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away, but she could not do it, for he was in the obliged to wear cotton gowns, and eat her dinner
with a steel fork; but these pictures vanished, He must bave had a great deal to say to her, and then when she heard that two hundred a-year for be stayed at least two hours, (perhaps, though, still remained to them, slie went to the other exhe was only looking at her embroidery and her treme, and believed there was no cause for uneadrawings all that time,) and before he left, he siness. Poor Harry! She was no companion for asked to see Lady de Courcy, and he stayed about him in his distress. He wished she had some prachalf an hour with her; and at the end of that tical earnestness of feeling, but she had none; so time he looked very happy, and on taking leave of he bore his griefs alone. Even the ayah, who was Florence, instead of just shaking her hand, he kissed housekeeper, cashier, and everything else in a ber forehead, and he had a right to do it, for she domestic point of view, was more sympathetic, and had given herself to him, and had promised to be could help him now better than his wife. But his wife as soon as she could leave off her sable another trial awaited him ; his regiment was orgarments, and don something more becoming to a dered to India. He thought his heart would have bride.
broken, for Florence could not go with him. He And the ball ! what advice did he give her ? was only to remain three years, and during that None ; he gave her no advice, bnt he asked her to time he would be far up the country ; besides, he stay away; not for his own sake, but—he spoke of was now obliged to think of the expense; so he her dead father, and in reverence for his memory, | felt that he must leave her behind him. he urged her to give up this scene of revelry. He went; and the young wife was left alone. She willingly acceded to the request, and when | At first she could do nothing but weep; but in a the evening came, and she heard the carriages little time her tears were dried; and the enemy rolling past, although she would much have liked of her better self, Lady de Courcy, again came to be there with Harry, she consoled herself with forward, and proposed their living together once the idea that she had won his approbation, and
more. Florence knew that Harry would have would be rewarded by his smile on the following said, “ no,” had he been present, for he did not day.
like Lady de Courcy ; but he was not present, so Florence said “yes," and, in accordance with
that "yes,” she soon after gave up her own house, Twelve months have passed; and the bells of St. and took up her abode with Lady de Courcy. Mark's ring merrily, as a fair young bride steps Harry had placed the two hundred a year at the into the carriage waiting for her at the church disposal of Florence, and Lady de Courcy kuowdoor. Her husband springs in after her, and as ing this, bad her own reasons for wishing Florence he looks at her lovely face, and removes the long to live with her. Time passed on ; eighteen gay white veil that he may see it more clearly, he and giddy months flew away, and Florence became clasps her to him, and thanks God for having more and more heedless. Led away by excite. given bim such a wife. And she looks so trust. ment, she lived on the admiration of the moment; ingly at him. He is the only friend she has on and slander at last raised its voice against her, and earth, and she loves him with all her heart and coupled her name with that of the greatest roué
of St. Helier's, Sir Edward Bellinghame, who, The beautiful Mrs. Vane became an attractive always with her, always by her side, gloried in feature in Jersey society. Her husband was rich, that report, which, gratifying to him, was ruin, and he only thought of employing his money for disgrace to her. Christmas came, and Christmas her pleasure ; perhaps he was too indulgent to her, bills—tradesmen were pressing. Besides her for he could deny her nothing—he literally wor. debts contracted jointly with Lady de Courcy, she shipped her. Several months of happiness passed, had large bills of her own. She wrote to her hus. and then the first frown of fortune fell on them. band's lawyer (at Lady de Courcy's request) for Harry's father died, and died poor ; he had not money; the demand was refused, with the intima. only lived up to, but exceeded his income, and he tion that her account was already so very much left his son nothing but his debts and a mortgaged overdrawn that he could not advance her anything estate.
more at present. She took the letter to Lady de Harry sold the latter advantageously; paid off Courcy, who, on reading it, looked horror-struck. the mortgage, discharged the debts, and then found “Good Heavens, Florence !” she exclaimed, that he had only about two hundred a-year to live “what are we to do? We must have money, or on besides his pay. It was a great blow to him, the furniture will be seized before the week is out; for he had been cruelly supplied with money by you must borrow some in St. Helier's.” his father; and had been taught to believe that Florence started. father's wealth, which, of course, would descend “You must borrow some," continued her ladyto him, enormous, so it was a dreadful blow. He ship, “Sir Edward Bellinghame would lend you did not care for himself
, but he could not bear to any amount.” think of economy in regard to his wife. And Flo. Florence turned deadly pale. “ Sir Edward rence, how did she bear it ? At first she was Bellinghame," she replied ; "why him of all frightened, and she had strange visions of being others ?"
“ Because you have influence over him ; because "If you will accept my help on no other conhe lives on your words, your looks, because he is ditions, I will; but why are you so changed to. infatuated by you; nay, Florence, I will speak night - so different to yourself, so stern, so proud, plainly; the desperate circumstances in which we so cold ; now do yield, let me feel thatare placed need a desperate remedy; so I say go She silenced him. to him, because he loves you, and would lose his “I will tell you why I am 'changed,'" she resoul to help you."
plied, “ because to-day, for the first time in my Florence stood as in a dream, cold and colour life, I have felt the need of change; stern' because less as a marble statue. Lady de Courcy conti- the cirumstances in which I am placed require to nued—“Go to bim ; tell him bow we are circumbe sternly dealt with ; .cold,' because that feeling stanced ; tell liim that ruin, disgrace stare us in which you misinterpreted, misunderstood, a mere the face; tell him he can save us, you, from buoyancy of heart, a heedless flow of spirits, this."
which was misconstrued, perhaps, by you into But Florence still seemed deaf to her words. something worse, is gone-gone for ever. ThoughtAgain Lady de Courcy addressed her, grasping lessness and vice, although frequently wearing the her arm as she did so.
same garb, are not necessarily always found together. “ Florence, will you save me? I have brought Gay and wild I have been—inexcusably, culpably this ruin on me for your sake,” (what lying so- so; but vicious I am not. Men of the world, such phistry] “ will you not help me out of it?" as you, whose notions of purity have been gradually
One word, only one word, fell from the pale lips worn down by that world's experience, flatter of Florence; it sounded like the voice of the dead, themselves that they understand woman's nature, so hollow was its tone.
and judging our sex thus, do us vile injustice. “Yes,” was that word, which crushed Florence Sir Edward, we shall not meet after this night; to the earth, raised her worthless companion to my attorney will repay you the sum I have borthe skies. Lady de Courcy began to utter her rowed; but as my parting charge I tell you, when thanks, but Florence stopped her.
you see some poor silly moth fluttering round the That evening, a closely veiled and graceful glitter of the world, when you bear the voice of figure drove to Sir Edward's house. On inquiry slander raised against her, have the courage to he proved to be at home; she entered and was dissent from that voice, and think, even thus Once shown to the drawing.room.
men spoke of Florence Vane, yet she stood firm in Sir Edward rose as she came in, and a surprised the hour of trial. Now then, the notes if you look of delight lit up bis face, as he recognised please, two hundred will be sufficient. Will you her. “To what am I to attribute the unexpected be kind enough to draw up a promise of payment ?" pleasure of this visit, my dear Mrs. Vane;" he He did so, and she signed it. “ You will give me said, as taking her hand he lead her to a seat. the duplicate of this promise, with a statement
"To necessity," she replied, as, refusing to be that the original is in your possession; your copy seated, she remained standing before him, “to an may be lost, in which case, this will remain, bumiliating necessity, the consequence of a proving that in a mere business light I have asked thoughtless, almost vicious career. Sir Edward, I this sum. Thank you, and now, good-night." come at the express request of Lady de Corrcy to She held out her hand to him he took it, and borrow money of you. Do not interrupt me if wrung it with a far more intense and better feeling you please, hear me to the end; let my shame be than he wouid have done a few minutes before. complete, the measure of my disgrace filled up. He had learnt to esteem, to reverence the woman, This affair must be a mere business transaction whom he had hitherto considered a mere baublebetween us ; nay, no protestations I beg, I deem a beautiful toy. them insulting - I am little versed in such matters, Florence appeared to have suddenly changed her but you will probably inform me what acknowledg. nature. No longer the butterfly of society, she ment you would take from a stranger for a sum of tried to understand the tenour and extent of her money borrowed ?”
embarrassments; but alas ! the evil consequences “I will have no acknowledgment from you, of the whole system of her life (or rather the none but such as will live in your memory; none want of system), could not be undone in a single but your gratitude," he replied.
day. Think as she would, she could see nothing “Then,” she said, and her look expressed her except that her debts amounted to many hundreds, unalterable determination; "then, I can accept no and she had only two to discharge them. aid from you; the world would be disposed to A month passed—a month of misery; people interpret my gratitude uncharitably ; my bus began to talk of the pecuniary difficulties of the band's name demands, that you receive from me beautiful Mrs. Vane and the gay Lady de Courcy. such a receipt or promise of payment as will mark The visit of the former to Sir Edward had by the nature of this transaction, prove its purity. some means transpired, and sneers, and hints, and Now Sir Edward I ask you on these terms to cold looks were bestowed on Florence, who, no lend me the sum Lady de Courcy named as suffi- longer able to entertain, now seemed to be concient to defray all immediate claims ; will you do sidered a legitimate mark for the envy and ill
nature which her beauty bad all along excited..
She was now " forgotten" in invitations; un- He was sitting by his wife, as usual, silent and avoidably left out of parties of pleasure; she did brooding, when his fingers unconsciously turning not regret the parties, but she felt the intended over the contents of the workbox, this paper, from slight. At last, one day the post brought her an some cause or other, attracted his attention, and he Indian letter. She tore it open; it announced her took it up. With an eager, hasty movement, husband's return-sick-ill almost unto death ; he Florence attempted to snatch it from him; but he sought his native country as the last hope of held it tightly in his grasp, as he scanned its life. With an aching heart she read the letter. contents. What a home for him to come to ; what a tale for “ Florence, what does this mean?” he said, as him to hear! Harry Vane, one of the most he pointed to the name of Sir Edward ; “ Florence, honourable men in the world, to find his wife an in the name of God, I command you to tell me the outcast, her name sullied, overloaded with debts, truth-Was this the price of your guilt P!! -not the consequence of misfortune, but of folly ! “ Harry,” she cried, as she knelt before him; -it was horrible to think of.
Harry, for Heaven's own love, in Heaven's own She read the letter over again ; his words were, charity, believe me; I have been most culpably "I am off for England; almost as soon as this thoughtless, but never guilty. No, not even in arrives, I shall be with you.”
thought has my faith ever for one moment wandered She dreaded his return! And that it should from you; and any vicious act, you dare not impute come to this, that she should now fear to meet to me.” She raised her face and looked at bim ; him from whom, only two years since, it had been there was the dignity of truth in those eyes; he agony to part! Sad evidence of the world's trans- believed her. muting power.
“Florence," he answered, “I am thankful for those And now, day by day, she expected him. Ano words; your debts, your extravagance, I can forther letter came; it was from England—he was give; your infamy would have killed me. Never there, and the next packet would bring him to theless, this, (and he pointed to the paper) is a Jersey ; it did so. The morning was cold and grave affair. The terms of intimacy between my rainy, and the wind screamed away as the packet wife and this man must have been great, ere she rounded the pier. Florence stood there in all could have sought and accepted help from him. I the wind, and rain, and storm; she cared for none, must see him on this subject-must redeem my the tumult of her own mind was greater than all. honour which has been pawned to him. No Her straining eyes were bent on the deck of that words, Florence; it shall be so. To-morrow vessel. There, wrapped up in a large grey cloak, morning I go to England to obtain the means of stood he whom she had come to meet, looking so liquidating that debt.” pale and ill.
She was going to say something, but he silenced The cables are thrown to the shore; the packet her. “No remonstrance, Florence, I beg; you grates against the side of the pier. She waits no only add to my misery by each word you utter. It longer ; her rapid feet fly down those slippery is late, go to your bed; you look jaded—and well steps, across the plank, scarcely yet steadied by you may." the sailor's hands, on to the deck; in another He kissed her forehead tenderly; led her to the moment she is clasped in her husband's arms. She door; and then, when he had watched her upstairs, remembers only that she is with him; she clings returned to the drawing-room, and sat down to to him as if from some hidden danger-answers decide, not only on the arrangements of the journey none of his questions, but clings, and sobs, and of the following day, but also on the course of his clings again.
future life. Harry knew the truth. He loved his wife more The dawn found him still there; in another two dearly than aught on earth, but he looked on her hours he was on his road to England. with altered feelings; his trust in her was over. He lingered long in the British island. Florence Friends whispered to him of her faults, and told heard from him occasionally, but his letters were him of her errors ; " for her good and his happi- short and cold. At length he came back, without ness," they spoke of Sir Edward Bellinghame; and, giving her any notice of his return. Not choosing while expressing their perfect belief in the lady's to enter the house of the worn out votary of the innocence, advised him to forbid her even speaking world, who bad been the ruin of his wife, he went to the gay baronet. All these wbispers told on to an hotel, and desired Florence to join him there. Harry. But now came the last blow. Florence She did so. had never confessed to her husband her debt to She was very much changed in appearance since Sir Edward. The duplicate of the receipt which he had seen her before; bad become sad, and pale, he had given her still remained in her possession. and weak; and her beautiful face had an anxious, Instead of sending it to the attorney, she had placed care-worn look. He placed his arm round her it in her workbox; there it lay, forgotten for a waist, and drew her towards him; and she leant while, now to appear and, vampire-like, suck the her head on bis shoulder, and rested there, as a remaining drop of comfort from that heart-broken child might lie on its mother's breast.
There was an unusual weight on her spirits, -A
dread, a fear of something, she knew not what, --a my heart. Oh! could you only know how I have
, presentiment that she would not be with him long. longed to be with you again ; how I counted the She tried to speak, but there was a choking sob in days, hours, minutes, till I should reach you; the
And Harry-his lips quivered, and rapture with which I clasped you to my heart on tears rolled down his manly cheeks. But time that cold, wet deck, you would realise the agony of was fleeting, and he had much to say to her. this hour, when I must part from you for ever ;
"Florence” he began “ look here ;" and he drew you would understand the terrible, heart-rending a paper from his pocket, and placed it before her. sacrifice I make in leaving you. I tell you this, I have seen Sir Edward ; there is your receipt my wife, to prove that my affection for you is as (pointing to the paper); your debt to him is paid. | deep, as lasting, as ever.” Now, you must heed well all I have to say, for I He ceased. Hour after hour passed, and she lay am going to speak to you of your future life. there in his arms, so still, so calm, so quiet, that Your debts, those in which that woman has involved had it not been for her quick and hurried breathing, you, amount to a large sum; this pocket book and the almost painful grasp of her tightening band, contains money for the purpose of liquidating them. he might have thought her dead. That money is taken from the little I saved out She neither spoke nor wept—he fancied she of my father's estate. I need not tell you that the slept—but when he looked at her, her eyes were withdrawal of this amount takes considerably from wide open, and fixed with a glassy stare : the lips your income; but you will have enough to live on were compressed, and her nostrils dilated. respectably,- not extravagantly. Let the past be Suddenly she roused herself, and tried to smile a warning for the future.”
at him. He stopped: there seemed to be something “Harry!" she began—and she spoke with eager which he could not utter lingering on his mind, - restlessness,—"Harry! the vivid pictures which twice he tried to speak, but his voice failed him. have been chasing each other through my brain, At last, with a great effort he conquered his emo. have made me forget time. You will tell me the tion. Florence,” he continued, “there is one
name of the ship you sail in, my husband ? I shall circumstance connected with this painful business watch her course" which you have to learn yet. The diminution in “She is called the Water Lily." our income to a rich man would be nothing; to “ Does she sail from London ?" me it is a serious affair. I cannot afford to live an No; from Southampton." idle life; I must work again. I am going to leave “ Have you taken your passage ?" you. I have applied for—have obtained an ap- “ Yes." pointment; I leave for India within a fortnight." There was a long pause, and then she spoke
She clung to him ; she looked into his face with again. a wild vacant stare, as if she did not understand “Harry; will you grant me one last favour ?" him; “Harry," at length she exclaimed, when she “If I can, I will." could find utterance, “ you are going to leave me; “ Will you take Fazia with you? She pines for going to India again-you, sick and ill, and need her country; indeed, indeed, you will make me ing care ; why not take me with you ? Harry! happy by saying yes." for the love of Heaven, by the affection you once “Do you really mean this ?” bore me, I implore you to let me be your com- I do." panion! don't leave me, Harry; don't leave me “ Then I will take her." here again!" She threw her arms round his neck, He looked at his watch. It was six o'clock. and clung frantically to him.
At seven the packet sailed. Florence insisted on My poor, erring wife !”—and he looked on her going with him to the pier. She left the room to beseecbing face—"Florence, loved as dearly now, put on her bounet and shawl, and tell the ayah to as if you had never sinned against me, I would come with her. She remained away some time, give this right hand to have you by my side ; the and when she returned her eyes were heavy with thought of parting from you has well nigh cost me tears. my life ; but I have battled with my
resolution, “I have told Fazia that you will take her to her conquered myself. I cannot, dare not, will not, own Indian land, Harry,” she said, “and she is my darling, expose you to the dangers of the joyful at the thought. You will be sure not to go station to which I am appointed. The climate is without her.” There was a startling eagerness in unhealthy, the whole district is the scene of blood- her look--a wildness, which alarmed him. « Proshed; no Englishwoman could face such a life as mise me, Harry, that you will not leave England would await her there. If love me still, and without her." would spare me pain, cease to urge me; turn away “I do promise you, sacredly, that I will not quit those dear beseeching eyes; they unman me”- those shores without Fazia." and he wiped the drops from his own cheeks. He answered her earnestly, for a horrible sus“One word more, Florence, not as a reproach, but picion was rising in him. He thought her mind as something which selfishness prompts me to place must be wandering; for now, although his heart in your mind, that it my dwell there. During the was breaking at the idea of leaving her, she seemed years I was away from you, your image never left to be unmindful of the fact; her whole anxiety
was absorbed in the idea of the ayah returning again were loth to withdraw all his glory from a darkto her native land.
ened world. The moon was in her infancy, and Aud, once more, he hears the great packet bell her pure crescent rose apparently from the ocean, toll; it sounded like the knell of his departing while the stars-Heaven's own diamonds -glithappiness. One more clasp of the hand; one tered on the deep Blue canopy of the sky. There more kiss ; one more uttered prayer to Heaven - was stillness, silence round for the hour was late, and he was gone.
She watched him as long as and the passengers, all save one, had gone to rest. her straining eyes could see him; and when she He, with folded arms and heaving breast, still paced could no longer distinguish him from the other that vessel's deck. He seemed in deep misery, for passengers, she watched the packet which contained occasionally a sigh, -and such a sigh,—would hin; then, when that was lost in the distant burst from him. horizon, she turned with a deep and heavy sigh to “If I could only have brought her with me,” the Indian.
he said, as, resting in his weary walk, he leant “Home now, dear nursie,” she said, as she against the side of the vessel ; "If I could only drew the dark hand within her arm, “home now, bave kept her dear face before me; shielded her and prepare for your departure. But first to Dr. from want, and care, and misery,-- but it would Gage, for I have work for him."
have broken her heart, poor child, to have taken The next fortnight was a busy one—for the her away from all and asked her to share my ayah had to prepare for her departure, and Flo- dismal home.” There was a sob, and then a little rence, to whom inactivity now seemed insupport- hand was placed on his shoulder. He turned. able, occupied herself with, and (through the help Florence stood beside him. Once more she was of Dr Gage) succeeded in understanding, her clasped to his heart ; once more she rested on his various debts. She seemed to have become a breast; she was with him again, never to be parted complete woman of business. At the end of the from him, except by death. week, every account had been examined and discharged. Florence was clear of the Jersey world -and a good round sum still remained comfortably The manuscript was finished; but a note attached in the pocket-book.
to it rap thus:It was a warm July evening; one of those “ I told you, some weeks since that the present glowing sunsets, when the sky is a blaze of glory; story would exemplify a principle. Now, as I when a misty languor fills the air, and the buzzing entertain a vivid remembrance of a certain lady's of the insect world seems to add to the lulling obtusity, as to why the “ Daisy" of Grouville was feeling of the moment.
called the “Daisy," I fear the exemplification of The Water Lily, every sail set, every rope in the principle I mention in the foregoing tale may order, lay on the unrufled bosom of the Southamp- remain a mystery. I shall offer one remark, prefer ton river. Like a graceful thing of life, she moved one question, which may lead to the solution of to the gentle ripple of the tide,
What was the cause of Florence Vane's And now a cheer arises from the shore as, her almost insane conduct? And did she obtain the sails catching the breeze, she glides slowly onwards, object for which she sacrificed her husband's hapand takes ber first step on her long, long, southern piness ?” course. On, and on, down that wide river, past “Two questions, and no remark,” I soliloquised. the wooded coast of Hampshire and the rocky Isle However, I am not going to destroy the poetry of of Wighton still, till the dangerous Needles are the tale by appending to it a moral treatise. passed-on again, until all sight of land is lost and But the “moral treatise" thrust itself before my -she is fairly off to sea.
mind, and, clinging there, gave rise in the end to The sun had set; but there was that streak of a train of thought, which at last induced me to say light in the horizon which often lingers, as if he to the pleasant little Island of Jersey-Farewell!
A few weeks since a railway train in the neighbour. | They were to return by a bridge of boats.
The hood of London was run into by the engine of a centre boat gave way, and ten or more persons succeeding train, and twelve or thirteen persons who had been engaged in a commendable manner, were killed. An additional number were grievously only to a late bour, were drowned. injured. The accident occurred to a number of Nearly at the same time, a steamer left Quebec Sunday excursionists, and arose probably from the for Montreal, with nearly four hundred passengers, , officials being overworked on that day.
who crossed the Atlantic in scarch of Canadian In the succeeding week a number of individuals homes, chiefly from Scotland. The steamer bad had formed a party to an island on the Severn. made only short progress on the broad St. Law