RICHARD BENTLEY & SON
Publishers in Ordinary to Her Majesty the Queen
Printed by R. & R. CLARK, Edinburgh
“Nor only by the warmth
And soothing sunshine of delightful things,
Do minds grow up and flourish.”
AFTER parting with the last of her beloved relatives Mary tried to think only of the happiness that awaited her in a reunion with her mother and sister; and she gave herself up to the blissful reveries of a young and ardent imagination. Mrs. Douglas had sought to repress, rather than excite, her sanguine expectations; but vainly is the experience of others employed in moderating the enthusiasm of a glowing heart. Experience cannot be imparted. We may render the youthful mind prematurely cautious, or meanly suspicious; but the experience of a pure and enlightened mind is the result of observation, matured by time.
The journey, like most modern journeys, was performed in comfort and safety; and, late one evening, Mary found herself at the goal of her wishes—at the threshold of the house that contained her mother!
One idea filled her mind; but that idea called up a thousand emotions.
“I am now to meet my mother!” thought she; and, unconscious of everything else, she was assisted from the carriage, and conducted into the house. A door was thrown open; but shrinking from the glare of light and sound of voices that assailed her, he stood dazzled and dismayed, till she beheld a figure approaching that she guessed to be her mother. Her heart beat violently—a film was upon her eyes—she made an effort to reach her mother’s arms, and sank lifeless on her bosom!
Lady Juliana, for such it was, doubted not but that her daughter was really dead; for though he talked of fainting every hour of the day herself, still what is emphatically called a dead-faint was a spectacle no less strange than shocking to her. She was therefore sufficiently alarmed and overcome to behave in a very interesting manner; and some yearnings of pity even possessed her heart as she beheld her daughter’s lifeless form extended before her—her beautiful, though inanimate features, half hid by the profusion of golden ringlets that fell around her. But these kindly feelings were of short duration; for no sooner was the nature of her daughter’s insensibility as ascertained, than all her former hostility returned, as she found everyone’s attention directed to Mary, and she herself entirely overlooked in the general interest she had excited; and her displeasure was still further increased as Mary, at length slowly unclosing her eyes, stretched out her hands, and faintly articulated, “My mother!”