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pressed her like the murmurs of a wounded spirit. husband was irritable and impatient, but her con Was earth then left desolate like her own heart, science told her all the while that Amy's penetra and were the glories of autumn to preface forever tive wit and delicate tact must have made her fully the death of winter? Was the same dreary alle- aware, that in every seemingly innocent speech she gory to be forever enacted by the seasons, and was tendering a provocation to his peculiar temper budding hopes, transient blisses, and bright memo- Was this practising that system of adapting herself ries, forever to pass into the chill of disappointment to her lot in life which she had so lately enunciated and the darkness of mortality? This lying-in state and in which Edith so firmly believed? Yet where of the crowned corpse of nature, ere the snow-shroud lay the fault? Edith would not condemn her friend should enwrap her for her funeral, seemed grievous if she could help it; so she fixed her eyes steadily and strange to Edith. “ Will it be always thus ?”' on the undeniable fact that Mr. Dalton was a bore, thought she, " or will the king appear at length and then tried to satisfy her sense of right, by saywhen the festival is made ready, and bid it last for- ing to herself that no woman of Amy's genius and ever? If the hands of angels foster these natural refinement could be expected to tolerate such a beauties, painting the flowers and clouds, and companion, and that, under the circumstances, she spreading the sunlight on the hill-slopes tenderly, behaved wonderfully well. as if stroking the hair of a beloved child, how sor “ Let us walk together," were Amy's first row fully must they give their darlings into their words ; “Mr. Dalton has gone to Hillfield, and we yearly grave-how cheerless must be the lovely shall have the whole morning to ourselves." toils of spring when constant experience has taught Edith wondered how this had been settled, but them to look ever for the destruction of winter!” did not like to ask. Amy turned her speaking And a sudden gust shook the stem of a birch-tree eyes upon her, and, after a pause, added, with a which grew beneath her window, and robbed it of slight laugh, “ You must not judge by what you its last scanty covering; the severed leaves passed see at first, Edith. Mr. Dalton has a very kind through the air with a sound like a low sigh, and heart, but he has a nervous constitution, and an the dismantled branches shivered as though in fear. unfortunately irritable temper. These little scenes The tree stood bare in the broad daylight, but its often happen; but, on the whole, we jog on very form was still beautiful and graceful. Will it be comfortably together." so with the soul when the shadows that soften it Edith literally could not answer her. This was are gone, and the garments that enrobe it are rent her ideal of female perfection speaking of her hus, away?
band ! When she remembered the husband, she Edith leaned her cheek upon her hand. “ There could scarcely wonder at the tone ; but why did they is peace
here at least,” she thought ; "and though marry? She settled, in a parenthesis, that it mus yesierday I was ready to chide nature because she have been compulsory, and, leaving quite out of does not sympathize with man, to-day I could love view the improbability of the supposition, suffered her for that very reason. What should we do herself to give her entire compassion to the victimwithout a refuge from these petty strifes and un- ized wife. They walked together through the worthy troubles? Here before the quiet eyes of park, enjoying quietly the solemn beauty of an earth, her children are ashamed of grief-how much autumnal noon. The silence of a tête-à-tête is more of irritation and bitterness! Why were we sometimes the most eloquent of all conversations. born with hearts which a wasp can sting or a thistle To those who have suffered from the inexorable pierce? How have we the leisure to lament about rule of common society—who know the compulsory little things, or to be angry at trifles? If great sor- effort to talk, or the grievous burden of listeningrow does no more, it at least does this; it lifts us how delicious is that freedom of intercourse in above the details of life, and makes them dwindle in which the soul is suffered to pause in the abundance the distance till we actually forget them, because of its thoughts, and need speak only when the we do not see them. Well is it for those who can thoughts overflow ! Such converse is as unlike the return into the midst of them with the temper small talk by which those shallow familiarities engendered by this forced separation ; well for her sometimes called friendships are cemented, as the who can pass through the city tumult with so much gush of the mountain brook, now leaping over its as this of the nun-spirit in her heart!”
rocky bed, now reposing in some sweet natural The voice of Ainy calling her from the lawn pool, is unlike the regulated outbreaks and trim interrupted this reverie, and Edith obeyed the sum- impetuosity of the water-works at Versailles. mons in a kind of wonder at herself. She was A boy of about eighteen years old, in a groom's beginning to be conscious of a change within her, undress livery, met them, and, taking off his cap, though she could not define it. She knew that she smilingly presented Mrs. Dalton with a piece of was miserable; she was beginning to think that she moss. “ It is the very species I wanted!” cried might have been faulty, and this made hier more she, examining it with childish pleasure. How miserable still, as she strove to repel the thought. glad I am! Where could Paul have found it?" But the sight of this loveless home, and the visible She smiled, and nodded the warmest approbation, fruits of a system of self-pleasing, however innocent and, holding up the moss before the boy's eyes, and lofty may be the tastes which are to be grati- seemed to inquire where he had found it. He fied, without self-discipline, weighed upon her spir-pointed over the hill without speaking, and made its, and disturbed her faith in her former opinions. gestures. Edith for the first time perceived that Then came the unanswerable question, why did he was dumb. He held up both liands twice in these two persons inarry? Unsuited in everything, succession, to imply that he had been to a distance they seemed to be living together without the mys- of twenty miles to seek for the moss. Mrs. Dalton tery of love to render forbearance easy, or the again thanked him by signs, and directed him to enforcement of duty to make them practise it when carry it to the house, and to get some refreshmen. difficult. . But since they were married, Edith, there; and with a bright look and a deep inclina. spoilt child as she was, could not wholly justify her tion he darted away. friend, the agh she tried hard to do so. She “ Poor Paul !” said his mistress ; " he is the toli nerself that Amy was good-humored, while her most grateful creature in the world. Mr. Daltou
took notice of him when he was about five years with perfect amiability of manner, and compleie old, and has provided for him ever since; he was disregard of his visible annoyance, for it was clearly first educated at a deat and dumb school, and after- a sore subject. His deportment grew more and wards brought here, where Mr. Dalton has himself more sullen, and the last few couplets were delivtaught him to perform the duties of groom. Every- ered with an uneasy and uniform growl. When he body said it was foolish and hopeless ; but Mr. closed the book, he began to defend his method of Dalton said the lad was intelligent, and he was reading, and a bland, but harrowing, contest endetermined to try what.could be made of him. So sued, which lasted with a few intervals till they the master was indefatigably patient, and the pupil retired to bed. Edith tried to take interest in it, indefatigably docile, and now he is a most useful and to give her opinion when called for with due servant. Indeed, he has a strange gift for attaching impartiality ; but the graceful contempt of the lady animals; and Emir, my husband's favorite Arab, annoyed her even more than the querulous discomwill scarcely let any one else touch him.” fiture of the gentleman ; and it was with a feeling
“What a strange life it must be,” said Edith, of utter dismay, which would perhaps have been " to live without language, which seems the natu- livelier had she been less unhappy, that she looked ral weapon of the soul, and music, its natural food! forward to the month which she had promised to How very strongly and clearly love must burn in spend at Beechwood Park. an air so unnaturally purified!”
“It does so," replied Amy; “ he loves like a woman-with his whole nature. Did you notice Edith could not sleep, and with the first break of that he wore a knot of autumn flowers in his but- morning she rose, dressed herself, and went out into ton-hole? He once told his master, in his quaint the park to cool her fevered cheeks and aching forebroken phrase, such as he learned for the convey- head in the pure dewy air. She was scarcely to be ance of his thoughts, that · flower scents were his pitied for her wakefulness. “No greater grief,” music.'
says the poet, “ than to remember the happy time “ Amy,” said Edith, pursuing the train of when we are miserable.”—But there is a grief yet thought that to-day seemed to have arisen within greater; it is to dream of the happy time and awake her, “ do you not think that the world of spirits to find it gone forever. If dreams did not renew may be to us what the world of sounds is to him? the past, and resuscitate the dead, they might per--very near—actually present with us, only need- haps avail to refresh the soul as they do the body; ing a change in ourselves to make us conscious of but all who have endured the awakening from such it?”
dreams shrink from inhaling their poisonous sweetA singular emotion was visible in Amy's face, ness again. They are the mirage in the desert of like the rekindling of a quenched memory, and she life, making its dryness intolerable to the fainting made no answer.
pilgrim. “ How sweet and how fearful,"continued Edith, Edith walked listlessly over the green-sward, “ would be the visible presence of an angel! Could scarcely heeding whither she went, but feeling a we ever do wrong then? could we even be un- kind of satisfaction in the idea that she was the only happy? Oh, Amy,” she added suddenly, her person astir in those tranquil solitudes. She was voice faltering, “ if human love only did not fail, full of bitterness, and ready to fall into that which would it not do all this for us, and more? Should has been called the most immoral of all infidelities we not be always strong, always happy ?" —a distrust of human nature. The mist clung
Amy passed her arm round her waist : “ But around her as coldly and closely as a painful human love does fail,” said she, “ and we must remembrance, and the low wail of the wind seemed learn to live without it. Do not talk of it any like the voice of the future warning her to turn more, Edith; some day you shall tell me all, if you away from it if she could. The only sign of promwill. But you have reminded me of a time-many ise in her heart was that its bitterness was as strong years ago-a time when these thoughts, or thoughts against itself as against others. The past years lay like them, were first put into my mind. I was very before her like corpses, pale, withered, lifeless, and different then. I was a very foolish, happy child; her conscience shrank from inscribing an epitaph I believed just what I was taught, because it was upon their tombs; the coming years crowded 10 taught me, and I had a friend then, who loved me, meet her, like hungry children, and bade her give and whose love failed—do you understand ?—or them food lest they perish like their brethren. mine failed him; it is all the same.” She spoke " Alas! what shall I do?" said she within hervery hurriedly, and broke off with a forced sudden self; “I feel that I have lived to no purpose ; a laugh, painful to hear. Soon afterwards she began cold hand has brushed the bloom of childhood away, to talk un indifferent subjects, and Edith followed and grayness has fallen upon my heart her lead as best she could.
fault? How could I have done otherwise? Why Strange seemed it to Edith that the evening do my thoughts look back and find no restingwhich closed this day should pass as it did. Mr. place? Is there no power by which the moments Dalton viunteered to read aloud Tennyson's can be bound over to minister to future comfort ?
Locksley Hall,” which he delivered with a pom- But, what shall I do? I have lived only to myself, pous trepidation very fatal to the flow of the metre, and now that I would fain do better, I have no one to say nothing of the sentiment. You might have to live for. Well did Amy say that all love fails." kept time to his declamation with a metronome, and She had reached a small side gate that opened into counted his accents by beat of drum. Five notes a lane beyond the grounds, and pausing, as is so had he in his natural' voice, and on these five he natural when full of thought, at the first trivial swung to and fro with a ruthless precision-now obstacle which presented itself, she leaned on the ip, now down, as their turn came, regardless of low boundary wall, and covered her face with her he words which were crushed by his bass or tor- hands. A footstep close at her side startled her; cured by his treble. Edith endured in silence; she looked up and saw the poor dumb lad whose Mrs. Hálton interrupted him every two minutes to story had so much interested her on the previous question the accentuation of a line. This she did evening. With a deep reverence and eager smile.
Is it my
he held the gate open for her and pointed along the lits serene simplicity. When she rose, and voked lane, and Edith, not to scem ungracious, signified round upon the small band of worshippers, a strange her thanks as best she could, and followed the sensation came over her, as though she had made a direction of his finger; she was a little surprised to discovery of something unknown before. Like all find that he, too, left the grounds, and continued to persons of keen sensibility, she had been ever aware walk at a few yards distance behind her.
of an inner, unseen life of feeling and thought carThey advanced along a winding lane partly ried on apart from, and unsuspected by, the life of embowered by trees; the hedges were covered by the world; now she seemed to be obtaining a showers of the graceful clematis, and the banks glimpse of a life of acts and habits, as separate, as feathery with various kinds of fern. No sound secret, as continual. With a kind of awe she looked broke the silence of morning but the note of a upon the faces of those who passed her on their church-bell, swinging upon the air with a measured way out, and her heart said to her, “ 11 hat must and still cadence that seemed the very breath of the day be when the dawn is thus consecrated ?" consolation. There are certain dispositions of Alas, for the deep significance of the question ! sounds and accents which possess a mysterious Alas, that it could only be suggested by the new power of subduing and soothing the feelings, by a ness of wonder! Alas, for the answer which it sudden but gentle process quite as inexplicable to must too often and too surely find ! him who is the subject of it as to anybody else. It But a feeling of timidity roused her from her is as though a voice said unto the raging sea, involuntary musings; by twos and threes, those “Peace, be still!" and the mandate were instantly strangers to whose closest and most hidden thoughts obeyed. Indeed, the whole of our relation to sounds she had just been associating herself by the bond and tones does, perhaps, more than any other of the of mutual confession, prayer, and thanksgiving, phenomena of our existence make us feel that the vere separating and moving away. There seemed prison of the body is shutting us from the spiritual a presence in the holy place which she dared not world, but that we are, nevertheless, in the midst encounter alone, and she turned to quit it. of it. The feelings on which they depend are so As she crossed the churchyard, she was startled intensely vivid, yet so absolutely indefinable; they by the sound of her own name pronounced in a low, seem to affect the soul through the body, yet does hesitating voice; she looked round and beheld Alice their passage so spiritualize the body, that one could Brown, who seemed shrinking at her own audacity almost believe them to reach it through the soul; in having ventured to address her. Edith returned their vehicle is furnished by a science so minute and the greeting most cordially, and, actuated by a sudelaborate; their essence is so impalpable and den and very earnest desire to increase their incommunicable; the profoundest silence seems but acquaintance with each other, joined her in her their temporary sleep, for we know that they live walk towards the town of Beechwood, and exforever; the grandest harmony seems but their pressed her wish with the freedom natural to one crude and imperfect embodiment, for it ceases, and who was accustomed to find her attentions weldies, and ever suggests something beyond itself, so comed as favors. that they may be said to forebode, if they do not “I am so glad to see you again," said she; represent, a nature above the human; to be the may I walk home with you?"! beginning of a faculty which requires eternity for “Will you come to breakfast?"' returned Alice, its development.
with bashful earnestness. “ I was almost afraid to Some such thoughts as these were present to ask, but I should so like to introduce you to Edith's mind, though scarcely perhaps in so definite mamma. a shape, as she listened to the low pulsations of Edith readily acquiesced; she looked round for sound, soft and regular as those of a devout and Paul, charged him with a pencil note to Mrs. Dalsubdued heart, and her eyes glanced from time to ton, explaining her absence, and, smilingly returntime upon her speechless companion. A turn of ing his bow, passed her arm through that of Alice, the lane brought them unexpectedly in view of the and walked away with a sensation more nearly church whence the gentle summons was issuing approaching to pleasure than any which she had for It was a small and ancient building, with many some time experienced. traces of original beauty visible through long neg “Do you know that poor boy?” said she, beginlect and grievous defacement, and with not a few ning the conversation, as we always do when we signs of present care—not a few symptoms of the feel deeply, with a subject of which she was not beginning of restoration. Even in its worst days, thinking; “ does he often come here? I wonder the tapering spire had ever pierced the blue skies, whether he at all understands why he comes. the low-browed doorway had ever symbolized the “I scarcely think his understanding it signifies.' mode of access to that upward path; and now it returned Alice; “his imperfect worship is probably was evident that loving hands had been busy in far purer than ours. He has been a daily attendant guarding the foundations from damp, and the walls here for more than a year; and I can fancy that I from decay—in repairing what had been broken, read in his face the history of the silent change that and replacing what had been lost. The door stood has gradually been wrought within him during that open, and Edith saw that her attendant was pausing time.' for her to enter, in order that he might follow her; “ Has there been a change, then?” asked Edith she obeyed the silent invitation, went in, and yield Oh, yes," was the reply; "he used to be very ing to the vague impulse of self-condemnation just passionate and subject to fits of gloom and seeming awakened within her, kneeled down in the place jealousy, for his affections were always most tennearest the door, and, bowing her forehead upon der. These paroxysms were scarcely noticeable in her hands, joined in the service with the feelings of him as a child, but they increased to a great degree & penitent. The deat nute was not far from her, after his education was begun." und she could not help being struck by the rever “ That seems strange. ence and apparent devotion with which he followed “Do you know I think it is quite natural; for, the movements of the congregation, and by the you see, at first he must have lived in a kind of expression of his upturned face, almost childish in lunconscious state, very difficult to imagine ; less
advanced even than childhood—a perpetual infancy | us -his upward look is so bright and steadfast. You both of heart and mind. And then they awakened know it is not impossible that God may open his his reason and his devotional feelings, but these eyes to see them as a compensation for the privamust have acted strangely and separately from each tion of his other senses.” other. For no quiet habitual exercise was provided
Edith felt almost awe-struck at the simple expresfor such beginnings of religious perception as he sion of an habitual faith in that which to her had was capable of experiencing-no actual daily obe- been the conjecture of a moment of highly-wrought dience demanded; he was still cut off from all union feeling. After an instant's pause, Alice continued : with others; he was made to understand dimly that –“ And now it is beautiful to see how his whole he was responsible, and yet he did not find himself life seems to be made up of love. Gradually he living un'er a law."
has made acquaintance with all those whom he is “Oh, p..y go on,” cried Edith, as her compan- in the habit of meeting here, and there is not one ion stopped, apparently somewhat ashamed of speak to whom he has not endeared himself-nut one in ing at so much length, “ I do not quite understand. whose prayers he has not a special remembrance. Surely, the moment he was taught to know right He often waits for me in the porch with a nosegay from wrong he found himself living under a law." of flowers from his own little garden at Beechwood
“ Yes, ,” returned Alice ; “but there always Park. But his chief intimacy is with three little seems to me to be such a difference between law children who live in a cottage about half a mile off, of that kind which you are tanght in theory and and come to this church every morning. He takes which comes into action when temptation assails us, such care of them; in wet weather he always and one which forestalls temptation, and preoccu- brings an umbrella and takes them home himself, pies the ground by prescribing a round of duties and sheltering them so anxiously; and he stops them in suggesting a course of thought. Only just think! the doorway, as they come in, to see whether their If we could but keep an angel within the heart, it feet are wet, and wraps them up so tenderly when seems to me that evil spirits would fee away faster they go out; and they play with him and caress and further than if we had only barred the door him, as I have seen a kitten play with a great against them.”
Newfoundland dog, making him understand every; “ Like filling every corner of ground with flow- thing they want to express by their gestures and ers, so as to have no room for weeds," said Edith. coaxing looks." “Ah, if we could only do so! But suppose the Edith had fallen into thought, so that she scarcely weeds have grown up without our heeding them?'' listened to this little history of poor Paul and his
" Then I think there is nothing for us but hard friends. Suddenly rousing herself, she said with work," answered Alice. “ We cannot have a vir- some abruptness, " And now tell me about yourself, gin soil twice in our lives, can we?”!
Miss Brown—Alice, if I may call you so. I want “No, no," said Edith bitterly," and therefore to know how you are going on. it is useless to try. There are not two mornings The face of Alice was instantly covered with the to one day, nor two childhoods, nor two spring- deepest crimson. Averting it, she answered hurtimes!. Once gone, forever gone,' is the inscrip- riedly, but very gently, “ Thank you, dear Miss tion written on each hour of life."
Kinnaird—I quite understand what you mean. I Her companion looked at her wonderingly, and am wiser now, I hope, than I was when I last saw presently said, blushing very deeply, “ I know that you, and you were so kind to me. Oh! how kind is all very true, but still is it not a little severe to you were! I have often thought of it, and wanted say that it is useless to try? I often think that to thank you; at every moment of this conversacharity must be the most difficult of all duties to tion I have been wishing to tell you how grateful I those who are not weak, foolish, and faulty as I am-but-you see—it is a subject of which I am am; to those whose strength has never, or very ashamed, as I have reason to be, and so I did not seldom, failed them. When one is very, very often like to begin it.” wrong, and yet not without hope, one learns to feel “Pray, pray, do not thank me," said Edith ; that there is no one who may not hope too.” "you have as little reason to thank me as to blame
“Oh! my dear Alice !” exclaimed Edith, grasp- yourself. I was very heedless—I am afraid I have ing her hand, you did not understand me! If I given you pain." exclude anybody, I exclude-but never mind what I No, indeed,” replied Alice, again turning her really meant. Only remember, that I did not mean face to her companion, and speaking with animawhat you thought I did. And now let us go on tion. Tears were in her eyes and on her cheeks, with poor Paul's history. He, it seems, had all but the emotion was perfectly quiet, and only this hard work of which you were speaking, for he slight quivering was discernible in her voice. "I had to conquer a violent and sullen temper. am very glad that you spared me the effort of speak
“ It seemed to be rather displaced than con- ing first. Thank you for feeling an interest about quered," answered Alice; " you know the case of me. I have several pupils to whom I teach music, a creature so unfortunate, would be no rule for work, and-drawing-only the beginning, you know. others. I cannot suppose there was much actual I have not a day unoccupied, and I earn quite enough guilt in his outbreaks of passion. However, they for mamma and myself to live upon very comfortably. are over now, and he seems quite happy. I think Is it not delightful that I am able to do so? I ought his chief comfort was, that he began to feel, per- to be quite happy.'' haps unconsciously, that there was one sense in “Quite happy!” thought Edith ; " and this is how which he was not the isolated, solitary creature he the destruction of the hope of a life may be borne! . had always seemed to be. Here," and she looked Felt, too, so keenly at the time-so keenly, even upward to the white spire still visible above the now,” she added, as she met her friend's tearful trees, he felt that he was a member of a body-smile," and in the midst of poverty and wearisome that he was one with those among whom he wor
labor!” shipped. And I have sometimes almost thought," “Alice !" she cried, yielding to an irresistible she added, dropping her voice, and hesitating a lit- impulse, " I wish from my heart I were you!" Je, " that he may see the angels worshipping with Alice looked at her with undisguised astonish
ment. “I am sure I should be well contented with very kindly, and the momentary annoyance wlich the change," said she, playfully. Then, with the she evidently felt at having no betier entertainment delicate tact which nothing but keen sympathy can to offer her, passed away almost before it could be give, perceiving that some new and deep sorrow perceived, in her gratification at her daughter's lay at ihe bottom of so strange a wish, and divining pleasure, whose pleasures were so few. from Edith's sudden embarrassment that it was one “You must put off your pupils for one hour towhich could not be ultered, she began to speak of day, Alice, darling," said she. other things, to describe her manner of life, to tell Oh no, mamma,
was the answer ;
“ Miss of the various shades of character and talent among Kinnaird will, I am sure, excuse me for going as her young pupils, seeking to win Edith's interest soon as we have breakfasted. It would be a great for things so simple and so personally connected indulgence to stay,” she added, turning to Edith, with herself, that it seemed like pleading for such“ but I must not break an appointment, must I ?" a further advance of friendship, as might, ere long, “Don't ask me,” said Edith, “ if you want to entitle her to confidence.
be confirmed in doing an unpleasant duty ; I have a How common a mistake it is for those who feel very expansive conscience in such matters, and I keenly and are anxious not to betray their feelings, shall certainly advise you to stay." to suppose that the silence, or the unwary word, or “ But your head ached yesterday,” interposed the change of subject, or the indifference of tone in Mrs. Brown, looking at her daughter with that him who listens, proves that the secret is still un- indescribable expression of anxiety which indicates guessed! How often are all these only the shyness a habit, not a mood ; “and, indeed, you are lookof sincere love which waits for leave ere it will tell ing tired. Do stay, Alice—to oblige me,
love." how much it knows! How often are they the re Well, mamma,” returned Alice, kissing her, sult of a sympathy so profound and so perfect that " if you make a personal favor of it, I suppose I it forebodes what it does not know, but with the must; but I do assure you I am perfectly well; modesty of true friendship, shrinks from assuming and you know I must be in a strange state of health, more than the will of the friend has accorded — indeed, if an hour more or less could make a differshrinks even from seeming to suggest or to desire ence to me.” what that will has not spontaneously originated ! Mrs. Brown suppressed a sigh as she turned to Thus may the very delicacy of affection pass for the breakfast-table, and began to converse with her coldness—but it is a coldness, which, like that of guest; and Edith's heart felt oppressed by the ideas the polar regions, burns like fire if you grasp it un- which this little scene had awakened. Alice did, awares. Strange is it, brother mortals, that our indeed, look sickly, though not absolutely ill; and hearts are not suffered to touch cach other, so as to she pictured to herself the daily sufferings of the reveal the undiscovered harmonies which sleep mother who was obliged to see her child daily taxed among their chords! Oh! thou who despairest of to the utinost of her strength, perhaps a little life and man, who hast found no sympathy or com- beyond it; and whom the despot poveriy actually fort among thy fellows, and hast taken desolate prevented from doing anything to retard the gradself-dependence and cold distrustfulness for thy ual sacrifice. bosom companions, put away from thee this natural But Alice seemed to feel that her mother's eyes bitterness, and think within thyself of that fair rested wistfully upon her from time to time, and morning in Paradise, when many spirits shall gather she answered their silent inquiry by assuming a round thee and say, “ I wept for thee—and I re- degree of liveliness unlike her usually shy manner. membered thee in my prayers—and I watched thee, She talked and laughed, ran from one subject to and grieved for thee, and knew what thou hadst to another, and contrived to lull all suspicion by her suffer—and thou knewest it not !" If the open unwonted gayety. Edith was struck by the unutreasons and chilly repulses which we encounter at sual simplicity of character apparent in all she said; the hands of our brethren must needs be remem- her talk was as unlike the ordinary rattle of a girl bered, let not the unknown sympathies be quite of nineteen as it was possible to conceive. And forgotten!
this not because it was more intellectual, for there They were now entering the town of Beechwood, was no appearance of talent about her, but rather and a very few minutes more brought them to because it was more childish. Flowers, of which. Alice's humble dwelling. With eager, but some- even in that small room, and at that unfavorable what timid hospitality, she conducted Edith up season, she had a goodly show, and books, were stairs, assisted her in removing her bonnet and her principal topics; the former she exhibited to shawl, and, having quickly completed her own sim- Edith with unfeigned delight, expatiating on the ple toilette, ushered her into the one small sitting- past beauty of those which were now withering room, where Mrs. Brown was awaiting them at with as much enthusiasm as could have been the breakfast-table. Alice's mother was very un- demonstrated by the faded belles themselves, had like the person that Edith had expected to see. nature gifted them with tongues ; the latter she disHer countenance and manners were full of subdued cussed with at least equal animation, speaking of vivacity; and the former was still so exceedingly all the imaginary characters in poem or tale exactly Icvely, though more than sixty years had passed as if they had really lived, and she had known them over it, that it contrasted strangely with her daugh- personally. Edith took pains to discover her tasies, ter's, which, as we have before said, was wholly and could scarcely help smiling at the eager sparkle without attraction, except from expression. She of happiness which came into her face when, in had that peculiarity sometimes to be observed in Mrs. Dalton's name, she offered her access to the persons who have suffered many sorrows, but whose library at Beechwood. The hours slipped rapidly temperament is naturally buoyant. Her face in away, and when Edith, having parted from her repose, or in its ordinary expression, was bright new friend with many promises of visiting her and cheerful; but her smile was melancholy itself. again, walked slowly homewards, her thoughts There was in it a flash of exceeding joyousness, so were so fully and so deeply occupied, that she tremulous and so transient, that you involuntarily could scarcely shake off her abstraction sufficiently expected il to end in tears. She welcomed Edith | to escape comment from her host and hostess. Nc