Puslapio vaizdai


need not love one another unless they like. Shouldn't I raise a storm! Why, all the novels ever written would be thrown at But what a reformed world I should have! for you see, my dear, it is much pleasanter and happier for all concerned to love one another; and feeling this, each party would set about trying to be lovable to one another, just as they would to any one else they wished to please. And so, if they suited one another, and could love one another, (for you can't love some people, except as your neighbor, you know, my dear,) why, they would be very happy and grateful to one another; and if they couldn't, then neither party would feel it a grievance. While now, you know, or rather I do,” she continued, not leaving me a moment's time to speak in, "you are too young to have seen so much; each party, or at least one side or the other, makes herself as disagreeable as she can, and says, 'Why don't you love me? How wicked you are and unnatural! It is your duty to love me; and you must.""

I was going to try and get in a word of objection to her odd theory, which I put down here because, like most of her ideas, it has some truth in it, and I may be a mother-in-law some day; but, just as I began to speak, came a ring at the bell, and in came Miss Annie, laughing, and in high glee, from a ride with Robert, her face glowing with the fresh wind, her bright brown hair parted so smoothly on her pretty white forehead, her eyes dancing with delight, she was a bit of beaming youthfulness, pleasant to look upon; and so more eyes than mine seemed to think.

Robert said he could not stay; he had no more time to spare, and was gone almost without a word, only running back to tell me that Annie was tired and hungry, and I had better send the children away; and, throwing a pair of gloves into Annie's lap, with "Please mend these before this evening, and be sure and be in time," was gone. Well, when I write it down there seems nothing to be vexed about; I must have been in a cross humor, for 1 even sent my little darlings away angrily.

Annie soon told me what they had been planning for this evening. She thought I should go, too; but he will enjoy himself quite as well without me. And it was not convenient to me to go.

August 27.-Annie has gone to spend a week at Robert's old home; the dear girls want a little change. How cross and unreasonable I have been lately; but Robert has not noticed it. I will turn over a new leaf.

I must make everything very bright and comfortable this evening that he may not feel it dull. I think I shall put on my new dress; he said it became me. How foolish I am! I never felt afraid his home was dull before. There, I will put away those fancies, for fancies they are. What would Robert say if he knew? I seem to have hardly seen him lately. There again! I won't write any more, but fetch baby; all bad thoughts fly away when ] look into her innocent eyes, or feel her soft face pressed to mine, in her pretty, loving way.

August 28.-Last night I waited and waited, but no Robert came. The boys went to bed crying, for I had promised them a game with "papa." It grew dark, and I sat waiting, imagining all kinds of accidents. I saw him lying, thrown from his horse, on the ground. "This moment," I thought, " he may be dying for want of help, and I sit quietly here!" I went out, and listened, but could hear nothing but my heart going thump, thump. I was just thinking I could bear it no longer, but must start off in search of him, when a messenger came to say he had gone to his father's on business, and I was not to wait up. And this morning, when I asked him what urgent business it was, he said, hurriedly, 'O, only something he wanted to see his father and Tom about; and I must not be surprised if he were late to-night, as he might have to see his father again."

I am writing, for I cannot settle to anything else. I have worked till the tears dimmed my eyes too much; needlework is bad for a troubled mind; allows it to dwell on sorrows it had better forget; over and over again the same song goes in time to the needle. I have read, but I read my own thoughts instead of the book O, it is bitter, bitter! but it is a lesson that must come, sooner or later. It is sweet, it is the greatest joy this world can give, to know that one human being cares for you above all others; that there is one whose happiness is not complete unless you share it; but it is so great a joy, this world never gives it long. I see

that now.
We should become too satis-
fied with earthly love; it is taken from
us in its perfection to lead us to the only
One who loveth ever. I say this to my-
self; but at present it does not comfort me.

September 4.-Soon after Annie returned yesterday, my friend Mrs. Elliot came to see me, dear warm-hearted woman. She has the usual fault of those generous natures; rather too plain a way of speaking her mind, and sometimes, when angry, of saying more than she means. She frightens poor me. She says at once, plainly, and, I believe, without premeditation, what would cost me hours of consideration to put into fit words, and weeks of cowardice and battling with myself to say them. It may lose her some friends, but it is more truthful, and therefore, I suppose, more right. After this preface, (it is well no one but myself has to read my long sermons,) I must put down what suggested it. I thought, by my friend's trembling lip, and her restless ways, she had something on her mind.


Annie was busy reading, but Mrs. Elliot kept looking at her every moment while we were talking about the children. went out of the room to fetch my work, and when I came back the storm had burst.


"It is well," Mrs. Elliot was saying, "for young ladies to be friendly and at ease with gentlemen, instead of so foolishly shy that they are uninteresting and silly. No one dislikes such senseless nonsense more than I do. But really that is better, at least does less mischief than the contrary, when women forget their own proper retiring, modest behavior, and devote themselves, regardless of every one else, to any gentleman who may happen to please them."

Annie opened her eyes in astonishment. I could scarcely keep from laughing, though rather frightened, it was so like what I had been thinking.

"No one ever spoke to me in that way before," Annie said, flushing up.

"No, my dear," Mrs. Elliot replied; "but many have thought as I do, depend upon it, and therefore you may thank me for being honest enough to tell you. Woman, my dear, was sent into the world to heal broken hearts, not to make them. It is one of her especial duties to see that her own enjoyment is not built on another's unhappiness; not to be content that she does not mean any harm, but to look care


fully, and see whether, meaning or not meaning, she is doing it. If any one entering a household leaves that household less happy by her means, that woman, I as done a great wrong, and, unless she makes up her mind to do differently in the future, had much better stay at home. There is plenty of sorrow in the world without giddy young girls adding to it, my dear."

"My dear Mrs. Elliot, what is the matter ?" I got time at last to exclaim. "O, don't you know? Has she not told you?"

"I don't boast of my sins, at least," said Annie, forcing a smile.

Very right, my dear; but better than that would be, not to have them. My dear Gertrude, she has refused your brother, my friend Tom Somner, and when I ask her how it is she has done so, she says, simply because she does not care for him. She thinks him very amiable, and agreeable, and all that; but marry him! Think of it, my dear, after the way she has treated him; such walking together, such moon-gazing, such sweet private talks, such looking into one another's eyes! My dear, I saw a great deal, and heard more; so don't defend her."

"Mrs. Elliot, what else could I do? He was the only person there. I could not sit and mope all day, or refuse to go anywhere, for fear he should like me. How ridiculous! I liked him, and found him pleasant company. It is not my fault if he admired me; is it, Gertrude?"

"No one else there, Miss Malitus!" exclaimed my warm friend, before I could speak; "no young gentleman, you mean. Were there not his father and his four sisters? How many moonlight walks did you take with them, my dear? and how much of their company did you seek, nice girls as they are? Ah, Miss Malitus, there is the fault. If you had taken equal pains to please father, sisters, and brother, had thought of their pleasure as much as Tom's and your own, he would have made no such foolish and sad mistake. I am angry for his sake, my dear; he is too good to have his happiness destroyed by a silly girl's thoughtlessness."

And, bidding us a hasty "good - by," my dear, hot-tempered friend hurried away.

I must say I was glad; for, though

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for their dear ones, my soft, warm little darling! how could I bear to think of her; so cold, so cold; the rain coming down, down; pitiless cold rain! unloving, damp earth!

"O, baby, baby!" he cried; " O, I wish it had been me, and then you would not mind so much."

I looked up at Herbert. He was trying to appear deep in his drawing, but every moment large splashes of tears came down on the paper. O, what a selfish wretch I have been! nursing my own grief, and never seeing or remembering that others felt almost as much as I; almost, O, not quite; they could not; and I have been adding to their grief the misery of doubting if I loved them! I have tortured them so, I! O God, forgive me! I took my boy to my heart, and prayed his forgiveness, and entreated him always to believe I loved him now as much as when he was a baby, like our sweet darling; whatever I might seem, to trust me, and O, to drive away, as a deadly enemy to all happiness, any jealous thoughts. Poor child! he sobbed himself to sleep in my arms; and I shed tears, refreshing tears, over him; the first, except in dreams, since baby left us.

November 18.-It rained and blew last night. I could not sleep. My tender little one! that I did not let a rough wind blow upon, who nestled so warm against my bosom all night, who, when the rain fell at nights, I drew closer to me, and thought pitifully of those poor mothers who are without shelter or warm covering

O, how I envied the houseless mother! for she clasps her baby warm in her arms. And I-I wandered from the window; I could scarce keep my hands from taking down my cloak and bonnet, and going to my darling.

I know that God will guard her better, O! far better, than I should. I know that it was right and best that she should leave us, or it had not been. I know, I am sure of all this; in time I shall feel it ; I cannot yet; and He who sees into the mother's heart, and is so much more merciful than any earthly judge, will pardon me.

"What is the matter, Gertrude ?" Robert said, roused by my restless moving about the room.


Only the windows want fastening, the window is so high," I answered, in as cheerful a voice as I could.

"You should have asked me, dear. Mind you don't take cold ;" and he was fast asleep again.

O, when shall I be truthful about my own feelings! I, who would have given so much for his sympathy, will not let him know that I need it.

I took his hand, heavy with sleep, in mine, and kneeling down with it pressed to my bosom, prayed God to put away from us this dreadful cold wall of partition that has grown up in our hearts; for now my baby has left me, who used to comfort me with her sweet love, I feel it more and more.






December. I have been selfish, blind, wicked. I will write it down. I have owned it; I have said it; and a great load is taken from my heart.

It is not the sins of others that weigh the spirit down; we can forget, we can forgive them. It is when we see others' sins through our own that they become crushing. The other day, how long ago it seems! my husband came to me, with radiant face, yet tears standing in his eyes, and clasping me to his arms, thanked God that the trial was past. I was frightened. I feared I know not what, and fainted in his arms.

When I came to myself he was leaning over me, pale and anxious.

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"It is only good news, my little wife," he said. "Be thankful it is so. I have dreaded each day to have a very different tale to tell."

And then he told me how he had feared a terrible loss of money. O, what a joyful bound my heart gave when he said that; only of money. But I must not even write here how it was; he has trusted me. This loss would have made us poor; "beggars," he said; but he did not mean that; he had even planned what we were to do. But a great deal he said I heard as if in a dream.

"Do not blame yourself too much," he said. "I feel as though my love must be little what it ought to be, not to have known your thoughts better, or considered your feelings more. I was thoughtless, and perhaps," he said, smiling, "made more so by the flattery and attention of a pretty girl; and lately," he said, "I have been lost in keeping, as I thought, sorrow from you, forgetting on what true happiness depends. Full of my own anxieties, yours have often seemed small and trivial; and then, dear wife, I thought you so engrossed by your children, that what I did, or was, would not affect you."

"Ah, Robert! then you were distrustful too."

"O, why did you not tell me?" I cried. "You so anxious, and to tell me nothing!"

And then he said that "At first, I was so happy." Think of it, so happy! And soon after, when our baby left us, he did

not like to add to my grief; and so waited THE DARK HOUR ERE THE DAWNING.


till it was decided one way or the other. Happy!" I said; I have not been happy for so long, so long. O, if we had only been trusting and confiding to each other!" And then I told him all.

"Let us, then," he answered," be more thoughtful, and more trusting, in future. Let us try to understand and feel for each other's anxieties and frailties; for only so can there be any lasting happiness in married life. I have always seen the importance of these things in others; and felt too sure that we should not fail. We shall be more humble in future."

fore him, and, trying to take his hands
away, prayed his forgiveness,

"Not mine," he said at last.
ask God to forgive and help us."

And together, with tearful eyes, prayed him to pity and forgive us. Afterward we talked, as I have said. I showed Robert all I had written here, that he might know my whole heart. Henceforth I shall write no diary.

My little babe! my sweet, pure, angelchild! I dreamed last night that she lay in my arms. With her tiny hand she took mine, and placed it in my husband's. When I awoke in tears, his hand clasped mine, and I was at peace.

Much more he said, which I shall never forget, but not even this just as I have put it down. For my husband sat silent long after I had ended my confession, his head in his hands, so that I could not see his face. I waited and waited, and almost repented having told him; knelt down be

"Let us

SHE rocks her baby to and fro,

Crying aloud in anguish wild: "I cannot bear that deadlier woe,

So, God of mercy, take my child."
Poor soul! her act belies the prayer
She breathes into the midnight air-
It is before the dawning.

For while she speaks, her arms enfold

The babe with a still tighter clasp;
As fearing Death, so stern and cold,

Should hear, and rend it from her grasp.
She knows not-were that dark hour past-
Of hers, 'tis doom'd to be the last,

The one before the dawning.

You had not wonder'd at the prayer,

If you had seen that hovel poor,
And known what she had suffer'd there,

Since first the grim "wolf" forced the door:
But the prayer sped; the widow's pride,
Of sickness-not of hunger-died,

An hour before the dawning.

Half thankful, half remorseful, now

This only treasure, hers no more-
Tears raining on its marble brow,

She lays upon her pallet poor,
Then whispers: "Would I too might die,
And so together we should fly

To seek a brighter dawning."

The dawning came, and with it brought
Tidings of friends, and wealth restored;
They fell, scarce heeded, as she sought

The little corpse, and o'er it pour'd
Her wild lament, her ceaseless moan
That such had found her all alone-

No child to share the dawning.

A hungry bee will strive to sip

Sweets even from a faded rose:
Thus hangs she on the pallid lip

So long, one almost might suppose
That she is striving with her breath
To thaw away the frosts of death,
Which yield not to the dawning.


in the transition from the French to the English style, as Quebec or some town in Lower Canada. All that is old is French; all that is new is English. "Home-brewed beer," and "neat wines," are displacing the Magazin des vins: vente en gros et en detail. Modern English architecture is represented in a Crystal Palace kind of casino, just erected on the beach facing the


WE write, not for the traveled few, but
the untraveled many, to tell them
what, after reaching London, can be done

sea; English money-changers abound;
and we surprised the garçon in
with an English vocabulary, trying to spell

in a month, and to induce them to do like-Rosbif, and to mispronounce Villiams, as

the French persist in calling my friend.

wise. Let them choose the month of May if possible, when the days are long and the great heats not set in, and, above all, when

His real name is William Smith; but for motives of delicacy they drop the patro

the stream of rich tourists has set home-nymic, and style him Villiams, as Cicero is Tully, and Horace Flaccus, in the language of some.

We are reminded we are in Normandy, if by nothing else, by the steep roofs of the houses, and the towering head-gear of the women. The roofs contain as many as four stories of windows, rising in a Pyramidal shape, and the caps rise in as many conical folds of linen and lace; the head-dresses, in fact, are roofs, and the roofs head-dresses; but as we have never explored either the one or the other, further description would be presumptuous.

And now she murmurs day by day:

"O God, that I had learn'd to wait; 'Tis so much harder than to pray,

As I have found, alas! too late.
I might have deem'd the worst was past,
And that dark hour must be the last,
To one before the dawning."

ward, and we can promise them as true a month's enjoyment as a light purse and a light heart together can bring. A small hand-bag, a purse with a sovereign to spend for every day you are out, and a foreign office passport, are the chief and only requisites. Provided with these, my friend and I made our way, on Thursday morning, the 30th of last April, to the London Bridge station, and took a ticket for Paris, via Newhaven and Dieppe.

The wind was fair and fresh, so the

steamer flew to the French coast like a sea-bird, dipping her beak every minute or two in the crest of a wave, and then saucily flinging it back on the passengers aft. We nestled away as well as we could under our sea-bird's wings, for such the paddle-boxes of these small channel boats more resemble than anything else in na


But swift ships will heave as well as slow. The nauseating sea, says the poet, spares neither the noble trireme nor the hired galley.

The police and douane were soon satis

fied with an inspection of our passport and baggage. Not so the army of touters that lay in ambush for us outside. They stood their ground; but we charged and cut through them, amid a volley of cards showered thick around us, and so got safe to the station.

Dieppe is not a town to describe as either French or English. It is as much

Not so the heavy horse of our expedition. As we afterward heard, an Englishman-we will call him Heavysides-with three helpless females, stood tongue-tied on the quay at Dieppe. Three trunks and like stranded sturgeon waiting the fisherthrice three bonnet-boxes lay round them, man's grab-net. In an instant a polite little Frenchman came forward, all smiles and sympathy. "You are English, monsieur; you desire to part by the next convoy. Ah, malheur, monsieur hears not, but mademoiselle speaks French. If you confide your baggage to me, I will transthem to Paris. You have the choice of the roulage at grande vitesse, or petite vitesse."

"Conducto navigio æque,

Nauseat ac locuples quem duxit priva triremis;"
and so we ducked under every wave, and
my friend had qualms-take it in which-
ever sense you please; so to quiet them,
he started the theory that sea-sickness is
not a stomachic affection at all, but one
purely nervous. I resisted the paradox,
partly to keep on deck, but principally be-
cause I had proof around me that sea-sick-port
ness is stomachic, not cerebral; and in
the midst of the discussion we neared the
French coast.

Now it happened that this heavy-horse Englishman had lost his luggage once already, so the offer could not be resisted.

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