Life Tied in a Knot
The Maid of Maiden Lane
Author:Amelia E. Barr

One morning soon after the New Year, Hyde was returning to the Manor House from New York. It was a day to oppress thought, and tighten the heart, and kill all hope and energy. There was a monotonous rain and a sky like that of a past age--solemn and leaden--and the mud of the roads was unspeakable. He was compelled to ride slowly and to feel in its full force, as it were, the hostility of Nature. As he reached his home the rain ceased, and a thick mist, with noiseless entrance, pervaded all the environment; but no life, or sound of life, broke the melancholy sense of his utter desolation.

He took the road by the lake because it was the nearest road to the stables, where he wished to alight; but the sight of the livid water, and of the herons standing motionless under the huge cedars by its frozen edges, brought to speech and expression that stifled grief, which Nature this morning had intensified, not relieved.

"Those unearthly birds!" he said petulantly, "they look as if they had escaped the deluge by some mistake. Oh if I could forget! If I could only forget! And now she has gone! She has gone! I shall never see her again! "Grief feels it a kind of luxury to repeat some supreme cry of misery, and this lamentation for his lost love had this poignant satisfaction. He felt New York to be empty and void and dreary, and the Manor House with its physical cheer and comfort, and its store of affection, could not lift the stone from his heart.

In spite of the chilling mist the Earl had gone to see a neighbour about some land and local affairs, and his mother--oblivious of the coronet of a countess--was helping her housekeeper to make out the list of all household property at the beginning of the year 1792. She seemed a little annoyed at his intrusion, and recommended to him a change of apparel. Then he smiled at his forlorn, draggled condition, and went to his room.

Now it is a fact that in extreme dejection something good to eat, and something nice to wear, will often restore the inner man to his normal complacency; and when Hyde's valet had seen to his master's refreshment in every possible way, Hyde was at least reconciled to the idea of living a little longer. The mud-stained garments had disappeared, and as he walked up and down the luxurious room, brightened by the blazing oak logs, he caught reflections of his handsome person in the mirror, and he began to be comforted. For it is not in normal youth to disdain the smaller joys of life; and Hyde was thinking as his servant dressed him in satin and velvet, that at least there was Annie. Annie was always glad to see him, and he had a great respect for Annie's opinions. Indeed during the past few weeks they had been brought into daily companionship, they had become very good friends. So then the absence of the Earl and the preoccupation of his mother was not beyond comfort, if Annie was able to receive him. In spite of his grief for Cornelia's removal from New York, he was not insensible to the pleasure of Annie's approval. He liked to show himself to her when he knew he could appear to advantage; and there was nothing more in this desire, than that healthy wish for approbation that is natural to self-respecting youth.

He heard her singing as he approached the drawing-room, and he opened the door noiselessly and went in. If she was conscious of his entrance she made no sign of it, and Hyde did not seem to expect it. He glanced at her as he might have glanced at a priest by the altar, and went softly to the fireside and sat down. At this moment she had a solemn, saintly beauty; her small pale face was luminous with spiritual joy, her eyes glowing with rapture, and her hands moving among the ivory keys of the piano made enchanting melody to her inspired longing Jerusalem the golden, With milk and honey blest, Beneath thy contemplation Sink heart and voice oppressed. O one, O only mansion, O paradise of joy! Where tears are ever banished And smiles have no alloy. O sweet and blessed country! Shall I ever see thy face? O sweet and blessed country! Shall I ever win thy grace?

and as these eager impassioned words rose heavenward, it seemed to Hyde that her innocent, longing soul was half-way out of her frail little body. He did not in any way disturb her. She ceased when the hymn was finished and sat still a few moments, realizing, as far as she could, the glory which doth not yet appear. As her eyes dropped, the light faded from her face; she smiled at Hyde, a smile that seemed to light all the space between them. Then he stood up and she came towards him. No wonder that strangers spoke of her as a child; she had the size and face and figure of a child, and her look of extreme youth was much accentuated by the simple black gown she wore, and by her carriage, for she leaned slightly forward as she walked, her feet appearing to take no hold upon the floor; a movement springing INTERIORLY from the soul eagerness which dominated her. Hyde placed her in a chair before the fire, and then drew his own chair to her side.

"Cousin," she said, "I am most glad to see you. Everybody has some work to do to-day."

"And you, Annie?"

"In this world I have no work to do," she answered. "My soul is here for a purchase; when I have made it I shall go home again." And Hyde looked at her with such curious interest that she added--"I am buying Patience."

"O indeed, that is a commodity not in the market."

"I as**sure you it is. I buy it daily. Once I used to wonder what for I had come to earth. I had no strength, no beauty, nothing at all to buy Earth's good things with. Three years ago I found out that I had come to buy for my soul, the grace of Patience. Do you remember what an imperious, restless, hard-to-please, hard-to-serve girl I was? Now it is different. If people do not come on the instant I call them, I rock my soul to rest, and say to it 'anon, anon, be quiet, soul.' If I suffer much pain--and that is very often--I say Soul, it is His Will, you must not cry out against it. If I do not get my own way, I say, Soul, His Way is best; and thus, day by day, I am buying Patience."

"But it is not possible this can content you. You must have some other hope and desire, Annie?"

"Perhaps I once had--and to-day is a good time to speak of it to you, because now it troubles me no longer. You know what my father desired, and what your father promised, for us both?"

"Yes. Did you desire it, Annie?"

"I do not desire it now. You were ever against it?"

"Oh Annie!--"

"It makes no matter, George. I shall never marry you."

"Do you dislike me so much?"

"I am very fond of you. You are of my race and my kindred, and I love every soul of the Hydes that has ever tarried on this earth."

"Well then?"

"I shall marry no one. I will show you the better way. Few can walk in it, but Doctor Roslyn says, he thinks it may be my part--my happy part-- to do so:" and as she spoke she took from the little pocket at her side a small copy of the gospels, and it opened of its own account at the twentieth chapter of St. Luke. "See!" she said, "and read it for yourself, George--"

"The children of this world marry and are given in marriage. But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage.

"Neither can they die any more; for they are equal unto the angels, and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection." [Footnote: St. Luke, chap. xx. 34-36.] "To die no more! To be like unto the angels! To be the children of God! This is the end and aim of my desires, to be among 'the children of God!'"

"Dear Annie, I cannot understand this."

"Not yet. It is not your time. My soul, I think, is ages older than yours. It takes ages of schooling to get into that class that may leave Earth forever, and be as the angels. Even now I know, I am sure that you are fretting and miserable for the love of some woman. For whose love, George? Tell me."

Then Hyde plunged with headlong precipitancy into the story of his love for Cornelia, and of the inexplicably cruel way in which it had been brought to a close. "And yesterday," he continued with a sob in his voice--"yesterday I heard that her father had taken her to Philadelphia. I shall see her no more. He will marry her to Rem Van Arenas, or to one of her Quaker cousins, and the taste is taken out of my life, and I am only a walking misery."

"I do not believe it is Cornelia's fault."

"Here is her letter. Read it." Then Annie look the letter and after reading it said, "If she be all you say, I will vow she wrote this in her sleep. I should like to see her. Why do you think wrong of her? What is love without faith in the one you love? Do you know first and finally what true love is? It is THINKING kindly and nobly. For if we GIVE all we have, and DO all we can do, and yet THINK unkindly, it profits us nothing. Doctor Roslyn told me so. You remember him?"

"Your teacher?"

"My teacher, my friend, my father after the spirit. He told me that our thoughts moulded our fate, because thought and life are one. So then, if you really love Cornelia, you must think good of her, and then good will come."

"If thought and life are one, Annie, if doing good, and giving good, are nothing to thinking good, and we are to be judged by our quality of thinking, there will be a greater score against all of us, than we can imagine. I, for one, should not like to be brought face to face with what I think, and have thought about people; it would be an accounting beyond my power to settle."

"There is no accounting. If all the priests in Christendom tell you so, believe them not. Do you think God keeps a score against you? Do you think the future is some torture chamber, or condemned cell? Oh, how you wrong God!"

"But we are taught, Annie, that the future must correct the past."

"True, but the future, like the present, is a school--only a school. And the Great Master is so compassionate, so ready to help, so ready to enlighten, so sure to make out of our foolishness some wise thing. If we learn the lesson we came here to learn, He will say to us 'Well done'-- and then we shall go higher."

"If we do not learn it?"

"Ah then, we are turned back to try it over again! I should not like to be turned back--would you ?"

"But He will punish us for failure."

"Our earthly fathers are often impatient with us; His compassions fail not. Oh this good God!" she cried in an ecstasy--"Oh that I knew where I might find Him! Oh that I could come into His presence!" and her eyes dilated, and were full of an incomparable joy, as if they were gazing upon some glorious vision, and glad with the gladness of the angels.

Hyde looked at her with an intense interest. He wondered if this angelic little creature had ever known the frailties and temptations of mortal life, and she answered his thought as if he had spoken it aloud.

"Yes, cousin, I have known all temptations, and come through all tribulations. My soul has wandered and lost its way, and been brought back many and many a time, and bought every grace with much suffering. But God is always present to help, while quest followed quest, and lesson followed lesson, and goal succeeded goal; ever leaving some evil behind, and carrying forward some of those gains which are eternal."

"If Adam had not fallen!" sighed George, "things might have been so different."

"But the angels fell before Adam," she answered. "I wonder if Adam knew about the fallen angels? Did he know about death before he saw Abel dead? He was all day in the garden of Eden after eating of the fruit of sin and death, and yet he did not put out his hand to take of the Tree of Life. Did he know that he was already immortal? Was he--and are we-- fallen angels, working our way back to our first estate through many trials and much suffering? Doctor Roslyn talked to me of these things till I thought I felt wings stirring within me. Wings! Wings! Wings to fly away and be at rest. Wings! they have been the dream of every race and every age. Are they a memory of our past greatness, for they haunt us, and draw us on and on, and higher and higher?--but why do you look so troubled and reluctant?"

Before Hyde could answer, the Earl came into the room and the young man was glad to see his father. A conversation so unusual, so suggestive and cleaving made him unhappy. It took him up the high places that indeed gave him a startling outlook of life, but he was not comfortable at such altitude. He rose with something of this strange air about him, and the Earl understood what the trend of the conversation had been. For Annie had talked much to him on such subjects, and he had been sensibly moved and impressed by the wisdom which the little maid had learned from her venerable teacher. He lifted her head in passing, and kissed her brow with that reverent affection we feel for those who bring out what is noblest and best in our character, and who lead us higher than our daily walk.

"My dear George," he said, "I am delighted to see you. I was afraid you would stay in the city this dreadful weather. Is there any news?"

"A great deal, sir. I have brought you English and French papers."

"I will read them at my leisure. Give me the English news first. What is it in substance?"

"The conquest of Mysore and Madras. Seringapatam has fallen; and Tippoo has ceded to England one half his dominions and three millions of pounds. The French have not now a foothold left in India, and 'Citizen Tippoo' can no longer help the agents of the French Republic. Faith, sir! Cornwallis has given England in the east, a compensation for what she lost in the west."

"To make nations of free men, is the destiny of our race," replied the Earl.

"Perhaps so; for it seems the new colony planted at Sydney Cove, Australia, is doing wonderfully; and that would mean an English empire in the south."

"Yet, I have just read a proclamation of the French Assembly, calling on the people of France 'TO ANNIHILATE AT ONCE, the white, clay-footed colossus of English power and diplomacy.' Anything else?"

"Mr. Fox and Mr. Burke are quarrelling as usual, and Mr. Pitt is making the excesses of France the excuse for keeping back reform in England. It is the old story. I did not care to read it. The French papers tell their side of it. They call Burke a madman, and Pitt a monster, and the Moniteur accuses them of having misrepresented the great French nation, and says, 'they will soon be laid prostrate before the statue of Liberty, from which they shall only rise to mount the scaffold, etc., etc.'"

"What bombastic nonsense!"

"Minister Morris is in the midst of horrors unmentionable. The other foreign ministers have left France, and the French government is deserted by all the world; yet Mr. Morris remains at his post, though he was lately arrested in the street, and his house searched by armed men."

"But this is an insult to the American nation! Why does he endure it? He ought to return home."

"Because he will not abandon his duty in the hour of peril and difficulty. Neither has the President given him permission to do so. How could he desert American citizens unlawfully imprisoned, American vessels unlawfully seized by French privateers, and American captains detained in French ports on all kinds of pretences. I think Minister Morris is precisely where he should be, saving the lives of American citizens; many of whom are trembling to-day in the shadow of the guillotine."

"It is to be hoped that Jefferson is now convinced of the execrable nature of these brutal revolutionists."

"I can as**sure you, sir, he is not. He still excuses all their abominations and says Minister Morris is a high-flying monarchy man, and not to be taken without great allowance. I hear that Madame Kippon's daughter, whom Mr. Morris rescued at the last hour, has arrived in New York; and yesterday I met Mr. Van Ariens, who is exceedingly anxious concerning his daughter, the Marquise de Tounnerre." "Is she in danger? I thought her husband was a leader in the new National Assembly."

"He is among the Girondists. They are giving themselves airs and making fine speeches at present--but--"

"But what?"

"Their day will be short."

"What of the king?"

"The royal family are all prisoners in the Temple Tower. I do not dare to read the particulars; but not a single protest against their barbarity is made. Frenchmen who silently saw the Abbaye, the Force, and the Carmes turned into human shambles three months ago, now hold their peace while murders no less horrible are being slowly done in the Temple."

"They are inconceivable monsters. Poor little Arenta! What will she do?"

"I am not very uneasy for her; she has wit enough to save her life if put to such extremes; her father is much to be pitied; and it is incredible, though true, that the great majority of our people are still singing the MARSEILLAISE, though every letter of it is washed in blood and tears."

"I am troubled about that pretty little Marquise."

"She is clever and full of resource. I have had only one letter from her since her marriage, and it was written to the word 'glories!' She seemed to be living in a blaze of triumph and very happy. But change is the order of the day in France."

"Say of the hour, and you are nearer the truth."

"If Arenta is in trouble she will cry out, and call for help on every hand. I never knew her to make a mistake where her own interests were concerned. I told her father yesterday that it would be very difficult to corner Arenta, and comforted him beyond my hope."

During this conversation Annie was in a reverie which it in no way touched. She had the faculty of shutting her ears to sounds she did not wish to take into her consciousness, and the French Revolution did not exist for her. She was thinking all the time of her Cousin George, and of the singular abruptness with which his love life had been cut short; and it was this train of thought which led her--when the murmur of voices ceased for a moment--to say impulsively: "Uncle, it is my desire to go to Philadelphia," The Earl looked at her with incredulity. "What nonsense, Annie!" he exclaimed. "The thing is impossible."

"Why impossible?"

"For you, I mean. You would be very ill before the journey was half- finished. The roads, as George will tell you, are nearly impassable; and the weather after this fog may be intensely cold. For you a journey to Philadelphia would be an arduous undertaking, and one without any reasonable motive."

"Oh, indeed! Do you call George Washington an unreasonable motive? I wish to see him. Imagine me within one hundred miles of this supreme hero, and turning back to England without kissing his hand. I should be laughed at--I should deserve to be laughed at."

"Yes, if the journey were an easier one."

"To be sure, the roads and the cold will be trials; but then my uncle, you can give them to me, as God gives trials to His Beloved. He breaks them up into small portions, and puts a night's sleep between the portions. Can you not also do this?"

"You little Methodist!" answered the Earl, with a tender gleam in his eyes. "I see that I shall have to give you your own way. Will you go with us, George?"

"It will be a relief. New York is in the dumps. Little Burr having beaten the Schuyler faction, thinks himself omnipotent; and this quarrel between Mr. Jay and Governor Clinton keeps every one else on the edge of ill-humour. All the dancing part of the town are gone to Philadelphia; I have scarcely a partner left; and there is no conversation now in New York that is not political. Burr, Schuyler, Jay, Clinton! even the clergy have gone horse and foot into these disputes."

"Burr has a kind of cleverness; one must admit that."

"He is under the curse of knowing everything."

"Nevertheless his opinions will not alter the axis of the earth. It is however a dangerous thing to live in a community where politics are the staple of talk, quarrels spring full armed from a word in such an atmosphere."

"I have accommodated my politics, sir, to my own satisfaction; and I make shift to answer people according to their idols. I vow, I am so weary of the words 'honour and honesty' that they beat a tattoo on my brain."

"When you are as old as I am, George, you will understand that these words are the coin, with which men buy office. The corruption of courtiers is a general article of faith, but the impudence of patriots going to market with their honesty, beats courtly corruption to nothing. However, let us go to Philadelphia and see the play. That is what Annie desires."

"I desire to see Washington. I wish to see the greatest of Americans."

"Let me tell you, Annie," said the Earl, "that there never was a man in America less American in character and habits, than Washington."

"For all that," interrupted George, "there will never come a man after him, that will be able to rob Washington of the first place in the hearts of the American nation."

"Nor at this day can we judge him as he deserves," added the Earl;" for he is cramped and hustled by the crowd of nobodies around him."

"I shall look at him, and I shall know him," said Annie. "George tells me that he is good and handsome to look at."

"On horseback," continued the Earl, "there is none like him; he is the ideally perfect cavalier--graceful, dignified, commanding. Indeed so superb a man comes not twice in a generation. At Monmouth, where I commanded a division, I remember him flying along the lines, cheering the men and restoring by his tremendous enthusiasm the fortunes of the fight to our standard. The grandest of men! You are right, Annie, it would be a stupidity to go back to England without seeing him."

This was the initial conversation which after some opposition, and a little temper from madame the Countess, resulted in the Hyde family visiting Philadelphia. It was a great trial to the Countess to leave her own well ordered, comfortable home for apartments in an hotel; and she was never done as**serting it to be a great imprudence, as far as Annie was concerned. But the girl was immovable, and as she was supported by her uncle and cousin, the Countess was compelled to acquiesce. But really she was so ready to find her pleasure in the pleasure of those she loved, that this acquiescence was not an unmitigated trial. She suspected the motive for her son's eager desire for Philadelphia, and as she had abandoned without much regret the hope of his marriage with Annie Hyde, she was far from being disinclined to Cornelia. She had accustomed herself to the idea of Cornelia as mistress of the beautiful home she had made. She was an American, and madame loved her country and wished her daughter-in-law to be of American lineage. She was aware that some trouble had come between the lovers, and she trusted that this visit might be the ground of a reconciliation. Without question, or plan, or even strong desire, she felt the wisdom of making opportunities, and then leaving the improvement of them to circumstances.

So about the beginning of February the Hydes were settled in Philadelphia more comfortably than could have been expected. A handsome house, handsomely furnished, had been found; and madame had brought with her the servants necessary to care for it, and for the family's comfort. And she was glad, when the weariness of the journey was over, to see how naturally and pleasantly her husband and son took their places in the gay world around them. She watched the latter constantly, being sure she would be able to read on his face, and by his manner and temper, whether affairs relating to Cornelia were favourable.

In a week she had come to the conclusion that he was disappointed; which indeed was very much the case. He could hear nothing of Cornelia. He had never once got a glimpse of her lovely countenance, and no scrutiny had revealed to him the place of her abode. Every house inhabited by a person of the name of Willing, had been the object of his observation; but no form that by any possibility could be mistaken for hers, had passed in or out of their doors. He became ashamed of haunting particular streets, and fancied the ladies of certain houses watched him; and that the maids and menservants chattered and speculated about his motives.

Every day when he went out Annie gave him an as**suring smile, every day when he returned, she opened her eyes on him with the question in them she did not care to formulate; and every day she received in an answer an almost imperceptible negative shake of the head, that slight as it was, said despairingly, "I have not seen her."

A month passed in this unfruitful searching misery, and Hyde was almost hopeless. The journey appeared to be altogether a failure; and he said to Annie, "I am to be blamed for my selfishness in permitting you to come here. I see that you have tired yourself to death for nothing at all."

She gave her head a resolute little shake and answered, "Wait and see. Something is coming. You have no patience."

"I as**sure you, Annie, I ought to have. I have been buying it every day since we came to this detestable place."

"The place is not to blame. Do you know that I am going to Mrs. Washington's reception to-morrow evening? I shall see the President. He may even speak to me; for my uncle says he appears there, only as a private gentleman. Cousin, you are to be my cavalier if it please you; and my uncle and aunt will attend us."

"I am devotedly at your service, Annie; and I will at least point out to you some of the dazzling beauties of our court--the splendid Mrs. Bingham, the Miss Allens, and Miss Chews, and the brilliant Sally McKean."

"And the lovely Cornelia Moran?"

"She will not be there."

"My aunt says I must wear a white gown, and I shah do you all the justice it is in my power to do."

"I am always proud of you, Annie. There is no one like you."

"Do not say that, George!" The few words were almost a cry; and she closed her eyes, and clasped her small hands tightly.

"What have I said, Annie?"

"Nothing--nothing--only do not flatter me."

"It is the very truth."

"Let it pass?--it is nothing." She was silent afterwards, like a person in pain; all her childlike gaiety gone; and Hyde having a full share of a man's stupidity about matters of pure feeling, did not for one moment suspect why his praise should give her pain. He thought her objection must come from some religious scruple.

The next evening however he had every reason to feel proud of his cousin. She was really an exquisite little creature; angels would have given her all she wished, she was so charming. The touch of phantasy and flame in her nature illumined her face, and no one could look at her without feeling that a fervent and transparent soul gazed from eyes, so lambent with soft spiritual fire. This impression was enhanced by her childlike gown of white crape over soft white silk; it suggested her sweet fretless life, and also something unknown and unseen in her very simplicity.

Hyde, who was dressed in the very finest mode, was proud to take her on his arm; and the Earl watched them with a fond and faithful hope that all would soon fall out as he desired it. He could not indeed imagine a man remaining unimpressed by a beauty so captivating to the highest senses. "It will be as we wish," he said to his Countess as they watched them entering the waiting coach; and she answered with that smile of admission, which has always its reserved opinion.

Mrs. Washington's parlours were crowded when they entered them, but the splendid throng gave the highest expression of their approval possible, by that involuntary silence which indicates a pleased astonishment. The Earl at once presented his niece to Mrs. Washington, and afterwards to the President, who as a guest of Mrs. Washington was walking about the rooms talking to the ladies present. Resplendent in purple and white satin and the finest of laces, the august man captivated Lady Annie at the first glance. She curtsied with inimitable grace, and would have kissed the hand he held out to her, had he permitted the homage. For a few minutes he remained in conversation with the party, then he went forward, and Hyde turning with his beautiful charge, met Cornelia face to face.

They looked at each other as two disembodied souls might meet and look after death--reproaching, questioning, entreating, longing. Hyde flushed and paled, and could not for his very life make the slightest effort at recognition or speech. Not a word would come. He knew not what word to say. Cornelia who had seen his entry was more prepared. She gave him one long look of tender reproach as she passed, but she made no movement of recognition. If she had said one syllable--if she had paused one moment-- if she had shown in any way the least desire for a renewal of their acquaintance, Hyde was sure his heart would have instantly responded. As it was, they had met and parted in a moment, and every circumstance had been against him. For it was the most natural thing in life, that he should, after his cousin's interview with Washington, stoop to her words with delight and interest; and it was equally natural for Cornelia to put the construction on his attentions which every one else did. Then being angry at her apparent indifference, he made these attentions still more prominent; and Cornelia heard on every hand the confirmation of her own suspicions: "They are to be married at Easter. What a delightful little creature!"

"They have loved each other all their lives."

"The Earl is delighted with the marriage."

"He is the most devoted of lovers."

And there was not a word of dissent from this opinion until pretty Sally McKean said, "A fig for your prophecies! George Hyde has loved and galloped away a score of times. I would not pay any more attention to his proposals and promises, than I would pay to the wind that blows where it listeth; here to-day, and somewhere else to-morrow."

To all these speculations Cornelia forced herself to listen with a calm unalterable; and Hyde and Annie watched her from a distance. "So that is the marvellous beauty!" said Annie.

"Is she not marvellously beautiful?" asked Hyde.

"Yes. I will say that much. But why did she look at you with so much of reproach? What have you done to her?"

"That is it. What have I done? Or left undone?"

"Who is the gentleman with her?"

"I know not. She has many relatives here; wealthy Quakers, and some of them doubtless of the new order, who do not disdain the frivolity of fine clothing."

"Indeed, I as**sure you the Quakers were ever nice in their taste for silks and velvets and laces. The man is handsome enough even to be her escort. And to judge by appearances he is her devoted servant. Will you regard them, cousin?"

"I do. Alas, I see nothing else! She is more lovely then ever."

"She is wonderfully dressed. That gown of pale blue and silver would make any woman look like an angel?-but indeed she is lovely beyond comparison. There are none like her in this room. It will be a thousand pities if you lose her."

"I shall be inconsolable."

"You may have another opportunity even tonight. I see that my aunt is approaching with a young lady, if you do not wish to make a new acquaintance, go and try to meet Cornelia again."

"Thank you, Annie. You can tell me what I have missed afterwards."

He wandered through the parlours speaking to one and another but ever on the watch for Cornelia. He saw her no more that night. She had withdrawn as soon as possible after meeting Hyde, and he was so miserably disappointed, so angry at the unpropitious circumstances which had dominated their casual meeting, that he hardly spoke to anyone as they returned home; and was indeed so little interested in other affairs that he forgot until the next day to ask Annie whose acquaintance he had rather palpably refused.

"You cannot guess who it was," said Annie in answer to his query;" so I will make a favour of telling you. Do you remember the Rev. Mr. Darner, rector of Downhill Market?"

"Very well. He preached very tiresome sermons."

"The young lady was his daughter Mary."

"'Tis a miracle! What is Mary Darner doing in America?"

"She is on a visit to her cousin, who is married to the Governor of Massachusetts. He is here on some state matter, and as Miss Damer also wished to see Washington, he brought her with him."

"Mary Damer! We went nutting together one autumn. She came often to Hyde Court when I was a lad."

"And she promises to come often to see me when I return to England. I wonder what we have been brought together for. There must be a reason for a meeting so unlikely--Can it be Cornelia?"

"'Tis the most improbable of suppositions. I do not suppose she ever saw Cornelia."

"She had not even heard of her--and yet my mind will connect them."

"You have no reason to do so; and it is beyond all likelihood. I am sorry I went away from Mary."

"She took no notice of your desertion."

"That is, as maybe. I was a mere lad when I saw her last. Is she passable?"

"She is extremely handsome. My aunt heard that she is to marry a Boston gentleman of good promise and estate. I dare say it is true."

It was so true that even while they were speaking of the matter Mary was writing these words to her betrothed :" Yesterday I met the Hydes. You know my father has the living of Downhill Market from them, and I had a constraint on me to be agreeable. The young Lord got out of my way. Did he imagine I had designs on him? I look for a better man. What fate brought us together in Philadelphia, I know not. I may see a great deal of them in the coming summer, and then I may find out. At present I will dismiss the Hydes. I have met pleasanter company."

Annie dismissed the subject with the same sort of impatience. It seemed to no one a matter of any importance, and even Annie that day had none of the penetrative insight which belongs to "that finer atmosphere, Where footfalls of appointed things, Reverberant of days to be, Are heard in forecast echoings, Like wave beats from a viewless sea."

As for Hyde, he was shaken, confused, lifted off his feet, as it were; but after another day had passed, he had come to one steady resolution-- HE WOULD SPEAL TO CORNELIA WHEN NEXT HE MET HER, NO MATTER WHERE IT WAS, OR WHO WAS WITH HER. And that passionate stress of spirit which induced this resolve, led him also to go out and seek for this opportunity.

For nearly a week he kept this conscious, constant watch. Its insisting sorrowful longing was like a cry from Love's watch towers, but it did not reach the beloved one; or else she did not answer it. One bright morning he resolved to walk through the great dry goods stores-- Whiteside's, Guest's, and the famous Mrs. Holland's, where the beauties of the "gay Quakers" bought their choicest fabrics in foreign chintzes, lawns, and Indian muslins. All along Front, Arch, and Walnut Streets, the pavements were lumbered with boxes and bales of fine imported goods, and he was getting impatient of the bustle and pushing, when he saw Anthony Clymer approaching him. The young man was driving a new and very spirited team, and as he with some difficulty held them, he called to Hyde to come and drive with him. Hyde was just in the weary mood that welcomed change, and he leaped to his friend's side, and felt a sudden exhilaration in the rapid motion of the buoyant, active animals. After an hour's driving they came to a famous hostelry, and Clymer said, "Let us give ourselves lunch, and the horses bait and a rest, then we will make them show their mettle home again."

The proposal met with a hearty response, and the young men had a luxurious meal and more good wine than they ought to have taken. But Hyde had at last found some one who could talk of Cornelia; rave of her face and figure, and vow she was the topmost beauty in Philadelphia. He listened, and finally asked where she dwelt, and learned that she was staying with Mr. Theodore Willing, a wealthy gentleman of the strictest Quaker principles, but whose son was one of the "feeble men or wet Quakers" who wore powder and ruffles and dressed like a person of fashion.

"He dangles around the bewitching Miss Moran, and gives no other man a chance," said Clymer spitefully. "It is the talk from east to west, and 'tis said, he is so enamoured of the beauty, that he will have her, if he buy her."

"Do you talk in your sleep? Or do you tell your dreams for truth?" asked Hyde angrily. "'Tis not to be believed that a girl so lovely can be bought by mere pounds sterling. A woman's heart lies not so near her hand--God's mercy for it! or any fool might seize it."

"What are you raging at? She is not your mistress."

"Let us talk of horses--or politics--or the last play--or anything but women. They breed quarrels, if you do but name them."

"Content. I will tell you a good story about Tom Herring," The story was evidently a good one, for Hyde laughed at the recital with a noisy merriment very unusual to him. The champ and gallop of the horses, and Clymer's vociferous enjoyment of his own wit, blended with it; and for a moment or two Hyde was under a physical exhilaration as intoxicating as the foam of the champagne they had been drinking. In the height of this meretricious gaiety, a carriage, driving at a rather rapid rate turned into the road; and Cornelia suddenly raised her eyes to the festive young men, and then dropped them with an abrupt, even angry expression.

Hyde became silent and speechless, and Clymer was quickly infected by the very force and potency of his companion's agitation and distressed surprise. He heard him mutter, "Oh this is intolerable!" and then, it was, as if a cold sense of dislike had sprung up between them.--Both were glad to escape the other's company, and Hyde fled to the privacy of his own room, that he might hide there the almost unbearable chagrin and misery this unfortunate meeting had caused him.

"Where shall I run to avoid myself?" he cried as he paced the floor in an agony of shame. "She will never respect me again. She ought not. I am the most wretched of lovers. Such a tom-fool to betray me as Anthony Clymer! A man like a piece of glass, that I have seen through a dozen times!" Then he threw himself into a chair and covered his face with his hands, and wept tears full of anger and shameful distress.

For some days sorrow, and confusion, and distraction bound his senses; he refused all company, would neither eat, nor sleep, nor talk, and he looked as white and wan as a spectre. A stupid weight, a dismal sullen stillness succeeded the storm of shame and grief; and he felt himself to be the most forlorn of human beings. If it had been only possible to undo things done! he would have bought the privilege with years. At length, however, the first misery of that wretched meeting passed away, and then he resolved to forget.

"It is all past!" he said despairingly. "She is lost to me forever! Her memory breaks my heart! I will not remember any longer! I will forfeit all to forgetfulness. Alas, alas, Cornelia! Though you would not believe me, it was the perfectest love that I gave you!"

Cornelia's sorrow, though quite as profound, was different in character. Her sex and various other considerations taught her more restraint; but she also felt the situation to be altogether unendurable, and after a few moments of bitterly eloquent silence, she said-"Mother, let us go home. I can bear this place no longer. Let us go home to-morrow. Twice this past week I have been made to suffer more than you can imagine. The man is apparently worthless--but I love him."

"You say 'apparently' Cornelia?"

"Oh, how can I tell? There may be excuses--compulsions--I do not know what. I am only sure of one thing, that I love and suffer."

For despite all reason, despite even the evidence of her own eyes, Cornelia kept a reserve. And in that pitiful last meeting, there had been a flash from Hyde's eyes, that said to her--she knew not what of unconquerable love and wrong and sorrow--a flash swifter than lightning and equally potential. It had stirred into tumult and revolt all the platitudes with which she had tried to quiet her restless heart; made her doubtful, pitiful and uncertain of all things, even while her lover's reckless gaiety seemed to confirm her worst suspicions. And she felt unable to face constantly this distressing dubious questioning, so that it was with almost irritable entreaty she said, "Let us go home, mother."

"I have desired to do so for two weeks, Cornelia," answered Mrs. Moran. "I think our visit has already been too long."

"My Cousin Silas has now begun to to me; and his mother and sisters like it no better than I do. I hate this town with its rampant, affected fashion and frivolities! It is all a pretence! The people are naturally saints, and they are absurd and detestable, scheming to make the most of both worlds--going to meeting and quoting texts--and then playing that they are men and women of fashion. Mother, let us go home at once. Lucinda can pack our trunks to-day, and we will leave in the morning."

"Can we go without an escort?"

"Oh yes, we can. Lucinda will wait on us--she too is longing for New York--and who can drive us more carefully than Cato? And my dear mother, if Silas wants to escort us, do not permit him. Please be very positive. I am at the end of my patience. I am like to cry out! I am so unhappy, mother!"

"My dear, we will go home to-morrow. We can make the journey in short stages. Do not break down now, Cornelia. It is only a little longer."

"I shall not break down--if we go home." And as the struggle to resist sorrow proves the capacity to resist it, Cornelia kept her promise. As they reached New York her cheerfulness increased, and when they turned into Maiden Lane, she clapped her hands for very joy. And oh, how delightful was the pleasant sunny street, the familiar houses, the brisk wind blowing, the alert cheerful looking men and women that greeted each other in passing with lively words, and bright smiles! O how delightful the fresh brown garden, in which the crocuses were just beginning to peep, the bright looking home, the dear father running with glad surprise to greet them, the handsome, pleasant rooms, the refreshing tea, the thousand small nameless joys that belong to the little darling word "HOME."

She ran upstairs to her own dear room, laid her head on her pillow, sat down in her favourite chair, opened her desk, let in all the sunshine she could, and then fell with holy gratitude on her knees and thanked God for her sweet home, and for the full cup of mercies He had given her to drink in it.

When she went downstairs the mail had just come in, and the Doctor sat before a desk covered with newspapers and letters. "Cornelia," he cried in a voice full of interest, "here is a letter for you--a long letter. It is from Paris."

"It is from Arenta!" she exclaimed, as she examined the large sheets closed with a great splash of red wax, bearing the de Tounnerre crest. It had indeed come from Paris, the city of dreadful slaughter, yet Cornelia opened it with a smiling excitement, as she said again:-"It is from Arenta!"