|Newspaper Title||Sydney Mail (NSW : 1860 - 1871)|
|Trove Title||Which Wins? A Tale of Life's Impulses|
A. TALE OF LIFE'S IMPULSES. BY MtlBL. Chatter XI.
11 Time rale* u» »1L And Life, indeed, Is not The thing we planned it oat ere hope wns d-M I . And then, we women cannot chooso our Int.'* Ohk Mearo/io, ' lfeost nrrcr love who dream that they loved omi,' LB. Bkowkiku. 06toW 12th : 3 p.m.— I am thankful thst, at last, thiawesry vratch comes near an end. My grandfather I lira weak and helpless, but once more 'In hi* right mind ;' imi wilt, Dr. Lenntn .aye, recover in time
if no exciting citcmnsunce occurs. He U very etill mnd calm, end lies for hour* with his hinds folded end clpsed eyes, the fiintly moving lips elone witnessing ' tothe internal communion he is holding with the In. ' visible God. The old worn face, that was so seamed and brown, has become both whiter and less wrinkled in his illness, and there is a new soft light in his eyes, like the reflection of an inward smile. - It seems to me that— though he may indeed remain with us a little time longer— my grandfather's soul bss taken one unretrscesble step into the world of unseen things and will ever retain a vision of them in his short future on tarth. Y et one earthly thought remains with him sUU, and he murmurs of Emily unceasingly. Nor does he now seek, as he has hitherto done to keep the eonnd of it from my ears. Yesterday he asked of me if I Still prayed, as in my childhood I had done, for tbevrelfare of my mother ; and when I, fearing that the question was one of delirium, hesitated to reply, he continued earnestly — ' Relax not thy entreaties to thy God, my own Dottums, that he will bring again into the ways of peace thy mother, who has turned far astray end trodden long in the wilderness ; for thy prayers, my cbild, will be most acceptable to the God whom thou hast never deserted.' ' I remembered many hours of wandering thought and faltering duty, ana ' God has kept me,' I re plied, ' or I had walked in the footsteps cf my mother.' Graady closed Ilia eyes with a look of weary pain, but almost immediately stroked my head caressingly, while he inquired, ' Wilt thou have mc tell thee of thy mother, my darline r' ' S ea,' 1 replied falteringly, for here was coming to me the completion of the Btrong desire of all my conscious life-time. 'She was the darling of my sorrow, for the loved one of my youth died in her birth, and left me but a puny girl-baby as a recompense for that great loss. I put away the child at first, unable to bear such a re minder of my sorrow, and willing, if I could, to forget it by forgetting her. Hut when, two years later, I went home to my mother's house, ana there came running down the garden walk to meet me that little tottering image ol' my dead Emily, I caught her up into my arms, and half believed the lost redeemed from tne ekies. I never let my little Emily go from my aide again, until it was necessary for her own. wel fare. For 1 determined that my dulling should have the good schooling that was needful to make her man ners those of a lady. There was many a lady that might have envied her for her bonny face and good, kind heart. .Site was prettier than thou art, my little Dottums, and her laugh was wilder, and her step blither — yet 1 would she had been more like thee. He thee thankful, Dottums, that thou wast not left to the care of a doting old man, who might have spoiled thee as he did thy — oh ! if my love had he en less proud, I might have had my spotless darling now. She was quick and clever beyond other girls, was thy mother, and I worked day and night, to win the means to keep her as nice as other ladies in the achool I had placed her. None, 1 thought, should scoff at the poor farmer's one child. And as she grew in beauty and intelligence she grew in . pride, and then, my little Dottums, came thy poor Grandy's deep sorrow. Emily learned to be ashamed of her father, and little by little broke off from confiding in me, and in the end engaged her self to go to Scotland with a lady, as nursery gover ness : and then, after all my love and pride, i lost my pretty child. 'There was nothing left to live for then, and wearying fur a change, I sold off everything and came to this country. I did very well at first — got a well-Btocked shop and a respectable custom, and should have kept it until now had it not been for my ill-fated child. * She followed me in a year or two but when I waited, almost wild with glad ness, to meet her on the quay, I saw— Dot- tums, my little truthful darling, I 'will not cloud over those earnest eyes of thine with the bad tale. Hut pray for thy mother, pray !' His hand sank away from my nead, and, outworn with too much speaking, my grandfather fainted hack upon his pillow. I must not dare lead him to this subject again. Go again, on the threshold of discovery, I have failed from knowledge of the mystery that hangs over my existence. Hut I have lost the impatience that would once have been awakened by such a fuilure — indeed, I hare grown too listless to be atirred by any common passion. Yet this is not the old swec-t tran quility ot mind ; it is very for from it. A fair spring morning, when the pale-green earth is budding ana breathing sweet dewy odours beneath a pale sky and a wandering breeze, might be theemblcm of my early peace : while this were best pictured by a sultry summer 'a noon whose burning sun and ahidowless light oppress rhe frame unbearably, and we look with anxious ej es to the rising massof cloud on the hoiizon, hoping for relief in the terrors of the thunder storm. And so this heavy calm of raino is not rest, hat simply n cessation from life's excitement— perhaps an interval of preparation for ? stow 't-eep- veiled future.' Yet, shall 1 never again have rest i Is all the freshness of my beautiful past childhood gone for ever f And, is womanhood always so very weary, that, even at its first dawn 1 should long to Lay down my tired irame, and sleep undreaming and unwaking on tor ever ? I could do that, for suddenly life has become objectlera to me. After Grandy's recovery, when my presence is no longer essential to him, there seems to be a blank. I shall no longer need to work for Henry's approbation — it can never be regained., I know him well : after he gets over his first ekagrinhe will be able to separate all his thoughts away from me as completely as if I had never been in existence, and that he will do. Nor between me and my father is there the perfect confidence of my earlier £irl hood, that confidence which might, perhaps dispel my utter loneliness. In his many loving looks, in his earnest words, beneath as his constant care for me, I see the shadow of a reserve that I cannot fathom -i-a something that fills his thoughts and yet is withheld from expression. While, myself. I grow restless in his presence ; if he is silent, anxious to tesse him into conversation, and if he converses, anxious ever to change the subject— nothing like the quiet cltild who once found it pleasure sufficient to work in silence within reach of his stray words and smiles. And for Olave, my one friend— that I have lost her, that our life-paths are diverging wide, is evident by— ah, there she pssses my window, with Miss Lowe and a gentle man — it must be Mr. Alvem. Well, I think 1 have a tight to he vexed ! If I did step to the door, it was only that I might more clearly see and be 6een by Olave, and she need not have immediately indi cated my presence to the gentleman, on whose arm she was eo familiarly leaning : it was the last thing ehe should have done. Ana it was about the last thing he should have done, to turn end lift his list in that super-gallant manner. Extremes meet, Mr. Alvem, end that suave manner was almost an insult to a girl in a print dress, when standing at a cottage door. He will pass muster for good looks, will Olave's new friend, even among the handsomest, liut I do uot like such fair men, though they be six feet of graceful manhood, crowned bv rich auburn hair, full blue eyes, and such chiselled Grecian features ; and I have taken no liking to Mr. Alvem. Little Miss Lowe looks pale and ill, and that's a selfish house over yonder, a sad resting-place for either suf fering mixd or body ; I wish I might have her here to nurse her. I think my vocation is that of a nurse just now. Olave baa laid a letter for me upon the gate-post, and, now that they have reached tne house, I will get it and answer it before titer return.