« ForrigeFortsæt »
its full-blown beauty, and autumn sear its drooping leaves; its pride and freshness shall wither, while love alone, permanent and imperishable, shall mourn for nature's versatility."
“ Never,” cried the shrill voice of Alice More, as she suddenly stood beside them; “ never shall thy dream be realized! Tree and shrub shall decay, but they will bloom their stated term. But thy love, mad boy !--the bubble dancing on yonder pool is not more transitory. Did I not warn you-did I not tell you that ?"
“ Away, wretched visionary !" cried Henry, while his eyes flashed with rage.
“ Away—and leave you to dream of love, and in Glandullogh too! Ay, well was the spot chosen, for before now, lovers have sworn here, and their vows were broken !" (Her voice became agitated, while pássion and surprise prevented young O'Hara from interrupting her.) “Ay, the night was as lovely, and the full moon shone through the branches of the mountain-ash which once shaded that mossy bank, but, like him who rested beneath it, it has fallen ; and—but why so pale, lady ?--it is but a love-tale after all. She who was ruined in this very spot" . .
" Stop, Alice, this is not to be borne. Do you mean to insult me, and a lady, the guest of my father? Your wanderings shall not be in these grounds. What brings you here?”
5 Brings me here, boy !-dare you ask the question ? Cursed be the hour that saw me here, and cursed be he who--but no, I have forgiven--may God pardon him as I do ;” and she crossed herself devoutly. “ Nay, Henry, bear with me--even with all the ill that has befallen me, I love the gentle name of O'Hara yet; and if the grave could send the dead back again, I might almost fancy that but do not shudder, lady. My presence did not once alarm, my voice once did not appal the listener; here was this faded form wor. shipped, and here man was-false, and woman ruined ?" (She paused, and tears started to her eyes.) - Sit, lady, and I will tell you the story of poor Alice--none but your father knows of Alice and her wrongs, Henry—" “But your being here, and your errand to Glandullogh-" . :...:
“ But, listen—"
Alice seated herself upon a mossy stone, and paused for a few moments, as if to collect her thoughts. “ When I tell you, Henry, who I am, you will remember to have heard of me I am the daughter of Roderic Maguire. My infancy was passed in a religious house of the Ursuline order, of which my aunt was superior, and, till my fifteenth year, I was educated for a conventual life. My mother died in giving me birth, and my father, a field officer in the Emperor's service, confided me to his sister's - care. One morning I was walking in the Con
vent garden, when a message was brought to me from my aunt, desiring my presence in the parlour. I entered the room, and started on seeing a fine looking, middle-aged man, dressed as military persons are when not on duty, and decorated with a cross and medal. But judge what my feelings were, when he clasped me to his breast, and called me daughter. He had come to remove me from my aunt, and his claim had evidently been met with considerable displeasure. In vain my father endeavoured to reconcile her to my departure-he pleaded illness, his solitary situation, with none to soothe a wounded spirit, none to minister to ruined health; but, said he, if Alice wishes to remain-;' I sprung again to his arms, and with tears and sobs, vowed never to part from the parent from whom I had been so long separated. My aunt, finding it vain to oppose my determination, sullenly acceded to my departure; and, after she had coolly bid us adieu, we left the convent, certain of having incurred her deep displeasure.
“ On our journey, my father communicated his history to me. He was one of the last male descendants of an attainted family. Entering the Austrian service at an early age, his rising military talent was soon distinguished by a captain's commission ; and, while attending the Archduke Leopold, as Aid-de-Camp, at Breda, a lady of the noble house of Lichenstein loved him, and they eloped together. Her family refused to pardon her; and, when in the following year, she died in childbirth, they denied shelter and protection to her helpless offspring, and obliged him to confide me to his sister's care. Prodigal of his blood, and ever courting danger, Maguire raised himself rapidly to distinction, until he attained the rank of Major-General. “ Unfortunately for himself, he was employed in the last campaign between the Imperialists and Turks. The royal personage who held the chief command, was without a shadow of military talent, and what was worse, his staff was ignorant as himself; mistake succeeded mistake, and consequently the expedition was one scene of error and misfortune. Winter concluded this miserable campaign; and, on the return of the chief officers to court, a cold reception awaited all but him, the cause of every mishap which had befallen the Austrian arms. Among the rest, my father was freely censured; but, conscious that he had always raised his voice against the ill-judged measures of the Archduke, while many plans, founded in error and ignorance, had been carried through by the energy and valour with which he overcame every obstacle, Maguire boldly threw the stigma from himself, and convinced the Emperor that all the calamity which attended his arms, was only attributable to the