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grass, by which a portion of the plain to leeward on seeing the approaching was covered, having taken fire, the flame at a distance ; and then driving column of flame approached our troop into the vacant space thus obtained. so quickly, that one of the carts, laden But there is risk in this plan, because with wine, took fire and was entirely the fibrous roots of the grass retain destroyed, while the rest escaped with the fire for a considerable time. considerable difficulty. The best plan On the 6th of October we reached of escape in cases of this kind seems Mendoça, after having been seven to be that of setting fire to the grass weeks on the road.
THE DIVIDED HOUSEHOLD.
Our hearth-we hear its music now-to us a bower and home;
Their path is o'er the violet-beds beneath the springing vine !
THE GRAVE OF THE BROKEN HEART.*
CHAPTER II. AUTUMN was fast fading into winter, health and cheerfulness in the object when the heavy tidings of her sudden of their mutual anxiety. bereavement fell like an ice-bolt on Passing the common love between the heart of Miss Aboyne. And long parent and child, had been that which it was before the unremitting tender- bound up, as in one, the hearts of ness and attention of her now sole Colonel Aboyne and his motherless earthly protector-her betrothed hus- daughter; and the reflection that, for band-and the more than maternal her sake, this beloved father had uncares of her faithful Nora, were re- dertaken the voyage which had termiwarded by any indications of reviving nated so fatally, failed not to dash her
* See page 103.
cup of Borrow with peculiar bitterness, which completed the sixth month The suddenness of the shock had also froin her father's death, Millicent tried to the uttermost her delicate and Aboyne should become the wife of already impaired constitution; and for Horace Vernon. a considerable time it required all the Few, on either side, were the resedulous care of love and fidelity, and quisite marriage preparations, Little all the skill and unremitting watchful- of worldly goods had each wherewith ness of her medical adviser, to avert to endow the other. On Vernon's the threatening symptoms of decline side, only the small stipend of his cu
But not only was Millicent Aboyne racy; on that of Millicent, no more too truly a Christian, to sorrow like than the property of her little cottage, those who have no hope, but even in and the broken sum of that small this world she felt and gratefully ac- hoard, which was all Colonel Aboyne knowledged that she had hopes, and had been enabled to bequeath to his dear ones; and that, if it pleased God orphan daughter. Added to her scanty to restore her to health, the after life heritage was, however, one heir-loom, that was to be passed with the hus- justly valued by Millicent as a jewel band of her choice, to whom she had of great price. The faithfully devotbeen consigned, in a manner, by the ed Nora was never to be sundered from dying breath of her beloved father, her foster child; and with her aid and would be one of sweet contentedness. experience, the latter smilingly proTherefore, when she prayed fervently mised Vernon that comfort and frugalito be reconciled to God's will in all ty should go hand in hand in their futhings, she thought it no sin to add to ture establishment. Already Horace that petition, a humble and pathetic had assumed the management, not onsupplication for continued life, if he ly of Millicent's flower-beds, but of saw that it was expedient for her; and the whole productive and well-arthe boon so submissively implored ranged little garden; and he never was, to present appearance, gracious quitted the small domain to return to ly conceded. Returning health once his solitary corner of the large rammore re-invigorated the long-drooping bling old Rectory, (occupied in part frame, and again there was hope, and payment of his scanty dues,) without cheerfulness, and innocent enjoyment, longing more and more impatiently and sweet companionship, in the or- for the approaching hour, when the phan's home. Then it was that Vernon gentle mistress of Sea Vale Cottage began to urge her on the subject of an should admit him there, the wedded immediate union, with affectionate and partner of her humble and happy forcible persuasion; and Millicent home, was too well aware of the reasonable- One morning Vernon entered Milliness of his arguments, and too nobly cent's little sitting-room with an open free from all taint of affectation, to letter in his hand, which he flung into hesitate a moment in acceding to his her lap as she sat at work, with an air entreaties, except from motives of of half jesting, half serious discompotender reluctance to exchange her sure. « There, Milly !” said he ; mourning dress for bridal raiment, be- “ read that_and you may expect me fore the expiration of a twelvemonth to come and take up my abode here from the time of her irreparable loss. directly—whether you will or not. She was also desirous, with God's Perverse girl! if you had not doomed blessing, to feel her health more per- me to such long exclusion, I should fectly re-established before she took not now be annoyed by the contents upon herself the responsibility of new of that provoking letter. Read, read, and important duties ; and finally a Milly! and revoke my sentence." compromise between the lovers was The letter so ungraciously commented definitively arranged, that in three on was nevertheless an exceedingly months from that last May morning well-turned, well-bred epistle, from no less a personage than the honorable alloys inseparable from earthly perfecand reverend Dr. Hartop, Vernon's tion : such as a little vanity, a little rector, and the rector and holder of selfishness, a little cunoing, and a little more than one other valuable living and want of principle. To leave London comfortable piece of church prefer- in full season, with an old valetudinainent. He had not visited his Sea rian uncle, for “the ends of the earth," Vale flock since it had been commit- was, however, such a heroic sacrifice ted to the care of the present curate; to duty as Lady Marchwood failed not but his physician having recommended to turn to good account, by descanting sea air and quiet as restoratives after thereon with maternal sensibility in the a long enfeebling illness, and cherish- hearing of all with whom the touching ing in his own mind an affectionate trait was likely to tell-especially in recollection of the lobsters and turbot the presence of a young Earl of imthat frequent those happy shores, the mense property, lately come of age, honorable and reverend gentleman and as yet encumbered with a few forth with felt a conscientious call to rustic prejudices in' favor of religion bestow his pastoral presence for the and morality, the fruit of much sesummer months among his coast pa- clusion with a sickly Methodistical rishioners. He was to be accompa- mother, who had early instilled into nied in his retirement by the youngest the heart of her only child, “ that peof eight portionless daughters of his culiar way of thinking" which had brother-in-law the Earl of March- strangely supported her through trials wood, who, as well as his amiable of no common character. Lord MCountess, was always magnanimously had been evidently struck by the ready to spare either of their blooming beauty of the fair Octavia, and as evitreasures, to enliven the solitude of dently captivated by her engaging their wealthy and reverend uncle, and sweetness. He had danced with her, smooth his gouty footstool. The no- talked with her, and, as was clearly ble parents would, indeed, have ex- perceptible to Lady Marchwood's distended the sacrifice to any number of criminating eye, watched her still more the fair bevy Dr. Hartop might have assiduously; and still he spake notbeen pleased to put in requisition; but and on one or two late occasions, as that highly conscientious person not he became more familiar with the only revolted from exacting too much home circle of Marchwood House, he from such all-conceding generosity, but had looked startled and uncomfortable felt a strong conviction that his person- at some interesting naïveté of the al comforts would be inore attended Lady Octavia, (who, to do her justo, and the orthodox regularity of his tice, was seldom off her guard in his household less deranged, by one of the company); and then there was such a lovely sisters, than if he had availed visible réfroidissement-a something himself of the liberally-granted privi. so like drawing back, in his demeanlege to summon them in divisions, or towards the lady, that her affecThe privilege of selection he, howe- tionate mamma, having lectured her ver, exercised without scruple ; and pathetically on the consequences of on the present occasion, was to be ac- her indiscretion, thought there was companied to Sea Vale by his favorite something quite providential in the niece, Lady Octavia Falkland, a very Sea Vale scheme, of which she purlovely, gay, good-humored, captivat- posed to make the most in Lord M.'s ing creature of nineteen- « toute hearing in the manner aforesaid. “And pêtrie d'esprit,” said her French go- then," said she, “ Octavia! when he verness—brilliantly accomplished, and comes down to us in the autumn, as (as every body said) “ with the best you know he has half promised, if heart in the world.” Lady Octavia you will but be prudent for a little was perfect, in short-or would have while, and fall naturally into his odd been, but for some of those trilling tastes and fancies, depend on it he will speak.” Which maternal conso- from the eye of strangers with a morlation, combined with private visions bid timidity, which, from long secluof other contingent rewards to be sion, had grown upon her natural difcoaxed out of the rich old uncle, and fidence,still enfeebled in health, and her constitutional good temper, ena- not unconscious that her present situbled the fair exile to submit to her ation was one of peculiar delicacy, fate with a degree of resignation not Miss Aboyne would have indeed preless edifying than amazing, consider- ferred that the Rector and Lady Ocing she was aware of all its horrors— tavia's visit to Sea Vale should have of the perfect seclusion of Sea Vale, been deferred till after her union with where the curate and apothecary were Horace Vernon. Perhaps if he had, likely to be the only visiters at the at that moment, more seriously enforcRectory. The said Rectory was a ed his jesting petition, to be forthlarge, old-fashioned, but not incom- with adınitted to the peaceful sanctumodious mansion, of which, as has ary of Millicent's cottage, she might been said, a couple of rooms were oc- have been induced to rescind her forcupied by Horace Vernon. Dr. Har- mer decision, and cede to him, withtop's letter (which had been so un- out farther delay, the possession of graciously received) very politely re- herself and of her little dwelling. But quested that Mr. Vernon would con- Vernon talked away his vexation, and sider himself his guest during his, the Millicent kept hers within her own Doctor's, residence at Sea Vale; and heart, secretly chiding its utter unthen went on to bespeak Horace's reasonableness ; for what would the obliging superintendence of certain ar- strangers be to her? She should not rangements and alterations respecting see or be seen by them but at church, furniture, &c. &c., especially in the and then why need she shrink from apartments designed for the occupa- observation,-if, indeed, one so insigtion of his niece, Lady Octavia Falk- nificant should attract any ? land. This letter was brought by the The preparations at the Rectory first division of the household, and went briskly on; and as the new and Dr. Hartop and Lady Octavia were to elegant articles of ornamental furnibe expected at Sea Vale in a week at ture were unpacked, Vernon insensifarthest.
bly became interested in examining " And the old Rectory is hall turn them, and superintending the arrangeed out of window already,” said Ver- ment of Lady Octavia's boudoir. An non, pettisbly, when he had told his elegant harp was extracted from its story, and Millicent had glanced over cumbrous case, by a servant entrusted the Doctor's letter" and a whole with the key, and, together with muwaggon-load of things is arrived— sic-stands and stools, a painting eacouches, chaise longues, a French sel, sundry portfolios, inlaid workbed, a whole steam kitchen, and a boxes, &c. &c. disposed in picturesque huge harp case among the rest. I order in the dedicated chamber, and a dare say that Lady Octavia is very pile of Italian music, two or three vofine and disagreeable.”
lumes of Italian and English poems, “A most candid conclusion, truly!” some German novels, and one of Schilobserved Millicent with a smile,--butler's dramas in the original, arranged it was a half smile only; for in her with good effect on the different tables heart she was as much annoyed as and chiffonnières by the well-trained Horace by the intelligence he had footmen, gave the tout ensemble an air communicated. In former days, the of so much literary elegance, as failed arrival of these strangers would have not to make due impression on Verbeen a matter of indifference to her, non's tasteful imagination, and in some or perhaps of cheerful interest; but measure to soften down his prejudice at present, scarcely recovered from the (so unwarrantably imbibed !) against effects of recent ailliction,-shrinking the unknown possessor. But still he had settled in his own mind, that in lane at three bounds, and turned the her deportment to himself, she would corner towards the Rectory, he stopbe reserved, distant, and disagreeable; ped a moment to take off his hat, run and he promised himself to be as his fingers through the bright waves little as possible in her august pre- of his fine thick hair, and pull up his sence. This preconception and pre- shirt-collar to the most becoming aldetermination savored far less of ju- titude. dicious reasoning and amiable humili- The Rectory and Miss Aboyne's ty, than of ignorance of the world, cottage were situated at opposite exand lurking vanity and pride ; but it tremities of the straggling village ; and has been observed, that the latter were the distance between the two habitaamong Vernon's besetting sins, and tions being so inconsiderable, Millicent the former was the unavoidable result thought it not improbable she might of circumstances.
see Horace again that evening, after The important day arrived, and Dr. Hartop's late dinner, or before the from the porch of Miss Aboyne's cot- hour of retiring. More than once af. tage, (in and out of which he had ter twilight, and in spite of the fastbeen fidgeting for the last hour,) Ver- falling dews, she returned to the garnon spied a travelling carriage and den gate, to listen if a well-known four descending the hilly approach in- footstep were coming down the lane; to Sea Vale. “There they are, Mil- and that night, long after the usual ly!” he exclaimed, suddenly letting hour of its disappearance, a light was fall her arm that had been resting on burning in Millicent's little parlor. his, and starting involuntarily a few But it was extinguished at last, and paces forward" and I must begone all was darkness, and quiet, and sweet to receive the Doctor and that fine rest probably, under the humble roof Lady Octavia. It's all your fault, of the orphan cottage, Milly, when I might have remained The next morning, as Millicent was here, if you had pleased, and been in- seated at her early breakfast, the little dependent of all this fuss and bustle;" casement opened from without, and and he turned back and took both her Vernon's handsome face, radiant with hands, gazing on her for a moment smiles and cheerfulness, looked in bewith a look of reproachful tenderness. tween the clustering roses. “What “ And how pretty and quiet every- vulgar hours you keep, Milly,” said thing here looks this evening !" he he ; “I'm positively ashamed of you, added, glancing round hiin; " and we Miss Aboyne! We are in our first should have had some music in the sleep yet at the Rectory, and shan't honeysuckle arbor, now that you can breakfast these three hours.” sing again, Milly.”_" Perhaps,” re- “Look, then,” she smilingly replied she, faintly smiling, “Lady Oc- plied, “ at this tempting bowl of rich tavia will sing to you."-" Oh ! if she new milk, and this brown bread, and were to condescend so far, I should fresh yellow butter of Nora's own hate her singing; and that fine harp making,--and the tea is as strong as would never sound half so sweet to me you like it-see !-and such cream! as the dear old guitar, Milly.” Milli- there can be none such at the Rectocent thanked him with a look for the ry. Won't all these delicacies tempt fond unreasonableness of the lover-like you to breakfast with me?"_" Half assertion, and then hastened him away of them,-the least of them, dearest!” to receive, with honor due, his honor- he answered, twisting himself dexterable and reverend Rector. To say the ously in through the window, demotruth, when his really affectionate feel- lishing a whole garland of roses, and ings for her had given utterance to upsetting a work-table and a glass of those few hurrying words, he did not flowers, in his unceremonious entrée ; seem very loth to obey her injunction; in spite of which high crime and misand, when he had cleared the green demeanor, in two minutes he was seat.