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"Salinski now acknowledged to my brother what an impression Hannah had made on his heart: since he had met her in our house he had seen her only at church, where fervent devotion while praying for her mother had heightened her charms. My brother communicated the matter to my father, and both used all possible arguments to shake poor William's resolution. They talked of his father's wealth. I need it not,' replied he; 'I have a sufficient fortune of my own to keep a wife, if not in profusion, at least above want.'-They hinted at the character of his father. 'Oh !' said he, 'I am no longer a child: I have never been guilty of any indiscretion, and therefore hope my father will not stand in the way of my happiness, as Hannah is my equal in rank. I was particularly apprehensive of an objection on this score; but as nothing can well remain concealed from love, I have already discovered that Hannah's mother, merely on account of her poverty, concealed her rank, and is the widow of the Prussian Captain Von Tannenberg."-" Gracious heavens!" cried I, " my cousin Tannenberg!"-As soon as my agitation would permit me, I informed them that I had come to Kalisch for no other purpose than to make inquiry concerning Madame Von Tannenberg and her daughter; adding, that in consequence of her change of name, all my efforts would most probably have proved fruitless. After this explananation, Maria proceeded with her narrative.
"William found no opportunity to obtain access to
the house of the patient, but Hannah frequently saw him at church; she remarked that his eyes were fixed upon her, and expressed to me displeasure and surprise, that the person whom my brother had described to her as his friend, and as one of the most excellent of men, should have so little delicacy as thus to disturb her devotions. In answer to my remark, that she did not look well, she had already confessed to me, that her strength was exhausted by constant attendance, night and day, on her mother; and that she trembled at the idea lest she should be overcome by the fatigue, and perhaps herself confined to a sick-bed. I felt the less scruple to acquaint her with William's declaration to my father and brother, and entreated her not to reject the hand of the young man, which might serve to cheer the last days of her mother, and to brighten her own future prospects. A blush overspread her face; she heaved a gentle sigh, and said, 'I have taken no step in this matter; I have given no occasion to it: God direct every thing according to his holy will!'
"In order to avoid him, she had for some time gone only to matins; and on account of the increased illness of her mother, had during the last days not quitted the house at all. As the latter seemed the next night to be somewhat better, and continued in the morning to enjoy a sound slumber, Hannah hastened, when the bell rung to matins, to return thanks to heaven for the mitigation of her mother's pain. As she left the church, William
approached her; he implored her pardon for addressing her there, as he had no other opportunity of speaking to her; offered her his heart and his hand; and entreated her to conduct him to her mother, for whom, as a dutiful son, he was determined to provide. His solicitations were so urgent, that Hannah was moved: she declared that she would leave every thing to her mother's decision; and he obtained permission to call upon her at noon, to learn what that decision might be. She was just breaking the matter to her mother when I entered. How great was my joy when I heard that the matter had proceeded thus far! I launched out in praise of the numberless good qualities which I knew my brother's friend to possess, and repeated what he had said to my father and brother concerning his intentions. A tear of joy trembled in the eye of the mother; she grasped her daughter's hand. I should feel supremely happy,' said she, 'to see thee provided for: but sacrifice not thyself to filial duty; let thy heart alone decide!' Hannah, deeply affected, kissed the hand of her mother. At this moment William entered the room. His respectful behaviour to the patient, and his modest, yet earnest, application for Hannah's hand, the possession of which he declared to be his highest felicity, prepossessed both mother and daughter in his favour. All objections respecting his father were silenced by the assurance, that he would not oppose the happiness of his only son; and the promise that, as his father would be in town in three days, he
would take that opportunity of obtaining his consent. On this condition he received the blessing of the mother, who seemed to forget all her sufferings; and, from his every expression, Hannah was convinced that she was about to become the wife of one of the most excellent and amiable of men. She had never yet loved, and this passion now opened her heart to the most delightful and the most joyous emotions.
"Thus passed three days, the happiest of Hannah's life. On the fourth, a magnificent equipage suddenly stopped before the humble habitation. Under the idea that the father's visit was the clearest proof of his consent, the patient raised her feeble hands in gratitude to Heaven, and Hannah hastened to meet the man whom she hoped to salute with the name of father: but she trembled in every limb, and could scarcely support herself, when the fury expressed in old Salinski's face announced but too plainly the dreadful tidings. In a paroxysm of rage, he declared that he would seek the protection of the laws against the seducer of his son ; that if this were not sufficient, he would prevent by his curse his union with a beggar; and that nothing should make him swerve from this resolution. Hannah had by this time collected herself. With all that lofty dignity which innocence and virtue confer, she stepped up to the boisterous old man, and solemnly assured him, that she never would give her hand to one who had not his father's
blessing; adding, that she was convinced she had not deserved insult, but respect.
"The mother all at once uttered a loud shriek. The fright had snapped the frail thread of life. Hannah's whole attention was now directed to her expiring mother. William, unacquainted with his father's intention to marry him to the daughter of one of his wealthy friends, had not expected this opposition. He hurried after him; he saw his father's threat to put an end to this connection accomplished; he observed the carriage stop before Hannah's door, and hastening forward, in hopes of appeasing his indignation, he entered the room at the moment his father was quitting it. Hannah was kneeling beside the bed of her dying parent; she heard him come in, and gave him a look of ineffable anguish. • We must part for ever!' were the only words that, with tremulous voice and throbbing heart, she had power to utter. She drew from her finger the ring with which he had presented her, and handed it to him with averted face. His father caught him by the arm, and dragged away his son, who was scarcely sensible, along with him. In vain did William try all possible means to obtain the consent of his father. Now that he was acquainted with the full value of the excellent girl, he lived solely for her but Hannah declined his visits, and when he ventured to write to her, she returned his letter unopened, with these lines: If you love me, William, avoid me,