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“ To my room, Frank,” she said, as sight of her face or sound of her voice they re-entered the house ; “and you, should aggravate the fearful disease, John, run for the doctor.”
although the patient had never for an in“ It is brain fever, and the chances are stant seemed conscious of her situation, against her.”
was so changed that her lover himself “ But you must save her,” said Frank. hardly recognized her. She seemed to
“I'll do what I can, my boy;" and he have had ten years added to her life, spoke pityingly; for he had been told years of thrilling experiences too ; and the whole story, and he knew that if the fulfilled the usual duties of her mother girl died, Frank’s heart would ever after with such a gentle dignity, and was, with. know a torture worse than the fabled al, so thoughtful and tender of them all hell.
that even Frank forgave her the cruel “She must have the best of nursing.” suspicion that had so nearly blighted the
“I will nurse her,” said he. “Yes, I health and perhaps the life of the young will. Small atonement it will be. Leave seamstress. every direction with me.”
They nursed her together, mother and It came at last; the dreaded crisis. son, he hardly realizing, in his wild The physician stayed to watch it anxiety, how much he was suffering him through, and stood for hours bent over self with his frozen members. His moth- the bed, with a mirror in his hand which er would poultice and plaster and anoint, from time to time he held to the wasted them, though he declared to her in vehe- lips. Frank stood beside him, motionless ment whispers, “ he hoped they'd never as though turned to stone. Mrs. Selden heal; he deserved to have them raw and knelt on the other side, her face buried in running sores all his life.”
the sheets. Her husband and daughter, Nothing was left undone that money with Albert, sat in the next room. Maor care could do for that suffering girl. ry was crouched on the threshold of the The bells were muffled; the windows sick-room, counting her beads. John sat trebly lined with quilts to keep out the on the first platform, ready for any street sounds ; the household went on tip- emergency, while the cook went from toe and breathed rather than spoke to range to pantry and pantry to store-room each other; the doctor was ordered to trying to find something more to do than get the best counsel the city afforded, merely keep the fire bright and the ketwhile either Frank or his mother sat con- tles bubbling. stantly beside the bed. Mr. Selden Through the heavily-lined windows spent half his time on the stoop warding came the muffled sound of one of the city off callers and motioning to milk and clocks striking twelve. As its last stroke bread carts to drive softly as possible. died away, the doctor for, it seemed to John slept on the kitchen floor, in front Frank, the hundredth time, put the mirof the range, lest the fire should go down ror to the white lips. As he lifted it a moment. The cook kept every con- and gazed at it he put it down and felt ceivable article of sick-room diet spread the pulse, then the heart, then the temout on her pantry shelves, and in fifteen ples, then drew his fingers across the foreminutes could have sent up messes head. Was she dead? A cold sweat
her. Not even his mother must meet young lady would try to do, but failing her first conscious look. He, he each time to secure a situation. Everyalone, whose thoughtless act had so near- body seemed to have a music-teacher and ly killed her, and who had forced a mem- a governess, and no school had a vacant ory into her heart that must canker there post. “ Then I tried nursing. My forever, must answer her first words. mother had always been sick and my
faIt was a long, long watch. The night ther was delicate, and I had had much brightened into morning, morning daz- experience; but no one would trust me zled into noon, and noon faded into twi- with their dear ones, because I was too light, and still she slept. The doctor young. Alas, and I could only grow looked in every two hours, and his brief older by the day! Then I tried to be “She is doing well,” was, to the house waiting-maid; but the ladies all wanted hold, like balm to an aching wound. French girls. Then I tried to be child's
For a moment after his last call, Frank nurse, but the young mothers were afraid hid his face in his hands. It was to I'd flirt with their husbands, and the oldpress back the tears that were threaten- er ones afraid their sons would flirt with ing to blind him. When he looked me. They told me so to my face. Then again at the sick girl he found her eyes I tried to be seamstress ; but everybody open and saw a wistful look in them. was supplied with one. Then, putting Her lips moved. He bent his head. away the last remnant of my pride, “Tell me all,” she breathed rather than and it was a very scanty one then, - I spoke.
accepted a situation as chambermaid and “You have been proven innocent, lit- waiter in a family I had been intimate tle lamb. You have been very sick, too, with. But, on the second day of my and must neither talk nor be talked to stay, they invited a large dinner-party of Try to sleep. By and by you shall the very same young men and girls know all.” He gave her the few drops with whom I had formerly associated as of nourishment that had been ordered, an equal. I went through my delicate gently lifted her head and smoothed her duties without a single mistake; but, pillow, and whispering again, “ Try and it was foolish perhaps, wicked even sleep," resumed his watch.
their sneers and winks and contumely Several times during the night she were too much, I felt, ever to be endurawoke, and each time said, “ Do they all ed again, and I left the house that night, believe me now?” and then fell asleep and took the first train for Boston, deteragain.
mined to begin a new life where I was The next day while his mother watch- utterly unknown. My mother's old ed, Frank went to his own room and read nurse had removed here three years bea little parcel of manuscript that the fore, and to her I went with all my sorjailer had sent him, and which he said rows. She gave me what no rich friend he had found in the cell after she left it. had offered to, a home; and when I had It was the story of her life, briefly told, rested and become strong again, procured and in the simplest words, and yet never me the situation of seamstress at Mrs. did the saddest poem so deeply affect the Selden's.” young man's heart. It was the old, old Then followed the story of her accusastory of the petted daughter of a mer- tion and the assertions of her innocence. chant prince reduced to poverty by her The last page seemed to have been writfather's failure, and utter loneliness by ten on the day before her deliverance. his sudden death, — the old, old story of It was almost illegible ; but Frank made vain efforts to earn an honorable living out the words, “I have such strange in the city of her birth; repulsed by thoughts; my head aches so; I get strangers, scorned by the friends of other blind at times; I fear I'm going crazy. days, trying now as a music-teacher, then Oh, if I should get sick and die while as daily governess, again as assistant in they believed me guilty! Oh, it is very, a school, — any and everything that a very hard to be patient !”
Poor Frank felt those words every hour As she was going out, she looked into the in the day and night during the slow parlor and said, meaningly, “ Our baby convalescence of the poor girl. It was so has been moved to-day into my little sithard to wait for the color to come back to ting-room, and the doctor says he thinks her cheeks and lips, the lustre to her eye, she is well enough to hear anything you the voice to her breath, the quickening may have to say to her. But perhaps to her pulse, the strength to her wasted you were going out !” limbs. It was so hard to wait the recit- “ Mother!” and he kissed the roguish al of all till the physician said he might smile from her lips and hurried up-stairs. speak. And oh, it was hardest of all to
a long interview. Hours wait till the fitting time should come passed unnoticed. The bustle of an when he could tell her how dear she had arrival down-stairs was unheeded. But become to him in those long watches, when, at length, Mrs. Selden came in to and that only a lifetime of devotion to them, though there was a scarlet flush on her could reconcile him, even half-way, to the young girl's cheeks, she seemed no the blight he had thrown on her pure worse than in the morning. spirit.
• What has Frank been saying to you, His only comfort was in writing daily all this time,” said she, gayly. to his old uncle, to whom he had for- “ He has told me all, and asked me to warded her written story. He pondered forgive him." long over one paragraph in the old man's * And did you, darling ?” letters. “ You must not be too sanguine "Oh, yes, ma'am,” she said, archly. of success with her, my boy. Uninten- “ How could I refuse ? Only think of tionally you did her a grievous wrong, his frozen toes and fingers and ears and and it will be very, very hard for her to nose and cheeks! I think that ride quite forgive you. Only those who have through the
was punishment experienced it can fully estimate the in- enough.” tensity of the anguish which preys upon “ Did he ask you for nothing else, darthe soul when its purity has been sus- ling ?” pected of stain. If it were a man whom The scarlet flush deepened on the you had harmed so, I should never expect cheeks and ran up to the forehead and you to be forgiven; but as it is a woman, down over the fair neck; but she said - a woman in the freshness of life, I - nothing, only looked pleadingly at Frank. well, she'll pity you first, because you "I have asked her to be my wife, feel so badly, and you know what pity is mother; and she says if you and father akin to, boy.
But don't be too san- consent guine. These women are riddles, the best “Of course we do, of course; we've of them. They often love where you'd talked it all over, and as soon as she gets think they'd hate, and hate where you'd well you shall be married and have a think they'd love."
splendid wedding too. I'll make the cake myself;
" and she folded the now Convalescent! Frank, only that it weeping girl to her heart. was a broad step to health and strength, But, mother, I don't want to wait till would have hated the word; for now that she gets well.
She needs me now more the danger was over, the proprieties of than she ever will again. She wants life must be observed, and Frank, instead some one to lean on when she tries to of going in and out on tip-toe, just as walk across the floor; and she wants often as he chose, must content himself some one to carry her down-stairs when with an hourly bulletin from his mother, she goes to ride, and some one to hold her and a gentle tap at the door three times in the carriage when she gets tired.” a day, with a bouquet for the patient. “ I suppose .she could use a cane,
But one sunny day in early spring- Frank; and I suppose your father could time, for the winter was over, — his carry her out, and I suppose I could hold mother came down dressed for a ride. her. Why don't you say right out that
you are a selfish fellow, and want her all Glares through prison bars, – the poet thought to yourself. But did
That shocked us like a battery, in that sunset you
hour Uncle John had come ?”
When first we met. Ab ! when did spirit first “ Uncle John! no. Bless his dear old Stand face to face with its fellow? When soul!” and he whispered something to First saw my being thine? Listen ;
Souls are but words of Deity. They fall his darling; but his mother caught the Like jewels from his lips. Some are pearls, words, “ He'll make them all consent." Others are diamonds and stones of lesser price. And he did. His own heart had been, They seek an earthly casket. Thine and mine
Fell like a drop divided from his lips,completely won by the sad story, and A word two syllabled, a jewel halved. when he came to see the beautiful young They have, 'tis true, a separate habitation. creature, her loveliness so spiritualized Thine is the fairer temple, and the gem. by sickness and suffering that she seemed The richer lustre. But, beloved one, almost an angel, he said at once, the best When God, the soul's great banker, gathers up reparation Frank could make her was to Shall we not meet again,
Each coin he issued, making up his jewels,
the gem rejoined, take her in her weakness and nurse her The word made whole, and thou and I be one ? into health. “ Bring her out to the old Then why, my own, refuse to lift thy gaze farmhouse, boy, as soon as she can be up to these eyes that fenst upon thy beauty?
Ormurmur Hush! unto thy own sweet thoughts, moved, and I'll warrant by fall she'll be Clothed in another's language? Do not turn well and rosy. And then I'd like a bird Thy pale cheek from me, as a bright dream flies, in my old cage, boy. I think its singing Rested upon my arm, like white dove lit
When: we entreat its stay. Thy hand but now would make me young again.”
A moment on the casement, tremulous with And so the old man and the
fear, man had their way. There was a quiet It feared but hid the snare.
Longing to rest within the fairy realm,
Ah ! thy voice, wedding and the ring was a plain gold A moment since, shook like a warrior's plume, band, as Frank had said it should be. Throbbed like a dying strain from golden harp. And if there were more tears than smiles Now it is calm as death. Methought but now
Thine eyes like azure angel burners they were tears that sanctified the hearts Beckoned me on to the haven of thy heart. of those that shed them.
They surely could not wear a base disguise ! Four weeks later Frank and his bride Not mine the love dearer than all the world's !
Oh, I am faint with grief"! Alas, not mine, accompanied their Uncle John to his That mocking smile upon my throbbing woe. home on the farin. At Buffalo the old But stay ! let me but gaze within thine eyes man took the stage, but the newly-mar- i'd read my sentence there. Forbear ! – and ried pair traversed the road in a light tears, buggy drawn by old Ned. And if Frank Each worth a hundred earths. A crimson flood had suffered there nearly the agonies of Broke over that white cheek, as sunset clouds death on that winter night, on that fair Didst think to cheat me of my soul's rich crown? June morning he enjoyed enough to more To hide from my rapt gaze the world of bliss than compensate him. It was verily to I'll take them prisoner for this sweet treason,
Thy love would be to me? These lips him — nor to him alone “a day of And punish thus, and thus, and thus. heaven upon the earth."
God, what a cry! It cleft the shuddering
As lightning tears a mast! She stood upright,
Her eyes, a midnight tempest flooded
With tears like summer rain. Her lips,
White as red coral touched with snowy foam, The moon is toiling up yon mount of clouds ; Trembled ; while o'er the velvet of her cheek, The spring's soft hands are swaying the old elm, Wave after wave of feeling, as the sea And fairy feet are hending down the grass. Washes a stranded corpse, swept madly. Night is around us, as an unseen spirit, One little band pressed hard ber beating heart, Filling our souls with soft, mysterious yearn- As if to still its mighty heavings. Hark !
Her voice at last, as breaks the autumn wind We think of glory and the thrilling shout Through leafless bower was heard. She sung Of the admiring world. We dream of music And never misery found casement more tur, That role upon our heart's wild, heaving tide. Through which to look on freedom, than her As glides the light ship o'er the unfathomed sea. heart, We muse of childhood, and the wildering joy Swanlike, sought burial in a sea of music. That swept our pulses then. We catch the
thought That struck us blind with brightness, as the sun
“In like manner will He come again."
were scattered here and there, creating such a picture of rural beauty that we
could scarce be drawn away from its atAway among the Mountains. — At Ambleside.
traction to attend to our necessary arHow delightful was that sensation of rangements. perfect freedom, and yet of repose, as we Many were the pleasant strolls enjoyed found ourselves at last far away from the during this resting-time, the only bar to smoke and din of large towns, and blest our full enjoyment arising from the fear with the privilege of settling down quiet of that ocean voyage, which loomed up ly in this cosiest green nook, nestled ominously in the future, not even the away in the mountains of Westmore prospect of seeing the dear home-faces and !
being quite sufficient to make that great What a succession of charming home-dread of long voyaging grow less in the pictures gladdened our sight as, leaving anticipation. the railway train at “ Berthwaite," we During those days the Beloved became continued our journey to Ambleside by enamored with the beauties of angling, stage over a pleasant road, lined with and we recollect one nice dish of goldentasteful residences, whose ample grounds flecked trout, as a result of his practice in and wealth of foliage made the district the piscatory art. Each day we found appear one of equal social and natural some new path for strolling, discovered attraction! Now a glimpse of sparkling some new beauty in the scenery around water, now a castellated height; here a It was at this time that we wrote as nestling cottage, nearly smothered in its follows from the top of Mansfell (one profusion of vines, and there a park, with among the chain of mountains which enwinding walks, velvet lawns, and flowery circle the green basin-like valley with a shrubs, sloping down to its terminus of protecting wall), which we yesterday asgray stone wall, attracted our admiration. cended. A more charmingly-varied pros.
The earth had been newly baptized pect can scarcely be imagined. with copious showers, enhancing the syl- For grandeur and sublimity the Alps van beauty of this naturally lovely ro- and Apennines must, of course, remain gion. The later days of spring, too, pre-eminent in our memory; but the were come, and thus we entered upon our mind cannot always be upon the stretch, new life among the mountains under most and, wearied with its tension, gladly propitious stars. Truly was the favora- seeks repose in scenes less bold, less strikble augury fulfilled during the succeed ingly grand, possessing more softness of ing weeks, spent recuperating an almost outline, more minuteness of detail. exhausted system, after the fatigues of From our point of observation, the those many months of going “ to and fro three lakes, “ Windermere,” or “ Windin the earth.”
ing Water," " Rydalmere,” and “GrassBy nightfall, we were comfortably es- mere” lay before us, gemming the vales tablished in a lodging-house, with our below with shining crystal; while the cosy apartment of two rooms. In one of winding “Rothay," a narrow but exquisthese à cheery fire soon blazed, and in itely clear stream, was gracefully looped less than an hour it assumed a perfectly around the velvet fields, like a silver homelike aspect. From the window of chain on the green bodice of a rustic our sleeping-room opened the loveliest beauty. Fair, undulating meadows and view of green fields and distant moun- grassy slopes stretched out in every directains; while nearer, the village church, tion, dotted over with flocks of quiet with its fiue proportions and beautiful en- sheep and their frolicking lambkins. closure, stood out a symbol of worship Here and there well-conditioned kine before us. Neighboring cottages, built were peacefully feeding. Occasionally, of dark gray stone, with rustic porches one of the picturesque cottages, completeand drapings of rich green vines, sur- i ly draped with clinging vines, or the rounded by tastefully-arranged gardens, pointed gables of some tasteful villa,