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Gen. Harrington was gracefully out of sorts, as your thousand times during his boyish life; “ I wonder what polished man of the world sometimes proves when his she'll think of it, so coarse and rude to present myself circle of admirers is a household one. The absence of in this fashion after her first sweet sleep. Dear, dear his wife was an annoyance which, under the circum- Lina." stances, he could not well resent, but that Lina should He reached forth his hand timidly, and with a pleashave been so indolent, or so forgetful, he considered a ant tremble in all the nerves, drew it back, attempted just cause of complaint. Thus in that smooth, ironical again, and ended with one of the faintest possible taps way, which usually expressed the General's anger, he against the black walnut panelling. began a series of complaints, that in another might No answer came. The knock was repeated, louder have been considered grumbling, but in a man of and louder, still no answer came. But at last the door Gen. Harrington's perfect breeding, could have been was suddenly opened, and while Ralph stood in breathonly an expression of elegant displeasure.
less expectation, he saw a mulatto chambermaid before Ralph, radiant with his new-born happiness, and full him, beating a pillow with one hand, from which two of generous enthusiasm, strove to dissipate this gloom or three feathers had broken loose, and stood quivering by extra cheerfulness; but this only irritated the grand in her braided wool. old gentleman, who stirred the cream in his coffee, and “Oh, it's you, is it, Master Ralph ? Thought, mebbe, buttered his delicate French rolls in dignified silence, to it was Miss Lina a-coming back agin. Everything sites which his displeasure had at last subsided.
and sevens, I can tell you, since Miss Mabel took sickJames Harrington, unlike his irritable father, or the now I tell you." bright animation of his brother, was so rapt in heavy “Can you tell me where Miss Lina is?" thought that he seemed unmindful of all that was “Don't know nothin' 'bout her, no how-cum in here going on. He had cast one quick, almost wild glance at a little while ago, and didn't speak a word when I said the head of the table as he entered, and after that took 'Good mornin',' as pleasant as could be but jist turned his seat like one in a dream.
her head away and went off, as if I'd been the dirt un“Let me,” said Ralph, taking the second cup from der her feet.” the servant, and carrying it to the General, “let me With these words the exasperated damsel punched help you, father."
her right hand ferociously into the pillow, as if that “My boy," said the General, “ when will you learn had been in fault, and added half a dozen more feathers to comprehend the refined taste which I fear you will to those already encamped in her dingy tresses, never emulate? You ought to know, sir, that a break- Ralph was troubled. What could this mean? Lins fast without a lady is an unnatural thing in society, was never ill-tempered. Something must have grieved calculated to disturb the composuro and injure the her. digestion of any gentleman. As Mrs. Harrington is not | “Tell me,” he said, addressing the indignant girl, able to preside, will you have the goodness to inform “ was anything the matter? Did my—did Miss Lina Miss Lina that her seat is empty ?"
look ill ?” "I–I don't know where Lina is, father. Indeed, I “Just as blooming as a rose, de fust time I see her, have been searching and searching for her all the and as white as this pillar when she went out, after I'd morning," answered the youth with a vivid blush. expressed myself regarding the ridickelousness of her
“Go knock at her door. She may be ill," answered stuck up ways." the General, “and, in the meantin e, inquire after “But where is she now ?” Mrs. Harrington, with my compliments."
“Don't know. Shouldn't wonder if she's wid de Ralph grew crimson to the temples. A hundred madam-like as not.” times before, he had summoned Lina from her slumbers, Ralph went to his mother's boudoir, and after knockbut now it seemed like presumption.
ing in vain, softly opened the door. Fair-Star came toIt was strange, but James Harrington had not inquired wards him with his serious eyes and velvet tread, looking after either of the ladies ; but he looked up with an back toward the inner room, where Ralph saw his eager flash of the eyes when the General gave his mother through the lace curtains, asleep and alone. He message; and, as Ralph hesitated, he said in a grave saw also the shrubs in motion at the window, and voice
fancied that a rustling sound came from the balcony. " What are you waiting for, Ralph ? There is some “Hist, Lina-sweet Lina, it is I !" thing strange in Lina's absence."
Before he reached the balcony, all was still there, but “Is there? Do you think so ?” exclaimed the excit- certainly the sound of a closing door had reached him, able boy, and the crimson came and went in flashes and the plants at one end of the balcony were vibrating over his face. “Oh, brother James, do you think so?"
“Ah, she is teasing me,” thought the boy, and his The General set down his cup, and began tinkling the heart rose with the playful thought. “We'll see if Lady spoon against its side, softly, but in a way which be- Lina escapes in this way." spoke a world of impatience. Ralph understood the He opened a door leading from the balcony, and ensignal, and disappeared.
tered a room that had once been occupied by General "Upon my word, I'd rather be shot,” thought Ralph, Harrington's first wife. It was a small chamber, rich pausing before the door he had knocked at heedlessly a l in old-fashioned decorations, and gloomy with disuse. The shutters were all closed, and curtains of heavy silk | quiet craft, which no one remarked; but there was desdarkened the windows entirely. Still Ralph could see tiny in it. a high post bedstead and the outlines of other objects Altogether the breakfast was a gloomy meal. Thore equally ponderous. Beyond this, he saw a female was discord in every heart, and a foreshadowing of troufigure, evidently attempting to hide itself behind the ble which no one dared to speak about. For some bed drapery.
time after his father had left the table, Ralph sat moodRalph sprang forward with his hands extended. ily thinking of Lina's changed manner. A revulsion
“Ah, ha, my lady-bird, with all this fluttering I have came over him as he thought of his singular encounter found you !"
with her that morning, and with the quick anger of There was a quick rush behind the drapery, which youth, he allowed her to rise from the table and leave shook and swayed, till the dust fell from it in showers. the room without a smile or a word. Again Ralph laughed, " Ah, lapwing, struggle away, I James saw nothing that was passing. Self-centred have you safe.”
and thoughtful, he was scarcely conscious of their He seized an armful of the damask drapery as he presence. spoke, and felt a slight form struggling and trembling Lina sought Mrs. Harrington's chamber, but found it in his embrace. Instinctively his arms relaxed their perfectly quiet, and the lady asleep. Then she took a hold, and with something akin to terror, he whisper- straw flat from the hall, and flinging a mantilla about her, ed :
went out into the grounds, ready to weep any where, if “ Why, Lina darling, what is this? I thought that she could but be alone. we loved each other. You did not tremble so, when I Ralph saw her pass, from the breakfast-room window, held you in my arms yesterday !"
| and his heart smote him. What had she done, poor, A smothered cry, as of acute pain, broke from be- dear girl, to warrant his present feelings? What evil neath the drapery, and then, while Ralph stood lost in spirit possessed him to think ill of her, so pure, so truly surprise, the curtains fell rustling together, and the faint good, as she was? sound of a door cautiously closed, admon ished him that Ralph took his hat and followed Lina through the he was alone.
grounds, up to a hollow in the hills, where a great “Lina, dear Lina,” he called, reluctant to believe that white pine tree sheltered a spring that sparkled out from she had left him so abruptly.
its roots, like a gush of diamonds. It was a heavy day, There was no answer, not even a rustle of the not without flashes of sunshine, but sombre heaps of damask.
clouds drifted to and fro across the sky, and the wet He was alone. When satisfied of this, the young earth was literally carpeted with leaves beaten from inan found his way to the light again. But for the ter- their branches by the storm. Amid all these dead ror and evident recoil of the person who had evaded leaves, and within the gloomy shadow of the pine, Lina him, he would have considered the whole adventure a sat alone weeping. She heard Ralph's tread upon the capital joke, in which he had been famously baffled; wet foliage, and arose as if to flee him, for with all her but there was something too earnest in that struggle gentleness, Lina was proud, and his presence made her and cry for trilling, and the remembrance left him ashamed of the tears that her little hand had no power with a heart-ache.
to dash entirely away. When Ralph came back to the breakfast-table, he “Lina,” said Ralph, holding out his hand, rejoiced found Lina seated in his mother's place. A faint color by her tears, for he longed to think that she was offendcame into her cheek as she saw him, but otherwise she ed by his rudeness in the dusky room, “Lina, forgive was calm and thoughtful. Nay, there was a shade of me. I was a brute to wound you with my rough sorrow upon her face, but nothing of the flush and tu-ways." mult that would naturally have followed the encounter Lina turned away and sobbed. “It was not that, from which she was so fresh.
Ralph. You were only silent, not rude. But I have Spite of himself, Ralph was shocked. The delicacy seen your mother this morning. Oh, Ralph, she will of a first passion had been a little outraged by the never consent to it—we must give each other up." rude way in which he and Lina had just met, and “What did she say? Tell me, Lina, tell me !" cried struggled together, but her composure wounded him Ralph, full of emotion. still more deeply. “ So young, so innocent, and so “She said nothing, Ralph, but her face—for å modeceptive," he thought, looking at her almost angrily, ment it was terrible. Then she fainted !" “I would not have believed it.”
"Fainted, Lina!-my mother ?" Lina was all unconscious. Full of her own sorrow- "I thought her dead, she looked so cold and white. ful perplexities, she experienced none of the bashful Oh, Ralph, if my words had killed her, what would tremors that had troubled her in anticipation. That have become of us?" interview in Mrs. Harrington's room had chilled all the “Lina, you astonish me. My mother is not a woman joy of her young love. Thus she sat, pale and cold, to faint from displeasure. It is the effect of her acciunder the reproachful glances of her lover.
dent. You should not have spoken to her now !" And General Harrington sat watching them with “I could not help it. Indeed, I was so happy, his keen, worldly glances. A smile crept over his and it seemed right and natural to tell her first of all." lips as he read those young hearts, & smile of cool “But, what did you tell her, darling ?"
Lina looked up, and regarded him gratefully through | Lina was chilled by these winds, and drew her shawl her tears.
| closely, with a shivering consciousness of the change. “I don't know-something that displeased her—that The young man's ardent hope had no power to reassure almost killed her, I'm afraid."
her. The subtle intuition of her nature could not be “Don't cry, don't, Lina—it will all come out right.” reasoned with. Sad and disheartened, she followed
“No, no—I feel it, I know it-we must give each Ralph slowly homeward. other up. The very first hint almost killed her, and no A few hours after the scene we have described, the wonder. I did not think of it before—so much kind-governess was half-way up the hill, on which the ness made me forget. But what am I? Who am I, to house of her mother or nurse stood. She had walked dare equal myself with her son ?”
all the way from General Harrington's dwelling, and " What are you, Lina !” said Ralph, and his fine face her person bore marks of a rough passage across the glowed with generous feelings. “What are you! An hills. Her gaiter boots were saturated with wet, and angel! the dearest, best !”.
soiled with reddish clay. Burdock burs and brambles Lina could not help being pleased with this enthu- clung to the skirt of her merino dress, which exhibited siasm, but she cut it short, placing her hand upon his one or two serious rents. Her shawl had been torn off mouth.
by a thicket of wild roses, and she carried it thrown “It is kind of you to say this, but the facts--oh! | across her arm, too much heated by walking to require these facts—are stubborn things. What am I but it, though the day was cold. a poor little girl, who wandered from, no one can say On her way up the hill, she paused, and flinging where, into your house, a miserable waif, drifted by her shawl on the ground, sat down. Opening the chance upon the charity of your parents? I have no vellum-bound book, she read a few sentences in it, antecedents beyond their kindness—no name, save with a greedy desire to know the most important porthat which they gave me-no past, no future. Is it tion of its contents, before resigning it into hands that for me to receive affection from their son—to climb might hereafter deprive her of all knowledge regarding ambitiously to the topmost branches of the rooftree that them. But the winds shook and rustled the pages sheltered my happiness and iny poverty ?”.
about, till she was obliged to desist, and at last And this was the girl he had dared to think coarse made her way up the hill in a flushed and excited and forward in not blushing at the liberties he had state, leaving her shawl behind. taken. This fair, noble girl, who, with all her delicacy, l The moment she rose to a level with the houses, could utter such true, proud thoughts. For the moment, the door opened, and the woman whom she claimed as Ralph would have dropped on his knees, and asked her a slave nurse, came forth advancing towards Agnes pardon in the dust. But, beware, young man-he that with almost ferocious eagerness. She called out: doubts a beloved object once, will doubt again. When “Back again so soon! Then there is news.” you could, even in passing thought, judge that young “Look here," answered Agnes, holding up the volcreature wrongfully, it was a break in the chain of con- ume, from which the jewelled heart still dangled, cleft fidence that should bind true hearts together. Ralph! in twain as it was. “In less than an hour after enterRalph! a jewel is lost from the chain of your young ing the house I had it safe. Isn't that quick work ?" life, and once rent asunder, many a diamond bead will “Give it to me-give it to me. You are a good girl, drop away from that torn link.
Agnes, a noble girl, worth a hundred of your lily“ Believe me," said the youth, burning with en-faced white folks. Give me the book, honey—do you thusiastic admiration of the young creature before I hear ?" him. “These proud words slander the noblest heart But Agnes, who had again opened the volume, held that ever beat in a woman's bosom. My mother loves it back. you for yourself. All the better that God sent you to “Not yet, mother-I have only read a little-don't her unsought, as he does the wild flowers. Lina, the be too eager-I have a right to know all that is in pride which reddens your cheek, would be abashed in it!" her presence."
T“Give me that book. Her secrets belong to me" It is not pride, Ralph, but shame that such thoughts only to me. Hand over the book, I say !" should never have presented themselves before. I have “But I wish to read it myself—who has a better dreamed all my life; up to this morning, I was a child. right?" Now, a single hour has surrounded me with realities. The dark eyes of the slave flashed fire, and her hands The whole universe seems changed since yesterday.” quivered like the wings of a bird when its prey is in
Lina looked drearily around as she spoke. The hill- | sight. She clutched fiercely at the book, hissing ont sides were indeed changed. The boughs, twelve hours | her impatience like a serpent. before, so luxuriously gorgeous, were half denuded "Take it !” exclaimed Agnes fiercely, but don't expect of their foliage. The over-ripe leaves were dropping me to steal for you again." everywhere through the damp atmosphere. A gush of “Hist!" answered the woman, crushing the book wind shook them in heavy clouds to the earth. All under her arm; "here comes one of the Harringtons the late wild flowers were beaten down and half- on horseback, Clear that face and be ready to meet uprooted. Nature seemed merely a waste of luxurious him, while I go in and bide Mabel Harrington's beauty thrown into gloomy confusion, among which the soul" -high winds tore and rioted.
(To be continued.)
A ROMANCE OF YOUTH.
OAKENDEN was the ideal of an English village. The low; and there her heart-contracted by the littleness old church, with its square tower covered with ivy, and and prejudice and unkindness of man-learned peace its avenue of limes up to the west porch; the village- in the greatness of creation, and in the love of the green, where bowls and cricket went on in the summer Creator. But this mode of life was so unusual that, evenings; the national school, with its rustic porch added to her peculiar appearance and unknown history, hidden in jessamine and clematis, as befitteth an ortho- it made her name become in time a name of dread to dox English village school; the low, one-storied par- the peasant, and she herself a person of doubtful fame sonage, buried in the white petals of the Ayrshire rose, to the educated of Oakenden. The common people till it looked like a mass of snow in the green summer thought, to be sure, she was a witch; and picked up days; the trim cottages, with gardens full of flowers horseshoes, laid straws, and said her prayers with equal and aromatic herbs; the stately Hall, with its grand diligence; and the gentry shook their heads, and though old park stretching round for miles, till it met the pro- they did not affirm, yet they were afraid there was no perty of young Mr. Rollestone, the squire of Oakenden good in her. However, be she what she might, it was West; were all so many typical features of an English certain that Oakenden morality held its eyes wide open village of the midland counties, the like of which no to her, and that Maud made not a single step which was other land upon earth contains.
not watched, commented on, and, alas! condemned. The moral elements of Oakenden were no less char-So by degrees she had become a lonely, strange, susacteristic than its physical: its society was as national pected woman, without a friend to bear her company as its architecture. First in dignity, in popularity, and through this long wilderness of life, without a smile in wealth, was Squire Gray of the Hall, his wife, his between her and despair. Even kind Mrs. Fortescue, son, and daughter; then came the vicar, Dr. Mathison, who still continued her cottage visitings, and charities, a fellow of Magdalene, and an old bachelor; then in as in the days of her legal pastorship, would not visit the large white house, without garden or field, at the Maud of the Hollow " she had daughters," she said ; entrance of the village, with urns and statues on its and Paul himself had become so far infected with the one small terrace, and elaborate iron gates opening into popular superstition, stranger and artist as he was, as to its narrow gravel-walk, was the Hon. Mr. Domville and overlook all the rare mental beauty in the girl, blinded his handsome London wife; then quiet, gentle, lady- by the cruel shadow the world threw over her. Horace like Mrs. Fortescue, and her four daughters in waning | Gray never met her but to miscall her, and Eva-the womanhood, in the pretty cottage on the road to Oak-tall, beautiful, queenly Eva-joined her brother in his enden West, with a conservatory and a shrubbery, and sarcasms; and added to them too. So that of all the a large meadow all attached; and last of all, young human hearts beating beneath the blue sky of OakenPaul Desprez, the artist, who had been in Oakenden for den, none beat kindly for the poor gipsy Maud. And about six months now, and who was popularly believed when Maud's soul was dark, as she thought of the to be the greatest painter of the day, and whose health heavy sorrows so ruthlessly wrought her by superstition used to be drunk at the little supper-parties after loo and prejudice, she used to go out into the broad home and commerce, as the “talented young stranger whose of nature, and forget them there; doing her best, too, sojourn amongst them was to make Oakenden famous.” to love those who hated her, to forgive, pity, and to
But thoroughly English as Oakenden was, and small, pray for them; for underneath all her wild exterior, lay conventional, sifted, and precise as was its society, it as true a woman's nature as ever received sorrow, and held one most unusual, most unconventional, most un- gave out blessing; and if it was a nature misunderstood English inhabitant-the gipsy-girl living in the little and slandered, it was so only because of its superiority cottage down the sandy lane-Maud of the Hollow, as to those around her; being stronger in its feelings and she was called. Maud was no vulgar gipsy-no wander- deeper in its thoughts than others. And without being ing fortune-teller, obnoxious to the stocks; but merely vain or self-deceptive, Maud could not help acknowa solitary young woman, with some kind of small inde- ledging this to herself; and so she blessed with one pendence for her support. Her manner was good—even breath the gift whose consequences she deplored with lady-like; and perhaps she would have passed without the other. much question, but for the oddity she betrayed in her One afternoon the clatter of horses' hoofs startled choice of an abode, and her uncivilized mode of living. her from under the bushes where she had been hidden Her ways and habits were so strange, no wonder she almost the whole day, watching her favorite insect was made an object of suspicion and of dread. She world in some of its mysterious economy, and spying used to spend days and nights together in the depths out a secret of transformation she had long wished to of woods, and out in the meadows by moonlight, on know. It was a secret by which she hoped to get the heaths and by morasses, ponds and rivers, plucking clue to a wide range of entomological arcana which had herbs, and chasing insects, and learning many a secret long baffled her. Curiosity, at all times a prominent hidden from the rest of the world. Wherever there feature in Maud's character, roused her up to see who were solitude and nature, there was Maud of the Hol- it was that ventured down her lane; and running