“And this distant country in which you were born, is the climate there 부천 유흥 사이트
very different from ours?”
“I was born in America, at New Orleans. Oh! the sun is brighter there.”
And fearing, doubtless, that she had expressed a regret, she added—
“But every country is beautiful when it is the abode of one’s husband, and we are near him, expecting the birth of his child.”
Her eyes sought those of William Meredith, then, in a language I did not understand, she spoke some words, in so sweet a tone, they must have been of love. After a short stay I left, promising to return soon.
I did return—and at the end of two months was almost a friend for this young couple. Mr. and Madame Meredith had no selfish happiness, they could still spare the time to think of others. They could understand that a poor village doctor, having no other society than that of peasants, would deem an hour well spent that was passed in listening to polished conversation. They attracted me to them, told me of their travels, and soon, with the frank confidence that characterizes youth, they related to me their story. It was the young wife who spoke—
“Doctor,” she said, “beyond the seas I have a family, father, sisters and friends, whom I long loved till the day when I loved William; but then I closed my heart against those who spurned my friend. William’s father forbade him to love me, because he was too noble for the daughter of an American planter; my father forbade me to love William, for he was too proud to give his daughter to a man whose family would not have welcomed her with love. They would have separated us—but we loved! For a long time we implored, wept, asked forgiveness of those to whom we owed obedience, but they were inflexible—and we loved each other! Doctor, have you ever loved? I hope so, that you may be indulgent to us. We were privately married and fled toward France. Oh! how beautiful the sea appeared to me the first days of our love! It was hospitable for the two fugitives. Wandering in the midst of the waves, we passed happy hours seated in the shade of the large sails of the vessel, dreaming of the pardon of our parents, and seeing nothing but joy in the future. Alas! it did not come to pass thus: they wished to pursue us, and by the aid of some irregularity of form in our clandestine marriage, William’s ambitious family harbored the cruel idea of separating us. We have taken refuge in these mountains and woods, under an assumed name, and live unknown. My father did not pardon me, no, he cursed me! this is the reason, doctor, why I cannot always be gay even with William by my side.”
Good God! how they loved. Never have I known a soul given to another, like that of Eva Meredith to her husband. Whatever employment she chose, she always placed herself where she might see William on raising her eyes. She read no book but that he read: with her head reclining on her husband’s shoulder, her eyes would follow the same lines that his traced; she even wished they both might have the same thoughts at the same time; and when I crossed the garden to reach the house, I could not sometimes refrain from smiling at seeing on the sand the traces of Eva’s little feet beside the foot prints of William. What a difference, ladies, between that solitary old house you see before you, and the pretty dwelling of my young friends—how flowers covered the walls and bouquets rested on all the tables, how many pleasant books of love tales resembled their love, and blithe birds sung around them. Oh! it was something to live and be beloved by those who loved so well. But mark how much reason we have in saying that our happy days are not long on this earth, and that God, who creates happiness, bestows but little here.
One morning Eva Meredith seemed to be in pain. I questioned her with all the interest I felt for her, but she said hastily—
“Hold, doctor, do not seek so far for the cause of my affliction, do not feel my pulse, it is my heart which beats too quick. Ascribe it to what you will, but I am vexed this morning. William is about to leave me, he is going to the next village, on the other side of the mountain, to receive some money sent to us.”
“And when will he return?” I asked.
She smiled, blushed slightly, and then with a look that seemed to say, do not laugh at me, answered, “this evening.”
I could not help smiling, in spite of her imploring look.
At this moment a servant brought to the steps the horse that Mr. Meredith was going to ride. Eva rose, went down into the garden, approached the horse, and playing with his mane, leaned her head on the animal’s neck, perhaps to hide her tears. William came, and springing on his horse, gently raised his wife’s head.
“Child,” he said, whilst he fondly gazed on her and kissed her forehead.
“William, it is because we have not yet been separated so many hours together.”
Mr. Meredith bent forward, and again impressed a kiss on her forehead; he then put spurs to his horse and rode off at full speed. I am confident he, too, was somewhat affected. Nothing is so contagious as the weakness of those we love; tears beget tears, and he has self command, indeed, who can look on a weeping friend and resist their influence.
I left the spot and entered my own little chamber, where I began to think of the great happiness of loving. I put the question to myself whether an Eva would ever partake of my humble dwelling. I did not consider if I was worthy of love. Good heavens! when we look on beings devoted to each other, we can easily see that it is not on account of certain reasons and things they love so well—they love because it is necessary for them, inevitably so; they love on account of their own heart, not that of others. Well, this happy chance, which brings together souls that have need of love, I sought to find, even as in my morning walks I would seek for a scented flower. And thus I dreamed, although it is a culpable feeling which, on seeing the happiness of others, makes us regret our own want of it. Is it not partly envy? And if joy could be stolen, like gold, should we not be tempted to possess ourselves of it?
The day slipped away, and I had just finished my frugal supper, when a message came from Madame Meredith, imploring me to come to her house. In five minutes I was at the door of the white house. I found Eva still alone, seated on a sofa, unemployed, without even a book, pale and flurried. “Come in, doctor, come in,” she said, in her sweet manner; “I cannot stay alone any longer. See how late it is; he should have been here two hours ago, and he has not yet returned.”
I was surprised at the protracted stay of Mr. Meredith, but in order to cheer his wife, I answered, without evincing any emotion, “What can we know of the time necessary to transact his business in when he reached the town? He may have been compelled to wait, or perhaps the notary was absent; papers may have had to be drawn and signed, and—”
“Ah, doctor! I knew you would speak consoling words to me. I did not hesitate to send for you. I needed to hear some one tell me it was foolish in me to tremble thus. How long the day has been. Great God! are there persons who can exist alone? Do they not die at once, as though you were to take from them one half the air they breathed. But it is striking eight.”
In truth it was eight o’clock. I could not understand why William had not returned. At all events I answered;
“Madame, the sun is barely gone down; it is still daylight, and the evening is beautiful; let us inhale the sweet scent of your flowers; let us go to the spot where we are likely to meet him—your husband will then find you on his path.”