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repaired, and even if it were, she had given her promise to pay the full price of the jewels should they sustain the slightest injury while in her possession. This she had no means of doing1, for had her existence depended on it, she could not have commanded one-tenth of the sum at which they were valued. It was vain to apply to her aunt, for her extensive charities completely exhausted her income, and Clara Harwood, who would have been willing to assist her, was kept poor by her own extravagance. In this posture of affairs there was but one course for her to pursue, and after much unavailing repentance and many shrinkings of spirit from the humiliating task, she at last adopted it. She called on Mr. Burnet, and explaining the impossibility of her complying with her contract at the present time, requested that he would wait till she could obtain the money to meet his demands. Seeing no alternative, he consented reluctantly to wait a few months, but compelled her to sign another paper, obliging herself, in consideration of his forbearance, to pay a much larger sum than the one originally specified. Louisa was too much in his power to resist. Though fully sensible that she was imposed on, she put her name to the paper and left the shop, glad of present relief from her anxiety.
Six weeks rolled rapidly by, and at the end of that time Louisa became the wife of Arthur Cleveland. He was a lawyer, in tolerably extensive practice, and his talents were of an order to insure him eminence when he should be better known to the people among whom he had lately come. He carried his fair bride to a small but neat house, furnished with taste and elegance, and containing every thing necessary for comfort and respectability. Louisa had an active disposition, and an intimate knowledge of domestic affairs. Her time passed pleasantly in superintending the concerns of her little household, and disposing all its arrangements so as best to contribute to the comfort of her husband. And Cleveland dearly loved his quiet home, and when the toils of the day .were over, and he was seated by his cheerful hearth, with his beautiful and affectionate wife by his side, his heart expanded with a feeling of perfect content, and he confessed that moments so rich in happiness were cheaply purchased by days of toil and anxiety. They were not entirely alone. Some "weeks before their marriage, as Louisa was walking in a retired part of the town, her attention was attracted by a boy about fourteen years old, who stood at the door of a miserable hovel, weeping, and exhibiting every mark of extreme grief. Compassion prompted her to enquire the cause of his distress, and he informed her that his mother
lay in the wretched hut before her, dying for want of medical assistance. Without a moment's hesitation, Louisa entered the house, and found a woman extended on a ragged bed, and apparently in the last stage of a consumption. She hastened home, and soon returned, accompanied by her aunt and a physician, and the invalid was rendered as comfortable as circumstances would admit. She had evidently seen better days, and the misfortunes which had reduced her to her present condition were consequent on her marriage with a man of dissipated habits, whose death left her dependent on her own exertions for the support of herself and child. She had found time to give her son the rudiments of an education, and had not her health failed, might have lived, humbly indeed, but comfortably and not unhappily. But she had been tenderly nurtured, and her strength was unequal to the incessant toil she was compelled to undergo. And now no hope remained of her recovery, and her sole anxiety appeared to be concerning the boy whom she was about to leave to the cold charities of the world. Her days had been rendered comfortable by the benevolence of Louisa and her aunt; but would that kindness be. extended to her child? She dared not ask, but her heart bled as the thought of her destitute orphan pressed upon it, and thoughts too bitter for expression passed through her mind as she pictured to herself the probable destiny of her only child.
Soon after Louisa's marriage, Cleveland, who had become much interested in her story, accompanied his wife to visit Mrs. Lee. It was evident to him that something more than her own approaching death weighed upon her mind, and when, in answer to his kind and delicate inquiries, she confessed that anxiety regarding the future fate of her son prevented her from attaining calmness, he at once removed her uneasiness by promising to protect and befriend the boy as long as he proved worthy of his kindness.
His words gave peace to the soul of the dying woman, and when her last hour came, she sent for Cleveland, and, placing in his hand the hand of her son, she solemnly bequeathed him to his protection, and died, embracing her child and blessing his benefactor.
After the death of his mother, Clarence Lee became an inmate of Cleveland's family. He was a handsome boy, about fourteen, intelligent and thoughtful'beyond his years, and deeply sensible of the vast debt of gratitude he owed his kind protectors. For Louisa, particularly, he felt the most enthusiastic veneration. Her attention to his mother had made a deep impression on his young heart, and the uniform gentleness of her manner toward himself, and the sympathy she manifested with his deep grief for the loss of his only parent, increased his devotedness, till at last he seemed to live only to serve her, and longed for an opportunity to suffer, or even to die, if by so doing he could contribute to her happiness and prove the sincerity of his gratitude.
Happiness lends wings to time, and the days flew rapidly by. Louisa was awakened from her dreams of bliss by a letter from Mr. Burnet, reminding her that her debt to him would be due in a short time, and that he should be compelled to require immediate payment. This letter almost distracted our poor heroine. With all the economy she could practise, she had been able to savo from her litlle income only a very small portion of the amount she owed the jeweller. Where was she to procure the remainder? She shrunk from the idea of asking her husband to discharge a debt contracted before her marriage, and she knew that the manner in which it had been incurred would meet his decided disapprobation, and lessen her in his esteem. But what else could be done she knew not, and she could only wring her hands in utter hopelessness, and repent, ah, how bitterly, but, alas, how unavailingly, the fatal error into which her vanity had betrayed her. Her husband observed the change in her manner, but she evaded his tender inquiries, and pleaded indisposition as an excuse for pallid cheeks and dejected spirits. Yet she refused to see a physician, and Arthur began at last to fear that his sweet wife was growing whimsical and capricious, or that she nourished in her breast some secret sorrow which would ultimately destroy the happiness of both.
It was the evening preceding the day on which Mr. Burnet's bill must be paid, or the whole transaction exposed. Cleveland was from home, and Louisa, restless and miserable, had wandered into the library. Believing herself to be alone, she gave vent to her emotions. Leaning her head on her hand, she wept without restraint, till accidentally raising her eyes they fell upon the private drawer of her husband's bureau. Suddenly it occurred to her that she had seen him deposit large sums of money in that drawer. What if she should take thence the amount of the jeweller's bill! could she not, by the most rigid economy in her expenditures, save from her own income sufficient to replace the sum before it could be wanted, and before its abstraction should be discovered! As this thought passed through her mind, she hastily opened the drawer and took from thence a large pqeket-book. Without allowing herself a moment's piuse for reflection, she counted out the necessary amount, and
hurried from the room, unmindful that the pocket book and its remaining contents were lying on the top of the bureau. As soon as . the door closed behind her, a figure emerged from behind the heavy window-curtain, which had hitherto concealed it. It was Clarence Lee, who had been an unnoticed but not unobservant spectator of the foregoing scene. He had been entrusted by Cleveland with the key of his private drawer for the purpose of copying some papers which it contained. Finding some difficulty in decyphering one of the manuscripts, he had taken it to the window that he might have the full benefit of the light. He was standing there when Louisa entered the room. Supposing she only came for a book, he did not at first think it necessary to apprize her of his presence, and afterwards he was withheld, by delicacy, from allowing her to discover that her emotions had been perceived, or her actions witnessed. There was something in her manner that convinced him that her abstraction of the money was not sanctioned by her husband, but he believed her incapable of even an unworthy thought, and, mysterious as her conduct appeared, he did not for a moment doubt that it was influenced by pure and noble motives. Yet lie had penetration enough to foresee that painful consequences might result from what had passed, and he hailed the occasion as one that might enable him to prove the depth and fervor of his gratitude to his beautiful protectress.
"I will stand between her and all that can wound her gentle heart," he said, proudly, and the color mantled over his noble face, and his fine eyes flashed with enthusiasm, as he added, "and oh, how happy shall I be, if by any sacrifice of my own feelings I can preserve her's from pain or injury."
Immediately on leaving the library, Louisa had repaired to the jeweller's. It was getting late, but she would not delay one moment paying his demand, and destroying the written evidences of her folly. As she returned home, she recollected that she had left the private drawer open; and on reaching the house, she repaired to the library to lock it, and to restore to its place the pocketbook which had been left on the bureau. To her surprise the drawer was locked, the pocket-book removed, and the key taken away. , She thought this strange, but she had no time for reflection. She heard her husband's voice at the halhdoor, and she hastened to take off her bonnet and cloak, and to meet him in the parlor.
"I am glad to see you smile once more," said Cleveland, as he kissed the soft cheek of his wife, " particularly as I expect a friend to pass the evening with us, and I have written him such glowing descriptions of our happiness, that I should be exceedingly mortified, if by your low spirits and dejected manner, you discredited my statements."
"I will endeavor not to doso," said Louisa, cheerfully; and in a few minutes Mr. Norman was announced. He was an agreeable intelligent man, and Cleveland, enlivened by the presence of an old friend, was unusually animated; while our heroine, relieved from the anxiety which had weighed down her spirits, entered into the conversation with a graceful sprightliness which charmed their guest, and drew from the proud and gratified husband looks of fond approval. At last, Mr. Norman, though with evident reluctance, rose from his seat.
"I must tear myself away," he said; "I am compelled to leave this place early tomorrow morning, and it is already late. Cleveland," he added, "have you those papers ready?" .
"Yes," said his friend, "they are in the library. Let us go there and transact our business."
Norman assented, and taking a courteous leave of his smiling hostess, he left the apartment. Louisa remained alone on the sofa. In a few minutes she heard the sound of returning footsteps. The door opened, and Cleveland entered, accompanied by his friend, and leading Clarence Lee.
"What is the matter?" asked Louisa, starting up in alarm, as she beheld the pale and agitated countenance of her husband.
"The matter! oh nothing, only that we have nourished a viper in our bosoms, who, in proper requital of such folly, has stung the hand that fed him. This boy (and he pointed to Clarence, who, with a pale cheek, but unquailing eye, stood erect and motionless before him,) has robbed me of a large sum of money which I had collected for Mr. Norman, and deposited in the private drawer of; my bureau, the key of which has never been out of my possession, except when, fool that I was, I entrusted it to him."
He was interrupted; for Louisa, uttering a deep groan, feel at his feet, and exclaiming, with a violent eSbrt, "he is innocent, my husband! oh, do not—do not blame him!" sunk senseless on the floor.
Cleveland felt the necessity of commanding himself. "She is too tender for such scenes," he said, as he lifted the motionless form of his wife, and carried her in his arms to her own apartment. He summoned her maid, and remained with her till the usual remedies were administered, and animation returned. Then, before she was able to speak, he left her, and returned to the parlor. When Louisa came to herself, she was sensible of an unusual bustle in the room below. She inquired the cause, and Martha, her
maid, informed her the officers were below to take Master Lee to prison.
"What do you say V asked her mistress, wildly, starting up in bed.
"Nothing, Madam, only the officers have come for Master Clarence. He has confessed he took the money, and begs to be taken to prison at once. Is it not strange, ma'am, that he should wish to go to jail?"
But she spoke to unheeding ears. Louisa had fallen back on the bed in a state of mind which defies description. She attempted to close her eyes, but she could not shut out the image of that orphan boy pining in fetters in a loathsome dungeon. And for what? Not for his own fault, but for her's. Cruel that she was, and faithless to the trust reposed in her by a dying mother, she could not endure this last thought, and springing from the bed, despite the remonstrances of her terrified attendant, she rushed with loosened dress and dishevelled hair into the room she had just quitted. Putting aside all that impeded her way, she advanced to her husband, and standing directly before him, said in a loud and distinct voice, "Release that boy— he is innocent! I alone am to blame! I took the money!"
Before those present could recover from the amazement which her unexpected appearance created, she had given a circumstantial account of the whole affair. Her voice became weak and tremulous as she concluded her confession, and when her husband attempted to raise her from the humble posture which she had persisted in retaining while she was speaking, he discovered that she had fainted.
Louisa Cleveland's delicate frame was unable to bear up against the agitating scenes through which she had lately passed. A violent fever, attended with delirium. succeeded, and for many weeks her life was despaired of. When at last reason resumed its empire, and she was able to notice surrounding objects, she put aside the curtains of her bed, and seeing the venerable form of her aunt, she uttered a low moan. The good old lady bent over to catch the words of the sufferer.
"My husband!" she asked, in a faint, feeble voice, " has he forsaken me?"
"No, my beloved wife," said Cleveland, as he advanced to the bedside, and pressed his lips to the pallid cheek of the invalid, "that can never bo. Your husband can never forsake one who is dearer to him than life, and whom a merciful God has just restored to his arms."
"Can you forgive me, then," said Louisa, timidly, raising her eyes to his' face.
"All is forgiven, dearejt,—and all except your noble ingenuousness snail be forgotten, now and forever."
-(' And Clarence; what could have induced him to confess a fault of which he was not guilty V
"His desipe to prove his gratitude to his mother's friend—to shield her from all that could pain or grieve her. Henceforth he shall be to me as a brother, and no effort shall be spared to make him forget the injustice ( have done his noble nature."
Cleveland left the room, and Miss Turner said to her niece, in her usual quiet voice—
"This is not a time for instruction or reproof, my dear Louisa; but I hope that all you have suffered, and all the mortification and anxiety your husband has undergone, will teach you how impossible it is to foresee all the evils which one error may occasion and how useless it is to say to the consequences of a single deviation from the right path, "Thus far slialt thou go, and no farther."
THE JOYFUL SURPRISE;
OE, THE DAUGHTER AND HER FATHER.
On the morning of the first day of the election, (says the Rochester, N. Y., Daily Advocate,) an interesting scene might have been witnessed in a low, dilapidated dwelling, somewhere in this goodly city. At the place and time mentioned, there might have been seen, sitting at a scantily furnished breakfast table, a man with good phrenological developments, prepossessing physical appearance, but with a countenance moody and irresistible. On his right sat a woman, his wife, little if any past the meridian of life, but exhibiting traces of premature fading of a face and figure still mildly beautiful. At his left sat his daughter—a yet unblighted copy of her patient and sorrow-stricken mother—in all the healthfulness of incipient womanhood. In this young woman's eyes tears were gathering, and as she turned her timid face towards her moody father, they might have been seen glistening like the pearly drops of a summer morning, as the first beams of the sun glances on their crystal surface.
Her heart was full, and her voice tremulous, as she at length gained courage sufficient to ejaculate "Father1." The moody man started as though the sound of long forgotten melody echoed in his ears. He bent his gaze inquiringly on his trembling child, and in accents unusually soft for him, said, "Well, Bell, what would you?" Bell felt emboldened, and dressing her face in a sweet pleading smile, replied, "1 would, father, that you would not go to the election to-day." The frown re-appeared—it was stern and bitter, as he asked sharply, "Why not?" She seemed anxious to escape from the angry gaze of a father, whom, but a moment before, she hoped to conciliate. She was about to withdraw, when a voice of startling fierce
ness said to her, "Girl, look on your father! You, but a child, presume to counsel him as to what he should do, and in this you doubtless act as the agent of your mother. I could have borne to have been called a drunkard— aye, a drunkard!"—and a shiver passed over him—" but," continued he, "to have it insinuated by a child, is too much; I shall so to the election. So, bring me my hat." No word of remonstrance was beard, and the miserable man rushed from his dwelling.
That day bitter tears were shed around the
hearth-stone of Powell P . Noon came,
but so did not the father of the grief-stricken Isabel. Night, too, with its darksome loneliness, drew its curtains around, but no signs of the infatuated, fallen father and husband. Tediously wore the hours of night away. Often did the mother and daughter instinctively cling to each other, as some casual noise induced the belief that the object of their solicitude had indeed come, but how did they dread to encounter the frowns— mayhap the inebriate curses—of him who was the cause of their vigils! At length the hour of midnight sounded, and as its echoes died away, the footsteps of the expected one were heard. How wildly beat the hearts
of a mother and daughter as Powell P
entered the door so long and eagerly watched! He was there before them, but not noisy, not harsh—for he was sober, calm, and collected. So great was the joy of wife and daughter, that neither could give utterance to the wild emotions that played around their hearts; but they would not have spoken then for worlds, lest the echo of a voice should have dispelled what seemed a pleasing illusion.
"Mabel! Isabel!" were the first words that greeted their ears, and in a moment both were crying for joy on his bosom. We need not detail the affecting conversation which followed, nor the joyful surprise with which the mother and daughter heard his resolves and hopes. It will be sufficiently understood
from a single expression of Powell P ,
as his daughter was about to retire to rest. They were the sweetest words her ears had heard for many a long, long day. They were "Good night, my child, and may God ever bless you ; you have saved your father!"
The father had been to the election; he went pre-determined to drink—to get drunk; but as he was about to raise the first dram to his mouth, the pleading countenance of his daughter seemed to rise before him! His good genius prevailed—the glass was replaced, untasted, on the counter; he left the place, and with a high moral purpose, hastened to enroll himself among the advocates of Temperance.
The pledge has been religiously kept—the visage of his mild and amiable wife is fast losing its care-worn expression—Bell is a joyous creature—and Powell P is fast
regaining all his former vigor and nobleness.
Often do these contented beings talk over past scenes, while the amiable " Mabel" fails not to designate the night of which we have spoken, as that of " The Joyful Surprise t"
Written for the Ladies' Garland.
NATURE EVER BUSY.
To the student of Nature, her manifold operations afford a pleasing theme for reflection; and they are even contemplated with fervid interest—an interest that abates not, even when we have become familiar with the precepts of her silent oracles. But the more we study her laws, the more we admire the might of that Divine Architect, who not only spoke the universe into existence, but who upholds all, directing not only in those affairs which to finite minds would seem more important, but watching with equal eye the most minute objects of his creation. Thus he regulates a machinery the most intricate —whose wheels exemplify the only perpetual motion that exists:—nor are they ever liable to be deranged by any unforseen contingency. But everywhere we see exhibited subjects of wonder and lessons of wisdom. Thus, Nature is ever before us stamped with the impress of the Great Original. It is a volume written in mysterious characters—yet so written that the sentiments and attributes of the Author are legible if we but study. On its first leaves, we find this truth recorded, and it runs through all its ample pages:— Nature is ever busy. If we survey the animate world we see our subject well exemplified. The birds are ever active—admonished by the chill winds of autumn, they seek the sunny climes of the south, and when these are exchanged for the gentle zephyrs of spring, they again return, and the forests resound with their soft carols. At the earliest dawn of day, the lark plumes her glittering wings, and, soaring aloft to the dome of the azure sky, pours forth its song to the morning star. The golden fishes that glide beneath the crystal waves of the sea, and gambol in their coral bed; and the innumerable insects that flutter in the sunbeams, are striking exemplifications of this truth. The bees, those industrious workers, that sweep with busy wing the flowery fields, to store their honey, are strangers to idleness.; they ply with incessant assiduity, their pleasing task, and suffer no opening blossom to pass unexplored—but cling to the fragrant petals and drain them of their treasured sweets. The ant has been noted for its industry ever since the days of the Wise Man; it labors with a miser's care, and while it is yet summer, fills its subterranean storehouse with supplies
necessary for its support. But man seems the only exception in animal life. There is in him a proneness to idleness;—it is so in his physical nature—and were' it not for the stern hand of necessity, and the decree—TM be that will not work, neither shall he eat," we should find him, if not absolutely idle, yet in a condition little above the savage. And were the body the only thing to be considered, it would be of minor importance;—but when we take into account that gem, of which the body is but a casket—that spark of intelligence which alone elevates man above the "beasts that perish,"—that this should lie dormant is a truth at which angels might weep. But it cannot be denied that there is a stupor pervading even this, that there is naturally a disposition to spend upon trifles those powers which should be devoted to nobler purposes.
But this law is still more amply illustrated in the the inorganic world—we see the planets traversing the vast regions of the sky with inconceivable speed, sometimes climbing millions of miles above, then descending as far below the great centre of their motion;— the comets that shoot in the illimitable tracks of ether, farther than the eye can see, returning from their long excursions, sweep our affrighted hemisphere with their fiery train, and again proceed on their journey. The sun, also, that great dispenser of light and heat—and the moon, the most conspicuous among the nightly luminaries—move regularly in their orbits; besides which, myriads of stars bespangle the firmament, glittering like diamonds in that vast expanse, shedding a mild and silvery light in the absence of their queen.
Nature, always pleasing, everywhere lovely, appears with peculiar attractions in the vegetable world. There is here a constant process going on, to quicken and mature vegetation. Thus creeps along the fibres of the low-spread moss, and climbs to the very tops of the lofty waving cedars. Thus, that which before was a dry, lifeless seed, acquires a mysterious vitality, assumes a new form, bursts into germs, expands into leaves, and clothes the forest and the earth with its verdure. Indeed, where is Nature idle? As we have seen in this cursory survey, all is busy and tireless—no agency is dormant— the rills are leaping to the sea—vapors are rising from the ocean, and winds are wafting them over the world to refresh and invigorate. Breeze and tempest are purifying the air; and the ocean, by its rolling surges and ceaseless dash, is making its deep and crystal waters salubrious. Thus, all Nature is active, and every action is working some benefit. From all this let us infer our duty.
Yates, JV. r., March 20, 1843. 8. C. P.