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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 472 pages of information about Marriage.

Miss Jacky was more composed as she presented a flaming copy of Fordyce’s Sermons to Young Women, with a few suitable observations; but Miss Nicky could scarcely find voice to tell that the housewife she now tendered had once been Lady Girnchgowl’s, and that it contained Whitechapel needles of every size and number.  The younger ladies had clubbed for the purchase of a large locket, in which was enshrined a lock from each subscriber, tastefully arranged by the----- jeweller, in the form of a wheat sheaf upon a blue ground.  Even old Donald had his offering, and, as he stood tottering at the chaise door, he contrived to get a “bit snishin mull” laid on Mary’s lap, with a “God bless her bonny face, an’may she ne’er want a good sneesh!”

The carriage drove off, and for a while Mary’s eyes were closed in despair.

CHAPTER XXXI.

“Farewell to the mountains, high covered with snow;
Farewell to the straths, and green valleys below;
Farewell to the forests, and wild hanging woods,
Farewell to the torrents, and loud roaring floods!”

Scotch Song.

HAPPILY in the moral world as in the material one the warring elements have their prescribed bounds, and “the flood of grief decreaseth when it can swell no higher;” but it is only by retrospection we can bring ourselves to believe in this obvious truth.  The young and untried heart hugs itself in the bitterness of its emotions, and takes a pride in believing that its anguish can end but with its existence; and it is not till time hath almost steeped our senses in forgetfulness that we discover the mutability of all human passions.

But Mary left it not to the slow hand of time to subdue in some measure the grief that swelled her heart.  Had she given way to selfishness, she would have sought the free indulgence of her sorrow as the only mitigation of it; but she felt also for her uncle.  He was depressed at parting with his wife and child, and he was taking a long and dreary journey entirely upon her account.  Could she therefore be so selfish as to add to his uneasiness by a display of her sufferings?  No—­she would strive to conceal it from his observation, though to overcome it was impossible.  Her feelings must ever remain the same, but, she would confine them to her own breast; and she began to converse with and even strove to amuse, her kindhearted companion.  Ever and anon indeed a rush of tender recollections came across her mind, and the soft voice and the bland countenance of her maternal friend seemed for a moment present to her senses; and then the dreariness and desolation that succeeded as the delusion vanished, and all was stillness and vacuity!  Even self-reproach shot its piercing sting into her ingenuous heart; levities on which, in her usual gaiety of spirit, she had never bestowed a thought, now appeared to her as crimes of the deepest dye.  She thought how often she

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