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CHAPTER III. 


SEVERAL days passed after this conversation, in the ordinary quiet of a well regulated family. Notwithstanding the house of Miss Emmerson stood in the midst of the numberless villas that adorn Manhattan Island, the habits of its mistress were retiring and domestic. Julia was not of an age to mingle much in society, and Anna had furnished her with a theme for her meditations, that rather rendered her averse from the confusion of company. Her mind was constantly employed in canvassing the qualities of the unseen Antonio. Her friend had furnished her with a catalogue of his perfections in gross, which her active thoughts were busily arranging into form and substance. But little practised in the world or its disappoinments {sic}, the visionary girl had already figured to herself a person to suit these qualities, and the animal was no less pleasing, than the moral being of her fancy. What principally delighted Julia in these contemplations on the acquaintance of Anna, was the strong inclination he had expressed to know herself. This flattered her tendency to believe in the strength of mutual sympathy, and the efficacy of innate evidence of merit. In the midst of this pleasing employment of her fancy, she received a second letter from her friend, in answer to the one we have already given to our readers; it was couched in the following words:

"My own dear Julia, my Friend,

"I received your letter with the pleasure I shall always hear from you, and am truly obliged to you for your kind offer to make interest with year aunt to have me spend the next winter in town. To be with you, is the greatest pleasure I have on earth; besides, as I know I can write to you as freely as I think, one can readily tell what a tiresome place this must be to pass a winter in. There are, absolutely, but three young men in the whole county who can be thought in any manner as proper matches for us; and one has no chance here of forming such an association as to give a girl an opportunity of meeting with her congenial spirit, so that I hope and trust your desire to see me will continue as strong as mine will ever be to see my Julia. You say that I have forgotten to give you the description of our journey and of the lakes that I promised to send you. No, my Julia, I have not forgotten the promise, nor you; but the thought of enjoying such happiness without your dear company, has been too painful to dwell upon. Of this you may judge for yourself. Our first journey was made in the steam-boat to Albany; she is a moving world. The vessel ploughs through the billowy waters in onward progress, and the soul is left in silent harmony to enjoy the change. The passage of the Highlands is most delightful. Figure to yourself, my Julia, the rushing waters, lessening from their expanded width to the degeneracy of the stagnant pool--rocks rise on rocks in overhanging mountains, until the weary eye, refusing its natural office, yields to the fancy what its feeble powers can never conquer. Clouds impend over their summits, and the thoughts pierce the vast abyss. Ah! Julia, these are moments of awful romance; how the soul longs for the consolations of friendship. Albany is one of the most picturesque places in the world; situated most delightfully on the banks of the Hudson, which here meanders in sylvan beauty through meadows of ever-green and desert islands. Words are wanting to paint the melancholy beauties of the ride to Schenectady, through gloomy forests, where the silvery pine waves in solemn grandeur to the sighings of Eolus, while Boreas threatens in vain their firm-rooted trunks. But the lakes! Ah! Julia--the lakes! The most beautiful is the Seneca, named after a Grecian king. The limpid water, ne'er ruffled by the rude breathings of the wind, shines with golden tints to the homage of the rising sun, while the light bark gallantly lashes the surge, rocking before the propelling gale, and forcibly brings to the appalled mind the fleeting hours of time. But I must pause-- my pen refuses to do justice to the subject, and the remainder will furnish us hours of conversation during the tedious moments of the delightful visit to Park-Place. You speak of Antonio--dear girl, with me the secret is hallowed. He is yet here; his whole thoughts are of Julia--from my description only, he has drawn your picture, which is the most striking in the world; and nothing can tear the dear emblem from his keeping. He called here yesterday in his phaeton, and insisted on my riding a few short miles in his company: I assented, for I knew it was to talk of my friend. He already feels your worth, and handed me the following verses, which he begged me to offer as the sincere homage of his heart. He intends accompanying my father and me to town next winter--provided I go.

"Oh! charming image of an artless fair, "Whose eyes, with lightning, fire the very soul; "Whose face portrays the mind, and ebon hair "Gives grace and harmony unto the whole.

"In vain I gaze entranc'd, in vain deplore "The leagues that roll between the maid and me; "Lonely I wander on the desert shore, "And Julia's lovely form can never see.

"But fly, ye fleeting hours, I beg ye fly, "And bring the time when Anna seeks her friend; "Haste--Oh haste, or Edward sure must die. "Arrive--and quickly Edward's sorrows end."

I know you will think with me, that these lines are beautiful, and merely a faint image of his manly heart. In the course of our ride, during which he did nothing but converse on your beauty and merit, he gave me a detailed narrative of his life. It was long, but I can do no less than favour you with an abridgment of it. Edward Stanley was early left an orphan: no father's guardian eye directed his footsteps; no mother's fostering care cherished his infancy. His estate was princely, and his family noble, being a wronged branch of an English potentate. During his early youth he had to contend against the machinations of a malignant uncle, who would have robbed him of his large possessions, and left him in black despair, to have eaten the bread of penury. His courage and understanding, however, conquered this difficulty, and at the age of fourteen he was quietly admitted to an university. Here he continued peacefully to wander amid the academic bowers, until the blast of war rung in his ears, and called him to the field of honour. Edward was ever foremost in the hour of danger. It was his fate to meet the enemy often, and as often did "he pluck honour from the pale- fac'd moon." He fought at Chippewa--bled at the side of the gallant Lawrence-and nearly laid down his life on the ensanguined plains of Marengo. But it would be a fruitless task to include all the scenes of his danger and his glory. Thanks to the kind fates which shield the lives of the brave, he yet lives to adore my Julia. That you may be as happy as you deserve, and happier than your heart- stricken friend, is the constant prayer of your ANNA."

"P. S. Write me soon, and make my very best respects to your excellent aunt. It was laughable enough that Charles Weston should be afraid of a flash of lightning. I mentioned it to Antonio, who cried, while manly indignation clouded his brow,

'chill penury repressed his noble rage, and froze the genial current of the soul.' However, say nothing to Charles about it, I charge you."

{Highlands = the Hudson Highlands, a mountainous region in Putnam and Dutchess Counties, through which the Hudson River passes in a deep and picturesque gorge; Eolus = God of the winds; Boreas = God of the North wind; Seneca = one of the Finger Lakes in central New York State; Grecian king = both the Senecas of antiquity, the rhetorician (54 BC-39 AD) and his son the philosopher/statesman (4 BC-65 AD), were, of course, Romans--in any case, Lake Seneca is named after the Seneca nation of the Iroquois Indians; Park-Place = already in 1816 a fashionable street in lower Manhattan; Chippewa = an American army defeated the British at Chippewa, in Canada near Niagara Falls, on July 5, 1814; Lawrence = Captain James ("Don't give up the ship!") Lawrence (1781-

1813) of the U.S. Frigate Chesapeake was killed on June 1, 1813, as his ship was captured by H.M.S. Shannon outside Boston harbor; Marengo = battle won by Napoleon against the Austrians on June 14,

1800--"Antonio's" military career was truly an amazing one!; pluck honor.... = slightly misquoted from Shakespeare, "King Henry IV, Part I," Act I, Scene 3, line 202; chill penury.... = slightly misquoted from Thomas Gray, "Elegy in a Country Churchyard" verse 13}

Julia fairly gasped for breath as she read this epistle: her very soul was entranced by the song. Whatever of seeming contradiction there might be in the letter of her friend, her active mind soon reconciled. She was now really beloved, and in a manner most grateful to her heart--by the sole power of sympathy and congenial feelings. Whatever might be the adoration of Edward Stanley, it was more than equalled by the admiration of this amiable girl. Her very soul seemed to her to be devoted to his worship; she thought of him constantly, and pictured out his various distresses and dangers; she wept at his sufferings, and rejoiced in his prosperity--and all this in the short space of one hour. Julia was yet in the midst of this tumult of feeling, when another letter was placed in her hands, and on opening it she read as follows:

"Dear Julia,

"I should have remembered my promise, and come out and spent a week with you, had not one of Mary's little boys been quite sick; of course I went to her until he recovered. But if you will ask aunt Margaret to send for me, I will come tomorrow with great pleasure, for I am sure you must find it solitary, now Miss Miller has left you. Tell aunt to send by the servant a list of such books as she wants from Goodrich's, and I will get them for her, or indeed any thing else that I can do for her or you. Give my love to aunt, and tell her that, knowing her eyes are beginning to fail, I have worked her a cap, which I shall bring with me. Mamma desires her love to you both, and believe me to be affectionately your cousin, KATHERINE EMMERSON."

This was well enough; but as it was merely a letter of business, one perusal, and that a somewhat hasty one, was sufficient. Julia loved its writer more than she suspected herself, but there was nothing in her manner or character that seemed calculated to excite strong emotion. In short, all her excellences were so evident that nothing was left dependent on innate evidence; and our heroine seldom dwelt with pleasure on any character that did not give a scope to her imagination. In whatever light she viewed the conduct or disposition of her cousin, she was met by obstinate facts that admitted of no cavil nor of any exaggeration.

Turning quickly, therefore, from this barren contemplation to one better suited to her inclinations, Julia's thoughts resumed the agreeable reverie from which she had been awakened. She also could paint, and after twenty trials she at length sketched an outline of the figure of a man that answered to Anna's description, and satisfied her own eye. Without being conscious of the theft, she had copied from a print of the Apollo, and clothed it in the uniform which Bonaparte is said to have worn. A small scar was traced on the cheek in such a manner that although it might be fancied as the ravages of a bullet, it admirably answered all the purposes of a dimple. Two epaulettes graced the shoulders of the hero; and before the picture was done, although it was somewhat at variance with republican principles, an aristocratical star glittered on its breast. Had he his birth-right, thought Julia, it would be there in reality; and this idea amply justified the innovation. To this image, which it took several days to complete, certain verses were addressed also, but they were never submitted to the confidence of her friend. The whole subject was now beginning to be too sacred even for such a communication; and as the mind of Julia every hour became more entranced with its new master, her delicacy shrunk from an exposure of her weakness: it was getting too serious for the light compositions of epistolary correspondence.

We furnish a copy of the lines, as they me not only indicative of her feelings, but may give the reader some idea of the powers of her imagination.

"Beloved image of a god-like mind, "In sacred privacy thy power I feel; "What bright perfection in thy form's combin'd! "How sure to injure, and how kind to heal.

"Thine eagle eye bedazzles e'en the brain, "Thy gallant brow bespeaks the front of Jove; "While smiles enchant me, tears in torrents rain, "And each seductive charm impels to love.

"Ah! hapless maid, why daring dost thou prove "The hidden dangers of the urchin's dart; "Why fix thine eye on this, the god of love, "And heedless think thee to retain thy heart!"

This was but one of fifty similar effusions, in which Julia poured forth her soul. The flame was kept alive by frequent letters from her friend, in all of which she dwelt with rapture on the moment of their re-union, and never failed to mention Antonio in a manner that added new fuel to the fire that already began to consume Julia, and, in some degree, to undermine her health, at least she thought so.

In the mean time Katherine Emmerson paid her promised visit to her friends, and our heroine was in some degree drawn from her musings on love and friendship. The manners of this young lady were conspicuously natural; she had a confirmed habit of calling things by their right names, and never dwelt in the least in superlatives. Her affections seemed centered in the members of her own family; nor had she ever given Julia the least reason to believe she preferred her to her own sister, notwithstanding that sister was married, and beyond the years of romance. Yet Julia loved her cousin, and was hardly ever melancholy or out of spirits when in her company. The cheerful and affectionate good humour of Katherine was catching, and all were pleased with her, although but few discovered the reason. Charles Weston soon forgot his displeasure, and with the exception of Julia's hidden uneasiness, the house was one quiet scene of peaceful content. The party were sitting at their work the day after the arrival of Katherine, when Julia thought it a good opportunity to intimate her wish to have the society of her friend during the ensuing winter.

"Why did Mr. Miller give up his house in town, I wonder?" said Julia; "I am sure it was inconsiderate to his family."

"Rather say, my child, that it was in consideration to his children that he did so," observed Miss Emmerson; "his finances would not bear the expense, and suffer him to provide for his family after his death."

"I am sure a little money might be spent now, to indulge his children in society, and they would be satisfied with less hereafter," continued Julia. "Mr. Miller must be rich; and think, aunt, he has seven grown up daughters that he has dragged with him into the wilderness; only think, Katherine, how solitary they must be."

"Had I six sisters I could be solitary no where," said Katherine, simply; "besides, I understand that the country where Mr. Miller resides is beautiful and populous."

"Oh! there are men and women enough, I dare say," cried Julia; "and the family is large--eleven in the whole; but they must feel the want of friends in such a retired place."

"What, with six sisters!" said Katherine, laughing and shaking her head.

"There is a difference between a sister end a friend, you know," said Julia, a little surprised.

"I--indeed I have yet to learn that," exclaimed the other, in a little more astonishment.

"Why you feel affection for your sisters from nature and habit; but friendship is voluntary, spontaneous, and a much stronger feeling--friendship is a sentiment."

"And cannot one feel this sentiment, as you call it, for a sister?" asked Katherine, smiling.

"I should think not," returned Julia, musing; "I never had a sister; but it appears to me that the very familiarity of sisters would be destructive to friendship."

"Why I thought it was the confidence--the familiarity--the secrets--which form the very essence of friendship." cried Katherine; "at least so I have always heard."

"True," said Julia, eagerly, "you speak true--the confidence and the secrets--but not the--the--I am not sure that I express myself well--but the intimate knowledge that one has of one's own sister--that I should think would be destructive to the delicacy of friendship."

"Julia means that a prophet has never honour in his own country," cried Charles with a laugh--"a somewhat doubtful compliment to your sex, ladies, under her application of it."

"But what becomes of your innate evidence of worth in friendship," asked Miss Emmerson; "I thought that was the most infallible of all kinds of testimony: surely that must bring you intimately acquainted with each other's secret foibles too."

"Oh! no--that is a species of sentimental knowledge," returned Julia; "it only dwells on the loftier parts of the character, and never descends to the minute knowledge which makes us suffer so much in each other's estimation: it leaves all these to be filled by the--by the--by the--what shall I call it?"

"Imagination," said Katherine, dryly.

"Well, by the imagination then: but it is an imagination that is purified by sentiment, and"--

"Already rendered partial by the innate evidence of worth," interrupted Charles.

Julia had lost herself in the mazes of her own ideas, and changed the subject under a secret suspicion that her companions were amusing themselves at her expense; she, therefore, proceeded directly to urge the request of Anna Miller.

"Oh! aunt, now we are on the subject of friends, I wish to request you would authorize me to invite my Anna to pass the next winter with us in Park- Place."

"I confess, my love," said Miss Emmerson, glancing her eye at Katherine, "that I had different views for ourselves next winter: has not Miss Miller a married sister living in town?"

"Yes, but she has positively refused to ask the dear girl, I know," said Julia. "Anna is not a favourite with her sister."

"Very odd that," said the aunt gravely; "there must be a reason for her dislike then: what can be the cause of this unusual distaste for each other?"

"Oh!" cried Julia, "it is all the fault of Mrs. Welton; they quarrelled about something, I don't know what, but Anna assures me Mrs. Welton is entirely in fault."

"Indeed!--and you are perfectly sure that Mrs. Welton is in fault--perhaps Anna has, however, laid too strong a stress upon the error of her sister," observed the aunt.

"Oh! not at all, dear aunt. I can assure you, on my own knowledge," continued Julia, "Anna was anxious for a reconciliation, and offered to come and spend the winter with her sister, but Mrs. Welton declared positively that she would not have so selfish a creature round her children: now this Anna told me herself one day, and wept nearly to break her heart at the time."

"Perhaps Mrs. Welton was right then," said Miss Emmerson, "and prudence, if not some other reason, justified her refusal."

"How can you say so, dear aunt?" interrupted Julia, with a little impatience, "when I tell you that Anna herself--my Anna, told me with her own lips, here in this very house, that Mrs. Welton was entirely to blame, and that she had never done any thing in her life to justify the treatment or the remark--now Anna told me this with her own mouth."

As Julia spoke, the ardour of her feelings brought the colour to her cheeks and an animation to her eyes that rendered her doubly handsome; and Charles Weston, who had watched her varying countenance with delight, sighed as she concluded, and rising, left the room.

"I understand that your father intends spending his winter in Carolina, for his health," said Miss Emmerson to Katherine.

"Yes," returned the other in a low tone, and bending over her work to conceal her feelings; "mother has persuaded him to avoid our winter."

"And you are to be left behind?"

"I am afraid so," was the modest reply.

"And your brother and sister go to Washington together?"

"That is the arrangement, I believe."

Miss Emmerson said no more, but she turned an expressive look on her ward, which Julia was too much occupied with her thoughts to notice. The illness of her father, and the prospect of a long separation from her sister, were too much for the fortitude of Katherine at any time, and hastily gathering her work in her hand, she left the room just in time to prevent the tears which streamed down her cheeks from meeting the eyes of her companions.

"We ought to ask Katherine to make one of our family, in the absence of her mother and sister," said Miss Emmerson, as soon as the door was closed.

"Ah! yes," cried Julia, fervently, "by all means: poor Katherine, how solitary she would be any where else--I will go this instant and ask her."

"But--stop a moment, my love; you will remember that we have not room for more than one guest. If Katherine is asked, Miss Miller cannot be invited. Let us look at what we are about, and leave nothing to repent of hereafter."

"Ah! it is true," said Julia, re-seating herself in great disappointment; "where will poor Katherine stay then?"

"I know my brother expects that I will take her under my charge; and, indeed, I think he has right to ask it of me."

"But she has no such right as my Anna, who is my bosom friend, you know. Katherine has a right here, it is true, but it is only such a right"--

"As your own," interrupted the aunt gravely; "you are the daughter of my sister, and Katherine is the daughter of my brother."

"True--true--if it be right, lawful right, that is to decide it, then Katherine must come, I suppose," said Julia, a little piqued.

"Let us proceed with caution, my love," said Miss Emmerson, kissing her niece--"Do you postpone your invitation until September, when, if you continue of the same mind, we will give Anna the desired invitation: in the mean while prepare yourself for what I know will be a most agreeable surprise."

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