and go with them; it being scarcely agreeable to stand there among so many gazers, and keeping their friends waiting, into the bargain.

`And so cold as it is too!' said he, glancing with dismay at her slight drapery, and immediately handing her into the carriage. `Markham, will you come? We are going to Paris, but we can drop you anywhere between this and Dover.'

`No thank you. Good bye--I needn't wish you a pleasant journey; but I shall expect a very handsome apology, some time, mind, and scores of letters, before we meet again.'

He shook my hand and hastened to take his place beside his lady. This was no time or place for explanation or discourse: we had already stood long enough to excite the wonder of the village sightseers, and perhaps the wrath of the attendant bridal party; though, of course, all this passed in a much shorter time than I have taken to relate or even than you will take to read it. I stood beside the carriage, and, the window being down, I saw my happy friend fondly encircle his companion's waist with his arm, while she rested her glowing cheek on his shoulder, looking the very impersonation' of loving, trusting bliss. In the interval between the footman's closing the door and taking his place behind, she raised her smiling brown eyes to his face, observing playfully--

`I fear you must think me very insensible, Frederick: I know it is the custom for ladies to cry on these occasions, but I couldn't squeeze a tear for my life.'

He only answered with a kiss, and pressed her still closer to his bosom.

`But what is this?' he murmured. `Why, Esther, you're crying now!'

`Oh, it's nothing--it's only too much happiness--and the wish,' sobbed she, `that our dear Helen were as happy as ourselves.'

`Bless you for that wish!' I inwardly responded as the carriage rolled away--`and Heaven grant it be not wholly vain!'

I thought a cloud had suddenly darkened her husband's face as she spoke. What did he think? Could he grudge such happiness to his dear sister and his friend as he now felt himself? At such a moment it was impossible. The contrast between her fate and his must darken his bliss for a time. Perhaps too he thought of me: perhaps he regretted the part he had had in preventing our union, by omitting to help us, if not by actually plotting against us--I exonerated him from that charge, now, and deeply lamented my former ungenerous suspicions; but he had wronged us, still--I hoped, I trusted that he had. He had not attempted to check the course of our love by actually damming up the streams in their passage, but he had passively watched the two currents wandering through life's arid wilderness, declining to clear away the obstructions that divided them, and secretly hoping that both would lose themselves in the sand before they could be joined in one. And meantime, he had been quietly proceeding with his own affairs: perhaps his heart and head had been so full of his fair lady that he had had but little thought to spare for others. Doubtless he had made his first acquaintance with her--his first intimate acquaintance at least--during his three months' sojourn at F , for I now recollected that he had once casually let fall an intimation that his aunt and sister had a young friend staying with them at the time, and this accounted for at least one half his silence about all transactions there. Now too I saw a reason for many little things that had slightly puzzled me before; among the rest, for sundry departures from Woodford, and absences more or less prolonged, for which he never satisfactorily accounted, and concerning which he hated to be questioned on his return. Well might the servant say his master was `very close.' But why this strange reserve to me? Partly, from that remarkable idiosyncrasy to which I have before alluded; partly, perhaps, from tenderness to my feelings, or fear to disturb my philosophy by touching upon the infectious theme of love.


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