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bours. But momentary the shadows on the times, for great part of a day, by ourselves light of childhood! Nor was she insensible to two, over long tracts of uninhabited moors, her own beauty, that with the innocence it en- and yet never once from my lips escaped one shrined combined to make her happy; and first word about my fates or fortunes-so frozen met her own eyes every morning, when most was the secret in my heart. Often have I beautiful, awakening from the hushed awe of heard the sound of your voice, as if it were her prayers. She was clad in russet, like a that of the idle wind; and often the words I cottager's child; but her air spoke of finer did hear seemed, in the confusion, to have no breeding than may be met with among those relation to us, to be strange syllablings in the mountains—though natural grace accompanies wilderness, as from the hauntings of some evil there many a maiden going with her pitcher to spirit instigating me to self-destruction.” the well-and gentle blood and old flows there “I saw that your life was oppressed by some in the veins of now humble men-who, but for perpetual burden; but God darkened not your the decay of families once high, might have mind while your heart was disturbed so griev. lived in halls, now dilapidated, and scarcely ously; and well pleased were we all to think, distinguished through masses of ivy from the that in caring so kindly for the griefs of others, circumjacent rocks!
you might come at last to forget your own; or The child stole close behind her father, and if that were impossible, to feel that with the kissing his cheek, said, “Were there ever such alleviations of time, and sympathy, and relovely flowers seen on Ulswater before, father? ligion, yours was no more than the common I do not believe that they will ever die.” And lot of sorrow." she put them in his breast. Not a smile came They rose-and continued to walk in silence to his countenance—no look of love-no faint --but not apart-up and down that small silvan recognition-no gratitude for the gift which at enclosure overlooked but by rocks. The child other times might haply have drawn a tear. saw her father's distraction-no unusual sight She stood abashed in the sternness of his eyes, to her; yet on each recurrence as mournful which, though fixed on her, seemed to see her and full of fear as if seen for the first timenot; and feeling that her glee was mistimed- and pretended to be playing aloof with her for with such gloom she was not unfamiliar-face pale in tears. the child felt as if her own happiness had been “ That child's mother is not dead. Where sin, and, retiring into a glade among the broom, she is now I know not-perhaps in a foreign sat down and wept.
country hiding her guilt and her shame. All “Poor wretch, better far that she never had say that a lovelier child was never seen than been born!”
that wretch-God bless her-how beautiful is The old man looked on his friend with com- the poor creature now in her happiness singpassion, but with no surprise; and only said, ing over her flowers! Just such another must «God will dry up her tears."
her mother have been at her age. She is now These few simple words, uttered in a solemn an outcast-and an adulteress.” voice, but without one tone of reproach, The pastor turned away his face, for in the seemed somewhat to calm the other's trouble, silence he heard groans, and the hollow voice who first looking towards the spot where his again spoke :child was sobbing to herself, though he heard Through many dismal days and nights it not, and then looking up to heaven, ejacu- have I striven to forgive her, but never for lated for her sake a broken prayer. He then many hours together have I been enabled to would have fain called her to him; but he was repent my curse. For on my knees I implored ashamed that even she should see him in such God to curse her-her head-her eyes-her a passion of grief—and the old man went to breast—her body-mind, heart, and soul-and her of his own accord, and bade her, as from that she might go down a loathsome leper to her father, again to take her pastime among the grave." the flowers. Soon was she dancing in her Remember what He said to the womanhappiness as before; and, that her father might Go, and sin no more !'” hear she was obeying him, singing a song, “ The words have haunted me all up and
“For five years every Sabbath have I at down the hills—his words and mine; but mine tended divine service in your chapel-yet dare have always sounded liker justice at last—for I not call myself a Christian. I have prayed my nature was created human--and human for faith—ncr, wretch that I am, am I an un- are all the passions that pronounced that holy believer. But I fear tc fling myself at the foot or unholy curse!" of the cross. God be merciful to me a sin- “Yet you would not curse her now-were
she laying here at your feet-or if you were The old man opened not his lips; for he felt standing by her death-bed ?" that there was about to be made some confes- “Lying here at my feet! Even here-on sion. Yet he doubted not that the sufferer this very spot-not blasted, but green through had been more sinned against than sinning; all the year-within the shelter of these two for the goodness of the stranger-so called rocks she did lie at my feet in her beautystill after five years' residence among the moun- and as I thought her innocence—my own hap tains-was known in many a vale--and the py bride! Hither I brought her to be blestPastor knew that charity covereth a multitude and blest I was even up to the measure of my of sins—and even as a moral virtue prepares misery. This world is hell to me now-buc the heart for heaven. So sacred a thing is then it was heaven!” solace in this woful world.
“ These awful names are of the mysteries “We have walked together, many hundred | beyond the grave.”
“ Hear me and judge. She was an orphan; all day it was forsaken-she abandoned it and her father's and mother's relations were dead, me on its birth-day! Twice had that day but a few who were very poor. I married her, been observed by us as the sweetest-the and secured her life against this heartless and most sacred of holydays; and now that it had wicked world. That child was born-and again come round—but I not present for I while it grew like a flower-she left it—and was on foreign service--thus did she observe its father—we who loved her beyond light and it--and disappeared with her paramour. It life, and would have given up both for her so happened that we went that day into action sake."
and I committed her and our child to the “ And have not yet found heart to forgive mercy of God in fervent prayers; for love her-miserable as she needs must bem-seeing made me religiousmand for their sakes I she has been a great sinner!"
feared though I shunned not death. I lay all “ Who forgives? The father his profligate night among the wounded on the field of battle son, or disobedient daughter? No; he disin--and it was a severe frost. Pain kept me herits his first-born, and suffers him to perish, from sleep, but I saw them as distinctly as in perhaps by an ignominious death. He leaves | a dream--the mother lying with her child in his only daughter to drag out her days in her bosom in our own bed. Was not that penury-a widow with orphans. The world vision mockery enough to drive me mad? may condemn, but is silent; he goes to church After a few weeks a letter came to me from every Sabbath, but no preacher denounces herself—and I kissed it and pressed it to my punishment on the unrelenting, the unforgiving heart; for no black seal was there—and I parent. Yet how easily might he have taken knew that little Lucy was alive. No meaning them both back to his heart, and loved them for a while seemed to be in the words and better than ever! But she poisoned my cup then they began to blacken into ghastly chaof life when it seemed to overflow with hea- racters-till at last I gathered from the horrid ven. Had God dashed it from my lips, I could revelation that she was sunk in sin and have borne my doom. But with her own hand shame, steeped for evermore in utmost polluwhich I had clasped at the altar--and with our tion. Lucy at her knees-she gave me that loath- “A friend was with me and I gave it to some draught of shame and sorrow ;-1 drank him to read for in my anguish at first I felt it to the dregs—and it is burning all through no shame—and I watched his face as he read my being-now-as if it had been hell-fire it, that I might see corroboration of the increfrom the hands of a fiend in the shape of an dible truth, which continued to look like falseangel. In what page of the New Testament hood, even while it pierced my heart with am I told to forgive her? Let me see the verse agonizing pangs. "It may be a forgery,' was --and then shall I know that Christianity is all he could utter-after long agitation ; but an imposture; for the voice of God within me the shape of each letter was too familiar to
the conscience which is his still small voice my eyes--the way in which the paper was -commands me never from my memory to folded—and I knew my doom was sealed. obliterate that curse-never to forgive her, Hours must have passed, for the room grew and her wickedness-not even if we should dark-and I asked him to leave me for the see each other's shadows in a future state, night. He kissed my forehead-for we had after the day of judgment.”
been as brothers. I saw him next morningHis countenance grew ghastly-and stagger- dead-cut nearly in two-yet had he left a ing to a stone, he sat down and eyed the skies paper for me, written an hour before he fell, with a vacant stare, like a man whom dreams so filled with holiest friendship, that oh! how carry about in his sleep. His face was like ashes even in my agony I wept for him, now but a -and he gasped like one about to fall into a fit. lump of cold clay and blood, and envied him “ Bring me water”—and the old man motioned at the same time a soldier's grave! on the child, who, giving ear to him for a mo- “And has the time indeed come that I can ment, flew away to the Lake-side with an urn thus speak calmly of all that horror! The she had brought with her for flowers; and body was brought into my room, and it lay held it to her father's lips. His eyes saw it all day and all night close to my bed. But not;—there was her sweet pale face all wet false was I to all our life-long friendship with tears, almost touching his own-her in- and almost with indifference I looked upon nocent mouth breathing that pure balm that the corpse. Momentary starts of affection seems to a father's soul to be inhaled from the seized me—but I cared little or nothing for bowers of paradise. He took her into his bosom the death of him, the tender and the true, the —and kissed her dewy eyes-and begged her gentle and the brave, the pious and the nobleto cease her sobbing--tosmile-to laugh-to hearted; my anguish was all for her, the cruel sing-to dance away into the sunshine to be and the faithless, dead to honour, to religion happy! And Lucy afraid, not of her father, dead-dead to all the sanctities of nature-for but of his kindness for the simple creature her, and for her alone, I suffered all ghastliest was not able to understand his wild utterance agonies-nor any comfort came to me in my of blessings-returned to the glade but not to despair, from the conviction that she was her pastime, and couching like a fawn among worthless; for desperately wicked as she had the fern, kept her eyes on her father, and left shown herself to bem-oh! crowding came her flowers to fade unheeded beside her empty back upon me all our hours of happiness,
all her sweet smiles-all her loving looks--“ Unintelligible mystery of wickedness! all her affectionate wordsmall her conjugal That child was just three years old the very I and maternal tendernesses; and the loss of all that bliss the change of it all into strange, I but leave her alone to herself in her affecsudden, shameful, and everlasting misery, tionate innocence, the smile that always lies smote me till I swooned, and was delivered on her face when she is asleep would remain up to a trance in which the rueful reality was there-only brighter--all the time her eyes mixed up with fantasms more horrible than are awake; but I dash it away by my unhalman's mind can suffer out of the hell of sleep! lowed harshness, and people looking on her
“ Wretched coward that I was to outlive in her trouble, wonder to think how sad can that night! But my mind was weak from be the countenance even of a little child. O great loss of blood-and the blow so stunned God of mercy! what if she were to die!" me that I had not strength of resolution to “She will not die--she will live," said the die. I might have torn off the bandages-pitying pastor-"and many happy years--my for nobody watched me--and my wounds were son-are yet in store even for you-sorely as thought mortal. But the love of life had not you have been tried; for it is not in nature welled out with all those vital streams; and that your wretchedness can endure for ever. as I began to recover, another passion took She is in herself all-sufficient for a father's possession of memand I vowed that there happiness. You prayed just now that the God should be atonement and revenge. I was not of Mercy would spare her life-and has he not obscure. My dishonour was known through spared it? Tender flower as she seems, yet the whole army. Not a tent--not a hut-in how full of Life! Let not then your gratitude which my name was not bandied about a to Heaven be barren in your heart; but let it jest in the mouths of profligate poltroons-- produce there resignation-if need be, contripronounced with pity by the compassionate tion-and, above all, forgiveness.” brave. I had commanded my men with pride. “Yes! I had a hope to live for-mangled as No need had I ever had to be ashamed when I was in body, and racked in mind--a hope I looked on our colours; but no wretch led that was a faith-and bitter-sweet it was in out to execution for desertion or cowardice imagined foretaste of fruition--the hope and ever shrunk from the sun, and from the sight the faith of revenge. They said he would not of human faces arrayed around him, with aim at my life. But what was that to me who more shame and horror than did I when, on thirsted for his blood? Was he to escape my way to a transport, I came suddenly on death, because he dared not wound bone, or my own corps, marching to music as if they flesh, or muscle of mine, seeing that the aswere taking up a position in the line of battle sassin had already stabbed my soul? Satisas they had often done with me at their faction! I tell you that I was for revenge. Not head--all sternly silent before an approaching that his blood could wipe out the stain with storm of fire. What brought them there? To which my name was imbrued, but let it be do me honour! Me, smeared with infamy, mixed with the mould; and he who invaded and ashamed to lift my eyes from the mire. my marriage-bed-and hallowed was it by Honour had been the idol I worshipped every generous passion that ever breathed alas! too, too passionately far-and now I lay upon woman's breast- let him fall down in in my litter like a slave sold to stripes--and convulsions, and vomit out his heart's blood, heard as if a legion of demons were mocking at once in expiation of his guilt, and in retrime and with loud and long huzzas; and then bulion dealt out to him by the hand of him a confused murmur of blessings on our noble whom he had degraded in the eyes of the whole commander, so they called me-me, despica- world beneath the condition even of a felon, ble in my own esteem--scorned--insulted-- and delivered over in my misery to contempt forsaken-me, who could not bind to mine the and scorn. I found him out;--there he was bosom that for years had touched it--a wretch before me—in all that beauty by women so so poor in power over a woman's heart, that beloved-graceful as Apollo; and with a no sooner had I left her to her own thoughts haughty air, as if proud of an achievement than she felt that she had never loved me, that adorned his name, he saluted me-her husand, opening her fair breast to a new-born band on the field, and let the wind play with bliss, sacrificed me without remorse-nor could his raven tresses-his curled love-locks-and bear to think of me any more as her husband then presented himself to my aim in an attitude --not even for sake of that child whom I knew a statuary would have admired. I shot him she loved-for no hypocrite was she there; through the heart.” and oh! lost creature though she was--even The good old man heard the dreadful words now I wonder over that unaccountable deser- with a shudder--yet they had come to his ears tion--and much she must have suffered from not unexpectedly, for the speaker's aspect had the image of that small bed, beside which she gradually been growing black with wrath, long used to sit for hours, perfectly happy from the before he ended in an avowal of murder. Nor, sight of that face which I too so often blessed on ceasing his wild words and distracted dein her hearing, because it was so like her meanour, did it seem that his heart was touched own! Where is my child? Have I fright- with any remorse. His eyes retained their ened her away into the wood by my unfather- savage glare-his teeth were clenched-and ly looks? She too will come to hate me, he feasted on his crime. oh! see yonder her face and her figure like a “Nothing but a full faith in Divine Revelafairy's, gliding through among the broom ! tion,” solemnly said his aged friend, “can subSorrow has no business with her-nor she due the evil passions of our nature, or enable with sorrow.
Yet--even her how often have conscience itself to see and repent of sin I made weep! All the unhappiness she has Your wrongs were indeed great-but without ever known has all come from me; and would a change wrought in all your spirit, alas! my
son! you cannot hope to see the kingdom of dead of cold and hunger: she whom I cherished heaven.'
in all luxury-whose delicate frame seemed to * Who dares to condemn the deed ? He de- bring round itself all the purest air and sweetserved death—and whence was doom to come est sunshine-she may have expired in the but from me the Avenger? I took his life-very mire--and her body been huddled into but once I saved it. I bore him from the some hole called a pauper's grave. And I battlements of a fort stormed in vain-after have suffered all this to happen her! Or have we had all been blown up by the springing of I suffered her to become one of the miserable a mine; and from bayonets that had drunk multitude who support hated and hateful life my blood as well as his—and his widowed by prostitution ? Black was her crime; yet mother blessed me as the saviour of her son. I hardly did she deserve to be one of that howl. told my wife to receive him as a brother-and ing crew-she whose voice was once so sweet, for my sake to feel towards him a sister's love. her eyes so pure, and her soul so innocentWho shall speak of temptationor frailty—or for up to the hour I parted with her weeping, infatuation to me? Let the fools hold their no evil thought had ever been hers;-then peace. His wounds became dearer to her why, ye eternal Heavens! why fell she from abandoned heart than mine had ever been; that sphere where she shone like a star? Let yet had her cheek lain many a night on the that mystery that shrouds my mind in darkness scars that seamed this breast-for I was not be lightened let me see into its heart-and backward in battle, and our place was in the know but the meaning of her guilt-and then van. I was no coward, that she who loved may I be able to forgive it; but for five years, heroism in him should have dishonoured her day and night, it has troubled and confounded husband. True, he was younger by some me-and from blind and bafiled wrath with an years than memand God had given him per- iniquity that remains like a pitch-black night nicious beauty-and she was young, too-oh! through which I cannot grope my way, no the brightest of all mortal creatures the day refuge can I find--and nothing is left me but she became my bride-nor less bright with to tear my hair out by handfuls--as, like a that baby at her bosom--a matron in girlhood's madman, I have done to curse her by name resplendent spring! Is youth a plea for wicked in the solitary glooms, and to call down upon ness ? And was I old ? I, who in spite of all her the curse of God. O wicked-most wicked! I have suffered, feel the vital blood yet boiling Yet He who judges the hearts of his creatures, as to a furnace; but cut off for ever by her knows that I have a thousand and a thousand crime from fame and glory—and from a soldier times forgiven her, but that a chasm lay bein his proud career, covered with honour in tween us, from which, the moment that I came the eyes of all my countrymen, changed in an to its brink, a voice drove me back-I know hour into an outlawed and nameless slave. not whether of a good or evil spirit and bade My name has been borne by a race of heroes me leave her to her fate. But she must be -the blood in my veins has flowed down a dead—and needs not now my tears. Ofriend! long line of illustrious ancestors--and here judge me not too sternly-from this my conam I now—a hidden, disguised hypocrite-fession; for all my wild words have imperdwelling among peasants--and afraid-ay, fectly expressed to you but parts of my miserafraid, because ashamed, to lift my eyes freely able being-and if I could lay it all before you, from the ground even among the solitudes of you would pity me perhaps as much as conthe mountains, lest some wandering stranger demn--for my worst passions only have now should recognise me, and see the brand of found utterance-all my better feelings will ignominy her hand and his-accursed both-not return nor abide for words—even I myself burnt in upon my brow. She forsook this have forgotten them; but your pitying face bosom-but tell me if it was in disgust with seems to say, that they will be remembered at these my scars ?”
the Throne of Mercy. I forgive her.” And And as he bared it, distractedly, that noble with these words he fell down on his knees, chest was seen indeed disfigured with many a and prayed too for pardon to his own sins. gash--on which a wife might well have rested The old man encouraged him not to despairher head with gratitude not less devout be- it needed but a motion of his hand to bring the cause of a lofty pride mingling with life-deep child from her couch in the cover, and Lucy affection. But the burst of passion was gone was folded to her father's heart. The forgiveby -and, covering his face with his hands, he ness was felt to be holy in that embrace. wept like a child.
The day had brightened up into more perfect “Oh! cruel-cruel was her conduct to me; beauty, and showers were sporting with sunyet what has mine been to her—for so many shine on the blue air of Spring. The sky years! I could not tear her image from my showed something like a rainbow-and the memory-not an hour has it ceased to haunt Lake, in some parts quite still, and in some me; since I came among these mountains, her breezy, contained at once shadowy fragments ghost is for ever at my side. I have striven to of wood and rock, and waves that would have drive it away with curses, but still there is the murmured round the prow of pleasure-boat phantom. Sometimes-beautiful as on our suddenly hoisting a sail. And such a very marriage day-all in purest white-adorned boat appeared round a promontory that stretchwith flowers—it wreathes its arms around my ed no great way into the water, and formed neck—and offers its mouth to my kisses and with a crescent of low meadow-land a bay that then all at once is changed into a leering was the first to feel the wind coming down wretch, retaining a likeness of my bride-then Glencoin. The boatman was rowing heedinto a corpse. And perhaps she is dead— | lessly along, when a sudden squall struck the sail, and in an instant the skiff was upset and “Not thus could I have kissed thy lipswent down. No shrieks were heard--and the Lucy-had they been red with life.' White boatman swam ashore; but a figure was seen are they—and white must they long have been ! struggling where the sail disappeared-and No pollution on them-nor on that poor bosom starting from his knees, he who knew not fear now. Contrite tears had long since washed plunged into the Lake, and after desperate ex- out thy sin. A feeble hand traced these lines ertions brought the drowned creature to the —and in them an humble heart said nothing sidema female meanly attired-seemingly a but God's truth. Child-behold your mother. stranger-and so attenuated that it was plain Art thou afraid to touch the dead?” she must have been in a dying state; and had “No--father-I am not afraid to kiss her she not thus perished, would have had but few lips—as you did now. Sometimes, when you days to live. The hair was gray--but the face thought me asleep, I have heard you praying though withered was not old-and, as she lay for my mother." on the greensward, the features were beautiful Oh! child ! cease-cease-or my heart as well as calm in the sunshine.
will burst." He stood over her awhile-as if struck mo- People began to gather about the body—but tionless-and then kneeling beside the body, awe kept them aloof; and as for removing it tissed its lips and eyes and said only, “ It is to a house, none who saw it but knew such Lucy!"
care would have been vain, for doubt there The old man was close by—and so was that could be none that there lay death. So the child. They too knelt-and the passion of the groups remained for a while at a distancemourner held him dumb, with his face close to even the old pastor went a good many paces the face of death--ghastly its glare beside the apart; and under the shadow of that tree the sleep that knows no waking, and is forsaken father and child composed her limbs, and by all dreams. He opened the bosom-wasted closed her eyes, and continued to sit beside to the bone-in the idle thought that she might her, as still as if they had been watching over yet breathe-and a paper dropt out into his one asleep. hand, which he read aloud to himself-uncon- That death was seen by all to be a strange scious that any one was near. “I am fast calamity to him who had lived long among dying—and desire to die at your feet. Per-them—had adopted many of their customshaps you will spurn me—it is right you should; and was even as one of themselves-so it but you will see how sorrow has killed the seemed in the familiar intercourse of man wicked wretch who was once your wife. I with man. Some dim notion that this was the have lived in humble servitude for five years, dead body of his wife was entertained by many, and have suffered great hardships. I think I they knew not why; and their clergyman felt am a penitent--and have been told by reli- that then there needed to be neither conceal. gious persons that I may hope for pardon from ment nor åvowal of the truth. So in solemn Heaven. Oh! that you would forgive me too! sympathy they approached the body and its and let me have one look at our Lucy. I will watchers; a bier had been prepared: and linger about the Field of Flowers--perhaps walking at the head, as if it had been a funeral, you will come there, and see me lie down and the Father of little Lucy, holding her hand, die on the very spot where we passed a sum- silently directed the procession towards his mer day the week of our marriage."
own house-out of the FIELD OF FLOWERS.
Have you any intention, dear reader, of build-governess her retreat and the tutor his dening a house in the country? If you have, pray, the housekeeper sits like an overgrown spider for your own sake and ours, let it not be a in her own sanctum--the butler bargains for Cottage. We presume that you are obliged his dim apartment-and the four maids must to live, one-half of the year at least, in a town. have their front-area window. In short, from Then why change altogether the character of cellarage to garret, all is complete, and Numyour domicile and your establishment? You ber Forty-two is really a splendid mansion. are an inhabitant of Edinburgh, and have a Now, dear reader, far be it from us to queshouse in the Circus, or Heriot Row, or Aber- tion the propriety or prudence of such an escromby Place, or Queen Street. The said tablishment. Your house was not built for house has five or six stories, and is such a nothing—it was no easy thing to get the paintpalace as one might expect in the City of Pa- ers out—the furnishing thereof was no trifle laces. Your drawing-rooms can, at a pinch, the feu-duty is really unreasonable—and taxes hold some ten score of modern Athenians--are taxes still, notwithstanding the principles your dining-room might feast one-half of the of free trade, and the universal prosperity of contributors to Blackwood's Magazine-your the country. Servants are wasteful, and their “placens uxor" has her boudoir-your eldest wages absurd—and the whole style of living, daughter, now verging on womanhood, her with long-necked bottles, most extravagant. music-room--your boys their own studio--the But still we do not object to your establishe