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M'arthur Democrat. (McArthur, Vinton County, Ohio) 1853-1865, June 01, 1855, Image 1

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87075163/1855-06-01/ed-1/seq-1/

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and -True devot.on to ou c6
A Pretty Foot.
There's magic in a lady's foot.
And well the ladies know it,
And she who hnsa pretty one
Is pretty sure to show it ;
At times you, loo, are martyreJ by
The nicest little ankle,
T! at shoots an arrow thronj;h the eyes,
Within the heart to jaukle.
Of coursa you turn your gsze aside,
And all your blushes stiile,
For well you know she 's not aware
Her skirts are raised a trifle ;
Ami sho'd you think she might.perchance,
Have on a loosened gaiter,
Your fingers itch to play the part
Of honest lady's waiter.
Though tantalized till he Is crazed
Stark mad with wild romancing,
That witching lootaloiif; his brain
A thousand waltzes dancing. .,
The while it 'merely lightly pats,
As thoughtlessly sha may more it
No modest man would dare to dream,
There is a leg above it.
But when it trips along the street,
Through wind and mud and vp.por,
By aheer accident you see
How beautiful the taper;
And as it steps upon the walk,
Amidstthe crowd to mingle
Two rougisheyes look up and say,
'I wonder if he's single?"
Bit I would have no lady think
1 fancy h.:r a schemer.
And beg her to remember Unit
The poet is a dreamer,
Ho sees whut others do not see,
And seeks I'm hidden beauty
No pretty faro can lura him lioiu
The path of. moral duty.
j
THE HEART'S ARK OF REFUGE;
THE HEART'S ARK OF REFUGE;--OR,--
A GIRL'S DILEMNA.
This is the anniversary of an impor
tanlday in my life. I will keep it by
recording the events that led to my pres
ent position. Let not those stay to read
whose hearts have grown too old to rt I -ih
a love story.
At eighteen, I was one of the most
thoughtless human beings. My widow
ed father, a rich merchant, had humored
every whim from infancy, end aked
nothing ol me in return but ligluheart
edness and u flection. No one could have
known less than 1 of the shadows and
t-orrow s of life, or lime been more ihiltt
ihlily occupied in the present. It was
the nigh' of my (irsi ball, to which I
was to be introduced under the most flat
lering auspices. 1 was half wild with
vicitemenl, and the moment my toilet
was couipluted.1 (lew dow u stairs to show
myself to my father, who was not going
nun me, ih i iim arrjiiiie I, being pre
vented he sild, by sudtiPM Slid insiirmouii
l!'U fngn JPiucii If). Well 1 remember
how iinpatieni'r I hurai upeu the din-lug-room
door, and with whata bound
fetation I spring Imv vr.l the spot
where he stood, sptc.iding out my beau
liful drass, and making before him a
sweeping courtesy. 1 seem to hour now
the soft turtle of I h i e ami satin; to feel
th glow that burned en my cheeks, and
ihe quick throbbing of my happy heart.
I had not at first nut'eed, in my e.rger
ness, that the tabie waj covered with
paper, and thai my father wu not alone.
Mr. Laoy, barrister at law. his friend
and mine furl had known him fiom my
cradle sat opposite lo him, ai:d a sec
ond glance showed ma how giave and
anxious were the faces of boili.
Whi t is the mallei? ' 1 asked, lay.
ing my hand caressingly on my father's
shoulder. He looked at me fondly till
I saw the tears brim his eyes.
'My darling!" he paid, in an abrupt
pa$9ionate way. "We will not iell her,
Lacy? It would be cruel. Let her have
at least a few more happy hour; she
need not know to night. How will she
besr it?"
Mr. Lacy looked increasingly grave
1 had become vert grave too; my child
ish excitement seemed to have given
place to a sudden and almost womanly
seriousness.
'Il is nonse hiding anything from me,'
I said, trying to smile though I trem
bled in vaue foreboding. l could nut
go to the ball now; tell me what it is
has happeued." The expression of my
father's face deepened lo anguish; he
put hit hands before it, as if the sight ol
me was too painful too bear. 1 turned
lo Mr. Lacy.
"Do you tell me!' I implored. Mr
Lacy fixed upou me the line searching
eyes whose reproof hai( been the sorest
penalty of m life hitherto, and kept up
the scrutiny till I could bear it no longer,
earnest anil kindly as it was. 1 knealt
on a cushion before him. and leaning my
arms or. bis knees in a favorite aliunde,
I returned his gaze with a steady though
tearful cue.
"Try me,' I said; 'perhaps I am more
than the giddy child jou think me. Be
sides, it cannot be so dreadful you are
both alive and well!'
A peculiar expression passed over Mr.
Lacy's face. He seemed hesitating
whether to draw me into bis arms, or
push me from him; he did neither, bul
roFe up suddenly, putting me gently
back, aud look a lew turns ihrougii the
room.
Halfurd,' he said, presently, and iu
agitated tones, 'once more 1 renew my
offer. Of what like is wealth like mine
to a lonely man? With the help 1 tan
give, you may keep your credit, aud
l'(easi this storm. You shrink from an
obligation there is a chauie of your nev
er being able to cauci'l'l Well I will
change places w ith you. Give ine in
return that is, if 1 can win he: to con
tent our nVjgl.tcr as my wife!' M)
Uiher looked up w ith a literal Rasp o!
asionisbment. Mr. Lacy went on with
out beeping him, ! tm a fool, no doubi,'
he said, 'but the time has long gone by
when Mildred wag a child io me. Foi
the last two rears, I hate fett from the
i!plhi of my heart that the was wom
an; 1 have fought against the insane
wish to win be r for my wife; my age,
my past relations with her seemed to
make it a crime. Now I bare spoken;
God knows, as ranch to save you from
the disgrace you are to obstinately bent
0n meeting, and her from the poverty
that would crush her youth, as to satis
fy ruy own feelings. What she isto
nie, words ranuot soy. How I will guard
and love her, my life only could prove.
Constance, what do you say?'
He pain? I opposite me, and took my
hand. I was like one in a dream.
Lov! Marriage! Drought up as I had
been, at home. I had speculated less on
these points than most girls of my age.
I had vague theories, indeed, gathered
from poets and novelists; and my feelings
for Mr. Lacy, a man of forty years of age,
who had nursed me a an infant, an J
whom I fFW!Trrvtth aTrnMIJriinited
reverence as one of the best and wisest
of the race, did not seem to correspond
with them. 1 was unworthy of the hou
or incopabla of fulfilling ihe office of
wife to such a man. Wife! it seemed
almost blasphemous to mention the word
to such a child as 1 was, and I shrank
back from hi in lowords my father, my
cheeks burning, und my eyes full of tears.
'You refuse me, Constance?' said he,
'I should be a villain to take advantage
of my position, and urge you, Yet in
my heart 1 believe I could nuke you hap
py; what would you have but youth that
I could not give you? There are many
chances against your ever being offered
again a strong, hmiest, undivided heart
like mine. No young mu could love
as I do. Cuusluiice, what you mightbe
to inei'
The strange tone of passionate earn
estness made my hen it beat thick. 1
glanced at my father. He was watchiug
ine with intents anxiety; no need to
question whut his wishes were. As for
the meaning of this strange scene, 1
wanted no deUils; enough that some
monetaiy crisi3 had conR, that threaten
ed dUgruce aud ruin. I could avert it
and how? By marrying one whoe af
lection miht have gratified the most
ambitious heart ci.e of the noblest of
men one I loved, though perhaps not
as he lured ins. In llut hour of excilfl
in cut mill in my un disciplined mind, lit
tle wm I prepaied to weigh remote, pos
silnliiiei and ciiiiliughucies; besides, 1
was anient, excitable, opt to mistake
impulse for sentiment, 'Constance,
what you might be in uin!' wrought up
on my sensibility; his expression of sub
dued e motion still further moved me!
It never occurred to me to demand time
for explanation and reflection. 1 fell
coiistr jihed to answer h 1 in then and
itiere.
'If I "ere less a child,' I said, blush
ing and ueuiblhig 'if I were more
your equal'
It us enough; he drew near and clas
pe.l ute in his arm-1,
'Child!' he said, passionately, 'my
love, niy wife!' Then releasing me and
gazing aline seriously: 'You give your
aelf to mo willingly Mildred; but 1 will
not bind yon. Six mou'.lis hence, I will
give you luck your freedom, if you are
not happy; and you will liud it hard to
deceive a love like mine.'
My father ruse and grasped his hand
in silence, 'God bless you,' he said at
length; 'I would have borne much to
secuie a protector for my child. Leave
us, Constant1, lo arrange some matters
that cannot be deluxud even till the
morning.'
I w an eager to obey, and be alono to
think; binlllefi the. room without a
back wa rd gla nee.
That half hour had revolutionized my
whole being. 1 was a child no longer.
I locked my bedroom door, to give way
to all the tumultuous emotions of a
woman, buec. lor as a wile engaged!
I looked at myself in the glass, and won
dered that a man like Mr. Lacy could
love such a young, uninformed creature
as I appeared. There was an incongru
ity in it thai struck me painfully. Still,
there was a distinction in big regard
that flaltered me; 1 had a very high es
teem for him; 1 was warding off a calam
ity from in) father; 1 loved no one else;
no doubt 1 should be very happy. 1 sat
Jowr. on the edse of the bed, and leaned
my lieaa littli ued lo ache with such
grave matters of reflection upon my
hand. Unaccustomed, lo dieam at that
moment an in voluntary dream rose be
fore my imagination.' Instead of this
stiange com, .act. the wooing of a youth-
lul lover; instead of mere consent on
uy part, tlie ueliciou3 hopes, the rich
liuitiou of a conscious, active passion,
might it not have been thus? If beau
ty won love, 1 was fair ecough; if fresh
nesj and stre'uglh of heart were needed,
how mine throbbed under the ideal bliss!
The sound of Mr. Lacy's voice recalled
me lo a seuse of my duty to him; ii was
w rong to dream ol ' such girlish possi
bilities uow.
He tins going away, and my father
lud uccomuanied him to the head of the
staircase. 1 supiiosa he had asked him
il he would not wih to bid me good
night, lur I heard him uuswer 'Noj she
would nol wish to be disturbed I (ear
lo weary her-. Gad forgive me if 1 am
acting a suilish paft!' 1. rusts up reso
lutely, no more such weakness us that
of the last hour; he was worthy of a wo
man', love and honor, and I would give
it. The next two mouths passed in a
slate of tranquil hippiness. If manly
devotion, il Hie most delicate and min
ute attentions could nin a heart, mine
would hate beeu won; and I thought it
was, and reposed on the idea. '
Mr. Lacy made no .attempt to pretent
my plunging iulolhe gay world, post
poned lor awhile by the late stranre ia-
i incus. iiuw aim wie:i ne would go
wnii me lo Dal I or opera, but it was in
ine character ol protector or spectator,
uot as participant; and 1 felt his pres
ence a restraint. ' 1 was by no meant a
coquette; 1 Sliove tu bear always iu mind
thtt 1 vs his iiffianced wife; but I was
only eighteen, ardent in temperament,
with high animal spirits, very much'
courted and acmiied, and I did enter
wiih a keen zest into the pleasures of
life, His grave unite, in the height of
my enjoyment, used to fall like a weight
on oi y heart.
He himself, holding an important and
influential position iu the world, wat
full of earnest schemes of practical be
nevolence, of professional reform. He
seemed to think, labor and write mainly
with an eye to other men's interests, and
those in their highest and widest bear
ings. He liked lo talk to me of these
things, and excite my moral enthusiasm;
and while I listeued he carried heart aud
conviction with him, and I felt a call
lo such co operation an honor, iu which
sacrifice could Juva, qo, parlvJThca- bit
took of intense affection and happiness,
as he kissed the cheek to which his
woras had brought so deep a glow, stir
red my soul, and left no doubt on my
mind that I loved him,
At the end of two months, Mr. Lacy
left mo to attend a summons to his (aih
er's death bed. He expressed no fears
as to the result of this separation, tW
1 perceived a deep secret anxiety. 1
shared it. I had a morbid dread of the
ell'kct of this absence.
Don't leave me,' I cried, . clinging
reeling to his arm. 'lam afraid of in ,
sell afraid of becoming unworthy of
you.'
'How, Constance?' was his answer.
If you mean you will forget me, or dis
cover you are mistaken iu thinking you
love ine, it will save ui boih a life long
misery me.ul least, a life-long remorse.'
For a week or two after he left me, 1
hardly went into society; but my faiber
aud friends laughed at my playing the
widow, aj they called it, mid 1 soon le
suiued my furuier gailies. with, however,
a certain restraint and moderation which
I felt due to Mr. Lacy.
At length the temptation beset me of
which 1 neeined to have had a vague
presentment from the first evening ol
Mr. L icy's offer, and il beset me under
its must insidious form. My father's
sister and nephew came to pay us u long
talked of visit; aud even be lore they ar
rited, 1 had begun to torture myself with
doubts as to issues of this intercourse.
As children, Frank Ingram aud I had
spul half our lime together; and as
children, hud pledged ourselves to each
utner, five years had passed since we
had met, for he had been studying med
icine abroad, but an unbroken, though
scanty correspondence had been always
kept up between the two families. Frank
had been my ideil as a child. H 1 found
him so still if 1 were to lov himl ii,
when he came, he brought with him that
future about which 1 had dreamed
brought il iu vain. There. was some
thing morbid iu this state of mind! but
ihe ideu had fastened upou me, and
1
could uol shake it off. My vety self-
mistrust was a snore,
My aunt and cousin duly arrived; and
of Frank I must speak the truth, even
if I u m accused of a wish to justify my
self. . Every charm a young man could
hive, 1 think he possessed. 1 say noth
ing of his beauty, or his ingtnious gra
ces of manner. 1 could have withstood
these, though 1 -had a very keen appre
ciatiou of them-. But he was full of
disinterested ardor in his profession, as
Mr. Lacy in his; had the same deepde
sire tu be of use in his geneiation th
same unsellisli plans anu aspirations;
only he unfolded them with such a win
ning self mistrust, as if he doubted his
worthiness fur the high vocation of be
nevolence, until he warmed into enthu
siasm; and then the passion of his speech,
the very exiravigance of his youthlul
hopes, thrilled me with power far be
yond the reasoned wisdom ot Mr. Lacy's
enterprise. Oh, 1 longed to join hands
n iih him in his life journey , and lend
my aid lo the wording out of his Uto
pia, with a spontaneous fervor of desire
never known before.
Lesser thing lent their aid. ' He wa
a fine musician, aud an enthusiast in
ihe art: we practiced constantly togeth
er. He taught me how to play and sing
the German compositions he hud intro-
luce il to me. 1 do not wish to dwell
on details; but who docs nol know how
sui-ile a medium ol love a kindred pur
suit and enjoyment of music is? and
Mr. Lacy had never cared for music.
Then, again, he was my perpetual com
ijauinn: at breakfast, hi clear eyes and
welcoming voice opened the day; mid
alter its long hours of delightful inter
course, his hand was the last 1 clasped
at night. iNo attempt was made to put
any restraint upon ibis dangerous com
panionship. My father looked upon us
as brother and sister. Besides, the fact
of uiy engagement was known, and he
had the most implicit confidence in his
nephew's honor. He never considered
my danger, yet it wut the greater. He
might b strong bul I was weak. In
short 1 lovtd Frank.
A letter announcing the probable day
of Mr. Lacy's return roused ine to a con
viction ul the truth, carried it up lo
my room, locked the door and fell on
my knees. What shuuld do? Should
I keep my secret, and sin against rny
own soul by marrying one did not love?
Surely that were the worst. crime of the
iwo. What vs left me, then, but to
wound a noble heart, belie my promise,
iuculpale my father? . t seemed a dread
lul alternative. After hours of agon
ised causuisiry, could uot decide, bul
d Me r mined to leave Hie final issue to
chance. . Did Frank love me? Strange
that 1 took that fact for granted, tortur
ing mrself with the idea of what he
would culler he, with his youiig strong
capacity for sorrow! This is not to be a
long story, so I must nol stay to aualyse
the state of my mind nuriug the inter
val Ihtttlapted before Mr. Lacy's return
A criminal awaiting a sura condemns
lion, and thit approved by his own ach
lug conscience, would understand
feelings.
The evening came on which we ex
pected him. Never had our drawiug-
rooin worn a more happy, homelike char
actef My fthtr lead the newspaper at
ease in hit ample chair, my handsome,
IiveFy aunt perpetually luterruptinghim
witWlrrelerant remarks. I sat near the
tea tkble, for a certain hour had been
fixe. f, and we wtiied for our guest be.
fore Ate began our favorite meal. I had
a book, to hide the changes of my coun
tenance, nad 1 doubted my comia'
love before, I should have doubted it no
longer ; how earnestly and tearchingly
he looked at me how grave and sad he
appeated I
THtrkuock came. It was natural 1
tUonli ttartj but itwts hard "to smile
naturally at my aunt's pleasant railery.
. Mr. Lacy came in. He was one whose
self governed, serene manner precludes
flatter or embarrassment in others. The
gentle Iriendness of his greeting re as
sured me lur the moment; under it 1
could .hardly imagine the strong, pas
sionate current to exist lliat sometimss
broke its bounds. -
Tho evening passed smoothly and
pleasantly lo all externals. Mr. Lacv
was very grave, but tiien it was to be
expected of the sou who had just lefi
his father's death-bed,' and aunt's ani
mated l-iigue lilled u; the intervals
when couversBlion would have flagged.
Frank and 1 sang together at iny lather's
leijuesl. lor 1 feared lo appear unwilling;
besides, il precluded the necessity of
my exerting myself to talk. Frank was
very rious, and, I thought, averse to
singing with me, but at the same time
he had never sung to greater advantage.
The ordeal was over at last- Mr.
Lacy louk his leave, without anything
in his manner to make me fear, or hope
lliat my secret was discovered. A week
passed; he was constantly with us,
showing me the same teuderness a 3 ever,
somewhat graver, but certainly more
gentle. He seemed, too, to make a
point of seeking Frank's society, and
spoke of him in high term to my father.
Oil ! what a heavy heart I carried during
that period. Looking in my glass 1
thought with wonder at the change six
luouihs can work in mind and body.
At iheeud of those seven days, I came
to a resolution that nerved me with
something like strength. I thought I
would seek a Aired interview with Mr.
Lacy, tell him the whole truth, and
throw myself on his generosity. Let
him bul release me from an engagement
that became every hour more intolera
ble to 'contemplate, and I woiild con-
ut ia . enter no other. ' Let him but
free me, and I would Iitb unmarcird for
everyea, though I must take labor and
poverty as companions.
It was the very evening of the day I
had come to 'his decision, that Ichanc
ed to meet Mr. Lacy ou the Etairs, at the
hour of his usual arrival. Here was the
desired opportunity, but I trembled to
avail myself of it. He forestalled me.
'Give me a quarter of an hour alone,
Constance, in the library,' said he. 'I
have wished to have a few private
wolds for days.'
We went in ; he placed me in a chair
near the fire, aud closed the door careful
ly, then came up to me; standing before
me as he spoke :
"This day six months ago, Constance,
1 made a promise I am going to redee.n,
If you are not happy, 1 said, I will free
you from the engagement you made to
me. You are nol happy. 1 suspected
ihe truth from your letters when awty
aud I saw it confirmed the first liieht
of my arrival. The expression of your
face, the tone of your voice, when you
spoke to your cousin, would have set the
strongest doubts at rest, killed the most
pertinacious hope.' He paused a mo
ment, md then went on as calmly as be
fore : '1 acquit you of all blame, Mil-1
dred ; it was 1 that acted the un worthy
part, taking unmanly ad vantages of my
power to help your father end your un
tried child's heart. If I were not now
ihe only sufferer,'! could scarcely bear
the retrospect ; but I am, thank God !
As for your father, our fears magnified
his danger ; Ihe little help 1 was able to
give, lias re-esiahlistied his position as
iirmly as before. He will repay me ;
you owe me nothing. 1 have had a
wild dream, bul 1 am awake at last-
awake enough to see that it was a fool's
idea that a man like me could win a
young girl's heart.'
He was calm no longer ; but he turn
ed abruptly, away o hide his emotion.
Mr. Lacy, I cried, striving to stifle
the conflict of my love, '1 would fain
do right. I have a deep esteem for you
1- ' I broke off. 'Give me a little
time,' I added, passionately renewing
the effort; 1 shall conquer this love ol
mine 1 will become worthy of you af
ter all!'
Conquer the purest feelings of a wo
man's heart! Offer yourself a sacrifice
to my felfishness ! No, no, Constance,
yours is the teasun of blessedness--mine
is already past. Presently I will come
back to you iu my old character, and be
able lo sty with less difficulty than I do
to-night, 'God bless vou both.' 1 will
kiss you for the last time.'
He clasped me iu his arms, and kiss
ed me, seemingly with more earnestness
ihau passion, but it was the very depth
of passion. As the door closed upon him
a strong impulse seized me. 1 longed
to call him back. Was it true 1 did uot
love him ?
1 saw none of my family that even
mg, lor I weuf at om.-e to my room.
What a night of misery aud conflict 1
passed! -
The next morning, Frank came to my
private sitting room, aud knocked for
admittance. He held a letter iu his
band ; his fine eyes were suffused with
happiness.
'Sympathise with me, Constance,' he
said; I feel loo much to bear it alone.
my
!
... - -
i nave never talked to you abu.it her,
I could not trust myself with the
subject while d doubt remained. Now.
I will telPyou about my darling : she is
as worthy of a true man's heart as
Mr. Lacy is of yours. By the way, Con
stance, I was very anxious about you
, ...
"e noin. 'or your man-
ner was not not what, were I in his
place, would have Mtisfied me; hit
uirnv was me luriu a woman g caprice
lakes with you. I have concluded. As
for not loving him at bottom. I don't
dare so to impugn my noble cuusin's
heart and understanding.'
frank talked ou long and earnestly-
told me ihe story of his lore, read ms
his letter j but I heard nothing distinct
ly, understood nothing fully. One fact
fgtasped,' that he " Waf going' to leave'
me to-morrow going to this darling of
hisand that if 1 had a spark of digni
ty and womanly sense left, I must ex-
cite it now. 1 don't know how I stood
my mariyrdomj but J won its crown.
Frank bade me good-bye wil'ioul sut
picionjof the the truth.
.1 ran once more to the solitude of mv
chamber. 1 felt abandoned nrostram.
I flung myself on the bed in a transport
of despair! Why., I had lost all I Had
I been so criminal that my punishment
was so heavy? 'Oh. Frank!' I rrin.l.
how I have loved you what life miht
hate been!' Then I reflected. If Mr.
Lacy loved me as 1 loved my cousin,
what a fine spirit and nature he had
shown. what a lare gift such a' heart was,
it was deeper misery to think I was the
cause of his.
I was very ill after these events, aud
fears for my health quite absorbed any
auger my lather migiii have fell at ihe
disappointment of a cherished desire,
or perhaps Mr. Lacy, by his representa
tions, had shielded me against it. When
I recovered, people said 1 was very much
altered; and so I was. The flush of
youth was passed ; I was no: twenty,
bul nothing of the childishness of a few
munthsbank was left. Frank wag mar
ried ; and Mr. Lacy we never saw, at
least I never saw him. Disappointment
had made. life an earnest thing lo me;
and taught by its discipline, and charac
ter of my former lover rose in dignity in
ray eyes.
How was it that what 1 had thought
would be a life-long regret my love
for my cousin saemed a transient emo
lion, of which the traces grew daily
feebler. Had I sacrificed iny happiness
to a passing laucy? Or was it that at
iny age one cannot long cling to the im
possible? Little signified tho seeming
contrariety ot my lieutt, for the fact re
mained il 1 never loved Mr, Lacy be
fore, I loved him now. thought per
petually of the incident of our brief en
gagement every word of endearment,
every einorace, nan us noi.i upon my
memory. I recalled his opiniops, frair.
ing my own stringently by jhem, and
followed his public career so far as 1
J3 able, aided by my deep knowledge
of the high principles and motives that
actuated it.
The feeling grew in silence, till my
former love lor Frank was but a child's
dream in comparison. To heir Mr, Lacy's
name mentioned in connection with
something honorable, moved me with a
strange passion of feeling and he had
loved me '. Oh 1 did he love me vet ?
Time passed, and I long resumed my
former relations with society, and had
met with successes enough to eraiifv
my heart had vanity been my ruling
passion, or could 1 nave adopted it in
place of the one which was secretly
snapping the fresh springs of life. Some
limes the idea occured, that it might be
possible, without, any compromise of
womanly dignity, lo ascertain his feel
ings for me, and if they remained un
changed, to teach him the change in
mine; and then 1 fell into that coloring
ofa bright future, which seems to be
the ordained aud Sisy pus-liuc penalty of
the unhappy.
My chance came at last. At a large
dinner party 1 unexpected! v met Mr.
Lacy. He came to meat once; spoke
kindly and gently, as in long-past times,
bul there was nothing to lead to the
idea that he ettll loved me ; no hesita.
lion in the well known voice, no latent
tenderness in ihe searching eyes. 1
could uoi bear it, aud wished he would
leave me lo mysell, and not torture me
with that cruel friendship At my first
opportunity, I turued fr im him, aud en
gaged myself in conversation wiih
geuileman who was well known to be
one of my suitors. It appealed like co
quelry, bul it was the eagerness of self
mistrust, juai evening seemed very
long and insupportably painful. Ihau
uol known how tenaciously 1 had clung
to hope until it had fa.led ma. When
Mr. Lacy came forward to help me lo
my carriage, I fell 1 could hardlf receive
the ordinary civility from him without
betraying myself.
1 was surprised alien he begged i.-.e
lo turn into an emptv room, tliai we
passed on our way lo the hall. 'Con
stance,' he said, ! was going to ask you
when we fust met to night, whether 1
might resume my old relations in your
family. Nearly two years have passed
since we last :nei. aud 1 thought 1 could
bring you back ihe calm heart of a
friend ; but you have so studiously shun
ed ine, thtt to ask permission now seems
superfluous, What am I lo think ? Have
you not forgiveu me yet for the misery
1 cost, you V
1 was silent. If I could have fallen
at his feel and sobbed out the truih,
night have been blessed for life ; but
that would have been loo great a sacri
flee for even love to extract from
woman's pride.
'If the deepest sympathy in your dis
appointment could tntitle to the char
acler of a frieud,' Mr. Lacy pursued
'you would give me yout hjtnd wilting
ly. Pardon me, Coustance. for what
may seem an allusion, but it it best to
'make it if there is any chancs of fu
for ure friendship between us. It wat
j hard to give you up. harder stilUo feel
(the sacrifice hud been in vain Hid
asjyou bee,, happilr married, I could have
1 returned to you sooner; but suff-rin",
laud to feel 1 had no power to soothe'
This generosity was too much for ma.
I rose up haouly from the seat 1 had
taken. 'I cannot bear it,' I laid rashly;
the past has beeu cruel enough, but this
is wotst 'ban all. Oh! I am miserable!
Frienjs we can nevei be ! let ma go
horns !' 1 spoke with the fretfulnesi of
a child; he looked amazed,
Am I again deceived?' he asked. l
was told that thegentlemiu I saw with
you this evening, Mr. Branson, wat your
cxepled lovtc--lknuw-riim well-ie
deserves you, Constance. I rejoiced to
see you bright aud auimtle I as you'used
to be in society to think that there was
no blight for you at last.- What can
you mean? You will uot risk surely,
the happiness of bjth? Pardon me,' ha
added coloring, 'I forget that I have not
even a friend's right to warn .'
On the brink ol one's fa'.s, to dtliber
ate is to lose all. i
'Mr. Branson is nothing to me,' I taid,
white and trembling, 'and will never
be more ; the past will notle: itself be
soon torg jttun.' My tone seemed to x
cite him.
'Constance!' ho exclaimed, passion
ately.-did you, then, love him to much?
Ah! lud in i no teen the power!' He
drew a long breaih, and fixed for a mo
ment a gtzt on my face that solved my
lasi uouot, broke down the last barrier.
I raiu has long been forgotten.' I said
and instinciivel) held out my hand-
that was a child's lovo. What 1 want
of the future is. to be what the oast
once piomised, Mr. Lacy,' '
l had stood erect, and ipoke audibly,
up to this point j but here my head
drooped, my cheeks burned, yet from no
guoble shame. One quick clane of
searching astonishment, one rapturous
exclamation, and 1 was folded in hi
arms.
Constance, forgive my doubt. You
have regretted, me you love me?'
'Ueyoud what you have asked,' I stam
mered, hiding my face on his shoulder-
beyond friendship. I feci I hare found
my ark ol refuge.'
Horrible Dream.
We once heard a very lausliable ioka
which a henpecked husbatid got upon
his Airs. Caudle. He had borne her
railing lor a long time, till one morn
ing she was blustering about the wood,
short of potatoes, Hour, &C.,' he re
marked very pathetically
"Jerusli, I had a dream last ni'sht, a
very queer one, and it gives me somo
uneasiness. 1 dreamed that I was la.
ken sick and died."
'Well, it' it was no more tli3nthat."
said Jerusli, "I wish it had been moro
than a dream."
"J3ut this is not all," said the hus
band; "I went to hell, and when I cot
there, I enquired of one of the imps
lor the old devil himsell.and was shown
into Ins presence. The old Jellow re
cognized me at once, and said lie to
me, "have you come here to stay?' I
told him 1 had. Well, I can't have
ou here!' said lie to me, "for if you
stay, when Jerush dies she'll come, and
then hell will be in an uproar all tho
time!' "
Soon after the completion of the
narrative ol the dream, there came a
shower ot culinary utensils about the
poor fellow's head, which made him
obliged lo seek shelter elsewhere till his
Jezebel's wrath had subsided.
Curious Statistics.
Soma statistical genius declares that
'more moniy is expended in the United
slates lor cigars than tor all the com
mon schools in the Union.' A was:.
who is undoubtedly a lover ol the'weed,
seeing this statement going through the
papers, gets off the following:
It has been calculated that the cost
ol washing linneti that might iust as
well be worn two days longer amount
to enough in this country to more than
defray tiie expense of the American
Board ot Foreign Missions.
The expense of bottons worn on the
backs of our coats, where they are of
no earthly use, is equal to thej-jpirt
of all our orphan asylums.
1 he value ul tails to dress coats (of
no value in reality, for warmth or con
venience) is actually greater than the
cost of our excellent sysiem of common
schools.
It has been estimited that thv value
of old boots thrown aside, which might
have been worn at least a day longer,
is mors llian enough to buy a flannel
nightgown for every baby in the land.
Also that the cost of the extra inch on
the tall shirt collars of our young men
i3 equal to the su n necessary to put the
Bible in the hands of every one of the
Patagonian giants; and Iat but not
least, the great amount of cotton that
the lair sex use for artificial "tempta
tion balls," amounts to mora than
would defray the expenses of building
fifty cotton mills. '- ' ' , '
I
(CTA lyrical drunkard in the shape
of a well dressed man drunk on Milk
street, Boston, was found the other day,
and in his pocket was the following:
'All hail groat king Bacclius's nainaL
Let drunkards ptostrate fall,
- Bring forth the Itoyal demijohn,
And let them drink it all.','
.,
CD" Experience is a pocket compass
that a lool never thinks of consultin
until he has lot his way.

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