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allowed it full scope while itself walk in the natural sense ; but lying dormant.
when a different guidance was This idea he cherished; yet that needed Hartley found himself very evening he had told her that called upon to be both father and she was “ purely physical.”
mother. And, indeed, sometimes What had he meant ? He knew he doubted whether Elena herself not. But when they were alone he were not more unlearned in spiritual went to her, as she sat idle a steps than even these young chil. moment by the open window, and dren. For there is a strange said to her,
wisdom in infant minds; while “ Elena, what was it I said to Elena seemed devoid of the wisdom you on the balcony, and what did which comes from growth. I mean?"
Her life had been one of those She raised her eyes to his with a which are screened from pain or dumb look in them. He could call disgrace, and no grief had come forth that look in her, as a human to her. Her father and mother, being can sometimes call it forth who had idolised their beautiful in the eyes of an animal. The girl, still lived, and contemplated spirit, unable to attain speech, with unmixed satisfaction Elena in seems in that instant of higher her married life. They saw no sympathy to recognise its own lack. They had used all their dumbness.
efforts to keep Elena's fair brow “I don't know what you meant,” free from lines of care, anxiety, or she said; “ but you told me I was thought, and it was still as smooth
purely physical.' I suppose you and unmarked as ever by those tell. would say that I have no soul. tale corrugations that time brings The words are alike unmeaning to to most of us troubled mortals. Her me. But, do you know, I am be- radiant physical life had helped in ginning to think I am not quite this, for Elena could laugh lightly born yet. Perhaps I have a soul at the minor trials, the little jars somewhere in an egg, only it isn't and discords, which would often hatched. Hatch it, dear, and then vex and depress Hartley's perhaps your Elena will please you better.” over-sensitive nature.
What! She had thought his Perhaps over sensitive; for thought—that a soul-germ, not a surely a man must have searched soul, lay within her? Was it true, out undestined troubles when he then ? And was he to be the can be made moody in the face of Pygmalion of this living statue ? such prosperity and happiness as
If his love—the entire devotion were visible in Hartley's lot. and self-surrender of a man of high Yet so it was with him. All the intellect and of passionate emotions love Elena had to give was his. -had not called forth that soul. She was devoted to him; yet, in life, what yet lay in his power ? that light, laughing, fair-haired What indeed ?
woman, who seemed fitted rather Elena was a mother. A girl and to be a wood nymph, with no a boy had come to her, each lovely duties but those of being happy in the inheritance of her blue eyes and beautiful, than the wife of and golden hair. Elena was a per- an earnest philosopher-in this fect mother according to all physical creature, all softness, affection, standards; yet, sympathetically, mirth, and beauty, he lacked Hartley recognised that she was what? Some higher sympathy in the playmate of her children, not those eyes, some infinitely subtle their elder. She taught them to inner meaning in the touch of
those gentle hands, which should earnest pain or grief by any picture tell him that a soul as well as of or approach to human suffering; woman stood ever by his side. it appeared only to perplex her.
This was Hartley's passionate She was sorry for people who desire, and some of his intimate starved, and would readily feed friends-Egerton, at all events- them; but the dirt and abjectness were puzzled that he should still which gather over and cloud the have patience to hope for
pauper existence drew from her this from Elena. Egerton had
rather an indignation that the laws always held her to be merely a of physical living should be so beautiful eidolon, and no more; broken, than any soul sympathy he had condemned Hartley's or charitableness. choice, and consequently, though Elena, otherwise placed, would shocked, he was not really sur- have ripened into a simple-minded, prised to discover his friend's entirely worldly woman. But present state.
He felt himself Hartley, continually probing her that he would long ago have let nature in his untiring endeavours her slip out of his sympathetic to find its higher springs, prevented life, had he been her husband; this. True, he appeared to proleaving her to fulfil her apparent duce nothing. He only eradicated destiny, as the queen of her drawing from her mind some tendencies room and the centre of a little which he found there; but he had court of admiring friends. He not yet the secret of calling forth knew that he must have wandered growth in a new direction. Elena's elsewhere for
necessary life was passive. Hartley's passympathy, without which to such sionate soul flung itself upon her, natures life is valueless.
and recoiled; unhurt, but in. But Hartley was no wanderer. effective. She
at times He was a man of intense tenacity. troubled and disturbed by his He had chosen Elena in the hope modes of thought and expression ; that he should call to life, by his but her nature was one which put love, the precious soul which re- such trouble aside, and only aimed quired so fair a shrine ; and be- to soothe. lieving that very soul to be the one But Egerton, who frequently was in the universe which could reward in their company, noticed that, after him. His love
his intensity—had the moonlit talk which had ended not awakened the
response he so strangely, a certain change had looked for; yet, even after these come over the pair. Hartley's years of waiting, although depressed peculiar state grew more marked; and discouraged, he was not turned and its effect began to show in the aside from his quest.
faintest possible perpendicular Happiness was to Elena but the furrow which might now and then natural state for all beings; for she be seen appearing between Elena's herself had experienced none other. eyebrows. For she was beginning Hartley had taken her to see some
to realise more distinctly that of the sad spectacles of depraved Hartley was unsatisfied in her; and miserable human living
which and her natural pride was hurt at our modern civilisation affords ; this, though she most but, though Elena physically re- earnestly desired to satisfy him; so coiled from the contact, she looked that they grew a degree wider with wonder, not with yearning, apart than before. upon the unfortunate beings before Elena," said Hartley one her. He could not rouse her to night, as the two stood together
upon the balcony after the departure Earlier than usual she rose and of their guests; “ Elena, I begin began to dress, for she wondered to believe that nothing but pain at Hartley's absence. But she was will change you from the ease and not dressed-she stood, with her laughter-loving woman that you long light hair in her hands, plait. are content to be. God grant I ing its length together, when a low may not be right; yet I fear it is knock came to her door. so, for love and happiness are Her maid entered, and Elena, alike mere matters of every day to looking at her, saw at once that you. What say you, Elena ? will some great thing had taken place. you come forth nobly at the call of And rushing past her, by a strange pain ?"
instinct she flew through the pasElena leaned against the bal. sages barefooted as she was, until cony, which was all clothed with she came to where lay Hartley's climbing roses, and, gathering body-bruised, injured, lifeless. some, she placed them in her dress, Elena stood a moment gazing giving her attention, apparently, upon the sight, and the maid, to these and not to him.
terrified, approached her. But “ What say you, Elena ?” he re- Elena shook her aside, and at last peated. The faint line between cried aloud, her brows deepened as she replied, “You called me-oh, Hartley, still playing with the flowers : let me come to you !”
“That I am weary of these vain But in that cry the new amazewords of yours, Hartley. How can ment ended, and the anguish of you make me other than I am ?” loss descended, and overwhelmed
There was a discouragement and Elena. She flung herself upon a coldness in her tone which chilled the dead form' that had been her him more utterly than any speech husband. The day passed the of hers had ever done before. He night came and went-and Elena's turned away, and, without any reply mother sat silent and awestruck by to her, left her.
her side, so terrible was the visible Soon after she heard him leave awakening of Elena's inner life the house. He wandered out into under the resistless power of grief. the beautiful moonlight, as was A strength of passionateness that his frequent custom.
was altogether new seemed born Elena lingered awhile amid the within her, with power to tear roses; and then, being tired, went and rend the frail beauty of to her room. She was nervous and the physical form. Her children excited, though she knew not why, could attract no notice from and she found it difficult to rest. her. She was wholly rapt in the But her equable habit came to her new realisation of her husband and rescue, and she slept, like an inno his love which had come to her cent infant, the quiet sleep that with his loss. She felt a life preserves the physical beauty. The within her, and knew at length the dreamless hours passed over her deep yearning of the spirit. So unmarked, until—and the gray amazing was this to her, that she light of morning was then filling could not be diverted from the grief the room—she started suddenly for him who had given, not only his from her slumber, thinking she love, but at last his life, in the heard Hartley's voice call “ Elena, arousing of her soul-existence. Elena.” But he was not in the She thought not of the physical room, and she lay down again un accident which had caused Harteasy and disturbed.
ley's death : in her new intensity
of love and bereavement, it was to Long he lingered in the chamber ner as if he had willingly given his of death, looking with wistful eyes life.
upon the two inanimate forms. Those around her saw at last And when, at last, he felt that he that her physical health was giving must go, he quickly stooped and way. The soul was tearing its severed a single tress of Elena's bonds asunder, in its agonized golden hair, and a dark curl from desire to respond to the dead Hartley's forehead. Holding these lover's call. After another day and in his fast-closed hand, he went another night had passed, Elena's with drooping head from the house. body lay motionless by the side of Egerton was a solitary man. He Hartley's. They said she died of had never had so intimate a friend rupture of the heart.
as Hartley. The disposition which Egerton-among many other had made him so keenly sensitive friends who were awed by these to the beautiful Elena's deficiensudden deaths—came to look upon cies of character had, through life, the forms of his friends, before the led him away from ordinary society, day when they were, together, to He was essentially a student, and be buried in one grave.
a thinker, and such men, especially He looked long
and wonderingly if they are good judges of characupon
the faces : for upon Hartley's ter, seldom form many had come a satisfied smile, as of friendships. Their choice is too contentment and rest. That smile limited. he had seen a dead face wear Consequently his evenings, and before ; but the expression of often his days, were spent in the Elena's struck him more deeply peaceful seclusion of his study. with wonder. An indescribable Here he wrote and read ; and, after something appeared in every line Hartley's death, spent many hours of the countenance, which made in deep and silent thought. Never Egerton murmur to himself, as he before had he been so intensely leaned over her, and placed a rare aroused to an interest in life as a white lily in the fair aureole of whole ; never had he so desired to hair,
dip into the before and after which “It is strange—but I could lie on either side the brief earth fancy a soul looked out from pilgrimage. The feeling that his this face ! What can it mean one friend had stepped into the —that this form, now become more hereafter seemed to him to have absolutely physical than ever, created new and strong link should only now indicate the spiri- between himself and the unseen tual ?"
world where that hereafter lies. “Is it possible that, in death, Many sad souls, whose strongest Elena Hartley has found life? Is ties have been rudely severed by not this magical smile a message
the scythe of the Death Angel, from the world of absolute living, have shared in this feeling; but printed upon this piece of clay, not many have so given themselves which I once thought to be the all up to its fascination, or have been of Hartley's beautiful wife ? Had sufficiently secluded from the rough she a soul-and does that noble circumstances of daily living, to spirit, who loved her on earth, still allow it to obtain so deep & love her ?
What would I give to dominion over their minds as it know these things—to have but a did over Egerton's. partial answer to my question- Strange as it may seem, the ings?”
passage of time, instead of wearing
away the memory of Hartley's came upon it, which, though so friendship, only deepened it in him. brief, was so definite that he seemed He could not believe that he had to recognise each finger touch. lost it, and sometimes, as he sat With a sigh of infinite delight and smoking a solitary pipe by his fire- deep emotion he sank back into his side, he would look at the arm- seat. The pressure of that handchair opposite, which stood ready clasp still lingered upon his fingers. for a friend to occupy, until he Nothing now could again persuade almost persuaded himself that he him that Hartley's friendship was saw a shadowy form within it.
gone from him. “And why not?” he would ask He sat with closed eyes, not himself. “Surely our life here is daring again to open them. He half not so deeply remote and clouded, feared the possibility he desired of that a being from a finer state can- indeed beholding a phantom form not even touch upon us, though before him ; he wholly feared to sympathy and friendship should see again the empty chair and loudly call upon him."
companionless hearth. And so he permitted himself to While thus he sat in a state of grow into a kind of habit of conse- suspense his senses were amazed crating the later hours of his even- (not startled, perhaps, for the cause ings to mixed speculations upon of amazement fell so softly upon the possibilities of spiritual exist- them) by a remote, yet clearly ence and thoughts of Hartley and audible sound which came to him, Elena.
And in these dreamy he scarce knew by what channel. moments he would look ever and It was a definite and unmistakable anon at the capacious armchair sound, yet it seemed of too rarified placed so invitingly on the other a quality to reach his mind through side of the hearthrug, as if he the physical hearing. It was a indeed expected that the phantom- voice, and he knew it to be Hartley's like shadow lurking within it would voice. form into something more tangible. “Sympathy, dear friend, is a
It was in the summer that bridge that will span the universe. Hartley and Elena died; their You and I by mutual effort have children had carried roses and conquered the cloudy barrier of jessamine to lay upon their grave. matter." Not until the snow had covered “Is it Hartley?" that grave with a white pall—not
“ You know me. Don't try to until Egerton had passed many hide beneath the cloak of pretended long winter evenings by his study scepticism that you sometimes fire-did the shadow become more used to draw around you. It is tangible.
Hartley and Elena; for to-day, One night, after an unusually my friend, is held our wedding long and absorbed reverie, he raised feast, and I am come to ask you his eyes suddenly to the empty to it. Come! for all who have chair. He sat motionless, and ever loved us will be present, and gazed with indrawn, expectant who should have the post of breath and beating heart, for surely honour but my friend Egerton ? a smile came to him from out that And come quickly, for, though shadow in the chair depths-a matter is a kindly enough prison familiar smile! Irresistibly im- house for those who are hidden in pelled to the action, he leaned sud- its bonds, its atmosphere is foggy denly forward and held out his and disagreeable, and I cannot long hand ; a momentary but firm grasp breathe in it.”