Chapter XXII. {XLV}

“And e’en to wakeful conscience unconfest,

Her fear, her grief, her joy were his alone.” COLERIDGE. { sic}

{Reginald Heber (English poet, 1783-1826), “Morte d’Arthur: A Fragment” lines II.534-535}

THE melancholy disaster of the Petrel happened on Monday; it was not until the Thursday following that the evil tidings reached Longbridge.

Elinor, accompanied by Mary Van Alstyne, set out quite early in the morning to pay some visits at different country-houses in the neighbourhood. They had been out some little time, having driven several miles, and made three or four calls, when they reached Mrs. Van Horne’s. On entering the parlour they found the mistress of the house was not there, but a much less agreeable person, the elder Mrs. Tibbs, the greatest gossip in Longbridge.

“I am glad to see you this morning, young ladies,” she said.

“Thank you, ma’am; it is a very pleasant morning, certainly,” replied Elinor, as she took a seat on the sofa.

“Very pleasant, yes; but I was fearful you might have been kept at home by the bad news we Longbridge people have just heard.”

“It does not seem to have kept you at home either, Mrs. Tibbs, whatever it may be,” replied Elinor, smiling; for she knew that any news, whether good or bad, always set this lady in motion. Little did the poor young girl suspect the nature of the intelligence that awaited her!

“No; I thought my good friend, Mrs. Van Horne, might feel uneasy about her son, and came over to be with her.”

“Mrs. Van Horne! Has anything happened to the family?”

“You haven’t heard the news then? — I am surprised at that. But here is an account of the accident in the New Haven Eagle. It has made us all feel quite dreadfully at home!”

“What has happened? — Pray tell us!” exclaimed Elinor, now looking alarmed.

“Here is the account; but perhaps you had better let Miss Mary read it; she was not so intimate with the deceased.”

“What is it? — let me see the paper, Mary. An accident to one of the Van Hornes!” and she took the sheet from the table. Her eye immediately fell on the following article:

“Our city was painfully excited this morning by the intelligence which reached here, of a distressing accident to a beautiful little schooner, the property of Hubert de Vaux, Esq., of New York, which was seen in our waters only a few days since, and attracted universal admiration in our port.”

Elinor’s eyes could see no farther; she stretched out the paper to her cousin, saying in a faint voice, “Mary, read!”

Mary Van Alstyne took the paper, and continued silently to look over the passage.

“This little schooner, bound on a cruise of pleasure, had reached Martha’s Vineyard, when, during the sudden squall which passed over this section also on Monday, she capsized, and melancholy to relate, four persons lost their lives. The party consisted of Mr. de Vaux himself, Colonel Stryker, and Mr. Van Horne, of New York; Charles Hubbard, Esq., the distinguished young artist; Henry Hazlehurst, Esq., our Secretary of Legation to the court of Russia, where he was shortly to proceed with Mr. Henley, our Envoy; and also Frederick Smith, Esq., a young gentleman from Philadelphia. There were in addition five men in the crew. We regret to add that Mr. Hazlehurst and Mr. Hubbard, a negro sailor known as Black Bob, and another man, name not mentioned, were drowned; the bodies were all recovered, but every effort to restore life proved unavailing.”

Mary Van Alstyne had strong nerves, but the suddenness of these melancholy tidings, and a dread of the effect upon Elinor, made her turn deadly pale.

“Tell me, Mary,” said her cousin faintly.

Mary waited a moment to recover herself, when the question was anxiously repeated. She took Elinor’s hand and sat down by her side, using every precaution of delicacy and tenderness in breaking the bad news to her cousin; she approached the worst as gradually as she could, and mentioned every favourable circumstance first; while Elinor sat trembling in every limb, yet endeavouring to retain command over her senses and her feelings. But it was in vain; when Mary was at length forced to confess that two of their friends were among the lost, Elinor put her hand to her heart, while her eyes were fixed on her cousin’s lips; when the name of Hazlehurst was at length reluctantly pronounced, she started from her chair, and fell quite insensible on the floor, at her companion’s feet.

It was a long time before she could be restored. Mrs. Van Horne and the doctor, who was happily in the house, did all in their power to relieve their young friend; and Mrs. Tibbs was really quite distressed and mortified, when she found the effects of her allusion to the accident were so serious.

“Poor young thing! — I’d no notion, Mrs. Van Horne, that she would have taken it so much to heart. Do you suppose she was engaged to one of the young gentlemen?”

An imploring look from Mary Van Alstyne said to the doctor as plainly as look could speak, “Do send her away!”

The doctor was very ready to do so, and by virtue of his medical authority requested the gossip to walk into the other room, where he permitted himself to give her a sharp reprimand for having been in such haste to tell the evil tidings.

It was some time before Elinor fully recovered her consciousness; her first words expressed a wish to be carried home.

“Home, Mary,” she said faintly.

Mrs. Van Horne, who was deeply interested in her young friend, was anxious she should remain where she was until her strength had entirely returned.

“I am strong now,” said Elinor feebly, making an effort to rise.

Mary looked inquiringly at the doctor.

“You shall go in a few minutes, my dear Miss Elinor,” said the doctor after an instant’s hesitation; he thought it best that she should do so, but determined that his wife and himself would accompany her to Wyllys-Roof.

“Mary,” said Elinor, with an effort, looking towards Mrs. Van Horne, “ask if — ”

Mary guessed that she wished to know if the Van Hornes had heard anything in addition to the account in the paper. Without speaking, she looked the question.

“We have had a few lines, sent us by Mrs. de Vaux from New York,” said Mrs. Van Horne, gently.

Elinor closed her eyes, and fell back again on the cushion.

“You must not talk, my dear,” said the doctor kindly.

Young de Vaux had in fact written a line or two to his mother, who was in New York, by the boat which he sent off immediately to engage a small steamer, as soon as the squall had passed over; and this note had been considerately forwarded by Mrs. de Vaux to the Van Hornes, as it mentioned the safety of their own son. It ran as follows:

Martha’s Vineyard.

“MY DEAR MOTHER: — We are greatly distressed by a melancholy accident which befell us scarce an hour since. The Petrel capsized; most of our party are safe; but two of my friends are gone, Hazlehurst and Hubbard! You will understand our grief; mine especially! We shall return immediately.

“Your son, H. de V.”

The doctor handed this note to Mary, at a moment when Mrs. Van Horne was bending over Elinor.

In a few minutes Elinor made another request to be carried home.

“Pray take me home, doctor,” she said; “I can go now.”

The doctor felt her pulse, and observing that although very feeble, she seemed to have command of herself, he thought the air and motion would be of service. The carriage was ordered, she took a restorative, and making a great effort to rally, leaning on the doctor’s arm she walked to the door. Dr. and Mrs. Van Horne accompanied her, as well as her cousin.

“Thank you,” she said with her usual gentleness, as she remarked their kind intention, and then throwing herself back in her seat she closed her eyes; her face was deadly pale, large tears would force themselves slowly from beneath her eyelids, and a shudder pass over her limbs; and yet it was evident she made a strong effort to control her emotion. There was something in her whole expression and manner, that bore all the stamp of the deepest feeling; it was no common nervousness, no shock of sudden surprise, nor merely friendly sympathy; it was the expression of unalloyed grief springing from the very depths of a noble heart.

Even Dr. Van Horne, whose nerves had been hardened by the exercise of years amid scenes peculiar to his calling, could scarcely refrain from shedding tears, as he looked with compassion and with respect at his young friend. She seemed quite indifferent to the observation of others; her heart and mind were apparently engrossed by one idea, one feeling, and all her strength engaged in facing one evil.

Mrs. Van Horne had not supposed that the bad news would have affected her so deeply, nor was Mary Van Alstyne prepared for the result; but however Elinor might have hitherto deceived herself, however much her friends might have misunderstood her, the truth was now only too clear; her heart had spoken too loudly to be misunderstood — it was wholly Hazlehurst’s.

They drove on steadily and slowly, the silence only interrupted by occasional remarks of Elinor’s companions, as they offered her some assistance. When they came in sight of the Hubbard cottage, Mary Van Alstyne’s heart sunk anew, as she remembered the blow which had also fallen upon their good neighbours.

Elinor’s efforts for self-command increased as she drew near home — for the sake of her friends, her aunt and grandfather, she strained every nerve; but on reaching the house it was in vain, her resolution gave way entirely when she saw Bruno lying in his usual place on the piazza. She became so much agitated that it was feared she would again fall into a deep swoon, and she was carried from the carriage to a sofa in the drawing-room. Neither Miss Agnes nor Mr. Wyllys was at home; they had gone to their afflicted neighbours the Hubbards. An express had brought a report of the melancholy catastrophe, not half an hour after Elinor had left Wyllys-Roof in the morning; the lifeless body of our poor young friend, Charlie, was to reach Longbridge that afternoon, and Hubert de Vaux had come to request Miss Agnes to break the sad truth to the bereaved mother and sister. Jane also was absent, she was in New York with the Taylors; but Elinor’s faithful nurse and the old black cook came hurrying to her assistance, as soon as they knew she had reached the house so much indisposed.

{“express” = special messenger}

Miss Agnes was sent for; but Elinor had revived again when her aunt returned, though she was still surrounded by the anxious circle, Mary, the Van Hornes, her nurse, and old Hetty. When she heard the footsteps approaching, she made an effort to raise herself, with a sort of instinctive desire to spare her aunt a sight of all her weakness.

“You had better lie still, my dear Miss Elinor,” said the doctor kindly, offering her a glass of some restorative.

Miss Agnes entered the room and advanced anxiously to the sofa.

“My poor child!” exclaimed Miss Wyllys. “What is it, doctor? — illness?” she added anxiously.

The doctor shook his head. “She heard the news too suddenly,” he said.

Mr. Wyllys now followed his daughter. Elinor turned her eyes towards the door as he entered; a cry burst from her lips — she saw Hazlehurst!

Yes, Hazlehurst standing in the doorway, looking pale and distressed, but living, breathing, moving!

In another second Elinor had started to her feet, sprung towards him, and thrown herself in his arms — heedless of the family, heedless of friends and servants about her, forgetting in that one sudden revulsion of feeling, the whole world but Harry.

{“revulsion” = a sudden change of feeling}

Hazlehurst seemed quite forgetful himself of the everyday { sic} rules of society, and the merely friendly position in which they had stood at parting, but a week before; his whole expression and manner now betrayed an interest in Elinor too strong to be disguised, and which could be explained in one way only.

All this was the work of a moment; the various degrees of amazement, produced by the sudden appearance of Harry, on some individuals of the group of spectators, the surprise of others at the strong emotions betrayed by the young couple had not subsided, when an exclamation from Hazlehurst himself again fixed their attention entirely on Elinor.

“She has fainted!” he cried, and carried her to the sofa.

But joy is life to the heart and spirits; Elinor lost her consciousness for a moment only. She raised her eyes and fixed them upon Hazlehurst, who still held one of her hands.

“It is Harry!” she exclaimed, and burst into tears. She felt that he was safe, that he was by her side; she already felt that he loved her, that they understood each other; and yet she was still quite incapable of giving anything like a reason for what had passed. It was all confusion in her mind, all indistinct but the blessed truth that Harry was safe, accompanied by a hope she had not dared to cherish for years. She was still feeble and agitated, her colour varying with every beat of her heart; her face now covered with a deep natural blush at the sound of Harry’s voice, at the expression of his eye; now deadly pale again as she caught some allusion to the Petrel.

The doctor recommended that she should be left alone with Miss Wyllys. Her grandfather kissed her tenderly and left the room, as well as the rest of the party; with one exception, however — Hazlehurst lingered behind.

Having reached the adjoining room, explanations were exchanged between the friends. Mr. Wyllys learned that Elinor and the Van Hornes had supposed Harry lost, from the paper, and the first hurried note of de Vaux. When they arrived at Wyllys-Roof, there was no one there to give them any later information; Mammy Sarah, the nurse, knew no more than themselves; she had heard the Broadlawn story, after having seen young de Vaux leave the house with Miss Agnes, when they first went to the Hubbards’. Hazlehurst had not accompanied his friend, for he had seen Mr. Wyllys in a neighbouring field, and went there to give him the information; and thence they had both gone to the cottage, where they remained until Mrs. Clapp and Mr. Joseph Hubbard arrived from Longbridge. Neither Mr. Wyllys nor Miss Agnes had received the least intimation of the accident, until they heard a correct account from de Vaux, and Harry himself; consequently they had not felt the same alarm for Hazlehurst.

Dr. and Mrs. Van Horne were much gratified by hearing, that Hazlehurst’s restoration was owing to the devoted perseverance of their son; for it was only after every one else had given up the hope of reviving him, after long and ceaseless exertions, that signs of life were discovered. They also now learned the circumstances of the accident, the fact that two instead of four persons were lost, and they found that it was in endeavouring to save Charlie that Harry had so nearly lost his own life. But we leave them together to express their natural feelings of gratitude for those who had escaped, sympathy with the sufferers, their surprise at Harry’s appearance, and all the varying emotions of such a moment.

While this conversation was passing in one room, Elinor was in some measure recovering from the first sudden shock of the morning in the other. Harry seemed fully determined to maintain his post at her side, and still kept possession of her hand; in fact, the solemn, anxious moment, hallowed by grief, at which the disclosure of their mutual feelings had been made, seemed to banish all common, petty embarrassments. Miss Agnes and Harry required but a word and a look to explain matters; the aunt already understood it all.

“Poor Charlie!” exclaimed Elinor, with a half-inquiring look, as if with a faint hope that he too might have returned, like Harry.

“Our friend is gone, dearest!” said Harry, his eyes moistened with tears as he spoke.

Elinor wept, and a silence of a minute ensued. “His poor mother, and his sister!” she exclaimed at length.

“His two mothers, rather,” said Harry, with a faltering voice.

After another silence, Elinor turned to Hazlehurst with an anxious look, saying:

“And your other friends?”

“All safe; love.”

“The crew too?”

“One of the crew is lost; Black Bob, a sailor from Longbridge.”

“I remember him; he had no family I believe, Aunt,” she said.

“None, my child, that I have ever heard of.”

“The heaviest blow has fallen upon the Hubbards,” said Harry.

After a pause, in which aunt and niece had prayed for the mourners, Elinor again made some inquiries.

“Were all in the Petrel at the time?” asked Elinor.

“Smith and our poor Charlie, the negro and a boy were crossing a bay in the Petrel, when she capsized, by the bad management of the negro, who had been drinking. The rest of us were on shore.”

“You were not in any danger then?” said Elinor, as if relieved that he had not even been exposed to past peril.

“I owe my life to my friend Van Horne,” he replied.

Elinor shuddered, and turned deadly pale again. Harry threw his arms about her and embraced her fervently, until Elinor, who had now partially recovered the common current of her ideas, made a gentle struggle to release herself.

“But you were not in the Petrel?” she said again, as if anxious to understand all that related to him.

“We all went to our friends as soon as we saw the schooner capsize,” said Harry.

“Hubert de Vaux told me that Harry swam some distance, with the hope of saving poor Charles, who could not swim himself,” said Miss Agnes. “It was in that way, my child, that he was exposed.”

“To save Charlie! — that was like you,” said Elinor, with a glow on her cheek.

“There was no danger — no merit whatever in doing so — I have often swum farther,” said Harry; “the only difficulty was caused by my becoming entangled in some ropes, which drew me under water.”

“But where was the boat?”

“It was not at hand at the moment; they brought it as soon as possible.”

“Did Charlie speak?” asked Elinor, sadly.

“My poor friend was insensible when I reached him.”

Again a moment’s pause ensued.

“I must not forget to tell you, love, that we owe a great deal to another friend of ours,” said Harry, smiling. “You will be glad to hear that Bruno behaved nobly; he first discovered the ropes in which we were entangled.”

“Bruno! — Where is my noble dog? Pray call him; let me see him!”

Harry went to the door, and there was Bruno lying across the threshold, as if waiting to be admitted; he came in at Harry’s call, but not with his usual bound; he seemed to understand that if his old master had been saved, his master’s friend was lost. The noble creature was much caressed by Miss Wyllys and Elinor; and we are not ashamed to confess that the latter kissed him more than once. At length, Miss Agnes observing that her niece was very much recovered, rose from her seat, and stooping to kiss Elinor’s forehead, placed her hand in that of Harry, saying with much feeling, as she joined them, “God bless you, my children!” and then left the room.

As for what passed after Miss Agnes left her young friends, we cannot say; Bruno was the only witness to that interview between Harry and Elinor, and as Bruno was no tell-tale, nothing has ever transpired on the subject. We may suppose, however, that two young people, strongly attached to each other, united under such peculiar circumstances, did not part again until a conclusive and satisfactory explanation had taken place. Harry no doubt was enabled to quiet any scruples he may have felt with regard to Ellsworth; and probably Elinor was assured, that she had entirely mistaken Hazlehurst’s feelings during the past summer; that Mrs. Creighton was his friend’s sister, and a charming woman, but not the woman he loved, not the woman he could ever love, after having known his Elinor. Then, as both parties were frank and warm-hearted, as they had known each other for years, and had just been reunited under circumstances so solemn, there was probably more truth, less reserve, and possibly more tenderness than usual at similar meetings. Doubtless there were some smiles; and to judge from the tone of both parties on separating, we think that some tears must have been shed. We are certain that amid their own intimate personal communications, the young friend so dear to both, so recently lost, was more than once remembered; while at the same time it is a fact, that another communication of some importance to Harry, the disclosures of Stebbins, was forgotten by him, or deferred until the interview was interrupted. Mr. Wyllys entered to let Harry know that Hubert de Vaux had come for him.

“De Vaux is here waiting for you, Harry,” said Mr. Wyllys, opening the drawing-room door.

“Is it possible, my dear sir? — Is it so late?” exclaimed Harry.

It was in fact de Vaux, come to accompany Harry to Longbridge, to meet the body of our poor Charlie: so closely, on that eventful day, were joy and sadness mingled to the friends at Wyllys-Roof.

Elinor had risen from her seat as her grandfather approached.

“You feel better, my child,” he said kindly.

“I am happy, grandpapa! — happy as I can be to-day!“ she added, blushing, and weeping, and throwing her arms about his neck.

“It is all right, I see. May you be blessed, together, my children!” said the venerable man, uniting their hands.

After an instant’s silence, Elinor made a movement to leave the room.

“I am going to Longbridge, but I shall hope to see you again in the evening,” said Harry, before she left him.

“When you come back, then. You are going to Longbridge, you say?”

“Yes,” Said Harry sadly; “to meet Van Horne and Smith, with — ”

Elinor made no reply; she understood his sad errand; offered him her hand again, and left the room. She retired to her own apartment, and remained there alone for a long time; and there the young girl fell on her knees, and offered up most fervent, heartfelt thanksgivings for the safety of one she loved truly, one she had long loved, so recently rescued from the grave.

That afternoon, just as the autumn sun was sinking towards the woods, throwing a rich, warm glow over the country, a simple procession was seen moving slowly and sadly over the Longbridge highway. It was the body of Charlie Hubbard, brought home by his friends, to pass a few hours beneath his mother’s roof, ere it was consigned to its last resting-place under the sod. We have not yet dared to intrude upon the stricken inmates of the old grey cottage; we shall not attempt to paint their grief, such grief is sacred. The bereaved mother, half-infirm in body and mind, seemed to feel the blow without fully understanding it: Patsey, poor Patsey felt the affliction fully, comprehended it wholly. Charlie had been her idol from infancy; she had watched over the boy with an engrossing affection, an earnest devotion, which could be only compared to a mother’s love, which might claim a mother’s sacred name. She was entirely overcome when the young artist’s body was brought into the house, and placed in the coffin, beneath his father’s portrait.

“My boy! — my brother! — Charlie!” she cried wildly; all her usual calmness, her usual firmness giving way at the moment, as the young face she loved so tenderly was first disclosed to her view, pale and lifeless. But the fine features of the young artist, almost feminine in their delicate beauty, returned no answering glance — they were rigid, cold, and partially discoloured by death.

Hazlehurst and de Vaux passed the night beside the body of their friend; Miss Agnes and Mrs. Van Horne were with the bereaved mother and sisters.

Early on the following morning, Mr. Wyllys and Elinor came to take a last look at their young friend.

’Can it indeed be true? — Charlie gone for ever, gone so suddenly!’ thought Elinor, as she leaned over his body, weeping with the sincere, heartfelt grief of a true friend, until Hazlehurst, pained by her emotion, gently drew her away; not, however, before she had bent over poor Charlie, and gently kissed the discoloured forehead of her young companion, for the first and the last time.

Patsey’s grief, though not less deep, was more calm than at first. Again and again she had returned to her young brother’s coffin, with varying feelings; now overwhelmed by poignant grief, now partially soothed by the first balm of holy resignation; now alone, now accompanied by her friends. Once, early that morning, the infirm mother was brought into the room to look for the last time on the face of her son; she was carried in a chair and placed by the coffin, then assisted to rise by Miss Agnes and her daughter Kate. Her tears flowed long, falling on her boy’s cold, but still beautiful features; she wiped them away herself, and with an humble phrase of resignation, in the words of Scripture, expressed the thought that ere long she should be laid by his side. Her’s was not the bitter, living grief of Patsey; she felt that she was near the grave herself. Tears of gentle-hearted women were not the only tears which fell upon Charlie’s bier; his uncles, his elder brothers, and more than one true friend were there. But amid all the strong, contending emotions of those who crowded the humble room, who hung over the coffin, still that youthful form lay rigid in the fearful chill, the awful silence of death; he, whose bright eye, whose pleasant smile had never yet met the look of a friend without the quick glance of intellect, or the glow of kindly feeling. Patsey felt the change; she felt that the being she loved was not all there, the dearer portion was already beyond her sight — and with this reflection came the blessed consolations of Christian hope; for the unfeigned faith and the penitent obedience of the Christian, had been known to Charlie Hubbard from childhood; nor had they ever been forgotten by the young man.

Soon after sun-rise, friends and neighbours began to collect; they came from miles around, all classes and all ages — for the family was much respected, and their sudden bereavement had excited general compassion. The little door-yard and the humble parlour were filled, with those who justly claimed the name of friends; the highway and an adjoining field were crowded with neighbours.

After a solemn prayer within the house, those who had loved the dead fixed their eyes for the last time on his features; the coffin was closed from the light, the body was carried for the last time over the threshold, it was placed on a carriage, and the living crowd moved away, following the dead, with the slow, heavy movement of sorrow. The mother, the sisters, and the nearest female friends remained in privacy together at the house of mourning. As the funeral train moved along the highway towards Longbridge, it gradually increased in length; the different dwellings before which it passed had their windows closed, as a simple token of sympathy, and on approaching the village, one bell after another was heard, tolling sadly. The hearse paused for a moment before the house of Mr. Joseph Hubbard; those who had come thus far in carriages alighted, and joined by others collected in the village, they moved from there on foot. Several brother artists from New York, and other associates of the young man’s, bore the cloth which covered his coffin; and immediately after the nearest relatives, the elder brothers, and the uncles, came Hazlehurst and de Vaux, with the whole party of the Petrel, and the crew of the little schooner: and sincerely did they mourn their young friend; it is seldom indeed that the simple feeling of grief and compassion pervades a whole funeral train so generally as that of the young artist. But our poor Charlie had been much loved by all who knew him; he was carried to the grave among old friends of his family, in his native village — and there were many there capable of admiring his genius and respecting his character. As the procession entered the enclosure it passed before a new-made grave, that of the negro sailor, who had been decently interred by the directions of de Vaux, on the preceding evening, the party of the Petrel having also attended his funeral. On reaching the final resting-place of the young artist, among the tombs of his family, by the side of his father the minister, an impressive prayer and a short but touching address were made; the coffin was lowered, the earth thrown on it, and the grave closed over Charlie Hubbard: the story of his life was told.

{“entered the enclosure” = at Christ Episcopal Church, in Cooperstown, which Susan Fenimore Cooper attended, African- Americans were at this time buried just inside the churchyard entrance, away from the other graves; “was told” = was ended}

Harry was the last to leave the spot. While the funeral train returned with the mourners to the house of Mr. Joseph Hubbard, he remained standing by the grave of his friend, his mind filled with the recollection of the brilliant hopes so suddenly extinguished, the warm fancies so suddenly chilled, the bright dreams so suddenly blighted by the cold hand of death. The solemn truth, that the shadow of death had also passed over himself was not forgotten; life in its true character, with all its real value, all its uncertainties, all its responsibilities, rose more clearly revealed to him than it had ever yet done; he turned from Charlie’s grave a wiser man, carrying with him, in the recollection of his own unexpected restoration, an impulse for higher and more steadfast exertion in the discharge of duty.

But if Hazlehurst’s thoughts, as he retraced his solitary way towards Wyllys-Roof, were partly sad, they were not all gloomy. Wisdom does not lessen our enjoyment of one real blessing of life; she merely teaches us to distinguish the false from the true, and she even increases our happiness amid the evils and sorrows against which we are warned, by purifying our pleasures, and giving life and strength to every better thought and feeling. When Harry entered the gate of Wyllys-Roof, his heart beat with joy again, as he saw Elinor, now his betrothed wife, awaiting his return on the piazza; he joined her, and they had a long conversation together in the fullness of confidence and affection. They were at length interrupted by Miss Agnes, who returned from the Hubbards’. The young people inquired particularly after Miss Patsey.

“She is much more calm than she was yesterday; more like herself, more resigned, thinking again of others, attending to Mrs. Hubbard; she seems already to have found some consoling thoughts.”

“It seems, indeed,” said Harry, “as if Hubbard’s memory would furnish consolation to his friends by the very greatness of their loss; his character, his conduct, were always so excellent; the best consolation for Miss Patsey.”

“It is touching to see that excellent woman’s deep affection for one, so different from herself in many respects,” observed Mr. Wyllys.

“Fraternal affection is a very strong tie,” said Miss Agnes gently.

She might have added that it is one of the most honourable to the human heart, as it is peculiar to our race. Other natural affections, even the best, may be partially traced among the inferior beings of creation; something of the conjugal, paternal, and filial attachment may be roused for a moment in most living creatures; but fraternal affection is known to man alone, and would seem in its perfect disinterestedness, almost worthy to pass unchanged to a higher sphere.

“I have often thought,” said Mr. Wyllys, “that the affection of an unmarried sister for a brother or a sister, whose chief interests and affections belong by right to another, if not the most tender, is surely the most purely disinterested and generous which the human heart can know: and single women probably feel the tie more strongly than others.”

Mr. Wyllys was thinking when he spoke, of his daughter Agnes and Patsey Hubbard; and he might have thought of hundreds of others in the same circumstances, for happily such instances are very common.

“I have never had either brother or sister, but I can well imagine it must be a strong tie,” said Elinor.

“I flattered myself I had been a sort of brother to you in old times,” said Harry smiling.

“Your romantic, adopted brothers, Nelly, are not good for much,” said her grandfather. “We tried the experiment with Harry, and see how it has turned out; it generally proves so, either too much or too little. Don’t fancy you know anything about plain, honest, brotherly affection,” he added, smiling kindly on his granddaughter, who sat by his side.

Probably Harry was quite as well satisfied with the actual state of things.

“But Charlie was also a son to Miss Patsey,” he added, after a moment.

“Yes; he had been almost entirely under her care from an infant,” replied Miss Agnes.

“Poor Charlie! — little did I think that bright young head would be laid in the grave before mine!” said Mr. Wyllys.

A moment’s pause ensued.

“Much as I loved Hubbard, much as I regret his loss,” said Harry, “I shall always think of him with a melancholy pleasure.”

“Excepting his loss, there does not seem indeed to be one painful reflection connected with his name,” observed Miss Agnes.

“Cherish his memory then among your better recollections,” added Mr. Wyllys, to Harry and Elinor. “And an old man can tell you the full value of happy recollections; you will find one day the blessing of such treasures of memory.”

“It is a legacy, however, which the good alone can leave their friends,” said Miss Agnes.

And so it proved, indeed; after the first severe grief of the sudden bereavement had passed away, the young man was remembered among his friends with a peculiar tenderness, connected with his youth, his genius, his excellent character, his blameless life, and early death. Life had been but a morning to Charlie Hubbard, but it was a glowing summer morning; its hours had not been wasted, abused, misspent; brief as they were, yet in passing they had brought blessings to himself, to his fellow-beings; and they had left to those who loved him the best consolations of memory.