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always felt it. He is very, very dear to me, but it is as you and Nora are dear; but with Nora it is quite different. You cannot think what a strange influence everything connected with Paul has had on Noll. Sometimes in a letter, a sentence, which I found nothing remarkable in, has harassed Nora for days. And as to writing to him !— this last year I have really dreaded her turn to come. She used to begin half-a-dozen letters, any one of which appeared to me perfect, and destroy them one after the other for some unexplained reason, till I laughed at her so much that she would not write at all while I was in the room. Mamma dear, how delightful it will be to have them married! Let us go and live near to them and open a school. You and I shall be so happy! Every halfholiday we shall be all together; and on Sundays we shall hear Paul preach, and have our thoughts elevated by listening to his beautiful expositions of Christianity—his clear, impressive, moral lessons. Every Sunday we shall learn to love God, and him, and our neighbour, more and better!"'
"It is indeed a charming life, dearest, which you propose. May our Lord God enable us to realize it! Till Paul gets duty, we cannot decide where we must endeavour to carry out our schemes; but this we shall be better qualified to speculate upon after our young lovers have become sufficiently mundane to discuss the prospects Paul may have."
"Paul said, you know, if he took a first class, he should have no difficulty in obtaining an income by tuition or keeping a school. But now, dear Mamma, let us go home. You look very pale, my own dear Mamma. Let us go in, and you must lie down on the sofa till Nora comes back. They always say in books that lovers are quite lost to all perception of the flight of time; so probably Paul will not bring her home till midnight."
The mother and her gentle child rose and sauntered leisurely home, whiling away the long two hours which elapsed before Paul and Nora returned, by chatting about their hopes and purposes, and rejoicing over the prospect now opened to the beloved girl so inexpressibly dear to their hearts.
The truants returned at length, and one glance at the faces of both, sufficed to assure the anxious mother that her hopes were realized. Nora understood herself, as well as her lover. The large, soft brown eyes had gained a deeper expression. The broad, clear brow seemed expanded; the angel of love had fanned it with his pure bright wing, and swept away every maiden fear of loving more than she was loved— every doubt, every care!
And as they sat, Paul and his beloved, still and quiet in the quaint parlour of that old French professor's house, divine music filled the soul of the loving girl, for the angel of love sang to her heart the heavenly refrain—
"He loves you, he loves you—he is thine, thou art his; He loves you—he loves you alone."
The chimes rung out the midnight hour.
"Forgive us, Mamma dear and Mary my sister; we have been very selfish to-night," cried Paul. "You ought to have been told that my Nora—mine, mine own—has not rejected my love—that she will indeed give herself to me. How I love you all! How happy I am! Oh, God, what have I done, that Thou shouldst shower such bliss upon me? Was any man ever so blessed as I am this night V
AN INFLUENTIAL LETTER.
AN the following morning, Paul shewed as much eagerness to discuss future plans, as he had manifested desire to evade the subject, on the past evening. Breakfast over, he took out of his pocket a letter which, he informed Mrs. Grey, related to her daughters. It was from a friend of Lady Hilbred's, Mrs.Vansittart Merlin.
"Lady Hilbred is a very warm hearted, good sort of person," said he, "though a little disposed to spoil her kindnesses by a certain air of patronage, which is irritating or amusing according to one's mood at the moment of its display. She frequently questioned me about yourselves, and eliciting that it was probable Mary and Nora might for a time become governesses either in families or a school of your own, her ladyship forthwith busied herself to find eligible situations for them."
"That was very kind of her," replied Mrs. Grey. "Her patronage may be most important in this matter."
"Yes, and I think it has proved so. She wrote to two of her friends, almost insisting on their wanting the services of one or other of the girls, and I confess the style in which she talked about them tried my patience not a little. However, her third application has succeeded admirably. A clergyman in the neighbourhood of London, to whom she wrote, had been applied to a few days previously, to enquire for a governess for the three daughters of Mrs. Vansittart Merlin, and he gladly undertook to forward any particulars Lady Hilbred might be able to give, relative to her protegees. I therefore wrote through him to that lady, informing her what the girls' educational course had been, stating ages and other requisite particulars. This is her reply," added Paul, handing the letter to Mrs. Grey.— She at once read it aloud.
Mrs. Vansittart .Merlin begs to thank Mr. Frankland for his letter. The list of accomplishments is satisfactory which of course is the important point.
French, German, Italian, the Harp, Pianoforte, Singing, Writing, Arithmetic, and Poetry are the subjects on which she wishes her daughters to be well instructed, particularly the latter; it tells well, if a girl can make a graceful quotation occasionally when in the country. Some men affect to admire nature! Science of course Miss Grey teaches.
The elder is preferred, as Mrs. V. M's. eldest girl is seventeen herself. The salary will be eighty guineas a year, and the yonng person will be required to be always well dressed.