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I had passed that most critical and God has set it. Vainly we seek to reanxious period in love's ante-matrimonial produce the idea in language of our own; existence, when the tongue repeating the the chisel, by a faithful transcript of the soft confession of the eye—that willful character, may preserve the thought, but tell-tale-requests the hand as a surety the translation is cold enough beside the for the heart; and that eventful moment breathing original. Am I heard by one was to me much more blissful in the re- whose heart still retains a yearning after trospect, than it had been in its advent. some long-lost, lovely image, and recogIt is quite as difficult to express the word nizes in that an excellence he has never
engaged,” as the word “exchange,” by seen and never expects to see ? Let him any circumlocution.
But to some tech- seek for words adequate to his conception, nical terms I have an insuperable repug- and he will feel the insufficiency of his nance, and if the reader cannot infer my vocabulary. Is there another, whose relations with Emily from what precedes, slumbers have been the sea from which he must remain in ignorance or be enlight- some Venus sprung ? Have his waking ened by the sequel.
moments allowed him to recall, much less I have seen the white, staglike throat of to describe, the perfection of the appariEnglish beauty, the winning languor and tion ? I will say no more of Emily's polished cheek of the German, the beauty. thoughtful brow and flashing eye of the “I know not how much truth,” said Italian dama; the melancholy, passionate M-, “may be in the saying that 'best Castilian, with her goddess walk, and the men are moulded out of faults.' Shakchameleon features of the Parisian belle, speare subjoins a query to the proposition. yet I know not whether, out of them all, But I sincerely hope that our friend Alfred I could have produced a combination and may become the better, for being a little a form to equal Emily's. This is not the bad.' Well, since you are looking at boisterous language of youthful love, but Emily, instead of listening to me—but the vivid, unexaggerated reminiscence of that is the prerogative of youth, and the an aged man. It is not because I lavished fate of
age. upon her the first and last offerings of I heard him, it is true, but almost as my heart, that I represent her thus beau- unconsciously as Lovel heard the motto of tiful; had she been less fair, I would not the venerable Aldobrand, or the Antithe less willingly confess my worship, but quary's learned dissertation upon the simply because I wish to describe her as devices on the turrets of Knockwinnock she was, not otherwise. Even now I ca Castle. Before I could command an aponot recall without pain her fragile form logy, he had saluted his daughter, and and exquisite loveliness. Hers was not a was proceeding directly to the mansion beauty to one thing constant ever, but like house. Nourmahal's, ever in motion, flying
Emily was not pale, and the slight glow upon her cheek
gave me assurance of her “ From the lips to the cheeks, from the cheeks to health ; but as I approached her, an air
of exhaustion and an unusual sadness beYet there is but one expression for the came too perceptible. She replied with highest female beauty—the type in which evident difficulty to my inquiries. That
hesitation was not produced by embarrass- and fell from an altitude of a foot, or more, ment; would to God it had been !
into a deep, pebbled basin. I drew her arm in mine, and as we Emily's agitation increased as we apmoved slowly over the gravelled path, my proached it. I besought her in vain to emotions were very different from those I explain her singular behavior; she rehad experienced when pursuing that same turned no answer. . path so shortly before. The sun was mid- On either side of the spring was the way in his march, but the meeting trees com
relic of a miniature flower-bed, now pletely excluded his rays, and combined adorned only by a solitary rose-bush, with the breeze, which seemed never to which supported a single flower over the desert this lovely place, permitted us a clear murmuring water at our feet. And cool and shady walk. The restless cat- there it hung in all the pride of conscious bird kept tuning his exhaustless throat, as loveliness, like some favored maiden over if preparing for some set melody which the mirror that reflects her charms. is never vouchsafed, and the venturesome This is all that remains! Oh, do not robin settled almost at our feet; they ap- pluck it!" she said, arresting my outpeared joyful enough.
stretched arm. “Do not shorten an existI could not explain Emily's unusual ence already too brief !” melancholy, but it was impossible not to “I merely intended to change its poshare it. I rallied her upon insulting the sition, and prevent that unceasing gaze at smiling face of nature with such an un- its own reflection." reasonable dejection; but her very smile “Yes, do so," she rejoined, "for it prevented a second essay of the kind would soon be compelled to witness its Her eyes were once or twice dimmed with decay. Yet the fragile bush has survived tears; but I could say nothing:
our sturdier old seat itself. Will you un“Do you see that path ?" she said, dertake to reconstruct it ?” pointing as breaking a silence not altogether painful, she spoke to some fragments lying in the and pointing to a faintly marked impression shade of a gigantic chestnut tree. upon the thin grass; “it is nearly extinct With the assistance of sundry stones, I now, but it was once as well defined as soon transformed the ruins into a settee, this. Not a day passed that I did not though not of the most inviting kind. leave the impress of my foot upon it. I • My handkerchief is the only cushion I stepped more lightly then, or it would now can offer you, Emily.” be deeper. It is long since I last followed And I could even dispense with that. it. Fanny and I made it many years ago, Those little beds,” she said, as she seated
we struck upon the circuitous line, herself, were made by Fanny and me, when our little feet required the aid of when it was our highest ambition and our hands to fashion it."
dearest pleasure to see them bloom. We “Where does it lead to, Emily?" I in- planted there hyacinths, carnations, lilies, quired.
and all the seeds within our reach. Every “ To a spring not very far distant. Do morning and evening we visited our flownot expect any surprising development; ers, and counted each bud as it slowly but it is, or rather was, a sweet spot, and opened, chiding them for not maturing so I was dearly attached to it.”
fast as we desired; but they must have She spoke with more composure, but unfolded as rapidly as the wings of the there was still the same profound melan- startled dove, to keep pace with our choly in her voice, and the same depres- eager wishes. We would pass whole sion of feature. As we descended into a days here, tending our motley pets, or gully, feathered with laurel bushes, she conning our picture-books upon this seat, pointed to a recess in the opposite bank, which our good Robin made for us. For which rose by a steep and wild ascent to many summers this was our Eden. But a considerable height. Beneath an arch you shall hear how our Paradise was scooped with the regularity of art, yet blighted. An old woman, who nursed evidently carved by nature out of the hard, my mother and myself, and to whom I naked granite, a small stream of water was much attached, was in the habit of gushed from a lip-like crevice in the rock, / visiting us once a week; she would not
live with us, because she fancied that a | ing, not under my burden, but from agidaughter of hers, in your city, required tation. But it was all over! My child, her guardian care. One afternoon, I pre- your mother was dead ! For three nights vailed upon her to accompany me to our I watched her pallid face, but not a sylvan grotto, though she alleged the muscle moved ; an affection of the heart fatigue of the walk in excuse, and pleaded | had stopped its beating forever. Lead me inability to surmount the stones. I led hence, my child! I cannot remain !" her safely down that slope to this very “ The old idiot!" I muttered internally, seat, and filling a glass at the fountain, seeing that Emily wept at the recital of held it to her lips. She had covered her the old woman's sad story. eyes, and was sobbing bitterly. Of course, "During this fearful communication," I could not understand this; but I em- Emily continued, after a short pause, ployed to console her all my eloquence, which I now for the first time heard, which was limited, as well as I remem- my father having before and since studiber, to “What ails you ?' Oh dear, ously concealed from me the circumstances dear, do not cry so l' a brief synopsis of of my mother's death, I felt a connection condolence in general. I was seated be- between this spot and an indefinite sense side her, watching her in mute amazement, of something inexpressibly gloomy and when she suddenly caught me in her arms horrible arise in my soul. As I walked and drew me to her breast.
away with the nurse, I even feared to turn “My child, why have you brought back my head. What had before been so me here ?" she said. "Oh your poor- beautiful and inviting, was completely
” dear mother !"
metamorphosed into a dark, forbidding I had a vague recollection of my moth- sepulchre. I could not be prevailed on er; such, perhaps, as new-born babes to return—and Fanny, finding her efforts may have of a former and happier exist- fruitless, permitted our once delightful ence, or of the angels that make them haunt and its cherished embellishments to smile in their sleep.
go to decay. Even now, I feel like the “Listen to me, child !" the old woman nerveless monarch of Spain in the splenresumed, mastering her emotion. • This did torch-lit tomb of his ancestors, more was your mother's favorite resort. She nearly allied to the shrouded dead than would often wander here at this season, to the living. I fear,” here her voice falwith you
in her arms, to lull you to sleep tered, “I have inherited that awful malawith the murmuring of that fountain ; and dy! Often have violent throbbings and a when your
little eyes were closed.fast, she sudden pang awakened sad forebodings ; would surrender you up to me, and remain but I ascribed them to an imagination here for hours to read or meditate. One preyed upon by the nurse's narrative, delicious afternoon—oh God! I never which defied me to forget it, and, unbidden can forget it-your mother had been un- and unwelcome, threw its corroding shadwell all day ; she fancied that a walk to ow on all my thoughts and day-dreams. the spring would refresh her. You were Last night, the palpitation of my heart then in
your fourth summer, and tottered was so alarming that I could not sleep. along at your mother's side with your I was tempted at times to wake my father hand in hers. It was then that she took and disclose all the fears I have hitherto from me the glass I carried in my hand, locked within my own breast, for I know filled it just as you did a moment ago, the misery into which a confession would in the same attitude, and was carrying it plunge him. That fearful beating attacked to her lips, when it dropped from her me again when I first saw you this morngrasp, and pressing both hands on her ing, and I could with difficulty pronounce heart she fell with a groan at my feet. the ordinary words of greeting.' I had often heard her complain of op- “ And can you really credit your erring pression at the heart and violent palpita- fancies ?" I said, in a tone intended to be tion, and an awful suspicion crossed my playful. mind-it was but too true.
Fancy! Would I could think it so! “I raised her in my arms, and bidding Fancy and Reality are sisters; and if at you follow us, carried her home, stagger- times we mistake the former for the lat
ter, we are just as apt to call the younger | from Washington's own hand, for some by the elder sister's name.”
trifling service rendered when a boy, and “ But what inclines you, Emily," I in- no much-prized locket was ever regarded quired, willing to divert her for a moment with more devout veneration. Once, infrom our melancholy topic, “to make deed, he parted with it for a time, and the Fancy older than Reality, since our ideas circumstance is so characteristic of the are posterior to the objects which suggest man, that I must beg leave to insert it. them ?”
M- had dispatched him to town on “It was a whim of the moment, and some business, where, in passing along, indeed I know not why, unless it be that he was attracted by a young woman with God imagined matter before he called the remains of beauty, bearing a child in it into being. It is not fair to play her arms, asking alms. She was invariupon a word, or I might furnish another ably refused; reflecting men and women argument. I knew you would attribute shook their heads, eyed her suspiciously, my apprehensions to imagination; our and passed on. Robin kept his eye on physician, Dr. R—whom I secretly her, and saw her enter a bakery, whence consulted under cover of a fever, did the she was speedily ejected by the charming
But the wisest may err, while the Ceres behind the counter, who followed thrilling, penetrating voice of disregarded her to the door, exclaiming, “ Begone, presentiment fulfils its prophecy. Oh! it miss! Begone, madam! We bake here is horrible to pursue the ordinary avoca- for honest folks!” tions of life, with death, like a trained This was too much for Robin, but not a pointer, skulking at your side! To speed cent had he about him save the General's through the air on buoyant wing while the shilling. It was a struggle worthy of
a deadly sight is drawn upon you! To Coriolanus. But Robin's eccentricity bound wildly on like the stag, while the could never cope with his benevolence; pack bays close behind; or skim along he twisted off the venerable memento, like the gazelle, while the fatal falcon supplied the meek supplicant with its circles o'er your head.”
value in bread, and then ran home-three Yet why protract an interview painful miles--and back again, to redeem it before to remember, doubly painful to describe ? it had got into circulation, and he was It was terminated by Robin's peremptory fortunate enough to recover his talisman. summons to dinner.
Emily and I rose at his grave command, Imagine a tall, swarthy, sinewy man, of and he led the way with a martial step to forty-five, with large hands and feet, high the mansion. Emily proceeded at once to and scantily covered cheek-bones, aquiline her room, and I joined M-in the airy nose, large mouth, thick black hair, and and ample hall. blacker eyes, one of which was so set as "So you have been detaining Emily in to be everlastingly peering at the over- the sun,” he said, “for more than three hanging extremity of a remarkably long mortal hours. She must be brown as and shaggy eyebrow, and you will have Semiramis.” a general idea of Robin's exterior. The “Pardon me, sir; it was in the shade ; ordinary character of his face was stern for the foliage, ripened by the sun, and almost repulsive; and only at times a smile of inimitable sweetness and benev
• Forbade the sun to enter; like favorites
Made proud by princes, that advance their olence gave token of the gentle spirit
pride dden within the rough shell of the out
Against the power that bred it.'” ward man.
On the present occasion his demeanor was unusually sedate, and he “May the ghost of Shakspeare pardon beckoned us to dinner with the air of an me!” returned M- - but I have alexecutioner. He had fought in the Revo-ways thought the shade-bestowing leaves lution, but of this, strange to say, he and honeysuckles, like those same favorites, never spoke. Around his neck, and next jealous lest the rays of royal favor should his bosom, was hung by a silken cord an illumine aught beneath them. But how old shilling, which I believe he valued those noble lines march along, like Leonmore than his life. He had received it | idas to Thermopylæ! Let us imitate them
now by a march to dinner, for here comes At the conclusion of our repast, Robin Robin to summon us, and Emily will join entered, bearing cautiously on a silver salus before we have carved our way to ver a single bottle, well laced with antique Elysium."
cobwebs, so as to resemble some beggared He led the way, and I followed, to a follower of Charles II. during the Protecbanquet worthy of Apicius.
torate, the spirit of loyalty still glowing We had not been long seated, when brightly beneath his dilapidated garment. Emily entered. She had doffed her che- The precious liquid was decanted with all quered morning-gown for a dress of the the ceremony that its racy and refined purest white. Her face was calm and flavor warranted. Emily rose she even cheerful; I could scarcely withdraw touched the glass to her lips, saying, my gaze from her clear, polished forehead “You to your wine and I—to my harp. and eye, whose quality of light was ex- Play softly, my child,” said Mquisite indeed.
She either felt or affected “ for Bacchus must not be a second time the liveliest pleasure, and displayed a con-assailed with the chorus of the frogs.” versational power almost equal to her “You have never given me the history father's, and quite as captivating. It is of this wine," I observed, as Emily left surely one of the most gratifying cordials the room. "in this melancholy vale," to witness “No! and I never shall. I hate to some lovely young woman discover with hear a wine's pedigree paraded like a out art, effort, or pedantry, in tones of horse's; it is in bad taste, and a poor subrichest eloquence, the treasures of a gifted stitute for better conversation. Wine and highly cultured mind-a mind not in- should be judged by its inspiration. We ferior to that which Schiller has well are too republican here to value ancestry described as “insatiable, ever stretching in anything. ” into the dim distance, and pursuing through · And yet you are very apt to inquire the remotest stars the image of its dreams." about a man's father,” I said, very quiSuch a spectacle gives a man assurance etly. that woman's sensorium is not limited to * Well, you are half right, my boy, notbeing pleased with a trinket or tickled withstanding Eve brought forth Cain ; with a compliment; that she may be children often reflect their parents menrelied on as a companion as well as petted tally and morally, but always physically. as a toy. It is melancholy to see that half of It wounds me to the core, to behold a a generation which principally controls the man cast in one of nature's fairest and destinies of the next, so completely absorb- firmest moulds, unite himself to a dised in the color and fashion of a dress, in eased or unhealthy woman; or to see a compliments as insignificant as the tailor- blooming virgin, the wholesome blood made creatures which concoct them, in their mantling in her cheeks, bestow her hand looking-glasses and in themselves, that upon some sickly, scrofulous wretch really their brains seem to have been en- whose eye is kindled by Hymen, when tirely consumed in the nourishment of the cold hand of Death is laid upon his their hair, which is frequently made to lungs. They should pause before conconceal half the forehead, as if to hide its tracting so fatal an alliance; before gratiemptiness. Or worse even than this, to fying a misplaced and selfish desire at the be thus accosted by one who, despairing expense of their offspring. A man in the of her exterior, has determined to rival choice of a wife, or a woman in the acceptDe Stael, as you assist her to ice-cream- ance of a suitor, owes a duty to their “ Have you read Junius' Letters ? Are country and their descendants. For how you familiar with Plutarch's Lives ?" and can we be justified in deliberately entaila thousand other queries, as abruptly in- ing upon the bone of our bone and flesh troduced to your notice as a sudden of our flesh, an early and premature disstreak of lightning to your neighbor's solution ? If the principle of life is strong barn. Let the galled jade wince, if she within us, we are false to humanity, and will. Alas! I am now
to Heaven, if we wilfully inoculate it with “Indifferent though the smile or frown
decay, and consign the reptile to the craOf beauty be."
dle of the impotent Hercules."