Bradford reporter. (Towanda, Pa.) 1844-1884, May 19, 1855, Image 1

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

Satnrban fllorninn, Ulan 19, 185>.
frleritb otfrji.
If men cared less for wealth and fame,
And less for battle-fields and glory ;
If, with human hearts, a name
Seemed better than in song and story ;
If men, instead of nursing pride.
Would learn to hate it and abhor it;
If more relied
On Love to guide.
The world would be the better for it.
If men dealt less in stocks and lands,
And more in bonds and deeds fraternal;
If love's work had more willing bauds
To link this world to the supernal ;
If men stored up Love's oil and wine,
And on bruised human hearts would pour it;
If" yours" and " mine"
Would once combine,
The world would be the better for it.
If more would art the play of Life,
And fewer spoil it in rehearsal;
If bigotry would sheath its knife
Till good became more universal ;
If Custom, gray with ages grown,
Had fewer blind men to adore it;
If talent shone
In Truth alone,
The world would be the better for it.
If men were wise in little things—
Affecting less in all their dealings ;
If hearts had fewer rusted strings
To isolate their kindly feelings ;
If men, when Wrong beats down the Right,
Would strike together and restore it;
If Right made Might
In every tight,
The world would be the better for it.
Pistcll autos.
Congregational Singing.
[The following views on the subject of " Congregational
Singing," were written at the suggestion of Prof. BRAD
b: isv. in reply to an article in the Xew-York Recurdtr §■
gii'f. advocating the disbanding of Choirs r]
MESSRS. EDITORS :—ln the columns of your
paper of the 14th of March, there is a commu
nication entitled " Congregational singing,"
which, while it it contains much that is good,
and depicts in truthful colors an evil which we
all deplore, hints in no very ambiguous terms
at a remedy for the disease, which will not meet
with tin; same degree of approval in all quar
ters. The writer, in the course of his remarks
on the necessity of congregational worship,
seems to think that the first great step is to
disband the choirs. This isVvideut from such
explanations as the following "We do not
believe iu the American method of choirs."—
"The old apathy, to some extent, begotten of
a mental surrender of singing duties to choir
experts, would die into a new, and strange, and
blessed enthusiasm," Ac., Ac. This is evidently
the opinion of the writer, that the sooner choirs
be dispensed with the better. From this view
we utterly dissent.
And at the outset, we would remark that we
see no necessity, in advocating congregational
music, to preach a crusade against choirs. In
preaching up the one, we see not the remotest
occasion to preach down the other. We will
give our full acquiescence to all that the writer
says in his advocacy of worshipers taking a
more general interest in the music of the sanc
tuary. Nay, we wish from our heart, that all
would unite with one voice in praising and glo
rifying (Jod—hut how is the end attained by
an indiscriminate attack upon choir organiza
tions, when the fault lies with the people them
selves ? There is, indeed, room for vast im
provement buth on the part of choirs, and also
(we must say it,) on the part of congregations, .
in the better understanding of the mutual re
lations in which they stand to eaeh other, and
of the duties incumbent on each—but with all
tlioir faults, how would we get along without
choirs? The experiment, to say the least,
would lie a hazardous one. What little profi
ciency we have gained in music, we owe to
those whose skill must ever make them leaders
in public worship ; and this is as it should be.
l iicro must be leaders, proficient in every science
and art, (those who from their natural gifts
and unremitting toil have risen above the ordi
nary level.) or that science will either stand
Mill or take a retrograde movement. Music
become popularized, and why ?—it has bc
c"me the delight of the million, and how ?—be
cause the million have been taught, and have
"i'lg. without instruction or guidance? No.
but because a few men eminently qualified,
ve devoted their time and labors to this im
at subject. They have brought their la
""y t" bear on who are in some, degree
•Ri c'd in music. These in their turn instruct
•' i influence others—and thus in a short time
"bole mass will imbibe a pure and proper
: l 'te. Musical Conventions are already work
f' ;V( '" 1( lors in this respect. But more of this
file great end is to establish the voices of
1 " )*'oplc who frequent the sanctuary in pub
l{ worship. How can this end be most effec
attained ? This is the point. Not, in
j,. • '•>' assuming that all are instructed, for
will be found to be a most lamentable mis
■ So*>o *> '"deed, by making the people teaeh-
N uit by teaching the people. But how can
■a he taught, unless there are some to teach
m how can they really know what good
is, unless they hear good music? and how
'(congregation derive more benefit than by
|; '"'"s to and receiving instructions from
.p' M w J'o are themselves skilled in music under
| ' Pui'lance of a skillful chorister ? There is
'"g wroug ia this, unless the choir wish to
"'M'.ze all the singing. But surely an ar
uot wish to destroy its captains bc
rv * '' u y came in for a little more of theglo
t'," r "°' v ai "l then became a little too ainbi-
K of display. Suicidal policy this. We need
' 'lira down tiie barn to get rid of the
rats—and in avoiding Scylla let us not fall into
Our object should be not so much to fritter
away a proper taste for music till there is no
substance and sweetness in it, but to seek to in
troduce everywhere an appreciation of good
music. It is not necessary that it should be
shorn of its undoubted claims to make it accep
table with the many, and if we may venture
our opinion, the true secret of ultimate success
in this good work, is not to bring down music
to the level of the people, but to bring up the
people to the standard of good music. This
can be done. It. is, we are convinced, the true
policy. Let another course be pursued, and
what will be the consequence ? Assume that
all are now fully qualified to sing, and that
there is no further need of the services of our
choirs, and is it not apparent, that music must
remain year in and year out at the same low
level, and this sudden enthusiasm die of very
weakness. Let us not he misunderstood. AVe
are not decrying music for the million. Only
while it is sought to be Tendered popular, let
not the claims of pure and proper taste be sac
rificed, or the reformation, if such it can be
called, will be but temporary. It is in this as
it is in other sciences. There should be an adap
tation to all ; there should be ample provision
for proficiency, and abundant scope and en
couragement furnished for those who are like
ly to excel. For instance, in mathematics, we
would have every scholar acquainted with its
elements—at the same time, we cannot expect
every individual to master all its difficulties.—
This were absurd. But while there is some
thing for all to learn, there is abundant encour
agement for those who aim at being masters.
There must be this encouragement for the few,
while the claims of the many are not neglected;
otherwise there will be but little emulation,
little desire to make advancement, and the
science itself (whatsoever it is) must suffer at
the hands of its friends. Now what can be
more calculated to foster a correct musical
taste—to lead out, i, c. to cultivate the capa
bilities of the young, than the presence in a
congregation of a good choir, who meet togeth
er and practice together. The musical talents
of n congregation are thus brought to act in
concert—and certainly, '' in union there is
" But the choir will not sing old tunes — ■
they have a music of their own." We not not
pretend to write a syllable in extenuation of
many of these manifest evils. But have choirs
been found to be incorrigible ? We think not.
We think that if the proper means are used,
the evil will soou be remedied. Only let us
give them a fair trial, and tell them in a spirit
of kindness that we would like to see this thing
and that thiDg a little different, and we have
no doubt of the result. The members of choirs
are not a new species of auimal. They have, 1
we think, hearts and consciences.
It is too true that the performance in many
' of our churches is a mere performance—that
we might as well give a shilling or two and at
tend a regular artistic display. This is all to
tally wrong. JJut let us seek to remedy what
is wrong in the right way, otherwise the reme
dy may be worse than the disease. Choirs, we
have endeavored to show, are the true conser
vators of musical taste. They have their place,
only let them thoroughly understand their du
ties. it is not their place to do all the sing
ing, and no chorister (if he is a man of sense)
would say it is. It is their peculiar province
to lead, and a church may as well attempt to
get along without ministers, or an army with
i out captains, or a Sunday school without a
, baud of faithful persons skilled in teaching, as
i a congregation to do without its hand of sing
ers. All should be taught to join in the public
i worship; but surely there must be some quali
fied to lead. Thus two most desirable ends are
reached—the union of all voices iu sacred song;
and adequate provision for skill and excellence
| and proficiency. And so far from it being the
fact, in our humble judgment, that " the choir
i system does not eucourge the timid to perse
vere,'' it seems to be the very thing to draw
out the latent capabilities of tho young, to
furnish a motive for exertion, and a stimulus
to continued effort. As a general rule, what
is not worth the striving for is not worth the
i keeping.
" But the tunes ! The tunes ! When will
our choir sing something that wc can under
stand ?" This is the language that is heard
from a thousand lips. It expresses a sad defi
ciency—and choirs, if they arc wise, should bo
alive and adequate to the facts of the case, and
wc believe tliey are adequate to the emergen
cy—at least we see no reason why they cannot
be. This call for congregational music is a
good sign. It shows that the people arc wak
ing up to the real value of music as a part of
the public worship of God. It evidences the
fact that there is a growing appreciation of the
importance of this branch of public education.
Only let singers nnd choristers discern the signs
of the times, prove themselves adequate to
their task, and lead in this movement, and all
will be right. We have no fears of the result,
when discerning and conscientious men arc at
the helm. If either of these attributes arc want
ing, we have.
We are not iu favor of disbanding choirs
simply because they love to sing what nobody
else can. At times this must be the case.—
This was the case in the Jewish Church, where
persons skilled in music were expressly appoin
ted by God to conduct His praises, while the
vast assembly joiued in the full chorus. We
cannot improve upon Divine Wisdom. Nor are
we willing to dispense with the well-sung an
them, the plaintive duet, or the soul-stirring
solos. And on the other hand, we cannot dis
pense with the grand old chorals like Old Hun
dred, which seems to make the congregation
lift up their hearts iu praise, and open their
months with one consent, music or no music.
We should not wish to deprive the congrega
tion of their part in the worship of our common
God. They naturally crave it. They are dull
and disappointed if everything is artistic and
beyond their reach. And thus it should be—
it is an evidence of a jaundiced taste, were they
to rest satisfied with simply listening. Wor
shipers go to church Dot to listen, but to wor
ship. They go to unite iu common prayer, and ,
in common praise. The minister does not say,
" Listen to me while I pray," or " Listen to the
choir while they perform such and such apiece
of music," but " Let us pray"—" Let us sing."
How vain and weak, then, for a choir to sing
continually new tunes. As well might the min
ister preach in Hebrew, or pray in Latin, as
for a choir to be forever singing in an unknown
tune for its own glorification. What then is
to be done? Disband choirs ? No—not so.
Let them be brought to realize their proper
office. It is not, to monopolize all the singing,
but to lead in the public worship—to draw forth
the devotion, and also the vocal expression of
the whole congregation.
Now the difficulty lies in a nut-shell. There
must be a part for the choir to perform, and
as long as human nature remains what it is, to
perform alone. This is needed to encourage
them—at least in voluntary choirs. The mo
tive is not display—but a real desire to influ
ence others by the power of good music. And
without choirs are thus indulged in what may
be termed " choir pieces," they may as well
cease to exist, or at least cease to meet for the
purpose of improvement—for improvement
there will be none ; everything will remain at
a dead level. Thus, choir performance will be
no hindrance to devotion ; (for who does not
love to hear a choir sweetly chant an opening
hymn ?) at the same time it will be a real help
to good music.
Let choirs be indulged iu this thing, just as
we indulge in a dessert of peaches and cream
after a dinner of roast beef—not as the staple,
but as something we are not willing to dispense
with, and there will be no difficulty. We will
hear rio more of this censure against choirs.—
And just as a hungry man looks despairingly
at the removal of the cloth when lie knows that
nothing comes after, so can we imagine a man
who has a relish for music, when this move
ment of doubtful expediency has been achieved,
looking despairingly up into the organ loft, ami
sighing that with so much of music for the
million, there could not possibly have been
saved a choice bit of select music for his pecu
liar taste.
I must now close this extended communica
tion. I close not because I have rpn out of
matter, but because I do uot wish to tire the
patience of those who honor my remarks with
their attention. I will hint in my next at
some of the methods by which this most desi
rable thirtg—"congregational worship"—may
be attained.
1 There is one fact to which allusiou must be
' made, amid the incessant grumbling we hear
about " new tunes." We are apt to lose sight
jof the fait that many of our best tunes were, a
few years ago, entirely new. We cling to them
now with great tenacity; we will not give
them up ; but, perhaps, we forget the day
and the hour when they first saw the light, how
oue said with a significant shrug, " New tuues
again !"
Let congregations be careful not to be quick
in censuring, for many of those tunes which
carry such exquisite delight to the heart, were
a few months ago to them entirely new ; and
let choirs also listen to a word of advice. In
troduce new tunes by all means ; introduce
them, however, gradually. Introduce them
one at a time, just as you would introduce a
number of friends to an acquaintance—not two
or three at a time—not all at a time, so that
your friend would not know them again if he
were to see them the next day. Let the con
gregation become somewhat familiar with one
tune before you sound forth the melody <sf an
A few weeks since the lovers of music in our
village were cheered with the presence of Mr.
' BRADBURY, the well known and accomplished
| teach of vocal music. The writer of this arti
cle attended the exercises of the Musical Con
vention in the morning, when.especial attention
was paid to the subject of Parish Psalmody.
On one of these mornings the whole subject of
choirs, their difficulties, their duties, their dan
gers, and the relation in which they stand to
a congregation eame up, and was discussed bv
Mr. B. in a practical lecture which commend
ed itself at onee to the sound sense and Chris
tian principle of every one who heard it. We
have no intention to flatter, but let such views
be disseminated anil acted upon throughout
the country, and a brighter day will dawn up
on our churches. We may refer to this subject
again ; but if we do not, we here give in our
testimony to the great utility of these Conven
tions when conducted by able and conscientious
men skilled in music, and not wanting iTi grace,
to the cause of sacred music. D.
TOWANDA, March 30, 1855.
tfSr" A lady of our acquaintance has recent
ly had a remarkable experience with a new Irish
" Biddy," said she one evening, "we must
have some sausages for tea this evening ; 1 ex
pert company."
" Yes, ma'm."
Tea time arrived, with it the company ; ih
table was spread, the tea was simmering, but
no sausages appeared.
" Where are the sausages, Biddy ?" the lady
" Arid sure they're in the tay-pot, mam.—
Didn't you tell mc wc nmst have them for
tay ?"
jftay The surest way to fill a private apart
ment whether in a printing office, a cotton fac
tory, or a sausage shop, with visitors, is to
place over the door a placard, bearing the in
scription : "No admittance." No jierson ever
read that prohibition over an entrance, with
out instantly being attacked by an ungoverna
ble desire to rush right in.
BITES !—The following sell came off a few
days since not many miles from where we now
Two gentlemen fishiug—sharp boy appears—
Hoy—" Well, sir, git any bites ?"
(lent—(unconcerned) " lots of em."
Boy—" Y-a-a-s— under your hat /"
The strongest kind of a hint—A young
lady askiug a gentleman to see if one of her
rings would nut go on his little fiager.
[ Sthtttb &ah.
Tiiis wmmps.i ■umts.
They advised me not to marry him. They
told rne he was wild—unprincipled—bud ; but
I did not care for w hat they said. 1 loved
him and disbelieved tb'-m. I never thought
about his goodness—l only knew that lie was
beautiful and gifted beyond all that I had ever
met within our narrow society. I loved him,
with no passing school girl's fancy, but with
my whole heart, my whole soul. I had no life,
no jov, ny hope without him, and Heaven would
have been no Heaven to me if he had not been
there. I say all this, simply to show what a
madness of devotion mine was.
My dear mother was very kind to me through
out. She had loved my father, I believe,
almost to the same extent ; so that she could
sympathize with rne even while discouraging.
She told me I was wrong and foolish, and that
I should repent ; but I kissed away the painful
lines between her eyes, and made her smile
when I tried to prove to her that love was
bettor than prudence. So we married, not so
much without the consent as against the wishes
of my family ; and even that wish withheld in
sorrow and in love. I remember all this now,
and see the true proportions of everything ;
then I was blinded by my passions, and under
stood nothing.
We went away to our pretty, bright home,
in one of the neighborhoods of Loudon, near
a park. We lived there for many months—l in
a state of intoxication rather than in astute of
earthly happiness, and he was happy too, then
—for lam sure he was innocent, and I know
he loved me. Oh, dreams—dreams !
I did not know my husband's profession.—
He was always busy, and often absent; but he
never told me what he did. There had been
no settlements cither when 1 married. He
said had a conscientious scruple against them ;
that they were insulting to a man's honor, and
degrading to anv husband. This was one of
the reasons why, at home, they did not wish
me to marry him. But I was glnd to be able
to show him how 1 trusted him, by meeting his
wishes, and refusing on my account, to accept
the legal protection of settlements. It was
such a pride to me to sacrifice all to him.
Tims, I knew nothing of his real life—his
pursuits or his fortunes. I never asked him any
questions, as much from the indifference of
everything but his love as from a wifely blindness
of trust. When he came home at night, some
times very gay, singing opera songs and calling
me his little Medera, as he used when in good
humor, I was gay too, and grateful. And
when he came home moody and irritable—which
he used to do, often, after we had been married
about three months, once even threatening to
strike me. with that fearful glare in his eyes I
remember so well, and used to see so often
afterwards —then I was patient and silent, and
never attempted even to take his hand or kiss
his forehead when he bade me be still and not
interrupt him, He was my law and his aj>-
probation the sunshine of my life ; so that my
very obedience was selfish ; for my only joy
was to see him happy, and my only duty to
obey him.
My sister came to visit us. My husband had
secu very little of her before our marriage, for
she had often been at home when he was with
us down at Hurst Farm—that was the name
of my dear mother's place—and I had always
fancied they had not liked even the little they
had seen of each other. Ellen was never loud
or importunate in her opposition. I knew that
she did not like the marriage, but she did not
interfere. I remember quite well the only time
she spoke openly to me on the subject—how
she flung herself at my knees, with a passion
very rare iu her, beseeching me to pause and
reflect as if I had sold myself to my ruin when
I promised to be Harry's wife. How she
prayed ! Poor Ellen ! I can see her now, with
her heavy, uncurled hair falliug on her neck as
she knelt, half undressed, her large eyes full of
agony and supplication, like a martyred saint
praying. Poor Ellen ! I thought her preju
diced then ; and this unspoken injustice has
lain like a heavy crime on my heart ever since ;
for I know 1 judged her wrongfully, and that
I was ungrateful lor her love.
She eame to see us. This was about a year
anil a half after I married. She was more
beautiful than ever, but somewhat sterner, as
well as sadder She was tall, strong in person
and dignified in manner, There was certain
manly character, in her beauty, as well as in
her mind, that made one respect, and fear her
too, a little. 1 do not mean that she was
masculine, or hard, or coarse ; she was a true
woman in grace and gentleness ; but she was
braver than women in general. She hail more
self-reliance, was more resolute and steadfast,
anil was more active and powerful in the body.
My husband was very kind to her. lie
paid her great attention ; and sometimes I half
perceived that he liked her—he used to look
at her so often ; but with such a strange
expression in heis eyes ! 1 never could quite
make it out, whether it was love or hate. —
Certainly, after she came, his manner changed
towards me. I was not jealous. I did not
suspect this change from any small feeling of
wounded self-love, or from any envy of my
sister ; but 1 saw it—l felt it in my heart—
yet without connecting it with Ellen iu any
way. I knew that he no longer loved her ; at
least not with the same kind of love. I used
to be surprised at Ellen's conduct to liirn. She
was more than cold ; she was passionately rude
and unkind ; not so much when J was there as
when I was away. For I qscd to hear her
voice speaking in those deep indignant tones
that are worse to bear than the harshest scream
of passion ; and sometimes I used to hear hard
words—he, shaking at the first soft and plead
ingly, often to end in a terrible burst of anger
and imprecation. I could not understand why
t hey quarrelled. There was a mystery between
them I did know of ; and I did not like to ask
them, for I was afraid of them both—as much
afraid of Ellen as my husband—and I felt like
a reed between them—as if I should have
been crushed beneath any storm I might chauee 1
to wake up. So I was silent—suffering alone,
and bearing a cheerful face as far as I could. >
Ellen wanted me to return home with her.
Soon after she came, and soon after I heard
the first dispute between them, she urged me
to go buck to Ilurst farm—at once, and for a
long time. Weak as lam by nature, it has
always been a marvel to mc since, how strong
I was where my love for .my husband was
concerned. It seemed impossible for me to
yield to any pressure agaiust him. I believe
now that a very angel could not have turned
rne from him !
At last she said to me in a low voice—
" Mary this is madness !—it is almost sinful !
Can you not see—can you not hear?" And
then she stopped, and would say no more,
though I urged her to tell me what she meant.
For this terrible mystery begun to weigh on
me painfully, and for all that 1 trembled so
much to fathom it, I had begun to feel that
any truth would be better than such a life of
dread. 1 seemed to be living among shadows ;
my very husband and sister not real, for their
real lives were hidden from me. But I was too
timid to insist on an explanation and so things
went on iu their old way.
In one respect only, changing still more
painfully, still more markedly—in my husband's
conduct to me. He was like another creature
altogether to me now, he was so altered, He
seldom spoke to me ut all, and lie never spoke
kindly. All that 1 did annoyed him, and once
(the little widow covered her face with her
hands and shuddered) he spurned me with his
foot and cursed me, one night in our room w hen
I knelt weeping before him, supplicating him
for pity's sake to tell me how I had offended
him. But I said to myself that he was tired,
annoyed, and that it was irritating to see a
woman's tears ; and so I excused him, as often
times before, and went on loving him all the
same—(iod forgive me for my idolatry ?
Tilings had been very bad of late between
Ellen and my husband. But the character
of their discord was changed. Instead of re
proaching they watched each other incessantly.
Tliey put me in miud of fencers—my husband
on the defensive,
" Mary," said mv sister to me suddenly,
coming to the sofawherc I was sitting embroid
ering my poor baby's cap. " What does your
Harry do in life ?—What is his profession ?"
She fixed her eyes on me earnestly.
" I do not know, darling" I answered vaguely.
" He has no profession that 1 know of."
" But what fortuue has lie, then ? Did lie
not tell you what his income was, and how
obtained when he married ? To us, he said
only that lie had so much a year—a thousand
a year ; and he would say no more. But has
he not been more explicit with you ?"
"No," I answered, considering ; for indeed,
L had never thought of this. I had trusted so
blindly to him in everything, that it would have
seemed to me a profound iusult to have even
asked of affairs. "No be never told me any
thing about his. fortuue, Ellen. He gives me
money when I want it, and is always generous,
lie seems to have plenty ; whenever it is asked
for he has it by him, and gives me even more
than I require."
Still her eyes kept looking at me iu that
strange manner.
" And is this all you know ?"
" Yes—all. What more .should I wish to
know —is he not the husband, and lias he not
absolute right for everything. I have no busi
ness to interfere."
The words sounded harsher now than they
did then, for I spoke lovingly. Ellen touched
the little cap I held.
" Does not this make you anxious ?" she
said. Pan yon not fear as a mother, even while
you love as u wife ?"
" Fear, darling ! Why ? What should I fear,
or whom? What is there, Ellen, on your heart?"
1 then added passionately—
" Tell me, at once ; for I know that yon
have some terrible secret concealed from me ;
aud I would rather know anything—whatever
it may be —than live on longer iu this kind of
suspense and anguish ? Is it too much for me
to liear, Ellen ?"
She took my hands.
" Have you strength ?" she said earnestly.
" Could you really bear the truth ?"
Then seeing my distress, for I had fallen into
a kind of hysterical lit—l was very delicate
then—she shook her head in despair, and letting
mv hands fall heavily on my lap, said inuuder
j J "
tone :
" No, no ! she is too weak—too childish !"
Then she went up stairs abruptly, and I
heard her walking about her own room for
nearly an hour after in a long steady step.
I have often thought that, had she told mc
then, and taken me to her heart—her strong,
brave, noble heart—l could have derived
courage from it, and could have borne the
terrible truth ! was forced to know afterwards.
But the strong are so impatient with us ! Tliev
leave us too soon—their own strength revolts
at our weakness ; so we are often left, broken
in this weakness, for want of a little patience
and sympathy.
Harry came in a short time after Ellen had
left me.
"What has she been saying?" lie cried,
II is eyes were wild anil bloodshot; his
beautiful black hair flung all in disorder about
bis face.
" Dear Harry, she has said nothing about
you," I answered trembling. She only asked
what was your profession, and how much we
hail a year. That was all."
" Why did she ask this ; What business was
it of hers ?" cried Harry fiercely. "Tell me," j
and he shook me roughly ; " what did you
ansWTr her, little fool ?"
" Oh, nothing," and I began to cry ; it was
because ho frightened me. " I said what is
true, that I kuew nothing of your affairs, as
indeed, what concern is that of miue ? I could
say nothing more, Harry."
" Better than too nmch,"he muttered ; and
♦hen he flung me harshly back on tbe sola, say
ing, "tears and folly aud weakness ! The same
round-—always the same. Why did I marry a
lucre pretty doll—a plaything—no wife."
VOT, XV. —ISTO. 49.
j And then he seemed to think he had said too
much ; for he came hik! kissed ra.* and said he
loved me. But for the first time in our mar
ried life, his kisses did not soothe lue, nor did
1 believe his assurances.
| All that night I heard Ellen walking steadi
ily and unresting through her room. She never
slackened her pace—she never stop|>cd—she
| never even hurried 5 but the same slow mea
; sured tread went on ; the firm foot, vet light,
falling as if to music, her very step the same
; mixture of manliness and womanhood as her
i character.
) After this burst of passion, Henry's tender
ness was to me unbounded ; as if he wished to
| make up for some wrong. 1 need not say how
1 soon I forgave him, nor how soon I loved him
again. All my love came hack in one full bound
; less tide : and the current of my being set to
wards him again as before. If lie had asked
uie for my life then, as his mere fancy to de
stroy, I would have given it to him. I would
have laid down and died, if he had wished to
see tlie flowers grow over my grave.
My husband and Ellen grew more estranged
as his affection seemed to return to me. llis
manner to her was defying ; hers to him con
temptuous. 1 heard her call him villain once,
in tlie gardens below the windows j at which
lie laughed—his wicked laugh, and said, fell
her and see if she believes you."
I was sitting in the window working— it was
a e<>id, damp day in ihe late Autumn, when
the cliilling.s of .November are just beginning,
those fogs with the frost in tlieiu, that .-teal in
to ones very heart. It was a day when a visi
ble blight is in the air, when death is abroad
everywhere, and suffering and crime. 1 was
alone in the drawing room. Ellen was up
stairs, and my husband, as I lielieveU, in the
city. But 1 have remembered since, that 1
heard the hall door softly ojiened, and a foot
step steal quietly by the drawing room up
stairs. The evening was just beginning to
close in—dull, gray, and ghost-like ; the dying
daylight melting into the long shadows that,
stulked like wandering ghosts about which 1
dreamed such fond dreams, and wove such large
hopes of happiness ; and as 1 sat, while the
| evening fell heavily about me, a dread presen
timent, a consciousness of ill, that made me
tremble as if in ague—angry at myself, though,
for my folly. But it was reality. It was no
hysterical sinking of the spirit that 1 felt ; no
mere nervousness or cowardice ; a knowledge,
a presence, a power, a warning word, a spirit's
cry, that had swept by me as the fearful evil
marched 011 to its coudusion.
1 heard a faint scream lip stairs. It was so
faint I could scarcely distinguish it from a sud
den rush of wind through an opening door, or
the chirp of a mouse behind the wainscot. —
Presently I heard the same sound again ; and
then a dull muffled noise overhead, assume one
walking heavily, or dragging a heavy weight
across the floor. I sat petrified by fear A
nameless agony was upon me that deprived iue
of all power of action. I thought of Harry
and I thought of Ellen in an inextricable ci
pher of misery arid agony ; but I could not
have defined a line in my own mind ; I could
not have explained what it was thut I feurod.
I only knew that it was a sorrow to come, ami
sin. I listened, but all was silent again ; once
only I thought I heard a low moan, and once
a muttering voice—which I know to have
been my husband's, speaking passionately to
And then his voice swept sformfully through
the house, crying wildly, " Mary, Mary ! CJniek
here ! Your sister Ellen."
I ran up stairs. It seems to me now. that
i almost flew. I saw Ellen laying on the floor
of her own room, just inside the door : her feet
towards the door of ray husband's study, which
was immediately opposite her room. She was
fainting, at least I thought so then. We rais
ed her up between us ; my husband trembling
more than I ; and 1 unfastened her gown ami
threw water on her face, and pushed back her
hair ; hut she did not revive. I told Harry to
go for a doctor. A horrid thought was steal
ing over me ; hut he lingered, as I fancied un
accountably and cruelly, though I twice asked
him to go. Then 1 thought that perhaps he
was too much overcome ;so I went to him ami
said, " She w ill soon be better, Harry," clicor
rully, to cheer him. But 1 felt in my heart
she was 110 more.
At last, after many urgent entreaties, and
after the servants had eoine up, clustering in a
frightened way around the bed—but he sent
thcin away again immediately—he put 011 his
hut, and went out, soon returning with a.strange
man, not our doctor. This man was rude and
coarse, and ordered me aside, as 1 stood butli
iug my sister's face, ami pulled her arm and
hand roughly to see how dead they fell, and
stooped down close to her lips I thought he
even touched them —all in a violent and inso
lent way, that shocked and bewildered me. My
husband stood in the shadow ghastly pale, but.
not interfering.
It was too true, what the strange 111.111 had
said so coarsely. She was dead. Yes; the
creature that an hour ago had been *0 full of
life, so beautiful, so resolute, and young, was
now a stiffening corpse, inanimate and dead,
without life and without hope. Oh ! that word
had set my brain 011 fire ! Dead ! here, in my
house, under my roof -dead so invsteriouslv,
so strangely—why '! I low ? Jfc was a fearful
dream, it was 110 truth that lay there. I was
in a nightmare ; I was not sane ; and think
ing how ghastly it was, 1 fainted softly on the
bed, 110 one knowing, till some time after, that
I had fallen and was not praying. When I
recovered I was in my own room, alone. Crawl
ing feebly to my sister's door, 1 found that she
had been washed ami dressed, and was now
laid out on her bed. It struck me that all
had been done in strange haste; Harry telling
me the servants had done it while I fainted.
I knew afterwards that lie had told them that
it was F, and that 1 would have no help. The
mystery of it all was soon to be unravelled
One thing I was decided on—to wat.h by
my sister this night. It was in vain that my
husband opposed me ; in vain that lie coaxed
111 c with angry threats. Something of my si—
ter'f nature seemed to have passed into uie ;
and unlebs he had prevented me by force, no