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vicissitudes of time with womanly courage, hope, and confidence."
“Yes, my dear Heloise, I suppose I should; but precisely as my life has hitherto been a pleasant one, and my every wish almost a law immediately obeyed, do I dislike the task of remodelling my disposition to suit any one; and I fear me, if Louis has already discovered faults, his discerning eye will, in all probability, detect others quite as glaring.” Rising hastily, as she spoke, Ellen paced the room with a cloud upon her usually gay counte
keen observer might detect much anxiety under this assumed gayety. "I suppose Louis and yourself have quarrelled, and are both too proud to make the first acknowledgment, and be friends again."
“ Not so, sister, I assure you," replied Ellen. “ Louis is unwavering in love and kindness, ever the same. It is I who have changed, if change there be, since our engagement was made.”
“ You do not mean, surely, that you love him less, or not at all ?" eagerly asked Heloise.
“No, no, Heloise, do not mistake me; I could not love him more than I do, and I believe, were anything to occur to prevent our marriage, my life would be one desolate blank. But, sister, I do fear at times for his future happiness with me, as well as for my own. It is this that makes me melancholy."
“Why should you fear, Ellen? Are there any particular reasons for your anxiety ?"
“Yes, Heloise, there are many; our dispositions are so different, and so unlike. I would be gay, and partake of every enjoyment, regardless of consequences; while he prefers quiet, seeks but social pleasures, and would not swerve from the strict line of duty and principle for an instant for any motivo upon earth. Somehow, I shrink from the life of privation I fear will commence with my marriage.”
“Why you should picture to yourself a life of privation, I cannot think, Ellen. Louis St. Clair is engaged in a very lucrative business, which, with care, should enable him to live handsomely, and, in a few years, renounce altogether its pursuits."
“ Yes, yes," interrupted Ellen, hastily, “with care ; these are the very words that annoy me. I cannot bear the thought of constant care as to the indulgence of this or that wish, and I really sometimes dread the future."
“What is there in being properly careful so very terrifying to my little sister ?" asked Heloise. “Surely you are not such a child, Ellen, as to expect to go through life as through a highly cultivated garden, culling only the choicest flowers, unconscious of the existence of a single woed? You must have holier, higher, deeper views of life in its reality."
“I hope I have, Heloise ; but, for all that, it is life in its realities I shrink from; and I have discovered very lately that Louis, with all his love, is not blind to my imperfections. Ho has discerned that I am changeable in my purposes ; a discovery I never made myself, and which, although I cannot deny, I do not feel obliged to him for observing."
“Then, Ellen, you should begin at once to remedy what you acknowledge to be a defect in your character, and be really thankful you have been made aware of it in time to do so before it affect, in the slightest manner, the happiness of others than yourself. You know your every wish has hitherto been indulged, and life has been one uninterrupted day of pleasure ; but, in now assuming the duties of the married state, you must expect to undergo the
Well, Ellen; and does his manner betray legs of love since then ?" asked Heloise.
“ Man usually loves most that which requires his guidance; his prido being gratified by the implied acknowledgment of superiority it gives to rely upon him. Be. lieve me, your changeable disposition will suit him better, if he is firm, than if you were more like him; although I would not bave you childishly fickle either: your own good sense must guide you; and remember, Ellen, that, above all other qualities in a wife, amiability is most commendable. Come, clear your brow, I want to see you smile again; you are only too happy, and cannot realize it.”
"Perhaps so, sister," answered Ellen; "and the idea of quarrelling with my own happiness is so ridiculous, that I cannot avoid smiling at it. The eventful day is near at hand, and I only hope we will never regret it."
“ You surely never will, Ellen, if you act wisely yourself. I do candidly believe that a woman may be happy or unhappy after marriage, as she herself wills it; that is, where there is love to guide both."
“ Yes, sister, I know you think so," interrupteil Ellen, as she now reseated herself; "and, as you endow the wife with such supreme power, I hope to verify your belief in my own practice. You have effectually banished the misgivings I entertained lately, and I shall trust implicitly to your assurances for the future. But where are the children? We have forgotten them.” And, rising hastily, Ellen liberated the captives under the command of Charles.
Leaving her to participate in their innocent mirth, we will now introduce more fully to our readers the characters with whom they should become acquainted; commencing, of course, with our heroine, Ellen, of whose position and prospects in life we have already spoken. The daughter, and the youngest, too, of wealthy parents, she had been indulged in every wish, and her frank, affectionate disposition, which endeared her to all, saved her from being a mere spoiled pet. Much admired and courted in society, she had selected as her most favored suitor, much to the surprise of her gay friends, Louis St. Clair, a young man of gentlemanly appearance and address, but whose quiet, reserved manner served to contrast strongly with her gayety and animation, He was one of those sterling characters so worthy of respect and admiration, yet so rarely appreciated, whom we might oftener meet, did we but pause to inquire beyond the mere surface. As in gazing in the sunlight upon the night-blooming flower, we perceive no trace of the fragrance and beauty lavished upon the evening's zephyrs, nor detect that the plant possesses more than beauty of growth and form, so in life is many a noble soul unknown and unheeded, because it could not ostentatiously display its priceless worth. Ellen Montrose, however, was not insensible to his quiet merit, and all of her heart's young love was lavished upon him, who fully prized and returned it.
His business was, as Heloise had described it, a lucrative one ; and, possessing the power of surrounding himself with comforts, and even luxuries, be hoped, in sharing his home with Ellen, to realize all of happiness that his wildest dreams had pictured. Thus entering life upon a pathway literally strewn with flowers, why should Ellen Montrose have those fears she named to her sister ? Because few girls so young—for she was scarce eighteencan realize the practical duties of life until brought directly in contact with them. Can a young girl, to whom love is one bright, romantic dream, and marriage but the assurance of its reality, imagine that a wish of her own would ever be at variance with the desire of the loved one ? or that he, to whom she is now so dear, would ever pause to question her will, however arbitrary? No; few look beyond the present sunny hour; and it was because, in the depth and fervency of her love, Ellen would encompass her whole existence and make it all bis, that she felt and feared so much. Let us follow these young hearts as they proceed onward in life, and mark the influence of worldly care upon their now undivided feelings.
We will not attempt a description of the splendor, brilliancy, and joyousness of the gay fête which attended the celebration of their nuptials, or of the beautiful bride who, radiant as a bright star, surrounded by her scarce less beautiful satellites, was led by Louis St. Clair to the altar, and there, with willing heart and in firm tone, pronounced the vow that made her his forever; nor can we follow them through their wild career of pleasure, as they are seen, again and again, the gayest amid the gay of "those admiring friends who sought and courted them.
Two years have passed ere we revert to them. During the early period of her married life, Ellen, now Mrs. St. Clair, was the gayest of the gay ; but now she sought less frequently the crowded saloon, and busy friends conjectured that either Ellen St. Clair was not happy, or her husband and self were as selfishly indifferent to friendships as most young married people usually become ; even Heloise was perplexed, for even to her Ellen was changed, but still affectionate, and she could not ask her why it
sought his home, and seen Ellen, as she heard his footstep, rise, unable for an instant to check the impulse impelling her to meet him before he reached the apartment she occupied, then, with an effort at self-command, quietly reseat herself, and wait to salute him with a smile only as he entered, she might have guessed the truth ; but, shrinking from intrusion upon the private feelings of her dearly loved sister, she sought not very frequently to visit her, hoping that Ellen's first lessons in the book of life would not eventually determine in unbappiness.
And Louis, was he changed ? Ay. He, whose ardent nature seemed to demand a continual expres. sion, by manner, of affection, would seem satisfied with this cold greeting, and, book in hand, we find him hour after hour deeply engaged. A close ob. server might frequently detect an anxious, earnest glance bestowed upon Ellen, as she busied herself, or changed her occupation; but she saw it not, and many a smothered sigh nearly escaped her lips as she felt his neglect, and found him, if she stole a glance at him, apparently absorbed with the book he held.
This mode of life was not suddenly brought about ; it had been by slow degrees; nor was there wanting altogether between them kindness of manner. But where was the glad welcome, and the constant, cheerful attention to each other which characterized their early married days ? Gone; ay, gone. And so gradually had this change been wrought, that neither seemed to be aware of it, and yet both suffered deeply. Often had Ellen resolved to break the spell; but, as he too was silent, she strove to subdue her wishes for more certain proofs of affection than this quiet kindness afforded, and tried to teach herself it was not reasonable to expect all the devoted attention of former days. It was a bard task to school that young heart, with its warm impulses and ardent love ; and many, and often times, as he bade her good morning, and, with only a smile, left her alone, she sought the solitude of her own chamber, and wept long and bitterly that so soon Louis had learned to love her less. Nor was this all; for, added to this, frequently had it happened that her earnestly expressed wish to obtain or accomplish an object met no approval, and was apparently unheeded by him. These little trials, unexpected as they were, had aided to estrange them still more; and, as Ellen had often seen his brow clouded for some time after such occurrences, she learned to think she had angered him, and in silence bore the pain such a supposition inflicted.
Time thus wore on; but, of late, Ellen's heart throbbed still more violently at his entrance, as she observed a pallor of countenance unusual to him, and a restlessness of manner which spoke to her fears of bodily ailment, and consequently alarmed her. To her kind inquiries, he assured her of his perfect health ; and, not daring to urge an explanation of the cause, though certain a cause existed,
Could she have preceded Louis, as each day he
her health suffered with the oppression of her accumulated anxieties.
“I must leave you on the morrow, Ellen," said Louis St. Clair, abruptly, to her one evening, "and may not return for some time. Perhaps,” he added, as he saw her cheeks lose their color while he spoke, “one of your sister's children will remain with you while I am gone, as you may be lonely."
For a moment, every pulsation of her heart ceased, as each word had been so calmly uttered it had smote her heavily; then rising, and struggling to hide her emotion, she sought to leave the room; but her trembling limbs refused their support, and, sinking exhausted upon the nearest seat, tears uncontrollable gushed from the fountains of her overcharged heart.
Surprised and terrified at the exhibition of a grief so overwhelming, Louis in a moment clasped her to his heart, and begged, with endearing earnestness, to know its cause.
“Let me weep, Louis, or my heart will break," she said, after a few moments. “It is not exactly that you are to leave me now I grieve; but,” she added, impetuously, “I cannot longer live as we have lived lately. You, whom I love as my own existence, can leave me without one caress, to pass the long, lonely hours, and count the moments until you return; and then, when my heart bounds with joy to meet you, I receive but a chill salutation, sometimes scarce a look of recognition ; and then you calmly occupy yourself with pursuits in which I can bave no share. It is this, Louis, that saddens me, and is wearing away not only my health, but every wish that one so young would naturally have for life ; for, without your love, life is not desirable ; and I have only now to beg that, if you really love me not, you will in mercy hide the fearful truth."
“ Ellen, Ellen, I pray you be calm,” he interrupted. “I cannot let you speak thus. I had not dreamed of this, and have much to speak of; for I, too, am not happy. I have doubted you."
"Doubted my love, Louis ? No, no, it could not be! You, for whom I have renounced every one, even my own dear sister, kind as she ever is, as I could not bear she should know my grief, else she might have blamed you. No, no, Louis, you could not doubt me!"
“Yes, Ellen, I have. It is a long, long time since I first missed the light footsteps that hastened to meet me whenever I came, and many months have passed since I received a joyous welcome to this, our once happy home, and have wondered why it was, as I knew no cause. During the past year, I havė known many new cares, and have sought my home with oppressed heart, where, had my Ellen loved me as I once fondly believed, I could not have long pondered in silence; but, met with reserve and coldness by one whose impulsive nature I thought could not be controlled, I have been forced to believe the heart was changed, and there was a bitterness in the
thought that at times almost unmanned me. I struggled long, Ellen, against the fearful belief; but it would haunt me, and my manner must have betrayed it. But now"
“Now,” she interrupted, joyfully, “I have been mistaken, and you love me still! Oh, Louis, I would purchase the joy this assurance gives with all the pain of the past, for we never can mistake each other again; and oh, it is bitter to think that one to whom we are bound by all the ties that make life dear, would even in thought desert us! I know my follies have often justly angered you; but”
“Angry with you, I never was. I know why you think so; and, to convince you, I will tell you now what I thought you should never know, as I would have spared you the anxiety it would necessarily cause. It was not long after our marriage, when I discovered inaccuracies in my accounts which puzzled and alarmed me; with difficulty, I discovered their author. I regret to even tell you how treacherously my partner abused my trust in him; and, when led on by the influence of his giddy young wife, you proposed first one then another expensive pleasure, which, in my embarrassment, I well knew I could not afford, I thought, by evasion and apparent forgetfulness, to cause you to relinquish them, without giving you the pain of a positive refusal, or this explanation, now due to you, as well as myself."
“And then it was all in very love for me, instead of anger! Oh, Louis, can you ever forgive me for trifling so wilfully with your happiness and my own? To think that I could not see you had enough of care without my annoying childishness, and that, in your most trying hour, I should have deserted you! I cannot forgive myself. I am not worthy of you."
“You must not reproach yourself alone, Ellen, for I should have seen that you waited for proofs of affection from me; but I was too selfishly absorbed with my own cares, and the fault is equally mine."
“No, no, Louis, the fault is mine alone; and I can only say, in extenuation of it, that I forgot there should be no pride between husband and wife, and, wearied with waiting in vain for your proffered caress, I determined, after a long time, to bestow none myself unasked."
“And, my dear Ellen, being so long accustomed to receive gladly all you bestowed, I only realized how dear they were when altogether deprived of them. Let it be a lesson for the future, Ellen ; for, with husband and wife, there should be neither falso pride nor want of confidence. Our happiness has trembled fearfully; and now".
“Now, Louis, were it not for your pale cheek and careworn look, I could be happy. But why do you let this trouble in business annoy you so much ? You know we could easily live upon less, if it must be, and you should not hesitate at any step, however severe, if necessary."
“ This is why I go to-morrow, Ellen. The events of the next week are to decide whether my name which I have tried to bear through life untarnished, will stand or not; and, if it does not, my Ellen, it will require all your love to receive again"-he paused in agitation, as the horrid supposition of a blemished reputation presented itself.
“ Hush, hush, Louis !" she exclaimed ; “ do not let even these walls hear you utter a thought so unjust to yourself. You must hope, Louis; and, hoping, and fearing not, you will surely succeed. It cannot be that errors detected so quickly can produce such fearful consequences. Only be calm, and let not that horrid supposition ever present itself again; for Louis St. Clair will never be less esteemed among men than now."
“Bless you, my noble wife !” be exclaimed, as he pressed her to his heart; " for this assurance, even from you, gives me hope. And, as the cloud which so long hovered o'er our domestic peace has at length passed on and left us unbarmed, so may it cease to o'ershadow the name which, for your sake more than my own, I would proudly bear!"
That the assurances of his wife were fully realized, we must believe, when we see them as now, after the lapse of many years, surrounded by all that wealth can give, happy in each other's love, and the now matronly, but still beautiful Ellen, the happy mo. ther of children beautiful and interesting as the group we first presented her among.
We present our readers with two more of the series of calesthenics, which, we are happy to say, have attracted considerable attention. We have no doubt of the benefit to be derived from the adoption of these exercises, particularly by invalids: because they are so completely under the control of the persons using them, that they are in no danger of fatiguing or exhausting themselves in their use. The unhappy consequences of the neglect of a great portion of our female population to avail themselves of early exercises are too apparent, as well on the
public streets, and in our public assemblies, as in the private sick-rooms and in the public asylums. No effort, therefore, which gives the least promise of mitigating the sufferings of those who have too long neglected their health, and certainly no effort which promises to establish the necessity of an early habit, of all others the most likely to prolong a healthy existence, should be treated with indifference. We shall conclude this series in our December number, when we hope to be able to present some views more interesting to our readers than those which have preceded.
PRIDE OF BIRTH.
A TALE OF CHRISTMAS TIME.
BY ALICE B. NEAL.
“ From yon blue heavens above us bent,
The gardener Adam and his wife Smile at the claims of long descent
Howe'er it be, it seems to me 'Tis only noble to be good.
Kind hearts are more than coronets, And simple faith than Norman blood.”
“Your pupils are not in the house, I believe," said Colonel Haywood, courteously. “I have sent Maumer Fanny to look for them; she knows all their haunts. I am speaking of the children, however, now; Edward is in town with John. You will find them very wild, I have no doubt, since theirsince they have been left to their maumer's care."
Colonel Haywood had not yet learned to speak of his wife's death before strangers. His face flushed slightly even now, and Philip Anson, the new tutor, noticed it, but seemed absorbed in watching the beautiful landscape. It was all so new to his Northern eyes; the broad, uninclosed fields, with their foam-like waves of snowy cotton; the gnarled, spreading oaks, heavy with the hoary moss, that swayed lightly to and fro in the rising evening wind; the delicious softness of a Southern sunset sky, to which he was not yet accustomed.
They were standing in the porch, or piazza, at which Philip had dismounted; and, looking down the avenue, a merry equestrian party came in sight. Two lads, in linen blouses and broad straw hats, mounted on the same patient steed; while, galloping backwards and forwards, now wheeling around them, now dashing far ahead, on a pony as wild as herself, May Haywood, the colonel's only daughter, iningled her boisterous shouts of laughter with theirs.
Philip could but admire the grace of the child's movements, and the fearless ease with which she managed her pony; but he thought her a sad madcap, nevertheless, and wondered what his demure little sister, who was doubtless knitting her stocking at that very moment, would have said to this hoydenish gallop. She throw herself from the sadAle as she saw her father upon the porch, and came up with a half shy, half assured manner, to be introduced to her new teacher.
“Mr. Anson, May,” said her father, gravely, for he was struck more forcibly than ever with her need of care and restraint. It may be that he saw with Philip's eyes just then.
She gave her hand to him frankly, and looked up into his face with a bright, winning smile
“You won't make me study Latin, will you ?" she said. George says you will, and he hates Latin I'm sure I shall, if it is hard. I hate to study."
“Do you ?" said the young tutor, amused and interested. With all her fearlessness, there was something very feminine in the light of her large gray eyes, and the smile of her finely curved mouth. There was an air of inborn pride and resolution in it, too, and, in the haughty arch of the white throat, an air rarely noticeable in a child. The delicately pencilled eyebrows, the long, dark lashes, the small carved ear, all contributed to this, and her hair was drawn entirely back from her forehead, after the fashion of our grandmothers. For the rest, her dress was plain in the material, and carelessly put on. She had one of her brother's broad straw hats in her hand, hanging by its black ribbon, and a cape of common chintz only protected her neck and arms. But the picture suited the landscape; and Philip Anson, with an artist's eye, admired it, without one thought of the beautiful human soul that was awaiting his development.
It was a solitary life to ono accustomed to the stir and hum of a Northern city, or the dear companionship of college friends. The same unvaried routine, little company or change to interrupt their morning's studies, the afternoon ride or ramble. Colonel Haywood was much away from home, the children left in his absence to the care of his innumerable household, in which Maumer Fanny held the place of authority. When there, he was always courteous, though somewhat reserved; thanked Philip for the improvement, both in mind and manner, of his pupils, and often conversed with him in the library, which, though small, was well chosen, on matters of general bistory and political interest. When he was away, Philip was left with no other companionship but his own thoughts, his books, and the children. The overseer was an intelligent, but entirely uneducated man, busy on the plantation from early morning until late at night. The picturesque traits of negro character were a matter of amusement at first, and, of course, after a little time, had made their services natural, and even necessary to him, so all subjects of real interest were confined to a very narrow circle.
Edward and John were his two eldest pupils. The children, as the three youngest were called,