Colonel Lennox gazed upon the countenance of his mother. Again and again he pressed her inanimate hands to his lips, and bedewed them with his tears, as about to tear himself from her for ever. At that moment she opened her eyes, and regarded him with a look of intelligence, which spoke at once to his heart. He felt that he was seen and known. Her look was long and fondly fixed upon his face; then turned to Mary with an expression so deep and earnest that both felt the instantaneous appeal. The veil seemed to drop from their hearts; one glance sufficed to tell that both were fondly, truly loved; and as Colonel Lennox received Mary’s almost fainting form in his arms, he knelt by his mother, and implored her blessing on her children. A smile of angelic brightness beamed upon her face as she extended her hand towards them, and her lips moved as in prayer, though no sound escaped them. One long and lingering look was given to those so dear even in death. She then raised her eyes to heaven, and the spirit sought its native skies!
“Cette liaison n’est
ni passion ni amitie pure:
elle fait une classe a part.” —LA BRUYERE
IT was long before Mary could believe in the reality of what had passed. It appeared to her as a beautiful yet awful dream. Could it be that she had plighted her faith by the bed of death; that the last look of her departed friend had hallowed the vow now registered in heaven; that Charles Lennox had claimed her as his own, even in the agony of tearing himself from all he loved; and that she had only felt how dear she was to him at the very moment when she had parted from him, perhaps for ever? But Mary strove to banish these overwhelming thoughts from her mind, as she devoted herself to the performance of the last duties to her departed friend. These paid, she again returned to Beech Park.