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play misty appearances of light (called nebula), which it is supposed form the material of which worlds are composed.
Arthur's Seat was a noble crag about half way up a mountain, so named, because, when reached from the yellow-pine walk above the valley, it afforded an admirable bird's-eye view of all the land which Arthur Lee had cultivated. It was a sublime pinnacle; overhanging rocks above, and a tremendous precipice below, inspired the heart with fearful emotions, yet the prospect would have lured thither even the most timid. The dell was sweetly pictured at the mountain's foot, with its bright streams, its cascade, its smiling enclosures of Indian corn, fruit, and flowers. From this remarkable crag was seen on the right, rising ground, clothed with trees, that nodded their majestic tops to every wind; on the left, the gentle ascent was odoriferous with fruit-trees; and opposite to the spectator was reared a rugged elevation of granite, (yielding in point of grandeur only to Arthur's Seat,) bearing Lucy's Observatory, raised on its front, at a comparatively small height above the level of the ground. Thus was the Happy Valley shut in by
and on whatever side it was viewed, appeared combining sublimity with beauty, romantic wildness with rural simplicity.
The house was small but convenient, with an ovenhouse, and sheds for the cattle, arljoining it.
it. As the polished windows became yellowed with the evening or morning sunbeams, stages of geraniums, myrtles, musk, and lemon-plants, reared against the walls, were watered by the gentle Lucy, and rewarded her for the nourishment imparted, by a richer fragrance, and by more
charming tints. Nor was the humbler, but delightful mignionette, with other plants, overlooked, but all alike rejoiced under the grateful moisture her hand distributed. Next, she fed her fowls, and after that arranged the domestic operations of the day.
Jane was very serious, and always seemed to be full of thought. The pastor took a growing interest in her, and sometimes endeavoured to lead her into religious conversation, bnt she was so excessively humble that he could scarcely draw anything from her. He observed that at family prayers she seemed usually much affected, and sometimes he found her sitting by the marble fountain in tears, reading the Scriptures. She perused all the memoirs of pious individuals that the house afforded; she gathered from Lucy and Arthur all the examples of living persons worthily professing religion, which their memory could supply, and especially sought accounts of such persons as had ventured much, and suffered much., for the sake of doing good.
In the affections she was the same. Lukewarm feelings had no part in her; and yet she was not at all of that sort of character to be termed impassioned or enthusiastic; certainly it would be difficult to draw the line which separated her from those, but it was to be drawn. She was meek in the highest degree, of simple manners, and absolutely impenetrable to provocation. Filial devotedness was the virtue which she most loved to hear of, and any story illustrative of this virtue seemed to open all the springs of her heart. She embraced the doctrine that love, once fired, should not be removed on account of any guilt in the object, but should be steady, unchangeable, immortal; “ For,” said she to Lucy,
“ otherwise love has no grandeur, no dignity, and is unworthy of the praises bestowed upon
it.” “ I think,” said Arthur, who was sitting by her side on this occasion, “ that when the object of affection ceases to be worthy, our love should cease.'
“ If it does cease,” said Jane, “ call it not love-call it by some other name. Esteem may cease—respect may cease ;-but true, unadulterated love-never.”
“ What would be the result of that principle upon the morals of communities?” asked Arthur.
“ What would be the result !” she repeated : “ happiness-peace-these would be the result at last. Did you ever know any thing but love, reform the bad ? Who are the bad, but people who do not, cannot, love truly, any but themselves? Evil, is selfishness !-take away selfishness, all would be happy. And can indifference, dislike, proud contempt, and hard reproaches, ever subdue one grain of selfishness ? No-no; but love every day will soften it, and subdue it.”
Arthur meditated, gazing upon her countenance, which was suffused with blushes for the ardour with which she had expressed herself; her eyes were cast down, and she pressed the hand of Lucy, which lay upon her lap, as if entreating pardon for her boldness. There was another person on whom her words made much impressionClinton—whose eye sparkled with ill-concealed pleasure as he persuaded himself her heart was secretly inclined to him; and rejoiced that whatever she might eventually discover to his prejudice, would not destroy his power over her. But he greatly deceived himself: Jane thought only of her father, who was the sole object of her solicitude. The dangerous interest she had at first taken in
Clinton, had subsided ; particularly as his attentions to Lucy appeared to her so unequivocal, and as she was aware that the latter had already fixed her affections on him beyond the possibility of recall.
Of Lucy's prepossession for him, unfortunately, Clinton was aware, for she was too artless to conceal it entirely. He continued his tender attentions to her, omitting no means for fixing her attachment, except that of a positive declaration, which he guardedly avoided.
On this day he reclined by her side, after having amused her with some of her favourite strains : the guitar upon which he had played was on her knee, and every now and then he whispered to her, and touched the strings with gaiety.
" Leave them to finish their debates, Lucy,” said he, in a low, bland voice, bending his head toward Arthur and Jane, who still continued to converse, “and let us go to the spice-wood thicket in search of some specimens of those plants I told you of yesterday.”
“ Ogo, sister, go!” cried Arthur; “we can very well spare you both.— I have something particular to say to Jane."
“No doubt,” said Clinton, affecting to laugh, but inwardly chafed.
Lucy pressed the hand of Jane; an open basket of roots and wild-flowers hung on her arm, which Clinton transferred to his own, taking the guitar also, and then agreed with Arthur and Jane to meet them at Arthur's Seat in a half an hour. Arthur, with a thoughtful and anxious look, watched them slowly ascend to the top of the orchard, where they stopped a moment, and smilingly waved their hands to him. As soon as they were out of
- Let me go, I
sight, Jane would have returned at once to the house, but Arthur gently detained her.
“Stay a few minutes,” said he: “I have for some time sought a private conversation with you, and I must not lose the present opportunity. How long have you and Clinton been here, Jane ?”
“ 'Two years this month," she answered, and sighed abstractedly.
“ Do I mistake the meaning of that sigh ?” said he; “ Are you not wearied of the Happy Valley ?”
“ Wearied !” she repeated, half unconscious of her words: “Oh no—not wearied ; if I could only hear something of my father I should not wish to leave it; but—"
“ Go on,” he said.
“ I have said too much," she cried. beg of you!"
“ You shall not go, Jane,” said Arthur, “until I know from your own lips whether you will be my wife or no.”
Jane turned away from him with confusion and surprise. He followed her, and said, “ I have not the accomplishments of Clinton, or I would have wooed you differently; but if you will accept a plain offer from a plain man, Jane, as you are a sensible girl, say so? I have already spoken to my grandfather, and you must not think that our engagement would want his favour. He only wishes for the true happiness of my sister and myself; and I have his own authority for saying, that he believes you, dearest Jane, can, if you will, make me permanently happy for the rest of my life.”
Jane was distressed : she seemed to wish to say something of moment, but checked herself. She was not totally indifferent to his suit, yet her demeanour forbad