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in its tall brown case, the scarcely strive towards the higher than what he audible murmur of the rivulet at the is. So appearance is never a mere bottom of the garden, and the rise and gratuitous falsehood, but the ready and fall of the light wind among the and immediate substitute for being, of trees about the cottage, were the only which, during a time, it assumes the sounds the recluse heard. Even these name and attributes. It is the serhe was hardly sensible of, for his vant, who, wearing his master's clothes thoughts were intent on the matters and title, goes before him to prepare that lay nearest and most inward to the way, and prefigures his postponed him_his passion for Selina_his hate arrival. But with me, at least, this of Walsingham-bis tender reverence servile and heraldic ministration of for Maria—his grateful devotion to her falsehood to truth is, I trust, for ever at mother's memory-and, as lying in an end ; and I can no longer bear to the same range of feeling, and akin in exchange greetings or keep terms of depth, although not outwardly con- alliance with that which is not what it nected with these, the vague raw seems. Jealousy!--Revenge!-down, strivings of his political partisanship, down! and wear no more the austere ending in a bloody woe. These were and divine aspect of Truth and Right. the closest and most personal themes Yet even with this rigid separation of of emotion which his life supplied, and myself and my own feelings from the therefore--such is the frame of man's whole matter, still it remains a dark spirit—those which extended furthest, puzzle. I cannot execute vengeance and seemed to him fullest of the infinite on Walsingham. The blade with and imperishable. Life, Death, Des. which I sought to stab him would tiny, Mischance, Error, Remorse, start back from the airy shade of SeDespair, contempt of All and of Him- lina interposed between. Nay, at all self-these, none of them exclusively events, it were better to leave him possessing him, were all by turns with fluttering idly over the slime in which him.
at last, when his wings fail, he will That, however, which chiefly oc- assuredly be caught and sink. She cupied him, was the image of Selina, sleeps calmly, or, at least, the tomb as he had formerly seen her—the large conceals and locks beyond our reach and blooming form, with its sunny her present stage of suffering. It is colouring and glow of life, which, in I who remain here, the object of my his youthful season of fancy and eager- own hideous thoughts, and find myself ness, had been to him the descending again, after years of enforced calm, apparition of all Olympian beauty. distracted and tortured with the same « How fondly," he thought," how pangs and remembrances from which deliriously did I love her.
What I have already given so much of my islands of Atlantis and Utopia did I life-blood to buy an uneasy and insenot people with our imagined loves. cure escape. It is unmanly, weak, And all this I left at the command of pitiable to give way. It were nobler, severe wisdom, rather for her sake more Titanic, to struggle on. Yet even than my own. And all this was struggle leading only to fresh strugenjoyed to satiety by another; and then gle, without a hope of final peace, the believing, credulous, misguided, wastes and grinds down the spirit, if it devoted heart, was given up to its own does not issue in immediate defeat and lonely despair, and left to find, in the death. Oh, that some signal were bitter sense of its own weakness, a ra- given from the loftier circles of this tification of the world's contempt." frame of things, and that, by it em
Hardly had the reflection occurred powered, I could sink into sea-deep to him before he was ashamed and oblivion !” sorrow-stricken at having mingled any One-two-three- the clock sound. base jealousy, on his own account, with ed as he muttered to himself, and so his pure grief for Selina's fate, and on to twelve. his righteous indignation against Wal. The sound broke up the dream of singham. “So," he thought, “it is with his existence, and many minds awoke man, ever giving to the petty and in within a single breast. Edmonstonedividual the mark and trappings of the Harcourt, Wilson-Hastings— Mus. absolute and infinite. Yet even thus grave Walsingham - Collins - all he shows his indomitable tendency to were there. With the feelings of these
several lives came the recollection of vain the one to whom alone it would the history of each, seen in long per- return. He, perhaps, in the meanspective through its own particular while pines in a prison, or moulders doorway, and all meeting in the cen
in the grave. tral chamber of the one consciousness. But to the seeking, weary spirit, one In due relation to each were seen the form presented itself amid all these ; several figures connected with itolder, feebler, poorer, more ignorant, Maria-Ann--the old man of the more helpless, more bereft, more Araxes—the Caffre girl—the Arme. scorned than all,—the crippled basketnian merchant-Henry and his wife maker. “Knowledge, ents, wealth, Elizabeth, and the poor of Musgrave's love, youth, zeal-all these I have in parish_Selina, and the poet's troop vain experienced. But one trial more of phantoms- Everard - Andrews- remains for me,—to sink to the lowand the slain victim of Collins's poli. est of conditions, as I have attempt. tics. Amid these living and dead ed fruitlessly so many higher ones." ones, and many more of both, encir. He spoke sharply and abruptly the cling each of the central shadows, the name of the poor solitary old man. eye found no fixed point of vision, and the world of spectres, vaguer than the bewildered heart no peace. The life, and of too intense realities, disgazer hovered uncertain as a bird that appeared from the chamber of the has wandered from its master, floats in Recluse, and left him to repose. air above a host of men, and seeks in
Maria was walking in the wood composed chiefly of evergreens, which where she had conversed with Col. looked peculiarly gloomy in the midst lins, and as she passed the gate, she of the full and glittering summer was surprised to see peering above it foliage of the deciduous trees around the head of the old basket-maker, them. The ground under their dark whom she had never before known to boughs was ragged and neglected, come so far from home. She walked and the old seat, which stood in the lightly up to him, with a smiling face, centre of a small clear space, was also and asked him whom he wanted to overgrown with moss. sec?
“ Here," said Fowler, “ it was. " You, miss."
Now, will you sit down there while I “ Well, what can I do for you? Is lean against this tree.” it money you wish for?"
So saying, he leant his back against “ No; all the money Mr Nugent the stem of a yew-tree, which grew has would now be of little use to me. close to the end of the bench. On I have few wants, miss, and now I this Maria seated herself, for it was feel I have not long to live. But if plain, from the manner of the old you would do me a kindness, you must man, that he was perfectly in earnest, let me have my own way for this and had in view some serious purpose. once."
He was under the dark canopy of Ile saw assent in her face, and, branches, but a ray of light fell full opening the gate, entered the wood. on her, and in her white dress she Then looking round him, he said, might have seemed a figure of snow, “ It is near twenty years since I was or of polished silver, in the midst of here last. The trees have grown a scene and images of bronze. She well. Miss, please to follow me.” looked at Fowler from under her
So saying, in spite of his lameness, straw-bonnet with some wonder and he walked on vigorously before her, anxiety, but with unalterable kindness, and led the way to the most retired and waited till he should speak. He corner of the plantation. The path turned down his bright blue eyes for was nearly overgrown with weeds, some time, leaning both hands upon and led to a diminutive streamlet, his staff, and then looked at her. hardly beyond the size of a ditch, “ It is now," he said, “ nineteen crossed by a single plank by way of years since I was last in this spot. bridge. Beyond this lay a thicket At that time Mr Nugent was away in the army up at London or somewhere, somehow before long. At this he and he let Mr Lascelles live in the looked quieter, and said, My guinea! manor-house. Mrs Lascelles, who Pooh! what signifies that? Listen, was one of the best women I ever saw, and I'll tell you what I want. You had just brought him a girl, and they know I have lost all the children I had lost two or three children before. . have had except this one; and Mrs I lived then at a cottage down by the Lascelles was almost heart-broken mill, a mile and a half from this, and before this was born, thinking she had my daughter with me. My wife should lose it too in a few months. and all my other children were gone, The child is a girl, and since its birth, and my daughter Mary was a widow, a week ago, it has been growing every with one little boy. He and his mo- day punier and punier; and the mother too have been taken since. She ther, what between her weak state had buried her husband away on the from her confinement, and her grief sea-coast, and was come back to me for the poor baby, has grown quite ill. to lie-in. A few days after this, late She is in a high fever and delirious, in the evening, I heard a tap at my and is always asking for the child, and door, and I remember my little grand crying. Even if she should grow a son woke up, and said, Grandfather, little better, and find it dead, the docthere's a noise; do you think it is a tor says that very likely she might go ghost ?' Poor child! he went soon too. It would be a hard thing, Fowler, after to a better place. I opened the to lose a wife one loves.' Then I door, and saw Mr Lascelles. He looked at him too, and said, “You looked very pale and distressed, and may say that, sir; it's a deal worse he said to me, · Fowler, I cannot stay than to lose a leg.' So he went on now to speak to you, for I should be this way—“Now I want to know, will missed at home. But come up to the you prevent this with no loss to yourfurthest gate of the wood behind the self?'- I prevent it, sir! What can house'-that's where I came in just I do? I am not a doctor, much less now--' to-morrow morning at six God, to save the poor child's life or o'clock, and I will meet you there.' Mrs Lascelles's.'--Oh,' he answered, He slipped a guinea into my hand, you can do every thing. You have and hurried away. I was much puz- a daughter who has been just confined zled and surprised, and after I went too, and her baby is a girl, is it not?'to bed I lay awake for half an hour There he stopped, and it all came thinking what it could mean. How
across me like a blaze of fire, and I ever, the guinea served to buy some thought I should have fallen down. gruel that night for my daughter, and But then again he took my hand, and something too for little Thomas. The pressed it very hard, and looked into next morning I went up at six o'clock, my face that odd way. His eyes were and found Mr Lascelles waiting at the filling with tears, and he said Will gate. He told me to follow him, and you persuade your daughter to give walked before me to this place ; and me that baby? She has another child, when we got here he turned sharp I know, and you and she will be able round upon me, and said, • Fowler, to do better for it. Besides, the one will you save my wife's life?! At she parts with will be brought up as first I thought that he was mad, and Mrs Lascelles's own, so you may be I could not answer any thing; but I sure it will want for nothing, and I looked at him where he stood--there shall always be grateful to you and where your foot now is. Then his yours for the best service any one face seemed to shiver, and grew pale, could render me.'— This all came on and then red again, and he said, me together, and I could only say• Fowler, do you want to kill Mrs "Well, sir, but my little grandchildLascelles, or will you save her life?' poor baby, it is but ill off now,' I said, and he stepped close to me, and caught 6 and likely to be worse-my grandmy arm, and looked hard into my face child will not be the same thing to Mrs with the strangest, sharp, sorrowful Lascelles as her own. Had not you look I ever I could hardly better wait till she gets stronger, and speak, but I said, “ To be sure, sir, if so be that God pleases to take her l'll do whatever I can, unless it is girl, why then she may choose ansomething wrong. If you want that other for herself?'- Fowler,' he said, I'll see and pay you back your guinea • she'll never grow stronger if she
loses this cbild. She must never know used now and then for burying in
Valsingham, and suggested to her
His name how ill I could do for my daughter was Williams." and her children, how often they would She mused for a few moments, and, be likely to want food and clothes and gathering strength and courage, said fire, and what worse would become of to Fowler—" My name, then, is Wil. them if I died ; and, after pondering liams, too? But there are other things a minute or two, I said — Sir, you that I must know in order to do what shall have the child, if I can manage is right.”-— Then, by several distinct
questions, she drew from him the acThe whole story had gradually count of which the following facts are been unfolding itself in Maria's mind, a summary :--though, in her amazement, she had Mr Lascelles had himself gone for much difficulty to comprehend it per. the child at night, together with the fectly. At last she exclaimed—“Do medical man, taking the corpse of his you mean that I am your grand- own baby to Fowler's cottage. This daughter, and not the child of Mrs was buried, a day or two afterwards, as Lascelles ?"
the child of Mrs Williams. Her liv. Startled at her tone of voice, he an. ing infant was, in the mean-time, conswered, hurriedly –" That and no- veyed to the Mount; and, as Mrs Lasthing else is what I mean.”
celles was far too ill to observe accu. Then rose an agony of grief in her. rately, and the room was kept darkenShe covered her face with both her ed, there was no difficulty in deceiving hands, and her head sank down upon her. She then gradually recovered her lap. Her limbs, too, failed, and her health, and soon became perfectly she slid off the bench until she knelt well. Mr Lascelles had said to Fowler upon the ground. Fowler was bewil- that he should immediately make a dered between habitual respect for her will, bequeathing all his property to station and fond affection for herself, Maria after his wife's death, with an and he thought that he had best let annuity to Fowler and his daughter. her weep on for some minutes. Then He premised, however, that this had he went to her and touched her arm. not been done, as he had not since re. She shrank from him hastily, but the ceived any payment, and the omission next instant seized the great brown was easily explained, for Mr Lascelles furrowed hand, and pressed it to her was killed a very few months afterlips. She rose from her knees and wards by a fall from his horse. Mrs sat down again upon the bench, and Lascelles then removed to London, in desired him to sit beside her.-" Tell order to be near her mother and other me,” she said, “what became of my friends. The nurse, who alone among mother?”
the servants knew of the exchange, " She lost her little boy by hooping. had been long dead. The medical cough, and then she too pined away man had gone to reside in the metroand died. They are both buried with polis, and of his further history Fowler jay wife and our other children in the knew nothing. But he produced from churchyard of the old church that was an old tin snuff-box a certificate of the burned the other night. It was still principal fact written by Mr Lascelles
himself, and signed both by him and The old man looked at her with the surgeon.
glistening and delighted eyes, and The sight of this paper again agi- exclaimed, “ Well, when I have seen tated Maria violently, for although you, I have often thought you are a she had before no doubt of the truth deal prettier than ever your poor mo. of the narrative, this seemed at once ther was, though she was the prettiest to bring it into the class of admitted girl in the parish ; but I never knew and commonplace facts. Every thing you look half so beautiful before. which seemed to separate her from Perhaps when I see you again, if that Mrs Lascelles was to her excruciat. ever happens, it may be settled that ing. But she felt the necessity of you shall be nothing more to me than decision and external calmness, and a fine young lady, and, I daresay, that would think only of what was to be would be best for us both. But I done.
should like that you would give your “ Why,” she said, "did you not old grandfather one kiss before he tell me this sooner?"
dies." She threw her arms about his “ Why should I? You were liappy, neck, and kissed him repeatedly, while and so was I. And I did not know the tears ran down his face. “Now," what change it might make for you if lie said, “ dear Miss Maria, you had I spoke of matters that had happened best go to the house, and leave me to twenty years ago. But now I think get home at my own pace.
You will I shall not live much longer, and I have plenty to think of, no doubt. could not die quietly without telling But, at all events, you may believe you the truth.
But I shall never that you are dearer to poor old Jack speak a word of it to any one else. Fowler than to any of the great folks So you must settle for yourself whe- you have been living among. I never ther you choose any thing to be done saw the tail of your gown go by withabout it.".
out praying God to bless you ; and “ I shall at once tell Mr and Mrs when you used to come down here Nugent the whole story. What they from London, I always fancied He had may wish I do not know. But I will sent an angel into the country to do send to inform you as soon as possible. every body good.
God bless you, my In the meantime, take this,” giving darling! God bless you, and make him the contents of her purse, "I you as happy as I wish you, and as must not have money and you be in good as the Virgin Mary!" want of it."
When Maria had reached her own their descendants a race altogether room she threw herself upon her apart, in merit and dignity, from the knees, and prayed for strength to do rest of mankind. The notion that what was right in all things, and to any one not thus distinguished should bear meekly and cheerfully whatever appear as a sharer of the Nugent primight occur to her.
vileges, even on the mother's side, was She then sat down and began to very likely to strike him as an unreflect upon the steps requisite to be heard-of profanation. It might, pos. taken. Her heart was full of the me- sibly, seem to him an imposture violatmory of Mrs Lascelles, who had been ing the most sacred principles of huto her far more than a common mo. man existence, and entailing nothing ther, and who had died in the belief less than infamy on any one who that Maria was her child. But she should connive at it.
As to the ques. knew that now was not the time for tion of money, Maria knew that her these feelings, and turned away from supposed father had possessed a conthem in order to act decidedly. The siderable fortune; but this, she believquestion as to Mr Nugent's determi. ed, arose entirely from the produce of nation was far from clear. He was a a Cornish mine, which, she understood, haughty self-indulgent man, full of had now ceased to be profitable. She concentrated family pride, and believ. had, moreover, little doubt that he had ing that there was a specific virtue in not left a will, and that she, therefore, the blood of his ancestors to render would, at all events, possess no claim.