But, alas! the insecurity of even the best-laid schemes of human foresight! Lady Juliana was in the midst of arrangements for endless pleasures, when she received accounts of the death of her now almost forgotten husband! He had died from the gradual effects of the climate, and that was all that remained to be told of the unfortunate Henry Douglas! If his heartless wife shed some natural tears, she wiped them soon; but the wounds of disappointment and vanity were not so speedily effaced, as she contrasted the brilliant court-dress with the unbecoming widow’s cap. Oh, she so detested black things—it was so hateful to wear mourning—she never could feel happy or comfortable in black! and, at such a time, how particularly unfortunate! Poor Douglas! she was very sorry! And so ended the holiest and most indissoluble of human ties!
The Duchess did not think it incumbent upon her to be affected by the death of a person she had never seen; but she put on mourning; put off her presentation at Court for a week, and stayed away one night from the opera.
On Mary’s warm and unpolluted heart the tidings of her father’s death produced a very different effect. Though she had never known, in their fullest extent, those feelings of filial affection, whose source begins with our being, and over which memory loves to linger, as at the hallowed fount of the purest of earthly joys, she had yet been taught to cherish a fond remembrance of him to whom she owed her being. She had been brought up in the land of his birth—his image was associated in her mind with many of the scenes most dear to her—his name and his memory were familiar to those amongst whom she dwelt, and thus her feelings of natural affection had been preserved in all their genuine warmth and tenderness. Many a letter, and many a little token of her love, she had, from her earliest years, been accustomed to send him; and she had ever fondly cherished the hope of her father’s return, and that she would yet know the happiness of being blest in a parent’s love. But now all these hopes were extinguished; and, while she wept over them in bitterness of heart, she yet bowed with pious resignation to the decree of heaven.
“Shall we grieve their hovering shades,
Which wait the revolution in our hearts?
Shall we disdain their silent, soft address;
Their posthumous advice and pious prayer?”
FOR some months all was peaceful seclusion in Mary’s life, and the only varieties she knew were occasional visits to Aunt Grizzy’s, and now and then spending some days with Mrs. Lennox. She saw with sorrow the declining health of her venerable friend, whose wasted form and delicate features had now assumed an almost ethereal aspect. Yet she never complained, and it was only from her languor and weakness that Mary guessed she suffered. When urged to have