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Title: The dream chintz
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00001877/00001
 Material Information
Title: The dream chintz
Physical Description: 106 p. : ; 16 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Mackarness, Henry S., 1826-1881
James Munroe and Company ( Publisher )
Boston Stereotype Foundry ( Stereotyper )
Publisher: J. Munroe and Company
Place of Publication: Boston ;
Cambridge
Manufacturer: Boston Stereotype Foundry
Publication Date: 1851, c1850
Copyright Date: 1850
Edition: Author's ed.
 Subjects
Subject: Family -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Courtship -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Fairies -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Embossed cloth bindings (Binding) -- 1851   ( rbbin )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1851   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1851
Genre: Embossed cloth bindings (Binding)   ( rbbin )
Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston
United States -- Massachusetts -- Cambridge
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by the author of "A trap to catch a sunbeam " ... <etc>.
General Note: Publisher's advertisements: <2> p. at end.
Funding: Brittle Books Program
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00001877
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002233536
oclc - 16618080
notis - ALH3945
lccn - 07016441

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    Front Cover
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    Title Page
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    Copyright
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    Main
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        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
    Advertising
        Page 107
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    Back Cover
        Page 110
    Spine
        Page 111
Full Text
qw-










E 1,1- C H I.,L TTZ*
B Y FCHE AUTHOR OF
r1RIP TO
CAT(JI l SUA DAM,
'ONLY' O[D AILLIFFE






<^cuf6


THE


DREAM


CHINTZ.


8T THE AUTHOR OP



" A TRAP TO CATCH A SUNBEAM," ONLY," OLD
JOLLIFFE," AND SEQUEL TO OLD JOLLIFFE,"
"A MERRY CHRISTMAS," ETC.





Rautto's W i[tfon.




BOSTON AND CAMBRIDGE:
JAMES MUNROE AND COMPANY.
1851.
























Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1850, by
JAMES MUNROF AND COMPANY,
In the Clerk's office of the District Court of the District
of Massaclhuetti.





















TRtOROftt'tL AT flit
s08TON1 STEREOTYPE FOUNDRY.










THE


DREAM CHINTZ.




A WInD woodland glade is brightly illumi-
nated by a stream of light from a moon shin-
ing with all the lustre of a summer night,
though its rays glisten on the crystal gems
which the frost has hung amongst the leafless
trees. There is a stillness round; "Earth
seems hushed in an angel's lap into a breath-
less sleep, so still, that we can only say of
things, they be."
Suddenly the silence is broken by foot-
steps trampling on the fallen leaves, which,
rendered crisp by the frost, make a low,
crunching sound, and tell tales of intruders
in that silent glade. Voices murmur softly,






4 THE DREAM CHINTZ.


and, parting the branches which have over-
grown the path, two beings emerge into the
moonlight. One is a tall, gaunt lad of about
fifteen, with long legs, which seem so weak
and slender that they bend beneath his
weight. His fair hair hangs loose upon his
shoulders, and in his large blue eyes there is
a strange, wild expression; yet so joyous,
that his shuffling gait seems at variance with
the brightness of his face and the buoyancy
of his manner. His companion is some ten
years his senior, and, though his countenance
beams with intelligence, there is such deep
sorrow and care in its every line that it forms
a striking contrast to the lad by his side.
"Hush!" said the latter, holding up his
finger; talk very gently, or we shall frighten
them away. Do you see that ring there on
the grass? That's where they dance. Look,
Hugh!"
I see," answered Hugh ; "but," he con-







THE DIZAM CHINTZ.


tinued, smiling, "it is very cold for Fairies;
I think they will scarcely come out such
weather."
Pshaw I" answered the boy, impatiently.
"Fairies do not think about weather; they
will come, I tell you," he said, holding up
his finger, and speaking in a decided manner;
"they come on New Year's eve to tell what
they have all been doing during the past year,
and receive from their Queen fresh orders for
the next. 0, they are such good little things,
-so industrious, so kind,--and they do
help people so help them out of all their
troubles, at least those people who deserve
it, such as try to get on themselves, and to
help one another, and that are kind to birds,
and beasts, and insects; for do you know
they are sometimes Fairies themselves. I
would not tread on a worm, or hurt, indeed,
any insect for the world."
"No, poor boy," said his companion, kind-
1*






THE DREAM CHINTZ.


ly patting him on the shoulder; you would
not harm any thing, I know."
"Hush! exclaimed the boy, interrupting
him, as the moon, which had been shadowed
by a cloud, broke forth again; don't speak;
there they are "
Again the same kind but sceptical smile
stole over the young man's face; but he
ceased speaking in obedience to the boy's
command. There was a moment's pause;
and then he said, in a low, eager whisper,
with his large eyes distended and fixed upon
the Fairies' ring, -
That's the Queen with her bright crown;
and see, how she is giving diadems to all
those who have been at work all the long
year. Now wait, and you'll see all those go
away, and she will call others to her, and tell
them what they must do. Some she sends
to the sick, some to the poor, some to the
wretched; and then, on New Year's day, if







THE DREAM CHINTZ.


they have done well and minded all her
orders, she lets them stay in Fairy-land
always, and gives them jewelled crowns like
her own, only not quite so bright. Those
outside the ring, with their wings drooping,
and no crowns on their heads, are such as
have done mischief in the world, instead of
good. They are all banished; she will not
have them in her bright land, do you see?
Now stay, Hugh; in a moment you'll see all
those who are going on their different errands
fly away. Look! look! there they go.
Hark! what a rushing sound their wings
make!" And, gazing up into the blue vault
of heaven, he pointed to a light, feathery
cloud, which was scudding along; and then,
slightly shuddering, he put his arm through
his friend's, and said, "We will go, if you
like, now; it is cold."
Hugh, who had been standing by his side
in silent abstraction for some moments, roused






8 THE DREAM CHINTZ.

by the boy's action, answered, Yes, Walter,
my boy, it is indeed cold; we are very silly
to stay here at all. Let us go." And again
they pushed their way through the branches,
which had laced themselves together in an
almost impassable barrier across the pathway,
and walked on at a quick pace.
You are not silly," said the boy, as if
suddenly recollecting the last speech; I am
silly, people call me so, at least, but do
you know I think they are much more so,
for they often cry and are miserable, and
some of them quarrel and fight, and spend
all their money, so that they starve; but I
don't. I'm never miserable ; I never cry, or
quarrel, or fight, and keep all my money in a
money-box," he added in a whisper; and
then, bursting into a bright, musical laugh,
said, That's wise, isn't it ? -not silly."
True, dear Walter, true; would that you
could instil such wisdom into those who,







THE DREAM CHINTZ.


' wise in their own conceit,' call you silly, -
could make me, boy, amongst the rest, pos-
sessor of half your cheerful spirit -your pure
faith, which, nothing doubting, goes on its
way rejoicing, believing of good to come,
however dark and gloomy the present may
be."
Half in soliloquy had this been uttered, for
Hugh knew the entire sense of such a speech
could not reach the darkened understanding
of his half-witted companion; but in part he
was mistaken, for the boy replied immedi-
ately, as though the import of the words, at
least, he understood.
It is the Fairies' doing; they make Wal-
ter such a merry boy. They used to rock
my cradle when I was a poor sick baby and
could not sleep; and would come and scare
away the goblins that used to grin at me. O,
I was never frightened when the Fairies were
with me; and they used to whisper to me in






*10 THE DREAM CHINTZ.

the still night, and promise me they would
never let me want, and never let me be
miserable; and have they not kept their
word? Ain't I a happy boy? 0, they do
take such care of me!"
"Do you not think it is some One higher
and mightier who takes care of you, Wal-
ter ?"
"O," said the boy, staring vacantly at
him. "Yes, you mean God, whom Father
and Margaret kneel to and say prayers to.
Yes, I know; Margaret says He lets me see
the Fairies to make me contented and happy,
for that she cannot see them; but I don't
quite understand about that. 0, did you see
that hare hop past he continued, with his
voice restored to its usual gay tone; "what
a pity they kill them, isn't it ? We are just
at home now, are we not ?"
They were descending a somewhat steep
hill, which led to the village, and the fires







THE DREAM CHINTZ.


were gleaming through some of the cottage
windows, looking a cheering welcome from
the sharp, cold night. The tower of the
church was illuminated by the moon, till
each pane of glass looked like an opal; the
old, old church, in which lay monuments of
noble knights and high-born ladies of centu-
ries ago, their effigies upon their tombs, and
their names so effaced by the ruthless hand
of Time, as to afford full scope for antiqua-
ries to suppose them any one they pleased.
There, too, was recorded how, beneath this
stone, lay some wealthy lord, of later date,
and his lady and infant son;" and by the
side of their tablet, graven with care, and
bearing above it the arms of the noble family,
was the plain stone, which the village mason
had chiselled, telling how death had laid
low Thomas Ditton, many years black-
smith of this parish; also Ruth, his wife."
In the churchyard were tombstones moulder-







12 THE DREAM CHINTZ.


ing away, and some gleaming forth in the
moonlight, just erected ; and here and there
the neatly-kept graves of some whose friends
were too poor to raise a stone above their
resting-place, -only a little rustic cross
planted in the low mound to mark the spot,
--their names and their good deeds en-
graven alone on the hearts of those they have
left behind.
Hugh and his poor friend live very near
the church. Hugh's house comes first; and
when he approaches it, he says, "Shall I go
on with you, Walter; or can you go by
yourself?"
O, by myself; Margaret never shuts the
shutters till her Walter comes home, that he
may see the light twinkle; and when I get
just about here, I sing, and she opens the
door her own dear self, and waits for me.
Stay now, and you'll see," he said, as they
arrived at Hugh's cottage. And he began a







THE DREAM CHINTZ.


low, wild air, with an exquisite melody,
which he sang in that bright, beautiful voice
peculiar to boys.
Truly as he said, he had uttered but a bar,
when the door opened quickly, and a figure
was revealed by the red light of a large fire,
which stood waiting, cold and keen though
the wind blew. The boy went on at a quick
pace, still chanting his wild song, and Hugh
continued watching him, for it was very
touching, that scene: the moon bathing the
village in its flood of cold, clear light, the
open cottage door, with that young girlish
figure standing there to welcome her poor
simple brother, and his sweet voice sound-
ing in the still night and fading gradually
away, was beautiful to see and hear; at
any rate, Hugh seemed to think so, for he
stood there after the door was closed, and
until the shutters were closed, too, and
the cottage enveloped in darkness;--then,







14 THE DREAM CHINTZ.


with a heavy sigh, he entered his own
dwelling.
We will follow Walter. There was, in-
deed, a cheering blaze to welcome and to
warm him; a wood fire threw its ruddy
glow over the room, which was large, com-
modious, and comfortably furnished. It was
carpeted all over with a dark crimson drug-
get; a round table stood in the centre of the
room, of mahogany, with strange twisted
legs, covered with Margaret's work and some
books and papers; against the wall,.which
was hung with a gayly- patterned paper, stood
another table, on which was arranged some
old china, several shells, and some stuffed
birds in a glass case; this, too, was of ma-
hogany, with distorted limbs. Over the
mantel-piece, which was loaded with old
china also, was a kind of panorama of Wind-
sor, and about the room were several por-
traits of the old Royal Family, every thing







THE DREAM CHINTZ.


being profusely decorated with mistletoe and
holly. An arm-chair, bearing the same date
as the tables, stood close to the fire; the
sides of the hearth were Dutch tiles; and
large iron dogs supported the logs of wood
which were blazing and crackling so cheeri-
ly ; the rug was composed of colored cloth
sewn together, and on it lay a large Persian
cat; an eight-day clock filled one corner of
the room, and a corner cupboard the other,
through the glass doors of which glittered a
quantity of glass and china. Both these
articles were also of mahogany, and might
have served the most coquettish young lady
for a mirror. Over the door which opened
to the road, and across the window, were
drawn crimson curtains; and another door,
partially open, revealed a bed-room, seem-
ingly furnished with as much comfort as the
sitting-room; beyond this was the kitchen,
divided from it only by a small passage, in







16 THE DREAM CHINTZ.

which were the stairs leading to the upper
rooms.
As the boy entered, and his sister closed
and barred the door after him, and drew over
it the curtain which so completely excluded
the keen air, an old man came from the inner
room, and, seating himself in the arm-chair,
held out his hand to Walter. He took it
directly; and then, sitting down on the floor,
at his father's feet, he lifted the cat into his
lap and began to fondle it.
Well, Walter, love," said his sister, com-
ing up to him and removing the wraps she
had enveloped him in before he went out,
"did you see them?"
0, yes, Margaret; numbers and numbers.
Here, listen;" and drawing down her beauti-
ful head to a level with his mouth, he
whispered something to her. She disen-
gaged herself hurriedly from him with a
flushed face, and left the room to put away







TEE DIIZAM CHINTZ.


his things," she said. She was soon back,
and on her return the old man said, -
"Prayers, and bed, Margaret."
"Yes, father."
Quickly and neatly she folded and put
away her work, the books and papers, pushed
the table near him, lighted two candles in
massive plated candlesticks, extinguished a
small lamp at which she had been working,
opened a large Bible, and rang a little hand
bell on the shelf. At its summons appeared
an elderly woman, dressed with the cleanli-
ness and plainness of those old times when
servants took a pride in their honest service,
and liked to look like a servant, and not a
would-be lady.
"Prayers, Hetty," said Margaret.
Very well, miss."
She closed the inner door, and seated her-
self at a respectful distance from her master
and mistress. Margaret took a chair opposite
2*








18 THE DREAM CHINTZ.


to her father, and beckoned Walter to her.
He laid down the cat, and, coming to her,
knelt close beside her, nestling his-head on
her bosom like a child.
This little family was a source of con-
tinual gossip and conversation in the village,
for the old man was as universally disliked
as his interesting children were liked. He
was feared, too, by one and all, so that few
visitors ever crossed his threshold to enliven
the long winter or enjoy the delicious sum-
mer. He was very clever, very morose;
spoke seldom, always in short sentences, and
always sternly, save to his daughter. In her
seemed centred all the good in his dispo-
sition ; all tenderness, all devotion, all affec-
tion in his nature, he poured forth lavishly
on this idol. He was kind to the boy,--
at least, he tried to be, -but it always ap-
peared an effort to him; not so his love for
his daughter--that was his one absorbing
thought.








THE DREAM CHINTZ.


His youth had been devoted to obtaining
independence -so it was said, at least. As
a young man, he had scarcely permitted
himself the necessaries of life; out of ev-
ery penny he got he saved a halfpenny, and
continued this course of saving till by some
extraordinary chance he married. There was
a mystery about his marriage, as there was
about him altogether; he was an enigma no
one could solve. And how his young and
pretty wife came to marry him, no one could
tell; at any rate, he was kind to her: he did
not stint her, though he continued his own
system of abstinence that was a confirmed
habit. He went on the "even tenor of his
way," still making and saving money (he was
an optician by trade) until his wife's death.
That he took calmly, dispassionately, as he
did every thing else; wore mourning the ac-
customed time, but was never seen to weep
or heard to lament; nor was he more







20 THE DREAM CHINTZ.


moved when told the infant she had left
showed symptoms, when two years old, of
a weak intellect.
Every one said he must be made of stone;
that he loved nothing; was incapable of feel-
ing an earthly passion; but they were stran-
gers. They saw not how love, the deepest,
most engrossing love, shone out of his pale
gray eyes upon the little fairy who played
about his dwelling, his lovely little girl;
how tears-ay, tears- would roll down his
cheek, tears of admiration and of love, as he
watched her care of her simple brother. For
her he altered his style of living, and made
his little dwelling as comfortable as he could;
too much he loved her, for in the creature
he forgot the Creator.
As she grew up she was good and dutiful
to him, but there was no affection in her
heart towards him to repay his unbounded
love; this had been his bane through life.







THE DREAM CHINTZ.


He had never inspired a responsive attach-
ment. No; as he loved her, she loved her
brother. 0, who can doubt the one great
Power, who reflects for an instant on the
wonderful ordering of events, the unerring
wisdom and mercy with which the back is
fitted to the burden, the wind tempered to
the shorn lamb! The idiot boy had no
mother; but God had raised in his sister's
heart a love as pure and strong, a devotion
as unselfish as untiring. He had sent him
forth in the world without intellect; but He
had supplied its place with a happy, joyous
spirit, which led him along a bright and
flowery path, where he neither knew nor
understood danger or sin. It was as ex-
traordinary as beautiful to witness the ex-
treme care with which Margaret managed,
that nothing sad or distressing should ruffle
the happy, peaceful current of the boy's life
To every thing she gave a cheerful name, a







22 THE DREAM CHINTZ.


pleasant meaning. When he was restless and
excited, she would tell him stories suited to
his capacity, which always soothed and qui-
eted him; and they were about people good
and happy, never wicked or miserable -
those were words of which he only knew
the name.
Indiscreet neighbors would sometimes speak
in his presence of some sad quarrel, or some
wretched poverty in the village; and Mar-
garet would instantly turn to him with a
bright smile to counteract the gloomy im-
pressionj and say, That was because they
were 'unwise,'" which was the word she
always substituted for wicked.
And at other times, when he would ask
her, somewhat sadly, if he were "silly," she
would laugh out merrily and tell him, "No,
indeed; wise, very wise; for lie was good,
and that was true wisdom."
Fondly, as 1 have said, were the brother







THE DREAM CHINTZ.


and sister loved in the village, and all were
kind to the poor, gentle-hearted boy; no
one teased, no one laughed at him, but
kindly humored his belief in the Fairies
he thought watched over him; so much so,
indeed, that when they found out that one
of his fancies was, that if he left a basket in
the wood the Fairies would fill it for him,
the basket never more came home empty,
and the children in the village employed all
their leisure time in making things to put
into "poor dear Walter's basket," amply re-
paid for their trouble by the glee with which
he would come running home, and show the
treasures the good Fairies had given him.
I have said few people ever crossed the
threshold of Mr. Ford's dwelling ; but
amongst those few, and seemingly a more
favored one than any, was Hugh Ripley.
He had taken a great interest in Walter, and
the boy's affectionate nature never forgot a






24 THE DREAM CHINTZ.


trifling act of kindness Hugh once rendered
him; and meeting him one afternoon with
his father, he ran up to him, and seizing his
hand, said, "Father, this is the gentleman
who was so kind to Walter; ask him to
come and see us."
Unable to refuse this request in his pres-
ence, Ford tendered the invitation, and at
the first visit discovered a high intellect
and an agreeable companion in his new
friend, and one who took a great interest
in science and mechanism. From that mo-
ment he was a constant inmate of their
house, and Hugh little thought that a sim-
ple service rendered to a poor idiot boy
would prove one of the most important
events of his life.
But to return to the Fords. Their ac-
customed devotions ended, they all retired
to rest; the inhabitants of the primitive vil-
lage had long been in their first sleep; but







THE DREAM CHINTZ.


there was one waking, and on his solitude
we will now intrude. Hugh Ripley rented
a room in the small cottage where we left
him. It was kept by a merry little old
woman, who called herself Mrs. Hopwood.
To the "Mrs." she had not the least right;
but, having arrived at the interesting age
of sixty, she thought it might be thought
"odd" to let her rooms to single young
gentlemen, and so came to Woodcote and
took this cottage, adding to the dignity of
her name by a title which implied that she
had once possessed a Mr. Hopwood. She
was a good-hearted, happy-tempered little
body, as ever lived; very ignorant, so much
so, that she quite provoked Hugh; for she
dearly loved to chatter, and would sit with
the parlor door open, lying in wait for him
as a spider for a fly; and then she would
pounce out and talk, as he called it, "such
lawful nonsense," that she sadly disturbed
3







26 THE DREAM CHINTZ.


the serenity of his temper. When he was
in good spirits,- which, alas! was very sel-
dom,- he had a very artful way of getting
rid of her; he had his suspicions respecting
that same Mr. Hopwood, so would ask her
some question relating to him, which inva-
riably sent the old lady back into her parlor
in double-quick time, and her excuses for
breaking off the conversation were very in-
genious.
On this night he had hoped, by the late-
ness of his return, to escape her; but she
was an old-fashioned body, and had sat up
to see the old year out. He was caught,
as usual; however, a well-timed inquiry,
respecting Mr. Hopwood, occasioned Mrs.
Hopwood to hear a noise, which "sounded
like the cat at the milk," and hastily wish-
ing him good night, she returned into her
room,-and we shall find him ascending
the staircase to his own room, the only







THE DREAM CHINTZ.


apartment his wretched means would al-
low.
Hugh Ripley was the only son of his
father, who died when Hugh was very
young, and left him to bear the many.an-
noyances occasioned by an ill-tempered and
miserly mother. And wretched enough had
been the youthful days of poor Hugh, giving
that melancholy tinge to his feelings which
he exhibited in his riper years-the invari-
able effect of an unhappy childhood. All
the amusements in which other children de-
lighted were denied him, as too expensive;
and at a very early age she sent him forth
to seek his own living in the world, say-
ing, "she could not afford to keep him in
idleness."
Poor boy! his trials and rebuffs were
many; he had been brought up to no pro-
fession, but had a great taste for drawing,
which he hoped would serve him; but, like







THE DREAM CHINTZ.


every thing else, it required money and in-
fluence; and, at length, when all his efforts
failed, and he had begun to despair, he found
employment as a designer to a large chintz
manufactory, near a country village, and,
taking the lodging above mentioned, he
began to work with renewed energy; for,
though the remuneration was small, it was
better than idleness -better, far better, than
home.
And now Hugh laid his hand gently on
the lock of the door, and turned it softly, as
though he feared to awake some one within;
and then, peeping in before he entered, he
said in a whisper, -
"Ah! there he is at his old work; now
I'll have him."
He crept into the room, and, seizing a
ruler, prepared to hurl it at a little mouse,
who was most busily engaged in gnawing
the edges of a large portfolio placed against







THE DREAM CHINTZ.


the wall. Hugh's entrance disturbed the lit-
tle animal, and it raised its bright black eyes
to his face with a glance which, to Hugh's
fancy, seemed imploring mercy; so he laid
down the ruler on the table, saying,-
There, poor little thing, I'll let you live;
go back to your hole; and if you are a
Fairy, as poor Walter says, do me a good
turn in exchange, that's all."
And flinging himself in a chair, before the
fire, he put his feet on the fender, and, rest-
ing his elbows on his knees, ran his long,
thin fingers through his hair, and gazed into
the fire with the earnestness of one who
thought he could therein read his fate.
Margaret!" he said at last, half aloud,
"Margaret! Fool that I am to dare to love
her; and yet why not ? the love of
goodness is implanted in our natures, and
takes the strongest root in the best hearts.
Why, then, should I call it daring, when I
3#







30 THE DREAM CHINTZ.


love and reverence it clothed in an angel's
form? What could I not bear if she were
here to lighten my toil, to brighten the
gloomiest dwelling Sometimes she smiles
on me so kindly! Would she, could she,
love me ? and if so, to what end ? to bring
her to such a home as this one miserable
room ? Well, if she loved me, that would
not be wretched to her."
He paused, and, raising his head, looked
round the room-a strange one, truly, to
bring a fair young bride to. A striped calico
curtain concealed a small bedstead and three-
cornered wash-hand stand, and converted the
rest of the apartment into a sitting-room, in
which stood a table, covered with drawing-
paper and pencils, a pewter pot and blue
plate, an inkstand, and a newspaper: a chest
of drawers opposite the fireplace was also
covered with various articles, such as a glass,
- razor case, a brush and comb, and a beau-







THE DREAM CHINTZ.


tiful little vase filled with chrysanthemums,
holly, and lauristinas, an alabaster figure, and
a velvet cap: two chairs completed the fur-
niture. The room was only partially car-
peted, and a thin muslin curtain hung across
the window. On the mantel-piece stood
some unfinished water-color drawings; and
a larger canvas on the floor, leaning against
the wall, was covered with female figures,
all exactly alike all bearing the lineaments
of that form which had waited so patiently
for Walter. His inspection ended, Hugh
muttered an impatient
Pshaw! what an idiot I am, and a self-
ish one, too! Drag her down to this! No,
indeed; that proud old father would he
consent to such a thing, were even she con-
tent ? No, I must toil on, hopelessly, mis-
erably, and to what end? Again I say, to
support an existence I would much rather
were not prolonged. Why do I live ? That







32 THE DREAM CHINTZ.

is a grand mystery. I am neither happy
myself, nor do I form the happiness of an-
other. I am of no use, only cumbering the
ground, and taking, from those who need it so
much more, the money my employers pay me;
for work, too, which brings me neither for-
tune nor fame. Night after night I lie down
on that wretched bed, and feel that another
day is passed and I have done nothing -
nothing to benefit myself or others; only
earned a few shillings to support a useless
and troublesome existence. 0 Walter, my
boy, how are you to be envied! you, with
your light heart and simple faith, by such as
me, whose life is one long struggle between
doubt and belief. I see the Omnipotent
Wisdom which formed the planets and
guides them in their course; which orders
the changing seasons, and gives to the tini-
est insects instinct for their preservation. I
see the Mighty Power which sets bounds to







THE DREAM CHINTZ.


the ocean, and bids the waves be still; which,
from the insignificant seed, brings forth beau-
teous flowers, and from the small acorn the
giant oak; and still I am ever weighed
down with the feeling of my own useless-
ness, and the oft-recurring question, Why do
I live?
"Heigho! Poor Walter! he thought I
saw the Fairies to-night, and could no
longer doubt his innocent belief. I wish
his Fairies would come to my aid, I'm
sure. This offer for the best design for a
Chintz-shall I try that? It will be my
fortune, if I succeed. Ah! if I should!
-No, no! better not to try, than try and
fail. It's a pretty notion about Fairies.
Ah! another year, Hugh, over your head.
There are the bells. God bless you, my
gentle Margaret, and send you many happy
years. The Fairies dance to those chimes,
I suppose; how beautiful they sound!
Fairies "







34 THE DREAM CHINTZ.

Loud and clear, and then fading away
till they could scarce be heard, the bells
continued.
Hugh murmured a few more words;
his head dropped slightly forward, but he
moved not from his position.
The bells had ceased; the last chime
had died away on the still air, leaving the
echoes to slumber again, when Hugh heard
a slight rushing sound, like a soft summer
breeze. He raised his head, and his room
seemed filled with smoke or vapor, which
emitted a powerful scent, like multitudes
of flowers. He tried to move, but he felt
bound to his chair, and the dense vapor op-
pressed his chest so that he could scarcely
breathe. This painful sensation lasted but
a few moments; the film seemed gradually
and imperceptibly to vanish, though the
strong perfume of the flowers grew even
more powerful; and he heard a faint sound,







THE DREAM CHINTZ.


which, growing louder by degrees, resem-
bled the singing of numberless birds. In an-
other instant the vapor was gone. No wonder
he smelt flowers and heard singing birds, for
there-in his room-stood countless little
beings, some laden with baskets filled with
flowers, others bearing gold cages, contain-
ing birds of every variety of plumage. From
the group before him advanced one entirely
clothed in brown, with a profusion of long,
silky brown hair falling over her shoulders.
She came close to the astonished and speech-
less Hugh, and in a bright voice, so clear
that it rang in his ear like the sound of
many bells, said,-
"Many thanks, good Master Ripley. Fai-
ries are not mortal, and never forget a kind
act, be it ever so trifling; we owe you grat-
itude for two, and are come to pay the debt.
First, you performed a service for our friend
Walter: we saw you; we were hidden







THE DREAM CHINTZ.


amongst the trees in the wood; and you
may be sure would have guided the boy
home, but we wished to find how far you
deserved our aid. 0, how glad we were
when you led him so kindly through the
mazes of the wood right glad, for we
are never so pleased as when we know a
poor mortal has won for himself a gleam of
happiness, by a kind action to a fellow-crea-
ture. This your patient toil, your faithful
love, and, finally, your disinterested act of
mercy to me, -the little mouse, who was
destroying your property, complete our
determination to do you good service in re-
turn. But no one can or will help those
who ought to help themselves. Banish,
therefore, the unworthy tenants of your no-
ble heart-Despair and Doubt; and remem-
ber, Hugh Ripley, that it is better to TRY
AND FAIL, THAN NOT TO TRY AT ALL. Watch
well the Fairies' work."







THE DREAM CHINTZ.


The voice ceased, and the Fairy vanished;
still Hugh, spell-bound, gazed at the move-
ments of those tiny beings, who seemed to
fill and more than fill his room. Very busy
they all were, flitting about backwards and
forwards, and seeming to talk together in
musical strains, which sounded to him like
the constant repetition of "Margaret." At
length their actions appeared less confused,
and Hugh observed that they had erected
a frame, in which, with exquisite taste,
several of the Fairies were grouping the
birds and flowers, which the rest were hand-
ing to them. Nimbly their fingers moved,
and stronger grew the perfume of the flow-
ers; for the fanning of the Fairies' wings
wafted it to Hugh; till at last, their labor
finished, they moved from before the frame,
and stood grouped on either side of it, display-
ing to Hugh the wonder-struck Hugh a
Perfect and exquisite Chintz pattern.
4






THE DREAM CHINTZ.


For a moment a torrent of thoughts over-
powered him; the great prize for the best
Chintz was his; no mortal could devise one
like that. IIe was wealthy famous -
Margaret was his bride-she loved him, was
proud of him. Tears, hot tears, dimmed
his eyes; he gasped for breath, and en-
deavored to move from his seat. The picture
faded, the frame alone remaining; and in
its place was a window, a thin muslin cur-
tain, and the faint light of daybreak. He
started to his feet, trembling with agitation.
It was a dream; only a dream, it is true;
but what a dream! Vividly he remembered
the beautiful pattern he had seen : he could
draw it; he knew he could. With burning
brow and panting heart he lighted a candle,
and eagerly began his task, closing his eyes
occasionally to recall his vision; and as he
found how well his memory served him,
and saw growing under his pencil the ex-
quisite groups of flowers and birds, his ex-






THE DREAM CHINTZ.


citement became alarming, and on its com-
pletion he uttered a low moan, and fell
heavily from his chair.

"Many happy New Years to you, my
own dear Walter," said a sweet voice at the
boy's bedside.
"O," he said, starting, "time to get up;-
many to you, Margery, many to you, and to
some one else, Margery. I am going to get
up quickly now, and tell him how much I
wish him happy years; and then I am go-
ing in the wood to fetch my New Year's
gifts; they are sure to be there, Margaret."
"Yes, love, quite sure," answered Margaret.
"You'll wait till after breakfast, though."
"Breakfast! do I want breakfast ? "
"0, certainly; and I have something so
nice, because it is New Year's day."
"Ha! ha! then," laughed the boy, "I
shall be sure to stay for breakfast; I won't
be long."






THE DREAM CHINTZ.


Margaret went down stairs and busied her-
self in making the tea, placed her father's
arm-chair in its accustomed place; and then,
opening the window, which seemed made of
ground glass with the frost, she looked up
the village. Cold as it was, it was brilliant-
ly fine; and Margaret stood some moments
at the window, and was just about to close
it, when a young voice called her name.
"Margaret, how do you do? A happy
New Year. Here's a bunch of- flowers out
of our own garden for Walter; and we are
going up now," she said, in a lower tone,
" me and four or five more, to fill his basket
with lots of things."
"Thank you, Susey dear, thank you so
much; I am glad I have seen you, for I have
something for the basket, too." And she
took from her pocket a comforter, knitted
for him by herself, and gave it to the little
girl. By this time her little companions







THE DREAM CHINTZ.


joined her. Margaret closed the window,
and listened with a pleased smile to their mer-
ry little voices as they died away in the dis-
tance: she was soon joined by her father
and brother, and they began their morning
meal; the boy talking and laughing gayly
in his wild and joyous manner, which Mar-
garet kept encouraging; while Ford sat by
gloomily and sadly, but occasionally giving
a beaming look of love to his daughter.
The moment breakfast was over, Walter
prepared to go out.
"Where are you going, boy?" asked his
father.
"To Hugh Ripley's, and then to see my
friends."
The boy went out. Margaret took her
work, her father began to write, and there
was a long, unbroken silence. It was dis-
turbed at length by a low knock at the door,
which made the blood rush to Margaret's
4*







42 THE DREAM CHINTZ.


face; and, hastily arranging her hair, she
opened the door and admitted Hugh Ripley.
She started when she saw him. Why? Be-
cause a change was in his face, which she
could not account for: he was pale, deadly
pale; but there was in every line of his
countenance a loftiness she had never before
witnessed; a radiance in his eyes, which
gave to them an expression they had before
wanted; the light of hope beamed in them
now. He did not speak to Margaret, only
warmly shook her by the hand; and, advan-
cing to Ford, wished him, kindly, "many
happy years."
Ah! my friend, had your wishes power,
they would bring me what I never knew.
You will dine with us to-day ?"
"I shall be very happy. I have been
very foolish this morning," he continued,
half turning to Margaret, positively faint-
ing away."






THE DREAM CHINTZ.


0, how his heart beat, as Margaret laid
her hand on his arm in the impulse of the
moment and looked anxiously in his face i
I am better now," he said, with a ten-
derness he had never before ventured to as-
sume, "much better, and shall do justice to
your hospitality to-day."
She hastily withdrew her hand, and mur-
muring something about dining at three, and
going to find Walter, hurried out of the
room.
Then I will be here punctually at three,"
said Hugh to Ford.
"Do! do!" he answered; "you may
never dine with me again."
On another New Year's day, sir ? No,
perhaps not; God knows where this time
twelvemonth may find us."
Nor this time twelve hours," said Ford.
"True, sir, true; that is a very proper re-
flection, but not one to indulge in gloomily:






44 THE DREAM CHINTZ.


wherever it finds us, so that our lamps are
trimmed, it cannot much signify."
The only happy moment, my friend, is
when our lamps are put out, depend on it."
"O, do not say so, sir! Perhaps I might
have agreed with you yesterday; but to-day
I am an altered man. I have learnt a lesson.
I will tell you all about it after dinner."
"Tell me now," said the old man, more
eagerly than he ever spoke; tell me now;
I would gladly know what could make any
one wish to live. What is life but one
long, yearning wish, one long, hopeless strug-
gle for a happiness which we know we shall
never obtain; even pleasure exists but in an-
ticipation. From our earliest childhood we
cry for a toy, which, when once in our pos-
se ion, becomes instantly valueless, and so
o%, through life and unto death."
0, come, sir; life is not quite such a des-
ert. There are some roses, so sweet that we






THE DREAM CHINTZ. 45

do not heed their thorns. Love, which
makes of Earth a Heaven, brightens the
saddest home, lightens the heaviest heart.
Surely once to experience the happy knowl-
edge that we are loved must be worth living
for! "
"Hugh Ripley," said the old man, in a
strange and almost unearthly sound, I know
not what that is; I have never been loved
in my long life. My long, weary life has
passed on without one gleam of such happi-
ness as you speak of. It has been a weary
life, and I am very tired of it; no one will
miss me, and the grave is a quiet place."
Hugh was astonished at the tone of mel-
ancholy in which the old man spoke.
Though always gloomy and austere, there
was more of sad feeling in his manner than
usual, and he knew not exactly how to re-
ply to him. There was an awkward silence;
and then Hugh, saying he had some busi-







46 THE DREAM CHINTZ.

ness, and promising to be punctual at dinner,
departed.
In half an hour more, Walter returned,
with his basket laden with presents; but
not as usual did his bright, cheerful voice
summon his sister to view his treasures. He
placed his basket down in a corner, and,
flinging himself on the floor beside it, took
out one thing at a time, looked at each
separately, and then listlessly stretched him-
self out at full length, and threw his arms
over his head, as was his wont to sleep.
His father was not in the room, nor his
sister; but she had heard the step for which
she always listened so anxiously, and she
came to him directly.
"Tired, dear Walter? Where are your
presents ?" He rose and pointed to them.
They are pretty," he said; "but Walter
saw the goblins coming home, Margaret,
and no Fairies."







THE DREAM CHINTZ.


0, nonsense Walter was tired coming
home; that was it. Do you know, Mary
Lane, at the old farm, is going to be married;
and there will be such a gay wedding next
Monday, and you and I will go early in the
morning to the Nursery Ground, and get
such a large nosegay for her, for the chil-
dren are going to strew the path with flow-
ers. And we will help them, will we
not ? "
The boy sprang from the ground with all
his cheerfulness restored.
O, that we will! When is Monday ?
how long?"
"Four days."
"Days," he repeated.
"Yes, love ; darkness and light four
times."
0, yes, I know; then we will get lovely
flowers. But, Margaret, how can we? Jack
Frost keeps all the flowers, old gardener






48 THE DREAM CHINTZ.

says, till the hot sun burns him and makes
him let them go. How can we have them ?"
"0, we shall have some. Jack Frost
lends us his until he gives up ours. He is
very kind; and his are pretty flowers too,
Walter," she said, with such a sunny smile,
that Jack Frost himself might have melted
at it. "Now I must help Hetty to-day to
lay the cloth; it must all be very nice, be-
cause it is New Year's day."
Any one but simple Walter might have
assigned another reason for Margaret's par-
ticularity; at any rate, she did lay the cloth
very nicely, and placed the Christmas roses
and evergreens, which formed Walter's bou-
quet, in a vase, in the centre of the table.
But while she was thus busily and cheer-
fully employed, poor Walter seemed restless
and unhappy-a most unusual occurrence
for him, and which somewhat worried Mar-
garet. She looked at the clock; it wanted







THE DREAM CHINTZ.


nearly an hour to dinner, she had been so
anxious to lay the cloth. There was time
to take Walter out for a little walk with
her; it would be a change, and amuse him.
She proposed it, and he assented gladly; for
he was so restless, that any movement was
agreeable to him.
They were soon on their way down the
village, this loving couple, Margaret talking
to him so gently, so gayly, trying to divert
his mind ; but still he seemed restless, and
more wild and flighty than usual, till Mar-
garet herself grew nervous, and began to
feel a strange presentiment of coming evil.
They had taken no decided route; but,
oddly enough, they found themselves pass-
ing Hugh Ripley's cottage. Mrs. Hopwood
was standing at the door.
"Ah! many happy new years to you,
young folks," she said. "How are you,
young gentleman?"
5





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THE DREAM CHINTZ.


short, to make any preparation for the gay
wedding Walter had been so long expecting.
But before the accomplishment of all this,
he said he must go to London; and at this
their first parting Margaret was very unhap-
py. She had never been in London, and to
her it had an awful sound; but half her fears
she would not express to him, for it was like
doubting him. He would not forget her,
she was sure; and yet she saw him depart
with a very heavy heart and tearful eye. Her
father, too, was ill that night. The wind
blew in cold and heavy gusts, and poor Mar-
garet could scarcely assume a cheerfulness
before Walter, and was glad when, in the
refuge of her own room, she could weep
unrestrainedly.
The only thing now was, to look forward
to his letters. Her father was growing
worse; and Margaret longed for Hugh's re-
turn, for she felt frightened and helpless.








76 THE DREAM CHINTZ.


We will transport ourselves now, as Mar-
garet would fain have done, to his side, and
shall find him in a small house in Dean
Street, Soho, of miserable exterior, and giv-
ing an excellent notion of its inhabitants.
She for it was a woman was seated by
a small table, at work mending a gown
which a maid of all work would have
scorned to wear; the carpet which covered
the room was threadbare; there were no
curtains to the window, save across the
lower a strip of what was meant to be white
muslin, but upon which rested the dust of
ages. There was a handful of fire in the
grate, made of coke, and a saucepan on the
hob, making strenuous exertions to boil- a
feat which seemed with such a fire a moral
impossibility.
Hugh was standing before her, his arm
resting on the mantel-piece, his face looking
flushed and excited.






THE DREAM CHINTZ.


"But, mother, hear me once more. I
have at last, thank God become successful;
and if you still deny the possession of the
income I felt assured you enjoyed, share
mine, and do not, I implore you, continue
to live in a manner so unbefitting my father's
wife, and, I should imagine, so painful to
yourself."
Mrs. Ripley looked up from her work for
the first time.
Share yours! Can you help me ?" she
asked. "Have you got money ?"
"Yes, mother, I have at last established
myself in the world, and find my exertions
enable me to secure quite sufficient at least
to make you more comfortable than you
appear at present."
A strange expression passed over the rigid
features of his mother, and she said,-
"Did you come to London solely to see
after me? You were not wont to be so
7*








78 THE DREAM CHINTZ.


very affectionate. It is many years since
we met."
It is, mother; those years have been
spent in long and arduous struggles for sub-
sistence. I knew, or rather I thought, you
needed not my aid. I could not live de-
pendent on you; but now I find you in ap-
parent want, ill, as you say you are, and, as
you look, alone and unfriended. You are
my mother," he continued, with a slight
tinge of bitterness in his tone, for he felt her
conduct had been little like one, "and I
offer you the shelter of a home I have at
length secured for myself, and the protection
of a son."
While he spoke, she rivetted her small,
black eyes upon him, and again demanded,
"Did he come to London purposely to seek
her out and make this offer." He paused a
moment, and a look of pain passed over his
face, and he answered,-






THE DREAM CHINTZ.


I came to seek you out, with what pur-
pose it matters not now. I did not expect
to find you thus. Do you accept my
offer?"
Of course I do, Hugh. I shall be very
glad to be helped, I am sure; I have no
money. I tell you, the rent of this house is
very heavy. I thought of letting the upper
part; but then I must have bought the fur-
niture. You know, Hugh, your father had
nothing to leave; his property died with
him. There is nothing but the small, very
small property I brought your father, for me
to exist upon."
"Well, mother," said Hugh, with a heavy
sigh, we will say no more about it; it is
settled. I have to see a man on business
to-morrow, and then I will make any ar-
rangement you like."
I had better go back with you into the
country. I like the country; but every one








80 THE DREAM CHINTZ.


says London 's the cheapest place in the
world, so I staid here."
No, no, mother," he answered, eagerly,
"we will live here. Let the upper part of
the house, as you proposed; I will have it
furnished. My occupation can be as well
carried on here as in the country. I am
tired," he said, abruptly; "can I sleep here
to-night ?"
"Yes," there's a bed-room for you; but
we've nothing in the house except that drop
of broth."
"O, I am not hungry, mother," he an-
swered impatiently; I only want rest. I'll
go to the hotel for something I left there,
and come back."
"You'll be sure to come back?" she
asked, eagerly.
0, yes," he answered, "sure !"
And he was soon back, and to his surprise
he found something like a decent meal pre-






THE DREAM CHINTZ.


pared for him, and the room looking some-
what more cheerful; for the shutters were
closed, the candle lighted, and she actually
held out her hand to him as though she was
pleased to see him. He went to his room
early the wretched room where he was to
sleep; but he noticed not its desolate ap-
pearance, but, flinging himself on the one
chair it contained, exclaimed aloud, -
Again every light of hope extinguished
after this long struggle, with happiness in
my grasp. 0 Margaret! my darling Mar-
garet! this is hard to bear. Even were my
means sufficient, could I ask her to share a
home with my mother ? No, no! my dream
is over; we had better go on waiting, and
hoping, than subject her to the repeated an-
noyances which would be the inevitable
effect of such an arrangement. And how
to tell her? What will she say to me?
Will she credit the story? I must not see







82 THE DREAM CHINTZ.


her, or my resolution would fail. Well, I
have done right; at least I have acted with
that intention. I shall be helped to bear
the trial, and good will come of it, I feel."
So poor Hugh sat down before the ricket-
ty little table in his room, and wrote to
Margaret.
He had not told her his reasons for coming
to London, for he had never anticipated
such a termination to his visit. He had
considered, on reflection, that he had not
behaved quite well to his mother; and at
this important epoch of his life, -about to
marry, and with such brightened prospects,
-he felt he ought to go and see her, hold
out the hand of reconciliation, and bid her
consider herself a welcome guest at his new
home. But, to find her thus poor and friend-
less, he had never dreamed of; and though
he believed her apparent penury originated in
her miserly disposition, his warm and gener-






THE DREAM CHINTZ.


ous heart would not allow him to abandon
her; and, as his means would not permit
him to secure both, he chose between her
happiness and his own, and nobly and un-
selfishly decided for hers. He could not,
therefore, avoid feeling that Margaret might
scarcely credit his story, so perfectly unpre-
pared as she was for any such changes in his
plans; and he wrote several letters to her,
during that long night, ere he could deter-
mine on one to send her. At length he
satisfied himself; for, banishing all his own
despondency, he wrote to her, cheerfully
bidding her hope for brighter days, and in
the mean while to trust him and to love
him. He told her that, during his short
sojourn in town, he had heard every where
of his Chintz, and of the enormous sale it
had, which, he thought, must be the reason
of his increase of salary; that this encour-
aged him to future efforts; and that, for her








84 THE DREAM CHINTZ.

dear sake, no toil should be spared. It was
a great effort to him to write thus hopefully,
for it was far from what he felt; and, his
painful task ended, he flung himself on his
bed to rest, but not to sleep.
The next day worked great changes be-
neath Mrs. Ripley's roof. Hugh felt active
occupation was the only chance of escape
from the misery of thought, and busied him-
self in making the house more comfortable;
and, as she had not to pay for it, Mrs. Rip-
ley was well content to enjoy the improved
state of affairs; while the one poor, half-
starved servant poured blessings on the good
young man who had worked such a happy
change. Poor thing! she, with her dirty,
haggard face and squalid figure, was a hero-
ine in her way; for she had clung to her
hard mistress for many years, standing by
her because all else forsook her, losing the
countenance of all her friends because she







THE DREAMI CHINTZ.


would stay in such a place, her only answer,
" What would she do if I left her, poor crea-
ture ? No one else could stay with her;
I've got used to her." And now her reward
was come, and tears of joy actually coursed
each other down her withered cheeks as she
watched the improvement in the house.
And Hugh had a narrow escape of these
long arms being flung about his neck, when
he placed in her hand a small sum to be
expended on her own person. In a week's
time io one would have recognized the in-
mates of that once dreary looking house.
And Hugh contemplated with real satisfac-
tion his good work. Poor fellow he need-
ed some payment for his self-denial; more
especially as the days went by and no letter
from Margaret. Hugh was very proud; and
feeling himself that Margaret ought to have
appreciated his sacrifice, and endeavored to
console him by the assurance of her appro-
8







86 THE DREAM CHINTZ.


bation, he was hurt and somewhat angry at
her silence; and when he felt inclined to
write again, his pride interfered, and so the
time went on.
And what of Margaret ? Had she so soon
forgotten the love which she had once so
valued? or, loving still, could she doubt ?
No; Margaret's trial was as heavy and
hard to bear as his.
On the receipt of Hugh's letter, her father,
whose illness and feebleness seemed daily
increasing, was angry and excited, more
than Margaret had ever seen him; and as
she sat with the open letter in her hand,
and the tears coursing each other down her
cheeks, he sternly forbade her replying to
him, or indeed ever writing to him again.
"He felt how it would be," he said,
"when he went to London. It was a pal-
try subterfuge. No man, who had really
loved her, would have resigned his happi-







THE DREAM CHINTZ.


ness and destroyed hers for such overstrained
notions of duty."
"But, father," remonstrated the weeping
girl, "it is only for a time; he cannot now
support us both; but eventually "
"Don't talk to me, child. I have learnt
by experience how to believe such got-up
stories. No, no; think of him no more,
Margaret; he is not worthy of you,-speak
of him no more."
"Think of him no more!" Ay, how
much easier said than done! But she could
cease to speak of him. No more did that
still treasured name pass her lips.
One evening they were sitting together,
Margaret and the old man, in the twilight:
he had been very ill all day, and very weak.
She held his hand, and her sad, tearful eye
was raised to that heaven to which she was
always appealing for consolation and sup-
port.







88 THE DREAM CHINTZ.


"Margaret," at length he said, breaking a
long pause, "it is not because people offend
us that we must be ungrateful to them. I
have not forgotten New Year's day, nor
the fact that Hugh Ripley (poor Margaret,
how she started at the forbidden name !)
" then saved me from the commission of a
great sin; and now that, with time for re-
flection and repentance, I am being led gen-
tly away, I thank and bless him for the deed.
I believe he was inspired, for he spoke well
and wisely; he destroyed, with the few
words he said, all the arguments I had
heaped up in favor of the mad act I was
about to commit, and all the awful presump-
tion of which I should have been guilty. I
felt forcibly; for this I thank him. I hope
the remaining time so mercifully spared me I
have not wasted. Now, Margery, dear child,
should you ever hear or see any thing of this
young man,-and I have judged him harsh-






THE DREAM CHINTZ.


ly, you must tell him to the last I was
grateful for this one act; but for my child's
happiness, I could not do other than I have
done. And let me, my girl, now I am on
the subject, point out to you that my opin-
ion of him is carried out by his silence:
would he have borne yours so patiently, if
he did not wish to be rid of you? I trust
you have too much honest pride to seek him
now."
She could not speak -poor Margaret! -
or she could have asked her father if it was
grateful thus to doubt one on whom no re-
proach had ever before rested; if gratitude
should not have made him sacrifice every
proud, rebellious feeling, and alone cherish
that holy one, "which thinketh no evil."
But she spoke not then; and the morrow
was too late.
Months elapsed; and one bright day in
June, when Hugh had not been home since






90 THE DREAM CHINTZ.


morning, Sarah told him, when she let him
in, a boy was with his mother, who asked
for him, and was waiting to see him. He
opened the parlor door, and there, looking
pale and weary, covered with dust, and with
a large bunch of dead flowers in his bosom,
sat Walter: in his hand he held his dusty
hat, trimmed with black crape.
Margaret's long silence struck to Hugh's
heart bitter cold ; still he could not speak,
as the boy, with a cry of joy, sprang forward
to meet him. Tears were glistening in his
mother's eyes, but Hugh noticed it -not, as
she rose, and, in a gentle, tremulous voice,
said, -
"Hugh, my dear boy, I will leave you
alone with your friend; though with a dark-
ened understanding himself, poor lad, he has
enlightened mine." And she walked slowly
out of the room.
Hugh heeded not his mother's words, but
gasped forth, "Margaret."







THE DREAI CHINTZ.


0, she's quite well," said Walter.
"Thank God! But this-- and Hugh
pointed to the boy's hat.
Dusty, yes, isn't it ? and I'm afraid it's
spoilt this new stuff Margaret put round it.
"My father, you know, has gone a long
journey, and she said I must wear this till he
comes back."
Hugh understood it all now ; the old man
was dead; he must say no more to him on
the subject. And he saw, too, the boy was
weary, and asked him kindly if he would
not take some refreshment.
"I do not know; but I'm tired."
"Yes, my boy, you must have something;
I will order it. And now, tell me, how did
you get here ?"
"Well, I do not know; the Fairies
brought me, I think. But I have been a
long, long while coming. These flowers little
Lucy gave me the day I came away; and






62 THE DREAM CHINTZ.

now see how faded they are poor flowers I
But they'll blow again in the spring, will
they not ?"
0, yes, yes, dear! But tell me how you
came: think you, did Margaret send you ?"
asked Hugh, as he saw by the manner the
boy gazed at the flowers that his attention
was diverted from the subject.
"Margaret, eh! no, she doesn't know I'm
come. But I knew why she sobbed and
cried all the long night; I heard her when
she thought I slept; and the Fairies told me
it was for you. They whispered, 'Follow
him, follow him!' and so I came. A strange
place, such noise, she came a long way
with me."
"She! Who? Margaret?" said Hugh,
eagerly.
"No, no; one of the Fairies. She
changed herself to a butterfly," he whis-
pered, "and flew on before me, guiding me
all the way."







THE DREAM CHINTZ.


But have you walked, Walter, walked
all this distance ?"
"Yes, Margaret told me the name of the
place you lived in; and I said it over and
over again, that I might remember it. And
I asked people, when I came to houses, if it
was Dean Street, Soho, and if Hugh Ripley
lived there. Some of them laughed, and
gave me food, and told me to go home; but
Margaret was crying for you, so Walter
went on. I'd often wished I knew how
to please her, for she is so good to me; and
when I've brought her flowers, she's looked
pleased. How will she look when I bring
you ? Ha! ha !" and he laughed one of his
wild laughs.
"But, Walter, you have not told me how
you found me at last. You say you walked
along the London road till you came to
houses, and then you asked your way, and
they told you to go home. How came you
to come cn, then, all this distance ?"







94 THE DREAM CHINTZ.

"I don't know; I followed the Fairy.
She went on; she never turned; and I knew
she would lead me right at last. It was a
long, long way; sometimes I slept under
the trees, sometimes in streets, and then I
came to a place all houses, no trees, and I
knew that was like where you lived; and I
asked again if you lodged there, if it was
-I've forgotten now."
"Dean Street, Soho," prompted Hugh.
Yes; and they told me a little further
on. I was very tired, and my feet was very
sore. But on I went, and I met an old man,
and he stopped me to know what I wanted,
and he brought me here. 0, how glad I
was when they said yes, this time And I
have found you at last! 0, I'm always such
a lucky boy! Margery will smile again;
come back now!" And springing from his
seat, he seized Hugh's arm.
Deeply affected by this recital, Hugh, un-







THE DREAM CHINTZ.


able to speak, shook him warmly by the
hand. His simple devotion to his sister, ev-
ident by this long and weary journey in her
behalf, would never be forgotten by him,
whose love for Margaret could alone exceed
her brother's.
Hugh's reply was interrupted by the en-
trance of Sarah with a tray of refreshments
for Walter, which, in answer to Hugh's
astonished gaze, she said her mistress or-
dered, and that she Mrs. Ripley wished
to speak to him for a few moments in her
own room. Bidding Sarah remain with
Walter, and persuade him to take the sus-
tenance which his weariness rendered so
necessary, Hugh went to his mother. She
had been evidently weeping, and at this un-
usual proof of feeling, Hugh's astonishment
was great; but, before he could inquire its
cause, she spoke : -
Hugh, my dear, good son! how can I







THE DREAM CHINTZ.


thank you ? What a lesson you have taught
me! I have learnt from that poor boy the
sacrifice you have made for me; and I will
not, must not, be behindhand in generosity.
Go, I beseech you, at once to that poor girl;
marry her, Hugh, as you had meant to do;
bring her here, until you find her a more
fitting home. She shall receive a mother's
welcome, and you, my boy, a mother's
blessing. No words, no excuses," she said,
interrupting him as he was about to reply;
" you have no faith, perhaps, in sudden
reformation. Let me tell you, it has not
been sudden: since you first sought me out,
and so generously spent your hardly-earned
money in my behalf, I awoke to the sense
of the miserable existence I had been pass-
ing, and envied you the happiness you must
feel in thus bestowing it on others-I little
thought at what a sacrifice ; and now I will
not keep you a moment longer from your







THE DREAM CHINTZ.


own happiness. Go back with this poor
child; and when we meet again, let it be
with your wife. Don't be alarmed; we
shall find enough for us all. Go, my boy,
go! She wrung his hand warmly; would
hear no words; and in another half hour
Hugh and Walter were on their way back.
The large, red, harvest moon was, in its
undisturbed and tranquil beauty, gazing
down on a scene of anxiety and confusion,
for the whole village was up and searching
for the missing Walter. For some hours
Margaret fad imagined he had only gone on
one of his long wanderings, and, till late in
the evening, did not become anxious; for,
poor girl! there was a feeling of such utter
desolation at her heart, that she bore every
thing with a passive indifference, from which
she felt it impossible to rouse herself. But,
as the night came on, she grew painfully
anxious; and the neighbors, who all loved







98 THE DREAM CHINTZ.


Walter, went out in numbers to search for
him, but in vain.
That night, and the whole of next day
and night, they ceased not their search, until
Margaret's agony of terror rendered her so
ill that she could not pursue it further ; and
Mrs. Hopwood, who had been very kind to
her, sat up with her the whole night. Early
in the morning, she left her to arrange her
own house; and Margaret rose and sat by
the window, to catch the first glimpse of
him for whom she watched so anxiously.
The horn of the stage-coach rang on the
clear morning air, stopping at the inn close
by; and then a voice, a joyous voice, sing-
ing a wild song, which made Margaret
spring from the seat and fly to open the
door. But her senses seemed to forsake her,
as two figures stood before her; and she
remembered no more until warm and fervent
words awoke her to consciousness, and,







THE DREAM CHINTZ.


opening her eyes, she found herself supported
in the arms of Hugh Ripley, with her dear
Walter standing beside her.
They had much to say,-much to ex-
plain on both sides,-and their long con-
versation ended of what had passed, they
began to talk of arrangements for the future;
and it was settled they should all go at once
to town; Margaret remaining with Mrs.
Ripley until her term of mourning for her
poor father was ended; that, in the mean
while, Hugh should stay in the Woodcote
house, which, having been Ford's own prop-
erty, was left to his daughter, and where, of
course, they would eventually return and
reside. And Margaret would now have been
perfectly happy, but for the painful recollec-
tion that her father had died with a bad im-
pression of Hugh. As he was insensible for
many days before he died, Margaret never
heard the sentence, the cruel sentence, re-




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