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THE INVALID ARTIST. THET were warmly welcomed, and every day a carriage wn« brought for Fits Herbert to visit pictures at one pi aw and another, and Waller was always there retirf y to receive and help the coachman to carry him to the apartment where they were to be seen. Fitz Herh>*rt.'8 childish beauty, his sweet, serious manner, nnrl the acknowledged fact of his genius, proved hid passports to favour in many circles where fashion had not obliterated all other things; and the good aunt proved herself a friend indeed. Mary Sent was the child of a niece who was like a daughter to her, and now she should take her place;' and as to Fits Herbert, why, it would be a pleasure1 to have him there. He could have his studio next door, and old John Robins would carry him in and out always. Then Mary should have nothing to do but to rest herself from her labours." It was a noble thing for the old lady to do; and Mr. Waller, whose opinion she thought "ever so much of," told her so, with cordial thanks for the good she was performing. It was a noble thing. also, on Waller's part. He interested other artists in the lame boy, and gave him assistance and instruc- tion; and he soon excelled his teachers in many points of art. He painted various pictures, without throwing his heart into them. These sold more rapidly than those on which he bestowed more talent. They were his bread winners, bought by indifferent critics, for the sake of filling a vacant place. He reserved others for the fame-winners, keeping them long, and adding exquisite beauty to them by oft-repeated touches. The years passed rapidly in that little home circle. He was now twenty-one. The old aunt would not part with her children, as she called them, and they could not bear to think of any other home. Fitz Herbert painted one i ace, over which he lin- gered as lovingly as a mother over her infant's beauty- It was that of a young girl—and he painted the head only, the rest of the figure being hid by clouds. It was a gay, laughing, dimpled face, with soft, large, brown eyes, and chestnut hair falling in rich curls around it. It was not the beauty of the features that chained him to his work, though that. too, was of rare order; but in that sweet face was a depth of expression and earnestness of character, that seemed to answer to every want of his being, and to call forth the responses of his spirit as they were never touched before. Marion Holland was the orphan niece of a wealthy merchant living in London. Waller, who knew her friends, was on intimate terms with her uncle, and recommended the lame artist to his notice, with an earnest panegyric on his talents and character. Mr. Holland called at the studio, was fairly won by Fit. Herbert's countenance and manners, and sent Marion for her first sitting that very day. There were a great many sittings, for the sake of greater perfec- tion, and acquaintance progressed rapidly between the two. There was a charm in the simplicity of the young heiress that did not seem to belong to the circle in which she was destined to move, and it woke Fitz Herbert's love and admiration. She was the theme of every conversation with his mother, who feared that her sen was getting too deeply interested for his own peace. Don't fear for me, dear mother," he said, as she expressed something of this. I have a constant re- minder of the folly it would be for me to think of such a thing as love for any one. I have only to look down to my feet to become quite humble in that re- spect." Mrs. Kent sighed. Was poor Herbert to live and die unloved, because nature had been so niggardly as to deny him the supports which she gave to the veriest clod that stared, open-mouthed, into the studio door? Don't look so sad, mother," said her son, as if he knew her inmost thoughts. Your love is all I can wish for. I could not expect the love of another woman like you; and were she less than you I could not love her. So we will ever live on together." Waller sat in Fit* Herbert's room one day, when ft note was delivered to the former, which he read in evident agitation. He passed it over to his friend, who read thus: DEAR MR. W ALLJIB,-You, who have so much in- fluence with my uncle, must come to him instantly. He is stunned, paralysed in mind and body, by some blow which I cannot make out, but which I suspect belongs to money matters. Oome quickly. MARION H." Waller stayed not an instant. He was far up the street before Fits Herbert could follow with his eyes his r- pid movements. No more painting that day; not even on Marion's picture. She was in distress, and he could not be near her. That was his chief thought now. Poor little Marion! she will be no heiress after all," said Waller, a few hours afterwards to Fits Herbert. "No heiress! Thank God!" earnestly exclaimed his companion, in the first words he had spoken since Waller came in. What I" asked Waller. "Thank God that she is no heiress! And yet, Waller, it will make no difference to me," he added, mournfully. Why should it r' Ay, truly, why should it ? Is she not attached to yourself ? and surely you will not desert her I- My good fellow, what are you driving at" First tell me what has happened." Well, then, Mr. Holland is ruined—and he has had Daralysis in consequence of thee vent." "Well "Well—Marion, like the angel she is, has estab- lished herself by his bedside, carine nothing for the crash only as it affects her uncle. She is an unselfish, noble, beautiful, perfect woman!" "You are fortunate, Mr. Waller." "Me? There you go again! What d» you mean ?" Is she not yours ?" "No, Fits Herbert. My love is a little oottage nymph, bred in country shades. She never saw the city, nor shall she, until I tie the knot of wedlock. I must not risk her simplicity here. Although I must, in justice to Marion, own that she has never lost the charm of simple manners, yet there are so few like her." That same hour Fits Herbert wrote and sealed a note to Marion. It said simply: "May I come to you in your affliction ? Waller will see me safe there. I cannot use the lover's hyper- bole, and tell yoa I will fly to you—but I will come as soon as my want of feet will permit. F.H." How he came to write this note would be a mystery, if we did not know that Waller had already taxed Marion with liking the young artist, and that she had answered him, with burning cheeks— Mr. Waller, I do love him! But thank God he does not know it!" Fits Herbert went. She was poor now, and he did not mind telling her that he would not have sought her otherwise. But she would hear nothing of love until her uncle was better, although she did not discourage him; and even if she had done 80 he knew what she had said to his friend. Mr. Holland did not die, and Marion told him all. He blessed God that she would have some one to pro- tect her, now that he was old and poor. Mrs. Kent's good old aunt, Madame Grant, died soon after. She had no nearer relations, and she left everything to Mary and her son. A fine property it was too. You will take me now, dear Marion, when we can have your uncle with us so well ? asked Fits Herbert. And so it was decided. Waller came, bright and joyous, to the wedding, with two pieces of intelligence to communicate. One was, that a friend of hers had that morning married a tide-waiter at the Custom-house, and the other, that Mr. Holland's affairs were far more prosperous than at first supposed. r A pleasant eight it was, when the spring-time came, to see Fitz Herbert in his superb studio, into which Mr. Holland insisted on crowding everything which could be thought of for his convenience. From the quift drab walls hung the portrait. of Marion. He pretended that he could not paint without it; but he looked oftener at the original, who brought her book or her work and sat beside him, ready to anticipate his slightest wants, than he did at the semblance. A search made by Waller and Marion resulted in finding a chair, sofa, and carriage exactly suited to the invalid. "And as to the feet," said Wailer, your wife, Fitz Herbert, will distance every one in the pretty way she runs to obey your slightest wisn. You are a happy fellow. if you can't walk. You have a mother aad a wife." "But ob, Waller! I fear I have done wrong to chain Marion's youth to a cripple for life." Hush, traitor!" said Marion, who had crept in silently. Marion's chains are all flower-chains— not a bit of iron among them! And she sat down beside him in his great wheeled chair, making herself quite busy in arranging his paints and canvas. It was very beautiful to see the affection that came spontaneously into their whole lives, and the simple, heartfelt kindnesses that daily brightened them show- ing that, although feet and hands may be denied, there is a chance of great happiness without them. THE END.


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