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   Chapter 23 CONVALESCENCE.

The Twins By Martin Farquhar Tupper Characters: 4858

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:03


Very slowly did Emily recover, for the blow had been more than she could bear: nothing but religion gave her any chance at all: and the phials, blisterings, bleedings, would have been in vain, in vain-she must have died long ago-had it not been for the remembrance of God's love, resignation to His will, and trust in the wisdom of his Providence. But these specific remedies gradually brought her round, while the kind-eyed doctors praised their own prescriptions: and after many rallyings and relapses, delirious ramblings, and intervals of hallowed Christian peace, the eye of Love's meek martyr brightened up once more, and health flushed again upon her cheek.

She recovered, God be praised! for her death would have been poor Charles's too; and the same grave that yawned for her and him would have closed upon their father also. Even as it was, when she arose from off the weary bed of sickness, it was to be a nurse herself, and watch beside that patient, weak old man. He could not bear her out of his sight all the fever through; but eagerly would listen to her hymns and prayers, joining in them faintly like a dying saint. With the saddening secret, which had so long pressed upon his mind, he seemed to have thrown off his old nature, as a cast skin: and now he was all frankness for reserve, all piety for profaneness, all peacefulness for blusterings and wrath.

He remembered then poor Julian and his mother: taking blame to himself, justly, deeply, for neglected duties, chilling lack of sympathy, and that dull domestic sin, that still continued evil of unnatural omissions-stern reserve. And he would gladly have seen Julian by his bedside, to have freely forgiven the lad, and welcomed him home again, and begun once more, in openness and charity, all things fair and new: but Julian was not to be found, though rewards were offered, and placards posted up, and emissaries from the Detective Police-force sought him far and wide. Alas! the bold bad man had heard with scorn of his father's penitence, and knew that he would gladly have received him;-but what cared he for kindnesses or pardons? He only lived to waylay Emily.

As for Mrs. Tracy, she was seldom in a state to appear; but one day she managed to refrain a little, and came to see her husband, almost sober. I was, authorially speaking, behind the door, and saw and heard as follows:

The old man, worn and emaciate, was weakly sitting up

in bed, and Emma by his side, with the Bible in her lap: she casually shut it as the mother entered.

"Well, Miss Warren, there's a time for all things; but this is neither morning, noon, nor night: nor Sunday either, nor holiday, that I know of; it's eleven o'clock on Tuesday, Miss-and I think you might as well leave the general at peace, without troubling him for ever with your prayer-books and your Bibles."

"Jane, my dear, I requested it of Emily; come and sit by me, and take my hand, wife."

"Thank you, sir, you are very obliging: not while that young woman is in the room.-You ought to be ashamed of yourself, General Tracy."

Poor Emmy ran away to weep. It seems that, in her delirium, she had spoken many things, and the servants blabbed them out to Mrs. Tracy.

"Ah, my poor wife, indeed I am: both ashamed and sorry-heartily sorry. But God forgives me, Jenny, and I hope that you will too."

"Upon, my word, general, you carry it off with a high hand: and, not content, sir, with insulting me in my own home by bringing here your other women's children, you have expelled poor dear, dear Julian."

"Jane, if you will remember, he ran away himself; and you know that now I gladly would receive him: we are all prodigal sons together, and if God can bear with us, Jane, we ought to look kindly on each other."

"Ha! that's always the way with old sinners like you-canting hypocrites! Be a man, General Tracy, if you can, and talk sense. I never did any harm or sin in all my life yet, and don't intend to: and my poor boy Julian's well enough, if they'd only let him alone; but nobody understands his heart but me. Good boy, I'm sure there's virtue enough left in him, if he loves his mother."-If he loves his mother.

"Jane, dear, I sent for you to kiss you; for I could not die in peace, nor live in peace (whichever God may please), without your pardon, Jane, for a thousand unkindnesses-but, especially for the sin that gave me Emily. Forgive me this, my wife."

"Never, sir!" rejoined that miserable mind; and fancied that she was acting virtuously. She thrust aside the kindly proffered hand; scowled at him with darkened brow; drew up her commanding height; and, calling Mrs. Siddons to remembrance, brushed away in the indignant attitude of a tragedy queen.

Emmy ran again to her father, and the vain bad mother to her bottle; we must leave them to their various avocations.

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