« AnteriorContinuar »
never touch, and he calls it happiness. It is the rainbow that our childish imaginations saw in the sky, for which our childish hearts still yearn, and which our childish hands still reach after, and strive to grasp, in vain! Alas, in vain! it melts away as we seem to approach it, and leaves nothing over our heads but a dull and darkened sky, and the sad, chilly feeling of disappointment.
I have almost done with this childish sport. I do not intend to chase rainbows any longer; but gather the flowers in the garden of pleasure that lies at my feet; and my
husband seems to be of the same mind. Your letter made me cry, and that's not good for my eyes.
I did not show it to him, for I knew that it would give him pain, and he would think immediately that I had made too serious a matter of some trifles, and given you a false impression with regard to the state of my mind. Still I loved you, dear Amy, for writing it. It added another to the countless proofs you have given me of your faithful friendship, of your unwearied care and tenderness for one who has never deserved so rich a blessing. Farewell.
Amy was deeply disappointed at the entire
failure of her letter. She had hoped to induce Fanny to think of the subject of it. She had hitherto been able to induce her to think of serious things, if it were only for a time. She saw that there was a change in her for the
What should she do? Her heart ached as she came to the conclusion that she could do nothing; as she remembered that important truth, that no one can make another good, another religious. She was grieved and disappointed, but she did not despair. She kept up, faithfully, her part of the correspondence. She always spoke the truth, painful as it might be to Fanny to hear it, and to her to say it, but with an unfailing love. She watched with faith and hope for the moment when she might, by her sympathy or her advice, speed her return to the true sources of happiness.
And thus did months roll on, leaving Fanny, as they passed, eagerly gathering, as she had resolved, all the flowers of earthly pleasure that clustered around her path, sometimes sighing at their frailty, sometimes starting at the thorns that pierced her, yet still pressing them to her unsatisfied heart.
With Amy how different was the scene ! Separated from Edward; anxious for his health and life; devoting herself to a father, between
whom and herself there was no bond of union, except that which always must exist between the parent and the child, —she marked each hour of every day with the cheerful performance of its appropriate duty, and reaped a perpetual reward of unruffled peace.
As the time approached for Edward's return, “ Her spirit brightened like an inward sun;" she cherished in her heart a hope, a joy, with which a stranger meddleth not.
Amy had ceased to count the months, even the weeks; she counted the days, ay, even the hours, when the news must come of the arrival of the vessel in which Edward was to return. It was expected every hour. The hour came. A friend sent word that the signal was up for the Speedwell. Who of us has not witnessed in himself, or others, that it is more easy to bear suffering than great happiness with composure. Is it that in this life the heart is more acquainted with grief than with joy? Amy hastily quitted the room, trembling at the excess of her own emotions, and shrinking from the oppressive weight of a human eye.
When she returned, there was that holy calmness in her face which indicates that the peace within has come from a communion with Him who is the strength of our hearts.
“I suppose, my dear,” said her father, “ that we shall soon see Edward."
“ He calls him Edward,” thought Amy; and a flush of mingled joy passed like a sudden gleam of sunlight over her quiet face. An hour passed; each minute lengthened as it came and went, without bringing him. Presently Ruth, who had heard that the Speedwell had arrived, came in to ascertain what news there was of Mr. Edward. “We have not heard from him yet,” said Amy to her eager questions. As she said this, she kept her eyes fixed upon the door. She began to wonder why he did not come.
She sat watching and listening with intense anxiety for the first sound of her lover's step. Ruth, who had found various excuses for remaining in the room, observed this, and could not be silent; and, forgetting even Mr. Weston's presence, attempted such consolation as she could call up at the mo
“A watched pot never boils, Miss Amy. He's there, and will soon come, you may be sure; ill news travels fast; you'd have heard long enough ago if all was not well with Mr. Edward.”
As she said this, the door-bell rang. Ruth went, and quickly returned with a letter for Amy. It was not Edward's hand-writing. She broke the seal and read it.
Her hands did quake And tremble like a leaf of aspen green; And troubled blood through her whole face was seen To come and go with tidings from the heart, As it a running messenger had been.”
“What is it, my child ?” said her father; What is the matter, dear Miss Amy!” cried the tender-hearted Ruth.
She put the letter into her father's hands. It was from the captain of the vessel. He read it aloud. It stated that a few days before the arrival of the vessel, Mr. Selmar had been taken ill of a disease that at first resembled the Asiatic cholera ; that he was better, but still quite ill, and that he had therefore been obliged to send him ashore at Hospital Island, where he knew he would be taken excellent care of; that as he knew of no relation of Mr. Selmar's, he thought it right to inform Miss Weston of his illness, as he was apprized of her connection with him. The captain added, that the boat would return to the island with Dr. — the attendant physician, at one o'clock, P. M., and would take any friend or letter to Mr. Selmar.