« AnteriorContinuar »
“To say how fête succeeded fête, amusement crowded “I heard no more ; hurrying to my apartment, I apupon amusement, were the detail of the next fleeting peared no more that day. I could not doubt I was weeks. I lived more in the future than in the present; deserted by the only being who had breathed life into more in anticipation than in actual enjoyment. the fervency of love my heart held; and in the mingled
“One morning as we loitered over the breakfast table, emotions of anguish, pride, indignation, that heart my uncle threw a purse of gold towards Antonio, say• seemed scorched. I shed no tears, but I was not the ing, with considerable asperity of tone
less miserable for that. In the silence and darkness of " "Since I must support you in your folly and extrava- night, while I brooded over my own wretchedness, gance, wonder not that I do it hesitatingly-grudgingly; heavy footsteps in the hall and an unusual and confused and be not surprised, when I say my fortune, however murmur of voices aroused me. I listened--I heard the ample, must soon be dissipated by these successive and name of Antonio. Breathless, I sped to the top of the exorbitant demands on it. Your note of last night, marble staircase. The body of a wounded man was while it solicits this sum towards the discharge of debts borne slowly and heavily through the lordly hall--the which press so heavily upon you, says not how they dark blood dripping on the polished floor. My uncle have been incurred. Antonio! I have that confidence followed it with a stern sorrow. I could not disguise in you, to believe they have not been contracted by from myself the fatal truth: it was Antonio Bandini! play! I arose ere my uncle paused, and as I looked and as I gazed on his pallid features, (for I had descended towards Antonio, ere I left the room, 1 saw that he red to the hall) whose unearthly hue appeared more corpsedened to the brow, and that fierce fire played in his like from the purple stream which rolled sullenly over flashing eye.
his face, issuing unceasingly from a wound in his head, “I felt no desire to intrude in the examination of that I hardly repressed the sbriek which seemed ready to course which had elicited so sharp a reprimand from burst from me. Almost fainting, I leaned against one my uncle. I heard their voices high in altercation for of the marble pillars, as the sad spectacle passed onwards. some time after I had retired, but at length there was Ere I recovered, I was alone—no! not alone ; for that stillness, and supposing the breakfast room vacated, I soul-piercing, harrowing shriek, which met my ear, told hastened there for a volume into which I had been me there was other agony than mine own. A soft, looking, and which I had left there. As I withdrew gentle sob, again broke the hushed stillness—iwining the rich folds of the velvet curtain which separated arms were around my knees—I opened my eyes; for in this apartment from an adjoining one, I started back on the bitterness of my sorrow, I had closed them, that no beholding my uncle and Antonio still within, and in a object might thrust itself between me and the contemlow tone conversing so earnestly, that they did not plation of my grief. The fair, clinging form of Miss observe my intrusion. My uncle's first words ar- Templeton knelt at my feet; her dark hair, in its unrested me :
bound luxuriance, sweeping the cold floor, and bright ""Poor girl! she has then been the victim of a per- tears swimming in her eyes, rendering them even fidy as base and unfeeling as it is consummate and starry in their radiance. artful. The words that followed were not heard by “I involuntarily shrank from her, for I felt it was to me, for they were muttered in Antonio's ear, with an her, in part, I owed my wretchedness-she had stolen indistinctness for which my uncle's violence of emotion from me the heart I had learned to love so utterly. (for he appeared alarmingly agitated,) accounted. “Tell me,' she exclaimed, for the love of God, tell
“Antonio started from his seat, and with a threatening me where they have taken him?' gesture exclaimed—Madre de Dios ! immolate my love, “ It seems she was passing the house as Antonio was my plighted faith, at the shrine of wealth, of worldly borne to it, and the rays of the lamps falling on his aggrandizement! sacrifice the pure, fresh affection of a countenance, she had recognised him, alighted from young trusting heart, to the cold selfishness of a woman her carriage, and in frantic despair, rushed into the whose idol is pomp, whose worship is herself!-never! hall through which she had beheld him carried. Her never !' and as he flung himself back on the regal vehement ejaculations continued, notwithstanding my cushions of the chair, whence he had started, its mas-silence, for I spoke not, in answer to her inquiry. sive frame seemed to quake with the tremor of passion At length she arose-'I will go and seek him; and which convulsed him. My uncle passed his hand as her eye fell on the dark spots which marked the slowly over his eyes, groaned seemingly in bitterness of progress of the wounded man, she shuddered. She spirit, and approaching Antonio, said
was passing on, when I caught her arm, and remon“'I do not reproach you for ingratitude-I do not stratedspeak of my gifts to you—I recall not the hours of your “Miss Templeton, what will the world, what will youth, your manhood, when I fulfilled with yearning Lord, Lady Vernon say, if it is known you are here, at affection every office of the kindest paren— 1 appeal this hour, unattended, and with the avowed purpose of not to your duty to me-but earnestly, tenderly, implo- seeing a gentleman, who, at the most, is only your ringly, do I ask you to think of the heart which has yet lover?' never dreamed of unhappiness, never imagined sorrow- “ And what is the world, what Lord, Lady Vernon of the noble spirit which has been nurtured by the very to me, when Antonio is dying? Think you, I respect breath of love-of the young, bright form, springing so the forms of that world which would banish from the gladly in life's path—ere you bring desolation on that pillow of an expiring man— but I lose time,' added heart, contumely on that spirit, the blighting hand of she, checking herself' every moment is golden now.' grief to wither the rare loveliness of that form. One So saying, she would have gone on, but I still detained word more, Antonio, and I am done. By your extra- her. vagance, my fortune is
"'Miss Templeton, think one moment before you adopt (shall I say it ?) indelicacy of conduct. Antonio resorted for comfort, but from it I received not that is well attended, and your presence will only tend to peace which I had so bitterly proved the world canagitate and embarrass him. Why persist in it? You, not give.' Before the dying gift of my mother, I pourwho are only the
ed forth the agony of my spirit; but unclothed in humi“Wife of his bosom!' interrupted she quickly, as lity, trusting to that very suffering, and not to the Sashe shook from her the arm those words had palsied. viour, I found no consolation. During this time, Ida My heart's pulsations seemed stayed-a cold tremor V-was my constant companion. 1 veiled from her passed over me, and I felt as if the earth was sinking, the tale of my grief, but my religion was known to her, with me on her bosom, into that abyss where hope never and by many arguments she sought to lead me from the comes. The delirium of love fled before the reality of darkness of superstition to the light of that faith on such treachery; indignation nerved my fainting form, which the Sun of Righteousness, with healing in his and with a pride I sought not to conceal, I followed to wings,'had arisen. My agitated mind imparted its his apartment the one who had avowed herself his wife. fever to my body; long, painful, and violent illness That apartment, which one moment before I would have seized me, and the very day that Antonio Bandini, now shunned, I now longed to enter. I reached the door, recovered from his wounds, sought his home without my just in time to hear him exclaim, as Miss Templeton uncle's house, I was prostrated by the fever which had rushed in, passionately throwing herself into his em revelled so long and so fiercely in my veins. Ida now brace-
came daily, like a messenger of mercy—the beauty of "Mia cara vita.' His voice was low and very weak, her religion seemed waked into voice, in her meek, but tenderness spoke in those few words so softly gentle, affectionate manner; and I have often, as with breathed. The stains of blood had been removed from her countenance of heavenly peace she moved noisehis face, and his matted hair hung heavily on his tem- lessly about my sick chamber, asked myself, 'can ples, contrasting fearfully with the hueless, deathlike heresy, which I have been taught to despise, grant these complexion. As my shadow darkened the threshold, sweet fruits, while I, nourished on the very bosom of he looked towards me, and a smile of demoniac triumph the holy mother church, almost a fanatic in my zeal broke over his face-the expression of a fierd crossed for her, am doomed to suffer without alleviation, with. his colorless features. I quailed not beneath it. With out abatement? Where are the consolations of my that haughtiness I could so well assume, I Alung back religion ?' Then, repenting my murmurings, I sought his look; with a contempt which should have withered forgiveness for them, not grasping the cross of Christ his heart, I coldly returned his smile-and saying, 'I as my only hope, but trusting in the rigor of renewed now leave you to the care of your wife, as I perceive penances, relying on my own 'good works!' I will she has gained your apartment,' I passed with unbend- not detain you by dwelling on the gradual process of ing pride from the presence of the heartless traitor, my passage from death unto life; how I struggled whom I then saw for the last time.
against the effects of Ida's conversations; how I strove “When I had departed, my uncle followed my steps, to convince her of the fallacy of her own faith, and the and on his boson I wept tears, wrung from unspeaka- heavenly origin of my own; how I oft dreamed of reble anguish. His affection was now my only remain claiming the heretic, wooing her back to the true fold, ing solace, and infolded to his heart, I inwardly vowed whence she had strayed, and as often found myself to cherish that affection with unswerving tenderness. obliged to relinquish the sweet hope ; how at last the It was from him I then learned Antonio's desperate fabric I had so proudly reared against the advancement passion for play, and that the wounds of which he was of heresy, the strong hold to which I had fled for refuge then suffering, had been inflicted by one of his reckless from its encroachments, gradually tottered and sank, associates, who, exasperated by his own losses, and while I, its baffled, but repentant inhabitant, bowed besuspicious of Antonio's success, had charged him with fore the superiority of a foe, against whom I had comunfairness. Word succeeded to word_menace to me- batted so long and so unavailingly. My Bible was, after nace--the cold blade of the dagger was unsheathed — some time, read with unprejudiced eyes; prayer bethey fought, and soon exhausted by loss of blood, An- came a source of sacred pleasure; I leaned on my Satonio fell While his companion sought safety elsewhere, viour for redemption, no longer on my own weak he was borne to his home, covered with wounds, and efforts. Ida saw this change, and the cords of friendship burning with vengeance.
were tightened. Though I was nominally still a Ca"From my uncle I also gleaned (though he had just tholic, she knew I possessed many sentiments in comlearned it,) the corroborated intelligence of Antonio's mon with herself, and doubted not I was a pilgrim in clandestine marriage, many weeks before, to the fair the same strait and narrow way.' English girl, whose beauty and song had enchained “The few weeks immediately succeeding my recovery, him from the first moment he had beheld her, though were fraught with fresh sorrow to me, but I did not the purity of that beauty, the heavenliness of that song, again sink beneath its accumulating burden, for an had failed to impart their elevating influences to his Almighty hand upheld me. sordid mind.
“My uncle, who often visited me during my illness, " Although my affection, deep and beautiful, and seemed always sorrowful. To the ingratitude of Antotrusting as it had been in its worship, was now changed nio I attributed this depression, but as he was increasinto contempt and detestation, 1 do not say I suffered ingly sad, as his countenance bore the traces of deep not. Ah, no! who that saw the faded cheek, the anxiety, I began to suspect other causes operated to lustreless eye, the shrinking form, could say that grief produce his uneasiness. My conjectures were, however, had not touched them, and brushed off the gloss and ended, when one evening my uncle summoned me to a brightness and buoyancy of youth! To my religion Il private interview, and at some length, with a quivering lip and blanched cheek, he told me he was not master of my uncle's signature ; claimed and received my whole a piaster! From what I had heard of his conversation remaining property; insuring the success of his villainwith Antonio, to which I have already alluded, I was ous scheme, by concealing his actual marriage, and inclined to believe the extravagant courses of his nephew causing the report of his betrothal to me to be revised had involved him in some embarrassments, yet I never where it was readily hearkened to. The cold, calcuimagined he was inextricably entangled. I scarcely heed-lating policy of the villain, was apparent throughout! ed my uncle, as he proceeded to explain minutely how I wondered not it had sped death's shaft to the heart of he had been so suddenly hurled from the very pinnacle my dear, kind uncle ! of luxury; my mind was engrossed with another sub- “With the brand of forgery, Bandini Aled from his ject: my part was taken ; and as he went on to deplore, country, his home, his wife ; and the daring valor of a for my sake, the necessity of resigning his magnificent pirate's life shrouded the iniquity of those acts which establishment, I threw myself at his feet, exclaiming, induced him to take refuge in a perpetual home on the “Never, my dear uncle ! never shall it be said I luxu. deep seas. Ida and her father were the first to offer riated in the splendor of wealth, while one who had the balm of sympathy to one who had so bitterly expethrown around me the fostering care of a parent, pined rienced the vicissitudes of life.' Yielding to their in the bitterness of want : that I revelled in the enjoy- solicitations, offered in the fervor of friendship, I acment of those comforts which had been wrested from cepted the guardianship of Mr. V~, and when he him. I have wealth, uncle—I want only sufficiency- decided on returning to America, it is not to be wondertake the rest, I implore, I supplicate you—and think ed at, that, without ties in my native land, I clung to not, in your last years, to deprive yourself of those pos- that protection which their affection had thrown as a sessions to which you were born the inheritor. My shield around me, and prepared to seek a home in anouncle kissed my brow, as he gently raised me from my ther and strange clime. kneeling posture, spoke warmly of his gratitude, but “Although my inestimable and noble young friend, firmly and resolutely rejected my offer. I pleaded, but Mr. Wallingford, would fain have persuaded me to link in vain. I dwelt on his kindness—his generous kind my destinies with his own, I shrank from perilling my ness: I offered him my fortune as his right. He was happiness again on the deep of affection, where it had deaf to all my prayers. While I acknowledged the been so fearfully wrecked; and my heart, withered and nobleness of his motive, I deplored his pertinacious blighted, my fortunes clouded, my spirit crushed, were firmness; but drying my tears, I quitted his presence, unworthy of one so gifted, in whose book of life every and before another eve had thrown its glory over our page glowed so bright and fresh. As he accompanied regal home, my uncle was again its rightful master. us to the vessel which was to bear us over the billowy The clamor of the claimants for his noble possessions, deep, and as he pressed my hand in parting, the prayer was appeased by my gold, and though my vast heritage of a broken heart almost burst into utterance for his unhad dwindled to comparative competency, by the dis- dying happiness. After our last adieu was exchanged, charge of what I deemed my sacred duty, I lamented I felt that the sadness of departure was gone, although not its loss : 1 was happy in the consciousness of acting fair Italia, with her burnished skies, the land of my a christian's part.
fathers, was fading before the lingering gaze of the “I now began to hope no farther blight might enter exile." our circle, but I was mistaken. A few days after the occurrence I have just related, I was aroused at an Nina soon became too weak to join our friends below early hour, and requested to go to my uncle's apart- stairs. Ida shared with me the sad duty of administerment. Tremblingly I obeyed. As I entered the cham- ing to the meek sufferer, and not unfrequently would ber, my uncle's valet, who had opened the door to me, ask permission to read to her, which was always readily passed quickly into the adjoining room. Hastily I ad- accorded. The book constantly selected was the Bible
, vanced to the centre of the apartment, and not seeing and with clasped hands, and closed eyes, every word any one within, I walked to the bed-side, pulled aside seemed to be eagerly drunk in by the dying girl
. The the curtains of the bed, gave one wild scream, and fell Catholic only existed in name, and this was not destined senseless by the side of my dead uncle! When I reco- long to continue. Since the avowal of her sentiments vered, I was still alone with the departed; my eye fell to me, I was in daily expectation of a fornal renunciaon an open letter, which apparently had been recently tion of her faith ; but it was not until a short time before read, and which rested on the coverlid. I started to my her death that this occurred. There, in that chamber, feet, and with a dread foreboding I could not suppress, over whose threshold the destroying angel was hovering, I glanced over its contents. It was from an old and Nina Genovesi abjured the Romish religion, and par tried friend of our family at Venice, and as the horrible took of the communion ; after which a sweet and holy truth it told was slowly revealed to me, I felt my fears calm seemed to pervade her soul; every thought was had not whispered falsely: Antonio Bandini had given detached from earth, and in perfect
, uninterrupted death all its sting, to the one who had loved him so peace, she awaited the approach of "the last enemy," blindly. I ceased to read; I stood immoveable. The fearing not her conflict, but believing the “ dark valley last drop was added to the cup of agony, which had and shadow of death” was but a passage to the realms so long overflowed--that cup which sparkled so glori- of unfading glory and undying bliss. Every word which ously in life's early spring-time. By the corpse of him fell from her lips was tinctured with these feelings, and who had been all to me--the last of my house-the last as we watched her, languishing and withering, like of my kindred—I knew I was not only friendless and a fair flower untimely crushed and blighted, such a glodesolate
, but I learned in that fatal letter I was a beggar rious halo seemed playing around the beautiful ruin, also. Antonio Bandini had counterfeited my own and I that the tear was quenched, the prayer to detaia ber
longer amid the cares and tumults of the world was folded on the breast, and between the taper fingers stilled, and from the ashes of the hope we so reluctantly drooped a white rose, the image of life dwelling in the yielded, there was kindled the flame of a christian's bosom of death. I knelt beside the beautiful corpse, upmurmuring submission.
and over the pale cheek, scarce distinguishable from the "Dearest Ida,” would Nina oftentimes exclaim, "had cold white shroud on which it rested, streamed my it not been for you, through Heaven's blessing, death tears. From the ebon tress which passed over the would not now wear such a garb to me; I should shrink noble brow, I severed one soft curl—then casting one from encountering the billows of that lide which rolls look at the dead, I returned to my chamber. One more between me and my promised inheritance; but now all night of melancholy watching beside our “ beloved and fears, all doubts are hushed, and all is peace, unspeak- blest,” and we committed her to the breast of earth, able peace. What has wrought it? The Bible, whose there to repose till the resurrection morn! truths you first unfolded to me—the precious Bible, Though long years have passed since the event I have which has revealed the glories and comforts and bliss just recorded ; though changes upon changes have of a Saviour's love!"
thronged my pathway, the memory of Nina Genovesi, Each day saw Nina more spirit-like, and soon she and her untimely end, is fresh amid the desolation was unable to leave her bed. The very spirit of sad- which has imbittered my life. Her grave stands soliness seemed breathed over the household ; and the tary and alone, and the evergreens clambering over the noiseless tread, the whispered word, the darkened room, marble tablet which marks it, half conceal the name the universal hush of every sound, interrupted only by which tells her the daughter of a sunnier clime. The the low and often labored breathings of the sufferer, told towers of spring blossom earliest there; the gorgeous that the work of death was going on. Who could count sunbeam, the rays of the smiling stars, “Heaven's on years, or even days, when all that was most fair and golden alphabet,” repose on its verdant turf, with globright was fading under our gaze-when the wing of rious lustre, and in the blythe carol of the winged songthe spoiler was darkening the sun-light of youth and ster, as he speeds by, there dwells no note of sadness beauty? Yet life seemed to nestle lovingly to that form, for the early fate of one who sleeps beneath the green and cling graspingly to that fabric, wherein it had re- and flowery mound ! velled in such rare loveliness, yet so briefly. But death's progress was not to be stayed.
Time passed on, and his cold wing had chilled more Summer was dancing in all its richness on the than one emotion of my bosom; but my intercourse with flowery earth. In an hour of brightness and melody, Ida slumbered not, and my affection for her lost none of the one whom we had cherished so fondly was called its freshness. For three years her married life was unhence. Supported on Ida's bosom, Nina gazed on the clouded ; and the birth of a lovely little girl, during this glowing face of nature. All was hushed in that cham- period, awakened in both parents an intensity of tenber of death; we scarcely breathed, lest the spirit which derness, of which only a parent can form an adequate animated that shadowy form should be frightened from conception. That of Gerald seemed strangely tinged its tenement. I had looked on death before. I had with melancholy, and as he sometimes stooped to caress shuddered as I viewed its victim. I had feared, as the his beautiful child, as it slumbered on the bosom of his shroud, the narrow coffin, the deep and silent grave, not less beautiful wife, or as sparkling with smiles, it passed before my mind's eye. I had trembled as I sprang to his embrace, Ida had more than once marked thought on the eternity that was unfolding; but man- the tearful eye and quivering lip which he in vain lied in beauty, the destroyer inspired no terror now. Istrove to conceal. How in the very noontide of their stood beside Nina's couch, holding in mine her fevered happiness, there could exist one shade of sadness, Ida and emaciated hand, and as the pure, bland breeze of could not conceive. That Gerald could feel aught but evening swept over her transparent brow, stirring the joyful gratitude, at that gift which had cemented their dark, luxuriant curls, which rested on its marble sur own ties, and promised to be “the rainbow to their future face
, the tear gathered to my eye, as I thought how soon years," she could not doubt—that his love for her contithe tomb would forever veil from us the loved form over nued fadeless, she hesitated not to believe. What secret which we were leaning. A heavenly smile stole slowly and untold grief preyed on his heart, then? It was a over those beautiful features. The soft eyes were question she could not solve ; and with the intuitive raised, and the low, sweet voice, broke the hushed still- delicacy of woman, she shrank from soliciting the conness. Emphatically and distinctly she spoke: “I know fidence her husband had thought proper to withhold that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the from her. latter day upon the earth, and though after my skin She had one day sung her cherub to its “rosy rest,” Worms destroy this body, yet in my lesh shall I see and the fair child, cradled in her arms, reposed in the God."* She paused, and as it were, collecting all her calm of dreamless slumber. With a mother's rapture, energies, she murmured, “I walk through the valley she gazed on its budding loveliness, and hearkened to and shadow of death, yet I fear no evil, for Thou art its soft, gentle breathings. She arose, and leaning over with me.” There were some long breathings, a con- the chair of her husband, who sat thoughtfully at some vulsive start, a slight gasp, and we looked on dust! distance from her, held to his view the smiling babe-The spirit was infolded in a Saviour's embrace ! “How beautiful, dear Gerald,” she exclaimed, as she
In the stillness of midnight I stole with noiseless tenderly placed her precious burden on his lap, and tread to the room where lay what had been so lovely in rested her own arm affectionately on his shoulder ; life-lovely even in death. The smile had not depart-"how beautiful! only see how glowingly the rose maned from the colorless lips; the fair wan hands were tles to that soft cheek ; and the brow, dearest, is so like Job.
your own, so serene amid the dark, rich curls!" and the silken ringlets which had escaped from the baby's cap, when they put the form I had loved so well, in the deep were gently put aside, and Ida leaned over and kissed grave, I weptoh! such tears! shall I ever shed such its white forehead, with maternal fondness. Gerald again! But Ida is mine now-and-and-and-but smiled, for who could resist affection, clad as it was in she shall not die. They shall not tear her away from its most fascinating garb? He passed his arm tenderly my arms.” Then with exhaustion he would sink around the waist of his wife, and looked with a father's back on his pillow, looking so death-like, Ida trembled pride on that beauty of which she spoke so enthusiasti- lest his spirit might have passed as the tide of memory cally. There were visible only the beams of tenderness rolled over him. But he lived yet; and when after a and joy in his dark eye. He stooped over the babe, night of such deep slumber, that Ida almost feared and scarcely touched with his lips her velvet cheek, lest death bad come in that guise, so unmoved, almost he might awaken her ; but as he did so, there was breathless he lay-he awoke, weak and feeble, but with breathed a half-smothered sigh, which the quick ear of calmness and perfect renovation of his mental faculties, Ida was not slow in detecting.
Ida felt a measure of gratitude which found expres“What language speaks in that sigh ?" asked she, sion in that fervency of prayer known only to the half reproachfully, half playfully; “how should the sincere believer. voice of regret be heard here ?" and she glanced affec- Each day now witnessed improvement in Gerald's tionately towards her husband and child.
health and spirits, and in proportion as the excitement “It is not that I am ungrateful, my love,” replied Ge of Ida's anxiety yielded to the almost certain hope of rald, "for those blessings which heaven has scattered her husband's recovery, the traces of her untiring vigils so richly on my pathway. I ought to be happy, and might be read in her faded cheek and languid eye. But were it not for one dark remembrance, which is ever her heart was light; the emotions of joy, gratitude ard throwing its shadow over me, I should be so. The cup love, filled it to overflowing. In the fond smiles of her of life, though wreathed with hope's bright flowers, husband she saw the assurance of returning happiness, holds bitterness in its draught, and as I look on my and of the cloud which had fitted across the sky of their blessings, the thought of earth’s ‘pale changes' comes affection, she forbore to think. Her confinement to the over me, with an intensity I cannot banish. I strive to sick chamber of Gerald had been uninterrupted, but as chase these phantoms from my mind, and your affec. his strength returned, and he was enabled to dispense tion, mine own, is clasped like armour to my heart, more frequently with her attendance, he used to insist with almost a death grasp, to ward off the fangs of that that she would sometimes exchange her duties there, for viper, which is struggling to banquet on my vitals.” the advantages of air and exercise, which she so much
The entrance of Mr. V- interrupted this conver- needed. sation, which was becoming so painfully interesting to One morning, when Mr. V-was paying his acIda. She received her child from the arms of its father, customed visit at Gerald's room, he proposed that he and casting a look of mingled sadness and love upon should take his daughter a short drive, saying she her busband, hurried from the room. The words of would be refreshed by the excursion, and that Gerald Gerald implied he was not happy! She brooded on would not require her attention for at least the space of that reflection with bitterness and tears, and who can an hour or two. Ida began to excuse herself, but Getell the crowd of overpowering thoughts which camerald seconded Mr. V-'s proposal with so much ear. rushing over her heart, when in the hour of loneliness nestness, that she assented, and prepared to accompany she recalled the confession he had made-those words her father. The weather was unusually bright and so fraught with agony to her. Yet she swerved not calm for the season-stern winter having just sunk the from the wife's duty, and his tones of endearment (for lance point--and Ida acknowledged the influences of he was always, even in his saddest hours, touchingly the soft breeze, as bearing the fragrance of early spring, kind in his manner to her,) melted on her ear with the it breathed upon her pale cheek. But the thought of same sweet influences, which had given to the early her husband's loneliness, rendered her anxious and imyears of her marriage such “magic of bliss.” patient, and after a ride of an hour, she prevailed on her
The despondency of Gerald augmented daily, and father to return. It was earlier than Gerald expec:ed seemed to affect his health. He grew thin and pale, her, and on hastening to his chamber, she entered so and soon Ida ceased to remember her own griefs, amid noiselessly that he did not arise to welcome her, and ia. engrossing attendance on her husband, whose mental deed seemed unconscious of her approach. He was uneasiness prostrated him soon on a bed of sickness. sitting with his face buried in his hands, and on a table For weeks she watched around his couch of suffering, near rested the miniature of a very young and exceedoft-times scarce daring to hope life yet lingered—and in ingly beautiful girl. Ida leaned over the shoulder of the long, silent, melancholy hours of night, she hung her husband, and as her eye glanced momentarily upon over his pillow, with that anguish of soul, before which it, the rich crimson leaped into her cheek, leaving it as words are powerless, while her heart was lifted in suddenly deathly pale-she stood transfixed-she could voiceless prayer to the God of her youth. In the deli- not speak—her breath came faintly through her closed rium of fever she stood by his side, unshrinkingly, with lips--the room swam before her like the shadowy obunblanching cheek, though another name was mingled jects in a dream, and she swooned. When she recowith her own, in his wanderings. "Emily! Emily!" vered, she was supported on the breast of her husband. would he reiterate-his voice softening into tenderness With a shuddering remembrance of the past, she look. as he dwelt on the name—“my beautiful, my lost one! ed towards the table. The picture, in all its glow of why did they tear you from me ?-ah! but I remember young beauty, was still there. “Then it was reality, now; they told me the clanking chain kept you from and not the phantasm of imagination!” The recollection murdering me! but I would not believe them and lof Gerald's confession of unhappiness, the name so fondly