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seized his brain; and those who entered the apartment to prepare it again for crime and folly, found the body of a murdered man, from whose breast still gushed the warm, crimson blood. He had fled from scenes of earthly misery, to meet the reward of his crime in another world. The good spirit shuddered, and the bright spots on his silver wings were dimmed; the polluting air which breathed in that place of crime blasted all before it.



It was a scene on which the joyous sun shone with sadness. The grim, gloomy pile cast a shade on all around, and there was a hushed and solemn stillness in the very air. It was a prison--and in the faces of those who dwelt within its gloomy walls, a fixed and rigid hardness usurped the place of every soft emotion. For they brooded over their wrongs; over the want and temptation which had goaded them on to crime; over the cold slights and insults which roused their worst passions; and over the heartless justice that coldly doomed them to drag out their weary lives in the close atmosphere of a prison. Summer no longer came heralded, as in the days of innocent boyhood, by the voice of the bird and the hum of the bee; by the warm breath of clustering flowers, and the soft glimpses of sunlight that pierced even the dim old woods; by the shouts of merry voices that echoed again amid the lonely hills. No! Summer came to them in the close, stifling air of their contracted apartments; in the burning heat which scorched their very brains ; and the crawling insects that shared with them their dismal cells. This was their fate in this world; but sternly they repulsed all conversation of a better; they nourished the thought of vengeance, and crushed all penitent feelings, ere the fragile buds could expand into flowers of strength and beauty.

There was a cell darker and more gloomy than the others—the cell of the condemned. No rays of sun came stealing in to light the dark face of the prisoner-dark with conflicting passions, and horror at his approaching fate; a gloomy, settled shade threw the figures only of the occupants into sight. But hark! there are voices in the cell; they come mingled with the clank of fetters that bind the weary limbs of the

condemned one. A minister of God is endeavoring to lead the man of crime to thoughts of a better world. He is one of those who have their reward in a crown that fadeth not away. Withdrawing himself from the cheerful influence of a pleasant home, from the sunshine of the world without, he steadily devotes his hours to the miserable creatures who never breathe the pure air of heaven. Though their hard natures seldom melt beneath the influence of his kindly words, and discouragement and indifference often repulse his endeavors, yet he steadfastly pursues the path which he has marked out.

The prisoner is touched; could the rays of light penetrate that dreary place, they would not show features on which infamy is stamped with indelible marks: they would show a face and form that has not long languished in a murderer's cell. And wherefore are they there now? He is the survivor of a fatal duel. When the young man saw the friend and companion of his childhood lying at his feet, while the dews of death gathered round his cold brow, a thrill of agony shot through his heart; and he even wished to change places with the senseless dead. But this saved him not from the punishment of the law—and to-morrow the bell would toll his requiem! The clergyman tells him of the promises contained in the Bible, and his voice falls on listening ears; a new light has stolen on his mind; and in that gloomy cell he tastes the most exquisite bliss that earth can afford. “ You have been my friend,” said he, to the departing minister: “you have led me to look above this world and its transitory joys. But I am still proud,” he continued; “I would not meet my death at the hands of the common executioner; and I feel that my wish will be gratified. To-night my spirit will leave its earthly tenement.” The clergyman prayed that it might be so, for in that cell of condemned crime he had met with an instance of faith, rare and glorious.

The servants of the law came with chains and fetters, to lead the criminal to execution, as the golden sun unfolded his beams on the smiling earth. A faint ray of sunlight from the open door, fell upon the narrow bed that contained the prisoner; but he moved not. “He sleeps,” said one ; " he sleeps yet, though so near death!" They shook him gently, to awaken him-for even those rough men felt a ray of pity for the condemned prisoner ; but he



slept the sleep of death. No marks of violence disturbed his features, which were calm and placid; no hidden wound was found; he had dropped to sleep like an infant, with a smile upon his face, an emblem of his purified spirit.

The two spirits still follow in each other's

footsteps: one comes like a ministering angel, and draws out all the good that dwells within the heart, to bear flowers of perfect beauty; while the other follows to rouse all bad passions, and choke up the good with flowers of evil growth.


Come back, come back, sweet memories

Of life's young April weather ;
Of hopes that came like morning light,

And fled at eve forever.
Come back, come back, while the stars are out,

In the quiet depths of heaven;
Come back, come back, while this lonely hour

To the bitter past is given-
While the hush of night is on the air,

While the moon's pale beams are falling
On paved path, and lonely street,

And hushed and silent dwelling.
Ye come, sweet visions,-from absent lips

A breath o'er my brow is stealing,
And a kindly eye on my own is bent,

Its world of love revealing.
A gentle, friendly, earnest grasp,

Sweet tones, and words of meeting--
Alas! that tone, and word, and clasp,

Should change so soon their greeting.
Oh, mournfully, visions, fade ye away!

And the air on my brow comes sweeping,
Chill as the lonely heart that yet

Its vigil sad is keeping



The scene where the incidents I am about to detail took place, is a charming one. I wish I could describe it—the quiet cottage, with its shade trees and its vine-covered porch, just large enough for the accommodation of a young and newly married couple, with moderate views and still more moderate means, but with hearts of capacity to feel contented, beCause they seemed filled with each other. I speak now of the time when they first came there to live. It was in the bright and joyous time of spring. Nature looked all smiles, just full of green leaves and fragrant blossoms, as

hope. But life is full of mysteries, and the strangest of all, perhaps, is, that we can smile at all in this world of sin and sorrow—that the spirit is not always covered with a gloomy pall --that the heart is ever light. It always appeared to me strange, after I learned their history, how these two beings, apparently formed for each other, could wear, as they did wear for years, the semblance of happiness, and show in their conduct to one another all the outward tokens of ardent affection, so as to live for all that time mutually deceived and deceiving others—how they could smile upon each


two beings I speak of—the young man full of the ardent aspirations of one just entering upon the practice of a profession, in which the promises of fame are only exceeded by the hopes of usefulness, and the voice of holy sympathies crowding and swelling up in the heart—the young and exceedingly lovely woman, wearing the bright blushes of a new-made bride, and rejoicing in the prospect of opening years of happiness—I wish I could describe all this, but I cannot. Let the reader then imagine, if he can, a quiet village sleeping on the bank of a river, and the cottage we could wish to paint for him, just on the outskirts, and overlooking a broad and beautiful bay, and then fill up the scenery with all he pleases of beauty and grace, and he will see nothing more pleasant than the place I have in my eye. Perhaps he has been there. Then he knows all about it, and has had some experience of how glorious nature is in some places. Perhaps he knew the very individuals I am speaking of. If he knew them at the time I write of, he knew two beings who, under an exterior of the most profound happiness, bore about in their bosoms each a heart corroded and tortured, and harrowed up with unutterable anguish.

Such beings there are in this world, and who has not known them? It is a mystery how they smile with such heavy hearts—how they wear a face beaming with joy and happiness, while care sits in their breast and lays its redhot hand on every thought, and feeling, and

kisses—how they could lie in each other's bosom and feign all they did feign year after year, and yet be utterly indifferent to each other, nay, worse—while they each loved with a deep and passionate idolatry another, and loathed and gave grudgingly their mutual embraces. Yet such was the truth; and I say it was wonderful how they lived as they did how they wore always the same cheerful face and smiles, and spoke their words in tones of affection. But who can read the human heart? who follow it through all its windings and tortuous ways? Who knows that the heart he trusts in and folds to his own with ardent love, while the eye answers to every look of tenderness, may not be turned at that very moment in earnest longings to another ? Who knows that his own heart, now clinging with intense love to some vision of his youth, some fair and beautiful being, may not yet learn to look upon that very object with coldness, and contempt, and scorn ? But let me tell my story.

Early in the spring, a young man came to the village, and after looking around for a few days, and seeing that the cottage I have mentioned was to be let, called upon the owner and rented it. He was just through his studies as a medical student, and had determined to commence business there ; and as he was to bring his young wife with him, he had fixed upon the cottage as a desirable residence, and one which he thought would please her. The grounds were arranged by him in advance of

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her arrival, with exquisite taste. Everything was done to beautify the place and make it smile in joy and gladness to welcome the beautiful bride, who was to outshine all the attractions around her. Then she came, and the villagers gazed at her admiringly, for such beauty and grace were rarely seen.

The quiet smile that sat upon her face, was a welcome to every one, and every lip was ready to bless the fair and happy young bride, even before they knew her. It required but a few days for them to become domesticated in their new residence, and to become acquainted with the kind and hospitable neighbors; and their manners won for them at once the affection and regards of all around them. It was pleasant to see them on the first Sunday after their arrival, as they issued from the little arched gate, and arm in arm passed on to the village church; how all met them with a smile of welcome, and many an old and gray-headed man and woman, finding their hearts drawn to the strangers, grasped their hands with warm affection, and gave

them promises, which, from the mouth of age, seemed like prophecies of success and happiness. And in the bosoms of the young arose no thought of envy, for they loved them as soon as they saw them, and in the silence of their own hearts pledged them kindness and sympathy. I say it was pleasant to see these two, strangers to all they met, gathering at once around them good wishes and hearty love, and finding so soon their way into the very hearts of their new friends. But it could not be otherwise.

I have much, very much to tell, in the short space allotted me. I must compress the joys and sorrows of four years in a few pages, and I hardly know how to do it. If I could take you on from day to day, and month to month, I could show you the constantly accumulating sources of pleasure and happiness that gathered around our young friends, and opened to them promises of enduring bliss. But I can only say that as business increased upon the young physician, he only seemed to court it and rejoice in it, because of the wider sphere which it opened for his beautiful wife to find enjoyment. He seemed entirely absorbed in her, and she in him; yet they entered into society with all the zest of those who find in it their only comfort, and all around them loved them.

But I may best show the apparent feelings which filled their hearts, by showing them in the solitude of their cottage home. , I say the

apparent feelings, for I would have


readers remember what I have said above, that deep sorrow, and cankering care, and mutual loathing and contempt sat continually in both their hearts, and made them, under all the joyous and happy exterior that deceived others as well as themselves, the most miserable of beings. And it is this I wish to make distinctly appear

- that the face is no criterion of the heart, but is often the veriest hypocrite, wreathing itself into smiles, when tears of anguish are ready to start from the eye, and being checked and smothered down, eat into and corrode the spirit.

The time then at which we visit them, is an evening a few months after the commencement of our narrative. The sun is just setting, and sheds upon the beautiful bay in front of the cottage, a broad path of golden light. All is calm, and the very air seems filled with the same quiet that seems to fill their bosoms. He is seated on the piazza, and she, almost at his feet, on a low ottoman, leans confidingly upon his knee. If they love not, and trust not in each other, who do? Aye, there is the fault. They each believe the other loves, and trusts and believes, and thus they deceive themselves and each other.

“ How very beautiful it is,” says Amy. " To a heart like yours, Henry, filled with high and glorious thoughts of nature, nothing can be more lovely than this ?"

“ And why not to yours, my sweet wife? Is not your heart tuned to the same feeling of beauty as mine? Have we not always, since

ve known each other, loved the same things, books, and songs, and scenery, and flowers? Do we not think alike and feel alike in everything? Then why should not this be to you as it is to me?"

“ It is,” said she; "and I could almost wish it would last forever. But it is all passing away, just as the joys of earth pass."

“Only to be succeeded by others as bright,” said her husband.

Do you believe, Henry, that there are any, to whom life is always happy, and who never see the clouds that darken the path of so


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many ?

He looked in her face a moment, as if he expected to see there the very clouds she spoke of. But though there was a singular tone of sadness in her voice, there was nothing there but the same happy and contented smile she ever wore, and she returned his gaze with a still warmer smile.

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we are,

Why do you ask, Amy ?” he inquired.
“ Because I sometimes fear, that happy as


all be false and by and by fade away.”

“Dreams, Amy-all dreams. This earth is not a place where we are to look for nothing but shadowy unrealities—where happiness is only a transient ray of sunshine, to be darkened over by clouds or torn away by stormy winds. There is infinitely more here—all that the wildest dreams of visionary ever conceived."

“ But where are we to look for it, Henry ? Not surely in ourselves.”

“No-far from it, my beloved. In each other-in our friends—in the deep and ardent love of one another, and the kindred hearts we are gathering around us to share it, and bestow theirs in return. Love, Amy, is the universe to those who understand and know its power. Not that selfish contracted affection which confines itself in sickly solitude to one only object, and banishes all the world besides ; but that universal benevolence, that, with one object uppermost and supreme in the heart, embraces all, and loves all, and delights in the happiness of all."

She laughed as she replied, “ You speak like an enthusiast or a philosopher, I can hardly tell which ; but either way, I believe you are right.”

“Right !—to be sure I am. We are happy now. Is it only in each other, or is it not also in the affection and kindness we meet in every one of our new neighbors ? Should we continue to be happy alone, confined to the society of each other, such would only be the inactive content of the birds and beasts. We should tire, my own one, of that one only presence, and our restless hearts would wander out, anxious and dissatisfied, and longing for communion with others like ourselves."

“ Were I inclined to be jealous, Henry, I should fear for the future. But I am not. I am too sure that I am the one uppermost in your love, and I rejoice in seeing you loved and honored by others.”

“ And loving others; is it not so, dear Amy? You yourself would not be so happy, did you see me ever tied to your side, and slighting the affection that is springing up around me, and making me feel as if my life and yours are only a part of the great whole, that is folding us to its heart in so much gladness."

Poor, deluded self-deceivers! Thus they spoke, but far from thus did they feel. But a

few months before, they had both, by a strange coincidence, seen their early hopes and wishes broken, and their hearts had bowed down in unutterable anguish. But they were proud and strong-hearted, and they met to rise above their sorrows--met for the first time, and unknowing each other's griefs, rushed with a strange willingness into each other's arms, as if they were thus to drown the misery they suffered. Both thought themselves beloved, and thus trusted to the other a heart weighed down with sorrow, vainly thinking that in their fancied affection they could forget. From this moment life to them became a constant struggle to deceive. Every power of their minds was tasked to the utmost to play the hypocrite successfully, and from their heavy and overburdened hearts were forced up smiles, to repay the love each believed the other to feel. Yet during all this, they were ever looking back with anxious regrets to what they had lost, and in their solitude they sighed for the past and mourned bitterly over the step they had taken. And thus wore on month after month of this life of terrible struggle—a life in which every advancing day, covered and filled as it was with joyous smiles and the honeyed words of affection, only made them loathe more and more the presence of each other, because they were continually compelled to strive against the real feelings of their hearts, and show in their outward acts a love which they were utterly ignorant and destitute of.

It must have been terrible to live thus, and yet for years they continued to maintain the same undiminished appearance of affection, and to cheat themselves, and all who knew them. But it could not last forever. The time drews on slowly and gradually, when they began to discern the truth, or iather, at first, to suspect it. I know not what first revealed to them the true condition of their hearts. It might have been the muttering of a name in sleep; or the discovery of some toy or little keepsake, treasured in secret through long and solitary years of bitterness, and almost worshipped for the memories it brought back of the past ; or, perhaps, a letter written years ago, in the young heart's first love, and cherished since, and read and read again when the other was absent, till it had become soiled, and worn, and faded, and blotted with tears, and now left by accident in some place where it had been seen and read unsuspectingly by the very one who ought to have been the last one to see it. There are a

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