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Not in themselves, you mean.”
any time be reduced to the necessity of “Not in any way, so much as I care for leaving this.” adding something to the comfort of my “But why look upon the home as for father and mother when I leave them. yourself, Helen, and upon everything as The money which these bracelets cost done to please you ?" would go a long way in their small esta- Henry always speaks of what he does, blishment; and you know it must soon be and of all he has, in that manner." very small indeed.”
“ Dear Helen, what a child you are in "Dear Helen, is it possible that you are these matters ; I must really instruct you in earnest ?"
myself. Don't you see this is only the “ Yes, in sad earnest.”
language of courtship, and a very foolish “Then what it to become of poor as well as false language it is. If Henry Henry?”
pretends it is all for you, you must pretend “I don't know what you mean now.”
it is all for him ; and so, by this pretty “I mean, Helen, that you are not fit to kind of pretence on both sides, all will be be a wife-that you can never make him right and fair in the end.
But, dear happy, good as you are, unless you feel Helen, I must really give you another differently about these little things.” little lesson beyond this, and a more serious
“ It is because they are so little, that I one, too. Would it not be happier for bestow no feeling upon them. I feel for yourself, and better for both, if you would my father, and mother, and for all of you.” | just get into the habit of thinking that all “ And for Henry?”
you do is for him? You are so generous, " Oh ! of course."
Helen, and so kind, I am sure this feeling “ I cannot understand you, with that cold would help you to do everything that he of course.'"
would like, though you might not particu“ I am afraid Henry does not understand larly like it for yourself. Now you will go me, either; there are so many subjects on to London, won't you? I am sure a visit which we do not think alike; and I find it to aunt Ann would do you a world of good; so very difficult to bring him over to my and you would see Henry so often there." views."
“Not now, Kitty. You must not ask ** Or to induce him not to act upon his me to do so now." own?'
“But now is the only time that Henry Exactly: that is perhaps the worst wants you. Now is the time to put away part of his character. He is so impetuous, your own grief for his sake, and to enter so wilful, and will not listen to reason. into his joy." For instance-just now, when we are all “I could do this better, if his joy was in such trouble, he wants me to meet him not so great.” for the purpose of choosing carpets, fringes, “ And are you the person to complain of all sorts of foolish things.”
that, Helen?” “But he must know that you could not “It seems hard, when we are all overmeet him for such a purpose—at least not whelined with sorrow, to see him wild about alone?”
the papering of a wall,” “Not alone, certainly. So he had made “Not at all. You judge him with harda plan, which he considered very excellent, ness there ; for in the first place, you know for inveigling aunt Ann into the scheme; we are forbidden to tell to any one, even and she, good creature that she is, appears to him, the state of our affairs at present." quite willing, falls in with his views, and “I know. But when I told him I was has written to me endeavouring to persuade in trouble, as I did in my last letter, he only me to join them in London.”
begged me not to cry away all the blooni “ And you will go, of course, Helen ?” from my cheeks; and then went on as “ Indeed I have no such intention.” gaily as ever, about some patterns from “Why not?”
the upholsterer.” Simply because of this great trouble. “ It is only his way, Helen-his natural I could not feel the slightest pleasure now flippant way. It means nothing, and you in assisting to arrange the most beautiful should not find fault with it now, as you home for myself, while my parents may at knew all this from the first.”
"I don't wish to find fault, only you fact. She held, in the secret of her heart, must not urge me to go from home just a long-cherished pride in this beautiful now. I could not go, indeed, dear Kitty; and sedate girl, and though seldom receivor if I did, I should be quite unable to take ing from her those expressions of tenderan interest in anything, and that would be ness which, under strong excitement, worse. Suppose you go instead of me, were apt to escape from the younger Kitty. I wish you would.”
sister, Mrs. Clifton felt no less sure of the "Do you really, Helen ?"
deep and faithful affection which remained "I do, indeed."
comparatively hidden under Helen's calmer “And would you let me go about with and colder habits. Henry, helping him to fit up his beautiful Only for those great hopes which the house?”
mother had early cherished in connec"Most gladly, under present circum- tion with this daughter, she would have stances."
rejoiced in keeping her always near. But "I wonder whether aunt Ann would having been accustomed to look upon think it quite proper. For myself, I should Helen as one who could not, ard ought like it exceedingly. Only, what would not, to be detained within the home circle, Henry say?"
the near prospect of her departure had the “He might not like it so well at first; fewer regrets; at the same time that it but you would soon coax him into good made the lovely being about to be so soon humour, and in the end he would be happier, lost to her parents more lovely, and more and better pleased. I have no doubt as precious in herself. Thus, though a little regards taste you might be a little at fault.” surprised at first, Mrs. Clifton, as already
Oh, I know all about that. I should stated, was not difficult to win over to her give up everything to him. I know I should daughter's plans, more especially as she be charmed with his choice, unless in some felt secretly flattered-perhaps more than extreme case; and so, you know, we should flattered, that Helen, with such prospects have no dispute.
He would make the of enjoyment before her, should really selections, and I should just respond and prefer remaining a while longer in a home approve. I really do think, aīl joking where there was but little cheerfulness to apart, Helen, that I should like very much be enjoyed, and where the amusement
must be all of her own creating. "And I really do think that I should With Henry Linden the case was more
difficult. At first he positively refused "Well, write and ask Henry what he his consent to the exchange of sisters thinks—for you know I cannot force myself being made, setting aside all consideraupon him; and in the mean time I will try tions of civility towards the younger ;
mamma over to our plan. If you then he remonstrated, then he quarrelled, say that you really cannot leave her, I am sure then he made peace,--and so the matter she will take it very kindly, and feel very ended; for somebody he must have, he grateful to you, and so she will be the more said, of woman kind, if only to find fault willing to spare a little restless being like with, and throw the blame upon when myself
, who cannot always manage her so things went wrong; and as his own sister well as you can, with your quiet, sober was too delicate and too precious to be ways."
spared for such a purpose, he concluded The little plan upon which the sisters with a promise to make himself as well sathus held consultation did not appear so tisfied as he could with poor Kitty, and at unreasonable to Mrs. Clifton as they had all events to be civil to her for her sister's feared it might. Her own partialities sake. Aunt Ann might have done very leaned very obviously towards her daughter well, he said, only that she was neither to Helen, as being at once more sedate and be abused nor quarrelled with. Besides judicious; while, on the other hand, there which, he wanted somebody younger, and was an air and look about Helen Clifton more elastic in their spirits. Perhaps he well calculated to confer honour upon the should do very well with little Kitty, after family to which she belonged. Mrs. Clif-all.
no means insensible to this With this and similar expressions his
like you to go.”
ton was by
letter concluded; and the sisters knew “I don't think,” said the Aunt, him well enough to understand perfectly shall find any difficulty in that respect. that he was not altogether averse to the Henry has excellent taste, and he is spar. proposal. So Kitty, in due time, made ing neither expense nor trouble to make herself ready, and set out for London ; Helen's future home everything we could half-pleased with her errand as regarded desire for her. I only wish the dear girl herself, yet still rather anxious and herself would have come, and then, as troubled on her sister's account, that she you say, all would have been right. I should have evinced so little enthusiasm, believe it was a bitter disappointment scarcely even common interest, in what to Henry at first; but he is very amiseemed just now to be filling the whole able. Don't you think him very amiable, mind of her lover.
Catherine?” To her aunt, but to no other person, “I used to think himf so," Catherine did Catherine venture to communicate replied. But she quickly changed the these anxieties. Her aunt looked alarmed subject; and indeed was obliged to - troubled — almost distressed. “ This change it, for Henry himself arrived ; and will never do,” she said. “Helen is a without any allusion being made to the devoted and affectionate daughter, but she cause of his recent disappointment, he must never marry until she has learned entered with great volubility and interest to make the claims of a husband her first upon a variety of plans connected with consideration. This will never do." the arrangement of his domestic affairs, in
“You are so grave about the matter," all which was evident to the ladies that said Catherine, smiling.
while their advice was asked, their appro" It is a matter to be grave about,” said bation only was desired. Of course they her Aunt.
both approved with all their might, and “Oh! it will all come right, when they the young gentleman appeared exceedingly are married," said the niece.
well satisfied with their opinions. “Catherine," said her aunt, still very On the very day of Catherine's arrival gravely,“ does everything come right in town he wanted her to go with him to after people are married ?”
his house, and she was preparing to do so “I suppose so," replied Catherine ; " or in the most good-natured manner, when why do people make such strange, unac- Miss Clifton suggested that daylight countable matches?”
would be an advantage; and thus the proBecause,” said the older lady, “they ject was given up until the following day. have the same absurd notion which you Early the next morning Henry was at have just now expressed, that all will come the door with a carriage ready to convey right afterwards, that sympathy will be the two ladies to his house. It was somecreated by the clashing together of op- thing like a triumphal entry when he posite opinions, and that harmony will ushered them in ; although, to tell the arise out of the blending of discordant truth, there were painters' pots and brushes elements.”
still standing in the hall, and many other “But, affection, dear Aunt," said objects of discomfort and disorder, indiCatherine ; "you make no allowance for cating a greater hastening on in some dewhat affection can do. You know it is partments than others were quite prepared love which makes everything go so to sustain. smoothly and so well.”
The aunt and the niece, however, said “Ah! that poor love !" said the older nothing about this, but stepped lightly lady, “what miracles we ask of it. But, over the matting, or glided sideways past Catherine, we must think what can be the painted banisters, edging about as best done here--what we can do to supply they could, wherever their enthusiastic conHelen's place. There are two of us, at ductor might choose to lead them, at the all events."
imminent peril of their own drapery; but “Yes,” said Catherine, we must make they faithfully performed their whole duty, ourselves very agreeable, and very busy, without the slightest hesitation or apparent and be very much delighted with every difficulty as regarded themselves. Indeed, thing."
with the younger lady there really was
none,--for besides being a little careless who loved her. In their mirthful moods about such matters in general, she felt a no one could share more heartily ; while warm, and a very real enthusiasm, about in their sorrow or their pain, she was even all that Henry was busied in doing, which a deeper mourner than they were themcarried her completely out of her own life selves; beyond this, she possessed the into his, and delighted him just in propor- happy tact,--and in this lies half the tion as her own delight was ardent and charm,--of seeing at one glance, or dissincere.
covering by one tone of the voice, what All was so charmingly new to Catherine, was the prevailing mood or state of feel. too, shut up as she had been in her quiet ing with those who claimed her sympathy. home, and almost excluded from the Many persons have the sympathy itself, accustomed interchange of visiting on her but cannot adapt it to present circumfather's account-all was so new and so stances like Catherine. For want of read. beautiful, that she could express her admi- ing the countenance, the voice, the whole ration in words of unbounded praise, and manner, as she did by a kind of instinct, yet speak with her heart upon her lips. they are ever liable to renew the laughter Henry Linden looked at her often as he they have once shared with you at a time responded to these expressions, and he when you are little disposed for mirth ; began to think she was not so plain as he and, what is still worse, they sometimes had once imagined her to be.
bring up your miseries in long and forIndeed, what face is there so plain that midable array, to place before you at the it cannot be made beautiful by expression, very moment when you have turned your at all events when such plainness consists back upon the enemy, have cast off the not in any natural deformity ? Far, in- mantle of gloom, and would gladly revel deed, was the countenance of Catherine in the luxury of a cordial laugh. Clifton from this. Her features were Catherine Clifton was not only quick small, and neither irregular nor in any and real in her sympathy, but always respect repulsive. The constant variety appropriate, and never more so than on and play of expression of which they the present occasion. True, she had were capable, rendered her face amusing within her heart quite a sufficient amount and attractive, rather than disagreeable ; of family care,-nor did her own future and consequently many eyes turned ob- look particularly cheering. True, she felt servantly to Catherine, but it was less in grieved and mortified at what she called the way of admiration than for the purpose her sister's apathy and coldness; but what of improving an acquaintance which pro- | had her family cares to do in this bright mised to be agreeable. Still there was mansion, fitted up for long years of housesomething that effectually shut out all hold happiness and joy?--what had her pretensions to beauty; and, if it must be dark solitary future to do with the protold, perhaps it was this. Her eyes, her spects of one about to gather into his home hair, and her complexion were very nearly all that was most precious to his affections, of the same colour. Dress as she would, as well as most gratifying to his tastes ? nothing could be made of them, as to To have sat down to mourn over her effect. Colours were of no value where own sorrows would have been at once as there was nothing to contrast, or to unjust as ungenerous to him whom she harmonise with. Consequently nobody had come to serve. It is true that thoughts thought twice about Catherine Clifton of home did sometimes crowd upon her so until they had conversed with her, and as to obscure for a moment some portion seen the lighting up of her pale gray eyes, of the polish and the splendour with which and the smile that played about a mouth she was surrounded. It is true that a which was capable of every expression, painful contrast sometimes presented itself from the arch drollery of natural and between what fortune seemed to be heapsimple humour, to the deeper pathos of ing upon one, and taking away from the tenderest sympathy with suffering. another; but these thoughts were not to
Indeed, it was this quick and ever ready be encouraged or dwelt upon for sympathy with others which made Catherine moment. She almost started when they Clifton almost always delightful to those took possession of her mind, -as they did
sometimes quite suddenly; and then she | The sunbeam was glowing elsewhere, and would hurry away perhaps into another the owner of the mansion liked to see his room, or rush into some lively conversa- furniture with the sunbeam upon it. It tion, or propose that some little business was all right, then ; the tringes hung gracematters should be executed then and fully, the satin stripes glanced out, the carthere, so as not to leave a single vacant pets lay like beds of flowers gathered softly corner in her heart for those dark thoughts and beautifully around his feet.
To natures like Catherine's there is Thus by living the life of other people, always something peculiarly interesting - living for them, with them, and almost in the circumstances of those who are in them,-Catherine Clifton managed to about to share their lot in life together. escape from a great many heart-troubles of Interest in our affairs, and especially in her own, or at least to bear them so lightly our happiness, is at once the inost delicate that she troubled no one by claiming their flattery, and the most irresistible kindness. commiseration, nor intruded her own Few hearts can resist it; and if all knew anxious cares upon their moments of un- exactly how to show this interest, their clouded joy.
influence over their fellow beings might Perhaps the merit on Catherine's part be almost unbounded. was a little diminished by her natural good In fact, we seldom love people so much spirits, and the quick transition she was for what they are, as for what they do, at all times capable of making from sorrow and do for us. It may be that they only to joy. Here in her new occupation she listen to our tedious details of perplexity was perfectly in her element, too. She and annoyance; and when we have tried could not help being pleased with most of often, and tried in vain, to find a patient what she saw, and with all she had to do; listener to whom we could unburden our unless, indeed, when the flight of Henry's hearts of petty cares, and harassing vexafancy took, as it sometimes did, so eccen- tion, how welcome at last, is the kind ear tric a turn as to overstep the boundary-line that does not turn away, the, anxious of good taste. But even on such occasions, wondering eye that looks for more, the Catherine managed by a little good-natured voice that asks in tones of interest what raillery to show that she did not quite happened next, or how the whole affair approve, at the same time scrupulously turned out! Ah! it is not a little thing abstaining from all expression of dissent. to be a good listener. The world is more
Situated thus in her element, and with indebted to good listeners than it thinks; occupation for every inoment of her time, at all events, society would be very poor with much to do which fell in exactly with without them. There are patient listeners her tastes and capabilities, Catherine Clifton -kind, dull, unmoved recipients of what not only laid aside all outward trace of her the surcharged speaker has to say ; but own domestic anxieties, but actually became this kind of passive attention is a very like a little sprite, or rather good genius, in different affair from that which charms, the new home of her future brother, flitting and wins, and woos to further intimacy. about with movements so light and agile, With the foriner kind of listeners we grow that a certain kind of grace was imparted half vexed that we should have been weak to all she did ; while her cheerful laugh, enough to pour forth our communications her clear ringing voice, and pliant and where they evidently produced so little appropriate touches here and there, made impression; with the latter we grow more her presence like a sunbeam, darting now and more delighted, because, while they into this apartment, now into that, and afford us the pleasure of talking without imparting a character of liveliness and tiring them, we see that they understand beauty wherever it happened to fall. us, and feel both with and for us. And
Perhaps the first impression one receives then to meet such listeners again, and to of the value of persons of this character is find, by nice and well-timed allusions, that the want that is perceptible where they they remember what we told them—this is, are not. Very soon the apartment where perhaps, the most welcome incense which Catherine was neither seen nor heard our self-love ever receives, and few are so began to look empty, cold, and dark. insensible as not to accept it thankfully.