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No one durst tell Lucy that he was gone. The storm
A splendid evening ushered in a night of beauty. She was not removed from the sofa of the family apartment, and when the family were all withdrawn, she sat up partially, and looked through the windows with eyes full of calm tears. Jane, who was still her companion, about eleven o'clock, brought her medicine to her. When Lucy had drank it, she looked at Jane with an expression of affection, and rested her head on her bosom.
“Give me your hand, Jane," she murmured in weak tones; “ here, on my heart. Jane, I had hoped to see you married to my brother, but I must now relinquish the hope. I am in my last sickness--I feel it--I know it." There was a mournful silence. Jane could not trust herself to speak, but she bent her head and kissed with fondness the pale forehead which was supported on her bosom
“How pure-how celestial !” Lucy exclaimed, locking her hands in each other, as she beheld the moon, and the ether round that fair planet, which was of a surpassing green, ineffably woven with her light. “ How wonder
. fully lovely!” a veil of rich purple cloud was stretching across the moon's track, filmy and transparent as the web of the gossamer.
Neither of them stirred while this effect was operating, but both sighed with a solemn rapture. Presently, Lucy said, “ This is such an hour as best suits death.”
My dear Lucy, you are sad,” said Jane. Lucy rejoined, “ You think so because I speak of death. But why is death sad ? Does it not seem that it should be otherwise? It ought to be pleasant to us
to die. Christians should rejoice to die-for to them the dark portals of the grave are openings to glory.”
Hitherto she had not mentioned Clinton or the conversation she had overheard; and the Doctor had directed that no one should speak to her upon any subject likely to cause her agitation. But now she whispered—“ Jane, how was it he was not present during family prayer to
Jane was at a loss how to answer, She could not bear to say any thing that was not strictly true; yet, to tell Lucy the truth, was impossible. Her invention was not very quick, and her feelings were so much excited, that she could only again kiss the forehead of the querist in
“ You weep, Jane,” said Lucy, after a brief pause, during which she had been meditating. Then throwing herself from Jane's supporting arms, she sat upright, and, as the moonlight fell upon the face of her sympathising companion, viewed it with attention.
“ There is grief your countenance," said she. « Grief for me! O God! hold my heart firm while the blow lights."
Jane wound her arms around the sufferer, poured into her ear the softest words which pity and sensibility could furnish, with the most natural and yet earnest manner ; and in the extremity of the need, might perhaps have said something more or less than the truth, had not her organization been so unerringly true to her principles, that she was compelled to tell the secret by violent tears.
was unnaturally calm; she spoke with unnatural firmness :-“ I know you have something to tell
and you it is idle to think of hiding it from me. Has
This question was asked with a decisive and imperative tone, that Jane could not evade, however she might wish to do so.
** Your silence tells me,” said Lucy, closing her eyes, and sinking back on her pillows upon the sofa—“ your gilence tells me.” Jane hung over her: “ How shall I comfort you ?” she said. .
“ I now know the worst that can befall me," was Lucy's only rejoinder. The sofa was large, and so arranged that two persons might lie with ease upon it. Jane placed herself by Lucy's side therefore, and, very soon, fell asleep. When she awoke the sun was shining full into the room, she turned herself, and took the hand of Lucy_dropped it-it was icy and rigid; bent her head down to her mouth—but found no breath there; laid her hand on the heart which last night had ached so sadlybut it had ceased for ever to beat ; and then throwing up her arms to heaven, screamed, “She is dead !-she is dead!"
The wild grief which spread through the house was dismal indeed. The lament was loud and vehement. Arthur, who had given Clinton the coldest adieu possible, on the evening before, was now filled with the bitterest resentment against him. He looked upon his sister as a victim to his cold-blooded vanity. Ile felt that her death
to be attributed to Clinton almost wholly. The Doctor strengthened this idea, by saying, that although there certainly had been signs of a consumption having fastened itself on her constitution, yet, had she lived quietly and peacefully, with a tranquil mind, she might have got over it. Jane repeated now the whole of Clinton's conversation which Lucy had overheard, and Doctor
Bathurst did not hesitate to say that it had been the shock she had then received which had caused her to die so suddenly.
The sofa on which Lucy had expired, and on which she still lay, was lifted with care into the middle of the apartment; two handsome windows, elegantly hung with summer drapery, threw the rays of the sun on it. The body had not yet been disturbed. The three womenservants, silent and awe-struck, stood at the back of the sofa. Jane knelt at the front, sobbing and weeping. Arthur, with masculine intensity of agony, leaned, tearless, over the upper arm of the sofa ; his look was concentrated, his lips sternly compressed, his face pale, and his
eyes turned his sister's lifeless countenance. It was for his sake that no one moved for some time. There was something in his bearing which would have imposed stillness on the most careless individual. All present were conscious that he was suffering a depth of anguish greater than they had ever before witnessed or experienced. All remembered that she was his only sister; that he had never been separated from her a week since his birth; that she had been his friend, his confidante, on all occasions; that she had shared his domestic happiness, his domestic cares; and that they had so tenderly loved each other, that no one could speak of an hour in which they had been seen or heard to be at variance. Their tempers had exactly harmonised; their sentiments had been exactly the same; they had had the same tastes and the same interests; lastly, they had loved at the same time, and under similar circumstances, though hitherto with different results.
But when the Pastor entered, to look upon the relics
of his granddaughter, he inspired even more sympathy than Arthur, if that were possible. He leaned upon the Doctor's arm, and his limbs trembled; coming round in front of the sofa he fell upon his knees by the side of Jane, solemnly repeating the words “ Our Father-Thy will be done— Thy will be done.” He removed the counterpane from the arms and neck of the body. The hands were placed palm to palm, near the neck, and between them was a piece of paper, which the Pastor drew away with difficulty. There was eagerness and curiosity manifested on each countenance present. A few verses were written on the inner side of the paper, in a fine, bold, running hand.
“ This is Clinton's hand-writing,” said Arthur, scanning the lines with a flaming eye.
“ The Lord forgive him," said the Pastor, “ for trifling so fatally with the happiness of an unsuspecting girl.”
These verses were in a passionate strain, flattering her, and avowing an attachment for her of the most ardent nature.
“ Dear, broken-hearted girl !” exclaimed Arthur. “ Would to God this specious villain had never come to our valley! And now he is gone to employ his arts where other maidens, as happy as Lucy has been, may become as she is; where he may desolate other homes as he has desolated this; where he may win other hearts as he won my sister's, and cast them forth, like hers, to grief and death."
“Sorry am I, indeed,” said the Pastor, “ that I brought him to this house. But do not reproach me with that error, my grandson. I was deceived in him as Lucy was. I saw, as I thought, something excellent and