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"Upon the name
Of the next witness being called, some stir
"Mr. Edward Luton, surgeon:
In company, and, in particular,
At some so-called "mesmeric evenings," held
At her remote connection's house, the late
We chanced, the sixth day, to be left alone.
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
That evening, I was told a lady wished
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
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,
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
Of the sixth instant, the deceased once more Was at my house, however;-darted through
The door, which happened to be left ajar,
In purpose, and her passion more uncurbed
All eats me up while I am here with you;
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.
To pain your feelings; but I feel compelled
To say the question is a proper one.
"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
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
The first time, and the second, and the third,
Staring upon my hands, and looking strange;
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.
Why did I ever see your face again?
I had forgotten you; I lived content,
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-
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.
"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
Of last month, I remember hearing her
I took occasion to inform her so.
This she at first made light of, and alleged
So that at length I yielded. Then came on
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
I had been ordered not to let her in.'
"The evidence of Dr. Wallinger
Congestion and effusion of the ventricle.
And seemed to him conclusive. He could do
A glaring sacrifice of duty's claims. "The Jury gave their verdict in at once: 'Died by the visitation of God.'
On good authority that the deceased
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."
"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 all the angles of his visage thinned.
There's such a thing, though, as profes
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.
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,
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.
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.