Blackwood’s Lady’s Magazine and Gazette of the Fashionable World, Or, St … (Google Books)

THE RANDOM SENTENCE. (Continued from page 181.)

“Believe me, my angelic young friend,” said this detestable woman; “that I take a sincere interest in all that concerns you, and I cannot evince it better, than by removing the veil from before your eyes, however pleasingly you may have viewed the world through its medium.”

“I am extremely thankful, madam,” said Ausonia, ” for this display of kindness on your part towards me; but I cannot think it possible for Captain Seabright to be the villain you picture. There is always a certain intonation of the voice bespeaking sincerity—always some expression of the eye telling of truth appertaining to the words and features of the truly candid, that renders it impossible to doubt a single sentence they utter, or a single action they perform.”

• “And on the other hand,” interrupted Miss Viper, with gleaming eyes, “is it your opinion that the deceitful carry equal indications in their language and deportment to detect their deceptions?” “Not always,” answered Ausonia, directing her own pure eyes with a scrutinizing glance upon the envenomed orbs of Joan; “for unfortunately the deceptious are generally gifted with a powerful command of countenance, yet even they may not unfrequently be discovered, as, like all hypocrites, they mostly over-act their parts.”

“Humph! We’ll have that cleared up. Do you reflect on me V

“No, I cannot suppose you capable of deceiving a poor untutored girl in the ways of the world, one who confidingly looks up to her elders for advice and support in the most momentous crisis of her life. And for the gratification of a vindictive disposition, sow the seeds of disappointment, fears, and misery in her heart, which would too surely break when they took root.”

Although there was an undisguised look of openness in Ausonia’s face as she spoke, yet there was something of sarcasm in her tone, which Joan did not half like, and she pettishly said, “Humph! you seem well versed in these matters. If such be your opinion, why not rely on what I say? However you shall have a proof—a damning proof”— and she struck the table with her clenched hand and glared, and ground her teeth. “Yes, young woman—my dear Ausonia, pray pardon my violence. Passion made me forget myself. Your own eyes shall witness Seabright’s treachery, if you will but follow my advice.” “And what is that?” said Ausonia, much affected.

“Merely to behave as usual to the Captain until the masquerade takes place, on which night I will say you will not be there. You may then, unobserved, mark the mutual passion between him and your Italian friend.”

“And what of Miss Freelove’s Italian friend 1” asked Signora Romanzini, entering the boudoir.

Miss Viper was astounded, and presenting her fiery nose against Adelaide, said “Oh nothing, butthatl was wishing you were here, to enliven Miss Freelove and myself a little.”

Ausonia disdaining to sanction by her silence the shadow of an untruth, said, “Youmistake, madam; you were alleging-”

“Hark,” interrupted Joan, much flurried; “some one is coming.”

“Oh ciel! how remiss I am,” cried Adelaide; “I forgot to say Miss Rokeby wished to see you. She will be quite tired with waiting.”

“Oh no, not at all, I should have ascended the stairs much sooner had that been the case,” said Miss Rokeby, entering.

“Dear madam, I am so glad to see you,” said Ausonia, affectionately embracing Miss Rokeby. “What has kept you from us the whole day?”

“A million of circumstances,” said the old lady, seating herself and adjusting her spectacles; “First I have been —acting the peace-maker between Mr. Clanwilliam and—but I see Adelaide blushes; so I suppose I must spare her for once.”

“This is indeed happy news,” said Ausonia; “and where is Mr. Clanwilliam?”

“Gone to preach a charity sermon, I believe, at Eastbourne, but he will be back in a day or two.”

“Humph! No doubt of that, when Miss Romanzini is here,” growled Joan. “Ah, Miss Viper, I really must offer every apology for not noticing you before. Pray congratulate me, for I have been defending the cause of our class, against the spiteful allegations of that stubborn personage, Sir Harry Railton. Would you believe it? he says that old maids are detestable creatures every one of them.”

“We’ll have that cleared up: and why, eh? But I need not ask, I’m sure—it is no concern of mine. I have no interest in what is said against old maids.”

“Oh, but surely you have, Miss Viper. It concerns us both, for we are not tamely to hear our sisterhood abused without standing up in their defence. I asked Sir Harry what cause he had for such an assertion: to which he replied, that we did nothing but invent and disseminate scandal. That an old maid was a creature, who, having been disappointed of wedlock in early life, employed all the infernal arts acquired in age and singleness to prevent others from entering that state. You may well look angry, Miss Viper, at our being thus vilified. But he said much more, and called us back-biters, ugly detractors, and a set of rusty fusty creatures, fit for nothing but to play whist, nurse cats, fondle superannuated lapdogs, and beat our little nephews and nieces.”

“The insolent wretch! he deserves strangling,”saidMissViper,passionately. “He does indeed, and I assure you, I felt much in the same situation with Widow Racket in the Belle’s Stratagem, when women of fashion are assailed by one of the characters. So, like her, I stepped forward, saying, Now hear my definition of an old maid. She is a creature of such rare excellence, that no man has been found worthy of her hand, and consequently she remains single, and the mistress of all hearts till death. She is one whose sole delight is in doing good, and opposing herself to the crafty

snares of the designer, whether male or female, against innocence. Go where she will, she meets the smile of welcome, for like the comet she attracts even more attention from the circumstance of being alone, than from her shining qualities. Nothing gives her more joy than assisting in matching some former lover with a valued friend through which she becomes universally adored. Her precepts are attended to; her words treasured in the hearts of all hearers; and though somewhat talkative, is listened to whenever she speaks with increasing delight. Thus happy herself and the cause of happiness in others, she glides through life, unlike your married women, who the moment after marriage, retire to their husband’s country seat, and there live ‘the world forgetting, by the world forgot.'”

It would be a task of utter impossibility to describe the countenance of Miss Viper while the worthy and goodnatured old lady was speaking. She glared and fumed, like a pot of ignited sulphur, and appeared in a most celestial agony the whole time. “Humph! Humph!” was all she said, and shortly afterwards relieved the company of her presence.

Until the following Saturday things went on smoothly enough. Ausonia, in the full confidence of Seabright’s purity, behaved in the same endearing manner as usual, and the fond lover casting aside for the time all suspicions and prejudices, gave himself up to the pleasure derived from her society. In the meantime neither Dowdeswell nor Miss Viper relaxed in their efforts to complete their plans.

On the evening preceding the gala, the usual party were assembled at Mrs. Dowdeswell’s, whose whole conversation was engrossed by one topic—Ireland’s Masquerade.

“We shall all be there, I suppose,” said Adelaide.

“Now is the time,” whispered Miss Viper, to Ausonia; “Say you do not intend to go.”

“I cannot utter an untruth,” faltered the innocent girl.

“But it is absolutely necessary, therefore I will say so for you,” and accordingly Joan announced Miss Freelove’s intention of remaining at home, as she felt indisposed.

. “This is a good one for you,” said Dowdeswell, softly in Seabright’s ear, who directly said that being the case, the gardens would contain no charms for him, and therefore he should follow the young lady’s example.

Much conversation now ensued, in which the schemers contrived to mix their artful praises on constancy, and with well dissembled good humour, rallied Seabright on the sober choice he had at first intended to make of a dress.

“Never mind, John,” said Miss Rokeby; it is the best you could have assumed, because you know you had only to unmask, and you might shrive fifty beautiful nuns, without their being tempted to take a second glance at your face, having once looked at it.

“Upon my word, aunt,” returned Seabright, laughingly, “I wish your features were sufficiently ill favoured to permit a retaliation of your inuendo.”

“You would make an excellent quaker, Captain,” cried Adelaide: “a well turned compliment for a saucy speech is what I could hardly have expected even from you.”

“Ho! Ho! Ho!” tittered Jingle, who of late had grown uncommonly jocose.

At length the long-looked-forward-to night arrived, and Ausonia, with a beating heart, seated herself in Miss Viper’s carriage by the side of that lady. Both attired in blue dominoes, which with their black masks, effectually concealed the face and figure of each, and they passed into the gardens unknown.

Those who remember that night will not easily forget the splendour of the scene. All appeared in one bright blaze. The alcoves, the grottoes, the vistas, the serpentine walks, and the luxuriant foliage of the trees, which at different parts shaded them, were illuminated with innumerable lamps of every size and colour. Numerous bands of musicians dressed in various costumes filled the air with sweet sounds, and some hundred beings, moving in every direction in pursuit of pleasure, joined to their gay apparel, and their witty and playful badinage, under the security of their masks, formed a coupd’oeil which for liveliness, diversity, or splendour, was perhaps never equalled. On the lawn usually appropriated as a cricket-ground, was erected a magnifi

cent marquee, covering the whole extent of the green. Its interior was embossed with crimson, and the roof glittered with gilded ornaments which sparkled amid the rays of a thousand lights; and beneath might he seen Sultans, Knights, Cavaliers, and Troubadours with their fair partners measuring their footsteps in a dance to the strains which accompanied them.

“Now, Seabright—now!”—said a young man enveloped in a black domino, “look towards the entrance, and see where deceit in her fairest form approaches.”

“Gracious Heavens! Dowdeswell — where?—no—you mistake—that surely is not Ausonia.”

“Nay, nay,—come nearer and convince yourself—look well, that lock of silken hair is not to be mistaken. It is a dark tress unmatched perhaps in the world.”

“I fear it indeed is her,” said Seabright sickening with anxiety; “yet if it be, she appears to be under the protection of a female.”

“Why did you not bring your telescope with yon, Captain? Watch for a minute or two. There—now the domino is partially open. See, Captain, see, what dress it covers.”

Seabright directed his eye to the stranger’s apparel, and saw that it was a man to whose arm Ausonia clung for support.

“It is not—it cannot be Miss Freelove,” cried the young officer with the degree of hope which actuates a drowning man to catch at a straw.

“Oh love, how blind are thy votaries!” exclaimed Alfred. “It is her; and thus I prove it;” as he spoke, Dowdeswell grasped Seabright’s arm, and hurried him past the two they had been observing, and as he did so, he twitched the string of the lady’s mask. It fell to the ground, and discovered the features of Ausonia Freelove. A single glance assured Seabright of the fact, and he rushed madly from the tent.

“Stay, stay!” cried his tormentor, “accompany me to the outside of the gardens, and you may have an opportunity of speaking to her; for in spite of what I have said, and what we have seen, it will not be right to abandon all hope, till her own lips confirm your worst fears.”

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Thus did the wretch torture his victim with every engine by which the mind can be assailed.

Meanwhile Miss Viper led Ausonia from crowd to crowd, until they reached the bridge crossing the Canal, where, leaning upon its parapet and watching the hydraulic exhibition, was Adelaide Romanzini, whom Miss Freelove knew from her dress of an Italian peasant girl. But how was she shocked on seeing her friend’s waist encircled by the arm of one attired as a monk.

“It is Seabright,” muttered Miss V-per in a suppressed tone.

“Thenfarewelleveryearthlyjoy,” said Ausonia, sinking into Joan’s arms.

“Bear up, bear up, my friend: shew your just indignation. Fly with me to Cumberland till the villain leaves England,” exclaimed Miss Viper, passing her arm through that of Ausonia, and hurrying her from the scene.

“Lead me where you please—to death if you will,” faintly articulated Ausonia, yielding herself to the guidance of this female fiend.

Seabright had not waited above half an hour, when he saw Ausonia suddenly emerge from the entrance, accompanied by the domino with whom he had before seen her. They proceeded with hurried steps to a carriage, the door of which was ready open and the steps let down. A footman instantly lifted Miss Freelove into the vehicle, and as her companion sprang after her, the cloak again flew open as if by accident, revealing more clearly the dress beneath, and a masculine voice cried aloud, “Drive to the nearest Northern Road with your utmost speed !”— No sooner were these words uttered, than the horses started off with rapidity and left Seabright far behind.

“A horse! a horse [“exclaimed a tall young man darting forward in the slashed hose-trunk and vest of a cavalier, ” but stay, I must cover this dress,” and he snatched a great coat from the arm of a coachman, on which it hung.

“Hollo! you sir! Whose property are you a prigging of,” shouted the man, attempting to collar the purloiner, who dexterously dropping on his knees, fairly darted between his legs—each of which fortunately described a most favorable semicircle—tripped him up, and exclaimed—” Gads my life, what’s that to you?” Then leaping on a horse

standing by, sharply switched the groom’s hand that held the bridle, and, using both whip and spur, followed in the same track taken by the coach with astonishing rapidity, ” Stop thief! Stop thief!” burst from the astonished crowd, and in return the winds brought back the cry of “Catch me who can, demme!” as the fugitive became lost to sight.

“What in the devil’s name can this mean?” was Dowdeswell’sexclamation, as he abruptly quitted Seabright’s side, and the latter, almost stupified with what he had seen, threw his cloak and mask at his feet, and rushed towards the sea-side: he there cast himself upon the ground and gave vent to his agonized feelings, in sobs and bitter tears, till morning broke upon the slumbering world.

There is an Island in the East, which suffers much from drought, and ashower of rain is hailed by its inhabitants with the same rapture that an Englishman displays on the approach of summer. Often will a dark cloud hover o’er the Isle, for hours, which the people anxiously watch in hope to receive the liquid contents of its bosom on the parched ground. As if to nurture these hopes, the vapour will spread itself over the whole extent of the Island, when suddenly a breeze arises, drives southward the clouds, and soon the expected treasure is cast uselessly into the sea.

Thus had Seabright been led onwards. All he wished for in the world had seemed within reach. He prepared to grasp it in his arms, when an unexpected whirlwind carried the prize far—far beyond the boundary even of hope, and like the shower it became lost for ever. He revolved every circumstance in his mind, which had led to this conclusion, and as he did so, every wish of life faded before him.

“There, there lies a speedy termination to my woes,” said he pointing with frenzy to the ocean. *’Oft times have 1 rode in my gallant ship on the surface of yon waters; now shall their billows wave over one, whose fate has been as turbulent as themselves!” and whilst he spoke Seabright rose, and placing his hands to his eyes, prepared to plunge into the sea, when a hand and voice arrested him. He looked up, and saw Miss Rokeby standing on the cliff.

“Madman! what are you about to do?” she exclaimed.

“Away, Madam, away! thwart not my purpose. I am mad with evil, and may force you to share my fate.”

“Ungovernable man!” said the lady, extending her arm before him, “tell me what prompts you to this fell deed.”

“Disappointed hopes. I imagined,— and oh, how brilliant was the dream !— that Ausonia loved me,—not a wreck of the vision is left behind—she is gone— she has gone and left me.”

“Gone! impossible,—whither?”

“Fled,—eloped,—fool, that I was, not to bring my pistols with me — a bullet should have pursued the ruffian.”

“John, you are deceived — Some mystery lurks beneath all this. Ausonia lives but for you.”

“Talk to the idle wind, madam,” said Seabright, “Lives but for me!” he added sarcastically, ” look on this paper —look at the superscription, and then say who Ausonia lives for.”

“Thank Heaven, I can find a key to unlock this,” said Miss Rokeby, glancing at the letter. “Seabright, believe neither your ears nor your eyes—nor the evidence of any one sense, till you again hear from me. Nay, listen, I repeat, that Miss Freelove is yours—and if you can summon resolution to plant a dagger in the heart of one who loves you, I will withdraw my arm, and leave you to rush unbidden into eternity. Now die, if thou darest?” and with the last sentence, she retired a few paces— her arm still extended—a few thin snowy locks floating about her brow—and looking like an aged saint “newly lit from the skies,” to warn him from his unholy attempt.

“Madam,” ejaculated Seabright, awed and abashed, ” I know not what to say: I am lost in a maze of perplexity —I have seen—I have heard enough to drive me mad, and yet you call it all delusion. • For God’s sake reconcile this inconsistency.”

“I can explain nothing now,” cried Miss Rokeby; “remain at Brighton till you see or hear from me.—Obey me and live.”—Then waving her hand, she vanished in ” the morning mist.”

Puzzled and astonished, our hero scarcely knew which way to turn. At one moment he thought of following his

aunt—and the next contented himself with following her injunctions. “At all events,” said he, ” I will go to Mrs. Dowdeswell’s: perhaps 1 may receive an elucidation of all this.” No sooner was the resolution formed, than he hastened to put it in execution; but on reaching the house, fresh subject for wonder presented itself. The whole place was in confusion, and the worthy lady, its mistress, busy packing up.

“What’s all this, Mrs. Dowdeswell?” asked Seabright. “How is it that you are leaving us in such a hurry?”

“Good Lord! Captain, is that you? You may well ask; but the question is, whether I can answer. Such a to-do I’m sure I never met with in my life. First came home the news at twelve last night, that Miss Freelove had run away no one knows where. Then comes SignoraRomanzini and Mr. Clanwilliam frightened to death, no one knows why. And scarcely had I time to get over the fluster they put me in, when pop comes Miss Rokeby, whips the lady and gentleman into her carriage, and whirls them off, scarcely saying Good-bye before they went. A pretty account, indeed, I shall have to give their parents. But I disclaim the thing altogether, for I am sure I had not a single iota to do with it, for I expected they would have been present at the anniversary of my birth on Tuesday. But that I suppose is knocked on the head now, so I must e’en pack after them,—Oh dear, dear! the plague of attempting to manage a parcel of young girls.”

The old lady, after running on so far, was obliged to pause for breath, when Seabright took the opportunity of asking where her son was; but before she could answer, a servant entered and presented a letter on his official salver.

“From my son, I declare,” said the old lady; “you may retire, Thomas,” and as the door closed, she read aloud: “Honored Madam,

“You will no doubt ere long hear matters to my prejudice, which although untrue, will preclude me from making any longer stay in Brighton, and even from remaining with my own family until the affair has blown over.

Yours in duty and affection,
Alfred Dowdeswell.”

“Mercy upon us! the whole world hasgone mad together, I think,”screamed Mrs. Dowdeswell, “completely turned topsy turvy! What am I to make of all this, Mr. Seabright?” But the Captain heard her not; forscarcely was the letter finished, than, exclaiming ” Confusion! he has betrayed me, and fears a discovery,” he made for the door, and ran full speed from the house, whilst Mrs. Dowdeswell, worked up to the highest pitch of astonishment and curiosity, sat down despairing of an explanation, and placing her hands upon her knees, said in a doleful voice, ” Crack, crackbrained every one of them!”

Seabright searched the town through, but Alfred was, however, no-where to be found; he then proceeded to the hotel where Charles Mackenzie resided; but he too was gone, and his footman added he believed on a visit to the parents of Lady Mornington, as he had been ordered to follow him to their mansion in London.

“Then I am left alone—to my own melancholy reflections,” said Seabright, slowly pacing down the street, and giving way to his unpleasing thoughts, which wandered to that haven of bliss, now, at least as he imagined, unapproachable. Every spot where Ausonia had walked depicted past scenes before him; and now that a repetition was beyond all hope, they appeared arrayed in greater charms than those originally belonging to their reality. Day after day did he seat himself upon some cliff, which Ausonia had admired, to dwell upon her image; and not till night-fall did he turn his steps homewards, for Seabright was of a nature to sink beneath the pressure of misfortunes, rather than rouse himself and break through their meshes.

At length a week lagged to a close, and the Captain was preparing for his usual misanthropical stroll, when, rat tat! was heard the postman’s knock.

“A letter from London, Sir,” said the servant, delivering one into his master’s hands, who hastily broke open the seal: it contained but few words. “Dear Nephew,

“All is cleared up—Call upon me in Grosvenor Square the moment you reach London, for which place I doubt not you will start immediately. I-am, my dear Boy,

Your affectionate Aunt,

Rosina Rokeby.” Vol II.—No. 13.

“Follow me to London as soon as possible,” exclaimed Seabright to his servant, starting from his chair.

Ten minutes found him in a postchaise, and on the road to the metropolis, which he reached in a few hours. He arrived in Grosvenor Square, and was soon seated in Miss Rokeby’s drawing-room.— When the usual salutations were over, she immediately entered upon an explanation of all that had occurred.

“In the first place,” she said, “if you will be good enough to examine this letter, to which you attach so much importance, you will perceive that it has been written at a different period from the superscription; as not only the ink is deeper, but the paper bears a different stamp and date to the envelope: you will likewise see that the words his, he and his, have been very neatly altered, with penknife and pen, from her, she and her.”

“That is indeed the case, but what am I to infer from it?”

“Why, that from some unknown cause, Miss Viper — that stain to womanhood—and Alfred Dowdeswell have conspired to rob you of Ausonia Freelove.—This epistle was in reality written by that excellent young lady to a niece of Miss Viper’s, with whom she had contracted a friendship, but which they were obliged to break off, as Miss Viper’s jealousy urged her to exert an undue authority over her relation, and prevent her from appearing in public, lest an unfavorable contrast might be made between the aunt and niece; and as a proof of all this,” continued Miss Rokeby, opening her escrutoire, “here is the original covering in which the note was enclosed.” Seabright took it from her hand, and with unbelieving eyes saw that it was addressed to “Miss Marina Symmonds.” “You see,” added the spinster, “that it is a half-sheet, and if you compare it with the enclosure, you will find that they evidently formed one sheet originally, which has been torn in two, in the absence of proper note paper.”

“But how, in the name of all that is wonderful, came you possessed of this?” asked Seabright.

“That is easily accounted for,” said his aunt, smiling: “It was through the means of my popinjay, who having une E E

affaire du coeur, with Miss Viper’s maid, frequently visited the house, and was once nearly discovered, had he not fortunately popped into a closet, where he remained nearly two hours, and overheard a long conversation between his mistress’s mistress and young Dowdeswell, in which they spake frequently of their good fortune in being able to insert a letter of Ausonia’s in an old envelope. After theyhad gone,Timothy (or Ariosto, which you please) slipped from his hiding-place, and securing a few papers they had left behind, posted with them to me, as he said it was a shame so worthy a gentleman as you should be imposed upon. I need not say that this is one of them.”

“This is certainly a great relief to my mind,” said the Captain. “Butthere are other circumstances.”

“Which shall all be explained:—you may remember Dowdeswell desiring you to say it was your intention to wear a monk’s dress at the masquerade.”

“Stay, Madam, stay — how learned you that?”

“Ask no questions, Sir—Mr. Jingle was within hearing; let that suffice. Now from part of what my popinjay overheard, when he was in the closet, I desired him to follow Mr. Dowdeswell wherever he went the night previous to the fete. He did so, and traced him to Eastbourne, where he saw him deliver a letter to a countryman with directions to leave it at the house of the clergyman, where Mr. Clanwilliam was then staying. A little finesse transferred the epistle into Jingle’s hands, and he became the bearer of it himself. It contained a request that he would honour the masquerade with his presence, where Adelaide would await him, and in order that she might know him, he had to wear a monk’s frock. This was signed in my name, under the supposition, I imagine, that as I had reconciled that gentleman to Adelaide a short time previous, he would be more inclined to obey my mandate. As soon as Jingle had informed me of all this, my eyes were opened, and I clearly saw that it was their intention to persuade Ausonia that you had gone secretly for the purpose of meeting her friend, and point out Clanwilliam as you. I however could not penetrate their intentions respecting yourself, so I set my indefatigable aid

de-camp to watch Miss Viper’s movements, whilst I kept an eye upon Dowdeswell. I was by when he pointed out Ausonia to you.”

“Tell me, madam, I beseech you,” interrupted Seabright, “before you go any further, who it was that accompanied her.”

“No other than the honorable Miss Viper.”

“Impossible!”

“But true nevertheless. Popinjay had discovered early in the evening that a suit of Dowdeswell’s clothes had been conveyed to Miss Viper’s residence. This was enough. I instantly surmised the whole. You were to believe she was a man, and be driven to consequent despair, but I could not imagine they would go so far as to run off with Ausonia, and was therefore unprepared to prevent it. You may judge my astonishment at the catastrophe, which was so great, that I was actually deprived of speech for a time, and all my labours would have been rendered vain, had not Jingle promptly followed to discover where they went.”

“And did he so, madam?” asked the Captain.

“Yes; he never quitted the pursuit till he saw the ladies safely housed at Snake Hall, a seat in Cumberland of Miss Viper’s; who, I should have told you, changed her apparel at the first inn without having been discovered by Ausonia, as the large domino she wore effectually concealed her male attire from all save those whom she deemed it necessary to see it.”

“Then, Heaven be praised! my Ausonia is innocent. Oh, my dearest madam, you have removed a mountain from my heart. What a long perspective of happiness have you raised before me; but pray proceed in your interesting development.”

“Little more need be said. I followed you,—saved you from a ducking,— told the excellent young clergyman and his intended spouse of the whole affair: brought them to London, and wrote off to Ausonia immediately. So you see, nephew,” added the old lady, good humouredly rapping his cheek with her fan; “after all said and done, The Random Sentence is likely to prove oracular at last.”

“Why, Aunt, I am astonished. You

know every thing. .Where learnt you Signora Romanzini, who you will no

that incident?” doubt be happy to hear is indissolubly

“Tush! 1 am ignorant of nothing, united to youi friend Clanwilliam,

A little bird in the air tells me of all Charles Mackenzie, my popinjay, and

circumstances relating to my friends; so Clanwilliam himself of course, will do

take heed of yourself. And now pre- us that honour.”

pare for a journey to Cumberland, as I “And happy am I to hear it, especially

wrote Ausonia that we should come Mr. Jingle, to whose kindness I am so

down and bring her back in triumph.” much indebted.”

“I am ready to start this instant,” “They are all in the house, and

said Seabright, his fine eyes sparkling waiting to congratulate you,” said Miss

with extacy. Rokeby, at the same time rising to con

“I dare say you are, but I am not,” duct her nephew into the apartment,

returned Miss Rokeby. “We are not where his friends were assembled, going alone, I assure you, nor will you {To be continued.)

be sorry to hear who joins our party.

THE ABSENT ONE.

The hall is lighted, and the throng

Is gathered, of the young and fair;—
The harp, the lute, the dance, the song,

Combine to shed their witchery there;
But one is absent from that hall,
Whose smiles were worth the smiles of all.

The music sounds—the dancers lead

Their partners to the joyous ring,
As gladsome as the young bird freed,

When first he tries his tiny wing,—
But she, whose step was like the snow—
So soft, so light—where is she now?

She is not there, and is there one

Who smiles the less that she is not?
And can it be the star that shone

To brighten all, is thus forgot?
And does not this gay scene recal
The image once so lov’d by all?

Take from the lyre its sweetest string,—

Take from the lute its softest tone,—
And all the other chords but bring

The memory of that dearest one;
Yet she, whose lowest breathings were
Like seraph-songs, is miss’d not there!

Oh, yes! there is amidst them one—

One heart whose broken strings can tell,
That she who first awoke their tone,

Is there at least remember’d well,
Altho’ its master’s smiling eye,
That heart’s remembrance would belie.

The outward signs of pain and woe,

Are like the surface of the tide
When chafed by tempests—though below

Its depths may all serenely glide;
And under-currents wildly sweep,
When all above is hush’d in sleep.

Laok.

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