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ing at church, or his mother's voice as she car- | with sunrise and sparkling dew, and vocal with oled the ballads of her girlhood.
Others find it at high noon-the The first purchase he ever made, with money zenith of power and pride and passion, when for which he had worked indefatigably at odd the sun wooes the earth with his most fiery jobs, was a small violin. He had a marvelous kisses--the hour in which bold and daring souls delicacy and aptitude of touch, and, as he grew recognize a peculiar heritage. For others—men older, a singular power of improvisation. He and women of sober, thoughtful, mysterious talked through his violin. It uttered all the lives, half superstitious, owning a ready allegigriefs of his lonely boyhood; all those vague ance to the unseen--the hour of fate is the longings that trouble the heart of an imagina- solemn noon of night. For Joseph Thorne, and tive youth after power and fame, or a dim, un- such as he, it was twilight. On a summer twidefinable greatness and goodness shining afar light had he been born, and on a summer twioff, like the pale beauty of a vailed statue. light he told his love.
In all these dreams he was to be a musician. They stood—those two young things for whom In that way he was to draw near the far-off life and sorrow were still invested with a sweet, good. His little violin was to talk to many serious, half melancholy charm-for whom the hearts. The world should hear its cry and obey dark days had not yet risen—under the trees of its teaching. He would do a good work; be a Farmer Emerson's old front yard. The balmy master among men. With all these visions his summer air was burdened with the fragrance mother fully sympathized; nay, her simple, un- of blossoms. The sunset clouds were like that worldly heart was as fully imbued with faith in hour of their two lives, all couleur de rose, and them as his own. They were poor, but she the chimes of the village bells, mellowed by dismanaged to send him to school all through his tance, rung out a pleasant chorus—a sort of boyhood, and afterward to keep herself so neat consecrated amen to their plighted vows. In and comfortable that he should never see she that hour no new tale was told both had been wanted for any thing, that no care for her might fully satisfied before that they were beloved ; ever disturb his progress.
the very words were the sweet old words that As I said, he had always known Mabel Emer- have trembled all along the discords of so many
As a child he had led her to and from centuries of years, upon so many loved and school, or drawn her over the drifts on his little loving lips. sled. She was dearer to him then than any But their utterance changed the whole curthing else, save his mother and his violin. She rent of Joseph Thorne's life. They made it was not yet seventeen when he had learned to necessary to him, for he possessed a high sense place her even before these. As a child, she of honor, to go the next day into the presence clung to him with caressing, childish fondness; of Farmer Emerson, and, telling his story this as a maiden, she loved him with all the strength time to ears that would not be sympathetic, to of her heart. She recognized in him the con- ask for his Mabel's hand. secrated high-priest of her life. For him the It was a terrible ordeal to the young, sensialtar was unvailed, and he looked unchidden tive musician. He had an intuitive knowledge upon all the thoughts and fancies of her inno- of the farmer's character. Instinctively he felt cent soul. She possessed, what to such a na- that this busy, energetic, matter-of-fact man ture as his was more than all things else, entire would look upon him and his music with disfaith in him. She believed in his power to do trust, perhaps disapprobation. But, fortified by great things; to be not only the noblest of men, Mabel's solemn pledge that nothing on earth but the first of musicians, and it was very sooth- should ever have power to change her love, ing to him, so poor, so proud, so sensitive, to fortified anew by the trembling touch of his turn from the world to her; to be comforted by mother's fingers upon bis hair-his mother, to the singleness of her devotion, the implicitness whom he confided every thing--and her whisof her trust. Yet it was many months, even aft- pered, “God bless you, my son, for you have er they each believed themselves dearer to the been a good boy all the days of your life," he other than any thing else on earth, before any sought the man in whose hands lay his destiny. binding vows of love were spoken. Such utter It was just after dinner. He knew Mr. Emerances are of slow growth in a mind so dreamy son would be resting, as was his habit, on the and sensitive as Joseph Thorne's. The uncer- wooden settee, under the porch at his front tainty of her girlish ways was so sweet- the door. He walked into the yard with desperate coming and going of her delicate color the courage and approached him. He was kindly fluttering of her fingers when he took them in received and invited to sit down. his own.
He hesitated to exchange all this “I wanted to speak to you, Mr. Emerson." even for the assurance that she would be his "Well, my young friend, what is it? Any wife.
assistance about getting into business? I will But the charmed hour came at last. I think do all I can for you, gladly, were it only for the every human life that is worth living has its sake of your dead father, as good a neighbor hour of fate; its one golden number in the and as honest a man as ever sat in Westvale twenty-four, at whose chiming is ushered in meeting-house.” every important change, whether of joy or sor “No, Sir, it is not that;" and Joseph plunged
To some it is morning, rosy and bright | bravely in medias res. “I love your daughter,
and she loves me, will you consent that she | life-how could he give either of them up? No shall be my wife?"
one knew-no one could know-what this gift, Wide opened the farmer's eyes in wonder. which he had fondly deemed his calling, had “ Your wife! my daughter Mabel! What are been to him. Something else he might, indeed, your prospects ? What is your business? What make his business, his profession, but it would would you keep her on?"
be only a profession - a living falsehood. Το Joseph's tones faltered. “I did not mean this only God had called him. His soul was just at present, Sir. We will be satisfied now full of a light, a heaven-bestowed revelation. with your consent to our engagement. I hope The world had need of it. How, save through to be a musician. I think that is my true call- this voice of music, could he give it utterance ? ing. For nothing else have I so much talent; At one moment he had well-nigh resolved to in nothing else am I so happy."
cling to his chosen vocation through every thing. There was silence for a few moments, and He would go out into the world, and do his duty then the old man broke it. His voice was firm manfully. This great world should recognize and clear, and yet it seemed almost sad. him. He would do it good. But he must grow
"I am sorry-I am truly sorry. Mabel is old ; and there rose before him a picture of a like her mother, and if she loves you she will lonely, loveless old age; a hearth which no wonot love lightly; but, if such is the life you have man's care made bright; a fireside where no marked out, I can not give her to you. I do wife's sweet presence, no calm brow and holy not care so much for money. It is a good eyes would linger beside him; a silent house, thing, though I would let her marry without it; where no children's light footfall pattered along but a musician! a fiddler! It is an idle, wan- the floor, no little faces reflected back the vandering, useless life : I speak to you frankly. No ished light of his own youth. At this picture good will come of it. I can not give her to the humanity of his nature vailed its face, and you."
uttered a wail which would not be quieted. A wandering, useless life! Alas, Joseph His love was mightier than his genius. He Thorne, where were your lofty dreams, your could not give himself wholly to the world. He high hopes now? You that had aspired to talk had a heart that only human tenderness could to the world through your instrument, to sound satisfy. Then Mabel's face rose before him, in upon its delicate strings the awakening calls to the still, summer afternoon-the calm brow, the a higher, purer life--you to whom this had holy eyes of his fondest dream. He thought of seemed the noblest of missions. Small wonder her as his wife-the mother of his children--in your voice faltered as you asked
bridehood, wifehood, motherhood; and growing “Can you then give me no hope ?”
old, at length, by his side, yet never old to him, “Yes, I can give you one hope - -one test of with the smile which age had no power to dim your love for Mabel. She is my only child; I lingering still about her lips, till death should would not cross her lightly. If you will give up freeze them into the last and sweetest smile of these vagaries about music, and become a prac- all, and they should be young once more in tical working-man, you shall have her. I will heaven. And thinking thus, his soul seemed take you on my own land, under my own eye, to clasp and tighten round her image, and inand when I think you competent to manage for voluntarily his lips cried out, yourself you shall marry her, and I will give “Oh, Mabel, Mabel !
- mine you the Widow Sikes's farm for a wedding-por- own!" tion. There isn't a snugger little place, or one All the afternoon he sat there, lost in troubunder better cultivation in Connecticut; and led thought, his fingers now and then wanderyou'll be close by home, too. But I am a man ing listlessly over the chords of his violin. At of my word; and unless you give up this foolery twilight he rose, and went silently down stairs about the music, you shall never have Mabel. and out of doors. Standing at the window, his If you want time to decide, you can take three mother watched him as he walked with rapid days."
step toward Farmer Emerson's house. The "I will give you my answer in that time;" knowledge had come at first to this gentle woand, bowing gravely, Joseph Thorne went out man with a sharp pang that her son loved anof Farmer Emerson's yard with crushed hopes. other better than his mother, but for his sake
He made no attempt to see Mabel. He went she had conquered it; and now sho said to herhome. His mother read the sorrow on his face, self, thankfully, but she was one of those rare women who know “I am glad he is going over there. Poor when to keep silence. Heavy as her heart was lad, he is in heavy trouble, but God grant Mashe asked no questions. He went into his own bel may be able to console him.” room and sat down by the window. He took Mabel was standing under the trees at the his violin, which lay upon a stand beside him. gate. He saw her waiting for him as he drew He had been accustomed to translate into mu- nigh, but he had never seen her face so sad besic all his griefs, but now that the first real trial fore. He unlatched the gate, and took her of his life had come upon him, its chords seem- trembling fingers in his own. They were icy ed dumb and powerless to comfort. He bowed cold. his head over it, and tried to think.
“I know it all,” she said, with sorrowful Mabel and music — twin inspirations of his calmness, through which thrilled the smother
ed cry of a breaking heart; “father has told go to work at Mr. Emerson's to-morrow. Mabel
I know you can not give up your music, will be mine. Music must be given up-my and I can't disobey my father. We mustm" dreams—my ambition."
She could not finish the sentence. Her voice His mother interrupted him with her sobs. broke up into sobs; and Joseph Thorne drew her She clasped him in her arms. She wept over shivering form to his bosom. Swift as lightning him; she, who had gloried so in his gift, who, the thought flashed through his mind that thus ever since he had been laid, her first-born, upon Heaven had taught him his duty. He had not her breast, had understood him and lived in his considered her suffering before. What claim life. And he wept with her. He was not too had the world on him, what claim his beloved proud, with his mother's arms around him, to music, that could be weighed for one instant weep for the far-off fame-wreaths of which his with this breaking heart this pure woman's ambition had vainly dreamed-wreaths which heart, which was all his own ? He pressed his he must never more hope to gather. That night lips to the forehead lying against his breast. He neither of them slept. He laid his head, as in said, very tenderly,
boyhood, upon her motherly heart. He breathed “Hush, Mabel-hush, darling! I have de- into her sympathetic ears all the hopes and longcided for us both. God has joined us together, ings which this decision had crushed, and all the and nothing can put us asunder. I shall accept other hopes and longings, which were blooming your father's proposal. What would music be now brighter than ever, which clustered around to me without you-you, my soul's best music? | Mabel's name. And his mother comforted him. If I went forth without you into the world, the The next morning he commenced his task thought of Mabel alone and suffering would under Farmer Emerson. His heart was almost unnerve me and make me powerless. What buoyant, despite all he had resigned, for he had could I give forth but utterances of despair? had a few moments' conversation with MabelNo; God calls me to stay here. Look up, my Mabel, who was to be all his own. She looked darling, my pure wife, Mabel! You do not fear so lovely in her fresh calico morning dress! The I should ever tire of you ?”
light of hope sparkled in her eyes, and sat sereneShe raised her eyes, and looked long and ly upon her brow. Surely that beloved smile carnestly into his face.
would have power to brighten any fate. “No, Joseph, no! I do not fear you will tire But the task which was set him, light as it of me, for I know your steadfast nature. I know seemed, taxed all his energies. The delicate, God has made us one. But it will break your study-loving youth was not used to labor. The heart to give up your fame, your calling, your sun scorched his slender hands pitilessly; the beloved music. Better give up Mabel. Better sweat stood in great, bead-like drops upon his wait a few years until life, troubled human life, brow. It was a comfort when the horn soundis over. I know God will give us to each oth-ed for dinner. It was a sorely-needed refresher in heaven. Go, Joseph ; I am not selfish. ment to sit in the farmer's porch, while Mabel I will believe that you love me always. It brought cool, sparkling water to lave his burnshall be the glory of my life. You must go to ing, dusty face. your career, your duty.”
Day after day passed on, and he never falterMy career is here. My duty is here. My ed. With steady, unflagging industry he perworld is in your heart, your priceless heart. formed whatever tasks were appointed, and as Nay, Mabel, I have decided. Urge me not. rapidly as possible made himself master of all How could my heart break for music when the the mysteries of farming. But he drooped unclinging tendrils of your love bound it together? der his uncongenial toil. Even Mr. Emerson Be satisfied and smile, for I shall be happy." could see this, but he predicted the boy would
With these words, and such as these, he soothed grow stronger and get used to it in time.” Maher; in some measure he won her from her sor- bel saw more clearly, and the hope in her eyes row, and yet, though the smiles came to her lips grew less steadfast. Often, when he came to at his bidding, in her heart was a prophetic si- her in the evening, tired and worn, she would lence of fear, lest, in giving up his music, her say, lover gave up the best half of himself,
6. It is no use. You will have to give it up, They went together at length to her father, or it will kill you. Besides, I can see your and, holding in his the hand of his betrothed, heart is breaking." Joseph Thorne said,
And he would strive to answer cheerfully. “I require no longer time, Mr. Emerson. I “Nonsense! I am tired, but my heart's all have decided. Your daughter is more to me right; and you know, dear, it will be so much than all things else. I give up all for her. I easier when we get a place of our own. I need accept your offer with thanks. To-morrow I only do the lightest work then.” ' will come and place my time at your disposal.” But he could not blind Mabel's clear eyes.
And then he went home to his mother. It It was during Ole Bull's first visit to this was dark, but there was no light. She had country, and, as the autumn grew into winter, been sitting alone, absorbed in her anxious the papers were full of his success. They often thoughts. He knelt at her feet as in his early read of him together; of his slight, swaying fig. boyhood da and told her his story.
ure, his face so calm and spiritual, and the won" All is settled now," he said, steadily, “Il derful music which seemed the voice of his soul
One morning, with a paper in his hand, Joseph | he had decided, but Mabel saw how it would be Thorne came to Mabel. His face was kindled all along. Not for an instant did she beguile with enthusiasm. His eyes flashed, and his man- herself with false hopes. He went. The farener was eager and hurried.
well kisses of two pure women, mother and “See here, Mabel,” he said; “he plays at betrothed, were upon his lips. Their blessings New Haven to-night. Only thirty miles off. were the last sound in his ears. I can resist the temptation no longer. I must followed him. He seemed to suffer more than go. There is not much to do on the farm, and I Mabel in the prolonged agony of their parting. can borrow your father's horse. Oh, Mabel! it Twenty times he was on the point of giving up will give me new life.”
his career, his future, to stay with her, but she She entered eagerly into his plans. Her would not suffer it. She sustained him, she father did not oppose them, and in half an hour cheered him; she who knew better than himlie had started. Most tenderly had he bidden self how impossible for him was any other life his betrothed the good-by which was to be so than the one which had haunted all the dreams brief, and she stood at the gate and watched of his boyhood. When he was gone at length him with a cheerful smile until his eyes, look- --when anxious eyes, strained ever so widely, ing back, could discern her no longer. Then could not catch another glimpse of the beloved she went into the house, and the grief smothered, form—the two women, both bereft of their dearwoman-like, for his sake burst forth.
est thing in life, went in silence, each into her “Oh," she murmured, “he will never be the own home, to struggle alone with her sorrow. same to me again-I feel it. This music will In that hour there could be no partnership of speak to him like a clarion. It will awake him grief. from dreams. His life-work will rise up before Mabel suffered most. It was natural for the him, and the necessity to go forth and do it will mother to wish her son to go out into the world, be upon his soul. And I-woe is me!-how to do and be all that God gave him power; and shall I learn to live without him? Hush, self- whatever change came to him the one tie could ish heart! Wouldst thou hold him back from never be broken-he would be her son always. his true life, weak spirit?”
But to Mabel, despite her strong faith in him, But the chidden agony would come back the light of her life seemed to have gone out, again. The vail was rent away from the pale and her soul shuddered-alone in the darkness. brow of the future. Swift and sure she saw She had exhausted all her energy in soothing her fate coming toward her. All that day, all and encouraging him. She had none left to that night, all the next day, she wrestled with struggle with the grim presentiment which opit, but still its face was set resolutely toward her pressed her own spirit. -still its steps were onward.
She had always been strong, in spite of the It was almost nightfall when the watched-for extreme delicacy of her figure, and she did not figure came in sight. She went to the gate to grow feeble even now. She did all her accusmeet him. He sprang from the horse and tomed duties with her usual energy. There folded her in his arms. His kisses thrilled was no visible change, save that her lips smiled upon her lips, yet even then she felt there had a little more seldom, and her cheek was white been a change. She drew him into the house as marble. She seemed to strive to be conand questioned him eagerly. It had been as she tinually occupied, as if fearful if she gave herexpected. The wonderful music had troubled self time to confront her grief it would overall the depths of his nature. It had bound him master her. captive. In vain he struggled against the chain. Her face always brightened after a letter from Unfalteringly she gave her counsel.
her betrothed. They were not very frequent, “Go!" she said; “ you must go! I told you but when they did come they overflowed with it would break your heart to give it up; and see, love and hope. She felt that now, indeed, was already in these few months you have grown he living his true life. Nor had success been prematurely old, and weary, and feeble. Go! so very difficult to him. Ole Bull had been you will be false to the highest part of your na- his friend. He had sought, at once, the gifted ture if you do not serve your soul's master. It Norwegian. In secret, for he was not one to is the task God himself has set you; it is not bestow his benefactions in public, the master yours to deliberate whether you will accept it." performer had given him a few hints, a few in
“But you, Mabel, my life's life“I can not structions, that he might know better how to give you up."
translate his soul's depths into his music. For one moment the white face grew whiter. Soon Mabel heard of him. He was making But there came no quiver into her quiet tones. a tour under an assumed name, to which only
“You need not give me up. I shall be yours those who loved him best had the key, and evonly, till I die; nor need we despair. If you ery where he was—as Mabel had felt he must succeed, perhaps my father will give me to you. ever be--successful. The small country places I beliere he will, he loves me so. And you will where he was making his first trial of strength succeed, you must succeed. For such as you were moved as they had never been before. No there is no such word as fail. Go, Joseph; it is mind so dull but his tones made themselves unright."
derstood. The country press was full of his A troubled, anxious week intervened before praises. This young performer--they wrote
so delicate, so almost boyish, but with such a / volition, Mabel had crossed the room ; her arms wonderful genius! They told of his face beam- were folded about his neck, her lips clung to ing as if inspired; the soft fall of golden hair his in a long kiss of love and despair. floating about his forehead; the eyes sweet and
For six weeks she was his constant nurse, bright, yet sad; the slender figure; the almost sharing her duties only with his mother. Durtransparent hands; and, as she read, the pro- ing many hours of every day they were alone phetic fear in Mabel's heart grew heavier. His together, and in them all his soul was revealed letters became more and more rare. It was to her. She shared his triumphs, his successnot that he loved her less. Mabel had never es; success whose contemplation deepened the doubted him for a moment. But he was doing hectic on his wasting cheek even now. his work, and it absorbed all his energies. If “But it has been too much for me," he would it were brief, it must be mighty.
say, with a sad smile; “the excitement, and, One afternoon in May she sat alone under worst of all, the being parted from you. It has the trees where they so often sat together. Her worn me out." thoughts went back over all her life--that young All that his art had done, all that his genius innocent life, where were no blighting plague- had comprehended and struggled to express in spots of willful sin, few even of unintentional | his music, his lips whispered to her, in those long, wrongs, and yet where, of late, so many tears bright days, when she was going down by his side had fallen. She remembered the long-ago to the darkness of death; down to the river's time when Joseph Thorne had been her childish brink, whence she must turn back in loneliness friend and confidant; she retraced the days, and sorrow, and he must go out upon the tide. unquiet yet so blissful in their uncertainty, Unspeakably precious were those last hours of when her heart awoke from its maiden sleep, soul communion. They lived in those few weeks and she knew that she had given him the love a fuller life than many souls can reckon in with for which his words had not yet sued. Then their threescore years and ten. Mabel felt then she lived over again tlie evening of their be- how truly she was part of himself—that their trothal, and whispered over and over to herself two souls, separated though they might be for every tender word which had fallen from his years, must be reunited before either could be lips. Her father's step along the highway dis- a symmetrical and perfect whole. turbed her reverie. She looked up as he enter His summons came on a June twilight. On ed the gate, and something in his face startled that day, twenty-two years before, he had been her. There were tears in his eyes, and his born into the world of mortals; on that day, whole expression was full of an unwonted, sor- God saw fit that he should be born again into lowful tenderness. She sprang to his side. the world of spirits. The two women, of both
“ Poor Mabel !” he said, as if speaking to whose lives he was the dearest portion, were himself rather than to her, “how hard it will alone with him. An unspeakable tenderness fall on her!” Then bending over her, and fold- breathed in his farewell. His last words were: ing his arm about her as if in terror lest the “Mother, your son will know you in heaven. shock should overcome her, he said :
Mabel, my life's angel, I will wait for you where “Mabel, I have seen Joseph Thorne. He it needeth not to marry or be given in mar. came home this afternoon, as I think, to die. riage.' He wants you. Go to him, Mabel. I give you After that he lay, looking earnestly at his free leave to stay with him to the last. Poor betrothed, as if he would fain carry her features child, it's all the consolation you can have now." with him to the land of the angels. His violin,
Mabel did not faint. “Thank you,” she beloved even in death, lay on the bed beside whispered gratefully, as she withdrew from her him. It had been placed there by his request. father's arm and went into the house. The Listlessly his fingers began to wander over the blow had come so suddenly that she did not strings, and beneath their touch grew, somehow, realize its force. Mechanically, as one moving a strange, wild melody, as if spirits were playin a dream, she put on her bonnet and walked ing upon the chords. It was like the story of out toward the Widow Thorne's cottage. The his life. It began in feeble, uncertain cadence. cottage door was open, and she stood in it for It swelled into love, ambition, hope. Then it one moment, silently watching her lover. He grew feebler, slower, more mournful. Low, and lay with closed eyes, upon a lounge. His face sweet, and tremulous, yet wild, it thrilled along was very thin and white. In contrast the pale the strings, until, at last, with a long sob, it gold of his hair looked intensely bright, and his grew mute. With the soul of the music had eyes, when at length he unclosed them, super-departed the soul of Joseph Thorne. naturally large and brilliant. His mother was His mother soon followed him. Their graves kneeling by his side, with her face buried in his are green under the sunshine of this peaceful bosom. A solemn awe was upon Mabel's soul. summer. Mabel Emerson's work is not yet She dared not go forward or break the silence. done. She is wedded to a hope and a memory. Already he seemed to her like an angel. He Bold, indeed, must the man be who would dare was the first to speak.
to speak to her of love. Wherever trouble is, “Mabel! Thank God! Come to me, dar- wherever hearts are struggling with sorrow, her ling!"
presence is at the door; and she whom Joseph His mother rose, and, almost without her own Thorne loved to call the angel of his life will