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put on my crimson dress, and make me decent and pretty to go down into the parlour to see Cousin Charles. It don't matter, you know, Kate. Frank knows all about it; he thinks so, too; because he sees my heart is breaking all the faster for it, and that I shall the sooner be with him. You see, Kate, it is the heartstrings that hold the soul down to the body; and when they snap, there! it is off-it is gone like a balloon when the cord is cut, it ascends to heaven! : I feel like that sometimes, as if only one little thread kept my soul down; and if it were to snap, I could go."
Catherine looked at the mourner in deep trouble; then she began to take down her hair and comb its long sable tresses out, because she knew that in itself to be a soothing process; and she stood and combed and brushed it a long time, and then put it up, and bathed her face and hands.
Now, my crimson dress," said Zuleime quietly.
Catherine sat down by her side, and, embracing her affectionately, said, "Dear Zuleime, you are not quite well enough to go down into the parlour; and, besides, Major Cabell is not here. He is gone with some gentlemen upon the mountain to shoot birds."
Zuleime sat silent for a long time, enveloped by Catherine's arms and leaning upon her shoulder. At last Kate whispered, "Dear Zuleime, confide in me and relieve your overburdened bosom. A secret is so hard to keep alone in a sorrowful breast; lay yours on my heart, Zuleime, and it shall be safer there than my own life. Tell me what tie is it that binds you to Frank ?"
"Hush! oh, hush!"
"Tell me, darling; you know it is not from curiosity I ask-it is that I wish you to relieve your heart."
"Hush! I promised him not to tell."
"Death absolves you from that promise. A painful secret is very hard to keep alone. I know it, dearest; for I, too, have a secret. Now, will you trust me?"
"Hush! hush! It was his last request; I must comply with it!" said the girl, with wild eyes.
Catherine knelt down before her, clasped her arms around her, and, partly to win her confidence and partly to draw her mind from dwelling upon the woe that was crazing her, said, 66 Zuleime, look at me. I am going to tell you my secret, that which it will pain and humble my heart to tell-that
which it makes my cheek burn now only to think of! Zuleime, I love a man who never sought, and who would despise iny love, and with whom it is for ever and for ever impossible that I should marry. Yet I love him so much-so much that my heart is ready to burst with its powerless longing to do him some good. Zuleime, I would give him myself-nay, never mind my cheek burning, I will speak in spite of its protest-or any dearest faculty or possession of mine, if it only could increase his happiness. Zuleime, there is a richness and fulness of joy in sacrificing one's self for one we love that passes all understanding."
I know there is," breathed the mourner, looking down in her face seriously.
That is the joy that I long for. And, oh! believe me, I would sacrifice myself or any possession or faculty I have, if it would only add to his happiness or power. Eyesight is a precious treasure, is it not? If I could give mine to him, and endow him with perfect vision down to deep old age, I would consent to be dark for ever. The power of speech is a great gift; if, by the loss of mine, I could endow him with irresistible eloquence, I would be dumb for ever. He thinks, Zuleime, that I have talent; and sometimes I think-but I don't know, either. Anyhow, if by yielding all mine I could add a mite to the treasures of his intellect, I would be willing to be a fool for life. In a word-if, by abdicating all my being, I could add to the largeness of his life, I would glow with joy to do it.”
"Do not love him so-he will die if Frank died!”
you do! I know it!
And yet, Zuleime, it is not that I wish to lose my being, but to add to it. I do not know why it is, but I feel-not like an individual, independent existence, but like the compliment of that other existence, a half life--not full and complete of itself, but waiting to be joined to the other half.
"He will love you; he will find you out," said Zuleime; and her words, and tone, and look thrilled like a prophecy to the heart of Catherine, but she shook her head gravely and answered
Never, Zuleime! It would be a sin even to hope it. But, Zuleime, I have laid my secret on your heart-now will you confide in me?"
"O Kate! I would do it, I wish to do it, but I promised him!"
"Dear Zuleime, when he required that of you, he did not think what might, what has happened. You must tell me, Zuleime; for if you have not some one with whom you can talk freely, you-I fear for you. You cannot bear your burden alone few human beings can! Tell me, darling?" 'O Kate! it was the last thing he asked me! I must comply with his wish!"
Zuleime, I am about to cast away all reserve; I am about to tell you the name of him I love so madly. It is Arthur Clifton, your cousin-your sister's betrothed! There, I have thrown open the very sanctuary of my heart to you; I have shown its secret sin and shame; now will you confide in me ?"
"Dear Kate, dearest Kate, my own secrets without reserve, but not another's."
Catherine arose and took the seat by the mourner's side. Well would it have been for Zuleime in after-life, if she could now have made a confidant as well as friend of the excellent girl; but at least Catherine's efforts had not been all in vain. The mind of the mourner was a little more rationalher part in conversation not quite so distrait. Presently Zuleime said, "It is getting towards evening; Cousin Charles will be back to supper. Curl my hair, Kate, and put on my crimson dress. I must go down and spend the evening with them in the parlour; I must, Kate. It is for my dear father's sake. You do not know, Kate, else you would also advise it."
Catherine essayed to prevent her, but, finding her quite determined, yielded the point, and assisted her to dress. When her toilet was complete, she sat down again upon the sofa, and put her hand to her head in troubled thought. Then at last she spoke, saying, "Kate, I am afraid. It seems to me that-that my head has not been quite right; and— and my speech has not been quite to the point. Kate, I want you to tell me can I trust myself to talk, do you think, or had I better not try this evening? They might think me crazy if I should not talk straight! But I am notI am not crazy, only Tell me how I am, and what I had
better do, dear Kate?"
"Try to attend and be interested in what is going on,
dearest, and talk when occasion presents itself; and do not be afraid. Everyone will understand it is only nervousness, darling."
"You encourage me, Catherine," said the poor girl; "and now just give me your arm down stairs."
Kate complied with her request.
The parlour was empty when they entered, and Zuleime had an opportunity of settling herself in a large arm-chair and composing herself before anyone came in. Mr. Clifton, Major Cabell, and several other gentlemen returned from the shooting-excursion and entered the parlour together. Mr. Clifton looked surprised and pleased to see Zuleime, "clothed and in her right mind ;" and Major Cabell seemed interested and curious. Zuleime arose, and supported herself by resting one hand upon the arm of the chair, while she received the greetings of her father's guests. And, thanks to the shadowing of the black lustrous curls, and the reflection of the crimson dress, none could see the wanness of her face. Mrs. Clifton and Miss Clifton entered soon after; and in the general conversation that ensued, poor Zuleime escaped particular notice. Once Major Cabell contrived, without drawing attention upon himself, to find his way to her side, and enter into conversation with her; and he was surprised, perplexed, nonplussed at the gentleness and almost tenderness of her manner. Before leaving her, he asked, When can I have an interview with you, Zuleime ?"
"Whenever you please, Cousin Charles," she answered gently.
At parting he pressed her hand, and, to his surprise, the pressure was softly returned; and he left her, thinking the sex" more of a riddle than he ever thought it before. The next day about noon, Major Cabell and Zuleime met in the saloon, and had an interview of nearly an hour's length. When Zuleime left him and came out, she met her father in the hall. Taking his hands in hers, she looked up in his troubled face and said, "Dear father, you remember many weeks ago you asked me to fix the day when I should be married to Cousin Charles ?"
'Never mind, never mind, my dear! That is all over now. You shall not be troubled, my love."
Dear father, I have just told Cousin Charles that I will
give him my hand on Tuesday fortnight," said Zuleime; and,
pressing both the old man's hands to her lips, she turned and left him standing there in speechless astonishment, while she went up stairs, and, throwing herself upon her knees by her bed, buried her face in the clothes, and breathed, "It won't be for long, Frank! O Frank! you know it won't be for long!"
THERE is no state of mind so calm as that of hopelessness, and therefore there is none so often mistaken for resignation. Zuleime's cheeks were pale and hollow, her eyes heavy and sunken, and surrounded by a dark, livid circle, and she had contracted an unconscious habit of pressing her hand tightly over her heart, while a look of pain passed over her brow. Yet, withal, she moved through the house very quietly, without a sigh or a tear-yea, even with a smile for whom she chanced to meet-a wan smile of tenderness, fellowfeeling. For the grief that had come to her own young heart had revealed to her the secret of a general sorrow, and awakened a deep human sympathy; yet perhaps it was a morbid excess of this feeling that made her see, in everyone she met, a fellow-sufferer. Her father misunderstood her serenity and her sweet smile; and his wife led him into that misunderstanding.
"It is a merciful provision of Heaven that young people of her tender age can feel no lasting grief. At first, over any misfortune they lament excessively; but it is very soon forgotten," said Georgia.
Ah, yes! Charley Cabell said something like the same thing; and, indeed, it seems to be true," replied Mr. Clifton.
We are easily persuaded to believe that which we wish to credit; and so the old gentleman believed in the correctness of his wife's judgment, and in the reality of his daughter's
Major Cabell was baffled and perplexed. Jealousy is "cruel as the grave," and so, also, is that base passion which often goes by the holy name of Love. It had been under influence of both of these that Charles Cabell had sworn