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then, that I am restored to your good opinion ; but still, ject,” she replied, summoning all her extraordinary Mr. Clinton, that does not, nor cannot, change our posi- fortitude to her aid ; " you do not wish, surely, that tion.”

my union with you should become a shadow over your “Oh, but most assuredly it does, and can, and shall. life, a blight upon your happiness, a chill upon the I now ask your love in an honourable senise ; you are natural warmth of your enjoyment. You look only the first woman I ever loved, and

on one side of the question, but I look upon both. You “ The first !" she replied, with a vivacity which know you are yet but a young man, and cannot boast struck him forcibly

of much experience in the world ; and I tell you, that “Yes,” he returned, " the first, and the only one.” if I yielded to your offers-generous and honourable as

A deep blush suffused her cheek, and an expression, they are—I tell you, I say, that it is not impossible that not only of melancholy, but profound sorrow, settled un- the time might come when you would curse the day that consciously on her countenance.

ever I cotisented to become your wife.” “ This interview," she said " is a very painful one to “By heavens! it is impossible. I know my own me, Mr. Clinton; I almost regret it has taken place. heart, and I know the world better than you think; and Indeed I wish it had not; it would have saved us both when I put it in competition with my happiness with much-much”- -here she paused a moment. you, I despise it. I have thought of this, and made “However,” she added, " as Dr. Spillar thought it bet- all those calculations often and often. Besides, thank ter that I should give you one last meeting, and as I God, I am independent of the world, and will continue had placed myself under his guardianship, I yielded to his wishes."

“What! could you be so unmanly as to give up your "You don't say a last meeting, Maria—for I will call place in it; to renounce an honourable ambition, and you so-you don't say our last ? Consider that I now that distinction which you have both talents and spirit offer you my fortune, my hand, my heart—offer them to achieve, and all for a lowly-born girl, for whom, in to you that you may

become my

wife in the eye of God the fervour of youth, you have conceived an affection and of the world. Can man do more to obtain a wo- which, from its very violence, is likely to soon burn out, man's love? Surely, Maria, you can feel no doubt as and prove anything but a lasting one. Now, hear me to the sincerity of my passion after such a declaration with patience. If I consented to marry you, what as this.”

must be the consequence to us both, but especially to During this dialogue Maria kept her eyes down, nor you ? Could you introduce me to the society in which did she once raise them to meet his since she entered the you live and move ? could you take me by the hand

and introduce me to the members of your own family; “Why," he proceeded, after a short pause," why do could you introduce me to the haughty wives of your you not reply to me? but, above all, why do you not brother-officers ? could you bear, without pain, to see bestow upon me one single glance ? Alas! Maria, it your wife rejected, sneered at, spurned, and insulted, was not so when we used to meet in C- -1 cathedral." and all because she is lowly-born ? You know, Mr.

She involuntarily raised her eyes and glanced at him, Clinton, that this is the world, and what must happen and he could see that there were in their expression both if I were so much your enemy as to become your wife.” deprecation and deep sorrow.

“Let me see,” said he, starting up, and putting his " I wish,” she replied, " that we never had met there." hand upon his sword—for he had come purposely in full

Clinton was much moved, for he saw that she was uniform" let me see the living man who shall dare to suffering, but from what cause he could not conjecture insult you; nay, to hint, breathe, or look an insult, and with any certainty.

I shall teach him a lesson he will never forget." “ You seem, Maria,” he proceeded, " to be in sor- "Perhaps the men might not," she continued, “but row; but why do you not reply to me?"

what guard have you or can you have over the women, “ I believe,” she replied, " that your affection for me whose province and privilege they consider it to heap is sincere ; indeed I know it is, because you have given insult and wreak their pride of birth and place on any me such proofs of it as I cannot doubt. If I could or unhappy female of humble parentage who may happen, did doubt it, I would feel less pain than I must feel by some accidental turn of good fortune, to be raised to in the reply I am about to give you."

their own level. Good fortune! alas ! it is in general Clinton's heart sank at those words, for he could anything but good fortune to her ; she is looked upon scarcely help feeling that they foreboded the rain of his as an upstart and an intruder, and is treated with nohopes.

thing but contempt, and ridicule, and scorn." “What are you about to say ?” he asked; "beware “ Alas ! Maria, why not say at once that you do not how you tamper with or make a wreck of my happiness. love me?" You are everything to me—the hope and solace of my “Ah," she replied, “I fear you do not know me, as, being, the sunshine of my future existence here, the indeed, how could you, since you have had so little branch by which I hang upon the precipice of life; do opportunity of understanding my character. If you not break from my hold and precipitate me to darkness knew me better you would perceive at once why I speak and destruction."

upon this subject as I do. You would raise me up to “ You look too gloomily upon that part of the sub- a position in life which I have neither education for


her sorrow,

accomplishments to fill; but if you raised me up, then, pense, and the life-long sacrifice of its happiness. That you know, I should drag you down; but that I never is the sacrifice which I make for you ; but notwithstandwill do. How could I entail degradation and shame, ing the love that prompts that sacrifice, I will never and the censure and ridicule of the world, on the man consent to become the author of your ruin, or draw down IE -; on the man who would raise me to a high disgrace upon you and your family. Think not of it; place, where I could become only a clear mark for the do not for a moment expect that I shall change; but shafts of calumny and scandal. But there is another when you are, as you will be, far removed from me, argument against my union with you, which is as strong think sometimes of the love which Maria Brindsley bore as any I have advanced. You forget that I am the you when the world knew it not. Good bye !” she said protégée of your mother; that she placed me here with extending her hand, " for I will see you no more !" her kindest and strongest recommendations, and com- He seized her hand, but he could not utter a word; mitted me to the care of Miss Travers as a young wo- his tears fell upon her face, whilst her own flowed fast; man of firm and honest principles, in whom she took a he kissed her lips more than once, but she immediately warm and friendly interest. Can you not imagine, then, extricated herself from his arms, waved him one mote how she must look upon my conduct if I should consent farewell with her hand, and disappeared. to yield to the temporary attachment of that son whom Miss Travers, who had been watching her that she she loves so tenderly, and from whose future position might hear the result of the interview, immediately foland figure in life, as the representative of his old and lowed her to her room, when Maria, on seeing her, threr distinguished family, she expects so much? Think of herself into her arms, and wept long and bitterly.

think of her agony, think of her despair, “Good God !” exclaimed the former, “what has on finding that the bright and honourable career which happened, Maria, and why are you in such a dreadfal she expected you to pursue and accomplish, should be state ?” destroyed by your marriage with me. And if you will “ It is all over now,” she replied, “and I see him no not think of this, then think of the position which I more. I am resolved to leave you Miss Travers, and go should hold in her estimation. What opinion must sho home to-morrow morning.” not form of my ingratitude? Is this the return, she will “But what has happened ?" again asked the other, say, which that artful and ungrateful girl has made now also in tears, for it was impossible to look on the me for my kindness to her ? to seduce the affections of sorrow of such a creature without sympathy. my youthful son, to insinuate herself into his heart, “I have finally and for ever rejected him-and, as and to manage his inexperience for her own base and I said, all is over between us. I love him too well to selfish purposes. Would she not say that my object ruin him. And now, Miss Travers, I must prepare this was to smuggle myself, through your weakness, and evening for my journey home to-morrow.

You know I folly, and inexperience, into a respectable family, which must start early by the public car. Will you be good my connection with it would only bring to disgrace, enough to leave me for a time. I would wish to be and shame, and affliction ?"

alone, and think of what I am to do for the future.” Clinton was stunned by the irresistible force and truth “Well,” exclaimed poor Miss Travers, wiping her of these arguments, and could not utter a word, but his eyes, and then clasping her hands with a look of amazeeyes were fixed upon her, and notwithstanding that she ment, “if that is love, it is surely the most extraordinary was cutting down every hope from under him, he felt kind of it I ever heard of. To reject the man you love, entranced. There glowed in her divine features such and he wealthy, of a high family, rich, young, and handan expression of sorrowful but heroic enthusiasm, as he some—surpasses anything I ever dreamt of. Why, had never witnessed or even conceived, especially when after all, I think you must have but a hard heart, Maria. playing over such transcendent beauty.

Ah! that is not the answer I would have given to my Maria,” said he, “I can only repeat what I have poor Thady if he had- I mean, that is not the answer just said : I feel that you do not love me.

The happy

I did give him when he proposed for me. To love such dream of my life is vanishing, and existence is likely a man and not marry him—shade of my darling Thady! to become nothing to me but darkness and a blank. what am I to think of it ?” All its aims and purposes which I had projected with Poor Clinton was overwhelmed, prostrated, distractyou by my side, will soon disappear; but indeed I ed. The force of Maria's noble and self-denying elithought you had loved me.

thusiasm had so completely borne him away with it

, As he spoke he was deeply moved, and the expression that he felt himself as if in some terrible dream-withof manly sorrow which she read in his face was irre

out presence of mind or steadiness of purpose to combat sistibly affecting

her arguments as he bad intended. He became paraShe rose up in a state of the deepest emotion, and lysed as with a severe and unexpected shock, and went replied : “ Then you do not understand me," she said, home in such a state of delirious agitation, that he knew or must I, as the last painful and melancholy argu- not how he got there. He was now perfectly helpless

, ment in my own defence, disclose that which I have con- and for a time could neither think nor act for himself. cealed so long? Do you know what the love of woman, He knew that some dreadful calamity had occurred, but in its highest and purest sense is—to promote the good occasionally forgot what it was.

He went to ride, as of its object, and avert evil from it, even at its own ex- was usual with him when agitated, and rodo far and

now, be

“ She did ; I saw her safely home—but you look surprised !"

" Who-I? Not a whit."

“ Because I know that passionate and hasty young fellows like you have their suspicions and jealousies easily excited. I pledge my word I never thought of the girl except as a father and a Christian friend, whose age and character certainly give me a claim to protect her from the snares of the world. I say

this cause I think your very angry letter to me upon the subject was unreasonable and uncalled for. You must have written it whilst in a hallucination or a state of delirium."

o Me!-a letter! In God's name, what do you mean, my dear Doctor? Explain yourself. I never wrote you a letter."

“ Perhaps, as you were not perfectly recovered from your illness, you may forget it; but here," he added, opening his desk, “here it is.”

Clinton took the letter with astonishment, and read as follows:

furiously—but ride at what speed he might, he could not leave the fiery gloom in which he was wrapped, nor the sense of his terrible desolation behind him. On his return to dress for dinner he changed his mind, and sent an apology to the mess, stating that he was too unwell to join them, which, indeed, was the truth. The next day he was unable to rise, and during the following fortnight suffered all the delirious agonies of a severe and dangerous brain-fever, from which he recovered with great difficulty. Maria's name was frequently, almost perpetually on his lips; but as none of those who attended him knew who " Maria” was, no association could be traced between her and him. Not 50 with his brother-officers, who, through the blabbing of Doolittle, strongly suspected not only who she was, but that she had occasioned his illness.

In the mean time, Maria, on the evening before her departure from home, thought herself bound in gratitude to call upon Dr. Spillar, in the first place, to thank him for the kind interest he had taken in her troubles; and in the second, to return him his celebrated history of A- -h, svbich learned work-and it is both an able and a learned work—he would by no means receive back, but presented it to her as a mark of his respect for her character and conduct under difficulties, which she boro with such heroism and firmness. It was about dusk, and the good-hearted doctor would not allow her to go home without his own escort, and he accordingly left her safely at Miss Travers's house. In a country town there is scarcely a single motion of a prominent character that is not marked, and very probably misconstructed. It was not so, however, in this case, for the doctor's age, profession, and character placed him above scandal. But there is a class of idle wags who take an unjus tifiable pleasure in having and circulating their idle jests at the expense of grave and religious persons. Accordingly, as he was returning to his own house, he was accosted in the following words—“Good again, doctor! you will carry away the beauty at last. History and divinity against all opposition !” The good old man only smiled, and gave himself no further concern about what he knew was only a jest.

One morning, abont three weeks after Maria's departure, Clinton, who was now tolerably recovered, although still looking a little pale, called on him, and in a tone of singular firmness and resolution, addressed him as follows:

“Doctor, I am come to you as to a friend who, I trust, can sympathise with and understand me. You know my attachment for that girl--attachment is a weak word, but let it pass-you know it; but you don't know the character of that girl herself.”

“ Better, perhaps, than you may imagine,” replica the doctor. “ You are aware that she has left

Ah." “ I am perfectly ; the dear girl called on me the evenning before she went; but I assure you, only for the purpose of thanking me, and returning my own history, which I had given her with the best intentions."

“ Did she call upon you ?"

REVEKEND SIR-You are crossing my path, like an old historical demon as you are. You've got yourself over head and ears in love with M. B, and are in the habit of sending her cakes and sugarcandy, and other dangerous compositions, such as Ovid's Art of Love,' and “The Kisses of Johannes Secundus,’ until, I believe in my soul, you have succeeded in weaning her affections from me. Now, I beg you to give up this pursuit, which is the more reprehensible in a man of your character, as it is well known that you have not the most remote intention of marrying her. She has been at your house and you have been at hers, and


have almost made a historian of her already—and I well know what kind of morals a female historian must possess. Do not, therefore, cross my path, or beware the consequences.


Clinton, who might have enjoyed this jest upon the, pious and amiable doctor under other circumstances, was in no frame of mind to bestow it even a thought. He accordingly threw it aside, and said :

Pay no attention to it, sir : it is a poor, silly jest which some one has been playing off upon you. As for me,

I have more serious matters to think of just at present. You are aware, I suppose, that this impracticable but great-minded girl has taken refuge with her mother?”

“I am aware of everything,” responded the doctor ; " she herself has told me all. In my conversation with you, the first day I called on you with reference to her, you may remember that I said, 'if she loved you truly, she would most probably decline any matrimonial proposal you might make her.' In saying this, however, I had only formed an ideal character as a part of my argument, which I did not imagine any girl in her cira cumstances of life could have verified. She has, however, transcended and surpassed it; and I am at a loss what to say."

“ So am not l,” replied Clinton ; "you know she is a perfect lady as it is—a miracle of natural intellect and elegance, but still she is deficient in education and those accomplishments which are necessary to the habits and usages of well-bred society. Now, sir, pay attention to me!—it is my fixed determination to bestow those upon her. It can be easily done. I shall send her to the best boarding-school that can be found in London ; let her remain there for three years, within which time I have no doubt that her education will be complete. In good sense and natural talents she wants little. The elegance of her language and her graceful facility of expression, are amazing, when we consider her opportunities. This, then, is my purpose, from which no earthly interest, whilst I possess life and means, shall divert me. She is, at any time, a fit companion for myself—or rather, every way my superior. I shall, however, make her not only worthy of society, but a grace and an ornament to it. Now, this is my purpose ; and in order to accomplish this purpose, I say that you, my dear and kind friend, will and must assist me.

The admirable girl loves me—but with a love so noble and disinterested, that feeling, as she does, her incompetence to do justice to my choice when introduced into fashionable life, she declines my offers upon the argument that my union with a lovely and uneducated girl would degrade and ruin me, and also from a sense of gratitude to my mother. I am glad she reasoned with me as she did, for I must confess, that were it not for what she urged against her marriage with me at our last interview, I would never have thought of this project.”

“Well, my young friend," said the doctor, smiling, “I had made up my mind to get out of this business, but I find you wish to make me useful again. Pray, what do


ask me to do on this occasion ?" 6 Why, to see herself and her mother, to mention this project to them, and to urge it on them with all the ivfluence of your character. Yes, my dear doctor, and you must do more: for if she and her mother consent, you will be good enough to conduct her to London, and settle ker in such an establishment as you may deem proper. You are a clergyman of fame and eminence, and you will experience little difficulty in making a proper selection. If you refuse to do this, I shall sell out and leave Europe, and will take very little heed of what may become of me. You are not rich, and I need not say that all necessary funds shall be liberally supplied to you.”

" I will not give you an answer now," replied the doctor, “because I shall require time to consider this strange proposal ; but if you call on me to-morrow about this hour, I will know what reply to give you.'

“I trust it will be favourable,” replied Clinton. 66 Consider that it will be necessary for some person of consideration and character to place a girl without og. tensible connections in such an establishment. Your interest in her will be a sufficient guarantee for her position and respectability. All the rest I will leave to her own good sense and prudence."

“Well, then, to-morrow, about this hour, and we will talk of it again."

Maria's return home was not altogether unexpected by her mother. She had, for some time past, been an. ticipating the necessity of this step-and, without directly disclosing the cause, had in some degree prepared her for it. Her appearance, however, in her native village—we call it a village, although it was the dilapidated town of A- --excited a considerable sensation, as the phrase runs. Indeed, it soon became the subject of surprise, curiosity, and inquiry among the inhabitants of the surrounding neighbourhood, and ultimately throughout the whole parish. But what occasioned the greatest possible interest was the extraordinary improvement in her looks and the elegance of her person. She was not yet out of youth, but she certainly was in that delightful stage of female life when the exquisite freshness of youthful beauty is at its highest and most delicate perfection. She was, indeed, a radiant creature ; and nothing astonished them so much as the development of grace and loveliness, and ease of manner, which had taken place during her absence.

Her sensible mother, however, to whom she at once disclosed all the circumstances that had occasioned her return, soon satisfied their enquiries by stating, that she had come home to conduct her business upon a superior and more extensive scale, and that she hoped the ladies of rank and station in the neighbourhood would support them, now that they could have their dresses made up in the most fashionable and elegant manner. There was a strange but interesting pensiveness about her, however, which did not pass without observation. Some attributed it to a disappointment in love, others, on the contrary, said that such a thing was impossible in one so exceedingly beautiful ; whilst others again said, it was nothing but the seriousness which usually attaches to the youthful female, on the approach of womanhood.

When Clinton waited on Dr. Spillar the next day according to appointment, he found the old gentleman much perplexed upon the subject of the proposal made to him.

My good, but unreflecting young friend,” said he, " this is a business surrounded by many doubts and difficulties. In the first place let me ask wbether you have calculated upon the girl's refusal to comply with this extraordinary proposition? In the next place, do you think

your mother could be prevailed upon to sanetion it? because if she could, I have no doubt that Miss Brindsley would then concur,--but I am afraid not otherwise ; and lastly, unless you get your mother's consent, I will have nothing to do with it. I could not, consistently with my character, dream of lending myself to such a clandestine arrangement as this; so far as I am concerned, it would be a most onjustifiable and unbecoming step. Suppose, for instance, your marriage should turn out an unhappy is known many a love marriage does—what would be the consequence so far as I am concerned? why, that if I should live until then, my very name would be execrable to you both, and should í be in my gravo, that my memory would be loaded with your curses.

“Well, I do not think my dear doctor, that yon bave

one-as it

munication whatsoever. If I do not succeed, I shall

much to apprehend from the last calculation, but what certainly speak to, you, and make enquiries too, for wbich strikes me as most necessary to be considered, is the pos- reason I think it is better that you should avoid her.” sibility of gaining over my mother ; from the tenderness Maria accordingly made her appearance at the meetingand affection which she bears me, I think the matter by house, and we need scarcely say that her presence, even no means hopeless.”

among the grave worshippers in that sober congregation, “ In that case you should write to her.”

created something like a sensation. All eyes from time “ No, but you shall—you can say more for me-yes, to time were turned upon her, not only with looks of adand for Maria too, than I could; because,” he added miration, but also with those of profound respect. Indeed smiling," she knows that you are not in love with her.” some of them bad taken it into their heads that she might

“I assure you there are some people of a different have experienced such an accessiou of that inward opinion,” replied the doctor, smiling in return. " But light, as led her to see the errors of the carnal church to in the meantime I will mention what I conceive to be a which she belonged, and to seek the true patb in a better plan. Instead of writing to your mother, I shall more apostolic communion. go and pay her a visit; you know we have long been The officiating minister was no other then her former on intimate terms. I can then discuss the subject with lover, who having concluded the ordinary portion of the her at greater length than I could in any written com- service which precedes the sermon, ascended the pulpit

and commenced his discourse. Maria could not help proceed no farther in it; and if I do I can see Miss admiring his tall gentlemanly figure—his high forehead Brindsley, and, fortified by your mother's authority and and pale intellectual but careworn features. His voice consent, I shall most likely be able to complete the was music itself, but it seemed the exponent of some deep arrangements at once. Still,” he added, " I am of opi- and settled melancholy which breathed even through the nion upon second thoughts, that


should also write to most consoling revelations of faith, and grace, and hope. her, as the more influence we can bring to bear upon He was indeed an earnest and devoted minister, and her, the greater the chance of our success.”

until his sermon nearly reached its conclusion, his eye Clinton was in ecstacies, delighted, enraptured at this had not discovered or rested upon Maria. The moment position of the case; he shook the doctor's hand, said he it did, however, a change sudden and extraordinary was a friend and a father to him, and such he would came over the whole melancholy but profound spirit of consider him to the last day of his life, whether they his eloquence. The sublime inspiration of the prophet succeeded or not.

and the evangelist seemed to have abandoned him. The “God bless you, my dear doctor,” he said, "God for full and musical voice lost its power and became ever bless you for I think you are likely to prove my

unsteady; the fluency of his eloquence was gone, guardian angel.

he began to hesitate in his expressions, and to The doctor smiled, and replied,

repeat himself; and finding that he could not close

his discourse as he had commenced and continued “Homo cum nihil humani a me alienum puto."

it, he abruptly brought it to a close, considerably to Maria, on the first Sunday morning after her return, the surprise of the whole congregation, with the excepbegan to think of going to church,—to that church in tion of the members of his own family and a few others which Clinton and she had felt the first tender but

mys- who had been aware of his unhappy attachment to terious influences of love. A difficulty, however, lay in Maria, and who now looked upon his break-down with her way, resulting from the covsciousness of her position the deepest compassion, knowing, as they did, that it with respect to the young officer, and of the last scene was her presence which occasioned it. Even Maria which had taken place between them. She knew she herself, whose eye had unconsciously met his, was not would certainly meet his mother there, and that the ignorant of the cause, nor was there any one there more good lady would probably enter into conversation with capable of feeling a deeper sympathy with this interesther, and possibly make enquiries as to the cause of her ing but unhappy young minister. It was evident that having left the establishment of Miss Travers. Such a absence had not lessened his attachment, nor withdrawn rencontre she wished to avoid, because even although the sorrow of disappointment,- perhaps of despair Mrs. Clinton might not speak to, or make any enquiries

from a heart wbich seemed from its constancy capable from her on that occasion, yet she deemed it not im- of feeling but one attachment, the memory of which probable that she might, after having seen that she had should accompany him through a lonely and melanreturned, make it a point to call to her mother's for the choly life. purpose. She consequently resolved not to go.

The poor minister, after his return home, was evident“Mother,” said she," I think I will go to the Presby- ly sunk in the deepest dejection. He declined to join terian chapel to day; Mrs. Clinton may see me, and per- their early dinner, and walked out into the fields, medi. haps makeenquiries that might-embarrass me,-because tating upon the vision of beauty which had so it is painful to conceal the truth should she press me pectedly appeared to him, and against the influence of earnestly. In order to avoid the risk of meeting her, I which, even in the pulpit, his heart was so badly pre.. will go to the meeting-house at Carntaul."

pared. He had—it is true-his dreams of hope, and “ Indeed Maria, " replied her mother, " I dare say it imagination threw some of her most brilliant lights into better that you should ; if Mrs. Clinton sees you, she will the dark shadows by which his heart was encompassed


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