|Newspaper Title||Mercury and Weekly Courier (Vic. : 1878 - 1903)|
|Trove Title||A Golden Dawn|
A GOLDEN DAWN. [FAMILY HERALD] CHAPTER V. It was fairyland to the girl who had no memories save of her father's sad face and the lime blossoms that hung over her mother's grave. She had tried to imagine what life was like, and had, failed. To her father it meant only-love and regret ; to her it meant longing and hope. Now she saw what it was to others-love, laughter, song, happiness, brightness, and enjoyment of every kind. She saw the smiling faces of fair women, their jewels, the sheen of their dresses, their graceful, caressing, suave manners, their thou sand charms. She saw men with the faces and chivalrous manners she had dreamed of as belonging to the knights of old. She saw lights, flowers, every thing beautiful and luxurious, and she awoke suddenly to the knowledge of what life meant. Her whole heart went out to it ; she held out her armi, as it were, to embrace it. That first evening passed delight fully. She was even more admired than Lady Rosedene had anticipated. Miss Sant liked her at once ; but, in her usual straightforward fashion, she remarked privately to Lady Rosedene- " I doubt whether, after all, you have acted wisely in bringing that lovely child into society.; there is the dawn 'f a tragedy in her face. Fair, swer', :nocent as it is now, a story will to, written there some day, and you will be responsible for it. I have never seen a girl with such lovely violet eyes who had not a story, and a sad one." "She is the daughter of a gentle man,". replied Lady Rosedene. " I cannot see that I have done anything extraordinary in asking her to visit me." "I hope you will never repent of it. But I see much in that girl's face be yond mere beauty; there is poetry, passion, love, jealously. Take care, human hearts are not playthings. Do not try to marry her too well, and let her learn to love some one who will really care for her." Much as Lady Rosedene liked her candid friend, she was hardly pleased at the warning. , "After all," she said to herself, "It matters little what any one says." The bright days passed. Hyacinth learned many things-to ride, to dance, to drive; the gentlemen delighted in teaching her. She was so frank, so fair, so unspotted by the world, so fresh, so simple and original, they de clared it was better than reading poetry to talk to Miss Vane. No one else had the least chance while Hyacinth was near ; her beauty, her grace, her wit, her simplicity, her bright intelligence, made her queen of the brilliant society. in which she found herself. One week of the month had passed. Sir Harry declared that he was dying of love. Major Tarne said less, but was evidently captivated by the blush ing young belle. Hyacinth laughed at it all; the flattering exaggerations of Sir Harry, the lover-like manner of the handsome Major, were all lost on her. She laughed at both. They could never melt her into the faintest gleam of tenderness, or subdue her into one moment's gravity. Lady Rosedene tried once, and once only, to direct her, and failed signally. "My dear Miss Vane," she said, "you are very cruel to your lovers." "'I have no lovers," answered the girl, with a burning crimson flush. t Your admirers, then. Major Tarne evidently awaits only an oppor tunity; and he is a good match-few better." "A good match for what or whom?" asked Hyacinth, with the light of wonderful scorn in her eyes. Then Lady Rose !ene remembered that the jargon of theD fashionable world was an unknown tongue to the child of Franecis Vane. "By a good match, I mean that he has a large fortune, that he has very in:fluential connections, and holds a hrgh position in the military world." Something like wonder dawned over the lovely face. "And would any one marry him simply because he haa these advan tages ?" she asked. " Certainly-and very properly too," replied her ladyship. "I never would," said Hyacinth, with a charming air of decision. " My father says there can be no true marriage without love." " Oi' course not," allowed Lady Rosedene, remembering his faithful love, and feeling psrplexed how to answer. "Could any one love a man simply because he has plenty of money, or a high position ?' "For those reasons alone, certainly not," answered Lady Rosedene. "Thb 3n, if he is not to be loved for them, he should not be married for them," was the triumphant declara tion. "Hyacinth," said Lady Rosedene, gravely, "do not make what I honestly believe to be the greatest mistake any woman ever makes; do not let your whole life turn upon love. Child, when I made up my mind to enjoy life, I said to myself that I must fore go all love. I know we elders may teach and may preach ; you younger people listen with a smile; but, be lieve me, love has. far more pain than pleasure. It is a fever that burns, but never cools-a rack on which its victim is always stretched-a serpent that stings-a flower with sharpest thorns-a precipice hidden by fairest blossoms--a blessing occasionally, yet more often a curse." " My father says it is Heaven's gift to man," remarked Hyacinth. "My dear, few men love as your father has loved. As a general rule, I believe men make the women they love supremely happy for a short time, and supremely miserable ever afterwards. Hiyacinth, be advised by me; do not let love spoil your life. You have beauty, you may win position, rank, wealth, everything that makes life bright. Try for that-try to marry some one who can make you rich and respected, who can give you diamonds, carriages, horses, an opera box, coun try houses, and town mansions-never .mind love."
Something like wondering gravity came over the lovely childlike face. "You are very kind, Lady Rose dene," she said, " but I shall never follow your advice. If I marry for any thing, it will be for love-love such as my father reads and thinks of." Lady Rosedene threw up her hands in comic dismay. "Tell me what you think love is ?" the asked. -A shy sweet smile dimpled the fresh mouth,'the golden head drooped, then the fair face was raised proudly. " If I tell you, you will only laugh, and say, as you always do, that I am simple, or original, or something of that kind. Yet I will tell you. I think love is something so beautiful that no words can tell what it re semble., no words have power to de scribe it. What the fulfilment of it must be I cannot say, when the very dawn of it, even the faintest fore shadowing, makes the soul tremble." "My dear Hyacinth," cried Lady Rosedene, but Hyacinth did not pause. "It is usual in your world," she went on, " to laugh at love, to sneer at it, to make it subservient to every thing else, to make it a plaything or a toy, so that it can never enoble man or woman ; but to me it seems like the crown that blesses and glorifies a life. I hope it will crown mine. And when ever I marry, Lady Rosedene-that is, if I do marry-it will be for love, anil love alone." "I can only say then that I earnestly hope the love will fall on the right person," replied Lady Rosedene. " That will be as Heaven wills," said Hyacinth. " My father says marriages are made in Heaven. He often tells me about the summer even iong when he first saw my mother. The sun was setting, and he heard a sound of sweet music; and then from the church porch came a quiet, gentle, figure that was like the very revelation of love to him. He told me that the love which filled his heart then was the same which will fill his soul when he meets my mother in Heaven." The sweet voice died in a soft low sigh. Lady Rosedene looked up gravely. "We look at love from different points of view," she said. 'I have studied it in a ball-room-you by the side of a grave." " There is another difference," ob served Hyacinth gently. "Your love changes with every fashion-it never lasts a lifetime-while such as my father speaks of begins on earth only to end in Heaven." Lady Rosedene sighed. She looked with wonder at the young girl, so in experienced in life, yet gifted with knowledge so much more profound than her own-with wisdom so much more sweet and simple. She said no more, but after that conversation she never spoke to Hyacinth Vane again about making a good match. Every day she became more popu lar, was more beloved. The sweet simple wisdom she had learned from her father seemed to be part of her beauty. It was new to those about her, as was the fair loveliness of her young face. One night when the lillies and roses were sleeping, and the world lay at rest, when the moon shone bright, and the nightingales sung in the green heart of the woods, Hyacinth Vane laid her head on the white pillows and dreamed the dreams that come to the young and happy-dreams in which the bright moonlight foreshadowed a golden halo that was to fall around her -a handsome face, which yet she could not see--trong arms that were to clasp her, but whose grasp was shadowy-a low voice that whispered tender words, none of which were plain to her-dreams that were frag ments of beauty, music, and song. She awoke with tl:e glow of them upon her. The sun was shining fall on her window; the ring doves were cooing; there was not even one white cloud in the blue sky; the whole bright, laughing world, seemed to call her to new life and new light. "It seems to m ." said Hyacinth Vane, as she threw open the latticed window to let in the perfumed air, "that something is going to happen to day." There was a stir in the youthful soul-a new sensation of life and hap piness-was it only the brightness of the summer day, the wrath of the sun, the fragrance of the flowers, or was it the shadow of coming fate resting on the clear young soul ? The sun rose on many mornings for her, but morning never more dawned for her with the same sweet smile. She never looked out from the lattice window again with the same clear untroubled mind. - The dawn of her fate had risen for her, the great shadow lay upon her, and she was to know the peace of early girlhood no more. To be continued.