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rit in that voice which touched her own spi-, spotless did she seem, the moonlight falling rit, and never again could her young soul be on her soft white robes, and weaving her free and independent as it had been before floating hair into a golden tissue with the that mysterious contact.
mingling of its own bright rays. Speechless A little while only does the new-created he remained gazing with the earnest wish child of dust stand lonely upon earth, as that this pure vision might not pass away inAdam stood in Eden before he woke from to a dream. But meantime the cessation of his deep sleep to meet the living glance of music had unbound the chains that held her Eve a little while in the passionless ignor-young soul captive, and when the sweet face ance of youth, and then is the mortal being turned towards him the childlike features, free--free from thought, from affection, from solemn with intensity of feeling, he saw that desire; but soon, through all the wild tu- they were human eyes which met his own, mult and turmoil of the world, he hears the eyes that could weep for sorrow, and grow voice calling to him, which demands the sur- beautiful with tenderness, for now a timid render of his whole being in one deep human glance stole into them, and a faint smile to love, and no sooner is that whisper heard the parted lips. Unconsciously, he let his echoing in the depths of his heart than, hands fall softly on her head and said: straightway, he yields up the sweet empire “Where have you come from? who are of his life's affections; and henceforward, you ?” whether he is blest in close companionship, “Lilias," she answered, simply, as a child or divided by some gulf impassable, over that tells its name when asked. which, most vain and mournfully, he stretch-1 “Lily, indeed,” he said, “most fair and es out the longing arms that only grasp the lovely as the snow-white lilies are; but no vacant air, still never more is he alone, or such gentle vision ever came to me before in free, for he must live in another's life, and, these dark hours, though I have been here even in death, desire another's grave. lonely, night by night. I thought at first it
And was it to be thus with Lilias ! the gen- was a spirit kneeling there ; and it is scarce tle, single-hearted child ?
less marvellous to me that a human being As she stood at the door of the hall, the should visit me in my solitude, than that some words which that angel voice was breathing merciful angel should come to cheer me. How into music came with a strange, deep mean is it, then, that you are here?" ing on her ears. There was no light save that “The music seemed to call me and I came," of the moon, which strear.ed in long, soft she said ; "it was so very beautiful it drew rays from the one large window, and reached my whole soul after it; but I know I should even the gilded fluting of the organ, yet, not have ventured here at such an hour, and through the dim shadows, she could perceive now I will go back, only " that a musician sat before it. The face only She hesitated, and looked up pleadingly inwas visible to her in that half light; the up to the eyes that were turned with such adturned face, with the dark hair falling round miring wonder on her it, and the deep gray eyes made luminous by “You live in this house ?" she asked. the living soul that was shining through them. “I do," he replied, and then bowed his Never had she looked on him who sat there head as though the answer were one of before, nor could she tell if in truth that shame. countenance had any beauty; only there was “Then will you promise me," she said, upon it now a spiritual Joveliness emanating that I shall hear these glorious sounds once from the solemn thoughts that moved him, more? I feel as though I could have no rest which entered into her heart and there abode, till I may listen to them yet again, and to the to fade only when itself should moulder be- voice that was as a soul within them. May I neath the coffin lid.
come here to-morrow, and will you bestow And now, still drawn onwards by the voice, on me the greatest pleasure I bave ever her noiseless feet went down the hall, till, by known, for, indeed, I never felt such deep the side of the unconscious musician, she enjoyment as in hearing that solemn strain?' knelt down meekly, for it seemed to her as Y Most gladly would 1-most gladly seo though adoring reverence were the needful you again, sweet Lily; since that is your homage of one who could create such har- sweet name; but do you know who I am?" mony; and there, in breathless rapture, with “No, excepting that I think you will be parted lips, and folded hands, she remained my friend, at least I shall hope it,-for the all motionless, till the soft music died away, soul that could utter that divine song must as if those sounds had been withdrawn again be so worthy of all friendship." into the heaven to which they belonged. These gentle words seemed literally to
Then he turned, and his eyes fell upon the make him tremble, as another might to hear kneeling figure by his side; he started vio- the ravings of passion, lently, and remained mute with surprise, his “Oh do not speak so softly to me," he said, heart well nigh stopping in its beating with “ I am unused to kindness, and it unmans astonishment; almost it seemed to him as if me; besides, soon you will know all, and his music had drawn down an angel from the then you will neither have the will nor power regions of perpetual melody; so fair and to befriend me, and it were better for me not
to have the hope of your future sympathy, is a blessing to give and to receive from our thus given for a moment and then with fellow-creatures; but my heart tells me you drawn."
are so, even to the very uttermost, for I think “But why withdrawn ?" she said, with her that none could be otherwise, and dare to gaze of innocent surprise.
sing such solemn strains before high heaven "You are Sir Michael's niece, are you not, at dead of night; and if it be so—if indeed the child of his favorite brother-his heiress you are worthy of the esteem and sympathy probably ?”
of all who can distinguish between right and “I am his niece, but not his heiress surely; wrong—then is it your lawful due, of which there are so many worthier heirs, are you I would not dare defraud you, for it were not one of them ?
high treason against the truth and majesty of “I! I am Hubert Lyle." He seemed to goodness. If we are bound to adore perfecexpect that at the sound of that name she tion in its eternal Source and Essence, so is it would recoil in fear or indignation, but she our very duty and service to pay tribute to only repeated the words “Hubert Lyle," and the faint reflection of that spirit in the frail then shook her head gently to intimate that human creature; and neither my uncle, nor it was an unknown sound to her; he smiled any other on this earth, has a right to ask of with pleasure to hear his name so softly spo- me, or shall compel me, to act a lie against ken by the lips of one who seemed to him the sovereign virtue I am sworn to worship the purest, sweetest vision that ever had blest loyally, by withholding the homage of my his eyes on earth. “I see you have not yet friendship to all that are good and true of learned all the secrets of this house," he said, I heart." "but it will not be long before Sir Michael's "Pray heaven no taint from this bad world niece shall have been taught that there is one may ever reach your soul,” were the words beneath this roof whom she inust hate, hate that burst from the lips of Hubert Lyle. even with a deadly animosity. I think it “Yes, keep-keep your pure wisdom and will be a hard lesson for such a gentle na- your noble principle; blessed is he who taught ture;" he added almost pityingly. A new them to you; but, alas! if ever I were worlight seemed to break in upon her.
thy of the gift of your esteem on the basis ** Oh, is it possible ?" she exclaimed; "was of that rectitude of which you speak, could it then of you that my uncle spoke with such even your beautiful philosophy stand the test, a bitter animosity, as it makes me shiver to to which it would be put before you could think one human being should ever have the give to me the name of friend. The darkpower to feel towards another?”
ness covers me and you do not yet know what “I am, indeed, the object of his abhor- Iam-how smitten of heaven as well as huntrence.”
ed down of men; how, by the very decree * But unjustly," she exclaimed, fixing her of nature, repugnant in their sight, not less candid eyes steadily on his face. “I know, than hated for another's sake. But I will I feel, you have not deserved this cruel ha- not deceive you; none could look upon your tred.”
face and hide one shadow of the bitterest “Not at your uncle's hands, indeed, not, I truth: come, and let me-show you what I think, at those of any human being, for I am, and do not fear to shrink away from me know that wilfully I have injured none; but, when you have seen that sight. I hope for doubtless, this discipline is all too little for my nothing else from any on this earth, for the deserts, as I must seem unto no mortal sight, gentlest look that human eyes have ever had and so it must be borne patiently." This hu- for me, has been one of sorrowing pity." .manity touched Lilias to the very heart, her He took her by the hand, and led her voice trembled with eagerness as she said: slowly down the hall towards the window,
“But do not speak as though I or any where the moonlight was streaming with a other could ever share in the wrong he does full clear radiance. Through the shadows you; rather is it our part to make you forget they went solemnly hand in hand, and a senit, as you have forgiven it, by our friendship sation of awe took possession of her; she jastly and gladly granted to you."
felt as if he were leading her to the threshold "Most innocent child,” he said, “it is plain of a new life ; strange and unknown feelings you never yet have listened to the voice of were stirring at her heart, and a deep instinct your worldly interest; but when that world whispering there, seemed to tell her that shall have taught you the value of Sir Michael's what he was about to reveal would have an favor, then will even this guileless heart be influence on her whole future existence. He moved to feel or simulate a due abhorrence dropped her hand when they passed within for his enemy."
the circle of light, and, placing himself where “Never!" she exclaimed, lifting up her the beams fell brightest, he turned and lookchildlike head with a noble dignity, and ed upon her. Then she saw that he was throwing back the long hair that she might smitten indeed, and that heaven had laid & stand face to face with him to whom she load upon his mortal frame, heavy, as that spoke. “Listen, I do not know you; as yet which man had built upon his shrinking soul. I cannot tell if in very deed you are worthy Hubert Lyle was hopelessly and fearfully deof the loyal true-hearted friendship, which it | formed. It would seem as though it were
designed for him that he should be crushed have lingered too long; but, no doubt, wo both in body and in spirit, for his neck was shall meet again.” He did not seek to detain bowed as by an iron power, and the sadness her; he felt that he ought pot; but he knew of a life's long humiliation was stamped on that the smile so sweet and kindly with which that upturned face; unlike the countenance she had looked on his unsightly frame would of many who are deformed in body, there linger like a sunbeam in his memory; and was no beauty on it save in the deep, thought that, yet more, the words of pure, calm wisful eyes, and the pale forehead, whence dark dom she had uttered would never depart from masses of hair were swept aside.
his sad heart; for the faith she had shown Oh, how the heart of Lilias trembled as in that one deep truth, that all things good, she looked upon him and read the measure and beautiful, and worth the liaving, are creof his two-fold suffering. An outcast, by de- ated for eternity, and in no sense to be influformity, from the common race of man, and enced by the accidents (so to speak) of this trodden down in soul by unmerited contume- mere outward life, had suddenly lightened ly or hate. How to the very depths was the load of his deformity, which so long had stirred within her that well of tenderness and crushed down his entire being, and made him pity for the oppressed which gushes in every | feel that it was his undying soul which stood woman's heart, as she saw in his whole as- | face to face with hers- no less immortalpect the evidence of a resolute and noble en- and that he, the actual ego, the very self, had durance, a patient meekness, untinged by a nought to do with this poor frame, the mag. trace of bitterness! She could have wept net, as he long had deemed it, of the world's over him, for she was one of those unhappily hate and scorn, but, in truth, only the temgifted whose soul is like a sensitive plant, and porary clothing, soon to be put off, and now shrinks from the touch of sufferings in others unworthy of a thought: he had felt this, as with an exquisite susceptibility. Her natural regards the life which was to come, when he delicacy, however, taught her that she must should be disembarrassed of his mortal body; hide from him how deeply his infirmity had but he had not understood what a deep joy moved her; he must see in her no evidence the truth of this principle could cast eren of the insulting pity to which alone he seem- into this present existence. None had taught ed accustomed. He had spoken of her shrink- him, by the sweet teaching of entire sympa. ing away from him; she drew nearer, and thy, that all true affection is but planted in lifting up her eyes, siniled one quiet, gentle the germ here, and has its full fruition only smile, as though in token that she had seen in eternity. nought to surprise or grieve her; that look! These thoughts rose like morning light on was balm to him, used only to the half-avert- his soul, as he stood gazing, thoughtfully, uped glance of sad repugnance which we are on her ; whilst she, now that the enthusiasın, wont to cast on an unsightly object. His which had been called forth by the expression voice shook with mingled eagerness and de- of her own bright faith had died away, had light as he said:
yielded to her womanly timidity, and stood "Could you indeed take such a deformed | half shy, half embarrassed, not knowing how wretch as I am by the hand, and stand forth to take leave of the companion she had so before all the world to acknowledge him your strangely encountered. He saw this, and, friend ?"
with a ready courtesy, opened the door for "Is it, then, the perishable, mortal body her, and bade her good night, thanking her that we love and hold communion with, in gently for the sweet words of comfort she those who are mercifully given to be our had spoken. She expressed a hope once more friends?” she answered; "the frame that that they should meet again, and so vanished shall be a thing of dust and worms so soon? from his sight. The white figure passing away Is it not the indestructible soul to which we into the shadows, like some fair dream into give our sympathy, and is not that sympathy | the darkness of a deeper sleep. He remained immortal as itself? for nothing good and pure standing on the spot where she left him, clasp) that ever was created can have power to ling his bands tightly on his breast. “Meet perish, though it be only the subtle feeling of again!" he repeated thoughtfully, echoing the a human heart; and so the friendship which words she had uttered. “I will not desire is given by one deathless spirit to another is | it; I will not seek it: surely it were the greata link between them for their eternity of life, est peril that ever has crossed my path. How and what has it to do with the outward cir- have I labored for peace these many rear cumstances of our brief sojourn here?” She and have attained it only by stripping my life paused, and then anxious to dispel the sort of every hope and wish connected with this of solemnity which had gained on both of world. I have so veiled my eyes to its al them, she said, playfully:
lurements, from which I am for ever exiled, "You have not yet found a good reason that all the living things within it have be why I should not some day be your friend; come to me as moving shadows in the twi: but I think I shall soon give yon little cause light; whilst my own soul has been bathed to wish for iny acquaintance, if I keep you in the sunlight of an eternal hope; but if the any longer in conversation at this strange smile of these sweet eyes came falling on my hour of the night. I must go; for, indeed, I heart again if the spirit that looked througe them be, indeed, as beautiful as I believe it, folded on her breast as in dumb supplication, if, day by day, I saw the outward loveliness, and they were scarce stirred by her slow and felt the inward beauty, infinitely fairer, breathing, or the dull, heavy beating of her it could not fail, but I should grow to love heart. Her countenance bore an expression her. I-1-the deformed outcast! Oh! could of extreme fatigue, and it seemed plain to my worst enemy-could even he who hates Lilias that she had been walking to a great the very ground on which I walk, desire for distance. Her hair, matted with dew, was me a deeper curse than that I should bring clinging wet to her temples, and her bonnet opon myself, if ever I made room in this my lay on the ground beside her. Lilias gazed boul for hurdan love. It must not be; I can at her with a feeling almost of awe, wonderand will avoid her, I will believe that I have ing what was the secret of this strange cousslept and woke again; and this night shall be in's life, and a slight movement which she to me but as one in which I have dreamt a made awoke Aletheia. Slowly the eyelids brighter dream than usual."
rose over those sad eyes, and revealed, as the He resumed his habitual composure as these power of thought stole into them, a depth of thoughts passed through his mind; the reso-pain, of mute entreaty, which seemed to indilute calın, which was the habitual expression cate an imploring desire that she might not be of his face, returned to it, and quietly he left commanded to take up the burden of returnthat old hall where the first scene in the ing life. She tried to close them again, but drama of Lilias Randolph's life had been en- in vain ; the light sleep was altogether broacted.
ken, and, raising herself up, with a heavy sigh She soon was lying in a tranquil slumber she turned a look of involuntary reproach on the deep sleep of an innocent heart that is Lilias. altogether at rest; but through all her dreams “I am so sorry I awoke you," said the latthat night, there went a voice whose echo ter, breathlessly. "I did not mean it, inwas to haunt her soul for evermore, | deed; you were not resting well; but I am
afraid you did not wish to be awakened.” V. A MEETING FOR THE DISSECTION OF SOULS. “No," said the low voice of Aletheia,
Lilias, like most blythe young spirits, never which seemed ever to come from her lips could sleep after the morning bearns came to without stirring them, “ for it is the only invisit her eyelids; and, despite the unusual ex-jury any one can do to me.” citement of the preceding night, she was "An injury !” said Lilias, in her innocent roaming through the honse at a very early surprise, “to wake on this bright morning and hour, looking bright and fresh as the day- beautiful world.” dawn itself. She passed through the old hall “Bright and beautiful," said Aletheia, muswith timid steps, though it was now deserted ingly, “how these words are like dreams of by the musician, with whom her thoughts long, long ago. My days have no part in had been busy ever since she awoke. Deep them now; but think no more of having was the pity that had sprung to life, never awakened me, it matters nothing; and it more to die in her young heart for him: not would have been strange, indeed, if such as a barren pity, but active, tender, womanlike, you had known how many are roused to the that would take no rest till it had found some morning light with the one cry in their heart means of ministering to his happiness. For| -'must I, must I live again ?” the present it expended itself in an earnest “I cannot conceive it," said Lilias; “I aldesire to discover all concerning him, and ways wish there were no night, it seems so most especially whether, amongst all the in- sad to go away and shut one's eyes on all one habitants of Randolph Abbey, he had no loves and admires." friend to counterbalance the animosity of his “Yet, believe me, to some sleep is precious one known enemy. To see him again like- --more precious even than death, for all it wise, not once but often, was a determination seems so like an angel of rest and mercy; the which she could not fail to form after the brief forgetfulness of sleep is certain, whilst conversation she had held with him; her in death the soul feels there is no oblivion." generous spirit was in some sense bound to It was to the gay, young Lilias, as though chis, and it did but deepen her longing to Aletheia were speaking in an unknown draw near to one so doubly stricken. Occu- tongue; her unclounded spirit understood pied with these thoughts, Lilias passed through none of these things; but in spite of her prethe drawing-room to a verandah which open-judice against this strange person, she felt ed from it, and where she could enjoy the struck with pity as she saw her sitting there fresh air whilst sheltered from the sun. There with the wet hair clinging to her cold, white were couches placed there, and as Lilias mov- cheek. ed towards one of them, she was startled by “You are very tired; I am afraid," she perceiving a motionless figure extended up- said, "you have walked a long distance." on it.
Aletheia started, and the pale lips grew It was Aletheia, apparently in a profound paler, as she exclaimed, almost passionatelyslumber; but to Lilias she seemed like a “You have been watching me!" corpse laid out for burial, so pale, so rigid: “No, indeed,” said Lilias, distressed at the was her face. The cold, white hands were lidea, “how could you think mo capable of
it? I did not see you until I came into the were side by side again, both young, full of verandah; but I guessed you had gone out hope that was to bear fruit, for him at least, early, because your clothes are all wet with in bitterest despair, and with passions yet un
chained from the depth of his heart. The Aletheia rose up.
first pleasure he had tasted for years was in “Lilias, you are come to live in the same Lilias's society, and he inwardly determined house with me, and therefore is it necessary I to enjoy as much of it henceforward as was should make to you one prayer. I do be- possible—a resolution which we may so far seech you, as you hope that men will deal anticipate as to mention he rigidly kept, to mercifully with your life, grant me the only the sore discomfiture of poor little Lilias. mercy they can give to mine-leave me alone; He had a deeper motive for it in the moveforget that I exist; live as if I did not, or were ment of jealousy he had witnessed in his dead. I ask nothing but this, to be unmo- beautiful wife, when he took his piece in his lested and forgotten."
arms the day before. Indifferent as she was She turned to go into the room as she spoke, to him, she was too thorough a woman to rebut she was stopped by the appearance of lish the idea, that the sole and undivided doGabriel, who was creeping, with his quiet, minion she had maintained over his heart stealthy step, towards her; his blue eyes, was to be diminished by the entrance even usually so soft, glowing with the intensity of of the most natural affection. She need havo his ardent gaze. She paused and looked at had no fears; the passion of a life was not now him sadly.
to be tempered by any such influence. Lilias “Gabriel, you heard what I said to Lilias was to him simply an occupation for his restjust now; it is nothing new to you; you | less mind; she preserved him from thinking, know well and deeply what is my one desire better than his chemical experiments, and, -the petition I make to all. Why, then, above all, she gave him the exquisite delight will you live, as it were in my shadow—why of feeling that he had power to move his will you persecute me?" He made no answer, scornful wife even yet; so Lilias was doomed but by folding his hands in mute appeal and from that day to be his constant companion. bowing his head humbly over them. She He did not suppose she would like it, though passed him in silence, and went into the he did not guess, as she sat by his side, how house. He followed softly after her, and restlessly her poor little feet were longing to Lilias was left alone.
be away bounding on the soft, green grass; The poor child drew a long breath, and felt but he resolved to compensate her for her at the moment an intense desire to be at lib. daily imprisonment by making her his beirerty amongst the Connaught hills again, ess: a determination subject to any change where the thoughts and words of the rough of circumstances that might cause him to alcountry people seemed free and fresh as the ter it, which he did not conceal either from winds that blew there; all seemed so strange | her or the rest of the family. and mysterious in this house; she had been! We are anticipating, however; the first day brought suddenly into contact with that deep of Lilias's probation is not yet over. Very human passion of which she knew nothing, wearily it passed, because her eager mind and felt as if she were in the midst of some was bent on seeing Hubert Lyle; and not entangled web, where nothing plain or regu- only did her uncle never mention his Dame, lar was to be seen. Her momentary wish to but she found no opportunity of asking any escape, however, died away, as the recollec- one who and what he was, and where she tion came upon her, borne as it were, by the could meet with him again. It was not till wings of memory, of the one sweet haunting the evening that she found the family once voice, and solemn strain. Nor was she long more assembled, and as she gazed round left to her own reflections; Sir Michael, who amongst them all with this object in her 80 rarely left bis own rooms, came in search thoughts, she felt there was but one who inof her, and fairly monopolized her during the spired her with any confidence, or to whom whole of the day. He persuaded her to stay she could speak freely. This was Walter, with him in his laboratory, and seemed to take with his fine frank countenance and winning infinite pleasure in hearing her talk of all that smile; and she was very glad when they had been joy to her in her past life.
I found themselves accidentally alone in the And truly it was a strange sight to see her music-room, where Sir Michael left them, in that dark little den, with her innocent face after listening, with evident pleasure, to her and her fair white robes, sitting so fearlessly sweet voice singing like a bird in the sky, at the feet of the old man, telling him stories Lilias turned round hastily to Walter, with of Irish banshees, and sunny nooks in her na- such a pair of speaking eyes, that he laughed tive valley, where her nurse said the fairies gayly, and answered them at once danced all night long. To hear her talk, and “How can I help you? I see you have a to have her sweet presence, was to Sir Mi- great deal to say." chael as though some fresh breeze were pass- “ Oh, yes, cousin Walter; I have been longing over his withered soul; and the tones of ing to speak to you; you are the only one in her voice were so like those of his long-lost all this house I am not afraid of. I want you brother, that at times he could dream they | to tell me so many things !"