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"So do I," said a dozen voices. Marion blushed, and her eye sparkled with pleasure, " How pleasant it is to be loved," thought she.
At the end of the month, she went to the grotto. The fairies in blue lowered their silver wands, and flew away. They travelled on —the path grew steeper and steeper; but the fragrance of the atmosphere was redoubled; and more distinctly came the sound of the waters falling in music. Their course was staid by a troop of fairies in rainbow robes and silver wands tipped with gold. In face and form, they were far more beautiful than anything Marion had yet seen. "Here we must pause," said the Queen; this boundary you cannot yet pass." "Why not?'* asked the impatient Marion. "Because those must be very pure, who pass the rainbow fairies," replied the Queen. "Am I not very pure?" said Marion: "all the folks at the Castle tell me how good I have grown."
"Mortal e5'es seeonly the outside,"answered theQueen;" but those who pass the rainbow fairies must be pure in thought as well as ir action. Return home—for three months never indulge an envious or wicked thought. You shall then have a sight of the Immortal Fountain." Marion was sad at heart; for she knew how many envious thoughts and wrong wishes she had suffered to gain power over her.
At the end of the three months, she again visited the Palace of Beauty. The Queen did not smile when she saw her; but in silence led the way to the Immortal Fountain. The Green Fairies and the Blue Fairies flew away, as they approached; but the Rainbow Fairies bowed low to the Queen, and kept their gold-tipped wands firmly crossed. Marion saw that the silver specks on their wings grew dim; and she burst into tears. "I knew," said the Queen, "that you could not pass this boundary. Envy has been in your heart, and you have not driven it away. Your sister has been ill; and in your heart you wished that she might die, or rise from the bed of sickness deprived of her beauty. But be not discouraged; you have been several years indulging wrong feelings; and you must not wonder that it takes many years to drive them away.
Marion was sad as she wended her way homeward. When Rose asked her what was the matter, she told her that she wanted to be very good, but she could not. "When I want to be good, I read my Bible and pray," said Rose; "and I find God helps me to be good." Then Marion prayed that God would help her to be pure in thought; and when wicked feelings rose in her heart she read her Bible, and they went away.
When she again visited the Palace of Beauty, the Queen smiled, and touched her playfully with her wand, then led the way to the Immortal Fountain. The silver specks on the wings of the Rainbow Fairies shone bright, as she approached them, and they lowered their wands, and sung, as they flew away—
Mortal, pass on,
And now every footstep was on flowers, that yielded beneath their feet, as if their pathway had been upon a cloud. The delicious fragrance could almost be felt, yet it did not oppress the senses with its heaviness; and loud, clear, and liquid, came the sound of the waters as they fell in music. And now the cascade is seen leaping and sparkling over crystal rocks—a rainbow arch rests above it, like a perpetual halo; the spray falls in pearls, and forms fantastic foliage about the margin of the fountain. It has touched the webs woven among the grass, and they have become pearl-embroidered cloaks for the Fairy Queen. Deep and silent, below the foam, is the Immortal Fountain! Its amber coloured waves flow over a golden bed; and as the fairies bathe in it, the diamonds in their hair glance like sunbeams on the waters.
"Oh let me bathe in the Fountain!" cried Marion, clasping her hands in delight. " Not yet,"said the Queen. "Behold the Purple Fairies with golden wands that guard its brink!" Marion looked, and saw beings far lovelier than any her eye had ever rested on. "You cannot pass them yet," said the Queen. Go home—For one year drive away all evil feelings, not for the sake of bathing in the fountain, but because goodness is lovely and desirable for its own sake. Purify the inward motive, and your work is done."
This was the hardest task of all. For she had been willing to be good, not because it was right to be good, but because she had wished to be beautiful. Three times she sought the grotto, and three times she left it in tears; for the golden specks grew dim at her approach, and the golden wands were still crossed, to shut her from the Immortal Fountain. The fourth time she prevailed. The Purple Fairies lowered their wands, singing,
Thou ha 1 scaled the mountain,
Marion was about to plunge in; but the Queen touched her saybig, " Look into the mirror of the waters. Art thou not already as beautiful as heart can wish?"
Marion looked at herself, and she saw that her eye sparkled with new lustre, that a bright colour shone through her cheeks, and dimples played sweetly about her mouth. "I have not touched the Immortal Fountain,"saidshe, turning in surprise to the Queen. "True," replied the Queen; "but its waters have been within your soul. Know that a pure heart and clean conscience are the only Immortal Fountain of Beauty."
When Marion returned, Rose clasped her to her bosom, and kissed her fervently. "I knowall," said she; "though I have notasked you a question. I have been in Fairy-land, disguised as a bird, and I have watched all your steps. When you first went to the grotto, I begged the Queen to grant your wish."
Ever after that, the sisters lived lovingly together. It was the remark of every one, " How handsome Marion has grown. The ugly scowl has departed from her face; and the light of her eye is so mild and pleasant, and her mouth looks so smiling and good-natured, that to my taste, I declare, she is as handsome as Rose."
THE LADY OF MY LOVE.
I look, with ardent eyes,
That holds the all I prize.
Half hid behind the grove,
The lady of my love, my love,
Oh! I could muse for ever here,
Unwearied of the scene,
On balcony or green.
I would not seek to rove,
With visions of my love, my love,
The sky above, the earth below,
Are studded each with flowers;
We see them at all hours;
Ope* those that shine above,
Brings dreams of her I love, I love,
Not a divorce stirring—but a great many in embryo in the shape of Im;ui ,.i '-••.
It was on New Year's Eve in 1820, that twelve young professional men sat round the table of a club room, at supper. The cloth had been removed, and nothing was left on tho mahogany but an expressive black bottle, and a single thin spirituelle looking glass to each member. They had drank up to Gallagher's best.
The Old South struck eleven, and the last hour of the year was hailed with an uproarious welcome.
"A bumper, gentlemen," said Harry St John, the 'sad dog' of the club, "brim your beakers, my friends, and let every man be under the table when the ghost of the old year passes over."
"No, no!" timidly remonstrated Ernest Gourlay, a pale graduate just from the University, who sat modestly at the bottom of the table, "no, no! it is a sad hour, not a merry one! Cork the bottle till after twelve! We have lost too many hours of the year to throw away the last! let us be rational till the clock strikes, at least, and then drink if you will. For my part, I never pass these irrevocable periods without a chill at my heart. Come, St John, indulge me this time! Push back the bottle!" The dark eyes of the handsome student flashed as he looked around, and the wild spirits of the club were sobered for a moment—only!
"Good advice," said Fred Esperel, a young physician, breaking the silence, "but, like my own pills, to be taken at discretion. Sink moralizing, I say. There are times and places enough when we must be grave. I for one will never mope when I can be merry; what say, O'Lavender? Fill your glass, and trump my philosophy."
"Smother me! but you're all wrong," hiccupped the dandy, who was always sentimental in his cups, "Gourlay, there, (I am shocked at your atrocious cravat, by the way, Ernest,) Gourlay is nearer to it—but—but he smacks of his vocation: No preaching—let us be (pass the bottle, Tom!) sober. Send fora dozen 'white top'—and when the clock strikes tw-twelve (those cur-cursed olives make me stutter) seal it up—solemnly—for the last surviving m-m-member— solemnly, I say!"
"What's the use!" thundered Tom Corliss, who, till the third bottle, had not spoken a word, and from sundry such symptoms via strongly suspected of being in love, "who would drink it? not I, 'faith! What! sit down when eleven such fellows 'slept without their pillows,' to drink! It's an odd taste of yours, my dear macaroni! It would be much better to travestie that whim, bottle of vinegar for the last bacfielor /"
The proposition was received with a universal shout of approbafion. The vinegar was ordered, with pen, ink, and paper. Gourlay wrote out a bond by which every member bound himself to drink it, in case it fell to his lot, on the night the last man, save himself, was 'married: and after passing round the table, it was laid aside, with its irregular signatures, till twelve. As the clock struck, the seal was set upon the bottle, and after a somewhat thoughtful bumper, the host was called, and the deposit with its document was formally charged to his keeping.
# # * *
It was on the last night of 1830, that a gentleman, slightly corpulent, and with here and there a gray hair about his temples, sat down alone at the club table in — Street, with a dusty bottle and a single glass before him. The rain was beating violently against the windows, and in a pause of the gust, as he sat with his hands thrust deeply into his pockets, the solemn tones of the Old South, striking eleven, reached his ear. He started, and, seizing the bottle, held it up to the light, with a contraction of the muscles of his face, and a shudder of disgust quite incomprehensible to the solitary servant who waited his pleasure.
"You may leave the room, William," said he, and as the door closed, he drew from his pocket a smoky, time-stained manuscript, and a number of letters, and threw them impatiently on the table. After sitting a moment and tightening his coat about him in the manner of one who screws up his resolution with some difficulty, he filled his glass from the bottle, and drank it with a sudden and hysterical gulp.
"Pah! it cuts like a sword. And so here I am—the last bachelor'. I little thought it ten years ago, this night. How fresh it is in my mind! Ten years since I put the seal on that bottle with my own hand! It seems impossible. How distinctly I remember those dozen rascally Benedicts who are laughing at me to-night, seated round this very table, and roaring at my proposition! All married —St John, and Fred Esperel and little Gourlay, and to night, last of all, O'Lavender has got before me with his cursed alacrity. And I am—it's useless to deny it—the old bachelor. I, Tom Corliss— that am as soft in my nature as a 'milk diet!' I—that could fall in love, any time in my life, from mere propinquity .' I—thathave sworn (and broken) more vows than Mercury! I—that never saw a bright eye, nor touched a delicate finger, nor heard a treble voice without making love presently to its owner! I, Tom Corliss—an old bachelor! Was it for this I flirted with you, ?Was it