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They looked tenderly into each other's faces; a happy smile played about her features; Tom put up his lips to hers, and pressed upon them the first long, burning kiss of love.

Clasped in each other's arms, Tom and Alice forgot all else beside. Few were their words. Love speaks with the heart, not with the lips; but as they felt the heaving of each other's bosoms, and knew that one love burned in both, each was aware of a sympathy and intercourse with the other far sweeter than words.

But such scenes are holy; let us not intrude on it longer. No language has power to describe the first outburst of love. Ye men who have known what it is to love hopelessly, as you thought, and have loved on true and faithfully against hope, until suddenly you found the dear one on your bosom; ye women, who, with stolen glances, and untold affection, have worn the mask of indifference, though broken-hearted with sorrow and uncertainty, and have suddenly found the man you never thought would be yours at your feet, will understand the love of Tom and Alice. But no words can describe love to those who have never known it. To know love, love in its own person is the only teacher.

CHAPTER XII.

HE curtain which we drew so hastily before Tom and Alice, in the last preceding chapter, we again draw aside. It is now evening, and Alice is alone, anxiously awaiting her father's return. The past, the present, and a prophetic insight into the future, crowd confusedly upon her. She lives over again, in fancy, the quiet, uneventful years of her early life. In all her thoughts Tom has his share, and as she turns over the leaves, and reads, with the eye of memory, the events of the past, she wonders what Tom was then doing, and her lively imagination draws for him a life, such as he, in those early days, had little reason to know. It seems so strange to her that Tom was a full grown man, when she was still a little child, and that, had he known her then, he would have chatted, played, and taken her on his knee. And now her thoughts travel rapidly to the events of the morning. So vividly does every circumstance return, that it

seems again to be reality. Again Tom's head is lying fondly on her bosom, again she stretches out her arms to clasp him, and again his lips press warmly to hers. The delusion is so bright, so alluring, that she bends eagerly forward over the kneeling figure of her lover, and whispers :

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"Tom, dear Tom, how I love you, how I love you! 'Tis not time yet; do not leave me, I cannot live without you."

air.

It is but momentary.

Her arms embrace a

phantom of her fancy, and her lips kiss the empty The sweet picture grows fainter and fainter. Tom's features wear an expression of mingled joy and sorrow, his lips shape themselves as if to say, "Farewell," and Alice is again alone.

And now fresh visions rose before her-visions of events about which she had no knowledge, and in which she had hitherto played no part. Figures were there-figures living and moving, but all was shadowy and uncertain. A light form pursued by two others, who strove to seize it, seemed to leap boldly from a dizzy height down a precipice. Alice timidly approached and looked over. below she saw two phantoms, who immediately, by some imperceptible means, mingled into one, and yet the one form retained its separate character, and bore a strange resemblance both to herself and Tom.

Far

All around, and far and wide, was darkness. Large, shapeless forms, which seemed part of the gloom in which they sailed about, floated hither and thither; but Alice remarked that wherever the two figures trod, for sometimes there were two, and then again they would mingle into one, there was light. Each bore a lamp in its bosom; but each shone only for the other. Whenever a shadowy figure lay in their way, the two joined closely together, and pressed slowly through it. Alice watched them with strained attention. Their progress was painfully slow, but still they kept on untired. Once the female form turned. Alice saw the features plainly, and knew they were her own. She looked pale and care-worn; but the light in her bosom shot up and burned so bright and high, and her face wore a smile of such pure, heavenly happiness, as she clasped her companion to her breast, that Alice prayed that her lot might be such, that whatever darkness might surround Tom, the light of her love might shine on him, and her presence relieve his loneliness.

Just at this moment the rattle of wheels in the street below disturbed her reverie, and her father's carriage drove up to the door. Alice listened, with a palpitating heart, as she heard Mr. Littleton coming slowly up-stairs. Tom's protecting spirit

which seemed to have filled the room, shrunk away, and she started, half afraid, at hearing, as she fancied, a deep-drawn sigh close to her. Each footfall on the stairs stamped and trod heavily on her heart; and, when Mr. Littleton entered, a hundred furies rushed in with him, and crowded around her, grinning and grimacing as though they waited but the signal to tear her tender feelings piecemeal. Her head swam round and round, and the firm, strong figure of her father danced fantastically before her eyes, as it advanced to meet her.

Mr. Littleton either did not, or chose not, to see her confusion. He kissed her affectionately, and, throwing himself on the sofa, stretched out his legs, and took up the newspaper.

"Make tea, Alice, I am tired," he said.

She obeyed mechanically, and with unsteady hands. Ought she not to fling herself at her father's feet, and confess the events of the morning? Several times she prepared to do so; but each time the furies crowded closer and nearer around her, mouthing exultingly as if their time were at hand, and Alice shrank back terrified, and the secret of her heart remained untold.

'Why, what on earth are you about?" said Mr. Littleton, hastily starting up, and putting his paper aside; "how clumsy you are, child."

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