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Sedgwicie, Caliennefuad lauteng
"SIXTY YEARS SINCE” IN AMERICA.
AUTHOR OF “HOPE LESLIE,” “REDWOOD,” &c.
The Eternal Power
IN TWO VOLUMES.
PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS,
NO. 82 CLIFF-STREET,
18 3 5.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1839,
By HARPER & BROTHERS, In the Clerk's Office of the Southern District of New York
THE LINWOOD S.
“Ignomy in ransom, and free pardon,
It is reasonable to suppose that the disclosures which occurred in Sir Henry Clinton's library would be immediately followed by their natural sequences : that love declared by one party, and betrayed by the other, would, according to the common usages of society, soon issue in mutual affiancing. But these were not the piping times of peace, and the harmony of events was sadly broken by the discords of the period.
The conflict of Mr. Linwood's political with his natural affections, at his eventful meeting with his son, was immediately followed by a frightful attack of gout in the stomach-a case to verify the theories of our eminent friend of the faculty, who locates the sensibility in the mucous tissue of that organ. Isabella, afflicted on all sides, and expecting her father's death at every moment, never left his bedside. In vain Meredith besieged the house, and sent her message after message ; not he, even, could draw her from her post.
My life depends on you, Belle,” said her father : "the doctor says I must keep tranquil-he might as well say so to a ship in a squall—but my child, you are my polar starmy loadstone-my sheet-anchor-my every thing; don't quit me, Belle !” She did not, for an instant.
"Bless me! Mr. Meredith," said Helen Ruthven, on entering Mrs. Linwood's drawing-room, and finding Meredith walking up and down, with an expression of impatience and disappointment, "what is the matter-is Mr. Linwood worse ?"
“ Not that I know.”
“The family! the old lady surely can take care of him; is Isabella invisible ?-invisible to you?"
“ I have not seen her since her father's illness."
“My heavens ! is it possible ! .well, some people are better than others.” "I do not comprehend you, Miss Ruthven."
My meaning is simple enough; a woman must be an icicle or an angel to hang over an old gouty father, without allowing herself a precious five minutes with her lover."
“ Miss Linwood is very dutiful!" said Meredith, half sneeringly, for his vanity was touched.
“Dutiful !-she may be-she is undoubtedly-a .very, very sweet creature is Isabella Linwood; but I should not have imagined her a person, if her heart were really engaged, to deny its longings and sit down patiently to play the dutiful daughter. I judge others by myself. In her situation-precisely in hers,” she paused and looked at Meredith with an expression fraught with meaning, “I should know neither scruple nor duty."
There was much in this artful speech of Helen Ruthven to feed Meredith's bitter fancies when he afterward pondered on it. If her heart were engaged!” he said, “it is—I am sure of it—and yet, if it were, she is not, as Helen Ruthven said, a creature to be chained down by duty. If it were ! -itis-it shall be-her heart is the only one I have invariably desired—the only one I have found unattainable.. I believe-I am almost sure, she loves me; but there is something lacking—I do not come up to her standard of ideal perfection !-others do not find me deficient. There's poor Bessie, a sylvan maiden she--but there's Helen Ruthven the love, the just appreciation of such a woman, so full of genius, and sentiment, and knowledge of the world, would be-flattering.'
These were after-thoughts of Meredith, for at the time his interview with Miss Ruthven was interrupted by Rose putting a note into his hand, addressed to Sir Henry Clinton, and requesting him, in Miss Linwood's name, to deliver it as soon as possible.
“Pray let me see that !” said Miss Ruthven ; and after examining it closely on both sides, she returned it, saying, “Strange ! I thought to have found somewhere, in pencil, some little expressive, worldfull-of-meaning word; as I said, some people are very different from others !"