Imatges de pÓgina

left a gay widow, you will also be a penni

CHAPTER V. less one."

AFTER the death of her father, her I don't want your money!" she ex- mother bad come to live with Gracieclaimed, passionately. “I would not touch

forced to do so by the very urgent reason one penny of it. I shall leave you, and go

that there was nowhere else for her to go back to my father!"

to; the old home of Gracie's childhood and “Ask leave first. Mr. and Mrs. Osborne

youth had therefore passed away. With are a most united couple in the eyes of the the death of her husband the means of world-a perfect Darby and Joan-and so

subsistence for herself and her child were we shall continue; don't dare to make a

likewise gone, and the affairs of the estate scene and have my name spoken of in the

having been wound up, she found herself neighborhood !” he cried. And with this

the possessor of but a few hundred pounds parting injunction, Mr. Osborne left the

in the world, while a delicate mother and room.

a helpless baby looked to her for support. His miserable wife tottered to the sofa

Gracie Osborne sat alone by her child's and buried her face in the cushions. Her

cradle one night a short time after her hushusband's surmises were every one correct band's death. Her bright silky hair was -she, wretched woman that she was, had

plainly banded beneath that hideous headbeen trying to stifle and keep down the

gear, the conventional widow's cap, her yearnings of her heart; but at times it

black dress hung in heavy folds round her would break from her control, and an over- slight figure, and her almost transparently whelming passion for sympathy and con- white hands lay listlessly upon her lap. genial companionship would utterly over- There she sat thinking, thinking, thinking come her; and then, in spirit, she saw a how she was to find daily bread for herself plain grave face and a pair of tender pity- and her baby. At length she rose quickly, ing eyes, and her swift thoughts flew over and, proceeding to her mother's bedroom, the sea, and she saw the red field of battle, she gently opened the door and advanced heard the capnon booming, saw the flower

towards the bed, saying, in a low voice: of England cut down, and through it all Are you asleep, mother?” her mind's eye followed one stalwart form; “No, dear,” she replied; “is there anythen-then the mental picture became hor- thing the matter ?” ribly vivid, and, as her husband had re- “O no!" said Gracie; “I merely came marked, she feverishly scanned the records

in to say that I think I shall go over to the of carnage which day by day appeared in Rectory early to-morrow morning. I want the vewspapers, unutterably thankful when to consult Mr. Dormer about some busieach day passed over and no mention was ness.' made of the name she so eagerly sought “Very well, dear," said her mother. for.

"And I shall probably not return toAnother summer passed away, and the morrow night," she continued. “You will autumn that ensued brought many changes. take care of my darling, mother?!? Mr. MacAlister failed utterly in business, For answer her mother drew her towards and a stroke of paralysis was but the con- her and kissed her. sumination of the end which he had been Early the next morning Gracie ordered anticipating many months before. In the

the carriage-now, alas! hers no longermidst of her grief for her father, the and drove to the Rectory, which was about autuinn brought a daughter to Gracie, seven miles from Netterton Hall. She was much to the annoyance and disappoints received with as much warmth of affection ment of her husband, who anxiously wished and free-hearted hospitality as in the days for a son; but an end was soon put to his of her prosperity, each one vieing with the disappointment, for the baby was hardly other to make her feel that she still held two inonths old when Mr. Osborne was the same old place in their hearts. carried home one night cold and dead. He

It is so good of you to come, Gracie. had been thrown from his horse while re- But why did you not bring the baby ?" turning in a state of intoxication from a asked Miss Dormer. dinner-party, and concussion of the brain

“I come on business-that is why I am had ensued.

here so early," she replied. “I was afraid I should miss seeing your father."

You are not going to speak about busi- money she possessed was very good as ness until you eat a good breakfast,” said something against a rainy day, but she Mrs. Dormer,

knew that it would soon melt away unless “Would you like to come and speak there were something coming in for daily with me in the study, Gracie?” said Mr. wants. Dormer.

“I was thinking,” she said, nervously “Not unless you wish it particularly," looking from one to the other, “ of opening she replied. “The truth is, I came here some kind of business.” to talk over my prospects, and to ask for Capital !" said Miss Dormer, energetisome advice as to what you think I ouglitcally. “I am sure a good dressmaker's esto do towards earning a livelihood for my- tablishment in Dublin would succeed." self and my child.” And, as the young What do you say to it, Mrs. Dormer ??? widow said these words, the poor pale sad asked Gracie. face flushed, and the tears welled up in the “You brave little thing!" said the kindgreat violet eyes.

hearted woman, rising and kissing her. Of course all the good-hearted girls and “But what do you know about business, their mother wept for sympathy. The

dear ?" rector blew his nose in a suspicious man- “Nothing yet," she replied; "but I ner, and it was some minutes ere he said, could learn. Some of your girls seem horlaying his hand kindly on Gracie's shoulder: rified at the idea."

“Don't fret, my child; thank God that “I am sorry they are so foolish and he has put the thought into your heart. little-minded," said the rector, gravely. Work is no disgrace.”

“I consider you deserve the highest praise, “But I don't know what work I am fit Mrs. Osborne, and I highly approve of your for," said Gracie, desperately. “I am not plan.” competent to become a teacher; and, even "And so do I,” said Katie Dormer; "and if I were, I could not leave my child." when I'm going to be married I'll get you

"No, certainly not, poor little darling! to make all my dresses." was chorused by the girls.

“Katie says that, Gracie," put in another “Quiet-quiet, now!" said the rector.

of the seven,

“because she thinks you'll “Could you not teach young children?"

do them cheaply.” “I dare say I could. I know I under- “Be quiet, girls," said Mrs. Dormer; stand music well; but, as I said before, I

“this is no laughing matter. We must see cannot leave my child.”

what can be done for Gracie.” "Could you take pupils at home?" in- Quietly and steadily the matter was quired the rector.

talked over by Mrs. Dormer and her clear“Recollect, Augustus dear," interrupted headed practical daughters, and the result Mrs. Dormer, “how very badly teachers of their deliberationis was that, as Gracie are paid.”

would leave Netterton Hall the following “I have thought of that myself," said week, Mrs. MacAlister and the baby should Gracie, “and, as I sat thinking last night, be transported to the Rectory, whilst Mrs. an idea came into my head; but I am half Dormer and Gracie went to Dublin to see afraid to broach it to you.

what could be done towards establishing “Why should you be afraid to tell us the latter in business. anything, Gracie ?”' asked Mrs. Dormer. But a great many details had to be con"Did you not come here for advice ?» sidered, and the Christmas snow was on

“Come, Gracie, let us have the benefit the ground ere Gracie was installed in comof this very wise idea of yours," said the fortable apartments in a leading Dublin rector, seeing that she hesitated. “But, street, and à respectable person, well first of all, how much money have you?'' known to Mrs. Dormer, engaged as general

Only between six and seven hundred manager. The tenderly-reared Gracie Ospounds," she replied.

borne was fairly launched upon the great What a lot of money, Gracieľ ex- ocean of life, to fight her way as best she claimed Mary Dormer.

I don't see why might against the billows and breakers of you need do anything."

trial which each one of us who ever means Gracie smiled sadly. Adversity had to breast the waves and gain the goal must taught her a lesson; she knew that the inevitably meet.


and with trembling lips prayed “for all PEACE was proclaimed. War was over.

sick persons,” and “for one-0, for one in All Dublin seemed half mad with joy on

particular !" and the prayer was granted. that bright day in the early summer of 1856 Edgar Vilmar did not die, though for many when the joyful tidings were officially pro

days he lay hovering between life and claimed in various parts of the city. Many

death. a woman's heart sent forth a cry of thaukfulness, while the men stood with heads Lady Beckham was one of Gracie's chief revorently uncovered, and thanked the patronesses; she was a kind, bustling, ladygood God who had mercifully put an end

like woman, and the pretty pale face and to the slaughter wbich had made so many

gentle well-bred manners of the young women childless and widows.

widow had deeply interested her. EnterAnd then there came another day-a day ing Gracie's show-rooins one day early in on which some remnants of the war-worn

February, she said, laughingly: regiments came home. The daily papers

“I have not been a very good customer were loud in their praises of their valor and lately, Mrs. Osborne, yet I am come now daring; and second to none in bearing to ask you to do me a favor." away the palo for bravery were the gallant

“I shall be happy to oblige you in any Rangers, at the head of which rode way in my power, Lady Beckham,” said Colonel Edgar Vilmar.

Gracie, who could not help liking the kindGracie saw the expected arrival of the hearted woman, who always treated her as regiment announced in the newspapers,

a lady. and she knew that on their way to barracks Well," continued the lady, “my broththe troops would have to pass her house. er, Colonel Vilmar, is a great invalid, and Old znemories arose and stirred the depths I want to have a dressing-gown made for of her heart as she read Edgar Vilinar's

him out of this Indian material." And she well-remembered name; and then, sensible displayed a costly piece of some gorgeous little woman as she was, she wiped away a

Eastern fabric. “I know it is not in your few tears which would impertinently in- line,” she continued, “but it is too costly trude themselves, and said to herself how to entrust to other hands to make up; so foolish she was; for what could the great that is why I have asked you." and brave Colonel Vilmar have in common Gracie accepted the task, and no hands with Grace Osborne, milliner and dress- but her own pretty ones accomplished it. maker?

It was a labor of love, and truly the garBut now the inspiring sound of military ment was baptized with many a secret tear. music was heard approaching, mingled The dressing-gown was just finished, and with the “huzzas” of the crowd. Nearer was to be sent home the next morning. and still nearer the music came. A blue- Gracie was industriously working at some eyed baby came creeping along the floor, of the embroidery of the collar, when, to and one little band plucked at Gracie's her dismay, she found that she had used dress, while another pointed to the win- up all the sewing-silk of the required color. dow, and a baby voice cried, Mamma- What was to be done? It was late at night come-mamma!” And Gracie obeyed, and -all the shops were shut, and the garment the first face her eyes rested upon was that was positively to be home before nine the of Edgar Vilmar, plainer, more rugged next morning. Her exclamation of dismay looking than of yore, but yet Edgar Vilmar, roused her mother, who was dozing by the returned covered with glory, and apparent

are. ly safe and well. She had only a glance “What is the matter with you, Gracie ?!! at his face, and he passed from her sight. “What shall I do, mother? I bave not

After a short time sickness began to silk enough to finish Lady Beckham's make havoc amongst the troops. Notwith- dressing-gown!" standing the cold wintry weather, fever ran “ Is that all?" asked her mother. high, and a rumor spread throughout the “ Take my keys. I think there is some city that the brave and beloved Colonel like it in my top drawer." Vilmar was stricken down by it and lay Gracie took the keys and ran lightly up sick-sick even almost unto death. On stairs, opened the drawer, and there, sure Christmas Day Gracie knelt at her prayers, enough, was the silk of the very color sbe

required. She returned to the room, and, her mother dozing off again, she soon completed her self-imposed task.

But what has happened to Gracie? The costly dressing-gown lay in a tumbled heap upon the carpet, as, with fushed burning cheeks, and eyes from which the hot blind. ing tears fell thick and fast, she read a few lines which were written on the paper round which the silk was wound. Ab! the tears were of joy, for at last she held in her hand Edgar Vilmar's valentine !

“He loved me! he loved me!” she cried. “I knew it-I felt he did! Heaven bless him, forgive those who came between us, and help me!"

She folded up the precious paper and placed it in her bosom, and, covering up the dressing-gown, left it ready with orders to be delivered at Lady Beckham's the first thing in the morning.

“Take care, Davis-some paper dropped out of that dressing-gown.

Hand it to Die,” said Colonel Vilmar to his servant as he unfolded the gorgeous garment.

He opened the paper, and, as he looked at the contents, could hardly believe the evidence of his senses. Yes, there it was

-his own valentine, in his own handwriting, addressed to the woman whose image was imprinted upon his heart, and the strong pure love for whom had kept him clear from many a temptation. He had only heard of her family's misfortunes and her husband's death just as the fever had stricken him.

“Do you know who made that dressinggown, Davis ?” he asked.

“Yes sir-Mrs. Osborne, Lady Beckham's dressmaker."

“Do you know where she lives ?”
“No sir," was the reply.

" Then find out. And see here, Davishave a car at the door for me immediately after breakfast, and be ready to come out with me without letting any one know."

He had found her-his little love-the one love of his whole life! And pot many weeks afterwards the bells of Saint Anne's Church rang out a merry peal, and Edgar Vilmar and Grace Osborne were quietly married, the business of the latter having been entirely made over to the faithful woman who, as manager, had so carefully guarded and looked after her mistress's interests.

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LOUIS NAPOLEON in his will emphasizes of his sword. For good luck's sake, Authe solemn declaration, “With regard to gustus wore some portion of a sea-calf; my son, let him keep as a talisman the seal Charlemagne, some triuket of unknown I used to wear attached to iny watch." value. Mohammed was all Fate; BonaThis piece of fetichism would appear to parte, all Star and Destiny. Cromwell bebare formed yet another link between the lieved in September 3, and Louis Napoleon imperial exile that has passed from our in December 2. Sulla called himself Felix, midst and those Latin races whose cause the favored Child of Fortune, and Timohe affected to represent, whose superstition Jeon turned his house into a Temple of he certainly shared. Indeed, the ancient Chance. Alexander, if we may credit the Romans degraded a priest because his mi- account given by Quintus Curtius, was tertre fell, and unmade a dictator because a rified by blood flowing from inside his solrat squeaked. Cæsar crossed the Rubicon, dier's bread during the siege of Tyre in because, on the opposite bank, he saw a man 332 B.C. His seer, Aristander, foresaw, in with a fine figure. His nephew felt confident this crimson eflux of the vital stream out of winning the battle of Actium, because ho of the commissariat a happy issue for the met a peasant of the name of Nicolaus Macedonians; and the warriors thus nervmounted on an ass. Wolsey was warned ed, took Tyre. From the year 1004, the of his doom by a crosier-head; Sejanus, by alarming spectacle of the bleeding Host, a flight of crows. Dr. Johnson objected to and bread, as well as the bewitched bloody going under a ladder. Montaigne avoided milk, several times in each century gave giving his left foot priority in putting on simple folk a scare; thus, it was noticed in his stockings. Alexander was believed to 1264, under Urban IV., at Bolsena, not far bave untied the Gordian knot with a slice from Civita Vecchia; and Raphael has

taken this for the subject of his picture victim of fetichism, the slave of supersticalled the Miraculo de Bolsena, which is, tion, the worshipper of science, the conat all events, a miracle of the pencil. In queror of power. How much of alchemy 1383, when Heinreich von Bulow destroyed was an imposture, how much of it was an the village and church of Wilsnach, drops enthusiasm, it is impossible to say. of blood were found eight days afterwards The secular practice of the science may on the Host placed on the altar.

be gleaned from M. Geoffroy's demonstraBut the victims of superstition have the tion before the Royal Academy of Sciences bump of causality reinarkably developed; in 1722, that alchemy was a matter of falseand in 1510, thirty-eight Jews were burnt bottomed crucibles, hollow wands filled to ashes because they had tortured the with gold, perforated lead and soldered consecrated Host until it bléd. Again, the nails. The religious theory of the science sight was seen on the Moselle in 1924; and may be gathered from Faber's Propugnacuin 1848 the famous Ebrenberg analyzed the lum Alchymice, published in 1644, wherein terrible portent. After stooping with his occurs the statement: “The stone of the microscope over the red stains on bread, philosopher is, by all the authors who have cheese and potatoes, this savant declared treated of it, esteemed to be the greatest that they are caused by small monads or gift of God on earth. As, therefore, it is vibrios, which have a red color, and are so so mighty a gift of God, the most necessary minute that from 46,656,000,000 to 884,736,- thing, in order that man should attain to a 000,000,000 distinct beings adorn the space knowledge of its excellence and worth, is of one cubic inch. Unfortunately, when, wisdoun, which is bestowed by God on very in 1510, thirty-eight Israelites, as we have few.” Macaulay praises Verulam for his seen, were burnt to ashes, no scientific “fruit,” his aim at substantial results. Ehrenberg existed to point out to their su- The meteoric iron which fell at Agram, in perstitious butchers that what they called Croatia, was capable of being forged ina proof of the consecrated Host being tor- to nails—a meteor which ought to be tured until it bled, was merely due to ag- known as Bentham's meteor. Judged, gregation of hungry red insects.

however, by results, as Lowe would say, No doubt there was a deal of imposture Roger Bacon's gunpowder-producing alin alchemy; no doubt, too, the wish for chemy has not been an unalloyed blessing gold was father to the thought of alchemy; to mankind. but this in itself will not account for Hen- Luther and Verulam believed in witches. ry IV. prohibiting alchemy, for God-fearing In his folio Dictionary, Johnson defines a Henry VI. eagerly encouraging it; for witch, "A woman given to unlawful arts.” Pope John XXII, being an alchemist; for Knighton tells us of persons taxed with Louis XIII. of France making a Francis- keeping devils in the shape of cats. And can monk his grand-almoner, as the reward wise and learned Roman Catholics believe of a hundred years' reign promised to his even greater wonders still. For example, credulity by that pretender to the discov- Spain, among many images of the Virgin, ery of the grand elixir; or for Jean de possesses one at Saragossa which used to Lisle expiating by an early death in the restore lost legs; Austria boasts an image Bastille his bold attempts to persuade of the Virgin at Marbach which secures Louis XIV. and his ministers that he pos- good harvests; Styria is proud of the black sessed the gold-making stone. Among the lime-tree image of Mariazell, because it wide circle of influential believers that al- cures the gout; S. Maria in Campitelli, chemy thus entranced were Roger Bacon, Rome, contains an image of the Virgin Albertus Magnus and St. Thomas Aquinas; which stayed a pestilence there in 1569; and even the transcendent intellects of 8. Maria della Vittoria is protected by an Leibnitz, Spinoza and Verulain. However, image of the Virgin which defeats Turks; in the pursuit of this phantom, Roger Ba- St. Giovanni a Carbonari, Naples, is blessed con casually stumbled on the composition with an image of the Virgin which is a of gunpowder; Geber, on the properties of bure refuge against earthquakes and erupacids; Van Helmont, on the nature of gas tions; Bogen, in Bavaria, and Notre Dame geist or spirit; and Dr. Glauber of Amster- de Hanswyk, in Belgium, are each euriched dam, on the uses of the salt which bears with a curious hollow image of the Virgin his name. Thus was the alchemist the which insists on swimming up the river.

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