Page images

When this instant of utter for- a mistake.” And he clasped her, getfulness was over, Pamela began almost crushed her waist with his to cry, and Jack's arm dropped arm in his vehemence. Everything from her waist. It was the next else was a mistake-himself, his inevitable stage. They made two position, her position, all the ciror three steps by each other's side, cumstances ; but not Pamela. This separate, despairing, miserable. time she disengaged herself, but Then it was the woman's turn to very softly, from his arm. take the initiative. She was cry- I do not mind," she said, looking, but she could still speak—in- ing at him with an innocent, wistdeed, it is possible that her speech ful tenderness, “because it is the would have been less natural had last time. If you had not cared, it been without those breaks in the I should have been vexed. One soft voice. “I am not angry,” she can't help being a little selfish. said, “ because it is the last time. Last time, if you had said you I shall never, never forget you; but were fond of me, I should have oh, it was all a mistake, all from been frightened ; but now I am the beginning. We never-meant glad, very glad you are fond of me. -to grow fond of each other," said It will always be something to look Pamela through her sobs ; "it was back to. I shall remember every all-all a mistake.”

word you said, and how you looked. “I was fond of you the very first Mamma says life is so hard,” said minute I saw you,” said Jack; “I Pamela, faltering a little, and lookdid not know then, but I know it ing: far away beyond her lover, as now. It was no mistake ;—that if she could see into a long stretch time when I carried you in out of of life. So she did ; and it looked the snow.

I was fond of you a desert, for he was not to be there. then, just as I am now-as I shall “Don't speak like that,” cried be all my life.”

Jack; “life shall not be hard to “No," said Pamela, “oh no. you—not while I live to take care It is different-every day in your of you—not while I can worklife you see better people than I Hush, hush !” said the girl, am. Don't say anything else. It softly. “I like you to say it, you is far better for me to know. I know. One feels glad; but I know have been ama little-contented there must be nothing about that. ever since I thought of that.” I never thought of it when—when

These words once more put we used to see each other so often. Jack's self - denial all to flight. I never thought of anything. I “Better people than you are ?” he was only pleased to see you; but cried. Oh, Pamela! I never saw mamma has been telling me a great anybody half as sweet, half as deal—everything, indeed : I know lovely, all my life.”

better now “Hush ! hush ! hush !” said “What has she been telling Pamela : they were not so separate you ?” said Jack. “She has been now, and she put her soft little telling you that I would deceive hand up, as if to lay it on his lips. you ; that I was not to be trusted. You think so, but it is all-all a It is because she does not know mistake!”

me, Pamela. You know me better. Then Jack looked into her sweet I never thought of anything either,” tearful eyes, nearer, far nearer than he added, driven to simplicity by he had ever looked before—and the force of his emotions, “except they were eyes that could bear that I could not do without you, looking into, and the sweetness and that I was very happy. And, and the bitterness filled the young Pamela, whatever it may cost, I man's heart. “My little love! can't live without you now." he cried, “it is not you who are “But you must,” said Pamela :


"if you could but hear what mam- out of her. Pamela stood by him ma says! She never said you with the consciousness that it was would deceive me. What she said the supreme moment of her existwas, that we must not have our She might have been going own way. It may break our hearts, to die ; such was the feeling in her but we must give up. It appears heart. She was going to die out life is like that,” said Pamela, with of all the sweet hopes, all the a deep sigh. “If you like any- dawning joys of her youth; she thing very much, you must give it was going out into that black deup.”

sert of life where the law was that “I am ready to give up every. if you liked anything very much thing else,” said Jack, carried on by you must give it up. But before the tide, and forgetting all his she went she had a right to open reason; “but I will not give you her heart, to hear him disclose his. up. My little darling, you are not Had it been possible that their to cry-I did not know I was so love should have come to anything, fond of you till that day. I didn't Pamela would have been shy and even know it till now," cried the shamefaced; but that was not posyoung man. “You mustn't turn sible. But a minute was theirs, away from me, Pamela-give me and the dark world gaped around your hand; and whatever happens to swallow them up from each to us, we two will stand by each other. Therefore the words flowed other all our lives."

in a flood to Pamela's lips. She “Ah no," said Pamela, drawing had so many things to say to him, away her hand ; and then she laid she wanted to tell him so much ; the same hand which she had re- and there was but this minute to fused to give him on his shoulder include all. But her very comand looked up into his face. “I posure—her tender solemnity—the like you to say it all,” she went pure little white martyr that she on,-“I do—it is no use making was, giving up what she most loved, believe when we are just going to gave to Jack a wilder thrill, a part. I shall remember every word more headlong impulse. He graspyou say. I shall always be able to ed her two hands, he put his arm think that when I was young I round her in a sudden passion. It had some one to say these things seemed to him that he had no to me. If your father were to come patience with her or anything,now, I should not be afraid of him; that he must seize upon her and I should just tell him how it was. carry her away. I am glad of every word that I can "Pamela," he cried, hoarsely, treasure up. Mamma said I was “it is of no use talking,-you and not to see you again ; but I said I are not going to part like this. I if we were to meet we had a right don't know anything about heaven, to speak to each other.

I never and I don't want to know-not just thought I should have seen you now. We are not going to part, I to-night. I shouldn't mind saying tell you. Your mother may say to your father himself that we had what she likes, but she can't be so a right to speak. If we should cruel as to take you from a man both live long and grow old, and who loves you and can take care of never meet for years and years, you—and I will take care of you, don't you think we shall still know by heaven! Nobody shall ever each other in heaven ?

A fellow may As for poor Jack he was driven think and think when he doesn't wild by this, by the sadness of her know his own mind : and it's easy sweet eyes, by the soft tenderness for a girl like you to talk of the of her voice, by the virginal sim- last time. I tell you it is not the plicity and sincerity which breathed last time—it is the first time. I

come between us.

[ocr errors]

don't care a straw for anything else his fingers, ready to escape out of his in the world—not in comparison reach; and after that there was no with you. Pamela, don't cry; we are longer any possibility of a comprogoing to be together all our life.” mise. He had become utterly in

“You say so because you have different to what was going on not thought about it,” said Pamela, around as he came to this point. with an ineffable smile ; "and I He had turned his back on the have been thinking of it ever so road, and could not tell who was long-ever so much. No; but I coming or going. And thus it was don't say you are to go away, not that the sudden intrusion which yet. I want to have you as long occurred to them was entirely unas I can ; I want to tell you so expected, and took them both by many things—everything I have surprise. All of a sudden, while in my heart.

neither was looking, a substantial "And I will hear nothing," said figure was suddenly thrust in be. Jack,—"nothing except that you tween them. It was Mrs Swayne, and I belong to each other. That's who had been at Dewsbury and what you have got to say. Hush, was going home. She did not put child ! do you think I am a child them aside with her hands, but she like you ? Pamela, look here-I pushed her large person completely don't know when it is to be, nor between the lovers, thrusting one how it is to be, but you are going to one side and the other to the to be my wife.”

other. With one of her arms she Oh no, no," said Pamela, caught Pamela's dress, holding her shrinking from him, growing red fast, and with the other she pushed and growing pale in the shock of Jack away. She was flushed with this new suggestion. If this was walking and haste, for she had seen how it was to be, her frankness, the two figures a long way off, and her sad openness, became a kind of had divined what sort of meeting crime. She had suffered his em- it was ; and the sight of her fiery brace before, prayed him to speak countenance between them startled to her, thought it right to take full the two so completely that they advantage of the last indulgence fell back on either side and gazed accorded to them; and now the at her aghast, without saying a tables were turned upon her. She word. Pamela, startled and overshrank away from him, and stood come, hid her face in her hands, apart in the obscure twilight. while Jack made a sudden step There had not been a blush on her back, and got very hot and furious, cheek while she opened her inno- but for the moment found himself cent young heart to him in the incapable of speech. solemnity of the supposed farewell, “For shame of yourself !” said but now she was overwhelmed Mrs Swayne, panting for breath ; with sudden shame.

“ I've aʼmost killed myself running, “I say yes, yes, yes,” said Jack, but I've come in time. What are vehemently, and he seized upon you a persuadin' of her to do, Mr the hands that she had clasped John? Oh for shame of yourself! together by way of safeguard. He Don't tell me! I know what young seized upon them with a kind of gentlemen like you is. A-enticin' violence appropriating what was her, and persuadin' her, and leadhis own. His mind had been ing her away, to bring her poor made up and his fate decided in mother's grey hairs with sorrow to that half-hour. He had been full of the grave. Oh for shame of yourdoubts up to this moment; but now self! And her mother just as he had found out that without Pa- simple and innocent, as would bemela it was not worth while to live lieve anything you liked to tell her; —that Pamela was slipping through and nobody as can keep this poor

thing straight and keep her out o' along with you home, Mr John; trouble but me!”

and she'll just go with this woman, While she panted out this ad- she shall. Woman, indeed! And dress, and thrust him away with I don't deny as I'm a woman and her extended hand, Jack stood by in so was your own mother for all so consternation, furious but speech- fine as you are. Don't you think less. What could he do ? He as you'll lay your clutches on this might order her away, but she poor lamb, as long as Swayne and would not obey him. He might me's to the fore. I mayn't unmake his declaration over again in derstand, and I may be a woman, her presence, but she would not but- Miss Pamela, you'll just believe him, and he did not much come along home.” relish the idea; he could not strug. “Yes, yes," said Pamela ; and gle with this woman for the posses- then she held up her hand to him sion of his love, and at the same entreatingly. "Don't mind what time his blood boiled at her sug- she says-don't be angry

with me; gestions. If she had been a man and I will never, never forget what he might have knocked her down you have said —and-good-bye,” quietly, and been free of the ob- said the girl, steadily, holding out struction, but women take a shabby her hand to him with a wonderful advantage of the fact that they glistening smile that shone through cannot be knocked down. As he two big tears. stood thus with all his eloquence As for Jack, he took her hand stopped on his lips, Pamela, from and gave it an angry loving grasp across the bulky person of her which hurt it, and then threw it champion, stretched out her little away. “I am going to see your hand to him and interposed. mother," he said, deigning no

"Hush,” she said ; "we were other reply. And then he turned saying good-bye to each other, Mrs his back on her without another Swayne. I told mamma we should word, and left her standing in say good-bye. Hush, oh hush, she the twilight in the middle of the doesn't understand; but what does dusty road, and went away. He that matter? we must say good- left the two women standing bye all the same."

amazed, and went off with quick “I shall never say good-bye,” determined steps that far outsaid Jack; "you ought to know stripped their capabilities. It was me better than that. If you must the road to the cottage—the road go home with this woman, go—I to Brownlows-the road anywhere am not going to fight with her. It or everywhere.

“ He's a-going matters nothing about her under- home, and a blessed riddance,” said standing; but, Pamela, remember Mrs Swayne, though_her_spirit it is not good-bye. It shall never quaked within her. But Pamela be good-bye—"

said nothing; he was not going “Understand!” said Mrs Swayne, home. The girl stood and watched whose indignation was furious, his quick firm steps and worshipped “and why shouldn't I understand í him in her heart. To her mother! Thank providence I'm one And was there anything but one knows what temptation is. Go thing that her mother could say ?





“What a mean, contemptible, and presented with a platform of little, one-horse country England "war” principles. "I don't want is," said a Western orator in the to be President," said the judge, height of the American Civil War. “and don't approve of your war “ It took her nigh upon two hun- platform ; but if I did want to be dred years to run up a debt of 800 President, I should wait for four millions sterling, and she is always years after the conclusion of groaning and sweating under the Well, and what then ?" inquired load, as if it were more than enough the spokesman of the deputation. to break her back. But our great “Well, we shall all be ready for country has run up nearly as big a repudiation by that time, and I debt in three years, and thinks no

should run

on the repudiation thing of it-ay, and will run up ticket, and carry all before me.” twice as big a debt, if necessary, to It was in a style similar to this restore our glorious Union. We that, during the climax of the great are a great people, that's a fact ; struggle between North and South, and the stupid old monarchies of when men's passions were inflamed, Europe shall one day feel it.” “A the subject of the debt was treated debt of 2500 millions of dollars,” in America. The Government was said another American, a very dis- printing paper - money as fast as tinguished citizen of the State of thirty steam - presses, in full blast New York, “will be a great calami- at Washington, could throw off the ty. It will depress our energies, daily millions of dollars required tax our resources, superabundant to feed the army and the navy, and as they are, produce among us the keep the war machine going by sea pauperism that is the curse of the and land. The tax-gatherer, though Old World, raise up a banking and constantly spoken of as the man of moneyed aristocracy, the worst pos- the future, was never seen in the sible kind of aristocracy that can present, so that nobody was much afflict any country, and produce afraid of him ; or if the idea of evils worse than the disruption of such an uncomfortable person came the Union which it is incurred to into the mind of any one, it was prevent. And it is because I think relegated to that unseen to-morrow we shall pay a debt of 2500 millions, which never comes, or consigned to or the annual interest of it—which oblivion with the poco - curante is the same thing—that I consider apophthegm—“Sufficient for the the debt so enormous an evil. If day is the evil thereof." we could but double it, and make A great war always creates more the debt 5000 millions, I should scoundrels than it kills; and it not care : for, finding the weight must be said of the American Civil intolerable, we should simply get a War that the best people connected big sponge and rub it off the slate. with it were the native-born solWhen the multitude feels the pres- diers and sailors on both sides. Of sure severely, good-bye to our lia- the mercenary Irish and Germans bilities. Repudiation will come to who fought for the bounty money, our relief. We shall all be ruined and did not care a straw for the on Monday, and start fair again on principles at issue, we shall speak Tuesday. I am for the 5000 mil- hereafter. Such a terrific debt was lions' debt for this reason. On never rolled up with such reckless another occasion an eminent judge rapidity and such shameless robbery was asked to "run" for the Presi. since the world began. As soon as dency in opposition to Mr Lincoln, it was found that no money could

« PreviousContinue »