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circumstances could so care only for himself as to thus wickedly be absent for years, regardless of the sufferings and misery of those who love him, must possess a desperate, headstrong, and fearsomely selfish nature-a nature, a temper, that would be certain to make so frank-hearted, affectionate a maiden as Ennis wretched. But alas! when I remember it is my brother, my only brother, to whom I am objecting—that he has returned, dejected and full of sorrowand yet, and yet, would I could perceive somewhat of penitence and remorse mingling with this same depression! but I do not―no, I do not, and that to me is most incomprehensible of all. He grieves unmistakably for the sorrow he brought upon us; and he is fond and considerate as of yore, and seemingly anxious to do all that lies in his power to atone for the past; albeit, in expression, words, voice, and manner there is a singularly repellent spirit of defiance and determined impenitence. No, no; beloved and only brother though he is, I ought not and, no, I do not wish him to marry Ennis-that is, of course, in time to come, for as yet she is but a child.
Among other presents from her father, Ennis has received a picture of her deceased mother. It is a full-length portrait, and must have been taken when she was a few years older than the maiden Ennis now is; albeit the likeness between mother and daughter is, even thus early, so strong that in brief while the painting will do duty alike as a representation of both parent and child. This is it:
A damsel, nineteen or twenty years of age; figure slightly above middle height, of rather massive but most classical proportions; a redundance of glossy, rich, dark-brown hair; neck and shoulders, which are uncovered, as also the arms-the costume being a demitoilette (as the world calleth such fashion)—are of snowy whiteness and statuesque comeliness of shape. Beauteous features set in a sparkling, down-bending face. Such eyes! Never have I looked upon the like!-brown, thickly fringed with long lashes, and bright depths full of shy thoughts and girlish feelings, which, in the living portrait (to wit, Ennis), come and go as do lights and shades on a sweet April day. Yes; Ennis Denzell is the living image of this same exquisite delineation of her dead mother.
And as was evidently (from her posture in the drawing) the habitually winsome gait of the latter, so doth Ennis in like manner bend forward her graceful head, and thus by nature's art show forth to greater advantage her exceeding loveliness, to wit, her shy, bright smiles and glances, her glorious eyes, and their rich adornment of silken lashes.
Two years, with their heavy freight of joys and woes, have rolled over the world since the poor lost sheep returned. During this space he has studied for the Bar, with so much of his old, indomitable energy and love of learning that, as of yore, he has carried all before him; his success is complete.
Ofttimes through each year hath he come for short visits to the Rectory, and more and more doth he admire and like Ennis Denzell. He little about her, and what he does say— O strange perversity!—is to censure this thing, or that, which the child does, or is, or says. Albeit I can see-alas that so it is!his whole being is becoming wrapped up, absorbed, in hers. Alas that it is so! for the
maiden in no degree responds to this sentiment, if perchance she perceives it; the which I know not, for she uttereth no word thereon. But in truth he is not the style of man to win the heart of so tenderly and lovingly reared a damsel as she is. Though greatly altered and improved of late, Charles is still so grave and reserved in manner, and so cynical in conversation, he chills and depresses, if not even frightens, rather than pleaseth her; indeed she seems to me to shun his society when possible, and ofttimes I fear me the poor fellow sees this. Perhaps, however, that is best: if she cannot love him I would not for worlds he were deluded, while in his still troubled state of mind, into raising a bubble castle which the first breath of stern reality might disperse at
THE RETURN OF THE FUGITIVE.
For years no news came of Charles Beechley. In this interval my friendship with his sister so greatly increased, it rarely happened but that we met in some fashion every day. Sariann was a handsome girl, rather above middle height; her features were singularly sedate and thoughtful for one so young, but full nevertheless of a sweet kindness and of high and noble principles.
A quaint, old-fashioned style of speaking, too, contracted during her long early residence in Scotland with her grandparents, yet quite free of any Scotch dialect, added much at the time to this gravity of look and demeanour. Charles and Edith soon laughed her out of the