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rolled in softly, as if murmuring of love, and laid themselves upon the gravite breast, which so often had fretted and broken their wild swell.
Ellina looked upon the falling leaves, the withered flowers, the gentle moonbeams above them, the fascinated billows, and an indescribable feeling of pain overpowered her. The woman who was otherwise so quiet, now wrung her hands, raised them towards heaven, and exclaimed aloud, whilst the so-long restrained and bitter tears streamed forth over her cheeks: *Ah! I am merely a faded leaf--a withered flower--but no glance of love rests upon
Oh! that I might fall as these; might die before my heart dies, before I become embittered in fecling! Father in Heaven! take thou me to thy house, because all on earth is closed against me. My children are taken from me; my husband loves me no longer. Youth, health, joy, desire for life, love and hope, all are gone from me--gone for ever!
But before the upraised arms had dropped, other arms had embraced Ellina, and a voice whispered into her ear :
“What is gone, gone for ever?' It was the voice of Axel.
But Ellina was too much excited at this moment to reply. She turned from him her tearful countenance and only wept, wept.
He remained silent, but continued to hold her to his breast, that she might weep there. It was kind and manly of Axel.
When Ellina was calmer, he said: 'Ellina, come with me to ‘our Rest,' on Sprak island. The night is beautiful, and—I should like to talk with you there.'
Ellina went silently, leaning ou her husband's arm, down some steps in the rock, and into a little green skill, the boys' boat, and called 'the North Star,' which, now impelled by Axel's vigorous pulls at the oar, sped lightly over the softly-heaving waves.
Both husband and wife sate silent, Ellina with downcast, tear-laden eyes; Axel with his looks resting upon her.
It was not long before they reached a little, rocky island. A tolerably lofty wall of granite rock secured it from the north and east wind, and collected all the rays of the sun in the south. Nature herself had here hewn out in the rock a seat large enough for two persons, and this Axel had made still more convenient for the purpose, whilst he had trained the wild honeysuckle and ivy which grew luxuriously around it, tastefully to wreathe and adorn the 'Rest in the Rock,' as Axel called the place. Axel had done this in the early flowering-time of his love; and hither he would often conduct his young wife, mostly during the calın, autumnal evenings, when the sea was bright, and the winds around the Sprak island whispered sweet mysteries into the ear of the youthful pair. Frequently had they sate there, in the bosom of the granite rock, and exchanged words and looks of love, and cast bright glances over their coming life, whilst the circling fires, 'the weddinglights up aloft,' cast its splendor upon the now rising, and now sinking waves.
It was now very long since they had been there together—several years.
The sprays of the ivy, and the wild shoots of the honeysuckle, grew there luxuriantly, as of old; but they now hung neglected around, from the want of a directing hand.
And now again the pair sat side by side upon the granite seat, with the great sea swelling around them, and the gentle winds sporting around them, and which now seemed busily to whisper, ‘Speak, speak !'
And again Axel, taking Ellina's hand, spoke :-
Oh, that voice! It was so like that which she heard in the early, beautiful times. Sixteen years rolled back hastily before Ellina's soul.
She laid her forehead against Axel's shoulder, and said softly 'Axel—do not ask !'
And again there was silence between the two, and only the busy, friendly winds around the Sprak island, whispered, 'Speak! speak !
And again Axel spoke :
“Yes, I know it,' said he, slowly; 'I know it. I have seen it for some time. Ellina, you must no longer live here. You must be brought nearer to objects—to persons who can give you that which your soul, your heart needs, and—which I cannot give.”
Axel's voice trembled. Axel resembled the mountain scenery in which he was born. Ilis was a granite-nature, but when it unfolded its breast, life bloomed forth in luxuriance. -a region of Paradise revealed itself. Naturally taciturn, he at such times became eloqnent.
Do not think, Ellina, continued he, with a powerful emotion, which made his cheeks pale, and which forced tears from his strong eagle eyes ; do not think that I am altogether blind to the separation between us, or that in many respects I am--altogether insuflicient for you. You are in many things superior to me, Ellina. You have a more refined nature; you have more beautiful, more noble requirings; you have need of interests and occupa-tions for which I am not fitted. I have endeavored to conceal this from myself, becauseit was painful to me. I have hardened myself towards this feeling, and towards you-I have placed a rock upon my own breast. Your gentleness and your tears have broken thrö it. Ellina! Ellina! I see it; you are unhappy, you are dying, and it is I who--but, no! I will not make you unhappy; I who promised to live for your happiness. When I last parted from you my deterinination was taken. And now, Ellina, this will I tell you-I have already petitioned to be removed. If my request is granted, as I have reason to hope, you shall live nearer to the city, where your boys are, and where you shall have the society, the occupation which you like. You shall see the boys whenever you wish. They can come home every Sunday. I will not separate them from your influence. Believe me, I know that there is but one university in life, and that is where the heart is educated. It was only an enervating home-education, which I was afraid of. I have been considering, for a long time, how you and they could be brought nearer to each other; but I could not manage it without great pecuniary sacrifices. Perhaps I have hitherto thought too much of these; perhaps I have thought too much of mere outward advantages. I believe so; I will do so no longer. Let it cost what it may, it must be otherwise, for your sake. But, now Ellina! whether my proposal shall succeed or not; whether the anticipations I have awoke shall be speedily fultifled, or delayed for a longer period, Ellina! will you bear it with patience—will you help me to bear it-will you lean upon me, and endeavor to love me--as you did formerly ?'
Thus spoke Axel, but more warmly, more fervently, more ardently, than mere words can express.
And Ellina ? A little breeze of the heart's spring, of the soul's summer-lifc, is sufficient to call up in the soul a whole world of flowers, and now this fulness of love, of deep feeling, which broke forth impetuously. Ellina bowed herself before it like the flower to the force of the waterfall, and lifted her face brilliant with beautiful tears, as she replied to Axel's words, “Will you endeavor to love me--as you did formerly ?
'No, not as formerly, Axel,' said she, 'no, a thousand times better! Oh, why do you talk about expectations, wants, about disappointed hopes, now that you give back everything again, and that I again have you, and that I see you love me !!
‘But how came you to doubt that? asked he.
‘And you, Ellina, have you always been the same towards me as formerly? Have you not often been cold towards me when I approached you with kindness ? Ilave you not often, within the last few years, withdrawn yourself from me, when I would have clasped you to my heart--and only—this very evening--yes, I also have had cause to doubt whether you still loved me!'
Ellina was silent, and looked down. She knew that it was as Axel had said.
'I am too proud, Ellina, perhaps also too sensitive, to compel a love which is not given me of free-will. I have drawn back because you also did the same. But perhaps I have been-yes, certainly I have been more austere, more distant than I wished to be, or was aware of. It is difficult, Ellina, to discover how many errors we fall into. But one thing is certain, it could not go on much longer as it has been for some time between us. Give me your hand; read in my heart ; sce there what my intentions are, and let me read in yours; tell me all-all your sufferings, all my faults, all which'Oh, silence ! interrupted Ellina, and kissed away the words from Axel's lips. 'Say
Oh, that I had but understood you before-- had understood the wealth of your and what your feelings were, and you never should have had cause to complain of me. But now-God bless you for what you have said ! Axel! we must begin to live anew for each other. Let our hearts be open to one another, let us never separate more! Let it be as it may about our removal from these rocks, it will still be well, that I know, because you have again removed into my heart, and I feel myself again at home in yours. And
now see, I am your wife, your servant, your friend, whatever you will, my Axel, Come life, come death, suffering, sickness, care, I shall still be happy, and thank God in the certainty of your kindness, of your love; in the certainty that you are mine, and I am yours for ever!
When these last words were spoken between the pair, there remained little more to be said. There was then only one language, one silent but speaking language, which could express the fulness of feeling.
Ellina felt the glowing words like a dew upon her brow, her cheeks, and her eye-lids. Every furrow of time and sorrow seemed effaced by them. Eden bloomed again within and around the two.
When Axel rowed Ellina home, the night had become dark, because the moon had descended behind the hill. But the sea was bright, and glittered with every stroke of the oar; fire seemed to drop from the lifted oars. The stars of the firmament looked down upon the heads of the married pair, and the whirling wedding-lights up aloft shone clearer than ever towards the nocturnal heavens, and far, far out at sea into the dim distance.
Ellina said again, as on the evening of her marriage, 'So much light! so much light!' and the wedding-lights were again bright within her heart.
And never more those lights became dimmed in her heart while the oil of life remained unconsumed; her beautiful childlikeness returned, and the waves of the sea of time glittered with the light of her joy. Domestic difficulties vanishedall things were possible with faith and love! The very pantry became illuminated, and Mamsell Rödberg shared in the light.
Sausages and cutlets, the fish of the sea, and the birds of the air, came into the house as if by magic. Plenty was in the kitchen, and plenty was on the board. Nothing was wanting, or if anything was wanting, it was not noticed, which was better still. And they who know what a mighty magician a cheerful courageous heart is, and how it is acquainted with the primitive word’ which is the key to everything, and which can command everything, will not be astonished at this.
And now I can say nothing about the flitting, whether it took place, or whether it did not, because I know nothing about it. But this I must tell you, that one year after that bright night, there was born a little girl, which was called after both father and mother, Axellina. And if you would see how the sun's light and joy can, as it were, dwell within a human countenance, then I would show you that little girl; show you Axellina's laughing eyes, her bright, shining locks. No language is more intelligible, or more charming, than that twittering, bird-like eloquence which flows from her rosy lips; the trails of the honey-suckle are not more wild and more graceful in their twining growth than is this little girl. You should see the sweet little creature reposing on her father's arm, or on his breast, or playing around his feet. And if ever you saw a man whose nature is firm as a rock, conquered and ensuared by the magic arts of a child, it is Axel Orn when he holds in his arms that laughing, graceful, wild, good, enchanting little child, or sits in an evening by her little bed, and hears her repeat her evening prayer. No, he is not a bit better than Hercules spinning at the feet of the young Omphale. I am not quite sure whether he is not worse, and still weaker, because he is in the fetters of a weaker and a more childish being.
Ellina threatens sometimes—and you can understand how seriously—to send the girl from home, to place her in a girls' school, because she is so completely spoiled by her father, and she ought in time to learn to conduct herself as a well-trained lady. The father says nothing to such threats, but sets the child in the mother's arms, and embraces them both. Dreadfully impatient has he become to fetch home the boys for the holydays.
Ellina is no longer pale and suffering. She has now a blooming, middle-aged countenance, with the calm of happiness in her whole being, and she very frequently says to
And when the first time of love is over, there comes a something better still. Then coines that other love, that faithful friendship which never changes, and which will accompany you with its calm light thrö the whole of life. It is only needful to place yourself so that it may come, and then it comes of itself. And then every thing turns and changes itself to the best.'
young wives :
'In your patience possess ye your souls!' VER thine own thou hast power; and a slave may not be sovereign. Thou
canst not use the sword which is in another's hand. Wouldst thou have
and hold thy life, to wield it as a true soldier in the tumult and fierce hand-to-hand battle of Good and Ill ? To have and hold is to possess. If another does possess thy life, if thy soul-however well-tempered—hangeth in some foeman's scabbard, is chained to any side but thine own; how mayst thou, poor weaponless thing! be God's champion ?
Truly, many virtuous and noble desires and thoughts may build up a man: but these avail not without self-possession. A sword, and a manacled band ! Nay, even, with unfettered limbs, well-weaponed, and in armor of proof, stands not the knight-as old true fairy tales inform us—sometimes on enchanted ground; to all appearance a challenger to the utmost, possessing himself -alas! not so, but, spell-bound, possessed by the devil. We may say, he is no true man who is not self-centred, who does not under all circumstances possess himself. To what purpose heap me up wealth, whether of heart and mind, and muscular ability, or mere gold and precious furniture, if we may not spend it as we list? Why learn we all the mastery of divinest music, if we are prohibited the practice? Tho we can discourse most eloquent poetry, what avails it, when our lips are sealed ? Thou art an honest mau, noble-minded, gentle, and so valiant. But if thou art not thine own master? If another sway thee, if man or woman can influence thee, or sudden circumstance catch thee off thy guard, to what end are thy virtues ? When some tyrant disallows thy honesty, or with subtle flattery—no less tyrannous--cajoles thee; when he sets thy noblemindedness to base uses, chafes and frets thy gentleness, and bullies thy great valor to most impotent submission ? Believe, there are many such tyrants, men and circumstances, striding in our high places, walking daily in our streets, about our path, and about our bed, seeking whom they may devour, what noble spirit they may enthral and ruin. And of circumstances there are many. Their name is Legion. Interest, self-love, pleasure, desire of praise or fame, indolence, temper, fear: these are some of them, despotic circumstances which enslave men. Or, if thy excellent qualities are put to good service, the wise tyrant using thee as an accomplished instrument, what then? Call you this virtue ? Not to the tool, but to the tool-user; not to the sword, but to the sword-wielder, is there honor due. Men praise the musician, not the instrument. Woe to thee! Thy very virtues, if only acting by another's leave, in another's hands, are no longer virtues, but slavish counterfeits, the 'fiend's last mock.' If the Grand Turk
lend thee one of his wives, wilt thou call her ordered fondness, love ! Be sure that a slave cannot be virtuous: the ape is not human. But thou wilt still doubt the existence of these tyrannies, bragging of thy freedom, poor Puppet! not seeing the wires that move thee. The showman Circumstance is underneath, and all thy play, so excellent in the world's eyes, is the work of his bid fingers. Be no more a puppet, but a man! Look well at these would-be governors; and know in what consists thy slavery, thy puppetship!
“ 'Tis to be a slare in soul,
And to hold no strong control
All that others make of thee." Thou art of a virtuous disposition; thou hast gifts of intellectual worth and power of eloquent expression; thou art as a god among thy poor fellow-men; and god-like, thou givest thyself to render them glorious service. But thou lovest to be well thought of, to be well spoken of: and so the Tempter stands before thee, under guise of that loving desire for others' lovingness and appreciation of beauty. Avd thou, pleasantly beguiled, pourest out no more of the overflowing of thy heart, the sweet and bitter wine which God gave thee to bear unto thy fellows; but thou considerest how not to offcnd, in what vessels and with what gestures and adapted looks thou shalt serve, and in over-carefulness of manner forgettest the need of thy serving. This is not self-mastery. This is not selfpossession. This is to be a slave in soul, to be possessed by the fiend, the fallen angel.
Or thou art a lover of pleasure; thou relishest the good things of nature and of art, thou savorest the ripe fruit and the ruddy wine, thou hast delight in the sunny landscape, in the almost living picture, the exquisitely chiseled marble. Thou knowest the pride of the eye and the pride of life: and thy nature is so much the more beautiful, the completer. We meditate no panegyric upon abstinence. Earth is full of beauty, of various beauties wooing us to enjoy: and he is best-natured who has greatest capacity of enjoyment, whose taste is most perfect. But what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world and lose his soul ? Shall a man give his soul for a picture? or exchange the gushing harmonies that well out from a consistent life, in order that he may fill his skin with claret ? To enjoy is good: but man has a higher mission—TO DO. It is not good to defer God's work to enjoyment. The soul has a task to perform, a goal to reach ; happy if enjoyments may be its traveling-companions and keep pace with the stern march of duty. The soul must not halt for them. When we see a noble heart deferring the truth of its life to the maintenance of a certain station, of certain enjoyments, of certain tastes and pleasures, we see one, like Rinaldo in the lap of Armida, who does not possess himself. Certain station has become a need: it is his master. Certain tastes have become habits without the gratifica. tion of which be cannot live: those habits are his tyrants; he is not a true man. Neither are thy affections other than tyrants, and thou their slave, if they can (we do not say, if they do, but if they can) hale thee out of the steep heavenward path of duty, the path to which thy conscience points. Whoso loveth father or