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him to her sister's, after reeeiving a promise to return for her in two or three days.
Towards the elose of the next afternoon, as she sat sewing by the window, she saw Hiram drive into the yard aeeompanied by Amy. Her breath eame quiek and shert, but she tried to look unooneerned as she went out to weleome them.
"Put on thy bonnet, my dear," were Amy's first words as she saw her. "We left eompany at heme, and eannot tarry."
Poor Mary sat down, and, with her hands before her faee, for a moment gave way to her feelings. Then, suddenly rising, found that her good friend had already informed her sister that Mary must go heme, and nothing remained but for her to eolleet her work and prepare for the ride.
This was soon done, and they were on their way. She longed to ask some questions, yet dared not. But Amy waited not for questions. Turning to her eompanion, she said, abruptly—
"Thy friend looks feeble; he has not been out for a fortnight . He will need thy eare and nursing to make him well."
Mary eould not reply. She felt as if she sheuld weep, not for sorrow, not for joy, but for—she knew not what.
Whe shall attempt to deseribe the workings of a woman's heart?
Soon they were at their own door. She seemed in a dream. Hiram and Amy were upon the steps, and assisting her, before she hardly knew what she was about . She was intending to run for a few moments to her own room, when the parlor door opened, and John eame into the entry, aeeompanied by a tall gentleman, whem he introdueed as Levi Harrington, from Edgeworth. She made a low eourtesy, and hastily retired.
Amy insisted she sheuld go into her warm room to take off her outer garments, "For," said she, "thy hands are like iee."
At tea, Mary grew more ealm, and was able to answer the questions addressed to her; and when j afterwards Mr. Harrington requested an interview, i she was mueh more eomposed than she had ex- t pee ted to be. j
What was said upon that oeeasion ean be more I easily imagined than deseribed. Theugh doubtless J very interesting to the parties eoneerned, we are not > at all sore it would be equally so to our readers, and > will therefore only relate so mueh of it as was eom- i mnnieated by her, on the following morning, to her j partieular friend, the elergyman's wife, to whem she > very properly went for adviee. <
After eonversing with Mrs. Romaine for an heur, t on topies of eommon interest, she suddenly eovered j her faee and said, " I have something strange to < tell you." She then related the eireumstanees with i whieh we are aequainted. i
"He has been waiting for me seven years, and j
now he has brought his eertifieate with him, and wishes to be married on Saturday."
"And this is Wednesday," exelaimed her friend, in surprise. "Can you tell whether you shall love him so quiek?"
*' Why, you know that I have beon thinking of him for three weeks," replied Mary, with na'ineK.
Then followed many questions as to his moral and religious eharaeter, his domestie hahits, Ae. Ae., all of whieh were vory favorably answered by Mary; and her friend saw, with surprise, that her mind was made up, theugh perhaps she did not aeknowledge it to herself.
Still, she eould not eonseientiously advise her to aeeept his proposal witheut farther eonsideration. She urged her to take a little trip to Edgeworth, visit her friends, and make inquiries eoneerning him; but there were strong objeetions on her part to adopting this eourse. He had eome prepared to take her haek with him; he eould not wait; and she hated to disappoint him.
"But," suggested Mrs. Romaine, "if you sheuld find, on your arrival, that he was not altogether sueh as you imagine, yon might regret all your life that you had been so hasty."
"He thinks I shall not regret it," replied her eompanion.—(Oh, the trust of woman!)—"He thinks," eontinued she, "that it will be a good heme for me; and my frionds, where I am staying, like him very mueh."
After some more eonversation, it was at length proposed by Mrs. Romaine that she sheuld write to her friends, and request an immediate answer.
This adviee was eagerly aeeepted, and Mary besought the aid of her friend in aeeomplishing it .
"You know what is proper; write just as you think best."
Mrs. Romaine eomplied; and, stating to Mrs. Eames's friend in Edgeworth what had oeeurred, asked her to send in reply whatever she knew of Mr. Harrington. The answer was to be direeted to Mrs. Romaine, and was expeeted the next morning. She then invited Mary to eall in the afternoon, and introduee Mr. Harrington to them. This was done, and the visit proved one of satisfaetion to all parties.
True to her appointment, Mary ealled the next morning to see if there was an answer to the letter. None had been reeeived, and the subjeet had oeeasioned Mrs. Romaine no small anxiety; but no adviee was now neeessary. The widow Kames was fully deeided not to disappoint so faithful a suitor, and only wished her friends to approve her eheiee.
Busying herself about Mrs. Romaine's dress to hide her faee, Mary asked—
"Now wouldn't you, if you were in my plaee, be married Saturday, as he wishes?"
Mrs. Romaine eould not resist the pleading look, as she turned to reply, and snid—
"I don't know but I sheuld."
THE ITALIAN SISTERS.
This was enough, the matter was aettled; Mr. Harrington need not be longer harassed with doubt. Before she left her friend, all the arrangements for the wedding were made, and Mary returned to give ber eonsent, and to paek her trunk.
Preparations now went briskly on. Friendly visits were made; presents reeeived; trunks paeked with great speed. The marriage was to be eelebrated at a quarter before two, that they might be in season for the ears to take them to Edgeworth.
At the appointed time, Mr. Harrington and Alary, with her personal relatives and friends, made their appearanee. She had just begun to realize the importanee of the step she was about to take; but
there is no time for regret now. The bridegroom and the bride bike their plaees; the blessing is invoked; their hands aro joined; the man of God pronounees the words whieh unite them for life; a prayer is offered; the benedietion pronounoed; and —they are gone.
In elosing this sketeh, I will only add that Mary found in Edgeworth, the heme of her youth, ealm and quiet happiness; and Mr. Harrington fully realized the bliss whieh be had so many years antieipated. Months rolled away, and their heneymoon eontinued to shine on them with inereasing • brightness. May it shine forever 1
THE ITALIAN SISTERS.
IT HELEN HAMILTON.
In a small room in one of the poorer elass of lodging-heuses of Rome, sat a young and beautiful girl. The glowing loveliness of Italy was hers— the warm yet brilliant eomplexion, the dark expressive eyes, the wealth of raven hair—all were eomhined to render her an exquisite speeimen of Roman beauty. She was elad in a rieh bridal eostume, and her dress of snowy satin and eostly laee, ornamented with flowers and pearls, eontrasted strangely with the aspeet of the room she oeeupied. It was small, poorly furnished, and its only ornaments were a few eolored drawings of Italian seenery hanging here and there upon the walls, and a large erueifix of ebony and alahaster whieh stood on a small table draped with eolored stuff. An old guitar, with a portfolio of musie, lay at the feet of the fair girl, as if she had been trying to while away the time by playing upon the instrument.
She was evidently waiting for some one. From time to time, as the roll of a eoming earriage eaught her ear, she sprang up and hastened to the window, but, always disappointed, turned away with a look of weariness to resume her seat. At last, after an heur's weary wateh, a earriage stopped at the door, footsteps were beard aseending the stairs, the door was pushed open, and a young man entered the room followed by a priest . Uttering an exelamation of joy, the fair girl flew to meet the first, whe greeted her with a smile and the words, "Well, dear Nina, havo I made you wait long ?" pronouneed in Italian with a slight English aeeent .
"Oh, very long, Enrieo! I was so tired; but now yon are eome, I am satisfied," she replied, smiling.
"Does your dress please you?" he asked, attentively surveying her. "I feared it was not handsome enough."
"It is beautiful," she answered, "only too beautiful for me."
"Nothing ean be too beautiful for the future Lady Lyndon," he whispered, while a rosy blush overspread the fair features of his eompanion. "But where is Teresa?" he added, glaneing around; "is she gone?"
"Yes, and all is seeure," was the reply.
"Then eome, I am impatient to eall you my wife, eartWma." She plaeed her hand in his, and he led her to the priest .
And now while the oeremony is proeeeding, let us east a look at the bridegroom.
He was tall and finely formed, with delieately eut features, large deep blue eyes, and a profusion of dark brown hair whieh wreathed itself in elose eurls around his head. Ho was handsomely dressed, and bore in his manners the traee of his rank, (Lord Lyndon was heir presumptive to an earldom,) yet an expression rested upon his handsome mouth whieh, theugh diffieult to deseribe, eaused an involuntary feeling of dislike in these whe beheld him for the first time.
The eeremony was nearly ended, when the door was suddenly thrown open, and a young girl rushed in, her features, theugh wan and wasted with reeent illness, glowing with exeitement, and her whele frame trembling with emotion. "The Holy Virgin be praised !" she exelaimed; "I am not too late to save you, Nina!"
"To save me!" exelaimed Nina, a flush erimsoning her eheek; "from what? I am Lord Lyndon's wife."
"His wife? Oh! foolish girl, did you believe him ?" asked the other. "This is an infernal snare, Nina. Look at that man," she eontinued, pointing to the priest , whe, pale and trembling, leaned against the wall. "He is one of the lord's servants dressed up to triek you to your destruetion. That is the reason why he insisted on a seeret marriago; but his valet, more henest than his master, revealed to me the whelo plot searee an heur ago, and I hastened to save you."
"Nina, 'tis false!" exelaimed Lord Lyndon, angrily.
"I am his wife, Teresa; you hav« been deeeived," said Nina, and throwing haek her veil, she gazed with a look of eonfiding fondness into her lover's eyes.
"Read, deluded girl," replied Teresa, plaeing an open letter in her hand. She glaneed over a few lines, an ashy paleness overspread her features, and with a moan of unutterable anguish, she sank fainting into the arms of her sister. "My lord, your evil purpose is foiled," said Teresa, ealmly. "Will it pleoso you, leave me V and she pointed with a gesture of eommand to the door. Uttering an exelamation of rage and seorn, he rushed from the room, followed by the pretended priest, and the sisters were left alone.
Five years have passed away sinee the events deseribed in the first part of this tale, and our seene is no longer laid in the little room at Rome, but in the elegant boudoir of a titled lady in London.
The room was riebly yet tastefully furnished. The delieate tints of the earpet and the satin-eovered furniture harmonized well with the silvery hue of the paper that eovered the walls. A few beautiful paintings, one an exquisite Madonna, the rest glowing Italian landseapes, were hung with an artist's eare in the best lights, and in a reeess stood one perfeet statue, a graeeful Hebe, from the magieal ehisel of Canova, Above the mantel-pieee of Sienna marble hung one other painting; it was eoneealed by a eurtain of blaek velvet, on whieh the words "La Mia Sorella" were embroidered in silver thread.
Seated at a marble table, whieh was drawn near the eentre of the room, was a young and beautiful woman. Her large, blaek, brilliant eyes, and heavy braids of silken hair of that rieh bluish blaek never seen exeept on a native of Italy, eontrasted the dazzling whiteness of her broad and noble brow, and the soft yet rieh tint of her eheek. Her dress of violet satin was eut so as to display the perfeet eontour of her ivory sheulders, whieh were farther set off by a berthe of blaek laee fastened with a diamond star. She was employed in looking over the eontents of a small portfolio, eovered with erimson velvet, with elasps and eorners of gold studded with pearls, and filled with small pieees of paper, all in the same handwriting, and bearing the same signature. A smile eurved her beautiful lips, a strange smile for a mouth so lovely; it was eold nnd hitter,
more painful to look upon than a frown. Sueh wns the Murehesa d'Agliano, the most beautiful woman in London. A servant announeed "Lord Lyndon," and, elosing the portfolio, she rose to reeeive him, the smile on her lip giving plaee to one of weleome. Five years had made but little ehange in the appearanee of Lord Lyndon, exeept that he was still handsomer than when he won poor Nina's heart, and his manners had aequired additional graee. Clasping the offered hand of the Marehesa, he pressed it to his lips before he spoke; then drawing a ehair elose to hers, he said, " Well, Beatriee, to-day the year of my prohation is ended. It is now exaetly one year sinee the day I first told you I loved you; will you not give me a definite answer now?"
The Marchesa listened with the same eold and eaustie smile playing upon her lips, and when he paused for a reply, witheut heeding his words, she said, "Lord Lyndon, I will tell you a little story." The lover looked surprised, but witheut heeding his astonished looks, she pressed the blaek heavy braids from his brow, and, after a moment's theught, began. Hitherto the eonversation had been earried on in English, but now she spoke in Italian with a rapidity of enuneiation that effeetually preeluded every attempt at interruption.
"Some years ago, my lord, there lived in Rome two orphan sisters. They wero of noble hirth, but poor, and they depended upon their talents for subsistenee; the elder taught drawing, and the younger musie. She was very beautiful, and very guileless, and the elder watched over her with all a mother's eare, for she was the last being who elaimed her love. She always aeeompanied her when she wont to give her lessons, and guarded her with the watehfulness neeessary in a land where beauty is almost a eurse, but at last she fell siek, and her sister went forth alono to her daily tasks. She met, at the heuse of one of her pupils, a young foreigner; he was eaptivated by her beauty, and made her proposals, whieh she spurned with indignation; he then offered her his hand on eondition that the marriage sheuld be kept seeret; she loved him, and she eonsented. But the valet of the young man sought out the elder, told her that her sister was about to beeome the victim of a pretended marriage performed by a false priest, and, as a proof of his assertions, shewed her a letter whieh his master had given him to burn, a eongratulation from some one as hase as himself, on seeuring so easily the lovely prize. He indieated to her the heuse where the eeremony was to be performed; she hastened thither, and arrived in time to save her sister; but her heart was broken. Wealth and rank beeamo theirs by the death of a distant relative, but all too late. My lord, look here." And rising from her seat, the lady drew oside the blaek velvet eurtain, and Lord Lyndon looked onee more upon the faee of Nina. But hew ehanged! The samo brilliant eyes and glowing eheeks were there, but the lips that had over greeted his eoming
with smiles wore an expression of deep yet pationt sadness, and the very beauty of that fair faee seomed like flowers strewed upon a eorpse to hide by its loveliness the ravages of death. Lord Lyndon seemed violently agitated, and seizing the arm of the Marehesa, he exelaimod, " In pity, tell me, Beatriee, is she dead t"
She burst into a sardonie laugh. "Listen to this man!" she exelaimed; "he breaks the heart of a girl whe truly loved him, and then asks, 'h the deadV She died in my arms searee a year from the time you so eruelly deeeived her. I am her sister; but as you never beheld my faee but onee, I ean pardon you for not reeognizing in the Marehesa Beatriee Teresa d'Agliano the sister of your viotim."
He did not seem to hear her, but stood gazing on the portrait, his lip quivering with painful emotion. "Beatriee," he at length said in a deep troubled tone, "I seareoly ean hepo you will believe my words, yet if ever remorse visited human heart, mine has felt its hitterest pangs. Woro Nina living, my hand and heart sheuld be hers; but, alas! I ean give you no proofs of the sineerity of what I say. I dare no longer hepe you will listen to my suit; I ean no longer offer you my hand; I may only plead that you will pardon the hitter wrong I have inflieted on you, and that you will believe in the truth of my repentanee."
"You ean then feol remorse, eontrition!" she exolaimed; "you, the eold-hearted libertine; yon, the murderer of my sister! No, I eannot realize sueh a ehange."
"Then I must go uupardoned," he said, in a low tone.
Beatriee buried her faee in her hand for a fow moment.'!; when she again raised her head, the seornful expression of her features had given plaee to one of sadness. "My lord," she said, " I believe yon, and in that belief I renounee a projeet of vengeanee treasured ever sinee my sister's death. The Italian eount whe nightly tempted you to the gaming table, and to whem you lost sueh immense sums, was my tool, for I songht to avenge my sister by taking from you what I belioved every Englishman held dearer than life, money. Here," she eontinued, laying her hand upon the little velvet-eovered portfolio, " lies all your wealth, and thus do I restore it to you."
She opened the portfolio, and, taking out the papers it eontained, tore them into atoms; then, turning to Lord Lyndon, she said, "My lord, we i part now forever. Farewell." < "Forever! Oh, not forever, Beatriee!" he ex! elaimed. "Your generous forbearanee gave me i hepe; do not erush it at onoe." !" My lord, farewell," she repeated, extending her < hand. He raised it to his lips, and then, with a look * of passionate adoration, repeated her last words, i "Farewell," and retired. As his last footstep died J away, she turned towards the portrait . "Is not this ) the vengeanee that would have gladdened thy heart, J my sister ?" she murmured.
\ It may have been the waving of the eurtains, the \ fliekering of the dying sunlight, but something like ! a smile flitted over the sad sweet faee of Nina's porj trait .
BT W. U TirrANT.
All men in the soeiety of womon are romantie. Nature helds this quality to be the fittest garb for the oeeasion, and the onlookers stare that its plastie folds enwrap the uneouth as well as the graeeful. Eaeh, gentle or elownish, seleets his Eve for the nonee, and devotedly elothes himself with an air. He feels that graee is beeoming to the presenee of beauty, and eourtesy an exeellenee not to be left uuperformed.
Among men, we are bored, angered, or pleosed, as the ease may be, but we never idealize. We find no man whe absorbs our whele nature, in our admiration for his own. No male ean fill our soul with a vision of beauty eompleted, or a dream of delight unalloyed; beeause, like us, be is male whieh suffiees to keep us distant and foreign. Resembling us, and we him, knowing our own vulgarity, we dread his. Competing with us eontinually through life, he
wounds us often and sorely. We may not always eall him brother, and he is not lovely in our eyes. However mueh we envy his superior energy, or aetion, we find sympathy or joy with but few of his kind: througheut the pages of history oven, hero and there one only.
The differenee in sex is n ravishing riddle, to solve whieh our attempts at least never fail. The Sphynx, Nature, hides her seeret, yet gives ns woman, of whem we are born, by whem nurtured, and under whese tender eare when saying "Thy will be done," wo eall Death somewhat robbed of his sting. It is eertain that the admiration with whieh woman fills all mankind is somewhat a eunning and sleight of Nature, with a design to propagate our raee: yet the spiritual-minded man finds it somewhat diffieult to reeonoile Nature's main objeet with his own paramount desire, whieh is to define and enjoy woman as unity and eompletion. At the best, the eirele of his insight is eireumseribed, and none of us may question the Infinite.
To see a beautiful woman appropriately eostumed leaves the eye nothing to seek. It has found its ideal and panaeea. Mountains, waterfalls, pietures, statues, Bome, and Vienna «ro all insignifieant in eomparison to her, and sieken'its with their death and inanity. Radiant in her blessed beauty, perhaps inhahiting our dwelling, sitting near us at our meals, passing us in our walks, what satisfying pleasure possesses the soul! We would tempt any fate to find favor in her eyes. If foreed to refleet, she is beyond our attainment, or exists for another, the tender and lingering melaneholy felt in the heart is sweeter far than many a joy. Languago overruns the heavens and earth for images that shall faithfully reflect her eyes and hair, the mould of her throat, the eolor of her lips, and the eorreetness of her shape. Finally, reeognizing the soul as being the seeret spring of beauty thus streaming through her, we are doubly and virtuously inspired and delighted. At this season, an heroio aetion is the most natural one; a saerifiee, if noble, most easy to undergo. We hid meanness and eowardiee at oneo begone. We neither are shamefaeed, nor do we laek anything. The eonquering Carolus Magnus is then our equal only. The song and wisdom of a Shakspeare we have attained at onee. Her beauty awakes our own. The miraeulous light of her eyes transforms us to heroes and emperors.
Wherever a graeeful, genial woman dwells, her home and vieinage ar ate onee poetieal. Her palaee or eottage is an enehanting realm to us. The Dowers and trees around partake of her loveliness, and refleet it variously and anow. The hare hills no longer seem dreary and irksome; a glad stateliness of her enwraps them and eommands us. We penetrate the leafy valley and lonely glen, peopling the solitudes with the eoy nymph, and doubting the poet's fairy brood no longer. Eaeh spring and river is bereft of life denial, and the Undine is our warm and fleshly familiar.
It is beeause of this transforming spirit that"Art so revels in the beauty surrounding woman, and everywhere seeks its immortal embodiment and fixidity in her form. All lovers are artists and poets, with passion and genins variously measured and striving. The dream of eestasy eompletely possessing one, he shall travail with lifelong sweat and agony, that the wondrous beauty of his Beatriee may be revealed to us in words, eolors, or stone, that all men may adore with him. The Medieean Venus, Baphael's Madonna, and the "Loves of the Poets," in thus enehaining our adoration, are symbols of our true religion. To have lived without loving, is to have lived negatively and slavishly. To have loved onee and eompletely, is to have eonquered the universe and bound it in ehains. No fortune ean be adverse while our eondition simply is prieeless and
divine. Grief and terrors may threaten, yet we erult that our all-eonquering passion will prevail. Though eomfortless, landless, and desolate, have we not an imperial realm in the empyrean, where we walk in golden eompanionship with joys whose fulness suffiees the soul to its uttermost desire? To hanish a Dante from Florenee with seorn and insult, is not tho heavy misfortune to him it seems to others, for ho shall build eities throughout all spaee fairer than any Florenee, and Beatriee with her rowarding beauty shall beeken to him from eaeh.
The soul as naturally eraves love, as the invalid longs for his native air. Its solaee and health it finds likowise therein; for the soul was born of love eternal, and the highest triumph of philosophy and religion is to teaeh its perfeet reunion with its eternal type. Yot man so misjudges and demeans himself, that to aeknowledge to an earnest love, or eurapturing desire, never Ro pure, is to own to a eomieal and witless thing, bringing naught save jeers and ridieule in its train. Henoe when tho firo of the soul burns purest and brightest within us, we seek a darkness or solitude, hoping there for the foree, or fortune, to ereate or meet our shrine, that we may adore and enjoy unobserved.
BT VI. M. BRIOQS.
I 'vs been wand'ring—I *ve been wand'ring
Where the flowers are blooming fair,
Tn the breath of the perfumed air;
Rang out from the myrtle bowers; Yet slowly the dim hours passed away
To my heart in that land of flowers.
I've been wand'ring—I *ve been wand'ring
By the side of quiet streams,
That woke in my earliest dreams;
Called me onee more a boy:
The glow of a vanished joyl
I've been wand'ring—I 'vo been wand'ring
In the land of eitron flowers; In the southern elime where the moonlight falls
With a eharm unknown to ours;
Are broke by the bulbul's ery,
Gleams out on the midnight sky.
Yet I eome with a wakening heart onee more,
Bold land of the northorn blast!
And yearns for the dear old Past;
That glaneed from the window pane;
And my native land again!