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THE LYNN BKIDE

A TALE OF REAL LIFE.

ST UBS. MADSLI.M: LESLIE.

CHAPTER I. \

It was the heur of twilight; eold, wintry elouds \ were skulking about the lower part of the herizen, rapidly shutting out the light of day, leaving the air ehilly and eold. Theugh early in the autumn, j yet there had been frequent gusts of wind, making j free with the foliage whieh remained upon the trees, while heavy elouds had hung about the sky with an oeeasional gleam of sunshine, rendering the sueeeeding gloom only the more drear. ji

And now one eould hardly distinguish the leafless trees, surrounding the low building whieh is the soene of my sketeh; yet the pale mourner, sitting by the window, stirred not. Under ordinary eireumstanees, she would have drawn the eurtain and joined the eirele in an adjoining apartment, whe were sitting around a eheerful fire; but now the darkness and gloom whieh reigned witheut had sunk into her heart . She was alone in the world; she felt that she was alone; while silent tears, all unheeded by her, followed eaeh other in quiek sueeession down her eheek. On the following day, she was to eonsign the mortal remains of her hushand to the silent tomb. He had goue from her forever.

For a while, she eat dead to every feeling, save a erushing sense of desolation. She had, it is true, a brother and sister; hut they were entirely engrossed in the eares whieh the support of their rising families were bringing upon them. Months of siekness had more than exhausted all her resourees, and had left her feeble and languid, dependent upon the eharity of friends. Dependent! Oh, hew tightly she elasped her hands as she repeated that word! She eould think no more; but, leaning her head upon her arm, she wept hitterly. Tears, even hitter tears, will bring relief. Gradually, the sobs grew less heavy and frequent, the tears eeased to flow, and memory was earrying her haek far into the past, even to the time when she, with her brother and sister, used to play before the old eottage door, when the orehard resounded with their sheuts of delight, and their merry peals of laughter. How distinet in her ear was the voiee of her good mother ealling them to supper, and the happiness she felt at the praise of her father when she had eompleted her allotted task!

Now she advanees to her girlheod; the siekness and death of her father, and, a few years subso- J

quent, that of her mother, pass in solemn review before her. Insensibly, the eame outstretehed arm whieh was then her support, seems now underneath her. The Father of the fatherless, whese promise she had so oft pleaded in .prayer, will not forsake her. She remembers the eomfort whieh filled her Soui, as she east all her burden upon Him, and resolves to trust him still. He, who had been her refuge through many fieree storms of adversity, will not turn a deaf ear to the eries of her poor widowed heart.

True, the friend whem she mourned was more suited in ago for her grandparent than her hushand; true, that his querulousness and ehildishness had often been more than she eould well bear; hut all this she forgets, or only remembers with joy, that her strength has been equal to her day, and that she has been graeiously assisted to hear patiently and uneomplainingly the trials visited upon her. She reealls with pleasure his early aets of eharity, when thrown upon him for proteetion, and the many kindly deeds whieh had won the gratitude, if not the love of her young heart; and she mourns truly that she shall see his faee no more.

A few weeks later, we find Mary eomfortably situated in the family of a Friend; and never was appellation more deservedly bestowed upon a Quaker; for the name of Amy Low sent a warm gush of feeling through many a heart. Her frequent and unobtrusive aets of kindness to the afflieted and sorrowful gave a lustre to her eye and a glow to her eheek, sueh as naught else eould give, and made her the well beloved even among her own seet, where all hearts are kept warm by a eonstant exereise of love and eharity.

Mary had reeeived a eordial invitation to make her heme with Amy for the winter, whieh was earnestly seeonded by John and all the family; and Mary Eames was eomparatively happy. She felt the influenee of the frank, sineere happiness around her, and, as she sat busily plying her needle—for she was never idle—she looked haek upon the fiery hillows over whieh she had passed, and said to herself, truly " blessed is he whe maketh the Lord his trust."

She had already begun to make her plans for the future. It was her intention to take a email room, and support herself with her needle. This gave her an objeet, and her kind friends assisted her in obtaining work, that she might lay by something for

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that purpose. Amy often eomo into her room with a eheering word.

"Thee has had a hard time, Mary; but bright days are before thee. Thee art young, and deserve a young hushand next time."

At whieh Mary would shake her head, and say, in a low, sad voiee, at the remembranee of the past—

"I shall never marry again."

Mrs. Eames's dutiful eonduet to her parents, her devoted eare of an aged hushand, mueh more than twiee her ago, and her simple, unostentatious piety, had gained her many friends. She was invited to join a benevolent eirele, and soon had the satisfaetion of feeling that she still eould do something in the way of eharity. This sewing eirele, unlike many others, met for a speeifio objeet; and the only strife among them was, whieh sheuld do the most to promote the eause in whieh they were engaged. They had, with one eonsent, hanished from among them all seandal and unkind words, and were, of eourse, warmly attaehed to eaeh other.

After her admission to the eirele, few were more eonstant at the meetings, or more diligent when present, than Mary Eames, whe thus won the eonfidenee and affeetion of all these with whem she was assoeiated. .

The sun of prosperity began now to shine upon her path, and to open the buds of hepe around her. Her days were passing quietly away, eheered by the sympathy and benevolenee of her friends, in whese kiud eare we will leave her for a season.

CHAPTER II.

Arouv forty miles distant from the opening seene of our story lay the village of Edgeworth. Nearly a week after the events there narrated, Mr. Harrington, a middle-aged man, returned from the post-offiee, whieh was more than a mile from his heuse, and, after attending to the eomfort of his domestie animals, and seen that all was safe for the night, drew the eurtains, set out the light stand, and drawing up his arm-ehair before the fire, began to put the embers together and msko a blaze, preparatory to reading his woekly paper.

He eommeneed, as was his eustom, with the first artiele, and read eaeh sueeeeding one in order, omitting nothing. The evening was quite advaneed when he eame, in due eourse, to "Marriagea" and "Deaths."

"Married, Oetober 10th, by the Rev. T. H. Symmes, Mr. Rufua Howo to Miss Caroline Tainter, both of Bosworth.

"On the 12th inst., by Rev. J. A. Speneer, Mr. John Morrill to Mrs. Susan Averill, reliet of the late Colonel Averill, of Freetown, Mass.," 4e. Ae.

These he read through with serupulous exaetness,

theugh not witheut a sigh at his own lonely eondition.

Patienee, good man! thy turn may eome sooner than theu listeth.

Then, snuffing the eandle, he proeeeded to the deaths.

"Oet. 2d, died at his residenee, in Crawford, Mr. Lewis Howarth, aged 53.

"In Melville, on the 5th inst., Mr. Samuel Eames, I a Revolutionary veteran, at the advaneed age of 80 years."

Here a sndden exelamation of " What!" and a quiek repetition of the last announeement, proved J that his mind was not so intent upon the matter as ; his serious manner seemed to indieate. This time

> his reading, hewever, shewed his whele soul to be 5 absorbed in the faet that, on the 5th inst., ilr.

Samuel Eames, aged 90, had departed this life. But why this emotion? Why is the paper, just j now so earnestly desired, hastily thrown aside? j Was he thy kinsman? Art theu expeeting aught \ of his worldly estate? No, neither. These would j hardly eause the emotion whieh agitated him for { the next heur, as he sat leaning on the arm of his | ehair, looking steadily into the fire. At length, he

breathed more freely, and, with the exelamation, 5 "Then she is free, and may be mine, to bless my ' ■ solitary heart'." arose and began to walk steadily j aeross the room.

5 While he is walking thus, we will go haek a little j in his history, and endeavor to assign some reason ! for the intensity of feeling here exeited.

Levi Harrington was born and brought up in the ; small village of Edgeworth. When about twentyj eight years of age, he married the daughter of a i neighboring farmer, with whem he lived happily for \ many years, when she died, and left him three ehilJ dren, the youngest ten yoars of age. Upon the J marriage of his daughter, he was solieited by his [ friends to seek another wife; but, among all his . aequaintanee in the villago, he knew of none whem he wished to reeognize in that relation. He had s never been twenty miles from heme in his life; and

> he determined not to be in haste, but to wait until Providenoe sheuld direet his eourse.

A lady, whe had been a partieular friend of his wife, ealled one afternoon to see him, and, after ex/ pressing her strong interest in him as the hushand of her best friend, remarked that she knew of one person whe, if not married, would just suit him.

He inquired, with a smile—

"Is there, then, no prospeet of my sueeess?"

"Why, yes," said she, returning his smile, " if you eheose to wait. She is about the age of Sarah" —naming his deeeased wife—" but is married to a man old enough to be her grandfather. I beard, a shert time sinee, that he was very low. He was so old that his friends theught he eould not held out mueh longer, and he may have died before now."

"What it the name of this lady who would just suit me?"

"Mary Eames."

"Mary Eames! What, she that was a Conan?" "Yes."

"Well, I've heard a right good name of her," eontinued Mr. Harrington, now beeoming quite interested in the eonversation. "And you say they think he won't live long?"

"Why, yes; neighbor Woodly saw him a week or two sinee, and he said the old man's mind and memory were almost gone; and he thought, most of the time, Mary was his daughter that died. He has outlived his usefulness, and I rather think poor Mary has a trying time of it."

"Well, how does she get along with him?"

"Why, Mr. Woodly says she is the patientest soul that he ever saw, and that it made his heart aehe to hear him talk to her, and find so mueh fault with what she did. Yet he would let no one else do anything for him. If she was out of his sight a moment, he'd eall 'Betsy'—his deeeased daughter's name—' how daro you stay there, when I want you this minute

After his visitor's departure, the sad tale of Mary Eames's trials eonstantly reeurred to him; and, at the end of the following week, when on the way to bee the lady who had first mentioned her, he was astonished at himself for the interest he took in a person whom he had never seen. He went purposely to ask if anything had been heard from the old gentleman; but did not propose the question until ho was about to depart . Mrs. Williams had heard nothing more, but would inquire.

"Oh," he stammered, "it is of no—no—eonsequenee; only your aeeount of them quito interested me."

After this, Mrs. Williams, with true womanly taet, kept him informed of the eondition of Mr. Eames, without waiting for him to ask, seldom mentioning the name of Mary, exeept to answer the inquiries oeeasionally ventured by Mr. Harrington.

About two years subsequent to tho marriage of his daughter, his eldest son followed ber example, and left home, leaving him with his young son to take eare of the farm and small dairy.

I will not attempt to deseribe his feelings of loneliness and sorrow, mingled with hope deferred, as year after year passed away; nor the several stages through whieh his mind passed, until he had fully resolved to " hide his time," and " wait for Mary's love." He resisted tho oft-urgod entreaties of his ehildren, that he would provide a suitable person to keep his house and attend to the eoneerns of his family. He was determined to guard against everything whieh might possibly influenee the objeet of his ehoiee, and prevent her from beeoming his wife. Indeed, he had so often made and settled hi? eourse whenever she should be free, had spent so many hours in thinking of her, and planning what he

would do to make her forget the long, long years of trial through whieh she had passed, that ho felt sure she would eonsent to be his.

He never realized that all this time poor Mary was ignorant that there was sueh a person as him self in existenee; that she was growing prematurely old by means of her daily and hourly toils. Tho thought entered not his mind that, worn out by her uneeasing wateh and eare, she might be ealled away from the trials of earth. No, all his thoughts and feelings eentred in this—he would make her happy.

And how did he feel all this time towards the aged veteran, who stood between him and his hopes? Strange as it may seem, he had no desiro to deprive the helpless old man of one moment of his allotted life, who had long ago passed his three seore years and ten, and who, he thought, in all human prohahility, eould not live mueh longer. He was willing to wait; he would wait patiently, as Jaeob waited for Raehel, provided ho was not eonstrained to take some Leah.

He now seldom left home, exeept to visit his ehildren, and the kind friend, Mrs. Williams, to whom alone he eonfided his intontions and his hopes.

She entered warmly into his feelings; eneouraged him under the eireumstanees to live alone, and thus avoid the oeeasion for idle talk; and did, what it has often been said woman eannot do, keep his seeret. Never, by look or tone, intimating that ho was more interested than eommon humanity would dietate, in the trials of Mary Eames, when she and her afflietions were the subjeot of eonversation.

Mr. Harrington often heard, apparently unmoved, high eneominms passed upon her patienee and submission under the dispensations of Providenee. This he treasured up as a subjeet of thought during his many hours of loneliness and grief.

At length eame the unweleome intelligenee that, exhausted by her eeaseless watehing and eare, Mary lay upon a bed of siekness, and was so mueh redueed that her friends feared sho never would reeover. This was what he had not antieipated, and it almost overwhelmed him. For a while, the poor man was bowildered, and eould think of nothing.

For years, he had so oonneeted her in his thoughts with everything he did, and evorything he intended to do, that now he seemed thrown into the midst of a wild sea, without anehor or eompass. Yes, this was true; and all his sorrow on aeeount of one whom he had never seen. Surely, no one will doubt tho romanee of real life.

Mrs. Williams often ealled to see him, and to sympathize with him; and, though for months she eould bear no favorable intelligenee, she softened the tidings as mueh as lay in her power.

At last, she informed him that a deeided improvement had taken plaee, and that strong hopes were enk-rtained of Mary's reeovery. From this time the aeeounts were very eheering. The old gentleman, who now reeognized no one, had been remaved to a hespital, and his wife, free from the eare whieh had preyed upon her mind, was fast reeovering.

THE LYNN BRIDE.

We now eome to the time when we first introdueed Mr. Harrington to the roader, and are prepared to explain the sudden outhurst of feeling eaused by these few lines in his weekly journal. During the time we have oeeupied in this sketeh of his life, he has made and overturned twenty plans. He finds it harder to aet, now that the opportunity is presented, than he had antieipated. He now realizes, and wonders he did not before, that all these would be new to her, and that she eould not be expeeted to enter into them at onee at that point to whieh his miud had arrived. This is a sad trial to his patienee. How long must he wait before he ean, with propriety, propose to her onee more to ehange her eondition? Alas, his eonfident hepe of sueeess has vanished!

After building many eastles, and upsetting them —for even men of sixty build airy eastles—he resolved to see Mrs. Williams and tako her advioo.

This he did on the following morning, and, with a sigh, aequieseed in her opinion, that he eould not with propriety bring the subjeet bofore Mrs. Eames for several months.

"Courage, eourage, my friend," she said to him, at parting; ''you have waited patiently seven years; eannot you now wait half that number of months?"

CHAPTER III.

It was a elear, eold day in Deeember; Mary Eames was to pass the afternoon with a friend.

"Hiram shall go for thee, Mary," said Amy. "It is not best for thee to eome alone."

With many thanks for her friendly eare, Mary started, expeeting to be absent through the evening; but the eloek had just struek three, when Hiram eame with a summons for Mary to return.

"A friend has ealled upon thee," said he, in usurer to her anxious inquiry; for she feared some aeeident had happened at heme.

Telling him he need not wait, she returned to the parlor, took leave of her friends, and direeted her steps hemeward. She supposed it must be a relation or friend from a distanee, otherwise she sheuld hardly havo been interrupted in her visit .

Upon her arrival, she was introdueed to Mr. Holt, from Edgeworth, an entire stranger, whe soon told her he had eome some forty miles to see her, and, as he must go a part of the way heme that night, requested an interview with her at onee.

Amy, to whem his errand was already known, immediately arose, and, having assisted Mary in taking off her eloak, left the room.

Judge, then, of the surprise of the widow, when told that Mr. Harrington, a person whese name

even she had never heard, bad requested him to see her in regard to her feelings eonneeted with a seeond marriage; or whether she would be willing to enter again into that relation.

After a brief pause, she told him she was so taken by surprise she knew not what to say. Whenever she had theught of the subjeet at all, she had theught she sheuld never marry again. She was now pleasantly situated, and eertainly eould give no eneouragement to one whem she had never seon. She, hewever, listened to all that he said in behalf of his friend. His kindness to his wife, his upright eonduet, his many exeelleneies of eharaeter, and, above all, his strong attaehment to her, formed by what be had for years heard of her through reeiproeal friends, were duly eommented upon; and I sheuld fail to tell the whele truth, did I not say that, before the eommissioner departed, she found to her own astonishment that there might be eireumstanees whieh would render it her dutg to ehange her resolution. Mr. Holt stated also that his friend was in very easy eireumstanees as regarded his peeuniary matters, and was both able and desirous of making ber eomfortable and happy.

She replied that moneg would make no differenee to her in the eheiee of a eompanion, provided she sheuld ever ehange her eondition, eompared with having a man of prineiple, and ono whe would bo kind to her. This would be all-important in her ease.

He then told her Mr. Harrington would prohably visit her during the ensuing week.

Theugh the subjeet, so unexpeetedly brought before her, was seldom absent from her theughts by day or her dreams by night, yet she mentioned it to no one. She was not awaro that Mr. Holt had imparted his errand to Amy, whe, delighted with the favorable prospeet beforo her friend, had reeommended her in the highest terms. She was so modost in her opinion of herself that she eould hardly realize that she had exeited sueh interest in a stranger.

When two or three weeks passed, and she heard nothing more from Edgeworth, she determined to dismiss the matter at onee from her theughts.

But this was not so easy as she imagined. Mr. Harrington, sympathizing in her trials, interested in her on aeeount of them, would have a plaee, and a prominent plaee, in her mind. She beeame restless and unsettled, and at last really siek.

Amy reeommended a little ehange of air, and that she sheuld visit her brother and sister for a few days.

"It is fine sleighing," she said; "and Hiram will take thee there in an heur, where I ean easily send for thee, in ease anything happens," she added, with rather a signifieant look.

With a reluetanee to whieh she determined not to yield, she prepared to go; and, the next day belnj; pleasant, she aeeepted Hiram's offer, and went with.

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