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dignity of an instructor. He was still simple, but fell around her in a fragrant shower, a very lovehe was no longer silly. He could not read; yes, ly girl stepped before them. he could--one of God's books, for he could see ; “ And, so it would make you as happy as a could see the high heavens, and the starry firma- queen to wait upon me? Why, I shall be a queen ment; the sun by day, and the moon by night. I myself; at least, all the fortune-tellers assert that have seen him with his little comfort, walking on such will be my fate.
What do you say, good the ramparts of Fort St. George in the cool even- mother; will you let your little girl come with ing; and calmly looking up at the bright sky, and me?" out upon the glittering ocean; and pointing to the Mimi's face brightened with eagerness ; she white sail and to the anchored vessel, and teaching looked alternately at the brilliant stranger, and at the child to stutter out the names of these objects. her grandmother, the red round cheek growing
The suffering of those, who are looked upon as redder every moment. half-crazed or fools, has in it this most bitter ingre- “ I will take great care of her," continued the dient; they have no mate in their sorrow. They youthful princess, for such she was. She shall suffer alone, apart ; with a consciousness that they be my little bower maiden. I do not know why, are degraded. Kit's suffering was now all at an but I have such a fancy for the little creature,' end; he was no longer alone in the world. But I passing her hand caressingly over the golden hair, knew not at this time that he had gotten a higher that fell in natural curls down the sun-burnt consolation. I will, some day, said I to myself, neck. speak to him about his immortal soul, and his hopes “ You do not know," said the old woman ; “no, of an hereafter. It chanced a few weeks after- I dare say not ; nor do you know why you take wards, that, as I was visiting some men of my own half a dozen other fancies ; but you may have her company in the hospital, in passing down the ward | if you like. I shall be glad to be rid of the charge. I observed poor Kit, lying in bed, sick. I sat down I am too old to work for any but myself now; and by him-took his hand, and spoke to him with ten- I suppose you will give me something for her serderness ;-he was very ill. I named the Redeemer; vices. I am aged and poor." he knew the sound-knew it, not perhaps as some “Oh! yes,” cried the princess, hastily unfastenwould have wanted him to know it—but as a sound ing an embroidered purse that hung at her girdle ; that had already touched a chord in his humble and taking a few pieces of gold, gave them to the heart. He had heard that all his sins would be old woman, who received them without thanks ; forgiven, and how ? he had simply believed the and, after holding them for a moment in the sunmessage, and gratefully accepted the pardon. He shine, deposited them in her huge pocket. had gotten wisdom, not knowledge. There was “Let the child speak for herself. Mimi, will peace, hope, and the joy of a simple confiding trust you go with the princess ?" in his Redeemer.
The only answer the child made was to put her I visited him again ; again the same was his hand into that of the lady, and to look smilingly enviable state of mind. The next, and last time I in her face. saw him, he was dying and speechless. I whis- “ Silence gives consent,” said Sophie ; for it pered in his dulling ear; he opened his eyes-he was the Princess of Zell, the betrothed of the knew me—he looked pleased and happy; he tried Elector of Hanover, who now stood before them. to return the pressure of my hand. I placed it on “ She shall go with me then ; and, as we stay his forehead. The death damps were already on here for three hours, I can have her prettily his brow. “ He is pleased,” said the orderly, “ to dressed before we set out;" and stooping down, see you, sir; he knows you.” “He was pleased, she parted the bright hair on the forehead, and friend," said I, “ to hear the word of proinise in kissed the little maiden with delight, almost as his ear-to hear the sound of his Redeemer's name childish as her own. - to hear the word Christ."
But Sophie was quite a girl, and the character
of her beauty was that of girlhood. The cheek THE ROYAL MARRIAGE; OR, POLITICAL EXPE
was blooming, and the mouth was rosy, and the DIENCY
clear blue eyes seemed as if they had never known a deeper shadow than that of their own soft and
long eyelashes. It was a sweet and a happy face, “Oh! mother, she looked so beautiful." and no wonder that little Mimi looked upon it with
“ Yes, yes,” said the aged crone, letting the sudden love and confidence. Poor child, she had thread slip from her fingers, while the ear sud- known cold, hunger, the hard word, and the angry denly missed the monotonous sound of the spin- blow—all life's small share of happiness had been ning-wheel, that had been heard beneath the green in her own heart--in the gladness which, even oak since early morning. “ Fine feathers make under the harshest circumstances, seems inseparafine birds ; what was she dressed in ?"
ble from childhood. “I do not know," said the child, “I only “ And, so she will leave me—her mother left looked at her face. I should be as happy as a me before," said the old woman, “and you, rich queen, if she would only let me wait upon her.” and insolent that you are, think that the child of
" It would be a thousand pities not to make you my old age is to be taken from me for a few fair happy,” exclaimed a singularly sweet voice ; and, words, and a few pieces of gold. Little do you putting aside the rose-bushes, whose wild leaves imagine how sad it will be to sit under this old
tree alone ; but it matters not, all are ungrateful return and fetch you." Sophie kissed the child, alike. I do not know whether curses have power ; took one of the roses, and was gone. I shall have plenty of time to make them during Every morning Mimi went down to the old next winter's desolate evenings.”
fose-tree ; bud after bud expanded into crimson Sophie startled at the aged woman's vehemence, beauty; and the child was watching the last three and Mimi, trembling, clung to the folds of her that yet remained in their soft green cradles, when robe. For an instant, the princess hesitated, but the branches were put aside, and the princess stood the fear painted on the child's face determined before the breathless and delighted child. A closer her.
observer might have noted that a shadow had passed “I meant no offence,” said she, in her own over the soft azure of those eyes, and the step, sweet voice ; “ I have been thoughtless in asking though as light, was less buoyant. A fortnight you to trust your child to a stranger; but I will had been enough to cloud that fair and sunny face. be kind to her, very kind, and, perhaps, she may The realities of life were there. teach me how to aid yourself.”
“My grandmother is ill in bed,” said the child. The look, the manner, touched the old woman, “ We will go and see her,” replied Sophie, and her harsh features relaxed into an expression who followed her little guide to a scene of whose of the deepest sadness. “ It was I who was misery she had no previous idea. There was but wrong," exclaimed she ; “I ought to thank God one room in the mud hovel, through whose crumthat the orphan has found a friend. Little enough bling walls and roof the rains had penetrated, and have I to give her, but when I am gone she must the sunbeams now entered with a fitful, unnatural starve. So take her, lady, and I can die by my- light. A small heap of white embers smouldered self;" and the crone turned away, and began spin- on the hearth, but a ray of sunshine, falling directly ning. But the princess saw there were large tears on it, had extinguished the fire, which had never in the eyes too proud to shed them.
been more than a few withered sticks. A wooden “ Shall I leave her with you ?” said Sophie. stool, an arm chair, but broken, and a three-legged
“ No," returned the other, and the child, from table, were the only articles of furniture. Bed whose face the light had vanished suddenly, almost there was none ; and the dying woman had no pilhid herself in the princess' robe. “Do you not low but straw. Sophie started—so ghastly was see that the creature clings to you, a stranger- the face which met her gaze. you, who have youth, beauty, and gold, and the "Mimi said you would come,” exclaimed a instinct of childhood teaches a selfish adherence 10 hollow voice”; “ I can now die in peace.” them? Take her with you ; she may get sweet- The electress, for she was now the wife of meats and fine clothes ; from me she has little George of Hanover, knelt by the bedside. The more than harsh words and blows.” Again she floor was damp, and Mimi's little feet left their turned towards her wheel, but the struggle was print upon the surface. too much, and the poor old creature wept aloud. “The rich robe will be soiled," muttered the old
Sophie knew nothing of human misery, but the woman, “ but it matters 'not. Lady, you are kind heart was warm within her. She took En-paler than when I last saw you. I know the gelfried's hand, yet said nothing, for she was new look of trouble too well not to detect it at once. to the task of consolation, but the evident kindness There is that on your brow which mocks at this was enough.
world's state ; but this is a weary life; cold, “ You do not know,” said the old woman, hunger, sickness of the body, sickness of the heart, mastering her emotion, as only the strong mind infest it; and the poor is not the only house where · does master it,“ life's worst misery, poverty. affection never comes. I am dying, lady, and Life has many others, but none like that. Pover- around the death-bed is the future.
I see no ty cost my husband's life-my daughter's honor. happiness in those deep blue eyes--no rest in the Poverty has made that fair child a curse—not a varying color of that soft cheek. But there is a blessing. I have sat up straining my old eyes God in heaven, lady—if there is the trial, there is long after hers have been closed, working ; and also the reward—and in that faith I die. Mimi, God is my witness, that I grudged not my labor ; my beloved, would that I had never spoken harshyet when day came, I have grieved the child with ly to you ; but you were dearer than the lifewhat seemed causeless anger. I could not bear blood, which would gladly have poured itself forth to see her untaught-almost unfed. Take her, for your sake. Cling to the kind and lovely lady, and God bless you both."
stranger with whom I leave you. Death has no The princess remained silent for a moment, truth, or she will need even your love." with emotion unknown before.
The voice sank into an indistinct murmur-a “ Mimi," said she to the little creature, who gust of wind threw open the door of the hut-a stood with her large blue eyes, larger and bluer stream of sunshine poured in upon the pale and for their fixed gaze, you must not leave your set features—the electress looked upon the face grandmother ; she is old, and you must help her ; of the dead. but you shall both of you come to me. There was enough in my purse to keep you for a few days. Mimi, do you see the buds on this rose-bush ? Sing me no more old songs to-night, Mimi; watch them—for before they are blown, I will I am too sad already,” said the electress to a
youthful singer, who, seated on a cushion at her “ Leave me, Mimi," said the electress. feet, was singing an old German melody.
The girl looked sorrowful, but obeyed. She A few years had wrought a great change, both was scarcely gone before her mistress half rose to in Sophie and her companion. Mimi, the little call her back ; she missed the silent sympathy of orphan, had grown up into the beautiful maiden ; her companion. But there is an indolence about but she was not gay, as her mistress had been at any engrossing feeling, which makes even the her age. Pensive, subdued, her soft voice was slightest exertion irksome. Sophie sank back in rarely heard, save in snatches of song, or when the huge Gothic chair, and again her thoughts telling some old legend to the youthful prince, summoned before her an image only too frequent who, young as she was, had been placed in her and too dear. It was the face of the young and especial care. But Mimi's life had not been one the brilliant Count Koningsmarke that rose before of those which lead to the outpourings of youthful her, whose recent arrival in Hanover had turned gayety. Her childhood had been what Charles the heads of half the court. But the instinct of Lamb calls “ not brought up, but dragged up,” love is subtle ; the princess knew that she was the hungry, toilsome, and harsh childhood of the the object of the graceful and gifted stranger; a poor. The pet and plaything of the princess, she look-a brief and hurried word—these were all had next known luxury and splendor ; but the that had past, but she knew she was beloved. luxury had its companion, envy-and splendor Count Koningsmarke had many faults, the faults cast the shadow, jealousy. Mimi soon learned of an indulged youth, and a dissipated manhood; to think; for suffering is the parent of thought. but the deep and spiritual passion he now felt. for Her love for her kind and gentle mistress was the the first time, half redeemed the heart it occupied. passion of her existence; and love takes its deep- He had that intellectual style of beauty whose est tones when connected with sorrow. She soon carved features recalled those statues which are saw that her mistress was not happy, that the satin even now the type of the ideal and the divine ; robe could not control a heart that beat too wild- and, above all, he had that earnest manner and that ly, nor the diamond coronet still the throbbing of passionate eloquence, which is most fascinating to the feverish temples, where the pulse was too a woman; it at once appeals to the imagination, quick and too keen.
and with her that is more than half love. It is Sophie was used to a more genial atmos- impossible to say in what a passion, at once the phere than the court of Hanover. Her own most mastering and the most mysterious of our naprincely home had been warmed by the most ture, has its origin. It springs into life on a look simple and true affection ; and she had been her and a word. The heart may have remained unmother's darling. Suddenly she was transported touched for years, it may have wondered at the into a cold and unkindly atmosphere, where life weakness of others, for we cannot sympathize was a thing of forms and ceremonies, and thoughts with what we do not comprehend ; but not the and feeling were forbidden words—a royal victim, less does the fated moment come at last. Then sacrificed to that state necessity, whose origin is we believe in all we doubted before-then we in false pride and false prejudice, her hand was yield to the sweet enchantment life never knows given, but the heart remained behind. Married to again. I firmly believe in love at first sight; not a man whom she could not love, she might have that the feeling is at once known and confessed; honored him ; but that was equally out of the it is only “ the coming event that casts its shadow question. She might have forgiven his neglect before." A new sensation has entered into existand his inconstancy, for it is strange how much ence, and, alas! for humanity-sweet, gentle as a woman who loves will endure ; but then she it seems—in all probability to produce a wretchmust love. Now, her husband's neglect grew out edness before undreamed. of his utter incapability of appreciating her, and The last purple shadows of twilight died away, his inconstancy from all that was mean in his na- the lamplight grew distinct amid the surrounding ture-he noeded low amusement and coarse flat- gloom, yet Sophie never stirred from her seat. tery.
Her long fair hair, pressed back from her feverish I know nothing in royal history more pitiable temples, had gradually become loosened from its than its marriages, or more miserable than the confinement, and had fallen around her. Her system of state expediency on which they are cheek was even paler; and the eyelashes were founded. It is one of those mistakes which hu- wet with tears, that rose from a wretchedness man pride so often commits when left to its own they could not relieve. Yet hers was a common devices. General good was never yet purchased subject of human thought—she was thinking how by individual wrong; and the affection, which is happy she might have been. the most exalted and hallowed feeling in our na- “Why was I born," muttered she, “in a rank ture, is not to be sacrificed to political exigencies so surrounded by restraints ? why am I a mere with impunity.
machine in the hands of others, who never ask Sophie was much altered, and yet lovelier than whether there is a beating or a human heart with
She was now very pale, a sad, soft pale- in? Why are these feelings given me, if they ness, fairer than the rose; and her large eyes are forever to be repelled with a bitter sense of were like the moonlight, melancholy and full of wrong? I feel, deeply feel, that there can be no .poetry and thought.
happiness hut in assection.”
The electress was right; she was but one of do not know the danger ;-one movement of your the many victims sacrificed to that gilded misery hand, one sound of your voice, and my death is -a state mrriage; a remains of feudal barbar- certain. But what is the scaffold compared with ism. The crime and sorrow of such a marriage is the !hourly torture of the closed heart and the even yet imperfectly understood ; and yet what is a silent lip? Lady, if I die for it, I will tell you I royal union but an outrage on all natural feeling? love you." Two strangers meet, between whom there can be Pale, trembling, Sophie leaned against the wall no sympathy; all the illusions, all the delicacy of for support—" This is too cruel," said she faintsentiment, are put harshly aside; in all probabili- ly; “why run such a dreadful risk ?" ty they do not even please each other externally ; “ You care for my life, then ?" cried he, again they have not a remembrance in common; and kneeling at her feet, " ah! I feel that it is yet they are bound to each other by the most sa- precious-sweetest, dearest—the gold that gave cred vows. To what has this led, this forced me access will insure my retreat-only tell me and unnatural position ? To the most disgrace that you do not hate me- —that you will someful profligacy, and the most bitter unhappiness. times suffer me to look on a face dearer to me Whether in the palace or the cottage, marriage, than heaven." not to be intolerable, must be one of affection ; Sophie had but a woman's answer to give nothing can supply its place; and what can be tears, bitter tears. said in defence of a system which coldly puts at- “ Do not weep," whispered he rising, and taktachment aside, and where even mutual liking-ing her hand; “ I cannot feel sad while I see you. love is a holier word—where even liking is a Oh! do you know what it is to be happy on a chance?
look ?-Oh! look at me, dearest— let me hear one Sophie was essentially gentle and feminine in word—I care not what it is, if I do but hear your her nature; she would have been happy under any voice." circumstances, had she but been beloved. Care Sophie struggled with an emotion that would she would have soothed, sorrow she could have not be subdued; her heart beat till it choked shared without a murmur, let her but have been her voice ; her lips moved, but the sound was Joved in return. It is strange what a fanciful inaudible. thing love without hope is, how it will create an “ How beautiful you are, but how pale!-are unreal existence, only, alas! to return more bit- you wretched too?" and he fixed his large, dark terly to the actual. Sophie fancied a little lonely and mournful eyes on hers.
6. I could talk to you island far off in the southern seas, herself and one for hours, long miserable hours, but I forget other its sole habitants. A slight noise aroused them now—shall I not often forget them? Tell her from her revery; she started, and saw Count me, loveliest, may I not sometimes return? Koningsmarke kneeling at her side. For a mo- Tell me the next time that I come you will expect ment the intense happiness of his presence pre- me. dominated, she left one hand in his, and covering “No!” muttered the electress, with a cold her eyes with the other, wept passionately. Her shudder. dream seemed at once realized ; she asked not “Do you fear ?" exclaimed the count, a slight how, she only felt that he was there, and that she curve on his scornful lip. “ Will you not,” adwas unutterably happy.
ded he, in a more pleading tone, “hazard a little Sophie! my beautiful, my beloved !” mur- for my sake? Forgive me—but I love you so mured the count; but his voice broke the spell, madly, that I even hopeshe gasped as if to drink in its low peculiar music, “ Hope!” repeated she, with a strange and but, sweet as it was, it roused her to a sense of hollow accent,“ hope !” their actual situation.
“ Yes,” continued Koningsmarke, " beloved by “Count Koningsmarke,” said she, rising, but you, everything seems possible.” her lip 'trembled while she spoke, “you are a “ Everything but guilt," said the electress, stranger in the palace, and may not be aware of who seemed startled into composure, by the sound its customs. I cannot permit your present intru- of her own voice. sion. I command you to withdraw.”
“ Guilt !" interrupted the count, “ there is no His natural daring heightened by a love that guilt in the worship I pay to you, even as to my took its tone from his fierce and impetuous char- good angel. You will but pity me; but look acter, the count still kept his kneeling attitude. upon me with those sweet eyes, whose light
“Call in your guards," said he, "my head is makes me believe in heaven.” the forfeit of my presumption. I ask nothing but “Hush !” said the princess, “ I have aleady to look upon you, and life is a light price for that listened too long. A wife and a mother, I have look. Let it be my last.”
not a thought or a feeling at my own disposal ; I The determined temper masters the more have not appointed my own lot, but I submit to timid, and Sophie stood irresolute. Konings- the will of God. Sir, you must at once leave my marke saw his advantage, he sprang from his presence.": knee, and approached.
“And will you sacrifice me,” exclaimed he “ You tell me,” he exclaimed, “ that I do not passionately, “ to these phantoms of duty-cold know the customs of your court; do you think 11-vain ?"
“My own heart," replied she, faintly, “ tells yet golden tresses. But this morning she was me that they are neither cold nor vain. Again I happy. She had risen with the sun-the lark bid you leave me.
she never heard now—10 watch over the slum“ I cannot. Think, Sophie-ah! let me call her of one who made her feel that earth had still you so, before you reject love so devoted—you one precious link-one for whose sake there was will never be so adored again," and he pressed the yet something to pray and to hope—a handcold, wan hand he still held to his heart.
some youth of about fourteen was sleeping in The electress stood for a few moments the very the little room adjoining her own. It was her image of despair ; the damps rose upon her fore- son, Prince George, who had escaped the night head, there was not a vestige of color on lip or before from his attendants ; and at the risk of his cheek, and the face looked yet more pale from life had swam the moat to see his ill-used, his the masses of golden hair that hung around it. A beautiful mother. shudder of convulsive agony wrenched her slight “ How soundly he sleeps," murmured sheframe; but her resolution was taken.
“it is a pity to wake him—and yet he can sleep "Count Koningsmarke," said she in low, hol- any day-while his mother he may not see again.” low, but distinct tones, “ I will confess to you But she was spared the necessity of awakening that I am more wretched than you can be ; but he him ; for, as if made conscious, by some sweet inwho has heard so much from my lips, must hear stinct, of her presence, the youth opened his eyes,
To-morrow will, I trust, see you on and said—“Mother." The sadness of a wasted your way from Hanover."
life-the bitterness of a false accusation, the She had allowed her hand still to remain in his, weariness of years of prison, were repaid by that she had led him to the door, which she opened her- moment's happiness. Sophie could not satisfy self. Surprised, subdued, the count obeyed the herself with gazing on the bright and noble featimpulse ; but he paused on the threshold, when a ures of her son. She overwhelmed him with a slight noise caught his quick ear. He looked in thousand questions-she was eager to learn all his its direction, and from one of the balustrades of habits, pursuits, and pleasures, and yet she startled the winding gallery, saw a face looking down. It at the least sound-she feared that they were was but a glance, yet he recognized the coarse about to take him from her. though fine features, and the black hair of one of “ You eat no breakfast, mother," exclaimed the the elector's favorites. At once he felt the pru- prince, pausing in the midst of the meal to which dence of retreat, and he obeyed the sign to depart, he was doing the full justice of a youthful apwhile Sophie leaned, white as a corpse, and al- petite. most as inanimate, on the threshold.
“ Not yet, George," said she ; “this is Sunday, “Farewell,” murmured she, “ farewell, Count and since I have dwelt in this castle I never break Koningsmarke, forever.”
my fast till after the service of the chapel.” The words had only died on the pale lips which “ This is a dreary place," rejoined the youth. scarcely moved to utter them, when she saw the looking round on the damp walls, from which the ground open beneath Koningsmarke's feet. A decaying tapestry hung in tatters, “ but they say trap-door, purposely left unfastened, had yielded I shall be King of England, and you shall have a to his weight; he disappeared, and the arches of beautiful palace then.” the gothic gallery reverberated to one last and Sophie smiled, and kissed the forehead, whose fearful
cry of human agony. Sophie sprang for- golden curls were the color of her own. ward-a natural impulse of horror induced her to Time passed on, and yet no search was made start back from the dark abyss that yawned at her for the young prince, who accompanied his mother feet. Surely, far down in the darkness, she saw to the chapel. It was a gloomy ruin—the roof the glitter of jewels, and she heard one low groan admitted the daylight in many places, and the -ard then all was silent as the grave. She cast arches were broken and defaced, while the tombs one desperate glance to heaven, and dashed her- below yawned as if about to give up their dead. self forward, when her progress was arrested by The young prince shuddered as he knelt on the a slight figure that threw itself between her and cold pavement where his mother had knelt for so the brink of the chasm-Mimi had saved her mis- many years. The service ended—the electress
approached the altar, and again kneeling, she iook from the aged priest the sacred bread and wine,
bat ere she drank from the holy cup, she called Years, long dreary years, had passed in the old upon the Saviour who had given it to his followcastle, to which the jealousy of the elector had ers, to bear witness to her innocence.
A ray of consigned his consort. For years, the eyes of light from the roof fell around her while she spoke; Sophie had never looked beyond the battlemented her large blue eyes were raised to the heaven she walls, and had dwelt only on the faces of her invoked, and it flung around her pale and spiritual jailers. She had had no communication from countenance a glory like that of an angel. At withont; and the lapse of time was only told by this moment, a sound of hurried footsteps disturbed the change which her mirror marked. She had the stillness of these old walls, and the chapel was entered that prison young, very young-now her filled with strangers. bright hair was thin, and gray mingled with the “I knew that I should find him here," said a