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was, indeed, cordially, though more feebly, returned-but, but I feel sure you will not refuse it. Lucy says, that if I the widowed man shrank from his friend's glance, and, could be with her for a few days, I should be the greatest turning away, covered his face with his hands, to gain a support to her: she says that, after having now seen me, moment to recover his composure. After a short pause, he and our having talked together, the first dread of meeting said “ This visit is, indeed, kind, dear Meynell—I know me, which she felt, is over, and that she shrinks from fallthe goodness of your heart, and what must you feel for me ing back upon her own sad thoughts, and seeing her father at such a moment as this. I am, indeed, desolate!”
shed tears over her. I feel sure that she is right, and that Sir Walter answered his friend with that delicacy, yet I should indeed be of service to her, as her feelings are now. depth, of feeling, which shewed how far beyond the formal So you will let me stay with her, Walter, won't you? And condolences of the world were his expressions of sympathy you must get Mr. Adair to consent, I will promise to keep --expressions, indeed, which could come only from a most quite out of his way; he may almost believe I am not here. sensitive heart under the influence of warm and strong Nobody but Lucy shall see me." friendship.
"Good, kind girl,” said Sir Walter, kissing her brow:At length, he broke a pause which had supervened, by "most willingly do I consent to your staying with your poor asking whether his sister might not see her young friend, Lucy--I will arrange it with Adair. God bless and protect “ Assuredly-and yet I fear the meeting will be almost too you,” he added, addressing Lucy as he passed her, and much for her-Oh, Meynell, you can form no idea of how placing his hand upon her brow. “That is, indeed, a most that child has suffered !” As he spoke, he rang the bell, .extraordinary child,” he continued in thought-" pray and desired his daughter to be called
Heaven the issues of her destiny may be happy!" An object of more beauty and interest than was Lucy Elizabeth remained with her friend; and in a short time Adair, as she entered the room, it would be most difficult to the smile again began to beam, and the colour to bloom on conceive. She was dressed in the deepest mourning, and Lucy's cheek. Truly has it been saidthe contrast between her dress of sorrow, and the feelings of
“The tear down childhood's cheek that flows, joyous gaiety which ought to be those of her age and more
Is like the rain-drop on the rose ; peculiarly so of her individual disposition, was most striking
When next the suminer breeze comes by, and sad. The change altogether in her appearance struck
And waves the bush, the flow'r is dry !"* Elizabeth most painfully. Her jet-black hair, which com- | And a most benevolent provision of Nature it is, that thus monly tossed in a profusion of ringlets, was now plainly it should be! If a heart were to suffer, at that age, the parted upon her brow-her large dark eyes, which usually sorrows of maturity, maturity would never be reached. flashed with animation and buoyant life through their Elizabeth's visit, at this time, tended greatly to increase lashes of singular darkness and length, were now sunken, the intimacy and the intercourse between the two families. and, if I may use the phrase, pale with the cold moisture of Lucy constantly came to Arlescot to profit by sharing in protracted tears ;-and her cheek, instead of flushing and the progress of her friend's education. In music, especially, mantling with the brilliant blood of health and youth, was they advanced together-and Sir Walter would hang with now of a whiteness equal to that of the ivory neck, which delight upon the union of their voices, as they joined in shewed in such startling contrast against the mourning dress. their frequent duets. Lucy's voice had an early richness,
When Lucy entered, her pace was slow, and her eyes peculiarly rare. At the age of twelve it had a round full were bent upon the ground. She seemed to be under the
sweetness, scarcely ever possessed till years afterwards. action of violent feeling, for her breath came and went ra But in every thing, except perhaps in stature, her precocity pidly, as was shewn by the almost tumultuous heaving of
was most striking. The flash of her eye had more intelliher bosom. At length, she raised her head, and running
gence, the lively mot more point, the bright smile more forward to Elizabeth, uttered one cry, and fell into her arms archness, than is almost ever possessed till the hoyden girl in a paroxysm of convulsive tears.
ripens into the “young lady." Still, there was no lack of Mr. Adair turned to Sir Walter—and merely uttering the the fine, springing spirits of her age. She would race along words, “You see"-left the room to regain that composure the broad bowling-green at Arlescot--or canter off upon a so necessary before his child, and which he found it impos
donkey with a pad, instead of her own highly-managed sible at that moment to support.
poney, with all the buoyant inconséquence of a mere child. Sir Walter sat down silently, and gazed with emotion
And yet, at night, she would rivet every ear by the melody upon the picture before him. Two beautiful children, the with which she would give the songs of Ariel, or cause the one wrapt in an agony of grief, sheltered and cherished in
most rigid to follow with admiring laughter the truth with the bosom of the other, whose gentle countenance, now tin
which she rendered the mischievous archness of Puck. ged with sadness and pity, might almost (her fond brother
Indeed, it might almost be fancied, that one could trace thought) form a model for that of an angel sent from heaven
some connection of race between these fairy creatures, of on an errand of mercy---such a group as this could not be
whose doings she was so fond, and Lucy herself. She was, contemplated without feelings of the softest, purest, and if anything, otherwise than tall; but formed with a perfecmost pitying nature. The violence of Lucy's tears had now
tion which gave to every motion the grace and lightness of passed away--and she lay upon her friend's bosom, her
a fay indeed. Her hair was profuse--and black as the gentle sobs coming at increasing intervals—like the ebbing
raven's feather; her eyes-large, full, dark, brilliant-ever of a calm tide at evening.
gave the prologue to her actual speech, by a glance of fire, Sir Walter kept witlrdrawing from the young friends as
of wit, or of feeling, according to the subject which engrosmuch as possible, and heard only the murmuring of their
sed her at the moment. But though, on occasion, the voices as they spoke, the one in complaint, the other in
strongest bursts of feeling would break forth, yet the consolation. At length, Elizabeth gently disengaged her general character of her temperament undoubtedly turned self from her friend's arms, and coming to her brother, said to him-"Dear Walter, I have a great favor to beg of you,
towards the gayer and more brilliant order of mind. Every was an old favorite, drew sighs rather than smiles from poor one who met her, admired, wondered at, and delighted in Sir Walter. “Ah!” thought he, “I must bid farewell to her animation, vivacity, and wit; and, at the same time' all this !--Losing one, I shall lose both, for she is not my could not fail to be gratified, and sometimes touched, by sister,” looking strongly as he thought thus, upon Lucy's the indications of kind, warm, and delicate feeling which brilliant face, as it beamed in accordance with the spirit of were frequently apparent; but it was only those who knew the song—“Would that she were! But when Bessy goes, her well who were aware of the deep well-head of stronger Lucy, dear, darling Lucy, must go too. I have watched and more passionate emotions which lay, as yet almost her from a child-growing daily in beauty, and grace, and untouched, within. And this is the true portrait of a girl, intelligence--and it is hard to lose her now, just when she not quite thirteen years old !
is coming into the full possession of all she has promised Time wore on: Lucy lived almost as much at Arlescot as from infancy. Alas! would that she were my sixth sister. at Wilmington, and Sir Walter had thus the opportunity Whether this was exactly the wish that Sir Walter really to watch the maturing of her person, and the expansion of felt, I leave it to my readers to judge. At all events it was her mind. Ever the kindest of the kind, his attentions to that which he formed into words in his own mind. the comforts and pleasures of his dearest friend's daughter, The wedding of Sir Arthur Leonard and Elizabeth and his dearest sister's friend, were naturally great; and, Meynell followed not long after—and Lucy was bridesmaid. for her own sake also, Lucy Adair was most high in the Good Sir Walter presented her with a set of pearls upon good baronet's favour. The house was more cheerful when the occasion, of which, besides the ordinary ornaments, she was there: music, dancing, petits jeux of all sorts, were there were braids to intertwist with her raven hair, a mode always far more rife while she was at Arlescot, so much so, equally advantageous to the snow-whiteness of the one, and indeed, that there often seemed to be a blank on the day the ebony hue of the other. It was scarcely possible indeed, after her departure. Sir Walter felt this, though he was to see anything more fascinating than Lucy Adair was this scarcely conscious that he did somand, accordingly, exerted
day, as she accompanied her friend to the altar. The himself in every way to make Arlescot pleasant to “quaint beauty of Elizabeth was of a calmer and serener order. Ariel,” as he often called her, and to keep her there as She was near the full perfection of her charms; and the much as possible.
momentous importance of the occasion, and the sorrow she “Really your brother deserves his title of Good Sir Wal
felt at leaving her beloved and excellent brother, gave to ter,” said she one day to Elizabeth—"see how he has been
her countenance a chastened, and almost solemn expression, bedecking ‘Ariel's bower,' as he calls my room. You know which rendered her, beautiful as she was, an object between when I was here last, there was a debate as to which was whom and her bridesmaid, no comparison could be institythe sweeter, heliotrope or verbena, and, when the point ted--so totally different was their appearance in every point. was referred to me, I said I could not decide between them, Lucy was shorter in stature, and of a bearing less collected they were both so exquisite; and now, lo! Prospero's wand and dignified--but what it lacked in these points, was amitself could not have raised a more luxuriant blossoming of
ply supplied by its animation and grace, its bounding and both plants than he has placed in cases, ornamented with brilliant joyousness. She had no cause for grief to dash the moss and 'greenery,' in the embrasures of both my windows.
many causes which conspired to give her delight. She left Good, good Sir Walter!-how heartily will I sing to him to
no long loved home, no dear protector who had fostered and night
cherished her during her whole life, as was the case with “Merrily, merrily, shall I live now,
Elizabeth; she did not, like Sir Walter, lose a beloved sisUnder these blossomas that hang on the bough!"
ter and companion-her who had made home deserve that And she did so:--and Sir Walter more than half sighed as invaluable name, and whose departure now left it blank he murmured between his teeth Prospero's thanks—“Why, and desolate. On the contrary, to Lucy everything on this that's my dainty Ariel !"_"Alas !” he added, as he gazed occasion of festivity, was matter of real joy. Her dearest upon her brilliant beauty, now budding into all the attrac friend was united to the man she loved that he was also tions of dawning womanhood,-“I may complete the line, one of wealth and rank Lucy never thought of--everything and say, 'I shall miss thee!”
was gay and brilliant around her—there was a splendid fesSir Walter's allusion was prompted by something which tival-she was the Queen of the day—"and that was dear was passing in another quarter of the room, where a young Bessy's wedding-day." gentleman, for whom he entertained the most sincere re The ceremony was performed in the old chapel at Arlescot, gard, was playing Ferdinand to Elizabeth's Miranda. and Sir Walter gave his sister away. His heart swelled “ Yes," Sir Walter soliloquised in thought—"I shall lose heavily within his bosom as he pronounced the words—but my last, my dearest sister soon! Dear, dear Elizabeth, it good Sir Walter ever was ready to sacrifice his own feelings wrings my heart to part from one who has engrossed that to the happiness of others, and he uttured them with a heart's best affections for so many years !--And yet, I cannot | cheerful tone, though a sad spirit. But when, at the conbe so selfish as to wish it otherwise-as it is, she has stayed clusion of the ceremony, he gave his sister the kiss of with me later than any of the others. She evidently values congratulation, and called upon God to bless and make her and loves Sir Arthur-and he is worthy of her if any man happy, the sensation that she was about to quit his roof, to can be ; Heavens! what a wife, what a mother that woman | leave him altogether, rose upon him with a choking gush, will make!
which speedily found vent in tears. As he turned aside to His reverie was interrupted by Lucy drawing forth Eli hide and to check them, Lucy gazed at him. She was zabeth from her corner, and engaging her in a duet, while deeply touched, and a cloud came over the brightness of Sir Arthur Leonard stood by
her countenance. “Poor, poor Sir Walter," she muttered : “— watching the Volti subitos.”
“no wonder that he should grieve to lose such a sister as The air was lively, the words arch—but even this, and it that! Alas, how different Arlescot will be now.”
In those days, newly-married couples did not whirl off in, thus shown him by his humble neighbours, but far more by a carriage-and-four from the church door, The bridal fes the manner in which this mark of it had been announced tivities were animated by their presence. Accordingly, the to him. “Alas! this is the last time I shall see her thus at old hall at Arlescot rang that night with sounds of revelry Arlescot !_” thought he, as he gazed upon the brilliant and rejoicing; and all were gay, and glad, and mirthful, creature who stood opposite to him, waiting with impatience save the host alone. His heart was indeed sad ! and, as yet, for their turn to begin—and his heart heaved the heavier he did not clearly know the full cause of its sadness. In for the merry music to which they had given his name. very truth, his sister's departure did give rise to pain, and The first week after his sister's marriage was, probably, spread gloom over his soul—but it was not this alone which the most wretched Sir Walter had ever passed. It is, percaused the whole extent of that pain, the full deepness of haps, scarcely possible for a life to have flowed on more that gloom. There was the feeling, also, of all that his happily than his. The better and happier feelings of husister's departure would carry with it—that no youthful manity had combined to render his path one of sweetness voice, no tripping step, would awaken the echoes of the and enjoyment, and the fiercer passions had never, by their hall in which he stood—that his favorite songs and airs action, caused a tumult in his soul. Cheerfulness had, in would no longer gladden his ear-in a word, that Lucy especial, been the characteristic of Arlescot Hall;—thus Adair would be gone also! Yes! great as was the difference poor Sir Walter, when he found himself a solitary man, between their ages, and dissimilar in so many respects as suffered to a most pitiable degree. There is a term in use they were, it was nevertheless undeniable that this young in some of the counties towards the midland, which we have and wild creature had touched the hitherto impenetrable no one word in general English to render. This word is heart of Sir Walter Meynell.
unked. To those who know Oxfordshire, and the counties But as yet, this secret was not revealed to him. Absurd around it, its very sound will convey far more than any as the hackneyed assertion of love existing unconsciously, elaborate description I could give of Sir Walter's state. usually is, there are some few occasions on which the doc He was very unked—that is, he felt that desolate sadness, trine is true; and this was one of them. Lucy had been and chilly sinking of the heart, which arises from being left bred up under Sir Walter's eyes-he had known her from in solitude by those we love-but this periphrasis does not her very birth-she had been the constant companion of a convey half what the low provincial word does to those who sister whom he had almost considered a daughter-and his have been familiar with its sound. affection for both of them had, for years, been exactly of Oh! how cheerless was his breakfast !-Instead of his the same quality. Thus, therefore, when latterly a strong | sister's kind face at the top of the table, to say nothing of change took place in the character of that which he felt a brilliant one which used often to beam at the side, there towards Lucy, although it bore copious fruits in fact, Sir was--a blank! He literally started when, the first morning Walter remained ignorant of its existence. It never struck after his guest's departure, on coming into the room, he saw him to regard little Lucy in any other light than that in one solitary chair placed for him, before the great tea-urn, which he had considered her for so many years, while, in and all the breakfast apparatus. “I am alone then?”_he truth, Time had caused her to gain a hold upon affections said aloud—“quite alone at last!-I shall never be able to never yet called into action, but not the less strong and endure this"--and truly there was no sweet voice, or friendly sterling on that account.
smile to strike upon his ear, or meet his eye-as both eye “Oh! Sir Walter, Sir Walter !—what do you think?” — and ear craved their accustomed objects of enjoyment. exclaimed Lucy, running to him, her whole countenance Dinner was perhaps more intolerable still. It is probabeaming with the expression of uncontrolled gaiety and ble that Sir Walter had not dined alone for seventeen years, pleasure—“Old Crompton, the fiddler, has composed-or and those who are in the habit of making one of a happy got composed, poor fellow-a new tune to open the ball on family circle round an hospitable board, need not be told Miss Lizzy's wedding-night, as he chuses to call her-and how unked a solitary dinner is. But to Sir Walter it was he says he has given it a name which he is sure will make
| totally a new state of existence. It had never occured to it find favor with her, whether the music be good or bad
him before to be alone at Arlescot !-It seemed to him a -he has called it. Good Sir Walter,'--Oh! how delighted solecism in nature. “I cannot endure it!”—he exclaimed, I shall be to dance it !”
the third day, as the butler closed the door behind him, “The more so for its name, Lucy ?"
after taking away the cloth. “I will have half-a-dozen “Tenfold !—there is no one in the world so good and kind people here tomorrow, or my name is not Walter Meynell.” to me-no one whom I love half so well-except my father,
Accordingly, he assembled a batchelor party, who reand I assure you, he is often jealous of you. Oh! how I mained with him about a week. But even this would not do shall delight in this dance-I shall make it the tune of the
for a continuance: to a man who has been in the constant whole country. You must dance it with me, Sir Walter, in
habit of living in society in which there are women, a conhonor of our dear Bessy's bridal.” Sir Walter smiled and
tinued male party, like a regimental mess, is intolerable. sighed almost at the same instant, as he answered, “You
When they came into the drawing-room after dinner, they know, dear Lucy, I never dance- ".
found no one to give change to the hunting, the politics, or “Oh, but you do," she interrupted—“I recollect your
the something worse, which had formed their topics of dancing Sir Roger de Coverley with me, the day I was ten
conversation :—there was no music—the piano-forte closed, years old-and, I am sure, our baronet is the better of the
and the harp, in its case, frowned in fixed dumbness upon two. Besides, consider it is Bessy's wedding. Such events
those whom they had so often charmed—there was no — as that do not occur every day."
in a word, there were no women in the house, and Sir “ Thank God, no!” murmured Sir Walter, as he took
Walter had never been without them before. Lucy's hand, and led her towards the dance.
I am quite aware that a great deal of this may, to some He was deeply moved ; in some degree by the attachment
hypercritical people, appear very trivial : it is, nevertheless, The fact is that, on the former occasion, it was unconperfectly true, as I am sure many persons, who are some | scious, and now designed. The visit to Ariel's bower the thing better than hypercritical, will bear me out in night before--all the retrospect of his past feelings, and the asserting.
examination of his existing ones, had served finally to It so happened that, on the night before the last of this dissipate the film which was already fast falling from Sir party were to leave him, Sir Walter, in passing along the Walter's eyes. He felt that he loved Lucy Adair—and so gallery, at the extremity of which his bed-room was situa gradually had the sentiment been gaining possession of his ted, chanced to inhale the scent of the verbenas, which were heart, that when, at last, he became thoroughly conscious still preserved in “Ariel's Bower.” He opened the door, of its existence, so far from shrinking from it with the and went in. There was a strange mixture of effect in the surprise and fear which he would have felt some months aspect of this room, from some remains of particular and before, he welcomed it with delighted and unchecked joy. individual habitation, which were still apparent, and from Still, as he rode along towards Wilmington, he had felt the its actual absence. With the careful housewifery of that strongest despondency as to his chances of success, “She day, the curtains, both of the windows and of the bed, were I has always thought me so much older than herself—and, pinned and papered up, and a chimney-board showed that truth to say, there are some one-and-twenty years between there was no near prospect of a fire: but on the other hand, I us-she has known me since she was a child, and looked to the heliotrope and verbena still flourished in their green me as her father's friend—though there are eight good beds, and shed a powerful fragrance throughout the room; years, the other way, between us again, which is some comwhile some drawings of the house and grounds of Arlescot, fort-and then she is so beautiful, and of such brilliant which Lucy herself had done, hung on the walls, and gave animation and wit !--No-she can never love me!- And token of who had been the occupant of the chamber.
yet, I have all the feelings of long-rooted affection on my But Sir Walter needed no such extraneous fillip to divert side. My sister is her dearest friend—and her affection for his mind towards Lucy. He had, indeed, though he had her is unbounded. It is true that sister might almost be my scarcely mentioned her name, even in his own mind, thought daughter—but still the name of sister's friend is something." of little else since she had left him. But now, as he stood
Accordingly the tone of which I have spoken was purin her very chamber, and gazed upon the traces, not only
posely thrown into the voice-or rather, the voice was of herself, but of her interest in Arlescot, he gave the reins
given free scope--and, all controul over it being removed, to his thoughts, and drew fairy visions of events, scattered
it spoke in the key that nature prompted. through a long series of years, which had taken place during her visits, and of which she had been the heroine-and
Sir Walter's visit ended by Mr. Adair asking him to come though the last, certainly not the least, was the adventure
the next day, and stay a week, “as he must be so lonely at of “ Good Sir Walter," on the night of Elizabeth's wedding.
home.” “Truly I am so," answered Sir Walter—"I will “I will go over to Wilmington to-morrow," said he, after
come most joyfully." having remained some minutes surveying the room, and all It so chanced that there was at this period staying in the that it contained—“it is time I should. Lucy will think I house at Wilmington, a young gentlemen, equivalent to am forgetting her-or, what is worse, she will forget me." what would now be an officer of hussars, which individual
Sir Walter was most graciously received on his visit to species is a more modern exotic—who had come down to Wilmington. Some little complaints were made of its de shoot, and who thought that so beautiful a girl as Lucy, and lay—“I thought,” said Lucy, “ you had died of solitude the succession to the Wilmington property, might be worth and the ghosts, now you are left alone in that dear, rambling adding to his exploits during his campaign in the country. old house. Mercy! how desolate it must look without But, in despite of the moustache and the town air, and the Elizabeth, or me, or any of us."
undeniableness of all the appointments of the dragoon, he “It is, indeed,” said Sir Walter, with a melancholy tone, made but little progress in his chasse à l'héritière. He had which struck Lucy with remorse, for having touched upon not "taken her in hand,” as he phrased it, more than a what she believed to be the string that had jarred, his part quarter of an hour, before she regarded him in the light of ing from his sister.
Dogberry, and "wrote him down an ass.” In truth, with“Nay, you must not let your sorrow for Elizabeth's out being quite that, he was by no means a man to cope departure depress you thus. She will come and visit you with Lucy Adair. She went a good deal too fast for him, in the spring, and we will renew our merry doings as of yore. and put him out of breath-she went a great deal too deep Mind you keep the bower in full bloom and beauty for for him, and left him floating on the surface of Information, Ariel-her 'blossoms that hang on the bough' in particular." in infinite fear and danger of being drowned. “Still,"
“ They are all thriving-I visited the bower last night drawled the exquisite, (to call him by the name he would and oh! Lucy, how desolate it looked ! I could scarcely bear now bear) “she will have, at least, four thousand pounds it! yet I went again this morning, to bring a sample of the a year; and as for all this nonsense, let me once marry her, flowers to their absent owner.” As he spoke, Sir Walter and she shall not dare to say her soul's her own." produced a very beautiful bouquet of the two plants so often With this moderate and humane intention, the dragoon mentioned, and gave it to Lucy.
continued his siege and on the day Sir Walter arrived, in There was a difference in the sort of tone, not easy to the drawing room, waiting for dinner, he was in the act of analyze or describe, in which Sir Walter addressed her-- carrying on what for him was a brisk cannonade, when Sir but which may easily be felt. He had never used it towards Walter entered the room. If the dragoon had cut six at her but once before, and that was when he wished her good his unprotected skull, he could scarcely have started back night on the evening of Elizabeth's marriage. It was, per with more dismay than he did at this vision of a young and haps, more rapid and stronger then, but it was more clear, tolerably well-looking young man in moustaches, rendering firm, and decided now.
suit and service to Lucy. This was a contingency which, down in a remote part of the country, he had not expected, 1 when I found myself suddenly cut off from your society-I and the blow was proportionably severe.
felt-I feel—that I cannot live without you.” He paused Sir Walter advanced to Lucy however, and though his for a moment to collect himself-he found that the violence voice shook a little, his How-d'yes had all the fond friend of what he felt had carried him beyond what he had intenliness of old times-perhaps a little more. Lucy dropped ded. Lucy spoke not. She kept her eyes upon the ground the dragoon, and was in the middle of a recapitulation to --her cheek was flushed--and the hand which rested on Sir Walter of a letter she had received that morning from Sir Walter's arm, slightly trembled. He continued. "But Elizabeth, when dinner was announced. The officer, who I must not suffer my feelings to run away with me thus-I had been during this time, to use a most expressive Scottish must first learn what you feel. I am aware, perfectly aware, phrase, “ like a hen on a het girdle," then stepped forward,
of all the disadvantages under which I labour. The close and stretching forth a pinion towards Lucy, muttered, friendship which binds you to my sister cannot conceal the " Permit me”— “I believe, Sir,” said Sir Walter, fact that I am more than twenty years older than you are; “ I have the privilege of ancienneté-I am an older friend.” or that you may possibly consider my disposition too staid So saying, he offered his arm to Lucy, who, slightly bow to harmonize with yours. But yet they never jarred," he ing to the petrified equestrian, passed on with Sir Walter. added in a softer and more broken tone—"we have passed
The presence, however, of this puppy was a constant happy days together--and, could you feel aught approachblister to poor Sir Walter's feelings—though he kept a per ing to that which has gained possession of my whole soul, fect command over his temper. "The fellow is handsome, those days might be renewed with tenfold happiness. At there's no denying it,”--thus argued Sir Walter, who, not all events, do not reject my suit hastily. Pause before you being able to rate him as a Cyclops, chose to consider him destroy for ever the visions of joy which my busy thoughts, an Apollo at once—"he wears moustaches, and belongs to almost against my will, have woven for us--at least consider a crack corps--and he is always at Lucy's ear;— " what I have said." I fear this blank was filled up with an expletive not fitting
“Sir Walter," answered Lucy, in a voice in which resoto be written in these delicate times, but which may be lution and agitation struggled hard for mastery—“this considered as invoking upon the head of the unhappy conduct is like all your actions, candid, manly, noble. I bestrider of chargers a very hearty curse. The real fact will strive to return frankness with frankness, and to throw was, Sir Walter had before his mind the constant conscious aside all petty evasions, as you have done. In the first ness that this man was fifteen or sixteen years younger than place, what you have said has not caused me surprise. I himself, and this was worm-wood to him. It is true, that have been prepared for it since your first visit here, after Lucy gave him no encouragement--but the fellow's cool my return from Arlescot-and I then saw that I ought to ness and assurance were such that he did not seem to need have had nothing to learn on that score since the ball on any--but went on as though he was received in the most Bessy's wedding night. Sir, I hope these acknowledgments favorable manner possible. Once or twice, indeed, he was are not unmaidenly-I hope not, for they are the truth. I protected from annihilation by that shield thicker far than then did feel surprise-surprise that one like Good Sir the seven-fold buckler of Ajax-namely, that of perfect and Walter Meynell should feel interest of this nature for such unshaken ignorance. Otherwise had a shaft from "quaint a wild, thoughtless, giddy girl as I am. Next it made me Ariel's” bow slain him more than once.
feel proud, that, with all my thoughts, such a man should Sir Walter could not long endure this feverish state of have cast his eyes upon me; and, lastly, the crowd of old existence. It need, therefore, cause no very great surprise recollections which flooded my heart and mind, made me that on the fifth morning of his visit-when the soldier had feel that my best and dearest happiness had been known at been peculiarly pugnacious the evening before-he said to Arlescot-and that while I had long felt towards its owner her--"Lucy, I want to have a long conversation with you, as a dear brother, a short time would enable me to love, as put on your capote, and come and walk with me along the well as respect, him as a husband. You see,” she added in river.” She complied frankly, and at once.
a tone scarcely audible, "you see I am frank, indeed.” And now the single-heartedness and open manliness of I don't know whether my readers will be surprised at Sir Walter's character were most conspicuous. He was this—but, mutatis mutandis, the same causes had worked placed in a situation in which many men of far greater the same effect upon Lucy as they had upon Sir Walter. commerce with the world and with women lose all self She had been deeply touched by his manner, during the possession, and behave like ninnies. He, on the contrary, interval between the announcement and the celebration of under the strong and steady impulse of a pure and generous Elizabeth's marriage. She saw plainly what pain the genepassion, spoke, with gentleness indeed, but clearly, firmly, ral break-up of their intercourse and all their habits of daily and straight-forwardly.
life gave him, and it was by no means with a light heart “Lucy," he said, “I think you will feel great surprise at that she had left Ariel's bower for the last time. She knew what I am going to say to you. I myself, indeed, feel great that it probably was not the last time in reality, inasmuch surprise that I should have it to say. Two months ago, I as when Elizabeth came to Arlescot, she would of course be would not have believed it possible, and yet it is the work there; but still she felt that it was for the last time, as of years. Lucy, I love you ; not with that brotherly affec regarded the lang syne tone and footing to which she had tion which bound us with Elizabeth in such sweet union at been habituated for so many happy years. “Dear, Good Arlescot—but with a love in comparison with which that is Sir Walter,”-she had said to herself, as her carriage drove pale and poor-I love you, with as fervent and as fond a from the door_"well may they call him so--for, certainly, passion as man can bear towards woman. It is only since never did a better heart beat within a human bosom. Alas! my sister's marriage that I have known this-but I now for the dear days of Arlescot-I shall see them no more!" know that the sentiment has existed long-long. Oh, It was on Sir Walter's visit, that the tone of voice which Lucy! you cannot conceive my desolate state of feeling I noted so minutely, and his general manner, opened Lucy's