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presence of my angry wife, and hastened out her son, entreated me to " be kind to poor of the house through the open windows to Florence Daveney,” and we were married, the lawn. A shower was falling, thunder We were married! Oh words of sacred pealed upon the air, and summer lightning import, too frequently uttered without the illuminated the village. Pausing a mo- slightest thought of their meaning, but asment, as I heard my children laughing in sociated with a world of joy or sorrow ; their narsery, 1 collected my senses suffici- great happiness, gone by perhaps, and ently to return for my bat, and then set off oftener with bitter irremediable disappointtowards the coach road leading to London. ment ! At the end of the lane I met ihe stage, as I We resolved on a foreign tour. How could had anticipated; it stopped, and I entered Florence trust me so far from the parent it mechanically, and throwing myself into a who had always been her refuge and proteccorner, mused moodily on the events of the tion! and we departed, each resolved, I am last six years, which were these :
sure, on making the other happy. For a When but a boy at Winchester, Florence time we took up our abode at Frankfort; Daveney and I met in the neighborhood of there we met many English acquaintances, that grave town, where churchmen held and for some weeks we were happy. My their state, and dignified old ladies walked fiery and jealous spirit seemed subdued out periodically in substantial silks. Her beneath the gentle influence of my wife, but mother was one of those sober-minded gen- it only wanted occasion to burst forth, and tlewomen, and had long been my mother's this a fractious temper like mine was not long infinite friend, but until I was established in seeking. Evil passions lore to feed themas a “ Winchester scholar,” we had resided selves. A young relation of mine came to in another county. On leaving school for Frankfort for tbe recovery of his health. He college, my widowed parent did not change was a soldier, had been some years abroad, her abode;, thus for some years Florence and without a home. His parents being dead, and I were constantly associated, and hav- he had resolved on spending the period of ing passed my examination, and taken a his sick leave on the Continent. It was his very fair degree, I made my proposals and gentleness that roused the sleeping demon was accepted, but not without hesitation, of my soul. especially on the part of Mrs. Daveney. As long as Florence and I were alone, I Whence this hesitation ? I had a fair for- had not a shadow of annoyance with which tune, good connexions, what is considered to quarrel, and in society, I never dreamed by the world a high sense of honor, and of giving way to my temper. I could curb great reversionary prospects. I was happy it there, hypocrite and coward that I was ! in my choice, and Florence loved me; but Even when I first grew jealous of William alas! my passionate and jealous temper Lethbridge, I coutrived to keep my passion constantly embittered the hours that ought within bounds till he was gone, and thento have been so happily spent. With what poor, poor, Florence ; God help her! tears of anguish has poor Florence declared But the ebullitions which she had been she could never find happiness in a union for some time able to soothe or evade, or, with myself! How often have I fallen at alas ! to bear, could not long be unobserved her feet, entreating her forgiveness, and by Lethbridge. They became more devowing with oaths, only too soon broken, to cided every time he visited us. At first he treat her with more kindness and respect; would leave the house without remark, how often have my unjust and violent ac- when I burst forth into violent paroxyms of cusations been met with dignified silence or rage at trifles; an open window, a creaking mild remonstrances; often too with fits of door, a stupid servant, a letter mislaidpassionate weeping, which laid the unhappy most probably by myself—or visitors, my girl on her bed for many days, and brought wife's visitors. My jealousy fell on all obher from it pale and exhausted. Even my jects alike, to whom her time was given, if mother became averse to our union. She I had a mind a mind to occupy it, no matpitied Florence from her soul, and Mrs. ter how. How was it that, loving her as I Daveney, with solemn warnings to her did, I lived but to torment her? If any daughter, implored her to dismiss me. But inconvenience arose out of my own errors, my victim's life, despite my wretched tem- I would break forth in invectives which per, was bound up in mine. Her mother startled the household, and generally wound gave her consent with a tremulous lip and up the day by blaming my innocent wife pallid face; and mine, on her knees to me, for all its mischances.
One evening, William Lethbridge came William's lodgings. I felt sure she had in in the midst of one of these miserable gone for ever when the nurse told me how and degrading exhibitions. I had worked she had visited the children's little beds myself into a perfect fury. Florence had with a ghastly face and quivering lips, dared to remonstrate with me on giving bending over her infants in evident anway to my temper, and, angry with her, guish. She left me, and I, blind to my angry with him for coming in so inoppor errors, blamed her as false and vicious, tunely, still more angry with myself, I be- whom my jealous fury had well nigh driven came so violently excited that he took Flo- out of her senses. rence's hand and led her from the room. And the world pitied me! branding her By degrees I observed my victim quail with hideous epithets. Ha! ha! so much whenever I entered her presence. I found for men's privileges! I had solaced my her frequently in tears. "I grew hatefully hours with the society of a widow whose jealous of Lethbridge, and yet he and Flo- wealth commanded every sort of pleasure rence never walked out together now, as they and amusement. The world, whatever it had been used to do; he did not call on us as might think of her, said nothing of me. Oh often as of old, and when he did, his visits no? I was possessed of the rights of men. were constrained and short.
But one Men may scek to entertain themselves when morning he came with a brilliant bouquet and with whom they please, but women of flowers; he found me in Florence's little must not laugh beyond a certain pitch; morning room, whither I had followed her women must not give decided opinions, from the breakfast-table to torment her. even if founded on what is just and good; My children, my sweet twins, even shrank women must put an iron padlock on their from my scowling gaze, but looking up in lips, and all right thinking women will adLethbridge's face, they would hold out their mit that they cannot be too strict in their self arms and cry to go to him.
surveillance. Still it is a wonderful thing I sat down, determined to prevent all in the present age of refinement and proconversation between Florence and my fessed morality, that men should have such cousin ; at last I made some remark which powers of evil ; that the more reckless, the the latter could not help noticing; some more dissipated, the more careless they are coarse allusion to men who “sneaked into of the world's good opinion, the more they other men's houses, where their presence are sought after and caressed by the very was: undesired,” wishing that “people society whose laws they desecrate, while would not interrupt my domestic circle, the most dissolute and worthless of the sex and hinting broadly at the folly of married are the most bitter against the unfortunate women encouraging the attentions of any beings whom men like themselves have rend-d idiot willing to throw away his time dered frail and friendle: s. on them.”
Some people with violent tempers are With a burning cheek, and eyes in which yet susceptible of tender impulses. I have long subdued resentment flashed, at last known men with the tempers of fiends, Florence rose to leave the room, and Wil- whose natural dispositions were by no liam got up to depart; but I made my wife means unkindly, but I was not one of these, come back,-I would be heard. I said I 1-my jealous bate nursed itself. Lethcould not be blind to the understanding bridge and I met: he had left Florence in that subsisted between them ; to their un- the neighborhood, and returned on purpose checked and disgraceful attachment to each to give me the opportunity of what is barother. Alas! I did not consider how barously called "satisfaction.” I wonder dreadful must be the comparison between I did not take the law into my own hands my cruelty and his kindness. I sneered at and strike him down without a word, but I what I chose to call their“ wretched efforts did not : having no victim immediately at to deceive me." I desired my cousin to hand on whom to wreak my vengeance,leave my house, and seeing Florence ap- for my children had been taken from my proaching me with clasped hands and sight by their cautious and tender nurse,streaming eyes, I pushed her from me with I had leisure to determine on being delibesuch violence, that she was only saved rate in my revenge.
“ He shall not die,” from falling on the ground by William's re- said I; such
vengeance is for those who ceiving her in his arins.
do not know the true value of it. But I
will make them miserable for life. I will She left me that night. She left me for maim and disfigure him: he shall be an
unsightly object in the eyes of the woman Florence's wishes, framed by reason and he has taken from me!”
hallowed by affection, would have been as
sweet guides to happiness! I aimed at the knee, but the ball struck I heard next that Florence and Lethbridge higher, and thus 1 punished him as they did had sailed for India; he had joined his rethe traitors of old,--I deprived him of his giment with her, now his wife in the eyes of hand. I went close up to him as he lay, the world. I could fancy her shrinking faint with pain, upon the ground; I did not from notice, trembling at the idea of decepspeak, but he raised his eyes to mine. 1tion, yet dreading recognition. I could sneered at him, and telling him I was “ per- imagine bis jealous pride in rendering her fectly satisfied,” withdrew, not, however, respected, his honorable principles strugtill our friends on the occasion parted us. gling with the pride that quailed beneath
After this the wealthy widow was my the world's cold yet curious eye, and yet refuge from myself. Strange that her im- deprecating the idea of introducing one placable and violent temper, so like my whom he so loved to those whose good own, did not drive me from her society ! opinion must have been forfeited had they Was it sympathy that existed between us? honestly boen made aware of her true posiWas it that, in her moments of wayward- tion. Bad man as I was, I could appreciate ness and caprice, when I remonstrated she the noble struggles of a mind like William's, always alluded with bitterness to the“ de- and the deep-deep anguish of my lost voted attachment” of my gentle wife ? or love's soul! And sometimes I thought of was it that, with my usual selfishness, the maimed hand. coveted her gold as useful- for my property was entailed ? In my youth I had been ex- Truly, man is a glorious creature. We travagant, and however large a man's in- talk in England of the thraldom in which come may be, it is not always that, under cir- the women of savage and heathen lands are cumstances such as mine, he can command held, and we shudder; but, verily, we men ready money.
So the widow fairly pur- of England have our privileges. We may chased me: we were contracted long before be faithless to our own wives, and drive the suit for a divorce was brought forward, them from us with a heavy blow; we may and the expenses of this suit were defrayed even rob other men of theirs,—coolly, deliat her cost. It was a bargain worthy of berately rob them for our own selfish pursuch a pair! I soon had occaslon again to poses, and not with William Lethbridge's bless my privileges : my affianced bride feelings and struggles ; we may shoot the was evidently beginning to be held in light husbands of our victims; and by good manestimation by the just and virtuous, but agement, the help of a few hundred pounds, over me or my actions none had any con- or the quibble of a clever, well-paid lawyer, trol; the opinion of the wise and moral be replaced in our original position. Nay, was as nothing weighed against the long- men call us brave, and women-certain established rights of man.
blind or despicable women-speak of us as Divorced from Florence, I married the “gay,” “ wild,” - shocking,'*" charming!" woman whose wealth I coveted, whose mind This world is a merry place for man ! I despised, whose person I had learned to Nevertheless, the women are the gainers dislike, and in whose fidelity I placed no in the end; for how much.remorse they are reliance. She kept me at bay, however, spared ! how much anguish they spare by her stormy temper,-paid nie back with others, by the conventional rules to which interest in my own coin. The tables were they are happily compelled by custom to turned against me : the man of the most adhere! The laws of God are alike for violent passions can be outwardly tamed by both sexes, and those who defy them most, the determined spirit of a woman, who, will have the longest account against them being mistress of her house and of her own at the Great Day! Then-ihen shall man property, can minister as she chooses to his and woman stand on equal ground, and be comfort or annoyance. Sometimes I won- weighed in the same scale of justice ! dered how I could have been so unkind to Now, as one world is for a period, and my lost Florence, whose strongest remon- | the other for eternity, may not the women, strances were as gentle wishes, compared to after all, be considered as most enviable in my present wife's scornful reproofs and their position ? Poor Florence ! she shall noisy demonstrations when she fancied her- have her abiding-place hereafter ! self slighted. To any other man but myself One day I heard of Lethbridge's death :
the first intelligence I received of that was lead as a woman of beauty, fortune, and through a military newspaper. The para- ability in the society wherein we moved, graph inentioned the arrival in England of discovered the source of my anxiety and dethe widow of Lieutenant Lethbridge, for pression, but, alas, she sympathized not whom a subscription had been raised by the with me. brother-officers of her husband, who had been much beloved in his corps.
I knew The paragraph in the newspaper sent me, William's relations had cast him off, glad as I have said, at once to town. I made of an excuse, perhaps, to save themselves my way to the little street referred to in trouble in exerting their interest in his fa- the Times advertisement, and after ringing vor,---my mother and Florence's had paid the bell twice, and calling to a wretchedthe last debt soon after our separation, - looking creature intended to represent a
and all the ready money with which the ill- maid-servant, who stood in the area clean'fated pair had started in life had been spent ing knives, I was admitted within the narin the expenses attendant on the suit row limits of the hall, and left there standbrought against William by me,-but I was ing till the landlady could be summoned unprepared for such a history of poverty as froin a steaming wash-house in the back this; it vexed and fretted me, but the vexa- settlements. After some persuasion, which tion was all on my own account. She who would have met with no attention but for a had once been mine to receive alms at the tint about my wishes to pay funeral exhands of indifferent people! I wrote to the penses, the woman begged me to sit down captain of the ship which was mentioned as in her parlor. I heard her, as she let the the one in which she ha i been a passenger, room, desire the maid to“ keep a look out” and endeavoured to gain information, but upon the watch on the mantelpiece. Florence had landed in the docks, andafter having paid the Indian Ayah who had been She who lay there “ dead and unowned" her attendant during the voyage, bad de- was my Florence,-my own lost Florence, parted in a hackney-coach with her few ---my first love, my early playmate,-my articles of luggage, and had not been heard wife whom I had driven to despair and ruin of afterwards. It was said the steward of by my inhuman and brutal temper. Memthe ship had given her some assistance and ory restored her voice, calling to me in her directions about lodgings, but he had gone mother's garden to join her in her play,out to India again in another vessel. or, in after times, singing gaily under the
In vain I strove to trace her. In vain 1 lime-trees where we met as girl and boy, accompanied Captain R- to the Custom- and where our mothers walked and talked house and other places, to inquire concern and worked together, often, often imploring ing a “pale lady much emaciated," --s0 me, after some violent freak of temper, to be Captain R. described my once blooming kind to poor Florence when we should be happy Florence ; and this description of married. her helplessness made me more eager to seek Now, there she lay on that poor bed, its her out. Had she been independent of me, faded and soiled curtains forming an unI had scarcely felt such deep, unmitigated sightly canopy, above the pale, wasted, but interest in her In vain I applied to the still beautiful face. With an air of reveragents of William's regiment; they knew ence, bard-featured as she was, the landlady nothing of her. My pride dictated to me of the lodging pulled down the sheet that the offer of paying back the subscription covered the dead, and long and silently, that had been raised for her, if the gene- and very sorrowfully, I stood gazing upon rous donors would have permitted it, but that inanimate form which restored such this was out of the question; and all I could mingled memories of joy and sorrow, peace do in the capacity of a relation of Mr and violence. With such emotions my heart Lethbridge, was to place a considerable sum had never ached before : my eyes grew in the hands of the agents towards liqui- dim, a choking sensation fastened itself on dating the expenses of a handsome tablet my throat, and I would have given worlds to the memory of the deceased. But still, to have been able to weep aloud, but awe with all my self-satisfaction, my imagined drove back the tears that anguish would generosity of spirit in forgiving one who otherwise have called forth. never would have injured me but for cir- “Leave me with her,” said I to the landcumstances forced on bim by myself, I could lady, “ for a little while." I took out my not be bappy. My wife, now taking the pocket-book, and from it a five-pound note, and placing it in the ready-opening palm was now yellow, and some føded roses, two of the woman, she retreated without further locks of hair, and some other trifles, that parley. I sat down on the rickety bedstead, to her had been “more precious than gold, -I felt the coarse and discolored linen that yea, than fine gold.” had covered my poor dead Florence. Oh, “She begged me” said the landlady, how wasted the features were ! how the once "to let her have this box by her bedside. round cheek had shrunk and faded ! how She was constantly turning out the things, the large and exquisitely shaped eyes were -it seemed the only comfort she had to sunk in their sockets ! and, ah me! the examine them every day. Strange sort of long thin hand which I lifted answered not comfort, too! for she used to cry fit to break my pressure, but fell back heavily on the her heart whenever she spread them out behard mattrass.
fore her on the bed ” One small, travel-worn trunk stood in A miniature of Lethbridge, taken evidentthe room ; it was open, and had evidently ly only a short time before his death, lay at been ransacked and examined by uncaring the bottom of the case. It represented, not hands,-the wretched-looking, half-starved the Lethbridge I remembered, with a gay, maid's perhaps; but few things were left, smiling, though rather delicate face,-not and these I recognized. A child's sock, the honest brow and clear open eye which snatched, perhaps, from the little crib on had first met mine at Frankfort, beaming last visiting it,-a crayon drawing of twin with gladness at the recognition, but here heads, our children's pictures, taken by was a faded, wasted cheek, large, hollow, herself when in a happy vein, a little coral mournful eyes, and a look of settled sorrow. necklace, –a tiny doll, whose dress had Well could I fancy Florence grieving over once been gay! ..
these relics of departed days. Poor, friendThe landlady came in at last, and found less, ill, and desolate, what a picture of me contemplating these mementos of for- misery did her image present, weeping over mer days. As I sat there half-bewildered, her melancholy treasures ! she described, with a painful exactness that soon roused my attention, all that her un- I saw her put into her narrow coffin : I fortunate lodger bad undergone during her kissed her cold, pale lips, and hung over stay at her house, whither she had come her in an agony of unavailing sorrow. Oh with a
recommendation" from the stew- sins too late repented! but for my miseraard of the Amherst East Indiaman. She ble temper, she who lay there might now had suffered all the degradation of being have been my happy wife ! stared at, doubted, and almost refused ad- I am a melancholy man. mittance; " for,” said the landlady, in a baughty and barsh-spirited wife of the preeareless tone, “I saw the poor thing was sent day has ceased to sneer at the porin a consumption, and what was I to do trait of poor Florence in her gay hours, with her if she fell ill and died, as you see which hangs up in my little sanctum. she did ? But she took her watch and My children have been told her history, chain from her neck at once, begging me and when my boy, whose passions, were they to let her remain here for a week, and, uncorrected, would be as violent as my really, I had not the heart to refuse. She own, looks up, as I have taught him to do, had a good many Indian trinkets, which and the gentle eye of his unfortunate moshe put into my hands when she first took ther speaks, as it were to him from the ingento her bed, and she asked me to send for a sible canvas, it brings him back to better medical man and get her a few comforts. thoughts, and quells the demon struggling Here are some of the trinkets,” she con- for the mastery in his heart. tinued, opening a small mahogany case,
There is in one of those beautiful ceme“ I was going to sell 'em this very day, but teries near London, a small patch of ground they would never fetch their value, nor pay railed off, and planted with many shrubs, me back what I've spent.”
chiefly evergreens. In summer, a weeping I lifted up the tray of the jewel-case, willow and an acacia relieve its mournful and found an ivory ring discolored by time; air, and bright flowers spring up and flourish it had been our girl's, -our little Florence's, round a tomb, inscribed simply with the —and the faded pink ribbon which the name of child had worn round her neck was still
" Florence." attached to it. There was also a little There my lost love lies, and her gravebaby's cap that had once been white, but stone is as a talisman set there by the hand