Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

ening her, without speaking even a warning With some confusion, yet more grace, she word?"

presented Mr. Couriland, who was energetic in Mrs. Matley hesitated, and there was evidently his expressions of adıniration of the scenery, a struggle in her mind between her habitual re- though," he added, smiling, “this stream spect towards me, and her indignation that a coin- has been the boundary of my wanderings till toparative stranger should venture to interfere in her day.” family affairs.

** Do you make a long stay here?" I asked ; “ You are young, madam,” she said, at last, and I observed that Ellen seemed scarcely to “ to think so gravely of these things. I have seen breathe while awaiting his reply. much of the world in my time, and I know Mr. “I hardly know, indeed," he said. “I have Courtland well. There is nothing to fear for had good sport as yet; and I am so eager a fishEllen's happiness. Many thanks for your kind erman that I do not like to go while I am successanxiety about her, but I assure you you mistake ful. Besides, my good friend Mrs. Matley makes the matter altogether."

me so comforiable that I have already imbibed an “I hope I do," I replied ; " but young as I ardent love for forest-life.” may be, I know something of human nature. I “Have you been successful to-day?" I inJove Ellen, and have studied her character, and Iquired, somewhat maliciously, I confess, for I saw own that I tremble for her now." I then told her no sign of rod or basket. “Mrs. Matley told me of the scene I had unintentionally witnessed a few you were fishing:” days before, but she merely seemed annoyed that “I have not done much to-day,” he answered, I should know anything about it, repeating that I eyeing me suspiciously ;“ the fish would not rise, took a mistaken view of the whole affair, and that so I took to exploring a little.” Mr. Courtland was the most honorable of men. I turned to Ellen. “ May I ask you to walk a

“I say nothing against him," I answered ; little way with me? I have a few words to say “ but you, who, as you say, know something of before we part. You will excuse my stealing your the world, must feel ihe impossibility of his marry- companion for awhile, Mr. Courtland ?". ing your daughter; and Ellen, with a mind io He bowed with a look of considerable annoyappreciate refinement, and a heart to feel kindness, ance, and I walked away with Ellen. We were what must be the consequence of his present de- both silent for some time : for my part I did not votion to her? She will love him even as her know how to introduce the subject that was upperearnest nature is capable of loving, and then she most in my mind, and Ellen seemed full of thought. must be dissatisfied and unhappy for the rest of her At length I said life. I have thought it right to speak openly to “ Ellen, you are the very soul of truth : do you you, Mrs. Matley, as a sincere friend of your know what it is of which I wish to speak to you? daughter, and because it sometimes happens that Answer me from your heart." those nearest at hand see less than those at a litile For a moment she hesitated, then raising her distance. Give my love 10 Ellen, and tell her, if clear, truthful eyes to mine, she saidyou will, all that I have said. I am going from “ I will not pretend to doubt your meaning, but home," I added, rising to depart, “ and shall be I assure you, you are mistaken-you do not know absent several weeks."

him.'' I thought I saw a gleam of satisfaction in my

- But I know you,

Ellen; and there are few in hearer's eye as I spoke ; and when on my way this world dearer to me than you have long been;" homewards I pondered on what had passed, every and I repeated the cautions I had already offered moment strengthened my conviction that Mrs. to her mother. She listened attentively, and with Matley's blindness was only pretended. “. She is much agitation. playing a dangerous game," thought I; “she “Ellen, dear Ellen," I said earnestly, “ is it thinks, probably, to draw him into a marriage, and even now too late to warn you? Do you indeed if she succeed, what then? There can be no hap- love this stranger ?" piness in a connection so unequal."

The color rose to her very brow, and her eyes I had taken a green path across the forest, skirt- filled with tears. ing the edge of the park, and leading to a slight I am answered, Ellen ; yet beware what you wooden bridge thrown across another part of the do. This man cannot marry you. Beautiful and river I have already mentioned. This bridge was highly gifted as you are, yet there is a barrier behalf-hidden by a group of alder trees, under whose tween you which his proud relations would never shadow rose many a tall foxglove, its purple bells allow him to overstep. He is, as you know, the musical with bees. I was fond of the place, for I last living representative of an old family, and his love the sound of flowing waters, and here they grandfather is most anxious to see him suitably have a peculiarly sweet murmur; the bed of the married. Believe me, my dear Ellen, there is stream being uneven and pebbly. On this day danger about you. as I drew near, I saw Mr. Courtland and my “ Indeed, indeed," she replied, eagerly,"you friend Ellen coming towards me across the bridge. do not know him. He is good and noble. I have She blushed when she saw me; and, drawing her no fears. More I must not say, but indeed you hand away from her companion, hurried towards wrong him."

" I hope so, Ellen ; but I will keep you no “I am glad I have met you, Ellen," I said, longer. God bless you! My warning was well “ for I am going away to-morrow, and I was meant; and I shall think of you often, and anxanxious to see you before my departure.”

iously.” “Going away!" she repeated, in a tone of real We parted ; and when after a few minutes I regret. * You will not be absent long?"

looked back, I saw that Mr. Courtland had rejoined Probably several weeks," I replied ; "but Ellen, and I doubted not that all my wise cautions you have not introduced me to your companion, were already forgotten. Ellen."

me.

CHAPTER II.

|thur's. While his grandfather lives, our secret

must be kept-and what does it matter? I shall Family events, which it is unnecessary to men- see him very often." tion more particularly, kept me from home nearly I could not say a word to check her expectations four months. During that time I had heard of happiness, and the words in which I expressed nothing of Ellen Matley ; but, while staying in a hope they would be realized came from my London for a few days, iinmediately before my re- heart. I inquired when she expected to see her turn to the Forest, I caught sight of Mr. Courtland husband again. in one of the parks. He looked discontented, I “ Soon, very soon,” she replied, with a gay, thought, but I saw him only for a moment, and bright smile. " He is now with Lord Courtland, might have been mistaken. The sight of him, but at the end of the week he will be here again. however, made me doubly anxious to know some- Oh, we have been so happy !" thing of my poor Ellen, and I had not been two When I had left Ellen, I could not but reflect days at home, before I made my way to Holly painfully on her position. For her—50 true, 80 Cottage. It was already late in October, yet the open-to be leading a life of deceit, to be acting a air was mild and sunny, and the glorious autumnal falsehood day after day, seemed a sad degradation, tints clothed the woods in beauty. Ellen was in in spite of all her happiness. Perhaps it was my the garden, tying up the bough of a rose-tree still ignorance of the world that led me to think Mr. covered with bloom. With a ready welcome on Courtland somewhat cowardly in concealing his her lip, she few to meet me as I reached the gate, marriage. If he were not prepared to acknowlbut I fancied there was some constraint in her edge Ellen as his wife, what right had he to seek manner, and when the agitation of our meeting her affections, and interfere with the peaceful tenor was over, and she was calm again, I saw that her of her life? Such was my reasoning ; but when, calmness was no longer that of a heart untouched a few days later, I met Ellen, leaning fondly on by care, but the stillness of deep though subdued her husband's arm, and looking up in his face with feeling. She questioned me much of my wander- the confidence of perfect love, I could almost forings, and drew yet closer to my side when I said I give him. had been in London.

From this time he was so constantly at the cot“Do you not ask whom I saw there, Ellen?” Itage, that I felt my presence there might be unsaid, smiling.

welcome ; and throughout the winter and followShe caught my hand.

ing spring I seldom saw Ellen. Luckily, her “ Did you, indeed, see him ?-Did you see Ar- home was in a lonely situation, almost beyond the thur?" she exclaimed. “What did he say? range of village gossipry ; but, at length, the fre-how did he look? Tell me-tell me all about quency of Mr. Courtland's visits was observed, and him!"

whispers, such as it pained me to hear, were soon " And pray who is Arthur, Ellen?”

rife respecting my young friend. Perhaps these Her eyes fell beneath my look of inquiry. evil reports were the more readily received, be“Mr. Courtland, I mean.”

cause Mrs. Matley had made herself extremely I saw him but for a moment," I said, " and unpopular by holding herself aloof from persons of was unobserved by him."

her own rank in life, and endeavoring to obtain a She looked disappointed; her countenance a footing among those of a somewhat higher class. moment before had been absolutely radiant with The village aristocracy, indignant at such preexpectation.

sumption, had now an opportunity of revenging * How long is it since Mr. Courtland left you?'' themselves, and they failed not to take advantage I asked.

of it. It was during the summer that these annoy"He went to London yesterday week," she ing rumors respecting Ellen reached my ears for replied.

the first time, and as they gathered strength, I de* Only a week ago! Oh, Ellen, are my fears termined to give Mr. Couriland some hint of their to be realized? Can your friend do nothing for existence. For this purpose I called at Mrs. Matyou? Am I once more too late?

ley's, and was warmly received by my friend, She did not immediately reply, but, putting her whom I found busily occupied in the manufacture arm through mine, led me into the house and up- of some garments of an ominously small size. stairs to her own chamber, where she sat down The conversation that passed was, though not beside me.

quite unrestrained, lively, and interesting ; and I “ You must not mistake me now," she said, was delighted to observe that, earnest as Ellen's “nor can I allow you any longer to doubt his attachment to her husband might be, he was no honor. This will tell you all!" and she drew less devoted to her. from her bosom a small chain to which was When I took my leave, Mr. Courtland offered to attached a wedding-ring. “ Yes," she continued, escort me through the forest, and I thus had the observing my start of surprise, “I told you long opportunity I sought, of speaking to him without ago that you wronged him. I have broken a pro- witnesses. I told him I feared I had previously mise in telling you my secret, but whom should I come before his notice as an officious person, but I trust if I could doubt you?

trusted my affectionate interest in his wife would “And when and where were you married, sufficiently excuse me to him ; and then merely Ellen?"

mentioned the remarks that were going the round “I have been his wife nearly three months." of the village society, leaving it, of course, to him

“And does he acknowledge you as his wife in to notice them or not as he thought best. He the face of the world? Do his relations know looked perplexed. what you have done?" I inquired, anxiously. “ You are very kind," he said, " and I thank

" They do not know it yet," replied Ellen, with you for having called my attention to this matter. some hesitation. “Our marriage was celebrated I care litile enongh for the busy title-lattle of the privately at some distance from This place, in the village, but it might annoy Ellen. Just now I presence only of my mother and a friend of Ar-I cannot remove her, but I have often thought of

taking her to some place where both would have not yet mentioned the church, which has be alike unknown, and where, under another little pretension to architectural beauty, being, in name, we might live unquestioned and unmo- truth, a very plain, ill-proportioned structure, with lested.”

but one wing and an insignificant tower, sur“ But must there be all this deceit ?" I asked, mounted with a wooden belfry and steeple. It impatiently.

stands, however, in a lovely situation, and the * It is impossible," he replied, coloring, “ to grave-yard is shaded by old trees, whose boughs acknowledge the whole truth now. It would ruin may be seen in summer time through the open our prospects, and on my grandfather's death I windows, waving in the wind, with a sound I'deshould find myself a titled beggar. Besides, I am light to hear in the pauses of prayer and praise, the last of my race, the old man's only hope ; Within, the walls of the lule church are crowded and, eccentric as he may be, he has treated me with monuments and hatchments of the Courtland with noble kindness, and I cannot break his family ; some of the latter dim with age, some heart."

bright as if they had been painted but yesterday. “But can nothing be done?” I pleaded. At the western end of the side-aisle, divided by an “Surely if he saw your beautiful Ellen, he would iron railing from the rest of the church, and lighted see no reason for breaking his heart because she by a large window bearing still on its highest panes was your wife?

the arms of the family, is a recess, beneath whose The young man shook his head.

paved floor lie many generations of the Courtlands. “You do not know him," he said ; "his preju- On each side of the window, at the time of which dices are violent, and he is pleased to entertain I have been speaking, hung some lattered silken other views for me. You will easily believe that banners, now fallen into dust; and on the sideI have more than once sounded his feelings on this walls were a few pieces of rusty armor, of which point, but I have on each occasion been more only a gauntlet remains. There was ever somefirmly convinced that all attempts to bring him into thing very sad to me in those perishing memorials my views must ever be totally unavailing-nay, of human grandeur. Alas! that recess, has a sadthough I believe he dearly loves me, I am yet con- der interest for me now. vinced that he would cast me off if he knew what Mr. Courtland, with the friend who had been I had done."

witness of his marriage, awaited us in the church, I had no right to argue the matter further, so I and soon after our entrance the service began. began to speak of Ellen.

Poor Ellen! I believe it was the first time she “ I shall be very sorry to take her from your had felt any bitterness in her lot. I saw her look neighborhood,” he said. “ Pray, come to see her round on all the proud records of her husband's more frequently, and be assured that I, no less family, then bow her head over her baby's sleeping than herself, am deeply sensible of all the kindness face and weep. Unkind and suspicious glances, you have shown her';

too, for the first time fell upon her, and her gentle I promised that my visits should be more fre-spirit could ill hear them at such an hour. She was quent than they had been of late.

pale and exhausted when the rite was done, and I “ You do not, then, fear that your own charac- was glad that a carriage had been provided to conter may be compromised by your association yey her home. I accompanied her, and entreated with us?” he said, as we shook hands at my own her to let me relieve her for a while of the weight door.

of her boy, but in vain. I know not what thoughts “ No," I replied, "I am not very young or were passing in her mind, but she said she could very beautiful, so I flatter myself I may do what I not part with him then, and she pressed him to her please. But,” added I, more seriously " am I heart with almost passionate eagerness, shedding to say nothing of the true state of affairs between silent tears, even when he lay awake and placid in you and Ellen ?"

her arms. I have but to repeat that we are ruined if our From this day she seemed anxious to be gone. secret is betrayed. In a few months we will move She had felt that the finger of scorn was pointed to some other place, and in the mean time, as Ellen at her, and that shame was believed to be her pordoes not leave home, she is not likely to hear any- tion. Her husband was not long in putting into thing that could distress her.”

execution his plan of moving her to a distance It was useless to say more, so, though by no from her former home, and, with much sorrow for means satisfied, I bade him farewell, and we sepa- myself mixed with rejoicing for her, I saw her rated. In the course of the next few months I saw depart. Ellen frequently. Sometimes Mr. Courtland was obliged to go to London for two or three days, but his heart was with his treasure, and he could not long be absent from her side. She was very The next three years were, perhaps, the happihappy; the past and the future did not trouble her est of Ellen's life. We corresponded constantly, thoughts ; il was enough to see him, to hear him, and the tone of her letters was always one of enand she had no wish beyond her present joy. Yet tire content. Two events only occurred 10 disturb a new blessing was given to her. In the month the quiet current of her life during the time I have of August she became a mother, and the child, mentioned. One was the temporary absence of her healthy and vigorous, seemed to us all far hand- husband, when Lord Courtland required his grandsomer than babies usually are. How lovely was son to attend him on his journey to Naples, where Ellen's face when it wore that new and almost the old man at length fixed his abode, allowing his holy expression that beams in a mother's smile! companion to return to England; the other a severe

When the child was about a month old, Ellen illness which attacked her mother, and from the asked me if I would go with her to his christening, effects of which, though her bodily strength was to stand sponsor for her darling. I consented, and soon restored, Mrs. Matley's mind never recovered. we went together one day during the week, when Her memory was almost gone, and she talked indivine service was celebrated in our village. I) cessantly in a rambling, incoherent manner; yet.

CHAPTER III.

her shattered mind seemed ever to dwell on pleas- tall that Charlie was often hidden from our sight ant subjects, and her countenance, with its calm, as he wandered among its beautiful leaves to reach meaningless smile, seemed to me far less repulsive some distant foxglove, was scarcely stirred by the than it had been before her reason ras cloud- warm noontide breeze. Two noble stags, that ed.

had been drinking at the pond, dashed away across Ellen came from her distant home to stay at the heather as we drew near; but several forest Holly Cottage during her mother's illness, and ponies, in a state of drowsy enjoyment, remained remained there some weeks after the old woman's standing or lying in the shade close to us, onhealth was reëstablished, in the vain hope of seeing startled even by Charlie's merry laughter. her memory and intelligence also restored. Her Ellen threw aside her bonnet, and we both estabchild was with her, and Mr. Courtland constantly lished ourselves comfortably, to enjoy the beauty came to see that all was well with them both. The of our cool, green resting-place. Presently Charbory, now about two years old, was, indeed, a noble lie stole quietly behind his mother, and, standing creature ; dark hair curled about his fair and open on tiptoe, each little hand grasping as many flowers brow, his eyes were large and blue like his mo- as it could contain, threw the bright shower over ther's, and there was something of his father's her. How he shouted in gay triumph! how be proud and beautiful smile about his rosy lips ; and clapped his hands, and danced, and sang aloud, never did a child possess richer wealth of love till the woods rang with his clear, gay voice ! than was poured on that lovely boy from Ellen's Sweet in my memory is that " pioggia di fior," full and happy heart. Her eye followed his every sweet even as that which fell of old on her who motion; his imperfect attempts at speech were full satof meaning and of music to her ear, and when he “ Umile in tanta gloria lisped to her some of the terms of endearment she

Coverta dell' amoroso membo," so liberally bestowed on him, how would she wind her fond arms about him, and almost smother him beside the fountain of Vaucluse ; and scarcely less with kisses! I love to dwell on these pleasant fair than Laura seemed to her lover's eyes, did my recollections; to linger on the image that is present lovely Ellen then appear to mine. Who could to my memory now, of that young mother and her have thought it was her last day of happiness ? She happy child.' I see them still, the boy's round was even more than usually confidential in her concheek resting on his mother's shoulder; his eyes, versation with me on this occasion. She read full of laughter, glancing at me with pretended some passages from a letter she had that morning shyness, whose real meaning I well knew was to received from Mr., or rather from Lord Courtland; challenge me to play with him. The old woman for the old lord was dead, and the young husband sat in her large arm-chair, watching with her quiet, was hurrying home to avow his marriage publicly. unvarying smile, and Mr. Courtland was often Now," said Ellen, as she closed the letter, there, not the least gay or happy of the group. “ there will be nothing to cloud my perfect joy. My

Now that house is desolate, and those who child will fill his proper place in his father's house, dwelt within its walls have passed away like sha- and she pressed her darling to her heart, and told dows. Age is creeping over me, and these events him his father was coming back to them, then of which I write seem rather visions than realities. kissed him with increased tenderness on hearing I feel half disposed to leave the rest of my tale the cry of joy with which he received the news. untold, and yet my grief for them, beloved as they We returned home slowly, for we were all were, is but selfish now. I will finish the task I fatigued ; but before I left the cottage Charlie was set myself.

fast asleep, his rosy cheek pillowed on his arm, and Nearly a year after Ellen had again lest Holly a smile parting his sweet lips. Silently Ellen bent Cottage, I heard that she was about to return over him ; doubtless many a bright hope rose thither to remain during the absence of her hus- within her as she watched that peaceful sleeper ; band, who was called to Naples to attend the death- and when she turned away she murmuredbed of his grandfather. By her desire, I caused “ God bless you, my child !" in a tone of fondpreparations for her reception to be made by the ness even deeper than usual. woman who had charge of Mrs. Matley. There It rained incessantly the three following days. was a tinge of sadness in Ellen's manner when On the fourth morning I had scarcely breakfasted she came, arising from her having but recently when a stranger was announced, and I beheld, to parted with her husband, for whom she still enter- my surprise and alarm, the gentleman who had tained what some would call a romantic degree of been present at Ellen's marriage, and whom I had attachment. Her boy, however, was gayer than seen at the christening of little Charlie. I felt sure ever. He accompanied his mother and myself in some misfortune had happened. our frequent rambles, bounding on before us with “ You have bad news for me," I said, as he sat the grace and activity of a deer. One day when down beside me. “ God forbid anything should we had wandered far from home, (it was our last have happened to Lord Courtland !" walk, though we little thought so then,) we sat “ I am, indeed, the bearer of bad news!” he redown to rest on a prostrate oak, Charlie, mean- plied, in an agitated voice ; " and I grieve to say that while, moving about us and filling his pinafore it relates to him.” I had not courage to speak, with flowers. I have never visited the spot since, and he presently continued, " I have come to you, yet I remember it perfectly. It was near a large madam, as the friend of poor Lady Courtland. It pond, about whose edge grew delicate water-plants is necessary that she should, for the sake of her son, covered with white blossoms. Behind us was a be immediately informed of the sad event which thick screen of wood; before us, beyond the oppo- has occurred; besides, the dreadful story will be site bank of the pond, were scattered trees, afford- in the public papers to-morrow !” ing glimpses of distant blue hills. Sloping rays “ But tell me,” I said, after a pause," tell me of sunshine fell here and there through the grace- what has happened." ful foliage of the tall beeches, stealing down to “ The worst !” he replied. their massive trunks till the mass that clung about “ You do not mean that Lord Courtland is dead!" them gleamed like living emeralds. The fern, so I exclaimed.

“It is too true!” he answered, sadly. “ Poor that fond embrace, pillowed on that loving bosom, Courtland ! he was hurrying homewards from Na- the child of many hopes breathed his last. ples, when, between that city and Rome, he was Then, indeed, was the silence of the chamber of attacked by banditti, and shot dead on the spot. A death broken by cries of agony. I dare not dwell friend, who was awaiting him at Rome, has caused upon a scene like that. Poor Éllen refused to allow his body to be brought to England for burial, and it the child to be taken from her arms, and for many will arrive here in a few days.'

hours the passion of her grief was not stayed. It were easier to imagine than to describe the When at length her mind sank, from exhaustion, feelings with which I set forth to seek my poor into a kind of stupor, I deemed the time was come friend, and break to her the dreadful news that had for me to make known to her the full extent of her just been communicated to me. On my way, I bereavement. There, beside that bed where the could not but think of her as I had seen her last ; little child lay in the placid yet fearful beauty of and when I turned my thoughts again to the fearful death, I told my sorrowful tale. Ellen listened tale of which I was the bearer, the contrast made quietly, and I doubted whether she understood me, my heart bleed. When I reached the cottage, I till she said, “ Both gone! both so dear-so very found only Mrs. Matley in the usual sitting-room. dear! Tell me all, for I can suffer no more than " Where is Ellen ?" I asked.

I suffer now." “Up stairs, with Charlie,” said the old woman. And I told her all; told her that she who had “I'm glad you've come, madam, for she's been lately been so rich in love and happiness, was now crying all day. There's something the matter, but almost alone in the world ; that none remained to I can't tell what it is ; I am not as I used to be, I her save her poor old helpless mother. When believe

morning dawned we were still there, watching beAnd she went rambling on, but I made my es-side the dead. How lovely he was even then ! cape, and stole softly up to Ellen's room, half fear- All expression of pain had passed away; his hair, ing, half hoping that the evil tidings had already loosed from its close curls by the damps of death, reached her; but I soon saw she had yet another fell over the pillow; and, in truth,“ his face was cause for grief. Charlie, her bright, lovely boy, lay as the face of an angel." on his little bed : how unlike himself but four days I must pass over hastily the few days that ago! His eyes looked dark and sunken, his fea- elapsed before the funeral. Ellen desired her dartures had fallen away strangely, and poor Ellen sat ling might not be buried within the church, but weeping beside him, holding his feverish hand, and laid in the churchyard, where, when her hour came, feeling as I could see at once, that there was no room she might be laid beside him. I pass over in for hope.

silence the burst of grief that overpowered her when I could not speak; I sat down beside the little the little coffin was conveyed from her sight. Lord bed, and Ellen looked up gratefully. The dear Courtland's friend, who had remained on the spot, child, too, recognized me, and tried to say my superintended every arrangement, and left me free name, but the sound died away in a hoarse whis- to devote all my time to Ellen. per.

In the evening of the day her child was buried, “ He is very ill,” said Ellen, with almost un- it seemed suddenly to strike her that I had not mennatural calmness; “ the doctor has just gone, he tioned her husband's place of interment, and that said he could do no more." She stooped to possibly his remains were to be brought to the moisten the child's lips ; and when he smiled and tomb of his ancestors, and I thought it best to tell tried to thank her, she wrung her hands in bitter her the whole truth when she questioned me on the anguish. “Oh, my God!" she cried, throwing her- subject. She remained for some time plunged in self on her knees, “ help me, help me! And his thought, but made no reply, nor did she again alfather, his fond father! comfort him, or his heart lude to the information I had given her. will break!"

I could not bear it ; I left the room for a few minutes, and when I returned, Ellen had resumed Affairs at home requiring my presence, I was her place beside the little sufferer. I took my seat obliged reluctantly to leave Holly Cottage for a again opposite to her. was a lovely summer's few days. This, however, gave me an opportunity day, and through the open window a light breeze of communicating with Lord Courtland's friend, stole in, laden with the scent of flowers from the Mr. Cayley, from whom I heard that her husband's little garden below. Within the room all was still, will left everything that he had to leave to Ellen. save the painful breathing of the child and an oc- When I afterwards told her this she shook her head casional and almost convulsive sigh from his with sad meaning, and said wealth had lost all value mother. I heard the boughs waving in the forest, in her eyes now; but every little trifle that his hand the singing of the birds, even the trickling of the had touched she received and hoarded with melanlittle stream in the garden. At last a bird came choly pleasure. close to the window and began singing a loud, The vessel conveying Lord Courtland's remains clear song,

Charlie turned his languid eyes, and a was, by some accident, delayed long beyond the gleam of pleasure passed over his face. I saw time at which its coming was expected : but at Ellen shudder, but her eyes were dry, and they length I received a note from Mr. Cayley announcnever wandered from the dying child. Now and ing its arrival. “ I am desired," he wrote, then she bathed his forehead and wet his lips, and I have everything ready for the burial to-night. sought not to help her, for I felt it was a sort of sacred The funeral procession is to cross Courtland Park right with which none should interfere. Almost to on its way to the church. Would it not be possithe last the child received her attentions with a look ble to remove the poor widow to your own house of gratitude. Two hours passed, and then I saw in the course of the day without her suspecting that death was coming. Charlie lay for some time our reasons for wishing her to go? Anything motionless, then suddenly throwing his arms round seems to me preferable to her being exposed to the his mother, he cried “Mamma! mamma!” In) bare possibility of seeing such a sight.”

CHAPTER IV.

to

« VorigeDoorgaan »