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النشر الإلكتروني

No. XIX.

“ Farewell,” great Bard ! rare gift to mortal men! Which earth ne'er saw before, nor e'er will see

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It was not until after a considerable time had been left for the indulgence of emotions which words can but faintly describe, that Montchensey and Shakspeare re-entered the room, the former leading by the hand his beautiful daughter, whilst the latter stood a silent but delighted spectator of happiness in which, as having been, in a great measure, its creator, he could not but largely participate. An exclamation of rapture burst from the lips of Hubert Neville, for so we must now call him, on perceiving his lovely cousin, whilst in the eyes of Helen joy sparkled amid tears, for she had been told of what had passed, and what was passing, and her heart had deeply felt the influence of the “ My dear Hubert,” said Montchensey, offering the youth his hand, “it is with heartfelt pleasure I again welcome you to Wyeburne Hall: let us mutually forget what may have hurt the feelings of each of us; and accept my warmest congratulation on the very important discovery which, through the kind offices of our great and good friend here, to whom we are all so largely indebted, you have this day been enabled to make. Providence, indeed, seems to have conducted him hither as an instrument to us all of its choicest benevolence; from my heart he has removed a load which had pressed it to the earth for years, and, could I but see my unhappy Bertha restored to society, I should have nothing to wish for on this side the grave. And here,” he continued, placing the hand of his daughter in that of Raymond Neville, 6 behold the very image of your sister ! She has been to me, under every vicissitude and distress, a ministering angel, and will, I have no doubt, prove to us a bond of peace and union.”

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The eyes of Raymond Neville had been, in

fact, rivetted on Helen, from the moment she entered the room; for he seemed to see Bertha embodied before him in all her youth and beauty. He took her hand, therefore, with feelings of peculiar gratification ; “ She is, indeed,” he exclaimed to Montchensey, “ the perfect counterpart of my unfortunate sister, as once I knew her. Ah! would to heaven, my dear young lady," he added, whilst a tear dropped on the hand that trembled within his, " that your poor mother could be but a witness of this scene !"

Scarcely had the wish escaped his lips, when, to his utter astonisment, Bertha entered the room. There was a wildness in her look, but in every other respect the expression of her countenance was singularly pleasing, for she had been remarkably handsome in early. life; and though her features were now pale and emaciated, neither loveliness nor grace had deserted them, whilst her long, flowing hair, which seemed to have been carefully arranged, gave a touching sweetness to their effect. She was singing a little plaintive ditty as she entered, but the notes were instantly arrested on beholding the party. For a moment she cast her eyes around her, lost, as it were, in amazement, but the next instant fixed them intently on the countenance of her brother, appearing delighted at the thought of seeing him alive. The impression, however, was unfortunately very transient; for, almost immediately afterwards, her features assuming an expression of indescribable horror, she ran into a corner of the room, hiding her (face with her handkerchief, and screaming out that Raymond was come from his grave to haunt her. It was at this crisis that Shakspeare, who had watched with great anxiety the effect of the scene, withdrew Raymond Neville to a distant part of the library, and, after a few minutes' conversation with him, he addressed a single word to Montchensey, who immediately left the apartment, accompanied by Shakspeare, his daughter, and Hubert.

Raymond Neville thus left alone with his sister, endeavoured, by every soothing means, to solicit her attention, and so far succeeded, that she once more looked upon him with an expression of delight. He then ventured gently, and almost imperceptibly, to place her arm

within his; and taking her, without any resistance on her part, into the garden, which immediately adjoined the library, he began to relate to her some of the principal incidents which had occurred to him during their long separation. This roused her attention; she became interested, and, encouraged by this favourable appearance, he entered with the utmost circumstantiality into the history of himself and his misfortunes; not only mentioning what had befallen him on the Continent, but purposely dwelling on those incidents and family affairs which had preceded their last unfortunate meeting, and which he knew had been deeply imprinted on her mind, minutely relating, at the same time, his recovery from his wounds, his capture, and subsequent escape. These were topics which seemed to restore him to her in all his personal identity; and so much did she appear disengaged from the influence of her former illusion, that, conceiving he had gotten entire possession of her mind, he ventured to ask her, in a jocular manner, if she did not think him very communicative for a ghost. She looked at him archly and laughed, when instantly, · VOL. II.

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