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withstanding all I could say, he would not hear hurrying you home.”
He now came into the room, and drew his seat by Emily. He talked so rejoicingly of her return, so gaily of her London campaign ; but the cheerfulness was an effort, and the silence into which they gradually sank was a relief to the party, except Mrs. Arundel.
Affection exaggerates its own offences; and, in her perpetual self-reproaches for her absence, Emily never remembered that she could not really consider herself to blame for what she could neither foresee nor prevent; all that she dwelt upon was, that she had been, as her aunt expressed it, away and enjoying herself, while her dear, her kind uncle, had been ill and solitary. How vividly did she picture to herself his lonely walks, the unbroken solitude of his study!— no one to read aloud his favourite passages, or replace his scattered books! She gave a furtive glance at the chess-table — the little ivory men seemed not to have been moved since their last game. She was in a fair way of persuading herself, that all his altered looks were to be ascribed to her absence.
What eager resolutions did she make of leaving him no more! How attentive she
would be — how watch his every glance! She would prevail on him to walk - he must get better with all her care. How youth makes its wishes hopes, and its hopes certainties ! She only looked on his pale face to read recovery.
She now broke silence as suddenly as she had sank into it. Convinced that he required amusement, she exerted herself to the utmost to afford it; but her spirits fell to see how completely the exertion of listening seemed to exhaust him; and when he urged her to go to bed early, on the plea that she must be tired with her journey, she perceived too plainly it was to prevent her observation of his extreme weakness.
Emily went to bed, and cried herself to sleep; but she woke early. It is like waking in a new world, the waking in the morning-any morning, after an entire change of place: it seems almost impossible we can be quite awake. Slowly she looked at the large old-fashioned bed, with its flowered curtains - she recognised the huge mantel-piece, where the four seasons were carved in wood she knew her own dressing-table, with its mirror set in silver; a weight hung on her mind—she felt a reluctance to waken thoroughly. Suddenly she recalled
last night- her uncle's evident illness flashed upon her memory - and she sprang as hastily from her pillow as if his recovery depended on her rising.
It was scarcely six o'clock, but she dressed; and, stepping softly by her uncle's door--for all in his room was profoundly quiet—she bent her steps towards the garden ; and, with that natural feeling of interest towards what is our own, she turned towards the part which, marked by a hedge of the wild rose, had always been called hers. It was at some little distance: in younger days, it had been given as a reward and inducement for exercise for Emily in winter preferred her own little niche by the fireside, or in summer a seat by her favourite window, where she had only to put out her hand and bring back a rose, to all the running and walking that ever improved constitution or complexion ; and though Mr. Arundel was never able to imbue her with a very decided taste for weeding, watering, &c., still, the garden, connected as it was with his kindness and approval, became a sufficient motive for exertion; and our fair gardener bestowed a degree of pains and industry on the culture of her flowers, for the sake of shewing her uncle
the care she took of what he gave her, that not even an aloe on the verge of floweringthose rare blossoms it takes a century to produce, but only a summer to destroy - would have obtained for its own sake.
Nothing is so ingenious in its thousand ways and means as affection. As she passed along the various paths, something of neglect struck her forcibly-not but that all was in such order as did full credit to the gardener — but her accustomed eye missed much of former taste and selection. The profusion of luxuriant creepers were twisted and clipped, with a regularity that would have done honour to any nursery ground. There were more rare, and fewer beautiful flowers than formerly; and, thanks to the sunflowers and marigolds, yellow was the predominant colour. It was a relief to turn into the shadowy walk of the thick yews' unbroken green, which led to her own portion of the shrubbery.
In a former age, this walk had been the pride of the domain - each side being a row of heathen gods and goddesses. Jupiter with his eagle, Juno with her peacock, Time with his sithe, had much outgrown their original proportions; still the outline remained, and to
Emily these relics of sylvan statuary seemed like old friends : but the air grew very fragrant, and another turn brought her to her own garden. There, at least, she traced her uncle-not one of her favourites had been forgotten; and never had the purple and perfumed growth of the heliotrope — that sanctuary of odour-been so luxuriant, while the bed of the rich crimson clove pink was like one of the spice islands, the very Manilla of the garden.
“ You see, Miss Emily,” said the gardener,
we did not forget you. Master always would come here ; but he has not been round our garden these three weeks. Indeed, miss, he took no pleasure in nothing after you went. Why, Miss Emily, you look almost as bad as he does. Well, they say London is a sad place : nothing will thrive there.”
For the first time in his life, the old gardener turned away without waiting for his accustomed gossip with the young mistress, with whom he was very indignant for her sojourn in town,winter he could have forgiven, but a summer in London ! ---every successive growth of flowers that passed by without Emily's seeing and praising them added to the deepness of her offence. A few words of compliment to his