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illness from our old servant Antonio, of choice fruits, sweetmeats, and wine the only person who knew of our were set out in silver vessels on a nightly visiis. To convince you that marble table. The ghost-seer, dressed this is the whole secret, I have put according to his own fancy in the gard on the dress I then wore, and you shall of a Venetian cavalier of the old turne, judge for yourself of my resemblance waited for his guest who did not fail to the picture.'
him. He thought her far more beau“So saying, she threw aside her veil tiful than the picture. They sat side and mantle, and surprised the stranger by side, with the glowing feelings oi with the view of her noble eyes, and southern and imaginative youth. She of her youthful Italian beauty, clothed sang for him and played on a guitar in the dress and rich green silk, which which he had taken care to place at closely imitated that of the painted hand; and he felt himself gifted with Celestina. Her hearer was amused undreamt-of happiness. They met by the mistake, and delighted by her again more than once, and walked toexplanation. He ventured to ask the gether along the gallery, where be lady, that when his sick friend should could at leisure compare her with be a little recovered, she would com- Giorgione's Celestina, and give his plete her kindness by enabling him to own the deliberate preference. But judge for himself of the beautiful re- he was at last dismayed by hearing semblance which had so misled him. from her, that she was designed by her She said that she would willingly do father for a conventual life, in order 80, and only regretted that, from her to preserve the remnant of his fortune father's turn of character, it would be exclusively for his son. The Englishalmost impossible to make him assent man's decision was soon taken. He, to any meeting with the present oc- too, was of noble birth, and had wealth cupier of his ancient palace. She, enough to make fortune in his rie therefore, said that it must be again unimportant. He gained the fathers a private interview, and might take consent to their marriage, and she is place at the same spot on the third I ow the mistress of an old English day following Her new acquaint- country-house. She looks on the porance was compelled to return to Ve- traits by Vandyke on its walls with as nice, and so could not carry on the much pleasure as she ever derived from adventure on his own person. But those of Titian, for she now tries to the account which he gave to his friend find in them a likeness to more than soon restored his patient to strength one young face that often rests upon and cheerfulness. Immediately after her knee. Of this new generation
, his companion's departure he had the the eldest and loveliest is called
, green and shady arbour prepared for like herself, Celestina.” the expected meeting. A collation
When Walsingham had ended, and left her companions, and wandered replaced the book, Miss Harcourt took down a flight of steps in the quiet and it down again and found that it was dusky garden. She stood alone iean, a work by Mr Jeremy Bentham. She ing against a large marble urn, and turned the volume over in the most looked at the water as it glanced past helpless bewilderment, and then show- her on a level with the turf, and but ed it to Maria and to Hastings. But a few inches from her foot. the poet turned from the group and How beautiful, she thought, is every said, carelessly, “ Those only find who drop as it fits through the light
, and know where to look.”
how swiftly does it pass to utter dark, On the evening of a following day, ness! Fleeting gleams in a world of when the clear night had overspread obscurity—such are life's best joys for a sky still warm with sunset, and glim- those whose life is richest—for all demered on a rill before the windows, void of Christian faith. several of the guests passed from the She looked up at the sky and sigh
. drawing-room to the terrace, and ed. Sir Charles, who was not far of among these was Maria. She soon though she did not know of his pre
sence, thought he had never seen her pale light from the sky upon her face so beautiful. She reminded him of while she answered,« Believe me, I one of his own statues of a nymph. He would not trifle with any one's feelings, came and stood beside her and said, - however little chance there may be
“ The sky promises fine weather for of giving serious pain. I assure you to-morrow, I trust."
that no length of time can so far alter Oh, does it? It is very lovely. I my mind as to make me a suitable obdo not know why it is that the present ject of your
attentions." is never more beautiful than during a The manner was still more decisive fine summer night, yet it always makes than the words, and he at once replied, us think_rather of the past and the -“[ can then only express my regret future. The past, too, seems so long that I have troubled you on the suband various, and the future, only one ject, and beg that what has passed be. great moment.”
tween us may not be unnecessarily told “Well, Miss Lascelles, for my part to others.”. I never was more inclined to enjoy the So highly cultivated was the lover's present, and take advantage of it. I indifference, that on their return to have not so often the pleasure of seeing the drawing-room it was impossible to you at Beechurst as to be able now to suppose he had been conversing of think of any thing else.”
any thing more important than the “Such a scene as this, I should ima- flowers or the weather. Maria was a gine, could want no additions to make little more disturbed than he, and it perfectly delightful.”
somewhat paler than usual. She took "Oh! I could fancy it permanently up a book of engravings, and looked embellished in a very high degree.” for five minutes at the title-page,
“ Indeed? I confess it does not oc- which happened to be turned upside cur to me what is wanting.”
down. She thought how different had “Ah, Miss Lascelles, it is I who been the manner and the words, the feel it, but it is to you I must look bursting broken language and falter. for a remedy."
ing tone of Arthur, and then the tri• To me, Sir Charles Harcourt ? umphant tearful delight when he had What can you mean?"
won froin her an avowal of her affec“Need I explain myself further ?” tion. Her steady and earnest eyes and he endeavoured to take her by the and motionless attitude had a strange hand; “I hoped you had long per- look in the midst of the gay and shiftceived how entirely my happiness de- ing party. Walsingham saw her from pends on you."
a distance, and looked at first surprised. She drew her hand away, and said, He then glanced aside, with a very with perfect composure, “ I assure you, slight expression of sarcasm on his lip, the thought is quite new to me, and at Sir Charles Harcourt, who was one that gives me no pleasure. I trust seated at ecarte with a lady. His gaze you will soon find some one both much returned swiftly to Maria, and his worthier of your regard, and more whole aspect appeared strengthened capable of repaying it as it deserves.” and enlarged by the presence of a high
So saying she walked towards the and beautiful image. In a few moments terrace.
she resumed her self-possession, and "Still allow me to hope that my smiled while she thought of the formal future endeavours to merit your ap- and elaborate manner of her wooer, of probation need not be in vain. I only the look, the language, and the man, yenture to ask, my dear Miss Lascel- all so far removed from whatever she les, that I may not be compelled to could imagine of love. She was soon regard your present language as un- asked to sing, and chose the following changeable."
song, which Walsingham had that She turned round, and there was a morning written down for her:
Fancy fills thy boundless air,
Touch'd by Hope's enchanted kiss,
Night! so clear with speaking eyes;
Spirits round thee dawn and fleet;
Sir Charles Harcourt's dressing- many sided life, the bright colours of room was fitted up with effeminate feeling and imagination and the range luxury and magnificence. He was of talent and knowledge that then were seated in it alone at night with a mu- his, it seemed, on turning to the state seum of toys, trinkets, and furniture in which he now found himself, that about him, and in the midst of several all was shrunk and withered. The lights, reflected by large mirrors. A outward clothing, and attributes, inheadache had led him to retire earlier deed, were splendid, but he discovered than usual, and the splendid clock within his breast only mean faculues upon the chimney-piece of which the and vulgar aims, and chiefly the wish gilt statuary represented Narcissus at to be admired as a patron and a gentle. the fountain, now struck twelve The man, without any enjoyment of the baronet turned pale, and closed his realities which, for him, were only eyes.
He opened them again and convenient fictions. He reflected, alsi looked up, trembling as if he had ex. on the strange scene which had takes pected to see gigantic hand and place that evening with Maria, and dagger raised above him. It was the her cold polite contempt, and he shihour of the charm. In that moment vered at the thought, while he saw the he remembered both all the story of form of Sir Charles Harcourt reflected the last week, and all the previous life in the four large mirrors. For a moof Sir Charles Harcourt, and at the ment it occured to him that he would same time felt and knew again that be Arthur again. But he looked at till seven days before he had been his ring, and remembered the old Arthur Edmonstone. As a man stands man's warning, that if once he retursat the junction of two converging ed to his original being, his priilege vistas, and with a turn of the eye can would be for ever forfeited. He look down one or other, although they thought of a score of different characwiden to miles apart, and sees the one ters, each of which, in some respects travel over hill and dale, and end on he should like to assume. the summit of a rugged mountain, thing connected with his own station while the other, between clipped elms, in life now seemed to him bollow and stretches out of sight along a smooth barren, and smitten with the curse of green meadow, so he could now look Sir Charles Harcourt's self-contempt back upon two lives as if both of them A freer, simpler, humbler existence had been his own. He could not alone seemed really desirable. The know these two existences as he now stern moral superiority of Maria, and did, without comparing them. While the thought of an unattainable unit he remembered all that Arthur Ed. with her, drove him as far as possible monstone had been, his active and away in a different direction. At the
same time, by some trick of fancy, the The Sir Charles Harcourt, who blooming and vigorous nature of the woke the next morning at Beechurst, country girl whom he hal seen in was he who had always possessed it. Maria's company at the farm-house, He now remembered the events of the returned to his heart. Thus cutting past week as if they had been parts short all his perplexities by one violent of his own life. There appeared no resolution, he breathed upon his ring, break in his self-consciousness, nor pronounced to himself the name of had he the slightest notion of the gap James Wilson, and his wish was ac- in his existence which had been filled complished.
by the presence of another person.
Early on Sunday morning, James bright straw bonnet, with its blue opened his eyes in the old farm-house, ribbon, and James his new hat, and dressed himself hastily, and went to the father his with its brim at least six look after the different little matters in inches broad; and leaving the mother the stable and the farm-yard, which, at home to take care of the house, the even on Sunday, must be attended to. three set out to walk through the fields He then returned to the house to make to church. The old man often lingerhimself smart, which he succeeded in ed or turned a step aside, or stopped by dint of clean linen, a new blue coat to speak to some of the neighbours, with large gilt buttons, a white hand. and Ann and James could talk almost kerchief round his neck, a yellow waist as freely as if they had been in a wil. coat, and a drab garment below ter- derness. The church was more than minating in top-boots. He certainly usually crowded with peopl.: come to looked very well; and while he gazed hear a new organ played, which had into the little twisted looking-glass, he been presented by the kind-hearted even ventured to think so, but some- squire, for it was not Sir Charles Har. how he feared not well enough to court's parish; But Mr, Musgrave, the please Ann. She, too, after helping curate, preached a sermon, in which to prepare the breakfast, had put on he laid bare to the astonished culprits her best clothes. Her long dark hair, the erroneousness of the motives that indeed was almost hidden under a cap, led them to attend public worship only but still formed a glossy shade around when some strange novelty attracted her forehead. The face it crowned them. But the Wilsons were unwrung, was as winning as bright health, and and enjoyed both the organ and the brighter spirits, high complexion, and sermon, except that Ann was sorry for pretty features, could make it. Nor the poor people that had acted su did her figure look less graceful in the foolishly, and were now so severely white cotton gown, with little blue reprimanded. The old man pronounflowers all over it, which James had ced the sermon a right good one, and given her, and which she had tied with said that their parson was the best a blue sash. The white stockings and man in that country, only now and neat shoes set off the smallness of her then a little too sharp upon peoples' feet, and showed that her hands, but faults. In the afternoon, Ann staid at for a life of labour, would not have home, and the other three went to the been less delicate. When at work, service. In the evening the mother she often sang half-inwardly some verse undertook to milk the cows, and the of a gay or sad song, and still went father to attend to all other matters, earnestly about her task ; but when While Ann and James went out to resting, or at meals, and especially walk. when James was with her, her face They strolled arm in arm, saying was in a perpetual play of blushes, little to each other, along the deep and and downcast looks, and hearty laugh- warm lanes overgrown with grass, ter; and eyes, and teeth, and cheeks and inclosed between high banks and and' lips, and soul, all seemed possess- bushy hedges. The nightingale was ed by some imp of heedless merriment. still heard in the distance. The wild So was it this morning. As soon as rose and the honeysuckle climbed on breakfast was over, she put on her either hand, and were interwoven with
the flowers of the bind-weed and the
“Our hay is very well saved this nightshade. The perfume from the year, Ann—and it is very pleasant to white and purple clover fields filled be here with you—I mean, I like u all the air. Now and then James to be together.” caught at a wild-flower, and gave it " So do I." 10 An, who took it, and only said, in, Ann, will you marry me?" a low voice - Thank you." And still
A long pause followed, and then a los they wandered on, till they turned “ Yes," and she hung down her head through a gap into the thick dark Their happiness need not be describei
. copse. They passed forward through But marble balconies, or silken parithe green shadows, broken here and lions, never witnessed a fonder kis there by some straggling beam of yel. than that in which their lips united, as low light till they reached a point on they sat upon the old oak-stump. the banks above a little stream, glan When they returned by moonlight cing away under its screen of hazel to the farm-house, Ann's manner was and alder. Here they found the broad much altered. She went silently grey table left in cutting down an through the kitchen, where the old enormous oak-tree. On this Ann couple sat, to her own room; and seated herself, and James sat beside James, too who remained with his her. He poked the ground before parents, held his tongue for a few mi. him with his stick. She settled her nutes. Then he burst into a loud nosegay, and stuck it in her breast. laugh, and jumped up and told his At last he said, “ Ann, I have some story, and hugged his mother in his thing-something--something—to say arms, and asked his father's consent, to you.”
and could not finish a sentence till be · Well-well-well — James, what ended in a fit of tears, which changed
again to laughter. • It is a very fine evening.”
That night their supper was peaceAnn drew a long sigh, as if relieved ful and joyous, as if it had been a from a great fright, and answered, meal in Paradise before the Fall of - Yes, it is, very fine.”
The next day, at Burntwood farm, away without writing to you. I reachwas strangely in contrast with this ed London at noon on Tuesday, and Sunday evening. A letter came in in the course of that day, I found out the morning to Mr. Wilson, written poor Elizabeth. But as I have writ. in the name of his lost daughter—for ten all about her to father, I shall not she was herself too ill to write-en- say the same things over again to Foz treating his forgiveness, and telling of I was advised to take a bed here at the loss of her husband and child. the Black Bear, by Smithfield, where Their hearts were divided between there are very decent, civil peple, and joy at hearing of her, and grief at the a great many farmers and grazers thought of her sufferings. It was but some of them as I am told, are immediately determined that James only these London chaps dressed up should go to London and see her, and, to look like us from the country, and if possible, remove her to Burnwood. so cheat us unawares.
He set out that afternoon. He wrote knowing fellows many of them look from London to his father, giving an I feel as much ashamed when I look account of his sister's state, and an one of them in the face as if he could nouncing that he would return with see through me, and knew I was never her at once to Burntwood. Ann also in London before. But when any one received by the same post, a letter seems cross at me for staring at from him, ivhich was the longest and him, I take off my
hat like a gentle most' elaborate composition he had man, and make him a low bow, and I ever attempted, or she had ever seen. notice that then they mostly seem The greater portion of it ran ns fol- pleased and good lows:
But, dear Ann, all the farmers and the " Dear Ann, I cannot be so long farming men too, in our country would