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   Chapter 7 THE COURSE OF TRUE LOVE, ETC.

The Twins By Martin Farquhar Tupper Characters: 6952

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:03


"Emily, my dear, take Julian's arm: here, Charles, come and change with me; I should like a walk with you to Oxton, to see how your little scholars get on." So spake the intriguing mother.

"Why, that is just what I was going to do with Charles," said Emily, "and if Julian will excuse me-"

"Oh, never mind me, Miss Warren, pray; come along with me, will you, mother?"

So they paired off in more well-matched couples (for Julian luckily took huff), and went their different ways: with those went hatred, envy, worldly scheming, and that lowest sort of love that ill deserves the name; with these remain all things pure, affectionate, benevolent.

"Charles, dear," (they were just like brother and sister, innocent and loving), "how kind it is of you to take me with you; if you only knew how I dreaded Julian!"

"Why, Emmy? can he have offended you in any way?"

"Oh, Charles, he is so rude, and says such silly things, and-I am quite afraid to be alone with him."

"What-what-what does he say to you, Emily?" hurriedly urged her half-avowed lover.

"Oh, don't ask me, Charles-pray drop the subject;" and, as she blushed, tears stood in her eyes.

Charles bit his lip and clenched his fist involuntarily; but an instant word of prayer drove away the spirit of hatred, and set up love triumphant in its place.

"My Emily-oh, what have I said? may I-may I call you my Emily? dearest, dearest girl!" escaped his lips, and he trembled at his own presumption. It was a presumptuous speech indeed; but it burst from the well of his affections, and he could not help it.

Her answer was not in words, and yet his heart-strings thrilled beneath the melody; for her eyes shed on him a blaze of love that made him almost faint before them. In an instant, they understood, without a word, the happy truth, that each one loved the other.

"Precious, precious Emily!" They were now far away from Burleigh, in the fields; and he seized her hand, and covered it with kisses.

What more they said I was not by to hear, and if I had been would not have divulged it. There are holy secrets of affection, which those who can remember their first love-and first love is the only love worth mentioning-may think of for themselves. Well, far better than my feeble pencilling can picture, will they fill up this slight sketch. That walk to Oxton, that visit to the village school, was full of generous affections unrepressed, the out-pourings of two deep-welled hearts, flowing forth in sympathetic ecstasy. The trees, and fields, and cottages were bathed in heavenly light, and the lovers, happy in each other's trust, called upon the all-seeing God to bless the best affections of His children.

And what a change these mutual confessions made in both their minds! Doubt was gone; they were beloved; oh, richest treasure of joy! Fear was gone; they dared declare their love; oh, purest river of all sublunary pleasures! No longer pale, anxious, thoughtful, worn by the corroding care of "Does she-does she love?"-Charles was, from that moment, a buoyant, cheerful, exhilarated being-a new character; he put on manliness, and fortitude, and somewhat of involuntary pride; whilst Emily felt, that enriched by the affections of him whom she regarded as her wisest, kindest earthly friend, by the acquisition of his love, who had led her heart to higher good than this world at its best can give her, she was elevated and ennobled from the simple Indian child, into the l

oved and honoured Christian woman. They went on that important walk to Oxton feeble, divided, unsatisfied in heart: they returned as two united spirits, one in faith, one in hope, one in love; both heavenly and earthly.

But the happy hour is past too soon; and, home again, they mixed once more with those conflicting elements of hatred and contention.

"Emily," asked the general, in a very unusual stretch of curiosity, "where have you been to with Charles Tracy? You look flushed, my dear; what's the matter?"

Of course "nothing" was the matter: and the general was answered wisely, for love was nothing in his average estimate of men and women.

"Charles, what can have come to you? I never saw you look so happy in my life," was the mother's troublesome inquiry; "why, our staid youth positively looks cheerful."

Charles's walk had refreshed him, taken away his head-ache, put him in spirits, and all manner of glib reasons for rejoicing.

"You were right, Julian," whispered Mrs. Tracy, "and we'll soon put the stopper on all this sort of thing."

So, then, the moment our guiltless pair of lovers had severally stolen away to their own rooms, there to feast on well-remembered looks, and words, and hopes-there to lay before that heavenly Friend, whom both had learned to trust, all their present joys, as aforetime all their cares-Mrs. Tracy looked significantly at Julian, and thus addressed her ever stern-eyed lord:

"So, general, the old song's coming true to us, I find, as to other folks, who once were young together:

"'And when with envy Time, transported, seeks to rob us of our joys,

You'll in your girls again be courted, and I'll go wooing in my boys.'"

So said or sung the flighty Mrs. Tracy. It was as simple and innocent a quotation as could possibly be made; I suppose most couples, who ever heard the stanza, and have grown-up children, have thought upon its dear domestic beauty: but it strangely affected the irascible old general. He fumed and frowned, and looked the picture of horror; then, with a fierce oath at his wife and sons, he firmly said-

"Woman, hold your fool's tongue: begone, and send Emily to me this minute: stop, Mr. Julian-no-run up for your brother Charles, and come you all to me in the study. Instantly, sir! do as I bid you, without a word."

Julian would gladly have fought it out with his imperative father; but, nevertheless, it was a comfort to have to fetch pale Charles for a jobation; so he went at once. And the three young people, two of them trembling with affections overstrained, and the third indurated in effrontery, stood before that stern old man.

"Emily, child,"-and he added something in Hindostanee, "have I been kind to you-and do you owe me any love?"

"Dear, dear sir, how can you ask me that?" said the warm-affectioned girl, falling on her knees in tears.

"Get up, sweet child, and hear me: you see those boys; as you love me, and yourself, and happiness, and honour-dare not to think of either, one moment, as your husband."

Emily fainted; Charles staggered to assist her, though he well-nigh swooned himself; and Julian folded his arms with a resolute air, as waiting to hear what next.

But the general disappointed him: he had said his say: and, as volatile salts, a lady's maid, and all that sort of r?invigoration, seemed essential to Emily's recovery, he rang the bell forthwith: so the pleasant family party broke up without another word.

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