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balcony with the garden, I went; dismissed the having a spectral look to me, and oppressing me maid, locked the door, and without a moment's with a sense of something unnatural and painful. pause descended from the window.
I specially remember the iron railing which skirted It was past ten o'clock; a calm, clear night, the garden, and which was surmounted by a row moon and stars glittering against the blue dark- of spikes. I followed these spikes with my eye, ness of a southern sky after sunset. I have a as if they were trying to escape me, and I must strange, vivid recollection of the garden as I passed needs overtake them. I even counted them with through it, under that quiet light; it stands out, a kind of furious haste as I walked rapidly along, in the confused past, like some one image of a as though I knew the number and must take care fever-dream, remembered after the delirium is that none were missing. I expected the line to over ; distinct in itself, and bringing with it a end in something, I knew not what; and then vague but terrible consciousness of the forms and stopped with a sudden hope that I might be going thoughts by which it was accompanied. I remem- mad, and that if so I should forget what my father ber walking upon the smooth shaven grass lest my had told me. I reached a small side-gate, of which footsteps should be overheard ; I remember the I had the key, passed through, and continued to phantom shapes of the pale flowers, so gorgeous walk for several hours with unabated speed on the by daylight, and the fantastic regularity of the road to beds, and the wire arches covered with creepers,
ODE TO THE BED.
BY THE LATE THOMAS HOOD.
There's Morbid, all bile, and verjuice, and nerves ;
He turns his fruits into pickles-
Tormenting himself with his prickles.
A cherub no art can copy
With a sauce of syrup of poppy.
Whether lofty or low its condition!
As Pride, Hate, Creed and Ambition !
OH, bed! oh, bed! delicious bed
To the head with a wakeful trouble-
To another with only the stubble !
And soft as the fur of the cony-
And the pillow from Stratford the stony !
But, alas! for the watchers and weepers,
With an anxious brain,
But more profitless vigils keeping-
Had plotted to kill them sleeping. And oh! when the blessed diurnal light Is quenched by the providential night,
'To render our slumber more certain,
When God himself draws the curtain !
And gives the mattress a shaking-
As well as the couch want making.
BY THE REV. C. V. LEGRICE.
An angel's wing is wavering o'er their head,
While they, the brother and the sister, walk,
Nor dare, as heedless of its fanning, talk
gush; Close and more close they clasp, as if to speak
Would wake the sorrows which they seek to hush. Down to the mansion slow their footsteps bend,
Where blank despair is soothed by mercy's spell,
Ere the cheered sister passes to her cell,
while sweet little Dora tried the more womanly CHAPTER VI.—THE SISTER'S SECRET.
means of soothing persuasion, and, to tell truth, Some wiseacres argue that family affection is a I believe these succeeded the best. Perhaps there mere habit, the result of constant association, or was in the influence of an elder brother something else springing from similarity of tastes, and that appeared to Miles very like command, the therefore quite distinct from the instinct of pa- very shadow of which chased his proud spirit to rental love, or the passion that gives rise to conju- the uttermost. I might not have been gentle gal attachment. Thus they say, brothers and sis- enough with the boy, for his nature was so op ters parted for any length of time soon lose the posite to my own ; but I saw that when Miles custom of loving one another, and become like yielded, and began his daily duties at the office, strangers. This seems a cold, selfish theory, but it was more owing to Dora's tears and caressing I will not argue against it, especially as in many entreaties than to my grave arguments. instances it appears only too true. That the tie Miles still lived with me, for I remembered my of kindred, not strengthened by those qualities poor father's last charge, and determined that as which command esteem, is of itself sufficient to long as they were willing, none of his surviving create and maintain love, is a great mistake. But children should want a shelter under their.eldesi when to those family bonds are added the firmer brother's roof. Nevertheless, after he had enones of true friendship, no tie is so complete and tered the office, I saw very little of him, for my lasting
duties as a surgeon in full practice called me When Margaret left us, we long missed and much from home, and often we never met for regretted her, but in time we learned to think of weeks except at the early and hasty breakfast. her in her happy wedded state, and she seemed no But Miles' employers spoke well of him, and I longer one of us. Perhaps this was in some knew that he spent his evenings with Dora, be measure owing to herself. After she had recov- tween whom and himself there had always sub ered from the acute agony which Herbert's death sisted the same affection as between Kate and me. had evidently caused, her letters were full of her That she would guide the wayward youth of her new life-a life of splendor and gayety. The brother in all good things, I fully trusted ; indeed, brilliant wife of Colonel Worthington, with her she was as anxious about him as I was myself: servants and her palanquins, her richly dressed so much so, that when the first six months of his children, her gorgeous entertainments, was not engagement at the office were near their terminaour pretty Margaret playing about the meadows, tion, when his salary would begin, I was not singing her happy songs, and devoting herself to much surprised to see Dora looking pale and the care of her twin brother. Our sad change careworn. But she only smiled at my interrogamade the difference more apparent, and when, tions, told me she was quite content, and had after our mother's death, which happened when nothing on her mind to annoy her.
So I only she had patiently borne a few widowed years, prescribed the favorite remedies of early hours, Margaret's letters became rare, and at last totally air, and exercise, and declared my intention of ceased, we neither wondered nor grieved much at sending my little housekeeper on a visit some the circumstance. We still spoke and thought of where, as she must be dull at home ; but she Margaret as she had been in our childish days, steadily refused to go. It would certainly have and, though living, her memory seemed linked been a pain to me to miss her pretty smiling face, with that of the departed Herbert.
so I gave up the point without much contest. A sense of independence, which would not suf One night-or rather morning, for it was past fer her to owe subsistence even to her brother, two o'clock— I came home, and having noiselessly made Kate steadily refuse to make my house her entered, as was my wont, I was proceeding to my home. She still remained in the family to whom own room, heartily hoping that the fire, which she had at first gone ; they loved and valued her, Dora always left burning in readiness for me, was and Kate always told me she was very happy. I not quite out, that I might try to get warm after advanced slowly but surely in my profession; the freezing night ride. On the stairs I stopped, Dora, now gr wn into blooming girlhood, kept for the door of my sister's little sitting-room was my house, and was a sage and skilful little mai- open, and I heard her voice and that of Miles in den, the image of what Kate used to be at her earnest conversation. age, only that in grace and beauty she was more I may be thought mean—perhaps I wasmand like Margaret.
yet I solemnly declare it was from a motive for Miles was my sole cause of care. He was which I need not blush ; but the words that met now a tall handsome youth, high-spirited and ar- my ears made me stand rooted to the spot. I dent alike in good or evil. After much anxiety could not pass on, I durst not enter the room. I had succeeded in obtaining for him a situation Miles was saying, with fierce energy, in a merchant's office, and with more difficulty If you go and tell Bernard, Dora-if you let still I prevailed on him to accept it. From his fall a word to make him suspect it-I will shoot childhood the boy's delight had been in guns and myself on the spot, before your very eyes.” pistols, and the summit of his wishes was to enter A smothered scream from Dora made me shudthe army ; but this was now out of the question. der, for I well knew Miles' desperate nature, and I used all arguments of reason and principle, that he would not scruple to do as he threatened.
“ Miles, oh Miles ! God forgive you for those | God for the sake of poor Dora-never do so wicked words," she sobbed at last.
wickedly again.” “ They shall be deeds if you do not promise Before Miles left his sister's room, I was in my this moment."
How my heart yearned towards that noblo “ I will, I do promise ; you know I have never girl, when I met her at breakfast the next morn betrayed you all these weeks, months, that I have ing, calm and cheerful, as if she had not gone sat up for you night after night, lest he should through the agonies of the previous night! I forknow how late you came home.”
gave her all the love-incited dissimulation which “Why did you do it? I never asked you,” said she had shown towards me, for the sake of her Miles, sullenly.
noble devotion to that poor misguided boy. “ Because I loved you, Miles ; because I knew The fearful uncertainty of the next few days I if Bernard were angry you would not bear it, but cannot even look back upon without pain. Somewould go away from home, and perhaps get among times I thought I would tell the good merchant worse companions than you have now. And to that I was aware of all, and add my entreaties to think that you should have done this wickedness ; Dora's ; but I knew the pride of Miles, and that that you should have deceived your master ; that the idea that I was acquainted with his guilt my noble, handsome, good brother should be a—"would perhaps drive him back to his evil courses.
“ Don't say the word, or you will kill me, Do- I cannot describe the relief it was when his exra,” hoarsely muttered the boy, and a long silence cellent master told me that the ship would sail ensued. I dared not move, lest they should hear for Jamaica in a week, and that Miles must be me. I hardly breathed. What was this dreadful ready to leave. word ?
He did leave, and never by word or look did his At last Miles said, “ Take away your arm, sister betray his sin. Many years after, when Dora; don't mind me any more ; who cares for Miles had made his home in that far country, conme now? They may come and take me to prison. tent with the certainty that he should never see Go away, and leave me.”
England more, and when Dora was a wife and “I care for you, Miles ; I will never leave mother, I told her by what chance the story had you. You shall not be found out. I must think come to my knowledge, how I had kept the secret, what we can do," answered Dora, speaking very and would do so forever. She only answered to quickly. * Tell me how much money you—you my warm praises and blessings with her own took away.”
sweet smile. I did not catch Miles' answer, but his sister “And for all this you have never been redrew a deep breath, as if relieved from a heavy warded, Dora ?” weight.
“Yes,” she replied, “ for I have saved my “ And how much have you left of it ?" brother."
Only ten pounds." Dora went to a cabinet in her little room, and I heard the jingling of coins.
“Now, Miles," she said, and her grave, earnest Before Dora had reached her twentieth year, voice sounded fearfully solemn,“ here is a hundred she left my house for the home of a beloved huspounds. I saved it out of my own little earnings band, the son of my good partner, Dr. Cleveland. in painting flowers, and out of the money our Her wedding reminded us too much of the day kind brother allows me for dress. For what when Margaret left us, to be very mirthful.
Yet purpose I saved it," and her voice trembled a lit- I gave my youngest sister away with the fullest tle, “ is of no moment now. I will give it to confidence that she would be happy ; and those you, if you will solemnly promise to do what I hopes were realized. There was no life-long tell you."
parting either, for Dora and George Cleveland “ Bless you, Dora, bless you,” murmured the made their home within a few miles of me, and boy, in broken tones, “ I do promise, I swear it.” uncle Bernard was, and is to this day, an equal
“ Then go to-morrow morning to your master; favorite with the elder and younger inhabitants he is a good man, he knew my father well, and of that pretty parsonage. will not be harsh to his son. Take him the On the evening of Dora's wedding-day, Kate money, tell him the whole truth, and beg him not and I sat by our own fireside, and talked over old to prosecute you.”
times. “ But that wretch who urged me to it, he will “ You will not leave me again, Kate?" I said, tell. I dare not stay in this place; he would hunt“ we will live together as bachelor brother and me to the death."
maiden sister, now that all the young people are abroad. I know your married and gone away.” master told Bernard he intended to send you to Kate smiled and consented. Her own pupils Jamaica. I will implore him to do so still.” were grown up, and she was glad to find a home “ And you will never tell Bernard ?”'
My sister and I looked at one another “I will not, if you fulfil your promise. And by the dim fire-light. How much we had gone now, go to rest. Come to me for the money to through, and how different we were to that happy morrow morning, and oh! Miles, for the love of Bernard and Kate who had been playfellows at
CHAPTER VII.-THE TRIAL.
the old home, were thoughts that doubtless passed | knew was not like my own warm-hearted sister through the minds of both, but they were not ut- Kate. tered. Kate had arrived at the late summer of As my attentions grew more pointed, the world womanhood ; she was past thirty ; the curves of -our little world—began to chatter about Myra her round cheek had grown sharper, and there and myself. I did not care for it in the least, for was a look in her soft eyes as if she had seen I felt that I loved her with the deep affection of a much sorrow. Sometimes I wondered why she had man whose boyish sentiment had merged into feelnot married, for surely some one must have been ings more intense and lasting. At my age no man won by her goodness and sweetness, even though ever loves lightly, and even now I tremble to think she was not dazzlingly beautiful. But she never how strangely that girl had entwined herself round mentioned the subject, nor did I allude to it, for every fibre of my heart. I only waited for some it was one on which my own heart was too sore. trifling betrayal that might give me a chance of I had a dream once myself which no one knew ; ascertaining her feelings towards myself, to ask I have not spoken of it here, nor shall I, it was her at once to be my wife. At last the moment 80 long ago. It was only a dream, and like a came. She told me she was going away. A dream it passed away, but it was the reason that, slight sigh, a glistening in her dark eye, a broken 10 the surprise of all my friends and acquaint- declaration of regret, seemed to declare that the ances, Dr. Bernard Orgreve, with tolerably good parting would be painful to her. The room looks, good manners, and good fortune, at seven-whirled round with me—we were in a crowded and-thirty, was still unmarried.
party, or I could not have repressed my feelings. I have hitherto played more a passive than an I went home, determining that the next day should active part in this family history, but I must now decide the matter-that Myra should leave behind come to personal confessions. I think even now her a rejected lover, or stay and become my with mingled feelings of the forthcoming passage wife. in my life ; but it hardly becomes a septuagena Kate was sitting up for me when I reached rian to indulge in such emotions. As we grow home. She did not always share in the gayeties older, life becomes dim in the distance; we cast in which I had joined so much of late--for whose our eyes over the grand panorama of our past ex- sake, my heart told me but too well. istence, as it is spread out before us, and wonder “ You look pale, Bernard,” she said ; “ you are if we ever trod those intricate and thorny ways not ill, I hope. What made you come home so as sunny paths, or if it were all a delusion, and early?" we have never been otherwise than gray-headed I muttered something unintelligible, and sat old men and women.
down. I felt that I ought to tell Kate, who had Kate had been with me about a year when our been for so long the sharer of my joys and sorlittle circle of society, such as a provincial town rows, what was in my heart; that she had a right affords, was enlivened by a new face. And a very to be acquainted with the important step I conpretty one too was that of Miss Myra Vaughan, as templated, and yet I knew not how to unfold it. I could not but acknowledge when she came with Her woman's feelings must long have discovered the old lady whose guest she was, to pay a visit my secret, for I had often caught her earnest eye to my sister. She and Kate had been old ac- resting on Myra and myself, though she never quaintance-quite intimate friends, Miss Vaughan breathed a word to me that she guessed my love. said-at the house which had been Kate's home But now she evidently perceived that I had somefor so many years. I too remembered having thing to disclose. She came over to me, laid her heard my sister mention her, and therefore I was hand on my shoulder, and said gently, not surprised, when after a few weeks Myra “My dear Bernard, tell me what you are thinkVaughan was upon the footing of an old friend in ing of? you never used to have any secrets from our home.
Kate." And now let me describe this girl, of whom I “ Nor will I now. You may have guessed shall have much to say. She was hardly beau- what I am going to tell you." tiful-she had neither Margaret's dazzling bloom, “ It is about Myra Vaughan ?" nor even Kate's regular features, and yet there was “ Yes. She told me to-night that she is about something irresistibly attractive in her looks and to leave us. I cannot bear to part with her. I words. She sang well, talked well, danced well, am going to-morrow to ask her to be my wife and and was equally pleasing in the ball-room or by the your sister.” quiet fire-side, and her manner, sometimes lively, I had proceeded thus far and stopped. I could sometimes serious, suited itself to all moods. I not meet Kate's eye, and we were both silent for could not resist so many attractions ; in short, I, the some minutes. grave Bernard Orgreve, was in love at last, and “I had foreseen this," she said at length. “Do seriously thinking of marriage. In my eyes Myra you think she will make you happy?" was faultless, and I was surprised, sometimes al “Can you doubt it?" I exclaimed, and burst most angry, that Kate did not seem to think so out into a lover's passionate praises, ending by an too. Her manner towards our friend was always angry declaration that Kate disliked Myra through courteous—she did not resist her advances ; but jealousy of my love for her. there was an inexplicable coldness, that was per A tear of wounded feeling showed me how unceptible to me though not perhaps to others, and I just I had been to my sweet sister.
“ Forgive me, Kate. I do not think less of Grey, whose only son had lately come into a you ; but I do love her so much.”
large property. In two months we saw in the “My poor Bernard ! And you think she loves country paper the marriage of Myra Vaughan and you? Listen to me. Women know one another's Vernon Grey. As we read it, Kate and I pressed real character better than men can do. Do not each other's hands with a mournful smile saying, be angry when I say that Myra Vaughan, grace “Now we must live only for one another." ful and winning as she is, is not worthy to marry my brother. Do not ask her, Bernard. I doubt
CHAPTER VIII.-THE TRUE HEART'S REWARD. if she really loves you, and even if you wedded her, she would make you miserable. She is gay, Kate and I went on our way through life with extravagant, heartless."
calmness and peace.
We learned to look on the "You cannot prove this. You are sorely be- past without pain, and towards the future with lying my own Myra. I do not believe it,” I cried quiet patience. Our lot, if not perfect in happiin violent anger, rising to retire.
ness, was at least free from gnawing cares. We Kate turned her pale sad face towards me. loved one another with a sincerity and tenderness
“Bernard, since you will not be convinced, I which years rather increased than diminished, and will tell you what, but for this, would have never had now no secrets from each other; and it might passed my lips. You think I cannot understand be that the fatality which had blighted our hopes your feelings; that I have never loved. I have; in the same blow, only drew us nearer together. and with that love which can be felt but once, and The name of Vernon and of Myra were never
He who sought me, and wooed me when uttered by us; we seldom heard them breathed I was away from home, poor and dependent, had elsewhere, for their home and fate were totally qualities to win any girl's heart. He told me he different from ours. We only knew that the loved me; I believed him, and we were affianced ; marriage had proved an unhappy one. but a young girl came, a brilliant, dazzling co Five years had passed since the last sad epoch quette. She stole his heart from me, knowing in Kate's life and mine, when I was called out him to be my betrothed, and I saw that he loved one stormy March night from my warm, cheerful me no longer.”
parlor, to attend a pressing case-a gentleman “And what did you do, Kate ?"
who had met with an accident in passing through “What every right-minded woman who loves the town. for love's own sake, must do. I freed him from “ Who is he?" I asked of my summoner, the all bonds towards me; he murmured a little, but I waiter at the inn, who stood bowing at the parlorknew that he was glad to be released. Oh, the door while I put on my great-coat. I was getting agony of that knowledge! And I saw, too, that a middle-aged man now, and had learned to take she who had beguiled him was only trifling with care of myself. him; for he was too poor to give her the station she “He is a stranger sir ; all we know is that his sought, and he was only one out of many she had name is Mr. Grey." won and cast away. That girl's name was Myra Kate changed color; she always did at the Vaughan.”
mention of that name, common though it was, and I started to my feet.
often as she heard it, but never without a thrill at Kate, you are deceiving yourself and me. It her heart. I bade her go to rest, and set off is through bitter feeling that you speak against to my patient. It was Vernon Grey whose sickher, and would hinder your brother from marrying bed I had thus, by a strange chance, been called the girl he loves, because she came between you to attend. and your lover."
He started when he heard my name announced, Bitterly have I since regretted that cruel speech. and often, even during the acute pain of setting Kate turned, and looked full in my face—what his wounded arm, I caught his eyes fixed on my agony was depicted in her own!
face with a troubled expression. I had been “ If it be as you say, Bernard, do you not see thought like Kate, and I did not wonder at his that if Myra were your wife, Vernon Grey-I can gaze. I, too, could not look upon the husband atter his name now—would be free; that we of Myra without a feeling of pain. At last, when might meet one day, and he might feel as of old the operation was concluded, and my patient was towards me, for I know he did love me dearly quietly laid on his bed, I asked if I could write to once.”
any relative to come and stay with him-Mrs. And Kate buried her face with her hands, while Grey ? the long-suppressed tears fell through her fingers. "My wife has been dead a year," he answered Oh! how this love had hardened my heart, when abruptly ; I have no relatives.” I could leave my own true-hearted sister in her And so she was dead! she whom I had loved sorrow, with only a cold good-night. I did not so well—the brilliant, fascinating Myra! and her see Kate again until I had proposed to Myra husband spoke thus coldly of her. 1 hastily bade Vaughan, and been rejected !
him good night and departed, for my heart was After she was gone, the talkative old lady whom full of the past. Myra had blighted my sister's she had visited told us, with many “ nods and love-she had scorned mine-yet I could not hear becks and wreathed smiles,” that Miss Vaughan of her death without a pang. I went to Kate, was staying with an old friend of hers, a Mrs. I who sat just as I had left her.