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feelings and affections. A heavy gloom overspread every face and told that remorse was avenging Alfred.
The giddy triflers grew old and sage in their nightly watch over their victim; their ears tingled with his frantic ravings : and men who had never bent the knee, since they bent it in childhood at their mothers' feet, bent it now to pray that he might be spared to speak one word of forgiveness. He was spared; but not to speak his forgiveness — never more to mingle amongst them! Alfred Fitzallen rose from his bed a madman! His fine manly form enclosed in a strait-waistcoat, he was borne in a close carriage from the sight of those who branded themselves as his worse than murderers, accompanied by the physician and attendants of that hospital where those afflicted with that direful malady find a temporary relief, or wear out their melancholy existence within its walls.
Years have passed. Armand's grief threw him into a consumption which carried him to an early grave. The other partners in the jest mourned long and sincerely over Alfred's fate, and their own folly. Not long since Alfred was dismissed from the hospital an idiot,-the mournful victim of a practical joke.
THE SETTING STAR.
BY MRS. SHIPTON.
Ort have I watched the stars upon their course,
As o'er the sleeping Earth they nightly hung Their silver lamps, for I have loved to nurse
Sweet fancy at such times. The band among Was one, it pleased my earnest thought to track
Upon her peaceful path. The clouds that moved Around her, dimmed her not, the stream gave back
Her calm unsullied beauty, and I loved To muse, and let her bring to me again
Thoughts meet for the still hour— hours when I But little needed such a heart-wove chain,
To turn from Hope's veiled face to Memory. Above the outline of the mountain, far
My gaze had followed, as I musing stood; Vainly I sought that pure and placid star,
The fairest one ʼmid the sweet sisterhood.
Upon its light. For me 'twas set, to rise
What distance bideth from our wistful eyes,
My star, though lost to me, may yet fulfil Her task — a beacon 'mid life's storms to move
A lamp of beauty to one watcher still.
A STORY OF THE CEVENNES.
BY ELIZABETH O'HARA.
It was a dark and dreary night on which three figures, emerging from the protecting shelter of some thick brushwood, attempted to brave the fury of the weather, while crossing the desolate plain which spread itself before their disheartened gaze. The wind rushed fiercely along, the rain dashed with fury against them, while the black, gathering clouds, lowered full of electric fire. The storm, it was evident, had not reached its height, though even now its violence was awful, even to men, and one of these wayfarers was a woman. They were dressed in the costume of the time and country, Languedocian peasants at the end of the sixteenth century; but though no outward difference was perceptible, the respectful bearing of the men showed that they looked up to their companion as a superior.
“ Courage, mademoiselle !” said the elder; "a little while and we shall have passed this unsheltered common, -- the Lord never deserts His own.”
“He will protect us, sweet lady. Lean on me, I am stronger than my father. What a gale it blows ! one would think the witches were holding their Sabbath here."
“Hush, Pierre ! this is no place for jesting.”
“I do not jest, father ; though Jean Cavalier, Roland, and some of them, scoff at witches, I cannot. Did not Gabriel Cavalier tell what he saw when in hiding at the glass-house? And if any of the papistical crew be in hearing now, let them hear me curse them !”
“Vengeance is Mine, saith the Lord; to Him only belong cursings.”
“Let the Lord awake, then, mademoiselle — let Him hear our groans; the cry of the faithful, of the poor suffering Protestants, rises and meets no answer.”
“True, boy; and if there be witches — as who can doubt it ?- they will delight in persecuting those who despise their mumming rites.”
“Ay, father, our oppressors grind us down, soul and body! Who knows but even this storm proceeds from their malice? My blood boils when I think that, to please a licentious old man's leman
“ Hush, Pierre ! this is treason.”
“Forgive me, mademoiselle, it is truth. Louis,—the great Louis, as they call him, - is an evil liver, and to please his mistress, – to satisfy her conscience, forsooth! the base creature, unworthy daughter of the D'Aubignés, whose religion she has denied for vile lucre,- to please her, forsooth! we are denied our just rights—yet we, too, are Frenchmen !”
“Pierre is right, lady; the scarlet woman rides over us but it will not always be so — we have our prophets."
“Alas, poor Cambron! Heaven preserve us! what a flash was that! This is, indeed, fearful !”
“Hasten, hasten, dear lady, there is an old barn not far from here, there we can find refuge. On, father, on!”
Their humble shelter was speedily gained, when the girl sank exhausted on some mouldering straw, while her faithful retainers disposed their cloaks about her so as to preserve her still better from the piercing cold. Despite all her efforts, her firmness gave way before fatigue, terror, and discomfort, and
she wept long and violently, her emotion becoming hysterical, and adding to her companions' embarrassment.
“This is, indeed, a sorry place for Mademoiselle de Meyrarques. Could my dear master the Comte ever have supposed his daughter would be reduced to such straits ? No wonder she weeps.”
“Tush, father! 'tis not for silken hangings or delicate attire our lady grieves, her soul is above such trifles; it is for the dear aunt she lost to-day--it is for the dear cousin whom she hurries to comfort.”
“Alas ! alas, for both! How can she tell the noble baron that his revered mother died to-day, her death hastened by misery and want ?- a D'Argaliers in want! And she who was a mother to the country, she cared not for creeds, her charity was open to all, and now our tyrants deny her even a graveher body lies in unhallowed ground !”
“Better even that than dishonour, father. Was not Mère Cavalier's corse dragged on a hurdle to the nearest dunghill, even before her daughter's eyes ? Lord, Lord, how long wilt Thou suffer ?”
In this gloomy converse the two men passed away the time, while their mistress seemed insensible to all exterior objects and absorbed in grief. At last the violence of her emotion wore itself out, and she sunk into an uneasy slumber.
« She sleeps— God be praised for it !” said the old man. “For nights this delicate flower, the lily of Languedoc, has known no rest. Her nights were passed watching by her aunt's death-bed praying for our suffering brethren.”
" And for how long may she sleep now, father? The night wears on, and should we not return to Gas de Marafas by the appointed hour, you know the penalty-death to the Calvinist who is not within bounds then; neither rank nor sex will be spared by M. de Monrevel's wrath.”