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soon did her mother make her comprehend the affectionate part her devoted father had acted,-and, before that day closed, Henry Fitzpatrick and Mary Gray were acknowledged as affianced man and wife.

It was quite delightful to see the happiness of Captain Gray. With a competence himself, and enough to make his child and her husband comfortable during his life, and more than comfortable after his death, he felt that, in giving a clever, amiable, and agreeable husband to his daughter, he had secured a delightful and suitable companion for himself. The difference in the ages, after all, was scarcely perceptible as far as the unity of their pursuits was concerned, or the interchange of their thoughts and opinions. Gray was somewhere about forty-five; Fitzpatrick not very far from thirty. Mary, from the moment of his avowal and declaration, became a different creature; the reserve which the presence of even the most intimate acquaintance produces in a family-circle was now gone, and Henry became one of themselves.

There was but one stipulation which Gray made as contingent upon the marriage; namely, that Fitzpatrick should, since there was no glory to be gained in these piping times of peace, go like himself upon half-pay, and as he had some fortune of his own, live at least some part of the year with them: "And," added Gray, in the full spirit of hospitality," the greater part it is, the better pleased we shall be."

Nothing could be more agreeable to the mother of the bride-elect than this arrangement-nothing more satisfactory to the bride-elect herself, who-as soon as her thoughts and ideas became sufficiently composed to permit her to recollect and consider the sudden change of her position from the exclusive character of an affectionate daughter, to that of an affianced wife-felt perfectly satisfied that, if anything could add to the felicity which, in the enthusiasm of the moment, she so ardently and so naturally anticipated, it would be the enjoyment of the society of those parents, to whose care and attention she owed all the advantages which education and precept had afforded her, and to whose indulgent devotion to her wishes she was indebted for their ready acquiescence in that which, amongst all her blushings, and weepings, and faintings, was evidently the wish of her heart.

It was clear that Henry Fitzpatrick partook deeply of the feelings of his beloved Mary; his joy at the happy termination of their courtship— if courtship that could be called where neither spoke of love, but lived on, as it were, a life of happy sympathy, until at length that declaration came which justified the tender solicitude he had always evinced for her, and drew from her a confession of feelings, of the existence of which she was not before aware-they loved unconsciously-the light had burst upon them-they were blest; and Gray, recurring to the principles upon which he had himself acted with regard to his own Fanny, beheld, in the marriage of his child with Captain Fitzpatrick, the bright realization of all his most sanguine hopes for her comfort and happiness.

And what an evening was that which followed the day upon which the discovery was made! Henry had at once become a member of the family. Gray and he sat longer than usual after dinner-their conversation assumed a tone of deeper interest and closer intimacy. Fitzpatrick described the excellence of his father, the virtues and accomplishments of his mother-both long since dead; spoke with the warmest affection of his sisters, one of whom was married to an officer in India-the

other settled as the wife of an eminent merchant at Rio de Janeiro. He described them as a family of love, strangely separated by circumstances, but strongly bound to each other by affection. With his uncle, who had been well-known to Gray, he had principally resided until his death; and to his exertions and interest acknowledged himself indebted, in a very great degree, for the promotion he had obtained, and for one or two staff appointments which he had previously held.

Gray was delighted with his future son-in-law, and when they joined Mary and her mother, perhaps four happier people could not have been found in the populous county of Surrey, including even the loyal and constitutional borough of Southwark.

During all the arrangements for the wedding, the sweet disposition of "dear Mary"-as she was always called by those who knew her- manifested itself upon every occasion. Self-love, self-interest, were unknown to her ingenuous breast-confiding generosity and genuine purity of heart shone pre-eminent in all her suggestions, and in the expression of her wishes; and when the day was fixed, it really seemed a day of mourning in the village, upon which a girl so sweet, so gentle, and so good should be taken from amongst its inhabitants.

But she was to return-she was to pass the greater part of her time at home-it was her home-a dear, dear home-a home of comfort and of peace; and when the bells rang merrily, and the white favours fluttered in the breeze, her heart, full of love, of hope, of happiness, still lingered amidst its bowers, and yearned for the day when she might revisit its blest shades.

The sacred service was performed, and one more touching or awfulsave the last-can scarcely be imagined. The obligations it imposes — the sacrifices it commands-the forbearance it inculcates-the virtues it requires to the observance of which two souls are pledged in the face of Heaven, render its celebration in a small retired church, where all who hear it are more or less interested in the proceedings of the day, seriously impressive. Upon this occasion it was read in the most imposing manner by one of the brightest ornaments of our establishment. Gray surrendered the jewel of his heart to her husband-they were blessed-they were ONE.

And then came the little fête, and gaiety in its just degree. The neighbouring gentry assembled round the well-stored breakfast-table, and before the happy couple departed for the honey-moon, their united healths were toasted in "the gaily-circling glass." It was impossible for Gray and his wife not to catch the infection of the mirth which animated the party; but when the moment of separation came, neither Mary nor her mother could utter a syllable. The last "God bless you, beloved of my heart!" was drowned in tears; and as the carriage drove off, Gray covered his eyes with his hands, and sank upon a sofa, wholly exhausted by his feelings.

She was gone their dear, their only child was gone. When the evening closed in, where was dear Mary's smile, that they so loved to gaze upon -where her sweet voice, that they so delighted to hear? All was stillthe riot rout of gaiety was over-there stood her harp uncovered-her favourite books unmoved-all seemed sadly silent-but she was happy, and it would be selfish to indulge in grief at her absence; yet when they went to rest, Gray could not help opening the door of his child's

room; and, gazing on its vacancy and stillness, he heaved a sigh which came from his heart of hearts.

When the morning arrived, the same feeling returned. Where was the innocent creature who was wont to welcome them to the beautiful parlour? Where was dear Mary to make the tea? And, let the grave smile-let the cynic sneer at this-rely upon it, the strongest feelings are excited, the bitterest pangs inflicted, by a sudden change in the ordinary, the most common, the most trifling incidents of our lives. To great evils the elastic mind of man stretches-it knits itself for imminent dangers-it withstands great calamities; but in the more minute changes, intimately connected with its habits and feelings, it fails. Ever since this sweet girl had been of an age to live with her devoted parents, she had made this breakfast-tea-this trashy stuff, about which washerwomen are universally solicitous-this strange commodity, for which the poor with ungrumbling readiness pay a duty of 100 per cent. for the gratification of giving six or seven shillings a pound for nothing mixed with hot water; in order to render which palatable, they pay so much more for sugar and milk. It was not the tea-it was not that Mrs. Gray could not make the tea as well as her daughter, or that the servant could not have made it better, perhaps, than either; but Mary always had made the tea-it was a habit-it was part of the ceremony of their unceremonious life-it was a part of the system-a link in the concatenation; and who had the key of the tea-chest? (a proof highly illustrative of the prudential habits of the Grays,) and where was the sugar? and so on-it was the first break in the first breakfast; but, said Gray to his Fanny," We must bear all this-they will be back soon-please God, she is happy-we must not care for ourselves-we never considered your dear father's breakfast-table when we were breakfasting at Salt Hill the day after our wedding."

Mrs. Gray smiled-blushed a little-said nothing-but, I suppose, like Cocky in the fable," thought the more."

Three or four days reconciled them to this new life, and their neighbours broke in upon its sameness-if that which is novel can be monotonous-by inviting the solitary pair to parties made rather in honour of the event which they could not but regret, as far as their own personal feelings went.

But was not this regret, in some degree, unjust? Here was a marriage, fulfilling, in every point, the wishes both of the younger and the elder parties; for to call Gray at forty-five, or deem Mrs. Gray at thirtyeight, old-would be to libel not them alone, but human nature herself. If Henry Fitzpatrick had a fault it was in an unevenness, not of temper, but of spirits; he would sometimes subside from all the gaiety of mirth -nay, I might almost go the length of saying, the brilliancy of witinto a momentary fit of abstraction. Something seemed to flash across him, and, for an instant, depress his spirits: this, however, had been less remarkable since the felicitous arrangement of the marriage, and a letter received on the second morning by Mrs. Gray from her daughter was full of happiness, and delight, and devotion to her husband, who was at once the kindest and most considerate of human beings. Her father, tenderly remembered in the letter, read, and re-read its lines, and clasping the hand of his excellent wife, exclaimed, with genuine fervour, "Thank God, my child is happy!"

It is gratifying to see with what facility, in certain spheres of life, all the difficulties and worries by which the great and gay are incommoded and inconvenienced, are overcome, merely by the aid of reason, prudence, and a desire to be satisfied with a just proportion of the good things of this life without striving after superfluities, the possession of which, in fact, do not confer happiness.

A week of the honeyed four had passed, and the happy couple were still laughing" the sultry hours away" at Richmond, when a letter was brought to Captain Gray, as he was sitting finishing his letters previous to a drive with his dear Fanny in their pony phaeton, containing these


"Red Lion Inn.

"SIR,-Iam most anxious to see and speak with you. There are reasons why I do not wish to intrude myself into your house. I have travelled hither as rapidly as I could; I have arrived too late; but still, as I am here, I think it a duty to have a short conversation with you, upon the result of which you will decide. "H. F.

“I shall remain here for your answer."

When Gray read this brief and unaccountable epistle, his first inquiry of the messenger who brought it, was, from whose hands he received it. The answer was, from one of the waiters, whose only additional direction was to make the best of his way to Captain Gray's, and to get an


"Was it a gentleman or a lady who wrote?" asked Gray.

The lout did not know; all he knew was that it was to be delivered as fast as possible, and he was to have half-a-crown if he got back in three-quarters of an hour.


These points of the affair at once roused the dormant lion in the Captain's breast. Some man had felt himself injured by some act of his; it was a call a demand-yet he had come too late-what did that mean?-no matter-the fire was kindled-it was something. short conversation ?" said Gray to himself; "long or short, or be it our first or our last, you shall have it.”

His answer was verbal; he would be there directly. The clod ran back, and was at the end of his journey a quarter of an hour before Gray's arrival..

Gray, who was a resolute, determined, and, as I have already said, at an earlier period of his life, what might be called a desperate man, walked into the sweet shrubbery of his little earthly paradise, and told his wife that he had received a note which called him to the neighbouring town, and would therefore drive thither in the phaeton, transact the business, and return for her. To this, as a well-conducted wife should, dear Mrs. Gray consented, and Gray was so delighted with her sweet accordance with his intention, that in spite of a plush-jacketed gardener pushing along a creaking iron roller over the grass, and in spite of having been married nearly a quarter of a century, he gave her don't be angry, reader-a sweet, a fervent kiss; there might have been

wo, and

what then?

Gray left her-proceeded into the house-and after a short space of time mounted his phaeton, having, however, with a mixture of chivalry and prudence, slipped under the seat of the carriage his case of duelling pistols, thinking perhaps that he might be unintentionally entangled in

some affair of what is called " honour," and being sure, if such should be the case, however ignorant he was at the moment of the possible cause of the appeal, that in a town where military officers were stationed, he could on the instant find a "friend;" for let it be never forgotten that upon no occasion are friends so rife as when their amicable exertions tend to the hostile settlement of some such affair.

Had his dear-his influential-his incomparable wife known this, would he have gone so armed? However, he went-drove perhaps more rapidly than usual-his child was provided for-his mind was in a whirl-he desired to have the interview over-it would be off his mind-besides, Fanny was waiting for her drive.

He reached the inn-inquired for the landlord-saw him-asked where the gentleman was who had sent the letter to him by his messenger.

"Gentleman, Sir," said the landlord; "we have no gentleman here, Sir; the letter I forwarded was from a lady."

"A lady!" said Gray; and he laughed at his foolish sensitiveness and his precaution about pistols. "Where is the lady?"

"She expects you, Sir," said the landlord; "I will show you, Sir. Is No. 15 in?" cried he to the chambermaid.

"Yes, Sir."

"This way, Sir," said the landlord; and having arrived at the door of the apartment, opened it, and presented to an extremely agreeable lady" Captain Gray."

Captain Gray bowed. The lady attempted to rise from her seat, but burst into a flood of tears. The captain, a perfect turtle-dove in his line, could not stand this-he endeavoured to soothe her-she sobbed more audibly, and Gray drew his chair beside her.

"Madam," said the Captain, "what does this mean? why this grief-this agitation? I do not recollect to have ever had the pleasure of seeing you before."


"Me, Sir," said the lady; no, no, no, Sir; would to God you had seen me! misery-wretchedness-horror-would have been saved to you and those whom you love better than yourself!"—and here a violent paroxysm of grief stopped her utterance.

"What can you mean?" said Gray; "have I injured you? have I wronged any one belonging to you?"

"Oh no, Sir; no," said she; "it is you who are wronged-it is I who am wronged-both-both of us; but you even beyond myself; and your lovely, innocent child is married!”

"Great Heaven! what of that?" exclaimed Gray;

"what has that

to do with it?"

"All, all," said the wretched woman; "if I could have prevented it I would, not for your sake only, but for my own; she is married to Henry Fitzpatrick."

"I know it," said Gray, trembling with agitation for which he could scarcely account; " what then?"

"She is doomed! - she is damned!" screamed the wretched


"Are you in your senses, Madam ?" said Gray; "what can you mean by a manner so wild and language so extraordinary ? "

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