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Bristed IIall! A warm gush of gratitude pervaded my being. So I was not friendless ! I was cared for.

66 Where is Mr. Bristed?” I asked after a pause.

“We have persuaded him to drive out, miss, as the doctor said you were out of danger. Anxiety for you and grief for Herbert's death have quite taken his strength away.”

“I must get up, Mary. You must help me to dress."

“Oh no, miss!" she replied; "you are not strong enough yet.”

“I am quite strong. Besides, it will revive me; I am weary of the bed, and need a change."

She acquiesced in my wish, dressed me neatly, and smoothed my hair.

“Now, take me down,” I requested. “I wish to surprise Mr. Bristed."

Of course she remonstrated, said I would bring on the fever again, and all that; but as I persisted in my determination, she led me down the stairs. The fresh air invigorated me; I felt every minute increased power. At my request, she took me to Mr. Bristed's conservatory. The bright flowers, the singing birds in their ornamented cages, and the adjoining study with its well-filled shelves, all reminded me of the past. Tears came to my eyes as I recalled the bitter changes I had seen since leaving that sunny home!

CHAPTER XXII.

I had not been long in the conservatory when I heard the wheels of a carriage. Mr. Bristed had returned. IIe ascended the steps: I heard his voice in the hall. IIis first words were an inquiry after my welfare. He was told that I was better. Passing through his apartments, he entered the study. I could see him plainly from the windows of the conservatory. He looked, I thought, thin and sad; his hair had become sprinkled with gray since the time when I resided in his mansion. Turning to Mary, who was waiting there for me, he said: “I feel faint; bring me a cup of tea.”

Mary left the room on her mission, and I stole from my hiding place.

“Mr. Bristed," whispered I, coming softly up behind his chair.

He started. “Whose voice is that? Agnes, where are you?"

“Here, sir," I answered, as I touched him lightly.

He turned toward me, his face flushed with pleasure, his eyes expectant.

“You, Agnes -- you, verily? How came you here? I thought you were ill on your pillow. What pleasant trick is this you have been playing me?”

Then taking both my hands in his and surveying me, his eyes the while beaming with soft pleasure, he said:

“Oh, I am so happy that you are better. But you are wrong to come here; you will make yourself ill again,

I told him how I had awakened, and of my glad

surprise in finding myself in my old chamber again, and how I had insisted on coming down to thank him for his kindness in bringing me hither.

“Don't thank me, Agnes; for you I could do anything. This place shall always be your home. Some day, Agnes, you may learn to appreciate the worth of a heart that truly loves you."

I fell upon my knees before him. “O Mr. Bristed, I do appreciate!” I cried. “I do know that you

Let me live for you. Let me by a life of devotion atone for the mistakes of the past !”

He lifted me up, and folded me to his breast.

love me.

99

CHAPTER XXIII.

A FEW weeks of balmy spring air and soft sunshine completely restored me to health.

One day when strolling in company with Mr. Bristed through a path blooming with early hyacinths and crocuses, I ventured to ask him about my school.

“It is entirely broken up, Agnes. After the fearful tragedy that transpired within its walls, your pupils scattered like dust in the wind. I arrived the next morning after the death of Richard, unconscious of what had occurred in my absence, but intending to take you home with me. as I then thought, on your death-bed. I settled with your separate teachers, and closed the school. With the French woman who claimed to be Richard's

I found you,

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wife, and with whom he had probably gone through the form of marriage, as with you, I made an arrangement satisfactory to her to sell the property and give her an equivalent for its value.”

“But what motive," I asked hesitatingly, “could Richard have had for his course?"

“Motive! The same that had actuated him through life. With you, Agnes, he would have lived probably as he did with others, until his versatile heart demanded a change. Then, with your little estate in his hands and IIerbert's property in his power,

he would have deserted you for some new beauty.

“But let the grave cover his mistakes and evils. I believe that a good God will not punish him too severely for propensities which he inherited.”

Once more I yielded to the charms of companionship and love. Severe trials had proved Mr. Bristed's worth, and when he again asked me to make the remnant of his life happy by my care and love to become his wife, and share his home, and reign queen of his heart-I consented. When the June roses blossomed, we were married. The balmy air and opening buds spoke of a new life. They typified my new life, truly. The glitter and gloss which had deceived me in youth would never beguile me

I had learned that it was not the external man, but the internal that was worthy of love.

The shadowy form of Alice never troubled me again, I believe reparation can be made beyond the tomb, and that in some far-off world the new-born spirit of Richard atones to Alice and Herbert for the wrong he did them in this.

more.

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING

TO HER HUSBAND.

DEAD! dead! You call her dead!
You cannot see her in her glad surprise,
Kissing the tear-drops from your weeping eyes;
Moving about you through the ambient air,
Smoothing the whitening ripples of your hair.

Dead! dead! You call her dead!
You cannot see the flowers she daily twines
In garlands for you, from immortal vines;
The danger she averts you never know;
For her sweet care you only tears bestow.

Dead! dead! You call her dead!
Vainly you'll wait until the last trump sound !
Vainly your love entombed beneath the ground !
Vainly in kirk-yard raise your mournful wail!
Your loved is living in some sunnier vale.

Dead! dead! You call her dead!
You think her gone to her eternal rest,
Like some strange bird forever left her nest!
Her sweet voice hush'd within the silent grave,
While o'er her dust the weeping willows wave.

Dead! dead! You call her dead !
And yet she lives, and loves! Oh, wondrous truth!
In golden skies she breathes immortal youth!
Look upward! where the roseate sunset beams,
Her airy form amid the brightness gleams!

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