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is best and holiest—if you respect Him that's above, then tell it to me.”
Maxwell felt the solemnity of the adjuration, and dared not evade it ; and it may be that he was glad to be forced, by a superior will, to make a communication for which he had been in vain trying to summon resolution for the last two weeks.
“Margaret,” he began, in a faltering voice, “it is true, as I have told you many times, I do love you as I never did, nor ever shall love another. I never spoke a false word to you-you are my first love, and you will be my last-but-but-there are others to consult-I am not free to follow my own wishes-the truth is, Margaret, my father has feelings about your people, and he never will give them up.
He took a solemn oath before me and my mother. •I swear,' he said, “I'll cast you off for ever, if you marry one of the Paddy folks!'-my mother, you know, is sickly, and I am her only child, and if it went to this, it would break her heart, and so she told me-and, Margaret, if I can't marry you, I don't care who I marry—and so, this being the true state of the case, and no help for it that I can see, I have made as—as good as an engagement with Belinda Anne Tracy."
Margaret kept her eye steadily fixed on him till he had finished. She then drew the guard-chain from the crucifix, threw it away, and pressing the crucifix to her bosom, turned off without speaking a word. William followed her. “Margaret, Margaret,” he said, “ do let us part friends—you cannot be more sorry than I am-only say you forgive me !" But he spoke in vain; Margaret made no reply, except by motioning to him to leave her; and perhaps glad to escape from the piercing rebuke of that sweet countenance-more in sorrow than in anger-he mounted his horse and rode away ; bearing with him—to be for ever borne—the conviction that the heaviest visitation of his father's anger
would have been light, in comparison with the sense of a violated faith to this loving, true-hearted orphan-stranger.
Maxwell had but just disappeared when Margaret met her brother James. “Is it you, Margaret ?” he said: "God's blessing on you, then! but what are you fretting at?".
“I'm not fretting, James, dear."
“Now, Margaret, what's the use of telling me that, when you don't so much as lift your eye to me, and your cheek is as white as that bit of muslin round your neck? Is it Mrs. Ray that's been after chiding you ?"
“Mrs. Ray! No, no, James; she's every way like our own mother to me.”
“Margaret, my sister, my child--for you've neither father nor Vol. X., No. XLIV.– 18
mother but me-I never yet spake his name to you; if it's Wil. liam Maxwell that frets you,-if it's true, as the boys say, that he's false to you, I'll break every bone in his body."
“ James ! you'll break my heart speaking so. Oh, James, dear, keep God's peace, I pray you ; it's you only in the world I love now. It's a black world. Good night, James. You are far from your place, and you have been hard at work; don't go further with me.”
“I would not leave you, Margaret, dear, a step short of Mrs.' Ray's, but I have promised Mr. John Richards to meet him above the bridge there. I'll come down to-morrow, and remember, Margaret, we two are alone in the world; and for my sake, and for the sake of them that's in their graves, keep up a brave heart. Good night.”—“She did not answer me,” thought James. He stopped and looked after her till she was hidden from him by a turn in the road : “God's heaviest curse will surely fall on him if he's broke her heart, and she so young, and innocent, and beautiful to look upon!" Such blistering thoughts were in James's mind till he joined Mr. Richards.
In the mean time Margaret retraced her steps along the margin of the stream till she reached again Hardy's rock. The heavy clouds had rolled down over the setting sun, and left the eastern sky, where the full moon was rising, cloudless. The moonbeams glanced athwart the firs, silvering their branches, and fell on the summit of the rock: the water under it was still in deep shadow. It was on this rock that, two months before, the moon shining as it now shone, but then on summer beauty, and poor Margaret,
“With hinnied hopes around her heart,
Like simmer blossoms,” that, returning from a fair at Pittsfield, she had plighted faith with William Maxwell. Again she felt herself drawn to that spot probably without any ill design--with only an intolerable sense of disappointment and misery. The scene brought back with intense vividness her past happiness. What it is to remember that under the pressure of present wretchedness, most have felt, and one has described in words never to be forgotten:
“Nessun maggior dolore
James met Mr. Richards at the appointed place. After a few moments he said : “James, you are thinking of one thing and talking of another. What is the matter ?"
James confessed he was anxious about his sister-that she
seemed very unhappy—and he was sorry he had left her to go home alone. Mr. Richards is a young engineer of most kind and active sympathies. James had worked under him on the railroad, and he particularly liked him. He at once entered into the good brother's feelings. “Let us walk down the road, James,” he said: “you can easily overtake your sister, and we can as well talk over our business walking as standing here." Accordingly they proceeded. When they reached the little bridge we have mentioned, Mr. Richards involuntarily paused and looked down the stream, which here and there seemed playing with the moonbeams. “Why, there is your sister, James," he said, "sitting on Hardy's rock."
“The Lord bless her, and so she is !” said James.
The words were scarcely out of his lips when Margaret slid down the steep side of the rock into the pool beneath. James uttered a wild scream, and both young men ran down the road together at their utmost speed. The place was soonest accessible by the road, but that was winding, and the distance was full an eighth of a mile. When they reached the spot, a white muslin scarf Margaret had worn was floating on the water. Both jumped in. James, impelled by the instinct of his affection, forgot he could not swim, and Richards, to his dismay, saw him sinking. He dragged him out, bade him remain quiet, and plunging in again, he very soon brought up Margaret's body. But the time had been fatally prolonged by poor James, and every effort to restore her was unavailing. A company of Irishmen coming from their work below joined them. They entered into the scene with hand, heart, and tongue. “Ha !” said one of them, “it was Judy yesterday was afther saying, 'He'll never marry Margaret' maning William Maxwell. It's that Thracy girl, with houses and lands, he's afther. Curse the Yankees, there's no sowl in them!"
“It's not William Maxwell at all,” said another, “he's a dacent young man; it's his father's rule upon him!” Richards bade them all be silent, saying it was no time now for such a discussion. “Sure that's rasonable,” said one—“And sure I did not mane you at all, Mr. Richards," said the man of the sweeping anathema, " for it's an Irish heart you have, any way, and that's what all the boys say."
James seemed to hear nothing. He was rubbing and kissing, alternately, one of Margaret's hands that was firmly closed, and he at last succeeded in taking from it the crucifix which it firmly grasped. Just at this moment a man had alighted from a wagon, and was looking on. “ The Almighty be praised !" cried James, pressing the disengaged crucifix vehemently to his lips. Mar.
garet having died with it in her hand was to him a token of infinite good.
The looker on, at this action of James, turned to his companion in the wagon, saying —“It's only a Paddy girl,"* goť in, and drove on. The Irishmen, who till then had been too much absorbed to notice him, looked up, and perceiving it was the elder Maxwell, they uttered curses deep and loud, and threatening summary vengeance, they were following when James interposed. “No, no,” he said, with fearful calmness — “lave him to me, boys — when her wake is over will be time enough.” Richards saw him turn away, murmur something in a low voice, lay the crucifix on Margaret's hand, and kiss them both together.
Margaret was carried to the dwelling of an Irish friend ; a priest was brought, and the ceremonies of their religion were strictly observed.
Immediately after the funeral, Mr. Richards, who had scarcely lost sight of James, took him aside - poor fellow, he looked as if he had lived twenty years in the three preceding days. “James," he said, "tell me truly, did you not make a vow to revenge your sister's death ?”
“ Sure I did that, sir on her crucifix, and on the poor dead cold hand that held it. God forgive me - but could I help it? There she lay — dead !. dead!- the sweetest flower that ever blossomed trampled under their feet when I heard the very man that had done it say, “it's only a Paddy girl ! Oh, Mr. Richards, my heart's blood boiled, and my father and my mother it was, and all my people — I heard crying me on to vengeance
and 1 did swear to take their lives — father and son; and I have made confession of the same to Father Brady.”
“And that has saved you from this horrid crime, James ?"
" It's just yourself, Mr. Richards — you and Mrs. Ray. It was just your goodness to me that stilled the howling tempest in my breast — and for your sake, and Mrs. Ray's, I forgave all your people. It was Margaret said — they were almost her last words, “ Mrs. Ray is every way mother-like to me;' and didn't I see the old lady after crying hot ears over her? Sure, Mr. Rich. ards, if there were more like you, and the old lady – God bless her — there would be an end of cruelty and hate, and love would bind all hearts together - even your people's and mine !"
* This expression was in fact uttered by one of our people, and heard by the brother of the girl at such a moment as we have described.
CHORUSES FROM THE GREEK TRAGEDIES.
BY H. W. HERBERT, ESQ.
CHORUS OF TROJAN CAPTIVES.
Melocotpopov Lalapivos. ---Euripides-Troades—v. 794.
King of that isle, which brightest billows kiss,
Alcmena's hero son!
In fierce, revengeful spite, All as they parted from the Doric shore,
The god-like champions swore.
What time unpaid his dear immortal prize-
Those coursers of the skies-
With thunders loud and long !
The spear has scourged the plainThe bloody spear !—Twice, twice, both tower and town,
Old Troy has toppled down!
In vain !-in vain!
With silent steps and slow,