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LL things considered, the most For the rest, both had strong self-re.
important personage in Mrs. spect, and held themselves above quarVaughan's household, after the lady reling. herself, was, probably, Miss Zeruiah Mrs. Vaughan, we have said, was Porter,oras she was univeasally known no gossip. Miss Zarie would have in Brackendale, Miss Zarie.
scorned that name also, but what she Miss Zarie was not the housekeeper, did especially pride herself in, was her for Mrs.Vaughan carried her own keys, power to hold everybody about her, but Miss Zarie was nevertheless the to the farthest and humblest relation in terror of Bridget and Susan and Mary, life, to a strict accountability to her and inspired those functionaries with standard of right and wrong. If the a most wholesome and conservative Vaughans reigned over Brackendale, awe. “ She is an excellent and faith- moreover, she was prime minister, and ful girl," said the reference of a certain any appeal to the throne must necesapplicant for the post of chambermaid sarily pass through her manipulating in Mrs. Vaughan's household, “but fingers. She was, besides, like most she has one fault-she will steal.” narrow-minded, zealous people, insuf“ Let her come,” said Miss Zarie; ferably egotistical, with a keen femi“ She won't steal here." And during nine intuition, which, so sadly perthe two years of her service with Mrs. verted, made her to any one who hapVaughan, she never did. Neither was pened not to be in her good graces, a Miss Zarie, in the received sense, most annoying neighbor. companion to Mrs. Vaughan, for Elsie Glendenning had not lived all though she often read to her, and her lifetime in Miss Zarie's vicinity, even sewed for her not a little, and without finding it to her interest to entertained such chance callers as conciliate her; and once resolved upon were not to that lady's liking, there this course, she had, as we have seen, was little of the satellite about Miss few moral scruples to encounter, conZarie's nature. In her own sphere cerning the means to her end. Adroit she was distinct and independent; and Aattery had done much for Elsie, but although she undoubtedly did shine it was a happy day for her when cirby Mrs. Vaughan's light, it would cumstances placed in her hand a still have taken great stress of circumstance stronger lever than any mere personal to have wrung such a confession from vanity could be with Miss Zarie. her lips.
There were secrets in that lady's early Miss Zarie was forty-five, of the life. She had been a passionate and Vaughan blood, tall, dark and angular. fiery-hearted girl, and that knowledge That the same house could hold, in of the ways of men which had so conpeaceful relations, two women like founded many a young woman, and Mrs. Vaughan and her relative, was a surprised from her, her heart's most subject of frequent wonder. But the sacred mystery, was not altogether the two understood each other. Miss Zarie result of observation, but in part ex. was not above saying that Dorothea was perimental knowledge. Of this fact an excellent woman, and a pride to the Mrs. Vaughan was well aware, and to Vaughans; and Mrs. Vaughan, with the good use which upon rare occaher multiplicity of cares, public and sions she had made of it, the amicable private, had good reason to know that relations she had always been able to Zeruiah was a most useful creature. maintain with her were partly due.
To this knowledge Elsie Glendenning writing to a married man could be overhad also cunningly arrived, She was looked, as innocent a letter as ever was too discreet to flourish her possession, penned. but she was also too fond of power not “My dear friend,” it commenced, to make use of it. The result was, that “Your letter was a pleasure, all the sweeter between Mrs. Glendenning and Miss because unexpected. It was like you, good Zarie, there was an understanding. It the worst the Infinite mercy has always some
and true, and gave me a fresh sense of how at was Miss Zarie, therefore, whom that blessing yet left in store. You see I have lady selected, to hold the whip over enjoyed it frugally. Not till I had extracted her husband.
the last drop of its sweetness would I give Mrs. Glendenning, like the wary myself the pleasure of answering it." tactitian she was, watched her oppor
Then it went on in the most cheertunity, and in this respect fortune fa- ful way to give the detail of her life vored her. Going into her husband's since they had parted; her labors, her office one day at an unusual hour, recreations, her friendships and ter she discovered the Doctor in the act vexations, were all freely laid before of sealing a letter. Instantly her sus- him. At the close she wrote: picions were alert. The Doctor put “ In writing to you, I have raised no questhe letter into his pocket to carry to tion of right or wrong, because it seems to the office, without any apparent haste or
me that the burden of proof does not lie
altogether with you or me. True feeling has trepidation, but watching closely, even a right to some sort of true and natural exwhile her attention was outwardly pression, a right it seems to me no false reladirected another way, she made sure tion can wholly contravene. Certain it is that of a V upon the face of the letter, and total repression is fatal to healthy mental and of the long and short line of the ad.
moral action, and that kind of suicide is, I
take it, no more virtuous than the other. I dress, which could be only
do not say this in self-justification, because in “ Philadelphia,
your eyes, I am sure I need none; but because
Pa." so direct is the conflict between motive and Mrs. Glendenning said nothing, but custom, between God's laws and men's laws, from that instant her plan was formed.
and so unrelenting the tyranny by which the Half the skill and determination which strong indeed which can accept this issue in
latter are enforced, that the spirit must be she employed would have won many perfect calmness. Every new truth claims its a lost battle ; but the result was, that martyrs
. To portray to the world the differin a month's time, there lay in her
ence between its own false conceptions and hand a delicate epistle, addressed to
the Divine ideal of Love, who would not wil
lingly sacrifice the happiness of this earthly Dr. Glendenning, and post-marked existence. For such souls the suns of eternity Philadelphia
shine, and its roses bloom. Elsie Glendenning's face was
Dear friend, adieu, study, as she sat holding that letter,
ELOISE VAUGHAN," enjoying the sense of triumph which Mrs. Glendenning folded the letter the possession of it afforded her, even and replaced it in its envelope in a while dreading the revelation which meditative way. Apart from her perthe breaking of the seal might offer. sonal and wifely feeling, the letter
“The jade, the hussey !” she whis- puzzled and did not altogether please pered through her shut teeth, “to be her. She had looked for more tanwriting to my husband.”
gible evidences of guilt. She had The glow of triumph vanished, and hoped for something so definite and her features grew pale and pinched pronounced, that the mere showing with that malice of weak souls which of the letter should carry instant conis like fire to all noble virtues and ex- viction of gross imprudence, not to say pressions. She broke the seal and criminality. For a moment she felt read the letter. It was simple, pure, actually baffled ; but her instinctive womanly; and if the act itself of hatred, so freshly confirmed, did not
leave her long in doubt concerning the “ He told me himself that he visit. use to be made of the letter.
ed her, went to Philadelphia for that “ They have no business to be cor- express purpose, and I have a letter responding at all,” she said to herself, from her to him in my pocket.” “ I shall not be asked to show the The small woman trembled. I supletter, or if I am, I can refuse and get pose few women could deliver a pet all the more credit for discretion. I bird to the cat without emotion, even am free to say what I please con- though the bird might have deserved cerning it."
death. That very day she sought an inter
see that letter,” said view with Miss Zarie. Eloise had Miss Zarie. never been a favorite with that lady and “No,” said Elsie, demurely, “ I'd Elsie felt the ground already half pre- rather not. I'll show you the outside pared for her, for with the instinct of of it, if you like.” the female, she had long ago determin- “Elsie Glendenning, this is a mated to direct all her assaults against the ter in which it is of no use to be woman she hated, and to keep her squeamish ; show me that letter at own personal record with her husband once?" as unembarrassed as possible.
Elsie hesitated, but finally produced “ Miss Zarie," said Mrs. Glen the letter for Miss Zarie's inspection. denning, after some circumlocution, Well, I declare !” said Miss Za
did you ever fancy Eloise Vaughan rie, as she deliberately unfolded it and to be a wanton woman?"
adjusted her spectacles upon her nose; Miss Zarie's hawk eyes were raised “you know I never liked the woman, in an instant, she knew at once that but I didn't think that of her. So there had been a purpose in that speech. cool and wary as they were last sum
“ You and I have both had our mer too,—why, they even deceived own opinion concerning Eloise Vau- me." The snap of Miss Zarie's eye ghan," she replied; “ but what new at that moment showed that the ofthing has transpired? I hope it is some- fence was unpardonable. “The husthing we can show up to good advan- sey, what does she say?" tage. I own I should like to take her • Oh! she talks about the divine down a trifle in Mrs. Vaughan's esti- ideal of Love, and other people's false mation.”
conceptions of it; about their loving “I don't know what Aunt Doro- each other in the next world, and all chea will say, I'm sure; it is a dreadful that. The letter is just like her.” thing, indeed it is, Miss Zarie. I Miss Zarie read the letter through try to speak of it calmly, but it almost coolly and carefully ; she gathered kills me," and she burst into real, un- from it as correct a view of the case affected tears.
as it was possible for a mind consti. Miss Zarie scented the carrion at tuted like her own to apprehend. once, or thought she did. It is as- “ To think,” she said, “ that a tonishing how fond some virtuous wo. Vaughan should so disgrace herself. men are of the odor.
What do you mean to do about it, “What is it, child?” she said, “tell Elsie?” me at once. You don't mean to say Elsie looked up with real feeling in that she has fastened the doctor in her her tones. “Oh! if you only could snares? The sly thing.”
frighten him into giving her up and “ He has been to see her and now coming back to me,” she said. " He they correspond.”
has never called me his wife, nor “ Elsie Glendenning?" shrieked treated me as his wife since my baby Miss Zarie, “are you telling me the was born, and it is all on account of truth?"
Miss Zarie turned her head on one chief,” she soliloquized, “ words side and looked at Elsie with precisely won't stop her ; but a man, thank the expression of a wise and wicked heaven, can be reasoned with. Eloise
is out of my reach, she always did “I can do it, child,” she said, “ if seem to me like a jack-o'-lantern. I anybody can, and I will if I can. But see her, but I never know what she I tell you now it is a hard thing to means and I can't calculate on her ; win a man back to his lawful wife, but I know the Doctor. He is quiet, if he's taken a strange fancy. If he he is not conceited, he appreciates had loved his wife in the beginning, the Vaughans, and if I can take him he would'nt have gone astray. How- on the right tack, I may be able to ever,
can he made to hush frighten him out of this fancy, which things up and give way to decency, has evidently gone no farther than the and that's what I shall try to do sentimental stage. I never knew mowith the Doctor. Upon my soul ral or religious talk to do much good I do sometimes think that marriage in these cases; it don't apply. Folks must be an invention of the evil one ; have to be roundly frightened by a it does lead, in ninety-nine cases out sense of consequences.” of a hundred, to so much trouble and The Doctor meanwhile was serenewickedness. You think, child, that ly unconscious of the storm that was most men are true to their wives, but brewing for him. He had not ex. I know better; this isn't the first scan- pected a speedy answer to his letter, dal case that has come to my know- and was only now beginning to feel ledge, and for all that comes to light his heart beat a trifle faster with exI know that there's ten hushed up pectation as he walked to the postand kept in darkness. And that's what office for his evening mail. He was must be done in this case ; they may sitting in his office reading the last think they can live apart and keep number of Braithwaite's Retrospect, their feelings secret till eternity and when Miss Zarie entered upon her all that, but I know better. I know philanthropic mission. what comes of these things and they “Good morning, Doctor,” she said 've got to stop seeing each other and with a gravity of demeanor, which, stop writing to each other, or there'll however unintentionally, impressed scandal come of it, and that won't do the Doctor at once with the sense of in this family. I'll see the Doctor to- an emergency. morrow.”
“Good morning,” he replied, sua“Will you speak to Aunt Dorothea vely. Is there anything the matter about it?"
at your house to-day, Miss Zarie?” “ Not now, child; your Aunt Doro- No,” replied Miss Zarie, the thea is all very well in her way, but weight of her manner sensibly inin a case like this she would be so creasing, till the Doctor began to feel shocked and indignant, and regretful that it might be measured in tons by turns, and make such a muddle of avoirdupois. “It is not professional her emotions, as to be of no practical business which brings me here this use whatever. I am the woman to morning.” master this occasion, Elsie.”
“ I am happy to hear it,” said the There was a little farther confer. Doctor. “ How can I serve you unence concerning ways and means, professionally ?" and then the two parted.
Miss Zarie compressed her lips and That evening Miss Zarie reviewed looked fearfully in earnest. the case carefully in the silence of her “Dr. Glendenning,” said Miss own room.
Zarie,“ it is a very delicate matter to «« When a woman is bent on mis- meddle in anybody's domestic rela
tions. Nobody knows that better than I. “But I am informed,” said Miss Still there are times when somebody Zarie, “that you never do call her wife must so meddle. For instance, if the now-a-days; that you do not any longer good name of an old and proud family treat her as your wife; that on the like the Vaughans is threatened, it other hand you have transferred your becomes the duty of some representa. affections to—to another member of tive member of that family to take the the. Vaughan family,—whom in defmatter in hand and settle it in such a ance of domestic fidelity and of social manner as to arrest that danger.” and religious law, you surreptitiously
The Doctor's eyes wouid certainly visit. Now, Doctor, you know me have twinkled if the matter had touch. well, you know that I am direct and ed his peace of mind one whit less positive in my manner, but after all, nearly. As it was he simply replied I never move in these matters with to this imposing declaration:
out good cause, and when I do move, “So you come to me as a repre- it is generally to some purpose. sentative, do you, Miss Zarie? It is not going to talk to you about broken of the first importance that I should vows and ruined peace of mind, and know whom you have the honor to all that sort of thing. I know men represent ?
too well. Elsie is a weak little thing, Miss Zarie drew herself up and pretty enough in her fresh bloom, but looked dignified.
not calculated to wear well.
You've “ I represent the entire Vaughan grown tired of her, and would like a family,” she replied; and then as if change. It is all very natural, but that were possibly too sweeping, she Doctor it won't do. You are in the added, “ with perhaps one exception.” vice, and if it does, pinch you some, Indeed,” said the Doctor, well you must stay there. Matters
may aware of what was coming, and de- uncomfortable, but you must consider termined to make a good fight of it; that when you've abandoned one wo“may I inquire if the entire Vaughan man and ruined another, you'll not family, with perhaps the one excep- find yourself one whic more comforttion, to which you refer, have given able. Now, Doctor, you have good you credentials and instructions to
put it to you in this plain appear before me in this manner?” way, because I count on you're being
Miss Zarie drew in her breath a man enough to bear the truth and sublittle.
mit to circumstances.” “ Perhaps I should not say that “ Miss Zarie,” said the Doctor, exactly,” she replied, “but I have “you've said a good deal in a short certainly been appealed to, to interfere space of time. Some of it requires in this matter
“ By one member of the Vaughan “ Doctor, I've said nothing that I family, I suspect,” said the Doctor, cannot prove.- Indeed, I've fallen “ namely Mrs. Elsie Glendenning? short of the truth in my charges.”
Miss Zarie felt that she was not “ Miss Zarie,” said the Doctor, hitting her mark and decided to vary “ Allow me to say that I think you her aim a trifle.
are taking a mean advantage of your “ Doctor,” she said, dropping at Why didn't my wife send a once the inflated manner she had as- man here, so that I might meet him sumed, and, speaking with a keen on equal terms, and serve him to such natural zest, “ why don't you say your treatment as men usually do get when wife?”
they meddle impertinently in other “I was speaking of her then as a men's affairs." member of the Vaughan family,” “Simply because, Doctor, you would replied the Doctor, drily.
have ruined yourself by such a course.
sense, and I