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   Chapter 25 TRIALS.

The Twins By Martin Farquhar Tupper Characters: 5041

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:03


The general recovered; as slowly, indeed, as Emily had, but it is gratifying to add, as surely. And now that loving couple might be seen, weakly creeping out together, when the day was finest: tottering white December leaning on a sickly fragile May. There were no concealments now between them, no reservings, and heart-stricken Emily heard from her repentant father's lips the story of her birth: she was, he said, his own daughter by a native princess, the Begum Dowlia Burruckjutli.

A bitter-bitter truth was that: the destruction of all her hopes, pleasures, and affections. It had now become to her a sin to love that dearest one of all things lovely on this earth: duty, paramount and stern, commanded her, without a shadow of reprieve, to execute on herself immediately the terrible sentence of banishing her own betrothed: nay, more, she must forget him, erase his precious image from her heart, and never, never see that brother more. And Charles must feel the same, and do the like; oh! sorrow, passing words! and their two commingled souls must be violently wrenched apart; for such love in them were crime.

Dear children of affection-it is a dreadful lesson this for both of you; but most wise, most needful-or the hand that guideth all things, never would have sent it. Know ye not for comfort, that ye are of those to whom all things work together for good? Know ye not for counsel, that the excess of love is an idolatry that must be blighted? It is well, children, it is well, that ye should thus carry your wounded hearts for balm to the altar of God; it is well that ye should bow in meekness to His will, in readiness to His wisdom. Ye are learning the lesson speedily, as docile children should; and be assured of high reward from the Teacher who hath set it you. Poor Charles! white and wan, thy cheek is grown transparent with anxiety, and thy blue eye dim with hope deferred: poor Emmy, sick and weak, thou weariest Heaven with thy prayers, and waterest thy couch with thy tears. Yet, a little while; this discipline is good: storm and wind, frost and rushing rains, are as needful to the forest-tree as sun and gentle shower; the root is strengthening, and its fibres spreading out: and loving still each other with the best of human love, ye justly now have found out how to anchor all your strongest hopes, and deepest thoughts, on Him who made you for himself. Who knoweth? wisely acquiescing in His will, humbly trusting to His mercy, and bringing the holocaust of your inflamed affect

ions as an offering of duty to your God-who knoweth? Cannot He interpose? will He not befriend you? For His arm is power, and His heart is love.

Days rolled on in dull monotony, and grew to weeks more slowly than before; earthly hopes had been levelled with the dust; life had forgotten to be joyous: there was, indeed, the calm, the peace, the resignation, the heavenly ante-past, and the soul-entrancing prayer; but human life to Emily was flat, wearisome, and void; she felt like a nun, immolated as to this world: even as Charles, too, had resolved to be an anchorite, a stern, hard, mortified man, who once had feelings and affections. The r?action in both those fond young hearts had even overstept the golden mean: and Mercy interposed to make all right, and to bless them in each other once again.

Only look at this billet-doux from Charles, just come in, and dated Plymouth:

"Huzzah-for Emily and England: huzzah for the land of freedom! no secrets now-dear, dear old Jeanie Mackie has given me proofs positive: all I have to wish is that she could move: but she is very ill; so, as we touched here on the voyage up channel, I landed her and myself, thinking to kiss, within a day, my darling Emmy. But I cannot get her out of bed this morning, and dare not leave her: though an hour's delay seems almost insupportable. If I possibly can manage it, I will bring the dear old faithful creature, wrapped in blankets, by chaise to-morrow. Tell my father all this: and say to him-he will understand, perhaps, though you may not, my blessed girl-say to him, that 'he is mistaken, and all are mistaken-you are not what they think you.' A thousand kisses. Expect, then, on bright to-morrow to see your happy, happy

"Charles."

"P.S. Hip! hip! hip!-huzzah!"

Dearest Emily had taken up the note with fears and trembling: she laid it down, as they that reap in joy; and I never in my life saw any thing so beautiful as her eyes at that glad minute; the smile through the tear, the light through the gloom, the verdure of high summer springing through the Alpine snows, the mild and lustrous moon emerging from a baffled thunder-cloud.

And, although the general mournfully shook his head, distrustfully and despondingly; though he only uttered, "Poor children-dear children-would to Heaven that it could be so;"-and he, for one, was evidently innoculated, as before, with all the old thoughts of gloom, sadness, and anxiety;-still Emily hoped-for Charles hoped-and Jeanie Mackie was so certain.

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