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George and Mary learned their lessons as usual, gathered wild blossoms, and petted Ed- ward; and Mrs. Cleveland managed her household with her invariable order and quietude. It was a delightful evening at the close of summer. In the early part of the day a heavy shower had refreshed the earth, al- most drooping undier the intense heat. The air was still and balmy, and the meek blossoms of earth breathed out their hap- piness in perpetual offerings of incense. Cleveland on his return from labor.
Ed- ward chose to march on ahead, while George and Mary lingered to hear the sweet instructions of their mother. It was a small toad. George did not drop it, but called Mary to behold its splendid eyes. Edward rubbed his frock, danced, and prattled as if delighted to have contributed his share to the general amusement. C, "I have seen bim w;hen I really thought he looked well. Mary caught him in her arms, and cov- ered him with kisses. Poor Edward strug- gled manfully, and sister was glad to put him dt wn again.
Half pouting, he stalked on ahead with great dignity. The party hurried on, and there, half naked, stretched at full length on the ground, they found a poor miserable ob- ject, a glance at whom convinced Mrs. He seized it eagerly, and ate like one suffering from extreme hunger. When it was gone, he sank his head again upon the turf, the spittle running down his chin, which was rough and inflamed, and again muttered in a tone of fearful agony, what appeared to be the only word he could command, and the only one that awaken- ed any emotion, " Mammy.
C, kindly. He uttered a wild cry, and re- peated the word several times in a low, distressed tone of voice. Cleveland was now seen approach- ing, to the great relief of the little group. He recognised the boy at once as having strayed away from the Alms-house, and started immediately for proper assistance.
Cleveland ; or rather, we should use the common term "supper," for tea and coffee were rarely introduced into the family. Edward stopped to talk, and smell of every flower, rarely taking one from the stalk. This did very well, though he sometimes handled them pretty roughly, scattering the petals like a shower of rain- bows upon the ground.
Carlo wagged his tail, and lapped Edward's bands, as if he shared in the amusement. Mary looked gratefully at her mother,. On the return of their father, the chil- dren besought him to tell the story of the poor idiot. He did, in a few words. It was nothing strange ; every town will fur- nish a similar example of the unhappy shrouding of the human mind.
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She had married a man with lit- tle education, and less principle, whose only attraction seemed to be a very showy person. His greatest offence, however, in the minds of her parents, was, he had no property. Both took to drinking, and drowned reflection and reason in the intoxicating cup. Here she remained many years, a miserable example of indolence and weakness ; appearing to have absorbed all thought and feeling in her love for her idiot child. Her attachment for Johnny, as she called him, was less the operation of rational maternal love, than a strong ani- mal instinct.
She would sit for hours with his head resting upon her lap, Ustening 4o his inarticulate murmuring; and respond- ing to the word " mammy," with a thrill of delight. At length she fell ill, and was confined many weeks to her bed. The idiot never left her ; and it was distressing to hear his perpetual moanings. He would point to the window, and try to pull her from the bed, as if he thought the fresh air would restore her. It was with difficulty they could remove him from the room when she had ceased to breathe. The door was opened, and he fonnd his way to the corpse of his dead mother.
He looked on the pale, shrunken face, touched the hard, cold hand and brow, and uttered one long cry of doubl and agony. He clasped his arms about her, and lay all night in the bosom of the dead. Since the burial, he had been sullen, restless, wandering everywhere, calling " Mammy, mammy. I don't know what they could do, though ; for it will be difficult to teach him to love anything else, now his mother is gone. True we don't often see them so debased as in the case of Johnny.
We see every degree of intellect, from the glimmering ray of the idiot, to the comprehensive grasp of a Locke or a New- ton. When we look at the vice and folly of mankind, we are bound to believe, either in some defect of mind or education —probably in most cases the latter. But we see him here only in the com- mencement of his existence — with powers as yet in their infancy. However lofty may be his intellect, it is still but the germ of the future spirit.
But we hope for a higher state of existence, where the pow- ers, clouded and unawakened here, will be clearly manifested. Where much is given, much may justly be required. She wondered much how she could ever have been unhappy, because the gift of riches, 80 called, had been denied her, when wealth the most pure and exalted, the true riches, had been lavished everywhere in her pathway.
She was warm-hearted, and ardent, and these thoughts were pow- erful feelings with her ; and when sleep at length pressed her lids, a tear of love and gratitude was resting upon her cheek. We have been friends together. In sunshine and in shade, Since first beneatli the chestnut trees In infancy we played. Goold lived over the way from Mrs. Cleveland's, and the family were on terms of the closest intimacy. The two mothers would each take her youngest child, and sit for hours together, in friendly chat, plying the needle, and returning to their own families at the time of preparing the ordinary meal.
I will not undertake to say that scandal was never discussed in these social meetings, for both were hu- man ; but I know for certainty it was never originated between them, for each was not only amiable, but in the highest degree conscientious. Goold, or rather I should say Mr. Bouquets, and slips of geraniums, were often exchanged ; and did either be- come possessed of anything rare or beauti- ful, it was always shared with friends over the way. Indeed, were there any rivalry between the two families, it consisted in seeing which should rear the finest plants.
Mary and Jane were fast friends. I be- lieve they were never seriously at vari- ance but once, when Mary declared she would never speak to Jane again as long as she lived — a resolution she very wisely broke in half an hour afterwards. The baby-house of each was a perfect domestic establishment in miniature. They were very much alike, except that Jane's had a wax doll, the present of a distant friend, while Mary's family consisted altogether of rag babies; but what was wanting in quality, was amply compensated by num- bers.
Jane was often obliged to call in the aid of her little friend, not only in dressing the doll, but in making other im- portant arrangements in her household — a call which Mary was always prompt to obey. Did either give a grand tea-party out of the little cups and saucers, George and William Goold were sure to be of the party ; and they tasted the bits of cake and cheese, and sipped the drops from the wee cups, 1 must say, with great decorum — very nearly as well as their lady-like sis- ters.
It is true they sometimes awkward- ly tipped over a cup on the neatly ironed cloth, which perhaps had been out on the grass bleaching for a week before ; but the little girls, with true household courtesy, declared it was of no consequence. Graces was the favorite amusement of the children— George choosing Jane for his partner, and William, Mary; and in case of a crowning, the law of the play was al- ways rigidly enforced on the part of the boys.
George was somewhat bashful in so doing; but William, being two years older, and having more assurance, some- times seriously vexed Miss Mary, by ex- acting two kisses instead of one. These differences, however, were always happily adjusted, without resort to weapons. George was quiet and reflective; William, gay and daring. From childhood he would take the longest leaps, and climb the high- est trees, of any boy about-, and his merry laugh was the most musical in the world. George, with less of animal spirits, was quite as athletic.
If his smile was not as frequent, it probably was far more strik- ing — as it always is, from the contrast, on a sober face. What can it be for? How would it look with a small wing on there? Mary clapped her hands — "Ohj a fore room, as Mrs. Henshaw calls it. I shall want Virginia" Mary stopped, for she knew she was about to say a very silly thing. C, " or at opposite ends, to avoid cross lights. Cleveland had been able to make contracts for building, which had added very materially to the profits of his busi- ness, and he began to feel that he might indulge his family in a few of the little ele- gancies for which their taste was 90 well adapted.
Than all that went befure, Than all the summer store, How lovelier far! Cleveland, taking her daughter's hand and drawing her shawl closely- round her — for the wind blew cold and chilly, and at every blast a shower of leaves came rustling and eddying to the ground. It was sad to see the work of a few nights of frost. The forests, like the dy-r ing dolphin, had assumed a thousand gor- geous hues, each more splendid than the last, till all settled down to the gray hue of death and decay.
Mary's eyes glanced everywhere, in search of some object of beauty. And Mary fairly knelt before the little tuft of wild bk S8oms. How melan- choly the thought" " They will bloom again," replied Mrs. Everything that is earthly must decay, sooner or later; — but there are things that never die. Good deeds will live forever. It was wide open ; for that side of the house was sheltered and sunny, and two children were out making chip-houses in the sand. A boy, barefooted and bare- headed, was cutting wood by the door, now and then suspending his employment to stare at the passers by.
When they were out of sight, he would spit on his hands and resume his labor. A moment after, each face "was seen peering out of a broken square of glass. Mary ticklied a little, as she heard the clatter of the broom, and rattling of the andirons, and saw the inmates cast hur- ried glances from the window. Cleveland looked grave ; and said in a low voice, "proper management is worth more than money. Henshaw now came to welcome her visitors. She was not older than Mrs. Cleveland, though she looked at least ten or fifteen years her senior — the result of indolence and want of thought.
Tipping up a chair to dislodge the crum- bles and dust, she wiped it with her apron, ftnd presented it to Mrs. You look well enough ; what 's the use of being so proud? She entered, one hand holding a stray lock behind the ear, and sidling along the room with the shy air of an awkward girl. She returned the salutations of Mrs. Mary enquired about the chickens and Guinea hens, and proposed going to see them. Her father's bort her a new silk gown, but it's no use — she won't look like nobody.
The young ones are into everything. Sal's done a good deal better since you showed her how to take care of her clothes ; nobody dares to touch 'em now, or she '11 be right into 'em. Henshaw was really grateful, de- claring if anybody could make anything out of Sal, it was Mrs. The ladies now took their leave. I look for more honorable feelings in you.
Remember sin- cerity is above rubies. Their circum- stances are far better than ours ; but they lack a part of the true riches. They are honest and well disposed, but are deficient in neatness and good management. Taste and refinement are not purchasable arti- cles : if they were, those who have money would expend large sums for what would make their riches respectable. Cleveland to her husband, " Mary and I carried her down a basket of provisions yesterday, and I promised to send her in some flannel garments.
C, " her sick- ness is caused more from want of a com- fortable fire, than anything else. Her windows are broken, and she has no wood, except what few chips and sticks she is able to pick np. In the course of a few days, poor old Hannah who since her mother's death: had lived quite alone, for she had never been married had a blazing fire on the hearth, and her little neat room was ren- dered quite tight and warm. Jane and Mary were fond of taking their work, or even toys, for they were great favorites with Hannah, who was rather testy with children, in the main, and going to sit whole hours with the poor lonely woman.
Hannah, unlike Wordsworth's Goody Blake, would have sooner perished out- right, than have taken a stick from the property of her neighbors. She was some- what irritable, but kind-hearted, and per- fectly honest. When well, she was glad to take iir spinning and knitting, and thus contrived to live pretty comfortably.
Gooid and Mrs. Are yoot wil- ling I should go? They were ushered into a splendidly furnished room, where they found Mrs. Mason, half dozing in a rock- ing chair. They were hardly seated, when a servant came in to say Miss Virginia had declared she would n't take another bit of medicine, and the nurse couldn't get the drops down. Mason invited them into Yirginia's room. They found her in violent alterca- tion with her nurse, who appearied deter- mined to force the medicine down hiur throat, some way or other.
The entrance of visitors suspended the scene. Virginia was really glad to see Mary ; and when the latter took her hand, die was astonished to feel its great heat. Mary could hardly comprehend the scene. She looked at her mother, and then at Mrs. Mason ; " do n't you know it is quite vulgar to get angry? Cleveland enquired if Mr. Mason was well. Mason ; " I wish you would go in and see him : be is sick, I believe — and I must say, as cross as a bear. M, "Virginia is so nervous," she continued to her guest, "I really dread to have her sick.
Cleveland was surprised to see tbt ravages that disease bad made on his per- son. He was deathly pale, and bis fear tures shrunken like one in the last stage of decay. He has been sick now nearly two months; and I don't think he has spoken a pleasant word till to-day. Mason laughed. Mason will have it; so if is no use to talk to him about it. His countenance is very deathly, and he needs, I think, con- stant attendance. How handsome Virginia's room looked! Yet I think my little bit of a sleeping room is a great deal prettier.
Mason's," continued Mary ; " but somehow they do n't look comfortable. You are learning, I see, to understand the true riches. If we are rational, we shalt need but little of it in order to be cooifort-r able ; and if truly benevolent, we can do- much good with a very small fortunes When your father gave that load of wood to poor old Hannah, he knew it was sqr much taken from the little library her wants to build for us.
Yet I don't like to see you so acute in detecting their faults. Then, under pretence of kiss- ing her cheek, he mischievously displaced a whole row of curls she had stuck upon one side of hor forehead. Mary presented her full rosy face to her mother, the dimples playing about her month, and lots of little flat curls stuck about her forehead.
Many a nsother had been called to lay her cherished ooe in the cold chamber of death ; and Mrs; C could not but feel anxious at the appear- ance of illness in one so beloved. She Watched the restless slumbers of Edward with a moistened eye; and when he awoke, she presented the cooling draught with all a mother's tenderness. The lit- tle boy looked earnestly at her sober face, presented his hot lips for a kiss, and sank again to a disturbed sleep. On the return of Mr. Cleveland, at nigfct, the symptoms had advanced so rapidly, that George was sent for the physician.
There could be no mistake; the scarlet fever had exhibited itself in its most alarm- ing form. George and Mary forgof every- thing, in their attendance upon the lit- tle sufferer. Nothing could exceed the gentleness and patience of the dear sufferer.
The most nauseous medicines were taken, only to be rewarded with a sweet kiss from mother — and that, too, withouta word of complaint. No deception was practised. He was not told the bitter drug was "goody," in order to induce him to swallow it; for in the Ut- tle family of our story, the truth was never tampered with. When tossing with the restlessness of fever, he would turn his sweet, patient smile upon his mother, and lisp, " Sing, mamma --sing :" — and the soft, tremulous tones of her gentle voice broke with sad melody the silence of the sick room.
Every one was ready to bestow kind offices. Even Mrs. Henshaw, notwith- standing her rheumatism, brought her most infallible herbs to relieve the little favorita On the fifth day of the attack, he ap- peared quite free from pain, returned the caresses of poor Carlo, who whined inces- santly by him, and reached his little hands out for a blossom of the rose tree. Every familiar ob- ject claimed a share of his notice.
George and Mary could scarcely restrain their happiness. Mary brought her choic- est treasures, and gave him to play with ; for now, surely, she thought, he will get well — and he seemed ten times dearer than ever, from the danger he appeared to have escaped. She was surprised and incredu- lous, when the doctor told her be was no better. Soon after, he sank into a cpiet sleep. His breath grew more and more faint, till it ceased altogether; and the little family stood in silent tears, over the lifeless form of one so lovely, and sa beloved. Many had been the bereavements of Mrs. Cleveland, but she was now called to feel the far more bitter grief of a mother's sorrow.
An unnatural stillness rested upon the dwelling ; for the cheerful prattle of little Edward, and the sound of his busy feet upon the floor, were hushed fovever. Cleveland had felt the full depths of maternal tenderness ; but she had drank too of the fountain of living waters — and she now found it a well of life, pouring out the fulness of hope and consolation : and she laid her hand upon the brow of her dead child, and uttered calmly — " The cjip which my heavenly Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?
With her own hands she arranged the small white robe, and brushed for the last time the glossy hair, every fibre of which was dear to her heart. Choice flowers were spread upon his breast, meet em- blems of his purity, and early decay. The memory of Edward was henceforth to be associated with all that was pure and beautiful ; and for them, a softened shadow was to rest forever on all the bright things of earth.
And, O, beloved child! I 'm more than reconciled To tliy departure, then. As the season advanced, and the honey- suckles and pansies began to unfold their blossoms, a bud of immortality bloomed in the dwelling of the Clevelands. Great was the delight of Mary.
The baby brother became at once die most important personage in the fam- ily. Call him Charles, mother — Charley is so pretty; I shall love him as well again, with such a pretty name. When the door closed, Mary burst into tears. Cleveland pressed the child to her bosom, and kissed the cheek of Mary. Can you tell me what it is, Mary 7" "Is it tears, mother — sorrow, that will make our hearts better? Ill little Edward has been taken from earth to heaven, to constitute a part of our heavenly treasures also.
His death has brought the riches of the unseen world more palpably before us ; and now that he has entered, it brings heaven nearer to us. I feel as though a veil alone were suspended be- tween us, waiting only the hand of death to brush it aside. We shall think of Ed- ward, and think oftener of heaven, now. Oh, not for worlds, would I have him return to this place of sin and suffering. It is good to be afflicted ; for sorrow leads us to the only true source of comfort. You grieved that the snows and blasts of winter would scatter the leaves of the violets upon the ground; and yet, when our heavenly Father would take our dear little Edward to his bosom, aii4 shield him from the storms of suffering and sorrow, and place him in one of his own beautiful mansions, to await there our coming — like an ungrateful child, who, be- cause he has lost one blossom, throws the whole aside — you say the world is not worth living in.
The hopes of heaven are the highest riches — the only enduring riches. I won't have any sich works. I do n't see what Mary stuck it in here for. It 's unwholesome, and will make you ketch cold. But a reproving glance from her mother was sufficient, and she went out. Now you see how them are flowers grow : well, they live on you.
They can't have the out door air, and so they live on your breath. PhoBbe was an excellent nurse, yielding in skill only to the village doctor. She loved babies, but hated children ; and woe to the little one that came in her way. Great was the quietude of all families, while PhoBbe was there. Not a child dared to lift up its voice, or stir from the position in which she had placed it. It would as soon have thought of talking in meeting, as to speak where Phoebe was. Little feet moved quick, to obey her orders ; and if a thing was to be handed to her, it was done with a long atm, and suspended breath.
Mary had her full share of trials. Mary's flowers were neglected— and books were out of the question. All these things were mere idling, and not to be tolerated — so thought Phoebe. Mary did not complain. On the contrary, she exerted herself to appear cheerful, in the presence of her mother — and was prompt to obey the commands of Phoebe. Her continued trials of temper, and un- varying homeliness of occupation, how- ever, wore upon her spirits, and made her quite sad.
One day when her mother was able to go to the window, and observe the freshness and beauty of the season, she desired her daughter to bring her some flowers from the garden. Mary obeyed with alacrity. When she presented them, the contrast of her mother's gentle tone of voice, and cheerful looks, compared with Phoebe's sharp voice, and sour face, wrought so on her feelings, that she burst into tears. Remember, my dear, that every trial ought to make us wiser and better.
Have you thought, Mary, of another kind of riches, since Phoebe has been here? A kind demeanor, and gentle ways, are of infinite value in this world. Without a good temper, one must be gross, however rich. A cheerfhl spirit is worth, every year, more than thousands to its possessor. When we last visited the Masons, we left Mr.
Mason suffering from illness — the combined consequences of high living and the intoxicating cup. He lingered along nearly a year, in a state of mental imbe- cility; sometimes indulging in tremendous fits of passion, that drove every one from the room, and at others, gay with the maudlin humor of the drunkard.
At length he died: and Mrs. Mason frankly confessed it was a great relief to her feelings, so long as there was no hope of his recovery. The whole family ap- peared of the same opinion ; for the tumult of a disorderly household, and the rude mirth of a heartless one, were scarcely sus- pended for the brief period of the funeral ceremony.
A long array of splendid carriages, black robes, sable veils, and white handkerchiefs, made grief ap- pear at least authentic. But if love did not mourn, selfishness did. Bad speculation, an indolent mode of doing business, superadded to a long period of neglect, and finally sickness, had made sad havoc with the fortune of Mr, Mason. On winding up his affairs, his riches were found' to have taken to themselves wings.
The lawyer found it difficult to make Mrs. Mason comprehend the extent of their reverses. She had never even imagined such a thing ; and she persisted in continuing their ordinary mode of life, till the flood of bills that poured in upon them, without any possible means of liqui- dating them, opened her eyes to the state of their affairs. She was thus compelled to retrench, for no one would trust them. Some exulted in their reverses; others, remembering that Mrs.
Those of their otcn standing, to use the favorite expression of the lady herself, declared it was no more than they expected. So, between envy, pride and indifference, poor Mrs. Mason was left without a single friend to comfort or advise her. Olevoland really felt for her. She knew her errors, but pitied her misfor- tunes; and Mary shed sincere tears for the reverses of. Virginia, who had been obliged to leave a fiSishionable boarding school, and return home. James was iti college, and would probably have been oompelled to leave, had not a college spree, in which he was leader, caused his expul- sion.
Things were in this state when Mr6. The grass was beginning to grow among the beautiful marble tiles of the court, and the splendid furniture was covered with dust. Everything wore an aspect of neglect. They met James in the avenue, with his angling rod — for the thought of useful exertion appeared never to have entered his brain. He bowed negligently to Mrs. C, and, stared at Mary with a freedom that sent the blood rushing to her temples. He had not seen her for nearly three years ; and he evidently thought her a fine looking girl. Perhaps we ought before to have said, she was now nearly fifteen — too tall for a child, and scarcely mature enough for a woman — gentle, and somewhat timid in her manners — artless, lively and affec- tionate, with eyes and cheeks betraying every emotion.
But to our visit. They were met at the door by a slip-shod serirant girl, with ttncombed hair and greasy apron. Mason affected still the manners of the fashionable lady— drawling out her Words, and assuming an air of languor ; but they sat with an ill grace. She looked anxious, and care-worn ; ahd apologised fot the evident disorder of her room, by saying she was plagued to death for servants. They were hardly seated, when the rat- tling of wheels, followed by a long, heavy ring, drew Mrs.
Mason to the window. Her cheek reddened as she recognized the equipage of one of her city friends. She sauntered back to the sofa, and drawled " Not at home," to the girl who appeared at the door, and seemed to be servant gen- eral. Mason with a familiar and almost impudent air, Mrs.
Well, Lincoln says it was the wisest thing you could have done. He says you hate neglected retrenching quite too long. You ought to have begun two years ago— and you would have been bet- ter off for it. But better late than never. I found I was growing quite stupid without her. You hav n't seen her since her return. Cv now rose to take her leave ; but Mrs. Virginia now entered.
She was certainly a somewhat handsome girl, with a modish air and fashionable dress. She presented the tips of her fingers to each guest, and reclined daintily upon the sofa. She was probably sixteen ; though the finish of a boarding school had given her the manners of twenty.
Lincoln, after some ordinary remarks about Virginia, "you intend to take a smaller establishment, and sell off a part of your furniture. You can't expect to keep it all. Lincoln laughed sarcastically. Mason settled hack upon the sofa, and burst inio tears. Mason sobbed hysterically. I do hate a scene. Mary followed, at a hint from her mother. When they were alone, Mrs. Oh, these heartless friends, that come only to triumph over me; it is more than I can bear.
But the worst of it all is, Mrs. C, my own children have risen up against me;. And to think what I have done for them. But that won't make things better in this. You are naturally religious, Mrs. C, but I am not. When Mrs. How much I owe you for having taught me what really constitutes wealth. Cleveland, were often tested in various offices of trust and honor, so that his trade had become a secondary consideration.
After having represented his district in the state legisla- ture, he had recently been elected to Con- gress. Every year gave a steady increase to their worldly goods. Cleveland was truly an American Woman — unaffected, submissive, and nobly devoted to her duties as a wife and mo- ther. George bid fair to be all that his parents could desire. He was about to enter college in company with William Goold, and had modestly hinted to his lather his desire to engage in the ministry.
Mary had corrected many of the faults of her early life ; but her active mind and high temperament left her still something to do. The impression was owing to a certain lightness of motion, and an indifference to all individuals who did not approach, in some degree at least, to her ideal standard of perfection. Charles — or Charley, as was most fre- quently the pretty diminutive by which he was called — was a joyous, reckless little rogue, the very counterpart of Edward. He was a universal favorite — the pet of the neighborhood as well as of the family. Mary's eye would often moisten in the midst of her caresses — for the memory of Edward was busy at her heart.
All prophesied he would be a spoiled child. So lively, so affectionate, it was not surprising he should be indulged; and then the frequent absence of Mr. But the strength of Mrs. The little library had been completed, with windows to the garden, and alcoves; and more yet — it was curtained and car- fketed. Of a warm day, with the windows thrown open, and the odor of innumerable flowers from the extensive garden wafted in, it gave one not a mean idea of Para- dise.
For the bee reveled in a wilderness of sW-eets, and the bulterfly poised itself upon the blossoms, and rested long in its fulness of joy, while the music of innume- rable birds, that built their nests amons the branches of the fruit trees, filled the air everywhere with melody. The hum- ming bird fluttered like a gem above the flowerets, and entered the room to drink tlie nectar from plants that blossomed and clustered about the apartment. The shelves were filled with a choice, collection of books, from the best authors, which formed a subject of wonder for the whole neighborhood.
All thought it a great waste of money; and many declared they would have taken the money and built a larger house. There would have been some sense in that, they thought. Mason wondered they should buy things that made so little show, in comparison with the expense. For her part, she would rather have the money to pay the expense of keeping a servant Mrs. It had become quite the fashion for the young people of the village to walk down to Mr.
Goold's and Mr. Even Yirginia would sometimes join these little parties; for it was rumored that the Clevelands had more genteel com- pany than anybody else. Indeed, Mr. Cleveland's library was a general attrac- tion for the intelligent young men, who had the privilege of availing themselves of its treasures; and not only of procuring a valuable book for their leisure hours, but a smile or a gay remark from Mary.
James Mason at one time seemed dis- posed to honor the family with his atten- tions; bnt the wit and high spirits of Mary easily repelled him. Not so with JaneGoold. She despised him ; but her timid and gentle manners were hardly sufficient for his as- surance. With a feminine kindness of heart that shrunk from the thought of giv- ing pain, she in fact encouraged his ad- dresses, when she only meant to avoid wounding his feelings.
Mary was indignant; and remonstrated warmly with her friend. But circumstances accomplished for Jane what her resolution had failed to do. An uncle of James Mason gave him a flatter- ing offer to take up his residence with him at the south — and he soon left : and, it is probable, in a week, or perhaps less, the memory of the timid country girl was en- tirely obliterated.
Dost love hha, Clattdla. Each abandoned himself tc the innocent amusements of his age, and left care and sorrow to seek other heartsi. Virginia Mason, it cannot be denied, was more neighborly than usual ; and William Goold seemed especially attracted by her modish manners and piquant style of con- versation. Mary would never have confessed as much to herself, though she more than once de- tected herself speaking unusually harshly of Virginia. Conviction flashed upon her mind, as well as the certainty that George had read her secret before her.
Her cheeks reddened, but she was silent. Cleveland and her daughter were seated in the library, when Charles came running in from the garden with a bouquet of flowers tied with a pink ribband.
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The little fellow's curls were damp with exer- cise, and his cheek glowed with health and beauty. Morey gave it to me, and told me to carry it to sister. She could interpret flowers, and she was well aware that Henry Morey knew it The sentiment expressed in the pretty bouquet she held in her Angers was unequivocal ; and she sat long, irresolute and lost in leverie — her varying cheek expressing every emotion of her mind.
Cleveland occasionally glanced at her daughter as she thus sat; — and if a smile of maternal pride crossed her placid features, it need not be surprising. Cleveland looked surprised, and was about to reply — when Mr. Cleveland entered, and Mary was glad to retreat to the garden. She seated herself in a rustic bower, and gave vent to the feelings of her young heart in a flood of tears. Mary dried her tears. I must only regret that I am so little worthy of her esteem.
And yet," he added, more earnestly, "you are young, Mary: time may change your sentiments. You scarcely know your own heart, yet. My devotion, the depth of my attachment, may, I can- not but think, create love. Let me but hope that at some future day " " No — I must be explicit," said Mary, firmly. You are my father's friend ; and as such, have the strongest claim upon my regard. But as to a warmer feeling, it can never exist. I meant not to oifend ; but if I may not love, I shall at least respect you, and the sincerity, and I believe justice, of your sentiments.
Mary trembled, and burst into tears. I hope you haven't rejected him decidedly. She kissed his cheek, and was about to retire. Cleveland retained her hand, and seated her beside him. Gleveiand kissed his daughter's brow, and was about to rise, when a new thought seemed to strike him. Simonton, the pedagogue — and a score more of unvanquishables. My heart must be invulnerable to stand such an array.
You are not apt at deception, and your cheek is a very tell-tale. Why, he'perpeiually flirts with Virginia Mason. Cleveland kissed her cheek — and Mary walked sadly up the avenue. Mason and her daughter. True, they kept but one servant, who was so slatternly and hnbecile that no one else would have her, and who was therefore content with a home and such cast-off garments as they could spare. Their oXA friends had nearly all forsaken them, now that wealth and fashion were no longer theirs — a circum- stance less regretted by Virginia than her mother, as she was willing to accommo- date himself to the society of the village.
It was melancholy to see the ruin that time was every day making in the fine old house and elegant enclosures. It needed but a glance, to tell that poverty and mortgage had claimed the once elegant mansion. James occasionally wrote home a rattling letter, filled with descriptions of races, cock-fights, and all the et cetera of a jockey and a bully.
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