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vegetables praised, the topics of the day discussed - all went on as usual — and not a glance of sympathy, not an accent of kindness, lent its balm to these lacerated souls. The greater part of the guests at the table were as much absorbed with the contents of their plates, as if eating was the sole object of life, and dinner the final cause of existence. Nor was the mere absence of fellow feeling the only trouble consequent upon this harrassing meal. It is so trying, when one's heart is almost breaking, to be compelled to lend attention to the petty frivolities of others ! A lady sat opposite Mary, who was
! surrounded by a sandy-haired progeny, and whenever either of the little masters gave utierance to a remark which, in the opinion of the doating mother, savored of intellectual precocity, she looked across at her unfortunate vis à vis, to enjoy her tribute of admiration.
Ma, I don't want so much gravy!' said one of the urchins, pushing away his plate, with a toss of petulant disgust.
• It is not such nice gravy as you get at home, is it love ? said the sapient mama, smiling with undisguised pleasure at this brilliant sally of her offspring, and directing a glance at poor Mary, to see if it was observed and appreciated.
Mary felt herself called upon to smile in return; but the effort produced merely a contortion.
All earthly distresses have their commencement and their close, and dinner was at last concluded. Screamy Point had now lost all its attraction for the Raymonds, and they resolved to return immediately to Pendleton. The ladies went to their rooms to collect their wardrobe and put on their travelling accoutrements; the old gentleman repaired to the bar to pay his bill, and Edward, having no preparatory arrangements to employ him, whiled away the time by walking out on the piazza. It was a beautiful afternoon. The sky was cloudless, and the placid waters flashed brilliantly in the sunshine. Edward leaned his head upon his hand, and visions of the past flitted rapidly before him. He had loved Harriet Ashcroft! Yes - he had loved her with all the warmth and ardor of a first, enthralling love! With the ambitious aspirings of day, and the gorgeous fantasies of night, he had unconsciously associated her image, and his high wrought hopes of future distinction had been principally cherished as reflecting their yet unattained glories upon her. The summer of the cholera was not the first time that he had seen her. Her father was a native of the most sterile parish in Pendleton, but had early in life entered a countinghouse in New York, and being clear-headed and prudent, had gradu. ally amassed a fortune, which was great, even in that city of millions. The mother and a maiden sister of this successful accumulator were still living in the old homestead at Cherry Harbor, and would have deemed themselves highly honored by a connexion with the Raymonds. From her childhood, Harriet had been an occasional visiter at her grandmother's, and becoming very intimate with Mary, bad been frequently induced to exchange the somewhat sordid economy of the arrangements at Cherry Harbor for the comforts and amusements which invited her acceptance at Mr. Raymond's. While in Pendleton, she had seen fit to throw aside her meritricious graces, and assuming the semblance of a better nature, had won a heart which she could neither
understand nor appreciate. She was now with a party of exclusives who prided themselves upon their aristocratic lineage, and fearing that the humble genealogies of her ancestors would be discovered, should she acknowledge her ci devant friends, she hesitated not one moment to sacrifice them to her contemptible vanity. When reason removes the film from the eyes of love, the light is so painful to the wilful little deity, that he sometimes closes them again in a voluntary blindness. Not so in the present instance. Edward Raymond had learned to know the heartless creature upon whom he had lavished the treasure of his affections, and his was not one of those weak minds which continue to love, after the object of adoration is discovered to be unworthy: He had awoke from a long and blissful dream; but the narcotic which had steeped his senses had lost its influence forever. O world! world !- how bitter are thy lessons !
While he indulged these passionate musings, sounds of merriment resounded through the house; the bowling of nine-pins was heard from an adjacent alley; passing strangers eyed him indifferently as they sauntered forth, and he felt as if he longed to be once more in the verdant groves and sequestered haunts of his innocent, his peaceful home! He arose from his recumbent posture, and as he turned to rëenter the mansion, he saw Miss Ashcroft and her party issuing from a private door. They appeared to be in high glee, and laughed loudly, as they wended their way down to the beach. Soon after, a white sail was hoisted, and a small boat shot from the strand. It was the last he has ever seen of Harriet Ashcroft
. Before the sun had set, the Raymonds were far away from the glare and din of Screamy Point, and safely rëestablished in their own happy Pendleton.
A few days after the occurrences we have narrated, Miss Ashcroft, her chaperon Mrs. Franks, and her admirer Mr. Russell Colt, were standing together at the window of their private parlor, and amusing themselves by their remarks upon the people without. Mrs. Franks was a tall, faded-looking woman, whose physiognomy bore traces of the wear and tear of fashionable dissipation. We shall not attempt a description of Mr. Colt, for he belonged to that exquisite species of our race, which are so very fragile, that we have never dared to catch a specimen to examine.
What a desert Screamy Point is becoming !' said Mrs. Franks. • Since the Bakers have gone, there is not a soul here that one ever meets with in society.?
• How the creatures stare at me!' said Mr. Russell Colt, drawing back indignantly from the window.
Such lots of common people!' continued Mrs. Franks. 'Harriet, it's really insufferable! What shall we do ?? Suppose we go to the Springs ?' said Miss Ashcroft. Mama writes
• me word, Mr Colt, that your friend, Col. Harcourt, is there, and I am dying to see him.
• Harcourt's immensely droll,' said Mr. Russell Colt. I do n't believe he's there now. He likes change, as well as the Chinese, Take my advice, Miss Ashcroft, and do n't go to the Springs. They 're a confounded bore.'
• Is Mr. Colt very intimate with Col. Harcourt ? inquired Mrs. Franks of Harriet - for the exquisite looked dreadfully fatigued.
• Dear me, yes!' said Miss Ashcroft. Mr. Colt told me all about him, long before it was known that he intended visiting this country. I had just been reading .Cecil Thorne,' and was delighted to find any one who knew the author. They were introduced by the Duke of Bedford.'
* The Duke is a relation of yours, is he not, Mr. Colt ? said Mrs. Franks.
'So he says,' replied Mr. Russell Colt. ·He soon found out that I was a Russell, and used to be monstrous polite; I was bored incessantly with his dinner invitations.'
* I should like to go to England,' said Miss Ashcroft, musingly.
'Should you?' said Mr. Colt, in a tone of remarkable blandness. · Perhaps I may go again, some day.'
The lady made no reply; but Mr. Colt fancied that he detected a blush, which was decidedly favorable to his suit.
It was now about five years since the first appearance of Mr. Colt in the hemisphere of fashion. There is no aspect in which luminaries appear more brilliant, than when emerging from the bed of ocean; and accordingly this skilful tactician made his debut in New-York society from on board a Liverpool packet-ship.
Liverpool packet-ship. His success was unprecedented, for even national pride was enlisted in his behalf. Here were American mustaches more exuberant than any of Parisian growth, and here was Pelham out-Pelhamed by an indigenous coxcomb! Although a native republican, let it not be supposed that Mr. Russell Colt was destitute of pretensions to birth. It is altogether a mistake to imagine that we have not as good blood on this side of the water as they can boast of on the other. Scions from nearly all the noble families in England have emigrated to this country - engrafting their honors upon the tree of liberty — and the illustrious house of Bedford was charged with the paternity of Mr. Colt. It is true that some of the envious canaille insinuated that he had formerly been seen behind a counter in Maiden-Lane; but there are strange resemblances in this world, and the report was too improbable to gain a moment's credence. It was also hinted by the malignant, that during Mr. Colt's residence abroad, he had not been received with all the distinction which he represented; and that his knowledge of English society was limited to the inmates of boarding-houses, and the miscellaneous contents of stage-coaches. This calumny was also rejected by those who knew the gentleman, and the shafts of malice glanced harmlessly aside from the invulnerable panoply that shielded him.
Mrs. Franks was a leader of the ton, and belonged to one of those old Virginia families which look down with contempt upon the plebeian New-Englanders. And have they not abundant reason? The Pilgrims left their native land with the most selfish views - for the mere purpose of securing their private welfare, and the free exercise of their religion; but the first settlers of the old dominion' were actuated by higher and nobler motives, for they left their country for their country's good!' Such being the lineage of Mrs. Franks, she was of course peculiarly aristocratic in her feelings and prejudices. She had accordingly
taken Mr. Russell Colt into her especial favor, and he flattered himself that he was making no inconsiderable progress in the good graces of the rich Miss Ashcroft.
We left this amiable trio standing by the window, in the full flow of interesting conversation, and we will now return to listen to it.
*Bless me!' said Mrs.Franks, looking out, who has Mr. Franks got with him ?
In another moment the door opened, and the aforesaid Mr. Franks appeared with his remarkable companion. Mr. Franks was a rotund little man, with great bushiness of whisker, and seemed at the present moment to be swelling with importance.
• Mrs. Franks,' said the inflated pigmy, waving his hand with a tremendous flourish, 'give me leave to introduce to you Col. Harcourt. Col. Harcourt, permit me to make you acquainted with Miss Ashcroft. It is unnecessary to name Mr. Russell Colt.'
The ladies assumed their most gracious smiles, while Mr. Colt advanced and shook the stranger's hand with the greatest appearance of cordiality. We will just whisper in the reader's ear that he had never sét eyes upon him before, and that he was trembling like an aspen, for fear of an eclaircissement.
We shall now assume the privilege of story-tellers, and introduce Col. Harcourt to our readers.
This much-talked-of personage was an English officer, of high birth and distinguished bravery. He was also the author of a very fascinating novel, and the avowed object of his present tour was to collect materials for a book upon America. There was a supercilious John Bullism about him, but he was nevertheless essentially a gentleman. He was aware that he was a lion, and thought it best, therefore, to be as shaggy as possible. As he could not easily provide himself with a mane, he placed his main dependence for the support of the character upon a pea-jacket, of a very coarse texture, and the rest of his dress corresponded with this singular jerkin. While Mr. Franks was performing his introductions, the keen eyes of Col. Harcourt were detecting American peculiarities. They do not introduce gentlemen,' thought
• '' he, when Mr. Russell Colt was so familiarly passed over; 'merely ladies, and the men shake hands without any introduction. Strange custom! I must remember it to-night in my
note-book, You could not have come to Screamy Point at a worse time, Col. Harcourt,' said Mrs. Franks, in her most honied accents. You must not form an opinion of American society, from what you see here now.'
* Pardon me, my dear madam,' said Col. Harcourt, with a smile; 'I have but just arrived; yet I have already observed not a little beauty and fashion.'
• Indeed, Col. Harcourt,' said Mrs. Franks, earnestly, 'I do assure you there is nobody here at present. At least, nobody who is at all in society.
I saw a very pretty, well-dressed girl a few moments since,' said Col. Harcourt, - who would, I am sure, to use a soldier's phrase, 'pass muster'
where.' Can you describe her ?' said Mrs. Franks, with much anxiety. • Not very accurately, I apprehend,' replied Col. Harcourt. •All I can
recollect is, that she had most radiant dark eyes, and a very bewitching little mouth: I am confident, however, that she is perfectly presentable.
*O, I dare say it was that Miss Casey !' said Mrs. Franks. · Her father is an oil-merchant, or something of that sort. She is not visited, and I have never even spoken to the girl. Harriet, have you ever met her ??
Never,' said Miss Ashcroft, haughtily. • Mama is very particular about my acquaintances.'
• 'Pon honor! you must n't judge by her, Harcourt !' said Mr. Russell Colt, whose lips absolutely blanched with the boldness of the experiment he was making.
Sir!' said Col. Harcourt, turning around, and fixing his eyes upon Mr. Colt, with a most intimidating sternness of expression.
* You have not seen Mr. Colt before for a long time, have you, Col. Harcourt ? inquired the unsuspicious Mr. Franks.
• The impertinent Yankee is lecturing me because I looked down the insolence of this puppy,' thought the Colonel. I must not commit myself in such a queer country: I will bear with him.'
• True, Sir,' said he, with the most amiable simplicity, 'it is not very long! Only about five minutes,' growled the chafed lion, inaudibly.
Mr. Colt looked the perfect picture of amazement, and his courage rose immediately to fever heat.
• Harcourt,' said he, how comes on your book ?'
The Englishman deigned him no reply, and Mr. Colt got up and walked to a window.
• Who is this Mr. Colt ?' said Col. Harcourt, in a low tone to Miss Ashcroft: he seems a very odd sort of person.' • Who is he?' said Miss Ashcroft, in astonishment.
"You are joking, Col. Harcourt:' and the young lady absolutely laughed in his face.
• These American girls are excessively rude,' thought the Colonel, and their perception of the ridiculous is really somewhat annoying.'
Mr. Russell Colt observed this little by-play of whispering, and approached the parties with unwonted precipitancy. All further discussion concerning his peculiarities was of course precluded.
* Here is a new publication, Col. Harcourt,' said Mr. Franks, taking up a volume from the centre-table, and handing it to the traveler. The reviewers speak of it in the very highest terms, and although the author is not known, it is understood that he is a native American.'
*Ay! this reminds me,' said Col. Harcourt, 'that I must bid you a reluctant farewell, ladies. The author of that book is a Mr. Raymond, who, I learn, has been here very recently; and as I am extremely desirous to make his acquaintance, and have an engagement to meet him in Boston on Friday, I must follow him immediately. I have brought him letters from Professor Wilson and Captain Marryatt. You have reason to be proud of your countryman, Mr. Franks. His articles in Blackwood and the New Monthly are always sought for with avidity, and as he is yet very young, he will undoubtedly stand one day at the head of your national literature. I have no time to lose, and I trust, ladies, that you will be so indulgent as to excuse my abruptness.'
Col. Harcourt accordingly took his departure, strangely puzzled with