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Soon after George Mason had gone abroad, Emily Earl went to the city to complete her education. She was in due time initiated into the mysteries of fashionable life. Introduced to society by a relative of unquestionable rank, her face and form presented attractions sufficient to make her the object of attention and flattery. Four successive winters were passed in the city. She was the foremost object of all "who flattered, sought, and sued." Is it strange that her judgment was perverted, and her heart eaten out? Is it strange that her cousin found her a changed being?
She had engaged to marry one whose claim to her regard was the thousands he possessed, and the eagerness with which he was sought by those whose chief end was an establishment in life. She had taught herself to believe that the yearnings of the heart were to be classed with the follies of childhood.
Henry Ralston was the son of a small farmer, or rather of a man who was the possessor of a small farm, and of a large soul. Henry was modest, yet aspiring; gentle, yet intense in his affections. The patient toil and rigid self-denial of his father gave him the advantage of an excellent education. In childhood he was the frequent companion of George and Emily. Even then an attachment sprung up in his heart for his fair playmate. This was quietly cherished; and when he entered upon the practice of the law in his native village, he offered Emily his
hand. It was, without hesitation or apparent pain, rejected. Thus she cast away the only true heart which was ever laid upon the altar of her beauty. He bore the disappointment with outward calmness, though the iron entered his soul. He gave all his energies to the labors of his profession. Such was the impression of his ability and worth, that he was about to be supported, apparently without opposition, for a seat in the national councils.
Eliza Austin was the daughter of a deceased minister, who had worn himself out in the cause of benevolence, and died, leaving his wife and daughter penniless. She was several years younger than George and Emily; but early trials seemed to give an early maturity to her mind. She was seldom their companion, for her young days were spent in toil, aiding her mother in her efforts to obtain a scanty subsistence. Her intelligence, her perception of the beautiful, and her devotion to her mother made a deep impression upon George, and led him to regard her as he regarded no other earthly being. Long before the idea of love was associated with her name, he felt for her a respect approaching to veneration. He had often desired to write to her during his absence, but his entire ignorance of her situation rendered it unwise.
The waters of affliction had been wrung out to her in a full cup. The long and distressing sickness of her mother was ended only by the grave. She was then invited to take up her abode with her father's sister, whose intemperate husband had broken her spirit, but had not exhausted her heart. It was sad for Eliza to exchange the quiet home, the voice of affection, of prayer, and of praise, for the harsh criminations of the drunkard's abode. She would have left that abode for service, but for the distress it would have given her aunt.
Death at length removed the tormentor, and those who had ministered to his appetite swept away all his property.
The mind of Aunt Mary, now more than half a wreck, utterly revolted at the idea of separation from her niece. Eliza could not leave her. Declining an eligible situation as a teacher in a distant village, she rendered her aunt all the assistance in her power in her lowly employment-believing that the path dictated by affection and duty, though it might meet with the neglect and the scorn of men, would not fail to secure the approbation of God.
"Well, George," said Mr. Earl, as they were seated at the breakfast-table, "how do you intend to dispose of yourself to-day?"
"I have a great many old friends to visit, sir." "It may not be convenient for some of them to see you early in the morning."
"Some of them, I think, will not be at all particular respecting the time of my visits. There is the white rock by the falls which I must give an hour to; and I must see if the old trout who lived under it has taken as good care of himself during my absence as he did before I went away. And there
is the willow grove, too, which I wish very much | that name before. It was the name she had over so to see."
often when she had the fever, poor thing! I did not know what she said, though she did not say a word during the whole time that would not look well
"It has been cut down."
"Cut down!--what for?"
"Mr. Bullard thought it interfered with his printed in a book. Did you use to live in the big prospect."
"Why did you not interfere, cousin?" turning to Emily.
"Yes, I used to live with my Uncle Earl."
"It was nothing to me what he did with his grove," upon the word, "who never speaks to Eliza now,
"Oh, I had forgotten-" George did not finish the sentence. He turned the conversation to some of the ordinary topics of the day.
After breakfast, he set out for Willow Brook, and seated himself upon the white rock. The years that had passed since in childhood he sat upon that rock, were reviewed by him. Though he had met with trials and temptations, yet he was thankful that he could return to that rock with so many of the feelings of childhood; that his heart's best emotions had not been polluted by the world, but were as yet pure as the crystal stream before him.
The last question and its answer was overheard by Eliza, as she was coming in from the garden where she had been attending to a few flowers. She turned deadly pale as she saw Mason, and remained standing in the door. He arose and took her hand in both of his, and was scarcely able to pronounce her name. The good aunt stood with uplifted hands, gazing with ludicrous amazement at the scene. Eliza was the first to recover her self-possession. She introduced Mason to her aunt as an old friend.
When he rose from that rock, instead of visiting the other haunts of his early days, he found himself moving toward the village. Now and then a familiar face was seen. By those who recognized him, he was warmly greeted. It was not until he met a stranger that he inquired for the residence of the widow and her niece. He was directed to a small dwelling in a narrow lane. He knocked at the open door. The widow, who was busily employed in smoothing the white linen before her, bade him enter, but paused not from her work.
"Is Eliza at home?" said Mason.
"Who can you be that want to see Eliza?" said the poor woman, still not lifting her eyes from her work.
"I am an old friend of hers," said Mason. "A friend! a friend!" said she, pausing and looking upward, as if striving to recall the idea belonging to the word. "Yes, she had friends once-where have they gone?" Again she plied her task, as if unconscious of his presence. He seated himself and watched her countenance, which revealed so sad a history. Her lips kept moving, and now and then she spoke aloud. "Poor girl! a hard life has she had-it may all be 1. right, but I can't see how; and now she might be a lady if she would leave her poor, half-crazy aunt." Her whispers were then inaudible. Soon she turned to Mason and said, as if in reply to a question, "No, I never heard her complain. When those she used to visit don't know her, and look the other way when they meet her, she never complains. What 18 will become of her when her poor old aunt is gone? Who will take care of her?" "I will," said Mason.
"Who may you be?" said she, scanning his countenance as if she had now seen him for the first time. "A friend of her childhood."
"Friend!—are you sure he is a friend?"
"He is a friend," said Mason, "who is very grateful to you for the love you have borne her, and the care you have taken of her."
"There," said she, opening a door which led to a parlor, perhaps ten feet square, motioning to them to enter. Mason, still retaining her trembling hand, led Eliza into the room, and seated her on the sofa, the chief article of furniture it contained. Her eyes met his earnest gaze. They were immediately filled with tears. His own overflowed. He threw his arm around her, and they mingled their tears in silence. It was long ere the first word was spoken. Eliza at length seemed to wake as from a dream.
"What am I doing?" said she, attempting to remove his arm, we are almost strangers."
"Eliza," said he, solemnly, "do you say what you feel?"
"No, but I know not-" she could not finish the sentence.
"Eliza, you are dearer to me than any one upon earth." She made no efforts to resist the pressure of his arm. There were moments of eloquent silence. "Eliza, will you become my wife?" "Do you know how utterly destitute I am?" "That has no connection with my question." "If you are the same George Mason you used to be, you wish for a direct answer. I will." It was not till this word was spoken that he ventured to impress a kiss upon her cheek.
"I have not done right," said Eliza; "you can never know how much I owe to that dear aunt. I ought not to engage myself without her consent-I can never be separated from her."
"You cannot suppose that I would wish you to
"What is your name?"
"George Mason! George Mason!-I have heard be separated.”
"You are the same-" she was about to add some epithets of praise, but checked herself. "How is it that you have remained unchanged?"
city on the afternoon of the following day. Mason, for various reasons, determined to accompany him. Part of the morning was spent with Eliza, and
"By keeping bright an image in my heart of arrangements for their union were easily fixed upon. hearts." No costly preparations for a wedding were thought to be necessary.
Emily devoted herself so entirely to Mr. Benfield. that Mason had no opportunity of informing her respecting the state of his affairs.
He sought his uncle, expressed to him his gratitude for his kindness, informed him of the state of his pecuniary affairs, and of his affections, and asked his approbation of his intended marriage.
With some difficulty Eliza rose, and opening the door, spoke to her aunt. She came and stood in the door.
"Well, ma'am," said Mason, "I have gained Eliza's consent to change her name, if you will give your consent." She stood as one bewildered. The cloud which rested on her countenance was painful to behold. It was necessary to repeat his remark before she could apprehend it.
"Ah, is it so? It has come at last. He doeth all things well. I had n't faith to trust Him. He doeth all things well."
"We have your consent?"
"If she is half as loving to you as she has been to me, you will never be sorry. But what will become of me?"
"We have no idea of parting with you. She has given her consent only on condition that you go with us." The old lady fixed her gaze upon her niece. It was strange that features so plain, so wrinkled by age and sorrow, could beam with such affection. She could find no words to express her feelings. She closed the door, and was heard sobbing like a child.
Hour after hour stole away unnoted by the lovers. They were summoned to partake of the frugal meal spread by Aunt Mary's hands, and no apologies were made for its lack of store. Again they retired to the little parlor, and it was not till the sun was low in the west, that he set out on his return to the "white house."
"We conclude that you have passed a happy day," said Mrs. Earl, "at least your countenance says so. We began to feel anxious about you."
"I went to the brook first, and then to the village."
Mason was released from the necessity of answering further questions by the arrival of a carriage at the door. Mr. Earl rose and went to the window. "Mr. Benfield has come," said he. Emily arose and left the room to return in another dress, and with flowers in her hair.
"I can't say, George," said the old gentleman, "but that you have done the wisest thing you could do. Emily may not like it. I have nothing to say against it. I didn't do very differently myself, though it would hardly do to say so aloud now. Emily is to be married in three weeks. You must be with us then."
"Suppose I wish to be married myself on the same evening?"
Well, I don't know. I think you had better be with us, then make such arrangements as you please, and say nothing to us about it. It may make a little breeze at first, but it will soon blow over. Nobody will like you the worse for it in the end." Heartily thanking his uncle for his frankness and affection, and taking a courteous leave of Emily, he took his departure, with Mr. Benfield, for the city.
The white house was a scene of great activity as the wedding-day drew near. Aunt Mary's services were put in requisition to a much greater extent than usual. When she protested that she could do no more, Mrs. Earl suggested that her niece would help her. Aunt Mary could not help remarking that Eliza might have something else to do as well as Miss Emily.
It was understood that a large number of guests were to be invited.
Many dresses were ordered in anticipation of an invitation. The services of the village dress-maker were in great demand. Eliza ordered a plain white dress-a very unnecessary expenditure, it was thought, since it was certain that she would not receive an invitation. It was a pity that she should thus prepare disappointment for herself, poor thing!
Mr. Benfield was shown to his room, and in a few moments joined the family at the tea-table. Emily received him with a smile, which, however beautiful Benfield and Mason arrived together on the apit may have been, was not like the smile of Eliza pointed day. All things were in order. The prepaAustin. Mason saw that Mr. Benfield belonged to a rations were complete. The guests assembled—the class with which he was perfectly well acquainted."big white house" was filled as it never had been filled "It is well," thought he, "that she has filed down before. Suddenly there is a hush in the crowd-the her mind, if she must spend her days with a man folding-doors are thrown open-the bride and bridelike him." Mason passed the evening with his uncle, groom are seen, prepared for the ceremony that is to though he was sadly inattentive to his uncle's remarks. make them one-in law. The words are spoken, Emily and Mr. Benfield took a walk, and on their the ceremony is performed, the oppressive silence is return did not join the family. Benfield's object in removed-the noise and gayety common to such visiting the country at this time was to fix a day for occasions take place. his marriage. The evening was spent by them in discussing matters pertaining to that event.
After a time, it was noticed by some that the pastor, and Mason, and Esq. Ralston had disappeared. They repaired to Aunt Mary's, where a few tried
It was necessary for Mr. Benfield to return to the
friends had been invited to pass the evening. These | friends were sorry that Eliza had not been invited to the wedding, but were pleased to find that she did not seem to be disappointed-she was in such fine spirits. She wore her new white dress, and a few roses in her hair.
The entrance of the pastor, Mr. Mason, and Mr. Ralston, seemed to cause no surprise to Aunt Mary, though it astonished the assembled guests. After a kind word from the pastor to each one present, for they were all members of his flock, Mason arose, and taking Eliza by the hand, said to him, "We are ready." Prayer was offered, the wedding-vows were spoken, and George Mason and Eliza Austin were pronounced husband and wife.
Joy seemed to have brushed away the clouds from Aunt Mary's mind. She conversed with the intelligence of her better days. The guests departed, and
MOURNER, bending o'er the tomb Where thy heart's dear treasure lies, Dark and dreary is thy gloom,
Deep and burdened are thy sighs: From thy path the light, whose rays Cheered and guided thee, is gone, And the future's desert waste
Thou must sadly tread alone.
'Neath the drooping willow's shade, Where the mourning cypress grows, The beloved and lost is laid
In a quiet, calm repose.
Silent now the voice whose tones
Grace and loveliness are fled,
Broken is the "golden bowl," Loosed the "silver chord," whose thread Bound to earth th' immortal soul. Closed the eyes whose glance so dear Once love's language fond could speak, And the worm, foul banqueter,
Riots on that matchless cheek.
And the night winds, as they sweep In their solemn grandeur by, With a cadence wild and deep, Mournfully their requiem sigh.
ere the lights were extinguished in the parlors of the white house, it was known throughout the village that there had been two weddings instead of one.
them, Mr. and Mrs. Benfield set out upon their Early in the morning, before the news had reached from the same paper which informed the public of wedding tour. Emily learned her cousin's marriage her own.
He removed his wife and her aunt immediately to George Mason had no time for a wedding tour. the city, and at once resumed the labors of his calling.
until Mr. Benfield had failed in business, and was Emily did not become acquainted with Mrs. Mason, by her cousin, who had become the leading member enabled to commence again, with capital furnished of his firm.
BY SAMUEL D. PATTERSON.
And each plant and leaf and flower
WEEDS grow unasked, and even some sweet flowers
Truly has thy sun gone down
In the deepest, darkest gloom, And the fondest joys thou 'st known Buried are within that tomb. Earth no solace e'er can bring
To thy torn and bleeding heartTime nor art extract the sting From the conqueror's poisoned dart.
But, amid thy load of wo,
Turn, thou stricken one, thine eyes Upward, and behold that glow
Spreading brightly o'er the skies! 'Tis the day-star, beaming fair
In the blue expanse above;
Life's bright harp of thousand strings By the spoiler's hand was riven, But the realm seraphic rings
With the victor notes of heaven. Over death triumphant-lo!
See thy cherished one appear! Mourner, dry thy tears of wo, Trust, believe, and meet her there!
BY MRS. E. C. KINNEY.
While plants most cultured have most lasting powers.
And all the culture Learning's hand can give :
OR LILLIE MASON'S DEBUT.
BY ENNA DUVAL.
Maybe without a further thought,
It only pleased you thus to please,
You measured not the sweet degrees;
Where I was following at your call,
Of all I lost and all I won,
I cannot deem you wholly true,
Nor wholly just what you have done. MILNES.
There is none
In all this cold and hollow world, no fount
On paying a visit to my friend Agnes Mason one morning, the servant told me his mistress would be pleased to see me in her dressing-room. Thither I repaired, and found her, to my surprise, surrounded by all sorts of gay, costly articles, appertaining to the costume of a woman of the world. To my sur-attention?" I inquired.
prise, I say, for Agnes has always been one of the greatest home-bodies in the whole circle of my acquaintances. A party, or a ball she has scarcely visited since the first years of her marriage, although possessing ample means to enjoy every gayety of fashionable life.
"Certainly," replied Agnes eagerly, and she added with a slight expression of feeling which I well understood-"I will watch over her, for she will need my careful love now even more than in childhood." "Where is the pretty cause of all this anxiety and
"Charlie would not dress for his morning walk," answered the mother, "unless sister Lillie assisted in the robing of the young tyrant, so she is in the nursery."
We inspected the different robes and gay things spread out so temptingly before us, and grew femiOver the Psyche glass was thrown a spotless ninely eloquent over these beautiful trifles, and were crêpe dress, almost trembling with its rich em- most earnestly engaged in admiring the parure of broidery; and near it, as if in contrast, on a dress-brilliant diamonds, and the spotless pearls, with stand, was a velvet robe, falling in soft, luxurious which the fond, proud father and husband had prefolds. Flowers, caps, coiffures of various descrip-sented them that morning, when a slight tap was tions, peeped out of sundry boxes, and on a commode heard at the door, and our pet Lillie entered. A table was an open écrin whose sparkling, costly con- bright-eyed, light-hearted creature is Lillie Masontents dazzled the eyes. a sunbeam to her home. She ran up to me with affectionate greetings, and united in our raptures over the glittering bijouterie.
"Hey-day!" I exclaimed to my friend, as she advanced to meet me, "what's the meaning of all this splendor?".
"I was just on the point of sending for you," she replied laughingly-" Madame M- has sent home these lovely things for Lillie and I-and I want your opinion upon them."
"How will you like this new life, Lillie?" I asked, as the lovely girl threw herself on a low marchepied at our feet, as if wearied of the pretty things.
"I can scarcely tell," she replied, and she rested "And you are really going to re-enter society?" I her head on her mother's lap, whose hand parted the asked. clustering ringlets on the fair, smooth brow, while Lillie's eyes looked up most lovingly to that beloved mother, as she added-"How we shall miss the quiet reading hours, mother, darling. What time shall we have during our robing and unrobing for the gentle Una and her milk-white lamb,' and 'those bright children of the bard, Imogen, the fair Fidele and lovely Desdemona?' What use is there in all this decking and adorning? Life is far happier spent in
one's own home."
"I fear," said Agnes, as she fondly caressed her
"Lillie is eighteen this winter, you know," was my gentle friend's reply. "Who would have thought time could have flown around so quickly. Mr. Mason is very anxious she should make her entrée this You can scarcely fancy how disagreeable it is to me, but I must not be selfish. I cannot always have her with me."
"And you, like a good mother," I said, "will throw aside your love for retirement and accompany her?"