Clotel; or, The President's Daughter
Chapter 28. The Happy Meeting
"Man's love is of man's life, a thing apart;
'Tis woman's whole existence."--Byron.
THE clock on a neighbouring church had scarcely ceased striking three, when the servant
announced that a carriage had called for Mr. Green. In less than half an hour he was
seated in a most sumptuous barouche, drawn by two beautiful iron greys, and rolling
along over a splendid gravel road completely shaded by large trees, which appeared to
have been the accumulating growth of many centuries. The carriage soon stopped in front
of a low villa, and this too was embedded in magnificent trees covered with moss. Mr.
Green alighted and was shown into a superb drawing room, the walls of which were hung
with fine specimens from the hands of the great Italian painters, and one by a German
artist representing a beautiful monkish legend connected with "The Holy Catherine," an
illustrious lady of Alexandria. The furniture had an antique and dignified appearance.
High backed chairs stood around the room; a venerable mirror stood on the mantle shelf;
rich curtains of crimson damask hung in folds at either side of the large windows; and a
rich Turkey carpet covered the floor. In the centre stood a table covered with books, in
the midst of which was an old-fashioned vase filled with fresh flowers, whose fragrance
was exceedingly pleasant. A faint light, together with the quietness of the hour, gave
beauty beyond description to the whole scene.
Mr. Green had scarcely seated himself upon the sofa, when the elderly gentleman whom
he had met the previous evening made his appearance, followed by the little boy, and
introduced himself as Mr. Devenant. A moment more, and a lady--a beautiful brunette--
dressed in black, with long curls of a chestnut colour hanging down her cheeks, entered
the room. Her eyes were of a dark hazel, and her whole appearance indicated that she was
a native of a southern clime. The door at which she entered was opposite to where the
two gentlemen were seated. They immediately rose; and Mr. Devenant was in the act of
introducing her to Mr. Green, when he observed that the latter had sunk back upon the
sofa, and the last word that he remembered to have heard was, "It is her."
After this, all was dark and dreamy: how long he remained in this condition it was for
another to tell. When he awoke, he found himself stretched upon the sofa, with his boots
off, his neckerchief removed, shirt collar unbuttoned, and his head resting upon a pillow.
By his side sat the old man, with the smelling bottle in the one hand, and a glass of water
in the other, and the little boy standing at the foot of the sofa. As soon as Mr. Green had
so far recovered as to be able to speak, he said, "Where am I, and what does this mean?"
"Wait a while," replied the old man, "and I will tell you all." After a lapse of some ten
minutes he rose from the sofa, adjusted his apparel, and said, "I am now ready to hear
anything you have to say." "You were born in America?" said the old man. "Yes," he
replied. "And you were acquainted with a girl named Mary?" continued the old man.
"Yes, and I loved her as I can love none other." "The lady whom you met so mysteriously
last evening is Mary," replied Mr. Devenant.
George Green was silent, but the fountains of mingled grief and joy stole out from
beneath his eyelashes, and glistened like pearls upon his pale and marble-like cheeks. At