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aside Mr. Maynard and the awakened nurse, who reflected not that a passion, which engrossed each strove to detain him, he sprang from the bed, and thought and action of our lives, must, by its excess rushed towards the fancied spectre of his mind-alone, be culpable; and that when, in addition, there with one convulsive grasp he clutched at it, and was another being who held an exclusive right to then, uttering an exulting laugh, fell prostrate her affection, the measure of our errors was fearon the floor. His attendants approached to raise fully increased. him, while Constance summoned additional aid :- “A short time before your arrival in Italy, Helen be had expired!
and her husband had gone with their little Laura, When, a few weeks after this sad event, Mr. (then near three years old,) to visit Switzerland. Walton the elder, as the newest friend of Delancy, After your departure, I rejoined them. Time undertook to exanıine his papers, the will was passed. Our infatuation still continued.-One found. After many noble donations both public day, her husband had gone, with some friends, on and private, the residue of his property was left to an excursion to the lake in the vicinity; we were Laura Seaforth, who was bequeathed to the protec- together, engaged in perusing a work breathing tion of Miss Woodburn. A letter was also found, tenderness and love in every line. From this, the addressed to Constance, but apparently unfinished. transition was easy to that dangerous and oftMr. Walton enclosed it to her. It had been written indulged theme-ourselves. Our uninterrupted two days previous to the accident. It was as follows: interview more palpably suggested the projects of
" Constance, ten years have elapsed since I first flight which we bad but too often distantly formed. wrote to you ; this is my second intrusion, and Abruptly, wildly, did Helen reply to all the argushall be the last. Our conversation yesterday ments I urged in favor of protracting our stay for eased my mind of all anxiety relative to the fu- a brief period. 'Delancy!' she cried, call it ture fate of Laura. I deem it right, however, to folly, madness, or what you will, I cannot longer state to you the truth of her bistory. When you endure this hypocrisy. I cannot receive the tenhare read it, I feel assured, however justly you derness, the love-Oh Heaven! the love of that may shudder, you will still more compassionately man, and appear, (wretch that I am,) to return regard the poor child, who is thus fatherless, friend-them, when my heart and soul are given to another! less, and alone.
You are that other. You share in my passion,"During my repeated sojourns in Italy, I renew-you shall share in my punishment. Hesitate-and ed my acquaintance with a fellow-collegian who had at the price of my own degradation, I will disclose been for years residing abroad for his health. He all to him! I cannot bid you leave me forever; I introduced me to his young wife. Her beauty was have not fortitude to do it: but I would sooner die, that of an angel! For her intellect-yours, Con- Delancy,-die by my own hand, than longer enstance is noble and refined; but it has been tem- dure this burthen of duplicity. I cannot look in pered and shadowed by rectitude and misfortune. my husband's face, I cannot take my child in my Helen had never known a moment's grief. She arms, without feeling myself unworthy of the had lost her mother in infancy. She had been the name of wife and mother! I care not for the idol of a doting, aged father, who so worshipped world's scorn. If I am willing to brave it, you ber that he never offered to exercise that healthful should not hesitate. Edward, I fly with you now authority so necessary to a wild and daring spirit. or never! In silence I assented. For the first Uncontrolled in any wish or desire, she had roamed time, I clasped her in my arms, and at that mothrough the fields of literature and science, bewil- ment we would both gladly have relinquished for dered by the treasures opened suddenly upon her our sinful passion, our hopes in this world—and exuberant imagination, and, without a guide or even in the next. But even at that very moment, instructor “to winnow the gold dust from the we heard a hurried sound of feet in the hall. In barren sand,” she plunged into all the mazes of great agitation the domestics entered and informed mystery and doubt. The attractive garb in which Helen that her husband had on that day's pleasureeach undermining assertion was decked, blinded voyage been accidentally drowned! Even as they ber innocent mind to its falsity or crime. In dying, said the words, his friends bore the lifeless body her father bequeathed her to a husband's care. into the house. As it met Helen's eye, that shriek, He, in his turn, though a man of strong sense and that appalling shriek that burst from her, is even judgment, could not participate in the flowery now echoing in my brain. Horror-stricken as I delights of her fancy; he smiled at the exaggerated was at the sudden and blasting doom which had pictures which she drew, and saw not the strong thus fallen on our guilty projects, I turned to coninfluence which an unrestrained indulgence of any sole her. She fell at my feet in violent convulsions. passion, however indefinite, must ultimately gain Every aid was rendered her, in vain! In a few upon the soul. When I first knew her, I became hours she died-cursing her God and me! fascinated—I know of no other word so applicable "In intrusting Laura to your care, I feel I am to my feelings. We looked upon our devotion to offering to her mother's memory the only poor each other as an interchange of sentiment. We atonement now in my power. Make her resem
ble yourself, and whatever ills the errors of others ner, which makes her revered as well as loved. may cause to her in after life, she will, she must The thousand little sacrifices of feeling, acts of be happy in her own innocence of heart. self-denial, thoughtfulness for the comfort of
“Each hour of my life involves me still deeper others, gentle reproofs, heartfelt commendations, in intricacy and doubt. If I have passed all my which each day discloses, only make her more and existence in one wilful error, what may I not dread more endeared. All her affection seems lavished hereafter! And if there be no Heavenly Guardian, on my children. She is indeed their second parent. no eternity, how poor and unprofitable, how inade- In sickness, when even a mother's strength has quate to my own vehement aspirations after hap- sunk beneath fatigue, her parental love and unpiness, will this world have been! Constance, ceasing care have gülen additional efficacy to all years are before me, in which, if I have been medical aid. The poor around bless her. She wrong, I may repent my error; but whatever be indeed “ hath never let her left hand know what my fate, instruct Laura as you have yourself been her right doeth,” but accident has betrayed her instructed. - Though man may for a time reject charities. No wretched hovel was deemed too piety with disdain, yet even with him a time may revolting for her mild and beneficent presence; come when he will see the insufficiency of this ber purse, her assistance, her time she has giren, world's wealth, and will pine for the one resting-with, above all, that benevolent sympathy that place, like the “ travelled dove:” but religion is weighs so deeply with the unhappy; and many a woman's only safeguard against misery and ruin !" lip that never breathed its Maker's name except
to curse, has been taught by her to call upon Him with heartfelt prayer and penitence. I have heard
from her own lips all her bistory, which I will one CHAPTER XIII.
day relate to you : its narration affects us, because Pauline, the meekly bright; though now no moro
it is what we also feel; and often, Henrietta, over Her clear eye flashed with youth's all lameless glee, the page that relates a simple story of the human Yet something, holier than its day spring wore,
heart, we drop that tear which we have denied to There in soft rest lay beautiful to see; A charm with graver, tenderer sweetness fraught,
the loftier and more talented conceptions of subThe blending of deep love and matron thought. lime genius. A transcript of that history she in
tends to leave as a legacy to my children. “I will
leave it,” said she, “as a warning and a lesson. It Extract from a letter written by the young Mrs. Walton to a friend in Europe :
is a mere record of events, similar to what passes
erery day around us; but when your daughters New York, May, 1837.
grow to that age when a parent most trembles for We are at present somewhat their future lot—the time when they will love,melancholy. The light of our circle is gone-our perhaps the history of one who was their childown dear Laura has left us. The first year of her hood's friend may offer a sincere and protecting marriage passed without a cloud; but her husband moral. My life has been a series of storm and sunhas lately received an appointment in the East shine, but I am content; and quietly and calmly, I Indies. His wife accompanies him, and Constance shall lay myself down to rest, seeking a sweet and remains behind. She resisted, mildly, but firmly, peaceful sleep, from which to wake on another and all their entreaties. “No, Laura,” said she, “I a brighter day. Such are my hopes ; be such yours, am too old to go to a foreign land, to seek new my beloved friend—be such your children's! And friends and new connections. Should any missor- when they drop a tear for my sorrows a blessing tune occur to you, fail not to summon me. But I for my love towards them, let them learn that no devoutly hope you will be safe and happy. Go, station, however confined or deprived of all natural my child; write to me often; make me still the lies, is devoid of usefulness or consolation ; that no sharer of all your feelings. Go, and may God passion, in a strong and pious mind, is beyond the bless you !” But what Laura has lost we have control of religion and virtue; and that, notwithgained. Their dwelling is near ours, and each standing the ridicule of the world which drives so day we enjoy the society, the friendship of Con- many thoughtless girls into a life of misery, constance Woodburn. Oh, Henrietta ! if you did but tent and indeed happiness may be felt and disknow her! She has been beautiful--has been ;- pensed by that most lonely and reviled beingfor she is now fifty-five years old, and her form AN OLD MAID!” is bowed “beneath the weight of sorrow, not of| time." Her voice is clear and full as ever, and to hear that alone is enough to make you love her.
An Austrian censor of the press, not many years ago, Her dress is ever marked by a rich simplicity; condemned as heretical, a work entitled, “ Principes de and even her scrupulous attention to neatness and la Trigonometrie,” because the Trinity, which he sup. precision, is not carried to a fault. There is withal posed to be included in Trigonometry, was a subject not a calm dignity, a mild determination in her man- allowed to be discussed.
| and springing forward to meet him, exclaimed, “SydWOMAN
ney, my brother l-good heavens, how you frightened
me! I thought you were Butler and his gang, and Not thine! not thine! is the glittering crest
expected every moment to be shot down.” And the glance of the snow-white plume “Ah, you little heroine ! how could you stand so Nor the badge that gleams from the warrior's breast, firmly then? Well, let this kiss seal my pardon," he Like a star 'mid the battle's gloom!
said, pressing her to his bosom. Nor is thy place 'mid thy country's host,
I was a few steps behind, when Edith called out to Where the war-steed champs the rein
me, “Come, Constance, and salute this brigand. I Where waving plumes are like sea-foam tost, think you will recognise in him an old acquaintance." And the turf wears a gory stain.
“Good heavens !" I heard Norwood exclaim in a
suppressed voice, can it be?-yes, it is she”-and Not these! not these! are thy glorious dower!
then advancing, he greeted me with the most distant But a holier gift is thine,
and chilling politeness. His manner was so markedWhen the proud have fallen in triumph's hour,
so different from what it used to be in the days of his And the red blood flowed like wine,
youthful fervor, that I felt a deathlike coldness settle at To wipe the dew from the clammy browTo raise the drooping head
“What is the meaning of this?” asked Edith, break. To cool the parched lips' fevered glow
ing the pause. “Is this the effect of what I had hoped And to smooth down the lowly bed !
was an agreeable surprise-Sydney petrified, and ConNot thine! not thine! is the towering height,
stance looking as if she trembled with fear ?" Where Ambition makes his throne
“I must confess," he replied, still in the same cold The timid dove wings not her flight
manner, “that I am surprised to find Miss Marion here."
Edith saw that some mysterious change had come Where the eagle soars alone ;But in the hall, and in the bower,
over her brother since they parted, and desisted from
further remark, while indignant pride came to my relief, And by the humblest hearth, Man feels the charm, and owns the power
nerved my step and fired my eye. We returned to the
house ; Edith endeavoring during the way to keep up That binds him still to earth.
a conversation, which consisted principally in monoYes, these are thine!-and who can say
syllables. His is a brighter doom,
Sydney and herself took the first opportunity of re. Who wins Fame's gory wreath of bay,
tiring together, and several hours elapsed before Edith Round an aching brow to bloom?
returned. She found me like the marble statue transOh! to watch death's livid hues depart
fixed in coldness and silence. There was grief and To soothe every pang of wo
perplexity painted on her brow. Concealment with And to whisper hope, to the fainting heart- her was impossible. There was no dark spot in her Is the proudest meed below!
soul where suspicion or jealousy could harbor.
“My dear Constance," she began, while she threw her arms around my neck, “could any thing make you believe that Edith Norwood can change in her affection
towards you ?” THE TRUCE GROUND.
“No, Edith,” I gasped out, overpowered with the
mysterious cloud that hung over me, “nothing; even FROM THE DIARY OF AN INVALID. were your hand to hold the dagger that pierced me.”
“Then,” continued she, “I will tell you all that
the mouth of slander has dared to utter against you.” (Concluded from page 123.)
“About me, Edith !" I exclaimed in astonishment.
“What can it be? Tell me. I am perfectly unconIt was now the middle of May, and the woods were scious of giving the smallest cause." redolent with sweets. Who could resist the charm to “I believe you, my Constance; but prepare yourwander through the green-curtained labyrinths of na- self to hear the most improbable thing upon earth. ture, and inhale the incense of her pure offering to the Was Col. Webster ever an admirer of yours?" source of beauty and happiness! Edith and I had “To you, Edith," I replied, “I may say he was.” roamed out with more than usual exhilaration of spirit, With a look of surprise, she paused a moment, and hoping to pluck the first blossoms of the rich magnolia then said, “Well, I denied to Sydney that he ever was, on the banks of the neighboring stream. We had not for I had never heard you speak of him as any thing proceeded far in our ramble when our attention was more than a casual acquaintance. Did you ever meet arrested by the echo of a horse's hoofs moving with him clandestinely at the house of a domestic ?” swift tread. We were startled. Our first thought in “My God, Edith! what does that imply? I did these perilous times was of danger from the lawless have an interview with him at Kate Sweeney's cottage." hordes of the enemy. However, as we quickly per- “And last of all, did a private correspondence pass ceived it was only one rider who was approaching, we between you, whereby the plan of an elopement with determined to stand our ground, and face the foe, if him was laid and executed under the pretence of meetindeed he were one. It was not until he came within ing Gen. Marion at Georgetown ? Now for your dea few paces of us, that Edith recognised her brother, I fence, if astonishment does not hold you speechless."
For a moment or two, I sat in amazement. At length, | live the guilty shall cower before her. Sydney shall be I replied, “I will not stoop, Edith, to refute anything so the first to know its falsehood.” preposterous, so malicious. Those who could listen to She was going to find him, when I arrested her footsuch a tale, are no better than the framer of it. I will steps, beseeching her that nothing might be said to him treat both with contempt.”
on the subject. “Edith,” I said, “though he is your “But for my sake, Constance for the sake of the brother, I must say his suspicions are ungenerous and perfect love and confidence between us, explain all the dishonorable. Let him entertain an opinion which a grounds for this slander, as far as you are able.” noble mind would have disdained: self-respect forbids
“Edith, I cannot resist your appeal. I have told my descending to any explanation to him who knew you I was dying in the house where Heyward's pre- me too well to suspect—". My utterance failed, while sence tormented me.”
the burning tears chased each other down my cheeks. "Oh, yes; go on, go on."
Edith sprang forward to embrace me. “You are “I heard through Sweeney of Marion's arrival with right, Constance ; it was unworthy of him, to think for recruits near Georgetown. My only thought was to a moment that you could deviate from the path of fly to his protection. Col. Webster, though a rejected rectitude. I do not mean to plead his excuse, when I lover, was still my friend. He saw in his visits to Sir tell you that it is the jealousy inseparable from the John's, that I was unhappy from some hidden cause. deep passion of love, that has infected the mind of He offered his services to relieve me, if it were in his poor Sydney. I know that your image has lived in power. I told him my wish to go to my uncle Marion. his heart for the last two years; but what changes had He insisted on furnishing me with a sufficient escort come over yours in that time he knew not. The heart from his own troops, which I at first accepted; but re- of many a fair one veers to every point of the compass ceiving contrary directions from my uncle, I wrote to in less time. Sydney never suspected your conduct of Col. Webster, requesting an interview at Sweeney's criminality; fickleness and imprudence were his harshcottage, that I might communicate the change in my est terms. May I go, Constance ?"continued the noble plans, and also to ask his passport, as a security from girl : "never believe that I will compromise the dignity interruption and insult. You understand that my motive of my sex, much less that of the unbending Miss Main observing secrecy in my communications with Col. rion, before any man.” Webster was on account of the jealous and irritable “Go, Edith," I replied, "bul remember I will sooner feelings of Heyward."
die the victim of defamation, than seek the friendship “Well,” exclaimed Edith, with her wonted vivacity, of any one who has lent a ready ear to this tale of “my penetration can easily unravel the mystery. If slander.” I am not mistaken, the whole plot is Heyward's. By Edith found Norwood in the library, pacing the floor some means, he became acquainted with your corres- with agitated step. The tumultuous state of his feelpondence with Webster, and upon that hung this dia- ings forbade any thing like composure, while the dread bolical slander."
uncertainty rested on his mind. “What could be his motive ?" I asked. “I am sure "Edith,” he exclaimed, as she entered, " your face it was not the way to promote his own wishes; and if was wont to be my mirror of hope ; but now it forebodes he meant it as a piece of revenge, it could avail nothing." evil. Does no beam of light glance across the darkness ?”
“I will tell you, Constance, how this aspersion, in “Darkness !” she replied, “ there is no darkness, exhis own view, could promote his object. He hoped by cept in the minds of the malicious and contracted. I cheapening your reputation in the eyes of the world, blush that the high-born Sydney could lend an ear to so to do it in your own; so that to avoid reproach, you foul a tale.” She then gave him a history of the transwould yield to his overtures; and thus the affair could actions between Col. Webster and myself, and of the be salved over. Such men have their agents; and one circumstances which induced me to wish to leave Sir of his has been reporting your movements to this prince John's. When she had done, not a doubt of the plot's of darkness. Has he no humble friend or dependant, being a fabrication of Heyward's, remained on his subservient to all his wishes ?”
mind; and his first impulse was to confront the villain I replied that I had never seen him familiar with any and demand instant recantation of what he had reone but his groom George, who was always more than ported, or else to take the satisfaction which justice civil to me.
and honor required. “But, Edith,” he said, "this will “Did you pass or see him the evening you met be no reparation for the injury I have done Constance. Webster ?"
I feel that her scorn is my due, and that I cannot meet “ Yes, I saw him carrying up Heyward's phaeton as her indignant glance without being miserable forever.” I went, and he passed again while Col. Webster was at “There is no danger of encountering it shortly, I the cottage."
assure you. From her present mood, I believe she will “That is enough, Constance; he is the spy, depend not soon trouble you with her presence.” on it. For confirmation, we will compare notes with “Good heavens, Edith! then I have plunged the Sweeney, whose acuteness is never at fault, you know.” dagger into my own bosom! Tell her it was the love
My breast heaved with agonizing emotion, when I that brooks not a rival, that phrenzied my mind, and felt that the dart of the destroyer had reached me in set my soul aflame.-What presumption! I never told this my last covert, and yielding to the weakness of her in set phrase that I loved her, though every look nature, I burst into tears.
and every action confessed it. Was it a delusion! I “Is this weakness becoming Constance Marion ?" thought my love had an advocate in her own bosom. exclaimed Edith. “Rather let her stand erect in inno- Edith, forgiveness must be a part of so divine a being cence, to the confusion of vice and hypocrisy; for as I | I will throw myself at her feet, and plead the memory of our past confidence and happiness. Go, ask her to we heard nothing from our troops, except hy the occa give me a moment's interview. A refusal will seal for sional visits of Sweeney. He told us that the brigade me a miserable destiny."
on Snow's island had made some successful sorties on After much persuasion on Edith's part, I consented the enemy, but the marauder and his gang were still to see Norwood, resoking that I would abate nothing lurking in the morasses of the Pedee. of my resentment Oh, how weak are our resolves, Sweeney was off again to the camp, and did not return when they are combatted by the affections! I heard as usual to bring us tidings. At length I became uneasy, his self-reproaches, and I knew they were sincere. The and had fearful apprehensions of some disaster at my deep pathos of that voice, which in former days had so uncle's quarters. In this melancholy frame of mind I often sent the thrill of delight through my soul, now walked out alone, (for grief loves solitude,) and purtrembling with emotion, while he confessed his fault, suing the path towards Kate's cottage, reached the melted down my harshest feelings towards him into a door before I was conscious that I was near it. My tide of deep and unalloyed sympathy with the sufferer. attention was caught by hearing my own name proOur interview ended with the confession of an attach- nounced in a low voice by a stranger. I stood utterly ment which two years of absence and trial had only confounded, for I heard Sweeney say in reply, “As deepened, and our mutual faith was plighted on the your business is a secret, Kate had better step up and altar of true love, whose fires burned brighter and give her a hint to come down." brighter, as congenial tastes and dispositions were de- I could listen no longer, but hastily opening the door, veloped. Ob! it was a sweet moment to me, when my entered. The first person I saw was a man of pleasing heart which had so long been buffeted by the storms countenance, habited in a citizen's dress. Sweeney was of life and the conflicting passions of a proud and sen- sitting near him, with his eye anxiously fixed on the sitive nature, seemed to cast its anchor of hope into door, as if fearing intrusion. He started on seeing me, this haven of perfect happiness.
but it was the surprise of pleasure. “Your servant, Edith's joy at this issue of the scene, was too evident Miss; this is a God-send, your coming just now,'' to be concealed. She declared that there was nothing (looking at the stranger.) He bowed respectfully, and 50 fine as a storm to clear the atmosphere of the affec- requested Sweeney to observe we were not interrupted tions. “But now, Constance," she said, “ let there be while he did his errand. He then informed me that he no more clouds ; I have no patience with these ups and was the bearer of an important letter to me. He said downs, which poeis say are essential to the existence he knew not its contents, and only obeyed the behest of true love: where the heart once confidently trusts, of a person dearer to him than life, in delivering it to I think it may trust forever. I see my lecture does not the lady, with a caution to read it alone. I felt my well assort with your buoyant feelings; so I will reserve courage vacillate while the man ripped the leather of the remainder for Sydney, whose Quixotic bravery I his jack-boot, in which the token was secreted; but fear will involve him in an affray with Heyward." looking towards Sweeney, I saw his countenance calm
Her words struck me with instant alarm; for I knew and confiding, and was reassured. As soon as the the inflexible hatred of Heyward towards any one paper was extricated, I retired into a little inner room whom he thought his rival with me. It was not with with the letter. It was without superscription or signaout earnest persuasion, and even tears, that I prevailed ture. The hand struck me as one I had seen before. on Norwood to relinquish his purpose of calling him to Could it be ?-yes, it was Col. Webster's. I scarcely immediate account for his conduct. Edith added her breathed while I read the following words:advice on the subject, in her characteristic manner, by
“A real friend--one who scorns the base attempt to reminding Sydney that he had an affair of honor on link your fair name or his own with infamy, braves the hand of longer claim and more momentous consequence, danger of losing his station in the British army, to warn to which his attention, she thought, was first due.
you " And what is that, Edith ?” he replied: "since you the camp of —; but doubtless the primary object
of a plot formed by your worst enemy, lo surprise and Constance have undertaken to judge for me on the with him is to get possession of your person. I cannot point of honor, I should like to know my future course believe he has joined the marauders under British of conduct."
colors with any other motive. I esteem it more than "Have you not pledged your sword, and even your disgraceful to gain conquests leagued with banditti. I life, to defend and establish the liberty of your country?
communicate this information that you may take such Should you without forethought or due investigation
measures as prudence requires for your own safety, rush on danger, or perhaps death? Let time develop and give the necessary warning to others. This must this plot. Gen. Marion being Constance's nearest rela- all be done in perfect secrecy, and no time lost on your tion, will take every measure to arrest the calumny, if
part, as I have reason to believe the enemy are already it has obtained any credit ; and if there is to be any secretly approaching your quarters. This intelligence Sghting, I am sure he will let you be the champion on I send you by a trusty hand. Destroy the record of it, her side."
and dismiss him silently. God preserve you from the ma"Well, Edith, under your ridicule I dare say there chinations of one whom you have every reason to fear.” is some wisdom; so I must e'en break the spell that binds me here, and rejoin my brigade.”
I could not mistake the noble feelings that dictated In a few hours afterwards I sat alone, watching the this communication, and I trembled under a weight of last glimpses of Norwood's plumes, as he passed down horror and apprehension ; but there was no time to
yield to feelings of this sort. I roused myself to conFor some time, our life went on very quietly at the sider what was best to be done; and resolving to be Lodge. The country was infested with the enemy, and I myself the bearer of the intelligence to my uncle, re