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Dumb, as it muses on the last
Hour of that Man of Fate,
And seasons alternate,
My genius saw him rank,
He fell, he rose, he sank;
From outrage baser yet,
That sun for ever set;
From Alpine height to pyramid,
Where Rhine and Tagus roam,
Unerringly struck home;
With some yet unborn race,
Vouchsafed more deep to trace The stamp of his creative mind In one of Adam's kind.
The stormy, wild, entrancing joy
Of a high-soaring scheme,
The hard-won short repose,
The throne, the exile's woes ;
The Present and the Past
To Him referr'd at last.
His journey's close he found,
And hate no less profound ;
The'whelning waters weigh,
He held so wide a sway, As yet
he strove with anxious eye
Sink heavy on that soul:
Deep secret to unroll,
Crept on his lingering days,
Shorn of their flashing rays,
His busy fancy swarm’d,
With tow’ring ramparts storm'd
Sore was that spirit tried,
A hand from Heaven hied,
Of endless green extend,
Onr utmost wish transcend,
signs of victory crown'd,
Thy lond, triumphant sound,
All hostile passions smooth,
Whose hand can vex and sooth,
THE WILL OF AN IMPLACABLE WOMAN; AND HOW
A SKETCH FROM REAL LIFE.
BY THE AUTHOR OF " THE BISHOP'S DAUGHTER.”
It is remarkable what extraordinary self-reliance man, the creature of a day, will oft-times exhibit; with what deliberate hardihood he will affect to dictate terms to Providence; with what daring boldness he will decide, propose, and plan-forgetful that there is a Being above with whom it specially rests “to permit.
The following brief record of passion and prejudice details events which, partially, came under my own eye. The names of the leading actors in the scene are materially varied, in deference to the feelings of surviving relatives. But to the parties themselves, such alteration is idle. The verdict of their fellows to them is valueless. They have passed beyond the reach of human censure and applause.
But their fate carries a moral often forgotten, and always needful. May it teach the hard-hearted, and the revengeful, and the merciless to forbear, and to forget, and to forgive !
On a couch, in a room expensively furnished, belonging to a large house admirably situated in one of the best parts of W- sat a lady, on whose fierce and marked features impatience and pain were plainly visible. By her, in a most deferential attitude, stood a young girl of some eighteen or twenty summers, whose fair brow was overcast with premature care and gloom; and who was watching with evident and illconcealed apprehension the excited and irascible woman beside her. The contrast was marked and striking. The two beings seemed hardly to belong to the same sex. One-young, gentle, and affectionate, appeared the image of innocence, meekness, and feminine dependence. The other-dark, stern, and forbidding,- was the type of passion, and violence, and tyranny, and selfishness.
The room was well lighted. Costly articles were profusely strewed about it. Indications of ample means were not wanting. And yet its occupants appeared strangely and hopelessly sad. For an hour neither spoke. The younger, with her anxious gaze fixed steadily on the sufferer, seemed hardly to breathe.
The latter at length broke silence.
“Ah! yes ! you may well look at me !" she spoke, in a harsh and angry tone;
" I'm worse
-much worse! I knew that this would be the case !
More pain,-more throbbing, - more fever! So much for that filthy stuff, which you persuaded me to take at the doctor's bidding. Do you wish me dead, girl? On my soul, I fancy that hope to be uppermost !”
The gentle being, thus addressed, spoke not; but looked up, sadly and reproachfully, at her wayward relative.
*“ What! no reply ?" continued the elder lady, angrily; "you don't care to spend your breath on me, eh ?"
Dear, dear aunt !" returned the young girl, eagerly, while tears, which she vainly strove to check, half-choked her utterance, avoid, yes! I am persuaded, you would avoid such cruel and unmerited upbraidings were you aware of the pain they inflict."
“ Your pain can't equal mine !” exclaimed the invalid, sharply-shifting her posture on the sofa, with an expression of great suffering ; "and as for tears—shed them. I intend you to feel. For whom upon this earth, I should like to know, should you feel but for me? Haven't I educated
you, and housed you ? Feel, indeed! You're bound to feel !"
“I do feel,” was the sincere rejoinder, "grieved at your present sufferings; and deeply grateful to you for much and continued kindness.”
“ Miss Ossulton !" cried the other, “ don't use such honeyed words ; they cloy."
“Oh! that any thing I could say,—that any thing I could do,-might have the good fortune to please!" murmured the youthful and anguished
Rap-tap-rap! at the door.
“Miss Ossulton!” was whispered, in a very subdued tone by a low clear voice outside the apartment;
56 Miss Ossulton! the doctor is below in the dining-room.
“And there he may stay!" ejaculated the sick lady. The voice continued,
“ He begs to know whether Mrs. Dunsterville be asleep; and, if not, wishes to see her."
“ Asleep! no! I'm wide awake; and have been all my life!" said Mrs. Dunsterville, sharply. 66 Tell him to be off. I'll follow no more of his directions, and take no more of his decoctions. I'm worse-much worse-after his
visit. Tell him to be off!" “Oh, madam,” interposed the young lady, " send no such message as that, I entreat you. It would be a positive insult to Mr. Sieveright, whose care and attention have been uuremitting. You, yourself, have acknowledged the anxiety with which he has watched your case.”
“Well! He has shown attention, I admit; but that's no more than his duty. He'll be paid for it! I'll not see him! I ought to have been well long ago—that I ought!"
“What am I to say, miss?" persevered the voice at the outside, “ be pleased to give me my answer.
“ You have it,” cried Mrs. Dunsterville, sternly; “ I'll not see him. I'll take no more drugs, and pay for no more opinions. Tell him to be off, he'll be more useful elsewhere."
“I'll say as much, ma'am,” whispered the voice, and ceased.
“Oh! aunt !" cried the young lady, deeply moved, how can you speak and act so harshly! What a return for Mr. Sieveright's kindness! You do him great injustice. And as for recovery, how can you expect it when you refuse a fair trial to your doctor's remedies ?"
“He shall poison me no further, that I'm resolved upon!" was the closing rejoinder of the resolute lady.
Mrs. Þunsterville passed a most uneasy night, was materially worse the following morning ; and her niece desired and succeeded in procuring a second opinion upon
her The view taken of her situation was so serious that, at the suggestion of both her medical attendants, a hint was given her that no time should be lost in arranging her worldly affairs. She received this intimation with her habitual hardihood.
“ I understand you, and the remark does not alarm me. Your impression is mine. I believe I am bound for my last journey. In truth I've
been of opinion from the first that the drugs I've been taking would end me. No cat or
dog could survive them ! And as for a Christian's inside-whew! On other points you think, and I agree with you, that it is time I should dispose of my property. But I must have a couple of hours to consider how and to whom. Meanwhile, send for Mr. Haldimand, my attorney.”
Prior to that gentleman's arrival she had two hours of apparently deep and serious solitary reflection. At the expiration of that interval she rang for her niece. It is doubtful whether so close a relation as that of aunt and niece existed between the parties. Many held they were but very distantly connected. But the relationship, already laid down, was that which Mrs. Dunsterville wished the world to understand as subsisting between them, and the wish was tacitly acquiesced in.
Fanny,” cried the elder lady with an air of stern decision, " I'm about to pay you a sorry compliment. I'm about to leave you what I can't take with me. Now, girl, no tears, no sobs, no sighs. Listen: my
will will convey to you all I possess. The farms at Yelland, my savings, this house as it stands, my plate, carriage, all will be yours, but upon one condition. I must have your solemn promise, nay, your oath, that not one sixpence of your income shall ever pass to your father ; and that you will never permit him, even for an hour, to be an inmate of your house."
The young lady gazed steadfastly on her harsh and forbidding relative, but no word of comment escaped her.
“ You hear me, I presume?" thundered the rich woman, vehemently. “ I do," was the scarcely audible reply. “ And you assent to my conditions?"
Miss Ossulton trembled. Her colour faded rapidly from her face, lips, brow, till she resembled rather a statue than a living, breathing being ; but whatever was her emotion it found no vent in words.
She maintained an unbroken silence.
“Speak, and quickly, time passes, and my share of it is small,” resumed the elder lady, passionately—“in one word, do you
assent?” “I cannot," murmured the niece, slowly and distinctly. “ Then all I have to leave will be bestowed elsewhere." To the inexpressible indignation of the excited Mrs. Duristerville, the sole reply which this potent threat elicited was a mute gesture of acquiescence. Be it so!” she exclaimed, with a forced and frightful laugh.
6 And now where is Mr. Haldimand ? Why does he tarry? Hasten him by another messenger. My instructions will soon be given. And these, she resumed, again addressing her niece while her order was being executed, " and these will chiefly affect you! They will—ha! ha! ha! they will render you a beggar." The pale and trembling being
at whom these innuendoes were hurled replied in low and feeble tones. The gist of her answer it was difficult to gather. But it terminated with the word “endured.” Mrs. Dunsterville pounced upon her at once.
hat sounds well from your lips! You who have from childhood been surrounded with every comfort which money
could cure, know, forsooth, much about endurance! You, who have yet to learn what stint is, have truly had much to endure!! trials are coming ; poverty among them- an awkward-looking foe even · at a distance ; but desperately disagreeable to grapple with at close quarters. You'll know something about it when I'm gone."
6 Åh! yes !