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§IFTY YEARS AGO. ■—+r....


§IFTY YEARS AGO. ■—+ r '9m, it is nearly fifty jmn since I htwe I Attt yoa. Your h«r. UMW thast "tttfte leoe mm, is m white a# «;tk>W. ThiM. n was faack ^iiid gkwsy as jet ¥oa had >«> onria- phm then. Yoer ohbeK- ware atfe<*»*.h said ■hits. Thee. dw pie m the left one. Jfotir eyes did not peer out of gold-rimmed ft\S then Tbey were bright a.- stars— Ark blue, sparking with merriment. Your ■rare is little Wat, but you wefe quite Mil then. for a woman, aad graceful. I nought yml were queenly. Indeed, you kre the prettieet girl in ail the land, what, are you blushing? Well, i* w true. KMC close my eye* and see you a\ my soul, Hft Jfoa were then, as sweat and lovely :l." '0, water lily. You hare never changed Hm*. x ..I rem amber the first time I ever saw you. M "a* walking through the shady streets pf flue town, i passed bv a grand old inan- ities. I iJaw beneath a great elm what I Ejftoaght was a beautiful angei It was yon, jpfetg tlie lawn. You had on a pink MDtob. You were reading, aiai when you pritrd my foot»t«ps you raised your eyes and mme. We were both confused. I feed away, feeling as though I had en- id a new world. After that I thought l*ui? of yew. You told me afterwards that jft wwre readix^ a romance of a handsome ■OStog princ* tall, fa»r-haired, and daring; ■M When you looked tip and saw me you pMH ytortied. I was so like the ideal you Mi dttMtoing of. Do *e*nember? ittarted back to my unele's hon*e beyond plfe town and eagerly questioned my *>aRinp jtMMefning the beautiful vision I had seen tfttty sold me that you were the Governor's p? daaghter, that you were but eighteen ybJ1^ of age, but that you had already RM>i aHKtors fot TOOT haifed. 1*M-y warnpd not, to fall in k>ve with jjou,$s a. t)ø.nd- phto yofHtg officvr of tfeo garrison near by aid to have won your heart. I found F information only made me love you tare. I felt certain that' I oould' not live pothbttt ytrn. I oould not kuagiiie that any- mte else could love you as I did. Every rfternoon after that I rode to town in order pees by the Governor's mansion. Durmg RM evening I paraded book and forth on; fee *d*walk like a sentinel, and all the Same I kept repeating jamr name During i these feverish evenings it wi^s not very oon- to note the regoJor apjxswanue of a nuter nightly passing under tne> trees to Blfe dutWWtep. When the door opened, I nooii see hu; taR, erecO- figure standiiirg >n n light. The door wooW close, and there jpiuuid be stJundp from the open w4ndr»w of )hngl*Ua sod music, t knew thst the visitor ipM the young otheer. He and I were in- llwukvmj ow day in the town, aad I re- namnber bow, <>0en>nr giy by naetnict. we con- tavad a deep antipatliy tie ach other. Even M iirst meeting we a.ppruH^jheci close & ihe bo»rl»»r of iiisulting language, II Mfei a haodaome. lio..<Oing fellow, I -WTW need to confess. Sptendid, soft dark eyw (Bad • heavy silken inoiiRtachp were 11.1." two ■Mat secfortrve »tt>r»r+««Ms. To know that I jflite bated but »iang«rous rival was enjoying )pift«f«-«4efce wtfeh tta beawfcffnt girl wMm in jjtfy ttKorasctoaMe love I hwi already regarded mt my sweetheart, wiiite I was oblige to MJlttBEarie tb« sidewalk akine, seemed very raster and croftl to roe. •' A week jxwoed before i saw yon again. W+wm riding along high hank of the *jv«r it ourv«B like a horse-shoe aj-cuad ion lfteackfw %nd. I was gazing down a1 Kie wat«s«, dreaming if yoo, when I beurd n, jK>und trf kreghing «oo oi Horse*' hoofs. m. leotonl op and \va.« ataitfed to see you )&ihig tovrvdb me m the ofimpajrr of several jvouag ladies and £ ent lewder., 3»^y handsome firtend, the officer, war fenoo^ them. My luMttt beat violent ly aad rivy face flushed as P pMfead close to you You wore a dark EMS «ut, MMi yoor iace W»aj so white that Sjttweght at the time ynci wen- like a water p%. It ws then I noticed yoar fcong black ttthett. I oould scfl PO(>iy see your eyes. You jMA me afterwards that you peeped at me, Mitt you thought T looked like a. gal- fat icaigta on my spirited horse. Do you .1Imber .1 Waft "so excited that day tfeflt I ooukj Ipte^liU aM a mouthful. Mv uncie asked ■Me if I had itaen thP Governor's daughter hi. He wae a wi«e man—r?iy uncle, f It was not long afterwards that you a.nd P*becaixie acqviainred. I was at a party that I attended with my ccusinb. Y ou T*ere there. ■ saw nothing else that golden Bight. fion were dressed in (sreana-crfmred afik. our beaotaful white Itrm" and shonlder* .nMu'i [we. You wore* a necHaoe of pMrb, jKod there were yeikm rviaen pinned to youi Ahiii. I was daaniedihy your Ueant-y when poo ertvtxxi the rfjom. and when I was pre- sented to you I lost all oontrol of myself. W steituttnes^d and tried u> cfe.<rp yoiir band, |Ttop|Hijg m my at.teraipi, abruptly, hnt you, npm.ii.iig kiiaily, shoofc itands with roe You itold me afterwards that you were & little fennfraed v-ourself; £ hat you oould sowoely wpeskk at first. Do yoa r«snamber? t ft a*bani?hi:«g. thfongii how soon w< Hrere eagerly oonwrsiRg. Ow thoughts powed on t >geth«r Tikft wo brook." that meet en tire forest and go dancing together through VnuHght ant> siiackvw. It was that night that ^your eyas «ere as black an ooals ana ^ihat 1 iaoticed hew fmli red yotw lips were. plMt bright evening flad »> f;cs-t that I did JBot resJise tiS the affair wae over tha* I had i«itii*ly moiK>p!i«td the society of t1}t\ belle pi the evening Wh^tt I bade you good-night pe you i<f ;he company with your parents. I •ot^eed a youog irtar starwiii^ in the hail- mmy, with a gloomy exprewion on tiis- hand- *wne face. It >*as my friend, the officer. jKtd be gave me an u^iy look. Little did I asare for the officer's anger. VI w*8 ra**i with happiness that night. dreams, what fancies filled my soul SFou sav that you, too. were transported ^bat night? I wish I had known it then How well I rememl>ec the first wening vsrhen I called on you 1 I oould not aieep Ifche night prftvbou I wa.s f«o excited. The jiday passed tediously. I attired myself with Wreat elaboration, and an hour tvfore the Sisne when I Im.1 isreei! to cadI I wae rest- jfessiy pacing tho stiv»t*. gknoing at my "appart;:itlT, motaonkss timepiece, but the im- §K>rtant hour arrivod at last. As I ent-ered te gate my courage begon to fail. 1 feared tt siome f vo'ircd suitor might already be -tailed, aad I *houkl prove an unwelcome trader. I wondered who Vould open the idooc. whether a servant, or mne meinfjer of fehe family. I drea..4Ad lest tt mitfht be the governor himiseit for I ^nspedsed that he did jent regard m;. wiN I favour. The grsat watch- idsg barked savagely as f walked towards tiw1 ?bo«se. You ha<i kt,ughing!y assmrt< 1 roe that 3* was always *tcure!v chained to a strong ipo*t. I irioiinted tiie stairs with a hoki s^ep, ,seang the beil fieroelv. and waited in II.tat.: ,t€ Borvous dread. How agreeably i-irpmse'i land how completely were my fear* dispelled f^wkujn you opened th<- door vourself. looking ^perfectly bes«itifnl in the lighte«l hall wa.y t.Yow cheeks* were Eighty flwib,i1. and your f«y«s Trero as bright as stare. That evening laY love for you knoreawd a huLwiredfold. Do you remember the boat ride on the F»T«r? It watt tk only time we were. r«ally ialonp. Maybe you don t i<r»a^ine how near 11 otaue to propoein^ toO you that day Do iron say that you baif expected several times 3 wn.«ul<iT Well, *ii wiere. right. The truth |M that I had. decided at the ftrst opportunity s%0 tell you th?t I ioved you. I thought l'tb- the boat rid; wonM be the vnry acoas- f" i: »i> with minuted h^pes kuA fears I kei forwvrd to ti^at wtsntf < dn-v. I not teil you hmw m«iv times I reht-arsed part cn the expect>ed drama nor what atiful sps^ches I had prepared, Skv.t be uttered. Yet I regard that little jjouPBtey up the winding river as the hrigh teet episode of toy life. A.* I rowed akmg ;1 ooold lx>k at you. You eat in the stern i-and had on t.He pinK wiwn I liked so much, passed by weeping willows 4jpping thei-r Rjraach*« mto the water, the cemetery in Ithe woods on the lull. and the mysterioH? it"! deep wootis. We did not | j&Mk much. Your eye-* were ca«t down most k-t tLe time, as t-hougt: yon were in a pensive jandod. but occasionally I saw them $1:}a.nüfo gfcfhr dot bMS. I don't know why I should jbtVB been m *ire» but [ felt positive that pot ioved me. and T was on the pnint of ycu how I adored you a dozen time* ins we proeeerted up fcbe ?till river. At last # rowwi into a li tt le streamlet wtch met the jrivtr in the werids. Qraen leave* were ov** quie* surface^ and pore wlwte UJMR ftoated ftas and tbflre. 13*e hgh* was jwwft aad sabdoed. I felt my keaxt beat pj^luhflv. I trembled, aad I know that You aM*#«d yamr hand away aatom% sm tw* hakfa, on^-af wl»om wan ymtf Appeaced at the bank of tie atceam- Tbev- vne«e ctoGgbted rte as, for tM1 had m fctecr faost aad wooid have been obliaed to .14.. severe malee bot for our ikoety ap- We Vrms^ylv took tton m as pefi- itsMgery. and i ro*r«i back Hewn t»he river in talking bn jt>Hr attnt aod her Mead in a* iMtertavnia# d aw I oouH. twtwte ywn redinad is the afcera, mteat. but ooaaaknalfy- *wling ahyiy ai aoaae ut my efforts to <<u»tatn a conversation with two indø. We all walked up the hill to yottr father ? gate, and I was obiged to say good- bye without telling you. my wonderful se- cret. BOOB after that a gnwd ball was w teke place ait the Town-hall. All the uonffitt^ WM excited. I sent you an inv itataon and -inxfoofcly waited for a reply. I feared that, your parents wootd not approve of me ao your umter. even if you should be so kind as to prefer me to oiiw suitors who would dovbfcless extend yoo an invitation. More than anything else, I dreaded that the charming young officer weald be the favoured one- When I rode to town for the poirt on the fottowTBg day, I received a dainty little I envelope. I opened it with trembling fin- gers, but I rode home feeling m the gayest mood, for the little note said that ito beauti- ful writer would be pleased to accept my invitation to the grand ball at the Town- baN. Do you remember that a few days before the bail you were taken ill with a roM., When I heard that IllY lovely partner was ) fii I called at once. You told me how dis- appointed vou were, because, although you felt wefl enough to goo. your mother, you feared, wuuld not allow you to attend the ball. I >vas sorry enough to give up the idea of appearing there with the Governor's beautiful daughter, but I agreed with your mother that it would be dangerous to your ii<e«»4th to go. I wneered yovtt sad spirits all that I' oould, while secretly I removed that. I ;r.*t«*wl of attending tl*e ball myself, I wortk) spend the evening with you, and If the chauce appeared that I woo kl ..k you tie be my partner forever, whether you were sick or w«H. The night oi the ball I was later than I expected in departing for town. The Town hall was gayly lit up. and its roof wis shining in the moonlight. I waa so ftager to see yt.u that I did not even stop to obtain a. glimpse of the assemblage, but rode rapidly away beyond the ftound of the music, When I arrived at the gate of the Governor's mansion. I was surprised at the gloomy ap- pear-ance of the house. Not a. light could I j see. I dismounted, hurried to the door and rang tlw bell. There was an appalling silenoe. Twice more I rang the bell and waited No one came to the door. Almost paralysed with astonishment and wonder. I turned, and slowly leaving the house mounted niv horse and started back on the road to the Town-basil. I felt ce'tain that you would not have been left ill and alone in the house. j Horrible suspicions tortured my heart as I I rode along faster aaid taster, tiU I readied the Town-hall. I rushM into the btukling and took OIW g/ance into the ballroom. I The brilliant assemblage and bright hght dazed me for a second. A danc* had just ertded, and 3,11 were promenading in confu- sion. Suddentv, directly before me, in full uniform, I saw the young officer, with you leaning on bis ami. He was bending hi* smiling face to your*. Yowr cheeks were I flushed and your eyes as bright as fire. "Yoa wert dressed in purtist white. When I «aw you ( felt my heart turn icy cold Sharp pains crossed on my brow The sshrvjk of your treachery u«s vei y <5ruel. I turned, fltaggsred out of the Town-h&il, and, mount- kii( my horse, rede away, feeling 3.tI though I I were in the midst of a frightful dream. And boW you say that they made you believe J was glad you were ill, so that I oolfld be free to escort the backer a daughter You eay that you loved me., and that, stung by jealousy, you insisted on your parents taking you to the bail; that there you were joined by the otficer. You say that when you »aw me ?.t the ballroom door alone, dusty pale, and distracted, you realist*} l*p-.y terribly you had been mistaken; tbat, leaving the csap'atn, you ran to detain me, bat it wan too Tate. No. I never heard of all that. I crossed the seas and :,tn foreign armies*, and reared a family in foreign lards. I heard but ou^e from home. They said that yon were to marry th* office. I triad to iorget you. I be- came rich a.mi honoured, but never hanpv. I I have lived that night, over a million times, bitterly regretting that I did not wa-it to hear yoMr explanation. I am old. feeble. white-haired, to the world, but in my soul I I am still' the hot-headed lad of fifty years ago, and you are the Governor's beautiful daugb+*r>r ft wiiH always be 90. What. « I JWJU weeping? NlerVer mind. We oan't noder.ail'' these things. I most go now. Your hu^Mkod—I hope he ia well? What is that You sa.y that you never married ? And it has been fifty years Ah, me We can't understand. I must go bade to my botf). It seems exactly like that night The I lilacs are in bloom, arid the moon shihee on ¡' the river, but their buiWings and streets ere stran?", and the Town-hall is old and I ruined. Tbev ;1ay-and it is tm^, I DoW- that it i-s haunted.




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