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But slow, yet brilliantly, shall pass,
The 'thunder had ceased, the rain had passed away, and the cloud that had obscured the brightness of the heaven, had fled upon the wings of the wind that bore it, leaving the sky as clear as the purest day of spring can be; and the earth gemmed with the glittering drops of rain, even more cheerful from the storm that had just passed.
“ Even thus,” cried the wizard; “ even thus is it with the life of man. The VOL. III. · D
morning beams fair, and he dreams not of danger; the storm of misfortune rises; the tempest of sorrow dulls the scene; the lightning of despair rends his heart, and prostrate he falls before the outstretched arm of desolation. But the wind of time wafts the clouds away; the sky seems clear; the sun of pleasure shines upon him, and he forgets that the storm has been, nor fancies that it will ever come again. But warning is still in vain. Let us on upon our path; for this day at least virtue shall be rewarded, and vice shall receive its chastisement. To St. Mary's let us speed ;” and he led the way to the boat; while Flora, following with the young stranger, on whose arm-she leaned, listened with alternate smiles and blushes to the tale he seemed to tell. But at length his words appeared to raise some other sensation in her breast, and starting back with horror-“ Tried to murder you!" she exclaimed. *Wretch ! then he believes you dead?”
s Hush !”
“ Hush !” replied he, as they approach. ed the boat, to which the boatman had returned. “ Hush! of that hereafter !"
The boat cut its way swiftly through the still agitated waters, leaving a long foamy stream behind, to mark its onward path. The wind again favoured her voyage ; and every moment the spires of the abbey grew upon the misty indistinctness of distance, till rising gradually above the ruffed waves, it towered in calm majesty, clear and defined. The effects of the storm were still visible upon the stream, the lake, the valley, and the mountain; while the grey abbey remained plain and unmoved, like truth, which, though distance may obscure, no tempest can alter, no blast destroy. -
He remained with the young stranger in the porch, and she entered alone; crossing her brow with the consecrated water, she proceeded with a slow and reverent step
over the curious mosaic that paved the immense nave, and approaching the shrine, kneeled to offer her prayers to that being on whose pity and justice she relied. Her prayers were of the heart, and though her tongue did not venture them upon the solemn silence of the place, they were as pure and as sincere as the most loud'tongued oratory could deliver. She fan
cied that a voice near her whispered- Thou art heard !” She looked up, but there was no one there. One bright sunbeam stealing through the high-arched window fell upon her as she kneeled ; and had any one beheld, they might have deemed that form, so fair, so light, illuminated by a radiance that seemed peculiarly its own, they might have deemed her the angel of mercy, pleading for the penitent.
Her heart was lightened; she felt confident of aid and protection, and quitting the shrine, she joined those she had left without." Now, father,” said she, turn
ing to Cuthbert, “ tell me how I ought to act; for by your direction, and yours alone, shall be determined my conduct," and she was about to detail all that had occurred on the preceeding night; but the wizard priest raised his hand, as desiring silence." It needs not, Flora,” replied he, “ to tell me what I know already ; not a word, not an action of all that you would recite, that is not as well known to me as the thoughts of my own breast. But tell me, daughter, can you act with firmness ? can you summon resolution to do my bidding, even though it seem contrary to all that you expect, and to all that you desire ?"
“ I can,” replied Flora, “ supported by you, and protected by Heaven; and my courage will be equal to any undertaking.”
“ Well, then," said the priest, “ mark me, and remember the very words I use; say you neither less normore. When you return, your father will ask whether you are determined; reply– If such, sir,