All Rome could not put into him bigotry, nor the Propaganda itself make him a real Jesuit. He was born honest, and not false—artless, and not cunning—a freeman, and not a slave. His tenderness had rendered him ductile in a priest’s hands, his affection, his devotedness, his sincere pious enthusiasm blinded his kind eyes sometimes, made him abandon justice to himself to do the work of craft and serve the ends of selfishness; but these are faults so rare to find, so costly to their owner to indulge, we scarce know whether they will not one day be reckoned amongst the jewels.

And now the three years are past; M. Emanuel’s return is fixed. It is autumn; he is to be with me ere the mists of November come. My school flourishes, my house is ready. I have made him a little library, filled its shelves with the books he left in my care. I have cultivated, out of love for him (I was naturally no florist), the plants he preferred, and some of them are yet in bloom. I thought I loved him when he went away; I love him now in another degree: he is more my own.

The sun passes the equinox; the days shorten, the leaves grow sere; but—he is coming.

Frosts appear at night; November has sent his fogs in advance; the wind takes its autumn moan; but—he is coming.

The skies hang full and dark—a rack sails from the west; the clouds cast themselves into strange forms—arches and broad radiations; there rise resplendent mornings—glorious, royal, purple as monarch in his state; the heavens are one flame; so wild are they, they rival battle at its thickest—so bloody, they shame Victory in her pride. I know some signs of the sky; I have noted them ever since childhood. God, watch that sail! Oh, guard it!

The wind shifts to the west. Peace, peace, Banshee, “keening” at every window! It will rise, it will swell, it shrieks out long; wander as I may through the house this night, I cannot lull the blast. The advancing hours make it strong; by midnight all sleepless watchers hear and fear a wild south-west storm.

That storm roared frenzied for seven days. It did not cease till the Atlantic was strewn with wrecks; it did not lull till the deeps had gorged their full of sustenance. Not till the destroying angel of tempest had achieved his perfect work would he fold the wings whose waft was thunder, the tremor of whose plumes was storm.

Peace; be still! Oh! a thousand weepers, praying in agony on waiting shores, listened for that voice; but it was not uttered—not uttered till, when the hush came, some could not feel it—till, when the sun returned, his light was night to some!

Here pause—pause at once. There is enough said. Trouble no quiet, kind heart; leave sunny imaginations hope. Let it be theirs to conceive the delight of joy born again fresh out of great terror, the rapture of rescue from peril, the wondrous reprieve from dread, the fruition of return. Let them picture union and a happy succeeding life.

Madame Beck prospered all the days of her life; so did Père Silas. Madame Walravens fulfilled her ninetieth year before she died. Farewell!

  By PanEris using Melati.

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