Imatges de pÓgina




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sun, dreamed by the fireside, prayed, laughed, in the girl, but thought all the time that

, wept, talked, mused. And at last, when the change was a little too extreme. Yet she had explored every outlet of her life to how was this to be avoided? What ought its extreme limits, and wrought herself up a young girl to be? Miss Martha looked to a very high pitch of nervous fancy, back into her own youth, and sought in Aunt Martha, who had been quietly ob- vain for any experience of her own which serving her, spoke. It was now quite time might apply to her niece. Miss Martha that she should give up her childish free- had never been imaginative. Where one dom, and settle down into a useful, well- young thing lives entirely with elder conducted young woman. On that occa- people, in an atmosphere at once antiquated sion May bad burst into passionate tears. and still, romantic and wild, it is likely The humdrum life that she was dreading that the young spirit will be either too had overtaken her. Time would not spare much oppressed or too much emancipated. her to her dear wild life. On receiving her Miss Martha did not quite see this, but she lecture she had disappeared instantly, and knew that a little change was sometimes for the day. But in the evening she had wholesome for young people, and she presented herself in the parlour, tidy in wished that May had a little change. person, serious, and ashamed.

She was

Thus she had not given an absolute going to do all and be all that was expected denial when Sir John had expressed a wish of her.

to see May at Camlough. She had conSo now May, being twenty years old, veyed the idea to the gentleman that, if the and having been for three years labouring ladies of his family exerted themselves proearnestly to tame herself and walk in quiet perly, she would not insist that the thing ways, may be fairly said to have sown her could not be done. May, on hearing of the wild oats. She wore housewifely clothing matter, had looked a little frightened, and and smooth hair. She had put aside ro- had said, very gravely, “I think I would mances, and plays, and poems, and set her- rather not go.' Yet a certain controlled self to apply to graver studies. She took excitement of expectation had evidently to making pastry, and spent a considerable hung about her since. time at her spinning - wheel. She relin- On the day when Katherine came from quished her idea that an excessive joy was Camlough to seek her, May, as it happened, the object of life, and prayed night and was busy in the kitchen. Bridget was out morning to be delivered from her wild for a holiday, and Miss Martha had stepped dreams and fancies. She even thought down to the meadow with old Nanny to of a likely spot for her grave, and won- hold counsel over a sickly cow. dered if it could be possible she should was hot and strong, the yellow blind in the live to be as old as Aunt Martha ; and kitchen was down, and the window open. then perhaps live longer still. In the There was a pot of lavender and sweet mean time she was good to her poor neigh- marjoram on the window-sill, and the fire bours, and as helpful as she was able, and winked under the saucepans. The walls she kept up her intercourse with the ani- were glittering with tin implements, and in mals and birds. When she went out of a the middle of the red-tiled floor sat May, morning to the sunny side of the rain, and shelling peas into an earthen dish. She nestling in the ivy, stretched out a hand was smooth and neat, and looked suitand made a cooing sound, then they all able to the time and place in her apron came round her, rabbits, and pheasants, and green gingham gown. and dogs, and ducks, and geese,

and From fifteen to twenty May had gained chickens, the calf, and the donkey, and the in beauty. She was not of more than jackdaws from the belfry. Tame and wild middle height, her figure full yet slender, they clustered about her, and fed at her and replete with all womanly curves and feet, or out of her hand. But she petted fair lines. Her features were hardly so them now as a superior being, not as for much regular as harmonious, large enough merly when she was only their companion for dignity, yet small enough for feminine and playfellow. The enactment of this grace. Her eyes had still that brownscene was the one folly of her day, all the purple hue which Paul Finiston had thought rest of the time being spent in serious be- so lovely, still those circling tinges of haviour and steady occupation. She was shadow which had charmed the old monk. as staid and demure as any one could wish, Her hair was black, with a tinge of brown or as any one could regret to see her. in it, her complexion of a creamy fairness, Miss Martha beheld the wholesome change which made the darkness of her eyes very

The sun

She was

deep and striking, and a blush upon her finding anything so lovely here; did not face very perceptible and beautiful. Her want anything so lovely at Camlough. But mouth was, perhaps, the jewel of her face. a moment passed, and the whisper of vanity Most lips can express joy in smiles and had soothed and appeased her. trouble in heaviness. It is a rarer thing to more beautiful by far even than this; so see a mouth which shows involuntarily all much so, that there never could be rivalry the subtle shades of feeling that hover be between herself and this mountain-reared tween pleasure and pain, all the flickerings maiden. And in some sense the whisper of fancy, perhaps the nervousness and spoke truth. As a mere piece of flesh and steadfastness of a difficult courage. When blood, as a statue of perfection to be meayou knew May awhile, you forgot about the sured and criticised, she was a handsomer redness of her lips and the loveliness of creature than May. their curves. You thought more about “You have not forgotten me?” she said, their thousand unuttered revelations. smiling, and holding out both her pretty

“What an odd, ridiculous place !" cried hands, while the folds of her riding habit Katherine, as she and her cavalier rode up fell away from them, making graceful to the gate of Monasterlea. And there was drapery all round her on the floor. more here to discern of grandness and "No, indeed," said May, stepping forward quaintness than Miss Archbold could take to take the hands. note of in a week. An artist would have “ This is not my first visit to Monasseen it in a glance. But Katherine was terlea," said Katherine, tenderly, “and I not an artist, and saw something very un. have very good reason to remember the finished in the majestic ruin with the homely first." cottage in its arms; the picturesque con- “She is changed,” thought May, triumfusion of crosses and rose-gardens, bloom- phantly." And how beautiful she is ! Now ing hedges and black archways; the acres I should like to go to Camlough.” of mounded graveyard upon one side, and “Your aunt has promised you to us,” npon the other and further away, the corn. said Katherine, “and I have come to know fields and the sweet farm-lands. It is true when we may expect you.” And all the she had seen the place long ago, but she while Miss Archbold was wondering how had not then thought it so exceedingly in. May would look if she were not dressed elegant.

like a housemaid. . It is fine !" cried Christopher, with a "But she cannot have much wardrobe touch of that enthusiasm which Katherine here," she calculated, and we shall get had never felt, but immediately relapsed her as she is." into a strain which pleased her better. “ Aunt Martha is in the meadow," said “You beautified the whole place when you May. “Shall we go out and meet her ? visited it years ago," he said, raving rap- It is a pretty walk.” turously as he received her into his arms Christopher, Miss Mourne; Miss Mourne, from her saddle.

Mr. Lee," said Katherine, and the three The door of Miss Martha's dwelling stood young people stepped out into the sunopen, and the blinds were all down to keep shine. And then May remembered that out the heat. There was no one about, she had heard that Miss Archbold was enand it suited Miss Archbold's humour at gaged to be married to a wealthy young the moment, rather to walk in without cere- gentleman who was staying at the house. mony, than to stand knocking at the door. This was the second young gentleman whom Meeting no one, she proceeded to explore May had ever spoken to, and naturally she the bouse, looking into rooms left and right, compared him with the first. Mr. Lee was and perfectly unconcerned as to how the amiable and manly-looking enough, but he dwellers in the cottage might approve of had not the countenance and bearing of her intrusion. A sweet mocking laugh Paul. from the passage came floating over her Miss Martha was still engaged in her pea-pods and her dishes to May, who conference with Nanny over the cow, when looked up with notice of something un- she saw the three young figures bearing usual in the house. And there stood down upon her from the gate into the fields. Katherine and her lover in the doorway. Ah, this is very pleasant; Miss Arch

As May arose, with quickened eye and bold herself,” said Miss Martha. “ May colour, in a pretty confusion to meet her, shall certainly go; it will do her a world it must be confessed that Katherine re- of good. And I declare there is the pedlar ceived a shock. She had not counted on coming across the hill. Nanny, run and


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“ But

stop the pedlar. How lucky that he should “I hope not, madam,” said the pedlar, come at this time."

with another delighted look at the young lady. “But to tell plain truth, I niver seen

him in my life. I'm started this summer Two hours after, the parlour was all on my own account intirely." draped with the contents of the pedlar's “I hope you may have success, I am pack, while the pedlar himself was being sure,” said Miss Martha, speaking with

" regaled in the kitchen, with Nanny piling hesitation, as she adjusted her spectacles his plate upon

one hand, and Bridget on her nose. “ But I am a little in doubt coquetting with him on the other. Silks as to whether it will be honourable in me of many colours were festooned from the to give you my custom or not.” mantelpicce, the table, and a brilliant

“That's as ye plase, ma'am,” said the tabinet had been fung for display round pedlar, readily “I wouldn't intherfair Miss Martha's shoulders; May, meanwhile, for the world wid the business of another leaning with her elbows on the back of an honest man. But if it would be suitin' ye arm-chair, examined these splendours which at all to take anything I've got for this had been spread out for her choice. wanst, I'll give it to ye chape, and not be

“Now, May, do look at this tartan silk,” botherin' ye again.” said Miss Martha, persuasively. "Nothing “Very fair, very honourable, indeed," could be prettier with your dark hair.” said Miss Martha, “and as we are at this “I'd rather have black, Aunt Martha." moment in need of what

yon have brought you have nothing else nice except us, we must be forgiven for not waiting for white muslin, child. You will make your the older friend." self look like a magpie.”

“I have jewellery,” said the pedlar, pro“Not a magpie, Aunt Martha. Only a ducing a box. • Miss will excuse me, but crow one day, and a gull or a pigeon the I have got bright goold crosses, and han’next. I needn't be a parrot, need I?” some pearl beads, far gayer nor yon black

“Well, well, have your own way. In thing that she has hangin' round her neck." my time young girls did not dress them.

“My cross,” said May, quickly, and her selves in black, except for mourning." hand went quickly to Paul's chain round

“Have the tartan silk yourself, Aunt her neck. “Thank you, you may put up Martha.”

your jewellery,” she added.

" This was “No, no, child, my day is over. But given me by a friend, and I care for nothing at least I am going to pick you a bunch of finer.” bright ribbons.

The pedlar blushed again, no doubt at The pedlar was called in to disclose the the severity of the rebuke, but was silenced, prices of his wares. He was a well-made, and plunged into the recesses of his pack rather gipsy-like young man, with a red- for more treasures. brown skin, bushy black beard, and thick “Oh, my man, my good man,” cried Miss black hair, almost covering his forehead. Martha, as she looked over the price list A pair of bright dark eyes shone from which he had put in her hand, “you will under his heavy brows. He wore a suit of beggar yourself with the lowness of your grey frieze and a low-crowned hat, and he prices. Silks like these cannot be soldat such blushed under the browuness of his skin à rate, I can tell you. We shall hardly see when ushered into the presence of the you coming back again if this is the way ladies. He shot one keen glance at May, you intend to do business." where she stood leaning with her elbows on “Maybe not, ma'am, indeed," said the the back of her chair, and then drooped his pedlar, tossing his head. “ But in the eyes and blushed again, so that Miss Martha mane time them is my prices. To take a set him down in her mind at once as a penny more would be the ruin o' my highly appreciative, as well as modest young conscience."

He was a stranger too, and she was Miss Martha put her head on one side, curious to know where he had come from. and looked at the salesman with a troubled

“Ahem! this is not our own pedlar, my air. But there was something in his dear ?" she said to May, as if willing to be manner that disarmed suspicion. persuaded that her eyes had deceived her. “Prices may have fallen,” she said to

“No, aunt. We hope,” said May, turn- May; reflectively. “And now we can have ing to the stranger, " that nothing has a couple of these dainty chintzes.” happened to our friend who has been

“ Thank


ma'am,” said the pedlar, as, coming here for years?"

the purchases being made, he picked up

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the money tendered him; "and now, could "You don't think the goods have been ye be guidin' me to the houses of the stolen, Aunt Martha ?” ginthry in the neighbourhood ?

“My dear, I should be sorry to misjudge thinkin' o'payin' a visit to Misther Finis- the young man. But I have a strong diston o' Tobereevil.”

inclination to put a needle in this silk.” "I cannot say that I think


need be “Don't then, Aunt Martha.” at the trouble of going there," said Miss “But I must, you goose! If I were to Martha.

go to jail for it afterwards, you must have The pedlar had shouldered his pack, and your gown.” turned to go away.

Well, Aunt Martha, I don't think "The young man hasn't come back yet, thieves are very generous. He could easily I suppose ?” he asked, pausing in the door- sell all he had at his prices.” way, hat in hand.

“I don't know about letting the servants “The young man ?” repeated Miss wear these shawls.” Martha.

“But, Aunt Martha, then we must not " Oh, ay! Young Paul Finiston, the touch the silk !" nephew.”

Do you know him ?” burst eagerly from both women in a breath.

BURIED HEARTS. “ Know him ? Ay!" said the pedlar, and tears rushed into his eyes as he looked It is natural enough that the human heart from one to the other of the anxious faces —deemed by poets and philosophers to be before him. “At least I did know him—the seat of our affections and passions, of knew him a young boy when I was our understanding and will, courage and knockin' about Dublin. He wouldn't look conscience, by some men looked upon as the at a guinea before he'd spend it on the root of life itself-should have been conpedlar's pack. Not if he had it, the poor sidered by many of the dying in past times gossoon! But men do change. Think ye, as a votive gift peculiarly sacred. And this ladies, will he be a miser like his uncle ? feeling has been the cause in many inIt's in the blood, so it is, they do say.” stances of the burial of the heart apart

“It is not in his blood,” said May, from the place where the ashes of the body stoutly, squeezing her black cross in her might repose. hand. “He is vur friend, and we do not Among the earliest instances of the selike to hear such questions."

parate mode of heart-burial is that of Henry The pedlar here drooped his head in the Second of England. After this lucksilence, so that his face could not be seen. less monarch expired in a passion of grief, “ I ax your pardon,” he said presently, in before the altar of the church of Chinon, in a very low voice.

1189, his heart was interred at Fontevrault, “Oh, I am not angry,” said May, but his body, from the nostrils of which heartily, “and he must not go away with tradition alleges blood to have dropped on out some tea, Aunt Martha. Here, Bridget, the approach of his rebellious son Richard, Bridget, make the pedlar some tea!” was laid in a separate vault. From Fon.

Bridget obeyed readily, and, after the tevrault his heart, according to a statement pedlar was gone, appeared in the parlour in a public print, was brought a few years with triumph on her face.

ago to Edinburgh, by Bishop Gillis, of that “Musha, then that's the gintlemanliest city. If so, where is it now? pedlar that iver walked these roads yet, When Richard Cour de Lion fell bema'am dear! Sure Nannie an' me bought neath Gourdon's arrow at the siege of what little we could rache to; an' afther Chaluz, the gallant heart, which, in its he was gone, what but two fine shawls greatness and mercy, inspired him to forshould come flyin' through the winda! give, and even to reward the luckless

Presents for yez each !' says his voice out- archer, was, after his death, preserved in a bye, but when we run to the door sorra casket in the treasury of that splendid sight o' him was to be seen !"

cathedral which William the Conqueror Miss Martha left off measuring the yards built at Rouen ; for Richard, by a last will, upon her fingers, and made a careful ex- directed that his body should be interred in amination of the shawls.

Fontevrault, " at the feet of his father, to “ These are worth a guinea each if they testify his sorrow for the many uneasinesses are worth a penny:

This is something he had created him during his lifetime.” very odd, no doubt,” she said to May. His bowels he bequeathed to Poictou

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