Page images



Journal of Fiction.




"And didst thou know the comfort of two hearts
In one delicious harmony united?

As to joy one joy, and think both one thought:
Live both one life, and therein double life?"


THEY are all bubbles; our thoughts, wishes, hopes, anxieties, and fears. For a brief time they either glitter in the sunshine or tremble in the storm, and then, mingling with thin air, float away, and are seen no more. So thought the once gay and still beautiful Mary Myrvin, the widow of a Scottish clergyman; the mother of two animated and affectionate children, who, with the happy thoughtlessness of youth, sat at their mother's feet, and beneath the shadow of their father's picture, blowing bubbles, and laughing as they burst, or floated round the chamber.

There has ever been to me something of thrilling sadness in the dress and appearance of a young widow, but I never thought it so perfect an index of the heart's bereavement until I knew Mrs. Myrvin; yet there was nothing peculiar in her story. It is an every day occurrence in woman's life. She had loved, and married. Her husband, always in de


licate health, at length fell a victim to consumption. Her means were limited, but she did not repine; a murmur was never heard to escape her lips. She became both preceptor and servant to her two children; and so admirably did she attend to the duties of each, that it would be difficult to determine which she performed best; her life was one continued precept of excellence, without the pedantry which accompanies precepts spoken by the lips, and in which the heart has often little share. She lived in the small and picturesque village of Lilyburn, not far from Paisley, and many a prudent, sensible "auld wife,” wished from the very heart that their sons might be fortunate enough to meet with “sae prudent and well-favoured a body as Mary Myrvin." I cannot say the fame of her beauty, but rather that the reputation of her industry and good sense was often the subject of conversation among the rich and poor of Lilyburn, all of whom were anxious to contribute towards Mrs. Myrvin's enjoyment. Her cottage garden was filled with the finest plants; and the poor labourers, to whom she had often read and expounded the precious gospel, if they could bestow nothing else, would come in the early morning, weed, and plant, and train her flowers, or cultivate her vegetables; so that her garden was always neat and productive.

Mary was but two-and-twenty when her husband died; and she had been three years a widow before even village gossip ventured to say it was likely she would ever again become a wife. At last the rumour ran that no less a person than David Gordon, a rich and wealthy baillie, was deeply enamoured of the fair widow of Lilyburn, and would undoubtedly make her an offer. He was a handsome, portly man, with a certain air of importance which said "I'm a baillie of Paisley ;" and there was united to this a rough and rude good-nature which rendered him popular with all the children of all his acquaintances; he had given little Jenny Myrvin a beautiful China bowl in which to manufacture

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »