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Occasionally she referred to the superintend-, style of his Mary; while the fastidious Lord St. ant's judgment, and smiled at the oft-repeated John required studied elegance, judgment, and compliment, “That she would be the beauty of the exercise of good taste, harmonizing with the ball-room!"
fashion, such as Rose Spencer used, to his satisBusy, Rose ?" said Hubert, as he passed faction. through. “I am on my way to our friends : The last dinner bell had rung, the last look of have you any message?",
approbation had been cast towards the full-length “None, Hubert, she answered, without mirror. Rose smiled at her own beauty, and turning round.
Elizabeth and her brother are questioned what St. John would say to the black coming to spend this evening, and be presented lace dress, so suitable to her brilliant charms, to Edward; Mildred said she would come and the costly sevigne, worn to point a slight also.”
attention to the white polished neck, perfect in “And St. John-what of him?” inquired symmetry, and displayed with due attention to Hubert, in a lower tone, as he came near her. modesty and fashion ; still, amidst this scene of
“Nothing !” she replied, in a voice so sharp studied adornment, Rose sighed heavily, and a and painful, though she immediately turned to jewelled hand was pressed against her heart as the workmen, that Hubert felt distressed; he she fled with the rapidity of the wind down took her hand, and led her outside.
stairs. At the same instant Mrs. Spencer was “Forgive me, Rose,” he said; “I would not, leaving her room, and they met a moment on dear sister, wound one feeling or strike a chord the lobby. rudely. If you love St. John, may you not re- “You are quite distinguèe in your dress this gret it! I saw him yesterday reading a letter, evening, Rose,” said Mrs. Spencer, with the written in a lady's hand, bearing foreign post- customary expenditure of simperings, politeness, marks. Rose, I love Elizabeth Talbot, and can and compliments ; but Rose was in no mood to well imagine your agony now; but, were he relish them. twenty times her cousin, he shall rue dearly any “Mother,” she answered, vehemently snatchtreachery to you. I owe a duty to her; but a ing her hand,“ procure me what you
have so deeper claim on me is the call of a sister's wrong. long promised--the letter and I shall say from I detest him; and have only tolerated St. John my heart what I do not at present—that you because you wished it.
love me!" "I did not tell you that I wished it!" answered Mrs. Spencer promised faithfully to lose no Rose, evasively. “St. John is no lover of mine ; time, and they joined the family circle. so my dear brother need never to peril his life “ Hubert has just sent a message,
” said Mr. in defence of a shadow. You have my best Spencer aloud, for the edification of the whole wishes for happiness with Elizabeth.”
family assembled, that he remains for dinner “You may deceive me, Rose,” returned Hu- at our neighbours, but to expect him with a rebert, with solemnity; " but One there is, a inforcement in the evening; I think Hubert Higher and a Holier, whom you cannot deceive must see something to admire in Miss Talbot,
He knows your 'Truth and Seeming.' I shall he is so frequently at Lord Belvidare's, and I ask St. John to come this evening also.”. cannot imagine any child of mine liking one of
Rose passed one hand over her closed eyes; those St. Johns." an upbraiding conscience was at work within, “ I think Lord St. John a very fine young agony and distress on her proud features. man, and one calculated to make an impression
“ Brother, I confess !” “she murmured. Rose on any disengaged heart,” answered Mrs. Spenopened her eyes, but saw she was alone! Hercer in her blandest accents, delighted that she first thought was to call him back, and confide might with safety give her opinion in favour of all to bis care, seek his advice, and be guided that rank which always won her esteem. by whatever that might be; her next to wait, Mr. Spencer bowed to the little conceited and ask once more of St. John the meaning of woman, with more sarcasm than love in his such mystery. The former she knew to be politeness, as he answered right, truthful, and upright; the latter was but " Ladies are thought the best judges on such deceit still further, following inclination against matters." principle. Rose decided rashly in the latter, Rose thanked her mother with a grateful stilling the whispering voice; yielded herself a smile for her defence of the absent, which comwilling victim to sin, and worshipped perish- municative glance was caught and wondered at ing, guilty man, rather than the undying perfec- by Edward Montague. tions of the Creator !"
After dinner, each disposed of the time as Hours rolled on. Rose dismissed those em- best suited the individual; one after another, ployed in decorating the rooms, and prepared to all had vanished but Rose, who still remained dress herself for dinner with more care than seated by the open window, chained there usual. Mary had finished her toilet ere her by bitter thoughts and memory; her spirit sister had well begun; so different an occupa- bowed down by some overwhelming sensation, tion is it to dress and be aware that the one which she could not shake off; a dread of evil whom you wish to please is waiting anxiously haunted her, which she would have given riches for your appearance, and to adorn, to suit the to escape from ; but Rose had scorned all assista taste of one who is not expected for hours. Be- ance, and used subterfuge with each. sides, the young cleagyman loved the simple How should I now undeceive them, and live
to be pointed at by my father,” she cried, and, even in the moonlight, I can distinguish bitterly.
the Apollo outline of St. John. This very night Rose wept not one tear of repentance; her I shall read my destiny--aye, though my heart eyes were scorching, and her heart like a tem- broke in the attempt; let you Edward, in the pest within; a choking sensation swelled her morning, tell my father all, for this night shall graceful throat. She saw Mary and her affianced break the chain that holds me. Oh! then this husband pass into the gardens : so quietly happy odious ball, and how I shall be dead--yes
, my was their mutual smile, that Rose shuddered at heart will be a stone to every homage!". her own solitude. Edward Montague was roll- No time was given to either for reply; caning a shawl round his beloved, and then he gaily dles were lighted in the room, and Miss Talbot, caressed her shining curls.
her brother, Lord St. John, and Hubert, entered. “They deserve happiness,” exclained Rose, All traces of Rose's emotion had passed away mentally'; “ for Truth has ever been their like a thought; the simple Mary wondering how motto."
she had regained conposure in time to inquire, The sun went down slowly, with every varia- “Why Lady Mildred was absent ?" tion of shade in his magnificent hues, from the “We could not prevail on her to come, Rose," regal purple to the bright, burning gold, so fierce answered Hubert; " she said it was stupid work in majesty. The west was yet in a sea of rays, walking with us." when the harvest moon rose, pale at first, but Rose looked at Miss Talbot for an explana. gradually becoming full of mild lustre ; day- tion of her brother's half whisper ; but a blush light faded imperceptibly, the red streams glided and imploring look from Elizabeth caused Huone by one away, and the queen of the night held bert to continue. her court amid the blue vaults of heaven ; while, “I see I must solve this mystery for you, every minute, twinkling stars in groups, ap- Rose. Wish me happiness, for I hare fairly appeared to do homage to the sovereign! One won my Elizabeth, and you have a right to hail watcher gazed untiringly on, but the young her sister !" eyes of Rose Spencer-for she it was to whom “I am delighted, dear brother,” said Rose, we refer-heeded not the still solemnity of the hurriedly accepting Miss Talbot's offered hand, lulling hour; nor regarded the long shadows and then passing to preside at the tea-table
. from the trees upon the walk. A hand was “ How beautiful is that girl-such rare and placed affectionately round her neck.
wonderful perfections are hers. Do you not Rose, my dearest, forgive me,” said Mary bow to Rose Spencer's charms?” inquired Lord in a gentle tone, “if I have forgotten you while St. John of Mr. Talbot, as they stood together with Edward; I am indeed in fault-yet forgive at some distance, watching her graceful moreus both.”
Rose raised her head and laughed. That Yes, I admire, and could have loved-but laugh was intended to deceive again, for she she has chosen, if I mistake not; and now, in could not trust her lips to utter a sound : but return for my candour, say whether you will the moonlight shone full upon a face of leave such a flower to wither; or, to prove that agonized expression, and Mary trembled as she you can go against the poet, view the ripened kissed the burning brow of her sister.
rose, nor wish to wear it?" “What is the matter, beautiful Rose?" in- “ I really have not thought on the subject, quired Edward. “Were you studying the Talbot," answered St. John gaily; “ we cannot stars ? Fancy Miss Rose Spencer in love with wear every rose, though we may inhale a little the moon !"
perfume from all, as I shall now." He was soon “ Brother, I wish that only were my folly." at Rose's side, gazing on her loveliness, whis
Edward Montague changed his light raillery, pering not anything beyond a compliment to and whispered earnestly
her exquisite taste; but his eyes were eloquently "For mercy's sake, Rose, tell me, do you love speaking to her heart, while Mr. Talbot remained St. John ? Tell me, for I imagine such is the riveted to the spot, spending his time in vain case."
hopes that Rose would not waste all her sweets Will you have the truth? what I have denied on such a prodigal. Tea had given place to to my father, to Hubert, to myself, until I could conversation, and some remark on the calm, no longer," she cried aloud, standing up. “I mellow night, being made, Hubert suddenly love him better than words can tell or soul proposed that all should muffle, and walk to imagine. Do you love Mary? Could you peril witness the effect of moonlight on the new rock life-see friends, fortune, the dearly valued bridge, just completed. “My father's great things of earth pass away, and yet feel rich in glory and boast," he continued, “which will Mary's love? So do I feel for St. John.” not be opened until Rose's fête, when it will
“I do not censure you-no, Rose,” he be shown, all brilliant with illuminations, to the answered; “not for that love, which I can un- assembled guests. Is any of my opinion that lerstand, but I do for your deceit. It is not too we should go to see it?" late to confess; a late repentance is better than All the young people joyfully acceded; even none. There is a mystery about St. John which Mr. Spencer thought it a wise movement, and I cannot sift.”
Rose laughed, half with madness, half with “ I shall sift it this night or never," interrupt- delight, that her hour of trial was come. As ed Roge. “There comes a party up the avenue, they were proceeding en masse to the hall, Mrs.
Spencer came up to Rose's side and whispered, There was one in the shade of a clump of “ I have the letter. Where shall we read it?". trees, close by, who stood an astonished listener.
Rose started. “Keep it until I return. Bless Mr. Talbot, wandering alone, saw Rose Spencer, you, mother dear, for risking so much; but such and he could not resist the temptation of hearkis the punishment of deceit.'
ening for her answer : he had not long to wait. Mrs. Spencer smiled, and Rose accepted the The young girl seemed like one in wild frenzy ; arm of Lord St. John, who had been waiting she dashed the bonnet from her head, and her.
heeded not its fall into the current, started from The moonlight hour has been long held sacred his side, screaming aloud, -" Am I indeed to love and reflection ; surely a more fitting time awake? Or has not Lord St. John scorned me could not be selected to dwell on subjects so sufficiently without disposing of my hand ? No, sacredly reverenced by the young and imagina- never while she breathes shall Rose Spencer sell tive; a subject which can finally, by completion, herself at your pleasure. True, he may be render many envied and happy, or, by trials and worthy; I question it not; but shall I say
the doubts, fill up the measure of human misery. same of myself? And you have spoken of love Thus Hubert and Elizabeth walked on like to me! Away-falsehood! deceit! Is this love? fairies, light of heart, and swift of motion; I am punished; I could have borne all without Edward Montague and his Mary forgot the a murmur—to see you worldly, wicked, a very whole world in themselves; but Rose, the bril- felon! But oh, to have loved me still." And liant, the loveliest, the proud spirited enslaver of Rose, overcome by her own energy, leaned so many, hung her haughty head as she sauntered down over the bridge. slowly, and the last, with her idol, Lord St. My Rose, my only loved, my dearest, hear John. They had been accompanied by Mr. me,” he whispered. « I have never loved but Talbot, but he disappeared without their know- you. Yet, oh! God forgive me the hour in ing when or where.
which I say it, but seals my ruin! Oh! Rose, Anything but silence, Rose,” said Lord St. forgive me, and we part for ever." John, after a lengthened pause.
Why not No, we part not; neither do I grant forsay the veriest trifle, for I love the sound of giveness until you tell me this mystery; tell it, your voice better than the finest music. Why and I forget all, everything! Yes, I will forget, are you so sad? Where is the dignity of Rose Lord St. John, that I have been outraged. I Spencer, which ought to teach her to shake off ask you positively; as I have the letter at last this gloom?"
from my father, and when I return, there I shall My dignity has vanished, Lord St. John," read your truth.” she cried bitterly, “the moment that I deceived “ But can you bear that we meet no more? my family to listen to words full of flattery and That you should hate my very name? That untruth."
“Yes, yes,” she interrupted hurriedly. “I “ No, not untruth, my dear Rose; to all the can bear it all, or die! On, on, for my heart is world I shall be false, but not to you. I have breaking." said that I am wretched; what would you Lord St. John raised the bent girl, and more?"
placed his arm round her for support; he felt Al now paused together, and each said some every beat of that proud heart like the sound thing of the strangely constructed bridge, on of a time-piece, and her eyes blazed wildly upwhich Mr. Spencer had bestowed such pains. wards, as he began—“ Rose, would that I were The moon streamed down on the party, and the cold as stone, and insensible ere I met you, for waters, which flowed rapidly underneath, re- now I must tell of my dark treachery. In an flected her pale orb with a tremulous motion. evil hour, I became acquainted with a set of gamAt some little distance was to be seen the water-blers and unprincipled men. Amongst them one fall, rolling furiously down a steep declivity, its called me friend; whilst I, fool and benighted, loud echo coming so startlingly on the ear, to subscribed to the name also. I gambled-lost; remind you of the stormy, violent waves, which, he paid for me, and I paid due attention to his even in the calmest hour of affection, threaten sister, one whose ways I hated, yet whom I to engulph the dreamer. Rose lingered silently, seemed to admire. In some short time, constant leaning on Lord St. John, her other hand play reduced me to such straits that I wrote to resting on the rocky parapet; suddenly she my father, but he refused to assist me any furmoved, on seeing the rest had passed away. ther. De Valmont offered me full forgiveness,
Stay one minute, will you, Rose?” besought on one condition; but that one I started from her companion. “ I have a few words to say." with abhorrence. We disagreed on the subject; Say on,” murmured Rose.
my leave had nearly expired; once more I tried “ I may not speak again on the subject ; for my fortune at cards— lost everything; the esit is time that I should part from one so dan- tates, when they should be mine, were even gerous to my own happiness for ever; yes, Rose, bartered. Again the free pardon was held out : dangerous ! Oh! had I but worshipped you it was drawn up in legal form, and in despair I years ago, as I do now, half this misery might performed my part. Rose, oh! Rose, I am a have been spared us. Forget me, I wish you; married man!" I pray for it. There is one more worthy, who A start, a low cry, and hysterical sob, came can share life and fortune with you; love him. from Rose Spencer, as she fell on Lord St. Talbot I mean, Promise this, Rose.”
John's breast; a convulsive movement ran
through every fibre of her frame, and all was, where, by means of bribes and entreaties, we silent. St. John raised her face; the eyes were find him. closed, and a tinge of blood stained the parted On the centre table, covered with a rich pall lips : something horrible took possession of his of black velvet, rested the close narrow prison, mind; he placed a hand on her heart, but no where, cold in death, lay that once brilliant throb woke the stillness. The truth, in all its Rose! The large chandelier, which had been fearful solemnity, rushed on his senses-Rose hung for her fête, was lighted for the first time Spencer was dead! The struggle within, and over her in death; it showed her more lovely excitement, had been too much for her frail | than ever, and St. John, as he stood there, body; with the spirit's conflict the chord of life would gladly have exchanged places with his had snapped asunder. A shriek rose on the victim. According to Mr. Spencer's wishes
, summer air, heart-rending and piercing; it came Rose had been dressed in the costume she was from the miserable Lord St. John.
to have appeared in at her ball; and now, the Mr. Talbot was the first who snatched the rich lace dress and satin vied with the marble victim, Rose, from the frenzied man, and all the hue of the “bride of death ;" her black hair family came rushing to the spot; they had hung in wavy folds, not redundant in curl, and missed her on their return, then souglit and those closed eyes looked like sleep. found only a corpse; but no trace of Lord St. Can this be death ?” cried the guilty man John could be discovered.
aloud, as he clung to the coffin for support
. “ Rose, my beautiful! my murdered Rose, wake! Ah me! I am alone!” He bent over
the inanimate form, and with fervour pressed It was the night appointed for Rose Spencer's his lips long and fondly on her forehead. “Yes, ball, to celebrate her twentieth birth-day; but a mine in death. Who shall deny it?" he exsilence like the grave reigned in the place of claimed. “ And here is my bridal offering." festivity and gaiety. Lights shone through the Lord St. John laid a bunch of moss roses on blinded windows of the grand drawing-room, her breast. “ They will perish like my Rose," yet no breathing inmate was there : steadily the he murmured; "yet I have given them in me blaze burned, and no shadow impeded the re- mory of that one she gave me when first we flection, which fell on the lawn without. At met.” He paused, for the door slowly opened, midnight the moon was commencing to unveil, and Mr. Montague, supporting the weeping and her mellow beauty showed a muffled figure Mary, entered. in a large cloak, moving stealthily under the Lord St. John,” said the young clergyman, trees, and going towards the back entrance of when he had recognized him, " you have neither Spencerville. The man appeared sad, and in consulted the feelings of the family, nor your affliction, his hat slouched, and not one look own safety, by this intrusion. Can you not unwas cast by him towards the front entrance: he derstand that the remembrance of your name knocked with a low tap at a postern gate, which must be associated with horror? How then was immediately answered by an old woman, must your presence aflict this mourner?" who seemed earnestly refusing to grant some “Talk on, Mr. Montague ; upbraid, threaten ?" request, while he pleaded both with gesture and cried Lord St. John. Mary Spencer does not words ; then a purse was thrust into her hand. suffer like me; she does not stand by the dead “ Take it,” he said, “and grant me five minutes. body of her idol-of the only one she loved, I ask it as the dearest wish on earth; nay, if and know that she has murdered her! Let them you do not, I shall climb to one of the windows come; I could endure death from a Spencer for an entrance."
with joy!" The woman paused, weighed the purse, con- “ But you must not meet it. Are you fit to sidered, and the petitioner entered; silently they die? Do not sins like yours need repentance ? proceeded through the deserted house, not an Think on the future, careless man, and mourn echo did their steps awaken as those two tra- over the past! Yonder window is open, by it versed the richly carpeted passages leading to you can escape, for a bereaved father will join us the drawing-room. The old woman unlocked the here in a moment. Is it not enough, our sister door. “I will watch,” she whispered, “and stricken to the dust in her youth; her mother return for you in ten minutes ; so make the most a senseless, raving maniac! Á father in despair of your time.”
A brother searching for you for vengeance! The disguised person stood a second, and Go, go! God is the avenger, and not your fellow looked round the magnificent apartment; one man; such afflictions are punishments for your object then secured his attention; he threw deceit and falsehood !" aside his hat, darted forward, and the many Lord St. John heard all, and seemed like one burning lights shone down on Lord St. John under the influence of a spell; he clasped his gazing in despair on the pale remains of Rose hands on the worn, lofty forehead, exclaiming Spencer! Years might have told on his features My punishment is greater than I can bear." and figure with less of destruction than the two and vanished through the open window. last nights, in which he had wandered like an The grave closed over Rose Spencer, and outcast ; but a sad pleasure, and unconquerable with death we are inclined to be silent as to desire once again to see his murdered love, the faults and errors of the departed ; and of brought him on this night to Spencerville, one who might have dwelt with the noble
Soon may the music of thy voice
and good, yet, by a train of misdeeds, saw himself banished from home and country. In foreign lands, a gloomy isolated hermit, Lord St. John read the announcement of Mrs. Spencer's death, which took place a few months after her daughter's. Again his self-upbraidings returned in full force, and the victim of remorse sank into an unregretted tomb about the same time as Mr. Spencer, no longer the stern eagleeyed man, was giving his tearful blessing to his other children ; who, though beginning life with those so dear, yet bore evidence of a deep sorrow for one whose place was vacant for ever.
TO MY INFANT NIECE.
BY S. J. G.
Pretty little winsome thing,
Yes, thou art coming, Spring; thy balmy breath
Is wandering on 'mid hedges, where the flowers, Waked by its whisperings from their winter death,
Burst into beauty through the sunny hours. Thou'st touch'd the leafless boughs--and tende
green Of budding foliage instantly is seen ; Thou'st trod the meads—and lo, the flowery train, Where'er thy footsteps linger, bloom again, The king-cup lifts its golden head, and there Daisies the greensward powder, and the air Is filled with primrose incense. Roused by thee, Nature afresh pours forth her melody; Sweet " wood notes wild" salute us from each tree ; Yes, thou art coming, Spring, and welcome wilt
Household treasure, priceless gem-
Still as she watcheth thee
Why wilt thou tempt me thus to idle, Spring ?
I may not sit me down with volume sage
A shower of hawthorn blossoms o'er the page ;
Of far-off violet beds in cool retreat,
And paths where overhead green branches meet.
Thy laugh so merry, and thy sunny looks,
What downward bends yon purple harebell's head ?
Not the sweet dew-drops lingering hidden there,
Nor the light breathing of the gentle air. Softly approach, thereon hath found a bed The little herald of the bloomy spring, The bee, which there hath couch'd its busy wing,
And sips the nectar, feasted like a king. See, even now its task is done-away
The restless insect hies to other flowers,
And, culling sweets amid the greenwood bowers, 'Twill journey onward thus from day to day. Oh, that we might like thee pass through life's way,
Extracting joy from even adversity,
And we have heard thy fame,