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GENERAL HARRINGTON was alone in his library. His deal disturbed, and his hair disordered, as if he had hat and cloak lay in a heap on a sofa near the door, an threaded it more than once with the white fingers that indication of unwonted perturbation, for with him, a now clasped the open covers of Mabel's Journal which inisplaced article was a proof of excitement which he he was eagerly reading. was always ready to condemn. His dress was a good It was almost painful to see the excitement under
Entered according to Act of Congreso, in the year 1866, by Ans S. STEPHENO, in the Clerk'. Ofice of the Distriet Court of the U.S., for the Southern District al Now York.
which that old man labored. The book trembled in “So, I am to start at once, now that my education is his
grasp, his lips clung more and more firmly together, completed—completed; I like the term—as if educahis blue eyes shone vividly from under his bent brows, tion were not always progressive, rounded off by death yet from beneath all, there stole out gleam of tri- only. Well, at least, I am grateful to leave this tireumph, as if he were weaving some crafty web of under- some routine of lessons, and yet there is something of thought out from the angry tumult with which his soul mournfulness in this abrnpt entrance into life. labored. There was no sorrow in his look, no feeling “I have just opened the window, and would gladly of sadness or regret for the greatest loss man ever ex- look forth upon the morning. But this screen of perienced, that of a good woman's love. With him Cherokee roses hangs before me like a curtain, shedding vanity was the grand passion. Touch that and he be- fragrance from every fold. In parting its clusters with came sensitive as a boy of fifteen. In all things else my hands, tenderly-for to my fancy, flowers are sensihe was invulnerable.
tive and recoil from a rude touch—the dew that has And yet Mabel's Journal might have touched deeper been all night asleep in their heart, bathes my hands feelings than her husband was capable of knowing. with its sweet rain, and through the opening comes : Another man would have been roused to compassion by gush of odor from the great magnolia that reaches out the fragments of thought, sometimes artless, sometimes its boughs so near my window, that I could lean forth passionate, that seemed to have dropped fresh from her and shake the drops from those snowy chalices, as they heart upon the pages he was reading.
gleam and tremble in the bright air. He opened the vellum book at the beginning, for "What a beautiful world is this. The very breath one with all his impatience, the methodical habits of his draws leaves a delicious languor behind it, a languor life prevailed even then, and at first, there was little to that falls upon the senses and gives back to the whole excite more than a strong curiosity. But as he read being a dreamy quietude that makes the mere effort of on, the perturbation we have described in his counte-existence an exquisite enjoyment. And yet there is a nance, became evident. He turned over the leaves vio- feeling of strange loneliness in it all. It is pleasant to lently, glancing here and there, as if eager to devour be happy, but oh! how more than pleasant to have his mortification at a single dash. The cleft heart, some one near, to whom all these charming sensations whose breaking had given him access to poor Mabel's can be expressed. I think one is never quite content secrets, struck against his hand as he closed the book, alone, but then who ever is really content? and opened it again at random. He tore the pretty “How exquisitely pure every thing seems; my little trinket away, and dashed it into the grate, and a curse chamber here, with its delicate matting and snowy broke from his shut teeth, as he saw it fall glowing draperies, looks like the nest of a ring-dove, it is so among the hot embers. Then he turned back to the white and quiet, and the sweet visions which visit me beginning, and began to read more deliberately, allow- here are melodious as the warbling of the young bird, ing his anger to cool and harden, like lava, above his when the early morning wakens it, as the dawn has just smouldering wrath.
aroused me, into a new love for its own song. Thus it was that Mabel commenced her journal.
“I have been now for three days beneath my gaar
dian's roof. Dear Neathcote, I love it already for its “A letter from my guardian. This is indeed an singular beauty! I shall never forget the strange feelevent. A year ago he wrote me a long letter of advice, ings which crowded my bosom; as the carriage passed touching my studies, and giving a world of counsel through the park gates and rolled slowly up the broad regarding my deportment. That cold, half-dictatorial, avenue. I threw open the window and leaned out with half-fatherly letter, seemed forced from his heart by a the eagerness of a child to catch a sight of my new sense of duty. This is brief, elegant and kind. He is home, then, as a sudden turn in the road brought the satisfied with my progress at school, and hears with front of the mansion in full view, shrunk into my seat pleasure, of the improvement in my person—this means, again, trembling from a vague fear, which had as much probably, that I am not near so plain as he fancied ine. of joy as pain in it. They tell him I have a sort of fire and animation of “I grew fairly dizzy and faint with excitement, as the countenance, more effective than perfection of out- the carriage paused before the entrance, and I saw my line could render me. I wonder if this be true—of guardian waiting on the steps to greet me, standing up course it is impossible to judge of one's self in a pro- so stately and proud, with his wife by his side, her perty which depends so much apon the feelings. There sweet face lit up with a sort of friendly curiosity, to see is no animation in a hurried or tedious toilet, and the what her unknown visitor would be like. beauty he speaks of is never given back by the mirror. “ It was not embarrassment that I felt, it was a deep, To my vision, now, this is a rather dull and uninterest- strange emotion for which I could not account. It ing face. I wonder if it ever does light up into any seemed almost that in crossing that threshold I was to thing like beauty. Some one must have said this to my bid an eternal farowell to the repose of my past life. guardian. Could it have been the young heir of Neath- Like a flash of lightning those thoughts swept in s coto? He did not seem to look at me at all, when he tumult through my breast as I descended from the car. called at the school and I was frightened to death by his riage, and went up the steps to meet my guardian and great, earnest eyes; if my guardian proves half as im- his wife, when they came forward to welcome me. posing, I shall be afraid to look up in his presence. “I shall always love to look back upon that arrival!
Every thing was so homelike and comfortable, in spite i paper, doomed, perhaps, frail as it is, to outlive me, of the magnificence which reigned around! My guar- thoughts that even yet are so intangible, that, like the dian's rather cold face brightened into a smile that butterflies that I used to run after when a child, they rendered him really handsome, and his wife greeted me are constantly eluding iny grasp, and as constantly as if I had been indeed her child, returning home after | brightening all the atinosphere around me. Is it possia long absence. Then I caught sight of a woman's face ble that so many weeks have gone by since he came at the window—a servant evidently, yet there was a home? It seems like a prolonged sunset, when the singular gleam in her great black eyes, as she raised summer is in prime, and one trembles to see a single tint them boldly to my face, which almost terrified me. fade from the sky, or a single flower overshadowed, lest it Neither my guardian nor Mrs. Harrington appeared to should depart forever. Can it be this heavenly atmosphere see her, but I wondered how she ventured to thrust which imparts to the whole being a languor so delightherself forward in that manner, on the arrival of a ful, mingled with that sweet unrest which only wakes stranger.
yon to a keener relish of existence? I have been strivIt was she who followed me to my chamber, when ing to interrogate my own heart, and ask many Mrs. Harrington conducted me there, and yet she questions which it cannot answer, because the whole offered no assistance, until her mistress bade her attend world here is so new and strange, that it is impossible to iny toilet; she obeyed, searching my face all the while to discriminate the luxurious sweetness of material life from under her black eyelashes. Yet her singularity from those quieter impulses that I have known was probably an exaggeration of my own fancy, for she hitherto. seems quiet and well-behaved, though a little sullen. I “I remember the delight with which I first looked am glad, though, she is not to be my attendant, for out upon this beautiful scene, but with all the novelty there is certainly an evil look in her eyes, whenever and perfect freedom of a heart ready to enjoy the beaushe regards me, and I could never feel quite com- tiful, I never before felt enjoyment so intense. I come fortable at night if I knew that she were any where to my room at night and lie down to rest, jealous of the
sleep that swallows up so many hours of happiness. I " The girl had just left my rooms after arranging the am fond of dreaming no longer, for visions that the toilet, which was already in order, as if for an excuse angels send are no compensation for the lost thoughts for the intrusion. She cannot be a slave, for though a that sleep steals from me. little dark, I can trace nothing of the African blood in “I sat down with a determination to write of events, her face; there is a glossy ripple in the blackness of her and as ever dwell only upon feelings. After all, what hair, but that is a beauty which any woman might has happened? Another member has been added to envy. No, no, she cannot be a slave. Her singular the family circle, that is all, and yet, what a change his style of beauty forbids the thought; besides, she is not coming has made. His presence seems to pervade the an uneducated person, and there is a certain subtle whole house. The servants look more cheerfully when grace in her movements that I cannot resist admiring, he speaks to thein. His mother brightens up, and and yet loathe. This is strange. Why is the girl so throws off her languor as she hears his tread upon the constantly in my thoughts! Yesterday I spoke to Mrs. veranda. Even the General's courtly politeness is Harrington about her, for my cnriosity became irresist- toned down into something like affection, and all his ible. She is a slave, a new purchase of Col. Harring- artificial stateliness takes its natural level, when conton's, and the personal servant of his wife. Mrs. Har- trasted by the simple dignity of this young man's rington smiled in her usual contented way, and gently nature. Indeed, until James Harrington carne, I had complained of the girl's uselessness and studied inat- no idea how superficial and untrue was the character tention, but she seems unused to opposition of any kind, of my guardian. But now, with the pure gold of and languidly allows even her servants to control her this fine heart as a test, I can more clearly see the wishes. This fiery slave-for, with all her stillness, she entire selfishness which lies under his elaborate manis fiery-overpowers the gentle nature of her mistress, ners. and really seems to drink up her strength with the “James will be here to-day,' he said one morning, glances of those great black eyes.
while we all lingered around the breakfast table, “ How indifferent proud men sometimes are to the and his company, I trust, will render your new home beauty of their inferiors! now, this girl is constantly more pleasant than we have been able to make it.' charming even my half-repulsed admiration by her rare "He will be like an elder brother to you,' said Mrs. loveliness, yet I have scarcely seen General Harrington Harrington, smoothing the lace ruffles over her fair turn his eyes upon her face during the whole time that arm, and turning her soft eyes upon me with a look I have been in his house, but then, his devotion to Mrs. of gentle affection, and you—oh, he cannot help liking Harrington is so perfect, he evidently has no eyes for you.' any one else.
Why did the blood rush into my face so hotly? * How long is it since I opened my journal ? Three Why did the lashes droop over my eyes, and the tears months, I really believe, and not a word of record. spring up beneath them? Was it that I am so comEven now, when the world becomes more real, I feel pletely an orphan, that this loving hint of brotherly like one aroused very softly from dreaming among the companionship made me more lonely than harshness angels. How would I write and see emblazoned upon could have done? I cannot tell; but at this word
• brother '—utterly strange to my life hitherto—my “Will I go? Surely one of those lotus flowers never Leart inade a sudden recoil, and I could scarcely keep thrilled a more grateful response to the wave that sways from weeping outright. General Harrington lifted his it, than my heart gives back to his wish—will I go? eyes to mine, with evident surprise, while the little Those sleeping buds will not answer the sunbeams that white hand of his wife crept into my lap, and softly kiss them into another day of bloom, more gladly than pressed mine. That moment a horse dashed up to the I take the happiness he offers. I have been restless and door, and young Harrington came into the breakfast- sad all night, and my heart leaps to this new prospect room; his fine eyes full of eager affection; his cheeks in of pleasure, as a bird flutters forth from the shadowy a glow, and with the inost beautiful smile I ever saw on leaves where it has spent the dark hours. mortal lips breaking over his mouth.
“ The lotus pond was like a fairy lake, wlieu we Mother, mother!' he said, coming toward Mrs. Har- reached it; the banks were festooned and garlanded rington, with both hands extended. I rose at mid- with wild vines, prairie roses, and yellow jessamines, night, and have ridden fast ever since, in order to sur- overrunning whole hedgerows of swamp magnolias, prise you at the breakfast-table.'
whose blended odor floated like a mist over the waters. “Mrs. Harrington started up; a faint flush stole over Here and there an oak, with long, boary moss bearding her face, and for once her eyes sparkled gladly before its limbs, lifted whole masses pf this entangled foliage they filled with pleasant tears. This arrival was, | into the air, and flung it back again in a thousand garindeed, a surprise to her.
lands and blooming streamers, that rippled dreamily in · As he was about to release her hands from his the waters of the lake. As we came up, an oriole had casp, she drew him towards me, and said pleasantly : lighted on one of these pendant branches, and poured
66 This is Mabel Crawford—the General's ward.' a flood of song over us as we passed down to the boat,
“ He took my hand, and an expression of surprise which lay in a pretty cove ready to receive us. or interest rose to his face as he felt my poor fingers " An old negro sat in the boat, lazily waiting our quiver in his; while my face was burning with a approach, with his face bowed upon his brawny bosom, consciousness of feelings more tumultuous by far, than and the sun striking through the branches upon a head the occasion could warrant. He held my hand a that seemed covered with crisp frost, age had so commoment longer than was necessary to a cordial wel- pletely whitened his hair. A word from the young come, and, for an instant, seemed to wonder at my per- master roused the slumbering old man; and, with turbation; then his features relaxed into the most kindly a broad grin of delight, he proceeded to arrange the expression I ever saw, and some words of welcome fell crimson cushions, and trim his snowy sails, making upon my ears, but to this hour I cannot recollect what haste to put forth on our cruise along the shore, which they were; the sound entered my heart, and that was was starred with opening lotus blossoms, and green enough.
with their long, floating leaves. “General Harrington seemed to watch us closely, for " It made my heart thrill with a sort of pain, as ons I saw a smile creep over his face, as if my awkwardness boat ploughed through this exquisite sheet of blossoms rather amused him; while his lady stood by, regarding -for, as I have said before, it bas always seemed to me us with her soft; brown eyes, which were beaming with like uprooting a tender thought when a flower is tor: a thousand affectionate welcomes.
from its stem. I said something like this, as Harring“I think it was from that moment this strange hap-ton laid a handful of the open flowers in my lap. piness of heart commenced, which has made Neathcote He looked at me steadily for a moment—muttered that seem so much like a pleasant corner of paradise to me. it was a strange fancy--but plucked no more waterI never knew what companionship was before. If lilies that day. After a time, when the old man, thinkI wish to read, he seems ever to have the book upper-ing to please us, commenced to tear them up by the most in his mind that meets my own thought. If I am roots, Harrington rebuked him for his roughness, and restless—and this mood grows upon me of late-he is bade him trim the boat for a sail across the lake. ready to gallop by my side down to the quarters where "I wonder why it is, that, when we feel deepest, I am never weary of watching the queer little negroes a disposition to silence always holds the senses in at their play, or through the magnolia groves that thralldom. I did not speak half a dozen words, as envelope us with a cloud of perfume as we sweep our boat sped like a bird across the lake; and yet beneath their branches. In fact, I have not a wish from my heart was full of happiness, for Harrington had his morning to night, which Harrington does not either dark eyes fixed with a sort of dreamy earnestness on my share or anticipate; no brother could be more kind; face all the time. A consciousness so strange, and and yet it gives me a strange pang to feel that all almost delirious, seized upon me, that I could neither this
look up nor speak, but bowed my head over the blossoms I left off with a half-finished sentence. Mrs. Har- in my lap, whispering to them what had never been rington's maid broke in upon me at the moinent with a uttered in words, and never, perhaps, may be. message from the young master, as she calls him. In a While we sat thus in mute happiness, with nothing hollow among the hills he has found a pond of water- but the ripple of the boat to break the exquisite joy of lilies, and I must hasten to see them unfold their snowy our silence, the oriole began to sing again, and his mate hearts to the morning sun, after sleeping all night answered back the song from across the lake. I looked upon the lake.
up, and met his eyes bent upon me: a flush came to his
forehead, and I felt the warm blood burning over | land. I could not understand Mrs. Harrington's burst my cheeks and forehead. His lips parted, and for one of grief, so unlike her usual quiet demeanor. She has instant he took my hand, but only to drop it among the not seemed much in favor of this voyage, although she cold water-lilies again, as if some distressing thought made no opposition when certain how greatly her hushad aroused him to painful consciousness. Why was band desired to go. There has been a strange unrest this? how came it that he relinquished my hand about her for days, that I could not comprehend, but so abruptly? Was he shocked with my upward glances from a few words she unthinkingly uttered this morn-did he think my recognition of his thoughts un- ing, I imagine her to be haunted by one of those mormaidenly?
bid fancies, which at times seize upon the strongest " The orioles ceased to sing just then, and a sudden mind, in the eve of a long journey—the idea that she cloud came sweeping over us, which broke upon the will never again behold the land she is leaving behind. pond in a sudden squall of wind. Before the old man “She has been lying down in her cabin all day, for could reef his sail, it gave way, and fluttered out, like she suffers greatly, and I spent several hours with her, the wounded wing of a bird, bearing our boat with it. but at sunset James called me on deck. We stood side The first plunge cast me forward at Harrington's feet; by side at the stern of the ship, and saw the sun go he caught me to his bosom, pressing me there with down behind a mass of clouds more gorgeous than I one arm, 'while he drew in the sail with the other. ever beheld. The western sky, bending over the shores
The wind rose high, tearing in a tornado across we had left, seemed alive with molten flame-great the pond; but, I am sure-sure as I ain of the beating billows of crimson rolled up against the amber waves of my own heart, that Harrington trembled from of light the sun had left behind, streaming down over the other causes than the danger we were in. Twice waters, like a torrent of rainbows, until one could he bent his lips to my face, but checked himself scarce tell which was sea and which sky. with murmurs which the cruel wind carried from me. “We stood there antil the latest glories died, and
"I do not know how we reached the shore, or why then the moon stole slowly up, like some pale, dreamit was that we walked in such profound silence home- ing maiden, with only one star beside her, like the ward—but this I do know, another hour like that one bright hope of a human heart. We conversed would have broken my heart with its wealth of happi- but little. My soul was too full of the home we had
left, and I knew, by the expression of Harrington's face, “I could not sleep last night, but lay quietly, with that he understood and shared my feelings. It was my hands folded softly over iny bosom as had been a late when I left him, and I cannot write more. My childish habit, thinking over that sail upon the lotus hand is tremulous with the strange feelings which thrill pond. The moonbeams stole into my room, penotrat- at my heart; the excitement of these last few days has ing the roses that hung around the casement, and bring- been too much for me, but in the quiet of this new life ing their odor softly around my couch. This rendered I shall grow calm again, perhaps. Just now something my happiness complete.
of Mrs. Harrington's fears seems to oppress me. “The morning found me wakeful, but when it bright- “A month has passed. Our voyage is almost at an ened into day, I closed my eyes, and turned my head end, for to-morrow the captain promises that we shall upon the pillow, ashamed that the broad light should be safely anchored in the harbor of Cadiz. The sun witness my happiness.
went down this evening in an embankment of clouds,
shedding pale, watery gleams upon the sea, that threat“How sudden this is. Mrs. Harrington has been ened rough weather. As the darkness came on, the fading away for a month. Her physician recommends clouds spread upward, blackening the whole sky, and change of climate, and in ten days we all start for flashes of lightning now and then tore through them, Madeira, or perhaps, Spain. He goes with us, and I am like fiery chain shot through the smoke of a battle. content.
There was consternation on board, for we were near“On shipboard at last! Here I sit in my little cabin ing the coast, and a storm like this threatened danger. and listen to the heaving of the waves against the “I remained on deck till the rising wind almost vessel, as it ploughs proudly along, as if full of the con- swept me over the bulwarks. James Harrington was sciousness of its own strength, and defying the very with me, and as the lightning gleamed athwart his face, elements to impede its progress. .
I saw that it was anxious and very pale. He strove to “The past ten days have been one continued fever of appear unconcerned, and went down to the cabin, with excitement, and I have scarcely opened my journal. a strong effort at cheerfulness, which neither deceived This trip to Europe was finally decided upon in such me, nor checked the terrible fears of his poor mother. haste, that we have known hardly a moment of rest. General Harrington had retired to his state-room, where
“We were on board this morning at ten o'clock, and he sat in moody silence, wrapped in a large travelling two hours after, New York lay stretched out behind cloak. When his invalid wife joined him, trembling us on the shore of its beautiful bay, like some enchanted with nervous terror, he only folded his cloak the tightei city asleep in the sunlight.
around himself, and muttered that she need apprehend "All that were dear to me stood by my side, so I had no danger. no sorrow at my departure, beyond the natural feeling “Young Mr. Harrington wrung my hand with more of regret that all must feel on quitting their native of warmth than he had ever exhibited before, when he