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On their return to the house, Mrs. Stevens met them at the door with a glad smile on her face, and cried:
“She has come, Charles.”
Mrs. Stevens saw an immediate change in the face of Cora. The features which had begun to glow with happiness suddenly grew sad and clouded, and the eyes drooped. Charles did not perceive that sudden change so apparent to his mother, for, at the announcement of the arrival of one whom he had known in his happy childhood days, his heart bounded with joy.
“Where is she, mother?” “With Goody Nurse.”
He hastily took leave of Cora, who, with an oppressive weight on her heart, which seemed to almost suffocate her, went to the little room in which she had known so much joy and misery. All was dark now. Her heart vibrated painfully in her breast. Hope and joy seemed forever banished. He was gone.
She could hear his footsteps moving away from the house, and, throwing herself on the couch, she gave way to a fit of weeping. Never did Cora Waters so feel her utter insignificance and loneliness. a child of an indented slave, utterly dependent
on the one whom she had had the audacity to love.
When she realized how unworthy she was, the unfortunate girl sobbed, half aloud:
“Oh, God, why didst thou create me with desires and ambitions above my sphere? Why didst thou cast me into this place, where I would meet him, only to suffer? Father, father, come and take me hence!”
Meanwhile, Charles Stevens, unconscious of her suffering, was hurrying as rapidly as he could to the home of Goody Nurse, where he was to meet Adelpha Leisler.
He reached the house and was greeted by a tall, beautiful young woman, with great, black eyes and hair.
The greeting she gave him was warm, almost ardent, for, although Adelpha was an accomplished young lady, she had all of the genial warmth of youth. They were soon talking pleasantly of those happy days of long ago.
Glorious past, gone like a golden dream to return no more! The very memory of such pleasure produces pain, because it is forever gone. Great changes had come since last they met.
His father was living then, a handsome, strong man, noted for his kindness of heart. Many friends, who now existed only in pleasant remembrance, then lived, breathed and moved upon the earth.
Then he loved Adelpha, and she loved him, and he half hoped that this meeting in mature life would reproduce the pleasant sensations of childhood; but there is a love which is not the love of the thoughtless and the young-a love which sees not with the eyes and hears not with the
ears, but in which soul is enamoured of soul. nursed Plato dreamed of such a love. His followers sought to imitate it; but it is a love that is not for the multitude to echo. It is a love which only high and noble natures can conceive, and it has nothing in common with the sympathies and ties of coarse affections. Wrinkles do not revolt it. Homeliness of features do not deter it. It demands youth only in the freshness of emotions. It requires only the beauty of thought and spirit.
Such a love steals on when one least suspects and takes possession of the soul. Such a love cannot be uprooted by admiration or fancy. Charles Stevens found Adelpha grown so beautiful, so witty and accomplished, that he was awed in her presence at first; but her freedom of manner removed all restraint, and in an hour they seemed transported back to childhood's happy hours.
Next day they wandered as they had done in earlier years by purling streams and mossy banks, under cool shadows of friendly trees. Every old playground and hallowed spot was visited once
more, and they lived over those joyous scenes of childhood.
“I sometimes wish that childhood would last forever,” said Charles.
“Childhood brings its joys, but its sorrows as well,” Adelpha answered, as she sat on the mossy bank at his side, her bright eyes on his face. “One would grow weary of never advancing. Don't you remember how, in your boyhood, you looked forward with pleasure to the time when you would be a man?"
“And how you planned for a glorious future?"
“I remember it all."
“To doom you to perpetual childhood, to constantly have those hopes of being a man blasted would eventually bring you to endless misery. No, Charles, childhood, to be happy and joyous, must be brief. The youth with ambition longs to enter man's estate. He sees life only in its rosiest hues, and his hopes and anticipations form half his happiness."
“Your words, Adelpha, teach me how foolish and idle was my remark. Let us change the subject to something more practical. Will your father, as governor of New York, be disturbed ?"
Her face grew sad.
“I have great fears." “For what?"
“Father and Jacob Milborne may be declared usurpers.
“But it was on the accession of William and Mary to the throne of England that your father became governor.”
It was not until Andros had been seized in Boston, imprisoned and sent to England, that my father suggested the seizure of Fort James. He was made commander and afterward governor, and so holds his office to this day. I don't know how William and Mary, our dread sovereigns, will be affected by this seizure of the government of New York."
“It was in their interest.”
“It was so intended; but we have all learned not to put our trust in princes. It is quite dangerous to do so, and I sometimes fear that trouble will come of it."
“Surely, Adelpha, one of your happy turn of mind would not borrow trouble. It will come quite soon enough without, and a philosopher would wait until it comes rather than seek it."
“You are right, Charles; let us be young again, romp in the wood, chase butterflies and forget the dark clouds that may be hovering over us. She started to her feet and asked: “Charles, who is