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"Mistake you for your sister! Propose to Jane! incredible! impossible! You are jesting."
"Then he mistook Jane for me, last night;-and he is no deceiver!" thought Patty to herself, as with smiles beaming brightly through her tears she turned round at his reiterated prayers, and yielded the hand he sought to his pressure. "He mistook her for me! He that defied us to perplex him!"
And so it was, an unconscious and unobserved change of place, as either sister resumed her station beside little Betty, who had scampered away after a glow worm, added to the deepening twilight, and the lover's natural embarrassment, had produced the confusion which gave poor Patty a night's misery, to be compensated by a lifetime of happiness. Jane was almost as glad to lose a lover as her sister was to regain one: Charles is gone home to his father's to make preparations for his bride; Archibald has taken a great nur. sery garden, and there is some talk in Aberleigh that the marriage of the two sisters is to be celebrated on the same day.
Hours-minutes-moments are the smaller coin
NAY, Pallet, paint not thus the hours,
Young urchins, weaving wreaths of flowers;
Where the folding pink-leaf closes
From "The Chameleon." By Thomas Atkinson. Glasgow, 1832.
JULIAN THE APOSTATE.
[Many of the facts stated or referred to in this Sketch, may be found in Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. On the night before the Emperor Julian fought his last battle, he had the dream which 1 have detailed in the first Scene of this Sketch; and it is recorded that on the night of his death he addressed his soldiers, distributed rewards amongst them, and conversed with the sophists around him, respecting the immortality of the Soul. The names of Anatolius, Nevitta, &c. are taken from history.]
SCENE I. The Tent of the Emperor Julian. Night-near duy-break, (Julian—alone.) To-morrow?-aye, to-morrow. The bright Sun Of my life will set in blood. Dark, heavy clouds
Are rolling round about me, yet my eye
Can reach into the dim eternity,
And in its bosom is-my grave. Oh! then,
Valour and War, farewell! Soldiers and friends,
Who in tempest of the battle, once,
With your loves girded me like triple steel,
I must be gone. Morning and Night farewell!
And thou, fair Air! who music art and perfume,
For ages and for ages, and there be
A Spirit, filled with human thoughts and pains,
Great Mars, look down upon me: Am I not
And the grave opens, with a sickly smile,
Anat. My emperor!
Julian. 'Tis nothing-nothing. I am well
Anat. It is the same as ever.
Julian. My good soldier.
Anat. Let us but once meet Sapor face to face: We fly now. Oh! that we should fly from slaves, Whom we have fought and beat day after day, 'Till we were faint with conquest→→
Julian. Forget this.
'Tis true, indeed, we take less time for breathing, Now that we march for Rome, than when we came Intent to see the Persian on his throne:
And in our trumpets now the wailing notes
Our battering engines thro' the gates of Anbar.
Anat. Aye, when we shook
Down to the dust their sixteen towers of brick
Julian. Good Anatolius, you
Have been my friend and fellow soldier long;
Of the black Danube, when its waters lay
'Tween us and Hope.
Anat. Like a dark rolling Hell.
Oh! I remember it.
Julian. My spirit never
Quail'd in those times of peril, yet
Anat. My lord!
Julian. Nor doth it now: but there is on my soul A solemn foreboding that to-morrow's light-To day's for even now the clouds begin To break about the east, and dawn is here
Before the stars have left us: Be it so.
Anat. Oh! you hurt me.
By the great Jove you tear my heart away.
Julian. My dear soldier, this
Is the last day of Julian. Mourn it not.
Nor, when posterity shall speak of me,
Anat. I cannot stay.
I shall be angry with you-Oh! is it thus
Julian. Oh! to-day
I must say something, Anatolius;
And you must listen, for 'twill ease my soul.
And, in the van, my plume. I have a leaf
From the green crown of Victory. You shall see
How soon we'll tame the Persian spirits down.
Anat. Aye, now you speak like Julian. Oh! we'll beat These brown barbarians to their silken tents,
As we were wont. Let's talk of better times,
(If we must talk)-of the old Roman times,
And feast to-day with Sapor.
Julian. You shall do it.
And now but listen to me.-I have had
He held the horn of plenty in his hand,
Without a word-one word, he floated out,
Anat. Go on,
Julian. I 'woke and started from my bed, But there was nothing,-nought: So, I went forth, (Then wide awake) to look upon the sky; For I have studied deeply the high art Of divination, and can read the stars
Anat. You jest?
Julian. No; by my father's spirit. Until now
Have heard at Thebes the lonely marble voice
Julian. And now, I can divine my fate. Last night I saw my tutelary star
('Tis Mars) rolling in the blue firmament,
At last he seem'd to shake, and left his orb,
I saw him vanish in the east.
And what of this? 'tis nothing.
Julian. I am now
Deserted by my planetary God.
Ah-the sun comes: then I must haste to speak.
Anat. And a child.
Julian. 'Twas so.
Eusebia was-ev'n while Constantius' wife,