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would have implored me to be gentle in my reproaches towards her repentant lover; and in the smile she bestowed on him, which did say, with mournful eloquence, “Still I forgive thee!" I would not disturb these feelings, so I drew the youth aside, and stated briefly under what circumstances I had been brought to London, what I had heard and witnessed in the house where we then were, and required from him, in his father's name, whether he had entered into any covenant with the suffering individual before us?
He at once confirmed all that the owner of the dwelling had stated, and confessed that he had gained the affections of the young maiden, though only to blight them; that he had made a contract, to forswear it; that he found her happy, in youthfulness and health, but had basely deserted her in sickness and adversity; but now, under the deepest remorse of conscience, was bitter in self-accusations. Fearing that I should request him to allay the alarm of his relatives by an immediate return to them, he added, “The poor deer that I have stricken, hath fled into the covert. I have tracked her there, but never again shall she be deserted, to die in loneliness and despair, since my fate shall now be for ever linked with her's. I have returned to repair what may be, of the evil I have done, and to confirm, even with heart and hand, the vow I have already solemnly plighted. Your prayers have already tranquillised her spirits, and Ah! hath not your visit here been most wondrously brought about, in order to effect the fulfilment of
vow? Join with me, then, I pray thee, to obtain the only test by which the sincerity of my penitence and love can now be tried; and who shall say that life may not rekindle its powers, when that poor bosom shall be lightened of its load of wretchedness?”
Before I had time to reply, he threw himself again on his knees by the bedside, and implored the sufferer's assent to his proposal of an immediate marriage, urging that I was the friend of his father, the instructor of his own youth, and could confirm all he had said of his parents' character. he exclaimed, passionately, “ doth not the miraculous manner in which we are assembled at this time, augur well for the deed? Oh! my love! happiness may yet be our's; and think of the
peace of mind you will impart to your Neville, by permitting him, even at this solemn moment, to perform his vow.”
A fleeting crimson passed over the pallid cheek
“ And," of the sick one, as Dalton pronounced these words, and the brilliancy of a moment flashed from her languid eyes — the outward workings of a heart which, for an instant, beat responsive to the thrilling hopes of earth. A bright vision of happiness in this world, -of happiness to be shared with Dalton,— had beamed upon her. But it speedily departed as a shadow; for, laying her wasted and burning hand on his, while she spake, and looking at him with an expression of calm resignation, most saintlike, yet withal most melancholy, she responded, “ Alas! my Neville, it is too late! It would be but the union of the quick with the dead!” Still undismayed, he rose hastily from his knees, and seizing me by the arm, drew me towards the bed. Sympathising, as I then most truly did, in the situation of those around me, and irresolute, from stricter motives of duty, respecting the course I should pursue, he grasped one hand of his beloved, upraised mine, and cried, in an agony of voice which defied my resistance, “We are man and wife- for better and for worse, — for life and for death! Oh! withhold not thou the benediction of the Church : the innocence of my forsaken one will insure her peace in the Kingdom to which she is passing, though in this heart she will dwell for ever!”
He pressed his suit—and then, the meek sufferer, forcing a prophetic smile, pointed to her finger, as if the sight of its bony and emaciated condition, too small to retain the nuptial emblem, should admonish him of its inutility. The impassioned youth, however, marked it not, and she raised her head from the pillow: her eyes again brightened with a sudden effulgence, which strangely contrasted with the calmness of her voice, as she uttered, “My love, we shall be united in Heaven!”
“ And upon earth, also," said Dalton, looking towards me. I gazed at them for a moment, and almost unconsciously began to repeat some words from the ritual of the Church, when a deep sigh from the sufferer made me pause.—Her strength had been collected for the last few words, and in giving them utterance, her gentle spirit had passed
BY MISS JEWSBURY.
He waved his wand !- dark Spirits knew
That rod — yet none obeyed its call; And twice the mystic signs he drew,
And twice beheld them bootless all : Then knew the Seer Jehovah's hand, And crushed the scroll, and broke the wand!
“I feel Him like a burning fire,
When I would curse, my lips are dumb; But from those lips, ʼmid hate and ire,
Unchecked the words of blessing come; They come -and on his people rest, A people by the Curser blest!