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and, when she recalled the deference of the stranger's manner, and the beaming expression of his eye, as he bade her farewell, she shuddered, and even wept, that things, so pleasant to memory, should be so dangerous. Could she have looked into Vandellyn's heart, her fears would have vanished. His love was indeed wild and vehement; but it was guileless as infant thought. It was a poet's dream, never to be realized by imperfect humanity; but it originated in pure and honorable feeling, and might easily be changed to something better, and more permanent than the illusive delights of an overheated imagination. From the moment Mr Wandellyn heard George Campbell's story, he resolved to educate both him and his sister for that higher grade of society, which beauty and talents so well fitted them to adorn. After two days' reflection upon the subject, he visited Diamond Isle for the purpose of making his intentions known. His repeated summons at the door of the hut were answered by the old woman, who, showing a face squalid as disease and poverty could make it, shrilly demanded his business. “Is Miss Campbell here?” inquired her shrinking visiter. “Yes,” was the laconic reply. “May I see her?” “No, that you mayn’t, sir,” answered the beldame, fiercely; and, adding a torrent of abuse, which we forbear to repeat, she shut and fastened the door with all possible violence. Her loathsome appearance, and the angry coarseness of her language, were a powerful antidote to the romance of benevolence and love ; and for several

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THE RECLUSE OF THE LAKE. 59

days, Vandellyn cherished the idea that one connected with such a woman must be tinged with her vulgarity as well as ignorance. Nursed in the lap of luxury, the poet made no allowance for the corroding influence of poverty; and innocent of all wicked intentions, he could not believe the grandmother's harshness originated in kind and judicious watchfulness; but the more reluctant he felt again to encounter the virago of the island, the more his curiosity increased with regard to the pretty stranger. He was revolving these thoughts in his mind late one summer's afternoon, when he saw Mary and her brother passing swiftly by, as if they wished to reach home before the twilight closed. He instantly joined them, and urged them to walk in to look at the birds and flowers. The girl's modest “No, I thank you,” was uttered in a tone so mild, he could not think it a very firm refusal; but when he repeated his request, she replied, with something of indignant decision, “No, I thank you, sir. It is quite time we were at Diamond Isle.” The Recluse perceived he was distrusted, and his cheek glowed with honest indignation at the thought ; but he bowed low, as he added, “Pardon the improper request; and allow me to make some slight atonement for my rashness.” He darted into the house, and soon returned with a large, beautiful bouquet. George cast back “many a lingering look”; but Mary had walked on so fast, that it was difficult to overtake her. She was, however, evidently pleased with the respectful manner in which the flowers were offered; and, before they proceeded far, she even ventured to repeat the fine accounts her brother had given. “Yes,” exclaimed the light hearted boy, “it was every word true. My cage is the handsomest in the whole world, and has the handsomest bird in it; and Mr Wandellyn's house is the handsomest in the whole world, and —” “What a pity,” interrupted the smiling Recluse, “that my handsome cage has not the handsomest bird in the whole world in it.” “You could never find a prettier bird than mine at Diamond Isle,” replied the artless boy. “I believe it,” rejoined his friend ; and he looked and spoke so significantly, that Mary's cheek burned with blushes, while honest George in vain perplexed his mind with conjectures whether Mr Vandellyn wished to have his bird back again. When they reached the lake, the Recluse made a motion to accompany them ; but Miss Campbell said, with evident embarrassment, “I had rather you would not go with us. Indeed I had much rather you would not.” The shade of vexation and disappointment, which passed over his speaking countenance, troubled the gentle girl; and she turned back to add, with the most bewitching artlessness, “I did not mean that I had rather not have you go. It would be very pleasant indeed to me; but—but—indeed, you had better go back, Mr Vandellyn.” “I will return to please you, sweet girl,” exclaimed the delighted lover. “Farewell, till you hear from me again.” “She is not tinged with vulgarity,” thought he, as he retraced his steps homeward. “She has delicacy a thousand times more refined than artificial dignity can

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ever imitate.” Under the influence of recent excitement, he wrote to offer her his hand, his heart, and his fortune. In his letter, he proposed adopting her brother; begged leave to defray the expenses of one year's education for herself; and voluntarily promised to make no attempt to see her during that time, if it were unpleasant to her. Such delicacy and generosity might well have won the proudest and coldest heart; but the desolate and affectionate Mary Campbell was entirely overpowered by it; and, in the enthusiasm of her gratitude, she thought it honor and happiness enough for her to be Arthur Wandellyn's slave, to watch his motions, and obey his every signal. George wondered at the emotion his sister evinced, and when he was told the letter was from Mr Wandellyn, his first sorrowful idea was that the bird must be returned ; but, when he was made to comprehend that his new friend had offered to educate him, and marry his sister, he could not control his feelings. After kissing Mary a hundred times, and crying and laughing alternately, he rushed out of the house, and, before his absence was noticed, he was in his benefactor's dwelling. The eloquent speech he had prepared to say, forsook him the moment the Recluse met him with one of his winning smiles. He burst into tears, and exclaimed, “You are too good, sir, indeed you are too good; and we all love you so much!” “Then you and Mary will go to school, for my sake?” inquired the visionary. “Oh, it is such a blessing to go,” rejoined the poor boy; “and then if it wasn't, we would do anything and everything for you. I wish you could have seen Mary cry over your letter, and heard how often she said that you were the best man in the whole world.” Though the poet's life had been more like “a fairy dream,” than usually falls to the lot of mortals, he had never known true happiness before. Many and valuable are the boasted delights of intellect and taste, but one moment of the heart's bliss is worth them all. So at least thought Arthur Vandellyn, when a simple, affectionate letter from Mary, thanked him for his goodness, and expressed her entire confidence in his integrity. The brother and sister were both placed at excellent schools; and though Arthur was, for a season, separated from the object so suddenly become necessary to his existence, yet her frequent, unstudied letters, showed that he was beloved with that mingled reverence and self-devotion so dear to the heart of In larl. In the mean time, a cloud, which the young enthusiast had not foreseen, was gradually spreading over his sunshine of prosperity and joy. Like Shenstone, he had surrounded himself with luxurious elegance, to which his funds were inadequate. Strange as it may seem, for one educated in America, he had an eye and a soul for all the beauties of statues, pictures, and exotics, without the habit of counting their cost. The result was, his fifteen thousand were gone, twice over, before he was aware of it. His creditors were impatient; six years must still elapse before he received another portion of his wealth; his trustees warned him against borrowing the forbidden sum ; and no

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