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The Bridal Wine-cup

The Bridal Wine-cup image
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"Pledge with wine - pledge wine," cried the young and thoughtless Harvey Wood. "Pledge with wine. " ran through the bridal party. The beautíí'ul bride grow pale - the decisivo hcmr had come. Slie pi'essed her white hands togethel" and the JbaVCs of tho bridal wreatli trombled on her brow; her breatli caïne quicker and her heart beet Wilder. "ïes, Marión, lay aside your scruples for this once," said the judge in a low I tone, going townrd_Jii ilatighter "the company expeot it. "Do nt se seïiously infringe th& roles of etiquette; in your owu home do as yon please; but in mine, for this ouoe, please me." Every eye was turned toward the j dal pair. Marion's principies were ! well known. Henry had been a convi valisfc, but of late his friends noticed the change in his manaers, the difference iti his habits - aud to-night Hie.y WfttÖhed him to see, as they sneeïingty said, if he was tied down %o H Voraan's opinión so soon, Pom'ing a brimming cup, they held it Wlth tenipting smilos torrareis Maften. She was vory pnle, thougll more composed; and hei hand shook not as, sroiliJip; back, she gracefully„' accepted the crystal temp ter and raised it to her lips. But scarcely had she done so when every hand was arrested by her piflroing exclamation of - "Oh ! how terrible t" "What is it?" cried one and all thronging together, for she hntl slowly carried the glass at arm's iength, and was fixedly regardilig it as though it were somc nideous object. "Wait, " she answered, while a light which seemed inspired, shone frorn her dark eyes, "wait," and I will teil y ou. "I 3ee," she addod, slowly, pointmg out! jeweled fiuger at the sparkling ruby liquid- "a sight that beggars all description; and yet listen - I will paint it for you if I can. It is a lovely I spot; tall mountains crowned with verdure rise in awful sublimity around; a : rivar runs through, and bright flowers grow to tho water's edge. There is a thick, warm mist, which the sun seeks vainly to pierce. Trees, lofty and beautiful, wave to the airy motion of the birds; but there a group of Imlians gather; they flit too and fro, with something like soitow upon their dark brows. And in their midst Iie3 a manly form - but his cheek how deathly, his eyo wild with tho litful firo of fever. One friend stands beside him - nay, I ahould say kneels, for sec, he is piilowing that poor head upon his breast. "Genius in rains. Oh, the high, holylooking brow! why should death mark it, j and he so young? Look how he throws back the damp curls ! seo him clasp bis hands! hear his tlirilling shrieks for life! mark how he clutches at the form of his companion, imploring to be saved! Oh! hear him cali piteously his father's name - see him twine his fingers together as he shrieks for his sister - his only sister - the twin of his soul - wêeping for him in his distant native land. " See !" she exclaimed, while the bridal party shrank back, the uutasted wine trembling in their faltering grasp and tho Judge feil overpowered upon his seat - " see ! Ma arms are lifted to heaven - he preys, how wildly, for mercy ! hot fever rushes through his veins. The friend beside him is weeping ; awe-stricken the dark mes move silently away and leave the living and dying logether." Thero was a hush in that princely parlor, broken only by what seemed a smothered sob from somc manly bosom. The bride stood yet upright. with quivering lip aii'l tears stealing to the outwaxd edge of her lashes. Her beautiful u-m had lost its tensión and the glass, with its little troubled red waves, carne slowly towards the range of her visión. She spoke again - every lip was mute. Her voico was low, faint, yet awf ully distinct; she still fixed herson-owful glance upon tho wine-cup. "It is evening now; the great white moon is coming up and I1Í3 beams lay on his forehead. He moves not; his oyes are set in their sockets; dim are their piercing glances; in vain lus friend whispers the name of father and sister ■ - death is there. Death - and 110 soft hand, no gentle voice to bless and soothe him. His head sinks back - one convulsivo shudder - he is dead !" A groan rau through the a'Jsembly. So ! vivid was her description, so unearthly her look, so inspired was her manner, that what she described seemed actually to have tiken place then and there. They noticed also that the bridegroom hid his face in his hands and was weepinp. " Dead !" she repeated again, her lips qui verin g f aster and faster and her voice more and more broken; "and there they scoop him i grave ; and there, without a shroud, they lay him down in that damp, ! reeking earth. The only sun of i proud father, the only idolized brother of r fond sister. And n' sleeps to-day ia that distant conntry, with no stone to mark the spot. There he lies- my fallier'ë son - my own loved brother - a tim to this deadly poison. Fatlier - oh, my father!" - htrning suddenly, white the tears rained down her beautiful choeks-" father, slmll I drink it now?" The form of t.lte olil Ju'Ikcï WVi'k eohvulsed with ftgöhj-; litó raised not his Iioail-, b-it ïïi A smothered voice he faltt?lrevl- v No, no, my cliild- no !" le lifted the glittering goblet and lat nit suddenly fall to the flom-, it was ed iuto a tlioiisniil piübés. Many a tearful oye watohetl lier movemeut, aiid instnJihmeously evei-y wine-glaes liad bewi transferred to the marble teblo OU whioh it had been preparedv TÏVcVi, as she looked at the frftgMultS of crystal, sho turned tí Uve Company, saying, " Let v tñmn liereafter, who loves me, i(-t!]j)t me to peril my soul for wine. Not ilimer are the everlastíng bilis thafi &$ resolve, God helpins; mo UeVer to touch or tasto the poiSoii cup. And he to whofti 1 have given my hand - who rtitclied over my brothor's dying form in that last solemn hom-, and buried the dw wanderer thwe by the rive h 81 land of gold - will,.! trns?,. fiisWil toe in that resolve, wiÜ. you not, my Ris glistening eye, lus sad, sweet smilo, ivas her answer. The Jud#o left the room and when, n tamf lifter; he retumed, and vit!l u, more snbdued mnn)ier took part iu tho ontortainment of the 1)iidid giiests, no oue could fail to read i fchttt he, too, had determiued to baiiish the cncmy at once and forevor from kis princely liome. Those who were present at tílfttVaá ding oaa neyör foi-get üie impression so ! rol-'iniy made. Many from tliat hoiir Í renoimced forever the social glass. 1


Old News
Michigan Argus