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taken noislessly from its stable, he gave it the reins, and went he knew not whither.
The soft moonlight streamed upon Paris, as it was sinking away, and, with the light of the many stars, rendered it one of those bright nights which are so well calculated to wean us from the smoke and stir of day, to a dreamy forgetfulness of its troubles and trials, and draw from the coldest worldling a wish that the days were merged into nights as clear, as bright, as still as was the present. The long, solemn, death-like streets, were unlit, save by the moon and stars, that hung above them like jewels on the bosom of the sky, and a few feeble lamps, that flickered and gradually expired away, shamed as it seemed by the glorious lights poured upon the sleeping earth, from the exhausted urns of heaven. He had soon passed the streets and entered upon the open road that wound its serpentine path along the river shore. Away in the distance was stretched the dark forests, whose tall and noble trees, as they were stirred by the air, resembled ranks of armies, waving on high their dark green plumes. Beyond them could be seen the blue mountains bordering the distant view. No sound was forth, save the sighings of the southerly wind, rich with scent from the plains and vineyards over which it had passed, and the low and not unmusical murmur of the Seine, as its skymirrowing waters moved along the thick grass or rippled among the pebbles on its shore.
Leaving Armine on the road, we would call the attention of the reader to others.
" Alag ! alas!
Of life."--HENRYNEALE. How very convenient it would be to take the reader from the task of perusing this history, and convey him to some arena on which each character would appear-deliver his thoughtsdo his deeds and depart. And then how very pleasant would it be to the writer, who is now annoyed with shifting and changing, to keep a disjointed tale together-now chatting with a hero upon the street, and now whispering sweet words in a drawing-room, in the ears of a heroine-now moving quietly down a stream, with the reader wistfully gazing after himand again taking the self same reader, against the advice of all
into the damp night air, fearless of coughs and colds, to meet a character upon the gloomy midnight road. I
have perused many beautiful definitions of that singular creature, an author. They were all interested as the writers well knew. He resembles a fellow whom I have seen at a cattle show, placed amid the dirt and flare and strench of oil behind the curtain, to raise and drop and shift some dirty canvass, misnamed scenery--or, if that resemblance is not striking, his occupation is much like that of the clown on stilts, whose duty in the ring is to tease the spectator by directing his already sated attention to the extraordinary performances of a goodly number of ferocious and well-fed animals. With the reader's permission, I will mount the stilts again and turn to my narrative.
It was a long time before Montanvers recovered from the fearful and deathlike swoon. When he did so, his mind was heavy and depressed, and his whole frame tottering as if under the effects of some dreadful disease. Manifold thoughts served to weigh him down- thoughts of pain and misery and deathbut with a powerful exertion, he threw them from him. Moving from the road, he wended down a narrow path, and stood before the Seine, a draught of whose cooling waters refreshed and invigorated him. On the green turf, which at that point stretches down to the water's edge, he sat, to reflect and scheme, where we will leave him to follow some persons not yet known to the reader.
Some two miles distant the road assumed a different appearance, becoming wider and more level; and beyond it, for miles around, the view was uninterrupted by a single hill, or a rise or fall in the ground. The river wended in a crooked, ser. pentine path hard by, and the far-off mountains hung upon the skylike palaces of snow upon battlemented clouds.
Along that road there was driven a small but neat carriage, drawn by two horses, which, from their appearance, had travelled without ceasing for the whole of the day that had passed. Its passengers consisted of a young clergyman, well known near Paris, and his lady. There was something in the countenance of the young man which seemed to denote his profession. His face was pale and heavy, and rather unprepossessing, had it not been for the brightness of the eye, and the gaiety which lingered in the curl of the mouth. There too was a plainness and neatness in his dress, a meekness and humility in his demeanour, and a gentleness in all of his actions, which at one glance bespoke the messenger of glad tidings sent to brighten man's pathway through the adamantine gates up to the golden pavilions of the New Jerusalem. Such was the reverend George Morton. His lady was, or rather had been, beautiful. Sorrows and tears had thrown their nun-like veil over her, and from the fair girl that Morton had wedded, she had passed to the stately and noble wife-not, however, without traces of her former beauty still lingering around her. She was a delightful companion for such a husband.
After riding for some distance in silence, he began a conversation which they seemed to have before commenced.
But, my dear, there are afflictions deeper than those through which you have already gone. Aflictions that well might wither the mother's heart and scorch the husband's brain, were they not administered by Him in whom we trust; afflictions too deep and overpowering, save to those who can behold in them the visitations of a high and holy power. And He who tempers the wind to the shorn lamb, will still watch over and guard the meek and humble."
He spoke in a low and somewhat agitated voice, but conti. nued in a clearer tone:
“ What are the pomps and glories of the world, that in hankering after them we should forget their worthlessness ? We are but wanderers upon a dreary wilderness-starting forth to-day and cut down to-morrow. Why then should we waste our days in sorrow and in grief ?- Why then should we repine, when the angel of death flaps his funeral wing over friends or kindred. The springs of existence, which cease here, flow back to their original fountain. The beings who leave us now, will be joined to us hereafter in a brighter and a purer sphere, and we will then wander with them for
“ To what do your words tend, dear George ?” asked Mrs. Morton, as a suspicion of their meaning for the first time flashed upon her.
“Our child !” was the only reply.
" What of her ? what of her ?" exclaimed the now distracted mother.
“ Calm yourself, my best, my dearest, or I cannot speak,' said he. He hesitated it was but a moment, for he noticed the calm resignation of his wife. "You may have noticed that a stranger handed me a letter whilst supping to-night. By that letter I learned that our child, while walking by its nurse's side, was accidentally trodden upon by the horse of a stranger who had just entered Paris--an Italian nobleman, from what I can gather. The letter is not minute ; but our child is either suffering, or perhaps dead !”
She did not answer, for before the words were finished, the carriage had been stopped, and in the next moment the window was opened, and a masked form was before them. The intruder, noticing the lady, spoke to her companion in a softer voice than he had probably intended, or than would in all cases suit his occupation as a gentleman of the road
“Ahl my dear sir-sorry to trouble at so late an hour, but my wants are urgent. Be so good as to loan me your purse and watch.'
The traveller hesitated complying with even so polite a request, and the robber, withdrawing from a concealed belt a pair of pistols, pointed one at the breast of the lady and the other at the head of the man, and shouted in a loud and angry tone
“ Deliver or you die!"
“ Never !” replied the brave minister, dashing the pistol of the robber from his wife's bosom, and pointing one that he had in the mean time drawn from his carriage, full in the face of the robber. It flashed. Just at this moment the sound of an approaching horse was heard in the distance, and the robber maddened by the resistance and bravery of the man, and rendered desperate by the approach of others, suddenly fired upon the unfortunate minister. A loud shriek went forth from the wife's lips, as her husband's arm fell from the waist around which it had twined, and he dropped, steeped in his flowing blood, at her side.
"Oh! my own-my love my life. You will not die ! Speak, speak !" she cried.
That soft, sweet, musical voice, brought back the gem-like memories of the past, and stopped the spirit's wing ere it soar. ed to the far-off world. That voice ! It had first weaved the golden chain of love around him : it bad echoed in his ears like a spirit's whisper, amid the bloom and brightness of youth, and in the darker pathway of manhood, and now it came as sweet as ever when death's dread angel hovered around the fleeting soul like a stern and mysterious conqueror. He smiled as he looked for the last time upon her ; as he heard for the last time the rich tones of her voice ; and faintly whispered, “ Bless thee, my wife; we will meet again-therethere'
He lifted his eyes for a moment, and again they fell; the dull glazed film of death came upon them. He pressed his cold lips upon her cheek, and then came the pang, the strug
gle, the agony, the convulsion, the silence. She stood, at that solemn hour, alone with the dead !
Ere that, the robber had rifled the unfortunate man of purse and watch, and had drawn from the finger of the lady its only ornament, a small plain ring. The approaching horseman came nearer ; but ere he reached the spot, Montanvers, for he was the robber, had departed.
The horseman was Francis Armine. His horse suddenly started from some object in the road, which the rider on noticing approached. It was the carriage of the unfortunate Morton. Opening the door, he beheld the murdered man and the life. less woman. He entered : the blood was still oozing from the wound of the man-the limbs stiffened, and the body cold. But the woman-she moved, she breathed, and was not dead. A thought flashed upon him. In the darkness of the night, he rushed to the water's edge-he did not walk; the hope of saving the life of a fellow creature swiftened his pace-he almost few. He reached the river's side, and with a handful of water flew back. The carriage had gone. A sound was heard in the distance ; it was-oh no! it was not a human cry; he listened again, and through the deathlike stillness, was heard the shriek of the night-bird-dread omen !
We find a long lost treasure-and knowing it not, lose it !
MY FIRST BALL-DRESS.
Who has not felt the sweet, intoxicating charm of early recollections? Who does not delight to inhale this the last drop of perfume which the past leaves at the bottom of the cup of life ? Who has not, sometimes at least, caught himself listening in pleasing meditations to some of hese echoes of the days that are gone?
“To remember is to double our existence.” So say the poets; and we imitate them, and eulogize the charm of early recollections—but we are mistaken.
What I am about to recount, is a story of my early life; it is now long past and gone. I was then only sixteen. Listen, but do not laugh at my recollections of my girlhood, for nothing that can destroy our comfort is trivial. Our pain con. sists in what we suffer, not in the cause of it.
On that day I rose with a heart swollen to bursting with joyous