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teau, which he deposited outside the ever, for the poor orphan thus doubly gate, at the same time bringing intel bereaved, she found an affectionate and ligence that the coach had cleared the exemplary guardian in her father's village, and would be up immediately. maiden sister, who, on hearing of her No sooner had he announced these brother's loss, and consequent melantidings, than the vehicle came in sight, choly, came to take up her abode per. and a few minutes after drew up at manently with him. With this lady, the gate.
who was every way qualified to super« Now, sir," said the driver, jump intend the education of her niece, ing down from his box, “ quick's the Fanny's days glided away peacefully word, if you please ; I'm behind time and happily in the retirement of a already. Here, David," addressing neat but humble cottage which her the gate-keeper, “ bear a hand with father had purchased shortly before the gentleman's portmanteau."
his death, in the immediate neighWhile the luggage was being stowed bourhood of Carricksawthy common. away on the roof of the coach, Charles At no great distance from them stood aloof with Fanny, who, making dwelt the clergyman of the parish, a an effort to conceal her emotion, ob simple, kindly-natured man, of recluse served, in a subdued tone of voice, “by and studious habits. In this gentle. this time to-morrow, Charles, you will man's society, the Davises spent a be far away from us."
great portion of their time. His son, “ Yes, love, but my thoughts will in particular, a fine spirited youth, be with you still. In the morning I about three years older than Fanny, shall say to myself—now she is going was her constant companion. Toge. out with my father for a ramble across ther they might be seen racing like the common, or through the village; wild colts about the common, laughat noon-she has just seated herself at ing and shouting in all the irrepressible the window with a volume of our glee of childhood ; or climbing with favourite Thomson in her hands ; in fearless foot the steep acclivities of the the evening-she is now at tea with Black Mountains ; or gathering the her aunt, listening with a sweet smile harebells, and wild strawberry plants of resignation - Fanny, dear, you that grew thickly among the hedges of know how often you have made me Leven-gornuth; and in the evening, laugh with that arch smile of yours ! Mr Griffyths, who usually finished his to some portentous anecdote about the day at the cottage, would play the fashions of the last"
part of schoolmaster, and seating the Their conversation was here broken young couple, one on each side of him, in upon by the coachman's pithy re- give them lessons suited to their age; quest that the gentleman would look read them passages from works calcu. sharp ;" whereupon Charles, tearing lated to excite their delight and won. himself from Fanny's side, said, “good der; and instil into them those great · bye, God bless you, love ; be sure you principles of religion and morality, meet me here this day fortnight, and without which there can be no sure depend on hearing from me the instant guarantee for success or happiness in I reach London ;" and with these life. words he sprung into the coach, which So passed the time until Charles in an instant bore him from her sight. Griffyths had attained his thirteenth,
Fanny Davis, at this period, had and Fanny her tenth year, when an just completed her eighteenth year. uncle of the former, who was a mer. She was the only child of an English chant in Bristol, and had neither wife officer of dragoons, who, after a long nor children of bis own, wrote to his term of military service, had retired brother to request that his son might on half-pay into the cheap seclusion of be sent to him, when he would place South Wales, accompanied by his him at school, and probably provide newly wedded wife, who died while for his future fortunes. At first the Fanny was yet an infant-a loss which simple-minded clergyman decided on her husband took grievously to heart, refusing this liberal offer, not liking and which, preying on a constitution the idea of separation from a child already enfeebled by severe wounds, who formed his chief source of happibrought him to the grave within two ness; but when he came to weigh years from the time when he had be the matter carefully in his mind, he come a widower. Fortunately, how resolved to sacrifice his own personal
feelings to his boy's interests, and con- handsomer, kinder, or better behaved sented to his departure.
young couple never graced the vale It was a melancholy day for the of Towy. Mrs Davis—for the good Davises, when Charles called at the lady had, years since, dropped the cottage to bid adieu to his playmate comfortless “ Miss "_was precisely Fanny. She hung round his neck, of the same way of thinking. She and entreated with tears that he would was anxious to see her darling niece take her with him ; and even her aunt comfortably settled before she herself shared some portion of ber distress, so quitted life; and as Fanny would incompletely had the youth's frank, herit what little property she had to cheerful, and intelligent nature won leave, and dreams of worldly ag. upon her feelings. He himself was grandisement never troubled the not less affected than his “ little sis- minds of that contented family circle, ter," as he was in the habit of calling she felt persuaded that the prospects her ; but when, on reaching Bristol, of the young folk were quite as sunny he was received with a hearty wel. as they ought to be. Accordingly, come by his relation, who took a after many long and solemn consultaliking to him at once, he soon forgot tions with Mrs Griffyths, the marhis grief, and became reconciled to riage was resolved on ; but previous his change of life. As it was arran- to its taking place, Charles, who had ged that he should spend his school hitherto received the rents of his cot. vacations alternately with his uncle tages very irregularly, and, for the and his father, he saw Fanny once last two years, none at all —his tenants a year, and, during his absence, kept being of a sad, migratory disposition, up a regular monthly correspondence and much addicted to moonlight flit. with her. Thus four years rolled tings, as his London agent took care away, when it became expedient to to inform him punctually twice a-year consider what should be done for – Charles resolved to look into mat. him. His uncle, struck with the lad's ters himself, and to come to some quickness and sagacity, so unusual final settlement, so that he might enwith those whose boyhood has been ter upon his new state of life without passed in comparative solitude, thought any pecuniary annoyances to molest of commerce ; but before he could him. Besides, he had projected with come to any decisive arrangements, Fanny a variety of pleasant schemes. the increasing infirmities of his father, For instance, the cottage garden was to whom he was devotedly attached, to be enlarged ; additions were to be induced Charles to return home, where made to their little library ; then they he finally took up his residence, pay. were to take a trip to Clifton, and ing, however, occasional visits to possibly even visit Snowdon and its Bristol, till the death of his uncle, romantic neighbourhood; and these who died when the young man had agreeable projects could only be carjust entered on his twenty.first year, ried into execution by the sale of the leaving him a small amount of funded cottages, from which Charles expectproperty, together with one or two ed to derive a sum sufficient for all cottages which he possessed in the his purposes. He accordingly decineighbourhood of London.
ded on a visit to the metropolis, and From this period the union of it was arranged that the marriage Charles and Fanny was the talk of should be solemnized immediately afall the gossips in the parish, who ter his return, which he determined agreed in declaring that they were should be in a fortnight. formed for each other, and that a
As Fanny returned home, it was sions, and cheer her spirits by the rewith the slow step of one whose mind flection that Charles would be back is oppressed by doubts and fears. A in a few days. There are times, as presentiment of she knew not what all must have felt, when vague prehung like a heavy weight upon hier sentiments of impending ill fall like a heart. In vain she tried to persuade blight upon the mind, and, despite the herself of the folly of her apprehen. efforts of reason, deprive it for the season of all energy. So much had her pillow was pressed by an aching he been with her of late, so congenial head; but the morning soon dawned, were their tastes and pursuits, and so and with it came a reassured spirit. absolute was her dependence on him, In a day or two at farthest she should that when, on reaching the cottage, have a letter from the young travelshe found Charles no longer there, a ler, and this would go far to fill up light seemed vanished from her path, the void occasioned by his absence. and her once happy home, forlorn Three days thus passed ; and, early and darkened, to wear the aspect of a on the fourth, the Llangadock postman house of mourning. Hers was, in brought up the expected epistle to the fact, just the sort of nature to enter cottage. Oh, how Fanny devoured its tain a pure, fervent, and engrossing contents ! It was written in the most passion like this. She was a creature cheerful spirits. Charles had nearly of quick and ardent impulses ; simple accomplished the business which took and affectionate ; of a high-toned or him to town, and would to a certain. der of imagination—too often, alas! ty be back that day week, when she humanity's worst foe; with all the was to meet him, as agreed upon, at freshness of youth in her heart, as its the turnpike gate. Holding the prebloom was on her cheek; and with a cious document in her hand, Fanny certain innate refinement of look and flew first to her aunt, and then to Mr manner which far more than compen- Griffyths, to communicate the welsated for the absence of that artiticial come intelligence, and, in the evenpolish induced by an acquaintance ing, sat down and penned an answer, with what is called “ good society." which she took herself to the postThough uneducated in the fashionable office. sense of the term, yet she had read As the happy creature's mind had and thought much—had a poet's eye now recovered its usual elasticity, the for the ever-varying aspects of na- hours flew rapidly by, the week ap. ture—the stern, emphatic frown of proached its termination, and now it winter, the sunny smile of spring, the wanted only one day to the period grave, serene majesty of autumn which Charles had fixed on for his and was familiar with the works of arrival. On the evening of that day many of our best writers; for Mr Fanny took a stroll with her aunt Griffyths, to whom she was as dear through the village, who could not reas if she were his own child, had been frain from a smile when she saw the assiduous in his efforts to draw forth joyous and excited state of her mind. all the powers of her mind. For such « By this time to-morrow, aunt," she a being to love-and love with her said, “ Charles will have returned to whole soul as though it were the ele- us. I have been to the gate, and they ment from which her life derived its tell me the coach passes it at noon. verdure, and without which the green Oh, how happy it will make us all to stalk of her youth must decay was see him again! And we shall have so as natural as for birds to sing, and much to talk about, you know! We flowers to “ fill the lap of May." The shall hear all his adventures, where he casket that enshrined this fair treasure lived_how he employed his time—and was every way worthy of it. Her what he thought of those fine new figure was buoyant, sylph-like, and streets and buildings that we read so graceful in every movement; her much about. And then we have so many countenance, with the soft blue eye plans to arrange for the next month. and exquisitely formed mouth, full of We are to spend a few days at Clifexpression ; and she had that sweet, ton, which Charles tells me is one of low voice, “ an excellent thing in the loveliest spots in England ; to visit woman,” which wins its way to the Bath, where he went to school; and heart, like the music of one's native Tintern Abbey on our way back ; and, home heard in a far-off land. Such if the weather continues favourable, to was the innocent, trusting, and lovely take a trip to North Wales, which I creature who now, for the first time have so long wished to see. Oh, how in her life, felt thought press like a happy we shall be, shall we not, aunt?”. burden on her imagination, which she and thus the lively girl ran on; while would fain, but could not, shake off. all who passed her, young and old,
The night after Charles's departure blessed the radiant countenance which VOL. XLIV, NO, CCLXXVI.
beamed with such ineffable sweetness very spot with Charles; and, the reand good-humour.
flection lending additional impetus to The next day Fanny was astir with her movements, in a few minutes she the lark; and, long ere the sun had reached the turnpike, where sat the dispelled the vapours which cling round gatekeeper on a bench outside his the forehead of Llynn-y-van, she had door, with a tankard of cwrw beside gathered a basket-full of the choicest him. fruits in the garden, and disposed her " A fine afternoon, Miss Fanny." flower-pots on the lawn in front of the “ Yes, indeed, David-what time cottage, in the order that she knew do you expect the coach by ?" Charles most liked. Mr Griffyths “It will be here in a few seconds, came up to breakfast with them-an miss,” replied the old man. “I suppose unusual thing with him, for he was a now you are expecting Master Charles,” late riser-and, when the meal was and the speaker looked archly at her, over, Fanny quitted the room to com. for their betrothment was no secret to plete her preparations for the travel the neighbourhood. ler's arrival. The wonted dinner “ Yes," said Fanny, with a brighthour at three o'clock was put off till ening glow on her cheek; “ we rather four; the servant was sent into the vil. think he will be here to-day, as Mr lage to purchase the tenderest poultry Griffyths has received no intimation that could be procured; the fruit, trimly from him to the contrary ;” and then, garnished with leaves and flowers, was anxious to drop the subject, though it set out on the sideboard; and a bottle engrossed all her thoughts, she entered of unimpeachable wine, which had re. the house, and began caressing the mained in the cellar since Captain gatekeeper's grandchild-a fine curly Davis's death, was hunted up and headed boy, some five or six years old. broached for the occasion.
She was thus engaged, infinitely to When all these little household pre- the delight of the child, who made her parations were finished, Fanny, simply assist him in hunting a kitten under a and gracefully attired in white, Charles's chest of drawers, when suddenly her favourite dress, with a single rose in her quick ear caught the roll of wheels, hair, and a light straw bonnet, whose and, bounding to the door, she exshape set off her beautiful face to the claimed, clapping her hands with joy, greatest advantage, took her way alone, “ Here it is. I am sure this is it!" forshe would not even accept of heraunt At about two hundred yards' disas a companion, to the place of meet. tance from the gate, the road made a ing. As she tripped across the com- sudden bend, forming an acute angle, mon she could not help contrasting so that no vehicle could be seen till the present state of her feelings with it was close to the turnpike, though the what they were on the day when she tramp of the horses' feet might be parted from Charles. Then she was heard long before. For some minutes, a prey to blank dejection. Now she therefore, Fanny was in a state of the was all hope and cheerfulness. Every most exciting suspense; but the mowell-known object on which her eye ment the supposed stage turned the now rested seemed arrayed in more corner of the road, she found, to her than usual beauty_every sound that disappointment, that it was merely a came to her ear seemed informed with private carriage. a blither spirit. A brighter-fresher “Never fear, young lady," said the green adorned the elastic carpet on gate-keeper, 6 it will be here immewhich shetrode; the precipitous heights diately; Joe's always remarkably of the Black Mountains, furrowed punctual; I never knew him ten miwith the storms of ages, wore a sun. nutes behind in my life, and I've kept nier aspect; the thrush from the depths this turnpike ever since your fatherof the neighbouring copses sang sweet. ah, here it comes, you can tell it by er in her ear; and a more invigorating the cloud of dust it raises ; now then, influence breathed in the wind that miss, now for Master Charles ; I'll came wooingly towards her. The warrant me he's on the look out ;' church clock from Llangadock struck then, in an under tone to himself, two, as she crossed the little wood. " Well, well, it's quite natural at their en bridge that spans the brawling age, poor things; I remember, at their Sawthy. In half-an-hour hence, she time of life I was just as fond of courtsaid to herself, I shall be passing this ing as they are, though it seems strange enough to me now ;" and so saying, the clergyman was sitting with specthe honest fellow finished his tankard, tacles on nose, conning over his next as if to make himself amends for his Sunday's sermon; and greatly was departed sensibilities.
Fanny comforted, when her first acute How the young girl's heart beat burst of anguish was over, by perceive as the sound of wheels drew near! Pre- ing how soon the old folks were reconcious load that vehicle bore, for all she ciled to Charles's non-appearance. most cherished on earth was there. They took for granted that his affairs And now it turns the corner-an in. had detained him longer than he had stant, and it is halting at the turnpike calculated on, and felt assured that he gate! But no kind voice greeted Fan- would arrive on the morrow, or the ny's anxious ears—no familiar face was day after at farthest. They even ral. lit up with smiles at her presence. The lied Fanny on, what she called, her passengers were all strangers to her. “ presentiment;' but finding that this One brief, searching glance sufficed light tone pained her, Mr Griffyths, to tell her this; and before she could who was well aware how vivid her summon up courage enough to make imagination was, and how apt she was enquiries, the coach was again on the at times to be carried away by its immove, leaving the wretched girl stand- pulses, whether sad or cheerful, as. ing on the foot-path a prey to the bit sumed a more earnest manner, and terest disappointment.
after pointing out to her how comPitying her distress, the old gate pletely the letter from Charles had keeper approached her. “Come, come, proved the fallacy of those vague fears Miss Fanny,” he said, “ don't take which had beset her on the evening of matters so to heart; depend on it the his departure, at length succeeded in young gentleman will be here within persuading her that her apprehensions the next four-and-twenty hours. Most on the present occasion would turn likely all the places were engaged out to be equally groundless. “ He when he applied at the booking-office, will be here to-morrow, or the day for, as you must have seen yourself, after," added the clergyman; “but if the coach was full inside as well as out; not, depend on it you will have a letter my life on it, he will come to-mor. from him, explaining the cause of his
prolonged absence,”-an opinion in “ Yes, yes, David, you are right, he which Mrs Davis coincided. will come to-morrow; but it will be a On the following day, immediately great disappointment to his father, for after breakfast, the anxious girl set off we all fully expected him to-day. Is for Llangadock, concluding, as Mr there any other coach that will pass Griffyths had suggested, that there this road in the course of the even would be a letter for her, if Charles ing?"
meditated a longer stay. She met the - No, miss; this is the only one." postman on her road, and ascertaining
“ Well, then, I must have patience from him that there were no commutill to-morrow, when I will call here nications either for the clergyman, her again. Good afternoon, David," and aunt, or herself, she turned back to with a heavy sigh Fanny turned away the cottage, not disappointed, but fully from the turnpike, and pursued her soconvinced that Charles would be with litary road home.
her that day. Again, therefore, were On reaching the garden gate, her the domestic arrangements of the preaunt, who caught sight of her from ceding day repeated ; and at the apthe window, surprised to find her re- pointed hour, Fanny bent her steps to turn alone, hastened down the lawn to the turnpike, accompanied by Mr meet her.
Griffyths, whom she kept at his utmost "Why,how is this, Fanny?" exclaim speed, at the same time expressing her cd Mrs Davis, “ where's Charles ?" surprise that he walked “so very
“Oh, aunt, aunt,” replied Fanny, very slow !”. bursting into tears, “he is not come They had not reached the gate many
he never will come_I have seen minutes before the coach again drew him for the last time."
up. Fanny looked anxiously into the « Nonsense, child; but come in, passengers' faces, but, as before, they Mr Griffyths is waiting to hear the were all strange to her. “Unkind!” news,"
she murmured, as she turned away They entered the parlour, where with a sickness of heart that passes