" The storm cloud gathers fast, the hour's at hand,
When it will burst in fury o'er the land;
Yet is the quiet beautiful — the rush
Of the sweet south is all disturbs the hush,
While, like pure spirits, the pale night-stars brood
O'er forests which the Indian bathes in blood."
A BRIEF and passing dialogue between Grayson and the pastor, at the entrance, partially explained to the latter the previous history. The disposition of Matthews in regard to the pretensions of Grayson to his daughter's hand — of which he had long been conscious — was rather favourable than otherwise. In this particular the suit of Grayson derived importance from the degree of ill-favour with which the old gentleman had been accustomed to consider that of Harrison. With strong prejudices, the pastor was quite satisfied to obey an impression, and to mistake, as with persons of strong prejudices is frequently the case, an impulse for an argument. Not that he could urge any thing against the suitor who was the favourite of his child — of that he felt satisfied — but, coming fairly under the description of the doggerel satirist, he did not dislike Harrison a jot less for having little reason to dislike him. And there is something in this.
It was, therefore, with no little regret, that he beheld the departure of Grayson under circumstances so unfavourable to his suit. From his own, and the lips of his daughter, alike, he had been taught to understand that she had objections; but the emotion of Grayson, and the openly-expressed indignation of Bess, at once satisfied him of the occurrence of that which effectually excluded the hope that time might effect some change for the better. He was content, therefore, simply to regret what his own good sense taught him he could not amend, and what his great regard for his child's peace persuaded him not to attempt.
Grayson, in the meantime, hurried away under strong excitement. He had felt deeply the denial, but far more deeply the rebukes of the maiden. She had searched narrowly into his inner mind — had probed close its weaknesses — had laid bare to his own