeem him, but he would not permit the laws of his 
country to be violated. He exhorted them to forbear- 
ance, and prayed them to leave the event in the hands 
of the Almighty. I dare not speak of what Leila suf- 
fered. From the moment she heard the awful tidings, 
she sat speechless as a statue; the look of wild con- 
sternation, with which she first listened, imprinted on 
her face, as if it had been chiselled in the marble she 
resembled. Could she but have wept ! but hers was 
not common woe even maternal tenderness could 
not fathom its depth. Tears! horror had frozen their 

The day of trial came; a day never forgotten in the 

nnrials of the village of L . The hall of justice 

was filled almost to suffocation. Every countenance 
was flushed with that expression of high-wrought ex- 
citement, which extraordinary and awful events ar 
calculated to produce; and it is a strange, inexplica- 
ble paradox of the human heart, that, however a}) 


palling may be those events, there is something of 
pleasure in the intensity of feeling they call forth. 
"When Father Hilario appeared, there was a murmur 
through the crowd, like the hushing of autumnal 
winds, succeeded by the stillness of awe and expecta- 
tion. His cheek was wan, his eye solemn, yet serene, 
and his hair hung neglected on his temples, as if heavy 
with the dungeon's dampness. There was a heaving 
of the crowd, as he passed through, intimating the 
restless elements restrained in its bosom. Father 
Hilario the revered, the beloved the almost wor- 
shippedstood arraigned before the bar of his country, 
accused of the blood of his fellow man. Where was 
his accuser? There conspicuous amidst the throng, 
towered the stately form of Murillo. Men looked 
upon him askance, unwilling to fix a steady gaze on 
him, who had armed the avenging laws against one 
whom, in spite of the blood-stained robe and dagger, 
they felt must be innocent. Murillo knew the part 
before him, and he was eloquent. His voice, when he 
chose to modulate it, had something peculiarly insin- 
uating in its tones. He began so low, that the people 
were obliged to bend forward earnestly to hear his 
articulation. These low sounds, however, were only 
the prelude to a burst of impassioned eloquence. He 
described the scene which he had witnessed the wild 
shriek, which, piercing the air, startled him in his 
evening walk ; the form of Guido sinking beneath 
the death steel of the anointed assassin. He painted, 
with graphic power, the flight of Father Hilario; the 
concealing of the dagger in his bosom, the gathering 


up of his robe to hide the bloody stains ; every thing 
was minutely marked. The voiceless witnesses, that 
robe and dagger, were produced and appealed to, 
almost as powerfully as the dumb wounds of Caesar, 
by the artful and eloquent Antony. He next enlarged 
upon the motives of the deed. With the subtlety of a 
fiend, he stole into the ears of his auditors, throwing 
out dark hints of the resistless influence of jealousy, 
sweeping down the landmarks of reason, honour, and 
religion. Father Ililario knew that Guido was his 
rival. Then, seeing his audience start, as if electrified 
at the disclosure, he pursued his advantage, and 
painted the scene in the arbour, during the awful 
warfare of nature. lie saw a flush of indescribable 
emotion in Father Hilario's face, and it redoubled his 
energy. He even disclosed, though with apparent 
grief and reluctance, the despair and remorse with 
which the ill-fated girl had confessed her sacrilegious 
passion. He closed with an adjuration to religion 
and humanit}', to vindicate their violated laws, by 
hurling a bolt "red with uncommon wrath," on the 
vile irnposior, who had clothed himself in white and 
fleecy robes, to despoil innocence of its bloom, and 
manhood of the free gift of life. 

A death-like silence prevailed after the accuser had 
ceased to speak, first broken by a deep, convulsive 
sob. The mourner sat in a remote corner of the hall, 
and his face was bowed on his joined hands. It was 
the father of Leila, who had heard all that had beerf 
uttered of his child, without the power to refute the 
daring charge. The painful situation to which the 


unhappy girl was reduced, was a dreadful commentary 
upon the words of Murillo. "With all the anguish of 
a father, he felt that she was lost to him, and the 
cause of her fading and despair burst upon him at 
once, with horrible reality. The father's sobs pleaded 
more powerfully against Father Hilario than the 
laboured eloquence of Murillo. 

At last Father Hilario rose, and so great was the 
excitement of the audience, that almost all who were 
present rose simultaneously. His manner had lost 
much of its serene composure, his countenance was 
agitated, and a flush of hectic bri^iitness burned on 
his pallid cheek. He had resigned himself to his own 
fate, but now the destiny of another was identified 
with his. He felt that his lonely arm might vainly 
endeavour to interpose a barrier between them and 
the gathered storm. 

"I have naught," said he, "to offer against the 
black charges alleged against me, but the evidence 
of a stainless life; a life whose best and holiest 
energies have been exerted in your behalf. I am 
innocent God knows I am innocent but the powers 
of darkness are leagued for my destruction, and I 
am left alone to wrestle with their wrath. I 
will not plead for myself, but in behalf of in- 
sulted purity, I will lift up my voice, till it meet 
an answer in the skies. I speak of that innocent 
being, whom I sheltered in these paternal arms, 
from the fury of the desolating tempest. I knew 
not that any eye, save the all-seeing one, beheld 
the meeting, but never has one thought warmed 


my breast for her, that angels might not sanction, 
and omniscient holiness approve. I have loved her 
as a young disciple of our common Lord, as a most 
precious lamb of the flock of Israel, whom my 
pastoral hand has led through the green fields, and 
by the deep waters of eternal life. She needs no 
vindication; ye know that she is pure. Oh! could 
the unfortunate youth, whose life blood dyes yon 
sacerdotal robe, now rend the cerements of his voice- 
less grave, enter this crowded hall, and point his 
mouldering finger at the undetected murderer the 
bold accuser of unarmoured innocence would call 
upon the mountains and the rocks to cover him 
from the justice of man, and the vengeance of God. 
But, though no mortal power can bring him before 
this earthly bar, there is a tribunal, impartial and 
eternal, where he now pleads, where he will forever 
plead, against the guilty wretch, who has dared to 
break the most awful canons of the living God. Oh! 
ye deluded people!" continued he, extending his 
apostolic hands towards them; "I weep not for my- 
self, but for you. I yearn not for life. I had hoped to 
have breathed out rny soul on the natural pillow of 
decay, soothed by the voice of tenderness, and hal- 
lowed by the tears of regret; but to go down to an 
ignominious grave, and leave a dark, dishonoured 
memory! yet it is meet that I suffer. The Almighty 
wills that I should, or he might rend the heavens for 
my deliverance, and send down armies of angels to 
shield me from your rage. I should rather glory in 
my martyrdom, as the disciple of Him, in whose 


name I have lived, in whose faith I will triumphantly 
die, who wore the crown of agony, and bore the cross 
of shame. For you, if my condemnation is sealed, 
the time will come when the days will roll in sorrow 
and gloom over your heads, the nights will come on 
in the blackness of darkness^ ye will seek for comfort 
and ye will not find it, for the weight of innocent 
blood will be on your souls." 

There was a sudden parting in the crowd those 
who were clustered round the gate fell back, as if 
by irresistible impulse, and an apparition glided 
through the dividing throng, which might well be 
taken as a messenger from another world. Pale, 
white as a death-shroud, her neglected locks floating 
around her, wild as the tendrils of the forest vine, 
and her eyes beaming with intense and wandering 
fires, she rushed forward, regardless of every object, 
save one, and threw her arms around Father Hilario, 
with a cry of such piercing anguish, as thrilled 
through every nerve of her auditors. Need I say, 
that it was the unfortunate Leila, who, roused from 
the lethargy of despair, and supported by the un- 
natural strength of madness, had thus forced her 
desperate way in the hope of dying with him, she 
loved? As Father Hilario looked upon this sweet, 
blighted flower of his fondest earthly affections, lying 
in drooping, dying loveliness on his bosom, he forgot 
everything but her tenderness and devotion, and clos- 
ing his arms around her, "tears such as angels shed" 
baptized her spotless face. In vain did her father, 
with a breaking heart, strive to release her from tho 


embrace she had sought. She clung to Father Hil- 
ario with an energy that seemed supernatural, a clasp 
that was almost indissoluble, till, at length, exhausted 
and apparently expiring, she relaxed her hold, and 
was borne by her father to his now desolate home. 
Father Hilario gazed after her till the last glimpse 
of her figure was lost, then covering his face with his 
hands, his Creator only saw and knew the passing 
agony of that moment. 

The sequel of this trial must have been anticipated, 
from some dark intimations of his fate, at the com- 
mencement of the narrative. The unconscious Leila 
had sealed, by her presence, the doom of him she 
would Jiave died to save. Her desperation and love 
were fatal corroborations of the truth of Murillo's tes- 
timony. Father Hilario returned to his cell, a con- 
demned man; condemned to expiate at the stake, the 
double crime of sacrilege and murder; but it is re- 
corded that the judges, who were men of stern, un- 
bending character, wept as they uttered the sentence, 
and the people sobbed and groaned audibly as they 
heard it. * * * * * 

At length the day dawned which was marked for 
the consummation of the dreadful decree. It was one 
of painful, sickening brightness. Nature had clothed 
herself in her most magnificent robes, and assumed 
her fairest smile, as if to mock the crimes and suffer- 
ings of man. On a gradual eminence, covered with 
living green, o'ercanopied with dazzling sapphire, was 
Keen the funeral pile of the victim. A multitude 
\\iis stretched widely, darkly around it, and heav- 


ing heavily, mournfully on the air, the death-bell 
rolled its long, deep echoing knell, saddest of all 
earthly sounds. There was something awful in the 
stillness of this vast multitude even more than its 
wild rush and commotion, when Father Hilario was 
led forth to the fatal pile. He passed along, clad in 
white victim robes, the crucifix suspended on his 
bosom, his face placid as the lake, on which the moon- 
beams untrembling repose. Every trace of human 
emotion had vanished. He had been on the mount 
of prayer, and the reflection of the invisible glory 
was still bright on his brow. If ever mortal, in the 
expresson of saint-like humanity, patience, mildness 
and majesty, approached the similitude of the divine 
sufferer, it was Father Hilario. He passed along to 
the sound of the mournful bell, through the audible 
lamentations of the crowd, where man in his strength, 
woman in her sensibility, and childhood in its help- 
lessness and timidity, were strangely and inexplicably 
blended. The victim reached the place of sacrifice. 
He turned around, to take in, for the last time, the 
glories of creation ; then bending his eyes on the mul- 
titude, he extended his arms, in benediction over 
them. He spoke, and that voice, so sweet and solemn, 
rose through the deepening murmurs, like the diapason 
of an organ, mid the wailings of a storm. 

" Ye beloved flock, farewell ! To that Almighty 
Shepherd, who laid down his life for your salvation, 
with prayers arid blessings, I commit you. Again I 
say, weep not for me. Eejoice rather, that ye see me 
die an innocent, a triumphant martyr. Think, when, 


the fiery wreath encircles my brow, how soon it will 
be converted into a crown of glory. Even now rae- 
thinks I see through the opening heavens, the wheels 
of the descending cherubim." He looked up, as he 
spoke, with a countenance of inspiration, and kneel- 
ing down exclaimed, with the adoring prophet, " My 
Father, my Father ! the chariot of Israel and the 
horsemen thereof." The awe-struck crowd gazed up 
into the unshadowed vault, almost believing to wit- 
ness the same miracle of divine love, wrought in be- 
half of the sainted victim. But they beheld no burn- 
ing car rolling through the arch of heaven no wings 
of angels parted its resplendent blue. They looked 
down to earth, and saw Father Hilario embracing the 
fatal stake. One flash of the kindling pyre, and a 
wild, simultaneous shriek rent the air. Higher and 
hgher rose the gathering blaze; still, through the 
winding sheet of flame, glimpses were seen of that 
glorious form, crowned with the awful pomp of mar- 
tyrdom. Deeper and deeper closed the fiery folds, 
then paler waxed the wasting splendour, till at last 
naught but the smoke of the holocaust went up to 

Twice the sun rose and set over the scene of sacri- 
fice. The silence of death brooded over the valley. 
Again the bell swelled in funeral harmony on the 
melancholy air, while a long procession darkened the 
church-yard and closed around a solitary grave. At 
the head of that grave appeared the figure of a grief- 
strioken man. There was such an expression of un- 
speakable woe and humiliation in his countenance, 


that even sympathy turned away, self-rebuked, for 
having looked at sorrow too sacred for observation. 
It was the broken-hearted father of Leila. It was 
around her grave that mournful throng was gathering. 
But why were no white-robed maidens there, to per- 
form the customary rite, and scatter the perishing 
wreath, emblem of fragility and beauty, over one 
who was the fairest of their band ? A dark spot had 
been discovered in the whiteness of the lily's chalice, 
and the flowers of its tribe were not permitted to 
shed their mourning sweetness over its decay. The 
appalling stillness which precedes the sound most 
agonizing to the mourner's ear, the fall of the cover- 
ing mould, pervaded the scene. The father lay pros- 
trate on the earth, and the throes which shook his 
frame, w r ere fearful to behold. Some thought, as they 
gazed on his convulsive pangs, there could be no 
grief like his; but they remembered her who was 
left in the forsaken home. The mother's sorrow was 
not for man to witness. When, at length, that damp, 
heavy, doleful sound, the last knell of mortality, fell 
startlingly on the ear, Murillo, who had stood in sta- 
tue-like immobility, somewhat aloof from the general 
throng, rushed wildly forward, and stepping on the 
very brink of the grave, exclaimed, in a voice which 
might rend the marble slumbers of death : 

" Away I she shall not go down unhonoured and 
unavenged. She's mine I bought her with my 
soul's price I bought her the covenant is written in 
blood, and sealed with the flames of martyrdom. 
Yes," he continued, his fiery eyes flashing with into- 


lerable brightness; "yes! ye blind judges, tremble, 
for ye have need. Ye have condemned an angel of 
light upon the testimony of a fiend. Ye have done 
that, which ye would give worlds upon worlds to 
redeem. Behold in me the assassin of Guido, the 
murderer of Father Hilario, the destroyer of Leila. 
I execrated Guido, for he made me a branded Cain 
among my fellow men. I hated Father Hilario, for 
Leila loved him ; and /, an alien from mankind, lived 
but to worship her. She loved him, but with a love 
as pure as that which warms the burning cherubim 
I stole the robes of holiness, and wrought beneath 
their folds the deed of hell. The Prince of darkness 
was with me, and promised me her, who now lies cold 
in the bed my gory hands have made. Here, in the 
presence of death, and the prospect of judgment, in 
the name of that dreadful Deity I have defied, I 
proclaim the innocence of my victims, your own 
guilt and mine. Live on, if ye will, weighed down 
with the curse of guiltless blood upon your souls ; 
for me, I lived to destroy I die to avenge." Before 
an arm could be lifted to avert the deed, he had 
drawn a dagger from his vest, and plunging it in his 
bosom, fell a bleeding, but unavailing sacrifice to the 
ashes of Leila. 



" I DON'T believe brother will be here to-night 
that I don't," said little Mary Norwood, rubbing her 
eyes that winked and ached from gazing so long 
from the window. " I won't love him if he don't ; 
such a pretty bright night too." 

" You had better go to bed, my child," said Mrs. 
Norwood, smoothing down her wayward ringlets, 
"you are getting very sleepy, and Augustus will not 
be here a minute sooner from your watching." 

"No, but I want to see rny doll he's going to bring 
me, and besides I am not a bit sleepy, mother," 
and she opened her round blue eyes to their widest 
limits, to prove the truth of her assertion. 

" I don't believe Augustus would know Mary if 
he saw her any where else," said Harriet Norwood, 
looking lovingly on her little sister, "she has grown 
so much, and altered too, within the last two years." 

"He would know those big blue eyes of hers any 
where," answered her mother, smiling, "especially 
when she puts on that round look, as he used to call 
it. I hope he will not be changed, but bring back 
the same sunny countenance and ingenuous smile, 
that distinguished his face from a thousand. He will, 
if he has preserved the sunshine of his heart un- 
dimmed, and its fountains pure from corruption. 
There are so many temptations in a large city, I have 
sometimes trembled for him, considering his youth, 


and the proneness of the human heart to wander from 
the strait and narrow path into the wide road that 
leads to ruin." 

" Oh, mother," said Harriet warmly, " I know he is 
the same. Such an affectionate disposition and ar- 
dent feelings as his, united with such upright prin- 
ciples and such high sense of honour, could never 
change so soon. I would scarcely be afraid to stake 
my life on his uncorrupted integrity." 

"Kose Somers herself could not have defended 
him with more warmth," replied Mrs. Norwood, smil- 
ing at Harriet's glowing cheek and earnest counte- 
nance, " but you little know a mother's heart if you 
think there is not as eloquent an advocate in his 
behalf pleading in my breast as yours." 

"Harkl" exclaimed little Mary, jumping up ea- 
gerly and running again to the window, "I hear bells 
how sweet they jingle! it's brother, I know." 

Mrs. Norwood and Harriet followed the rapid foot- 
steps of Mary, and gazed abroad on the pure expanse 
of snow, that, scarcely yet tracked by the footsteps 
of man, shone white and dazzling in the moonlight. 
A light sheet had fallen during the latter part of the 
day, and the sun, to Mary's bitter grief, had gone 
down in clouds; but after awhile the moon was seen 
palely struggling through them, then lining and edg- 
ing them with brightening silver, till at length they 
melted in her deepening radiance, and she looked 
down, unveiled and glorious, on one of the most 
beautiful scenes of the universe a wide landscape cov- 
ered with smooth, 'undrifted snow, that reflected its 


white lustro back through the cold still air and 
looked so sweet and pure, one might forget in gazing 
chat sin or sorrow had ever marred so fair a world. 
Mary's quick ear had not deceived her the merry 
jingling of bells was distinctly heard; they rung 
faster and faster, nearer and nearer a sleigh covered 
with sweeping buffalo skins came dashing up to the 
door, a young man sprang out, and was welcomed at 
the threshold by a three-fold embrace, and smiles and 
tears mingled together like an April shower, and still 
those clasping arms were around him when he stood 
by the blazing hearth, whose ruddy light contrasted 
beautifully with the cold splendour abroad. 

"How well you look, Augustus!" said his mother, 
as soon as she could speak, for deep joy is never lo- 

"And you too, dear mother; you never looked so 
young; and what shall I say of little Mary here, 
whom I left no higher than my knee ?" 

"Ain't I grown tall, brother?" cried she, standing 
on tip-toe, and trying to stretch out her little short, 
fat neck. 

"Yes," said he, laughing, and lifting her in his 
arms as he spoke, "and those round blue eyes have 
the same particular look of astonishment I always 
loved to excite." 

He pressed her warm, rosy cheek against his cold 
one, while his mother warmed his chilled hands in 
hers, and Harriet took off his frosty cloak, and drew 
his chair close to the glowing fire. 

" There is indeed no place like home," exclaimed 


he, looking round him with a glistening eye. "A 
welcome like this would repay one for a long life's 
exile. I feel as if I were a boy once more, I might 
almost say a girl, for a girl's softness is stealing over 
my heart." 

He bent his head over Mary's flaxen ringlets, and 
she thought the snow flakes that powdered his hair 
were melting in drops on her cheeks. She took 
this favourable opportunity of whispering in his ear 
some very particular questions about the dolls of the 
city, which received the best practical answer in the 
world in the appearance of a waxen doll lialf as large 
as herself, which could open and shut its eyes, ;uul 
which put her into such an ecstasy of joy and admi- 
ration it is doubtful whether she slept during the whole 
night. His mother and Harriet, too, had each their 
respective gifts, testimonies of affection, whose value 
can only be kiiown and prized by those who have felt 
the warmth of such a welcome home. 

"Haven't you brought something pretty for Rose, 
too ?" said Mary. " Don't you want to see Rose So- 
mere ?" 

"And how is Rose Somers?" asked he, endeavour- 
ing to speak in a tone of unconcern. "Has she for- 
gotten her old schoolmate and friend ?" 

"I am afraid she is forgetting you," answered little 
Mary, looking thoughtfully down, " for when I a.sked 
her the other day if she did not want to see you more 
than any body in the whole world, she said if she 
were a little girl like me perhaps she would. She 


did not look glad either, for I saw the tears coming 
into her eyes when she said it." 

Harriet smiled, but Augustus seemed infected by 
Mary's sadness, and remained silent for some time, 
gazing steadfastly on the blazing hearth. It was then 
his mother had leisure to observe his countenance, 
now in repose, and to note the changes two years 
had wrought. He was much thinner, and she thought 
paler too, though the fitful glow of the fire made it 
difficult to judge of the natural hue of his complex 
ion. There was a contraction of the brow, and an 
indescribable expression about the mouth, caused by 
a slight quivering of the under lip, and the compres- 
sion of the upper. This expression was the more 
remarkable in him, as his face had ever been distin- 
guished by its joyous frankness and vivacity. He 
looked up, and meeting his mother's mild and earn- 
est gaze, seemed conscious that she was reading a 
tablet of unutterable thoughts, for he roused himself 
from the abstraction in which he had fallen, and 
talked and smiled as he was wont to do in his more 
boyish days. Before the hour for retiring came, Mrs. 
Norwood drew a small table near the fire, on which, 
the family Bible was laid. Harriet placed a lamp at 
its side, and little Mary slid down from her brother s 
knees, and took a low chair, as if accustomed to a 
more reverential attitude when listening to the word 
of God. 

" My dear Augustus," said Mrs. Norwood, in a 
tremulous voice, "this is the hour when we have 
always most tenderly and feelingly remembered you. 


We have never surrounded the family altnr without 
involving blessings on your head, and praying that 
you might be shielded from temptation and sorrow. 
If you still retain your love for this precious Book, 
and this hallowed hour, I shall feel that my prayers 
have been answered." 

Augustus did not answer, but he opened the book, 
slowly turned over the leaves, pausing and then going 
on as if irresolute where to select a portion of its 
contents. The colour on his face heightened, till his 
very brow became crimson. 

" Excuse me to-night, dear mother," said he hastily. 
" I am hoarse and weary from riding so long in the 
cold. Besides I am occupying a place that yourself 
or Harriet can far better fill." 

He rose as he spoke and took the seat farthest 
from the light, avoiding the anxious glances that fol- 
lowed his footsteps, while Harriet, occupying the one 
he had vacated, began to read. At first her voice 
faltered, but gathering firmness as she proceeded, 
settled into a sweet solemnity of tone, appropriate to 
the holy truths she uttered. But when the book was 
closed and they knelt down in prayer, it was the 
mother's low accents that met the ear. When death 
had entered that domestic circle and smitten the 
master of the household, who like the patriarchs of 
ancient days had offered up the morning and even- 
ing sacrifice, Mrs. Norwood had gathered her orphan 
children around her, and in the deep humility of a 
stricken and wounded spirit, laid her lonely offerings 
on the shrine consecrated by the manly devotions of 


years. She was not ashamed to lift up her voice, as 
well as her heart, to Him who is the widow's God 
and the Father of the fatherless and her children thus 
educated in the hallowed atmosphere of prayer and 
of praise, learnt to realize the omnipresence of their 
Creator, and to feel that there was an eye that never 
slumbered or slept, constantly looking at their naked 
hearts Several of her younger children had died, and 
their mother yielding them up in faith to their Re- 
deemer, still bowed her head in prayer, and said t 
"Father, not my will but thine be done." Littk 
Mary, who was born since her father's death, was the 
darling of the household. Like a flower blooming 
in the church-yard, she shed brightness and fragrance 
over the home then made desolate by grief. And 
now when happiness and cheerfulness once more 
gladdened the domestic scene, she, in her sweet and 
joyous childhood, was the nucleus round which the 
tenderest cares and fondest affections gathered. Young 
as she was, her heart even whispered its response to 
her mother's aspirations and petitions, and she was 
as much afraid to think an evil thought as to do an 
evil action. But let us leave Mary to develope her 
guileless character, as she is called into action, and 
follow Augustus to his chamber, where he is left 
alone with his own soul. He looked round on the 
well-remembered walls the pure white curtains, the 
neat, simple furniture, the shelves filled with well- 
selected books, till every object seemed to turn into 
an accusing spirit, and upbraid him for his moral 
dereliction. And there was the hallowed spot, where 


he had been accustomed to kneel in prayer, and his 
guardian angel was wont to descend to bear up the 
soul's incense to heaven, after having shed from his 
wings the blessings witu which they were laden. 
As he pressed his cheek on that spotless pillow, he 
thought of the visions of his boyhood and early 
youth, and the sweet image of Rose Somers glided 
before him so distinctly, she seemed to move between 
him and the pale moonlight, like a soft and rosy 
cloud. Affections that had faded away in the pol- 
luted atmosphere to which he had been exposed, now 
rose fresh and redolent as in life's younger spring. 
And hand in hand with them came virtuous reso- 
lutions to aid and sustain them. The past seemed a 
dream, a dark and troubled one, but its very darkness 
served to exalt by the strength of contrast the bright- 
ness of the future. He had been a slave, the more 
dishonoured because a willing one, but now he was 
determined to burst his bonds, and rejoice in the 
liberty he had so shamefully surrendered. He rose 
in the morning, in the full vigour of these upright re- 
solutions, but they were made in the confidence of 
his own strength, and he was yet to prove the insta- 
bility and weakness of human will, opposed to the 
power of temptations and habit. 

Harriet's geraniums and green-house plants were 
placed in every window, beautifully relieving the 
chill white back-ground on which they were dis- 
played. He saw they were arranged with a view to 
his particular gratification, and he did not suffer a 
tint to pass unnoticed and unpraised. Mary brought 


him her kitten, a beautiful creature, with a body as 
white as the snow, and a buff and grey tail, which 
she run round and round after with a peculiar grace. 
This was duly admired and petted for Mary's sake, 
Mho looked upon it with feelings verging towards 

" Augustus w unchanged," said Harriet, when her 
brother had left the apartment; "he has preserved 
his love for nature pure and undiminished. He was 
weary last night, but this morning he is himself again 
only more manly yet he has not lost his boyish 

'"Gustus isn't changed, no indeed," said Mary, 
caressing her favourite; "he let my kitten climb his 
shoulder, to purr there as long as she pleased; you 
told me, Harriet, he wouldn't care for kittens any 
more, but he does, and I love him all the better for it 
I know." 

"Augustus is changed in looks, but not in heart," 
said Eose Somers to herself, as she sat at their fire- 
side the evening after his return. "He is paler, and 
somewhat graver too, but he is handsome, withal 
and what he has lost in gaiety, he has gained in sen- 
sibility of expression. I wonder if he thinks me 
changed?" continued she, lowering her eyes before 
his vivid glance, "he reads me very closely." 

Eose, at seventeen, was not the same as Eose at 
fifteen, and yet the alteration was more in manner 
than external appearance. She was not beautiful or 
handsome, yet there was something about her per- 
fectly bewitching, and this charm did not consist in 


any graces or smiles, or in any thing that could bo 
defined. It was felt by all who saw her, and yet few 
could describe the attraction that pervaded her coun- 
tenance and hung upon her movements. 

" I cannot for my life take my eyes off that girl," 
said an honest farmer; "she makes me think of every 
body I ever saw before, and yet looks like nobody in 
the world but herself." 

Before Augustus had left the village, Rose was 
almost a fixture in her mother's household. Of about 
the same age as Harriet, she was her almost insepar- 
able companion, and the avowed champion of Augus- 
tus in all his difficulties and trials. She was tho 
sharer, too, of his merry sports whether coasting on 
the snowy hill-side, or sliding over the ice in the 
bright moonlight, or rambling the green fields in 
search of summer flowers. But now this familiarity 
would never do they must be polite and formal to 
each other, and Rose did try very hard to call him 
Mr. Norwood, and to put on a show of womanly 
reserve, but after a few days she forgot to call him 
Mr., and to take a seat fur from his side. Familiar 
scenes were renewed, the dear socialities of the winter 
fireside, the ride in the moonlight, to the sound of the 
merry going bells, even the coasting down hill, and 
tho sliding on the ice, to the ecstasy of little Mary, 
who, taking hold of her brother's coat as he skated, 
thought herself quite an experienced traveller on ice. 
Mrs. Norwood, when she saw her son the enlivener 
of their domestic hearth, as he was wont to be, read- 
ing for their amusement some work of genius and 


feeling, while they were plying their busy needles, 
and winding up the evening with a portion of God's 
holy word, felt happy once more, and with the all- 
hoping, all-believing love of a mother, gave herself 
up to the conviction that all was right. True, she 
would have felt very glad to have seen him established 
in business, but then it was natural after two years' 
confinement and hard study, that he would wish a 
little relaxation, and though not possessed of an ample 
fortune, he was assured of an independence. 

Harriet and Eose sat together one night at a later 
hour than usual, by the fireside. Mrs. Norwood and 
Mary had retired to bed, and they remained to watch 
for the return of Augustus, who had gone out with 
a party of young men on a moonlight expedition on 
the water. The streams had broken their ice-chains, 
so that boats could glide on their surface, though 
the ground was still covered with snow. The young 
men for several nights had been engaged in the 
amusement of fishing, and Augustus was induced to 
join them. 

"I wish Augustus had not gone," said Harriet, as 
hour after hour waned away and he did not return. 
"I do not like this going on the water at night; and 
there are some very wild young men of the party." 

Rose looked at the clock, then nt the window, then 
walking towards it, looked out upon the street till 
her eyes were blinded with the intensity of their 
gaze. "It is very strange," said she, "very strange, 
indeed. He said he would be back at nine, and now 


it is almost twelve. Something must have happened. 
He never staid out so late before." 

" There was a young man drowned last winter in the 
river, in just such a frolic as this," cried Harriet, her 
fears gathering strength from the manifest alarm of 
Rose. " I wonder I could have forgotten it." 

" Harriet," exclaimed Rose, taking up her cloak and 
.gathering it around her, " I am not afraid of going out 
such a night as this. It is as light as day. It is not 
more than a quarter of a milo to the river the back 
way. Let us go and see if we can discover any traces 
of them." 

Harriet had some scruples about the propriety of 
the step, notwithstanding her anxiety about her brother ; 
but Rose, in her impetuosity, bore them down, and in 
a few moments they were running along the foot-path 
that led through the fields, so closely muffled ^in their 
dark cloaks and hoods, that Augustus himself could 
not have recognized them. Every thing around them 
was as still as if all nature were sleeping in the cold 
moonlight. They heard nothing but the beating of 
their own hearts, as they glided swiftly on, till they 
reached the bank of the stream. There was a slight 
declivity where they stood, and the water rushed and 
'gurgled over the pebbles, and looked so dark and fear- 
ful where the moonbeams did not fall, that their 
imaginations, already excited, invested the scene with 
something wild, gloomy, and peculiar. Unwillincr to 
express to each other the extent of their fears, afraid 
of the sound of their own voices in that deep stillness, 
they remained silent and trembling, looking up and 


down the stream, and listening to the faintest sound, 
till a thousand echoes seemed ringing in their ears. 
.At length they saw a light glimmering on the stream 
it came nearer and nearer, growing brighter as it 
approached, while shouts and mingled voices were 
distinctly heard. Inspired with new alarm, the two 
girls sheltered themselves in the shade of a large rock, 
hoping to escape observation, till this noisy, and seem- 
ingly bacchanalian crew had passed. They could see 
that the boat was full, and that they who rowed, plied 
the oars with a bold and rapid hand. It came gliding 
up, with a full sweep, near the very rock by whose 
shadow they were concealed, and several young men 
sprang on the bank, but the others dashed merrily on. 

"Augustus cannot be among these," whispered 
Harriet, as a blustering oath from one met her ear. 

Rose pressed closer to Harriet, without speaking. 
She thought she recognized his voice, altered as it was 
in sound, and it pierced her like a dagger. 

" Ha I we have traitors in the camp !" cried one of 
them, catching a glimpse of the shrinking figures that 
leaned against the rock ; and in a moment they were 

" Let me see your faces, my pretty ones," said the 
foremost of the three ; " we did not know we were so 
tenderly watched." 

They gathered their cloaks more closely around 
them, and buried their faces in the folds. 

" Come 1" said the young man with a bold excla- 
mation, " I will know whether we have got fairies ur 
furies flitting about in the moonlight 1" 


He caught hold of the cloak nearest to him with no 
very gentle grasp, when its relaxing folds suddenly 
filled his arms, and the slight figure of Kose Somers 
appeared beautifully defined on the dark rock. 

" Augustus Norwood, can this be you ?" exclaimed 
she, in a tone so sorrowful and indignant, it recalled 
him at once to a sense of his situation. 

He endeavored to put the cloak round her, but she 
snatched it from his hand, and throwing it over her 
own shoulders, walked rapidly forward, almost drag- 
ging Harriet, who, weeping and looking back, begged 
her brother to come home with them. 

" What in the name of Heaven brought you here, 
at this time of night ?" said he, pursuing their steps, 
and speaking in a loud and irritated voice. " A pretty 
hour for young girls to be abroad alone 1" 

" Better, far better, to be alone," said Eose, bitterly, 
" than in the company of those who forget they were 
once gentlemen." 

" Why, Rose, you wouldn't say I am not a gentle- 
man," cried he, forcing a laugh. 

Rose turned and gave him one look, but it was 
sufficient to confirm her worst fears. An unnatural 
Hush burned on his cheek, his eyes flashed with 
the fires of inebriation his voice had a strained, 
inflated tone, his whole expression and manner were 

"We were foolish enough to fear you might be 
drowned," said Rose; "and forgetting ourselves we 
came here and exposed ourselves to insult and morti- 
fication 1" 


" Insult I" repeated he ; " you may depend upon it, 
none shall insult you while I am near." He attempted 
to take her hand and draw it through his arm, but she 
shrunk from him with undisguised repugnance. 

Mrs. Somers and Mrs. Norwood lived side by side. 
They were now close to the dwelling of the former. 
Eose bade Harriet a hasty good-night, and springing 
through the gate was out of sight in a moment. The 
brother and sister did not exchange a syllable. They 
entered their own home, retired to their respective 
chambers the one to sleep the leaden slumbers suc- 
ceeding unnatural excitement, the other to weep over 
a discovery that filled her heart with bitterness and 

The next morning Augustus did not appear at the 
breakfast table, and Harriet's pale cheeks and swollen 
eyes attracted her mother's attention. Harriet, re- 
solving to screen her brother, and to save her mother, 
if possible, the anguish of such a disclosure, declared 
she had caught a terrible cold, which was indeed the 
case, and that she had a bad headache, which was 
equally true. She was glad to submit to the usual 
remedies for such complaints, and to be kept a prisoner 
in her own room the remainder of the day, to avoid 
meeting with Augustus, whom she dreaded to see. He, 
too, kept his room, upon the plea of indisposition, and 
Mrs. Norwood, who feared from his heavy eyes and 
feverish countenance, he was attacked with some 
sudden disease, could with difficulty be prevented from 
sending for a physician. Little Mary hovered around 
him, though he took no notice of her presence or at- 


tention. The child, unaccustomed to such neglect, 
stood near him, silent and sad. But, children cannot 
long restrain the expression of their feelings, and the 
consciousness of being slighted infused a little bitter- 
ness into her loving nature. 

" Brother," said she, " I am glad I never saw you 
sick before. I shouldn't love you so much as I 

"Why?" asked he, sternly. 

"Because it makes your eyes so red, and makes 
you look cross, too. When mother is sick I love her 
better than ever, she is so sweet and gentle." 

" I never asked you to stay with me," said he, push- 
ing her from him, as, leaning on his shoulder, she 
was looking up into his face with her earnest and re- 
proachful gaze. 

The motion was quick and Mary was thrown upon 
the floor. She was not hurt, but her heart was bruised 
by his unkindness. She would not have told of it for 
the world, but she stole away into some dark corner 
and wept and sobbed herself to sleep. What his re- 
flections were, when reason and feeling once more re- 
sumed their empire over his mind, may be gathered 
from his first interview with Eose Somers, after their 
midnight meeting by the water. 

"You despise me, Rose," said he, stung by her cold, 
calm reception; "and I deserve your contempt." 

" No," said Eose, " but I pity you, pity you from the 
bottom of my heart." 

"And I deserve your pity too, for never was a In-ing 
more wretched than I have been ibr the lost six days. 


Yet, notwithstanding my present misery, I feel a relief 
in knowing that you know me as I am, that my fatal 
propensity is no longer concealed from you, that I am 
not obliged to act the part of a hypocrite and appear 
an angel of light, when I am actually in league with 
the powers of darkness." 

" No, no, no 1" interrupted Kose, turning as white as 
marble ; " you shall not say so. You were tempted, 
you were overtaken ; they forced you to join with 
them, and in a moment of convivial enjoyment, you 
forgot yourself, Augustus. You did not know what 
you were doing. It was the first, and it shall be the 
last time. You shall not belie yourself thus to me, 
who have known you from childhood I never will, I 
never can believe you 1" 

" Listen to me, Rose," said the unhappy young man, 
"while I lay my heart bare before you, even as it will 
be at the great judgment day. As I hope for mercy 
then, I will not deceive you now 1" 

And she did listen, with her hands joined so closely 
together, that the blood purpled under the nails, and 
her eyes fixed upon his face with such an intense, im- 
ploring expression, it seemed as if her very existence 
hung upon the relation he was making. He went 
back to the days of his boyhood aud adolescence, those 
white days as he called them, when the only passion 
whose ruling power he felt, was his love for her, tender 
and familiar as that of a brother, but of fourfold 
strength. He dwelt on the scenes, when placed a 
stranger in a city of strangers, unknown and un- 
dreaded, when he had looked upon the wine " when it 


was red, when it gave its color to the cup, ? ' till his 
senses became maddened by the taste, and sought for 
a more inebriating draught. " I said to the tempter," 
continued he, each time, " it shall be the last. Still, 
when they held the burning bowl to my lips, I could 
not dash it from me, but tasted and yielded, till con- 
science, and reason and memory were drowned, and 
the ima^e of God was defaced within my soul. Then 
when I awakened from these deadly trances, and re- 
membered how low I had plunged when I recollected 
my mother's prayers and admonitions, her confiding 
affection when I thought of you, Rose, and all the 
sweet dreams that had gilded my boyhood it almost 
drove me mad. And, oh ! Rose, that night when I 
returned home, and my mother asked me to read from 
that sacred volume, whose precepts I had slighted, 
and told me of the prayers she had offered up for me, 
when I was myself surrounded by mementos of un- 
polluted pleasures and holy aspirations, what I felt, 
and how I felt, I never can make you know. Such 
strong resolutions as I made such earnest vows 
' and yet you see I have broken them all ! In the first 
hour of temptation I yielded. Those young men have 
learned, I know not how, my fatal habit, and exerted 
every art to allure me to expose myself here. Perhaps 
they were jealous of my influence with you. Sure I 
am they glory in my shame !" 

II : paused, and covering his face with his hands, 
leaned over the back of his chair, while his frame 
shook with an ague-like paroxysm. It is affecting 
even to a hard-hearted person, to see a man weep at 


the common and natural vicissitudes of life. What 
must have been the feelings of the young and sensi- 
tive Eose, on seeing the tears of Augustus tears, too, 
wrung by that most agonizing of all earthly feelings 
remorse I 

She had sat like a statute of stone, during the his- 
tory of his degradation, pale and tearless, the image 
of despair, but now the blood rushed back in vivid 
warmth to her cheeks, and springing to his side she 
bent over him, and leaning her face on his shoulder, 
wept audibly. Even when she felt his arms thrown 
and locked around her as they had sometimes been in 
childhood, she did not chide him or withdraw, for she 
would not for the universe have added a feather's 
weight to the anguish she saw him suffer. 

"Augustus," said she, at length, "do not despair; 
all will yet be well, if you but will it. You are not 
lost, you cannot be, while you feel so deeply, and 
when there there are so many hearts that will break 
in your undoing." 

"And could you, Eose," said he, looking up 
" could you forgive me for the past, and trust me for 
the future, if from this moment I break the iron chain 
of habit and live one of God's freemen, not the bond 
slave of Satan ? Could you forget the two last yeara 
of my life, and remember me, as you knew me, before 
I yielded to this blasting influence ?" 

" Could I would I ?" exclaimed she, eagerly. " Oh 1 
how little do you know me ! There needs no oblivions 
wave to wash out the remembrance of what I never 
knew. As freely as you have acknowledged, so freely 


will I forgive. One known act of indiscretion can 
never efiace the truth and affection of years. Be true 
to yourself, and I will think of you only as the dearest, 
the best " 

She stopped, blushing at the involuntary strength 
of her language, and the gloomy countenance of Au- 
gustus lighted up for a moment with the sunny look 
of his boyhood. 

" Hear me then," cried he, " while I solemnly pro- 
mise " 

"Oh I promise not," exclaimed Kose; "make no 
rash vows, but pray to Almighty God for strength to 
resist temptation, and He will give it thee. I too will 
pray for thee even as for my own salvation." 

Augustus listened to her inspiring words, and looked 
into her kindling eyes, and believed he never could 
be the monster to betray her confidence, and again 
prove himself unworthy of the love so triumphant in 
its faith, so beautiful in its innocence and trust. 

The spring came on green, bright, gladdening and 
rejoicing spring with all the splendor, and 
and beauty peculiar to the latitude in which they 
dwelt. Streams of verdure seemed to gush up through 
the melting snows, the waters sparkled in wreaths of 
living silver down the hill-side and over the plain, 
waves of melody rolled above amid the branches of 
the trees, the heavens shone with a deeper blue, the 
stars flashed with intenser radiance. Kose, like the 
flower whose name she bore, gathered bloom and 
sweetness from the blooming season. There was 
spring-time in her heart and sunshine in her eyes, and 


smiles and music on her lips. Augustus was ever at 
her side, all sue could wish or hope for. The dark 
cloud that had threatened to obscure her destiny had 
rolled away, and she only remembered it to rejoice 
still more in the brightness of the present and the 
hopes of the future. 

Mouths glided on, the vivid bloom of spring melted 
in the glory of summer, and still Rose was the happi- 
est of the happy. The national festival of freemen 
approached. The manner in which they were accus- 
tomed to celebrate it in this village was peculiarly 
delightful, for female patriotism and taste were allowed 
to blend with manly enthusiasm, and gild it with many 
a decorating tint. After the usual outpourings of elo- 
quence, and the bustle of a public dinner, the gentle- 
men and ladies met together, towards the sunset hour, 
on some green plot selected for the occasion, where a 
bower was erected and a table spread, covered with 
every variety of cake and fruit, adorned with the flow- 
ers of the season, and wreathed with wild-wood gar- 
lands. A band of music was stationed in the,, shade of 
the trees, that made the grove ring with melody, and 
blithe hearts respond to the inspiring strains. Augus- 
tus had been the orator of the day, and with that 
graceful, florid eloquence which is so captivating to 
the e_yo and to the ear, had elicited universal applause. 
Rose oxtilted in the admiration he excited, but when 
she saw him led away in triumphant procession, she 
knevv that the hour of temptation was come, and she 
began to tremble. He turned as he passed and met 
her anxious glance with one so full of love and confi- 


dence, that she felt ashamed of her momentary fear. 
She had not time to indulge in any misgivings, forsho 
was chosen the presiding queen of the bower, and in 
honor of Augustus she wanted it to be decorated with 
legal beauty. The bower was erected on the banks of 
the stream already described, and a boat with awnings 
waited the motion of those who felt disposed to glide 
on its bosom. 

Hose and Harriet, assisted by the other young maid- 
ens of the village, had rifled the woods of their sweets, 
and little Mary, who had followed them with a hop, 
skip and jurnp, every step they tooK, gathered the 
buds and blossoms that nestled low in their mossy 
beds. Her unwearied fingers helped to twine the fes- 
toons that swept from tree to tree, linking bough with 
bough in flowery sisterhood. When the fairy arch 
was completed, and declared to be perfect in beauty, 
she filled her apron with some hidden treasure, and 
seating herself in a remote corner, appeared to be 
engaged in a mysterious operation. Then springing 
on her feet, she waved a lovely garland in the air, and 
running towards Rose, "See," said she, "you are queen 
to-day, and here is your crown is it not sweet ? and 
don't she look sweet in it?" continued she, appealing 
to all around her, as Rose bent her head, and M:irv 
bound the dewy coronet on her brows. All united in 
paying testimony to the sweetness of Rose, for she 
was the darling of the village, and sweet was the very 
epithet to be applied to her. 

Every body said Rose Somers was a sweet looking 
girl, yet no one had ever called her beautiful. She 


certainly never had looked so pretty as at this moment, 
in her simple white dress and crown of wild flowers, 
the color in her cheeks coming and going, her eyes 
darkening and sparkling as the martial music swelled 
on the ear, and her heart told her it was the herald of 
Augustus. But little Mary herself was an object that 
attracted every eye. They had twisted rose-buds and 
myrtle in her flaxen ringlets, encircled her white neck 
and girdled her waist with wreaths, which she in her 
innocent childhood delighted to wear. Rose said she 
looked almost too much like a lamb, decorated for 
sacrifice, but Mary would not part with any of her 
ornaments, and wore them with a sportive grace that 
might have excited the envy of a city belle. 

" There he is, there is brother," exclaimed she, clap- 
ping her hands, as the music sounded loud and near, 
the thick boughs swung back, the military band parted 
to the right and left, and Augustus was ushered in be- 
tween, directly in front of the bower, where Rose 
stood, attended by the fairest maidens of the village. 

" What is the matter, Rose ?" said a young girl by 
her side, whose arm she had caught with an uncon- 
scious grasp. 

" Nothing," answered Rose, but her face turned as 
white as her dress, and her eyes had a sudden look of 
anguish and dread. One glance told her that Augus- 
tus had forgotten his vow of self-denial, and yielded to 
the tempter's snare. He had the same high flush on 
his cheek and unnatural brightness of the eye she too 
well remembered having once before seen. His hair 
was disordered, his steps irregular in short, he had 


that indescribable air of abandonment, that mingled 
expression of self-satisfaction and folly, that plainly 
mark the incipient stages of inebriation. 

" Why, Kose, my bonny Rose," exclaimed he, in an 
exalted tone, " you do act the queen most rarely. Let 
the most humble and obedient of your subjects thus 
pay homage to your majesty." Then dropping on his 
knees, he burst forth in a flowery and theatrical strain 
of compliment, she in vain endeavoured to check. 
Mary laughed at this mock-heroic strain, and thought 
it very graceful, and admirably in keeping with the 
joyous occasion; but Rose, who knew too well the 
cause of his unwonted freedom of speech and manner, 
felt her heart ache within her. She tried to smile, but 
in the very effort the tears gushed from her eyes. His 
sorrow and wonder and sympathy was now as extrava- 
gant and high flown as his admiration, and Rose, find- 
ing her situation intolerable, drew back behind the 
boughs of the arbour, where she for a while eluded his 
observation. Thither Harriet followed her, and had 
they been at home and alone, the two unhappy girls 
would have thrown themselves into each other's arms, 
and wept unrestrainedly. 

There was a young man who had persecuted Rose 
with very unwelcome attentions during the absence of 
Augustus, attributing the slight he had received to 
preference for him, felt for him the bitterest hatred. 
He it was who had discovered " the burning plague- 
spot in his heart," and exerted every art to spi 
into a consuming flame. At the convivial board, which 
they had just left, he had seated himself at his side 


even as Satan sat at the ear of Eve, and whispered 
evil words of temptation. It was his hand that filled 
each brimming glass, and. mingled with the portion a 
hotter, more intoxicating beverage. If they who lead 
many to righteousness 'shall shine as the stars for ever 
and ever, what shall be the destiny of those who, like 
the Dragon in the apocalyptic vision, are not satisfied 
with going down into the gulf of perdition them- 
selves, but endeavour to drag the sons of light in their 
train ? 

Several of the party were now in the boat, and 
called upon Augustus to join them. He looked round 
for Rose and Harriet, and not perceiving them, his eye 
rested on little Mary, who had been impatiently wait- 
ing his notice. 

" Bless your sweet face," cried he, catching the 
lovely little creature in his arms ; " who made such a 
cherub of you? Come, don't you want to go with 
me in the boat, and sail like another Robinson Cru- 

Mary threw her arms around his neck in ecstacy at 
the thought, and Augustus springing into the boat, it 
pushed from the shore, the oars keeping time to the 
music as they dipped, and the rays of the setting sun 
gilded the white foam they left behind. 

Harriet caught a glimpse of Mary, elevated as she 
was in her brother's arms, as the boat glided on, and, 
rushing to the bank, she entreated him to return, as 
she had promised her mother not to suffer Mary to go 
near the boat or the water. 


"Is she not safe with me?" cried he, laughing; 
"who will take care of her if I do not?" 

Mary, at the sound of her sister's imploring accents, 
remembered the parting injunction of her moiner, 
and her heart smote her for her disobedience. 

" Oh, Augustus !" said she, " please let me go back. 
I forgot that mother forbid me indeed I did. Let 
me go to Harriet she's calling me yet." 

The child bent forward with an earnest emotion 
towards her sister, to show her willingness to obey her 
summons. Augustus was standing near the edge of 
the boat, with one arm thrown around her, while h ) 
kept time with the other to the regular rocking of the 
slight bark. He was entirely unprepared for her 
sudden, springing motion, and before he was fully 
aware of losing his unguarded hold, she was seen flut- 
tering through the air, like a wounded bird, and then 
the waters parted and gushed over her sinking form, 
the golden hair gleaming for a moment on the surface, 
then lost in the dark ripples of the stream. Shrieks of 
agony now mingled with the gay notes that still swelled 
on the ear ; all was confusion and dismay. Augustus 
plunged into the water after his drowning sister. Har- 
riet and Rose were seen struggling on the bank with 
those who held them back from the rnad attempt of 
saving her with whom they must have perished. 

At length Augustus appeared with Mary in his 
arms, but she was cold and insensible. Her lips and 
cheeks were blue, and her little hands clenched and 
rigid. She was borne to the nearest house, and the 
usual means of resuscitation employed ; still when her 


mother came, in answer to the sad summons that had 
just reached her, she remained as cold as the wave 
from which she had been drawn. 

After unavailing efforts to restore her she was pro- 
nounced dead, and was borne in grief that mocks de- 
scription to the home she had left a few hours before, 
the most joyous of human beings. They laid her on 
a sofa, and sympathizing friends crowded round to 
catch one more look of the sweet child consigned so 
early to such an awful doom. Mrs. Norwood knelt 
down by her side, and clasping her hands together, 
pressed them on her heart, as if to hold down its mur- 
murings. She lifted her eyes to heaven in wordless 
prayer for resignation, when a wild scream from Har- 
riet sent the blood rushing through her veins with 
startling rapidity. 

"She breathes, mother, she breathes!" exclaimed 
Harriet, throwing herself into her mother's arms with 
an hysterical cry. 

And truly she did breathe, faint and uncertain at 
first the pale tints of life began to steal over the wan 
hue of death, the rigid hands unclenched, the heavy 
lids slowly uplifted, an indistinct murmur escaped her 
lips. It was then the widowed mother wept aloud. 
The grief was silent, but her joy and gratitude burst 
forth. She received her living child to her bosom 
once more, even as Jairus received his daughter from 
the dead, and she knew that the Son of God was pre- 
sent, though invisible to mortal eye, with heart as ten- 
derly alive to human misery, with arm as omnipotent 
to save, as when He stood by the grave of Lnzaru.-, 


and wept over him he was about to wake from the 
slumbers of death. The first words little Mary dis- 
tinctly uttered were, " Where is brother?" 

And "Where indeed is Augustus?'' was repeated 
by the anxious mother. It was recollected then that 
Augustus had not been seen since they left the river's 
side ; that when it was declared that Mary was tV-ad. 
lie had exclaimed again and again, "What dead! Is 
fihe dead/" Then rushed by those who were around 
her, like a madman, and disappeared. 

A new and agonizing cause of alarm now existed. 
The fears of Eose and Harriet were too appalling to be 
expressed. Mrs. Norwood knew not yet the cause of 
their worst apprehensions, though she was told that it 
was from his arms that Mary fell. 

All night she sat by the couch of Mary, cherishing 
warmth in her still shivering frame, praying for her 
son, fearing she knew not what, and listening to the 
ci;lio of his name as she sometimes heard it borne on 
tha night wind. Harriet could not remain within ; she 
followed Eose to the scene of their past festivity, where 
the people were confusedly mingled, looking up and 
down the stream, and shouting till the sound rolled 
buck again on their cars, the name of Augustus. As 
the torches and lanterns gleamed fitfully through the 
shades, Rose beheld a dark object near the bank, and 
running towards it she discovered the hat of Augus- 
tus, with his gloves lying beside it. At these dumb 
witnesses of his mournful destiny, Eose sunk in speech- 
jony on the sand, where she lay unnoticed in the 
c Nxitcmciit and confusion, and when she was found, 


she was perfectly insensible, clasping the gloves to her 
bosom, her hair and garments damp and wet with the 
chill night dews. 

"It was a pity," as a kind neighbor said, who fol- 
lowed her to her own home, where they bore her 
" it was a pity to bring her to herself, and see her take 
on so bitterly." 

The next day the deep, continuous roaring of can- 
non was heard all along the banks of the river, where 
the people still thronged, in the hope of discovering 
the body of him who they supposed had made his own. 
grave in its channel. It was all in vain. The waters, 
agitated by the concussion, heaved and subsided, and 
heaved again then sinking back into a sullen calm, 
betrayed not the secrets of its bosom. 

For several days the village continued in a state of 
excitement: but after a while the conviction that 
Augustus was drowned, being universally felt, all 
deplored, some pitied, some condemned him; yet all 
resumed their former occupations, and gradually suf- 
fered his name to die away on their lips and his 
memory from their hearts all but two families, from 
which smiles and gladness seemed banished for ever. 
It was many weeks before Eose was able to leave her 
room, and when she did, she looked like the ghost of 
herself. Her long exposure to the night-air, and her 
exhausting paroxysms of agony, acting on a naturally 
delicate constitution, had brought on a lingering ill- 
ness, from which many thought she never would 
recover; and when she was seen moving about with 
such a languid step and mournful countenance, and 


such an air of broken keartedness, her friends folt as 
if they could scarcely congratulate her on her re- 
covery. She went nowhere but to Mrs. Norwood's ; 
except to visit the abodes of sickness and poverty, 
and when on such errands, her steps grew more light 
and her eyes less sad, for even disease and chill 
penury smiled at her approach, and she felt while 
she could thus impart blessings to others, she did not 
live in vain. It seemed to her ihat if Augustus had 
lived, and she had seen him s. radually given up to 
the dominion of the fatal vice that had been his des- 
truction, she could have ceased to love him ; or had 
he died on the bed of sickness reconciled to his God, 
and trusting in his Saviour, she could have learned 
resignation ; but there was something so awful and 
dark and mysterious about his fate, there was so much 
reason to believe he had committed that deed for 
which there is no repentance or hopes of pardon, his 
memory was associated with images of shame and woe 
and dread. When with his mother and sister, she 
never breathed his name; she could not do it, but 
their eyes would often fill with tears when they met, 
and their voices falter, indicating the subject on which 
their thoughts were dwelling. Mary was the only one 
who mourned for him aloud. The sorrows of child- 
hood must be expressed in words, and Mary's inno- 
cent and overflowing tongue often gave unutterable 
pain. She was too young to understand their mourn- 
ful silence, and fearing they were forgetting him, 
whom she loved so well, she tried to make up, by her 


own ardent expressions of love and grief, for their 
suspected injustice to bis memory. 

Two years passed away, and the third was rolling 
on; still Rose, faith M to her early love, refused to 
listen to other vows. Her former persecutor renewed 
his addresses, but she turned from him with loathing. 
She had heard the part he had acted, and looked upon 
him as the destroyer of Augustus. Harriet was mar- 
ried to a young man, whom she had long known and 
valued, and gone far from the home of her youth, while 
Rose clung to NTS. Norwood, and even as Ruth clave 
to Naomi, and rilled a daughter's place in her bosom. 

One evening, about the twilight hour, Mrs. Nor- 
wood sat in the piazza that fronted the dwelling, with 
Rose and Mary, shaded by the sweet brier and honey- 
suckle, that ran trailing round the walls. The last 
sunbeams were melting into shadows, and gave a rich, 
bronze-like hue to the distant landscape ; sprinkling the 
nearer objects with rays of scattering gold, and fring- 
ing the clouds with living crimson. Mary sat with her 
head leaning on her mother's lap, and her fair ringlets, 
now darkening into brown, were tossed back from her 
brow, with the wild grace of childhood. She was 
taller than she was two years before : but her face was 
scarcely changed. Her eyes were as intensely blue, 
and they were now lifted up to her mother's face, with 
that peculiar expression which assimilated her to the 
likeness of a cherub. 

' I wish I were a painter," said Rose, who sat the 
other side of Mrs. Norwood ; "and I would sketch 


this beautiful sunset view, with Mary exactly in her 
present attitude, looking up into your eyes." 

"And who would paint you, Rose?" said Mary; 
" for you are the prettiest of the whole." 

" Oh, no," answered Rose, with a sigh and a smile; 
" I must not be put in at all. I should spoil the pic- 

" Well, you must be sure to put that gentleman in 
that's coming up the street," said Mary. ' I can see 
him through trees." 

The path which led to Mrs. Norwood's door was 
winding, and thickly shaded with trees : so much so, 
that though they were aware of the stranger's ap- 
proach to their own door, they could catch but glimpses 
of his person, till he came to the very steps of the 
piazza. Before they had time to breathe or speak, he 
rushed towards Mary and snatching her in his arms, 
with a wild cry, sank down on his knees and ex- 

" Oh ! my God I thank thee I bless thee I am 
not then a murderer." Then falling prostrate at Mrs. 
Norwood's feet, again repeated the thrilling ejacula- 
tion" My God T bless thee !" 

There is a joy that baffles description, joy so deep, 
and overwhelming, it struggles in vain for words and 
finds utterance only in tears and sobs and sounds re- 
sembling woe. As the "Widow of Nain received her 
only son alive, from the bier, as the mourning sisters 
of Bethany welcomed their brother from the 
so was the long-lost son, brother and lov 
And if there is joy in heaven over the repenting sin- 


ner and returning prodigal, we may believe the holy 
angels themselves sympathized in this affecting scene 
It was long before sufficient composure was obtained 
for him to relate, or them to hear, the mystery of his 
absence explained. 

It was not till after the friends, who had gathered 
in at the tidings, were departed, (for the news of his 
return spread like wild-fire through the village) and 
they were in the retirement of their own household, 
they could listen to his story. The evening lamps 
illumined a pale and agitated, but happy looking 
group, clustered closely round the speaker, while he 
gave, interrupted by a thousand emotions, the follow- 
ing narration. 

The night of his disappearance, when he heard it 
positively declared that Mary was dead, he remembered 
nothing but the wild purpose of flying far as the 
winds of Heaven could bear him, as if he could fly 
from himself, or escape from the scorpions that were 
writhing in his breast. How far he wandered he knew 
not, nor when his strength and reason forsook him. 
He found himself, on recovering the use of his senses, 
in a tent, by the way-side; a most benignant looking 
gentleman, bending over him, and a lovely lady bath- 
ing his temples and chafing his hands, with all a wo- 
man's tenderness. They were travellers to the far 
west, who having provided themselves with every 
comfort and accommodation, had encamped during 
the night under the shade of the trees. He had been 
probably attracted by the glimmer of their light, and 
having approached it, fell exhausted, chilled and un- 


conscious of the cares that were extended towards tho 
apparently expiring stranger. 

The next morning he was :;ble to rise, but he had 
remained so long in his drenched clothes, with such a 
fiery current burning in his veins, he was seized with 
a slow fever, and was compelled to accept the offers 
of these kind Samaritans. They spread a pallet for 
him on the bottom of the carriage, stopped when he 
was too weary to go on, nor did they apply their 
ministrations to his body alone ; for their holy con- 
versation was a balm to his wounded spirit, and the 
despair that had succeeded the keen agonies of re- 
morse, gradually softened into a more godly sorrow. 
He went with them to their western home, and there 
he remained, believing his name must be accursed in 
his own. On the return of health, he assisted his 
friend in clearing the wilderness, and diffusing around 
the blessings of civilization and refinements of taste. 
He had told him his history, and the solemn determi- 
nation he had made, if God gave him strength to 
keep it, to make himself a new name and fame, in a 
place where he was unknown, and to struggle with his 
prevailing sin, till he conquered even at the 'sacrifice 
of life. He did struggle and came off victorious. He 
could see the wine- cup and the fire-cup too, pass by, 
untempted, for "the voice of the charmer had ceased 
to charm, charm he never so wisely." It was long 
before he dared to believe that he was indeed free, 
that he could walk forth without the dread of return 
log to the prison-house of shame; but when time had 
proved the reality of his reformation, he resolved to 


return once more to the home he had made desolate, 
and say to his mother, as the prodigal to his injured 
father: " I have sinned against Heaven, and against 
tliee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son 
but take me to your bosom again, and let me bind 
up the wounds I have made." He thought of her 
who had loved him even in his degradation. He 
dared not think she loved him still, but if he were 
doomed to see her the wife of another, he felt the pun- 
ishment was just. He thought too how he would visit 
the grave of little Mary, and there, with a broken and 
contrite heart, renew his covenant vows to his Maker, 
and supplicate his forgiveness and grace. And now 
he was seated at his mother's side ; the forgiven and 
blest, with that sweet, rosy, loving being, clinging 
around his neck, in all the warmth and bloom of her 
loveliness; whom he believed c*old and mouldering 
beneath the clods of the valley, and Rose too, half 
enclosed in his arms, still faithful and confiding; her 
eyes beaming with modest love and holy gratitude, 
bending on that manly countenance, from which every 
darkening trace was swept away. 

Let it not be said then, that the man " who delib- 
erates is lost." He may deliberate between the choice 
of virtue and vice ; he may even choose the path of 
vice, and leave the boundaries of virtue, but he may 
return to wisdom's ways and find them pleasantness, 
and her paths peace. The Ethiopian cannot change 
his skin, nor the leopard his spots, but they who have 
been accustomed to do evil, may learn to do well. 



WE sat together in the little back parlor the even- 
ing before our father's departure. He was a sea- 
captain, and bound for a distant voyage. We had not 
been separated from him since our mother's death, 
and oppressed by a sense of coming loneliness, I lis- 
tened to the autumnal wind that sighed against the 
windows, thinking it the most melancholy of earthly 
sounds. My father put his arm affectionately round 
each of us, as we sat on either side of him, and drew 
us closer to him. He did not speak for some time, but 
gazed steadily into the fire, as if he feared to look 
upon us, lest he should be betrayed into some immnn- 
ly weakness. "My daughters," said he at length, 
" my heart is relieved from great anxiety on your ac- 
count. I have two letters, received almost simulta- 
neously, both containg affectionate offers of a home 
to one of you, during my absence. The choice must 
be left to yourselves." 

" Who are they from ?" cried Laura, eagerly ; 
" tell me, dear father, do ?" 

"One is from your Aunt Mercy," replied my fa- 
ther, llere Laura^s countenance fell. " The other is 
from Mrs. Belmont, whom you once visited and ad- 

"Oh! yes," exclaimed Laura, with sparkling 
"I remember Mrs. Belmont perfectly. She is the 


most charming woman I ever saw, has the most ele- 
gant house, and keeps the most delightful company. 
I thought when I was there I should be the happiest 
creature in the world if I could live as she did. Oh ! 
father, let me go to Mrs. Belmont's, and send Fanny 
to Aunt Mercy's. 

"And what objections have you to go to Aunt 
Mercy's ?" said my father, without addressing me, who 
continued to hold his hand in silence, for my heart 
was too full to speak. 

"Oh! I never did like Aunt' Mercy," said Lnum 
with a look of disgust. " She is sb precise, and formal,' 
and fanatical. She is an old maid, too, you know, and 
they say they are always peevish and ill-natured. Then 
she lives in a small house, almost in the wood, and sees 
no company but the cats. I am sure I would die with 
home-sickness, if I were to stay with Aunt Mercy." 

" And what do you think Fanny will do ?" asked my 
father, in a tone which I thought breathed of rebuke. 
"Fanny," repeated Laura, as if she were waking to 
a consciousness of my existence, " why, Fanny is very 
different from me and I dare say would content her- 
self very well. Besides, I am the oldest, and have a 
right to the first choice, and if I choose Mrs. Belmont's, 
Fanny is obliged to go to Aunt Mercy's, whether she 
wishes it or not." 

"I should like to see a little more regard for your 
sister's comfort, Laura," he replied, knitting his brows. 
"I am sorry to see you manifest so selfish a disposi- 
tion, and as a just punishment, I shall insist upon the 


reverse; or, at least, that Fanny should exercise the 
privilege of selection." 

Laura burst into a passionate fit of tears, declaring 
that she would rather stay at home alone, and would 
do so ; for, as for going to Aunt Mercy's, it was out of 
the question. 

" Since you give me the privilege of choosing, dear 
father," said I, distressed at Laura's violent emotion, 
and the motive which excited it, "I shall be as happy 
with Aunt Mercy as I could be with any one while 
you are absent, and I think it very kind in her to make 
the offer. I should feel as little at home at Mrs. Bel- 
mont's as Laura would at Aunt Mercy's." 

My father laid his hand upon my head, and shading 
back the ringlets from my forehead, gave me a look of 
approbation that would have repaid me for the sacri- 
fice of my life, if it were possible to enjoy the reward 
of such a sacrifice. 

" You are a good child, Fanny," said he, " and you 
will be a happy one wherever you are. How much 
your eyes are like your mother's now you are looking 
down I and you are like her in character too. She was 
always ready to yield her own gratification when it 
interfered with the happiness of others. She never 
thought of herself." Laura looked uneasy while my 
father was speaking. The pleasure of gratified desire 
and the mortification of rebuked selfishness struggled 
in her countenance. "If I ever return," said my 
father, rising, and walking to and fro with folded arms 
and bent brow, " we shall see who has made the wisest 


I shall pass over my father's departure and its sad 
accompaniments. Minute detail is seldom interesting 
unless it leads to the development of character, and as 
it is Aunt Mercy's character that I wish to describe, 
rather than my own, I hasten to the moment when I 
became an inmate of her household, Laura having pre- 
viously been received into the home of Mrs. Belmont. 
I had but a dim recollection of Aunt Mercy, never 
having seen her since my early childhood. She lived 
in the deepest seclusion, seldom visited her relatives 
and friends, and when her visits were made to my 
mother I was at school, so that it was only through the 
medium of others I had obtained my knowledge of her 
character. I knew she must be far advanced in years, 
being the sister of my grandmother, not of my mother, 
and a feeling of awe began to steal over me as I drew 
near her dwelling, a kind of wintry chill, indicating 
that the snows of life were near. It was a clear, 
autumnal evening; the dark brown woods skirted the 
road on cither side, and here and there, through the 
rustling foliage, I could see the stars sparkle and the 
deep blue sky shining, and sometimes I could catch a 
glimpse of waters flashing through the underbrush, 
and sometimes I could hear the low, gurgling sound of 
a stream, whose murmurs alone revealed its existence. 
The great secret of melancholy seemed diffused over 
the world. I felt as if I were alone in creation. I had 
no companion with me in the carriage. I had left no 
friends behind. My father was now launched on the 
billows, perhaps never to return. My mother slept 
the lost, deep sleep. I was going to one who, from agfr, 


sanctity, and personal peculiarities, seemed as far 
removed from the sphere in which I had been moving, 
as the planets above, revolving in their lone and dis- 
tant orbits. Happy they who have never felt that 
orphanage of the soul which came over me with such 
a dreary and oppressive power. As the carriage turned 
into the yard, the silence surrounding the low white 
dwelling, almost embosomed in shade the solitary 
light that gleamed through one curtained window 
the complaining notes of a whippoonvill perched near 
the wall added to the solemnity of the hour, and 
imagination, delineating the form of Aunt Mercy with 
cold grey eyes, and wintry countenance, and ancient 
costume, threw me into such a state of nervous debility, 
I had hardly strength to descend from the carriage and 
enter the door that opened as if by magic to receive 
me, for I had heard no sound of life. At first I thought 
\t was a statue standing on the threshold of the inner 
apartment, so still, and pale, and erect it looked, arrayed 
in a robe of white, whose folds fell voluminously from 
the neck to the feet, and remained as calm as those of 
a winding sheet. A cap with a close crimped border 
surrounded the face, whose pallid hue corresponded 
with the death-like impression the dress had mad.'. I 
trembled as I approached, as if an inhabitant of 
another world were waiting to receive me, when the 
tall, still figure, extending its hands, spoke in a sweet, 
tremulous voice, " Fanny, my child, is it you ? welcome 
to the home of the aged." 

At the sound of those kind, living accents, the spell 
01 supernatural awe was broken, and throwing rny 


self into the arms which involuntarily opened to en- 
fold me, I wept myself into calmness. I was hardly 
conscious of what was passing around me, till I found 
myself seated by a cheerful fire, whose blaze revealed, 
while it warmed, the pure, white walls, the white cur- 
tains, that dropped to the floor without a single fes- 
toon, the white, ungirdled dress of Aunt Mercy: and 
by its bright reflection, I could see too, her gray parted 
hair, divided with the precision of a geometrical line, 
and her dark, deep-set eyes, that beamed like lamps 
through the mists of age. There was a fascination in 
the glance of those eyes, as they were steadfastly fixed 
on me. They did not seem looking at my face, but 
my soul. The memory, not the fire of human pas- 
sion slumbered in their solemn depths. But, when 
withdrawing their fixed gaze from me, and lifting 
them upwards, she remained for a few moments in 
the same attitude, with her hands folded, there was a 
holy and sublime abstraction, that showed her 
thoughts were withdrawn from all external objects, and 
were holding communion with the Great Invisible. 
Then again turning to me, she said, as if thinking 
aloud, rather than addressing me " When I last saw 
her, she was little more than a smiling infant ; and 
now she is what her mother was full twenty years 
ago. Time I time ! what a solemn thing is time. It 
carries us on, day and night, without slumbering or 
pausing, and we heed it not, till borne like me, almost 
to the shores of eternity, we listen with wonder to the 
dashing of the billows we have passed over, and look 
back upon the dark and troubled waters that heave 


themselves into rest on the borders of the promised 

I gazed with reverence on this hoary mariner of 
time, thus surveying with a backward glance the un- 
travelled wilderness before me ; but I sighed to think 
she must have survived the affections and yearning 
sympathies of her kind, and that I must learn to re- 
press in her presence the ebullitions of youthful emo- 
tion. Her next words convinced me how erroneous 
was this conclusion. 

" I pity you, my child. You have a gloomy pros- 
pect before you, as the companion of age and loneli- 
ness. But the fountain of love is not dried up in my 
veins. The current flows warm and deep beneath the 
ice. If you seek wisdom, rather than pleasure, you 
may not in after years reflect with sorrow that you 
lingered a little by the way-side, communing with an 
aged pilgrim, who could tell you something of the 
mysteries of the journeys of life. And something 
too, I trust," added she, placing her hand reverently 
on the Bible, which lay on the table by her side, " of 
that eternal country whither the young, as well as the 
old, are rapidly travelling." 

Though I had been but a half hour in Aunt Mer- 
cy's presence, I had already gathered some precious 
lessons, and I looked forward to the hoard of wi.^lom 
I might acquire during my daily communion with 
her. Tenderness began to mingle with the awe she 
inspired, and when I retired to my own room, winch 
was an apartment adjoining hers, I thought though 
the hours passed with my venerable relative might be 


very serious ones, they need not consequently be un- 
happy. "When I first entered the chamber, however, 
I could not repress a nervous shudder. The same 
cold uniformity of white was visible that distin- 
guished the room below. White walls, white curtains 
to bed and windows, and an old-fashioned toilet table, 
with a long, flowing, white muslin petticoat, all pre- 
sented a most wintry aspect. " Surely," said I, " Aunt 
Mercy has selected white, because it is the livery of 
angels. I shall not dare to think an unpolluted 
thought, surrounded by such emblematic purity. I 
shall be reminded of Him in whoso sight ' the heavens 
are not clean,' and ' who sitteth on a white throne in 
the midst of his glory.' " 

The powerful influence of Aunt Mercy's solemn 
character, was already visible in my reflections. That 
influence pursued me even in my dreams; for I 
dreamed that I was sailing alone in a little bark over 
an ocean, that seemed illimitable in extent, and un- 
fathomable in depth, and that a tall, white figure, 
defined on the dark and distant horizon beckoned me 
onward, and ever and anon lifted a lamp that blazed 
iu her right hand, and sent a long stream of bright- 
ness over the abyss of waters. As I came nearer and 
nearer, and the boat glided with inconceivable swift- 
ness, the lam]) flashed with such intolerable splendour, 
that it awoke me, and opened my eyes, the sunbeams 
darted through the opening of the curtains directly 
in my face, and explained the vision of the lamp. My 
first though was a dread of Aunt Mercy's displeasure 
for slumbering so late, for I had heard that she break- 


fasted at sunrise, but the kind manner in which she 
greeted me when I descended dispelled my fears. 

" I knew you must be fatigued from your journey," 
said she, "and would not suffer you to be wakened; 
but to-morrow we will rise together, for your youth- 
ful frame can hardly require more hours for repose 
than mine. I always think when the Lord of day is 
on his way rejoicing and scattering blessings in his 
path, it is a shame for us to be laggards behind." 

I blushed when I recollected what a laggard I had 
been, and that I, the young and buoyant, had even 
this duty to learn from the aged and infirm. Yet I 
could hardly call Aunt Mercy infirm. Her figure 
was still erect and dignified, her step unfaltering; and 
though time's engraving hand had left its tracery on 
her cheek and brow, her eyes at limes, not only 
flashed with the brilliancy, but expressed the energy 
of earlier years. She seldom smiled, but when she 
did, her countenance exhibited an appearance of in- 
describable serenity, reminding me of a lake by 
moonlight, when the wind just curls its surface, and 
the ra3^s gently quiver in the motion. The first day 
I was excited by the charm of novelty. The perfect 
quiet and neatness that reigned in the household; the 
-clock-work regularity with which every thing was 
performed ; the industry that harmonised so beautifully 
with this order and tranquillity, astonished while it 
delighted me. It seemed impossible to me Hint 
human beings could live, and move, and work with 
so little bustle. Yet there was constant activity. 
Aunt Mercy herself was never idle a moment : .*ho 


was either knitting, sewing or reading; indeed, her 
knitting needles seemed a part of her fingers, and the 
stocking to grow under her touch, from a natural, not 
an artificial process. I wondered why she manufac- 
tured so many articles, for which she could have no 
possible use ; but I soon learned that many were the 
feet she covered by her industry, as well as the 
mouths she fed with her bounty. Never was name 
more appropriately given, for far as her liberal hand 
could reach, her benefactions and her care extended. 
She never encouraged idleness or vice, but wherever 
there was infancy, orphanage, infirmity, and age, 
united with poverty, her charities descended gently 
and unostentatious as the dews of heaven. 

" You make me ashamed of the indolence of my 
past life," said I, as I watched her unwearid fingers ; 
" I feel as if I had lived in vain ; I have been praised 
because I was willing to do something for myself, and 
now I feel that it is only what we do for others de- 
serves commendation." 

" Praise is sweet," replied Aunt Mercy, " from the 
lips of those we love, but if we do good to others for 
the saJce of this reward, we sacrifice the blessing of 
Ilirn who has presented to us higher and holier 
motives for action. Do not praise me, my Fanny, 
because I endeavour to ' do diligently what my hands 
find to do,' for the shadows of twilight are falling 
round me, and that dark night will soon come, 
therein 'no man can work.'" 

It may be believer! by some, that the solemnity of 
Aunt Mercy's language, her constant allusions to 


death and eternity, and the inspired quotations with 
which her conversation abounded, would fill my 
young and ardent imagination with gloom and terror. 
But it was not so ; they exalted, instead of depress- 
ing me ; they created in me a thirst for sacred know- 
ledge, a spirituality of feeling as sublime as it was 
novel I could exclaim with a more heavenly ambi- 
tion, than that which animated the Egyptian enchan- 
tress, "I feel immortal longings in me." 

It was a somewhat novel sight, to see such close 
companionship and increasing congeniality of feeling, 
between two beings, so far removed by age from each 
other the snows of winter only drew us closer to- 
gether, and I almost dreaded to witness the spring- 
time of the year, lest in the midst of its opening 
splendors, I should lose something of her divine in- 
structions. An occasional letter from Laura, varied 
the pleasing monotony of my existence ; she always 
addressed me as " poor .Fanny" then as if that ex- 
pression of condolence satisfied her sisterly affection, 
she expatiated on her gay and happy life, and the 
pleasures that courted her enjoyment; her volatile 
mind flew from on3 subject to another, from the the- 
atre to the ball-room, from the. ball-room to, the con- 
cert, &c., with bewildering speed ; and with all these 
dazzling scenes she min-l'd descriptions of attending 
gentlemen : some had " eyes of fire," others " t<mjurs 
of eloquence," and "lips of music," and all wer-- in- 
cluded in the compendious epithet, " divine." I should 
have pro!;1<'<! little by the example and precepts of 
the evangelical Aunt Mercy, if I bad not revolted at 


the application of this term ; I grieved at the levity 
of her sentiments ; I did not envy her the pleasures 
that had such an intoxicating influence on her heart ; 
I did not sigh for the admiration of that sex from 
whose society I was so entirely excluded ; I had never 
been accustomed to it, and the rapturous expressions 
of Laura astonished my young simplicity. One even- 
ing, after the perusal of one of these letters, as I sat 
at Aunt Mercy's side, I ventured to address her in a 
more familiar manner than I had ever done before. I 
longed to hear her explain the mystery of her lonely 
life. u Dear Aunt Mercy," said I, taking her hand in 
mine, and looking earnestly in her face, " do you 
think it a sin to love ?" She actually started at the 
question, and I felt her hand tremble in my clasp. 

" Do you ask idly ?" said she, fixing her deep eyes 
with a melancholy gaze on my face, " or do you, child 
as you are, speak from the heart's dictates. 

"No," answered I, blushing at the suggestion. "I 
know nothing yet of love, and judging from Laura's 
allusions, I think I never shall. But I have often 
wondered why yon, who must have been very beau- 
tiful indeed, when young" here a faint smile glim- 
mered over Aunt Mercy's features, a lingering spark 
of vanity, flashing through the shades of threescore 
and ten "why you should have been" I began to 
hesitate, for I could not allow myself to use Laura's 
expression, and say "an old maid" then after a 
moment's reflection, I added, "why you should have 
been single, when almost every one marries; I thought, 
perhaps, you believed it sinful to love any one else 


but God." I would have given any thing to have re- 
called the expression of my childish curiosity ; I was 
terrified at the emotion exhibited in her usual placid 
countenance; her eyes assumed a look of wild an- 
guish, contrasting fearfully with their wonted calm, 
religious glance ; then slowly lifting them to Heaven, 
and clasping her withered hands together, she ex- 
claimed, "Sinful! oh! my Father! sinful indeed 
must be the passion, whose memory even now can 
raise such a tumult in these wintry veins ; I thought 
all was peace here," continued she, unclasping hei 
hands, and pressing them tightly on her breast, " the 
peace of God that passeth all understanding; but no, 
no, the troubled waters are heaving, heaving still." 
As she reiterated the last words, her head bowed lower 
and lower, her whole frame shook, and tears gathering 
in large drops, glided down her cheeks, through chan- 
nels, which had long been dry. I felt as if I had 
committed sacrilege in thus disturbing the holy calm 
of her soul; a burst of flame, rising from the still 
waters that cover the buried cities of the plain, could 
not be more awful or surprising, than this storm of 
human passion, thus convulsing the bosom of age. I 
knew not in what manner to express my penitence 
and sorrow. I wept ; I threw my arms around her ; 
I actually knelt at her feet and implored her to for- 
give me. The attitude roused her from her trance- 
like state; she held out her right hand, and com- 
manded me to rise. I rose and stood before her pale 
and trembling, like a culprit uncertain of her doom. 
"Leave me, child, leave me," she cried, ''till I 


gain composure, from the only source from which the 
weary and heavy laden can find rest long, long years 
have rolled away since any human being has struck the 
chord your hand has pressed. I thought it had ceased 
to quiver I have deceived myself; I feel humbled 
in the dust ; I would humble myself still more before 
the mighty hand of God. Leave me alone, my child, 
and when I am calm once more, you shall learn the 
history of my youth, and may you profit by its 
mournful lesson." 

I withdrew to my chamber, grieved and agitated, 
yet awaiting with impatience the expected summons. 
But I heard Aunt Mercy enter her own room and 
close her door, without recalling me to her presence. 
She always kept a light burning during the night, 
that she might not disturb her servants, if one 
were required, but this night it was extinguished, 
and accustomed as I had been to see its rays streaming 
beneath the door, I shuddered at the darkness, of 
which my rashneas had been the cause. I trembled 
when I reflected on the might of human passion 
" Terrible, terrible," thought I, " must it be in its 
strength, if even in decay it can triumph over the 
coldness of age, and roll its wild waves over the 
traces the Spirit of God has written on the soul. Let 
me be spared its desolating power ; let me live on as 
I now do, calm and passionless, striving to walk in 
the path of duty, with an eye directed to Heaven, and 
a heart devoted to God. Here, in this solitude, I am 
secure from temptation, and can know nothing of the 


struggles, of which to-night I have been a fearful 

The next morning I almost feared to look at Aunt 
Mercy, expecting to see the same wild and ngitated 
countenance, but the placidity of Heaven was on her 
brow. There might be an air of deeper humility ; of 
more saintly meekness, if that were possible, but there 
was no other change. I felt a tenderness for her I 
had never experienced before. Aunt Mercy, the 
anchorite, the saint, was a being I reverenced ; but 
Aunt Mercy, loving and suffering, was a being I 
loved. The day passed away, as usual, in industry 
and quiet, but when the evening came on, and wo 
were seated again, side by side, at the lonely hearth, 
my heart began to palpitate with expectation, for 
Aunt Mercy suffered her knitting to remain un- 
touched in her basket, and her book lay unopened on 
the table. 

"My dear Fanny," said she, "your asking eyes 
shall not seek mine in vain ; I have been steadily 
looking at the past, and am astonished at the calmness 
with which I can now review events, from which last 
night I recoiled with such dread ; I have not slept, 
but prayed, and towards the dawn of morning, it 
seemed as if an angel came and ministered unto me. 
Like Jacob, I had wrestled for the blessing and pre- 
vailed. It is humbling to me to know that the rever- 
ence with which you have regarded me will be 
diminished, and that you will look upon me IMK-O 
forth as a sinful and sorrowing woman ; and I should 


rejoice that you will no longer ascribe to an erring 
creature, perfections which belong to God alone. 

"When I was young can you roll back the win- 
ters that have frosted my head, and restore me to the 
spring-time of life? If you can you must think of 
me, at this moment, not as I am, but as I was, with 
the bloom of youth on my cheek, and its hopes warm 
in my heart. Let this thought, my child, check the 
high throbbings of youthful vanity ; as sure as you 
live to reach the confines of age, you will, like me, 
present but a faded image of what you once have 
been ; the eyes, those windows from which the soul 
looks forth, will be darkened and the grasshopper 
prove a burthen to those elastic limbs ! But the soul 
itself, my child, is undecaying and immortal; and 
can smile calmly over the ruins of the body, in the 
grandeur of its own imperishability." 

She paused, and as I gazed wistfully in her face, I 
thought that Ossian could never have seen such a 
countenance as Aunt Mercy's, when he said that age 
was "dark and unlovely," for to me she was still 
beautiful, in her piety and meekness, with the chas- 
tened memories of other years blending, as they now 
were, with the holiest hopes of Heaven. 

" "When I was young," continued she, " I was like 
you, the companion of an aged relative, though my 
mother was living ; but having the charge of a large 
family, she was willing to yield to my grandmother's 
wishes, that I might be taken into her household, even 
as her own child. I was the youngest of the family, 
and had never been out, as it is called, into the world, 


so I was contented in my new home, where I had leis- 
ure to indulge in my favorite amusement reading. 
My grandmother, unfortunately, had a large library of 
ill-assorted works, a great portion of which were ro- 
mances and plays. She never restrained me in my 
choice, saying she had always read every thing she 
liked, and had never been injured by this indiscrimi- 
nate reading, and she saw no reason why children 
should be wiser than their grandmothers. She was 
fond of hearing me read aloud to her, and all the long 
winter evenings, while she plied her knitting needles, 
I amused her and delighted myself with the wildest 
and most extravagant productions. But there were 
some volumes containing scenes so highly wrought, 
which excited such a thrilling interest in my bosom ; I 
I could not read them to another. These I reserved 
for my secret perusal; and when summer built its 
green bowers, I used to conceal myself in their shades, 
and perusing alone these impassioned pages, forgetting 
every thing but the visions they inspired, I became a 
vain and idle dreamer. The realities of life were 
insipid to me ; and I was happy only when breathing 
the atmosphere of the ideal world. My grandmother 
never reproved me for my wanderings. She did not 
seem to miss my companionship, for, in the genial sea- 
son, she loved to sit in the open door, and look at the 
flowers as they opened to the sunbeams, and listen to* 
the songs of the birds as they made their nests in the 
trees that shaded the walls. I had one brother, two or 
three years older than myself, who always visited me 
during his college vacations, and transformed our quiet 


dwelling to a scene of gaiety and amusement. Arthur 
was a liglit-hcaded, frolicksorne youth, with a tem- 
perament very different from mine. He loved to sport 
with the foam of the ocean ; /to fathom the depths of 
its waves. And now, Fanny, look on me no longer. 
I would not waver in my purpose, and I cannot bear 
that wistful gaze ; it melts me, and I would have my 
eyes dry and my heart firm. 

" Poor Arthur came to us the last year of his colle- 
giate term, accompanied by a classmate of whom he 
had often talked, Frederick Cleveland. I said he had 
often spoken of him; and to my romantic ear his 
name implied all those graces and accomplishments I 
had never yet seen embodied. Grave even to pensive- 
ness; pale almost to feminine delicacy; yet with a 
deep-toned voice and manly figure, he formed a stri- 
king contrast to my merry, blooming, and boyish bro- 
ther. Arthur pursued his accustomed sports, fishing 
and hunting; Cleveland soon learned to linger behind, 
finding more congeniality in my enthusiasm and poetry 
of feeling. He was a poet himself; and he loved to 
read his own strains to one who listened with an ear 
so rapt as mine. He was a naturalist; and as we 
"walked together, he explained to me the wondrous 
laws of nature, and gave me enlarged and elevated 
views of the creating power. He was an astronomer 
and as we stood beneath the starry heavens, he directed 
my gaze to the planets walking in their brightness, and 
endeavored to carry my soul into the depths of infinity, 
and teach it to take in some faint glimpses of God's 
unimaginable glory. Fanny, I thought not of my God, 


bat of him. I forgot the Creator in adoration of the 
creature he had made. He departed, and existence 
was a blank to me ; or rather, it was filled with one 
image, one ever multiplying, yet never changing 
image. My first thought at morning was not an aspi- 
ration of gratitude to the Divine Being, whose wings 
of love had overshadowed and sheltered me during 
the darkness of night, but a remembrance of Cleve- 
land. My last thought, when I closed my eyes in 
sleep, did not ascend to Him, in whose awful presence 
I might be ere the midnight hour, but lingered round 
one, a frail creature of the dust like myself. You 
asked me., Fanny, if love was sinful. Not that love 
which, emanating from a heart which, conscious of its 
weakness and its dependence on God, sees in the 
object of its affections, a being of clay, yet an heir of 
immortality ; a traveller of time, whose goal is eter- 
nity ; not that love which, purified from earthly fires, 
glows with a divine ardor, and mingles with the celes- 
tial flame that rises from the soul to the source of ever- 
lasting love and light. But the pagan maiden, who 
pours out her life-blood at the feet of her idol-god, is 
not more of an idolater than I was, the baptized 
daughter of a Christian mother. 

"Winter glided slowly away. My grandmother's 
sight entirely failed, and I was compelled to become 
eyes to the blind, and also feet to the weary, for her 
increasing infirmities confined her to her arm-chair. I 
performed these duties, but with a listless spirit ; and, 
could she have looked upon me, she must have known 
that my thoughts were wandering. At length spring 


returned, and she had her arm-chair moved into the 
open air, and as the fragrance of the season floated 
round her, and its melodies breathed into her ear, she 
revived into child-like cheerfulness. The time for my 
brother's annual visit returned, and Cleveland once 
more accompanied him. Even now, when years glid 
ing over years have dimmed the memories of the past, 
and religion, I trust, has sanctified them, I cannot recall 
those hours without a glow like that of sunshine, per- 
vading my wasted being. But the gloom, the horror 
of thick darkness that followed ! One day, as Cleve- 
land and myself were sitting at the foot of an elm 
tree, reading from the same book, Arthur passed us 
with his gun in his hand, his green hunting pouch 
swung over his shoulder, and his dog bounding before 
him. He laughed, looked back, called Cleveland a 
drone, then went gaily on. How long he was gone I 
know not, for the happy take no note of hours ; but the 
sun was nearly setting, when he returned by the same 
path. I felt a sensation of embarrassment that I had 
lingered so long, and, looking at Cleveland, I saw the 
color on his cheek was deepened. The sky was red- 
dening with the clouds that generally gather around 
the setting sun, and their reflection gave a beauty and 
brightness to his face that I had never seen before. 
Arthur seemed animated with more than his usual 
vivacity. 'Cleveland,' said he, with mock gravity, 
1 that blush bespeaks the consciousness of guilt. I 
have long thought you a criminal, and you must now 
suffer the penalty due to your crimes. Die, then, base 
robber, without judge or jury.' Then, aiming his 


gun like an experienced marksmen, his eye sparkling 
with mirth, he shot and Cleveland fell." 

Here Aunt Mercy paused, and a long silence ensued. 
I dared not look at her, as she thus bared the fountain 
of her grief. I felt as if the death shot had penetrated 
my own heart. I started at the sound of her voice 
when she again resumed her narrative, it was so hollow 
and broken. 

" Yes ! he fell by a brother's hand. I saw him ex- 
tended at my feet, and the grass crimsoned with the 
blood that gushed from the wound. I saw Arthur 
dash down his gun, rush forward, and throwing himself 
on the bleeding body, exclaim, " Gracious Father ! what 
have I done ?" " Done !" cried I, pushing him away 
with frantic violence, and clasping the murdered 
Frederick in my arms, "Done! you have killed him 
you have killed him ;" and I reiterated the words till 
they became a piercing shriek, and the air was rent with 
my cries of agony. I remember how he looked with 
what bloodless cheeks and lips he bent over him 
what indescribable anguish and horror spoke from his 
eyes ! I remember, too, how my blind old grandmother, 
roused by my shrieks, came groping to the spot, and 
dabbled her hands unconsciously in the blood of the 
victim. Tt was she who cried, " he may yet be saved ;" 
and Arthur flew for a physician, and dragged him to 
the very tree, and looked him in the face, while he 
sought the symptoms of that life which was gone for 
ever. My Fanny, I dare not describe the madness of 
despair that took possession of my soul. I rejected 
all human consolation; I sought no divine comforter; 


I knew not that there was a balm in Gilead, or a hea- 
venly Physician near. My poor grandmother tried 
to soothe my grief, but I turned away from her in 
bitterness. My brother attempted to approach me, but 
I fled from him as from a monster, and hid myself 
from his sight. He wrote to me, entreating me to forgive 
him. He painted the misery he endured, the remorse 
that was consuming him ; and yet he was innocent, inno- 
cent of everything but levity, whose excess is criminal. 
He knew not, that the gun was loaded ; for a boy, 
who was hunting like himself, had taken his rifle, which 
he had left for a few moments leaning against a tree, 
and substituted his own in its stead. It was an instru- 
ment of inferior value, though of similar appearance, 
and contained a heavy load. These circumstances 
were afterwards made known to him, and explained 
the mystery of Cleveland's death. Poor, unhappy 
Arthur ! he was innocent, and yet I loathed him. I 
made a vow that I would never see him more. " Tell 
him," said I, " that I forgive him, but I can never live 
in his sight ; I can never look upon him but as the 
destroyer of all I held dear." Finding me inexorable, 
he left me to my sullen and resentful sorrow, to seek 
friends more kind and pitying. My sole occupation, 
now, was to wander abroad, and seat myself under the 
elm tree which had witnessed the awful tragedy, and 
brood over its remembrance. Oh! how hard and 
selfish must have been my heart, that could have re- 
sisted the prayers and tears of my only brother ; that 
could have turned from a doting grandmother, whose 
sightless eyes pleaded so painfully in his behalf; that 


could have left her to the care of menials, instead of 
ministering to her declining age and smoothing her 
passage to the grave ! But that hard heart was yet to 
be broken. The prophet's wand was near. I received 
a summons to come to my brother, who was dying. 
He raved for his sister ; he could not die without see- 
ing her once again. I felt like one waking from a ter- 
rible dream, in which the incubus had been brooding 
like a demon on the soul! A voice cried in my ear, 
"Thou too wilt be a murderer, less innocent than he, 
for thou knewest what thou wast doing." I obeyed 
the summons, but it was too late he was dead ! I 
saw him in his winding-sheet the brother whom my 
unrelenting lips had vowed never to behold again; 
with his last breath he had called on my name, and 
prayed me to forgive him 1 I stood and gazed upon 
him with dry and burning eyes. The merry glance 
was dim and fixed ; the glowing cheeks sunken and 
white; and tho smiling lips closed for ever. I had 
hung over the corpse of my lover, my bosom had been 
moistened by the life drops that oozed from his own, 
and I thought I had drunk the cup of sorrow to its 
bitterest dregs. 'But I now learned that there were 
dregs more bitter still. Oh ! the anguish of remorse ; 
surely it is a foretaste of the undying worm, of the 
fire that never can be quenched; I could not bear its 
gnawings its smothered, consuming flames; I was 
laid for months on a bed of sickness, in the* same 
chamber where my poor Arthur breathed his last. I 
thought I was dying. I did not wish to live, but I 
recoiled from the dark futurity which stretched illimi- 


tably before me ; I shrunk from the idea of a holy and 
avenging God; I, the unforgiving, could I hope for 
forgiveness? I heard, as it were, the voice of. the 
Lord saying, " The voice of thy brother's blood cries 
to me from the ground ;" and I looked in vain for a 
city of shelter, where my soul could fly and live. I 
revealed to no one what was passing within. In the 
sullen secresy of despair, I resolved to meet the doom 
which I believed to be irrevocable. Like the Spartan 
boy, who sat unmoved while the hidden animal was 
preying on his vitals, glorying in the pangs he had 
the fortitude to endure, I lay on my bed of torture 
silent and unmurmuring: feeling that the agonies I 
suffered, and which I expected to suffer, as long as 
Almighty vengeance could inflict them, or the immor- 
tal spirit bear, were a sufficient expiation for my 
cruelty and guilt. I shudder, as I recall the workings 
of my soul ; I looked upon myself as the victim of 
an uncontrollable destiny, of an omnipotent vindictive 
Being, who, secure in his own impassibility, beheld 
with unpitying eye the anguish he caused. Had I 
created myself? Had I asked for the gift of existence ? 
"Was mine the breath which had warmed the senseless 
dust of the valley with passions so fiery and untame- 
able ; or mine the power to restrain their devastating 
course? As well might I be responsible for the ruin 
caused by elemental wrath. Oh ! Fanny, had I died 
in this awful frame ! Had my rebellious spirit then 
been ushered into the presence chamber of the King 
of kings, thus blasphemous and defying ! But he who 
remembers we are dust, who, tempted once himself, 


has pity on human weakness, gently withdrew his 
chastening hand. lie raised me from my sick bed, 
and bid me live. I returned to iny grandmother, who 
was now helpless as a child, and who wept like an 
infant when she heard my voice once more. The 
Bible, the only book in her library which I formerly 
passed over as too uninteresting to read, was now 
taken from the shelf and laid on the table by her bed- 
side ; on my knees I read its sacred pages. With no 
teacher but the Holy Spirit, I prosecuted the sublimest 
study in the universe, and as I studied, I felt a holy 
illumination pervading the darkened, recesses of my 
soul. I saw myself in the mirror of eternal truth, in 
all my pride, rebellion, ingratitude, and heaven-daring 
hardiness and I loathed the picture. The more I 
abhorred myself, the more I adored the transcendent 
mercy of God, in prolonging my life for repentance 
and reformation. Like Mary, I arose and prostrated 
myself at the feet of the Saviour, bathed them with 
such tears of sorrow and love, it seemed as if my 
heart were melting in the fountain. I loved much; I 
felt as if I were forgiven; and ten thousand times ten 
thousand worlds would not purchase the hope even of 
that blessed forgiveness. My aged grandmother, too, 
placed as she was on the confines of two worlds, ac- 
knowledged that it had been reserved for that moment 
for the power and glory of religion to be manifested 
in her soul. She had hitherto rested in quietude, in 
the consciousness of a blameless life; but, about to 
appear in the presence of infinite purity as well as jus- 
tice, the life, which had seemed so spotless, assumed a 


dark and polluted aspect, and she felt that if she ever 
joined the white-robed throng which surround the 
throne of the Everlasting, with branching palms in 
their hands, and hymns of glory on their lips, her 
raiments, like theirs, must be washed whits in tho 
blood of the Lamb. She died in peace, in hope, in 
faith, bequeathing me her little fortune, and, what was 
more precious still, her blessing. Blessed, for ever 
blessed, be the God of Israel, that I have been so 
gently led down the declivity of life, and that I can 
hear without dismay the rolling of the waves of Jor- 
dan, over which my aged feet must shortly pass ; and, 
blessed too be his holy name, that he has brought you 
hither to minister to my infirmities, listen to my feeble 
counsels, and close my dying eyes." 

Aunt Mercy rose, laid her hand for a moment 
solemnly on my head, and retired. I had wept with- 
out ceasing, during the latter part of her narrative, and 
long after I had laid my head on my pillow, I continued 
to weep. I wept for the ill-fated Cleveland ; the un- 
happy Arthur; for Aunt Mercy, unrelenting and 
despairing, then, sorrowing and repenting ; I wept to 
think what a world of tribulation I had entered, and 
prayed that I might never know the strength and 
tyranny of human passion. I had always thought it a 
fearful thing to die ; but now it seemed more fearful 
still to live in a world so full of temptation, with hearts 
so prone to yield, surrounded by the shadows of time, 
which seem to us realities, and travelling on to an 
invisible world, which seems so shadowy and remote. 
The mystery of my being oppressed me, and I sought 


to fathom what is unfathomable, till I remembered the 
sublime interrogation of Scripture, " Who can find out 
the Almighty unto perfection? He is higher than 
heaven what canst thou do ? Deeper than hell 
what canst thou know ?" I acknowledged my pre- 
sumption, and, humbled and submissive, felt willing to 
wait the great and final day of God's revealing. 

The next morning, Aunt Mercy requested me to 
accompany her in a walk. It was a mild, sunny morn- 
ing, and the breath of spring, floating over the hills, 
was beginning to melt the frosts of winter. I thought 
she was going on an errand of charity* till she turned 
into a path, to which the leafless shrubbery on either 
side now gave a dreary appearance, and led me to a 
tree, whose bare spreading branches bent over a rustic 
bench, that was seen at its roots. I trembled, as I 
approached the spot, for I knew it was there the blood 
of Cleveland had been spilled. " This, then," thought 
I, " is the very tree that witnessed, almost simultane- 
ously, the vows of love and the tears of agony." 

" Yes," said Aunt Mercy, as if I had spoken aloud, 
" this is the spot where, more than fifty years ago, in 
the flower of youth, he fell ! His body sleeps in the 
cemetery of his fathers, but this is his monument. 
Long as this aged tree remains, it will be sacred to the 
memory of Cleveland. Like that tree, now withered 
and shorn of its summer glories, I too stand a memento 
of his fate ; but the spring will come to reclothe thoso 
naked branches, and pour the stream of vegetable life 
in their veins ; and I too await the coming of that 
spring-time, whose flowers and verdue no after winter 


can blight." As I looked around me, the conviction 
that all that I saw was associated with Aunt Mercy's 
youth; that here her aged grandmother had lived, 
and she herself grown old ; that here too I might grow 
old and die, was very solemn. Aunt Mercy, who 
always seemed to read my thoughts, explained to me 
all the changes which had gradually taken place. The 
inroads of time had been constantly repaired, so that 
it was the same cottage in appearance that had 
sheltered her in childhood. She had respected her 
grandmother's peculiar habits, and continued them, 
perhaps, in many respects unconsciously. The white 
livery which at first startled me from its singularity/ 
but to which my eye had become accustomed, had 
been adopted by her predecessor ; when her failing 
sight found it difficult to distinguish objects, and every 
thing darkened round her. " And I love to look upon 
white," continued Aunt Mercy ; "I love the winter's 
snow for its whiteness. It reminds me of the blood- 
washed robes of the saints." 

I would have lingered near the spot hallowed by 
such deathless memories, but Aunt Mercy drew me 
away. I trembled for the effect of such excitement 
on one so aged. I thought her face looked paler than 
usual, and her step seemed less firm. I placed the 
easy chair for her on our return, and stood by her 
with an anxious countenance. "Fanny, my love," 
said she, pressing my hand in both hers, " I have laid 
bare my heart before you, but the curtain must now 
fall over it never again to be lifted. I have done 


with the past God and eternity must now claim all 
my thoughts !" 

Perhaps at some future hour, I may continue my 
own history, as it is connected with my sister Laura's 
and the close of Aunt Mercy's life a life continued 
beyond the allotted period of existence. 


f aster's . 

WHAT impels me to take up my pen, compose my- 
self to the act of writing, and begin the record of 
feelings and events which will inevitably throw a 
shadow over the character which too partial and 
misjudging affection once beheld shining with re- 
flected lustre? I know not but it seems to me, as 
if a divine voice whispered from the boughs that wave 
by my window, occasionally intercepting the sun's 
rays that now foil obliquely on my paper, saying that 
if I live for memory, I must not live in vain and 
that, perchance, when I, too, lie beneath the willow 
that hangs over his grave, unconscious of its melan- 
choly waving, a deep moral may be found in these 
pages, short and simple as they may be. Then be it 
so. It is humiliating to dwell on past errors but I 
should rather welcome the humiliation, if it can be 
any expiation for my blindness, my folly no! such 
expressions are too weak I should say, my madness, 
my sin, my hard-hearted guilt. 

It is unnecessary to dwelUon my juvenile years. 
Though dependent on the bounty of an uncle, who 
had a large family of his own to support, every wish 
which vanity could suggest, was indulged as soon as 
expressed. I never knew a kinder, more hospitable, 
uncalculating being than my uncle. If his unsparing 
generosity had not experienced a counteracting influ- 
ence in the vigilant economy of my aunt, he would 


long since have been a bankrupt. She was never 
unkind to me; for I believe she was conscientious, 
and she had loved my mother tenderly. I was the 
orphan legacy of that mother, and consequently a 
sacred trust. I was fed and clothed like my wealthier 
cousins ; educated at the same schools ; ushered into 
the same fashionable society, where I learned that 
awkwardness was considered the only unpardonable 
offence, and that almost any thing might be said and 
done, provided it was said and done gracefully. From 
the time of our first introduction into what is called 
the world, I gradually lost ground in the affections of 
my aunt, for I unfortunately eclipsed my elder cousins 
in those outer gifts of nature and those acquired graces 
of manner, which, however valueless when unaccom- 
panied by inward worth, have always exercised a pre- 
vailing, an irresistible influence in society. I never 
exactly knew why, but I was the favourite of my 
uncle, who seemed to love me better than even his 
own daughters, and he rejoiced at the admiration I 
excited, though often purchased at their expense. 
Perhaps the secret was this. They were of*a cold 
temperament ; mine was ardent, and whatever I loved, 
I loved without reserve, and expressed my affection 
with characteristic warmth and enthusiasm. I loved 
my indulgent uncle with all the fervour of which such 
a nature, made vain and selfish by education, is capa- 
ble. Often, after returning from an evening party, 
my heart throbbing high with the delight of gratified 
vanity, when he would draw me toward shim and tell 
me with a most injudicious fondness, it is true that 


I was a thousand times prettier than the flowers I wore, 
more sparkling than the jewels, and that I ought to 
marry a prince or a nabob, I exulted more in his 
praise than in the flatteries that were still tingling in 
my ears. Even rny aunt's coolness was a grateful 
tribute to my self-love for was it not occasioned by 
my transcendency over her less gifted daughters? 

But why do I linger on the threshold of events, 
which, simple in themselves, stamped my destiny for 
time, yea, and for eternity ? 

It was during a homeward journey, with rny uncle, 
I first met him who afterwards became my husband. 
My whole head becomes sick and my whole heart 
faint, as I think what I might have been, and what I 
am. But I must forbear. If I am compelled at times 
to lay aside my pen, overcome with agony and re- 
morse, let me pause till I can go on, with a steady 
hand, and a calmer brain. 

Our carriage broke down it was a common acci- 
dent a young gentleman on horseback, who seemed 
like ourselves, a traveller, came up to our assistance. 
He dismounted, proffered every assistance in his 
power, and accompanied us to the inn, which for- 
tunately was not far distant, for my uncle was severely 
injured, and walked with difficulty, though supported 
by the stranger's arm and my own. I cannot define 
the feeling, but from the moment I beheld him, my 
spirit was troubled within me. I saw, at once, that 
he was of a different order of beings from those I had 
been accustomed to associate with ; and there was 
something in the heavenly composure of his counte- 


nance and gentle dignity of manner, that rebuked my 
restless desire for admiration and love of display. I 
never heard any earthly sound so sweet as his voice. 
Invisible communion with angels could alone give 
such tones to the human voice. At first, I felt a 
strange awe in his presence, and forgot those artificial 
graces, for which I had been too much admired. 
Without meaning to play the part of a hypocrite, my 
real disposition was completely concealed. During 
the three days we were detained, he remained with 
us; and aloof from all temptation to folly, the best 
traits of my character were called into exercise. On 
the morning of our departure, as my uncle was ex- 
pressing his gratitude for his kindness, and his hope 
of meeting him in town, he answered and it was not 
without emotion "I fear our paths diverge too much, 
to allow that hope. Mine is a lowly one, but I trust 
I shall find it blest." I then, for the first time, learned 
that he was a minister the humble pastor of a country 
village. My heart died within me. That this grace- 
ful and uncommonly interesting young man should 
be nothing more than an obscure village preacher it 
was too mortifying. All my bright visions of con- 
quest faded away. " We can never be any thing to 
each other," thought I. Yet as I again turned to- 
wards him, and saw his usually calm eye fixed on rne 
with an expression of deep anxiety, I felt the con- 
viction that I might be all the world to him. He was 
watching the effect of his communication, and the 
glow of excited vanity that suffused my cheek wn.s 
supposed to have its origin from a purer source, t 


was determined to enjoy the full glory of my con- 
quest. When my uncle warmly urged him to accom- 
pany us home, and sojourn with us a few days, I 
backed the invitation, with all the eloquence my 
countenance was capable of expressing. Vain and 
selfish being that I was I might have known that 
we differed from each other as much as the rays of the 
morning star from the artificial glare of the sky 
rocket. He drew his light from the fountain of living 
glory, /from the decaying fires of earth. 

The invitation was accepted and before that short 
visit was concluded, so great was the influence ho 
acquired over me, while / was only seeking to gain 
the ascendency over his affections, that I felt willing 
to give up the luxury and fashion that surrounded 
me, for the sweet and quiet hermitage he described, 
provided the sacrifice were required. I never once 
thought of the duties that would devolve upon me, 
the solemn responsibilities of my new situation. It 
is one of the mysteries of Providence, how such a 
being as myself could ever have won a heart like his. 
He saw the sunbeam playing on the surface, and 
thought that all was fair beneath, i did love him ; 
but my love was a passion, not a principle. I was 
captivated by the heavenly graces of his manner, but 
was incapable of comprehending the source whence 
those graces were derived. 

My uncle would gladly have seen me established 

in a style more congenial to my prevailing tastes, 

but gave his consent, as he said, on the score of his 

surpassing merit. My aunt was evidently more than 



willing to have me married, while my cousins rallied 
me for falling in love with a country parson. 

We were married. I accompanied him to the beau- 
tiful village of . I became mistress of the par- 
sonage. Never shall I forget the moment when I first 
entered this avenue, shaded by majestic elms ; beheld 
these low, white walls, festooned with redolent vines; 
and heard the voice, which was then the music of my 
life, welcome me here, as Heaven's best and loveliest 
gift. How happy how blest I might have been! 
and I was happy for awhile. His benign glance and 
approving smile were, for a short time, an equivalent 
for the gaze of admiration and strains of flattery to 
which I had been accustomed. I even tried, in some 
measure, to conform to his habits and tastes, and to 
cultivate the good-will of the plebeians and rustics 
who constituted a great portion of his parish. But 
the mind, unsupported by principle, is incapable of 
any steady exertion. Mine gradually wearied of the 
effort of assuming virtues, to which it had no legiti- 
mate claim. The fervour of feeling which had given 
a bluer tint to the sky, and a fairer hue to the flower, 
insensibly faded. I began to perceive defects in every 
object, and to wonder at the blindness which formerly 
overlooked them. I still loved my husband ; but the 
longer I lived with him, the more his character soared 
above the reach of mine. I could not comprehend 
how one could be endowed with such brilliant talents 
and winning graces, and not wish for the admiration 
of the world. I was vexed with lain for his meek- 
ness and humility, and would gladly have mingled, 


if I couM, the base alloy of earthly ambition with 
his holy aspirations after heaven. I was even jealous 
I almost tremble while I write it of the God he 
worshipped. I could not bear the thought, that I 
held a second place in his affections though second 
only to the great and glorious Creator. Continually 
called from rny side to the chamber of the sick, the 
couch of the dying, the dwelling of the poor and 
ignorant, I in vain sought to fill up the widening va- 
cuum left, by becoming interested in the duties of 
my station. I could not do it. They became every 
day more irksome to me. The discontent I was che- 
rishing, became more and more visible, till the mild 
and anxious eye of my husband vainly looked for the 
joyous smile that used to welcome his return. 

It is true, there were many things I was obliged to 
tolerate, which must inevitably be distasteful to one 
educated with such false refinement as I have been. 
But I never reflected they must be as opposed to my 
husband's tastes as my own, and that Christian prin- 
ciple alone led him to the endurance of them. Instead 
of appreciating his angelic patience and forbearance, 
I blamed him for not lavishing more sympathy on me 
for trials which, though sometimes ludicrous in them- 
selves, are painful from the strength of association. 

The former minister of the village left a maiden 
sister as a kind of legacy to his congregatipn. My 
husband had been a protege and pupil of the good 
man, who, on his death-bed, bequeathed his people 
to the charge of this son of his adoption, and him, 
with equal tenderness and solemnity, to the care of 


his venerable sister. She became a fixture in the par- 
sonage, and to me a perpetual and increasing torment. 
The first month of our marriage she was absent, vis- 
iting some of her seventh cousins in a neighbouring 
town. I do not wish to exculpate myself from blame; 
but, if ever there was a thorn in human flesh, I be 
lieve I had found it in this inquisitive, gratuitously 
advising woman. I, who had always lived among 
roses, without thinking of briers, was doomed to feel 
this thorn, daily, hourly, goading me; and was con> 
strained to conceal as much as possible the irritation 
she caused, because my husband treated her with as 
much respect, as if she were an empress. I thought 

Mr. L was wrong in this. Owing to the deep 

placidity of his own disposition, he could not realize 
what a trial, such a companion was to a mercurial, 
indulged, self-willed being as myself. Nature has 
gifted me with an exquisite ear for music, and a dis- 
cord always " wakes the nerve where agony is born." 
Poor Aunt Debby had a perfect mania for singing, 
and she would sit and sing for hours together, old- 
fashioned ballads and hymns of surprising length 
scarcely pausing to take breath. I have heard aged 
people sing the songs of Zion, when there was most 
touching melody in their tones; and some of the 
warmest feelings of devotion I ever experienced, were 
awakened by these solemn, trembling notes. But 
Aunt Debby's voice was full of indescribable ramifi- 
cations, each a separate discord a sharp, sour voice, 
indicative of the natural temper of the owner. One 
Sunday morning, after she had been screeching one 


of Dr. Watts' hymns, of about a hundred verses, she 
left me to prepare for church. When we met, after 
finishing our separate toilettes, she began her animad- 
versions on my dress, as being too gay for a minister's 
wife. I denied the charge; for though made in the 
redundance of fashion, it was of unadorned white. 

"But what," said she, disfiguring the muslin folds 
with her awkward fingers, "what is the use of all 
these fandangles of lace? They are nothing but 
Satan's devices to lead astray silly women, whose 
minds are running after finery." All this I might 
have borne with silent contempt, for it came from 
Aunt Debby; but when she brought the authority of 
a Mrs. Deacon and a Mrs. Doelan of the parish, to prove 
that she was not the only one who found fault with 
the fashion of my attire, the indignant spirit broke 
its bounds; deference for age was forgotten in the 
excitement of the moment, and the concentrated irrita- 
tion of weeks burst forth. I called her an imper- 
tinent, morose old maid, and declared that one or 
the other of us should leave the parsonage. In the 
midst of the paroxysm my husband entered the 
calm of heaven on his brow. He had just left his 
closet, where he had been to seek the divine manna 
for the pilgrims it was his task to guide through the 
wilderness of life. He looked from one to the other, 
in. grief and amazement. Aunt Debby had seated 
herself on his entrance, and began to rock herself 
backward and forward, and to sigh and groan 
saying it was a hard thing to be called such hard 
names at her time of life, &c. I stood, my cheeks 


glowing with anger, and my heart violently palpit- 
ating with the sudden effort at self-control. He ap- 
proached me, took my hand, and said, "My dear 
Mary!" There was affection in his tone, but there 
was upbraiding, also; and drawing away my hand, 
I wept in bitterness of spirit. As soon as I could 
summon sufficient steadiness of voice, I told him the 
cause of my resentment, arid declared, that I would 
never again enter a place, where I was exposed to 
ridicule and censure, and from those, too, so immea- 
surably my inferiors in birth and education. "Dearest 
Mary!" exclaimed he, turning pale from agitation, 
"you cannot mean what you say. Let not such 
trifles as these, mar the peace of this holy day. I 
grieve that your feelings should have been wounded; 
but what matters it what the world says of^our out- 
ward apparel, if our souls are clothed with those 
robes of holiness, which make us lovely in our 
Maker's eyes? Let us go together to the temple of 
Him, whose last legacy to man was peace." 

Though the bell was ringing its last notes, and 
though I saw him so painfully disturbed, I still re- 
sisted the appeal, and repeated my rash asseveration. 
The bell had pealed its latest summons, and was no 
longer heard. "Mary, must I go alone?" His hand 
was on the latch there was a burning flush on his 
cheek, such as I had never seen before. My pride 
would have yielded my conscience convicted me of 
wrong I would have acknowledged my rashness, 
had not Aunt Debby, whom I thought born to be my 
evil spirit, risen with a long-drawn sigh, and taken 


his arm preparatory to accompanying him. "No," 
said I, "you will not be alone. You need not wait 
for me. In Aunt Debby's company, you cannot regret 

Surely my heart must have been steeled, like Pha- 
raoh's, for some divine purpose, or I never could have 
resisted the mute anguish of his glance, as he closed the 
door on this cold and unmerited taunt. What hours of 
wretchedness I passed in the solitude of my chamber! I 
magnified my sufferings into those of martyrdom, and 

accused Mr. L of not preparing me for the trials of 

my new situation. Yet, even while I reproached him in 
my heart, I was conscious of my injustice, and felt that 
I did not suffer alone. It was the first time any other 
than words of love and kindness had passed between 
us, and it seemed to me, that a barrier was beginning 
to rise, that would separate us forever. When we 
again met, I tried to retain the same cold manner and 
averted countenance, but he came unaccompanied by 
my tormentor, and looked so dejected and pale, my 
petulance and pride yielded to the reign of better 
feelings. I hud even the grace to make concessions, 
which were received with such gratitude and feeling, 
I was melted into goodness, transient but sincere. 
Had Aunt Debby remained from us, all might yet 
have been well; but after having visited awhile 
among the parish, she returned; and her presence 
choked the blossoms of my good resolutions. I 
thought she never forgave the offending epithet I 
had given her in the moment of passion. It is far 
from my intention, in delineating peculiarities like 


hers, to throw any opprobrium on that class of females 
who, from their isolated and often unprotected situ- 
ation, are peculiarly susceptible to the shafts of un 
kindness or ridicule. I have known those, whoso 
influence seemed as diffusive as the sunshine and 
gentle as the dew ; at whose approach the ringlets of 
childhood would be tossed gaily back, and the wan 
cheek of the aged lighted up with joy; who had 
devoted the glow of their youth, and the strength of 
their prime, to acts of filial piety and love, watching 
the waning fires of life, as the vestal virgins the flame 
of the altar. Round such beings as these the beati- 
tudes cluster; and yet, the ban of unfeeling levity is 
passed upon the maiden sisterhood. But I wander 
from my path. It is not her history I am writing, so 
much as my own; which, however deficient in inci- 
dent, is not without its moral power. 

I experienced one source of mortification, which I 
have not yet mentioned; it may even seem too in- 
significant to be noticed, and yet it was terribly grat- 
ing to my aristocratic feelings. Some of our good 
parishioners were in the habit of lavishing attentions 
so repugnant to me, that I did not hesitate to refuse 
them ; which I afterwards learned gave great morti- 
fication and displeasure. I would willingly accept a 
basket of fragrant strawberries, or any of the elegant 
bounties of nature; but when they offered such 
plebeian gifts as a shoulder of pork or mutton, a sack 
of grain or potatoes, / invariably returned rny cold 
thanks and declined the honour. Is it strange that I 
should become to them ail object of aversion, and 


that they should draw comparisons, humbling to me, 
between their idolized minister and his haughty 

My uncle and cousins made me a visit, not long 
after my rupture with Aunt Debby, which only served 
to render me more unhappy. My uncle complainea. 
so much of my altered appearance, my faded bloom 
and languid spirits, I saw that it gave exquisite pain 

to Mr. L , while my cousins, now in their day of 

power, amused themselves continually with the old- 
fashioned walls of the house, the obsolete style of the 
furniture, and my humdrum mode of existence. Had 
I possessed one spark of heavenly fire, I should have 
resented all this as an insult to him whom I had 
solemnly vowed to love and honour. These old- 
fashioned walls should have been sacred in my eyes. 
They were twice hallowed hallowed by the recollec- 
tions of departed excellence and the presence of living 
holiness. Every leaf of the magnificent elms that over- 
shadowed them, should have been held sacred, for 
the breath of morning and evening prayer had been 
daily wafted over them, up to the mercy-seat of 

I returned with my uncle to the metropolis. It is 
t rue, he protested that he would not, could not leave 
me behind and that change of scene was absolutely 
necessary to the restoration of my bloom, and Mr. 

1, gave his assent with apparent cheerfulness and 

composure. But I knew I felt, that his heart bled 
at my willingness, my wish to be absent from him, so 
soon after our marriage. lie told me to consult my 


own happiness, in the length of my visit, and that he 
would endeavour to find a joy in solitude, in thinking 
of mine. "Oh!" said one of my cousins, with a loud 
laugh, "you can never feel solitary, where Aunt Debby 

is " 

Behold me once more 'mid the scenes congenial to 
my soul a gay flower, sporting over the waves of 
fashion, thoughtless of the caverns of death beneath. 
Again the voice of flattery fell meltingly on my ear; 
and while listening to the siren, I forgot those mild, 
admonishing accents, which were always breathing of 
heaven or if I remembered them at all, they came to 
my memory like the grave rebuke of Milton's cherub 
severe in their beauty. Yes, I did remember them 
when I was alone ; and there are hours when the gay- 
est will feel desolately alone. I thought of him in his 
neglected home; him, from whom I was gradually 
alienating myself for his very perfections, and accus- 
ing conscience avenged his rights. Oh 1 how miser- 
able, how poor we are, when unsupported by our own 
esteem! when we fear to commune with our own 
hearts, and doubly tremble to bare them to the all-see- 
ing eye of our Maker! My husband often wrote me 
most affectionately. He did not urge my return, but 
said, whenever I felt willing to exchange the pleasures 
of the metropolis for the seclusion of the hermitage, 
his arms and his heart were open to receive me. At 
length I received a letter, which touched those chords 
that yet vibrated to the tones of nature and feeling. 
He seldom spoke of himself but in this, he men- 
tioned having been very ill, though then convalescent. 


"Your presence, my Mary," said he, "would bring 
healing on its wings. I fear, greatly fear, I have 
doomed you to unhappiness, by rashly yielding to the 
influence of your beauty and winning manners, tak- 
ing advantage of your simplicity and inexperience, 
without reflecting how unfitted you were, from na- 
tural disposition and early habits, to be a fellow- 
labourer in so humble a portion of our Master's vine- 
yard. Think not, my beloved wife, I say this in re- 
proach. No! 'tis in sorrow, in repentance, in humilia- 
tion of spirit. I have been too selfish. I have not 
shown sufficient sympathy for the trials and vexations 
to which, for me, you have been exposed. I have 
asked to receive too much. I have given back too 
little. Keturn then, my Mary ; you were created for 
nobler purposes than the beings who surround you. 
Let us begin life anew. Let us take each other by 
the hand as companions for time but pilgrims for 
eternity. Be it mine to guard, guide and sustain 
yours, to console, to gild and comfort." In a postscript 
he added : 

" I am better now a journey will res-tore me. I 
will soon be with you, when I trust we will not again 
be parted." 

Mv heart was not of rock. It was moved melted. 
I should have been less than human, to have been un- 
touched by a letter like this. All my romantic love, 
but so recently chilled, returned ; and I thought of 
his image as that of an angel's. Ever impulsive, ever 
actuated by the passion of the moment, I made the 
most fervent resolutions of amendment, and panted 


for the hour when we should start for, together, this 
immortal goal I Alas! how wavering were my pur- 
poses how ineffective my holy resolutions! 

There was a numerous congregation gathered on 
the Sabbath rnorn, not in the simple village church, 
but the vaulted walls of a city dome. A stranger as- 
cended the pulpit. Every eye was turned on him 
and none wandered. lie was pallid, as from recent 
indisposition; but there was a flitting glow on his 
cheek, the herald of coming inspiration. There was 
a divine simplicity, a sublime fervour, an abandonment 
of self, a lifting up of the soul to heaven, an inde- 
scribable and spiritual charm pervading his manner, 
that was acknowledged by the breathless attention of 
a crowded audience, composed of the wealth and 
fashion of the metropolis. And I was there, the 
proudest, the happiest of the throng. That gifted 
being was my husband. I was indemnified for all 
past mortifications, and looked forward to bright years 
of felicity, not in the narrow path we had heretofore 
travelled, but a wider, more brilliant sphere. My 
imagination placed him at the head of that admiring 
congregation ; and I saw the lowly flock he had been 
lately feeding, weeping, unpitied, between the porch 
and the altar. 

Before we bade farewell to my uncle, I had abund- 
ant reason to believe my vision would soon be real- 
ized. The church was then without a pastor. No 
candidate had as yet appeared in whom their opinions 
or affections were united. They were enthusiastic in 
their admiration of Mr. L , and protested agaiust 


the obscurity of his location. With such hopes gild- 
ing the future, I left the metropolis with a cheerful- 
ness and elasticity of spirits, which my husband hailed 
as a surety for long years of domestic felicity. I 
would gladly linger here awhile. I fear to go on. 
You have followed me so far with a kind of complai- 
sant interest, as a poor, vain, weak young creature, 
whose native defects have been enhanced by educa- 
tion, and who has unfortunately been placed in a 
sphere she is incapable of adorning. The atmosphere 
is too pure, too rarified. Removed at once from the 
valley of sin to the mount of holiness, I breathe 
with difficulty the celestial air, and pant for more con- 
genial reagions. Must I proceed ? Your compassion 
will turn to detestation : yet I cannot withdraw from 
the task I have imposed on myself. It is an expia- 
tory one ; and oh, may it be received as such ! 

It was scarcely more than a week after our return. 
All had been peace and sunshine : so resolved was I 
to be all that was lovely and amiable. I even list- 
ened with apparent patience to Aunt Debby's inter- 
minable hymns, and heard some of her long stories, 
the seventy-seventh time, without any manifest symp- 
tom of vexation. It was about sunset. We sat to- 
gether in the study, my husband and myself, watching 
the clouds as they softly rolled towards the sinking 
sun, to dip their edges in his golden beams. The 
boughs of the elms waved across the window, giving 
us glimpses of the beautiful vale beyond, bounded by 
the blue outline of the distant hills. Whether it was 
the warm light reflected on his face, or the glow of 


the heart suffusing it, I know not ; but I never saw 
his usually pale features more radiantly lighted up 
than at that moment. A letter was brought to him. 
I leaned over his shoulder while he opened it. From 
the first line I understood its import: it was the real- 
ization of my hopes. The offer was there made 
more splendid, more liberal than I had dared to anti- 
cipate. I did not speak: but with cheeks burning 
and hands trembling with eagerness and joy, I waited 
till he had perused it. lie still continued silent. 
Almost indignant at his calmness, I ejaculated his 
name in an impatient tone; when he raised his eyes 
from the paper and fixed them on me. I read 
there the death-blow of my hopes. They emitted no 
glance of triumph: there was sorrow, regret, humility, 
and love but I looked in vain for more. "I am 
sorry for this," said he, "for your sake, my dear 
Mary. It may excite wishes which can never be 
realized. No! let us be happy in the lowlier sphere, 
in which an all-wise Being has marked my course. I 
cannot deviate from it." " Cannot !" repeated I : " say, 
rather, you will not." I could not articulate more. 
The possibility of a refusal on his part had never 
occurred to me. I was thunderstruck. He saw my 
emotion and, losing all his composure, rose and 
crushed the letter in his hand. "I could not if I 
would, accept this," he cried; "and, were my own 
wishes to be alone consulted, I would not, were I free 
to act. But it is not so. I am bound to this place, 
by a solemn promise, which cannot be broken. Here, 
in this very house, it was made, by the dying bed of 


the righteous, who bequeathed the people he loved to 
"my charge we, the orphan he had protected and 
reared. 'Never leave them, my son,' said the ex- 
piring saint 'never leave the lambs of my flock to 
be scattared on the mountains.' I pledged my word, 
surrounded by the solemnities of death: yea, even 
while his soul was taking its upward flight. It is 
recorded, and cannot be recalled." 

Did I feel the sacredness of the obligation he re- 
vealed ? Did I venerate the sanctity of his motives, 
and admit their authority? No! Totally unpre- 
pared for such a bitter disappointment, when I seemed 
touching the summit of all my wishes, I was mad- 
dened reckless. I upbraided him for having more 
regard to a dead guardian, who could no longer be 
affected by his decision, than for a living wife. I 
threatened to leave him to the obscurity in which he 
was born, and return to the friends who loved me so 
much better than himself. Seeing him turn deadly 
pale at this, and suddenly put his hand on his heart, 
I thought I had discovered the spring to move his 
resolution, and determined that I would not let it go. 
I moved towards the door, thinking it best to leave 
him a short time to his own reflections, assured that 
love must be victorious over conscience. He made a 
motion as if to detain me, as I passed then again 
pressed his hand on his heart. That silent motion, 
never, never can I forget it ! 

"Are you resolved on this?" asked he, in a low, 
very hoarse tone of voice. " Yes, if you persist in 
your refusal. I leave you to decide." I went into 


the next room. I heard him walk a few moments, as 
if agitated and irresolute then suddenly stop. I 
then heard a low, suppressed cough, but to this he 
was always subject, when excited, and it caused no 
emotion. Yet, after remaining alone for some time, I 
began to be alarmed at the perfect stillness. A strange 
feeling of horror came over me. I remembered the 
deadly paleness of his countenance, and the cold dew 
gathered fast and thick on my brow. I recollected, 
too, that he had told me of once having bled at the 
lungs, and of being admonished to shun every predis- 
posing cause to such a malady. Strange, that after 
such an entire oblivion of every thing but self, these 
reflections should have pressed upon me with such 
power, at that moment. I seemed suddenly gifted 
with second sight, and feared to move, lest I should 
see the vision of my conscience embodied. At length, 
Aunt Debby opened the door, and for the first time 
rejoicing in her sight, /entreated her to go into the 
library, with an earnestness that appalled her. She 
did go and her first sharp scream drew me to her 
side. There, reclined upon the sofa, motionless, life- 
less his face white as a snow-drift, lay my husband 
his neckcloth and vest saturated with the blood thai; 
still flowed from his lips. Yes, he lay there lifeless, 
dead, dead I The wild shriek of agony and remorse 
pierced not his unconscious ear. He was dead, and / 
was his murderer. The physician who was summoned, 
pronounced* ray doom. From violent agitation of 
mind, a blood vessel had been broken, and instant 
death had ensued. Weeks of frenzy, months of despair. 


succeeded of black despair. Nothing but an almighty 
arm thrown around my naked soul, held me back 
from the brink of suicide. Could I have believed in 
annihilation and I wrestled with the powers of reason 
to convince myself that in the grave, at least, I should 
find rest. I prayed but for rest I prayed for oblivion. 
Night and day the image of that bleeding corse was 
before me. Night and day a voice was ringing in my 
ears, "Thou hast murdered him!" My sufferings were 
so fearful to witness, the at first compassionate neigh- 
bours deserted my pillow, justifying themselves by 
the conviction that I merited all that I endured. 

My uncle and aunt came when they first heard the 
awful tidings, but unable to support my raving dis- 
tress, left me after providing every thing for my 
comfort with the injunction that as soon as I should 
be able to be removed, to be carried to their house- 
hold. And whose kind, unwearied hand smoothed 
my lonely pillow, and held my aching brow ? Who, 
when wounded reason resumed her empire, applied 
the balm of Gilead and the oil of tenderness ; led me 
to N the feet of the divine Physician, prayed with me 
and for me, wept with me and over me, nor rested till 
she saw me clinging to the cross, in lowliness of spirit, 
with the seal of the children of God in my forehead, 
and the joy of salvation in my soul ? It was Aunt 
Debby. The harsh condemner of the fashions of this 
world, the stern reprover of vanity and pride, the 
uncompromising defender of godliness and truth ; she 
who in my day of prosperity was the cloud, in the 
night of sorrow was my light and consolation. The 


rough bark was penetrated and the finer wood beneath 
gave forth its fragrance. Oh ! how often, as I have 
heard her, seated by my bedside, explaining in a voice 
softened by kindness, the mysteries of holiness, and 
repeating the promises of mercy, have I wondered, 
that I, who had turned a deaf ear to the same truths, 
when urged upon me with all an angel's eloquence, 
should listen with reverence to accents from which I 
had heretofore turned in disgust ! Yet at times, there 
seemed a dignity in her tones; her harsh features 
would light up with an expression of devout ecstasy, 
and I marvelled at the transforming power of Chris- 
tianity. Well may I marvel ! I would not now, for 
the diadem of the east, exchange this sequestered 
hermitage for the halls of fashion these hallowed 
shades for the canopies of wealth or the society of 
the once despised and hated Aunt Debby, for the com- 
panionship of flatterers. I see nothing but thorns 
where once roses blushed. The voice of the charmer 
has lost its power, though " it charm never so wisely." 
My heart lies buried in the tomb on which the sun- 
light now solemnly glimmers my hopes are fixed on 
those regions from whence those rays depart. Had 
he only lived to forgive me to know my penitence 
and agony but the last words that ever fell on his 
ear from my lips, were those of passion and rebellion 
the last glance I ever cast on him, was proud and up 

The sketch is finished memory overpowers me. 


iimrg JJaj. 

I WAS travelling merrily along, in a snug, green 
sleigh, wrapped in buffalo skins, rejoicing in the pros- 
pect of a comfortable night's rest, in the still village 
which I saw peeping over the hill I was just ascend- 
ing. It was a clear, cold, bracing winter's day. The 
ground was covered with spotless, shining snow, that 
made the eyes ache from its intense whiteness, and 
the air had those little, bright, cutting particles of 
frost, that glance like a razor across the nose and 

"How charmingly I shall sleep to-night," said I to 
myself, nodding in fancy at the very thought, "when 
I reach that hospitable looking inn, whose sign-post 
creaks so invitingly in the wind! How refreshing a 
hot cup of coffee, and light, smoking muffins will 
taste, after riding so far in the sharp, hungry air!" 
Regaling myself with this vision of anticipated com- 
fort, I suffered the reins to hang a little too loosely: 
my horse, who was probably indulging in his reveries 
of oats, and hay, and a warm crib, made a kin<? of 
off-hand, sliding step, and with a most involunt.ry 
jump, I vaulted at once into a bed of a very different 
nature from the one upon which my imagination wag 
dwelling. It was some time before I recovered from 
the stunning effects of my extemporaneous agility 
but when I rose and shook off the snow-flakes from. 
my great-coat, I heard the sound of my horse's bells 


at a respectable distance; and I had to walk speedily, 
and limpingly too, to the next tavern, before whose 
door I intended to have made such a triumphant 
flourish. There, I arrived at the mortifying convic- 
tion, that my sleigh was broken, that my horse had 
run, head first, against the shaft of another sleigh, and 
wounded himself in such a manner, that I should pro- 
bably be detained several days on my journey. I felt 
quite stiff and lame the next day, but my landlady 
who was a good little bustling woman, walking 
about so briskly that the border of her cap flew back 
and lay Bat on her head as she moved gave me so 
many warm lotions and doses, that towards evening, 
I felt as if I had recovered my wonted activity. She 
advised me not to leave the room that day, "as it 
would be a thousand pities, if I cotched cold, after 
such a marciful deliverance." The scene from abroad 
was too tempting, however, for my philosophy. They 
may rave about the beauties of a moonlight night in 
summer a night of shadows, bloom and flowers; 
singing birds and singing rills but it cannot be com- 
pared to the one I then gazed upon it was so daz- 
zlingly bright! the virgin snow looked so calm and 
holy in the clear light that mantled it. The first idea 
it suggested was a solemn one. It lay so cold and 
still, it reminded me of the winding-sheet of nature, 
till the almost supernatural radiance that sparkled 
from its surface, recalled to the imagination those 
spotless robes of glory, which are described as the 
future garments of the righteous. I stood with my 
arms meditatingly folded, absorbed in these reflec- 


tions, till the stars twinkled so kindly, with such 
sweet, beckoning lustre I could not resist the tempta- 
tion of going abroad. I rambled awhile down the 
street, when, catching the echo of a gay laugh, and 
an occasional jovial shout, on the cold, still air. 1 
turned in the direction of the sound, and soon found 
myself near a boisterous, busy little group, who were 
engaged in the delightful amusement of sliding down 
hill. I did not wish to disturb their gaiety, and stop- 
ping in the shade of a high stone wall, close to the 
spot, watched them as they* stood on the brow of the 
slope, preparing to make the grand descent. There 
were girls and boys, without hats, or bonnets, or 
cloaks their cheeks looking so rosy, and their eyes 
so bright, it made your own wink to look at them. 
About half a dozen little girls were wedged closely 
together on a hand-sled, the handle of which was 
turned back and held by one who sat in the middle, 
in the capacity of charioteersman, and one who sat 
on the right hand, held a stick, which she occasion- 
ally stuck in the snow to pilot them on their way. 
There was one girl taller and larger than the rest, 
who seemed to take a kind of superintendence of the 
band. I never saw such a personification of health, 
bloom, and rustic beauty. Her hair, which was per- 
fectly black, hung about her shoulders, as if she had 
just shaken out a confining comb; her face was 
lighted up with such a living glow of animation, it 
made one feel a sensation of warmth and comfort to 
gaze on her; and then her blithe voice rang so musi- 
cally on the ear, it gave the heart a quicker, gladder 


bound to hear it. Just as they were about to start 
on their downward career, there came a dismal 
screeching from a neighbouring farm yard, that jarred 
most discordantly with the merriment of the scene. 
"Oh!" said one of the little girls, in a doleful tone, 
"the poor hens and chickens! What a dreadful, 
cruel thing it is to kill 'em so for Thanksgiving just 
too, as they get nicely to roosting! I won't touch a 
bit of chicken-pie to-morrow you see if I do." "Do 
you hear her!" started half a dozen at once; "she 
eha'n't have any Thanksgiving, shall she? And 
don't you pity the pumpkins, and the apples, and 
cranberries, Mary? And don't you think it hurts 
them to be cut, and pared, and stemmed!" Here the 
voices were drowned in peals of superior laughter. 
"Never mind, little Mary," interrupted the kind, glad 
accents of the elder girl "I love you all the better 
for being pitiful, and so they all do, if they do laugh 
at you." I gathered from this childish, but moral 
discourse, that the next day was to be Thanksgiving 
that good, old-fashioned New England festival, and 
was exceedingly pleased at the idea of witnessing the 
hilarity of the village on so interesting an anniversary. 
I recollected that I had seen, or rather heard, most 
marvellous preparations going on at the inn, pound- 
ing, and stirring, and rolling, and beating, and chop- 
ping, and various other mysterious sounds. 

Now, off they go faster and faster the little sled 
glides like a fairy boat over a moonlit wave : now it 
shoots like a falling star near the foot of the hill. A 
shout from above but, alas ! a cry of distress from 


below ! The triumphal vehicle was overturned, and 
the compassionate little Mary taken up writhing with 
pain. "Poor, dear Mary!" exclaimed the pretty, 
black-eyed lassie, bending anxiously over her; "what 
is the matter ?" " Oh, I don't know," answered the 
poor child ; " but it hurts so bad !" Grieved at the 
accident that had checked their innocent glee, I im- 
mediately offered my services to carry the little suf- 
ferer wherever they should direct, an offer which was 
accepted with readiness and gratitude. Fearing she 
had broken a limb, I bore her with great tenderness 
and care to her father's house, which was indicated by 
her elder sister, the pretty girl I admired so much. 
It is unnecessary to dwell on the commotion of the 
family, upon the sudden entrance of a stranger under 
such circumstances. Every body knows what a bustle 
is. Let those who love such scenes, seek for a de- 
scription elsewhere. I wish to say a few words of the 
good doctor of the village, who speedily arrived a 
man, who, "take him all in all, we ne'er shall look 
upon his like again." He was dressed in a long, 
white, tight-bodied great-coat a broad-brimmed white 
hat, with a pair of huge saddlebags on his left an A, 
and a pair of huge spectacles approaching the ex^ 
tremity of a long, thin nose. He walked directly 
towards the table, without looking to the right or 
left; took off his hat, laid down his saddlebags, hem- 
medthen walked straight to the fire, sat down, and 
looked wisely into it, with his long hands resting on 
his knees. " Oh, doctor !" said the anxious mother, 
" do look at the poor child, and see what is the mat- 


ter." "I'll pass my judgment directly," said lie, 
weighing his words as he uttered them. At last, after 
a great many preliminaries, he "passed his judgment," 
that the child had dislocated her collar-bone set it 
with greater expedition than I expected, resumed his 
saddlebags and hat, and walked directly out of the 
house, without looking to the right or left. Surely, 
if ever mortal man pursued a steady, undeviating 
course in the line of duty, it was Doctor M. And 
never was mortal man more venerated for wisdom and 
skill. It was almost believed he held the issues of 
life and death in his hands, and his "judgments" were 
never disputed. It is strange there are so many in- 
veterate talkers in the world, when a few words, 
slowly uttered, invariably establish a reputation for 
superior sagacity. Let me do justice to the good doc- 
tor before I leave him. They said, when once you 
penetrated the hard, cocoa-nut shell of his manners, 
you met the sweet flow of the milk of human kindness, 
warm from the best of human hearts. 

The family were so grateful for my attention, that 
they invited me to come and partake of a Thanks- 
giving dinner with them an invitation I gladly ac- 
cepted, especially as Lucy, my black-eyed favourite, 
was the elder daughter of the household, and backed 
the request with a glance, that flashed as brightly over 
me as the pine-knot blaze that was glowing in the 

Thanksgiving morning dawned clear, dazzling, 
and cold. The sun came forth like a bridegroom 
from the east, unconscious of the slaughtered victims, 


whose heads lay reeking in the poultry-yard, uncon- 
scious of his unpitying beams. Thanksgiving day! 
What " volumes of meaning" in that little phrase ! A 
day when man makes a covenant of gratitude with his 
Maker for the free bounties of the year ; when the 
fragrant incense of the heart rises up warm and fresh, 
above earth's cold, wintry mantle, sweeter than the 
arorna of summer flowers, and mingles with the odours 
of Paradise ! I went that morning to the village 
church a plain, modest building, distinguished by a 
tall, white spire, that arrested the first and last glances 
of the magnificent eye of the universe. The village 
pastor what endearing associations cluster around 
that name ! stood in the act of prayer, as I entered : 
I caught the sound of his voice, and it filled me with 
venerating sensations. It had that deep, full, organ 
sound, which breathes so eloquently of soul ; and as 
it rose with the fervour of his feelings, and rolled 
through the arch of the simple, but heaven-dedicated 
walls, I felt my spirit as irresistibly borne along on 
these waves of sound, towards the ocean of eternity, 
as the fallen leaf upon the billowy sea. I never heard 
such a voice in my life. "How," thought I, gazing 
in wonder on his evangelical face, pale, but illumined 
with the glow of devotion, " how came such a man 
here?" Towards the close of the prayer, the deep, 
majestic tones of adoration and praise gradually 
lowered to the softer accents of humility and love. 
He sat down ; there was a hush, as if the Spirit of 
God had descended and was brooding over the abysses 
of the human heart. I wish I were not limited to a 


sketch, that I might dwell long on this meek, richly- 
gifted apostle of our divine religion. Never before 
had Christianity seemed to me so lovely and august. 
His sermon was tho most eloquent I ever heard 
fraught with glowing images, with earnest, affecting, 
and energetic exhortations. I felt as if I had been a 
monster of ingratitude, and I made a vow to myself, 
to live hereafter a wiser and a better man. I fear you 
will think I did not fulfil my vow, when I passed the 
succeeding scenes. Yes, I must descend from the 
holy mount of prayer and praise, to the simple, heart- 
felt socialities of a village life. Imagine me, then, 
seated at a long table, covered with spotless linen, and 
groaning with unutterable comforts, and around that 
table three generations gathered. "First the blade, 
then the ear, then the full corn in the ear." There 
sat the grandfather and grandmother, their brows 
whitened with the harvest of life, ready to be gathered 
into the heavenly garner : then the respectable farmer 
and matron, the heads of the household, in the quietude 
of conscious competency and domestic happiness; 
then the children, from my pretty Lucy, down to a 
little chubby, golden-haired, blue-eyed thing that 
peeped from her grandfather's knee, like a violet from 
a snow-bank. The old man raised his feeble hand, 
and every head was bowed, as, with a palsied, difficult 
voice, he called down a blessing on the bounteous 
board. Even the infant on his knee clasped its little 
hands, and looked reverently in its grandfather's face, 
as if it were conscious it had something to do with 
Leaven. After a decent pause, the business of grati- 


tude commenced. The roasted turkey the lord of 
the table ; the chickens, roast beef, chicken pie, with 
its circumvolutions of paste, salient angles, and loop- 
holes, were first to be demolished, with the accompa- 
nying vegetables and relishes, the bright green 
pickles, garnished with the scarlet barberries. 
Then came the plum puddings, and mince pies, 
and apples, and custard, and cranberry-tarts ; and 
pumpkin pudding, and apple custard : and it would 
have been considered the height of ingratitude to 
have refused one of these dainties. A triangular 
piece of each pie was put upon a plate, till they made 
a perfect wheel of party-coloured spokes. Lucy sat 
by my side and received my gallant compliments, with 
a mingled bashfulness and roguery of expression, 
which was completely bewitching to me. I was what 
they called a genteel, good-looking young man, and 
had a tolerably good opinion of my own powers cf 
pleasing. I thought there could be no possible ham 
in flirting a little with the pretty rustic. I was in- 
cited to this by the evident discomposure of a youth, 
who sat on the opposite side of the table, whose coun- 
tenance presented the oddest mixture of displeasure, 
fear, and shame-facedness 1 ever witnessed. He had 
really a fine face, but it was so disguised by these 
different expressions, it had something inexpressibly 
ludicrous in it. He sat at a distance from the table, 
with his feet on the rounds of the chair, so that he 
was obliged to reach forward his head and arms most 
lengtheningly ; and he kept his eyes fixed so ruefully, 
yet indignantly on Lucy and myself, that he could 


not find the right path from his plate to his mouth. 
Lucy seemed saucily to enjoy his awkwardness and 
confusion, and, true to her sex, triumphed in her 
power. At last, seeing that he had laid down his 
knife and fork, over his untouched pie, she asked 
with real interest and kindness of tone, 

"William, why don't you eat? I am afraid you 
are sick." 

" I haven't got any appetite," said he, huskily. 

"You've lost it very suddenly," said she, archly. 

At this, he cast at me a glance of dim fierceness, so 
irresistibly comical, I had recourse to a convenient fit 
of coughing, to hide the rising laugh. Lucy caught 
the infection, and unable to resist the impulse, laughed 
outright. The poor fellow started on his feet, set 
back his chair, with a tremendous noise, snatched up 
his hat, and marched directly out of the room. 

"Oh, Lucy, what have you donel" said her mother 

"Lucy, you ought to be ashamed of yourself 1" uttered 
her rougher father. 

I looked at Lucy. Her face was the colour of crim- 
son, and an expression of alarm, struggled with her 
scarcely conquered mirth. I began to think I had 
curried matters a little too far, and that Lucy was 
rather too much of a coquette. I was sorry for the 
pain I had given his honest heart, and for the con- 
fusion into which I had thrown the good people. 
She was evidently ashamed of having me suppose 
that he had any right to be displeased, and put up 
her pretty lip, and said she was sure she did not care: 


"lie was nothing to her he had no business to look 
so funny." My thoughts -were diverted into a new 
channel, by a side conversation which was going on 
by the couch of little Mary, (which was nicely made 
up in a corner of the room, within full view of the 
dainties of the day,) between her and a cousin of the 
same age, upon the comparative merits of the different 
pies their mothers had made, their superior quality 
and quantity. At last the dispute became very warm 
their tones grew angry, and every little sentence 
began with "I say." 

"What a lesson might the proud wrestlers in the 
great arena of life take from these Lilliputian dis- 
putants! They rested their claims to superiority 
upon the majority of pies made in their households, 
and each pie, in their eyes, was of more value and 
importance than the star of the legion of honour. It 
may seem a trifling theme; but many a time since 
that hour, when I have heard tne high and mighty, 
in mind and name, contend for the poor straws of 
earthly distinction, I have thought of the eager, posi- 
tive, triumphant assertion, "my motlier made the most 

To return to my rustic coquette. As evening ap- 
proached, her vivacity was rather upon the wane: she 
cast restless glances towards the door: at the sound 
of the merry, jingling bells she ran to the windows, 
and looked earnestly out, as if looking for something, 
whose coming she watched in vain. "He won't come, 
Lucy," whispered her sister to her. "I don't believe 
he will ever come near you again. You can't go to 


the ball." "I don't care," answered Lucy; but as she 
tucked away, I saw tears gathering in her bright 
eyes, which belied the indifference of her words. I 
understood at once the state of the case. This awk- 
ward youth was probably a sweetheart of hers, who, 
when free from the demon spell of jealousy, was very 
likely a glass of fashion to the village dandies. 
There was to be a Thanksgiving ball, aud he was to 
have been her partner. In a paroxysm of jealousy 
he had left her in the lurch; and the prettiest lassie 
in the country was doomed to the penalty of staying 
at home, because she could not get her beau! 

This would never do. As I had been the bane, I 
resolved to act (lie part of the antidote. I managed 
to introduce the subject of the ball; said there was 
nothing in the world I should be so much pleased to 
witness, and if she would allow me the honour of at- 
tending her there, I should be extremely happy, &c., 
&c. Her countenance became radiant with animation. 
From what bitter mortification I had saved her! 
What a noble revenge would she inflict on her plebeian 

I have not leisure to tell the hows the ^hys 
the wherefores, and where by s we are in the ball- 
room, on Thanksgiving eve a New England ball- 
room. If a son or daughter of the land of pilgrims 
should read this sketch, who has ever been so blessed 
as to witness such a scene, they behold it at this mo- 
ment in their mind's eye. Scrape go the fiddles 
pat go the feet the girls, all in pure, simple white, 
with here and there a gay ribbon and fluttering 


flower, scamper dovn the dance: the young men, 
with stiff, starched collars, and shining metal buttons, 
and heavy heels, foot it briskly after. 

The floor has a noble spring, and those who are 
sitting around, spectators of the exhilarated actors, 
feel their feet keeping time involuntarily, and their 
heads nodding, before they know what they are do- 
ing. What would my patrician friends have said to 
see me cutting the pigeon-wing, and taking the 
double shuffle with the superfluous animation that I 
exercised that evening! Yet I would not have been 
ashamed of my sweet partner, even in the heart of the 
metropolis. She did look lovely. To be sure, her 
sleeves were not twice as large as her body her 
shoulders were where nature placed them and, 
worse than all, she wore round-toed shoes! But her 
robe was as white as the snow on which the moon- 
beams shone, and her face as blooming as the red 
rose that decorated her brow. I was really half in 
love with her, and I rattled more nonsense in her ear 
' than her unsophisticated imagination ever dreamed 
of. Her vanity was greatly excited, for I was the 
gentkman of the party, and the young gi'rls looked 
upon her conquest with envy that mildew which 
falls on the sweet blossom of the valley as well as the 
exotic of the greenhouse. At length the tide of 
youthful spirits began to ebb: the bounding step 
softened down into a kind of weary slide: the lights 
looked dim, and a sleepy cloud floated over the 
young, starry eyes shining around me. Lucy never 
opened her lips while I was escorting her home. 


She seemed to be communing with her own con- 
science, which probably gave her some remorseless 
twinges and regretful pangs. For my own part, the 
excitement of the occasion being over, I felt a little 
sheepish for the part I had taken. 

The next morning, every thing being ready for my 
departure, I called to bid farewell to Lucy, with the 
commendable resolution of speaking to her frankly 
on the subject of her jealous love, and recommending 
to her reconciliation and forgiveness. I found her 
with an open letter in her lap, the living carnations 
of her cheeks all withered and pale, and tears that 
seemed wrung by agony, streaming from her late 
glad eyes. 

"What has happened, Lucy?'' said I, trembling 
with indefinite apprehension. She tried to speak, but 
could not; and then put the letter into my hand. I 
read it, and wished I had been shot. I will transcribe 
it as faithfully as my memory allows, and I think I 
remember every word of it, for it seemed stamped 
upon my mind as with a red-hot iron. 


"I'm going away a great way off and I don't 
want to go without letting you know that I forgive 
you the wrong you've done me. Oh, Lucy! if you 
only knew how it cut me to the heart, when you 
laughed at and made game of me, before that line new- 
sweetheart of yours, you never would have done it: 
for he never can love you as well as I have done; for 
he's known you but a day as 'twere, and I we've 


known each other from children, and I've loved you 
better than any thing else in the world ever since I 
knew how. I'm going to sea, to sail on the great 
waters, and perhaps I may make my grave in them ; 
for I don't feel as if I had any thing to live for now. 
I always had a kind of longing for the sea; but I 
hated to leave you behind. It's no matter now. If I 
thought you'd be sorry, I think I'd be willing to die. 
Good bye, Lucy, I hope you'll be happy as long as 
you live. 

"No more at present from your faithful 


Thus ran poor William's letter. Oh, what mis- 
chief had my idle vanity wrought! What would I 
not have given to have blotted out the record of one 
thoughtless hour! The angel of consideration had 
whipped the offending spirit of coquetry from her 
bosom. The memory of his early love and devotion 
- -his integrity and truth came back upon her with 
the fragrance and freshness of the opening spring. 
Then the thought of the cold, dark waters to which 
she had driven him of his finding there an untimely 
grave and his injured ghost coming and standing 
beside her bed at the midnight hour, and crying 
; '0h, cruel Lucy! 1 ' I read all this in her wobegone 
face; and penetrated with remorse, I took her hand, 
and said with a manly feeling, which I think did rne 
honour "Lucy, I am sorry for you from the bottom 
of my heart. I am alone to blame. Your William 
will come back again I am sure he will and if he 


does not by Heaven! I will marry you myself I 
Yes, I am going a long journey perhaps I, too, must 
cross the ocean ; but I shall return in two years, if my 
life is spared; and then, if you are willing, my pretty 
Lucy, I'll marry you, and cherish you tenderly as 
long as I live." 

"You are very, very kind," sobbed Lucy, "and I 
like you very much but I'd rather have William, 
after all." 

Oh, simple and unadulterated nature ! how eloquent 
thou art! Art never taught its polished votaries a 
sentence more beautifully impressive, than this spon- 
taneous expression of truth and sensibility 1 

Let us suppose two years and a little more are 
passed that spring has covered the hill-side with 
green, and the valley with bloom. It was this sweet 
season when I again stopped at the village where I 
had spent the memorable Thanksgiving day. It was 
Sunday. Every thing was perfectly still : even my 
bustling little landlady had gone to meeting without 
asking a single question. I brushed the dust from 
my garments, and took the path to the white church, 
that now contrasted beautifully with the velvet com- 
mon on which it was built. I entered : again I heard 
those deep, adoring accents which had once before 
thrilled through my very soul : again I looked on the 
benign countenance of the servant of God, still bearing 
the sacred impress of his celestial embassy. I looked 
round. My eyes rested upon a pew not far from the 
pulpit, and they wandered no more. I felt as if a 
mountain were removed from my heart. Lucy was 


there, more beautiful than ever : her fair brow turned 
thoughtfully upwards, and a sweet, subdued ex- 
pression diffused over her whole sunny face; and 
William was by her side, in the dignity of manhood, 
and, no longer under the dominion of a withering 
passion, looked not unworthy of his blooming bride. 
As soon as the service was over, I stood in the broad 
aisle, waiting for them to pass out. My heart 
throbbed quicker as they approached with that sober, 
decent pace, which becomes those who are leaving the 
temple of the Most High. At length she raised her 
downcast eye, and it fell upon my face : a glow like 
the morning overspread her own. 

" Oh 1 sir," said she, after the first heartfelt greeting 
was over, " I am so happy now 1 William has come 
back, you see, and" " And you are married," added 
I, taking up her hesitating speech. William blushed, 
and turned upon her a look of such pride and affec- 
tion, I almost envied him. I have had many a joyous 
hour, but never have I felt so exquisitely happy as in 
the conviction that moment brought me, that the 
honest, loving hearts my folly had severed, were again 
united in those holy bands, which God having formed, 
ware never more to be lightly sundered. 


Ejje Slnmgcr at iljc 

'TWAS a festal eve. The lamps sent down their 
trembling rays, reflected by shining crystal, and 
wreathing silver, on myriad forms of beauty and 
grace. The music sent forth the most gladdening 
strains, and bounding feet kept time to the joyous 
melody. Evening shades deepened into midnight 
gloom without, yet still the gay notes were heard, and 
the unwearied revellers continued their graceful evo- 

Just as the clock struck twelve, a stranger entered 
the banqueting room, and as she passed slowly on un- 
announced, and unaccompanied by any guide or pro- 
tector, every eye was turned towards her. " "Who can 
she be?" whispered a young girl to her partner, 
drawing close to his side. 

He answered not, so intently was he gazing on the 
figure, which now stood in the centre of the hall, 
looking calmly and immoveably on those around. 
Her white robes fell in long, slumberous folds to her 
feet ; her fair shining hair floated back from her face, 
like fleecy clouds, tinged by the moonbeam's radiance, 
and the still depths of her azure eyes shone with a 
mysterious, unfathomable lustre. 

" Why are ye gathered here?" asked she of the 
young maiden, who shrunk back, as she glided near 
her, with noiseless step. "What mean these glad 
strains, and the flowers that decorate your brows ?" 


The lo\v, thrilling melody of the stranger's voice 
echoed to the remotest corners of that spacious hall, 
and the minstrels paused to listen. 

" 'Tis a festal eve," answered the trembling maiden, 
"and we have met in joy and mirth, to commemorate 
the era." 

"Why is this night chosen as a scene of festivity?" 
asked the sweet-voiced stranger. 

"It is Christmas eve," replied the maiden, "the 
birth-night of our Saviour, and it is our custom to 
celebrate it with music and dancing." 

"It was once celebrated in ancient days," said the 
stranger, "with a splendour and beauty that would 
shame the decorations of these walls. While the shep- 
herds of Chaldea were watching their flocks beneath 
the starry glories of midnight, they heard strains of 
more than mortal melody gushing around them 
rolling above them the thrilling of invisible harps, 
accompanied by celestial voices, all breathing one 
sweet, triumphant anthem 'Glory to God in the 
Highest; on Earth peace, and good will to men.' 
While they listened in adoring wonder, one of the 
stars of Heaven glided from its throne, and travelling 
slowly over the depths of ether, held its silver lamps 
- over the manger, where slept the babe of Bethlehem. 
Then the wise men of the Bast came with their 
costly offerings, and laid them clown at the feet of 
the infant Kedeemer. And where are your gifts?" 
continued she, turning her still, shining eyes from 
one to the other of the listening throng. "What have 
ye brought this night to lay at your Saviour's feet 


in commemoration of your gratitude and love ? 
Where is your gold, your frankincense, your myrrh? 
Where are the gems from the heart's treasury, that 
ye are ready to sacrifice on the altar of your Lord ?" 

The young maiden whom she had first addressed, 
cast one tearful, earnest glance on her gay com- 
panions; then unbinding the roses from her brow, the 
jewels from her neck, and drawing from her fingers 
each golden ring, "Where is the altar," she cried, 
"that I may place my offerings there?" 

"Come with me," said the stranger, "and I will 
lead you where you can find more precious gifts than 
these. Gifts that will retain their beauty, when these 
garlands shall wither, and the diamond and fine gold 
become dim." 

The maiden took hold of the stranger's hand, and 
passed through the hall, which she had so lately 
entered in thoughtless vanity and mirth. Her com- 
panions pressed round her and impeded her way. 
" Oh, stay with us 1" they exclaimed, " and follow not 
the steps of the stranger : your eyes are dim, your 
cheek is pale, shadows are gathering over your face. 
She may lead you to the chambers of death." 

"Hinder me not," cried the fair maiden; "I may 
net slight the voice that summons me. 'Though I 
walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I 
will fear no evil.' " 

A celestial smile beamed on the face of the stranger 
as the young girl uttered these words, and they dis- 
appeared from the festive hall. Through the long 
Bwccping shadows of midnight they glided on, till 


they came to a wretched hovel, through whose shat- 
tered casements the night gust was moaning, mak- 
ing most melancholy music. By the dim light of a 
taper, they beheld a pale mother, cradling her wasted 
infant in her arms, striving to hush its feeble wail- 
ings, looking down with hollow eyes on the fearful 
ravages of famine and disease, then raising them in 
agony to Heaven, imploring the widow's and the 
orphan's God to have mercy on her. 

"Lay down your golden offerings here," said the 
stranger, "and your Saviour will accept the gift. 
Have ye not read that whosoever presenteth a cup 
of cold water to one of the least of his disciples, in 
his name, giveth it unto him?" 

The maiden wept, as she laid her offering in the 
widow's emaciated hand. Again the beauteous 
stranger smiled. "The tear of pity," said she, "is the 
brightest gem thou hast brought." 

She led her forth into the darkness once more, 
and held such sweet and heavenly discourse that 
the heart of the maiden melted within her bosom. 
They came to a dwelling whence strains of solemn 
music issued, and as the light streamed from the 
arching windows, it was reflected with ghostly lustre 
on marble tomb-stones gleaming without. 

"They breathe forth a requiem for the dead," said 
the stranger, and she entered the gate through wil- 
lows that wept over the path. The music ceased, 
and the low, deep voice of prayer ascended through 
the silence of the night. The maiden knelt on the 
threshold, for she felt that she was not worthy to 


enter into the temple. She hardly dared to lift 
her trembling eyes to Heaven ; but bending her fore- 
head to the dust and clasping her hands on her 
breast, she exclaimed, "God be merciful to me a sin- 

"Thy Saviour will accept the offering," uttered the 
stranger in her ear; "the prayer of a broken and con- 
trite spirit, is an incense more precious to Him than 
all the odours of the East." 

" You shall see me again," said the stranger, when 
she led the young maiden to her own home, by the 
light of the dawning day; "you shall see me again, 
and we will walk together once more, but not among 
scenes of sorrow and death, for they shall all have fled 
away. Neither will we walk through the shades of 
midnight, for 'there will be no night there.' There 
will be no moon, nor stars to illumine the place, 'for 
the glory of God shall lighten it, and the Lamb be the 
light thereof.' Farewell I may not dwell with you, 
but ye shall come and abide with me, if ye continue 
to walk in the path where I have guided your steps." 

Never more were the steps of that young maiden 
seen in the halls of mirth, or the paths of sin. She 
went about among the children of sorrow and want, 
'binding up the wounds of sorrow, and relieving the 
pangs of want. She hung over the death-bed of the 
penitent, and breathed words of hope into the dull ear 
of despair. Men looked upon her as she passed along, 
in her youthful beauty, as an angel visitant, and they 
blessed her in her wanderings. Her once companions 
turned aside, shrinking from comiimuiou witli ouo 


whose eyes now spoke a holier language than that of 
earth. They felt that she was no longer one of them, 
and after wondering and speaking of her a little while, 
she was forgotten by them in the revelries of plea- 

At length she was no longer seen by those who 
watched for her daily ministrations. Her place was 
vacant in the temple of God. The music of her voice 
was no more heard in prayer and praise. On a lowly 
couch in her own darkened room, that young maiden 
was reclining. Her face was pallid, and her eyes dim, 
and her mother was weeping over her. Flowers were 
strewed upon her pillow, whose sweet breath stole 
lovingly over her faded cheek; and as the curtains of 
the windows waved softly i% the night breeze, the 
moonbeams glided in and kissed her wan brow. The 
mother heard no step, but she felt the air part near 
the couch, and looking up she saw a figure standing 
in white flowing robes by her daughter's side, with a 
face of such unearthly sweetness, she trembled as she 
gazed upon her. 

"Maiden," said she, "I have come once more. 1 
told thee we should meet again, and this is the ap- 
pointed hour. Does thy spirit welcome my coming?" 

"My soul has thirsted for thee," answered the faiat 
voice of the maiden, "even as the blossom thirsts for 
the dew of the morning; but I may not follow thee 
now, for my feeble feet bear me no longer over the 
threshold of home." 

"Thy feet shall be as'the young roe on the moun- 
tain," answered the white-robed stranger; "thou shalt 


mount on wings as the eagle." Then bending over 
the couch, and breathing on the cheek of the maiden, 
its pale hue changed to the whiteness of marble, and 
the hand which her mother held, turned cold as an 
icicle. At the same moment the folds of the stranger's 
robe floated from her shoulders, and wings of resplen- 
dent azure softening into gold, fluttered on the gaze. 
Divine perfumes filled the atmosphere, and a low, sweet 
melody, like the silvery murmuring of distant waters, 
echoed through the chamber. Awe-struck and be- 
wildered, the mother turned from the breathless form 
of her child, to the celestial figure of the stranger, 
when she saw it gradually fading from her sight, and 
encircled in its arms there seemed another being of 
shadowy brightness, with outspread wings and fleecy 
robes, and soft, glorious eyes fixed steadfastlly on her, 
till they melted away and were seen no more. Then 
the mother bowed herself in adoration, as well as sub- 
mission; for she knew she had looked on one of those 
angel messengers who are "sent to minister to those 
who shall be heirs of salvation." She had seen, too, a 
vision of her daughter's ascending spirit, and she 
mourned not over the dust she had left behind. 



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Fric Fifty ceau 

Brian O'Lyim 5 or, Luck le Every 

thing. Price 50 cents. 
Wild Sports In the W eu 

One volume. P-ice 60 cento 



The Lout Daughter! and Other 
blurW of the Heart. (Junt 
Two vnlnmes, paper covor. Price One 
Dollar , or in one vol., cloth, for $1.25. 

/lauter's Northern Bride. 
Beautifully Illustrated. Two volumes, 
paper cover, 600 pages. Price One Dol- 
Itr ; or in one volume, cloth, 'or $1.2.1. 

.lii.l... The Young Pilot of 

_ the llHlc Creole. Two volnraen, 

paper ewer. Price One Dollar; or 

bound in one volume, cloth, for $l.iV 

ftohert Graham. The Sequel to 
and Continuation of Linda, Two vols., 

Cer cover. Price One Dollar ; or 
ud in one volume, cloth, for $1.25. 
foul isiilp and Marriage. Two 

Reua; or, The Snow Dlrd. 

Two vol*, paper covor. Price On Dol- 
lar; or In one vol., cloth, for $1.23. 

Marcus Warland. TwovolimM, 
paper cover. Price One D>>l!:ir; W 
bound in one volnine, cloth, for $1 25. 

Love after Marriage. Two vols., 
paper cover. Price Oue Dollar; ot 
bound in one vol., cloth, for $1.25. 

Eoliiici or, Magnolia Vale. 

Two vols., paper cover. Price On* 
Dollar ; or in one vol., cloth, for $1.25. 

The Banished Son. Two vols., 
papor cover. Price One Dollar; o* 
bonnd In one vol., cloth, for $1.26. 

Helen and Arthur. Two vols., 

paper cover. Price Oue Dollar; 01 
bound In one vol., cloth, for $1.2.1. 

rlage. r 

uea, paper cover. Price One Dol- 
lar ; or one volume, cloth, for $1.25. 
The whole of the above are also published in a very fine style, bonnd in full 
Crimson, with gilt edges, full gilt side*, gilt backs, etc., making them the beat book' 
lor presentation, at the price, published. Price of either one In this style, $2. 00 a copy. 


Confessions of a Pretty Wo- 
man. By Mi* Pardoe. Complete 
in uiie >arge octavo volume. Price 60 


The Jealous Wife. ByHisPar- 
d. Complete in one large octavo 
volume. Price Fifty cents. 

The Wife's Trials. By MU* Par- 
doe. Complete in one large octavo 
volume. Price Fifty cents. 

The Rival Beauties. By Miss 

Pardoe. Complete In one large octavo 

volume. Prico Fifty cents. 
Romniice of the Harem. By 

Mian Pardoe. Complete iu one large 

octavo volume. Price Fifty cunt*. 

The trlii 'I* of the above Fivf. wrfr.t tin 
also bn ul in cl-tifi, f/ilt, in nut largt 
o<i,no volume. Prict $2.60. 
The Adopted Heir. By Mts 

Pardoe. Two vols., paper cover. Price 

$1.0U; or in cloth, $1.23. (In Pren.) 


Mary Derwent. ThU is Mr*. Ann 
8. Stephens' laxt new work. Complete 
In mo volume*, paper cover. Price 
One Dollar; oriuone vol.,clolli, $1.2.1. 

Fashion and Famine. Two vol- 
ume*, paper cover. Price Oue Dollar; 
or "i one volume, cloth, for $1.25. 


The Old Homestead. Two vol- 
ume*, paper cover. Price One Dollar ; 
or in ODH volume, cloth, for $1.2.1. 

The Gipsy'* Legacy or, the 
Heiress of Urcmhurst. Two 
volume*., paper cover. Price One Dol- 
lar ; or in one volume, cloth, for $1 .25. 


fllss Leslie's New Cookery 
Book. Being the largest, beat, and 
ro<t complete Cook Book ever got np 
I.T MiMi Leslie. :;,.w fln<t published. 
Ou4TOlnm. Price $1.25. 

Mrs. Hale's New Cook Book. 
By Mr*. Sarah J. Hale. Oue volume, 

Miss Leslie's New Receipt! 
for Cooking. Complete in on* 

large volume, bound. Price CM 

Wlddlfleld'n New Cook Bk> 

or, Practical KecelptN for (be Hi it*. 
wife. Becoinmended by all. On* r*U 
nme, cloth. Price One Dollar. 

Price Oue Dollar. 


mental, mid Dom-tic A 

Ira. Hale's Rrcrlpts for the | 

Million. Containing Four Tliou- 
taud Five Hundred and Forty-five Re- 
ceipts, Facts, Directions, snd Know- 
ldg for All, tu lU i:efu;, Orua- 

complete Family l"rector nd Boos*. 
1>M 'iiii,!.- for ;!, Mill! A 
S.irh J. lia|. (>uo vnloi . . 
KtroUKl; bound I'ric*. $1.36 


1 Boos*. 
By Mrs. 



Att neatly done up in paper covers. 

Charles O'Malley,.Priee 50 cents. 

Arthur O'Leary,...fVtc5Cefliu 


Knight of Gwynne,.. 
Kate O'Donoguue,. 
CouCregan, tlie Irish 

Gil Bias, ...................... 60 

Davenport Dunn, a 

Man of our Day, 


Harry Lorrequer, 60 

Horace Templeton,... 60 
Tom Burke of Ours, 60 
Jack Hlnton, the 

Guardsman, 60 

A complete sett of the above will be sold, or sent to any or 
of pottage, for $4.00. 


THIS EDITION is complete in FOUR large octavo volumes, containin.c Charlef 
O'Malley, Harry I.orrequer, Horace Templeton, Torn Burke of Ours, Arthur O'Leary, 
Jack Hintou Ihe Guardsman, The Knight of Gwynne, Kate O'Donoghue, etc., hand- 
tomely printed, and bound in various styles, as follows : 

Price of a sett in Black cloth, $8.00 

Scarlet cloth, 6.50 

' " Law Library sheep 7.00 

" " Half Calf, 9.00 

" " Half Calf, marbled edges, French 10.00 

" Half Calf, antique, 12.00 

Charles O'Malley, fine edition, one volume, cloth, $1.89 

" " Half calf, 2.00 

Harry Lorrequer, fine edition, one volume, cloth, 1.50 

" " Half calf, 2.00 

Jack Hlnton, flue edition, one volume, cloth 1.50 

" " Half calf, 2.00 

Valentine Vox, fine edition, one volume, cloth, 1.60 

" " Half calf, 2.00 

" cheap edition, paper cover 50 

Ten Thousand a Year, fine edition, one volume, cloth, 1.50 

" Half calf, 2.00 

" cheap edition, paper cover. Two volumes, 1.00 

Diary of a Medical Student. By S. C. Warren, author of "Ten 
Thousand a Year." One volume, octavo, 50 


Scenes &> Characters. Illus- 
trated. Two vols. , cloth . Price $2. 50. 
Dow's Short Patent Sermons. 
First Series. By Dow, Jr. 

Containing 128 Sermons. Complete in 
one volume, cloth, for One Dollar or 
paper cover, 75 cents. 

Dow's Short Patent Sermons. 
Second Series. By Dow, Jr. 
Containing 144 Sermons. Complete in 
one volume, cloth, for One Dollar ; 01 
paper cover, 75 cents. 

Dow's Short Paten'. Sermons. 
Third Series, ty Dow, Jr, 
Containing 116 Sera> m*. Complete in 
one volume, cloth, for One Dollar; ol 
paper cover, 75 K,nts. 

American Joe Miller. With 100 
Illustrations. One of the most humor- 
ous books in the world Price 25 centi 

Major Jones' Courtship and 
Travels. Beautifully illustrated. 

n Geor- 

Price $1.25. 

One volume, cloth. Price $1.25. 

Major Jones' Scenes I 
gia. Full of beautiful illu 
One volume, cloth. 

Sam Slick, the Clockmaker. 

By Judge Halibnrton. Illustrated. 
Being the best funny work ever writ- 
ten by any one in this vein. Two vols., 
paper cover. Price One Dollar; or 
bound in one volume, cloth, for $1.25. 

Imoii Suggs' Adventures 
and Travels. Illustrated. One 
volume, cloth. Price $1.25. 

Humors of Falconbrldge. Two 
volumes, paper cover. Price One Dol- 
lar ; or one vol., clotn, for $1.25. 

Frank Forester's Sporting 



fourteen Di/ereiU EdUi-mt in Octavo J)n. 

"PETKKSON'8" are the only complete and uniform editions of Charles Dickens 
Wrk ever published in the world ; they are printed from the original London Kdl- 
ivon, and are the only editions published in this country. No library fe'that 
pablie or private, can be complete without having in it a complete sett of tk4 
works of tliirt, the greatest of all living author*. Every family should poiwees a 
ait of one of the edition*. The cheap edition is complete in Sixteen Volumes 
paper cover ; either or all of which can be had separately, as follow* : 

Little Dorrlt, Price 60 cents. 

Pickwick Paper*, 00 " 

Dickens' New Stories, 60 " 

Bleak House, 60 " 

David Copprfleld, 00 " 

Dombey and Son, 60 " 

Nicholas Mcklehy, 60 

Christmas Stories, 60 " 

Martin Chuzzlewlt,.... 60 " 

A complete sett of the above Sixteen books, will be sold, or sent to any oie, U 
place, A* </ portage, for $6.00. 

Barnaby Rudge,.../Vioj 00 enU 

Old Curiosity Shop,.... 50 " 

Sketches by "Box," CO " 

Oliver Twist, 60 " 

The Two Apprentices, 23 " 
Wreck of the Golden 

Mary, M 

Perils of certain Kn- 

glish Prisoners, 25 


PiMUhed in S*t*n different Stylet. 

This Edition is complete in SIX very large octavo volumes, with a Portrait on (Ml 
tf Charles Dickens, containing the whole of the above works, bnudBomely priMed 
ind bound in various styles. 

Vol. I contains Pickwick Papers and Curiosity Shop. 
3 do. Oliver Twist, Sketches by "Box," and Bar. 

naby Rudge. 

3 do. Nicholas Nlckleby, and Martin Chiixzlewlt. 
* do. David Cnpprrflclil, Uombey and Sou, *d 

Christmas Stories. 

5 do. Bleak House, and Dickens' New Stories. 
" 6 do. Little Dorrlt. In two books Poverty and Riches. 

Piiee of a sett, in Black cloth, ftg at 

Scarlet cloth, extra, IQM 

Law Library style il.ot 

Half Turkey, or Half Calf, 1S.O* 

Half calf, marbled edges. French 14 M 

H!f calf, real ancient antique l&Of 

Half calf, full gilt backs, etc 10.M 


tod flno white paper, and is profusely illnntrau-i with all the original Ulnstrattj:* 
7 Croikabank. Alfred Cruwquill, Phiz, etc., from the original London ditions, c 
oppvr, ctel. and wood. Each volume contains _ novel complete, and may be kas 
la sosBplvM sett*, beautifully bound iu cloth, for Nineteen Dollars s sett : or aay 


Tlunie will be sold separately at One Dollar and Fifty cenis each. The followim 
re their respective name* : 

Little Dorrtt. Nicholas Nickleby. 

Pickwick Papers. 
Barnaby Rudge. 
Old Curiosity Shop. 
Bleak House. 
David Copperneld. 
Dombey and Sou. 

Christmas Stories. 
Martin ChuzzlewU. 
Sketches by "Box." 
Oliver Twist. 
Dickens' fl*ew Stories 

fie of a sett, in Black cloth, In Thirteen volumes, $19 ,o 

Fall Law Library style, 26'^ 

Half calf, or half Turkey, 29.00 

Half calf, marbled edges, French, 32.6* 

Half calf, ancient antique, 39 00 

Half calf, full gilt backs, etc $9.00 


CompUto in Twenty-Five Volumes. 

The Edition* in Duodecimo form are beautifully Illustrated with over Five Hun- 
<tred Steel and Wood Illustrations, from designs by Crnikshank, Phiz, Leeh, 
Browne, Maclise, ete., illustrative of th best scenes in each work, making it the 
most beautiful and perfect edition in the world ; and each work is also reprinted 
from the first original London editions that were issued by subscription in monthly 
numbers, and the volumes will be found, on examination, to be published on tha 
flneut and best of white paper. 

This edition of Dickens' Works is now published complete, entire, and unabridged 
In Twenty-five beautiful volumes, and supplies what has long been wanted, an edi- 
tion that bhall combine the advantages of portable size, large and readable type, 
and uniformity with other standard English authors. 

This Duodecimo edition has been gotten up n.t an expense of over Forty-Fivt 
Thousand Dollars, but the publishers trust that an appreciative public will repay 
them for the outlay, by a generous purchase of the volumes. All they ask is for 
the public to examine them, and they are confident they will exclaim, with one 
voice, that they are the handsomest and cheapest, and bast illustrated Sett of Works 
ver published. This edition is sold in setts, in various styles K binding, or any 
work can be had separately, handsomely bound In cloth, ir two volumes each, 
trice 42.60 a sett, as follows: 

Pickwick Papers. 
Nicholas Nickleby. 
David Copperfleld. 
Oliver Twist. 
Bleak House. 
Little Dorrlt. 
Dombey and Son. 

Sketch** by "Box." 
Barnaby Rudge. 
Mart in Chuzzlewlt. 
Old Curiosity Shop. 
Christmas Stories. 
Dickens' New Stories. 

ft sett in 1-wentv-Five volumes, bound in Black cloth, gilt cacKs $30 Ot 

Full Law Library style, 40.0C 

Scarlet, full gilt, sides, edges, etc., >.00 

" Half calf, ancient antique 80-tK 

Half calf, full gilt hack JO.OC 

" Full calf, ancient antique J 

Full calf, gilt edices, bsks. etc 7-< 



PuHtthtd in Eight Different Styltt. 

This Duodecimo edition is complete in Thirteen volumes, of near One Thousand 
ages each, with two illustrations to each volume, bat is not printed 01 a thick 
or *c fine paper as the Illustrated Edition, bat contains all the reading uiutiei thai 
Uin the Illustrated Edition, printed from large type, leaded. The volumes art 
old separately or together, price One Dollar and Fifty cents each, neatly bound IB 
loth ; or a complete sett of Thirteen volumes in this style will be sold for $W.OO. 
following are their names: 

Nicholas Nlckleby. 
Christmas Stories. 
Old Curiosity Shop, 
Sketches by Box." 
Oliver Twist. 
Dickens' New Stories. 

Little Dorrlt. 
Pickwick Papers. 
Martin Chnzzlewtt. 
Barnaby Rudge. 
Bleak House. 
David Copperfleld. 
Dombey and Son. 

Price of a sett, In Black cloth $19.00 

" " Fall Law Library style, 24.00 

" Half calf, or half Turkey.. H.QQ 

" Half calf, marbled edges, French 28.00 

" Half calf, ancient antique M.OO 

Half calf, f.ill gilt backs, S00 

" " Full calf, ancient antique, 40.00 

Fall calf, gilt edges, backs, etc 40.00 


Harris's Explorations In 
South Africa. By Major Corn- 
wallis Harris. This book is a rich 
treat. Two volumes, paper cover. 
Price $1.00 ; or in cloth, $l.i'.. 

Wild Oats Sown Abroad} or, 

Don Q,ulxotte Life and Ad- 
ventures of Don Quixotic t 

and his Squire, Sancho Panza. ( -.,1,1- 
plete in two volumes, paper <. \ T 
Price $1.00. 
Life and Adventures of Paul 

On and Off Soundings. Price 60 cents 
In paper cover ; or cloth, gilt, 75 cents. 


Periwinkle. Full of Illubtratious. 

I'IM-. .'" ( :.:-. 

Illustrated Wandering Jew. 

With Eighty-seven large Illustrations. 

Two volumes. Price $1.00. 
Mysteries of Paris) and Ge- 

rolstein, the Sequel to It. Two 

volumes, paper cover. Price $1.00. 
First Love. A Story of the. Heart. 

Price 2 cents. 
Woman's Love. Illustrated. Price 

25 cents. 

Martin the Foundling. Bcaa- 
tifnlly Illustrated. Tw.i volume*, pa- 
per cover. Price One Dollar. 

The Man-of-War's-Man. Com- 
plete in one large octavo volume. 
Price 25 cents. 

The Female Bluebeard. On 
volume. Price 25 cents. 

Raoul de Survllle. One vlame. 
Price 25 cents. (In Prut.) 


Legends of the American 

Revolution; or, Washington and 
bis Generals. Two vols. Price $1.00. 
The Quaker City | or, The Monks 
of Monk Hall Two volumes, paper 
cover. Price One Dollar. 

Paul Ardenheimt the Monk of 
Wlssahikon. Two volumes, paper 
cover. Price One Dollar. 

Blanche of Brandywlne. A 

Revolutionary Romance. Two vol- 
ume*, paper sover. Price One Dollar. 

The Nazarene. One voL Pries 

60 cents. 
Legends of Mexico. OnevoluM* 

Price 25 cents. 
The Lady of Albarone; or, 

The Point >n Goblet. Two volume*, p*> 

r cover. Price One Dollar ; or bound 
one volume, cloth, for $1.20. (In 

New York i Its Upper Ten 
and Lower Million. One vol- 
ume. Price 60 cents. 


The Books on this Page are the Best and Latest Publications by 

the most Popular and Celebrated Writers in the World. They are 

also the most Readable and Entertaining Books published. 

Suitable for tie Parlor, Library, Sitting-Room, Railroad, Stsamboat, or Chamber Reading. 




Twenty-Kin* Different Editions. 

'PETERSON'S" are the only complete and uniform editions of Charles Dickens 
Works ever published in the world; they are printed from the original London Edi- 
tions, and are the only editions published in this country. No library, either 
public or private, can be complete without having in it a complete sett of the 
Xorks of this, the greatest of all living authors. Every family hhonld possess a 
sett of one of the editions. The cheap edition ia published as follows: 

Little Dorrlt, Price 60 cents. 

Pickwick Papers, 60 " 

Dlcken.' New Storle., 60 B. rna by Rudg 

Dombey and Son, CO 

Nicholas Nlckleby, 00 

Christmas Stories, Price 00 cents. 
Martin Clinztlt wit, ... 60 " 

Sketches by "Box," 60 

Oliver Twist, .... 60 


This Edition is complete in SIX very large octavo volumes, with a Portrait on steel 
of Charles Dickens, containing all of the above works, bound in various styles. 

Price of a sett, in Black cloth .'. 18.00 

" Scarlet cloth, extra, 10.00 

44 j >aw Library style, 11.00 

" Half Turkey, or Half Calf, 1:1.00 

Half calf, marbled edges, French U..V) 

i Half calf real ancient autioiie 18.00 

Half calf; full gilt backs, etc. 18.00 

THIS EDITION IS IN THIRTEEN VOLUMES, and is printed on very thick 
and fine white paper, and is profusely illustrated with all the original Illustrations 
by Cruikshank, Alfred Crowqnill, Phiz, etc., from the original London editions, on 
copper, steel, and wood. Each volume contains a novel complete, and may be had 
- separately, beautifully bound in cloth. Price One Dollar and Fifty cents each. ' 

Price of a sett, in Black cloth,ln Thirteen volumes, $19.00 

Full Law Library style, 28.00 

" Half calf, or half Turkey, 29.00 

Half calf, marbled edges, French, 32.30 

" Half calf, ancient antique, 39.00 

Half calf, full gilt back, etc 39.00 

\ Copies of any of the above Works will be sent by^Iail to anyone, Free ( 
3 of 


of Postage, on mailing the Price in a letter to Peterson & Brothers, f* 



T. B. PETERSON & L...A OOP Q26 341 8 

The Books on this Page are the Best and Latest Publications by 

the most Popular and Celebrated Writers in the World. They are 

also the most Readable and Entertaining Books published. 

Suitable for to Parlor, Litrary, Sitting-Room, Railroad, Stsamlcat, or GhanLer Reading. 




The Editions in Duodecimo form are beautifully Illustrated with over Five Hun- 
dred Steel and Wood niuntrations, from designs by Cruikshank, Phiz, Leech, 
Browne, Maclise, etc., illustrative of the best scenes in each work, making it the 
moist beautiful and perfect edition in the world. This edition of Dickens' Work* 
li now published complete, entire, and unabridged, in Twenty-five beautiful vol- 
umes, and supplies what hag long been wanted, an edition that shall combine the 
advantages of portable size, large and readable type, and uniformity with other 
standard English authors. This edition is sold in setts, in various styles of bind- 
ing, or any work can be had separately, handsomely bound in cloth, in two 
volumes each. Price One Dollar and Twenty-Five cents a volume. 
Price of a sett in Twenty-Five volumes, bound in Black cloth, gilt backs,.. ..$30.00 

" Full Law Library style, 40.00 

Scarlet, full gilt, sides, edges, etc 45.00 

" " Half calf, ancient antique, 60.00 

" Half calf, full gilt back 60.00 

" " Full calf, a ucieiit antique, ,. 76.00 

" " Full calf, gilt edges, backs, etc., 75.00 


This Duodecimo edition is complete in Thirteen volumes, of near Oue Thousand 
pages each, with two illustrations to each volume, and contains all the reading 
matter that is in the Illustrated Edition, printed from large type, leaded. The 
volumes are sold separately, in cloth, price One Dollar and Fifty cents each. 

Price of a sett, in Black cloth, ., ,$19.00 

" ' Full Law Library style 24.00 

" Half calf, or half Turkey, 26.00 

" *" Half calf, marbled edges, French, 2S.OO 

" " Half calf, aucient antique 32.00 

Half calf, full gilt backs, 32.00 

' Full calf, ancient antique 40.00 

" Full calf, gilt edges, backs, etc 40.00 


Mnjor Jones' Courtship and 
. Travels. Beautifully illustrated. 
One volume, cloth. Price $1.25. 

Major Jones' Scenes in Geor- 
gia. Full of beautiful illustrations. 
One volume, cloth. Price $1.25. 

Sam Slick, tlie Clockmafeer. 
By Judge Haliburton. Illustrated. 

Two vols., paper cover. Price One 
Dollar ; or in one vol., cloth, $1.2j. 

Simon Suggs' Adventures 
and Travels. Illustrate 1. One 
volume, cloth. Pricj $1.25. 

Humors of Palconbridge. Two 
volumes, paper cover. Price One Dol- 
lar; or one vol., cloth, :' r $1.23. 

>) Copies of any of the above Works will be sent by Mail to any one, Free (< 
f ostage, on mailing the Price in a letter to Peterson & Brothers. 

. r-je-$(&