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taken of the rich strong coffee-strong as the essence of coffee, and made rich and thick by being half cream and sugar, and brought to her in a tiny porcelain cup-she felt sufficiently refreshed to be able, with the assistance of her woman, to make her morning toilet.
When she had finished dressing, it was still very early, and two hours remained before breakfast; but she left her room, and met her father, who was an early riser, in the upper hall. He came forward and kissed her; then held both her hands, and looked in her face, exclaiming, "What, pale, my child? Oh, tut! tut! tut! That's all wrong! All wrong!"
Father, has he come yet?"
No, no; it's quite early yet. should not have risen these two hours."
He'll be here anon. You
'Father, I could not sleep. I could not even lie in bed." Oh, pooh! pooh! All folly! all nonsense! Go back
Father, I cannot! My words to him were so wrong, so bitter, so insulting! I feel them to have been such, and I can never rest until I have told him so," said Carolyn, dropping her head upon the only bosom to which her haughty heart could bear to confide its sorrow and its repentance.
Well, so you were wrong, very wrong. It will teach you a lesson that will benefit you for the future, and for the present it will blow over. There, there, if you can't be still, go and amuse yourself by making me a nice mint-julep. I want it before I go out in the fields; the morning air on my empty stomach isn't good for me."
He then kissed Carolyn and let her go. As she left him, he saw to his surprise Frank Fairfax emerge from his chainber, with a portmanteau in his hand. Frank immediately set it down, and, advancing, said, "Ah, sir! I was just about to seek you, to let you know that, to my infinite regret, I must leave you to-day."
"To-day? You astound me! What is up now? You mustn't go; you shan't!"
"Sir, I have received an order to join my regiment without delay."
Oh-h, that's bad! That's bad! Devil fly away with military life! That's what was always hiking away Archer
at the very time I wanted him most. But no frantic hurry! You needn't go to-day. You mustn't. Why, this is the wedding-day, you rascal !"
"I know it, sir. But, to my everlasting regret, I must forego the pleasure of being present upon that occasion. My order is a peremptory one, to join my regiment instantly." "Well, well! To-morrow'll do! To-morrow'll do! One day cannot make so much difference."
"My dear sir, I surely need not tell you that soldiers should be minute men' in their obedience. Besides, if I do not seize the opportunity of meeting the Staunton stage as it passes through L- to-night, I shall have to wait three days for the next stage. So, you seeYes, yes; I see ! I am thing I don't want to see. Did Miss Carolyn mix it ?"
always called upon to see someAh! here comes the mint-julep!
This was addressed to the coloured boy who brought a pint tumbler and a little waiter.
Yez, zur," said the boy.
"Do you take julep in the morning, Frank? Try this. Another julep for me, Nace !"
"No, no, I thank you, sir. I never do. I wish you good morning till breakfast-time," said Frank, taking up his portmanteau, and going down stairs.
Frank put his little burden down in the lower hall, and went into the summer saloon, where he was sure, by the precedent of the last thirty days, of finding Zuleime at the window, doing her sampler-work. Yes, there she was, in her white muslin and coral, with her jet-black hair and damask cheeks! He went and sat down by her, after saying, "Good-morning," and sat for some minutes in perfect silence, watching Zuleime work the word Lobe, in crimson silk. At length, "Whom do you love best in the world, Zuleime ?" he asked.
"How can you ask? Whom does everybody love best ?— 'her nain sell,' as the Welchman says, of course!" exclaimed the merry maiden.
"Humph! Well, whom do you love the next best to yourself?"
Why, let me see," said the girl, pausing thoughtfully, with her needle poised in her hand. "I think that, next to myself, I love Zuleime Clifton best of all the world."
"I thought so! and say that you than I do!-no, nor half so well! I'll throw down my gage on that, and fight it out to extremity. Come! What have you to say to that?" asked the young man, with all the earnestness in his face and manner that his light words wanted. "Say!-speak! What do you say to that?"
Why, that you are as foolish as Zuleime herself, in loving such a little out-of-the-way baggage, that is neither woman nor child, nor good nor bad, nor anything else in particular.'
And I can lay my hand upon my heart, don't love Zuleime Clifton a whit better
Well, at any rate, we both agree in loving and worshiping Zuleime, however we may differ in our opinion of her; I, for instance, thinking her a beautiful, joyous, delightful girl. So, it's settled, isn't it ?"
What is settled ?"
Oh, you know, you tease!"
"I know the weather is settled, if you mean that."
"I don't know that the naval trouble with Great Britain is settled, if you mean that."
"I know that the marriage-dower of thirty thousand dollars is settled upon Carolyn, if you mean that.'
Pooh, pooh, pooh!"
"Well, I shall not try to guess again, lest you should say, 'Pooh, pooh, pooh, pooh!' four times."
Zuleime!" said the young man earnestly, "I think, without presumption, I may say that I know your disposition towards me. Zuleime, I wish that we should pass all our lives together, side by side! I would like to open my heart and bid you look into it and read for yourself. I hate to say, 'I love you;' though if you could look into my heart! Oh, that phrase, I love you,' Zuleime, is so fallen, is so prostituted, so degraded from its high meaning. love you' so often means 'I need your wealth,' need your family influence,' 'I desire your delightful beauty!' O Zuleime, dearest girl! how, then, shall I express my true, sincere, earnest devotion to you?"
"You needn't. I know you like me, Frank," murmured Zuleime very low. And then she added lower still, I am nothing but a wild school-girl; and, seriously, I fear
it isn't right for me to listen to such words for years to come yet. And I fear father might not like it, only that he likes you so very well."
And Zuleime bent over her sampler diligently, commencing the next word, Hope, in azure silk.
"I know it, Zuleime! Dear, candid girl, I know it all— all the seeming error! But, Zuleime, I am going away to-day," she looked up in surprise," and I may be gone for several years. When I come back, I shall certainly return a captain, if not probably a major, or possibly a colonel. Before I go, I wish to have a fair understanding with yourself and your father, so that I may go away with some feeling of security. I want you both to promise that when I return, you will give me your hand."
"You may speak to father, Frank. But I tell you frankly now what I wish you had heard before. It is this: that I have been promised to my grim cousin, Major Cabell, ever since I can remember anything. And till you came, I have always, whenever I have anticipated the future at all, looked forward to being his humdrum wife, and living in a grim three-storey red brick, in a row, and opposite another row of stiff, prison-like red brick houses, each one of which, taken singly, is more dreary than all the rest. I didn't like the prospect, Frank; but I thought it was my fate, and the best father could do for me, and so I thought of no other possibility but the grim red brick house in the city and Major Cabell. Besides, father is so good a father, and so fond and indulgent, that it seemed too wicked to think of disappointing his gentle wishes, that never take the form of commands. And so, Frank, although, whenever I would think of the grim brick house, with tall dark chambers, and the narrow, stony, distracting street before it, and Major Cabell, my heart would sink very heavy, and I would think, young as I was, that there was scarcely any hope for me at all, yet I would recollect my dear good father wished it, and I would pluck up my spirits and feel blithe as a bird again. It was all understood at the school where I am getting finished, as they call it; and father left word that Major Cabell should be admitted to visit me. So when I am there, he comes to visit me frequently, and takes me out riding, or driving, and to concerts. And the girls whisper together, and say that I am engaged-"
Stop, stop! Pardon me, Zuleime! Pardon me, dear girl! But, I am giddy-indeed, I am ill! Have you yourself promised to marry him?"
"No, surely not; and that is the reason why I consider myself in some sort free, but of my duty to my good father. No, he has never even asked me. He considers, my father's promise quite sufficient, and our marriage quite. a matter of course; and so I used to consider it, too. These things are often done, Frank-these betrothals, I mean. Anyone might suppose the custom obsolete—having died in the dark ages. It is not. It prevails here to a considerable extent. It is done to keep family property together, or family interest closely cemented. And, Frank, he has never courted me yet. You see he considers me a child still; and so I am, compared to him, in years. And so I should be in all things a child, but that the shadow of that grim brick house is always falling on my heart.”
"And yet, with all this, you are a very, very merry maiden !"
"Yes, so I am. I try to be. I keep a din up in my head to prevent me hearing what my heart wants to say. Goodness! I can do nothing for the poor thing, you know; and what's the use of stopping to listen to its cry?—that would only encourage it to complain the more. Don't look so sorry, Frank! It is not all effort-it could not be, you know. I'm naturally of a glad, elastic temper; and, but for this drawback, Heaven knows what I should be !-the wildest, maddest, most harem-scarem, most heels-over-head, skip-over-the-moon madcap that ever turned a quiet home topsyturvy, and drove a quiet family to distraction! The Bible says, 'God loveth whom He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son (and daughter) whom He receiveth.' Then, I think (I do think, sometimes, young and volatile as I am), I think that every one whom God redeems has some sorrow, and that that sorrow is always the precise one fitted to cure their besetting sin-as the proud are still kept down by poverty and oppression, the vain lose their charms, or the power of enhancing them, &c. &c., among all the erring whom God designs to set right. And I, who am naturally so wild and thoughtless, must be sobered and made thoughtful by the prospect of that prison before me."
"Zuleime, does this man love you?"