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she saw Mary, very red, and with a disturbed "Charitable views!" echoed Mrs. Burtonshaw; and troubled face, gazing down the hilly path," what sort of views will we have from our winwhile she plucked the grass by handfuls. Some dows when we get back to our poor, pretty, unone was toiling upward, looking about him fortunate house at Twickenham if, indeed, anxiously, sometimes pausing to survey the wide there are any windows left? The little wretches landscape behind him, sometimes turning aside will play at marbles and all sorts of games; it to gather a wildflower, but always on the alert, as will not matter to them if the Queen should come if looking for some one on the hill. As his figure to call. Mr. Cumberland has all his own way, advanced, Mary Cumberland's face varied like a Mr. Vivian. Maria Anna will give in to him, and changing sky; as it drew near and nearer, she I cannot describe to you the trouble I have. Do rose to her feet with irrestrainable excitement. not speak to me, Maria Anna! I have no paZaidee looked at her pretty form, relieved against tience with it; and it will be all the same, of the dark background of the hill, and at the course, whosoever comes to call." stranger advancing hastily, before she herself rose, and then with an instinctive impulse of reserve, to control and subdue her friend. Zaidee took Mary's hand with an involuntary grasp of caution, which Mary returned vehemently, and then the pretty fingers unclasped, and these two stood distinctly visible, waiting to greet Mr. Percy Vivian as he appeared out of breath behind an angle of the path. In the moment's "That delightful Grange which you described interval, Mary's good sense and Mary's pride to us once?" said Mrs. Cumberland from her sohad come to her rescue triumphantly. Percy fa; "and of course I recognized it again in your thought the beautiful sister gave him the warm-last charming book. When are you going to faest welcome, and was much concerned to see vor us with another, Mr. Vivian? But first tell Mary so reserved and stately; the young gentle- me how this reminds you of your own ancient man was extremely assiduous-extremely devot-romantic home." ed; he fancied he had been losing time.
CHAPTER XIX.-THE BEGINNING OF danger.
"I had an interview with Mr. Cumberland on the lawn, over a heap of mortar," said Percy, while Mrs. Burtonshaw groaned aloud, "and heard from him you were at Malvern. I had business in this quarter. No lack of views here, Mrs. Burtonshaw, though they are not charitable ones. This place reminds me a little, I scarcely can tell why, of my own home."
"I suppose because it is perfectly unlike," said Percy, with a little laugh. "There is no Grange on the hill of Malvern; but we stand upon a lesser eminence at home, and look out from our "So you found the young ladies, Mr. Vivian," height upon a flat expanse, which this is just sufsaid Mrs. Cumberland. "Dear children! they ficient to recall to me. Our low country is not a love nature. I was convinced they were on the cultivated plain, or a Vale of Severn; it is only hill. I tell them we have nearly as good a pros-a bleak stretch of Cheshire fields, a low sandy pect from this window; but they are young, and coast, and sullen sea. There are a multitude of have more enterprise than I have. Is it not a roads, Mrs.Burtonshaw, all leading to the Grange, delightful surprise, my dear Mary, to see Mr. as you would suppose, and never a wayfarer on Vivian here?" one of them; and we have a fierce little hill for our henchman, bristling with gorse, and armed with broken rocks, and undergo a perpetual siege and cannonade from all the winds. There are only inland gales at Malvern, but our visitors come fresh from the sea."
"We were much astonished," says Mary in an under-tone. Mr. Vivian, who has looked up to catch her answer, though people say he has a great knowledge of character, and though this constraint is the very thing with which he would endow his heroine in a novel, to evidence the state of her feelings in presence of her lover, has so totally lost his penetration that he is quite disappointed. "It was no pleasure to her, then," muses Percy; "only a surprise."
"For my part, I thought Mr. Vivian had come to tell us of some great misfortune," said Mrs. Burtonshaw "that the house had come down, or that Mr. Cumberland had had a fall, or some accident; nothing else was to be looked for, I am sure."
There has been no accident; Mr. Cumberland was in excellent spirits," said Percy, "and feels that he is making progress. The porch, I assure you, would accommodate a couple of poor families already, Mrs. Burtonshaw; and when Mr. Cumberland has his heating apparatus in order, I have no doubt it will be greatly patronized in the cold weather. If you were nearer town, a benevolent institution like this might be subject to abuse, Mrs. Cumberland. I am afraid a colony of London boys in immediate possession would not quite carry out your charitable views."
"It is very strange; that is like the place Elizabeth used to tell me of," said Mary.
And Mary, looking up, found Zaidee's eyes fixed upon her with such a trembling eagerness of entreaty, that her idea of resemblance between the two descriptions was quickened into instant certainty. She returned this beseeching look with a glance of the extremest surprise. Her curiosity was suddenly roused. What did it mean? When Mary's look left Zaidee, she met Mr. Vivian's; and Mr. Vivian had been watching this interchange of glances, and looked at her, earnestly repeating the question. Mary was quite perplexed; she could only look at Zaidee again.
"Perhaps Miss Elizabeth Cumberland has en in Cheshire," said Percy. Percy was very curious; but he always was, Mary remembered with wonder, in everything that concerned Elizabeth.
"No-no," said Zaidee hurriedly. She withdrew back out of the light of the window, and grew very pale. She dared not lift her eyes again, but sat trembling and in terror. Never had she been so near betrayed; and her ears tingled, al
most expecting to hear the cry of "Zaidee! Zai- | "I am very glad, then. I think Mary will be dee!" with which Percy could throw her disguise happy," said Zaidee musingly. "Percy would to the winds. not grieve any one; no, I am sure of that." For Zaidee did not think that Percy Vivian "Did you say Sylvo would not grieve? I do held her without a doubt for the daughter of this not think he will, my love," said Mrs. Burtonshaw. fantastic, kind Mrs. Cumberland, reclining on her "You do not ask me what my views are for Sylsofa- the sister of Mary, the niece of Aunt Bur-vo, now, Elizabeth; but you are quite right, my tonshaw. Percy could not account for his own interest in her, nor for sundry little occurrences which startled him with a vague wonder and suspicion. He never dreamed that she was Zaidee; he had not even connected her with the lost child; he had only a vague, floating curiosity about her, which he himself had no right to have, and did not understand.
dear child. I will not say anything of them; I will leave it all to Sylvo himself."
"Yes, Aunt Burtonshaw," said Zaidee. Sylvo was not farther from the scene in person than he was in imagination from Zaidee's thoughts she was thinking of Mary and Percy, in charmed twilight, with the sweet dew falling on their young heads, and the air full of the singing of nightinZaidee dared not withdraw to her own apart gales. She was lingering for a moment in her ment to subdue her agitation. She must sit still maiden meditations upon that oldest and newest to watch the conversation, to hear what they said, subject of romance -that universal love tale to guard her secret at all hazards. She scarcely which somebody is always telling that unknew how the day went on as she sat among them, known witchcraft to which her own heart had watching them with this intense and steady vigi-never been tempted. Beguiled out of her mere lance: she made no sense of the buzz of words personal agitation, Zaidee's heart beat with a which rung in her ears. She only knew that her wondering sympathy; with a smile on her secret was not threatened, nor her possible knowl-lip, and a tear in her eye, she watched for edge of the Grange discussed again. There were Mary coming home out of the realm of fairya great many other subjects of interest to the oth-land, out of the enchanted twilight, to the lights er members of the party. There was one most ab- and common life of this dusky room. Zaidee's sorbing topic in the minds of two of them, which, own eyes were dazzled by these lights, and with a like Zaidee's secret anxiety, did not bear talking pensive, wistful sweetness, through the tears that of; and beyond the surprise of the moment, Zai- made them brighter, those beautiful eyes turned dee's brief and hurried answer was not remarked back again to the falling night. With a little by her companions. She kept with the little visionary sadness, her thoughts too returned company obstinately in her great anxiety. When again to herself: all by herself, alone and solitary, Mary and Percy spoke aside for an instant, Zai- this turning-point of youthful history must never dee was thrown into a secret agony; and when come to Zaidee; she must never wish, nay, more the evening came, and Mr. Vivian followed Miss than that, she must so guard her daily living that Cumberland into the garden in the twilight to lis-no affection shall be drawn towards her. No one ten to the nightingales, Zaidee sat unseen by the window watching them, as they wandered through the trees. Her overpowering terror made her forget for the moment that they had other things to talk of than her secret- this secret which neither of them could have suspected till to-night, and which both had forgotten before now.
"These two young creatures, they are quite happy; they forget how cold the night air has grown," said Mrs. Burtonshaw, coming behind the chair where Zaidee sat alone looking out into the dewy darkness of the garden. "My dear love, you are sighing; you are all by yourself, while Mary is away. Ah! it is all very well to speak of business in this quarter. I suppose Mr. Vivian is attending to his business among the trees yonder. These young men are such hypocrites, Elizabeth. I should be glad to see what lawful errand Mr. Vivian had here."
Relieved by remembering that there was no fear of her secret coming into discussion between two people who were busy with themselves, Zaidee bethought her of the disappointment of Sylvo's anxious mother.
"I am afraid, indeed, Mary likes Mr. Vivian, Aunt Burtonshaw," said Zaidee. "I should be very glad, if it were not for you."
"You are a dear, unselfish child," said Mrs. Burtonshaw, stooping to bestow a kiss on Zaidee's brow," and you need not be sorry for me, my darling. I have quite made up my mind to lose Mary. I have other views for Sylvo now."
must love Zaidee, if Zaidee can help it, except those kind friends who shelter her and the innocent hearts of little children. She must do no more harm, and it is strange to see her bending her beautiful face in the darkness, praying never to be tempted, praying to be left in her solitude, to harm no one any more.
CHAPTER XX.-MARY'S FATE.
Zaidee had gone to her own apartment thoughtful and somewhat anxious. Her mind, which had begun to recover its composure, was stirred to its depths once more, and her thoughts were full of a longing and wistful inquiry about Mary, who had been very silent and strangely reserved through all that evening. Sitting in the shadow where Zaidee could not see her face, answering in monosyllables, and in a voice so low and shy that even Aunt Burtonshaw was astonished. Mary had given no indication of Mr. Vivian's business, nor of how it sped. As Zaidee went about her own chamber, preparing for rest, her ear was caught once or twice by a faint rustling in the passage outside. She turned to listen with quick curiosity, and in time to see Mary softly open the door and look in, with a momentary investigation. "I thought you had lain down by this time," said Mary. I have been waiting till you were quiet, and the light out. Why don't you go to bed, Elizabeth? Young people should not sit up so late at night-there, let me put out the light."
Before Zaidee could remonstrate, the little
light was extinguished, and in the faint radiance killed myself sooner than have let him fancy I of the moon, Zaidee saw her friend drawing near cared for him when he did not care for me." her with a shy yet hasty step. "Sit down, Liz- It was not necessary for Zaidee to say any zy; I have a great deal to say to you," said her thing; the stream of communication was intervisitor, and Mary herself drew a stool to Zaidee's rupted, but continuous, and wanted no help as it feet, and threw herself down beside her half-flowed on. kneeling, embracing her companion's waist, and leaning on her knee. But though this satisfactory attitude was assumed, the great deal that Mary had to say remained still unsaid. She leaned her soft cheek on Zaidee's hand, and Zaidee knew instinctively that it was warm with blushes of pride, and shame, and pleasure: she played with Zaidee's fingers, folding them over her lips; she held Zaidee's waist more closely with her arm; but Mary was quite content to lean here, as it seemed, and forget that she had anything to say. Mary, tell me," said Zaidee-Zaidee's own heart beat high with sympathy. Zaidee, though she was quite new to it, and had never been much a confidant before, had an instinctive perception of the tale which Mary came to tell.
"My mother never taught me to go to her; I cannot tell Aunt Burtonshaw. I never have had any one but you, Elizabeth, that knew all my heart!"
This was the beginning of Mary's confession, and then there followed a long pause-so long a pause that Zaidee feared this was all, and that there was nothing to follow.
"But instead of that!"- Mary paused and lingered on the words, "instead of that! I think it can only be a poet who is so reverent of women," said Mary, touched to the heart by the deference of her betrothed. "We are no such great things after all, Elizabeth. We are very poor creatures, a great many of us. Fancy me standing listening to him. I am nobody; I am only Mary Cumberland; and he, bending that noble heart of his, and speaking as if he spoke to a princess,-he whom all the world honors. I don't believe it is true after all, and that makes me melancholy," said Mary, with a change in her voice, "it is his own eyes that see something else in me than what I have."
A long pause followed after this, which Zaidee only disturbed by a silent caress of sympathy and encouragement; and she resumed her monologue.
"Did you wonder what I meant putting out the light? I will be your maid now, Elizabeth, since I have left you in the dark; but you do not think I could come in, and sit down opposite you, and tell you all this, looking in your face, with "I have never been like you, Elizabeth. I do that inquisitive candle twinkling like a saucy not think I deserve to have a very noble nature listener. You cannot see how I am looking, near me," said Mary. "Instead of being very | Lizzy-it does me no harm that you are shining glad as I thought I should be, I think I am sad to-night-not sad either-I cannot tell how I am. It is so strange, so very strange. I think I am venturing into a new country. Perhaps I had better have been content with Sylvo, Elizabeth," said Mary, rising into her more natural tone; one could find out Sylvo's depth, poor fellow, and measure him to all his height-no one will be troubled with anything wonderful in Sylvobut now!"
Mary's voice sunk again, and so did Mary's cheek, once more resting on Zaidee's hand. The office of confidant and confessor to Mary was doomed to be rather a perplexing one.
"A common person," said Mary again, with a little sigh of self-contempt. Yes, I think I should only have had a common person. I cannot tell why this strange fortune has come to me. If I had been full of dreams and fancies, Elizabeth, like what one reads of-perhaps like what you have, my beautiful sister; but you are sitting here by yourself, Lizzy, with all your sweet thoughts and your lovely face, and this has come to me."
"It is best for me to be alone," said Zaidee; "and this should come to you, for it is your proper fortune. I have been sure of it since ever Percy came."
"Do you call him Percy?" said Mary, raising her head in sudden wonder. "Well, but of course, Lizzy had no reason to be ashamed, no need to be so precise as I was," she continued, with a low laugh. "I was so much ashamed of myself, Elizabeth. Do you know, I thought he had found me out. I thought he was coming to enjoy his triumph. I really do think I could have
over me with those eyes of yours. It is very hard to have eyes looking into one's heart. Yes, I think he has enchantment in his, Lizzy; they make beauty for themselves wherever they glance. And suppose he should awake some time, and instead of the princess whom he spoke to tonight, find only me! I do not think I was very humble before, but one grows humble in spite of one's self when one is addressed so grandly. He thinks I have a noble nature like his own, Elizabeth-a pure religious spirit, like what you are, Lizzy; and when I try to convince him, he only smiles and thinks the more of me. When he finds it is only plain working-day Mary Cumberland, what will he say?"
"That she is better than all the princesses," said Zaidee, clasping her friend round with her loving arms; and then Mary cried a little, with a sob half of joy and half of melancholy, and then ran off into low, sweet, tremulous laughter, as she raised her head from Zaidee's knee.
"You think I am very humble, do you not?" said Mary, "yet I am afraid I shall be as saucy as ever, and as stupid, and as perverse when tomorrow's daylight comes. Do you want to go to sleep, Elizabeth ?-for I had rather stay here, if you are as wakeful as I am. I have made a great many resolutions to night-I should not like him to change his opinion of me, Lizzy; but I am afraid they will all vanish with to-morrow. One cannot overcome two-and-twenty years in a single day."
And thus they sat in the moonlight talking a great deal, and quite forgetful of the lapse of these swift-footed hours; their low voices whispered so lightly that no one woke in the neigh
boring chambers to be aware of this innocent Mr. Vivan? I am sure I will not stand in the midnight conference. Mary did not leave Zai- way of your happiness-one to whom the whole dee's room all that night,-truth to say, Mary world of readers owes so much!-and I assure did not wake after her unusual vigil till Mrs. you it will make me very proud to call the author B. had sighed over the breakfast table all alone of those delightful volumes my son-in-law. But for a full hour, and the sun was full in the sky. Mary!-Mary has no genius, Mr. Vivian. She Zaidee was more wakeful; her morning dreams is a child of very plain tastes, and takes strangely were disturbed and broken by a strange pleasure after her Aunt Burtonshaw. I am extremely and a strange dread of this new connection. She surprised; I cannot understand it: Mary! Are was glad and proud that Percy and Mary were you sure you have made a wise choice?" betrothed to each other. She pleased herself with thinking that "our Percy's" manly care and ten-power," said Percy, somewhat astonished at this derness would make amends to the real daughter of this house for all the love and kindness which she herself had met with at Mary's hands. They had been very good to Zaidee Vivian, all these kind people; and Percy Vivian's devotion would repay them for the great debt his cousin owed. But a darker consideration mingled with that; Mary was now of course on terms of perfect confidence with Percy. Mary would tell him that her beautiful sister was a stranger, a_poor little orphan adopted of the house; and Percy and Elizabeth, who remembered so well the lost Zaidee, would discover her secret ere she was
"I am very sure I have no other choice in my novel reception of his addresses." Choice is a fiction, I suspect; at all events, I am quite beyond that agreeable freedom."
"I assure you I will never stand in the way of your happiness," said Mrs. Cumberland; "on the contrary, I am only too much delighted to have it in my power to aid your wishes. Mary is a good child; but she has no genius, Mr. Vivian."
"I fancy I prefer having all the genius myself," said Percy with a saucy smile. This was for the benefit of Mary, who entered at the moment, abruptly concluding Mr. Vivian's audience.Mrs. Cumberland, much bewildered, followed her daughter through the room with her eyes.Mary !-How could the distinguished author by any possibility think of her?
This fancy filled her mind with dreary anticipations. Only one resource seemed opened to Zaidee; once more she must go out unfriended upon the world,-she must not be taken home to But Mrs. Cumberland had no alternative bat annul all previous sacrifices-to make this seven assent, and the concurrence of Mr. Cumberland years' banishment of none effect. No longer a was certain; even Mrs. Burtonshaw gave her child, a woman with that perilous inheritance of approval of this conclusive blow to all her for beauty to make her way harder, she must once mer hopes. "But it is some time since I made more break from the grasp of affection and up my mind to lose Mary. I have other views friendliness, and go forth to the unknown. Zai- for Sylvo now, my love," said Mrs. Burtonshaw. dee looked at Mary's face sleeping under the Again Zaidee assented innocently to this seemmorning light, with its sweet color and its un-ing harmless declaration, and asked no questions. conscious smiles; she could not grudge the hap-"She never asks me what my views are, poor piness of Mary; she could not be otherwise than dear," said Mrs. Burtonshaw within herself; and glad for this consummation, whatever the result she received her sister's condolences over Mary's might be to herself. Zaidee's generous heart new engagement with great resignation. Zaidee's never faltered in its congratulations for the sore want of curiosity was proof positive to Aunt and hapless chance which she perceived approach- Burtonshaw. ing in the distance; however it might fare with her, she was glad for Mary. A distinct and pleasant future, full of sunshine, lay before the footsteps of her friend; for herself Zaidee saw nothing but a world of clouds and shadows-a forlorn path leading away through the solitude towards the horizon. Lover nor friend was never to stretch out a hand to her; she had no possession in the world but her father's Bible, and that book of Grandfather Vivian's-no sweet fortune descending out of the tender twilight skies, but an inexorable necessity, a pursuing fate. To the end of the world, if need were-to the unfriendly crowds of London, or the stranger solitudes of some distant country,- anywhere rather than here, where she was in danger of discovery,anywhere sooner than the Grange.
"Promise me one thing, Mary," said Zaidee, wistfully, amid the many talks and confidences of the following night. "Do not tell Mr. Vivian I am not your sister-I would rather he thought me your sister; do not tell him, Mary, for my sake."
"Why?" Mary looked up with immediate curiosity. Mary had one or two strange things in her mind to wonder at when she had leisure; her glance was so sudden that Zaidee's face was almost surprised into the beseeching look with which she had barred further mention of the Grange on the previous day; but she was wise enough to subdue her anxiety, and look unconcerned.
"I suppose if he comes to know all our family matters by-and-by," said Mary with a blush, and a little hesitation, "he will have to know that you were not born my sister, Lizzy-he will never know anything else, I am sure; the only The next morning overwhelmed Mrs. Cum- difference is, that if you had been born my sister, berland with surprise and doubtful pleasure." II might not have liked you so well-one of us should have been very glad had it been Elizabeth," said Mrs. Cumberland; "but Mary how could you possibly think of Mary, my dear
surely must have taken after our father or our mother. But I will not tell him, Elizabeth; I will not say a word about it, I assure you. I
wonder if you will ever be on good terms-I to another for pure delight in the change, and think he is a little afraid of you: it is always my exultation in the exercise of his young powers, beautiful sister, or Miss Elizabeth Cumberland: took no time to pause and think of fame; and he does not half understand you, I am sure; I wonder if you will ever be friends?"
Zaidee could not answer; she durst not say no. No, it was impossible-she must not be friends with Percy-but Zaidee became aware that a cloud and weight of doubtfulness began to be visible on Mary's face; she could not understand either Percy's curiosity about Zaidee, or Zaidee's evident wish to avoid his presence and his friendship; she could not be jealous any longer-far from that, she had given up all her thoughts to the safe keeping of her beautiful sister, and made a confidant deeply interested and most sympathetic of Zaidee. But she was disturbed; there was some mystery in it; could Zaidee have known Percy before?-and immediately there returned to Mary's memory, that description of the Grange which corresponded so strangely with a description Zaidee had once given to her.Had Percy by any chance made Mary acquainted to-day with the story of his lost cousin, Mary must have leaped to the conclusion, and Zaidee's secret been discovered on the spot. As it was, Mary went out with a good deal of doubt and wonder in her mind, but after half an hour's wandering through those hilly paths where the sunshine lay warm upon the grass, and the air came fresh and sweet across the plain, Mary forgot in a great measure her doubt and her wonder. She forgot her beautiful sister altogether, and all that was mysterious in her-she thought of nothing but the present sunny hour, and the charmed prospect of the future. Mary, though she was generous by nature, was not a striking example of unselfishness; and perhaps, under her circumstances, it would have been an equivocal kindness to suffer her anxiety for any one else to interfere with the regard she owed to Percy, who was devoting all his thoughts and all his cares to her.
Mary, glorying, like himself, in the magic of that
"I'll serve thee in such glorious ways,
"Should it not be my head you crown with bays-is that not the strain of the song?" said Mary, looking up to him as his eyes brightened under the influence of the verse. You are only the crowner-you are not the crowned." "Ah, Montrose knew better," said Percy"If I crown my head with bays, I am a more creditable vassal. You will rather conquer the conqueror than hold a slave in your fetters; the bays are not emblems of great enough royalty for a poet's bride; it is only her knight, her vassal, her sworn servant, who must be laureated.Stars, or the living sunshine, are the only fitting crown for the brow of her beauty, which is above fame; the man has honor to win, but the lady of his thoughts is above his honor; the rewarder So they came and went together unreproved and inspirer of it, throned in an atmosphere upon these hilly ways, and grew into acquaint-higher than his bays and his fightings. Yes, yes, ance with each other on the grassy slopes of Montrose knew the homage he could offer-not Malvern. To Percy Vivian's versatile and many the bays, but the love." sided nature there was repose and support in the And Mary Cumberland cast down her eyes, much more limited mind of Mary, which was and bent her pretty head in humility almost painstrong in what it did grasp-though its grasp ful. This ethereal type of womanhood was not comprehended but a small part of his wide range "me." She was ashamed of herself, to have all of thought and fancy. She never brought him these undeserved glories laid upon her. Her atdown out of his aerial flights by lack of under-mosphere was not so high, nor her world so pure standing, but sometimes she listened with a as the poet represented it, and Mary was humsmile. His sister Elizabeth, who also was limited bled with too much praise. Yes, he had crownin her mental range, was perfect, in Percy's ap-ed his head with laurels, fresh and noble; he had prehension, within her boundaries; but Mary taken the universal heart by storm, and raised a was not perfect. She was young; she had a fairy temple of fame for himself; and all the world before her, on which she, too, glanced un-store he set by it was to make his homage more dismayed. She was ready to follow his caprices worthy of her-of that Mary Cumberland who of exuberant imagination- she was ready to boasted of being one of the common people, share the impetuous delight with which he threw neither intellectual nor superior. Mary went himself on one new field after another, and by his side very humbly after this conversation; rejoiced in his waste of power and universal rep- the burden of his song rang in her ears," and utation-his capacity for everything. Percy's love thee evermore." Mary's fancy was singing prudent friends warned him to build his edifice as she listened to his voice rather vaguely, more of fame on more lasting foundations, and consoli- for the music of it than to understand its words; date his glories; but Percy, who threw himself she could be even with him in that one particular from one branch of the profession he had chosen-it was a comfort to Mary