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I MUST confess, notwithstanding all I had said, I felt some little solicitude for the result. Who can calculate on the fortitude of one, whose whole life has been a round of pleasures? Her gay spirits might revolt at the dark, downward path of low humility, suddenly pointed out before her, and might cling to the sunny regions in which they had hitherto reveled. Besides, ruin, in fashionable life, is accompanied by so many galling mortifications, to which, in other ranks, it is a stranger. In short, I could not meet Leslie, the next morning, without trepidation. He had made the disclosure.

"And how did she bear it?" "Like an angel! It seemed rather to be a relief to her mind; for she threw her arms round my neck, and asked if this was all, that had lately made me unhappy. But, poor girl," added he, "she cannot realize the change we must undergo. She has no idea of poverty, but in the abstract: she has only read of it in poetry, where it is allied to love. She feels, as yet, no privation: she suffers no loss of accustomed conveniences or elegances. When we come practically to experience its sordid cares, its paltry wants, its petty humiliations, then will be the real trial."

"But," said I, "now that you have got over the severest task, that of breaking it to her, the sooner you let the world into the secret, the better. The disclosure may be mortifying; but then it is a single misery, and soon over; whereas you otherwise suffer it, in anticipation, every hour in the day. It is not poverty, so much as pretense, that harasses a ruined man; the struggle between a proud mind and an empty purse; the keeping up a hollow show, that must soon come to an end. Have the courage to appear poor, and you disarm poverty of its sharpest sting." On this point I found Leslie perfectly prepared. He had no false pride himself, and, as to his wife, she was only anxious to conform to their altered fortunes.

Some days afterward, he called upon me in the evening. He had disposed of his dwelling-house, and taken a small cottage in the country, a few miles from town. He had been

busied all day in sending out furniture. The new establishment required few articles, and those of the simplest kind. All the splendid furniture of his late residence had been sold, excepting his wife's harp. That, he said, was too closely associated with the idea of herself; it belonged to the little story of their love; for some of the sweetest moments of their courtship were those when he had leaned over that instrument, and listened to the melting tones of her voice. I could not but smile at this instance of romantic gallantry in a doting husband.

He was now going out to the cottage, where his wife had been all day, superintending its arrangement. My feelings had become strongly interested in the progress of this family story, and, as it was a fine evening, I offered to accompany him. He was wearied with the fatigues of the day, and, as we walked out, fell into a fit of gloomy musing. "Poor Mary!" at length broke, with a heavy sigh, from his lips. "And what of her?" asked I; "has anything happened to her?" "What?" said he, darting an impatient glance; "is it nothing to be reduced to this paltry situation? to be caged in a miserable cottage? to be obliged to toil almost in the menial concerns of her wretched habitation?" "Has she, then, repined at the change?" Repined! she has been nothing but sweetness and good humor. Indeed, she seems in better spirits than I have ever known her; she has been to me all love, and tenderness, and comfort!" "Admirable girl!" exclaimed I. "You call yourself poor, my friend; you never were so rich; you never knew the boundless treasure of excellence you possessed in that woman."


"O! but, my friend, if this first meeting at the cottage were over, I think I could then be comfortable. But this is her first day of real experience: she has been introduced into an humble dwelling; she has been employed all day in arranging its miserable equipments; she has, for the first time, known the fatigues of domestic employment; she has, for the first time, looked around her on a home destitute of every thing elegant; almost of every thing convenient; and may now be sitting down, exhausted and spiritless, brooding over a prospect of future poverty." There was a degree of probability in this picture, that I could not gainsay; so we walked on in silence. After turning from the main road, up a narrow lane, so

thickly shaded by forest trees as to give it a complete air of seclusion, we came in sight of the cottage. It was humble enough in its appearance for the most pastoral poet; and yet it had a pleasing rural look. A wild vine had overrun one end with a profusion of foliage; a few trees threw their branches gracefully over it; and I observed several pots of flowers, tastefully disposed about the door, and on the grass-plot in front. A small wicket-gate opened upon a foot-path, that wound through some shrubbery to the door. Just as we approached, we heard the sound of music. Leslie grasped my arm; we paused and listened. It was Mary's voice, singing, in a style of the most touching simplicity, a little air, of which her husband was peculiarly fond.

I felt Leslie's hand tremble on my arm. He stepped forward to hear more distinctly. His step made a noise on the gravel-walk. A bright, beautiful face glanced out at the window, and vanished; a light footstep was heard, and Mary came tripping forth to meet us. She was in a pretty, rural dress of white; a few wild flowers were twisted in her fine hair; a fresh bloom was on her cheek; her whole countenance beamed with smiles. I had never seen her look so lovely.

"My dear George," cried she, "I am so glad you are come ! I have been watching and watching for you, and running down the lane, and looking out for you. I've set out a table under a beautiful tree behind the cottage; and I've been gathering some of the most delicious strawberries, for I know you are fond of them; and we have such excellent cream, and every thing is so sweet and still here. Oh !" said she, putting her arm within his, and looking up brightly in his face, "Oh! we shall be so happy!"

Poor Leslie was overcome. he folded his arms round her; He could not speak, but the tears gushed into his eyes; and he has often assured me, that though the world has since gone prosperously with him, and his life has indeed been a happy one, yet never has he experienced a moment of more exquisite felicity.

He caught her to his bosom; he kissed her again and again.




THE stately Homes of England,

How beautiful they stand! Amid their tall ancestral trees,

O'er all the pleasant land.

The deer across their greensward bound,
Through shade and sunny gleam,
And the swan glides past them with the sound
Of some rejoicing stream.

The merry Homes of England!
Around their hearths by night,

What gladsome looks of household love
Meet in the ruddy light!

There, woman's voice flows forth in song,
Or childhood's tale is told,
Or lips move tunefully along,
Some glorious page of old.
The blessed Homes of England!

How softly on their bowers

Is laid the holy quietness

That breathes from Sabbath hours!
Solemn, yet sweet, the church-bells' chime
Floats through their woods at morn;
All other sounds, in that still time,
Of breeze and leaf are born.

The cottage Homes of England!
By thousands o'er her plains,

They are smiling o'er the silvery brooks,
And round the hamlet fanes.
Through glowing orchards forth they peep,
Each from its nook of leaves,

And fearless there the lowly sleep,

As the bird beneath their eaves.

The free, fair Homes of England!
Long, long, in hut and hall,
May hearts of native proof be reared

To guard each hallowed wall!

And green forever be the groves,

And bright the fairy sod,

Where first the child's glad spirit loves
Its country and its God!




"There blend the ties that strengthen
Our hearts in hours of grief,
The silver links that lengthen

Joy's visits when most brief."

By the soft, green light in the woody glade,
On the banks of moss where thy childhood played,
By the household tree through which thine eye
First looked in love to the summer sky,
By the dewy gleam, by the very breath
Of the primrose tufts in the grass beneath,
Upon thine heart there is laid a spell,
Holy and precious,-oh! guard it well!

By the sleepy ripple of the stream,
Which hath lulled thee into many a dream,
By the shiver of the ivy leaves

To the wind of morn, at thy casement eaves,
By the bee's deep murmur in the limes,
By the music of the Sabbath chimes,
By every sound of thy native shade,
Stronger and dearer the spell is made.

By the gathering round the winter hearth
When twilight called unto household mirth,
By the fairy tale, or the legend old

In that ring of happy faces told,
By the quiet hour when hearts unite

In the parting prayer, and the kind "good-night!"
By the smiling eye, and the loving tone,
Over thy life has the spell been thrown.

And bless that gift! it hath gentle might,
A guardian power and a guiding light.
It hath led the freeman forth to stand
In the mountain battles of his land;
It hath brought the wanderer o'er the seas
To die on the hills of his own fresh breeze;
And back to the gates of his father's hall
It hath led the weeping prodigal.

Yes! when thy heart, in its pride, would stray
From the pure, first loves of its youth away;

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