The Two Guardians
"The flowers do fade, and wanton fields,
To wayward winter reckoning yields,
A honey tongue, a heart of gall
Is fancy's spring, but sorrow's fall."
SIR W. RALEIGH.
The Sunday after Walter's departure was a very uncomfortable and melancholy day. It
was very sad to see poor Caroline looking wan and suffering, and turning now and then a
wistful appealing glance at Marian, as if intreating for the help which must not be
afforded to her; and then at each meeting and parting, Marian was dissatisfied with
herself for having been rendered stiff and dry instead of tender and consoling, by the very
wish to be affectionate, which prevented her from being at ease. She heard from Clara
that Caroline's great desire was to be allowed to write to Mr. Faulkner on the subject
before she saw him again, whilst he was still in London, and that it was this which her
parents so strongly opposed, convinced that a meeting with him would renew all her
feelings of attachment. Marian dreaded the same, for she could not think Caroline's
resolution sufficient to hold out in sight of his affection, and of his prepossessing
qualities, and at the same time, every day that the engagement continued made it more
difficult to break it off.
One comfort was, however, that Lionel's anxiety and interest in Caroline's affairs, were
drawing his attention from his own trouble, and he was much less irritable and unhappy
than before. Perhaps this might have been in part owing to his conversations with Walter,
who could venture on giving him more lessons on the right principle of endurance than
Marian had ever dared to put before him. She was more pleased than she had been for a
long time, when as they were walking together in the plantations, after evening service,
he said with some abruptness and yet with some hesitation, "Marian, didn't you once read
something with Gerald in the morning?"
"Yes," said Marian, sure of what the something meant.
"Do you do it still by yourself?"
"Then I wish----. Would you mind reading to me?"
"The Psalms and Lessons? O, Lionel, I should be so glad I Only could you get up in
time? for I don't know when to do it except before breakfast."
"To be sure I could get up in time. I only lie in bed because there is nothing to do, and
nobody to speak to."