Near the head of the bed, his looks directed toward Miss Wimple with an expression of benevolent solicitude, sat a gentleman of middle age, rather handsome, his hair inclined to gray, his attire fine, but studiously simple.
“Mrs. Morris,” he said, “may I be permitted to speak a word here?”
“Surely, Mr. Osgood.”
“Then, ladies and gentlemen, since doubtless we understand each other by this time, I think it advisable that we retire, and leave Miss Wimple to much-needed repose.”
All arose and passed out, Mrs. Splurge leading the way, Mr. Osgood holding the door. Last of all, and with a pitiful shyness, as if dodging some fresh discomfiture and exposure, came Philip Withers.
“The door is at your service, Sir,” said Mr. Osgood, as he passed; “to be sure, the window were more appropriate for your passage; but to attach importance to your existence by suddenly endangering it is an honor I am not prepared to pay you.”
Madeline remained with Miss Wimple.
Now Miss Wimple is Simon Blount’s wife, and
they live with his mother.
The debt of the Athenaeum is paid.
Adelaide abides at the Splurge house,—a reserved, bitter, forbidding woman.
Mrs. Splurge still lives; but that is of as little consequence as ever.
I assert it for an astonishing fact,—Philip Withers married Josephine! Truly, the ways of Providence are as just as they are inscrutable. The meanness of Withers, mated to the selfish, helpless, peevish stupidity of Josephine, made an ingenious retribution.
When I was at the opera, a few nights since, I saw in a private box a benevolent-looking gentleman of middle age, evidently well-born and accustomed to wealth. He was accompanied by a lady in elegant mourning,—a lady of decided beauty and distinguished appearance.
Miss Flora McFlimsey was there:—“That,” said she, “is Mrs. Morris, of Fourteenth Street,—a mysterious governess in the family of Mr. Osgood; and the gentleman is Mr. Osgood.”
What dost thou here, pale chemist, with
Knotted with pains of thought, nigh hump-backed o’er
Thy alembics and thy stills? These garden-flowers,
Whose perfumes spice the balmy summer-air,
Teach us as well as thee. Thou dost condense
Healthy aromas into poison-drops,
Narcotic drugs of dangerous strength and power,—
And wines of paradise to thee become
Intoxicating essences of hell.
Cold crystallizer of the warm heaven’s gold!
Thou rigorous analyst! thou subtile brain!
Gathering thought’s sunshine to a focus heat
That blinds and burns and maddens! What, my friend!
Are we, then, salamanders? Do we live
A charmed life? Do gases feed like air?
Pray you, pack up your crucibles and go!
Your statements are too awfully abstract;