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He was never happier than when he could get Rosamund to walk out with him. He would make her admire the scenes he admired-fancy the wild flowers he fancied watch the clouds he was watching—and not unfrequently repeat to ber poetry, which he loved, and make her love it.
On their return, the old lady, who considered them yet as but children, would bid Rosamund fetch Mr. Clare a glass of her currant wine, a bowl of new milk, or some cheap dainty, which was more welcome to Allan than the costliest delicacies of a prince's court.
The boy and girl, for they were no more at that age, grew fond of each other-more fond than either of them suspected.
“ They would sit, and sighs
And what was their disease, they could not tell.
In this first garden of their simpleness They spent their childhood.” A circumstance had lately happened, which in some sort altered the nature of their attachment.
Rosamund was one day reading the tale of " Julia de Roubigné”-a book which young Clare had lent her. • Allan was standing by, looking over her, with one hand thrown round her neck, and a finger of the other pointing to a passage in Julia's third letter.
“ Maria ! in my hours, of visionary indulgence, I have sometimes painted to myself a husband no matter whom comforting me amidst the distresses, which fortune had laid upon us.
I have smiled upon him through my tears ; tears, not of anguish, but of tenderness ;-our children were playing around us, unconscious of misfortune; we bad taught them to be humble, and to be happy; our little shed was reserved to us, and their smiles to cheer it. I have imagined the luxury of such a scene, and affliction became a part of my dream of happiness."
The girl blushed as she read, and trembled she had a sort of confused sensation, that Allan was noticing ber—yet she durst not lift her eyes from the book, but continued reading, scarce knowing what she read.
Allau guessed, the cause of her confusion.
Allan trembled too his colour came and went -his feeling became impetuous--and, flinging both arms round her neck, he kissed his young favourite.
Rosamund was vexed and pleased, soothed and frightened, all in a moment-a fit of tears came to her relief.
Allan had indulged before in these little freedoms, and Rosamund had thought no bariu of them—but from this time the girl grew timid and reserved -distant in her manner, and careful of her behaviour, in Allan's presence-not seeking his society as before, but rather shunning it-delighting more to feed upon his idea in absence.
Allan too, from this day, seemed changed : his manner became, though not less tender, yet more respectful and diffident-bis bosom felt a throb it had till now not known, in the society of Rosamund-and, if he was less familiar with her than in former times, that charm of delicacy had superadded a grace to Rosamund, which, while he feared, he loved.
There is a mysterious character, heightened indeed by fancy and passion, but not without foundation in reality and observation, which
true lovers bave ever imputed to the object of their affections. This character Rosamund bad now acquired with Allan--something angelic, perfect, exceeding nature.
Young Clare dwelt very near to the cottage. He had lost his parents, who were rather wealthy, early in life; and was left to the care of a sister, some ten years older than himself.
Elinor Clare was an excellent young lady - discreet, intelligent, and affectionate. Allan revered her as a parent, while he loved her as his own familiar friend. He told all the little secrets of his heart to her but there was one, which he had hitherto unaccountably concealed from her-namely, the extent of his regard for Rosamund.
Elinor knew of his visits to the cottage, and was no stranger to the persons of Margaret and her grandaughter. She had several times met them, when she had been walking with her brother--a civility usually passed on either side -- but Elinor avoided troubling her brother with any unseasonable questions.
Allan's heart often beat, and he has been going to tell his sister all—but something like shame (false or true, I shall not stay to enquire) had hitherto kept him back-still the secret, unrevealed, hung upon his conscience like a crime for his temper had a sweet and noble frankness in it, which bespake him yet a virgin from the world.
There was a fine openness in his countenance the character of it somewhat resembled Rosamund's-except that more fire and enthusiasm were discernible in Allan'shis eyes were of a darker blue than Rosamunds-his hair was of a chesnut colour-his cheeks ruddy, and tinged with brown. There was a cordial sweetness in Allan's smile, the like to which I never saw in any other face.
Elinor had hitherto connived at her brother's attachment to Rosamund. Elinor, I believe, was something of a physiognomist, and thought she could trace in the countenance and manner of Rosamund qualities, which no brother of her's need be ashanied to love.
The time was now come, when Elinor was desirous of knowing her brother's favorite more intimately—an opportunity offered of breaking the matter to Allan.
The morning of the day, in which he carried his present of fruit and flowers to Rosamund,