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And thou hast been beloved !-it is no dream,
No false mirage for thee, the fervent love,
Far off to shine,
Singled and mark'd, hast known its home and place,
For thee hath given.
.-Thou art !- the love bis spirit bore away
Thine still in heaven!
THE FIRST AND LAST KISS.
It was on a Sabbath evening, towards spend a hundred and twenty pounds the latter end of the month of July, a-year, and pay everybody their own, that the Rev. Mr. Lloyd, curate of But Farmer Morgan, at last, did not Tintern, in Monmouthshire, set forth pay everybody their own; for he to visit his daughter Hester, who re- went into the Gazette, and there sided in one of those romantically si - were only three shillings in the pound tuated cottages, which form so inte- for his creditors, while parson Lloyd resting a feature in the mountainous contrived to make both ends meet; scenery of the Wye, between Ross perhaps, because he took care never and Chepstow. The distance he had to have a creditor, always deferring to go, was scarcely a mile ; but the the purchase of anything he wanted walk was toilsome, for his path lay till he could spare the money to pay among the hills, through which it was for it. “He who makes his necessirudely cut, and the loose fragments of ties wait upon his means,” he would rock on which he trode gave way at often say, “will never find them every step. His thoughts, however, troublesome; but reverse the order, were too much occupied with the sad and let your means be the drudges of object of his visit, to permit of his your necessities, and run as fast as heeding the rugged road, or even the they may, they will never overtake sublime beauties of nature which them.” were spread around him.
Hester Lloyd had married Farmer Hester was his eldest daughter, and Morgan's second son, David ; and it the eldest also of nine brothers and was always said, by those who presisters; a large family to feed, clothe, tended to know the secret, that she and educate, upon the scanty stipend did so, more from a desire to diminish of his curacy, though eked out by a the heavy burden of her father's fasmall patrimonial property, and a for- mily, than from any violent affection tune of two hundred pounds, which he she had for the young man. To say had with his wife. When all was put the truth, they were a mismatched together, and the profits of a small pair. David was a coarse rustic, of school added, as well as those which violent passions, a moody temper, and he received from the sale of a quarto suspected of dissolute habits. Hester, volume « On the Dawnings of the on the contrary, was mild and gentle Everlasting Gospel Light,” Parson in disposition, affectionate, and trainLloyd was a somewhat poorer man ed up in the strict observance of those than his neighbor, Farmer Morgan, simple, unobtrusive virtues which bewho always boasted that he could came the comparative humility of her
station, and the character of her pa- walked away towards his own house. rental roof. When, therefore, she Hester looked after him. She said married David Morgan, some shook nothing. She only thought, as she their heads, and pitied the poor girl leaned upon her husband's arm, and for the sacrifice she made; while proceeded silently towards his father's others turned up their eyes, and won- house, what a change one little half dered how even Love could be so hour had wrought in her condition. blind.
Her now obedient steps went one The union had neither the appro- way; her heart, at that moment, bation, nor the disapprobation, proper- another. The former taught her she ly so called, of Hester's father. She was a wife; the latter, that she must was of an age to choose discreetly cease to be a daughter. It was a (having passed her three-and-twenti- sharp lesson, to come so early. She eth year,) when, as was certainly her said nothing. But though her tongue case, the heart did not take the lead spoke not, the uneasy reflections of in choosing; and he left her, there- David clothed it with words of bitterfore, to decide for herself, after tem- ness; and he strove, as much as his perately discussing with her, upon nature would let him, during the rest several occasions, whatever might of the day, to dispel the gloom with fairly be urged in favor, or to the pre- which his violence of temper had judice, of the young man. Hester, clouded the beginning. Hester was herself, took a twelvemonth to con- neither angry nor sullen; but she was sider of her decision; and finally sad ; and she could not conceal that yielded her consent to the pertinacious, her sadness was greatest, when, as rather than the ardent, solicitations of she sate down to dinner, the marriage David Morgan.
feast lacked one guest, whose absence It has been said by an ancient cy- was to her, if not the absence of all, nic, that marriage has only two happy at least the absence of all comfort. days, the first and the last ; but Hes- Mr. Lloyd was a sincere Christian. ter was doomed to find even this Without any parade of sanctity, be stinted portion of matrimonial felicity diligently endeavored, in all his dealtoo liberal an allowance. On their ings with his fellow-creatures, to fulreturn from church, an unfortunate fil the commands of Him whose midifference arose between her husband nister he was. He could not, thereand her father upon some trifling sub- fore, let the sun go down upon his ject of rural economy-the breeding wrath ; but, like a primitive disciple of pigs, or the cultivation of barley, of his master, he sought the dwelling or some matter not a whit more im- of his enemy, with the word of peace portant. David was loud, overbear- and the hand of fellowship. So pure ing, and at last insolently rude. Nay, a judge had he been in his own cause, he so far forgot himself, at one mo- that he considered he had done wrong, ment, that his hand was raised to very wrong, in suffering himself to be seize Mr. Lloyd by the collar. “ For- kept away from the wedding-table of bear, young man !” said the reverend his daughter, by his resentment for a pastor mildly; "and learn to have hasty speech uttered by her husband. more command over your passions ; or “I will go,” said he, " and heal this they will one day hurry you into con- wound before I sleep.” And he did duct which all the rest of your days go : and it was a blessed sight for may not be sufficient to atone for." Hester to behold, as she saw her fa
David felt the rebuke. He felt ther enter, with a benignant smile upashamed. He saw the cheek of Hes- on his countenance, walk up to her ter turn pale, and he felt sorrow for husband, and taking him by the hand, what he had done. But his father-in- exclaim, " Son, we have never been law also felt the indignity that had enemies ; let us then continue to be been offered to him, and he slowly friends !” David was overpowered by this unexpected display of meek the horizon, which the first gust of goodness ; and his voice really falter- wind would drive into angry collision. ed as he replied, grasping Mr. Lloyd's To Hester's watchful eye alone, and hand with honest warmth, “God for- to ber anxious spirit, were these signs bid we should not !” Hester kissed revealed. She could not conceal from her father, and wept; but they were herself the trials and the dangers they tears of much gladness. It was a hourly menaced; but she could conpeaceful evening after this. Mr. ceal them from all the rest of the Lloyd showed, by his cheerful conver- world,-and she did. Not even to sation, and kindly manner, that the her father did she speak of them. spirit of anger had entirely departed They were the griefs of her own froin him, and with it all recollection foreboding heart, and they were buried of the offence. David did not shake there. If they should ever be disinoff, quite so soon, his remembrance of terred thence-if they should ever be the morning; for he was vanquished, realised-and write themselves in such in spite of himself, and he felt—as a characters upon her face as she could inan generally does who commits a not hide-if her countenance comwrong, and finds coals of fire heaped plained for her-she must subunit ; but upon his head, by the generous con- till then, she was resolved hope should duct of the person whom he has chasten fear, and the faith she plighted wronged-humbled and ashained, in at the altar forbid her lips to become his presence. Hester was supremely the accusers of her husband. happy; for she beheld her father and It was about two years after her her husband side by side, under her marriage, that the bankruptcy of old own roof.
Morgan happened. For some months Months rolled on, and the neighbors previously, Hester suspected matters began to think David Morgan quite an were going wrong ; not from anything altered man since his marriage. He which her husband communicated to was civil and obliging ; went regular- her, for he had grown reserved, sullen, ly to church every Sunday ; rose early and morose; but from the manner of to his work; attended to his farm; the old man himself, from their frereturned home sober, and before dark, quent conferences in secret, and from on market-days ; got into no quarrels; his total neglect of his farming stock. sinoked his pipe in the evening, on a David, too, instead of minding his own bench before his own door, and drank affairs, and looking after his own a pint or two of his own home-brewed crops, or attending the markets, as he ale. In short, he exhibited all the was accustomed to do, sold hand over outward qualities of a steady, thriving, head upon the ground ; took the first and industrious farmer; and it was price that was offered ; replaced noprophesied, if he went on so, that he thing which he sold, but kept the would soon become a better man than money, and talked of setting up, by bis father, by the difference of many and by, as an innkeeper at Chepstow. an acre added to those which he al- Meanwhile, debts were contracted, ready rented. Hester observed this and none were paid ; creditors became auspicious change, and might almost clamorous, and David grew more and be called a happy wife.
more reckless of their clamors. At first She was not entirely so; for there he could not pay; at last he would not, were out-breakings of temper at home, and they might do as they liked. If lightning-flashes of the mind, and dis- Hester ventured to remonstrate, she was tant thunder murmurings of the heart, churlishly told to mind her own busiwhich the eyes and ears of friends and ness, and look after the house, though neighbors nor saw nor heard. The there was every day less and less in it sky was clear above-the sun shone to look after; for whatever could he brightly—but the elements of storm spared, and often what could not, was and tempest perpetually loured along converted into money. Old Morgan
39 ATHENEUM, VOL. 2, 3d series.
pursued much the same course; and “I am thinking,” said Jacob, with it seemed as if father and son were a heavy groan, that burst from him as striving with each other who should he spoke—“I am thinking, Mrs. Mormake most speed in the race of de- gan, how my poor sister Jane would struction.
have taken it to heart if she were Thus matters went on from bad to alive now, which, thank God, she is worse, and from worse to worst, for not! But the Lord help us ! what nearly three months; and then old we may come to in this world !" Morgan was made a bankrupt. EveryH ester's knees tottered-her color one predicted that David would soon fled—and she seated herself gently by follow ; but every one lamented it at his side, as she exclaimed in a tremuthe same time, on account of poor lous voice, “ What is the matter, JaHester, who was universally respected. cob, that you talk thus ?” Indeed, it was mainly owing to this The old man shook his head, while feeling of respect for her, that her he answered, “ Matter enough, I fear, husband's creditors had not either en- but who would have thought it ?” forced their claims, or thrown him in- « For God's sake," replied Hester, to a prison. They did not scruple to“ tell me what it is you mean. Has tell her so ; and though she felt grate- anything happened to David ?” ful for their kindness, she knew it was “Ay,” said Jacob, “and his father a forbearance that hung by a very too. I was coming into Monmouth slender thread, and each day she ex- to-day at noon, and had just crossed pected to see him dragged to jail. If over the Mundy bridge, when I saw a that did happen, what was to become sight of people afore me; I walked of her, far advanced in pregnancy up to them to find out, if I could, with her second child, and not a roof what was going on-and you might to shelter her except her father's ? have knocked me down with a feather,
She was sitting one evening, sadly the next moment-for what should I ruminating upon all these things, and see but David and his father, old expecting David's return, who had George Morgan, handcuffed together gone out early in the morning, she like two thieves, and being led to priknew not whither, when Jacob Grif- son? They did not see me, and I was fiths, a maternal uncle of her hus- glad on't; for I couldn't have spoke band's, a respectable, but poor old a word to them, my tongue stuck so man, dropped in. He sate down, and to the roof of my mouth, like. I she drew him a mug of ale, which, shall never forget how I shook." however, he scarcely touched. She “Are you sure you were not mistalked to him, first upon one subject, taken ?" inquired Hester, in a tone of and then upon another; but he hardly voice so thick and inarticulate, that answered her, and altogether his be- Jacob suddenly raised his head from havior was so strange, that she looked the staff on which he had continued at him as if she thought he had already to support it. had a little too much; a failing which «Am I sure this is my right hand ?” she knew sometimes overtook " uncle answered Jacob." But, Lord preJacob.” She was soon convinced, serve you ! what ails you, Mrs. Morhowever, that the old man was not gan? You look as white as your now in his cups, whatever else might apron; you are not faintish, sure ? be the matter with him, for he was Here, take a sup o' this ale-'twill leaning forward on his staff, which he warm you, like, and do you good." held with both his hands, and the Hester was indeed pale enough ; tears were trickling down the furrows and she trembled so violently, that of his sun-burnt face.
Jacob inight well suppose she needed " In the name of heaven, Jacob, something to warm her ; but she kept what ails you ?" said Hester, laying from fainting, and after a few minutes down her work, and going towards him. she was able to ask him whether he
knew " what they had done, that they it might not come? And who, when were taken to prison ?”
it coines, can say, I have watched for “ I could not get at the rights of you so long with a troubled heart, the matter,” said Jacob; “ but from that now you find me without a tear what I understood, I should guess it to shed, or a sigh to breathe ? Alas! was something about old Morgan's the stern reality has a pang of its own bankrupt job; though I don't see, for unlike that we feel in the most vivid my part, how that could concern Da- anticipation. Does the child you vid.”
love, the mistress you adore, the pa« Nor I either,” replied Hester, rent you venerate, lie on the bed of wiping her eyes, and sighing as if her death? What though you have whisheart would break. “But whatever pered this fatal secret to yourself it is, I bave had the dread of it upon again, and again, and again? What my spirits for these many months. I though your spirit have mourned over felt certain that some misfortune or the dying object, in all the anguish of other was hanging over me : and it inevitable bereavement? Ah me! has come at last. My husband's con- wait till the eye is closed, and the duct was so changed, he had grown tongue is mute-forever ; tarry till so careless about everything, had so the soul is departed—till the thing entirely neglected his affairs and his you dreamed is the thing you feel home, that I was sure, unless some and then you will know the difference change for the better took place, no- between the fear of losing, ay, and thing but ruin could come of it in the even between what constitutes mere end. Oh dear! God knows, my si- man's certainty of losing, and the mituation is bad enough, just now, at serable certainty that you HAVE lost. any rate." And Hester's tears fow. Hester felt this difference. She ed afresh, as the thought of what hersi- had insensibly trained her mind to tuation was presented itself to her mind. meet an undefined calamity ; but now,
“Don't take on this way, Mrs. when it came upon her in a specifie Morgan,” said Jacob, « After all, shape and character, she almost sunk things may not be so bad as they ap- beneath the shock. It was too true pear; and be they never so bad, fret- what Jacob Griffiths had told her. ting, you know, won't mend them. David and his father were both in It is a sad business, to be sure ; but Monmouth jail; and they were there we must hope for the best. Besides, upon a charge of having contrived, many an innocent man has been and brought about, a fraudulent bank, wrongfully suspected, and taken to ruptcy in the case of old Morgan, unprison, before now; and who knows der such circumstances as made it but this may be David's case, ay, and doubtful, at one time, whether their old Morgan's too ? So keep up your lives would not be forfeited. Matters, spirits, Mrs. Morgan, and don't grieve, however, were not pushed to that exHere, take a drop of ale.”
tremity ; but they were tried, found Hester had much cause to grieve, guilty, and received sentence of transShe had said truly, that the conduct portation, the father for life, and David of her husband, for a long time past, for fourteen years. Hester was far bad been such as to prepare her for advanced in pregnancy when her hustrouble of some kind or other; and band was thrown into prison ; and the her grief, therefore, on the present very day on which the Judges entered occasion, was less acute than if she Monmouth, she became the unhappy had fallen suddenly from the sunny mother of a son, whose father, scarceheight of doinestic happiness by an ly more than eight-and-forty hours unforeseen and unexpected blow, afterwards, was branded as a felon by But who ever found himself sufficient- the verdict of a just and impartial jury. ly prepared for misfortune? Who, She bad visited him several times till it came, ever ceased to hope that in jail before his trial, and administer