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yond what even his youth could have accom- Jants had supposed, in the confusion of Mr. Glenplished, bewildered by the enormous and unex- ford's affairs, solely entrusted to an inexperienced pected demands made on him, and above all, over-girl, their practices would not be discovered. All come by a reverse too great and sudden for his was, however, clearly settled, the offenders fully mind, (weakened by age and infirmities,) to bear, exposed; and it was proved that the two sisters Mr. Glenford sunk under the blow, leaving all in would enjoy a neat and ample competence. Imutter confusion; which Constance alone was to re-mediately after her uncle's death, Mr. Walton duce to order.
had, at the request of Constance, written to inform After the first passionate grief was over, and she Edward of the sad news, (but without mentioning had paid the last sad duty to him who had been her their pecuniary embarrassments;) and to request second father, Constance wasted no time in fruit- him not to feel any anxiety on her account, as she less lamentations at the task which lay before her. was kindly aided by Mr. Walton and his family. As usual, the visits of condolence were paid, and As Edward was then travelling in Europe, it was the orphan received numerous indefinite proffers uncertain when any letters could reach him. of assistance. But the heiress was an heiress no Mr. Walton had heard from his brother, who longer; and those who had formerly praised the was on his way from Germany, and intended to liberal hospitality of the uncle, now spoke of his visit them in Virginia. He arrived, and was imprudent extravagance, and complained bitterly fondly welcomed. With sisterly kindness he was at the prospect of a girl nursed in luxury like received by Constance at his brother's house; and Constance, being obliged to live with her sister, as he admired her exquisite beauty now in its as a dependant in the family of some charitable bloom, and felt that her noble mind and heart friend.But they knew little of Constance Wood- equalled, if not surpassed her rare loveliness, he burn, who supposed that she would ever consent to could not avoid again wishing that the fate of so be dependent on any one. She thanked those few pure a being might be united to his own. Such who really showed themselves her friends, but de- a wish, however, never escaped his lips; he perclined all offers except those of advice. She applied ceived that it was vain to hope; he saw that she to Mr. Walton, an elder brother of her former ad- esteemed him as a friend, -he determined to prove mirer, and whose family had ever been her friends. that he could be a sincere one. He exerted himHe was an able lawyer, and him she consulted on self with fraternal kindness to contribute to her all subjects relative to her uncle's property. Day comfort, and had it not been for the severe loss after day found her poring over deeds and intri- which they had experienced in the death of their cate accounts; and melancholy indeed was her em- oldest friend, the happiness of that little circle ployment, when she discovered that it was doubtful would indeed have been without a cloud. if more than a bare maintenance would remain to her after all demands had been satisfied, according to her request, with scrupulous integrity. It was natural that Constance should deeply re
CHAPTER VIII. gret this circumstance, but she braced herself for
He faded; but so calm and meek, the trial. “By my own earnings," said she to
So sostly worn, so sweetly weak, Rose, who wept bitterly at the news, “will I ob
So tearless, yet so tender-kind, tain a subsistence. The education I have received
And grieved for those he left behind, I will now employ. There are many parents
With all the while a cheek whose bloom
Was as a mockery of the tomb; around us who will rejoice at sending their chil
An eye of most transparent light, dren to be my pupils; our name and family are That almost made the dungeon bright; in themselves too honorable to fear that they can
And not a word of murmur-not
A groan o'er his untimely lot, ever be degraded by honest industry. Our reverse
And then the sighs he would suppress has already shown us how few in the world are
Of fainting nature's feebleness, real friends. Those who are, will still equally
More slowly drawn-grew less and less !
Byron. respect us even though I may give instruction; and for those who are not, my dear Rose, that mind But a dear object soon called for all the attenmust indeed be weak which sets a value upon tion of Constance—her sister Rose, whose health their attentions. The bleak prospect of a gover- from infancy had been a source of painful soliciness, is not, I own, very gratifying, but any sacri- tude; and at length that remorseless fiend confice is better than being dependent."
sumption, who preys upon the loveliest of AmeriOwing, however, to the indefatigable exertions ca's daughters, marked her for his own. How of Mr. Walton, seconded by those of Constance bitterly did poor Constance weep over the gradual herself, this project was never executed. By decay of this, her beloved mother's last legacydiligent investigation he found that many debts the sweet solace that she had looked for in after had been shamelessly exaggerated, and many de- years—the dearest and the only tie which she now mands put forth without just right, as the claim-1 possessed! Every effort of medical science was used to save her, and the hope of change of climate was be to deprive her sister of many gratifications, and advised. The society of Mr. Walton's wife and this thought at once decided her. Wherever she family, among whom was Alfred, rendered their went, she saw him courted and admired, but Rose's visit to a more southern state comparatively de- danger made her forget even him! lightful, and at times the delusive glow of health which bloomed upon her sister's cheek, would make Constance fondly hope that she would recover. But each day that hope grew less. After
CHAPTER IX. an easy journey, they returned home, where for Heaven and yourself had part in this fair maid; many months they remained. But at length the Now Heaven hath all!
Shakspeare. last forlorn hope was tendered-Italy, that refuge, and often grave for the dying invalid. It was
As Rose grew nearer her end, her sole unceasing hoped that the interest arising from the contem- prayer was to return home, to visit the scenes of plation of scenery, inhabitants, customs, differing her childhood, and there to breathe her last; and from her own, might prove as beneficial as the air as she had ceased to derive benefit from her preitself.— Previous to her departure, Constance en- sent long sojourn, they determined to gratify ber, trusted to Mr. Walton's care all those objects of as the denial of this, her only request, seemed to affection which she left behind. A family with render her miserable. Edward was their conwhom her uncle had been intimate were about stant and assiduous companion. From different taking their departure for Italy. Under their sources he had heard of the firm conduct of Conprotection Constance went with her sister, exiled stance at her uncle's death, and had repeatedly from her home, like many other victims of con- expressed his regret that she had refused to consumption, to die in a foreign land. Sincere prayers fide in him. He saw that although she was still for their welfare, “not loud, but deep,” accom- his friend, she no longer felt towards him as she panied them on their way, and each friend she left bad once felt; and his respect for her and his own blessed her as she departed.
pride prevented him from again subjecting himself to what he felt assured would be a refusal.
He took a kind and friendly leave of her, anxItaly, bright, beautiful Italy was visited ; and iously hoping to meet them all, as soon as his afeach moment, each thought of the life of Con- fairs would permit, in happiness and health in stance was employed to administer to her sister's their native home. happiness. Absorbed in her affection for the poor, They had approached the end of their voyage, fading flower, all other thoughts seemed dead and in a few hours they hoped to reach the shore. within her. When, however, her friends in- Rose, who was now sinking hourly, lay within formed her that Edward Delancy was in the her sister's arms, propped up by cushions on the neighborhood and would soon visit them, she felt deck. Her friends had withdrawn to a slight disagitated and alarmed. After a short, but rigorous tance. Now and then an inarticulate moan would discipline of her heart, she became composed; and break from Rose's lips, yet visibly she struggled when Delancy approached, she gave her hand with to repress it. The pious resignation, the fortitude friendly eagerness, and met him with a firm step of that innocent girl, her constant endeavors to and an unbesitating welcome. For a moment appear cheerful, her reluctance to give pain or Edward looked with surprise at her care-worn trouble, and the meek, consoling words which she face, which nights of ceaseless watching by her ever and anon addressed to those around her, only sister's couch had robbed of its brilliancy; then, made her still dearer to her sister, while they inattempting to speak as he grasped her hand, he creased the agony that sister felt at the thought felt that utterance was impossible, and dropping“ of this last loss, of all the most.” Silently the ber band, turned to the window which an Italian tears flowed, but Constance did not attempt to sunset was gilding with its usual splendor—a notice them, lest they should excite the observatype of the fair and virtuous girl who was daily tion of her sister. But Rose, glancing her eye sinking in unclouded innocence to the grave. Soon upwards, saw them, and clasping her arms more Edward mastered his emotion and returned. He closely around the neck of Constance, said, “Do spoke to Constance on the all-engrossing theme, not weep, dear Constance,-do not weep for me her sister's health; he used every means to cheer I am dying, it is true; but I am going to a happy and to console, and formed a thousand plans for place of rest, where sorrow and tears cannot affording amusement to the invalid and her almost come. I once did think that it was hard for one exhausted nurse. This was the trial which Con- 80 young to go to the cold grave; but long sufferstance had feared. She dreaded that, being con- ing has made me think otherwise. It will be a tinually in his society, fascinated by the spells of blessing for me to be taken from this world, where his intellect, she might again have the same strug- I feel nought but pain, and cause grief to those gle to undergo. To deny herself his presence, would around me. I only grieve to leave you, sweet
Constance, who have been a mother to me. Com- She heard again and frequently of Delancy. He fort yourself with that thought, my sister! When had hitherto dwelt in Europe, but his present plan I am gone, you will have no little Rose to comfort was to return to his native land. He still strode you, but you will marry—do not shake your head onward towards the goal of fame. Time had poso mournfully, sister-you will marry some wor- lished the rich gems of his mind, but there was a thy man who will love you as you deserve to be scoffing wildness, a skeptic daring in bis theories, loved, but not more dearly than your own poor which made the thoughtful pause and weigh bis little sister has always lored you, Constance. opinions ere they rested faith in them; and while
Sister, draw this cloak they could not avoid admiring the expansive mind more closely round me; it is growing cold. Look, of the author, grieved that it wanted the best and Constance, there is our own dear land stretched only sure foundation of true greatness, and dreaded out before us, and the sun is going to rest,-like the power which his intellect gave him in the me, -and its beams are shining so brightly on the “empire of mind.” To enjoy for a time repose waters that dance around us ! I feel so calm and and leisure, were his objects in revisiting America. happy !-Sister, repeat with me the first prayer He arrived; and wherever he went, he was the that mother taught you—for see, she is looking at object of curiosity and admiration. us both, and smiling so sweetly-Bless you, dear
At the time of his arrival in New York, Consister-Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed stance was absent from that city on a visit to a be—thy name.'”—And thus, with her first inno- friend; but she heard of his welcome in every circent prayer upon her lips, she nestled her head in cle, and of his subsequent visit to the country reher sister’s bosom, and gently closed her eyes. sidence of a family in the neighborhood of her preFearful of disturbing her, Constance remained sent abode. He immediately visited ber, and while motionless. But at length the face grew paler, he received her heartselt congratulations on his sucthe faint breathing ceased ;-in sight of that home cess, and in his turn conversed with kind sympashe had sighed for—in the arms of the sister whom thy respecting her sister's death, he felt that had she loved, the pure spirit had fled from its earthly he any sacred trust to confide, Constance was the abode, and “poor little Rose” was dead! friend on whom he might rely. As companions
from infancy, reared in the same dwelling, they were regarded by their acquaintances in the light
almost of brother and sister. Constance saw him CHAPTER X.
now standing on the highest pinnacle to which he
could aspire; but though each sentiment be uttered Fame, fame! thou canst not be the stay Unto the drooping reed,-
in society was like a sparkling gem,- though he The cool, fresh fountain in the day
participated in every species of gaiety, yet there of the soul's feverish need.
were now and then perceptible a restlessness in Where must the lone one turn and flee?
his expressions, and a transient gloom upon his Not unto thee,-oh! not to thee !
countenance, which suggested the idea that his Thus at twenty six years of age, Constance was mind was not entirely at ease. emphatically alone in the world, without a single relative. Still she had friends who loved and It was evening—a bright, lovely, summer's respected her. Immediately on her arrival, they evening: the dwelling of Constance's friend, (a hastened to assuage her grief.
villa more resembling an Italian palace, than the During four ensuing years, she lived as secluded retreat of a republican citizen,) was illuminated as possible, entering into society only so far as to with unusual splendor. The ball-room was avoid being a restraint upon her friends. Nor did thronged with gay and beautiful faces, and the she pass those years without admirers; but all present, the joyous, cloudless present, alone occuwere alike rejected. She had once loved deeply, pied each heart. earnestly, with her whole soul,—and her first The fete was given in honor of the marriage of bright vision had passed away for ever. Since Alfred Walton with a lovely, amiable girl, who that hour, the constant succession of incidents, had been a playmate of Constance, who sincerely, eventful and engrossing, which had marked the gratefully rejoiced in this union. She at last beheld last few years of her life, had so entirely occupied two beings whom she equally esteemed, made every thought and feeling, that she had not expe- happy in each other; and she felt, as she offered rienced even a wish to enlarge her sphere of affec- her hearty wishes for their welfare, that this was tion. When competitors for her heart appeared, one of the few occasions in life when such conshe saw that all were far inferior to the ideal gratulations could be offered without the least image which her soul had cherished; and when shade of doubt or fear to cloud the bright hopes she reiected how she had once been deceived, she which they expressed.—Edward and Constance feared to hazard the certain content which was were present, the cynosure of all that brilliant fesnow hers, for the chance of comparative misery.tival. For a short time during the evening, the
lovely children of Mr. Maynard were indulged by “I thank you most sincerely; but, Constance, a participation in the general gaiety. One of the promise me this: If I should die, or should any guests, reminded by their presence, accidentally ill befall me, I beseech you, by the recollection of remarked the excessive grace of a child, some that love-pardon me—that friendship which you seven years old, whom Mr. Delancy bad brought once felt, if it have any weight, promise me that with him from Europe. This excited surprise; you will be a mother to that child—that you will whereupon Edward related the melancholy situ- rear her in virtue and honor, and make her like ation of the little orphan, whose parents, (his yourself—all that woman can be!" valued friends,) had died in Switzerland, leaving “ I do promise it, Edward, solemnly: the recoltheir infant Laura to his care. The conversation lection of which you speak has weight; it is idle in then turned to other topics.
you to doubt it. Your happiness is, and will ever Morning broke in upon the revellers, and slowly be, dear to me. I solemnly pledge you my word, they departed. Constance, though at this late, or to be a mother to her. This is worthy of you, rather early hour, was still buoyant and untiring, Edward.” and as the last guest bade her adieu, she wished “Let me thank you from my heart for your the family good night, and with a light step and promise; it has relieved me from a burthen of heart, retired to rest.
anxious dread. And now,” added he, departing from the subject as abruptly as he had introduced it,-“when do you intend to return home?"
Three days after this visit, as the family of Mr.
Maynard, with Constance, were wandering over a
part of the grounrls which commanded a view of How sure to look upon our brother's grave,
the road, they perceived a gentleman on horseback Should of itself incline to pity and to love!
riding towards the mansion, and soon recognised Rogers.
Mr. Delancy. He saw them, and waving his hat, On the following day, Edward called at the spurred his horse towards them. By leaping a low mansion ; the drawing-room was filled with hedge which he was approaching, more than half guests. One by one they took their leave, but the distance could be avoided. The moment Mr. still be lingered. The family dispersed to their Maynard saw Delancy turning towards the hedge, several amusements and occupations; when, after with an exclamation of horror, he endeavored by a few moments' conversation with Constance, Ed- signs and shouts, to forbid his proceeding: but it ward abruptly said: “Do you remember, Miss was too late; ere a word could be uttered, the leap Woodburn, the remarks casually made last night had been taken. For the purpose of some improveconcerning my little ward, Laura Seaforth? I most ments, within the last two days, an excavation of earnestly wish for your advice on the subject of her immense depth had been made immediately within education. To whom can I intrust it? Accom- the hedge. With culpable, and as it proved, fatal plishments she can easily acquire; but can I rely neglect, no notice or warning had been placed there; upon an uninterested stranger to instil into her and as the circumstance of the alteration had been mind the lessons of fortitude and endurance which previously unknown to Mr. Maynard, he had been she must learn, to enable ber to combat with the unable to remedy the carelessness of the workworld?”
The leap was within view of the party as" Has she no relatives, no friends, who might sembled in the garden. Before their eyes, the rider undertake the charge?"
lay extended beneath his horse in the deep cavity. "No, none; she is alone.”
Shrieks of horror at the fearful catastrophe, burst "Could you be induced to part with her to." from the lips of all, save Constance. The gentie
"Oh! no, no! While I live she remains with men hastened to render assistance. The ladies me. As a father I will watch over and protect remained, uttering loud ejaculations of pity or of her. It will be but a poor atonement for a poor fear,—when suddenly one of them turned to Conproof of the affection I bore to her parents.” stance, wondering at her silence. She was still
" It is strange that, having known you so long, seated, leaning against a tree; she spoke not: she her name, that of your friend, should be so unfa- had fainted !
While they miliar to me. Did I know her mother?” were engaged in restoring her to herself, the
" Her mother! No! impossible! I-I believe wounded man was brought to the house; and as not. But pray answer the question I have asked.” they conveyed him to the nearest room, each move
“I cannot do that hastily. So much depends on ment, however slight, however careful, extorted a the choice of a person who is to be the guardian groan of such fearful agony that it seemed as if and instructress of a child like her, that I must re- death would follow. His right arm was broken, but flect. But you shall know soon,-sery soon.” the deepest injury appeared to be internal. Anx
iously, breathlessly, they awaited the arrival of the
CHAPTER XII. surgeon. He came. The result of his examination was indeed mournful--the internal injuries How shocking must thy summons be, O Death! which Edward had received, left a hope of his re
To him that is at ease in his possessions;
Who, counting on long years of pleasure here, covery, but with the sad expectation of his being
Is quite unfurnished for that world to come. a helpless, maimed invalid. Constance having in some degree subdued all outward signs of emotion,
Many and sharp the numerous ills had earnestly requested to see him, and at length
Inwoven with our frame;
More pointed still we make ourselves, succeeded in effecting her object. She entered the
Regret, remorse, and shame. room, which was partly darkened—but still she could distinctly see the couch and its almost insen- The following day, Edward seemed hovering sible occupant. His eyes were closed; his faint betwixt life and death. Towards midnight, Conand labored breathing, and the convulsive clutch-stance, who had continued for some time restlessly ing of the bed by his uninjured hand, alone gave watching in the adjoining room, heard Delancy's token that he lived. The attendants who were in inarticulate murmurings—and her own name utthe room were engaged in various employments. tered in agony. She could not resist the impulse, Constance approached the bed unheeded. She and noiselessly she stole into the room. The nurse, thought of him-her childhood's friend, who had inured to these scenes of misery, and overcome by been the first love of her young heart—whose ac- fatigue, sat sleeping in a chair near the door. Mr. quirements were the objects of her admiration - Maynard, who had never relinquished his station the thought of what he had been, and what he now by the sufferer's side, seeing Constance approach, appeared, overcame her. She clasped her hands advanced to prevent her. He besought her earin agony, while tears fell rapidly from her eyes nestly to retire. Firmly she denied him, and unmarked; she sunk on her knees, burying her seated herself beside him. Thus passed a fearful face in the folds of the drapery, and with her night of watching. Who that has not seen the hands joined over her brow, she prayed in her human frame writhing under an attack of insaheart for him by whom she knelt. As these en- nity, and witnessed the superhuman strength with treaties arose from each gushing fountain of her which the paroxysm endows its victims,—who soul, her grief was mitigated; she trusted in the that has not heard the wanderings of their minds mercy of that Being in whose power are life and the repetition of each expression or sentiment which death. With feelings subdued and grateful, she they, when rational, admired,--the noble and poarose from the posture in which she had sunk in etical thoughts which they often utter,--the wild despair. She turned towards the surgeon, and by snatches of songs or prayers which they repeat her apparent calmness, obtained, in answer to her the intense agony which they express at the faninquiries, a true and undisguised account which cied perils they endure or witness in imagination she sought, yet dreaded to hear. The bodily in- and worse than these, the unjust hatred, the infictions with which Delancy was threatened, she gratitude and malignity, and often the profanity trusted he could endure ;-but what horror was and even blasphemy which are then frequently hers, when she was informed that the ruin of his given vent to, by even a virtuous mind,—who, mind might ensue!
that has not witnessed all this, can form an adeThe gradual decay which age and time cause quate estimate of its horror! For the first time, in the human frame, and which death sends as his Constance beheld this; and but too often, words warning precursors, it is true, excite melancholy met her ear, whose import made her shudder. and compassion. But there cannot be in nature, The declarations of insanity are, it is true, frean object so appalling, so humiliating, so crushing quently without foundation; yet, sometimes, they to the heart, as the contemplation of the strong lay bare the inner recesses of the heart: and those man's mind struck down in the plenitude of its sacrilegious thoughts, which, in life's ordinary wisdom !-"In fear and trembling" Constance course, only gleam forth suddenly and for a moretired to her apartment. The hours passed in ment, blaze out with scorching, withering power sleepless anxiety. And as she looked forth on the in madness. Morning gloomily began to dawn, starry and cloudless night, on the wonders and and the streaks of sickly, yellow light which forced glory of the heavens,—and then looked within their way into the apartment, only added to the at the struggles of despair, of hope--of misery and apparent desolation. The lamps were flickering resignation, she felt that her lot in life indeed dimly, and by the bedside the two watchers still exemplified the truth of her mother's precept, sat, hoping even in despair. Suddenly Delancy that though the world, amidst pleasure and hap- seemed writhing in torture, as, with dreadful impiness contains fearful wo, there is still one blessed precations, he called for assistance-pointing, asylum where "mercy and truth have met to- amidst the distant darkness, at some object which gether--where righteousness and peace bave appeared to his disordered brain. With a loud kissed each other."
shriek, and with a madman's strength, dashing