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MONTHLY BELLE ASSEMBLÉE.
ORIGINAL COMMUNICATIONS, I in asking a blessing on the kind old man, though
he would not return to her school-room to hear it. CONSISTING OP TALES, ROMANCES, ANECDOTES, Anxiously, yet hopefully, Florence threaded her
way through the buge labyrinth of streets, to the parks, in the vicinity of which the publisher resided. The note gained her instant attention, and
one glance sufficed for her to perceive that Mr. FLORENCE; on, WOMAN'S FRIENDSHIP, Morton was very different from many of his calling;
entering at once into the business, he candidly (A Domestic Tale.)
stated that poetry, unless of the very first kind, was the most unsaleable sort of composition, but added kindly, “ But of this you know we cannot judge till we have perused the MS. ; have you it
with you ?" “ To show us how divine a thing
She answered in the affirmative, placing as she A woman may be made.”
did so the work before him. He saw that her WORDSWORTII. hand trembled and her cheek paled, and said with
a smile, “ Why, were it not for my friend's note,
I should say, Miss Leslie, that you yourself were Chap. XXII.
the author; we seldom see a third person so
deeply interested. You have not been playing us As Florence would not have any of the letters con- false, have you ? and passing off as your brother's cerning the poems directed at home, it so chanced that which is your own ?" that she received one of the numerous rejections in “ Indeed, sir, I have not; but when I know the hours of teaching. The disappointment im- and feel how completely the being of a beloved printed on her countenance attracted the attention and suffering brother is bound up in his glorious of a benevolent old relation of lier pupils, who talent, I cannot be otherwise than agitated; a very frequently visited the school-room. He inquired casual glance over those poems will convince you the cause so feelingly that the poor girl's over- that no woman's work is there." burdened heart instanıly opened, and she timidly Surprised, yet prepossessed by her unaffected and briefly imparted some particulars.
earnestness, Mr. Morion, after some further conMr. Wilson listened with much interest; then versation, gave his whole attention for nearly half asking for pen and paper, he wrote very intenily for an hour to the MS. Florence tried to look at a few minutes, and then placed a note, directed to some beautiful prints which he had kindly placed one of the first publishers of the day, in her hand. before her; but a mist was before her eyes, she “ Take this, my good girl," he said kindly; "it could not trace a figure. will at least gain you attention. I wish I could “ You are right,” he said at length ; do more; but you know we must be just before is no common work. There is decided genius, we are generous; and if I did all I might wish, I not alone in the poems, but in the illustrations; should be wronging my own. Do not look so still, in the present state of literature, even real speechlessly grateful, my child; use the note, and genius has much to contend with. Can you call God speed you."
again in a few days? Be assured,” he added And, pressing her hand, he instantly departed; kindly, “I do not give you that trouble because but his kind offices did not stop there. The day I will not say No at once. I wish to think how I was unusually fine, and Mr. 'Wilson begged a can best serve your brother, and to do so requires holiday for his young relatives, ostensibly that he a little time.” might give them a drive, but really that Florence With every limb trembling, every accent of her might have the leisure to prosecute her mission at voice quivering, Florence poured forth her aconce; and she felt it such, for her heart swelled knowledgments, and assuriog him the trouble was
nothing, the following Saturday was the day fixed. | brother that a physician would accompany him, The intervening time seemed long, for Florence fearing to excite him, and had parted from her breathed to none the hope that would arise in her with the greatest kindness, ere she could collect own breast. When she again sought Mr. Morton her scattered thoughts sufficiently to arrange and he told her that his opinion of her brother's genius define them. had increased with every page he read; that there
not the smallest doubt as to its ultimate success. He candidly stated that the volume was
CHAP. XXIII. intrinsically worth much more than he could well afford to pay, and he thought it would be better It so happened that, just at this time, Mrs. for the author to incur a little risk at first than do Leslie was staying with a very aged relation in the himself such injustice as to part with the copyright. country; and, for one reason, Florence rejoiced To bring the work out as its merits deinanded that she was absent. As soon as collected thought would cost one hundred and fifty pounds. Ile returned she began to consider how the necessary himself would risk the hundred," if Mr. Leslie fifty pounds could be raised with the least inconwould risk the fifty pounds; the profits of the first venience, and without calling on her mother. She edition should be equally divided between them. recollected that, from teaching and work, she and
We will not linger on the emotion of poor Flo- Minie had laid aside fifteen pounds for chance rence at this generous offer. Morton, indeed, demands—debts they bad none—and they exneeded little in reply; his benevolent nature was pected in a few days a good price for some delicate more gratified by her simple yet heartfelt acknow-fancy work; still ihis would not make up half the ledgments than by the most eloquent words. He sum. The only valuable trinkets she possessed would call on her brother, he said, that their agree were Lady St. Maur's gists, the cross and chain, ment might be fixed in black and white, smiling the emeralds in which, she bad often been told, at her observation that surely such a step could were exceedingly rare and valuable; but how not be necessary,
could she part with them? “ We men of business must have something She saw, after his first feelings of delight, that more palpable than honour, my young friend; Walter, though he said nothing, shrunk painfully besides I wish to know this glorious-minded from the idea that it might be months before the fellow. You tell me he is ill, so ill that he cannot small sum required from him could be paid. Had leave his couch. What is the matter with him?" he been in health, and so enabled to work himself, Florence's voice quivered painfully as she replied, these thoughts would have had no power;
but but Mr. Morton's evident sympathy led her not with all the torturing weakness of disease they only to relate Walter's sufferings, but her own haunted him night and day. Florence saw this
, secret and long entertained wish, that he should and acted accordingly. have better medical advice. A gentleman had About a week after this arrangement with Mr. entered some little time before, and, perceiving Morton, and before he called, she placed a pocket Morton was engaged, had begged him to continue book containing bank notes to the specified amount his business with the young lady; and, apparently in her brother's bands. on very intimate terms with the family, threw “ Florence,” he exclaimed, starting up, the lanhimself on an easy chair and 100k up a book, 10 guor of suffering for the moment banished. "Flowhich however he did not give much attention. rence, dearest! how have you done this ? Oh! do
“And this young man is a poet, and by your not tell me you have sacrificed aught of comfort account, Morton, no common one. I am sorry or of personal necessities--weak, selåsh, tormenting for it," was the quaint observation which recalled as disease has made me, I could not bear such a bis presence; and Florence timidly looked the thought-how have you obtained this !" question, " Why?"
Suppose I refused to tell you, Walter ; I think “ Because, young lady, too often the mind I have some right 10 enjoy my secret ; will you wears out the frame. The physician's skill is less be satisfied if I solemnly assure you I have sacri, effectual with poets than with any other race; they ficed nothing that was either of use or comfort ? are like the pelican feeding their offspring with some useless trinkets—" their own blood, and are then surprised that we “ Trinkets ! useless trinkets! Ah, Florence, can do nothing for them."
dearest, how can I bear the thought that you
have “ Perhaps you will go with me, Sir Charles, parted with your few valuables for me
L" and see if this young poet be as wilful as others of “ You shall give me handsomer, Walter; I shall his crat," rejoined Mr. Morton, knowing well the expect a casket of gems from the earnings of your character of his visitor, and encouraged by his first brilliant successful work ; what need of ihem nod of assent.
have I'now? When you raise me to a higher grade, Florence listened bewildered; she could scarcely where ornaments are worn, you shall return them believe that her wildest wishes might be realized, to me." and that the object of her secret longings, the She spoke with a smile so fond, that her brother great physician, who, she almost believed,' had, guessed not how, in parting with her only jewel of under Providence, power to avert death itself
, value, she felt as if even memory had become as would indeed visit her brother, and might perhaps powerless as hope, and every link between the restore him to health, as he had so mercifully been past and present snapt for ever. permilled to restore others : and Mr. Morion bad “My work may give you them, my darling led lier down stairs, had advised her not to tell her sister, but not Walter," he answered faintly; “I
shall have gone to my long home ere these things But though Florence could not summon suffimay be.”
cient courage to remain while the interview lasted, "Oh do not, do not say so, Walter; the reviving suspense became so intolerable that she felt as if the spring will soon be here, and relieved as your most dreaded reality could be better borne. mind is of this engrossing wish-oh, you will liveHardly knowing her own intentions, she waited in you will be spared to bless us all."
a little sitting-room below, till they descended ; He shook his head mournfully, but kissed her then springing forward, she caught hold of Sir fondly, and changed the subject.
Charles's hand, and looked up in his face with Ina few days Mr. Morton and his friend came. The cheeks and lips perfectly blanched, and every flush of excitement burned on Walter's cheek; his effort to speak died away in indistinct murmurs. thin hand so trembled, he could hardly sign his name, Only too well accustomed to such painful scenes, and the perspiration streamed with the effort from the physician gently led her within the parlour and his forehead. Florence bad lingered to try to read closed the door ; the action recalled voice, and she Sir Charles's opinion on bis countenance; but it gasped forthwould not change, and, unable to bear the deadly “ Oh! is there not hope? will you not save faintness of suspense, she glided from the aparte him? Tell me he will not die!" ment, satisfied that Minie would supply her place. “ You are really premature, my good friend,” in the hands of man; yet it were cruel, unwisely
“My good young lady, life and death are not Mr. Morton said, as after a lengthened conversation full of the deepest interest and comfort to
cruel to give you hope. Your brother's mind hs Walter, he gave the pocket-book, and Morton
been his poison- I dare not tell you-he may
live." looked on its contents with surprise. “There would have been time enough for this, when the
“ But he will linger-he may be spared us many book was in print
, and circulating.' You had years yet," persisted Florence, in the wild accents better keep this money for little luxuries which an
of one determined against belief. “ It cannot be invalid like yourself must need."
that he will go now-so young-50--but forgive Walter paused a moment, then saying“ Minie, way, “ tell me -1 am better now, I can bear it
me," she added, when the hysterical sobs gave dear, I wish you would look in my room for the book I wanted to show Mr. Morton. Florence
I ought to know, for my poor mother's sake, how will tell you where it is.” He waited till she left long we may call him ours ?" the room, then laying his hand on Mr. Morton's
The reply was given kindly and carefully ; but arm, said impressively—“Mr. Morton, that hour what language, what gentleness may soften the I shall never see ; let me, then, have the happiness, bitter anguish of such words ? Florence heard, the relief of feeling that I die leaving no debt as and yet she sank not. She bade farewell to those a burden on my poor family; do not refuse it. My kind friends ; she saw them go, but still she stood own, in truth, it is not, for my devoted sisters
as if thought, sense, life itself were frozen ; and have compelled me to accept it for this purpose, secured the door, and sinking on her knees, buried
then she rushed up the stairs into her own room, simply to relieve my mind of the load that weighed upon it: take it, and I shall feel that I have not her face in the bed-clothes, and her slight frame
n individual care. Your assurance that in time it shook beneath its agony. must succeed, removes all fear for my sisters; their
Another hour, and that suffering girl was seated generous love will be repaid."
by her brother's couch, holding his hand in hers, Much affected, Morton pressed his hand, and and with a marble cheek, but faint sweet smile, entreated him to set his mind at rest, and not to listening to, and sympathising in his lovely dreams dwell on such gloomy fancies—he was sure they of fame. And such is woman, her tears are with had no foundation. If Florence had still been in her God, her smile with man; the heart may the room, she would not have watched Sir Charles's break, and who shall know it? expressive countenance in vain : a mournful in- Mr. Morton had suggested a frontispiece as an terest first removed the unimpassioned calm; then improvement to his book, and Walier's every strong emotion, and finally he rose from his seat energy now turned to the composition of a picture and strode to the window. Recalled by Morton's from which the print might be engraven. He had question if he could not prescribe for Mr. Leslie, resolved not to put his name to the publication, to prevent such a constant recurrence of excite- and therefore felt that a group entitled “The ment; he asked no question, but hastily wrote a Poet's Home," could convey no identity; and he prescription, saying, as he did so,
commenced his task with an ardour and enjoy“ This will calm, I wish I could say cure, young ment, strangely at variance with the prostrating man; change your ardent temperament, your languor of disease. Who that has watched the throbbing brain, for the matter of fact, the unim- workings of the mind and spirit, as the human passioned, and health may return."
frame decays, can doubt our immortality? How Change!” responded Walter, clasping his can the awful creed of materialism exist with the hands with strong emotion—"change!
--become view of that bright light of mind shining purer and like the crowd--the hireling herd-ihat know no brighter, with every hour that brings death nearer ? emotion but interest, no love but for gold—with Life may afford matter for the sceptic and the no vision of beauty, of truth, of good! No, no; materialist to weave their fearful theories upon, better twenty years of suffering body with mental though we know not how it can; but let such look joy, than seventy of such health and such existence. on the approach of sure yet lingering death, and I would not change !"
how will they retain them then ?