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1 8 6 1.
BY MINNIE S. DAVIS.
A DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH.
way took the conversation herself, and the young man responded to her enquiries
with a manly frankness which prepossessed As the morning was dull and rainy, it her greatly in his favor. At the expirachanced that Mrs. Ordway and her daugh- tion of half an hour he took his leave, ters were all at home. Mrs. Ordway was promising to call often during his stay in sewing, Miss Cornelia trifling with her the city. embroidery, and Miss Lucia practicing a Many years before, two cousins of Mrs. new opera. The bell rang, and in a mo- Ordway established themselves in New ment a servant entered with a card which Grenada. Shortly after one died, leaving she gave her mistress.
an orphan son to the kind care of his “Gerald Southgate,” read the lady brother, who adopted the child and aloud, and she arose hastily, "show him brought him up with his own son. Gerald in, Margaret;” she glanced in trepidation Southgate grew rich, every thing he toucharound the apartment; all was as it shoulded seemed transmuted into gold, and in be, and though not expecting visitors, the the excitement of business, he never girls were becomingly dressed.
thought of returning to his native land. “ Gerald Southgate !" repeated Lucia, However, he sent his boys, George and springing from the music-stool, “0, Cor Gerald, to New England, to complete the nelia, mamma's much talked of cousin !" college studies which they had commenced
Cornelia's beautiful face sparkled all with a private tutor at home. over with pleased anticipation, and straight- Now, Mrs. Ordway's eyes were comening her fine form, she glanced smilingly pletely dazzled by the glitter of gold, and into the mirror by her side.
she talked very much of her SouthThe guest was announced, and Mrs. American cousin and his great possessions. Ordway greeted him with great cordiality She knew his son had been in Cambridge, and introduced her daughters. Mr. and through the papers she was informed Southgate was about twenty-five, and that the young man graduated with honor. neither handsome, nor graceful, nor par- | She secretly hoped he would visit his ticularly well dressed. The developments New York friends before going home, and of his head betokened great intellectual consequently was greatly delighted at seepower,
his eyes were very expressive, and ing him in her own house. “Well, his voice deep and musical ; yet he ap- girls,” she said, “ how were you pleased peared ill at ease, and like one unused to with Mr. Southgate?” polished society. He seemed at a loss to Miss Cornelia pursed her lips and reknow how to reply to the courteous sumed her embroidery with an air of speeches of Cornelia, and actually blush- dignity, while Lucia, who had been ed when he encountered Lucia's smiling dimpling with mirth, burst into a gush of glances. With lady-like tact, Mrs. Ord- I laughter.
0, mamma, I never could have her, and it was not pleasant to have her believed it ! that homely, awkward fellow, know the truth, that the son of the rich your cousin's son, the heir of I don't man was welcomed so gladly because of know how many millions !”
his wealth and not on account of kinship “ Lucia !”
or old-time memories. “ Don't scold me, for I must laugh, it Mrs. Ordway was a widow, and all her was such a surprise. Cornelia, did you hopes and wishes rested with her children. notice the cut of his coat? I dare say it To see them well established in life was was in the height of fashion seven or her great aim. She lived expensively, eight years ago, and his bow, ridiculous, far beyond her means, and as she knew wasn't it? Then, that blush-how absurd her money would not last always, she felt or a man !”
it imperatively necessary that her daughters “Lucia, stop, or I shall be seriously should marry advantageously; she used displeased with you ; you must overcome the word advantageously in the most this habit of making fun of personal worldly sense, though with wealth and peculiarities.”
position she included a reasonable share Lucia hung her head at this reproof, of brains and morals. After all, Mrs. and Cornelia looked up from her work Ordway was superior to the class of ladies with a smile.
known as “manceuvring mammas;' beneath “Of course, mother, it was very pro- a thin crust of worldliness was a heart per in Mr. Southgate to call, and all right kind and true. Had she been poor infor you to treat him kindly; but do you stead of rich, she would have been a betthink it necessary to cultivate his ac- ter, and not unlikely, a happier woman. quaintance merely for relationship's sake?” Cornelia and Lucia were somewhat
Mrs. Ordway was quite vexed with her romantic in temperament, and love looked daughters, they were so obtuse, so un- to them as enticing in a cottage as in a conscious of the honor done them! Had palace. In spite of their mother's teachshe not told them again and again of his ings they were simple, unaffected girls, father's great wealth and high position ? though truly accomplished,
Cornelia atwhat could they expect of a young man tracted much notice, and Mrs. Ordway brought up almost without the society of thought it time to place the young girl ladies, and one devoted to study, too? upon her guard. She plainly told her They should be proud of the relationship that unless she shortly married a man of between them, for he was like a diamond wealth, they must all retire to a much in the rough ; a little mingling in society humbler sphere of life, and Cornelia, alwould correct his manners.
ways used to luxury and ease, was quite The gentle Cornelia was convinced and startled at the possibility of coming felt quite condemned that she had not en- poverty. tered into her mother's feelings at first, Mr. Southgate called again and was so but Lucia was undaunted by the spirited kindly received that he resolved to cullecture she had received, and with an tivate the acquaintance of the family. In arch smile, begged her mother to explain a land of strangers it was pleasant to find what she meant by his being like "a friends and relatives; Mrs. Ordway he diamond in the rough ;” did she mean his thought a perfect lady, and his young superior mind which needed the polish of cousins the most amiable and entertaining polite life, or did she refer to his splendid girls he had ever known. Mr. Southgate fortune, so poorly represented by his improved upon acquaintance; he was shabby dres and uncouth manners ? social, and talked well of his travels, and
My child, you have doubtless heard his extensive mental acquirements were the expression many times, and can guess modestly displayed in his conversation. at my meaning,” said Mrs. Ordway, a lit- The royality of mind, of character, was tle uneasily Lucia was a sad trial to stamped upon all he said and did ; he was her mother; she was so clear-sighted, it one of those men who unconsciously and was impossible to conceal a motive from without an effort commands the respect of all who approach them. Now, much hood, and that mystery haunted realm, the as young girls delight in pretty compli- womanhood before her. A woman and ments, much as they prize courtly man- still a child, she thirsted for the love and ners and elegant dress, they have an honor which might be her's, yet like one instinctive reverence for genius. The man held captive by innocent joys, she lingerof genius need not descend to the little ed along the secure paths she had been trifies of etiquette ; it matters nothing treading, to toy a little longer with those what kind of a hat covers his kingly head, fair flowers whose sweetness would soon and the cut of his coat is of no considera- be but a memory. tion.
Out in the country, with Nature in her Cornelia and Lucia voted cousin Gerala loveliest mood, Lucia was perfectly happy, a genius ; they were proud of his friend and in spite of her protestations, the comship, and Mrs. Ordway looked with great ing of Cousin Gerald did'nt seem to cast complaisance upon their growing intimacy. much of a damper upon her spirits. Cor
In June, the family retired to their nelia freely expressed her satisfaction in summer cottage in the country, and Mr. his society, and their conversation, which Southgate promised to be with them in a was so pleasant, was a benefit to both. few days. Lucia pouted with affected Cornelia gained new interest in, and acdissatisfaction:
quired a higher taste for literature, and “Now, mamma, it is too bad ! I Gerald daily improved in social tact. want to have a good time in the country, Lucia declared that he was getting decidand this dignified, learned gentleman will edly foppish, for he appeared at Rose spoil it all!
Cottage in an entirely new suit of clothes, “ You will be lonesome in the country, and with his hair and beard trimmed in said her mother, “and I fancy cousin the most approved style. Gerald's company will be very accept- One day Gerald received a letter from able”
his cousin, George Southgate, announcing “No, it won't! he is too wise, he his intention of visiting his relatives a knows so much that I am afraid of him, Rose Cottage. Gerald spoke warmly o I can't act myself!”
George, describing him as a young man o Mrs. Ordway and Cornelia laughed. sound principles and brilliant talents. “My poor little sister,” said Cornelia, Mrs. Ordway was quite willing to receive "you do seem painfully afraid of him George Southgate as her guest, and with with your wild pranks and gay nonsense !” great magnanimity resolved to welcome
"I am afraid of him, though,” per- him as cordially as she had his wealthy sisted Lucia, "though of course I don't cousin. show it; I believe I act worse on that ac- George Southgate came, and soon was count. When he smiles so gravely and fairly domiciled in pretty Rose Cottage. looks at me with those great gray eyes of He was a year or two younger than Gerhis, I know he is measuring me and think- ald; and very unlike him in appearance ; ing what a little simpleton I am, and that he was strikingly handsome, with a slight, I am only a spoiled child," and as if to elegant figure, and an easy, assured, prove the truth of the gentleman's opinion, graceful manner; and his dress was the she caught up a pet kitten from the sofa perfection of taste. In an hour he was and began tossing it in the air and dancing quite like an old friend, and took a priviabout like a very child.
leged place in their midst. The mother looked upon her and smiled ; Before, they were happy; now, they though almost seventeen, Lucia yet seem- were merry
Mr. George possessed the ed a mere child to her, for her wilfulness finest, keenest wit ; every sentence sparkand frolicsome ways contrasted strongly led, and his face shone with the most with Cornelia’s lady-like dignity. Yet pleasing animation. Cornelia and Lucia Lucia was more of a woman than her were ready with gay repartee, and Mr. mother suspected, for she stood upon the Gerald's quaint humor was perfectly deline between the care-free, rosy land of girl- lightful.
Somehow, Mrs. Ordway did not enjoy are troubled ; have I said or done anything the hilarity of the young people; she sat amiss ?” aloof with a troubled air, or wandered “No, nothing of the kind. I am vexed restlessly from room to room. A sudden at my own dullness. We have made a thought, coming like a flash upon her great blunder, I am fully convinced. mind, had greatly disturbed her equanim- George, not Gerald, is the son of Gerald ity.
Southgate, the millionaire !” Lucia was greatly interested in botany, Mother, are you sure ?” and Gerald had constituted himself her " As sure as can be! It came over teacher. When at sun-down she took her me like a flash of lightning. My cousins hat, saying she was going to gather wild were very fond brothers, and naturally flowers to analyze, it was the most natural they named their sons for each other. I thing for the young man to accompany have an indistinct recollection that it was her, and she seemed nothing loth to walk But what tes me see my mistake by his side.
so surely, is the appearance of the young There was a touch of truth in Lucia's men themselves. Gerald dresses very assertion that she was afraid of Gerald plainly; makes no presents, which I have Southgate, for she placed him upon such thought strange, seems to spend little a lofty pedestal in her imagination, that money and every way has the modest apshe felt awed in looking up to him. She pearance of one with small expectations. thought him the wisest and best of men, But George is a finished gentleman ; his and felt strangely humble in his presence, dress is elegant, though without vulgar yet none could have guessed it from her display, and he has the air of one complayful, saucy manner. Of late, how- pletely at ease with the world. You saw ever, her teasing ways had been exchang- that present he brought me, the beautiful ed for a gentle, confiding air, which had a work-box inlaid with pearl ? well, that wonderful charm for Gerald. She seemed little thing told me the whole story.” less a child, and more a woman; and a · But, mother, why should you care very loveable, bewitching woman, the which is rich and which is poor? What • young man thought.
matters it to us; they both seem worthy They rambled until they were tired, and of our friendship, and relatives to be proud then sat down on a mossy bank to talk of.” over their flowers. Lucia thought Gerald • They are, I truly believe; but, Corhad never seemed so kind before ; she nelia, I should be pained; I have somelooked into his eyes, unabashed by their times thought that you and Gerald liked full, penetrating gaze, and wondered she each other." had ever thought him homely and awk. Cornelia smiled and shook her head, ward. He was the noblest specimen of while a soft, maidenly blush fitted over manhood she had ever beheld ; and 0, how her face. “We do like each other as rich, how rich beyond compare, must be friends, but nothing more. He will seek the happy woman he would some day love. some one better and wiser than I when he Lucia was not thinking of those fleeting weds.” riches that can take wings and vanish “My dear child, I want you to fully away, but of his priceless treasures of mind understand me ; we are poor, actually and heart. She trembled at her thoughts, poor ; I have been looking over my acand the roses on her cheeks grew crimson counts, and I am startled to discover how as she cast her eyes down with a timid air. fast my money has disappeared. For Then he forgot his flowers, and tried to your sake and Lucia's, I have lived far analyze the meaning of that radiant, most beyond my means, and now it is imbecoming blush.
peratively necessary that when you are Cornelia had noticed her mother's evi- married, it is to one possessed of wealth. dent uneasiness, and sought the first op- This is the reason why I feared you portunity to speak with her in private. thought too much of Gerald Southgate. “ Dear mother,” she said, “I see you
Lucia burst into the room trilling a
It was so;
song. “ Mother, here's a beautiful spray their tell-tale faces betokened their sorrow. of wild roses, prettier than all the garden After breakfast George Southgate brought roses in the world ! What, Cornelia, the carriage to the door, and Cornelia acyou here, too ; have you left our hand- companied him on a woodland ride. The some cousin George all alone ?”
maiden's heart beat quickly; she knew by “Come in, my dear, and shut the a thousand sweet signs she was beloved, door; I have been telling your sister of and she felt that the confession trembled the mistake we have made. George is my on the lips of her companion. cousin Gerald's son, and this Gerald is his heart found language; he told her how his nephew.”
he had lingered by her side, chained by “Is that it ; then George is rich and silken, invisible cords, when duty really Gerald poor,
*diamond in the called him into the active scenes of life. rough' is not a diamond after all; 0, But he could tarry no longer; and O, bemamma!
fore he said "good-bye,” would she not “Lucia, how you will talk !"
give him the assurance that his love was “I am glad, though, ever so glad ! for returned ? George is handsome and genteel and Cornelia placed her hand in his, and the brilliant, and wealth belongs with such smiles and tears blending in beautiful conqualities; and Gerald is such a grand fusion upon her face was his answer. man he doesn't need to be rich! I shall George was satisfied; he held the small like him a great deal better than before." fair hand tightly in his, and told of his Mrs. Ordway's apprehensions as to the gratitude and happiness
. “ Cornelia, you result of her mistake very soon subsided, have a true woman's heart; it is so blissfor George Southgate accepted her invita- ful to know that I am loved for myself tion to spend a month. From the first alone. I have my own way to make in the there was a mutual attraction between world, and now I have all hope and courGeorge and Cornelia ; they seemed by age! My uncle Gerald has been most nature fitted for each other, and all their generous with me, but now my studies tastes and opinions harmonized. Mrs. are completed, I feel that it would be unOrdway was content to watch and wait, manly in me to depend upon him longer. and many a golden castle she built while I shall enter upon the duties of my prothe lovers talked and sang through the fession immediately, and soon, in a year charmed hours of those summer days. It or two at farthest, I shall claim you as was indeed summer-time to them.
And what of little Lucia ? Ah, she In the profound happiness of the mowas such a child her mother hardly cast a ment, Cornelia hardly heard the words in thought upon her; so she worked and reference to his uncle, and the necessity played at her own pleasure, and studied for his own exertion ; but when seated in Botany with Gerald, or read wise books her own chamber, with the knowledge that she could not understand, because he her mother and lover were in conference practised them. The mother did not below, they recurred to her mind with notice how her frolicsome child had startling distinctness. After all, her mothchanged, she did not see the new light in er's hopes were defeated, and her own her eye, nor the quiet gentleness of speech palace would prove to be a cottage. She and action which invested her with the was half frightened at the sense of disapdignity of womanhood. Her mind was pointment in her heart, and she sharply developing, too; the bud had suddenly questioned its inmost feeling. Was her blossomed, and none knew it save he love a reality? Did it depend upon the whose love had warmed it into expansion. prestige of wealth and its appointments ?
One July morning, the young men de- or could she wait in patience, and then clared their intention of leaving Rose cot- cheerfully accept the humble home which tage on the morrow. Mrs. Ordway was must be her's as the wife of George Southprofuse with well-bred expressions of re- gate ? gret, but the sisters were silent, while Her mother's disappointment was up