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Beatrix Randolph

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Copyright by American Pi:ess Assocxatio, What is more worthy the eontemplation of a humane inind than the spectacle of a pretty youiig woman? It is the least selfish of all pleasures. By learning we seek to elévate ourselves above our fellows; by philosophy, to console ourselves for the p;ist and to fortify ourselves for the future: by religión (as it is commonly practiced), to inake onrsflves respectable in this world and conifortable in the world tr come. But he who stands rapt in the fascination of a girFs beauty enjoys the possession by another of what he can never have himself, admits his inferiority and generously j ults in the existence of gooduess for its own sake. The sole drawback is the riskhe runs of fallingin love - that is, of wishing to restrict to himself a blessing designed to rejoice mankind at large. It might seem a pity that such a girl as Beatrix Randolph should be so situated as not to have it in her power to confer upon every one the unselfish gratification whereof we speak. But to be rare and difficult of access are among the conditions of mortal loveliness. In noother way, perhaps.could the heavenly aroma be preserved; and were we to become callous to beauty, as we do to pain, life would have nothing left to promise us. On the other hand, dullness is negative, delight positive, and a single day of glorious sunhine compensates for a whole blank week of lifeless landscape and leaden sky. But Beatrix, thongh delightful to look upon, was uot beauty in the abstract; she was first of all a distinct and concrete human person. It is fitting, therefore, to con-iidernot samnch the loss the ] world sustained by her seclusion, as its ! effect apon herself. Certainly she was uot of a temperament naturally inclined to solitnde. Slie was quick to feel emotions of ;iH kiuds, and apt and simple in the expression of them. Her proportions, both of the soul and the body, were syinmetrieal and active; as she moved easily and sweetly, so was she sweetly and easily moved. Her life, in spite of its circumscribed conditions, showed an instiuctive love of largeness and variety, and herein she was helped by a gpnerous and lively imagination. She could not read a story or watch the sun rise without engendering in her mind a thousand fresh ideas of the possibilities of existeuce. And j her body was in such fine harmouy with her spirit tbat j"ou could see a stirring thought turn to roses in her cheoks, or conjure diamonds to her lovely eyes. Vhen she carne forth in the morning : from her maiden chamber, having put on, let us say, a fresh, white gown, just ' crisp enough to whisper as slie stepped, j and a pink or a blue ribbon (is fancy j might dictate) at her throat and on her hair, and lier figure elastic and alert with the wholesome vigor of nineteen years, and a mouth that laughed fragrance and music, and large brown oyes, whieh besides being a3 beautiful as possible in themselves were rendered yet more so by being a few shades darker thau her rippled hair and and hands that were white wonders of warm flexibility and tapering softness; when this exquisite young American girl, in short - type of the most charming and most intelligent womanhood in the wcrld - cama dawning like Aurora aut of the room in whicli she bad been ilreaming visions only less lovely than lierself, it did seom as if the Golden Age were now about to begin, and as if nothing false or impure were henceforward possible. She explained, without uttering a word, why the grass in spring is so deliciously green, the eky of so tender a blue, why birds sing and water is transparent, why viole ts have perfume, and the sun warmth. She was the spoken secret of the universe - the interpretation of its f airest elements. By what mishap, then, was such a creature confined (as she was) to a few square miles of village land in the center of the state of New York? Was such a pearl created only to be cast before cattle, and the village grocer's Bon, and the hollow chested young Unitarian minister, and the innkeeper's daughters? The world could not afford it, and yet there she was, and just at the time this story begins there seemed to be j rather less probability than usual of her i ever getting anywhere else. She lived with her father in a roomy. broad beamed, brown old house, environed by elm tree3 taller, but less antique, than itself. It was an American Eighteenth century house. Some hero of the Revolution had passed a night in it._It stood on the side of a loWj gradual [ hill, and was four miles away fröin the nearest railway station. Altogether the región was suflïciently remote, though New York city was hardly more than three hours distant by rail. The mail arriveil twice a day, and Mr. Alexander Randolph, the owner of the house and estáte, received yesterday's World every forenoon, and read it during the hour preceding dinner, which always took place at 2 o'clock. It was an eniinently conservative household; at all events its master was a conservative and a democrat, as nis fathers had been before hini. These forefathers were of Virginian descent, and two generations ago had owned large plantations in the south. But the young Randolph of that epoch had fallen in love with a northern lady, and ended by marrying her and settling down on this estáte, which was his bride's dowry. He was originally quite wealthy, but lost money by speculations dtiring the war. With intent to compel a better fortune he soon af ter ran fov an office, bnt was defeated, as a foregone conclusión, by a crushing majority. To crown all he lost his wife, to whom he was devotedly attached. She died of typhoid fever in 1868. He was left with two children, a boy of 10 and a girl of 6. Mr. Randolph, though of a haughty and headstrong character, was not what is called thorough. He was tall and of slender build, with high shoulders, a gray inustache and imperial, and thick, wavy hair, growing rather long. His eyebrows were bushy and overhanging, and gave to his eyes a fiercer expression than might otherwise have belonged to them; he had a habit of twisting them between his thumb and tinger when in thought, which looked otoinous to strangers, but really amounted to nothing. His fingers were very long, and so were his argumenta and discussions; almost the only short thing about him, in fact, being his temper. His general aspect was that of a retired southern brigadier whose slaves had been unrighteously made contraband. His expression was, ordinarily, profoundly serious, and he smüed rarely; but it was not difficult to make him break into a shrill, giggling laugh. which absurdly inarred the severe contour of his visage and betrayed the underlying weakness. He was fond of phrases, and liad a fancy for calling himself "the most diligent of fathers," but whenever his children transgressed the moral law of their father's good humor or indolence - and this was not seldoni the case with Ed, who was as restless and independent as a hawk - he feil npon them with sweeping broadsides of rebuke, culminating, if they answered him back, in violent assertions of their total depravity. Ed was sent to school, but the study of books had no part in his scheme of existence. In the boy 's seventeenth year Hamilton Jocelj'n, a friend of the family, bciug on a visit of a few days to the Randolphs, was tickled by Ed's hearing and the story of his exploits, and offered to take him back with liiin to New York city for a month or so, to give him instruction in the laws and amenities of polite society. He went off accordingly, and the month had prolonged itself to six before he carne back. His father thought that he had been improved by hia sojourn there. He had brought back with him certaiuly a great deal of entertaining talk, and gave Beatrix endless accounts of the great city, its streets, its houses, its horses, its theatres; above all, of its operas and its concerts. Both she and Ed had always been passionately devoted to music. They had uuderstood it, by the light of nature, as it were, from a very early age, and had constantly practiced ever since. Ed's voice was not of much use, but he was an admirable performer on the violin. Beatrix, on the other hand, was above all things a singer, and her voice developed into a soprano of remarkable range and power. Her studies were not conlmed to church music. She knew by heart aU the great operas and oratorios, and in pursuance of the marked dramatic ability which she possessed she had, with Ed's assistance, acted out scènes from many of the former (so far as two performers might) on the stage of the back drawing room. One day Hamilton Jocelyn, who had heard all the farnous singer3 of the world in his time, attended one of these private entertainments. Contrary to expectation he turned out to be the most eulogistic auditor that Beatrix had ever had, and he wound up his praises by declaring that she must be provided with a master to bring her voice out. The most indulgent of fathers was gratified by this tribute of admiration from such a source to his favorite child, and a week or so afterward the master was sent for. This was an elderly Englishman of respectable autecedents, who, twenty years before, had begun his musical career with what was considered the finest tenor voice of the age. and whose knowledge of the principies of music was as profound as his proficiency was remarkalile. But before he had been a year on the operatic stage the theatre in which he was singing eanght fire, and he was burned about the throat in such a way a.s forever to destroy the voice which would have 'made him rich and fainous enough to satisfy ambition itself. Professor Dorimar, as h afterward carne to bo called, had sonie small private means which rendered him in a humble way independent, and with a philosophical serenity which rarely characterizes the musical temperament he settled quietly down to be a writer on the art and science of whose highest triumphs he could never inore hope to partake. For he last eight reara he Eau lïved in New "York,"but lie was known to very few. He sat with his piano and his manuscripts, and his visions of divine harmonies, in a retired little room a few blocks west of Washington square, and seldom went forth save to listen for half an hour to one or other of the very few singers who in his judgment were great enough to sing. He never was known to have undertaken the personal instruetion of pupila, though he might undoubtedly have derived a large incorne from so doing. But he was of opinión that the right to use the voice in music is given to but two or three in an age, and the chance that the training of one so gifted should fall to him was too remote to be considerad. To the myriad chances of failure he preferred his comparative poverty and his peace of mind. What vrguments Jocelyn employed to woo him from his reserve cannot be known. But Mr. Bandolph received a note from the professor, mentioning the day and hour of his arrival, and reqnesting Mr. Randolph to meet him and drive him up from the railway station alone. This was done, and on the way the professor stipulated that he should be enabled to hear Miss Randolph's voice before she was aware of his presence. "There is a train back to the city this evening, sir," he remarked, "and, if I should conehide to take it, it would be well to have spared the young lady the anuoyance of an interview." ïhe j ter was readily managed. Beatrix sang with the unembarrassed freedom of supposed solitude, and the Professor listened. When the young lady ! had finished her selection, whatever j it was, she rose from the piano and passed out through the open window of the room to the veranda. Here she was siirprised by the appearance of a meager and pallid personage, of gentleinanly bearing and aspect, with a broad scar on the right side of his face and throat, aixl many thoughtful lines and wrinkles on his brow and around his eyes, who advanced toward her with a bow and took her hand. As she looked at him she fancied tliere were tears in his eyes. "Miss Randolph," he said, in a low and very pleasant voice, "I am to have the honor of being your instructor; my name is Doriinar." He said no more at that time, but raised her soft fingere to his lips. and with another bow disappeared. He did not take the evening train back to the city, but on the contrary took up his abode in the Randolphs' house, and being, in addition to his musical attaimnents, a man of cultivation, and of a singular naive charm of character, he was nearly as much of an acqnisition to Mr. Randolph as to his daughter, and they all became very good friends. As to his teaching, it was a matter between his pupil and himself , and was not often referred to outside. It seemed to afford him especial pleasure to think that Bea trix was singing for music's sake, and without any purpose of publishing or profiting by her acquirements. "Music is a sacred thing, my child," he would often say to her, "and like all sacred things it is shamefully and almost nniversally desecrated. It is not a mere question of voice and ear, but of purity and lof tiness of soul. Grreat music never was greatly sung by a charlatan, or a ; ! libertine, or a fortune hunter. I, for my j part, thank God that you are what you j are, and that you will never be obliged 1 to weigh your music against gold. The world may listen to you if it can, but you sliall be spared the insult of receiving for it what it dares to cali recomI pense!" Beatrice acquiesced in all this wisdom, but somewhere in her secret soul she may have cherished the gerin of an arnbition to meet great multitudes of her fellow creatures, to test herself upon them, perhaps to delight and inspire them, if there were power in her so to do. Three years passed, and then Ed went to Europe. There was some pretest about his attending lectures at a university of mining engineering in Saxony, but it was a tolerably transparent pretext. That he shonld come back at the end of two or three years somewhat toned down was the best Mr. ; Randolph hoped. As to the question of funds, after a good deal of meditation i Mr. Randolph carne to the following rather eccentric determination: Ed was to be allowed to draw on the paternal resources for whatever sums of money he from time to time might require. "You may draw little or you may draw much, my son," the old gentleman said, "and, be it much or little, all your drafts will be duly honored. I shall not restrict you nor advise you, but 1 shall depend upon your own sense of honor and decency, as a Randolph and a gentleman, not to abuse my confidence in you." This speech seemed to the utterer of it very noble and impressivc, and also very sagacious and worldly wise. For if to put a young fellow upon his honor will not make him reasonably virtuous and economical what will? Ed certainly showed himself pleased with the arrangement, i f not so much impressed by the phrases in which it was announced to him. He was an enterprising and able youth, and probably expected to make a fortune of his own rather than spend his falher's. The nest thing that occurred in this eventful year was an offer of marriage, emanating from no less distinguished u personage than Hamilton Jocelyn himself. Bpatrix thouarht it was e.xceedlngly funny üe should do such a thing, ; and not altogether comfortable; but as it was instinctive with her to consdder other people's feelings almost as much as her own, and sometimes more, she suppressed her emotions and expressed her acknowledgments, adding that she liad no idea of marrying anybody. Whcn Jocelyn found that her resolve was not to be shaken he very gracefully said that to have known and loved her was a privilege and a revelation for which he should never cease to be indebted to her. He said that he had perhaps presumed too much in hoping that she could ever care for a grizzled old fellow like himself, but that his sentiments would never change, and that if, at any future time, circnmstances should lead her to reconsider her present views, she would find him eager and grateful to throw himself at her feet. He x-oncluded by requesting that she would forbear to montion the episode to any ono, even to her father, lest the latter shonld be grieved to discover that she could not bring herself to consent to an alliance with his oldest friend. Beatrix replied that she had no wish to speak of what had oecurred, and that she hoped they both would forget it as soon as possiblo. Hereupon Jocelyn took his leavp, and went back to New York, probably regretting the issue of the adventure almost as niuch as he professed to do, althongh perhaps for reasons other than those he thought it expedient to allege. The third eveut was the death of poov Professor Dorimar, which occurred suddenly and filled Beatrix with grief, notwithstanding that it appeared in one sense the most natural thing that could have happened to the good and magnaniinous old man. He had had a habit of looking tipward as he talked, and Beatrix had thought that he seemed much of the time communing with a botter world, and perhaps den ved f rom some angelic source his grand ideas about mnsic and its mission to mankind. It was the first death the girl had everwitnessed, and it inveeted the threo years of the association together of the pupil ! and her niaster with a sort of tive sanctity. They liad been tltogether the happiest years of Beatrix's life. The professor had taught lier something else besides how to sing. Less by words than by some tacit, sympathetic influence he had led her to perceive and medítate npon the nobler and loftier aspecta and capacities of human nature. As to his sharo in her vocal culture and her own proficiency he never had made any definite pronouncement: but on the morning before his death he requested her to sing for him the air from Handel's oratorio of '-The Messiah" - "I know that my Redeerner liveth." When she had finished he said: "My child, you have enabled me to thank God that my voice was destroyed, and that my life has been for so many years a lonely disappointment. I have had triumphs and blossings that most men do not even know how to desire. A mighty scepter !s in your hand," he went on, tnming his grave and gentle eyes upon her. "I have helped to show yon how to wield it. Power is very sweet, bnt it needs almost an angel not to use it harmfully. I don't know what life may be before you, my dear; but whatever it may be I trust that when you come to the end of it you will find is little cause to regret having met me as I have inuch canse to rejoice that I have known yon." Beatrix hardly knew how to understand this at the time, but afterward the words frequently revisited her memory. and may have had some influence over her at critical moments of her career. In autumn the old Randolph homestead looked as if it were showered with gold. The great elm trees, transmuted by the tonch of this Midas of the seasons, stood in a yellow glory of myriad leaves, which every breath of the cool west breeze scattered profusely eastward, where, with the still unchanged grass, they formed a spangled carnet of green and gold. The apples thronged the crooked boughs of the orchard, some like glowing rabies, others like the famous fruit of the Hesperides, thongh there was no guardián dragon to give them a fictitious valne. The broad roof of the house ltself was littered with innumerable little golden scales, of workmanship far beyond the skill of any hnman goldsmith, vet of absolntely no market valne. What is the significance of this yearly phantasmagoria of inimitable riches, worthless because inimitable? Is it a satire or a consolation? Does it mock the poor man's indigence or cause him to hope again for competence? It comes as the guerdon of Nature, after her mighty task is done; but when she has composed herself to her wintry sleep it is trodden into the earth and forgotten, and the new j-ear begins his labors with new sap and naked buds. It is only the human world that has to bear the burden of inheritance; and perhaps we shall never enjoy true wealth till we have learned the lesson of the trees. Poor Mr. Randolph certainly had little else beside autumn leaves wherewith to satisfy his creditors, and the winter of his discontent was close npon him. There is a philosophy for the poor and a philosophy for the wealthy, bnt the philosophy that can console the debtor has yet to be discovered. Born and brought up in the custom of sufficient resources, he had never contemplated the possibility of want. There had seemed to be something noble and high minded in meeting without question all demands upon liim, but when the supply actually ran short things wore a different aspect. Had he spent hia whole fortune simply in paying his son's drafts he would at least have had the comfort of putting the whole burden of the responsibility on his son's shoulders. But unfortunately the larger part of the loss was due to private rashne88 of his own. When he found that Ed's rapacity was getting serious the devoted gentleman betook himself to Wall street and speculated there. The brokers treated him as Richard III proposed to treat his wife - they had him, but they did not keep him long. His Bpeculations after he returned home wern proDaDly more eüifymg tnan those tie iiidulged in on the street. The revolting suspicion that he had been a fooi began to germinate in Mr. Randolph's mind. This suspicion, which :s the salvation of some men, is the destruction of others. The integrity of Mr. Randolph's moral discrimination began to deteriórate from that hour. Having enacted all his life the part of liis own golden calf in the wilderness, liis overthrow left him destitute of any ïriterion of conduct. He talked violently and volubly about his wrongs, and liscussed various schemes, more or lesi impracticable and improper, of evading li is liabilities. Beatrix was natnrally the chief sufferer from this ungainly ilevelopment of her father's character, und slie vas also obliged to bear the brunt of most of the concrete unpleasantness of their situation. She liad to talk to the creditors, to extenúate lier father's side of the case, to hold out fair hopes and to smooth over disappointments, and when she had wearied herself jn parleying with the .enemy she tiad "before lier ïhe yet harder task oí pacifying and encouraging. hes father, who had listened to the dialogue from the head of the stairs, and feil upon her with a petty avalanche of complaints, ijuestions, suggestions, scoldings and querulousness. BeatrLx loved her father with all her heart, bnt she was of a penetrating and well balanced mind, and often had difficulty in not feeling ashamed of him. Insensïbly she began to treat hiin as a fractious and super - sensitivo child, who must at all coste be humored and soothed, and when she feit her own strength and patience abnost i.vertaxed she would only 6ay to herself, "No wonder poor father has to give up when I find it so hard." But her troubles did not end with her father. There was a certain Mr. Starcher, the grocer"s son; the grocer divided with the innkeeper the highest 6ocial consideration of the village. He was a young gentleman of highly respectable character and edueation. After leaving school he had studied for a year at a trasiness college in New York; he was a member of the Young Men's Christian association, and a person of gravity and religious convictions. A week or two after Mr. Randolph's misfortune became known he put on a suit of black clothes, relieved by a faded blue necktie, and called forrually on Miss Randolph. After the first courtesies had been exchanged he said that he dosired in the first place to put the minds of Miss Randolph and her good father at ease regarding the little account between his finn and them. The money was not needed, and so far as he was concerned might remain tinpaid indefinitely. "And I should like to say, too," he continued, with a manner of almost melancholy seriousness aud a husky voice, "that groceries - or anything else I could get you - might be yours, permanently, if I could - you would - that you might consent to unite your life to mine. My father contemplates retiring from active business. I have never before spoken to you of this, but in seasons of trouble - we say things - and I have often thought, when we were singing in the choir together - that - we might be very happy - that it was our destiny. I have been in New York and seen the great world, but you are the wife I would choose from among them all." He had a smooth. round, fresh colored, innocent face, that seemed made for dimpling smiles, but which never indulged in them. Beatrix feit a sensation of absurd alarm, like the princessin the fairy tale, under a spell of enchantment to mismate herself in the most grotesque manner conceivable. Mr. Starcher was 60 much in earnest, and so ludicrously Bure, apparently, that the success of his 3uit was among the eterna! certainties, that a visión of a long wedded life with him, amid an atmosphere of meal tubs, salt cod and pickles, interspersed with psalm tunea and solerán walks to and from church on Sundays - this desperate panorama of inanimate existence rose up before her in such vivid imaginativo vraisemblance that she was impelled to protest against it with more than adequate vehemence. Shegasped forbreath, rose from her chair and said: "Mr. Starcher, it is terrible; I would rather die!" Then, perceiving, eompassionately, that he would feel cruelly wounded as soou is his astonished senses enabled him to coinijrehend the significanee of her words, she added, "It would be wicked for me ever to think of being married; you must see that I" - Here she jiaused, partly from emotion, and partly becaxise she was unnhlc at the moment to bethink herself of any conclusive argument in support of her assertion that, for her, marriage would ever be a crime. One certainly would not have drawn that inference from the superficial indications. A silence ensued, prickly with spiritual discomfort. Mr. Starcher was the first to find his tongue, and he carried off the honors of the encounter by observing with tearful gent.leness that he should claim the privilege, just the same, of not presenting the little account for aettlement. This magnanimity was none the less genuine beeause the materials for it were slender, and Beatrix long afterward found comfort in recalling it to mind. But there was yet another adversary for her to engage, and he was in some respects more formidable than Mr. Starcher, because his position and edueation rendered his pretensions less inonstrons - nay, there even seemed to be a sneaking disposition on Mr. Randolph's part to accord him at least a negative support. Mr. Vinal, the Unitarian clergyman, was in tact, from au unworldy point of view, a tolerably inoffensive match. He was studious, decorous and endowed with grave and unobtrusive mnnners. He was not handsome, but there was a certain niasculine concentration in liis close set gray eyes and long narrow chin which was not in itself unpleasing. His voice, if soiuewhat harsh, was resonant and assured; and, coming as it did from a chest apparently so incapacious, produced a sensation of' agreeable surprise. It wonld have been nnreasonble not to respect the man, and churlish not to teel amiably disposed towwd iiiin; but for Beatrix it was impossible to love him. He lived in a little white ïvooden house with green blinds, close to the white, green blinded church. He possessed an imposing library, in which was not a single book that Beatrix could liave brought herself to read, and the main object of his endeavors was, apparently, to make all the rest of the world tliink and live like himself . Moreover, though he approved of music, he neither knew nor cared anything about it. Mr. Vinal began his operations by a private interview with Mr. Randolph, from which he carne forth with a countenance wliose serenity inado Beatrix's heart sink. The dialogue which followed was of extreme interest to both of them. "Have you made any plans regarding your iinmediate future?" the minister began, in an unembarrassed and businesslike tone. "We cannot doubt, you know, that providence, in bringing this affliction upon you, has had some wise and mercifnl end in view. You have talents; perhaps but for this j"ou might have kept them folded in the napkin. Adversity forces us out of our natural idleness, and stimulates us to use what ineans we have to win our own wav in fhe wofïd. " llave y'uú EEbtigH of "áriything to do?" Beatrix's spirits rose again; he was not thinking of marrying her af ter all. "I've teen thinking I might give lessons on the piano," she said. She happened to be seated at that instrument, and as she spoke she let her white fingere drift down the keyboard from bass to treble, from depression to hope, from gloom to light, winding up with a sort of interrogativo accent, as much as tosay,"Why shouldn't I be good for something?" "Very right," said Mr. Vinal; "I have nothing to object to in that; indeed I had intended to propose it. You conld also, unless the instructions of the late Professor Dorimar were wholly valuejggg" "What?" interrupted Beatrix, in a voice which, upported as it was by a chord sharply struck, made the minister start in his chair. After a moment's pause she said, her eyes still bright with indignation: "Professor Dorimar, whois now in heaven, taught me more and better thiugs than you have ever dreamed ofl He showed me that I have a soul!"' "Surely I have done as much as that!" faltered Mr. Vinal, who was confnsed by this sudden outburst. "Ko, for you know nothing ibout it," said Beatrix loftily. "You have only been told that it is so - you have read it in books - and you repeat what you have been told, and no doubt you think you believe it. But you can never know it!'' continued the young lady, with a fierv emphasis on the verb, "because you can't understand music." "I intended nothing against Professor Dorimar," protested the minister, who was ainazed and daunted by the passion and pride that he had unawares caused to kindie in her lovely face. It was perhaps the first time he had occasion to observe that the spirit of the oíd Virginia Randolphs - the descendants of the cavaliers - was as haughty and untamed in this tender hearted American girl as in that terrible ancestor of hers who rode with Prince Rupert. Beatrix made no reply, but sat with her head erect and flushed cheeks, and one hand still on the piano keys, as if ready once more to smite terror into the god of her visitor should he again step atniss. A piano, it seems, can be used as a weapon of defense even against one who has no comprehension of music. "What I was about to i -mark was that yon might teach singin;; os well as playing," said Mr. Vinal cmumspectly. "There are, I believe, a number of persons in the village who would be willing under the circuinstances to place their ohildren under yonr instruction." "It is no favor to be taught nrusic under any circumstances," retnrned Beatrix, kindling again. "Whoever thinks otherwise does not deserve to leani! And there are other placea in the world besides this miserable little village, and people who are wiser and better!'' "Yon surely do not mean to intímate that you contémplate going anywhere else?" deinanded the minister in some consternation. , The í'act was that such an idea had never nntil that moment definitely preented itself to Miss Randolph's mind; bnt in her present aroused conditíon she could. Bee and entertain many possibilities that would have seemed audacious or impracticable an hour bef ore. "Why not?" she said: "I was not born to pass niy life here!" "But I - it has never been my intenüoii to leave here!" exclaimed Mr. Vinal anxiously. "What satisfies you does not satisfy me," answered the young lady. "But your father, in a conversation I have just had with him, has informed me that he will not oppose my addresaing you with a view to marriage," said the clergyman, in a solemn tone. "He would not have done so if he had been himself," replied Beatrix warmly. "He is broken down by trouble and sorrow, else you would not have ventured to ask him I But I will tell yon, since he could not, that I am not a piece of land or fumiture to be sold for the satisfaction of creditors! I will not be a borden upon my father or any one; but I have a right to myself - to my own self! Do you think I am so much afraid. of being poor, or of starving, that I would marry aaybody to escape it? I do iwt love you! I do not love you, Mr. Vinal, and so I wül never marry you. I will have love and music or nothing! You do not know me, sir; none of you here seeni to know me. I am an American girl, and I will not be bargained away or buried alive by any one! You shall see," she added, rising and walking to the veranda window, "that I can make my own way, and take care of myself! You shall see that Professor Dorimar taught me something wortli knowing!" Mr. Vinal waa unable to stand up ugainet a succession of blows like this, delivered by one whom he had heretofore sitpposed to be the type of gentleuess and docility. His mind was narrow and slow to adapt iteelf to new impressions, and it would have taken him a long time to frame a suitable reply to Miss RandolpVs unerpected attack. But the opportunüy was not allowed him. For as Beatrix stood by the window, with flushed cheeks and glowing eyes, and her heart beating harder than usual with indignant emotion, her glance fell upon two figures advancing arm in arm up the avenue. One of them she recognized, the other was unknown. But a strange tingle of anticipation went through her nerves. Soniething was going to happen- somethmg great, something for her! The crisis of her fate was at hand, and she was more than ready for it. Therefore she did not start or cry out, but only smiled with an air of beautif ui triuinph, when Hamilton Jocelyu, relinquishing the arm of his companion, ran up the steps of the veranda, took both hor hands in his, and said as he bent toward her: "My dear girl, I bring you fame and fort-""1"


Old News
Ann Arbor Courier