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“But you acknowledge your heresy on that point." Yet
you know it is all a matter of feeling with me. I know nothing of music scientifically."
“I do not think that necessary for its enjoyment,” said she.
“ To use a sort of paradox, I often think those persons know most of music who know least about it."
Thank you," said he, smiling. “I will take the benefit of your conclusion; but give me still another benefit therefrom, and sing for me.”
While Cornelia sang, Helen went on turning over the sketches in the portfolio, and at last found some illustrations of the “Faery Queen," among which was a study of Una.
“How beautiful !" said Helen.
“Do you recognise any familiar face ?” asked Esmond.
“Yes; an expression Cornelia has sometimes—a very peculiar, spiritual look: what Willis would call her inner countenance."
"I am glad I have succeeded: it was precisely that look I was trying to catch. She only has it when something touches her inmost feelings; it is a sort of unconscious out-looking of her soul.”
" Perfectly unconscious," replied Helen. "I am sure she would not recognise the resemblance, as the features are altered.”
When Cornelia had returned to the table, after Esmond had thanked her for her music, Helen showed her the sketches.
“Did you ever see a face like that Una ?” “Never; how lovely it is !" You enjoy the Faery Queen,” said Esmond.
Yes, indeed,” she answered; and as she studied the sketch intently, the others exchanged glances, and smiled; for the same expression shone in Nela's eyes, and from the sweet face of the poet's Una.
While these three were thus occupied, and Mrs. Esmond and Mrs. Sumner holding a confidential and domestic talk, another conversation went on by the windov, among the flow
ers, under the still summer moonlight: low, eager questionings, and softly whispered replies, summed up emphatically in Frank Enfield's last words that evening,
My own Milly." Not a little surprised was the loving fostermother when this conclusion was made known to her next morning. She had always taken it for granted that her girls would marry some day, but had never realized any actual probability, and was little prepared to have it thus brought home to her by the youngest of her flock.
But there was no objection to be made; they were perfectly suited, and deeply attached to each other, and Frank's mother rejoiced in gaining such a daughter as Milly.
Yet among the members of the bride's family there is real sadness, notwithstanding their sympathy in her hopes and happiness. The first marriage among sisters who really love each other, is always painful, bright though the future may be. The first break in the daily intercourse, the want of the familiar face, the empty place at table, or in the evening circle, the silence left for the beloved voicethese are ever present, and it is only the afterthought that whispers “But she is happy."
It was decided by the Sumners that their school should be given up. Cornelia gave lessons in music, and had as many scholars as she could attend to. Helen was fully occupied in engraving and miniature painting; and Marion permanently established with her uncle.
Mrs. Sumner's health was not so strong as in former days, and her children insisted that she should relinquish the fatigue of the school.
Oscar pleaded for his privilege as head of the family, that he should now support them, and that his sisters should be released from their labors. But this they would not listen to. They wished that he should feel at liberty to marry, if he chose, and considered it no hardship to aid in gaining an honorable independence. Oscar and Frank were now associated in business with Mr. Enfield, and the firm was rising rapidly to the position it had occupied two years
before. Milly's marriage was delayed only until the final closing of the school. It was a quiet, unostentatious wedding, and Mrs. Enfield entreated that the
bride would live with her. “I have no daughter," she said, “and am so lonely."
So when summer was gone, and the autumn leaves began to fall through the misty air, Milly departed to be the light and gladness of another home.
Great was the amazement among their more fashionable friends, at Frank Enfield's marriage.
" Just think of that handsome young man marrying such a common-place looking little thing as that Miss Boylston," said Mrs. Bradshaw—who thought, or called every one common-looking who had a shade of color in their cheeks, and who had coveted Frank's property for her Amelia or Fanny, both of whom were as distinguished and elegant looking as late