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more points of domestic interest. The principal topics had reference to the sugar that had been taken from the maple trees of the valley in the late month of May, which was compared with that procured in past years from the same trees, and with that laid in by other settlers from other maples, in distant woods. The merits of the new apples were next examined, and the worth of the quantity expected to be gathered in roughly estimated at market price. The approaching wheat-harvest was of great importance in the colloquies of the table, but in its turn gave way for the introduction of other produce of the season, in field, orchard, and garden.
“ Farewell! and when thy days are told,
Ill-fated Ruth! in hallow'd mould
Arter tea, Jane conversed privately with the Pastor in his study, and was leaving him, when Clinton met her.
Jane,” he said softly, “ step into the garden with me, I have something particular to communicate to you -I beseech you do not deny me.”
Jane stood still; she was perfectly aware of the nature of that which he had to communicate to her ; yet she hoped, the opportunity here afforded her, might be turned to Lucy's advantage, and be made the means of sparing the family much sorrow. Under this sudden impression she walked out to a path between high rose-bushes, and there stopped an instant until Clinton had joined her. She repelled his vehement gratitude for this concession, and gravely assured him, that it was only a principle of duty which led her to speak with him thus, alone.
“ Then am still more bound to thank you,” said he; “and first, while we are uninterrupted, tell me, I conjure you, if you have given encouragement to Mr. Lee?”
Jane was silent. He entreated her again with impassioned language to tell liim. She then replied in a low, but distinct voice -
“ I have;" and added, "having answered your ques. tion, I take the liberty, Clinton, to require an answer to mine. Have you not given Miss Lee reason to think that
you have an unbounded esteem for her ?" “ Dear Jane, you are far more sensible than she is. I have an unbounded esteem for you. She has a trifling annuity of thirty pounds a year ; but you have superior goodness, superior talents—my soul assimilates with yours; with hers it cannot. Many such girls as Lucy I have seen, but never one like
When first I found you, Jane, by Farmer Joshua's trout-pool, (you remember the hour) I felt my heart affected for you most strongly; and when, afterwards, I saw your eye kindly bent upon me, at the time when that fool, the Settler's son, attempted to injure me, I knew Jane, at least, acquitted me, and then I-loved her.” The last two words were pronounced with thrilling emphasis, and immediately Jane turned her head, thinking she heard a faint cry behind the bushes, but, seeing no one, she supposed she had been deceived.
“ We have been here two years," resumed Clinton ; " have been treated well, and made happy enough. But can such souls as yours and mine, Jane, bear to be immured longer in regions of rocks and woods ? I am wearied of solitude and America. I intend to take
my leave of the lodge very shortly. What would be my transport if I could have a companion with me—such as
Jane! Will you go with me? I will take you to England, to my reiatives, who will welcome us io homes of style and splendour. You will be adored there. There are no people in the world like the English nobility ; the society in which my friends move is full of spirit. Abundance of wit, and elegant repartee, will give zest to the refined conversation you will partake in. They are rich, and you will have apartments of your own, decorated with enchanting furniture, and hung with pier-glasses, that will reflect your image from glass to glass. You will have a fashionable servant, whose sole duty it will be to attend to you. And I_”
“ I thank you, I am quite contented here,” said Jane.
Clinton still mistaking her character, was emboldened by her mildness, and went on vehemently urging her to leave America with him, omitting nothing that he supposed likely to inflame her imagination in favour of the journey.
“ I will give you my answer in writing,” said she, "tomorrow morning," thinking this the easiest way of disposing of the question; but he declared he could take no denial, for his very life was at stake, and she must agree to go with him.
“ Then, not to keep you in doubt," said she, “ I reply at once-I cannot go from the valley with youl--1 have given my word to Mr. Lee, and I must keep it."
“ You speak so coldly, with so much apathy, as if love was a set of formal lawyers deeds—a bundle of written promises. But how spoke Shakspeare's Juliet
'My bounty is as boundless as the sea;
My love as deep.' You are no Juliet-no Sappho—no Dido-Jane. You should elevate your heart to love with more nobilitymore fervency—more passion.”
Jane smiled. “I do not admire the two last," she said; “ the other I would not wish to imitate.”
“ Not admire Sappho and Dido, those wonderful women !--not imitate a Juliet!"
" I have read little of the latter,” said Jane, " and nothing of the former; what I know of them has been derived from you. You have recited to Lucy and I a great many passages from Virgil, about Dido, come poems of Sappho, and some of Juliet's speeches, all containing fine beauties, I dare say, but surely dangerous when held up to young women as examples. Excuse my presumption; I give my opinion--it may be foolish what I say. We like and dislike from impulse, and often know not why.”
“ There is one character you like,” said Clinton, “Madame Cottin's Elizabeth."
“Ah, yes,” said Jane; “ she devoted herself to obtain her father's pardon—went from Siberia to Petersburgh, on foot, alone. That is such a journey as I should like to have taken. I wish I had been Elizabeth. How happy she must have been when she saw her father free !"
“ But that was only an imaginary woman.”
“ Not imaginary altogether ; Madame Cottin had, I dare
say, seen some one who would have been capable of filial virtue as great. Simple, unobtrusive goodness, is to be found in the world as well as in works of fiction.”
“ I think you would be equal to Elizabeth, in similar circumstances,” said Clinton.
“ I fear not,” said Jane ; " and yet, for my father, I could sacrifice much-and he is not a parent like hers.”