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"Upon the name

Of the next witness being called, some stir
Arose through persons pressing on to look.
After it had been silenced, and the oath
Duly administered, the evidence

"Mr. Edward Luton, surgeon:
I lately here began for the first time
In my profession. I was introduced
To Mr. Grey in August. When he left
The seaside, he invited me to pass
A fortnight at his house, and I agreed.
On seeing Mrs. Grey, I recognized
In her a lady I had known before
Her marriage, a Miss Chalsted. We had


In company, and, in particular,

At some so-called "mesmeric evenings," held

At her remote connection's house, the late
Dr. Duplatt. But now, as Mrs. Grey
Allowed my presentation to pass off
Without a hint of knowing me, I left
This point to her, and seemed a stranger:

We chanced, the sixth day, to be left alone.
I talked on just the same, but she was silent.
At last she answered, and began to speak
Familiarly of when she knew me first;
Without explaining -merely as one might

Changing the subject. But I let it pass. And yet, when we were next in company, Once more she acted new acquaintanceship. Then, two days after, I believe-one time Her cousin, Mrs. Gwyllt, was out by chance

The same thing happened; but she spoke of love

Now, and the very word half passed her lips. Our talk ended abruptly. Mrs. Gwyllt Came in, and by her face I saw she had heard.

"This instance was the last we talked alone.

And I began to hear from Mr. Grey

His wife was far from well, and had the tears

Now often in her eyes. This made me feel
Hampered and restless: so I took my leave
After my first eleven days' stay was gone,
Saying I had affairs that could not wait.
"Between the seventh of September, when
We parted, and the twenty-third, I saw
No more of the deceased. Towards seven

That evening, I was told a lady wished
To speak with me. She entered: it was

sheDeceased. I can't describe how pained I


At finding she had left her home like this. She said she loved me, and conjured me much

Not to desert her; that she loved me young;

That, after we had ceased to meet, she knew

And married Mr. Grey. Also, that when He wrote to her in August I should come, Guessing who I must be, she thought it well

To treat me as a stranger-dreading lest Her love (so she assured me) should revive. All this through sobs and blushes. I could not

Make up my mind what conduct to pursue : I begged her to be calm, and wait awhile, And I would write. She left unnerved and weak.

""I took five days, bewildered how to act. But on the evening of the fifth, I saw, While looking out of window-(it was dusk,

And almost nightfall)-Mrs. Grey, who paced,

Muffled in clothes, before my door. I know
By this how dangerous it must be to wait
For a day longer; so I wrote at once
She absolutely must return to her home.
Nothing was known as yet-all might be

In time she would forget me; and besides

I was engaged to marry, and must regard Our intercourse as ended.

"She returned Next day, the twenty-ninth; and, falling down

Upon her knees, she cried, with hardly a word,

Some while, and kept her face between her hands;

But at the last she swore she would not go, But rather die here. It continued thus

Six days. For she would come and seat herself,

When I was present, in my room, and sit, An hour or near, quite silent; or break


Into a flood of words-and then, perhaps Between two syllables, stop short, and turn Round in her chair, and sob, and hide her tears.

"The sixth day, after she had left the house,

I had an intimation we were watched,
And certain persons had begun to talk.
I thought it indispensable to write
Once more, and tell her she could not re-

I owed it to myself not to allow

This state of things to last; that I had given

The servant orders to deny me, should
She still persist in calling.

"Towards mid-day

Of the sixth instant, the deceased once more Was at my house, however;-darted through

The door, which happened to be left ajar,
And flung herself right down before my feet.
This day she did not shed a single tear,
Nor talk at all at random, but was firm:
I mean, unalterably resolute

In purpose, and her passion more uncurbed
Than ever: swore it was impossible
She should return to live with Mr. Grey
Again; that, were she at her latest hour,
She still would say so, and die saying so:
'Because' (I recollect her words) 'this

All eats me up while I am here with you;
I hate it, but it eats me-eats me up,
Till I have now no will to wish it quenched.'
I hope to be excused repeating all
That I remember to have heard her say.
She bitterly upbraided me for what
I last had written to her, and declared
She hated me and loved me all at once

With perfect hate as well as burning love. This must have lasted fully half an hour. However fearful as to the results,

I told her simply I could not retract, And she must go, or I immediately Would write to Mr. Grey. I rose at this To leave the room.

"She staggered up as well, And screamed, and caught about her with her hands:

I think she could not see. I dreaded lest She might be falling, and I held her arm, Trying to guide her out. As I did so, She, in a hurry, faced on me, and screamed Aloud once more, and wanted, as I thought, To speak, but, in a second, fell.

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To pain your feelings; but I feel compelled

To say the question is a proper one.
It is the Jury's duty to gain light
On this exceedingly distressing case;
The public mind has to be satisfied;
I owe a duty to the public. Let
The witness answer.'

"Witness: She would clasp Her arms around me in speaking tenderly, And kiss me. She has often kissed my hands.

Not beyond that.'

"The Juror: 'And did you The Coroner: "The wit

Respondness should, I think, be pressed no further. He has given

His painful evidence most creditably.'

"The Juror: 'Did deceased, in all these days,

Not write to you at all ?' 'She sent me this : It is the only letter I received.'

"A letter here was handed in and read. It ran as follows, and it bore the date Of twenty-sixth September.

"Dearest Friend,Where is your promise you would write me

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But words are

That, Edward, is a love in very truth Which can avail to overcome such shame As kept me four whole days from seeing you

Four days after my coming quite resolved
To strive no more, but tell you all my heart.
As daylight passed, and night devoured the

The first time, and the second, and the third,
I doubted whether I could ever wait
Till dawn-yet waited all the fourth day

Staring upon my hands, and looking strange;
Yes, and the fifth day's twilight hastened

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Between my house and your house, to and fro.

At last I could no more delay, but wept, And prayed of Christ (for He discerns it all),

That, if this thing were sinful unto death, He would Himself be first to throw the stone.

So then I came and saw you, and I spoke.
Did I not make you understand how I
Had loved you in the budding of my youth;
And how, when we divided, all my hope
Went out from me for all the future days,
And how I married, just indifferent
To whom I took? Perhaps I did not clear
This up enough, or cried and troubled

Why did I ever see your face again?

I had forgotten you; I lived content,
At peace. Forgotten you! that now ap-


Impossible, yet I believe I had.

Then see what now my life must be-consumed

With inner very fire, merely to think

Of you, and having lost my heartless peace. How shall I dare to live except with you?'

"The Coroner to Witness: Had you known When you were first acquainted with deceased,

Before her marriage, that she entertained These feelings for you ?'--' Friends of mine would talk

In a light way about it-nothing more-
And in especial as to mesmerism.

I knew that such a match could never be ; Her friends would have been sure to break it off

Our prospects were so very different.
I did not think about it seriously.'

"The letter says that you divided: how Did that occur ?'-'I left the neighbourhood

On account solely of my own affairs.'

"You have deposed that you received a hint

Your meetings with deceased had been observed.

How did you learn this ?'-Through the brother-in-law

Of a young lady that's engaged to me.'

"The witness here retired. He looks about The age of twenty-seven,-in person, tall And elegant. His tone at times betrayed Much feeling.

"Mrs. Celia Frances Gwyllt: 'Deccased and I were cousins. In the month

Of August last I spent a little time
With her and Mr. Grey. In the first

Of last month, I remember hearing her
Speak in a manner I considered wrong
To Mr. Luton, and she seemed confused
When she perceived me. Shortly after-

I took occasion to inform her so.

This she at first made light of, and alleged
It was a mere flirtation. I replied,
I deemed it was my duty to acquaint
Her husband; when she begged that I
would not,

So that at length I yielded. Then came on
Some crying fits, which Mr. Grey was led
To ascribe to things I chanced to talk

This and my pledge of silence vexed me much,

And so, soon after that, I took my leave.'

"Anne Gorman: 'I am Mr. Luton's servant.

On Tuesday was the sixth I had to go
Out on an errand, with the door ajar,
When I remembered something I had left
Behind. On coming back, I saw deceased
Race through the lobby, and whisk into

the room.

I had been ordered not to let her in.'

"The evidence of Dr. Wallinger
Ended the case. 'I was called in to see
The body of deceased upon the sixth:
Life then was quite extinct; the cause of

Congestion and effusion of the ventricle.
Death would be instantaneous. Any strong
Emotion might have led to that result.'
"The Coroner, in course of summing up,
Commented on the evidence, and spoke
Of deceased's conduct in appropriate terms;
Observing that the Jury would decide
Upon their verdict from the testimony
Of the professional witness-which was

And seemed to him conclusive. He could do
No less than note the awful suddenness
With which the loss of life had followed

A glaring sacrifice of duty's claims. "The Jury gave their verdict in at once: 'Died by the visitation of God.'

"We learn

On good authority that the deceased
Belonged to a distinguished family.
Her husband's scientific eminence
Is fully and most widely recognized."

As Harling finished reading this, he rose To call his friend; but, shrinking at the thought,

He read it all again and lingeringly.

But, after that, he called in undertone; And he received the answer, "Come in here."

He entered therefore.

Grey was huddled o'er The coffin, looking hard into her face. "You know it now," he said, but did not


"We long have been old friends," Harling replied.

"Words are of no avail, and worse than


I need not try to tell you what I feel."
Grey now stood straight. "I am to bury her
The day after to-morrow: I alone
Shall see her covered in beneath the earth.
May God be near her in the stead of men,
And let her rest. Yet there is with her that
Which she shall carry down into the grave;
Still in the dark her broken marriage-vow
Under her head: they shall remain together.
How can I talk like this ?" And he
broke off.

"This is a crushing grief indeed, I know," Said Harling; "yet be brave against it. When

This few days' work is over, Grey, go home,
And mind to be so occupied as must
Prevent your dwelling on it. If you choose,
I will accompany and stay with you."
But he replied: "My home will now be

And all the angles of his visage thinned.
"He is here I mean to ruin. Shall he still
Be free to laugh me in his sleeve to scorn,
And show me pity-pity!-when we meet?
I have no means of harming him, you

There's such a thing, though, as profes

sional fame,

I have it. Where's the name of Luton known?

is is my home: I mean to ruin him.” "Why, he," objected Harling, "never did

One hair's-breadth wrong to you: his hands are clean

Of all offence to you and yours. For shame! It was blind anguish spoke there-not yourself."

"Ah! you can talk like that! But it is I Who have to feel-I who can see his house From here, and sometimes watch him out and in,

And think she used to be with him inside.
And he could bear her coming day by day,
And see the sobs collecting in her throat,
And tresses out of order, as she fell
Before his feet, and made her prayers, and

He bore this! What a heart he must have had!

Must I be grateful for it? Did he not Admit inopportune eyes were watching him?

He was engaged to marry-yes, and one For whom he's bound to keep himself in check,

And crouch beneath her whims and jealousy :


Not that I ever saw her, but I'm sure. Besides, he told me she would not be his Unless he gains the standing deemed her due,

And I'll take care of that."


His friend was loath,

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And chill it blew upon them as they gazed, Mixed with thin drops of rain, which might not fall

Straight downward, but kept veering in the wind.

There was a sounding of the sea from far.

Grey pointed. "That beyond there is the house,

Turning the street-that where a candle burns

In the left casement of the upper three.
That is, no doubt, his shadow on the blind.
Often I get a glimpse of it from here,
As when you saw me first this afternoon.
Shall he not one day pay me down in full?
John, I can wait; but when the moment

He shut the sash. Harling had seen the night,

Equal, unknown, and desolate of stars.

*The reader will observe the already remote date at which this poem was written. Those were the days when the præ-Raphaelite movenient in painting was first started. I, who was as much mixed up and interested in it as any person not practically an artist could well be, entertained the idea that the like principles might be carried out in poetry; and that it would be possible, without losing the poetical, dramatic, or even tragic tone and impression, to approach nearer to the actualities of dialogue and narration than had ever yet been done. With an unpractised band I tried the experiment; and the result is this blank-verse tale, which is now published, not indeed without some revision, but without the least alteration in its general character and point of view.— W. M. R.

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