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ting forth fresh sprouts. 'Master Flemming, liad been ailing all the winter, and it grieved me that he did not improve with the spring. He had given up his post of organist; it was sometimes too much for him'now to mount the steep stairs to the organ loft. It may have been fancy, but he never seemed to me the same afterwards; and now his strength gradually declined Jessie was not uneasy, she never doubted his perfect recovery, and often talked cheerfully of what he would do when he was quite well again. He never contradicted her, but he knew that he was failing, and would often speak to me in his simple trustful way of death and heaven; I think his heart had been there ever since the young wife he loved so well died; it was only when he talked of Jessie that he seemed unwilling to leave this world; he reproached himsclt bitterly for not having thought of providing for her; he never had saved ; what he did not absolutely need he gave away, "and now my little one will be left a helpless orphan with none but you to care for her;" and as he said this bitter tears ran down the old man'scheek. I could not bear this, so I told him all I felt, and hoped, and feared, how my love for Jessie had strengthened with my strength and grown with my growth, till now it seemed a part of my nature, ho was much moved; I believe he loved me more than any other human being has loved me since, and when I saw how relieved he was, I was glad to have spoken so openly. He promised me faithfully not to reveal one word of this to Jessie; he had never ceased to regard her as a little child, and thought it far better not to " startle hep by such things yet awhile;" but he felt so sure all would be as I wished it—so perfectly sanguine of my success, I could not help being influenced by his words, and hoped more and feared less than I had hitherto done.
March and April glided away, the first of May had come. On that day the choristers of tlio college always assembled on the top of the chapel tower at day-break to sing certain anthems; it has been the custom for hundreds and hundreds of years, and I hope will be so for many years to come, for the effect is very touching and beautiful. Jessie and I had never missed going since the time we were children together,—and I was so proud to sing with the other boys. Master Flemming used to carry Jessie (then a tiny little thing) up the long, dark staircase, from which she was so glad to emerge on to the high tower, and whilst we sang she would stand by his side with that look of rapt happy thought one only sees in childish faces. Dear as she was to mo then, and fair as I had thought her, she was still dearer now, and still more fair. She ^ I and Hugh stood together looking over the greener, the ivy on the gray buildings put I same book; her blue eyes were cast down,
shyness had vanished, and she was her own
fay simple self again. I could hardly believe •was only a few years older than Hugh. I never knew how little life and gayety there was about me till I compared myself with him. I •was very proud of him, yet almost envious sometimes, his active bounding step, his manly strength, his very idle mirth and dislike to tlry books had a charm about them, and he soon •was a favorite with every one; from Master Flemming, who listened with the eager pleasure of a child to his description of far-off places and people, to the little bird Jessie bad rescued from some cruel boys and brought borne to nurse and pet, and who listened delighted to his cheery whistle. I perhaps was the only one who could see any fault in him, and I thought I discerned the old selfishness and imperiousness, though so pleasantly veiled whore he chose to please, I aid not wonder they remained undiscovered. During the ensuing winter and early spring I saw very little of them. I was young and inexperienced in my various offices, and it was only by dint of hard work I could fill them as I thought worthily. It was very difficult to leave the pleasant little room, with the bright fire throwing a ruddy glow on the carved onk book-cases and cherished books,— Martin Flemming in his easy chair, Jessie seated on a low stool at his "feet, his hand playing with her curls, while her little fingers busied themselves over some bit of work or let it drop idly to listen better to Hugh, whose tall figure looked taller in the fire-light as he leaned against the mantel-piece, amused will: Jessie's eager attention to the adventures ho told with such spirit, seeming quite content to pass his evenings in their quiet society, unheeding the numerous invitations of his young companions. I used to hear their merry singing voices as I sat poring over my books and papers in my little den up-stairs, or, harder to resist, Jessie's fresh young voice, singing the grand old music her father loved, or sonic simple ballad to please Hugh; then Martin \rould move to the instrument and play fragments of Handel, Beethoven, or Mozart, linking altogether in an unbroken chain of harmony as he alone could do; and though I could not see them, I knew how Jessie and Hugh talked more quietly, or sat silent in the fire-light, subdued, not saddened by the thrilling cbords and plaintive melodies, and the music was still a friend to me as it had been long ago, and is still, and now it spoke of budding hopes and happy dreams, till the bell in the old tower, tolling the rapidly passing hours, recalled me to my books and prosaic life again.
Spring was returning again, the tall elms were budding, the meadows daily growing
their long lashes resting on her soft check, and an ineffable smile was on her slightly parted lips. I did not wonder at Hugh's undisguised look of admiration. She did not see it. She ^as evidently in some happy dreamland of her own, which harmonized with th'e soft yet joyful music.
It was a lovely morning, warmer and brighter than May days often are. I lingered after the singin" was ended to feast my eyes on the view. The morning sun shone clear on the numerous spires and towers of the city, showing their exquisite proportions and tracery; the gardens, with their glorious trees and bright flowers, relieved the sombre gray of the colleges and halls, and the river flowed still and clear, fringed with its silver willows, through the low meadows gay with the fritellary and other early flowers; beyond lay green fields and woods, and the blue hills in the far distance. I thought I had never seen it look so beautiful before, it has never looked so beautiful since to me. A shadow fell on my life that day which has never quite passed away.
I had gone behind one of the buttresses to sec better some point of view, when I was startled by hearing voices near me, for I thought I had been left alone there. I listened, idly at first, but soon with only too intense an interest — it was Hugh who spoke, and he was telling of fervent love, utter devotion, pleading earnestly and eloquently,— and, oh misery! it was Jessie's voice that answered him. I could not hear the broken words at first, but soon, too soon, she confessed that she returned his love. Why did 1 not die at that moment V words are faint to express what I felt — grief, shame, anger, were all there. I could not move, I could not speak, I could not listen, I could only feel that the hope of my life was gone, my Jessie lost to me forever. I had been so utterly blind and presumptuous, a poor dreaming fool — and yet, he could not love her as 1 loved her, and then came burning indignation against Hugh; why was he ever to thwart and triumph over me? what had 1 done that I was not to be blessed as other men were? was a mere idle boy indeed more worthy of her than I who had worked and waited so many years? They had long gone down together, the sky had overcast, and the rain and wind were beating against the tower but I stood there brooding over my wrongs and misery, till the bell began to ring for morning prayers. Even then habit prevailed, am' I went down mechanically through the cloisters, and into my place in the chapel. I fell as though I were in a hateful dream, but knew that from this dream there would be no waking, and my heart was full of dark, evi
thoughts, but soon the organ began a low slaintive voluntary. I tried to harden myself against its influence, but it softened me even against my will, seeming to my excited fancy as if an angel pleaded with me; and as the touching strain continued, my anger vanished, my shame lessened, my heart was melted, and I could pray for help, tor strength, for comfort — pray as we only can pray when our heart's idols are breaking, what we have clung to escaping our grasp, and we feel our utter inability to stand alone. At last tears relieved me, and I rose up, strengthened if not comforted. It was her happiness I had always desired; should I repine because here was not mine too? I could bear all if Hugh proved worthy, and I would not doubt him; his love for her would make him so, and purify him from his faults; but for me! O God, how should I bear the long blank life from which it seemed to me then all the sunshine hadjled for ever?
I went to my usual duties that morning, doing all mechanically, seeing through every thing the fair downcast face, hearing^ the broken voice murmur to another words I had madly dreamed of hearing spoken to myself. I went home at night so sad and weary; it was hard to bear Hugh's radiant gladness, and almost relief that Jessie looked pale and tearful, and two preoccupied to notice any change there might be in my looks or manner. She was with her father most of the evening; he was worse than usual, and had kept his room for some days. I saw she had not told him any thing, for he talked cheerfully of indifferent subjects, and he never could keep any thing from me; dear guileless Martin Flemming, he never could dissemble or imagine that others could; in innocence, and faith, and charity, his heart waa like a little child's.
I could not sleep much that first miserable night, wretched dreams and waking thoughts haunted me. I rose early and went into the little garden Jessie tended so carefully. It was a lovely morning, the sun shone, the birds sang, the flowers I so lately delighted in oppressed me with their gay colors, every thing was in such contrast to myself. I was sitting listlessly on the rude stone bench I had put up there in happier days, when light footsteps startled me, and Jessie seated herself on the grass at my feet; she put up her hand in mine as she always used to do in childish days, she was too shy to look in my face with the old wistful glance, as she said, " Stephen, dear, I want you to help me and tell me what I ought to do." I knew what she would ask me; I had seen in her anxious gaze at her father and then at Hugh the night before how divided she was in her great love to them both. For a moment I felt as if I could not answer her calmly, but her cold hand trembled so in mine, her half-hidden face was so agitated, I soon thought only of soothing and helping her, as I had always done in her little troubles. I told her (God heard the anguished prayer I offered up for help and courage, or 1 never could have done it) "that I knew what she would tell me, that she and -Hugh loved one another, but that she could not bear to leave her old father, even to go with him, could hardly bear telling him she had thought of it,"—the fast-falling tears and silent pressure of my hand told me I had guessed right—" but that; she must not blame herself for loving Hugh t as she did; it was no sin;" here Jessie raised i her eyes to mine with a glance of happy | pride through her tears, and said, "did I not J wonder Hugh could care for such a childish' little thing as she was? I was very clever. to guess it all so well; she thought I never' understood such things, and now I would j make every thing straight and easy, as I al-1 •ways did." O Jessie, how your gentle heart would have grieved had you known the pain your innocent words gave me. We talked long together, she told me Hugh was sure his | father would gladly consent to his bringing out an English wife, but that he never would be induced to let him settle in England, indeed he had no means to make it possible; my heart sank as I thought of Jessie in a' strange land among utter strangers, but she had no misgivings for herself. Hugh was every thing to her, but how should she leave her father? I foresaw a speedy answer to this question, but I had not the heart to tell her how fast I thought Master Flemming was sinking. 1 knew that grievinw for me would sadden his remaining days, it he knew how things stood, so I advised Jessie not to speak, or let Hugh speak to him, till my father answered the letter Hugh had written, asking for his consent to their marriage; letters were answered but slowly in those days, "and by that time—" Jessie interrupted me to say, cheerfully — "he may be so much better, there will be no fear of agitating him,"—and she, childlike, wiped her tears away, and sprinkled her checks with water from the quaint old fountain, that Hugh might not find her "looking pale and ugly," and then flitted like a butterfly amongst her flowers, gathering a nosegay for her father's room. She told^ me before I left her, that "I had made her happier, as I always did when I talked to her," and it lightened my heavy heart to find that I could still do so, and made it more easy for me to shake hands with Hugh, whom I met coming in at the garden gate, and wish him joy. I sometimes think
he must have partly guessed my feelings, he was so confused, and muttered something about my great kindness, and he always avoided being aloue with me, and was silent and reserved if we were. He had never liked me, and I could not wonder at it; I had none of the qualities he most prized, and felt it natural enough that he was often ashamed of his shy, awkward, bookworm of a brother.
I studied harder than ever; I was writing a book, interesting only to scholars, more to force my thoughts from myself and to please Martin Flemming than from any hope of fame or reward. He had somewhat revived lately, and could sometimes sit for hours in the sunny little garden, where he could hear, though faintly, the organ and choristers. He hardly seemed to care for any thing now but music and his old books, chief amongst them the Bible and Milton. He had unloosened his soul from earthly cares, and would talk of another life as if he had already partly entered into its peace and joy. We were sitting together in the garden one bright Sunday morning, it was a very calm day, and the music in the chapel floated to us more distinctly than I had ever heard it before. Martin's eye glistened as he sat listening; when it ceased, he told me one of the voices had sounded like his dear young wife's. "How I have pined to hear that sweet voice again, and it is one of my blessed thoughts that I shall soon hear it in heaven, never to have it taken from me. I am glad the Bible says so much about music, it seems to make it right to love it so dearly and feel it a holy thing. She made me promise before she died that 1 would never neglect it in my grief for her, but always love it for her sake, sne knew how it would comfort me."
The organ began again, and he sat up to listen even more eagerly than before, when quite suddenly he fell back fainting, — I was much alarmed, but he soon partially recovered and begged to be taken into the house. He was much better when Jessie and Hugh came in, but we all saw that a change had come over him, and felt what it meant. He was quite conscious, but did not speak, except a few soothing words to Jessie, who sat by his bed, pressing her soft cheek on his withered hand, almost stunned, poor child, by the suddenness of the blow, for she knew now he was dying. Towards the evening he wandered a little, and when the chapel bell rung, begged to be allowed to go and play the organ, but a few words soon recalled him to himself, and he smiled joyfully, saying "he would hear music no more till lie heard the heavenly choir, and Lis wife's voice singing amongst the angels." Ue then lay quite stifl and we thought he slept, for the bright smile I •was still on liis lace, but it was sleep from j which he woke no more in this world, his guileless spirit passed away to heaven that calm, starry night.
I will not dwell on the mournful days that followed; it was Jessie's first real sorrow, and her grief was terrible for a time, — God forgive me that even then it made mine so much more unbearable that it was Hugh who comforted her, Hugh who first won a smile by talking of brighter days to come, of a love stronger, deeper than that of a father's, and her cheek became less pale, and her tears flowed more quietly as she listened.
How, at that time, I envied my dear master's quiet rest in the grave 1 he needed mo no more, there was no one left to miss me if I died — the only one who had ever really prized my love was gone, and my life seemed darker than ever.
The days went by, Jessie's step was regaining its lightness and her voice its gay tone. It vexed me to see that, after a little, Hugh grew impatient of her grief, and hardly concealed that he was so, and she, womanlike, would meekly conceal all traces of it when he was by, trying to be just as she was when she first won his love. It sometimes frightened me to see the intensity of her utter devotion to him; he loved her, too, but there was the old imperiousness in his very love. His father's willing consent to his marriage came all too soon, and Hugh's impatience was not to be withstood. A ship was soon going out, they were to be married immediately, and sail in her. The letter was kind, and, for Hugh's sake, if not for her own, I trusted they would receive his wife lovingly. As the time drew near, Jessie needed all my powers of sympathy and consolation to sooth her mingled hopes and fears; and I would not fail her when she needed me, though none can tell what agony was in my heart to part with her, my little, tender, gentle Jessie, to part with her, too, probably for ever! it seemed more than I could bear. It was well the last days were hurried; had that wretched time lasted longer I should have broken down altogether; as it was, I went through it all calm, unflinching, even that most miserable day of all which made her Hugh's wife, and on which he bore her away from me forever. How she wept when we parted, and sobbed out that no one could ever be so patient and good to her as I had been, and that she would never, never forget me; and though he spoke to her gently, I saw the dark shade on Hugh's face as he led her away; her pale childlike face turned towards me, her loving eyes uplifted to mine, but even beferc she passed the door she tried to
smile up in Hugh's face, and bid him "not think she repented going anywhere, leaving any thing, with him."
I never saw her again, and never may in this world, but her every look and tone still dwells in my memory, never to be effaced from it, till 1 see her again in heaven.
I had a long illness after this, the exertions I had made were more than my weak frame could bear. I hoped and prayed that I might die, but God in His mercy spared me, to learn resignation and submission to His will, and in the long days and nights of pain and weary loneliness that followed, I trust I learned to submit my will to His, and know and love Him as my friend.
I recovered, though slowly. I had to leave the familiar house where all my happiest days were spent, for my rooms in the College; my books were still with me, and, after a time I found interest in them and in my duties, and every day my past life became more like a dream, and my sorrow less acute.
In due time a letter came from Jessie; what a strange thrill the writing gave me, and I thought of the time when f taught her little hand to trace the letters, and her merry laugh when her curls would fall on the paper and blot out the strange misshapen characters. It was a very happy letter, full of Hugh's virtues and kindness, "and how popular he -was, and how proud she felt to be his wife, and how unworthy;" and there were affectionate words for me, too, and promises never to forget my brotherly love and counsels, all written in her simple, childlike, loving way. I was happier for a time after that letter, and those that followed for some months, but after that, it seemed to me there was a tinge of sadness in them, deepening more and more. "She was not so strong as she had been, and Hugh was often away, and when he was at home she was much alone, because she was not able to be as gay as he was, and he would grow dull staying in alone with only her;"— then there was a long pause, and I heard nothing, and when a letter did come in the dear hand, it was so unsteady and different from the usual clear writing, I hardly recognized it. "She had been very ill, and Hugh would not let her write letters, because, Be said, it tired her; he did not know how she Irked to write to me, and think and talk of the dear old home, or he would not have prevented her; she did so long to see it again, and thought she might yet get strong again if Hugh could spare time and money to brin<j her back there for a little, but this ho could not do, and he said she was getting quite well again, but she did not think so herself." Then she went on to say "she feared she had not prized her old peaceful happy home, and the
tenderness and care she had ever met there, | ever grown less, her death had revived it;
as she ought to have done, and prated mo to forgive her seeming ingratitude; sh"e under
better now how precious and rare such
int lovkg care was." Poor Jessie, her artless words snowed but too plainly that the sorrows and trials which I would gladly have given my life to save her from had come upon ner—perhaps, to be borne only for a short
time; and when I thought what misery every from the time they told her that she must neglect or unkindncss would be to her gentle, die, only anxious to comfort Hugh, and declinging heart, I almost hoped it might be to;! lighting in his tender cares for her, though but oh! as I sat by my lonely fireside, and they come too late to save. — lie said he felt
now how utterly unworthy he had proved
his letter was written in great grief, and bitter self-reproach that her had never seen how ill she was, and had so often left her lonely, —lie dwelt on her meek patience through all her sufferings, and gentleness to all. She spoke of me nearly at the last, and bid them send me a lock of her hair, with her dear love. She seemed quite happy and peaceful
pondered over what was and what might nave been, it seemed hard that my cherished
himself of the treasure that had been given
flower had been taken from me to droop and \ to his keeping, and that he felt I never could wither in a strange land; what would I give forgive him.
to be near her, to help and comfort as of old, — but God's ways are not as our ways, and He was preparing joy and love for her such as I could not give, for it was the perfect joy
When my sorrow had grown more calm, I wrote to him such woals of comfort and brotherly sympathy as I thought he would like best, but the answer (which was long of
and perfect love we may only find in heaven.' coming) was constrained and short, the reI watched and waited wearily through that i pentant mood had evidently left him, ami I
long, dark winter for tidings from C , but' fear his misfortune only left him a colder,
my heart misgave me when the wished-for j harder man. I did not often hear of him letter came, for it was from Hugh. I knew ' after this; he married again, and has grownwhat he had to tell me before I read, for as I up sons and daughters, all strangers to. me. hastily opened the letter a tress of golden Since that mournful winter my life has hair dropped at my feet. What fond memo- glided by calmly and uneventfully, and it has rics turned round that sunny curl,—the little | not been unhappy. All the sadness has faded laughing child running to meet me, her hair from the old memories, and they have made streaming in the wind—the fair girl resting' many a solitary hour seem not lonely. I her head on her father's knee, his hand fond- ', have always remained poor and weak, but I ly parting the drooping curls—the sad weep- ' have been enabled to be of use to those pooring orphan, her hair hanging disordered over ' er than myself, freely giving the instruction Ikt black dress—the proud young wife, smil- j they could not afford to pay for, and the ingly bidding her husband notice how "she j gratitude (if not the affection) of many has had put away all her long locks under her cheered my path. I am old and failing now, bonnet, because it made her look less like a and may humbly hope that soon this worn-out child"—all her winning looks and ways came i frame will rest under the stones of the cloisback upon me. Jessie, my own cherished tcr, where in life I so often lingered,— and darling, was this to be the end of all? Bit- my spirit join those I loj'ed so deeply and lost tcr tears dropped on the precious lock of | so long ago, in that bright world where partLair, and for a time I could find no comfort, ing and sorrow are unknown. Poor Hugh! if his affection for her had
"Shagreen,"—In a letter, dated 19lh Nov. 1728, is the following sentence :—
"Bought eighteen yards of very pretty white silk, something in the nature of Shagreen, but a belter color than they ever are; it cost sixpence a yard more—the piece came to three pounds twelve shillings."
Can you give any information as to this species of silk (or whatever material it was), here called by the name of " shagreen 1" *
THIRD SERIES. LIVING AGE. 550
[The term "shagreen " when applied to silk and not to the prepared skin of fish or beasts, was a kind of taffeta, and is an Anglicized form of the French rhayrin, which is also used to signify a sort of silk, as well as prepared skin. Referring to silk, shagreen docs not appear to indicate color, or strictly speaking quality; but rather intimates the grained or pimpled fabric of the silk, resembling tlic sort of skin or leather which was railed shagreen, and formerly much more used than at present.]—Notes and Queries.