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agitated, thus disturbed—you will not think hardly of Miss Ginevra was to set her cap at Mr. Neville, which me-I know you will not.'
she is very likely to do-for Mrs. Henderson says there “Her voice faltered, and Walter interrupted her. never was a gentleman yet she did not make fall in love
“It is so natural that you should seem depressed with her ; and she was walking home with him yesteryou are so very young. Everything here must appear day; when they passed before the woodman's cottage, strange to you; and you have had attictions,' he added and when they came near the park gate, she turned one still more gently, and glancing at her black dress ; ' and way, and he another : but I don't care ; it don't signity. some of those you love though not taken from you by I won't say another word though she were to be married death, are far away, and you would fain see them again, before you, and you had to be her bridesmaid.' you would fain sce your own home and speak your own “At this climax Grace burst into tears, and Margaret tongue again.'
desired her to leave the room. * She raised her pale but most expressive eyes to his face, and said, slowly
But not so easily was the train of thought these " * There is one at whose feet I should wish to kneel, idle words had conjured up disaissed. once again, before I die ; but he is not where my home
*** • Was it, indeed,' she thought, "a true presentiment It is my mother's uncle,' she continued, as Walter looked at her inquiringly, Father Francesco. He left that cast such a dark shade over the days that preceded
Ginevra's arrival ? Verona a year ago for a distant mission ; he grieved to
llas she come, with her strange leave me, but his duty called him, and he went--for how beauty, with her smooth tongue, with the magic of her long I know not. On earth I may never see him again- genius, and her resistiess captivation, to steal away from but yet I think I shall-not now, not soon-but once
me the heart of Edmund Neville ? Was it to him that more in my life. It is when the agony deepens, and the she addressed, on the night of his arrival, that strain of shades darken that angels are sent to us. Perhaps,'
impassioned harmony which seemed to draw him to her she continued with increasing emotion, perhaps he will side, and to fill his soul with indescribable emotion? She come to me when my strength is failing, and evil is wax
met him yesterday, and spent in his society the very ing strong, and hope is forsaking me-perhaps God will hours in which I wandered alone in silent disappointsend him to say to me, “" Oh thou of little faith wherefore and crowned me with flowers, and affectedly disclaimed
ment; and afterwards she spoke honeyed words to me, didst thou doubt ?!
my praises. But, then, what will follow? What will "Pray for me that my faith may never fail me.'
happen? What can I do? How can I compete with
her? I cannot smile, or sing, or talk, like Ginevra ; I Next morning, Margaret's maid, Grace, brought cannot look like an angel, and act all the time a cruel and
railing accusation against the Papist deceitful part. Is it not hard that she should snatch foreigner,” come to supplant her mistress. “She away from me my cup of hope and happiness, and wring dressed so queer, and never slept anywhere on
iny heart with anguish, which I must bear in secret ? the road, but she was off to church before break- vent in tears)-none must know how I have loved him
for none must know (here the poor child's grief found fast-but all that church-going does not come to how I love him every day more devotedly ; but they good at last.” Margaret rebuked her gossiping will know—they have seen-how Walter will pity me! maid.
(now a burning blush covered her cheeks); and grand“ "What do you or Mrs. Henderson know about it? I think I must be dreaming or mad to suppose it. He has
papa, who was saying yesterday—but it is impossible ; I I dare say we should all be the better of going oftener to but just seen her ; he scarcely knows her. Three short church ; Mr. Sydney thinks so, and walks a great way off days cannot have changed him, and destroyed my happievery day for daily service.'
Her heart is calm and free ; mine is throbbing as ««oh, but your grandpapa’s butler says, Miss, that if it would break from my breast. Shall I tell her that Mr. Walter is a Papist in disguise, and Mrs. Henderson I love him? O no ; I am afraid of her. I cannot upwould not be at all surprised if Miss Ginevra was to talk braid her, and I dare not ask her to have mercy. And him over into being one in good earnest. John said they yet, perhaps, she would.
Can it be that Edmund has were looking at them Papish books in the library last confided to her that he loves me ? and that they met to night, and they were shaking hands over them, and Miss speak of it yesterday?'" Ginevra was crying when he went in to put coals on.'
“ .Shaking hands and crying? what are you talking Scenes followed which could admit of no misabout?' exclaimed Margaret, impatiently; but, at the take, no palliation ; and as often as they met, same moment, she remembered that, when going to bed Maud Vincent had always new stories to tell, and the night before, she had remarked traces of tears on her sister's face, and she felt annoyed at the idea that some fresh proofs to give of Ginevra's baseness and thing had passed between her and Walter with which she hypocrisy. had not been made acquainted. “She treats me as a “* But,' exclaimed Margaret, with impatience (for child,' was her next feeling, “she kisses me, puts flowers she felt the full force of Maud's insinuations), “but can in my hair, calls me her Reine Marguerite ; but, now she really be a miserable hypocrite? Does she feign to that I think about it, not one word has she said to me of serve God, to love goodness, to honour virtue? Is there her thoughts—of her feelings—of her past life-of herself, no reality in her faith, in her piety, in her affections ! 0, in short. And now, it seems, that Walter and she have Maud, she cannot be so disgustingly wicked!' been talking together, in the most confidential manner- My dear child, it does not follow, because your have been forming a secret friendship. I really have sister is a coquette, and, as I sometimes think, more than borne a great deal. I did not mind Mrs. Warren's say- à coquette, that she absolutely feigns the sentiments she ing, rather rudely, before me, how much papa admired seems at times to possess. I dare say she has a sort of her the most her dress, at least, which comes to the half scenic, half romantic religion, which is very common same; and I told her she was the favourite, and that I among Catholics, and which has nothing to do with did not mind it ; and I do not mind it; but if Walter and morality; and I have no doubt that she is very good to she are to have long tête-a-têles, and I am neglected by the poor, and all that sort of thing; but her religion everybody-
teaches that you can make up for every kind of sin by The farther remarks of Grace aggravated good works, of an easy description, and that if you conMargaret's humour, though she indignantly com
fess and get absolution, you may fecl quite satisfied, and manded silence
go on just as before ; so you see that Catholics can be
very religious and very immoral at the same time, with** Very well, Miss, pery well,' murmured Grace, with out being exactly hypocrites.' a look of much resignation. “I will not say another “I see,' said Margaret thoughtfully; that accounts word; no, not if the grass was to be cut from under your | for it all.' feet, or the very bed taken from under you ; no, not if " The oft-repeated slander had been uttered, the false
hood, which the lives of a thousand saints have disproved “At that moment the sound of carriage wheels was - which the voice of the preacher, the pen of the learned, heard, and both sisters started. the experience of millions, and miracles of grace, and • Yes,' exclaimed Margaret, in a loud voice, as the prodigies of penitence daily contradict--had been brought sound died away in the distance. Yes, he is going! he to bear, and Margaret, sighing deeply, carried away with goes! and would to Heaven he had never known you or her, as that conversation ended, an unfavourable impres- me; would to God he had never set his eyes upon us, sion of her sister's character, and a most mistaken view and brought misery to me--and to you! 0! what has of that sister's faith.”
he brought to you? I know not-I dare not-I cannot Ginevra was by this time painfully aware that Ginevra ; for darkness, and silence, and shame hare at
think or speak ; but guilty, very guilty you must be, rumour gave to her sister her own husband, Ed- tended your actions. A false innocence has been on your mund Neville, for a lover ; and still worse, that brow, and a false virtue on your tongue. You have dethe affections of the innocent and unsuspecting ceived me with every feature in your face, and with every Margaret were in imminent danger of entangle- he is gone? But peace, and hope, and trust are gone too
accent of your voice. He is gone : yes, thank Ileaven, ment, of the most terrible kind, which frankness - for ever gone from this, my once happy home. 0, alone could prevent. One day, Maud Vincent, may he never return! May my eyes never behold him on seeing Ginevra leave the room, offered to again! May his own conscience, if deceit and treachery bet anything that sho had gone out to waylay for the misery be has brought upon mc-ay, and upon
have not for ever hardened it, torment and punish him Mr. Neville. It proved so, and Jargaret was
you,' she continued (as Ginevra faintly murmured, · For in every way miserable. Next morning, Neville, God's sake—for merey's sake, do not curse him, Margaby a hasty resolution, was to leave Grantley Manor; ret), ‘you, my fallen, my most unhappy sister. 0, and that night, her motherly governess, still in Ginevra! Ginevra! was it for this that you were made the house as her friend, put his note of farewell so beautiful—so highly gifted—so captivating - to be so into Margaret's hand. She dismissed her maid, infinitely vile? Ginevra, I could hate you for the injury
you have done me, if I did not pity you from my soul. shut the door, prest the note to her lips, and You who know so well, who can talk so well of pure, and burst into tears. In a tumult of foreboding fears, noble, and holy things. you cannot be so hardened—you she read that courteous, cold, commonplace fare- cannot be so dead to all feeling.' well, which extinguished the last lingering hope sou! that made those pale blue eyes so clear and mild in
“ Was it the calm of death-was it the deadness of the in her aching heart.
their meek and most expressive sadness? Was the look A restless and miserable night brought round of tenderness with which she watched the excited and the early hour at which Neville was to set off, and quivering features of her indignant sister, another piece from walking up and down her room, Margaret which she pressed to her heart the small crucifix she
of well-acted deceit, and the convulsive energy with unconsciously opened the door, and looked down
wore round her neck, another proof of hollow formalism the dark gallery.
or miserable hypocrisy ?” “At the farthest end of it a speck of light was visible; We cannot give the entire scene : it is enough it was from the chink of a door; it was scarcely percep that Margaret, struck by her sister's solemn tible, but it was there, and the door was Ginevra's. •0 that I dared to open it,' she exclaimed, that I dare warnings and entreaties, believed her to be, in burst into that room, and kneel to her, whom I wrong so
defiance of the most decided appearances, innogrievously, whom I suspect
cent, pure, and holy. After Ginerra's solemn " The handle of the door on which her eyes were fixed adjuration to her sister to give up all thoughts softly turned, and then she heard again the sound of of Edmund Neville as she would avoid mortal sin, steps, and her soul thickened within her; she thought and to forbear asking for any explanation of her she knew the step, she had so often watched its approach. It had once been music in her ears ; and now, that slow mysterious conduct, she continued :cautious tread sounded like the knell—not of her happi- « « Our paths of duty are different, and though we may ness, that seemed gone already—but of all her future live together, if that even be allowed, we must never forget
that an invisible barrior has risen between us, which you “I will speak to her,' she exclaimed. It is a cannot, and I dare not, remove. If, with a great patience dream, perhaps, and a horrid one. To sce her will dis- and a holy trust, you will bear with me, and suspend hard
thoughts, and abstain from harsh words, it will be a great “She crossed the gallery with trembling steps--she and wonderful effort of virtue ; and hereafter, my sister, paused at the door. The sound of deep and stified sobs you will be glad to think that you did not break a bruised inet her ears-she opened the door; Ginevra was on her reed-but if you cannot, then let God's will be done. Be knees, her hair streaming over her face, and her whole it trial, or be it punishment, I am ready to receive at frame quivering with emotion. At the sound of the your hands far more misery than I have inflicted upon opening door she started up, and extended her arms
you. Only'-she stopped, hesitated, clasped her hands wildly, pushing back the hair from her face, and uttering in supplication, and then, with a burst of such agony as 2 sort of cry of hope and surprise, and some Italian word she had not given way to before, exclaimed-Only, only of endearment. Her eyes were blinded with tears; but spare my father.” in an instant she recognised Margaret, and said,
“ Margaret held ont her hand without looking at her, "" "Sister” in so gentle and utterly mournful a tone, Aung herself into her sister's arms, and both wept with
but, as she was leaving the room, she returned impetuously, that it sounded like a cry for mercy. Margaret stood uncontrolable eruotion; and when these two fair creatures transfixed, bewildered, unable to collect her thoughts ; but her eyes fell at that moment on a travelling fur glove parted, it was with a heavier weight of sorrow on their that lay on the carpet close to the door. She knew it spirits than such young hearts are often doomed to en
dure." well, and a tumultuous tide of passion rushed over her soul, sent the crimson blood into her cheek, and heaved
We see few of the stolen interviews of the married in her swelling and indignant breast. With flashing eyes pair ; but on the evening before Edmund's deand curling lip she held it out to Ginevra, who took it parture they met. inechanically, and pressed her other hand to her throat, formed his uncle, Mr. Warren, that he had
Neville had previously inas if to subdue the convulsive agitation of her frame.
“What do you wish ? What do you want, sister ?' formed an attachment to Ginevra Leslie, whom she asked, as if she did not know what she said. he had met with in Italy, and that his father's
peace of mind.
prejudices alone stood in the way of a marriage,, it had takon to read the will; and when an old squire, upon which all their hopes of happiness were
who was distantly related to him, shook hands with him, placed. Mr. Warren could give his nephew little and whispered— aye, a chip of the old block-a Protes
as they passed through the hall into the drawing-room, hope of overcoming the strong Protestant preju- tant to the back-bone-no Popish wife, hey? the blood dices of Mr. Neville, but he did think that, if the which rushed to his heart did not even tinge his cheek.” urgency of the case were placed before Ginevra,
Not without a struggle, however, did Neville now her scruples might give way; that, where the act the part of a conscious impostor, and allow essentials or fundamentals of religion were almost himself to hold a position from which there seemed identical, she would yield minor or trivial points. to him no honourable or possible means of extriHe, the latitudinarian Protestant, little knew cating himself, unless his wife listened to his soGinevra—the pupil of Father Francesco, and the licitations and arguments, and became a Protesdevoted disciple of “the eternal, divine,” and only tant.
His actual situation he durst not, all at true faith, as she had been taught to believe.
ouce, lay open to the high-souled Ginevra, strong Cheered by Mr. Warren's view of his situation, in her Italian faith, and before whom the path of hope began to revive in the breast of Edmund :
duty ever lay broad and well-defined. She heard of “ But when he met Ginerra on the terrace of the park, the death of her unknown father-in-law, and was on the evening of that day, and they stood alone together, anxious to learn how that event might affect her with the dark wintry sky over their heads, and the gloomy husband or herself. Now, surely, the great obfuture weighing on their hearts, the conflicts of grief and passion, of love and anger, burst all bounds. Her spirit stacle was removed, and the painful secret might rose in that hour, and the smothered fire that mouldered be revealed. With many hopes and fears she so long in her breast, kept under by nights of prayer and broke the seal of Neville's first letter, and readdays of struggle, broke forth at last, and the passion of her Italian nature shook, and almost convulsed her fragile ""So much depends on the spirit in which you will reform. As, in her own tongue, she poured forth the story ceive and read this letter, that I entreat you to pause of her wrongs, and shuddered herself as she told it, deep, before you give way to your feelings and take it for deep into her own heart and into his she dived, and granted, that blindly to adhere, under all circunstances, brushed aside, with impetuous and overpowering reason- to a predetermined course, is the best and highest wising, the vain subterfuges by which he sought to keep the dom. I never felt to love you more than at this moment. truth from her grasp; unrolled the past before his | All that you have been to me since the first hour of our shrinking glance ; and then, with his hand in hers, and acquaintance is present to my mind-your gentleness, pointing to leaven with the other, exclaimed—And your heroic patience, and generous forbearance under the when at the last judgment-seat you stand, how shall you most trying circumstances. I do full justice to the prinanswer to Ilim who made you, for having tempted a ciples that have guided you throughout. I can even human soul into destruction ? No, Edmund, no,' she appreciate and respect the resistance which you have continued, while a torrent of tears fell on his hand, which hitherto offered to my entreaties on a subject, on which she still clasped with both hers. “No! you will never your feelings are admirable, but on which an error in have to answer for such a crime. The day will coine judgment misleads you. When we have adverted to this when you will bless God that I could withstand your tears, point, we have neither of us viewed it with sufficient and wring your heart.'
calmness, or in the dispassionate manner which it de“ She left him abruptly, for the sound of footsteps had mands. It is, doubtless, difficult to be calm when, on the that moment startled them : but he was going the next
decision of another, the happiness or wretchedness of a day, and her conscience reproached her for the vehemence, whole life depends, and when the obstacles that are and her heart smote her for what, in her sensitive raised against the only safe and proper course are the tenderness, she called unkindness. Through that long result of deplorable error and prejudice. You know well evening not one glance of affection could she obtain--not what I allude to; but I must inform you that the reasons one token of pardon.”'
I formerly urged with such earnestness on your consideraNeville reached Clantoy just in time to attend tion, when I implored you to conform to the religion of
your husband and your country, are become tenfold more the obsequies of his father, who had died suddenly: imperative from the tenor of my father's will. In short, The funeral was over-the will of the deceased there is no alternative now between that concession on was read. Edmund, already aware of its con
your part, or such ruin and miscry to us both as cannot tents, and resolved on his part, listened with the be calmly contemplated. I will not go over the ground
that we have but too often trodden before. I will only concentrated calmness of a stoic :
repeat, that what I want of you is no offence against Everything that for years had been possessed by his morality--no abandonment of the service of your Creator; family, the townılands of Clantoy and Eskereen, in Ire- that service which every reasonable creature owes to Him, land, with their rent-rolls of ten and twenty thousand a but which finds its expression in one peculiar form, or in year ; Darrell-court, and its dependencies, in the county another, according to the infinite variety and incident of of
in England; a small estate in Scotland ; a climate, of character, and of association, which serve to house in Cavendish square in London; and other minor produce a number of religions--all resulting from one bequests accompanying these, were successively and pom- source, and tending to one end, common to all, needful pously enumerated, and all were left to him to hold and for all. You received the tenets which at present you to keep at his pleasure, and to descend to his children hold from early instructors, whose country, and whose after him, under proviso and condition, that it he remained sympathics are entirely different from those of the land unmarried, or died without heirs, the said estates and which is now become your home, and in which my inteproperties, &c., should devolve to Ann Neville, his sister, rests and my duties are centred. How can you, at your and to her heirs after her; or, in the event of his marry- age, have any assurance that what you now believe is not ing, or declaring a marriage, with a person professing the merely the truth, but the only truth? Why cannot you Roman Catholic religion, that he should at once forfeit adopt the religious convictions of your family, of your the possession of the said estates, properties, &c., and friends, and of one dearer to you (if you have not deceived that they should at such times pass into the hands of the me on that point) than all the world beside? Will you said Ann Neviile, or, her life fuling, to her children after run the risk of ruining ine, in every sense of the word, her, or, her heirs failing, to Charles Neville, of
on the chance that your early teachers were better inand to his heirs after him."
formed, and more enlightened, than those friends, of whose
understandings you have yourself such a high opinion? “ He had not raised his eyes once during the time which It seems to me that, viewed in this light, you cannot
hesitate any longer in following the line of conduct which was awful as the stillness that precedes the storm. Mr. alone can rescue us from an abyss of irreparable miscry. Warren said with hesitation, The state of the case is this; I am not only ruined, but “ “I hear that Edmund is miserable—that his father's dishonoured; unable to meet the most indispensable en- will — gagements, or even to look the world in the face again, “ The name, the words fell on her ear—and swift as if, while you persist in professing the Roman Catholic the hurricane over the ocean, across that silent spirit religion, I should acknowledge my marriage. I will never swept a tide of passion, too powerful for the slender frame deny what you may choose to proclaim to the world, but that quivered with its violence. Her eyes flashed, her this I plainly tell you, that on the day that you disclose breast heaved ; over her cheeks, her neck, her temples, this secret (and I leave you at liberty to do so; this rushed the crimson hue of indignant feeling, and words very letter in your hands furnishes you with evidence, rose to her lips as keen as her anguish-as strong as her and places me at your mercy), I shall leave England for despair. ever, and never set eyes on you again. If you persist in ** And what is man's will ?? she cried with convulsive your present religious opinions, there are but two alter- agitation- What is man's will, that it should sever natives before you. One is silence—which must forbid what God hath united? Can the breath of his mouthour meeting but in crowds, or our ever speaking to each the stroke of his pen-A will! a will! in God's name, other but in fear and trembling. The other is—an eter- Mr. Warren, is it His will, or man's will, that must prenal separation, with the consciousness that you have vail ? Ileaven forgive me! I know not what I say, my driven your husband from his country and his home- brain is giving way.' blasted his name, ruined his fortune, broken his heart.'" She fell on her knees, her face buried in her hands." We cannot follow all Neville's arguments and From the pathetic reply of Ginevra to the appeal entreaties before he thus concluded :
of her husband we give but one passage : “«Ginevra! if you write to me to come to you—if, with “Oh, dearest Edmund, if it is a sin to lie to men, to lie the simplicity of a child, and the tenderness of a woman, to God is an unpardonable crime. If I were to abjure you resign yourself to me, and as the Scripture itself di- the faith which is as strong as life within me—if I prorects you, learn of your husband in meekness and in sub- tested by my acts, and with my lips, against what in my mission, what days of bliss are in store for us, what a life soul I believed—what in my heart I adored—my very of happiness before us! You, who are the only woman I have ever truly loved-you, who have already given me
prayers would become insults to the Majesty of heaven. proofs of beroie devotedness, and borne with such gentle pa
But is there, indeed, no alternative but that which you tience the strange sufferings of ourlot, now, that on one hand, point out ?--have I to choose between my guilt and every blessing is within our reach, and every misery threat your despair ? ening us on the other-will you hesitate any longer? I ask of you peace, honour, happiness! And will you let an “A thousand wild fears and vague suspicions dart opinion, blindly received and blindly maintained, weigh through my mind. I have risen at night and made my against the tidelity you vowed to me, the submişsion you
way to the library, and searched in books, and read over owe me, the love you beur me? Let conscience speak to you unbiassed by prejudice; anıl if you listen to its voice, and anguish. I can nowhere find an explanation of the
laws and statutes, till my head has throbbed with fatigue this is the last time I shall have to tremble as I send- to tremble as I wait-a letter from you.-Ever yours,
fate you assign to me. I cannot accept it, Edmund, nor «** EDMUND NEVILLE.'" by a sacrilegious lie avert it ; and yet I cannot, I dare Was ever Catholic wife so tried ?
not brave your anger, your threatened desertion to
draw upon you all the misfortunes you speak of. Have “She walked to the door and locked it, and then came mercy upon me, and explain yourself' clearly. Prove to back and sat down near the table on which the letter was
me that it is just and honourable to keep our marriage a lying. She started when her hand touched it, as if there was danger in its contact. Twice she passed her hand perpetual secret ; that you have the right to do so—the over
her brow, and then her face flushed violently ; sud- right to compel me to silence by more tearful threats, by denly her throat seemed to swell and her chest to heave;
more powerful means, than if you pointed a dagger at my with both hands she seized the velvet ribbon round her breast. Only prove to ine this, Edmund, and I will be neck, and tore it asunder. The ring it held flew out, and silent as the grave, till the day that death will give you fell at some distance on the floor. She took the letter and freedom, and to me peace. Only never forget, as you read it again, wildly glancing from liue to line with a be- would not forget your soul's salvation, and your hopes of wildered expression of doubt, of misery, and of fear. When heaven, that what God has joined together, man cannot she came to the last sentence, she lighted a candle and put asunder. Remember that I must ever stand between held the paper to the flame. It burned siowly; she watched you and other hopes, between you and other ties, as a word aster word, line after line, disappear, ull the fire reached her hand ; she let it fall, and soon il mingled with shade, a cloud, a blighting vision! Oh, that it were not the ashes.
a crime to bid you forget me ; that it were not a duty
thus to cross your path and embitter your existence. Mr. Warren, who had previously attempted to why it should be so, Edmund, why the pure gold of our remove what he considered the religious preju- love has turned into dross, you alone can tell." dices, or foolish scruples, of Miss Ginevra Leslie, The result of this painful correspondence was, had, at this moment, come to say farewell, pre- that Neville resolved, in spite of conscience and vious to his departure for Germany. She was
his better feeling, to preserve silence for a time, calm, but deadly pale, and he felt painfully con
in the hope that Ginevra might relent, and yet cerned for her, though her distress was merely, as
sce it her duty to profess the Protestant faith, as he fancied, the dream of a love-sick girl rudely this alone could rescue her husband from debt, destroyed, not the whole life of a woman blighted. dishonour, and beggary; while, on the other
“Withevident embarrassment he endeavoured to address hand, Ginevra, in the hope of Father Francesco's to her a few words of sympathy. This was more than return which he had announced, also resolved still she could bear; the struggle was dreadful ; she would have given worlds to break that silence, to question hin, to keep the important secret : to tear the veil from his eyes and from her own, and " And thus she remained in her father's house, to some burst through the shackles which were driving the iron an object of strange interest, to some of enthusiastic adinto her soul. But she could not speak and be calm. miration, to all, perhaps, of a nameless compassion; for She could not command the tumultuous throbbing of her all felt that her lot differed in some ways from that of heart—she gasped for breath. All traces of colour others ; that there was a cloud resting upon her— Walter vanished from her cheeks ; her lips were partly open but | Sydney called it a halo, so mild was the light of her eye,
Her breathing was now scarcely discerni- so pure was the tenour of her life. Margaret alone had ble, so profound was the silence of her whole being. It seen that cloud gather, and knew the dark source from
did not move.
whence it rose ; but even when it was weighed on that The Leslie family went to London and Walter shrinking head, her own heart had whispered that it was
followed. Ginevra made at once a strong imladen with misery, and not with shame. Her own wild spirits, her childish glee, her thoughtless prattle was altered. pression upon fashionable society. Her strange She seemed to view life differently from what she had beauty, her foreign manners, her talents, and her hitherto done. Her own disappointment, the weight of a genius combined to make her the idol of the secret, gratitude for the quiet and spotless course of her world which she shunned own life, seemed to deepen and to strengthen her chaThen Walter Sydney's lessons began to tell, and contrast between the homage she received, and the ad
“ And it was impossible that she should not feel the the peculiarity of such an affection as his to strike her.”
miration she inspired, and the bitter and miserable desAnd in brief, the most perfect understanding soon tiny which her husband assigned to her; but the love and grew up between Margaret and her “Old Walter.” devotion for others, instead of healing, seemed but to He had always loved her—from her cradle till deepen the wounds which her heart had received; and
wlien bursts of admiration and murmurs of applause atnow that she considered herself old enough to ap-tended some brilliant exercise of her talents ; when, with proach the marriage-altar ; and, stranger still, the enthusiasm of genius, and the simplicity of manner looking more deeply and considerately into her own which belonged to her, she had electrified her hearers by heart, Margaret found that she had always loved
some incomparable strain of melody, or by an improvisa
tion, in which thought seemed to hurry on language with him, and him only. Cross-purposes are not at
a startling and resistless impetuosity, she would return to an end, however, for we are not yet through the her place, and sit in silence with one image before her second volume, and the whole family of Grantley eyes, and only value the praises resounding in her ears, Manor are on the wing for London, where, as tributes to be one day laid at the feet of her undescrvplunged into the vortex of gay, youthful life,
ing husband.” Walter insisted that his Margaret should make That husband appears on the scene to heighten further trial of her affections and constancy. At her distress, and increase the difficulty of the part, the close of a very pretty scene of something quite so foreign to her nature, that she was compelled as tender, and not much less romantic, than to play. There were rumours afloat of Neville's young, passionate love, Walter exclaims : marriage, and Ginevra herself became the object
“• Margaret, listen to my firm, my unalterable reso- of the marked attentions of Sir Charles d'Arcy. lution, formed even at this moment of overpowering The doubts and perplexities of Margaret were happiness, and which, so help me God! I will keep. You renewed as she viewed the conduct of her sister ; shall not marry your Old Walter-you shall not give your and the misery and despair of Ginevra became youth, your beauty, your heart to him-you shall not bind yourself by irrevocable ties, till you have tried and unendurable, for now a rival appeared in the pertested your feelings, and learned the full value of that son of Mrs. Frazer, a gay widow whom society priceless gifi. O, my beloved child ! tell no one of the gave to Neville. One day Ginevra had perhope you have given me. Let not the world, or any hu- versely, and unlike her gentle self, persisted in man being, even venture to interfere or judge, if they should come when, with the same adorable simplicity with acting in a play, though wholly unfit for the newhich you have offered to intrust your happiness to my cessary exertion, merely to prevent Mrs. Frazer keeping, you should come to me and say— Walter, I was from taking her part. The demon of jealousy mistaken. You may, you must love me still, but not in had been let loose upon her—the bitter jealousy the way we once thouglıt of. A silent pressure of the of a disowned wife :hand, a struggle, a prayer, and the dream would be at an end.
This short life would be more sad, doubtless, " When after the rehearsal scene she found herself and the thought of another more precious still than be alone, she two or three times waved her arms above her fore ; but none would know the trial, or the consolations head, as if to dissipate the weight that seemed to press of that hour, but yourself and me. Promise me this, on her brain, and then clasped her hands in earnest Margaret :'
supplication. " • And how long is my trial to last, you suspicious " "Send an angel to comfort me,' she murmured ; and Old Walter? I think I have done something very like doubtless her prayer was heard, for tears came to her reproposing to you, and I am not quite sure I have not lief-tears that fall like rain on the parched ground; and been refused in a very pretty sentimental manner.' words, too, which relieve the pent up spirit, burst from
“Now, for the first time, Walter smiled, and the full her lips in the solitude of her chamber-broken, incohetide of happiness seemed to rush over his heart.
rent, checked by sobs, without precise meaning-but yet
with power to relieve. Who knows not the value of those " That evening, at the same time, both sisters had secret out-pourings? raised their eyes to Heaven, and both had felt as if a Edmund, will you come to me? Edmund, will you blessing, a benediction, had descended on their heads. return to me?' she murmured. · I am so weary, so On one, the bright face of nature had smiled; its glo- | lonely, so frightened sometimes. I am so afraid of yourious hues, its perfumes, and its songs, had spoken a I am so afraid for you. O, if I dared, I would flee away, blessing from the skies, and that evening hour had brought and be at rest. There are homes where I might lay my her a promise of happiness, the purest that earth can head, and never cross your path again. But I may not yield. The other had received a benediction from the shrink from the struggle. O, that woman! Anything altar, where she had knelt in the immediate presence of but that—any trial but that. Bound to me for everGod, and she rose with the promise that none but God bound to me by ties he hates, perhaps, and cannot break can make good—that suffering itself may be a pledge of --and my silence, my ignorance, my fears--it is too much mercy, a source of blessing, an earnest of Heaven. -the cross is too heavy, the burthen too great!'
“ Margaret drew near to the piano as her sister finished “She lifted up her head : the sun was sinking obscurely the plaintive but glorious strain, and passing her arm bright among the dark clouds that seemed assembled to round her neck, whispered
receive him. It was the sunset-hour, when every knee “Ginevra, I am happy ; would to Ileaven that you bends in her own land as the vesper-bell floats over sea were so too!'
and plain from every lofty spire and convent tower. She “ A flash of joy passed over the pale face of the young- recited the sacred but familiar words, and with them peace est sister.
returned. Long and earnestly she prayed. She prayed “O mother of mercies !she exclaimed, thou hast for strength to do her duty, that simplest and most supleaded and obtained !'
blime of all prayers, whether it points to the commonest